Category Archives: Marriage

Birth Story Part 1: 0-4 centimeters

Week of January 24

Feeling crampy. Like period cramps, but totally manageable. I’m told this is a good thing. My body getting ready for labor or something. I don’t think too much of it. On Friday, I head to the OB for my weekly exam. 3 cm and 90% effaced! Say what? How did that happen? The doctor says, “Well, that is some definite progress. Make your appointment for next week, but I don’t know if I will see you.”

Huh? I’m a first timer. Of course you will see me. You’ll see me up until Week 42 because first babies take forever. And I’m not being induced. And so yeah, I’ll see you next week, doc.

I go home. The cramps increase. One makes me reach out and hold onto the husband’s arm for a second. Then it’s done and I’m good to go. Was that a contraction? I have no idea.

Saturday, January 29

The husband wakes up early and takes the dogs to the living room to let me sleep. That’s awful sweet of him, but as happens about every 20 minutes these days, I must go to the bathroom. To avoid giving you too much detail I will just say that it was quite, the ahem, show. I’m in a little bit of disbelief and then I make my way to the living room. Peaking my head around the corner, I say to the husband, “Umm, so I think we might be having the baby soon.”

You know those cartoons where the character’s neck gets all long and their eyes get big. It was like that. “Why?” he says.

Insert detail here that I am too classy/modest/grossed out to share with you.

Now there is no going back to sleep and I hang out with the hubs on the couch until we head to town to now do some very urgent errands. I call our midwife. Explain to her the happenings of the morning, the results of my cervical exam and how I’m feeling.

She lets me know that research has shown that after the show, labor typically begins within 72 hours. Holy shit! That’s 3 days. This could really be happening. I had been expecting to feel scared and anxious. Instead I am completely calm and excitement comes over me. I can’t wait to have this baby! The midwife instructs me to rest up, drink a lot of fluids, eat well and take it easy. She wants me to be ready for labor.

I’m still a little shocked. Ready for labor? Already? We’re in the middle of Week 38.

The mind shift is almost immediate.

It’s go time. I’m ready for this. I’m prepared. I want this baby in my arms.

We head to town. On the day’s agenda:

  • Lowes – for some vent thing for the garage. Not my department. Thank you very much.
  • Bagels – more my department. Sustenance is necessary.
  • Chiropractor – the pelvis is out of alignment again and I need a little adjusting.
  • DSW – The hubs needs new running shoes. For the sympathy weight. For his heart health.
  • Babies ‘R Us – must return some items, get baby necessities that we have yet to purchase.
  • Walmart – Must purchase Tucks and a variety of other things needed for home birth, including snacks to have during labor.
  • Sushi – We figure this may be our last date for awhile. We feast. Ever seen the dirty looks people give a nine months pregnant woman in a sushi restaurant? Yeah, you know who you are. I didn’t eat the raw stuff, bitches.
  • Back to Walmart – Poor planning on our part resulted in both a dry and cold run to Walmart. Plus good motivation for this kid’s college fund.

Back home to…hurry up and wait? Is this going to happen?

Sunday, January 30

4:30 a.m. – I wake up with strong cramps. Maybe this is it? I listen to my hypnobirthing CD and try to rest, but thoughts of work creep in. If I have this baby today I am so leaving my coworkers in a lurch. I get out of bed at 5:30 and turn the laptop on. Time to get some work done. The cramping stops almost immediately. Damn it. After an hour or two of work I crawl back into bed and sleep until 9:30 in hopes that the cramping will start back up.

I spend most of the day on the couch. I nap. I watch movies. I wait. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even a cramp.

Monday, January 31

I head to work. I’m not too happy about this. We are in hour 48. Research shows that after the show labor typically starts within 72 hours. No such luck here. No labor. Just more cramping. Once at work I’m overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to get done. Realizing that there will never be the perfect time to take maternity leave I bust my ass all day trying to finish a complete web redesign. Who thought this redesign thing was a good idea? I work until we have our midwife appointment and then work some more when I get home. I’m over it.

Our midwives are amazing. They fill me with hope that I am close and are positive that the effacement and dilation are good signs. They tell us that typically first time moms are only 1 cm and 50% effaced on their due date. Up until this point I had been prepared to go full term plus some. Now my thoughts are filled with having this baby. I’m filled with so much excitement, but by Tuesday morning I’m disappointed. No contractions. Hour 72 has passed and I feel sad that nothing is happening. I’m wondering if the show was really brought on by my cervical exam and labor is in fact far off. No bueno.

The good news is that the baby’s head has completely descended into my pelvis and is in the perfect position. Thank you yoga!

I decide to heed my midwives’ advice and start booking fun activities for every 3 days or so. Acupuncture. Check. Massage. Check. Pedicure. Check.  Definitely need things to look forward to until our little man feels ready to enter the world.

Tuesday, February 1

It’s now February and my due date is 9 days away, which my coworkers are reminding me every time they see me waddle around the office. Hey – thanks pals! I almost forgot that I am due to have a baby. It’s so awesome that you reminded me.

My boss is amazing (one of the best I’ve ever had), but I’m delaying letting her know that I’m dilating like crazy and am hopeful that this baby will be an early arriver. I don’t like to see the panic in her eyes.

Throughout the day I’m starting to feel more intense cramps. Some of them almost feel like waves, a for sure peak followed by a valley. This is the way my midwife described contractions. Could it be? I’m not sure. On the drive home they get significantly stronger. I’m hopeful and for the rest of the night I have that same crampy feeling, but by the next morning it’s gone.

Son of a bitch…bring on the acupuncture.

Thursday, February 3 (also known as Eff You BabyCenter.com Day)

Week 39: Has your baby arrived yet? The email subject line says.

Are you mocking me BabyCenter? Do you know how badly I want him here? Do you understand the obnoxious co-workers I am dealing with everyday? The constant question from family. Do you know that my husband thinks I have some sort of womanly intuition on when this little baby is showing up? But I don’t! I have no clue!

Yesterday I had my first acupuncture treatment to try and get this party started. Usually acupuncture is quite relaxing, but this time my acupuncturist warned me that the points where she would be inserting needles would feel much different. She was right – acupuncture was a whole new ball game when it comes to getting the uterus going. The needles were inserted in my lower back and then she did some sort of activation to move the Chi (yes, Dad, I am THAT hippie). Instantaneously, I felt the nerves and muscles become more alive. The entire experience was intense as I felt the energy move from my lower back to my front. The acupuncturist told me that she has actually had a woman’s water break in her office after the treatment. Alas, that was not the case for me and I headed back to work.

I head to the OB’s office for my weekly appointment. I opt in for the cervical exam again. Damn. I promised myself I wouldn’t, but I just can’t resist the temptation. It turns out that she tries to give me a tonsillectomy. The baby is so low that she can’t reach my cervix. I ask for further clarification. She acts annoyed that she has to stay in the room and explain what a baby’s “station” is. It turns out that the station is the baby’s head position.

Side note: The doctor judges how low the baby is based on a scale of -5 to +5. +5 is crowning. The OB says I am at a 0 or +1. This still doesn’t mean much to me.

I get back to my office and attempt to find out more about the disappearing cervix. Is this normal? BabyCenter has no good info. I call our midwife. I love that I can call her anytime with questions like this. When I tell her that the baby is at a 0 or +1, she exclaims, “Holy Crap!”

So despite the fact that our little man hasn’t arrived yet, progress is being made. I’m hoping for a weekend baby.

Monday, February 7

No baby and I’ve come to the realization that it’s time to just trust my body and baby and stop worrying about when it’s going to happen. At our appointment today with the midwife, she reminds us that first time moms have an average gestation of 41 weeks and 1 day.

After hearing that statistic, I realize that despite the fact that my body is preparing, labor may still be a few weeks off. I’m slightly disappointed, but a little relieved too. I had been placing a lot of pressure on myself – feeling like since progress had started that I should be close to delivering.

The incessant comments at work never stop and are becoming increasingly annoying. I don’t want to hear one more person comment about how/why I’m still at work.

February 10, 2011

40 Weeks

Henry, today is your due date and it would appear that we are in the 50% percentile of women who deliver after their due date. No pressure, kiddo, but momma needs you to make your debut. My OB started talking induction last week and although the midwife is comfortable in letting us go to 42 weeks, I honestly can’t imagine having to wait to meet you for that much longer. I will if you need me to, but anytime now I’m ready for you.

February 17, 2011

I am beyond over being pregnant. I am over my coworkers. I am over anyone who asks me when my baby is being born. Hell if I know!

I woke up today and did the Hypnobabies Baby Come Out meditation. I head to work late, but not long after I get there I feel as if I may be having contractions. I’ve felt this way for weeks, but these are coming more frequently. I text my friend Jenna to find out what this feeling is all about. After describing it to her she writes, “Those sound like contractions! I bet he will be here by tomorrow.”

Yeah, right, I think. At this point this baby is never coming out. I decide in that moment that this is my last day at work. Whether this baby comes or not, I absolutely cannot handle my coworkers anymore. I schedule an afternoon pedicure and leave the office.

The ladies at the pedicure shop freak when I tell them that I was due last week. I’m trying to enjoy my pedicure, but when the front desk girl asks, “So what’s the plan?” I turn to her and say, “Uh, have a baby.”

Pregnancy hormones suit me well. Real well.

I throw in an eyebrow wax for good measure. Gots to look good for labor.

I head home after the pedicure and feel the contractions start up again. This is good. Real good.

I eat and eat and eat. Travis comes home and we eat some more. We hang out in front of the T.V. and the contractions continue. Around 8 p.m. I use the bathroom and have the real show. The show that happened weeks ago was not the real deal.

I call our midwife. She instructs me to get to bed early and call her when the contractions get closer together.

In the next chapter this whole having a baby thing gets real.

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Who the bleep did I marry?

I came home on Saturday afternoon after getting the best pedicure ever (I can make that statement because I’m pregnant and I’m fairly certain that ANY pedicure would be the best ever at this point) and found my husband sprawled across the couch, beer in hand with a football game on the TV.

Yes, that football. The American kind.

I took a deep breath. “Are you…

Gulp.

…watching football?,” I asked with every ounce of disbelief my newly pedicured body could muster.

“Yeah, UNR’s playing.”

“Oh. Ok.”

You see, my friends, he has never in the course of our four year relationship watched any sport besides the occasional foray into the X Games or the Winter Olympics. Never.

It’s one of the things I love about him.

Wolf Pack MascotA long time ago, in a land where I was a young college student and didn’t know much about myself, I pretended to like sports for a guy. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle the occasional basketball or baseball game. I almost enjoy them. When I lived in Australia I loved going to footy games, but when it comes to football season I’m a bit of a black sheep in my family. I could frankly give a damn who is playing, winning, cheating, going to get the Heisman or playing in a bowl game.

And my wonderful husband felt the same. Until, our local university, my alma mater, got good and they won this game. The game that my husband begrudgingly watched with my father during Thanksgiving.  My husband kind of got into it and now it would seem that he’s a fan. A fan! A football watching fan!

Isn’t that the beauty of relationships? When we’re with the right person we’re given the freedom to change, to grow, to suddenly like team sports.

Sigh…at least I don’t have to pretend to like it anymore. But I did cuddle up with him to watch the end of the match game. And I may have liked it a little, itty bit. It may have been kind of exciting.

I Llllll you

This morning I was thinking about the first time Travis and I shared those three little words.

The thing that always blows me away is how close I came to not saying it. How close I came to not letting this beautiful chapter of my life unfold.

We were standing in the kitchen of the apartment that he shared with two friends of his (girl friends) and he was cooking dinner. We did this fairly often at the beginning of our relationship. Trading nights of cooking, walking Daisy dog and watching Jeopardy. Slowly sliding into domestication while totally in denial.

He was probably making something with a lot of cheese. He knew the way to my heart early on. At some point, we started joking and teasing each other. He said, “Why do you hate me so much?”

I said, “I don’t hate you. I llll……like you a lot.”

We looked at each other, both of us certain of what had almost come out of my mouth. He smiled. I blushed. And then we acted like it had never happened. For months.

I can’t remember how long we had been dating at this point. It had to have been only a couple of months and after being burnt in the past I was still convincing myself that there way no way I loved this guy. We were just dating. Totes nonchalant. Completely casual. I didn’t care if he called. Definitely didn’t care.

Our First Camping Trip. Excuse the Camo shorts. Or don't. I'm from NV afterall.

A few months later we went on our first camping trip with a bunch of his friends. I wasn’t too excited. One of his friends (and his wonderful wife) had a habit of asking inappropriate questions and embarrassing me in front of people I had just met. Travis promised to protect me from this so I agreed to go. And on the second night of our camping trip, each of us bundled up in a sleeping bag in a tent full of dirt from the day’s earlier dust storm, I said it.

And he said it back.

And that was it.

A month later we decided to move in together. A year and a half later we were engaged. A year and a half after that we were married. And in 13 weeks (give or take) we will welcome a baby boy into this family that happened because I let those three little words fly.

So today’s lesson is to take chances. Love completely. And say it. Say it often. Say it loudly. Say it because you mean it.

Because I’m feeling sappy today I want you to share your I lllll you stories with me.

Sister Wives

Has anyone been watching Sister Wives on TLC?

In last night’s episode, the “first wife,” Meri confronts an all too smiley Kody (the husband) about her “jealousy issues,” which have arisen from watching her husband of 20 years court and marry not one, not two, but three other women.

Kody gets tripped up for a second when it looks like he almost admits to himself how unfair this situation is. He says he can’t imagine her with another man or lover.

Pour me a big cup of puh-leeze. This guy has it made.

For a second, take out the wacky family situation. Who couldn’t use an extra hand (or three) around the house? I think about if I had someone at home – cooking, cleaning, changing Baby P’s diapers all while loving our house and family like it is their own? Sounds pretty sweet, eh?

Which is why I asked Travis how he would feel about a “Brother Husband.”

Conversation went like this:

Me: “How would you feel about a “Brother Husband?”

T: “I don’t know. Would you sleep with him?”

Me: “Ummmm. Depends what he looks like.”

T and Me break into uncontrollable laughter.

Looks like we’ll stick to just the two of us.

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Oh hi. I’m married.

I wondered if I would be one of those girls who fell into a deep, dark depression after my wedding. To my delight I am not. I feel nothing but a sense of relief that 18 months of planning resulted in one of the best days of my life and now feel completely ready to move on to the next chapter of marital bliss.

Everyone asks, “Is it different being married?”

And the short answer is no. Not really. Just a title change with larger responsibilities, like commiting myself to one person FOREVER. No big deal.  In reality, day to day life has not changed that much. In fact, it’s been very much the same as before with less crafting and more sleeping.

Perhaps, it’s because we’ve lived together for three years, working out the housekeeping/personal space issues in that first year. And if I did it again I wouldn’t do it any other way. Living together before we made this commitment gave us realistic expectations of what cohabiting is like. I suck at housework. I lack the motivation (or time) to keep the laundry pile in control. The big T leaves water/beer bottles everywhere (like behind the couch?????).

It also gave us the chance to figure out money, who would be responsible for bill paying and who would be responsible for yard maintenance. Mundane domestic things like that. We’ve also braved a few storms together including death, divorce, real estate hell, economic hell, and various familial issues.

So I married a man that I really knew. And I couldn’t be happier that I did.

I promise I will begin posting again soon with a complete wedding recap.

For now, there is more sleep to be had.