Your Three Words

redwagon

We celebrated Landon’s second Christmas in December 2009. At that point I was at the half-way point in my pregnancy with Brigham. I remember going to Toys R Us right before Christmas and scouring the aisles of toys looking for just the right gift for our 16-month-old toddler.

Suddenly, Naaman and I found ourselves in the bike aisle and right in front of us were the radio flyer wagons! I knew right then it was the perfect gift not only for Landon but also for our unborn son who would soon join us in the world. A double-seater it was!

In the back of my mind, I was still terrified that there might be something wrong with the baby swimming around inside my belly. The level II ultrasound with the specialist was supposed to provide me with peace of mind. But a big “what if” still hung in the air. Everyone told me he would be fine. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.

Just as we suspected, Landon LOVED the wagon. He gravitated to it immediately on Christmas morning in 2009.

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I remember rubbing my belly at that very moment and imagining both of my boys, my sons, sitting in the wagon together. I hoped and prayed that Brigham would be born healthy just like the doctor said he would. I wanted to see both of them playing and having fun together with that wagon.

And 15 months later, it looks like I finally got that chance . . .

My big boy and my little boy. My sons and the little red wagon.

Link up with Your Three Words at Jenni’s Blog.

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Scarred

You know that question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Well, here’s my question. “If something you don’t want to happen is taking place and you don’t blog about it, is it really happening?”

I thought if I didn’t blog about this and kept it a secret then I could save myself the agony of actually admitting that it is.

But I can’t not blog about it.

It’s my story and it’s important to me. So here it goes.

My breastfeeding journey has unexpectedly come to an end. I am devastated. Heartbroken. All those words that describe anguish? This is where I would place all of them if I had the time or space or energy.

I’ve known this day was coming. Fretted over it. Worried. Nervously paced back and forth trying to figure out a way that I could make it work for longer. But I have finally come to a point where I know there is no other choice but to stop.

I went off my medicine for depression in early August. It was the same medicine I had taken for depression while pregnant with Brigham. I took it for seven months and it was successful in keeping me stable during and after pregnancy. But over the summer I became increasingly anxious with the prospect of renting our house and buying a new one. I jumped head first into this exciting conquest. When it didn’t work out it upset me and I didn’t handle it well. To me, I lost another game. And I hate losing.

I spoke with my therapist about how I started to go downhill within about a week of coming off the medicine. I told her that my body reacts very quickly to meds whether I’m coming off or going on. It was hard to believe that coming off medicine could affect my mood so fast but since I’ve done this quite a few times already I knew where this was headed. And it wasn’t good. But I kept it to myself anyway.

My therapist is smarter than that though. She sent me to new psychiatrist. I was nervous to see anyone or go on anything. She knew that I was still breastfeeding and that my goal was to continue for at least six months. But she told me that at the very least I needed to have an action plan for when we knew it was absolutely necessary to go back on my meds.

So I went to visit a new doctor. He was every bit the mood disorder expert my therapist claimed he was. He actually listened to me. Took notes. It was obvious that he truly cared about my health. If you’ve ever been to a psychiatrist you know that is most definitely not the norm. For any psychiatrist worth seeing, it can take weeks if not months to get an appointment. But due to a cancellation and shamelessly name-dropping my therapist, I got in within a week.

He was unlike any doctor I’ve ever seen. Not too quick to over-medicate. As a full-time working mom of two little ones the last thing I need is to be more tired than I already am. Together we came up with a good plan of action. I left his office with prescriptions in hand. And told him that as soon as I felt the need I would use them.

After Labor Day, Brigham came down with his second ear infection and decided that the whole sleeping-through-the-night thing was a terrible idea. He would wake up screaming two or three times a night. He could not be consoled. I can handle the no-sleep thing for maybe a week. But a month? Not so much. Add to it that I had pneumonia in both lungs and the downhill slide became steeper.

At first when Brigham cried I felt compassion. But throughout the month of September the sound of his screams morphed into the sound of nails on a chalkboard.. Many a night I would throw up my hands in desperation screaming that I couldn’t do this anymore. Let me just say there is a reason why they use lack of sleep as a form of torture during war. A month of no sleep and a baby screaming is enough to drive anyone insane.

I felt myself becoming less patient with Landon. I was snapping at Naaman. I couldn’t concentrate at work. All I wanted to do was drive away from my life. Hop in the car, gun it to 85 and make way for Mexico. All the while I felt incredibly guilty for feeling these feelings. I knew I wasn’t supposed to feel like this. It wasn’t normal.

I remembered back to when Brigham was born. I was so happy. In a state of bliss. I remember people asking to hold him and I didn’t let them because I didn’t want to put him down. I was in love with my baby boy. But by the end of September it was all I could do to pick him up when he cried. The constant screaming was just too much. When he would start crying I would too. I was way more emotional than usual. Lack of sleep is my biggest trigger for falling back into a depressive episode.

My mom recognized I was not myself and stepped in to help. She took the boys for a night so Naaman and I could get at least one night of sleep. When Naaman got home from work we went to bed early. But before we fell asleep I broke down in tears. He put his warm hand over my cheek as I lay sobbing.

I sobbed thinking of the countless times depression has robbed me of simple joys throughout the past seventeen years. Each time I have miraculously survived. Even when I thought I’d never last. Even when I didn’t want to. I stood up to him. And if I couldn’t someone stood up on my behalf. But here he is again. Knocking at my door. Threatening my life and my happiness. Even though he knows full-well that he is unwelcome. Even though he knows that I have slammed the door in his face before. He returns anyway. Once again, the battle to reclaim my life begins.

Naaman told me that we’re just going through a rough patch and it’s going to get better. And deep inside I know that. Deep inside I know that Brigham won’t always cry and I won’t always be sad. And then he said the words I needed to hear the most.

“I’m worried about you, Molly.”

That’s all it took. Because Naaman knows me better than any other person on this earth. If he is worried about me then I know it’s true. He is my mirror. I can look at him and see far more than any sliver of glass could show. We both knew that I was at the beginning stages of postpartum depression. But I decided I am not going to let it happen. Depression has already stolen too many precious years of my life. I refuse to hand over more. Especially not the first year of my baby’s life. No, my boys are too important.

The next morning I found the crumpled prescriptions at the bottom of my purse. I dropped them at the pharmacy to be filled and picked them up after work. I stared at the warnings on the bottle for quite some time: Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Damn it. DAMN IT! I was less than 30 days from my goal of six months. I didn’t make it. DAMN this depression for ruining yet another part of my life.

I wish I could describe how I felt when I took that pill. I’ve taken it before but it never meant the end of something so important. The end of one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The end of breastfeeding.

I thought about the last time I breastfed. It was Sunday, October 3rd. We had tried to feed Brigham a bottle at a birthday party but he didn’t like the formula. So I went out to my mom’s car. It’s amazing to me that I really didn’t care who walked by and saw. All I really cared about was getting my baby fed so he didn’t cry at the party.

The whole process was effortless. I pulled up my shirt, he latched and my milk flowed. Just like it’s supposed to work. Just what I had wanted. It was a beautiful moment between mother and son.

I wish I had known that that would be the last time I would breastfeed my son. I wouldn’t have been in such a rush.

The next day, when I got home from work my breasts were full and aching. Nature had come to an abrupt stop and it’s clear my body didn’t get the memo. Even though I thought I wanted to drive away from it all, truthfully I missed my baby when he was gone. I swooped him up in my arms and kissed his forehead. I sat down on the couch and started to pull up my shirt. The urge to nurse was instant and strong. Funny how it only felt like a duty in the beginning. But now, now it was mother’s instinct in its purest form.

Then reality smacked me in the face . . .

Molly, you can’t anymore. The medicine is already coursing through your body. But it can’t be in his.

That night before I placed him in his bassinet I held him. I gently rocked him to sleep. Tears dripped from my cheeks. A consolation prize for what should have been my milk. But I could no longer offer Brigham my milk. What I could offer him, however, were my words. I began to whisper . . .

I’m sorry, Brigham. I’m so sorry that mommy can’t feed you anymore. I know when you’re rooting at my chest wondering why I won’t let you nurse, you won’t understand. But I hope someday you will understand why I had to stop.

I hope you know how much I love you. If mommy didn’t need medicine to make her better I would have nursed you as long as you wanted. Please know that I’m sorry. Mommy tried her best. I want to thank you for giving me the chance to breastfeed. It was a dream come true.

He was fast asleep when I finished. Naaman walked in as I was wiping the tears away and asked why I was crying. I told him that I didn’t want to stop nursing yet. He said, “It’s okay, honey. You did great.”

I did, didn’t I? My journey to breastfeed my sons was not at all an easy one. While trying to breastfeed Landon, every single thing that could have gone wrong did. I was unable to nurse him for many different reasons. And even though Brigham was a latching champ, I had other breastfeeding roadblocks that I never imagined I would encounter. I still cannot believe I kept nursing after I had two huge MRSA-filled abscesses drained. And a case of thrush. And a new job started at eight weeks postpartum. And pumped in cars and bathrooms and supply closets. I kept nursing. For my son. For five months. For 150 days. I did not fail. I am scarred to prove it. Physically and emotionally scarred. And both my boys were worth it.

I have to get better. I have to stay well so I can take care of my family and myself. It’s just another part of my journey. I must accept.

I will miss breastfeeding. But depression cannot break the bond between mother and child. I won’t let it.

Answers to Questions: Part 4

Okay, I really didn’t think it was going to take this long to finish answering these questions but ya know, that’s life. I’ve got pneumonia and am still not 100%. Brigham is working on his second ear infection and has decided that sleep is not on the schedule. Like ever. Sigh. The life of a mom with two babes.

1. Did you have another baby shower when pregnant with Brigham? Do you think you would have if he would have been a girl?

No, I didn’t really have what I would consider a real baby shower when I was pregnant with Brigham. I specifically told my mom and sisters that I DID NOT WANT a big baby shower. Honestly, I thought people would think I was greedy because I had just been pregnant and had three huge baby showers. What, like five minutes ago? I didn’t really think it would be fair to ask all my family and friends to give again.

I remember one conversation where my mom said something to the effect of, “Gosh, Molly, you’ll have all these photos of Landon’s baby showers and Baby B won’t have any!” And I get it. I really do. Even though Brigham was unexpected and happened along much quicker than we had ever planned he was important too. My pregnancy with him was just as important as my pregnancy with Landon. It was all about my comfort level. I understand others feel differently and if you want to have big showers for all your babies go right ahead! Invite me! I can ooooh and awwww with the best of ‘em and buy a nice gift off of your registry!

You also have to take into account that I was suffering from antepartum depression in my first and second trimester. So I wasn’t feeling like a social butterfly at the time planning would have commenced.

Leave it to my mom and sisters to plan something anyway. I was worried that it would be over-the-top but like all things in my life I never should have worried. They threw me a sort-of surprise “sprinkle” with my favorite ladies. It consisted of a spa day (um, yes please) at a really fancy spa in town. We had European baths and had a special little lunch and then we all got pedicures. It was divine. Then I opened gifts. Not too many. Not too few. It was just right! The day was perfect.

Brigham has baby shower photos now. All is right with the world, Mom.

(p.s. I don’t know if I would have wanted a large shower if it had been a girl. I think I still would have wanted something smaller because of the timing of the pregnancy and where I was emotionally when my family started asking me about showers)

If you could instantly change one thing in your life right now, what would it be?

I close my eyes, tap my heels together three times and SHAZAM! Our house has miraculously sold and we’re closing on a new house that actually fits our family. Wait, what? That didn’t work? Crap.

Your boys have such great, unique names. Did you have a hard time picking them?

You know? It was actually a breeze. When I was pregnant with Landon we both had a strong feeling that it would be a boy. My husband is one of four boys and everyone on his side of the family has boys. So, naturally, we stuck to boy names. When I was only 8-weeks-pregnant we were driving around town and I mentioned the name Landon. I told Naaman that it was the main character’s name in one my favorite books, A Walk to Remember. I couldn’t believe how agreeable he was. He basically said, “Yes, that’s it. That will be our son’s name!” So when we finally confirmed that the baby was a boy we started calling him Landon right away. No other names were even discussed.

When I got pregnant with baby #2, I had some names in mind. Most of them were boy names and Naaman vetoed every single one. I did have some girl names on reserve. Only because my sister-in-law Anna miraculously pulled the golden ticket from the Wonka bar and had a girl {I’m still perplexed}. It threw me for a loop and suddenly I was thinking up random girl names. I blame you, Anna :)

Naaman wouldn’t even comment on my girl names except to say, “I don’t know why you’re coming up with girl names when the baby is a boy.” That was enraging. I was all . . . but but but, it actually could be a girl. And he was all . . . no it’s not. Men.

Before we knew the sex of the baby I was thumbing through apps on my iphone when I came across a baby name app. I downloaded it and started from the beginning with boy names. I went through the letter A. Didn’t find anything. Then I started going through the letter B. You could hit the star button and it would save the name as one of your favorites. By the end of the day I had one favorite that stuck out. Brigham. I knew about the university. I looked it up and saw that Brigham Young was the founder of the Morman religion {it’s a religion, right?}. Didn’t bother me enough to delete it. I wanted something that sounded strong and was unique but not so unique that no one could pronounce it! When Naaman got home that night I mentioned it and he said, “I’ll have to think about it.”

After the big ultrasound we were in the car driving to lunch. We were both pretty quiet because we were in shock from the news that there might be something wrong with our baby. But then Naaman started talking and referred to the baby as Brigham. I quickly glanced over at him confused and asked, “What did you say?” And he said our baby’s name would be Brigham. Of course, like the hormonal pregnant chick I was, I started bawling. Happy tears. Because we had just named our baby boy.

I will remember those two special moments for the rest of my life.

Just for fun I can disclose my favorite girl name since I will most likely never get to use it. It’s Piper. And yes, I know a lot of people hate that name. Guess what? I don’t care. I love it. I think it is a beautiful and unique name for a little girl. I can just picture this blonde little beauty skipping and hopping with pony tails bouncing. Her middle name would have been the same as mine. Rebecca. So yes, our my girl name is Piper Rebecca.

I told Naaman that I will be forced to buy another female pug so we can use the name.

Brigham’s Birth Story – Long & Detailed!

It’s been one week and one day since I went into labor with Brigham. I hope you all enjoy Brigham’s birth story. It’s a long one so settle in for the ride!

I went into labor on my own at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 1st. Naaman wakes up at that time to go to work so it wakes me up too. I usually turn over and go back to sleep but right when I woke up I had a painful contraction. From the very first one, I think I knew in my heart that it was different. But my head told me that I was only 38 weeks, 2 days, so we had more time. I had one more bad contraction and fell asleep again until Landon woke me up at 7:30 a.m.

From the time I crawled out of bed I was having contractions that were about 10 minutes apart and by 9:00 a.m. I knew that something was happening because I had to breathe through them. I continued to watch Landon. Fixed him his breakfast and ate my breakfast too. The entire time I sat on the couch having an internal battle with myself. Part of me said, “Ouch! These are so different than braxton hicks contractions.” The other part of me said, “Don’t call anyone because you know this is probably a false alarm.” When I could no longer ignore the pain of regular contractions I gave in and called Naaman at work. I let him know that I thought it was time but would time the contractions and call him back. Sure enough they went to six minutes apart and I called him back to let him know that I was probably in labor. I called the OB office and the on-call doctor told me to come to the hospital to be checked out. He later told me that he knew within a few seconds of me calling that it was time! He could hear it in my voice.

Naaman drove 103 mph in his new car came home to get Landon and I and we were off to the hospital with the hope that this was not a false alarm. I was not panicked at all. I was actually very relaxed, which is surprising considering pain usually sends me into a panic. But we just packed up the bags together and even stopped at a gas station to get me some Cheetos (a last minute craving which I would later regret).

When I got to the hospital a very nice nurse put me on the monitor and I was indeed having contractions. But when she checked me I was still the same as I was on Thursday at my last appointment (3 cm and 75% effaced). I got upset and embarrassed thinking that I had wasted everyone’s time. My parents had already come to the hospital to pick up Landon so Naaman and I could concentrate on the task at hand. I had also already called my sister Kelli because I had asked her to be there as my extra support for labor and delivery. I dreaded having to call everyone to tell them that I don’t know the difference between real labor and a false alarm. I told the nurse that I didn’t know how to work through these contractions if they sent me home. The nurse said not to give up hope yet and she told me to walk the halls for an hour. But I had little hope that it would make any difference.

But as I walked around with Naaman the contractions definitely picked up in strength. It was remarkable how the simple task of walking in circles could make my contractions closer together. I was stopping in the hallway and breathing through pretty painful contractions. It was kind of fun though. I felt like one of those ladies on A Baby Story. The not knowing was part of our special story and I actually liked the surprise element better than being induced where going into labor was inevitable. Not to dismiss my experience with Landon but it was just very different.

After about an hour we went back to the room and the nurse came in and checked me. I expected to hear that I was going home. But instead I had progressed to “almost” 4 cm and 80% effaced! She said that my cervix was changing so I was staying put! THIS WAS IT!!! I was in active labor and I was being admitted.

We couldn’t believe it. We thought we had more time as I was only 38 weeks, 2 days. But obviously, Brigham just couldn’t wait to meet his mommy, daddy and big brother.

About 15 minutes later the nurse came back into the room and asked me when was the last time I had an ultrasound. I told her not since our Level II at around 19 weeks. She said when she checked me she thought the baby was head down but she needed to be sure. I kinda freaked out. Seriously? She thinks the baby is breech? Ahhhhhh! I was going to bawl my eyes out if that were the case. She hooked up the sonogram machine and we instantly saw that he was head down. Definitely a good thing but she said she still couldn’t guarantee that the baby was in the correct position because he was still too high in the birth canal. I guess I pushed that information to the back of my head. But boy, would it come shooting to the front later that night. Don’t worry, I’ll provide a detailed explanation.

Next step was getting set up in the room where we would spend the entire hospital stay. I loved this about our hospital. No moving around after labor and delivery. Less work for everyone! At this point it was about 3:00 p.m. My nurse put in my IV so I could start receiving fluids and hydrating my body. But I was still able to get out of bed and move freely if I wanted. My nurse asked me if I would like to continue walking the halls or sit on a yoga ball. I chose the yoga ball to encourage my pelvis to open and move baby down. My contractions were between 4-5 minutes apart.

About an hour later I was checked and told I was at 5 cm. The nurse had told me that she wanted me at 5 cm in order to get the epidural. And of course, I never made it a secret that I wanted to get the epidural as soon as possible. But when faced with the decision I just couldn’t justify it. Yes, the contractions were very painful but I had been doing this on my own with no pain meds since 5:30 a.m. ALMOST 12 HOURS! I was proud of myself and honestly, I was curious to see how far I could push myself. So, ladies and gents, I passed on the epidural at that time.

While enjoying a grape popcicle (yummo!), I was again given the choices of walking the halls, sitting on the yoga ball and the new one . . . hopping into the jacuzzi tub. I had forgotten my swimsuit but lounging in hot water sounded really appealing so I put on a nursing tank and a pair of underwear and labored in the tub. And I now fully understand why women choose to have a water birth. It was amazing! It was the perfect combination of relaxation with the hot water bubbling up and the calming hum of the jets. I loved it! That being said, the water seemed to bring on much stronger contractions than before and they were also about three minutes apart. For the most part I had been quiet during my contractions. But in the tub I started to vocalize my pain. I didn’t really care what sounds I was making. As long as I was getting through them. I did a bunch of different positions in the tub until I finally could no longer find a comfortable position and decided to move the party in my belly back to the bed.

Now we were just waiting for nurse anesthetist to arrive so I could get my epidural. The contractions were bad. Nothing I couldn’t handle but I had a tendency to hold my breath, which I know is the worst thing possible. I realize you’re supposed to breathe but I was at the point where someone had to say to me, “Remember to breathe, Molly!” And then I would let out all the air out of my cheeks and take a breath. Seriously, they were not fun. Not fun at all.

Although I chose to get the epidural I want you all to know that I truly HATE needles. Loathe them. The only reason I am even able to get epidurals is because I can’t see what the heck is going on behind me. But alas, I had a wonderful nurse anesthetist who led me through it. As well as Naaman and my labor nurse telling me to remain calm. I laid on my side this time to get the epidural and within 10 minutes the whole process was over. The epidural made a world of difference, of course. But it was very different than the epidural I had with Landon. With Landon I couldn’t feel anything below my belly button. My legs felt like jello and there was no way I could have moved them without help. With this epidural I couldn’t feel pain but I could feel my legs and felt like I could still get up and take a walk! It was nice to be just numb enough – but not so numb I felt totally useless, if you know what I mean.

Everything was going wonderful. And then we had a little hiccup on the road to 10 cm. I remember lying there talking and then all of a sudden I felt overwhelmingly nauseous. My left ear started ringing very loud and then it closed up so I could barely hear a thing. I could see people’s mouths moving but I couldn’t really understand what they were saying. And then I got really sleepy. I tried to keep my eyes open but they just kept shutting. I was talking but I had no idea what I was saying. I wasn’t scared because I had no idea what was going on. Apparently, my blood pressure had suddenly plummeted to 56, which means I almost passed out. I’m not a medical person but Naaman told me that yeah, that’s pretty darn low.

The labor nurse was calling for the nurse anesthetist to come back and administer ephedrin. I guess the epidural caused a sudden drop in my blood pressure. Thankfully, within minutes I had rebounded. But I don’t even want to think about what would have happened had I been unconscious. Naaman said that he walked out of the room for just a second and when he came back in my face was as white as the bed sheet and people were scurrying around trying to get my BP back up! Scary.

At around 8:00 p.m. the doctor on-call came in to check me. I was in between 6-7 cm. I had made it there without any pitocin but the doctor wanted to break my water. Apparently my huge bag of waters was bulging terribly and they thought I would progress quicker if broken. She also wanted to start administering a small amount of pitocin to make my contractions more regular. I was kind of bummed about that. I didn’t need any pitocin with Landon and wanted my body to do the work on its own. But I was also getting very worn out. I had been in labor since 5:30 and I thought baby B would have made his appearance by now. So I agreed to both.

It seemed to do the job. By 9:30 p.m. I was at 8 cm. However, the baby was not tolerating the pitocin contractions well at all. While on pitocin, my contractions were one after the other with no break in between and Brigham’s heart rate kept decelerating. So they stopped the meds for awhile and his heart rate was once again normal.

At 10:30 I noticed that my epidural was just not doing quite as good of a job anymore. I told everyone that I felt so much pressure and was starting to feel pain in my butt. But they all just looked at me and told me it was just pressure and not pain. Nope, it was both. I was sure of it. Pressure and pain and for some darn reason I felt it all right in my butt! It only got worse with each contraction.

When the nurse came in to check me again at 11:30 p.m. I was so excited because with all that pressure and pain I thought sure I was at 10 cm and they would tell me it was time to push! Um, not so much. I can’t tell you how upset I was when the nurse looked at me and told me I was still at 8 cm. I instantly started crying and saying that I wanted to push and I want the baby out now! They told me that on one side of my cervix I was actually complete. But on the other side there was still a little lip of cervix. They thought maybe I could push through it. So up my legs went and I started to push. Naaman and my sister Kelli were right by my side to help. But it felt so uncomfortable to me. I couldn’t remember how to do it. Relax your legs, elbows off the bed, chin to your chest . . . ahhhhhh! Get this baby out of me please! But the pushing didn’t work.

By this time the pain and pressure in my rear was almost unbearable. I just kept saying that I wanted the baby out. I wanted the baby out. But I just couldn’t get to complete for some reason. At 1:00 a.m. (It’s after midnight, no May Day baby for us) a couple of nurses told me that it was time to try something new. She asked me to turn onto my stomach. I think I looked at her like she had three heads. Huh? What’s that, you say? Turn over on my stomach at 38 weeks pregnant? Nope, not gonna happen lady. I started crying and continually asking why I had to turn over on my stomach. She said it is called the “lillian” position and it could possibly help the baby come down and get me to 10 cm so I could push. But I still didn’t understand how I was supposed to turn over with an epidural and a big belly in the way! I cried the entire time they were getting me into position.

They flipped me over, pancake style, and words cannot describe the pain I felt. OH MY GOD. It was torture. Pure torture. Naaman was sitting next to me telling me that I needed to calm down and breathe. So I would wipe my tears away in between contractions and try to find my happy place but once it started to come and I started to feel the pain in my butt I just lost it every time. I was unprepared to handle the amount of pain that came with back labor. And I really didn’t understand why the hell I was having back labor to begin with. It pissed me off. I was angry. I just wanted to push for God’s sake. I felt like the baby was coming out of my ass and let me just tell you, my friends, that it is the strangest and most painful feeling I have ever felt in my life.

I think I was in that position for nearly 30 minutes when the nurse checked me again. And what do you know? I was at 10 cm! Complete and ready to push. The nurses had me start pushing and I don’t exactly remember how many people were in the room but it sure seemed like everyone working in L&D had come to catch the show, lol! I was the only one in labor that night and things were pretty slow so I guess I was providing their entertainment! Pass the popcorn, lol!

For this labor, I had asked my sister Kelli to be there for support. Kelli is a nurse anesthetist and gives epidurals and spinals to women in labor all the time. But she doesn’t often witness the actual vaginal birth. But I knew that because she is a medical professional that she would be a source of calm to me. Just as Naaman is. Naaman is a very calming person as well. Just holding my leg and telling me that I was doing great. I could hear everyone saying that I was doing great. It just hurt so very badly to push. I could feel everything. And yeah, I know I pooped multiple times. I could feel them wiping me. What an utterly disgusting feeling but I had to push on. I really didn’t care at that point.

It was painful to push but what I was feeling most at this point was fear. Because of what happened when Landon was born I was suddenly terrified that I would have to push for 2.5 hours again and that Brigham would come out blue and not breathing. I was so afraid that I would have to witness my baby being resucitated. All of those memories were filling my brain every time I pushed. I know it’s a terrible thing to focus on but I couldn’t help it. I’m just being honest. I was scared the entire time.

I kept saying that I couldn’t do it. I’m too tired. It hurts too bad. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. And every time I said that everyone in the room would say YES YOU CAN! You’re doing it! You’re doing great! Baby is coming down! I’m so thankful that everyone there was being positive for me since I seemed to lose my confidence so quickly. And it really is a shame. Because now I know that I WAS doing a great job!

I don’t know how long I had been pushing. I think I kept asking but no one would answer me. Of course, it felt like forever. I was already exhausted and didn’t know how much more I could take. At some point I heard the doctor mumble something about the baby being Posterior. After being in a sort of daze my eyes and ears perked right up! I think I said, “What did you say?” looking at the doctor. And then I instantly looked at my sister Kelli. I knew that She had labored for over 24 hours before being told that her baby was face-up and she would need a c-section. I will never forget the look on my sister’s face when I turned my head to look at her. I think she knew I would freak out because I knew she had just been through trying to birth a baby that was sunny-side-up. Once again, I started bawling and rambling incoherently. “Noooo, I’m going to have to have a c-section! No, no, no!” Not after ALL that work!

The doctor looked at me and told me that she could try to manually flip the baby to the correct position. I would probably push for a lot less time if she was successful in flipping him. She looked me straight in the eye and told me that this would definitely hurt and some women cannot handle the pain. She told me to let her know if I couldn’t handle it.

Suddenly her hand was inside of me trying to turn the baby. I am going to tell you all that I’m pretty sure I had an out-of-body experience. I screamed like crazy. Cried like crazy. Told the doctor to get her hands out of me. But she didn’t. She did not stop what she was doing. This pain was infinitely worse than anything I had gone through all day. Want to know how bad it was? I grabbed my hair and tried to rip it out. Yep, it was bad. And I hope that telling you that I was trying to rip out my hair is enough of a description for you because there really is no way to describe that pain.

Ultimately, she was successful in turning him face down. And boy, could I feel the difference. It was such a relief. I guess his skull pressing on my tailbone makes for one lousy labor!

Things seemed to go smoother after she performed the internal version. I actually felt Brigham’s head moving through the canal. And then the burning sensation started. The ring of fire. And then I knew. I knew I was about to meet my baby boy for the very first time. My eyes were closed in concentration as I could feel him sliding out. There was no break in between pushing. I kept pushing and pushing and pushing until finally someone said, “Molly, look down!”  And just like that our second son, Brigham Douglas, was born.

I was almost afraid to open my eyes for fear of what I would see. But when I opened them there he was. I heard one of the nurses say, “Nuchal 1,” which I know means the cord was wrapped around his neck once. But it didn’t matter. I could see him. I could see my baby boy. And he was pink. And then Naaman and I heard the most beautiful sound. A gurgled, muffled cry. There we were witnessing our baby boy take his first breath. He was absolutely gorgeous. I gasped for air and then started sobbing. Only this time they were tears of pure joy and relief. I instantly knew that he was okay. He was better than okay. He was perfect. And looked exactly like his brother Landon after birth! Everyone was commenting on what a precious newborn he was. Brigham Douglas was born.

They took him to the warmer to get some of the gunk out of his nose and throat and then suddenly, there he was. On my chest. Pink and warm. His little chest raising up and down. And his little mouth instantly rooting for my breast. It was the moment I had prayed for during my entire pregnancy. Please God, let my baby be okay when he comes out. Let them lay him on my chest, healthy and breathing.

Thank you, God. We are forever grateful for this gift.

So even with a couple minor glitches, overall, I have to say that I LOVED my labor and delivery experience this time. Yes, it was the most pain I have ever felt but it was all so worth it! And I’d do it all over again to get my sweet baby Brigham.

As for more details of recovery and all of that other good stuff . . . I’m going to write another post very soon. I want to go ahead and post this novelette because I know my blog friends want details! But just so you know I pushed for 45 minutes. Had a second degree tear at the exact spot where I tore last time. Recovery is going very well for me and our family of four is doing great! We’ve never been happier!

Baby "B" Has Arrived!!!

With much pride and joy, Naaman and I welcomed our second beautiful son, Brigham Douglas, to our family.  Brigham was born on Sunday, May 2nd at 2:22 a.m. weighing 7 lbs, 3 oz and 20 inches long. He is just as perfect and precious as can be. We are truly blessed.

Minutes after birth . . .
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Happy Daddy . . .
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10 hours old . . . looking just like his cool big brother!
Brigham Douglas

Landon meeting baby brother Brigham for the very first time . . .
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 He was a little timid at first but definitely warming up to the idea now that we’re home. And we have the best photos to prove it ;)

We came home yesterday afternoon and have been trying to get settled in with our two boys. Landon already adores his little brother and I cannot wait to upload all the photos we have of them sharing their first special moments together! I can’t stop crying thinking about it. Hello there, postpartum hormones. Nice to see you again ;)

My birth story is one that I just can’t wait to share with you all. We had a wonderful experience at our new hospital. The nurses were beyond amazing. Even though there was a lot of pain involved and a few minor glitches during labor I couldn’t have asked for a better birth overall. And the fact that Brigham came out pink and crying, well, that is ALL I could have asked for. I got that special moment. The wonderful moment right after birth where I know our baby is healthy and he is laid on my chest for the first time without any complications. I just thank God for giving me this. What a gift!

I hope to write up the entire birth story and post it by this weekend but I have no idea if I’ll have the time! I’m sure you all can understand!

Here are a few details to tide you over . . .

I went into labor on my own at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 1st. I began having contractions that were about 10 minutes apart and by 9:00 I knew that something was happening because I had to breathe through them. I called Naaman at work and let him know that I thought it was time but would time the contractions and call him back.  Sure enough they went to six minutes apart and I called him back to let him know that I was probably in labor. I called the OB office and the on-call doctor told me to come to the hospital to be checked out.

Naaman came home to get Landon and I and we were off to the hospital with the hope that this was not a false alarm. When I got to the hospital they put me on the monitor and I was indeed having contractions. But when they checked me I was still the same as I was on Thursday (3 cm and 75% effaced). I got upset and embarrassed thinking that I had wasted everyone’s time. The nurse said not to give up hope yet and she told me to walk the halls for an hour. As I walked around with Naaman the contractions definitely picked up in strength. I was stopping in the hallway and breathing through pretty painful contractions.

After about an hour I went back to the room and the nurse came in and checked me. I expected to hear that I was going home. But instead I had progressed to “almost” 4 cm and 80% effaced! She said that my cervix was changing so I was staying put! THIS WAS IT!!!  I was in active labor and I was being admitted.

We couldn’t believe it. We thought we had more time as I was only 38 weeks, 2 days. But obviously, Brigham just couldn’t wait to meet his mommy, daddy and big brother.

More details to come soon. And of course, a ton more photos to follow this announcement :)