Little Princess Arrives!

She’s here! Our Little Princess arrived on August 25th and we are overjoyed to have her in our arms.

The story of how she came into this world is not what we thought it would be and we are so very grateful that all are now healthy and healing.

Here’s a general outline:

  • Developed late-pregnancy preeclampsia which put me into the hospital at 39 weeks 2 days.
  • Induced that night
  • Put on a magnesium citrate IV (because of high blood pressure/preeclampsia)
  • Dr broke my water
  • Began Pitocin
  • Labored 15 hours- no epidural
  • Pushed for just over an hour- recalling 3 big pushes that popped her out.
  • Tore my cervix
  • Tore down the birth canal
  • Tore my perineal (2nd degree)
  • Tore my labia
  • Uterus wouldn’t contract to stop bleeding
  • Lost 3 liters of blood
  • Placenta didn’t deliver- Dr had to use her hand to scrape it out
  • The placenta was not completely removed
  • Went to OR for a DNC to get the remainder of the placenta out
  • Discovered I had Placenta Accreta– which can be more common for pregnancies resulting from IVF. It is sometimes caused when the lining is too thin upon conception. Although it’s not said to happen with every pregnancy I have, it is a possibility of recurring in the future and therefore my pregnancies moving forward with be considered higher risk.
  • Dr inserted a water-filled balloon into uterus plus 5 feet of gauze to help with bleeding
  • Received 4 bags of blood (transfusions)
  • Spent 36 hours in ICU
  • Reunited with family and began producing milk! A shock to all since I lost so much blood
  • Little Princess latched wonderfully and feeds well
  • Released from hospital after 48 hours in regular postpartum care

What I can say is WOW! What an incredible experience.

Aside from the scare of the after birth- laboring without an epidural was such a cool experience (that I may never do again) and am grateful to have been able to live through.

Feeling her move through my body with every contraction.

Praying for God to help me through the pain and beliving this is what my body has been created to do.

Being fully present with my thoughts and my feelings as I was experiencing this transition from pregnancy to birth.

Although it did not go according to my “Birth Wishes”, I can see God’s hand in every step of the way.

Hubby was an incredible support and stayed with me through every contraction.

What I thought would be a sweaty, exhausting experience was more of an endurance race for my body… no sweat at all! Not like how they show it in the movies 🙂

My lower back muscles fired with every contraction.

My arms clenched to the side of the bed with each bracing of pain.

My abs and whatever other muscles are down in that area moved naturally to push this baby down into position for birthing.

When the pushing began, I had no control over my body.

It took over and it was my sole job to focus my energy from the loud cry to a deep groan and then into a holding of energy to push fully downward.

A capturing of energy from outward to inward and downward.

Such a beautiful science.

What people didn’t tell me:

  • My expectations (even unconscious ones) held me back from seeing the good in the journey and led me to more discouragement.
  • “She is coming ‘soon’”, does not mean in the next 10 minutes or the next hour, it may mean in the next 4-6 hours. I grew to not like the word ‘soon’ as it was too misleading and discouraging.
  • Having a meal during heavy contractions may not be the best idea. I threw it up within the next hour.
  • Ice chips were a lifesaver in the heavy contraction stage!
  • Dilation takes a longer time than I expected. I was hoping to be in active labor when I was still 4 cm dilated.
  • The pain of childbirth is unlike any other pain I have experienced. It’s ongoing, tiring, repetitive, painful.
  • Hours seem long and patience goes out the window when you don’t know how long you’ll be in that state of pain.

The joys certainly outweigh all the hardship– this is a true statement.

Little Princess was and is worth it!

She is perfect.

Arriving into this world weighing 7lbs 6oz, 20 inches long, full head of brown hair and a perfectly round head. I think I pushed so quickly that it didn’t give her head time to reform as it was moving through the birth canal. Her eyes are grey/blue and I’m hoping they stay on the blue side (Hubby has blue eyes) but am ok if she is a brown-eyed girl (like her mama).

I’m not going to say I won’t birth another child. Maybe next time I’ll go the route of the epidural. Part of the reason I wanted to go without was to be able to A) fully experience the feeling of her moving through my body (which I did and it was amazing!) and B) so I could be fully alert with her afterward.

Given that I didn’t get to live out the second half of that desire and still be okay with my bonding and connection shows that in the future, it might be okay to have the pain relief.

Swedish Hospital was an incredible place to have this traumatic delivery. I was amazed at the care and attention of each of the nurses and staff to me, Hubby and Little Princess. I felt completely taken care of and seen as a person, not just another patient.

Huge shout outs to the following nurses: Mackenzie, Becky, Allison, Mel, Callie, (there were 2 in the ICU that I had that I was too foggy to remember), Kelly, Terri, Mandy, Dani, and the lactation consultant Dotti.


Our journey is not over, as it’s simply just beginning.

I am amazed at how in love with this little peanut I am.

Years of wanting her. Desiring a little one and scared of letting go of my independent, self-centered lifestyle.

One thing I know for sure- the writing of my fertility journey may be over for the time being, but my thoughts and struggles, experiences and trials of being a selfless, caring, discerning, trusting mom are just beginning.

For those of you who have read this blog looking for connection in the fertility journey, I do hope you have felt understood. I certainly have not been alone as I have walked this road and found the more open I have been about my own struggles and emotions, the more connection I have felt.

To those still on the journey- know that it is worth it. Each poke of the needle, pop of a pill, inconvenient Dr. appointment, etc… it’s all worth it to have a little tiny human in your arms, loving and needing you.

We are not sure what our future holds with more children. We would like to have another or more but know that it might look more in the form of adoption than another IVF journey. Hey, we are even open to conceiving all-natural! 🙂 We will see what God has in store for us. For now, we are grateful to have this little one.

Decisions Meant for an Adult

I know I’m going to mess her up.

It’s not my intention to and it really is the very last thing I want is to mess this little perfect thing up in her first minutes, days, weeks of being on this earth.

The responsibility seems daunting and I am trying not to be paralyzed with fear of what could happen to her if I make the wrong decision. When did I become old enough to make decisions for another human life? When did I become an adult?

I am scared that I won’t be a good mom and that the decisions I make for her will impact her for the rest of her life.

I have already decided that I’d like to breastfeed as long as my body will allow within the first year. I am going to need to pump and bottle feed after 6 weeks because I am returning to work (I know, I know we can talk offline about that topic). I will continue to breastfeed when I’m home though to keep that bonding going.

We aren’t going to co-sleep per se, but I am open to having her in her bassinet next to me for the first weeks that we are getting up together, or maybe we will co-sleep. I’m learning that I don’t really know what I’ll do until I’m in the situation.

Still not sure how the sleeping routine will go between Hubby and me, but since I am committed to breastfeeding, it’s on me to be up and ready to feed (especially those first few weeks before a bottle is even recommended to be introduced).

How do I feel about that?

A bit nervous. I find it to be an honor and privilege to be the source of nutrition for Maxee but I also find I can teeter on resentment that Hubby is off the hook from this imperative need she will have for me every 2-3 hours for how long???

God, help me to continue to see the good and stay in gratitude that I GET to provide this for her. I do pray that my milk will come in easily and breastfeeding will be easy, so when I stay in the gratitude, my mind stays even and I am able to see what a gift God has given to us.

The decisions that need to be made continue to come through. I can’t put some of these off because they either need to happen now or in the near future. Some recent discussions have been:

  • Vitamin K shotImage result for infant shots
  • Eye ointment
  • Hepatitis B shot
  • Let her stay in the nursery at the hospital vs. next to me
  • TDAP booster shot for mamma
  • Delayed vs regular shot schedule

 

I know the decisions we will need to make will only continue. I’m grateful to be married to someone who is so keen on research and making decisions based on the facts that are gathered.

I will admit though, I’m lazy!

I want someone to tell me the magic formula for raising Maxee.

It doesn’t exist.

Instead, this is my mind shift that will help- this is my new project- Raising Maxee.

Turning the “I” to “we” is going to be important. Raising Maxee is a shared responsibility between Hubby, me and God. Hubby wants to be just as involved in Maxee’s life as I do and that is another gift. Learning how we can come together in a partnership of parenting will be an aspect of Raising Maxee that I know I will have a lot of growth around.

Not being a bulldozer and telling Hubby how it’s going to be and also not being a pushover and doing whatever he wants. Instead, it’s going to be consistently finding the balance between the two.

For me, it’s going to be learning how to know my truth and communicate effectively with Hubby so that we can come to a decision that fits us both well.

This is not something that comes naturally to me and I pray that God will help me to engage in this approach to relationships and communication that I have pushed away up until now.

With a child in the mix, pushing away healthy communication is going to mess her up more than some of the other decisions listed above.

God, please help me change my ways so that I can approach partner parenting and my marriage in a healthier, more effective way.

Bittersweet: week 37

What a gift these past nine-plus months have been for me. I can’t believe we are weeks away from meeting our baby girl!

It’s been a hot summer and yet I have been so fortunate to have time off from my work to sleep and take care of myself.

Over the past two weeks, my body is progressively feeling more sluggish and the water retention makes me feel like a water balloon.

Crazy to say, I LOVE this!

I really don’t want the pregnancy to end.

I know, I know. It will only get better when she is in my arms. I believe that to be true as well. But I will never be pregnant with her again.

I have loved feeling her kicking and moving on my insides.

Being with her everywhere I go.

I feel bonded and connected to her in a way that only a mother can and I am feeling this sense of gratitude for the mere opportunity to carry a child.

We have waited for FOUR YEARS as a couple to become pregnant.

I myself have wondered for 20 YEARS if I was going to be able to experience this incredible gift of pregnancy.

Now that I have been living it, I don’t want it to end.

I understand the purpose of pregnancy is to deliver and raise a baby to a child to a young adult.

For me though, I knew I would always have children (through adoption if needed) so I knew that the raising of a child would be in my future.

It’s this precious period and the gift of pregnancy that was so unknown to me- so desired.

Will I ever be able to experience pregnancy again?

I pray this to be the case.

At the same time, I’m aware that this may have been my one opportunity.

What a great one it has been.

I mourn the ending of such a sweet time in my life.

The way I feel in my body, carrying this life, is something I pray to never forget.

People look at me with a precious look of endearment and excitement.

I feel this look only happens to pregnant women.

Once Maxee comes, I will join the ranks of all the other women who are mothers and this special space of pregnancy will be in my past.

I’ve heard it said before, “don’t be sad that it’s over, but happy that it happened”.

I can soak in every moment of this pregnancy and know that I have made the very most of it.


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Many have commented that they ‘bet I’m ready for her to come out and have my body back’.

Partially yes, I’m ready to be able to roll over in bed or get off the couch without pulling on Hubby or strategically maneuvering my limbs to prop me up. I’m ready to get back to jogging and bending over to stretch my hamstrings.

In reality, though, I don’t want to wish away any minute of this gift.

God, thank you for gifting me with the experience of growing and carrying my child inside of me. Thank you for allowing me to share my body with this sweet little human and provide a safe and healthy home for her to grow and form.

Thank you for entrusting me with one of your precious children.

May these final weeks be savored and these 10 months be engrained in my memory as an example of your love, grace, almighty ability to create life and power for redemption.

Babymoon with Cankles

Week 35- Florida beach.

With 7 days left in our window to fly before I am grounded, we hopped on the plane and headed for the white sand beaches and warm water of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. What a gift this was to experience the weightlessness of my body while wading in the salty water of the Atlantic. The waves were mere ripples and the clarity was astounding. Watching the schools of fish swim by as I gave Maxee the first experience of the ocean.

I know she didn’t feel the difference since she has been swimming her whole life, but the relief it brought me was fit to perfection.

The heat was a bit much for what I am used to and I rocked the pregnancy suit well. My typical position of laying on a towel- face down- while soaking in the sun was a distant thought, although it did cross my mind once to carve out a belly hole in the sand and nestle into the soft sand.

We walked up and down the Hollywood Beach boardwalk each night, people watching and listening to music. As the night wore on, my walk became a waddle and my ankles turned into cankles.

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We saw little Maxee’s at different ages playing in the water and walking the boardwalk- building our excitement of what we will be able to do with her once she arrives.

The years of building sandcastles and playing in the water that we have to look forward to.

Our mornings were slow, we enjoyed the relaxation and sleep-in time together and mostly soaked in the companionship we have come to rely upon.

Maxee is kicking and moving so much more in the past weeks and I can see her spunk when I sit down.

Hubby is growing more connected to her with each night we sit and watch her put on a show for us and we can only imagine what it will be like in a handful of weeks when she is in our arms, stealing the show once again.

We return to reality just shy of our 36 week- no travel- mark, rested and relaxed and ‘ready’ for her to come when she is supposed to.

One week later, I am just shy of 37 weeks and am doing everything I can to keep the swelling down. I have visited my chiropractor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist. All say I’m doing great and to continue to move my body as much as possible and drink water!

I feel like I’m growing into an oompa loopa or Violet the blueberry on Willy Wonka and will soon float away.

Preggos in the Sunshine

What an incredible summer break/ third trimester this has been. I am grateful for the opportunity to rest as much as I needed to through weeks 28-35 of my pregnancy. The weeks when I have felt the most tired and rundown have been the weeks where I have taken 2 naps!

My typical daily routine has been:

  • wake up and spend time with God and being of service
  • Eat breakfast
  • Nap for about an hour
  • Go to the gym for about 45 minutes for cardio or a class (still loving BodyPump!)
  • Run errands or focus on work
  • Eat lunch
  • Do some reflecting and reading
  • Nap for about an hour and a half
  • Enjoy time with Hubby
  • Eat dinner
  • Enjoy the summer nights

Pretty good to me!

Of course, I have worked and been a responsible adult but with a job that allows for summer vacation such as this, I’ll take all the relaxing I can get!

Some highlights of my pregnancy this summer.

Week 32– Final hike of the season.
The hike itself was pretty and rejuvenating! The night that followed though was horrible.

I seem to have overstimulated Maxee with the exercise and fresh air because she was not wanting to go to sleep… or my body was too sore to relax.

I tossed and turned and ended up half-sleeping on the couch to try and position myself with various pillows and angles to get it ‘just right’.

I don’t have a huge belly but this doesn’t mean she isn’t growing!

Instead, she is pushing into my diaphragm and ribs and so there are sharp pains in the right side of my ribs and I have a shortness of breath when I’m reading out loud.

Week 33– A baby SHOWER.
Some of our friends put together a wonderful backyard BBQ/baby shower for us that was to start at 6pm.

At 5pm, the friends came to transform our house and backyard.

Mind you, Hubby has spent the majority of the summer fixing up various outside pieces of our house in anticipation of the party and Maxee coming while I have focused on nesting on the inside.

At 6pm, the heavens opened up and the flood of water rushed from the sky like a broken dam. It continued to downpour for 2 hours, completely changing our plans.

What did I learn from a Baby Down-Pour that I can take into mothering?

  • I can plan all I want, but what is going to happen, will happen. Accept what is and not pout about what is not.
  • Rain on a wedding day brings good luck to the marriage… might rain on a baby shower bring good luck to parenting?
  • The flood of water rushing down the gutters on the sides of the street may mean Maxee will just slip right out of me and labor will be just the same ‘wash’ of a delivery! (Haha)
  • Many friends from all aspects of our life were represented and seemed to enjoy their time, what a gift it is to have so many friends who love us and already love Maxee.
  • I don’t need to go out to buy and plant flowers in the planters just for one party- knowing the remainder of the year they will be scorched by the sun. It’s not worth the time or money.

Week 34– Pregnancy photoshoot.ABVB1CmxQPGlwXjzIFOqzw_thumb_89ac.jpg

We wanted to capture this amazing gift that God has given us.

A true miracle to have a baby growing in my stomach. This might be the only pregnancy I am given to experience and I wanted to take in every moment, including this beautiful baby bump.

Week 34– Breastfeeding Class
So much to learn and it all seems premature as we don’t know what type of feeder we are going to have. I’m praying for a good little latcher and eater and then a wonderful sleeper… but also trying not to have too high of expectations for this little button.

The class was helpful and for the most part, a review of all the things my friends have shared. BellyBliss does a nice job of offering support to mama’s and I’ll also look into LaLeche League to learn more.

Any tips you want to share with me… I’m open!!