Sunday, July 11, 2010

180 days

Miller is 6 months old today.  The time hasn't exactly flown by, so I don't find myself saying, "Where has the time gone?"  But I do find it funny to consider that this time last year, I still had not gone public with my pregnancy.  How is it possible that a year ago I was only 11 weeks pregnant, still had no idea that my baby had Down syndrome, and yet today, I have a 6 month old who will we will take to the pediatrician tomorrow, and I will beg her to allow us to start feeding him solids.  This boggles my mind!

But if I just focus on the past 180 days, I must confess that I have learned so much.  Not that I EVER claimed to know much about all of this baby business beforehand, but I never could have anticipated the lessons I would learn as a new mother to this sweet baby boy.

#1. Being induced sucks!  I pray that if I am ever blessed again with a child that they will come out before we have to go in after them.  In all fairness, I know it wasn't his choice, and the induction was due to my high blood pressure so it was unavoidable.  However, pitocin is evil, but it definitely does the trick.

#2. Peeing on your L/D nurse when she tries to get you out of your bed is really no big deal.  She's seen worse, and as she said to me, "this is a very messy process."

#3.  I really didn't believe I was having a baby until I heard him cry.  It sounds stupid, but the whole thing still wasn't real until they pulled him out.  It really is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard, and I do wish it had been recorded.

#4.  No one shows you how to breastfeed.  I guess I should have taken a class, but I didn't even take a childbirth class.  That one would have come in handy when they handed him to me, and everyone watched to see if he knew how to latch.  Fortunately, he figured it out without much assistance from me.

#5.  The first two months are brutal.  I value my sleep and always have.  Keeping up an every three hour change-breastfeed-bottlefeed-pump-routine was a beating.  I love him, and I swear I never wanted to hurt him, but I was an uber-crabby new mommy.

#6.  Jaundice is damn scary!  I don't care how common it is.  When it happened to our baby, and we had to spend two days in the pediatric ward with him in an incubator under the blue lights, I was terrified.  Glad to be in the hospital where all of the professionals could help us care for him, but scared none the less.

#7.  Bringing home a baby is the most humbling experience ever.  We spent 4 days with medical professionals checking his vitals and giving us tons of advice.  None it was very helpful when we got home, and he kept losing his body temperature and turning more yellow by the moment.  In those moments  I realized that we really didn't know anything, and instinct took over.

#8.  Comparing my baby to anyone else's will only stress me out.  Miller is a peanut.  He is healthy, has a tremendous appetite, and is still small for his age.  I know it's the Downs, but it's still a little rattling when strangers at the grocery store are smiling at him and saying, "He's adorable.  How old is he?"  And I say, "__ months" and they look at me like I must be starving him.

#9.  When he smiles and coos at me I absolutely melt.  I am completely in awe of this little person, and no matter how terrible other parts of my life have been, it all goes away with one little smile.  It's like magic, and in those moments I truly can't believe he is mine.  I will most certainly dissolve into a pile of mush the first time he says, "Mama".

#10.  I know there are a million opinions about this out there, but I have not been in any hurry to make him sleep in his crib.  He sleeps in his buggy next to our bed.  When I lay in bed before I fall asleep, I can hear Pierce snoring on one side of me and Miller on the other.  It is like heaven.  Yes, I know he's going to outgrow the buggy soon, and he probably wouldn't mind his crib at all.  But I am not ready!!!

I know I will think of more, and there will be more lists as he continues to grow.  Six months really is the perfect age so far.  He has his own personality.  He's trying to crawl.  He can almost sit up on his own.  He is discovering the cat, and thankfully, the cat is becoming more tolerant.  Being his mom is the greatest blessing I have ever been given, and I am so grateful to God for this perfect little life.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Here's what happens

when four fun internet buddies decide it's time for their babies to meet.  I love that we all had this opportunity, and I heart our message board for bringing us all together.

Wish I could get these to lay out better, but the content is far more important than the format.  Love you, Girlies and all your sweet little boys!  Come back and visit soon!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A New Holiday

Of course Father's Day isn't new.  It's been around forever...nearly as long as fathers have been, I suspect, but it's always been a day of sitting on the sidelines for me.  My first Mother's Day this year was a big deal to me but not nearly as important to me as Pierce's first Father's Day.  I never had a father to buy a card for.    I never selected horrible ties or gallons of Old Spice for the man who helped bring about my existence.  I simply looked at old photos, longingly, as my friends all gathered with their families and went out for nice dinners.  I remember a silly little song we used to sing in elementary music where the teacher went around the room, and each kid called out their father's occupation and we sang about it....

"My old man's a doctor, whatta ya think of that?  He wears a doctor's collar, he wears a doctor's hat. He wears a doctor's raincoat, he wears a doctor's shoes.  And every Saturday evening, he reads the doctor's news!  And someday, if I can, I want to be a doctor, just like my old man!'

And so this little ditty went around and around the room until it got to me.  I would turn red and break out in hives, knowing that the teacher would get to me soon.  'My old man's a (pause)'  waiting for me to shout it out.....uh, 'DEAD', I squeaked.  And so was the song.  Hindsight being twenty/twenty and all, I realize that I could have said 'teacher', as that is exactly what he was before he became the other, but I panicked.

Father's Day was never a happy time for me.  I bought cards for my grandfathers, and I know I begrudgingly signed cards for the stepmonster.  It was a day for other people to celebrate but not for me.  That is until now.

We didn't have a fancy dinner.  Pierce got a card from me and one that Miller picked out for him.  By picked out I mean, we were at Target, and I held up two cards in front of my son.  He grabbed the one with the two elephants on the front and promptly put it in his mouth.  Decision made.  I also found an outfit for Miller in a 9 month size (too big) that says, "I (big red heart) Dad".  I told him to give it to Daddy, and he held the Target bag tight in his fist and wouldn't give it up.  And then, you guessed it, put it in his mouth.  There's a lot of that going on in our house right now.

Pierce received several texts and phone calls wishing him a very happy Father's Day.  Even my best friend from high school, who has been reduced to a Facebook friend, sent him a shout out, and she's never even met the guy.  All in all, it was the best Father's Day on record for me, and I am sure they will only get better.  Next year maybe I will let Miller pick out a tie!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The "Sconsin"

While visiting with Miller's godparents on Memorial Day, we learned that their nephew called his grandparents "Gramsie" and "Grampsie".  I about fell over in shock because, you see, those are the exact names I called my mother's parents when i was little.  I thought that I had invented it and was a bit taken a back that another little person had adopted my names and had not cleared it through me.

A few days later I was having a conversation with my best friend, and we were trying to decide what Miller might call all of his grandparents.  My grandma is, obviously, his great-grandma, but my mother takes offense to that because in her mind, "great" implies better.  We decided that he should probably just call her "Grandma".  Now, my mother signs all of her cards to Miller, Grandma Diane.  She does not refer to herself as Grandma Miller because that was my dad's mom to all of us.  There was only one Grandma Miller, and those are not shoes she is willing to fill.  Anyway, he can't call her by her first name because that would be inappropriate, so if he were to think of her as Grandma Miller, which might be confusing, he may end up calling her "Grandma-me" or to make it easier, "Grammy".

Now that that is all sorted out, we turn to Pierce's parents.  I called my dad's parents, "Grandma and Grandpa from Florida".  So we decided that Miller will most likely refer to them as "Grandma and Grandpa from Wisconsin".  My next comment was that Wisconsin was probably quite a mouthful for a little one, and I wondered what it might turn in to.  When I asked Pierce if he knew, he thought that perhaps it would be "Consin".  This sounded logical to me.

Tonight I was sharing the conversation with my mother, who can't remember what happened yesterday but is brilliant when it comes to the past.  I told her that Miller would probably call Pierce's parents "Grandma and Grandpa from Wisconsin", and she said,  "Oh, The Sconsin".  "What is that?" I said.  She repeated, " The Sconsin, that's what you called it when you were little. "   And there you have it:  A moment of clarity and his grandparents' names.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Savannah Rose

This post is a little earlier than I intended, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately.  June 10th  last year was the first time we saw Miller and his twin, Savannah.  I remember going in for my egg transfer and taking the full bladder requirement, perhaps too literally.  By the time I was shuttled into the room where the RE inserted the catheter to bring my babies home, I felt that perhaps I would burst and shoot them across the room.  In recovery I was told to lie flat on my back for 30 minutes, and then the nurse would come get me for the restroom.  I laid there, writhing in pain, thinking I can't pee...I can't ruin this.  But then, I thought that was ridiculous because they were up high enough that certainly that couldn't happen.

After I unloaded my bladder and, of course, looked in the toilet, for I don't know what, we were headed home for four days of best rest.  After 5 days I had some bleeding and assumed the worst.  Two days later I was staring at the Holy Grail, a positive pregnancy test!  The next day I went for beta #1, and it was very good.  Beta #2 was even better, and the question was raised, 'Could they both have stuck?'

I would have to wait nearly a month to find out the answer.  When I went for my ultrasound FINALLY, the nurse was able to zoom in on Miller immediately.  He was the perfect size for just over 7 weeks and had a strong heartbeat, which we watched, heard, and then cried tears of joy!  She then asked if we had put more than one in, to which I replied, "yes, there were two."  She did some looking and quickly found a tiny little baby with a slower heartbeat.  I want to say, and maybe I should look back to my old posts, that Miller's heartbeat was 150-something, and the other baby's was 54.  She didn't say too much about the discrepancy but noted "twins" on my chart.  In meeting with the RE shortly thereafter, we learned that the prognosis for Twin B was not good, but Twin A was doing great.  All I could think was how happy I should be to finally be pregnant, but I was sad.

A week later I met with my OB, and her ultrasound tech was unable to find a heartbeat for Twin B.  I expected it, but I was crushed.  I also knew that I needed to be strong for  our surviving baby and didn't really give myself the opportunity to grieve.  Pierce and I decided, both without hesitation, that we needed to name our lost baby.  We also realized that in naming the baby that we would have to assign gender.  My grandmother's first reaction when we told her about the twins was that the big, healthy one was a boy, and the little helpless one was a girl.  That has stuck in my head to this day.

We always thought we would have a girl.  We thought Miller was a girl until the amnio told us otherwise, so we named his twin Savannah Rose.  We will never know for sure if she was a girl, and IVF procedures by nature tend to produce more boys.  I don't know this for a fact, but I have to assume that IVF with ICSI produces even more boys that traditional IVF.  Regardless, she will always be our lost little girl.  We miss her and love her and are glad she never suffered any pain.  Although her life was short, she will always be remembered in our hearts.  We hope that anyone who reads this, on June 10th, will light a candle and say a little prayer for our little one whose life was cut too short, our sweet Savannah Rose.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One Year, One Dream, One Love

Miller Christian 5/6/09

Miller Christian 5/10/10

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Embracing My (Inner) Child

I know I wouldn't be the first mommy to rediscover all of my own insecurities about my childhood upon the birth of my son.  We all want what's best for our children, but I have found that what I want most for my son are the things I often felt I was lacking.  Big things that are so basic: love, acceptance and security.

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security,
And you begin to understand that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of falling down in midflight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you can really endure,
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn ... and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.

I discovered this poem by Veronica Shorffstall when I was in high school, when I had "real" problems.  I bought a plaque from Hallmark with a paraphrased version and hung it in my bedroom next to my Steve Perry and Sting posters.  It was my first clue that I was incredibly naive.  

Back then I believed that when my high school boyfriend said he loved me that meant that we would be together forever.  I had no problem with the fact that I would never be with another person, but apparently he did.  Twenty-some-odd years later I still remember the day that I caught him with...wait for it...MY BEST FRIEND, and it feels like yesterday.  One year ago I found him on Facebook, and, yes, friended him.  We have reminisced about the 80's and all of the great concerts we went to together.  He told me he really regrets what happened between us, and, as time always has a way of putting things in perspective, I have to chuckle a little but, honestly, could care less.  He taught me a valuable lesson in a really shitty way.

I doubt that Ted ever realized the impact he had on my life, and I certainly never would admit it to him.  I was the oddball in high school who took my relationship very seriously.  Sure there were kids who get married right after graduation, and some even got pregnant and had babies right away.  My previously mentioned "best friend" (also a FB friend) married a guy a year after high school, and now has a daughter in college, while I sit and wonder if my four month old will ever even get in to college.  While I am sure that anyone would agree that a cheating douche bag is the antithesis to true love, I freely admit that I hold love to a very high standard.

It is a standard that came long before my birth:  my parent's marriage.  It was idyllic, according to anyone who witnessed it.  It was that perfect meeting-at-a-church-function, going-to-prom, proposing-in-college, and supporting-each-other-through-master's-degrees kind of love.  Their relationship was sweet and tender, yet sad and tragic in a Romeo and Juliet way minus the family feud and double suicide ending.  At the ripe old age of 29, my mom was left with a bassett hound and a 3 1/2 year old when my father was called on by God to fill some bigger purpose in Heaven.  I was forever changed before my fourth birthday.  I had lost my first love.  

A couple of years later, in an act of sheer desperation I have to believe, my mom married a jackass.  She was lonely and felt that her child needed a father figure.  I will spare you the details of the sleepless nights and hospital visits my mother endured, but suffice it to say, he did not fit the bill.  However, my mother, true to her faith, did not see divorce as an option, so we suffered through that absurd union for 12 years.  When he left her for another woman, I could not help but dance around the house to George Michael's "Freedom".  When my mom called me seven years ago to tell me that she had seen his obituary in the local paper, I remember telling her that I was a bit freaked out but definitely wasn't sad.  She said, "Yeah, I know what you mean".

I thought about having kids with Ted.  He wanted them.  In fact, he has two teenagers now.  Although he claims to not be married to his (ex)wife, the girl he hooked up with right after me, he does seem to love his kids and that makes me smile.  It does make me feel good that there may still be some good in the person that I mistakenly gave my heart to.  Do I wish I had had his baby? Umm, NO.  Because when a girl loses her "perfect" father and is raised by her abused mother and stepmonster, she is really forced to evaluate what constitutes good parenting.  And somehow that image and finding someone to play that role becomes infinitely more important than simply finding love for one's self.

After Ted I went on to have my heart broken several more times, and I suspect I broke a few myself.  After college and being on my own for awhile, I met my future ex-husband.  I married Mike out of my own selfish need to love and be loved, knowing that he would never be parent material.  He told me upfront that he never wanted kids, and I guess I thought that either A. his love for me would be enough or B. he would change.  Yes, I cringe as I write option B because I know how ridiculous it sounds.  Needless to say, he never changed.  He tried to.  When we moved to Texas seven years ago, he told me that he had bought me a copy of "What to Expect..." and thought maybe we could try.  Of course he only told me this when my desire to have a child had reached a peak, and I had announced my intent to leave in search of my Baby Daddy.  Yes, it was tempting to stay.  We had been married for 8 1/2 years, and there wasn't the fear of the unknown.  But when I could picture my child in mind, I never saw him there.  I didn't know who I saw, but it definitely wasn't him.  I feared that if I gave him that chance, he would prove as unworthy as my stepmonster.   And I would not give him the satisfaction of damaging a little life, damage that I understood far too well.

When Pierce and I started dating, I knew I had found the real deal.  He adored me from the beginning and didn't run for the hills when I told him that I had no interest in wasting my time dating him if he didn't want kids...two, preferably one of each.  I met Pierce when I was still married to Mike, scandalous you say, but no, he lived a thousand miles away, and our friendship was innocent, although I will admit, mildly flirtatious.  When I met him at a work conference, I didn't know he would some day be my husband and the father of my son.  I thought that maybe God had brought us together to simply show me that there are still good guys out there, and maybe just maybe, I could do better.  I met another guy, who later proved himself completely unworthy, before I began dating Pierce and still, to this day, swear that he came into my life for the very same purpose.

Pierce accepted me from the very beginning, despite my divorce and heavy steamer chests full of baggage.  He accepts my mother and is even more tolerant of her than I am when faced with her mind-crippling dementia.  He is patient and kind with my family, qualities Mike never possessed, and sometimes I fear that my own grandmother loves him more than me.  I truly never knew the depth of his ability to love and accept until we were faced with the trials of infertility.  I have heard stories of couples divorcing over the senseless blaming and the stress of not being able to conceive.  If you can make it through this process, it really does make you stronger as a couple, and we have found our way to the other side.  When our high risk doctor informed us that it was likely that Miller had Down syndrome, Pierce was the first one to respond, "We are having this child", as I laid on the table like a deer in headlights.  My son has the father he was meant to have, and I have the love and acceptance that I have craved since my father's death.  Happy ending?  Well, not yet.

Security.  The love of a good man and the security that comes with that love, check!  But the security blanket that I have been holding on to long before that is being yanked out from underneath me.  Security blanket=my career.  My ex husband, in every attempt to talk me out of wanting children, always told me that I couldn't have it all.  His belief, and rightfully so, was that my job was my baby.  It was something that I lived for, nurtured, watched grow, and was damn proud of.  He told me that if I had a child that I would fail at work, and I am beginning to wonder if he wasn't right.  

Long ago when my mother was married to the monster, we had very little income.  The jackass was self-employed, which I am convinced was because no one would hire a drunk, belligerent asshole.  Regardless, I had four grandparents who were hip to the nonsense going on in our household and often gave my mom money to help take care of me.  This is pissed off the jackass who also often cashed my social security checks, that I received after my father's death, and spent them on alcohol and smokes.  I learned early on that if I was going to keep my mom out of hot water that it was best that I find myself gainful employment.  After countless babysitting jobs and a great paper route, I was finally old enough to earn minimum wage in the glamorous fast food industry.  And guess what followed?  Yes, of course money, but also, as I was and still am a ridiculously dedicated employee, love and acceptance.  

Every boss I have ever had has sung my praises, thought I was the best thing since sliced bread.  That was until recently, or more accurately, until I became pregnant.  I had enjoyed ten years of blissful employment  with my current company when my current boss was hired.  We were not quick to hit it off, but I felt that we had found a common ground when I confessed to her my fertility troubles.  I had not intended to share this information with anyone at work as I am in a high profile position, and I feared anyone finding weakness in me.  However, the doctor appointments and time off for treatments became too many and too difficult to work around my schedule.  When I told her I was having my first IUI, she seemed very supportive and confessed that she had gone through the same.  Second IUI, still supportive.  Moving on to IVF, still supportive.  Pregnant, so happy for me.  The next thing I know I am sitting in her office, receiving a bad review.  I am told I will receive another review in 90 days.  Fast forward to 90 days, and I am on bedrest and told I will deliver in the next two to three weeks.

I went on maternity leave, relieved that I had not lost my job and that I would have my insurance to cover delivery and my pay while I was out.  But, the undelivered review was still looming, and while I struggled with sleepless nights and breastfeeding a newborn I worried about what the future would hold.  Eleven weeks after I left, I found myself back on the job, sad to leave my son but exhilarated to be back to the baby I had known for so long.  Sadly it seems, they didn't miss me.  While I am still employed, I face the daily challenge of proving that I am still worthy and wondering why it all has to be so hard.  Pierce works part time and cares for our son all day, and when I leave in the morning I find myself jealous that he can't do the full time thing and let me stay home.  He is wonderful with Miller, and I often think he is a better parent than me.

Security from a financial standpoint is in a really scary place right now. I remember driving to work last fall and seeing a haunting billboard for the North Texas Food Bank.  It said something to the effect of "March: Working Full Time, June: Working Part Time, July: Hungry" and pictured the face of the man in a suit.  I am so scared of our little family winding up on that billboard.  I lose a lot of sleep when I think of losing my first baby, but then when I get up in the morning, Baby Sunshine is cooing and smiling at me, just happy to see his mommy.  He doesn't think I am a failure.  He doesn't know the fear I face every day as I head out the door.  He is blissfully unaware and naive, and with every little cuddle I hope he feels as much love and acceptance as I see in his eyes.  Only then can I face the day with my head held high and my eyes wide open.

Friday, February 12, 2010

One month old.............

Wait for it..........................................  
check this one out.............................. 
and this one too...................

Thursday, February 4, 2010

In honor of our due date

This post has taken me forever to finish, but I have a good excuse, well maybe two excuses.  1. one adorable newborn and 2. Blogger crashed when I tried to compose this two weeks ago.  Lack of sleep+lack of computer savvy nearly pushed me over the edge, and I am only now finding the strength to rescue the paragraphs that were saved and recreate those that were not so lucky.

Today is the day I have been looking forward to since May 14, our BFP on the digital. The first thing I did after I collected myself and allowed myself to believe that it was true was to go online to the Bump and use the due date calculator. JANUARY 23, oh so far away. And then after our first ultrasound on June 10 and learning that we were having twins, I moved up the date to Christmas, and somehow, having the due date in the same calendar year made it less far away. Our dream of two holiday babies was short-lived when we learned the term "vanishing twin", and we lost the heartbeat of our little angel. So January 23 was our date again, and sometime in December I began to believe that I would go past my due date. Actually, I bounced back and forth between my doctor and several acquaintances telling me that babies with Down syndrome are very often premature and the knowledge that this was my first little one and often that meant an induction after 40 weeks. Never in my thinking did my story include 3 weeks of bedrest, followed by an induction at 38 weeks, 1 day due to pregnancy induced hypertension. It's a crazy story, and on my little boy's thirteenth day of life, it is time to tell it. CAUTION: **** LOTS OF PICTURES GOING FORWARD****

Two funny things I did before our induction: 1. I went for a mani and pedi. Everyone was asking me when I was due, and when I told them the baby was coming in 2 days I could see the fear in their eyes. I explained that I was being induced and that there was very little chance that I would be going in to labor in right then and there. When they agreed to do my nails, I had to decide what the appropriate toe color was for greeting my son. Of course I came to the obvious

I was instructed that the night before the induction that I could not eat after midnight. Of course I probably had not seen midnight since the second tri, so there was little chance I would be scarfing down anything at that time anyway. However, the mere mention that I was not allowed to eat made me frantic. That coupled with the knowledge that the induction might very well last past dinner time the next day, and well, I was starving! We went out to dinner, and I proceeded to eat everything in sight. I ate the most wonderful bowl of jalapeno soup and could not possibly drink enough water afterward. When we got home I was contacted by the anesthesiologist who told me that since I was coming in at 5 am that I should stop eating/drinking immediately because midnight would be too late. Crap! Needless to say, I walked in to that hospital the next morning with the taste of jalapeno soup still radiating through my throat. I have already apologized to my son for that. But isn't a spicy meal supposed to help encourage labor?

So we arrived at the hospital at 4:45, and my dear Pierce informed me that he had left the camera at home. Anything else but the CAMERA, seriously? So I told him to turn around and go back. If we were a few minutes late, they would have to get over it. The reason we had forgotten the camera is that I had asked Pierce to take some final belly shots of us. After he took them, he left the camera on the counter.

So after a very speedy ride home and equally fast trip back, I wandered in to registration with my hospital bag and two pillows. Pierce parked and met me several minutes later. After completing the paperwork, we took the elevator to Labor and Delivery and found our nurse, Stacey. She showed us to an awesome suite that seemed to be able to fit an army. I would later understand that it takes an army to bring a child into this world. I put on my oh-so-glamorous hospital gown and hopped up on the bed. I gazed over at the baby warmer that looked oddly like the fry warmer at Wendy's and thought "OMG, my baby will be right there some time today." It was all too surreal. Stacey hooked up my IV and connected a fetal monitor and another monitor to follow my contractions. I also had a blood pressure cuff that routinely checked me every, I think, ten minutes. Needless to say, I had stuff hanging off of me everywhere, and it was an enormous challenge when I had to pee, which was often. Stacey checked my cervix, and I was still only a fingertip dilated, as I had been two weeks earlier at my OB appointment. Great. This is going to be a long day, and I am already hungry. Sigh.....

Stacey started the pitocin, and I was mesmerized by the two monitors. I watched the peaks and valleys of my contractions and kept an eye on my son's heart rate. At one point his heartbeat wasn't being detected consistently, and when it did register it was in the 80's. Stacey said that the monitor wasn't picking him up properly, and I shouldn't panic. All I knew was that I had spent $49.00 a month on a doppler at home, and I knew what his heartbeat should sound like. Something was not right. After only a half an hour of pitocin, the drip was turned off because our little guy was not tolerating the contractions. At this point I could see the writing on the must endure contractions to give birth unless they have a c-section. I began to mentally prepare for something I truly did not want to go through.

I was given oxygen, and my OB stopped in to check on me.  The pitocin drip was restarted, and she asked if I was OK with a possible c-section.  Well, yeah, he has to get out somehow.  I can be brave.  She said she would be back at noon to check on me and, possibly, break my water.  Little one seemed to tolerate the pitocin better going forward.  I was feeling miserable and being subjected to a game of being rolled from side to side to keep his heart rate up.  After my third trip to the bathroom and feeling like I must be the world's biggest wimp for complaining, I surrendered to my greatest fear: THE EPIDURAL. According to Pierce's notes, the epi was administered at 9:20.  I was in so much pain already but kept waiting for the painful and scary part.  It never came.  Instead I felt warm and fuzzy and fabulous!  I rested comfortably for awhile, and the next thing I knew another nurse was injecting medicine in to my IV line and the oxygen mask was back.  It turns out that this time the mask was for me.  My crazy high BP had crashed to 75/45.  I learned later that this led them to believe I was bleeding out.

What happened next was beyond crazy.  Once I was stable, Stacey decided to check my cervix again to see if we were beyond 1 cm., and OMG we were!  She left to get another nurse to double check because she didn't think it was possible:  My cervix was gone, and it was time to push.  Barbara, who had been my nurse for my egg retrieval back in May, entered the room, checked me, and announced, "Oh, yeah, I can feel an ear".  It was only 10:30.  I was told NOT TO PUSH as everyone started frantically trying to contact my OB to no avail.  Stacey and Barbara spent the next hour and a half distracting me by talking about egg/embryo donors, among other topics.  At one point they asked Pierce if he wanted to see Baby Sunshine's head, and he was all game.  Seriously, y'all can see his head, and all I can do is lay here and hope I don't accidentally shoot him out of my completely numb girly parts?

True to her word, my OB returned at noon.  She was shocked at my progress and prepared to deliver my patient baby.  After three little pushes that I barely even felt, Miller Christian came into the world.  When I heard his cry,  I teared up and really wondered if it was a dream.  All the positive tests and ultrasounds and carrying him and feeling his kicks and hiccups and listening to his heart beat every single day were not enough to convince me up to that point that I would actually give birth to a beautiful little person.  Our beautiful little IVF miracle.  I challenge anyone who questions whether or not God exists to experience the birth of their very own Sunshine.  I am sure our infertility made his birth that much sweeter and nothing short of miraculous, and I know that I will never take his life for granted.  Welcome to the world, Sweet Boy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy One Week Birthday!

I hope to have a complete birth story in the next day or so. I am so crazy tired, and I want to make sure I do it right. It may not be possible to capture the sheer joy and exhilaration I have felt since I met this gentle, precious one in the outside world, but I must try because he deserves the very best. For now here are his stats: Miller Christian was born on January 11 at 12:09 pm...yes, that means no one guessed right, including me. He weighed 6 lbs. 4 oz. and is 18 1/2 inches long. We spent Monday through Thursday afternoon in the hospital and are now getting to know each other at home. He is so amazing!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The next time

I update the blog, we will be parents! OMG!!! Almost everything is packed and sitting by the door. I had a huge dinner and just stopped chugging water about 45 minutes ago as the anesthesiologist has cut me off. I am so scared and nervous and excited all at once. I know I won't sleep tonight, and that may become a problem if labor is long and difficult. Pierce has been talking to Miller for about a week now, asking him to drop (which he has) and gain a little more weight. I can't wait to meet him, and just the thought that tomorrow, at this very time, I could likely be holding him in my arms, makes my heart beat faster and the tears start rolling down my face. Life will never be the same again....