Monday, September 28, 2009

Post delivery

Originally posted Aug 23, 2009

Right after Morgan was born I felt incredible. In fact, I was experiencing such an emotional high that I couldn't imagine why anyone would ever seek that feeling from illegal substances. Wanna feel good? Wanna get high? Have a kid. There's no better feeling in the world.

But about an hour and a half after delivery I was hit with a headache that was so intense, it really felt like someone was stabbing a knife through my skull. It was one of the most painful things I've ever felt. And keep in mind that I JUST GAVE BIRTH! Turns out, the epidural gave me a "spinal headache". I was leaking spinal fluid from the tiny hole where the epidural was inserted. The treatment for this is what's called a blood patch. It's basically the same procedure as an epidural (HONKIN' HUGE needle in the back) but instead of using anesthesia, they fill that space with your own blood in the hopes that it will clot and stop the leak. About two minutes after the blood patch was given I felt 100% better and was able to go back to enjoying my newborn.

But the next day as we were getting ready to leave the hospital the headache came back. It was gradual at first, but by the end of the day it was almost as intense as it had been the day before. I was told that sometimes the blood patch provides relief but doesn't actually heal the leak, and if that happened to be the case for me I would just need to wait it out for two or three days which is pretty much the longest this thing is supposed to last. Well... eight days and one trip to the emergency room later, I still wasn't feeling any better.

(Something related: The doctor we saw in the ER seemed to think that the solution to my problem was simply taking a ludicrous amount of pain medication [two Lortab 7.5 and one IBUProfin 800] every four to six hours. Are you kidding me? It's no wonder people have prescription drug addictions.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, THE PAIN. Guys, I cannot even tell you how terrible this headache was. As long as I was laying flat on my back, the pressure on my spinal cord was relieved and I actually felt okay. But as soon as I sat or stood up the pain was absolutely crippling. I couldn't even take Morgan into the next room to change her diaper. I was suddenly a burden on everyone around me. I couldn't even take care of myself, there was absolutely NO way I could take care of a newborn. I only had the epidural in for about 40 mintues before Morgan was born. Looking back I can't help but wonder if I should have just dealt with the extra 40 minutes of pain rather than the eight days of hell that followed. Had I known things were going to happen so quickly after my water broke, it's very likely I would have skipped the epidural. The high I felt after she was born was replaced with a feeling of terrible inadequacy that I knew I couldn't shake until I was feeling better. Not the way you want to start motherhood.

Finally, after a second blood patch and about 19 cases of Mtn. Dew (I was told the caffiene would help), I'm feeling MUCH better. My back is still a little sore from having three needles the size of Texas stabbed into my spine, but the headache is completely gone now and I can actually take care of my baby... something that gives me a sense of satisfaction that is beyond compare.

On another note, I have a serious bone to pick with every woman out there who has ever given birth. Why did no one tell me just HOW MUCH it hurts "down there" after giving birth? Maybe it's common sense and I should have just figured it on my own... but, well, I didn't. It's like EVERYONE will talk about the pain of labor, but there's this cone of silence surrounding the subject of postpartum recovery. I mean, while I was pregnant nobody hesitated to tell me how terrible labor would be. In fact, one day, some completely random woman I'd never met before stopped me in the produce aisle of the grocery store and proceeded to tell me a needlessly graphic labor story that terrified me to the depths of my very soul. But no one ever once mentioned that after you give birth every sneeze and every cough will cause you to double over in pain and immediately start praying that none of those stitches tore. No one felt the need to tell me that I would seriously consider NEVER sitting down again because of how sore things are. And the first time you go to the bathroom after giving birth? Who knew it could be so terrifying?

Ladies, let's never keep a secret like this from one another again, okay?

A labor story

Originally posted Aug. 23, 2009

Labor. I'd always heard it was the worst thing a woman would ever have to endure. But for me, it was absolutely and without a doubt the most sacred experience of my life.

The Monday following my due date I had an early morning appointment (that's right... after months of hearing how my baby would most likely be born premature and under NO circumstances would I be allowed to carry past my due date...three days after I was due, I was STILL pregnant). I was starting to believe that I would be the first woman in the history of the world to be pregnant forever. My doctor tried to assure me that wouldn't be the case, but I'd already lost hope. However, after checking me, she told me the good news that I had FINALLY progressed past 2 cm and was actually in the perfect condition to be induced. She then asked me the most ridiculous question I've ever been asked in my whole life... "Do you want to have this baby today?" Under different circumstances I would have jumped up and shouted "HELL YEAH!" but my doctor is very mild mannered and also very Mormon, and since I didn't want to offend the woman who would soon be holding sharp instruments near my vagina, I simply said "Yes, please".

The labor experience I had pictured in my mind went something like this: I'd wake up in the middle of the night with contractions every 3 minutes and I'd have to try to wake Adam up which is not unlike trying to rouse a hibernating bear, or my water would break in the middle of the grocery aisle and I'd try to pretend I dropped a jar of pickles or something. On second thought, I'd totally tell EVERY one that MY WATER JUST BROKE...then I'd ask the zit faced stock-boy if he'd be willing to cut the cord, just to freak him out. Anyway, driving to the hospital would be complete madness, speeding, running red lights, cutting people off. We wouldn't even bother with trying to find a parking spot, we'd jump the curb and pull right up to the front entrance and as we burst through the hospital doors Adam would yell "My wife... She's having a BABY!". Everyone would drop what they were doing and come scrambling to my side. I'd then be rushed down the hall in a wheelchair screaming in agony and pleading for something, ANYthing, to take away the pain... an epidural, morphine, some bourbon on the rocks, PRONTO! Then we'd arrive in the delivery room just in time to see the baby's head crowning. There wouldn't even be any time to process what was happening, it would be so fast and intense!

In reality, my labor experience was very much the opposite. I calmly drove to the hospital in absolutely no pain and pulled neatly into a parking spot. I sat patiently at the front desk while the receptionist casually took my information and got me checked in. When I got to my room I was promptly hooked up to IV's and then I laid there...and waited. Although I immediately started contracting, about every 4 minutes in fact, I wasn't quite convinced that this was the actual thing. I've always heard that when they hook you up to the Pitocin your contractions are hard and fast and very, very painful. In fact the woman on my childbirth DVD’s describes an induced labor as an F&F labor. "Fast and Furious and you can use all the F’s you need to get through it." However, the first painful contraction I felt was 13 hours after my labor had been induced. I’m thinking, this is labor? That was a contraction? That little thing? No, really when do they start hurting? I hear it gets worse.

By about 3:30 am I was finally feeling like I was in labor. I could feel each contraction build up, reach it's peak, then gradually disappear. It was in no way a pleasant thing, but not bad enough yet that I felt the need to wake Adam up. He just looked so darn cute drooling there on the pull out bed and I knew he had a long day of family ahead of him. And besides, my nurse was coming in to check on me very regularly at this point so it wasn't like I was alone. It was close to 7:00 am when I decided that I needed Adam there with me and I may want an epidural. I'm definitely not one of those women who go into labor with these noble plans to do it drug free. I'd technically been in labor for 18 hours at this point and my cervix had only dilated 5 cm...2 cm more than when I got there the day before. I figured I'd given it a pretty good go and had absolutely no guilt about wanting to do the rest of it more comfortably. Who knew how long this would take? My nurse contacted the anesthesiologist and informed me he "should" be there in about half an hour.

My doctor happened to have a meeting at the hospital that morning and, being the kind woman she is, she decided to stop by my room and see how things were progressing. Discovering I had only progressed 2 cm in almost 20 hours, she decided to break my water in an attempt to help speed things along. This is where my labor took a dramatic turn. She explained to me that breaking my water would cause my contractions to get stronger and come quicker and that there would no longer be that cushion between the baby's head and my cervix, but she assured me that it would take about 15 to 20 minutes for me to really feel these changes. YEAH. FREAKING. RIGHT. The very next contraction was unlike anything I had ever felt! THIS is what labor is supposed to feel like! THIS is what all those people had been talking about! It couldn't possibly get worse now because pain worse than this is DEATH! A mixture of the Pitocin being pumped into me and my water breaking had sent me into the transitional phase of labor which isn't supposed to happen until you are dilated to at least 8 cm. The contractions were coming about every minute and a half and lasting about a minute each, so I had about 30 seconds of down time followed by a full minute of torment. The anesthesiologist should have been here by now. Where is he? And where the heck is that glass of bourbon???

Up to this point about the only piece of coaching advice Adam had really been given was that at no point should his face come within a foot of mine. I have a strong sense of personal space and I imagined that would only be magnified by labor. But suddenly all I wanted was for him to be RIGHT there. In fact I NEEDED him there. Adam and my nurse Kathy (who, by the way, is the most amazing nurse and quite possibly the sweetest human being to ever walk this planet) were right beside me, guiding me through each contraction. Adam providing the support of a loving husband and a hand to squeeze as the pain got worse. And Kathy stroking my leg and saying things like "Breathe" and "You're doing it" or "You're almost through this one." They are such simple words, but you can't even imagine how much they mean when you aren't sure you're going to live through the next contraction.

I'm not even sure what time the anesthesiologist finally showed up. It was taking every single ounce of energy I had to pull through each contraction, a bomb could have been dropped right on top of the hospital and I'm not sure I would have even noticed. The epidural was something I had feared and stressed about for weeks, but it turned out to be a very quick and absolutely painless procedure. Ten minutes after he got started, I was able to function and think clearly again. Twenty minutes later I was completely pain free. Earlier I mentioned how I felt like I had "experienced" labor and was okay with getting the epidural. Looking back, I am SO glad things picked up like they did and I was able to experience that intense "just kill me now" labor. I had never been in so much pain, but I had also never experienced anything with such a purpose. Realizing that level of pain was necessary to bring our baby girl here and having my husband right next to me sharing in such an extraordianry experience, knowing that within moments we would have our little angel here with us... honestly, it was the most spiritual thing I have EVER experienced.

Once the epidural worked it's magic my nurse checked my cervix again and found that I had dilated a full 3 cm in the 45 minutes since I was last checked. Realizing I was at an 8, almost a 9, my nurse literally ran out of the room to get my doctor out of her meeting. By the time she was in her scrubs and things were set up for the delivery, I was fully dialted and ready to start pushing.

I'll never forget how I felt looking around the room. Things were happening so fast it was a bit chaotic, but I've never felt more at peace. I was ready for this. Adam was holding one leg, Kathy was holding the other. My doctor was coaching me and telling me how and when I would need to push. The baby's nurse and respiratory therapist were there ready for the moment she would be passed to them to be cleaned up and checked out. My mom and mother-in-law had just enough time to poke their heads in and let us know they were there before the nurses rushed them out of the room. Kathy could see on the monitor that a contraction was starting. I took one last look at Adam who already had tears in his eyes and then...I PUSHED.

At 9:41 am on August 11, 2009 I heard my baby cry for the first time. It was by far the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced. I cannot even begin to express the love I felt for her from the very first moment I laid eyes on her. I was crying, of course. Adam was crying too, and suddenly more handsome than I'd ever seen him. Morgan was here and she was absolutely perfect. This was, without a doubt, the most defining moment of my entire life.

We had just created a family.

~Morgan Paige Livingston~
 7lbs 6oz~19in long

The point where every post will be me freaking out about this pregnancy

Originally posted July 20, 2009

I had to apologize to my baby when I left the doctors office this morning. It’s not her fault that this pregnancy has been such a roller coaster. It’s not her fault that I have a cervix of steel that refuses to efface (get soft and thin) or dilate (open up!). And I guess it’s not even her fault that she’s not dropping into my pelvic area like she should be at this point. I realize that nothing that is going on is her fault, but in the frustration of it all I may have told my unborn child to "suck it up and just get the hell out of there already".

I came to a very scary realization today. This medical induction just isn’t going to happen. At this point there are too many factors that lead my doctor to believe it will be easier and safer if I go into labor on my own. That means this baby’s got two more weeks to just get bigger and bigger (translation: harder and harder to push outta there!). And I’ve got two more weeks of this shortness of breath and being hooked up to oxygen machines. And two more weeks before I can hold her in my arms. But, the scariest part of it all is: now it’s entirely up to me to convince this baby she wants to come out. I won’t have the help of a very strong intravenous drug to convince her it’s time. She threatened to come early multiple times, but now that we’re right at the end she seems perfectly content to stay put. It is now a battle of will. Me against her. Mama vs Baby. And, to be honest, that scares the shit of me. This baby may not even be born yet, but she has a combination of Carmody and Livingston DNA, which basically means I’ll be dealing with the MOST STUBBORN personality to EVER walk the earth. I don’t know that I can match that kind of willpower.

I think the hardest part about this is that it’s just so completely unpredictable and I have a very hard time being put in any situation where I’m not in absolute control. One thing I have learned through my extensive (almost obsessive compulsive) studying is that labor, by nature, is a total unknown and it's absolutely impossible to predict what my personal experience will be like. But being induced meant that I would be given a date and time that this would all be happening and it would be in a somewhat controlled environment. Now there are no definite plans. I realize that most women don’t get any kind of plan when it comes to delivering a baby, but I thought for a tiny second that I might be the exception to that rule. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong. See, she’s already one-upped me!

Baby: 1
Mama: 0

Another way

Originally posted July 8, 2009

For a while now "the plan" has been to induce my labor at 37 weeks (which is next week, by the way) but the plan recently changed. Apparently my doctor has some pressing issues out of town (like an issue even exists that is more pressing than a completely clueless first time mom nearing her due date). So the induction has been pushed back at least a week and a half. Initially I was a little disappointed by this, but as I’ve thought about it I’ve realized that I’m perfectly happy staying pregnant for these last few weeks. I've weighed the facts, conducted a thorough cost-benefit analysis, looked carefully at all of the details and made a very important decision: In the next couple weeks I’m going to come up with a new way of getting this baby out of me.

Since I began reading and trying to educate myself about labor and delivery - which is pretty much mandatory at my stage in the game - I’ve basically come to the conclusion that pushing a baby out of THERE is quite similar to trying to squeeze a watermelon through ones nostril. But, the alternative to expressing another human being out of my lady parts is the dreaded C-section. Having my stomach cut open and my insides taken out of me- while I’m still awake- somehow sounds even less appealing to me. There’s just GOT to be another way!

I know I can’t put this off forever. I’m pretty sure that at some point my doctors are going to insist that I let this child out. They also point out that there are about six billion people on this planet, which means this whole birthing thing has been done, oh I don’t know... A LOT! And women all over the world just keep doing it, so there has to be some sort of silver lining.

This is going to happen at some point- that’s inevitable. And I'm honestly VERY excited (albeit a little terrified) about it. But all things considered, I’ve decided that my doctor having to leave town is actually a blessing in disguise. I’ve been given the gift of time. Time to purchase those last few things we need, time to appreciate a good night's rest before those sleepless nights get here, time to enjoy a few more dinner dates with my husband, and most importantly- time to work on that alternative birthing plan.

A little bit mushy

Originally posted June 25, 2009
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that Adam is pretty much my favorite person in the entire world. Sometimes I make myself sick with how mushy I get talking about him, but lately it’s become increasingly hard to even think about him without silently gasping, My God, I am SO in love with this man!

Sure we have our issues, who doesn’t? I mean, it drives me crazy how he lets the smallest things ruin his entire mood. He hates the way I nag him to take the garbage out. When he squeezes the toothpaste tube from the top, even though I’ve showed him a million times how to correctly squeeze it, I seriously consider leaving a bag of dog poop on his truck seat to get back at him. Oh, and by the way, the fact that I absolutely love using the word ‘poop’ drives him insane! See... issues.

But when it comes right down to it, he just makes it too damn easy to love him. So easy, in fact, that it should be criminal. He is a good person, someone who cares deeply about his friends and family, someone who works incredibly hard day in and day out so he can provide for our little family, someone who loves to lay with his head on my belly to listen for and feel those little kicks, someone who calls me everyday at lunch just to see how my day is going, someone with strong hands to open stubborn pickle jars and hold me tightly when my emotions get the best of me.

As the weeks have slipped by and we’re inching closer to the day we’ll bring our baby girl home, I just can’t help but feel more and more grateful that HE is the father of my child. I know that I’ve posted quite a bit about pregnancy in the last several months and those posts have been heavily laced with sarcasm, but underneath all the exaggeration lies an unbelievable feeling of gratitude. I posses a very real appreciation for the beauty of this whole experience and I feel so lucky to have been given this responsibility. And I’m even luckier to have a loving partner to see me through the whole nine months–someone who is just as excited as I am about this baby and who has been there to support me from day one. I know there are so many women who go through this experience alone or with a partner who’d rather not be a part of the whole process. I can’t thank my husband enough for all he has done and continues to do for me. I finally get to have his baby, and nothing makes me happier!

I’m sure in these last few weeks I’ll have more to say about the thrills of pregnancy– like the fact that recently I’ve been feeling an intense need to pee, only to sit on the toilet and have like 3 whole drops come out. Or that due to the constantly changing size of my boobs I am convinced there is no longer a bra on the entire planet that would fit me. But the closer I get to my due date the more I’ve felt the need to communicate just how happy I am to be in my current situation and how much I really do love the man that got me here.

I've become one of the crazies

Originally posted May 19, 2009

Pregnancy is a weird thing. Beautiful, sure, but weird as hell.

At this point in my pregnancy, although things are rapidly changing, I’m actually feeling very comfortable in my body. Yeah sure, it’s getting harder and harder for me to get in and out of bed, up and down stairs, etc. And it’s true that I now have to sit in the shower to have any hope of getting my legs shaved and my belly button has recently taken on an identity of it’s own. I looked down at my belly the other day and realized it had an erection. It’s not always there. It depends entirely on what I’m wearing and the position of the baby, but when it pokes out, it really pokes out! I just love it when I’m having a conversation with someone and I notice them trying their hardest not to look at it. Sometimes I feel like saying "It’s okay, just look at it. Do you want me to lift up my shirt so you can see it closer? ‘Cause I totally will. Look, if I bend this way it looks like it’s talking..." But rather than calling them out on it and making them uncomfortable, I usually just start scratching or rubbing my belly so they have a reason to indulge in the fascination and take a peek.

As summer closes in I realize that rather than wearing a cute bikini and doing fun summery things, this year I’ll be wearing something that closely resembles a mu-mu and supervising rather than participating in a lot of activities. In the next few months, if you happen to drive by my house and spot a large inanimate object laying in the middle of the yard, don’t be alarmed, this is NOT a beached whale- it’s just me laying in a kiddie pool full of ice cubes eating popsicles. Which I plan to spend the majority of the summer doing, by the way. But, all joking aside, I actually feel great! I’m not at that point where I feel SO fat that I’m miserable. I actually enjoy my belly bump and am very maternal towards it, always touching and rubbing it. The various aches and pains I have are definitely bearable and it’s not been too hot yet. I’ve recently stumbled upon more energy than I even know what to do with...a pleasant change from the exhaustion that has been plaguing me since December. And I can’t even explain how much I LOVE feeling our baby growing inside of me! So, really, things are good on the physical front.

The part that’s really weirding me out is the emotional and hormonal whirlwind I’m constantly in the middle of. And I figure since Adam is equally responsible for the condition I’m in, I have the right to suck him down with me. When people talk about pregnant women they often mention how crazy and completely irrational pregnancy makes them. Well, I just have to say THEY'RE RIGHT! And I've totally become one of those crazy women! I mean one minute I’m totally happy. Ecstatic, in fact. Then someone can look at me just the wrong way or say something completely innocent that for some reason just annoys the hell out of me and the next thing you know I’m crying.

Also, I suddenly have the uncontrollable urge to clean anything and everything in our entire house. Over the past week or so I’ve become a hermit, locking myself in the house completely cutting myself off from humanity to accomplish the most mundane household tasks. And the crazy thing is that I’M LOVING IT! Things that I used to dread doing now give me such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The adrenaline rush I got from organizing my desk drawer, I imagine, was quite similar to the rush an addict gets from snorting a line of cocaine.

And then there are the times that I am literally on the verge of tears ALL DAY LONG. And you’re wondering why? Do you even have to ask that question? Last week it was because McDonalds got my order wrong and I was SO looking forward to that Double Quarter Pounder with cheese and NO ONIONS! A few nights ago it was because even though I only saw it on 30 second advertisements during commercial breaks, you could just tell that house they were building on ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ was just so damn beautiful and that family was going to love it so much! And just this morning it was because while I was brushing my teeth I dripped the tiniest bit of toothpaste on my shirt. Every attempt I made to wipe it off made the mess substantially worse. The next thing you know I’m standing there with drool and toothpaste all over myself, my shirt, and the sink, crying uncontrollably because in my mind this was the WORST thing that had EVER happened to ANYONE and I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly go on. But then, just as soon as the crying started, it stopped when I realized we still had corn dogs in the freezer.

Yeah... pregnancy is definitely weird.

First scare

Originally posted Dec. 12, 2008

This week we had our first pregnancy scare. I started bleeding pretty heavily on Wednesday night. I called the hospital and was told to stay in bed the rest of the night and the next day until I could reach my doctor. The nurse explained that bleeding in early pregnancy, especially to the extent that I was experiencing, usually means one thing- miscarriage. For hours the bleeding wouldn’t stop. I immediately wanted to call my mom and tell her how scared I was, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking that if I ignored what was going on it would just go away. If I acknowledged it, that meant it was really happening and I wasn’t sure I could deal with that. But the bleeding just wouldn’t stop.

After a few hours of trying to deny reality, I finally called my mom and we cried together. She suggested I ask for a blessing. It had been years since I'd recieved one, but the situation seemed to call for it. My dad came over immediately and gave me a blessing of comfort and peace. It was all very nice, but nowhere in the blessing did I hear what I wanted SO BADLY to hear--that the baby would be okay. I started thinking that maybe this was it. Maybe the nurse was right and I was miscarrying. I haven't been active in the church for years, but out of the blue I suddenly remembered all those Sunday school lessons we had about the cycle of wickedness in the Book of Mormon. The people have things pretty darn good and eventually they start to get a little forgetful of who gave them all those blessings. Slowly they give in to the ways of the world and start living in wickedness. After a while things get really bad and they start remembering how good things were back when they were righteous. They call on God to help them out a little and God's like 'Sorry guys, I think I'll have to let this one play out. You get to deal with it on your own and maybe next time you won't be so slow to remember me, eh?' (Okay, so that may not be a direct quote.) I couldn't help but wonder if it was my turn, if this was my lesson to learn.

But, as the night went on I started to feel very comforted and just at peace. I knew that WHATEVER happened, I would be okay. It may not be easy, but I was confident I would pull through. And before I went to bed that night, the bleeding had stopped.

Thursday morning I contacted my doctor. She was very worried and, like the ER nurse, prepared me for the worst. I went in for some blood work and then anxiously awaited the results. Even though I had been bleeding heavily, my hormone levels had continued to rise as they should. This means that the fetus is still alive and well. I hadn't miscarried.

I feel like this was just the first of what will probably be many scares like this. I haven’t necessarily been on great terms with God these past several years (which is completely my fault, but that’s a whole other story) but I feel like he does remember me. He knows me. I feel like this experience was just one of those things that he’s going to hand me to be sure I'm willing to do my part and remember Him.

Internet, I'm craving corn dogs for breakfast

Originally posted Dec. 10, 2008
Lately I've been very passionate (some have even used the term ‘angry’) about babies, pregnancy, and anything even remotely related to either of these subjects. It's something I've wanted since I was a little girl, but something I have always been warned may never happen for me. Well, it still amazes me that I can say this, but I AM 5 WEEKS PREGNANT... and wanting to eat everything I see!

When we found out early last week we were completely surprised! I had all but given up on the possibiltiy of getting pregnant, then suddenly--- WOW! It couldn't have been more out of the blue or more unexpected. At first, I wasn't sure I wanted to say anything, even to the people close to us. There are just so many possibilities that it's a little scary to be too excited at this point. But, Adam and I decided together that we have every reason to be happy and to share that excitement with the people we love Sure, we may be setting ourselves up for huge disappointment if things don't go well, but if that were the case it would hurt regardless of how many other people knew about the pregnancy. We are going to be happy and optimistic, and just take it all in. This is what we have always wanted- we have to be thankful we've made it this far and hope and pray for the best!

There have been a lot of questions regarding my Cystic Fibrosis and the risks involved. Yes, there are risks for me and the baby. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is the risk of the baby having CF. We will get Adam tested to see if he’s a carrier of the gene and that will give us a better idea of what we’re looking at there. At this point, we just don't know. The doctor I have chosen to see has never treated a pregnant patient who also has CF. It will definitely be a learning experience for both of us. I will have to be monitored a bit more closely than most women, but all things considered I feel like I am healthy enough to handle this. We are VERY optimistic about it!

I have wanted this my entire life and I feel like God finally trusts me to handle it. I've always said that I was willing to take whatever was handed to me–whatever it takes for me to have this opportunity. Well here's my chance! I am ready and more than willing to do this!

Baby Blues

Originally posted Nov. 19, 2008

So, generally I’m a pretty optimistic person. I try to see the bright side of everything and focus on the positive, but lately I'm having a hard time seeing anything positive about my current situation... I'm talking about pregnancy. Or, in my case, the lack thereof.

Long story short, because of my Cystic Fibrosis I have always been told there’s a good chance I may never have children. Granted there are some women with CF who carry and bear children just fine, but it’s just not the norm. Maybe it's my optimistic nature, maybe I'm just delusional... but I've never taken that to heart. I've always thought I would be one of the ones who could have babies. But lately, I've been feeling like I'm just totally kidding myself.

It seems to be a pretty common opinion among the medical community that women with CF maybe shouldn’t have kids. Pregnancy takes a toll on any women’s body, and how harsh could that toll be on an already weakened body? I’ve never really expressed this desire to have kids to my doctors because I’m afraid they wouldn’t be supportive. I’m also afraid they would have all these statistics and studies to show why I shouldn’t get pregnant. And after sitting there listening to someone explain just why having a baby would be the dumbest thing for a woman in my position to do and why would I want to put myself at such risk, how could I look them in the eye and say "I still want one"? Honestly, I’d rather live in ignorance.

Adoption is definitely something we have considered, but I just don't think I'm ready for that yet. Even if I didn't give birth to the child, I could definitely love it.. That's not even an issue. (Take Shylee for example...) But I just don't think that adopting could cure this insane desire I have to carry a child of my own. I want to feel that baby growing inside of me. I want to be able to look into the eyes of that baby and see not only Adam, but me too. I want to see what we can create together. I want to go through it all.... the morning sickness, the aches and pains, the stretch marks, the delivery... the whole thing! I know the end result would be more than worth all the pain. It's something I've craved since I was a little girl. I have always wanted to be a mommy! And I feel like we are ready. I feel like we are already good parents to Shylee, and I know we would be a good family for a new little baby to join.

It's becoming harder and harder for me to see other people getting pregnant. When people tell me they're expecting, I'm honestly very happy for them. But I'm also insanely jealous. In the past couple months I’ve been invited to three different baby showers!!! (Yeah, rub it in my face a little more, would ya?) After going to the first one, I immediately knew I had to find excuses to get out of the other two. I just can’t bear to watch these women with their perfectly plump little bellies unwrapping all these cute little outfits and baby blankets. And when she puts her hand to her belly and laughs because "the baby’s kicking again!"... Oh just shoot me now! I find myself daydreaming about a way to steal that baby. Should I wait until they’re in the hospital and sneak it out under my coat? Or, ooh, I once watched a show on TV about some woman who went crazy and cut a baby out of it’s mother with a set of car keys... Hmm, but I bet that would really put a damper on the celebration and I’m not one to ruin a party.

I find myself becoming very bitter toward these girls who marry just out of high school and are pregnant three and a half days later. Even more so towards the people who randomly hook up one night at a party and end up pregnant. Then I see people who are terrible parents and I think "I'd be so much better to those kids, why do they get to have them and I don't?" I realize that God has a plan for everyone and that I shouldn’t be thinking those things, but... I’m human.

I've received all sorts of advice, with the best of intention, I'm sure. I've heard everything from which vitamins to take and what foods to eat to what positions work best. Then there's the classic: "Just stop trying and it will happen". The truth is though, that the first two years we were together we weren't necessarily trying. We've never really used protection because we've always thought "well, if it happens-great!" But it wasn't until a little over a year ago that we decided we were actually ready and really started trying. So, I'm not a big believer in the 'stop trying' idea.

I realize I sound very pessimistic and this entire entry has just been me complaining. I know I'm not the only person out there with similar problems and feelings. It's just been on my mind a lot lately, and sometimes I feel better getting my thoughts written down rather than just obsessing over them in my head...

Friday, September 25, 2009

So ridiculously behind the times

No really. Let me tell you JUST how far behind the times... Adam and I DO NOT own a computer. Seriously. When I was growing up our family had a computer that could have very possibly been one of the first computers ever built. I think it could complete a total of maybe six functions. (Remember that weird air hockey game with the drunk alien? And how many times must we have played Oregon Trail?) We never even had internet access on that computer, but at least the computer existed. It's a little depressing to me that I can't even claim an old dinosaur of a computer like that one.

However, I work on a computer every day and sometimes I can sneak a few minutes of mindless internet play into my work day. I'm still a MySpacer... not Twitter, not even Facebook. MySpace. How lame am I? But through my pregnancy with Morgan I started blogging and posting those entries on MySpace. After a while it became almost theraputic for me. I found it really helped me to express what I was feeling, and I didn't even care whether or not people read what I wrote. But apparently people did. And apparently they liked what they read. So I've decided to actually start a blog.

Since I'm so ridiculously behind the times and don't own a computer I can't guarantee that I'll be able to post very often. And as far as posting pictures??? Well... let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Just bear with me and I promise I'll try.

The first few posts on here will actually be some of the pregnancy posts I'd written in the months before Morgan's birth. (Maybe with a bit of editing...) My pregnancy was just such an important part of my life and since during that time is when I really caught the blogging bug, I feel like it's a good place to start.