Category “letters to baby”

20

Jun

Wolf at 1 year

wolf 1 year

remember back when I was writing for Babble?  and I said I was going to post updates on Wolf at 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year?  well, that didn’t happen.  I started back to work and right around that same time my computer died, leaving me to only write when I had free time, which was almost never.  now, still not much “free time” but I wanted to write a few things down about Wolf at 1 year so that I never forget, even though he turned a year old almost a month ago!  here goes.

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10

May

to be a mother

mother

when I was pregnant with Wolf, I knew I was madly in love with the baby inside of me.  I was SO anxious to meet him, to feel his tiny hands and kiss his sweet head.  I felt like, the second that he’d be born, I’d get butterflies in my stomach because I loved him so much, my body would swell over with indescribable emotion and that my head would virtually explode from all the love I had for him.  but to my surprise, after we brought our tiny new baby home from the hospital, it didn’t.

ok, step back a second.  yes, when Wolf was born, stars and moon beams were shooting out of my eyeballs and I could not believe that this tiny person was mine and we had created him.  I couldn’t believe that I’d given birth to him and there he was, outside my body, tiny and pink and impossibly cute.  I loved him.  but in the beginning, the hard outweighed the love and for me, love didn’t feel like it came easy.

there were nights when I’d cry because I was struggling so hard with breastfeeding or I was just plain tired.  I’d tell Levi that I wasn’t sure if I could do this, to be a good mother.  and I’d just continue to make myself more and more upset.  he’d assure me over and over again that things would get easier and indeed, they did.  I got into the swing of things and my heart started to burst with love a little more each day.

I’m writing this because I know that there are others out there like me, for whom motherhood didn’t come easy.  I always pictured myself as a mother but I never had baby fever and never dreamt of having babies.  I’d never even held a baby before Wolf was born.  but I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood these past few days and I can’t imagine my life any other way.  I’m so dang proud of Wolf.  every day he makes me smile and laugh and just watching him learning new tasks makes my heart explode.

so the love is there.  and it’s been there all along.  it just took my body a little while to get adjusted to my new role of Mom.

p.s.  I love you Mom, more than you know.

17

Jun

Wolf’s birth story

hiya Wolf.

There will be moments in your life that you choose to forget and moments that you choose to cherish in your heart forever.  Your birth was one of those “remember forever moments” and I think about little pieces of it every time I gaze into your little eyes.  In short, it was incredibly monumental – like no other thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.  The entire 34 hours from when my water broke to when you entered the world was a complete whirlwind of emotion.  We were packed full of fear, anxiety, love, joy and even sadness. But now you’re here and I want to write this all down so that I can hopefully share with you one day.  Here goes…

wolf

Wolf, minutes old, holding onto his Dad’s finger.

I was over 41 weeks pregnant and 5 days from facing induction.  Every night I’d go to sleep hoping to wake up to contractions or something that meant this baby was on his way.  So Wednesday night at 4:45 am when I got up out of bed to go to the bathroom sans labor signals, I didn’t think much of it.  Mid-night bathroom trips meant peeing in the dark so when I wiped and noticed that something felt a little different, I got up and flipped on the light to investigate.  I saw at the time what I thought might be my mucous plug, but in retrospect, I think it had been the first bits of my water breaking.  A rush of emotion came over me and I was excited that this meant things might be starting!  I finished up and went back to bed.

About 15 minutes later my tummy started cramping just a bit.  I’d been laying on my right side and decided to flip over to my left when – OMG.  Levi stirred in bed and I said to him, “Holy crap, I think my water just broke.”  Then I got up and ran back into the bathroom to confirm and yep, I was dripping fluid everywhere.  Luckily I’d gotten some humongous pads from a friend in a care package so I slapped on of them on and went back into the bedroom to tell Levi things were starting!

If you’ve been following my posts on Being Pregnant, you’d remember that I’d tested positive for Group B Strep.  That meant if labor started with my water breaking, I had to go into the hospital right away so that I could be hooked up to an intermittent IV of antibiotics.  So of course, having labor start with my water breaking was not plan A of “labor at home for as long as possible”, but I was over due and at least something was happening!

I got in the shower while Levi started making us a smoothie for breakfast.  When I got out I called labor and delivery to let them know I was on my way.  I text my doula Angela to let her know my water had broken, then started packing things up around the house to make our way to the hospital.  I was so excited and yet so nervous!  Our baby was on his way and would enter our lives very very soon!  I couldn’t stop thinking about how things would play out, what he’d look like when placed on my chest or what would be the first thing I’d say to him.  At about 6:30 am we headed out the door and excitedly walked the 3 blocks to the hospital.

Once we got checked into our room, our nurse came in to check my blood pressure, the baby’s heart beat, contractions and set up my IV of antibiotics.  Penicillin was the antibiotic of choice to treat the GBS, however I’d had an allergic reaction to it when I was 14 which caused me to break out in hives.  So my doctor had recommended that I was given Ancef, even though it could cause a similar reaction in some patients.  Turns out I was one of those patients and sure enough, my face began itching and tiny hives started popping up all over it.  The nurse called in my doctor and she immediately took me off the antibiotic and gave me Benadryl.

Now it was about 10:00 or 11:00 am.  I’d only begun feeling mild contractions so far and they were coming about 5 to 10 minutes apart.  And this was how things continued to be for hours.  {The main reason I’d wanted to labor at home, remember?}  Levi had downloaded some tv shows for us to watch on my laptop so we killed some time waiting for things to progress.

Sometime after lunch, my doctor came back in and said that she wanted to try another antibiotic on me called Vancomycin to treat the GBS.  So back to the bed I went to be hooked up to the IV and monitored intermittently.  Things were going well, aka no hives, and almost 80% of the antibiotic was in my system when I started getting really hot.  I looked in the mirror and not only was my face bright red but my chest was bright red too and my lips were swollen.  My nurse immediately called the doctor in and again I was taken off the IV and given Benadryl to calm the allergic reaction.

By the third tv show and later into the evening, contractions had started to come stronger and more frequently.  They still weren’t super strong but they were strong enough that I was having a hard time concentrating on the show.  I was excited that things were moving along, but I also knew that time was of the essence, especially as it had now been established that my body wasn’t responding to antibiotics and the longer I’d been ruptured, there was more of a danger of the GBS getting to the baby.

It was almost 8:00 pm when my doctor suggested that we start Pitocin.  My heart sank.  I’d been hoping for a natural delivery with no pain medication so her suggestion hit me like a ton of bricks.  I’d learned that one thing that could keep me going through the intense pain ahead was my natural endorphins telling me to hunker down and beat the pain.  Pitocin would essentially be blocking my natural coping mechanism along with bringing me contractions that would eventually come on stronger and quicker than natural contractions.  My labor was progressing slowly and because I wasn’t on antibiotics my doctor explained that she specifically wanted to get things moving to protect the baby.  While I really really didn’t want to give in to Pitocin, at 12:00 am, I finally decided it was time.

From the time that I was first given Pitocin at 12:30 am to almost 7:00 am was a complete blur of intensified contractions that went from being tolerable to downright unbearable.  I was feeling most of the contractions in my lower back so every position I was in just hurt.  I’d go from hunching over the bed to sitting on the birth ball, and paced around the room in between.  My doula Angela and Levi went back and forth massaging my lower back through each contraction but nothing seemed to help relieve the pain.  Angela would breath with me and Levi would hold my hands in encouragement.  Since I’m not had any cervical exams yet due to my water breaking, I had no idea where I was in labor.

Finally at 7:00 am, I decided I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I asked my doctor to check my cervix for the first time and decided to make a decision on pain relief based on how far into labor I was.  She checked me, announced that I was only 4cm dilated and I made the decision right there to get an epidural.  Looking back, I really can’t remember how painful it was.  I probably could have endured the pain longer if I’d been able to truly focus but I was so tired and the contractions were so close and strong that I just gave in.

By 8:00 am the anesthesiologist had the epidural in place and I was in the hospital bed resting.  I was in and out of sleep all morning until 11:00 am when my doctor wanted to check my cervix again.  I was shocked when she said that I was dilated 8cm already!  Plus, they told me that my body had finally kicked into labor on it on it’s own and they’d turned off the Pitocin mid morning.  All I could think was, hooray!  I’m doing it!  Something was happening!

Then the hours went by like minutes.  The epidural I was on was set to a very low dose so not only could I feel my legs but I could feel the contractions growing stronger and stronger.  Even though hours went by, to me it felt like I’d only blinked an eye when my doctor came back to check my cervix again around 5:00 pm.  She smiled and said I was 10cm dilated and it was time to push!  I felt an intense amount of relief.  This was it!  That’s when things started to get exciting.  I could feel the emotion in the room change considerably.  All I could think about was that I’d get to meet our baby soon.

In my birth plan, there were a few things that I said I wanted to be asked if I’d like when the time came.  One of them was whether or not I wanted a mirror at the end of the bed so that I could see things progressing.  While I was writing my the plan I thought, really?  Why would I want to stare at my vagina?  But when the time came, to literally watch myself give birth and to see the progression as our baby’s head entered the world was incredibly motivating.

Since I was on a really low dose epidural, I could feel every contraction building up.  My doctor and the nurses told me to push when I felt ready and I got two to three good pushes with each contraction.  Every time I pushed, my body was muffling the baby’s heart rate monitor, making it appear that his heart rate was dropping.  So every once in awhile they’d have me sit through a contraction if I could manage not pushing.

wolf me

Me and Wolf, having an incredible bonding moment.

I pushed for about an hour and 20 minutes before Wolf was born.  Levi and Angela were up by my head, cheering me on.  My doctor and nurses said I was a natural born pusher!  And man did I feel like it.  I felt so strong.  Like I was born ready to push.  I tilted my hips and pushed with all my strength and Wolf’s head was born at 6:48 pm.  The cord was wrapped around his neck once so my doctor gently unwrapped him while the nurses suctioned his mouth and nose because of the GBS and meconium in my water.  Then with the next contraction I took a deep breath and pushed as hard as I could and out he came.  His warm, wiggling, pink body was placed on my chest immediately while they wiped him off.

I just remember everything being so surreal.  One minute this little person was inside my body and the next he’s crying and looking at me with big newborn eyes while lying naked on my chest.  I’ve never felt so much happiness and love at one moment in my entire life.  I looked over at Levi and we kissed and gazed at our little man – our son Wolf.

levi wolf

Levi and tiny Wolf.

Now you’re 3 weeks old.  These three weeks have been a blur yet it seems like so long ago this story began.  Writing this brought back so many memories and emotions.  To be completely honest with you, adjusting to our new life with you has been really tough for me.  From challenges with breastfeeding to no longer being on “my schedule”, I’ve had many sobby moments.  But you know what?  I look at you, this tiny person that your Dad and I created and even in the hardest moments, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything.  I now know what my Dad was talking about when he told me about the love I’d feel for you.  I wasn’t sure what I was feeling in those first few days – perhaps a mixture of delirium and overwhelming love.  But when I look at you, teary eyed, swaddled up snug as a bug or falling asleep with your mouth slightly open, hearts and stars shoot out of my eyeballs.  You’re quite possibly the most incredible thing in the entire world and I love you to pieces.

xoxoxo mom

16

May

40 weeks

me 40w1d

hiya little man.

today is your due date.  hopefully this will be my last weekly photo but I guess we won’t know until you’re here.  no matter how much I’ve tried to ignore it, we both know there’s no question what was on my mind when I woke up this morning.  will you be the 5% of babies born on their due date?  when will you arrive?

I’m totally over being pregnant.  I’m so anxious to meet you that every single thought I have revolves about you.  however, today I can’t help but reflect on what I will miss once I’m not pregnant anymore.  {you can read my list over on Babble}

I hope you decide to come soon.  we are ready when you are!

xo mom

9

May

39 weeks

39 weeks

hiya little man.

so today I’m 39 weeks pregnant.  your due date is only a week away.  I think you’re getting ready.  at least you’ve been mighty busy in my belly these past few days.  it’s funny being this close to your due date.  I keep getting little twinges and blips of sharp pain and wonder, is this it?  but nothing so far.  your dad noticed yesterday that you definitely look like you’ve dropped even further.  he thinks a whole inch or two since last week!  I don’t go to the doctor until Wednesday, so we’ll wait to see what she says.

today was my first official day of maternity leave, even though I’m still doing some work from home until you arrive.  I spent most of the day in yoga pants and felt like I was playing hooky.  it’s weird to think that I won’t go back to work full time until September.  but I’m excited to spend the summer getting to know you.  you’ll love Portland summers.

we’re so ready to meet you.

xo mom

2

May

38 weeks

me 38 weeks

hiya little man.

sun!  we had glorious, glorious sun this weekend!!  it was so nice to be out in it and to soak up all it’s warmth, even though we’re back to rain today.  Portland has schizophrenic weather patterns, you’ll see.  one day it’ll be gorgeous and warm, the next day it’ll be cold and wet.  one minute we’ll have sunshine, the next minute we’ll have hail followed by a true downpour.  I suppose all this rain we get makes me truly appreciate sunny days.

our camera picked a terrible time to stop working.  you have no idea how sad that makes me.  your Dad said at least we have iPhones with decent cameras, but it’s nothing like our SLR.  your Dad is taking it to the camera store today to see what, if anything, they can tell us.  if only it’d held out a few more weeks for your arrival…

speaking of… we’re so ready to meet you!  every time I feel you wiggle in there I ask you when you’re going to be ready to come out.  I actually thought I was having contractions on Friday night.  I felt a lot of pressure in my lower abdomen, but it only lasted for 10 seconds, came back once and then went away.  perhaps it was wishful thinking.  or perhaps you were moving your head further down.  I suppose I’ll find out today at my doctors appointment if all that walking I’ve been doing has helped make any progress.  last week I was 1cm dilated.

just two weeks from your due date, little man.  we’re ready when you are.

xo mom

 

18

Apr

36 weeks

36w1d1

hiya little man

this is what happens when your Dad takes pictures of me.  I was being lazy and didn’t want to set up the tripod, so I decided to ask for his help taking my belly photo this week.  he laughs at me every time I pose for the camera, tells me I’ve got cheese-smile and pretty much pokes major fun at me the entire time he’s taking photos.  I usually throw a little hissy fit and beg him to just be serious but mostly, I laugh.  so hard.  sometimes so hard it makes my belly ache.  sometimes so hard I have to fight peeing my pants.

that’s why I love your Dad though.  he makes me laugh.  even when I’m the maddest I could be at him, or he’s doing something that drives me insane.  he grins at me and I crack.  I start giggling and next thing you know I’ve forgotten what I was upset about.

I’m officially 9 months pregnant which means, you’ll be here soon.  we’ve got things ready for you.  your moses basket rocker arrived today {thanks Roberta & Afton!}, I ordered you some diaper covers and we’ve got swaddling blankets galore.   the cats have been sleeping on your changing pad but don’t worry, we’ve got it covered with a blanket so their hair doesn’t get all over it.  I’m sure they’ll be sad when it’s no longer a bed for them.  all your little clothes have been washed and put away neatly in the drawer.  I picked out something for one of your first outfits.  I think you’ll like it.

we get to meet you so soon little man.  the emotion that swells up inside me each time I think of how close we are to actually meeting you makes my heart burst with joy.

xo mom

36w1d2