Meet Lucy

My last scheduled OB appointment was set for July 24 (my due date was July 26) and I just knew I'd have my baby by then.  I didn't.  After declining to have my membranes stripped to possibly induce labor, my doctor scheduled another appointment July 30 to do another ultrasound, measure the baby, check amniotic fluid level, etc., but neither of us thought I'd make it to that appointment.  I did.

During the ultrasound, my baby looked nice and healthy, was doing a fair bit of kicking, and had a strong heartbeat.  But then, dun dun dun, the doctor came in and said that because of dangerously low amniotic fluid, that baby had to get out - NOW.  If I never mentioned it before, the two things I never wanted to happen were induction and c-section.  I cried and cried and cried some more because I WASN'T READY TO HAVE MY BABY FORCED OUT THAT DAY!  After heading home to get the animals squared away and pack a few last minute things I didn't have in my hospital bag, Chris and I headed to the labor and delivery unit to get checked in and have me induced.  I cried a lot more.

Dr. Sadist (we'll call her that) came in and promptly stripped my membranes and dared me to cry (not really, but I bet she would have since she was not friendly or gentle) and started the induction process with Cytotec; pretty much immediately, contractions started.  When I checked in, I was about 3cm dilated and 70% effaced, so I hoped that the quick-onset contractions meant labor and delivery would happen sooner rather than later.  Several hours later, after there was no change, Dr. Polite broke my water and started me on Pitocin.  Surely things would start moving right along now.  One of the nurses on duty kept telling Chris, my parents and I that we would have a baby soon, soon, soon, but still, there was no baby.  A couple shift changes (and a day) later, Dr. Handsome said that I would have a baby by midnight.  And that made me nervous -  a baby on a schedule means possible c-section.

It turns out, a blue full moon brings babies out of the womb and into the world right and left.  Because the labor and delivery unit wasn't staffed to handle such a busy birthing night, patients were prioritized; I wasn't progressing very quickly, so I was a low priority.  My pitocin was turned off and I was left waiting, water broken, with diminishing contractions since my  body wasn't ready to have a baby, and every second that passed made me more sure I would end up having my baby cut out rather than pushed out.  When Dr. Passive came in, she didn't want to turn the pitocin back on, but wait around to see what happened instead, and that was the first mention of a c-section.  Not too long after that, after using everything they had in the unit to induce labor and monitor me and 9cm dialted and 100% effaced, my baby's heartbeat suddenly slowed and was difficult to locate.  Tubes and wires were flying, nurses were stabbing me with needles, Chris was given scrubs, and the nurses were running, pushing my bed to the operating room all for the safety of my baby - I had to have a c-section.

Although the epidural eliminates pain, it does not eliminate sensations and pressure, so I could still feel, in a sense, everything that was happening to my body, all while worrying that I might never get to meet my baby.  Naturally, I had a panic attack.  It was so embarrassing.  And, naturally, Chris wanted to watch, and later relayed to me that nurses were yanking on either side of the incision as if they were trying to rip my flesh with their bare hands (that was the awful, jerking sensation I was feeling while laying on the table), and that my uterus was laying on my chest as they stitched it up.  Gross.  And they fixed a hernia while they were up to their elbows in my guts.  BUT I HAD A HEALTHY BABY GIRL!

My Lucy Adelaide was born on July 31 at 9:27pm with long fingernails, weighing 7 pounds 14.5 ounces, and measuring 21" long.

Was the experience at all like I'd wanted or hoped it would be?  Absolutely not.  Would I do it again?  I would do it a million times over for my baby Lucy.  I had (and still have) a lot of feelings about needing to have an emergency c-section.  I feel I was cheated out of the birthing experience; I know there are women who look at c-sections as an easy way out, but it wasn't easy - both physically and emotionally - and it wasn't my choosing; I didn't get to have the skin-to-skin contact after birth that experts all say is so very important; and I wasn't the first one to hold my baby - the baby I'd been carrying for nearly 41 weeks.  It doesn't bother me as much as it did, but the feelings are still there, and when I think about it and get bummed, I just remind myself that I have the most beautiful baby girl, and that's the only thing that matters!

30 - 40 (almost 41) weeks

In between assuring people that I would, in fact, let them know when my baby was born (family was relentless and, quite frankly, irritating with all the calls asking if I'd "had that baby yet"), getting the nursery ready, and general nesting, I dropped the ball on weekly posts which I'm kind of upset about since it would've been nice to be able to look back on tham as it already seems like an eternity since I was pregnant!

So here goes, weeks 30 through 40, and almost 41!  Everyone I know, including my doctor was certain this baby was going to come early - everyone but Chris.  He'd been talking about taking a beach trip as a sort of last hurrah with just the two of us, but because I was terrified of going into labor several hours from home and either having the baby in another city or laboring for several hours in the car on the way home, we stuck pretty close by.  About two weeks before my due date, we decided to take a weekend trip to Greensboro, NC since it's only 2 hours south.  Then we came home and waited... and waited and waited and waited.

The nursery, it turns out, was completed in plenty of time, I craved sugar more than ever the further along I got in my pregnancy, I never once had a stranger rub my belly (so the warnings were moot), I never did experience the dreaded morning sickness - all in all, my pregnancy was absolutely amazing and I wish it could've lasted longer!

29 weeks (and a few pros and cons).

I'm in the middle of my 29th week and still loving being pregnant.  I don't want to say I wish it would never end because I do want to meet my baby, obviously, and finally find out if I have a son or a daughter (a James or a Lucy), but pregnancy has been good to me.

At 29 weeks, I've learned about some pros and cons of being pregnant in public.

- Random people (who, I imagine, would otherwise pay you no mind) flash you and your bump genuine smiles.
- Strangers wish you a Happy Mother's Day (and it makes me want to bear hug them, but that might get weird).
- Strangers in close proximity congratulate you and ask when you're due.  That makes my day every. Single. Time.
- People are more helpful (as in holding doors, reaching things, etc.).
- You can have a belly and feel absolutely beautiful in fitted clothing without even thinking about trying to suck it it (not that you could anyway).

- Way too many people call the baby "It."  Have you seen It?  I'm not having one of those.
- Apparently, you can't have any emotions about anything, otherwise you're hormonal (much like not being pregnant and having anything you might possibly feel be blamed on the fact that you're on your period, even if you're not on your period).
- People feel it's their right, nay, their duty, to tell you that your belly is huge and you'll never make it anywhere near your due date.  My belly is 34.5" around, thank you very much.
- If you tell people how great you feel, instead of being met with the same positivity, you will be told to "just wait until (fill in the blank with something negative)," or about how awful labor is and you just wait, or "that's only because you haven't had (insert super awful pregnancy symptom)."  If pregnancy is such a beautiful thing, how come so many woman have so many pessimistic thoughts?
- You're warned about how many strangers will touch your belly, but in my experience, NO ONE touches my belly, and I want them to because I'm JUST SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS BABY!

What I've Been Working On

Surprisingly, as busy as life has gotten lately, I've managed to work on quite a few new items, as well as get a few extra regular items made (so I can hopefully have a bit of an inventory built up that will be ready-to-ship once the baby gets here and I have to get adjusted to being a new mom).  For the last year or so, the 'Bonjour Y'all' tees and totes have been wildly popular, but lately the 'Hola Y'all' shirts have claimed the most popular item position!

Hola Y'all Tote, Hola Y'all T-Shirt

I have so, SO many ideas for new things - screen designs for shirts and totes, jewelry, paintings, etc. - but it's all a matter of finding adequate time.  The next screens I plan to make for shirts and totes will be more graphic in nature rather than having sayings, so hopefully they'll turn out...

What have you been working on lately?

26 and 27 weeks.

Though not shocking considering all the priorities on my to-do list that must be crossed off before Baby arrives, I've gotten behind on my weekly updates (which, really only bothers me since it seems an easy enough task).  As far as pregnancy goes, the only thing that's really changed is my energy level; much to my dismay, and following right along with typical third trimester pregnancy symptoms published everywhere that discusses pregnancy, this sudden onset fatigue has me feeling like I'm back in the first trimester, and no amount of sleep seems to re-energize me!

26 weeks:

- Our first baby shower!  Chris' aunts Amy and Anne were sweet enough to throw us a shower for friends, family, and anyone else we wanted to invite.
- My mom drove up from Florida to attend the shower and to spend time with Chris and I and her first grandchild.
- At this point I didn't have any pregnancy symptoms, and aside from my belly, you'd never guess I was growing a tiny human!

27 weeks:

- When my mom left Virginia, she headed to Pennsylvania (her family is there), then came back to Virginia for a few days before heading home to Florida.  This segment was much more relaxed since there wasn't a baby shower.
- Baby was lazy for at least half of this week and it was awful!
- My total weight gain as of this week was 15 pounds, putting me one pound less than the most I've ever weighed.  As it turns out, healthy eating really IS a good idea!

Being that today is Mother's Day, it has me thinking a lot about being a mom (not that the subject is ever bumped from first place in my mind) and what all it entails, not just in the beginning, and not just during the good times.  And those thoughts make me appreciate all the more the fact that we didn't start a family in our early 20's (or as everyone else likes to call it, "the right time") as I think we're better, calmer people and more capable parents-to-be at this stage in our lives.  I can't wait.