Month: September 2012

MG’s Birth Story: In Conclusion

In conclusion, this story looked far different than we ever imagined.

And although I love the ending of our story I do have some things that I would consider changing for next time: 

Not be induced!!:  not that you always have a choice, but if I can avoid this one next time, I definitely will at all costs.  Spending the night before labor in the hospital was torturous.  I slept horribly as my emotions were all over the place.  Not to mention being hooked up to monitors and just when you got comfortable, the nurse would come in to readjust you because they had lost the baby’s signal.  Also, the tipping point in my labor was the moment that I mentally gave up: when I found out I had been at a 6 for 6 hours.  Had I not been induced, I would have arrived at the hospital much later in the game.  If I had then been told I was at a 6 I wouldn’t have known how long I had been there and I probably would have been rejoicing!  Sometimes knowing too much can be a bad thing.

Not have a baby near a holiday: Once again, not always something you can control but I do know that c-section rates go up a lot more just prior to holidays.  They were eager, very eager to induce me.  Related to this?  Not sure, but it definitely ups the ante.

-Search for a hospital that has an optional birthing tub: this could have been a game-changer with the back labor.  Next time I definitely will consider it.

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We lost our first pregnancy,
But God blessed us with a beautiful baby girl in His timing.

We never went into labor on our own,
But we still had the natural birth we desired.

We labored far harder and pushed far longer than we ever thought possible, 
But even when my strength resolved, the LORD kept watch over us and breathed new strength into me.

I believe all of these things came together beautifully just the way God intended for us

If it hadn’t been for our doula, we probably would have induced at first mention because the “doctor told us too.” We would have had Dr. Induction deliver or possibly c-section out our baby the day after Thanksgiving.

If it hadn’t been for the perfect timing of doctors and nurses, I would have immediately been put on Pitocin rather than trying a less medicated plan.  I would have gotten the epidural that I had originally not desired.  It just so happened that my doctor  was able to hold me off hour after hour until my body was ready to work with the baby (and he was probably the only one with enough gumption to do that out of all of the doctors in the practice) .

If I had gotten the epidural I had begged for in the throes of labor, it possibly could have been the beginning of the end of my “desired birth” leading into an emergency C-section. Later, Julie explained that the baby had been face-up, which would explain why it took so long to push her out. She said that other than being breech (which they don’t let you do anyway), this is the hardest way to push out a baby.  Remember how I made the most progress when I pushed on my hands and knees?  Not to mention the squats and walking the hallways at 8-9 centimeters.  Odds are, had I had the epidural, there is a very good chance this would have ended in a C-section.    
                                                                       

If these things hadn’t come together, we may have walked away from this with regrets.

And that is something I am proud to say that I don’t have.

Even though I begged the LORD for different outcomes at times, He saw fit to give me what He knew was best.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Sometimes I still think about our first baby.  If I’d had that baby, I wouldn’t have my MG.  And if I had never gotten pregnant unexpectedly, then we wouldn’t have entered this journey as soon as we did.  Wow.  I cannot imagine life without that sweet little girl.  God is truly amazing to care for us so much!  After writing our story, all I can say is that His timing was and is completely perfect.

{the end}

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P.S. Next week starts my October series.  The theme I have settled on is “Little Things that Make Me Happy.”  More to come next week!

MG’s Birth Story: She arrives!

After the doctor left the room, Julie said that we needed to get radical.  She wanted me to walk the halls.  I thought she was crazy.  The last thing I wanted to do was go for a walk, but nothing seemed to be helping with the pain and at least this had a guarantee of getting the baby out sooner.  So we did it.  I don’t remember much of this, but N said that it was extremely slow.  All I know is that I kept my eyes closed the entire time and let N guide me.  When a contraction would hit, I would stop (just like you see in the movies) and Julie would gently direct me to keep walking.   I would put all of my weight on N and take the slowest steps possible.  Someone passed us in the halls and Julie said, “Pretty impressive, she’s walking at an 8, huh?”  The person seemed a little bewildered and all I could think was, “Grrrrr.  If you are trying to encourage me, it’s not working.”  (I later apologized for my behavior :)…through this experience I have come to realize that my default mechanism for painful/stressful situations is negative thoughts towards people….sorry, Julie!)

I was still keeping track of the time.  As promised, an hour later, the doctor came back to check on me.  9!  Still not good enough for me.  But the contractions had taken a turn.  They were still extremely intense, but there wasn’t a fiery, searing pain going up my spine during each one.  We were in the home stretch and there was no way they were going to let me have an epidural now.  I focused on managing my pain. I couldn’t talk. or communicate.  I was also a sweaty mess.  They kept turning the heat down for me until it reached the minimum 60 degrees.  I tried to wipe my forehead with my gown, but it was so soaked with sweat that it was completely ineffective.

Finally that hour passed.  It had now been 3 total since I had begged for the epidural.  The doctor came in and said  9+.   “Just give me one more hour.” Julie had me continue squats with N.  I began pushing against the contractions.

At 11:30pm, the doctor came back in to check me and said I was good to go!

I opened my eyes for the first time in a long time.  I felt like I had woken up from a dream.  I even felt like talking.  N and I looked at the clock and realized we only had 29 minutes left in November 29.  We both seemed to be thinking the same thing, “Do you think there’s any way she’ll be born today?” N verbalized for me.  The doctor had me give a practice push to see how effective I would be.  It became very clear to everyone in the room that we could rule out the 29th.

Pushing felt very awkward.  I thought I would be relieved to get to this stage and that the pain would be less intense.  Nope.  Julie and the doctor showed me how to focus my breath and work the baby out.  Convinced he had time to kill, the doctor left the room and occasionally peeked back in on me.

Julie pointed out the baby’s head to N.  He was so excited he could see it.  I asked if she had hair.  He said, “Yes!”  I asked what color.  They couldn’t tell, but said it was kind of dark.  It was the motivation I needed to continue.

After an hour, the doctor came back in and  asked the nurse if I had made any real progress.  I was so discouraged when she said, “No.”  I thought this was supposed to be the easy part!  He worked with me on my pushes for about 10 minutes.  N started to get really excited about how much of the head he could see.  Every time I said I needed to push, he would grab my leg and yell, “Yeah!”.  Julie pulled out a big mirror on a stand in an effort to show me the progress and encourage me.  I couldn’t see anything.  I was even more discouraged.  This was so hard!
In between pushes, I kept watching the time.  Another hour passed.  I was soaked in sweat, in pain, stretched to the max, and so ready to be done.  I wasn’t even feeling any excitement about the moment.    Julie convinced me to flip over on my hands and knees to push.  I pushed as hard as I knew how.
The doctor came back and said that we had made some real progress!  Finally!  He stayed with me for the entire final hour.  Now even I could start to see the head .   My contractions started slowing down to give my body the rest it needed.  At some point, there was close to an 8 minute delay between contractions.  The doctor (who is old and kind of a wise guy) said, “What the hell is going on up there, Mama?  Are you on vacation or something?”  Gradually, I started to feel myself turn the corner.  I began opening my eyes.  I told N “Something just feels different.”  My adrenaline began to kick in.

The doctor left to get his supplies and put up “the goalposts of life” (as he called them).  Julie tried to encourage me.  “Look what the doctor is doing.  This means your baby is coming soon.”  With each push, it looked like her head was going to come out…but it just wouldn’t.  The doctor encouraged me, N texted my Mom and said, “Should be soon!”.   He then said to me, “I’m going to call my parents real quick”  I emphatically said, “NO!”  In order to do this, he would have to leave the room and I was afraid he wouldn’t be there to hold my leg for the next contraction.  He texted my mom and asked her to call his parents and let them know.

Finally, I gave the push I had been waiting for the entire time.  As soon as her head was out, she began to cry.  They sucked out her mouth and the doctor ordered me to give little grunty pushes as he sneaked out her body.  Then he said, “Okay you are going to feel a big relief” and he pulled her out!
Welcome to the world, MG!

It was amazing!  They placed her on my chest and I just stared into her eyes.  She seemed mad.  Mad that we would push her out of her perfect environment into this freezing cold room.  And I was mad (okay, not really mad) but upset with her for making me wait so, so long and then putting me through the worst labor possible (not really, but I think I earned the right to be a little melodramatic with her, no? :)).  Our first mother-daughter stand-off. But, of course it didn’t take long for us to make up!

The doctor cleaned everything up and then shook my hand, “Congratulations, K, you are no longer pregnant.”  And I replied, “Praise the LORD!”  And I meant it.  This had been a long, long 48 hours.  We had finally made it and we had done it according to plan.

We were given an hour together.  Our first hour as a family of three.  MG practiced nursing and N and I marveled over her.  Later they would take her away to be cleaned and weighed.  To pass time earlier in the day, we each took a guess at her birth stats and time.  I won both as I had guessed the latest time and the largest weight.  Still, even I was surprised to hear that she was a very respectable 8 pounds, 11 ounces, 21 inches long.  And absolutely perfect.

Not too long later, the room was emptied.  N traveled with MG to receive her first bath, Julie went home, and  I was left alone.  That was when it truly sunk in that something incredible had just happened.  I was now a Mama to a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  The timing was perfect. She would never have to worry about having a Thanksgiving birthday.  My parents, who had purchased their tickets months in advance, would be there in 3 days.  We had the perfect nurses, the perfect timing of doctors and the wonderful help of a doula.  I didn’t have to use medication and save for the Cervadil and breaking my water , my birth plan had been followed perfectly.  Even though it looked much different than we had ever imagined, the LORD had answered our prayers.

To be continued and concluded tomorrow,

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part IV

MG’s Birth Story: The Labor

We arrived at the hospital around 5:30pm.

My spirits were instantly lifted when I saw the doctor on duty happened to be the one that I had met with the most during my pregnancy (i.e. NOT Dr. Induction).  All along I had been searching for a reason why things were turning out this way and I thought, “This is it.  She’s going to deliver my baby.  That is the reason God had us wait until today.

We checked into our room and the medicine was delivered.  I was given strict orders not to eat or drink anything but ice-chips after 12am and N foraged us a little meal of chicken noodle soup, crackers and yogurt.  We watched Planet Earth and at some point I looked at him and said, “This is kinda fun!”  And it was.  We were in our little “hotel room”, gorging ourselves on hospital food and tv and the entire time in the background we could hear the beating heart of our baby. She was okay and I was going to be okay.  We were going to do this together.

We attempted to go to bed early (around 9pm).  Nate ordered me to wake him up whenever I had to use the bathroom because I was hooked up to monitors and he could help me out by carrying the cords.  I don’t think he realized what he signed up for, because at this stage in the pregnancy, I was waking up about every 2 hours.  Around 4am, I woke up for good.  He woke up around 6:30, completely exhausted.  He said, “I’m not used to being pregnant.”  All I could think was, “This is my last day to be pregnant! Hurray!”

The doctor was planning to come back around 7am to check on me.  Nate foraged up more ‘ice-chip flavored’ turkey sandwiches and I snuck into the bathroom to eat them.  All day long, Nate covertly kept me hydrated and fed, and it was a good thing too; because I was about to run a marathon.

When she came back to our room, she checked me and said the medicine had done its job.  My body was progressing!  I made a last-ditch effort to avoid the pitocin and asked her if she could instead break my water and give me time to get labor started on its own.  She said, “Sure!” which was a huge relief as Dr. Induction had already told me that was NOT an option.  So at 7:30am, she broke my water and labor officially began.

Unofficially, I still wasn’t feeling a single contraction, so we had to get moving in order for them to start.  If I did not go into labor on my own before noon, Pitocin would be administered.  I was officially on the clock.

We (N, Julie and I) started walking the hallways, which were a short (and very boring) loop.  At some point, another family was congregated in the hallway.  They were watching their newest family member receiving his first bath.  N and Julie wanted to stop and watch, but I was over it.  I was ready for it to be my turn!  We walked and we walked very quickly.  Every time we came to a bench seat, N made me do “sit-downs” (which were oddly similar to squats).  His coaching duties had begun 🙂

During this time, Julie kept asking me if I was feeling contractions; she wanted to time them.  I wasn’t sure.  Every once in a while, I would feel something, so I would tell her, but  I really had to concentrate to feel it.  This certainly wasn’t moving as fast as I had hoped.     Around noon, we went in the lounge to sit down for a minute.  I remember N and Julie started talking about the Kardashians because the tv was on and they were being featured on The View.  I didn’t hear a single word of their conversation.  As soon as we sat down, I settled into a deep, tired haze.  I asked Julie if it would be counter-productive for me to go back and nap for a little while.  All of the emotional exhaustion and lack of sleep had suddenly hit me.  She thought maybe relaxing for a little while could be helpful.

My haze quickly turned to sleep and I felt amazing.  Unfortunately, it only lasted for about 30 minutes.  At 12:30pm, the doctor came back in to see if my body was responding to the exercise. I had reached 5-6 centimeters!  She asked me if I was feeling regular contractions and I had to admit, not really.  She asked if I would like Pitocin or if I would like to continue what I was doing to see if the contractions would pick up.  I told her I would continue.  As soon as she exited the room, the three of us looked at each other.  We were running out of time, it was time to really  get this labor going.

We’d had enough of the L&D unit, so we snuck off the floor and took ourselves on a tour of the rest of the hospital.  We did stairs, we did lunges, and we did more “sit-downs”.  Finally, I started to feel something worthy of note, and they seemed to be concentrating in my back.

Around 2pm, we went back to the room to be on the monitors for a little while.  The baby seemed to be doing well.  Julie did pressure points to help stimulate stronger contractions.  I told N my pain was at about a 6 or 7…very manageable, but very there.

I started rocking on the exercise ball. Someone dimmed the lights.  N put in the mixed cd I had made.  (Yep, we were that couple).  The contractions immediately became more intense.  I leaned over, laid my head on the bed and started crying.  But these weren’t the same tears I had cried the week before, these were very happy tears.  This labor was finally going and there was no turning back.  I was going to be meeting my baby soon!

Around 6pm, my regular doctor entered the room.  He was now on call!  He checked me and said…………………… I was at 6cm.  My emotions took a nosedive.  I couldn’t believe it!  In fact, I didn’t really believe him when he told me.  I had been at 6 for the last 6 hours!  My pain had completely ratcheted up and I had no progress to show for it!  As soon as he left the room, I told N.  “I can’t do this!”.  He and Julie talked me down.  Julie explained that my body was catching up with my cervix.  She also said this baby may be in a funny position which would explain the back labor.  But they both had faith I could continue.

At this point, I could hardly feel any contractions in my stomach, they were completely in my back.  To describe back labor, it felt as though someone where taking a mallet to my tailbone.  With each blow, the pain would circulate up my spine and down to my toes.  In fact, I don’t even really remember the pain in the front. Nate was putting counter-pressure on my lower back with his fists, which would help up until a certain point.  Then his pressure would add to my pain and I would push his hand away, unable to communicate in any other way to him.  Later, he told me that when he was pushing on my back, he was pushing against what he thought to be the baby’s skull.

Julie had me try different positions in attempt to shift the baby.  I got on my hands and knees.  I rolled on the ball.  They applied heat to my back.  She had me do squats as soon as a contraction would start, putting all of my weight on N.  To say I did all of the work for this birth would be a lie.  Julie instructed and N worked right along side of me, guiding and bearing weight.  About 40 minutes into it, I remember saying, “I’m feeling a lot of pressure, like I could just push this baby out!”  Julie was concerned I had taken a sharp turn, so she called the doctor back in.  He checked me.  And….I was at a…………….

six! (still)

Mentally, I lost it.  I thought, if this is what a 6 is like, and I have been here for 6 hours, how in the world am I going to make it to 10!  As soon as the doctor left, I told them, “I want an epidural!”
N was mad (not at me).  He didn’t want to see me give up.  Julie  encouraged me.  “You haven’t tried the shower yet.”  So I got in the shower.  N tried spraying the water on my back.  I couldn’t find any comfortable position.  Ultimately, I would end up on the shower floor, writhing in pain.  I told him.  “I want an epidural!”  And I meant it.  I was emotionally spent. I was physically spent.  I thought, if I can just get the epidural in me,  I can go to bed for a few hours and then wake up and push out my baby.  N didn’t know what to do.  He called in reinforcements.  Julie said, “I’m sure you are closer than you think.  Let’s see what the doctor says.”

The doctor came back in with a sympathetic face.  He asked how I was doing and I told him I wanted an epidural.  He countered.  He told me he hated to see me give up after coming so far.  “The baby must be in an unusual position and needs to turn the corner.  Give me one more hour and we’ll see how much progress you’ve made. ”

I don’t know if it was because he was an authority figure, it was the competitor in me, or it was just my people-pleasing nature that agreed.  But I did.  And I was keeping track.  About every 15 minutes, I asked N how long it had been.  Julie dimmed the lights even more and started reading aloud from the book Psalms.  I cried out like David in a very real way for the LORD to have mercy on me.

As promised, the doctor returned an hour later.  I was 7-8.  I had turned the corner, but in my opinion, it still wasn’t enough.  N and Julie were rejoicing, I was completely stoic.  He said, “Okay, look how much progress you made in one hour…how about another one?”  I don’t know what was in me that agreed, but I did.  The sweet nurse that was with us hooked me up to an IV to get some fluids in me.  Just in case I demanded an epidural, I would already have that out of the way.
But I had reached the point of no return.  The only thing I can compare it to in my life is running a long-distance race.  You reach the point where your brain stops wandering where you are and how much further you have.  All of the training and innate instinct your body has goes into overdrive.  You turn inward and block everything out and somehow you hope you find yourself at the finish line at a decent time.

To be continued….{tomorrow}

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part VIII

MG’s Birth Story: D-Day

Well D-Day rolled around, and of course it was very anti-climatic. But I wasn’t surprised in the least.  Although the doctor had spun a paper wheel to determine my due date to be November 18, I knew it should more realistically be later than that.  I had set my sights specifically on November 20.  It was the seven year anniversary of our “dating life” and it was a nice, round number.  It was soon enough before Thanksgiving that she would never have to share her birthday with a holiday.   And it fell on a Saturday.  Less time off of work now, meant more time off later for Daddy.

I was also 100% convinced that I would go into labor in the middle of the night.  This theory wasn’t totally unfounded as most first-time moms start this way and I hoped to follow in the foot-steps of my mother.  Wake up at 4am, shower, have baby by 8am.  Sounded easy enough, right?

Well things were progressing  just as they should.  MG had “dropped”  a few weeks prior, the doctor told me I was dilating and thinning, I’d had my membranes stripped  (twice) and labor signs were aplenty.  I had not, however, felt a single contraction.  Not even a Braxton Hicks.  I checked my stomach constantly to see if it was hardening.  Every time the baby moved, I tried to imagine it was contracting. During a low point, I even googled, “what does a contraction feel like”.  Nothing.

I went to the office on my due date to check my progress.  Throughout the pregnancy, I met with all 4 of the doctors in the practice.  However, there were two doctors that I saw the most: my regular doctor and another female doctor.  During this particular visit,  I met with a doctor that I had very little experience with.  Frustrating enough, it had been a week and nothing had changed.  The doctor made a negative comment about this and I said something about,  ‘I  just hope she comes before Thanksgiving’.  The doctor looked at me very seriously and said, “Well, we can help you out with that!”  She meant an induction.   Instantly my heart filled with dread because I knew if  I was going to have a natural birth, an induction would make that extremely difficult.  The goal was to go into labor on my own.

I told her I would rather wait until it was absolutely necessary and she agreed.  I wrote it off because I just KNEW this baby was going to come soon.

Well the days ticked by and still no sign of baby.

On the 20th, I woke up very disappointed that my “perfect labor vision” had not yet come true.  All day long, I consoled myself by thinking, “I still have time.”  I convinced N to go to the mall with me to do some early Christmas shopping and thought all of the walking would start some phantom contractions at least.  We did some jewelry shopping for our mothers and the saleslady asked me when I was due.  “Today.” I said.  “You’d better get to the hospital!” she said, panicked, as if my water was going to break right there.  If only I could have gone back the following Saturday and said, “I’m still here“.

We became desperate.  All week, we had been doing things to help stimulate contractions.  He massaged pressure points in my legs.  We went for long walks every night.  Our walks turned to skips and jumps. We drove over train tracks and speed bumps.  We went swinging.   I googled, “Natural ways to induce labor.”    We tried all of them except castor oil and herbs.  There was a full moon on the night of the 20th and I thought, “Surely this will do it”.  But it didn’t. All around me, people were giving me suggestions that were “guaranteed to put you into labor”.  I wanted so badly for each one to work so that I could tell a very pregnant woman someday  what worked for me.  Each morning, I woke up really, really disappointed.

Tuesday the 23rd rolled around.  We were 5 days overdue.  I thought, “This is it”.  N would have off from Wednesday to Sunday for Thanksgiving.  He wouldn’t have to use his paternity days and could take days off  later if he wanted to.   Nothing.  We continued our rigorous exercise.  Not a single contraction.  I read birth stories to help me visualize labor.  People around me, some who weren’t due for weeks, started going into labor.  Every other day the doula called to say that she was at the hospital with someone who had unexpectedly gone into labor and she would call when they were through.  And that to me was always a sign that it wasn’t going to be that day.  Because we weren’t planning on doing this without her.

I went back to the doctor (the same one I’d had the previous time).  Nothing had changed.  She sentenced me to an induction.  I stalled,  “How long will you give me?”  “Friday is the absolute latest.”  I left the office and called N.  I broke down over the phone.  They wanted us to come in Thursday night (Thanksgiving) and start Cervadil.  The next day (Friday), they would hook me up to Pitocin and start contractions.  I called Julie (the doula).  I told her I was ready to take her magical concoction of herbs.  On the way back from the doctor, I stopped at a Patchouli-scented store and filled my cart with Black and Blue Cohosh.  I stopped at the drugstore and guiltily purchased castor oil. Of course I had to ask the lady at the front where it was and of course she had to page a manager because she didn’t know.  I felt like I had to rationalize my decision to everyone, “I promise I’m only buying this because I’m almost a week overdue and they want to induce!!”

Julie told me I could fight the doctor’s decision if I wanted to.  I was not even a week overdue yet and according to my early ultrasounds, I was right on track.
I didn’t want to call the doctor’s office myself because I was an emotional wreck.  N was so sweet; he volunteered to do it for me.  Thanks to his charming ways, on the Friday we had planned to induce, they agreed instead to do a Non-Stress Test and possibly an ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing okay.  If things looked bad, they would take me in right away, but if they were good we had bought ourselves a little more time.

I was so relieved.  My resolve to take the herbs faded.  I just kept thinking there had to be a reason why labor hadn’t started yet. N and I wrestled over whether a natural induction was any better than a medical induction.  Maybe they are equal.   Were we taking things into our own hands and not trusting God?  Or was giving my body a push part of His plan?

On Thursday I woke up with a little hope.  Maybe this would be a Thanksgiving baby after all.  We were a week over-due.  My early ultrasounds had predicted this would be the day.  My Mom had set her sights on the 25th.  My sister had come up to share Thanksgiving dinner with us and N’s family.  But as the day wore on, my emotional strength faded.   I hit a very low point.  All I wanted was to hold that long-awaited baby in my arms.  I felt like I had “served my time” and I just kept praying contractions would start. Plus, wouldn’t it be wonderful if my sister was there when we gave birth?  Surely that’s what God had kept us waiting for……………….or not.

Thursday came and went.  Friday I woke up (from yet another sleep-deprived night), again in tears.  My sister and N were so sweet.  They tried to distract me, they tried to cheer me up, and when things got really bad, they prayed over me.  M offered to take the castor oil with me…um…”I don’t think you want to do that!”

We had our NST and of course, the baby looked great.  I was having contractions but couldn’t feel a single one. The doctor (the same one I had seen the last 2 times) called me later and said “Monday”.  There would be no more negotiating.

We were still (somewhat) hopeful that I would go into labor on my own before Sunday night.  But each day that passed seemed like a year.  On Saturday, I made a last ditch effort and attempted the castor oil (I chickened out on the herbs).  N mixed me up a nice, greasy glass of 2oz plus 7up.  It condensed and globbed up all over the top. I couldn’t drink it.  I started crying.  He drove me to Wendy’s and bought a Frosty.  In it, we mixed 2 more oz of castor oil.  I drank the whole thing and let it take it’s awful effect on me, praying that it would be enough to do the trick.  At some point that afternoon, Julie called to see how I was holding up.  I told her about my last resort.  She asked me how much castor oil I had taken.  “2 ounces”  She told me that I didn’t take nearly enough to do anything.  If I wanted it to work, I would have to keep going.

But  I couldn’t do it.  I was at the end of my rope emotionally.  And now physically,  I was completely exhausted.

And then it was Sunday. D-Day. We were now 10 days overdue. That night we would go in to begin Cervadil (a cervix-ripening medicine).    All day long, I felt like there was a death sentence hanging over me.  We went to church and then went forward after the service to have the elders pray for us.  One was a doctor and he tried to comfort me that God had a perfect timing for us.  I tried to believe him.  But I questioned why God would have us wait.  We had passed over so many “perfect opportunities” already.  All we wanted was an unmedicated natural birth, was it too much to ask?  Instead of enjoying our “last day” as a family of two, I was emotionally and physically depressed.

I took my usual Sunday nap that afternoon, but the difference between this Sunday and last was that we didn’t do anything to try and start contractions.  No more speed bumps, no more castor oil, no more pressure points.  We resolved ourselves that God did have a plan for us and nothing we could do would affect it.  I tried to eat a snack before we left, but I started crying.  N came over and prayed with me.  I cried through that.  We said goodbye to our cat and I really cried through that.  I cried the whole way to the hospital.  N kept saying, “Just think.  The next time we are in this car we will be with our baby.”

To be continued {tomorrow}….

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part VII

And just like that

It is the last week of September.  Is anyone else surprised/unusually busy/wondering where the time went?  I know I’m not the only one because I have this conversation multiple times a day with friends, acquaintances, and every other check-out lady. 

With next week being October, I am excited to try something new.  I am linking up with one of my favorite design blogs, The Nesting Place.  In October she does a 31-day series about a topic of choice.  However, thirty-one days of straight writing sends me into near panic.  Too much, too soon.  But I do like the idea of challenging myself by doing an entire month on the same topic.  So I think the compromise is that I will continue writing 2-3-4 times a week per normal, but all of my posts will fall under the same series.

Now the question is, what is my topic of choice?  Well I have it narrowed down, but I’m still working on how best to say it and have it encompass everything I want.  So I will reveal it later this week.

Let the anticipation begin.
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The best

While this week has held many less-than-pleasant-moments (certainly not the 24-pound-2-year-molar-teether being the root of it :))
God has given me some sweet little moments to see me through.  And remind me how much I really do love her.  No matter what.

Today:
MG and Atticus played chase.  He would run away, stop and let her catch up, and just when she was within reach, he would dart off again.

This repeated for 15 minutes.

On the 15th try, I asked her if she was ready to go upstairs for nap.  She was.  At the top of the stairs Atti was waiting for us and let her give him a little pat.

Then he took off running and she chased him under our bed…..where the white flag was raised.

Naptime sequence commenced, but just before placing her in the crib, I looked in the doorway to find him watching us.  I picked him up and over to be petted.  She held out her arms to embrace him.  He resisted at first, but then, just like a veteran pet, relaxed and let her squeeze him for a good minute.

My cat and my child are officially playing together.

Yesterday:
We went to a play group in a large room with a lot of different stations of toys.  MG stayed close by my side and asked me to accompany her to the different areas.  As she became more comfortable, I would let her take a small lead and watch her play from a distance.  Every once in a while, she would look up and make eye contact to make sure I was still there.  We always have a secret smile that we share with each other in these moments.  Towards the end, however, she had become a little too comfortable and wandered off to the other side of the room.  I had my eye on her the entire time, but wanted to see what she would do.  She neared her desired item but soon realized I wasn’t behind her.  I watched her look up at all of the adults around her trying to recognize one.  She walked up to the nearest lady with a baby and from a distance I could read her lips saying  “Ma-ma? Ma-ma?”.  And that is when I ran over and reassured her I was right there.  It melted my heart to see her miss me like that.  I won’t ever let that happen again, baby!

The day before:
It was naptime, but someone was NOT taking a nap.  I could hear her rustling around in her crib so I decided to go intervene.  Before I went in however, I peeked in through the crack in her doorway.  She was kneeling in her crib, rocking her baby that she had swaddled, and was giving it quiet kisses “muah!”.  One of the sweetest things I have ever seen.  I watched for a few minutes and then tiptoed away.  Not too long after, she finally fell asleep.  Baby tucked safely under her arm.

————————————————————————————-

If that is the good, then I will take the bad most any day.  Love her.

xo
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Snapshot

Here is a quick look at our (extended) weekend:

Wednesday night: went to a huge kids consignment sale (my favorite).  Spent less than $100, walked away with a few outfits, about 8 pairs of shoes/boots (including pedipeds and some nice suede boots), a “my brest friend” {for future “hopeful” babies}, and all of these toys:

 It was a huge success!  And I got to do it alongside a few girlfriends who all have kids around MG’s age so they helped me decide what to keep and what not to buy (but they all have boys so there was no competition for me :)).  The best!

Thursday & Friday morning: MG and I had our usual book/cuddle time when she woke up.  I asked her if she was ready for breakfast and she enthusiastically replied, “Yeah”.  I let her lead the way and as soon as she exited her room, she looked to her left and then did a DOUBLE-take when she saw the new toys.  She instantly gravitated towards the baby/carseat, pug purse and shopping cart (the rest of the toys were stored for a later day). 

 She decided that she no longer wanted breakfast.  Note that this happened two days in a row.  Well, make that four if you include Saturday and Sunday.  Which you should.

Friday MG stayed busily happy with her new stuff and I worked up a frenzy of adrenaline that I had been waiting on for about two months now.  I started on one end of the house, cleaning out my closet and weeding out clothes that I had not worn for over a year.  At least.  This gust (and a happily playing child) led me to the next closet (guest bedroom) and then finally to MG’s closet to pack away summer and pull out fall (made more fun by the addition of newly acquired clothes).  It went so well that we never even changed out of our pj’s nor stopped for a mid-morning snack.  We finally ate lunch at 1:45pm and then exhausted, we both napped.  Here is the end result:

 Surprised I have any clothes left?  Me too.  While I can happily rest in the fact that the nursery and guest closet will most likely stay fresh and organized until spring, I have a feeling that my closet will all too easily become stuffed again long before that. What can I say? Clothes shopping is my favorite past time!

Saturday was the 1/2 price consignment sale (where I managed to snag a few more desired items…including these cute Matilda Jane pants),

 followed by the cutest Elmo birthday party for a little friend, visiting with Grandma and home just in time for a long nap. It was capped off by a spontaneous overnight visit from some dear friends, Mexican food, and staying up too late laughing and sharing around the chiminea pot.  S’mores most definitely included.  A perfect entry into fall.

Sunday was breakfast out at a local diner & the best bacon & cheese omelet I’ve ever laid on my tongue.  We walked around the local historic park in the breezy morning and then it was an early nap for the little one.

-The fun continued into the night with more family: both of the facetime and tangible variety, one gluten-free
Gigi’s cupcake, Panera bread company, and watching our girly girl dig around in the dirt.  Which, of course, warranted a quick pre-bed bath.

May there be many more weekends of this exact flavor in our near future!
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I finally found it.

That one Mama thing that totally crushes my heart.

I didn’t find it on the floor where MG fell down and got a boo-boo. I didn’t find it at 3am when she was crying because she’d had a nightmare.  And I didn’t find it at the doctor’s office when she was given her well-baby shots.

Don’t get me wrong,–I’m not heartless—but these things just don’t get to meLike scar-my-heart get to me.

Recently, now that she is bigger and able to interact with others, I have found it.  At the park, at the library, at the nursery*.  It is there. The teasing, the rejecting (whether true or perceived), the sheer meanness of human nature.

(*and I am only referring to situations of mostly unknown, older kids being kids where I find myself being the only adult in the vicinity.  so friends, please do not think I am in any way implicating your sweet {and dearly loved by myself} child/ren.)

And that just makes my heart practically break all over the floor.

It is the child that doesn’t understand that she is just looking for an opportunity to give him a hug.  It is the pack of girls that snicker and run away when they realize that she is much too young to keep up with them.  It is the group of rough-housers that push their way past her when she is taking too long to go down the steps.  The rejection.

or

It is the much older girl that entices her with a toy and then yanks it away at the last minute.  It is the child who yells “No, No” loudly in her ear when he perceives an offense.  It is the older boy who gets in her face and tries to scare her because she walked into his “boys only club”.  The meanness.


That is when I want to swoop in and give those kids a piece of “Mean Mama K” (and sometimes, if the situation warrants, I do).

 (why can’t they just stay inside and play cash register forever??)

But I don’t always because I don’t want her to learn from the mean kids.  I don’t want her to copy their tricks or do what has been done to her.

Even though we all know it doesn’t work that way.  Though it will slay me, I’m sure she will try her hand at it one day.

And I don’t always.  Because I can’t.  Part of being a human is learning how to get along with others, mean or not.  And before long (2 tiny years to be exact) I’ll be sending MG off into the pack of wolves to fend for herself.  And I want her to be ready.  (which makes me wonder, will I ever be??)

In the meantime, I will give her extra hugs and tell her it’s okay if her “friends” don’t want to play today or don’t want to share their toys.  Even though she doesn’t have the words, I know that she feels my love.

And I don’t always because she doesn’t yet understand.  She doesn’t yet comprehend rejection.  She just gets a confused look on her face like “don’t you want to share a toy with me?“, but I can tell it hasn’t yet affected her. And I severely want her to stay that way as long as possible.   Young and sweet and innocent.

(I mean, who could reject a face like that?? 🙂 🙂)

Oh how I dread that day.  The day that the meanness and rejection find their way to her heart.  And I hope she doesn’t cry, but she probably will and I will probably cry with her.  I will tell her to remember how she feels at this very moment.  I will tell her that she must never, ever make another one feel this way.  And I will cry with her because I’m a girl too and we all know what it feels like to be a victim of the mean ones.

It doesn’t happen all the time of course.  But when it does, it makes me want to pick her up and run away with her, shelter and protect her for the rest of her childhood.  Because, once a great long time ago, I was a teacher.  And I taught at a school that had the best and the brightest that came from the most conservative and moral homes.  And it happened there too.  Kids will be kids will be kids.

It breaks my heart that kids are so mean.  It breaks my heart that she doesn’t even understand they are being mean.  It breaks my heart that someday she will be that kid.  I pray, pray, pray that it won’t happen.  But we all know it does.

Until then, I will just be over here, sewing up my broken heart, praying for a sweet, gentle soul that will grow up to be a confident young woman who will learn the mean kid lesson swiftly and as painlessly as possible so we can move on to other ways to break a mama’s heart.

Like leaving me for all-day kindergarten.

God bless all my mama-friends, no one said this job was easy!

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I finally found it.

That one Mama thing that totally crushes my heart.

I didn’t find it on the floor where MG fell down and got a boo-boo. I didn’t find it at 3am when she was crying because she’d had a nightmare.  And I didn’t find it at the doctor’s office when she was given her well-baby shots.

Don’t get me wrong,–I’m not heartless—but these things just don’t get to meLike scar-my-heart get to me.

Recently, now that she is bigger and able to interact with others, I have found it.  At the park, at the library, at the nursery*.  It is there. The teasing, the rejecting (whether true or perceived), the sheer meanness of human nature.

(*and I am only referring to situations of mostly unknown, older kids being kids where I find myself being the only adult in the vicinity.  so friends, please do not think I am in any way implicating your sweet {and dearly loved by myself} child/ren.)

And that just makes my heart practically break all over the floor.

It is the child that doesn’t understand that she is just looking for an opportunity to give him a hug.  It is the pack of girls that snicker and run away when they realize that she is much too young to keep up with them.  It is the group of rough-housers that push their way past her when she is taking too long to go down the steps.  The rejection.

or

It is the much older girl that entices her with a toy and then yanks it away at the last minute.  It is the child who yells “No, No” loudly in her ear when he perceives an offense.  It is the older boy who gets in her face and tries to scare her because she walked into his “boys only club”.  The meanness.


That is when I want to swoop in and give those kids a piece of “Mean Mama K” (and sometimes, if the situation warrants, I do).

 (why can’t they just stay inside and play cash register forever??)

But I don’t always because I don’t want her to learn from the mean kids.  I don’t want her to copy their tricks or do what has been done to her.

Even though we all know it doesn’t work that way.  Though it will slay me, I’m sure she will try her hand at it one day.

And I don’t always.  Because I can’t.  Part of being a human is learning how to get along with others, mean or not.  And before long (2 tiny years to be exact) I’ll be sending MG off into the pack of wolves to fend for herself.  And I want her to be ready.  (which makes me wonder, will I ever be??)

In the meantime, I will give her extra hugs and tell her it’s okay if her “friends” don’t want to play today or don’t want to share their toys.  Even though she doesn’t have the words, I know that she feels my love.

And I don’t always because she doesn’t yet understand.  She doesn’t yet comprehend rejection.  She just gets a confused look on her face like “don’t you want to share a toy with me?“, but I can tell it hasn’t yet affected her. And I severely want her to stay that way as long as possible.   Young and sweet and innocent.

(I mean, who could reject a face like that?? 🙂 🙂)

Oh how I dread that day.  The day that the meanness and rejection find their way to her heart.  And I hope she doesn’t cry, but she probably will and I will probably cry with her.  I will tell her to remember how she feels at this very moment.  I will tell her that she must never, ever make another one feel this way.  And I will cry with her because I’m a girl too and we all know what it feels like to be a victim of the mean ones.

It doesn’t happen all the time of course.  But when it does, it makes me want to pick her up and run away with her, shelter and protect her for the rest of her childhood.  Because, once a great long time ago, I was a teacher.  And I taught at a school that had the best and the brightest that came from the most conservative and moral homes.  And it happened there too.  Kids will be kids will be kids.

It breaks my heart that kids are so mean.  It breaks my heart that she doesn’t even understand they are being mean.  It breaks my heart that someday she will be that kid.  I pray, pray, pray that it won’t happen.  But we all know it does.

Until then, I will just be over here, sewing up my broken heart, praying for a sweet, gentle soul that will grow up to be a confident young woman who will learn the mean kid lesson swiftly and as painlessly as possible so we can move on to other ways to break a mama’s heart.

Like leaving me for all-day kindergarten.

God bless all my mama-friends, no one said this job was easy!

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Someday…

you will be able to tell me why you find this particular necklace, out of all Mama’s shiny jewelry, to be your favorite
why you hide your toys for me to discover amongst my daily chores

and furthermore, why every time I turn on the vacuum, you run to retrieve this card and pretend to feed in into the bottom crevice

why you prefer to arrange the lotions just so on the nightstand alarm clock

where you learned to swaddle your babies and take such good care of them

Someday...

what you really think when you confidently pat this cow

and this lamb

and do you really think its name is “baaa”, or are you just trying to impress us with what you know?

Someday you will tell me what is going on in your pretty head.  Because I’m dying to know.

Whatever it is, I am sure that is derived from the most lovely things on earth.
I can’t wait to become a part of your magical little world, little one.
XO,
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