Monday, August 5, 2013

my birth story, part 1

i always envisioned labor and delivery would be a messier version of what you see in the movies. right on time, and on due date, the woman would have her water break- some place somewhat dramatic like the grocery store aisle or on the couch watching tv. she'd excitedly look at her loving husband and say "it's time!" and he would in turn frantically rush around the house grabbing the hospital bag and mismatched shoes and they would get in the car, speedily run every red light, get to the hospital where they would be met by a wheelchair, and then get settled in their room shortly before they welcomed their bundle of joy into the world. of course, the woman's hair and make up would be done and she would even be wearing her favorite earrings, and, though maybe a little sweaty, she would look amazing and the pictures would be fantastic.

boy, was i wrong.

don't get me wrong- my story contains as much joy (if not more!) and excitement and happiness as the quaint movie story. but it wasn't quite as neat and tidy.

i had the fun opportunity to be pregnant- and share the same due month- as 6 friends. in fact, two of us had the same due date. it was fun to compare symptoms, bellies, ultrasounds, facts, registry items, and name ideas for the 9 months we were all growing. it was so nice to have people who totally understood what you were going through- and not just in a "i totally remember that" sort of way, but in a, "i'm totally going through that at this very moment" sort of way. for nathan, i think it was great too because this gave him a handful of almost dads to compare notes with.

my due date was april 25. i was number 4 in the line of 6 due dates.
i had measured big since around week 20, so we somewhat expected our little girl to come early, or at least on time. my aunt even thought i would go a month early.
however, my mom never agreed. she was 10 days late with me- in the middle of the summer (june 29!) and she guessed i would be more like her. i hoped she was wrong :).

early in april, we found out the first girl had delivered a healthy baby girl. congrats! then, a week or so later, my next friend had her baby boy via section (this was the gal that shared a due date with me, but for medical reasons, her dr decided to deliver a bit early). the next day, another girl delivered her baby boy. three down. three to go. as april 25 came closer, i started getting excited- and nervous. the scene aforementioned kept playing out in my head and i wondered how all the specifics would go down. april 25 came and went. another friend, after being induced, welcomed her little guy into the world. the next morning, we woke to the surprise that our friends, who were due 2 weeks after us, had a surprise in the middle of the night- their baby girl! four down, two to go. i jokingly texted my bff and said that surely i was next, because there was no way the last gal would deliver before me (she was due 3 1/2 weeks after me). the next morning, as i scrolled through my instagram feed, surprise! i'm the last one left standing. another surprise visitor in the middle of the night - baby #5.

at this point, over due and the only one still pregnant, i started feeling a lot of emotions.
would she really come?
would i get to have the natural birth i hoped and prepared for?
was there really a baby in there?
had i been making this up?
why me?!
what if i stay pregnant FOREVER????

i got to make meals and deliver them to most of these new little families. i awkwardly held their new little people on top of my now massive belly. i went to the midwifes. every week at least once for 7 weeks. every.week. i loved my midwives, don't get me wrong- but i was somewhat sick of seeing them.

i'd get off work and walk into the nursery we had made in our home and just wonder...when would she be here?? when would my dream be a reality?

i was huge. i mean, seriously. it was ridiculous. people are cruel to 40+ week pregnant. i wanted to wear a sign that said "yes, i'm huge. no, it's not twins. yes, i'm sure. yes, i'm pretty miserable. thank you, i know i'm all belly. yes, i anticipate she will be huge. yes, i still plan on a natural birth. no thank you, i'd like to not have a c section even though i/she is huge. yes, i'm due last week." and i ached. not in a contraction, exciting sort of way- but in a, i'm carrying a watermelon strapped to my midsection sort of way.

we tried everything to induce labor. i had a massage. we ate more spicy & buffalo flavored things than i dreamed of. or wanted to eat. i tried yoga. mom and i became serious walkers. we walked. and walked and walked. i bounced on my birthing ball. and bounced. and bounced. and bounced. i drank lots of water. i didn't drink water. i had a glass of wine. anything and everything we tried, sans castor oil and eggplant parm (i just couldn't stomach those two).

no luck. i wasn't even having contractions.
april ended.
may began.

and we waited.
every time we did something we'd say "this may be the last time we do this without baby!" yeah, that became a joke. because we'd do it five more times before she came.

mother's day was fast approaching. i questioned whether i would even get to be a mom for it this year.

thursday, may 2. a full week late, i go to the midwives and then on for an ultrasound and NST. in this ultrasound, the doctor discovers that i am polyhydramnios, meaning, there's a ton of amniotic fluid in there. explaining the huge belly. but what this also means is that when my water breaks, i would know it. so towards the end of your pregnancy, the drs/midwives start telling you what to look for to go to the hospital. and they always say that if you are one of the ones that your water breaks before you get to the hospital (not as common as you would think) its nothing like the movies- more a small "leak" than a gush of fluids everywhere. well, at this ultrasound, doctor told me that not only would it be fluid everywhere like the movies, but even more than that (at this point in their pregnancy, most women have about 5 cm of fluid in their wombs.... i had 25, so yeah lots of water!).

this info puts me on high alert. i mean, who wants to ruin their bff's couch or their mom's car or their favorite store by having tons and tons of fluid spill out of them?! not this girl.

so we continued to wait. and pray that my water didn't break in an embarrassing place.

then, sunday may 5, it happened. i had a contraction. and it wasn't the braxton hicks, keep going on with your day but hey maybe action is coming kind. it was a **REAL** one. yes, one. ok, maybe there were 3-4. but not enough. i mean, i went to work on monday. and prayed. and hoped. and bounced on my ball. and walked with mom after work.  the contractions continued to happen, and soon there was one every two hours, and as the day grew, it was one an hour.  could this be for real?

stay tuned for part 2.

Friday, August 2, 2013

why this blog

i used to blog. i loved it. we were living in this cute little basement apartment. i had time. i loved the chance to write and document silly nothings of ideas, dreams, interests, experiences, and all the little what nots of being a newlywed. i never had a huge following- i would get excited if 60 people viewed my blog in a day. never had commenters or made any money. i did it for the pure pleasure of documenting and sharing life as a i saw it.

i hate that i stopped.

so much has happened since my last blog post on my old blog.
we moved. two times.
we bought a house.
i got pregnant.
we had our little girl.
we brought her home.

we are now almost three months into this whole parenting thing.
and i want to document it. if for no other reason than to have something to look back on.

around the start of my third trimester, nathan (my husband) suggested that we do a blog together and talk about our adventures and experiences as we become parents. i loved the idea. he knew how much i loved blogging, and how one of my favorite blogs to follow is written by a husband/wife duo. so i thought this was a great idea.

i planned to get started on it sooner. excuses excuses, but let's just say, it's tough being a parent!

so here it is. our blog. on being parents. on being a family. on being in love. on living life with joie (french for joy- and the middle name of our "little love" as we call her). on living life with joy.

we blog with no promise to blog everyday.
we blog with the promise to be honest. transparent. real. open.

so come along and join us. you'll see posts by me (usually longer and rambling and full of pics) and by nathan (those will be the better written and more amusing ones most likely, as my husband is the most excellent writer). and maybe the occasional post from our little love's perspective.

for now, enjoy one of our first family photos: