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Dear Donor… August 7, 2011
Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough. You have given us the most amazing gift and we are forever grateful. I wonder if you know how you have changed our lives forever. Without even knowing us you have helped us to become a family, you have let us experience an unconditional love that grows everyday.
One year ago today Grady was conceived by a little bit of science and a lot of miracle! Now at 3 months old, he is the light our life, our shining rainbow after all the rain. For those of you out there that may be struggling to conceive, please continue to believe, your family will come together in whatever way it was meant to be. And join me in thanking those who make it possible for us all to have this experience, donors, doctors, nurses, family, and friends. Always believe, miracles happen!
The gory details… May 14, 2011
Disclaimer: I am utterly grateful for our son, he is the best thing, next to his Mama, that has happened in my life! He is perfect and I wouldn’t change anything – except maybe how he came into the world…
Tuesday, May 3rd. Contractions began in the evening. I thought, okay, I can handle this and we went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night I realized it was time to start timing them. They were not consistent, but very painful, so around 5am we called the hospital and they requested we come in so they could check on baby and give me some pain management. So off we went with all our stuff.
Wednesday, May 4th. Today would be a fabulous day to have a baby! My best friend’s birthday! Instead, after they checked on the baby, checked my dilation (2cm) and gave me an injection of morphine and gravel, the doctor sent us home to “make progress”. Contractions came all day! Some at regular intervals, some not, but all painful once the drugs wore off!!! At 10pm, we called the hospital again and were told to come in to be checked. So, bags in tow, off we went.
Thursday, May 5th, 1 am. Get checked, 4cm! Progress. The doctor suggested we break the water and stay to have our baby. Yay!! I was given more morphine and the water is broken. The water was not clear which means the baby had a bowel movement while still inside. This is not good, so we must be constantly monitored. The morning check shows no progress, still 4 cm, so the doctor puts me on oxytocin to stimulate dilation. Well, did it ever!! Contractions were strong, hard, close together and very painful despite the medication. Thanks to the lady laboring next door, the anesthetist was called up, so I was able to have an epidural! Yes please!! Ah, pain relief – well kinda. Turns out I have to stay in bed, okay that’s obvious, but also, I can’t eat. I was sooooo hungry! We decided this was the time to get some sleep. While we are resting, suddenly they lose the baby’s heart beat and there are bells and a flurry of people. I’m yelling, Mama is jolted awake from her first opportunity to sleep in 2 nights, and they find the heart again – well, his, but not mine! There was no sleeping after that! Despite the epidural I started to feel pain on my left side – turns out the epidural wasn’t working on my left. Oh, the pain! The contractions were getting really intense and the nurse had the choice to call the anesthetist to come and fix my epidural, but decided to check my dilation instead. I was fully dilated and engaged so she decided that I should skip the epi and use the pain to help me push. Pushing began around 1:30 pm. At first it’s okay, left foot on squat bar, right foot (still numb) being held on squat bar and 2 hands pulling on a sheet tied to the centre. Not too bad, I can do it. Yah, right! The contractions were now coming with no break, my left hip was on fire and my arms were so sore and tired. Needless to say, I was not quiet! I had to push for 3 and a half hours. The baby was not budging! Finally I am so loud and in agony that they call the attending OB to see what he thinks. Turns out baby has his head on his shoulder and does not have room to make an exit – I could’ve told them that. He said he could try to move him, or ideally he would recommend that we have a c-section. To which I quickly responded – give me the damn paper to sign and get this baby out! Things moved very quickly as I was prepared for surgery and Mama was instructed to put on her scrubs (she was dreading this outcome as she is not fond of blood).
May 5th, 5:22pm. Grady Shay was born, 9lbs, 13oz and 22 inches long! He was whisked away to be checked, remember the poop in the water, and Mama goes to see him. The pediatrician is concerned about a mass she feels in his belly and his size. I am waiting…. When I finally get to see him, I know he is perfect! The cutest thing alive! Turns out the chord was wrapped around his foot and neck, so, a vaginal delivery was never an option. I was sent to recovery and Mama and Grady went upstairs to bond. While in recovery the maternity nurse brought Grady to see if he will breastfeed as his blood sugar is low and he needed food immediately! Well, of course he wouldn’t feed, I was lying on a hospital bed and had no feeling from the chest down. They left me to rest and eventually I am brought back upstairs to be together, but Grady’s sugar was too low so they are already feeding him formula.
All night we tried to breast feed, but Grady is sleepy. The doctor has insisted that he must have formula to maintain his blood sugar, but anything he does manage to eat, he vomits because he is full of mucous. Apparently this is common for c-section babies.
May 6th. Grady was scheduled for an ultrasound to check that mass. Thankfully, there was nothing there!! He was still having his baby foot poked several times a day to check his blood sugar levels and was on a strict formula feed schedule every 3 hours. There is more vomiting and he is just too sleepy to suck. I had to begin pumping to try and give him some breast milk instead of that icky formula!
May 7th, more of the same. We asked to go home and were finally discharged at 8pm.
May 8th and onward, we are much happier at home! Grady is learning to breastfeed and the vomiting has stopped. Because of my recovery his Mama has been doing most of everything. Taking care of him and me! I could never have done this without her! I guess, despite the most exhausting and painful days of my life, I am a very lucky girl to have 2 wonderful and strong people in my life.
Off to have a cuddle now! 🙂 Mommy finally!!
Lessons learned… April 19, 2011
Today I taught my mom how to text. Major accomplishment! After, she said something that got me thinking, “I wonder what your son will teach you?”.
I’m sure there will be many lessons along the way, but here are a few of the things he has taught me already…
Perseverance. Trying to conceive was a true test of this. How much was my body able to endure, how many times would we/could we try, how much disappointment could I handle? The lesson learned here is an old one, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”.
Believe. Sometimes you have to give in to fate and just believe that good things will happen to you. Many days this seemed impossible. On that horrible day when we thought we had lost the baby, I stopped believing. Boy, was I proven wrong when we saw that little fluttering heartbeat on the ultrasound! Since that day I choose to believe that everything happens for a reason, even the crappy things have a way of teaching us something.
Patience. This has been an ongoing lesson. Being on bed rest for 19 weeks truly tested my patience! As much as I hated being stuck at home, it was for a very good cause. This little boy helped me to see the bigger picture. And now, at 38 weeks pregnant and willing him to come sooner than later, I am being reminded of that lesson and to be patient – no matter how uncomfortable I am!
Trust. Trust that your body was made to deliver a baby with a large head. Trust that he will come when he is ready. Trust that the people who matter the most will accept your family and support you. Trust that you will know how to care for this darling little being and that in return, he will teach you big things!
11 days and ready to pop! 🙂
You know you’re really pregnant when… April 12, 2011
- you consider it divine intervention when the door bell rings and it’s a little girl selling cookies
- you want to roll over in bed, but your belly won’t let you so you have to fully sit up and turn over, ugh!
- you get out of breath trying to pull on your rain boots
- the only coat that fits is an ugly men’s fleece
- you suddenly want every food you see on television
- you take your bra off at the end of the day and find cookie crumbs in your cleavage (tmi!)
- you buy several multi-packs of toilet paper, just in case you can never get out of the house again
- you cry just because it feels good
- you say excuse me to someone in the grocery aisle and they move over but your belly still brushes them as you try to pass by – note to those people, move more!!
- you have to size-up the booth to table space before committing to a table in your favourite restaurant, and finally,
- you want to clean-up ‘down there’ before going to the doctor, but realize you can’t see it anymore – a sad day 😦
Only 2 and a half weeks to go! Why do I feel like this list will only get longer…
Nursery Update – finally!!! April 3, 2011
I can’t just give you one photo though, so here are a few close-ups…
Unfortunately this was not a nursery on a budget, but I am so pleased with the way it turned out! So now I have 4 more weeks-ish to think of all the things I haven’t bought or done and then seriously consider if I have the energy left! This has been a truly magical experience and one I am so grateful to have gone through! Hugs, Mommytobe 🙂
Almost there! March 21, 2011
Well, it seems obvious by my lack of communication that I went back to work at the beginning of February. It felt great mentally, but a bit challenging physically as I spend most of the 7 weeks back at work fighting a cold. During my time back in the ‘real’ world, I discovered that people have a lot to say about you when you are pregnant. Labor horror stories disguised as advice are popular, as are sharing the perils of breast-feeding and sore nipples! Days alternated between, “you don’t look that pregnant”, to, “you look huge”! There were also conflicting opinions on how much longer I have to go – “you should have your hospital bag packed!”, “oh, 6 weeks is lots of time, you’re not even close!”.
All in all I really did enjoy being back with people and doing the job that I love, but at the same time I am very happy to be done. Two weeks of Spring Break and then my maternity begins! So, yes, I know there are a lot of opinions about when to start your maternity – “take time for yourself before”, “work until the very end so you have the most time with baby” – but I am happy with our decision to start it early. First, I am very tired of being sick and would like to have the opportunity to get better before the big event. Also, I have a zillion things to do (notice there hasn’t been a nursery update yet, that’s because it’s not done!). And, finally sleep is getting uncomfortable. I can’t wait to be able to lie on my back again and to be able to roll over without sitting up!
So 6 more weeks to go! Doctor appointment every week now. One more ultrasound at 37 weeks to see if baby has cooperated and changed positions (he’s currently lying comfortably transverse, side to side) and to check if his big noggin is going to be a problem – ouch! Plenty of shopping and laundry to do… life will never be the same! It will be better!! 🙂