A love story

I am wanting to introduce baby cakes to the special story of how he came to be a part of our family. I've looked at some of the 'donor conception' books but they just don't feel right to me. So instead I  wrote a little story just for my boy... I am going to add lots of pictures and get it printed into one of those Costco Photo Books. (We already have a few of them, so it will fit in with our collection.)

I'd love your feedback... (asked with a tender heart)

All You Need is Love
Baby Cakes 's Story

Once upon a time there was a little boy and a little girl.

The little boy was named ML. He was born in Maine where he lived with his mommy and a daddy and a big sister who all loved him very very much. When he was still a baby his family moved to Boston, and then when he was even bigger he moved with his mommy and sister to San Diego.

The little girl was named Foxy. She had a mommy and a daddy and two little sisters who loved her very much. She was born in San Francisco, but her daddy was in the Army and so her family moved to many different places, until they finally settled in California to live near her grandma and grandpa.

ML was a very smart independent little boy. He loved to explore and build things. School was easy for him, and he had lots of different friends. He liked music and ...( getting ML to complete this sentence is like pulling teeth...)

Foxy was also a very smart and independent little girl. She loved to play in the forest near her house and make up stories with her friends. She tried very hard to do her best at school and always looked forward to playing sports after-school.

After they graduated from High School, ML and FOxy both went to college. ML studied Architecture and Foxy studied Business. They both made lots of friends and had a lot of fun with their new friends when they were not in class.

One special day, when they were almost finished with college, ML and FOxy met each other. FOxy thought that ML was very handsome and ML though that FOxy was very pretty. ML called Foxy and took her out on a date. The more time that they spent together the more that ML and Foxy liked each other.

ML and Foxy went on many grand adventures together. FOxy took ML to (home) to meet her mom and dad and sisters and friends. ML took Foxy to (home) to meet his dad, and to (home) to meet his sister, and to (home) to meet his mom and aunts and uncles. They went to parades and concerts with ML friends S, and T, and K, and C. They went skiing with FOxy's friends A, and M, and G, and D. They went camping, and to concerts, and a long train ride. They had so much fun together.

On another very special day, ML and Foxy invited all of their family and friends to join them as they publicly announced their love and commitment to each other at their wedding. It was one of the happiest days of their lives.

After they were married ML and FOxy continued to go on many fun adventures - skiing in the mountains, backpacking, camping on the beach with their puppy Callisto, traveling to Maui, and so much more. They had lots of parties at their house and spent lots of time with their friends and family.

ML and FOxy's life was so full of love and they wanted to share their love with a baby.

But after a long time they still did not make a baby so they decided to ask a doctor for help. There were many different doctors who helped them, and they took lots of tests and medicine. The doctors told ML and Foxy that they would need to use a special procedure called IVF and some special donor cells to help them get pregnant and have a baby. ML and Foxy were sad that they needed help, but happy that the doctors could help them.

ML and Foxy hugged and kissed each other and were so happy when they found out that FOxy was finally pregnant. Everyone watched FOxy stomach grow bigger and bigger as the baby grew inside.

Baby Cakes was born on December 27, 2011 in xxx. He was immediately welcomed into the arms of his mommy (Foxy) and daddy (ML) who loved him so very very much. They were so excited.

So many people had been waiting for Baby cakes's grand arrival and there was an explosion of love for this very special little boy. Soon after his birth he was visited by so many friends and family. They showered him with love and kisses and wishes for a life full of joy and laughter and adventure.

Once upon a time there was a little boy.
He was named Baby Cakes.
He had a mommy and daddy who loved him so very very much

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.

Love is all you need.


This Foxy Mama

I've been thinking a lot about this blog, this space, and wondering if i might need to revamp it. I miss writing so much, and I miss the community that I found here. However things are so different now than when I started writing. It occurred to me last night that it might be time for a new name and a new design. What started out as "Someday" became "My Foxy Family". But the truth is that I feel like its not really my place to write about my family, what I find myself wanting, and needing to write about is myself, and my (not so graceful) transition into this new role as "this foxy mama". So with that I'll be calling my girl Alison and asking if she can find some time to mix things up for me, possibly in the form of a new space altogether.

Now the writers block sets in....

I've been having a rough time the past few months. Well maybe its more that things started to come to a head, i was just hitting a wall. That scary place where you are so close to falling right off the cliff and losing your mind was edging closer and closer. I felt like I was going to implode and was barely hanging on to normal functioning ny my fingernails. I told ML that I was feeling out of sorts, I told him over and over each day that I just wasn't feeling right. I drove past the hospital on the way home from work and thought that maybe I should just stop and check myself in. I just needed a time out - a break from the responsibilities of everything, a safe place where I would be taken care of so that I have a chance to regroup and get my head straight.

Its not like I have any more responsibility than anyone else, In fact I am like a poster child of a supported mom. But it just wasn't working. I was so tired, cumulatively tired, exhausted, that I ceased to be able to think straight. My memory was a disaster, and my reactions to normal daily blunders were exaggerated and out of proportion. But apparently to everyone else it appeared that I was doing alight, dealing with the normal challenges of parenthood. 

As a side note, I have to say that I HATE the way that parenting challenges are 'normalized' by all the experts. It may be 'normal' to be tired, 'normal' to feel overwhelmed, 'normal' for a baby to wake up during the night, etc, but telling me its normal really doesn't help when I am so desperately asking for help. I understand that they want us all to feel like we are not alone, but seriously. It doesn't mean anything if everyone is in the same boat as me if I am the only one who is on the verge of falling overboard and drowning.

I was scared because I really thought I was losing my mind, I really thought that I was going to have to deal with this on my own. I'd been screaming (not really screaming) for help from my husbad, but not being heard.

I could explain the details of what all happened, but the bottom line is that I found a lady who finally listened. She listened and mapped out a plan. She gave me two simple choices and reassured me that things would get better. My anxiety was out of control and she had a solution to help me regain control - and get me the break i so desperately needed.

Thank god for good drugs. The short term plan is working out wonderfully. I feel so much better. I am sleeping so much better. I am working so much better. I am momming and wifeing so much better. And most importantly I can see clearly all of the moments that had been spiraling out of control and stop them in their tracks.

This Foxy Mama has not had a graceful transition into her now role. But then again there are very few transitions that I have been graceful about making. :) And in retrospect I've always been a fairly anxious little being. It makes sense that this wouldn't be much different.

Moving right along to the list of things that I'd love to write more about:

I was quoted in paper twice this week :) I am getting so tired of fighting to save a program in one community when there are so many other communities who are fighting to bring this same kind of service into their neighborhoods. But we seem to have growing support from the larger power structure, so the fight continues. And I pass the torch as Board President at our meeting next week.

I love my boss, seriously love my boss. She has taken on ACOG in the fight to keep midwifery legal in our state - and fix the legislative loophole that prevents medi-cal from offering homebirths midwives as a covered benefit. It is a rather fascinating study on the power of trade lobby groups controlling the legislative process, but she has empowered me to take it on and work every angle that we can to broaden the discussion to include those who are affected by these laws. You can learn more about the fight at www.cafamiliesformidwives.org.

On Thursday last week i ran away. Everyone thought that I was work. Work was told I was home sick, and I ran away to the spa. I slipped into the soft plush robe, sat in the soft recliner, felt the heat of the fire on my toes, and closed my eyes. It was glorious. It was so peaceful. I felt safe and relaxed for the first time in who knows how long. No one was going to bother me, interrupt me, expect anything from me. I got my nails painted. I took a long shower. I read a trash magazine. On the way home I worried for a moment that ML might be angry that I played hookie without letting him know, but then rationalized that it cost a third of what a therapy appt would have :) and I felt so refreshed.

Next up is a plan to escape to a retreat down the coast for a night. They normally are booked for workshops, but if you call in the morning, they sometimes have an extra room available. I've mapped out the days that I could make it work and set a reminder to call those mornings. It wil be my first night away from my baby, but I need it. and I know that he and daddy will deal just fine. :)

My time is up... may this foxy mama rise to the challenges that await!


Three years later

Mothers Day 2010 was my first post on this blog. It was a dark time of general despair about our future. Wow do things change. I will be celebrating my second mothers day on Sunday... There must be more to say abut this, but I'm not sure what, exactly. Life is so full these days, and I am often too tired to think beyond the next hour, much less into the future.

Reviewing my calendar this week, I had 'lunch with kim' scheduled for Friday. Disturbingly I had no memory of making plans and hadn't left myself any clues in the appointment. I texted two friends named Kim - who are both out of town this week - and the lunch was with neither of them. This is just one example of the memory loss that comes with sleep deprivation.

Among the things that I really do want to write about are:

The embryos - we paid for storage for another year. and ML keep saying, with great intent and very genuinely, that he does not want BC to grow up an only child. He is serious about trying again. and the thought still terrifies me.

Nursing - It is becoming an increasingly frustrating situation. It is like BC is obsessed with my breasts, and if I am around all he can think about is getting at them. I see other moms talk about the 'drive-by' nursing, but my child seriously wants me bare-chested with constant access. He pulls on my shirt which makes me .insane. I.hate.it. and find myself yelling at him when he pulls on my neckline. I'd intended to nurse as long as he wanted to, but am seriously considering if it is time to start limiting access.

Politics - I work in politics. Local politics mostly, and there are some intense local issues at play. More and more often I feel like I must be missing some critical piece of the picture, because the actions of people just don't add up. For a long time I was able to keep the emotions of my work very separate, but i find myself getting caught up in the drama more and more. I blame the lack of boundaries on being too tired to maintain clear separation, but it also probably has a lot to do with knowing that the issues facing our community now will significantly impact BC's future here.

Milestones - My baby is on the verge of talking. He started saying 'mama', 'ta-ta', and 'NO' this week. He'd been saying 'ice', 'booo' (for book), 'baaloo' (for balloon), and whoo-whoo-whoo (for dog - whoof whoof whoof) for a few weeks now. All of a sudden he is trying harder to repeat words that we say and paying close attention to language. It is pretty incredible to watch growth that feels like it is happening SO fast!

God Parents - yes, we are thinking about how this might work. and what to call it, since we are not religious. I'd love your thoughts, and suggestions.

New Furniture - We have been looking at new furniture and decided to take the plunge and order anew living room set. We've had our current couch for over ten years, and received it as a hand-me-down when it was retired from ML's dad's home. It is long overdue for replacement, and in such bad shape I don't think we could even give it away. The thought of a real living room set makes me feel like a real grown up! I am so excited.

Midwifery - I've found myself coordinating local advocacy for midwifery issues. The authorizing language for licensed midwifes is sun-setting as part of the Medical Board of California Sunset Review 2012. The California Association of Midwifes is working to ensure that their ability to practice in the state is not impacted negatively by the reauthorization legislation. Rather than actually pushing aggressively to correct some ridiculous limitations that are in the current legislation it seems as though they have chosen to take the path of least resistance and deal with the real issues later. Fundamental to the practice of midwifery in California is that current legislation requires that Licensed Midwives operate under the supervision of a physician and surgeon, however malpractice insurance will not cover any physician who supervises a midwife, and thus there are essentially no formal supervision arrangements in place. The Medical Board continues to issue new licenses to midwifes and has not enforced this provision, however medicaid refuses to pay for midwifery care that does not include a supervising physician. 

Facebook - I have SO loved staying in touch with some of my blog friends via facebook. It is so much easier to type a short update - or post a quick picture - than to get online and comment on blogs. My profile is hidden, and none of my facebook friends know about this blog, so I'm hesitant to post it here, but feel free to let me know if you want to connect there and I'll send you my profile link. (email me at foxypopcorn@gmail.com)

I do want to find more time to write. about some of these things that keep me up at night these days. actually, i fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow most nights, so maybe I should say -the things I think about while awake at night nursing BC. In any case, i miss writing.

Love to you all, and a big thanks to all who advocated at Advocacy Day and during NIAW!


I felt it!

I felt it! 
That most wonderful feeling. 
I felt it.
and it nearly broke my heart.

At a meeting, last week. My mom was with me to watch BC. It was one of her 'Thursdays with BC". Her car was in the shop so we all drove to my meeting together. Someone called it 'edge care' when a childcare provider looks after children on a work site allowing the children to have access to their parent while allowing the parent to participate in their work. 

We started the meeting together, while my boss held BC in her lap and I introduced him. Soon thereafter he reached for me and I nursed him. He quickly bored of the powerpoint and my mom followed him to the door as he began his exploration of the building. They disappeared for a while and I continued with my work, a meeting about the concept of caring economies described in the book 'The Real Wealth of Nations'. 

As the discussion about policies necessary support an equitable, sustainable, and successful economic system – a system that acknowledges that the work of caring for people and the planet is the essential foundation of economic success continued my mind wandered. I thought about my mom and my baby. I wondered what they were doing, what they were looking at, what they were exploring. I pictured them wandering into the main conference room where a group of senior citizens were hosting a sock hop. I imagined BC watching the ladies dance with their poodle skirts. I pictured him toddling up to the front of the room where a live band was playing. 

He loves music. Our guitar is most definitely his favorite toy. He love watching daddy play it, and insits on playing it himself. Sometimes he will drag the thing into his bedroom - quite the feat! A real live band would be the coolest thing he could imagine!

My eye caught a glimpse of my mom thru the little window in the door and my mind snapped back to the meeting. As the door opened I jumped out of my seat, hopped to the front of the room and held my arms open as my sweet little man let out a small shriek and ran to me. The meeting continued and I sat on the floor nursing him while holding him tight in my arms. My mom stood by the door smiling, and the powerpoint shared slides about the economic benefits experienced by companies who offer paid maternity leave, flexible schedules, and on site childcare. 

And then it happened. 

the feeling that i have read so many of you describe. the feeling that I'd heard every mother ever talk about when they went back to work. the feeling that I thought I'd feel as soon as I held my sweet babe. 

He was done nursing. and totally unimpressed with the policy discussion that was unfolding. He saw my mom standing by the door and took off in her direction. He was ready to continue his explorations of the great big world. He looked back at me, to see if I was coming along, but decided that the open door was more enticing. He and my mom disappeared from sight. 

My heart exploded with a desire to follow him. 
and kiss him, and scoop him up.
To not let him out of my sight. 
To abandon my work and run to my son. 

Instead i stood up and found my seat. 

I watched though the window as my mom follow behind as my boy led her out the man entrance to the sidewalk and to the corner where they sat for a moment at the bus stop and then continued out of sight. 

Shortly thereafter she texted that they'd taken the car to head home. 

It was a fascinating discussion about Caring Economics. I participated, but my mind was elsewhere. As soon as the meeting was over I caught a ride to my mom house, instead of back to my office. I'd planned to work another 2 hours that day, but needed to be with my baby. 

I know that i am so lucky to have a job that I love and quality caregivers who adore my baby. I am lucky that I've been able to leave him without any drama - on his part or mine. 

But knowing that we are connected in such a way that my need to be with him, my need to prioritize him above all else is a feeling that lives in my heart and soul is real, is a feeling that I simply cannot describe. 

It is the feeling that i've been waiting for. 


These are the days

These are the days.
The days of chaos and busy.
Life is so full, and busy, and wonderful.
Everything that I wanted it to be.

Tomorrow marks none years of marriage to a man I love more than I ever imagined possible. I tell him that never in my wildest dreams could I have pictured a life as wonderful as the one that I have with him. I kiss him everyday and feel like the luckiest girl to share my world with him.

It also marks 2 years since our family became complete when a perfect little embryo was transfered into my womb. Two years ago on our anniversary we welcomed the cells that would grow into the sweet little boy that is BC. It all felt so tenuous then, but today there is no doubt that BC was always meant to be here with us.

Just after BC was born work picked up for ML after two years of nothing. The years of nothing have made us so grateful for the work, even when it means that looming deadlines limit our weekend and evening plans. We are grateful for the flexibility he has working from home, and for himself.

Thankful for my amazing supportive boss who agreed to my proposal to reduce my hours and hire someone to share my responsibilities.  The flexibility has been essential, as has the blessing of an excuse to leave the house everyday and do work that I love. I always thought that moms only worked because they had to, because it wasn't a choice. But here I am, choosing to work, grateful that I have a job that fulfills me, and gives me a break from the sometimes overwhelming pressure of being a 'mom'.

BC continues to grow into an adorable sweet little boy whom I love. Watching his personality emerge has been so much fun. He is funny, and flirty, and oh so independent. Opinionated and stubborn, just like his mom. Observant and cool, and really smart, just like his dad. I love watching him explore his world and sometimes it feels like we are actually watching new connections being made.

We have a rich community of friends and family who make us our village. Watching Bestie's kids playing with BC gives me chills on a regular basis - I will never take that for granted. BC adores her 3 yr old daughter and holds his own with her son who is 5 months older.

The past week has been full of chaos - and as much as the chaos is crazy - I am grateful for it as well. Besties kids came down with the chicken pox exposing BC to the illness. It wouldn't be such a big deal if the nanny we share wasn't pregnant, meaning we had to send her home, possibly for 21 days until the incubation period expires. In the meantime we are in quarantine from all of our friends who are pregnant or have little ones who have yet to be immunized, leaving us without any of our backup childcare options. Yikes. We had to cancel a trip to visit my grandma and it looks like will need to cancel a trip to visit a girlfriend who just found out she is pregnant. All I can do is laugh, and kiss my sweet boy, and thank my boss for understanding the realities of being a working parent.

I still love reading the blogs, but rarely have any time to comment. Like I said, life is crazy busy these days. These days, these days I longed for, These ARE the days!

Love to you all - and a BIG HUGE GIGANTIC congratulations to the beautiful Augusta as she and Mr A welcome their baby girl.


My Birth Story - a year later

This past year, especially this past month have been full of "last year at this time" memories. The most significant being in March, on our anniversary, when our ivf transfer occurred. Then on April Fools Day when ML got the call that our beta was positive and had doubled - he texted me a smiley face that I'll never forget. My baby shower in October that was so overwhelming at the time, but such an amazing day, a dream come true so full of love and friendship. Our office christmas party, that I missed last year as it fell just after my due date after I'd mentally checked out. I worked until 39 weeks at which point I was so tired and uncomfortable, and mentally checking out.

My due date - that passed without any fanfare. and then the waiting, and waiting, and waiting. 40 weeks, 41 weeks, 42 weeks, with not any hint of any sign of labor on its way. I'd spent a good portion of my pregnancy willing this baby to stick with me til the end, begging it to stay put and grow big and strong, not fully believing that we would actually have a baby at the end. I remember our midwives telling me that it was okay to let go, to let the baby know it was time to join us, and realizing just how much mental energy I'd been devoting to keeping that baby growing inside.

Somewhere around 41 weeks we started talking about scheduling a biophysical profile to check on the baby. Since we'd planned a homebirth, it was a bit of a to-do to get an appointment with an OB. Luckily I had some connections and was able to get in fairly easily. It was stressful to go to the hospital, but everything looked great and the OB even asked us about our dates, convinced from the BPP that we must have miscalculated conception based on the results. As if! HA

We went back a few days later to test again, with things still looking good, but the 42 week mark making the OB uncomfortable sending us home. They pushed induction, but we decided to wait. Christmas was quickly approaching, we were hosting, and we had to make the call to cancel. We were trying everything in the book to induce labor at home. I asked my midwives to do a stretch an sweep, at which point we discovered that my cervix was shut tightly closed, still tilted far back, and that the baby hadn't dropped yet. My Bishop score was not favorable for induction, which was stressful.

We inquired about the OB schedule for our preferred docs and made an appt to induce on Christmas evening at 42 1/2 weeks. ML and I spent Christmas driving down the coast, just the two of us, looking out at the ocean, stopping for hot cocoa and asking a stranger to take our photo - our last as a couple. I panicked at the thought of a hospital induction and we canceled the induction. Instead we went in for another BPP the day after Christmas and while things still looked good, we were approaching 43 weeks. As much as I wanted a natural birth in my own home, I wasn't about to do anything to put my baby in danger. I'd done massive amounts of research about the risks we were balancing. It was not an easy choice, but amid many tears, we decided to pack out bags and again schedule an induction for that evening. I cried on the drive to the hospital.

We arrived, birth plan in hand, and got settled into a room. From the get go, I retained as much control as one can when you are checking yourself into a hospital. Knowing that they couldn't turn me away I felt empowered to assert my right to respectfully refuse anything that I wasn't comfortable with, starting with the hospital bracelet they wanted me to wear but that I promptly took off. I'd read a ton of birth stories, including many of minimally invasive induced births. I was committed to birthing my baby.

ML set up our room, with a sarong over the bright light, my blanket on the bed, our music on the iod, snacks for the nurses laid out by the sink, copies of our birth plan distributed widely... We claimed the space as our own. I dressed in the special nightgown that Bestie had given me. I texted my mom and the midwives to come join us.

Sometime around 8pm the OB, one we trusted to support our desire for as natural a birth as possible, inserted a cytotec pill near my cervix. Shortly thereafter he attempted to place a foley bulb in my cervix, but because it was still closed up tight was only ably to fill 5cc (vs the usual 50cc) in the bulb. I rested with monitoring for a bit, then got up to walk around. I started having regular contractions, strong enough that I had to stop and breathe thru them, strong enough that I wanted to be back in the comfort of our room. By midnight I was on all fours on the floor, leaning on the birth ball, working hard to get through each really intense painful contraction. I felt a pop, on the inside, and everything intensified. We didn't realize that my water had broken until I got up and my waters leaked.

The nurse had wanted me on continuous monitoring, but I wasn't willing to get in bed, so she had to work hard to manually monitor me a few minutes a few times every hour. She also was under orders to get an iv placed, but I didn't want one and kept asking to put it off for a while longer. She was doing her job, and I was doing mine - with both of us remaining respectful of the other. I had a lot of support, with ML and my mom, and the midwives too, which I can only imagine made her job easier, but she did have to document every time I refused her requests.

The waters showed signs of meconium, which was to be expected considering we were nearly 3 weeks past due. I knew that there were risks with meconium, but also knew better than to worry about those risks at that point. I do recall that the nurse mentioned putting the NICU on call for delivery due to the meconium, but was so consumed with the labor at that point it was all I could really pay attention to. Since the pop everything was so much more intense, during the contractions, and in between the contractions. The nurse took the foly bulb out and noted that I had dilated a little to about 1 cm.  I was struggling thru each contraction and needed to get into the shower. I remember feeling really happy that labor had started and proud of my body for working to deliver my baby.

I spent the next 8 hours laboring in and out of the shower, mostly staying the the bathroom where there were safety bars I could hang onto. I really don't have words to describe how intense that experience was. I was screaming through each contraction and had very little relief in between. It was so way beyond harder than anything I had prepared for - so much more intense that any labor I had read about, or birth video I had watched.

I was giving absolutely everything I had to birth this baby.

At some point I started feeling nauseous and began vomiting in between contractions. I told myself over and over that each contraction was bringing me closer to meeting my baby, the baby I'd waited so long for, the baby that I'd fought so hard for. I believed in my body, I knew that I could do it. And at the same time I was astounded by the intensity of the experience.

The passage of time is fuzzy in my memory, but I do have clear memories of ML and my mom at my side the entire time, the shift change of nurses although I was so immersed in myself that I was unable to acknowledge it, the text affirmations that Bestie was sending to my mom and my mom was reading to me, closing the door to the bathroom so that I could labor with ML without any distractions. More than anything though, the intensity of each contraction taking over my entire body and the lack of what I'd thought would be a break in between each contraction are what stand out in my mind.

Sometime in the morning I emerged from the bathroom and perched myself on the birth ball. I was exhausted and desperate for a break. As if my body knew, the contractions started to space out a bit and I give me some time to regroup. There was talk among the midwives and nurse about possibly being complete and this being a break before the need to push. I was afraid to move fearing that the contractions would pick up again, but agreed to climb onto the bed so the nurse could check my cervix. It was the first check that I'd had since the foly bulb was removed the night before.

I was spent, exhausted, feeling like I had given everything I had in me, wondering how in the world I could possibly have anything left to push the baby out. Contractions that radiated down each leg consuming my entire torso came back with a vengeance when I climbed onto the bed. I was crying, vomiting, and no longer able to hold my bladder. Intense is the only word I have, but doesn't come close to describing the experience.

Expecting to find that I was fully dilated, the nurse turned with shock to look at my mom and announced that I was barely 2 cm dilated. No one could believe it.

At this point I was on the bed, gripping the bed rails, and looked at ML and begged "Please help me".  I was ready for some pain relief - I was desperate for some relief - I wasn't sure I could manage another contraction.

I don't remember details, but I was so grateful that no one questioned my request for drugs. We had a birth plan that specified as natural a birth as possible and had talked a lot about the possibility of holding me off for a bit if I asked for medication. Looking into ML's eyes I could see that he was going to do anything in his power to get me some pain relief as fast as humanly possible. Things happened quickly. The IV that I'd refused earlier was quickly placed and the anesthesiologist was called for an epidural.

While I received IV fluids to prepare me for the epidural, they gave me a dose of some medication telling me that it would act quickly and 'take the edge off'. My desperation and sobs intensified when it did no such thing.  How the hell could I have been so unprepared for this labor?

An epidural was soon placed, which I really don't remember much of, and although I could still feel the contractions they were so mild and manageable. ML climbed into bed with me and we must have slept for a while. The epidural was AMAZING.

Not sure when exactly but I started itching all over, a side effect of the epidural. It was so strange to not have sensation on your skin, but to feel it itching. The nurse gave me a medication to calm the itching and it basically made me loopy and sleepy.

I was having to roll from side to side every 20 minutes to keep the epidural working correctly and we joked about the 'epidural rotisserie'.

Six hours into the epidural and pitocin I was still only barely 2cm dilated. Talk about 'failure to progress' and the possibility of a c-section began. I was really out of it, and honestly felt like I'd given it my all and wouldn't have any regrets about how our baby finally came into this world. The doctor came into the room and there was a team meeting. It had been over 20 hours of really hard labor and 18 hours since my water had broken. I was exhausted and still barely dilated. But the baby was holding up well enough.

They asked me what I wanted to do. If I wanted to proceed with a section. The anesthesiologist had reviewed our birth plan and was willing to accomodate all of my requests.

I honestly didn't care what happened next. But I knew that I wasn't in any shape to make such a big decision so I deferred to ML. I can remember everyone weighing in on the decision before us, and ultimately taking a vote. My mom, a homebirth mom herself, Bradley natural childbirth teacher, super advocate for natural birth, had never seen such a hard labor and was ready to send me in to surgery - but she abstained from the vote.

My amazing support team believed in birth. Believed in me. ML listened to them and it was decided to wait another hour before making any decisions. As long as the baby was tolerating the labor we would wait another hour and hope that I made some progress.

The contractions were gaining strength, and getting stronger than the epidural. I was once again moaning through them, asking the nurse to turn up the epidural. Once she had exhausted the amount of increase that was up to her she was going to call the anesthesiologist back to increase the dosage  but decided to check me one more time. It had been almost an hour since 'the meeting'.

Again the nurse recoiled in shock when she reported that I was fully dilated with a baby descending down the birth canal. No one could believe that I'd gone from 2 to 10 in less than an hour, with a baby ready to deliver.

The room was suddenly full of activity.
The epidural was turned off.
A pushing bar was set up on the bed.
A mirror was pulled into the room.

I could reach down and feel the head of the baby I was about to deliver.
Against all odds I was about to become a mother.

I remember pushing, but feeling like I wasn't doing it right. I kept wanting to change positions because it was so uncomfortable, because I felt like it should feel more natural. Everyone talks about an 'urge' to push, but I don't remember feeling anything like that. And everyone also talks about how delivery is nothing like the movie scenes, but all I could do was scream and push. I can only imagine that I looked just like a crazy movies scene - a naked women screaming through every contraction, pushing with everything I had left in me, clutching the sides of my hospital bed.

Before I knew what had happened, there was a baby laying on my chest.

It was shocking. What was this and where had it come from? It was lying on my chest, all wet and warm. I was so relieved to be done with the labor, but completely shocked at the outcome.

What was this things and where had it come from? All I could do in those moments were to focus on ML. The intensity of love I felt for him in those moments was overwhelming. And yet there was a wet warm baby laying on my chest.

Oh my god, a baby, our baby.

While I was trying to get my head around the fact that there was a baby lying on my chest, someone asked 'what is it?' and ML lifted our child to announce

'A boy'.

There was still a lot of activity in the room. The OB was calmly yet firmly shouting orders at people, and I could remember my midwives telling me that delivering the placenta was an important next step that would require my attention. Apparently I was hemorrhaging, losing more blood than anyone was comfortable with and the OB was methodically doing everything he needed to do to get the bleeding under control. I don't recall exactly what all was done to address the situation, but it was finally deemed okay. Significant tearing took the OB the next hour to sew up. Many multiple second degree tears was what he called it later - on the internal vaginal walls, labia, everywhere. He didn't even bother to count stitches.  

All this while, there was a baby lying on my chest. Our son.
He looked up at me and ML with clear bright calm eyes.
My Someday was upon us.


Whose blog is this anyway?

I've been thinking, Whose blog is this anyway?

It was mine. but then he came.
It is my story, but it feels so much like his story.
They are so much the same, but oh so different.

and I realize that I hesitate to tell his story, because it is his, but that means that I don't get to tell mine anymore.

Not that I have ANY free time to write - or to think enough to have anything to write about.
But I want to keep writing. I want to keep writing my story. MY story as his mama.

The other day my boss was telling me about a women's group that she joined that meets via phone once a week. She is a very public local figure and most people that befriend her are looking to get something out of the relationship. The phone group allows her to connect with likeminded women while maintaining her anonymity. I totally get it. and I totally MISS it. I used to have that here. and I want it back.


My baby grew up!

My baby grew up- I think it happened overnight.

I think it happened last week. He is walking. And changing almost before my eyes.

I have a long long post in the works, looking back at his birth last year.

Until then...

I love him. Really. I really love him.


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