Saturday, February 27, 2010

Now I know why they call it LABOR and Delivery

Okay, so its been exactly 10 days and I am finally feeling coherent and "together" or at least as together as one can be with scattered 2 hour naps. I had hoped to be able to document the journey throughout the labor process, I didn't want to forget a thing. I wanted to be present in each and every moment of it. But I quickly learned that the labor portion of this journey is no joke!!!!  The last thing on my mind was sitting with my laptop typing away about the experience. Looking back now, 10 days removed, I would do it again in a heartbeat to be given the amazing gift of life that is my son. At the time... not so much.... and would have done anything to "get out of it".

A few things I found rather interesting about this portion of the journey. Pitocin is serious business. We had a scheduled induction, because of my blood pressure. Little man was happy and healthy cooking away but my body was beginning to show signs of distress. So we scheduled the induction, arrived at 6am and got the process started. I was having a few random almost painless contractions before any meds got introduced into my system. I would excitedly watch the monitors as the little bumps would come and go ... excited that it was really happening.

It wasn't until about 8 am that we finally got around to IV's and the contractions of death that would come from Pitocin.We quickly jumped from 1.5 to 3 cm by 11am and that is when they thought it was a good idea to go ahead and strip the membranes and break the water. Next thing I knew, I was dying! Seriously, there was no way that I could survive this kind of pain. It wasn't a natural progression of contractions. We went from a piece of cake tightening of the tummy, to literally grabbing anything within reach to huff and puff my way through the contractions. We ended up going from 3 to 5cm. Every contraction was getting worse and worse. I was involuntarily crying from the sheer pain that was radiating through my body and that was only 5 centimeters. I've never boasted about being a super hero. In fact, I am quite aware of my intollerance to pain. I'm a big baby and this was no exception. According to my husband it was 2pm and I wanted out!

By this time I was delirious. I was telling everyone I needed to stop. I was begging the nurse to slow down the pitocin, at one time I told her to shut it off.  I needed to take a break and we would try this again in a little while. I looked my husband dead in the eyes and told him that I was done. I told him to get everyone out and to just leave me alone. As if somehow I could be done. I honestly believed in my heart that I could stop, take a few hours, or honestly a day off and then come back in more prepared to handle the pain. HA!!! This is when the the angel of a nurse, Donna, knew it was time for anesthesia.

Now this brings me to the epidural.... HEAVEN.... after going through the 3 hours of toe curling, body crushing pain to feeling absolutely nothing but pressure was A-MAZE-ING!!! Sure the needle is scary, the original pokes hurt like heck but here is what I don't understand. Why would anyone NOT get an epidural??? If you have the option to sit and smile your way through these contractions... why wouldn't you? Obviously, its not for everyone, more power to you if you are the ones that managed to hypnotize yourself through the pain.... you are truly amazing!!! But I just don't see how it makes your birth expierence any better ?  I'm not that girl and thanked the anesthesiologist every time I saw his lovely face pop into my room to check on things.

So we were 5 and a half cm by the time the epidural was placed @ 2pm and quickly went to 8cm honestly because I believe my body was able to relax through the contractions and let them do their job. This is when little man started to show some signs of trouble. . . we tried my left side and right side and with each contraction he started to have dips in his heart rate. We tried a bunch of different things and eventually was ready to start trying to get this little guy out. I've got to say that this was scary. Luckily the Dr was there and realized that it was time to get him out. . . we had to use the vacuum and later found out that the chord was wrapped around his neck and leg, so every contraction and push was causing the blood flow to stop.

Pushing turned out to be another no joke process. Sure I watched birth videos. I saw the women turn beat red in their face and sweating like pigs, but I figured.... ehhh no big deal I'll figure it out when I get there. Well I was there, and needed to figure it out ASAP... I am not going into details, but man oh man!! After 40 minutes of the hardest workout of my life he was right there.... and we found ourselves waiting for the dr to arrive. He strolled on in... covered himself from head to toe and was there being my strongest cheerleader through each contraction. Little man ended up having the cord around his neck and leg and we needed a little vacuum assistance to get him all the way out as it turned out his hand was up above his head. . . . but out he came and that was it.... I did it!!!

My heart instantaneous exploded into a million pieces the second I saw his wrinkly little self. They put him up on my chest and my heart would never be the same. There in that moment I realized that this was truly the most amazing gift anyone can be given. Sure it wasn't my plan, yes I had been freaked out through the entire process, but this little person that was there in front of my eyes was absolutely 100% the love of my life. My heart had never expierenced a love like this. Everything and everyone faded into the background and it was just me and him. I would spend the rest of my life loving this amazing miracle and doing everything within my power to protect him from the rest of the world. I now know that nothing happens by accident. God sent us this amazing blessing and I could not be happier to have been given the opportunity to "make" this baby.

I know that every mom swears that their baby is the cutest in the universe... but seriously!!! I have never seen a more beautiful baby :o)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The moment I fell in love

I have received so much amazing love, support and encouragement from everyone who has been reading. I feel so completely blessed to know that I am not the only one that has struggled with all of these emotions. Thank YOU for your honesty and openness !! 

I mentioned in the previous posts that I had a hard time "bonding" with the idea of pregnancy. During the first few days, up until 12 weeks, it was a roller coaster of emotions.  We told family and friends as soon as my husband and I had realized what was happening. This probably didn't help things. I felt like I had to  be excited and happy, smiling and "glowing". I was taking the ques from my husband, I would repeat what he would say and hope that no one would see through me.

Looking back, it probably would have helped the "love" process to have allowed some more time before telling people. Waiting until you can see a doctor not only gives you comfort with confirmed information but also allows you some time to adjust to the idea before having to be happily excited talking to family and friends. Everyone would tell me how wonderful it was. What an amazing blessing it was going to be and I just wasn't emotionally there yet. I felt in my heart that this meant I was destined to be a terrible mother. Shouldn't I be in love with this little precious bundle of joy? Shouldn't I be thrilled beyond belief that I was going to be a carrier of God's most amazing gift?

I had called the doctors office and made my first prenatal appointment. My husband was able to go with me, which was a good thing because the waiting room was jam packed full of women who's bellies looked like they were about to pop. I sat nervously, pretending to play with my phone. The entire time staring at my stomach. Imagining it growing to the size of a basketball. I envisioned swollen cankles and fingers. Before I knew it I was in the labor and delivery room yelling and screaming like all of those crazy TV births. Finally my name was called and I snapped back into reality. 

After doing the standard screenings, she left us alone in the room while waiting the results. There we sat, my husband and I stared at each other for what seemed like forever. Finally I blurted out, "you think she'll tell us the tests were wrong." He just laughed and scoured the desk for reading material. "I mean, maybe those tests really were wrong. Maybe its all a fluke." Could I seriously still be doubtful? As if God instantly heard my heart, and wanted to nip the thoughts in the butt, the nurse came in with a bag full of prenatals and baby samples. "Congratulations Mama." ....... MAMA.... wow, the first time anyone had ever called me that.

According to my dates we should have been about nine weeks along. But again, those dates were open to interpretation. I was never a tracker of my schedule and just dealt with it when it came.  They decided to do an ultrasound in order to be able to date the pregnancy. I was not prepared for this, I thought we'd get in and get out, I didn't think I'd see "it". I anxiously climb up on the table and got my belly smothered with goop. I begin to have some difficulty breathing. I reached out for my husbands hands and took a deep breath. Here goes nothing.... and then literally ... nothing! The nurse was having trouble and us an "I'm sorry" look. She went out to get the Doctor and suddenly I was living the scene from Marley and Me. I was choking. Something was caught in my throat. As he struggled to find "it" I felt my eyes welling up with tears. He proceeded to show me a sac, and a little blob no bigger then a jelly bean. He informed us that perhaps our dates were off, and that is why the fetus had not progressed further. In order to be sure, he ordered a series of blood work that would track my hormones over the next couple of days. And if those tests showed a progression of pregnancy I would come back in three weeks for another ultrasound. If those test showed a progression??I went from being pregnant, to having been pregnant.

The news that I had so desperately been praying for was suddenly upon me and I couldn't breath. Sure I was freaking out about being pregnant. Nervous about the next 9 months and all that my body was going through. But now that it might not happen, I was suddenly so sad. Why would God have allowed me to go through the past days of torture only to take it away?

I spent the next three weeks now defensively protecting myself. I stopped talking about it. I pretended it wasn't happening. After all, I needed to be prepared and in control right? As if this pregnancy itself didn't show me that it was not me, but God managing my life.We finally made it to the appointment, July 28, 2009. The bloodwork had shown a steady increase and we were going to check again to make sure everything was progressing. We walked right in and climbed up on the table. I again reached out for my husbands hand and take a deep breath. Instantly I see something on the screen.

I saw the perfect outline of a baby. Okay, well not perfect, in reality he looked like an alien. A head too big for his body, little eye buds, little stumps for arms and legs. It was absolutely incredible. I was expecting to see just a bigger jelly bean. But this was a baby! and not just a baby,  MY BABY.  Then with the click of a button I heard the most amazing sound, a heartbeat. It was flying at a speed of 174 beats per minute. Crazy how those numbers get stuck in your head. I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I remember how fast my little guys heart was beating the first time I heard it. Before I could even stop myself I was crying. My heart exploded into a million pieces. It is something that is completely indescribable. I finally knew what everyone was talking about. This was the most amazing gift that a person can be given. A miracle and it was mine. I was in love!! That was it, I was making a baby. I would spend the next days, weeks, and months reading, studying, researching, and preparing. I would be the best Accidental Baby Maker I could be. From there it has grown a million and ten percent. Every day I am more and more amazed at the ammount of love a person can feel for someone they have never "met".

It hasn't been easy, there have been many things that have freaked me out and sent me googling for answers. I have been convinced that something was wrong a million times. I have been worried and protective over this little life inside me.

We would later find out that it was a boy. I'm sure he'll kill me some day for showing his boy parts, but its part of the journey right :) Sorry Kid!!! And he would become my little man.

Before I knew it I was that girl, the girl that was registering for breast pumps and diaper champs. I was attending a baby shower and oogling over the cutest "little man suit" I have ever seen, complete with sweater vest, trousers, and a bow tie.

We are now 38 weeks and 6 days. Tomorrow I will be heading to the hospital to be induced. Everyone told me to cherish the moments because it would fly by before I knew it. Sure its easy to say when they weren't the ones dragging through the first trimester. But seriously, I am absolutely amazed looking back how quickly it passed.

I can not wait to be a mom... even if it was accidentally

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My 1st Trimester Roller Coaster

Here I sit, curled up in my husbands favorite chair. The room is dark and the sun is not even thinking about shining its face yet. Sleep was not my friend tonight. Tossing and turning for most of the night has become par for the course these last weeks of pregnancy. On a side note, you have all been reading the beginning of my journey. Which began way back in June 2009. It is now the week of February 15th, 2010 the week I will become a mom. We are now only two days away from our induction date. With my growing fear and anxiety of this impending birth, combined with a sever lack of sleep, I'm deciding its an excellent time to give you my insight into what was my 1st trimester experience. 

If your an Accidental Baby Maker, fear not. A lot of us can feel completely wonderful during our first trimester. Some lucky ladies state that they have never felt more amazing from the moment they conceive until they pop that little one out. That could totally be you!!!! and if it is -- I'm sooo jealous!!!!

For the rest of us, most 1st trimesters and into the early 2nd trimester, it is not so much fun. It's a time of minute to minute changes. Your body is no longer your own, and someone else is calling the shots. My first 14 weeks can be summed up with nausea, vomiting, extreme exhaustion, and emotional craziness.

My theory, better to be prepared then caught off guard. If you know that your worse case scenario is being so sick that you actually end up loosing weight instead of starting to pack on the pounds, you can deal with it. If you know it's completely normal to have none of the energy you used to have you can make plans to accommodate your new sleep needs. If you find yourself crying at the drop of a dime, you'll know your not alone and that its completely okay! And if you end up being one of those lucky few that feel amazing, have no adverse side effects, I hope you'll know how good you have it!!! Back to my miseries and how I dealt with them. After all, this is about me :o)

Do not get fooled into thinking that morning sickness is just for the morning. It can strike, any time and any where. You could be feeling totally fine one minute and be running for the bathroom the next. I even had a day here and there where I thought, "wow, I haven't wanted to puke today." But for the most part, it was just a constant state of severe nausea.

My accidental baby maker survival. The smell of lemon. This came from my husbands co-worker who also had a miserable 1st trimester. You basically squeeze lemon juice all over a paper towel and stick it in a zip-lock bag. At the first feelings of sickness whip that baby out and take a few deep breaths through your nose. I am convinced this kept me from a several embarrassing vomiting situations. I'm not chemist, but there is something about that lemon fresh infiltration into your senses helped to ward off the gagging. I also found that staying away from all things stinky was safest. You may have loved tuna fish your entire life, but that sucker was a sure fire gag reflex trigger. Stick with simple, plain things that are yummy to you, but that you wont be forever traumatized seeing again a few moments later.

Next, the extreme exhaustion.  I was literally waking up in the morning dreaming about being able to curl up and take a nap. I was completely amazed at the lack of energy your body feels. The only solution to this is to sleep it off. I could normally survive and thrive on about 6 hours of sleep a night, a good stiff cup of coffee in the morning and one in the afternoon. Making it through the day refreshed and able to last until 11pm or later. My new condition left me needing at least 8 hours at night. If left up to my body and not my alarm clock I would find myself stealing 9 or 10 hours on the weekend. That was only to ensure that I would make it to my 4pm siesta. I am not, nor have I ever been a napper. They always leave me feeling more tired then before I laid down. But during those first 14 weeks, if I didn't grab those extra couple of hours in the afternoon I was useless. Don't fight it. Don't be ashamed, and most importantly, don't try to power through. Your body is going through something ridiculously hard. It requires every spare ounce of energy you have. Get those extra hours at night and Tivo your favorite shows instead of watching them live. Skip the Friday night dinner and a movie with friends and choose an early night curled up on the couch. Its good practice for life after baby, when your social life will come to a halt and your entire world will revolve around the little one. Schedule time in your day for an afternoon "pick me up" nap. You'll find all of the other symptoms are a little less easier to deal with, if your getting a good amount of rest.

My final symptom was emotional craziness. I'm not talking about lock me up, I'm a danger to my self craziness. I am talking about, for me, I felt crazy. I am not a crier. I just don't show my emotions that way. I like to take a step back from an upsetting situation and process things internally before talking about them. I like to go into something calm and with a rational head. I like to keep my emotions in check. This flew out the window with my pregnancy. The dumbest things were sending me into sobbing fits. My feelings were easily hurt. I became incredibly sensitive about pretty much everything. If your significant other is anything like mine, this was the hardest thing for him to deal with. He would hold my hair back while I was sick in the bathroom, allow me peace and quiet to get caught up on my sleep, but He is a "fixer". He hates seeing me upset, and always try to do anything possible to make me happy. ( I know, I'm one lucky girl) The key point I had to keep emphasizing to him was that it wasn't something that was "fixable". I needed to be able to go through these emotions. I needed a hug when I was sad, and for him to listen when I needed to yell and scream with frustration. I needed to know that for the next nine months it was okay for me to be "that girl". The one that cried at Hallmark commercials, balled her eyes out when something mean was said, and could rant and rave when something just really pissed me off. 

I also felt crazy for not falling head over heals in love with my newly discovered baby. Everyone was wishing me wonderful congratulations. Telling me what an amazing gift we had been given. I just wasn't emotionally there yet. I had not let go of my control issues. I was still feeling like this was a HUGE mistake. God must have gotten me confused with someone else. Surely I was not capable of making a baby. Everyone experiences pregnancy differently. We don't always plan on it happening and I have come to realize that it's okay to be totally freaked out. I believe its a healthy fear. Working as a nanny for the past 9 years I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. The sleepless nights, the temper tantrums, the endless diaper changes. For me it was my job, something I loved doing from 9-5, Monday through Friday, but I also loved going home at the end of my day. I wasnt ready to give up that part of my life. I was getting in my own way of joy and happiness. I wasn't ready to let go of my fears and trust that God was in control. Sure I could do certain things to ensure my safety and well being. But the baby was something I had absolutely no control over. That's a tough one for me.

My survival. Find someone you can be honest with. Be allowed to verbalize your thoughts and have them be listened to and supported. For me it was a combination of my sisters. One, a lawyer, has no plans or desire to reproduce. She was the person I needed to validate my anxiety. I told her everything I was afraid to tell everyone else. I knew that she would cast no judgement, not label me as a bad mother, but offer me sarcasm and whit.She would tell me that it was okay to not be excited, and to be freaking out was 100% normal.  My second sister, an elementary school teacher, who loves children, and has always wanted to be a mom, was who I went to when I needed encouragment and excitement about this new journey.  I needed her to tell me that I could do it. To reassure me that my body was made for this. That I was going to survive the next 9 months and to convince me that I was in fact going to be an awesome mom.

Every Baby Maker, whether "accidental" or "planned" needs support. Even if it is spread out through many people. Trust me, its a long journey and you need to be able to talk through things, laugh about the funny, and cry about the scary.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The day my world stood still

Almost 7 weeks after uttering that dare of "never doing this" in my sister in laws labor and delivery room, my world was about to change forever.

I had not quite been feeling like myself. I was sick to my stomach, achy boobs, and everything seemed to send me into tears. I was exhausted from the moment I woke up in the morning until I came home from work. I was napping almost every day, and I am not a napper. Anyone who has sat through a sex education would have put together the pieces, but I was in total and complete denial. After all, I had taken a pill once a day to ensure that a baby was not an option.

I called out of work, curled up on the couch and sipped on ginger ale and saltines. Two days later, when the "bug" still hadn't passed and I was feeling miserable. Sure, there were a few pills that last batch of birth control that I had taken late, and yeah there was that one that I missed completely, but seriously, if you had to remember to take it at the same time every day everyone would be knocked up. HA! 

So off I go to my pharmacies family planning isle. I stared for a good 15 minutes trying to figure out the difference between them all. How was a girl supposed to know which one will give her the right answer...the only acceptable answer which is, "heck no your not pregnant"!!!  I wonder if they make a test that will simultaneously start your period? So with a small sampling of the entire section I head home. Before I'm finished I see two lines. "whooohooo I picked a good one" An instant sigh of relief rushes over me until I look up at the box and realize that two lines means baby. I read the directions; as if the words will say something different then the clearly labeled picture on the box. Tears begin to well up in my eyes and before I know it I'm sobbing... then it hits me... maybe you can have a false positive... I run to the computer and instantly ask the google Gods.... there are many results which do in fact show that there is a chance of false results... false negatives that is... despite my recent findings I decide to take a few more tests, it can't hurt right??? wrong... all of them turn positive as quickly as the first and its then that my full blown panic attack arrives.

After a phone call to my anti-baby-making sister and her fiance I am feeling better about not wanting to be pregnant or have a child, they assure me that its completely normal to be freaked out. But I soon realize that I need someone to talk me into having this kid. After all, I was already pregnant, not much to do about the "baby" situation. This is when I call my "all I have ever wanted to be is a mom" sister who proceeds to reassure me that everything will be okay. That I will in fact survive and that the next 9 months was going to be amazing. I was skeptical, but at least able to breath again and feel ready to face the husband.

He was on his way home, if I had honestly thought that there was any chance of a positive test I would have waited for him. I call to see where he is and before I know it I'm blurting out the news over the phone. "WE ARE HAVING A BABY". Again the sobs came and he had to talk me down for his entire drive home. He, of course, was thrilled. He rushes in the door and wraps me up in his arms. I was still freaking out but knowing that he was with me, I could breath again.

It was then, June 25th, 2009 that my life changed forever and I became The Accidental Baby Maker.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The best laid plans

I remember it as if it were yesterday.

May 5th, 2009. I was sitting anxiously in my sister in laws labor and delivery room. This was the culmination of everything that freaked me out about having a baby.Sure the 9 months was scary, and I knew that I would be a mess, but this was it, either way of getting that baby out was absolutely terrifying to me. If the baby was to exit from the "Whoooohaah" (what I refer to as my "lady parts") there is sure to be horrific pain and torture, there is no way that thing is ever getting back to normal. . . and worse to me then that traumatic option... was them having to slice and dice your stomach to get the baby out. Everyone says its an amazing miracle, its what a woman's body was made to do. I'm sorry, not mine, NO THANK YOU!!! 

Everyone in the room was excited, happy, and strangely peaceful.  Of  course I was thrilled to be welcoming a new life into the world. We were finally getting a niece and I couldn't wait to have a new little life in our family. It was just being in that room, sitting in the sterilized environment, the overhead lights shining down and the impending "doom" that was coming. I couldn't get the traumatic images out of my head . . . she had to get out from where she was and that scared the crap out of me.I actually said out loud to the room full of my husband's family " I will never do this".

That was it, my declaration to the world, his family, and to God. If there was any doubt before, this sealed the deal. I was never going to make a baby!

I don't know what everyone's take on God or a higher power might be. But here are my belief's in a nutshell, at least as it pertains to this situation. I believe there is a God, and that my God has a crazy sense of humor. I believe that when we attempt to take matters in to our own hands, he often steps in and shows us that we really do not decide a single thing. 

At 7:33 am, on May 6, 2009, I became a Tia (Aunt) for the third time. The first time since being married and I've got to say it was absolutely amazing. She was absolutely gorgeous, perfect fingers and toes, the epitome of petite. A little princess to her two older brothers, an angel to her adoring father, and God's miracle gift to her mother. Her mom, happily recovering on a cocktail of meds was completely out of it and blissfully in love with her new little girl. Sure she had just "popped" out a kid, but she was in love! And a big piece of my heart now belonged to our precious little niece.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Accidental Baby Maker

I have never been a fan of procreation. Let me rephrase that, I have never been a fan of me, myself, having a baby. Anyone else in the world who has the desire to bring another life into the world that shares their same DNA is A-OK in my book, in fact more power to them.  I think that the entire process is an amazing miracle .... for someone else, just not me personally.

It has always been my own personal belief that getting pregnant, carrying a baby around in my belly, and then having to figure out how to get that baby out was just not something I was capable of nor really had any desire to do.I know exactly what can go wrong and how many things have to go right in order to bring a life into the world. I knew that for the entire 9 months I would be freaking out. I would be worrying that something was wrong, that something happened, or that something would happen. Ultimately, I have come to realize it's a control issue. I need to be in control of what is happening, and nothing about pregnancy, childbirth or motherhood is really ever under your control.

Many people might misconstrue this with a lack of desire for children. This is the ironic part. I LOVE KIDS. I have worked as a nanny for almost my entire professional life. I think that children are amazing creations and I have always found working with them to be an awesome way to make a living. I have always wanted a huge family, as many kids as I could responsibly afford.

I have just always told myself that adoption was my answer. It was the perfect solution for me.  Someone else "makes and bakes" the babies, get's them out and into the world, then I love them, care for them and help them grow into the amazing people they were created to be. This may sound selfish but honestly, despite my fear of the process, I do genuinely believe that there are tons of awesome, beautiful children in the world that need safe, loving, nurturing homes and I was going to be the person to give them that.I mean, why, if given the choice would I do something that I was so utterly and completely freaked out with.

From the earliest conversations with my future husband we discussed my issues with pregnancy and childbirth and my overwhelming desire to adopt as many children as we could financially afford. He was open to my plan as long as somewhere in that mix I would give him one biological child. I agreed thinking that eventually... down the road... once we actually began the process of starting a family I could negotiate my way out of it. We fell in love and got married September 1, 2007.

We were on a 5 year plan. He needed to finish his Bachelor's degree, I needed to figure out what in the world I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be financially stable, emotionally prepared and living back east close to my family for support. I would be 29, which I believed a great time to be young enough to keep up with kids, but old enough to have gotten myself out of the way of being a mom.

See, we had it all figured out. This is what felt safe, what was comfortable for me. Well, now to the title of our little blog. Its obviously not 2012... I am clearly going to be a mom and this is my journey into the great unknown. Me as an Accidental Baby Maker.