Sunday, July 27, 2008

Settling in and settling down

There was a lot of activity for the last few weeks- starting mat. leave, anticipating the arrival of babe, the induction, the delivery, the homecoming, the visitors, etc. But now we seem to be settling into normal life as a family of five. Generally my days are starting to follow a pattern. The mornings are filled with feeding Lex, changing Lex, feeding Pay, getting Pay dressed, feeding myself, getting myself dressed, then feeding Lex again, then starting lunch. After lunch we generally go on an outing to the park or something to break up the day. Home by two to feed Lex, put him in the swing. Nap time from 3-4, then wake up and start preparing for supper. Not very exciting, but it there is a certain niceness to having a routine. We are even starting to get Payton into a routine of going to bed at 8:30 so that I have some quiet time in the evening. She has been adjusting well to it, amazingly enough.
For myself, at first I struggled a bit with the fact that all the excitement was over and suddenly it was just me alone with three kids and not very much social contact. But I am finding ways of keeping busy- visiting with people, even just going to the park, talking on the phone, internet. It helps to set goals and make plans- having things to look forward to so that the days do not seem so monotonous. I have eleven months of mat leave left and lofty goals:
1. Complete my third novel
2. Continue to try to publish my second novel
3. Try to publish my short story.
4. Take a scrapbooking class
5. Complete a scrapbook for Lex detailing the pregnancy, delivery and early days at home
6. Enroll Payton in dance lessons
7. Paint the upstairs bedrooms
8. Cross stitch something for Lex
9. Take a trip to Calgary to visit Nadine (with Lex)
10. Get involved with the writing community here in Saskatoon and network with other wannabe writers.
Having these goals saves me from insanity. Going from career mom to at home mom is a big change, and I sometimes find the days tedious. There is something rewarding about doing laundry. I love the smell of fresh laundry. BUT, that being said, doing laundry day after day is not very fulfilling or exciting. And speaking of laundry, the other day when I was folding my... shall we say... unmentionables, I noticed (and don't ask my why I read the label, I'm honestly not sure) that on the label it said "wash in cold water, tumble dry, do not iron." And I thought to myself "What kind of a person would iron thier underwear?" But then I started to wonder, is it just me? Am I the only one who walks around in wrinkled panties? I don't even own an iron. I would need to get one. But anyways, what I was saying was that laundry is rewarding in a way, but I need something more... more fun, say. A way of expressing my creativity and also a way of meeting other people with similar interests. It's not easy meeting new people, though. Its something I'm simply not good at. Once I went to a drop in Aquafitness class, thinking I would meet all these other people and I would go every week and have all these Aquafitness friends, and we would eventually wear matching outfits and advance to Synchronized swimming. But, when I went it was mostly fifty something year olds in bathing caps talking about thier bone density and mammograms. Needless to say we did not forge a lifelong bond and my dreams of synchronized swimming went by the wayside, like so many of my other dreams (the chicken farm, or life on the road as a stand up comedian, for example). I'm not sure if I expect much better at Scrapbooking lessons, but a girl can dream.
Anyways, life with three kids is good. I am enjoying it for the most part. It is not glamorous, really, and for the most part I walk around in sweat pants and milk soiled T shirts doling out Apple Juice and wiping noses, but I remind myself to enjoy the little things: the sounds that Lex makes in his sleep, a quiet moment outside with a book, the smell of Lex after a bath (I could sit and smell his head for hours. It's utterly intoxicating.)
But for now, I must go and do the laundry. Again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Well, how to sum up labor and delivery... not an easy thing to do in one sentence, but I guess if I had to I would say that "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" is the best way to put it. I mean, there is no feeling more awesome than pushing a new life into the world, hearing that first cry, coming face to face with the little person that you have loved all along. But then, there is no worse feeling in the world than the force of contractions, the pressure and pain of seven pounds of baby being expelled from the body.
Now, just to be clear, I have not been in labor this whole time since my last post. Mostly I have been sleep deprived and otherwise occupied with a kid on my boob, so that is why I haven't written for some time. Alex Reid Makepeace (Lex) was born on July 11th at 0119 hours. He came into the world in a hurry. Well, sort of...
We got to the hospital at about 10:00. An ultrasound confirmed that his head was down, and so we were set to start the induction process. At 1:45 they gave me the medication to start the induction. I didn't know what to expect. I was told it could take days. But it was almost immediately afterwards that the contractions began. Things were fairly textbook for the first several hours, slow and steady progress. At 9:00 pm I was 3cm and fairly uncomfortable, so they gave me some morphine and then I went into the tub. I was in the tub until 11, and while I was in there the contractions were fairly tolerable. As soon as I got out they were noticably worse. Much, much worse. They checked me and I was 6cm, so at that point they moved me over to labor and delivery and got me set up with an epidural. After that it was like labor on speed. Things just got crazy fast. I waited for the pain to lessen, but it continually got worse. Then I started feeling pressure. And then I was pushing despite myself. The nurse kept telling me not to push, but I just couldn't stop. I was laying on my side, all curled up, and she wanted me to move on my back. I honestly felt as though I could not move, but finally she managed to get me on my back so she could check me. As soon as I rolled on my back, there was this gush of fluid and I could feel that little head coming. That's when I lost control and the screaming started. The nurse said "I guess I don't need to check you, the head is crowning." So then there was chaos, doctors rushing in, instruments being set up in haste, and then all of a sudden, there he was. A perfect little round face, a healthy pink hue and a good set of lungs. How to describe those first few moments with him... well, there simply are no words for it. I still look at him sometimes and just can't believe it... can't believe that he's here, that he's ours, that he's so beautiful. He's wonderful, and I just know when I look at him that I have everything I've ever wanted in life: three beautiful children to love. And as tired as I can get sometimes, I never get tired of being a mom. It's truly a blessing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The best laid plans...

It all started with the Slurpee on Tuesday. I went to the store, more or less just to go for a little stroll. So I got a Slurpee when I was there. The lady in front of me was scanning every single lottery ticket she probably ever bought since 1999. Not only that, but the woman working the till was commenting on every single ticket and conversing to a degree that I felt was excessive given the fast growing lineup. All I had was a Slurpee so I put a toonie on the counter and said that I didn't need my change nor a receipt. She said "You have to wait in line like everyone else," and I reiterated that I didn't need the receipt, and she said all snarky like "It DOEST"T WORK that way". So I put my slurpee down on the counter and said "I'm not going to wait in line for half an hour just to buy a slurpee. I simply don't need it that bad." And I walked out. I am not usually a contraversial person. Not at all, Not in the least. If anything, I'm overly accomadating, people that know me can verify this. If, say, someone cooked something that was terrible tasting, I would eat it just to be polite, even if it actually made me vomit later. This actually happened once. But this time I took a stand. It was an important isssue, I simply wasn't going to let it pass. It felt pretty good. I had a glass of Crystal Light when I got home, which was refreshing all the same and less calories.
That was an ordeal, but I got over it. Little did I know that another ordeal was looming on the horizon, somewhat similar to the Slurpee ordeal but on a far grander scale. Wednesday morning started off well. ("Today's the Day!" I announced as the alarm sounded). We got to the hospital, were seen straight away by the doc, she performed a fairly painful but ultimately successful procedure to turn the baby head down, I was put into a room on Antepartum and hooked to a monitor. They were calling my GP to get the induction started.
And then it just all went to hell. A nurse comes in and just like that informs me that they're discharging me because there aren't enough beds on the unit. I was so upset. How could they do that? They said they'll plan to induce the following day, but I was like "Oh, and this baby's gonna stay like this for twenty four hours?" Highly unlikely. So I basically went through that horrible procedure for no reason at all whatsoever. I'm basically 99% sure that the baby has turned now into a COMPLETELY different position, and that was the whole point in inducing me the same day as the version. But there's no reasoning with those people, they're even less sympathetic than the crazy slurpee Nazi, basically it's "you're turfed. We don't care if you end up needing a CSection or whatever. Bad timing. Toodles." I was bawling. I mean, here I thought we were having our baby, and instead, I was going home. And they can't give me any kind of gauruntees for tomorrow. If there's room on the unit tomorrow they'll call me. If the baby's head is still down they'll induce me. If not, they may try turning it again but it depends, if they don't then they may plan a C Section or then again maybe not, it all depends on which doctors are there and bla bla blah. I'm frustrated. Extremely.
And yet, what can I do? I guess I'll just have to hope for the best tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow at this time I will be having my baby or close to it, but I don't hold out much hope at this point. Life sucks sometimes, first you don't get your slurpee and then you don't get to have your baby. Anyways, gotta go and try to sleep. Tomorrow's a big day. Maybe.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Times Up

Looks like tomorrow is the big day. The baby is gotten itself into some kind of a crazy position, and they were going to try to turn it twice last week, but it moves so much still that they decided not to bother trying until they could do it in conjunction with a planned induction. So tommorow I go to the hospital at 8:00 and they will try to turn the baby so it's head is down. Once they get it turned, they will induce me into labor so that the baby will hopefully be born before it decides to move again. It seems crazy. At first, I was all excited, thinking "I'll get to meet and hold my baby soon". But now the mix of emotions is complex.

It just seems as though the entire pregnancy has gone entirely too quickly. I can still recall being in the lab at work and peering at a pregnancy test at an odd angle, trying to determine whether it was positive or negative. I tried to quell the stirring of excitement, thinking it was probably negative and I was just imagining the line. A blood test would settle it. So I asked the nurse practioner to draw a tube of blood from me. Nice thing about working with docs and that. So she did and I sent the blood away, awaiting a result. I was expecting the result to be negative. But when I checked my faxes a little later, there it was: Randine Sorowski Makepeace: Beta HcG: 12.

So then my heart does a little flutter, because it's positive!!! But then my heart sinks a bit, because 12 is a ridiculously low number. Here we go again, I think. Another failing pregnancy. But a subsequent reading three days later was in the thousands!! The baby was thriving. At that point the pregnancy stretched before me, it was early November and I wasn't due until July. But the time has flown. Weeks turn into months, and now here I am, mere hours away from (potentially) coming face to face with the little person inside of me. The little person who I have grown so familiar with as it lives and moves within me. The pregnancy has been so wonderful, I think especially so since it was so very wanted for such a long time. Everything was such a high point. Like my first ultrasound, I was so nervous I thought I might puke. But when I saw the little jelly bean on the screen, with a great heartbeat, I was so elated. And then when I was at the end of the first trimester, I used to take the Doppler home from work on the weekends and listen to the baby's hear beating. I could listen to it for so long and never get sick of it.

So tonight as I look at my baby bump, I feel some sadness that soon it will be no more. Well, I suppose the bump will still be there in some shape or form. But no more hiccuping. No more little squirming or nudging. And what makes this particularly sad for me is that I know I will never experience these sensations again.

Am I nervous for tomorrow? Not really. I feel ready. I began this blog on the fifth of January, 2007 as I began this journey. In the meantime, there have been 135 entries, probably as many pregnancy tests, eleven ultrasounds, many laughs and a few tears. The journey has been longer than I expected it would be, but I don't know that I would change it, because it makes this moment in time even more special for me. Tears fall freely from my face as I even try to imagine holding my baby and knowing that he or she is finally here! At times it seemed it seemed impossible and at times we were ready to give up. But now, Times Up. I am ready to begin a new journey as a new mother once again.