Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

First off, it bugs the snot out of me when people call it Turkey day. Yes, tradition states that we eat Turkey on this day, but it's called THANKSGIVING for a reason. Give thanks to God who is great for all the wonderful blessings you have in your life, you know, like that Turkey, or Cornish Hen, or Pizza you have in front of you.

Rant over...

On a much happier note...

I am so eternally, completely, 100% thankful for the newest blessing in my life. Through sleepless nights(or, well, less sleep nights knockonwood), sore nipples, gassy evenings, blow-out diapers, my inability to put on a diaper at 3 am... through all of that, I could not be more blessed, or more thankful for this sweetheart in my life.

I'm also so thankful for the rest of my wonderful family. My wonderful husband, my parents, my in laws, my sister-in-law and my nephews, my sister... and all of Keevs surrogate aunts and uncles.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner pretty much by myself this year, because my Momma had pneumonia. I'm SO VERY thankful that she's on the mend, and I don't have to worry about hospital visits with a baby!

What are you thankful for this holiday?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Insurance and little swines

Yesterday was an extremely, extremely long day.

It started out with a visit to the Child and Family Services office. Don't judge me, I had a medical card for my pregnancy. I went to turn in Keevia's proof of birth. When I got up to the window, the lady told me I had 'nothing active.' I got pretty confused, as they told me to bring in her proof of birth once she was born, the receptionist then asked me if I wanted to re-apply, and I said "I guess?"

So, they called my name, and I had another case-worker (this would be my 3rd). He was SUPER nice though, and as he was leading us downstairs, commented that he had no idea why my card had been canceled. We sat down and began going over details again, and I believe we figured it out.

I applied for the card last November, with my first pregnancy. When I miscarried, I did what I was supposed to do, and called the office in Grayson and informed them that I had miscarried. They said they would record it, and that that was all I needed to do. So, I went about my business. I assumed my medical card was null and void now, and didn't worry about it. In January, I got a letter explaining the benefits of my card. I called back, and they said that it was a valid card. I assumed that Carl made so little money that I got to keep it.

I got pregnant pretty much right away, and just continued to use the card. I didn't call back because I had never been TOLD to call back.

When Carl lost his job in July, I went back in to the office in Jackson and updated our file. This included updating his job status, our address, the babies due date, EVERYTHING.

I went back in yesterday... NONE OF THOSE CHANGES WERE IN THE COMPUTER! They had never recorded my miscarriage, and so my medical card ran out 1 year after I had applied. On October 31st.

I was discharged from the hospital on October 31st.

It gets better. I'm supposed to have 2 months of post-partum care after the birth, and then lose my medical coverage. Keevia qualifies for K-CHIP, so she's covered.

Carl started at Lowe's quite a bit ago, and we had 31 days to choose an insurance plan. Because of pregnancy and birth, we had never registered for his insurance. He was registering yesterday when I texted him and told him he'd have to add me. If we hadn't waited, I would have been completely out of insurance from January-July, because once you enroll, you can't change your enrollment unless you move to full-time or have a baby or other BIG changes. He couldn't add me just because I was without insurance.

So, the insurance we have now isn't that great, but its insurance. It amazes me how much we can see God's hands in our lives these past months. From one job to the next, to delivering RIGHT when we needed to for me to have coverage... to getting insurance on the last possible day of enrollment. It blows my mind and makes me want to fall to my knees. We have been so blessed.

Sure, we're super tight on money. Sure, I have no freaking clue how we're going to pay rent this month... sure I wish we had more money... but it is OBVIOUS that we are exactly where God wants us in life... so I just have to have faith that he will continue to provide as flawlessly as he has.

And honestly, when you look at this face, how can you not believe in an awesome creator?

After we went to the medical card office (also, when I go into the office to apply for a medical card, do NOT bombard me and try to sign me up for food-stamps, and WIC, and keep pestering me and pestering me. I feel bad enough getting a medical card. Mmkay? thanks) we went to my Chiropractors for Keevia's first appointment. She did really well! She nursed and slept and got her 5th Thoracic vertebrae adjusted! Other than that, she was fine!

From there, we went to Pizza Hut, which made me sick (honestly, must we put preservatives on EVERYTHING nowadays?), then Wal-Mart, then the Pediatricians.

At the Pedi, we learned that my child is a pig. She's gone from 8lbs 2ozs at birth, to 7lbs 8ozs at 3 days old, to 8lbs 10oz on day 18. My pedi even CALLED her a pig.

It makes me feel more confident though, as I know I'm producing more than enough milk for her! haha!

She also got some eye-gel for her clogged tear duct, and a clean bill of health! I had to feed her in the grocery store parking lot, as we're not fans of being naked in the doctors office, and then we finally, FINALLY headed home.

Fibro was acting up, probably from being so tired on top of weather changes. I still feel icky, but not nearly as bad as I did yesterday!

I'm off to do laundry and dishes for Mom, and then make some Sticky Popcorn for Carl and I before he leaves for work (insert sad face here).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Husband

I didn't talk a lot about my husband in the birth story, because I had plans on talking about him more today.

Today is my husbands 23rd birthday. He's exactly 10 months older than me.

So, in this post, I just have to talk about how much he means to me.

We've had an incredibly rocky relationship until about 2 years ago (Woah! That either seems like its been a lot longer than that, or like its gone by super, super fast.) when we finally settled down and got serious.

We've not had an easy marriage. We got pregnant in October, lost the baby in November. We've moved twice. We've lost jobs, been without paychecks. But we're stronger now than we've ever been.

I would NOT have made it through natural child-birth without him. Period. Exclamation point. Everyone keeps calling me their hero for going all natural, but Carl is my hero for all he did for me.

He breathed for me. When the pain was so intense that I couldn't breath and would either stop breathing or start hyperventilating, he would shake me out of it and make me breath with him.

He was there, doing whatever I needed done... sometimes even when I didn't know what it was. He was my advocate, and my provider.

He held me during contractions, and I slept on him inbetween. He let me cry on him when I felt like it was too much. He believed in me, and was able to show that by his gentle back-rubs, or his kisses, or just his voice.

He sat behind me as I pushed, on the bed with me, even though the blood and guts grossed him out I'm sure. He told the midwife to get her ass in the delivery room when I felt like I needed to push. He went without sleep for 2+ days.

He was, and is my hero. He provides for Keevia and I, and right now he does that by driving an hour and a half every day, just so he can come home to us each night.

So today, on his birthday, I offer up this post of thanks, and of praise, to my wonderful husband. I love you baby, I'm sorry we have to have a low-key birthday this year.

Happy Birthday Carl!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I love being a mommy

Seriously. Best job in the world.

I'm sitting here right now, watching her sleep. We spent the night together in bed, because she just wanted to nibble-nurse, and I was too sleepy to move her to her baby bed (an Arms-Reach co-sleeper). We got up around 8 am, and she has nursed THREE TIMES since then. I think she's making up for just nibbling last night.

I love it. I especially love nursing. It's the best feeling in the entire world to gaze down at her, knowing I am giving her everything she needs. I love that she comfort-nurses to sleep (although she'll go to sleep for Daddy with a paci, me, not so much. She smells the boob).

I love that she calms when she comes to me. I love that she follows my voice. I love that I could watch her make her cute faces for hours on end.

I don't like that I almost hyperventilate every night when its time for bed, because of COURSE if she were to get hurt, it would be at night when I'm not anally watching her every 2 seconds. I wake up in a panic and lean over to the co-sleeper to make sure she's breathing, or I startle awake and check her in my arms. It's crazy. It's paranoia.

I am so eternally grateful to my husband for giving me the most perfect child. She's gorgeous, she's wonderful, she's a genius, and she's ours. No one's going to come pick her up, we never have to give her back to her parents, we ARE her parents. That's scary as hell, but its the best feeling in the world.

In some ways I feel like I should be doing more to help us out financially. I haven't had a paycheck since May, and have only quilted sporadically. However, if I worked outside the home, I couldn't do my most important job -- being Mommy.

I don't like our living situation right now -- but we're there for a reason. I am so, so, SO thankful for Carl's job, and the ability to move up in the company. Before, we didn't have that option. It's a GOOD job. Our finances are super, super tight... but we'll make it. Hopefully in a few months, he'll be able to pick up more hours, and eventually go full-time. I couldn't be prouder, or happier for him right now. I just wish we lived closer to his job (he has to commute 30ish minutes).

I can't wait to have a house to decorate for the holidays instead of trying to make a 2 room apartment festive... but the simple fact that I have a daughter for these holidays is the perfect decoration. I couldn't care about anything else.

I love my daughter, and I love that I finally get to be a Mommy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Keevia's Birth Story

It's been one week.


It's time to get this show, or, um, birth story, on the road.

Lets rewind to Tuesday, November 27th. I had my 39 week appointment, and went in to discover I was now 5 cms dilated, and 70% effaced. FIVE FREAKING CMS AND NOT IN LABOR.

So, I let Melissa (my midwife), strip my membranes again. Per usual after an internal, I started having contractions. We went and walked around the mall once, and then headed back to our apartment. Carl had work at 4 in the morning, so we needed to get him in bed. I continued contracting, and on the way back to our apartment, they got PAINFUL and about every 3 minutes. I seriously thought we would be turning around and heading back to the hospital, but nope... when we stopped at Radio Shack, they got better. Apparently driving sets off the contractions pretty heavily.

So, we went back to the apartment, Carl attempted to go to bed, I continued contracting. Around midnight, I took a nice warm bath, which usually makes the contractions stop. They didn't this time! I went and laid down in our recliner, with towels underneath me. I was worried that I'd have a nice strong contraction and my water would break. Carl left around 3 for work, and Mom and I went and climbed in bed.

Mom and I both slept until about 9:30ish. I was very depressed when I woke up and realized it was morning, and I hadn't been woken up in the middle of the night by contractions, but as I was laying there, attempting to get out of bed, I had 3. So, I thought maybe something would happen.

I got up, and Carl got home around 10:30 (he normally works til noon). His boss had taken pity on him, as he probably slept all of 2 hours the night before (he was SO ready for me to have this baby). We (Mom and I) left him on the couch, snoozing, while we attacked and cleaned the bedroom (okay, she cleaned, I directed).

Around 1 pmish, we decided we were ready to head back to Jackson. We had a list of things we needed from Target however, so we decided to go through Lexington. Once again, on the ride, my contractions picked up. I had been having some either bloody show or spotting from my internal/stripping of the membranes earlier that day as well. Once we got to Target and started walking around, I noticed my contractions were either every 3 minutes apart, or every 8. I decided, since we live an hour and a half from the doctor, to go ahead and call in and ask if I should be checked.

My Midwife sent me to L&D (Labor and Delivery). We called Carl and updated him, but told him not to come just yet. I'd done the "walk of shame" at 37 weeks, and didn't want him to drive the whole distance just to have to drive back if they sent me home.

So, we got to the hospital, got checked in, and got checked. I was at a 6cm and 70-80% effaced. WOOHOO! PROGRESS! They decided to keep me (I was contracting every 3-5 minutes, but not painfully). They called for my IV (I was GBS+ and had to have antibiotics every 4 hours, but they saline locked it after that), and my nurse started checking my veins.

IV = Epic Fail.

My nurse couldn't find a vein. Period. Exclamation point. I was dry as a bone. So she called nurse #2. Who found one (after FOREVER) in my hand. HOLY SHIZNIT THAT ALMOST HURT WORSE THAN LABOR! It blew. Nurse #2 called Nurse #3 who should have came in the first place. My MOTHER pointed out a vein, and the nurse goes "Oh yeah" and slides it in like it was nothing. It was in the fatty part of my right arm (very aggravating for peeing and such), but at least it was in.

My first floor nurse got off, and my second floor nurse appeared. Her name was Katie (I think) and she was probably my favorite nurse (I was in L&D long enough to have 4, and they work 12 hour shifts). Around this time, Carl showed up. I started pestering Katie for a new room, the one with the labor tub. And she came through! We moved within an hour.

Sometime later, after walking the halls some, and Mom and Carl getting our bags, my mother-in-law and doula/chiropractor Masjia showed up. Unfortunately for them, we were in the waiting game. Melissa, my midwife and I had decided that if I hadn't progressed any by morning, we'd break my water. This was something I wasn't 100% comfortable with, but I also wasn't comfortable going back home at 6 cms either.

This is me on Wednesday night (I think)giving my last belly picture!

So... I labored, and labored, and labored. I only had to be hooked up to monitors once and hour, for 10-15 minutes. I sat on the birth ball some, walked some... etc. By 1-2 am though, we were getting tired, and the contractions weren't that strong. So, Mom, Lorena (my MIL) and Masjia went back to our apartment, and Carl and I settled in to try and sleep.

That labor and delivery bed was UNCOMFY. But, I managed a few hours. Everytime I'd roll over though, they had to come and adjust the monitors.

Mom and gang snuck us in McDonalds at 6:30am. They checked me, and I was still 6-7 cms, and 80% effaced. We decided to break the water and get this show on the road!

So, my MW came in around 9 and broke my water. VERY odd sensation. Everything was clear, so I didn't have to worry about anything. This did start the clock however, and so I had that looming over my head. 24 hours to get this kid out.

I started walking and bouncing more, trying to encourage her down. Masjia had to leave around 11 to work on her patients, but she stretched me out on the bed and checked my neck first. I was 3/4 inch off!! So, she adjusted my neck on the hospital bed and then hit the road.

At some point, my preacher came in... and since he had a cold, he suited up in a mask and gloves. This is a picture we took while he and Carl were having fun...

Time went by quickly. Around 12:30ish I got in the labor tub, and it was WONDERFUL. My conractions were JUST starting to get strong enough to be distracting. However, I had to get out of the tub around 2 to be monitored. That was my biggest annoyance with the whole labor -- the monitoring. I know that it was for my babies health, but it made management of contractions nearly impossible when I had to be tethered to the machine. I needed the freedom to find a comfortable position. Plus, I didn't get back in the tub because I knew I had to time it in-between monitoring, and it was just too much trouble. I think I would have relaxed more if I'd gotten back in.

Anyway... the contractions started getting stronger, and I was getting more and more tired. I'd gotten maybe 5 hours of sleep on Tuesday night, and maybe 4 hours of sleep on Wednesday night. I was literally falling asleep on Carl in-between contractions. The worst part of the whole thing? I had CONSTANT back labor. For those of you who have not had Back Labor, I would not wish it on my greatest enemy. Not that I have enemies that I know of, but if I did, I wouldn't wish it on them.

Anyway. Around 5:30-6, my MW came in and suggested pitocin for an hour or so to get me contracting. I was barely, BARELY managing contractions as it was, I knew I wouldn't make it through artificial contractions. My Mom suggested a pain shot, because she knew how deathly tired I was. I was at 7cms at this point, still 80% effaced.

So, I took a painshot of Stadol. Lemme tell you, that stuff is WEIRD. I remember my sister-in-law showing up a few minutes before, but while I was out, my sister, Masjia and my Dad came, and a friend of Carl's stopped by for a while. I didn't know any of this until I started coming out of the shot, 1 1/2-2 hours later.

It weirded me out. I had really odd dreams, and relived dreams I'd had in my childhood. Sometimes the contractions over-powered me, and I'd yell "BACK!!!!" which meant someone needed to press on my back as hard as they could, right at the sacrum level. Other contractions I would feel coming, and I'd be able to think my way through them, usually by going "lets think about... BASEBALL." or something else totally random. Sometimes I would make it through the entire contraction, sometimes I wouldn't. It kind of just depended.

I don't remember much, like I said, and here's where my memory gets REALLY fuzzy. I remember getting hot. VERY hot. I shoved the blankets and stuff off, and then started ripping off the gowns, totally not caring Dad was in the room. Oh, I KNEW he was there, but I didn't care. Carl helped me get up and go to the bathroom, and when I had a contraction while trying to pee, and almost started crying because I was so hot, Carl RIPPED the gown off of me. It was pretty funny, it split.

From here, I just remember being miserable. I was trying to get on the birthing ball (like a big yoga ball), but had a contraction half way there. I turned around and wrapped my arms around Carl's neck, and he put his hands on my low back, and I swayed. We didn't leave this position until I started to push. This was a position we had learned in our birthing class, but hadn't tried yet. It was wonderful, I could manage the contractions this way, and the gravity REALLY helped me. They checked me again a moment or so later, and I was at an 8, then about an hour or half hour later (like I said, this is all a big blur in my mind) I was a 9 and 100% effaced. Then, I was a 9 1/2 about 20 minutes later, then finally, FINALLY I got to push.

I started pushing in a very undignified pose. On my hands and knees with my butt up in the air. I know I peed a lot, and it felt SO GOOD to finally push. I don't know how long I pushed like this, but I know my poor husband had to have sore hands, mine were bruised from how tightly I squeezed his from pushing!

The midwife came in (Oh yeah, there was a point when I was like 9 1/2 cms and feeling an urge to push when the midwife had went out, and Carl asked where she was, and when they said in the hall, he yelled "Tell her to get her ass in here!" yeah, good memories! haha!) and told me that I was pushing, but they needed to monitor the baby, and could I maybe try my left side so they could get the heartbeat? So I settled down on the bed, kind of reclining, on my left side, right leg up in the air, leaning back on Carl. At this time, gathered around me, holding my hand, rubbing my arm, holding up a leg, were my Mom, my mother-in-law Lorena, my sister Heather, my sister-in-law Stephanie, and Masjia, my chiropractor. Carl counted for me. I never had an overwhelming urge to push with the contractions, but eventually I found my groove.

It hurt. It hurt a LOT. Intense pressure and a TON OF BURNING. I felt like I was ripping wide open. I am so, SO grateful for the people around me, or I never would have made it. Throughout the entire labor, I couldn't open my eyes. Even between contractions. Carl had to breathe with me or I would start hyperventilating. When I was pushing, I had all those people around me, giving me words of encouragement. It was wonderful, it was beautiful. I couldn't tell you anything that they said, but I could hear them there, in the back of my mind.

My midwife was fantabulous. She wasn't my midwife Melissa. Melissa had been on call for like 2 days and had had 4 hours of sleep, so Stacy came in and delivered. By that point and time, I didn't care who got this kid out of me. But she was really, REALLY great. She read my birthplan and followed it as closely as possible. She massaged my perineum in between every contraction.

I remember asking "Does she have hair?" and apparently I asked "Is she really there? Is she coming?" I remember reaching down and feeling her hair. I finally remember, as people kept saying "She's so close!" thinking. "Okay. This is IT. I am getting her out NOW" and just pushing with everything in me. And she came! Stacy told me to stop for a second, and then to go ahead. And out she popped, and up on my chest she went!

We delayed cord clamping for 7-8 minutes to allow her to get all the healthy red-blood cells we could, and also to cut down her stress levels. Because of this, I could see her hair, and her arms and legs, but not her sweet face. I didn't really care though! Finally, however, Carl cut the cord and I pulled her up and got to get a good look at her.

And I fell in love.

I know everyone says that, but it really is true. She was perfect, she was precious, and she was mine. I didn't have to give her back to anyone (except for Carl!).

So there you have it. Keevia Lynn, born October 29th, 2009 at 11:10 pm. Weighing in at 8lbs2oz and 19 1/4-21 1/2 inches long (they measured her at the hospital as the first, and at the pediatricians as the second 3 days later).