And Then There Was Clara (Part 2)

A few days back I started to share with you the story of how our new daughter, Clara, was born. In case you missed it, here is Part 1

I sat in yet another transitional bed and breathed deeply as the contractions amped up at what seemed to be an alarming rate, from every 10 minutes, to every 8, 5, 3. And as they sped up, they got stronger and more painful.

I squeezed Kel’s hand with each one as we waited for the nurses to work through the medical procedures necessary for our daughter to be born.

A steady stream of medical personnel made their way through the room, asking questions, running tests and filling little test tubes with blood for some last minute lab work.

Many of the staff mentioned that there might be a hold up centered around my breakfast. You see, even though I’d been having contractions, I had shared a bowl of oatmeal with our son around 9:00 that morning (3 hours prior) and the verdict was out as to whether or not the anesthesiologist would be okay with doing the surgery within five hours of the oatmeal.

Curses… I seriously knew I shouldn’t have had the oatmeal… 

Finally, gloriously, my OB arrived and took charge. Soon we had the all clear to move into surgery and were meeting with the anesthesiologist who, we were told, was the best one we could possibly get.

We talked about how I’ve handled spinal blocks in the past and I requested that an anti anxiety be “on hand” just in case I started to get panicky.

Minutes later, I left Kel in the room, clad in paper scrubs and was wheeled to the OR to meet our daughter.

I just told myself to keep breathing… in and out… in and out…  and praying, God be here… Healthy… Alive… See us through…and trying not to panic. Continue reading

And Then There Was Clara (Part 1)

Well I am insanely sleep deprived but I really want to take the time to get Clara’s birth story down before it’s lost in to the recesses of my brain forever. And I really, really want to share the story of her surprise arrival with you! 

I’m blessed, or lucky, or genetically gifted. I’ve gotten to carry all three of my pregnancies to term. So I try to keep the complaining to a minimum, because these babies are a blessing and I would never want to invalidate anyone’s struggle by complaining about my own blessings.

However, if I’m being honest with you, this pregnancy was hard and it took everything I have. It truly felt like carrying our daughter and barely sustaining our family was all I was capable of.

For months I operated in a fog at 50% battery life or less and to make matters worse I beat myself up about why I couldn’t carry more joyfully or with greater energy.

So,

As you may know our baby girl was due to arrive on November 13, but she came early on November 10. Here’s how that all happened.

All that weekend I had been having contractions that would come and go, but they were way worse than the Braxton Hicks, tight-belly only contractions that I’d been having through the second and third trimesters.10730843_541514449677_1758459000295678324_n

The evenings and overnights were the worst and I wound up calling my office’s on call doctor at 1:30 Monday morning to get her take. She told me to sleep if I could and call the office in the morning to get my Tuesday appointment moved to Monday.

I have to emphasize here that with our previous two births I’d never had painful contractions, even though I’d been in active Labor. So my trust in my ability to identify what my body is doing when it comes to childbirth is fairly low.

And these contractions hurt, like cramps that started in my back and shot around down my thighs. New territory for me. Continue reading

Thoughts and Feels on Being Judged About My CSection

Tomorrow will find me 32 weeks pregnant. Can you believe it? I can’t, but then I get up to pee for the 173rd time each day and and yup, I can believe it. I’m so ready to be done peeing.

This pregnancy has flown by and dragged on simultaneously. One the one hand I feel as though I’ve been expecting this little girl forever, then on the other hand I am completely unprepared to bring her home.

No, my bag is not packed. I actually don’t even have the things I need to pack, my nursing camis from the last two babies disintegrated and the yoga pants I brought to the hospital became rags after being bleach-stained beyond repair.

No, the nursery is NOT ready and it might not be before she arrives. Kel is working two jobs and we don’t see a lot of each other these days. When we do finally have a chance to be in the same room, painting is the last thing on our minds. Usually it’s more like, “hey come sit on the same couch as me, bring the remote. Let’s pass out.”

So I’m not ready, but I know our sweet new daughter will be here soon, just the same.

And if I need to have a friend or family member run to target to buy nursing camis and yoga pants and she sleeps in a pack and play in our room for the first months, so be it.

It’s not even a third baby thing, it’s a life-right-now thing. I’d rather have a sane family, a (sorta) rested husband and space to take it all in than kill ourselves putting together a pinterest-worthy nursery.

The state of our hearts over the look of her room.

However, there is one thing I am extremely ready for.

I’m ready for people to stop judging me about my C-section. Continue reading

A Nickel in November

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but things have been fairly quiet around here over the last month. There’s a reason for that and I think it’s about time we come clean.

First I’ll give it to you in a money-math problem and see if you get it.

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(Because when your name is a coin, you rock the metaphor.)

4 Pennys + 1 Penny = a Nickel, or 5 Pennys.

That’s right, we are expecting a baby in November and yes, after a few weeks of letting it sink in we are decidedly happy about it. 

Now let me answer some questions you might have: 

Q) Were you planning a third baby? No we were not planning this, clearly we weren’t trying hard enough to avoid it, but we were not trying in the classic sense.   Want to know how I know we weren’t planning this? Nickel Baby will be arriving about 6 weeks after our new church launches. That my friend is some wonderful comedic timing. 

Q) How far along are you? About 9 weeks, we found out roughly 4.5 weeks ago.

Q) How are you feeling? Really tired of feeling sick and tired. I’m not throwing up sick, but I’m nauseous and exhausted… so so exhausted… and coffee tastes gross to me most mornings which seems like a cruel trick because I need my one cup of coffee to function. Confession? Sometimes I choke it down for sanity’s sake.

Mostly I want to eat expensive bagels, fresh ones from Panera or Big Apple Bagel, shelf stables ones don’t count, the baby can taste the preservatives and he/she no likey. High maintenance bagel habits are not terribly convenient or frugal, especially for someone who tries to eat mostly grain free and now finds herself binge watching scandal while eating whole sleeves of Saltine crackers. This has been a very accurate snapshot of my last month. 

Also my mouth tastes bad, really bad like rotten banana morning-breath most of the time. Bad taste in your mouth is an extra mean pregnancy symptom if you ask me.

Q) How are you feeling ABOUT having another baby? Honestly, at first I was a little freaked out…. I was a LOT freaked out. After all I had grand plans of productivity when both Noelle and Caedmon go to half-day kindergarden / preschool in fall. There was to be much writing and dream realization and now there will be much exhaustion and re-learning how to breast feed.

Even now I find myself frustrated 80% of the time, I have so much I’d to get done in a day yet usually I find myself back on the couch after putting away laundry and unable to get a cohesive meal on the table, chinese takeout again? Sure, why not? Writing feels as realistic as mountain climbing and getting ahead is a forgotten concept.

But here’s the thing I keep repeating to myself guys: People are not problems, people are amazing, people are gifts, people are to be cherished. This baby is people, and so is to be celebrated with wild abandon.

And when I feel extra down I text my friend Megan who reminds me that facilitating organ growth is no small thing, and to accept the grace and the miracle in that. 

So, come on Nickel Baby, grow healthy and strong. Take over my world with your organ growing and your impending arrival. Do try to be a bit kinder to my hips if possible and together we shall do what we can and leave the rest for another time or season.

My timing was never the best in the end and already I cannot imagine a Christmas 2014 without your warm, snuggly bean-bag presence. I will most certainly dress you in ridiculous hats, please be prepared for this and cooperate accordingly.