Monday, October 27, 2008
It's the most incredible thing I've ever done.
I've never felt more powerful, as if my body could do anything.
I feel beautiful...like a queen.
When I woke up last Wednesday, I was excited but still silently questioning the induction, wondering if I could honestly say I knew it was the best choice for baby. Throughout the morning I noticed that I was having more and more contractions, finally paying enough attention to notice they were consistently between 10-15 minutes apart.
I went to breakfast with my girlfriend Libby and then headed to my friend Trisha's house to pass the time until Aaron could come home and hang out with me. I mentioned my contractions to Trish (who is a labor and delivery nurse and my 'douala') and we agreed that the contractions would hopefully dilate my cervix a little bit, making the induction that much easier.
Aaron came home a little early and we ran a few errands. I silently watched the clock, secretly getting a little excited that maybe...just maybe my body knew what to do. At about 4pm I laid down to take a power nap and 20 minutes later I sat straight up with a contraction that required walking around. We decided to go for a walk to see if we could get things to intensify, and that is exactly what happened. Over the next four hours the contractions went from 10-12 minutes apart to 4 to 6 minutes apart.
What is sort of funny about the whole situation is that I still didn't think I was in labor. I thought at the most it was pre-labor. The contractions were certainly painful but bearable but I had an expectation that it would instantly be awful, so I just didn't take it all that seriously.
We arrived at the hospital at 8pm on the dot, got checked in and were taken to our room. When the nurse came in I mentioned I thought maybe labor had started on some level. We laughed at how this kid probably takes more after me than we thought, procrastinating until the very last second. The nurse decided to check me and not only was I in active labor, but I was at a 5 and 80 percent effaced! I was elated and nearly started crying because I was so excited! No induction necessary!
Trisha had shown up by that point and the three of us high-fived and got serious about getting my labor to progress. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but we honestly had fun. I don't know if it was because I had such awesome support or if I was just giddy over the fact that labor had started on it's own, but I was in the best mood despite the pain.
We hung out in the room on the birthing ball for a couple of hours, walked the halls and finally got in the jacuzzi tub. (I got in the tub, the two of them took turns holding my hand and cracking jokes). Around 1am, I was 7 centimeters dilated and the contractions had ramped up. They were harder to breathe through and they were starting to come on top of each other. Jackson was posterior, which is why I had such intense back labor. Aaron and Trisha took turns putting pressure on my hips which helped ease the pain somewhat.
I decided I was ready for the epidural. A half an hour later the anesthesiologist had come and gone and I was feeling much much better. Unfortunately, it didn't really take on my right side and a few hours later, I could really feel the contractions again and they had to come and re-bolster the medicine.
From there, they let me 'labor down' for several hours. Basically, once they broke my water at 10 centimeters, Jackson didn't like the contractions very much. His heart rate would dip during each contraction and we had a few scary moments on and off. At about 7:30am, we got serious about pushing. I've never worked so hard in my life. I thought I would be terrified, but instead I felt powerful and strong. Thirty minutes later, Jackson arrived. Unfortunately there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, so instead of being put directly on my chest, he went to a nicu nurse to be assessed and have his lungs cleared. It took him a minute to cry which was probably the scariest and longest minute I've lived through yet, but he was fine and moments later he was being laid on my chest.
I look at my child and feel in complete awe of God's goodness and faithfulness. I love this child with an intensity I didn't know possible and after just five days I know my life has changed forever because of his presence.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I met with the doctor who will deliver Jackson today and I adored him. He was kind, encouraging and I felt like he really listened to me. Aaron had a million questions of his own and he patiently answered all those as well.
Unfortunately, I remain a tight 1 centimeter. No change in three weeks now. As much as it was initially disappointing to face the reality of being induced, I have rounded the corner and I'm honestly almost giddy about it. I have faced the reality that my body is going to take it's sweet time to go into labor and enough is enough. If it needs a little push in the right direction, I'm willing to do it. Also, it's sort of feeds my need to plan!
Tomorrow I'm going to clean up my house, organize some of my maternity clothes, do laundry and finish packing my hospital bag. On Wednesday Aaron is going to come home after lunch and keep me company which will help pass the time.
Yea for baby week! I can't believe in a few short days this is all going to be over and I'm going to be a mom. I am so excited.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
In an effort to induce labor I have tried the following:
- massage with pressure points
- evening primrose oil
- raspberry leaf tea
- spicy food
- praying (pleading is probably more accurate)
- begging...the baby, God, my body and Aaron to just do something already!
But, it has been in vain, because here I am one day past my due date and no baby in sight. I think one of the reasons this waiting game is so challenging is because my body is certainly "preparing" for labor, it's just not actually going into labor. I was reading the pre-labor symptoms in one of my baby books last night and basically I have every sign except consistent contractions that continue to ramp up. Oh well.
This is such an exercise in patience...
I had a small epiphany this afternoon, that this is just one more thing in my life that I can't control. I can't control when this baby is going to arrive, all I can do is wait patiently and have a good attitude while I wait. So much harder to do than say; I won't lie.
Here is one last frightening picture of myself, 40 full weeks. I can't believe that belly, there had better be a giant baby in there.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I visited with my girlfriend today who had her baby two weeks early! My induction day was her due date. This little thing is so cute and tiny (6 pounds 2 ounces) and I kept thinking...oh my gosh...my baby is bigger than this baby and still on the inside of my body.
Today I made chicken and rice casserole, a pot roast with all the fixings, berry sweet bread (in my new bread pan!) and pumpkin muffins with a cream cheese center.
I also swept all my floors, vacuumed anything with carpet, dusted the house, washed our bed sheets, bought my husband new shoes, worked on a bit of freelance work and went for a walk. If this isn't nesting...I don't what is.
And yet...I don't have baby. So, I'll keep waiting, and praying and trying really hard to be patient. I'm not very good at this waiting game.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Aaron and I indulged in some chai tea tonight. This has got to be one of the most unflattering photos of me, but for the good of the blog I decided it should be documented. Also...check out the girth. This is probably the last photo you will see of me until I am un-pregnant and had a few weeks to lose the gallon of water weight I'm carrying around along with baby Jackson.
This is the one legitimate activity I participated in today. Lots and lots of laundry. I am caught up and all I need to do is put away one last load.
Our family is taking bets on when this baby will arrive and most of their predictions are for this weekend. Let's hope they are right! Friday is getting closer and closer!
Monday, October 13, 2008
But...today Aaron went out again and Rem, knowing his days were probably numbered if he didn't pull it together, hunted well and they even got a bird. (You've got to love bankers hours, did anyone else get the day off for Columbus Day?)
Here is the proud puppy with his bird:
I had a good cry about it on the way home from the appointment, and now I'm committed to the long haul. Worst case scenario, they will induce me a week from Thursday on Oct. 23. So, maybe he'll come sometime between now and then, but at least I have an end date in sight.
My husband keeps reminding me that no one is pregnant forever and even if we have to wait all the way until next week, I'm on the home stretch, and as much as I know that, it doesn't really make me feel any better. I do have to give him credit though, he was very very sweet to me. We went for a walk tonight and then splurged on some Ben and Jerry's frozen yogurt. Yum.
On a positive note, I have very pretty cherry red toenails. I figure its the least I could do for those that have to hold my legs! I guess I should also mention that day one of maternity leave was pretty awesome. I slept in a bit, had coffee with a girlfriend and just relaxed. I basically have the same agenda tomorrow. If I'm not going to be having a baby, hanging out and relaxing...not at work is not a bad way to spend your days.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Libby and Alex welcomed their second son, Charlie, into the world just over a year ago and have been walking a God filled journey as they have faced and celebrated Charlie's diagnosis. Libby has an incredible story to tell, and I am honored to point you to her blog.
In other great things related to October, it is officially fall in the great Yakima Valley. The trees are brilliant shades of yellow, red, oranges and amber. The sky is brilliant blue and Mt. Adams looks majestic rising above our barren hills.
Central Washington gets a bad rap for being ugly and dry and hot...which all those things can be true. It doesn't have the lush beauty of coastal Washington nor does it have the forested hills and mountains of Eastern Washington, but when you step back just a little bit, the acres of vineyard and apple orchards butted up against brown hills and pink sunsets make for a pretty stunning backdrop.
It would be appropriate for me to publish a picture right here...but unfortunately I'm blogging illegally from work and I don't have one to post.
I'm headed home to go for yet another walk. Last night Aaron and I walked the steep grassy terraces at the nearby park and I have every intention of doing it again tonight. Between dancing at the beer festival over the weekend and climbing hills at the park, I have been getting some pretty odd looks in the last few days.
But, can you blame me?
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I'm happy to report that all my efforts to make some progress actually paid off. I don't know if I really believe the walking and spicy food truly have an impact on the body starting labor, but let tell you, I've been on cloud nine all day. Not to say labor is imminent...but progress feels so good!
The unfortunate thing is I've started retaining water and my feet, hands and face are looking a little puffy. I'm pounding water and trying to keep my feet up, but I'm really hoping this baby decides to make an appearance sooner than later.
I keep asking Aaron if he wants to have a baby tonight, and even though I'm mostly joking and he just laughs at me every time I ask, he went out and installed the car seat. So, tomorrow when I'm driving to work, there will be a little seat to look at in my rear view mirror. That makes me really happy.
For those of you mamas out there, what is the one thing you couldn't live without at the hospital? I think I've got my bag and baby's bag pretty well packed, but I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing.
Monday, October 6, 2008
So what do you do when labor seems like a distant pipe dream, you can't sleep and everything hurts? I don't know...if you have any suggestions, please send them my way.
I did have a slight epiphany last night as Aaron and I were on our hundredth walk of the weekend; this could be one of the last walks he and I would take just the two of us for a really long time. These are the final days as a 'couple.' And as much as I want to savor these final days, the giant belly with it's protruding alien elbows and achy pelvis are keeping me slightly distracted.
I think what I'm trying to say is that I'm attempting to be patient, but I would really like to have this baby. I am so done being pregnant and so ready to meet this little man.
Friday, October 3, 2008
This baby seems to be nice and comfy in my uterus. He rolls and kicks all day long letting me know he very much likes his tight little quarters. I keep telling him he would have so much more fun outside of the womb, but he's not buying my sales pitch. I'm going for a massage tomorrow and I continue to walk everyday, so hopefully we can get things going this week. I might even risk it and eat some spicy tacos tonight...I'll pay for it, but it might just be worth it.
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In other blabbering, I would really like to hear what people thought about last night's VP debate. I thought it was more compelling than the presidential debate and I thought both candidates did surprisingly well. To be completely honest, I am still undecided. I lean republican but I have some reservations about the McCain Palin ticket. At the same time, I don't know that Obama and Biden are our answer. Aaron and I have been having some good debates (its hard to debate about the bailout plan with a commercial banker...not something I would recommend, unless you want a 10 year history on banking and mortgage products...)
Interestingly, for the first time in my life, I actually care about the campaign. I read the news everyday, hungry for more information about our candidates policies and plans. I want answers. It just seems like there's too much at stake not to be listening, learning and asking questions.
So tell me, if you feel comfortable, who are you voting for and why?
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
When my mom was visiting a few weeks ago, she was telling stories about raising me and one of her 'famous phrases' was telling me to wait hopefully. Basically, she was nicely telling me to be patient and probably be quiet. But, that term, waiting hopefully, has resonated with me and I keep mulling it over, rolling the words off my tongue as I try and digest why those two little words mean so much to me.
What does it mean to wait hopefully?
I feel like the final way I can honor this pregnancy and this incredible journey I've been on in the last nine months, is to wait hopefully. Not with fear and anxiety, but with confidence and hope.
I'm not by nature much of a risk taker. I frighten easily and worry often. But, I am slowly shedding those behaviors as I've found more and more confidence in my ability to care for this little life inside of me. And, I feel honored by the courage God has filled me up with. It has been an answer to prayer, and I know friends and family have been praying specifically for bravery and courage.
So, for the next 17 days I am waiting hopefully, shedding any last seeds of fear and trying to enjoy the rolls and kicks inside of me, because in such a short period of time, a new journey begins.