Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

Looking Back July 12, 2011

Filed under: Baby G,Pregnant,The Evacuation Plan,The Fear — arminta @ 6:45 pm

I accidentally clicked something earlier and all of my old pregnancy posts popped up, so I read though them. Even though I remember writing the words, it felt like I was reading someone else. I couldn’t identify with those feelings anymore. I don’t remember feeling so miserable or scared. I do remember being really pissed at my boss, and not wanting baby G to be premature, but not the terror over giving birth or fear of being a bad mother.

 

I wonder if this is a normal part of motherhood? If the hormones your body releases in response to the baby fuzzy up all of those memories and feelings to make you want to do it again? Maybe happiness just settles the heart? I don’t know. But, if anyone reading this is about-to-pop-pregnant and feeling petrified please read those old posts so you won’t feel alone. Then read this: IT WAS ALL CRAZY SILLY.

 

  • I was scared of not being a good mother or of not being able to feel connected to the baby… Ridiculous. Baby G and I have a bond that grows stronger by the day, but the first second I saw him I knew he was my son and felt a completeness.
  • I was scared of the birth… Bonkers. He had to come out. I labored for 24 hours to end up having a c-section. I made it through transition and within minutes of pushing, only to have a c-section. 23 hours of that labor were without any pain meds. I think I can speak for the worst of the pain other than pushing and for the c-section experience. I would do it again. I wouldn’t change a thing. If it meant having him here, healthy and alive I’d do it twice. Yes, it hurt. And being strapped down with no food? Sucked Ass. But, honestly, I don’t remember much of it. I remember a few contractions out of the hundreds. I remember a handful of moments of the whole experience. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have the perfect birth and don’t fear it too much. Be prepared to know what you want and how you want to handle a variety of situations, be ready to roll with the punches and make decisions on the fly and enjoy the process (however it presents to you). Most of what I remember are pleasant things, a nurse letting me take a shower, walking the halls with my mom (who I didn’t want to come and am SO GLAD she did), G sneaking me a Pepsi, G bringing me cup after cup of chicken broth (trust me, when you’re starving that shit is DELICIOUS) and Popsicles 2 at a time, and watching Alton Brown through contractions. Remember this: you will get through it. It will not hurt as bad as you think. You won’t remember much of it anyway.
  • I was scared that everything would change and life would never be the same… Duh! Everything has changed and life is SOO different. And I LOVE IT! I made a lot of money when I worked. We could afford pretty much anything we wanted. We spent a lot of money. I thought I would totally miss being able to blow $700 on clothes without thinking about it or having a $100 romantic dinner just because. I don’t. I’m not saying there aren’t times when I don’t wish we’d have saved more and spent less so that we could take care of unexpected expenses, but I don’t miss that life. This life is so much better. Maybe your biggest change won’t be financial… maybe yours will be sleep or free time or hobby time. You might miss it now and again, but you wouldn’t trade it back. Trust me, this life is better. I love playing with him more than reading while getting drunk in the hot tub, more than having six closets full of clothes (OK, three), more than sleeping until noon on a Saturday, more than daily showers, more than not having to keep an ear open while having sex, more than knitting and crocheting combined and more than midnight Harry Potter premiers. (Keeping honest, I’m totally making this one, because, duh, it’s the last one, but I did miss Deathly Hallows pt 1. I didn’t see it for like 3 weeks because I didn’t want to leave the baby. Me! Miss a Harry Potter! That’s freakin’ love!)

OK, I hope that’s been helpful to anyone out there that’s way pregnant and scared to death. For the mums-to-born-children: I hope you enjoyed reliving that time and can appreciate the difference in who you are. For the good-fucking-God-why-can’t-I-get-pregnant-and-be-worried-about-this-shit-too crowd: I so hope you get pregnant so you can worry about this shit too really, really soon. For everyone else: why are you reading this blog? No, but seriously, leave me a comment and let me know who you are and what about this blog appeals to you. Everyone else can leave comments too (and please do, I’m a total attention whore like that, one comment saying I’m missed and you get three posts, AM WHORE).

 

Peace Found March 16, 2011

Filed under: Baby G,The Evacuation Plan — arminta @ 11:41 am

Well, on the topic of my birth giving experience, anyway.

 

It’s no secret that giving the birth to Baby G did not go entirely to plan. As in pre-eclampsia necessitated an induction at 38 weeks, which became an emergency c-section, and the plan was for pretty much the opposite of that. Going into labor naturally, laboring at home for as long as possible and (most importantly) not being sliced open from hip to hip. Of course, these changes also effected the time immediately after his birth. We didn’t get the family bonding time. Hell, he was over an hour old before I even became conscious. So, things were not as planned.

 

At first I felt quite ripped off by this. Why after all the heartbreak and trouble getting him here was there more disappointment?!?! Mind you this was tempered with a whole, whole lot of “holy shit we finally have a baby and he’s perfect and yay!” But, still under the surface there was a disappointment over the way he came into the world and I felt very much like I’d failed. I felt like if only I could have held on for a few more days. I felt I was being a wimp, because the pre-e was only effecting me, the baby’s stats all seemed fine. I felt like I let the doctor jump the gun because I felt so crummy and I should have fought more for the natural experience. I felt like I had cheated Baby G of all the wonderful things I had planned for him.

 

I am an idiot. This is not new news, I know. But, let me finish anyway…

 

In all of my self doubting and pissing and moaning I forgot several things but one very important thing: my OB has been delivering babies for 20 years. He has seen things go crazy right and he has seen The Worst Possible Outcome. It is his job to make sure babies are born alive. He saw a very real threat to both of his patients and did what he felt was best to make sure neither of them died. Because pre-e does kill babies. Babies that seem quite fine on the ultrasound/NST, do suddenly lose their heartbeat when their mommies have pre-e. It is not a disease that just makes Mommy feel like shit for a few weeks.

 

Unfortunately, it took a devastating loss to a member of this community to remind me of this. My heart is still broken for Jen and her beautiful angel Evelyn. This post has been stewing for over two months, because every time I tried to write it I became so overcome with grief for her that I could stop crying to type. Even though we have never met, I think of her as a friend and my heart is truly broken for her. I hate that it took her experiencing The Worst Possible Outcome in order for me to find peace with my birth experience.

 

I no longer wish things had gone differently. I no longer care that he was born via c-section. I no longer mourn the loss of my idyllic little post birth nursing and snuggling fest before anyone else got to see him. I no longer think it’s a big deal that I don’t know when his cord was clamped. Why? Because right now, he’s asleep in my bed. I can go in there and kiss him and watch him breathe. Because any second now I might hear him yell Ma Ma Ma and know that he is actually calling for me to come get him. Because he’s here and he’s alive and he’s beautiful and that’s all that matters.

 

The Birth Story September 17, 2010

Filed under: Baby G,The Evacuation Plan,We're parents? — arminta @ 5:30 pm

I have struggled to write this post for the last 20 days. It has been written and re-written several times in my head (and even a few times actually on WordPress). My problem is that even though I am thrilled to have my Baby G finally home with me, on the outside and safe from the dangers of the womb of doom, my birth experience was, frankly, pretty shitty. I am still grieving the loss of the experience we hoped for, because let’s face it, chances are good this is the only birth I’ll experience. It is what it is, and the end result is a healthy baby so ultimately it doesn’t matter how he came to be here. But… it kind of matters and I feel a little selfish for feeling that way. So, what did happen?

On Friday 8/27 I went in for an NST and prenatal appt. My blood pressure was up, my feet were so swollen I couldn’t bend my ankles and I felt like shit. I had a couple of contractions during the NST and the cervix was improving in favor-ability, and Baby G was still doing well so DW declared game over and said it was finally time to induce. G and I went out to lunch and I came back to the hospital to finally have my baby.

This would be the point where things started heading down hill. First, I was put on continuous monitoring. Meaning, I spent all but a small amount of time strapped flat on my back to the bed. I labored for 24 hours before the c-section was ordered (spoiler alert… I ended up having a c-section). 24 hours strapped to a delivery bed. Of course, I had been hoping for being able to walk, shower/use hydro-therapy for pain. I had been planning on playing games with G and watching movies and walking the halls and taking long showers. Instead… I was on a clear liquid diet, strapped to a bed and had to call someone every time I needed to pee. This was disappointing, but would be worth it!

DW used cytotek to ripen my cervix with plans to start pitocin in the morning if active labor didn’t start on its own. At this point I was still hoping for some amount of natural experience. I was still hoping that by pushing time I’d be able to try different positions and that maybe if we didn’t have to break my water or start pitocin I’d be able to do it without the epidural.

So, the cytotek was placed somewhere near my throat via my vagina and we waited. And waited. And bloody fucking waited some more. Strapped on my back. For six hours. Except when I got up to pee. Holding the baby’s monitor in place half the time, because he kept falling off. Then the second dose was placed (why they needed to go through my vagina to reach a nostril is beyond me), and I was checked… 2cm. FUCK! Then I spent two more hours strapped on my back, holding the monitor in place, waiting.

Then two things happened… my mom showed up (although I had asked for no visitors, but I’m glad she did) and the nurses changed shifts. This was awesome because the new nurse took pity on me and let me out of bed for an hour! A whole hour! So, I walked the halls with mother and dropped a deuce (let’s face it, we know those pooping rumors are true so why not try to empty the track anyway…). Then I was strapped back down, for the foreseeable future, but at least this time I had Ambien. This meant I could sleep, but I couldn’t hold the monitor in place. So, the nurse came in a lot to adjust the monitors. This nurse was kickass awesome, by the way.

At some point in the night something changed. I went from having fairly irregular, light contractions to having very regular contractions. They seemed very close together, but I wasn’t really timing them myself, because I had monitors to do that shit for me. They also seemed kind of strong, but, aren’t they supposed to be strong? I was finally in active labor. No pitocin!  A break! I was having contractions that peaked at 50-60 on the monitors every 2-3 minutes. I was 4-5cm dilated. (Apparently this meant that my uterus and my cervix were not communicating on schedule and timing. But, no one told me this.) My super awesome nurse let me off of the monitors for 30 minutes to stand under the shower for pain management. It was helpful. I probably could have done it on my own if I could have been allowed to use the shower/tub.

When the morning nurse came in she reviewed my tapes and said she was calling DW. While we were waiting for him I got shaky and threw up. Yup, transition was upon us! My contractions started creeping up into the 80’s and getting a bit jagged. The baby was coming! The baby was falling off of the monitors… I couldn’t find him and hold it in place all of the time anymore… My water was still in tact. Not to worry! DW wanted to place an internal monitor on Baby G’s head. So, he broke my water and placed it. My next contraction was off the chart. Literally, the tape measures pressure from 0-100, the monitor was recording the peak at 115. It fucking hurt. Don’t get me wrong, the 50’s and 80’s weren’t comfy and the 80’s hurt. I was using my Hypno-birthing coping techniques for those. I was OK, but in pain before he broke my water. After he broke my water IT FUCKING HURT. Bad.

Apparently the Hypno-birthing was working though because the nurse was astounded that I wasn’t screaming or asking for pain med’s. But, I think she saw the writing on the wall, because after a 120 she sat down next to me and said “These are going to get worse. He is going to start pitocin soon because the baby is moving down fast and you’re only 7cm. If you think you MIGHT want an epidural let’s go ahead and get it placed now (they don’t have to put any medicine in it), because you don’t want to get to the point where you NEED it and you have to wait on anesthesia.” So, I caved and let them place the line.

20 minutes later my contractions were peaking in the 130’s and I had no rest in between. None. One stopped, the next one started. Long ones. I remember one was 2 minutes. So, I told her to put the med’s in the epi line. I couldn’t take that much pain for that long with no break in between. FYI… I was promised a break in childbirth classes. The relief took about 5 contractions to set in. But, I still had pain on the left side. No matter, it was 75% less pain overall, and I could deal with that! We were back on tra… baby’s heartbeat 90. SHIT!!!!!

The nurse called DW, then she had me change positions. His heartbeat came back up. Whew!

Baby’s heartbeat 68…

Change position, back up. Where is DW?!?!?

Baby’s heartbeat 87…

Change position… change again… change again… DW is here.

The baby is in distress. We need to get him out.

So, he checks me. 8cm. 8cm. After all of that hard ass fucking labor. (I only had about an hour of epi, the rest was all me.) Also, baby’s head is down. Baby is trying to squeeze through, but cervix ain’t budging. DW tries to open things himself. DW let’s me push, which does nothing.

DW says: We have to get the baby out, that means c-section. Now. Dad, go tell the family (who were in the waiting room despite my assertions that they NOT BE).

As he’s speaking the nurse is prepping my bed and unhooking me from stuff. This is literally happening RIGHT NOW.

They wheel me back to the OR, G is gone. They ask me to help move to the OR bed. Which I was able to do. With my epidural. Apparently I should not have been able to move myself so easily. They then start taping me down, taking off my gown, spreading betadine on my belly, placing masks on my facing, cutting. FUCK!!! I can feel cutting!!! To be fair, I could only feel it on the left side. But, I was already freaked about being tied down, with a mask that wasn’t giving me any air on my face and I could feel the cutting. But, something wasn’t working right, because I COULDN’T make myself say anything. I was just staring up, tears running out of my eyes, scared shitless and freaked out. G is still not here. Finally, someone noticed I was crying and asked me what was wrong. I told them I could feel the cutting and I was claustrophobic. So, they removed the mask and pushed more drugs. I could still feel it. I heard DW say something about using a topical. I could still feel the cutting. And I could smell my own burning flesh. I was going to be sick. Then another anesthesiologist came in and put a blue sheet over my face. I kind of screamed (it was muffled by the sheet and gagging in my throat). The first anesthesiologist said “She’s going out DW” and put the mask back on, but this time there was gas. In two breaths I was out.

I woke up later in the recovery room. No G. No Baby G. All by myself.

Then G came in carrying the baby. I cried and cried. It was finally over. I got to hold Baby G for a few minutes, but I felt too shaky. Then a whole parade of people came back one by one to see us. Then magically I woke up in a bed in a real room.

Neither G nor I got to see him emerge. His cord was clamped long before it stopped pulsating. There was no immediate skin to skin. No immediate nursing. I didn’t get to see the placenta. I don’t remember a lot of the time between that first waking and the second. We didn’t get that 2 hour bonding time just for us that we had asked for.

In short it was the exact opposite of what we had planned for and wanted. So, yes, while I am thrilled that Baby G is here sleeping soundly in his seat, I mourn the loss of the birth experience I had wanted for him. He arrived to chaos instead of of calm. Confusion instead of order. The sterility of medical professionals instead of the warm embrace of Mom and Dad. I wish I could go back and give him that experience. But I can’t. And, ultimately, he won’t care. But, I want him to have the best and his first few moments were not. I can’t help but to wonder if that’s what he sees when he’s sleeping and frown lines cross his face?

 

Baby G is Here!!! August 28, 2010

Filed under: Baby G,Fall Baby,The Evacuation Plan,We're parents? — arminta @ 11:24 pm

I’ll post more details later but wanted to make sure all my girls know that Baby G is here and our little family is doing really well right now. Here’s some highlights:

– Labor was exactly 24 hours

– I ended up with an epidural

– I also ended up with an emergency c-section

– Both were totally worth it for the most gorgeous boy EVER

– Baby G is 7lb 2oz and 20in long

– The boy latches on like a champ. 2 weeks early and a c-section baby and I have sauceresque nips and he has not had any latch issues so far!!! Hoping like hell that trend continues!

– He is sleeping peacefully, has hardly cried and already shit in my hand.

– I am so in love.

 

An End is In Sight August 25, 2010

K, I’m  cheater and I’ve decided that even though this is about yesterday… it’s still “my day in great detail” so welcome to both an update AND day 25 of the 30 day blog journal.

So, I had a big day yesterday. I had an appointment with DW, then I got to come home and deal with plumbers, then I got to talk to a restoration company, then I made dinner (got shot down for sex anyway) and then I had to stick a bunch of pills up my cooter. Guess which part was the most fun?!?!?!

The hell? you ask.

Well, let’s start at the beginning. I woke up and took a shower, because you know, when doctors are going to be in your bits, the bits should be clean. While I was in the shower, G went to the basement. Probably to rub it in my face that he’s allowed up and down stairs and I’m not. But, he found a surprise down there… Standing water! Coming back up though the drain hole in the floor, and the old potty that doesn’t work in the corner. Gross!!! Because as we know water coming from those two places isn’t JUST water, it’s dunh, dunh, dunh… sewage. Eww! OK, I didn’t know that, but G kindly explained it to me.

So, he comes back upstairs and tells me not to freak and get my pressure all jacked up, but I need to not ask to be induced, because I need to come home and call plumbers and shit. To which I say, “fuck that, yo’ mama can let in the plumber, shiiit.” ‘Cause I am ghetto fab at 8am. So he’s all, “O-Kay, but I don’t think you fully grasp the situation down there.” But, we had no more time to argue. He had to go to work and I had to go the doctors office.

And, I did. But first, I needed an NST. Apparently, mah baybee knows how to hide his heart in my fat very effectively, because the poor nurse had to hold the doppler the whole time. Unfortunately, she rendered the contraction monitor useless, but I didn’t bitch about it, because he was being very assy and moving on her a lot. It took an hour to get 20 minutes of him on the monitor. It took 10 minutes to get 10 kicks. I tried explaining that 9:30am was playtime, and we’d be better off to do the AFI first, but I am only dumb patient, so I was overruled. After the NST I went over the u/s room for an AFI and his fluid was up to 10 from 8.5. So hunky dorrey there. Also of note, my BP was 113/89.

I was devastated. There was no way with yummy squirmy baby, and improved fluids and damn near normal BP readings that DW was going to induce me now. Motha Flipaship!

But… I headed up the musty old elevators anyway. I called G and told him the news and he was thrilled because “major plumbing emergency” blah, blah, blah… Then I peed in a cup, because that’s what I do at DW’s office. Then a nurse told me I looked like shit. Well, she actually might have said “Oh honey, you look tired” but I heard “Gee whiz, bitch, what’d you do? Sleep in a dumpster?” Then she dipped my pee and took my BP.Which was… 149/103. The fuck? She asked how I was feeling and I told her I was losing my mind in the bed and I was losing my identity and the days were running together, turns out she just wanted to know about headaches and blurred vision. So, I gave her the short story: yes and no.

Then DW came in, looked at my chart and said “let’s have a baby, get nekkid” and I was “oooh, finally somebody wants to do me” but he just wanted to check mt cervix. At this point I feel I should note: I was going to have a baby yesterday if only that bitch cervix would play ball. Obviously the fact that I’m writing that instead of, “look, shiny new baby” means that my cervix is a sell out whore. I don’t know how much G paid her to double cross me, but I’m going to make her pay…

Anyhoo, DW checked the cervix and while I was “a tad” dilated, she was long and firm. Which is kick ass awesome from weeks like 4-34. But she should now be ripening on her own. I think this assumption is based on ladies that are getting a steady supply of prostaglandins, this lady is not. So DW starts thinking out loud (still wrist deep in my snatch, BTW) about our options. I swear he was tickling the baby’s head, whatever he was doing, it hurt. He was saying things like “we need to find a good reason to deliver, but the cervix just isn’t favorable, but the BP is all over the map, but we don’t want to end up doing a c-section.” He then pulled his hand out of my cooch and recommended that I come back on Friday and do another NST and he’d check my cervix again. He also told me to try some techniques to help ripen my cervix, specifically Evening Primrose oil taken orally and poon-erly. As I can’t exactly put the cervix in a paper bag on the counter, like a pear (yes, I envision my cervix as a rock hard pear), I had to come home and google additional ways to ripen it.

I did stop and get the EPO and some new lip balm. Unfortunately, lip balm had lanolin in it and yeah, now my lips itch and the skin is peeling off! Fucking lanolin!

Then I came home and had to call the plumber. The plumber got there in like 40 minutes! Hooray. And he was nice! And he fixed my slow running tub, and, you know, the problem causing the sewage in the basement for only like $300. The plumber kicked ass. Apparently, we had tree roots in the main drain. I don’t know how that’s possible, but, ’tis what he said. He cleaned up his mess and called a lady who specializes in this kind of clean up for me. Again, hooray plumber!

Then I had to call G with an update. He was not so pleased with having a cleanup specialist come by. So, he came up with a Plan B and Plan C and stressed my shit out calling me every few minutes to talk about it. Grrr… Yeah, I did not want to deal with it anymore for another hour until the lady came. Turns out the situation down there was not as bad as I was envisioning and but the restoration chick wants $1,700 up front, and requires a bunch of work after the fact to replace the carpet. So, now, G is going to do the cleanup himself. But, the restoration lady stayed a long time and put on a strong sales pitch.

Then I made dinner when she left. It was OK. G really liked it. So, I mentioned that I did some research on cervix ripening and I need to bathe the cervix in prostaglandins and he happened to have a very good source of prostaglandins and oxytocin. He decided to go shopping instead. Ouch! Shot down.

So, I got out the breast pump for a Plan B. Because you know breast pump, sex, same diff, right?

Then my Mom called to talk about my sisters shower. So I told her how I’d have the cake, diaper cake and my presents etc… delivered Thursday night or Friday morning. Apparently she also is unaware that PIH/Pre-eclampsia are not just for fat people. I had to remind her that what I have used to be called toxemia and she had it with me and she was not this fat, so this is not a direct result of my being too fat to have a baby.

Then G came back from shopping and I proposed getting fresh again… but unfortunately he was not game. Apparently my pregnant ass grosses him out and he’s not interested in actual sex with me. Whatever… I have more to say, but won’t because I’m just ragging because my feelings are hurt.

Deciding that I still needed to get some prostaglandins on my cervix I stuck three Evening Primrose Oil pills up my pillbox and went to bed.

 

The Rest Continues August 23, 2010

Filed under: Fall Baby,Pregnant,The Blah,The Evacuation Plan — arminta @ 1:28 pm

Blah…

That is how I’m feeling right now. I haven’t been off of my ass all day, and yet, I’m yawning. G is being very super supportive, but I am beginning to lose my mind. I have never gone so long without an agenda. Right now I’m in limbo. I’m living in this gray area between two lives, and I’m not allowed to do anything!

I’m sure once Baby G is here I’ll be wishing for one more day of rest to stock up for the long nights and endless crying, but right now it feels so pointless. I would be fine with being home if I could do stuff (like: wash diapers, clean, cook dinner and/or run up to the diaper store for more covers). But as it is I’m laying about, too bored to watch TV, nothing interesting to blog about and unable to do anything to prepare.

I think I’m going to ask DW to induce tomorrow, even if he’s cool with putting it off another week. I don’t see the point in waiting until I’m so sick that it starts affecting Baby G and the longer we wait the more likely it is I’ll need a C-section because I’ll be too ill to handle the rigors of vaginal birth. Plus… I’m just done. All I do is worry. Is he OK, am I OK, are things going to be OK when he’s out here?

I should shut up. No one wants to here the poor pregnant infertile moaning about being pregnant. I’m just very worried, and feel like it’s finally better for him to be out than in.

 

Still Here August 18, 2010

Still pregnant. Which is good.

Here’s the scoop:

– BP down to 149/96. Which is JUST under Dr W’s induce now threshold.

– Fluid is on the low side of normal. Normal being 5-25, mine is 8.5.

– He ordered an AFI (fluid check) and NST for next week, after which I am to come see him.

– He says we are taking this week by week, day by day.

– He is calling game over for any of the following between now and then:

  • Any headache that’s bad enough to take Tylenol and Tylenol does not help.
  • Any gallbladder type pain that takes my breath.
  • Any headache with nausea that doesn’t resolve within an hour of lying down.
  • If my bottom BP number goes over 100 or the top goes over 150 AND the bottom is over 90.

– I lost seven of the eleven pounds that I gained last week. Taking my total gain to 17 pounds.

So, that’s the medical haps.

Also, thank you guys so much for being so kind regarding my meltdown. I really needed some encouragement on that. I literally felt crazy.

In work related news, I still have not received my pay stub. So, I sent a final status on all of my projects and sent my boss an e-mail explaining that I can’t continue to perform work for the company while on medical leave while he was playing these games. I also expressed that I felt his actions were bordering on hostile. I am filing a complaint with the State of Ohio tomorrow. At this point, I’m not worrying about it any more. We transferred the money from savings that we need to pay bills this week and we’ll worry about the rest as we need to later. I hate to bite into our safety net so soon, but when your boss illegally withholds your salary, that’s kind of what the net was there for. I did send e-mails to my co-workers letting them know that I am officially on leave and thanking them for being so supportive.

Well, that is all for now. I am going to go to bed and sleep until I wake up!