Thursday, February 8, 2007

More background and the birth story, finally!!!

Well it’s still cold outside! There are still sheets of ice. I’m still in a bad mood LOL……I really think that at least part of the reason, if not all, that I’ve been feeling so cruddy lately is this weather. I’m not “down” but I’m not in the best of moods either. I get irritated with people easily—not my daughter, I am just more and more obsessed with her every day…but more on that later—and I’m really tired even though I’m getting about 6 hrs of sleep a night which used to be enough…and I’m just in a generally pissed off mood. I don’t want to come to work, I sit here all day not wanting to be here…I don’t even want to go home, because it’s cold there too. I walk outside at lunch and all I can think is “DAMNIT it’s STILL freaking COLD!” I remember what it feels like every spring…when the weather starts getting warmer to where I can roll the windows down in the car on the drive home. I open up the windows in the house and air out all that stale winter air. I love that fresh spring air smell…which this year since we moved will also consist of the smells of Burger King, KFC, the HuHot….but still it’s so nice! All this energy comes out of nowhere in the spring, my mood lifts, my perspective on life brightens…I really really need winter to be over!

Ok on to Miss H and my ever-growing love for her…when Miss H was born, I didn’t have the reaction a lot of new mom’s have. I never did feel a connection to her when I was pregnant. I felt like an alien. I felt I looked like an alien. I enjoyed feeling her move, until she pushed out on my stomach so hard and far I felt like she was bursting though…but even then I thought it was amazing. And I prepared for her birth. I got all the supplies, tried to get everything arranged and organized. And I’m not a stupid person. I knew I was having a baby. But I still didn’t feel that emotional attachment to her yet and even though I “knew” I was having a baby, I still didn’t quite understand. I know that probably sounds very juvenile. The news of my pregnancy came as a huge surprise. We’d just moved in together that month before, after dating for 5 years…we were still young, 22 and 23 at the time(we were both 23 when she was born). We were planning on buying a waverunner because we LOVE going to the Lake and were wrapped up in the plans for that. I had been off the pill for a few months, but we were still using protection. The longest my cycle had been so far was something like 31 days(that was so long ago, I don’t remember exactly all the little details) and I woke up one day to go to work and instantly it popped into my head…hm, I still haven’t started and it’s day 32. I had an extra test around from a 2 pack I bought in a state of paranoia a couple months before. I sat there on the toilet still half asleep, opened the package, peed on the stick, went to set it down on the edge of the tub so I could finish peeing and before I could even set the stick down there were 2 BRIGHT pink lines. I almost passed out and threw up at the same time. I sat it down, and picked it up and looked again, and sat it down…over and over. Hubby(at that time he was my boyfriend) was still in bed. I knew I had to tell him right away. I knew he didn’t want kids for quite a few years, so I was scared to tell him. I remember I went and sat on the floor next to the bed because I couldn’t stand up, and as I hung onto the mattress I said “D, you need to wake up, there’s something I have to tell you.” And he said “You’re pregnant aren’t you?” I said “yea” and he said “alright well I’m going back to sleep.” ?!?!??!!! Back to sleep? Was he kidding??? I told him he couldn’t go back to sleep, how could he go back to sleep at a time like that with what I just found out? And I started freaking out a tad bit, and I think I cried “But what about the waverunner??”……LOL…..ok one of these days Miss H will laugh about that—hopefully anyway. I didn’t really mean that, I was just very confused, very shocked, and not at all prepared for a positive pregnancy test, let alone a baby. The only reason I was taking it was to put my mind at ease that I wasn’t so I didn’t obsess all day at work about it. I had done that countless months, even when I was on the pill. I pulled it together, he told me it would be fine, and that he was really tired and wanted to go back to sleep. So I put on my clothes, went to work, and thought about it all day…I was pregnant, and nobody knew…I had this little secret. And I was scared to death. I went out to my car sometime during the morning and called my OBGYN to make an appointment. I was shocked when they told me they’d schedule it for 8 wks. Are they crazy? I just found out I am PREGNANT, and they want me to wait another month before I can have an appointment to make sure everything’s ok?? Don’t they know this has never happened to me before and I’m freaking out?? They see dozens of pregnant women every day, it’s old hat to them….I finally realized this quite a ways into my pregnancy. So my pregnancy was rough…not physically, I had the normal aches and pains but really it was textbook perfect with no problems whatsoever….but it was rough emotionally. I was embarrassed. Here we had just moved in together and we get knocked up. My mom wanted to know when we were getting married. I wouldn’t even go with D to tell his parents…their response to my brother in law and sister in law when they told them they were expecting(and they were married, unlike us) was “well it’s ok, you’re married!”…….so yea needless to say I was NOT going to tell them. After the ultrasound at almost 8 wks I was relieved. Everything with the baby was perfect. Hubby had known that all along he said…and by the way that very first day I found out I was pregnant, he came home from work that evening with a list of baby names he’d picked out. I thought he didn’t want kids for a few more years? Ok so back to the ultrasound. It made it even more real for D. He was so proud. He took the pictures to his parents’ house while I stayed home and cried because I knew what they were going to say to him. He was so excited, so proud of his baby, and they were going to be so mean. He held up the u/s photos. His parents just burst into tears. And NOT happy grandparent tears. Very upset, disappointed tears. “How could this happen? How are you going to pay for this? Are you quitting school? Well I guess we’re not buying you that laptop we promised you since we’re going to have to be forking over so much money for this baby now.” His mom insisted on coming home with him to talk to me. I was crying when she got there. She thought I was crying because I was upset that I was pregnant. How stupid can a person be. I was crying because my husband was upset, crying because even though I didn’t feel actual “love” for my baby, I was very very protective of it and how DARE they wish it wasn’t here! And I was crying because I was still so sick to my stomach I couldn’t even keep a baked potato down. So fast forward a bit. I was excited about shopping for maternity clothes, but sad at growing out of my old clothes at the same time. I had a few breakdowns over not having anything to wear. I read my pregnancy books every week to see what new developments were happening that week. I was so excited to be able to feel the baby move. But then it was still hard for me to get excited about being pregnant. I got dirty looks everywhere I went. I go shopping with my mom a LOT, she’s my best friend…I think everybody thought I was a pregnant teen, since I look pretty young for my age and didn’t have a ring. My mom was embarrassed by the whole thing. About me being unwed(we got engaged on my birthday by the way, when I was about 5 months along—and his parents were not happy about us getting engaged), about her being a grandma too soon, about issues such as breast pumps (she would giggle and say they looked like milking stations…uh, yea, they pretty much are????) I did have a lot of people supporting us, but it still was not the way I pictured it. We had planned on D getting out of school, us getting married, buying a house, then starting to try for a baby. Then we’d tell everyone we were pregnant and they’d be so happy. And I wouldn’t be able to wait for the baby to get here, and I’d love it so much. Everything was the exact opposite of how I’d planned. His family caused a LOT of turmoil during the pregnancy and after the birth…in the hospital even, but that’s a whole other story. I was so ready to give birth. I did wonder what she looked like, but I didn’t have the feelings that I have read a lot of women describing about loving the baby so much already. I wanted her out of me to see if she had hair, and I wanted her out of me because I was miserable.

Picture of my belly with about a month still left to go...

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She was way down in my pelvis and way up in my ribs at the same time. That last week or so I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was very swollen. My XL preggo shirts were too small. I wanted her out. And then I went into labor. I spent one night in the hospital with contractions that didn’t hurt, but I was vomiting etc. really bad so they kept me overnight w/ an IV(OMG I was SO dehydrated at that point) and then I went home the next morning at 8:00. I called into work and told them I wouldn’t be coming back, and explained what happened the night before. D and I laid down and slept til 10. We woke up and he made pancakes. I was having contractions again. This time they hurt. And they were every 5 to 7 minutes. I begged D not to go to golf practice. He said he had to. He didn’t believe I was in labor after what happened the night before. He left for the course which is about 45 minutes away from our house. I was in labor all day. I talked to my stepmom on the phone for a while, and my best friend…they both helped me time contractions. I couldn’t talk through them. I was feeling a lot of pressure with each one. A couple days before at my weekly appointment I was 1 cm dilated. So I labored all day, alone, just me and the cat. I lost part of my plug. My mom came over after she got off work and brought stuff to make a turkey sandwich…I ate half, and that’s all I could stomach. I finally called hubby about 5:30 or 6 and told him he needed to come home. 45 minutes later he called me and wanted me to put a pizza in the oven for him. I hung up on him. He got home an hour and a half or so after I called him. It wasn’t until weeks after our daughter was born that I found out he’d played a couple more holes before he left because he didn’t believe I was really in labor. I told him when he got home that I lost part of my plug. He told me it was just leftover bleeding from when the dr. checked me earlier that day in the hospital. He ate his pizza and watched tv. My mom called the hospital and they told us to come back in, it was about 9:00 pm. The contractions had been every 3 to 5 minutes for hours and hours. They hurt really bad. The big yoga ball did NOTHING to help. I started to pack my stuff which took forever because I was in so much pain. D sat in the bathroom while I took a shower. Before I got in I went pee again, and this time when I lost the rest of my plug I shoved it in his face and said “see, I told you”……and he freaked and said “honey you’re bleeding you need to go to the hospital!” DUH…men… So I finished my shower and he helped me get dressed. By the time we got to the hospital it was about 11:30 pm. They put me in the observation area and I was a good 4 almost 5 cm. They moved me to a room and D wanted to go to sleep…he wasn’t helping me focus through the contractions like we had planned and practiced, he felt silly he said, and he was so tired. I gave in and got the epidural. I bawled while they were putting it in. And it didn’t help. I could still feel everything, only now I couldn’t move to relieve the pain. I had to lay flat on my back, which killed my already really sensitive tailbone. My water broke just a few minutes after I had laid down and I was about 7 cm dilated. They told us to sleep and turned off the lights. D slept. I lay there in pain in the dark, alone, unable to move. My dad or stepmom would come in to check on me every now and then for a split second and then leave. My mom had it in her head I didn’t want her in there, which was so far from the truth, but I was so out of it with only one goal in mind I didn’t even think to ask for her. I have no idea the timeline that anything happened in the hospital. Before I knew it they were waking D up telling him I was about to push. He almost passed out. I only pushed a few times and she was born at 6:21 am. They had to use the vacuum for my last push because her cord was wrapped around her neck once so she kept moving back up a bit(she was perfectly fine and healthy at birth though thank God). They plopped her on my belly, D cried, I was relieved she was out finally and I just said “it’s a baby”…….I instantly became protective over her, I worried about her. But I didn’t love her. I have to admit it. I’d be lying if I said I did. There is NOTHING wrong with me. I took care of her very well. She latched on right away, she was a very good eater. My milk came in the morning we left the hospital…we stayed 48 hrs. I was exhausted and still in a lot of pain when we got home. I only had one very small tear, which is amazing because I am a pretty small person and she was 7 lbs 1 oz and almost 21 inches long. But I hurt very badly down there. I couldn’t sit(I didn’t feel normal again down there until she was about 6 months old!). D was only home a week before he had to go back to school. Actually when she was only a couple of weeks old he went to a mandatory golf tournament for a whole week, in Florida. I was having a very rough time. She ate constantly. I started resenting her. She would wake up hungry after I’d just fed her 30 minutes before and I would be so mad that I had to feed her again. She didn’t want to do anything all day either, and by the way she was WIDE AWAKE all day…she was NOT your typical newborn. She held her head up from day 1. She slept very little. And she wanted to be entertained and held constantly. If I put her down she would scream and cry. She hated her swing. She hated her play gyms. She wanted me to talk to her all day. And I was exhausted, and had no idea what I was doing, and I had not wanted a baby right now and wasn’t feeling love towards her. It was so hard. At 4 weeks I quit breastfeeding. His family and my mom both had never been around it and I wasn’t feeling the bond you’re supposed to feel while doing it, I couldn’t feel my letdown, and she spit my milk up really bad. We tried formula, and she took to it wonderfully. She quit spitting up, she went longer between feedings(because I was getting so frustrated with how long she took to eat and because she always fell asleep while eating, my milk supply went way down so she was only getting about 2 oz. at a time and that was NOT enough for this girl)…she started eating 4 oz. bottles at 4 weeks and sometimes even more, and never spit it up or got fussy. At about 3 months her gas problems completely went away(she still can toot though, boy!) and she was a happy camper. She was rolling over both directions, she could sit up unassisted for a bit before falling forwards, and only waking up once a night to eat. She was a big baby, very fat cheeks, rolls upon rolls. Nobody believed how old she was. I started to really like her. I took walks with her in the mornings on the weekends, even though I was SO tired still. She loves walks. She had to sit straight up in the stroller…it was insulting to her if I tried to lay her down like a “baby”…how dare I! I started to relax a little. I started to love her. We got married in July, and by that time things were ok…I definitely welcomed the break of the 3 day honeymoon we took at the Lake though. And as much as I missed my little booger I was not ready to come back home. I slept a LOT on our honeymoon. I wore makeup. I did my hair. It was nice. And we went back home and I wanted to go right to bed I was so tired. But she was so happy to see me, she laughed and laughed when we got to my mom’s to pick her up. That next week she started at a new daycare. She loved it there. And I loved picking her up at the end of the day. It gave me something to look forward to. I was still exhausted, and I did hope she’d take a nap when we got home. But I looked forward to changing her diapers and giving her her bottles. And when I would get to the sitters and pick her up, she would laugh hysterically. I started to love her even more. And over time, I’ve developed that giddy, wonderful, all-consuming love for her. I think about her constantly. I love her so much I feel like my heart could burst. I want to cuddle her and kiss her and hug her to pieces. When I’m rocking her to sleep at night with her bottle I find myself wishing I could breastfeed her. It just feels so natural, my body just has that instinct. And it’s the oddest thing, even though I haven’t breastfed for 9 months now, sometimes in moments like that my breasts tingle…like they always said let down was supposed to feel like! I know it might seem weird to some people to wish I could start breastfeeding my 10 month old. I know she’s growing up. I know before long she’ll be on regular milk, and she’s already eating solid food. But I find myself really missing her as a little baby. I hate it that we had such a rough start. I hate it that I had to feel so ashamed about my pregnancy, to the point where it affected my relationship with my daughter. I look at her now, and she is so obviously in love with me too, it just makes me want to cry. She gives me the best hugs, and just in the past few days she has started giving me kisses too. She’s the smartest little thing, she amazes me every day. And it’s just amazing to me to see her growing up before my eyes. I don’t know how I could love her any more than I do right now, but every day I love her a little more than before. Even though it didn’t seem like it in the beginning, she is the best thing that has EVER happened to me. I love her more than life itself. I would do anything for her. I don’t care about all the things I had to go through to have her…none of that matters, because I have her… and that’s all that matters!

And now, even though we won’t be trying for a couple more years, I find myself already in love with our next baby. I picture it being a boy, but I don’t care either way. I can’t wait to be pregnant again, and love won’t be an issue. The family is different now, we’ve all grown very close and ironed out our problems. Everyone will be very happy for us when we announce our news for the next one. And after how I’ve been feeling recently, even though I’d said I will NEVER breastfeed again, I definitely will breastfeed our next one. I can’t wait. I won’t mind getting up every hour to feed the little thing, I won’t mind he or she relying solely on me…I’m looking forward to it! Miss H was NOT a mistake, she was a huge surprise. I always wanted her, I’ve waited for her my whole life. I just had a really hard time dealing with it all. I am sorry about how things went, but I know one of these days she’ll understand. She will have a great childhood, a wonderful life, and she’ll always know that her parents love her more than the world, no matter what!

2 comments:

Ashley & Charles said...

Wow. I think it's great you can be so honest about your feelings. Do you think part of that could have been postpartum? I think I had a little bit of it. I just think the whole experience is so hard to begin with, and then to top it off with an unsupportive family...

marylynn said...

I do think some of it was probably a bit of the baby blues, but I think I would have been able to deal with that better if everything else wasn't so bad.