Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AJ's Birth Story

It's been bugging me for a while that I never wrote down all of the details of AJ's birth. I don't want to forget that time, so even though it's a year late, here it is.

At 40 weeks I stopped working. I couldn't handle the 50 mile commute any more. Unfortunately AJ still wasn't showing any signs of making her appearance. The whole week was forecasted to be in the upper 90s and humid. Great, just what an overly pregnant woman wants to hear. So there I sat, in the sauna that was our living room. By Wednesday I was begging M to take some vacation time early just so I'd have someone to talk to and drive me to the beautifully air conditioned mall. Anything to get relief from the boredom and heat. Just before bed Wednesday I went to the bathroom and there went the mucus plug. I'd read that although it looked like a great sign, it didn't mean much. I went to be figuring I'd be pregnant in the retirement home. Thursday I woke up with M and helped him get ready. While making his lunch I felt... something. I had no idea what it was, just something. It happens again a bit later, and I mention to M that I just don't feel right. He offers to stay home, but I tell him it's probably nothing, again, so go to work. He promises to keep his phone on him and heads out.

I kept feeling something, until the somethings start to feel more crampy. I drink water, sit on my exercise ball and play Zelda on Wii. (I downloaded the original and it is awesome). After a few hours the cramps become a bit more irritating. Not painful, just annoying. I pull up contractionmaster.com and figure for a lark I'd start to keep track. By Thursday evening I was sweating like crazy, sick of the silly game and just wanted to be done with everything. Thankfully that's when my mother came over. She comes over on Thursdays because M is at karate class so she wanted someone to be with me, just in case.

I tell her how I'm feeling and she gets excited. I try not to, and she says I need to get out of the house. We go to Applebee's for dinner. During the meal there are a few times I have to stop talking to focus on the contractions that have been increasing slowly. There still isn't any rhyme to them. We take a drive since her car has AC, and about half an hour later I tell her we need to go home. I can't handle the bumps anymore.

We wait, I still hadn't called M because nothing was moving very fast. Around 10PM M comes home and I still have the webpage up. I show him the results and how there isn't any set timing for them. He takes a shower and by the time he's out the pain has started in full force. I call the midwife and since we're an hour from the hospital, she tells us to come in. Before midnight Thursday I had my room for the duration of my stay. I was only 3cm at that point.

The nurse said I could take a hot shower if I thought it would help. I was in heaven in that tiny little stall. At least for a while. About an hour later, it was over, and I moved on. I tried every possible position I had read about. For a while the ball worked if M would push on my back during contractions for all he was worth. After the nurse found me on the floor, on all fours, rocking and crying. she offered some meds to help me sleep. All they did was make me drowsy and mad because I'd want to sleep but kept waking up. What was even worse was looking over and seeing M sleeping soundly in the chair. Ugh.

The next morning I was still only 5cm and didn't seem to be progressing very quickly. My mother and M's mother were around. We were still doing the rubbing of the back on the ball, until I gave up on that one. I was told I could use the hot tub. Big mistake. The second I got in I felt sick and the pain was unbearable. I'm not sure if it was the hot tub's fault, but I was crying to get out. (I always feel sick in hot tubs so I'm not sure why I thought this would be a good idea). As I got out I told M to find the nurse and get me an epi.

While waiting for the anesthesiologist I was laying in bed with M, my mother and his mother all still there. They had a chuck on the bed for some reason, I'm not sure why now, and I would move my feet through the pain. I ripped about 6 chucks into shreds with my heels. Finally, around 4PM I got my epi. Life was good. I was still only 7cm at that point. I wanted to try for natural, but I didn't have the strength in me to progress then have to push.

My contractions still weren't regular, so they put me on pitocin to help that part out. Around that time they broke my water hoping to get things going.

Just before 9PM the midwife checked me and said AJ was crowning. The stage was set. I was promised not much pushing would be needed since she was so close. At 9:02 I started pushing. I was staring at the clock on the wall, since the other option was the mirror at the end of the bed. Nope not looking there. I pushed, and pushed and pushed. Three pushes per contraction. At 11:52PM AJ was born. My baby was put on my chest even though we weren't breastfeeding. I got to hold her for about a minute.

They took her away to do her check, or so I thought. Turns out she was having trouble breathing. They ended up bringing her to the NICU and having x-rays/blood work/etc done. I found this out later because I was bleeding. It took 2 hours to stop my bleeding and thankfully my midwife stopped them from bringing me to the OR for a D&C. I barely notice that M is not with me the whole time. I'm too out of it to hear much. At 2AM the bleeding has almost stopped, and the nurse gets stuck with the chore of cleaning up the room. I remember seeing so much blood everywhere. I was a little scared. Then M comes in and is followed by the pediatrician on staff at the hospital. They think AJ has pneumonia. Her lungs look cloudy and they can't handle that at the NICU in the hospital. She needs to be transferred to Boston.

I cry. M cries. The nurse cleaning me up cries.

A half hour later the pediatrician comes in to say they have a transport scheduled for 5AM and walks out. M climbs into his chair-bed and falls asleep. I wanted to throw something at him. How could he sleep?

At 5AM a man and woman in blue wheel a baby transport crib into my room so I can say goodbye to AJ. I could only see her foot. Due to the blood loss, I wasn't able to sit up or even incline the bed. She had a CPAP on anyway so her face was blocked even if I could see her. I say Hi and Bye to my baby girl and watch her leave. M then grabs his keys to follow the ambulance to Boston. So by 5:10 I am alone in my room. No baby, no husband. M called my mother on the road, told her what was going on and asked her to come stay with me.

AJ was ultimately diagnosed with TTN and released from the NICU in Boston on Tuesday. M stayed with her the whole time. I had two blood transfusions and was released Sunday with strict orders not to do anything. After getting home I was too tired to ride into Boston. Monday, my mother drove us down. She hates driving in the city as much as I do, but it was worth it. I finally was able to meet my baby. She was beautiful and healthy. What more could I ask for. Then I had to leave. I had pushed myself too much already and almost passed out a few times. The next day we had plans to come down to visit again, but were informed she was going to be released that afternoon. We arrived at 10AM and find M waiting with her release paperwork. Finally, we were all headed home.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Signs II

A while ago I wrote about seeing signs from God that I was on the right path or doing the right things with my life. I try to keep an open dialogue with God, but I usually don't feel like I've felt His presence or seen the signs He intends. Earlier I wrote about seeing the sign I was to marry M. I felt another sign when we bought our house. I was standing in the kitchen during our first walk through. I looked out the window above the sink and felt an overwhelming sense of "home". I just knew this was the house we were supposed to live in. With all the problems we've had, termites, electrical issues, lack of space, etc., I still think back on that feeling and find comfort in that we are where He intended us to be.

Another more recent example is deciding when to try for another baby. I got the baby bug when AJ was only 4 months old. How crazy that seems now. I could be just about to have another baby if we had went with that feeling. I couldn't imagine trying to run after AJ while being so pregnant I didn't want to move. Or to make AJ miss out on any experiences this summer because I didn't feel well.

Because of this I started praying about when to start trying to conceive again. M and I agree on two names, one a first name for a boy and one a middle name for a girl. In one of my many conversations with God I said, when it is time for us to try again, I want to hear the priest in Sunday Mass mention both of these names together. So for months I've been waiting to hear my sign. I know that I could have read up on the Sunday readings and known beforehand when both names would be mentioned together. I didn't want to do that, it felt like cheating. Last Sunday I received my sign. I know it was meant to be because M and I had decided to not go to church that day. We've had a really busy summer each doing our own things. We hadn't been able to spend much time together as a family, so we went out for breakfast and were going to have a quiet day together.

While out at breakfast M gets a call from his mother. She really needs to talk to her sons about an important matter, and could we meet over at brother-in-law's house, go to church with them, and have lunch to talk. Ok. So much for our quiet day. I was really bummed, but I knew what she needed to talk to her boys about, and it was important. Lo and behold, that day in Mass, the day we weren't going to go, was the day both names were said by the priest. Exactly the sign I had asked for. Take it for what you will, but we took it to mean it was time. As a side note: M had been praying as well about the same issue, and we discussed later that he got his sign from God a few days earlier.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hello again

So, it's been a while. In the past three months since my last post, I've become another year closer to the big 3-0, I believe I was battling some sort of depression, we adopted a dog, and my little girl turned 1. Wow, all that in just a few weeks. Crazy.

So turning 29 isn't a huge deal to me. The only thing I even noticed about it was that I had always hoped to be done having kids before 30. Guess that won't be happening since we hope to have at least one more.

As for the depression. I'm not exactly sure what that was about or even if it was that. I just know that for months I hated everything about my life, except my daughter. I couldn't bring myself to see anything good in any other part of every day life. I'm not sure what happened, but about a month ago I finally was able to kick the feeling and see the good things again.

Around the time I was getting out of that feeling, we went out looking for the perfect dog. We knew what would work for us and knew we wanted to adopt rather than go to a breeder. After searching 5 places in one day, we found the perfect dog at the last place on our list. He's a beagle mix named Sam. He's about 1-2 years old and was a local stray. He's well mannered and great with kids. He has been such a great addition to the family.

Earlier this month, the infant became a toddler. Crazy! She's such a big girl, walking around for about 2 months now, starting to figure out words and just a complete joy, even when she's a crank. We had a great Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed party and it was a fantastic time. I'm so happy it's over though.

Hopefully I'll keep more current with this from now on. We'll see.