Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our birth story is just how it was intended to be, exactly what I wanted. I got a baby at the end. And I might be biased, but I think she's pretty much the most beautiful baby in the whole world. Her daddy thinks so too.

McKinley Jolette
8lbs, 2oz., 18 inches (My little peanut)

We are in love.

Friday, August 13, 2010

*Very!* *First!* IV!!

It is so hard to believe that we are here! We have checked into our hospital room, which we are calling "the resort", and we are enjoying being together. You know what this means, right?

It means I'm not in labor yet. Otherwise I wouldn't be so jovial at 6:00 am.

My appointment yesterday showed everything being normal and good, except for my dilation. Not only was my cervix still completely closed, but it is "thick". This isn't a problem, only a roadblock to my girl.

Because my doctor and I decided that 41 weeks would be our cut-off date for this pregnancy, it was time to make a decision.

At 10pm, we arrived at the hospital, I received my *Very!* *First!* IV!! at the ripe young age of nearly 29, and a lovely dose of cervidil. And hospital ice - HOW COULD I FORGET THE HOSPITAL ICE! YUM.

Anyhow, the cervidil stays in for 12 hours, causing some cramping and thinning of the cervix. For some people, it will thin the cervix enough to break the bag of waters and for labor to begin. We're hopeful this is where we'll be at 11am today when they assess the situation.

If that is the case, and labor does not progress on it's own, we will start pitocin. Through my *Very!* *First!* IV!!
***** My childhood and adult fears of anything moving, fast, sharp, dangerous and overall not intended for children over age 12 has provided me with this being my first hospitalization since my own birth in 1981. This whole "IV" thing is new to me, as is the HOSPITAL ICE, OH EM GEE. I think I might stay here an extra day for the ice. Just kidding. Kinda.

Anyhow, if pitocin is needed (and likely will be), they will start that and we will wait. After reaching 4 cm, I will be allowed to transfer to the birthing tub if I wish, and that will help with the pain management.

But I'm not going to get that far ahead of myself. Right now, I'm hanging out with my husband, who is like a child on Christmas morning, as he keeps looking over to me from his chairbed, saying "We're having a baby!" and it is the most darling thing that makes me want to cry.

He even suggested we take a picture together to post on our Facebook accounts and I look like I've no makeup on (check) after a day of 120398 degree temps and humidity (check), and the trauma (not really) of my *Very!* *First!* IV!!

One day does not seem like a long time to invest to have our lives changed FOREVER.

Come on, little one! We're waiting for you! And they have really good ice out here!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The post in which I lose friends.

I feel like I have to get this off my chest. Because if I don’t, I will forever feel like a liar or a fraud or something equally terrible.

I don’t care how my baby gets here.

I just want her to get here.

I trust my doctor. My husband and I spent a lot, and I mean A LOT of time looking for and researching doctors before getting pregnant. After the horrid experience I had last summer after losing Angel, I was determined to find a doctor who would calm my fears. And my doctor does that. I asked friends, I looked up internet reviews, I interviewed the 2 other doctors before I let finally let one in my pants. And SHOCKER – he’s a he. I haven’t been to a “he” doctor since I was 16 and didn’t know any differently.

But I trust him. I like him. We have a great relationship. And after getting a positive pregnancy test (December 1), I called his office and he got me right in (December 6). He let me see the beginning of the beautiful relationship, a small speck on a screen, and the tears rolled down my face. Some doctors don’t do ultrasounds that early. Mine did.

And yes, I've had quite a few ultrasounds. I know there are studies that you can have too many, and some people choose not to have any at all, and I respect each person’s decision to have as many or as few as they wish. I lay in bed crying many, many nights during those first weeks, because the headaches seemed all too familiar of the ones I had last summer. The cramping scared the bejesus out of me, and I thought on many occasions that I was losing my baby.

To me, pregnancy equaled loss. All I’d ever known is that you try for awhile (or sometimes a long time) to get pregnant, and then you lose your baby and your hope.

Fortunately, this pregnancy has been uncomplicated, short of an appointment where we couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler, so we opted for yet another ultrasound (she was fine), and from then on out, everything checked out okay at each appointment.

But the fear, the overwhelming fear, that each time I walked into his office, they wouldn’t find her heartbeat – it consumed me. We are very blessed that she is okay, that she has made it this far.


I don’t know how to convey the following information. I thought about “vlogging” (Heaven help us all), but I can’t talk about it without crying.

I am not a martyr for pregnancy. I do not want sympathy, or apologies. I want UNDERSTANDING, as much as possible. The external factors in my life during my pregnancy have sucked. They would suck for someone who wasn’t pregnant. My lamenting that “I’m so tired” has nothing, and I mean NOTHING to do with getting up to pee 4 times a night. My frustration that I need a day off of work has NOTHING to do with me having sore feet or a sore back. My desire to hold my daughter in my arms has NOTHING to do with me wanting to be “unpregnant”.

I choose not to divulge too much information at the respect of my family and my in-laws. But my uncle didn’t just die. He was 41 years young and he chose to die and it’s literally killing my family. He didn’t think. He didn’t think what it would do to us and what it would do to my step-dad, who was his very best friend in the world and he didn’t know that it would cause my grandpa to have a heart attack and my sweet, adorable brother and sister to both fall into cycles of depression. He didn’t know that people would have to come along side those he left behind and make sure they were okay. HE DIDN’T KNOW. And we didn’t know how things would go, we only knew that we had to move forward. We had to keep getting up and putting one foot in front of the other, even when we were consumed with grief and sadness and anger. We were angry. We were confused. We still are angry and confused.

My husband and parents and family were very concerned for me to be around so much grief and frustration and sadness. They tried so hard to shield me from it. But at his funeral, I sat between my husband and my sister and I tried to hold it together for my BABY, the one person who kept us all going. My brother sat one seat over from my sister and I spent the entire hour placing my hand on the backs of three people who I love more than anything, trying to console them, all the while thinking “when I’m done being pregnant, and the baby is out of danger, I am going to have to grieve this loss. I just can’t do it right now.” And people rubbed my stomach and I was a “welcome distraction”. We left the funeral, and Aaron and I drove back to our home and tried to move on. And I would wake in the middle of the night, overcome with grief and anxiety and I would sit on the bed and cry and plead and question and scream and become exhausted, NOT because of being 27 weeks pregnant, but because of the situation.

And then, AND THEN, 13 days later, I answered my cell phone and my husband said to me “My dad died”. And I couldn’t wrap my mind around those words and I just sat at my desk and looked at the computer for a minute. He said it again, and I kept saying “no. no no no no no no no no why is this happening to us?!?!?!?!?” And we left work and went home and stared at each other and he cried and I could do NOTHING to console my very best friend who had just lost his very best friend and my world was crashing down around me and oh, I was 29 weeks pregnant.

I cleaned the toilet. I didn’t know what else to do. I was losing control of everything in my life that had been so wonderful and so perfectly packaged. I was going to have a baby and she was going to be healthy and then my world was flipped upside down and I lost control and didn't know how we were (are?) going to make it without them both.

So I cleaned the toilet.

And without divulging too much information out of respect for my in-laws, I will say that the next days and weeks were full of sacrifice on my husband’s and his brother’s part to make sure that their father got the respectful funeral that he so deserved. We entertained family and friends and once again, I got to play the part of “welcome distraction” and answer the questions hundreds of times: “29 weeks. Girl. Yes, excited”.

My brother and sister-in-law went back to their home, and Aaron and I carried on. Mostly I carried on and he grieved. And he grieved so hard, for so long, and he’s still grieving and I’m still trying to be the wind beneath his wings because I’m his wife and that’s my duty. And I work and I come home and I love him and take care of him and I do these things with a joyful heart because it’s my calling, but dang. I am tired. And I don’t mean that this pregnancy is making me tired. I don’t mean that I’m done being pregnant. I know that it’s hard to take care of a newborn and I probably won’t get any sleep and she’s easier to take care of inside of my body than outside. I know these things. And I’m not saying that I won’t struggle and I’m sure I’ll cry plenty of tears. I get it. But it is overwhelming to deal with these issues as well as being 27-39 weeks pregnant. There is overwhelming pressure to be the one to "make it all right", to be the one to bring "joy" to the family (and no, that is not her name). It is overwhelming to hear that everything will be okay once the baby gets here, and to know that I am the one who has to make sure that's she's okay until then. THIS is why I'm tired. THEY are all depending on ME to bring HER.

For these next days, please understand that it is not nearly as important to me HOW she gets here, but that she just does. There are different parts of life, parenting, that are important to us all. For example, it is not important to me to cloth diaper my daughter because I will be working 50 hours a week as soon as I come back to work. I don’t want to deal with extra laundry. There are those who will say it’s worth it in the long run, but it’s not to me and my family.

And I will have my baby when and how my husband, myself, and my doctor decide. If she wants to surprise us and come early, then we will welcome her with open, loving arms. And if not, then we will decide when we want to encourage her to come out. But I don’t want to feel like I have to justify that to anyone. I am an adult. I trust my doctor. This should be enough for me and I’ve allowed people to make me feel like it’s not enough or not okay. And I have to change that, because the rest of my life will be full of people telling me I’m doing something wrong when it comes to raising my kids. I guess that’s why we should all just have our own, so that we can decide how, who, when, where, what. In every aspect.

Thank you for your advice and the answers to the millions of questions I’ve asked throughout my pregnancy. I have disabled Twitter from my cell phone and deleted Tweetdeck off both my personal and work computers. I will let you know when she has arrived, and am excited to share with you the information about her and her beautiful name and why it was chosen and what it means to us, especially in light of the things we've been handed.

Emails are certainly welcome, but I cannot guarantee when or if I will respond. I vow to spend the next 10 days focusing on me, and my husband, this sweet baby girl and our new family.