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Tomorrow my baby turns 3

19 Jan

Two years and 364 days ago I was at work on a Friday frantically trying to clear out my in box and wrap up loose ends. My due date had come and gone. My body wasn’t really showing signs of impending labor but I had a feeling I wouldn’t be back in the office on Monday. So I worked and worked until I felt like someone could pick up where I left off and I went home and went about my business. I slept as much as a pregnant woman sleeps and woke up the next morning without giving work another thought.

I had some cramping and wondered if it was anything. My husband and I went for a walk over at the fancy pants outdoor mall and I had to stop every now and then because of the contractions. I was excited and very much looking forward to meeting my daughter. But the contractions fizzled out on the drive home. I tried not to be too disappointed and tried to take a nap.

Later that night we went to dinner at IHOP. I wanted pancake in the worst way. Flash foward 4 hours later and I was sure my “discomfort” was because of those pancakes. Or was it labor? I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I tried to blame it on indigestion. Eventually I realized that I couldn’t deny it any longer. I was in labor. And it was worse than I expected.

I desperately wanted natural child birth. My body betrayed me time and time again trying to get pregnant – I NEEDED to know that I could do this. We took a Bradley class to prepare and hired our teacher to be my doula. I did the work. I practiced relaxing. I did more pelvic tilts than I needed to. I felt prepared. My contractions came on fast and furious. I got in the shower to see if that would help (it did). Then I got into the tub (that helped too). Then I got back into the shower. My husband called our doula to give her a heads up. I got out of the shower (around 11 pm) and got into bed to try to rest.

Ha.

Instead of resting I was busy crying and telling myself that I needed a c-section. The poor guy didn’t know what to do with me. I barfed my guts up and made an executive decision to head to the hospital. We finished packing our bag and proceeded to the car for the drive from hell. We live very close to the hospital so it wasn’t *that* far but I’ve supressed those memories because it was so awful. We pulled up to the ER entrance and my husband let me out. As I was staggering up the drive a perky couple walked in arm and arm and pronounced that the wife was in labor. I wanted to kill her. SHE wasn’t in labor – *I* was in labor. It only took one look to see that I needed some serious assistance but I waved them to go first. I’m always polite and they did get to the desk before I did. Besides, I was waiting for T and our doula so I made myself comfortable bent over a chair trying not to die.

We got checked in pretty quick. And skipped the whole triage thing. Then got me into a room STAT and did an internal. I was dilated to an 8 (holla!) thanksweetbabyjesus. Oddly enough, I was most comfortable in a semi reclined position so that how I stayed through the rest of L&D. I did roll on my side at one point with the hopes of getting a small lip of my cervix to pull back but for the most part I was “happy” just how I was.

Interestingly, my water didn’t break until I was pushing. A nurse offered to break it for me but I declined. There was meconium in the water so poor MM had to be suctioned but she was just fine.

Labor was short. My contractions started at 10:30 pm ish, we got to the hospital around 1:45 am and she was born at 5:36.

And I made it. I delivered her without any medication or interventions. It was hard but it was worth it. It gave me confidence in my body that came in handy as we struggled through breastfeeding. I knew I could do it and I did.

But that’s not the point of this post. The point is that MM is going to be 3. That’s three years of sassy girlie stories. Three years of snuggles and giggles and tantrums and love. She was born looking just like her daddy but is starting to resemble me more and more. She’s smart and funny and a breath of fresh air. She is my sunshine and I can’t wait to see her face when I pick her up from school today.

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Affordability

2 Dec

You know what I hate? I hate that I got my first postpardum period. You know why? Because now I need to decide: do we want a 3rd baby or not.

We got lucky with MC. I charted the three cycles I had after MM was born and bam! Urban legend city. Two under two. Buy one, get one. I’m not naive enough to believe that can/will happen again.

What if it takes two years like it did with MM? I’m 35. Can I afford to wait until MC is 2 to start trying again? Am I prepared to be a pregnant 38 year old? Advanced maternal age and all of the potential risks involved with it? Am I prepared to start trying NOW and possibly end up with 3 under 3? I can’t afford daycare for three little ones and I can’t afford the mental anguish of quitting my part time job and staying home full time.

Hell, I’m not entirely on board with having three kids but I’m pissed that I don’t have the luxury of taking my time to think about it. I feel pressure to decide NOW and either get on board with trying to conceive or to get rid of all the baby stuff and be at peace with the family we have. And that family is awesome. Truly. It’s hard to imagine fitting another person into the mix when I feel like we’re finally getting to the point where everyone’s needs are (almost) being met.

But I’m don’t know if I’m ready to be done. Never give birth again. Never nurse another newborn. MC will never be a big brother. I won’t reuse all of the adorable cloth diapers I invested in 😛

Being a grown up is hard.

I’m painfully aware of how fortunate I am to even be in the position to consider a third baby.

Today is my birth day

28 Nov

One year ago today I gave birth to my second child. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s worth it.

Today I’m watching him crawl around in the kitchen and play with his new toys. He’s loud, destructive, accident prone and a complete love. We’ve had a rocky few days due to roseola and some major teething but this morning MC woke up and smiled his sweet baby smile at me and all was right with the world again.

Happy birthday, my love.

MC’s birth story

18 Nov

With his impending first birthday and This Post from Baby Rabies I’ve been spending a fair amount of time thinking about the day he was born.

MC was born on Saturday, November 28. Just a couple of days after Thanksgiving. I joked with the midwives that they could be sure that I’d start active labor just as soon as they sat down with a big ol’ plate of turkey.

My biggest worry was MM, of course. I went into labor with her in the middle of the night and assumed that the same thing would happen with MC. Who would we call to stay with her? How scared would she be if she woke up and Mama & Daddy weren’t there. The only acceptable solution I could come up with was to have my sister come out a couple of days before my EDD (just in case. I never expected to go early or even on time. We just don’t do that in my family.). My sister works but gets a nice break for Thanksgiving. My MIL planned to arrive the day she was supposed to leave in the event I went overdue. Problem solved. In my mind, the ideal scenario would be to have the baby a couple of days after Michele (my sister) arrive so MM would have chance to get to know her. Michele (and her youngest boy) arrived on Thanksgiving Thursday, MC was born on Saturday. He was very accommodating.

Prior to is birth our morning routine consisted of MM waking up then coming downstairs to eat breakfast on my lap in my bed while we watching an episode of Curious George or Sesame Street. Disrupting this was my biggest worry when it came to having a baby. I *loved* that time with her. She snuggled so sweetly and we would chat about things. It was precious time to me.

I had some pretty strong contractions Friday night and figured something was going to happen soon. I attempted to get a good nights sleep but anyone who has ever been pregnant knows what that’s like. I woke up (for good) Saturday morning aroun 6 am and things were moving. MM came down and had her usual breakfast on my lap. I don’t remember what we talked about buy by around 7:30 am I couldn’t sit with her on my lap anymore. I remember knowing that that was our last breakfast, just the two of us. I sent Dad out of the room so I could soak in her baby-ness one last time before she morphed into a giant lumbering baby-squishing toddler. I told her that we were going to wake up Aunt Shell soon and that mama and daddy were going to go get her baby. She didn’t care 🙂

I called my midwife around 8 am and told her that I was definitely in labor and that I was going to finish packing my bag and wrap things up at home. We left for the birth center and MM & her aunt and cousin took off for the nature center. We got to the birth center around 9:30. The midwife on call checked me out and then let me get into the tub. MM was posterior and the contractions hurt like a bitch. Luckily I was able to drape myself over the tub in such a way that he was able to descend and turn in the proper direction (again, how accommodating!). We had made arrangements beforehand to have MC’s birth photographed if possible. I texted our photographer to tell her that we were at the birth center. Things progessed very quickly once we got there. She barely made it. Slideshow is here if you’re interested.

MC was born and was perfect. I was dying to get home – I missed MM desperately. We checked out of the birth center around 6 pm and drove home as quickly as we could. I was exhausted and wanted to get into bed right away. I remember climbing in with the baby and MM following me. She climbed up onto the bed too and asked “Mama, do two babies!”. Even today, that means that she wants me to hold both of them together.

My heart burst. Seeing their two heads together made all of the guilt, worry and nerves disintergrate a bit. I’m not saying that it has been easy and that I don’t still feel pangs of guilt for one reason or another but seeing my two babies interact fills my heart over and over again. MM still thinks of MC as “our” baby and she’s fiercely protective of him. MC lights up when he sees his sister’s face. His first word was a bastardized version of her name.

Having two babies 22 months apart hasn’t been easy. My PPD was much harder to deal with. I missed MM so much during the first couple of weeks when MC needed near constant nursing. I was afraid that breastfeeding would be as hard with him as it was with her but luckily it wasn’t. I still tear up multiple times a week when I catch them doing something extra cute or sweet with each other. I barely remember what it was like to only have one. MM doesn’t remember the days when she was my only.

Gah. Should have brought tissues to work today. This stroll down memory lane has totally wrecked me.

Well how about that?

16 Nov

I got my first postpartum period. And suddenly everything makes sense. The mood swings, the crappy skin, the bloat. Sigh. I had a feeling it was coming and yet it still took me by surprise.

I dusted off the ol’ diva cup and let me just tell you that inserting that thing is NOT just like riding a bike. Every time took a couple of tries – here’s hoping that next time won’t be so hard.

The unfortunate thing about getting my period is that now I’m faced with the possibility of getting pregnant again. Do we want to? When? Can I? I’ve learned to take nothing for granted when it comes to fertility. I’d hate to get my heart set on having a third only to encounter the same difficulties we had with MM. It would be so easy to stop at two. After all, I have a boy and a girl – there no reason to keep on procreating, right? Our house is a good size for two. It would be less expensive for traveling, college – hell, even food – but I love me a newborn baby. And I want a homebirth. And we already invested in cloth diapers!

But what about daycare expenses? Those would increase significantly. Wanting a homebirth is not a good enough reason to go through another pregnancy (assuming I can get pregnant, of course). But my heart doesn’t feel like we’re done yet. I think I want one more tiny one to marvel over. One tiny nursling that will sleep on my chest. One more babe to stare at while she sleeps curled up next to me.

Fresh

7 Oct

When I woke up this morning I checked my phone for missed calls, texts and emails.  I was delighted to see that I missed a text around 5:00 am from one of my girlfriends – her daughter was born.

My daughter was also born in the middle of the night.  I remember being at the hospital and holding her knowing there wasn’t a soul in the universe that knew she was alive aside from my husband and me (and our doula, the OB, the nurses, etc.  You know what I mean.).  It was the best secret ever.  I was nearly bursting to share the news with my family but there was something special about those few hours where we could just soak in the babiness of her without having to share anything – even the knowledge of her existence – with anyone else.

With my son it was different.  For one – I had the care of my daughter to worry about.  That took some coordination with various family members and out of town travel.  My sister was staying with us with her youngest so obviously they knew we were heading to the birth center when that all went down.  Social media was different as well.  I updated my Facebook page when I was in labor.  The whole world (well, my friends anyway) knew. 

Regardless, both births and the hours following were so special and personal and magical.  I hope my friend makes a point to soak it all in.

New motherhood.  There’s nothing like it!