Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Musings on Hindsight

There was a time when tequila was a drink of choice. When staying up late meant 2am, not 10pm. When platform shoes were my footware of choice. When going away was as easy as logging on to travelzoo and finding a great getaway - and then just going. Jamaica, Laughlin, driving up the California coast and back - piece of cake.

I was young, carefree, nothing tieing me down. I had quit my job in 2001 to go back to college and finish my bachelor's degree. I was 28 years old, but I felt 18. We were poor but rich on experiences of life. We did what we wanted, when we wanted, the only thing that even resembled a responsibility was a paper that might be due, or a test coming up. What could have been easier? Really, school is MUCH easier than work.

This is me in 2004. No wrinkles yet. I look completely oblivious to the challenges of motherhood that lie ahead of me in just a few short years to come. I look well rested. I look thinner!

This is me at the end of July 2005. The lovely gentleman in the photo is Xaelen's godfather and Adam's friend since virtually birth. We're at a wedding. It was on this trip that Xaelen was conceived. The wedding was in Modesto, CA - and just further along our trip (in Santa Cruz) the miracle of life was created. Again, I look rested! I look tan! I'm so unaware of what's to come!

And this is me 2 weeks before Xaelen was born. Notice that the well rested look is starting to disappear. It's as if I know what's in store for me, and I'm plugging ahead nontheless. It will be just a few weeks more before I really realize what new road we've embarked on.

I tell you all of this, becauase I'm starting to realize that in hindsight - EVERYTHING looks better. There was no way in hell that I felt young, rested, spry IN the moment. I probably felt tired, I probably felt old, and I probably felt that my "best" days were behind me. But looking back just a few years, I think WOW! You looked young! You looked rested! You looked like you were enjoying life! I need to remind myself of this, because I will look back at myself in a few years and realize that THIS is a wonderful time in life. I will not be able to relive it, the same way I will not be able to relive the years that came before. I need to remember to see TODAY as the beautiful moment that I will remember come tomorrow.

(Mind you, I didn't post a picture of the current moment because I feel huge, tired and old. I tell you, this realization is still a work in progress.)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Xaelen's Birthstory

I wanted to post this ages ago... but couldn't for the life of me remember where I saved it! So here it is. The original story I wrote about a week after Xaelen was born will be shown in regular text. Additional commentary that I'm adding in 2 years later is in italics.

I was due on May 12, yet on Friday May 5 at 11:30pm I was in bed reading when I felt a pop and a sharp pain in my belly and then a small gush of liquid coming out of me. It sort of felt like a gas bubble bursting inside me. I immediately called Adam in from the other room and asked if he thought that my water had broke and he replied that it sure looked like that to him. It was either that, or it looked like I peed the bed, and I KNOW I didn't do that. We grabbed our stuff, called the hospital and they said come on in. I remember my entire body shaking, I was so excited that it was TIME, but I was completely freaked out that it was TIME. We arrived at the hospital about 30 minutes later. At this point I am beginning to feel contractions and they appear to be occurring every 7 or 8 minutes. They are painful but tolerable. I spent an hour and a half at triage waiting to be admitted only to find out that according to them, my water did not break. What?!?! How could that be?? I know what I saw! In retrospect, I think what happened was that my outer bag of waters popped, but didn't actually break. I bet if we would have just left it alone, it could have resealed on its own. Either way, I should have stayed away from the hospital at this point.

Anyhow, they send me home and told to return if anything changes. We arrive back home close to 2am and attempt to get some sleep. Adam falls asleep right away, but I am unable to due to the pain of the contractions. I am in quite a bit of pain, but none of it is actually near my uterus. It's all in my back. Like a dagger going in to my spine and twisting twisting twisting. Oh my goodness. They were more intense than I had ever imagined them to be. They are also coming more frequently. I am trying to time them, but I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. Couldn't remember if you're supposed to count from the beginning of one? From the end of the last one? From some other point? My brain can't quite wrap around it. I don't want to wake up Adam in case I am not REALLY in labor. Finally around 4am I wake him and tell him I can't handle the pain anymore. The contractions seem to be 4 minutes apart. We scramble up and head to the hospital again. This is where things take a turn for the miserable.

I head up to triage to be evaluated. I had planned for a natural child birth but this pain is making me reevaluate. I am in triage for hours and they are short staffed. The nurses keep checking me and say I'm either 0cm or 10cm - they can't tell. I found some information about this actual concept of appearing either 0 or 10 at this website. It's in the section called "Stenotic Cervix". How can they not tell??? They do tell me that I'm 100% effaced. So I'm either ready to push or far from it. Would be nice to know. I am begging for medication and they keep telling me that as soon as they can get me a room I will get my medication. I am clawing the walls at this point. I'm terrified of having the baby right there at triage. The hours pass. It is now 7 or 8 in the morning. A head nurse checks me and announces that I am 0cm dilated and asks if I had ever had surgery on my cervix. I told them that I had cryosurgery back in 1990. She tells me that my cervix may have trouble opening because of that. Yikes! What does that mean??? She asks if I want to have her try opening it. I am moaning in pain through all of this but agree to have do what it takes. She is able to manipulate my cervix enough that it opens to almost 3cm. During this process my water breaks (officially) and the pain is even more intense. This was a big mistake. I should NOT have had her doing anything up in there. I was desperate though. I wanted to make progress, not realizing that if my water "officially" breaks, the baby could very well just get stuck in that "non optimal" position. I again beg for an epidural. I'm again told that they are short staffed and are doing everything possible to get me a room. After 6 hours in triage a room finally is available and I'm wheeled upstairs to be admitted.

It is now 10am. My epidural is administered at 10:30am and from then on I feel relatively human again. I swear it felt like a veil of fog had lifted and I was human again. I am given a most wonderfully calm and attentive nurse. She is going to oversee my care. She tells me that in her opinion my baby is facing sunny side up which would explain the painful back contractions I've been having. I settle in and wait for something to happen. I feel no pain, so I'm wondering if any progress has been made. None. Still 3cm dilated. 11am same thing. 12pm same thing. At 1pm they decide to start pitocin. 2pm no change. 3pm no change. 4pm they up the pitocin. No change. No change No change. I tried to sleep, but I was so nervous and people just kept coming in and out of my room that I was completely unable to. In retrospect, I should have slept or asked for something to help me sleep or something, because that lack of sleep made me feel truly out of it. I am now running a fever. I am given antibiotics. Still no change. It is 5pm and I'm beginning to feel like this is never going to happen. My contractions are starting to slow down. My cervix is starting to swell and seems to be closing back up. At 7pm I am evaluated one more time and my progress is now moving backwards. I am now 2cm dilated, cervix is swollen and I haven't slept, eaten, or drank water since what feels like day. The last time I ate and drank was at 7pm the night before. The doctor recommends a c-section. At this point she could have recommended just about anything and I would have been fine with it. At 7:30 I am off to the O.R. about to be cut. I was so scared, but I knew the payoff would be great. We would welcome our son!

At 7:51pm our beautiful little man Xaelen was born. He's perfect. I'm recovering. 4 days in the hospital and the I was home. The hospital stay itself was less than great. Just as everyone would start to fall asleep (me, Adam or Xaelen) and someone would need to come in and check something. My uterus, his temperature, my bleeding, whatever. Why couldn't they just let us sleep! The incision is having some drainage issues, but they say I should recover from that in about 10 days or so. The recovery from the c-section sucked. I know other people have had it worse, but for me that was the worst part of it all. My incision split open a few days after we got home and start leaking blood and fluid. At first I couldn't even tell where I was bleeding from. Adam wound up having to clean and stuff my wound with packing stuff every few hours. Bless his heart. It was gross. The c-section made sneezing, laughing, coughing, standing, sitting, you name it, much more difficult. I can't even imagine having to do this with a newborn and a 2 year old at home.

To the powers that be, please oh please let the next one be a vaginal birth!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The power of 4

Since I still haven't loaded Xaelen's birthday party pics on to the laptop, I'm going to give you random information about myself instead. Thanks to Bridget's blog!

4 Jobs I have had in my life:

Bank Teller
Financial Services Officer
Market Researcher (those annoying survey people)

4 Places I’ve Lived:

Santa Monica, CA
Cambridge, England
San Diego, CA
Minsk, Belarus

4 TV Shows I Watch/Watched:

The Office
30 Rock

4 Places I have Been:

Negril, Jamaica - weddingmoon
Paris, France - on a high school trip
Vienna, Austria - one of the places we stopped before moving to America
San Diego to Seattle - not really a place, but a wonderful roadtrip! 3 weeks, there and back. It was so much fun!

4 People who email me regularly:

My husband
My boss

4 of my favorite foods:


4 Places I Would Like to Visit:

Any island in the south pacific

4 Things I am Looking Forward to in the Coming Year:

Meeting our new son
Having a cocktail
Dropping the pregnancy weight
Both kids sleeping through the night

4 Friends who I’m Tagging:

Sigh. Do I even have friends who read this?
Eenie. Meenie. Minie. Mo.
No idea.

I promise to have X's party pics up before tomorrow. It was such a great party! I can't wait to tell you all about it!

My little family

My little family
Mama bear, Papa bear & Xaelen bear

About Me

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San Diego, California, United States
I'm gLobey, also known as Rita, also known as Mama. I'm a married mother of two awesome boys named Xaelen (age 3) and Quillan (9 months). They are super cute! My other half is Adazm, he's quite cute too.

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