Saturday, November 21, 2009

Giving Thanks

This entry was an idea I got from a friend's blog. I loved reading about her thankful heart so much that I decided I needed to follow suit. With all the stress of working out the kinks of having 2 under 2, I know it will make me feel good to put down in words the the things I'm giving thanks for this holiday season. These are in no particular order.

My Husband

Now, we all know this already since I've already written about his awesomeness, but he's grown even more fabulous with the addition of our latest son. I'm so thankful that he is an amazing father, that he is a helper, that he is so patient, and that he works his buns off to make a good life for this family that he loves so dearly.

My Husband's Job
In this time, when so many people have lost jobs and many more are struggling to even find a job or keep the hours and pay they already have, I'm thankful that my husband has a place where he can make a decent living that, not only allows us to put food on the table and afford life's basic necessities, but also gives us the freedom to own our own home and enjoy some frivolities, all while allowing me the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom.

Our Home

I'm thankful that we were able to find a house we wanted and were able to afford and have been able to make that house a home for us and our boys.

The Boys

Clearly, I'm thankful to have been blessed with my sons. They are amazing and healthy and strong. Jamie is learning something new, not every day, at this point, but every minute! It's truly wondrous to experience. Charlie appears to be thriving and growing each day and that's just what you'd want in a newborn. It seems unreal that I have 2 children.
While Charlie came about a little earlier than planned, I'm thankful it was not a struggle for us to become pregnant, after having seen the heartache that can cause through various friends. In that same vein, I'm thankful those friends are in my life as a constant reminder of how lucky and grateful I am to have my boys. Some friends' prayers have been answered this year and they're finally expecting and I will continue to pray for friends who are still waiting on their little miracle.

My Mom

So many, many people have poor or "okay" relationships with their mothers. They complain about how annoying they are or how they're always getting on their nerves by doing this and that. I'm thankful to have, hands down, without a doubt in my mind, the best mother in the history of ever. She's awesome on so many levels and you should be jealous. ^_~

My Great-Aunt Susie

Not only does this woman fill a void in my heart left by my grandmother's passing several years ago, but she's amazingly helpful, if ever I have a medical question (which during pregnancy, was often). She's a strong ex-military nurse and she's kicked cancer in the face on more than one occasion. She's the greatest great-aunt and I love her dearly. No, you may not have her.

My Extended Family
Again, I often hear people complain about most of their family and I'm not saying some of them don't have just cause. I've heard plenty of family horror stories, some of which you'd swear could have only happened in a Lifetime movie. I'm consistently reminded of how lucky I am, not just with my own extended family, which has some truly spectacular members (my nanny and cousin and aunt to name a few), but with my husband's family as well. My mother-in-law is always willing to lend a hand. He has some pretty fantastic cousins and I feel like his aunt who also raised boys 18 months apart is going to be a great resource for advice. Not many of my family members try to push their opinions on me about what they think I should be doing or tell me I'm doing it wrong. I'm not saying there are no members that do that, but not many...maybe two, and for that I am eternally grateful!

There are, of course, many other people and things I am thankful to have be a part of my life, but those are the things that affect me the strongest. There are a few very special friends I have in my life that I am also very grateful to have, but at the risk of someone feeling left out, I've chosen just to let you assume you know it's you. Have a very happy Thanksgiving week, readers. I know I will. I'm looking forward to the food, family, 2 extra days with my husband, and my first girl's night in months.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Was it Something I Said? (The Birth Story)

So, clearly, the best way to induce labor is to insult your pregnancy with a "Dear John" blog. Several people have commented how funny it is that, on the day of telling my pregnancy how annoying I found it, it ended. I believe my cousin said it best. The comment she left on my last blog entry after finding out I'd be having the baby? "I think your pregnancy may have taken this very personally. I don't think it just left. I think it slammed the door in your face!" Indeed.

After that last "infamous" entry, I headed to my OB appointment for the week. It was the last one I was supposed to have with this OB, because my doctor would finally be returning from vacation on Sunday. Psht! The doctor did my first office check. I had been checked 3.5 days earlier at the hospital because I thought I might have been leaking fluid. In the hospital, I had been 1 cm and not effaced enough to mention. By Tuesday morning, the doctor informed me that I was now at a 2-3 and 80% effaced. He asked a few seemingly uninformative questions, but then informed me, while I needed to make an appointment with my regular OB for next week, he did not think I was going to make it til then. (My mom reckons he whispered a little something up there or used a little voodoo magic during the check so that he could get my hospital fee)

When I got home, it was hard not to feel excited. I was having back pain and contractions, but I told myself it was my imagination or wishful thinking. When things continued to feel progressively uncomfortable 4 or 5 hours later, I decided to call the doctor's office back and was prepared for them to tell me that was normal. Instead, I was told to go to Labor & Delivery.

Say what?!! My husband and I headed over to the hospital to see what was up. The doctor checked and said I was now a "stretchy 3" (how's that for hot terminology?) and 100% effaced. Instead of sending me home to have me come back later, he decided to break my water and get things moving. That all happened in about 45 minutes. After the OB had left the room, I was staring at my husband with coaster-sized eyeballs. We were about to have a baby! That's not exactly what I'd expected for the day.

I labored pain med free for about 3 hours, with intense contractions about 1-2 minutes apart. With my first son, I still wasn't sure the epidural had worked, so I was reluctant to get it this time. When the pain started becoming pretty unbearable, I told my mom that, if I'd made good progress, I was gonna keep going. If not, I'd talk about the meds. By the time I finally got checked again, they said I was a "loose 4." That was not the answer I was hoping to get.

The nurse, who had done natural labors herself, was very encouraging and wonderful but she told me that with my family's and my history of quick transitions and push times that I wouldn't have long to make a decision. She also said that she didn't think the epidural had worked either after I relayed my original labor horror story. I told her I'd give the epi a try after I continued to hear my cousin in the back of my mind saying, "If you want it, get it. Don't be a hero!" The nurse told me not to worry about it and just to relax. She was fantastic, by the way, and smelled like cookies! I told her that and she laughed and said maybe it was because she'd made banana nut muffins earlier that day. I nodded while I secretly thought, "No, you clearly smell like Tagalongs!"

Like this, only with scrubs!

I can now say with complete and utter confidence, my first epidural did NOT work!!!

Immediately after receiving the catheter in my back and laying down, my legs started to get really tingly. I just kept saying at every turn, "This is different from last time. This is different already." There were things I didn't like about the epidural, like how it made me feel and my horribly uncontrollable shakes (which came at the beginning and the end). I could feel like a pinch which hurt but not nearly as bad as the contractions had before. I told the nurse twice about the pinch and we shifted my position. She asked if I felt pressure in my bottom and I said no, so she asked if it was okay if she raised the bed up where I would be sitting to see if that would move the baby down. This was an hour after I'd gotten the epidural. She sat me up, walked out for 5 minutes and I was like "Ugh! I definitely feel it in my bottom." So my mom went and got her and she checked me and was like, "Yep, just like I thought. You're ready." Huh?!! Ready for what? For pushing?! I didn't feel at all like I did with Jamie, and I didn't really know when the contractions were even happening. The nurse told me when to go, I did. Everyone was saying, "Oh! Good Job! You're doing so good!" I was thinking, "Good at what?! What the heck am I doing?!" It didn't feel like anything was happening. However, I'm the apparent queen of pushing because I had about 10-15 minutes worth of pushing with Jamie and I pushed twice with Charlie (I think it was three times, but my mom and Tyler say two).

On November 4th, 2009 at 9:20 pm, Charles Grady was here! It was so amazing. I actually said "You're kidding me?! That was it?! That's what it was supposed to feel like last time?" I was on Cloud 9 and couldn't stop talking about it for hours. Everything has been easier in the recovery department, too. It's almost enough to erase the horror of what I experienced 18 months ago! We've been so excited to welcome home our 7 lb 1 oz little man. I am officially the proud mommy of 2 under 2. Now the adventure really begins!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dear Pregnancy,

I'm so over you. If you're interested in trying to make this relationship work again, here are a list of things I'll need you to improve upon.

First of all, for the remainder of this particular pregnancy, I'm getting really tired of all the painful contractions that last for hours with no results. It's really obnoxious. Could you do something about that? Also, the little hemorrhoid "present" I've received? Yeah. Thanks but no thanks. I didn't find the joy in that gift. I'm gonna need you to exchange that. Perhaps consider giving me jewelry next time. A nice necklace from Tiffany's will do. Heck, I'll take one from Walmart. It's bound to be nicer than the current "gift." While you're at it, I'm also tired of getting up to pee 854 times a night only to have a trickle come out. Seriously?!! You're gonna make me wake up for that?! I'm thinking it's time to go Lisa Nowak-style and bust out the know, the crazy astronaut? I think I'll rock her hairstyle now that I'm looking at it.

And as for "the next time," assuming there is one, please be a little more considerate of my feelings and those around me. I would really appreciate you not leaving me in a puddle of tears over a jar of pickles, and I'm sure my husband would like you a lot better if you didn't have me jump down his throat for...well...breathing, chewing, driving, and "looking at me funny," in general. I'm sure he'd like to see his loving wife every once in awhile as opposed to what I'm sure he thinks of me now (see below)

Now, don't misunderstand. Your end result in the past has been simply beautiful and I'm sure I'm in for a repeat this time. I only wonder, if it's not too much trouble, couldn't you treat me like one of those "mythical" pregnant women I'm always hearing about? You know, The ones who don't vomit every day, don't swell, don't pass out, "glow" instead of having a sweaty sheen, have nary a mood swing, and basically just exude sunshine out of every orifice? Is that too much to ask for for just one pregnancy? Too much to hope for?

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll do this for me, Pregnancy. As for now, I'm thinking we should take an extended break from one another. I need my space and time to gather my thoughts. Considering what you've done for me in the past, though, it's going to be hard to stay away forever. So, not "goodbye," but maybe..."see ya later?" We shall see.