Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I’ve been trying to figure out how it got to be November already and how a few weeks away from the blog turned into months away.  It all started when Bean became very fearful just after her birthday.  We moved her to her new bedroom, without really realizing how happy she was in the nursery.  She was excited for the new room and it seemed like all was well, so we moved her into her new room and moved Birdie out of our room into the nursery.  Within a week, there was a complete breakdown.  Bean became fearful of everything and had to be with one of us at all times.  She was terrified to sleep alone.  At first I thought she just wanted to get her way to a degree, but when I really watched her I saw the fear.  I saw myself as a child.  I was very fearful and hated nighttime.  I didn’t want the same for Bean.  We spent two years working so hard to make sleep a happy thing for her and avoiding crying it out and such, only to hit that point at three.

We tried everything.  Positive things, negative things.  Everything we could think of.  I remember one of my saddest and most desperate parenting moments when I had no idea what to do.  We had tried everything, even having one of us sleep in her room with her, and nothing was working.  I was completely in over my head, and those moments are usually the ones that lead to parenting choices you regret.  I told Bean we were taking away all of her toys and books if she didn’t go to bed and sleep.  She still refused.  She happily spent the night helping us box up everything she owned because that was better to her then sleeping.  As hubby helped her fill the last boxes because we felt like we had to follow through once the threat was made, I lay on the living room floor crying.  I felt so lost.

A few weeks of sad, desperate times ended up leading to a complete lifestyle change for us.  We moved both girls back into our bedroom.  I figured out how to make it so they could nap together during the day.  At first I had to be there whenever Bean slept.  I took work into the room during naptime and went to bed at 8:30 every night.  Slowly, very slowly things got better.  We have finally reached the point where Bean will go to bed without an adult there and will nap in the nursery without anyone, including Birdie.  It’s been a long road, but we’ve gotten somewhat back to where we used to be and without all the sadness. 

On top of our struggles with Bean, Birdie has had her own challenges.  Sleep was tricky for Bean, but it’s been really difficult to figure out Birdie.  At first I thought she might have reflux but without any solid evidence, besides her waking up at night sad and uncomfortable, I was reluctant to medicate her, which was the only way our doctor could figure out if it was reflux or not.  There were nights were Birdie was waking up every hour, all night long.  Not because she wanted to be held, half the time it seemed like exactly the opposite.  The conclusion I finally came to is that she has really bad gas.  I’m still trying to get someone to take this more seriously and help us figure out why at almost 9 months of age she is waking regularly with terrible gas pains, but mostly I get some comment about how all babies have gas.  I plan to force the issue once again at her 9-month appointment.

Add to that the fact that she started having some episodes of shaking while falling asleep, which lead to multiple EEG’s to rule out seizures, and that she is very active and began crawling before 7 months of age, and I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed.  So on top of Bean coming into our room, I’ve also ended up spending most nights with Birdie in bed with me.  It has been the only way that I’ve gotten any amount of sleep and, while at first it made me very, very nervous, I’m quite content with the whole situation now.

All of this to say, I have been absent.  Absent from the blog and absent from life as I used to know it.  I have finally reached a point where I can see out of the fog of the day to day.  Where I can stop and take a breath.  I could go on and on here about the journey that the last six months has been (holy cow, six months), and I’m sure I’ll get into it more and more in the future.   Right now though, at this moment, the journey that we’ve been on since then, since Birdie was born really, has brought me to a place where I feel more content and happy with my life then I could have imagined.  I feel more secure in myself as a mother and a person.  My confidence has grown and while I still may not be getting as much sleep as I would like, I feel as far from absent in this life as I possibly could.  I’m quite present in this new place I’ve ended up and very happy to be here.  So it’s about time I started being present here again too.  If anyone is still out there, thanks for stopping by.  I’ve been keeping up with everyone the best I can and have been thinking about you all in your difficult and joyful moments even if I haven’t been able to tell you.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Infertility Guilt

I wrote this post at the beginning of June and haven't had time to finish it or write anything since. I didn't publish it then for one big reason. Guilt. Infertility guilt. Because on the long days or nights when the hard job of being a mama wears me out I can't admit it. I know what it's like to be on the other side wishing I could be a worn out mama. Finding little sympathy for others who were in my current shoes. And I remember all that now and in the middle of those dark sleepless nights when I long for a few minutes sleep. I push all of these feelings to a place that doesn't see the light of day. But now I have to offer them to you as an explanation as to where I've been. Where I am. I'm lost in mamahood. Missing my release of writing as I type this all quickly from my phone with a sleeping baby in the other arm. I miss this place and I hope to find my way back soon. Until then, here are the words from my guilt stricken heart:

I've been lost in a sea of sleepless nights these days. Birdie has followed in her sisters footsteps and our road to a nights sleep keeps getting longer and longer. We start the process in the early evening and I sit here now just before 11 waiting to see if the repeated wake ups are letting up and she's finally falling into deeper sleep or if I'll be up for awhile still. She's also decided that daddy is no longer allowed to soothe her. Only mama will do.

I love being a mama. I love being a stay at home mama. But I am human and I need some amount of rest. Some time to recharge my batteries. And that's been hard to find as of late. I'm tired, worn out, frustrated, you name it. And it makes me sad. It makes me sad because I love rocking Birdie. I love holding my sweet baby who I know won't be this age for long. I love the way she smells and the way she feels in my arms. I love the moments when she's not quite in a deep sleep yet and all the sudden starts laughing hysterically. I wish I knew what she was laughing at. But when I've been doing it all evening after a full day with both girls, I forget how much I love it. I just want a break or sleep or something. And I don't want it to be that way.

But that's reality isn't it. Motherhood is a lot of hard work. It has huge payoffs for sure and you would never hear me saying that it isn't worth every second of it.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Growing older

It's official.  Bean is 3 years old.  Birdie is 3 months old.  And in 3 days, I'll be 33 years old.  So many threes.  Time is marching along.  We had a wonderful party for Bean on Saturday at our local park.  She played outside for hours on end, mostly with the grown ups who she seems to prefer to children.  We ate lots of food and I got to catch up with some folks that I haven't seen in a long time.  Birdie was a real champ.  She was her happy self the whole time and I even managed to get her two little naps in the midst of all the fun.

Three of my dearest friends, who are considered family at this point, were all here for the weekend and we had a wonderful time.  They helped (and so did Bean) paint the play room/guest room that will soon be Bean's room.  It's now a lovely shade of blue that she chose herself and we've been busily putting in new furniture and trying to move a lot of her toys with tiny pieces up there, as I know that Birdie will be on the move before we know it.

I'm not sure how I feel about all of it.  I know that I'm going to blink and the next thing I know I'll be planning Birdie's first birthday or Bean's fourth.  I'm rather happy about the fact that Bean's birthday is so close to mine.  I've been able to erase mine to a certain extent.  Between her birthday and mother's day (which is all about the grandma's at this point), my birthday kind of slips through the cracks and I'm ok with that.

It's not that I have huge issues with growing older in general, although I do have some anxiety about actually getting old. I do however have issues with my 30's.  In the beginning it was because I was fast approaching my 30's with no babies in sight.  Now it's the dreaded 35.  I'm nervous about trying to continue growing our family past 35 if it comes to that.  I feel like if my chances are limited now, they're only going to get worse then.  I also just think it's strange that I'm in my 30's at all.  I don't feel like it.  I feel like I just left college a few years ago.  I graduated on my birthday and so I always think of college when that day comes around.  It feels like yesterday and a decade ago at the same time.

Yesterday Bean and I were attempting to play with our pet rabbit.  She was having none of it.  I told Bean that we had to leave her alone if she wanted.  That she was an old lady and that she deserved as much.  Bean immediately started to get upset at the idea of our rabbit being old.  I couldn't figure out where it was coming from because death is not a subject we've discussed with her at this point.  Once the tears slowed, she was able to tell me that when things get old, we get rid of them and they go to live with someone else, and she didn't want that to happen to our rabbit.  She was clearly thinking of some of the old toys/clothes/etc that I donated and/or consigned.  I explained that while that's true with some things, the things that are truly special to us we never get rid of, not matter how old they are.

It made me think because I saw a clear equation with what she was saying to death.  And that felt peaceful to me in a certain way.  I'll be totally honest here.  Death scares me.  I grew up in a religious family, going to church.  I believe in life after death, but I don't know anything about it and the unknown scares me.  The idea of being away from the people I love for however long, scares me.  The idea of not being there for my girls, terrifies me.  I only hope I'm lucky enough to get old first.  That we all are.  But somehow thinking of it in those terms, that we get to a place in life where we aren't needed anymore and we go on to be somewhere else where we are, it felt easier.  And that no matter what, to the people that we were truly special to, we will never really be gone.

I'm not sure how this post about celebrating life turned into one about death.  Maybe because they're always intertwined.  Maybe because I popped over to Mel's post in the middle of writing this one.  I'm not sure.  As hard as it is to watch the time flying by though sometimes, I'm thankful for it.  I'm thankful for birthday's.  For watching my girls change and grow.  Because I'm not ready for the alternative for any of us.  I still feel needed here and I certainly know that they are.  So I'm thankful for another year, for growing older, and for being here long enough for the next step to not seem so scary anymore.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Things are changing around here

Change is a funny thing.  It's something that can be so exciting and so terrifying at the same time.  So much good can come from change and most times it's a sign of forward progress, but the old is comfortable.  It's what we're used to.  It's hard to let go of sometimes.

Hubby and Bean are out taking the puppy for a walk and Birdie is sleeping peacefully in her swing.  I just got done walking through the nursery in a quiet house.  Which is strange these days.  It's strange to call it the nursery again.  I've thought of it as Bean's room for so long now.  She's been sleeping in that room for almost two and a half years.  She spent the first six months in our room, and then she moved into her own room full time.  We plan to do the same for Birdie and she's almost three months old now. Bean's birthday is next week and it seemed like a natural time to move her from her room the nursery, into her big girl room.

The room she'll be moving too is our extra bedroom, which is currently half guest room half play room. We set it up that way so that when Bean did get ready to move in there, it might be more enticing.  And it seems to have worked.  She's excited to sleep in a big bed.  She's chosen a paint color for the walls and yesterday we went shopping and got new blankets, curtains, and some furniture for the rest of the room.  It will truly be her room when it's all done and the nursery will be empty of the things that are just hers.  For a few months, the nursery will be empty period.  No longer Beans, not yet Birdies.

It's strange, because I'm excited for Bean.  I'm excited that she's looking forward to this new room.  That she's going to be three and seems like such a big girl.  But at the same time, she's going to be three and she's such a big girl!  When did that happen?  In the blink of an eye she went from my baby girl, to this little person with so much personality of her own.  She amazes me every day.  So it makes me a little anxious to have her moving on and leaving that baby part of her life behind.

It really shouldn't.  It's not like the nursery will be empty for long. Birdie is quickly growing herself and will soon be ready to be a little farther away from us at night time.  I might not be ready, but she will.  She'll move into the nursery and while several practical things will be easier, like the fact that we can get ready for bed in our own bathroom instead of Beans, without the fear of waking a baby, I'm sure this will be another transition that will be a little difficult for me.

I wonder sometimes if this is just as hard for fertile mamas.  When I stop and think about my babies growing, many times I can't help but think about our family and if it will ever grow again.  I don't feel like Birdie is my last baby.  I don't have any sense that when things are happening with her, that it will be the last time I experience it.  But it could very well be.  More babies aren't a guarantee in this house, no matter how much they would be loved or wanted.

And so when Bean moves to her big girl room and Birdie moves to the nursery, the house will be full.  All three of our bedrooms will have a person sleeping in them every night.  I can't tell you how full that makes my heart feel.  I love that our little house is filling with babies.  That was just a dream a few years ago.  I just can't believe how fast they're growing.  And I can't help but wonder if we'll be lucky enough in a few years to be setting up bunk beds in Beans room, which will no longer be Beans room but instead will be Bean and Birdies room.  Or if we'll be selling the crib, repurposing the cabinet that we use for a changing table, and painting the walls in the nursery to make it into a big girl room also.  It's hard to know what the future will bring.  More change, I'm sure of that.  So for the next week I'm going to enjoy the fact that Bean's still in the nursery, Birdie is still in our bedroom, and future babies are still a dream in my heart.  And I'll try not to think about the fact that my babies are growing so quickly.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Join the Movement...As a Parent

As many of you know, it's National Infertility Awareness Week and Resolve is asking bloggers in the community to talk about being more active in bringing change to the infertility landscape.  This is a topic that I think about a lot.  I want to be a voice in that landscape and I really want to help make change.

One of the things that I wish had been different for me in my infertility journey was support.  I wish I had reached out for support when we were in the thick of it.  My closest friends weren't at a place where they were having children and knew what kind of emotions went into that.  The people we knew who were having kids, had no idea what it was like to want kids and not be able to have them.  Our families certainly didn't make the process easier, and often said the worst thing they could in a given situation.  Hubby was and always has been my biggest support.  But outside of that, I felt very alone.  I didn't feel like anyone understood, cared, knew how to help me, or even wanted to help me.

I should have reached out for support at that point and found a group or a therapist or something.  I didn't.  I didn't even realize how low a point I was at until I wasn't at it anymore.  But I wish it had been different.  So now I try harder to know when I need support and go looking for it.  As an infertile parent, I started to realize that I still needed support.  Infertility has left me forever changed.  I was not "cured" once I had a child.  I am a different parent because of the process that it took for me to get here.  Some of that is very positive, some of it gives me great anxiety.  I still see the need to be supported by other people who understand the journey we went on to parenthood.

That's one of the reasons I started this blog.  I've read blogs in the ALI community for a long time.  I never commented.  I felt a huge connection to these people and they helped me in a lot of ways, but I never told them.  I wish that I had.  I'm so thankful that I started the blog when I did.  The connection that I've found with other people around the country and world has been amazing.  It has made me long for the ability to be with those people face to face though.  To sit down and have a cup of coffee, watch our kids play, and talk about life as an infertile parent.

So about two years ago, I started looking for support groups for infertile parents.  I figured there had to be one.  I started with Resolve and looked at their support groups.  All of the support groups and services that I could find were for people going through the process of trying to have children or living child free.  I found one page with some information about pregnancy after infertility, and that was kind of it.  Everyone in the ALI community knows that infertility doesn't end with a baby, but I couldn't figure out how to find support once I had one.

That's when I decided to start my own group.  I was really nervous to put myself out there, but I put a notice up online advertising a play/support group for people who had gone through the process of infertility or adoption to start their families.  I knew there had to be more people out there like me and I was right.  At our first meeting three other moms got together and while the little ones played, we talked about what we'd been through, how it had changed us, and what we were like as parents because of it.  It was really wonderful.  Unfortunately, it never got much farther off the ground.  We met more times over the next year or so, but the group never really grew.

The main problem that I had was figuring out how to get the word out.  I knew there had to be other parents out there like me, lots of them, but I didn't know how to reach them.  I tried some local bulletin boards but I knew the place where they all potentially could be, was kind of untouchable.  The reproductive endocrinologist.  I couldn't figure out a way to get the word out through my doctor without being hurtful to all of the people still trying to start their families and needing support with that.  And so life got busy and, reluctantly, I threw in the towel.

Luckily I gained a really wonderful friend through the process, but I feel like this is something that needs to happen.  We need to physically have a place for infertile parents to find each other, to talk about our past and how that has effected our present.  To support each other if we choose to continue growing our families.  Even just to sit down and watch the little people running around in the back yard and all marvel together at what miracles they are.  That is such a moment of healing for me, that the power it could have when multiplied is astounding.

My challenge to myself is to try again.  To join the movement and not let this hiccup that I ran into stop me.  I believe this is something that needs to happen.  I believe this is something that a national organization like Resolve could benefit from.  I also believe that I was a little afraid to put myself out there in a big way and really get it off the ground and spread the word.  That's my challenge and where one of my passions about joining the movement stems from.  I have a need to find other people who can relate to my situation as an infertile parent.  I want to talk to them, see their face, and be able to lean on each other.  And I know there have to be other people out there like me, itching to join that movement too.  Think of what we could accomplish together.  Not just as support for each other, but as a voice for infertility for all of those still struggling to start a family.

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Your thoughts on siblings

I've been trying to figure out, for the last three years, how you create a positive relationship between siblings.  I ask everyone that I know.  Unfortunately, it seems like I don't know that many people who have a really strong relationship with their sibling.  So I keep asking.  

I have one brother.  He's three years older then I am and we are like night and day.  Growing up we were the best friends and worst enemies at the same time.  We got in some all out brawls.  I resented him a lot because he was clearly my moms favorite.  I can't tell you really how he felt about me.  Since we've become adults we've mostly kept to ourselves.  We talk several times a year and see each other maybe once a year.  I don't lean on him or share with him or anything like that.  Mostly I talk to him when I need to discuss something about our parents.  And that makes me sad sometimes.   But I have been lucky enough to find people in my life who feel like my siblings, even if none of the blood in our veins is the same.  So I don't dwell on it.

Hubby has one older brother too.  His relationship is much the same as mine except more complicated.  I'll leave it at that because that's his story to tell, not mine.  Needless to say though, neither of us have stellar sibling relationships and we've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why.  My closets friends have siblings but none of them are really close.  When I meet people who are close with their siblings, I end up asking too many questions I'm sure.  They may feel like I'm interrogating them but I'm just so at a loss.  How does that happen?  Is it something parents create?  Is it just a difference in the family as a whole or the siblings?  I want to know more details, mostly because I want to do everything in my power to help Bean and Birdie really care about each other and want to spend time together.  

So if you are willing, help me out please, and answer a few questions.

1) Do you have any siblings?  Are they the same gender or different?  What is the age difference?

2) What kind of a relationship do you feel like you have with your siblings?  Do you have a clear picture as to how that came about?

3) No matter what kind of relationship you have, do you feel like your parents did do something to foster that or could they have done something to make it different?

4) Feel free to share anything else that you'd like.

I find the whole subject so curious.  I know that there are people out there who talk to their siblings all the time, do things together, and are a regular part of each others lives.  I just don't know those people!  Please help!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Putting myself out there

I worry entirely too much about what other people think of me.  I know exactly why I do it.  I was overweight as a kid and teenager and I got picked on pretty badly.  I learned quickly to try and blend in with my surroundings and get noticed as little as possible.  Somehow this worked out for me and by the time I hit high school, I was mostly invisible.  It was amazing how much people started noticing me again once I lost the weight.  Appearances are everything unfortunately.  Anyway, I digress.  My point is that I've had a really hard time shaking the idea that I should blend in with my surroundings, not call attention to myself, and certainly not make any waves.

I gained a lot of self confidence in college.  I found a wonderful group of friends who loved me for who I was, and I just really came into my own.  Red became my favorite color.  I didn't mind standing out and I was proud of the person that I was and who I was becoming.  After college I got into a very good graduate school because I put myself out there, moved to a big city, and ended up teaching in very difficult surroundings.  All things I never pictured myself doing because I didn't have the confidence in myself to do it.

Once hubby and I got married and moved to our current location, things started getting a little tougher again.  I was working from home in a new town, which meant I met no one.  Hubby was making new friends through work, but it was hard for me.  Once I quit my job to focus on the fertility treatments and having a baby full time for awhile, it got even worse.  I tried putting myself out there and getting involved in different things, but I quickly realized the person I was putting out there wasn't the person I used to be.  I was a watered down, beaten down version of myself.

Things got better after Bean was born, although I've still struggled to find good friends here where we live.  I thought once I had a baby that would be the answer, but I was wrong.  I tried out a couple moms groups and just couldn't find people who I felt like I related to.  I tried starting my own moms group for people who have been through infertility struggles, but that never really took off.  I've found a few people, but my idea that every mom in the world suddenly wants to be your friend, or what is more the reality, that I would want to be friends with all these other moms, makes me laugh now.  Infertility is always with me and makes it hard for me to relate to a lot of moms who haven't been through it, no matter how hard I try.

You're probably wondering by now where I'm going with all this.  Well, what I'm trying to get at is the reason why I censor myself so much on this blog.  Why I don't put myself out there more and talk about the things I really want to be talking about.  Why I don't share more of my personal life and story.  There is a part of me that's still that chubby kid, or that lonely newlywed, or that emotionally beaten down infertile.  And when the self assured, happy mama comes out, I always have a little voice that tells me not to say too much.  Not to share too much.  Not to put myself out there because the more you put yourself out there, the more you open yourself up to both positive and negative reactions.

I am at the point though where I'm getting older (yes, almost 33 feels older!), and I don't want to waste this one chance I have to be a part of the world and be seen and heard.  I always said as a teacher that if I made a difference in the life of one child then all my hard work would be worth it and I still believe that.  As a mom I still believe that my kids will most likely be my biggest and most important contribution to this world.  But I have more to say, and passionate beliefs.  I feel like I have more to give and I'm tired of holding myself back because I don't want to potentially get hurt.

From now on I'm going to try harder.  I'm not just going to talk about the blogs that I find inspirational because of their honesty, I'm going to aspire to be more like those blogs.  I've found so many wonderful people through my blog but I feel like I haven't given you all the chance to really get to know me, and that's not fair because you've been such a huge support.  It's going to be different around here.  I'm going to be different.  Because I'm tired of worrying all the time about everything.  I just don't have the energy anymore.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The fog has lifted

Yesterday was Birdies appointment at the pediatric endocrinologist.  We learned that she could possibly have a mild case of hypothyroidism. Or, she could have still been getting some kind of antibody from my hypothyroidism that would make it look like she had it when she didn't.  At this point that antibody should be out of her system, so they wanted us to get more blood work done to be sure.  If she is borderline then they want us to give her medicine everyday for the next few years to be sure that she keeps growing well and at the pace she should.  Essentially, it's all no big deal.  They weighed and measured her and she is well above average for her age (like 75th percentile for her weight).

Honestly, when they told me that she was growing just fine.  More then fine.  It was like this fog lifted from around me and all the sudden I saw my baby the way everyone else did.  Instead of her being this sick baby that I had to worry about, I saw this happy, chubby little girl for the first time really.  She has chubby cheeks, a round tummy, and most definitely more then one chin.  She's fine.  And so I stopped worrying about how long she was sleeping and how much she was eating.  I felt a huge wave of relief.

That's not to say I'm not going to worry about her anymore.  By afternoon I was convinced that the warmer weather had overheated her and she was dehydrated.  Not for long though.  What I realized was that I'm always going to worry about Birdie more.  Always.  The events that transpired in the first month of her life changed me and changed my relationship with her.  But that's life.  That's what happens.  I'm always going to find something to keep an extra eye on with her, but I'll try to keep myself in check.  We'll see how it goes.

That part of yesterday was a huge relief.  The part that was so hard was the blood test we had to get done.  When they did the blood work a few weeks ago the guy got a vein and it was no big deal.  Yesterday, it was a big deal.  We were at the blood place for over an hour and a half.  They couldn't find a vein.  Birdie was screaming.  I was trying hard not to cry.  Finally they had to do a heel stick to fill 6 vials of blood.  6 vials.  Yes, they were little ones, but they had to fill them drop by drop out of her heel and she cried the whole time.

All I wanted to do was just make it stop.  The woman kept telling us that her crying was good, it made the blood flow faster so that it would be over faster.  I had a hard time being on board with that.  I nursed Birdie in between sticks to try and do anything I could to make her feel better and then after it was all over we had a long snuggle and she slept the whole rest of the afternoon.  I didn't blame her a bit and left her alone so she could sleep it off.

It just breaks my heart watching her hurt so much.  I wish I could do it for her.  Part of me wants to slow down time so I can take in every moment with my girls for that much longer, but part of me wants to speed it up so those little veins of hers will get bigger and this won't hurt her so much.  For today though we're enjoying our new life as a healthy, chubby baby and her mama.  I feel like I can breath again, she probably is thrilled to get a decent nap without me hovering over her, and things don't seem so scary.  It feels like spring came at just the right time and exactly when we all needed it. The sun is finally starting to shine in so many ways.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


How Birdie Got Her Name

When Birdie was born, Hubbie and I joked that she came flying into this world.  On my last push, I was so focused on what I was doing, that when they told me to stop, I honestly couldn't.  Before you knew it Birdie came flying out and left everyone scrambling to catch her.  Not the graceful entrance into this world that we all imagine for our babies, but then Birdie is nothing like I had imagined so far.  When we were joking about this I thought of her as a bird and a song came to mind, one that is on an album that Bean likes to listen to.  The song is called Little Bird.

When we got home from the hospital I sang bits of this song to Birdie since I don't know all the words. Bean heard me and she started doing the same.  So our little one quickly became our Birdie.  I mostly sang her two songs.  This one, and Baby Mine, which I happen to know all the words to.  When we ended up in the hospital, all I could do to try and calm Birdie was sing to her.  I tried to sing Baby Mine and got two words in before tears took over.  Somehow Little Bird came out much easier.  So there I was, singing the few words I knew and humming the rest with a room full of doctors, because I didn't know what else I could do to help my little Birdie.

After we got home from the hospital, I almost stopped calling her Birdie.  I didn't know if I wanted that association anymore.  All the days in the hospital singing that song because it was the only one that didn't make me completely lose it.  But then I realized that it had kind of become her anthem.  So little Birdie had a name.

An Update About Birdie

Well, all in all Birdie seems to be doing well.  I worry about her all the time.  I know those two statements don't really go together, but they're both the truth.  Lately, my worry has stemmed from some blood work that we had done after she left the hospital.  They wanted her to have her thyroid checked one more time because an over active thyroid can also cause an irregular heartbeat.  They acted like it was no big deal, so I figured it was no big deal.  We got the blood work done, and then a few days later her pediatrician called.  I figured when it was the doctor herself on the phone, it probably wasn't routine.  She told me that Birdie's results came back borderline irregular.  Except it isn't over active, it's under active.  Since it's borderline, they want to repeat the blood work, but just in case, they also want us to see a pediatric endocrinologist.  So we're doing that on Monday.

Of course, the first thing I did was read more about all this.  I have hypothyroidism myself, so I know what it means for me, but I have no idea what it means for a baby.  It seems to be a bigger deal for babies and can effect their growth and development.  When I read the symptoms, I felt like they were talking about Birdie.  Sleeps long stretches, falls asleep nursing, dry skin, etc.  I started to worry more.  So I called the pediatrician back and talked to her about it.  She assured me that she didn't think Birdie would have any symptoms even if she had hypothyroidism because her levels were just slightly out of range.  And yet I worry.  The other night she slept for nine hours.  Nine hours!  I should be excited at the prospect of sleep and instead I woke up and immediately broke into a cold sweat.  First we listened to her heart, which was fine.  Then I fretted about her thyroid.

I've had days where I have brief stretches of time that I can barely function.  All I can do is focus in on Birdie, listen to her heart, and try to figure out if she's all right.  It passes because life keeps moving, even if everything is stopped inside my head.  Bean forces me to keep moving.  I know I need to get a handle on it, and I'm so trying.  I don't want to worry this much.  I'm hopeful that after we see the endocrinologist this week, and the cardiologist and pediatrician next week, that I'll feel better.  I need confirmation that she's okay.  I need to know that she's gaining weight, that she's growing and developing.  I see change but I wonder if it's enough.

I know that if I don't get the worry under control, I'm going to regret it.  This part of Birdie and Bean's life will only happen once.  Sometimes I feel like I'm in a fog and I'm missing it.  So when Birdie stares up in my eyes after she gets done nursing, smiles, and starts cooing at me, I just smile back and try to focus on all the things about her that are okay.  She will be okay.  She is okay.  I just love her so much. Both of them.  I just love them so much.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Quick Updates

I have a whole lot that I want to say that's more thoughtful then what I'm going to write here, but I honestly just don't have the time.  The last time I opened the computer was the last time I posted, which has been really hard for me because I have a lot I want to talk about right now and just no time to do it. Anyway, here are some quick updates and thoughts.

- Thank you!  Seriously, to all of you who have been commenting, thank you.  Why can't we all be friends in real life?  The things that have been said recently are like salve to my battered soul.  Maybe that sounds dramatic, but that's how I feel and I'm very thankful to be able to come here and find such support.  You're all amazing.

- Birdie has been doing well.  It seems like the medicine is still working and she's growing and changing.  I am still nervous for sure, I still check her heart a lot, and I feel sad a lot thinking about what she's been through in the first weeks of her life, but I'm adjusting to it all I think.  I've been struggling a bit lately just because I feel like I'm behind with her.  By the time we came home from the hospital, Birdie was already three weeks old, but I had no idea what she was like.  Her first two weeks, when I thought I was figuring her out, weren't really her, and the hospital, well that was just a blur.  So by the time I actually got to start getting to know her, she was three weeks old but in my head she was much younger.  I keep forgetting how old she is and can't figure out what she should be doing, or really what I should be doing.  You'd think I'd have a better idea the second time around, but I don't.  All I can do at this point is just go with my gut, in lots of ways.  I've tried to convince myself that my instincts led me to get Birdie to the hospital when she was sick the first time, so instead of worrying all the time I just need to trust that those instincts will kick in again if need be.  I also am trying to just trust my gut day to day.  I may not have her figured out yet, but I just love her so much, I'm just trying to start from that and do my best.

- I still have no real idea what I'm doing as a parent of two.  Bean is, amazing.  She just has so much patience and love for Birdie.  I am in awe of her most of the time.  Usually I'm the one who gets frustrated that I can't spend more time doing the things I want to, or used to be able to do with her.  She on the other hand seems to be adapting very well to the situation at hand.  So I try to use her as my barometer instead of myself.  If she's okay then I'm okay.  I just try to give her every free moment that I can and make sure that she gets my undivided attention when I can give it and hopefully feels all the love that I have for her.  I'm hoping as Birdie gets a little older and her schedule maybe gets more predictable, it will be easier to balance all of this.  Right now I have good days and not so good days.

- The not so good days are wearing on me a bit.  I feel more of the social isolation of a new mom then I did with Bean.  There are days when I don't have a free moment, not even to shower, from when I get up in the morning until when I go to bed at night.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade it for the world, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I miss having some amount of time to myself.  I need a few moments to recharge and I don't count washing dishes or doing laundry as recharging.  I need time to talk to the people I care about, get my thoughts and ideas written down here, or just stare at the tv or read a book.

- There are times when I think about finding a therapist or counselor or something.  I've thought about this a lot in the past as well.  There's a lot about infertility that I haven't recovered from and while there are a lot of things that I wouldn't change, there are ways that infertility has changed me that I know I need to deal with. Besides all of you, there isn't really anyone in my life I feel like I can work through that with.  So I've looked into therapists with a background in infertility.  After what happened with Birdie, I feel like I could use some help working through that too.  Sometimes I feel like I have some small version of PTSD.  Like last weekend when we went on our first outing (doctors appointments don't count) as a family since Birdie was born.  Birdie has done really well in the car up until that day, but she wasn't happy then.  She was just crying and inconsolable.  I had to sit in the car with my eyes closed for awhile working to mentally keep myself in the present because all I could think about was that day in the ER, when she was crying a very similar cry, and all the things that were happening at that moment.  Obviously I don't have time to follow through on this now, but I kind of wish I did.  I feel like it could be really helpful.

Well, so much for my quick updates.  Clearly I need to find more time for this because as soon as I start, it all just comes pouring out.  So hopefully life will allow me to come back soon.  I'm trying to keep up with everyone else's blogs and comment as much as I can.  Please know that I'm thinking of all of you even if I don't manage to though!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'm a worrier

Thank you all for the words of support.  I wanted to write back to each of you, but I literally think this is the first time I've had my computer open since we've been home.  I still plan to try.  I should be napping as it's also one of the first days since hubby went back to work that both of the girls are sleeping at the same time, but I have too much bouncing around in my head that wants to come out.

Birdie has been doing great.  She went to the pediatrician and the cardiologist last week and they both said she's doing really well.  The cardiologist warned us that she may have a relapse at some point and experience SVT again.  She may need to be re-hospitalized to figure out her meds.  So I know it's possible and I hopefully won't be as scared next time because I know what's happening.

I can't help but worry though.  I'm a worrier by nature, when I have nothing to worry about.  So now that I have something to worry about, watch out.  I check Birdies heart multiple times every day.  If she's too sleepy, not eating as much as I think she should, if she feels cold, if she's overly fussy.  Can you see how this could lead to a lot of checking since she's an infant and this essentially describes every infant out there at some point during a day?  I worry that she seems smaller then Bean was.  That maybe she didn't grow as much in my belly because she was fighting this.  I worry about going back in the hospital because I feel like we can't keep asking my dear friend to stay with Bean and hubby has to work.  I don't know what we'll do if I have to go back to the hospital with Birdie for an extended period of time.  I worry about Bean.  The cardiologist suggested we get her tested too, since this is an inherited disorder.  On top of all that, I'm struggling with the reality of having two little ones.  Yesterday Birdie had an especially fussy day.  Bean was incredible and didn't seem to mind at all that she had my attention in very small bits and pieces, but I felt like I was flailing.  Like everyone else has this mama thing figured out and I'm struggling.

I could go on and on.  I'm exhausted both mentally and physically and I haven't really had a chance to let my guard down.  At the hospital I felt like we were in a fish bowl.  Our room had a window so that the nurses could keep an eye on Birdie at all times.  There were moments when I wanted to just sob because I was scared or worried or just tired.  But I didn't.  I leaked tears down my face a lot.  Especially when they were trying yet again to get an IV in Birdie.  But I never just let down and sobbed, which is out of character for me.  I remember sobbing once when I got in a fender bender, but I didn't this time.

I know part of the reason was because I was trying really hard to be strong for Birdie.  If anyone had the right to cry it was her.  She deserved all the sympathy and compassion.  The only moments I felt like I could have really let loose and let it all out were when I was out of the PICU, which didn't happen very often.  I would go for a walk occasionally while hubby was there and at those moments I thought I could release some of my emotions.  Then I would walk down the hall and pass another room on the floor.  There was a little baby in that room too.  I never saw any other people in the room besides a nurse who was there all the time.  This baby was hooked up to every machine you could imagine.  I never saw it move.  I could only imagine the horrible things that might have happened or what that babies family must be feeling.  And then I thought of Birdie.  Flailing and screaming as they put in IV's.  Happily snuggling and nursing whenever she got the chance.  She was going to be okay.  It was scary yes, and I live my life by the clock now, always scared I'm going to somehow miss a dose of her medicine, but who cares.  She's going to be okay.  I can't say that about the other baby.

In the hospital, that was my reality check.  Things could be infinitely worse.  Now that we're home though I think about that baby a lot and it's more then that.  You always know that bad things can happen to kids and babies.  Being part of this community, you learn it very quickly.  But actually seeing it.  Seeing a little baby hooked up to all those machines, that brings it home.  That's someones baby, and the terrifying part, is that it could just as easily be mine.  So now I don't just worry about our current reality, in the quiet moments when my brain settles down I worry about the bigger picture.  The scarier world that's out there.  Maybe that's why I fixate on the clock and on Birdies current body temperature.  Because those are things I can do something about.  I can give her her medicine.  I can check her heart. I can make sure I know everything there is to know about her condition and do everything in my power to have it make the smallest impact on her life as possible.  But it's made a huge impact on me.  I am incredibly grateful and always will be for the fact that what she has is very treatable and that she's going to be just fine.  I've also seen more of the reality of the world though, and it makes me worry and hold my babies that much closer, wishing there was a way that my arms could protect them from everything.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


We brought Birdie home today.  A week from the day that I realized something was wrong.  Looking back now I realize that things were wrong before that day, but I had no way of knowing then.  A week ago right now, I was worrying because Birdie hadn't had as much awake time during the day.  She felt cold and hadn't eaten as often as usual.  I was having a hard time waking her to eat.  So I thought maybe she got cold in the house and I bundled her up.  An hour or so later she seemed fine and she ate a big meal so I stopped worrying as much.  We put her to bed, went to bed ourselves, and I thought if things were still off I'd call the doctor in the morning.

She woke up in the middle of the night and when I sat down to feed her she went right back to sleep.  I tried to wake her up but with no luck.  She was cold feeling again and I started to panic.  Something was wrong.  I took her temperature, but only knew how to do it under her arm.  It seemed low but I thought maybe I was doing it wrong.  Either way, I was worried so I called the pediatrician.  The nurse there walked me through a rectal temperature, which Birdie slept through.  96.9.  Panic.  Total Panic.  The nurse on the phone tells us to go to the ER.  I call my dear friend, at 4 in the morning, who watched Bean while we were in the hospital when Birdie was born and just uttered the words "We have to take Birdie to the ER."  She was at our house in less then a half hour in her pj's.  During that time we were scurrying around and getting dressed.  I pumped because I was already in pain and didn't know when we'd get back.

We got to the ER around 5 in the morning and luckily it wasn't busy.  They took us right in.  They took Birdies temperature and it was already starting to go up.  I thought we'd be home before Bean woke up, once again I'd be the over neurotic infertile mama.  Then they hooked Birdie up to the monitors.  The nurse thought the heart monitor was malfunctioning because it read twice what it should.  She told the doctor to ignore it.  He listened to Birdies heart with a stethoscope and the look in his eyes made me sick to my stomach.  It wasn't malfunctioning.  Birdies heart was beating twice as fast as it should.

All of the sudden there were a lot of people in the room.  I felt like I couldn't really breath.  All I could do was cry.  I've never seen hubby look like he did that morning.  He's always so strong and tough.  I've only seen him cry once in his life.  He look scared which made me more scared.  They needed to give Birdie a medicine to restart her heart.  They started trying to put in an IV but her veins were so little and her heart was beating so fast it was really hard.  I stood and watched while they stuck her once, twice, three times.  All the while she screamed and I could do nothing.  I'm usually anti pacifier if I could help it but I let them try to give one to her.  Anything to comfort her.  She had no idea what to do with it.  She just cried more.

They called nurses from the PICU down to try to get an IV.  More sticks, no IV.  Finally they told us they had to give her an IO which essentially is an IV into her bone.  As soon as I heard the drill start I had to leave.  The next time I saw her she had a tube coming out of her leg that somewhere inside was lodge into her bone.  They tried giving the medicine through that but the distance from her leg to her heart was too great and the medicine wore off before it made it there.  At this point her heart had been beating so fast for hours at least, not knowing when it really started.

Finally a nurse came in who would be my hero.  Miraculously he got an IV in Birdie.  They gave her the medicine.  Her heart stopped as it was supposed to, but standing and watching her flat line on the monitor, felt like the things nightmares are made of.  Then it started again and everyone breathed again. Once she was stable they sent her up to the PICU.

She would go into the rapid heart rate (SVT) two more times that night.  The last being the worst.  It took her longer to rebound.  Her lips started turning blue, her legs went pale.  They started pumping oxygen into her.  She ended up being fine.  We ended up terrified.  Over the next few days they tried a few different kind of medications to get her heart under control.  They kept telling us that this isn't that uncommon.  That we'll be able to manage it and Birdie will be okay.  Finally they diagnosed her with something called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.  Essentially her heart has an extra electrical pathway that can bypass the pathways it's supposed to use and get things stuck in this cycle of beating too fast.  They started drugs specifically designed for this condition.  Birdie responded very well.  The main problem with the drug is that it can cause other heart arrhythmia's.  So we had to stay in the hospital for 4 days on the medicine to be sure that didn't happen.  If this drug didn't work they were ready to send us to a bigger hospital as they had exhausted their abilities.

Everyday I worried when they took an EKG and I watched the monitor like crazy.  But Birdie held her own.  Everyday she got better and I started to realize how long she'd been sick.  We had been having problems breastfeeding that just went away.  I thought she was struggling when my milk let down, instead she was struggling because her heart wasn't working.  I felt like I failed her in not figuring it out sooner.  She became so much more alert and generally happy.  The doctors said that they thought she'd been having this rapid heartbeat since before she was born, but it reversed itself before it got picked up on anything.  I kept thinking I could have done something.  Maybe if I had switched OB's sooner and had one who was more attentive.  Or if I'd had the c-section.  Maybe going through the VBAC put extra stain on Birdies heart.

In the end though, all has turned out well.  We're finally home, the medicine seems to be working.  Birdie will have no ill effects from the episodes of SVT that she had.  Her current condition will not limit her in any way.  She'll have to either take medicine for the rest of her life or have surgery that will potentially correct the problem when she's a teenager.  There were kids in that PICU who were in much worse shape then our Birdie and I am forever thankful for the doctors and nurses that took care of her and helped get her well.  I will forever feel blessed that it wasn't worse.

I also will never forget.  Watching as they tried to get IV's at least 8 different times during her stay.  Seeing her covered with wires.  Waking up to the sound of alarms for her heart rate or oxygen.  Luckily they were usually false alarms but they struck fear in my heart every time.  Listening to her cry as I stood there, completely unable to do anything to comfort her.  Singing through tears while I stroked her head.  Anything to try to comfort her.  My heartache at being away from Bean for a week, hoping she understood how badly I wanted to be with her.  For a time we lived every parents worst nightmare.  I am lucky I know because it was just for a time.  But I will never forget the moment that hubby and I looked at each other in that ER and both were thinking the same thing.  We were both wondering if we'd be taking our Birdie home with us or not.  And to anyone who has ever felt that, I am so sorry and to anyone who has lived the reality of the worst case scenario, I ache for you.

I will never forget and somehow these two little lives that we get to be a part of everyday, these lives that I didn't think could get any more precious, they just did.  We listened to Birdies heart ten times today already to be sure it's beating normally.  I held Bean so much more closely.  In my mind I already knew how short life is, how much I need to appreciate every single moment of every day.  But this last week I felt it and I will never forget that.  So now all I can do is pray that we don't get to that place again.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Please keep us in your thoughts. We spent a very scary night/morning in the ER with our newest little one (who I shall now refer to as Birdie for reasons to be explained later). I noticed yesterday that she felt cold and wasn't as awake or eating as much. It got better when I bundled her up but worse in the middle of the night. I called the pediatrician who said to take her to the ER. Once we got here we discovered her heart rate was almost twice what it should be. It took a long time to get access to her little veins but once they did thy used medicine to jump start her heart and her rate went back to normal. Now we're in the Pedi ICU trying to find out what's going on. It was one of, if not the most scary thing to happen to me and I'm aching for my poor little Birdie.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Whole Story

It's a long one, and it's one of those stories that could have had a very different ending if any one little detail changed.  If you make it to the end, you should get a prize :)  I'm very relieved that it all ended the way that it did with a healthy baby and mama first and second with the successful VBAC.  I'm not sure I can completely explain why it was so important to me to try for the VBAC, but before I tell the story of our newest little one's entrance into the world, I'm going to try.

My first pregnancy, in a lot of ways was about fear.  Fear that something was going to go wrong.  Fear that at any moment our dream could be over.  Fear that we might never be parents.  Bean's birth wasn't much different.  Our doctors instilled fear into us.  They were vague about the results of our non stress tests.  They made it sound like hitting 41 weeks would be dangerous.  I was scared and wanted to make sure our baby made it into this world safely, so against my gut I let them induce me at 40 weeks 6 days.  And as the induction went along, I slowly gave away any control that I had because I just wanted to have my baby be alive.  I was so scared all along the way.  Then after she was born, I was scared of what was happening to my body.  I was so sick from the anesthesia and things they pumped me full of when they determined that I was anxious during the delivery, without consulting me.  I was scared to move around, scared to take a shower, just really scared of how to help my body heal and take care of a little baby.  It was the happiest time of my life, but there was a film of fear that covered all of it.

I guess I should have taken that experience and found myself a new doctor right from the beginning this time, but honestly, I didn't really think I had much choice. I thought I'd end up with another c-section.  So as time went by and I realized I had options, and it got farther into my pregnancy, and it seemed like my doctors were supportive, I didn't know what else to do but just stay.  Which I shouldn't have.  They were not supportive, they just claimed to be and this time around I didn't want to be afraid all the time.  I didn't want to let them tell me how to feel just so they could make their lives easier and schedule my babies birth.  I have never been in control of how my babies were created but this time I had a small shot at determining how this one came into the world and I wanted to try.  That decision was made with a lot of research, thought, and discussion with medical professionals.  It wasn't taken lightly and if at any moment it looked like there was any reason to go another direction, I would have done it in an instant.

Needless to say, I was relieved when I started having contractions early Tuesday morning.  By mid morning they were about 5-8 minutes apart and I called my doctor because they wanted to be cautious and have me come in early because of the VBAC.  They told me to come into the office and of course, I got to see the idiot doctor.  He saw that I had a scheduled c-section on Wednesday and didn't bother to look at or remember anything else about me, so he quickly just said they'd send me up to the hospital and do my section that day.  I quickly reminded him that I wanted to try for a VBAC, which was fine until I told him that since I went into labor, I wanted to cancel the section scheduled for Wednesday morning.  He didn't like that one bit and told me that it wasn't safe to go past 41 weeks, that most places won't let you go past 40 with a VBAC (which isn't true).  I told him that if I hadn't delivered by then I wanted to wait until at least the end of the week and that's when I found out the truth.  He didn't want to wait because he didn't want to mess up his schedule.  None of my doctors were working on Friday so he said that would be impossible.  I essentially told him that I didn't care if one of my doctors was available, that I'd take whoever was and that I wasn't going to have the section the next day.  At this point it was clear he was annoyed with me and sent me to the hospital to be monitored and discuss the rest of it.

My other doctor was at the hospital when I got there and got me on a monitor to see what was going on.  Of course as soon as I got there my contractions slowed down.  We walked the halls for a couple hours, and in the first hour I dilated another centimeter and was at 3.  The problem was that my contractions only really picked up and got strong when I was walking around, not when I was on the monitor.  So nobody really believed I was close to being in labor.  My doctor wanted to break my water and start Pito.cin but I told him I didn't want to do that, that I wanted to go home.  Everyone agreed that I could but only if I came in the next morning to get checked again, so we headed home.  Little did I know at that time, but they didn't just schedule me for a check the next morning, they scheduled me for an induction, completely against my knowledge.

That afternoon I did a lot of walking, bouncing on the exercise ball, essentially anything I could think of to try and get labor going faster.  Nothing seemed to be working, my contractions were the same.  We went to bed around 11 and a half hour later I started feeling really strange.  Then I started getting nervous and worried that I was crazy for laboring at home at this point when I'd had a previous c-section.  I started to really scare myself so I called my doctors office to tell them I wanted to come back to the hospital and as I was talking to the answering service, my water broke.  Which explained the weird feeling.  Back to the hospital we went.

Now the first important piece of the puzzle fell into place when we first got to the hospital.  We were lucky enough to get an amazing nurse (I'll call her B) who was fully supportive of the VBAC.  She put me on the monitor for awhile and then let me walk the halls.  That lasted for maybe an hour when my doctor called and found out I wasn't on the monitor all the time and told them that I had to be.  Which was discouraging.  My contractions slowed when I was just sitting around and I didn't want labor to stall.  I talked to B and she said that while I had to be on the monitor, I didn't have to be in bed.  So I paced the room, bounced on the birthing ball, rocked in the rocking chair, did squats, anything I could.  Every couple hours a resident would come check me and the most I dilated to during the night was 4 cm.  I was discouraged.  The resident kept checking in with my doctor and offering Pito.cin but I wasn't ready yet.  B offered me multiple natural methods to try to get labor going and they seemed to work in making the contractions stronger but not closer together.  B also told us that our doctors group was not very VBAC friendly.  That they might claim to be but then they did everything possible to try to keep it from happening.  I felt like they had pulled one over on me, and I wasn't happy about it.

The next morning before B left, we talked about what to do next.  I decided that when my doctor came in I would ask for some pain medicine to get some rest and then start some Pito.cin.  Not a lot, just enough to see if it would help without risking anything.  B headed home but said she had a shift later that night and would be back.  My new nurse was just as wonderful (we'll call her A) and I knew her opinion of my idiot doctor immediately when she came to "warn" us that he was on his way.

I wasn't prepared for what happened next though.  He waltzed into our room, cup of coffee in hand and said "So, are you having contractions?"  Now, this is not the best question to ask a woman who has been fighting through the pain of contractions for the last 24 hours.  Of course I'm having contractions.  Unfortunately, in my attempt to keep labor going, the contractions weren't showing up on the monitor because I was moving around so much.  And if it wasn't on the monitor, then he didn't believe it was happening.  He then started ranting about how he wasn't going to start Pito.cin, he wasn't going to do anything.  He was going to preform a c-section and that's all there was to it.  That they had given me more flexibility then they should have, that the hospital policy is for VBAC's to not go past 40 weeks (not true), that my labor was stalled at 4 cm just like my first pregnancy (which he determined without an exam), that the baby was too big (also no exam), and that he wouldn't risk a rupture and the life of my baby.  The way he spoke to me, took my breath away and now that I'm a week out, I have a million things that I would have said if I had been able to think of them.  Instead I told him that the last thing I would ever do would be to risk my baby and that I wanted the pain medicine so that I could get some rest and consider my options.  He agreed "if I was really in that much pain" and left the room.  

Hubby and I just looked at each other and I started to cry.  Not about the VBAC, at that point I figured that was a lost cause.  I was crying because I deserved to be treated better.  Just because I had somehow wounded his ego the day before, did not mean he could speak to me the way he did.  I cried because the idea of having that man cut me open, made me physically ill.  The idea that he would be the first one to touch my baby.  Moments later A came back in to check on us.  She apologized and said she hadn't realized our doctor was in the room or she would have come with him.  I finally got the guts I should have had months ago and asked her if there was any way at this point in time that I could get a new doctor.  She got a big smile on her face and said that she had just told someone that she wished I would ask for a new doctor.  She said that the chief of OB was on call that day, that she was very VBAC friendly, and that she would surely take over my care.  Then A took off to make it all happen.

About an hour, maybe an hour and a half later after a visit with the patient care liaison who interviewed us about what happened, some calls to some bigger chief in the hospital and coordination between my idiot doctor and the new one, we had a new doctor (Dr. G).  She was AMAZING.  I can't even tell you what a difference it was.  First of all she actually examined me.  I was at 5 cm and she said that baby wasn't big.  She looked at the monitors and all of my stats.  She said that the baby and I looked great, there wasn't any reason to stop trying for the VBAC and that she would do whatever she could to help me.  She explained the idea of using Pito.cin more, talked about the risks and benefits, and let us decide what we wanted to do.  I choose to go ahead with the pain medicine I had talked about earlier to get some rest, and start the Pito.cin.

An hour or so later I was at 6 cm and the pain was getting pretty bad.  I always wanted to try to make it through labor without an epidural but since both times I had Pito.cin, I just haven't been able to do it.  I was worried that the epidural would stall things but within an hour I was at 8 cm and another hour or so and I was at 9 1/2.  It took awhile after that to get to 10 and Dr. G had to head home because her shift was over and her husband was actually in the hospital, otherwise she said she would have stayed.  The doctor who took over was fine though and the resident who had been with us all day was still there.  Finally it was time to start pushing.  Unfortunately, at this point my epidural had stopped working on one side (the same thing happened with Bean) and the resident realized that the baby was actually sunny side up and cocked off to the side.  My temperature was also starting to rise and my water had broken about 18 hours before.  I saw the look that the resident gave the doctor and I knew what it meant.  She was skeptical about this actually ending as a successful VBAC and I started doubting it a bit too.

They had me try pushing a few times and I was struggling.  We all decided to turn off the epidural completely.  I could feel everything a lot better but the pain was overwhelming.  The contractions just didn't stop.  It was one continuous contraction with highs and lows.  They kept telling me to push with the contraction but I couldn't figure out when to do it.  I remember crying and telling hubby that I couldn't do it.  That I'd tried so hard but I had failed.  And then out of nowhere, B came into the room.  She was back for her second shift and while she clearly had other things she was supposed to be doing, she choose to stay with us instead.  She told me that she wasn't going to let me give up now, that I'd come this far, and that I could do it.  She helped me figure out how to push, and except for a time when she had to leave, I started making rapid progress.

After she came back I really started moving fast.  The next thing I knew, the baby was on it's way to being delivered.  I remember hearing them all telling me to push and how excited everybody was.  I remember pushing so hard that she was born before they could get the doctor in the room and that I didn't even have the chance to stop when they told me to.  She came flying into the world and she was perfect in every way.  I on the other had had taken a beating.  I don't know if it's just my body or the way she was positioned, but I had a lot of tearing and it took them quite awhile to stitch me back up.  Even with all that though, it was so different then after my c-section. I felt like myself, I got to hold her and nurse her and be with her from the moment she was born.  I remember it all and I wasn't afraid.  It was the hardest thing I've physically ever done, but the fear wasn't there.

The rest of our hospital stay was quite short and uneventful.  Our favorite nurses stopped by to check on us and I thanked them over and over.  If it hadn't been for them, I don't know if I would have made it.  All the nurses who came in to take care of me knew about our situation and congratulated us for standing up for ourselves.  The whole thing was kind of surreal.  I'm the kind of person who usually goes by unnoticed, so to have everyone on the floor know who I was, was a little strange.  Dr. G agreed to take me on as a patient from here on out and I called my old doctors to get all of my records.  I heard one of their voices in the hall the day after the baby was born and that's as close as I need to come to them ever again.

Today it's a week since all this happened.  A week since our new little baby was born and I'm over the moon.  Bean is an awesome big sister.  There has of course been some roads bumps as she gets used to sharing us, but it's been going well overall.  I just feel like I'm living a dream.  I can't believe that we made it through the baby making process again.  I can't believe that we're a family of four now.  But I am loving every minute of it and I have to say that feeling physically so much better this time makes it even easier to just soak in all the wonder of it.  Finally, my body figured out how to do something right.