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My Birth Story

I was 11 days "overdue" on the morning of Monday, February 18, and was finally starting to begrudgingly realize that there was a real possibility that I would have to be induced, as I had an appointment to meet with an OB that afternoon where I knew that I would have to set a date. This crisis of faith in my body's ability to do what it was meant to without intervention shook me pretty badly and I spent the morning in a fit of sobs until I finally collected myself enough to leave the bedroom and eat breakfast. At 8:30am, I was sitting on the couch naked, wrapped in a blanket, when I started choking on the bran cereal I was eating, causing me to sputter and cough really hard...  until my water broke!

Even though I had not had any issues with incontinence throughout pregnancy, there was a brief moment where I thought that I may have peed myself, but it kept coming and I couldn't control it so I knew that this was it. I woke my husband up and called the hospital where I was told to come in immediately to get checked out and get my first round of GBS antibiotics (because I had tested positive at 36 weeks). We got to the hospital at around 10 or 10:30am where I got a hep-lock put in extremely poorly on the side of my wrist so I requested that it get removed once I was finished with the meds so I could had mobility in my wrist. I was having only mild, mostly painless contractions up to that point and only when I went to the bathroom just before we headed home to labour for a few hours between medication rounds did I have the first seriously painful one (which was reassuring because I figured then that I wasn't going to need pitocin to get the party started). By the time we got home at 11:30ish, I was getting full-blown contractions and by the time we left for the hospital a second time at around 3:15 they were intense, 1-2 minutes long and less than a minute apart. When I came back to see the nurse to get the GBS meds a second time, she kept coming in to stick a new Hep Lock in, saw me in the middle of a contraction leaning against a table in the room unable to speak to her and kept saying "I'll come back between contractions" until she realized that wasn't going to be possible and my husband had to be my voice in terms of preferred placement and arm (which he did very well).

I was checked (4cm) and sent up to labour and delivery where everything then went down. The contractions were essentially piling on top of each other really early on and by 6:30pm I knew that I wasn't going to be able to handle them for an unknown number of hours without getting some kind of break so I asked for the gas, which made all the difference. Once I had that tube available to chew on and breath into, I was able to focus on my breath much better and centre myself in a really important way, not to mention taking the edge off the especially intense contractions. I spent most of labour leaning on the bed and swaying my hips until the last bit where I started to involuntarily bear down and make that primal moaning sound (you know the one) when I was leaning over the back of bed while crouching on my knees.

The nurse I had in delivery was absolutely fabulous and I honestly can't say enough amazing things about her. She was so supportive and really made a point to respect me, my choices, and kept an amazingly even tone the whole time. Her massage was seriously amazing as well. Poor Husband kept trying to help out but I barked a couple of "just let her do it"s so he kept to rubbing my head or feet and helping me keep awareness on my breath.

Once I got to the pushing stage, I remember being so relieved to be able to do something that I honestly don't even remember it to be painful at all. It was definitely exhausting, but it was so nice to be proactive. I was able to push her out in only 40 minutes, but I remember the nurse excitedly complimenting me and saying things like "I can see this much of her head *showing me like a two inch diameter*" and me gasping "THAT'S IT?!" :)

Everything was going extremely well and her head was out but the air in the room suddenly changed and the nurses made the bed go way down and started grabbing my legs, urgently telling me to push hard and constantly. I was so delirious that I just did what I was told without being able to think about what might be happening, but when I felt her body come out they clamped the cord and whisked her over to the little bed straight away (in my birth plan I had specified skin-to-skin immediately and to wait for the cord to stop pulsing). I found out afterward and saw in the video Husband took that she got her shoulders stuck on my pelvis and when she came out she was so stunned that she wasn't moving so my doctor wanted to make sure she was okay straight away. I absolutely understand her decision and love her for being so reasonable and making sure that I knew exactly what had gone down after everything was over.

I ended up with a mild third degree tear after everything, but I had to admit that the healing has been pretty smooth. I had some serious hemorrhoids, but I just kept on the stool softeners and Tylenol to manage everything.

My daughter was born at 10:05pm on February 18 - the last day of Aquarius - weighing 8lbs, 7oz. I'm extremely happy with her labour and delivery and have exactly zero regrets about anything that happened. I got compliments all over the place about how everything went and for not requesting any pain management medications or epidural (apparently only 11% of Canadian women give birth without an epidural - a statistic which I found to shocking).

This baby is unbelievable and perfect and even the public health nurse commented on what a great nurser she is. I'm insanely lucky.

Note: I came on here to post my birth story and found that this post had saved as a draft but I had not posted it. It seems important, so I'm just going to add it the way I found it (unfinished)

I have been part of a pregnancy/parenting forum since back when I was trying to conceive and regularly post there for support and to help others with advice from my experiences. When I initially got pregnant, I joined a sub-group of a forum designated specifically for women who were due to have babies in December, 2012 (my due date was December 21). Even though I lost that baby, I still periodically pop in to that group to see how the ladies there are progressing and how everyone is doing. I realized tonight in a big hurry that it's now December and all those women I was pregnant with are now having their babies, especially since one of the women that I had particularly bonded to just gave birth.

This has hit me in a big, emotional way that I'm admittedly having a really difficult time managing. When I lost my first baby it felt like every minute dripped by and I had a hard time conceiving of even a second where I wouldn't be suffocating in grief, but as time faithfully marched on, I was able to lift my head a little higher until I was able to have longer and longer stretches of time without thinking about what I had lost. Being blessed with my current little one was critical in this as well, since she has given me a very worthwhile distraction, but every now and again I get this reminder that I should be more pregnant than this. I should be two months farther than I am. I should be due to have a baby in 17 days.

I had no idea that it would be this hard in December, since I really thought I had worked through it and was now on the other side. The worst of it is that Christmas is coming and I had already associated the holiday with my baby, so it's a constant reminder that that baby died. Everytime I meet a woman who is clearly close to her due date I can't help but wonder why they were able to keep their baby but mine had to die. Who decided to make their experience so much different than mine?

To add to this emotional mayhem, I have this guilt whenever I think about the baby I was supposed to have because I know that if she/he had been able to go full term, I wouldn't have the little bean that I have now growing inside me. I love her beyond all words already and I like to think I wouldn't trade her for anything, but then (this is where it ends)

Still Pregnant!

So I'm now 13 weeks and 1 days pregnant. I had pretty severe sickness in the first trimester that was a lot worse than I imagined it would be, which ultimately made me worry that I had underestimated how uncomfortable pregnancy truly was. It was pretty terrible since I felt like death warmed over pretty much every minute of every day, between the nausea and exhaustion. It seemed to have peaked around 8 weeks when I had to stay home from work for two days because I simply couldn't get out of bed, but slowly got better from there.

These days, however, I'm feeling pretty great! I'm getting bigger but I can't wait to have a proper pregnant belly. I'm getting tired of people not being able to tell without my official announcement. I'm certainly bigger than I was, but it's still sort of on the side of just letting myself go at this point, especially since I can't run anymore due to sciatic nerve pain when I do.

13 Weeks

Keeping on

It's been just over a week since the miscarriage, but it feels like it has been months. Each day gets a little easier and we're cautiously moving forward.

Although my husband had packed up all the baby things the moment we came back from emerg, I unpacked it all and set it back up. As necessary as it was to have had it packed away for a while, it was an important and symbolic part of the process to unpack it again. I continue to be proud of the baby room and all the work I've put in to it and know that someday there will be a baby to enjoy it. Here are some pictures of the room as of now:






As you can see by the fur, the cats quite enjoy the room right now.


I just bought this shelf yesterday from my local environmental store who was having a moving sale on all their stuff (including their display shelves). It's now going to serve as a diapering shelf since it fits perfectly next to the dresser which will soon become the changing table.


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May. 5th, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012 I had a miscarriage.

On Monday evening I noticed some brown discharge, so I contacted my doctor and was able to get an appointment on Tuesday morning at 10:00am. She checked me and assured that my cervix was still closed and she didn't really see any blood, but she ordered an ultrasound and asked me to get my blood tested that morning and again on Thursday morning to check my HCG progression.

The discharge continued without pain.

On Thursday I went to get my second blood test and decided to work from home in order to avoid the hassle of communing in late. Feeling tired, I took a nap at around noon and when I woke up at 3:00pm I was bleeding bright red blood and passing clots. It's all sort of fuzzy now, but I remember trying to understand what was happening when I saw the blood, then I remember hearing a loud moaning sound and taking several minutes to realize that it was coming from me.

Apparently I called my husband at work because the next thing I remember was him bursting into the bathroom out of breath with wide eyes and a red face. At the point, I'm told, I was sitting on the bathroom flood shaking and crying so violently that he could hear me in the hall one floor down.

We went to the emergency room where had an ultrasound and a pelvic exam done. They also collected my blood test information from the clinic earlier that day. After a few hours of being moved from room to room, I was told that my HCG levels were 691 on Tuesday morning and 630 on Thursday morning - both of which were far below where they should have been at nearly 7 weeks and should have been doubling by the day, not reducing. They also told me that there was no evidence of pregnancy in my uterus.

They sent me home with a warning that someone would be calling from the Early Pregnancy Complication Clinic for an appointment to come in and make sure that the miscarriage was complete and that the pregnancy wasn't outside my uterus. They called and my appointment is on Tuesday.

As of now I'm just bleeding and cramping like a heavy period. The emotional toll, however, has been exceptional. I'm completely devastated. When I eventually fell asleep on Thursday, I had a dream that Kris and I were in a house with a bunch of people that we didn't know and being bullied around by this group of thugs. They were going around the room making people do these humiliating things without the chance they would survive by complying, and I knew that it would eventually come down to us. Kris went into another room to deal with the thugs in the there and I managed to wrestle the gun out of my thug's hands but when I went to shoot him the gun just puffed with air. Eventually I found a knife on him and stabbed him again and again in his lower abdomen, then I cut a piece of it out and placed in on a bed next to a newspaper. I panicked as I heard police sirens in the distance because I knew this wouldn't look good. I woke up as I was trying to figure out my next move.

Usually when I wake up from a dream like this, I feel instantly relieved that I don't have to deal with it. As the dream faded away, reality set in and I remembered that I had lost the baby and that in my real life I was empty and bleeding and broken. Having all of that rush back took my breath away and I was devastated all over again.

The worst part in all of this is that life is just supposed to go on, minute by excruciating minute. I was watching this woman on her cell phone in the grocery store yesterday, talking to someone about the things she was buying and various other superficial things. I knew that she would leave the store and go home, eat those groceries over the next few days, then return to do it all over again. I knew that she would never remember May 3 to hold any meaning.

For me, May 3 will always be the day that my first baby died. There will never be a time in the future when this didn't happen. This will always have been my first pregnancy. It's difficult to understand how I'm supposed to move on knowing this.

Apr. 19th, 2012

Yet another disappointment. Those little tests mock me.

This time was a little different then the last two. I haven't had my period yet (it's due tomorrow) but I took a test yesterday and it was an unmistakable negative.

I was devastated.

It really felt like this was the time. Last month I knew the whole time that I wasn't pregnant, but this time felt like I was. I'm not sure what was so different this time but I was so confident that I was finally pregnant and seeing that little negative



Update:

Easter Monday Torture starts at 5am

So after a painfully vague Clear Blue test yesterday, I took a First Response this morning which I have stared at for so long that I think I'm going cross eyed. From certain angles I think I can see the faintest of faint lines, but I took a picture and can't make anything out. I'm only 10 DPO at this point, however, so it's still early to lose all hope - which only makes the situation worse. I want to know either way as soon as possible.

I had some spotting on April 5th, which NEVER happens to me and works out time-wise to be possibly implantation bleeding. I could set a watch to my period, so I'll know that something is up by the end of Friday. Unfortunately, I have a pregnant friend who wants me to be pregnant so badly that if my husband hasn't done the job, I'm sure that she has just through sheer will. The unfortunate part is that she's convinced that this is my month, so she's constantly telling me that I'm pregnant and I'm worrying that all of my symptoms are because of her (except the bleeding, I couldn't make that happen). Such symptoms include; sneezing all the time while it's still basically winter (there was a snowstorm just last night), pretty much constant hunger (could be written off as stress eating), sleeping often (went to bed at around 9pm over the past two nights - could be written off as the result of waking up so early), occasional brief period-type cramps (usually only happen during my period, not the week before), glowing flawless skin (my skin is usually not perfect with breakouts occurring on my chin consistently the week before my period), and consistent thirst. Weirdest of all are the dreams. Although all the dreams I have are pretty bizarre, I usually forget them or only remember little pieces when I wake up, but they've been strange a vivid lately.

For example, I woke up this morning at 5am because I had yet another ridiculous dream, followed by a sneezing fit. In this one I was living in a reality show house with like 10 other people in Italy. When I returned one night with my husband after sight seeing, I found that there were two tvs newly built into the walls and ceiling of my room. For some reason, I instantly decided that Oprah had put them there (which made sense in the dream, as ridiculous things often do), but then remembered that I had ordered them sometime previously and figured that someone must have installed them for me. The placement of them was really strange though, with one in the far, right corner of the room built into the part of the ceiling that met the wall and the other just off the center of the room built into the high part of the wall. My husband then told me that he would be moving back to Holland the next day, and that he had to leave me behind because I was (apparently) finishing school. He assured me that he would come back after a few months, but I was devastated nonetheless.

A couple of days ago I had a dream about a giant octopus who removed the intestines of a dog and chased me to a friend house where I found her in room where the walls were covered with moving animation of people engaged in various activities (such as baseball).

Seriously, how could I NOT be pregnant?
It's been nearly three months since I went off birth control. While I realize on an intellectual level that experiencing two babyless cycles is nothing to be concerned about, it's frustrating nonetheless.

One really annoying part of all this is that my little brother's 16 year old ex-gf is pregnant with what is probably his child (he's 18). She was expelled from school a couple of year back, has multiple mental health problems, and was actually trying (unbeknownst to my somewhat bewildered brother) to conceive in order to keep said brother from joining the Reserves and leaving her. Cut to a few months ago when a local man was sentenced to 2 years in prison and 20 years on the Sex Offender Registry for poking holes in condoms that he and his wife used. Such a ludicrous double standard.

But I digress.

The crazy ex is now around 6 months in and I can't help but hate her every day for being so useless and yet being able to stumble ass-backward into something I've been actively trying to get for months now. She will be an awful mother who is too narcissistic and damaged to understand that. She's currently living on welfare and has no intentions to do better for herself, which suggests that she'll probably have other babies with different males so she gets a larger cheque.

I keep thinking back to all the pregnancy scares of my past and the feeling of relief that washes over you when you see that the stick only has one line. Now I find myself staring at the space where the second line should be and trying to use the Force to make it appear. I'm pretty sure that if it was possible to will yourself pregnant, I would have done so already. Instead, I take each appearance of my ever passive-aggressive period as an invitation to drink my troubles away, leading to a messy week of blood, sadness, and mild alcoholism.

I find solace in doing baby-related things, though some people may argue that it's just furthering my frustration. I made a nursing pillow for the first time and without a pattern, which was interesting and turned out like such:



The pattern you see is actually a cover I made for it:



I've also been raking in the free stuff. It seems that any company who has anything to do with formula wants to give it anyone, ever. I'm going to be breastfeeding (in a perfect world), but it's good to have these kicking around just in case something goes wrong. Otherwise I'll be donating them.



We've also picking up a couple of irresistibly adorable things here and there, such as Mr. Frog (named by my dear and creative husband)



I've also been making a serious stash of baby wipes, since I was horrified with the ingredients lists on even the "natural" disposable wipes. I also bought some Dr. Bronner's stuff for the solution.




I also finally got around to talking to the program manager about my intentions, which I had been stressing about because she really doesn't like children and I'm sort of her stand-in for everything. She told me that she had been expecting it for some time and was actually more surprised that we had waited so long. She also let me know that I could work casually for a couple hours each week without cutting into my maternity leave pay, which is fantastic since we were stressing about how to make ends meet with only 55% of my income. Now we probably won't have to move.