Tuesday, February 24, 2009

 Oh baby - you were worth it!

In two days my feisty little Jay will be 4. Amazing. For those of you who read about my birth experience with Noe, and perhaps didn't like me very much after reading it based on the ease of his coming into the world, I just want you to know this story is going to be nothing like that one. When I found out I was pregnant with Jay I was ecstatic. Ever since the early birth of J.D. and K I had dreamed of a normal pregnancy and 'take home' baby. I watched friends go through what I thought were the perfect pregnancies and then bring their babies right home with them. It seemed too good to be true! All I had previously known was a troubled pregnancy, bed rest, early labor and delivery, medically fragile babies, and then 96 days of going home with out my baby and traveling an hour every day to spend time with him. I couldn't do much with K with out clearing it first with the nurses. I didn't feel like a new mom with K. K was 18 months old when we found out Jay was on the way. So many emotions were experienced for Dave and I during my pregnancy. Some moments were so scary. Like when I started having contractions at 14 weeks. Or when I got the flu at Christmas time, got severely dehydrated, and was hospitalized. That hospitalization took place when I was right around that scary 25 weeks. Scary because that is when I delivered J.D. and K. Trusting God was a daily intentional exercise for me at that time. I was given progesterone shots from week 16 through 36 to try to help me stay pregnant. They seemed to be effective. It was a pain in the rear - literally, but very worth it. At 36 weeks I went into labor. My contractions were not too painful or consistent, but I knew something was going on. We excitedly called Dave's mom over to watch K and headed out to the hospital with our suitcases. I was in the hospital over night and through out that time dilated to 6 cm. Then every thing stopped. Completely. This part still really surprises me - they sent me home. We were pretty sure we'd be back in a few hours. I was going to try to walk and get things started again. Here's the most surprising part of all: I did not go back to the hospital for another week! Yep, I lived life as normal, cleaning the house, caring for K, pretty much going out of my mind, dilated to six centimeters. It makes for good blogging fodder any way. Sorry if those little details tend to gross you out. No one is forcing you to read this. :) Finally, one week later, my contractions seemed to be picking up again. I was done with this off and on nonsense, never knowing if the pain I was feeling was going to be 'it' or not. I told Dave we were going to the hospital and I was having this baby! Upon arriving at the hospital, around noon, I was checked and found to be 7 cm. -apparently the point of not being turned away, thank you Jesus! The doctor on call broke my water and the next couple of hours went by uneventfully. My friend Cheri, who was my labor coach, arrived. I was SO excited that the main event was finally at hand. I had no idea what contractions felt like. With J.D and K I never felt my contractions. As I relaxed in the beginning stages of labor with Jay (strange to think beginning stages was 7 cm - but I'm just unique like that) I remember thinking "Wow, this isn't bad at all. I'm probably just one of those lucky women who have easy births!" Ha ha ha ha ha. Yeah, those are the kind of thoughts that come before a FALL. Around 4:00 pm something happened. I felt my first real and intense contraction. Oh ladies, don't judge me, but I thought I was going to die. Right then and there. Up till this point I was going to have the "wait and see" policy on pain meds. Well I had waited and I saw. No no no no no no! I was not going to do any more waiting! I called for anesthesia. About 20 minutes later I felt the most beautiful relief I have ever felt in my entire life. The epidural. I started to smile again. I was completely dilated by 5:oo. I began pushing. We all soon realized that I did not know what I was doing. My previous birth experience was so different and had not prepared me for this. I pushed, and I pushed, and I pushed. Nothing happened. I was SO discouraged. I thought it would take 20 minutes or so. I was wrong. At around 5:30 the pump administering my lovely miracle drug stopped working. They didn't fix it. They said I was doing fine and would soon be done. I was angry. It wasn't pretty. I pushed, and pushed, and pushed. I was very light headed from the pain and the physical strain on my body. My face was swollen to about double its normal size (thus indicating where I was going wrong with the whole pushing thing. The swelling was from bearing down so much. Babies don't come out of faces). There were broken blood vessele in my face and neck. My vision began to blur. I was exhausted. I didn't think he would ever come out. I was so discouraged and thought I was a huge failure. I began to cry. And right beside me Dave and Cheri were there. Holding my hands. Telling me I was doing a marvelous job. Even though it wasn't true, I needed so desperately to hang on to something. They were wonderful! Amazing encouragers. I thought my doctor would suggest a c-section after an hour went by. She didn't. She took a break and told me to carry on. I cried some more. I thought every one was insane after two hours went by. I kept asking "Am I doing any thing? Is he any closer?!" They assured me things were progressing. I knew I never wanted to do any thing like this every again in my entire life. Two and a half hours after I started pushing Baby Jay made his entrance into the world. He was red and screaming. This had not been a picnic for him either I suppose. I saw him being placed in my arms, all helpless and needy. I couldn't believe he was mine. I thought he looked huge! He was 7 lbs 3 oz. K was 5 months old before he weighed that much. I remember saying "Wow, baby that really hurt mommy!" Even those first few hours were not the picturesque bonding that I had hoped for. My body was in so much pain. My vision was messed up for about 12 hours, so I couldn't even see Jay very well. I was too tired to do just about any thing, but couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. But he was here. And he was healthy. And in the months (and years) to come he would rock my world. With love, with frustration, with reality, with challenges that I would need to face to continue on my path to maturity. Jay came out screaming and didn't really stop for about 8 weeks. They call it colic. I call it torture. Nothing I could do would soothe him. I tried changing what I ate, since I was nursing. It didn't help. I tried a swing, a bouncer, a front carrier. Nothing worked. He was either nursing, sleeping (rarely) or screaming. I had fantasized about the "perfect" pregnancy and perfect new mom experience. When reality hit I entered a darker time period than most people ever knew about. I wouldn't even admit it to myself, but looking back I am pretty convinced that I experienced a degree of post partum depression. It was hard. The hardest part was that I felt like I had to keep up this "Oh, every thing is great!" exterior. While inside I struggled greatly. It's harder than I thought to be honest about this, because I want to tell you about how much I fell in love with my beautiful healthy baby and how over joyed I was. Our falling in love process was different though. It was an ebb and flow of time and growing and learning. And it was truly and utterly beautiful. Beautiful in that it was real. It was full of self discovery and learning how to be selfless while still caring for ones self. Beautiful in that God gave me a child who has brought more giggling and growing into my life than I could've imagined! Tears are in my eyes as I think about everything that Jay is to me. I will share more about the amazing boy our Jay is becoming on Thursday. For now I just want to close with a special verse. "Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17 What a gift Jay's life was, and continues to be, to us. The beginning of his life did not match up with my 'perfect', but he was God's perfect gift to us.

16 comments:

Anne Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you shared your birth story! Your labor and delivery reminded me A LOT of my labor and deliver with Pink. The nonstop crying for 8 weeks was very familiar as well. I remember my first two weeks home with Pink were so hard that I look back and I honestly don't know how I did it. My recovery from her birth took seven long months. Thankfully my second time was much much easier.

Katarina said...

Thanks for sharing, even the struggles after. As mothers I think we are 'taught' to believe that bonding happens instantly and life with a newborn should always be sunshine and roses. So thanks for sharing that that is not always the case.

Heather said...

I had a very similar experience with BB. It is always difficult when reality doesn't meet your expectations. I'm glad to hear that things worked out for you in the end.

Heather of the EO said...

I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY!!! I should probably just email you, I need to anyway. I'm just so scattered...sorry.

You are a serious kindred spirit, lady. And if I ever get to meet you (I will) be prepared for me to cry my face off.

Sarah M. said...

He's precious to us all, and definatley one of the family!
I laughed at your observation about babies not coming out of faces! :-)

The feeling of a colicy baby is one I will never forget! I am glad you both made it thru that phase!

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

This was beautiful Wendi! I can't really believe they made you push for two hours :S Yikes! But wasn't it so worth it!! I can feel your struggles, as I went through them so greatly with Noah. Motherhood was different than what I had pictured in my mind. This "perfect" as you say; picture of what it looks like on the outside. But we learn, grow and fall inlove and discover a gift that is most precious in all the world.

xoxo

Debbie said...

I love birth stories and this was a great one! Thanks for sharing it.

dani said...

sometimes, the old adage "no pain... no gain" really hits home, huh, wendi!?!??? i can actually empathize with you on all fronts with the exception of the weeks and weeks of colic...
it's funny; as an educated woman i didn't realize at the time that i was experiencing a little postpartum depression, myself. but, on looking back, that is exactly what was happening.
i do thank GOD for it, now, for it was another turn i had to take in in order to ultimately find HIM.
love,
dani

photomama said...

oh your story is getting my pregnancy hormones all twisted in a knot.
I know the whole tortureous labor and the colic story.
I am all c sections after my first was never complted normally and am a bit nervous already.
Happy Birthday Jay!

Melissa said...

You told your story very well. THank you for being real. Happy BIRTHDAY to both of you!

Anthony's Mommy said...

OMG the part about "babies don't come out of faces" made me bust up laughing! I would probably do the same thing. You really do have 3 beautiful boys!

Arlona Mc said...

I remember giving almost all of my attention to K as I did not want him to feel left out. Now I wish that I would have held Jay more when he was colicy. Sorry. I love you and am looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow. Love, Mom

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Happy birthday Jay! :0)

Elizabeth said...

i don't think i new you had to take prog shots...those truly are such a pain. i took them for weeks w/ IVF in the early stages of pregnancy. i have a great tip if you have to have them again (Lord willign you won't)...numb your injection site w/ ice...takes just 4-5 minutes or so...then administer the shot (esquire did all of my prog shots) and then after put a hot pack on it (herbal ones work great)...by the time that cools down you feel so much better. after i started doing that i had rare bruising and not much soreness at all. but prog shots have seasame oil in it so it does not dissapate in your muscles that well...the hot pack after helps it to "melt" and not give you pockets of oil and soothes your muscles. oh, i don't wish these on anyone...but if you need to have them...this is the best way I found to endure. :-)

Elizabeth said...

i don't think i new you had to take prog shots...those truly are such a pain. i took them for weeks w/ IVF in the early stages of pregnancy. i have a great tip if you have to have them again (Lord willign you won't)...numb your injection site w/ ice...takes just 4-5 minutes or so...then administer the shot (esquire did all of my prog shots) and then after put a hot pack on it (herbal ones work great)...by the time that cools down you feel so much better. after i started doing that i had rare bruising and not much soreness at all. but prog shots have seasame oil in it so it does not dissapate in your muscles that well...the hot pack after helps it to "melt" and not give you pockets of oil and soothes your muscles. oh, i don't wish these on anyone...but if you need to have them...this is the best way I found to endure. :-)

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, honey. Ouch. What a story...but I have to admit I giggled when you said "Babies don't come out of faces..." Amen to that. :)