Sunday, November 27, 2011

birth story in progress..

So my baby has been out a month, but he was due just a couple of days ago. My husband is deployed, but came home on emergency leave due to the baby being anemic before birth and me needing to get induced before being full term. I was SO blessed to have him here for the birth. (our last two babies were anemic/crazy jaundiced AFTER birth and so I moved to live with my parents for this birth, anticipating that my husband wouldn't be here. He wasn't going to get leave with his 6 month deployment. But we never ever thought the anemia would happen early in my pregnancy)
We found out around 32 weeks that he was anemic in there due to my mean ABO incompatibility. Had an intrauterine blood transfusion at 33 weeks, which he needed pretty bad. And then monitored him closely until the induction during week 35.
I went in at 10pm to get all set up. I decided on the 1/4 pill dose of cytotec on my cervix. I could have chosen cervadil.. but it would have meant 12 hours instead of 4 on the pill. And it's what my natural birth friendly midwives routinely used. I'd heard all the bad stuff. But I trusted them. And it turned out ok.
So, I was 1 cm and a wiggle and delightfully mushy (according to my midwife) at 12 am.  I got the cytotec and an hour later on the dot started having really mild contractions. It turns out, he didn't love contractions.. no matter what the source. At least he didn't in the middle of the night. His heartrate was kind of consistently dropping after the contraction was over, which they said had to do with my placenta not recovering well enough from each one. I duno.. but I had to be on oxygen, on my left side, the who shebang. That was all night. But I slept mostly. They were easy peasy when I wasn't worrying about him.. And eventually he chilled out. It was close for a couple of contractions though. Everyone was nervous.
(and I really don't know if those decels were b/c of the cytotec.. my midwife said she would have taken out the cervadil after his heart dropped like that a couple of times. I honestly thought that he just wasn't going to be up for a labor experience, with his anemia and being early. I just figured.. crap.. this isn't going to work at all)
So 7:30 arrives, and I am 3 cm. We start pitocin at a 2. I post on 7:28 that I was starting Pit.  I settle in for the long haul. My last labor took about 18 hours from 3cm to done. That was also a natural birth. At 8:30 I texted my doulas that they could come now, because it was getting pretty tough. (they had been my birth support plan before I knew my hubby was getting emergency leave.) At this point, I was really starting to question if I could handle it. It was still SOO early. My Pit was now at a 3, which I knew wasn't a lot. But mann.. it was getting too intense for the amount of time I had even sort of been in active labor. And I got off the tethered monitors and onto the mobile ones. I sat on the birth ball. I tried to go poop in the toilet.. since I didn't want to poop while pushing. We had a LOT to eat the night before, b/c I thought I'd have a 2 day induction ahead of me.
I told my husband I just didn't think I could do it this time. How did I do it last time?? and for 18 hours? about 6 of which were between 8 and 10 cm? I really couldn't handle these contractions. And I aske my nurse to check me..and was it the pitocin that was making me feel like this? She said.. yeah.. it is. She was such a natural birth cheerleader though and had been with me at a lot of the NSTs leading up to the induction.
Thankfully, the baby was handling these contractions like a champ. What a relief. But I didn't have much time to think about it.
So, anyway, my nurse checks me. I'm just.. really not handling things well at that point. I know I can't last through much more of these contractions.. And I'm about to wimp out and get an epidural. She checks me...and I'm a "good 6 to 7"  whhaaaat???   It's been just an hour and some change since I was 3 cm and thinking.. "ehh..let's get this going" .. seriously..? I did NOT believe her BECAUSE she is so pro natural birth, haha. I thought she was lying and I never anticipated that I would be more than about a 5 at that point, IF I was lucky. So.. I suck it up a little and get through a couple more contractions. (btw, NO bloody show, NO mucus plug, nothing funny coming out of my vagina...) And then I tell that nurse she's got to get the midwife to check me. Well, i think it was more of a teary eyed plea..  I'm about to go labor in the shower and am on the toilet when the midwife comes in. Shower is running. and the drainage is bad so my hubby and the nurse are putting towels on the floor to keep it in the designated shower area. And she gets down on my level in front of me and helps me focus through a couple of contractions. They disconnect the pit, which was just at a 4. And my midwife says I'm pushing/grunting.. and that I'm not going to be able to go to the shower. So I get on the bed and she checks me.. ----- 10 cm-----  No WAY.
The NICU team comes in. I don't feel pushy much. just in shock. I feel pretty good actually. I mean, it was intense. And I felt like I couldn't do it, but part of that was because I was anticipating HOURS of contractions that felt that awful. And I actually felt like I was FOOLING everyone and that I wasn't really at 10cm. I was faking it or something. But you can't fake a baby coming out I guess ;)
So I push a couple of times, on the bed..nothing fancy. And he's out! 9:19 am. 6lbs 6oz. No breathing problems.  That all took less than 2 hours of pitocin. I had been very nervous that my body would fight the induction, since it was SO early. But baby, uterus, cervix, all of it,.... they all knew he needed to come out. And I'm so thankful. I feel like I earned it from my hellishly long last delivery.
We did stay there for 7 days. And he's had a transfusion since getting out. And my antibodies are still getting at him, so he might need another. But overall, no complaints. It's a good way to finish my baby making career anyway.
So. what did I do to help cope and facilitate cervical door opening??  I listened to some rocker chick lullaby album she made for her kids. I chewed gum to keep my faced relaxed. I did not fight my contractions like last time. I really tried to loosen my kegal floor muscles.. "basement...basement" during contractions, especially the early ones. And.. well that's about all I had time for ;) haha.  I didn't even have time to labor in the huge birth tub...
I would be so jealous of me if I wasn't me! Wink Seriously though. I feel lucky all around. If we hadn't caught that anemia, he might not have made it to full term. God and life and serendipity are amazing sometimes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

There is a baby in my belly

and this child in my stomach moves and pushes and bangs around in there. It's such an amazing thing to feel and see and experience. But i have been heavily distracted this pregnancy. I keep forgetting about this baby boy ...until i have to bend over and pick up another piece of food or toy or sock or diaper or towel or ... oh goodness, this list will not end by itself. i'll just say.. i am physically reminded more often than mentally reminded. It's just that it's kind of hard to focus on me. I think about John all of the time. I think about the kids almost as much. I'm not saying I don't do things for me. I guess i do.... hmm. I dunno. like.. i got a pedicure a while back. which reminds me i really need to lotion my feet and sleep in socks. That has been on my to-do list for a really long time. and my heels hate me for being such a slacker. I'm really serious. my feet..oh i do love my feet. But they are so dry and cracky and not attractive. That should be my homecoming present for John. smooth girly feet.

I took some family photos for my friend last week. And there were footsie pictures. And her feet are so pretty! Are you reading Nicole? I am in awe. Something is wrong with my genes or maybe just something is very right with yours ;)

So the deployment. How is that going. It's pretty good. I'm past my really dumpy first weeks. It was hard. But hardest the first few days. It's a good feeling to love and be loved as much as I've been reminded we do. I will say that about separation. I will appreciate him more. I will cherish the smell of his neck when we hug and the feel of his cheek when i kiss it. It's good to look forward to these things. even though it makes me weepy a little.  On his end, I think/hope he's ok. I mean.. he's safe and ok. I'm talking about his heart and mind. I know he's fine that way as well. But we have very different life perspectives and priorities at the moment. I have such limited snippets of him. I only see him from his bunk. I wish i could be there and experience the sights and sounds and smells. And the worries and concerns. And the adventures that come with a foreign culture.  It makes me so happy to see him tagged on FB or to see his pictures. I feel like i deserve to be there too! I want to share all of it with him.

Childbirth preparation:  well i just bought hypnobabies. Here's to zoning out during contractions and not feeling a darn thing! clink. I've got a couple of doulas. different personalities. Different strengths. I have some really mellow hippie christian music on my computer/ipod. I need to arrange that and burn a cd or something. my ipod will be just for video chatting when the time comes.  I feel like i've been putting off preparing! but not because i don't want to. there just doesn't seem to be the time. like right now. this night is an anomaly. Kassidy is sleeping in her crib before midnight. And i'm blogging. because i've neglected it. also i've neglected my online real estate class that "expires" in a couple of months. and i really must finish that. So i was doing that right before i started blogging.

kindle~~~ ooooooh goodness. I love my kindle app. seriously.. love it like a chocolate chip cookie.  i'm reading end of civilization books again. and it's so fun. but it's hard for me to put a book down. especially at night. isn't it so bad that i can't put off the instant gratification of reading until it's over--even at 2 in the morning. It's killing my daytimeyness.

ok. back to the real estate stuff. i think i could do two units tonight.. as long as kassidy stays asleep!

Scout camping with Noah this weekend~!~!~! eeee~!~!~  Kassidy is going to have boob withdrawals..but she'll be ok for a night.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This stroller must be too good to be true right?

I'm on a stroller hunt. And this seems like a good one. compact..double..lightweight. Gosh is it true? I just wish it had more of a jogging stroller feel to it. I'd probably be drooling then. But hey.. what can you do. Can't have everything right? I think I might get this. or win it. Or just  drool at it for a few weeks before making up my mind. But I'll have a newborn and an 18 month old. seems like a good option. and it's not TOO expensive. Is this it?......the one....

I also found a cool blog that's doing a giveaway. Giveaway to me please!!  Friends reading: do not enter.. haha.. I repeat. It's mine for the winning!

I told John that I'm hoping to make a few photography bucks to pay for my dream double stroller, whatever that may be. I feel bad using HIS money for something costlier than we would normally buy. I know it's really OUR money. But HE'S working pretty hard for it these days.  So am I. But really.. I'm not the one wearing kevlar.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Love knows not its own strength until the hour of separation. *quote not by me

We had a couple of days together. We played house for one night, we played apartment the next. Maybe it was better that the 3 bedroom temporary lodging was booked after that first night. Because it's hard to be so sad and lonely in a one bedroom apartment with 2 kids.

I want to write about how it felt to let him go. It's like.. a bandage ripping off, a second time, and hurting worse than the reason it was there in the first place. We had spent 5 weeks apart, trying to adjust..wanting it over fast. I distracted myself with packing, moving, stressing, traveling, getting to my parents' house, then traveling to see his parents, trying to square away some doula support. I started to "play house" a little here in Louisiana. All the while, looking forward with sweet anticipation to our meeting again after his training. And it was a good two days. A little weird..knowing you have only 2 nights together. 2 nights and about 2 days to make the most of every second without feeling like you're making the most of every second. You want it to be natural, easy, fun. And it mostly was.

We waited for what must have been 30 minutes for him to descend the escalator through the giant glass windows at that quaint Florida airport. The flight was late, a crowd had accumulated to greet the passengers. Every uniform..and there were a lot.. would bring on a tightening in my chest. But he didn't come until literally the very end. There were a lot of military folks on that flight. A lot of guys from his training. A couple of people returning from a deployment, being met by representatives from the base nearby. I guess they weren't married or were too far from home to be greeted by family. Everyone waiting around applauded for a bit. But I did so with a touch of bitterness and jealousy. And when John appeared at the top of those rolling steps I wasn't even sure it was him.. he walked like him. wore clothes like him. different hair? different something. And this was only 5 weeks. We watched him and waved as he made the descent and exited the secure area. We all hugged and I teared up. I wasn't going to cry! We shared a kiss. And sweet Kassidy realized who he was and protested that she was in my arms, fussing and reaching for him. He scooped her to him and she immediately laid her head on his shoulder, and kept it there. I didn't know or expect she would react quite like that. It was one of those simple, normal, beautiful things. It meant so much to him and me. I felt a few eyes on us, probably thinking he was back from some huge absence. And I wished it was that moment, I almost pretended it was that moment.

Sharing meals and snacks and car rides as a family unit. Swimming in the gulf and eating at a fancy place. Ordering pizza, indulging in a 6-year-old birthday ice cream treat. Him feeling the baby kick for the first and only time. Savoring every cuddle, every kiss-and-more moment. Not one of those things was enough. Every one with a lingering thought, unspoken fear, dreading the big goodbye. But it was worth the pain of separation. To see and touch and experience our cohesion again. Talking and dreaming about the future us, the one after this temporary divide.

Temporary. That's the thing. Nothing is temporary until it's over and done with and its reality can begin to fade from the front of your brain. So -this- this is now. This is real and not done. And fresher than grass grown too tall. And that hurts.

We didn't walk with him to the group casually waiting around, ABU jackets off. Looking relaxed and carefree. This wasn't some big family event with banners and flags and bands, it was just one stop on his journey there.  So the few family farewells were spotty and private. We said our goodbye in the parking lot. It was a long time coming on that day. We did get some extra time by being his chauffeur, instead of the big sterile white bus that carted around most of the others. We had our last meal at the base exchange. a mini-mall.  It was sweet and so normal feeling. So was the big goodbye actually. There was no drama..just some welling of tears and a non-chalant kid adios.  It didn't feel real but the front seat emptied. And it is and will be for a while. And that also hurts.

It was in the few hours between goodbye and his flight taking off that I went a little bananas. My husband, my friend, my heart and my partner. He was across the highway, no doubt being relaxed and carefree as the others I'd seen, and that's how I wanted him.  There was no one stopping me from going back and seeing him. It was just HIS time now. A couple of briefings and waiting for the plane. But during what was now MY time, it was all I could do to stop myself from following my weak and history-proven desire to know more, do more, take more, see more. It's just like me to find a parking place just in sight of that building and watch and stalk. Part of me wanted to do that, pain and all. But I didn't. I had to be strong right? But I don't know how strong I was sobbing and pushing the kids in those swings as the sun began to set through the salty tall pines. He was still there to see that sun and feel that heat and swat a mosquito or two.  He was so close but already gone. And my deep reaction to that would sneak up on me and escape from my chest. The emotions that run through you are frightening. and a bit uncontrollable. I just felt so weak for being so crushed when this isn't even the worst kind of deployment. I would try to be together and a random thought would trigger that letdown. breastfeeding. Thank goodness for portable dvd players and entranced 6-year-old boys and 13-month-old girls who aren't big enough to quite get it.

Later as we hung out in our tiny home for the night, I heard a plane take off. A big plane. A delightful excitement, a jolting and out-of-place feeling. I ran to the door and knew it was his plane. Surprisingly close, low and turning. In the humid dark, I felt a connection to it. It had to be his. The only one on a weekend night at this sleepy fighter jet base. It banked sharply and headed north. It was almost like I could really say goodbye. And really let go. I wished he could know that I was watching his flashing little red jet-plane lights as it faded and grew small in the distance. Gone. Really gone. And the emotions still strong and biting had gained a little room to breath. A little recovery from the tarry, heavy misery that they had been seeped in all afternoon. I said goodbye and waited to begin the long slow way back home.
And it had to begin here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

ok.. having a real boohoo moment

I haven't talked to John for 24 hours. And I absolutely hate it and it breaks my heart.

Comforting things: He's arrived safely to his base/camp. They have coffee and wifi and a few amenities including shade trees. He's surely really busy getting squared away with his job and internet connection and sleeping arrangements, etc.

Not comforting things: He has access to wifi.. he can just go hop in with his ipod touch and send me a short message if he just walks close enough, right? His classmate is there and I'm friends with the guy's wife on FB. She wrote about how they skyped today.. and that bummed me out more than I can even express. Our husbands are at the same place, kind of in the same field, probably lodging in the same bunk room, and was sitting next to mine when we briefly video chatted on the free wifi (which was bad quality, btw, but I got to see his face. And it made yesterday SO much better than the days before.

Whining, yes I'm whining. And Crying. But I can't help it at all. I miss him so much and need him so much. This is really hard. And could be better with just the tiniest bits of contact here and there.  How do people do this... b/c I'm not quite sure how I am going to. I guess it's just one day at a time. But on a day like today the pain is is so heavy.        

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Change is coming round real soon.

Make us women and men.

Alright. Must-start-blogging-again.

So change. Yes change changey change. I'm leaving my sweet sunny warm salty Florida for a while. John is going around the world, courtesy of Uncle Sam. He'll be gone for the rest of the year..missing the new baby's birth.
Soo.. I'm heading to Louisiana to set up a home within a home with my mom and dad. It's a great chance to  spend quality time with them. A great chance to reconnect with old friends..and I'm pretty excited about that.  Did I mention.. crawfish?? yes. yes. crawfish. I guess it makes the sky bluer..grass greener.

I think the biggest challenge for me will be not worrying about John, having faith and trust that he's ok and going to be ok. He's not doing any kind of Rambo job. But when you think "war" you think of all the bad things that come with it.
The next biggest challenge, having a baby without its co-creater. SUCKS. I guess I'll get to cut the cord myself? maybe.

Big sigh. Big tears once in a while.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I want to eat like a caveman....

But I sure do love poptarts...

I recently discovered this huge world of Paleo cooking and eating. It's like.. from the paleolithic period. So meat and fruit and stuff.

That's all :) Diaper duty.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's been way too long!

Quick Update. Kassidy is 7 months! Noah can walk our dog and keep a tight grip on the leash. John is a Captain. I'm a photographer. Ah.. rolling rolling along. is up and running. But my laptop isn't! And John's laptop's card reader doesn't work. So my photography is on hold until we get our tax return and iiiiiiiiiMac. SO pumped about this.

I am getting more and more drawn to the world of natural (or even just really educated) birth. I want to teach childbirth classes. I want to be a doula. I want to have another baby.  The thought of being a midwife crossed my mind too. But I think I'll leave that to the 40 year old me. I'm really not there yet. Ask me in 11 years.

I'm so excited that friends of mine are interested in and accomplishing natural birth. I can't explain my new passion for this. I think because it's sort of the underdog in our society. And because it's so good and makes so much sense. Even though I had a wonderful birth with Kassidy, if I get pregnant again, I definitely know what I want to improve upon.

Ooh, I think I want a catering business day. Gosh are there enough years in a life for all the things I want to do?