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I’m a planner, always have been. The only major things in my life that I didn’t plan were my children. That is, until now. It was almost surreal once the decision was made to be “trying” for a baby. I had never experienced that dreaded “two week wait”; I had always played the “Oh crap, I’m two weeks late” game myself. Like most things in my life, once I decided I wanted to be pregnant, I wanted it now and given my propensity to fertility I was shocked and extremely disappointed when it didn’t happen right away. I mean, I had always joked about being a fertile myrtle so what do you MEAN I didn’t get pregnant the very first month we were trying? It must mean I’m barren and that Frank will inevitably leave me because I was certain I would never be able to give him another baby. When it didn’t happen the second month, I may have overreacted. By overreacted, I mean decided I was going to get my tubes tied because by God, I could not handle going through that horrible two week wait to not only be disappointed myself, but see the disappointment in Frank too. (Side bar: Thank God I have Hailey who regularly talked me down from these crazy *** ideas. Tying my tubes? Really? I was insane). I believe now, and have always, that God has his own timing. It just so happened that God’s timing didn’t really mesh with mine and well, I didn’t like it. But wouldn’t you know that a power outage in our house and crappy service from Reliant energy because of a house we were about to close on falling through all led to Frank being home on an afternoon he wouldn’t have been during a week that we would barely have seen each other because of our crazy day/night work schedule, all led to a baby. Turns out, God really does know what’s going on and will set things up in a way to work out the way they are supposed to.
All this time I had spent yearning to be pregnant again, I had forgotten what havoc pregnancy wreaks on my body. In fact, I’m writing this out so that if in the near future before one of us is sterilized, I start talking crazy talk about wanting another one, anyone can feel free to reference this as they beat the stupid out of me. I digress….Anyway; pregnancy and Daffney don’t go well together. I get sick, very sick. Ten to twelve times a day no matter how much zofran I take. Though to be fair, this pregnancy was much less difficult than my boys were, not that that is saying much because those pregnancies sucked. I spent the first trimester becoming with every toilet bowl and bush within a ten mile radius of my house. (I say bush because there were many times I would be walking and just have to find the nearest bush to vomit in. I mean, I’m not going to vomit on the sidewalk, I’m a lady). If I wasn’t finding a toilet to empty my stomach into, I was finding a toilet to empty my bladder into. My poor husband, co workers and children watched as I curled up into the fetal position turning many shades of green while crossing my legs as to not pee myself while I vomited. Through all this, I kept telling myself that this pregnancy was “easier” and “better” and really, I don’t think it was. I think I was just so stinking happy and excited to be pregnant this time that I was able to gloss over the heartburn, nausea and incontinence because it meant a baby! As before, Frank was amazing, doing everything he could to make me more comfortable unless it had to do with vomit. In fact, if I was worshipping the porcelain throne, Austin and Frank would be outside turning the TV or music up to mask the sound of them gagging too. Matthew was in the bathroom with me holding my hair and asking if I was OK. It should be noted that as rough and tough as that kid is, he took care of his mommy .
The bigger I got, the more determined I was to keep doing everything I was doing before. A slow guilt started to creep over me when I realized I was about to forever alter my children’s lives, again. I was going to do everything in my power to spend as much quality time with them and make as many memories as possible. All those cookie pictures and trips to downtown Grapevine and zoo trips etc don’t be fooled, I was miserable. I was trying too hard, as if I could squeeze in that last little bit of mothering all would be forgiven when the bonus human came into the picture. I’m glad I got to do those things with my boys, I know they loved it but I got to tell you, all those smiling pictures are my being a very good actress. I was fat, swollen, and probably hungry and nauseas and my butt should have been home coloring or something with them. I digress (again).
The first few months we decided we would not find out what we were having. I said it was because I didn’t care, but really it was because I did. I wanted a girl so bad I could spit but for some reason felt it was God’s plan for me to be a mom of boys. Don’t get me wrong, I was ok with that. And truly, I wanted this baby so bad I would not have cared what it was, well, cared THAT much anyway. But when the u/s tech asked if I wanted to know, I of course immediately said yes and when she said girl I danced a little happy dance inside my ovaries. I saw visions of pink, tutus, headbands, ballet, tea parties and Barbie dolls. And Frank, oh Frank. I could not wait to give him a little girl. I know a lot of people feel this way about their spouses, but every little girl should have a Daddy like Frank. It makes me teary just thinking about it. She’ll get to be a Daddy’s girl growing up, something I always yearned for and never had. I know Frank will never go a day where he doesn’t tell her he loves her, how she’s the prettiest and smartest little girl he’s ever met and making it perfectly clear that he will move mountains to make her happy. THAT makes ME happy, after all, we all want out children to have more than we did and I want her to have everything.
Lucky for me, God has put some incredibly friends into my life. They threw me an amazing shower with pink coming out of every nook and cranny available and I adored it. Funny, going into this I never thought I would be “that” mom. The one who went overboard when she found out she was having a girl with clothes, pink and anything girly. As it turns out, I AM that girl, and I’m ok with it.
After what I thought was “breezing” through the first and second trimester, the third trimester hit me like a ton of bricks. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes which will suck the wind right out of your pregnancy sail. It scared me and made me angry all at the same time. I had done everything right this time?!?!? But, a wise woman told me, I am essentially old and fat so I should be surprised. Suffice it to say, she was right so I handled like I did everything else and planned my food down to what kind and what time I was going to eat. Praise to God, I ended up staying diet controlled the entire time and Callie came out healthy and of normal weight. Actually, she was the smallest baby I had. Guess that can happen when you only gain 27 pounds vs. 60. As a result of the diabetes, my doctor wouldn’t let me go over my 39th week so an induction was scheduled for December 14th. I wasn’t worried at aaaaaallllll. Matthew was an induction and I showed up at 730am got my epidural, my catheter and some pain pills and slept until mid afternoon and didn’t have him until 939 at night. It was wonderful and exactly what I thought would happen with this baby girl. It isn’t.
My water sprung a leak around 3 in the afternoon on the 13th, but I wasn’t contracting. I didn’t go to the hospital because a) we didn’t have anyone to watch the kids and my brother was going to come up around 1130 that night and b) I wasn’t contracting and I knew that once I showed up my butt would be in a hospital bed without food until a baby came out of me. No thanks. So I cleaned, called Frank and had him drive to get Austin because even I felt that driving my children around while potentially in labor wasn’t a good call. We went shopping at Target for a few odds and ends and an outfit for Austin’s band concert the next day. It was not a pleasant trip. Between the kids fighting and Frank pulling every nit wit move in the book, I was at my wits end. Maybe that was Gods way of making sure I went to the hospital because at that point, I would have gone back to middle school if it got me out of that mayhem. I was convinced I could make it until my scheduled time of 545 but a couple hours after my brother got here, I finally told Frank there was no way, I was hurting to bad and I wanted to go in.
Once I was set up and hooked up I was relieved to see contractions lasting about 30 seconds 4-6 minutes apart! Good gravy I wasn’t making up contractions in my head after all!! That is a very validating point in a pregnant girls life, when someone tells you YES you are ARE having contractions. They called the doctor and decided to keep me and start my pitocin at 5 if I wasn’t progressed past a three. I was feeling no pain at this point and actually took a little nana nap. I woke up to my OB sitting at the end of my bed with that long steel stick saying let’s make this leak a gusher and get that bag of water! Then we’ll get you that epidural. Within seconds of the water gush, I knew that we weren’t playing anymore. It started to HURT. I had been extremely nauseas so they gave me fenegran to help and I had whets called a “dystonic” reaction to the drug.
Dystonic Reaction: are adverse extrapyramidal effects that often occur shortly after the initiation of neuroleptic drug therapy. These reactions may occur with a wide variety of medications. Dystonic reactions (ie, dyskinesias) are characterized by intermittent spasmodic or sustained involuntary contractions of muscles in the face, neck, trunk, pelvis, and extremities. Dystonic reactions are rarely life threatening, yet are very uncomfortable and often produce significant anxiety and distress for patients. Fortunately, treatment is extremely effective, and motor disturbances resolve within minutes.
It was then that the doc arrived to place my epidural. I was able to be still long enough for the epidural to be placed which would have been great if it had actually worked. The panic that went through my mind when I realized that the epidural hadn’t worked is hard to describe. Childbirth terrified me, I mean, that looks like HAS to hurt so I had always taken cautious measures to ensure I felt as little of that hurt as possible. Just because I don’t want to be in pain didn’t mean I loved my babies any less. I’m just a wimp and pushing a corolla through my vagina seemed to have some painful connotation. So now, she rechecks me because I’m getting uncomfortable and lo and behold I’m at a five. After that, it got real. I was in active transitioning labor and having a dystonic reaction to a drug. I was literally crawling out of bed, tossing from side to side, wanting to sit up and basically be in any position that wasn’t flat on my back. I had the nurse and anesthesia doctor telling me that it is important that I lie flat or I could tug on the catheter and do damage to the nerves in my back. I don’t think I have to describe my reaction as an actively laboring patient that I needed to just calm down and lay still. Ladies, back me up here, there was no way, no how, that was happening. I started telling Frank that I felt psychotic, like running out of the bed and down the halls. At this point they decide to redose my epidural and it WORKED! Except that now I was a paralyzed sea manatee with lightning bolts shooting down my legs, a watermelon working its way through my cervix and no way to make any of it less unbearable. In the middle of all this, my blood pressure plummets, 70’s/40’s which they easily fix with a shot of epinephrine. Adrenaline was the top off to the reaction drug cocktail I was already dealing with. I kept getting checked because things were moving so fast and sure enough, inside of about an hour, I was complete. I had never had the joy of experiencing that “need to poop/push” feeling and well, now I get it. It is the most intense pressure . In fact, I read somewhere that when a woman is pushing a baby through the birth canal that if you actually measured the pressures being undertaken by her body, it is the closest thing a human being will experience to actual death. I believe that now. When the nurse finally took me seriously and put my legs in the stirrups, she was crowning. It only took five minutes before Dr.Hoffman was holding her up to me and saying “let me introduce you to your new baby girl!” and it was breathtaking, SHE was breathtaking. Everything I had ever needed to feel like a whole person was officially on my chest. I just felt this feeling of peace and joy that overcame everything. For some reason that I won’t now or probably ever understand God had things go with her labor and delivery the way he wanted them to, because it certainly isn’t how I would have played that out. But if I had to do it ten times to get Calista, I would do is happily.
Oh my gosh, Daffney. Reading your story is like reliving my daughter's birth. Same thing happened to me with the epidural not working and an ultra fast labor with pitocin. If it makes you feel any better, I turned into a wild animal - I actually bit my husband's shoulder at one point while I was hugging him through a contraction. It's hard when you count on an epidural to work and it doesn't, the panic is really unreal.
It is amazing though when they put that little baby on your chest that it all becomes worth it! So happy to hear that despite the mayhem and pain, you have such a happiness and peace about it. Congratulations on her birth!!