Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Decade in the Making

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September 15, 2017: This was the day that was to be my due date for my fifth child, who still had not been named. Because of that, I expected the baby to be born anytime between August 25th, and September 8th. Because all of my babies had come early. Every single one of them. When August 9th hit, everyone, including my midwife was shocked that I was still trucking along, and had no baby to show for it. I was annoyed, and uncomfortable, but tried to keep a good attitude. Because that is what you do when disappointment happens. You keep a good attitude, and it doesn't matter what the disappointment was, it is always lessened. The problem here, is that I am a planning sort of person. I like to have my planner, and to fill it in, and to be able to look at it and see what is going to happen, and to see what I have planned, and to not live my life by the seat of my pants. That is not to say I don't like spontaneity, because I most certainly do! I just hate living my life in anticipation of an event, never knowing when it is going to take place. Because then, I just can't plan anything else.

Back to the baby. On the 14th I went in for my weekly checkup with my midwife. She again was shocked that I still hadn't had the baby. She checked me, and I was dilated to 4 cm. Still. I had been sitting at 4 cm for a month now. 4 cm and 75% effaced. For a month! No change. I had been drinking red raspberry leaf tea, I had been going for walks, I had been talking to my baby, trying to encourage him to come, that the world wasn't such a scary place when you have a family that loves you. I tried spicy foods, and *ahem* other modes of getting the baby out, but nothing doing. Nothing had budged and I sat, unchanged, still at 4 cm and 75%. It was getting a little frustrating. But I was determined that I wasn't going to get started, I wanted my body to do everything on its own. Besides, at this point in time, my baby still was nameless. I was okay with having a few more days to find a name that would be absolutely perfect for my little guy. Except at this appointment Christy my midwife said something that changed everything. She asked how old I am. 35 in case anyone else is wondering. She then said that it makes her very nervous when people of my age (that doesn't make me feel old at all. Noooooo.) go close to, or even pass their due date, she worries. Evidently the incidence of still births are much higher for women 35 and older, and the closer to and past the due date a baby goes, the higher its chances to be stillborn are. And then she suggested inducing me.

Well, when you put it that way, there is no way I could possibly say no! I live in fear of having a stillborn baby. Or a baby die of SIDS, too. Or really, having any child pass on before me. I think most mothers are the same way, to be honest. But, with that idea lingering in the air, we set up an induction date. I wanted it to be the 19th of September, but she already had one for that day, so I needed to chose something else. She suggested the 16th, which would have been that Saturday. Only 2 days away! With much trepidation in my heart, we went ahead and scheduled it.

Friday night came, and we went out to dinner with our dear friends Shaun and Lisa. We talked and laughed, and gosh I love those two! I am so glad that Shaun married Lisa last year because I just adore her! Anyway, we went out to eat, and we visited, and it was a wonderful distraction from my nerves. I know if I had been sitting at home, I would have been an absolute mess! Even at the restaurant I had moments of panic which passed quickly, because I wasn't able to dwell on them.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early. The hospital called me at 6 to say that they didn't want me to come in at 7 after all. They said they would call me around 9. 9 came and went, and I finally called them around 9:45. They said the charge nurse would call me back. I hadn't heard anything, so I texted Christy around 10:30. She said they had told her they would want me in around 11. At 11 I still hadn't heard anything, so I decided to be proactive. I wasn't going to just sit around and wait anymore, because I was feeling so anxious and useless and frustrated because I was being kept in suspended anticipation. We packed the overnight bags for the kids in the van. Their bags had been packed for weeks! We loaded everyone into the van, and we headed out. Keith and Faye were going to stay with their cousins, and Beth and Vince were going to stay with my parents. We felt it would be a lot easier on whoever had the kids, to split them up, and I must say, it worked remarkably well! The kids were all excited to get to have a sleep-over, because we don't do those. After the kids were safely deposited, Jeffrey and I went out to get some lunch, and then we headed to the hospital, still waiting for their phone call. As we were pulling into the parking lot of the hospital, my phone rang, and they asked us to be there in an hour.

So we got to have a picnic in the parking lot of Labor and Delivery. Jeffrey knew I was going crazy with waiting, so he suggested we walk. We did have an hour to kill, after all.

We got out of the van, and memories flooded me. The hospital is directly across the street from my late grandparent's condo. I used to roam the fields that have since been turned into apartments and office buildings. I loved to run around in the rain. The harder the rain the better. The smell of the damp earth, the sage brush and the weeds was intoxicating to me, and I loved the feel of the rain, drenching me as I ran beneath the Russian olive trees. I really did have a sort of idyllic childhood. There is only a small portion of that field and the grove of trees left, an island of the past being choked out by modern living, and the demand for more. Since everything else around was parking lot, of course, we headed for the fields and trees.

We would have anyway, because that is where I am happiest. That is where my soul finds peace and is able to recharge.

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As we stepped from the sun baked pavement onto the hardened soil, my heart gave a sigh of relief, and all of my worries stayed piled nicely on that pavement, waiting for me to return. But in the meantime, I was free of them, and I was happy. Literally and genuinely happy, a huge smile etched onto my face, completely of its own accord. We walked hand in hand down a little trail, curious where it would lead us. I breathed deeply, willing myself to remember every little detail. The bumpy terrain, the trail with random muddy spots, the dappled pathway with the sun playing with the dust and particles in the air. It was simply magnificent! Soon, it was as if we had stepped into another world. No longer could we hear the rush of cars or the hurry in the air. Everything was peaceful and calm, with no need to scurry. Birds were chirping, and grasshoppers were jumping out of our way as we walked, leading our procession deeper into the shadows of the trees. We rounded a bend where the trail split off in three directions, and I wished I could split myself and go down all three. Jeffrey and I laughed and talked, enjoying the moment. We heard a rustle in the trees to our left, and no more than 20 feet in front of us, a deer gracefully leaped out of the brush, and bounded away. She was magnificent! And it was decided for us. Obviously we would have to follow the deer. That was the only trail we could go down. We soon enough found her lair, but no other sign of her. She was long gone, and the trail ended abruptly into a rocky stream bed that had gone dry.

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We turned around, and went down another trail, which also ended abruptly at a barbed wire fence, surrounding a farmer's field. Finally, we went down the third trail, which took us back to the parking lot. We still had 45 minutes before we were expected, so that is when I decided a little bush whacking was in order. Because another grove of trees was just yonder, through the weeds, and I knew that this very well might be my last jaunt in the wild before winter came. Reluctantly Jeffrey followed me. He commented on my demeanor. Apparently I glowed. Nature and the wild just do that to me. I transform. I think I could have been very happy living in pioneer times... after they were already settled here, mind you. Because even though they had to really work hard, there was so much wild around them. So much wide open world where the heart can be free and grow and replenish and heal. Because that is what happens to me when I am out. I heal. And so, despite his reluctance, Jeffrey could see plainly how much that little outing was doing for me, and kept his grumbling words to himself as he followed me through the uneven ground, weeds, and world of little bitty grasshoppers. We quickly made our way to the trees, and we sat down to talk. We talked about a name for the baby, which had been our main means of conversation for the past few weeks. We talked about our kids, about how sad it was that BYU was once again being trounced in their game which was happening right then. And then suddenly, it was time to go in.

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We went into the hospital at 2:30, and then the tortures began.

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I was still at 4 cm and 75%, which was incredibly frustrating for me because what the heck, body! I had never had this much trouble getting a baby out before! I had a sweet nurse named Emily. We talked about what was going to happen during this birth, and then she tried to set up a stint for an IV. Bless her heart. She just couldn't find a vein, and when she did, she blew through it. Twice. And then she called the head nurse in to help. She also couldn't do it. Finally, they called someone from the lab to come and place an IV for me. It was really quite ridiculous. I still have 4 massive bruises on my arms because they couldn't find my veins.

For the first time ever, I had to be placed on antibiotics. I was really annoyed because I have been working so hard to get my gut balanced, and then everything was going to be destroyed in one fell swoop. But, I was strep B positive, and seriously, I can continue to fix my gut. It would be a lot easier for me to recover than for my baby who still had not been named to recover from strep. The sacrifices we make for our babies. I then learned that I would need to be on the antibiotic for 4 hours before Christy could come in and break my water. The nurse wanted to start me on pitocin, and I laughed. I told her I most likely wouldn't need it, that I deliver quickly, but if I didn't deliver quickly, then we could talk about it.

And so the waiting began. The monitoring, and the constant penicillin drip, which burned as it went in. I am so fortunate I never needed it before! Jeffrey and I nervously talked. He slept quite a bit in the corner while I chatted with a few friends online. I remembered delivering Vince and had to work hard to dispel fear from the memory of 18 months prior. It took a bit of prayer and a lot of positive thinking, but I got through it.

At 7:20 Christy came back and checked me. Still no progress. She broke my water then. I told her I would see her back in an hour. She laughed and said, "We'll see."

At 8:30 she was back. I had dilated to 9 cm, and I was not the nicest person. I don't remember ever yelling at my nurses, but this time around, I do remember yelling. I felt bad as I was doing it, but they were being bossy, and I had no patience for them. I think labor and delivery nurses are angels, by the way. They put up with so much, and are so patient and kind despite being yelled at. I really wanted to deliver in a way where gravity could help with the birth and not on my back, but once again, that was not in the stars. Christy had me lay on my back again, and I pushed. I really don't know how many times I pushed. It was a lot. Beth came out in 2 pushes. This baby was perfectly content to stay inside and not budge. It turns out, he was posterior, just like Vince was. Which explains why it hurt SO much! But he came out with a wail, and he was an adorable purple, and as he continued to fill his lungs with the powerful wails, his skin slowly pinked.

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And he was perfect. 8:49 is when he came into this world, his chubby arms flailing about, desperately searching for his mama. They plopped him down on my chest, and he snuggled in. I was in a bit of a daze, just happy to be holding him, and not being uncomfortable on my back for the first time in many months. I snuggled him, slimy and all, and just couldn't get over how perfect he is! I was sad that we still hadn't been able to pick out a name for him, though. A nurse suggested I do skin time, and I am so grateful for her, because all things of practicality and sense had left me the moment they placed him in my arms. And for the next 3 hours, the baby and I snuggled, all 8lbs 11oz and 20 inches of him.

He has dark brown hair, which is too short to tell if it is curly or not. At the moment he has cornflower blue eyes, but I suspect they will darken. And he has the most adorable dimples, one in each cheek, which just make me swoon every time he smiles. And his siblings are all just as smitten with him as I am.

The nurses and Christy were all amazed when I didn't need any medications for the pain afterward. I have been stocking up on anti-inflammatories in my body. I started taking Plexus when I was 7.5 months with Vince, and it helped a lot, but this time was so much better! I didn't need anything, except some Tylenol for a developing migraine from lack of sleep.

Sunday came, and the hospital gave us a complimentary Celebration Dinner. It was delicious, and came with some ice cold sparkling cider. My favorite part was the cheesecake, to be honest. Jeffrey suggested we sit down and not get up until we had decided on a name for the little baby. We prayed for help and guidance, and that what we chose would be a good fit for him, and then we sat down to eat and talk. After going back and forth a bit, we finally decided on Kip. We knew his middle name was going to be Hyrum. I had been sitting in Sunday School a few weeks ago, and we had decided on a different name. Ty Wilco. But in class, the teacher mentioned Hyrum, which isn't too unusual as we are studying D&C/Church History this year. But then she said that Hyrum had never been chastised by either the Lord, or Joseph. In that moment, I knew that that would be our little boy's name. And Ty Hyrum just didn't sound right. And so we went searching for the perfect name again. When one of us suggested Kip again at dinner, it just felt right. We both smiled, involuntarily. The name made us both happy. And so we wrote the name on the birth certificate, so that we couldn't change it again, and then messaged our family and friends with his name.

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Jeffrey left to go pick the kids up, and he brought them back to the hospital. Sadly, Kip was not happy when they showed up. He was very gassy for the first few days of life, and subsequently, incredibly stinky! But it was wonderful to see them. I missed them all so much. Keith, as expected, sat in the corner of the room, far away from anyone else, brooding. He struggles with change so much, and it is always so hard for him at first when a new baby is brought into our family. Sad that he is the oldest, in that respect. Faye and Beth were very handsy and just wanted to hold the new baby, and touch him, and smell him, and be all over him. Vince didn't care so much about the baby, he just missed me and wanted to be with me. Which I loved. When it was time for them to go, though, it broke my heart. Vinny didn't understand why they were leaving me at the hospital, and he cried the whole way home. And Beth threw up on the way home. Poor Jeffrey had to deal with all of that. I, on the other hand, had terrible dreams, and didn't sleep well one bit. But that is most likely because I was in the hospital, and nurses came in every few hours to push on my stomach, take my blood pressure, and even to draw blood, so I sort of blame my terrible night's sleep on them.

And then Monday, I got to come home.

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Kip is fitting into our family brilliantly. I am a little more sleep deprived than usual, which makes me have to work extra hard to be patient with normal kid things, like noise. chaos. playing. etc. But I haven't needed any ibuprofen, or lortab, or anything else. Just the occasionally Tylenol for lack of sleep induced head pain. And, I am off caffeine! It has been 2 weeks, and I haven't even wanted any. Until today, truth be told. But I would rather suffer from the effects of sleep deprivation than risk my baby getting the caffeine and him not being able to sleep. He is wonderful, and sweet, and I am so excited to have a darling Kip in my family. And, on a completely unrelated note, I am already fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes! Maybe not quite as comfortably, but I still fit into them, and it has only been a week and a half since he was born, so that is incredibly exciting for me!

And so, on September 16, 2017, Kip Hyrum completed our family. Which is apt because on October 16, 2007 Keith started our family. It seems all things really do work out for good.

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