Monday, October 21, 2013

The One Where I Become a Mom

Where we last left off, things were getting real. I was unable to sleep in the throws of labor while my husband snored on the couch in my birthing suite. My nurse had been taken and replaced by a sweet but not social one. Then the pitocin started. 

It was probably about midnight when the pitocin started and they increased it little by little every hour or so.  I tried to cat nap but contractions were coming so regularly and getting more and more uncomfortable. The hospital bed was pretty cool too in that it could be transformed into a bed like chair. In the chair position the contractions felt stronger, more regular and productive. I figured since I couldn't sleep much I wanted to get the show started. I wasn't able to walk because of the fetal monitors but that was ok. I just wanted to make progress and feel the pain. Pain meant things were moving forward. It was like a promise of light at the end of the tunnel. 

It all came to a halt about 2 AM. The contractions were starting to be too much for bug so we had to lay off the pitocin and forgo the next does of cytotec. Things were progressing too "strongly" and to avoid complications and an emergency we backed off. 

About 4 AM the pitocin started back up again and was ever so slowly increased to avoid the same stress for Bug. Throughout it all my husband slept. He can pass out in an instant and it's really impressive. I'm glad one of us got rest. 

Around 7AM my mom and dad showed up.  It was so comforting to have my Momma with me. My Daddy was cute too because he was so concerned about his baby, me.  He has this way of cracking jokes and giggling when he's nervous and jokes were abundant. As he left, the nurse and my OB came in for the first check during morning rounds.

I was progressing but not too far. I was maybe 1CM but the contractions were coming like clockwork. The plan was to pop my waters and keep upping the pitocin. I was so excited.  

The feeling of your water breaking is trippy. It was odd to constantly gush warm water every time I moved. It wasn't uncomfortable really but it did intensify things. I liked that though. This was pain with a purpose and it meant I was getting closer to my goal. My bug would be here soon. 

More mucous plug was being lost by the minute, water was gushing with every readjustment and exhausted as I was I had never been so focused. I was envisioning my happy place, breathing and trying to relax. The anesthesiologist was making rounds and I turned him away for the epidural. I didn't want one if I didn't need it and I was going to hold out as long as I could, at least 4 CM, if I absolutely needed it. I didn't want to stall this labor train at all. 

About 9 AM my sisters arrived with my MIL and the pain was ramping up. I finally agreed to a little something to take the edge off. It was wonderful! It was short acting Fentanyl but it was glorious. I still felt the pain but it made it a little more manageable. I felt like I had this down. You can have a shot every 15-20 minutes but I was hanging with one ever 45. As the day progressed I started spacing the shots closer together. The shots and constant foot rubs for my my mom and sisters really helped me cope with the pain. They also gave me so much love, support, and laughter that made everything more bearable. I couldn't have handled labor without my people for support. They made everything better.

I was checked again about 11AM and the progress was not what I had hoped. I was about maybe 2 CM. The plan remained; more pitocin, more fentanyl and breathing. Again, I turned away the epidural. I just wasn't ready. 

About 1PM things got really intense and I started using the birthing ball to help open my pelvis and get Bug to drop and engage more. In a swift instant I felt like I jumped onto all fours and needed that epidural immediately. There was no time to wait. Unfortunately, I had to wait...for an hour. The anesthesiologist had just gone in to the OR for a c-section and it would be another hour before he could help me. It was the longest hour ever at the time but looking back it wasn't so bad. 

At about 2 PM, twenty hours in to labor at this point, the anesthesiologist walked in carry the tray of goods.  He was a delightful man from the UK with a great accent. My husband can't stand needles so I asked my Momma to stay and hold me for my epidural. I had been so afraid of needles that I dreaded this instant but it was a breeze. I felt nothing until the epidural medicine started to flow. 

I felt horrible and chilled. I couldn't stop shaking and I started chastising myself in my head for doing this to myself. The shivering and chattering teeth were almost worse than the pain. I felt so uncomfortable but then the side effects went away and I was fine. I was even able to get some sleep. 

I napped for a few hours and woke up about 4 PM to my OB with his hands in my va jay jay and the nasty feeling in my stomach.  I don't ever want to feel that pressure and grossness ever again. I remover looking at him and not even recognizing this as awkward. I looked at him and he looked at me.  He said that I was dilated to a 3, maybe close to a 3 1/2, and he could feel Bug's head. He said the head was wedged in the birth canal really tight and that he was stuck. He would let me labor as long as I wanted but he felt that at the end of it all I would still most likely need a c section. Bug's shoulders were larger than his head and the head was already stuck. All I could say was ok. I was tired and ready to meet my baby. 

I asked what this all meant and he said, "You're going to meet your baby in about an hour!" The room turned into this cyclone of action and the only thing I was fixed on was my husband. We looked at each other, both in the verge if tears, telling each other we were about to meet our baby. It was such an emotional and powerful moment. 

My Daddy an Momma came in to kiss me and tell me I'd be ok. I think it was more to make them feel better but it put me at ease too. I said good bye to my family as I was wheeled into the OR. The next time I'd see them I would be a mom.  

Once in the OR I thought it would be a great time to tell them that I could still feel my left leg. The anesthesiologist was none to please and I had another epidural. It didn't work either so I had a spinal done at the last minute. The curtains went up and my husband, clothed in a white painters suit, was brought in to me.  

In what felt like minutes, at 6:58, minutes shy of 24 hours active labor, Bug was brought into the world holding his umbilical cord for dear life screaming while Puff the Magic Dragon played in the background. With the feeling of release, there he was, this whole new person that I made. 

He was perfect and had his daddy's eyes and a great set of lungs. The OB said he now knew that Bug would have never been born the vaginal way. He was too big at 9 lbs 4 oz, 21 inches long and my pelvis was too small. I guess if my body didn't know what to do after all with such a beast inside of me.

As the baby was taken to the nursery I was cleaned up and put back together. I had hemorrhaged but I didn't know. I was fine and so was my baby and that was all that mattered in the end. 

I finally was taken to recovery where Bug waited for me. I remember them handing him to me and it was the strangest feeling ever. This was my baby. It's a different kind of love than I had ever felt before. It was something more akin to fierce protection and responsibility. This was my baby and he looked like an adorable glow worm. I often wonder if it's how my mom felt when she first held me or how my grandmothers felt when they first laid eyes on my parents. 

He knew me instantly and within seconds of snuggling with me he rooted for boobies and latched. I hadn't blossomed much in the boob area so the Dr had thought I may not be able to breast feed but Bug and I worked it out and were just fine. He was meant for me and I was meant for him. He was his amazing little human that God made from the best pieces of me, my husband, and our family; A genetic collection of diverse ancestors rolled into this cute little boy with his Daddy's eyes and Papa's hands. 

When we were taken to our room he and I spent the entire night learning about each other. Starring into each other's faces. Smelling, touching and feeding. It was the most intimate and impact-full moment I have ever had. I think about that night all the time and miss it. If Bug's birthday was my best day ever, that night of his birth starring at him and bonding were my finest hours. 

He is and continues to be the coolest person I have ever met and the best thing I have ever made. Happy birthday my beautiful Bug. Momma loves you more than you will ever know. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Forty Days of Labor...and then some

Two years ago at this moment I about killed my sister for eating a Lorna Doone. Let me preface it by stating I was in labor. I was two weeks late and I was so tired. I hadn't really slept in at least 36 hours. 

I haven't written my birth story down until tonight because I was to busy trying to keep up with having a little one. Bug is a really active little guy and he really loves attention. I think I also wasn't ready to process the changes that have happened. It feels like another lifetime ago. So much has changed in the last two years that I've been trying to stay afloat instead of sinking in memories. 

Tonight, I finally feel ready to memorialize the best day I've had so far. I think it could only be matched by the birth of another child should we be so blessed. There is something about childbirth that at least for me brought me the closest to God that I have ever been. In the moments of labor, you are teetering on a balance between life and death simultaneously. Anything can and does happen. There is nothing that can prepare you for the pain, the joy, the fear, the exhilaration and the immense sense of love, awe and accomplishment. It's the closest I have and will ever get to being Godlike and giving life to another wholly distinct individual. It's amazing and a gift I didn't think I would be able to experience.

When I was ready to contemplate becoming a mother I figured it would be easy. It's natural and there shouldn't be any problem.  I took the challenge of making a person seriously. I don't like to make my life harder than it ever needs to be so I studied and really researched and prepared for parenthood. I took a wonderful preconception class to help me figure out how to get ready for pregnancy mind, body and soul. I was surprised to learn I was more ready than I had thought. 

I had also started seeing a Catholic Doctor to help me physically prepare. I was and am a plus size woman but I'm in pretty good health. I had been scared by statistics linking obesity to difficulty getting pregnant, miscarriages, and still births. I was quite freaked out. In working with the Dr. it was discovered that I had wonky hormones.  I was told to prepare for a long journey to motherhood; my hormones would make it difficult to get pregnant and if or when I finally was pregnant I faced huge odds of miscarrying.

I was surprised when we found out we were pregnant. It happened the first month we decided to "pull the goalie".  It made it even more terrifying for me and I don't think I fully bonded with my pregnancy because of the fear of impending miscarriage. In any case, our Bug was coming at the right time. Two days after our pregnancy was confirmed by the OB, our beautiful fur baby Lucille passed away. She waited long enough to make sure our arms wouldn't be empty. I see Lucy as Bug's furry dog mom. 

My pregnancy was pretty unremarkable and easy. I was so blessed. It made me even more apprehensive that something horrible was going to happen. I just had to wait. That horrible event never came. I spent too much time being fearful and worrying. Looking back my only obstacle was me but this is my birth story about how the two of us became three. 

On September 11, 2011 I woke up about 3 AM and panicked because I hadn't felt Bug move in a really long time. I drank cold water and juice and he still wouldn't budge. I was also getting annoying tightening. I finally woke up my husband and decided to go to Labor and Delivery to get checked out.  We had to wake our poor neighbors along the way because there was a body passed out on their lawn. Turns out some drunk guy got lost in the neighborhood and decided to take a nap. 

At L&D I was checked in quickly. I was hooked up to monitors and they easily saw Bug was fine and more easily saw I was in silent labor. I couldn't really feel contractions but more the normal pains of advanced pregnancy.  What I couldn't feel though was my baby moving at all. The contractions were so regular the they held him tight so he didn't really move too much. My biggest worry after I knew he was ok was making sure he wasn't born on 9/11. I went home with instructions to take it easy. The OB was worried Bug would be coming a month early. Every week at our appointments the OB would tell me Bug was coming any day and yet that day didn't come on its own. Laboring was horrible and daily. When I was up and about the contractions would grow stronger and closer but the moment I stopped to rest, labor stopped too. This went on for a month. Every day. For a month.  I would labor like this on the couch every day. 

My due date, October 11, 2011, came and went and finally the OB scheduled me for an induction he didn't think I'd make it to. I was to check in on October 20 at 7 PM.  Suddenly it was getting real. I was a natural birth warrior. I wanted to ride out the pain and bought in to the "my body knows what to do"  "I was meant for this" crap from recent documentaries. I had planned and researched and planned some more for an event I now realize is unpredictable. Hind sight is 20/20. 

I wanted to be like those women in history that squatted in a field to give birth and just tied their suckling newborns to them and went about plowing the fields. Ok, maybe not really but I was dead set on letting my body do its thing. This was pain with a purpose and in all honesty it felt good until it didn't. 

So after being too excited to sleep and too pregnant to get comfortable, I greeted my induction day exhausted. I was beat but I was ready.  I felt the most "me" I ever had; awkward and fearful, excited and anxious. I had planned my steps for this day down to minutiae. I was horrified at the prospect of pooping on the table during birth so I planned the most nutritious meal that would be the least likely to be digested when pushing time came. I had planned on going to my favorite sushi house Okawa for Tepanyaki . The rice and noodles would be great fuel for the marathon ahead with the vegetables and steak providing more long lasting fullness. This was my last meal before evicting my tardy fetus and I wanted us both to be going into this labor with full bellies. 

One thing that's a huge horror is telling a very pregnant woman she can't have what she wants. That happened to me on induction day twice!  Okawa was closed when we needed to eat so I had to go to my back up plan, Shogun's. It's equally delicious but it wasn't what I had planned. I was pissed. The cool, crisp carrot ginger salad and warm onion mushroom soup were delicious and they made me feel a little better about not getting my way though. After that I pregnancy gorged aka "attempted to eat food I had no room in my belly for" on a crunchy roll and filet mignon. I was feasting since once I was admitted I wouldn't be allowed to eat anything until the Bug was in my arms. 

After dinner I called the hospital and due to the abundance of women spontaneously going into natural labor I wouldn't be able to check in on time. I was even told I may not be able to check in at all. I was pissed again. Now I'd have to plan a lasting non-poopy snack to extend my full belly. I settled on a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat with a banana. I was too full to eat it at the time I was allowed to check in but I forced myself to eat a few bites as I walked into the hospital out of the fear of not knowing when my next meal would come. 

I was able to waddle myself to check in at 7:30 PM so I wasn't too far off schedule. It took awhile to go over my birth plan and get settled with my nurse. I was already having contractions every 5 minutes lasting 60 second each so they only gave me half the dose of cytotec to getting things moving "harder better faster longer".  

My nurse was wonderful but I didn't get to keep her long. She was transferred to another mother further along than me. She did spoil me though with this wonderful pregnancy cocktail she created. It was simple sprite with cranberry juice but to me it was delicious nectar from God. I sipped my drink as my parents, sisters and mother in law came in to tuck us in and wish us luck. They would be back the next morning when the real work began. That is when I snapped. I don't know what got in to me but I lit up my sister for sneaking a box of Lorna Doone cookies in to my room. I had explicitly said that if I couldn't eat in there than no one could. I lost my ish over a cookie. After that the family left and we hunkered down for the night. I was texting and face booking in between contractions  and watching Harry Potter while my husband snored away. Things were getting real and it was happening fast. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Suckity Suck Suck! AKA I'm sorry Kate

So I start off with an apology to Kate, my wonderful Foodie Pen Pal. I am sorry I haven't posted my review of your wonderful care package. I am going to rectify that in pieces. I promise.

I am horribly sick with a nasty cold that has drained my every inch of energy and all I think about is my bed. On top of that I think of my poor Bug who has the same cold and my honey bun who has it even worse than me. Of the three in my house I have the most manageable illness and it sucks. One thing I took for granted in my pre-Bug years was the joy and ability to get sick. I would of course feel horrible but I could languish in NYQUIL twilight tucked in under covers on my comfy bed and rot my drugged brain on reality TV and epic movies. Titanic, The Patriot, and Gladiator are my favorite flu movies ever. You always know the ending, the soundtracks are pretty relaxing and you can wake up in any part of the movie know exactly what is going on.

Unfortunately, as a mom you will never have a day like this again. There are tiny hands that pull at your covers and demand to be red their favorite Frog book where funny voices are a necessity. There is a sicker spouse or toddler hacking up lungs all night and struggling to breathe that keeps you awake counting each rise and fall of their chests. It's hard and sad realizing that I will never truly be sick again, at least not in the way I was before. Now, sickness is just another drag on my day that makes my responsibilities that much harder to deal with. Such is life I guess. Sickness makes me grateful for frozen meals for sure and easy sandwiches because anything with effort means we aren't eating.

So I've been MIA for a really long time too. When I last left I had an itty bitty baby and now the Bug is a big dude of almost two. A lot has changed and I'm not sure of the direction of this blog but I'll figure it out eventually.

One thing I got involved with in the recent past was Foodie Pen Pals. My cousin, Les at Running Away from Cancer sent me an email about a fun informal program she joined Called Foodie Pen Pals. It was the brainchild of a dietician and blogger, Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean. I will be honest and admit I had not read Lindsay's blog before but I really enjoyed looking through it and signed up at once. The premise is you are set up with another foodie and are pen pals for a month. You have $15 to spend on goodies for your pal (not including shipping) and you mail off the package by the 20th of the month. On the last day of the month, all the foodies with blogs post about their packages however a blog is not a requirement of the program. I suck in that I am too sick to go over my lovely package in detail today but I will in the very near future. I can't wait to share what I got and how I've been using my treats. For now, I have some chocolate donut TastyKakes calling my name at my desk.

blogger template by lovebird