Birth Plan…What Plan?

I am a planner. Always have been and probably always will be. Three months prior to my due date, I put the finishing touches on my “perfect” birth plan, printed four copies, and schooled Hubs on the purpose of each line. We had a plan and, although it was flexible, I knew exactly how baby Hammie was going to grace us with his or her presence.

Yeah, sure. Maybe in a perfect world.

Two weeks and a day before my due date, we went in for a routine weekly appointment. My ankles were twice their appropriate size, blood pressure was increasing, and my tolerance level was dropping rapidly. After concerns about my kidney function, the physician requested that I return the next day for further lab tests and an additional ultrasound.

Up to this point, Hubs had been to every appointment, and I mean EVERY appointment, no matter how insignificant. He was a trooper and put up with my mood swings as we waited over an hour for our appointments (they were changing computer systems – Karmic punishment). Since this last appointment was so last minute, he was unable to attend and sent Grannie in his place – and she was all too eager to fill his shoes.

That morning when she picked me up, she said “Are you sure you don’t want to bring your hospital bag?” I was in my now normal state of cranky and told her not to get her hopes up. Every appointment I got excited that something would change or it would be ‘time’ but was disappointed to the point of tears on multiple occasions. – Seriously, they promised me an early baby and I was miserable at 38 weeks?

Everything was perfect in the ultrasound – Hammie was growing and had over a centimeter of hair (not sure where that came from but I guess the heartburn wasn’t for nothing!). When the physician walked in the room, she could tell I was miserable. My ankles were ‘water marshmallows’ and I had retained an additional five pounds of fluid overnight. It was determined that I had preeclampsia and needed to be admitted immediately.

I don’t know it if was shock, relief, or terror but I called hubs on the verge of tears. “You need to leave work. They are admitting and inducing me.” For weeks, if not months, I had told Hubs I didn’t want to be induced. I didn’t want to do that to my body. I wanted everything to happen “naturally” and for Hammie to come at his/her own pace. I had worked so hard at keeping Hammie in and now they were telling me that they were going to force him/her out? No, I was going to do things according to the PLAN.

So at 38 weeks, I was wheeled into the maternity ward – I must have been in a state of shock because I didn’t protest. They admitted me and started drugs to dilate my cervix. In retrospect, I guess both Hubs and I got what we wanted. I got a calm wheelchair ride from the clinic to the birthing floor (with my momma) and he got to run around in a mad dash to pack everything and make it to the hospital. (I always wanted a relaxed process and he felt it wouldn’t be exciting unless there was an element of panic!)

So at this point my birth plan could continue as I had planned… hahaha, right. Nope. After 24 hours and six doses, my body hadn’t responded to the medication. I was still only dilated to one centimeter. The next step was to manually dilate with a balloon – terrifying. But there was another catch. They had no way to guarantee that they would insert the balloon into the correct cervix SOOOO we could spend the NEXT 24 hours forcing my cervix to dilate – which I can only assume is insanely painful based on what it does – and there is absolutely no promise that it will lead to my baby coming vaginally.

I sobbed. My brain knew that the only solution was to allow a C-section. To completely give up my “Plan” and give up all control of my Hammie’s arrival. I wouldn’t be the first person to hold him/her or look into his/her eyes. I was asking a physician to forcibly remove my warm and comfy baby from the only home he/she ever new. It completely broke my heart so I sobbed. Then I threatened to go home. The whole process was stupid and I no longer wanted any part of it. I was taking my bump and going home. Hubs begged me to not be so irrational but in my mind Hammie had decided that he/she wasn’t ready to come. And what type of mother ignored the needs of her child?

At this point, I am fairly certain all of the nurses at the nursing station knew who I was and the ruckus I was causing. But I didn’t care – I was devastated. Finally, after about an hour of crying, I caved.

Less than three hours later, they were putting up the surgical curtain and calling Hubs into the room. Fifteen minutes later, my perfect baby girl was born. Just as expected, she was as suborn as her momma. When the physician went to remove her, she dove back in and had to be taken out by her feet. (I knew she wasn’t ready to leave her warm home.) And just as he promised, Daddy held Hammie’s hand until she was safely delivered to my chest.

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Her tiny body was nothing compared to the huge weight of responsibility I now felt. She was mine. This was real. The emotions were indescribable.

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I guess there are pros to C-section – perfectly round heads and missing out of the lady-bits pain. Even so, I was still devastated. I am still devastated. Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have gone home and put myself on bedrest. Maybe that would have prevented the induction but maybe not. Everyday, I get a little closer to being okay with how things played out. Someone once told me (not sure who) that it is okay to grieve the loss of a “dream birth”. It is okay to feel sadness that things didn’t work out the way it was planned.

So I cuddle my little Hammie a little closer and allow myself to feel the sadness that brought me such joy.

38 Weeks

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*** Forgive how horrible I look in these pictures! At this point, I was 24 hours into a failed induction and incredibly miserable. ***

Date: 5/7/14

Cravings: Raisin Bran and avocados

Bump: Definitely.

Latest Project: Trying to keep my feet elevated so they won’t get any bigger!

Nursery Status: Done!  I added our new maternity prints but it is all ready for you to arrive!

Fear: My body will turn into a sponge…. oh wait, it already is.

Excitement: Seeing that you have over a centimeter of hair!!!

Complaint: Everything is full of water and my maternity pants no longer fit :-(

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I forgot

Almost ten years ago, I was told getting pregnant would be a chore, if it was even possible.

Three years ago, I was insensitively remind of that fact – as if I had somehow been able to forget.

Thirty-five weeks ago, I was told that we were lucky to be pregnant and should know that our child would likely be premature – not just a few weeks premature but a scary, unhealthy, few months premature.

Three weeks ago, I was told that we have proven all the textbooks and literature wrong. We beat the odds which were stacked unbelievably high against us.

One week ago, we celebrated thirty-six weeks – a date I thought I would be celebrating with an infant or, worse-case, in the NICU.

I spent hours researching premature babies and reading NICU parenting blogs – I thought I was preparing myself for the inevitable. Turns out, I was just being the overly prepared mother who didn’t trust her instincts and, instead, listened to textbooks.

I had forgotten how incredibly stubborn I am and how incredibly stubborn Daddy is. I failed to take into account that this kid is half of each of us.

(Hammie - If you are half as stubborn as I think you are, we are in trouble. If you are half of the overachiever you have been so far, I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish.)

This is how we roll

(the song is only slightly related to this post.  Mainly, it is Daddy’s fav – possibly, of all time)

36 Weeks – And they said it would never happen!

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Date: 4/23/14

Cravings: Raisin Bran and goat cheese

Bump: Yes, it is huge.

Latest Project: Making BIGGER cloth diapers – who knew you might need them?!

Nursery Status: Finished – we added another lamp and a new picture.

Fear: Stretch marks will take over my body.

Excitement: Any day now……

Complaint: Seriously, do you think my lungs are a nice pillow?  Also, I am sure it is cramped in there but do you really need to throw your whole body to the left when I am sitting? There is lots of room if you would decide to hang out in my lower abdomen!

Thanks to: Daddy for rubbing my sore swollen feet.

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I hope you…

1. … have your daddy’s sense of humor.

2. … never stop asking why.

3. … always question authority.

4. … have a tiny baby nose like momma and daddy.

5. … have tiny baby ears like daddy.

6. … thirst for knowledge about everything.

7. … don’t catch your parents’ insane sweet tooth.

8. … have the self-confidence to always love yourself

9. and stand up for those who are unable to love themselves.

10. … love to read.

11. … love to play outside.

12. … remember that your parents were the first to love you

13. and will always love you.

14. … love avocado.

15. … desire to try new things and never limit yourself.

16. … know every decision we have made/will make is because we only want the best for you.

17. … decide to be different.  Not for the sake of being different but for the sake of being you.

18. … realize that being different is awesome.

19. … find something to be passionate about.

20. … fall in and out of love with different people, music, and art.

21. … travel the world.

22. … are open-minded to new ideas.

23. … are stubborn.

24. … jump out of airplanes.

25. … aren’t allergic to the sun like momma.

26. … know that, no matter what you do, you will always make us proud.

27. … learn to trust your instincts – 95% of the time they are right.

28. … go to graduate school – not because you have to but because learning is amazing.

29. … fall in love with your grandparents because they are already in love with you.

30. … like veggies.

31. … always return your momma’s calls.

32. … enjoy returning your momma’s calls.

33. … make mistakes and learn how to fix them.

34. … love museums (momma needs someone to go with!).

35. … have dance parties in your room when no one is watching.

36. … dream big.

One for every week I have dreamt about you – even when you were a figment of our imagination.

 I hope you dance

 

34 Weeks

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Date: 4/10/14

Cravings: Avocados (in everything) and Chocolate

Bump: Yup

Latest Project: Prepping cloth diapers and organizing (and reorganizing) things in your closet/drawers.

Nursery Status: DONE!!!

Fear: I will never fit into my pre-pregnancy pants.

Excitement: Knowing I will get to see your face soon!

Complaint: Being an obsessive planner and all, it is killing me that I have no idea or control over when you decide to show up. Also, the splitting muscle on the left side of my belly – couldn’t you hang out on the right side more often?!

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32 Weeks

 

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Date: 3/26/14

Cravings: Mexican Food (salsa and avocados) , Cheerios, Ice Cream, Pickles

Bump: Yes!

Latest Project: Sewing a stash of newborn cloth diapers.

Nursery Status: Rocking chair is ordered and on the way!

Fear: I won’t know when you are on your way. Or won’t realize it until too late.

Excitement: Knowing that you are SO close to coming and that it is safe for you.

Complaint: Loving every minute but it is getting really difficult to put on pants/shoes!

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30 Weeks

 

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Date: 3/12/14

Cravings: Avocado, McDonald’s chocolate shakes, Cheerios, Rolo’s

Bump: Mmhmmm, it most definitely is.

Latest Project: Creating an organizer for you closet.

Nursery Status: Everything is ready – but we are still waiting on Daddy to order the rocking chair!

Fear: We won’t have everything we need when you decide to come. Also, that my wedding band and engagement ring may never fit again.

Excitement: Touring the hospital. Also, you started getting the hiccups which was really cute at first and now I just feel bad for you – seriously, 4 times yesterday? It was an added bonus to see you hiccup on the ultrasound!

Complaint: Tightness in my hips and feeling tired all the time – but it is totally worth it because I am feeling pretty comfortable still!

30 Wks - 3

28 Weeks – 3rd Trimester!

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Cravings: Ice cream, Rolo’s, Avocado, Cheerios (not Crispix! Go figure!)

Bump: Most definitely.

Latest Project: Finishing the sleep sack and working on your bubble mobile.

Nursery Status: Still waiting on daddy to order our rocker! Once the mobile is done, everything is ready for you to come!

Fear: Today I got teary-eyed when I realized we are going to be parents in the next three months.  That is incredibly overwhelming and scary.  Also, I fear that I don’t have enough for you to wear when you get here…. hopefully going naked is cool with you!

Excitement: 12 weeks or less until we get to meet you!

Complaint: Your head on my stomach is making all meals extremely painful.

Thanks To: Daddy for putting up with my mood swings.

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