Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Count-Down to BBN

BBN = baby boy Norris

Tomorrow I am 36 weeks preggo. I am not sharing any belly photos right now just because I haven't gotten around to taking them. Shame, right. But, I will tell you...my profile is quite curvy. In fact, you might get jealous. So, I will keep them to myself for now.

Today I got to take one last ultrasound look at BBN. He is so thankfully head-down FINALLY. And already 6 lbs. He looks perfect. He even made his Momma swoon for the first time. He was playing with his toes while just hanging out and having a good time. I could have watched that forever. Louisa giggled and thought it was funny and wondered if "his feet are stinky like mine and Daddy's." No - he is on Team Mom...we aren't stinky. :) But after the scan came the talk about having this baby. Whoa - oh yeah...I guess it is time to start thinking about what all goes on if water breaks, contractions start for real, etc. Oh crap, he needs a name. So, I decided with this baby (unlike with Louisa) I am going to let him come when he is good and ready. It fits in with my New Year's motto of letting it be. If he is ready tomorrow, so be it. I am not, but I think it might be fun to actually go into labor like intended. Maybe - I may change my mind in a few, but this time around I feel I need a little more time to prepare. We shall see, right. But then I actually started to think about the ins and outs of actually having the baby. The labor, the hospital stay, the adjustment, oh geeze...BBN let's hang out a little bit longer, okay? Besides, you still don't have a name. Cracker Jacks!

So, with all this thinking lately about delivery and labor and all that fun stuff that as a mother you are blessed with forgetting...I sat down and reminisced from start to finish the "end" with Louisa's pregnancy. And, shocker - I am sharing it.

It is no secret, I have said it before...I got BIG with Lou. I learned my lesson for this time, but I got large and very uncomfortable and remember thinking around week 32 I was ready. By week 35 I had had it. I started being "bad." My OB was very conservative and not an inducer and told me over and again, that "Amy, this baby will come when she is ready - and not a day before." For my first baby - I didn't want to hear this. But now, I am totally fine with it. Funny how things change. But, I wasn't okay with that answer. I wanted her O-U-T. I did everything I could to try and speed things along. My OB's office was on the 8th floor at a medical building and do you know towards the end, I fore-went the elevator and would climb all 8 sets of stairs humongo preggers not once, but at least 3 times to try and elevate my blood pressure which faithfully sits around 90/60 always. Never did it work. I also tried to dehydrate myself, I know...shame on me. But, Dr. Luhrs was right...Louisa was coming when she wanted to. One day, this stubborn nurse will learn to listen to her doctors.

However, around 38 weeks my grandmother got very, very sick. She was in the hospital with pneumonia and I wasn't allowed to travel to see her. This upset me very much, because she was my grandmother and I had an idea this was probably the end and I wanted to see her. I was very sensitive about it as well as I had lost my other grandmother years before to Ovarian Cancer while I was away at school and I deeply regret not being able to be there. I didn't want this to happen again. But, living 3.5 hours away from home and the only means to travel in the middle left me on an interstate that had nothing for hospitals between points A and B - OB was putting her foot down, she didn't want me stranded on the side of I-16 having a baby. Week 39 she was admitted to Hospice and I remember telling Dr. Luhrs - I will drive to see her pregnant as they come if you do not induce labor. It finally worked, and she scheduled me for induction 1 day before my due date (I think this may have been the only time she ever scheduled a first baby induction before week 41) in the hopes that I could get Louisa out in time to go and see my grandmother one last time. So, I went into the hospital, scared as can be at midnight to be induced.

Now - for the induction and birth story. I will spare everyone the bad details, for all you moms out there know good and well what goes on. Byron and I be-bopped into The Medical Center of Central Georgia in the middle of the night as the last time ever that it would be JUST the two of us. I remember getting my IV started and fluids started and hooked up to a ton of monitors and taking a pill (Cytotec maybe??) to get the process going. Well, let me just talk about getting IV fluids at a wide-open speed. I have a very small bladder. Very small. I have a reputation of being awful to go on car trips with for this very fact. I can tinkle 2 times every hour and have it be completely normal. Well, introduce a humongo uterus that sits on top of it and tons and tons of IV fluids - and we are going to have some issues. And, they told me not to get out of bed without calling for help. Well, I had to tinkle every 10 minutes and I got to where I felt bad calling the nurse. So - Byron and I got sneaky...he would help me by holding all the monitors in place while I went to the potty. This way, the nurses had no clue I was up and going. I thought it was brilliant. Until one time when on the way back from the potty I thought I wet my pants (or lack thereof since I had on nothing but a gown). There I stood in the middle of the room HORRIFIED that I just peed on the floor and my husband's feet RIGHT after I had just gone potty, until it dawned on me...oh crap, that was my water breaking. However, it hadn't been long enough for the meds to work - so, I guess Louisa was ready to come no matter what. So, the events that occured soon after start to get blurry. I told the nurse that my water had broken, and she confirmed that yes...indeed, I had NOT peed on my hubby, but instead had broken my water. Phew. And then the pain started. It didn't start off bad, I just remember hurting all over and my back being out of control in pain. So the nurse came and gave me Torodol and Phenergan. I have said this before, and I will say it a thousand times over. Me and Phenergan do NOT mix. Especially if you expect me to push out a baby the next day. So, one drug that WILL NOT be given on BBN's birth day is Phenergan. Not cool. Well, after I hallucinated for a bit, I fell victim to the drug and slept it off. I remember waking around 6 am or so and thinking that if I didn't go tinkle soon I was going to fall apart because I was hurting so bad. Well, the nurse told me I couldn't get up. What?? I almost went postal on her because my urge to go to the bathroom was so bad that I wanted to cry. I begged her to cath me, and she said she would once I got an epidural. I told her NOW. I was about to wet the bed everywhere if she didn't cath me or let me get up. It was bad. I was in so much pain that I couldn't stand it. I honestly thought that I was going to pee everywhere. So, around 7 or 8 anesthesia came in to give me my epidural. I was all but climbing up the walls in pain of having to go to the bathroom. Well, got my epidural (the whole time crying and acting a fool about needing to go potty) and the nurse thankfully cathed me. Well, she got all of like a sprinkle out of my bladder. This confused the mess out of me, I told her that I have been in so much pain having to go tee-tee for hours and that was all that was there and I didn't get it. I remember her smiling and telling me, "those are contractions." WHAT??? Never was I prepared for a contraction to feel that way. I had heard they felt like awful cramps and such, but never that. But, she was right...for as my epidural started to wear off later that day, sure enough...that is what I felt again. But, after I got my epidural I remember first shaking like crazy feeling like I was fa-reezing. Teeth were chattering and I couldn't stop it, but I wasn't cold. It was just the medicine. That went away and I spent most of the day sleeping off my Phenergan-induced hangover. I remember feeling so heavy since I couldn't feel my legs, it was such a strange feeling for me. But, I was not in pain. It was weird to watch my contractions on the screen without feeling a thing. The nurse would come in periodically to check me throughout the day to see if I had progressed, and nope...none at all despite the tons of Pitocin streaming through my veins. At some point, during a calm time in the day, I remember Byron coming over and sitting down with me and holding my hand to tell me the news I will never forget. My grandmother passed away that morning. In the chaos of contractions and an epidural, I lost her. I felt defeated, I was so sad - but so very, very thankful that I had decided on Kate as a middle name. Her name was Catherine, but everyone called her Kay. And so, I was glad that while Lou's birthday would always be also the day I lost her - she shared a part of her....a part as simple as a name. And then I found some peace in the thought that maybe she really wanted to be there to see Louisa as much as I had wanted to be there to see her. But I had to move on at that point - I had a baby that was coming out no matter what I had on my mind that day and so I had to focus. Ironic thing is, it was a good year or more before I actually sat down and processed and grieved. Has that ever happened to you - it is like you just cannot accept or process it because I didn't really experience all the emotions that go with it at the time. I almost convinced myself it didn't happen since I didn't "experience" it. I didn't get to go to the funeral. It was like I just missed it all, and finally one day had to come to terms with the fact that it really, really happened. No bueno.

Back to the birthing, when the nurse came in to check me around 3 or 330 she said that she had spoken with the doctor and that if things still had not progressed, we may have to look at a section. I was NOT playing along with that plan and began to have a come to Jesus meeting with my cervix while the nurse was putting on gloves. Once checked, I was super excited to learn that I had dilated enough to make the MD happy and let me continue on my path. The nurse turned off my epidural so that it would wear off so I could feel my contractions and have an active part in the birthing. Oh, and I started feeling them. That urge that I was going to wet the bed came back and I just remember feeling like my pelvis was on fire. It had been about 13 or 14 hours and Louisa was finally starting to make some progress, and honestly from that point on - it went so quick in my mind...although it was really like 3.5 hours long. I remember the excitement I felt when the MD came in and said it was time to start pushing. In a way, I knew it was because you just have that urge. You just feel the need to push. I could feel the beginnings of my contractions and I would start pushing like it was my job. I remember holding on the bed rails to give myself leverage and the next day my arms were so sore. I remember Byron counting with me. I remember being so exhausted and not thinking I could push any longer until the next contraction came. Time slipped away from me, and honestly - for that 3 hour period of active pushing this is what I remember:

  • Pain. I remember feeling like my whole body from waist down was on fire. I remember my back feeling like it was going to break.
  • Exhaustion. The pushing is honestly one of the most physically challenging things to do. I was b-e-a-t. I was spent, but I kept pushing because I was hell-bent and determined to get this baby out. Funny thing is, all you ever hear about childbirth is the pain. Yeah, it hurt - but more than anything...the physical exhaustion is what I remember the most.
  • And one thing said by my OB. I will NEVER forget this. In between contractions and pushes, I remember her saying to me, "Amy, I had no idea this baby was going to be this big." This was not very warm-fuzzy'ie to me at the time, but almost find it humorous now.
At one point I remember Dr. Luhrs saying, "Amy, I need this next push to be the best push you've got. Show me what you can do and we will have this baby out." What I didn't know is that she had the vacuum extractor by then and was tying her hardest to help me to get her out. Lou was just a big baby for me and was stuck and not wanting to come out. So, with that....I pushed like there was no tomorrow and I recall the feeling of relief as her head passed through and then the pressure of her shoulders coming out and then it just stopped and there was my baby. She was messy and she was crying and she was OUT. I wanted to close my eyes at that point and just sleep. I was exhausted. More exhausted that I ever remember feeling.

I will spare you any details of how things went after that - but looking back, the labor was NOTHING compared to the pain I felt when I got home and "recovered" from birth. That is the part that I am most afraid of again. But then again, I got through it. So - I know I can do it again. And this time, luckily I do not have an entire house to pack up when only a day or two post-partum. You see, we moved from our house when Louisa was only a week or so old. It was awful. All I wanted to do was rest, but I couldn't...I had to pack. So - hopefully this go round it won't be as bad since it will be the second rodeo, and I don't have anything to "do" other than take care of 2 children. Ha, are you choking on the coffee/wine/diet coke yet. For reals.

But, as I was thinking about all of this today - I went and found pictures from Lou's birthday. I haven't shared these much mostly because I was so swollen from all the fluids that my skin was shiny. Not greasy shiny, but full and about to pop shiny (I mean, look at the pics, I almost couldn't smile because my skin was so tight from all the fluid). It was gross. Also - I got jaundiced after birth. My OB said she had never seen that happen to anyone (other than the baby) after birth - but sure enough...I was yellow. I grossed myself out. But, I will share them on here because you know what - somehow I just don't care anymore. I had to take pictures of pictures since I don't have them digital, but looking at them made me tear up. Look at my little girl. One day, she will hate me for this picture. So scrunched up and mad...guess that is what happens when you spend a few hours in the birth canal.

She was so little, you really do forget how small they are. But, I remember this moment like it was yesterday.

I remember holding her and feeling so odd. I have talked before about how I was one of the mothers that didn't fall to mush when I was shown my baby the first time. I felt awful about it for the longest time, but it was just a strange moment for me. I remember looking at her and her looking at me, and it was almost like saying, "I know you, but I don't." It was strange, but looking at that picture with that sweet little thing looking so intently at me, makes me melt now. I just fell to mush. I just remember holding and looking and it was as if time stopped, it was quiet and we just stared. Byron fell head over heels instantly - and little did he know that 3.5 years later she would of course be on "his team."

Look at that little girl. It makes me so excited to think that sometime in the next 4 weeks I will be doing that all over again. This time, the end product will be my sweet baby boy. I cannot wait to meet him and look at him and see what he looks like. I cannot wait for that moment in which I hold him for the first time and just stare and let the world stop spinning, just for a moment. I really, really cannot wait to see Louisa's first reaction to him. I am so nervous about that.

So, BBN here is to the next 4 weeks of having you in my belly for the last time. I will miss you being in there. I will miss your hiccups and how you LOVE when I lay down in bed. I will miss you head-banging my bladder. Yes, I will miss that booty up in my ribs too. I don't know yet our verdict on baby #3, I am not prepared at all to make that decision - so who knows, this may be the last time I am pregnant. And strangely enough, that makes me sad. Amazing how humbling some hormones can be, right? But until we meet, keep on kicking. Mommy likes that. :)


Jeremy and Christy said...

Oh Amy! I wish I could tell my life stories like you! What a beautiful story. I can relate to so many of your feelings in so many ways. Enjoy these last few weeks with your sweet girl and also of being pregnant. I hope things go smoothly for you and I can't wait to hear about his arrival!!

Nikki said...

Great story and I wish you the best of luck! Big sister will LOVE him so don't worry!

Jenna said...

I have said for all 10 and a half months of Fancy's life now that I am going to write a book about birthing bebes. One that isn't full of sunshine and lollipops. It will be the true accounts of what it's like during and those awful first couple of weeks at home...where things were similar to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. What to Expect When You're Expecting should 'expect' their sales to go WAY down!

Am I to assume that since you are referring to him as BBN he is no longer Cletus? Does this mean he'll now be Billy Bob Norris? :-)

Keri Sullivan Ninness said...

This post took me about 2 hours to read. I kept stopping, thinking about my Kate's birth. I am with you on lots- pushing was def the hardest thing about labor. Plus, apparently, I sucked at it. Thank the Lord MK was just 6lbs. And afterward?? Don't even get me started. I'd give birth 10x to not have to do the post-partum gig EVER again. Other than the whole pushing, body exploding thing, I have such good memories of the day- of spending time with Ross, resting, knowing I was going to meet my son (yes. i knew (courtesy of an unauthorized grady nurses' lounge u/s) I was having a boy.) What was that you said about SVA anatomy class?? Shock of my life. But where oh where would I be without my fire-crackin' Kate?! Much love sent your way. BBN is lucky as all hell that you are his mama.

Carol said...

Your next post has to be funny! I'm in tears now :-( Oh but wait- you did just sent me that adorable belly picture so maybe that will have me laughing again :-) I love you!!!!

emily elle said...

Hi Amy! I was assigned to create a blog for a creative writing class and I stumbled upon your blog, I beccame so captivated by your beautiful pictures and your adorable daughter! I am from Georgia also, I attend the University of West Georgia, and I am a Phi Mu, im not sure if you were in a sorority in college, I am a lifegaurd too! I just thought there were some neat similarities and also I just wanted to tell you how beautiful your family is and the beautiful picture of your world you create through your photography and writing.


heather manuel said...

I just want to share a few things with you. One the second time around postpartum is nothing compared to the first. After the first, I couldn't even sit down! After the second you are expecting the same experience and it's like "what baby? Did I just have a baby??" So hopefully you will fill the same. I said there would be two and only two and I wanted the second one to come sooo bad. I was induced as well. When we came home I would look at her and cry because she was the last. My husband said I don't understand you cried because you didn't want to be pregnant, now you cry because she is here?? Fast forward 2.8 months and here came number three.. so you just never know what God has in store for you! Good Luck to you girlie! Enjoy every single moment of it, labor and all!

AlexaCrow said...

Amazing amazing story. Thank you for sharing.

And I've been thinking how my 2nd baby's birth will be, in about 3 months. And also you reminded me all this experience with my first child. Thank you again, it's wonderful how you tell your stories and share all those feelings.