Sunday, August 12, 2012

Letters to a Boy

When I was little, my mom would leave me notes, around the house, in my school bag, in the car, where ever I'd likely be. It was sweet, it helped me learn to read. It was also time consuming, and most of the notes were repetative, and fairly simple... "have a good day", "goodluck on your times tables", "be nice to that boy you made fun of", etc. I always wanted to know how she felt, not the dumbed down sugar coated "your a kid" version. Perhaps I was too young then, but I still wonder about it today.

I have decided to write letters to my son. I will keep them in a book, and give them to him on his 18th, or perhaps 21st birthday. One letter for every week in the first month. They grow so fast! And then one letter each month for the first year, and one letter each birthday. I hope to chronicle milestones, achievements, quirky behavior, and general thoughts and love.

I was adopted, and my biological mother has had nothing to do with my life between 6 months (when she gave me up/got me taken away) until my 18th birthday. Since then, we have emailed a few times, but we have not gotten close. I can not yet forgive her for the things she did, the priorities she chose. I was told that she has kept a journal, with letters and cards for me, for every birthday, and Christmas she missed with me. I don't know if I want to see it, or if I'd rather be angry just a bit longer. Either way, I let her know that my son was born, and I have started my own journal. I hope I can keep it going and write in it every chance I get. (or at least keep up to date on it).

I am going to build it like a scrapbook, with a photo for each milestone marked. And place the physical letter in a decorative envelope on it's own page. I can only hope that it will turn out as wonderful as I am imagining it.

What have you done to chronicle your children's milestones?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A birth story!

Making breakfast in the late morning on Aug 2, I felt a little odd. A bit wetter downt here than usual, so I called my OB. Her nurse asked me to go to the Family Birth Center to get checked. Once hubby got home (he left work early) he drove us to the hospital. My OB was on call that day, so I was in luck (the OB on call after her shift was one I very much do not like!)

After a few hours of tests, and waiting, they decided to get an ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid levels. In this process, they discovered that my fluid was low, and that more than likely, I had been leaking slowly for several days. They decided to induce me, to prevent infection. They started on a very slow pitocin drip (I had hoped to stay as natural as I could, but I guess we have to roll with the punches). They diluted with saline to keep my hydrated, and I waited. Each hour progressed and the contractions got stronger, and more intense. They weren't painful until much later.

Family visited, and friends stopped by. I wasn't short on company. To some extent, I am glad I had so many visitors, but on the other hand, I regret not getting some sleep while I still could.

At 16 hours of labor, the contractions went from "hold my hand, this is really uncomfortable" to "The next one will be an adoption!"

By 18 hours, it became "Why the HELL didn't I get an epidural!?!?" (yep, pitocin, without pain meds)

At 18 hours and 30 min, I received a small dose of Fentenol (spelling?) which took the edge off the pain, so I could at least remember to breath. 

At 19 hours, I was  unable to string sentences together, I was catching minute long moments of rest where the world faded from memory, and I was just in empty space, always pulled back by the slow build and crash of the next contraction. Waves that took me under and past my limits. They gave me another small dose of Fentenol. 
At 20 hours, I told my nurse it was time to push, I told her I would not wait because I could not wait. She asked me to wait.

She called another nurse to help set up the room, and by the next contraction, was calling the OB to come in, "she is a VERY efficient pusher" she had said.

Hubby was helping me to focus through the pushes, but when our son slid out screaming and fighting and covered in blood, he nearly fainted. He took a few moments to compose himself as they cut the cord and cleaned Connor up. 

There were tears in his eyes, though, he will deny it.

 20 hours almost to the minute after I noticed my broken water and felt the first contractions, I held my little boy in my arms.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Birth plan, meet window. Window, meet birth plan.

With a perfect pregnancy, and perfect support team and a perfect midwife or doctor, you can have a perfect birth plan. But remember the importance of each word in this phrase. Birth. Plan. The birth will happen, one way or another... But the rest really is a plan. This is how I would like things to go...
I had my 3 page birth plan typed out and ready for action... I took it to my OBs office, had her look it over, give her okay.

Then on August 2, I was fixing breakfast and felt a little uncomfortable and wet. I called my OB, and she had me go in to the family birthing center to get my amniotic fluid levels checked. After several hours of monitoring contractions, and an ultrasound they decided to admit me. My water had been leaking from a high yet for some time.

After another couple of hours, my doc checked my cervix, and while she was at it, properly ruptured my water sack (not in my plan). When I didn't progress in 2 hours they started a diluted slow drip of pitocin (in my plan under "avoid"). Every 2 or so hours that passed, they bumped up the pitocin level. While it was still slow, it moved the intensity of the contractions quickly. In my plan, I had wanted mobility, I wanted to soak in the tub during contractions, I wanted to walk around, but the moment they started the pitocin drop, I had to be on a constant monitor. So I was stuck within 4 feet of the monitor machine, giving me the options of the rocking chair, and the bed.

I had  expressly wanted to avoid pain medication. I didn't want the pitocin, because pitocin increases the frequency and intensity of contractions unnaturally, which makes most people want the epidural early. After about 15 hours of natural labor, the pain was just a touch above my tolerance, and I was offered an intravenous pain medication, fentenal (spelling?), which was given in a low dose through my saline drip iv.

It took the edge off the most intense contraction, but was still disappointing, since I had spent the whole pregnancy avoiding medications that could get to the baby. I took 2 doses of the IV pain killer in the following 5 hours of labor.

(TMI warning)
When I was finally at 9.5 cm, the nurse told me I had to wait a bit longer, that I wasn't ready to push, and that the baby wasn't ready. I told her I couldn't help it, the muscles were constricting involuntarily. In the time it took to call an extra nurse, and the doctor, Connor's head was already visible. I had requested that I not be given an episiotomy (cut in the perineum). In the last 2 pushes, Connor's heartrate plummeted, and before anyone knew what was happening, I had been cut to preserve the health of the baby. His cord had been wrapped around his neck, and with each contraction, and each push, it squeezed against him, cutting of his nutrient supply. One push after the cut and I heard the scream of angel lungs!

While everything did not go to plan, It was good to have that start point. Perhaps next time (if there is a next time) we will go simpler. We will have a general list of what we'd like to try, and try to avoid (rather than being so structured)

Every moment of discomfort from the stitches given for an unwanted procedure, and the memories of the 20 hours of severely painful pitocin induced contractions were worth it. Every time I hold my son in my arms and his sleepy pout turns to a subconscious smile, I am reminded that the important part is that he is here and he is safe!

My family is whole and complete now! We will post some of our family photos when we get them finished!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome home!

Perfect in every way! Connor Michael was born on August 3, 2012 at 6:06 am. After 20 hours of labor, he was welcomed naturally by a team of supportive nurses and a wonderful OB. His mommas sport team was his daddy, and his auntShelly. He came out screaming with a healthy set of lungs, and an instant need for cuddles!