Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Birthday

After all the craziness and chaos that has defined my existence over the recent months, I am finally holding in my arms the silver lining I needed to find the momentum to change the direction of my life's course. Annika Joy was born this afternoon at 1:27pm. She is a very petite 5 lbs, 13 oz. and 18 inches long. She is absolutely perfect and has a firm grip on my heart already.

Show Time

I didn't make any progress all morning until the last hour. I've dilated to 7 centimeters and I'm 80% effaced. With any luck Squishy will be here within the hour.

Come on Birth Day!

It's about 6am and I'm now dilated to 3 with bloody show. I slept from 2am until 4:30 and the contractions waned while I was out. Now that I'm sitting up they're picking up again and the Pitocin was increased a little bit just recently to help move things along. I'm nervous about the Pitocin because I know it can be brutal. I realize that because of the fact that I'm being induced I can't claim a "natural" birth but I would really like to do this without pain medication. I don't want to have a drugged baby because it increases the risk of complications for her and since I don't have anyone here who can advocate on my behalf, I would like to maintain control over my body and my mind.

More to come as we progress.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Impending Birth Day

I'm pretty sure my sweet little girl's birthday will be September 7th. I'm sitting in the hospital strapped to a machine that sounds like a galloping horse with my bare bottom stuck to a chux pad. I ended up here over the weekend because of my kidney again. The doctor decided that it would be in my best interest to induce labor now since there is no treatment that can be done while I'm pregnant. So this morning I went in for an amniocentesis to determine if the baby's lungs would be developed enough for induction. Well, we got a blaring green light so here I sit waiting for them to administer Pitocin which will run on a low dose through the night.

I was pretty scared at first. I'm 180 degrees from where I had anticipated when I started this journey nine months ago. But I'm beginning to feel excitement about it now. I can't believe that I'm finally going to be meeting my little girl. The elation evaporated with all of my dreams when Josh left but now it's back. I can't wait to hold her in my arms, I can't wait to look into her sweet face, I can't wait to inhale the sweet smell of her warm little body.

I'm hopeful that labor will start with just the low dose of Pitocin. It's not an unreasonable hope since I've already got four births under my belt. My midwife is on tonight and it would be really great if she could attend my birth. If, however, Squishy doesn't make an appearance by 6 tomorrow morning then the Pitocin will be increased and more than likely the doctor who ordered the induction will attend my birth. I'm ok with that too, I just would prefer my midwife because, well, she's a lot more likeminded and I think would be more intuitively inclined to respect my wishes than the doctor.

I'll update as soon as there is something to report. Let the adventure begin!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

29 Days

Today it's been 29 days since Josh turned my whole life upside down. 29 days since my family was irrevocably ripped apart, 29 days since I've had any glimpse of happiness. It's been four weeks and one day since I've felt the touch of another adult whose name doesn't end in M.D. 29 of the longest, most excruciating days of my life full of sadness, rage and pain. In the last 29 days I have faced my worst nightmare and finally formed a plan to move through it. There are some days when I don't cry but the tears remain ready and threatening to burst forth at any number of triggers. I have developed a rage that is bigger and more violent than anything I've ever experienced in my life. Josh has become something I can't even identify except to say that he's deceitful and intent on spreading his path of destruction to include the kids. He's spending more time with his new girlfriend and her kids than he is with his own. I'm just grateful that my babies are too young to see that they've always been back-burnered. Hopefully we'll be gone from this place before they see that it will always be that way because he's too much of a pathetic, spineless coward to do what's necessary for the sake of his kids.

We're planning to leave Kentucky. Just as soon as money and weather permit it, we're going to rent a trailer, load it and the suburban up with everything we own and burn rubber out of this horrific nighmare and never look back. We need a new beginning in a place where we have friends and won't be outcast. Bastyr University in Washington state is rated the number one midwifery school in the country so that's my destination. I was hopeful that we could leave before the next semester begins but after working the numbers, we're going to have to wait until the spring. I just can't continue to put my kids through what their dad is doing. If he wants to be irresponsible and hurtful, we need to be as far from him as possible. And the further away we are, the less it's going to hurt when he continually puts everyone else ahead of them.

Squishy will be here in a little more than three weeks. She is healthy and growing well. I'm still planning to birth here at home because there's no reason to believe there will be any danger. Physically, my body is done being pregnant. I am not sleeping well, I'm uncomfortable and I'm an emotional, soggy mess. Mentally, however, I'm petrified. Another little person who is counting on me to do what's right, to provide for her, to protect her, to nurture her as she grows into the beautiful person she is destined to become scares the piss out of me. The gravity of carrying the weight of four young children by myself through their lives, hopeful for the best possible outcome is daunting at best. I truly hope they all will be able to forgive me for the mistakes I'm sure to make. Ready or not, the time is coming.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chaos and Mayhem

The lag in my blog posts has all been for a reason. Well, a lot of reasons, actually. I've been in and out of the hospital weekly. When I was home I was in so much pain that I required narcotic medication to manage it which left me loopy and unable to form coherent thoughts. The last time I was in the hospital was last week for dehydration and multiple deficiencies resulting from three days of vomiting due to my stomach lining being depleted from all of the drugs and antibiotics I'd been on. I'm finally recovering. I still have some kidney discomfort but I don't need medication to manage it.

The time I was in the hospital before the stomach issue was to have the ureteral stent removed because it was more painful than the kidney stones. When I was finally discharged after five days, Josh dropped an atomic bomb on me: he no longer loved me and didn't want to be with me anymore. Since then I've been an emotional train wreck and have decided to join a Unitarian Universalist church in an effort to find some kind of community. I went to my first service today. I think I've found something pretty darned cool and I feel like it will be very helpful in my journey through my ruined marriage and road to self-discovery.

Josh moved out today and I'm working through a lot of feelings about being alone, raising my kids alone and losing my best friend. I am thinking about Squishy and how I want to proceed with her birth. I am leaning toward a home birth still but not entirely sure yet. I should be seeing my midwife this week and will discuss my options in the hospital with her.

In the darkness that followed the devastation of my marriage, someone told me that the birth of my baby would also be my own rebirth. I think there is some good wisdom in that statement. It is comforting now in these moments when I feel like I don't want to have a baby because it seems so wrong to bring a new, precious life into such a chaotic and broken situation. But such a significant moment such as birth and rebirth (especially at the same time), I think it's only fitting that I do so in my own way that makes me feel empowered. We'll see what the midwife says.

I took a picture before I went to church this morning. I think I've actually shrunk since the last picture 5 weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Month of Hell

I have to convey my deepest apologies for my absence. I actually have an excuse this time; I have been pretty sick. It began as dull back pain not unlike the discomfort one might feel after being hunched over a desk all day - only I don't have a desk to hunch over. For a while I thought it might just be more gas (come on, you didn't think it ended in the first trimester did you?). After about a week of that it became worse and was concentrated more on the right side. I didn't think that even the most stubborn gas bubble would hang on that long so I diagnosed myself with a kidney issue and headed to the hospital with a pain level of about 7 out of 10.

I was right; the diagnosis was kidney stones. I spent two nights in the hospital where they kept me drugged up on narcotics and bloated with IV fluids, collecting everything that came out of my body. I was finally released with a prescription for Percocet and my very own collection kit. The Percocet made me very dizzy and loopy so I couldn't take it when I was alone with the kids and so I suffered through it while Josh was at work. Oh, but you can bet your butt I was waiting with drugs in hand for him to walk through that door so that I could find some measure of relief, at least for a little while, from the awful pain I was trapped in.

Within a week and a half I found myself perched on the end of the bed at 2am, writhing and screeching in pain - this time with a pain level of 11 out of 10, setting a whole new precedent. Despite my best efforts to be quiet so that the kids wouldn't wake up, Josh was disturbed from his sweet slumber and so helped me to the living room where he called an ambulance and got me some of the pain meds and a glass of water. This pain, however, was far too intense for mere Percocet to even touch.

By the time I reached the hospital I'd been dribbled, bounced, jerked, thumped, and poked - all while one of the EMTs was trying to chit-chat with me. He asked me what brought me to Lexington, where my husband works and when he asked me if my husband enjoys his job, I hissed at him through gritted teeth as I writhed on the gurney, twisted and contorted in pain, holding my right flank in a ditch effort to cushion myself against the turns and bumps, "I DON'T F*CKING KNOW!" He remained quiet for the rest of the ride.

Once I was taken to my appointed room and transferred to the bed, I was asked a whole gambit of questions that I don't remember, spitting answers through my clenched jaw while every vein in my neck and forehead stood prostrate through angry, red flesh as my blood pressure peaked with the agony of piercing, stabbing pain that can only be summed up as feeling like you're being skewered in through the flank, straight through and out the bladder.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, a nurse came in with a couple of syringes and alcohol wipes. Morphine was the name of the game. One syringe was given to me through the IV that the EMT had clumsily administered through jarring bumps and swerving turns while I was in the ambulance. The other syringe was violently stabbed into the top of my left thigh where it burned like acid as it seeped into my muscle. While it didn't take the pain away, it disconnected me from it enough so that I could relax through it and I went limp. Sleep was next. By the time I woke up, the pain was gone but I was still in Morphine Land. I was released that morning and went home to sleep off the drugs.

My kidney seems to be healing up nicely but it sure took a long time for the Morphine and all the effects of it to pass. After I'd had time to reflect on the whole experience, I decided that from this point on I really want to stay as far from allopathic medicine as possible. I remembered that I wasn't allowed any water - not even ice chips - while I was in the hospital passing a kidney stone. WTF? No, their answer was a slow-drip IV and hardcore narcotics - for a pregnant woman! And my pelvis feels like it's splitting in half from laying in bed for so long. Now I've enlisted the services of a wonderful chiropractor who works with subluxations. It was really the best I could do here in Lexington, KY where the overall lack of evolution and, consequently, modern concepts, means there is a significant shortage of naturopathic healthcare options.

I would also like to find a midwife who will take me seriously and not snicker behind my back when I mention my previous birth experiences. I'm not sure how possible that will be but the quest has begun. We'll see how it goes. If I can't find someone in whom I can convey my confidence, then I will fall back to taking care of myself. I'm standing on that precarious edge now because it's a lot of effort to seek out such an individual and I'm approaching the end of my pregnancy rather quickly. Wish me luck!

Oh, and through all of this chaos we found out that Squishy is a girl. And, for your viewing pleasure, here's a couple of recent pictures. The first is Squishy at 26 weeks and the second is me at 29 weeks. We've only got 11 weeks left!