My ability to update pleonast is something to be desired, but I realize that I'm a failure, so that's a start right?
It's been 5 months since my last post, which was about Søren's birth, which seems like forever ago. He's so big now and it's hard for me to grasp that at one time I was pregnant and that I even gave birth because he's so completely different than when, well, he was first born. There is so much more interaction with him. He smiles at you and laughs and looks at you when you talk. There is so much amazing silliness in him and I'm glad that it's finally coming out. Not to say that his being a tiny infant wasn't awesome, it's just now I can actually play with him and he plays back.
I love watching Justin interact with him. I think he feels more comfortable now (Justin I mean) because Søren bigger and not so fragile and is able to, in a way, communicate back when Justin is talking to him. One of my favorite parts of the day is when Justin comes home from work and instantly takes the baby in his arms and plays until dinner time. They're just so darn cute together I can hardly stand it. :D
And now I've discovered the joys of flying across the world with a baby and if I never had to do it again, I would be happy. He wasn't bad. Actually, he was quite the champ for most of the flying and even when we had to stay in a hotel room for a night before we flew to Dallas. The only time he was unmanageable was the very last leg into Dallas. He had just about enough of the loud planes and his ears hurting that all he could do was whine and struggle to get out of my arms. Luckily, the ladies sitting next to us were so nice and didn't complain at all, so I didn't feel so bad about it.
Now we're at his G's house and getting settled in. The first few nights were kind of hard, sleep wise, but he's getting back into his routine, so that's balancing out. It's so amusing to watch my parents interacting with him. Kisses and hugs and silly faces from people that really haven't been around babies since my brother, so it's just really entertaining and kind of surreal. I have always wanted this, having babies and being around family, but I guess now that I'm in it, it's weird. Not a bad weird, but just...weird. I guess one day it won't be weird and it will feel natural.
It feels good to be back in Texas, but I really wish that Justin had been able to come with us. It's kind of lame that I've been able to come back twice and he hasn't been able to come at all, but he's been so great about it and I know that's he extremely lonely back home, so keep him in your thoughts and prayers, especially when he has to go to Sgt's Course in a few weeks.
Anywho, I guess that's it for now.
It's all still kind of surreal. I mean, it was about this time last week that I was being admitted into the hospital at 7cm, exhausted, in pain and ready to have my child that I had been waiting so long for.
Mind you, this had been after a visit to the hospital on Sunday and being told that I wasn't dilated at all and that the sensation of wetting myself wasn't really my water breaking. The doctor that was attending (who was really rather rude and someone who I added to my list of people I wish to kick in the shin) told me that because I wanted to have the baby naturally, there was nothing she could do so I better go home and not come back until the baby was between my legs.
Uhm, really? THAT'S what you tell a pregnant woman?
So, we went home disappointed (okay, it was mostly me) that I wasn't going through my breathing exercises with a cup of ice and my mom holding my hand. I immediately took a hot bath and cried for a good hour that I wasn't having my baby tonight, despite the fact that only 4-5% of all babies are born on their ACTUAL due date. Moving onto Monday.
I had been having mild contractions all weekend, but upon waking on Monday morning, I found I wasn't having ANY which furthered my disappointment. I tried distracting myself as much as possible and with every sort-of-kind-of-maybe twinge I kept reminding myself that this was progress. Very slow progress yes, but progress nonetheless. Monday night the mild contractions were getting a little bit stronger, so we all decided to go for a walk on the sea wall and wouldn't you know it, the contractions started getting more intense and more predictable. YES! We're getting somewhere!
That somewhere turned out to be contractions every 5-10 minutes apart and then my water breaking at midnight (which we didn't think was my water breaking because Dr. McRudey Head made us doubt any kind of leakage to be a sign of anything). However, the fact that I was a little more consistent than the days leading up to this and I was actually having to concentrate and breathe through each contraction was a really good sign. Well, I kept doubting that anything was happening and was pretty sure that all of it was for naught because of whatsherface making me feel retarded for even coming in on Sunday.
Anyway, so, all day Tuesday I was having very intense contractions, of which my mom and Jan held my hand through every single one (Justin had to go to work, poor guy, he was running on hardly any sleep too and was worried about me all day), breathing with me and timing them. Hot baths worked to help with the pain for the most part, but it got to a point where nothing was really helping. Water, ice, popsicles, foot rubs, music, nothing seemed to distract me from how intense and hard the contractions were getting. There were times that I was pretty sure I preferred getting my teeth ripped out of my head rather than face another contraction. I was running on no sleep, no food and no way to tell if what was happening was bringing my any closer to Soren getting here.
Finally, Justin came home and I made a decision: we're going to the hospital, I'm getting an epidural and we are getting this thing out of me! I had had enough of the pain and all I wanted was to make it stop, whatever it took. We called the hospital to let them know we were coming, got all of our things, piled in the van and headed out. With each wave of pain that hit, I prayed to God that we wouldn't be sent home again. Once at the hospital I was wheeled up to the Labor and Delivery ward, strapped to a bed in Triage and checked after being asked the basic questions:
How far apart are your contractions?
Are you having one right now?
What time did your water break?
Blah, blah, blah, right now I feel like I'm going to die, please let's just get this thing started!!! (I didn't say that, but I was thinking it. :D)
Turns out, I was 7cm dilated and my water had broken. HOLY COW! The doctor that was attending this time was the hospital midwife and she was totally awesome. I asked her about the epidural and was perfectly willing to give it to me, but she said, "You know, you're in the Transition stage, which means that you're more than half way done." I had read all about the transitional stage of labor, but my mind wasn't wrapping around anything I had read. I frowned, "What comes after that?"
Both my mom and Jan replied, "Pushing!"
That's good, right?
It WAS good, but I was still determined to get the epidural. Now, I'm not saying that God dehydrated me so I couldn't get an IV in to get a blood sample, but I wouldn't be surprised. Okay, okay, it was all my fault because I hadn't been drinking enough water, but the thought makes me smile. It took them three tries to get a good vein to stick a needle into and by the time they had the blood sample, I was at 9cm. Again, HOLY COW, talk about your progress! I still could have gotten the epidural, but everyone convinced me that I had come this far and they believed I could go farther. So, I was I was in so much pain I couldn't think straight, so I decided to not get it.
Justin, my mom, and Jan were so amazing, I can hardly describe how much they helped me. Breathing with me, encouraging me, getting me anything and everything I needed and being so patient. They say that I was the 'Zen master' through all of it, but they were right there with me, so maybe THEY are the masters and I'M still the grasshoppa. :D
3 hours later of pushing, crying, having extreme moments of self doubt, and thinking that this was NEVER going to end, there he was. All 7lbs, 12 ounces of amazing, beautiful baby.
He looked a lot bigger when he came out, but it didn't matter. Soren Abdiel was finally here and I was going to get to hold him....uhm, wait, where are you going? Why can't I hold him? He's crying, I need to hold him and let him know that his mommy is here!! Stop! Give him back!
It turns out that he had expressed a little meconium in utero and they wanted to make sure he didn't breathe any of it in, so they shipped him off to the NICU for further examination. Justin was with him the whole time, comforting him and transforming into a daddy. I didn't get to witness it myself, but from what they told me, Soren smiled at Justin just moments after being put in the NICU. Again, I'm not saying God MADE Soren smile at Justin, but I like to believe that it was a sign from Him that everything was going to be alright.
6 hours later, I finally got to hold my little boy and honestly, (of course I could be biased), he was/is the most perfect baby I've ever seen. He's so calm and quiet, hardly ever cries and beautiful to boot. How in world was a blessed with such a laid back kid? I constantly wonder about that, but at the same time, I'm thankful for the way he is because something (my mother mostly) tells me it won't last for long. Then again, he could just be a mellow kid. Wouldn't that be something, considering who is parents are? We had some trouble with nursing right at the start, but he's much better now and looks so great. Every night, I thank God for our little ball of amazing and can't help but feel the warmth of undeserved blessing on us.
Jan, Mom and Justin have been awesome since we came home. I've been told to relax and not do ANY work while they are here while they cook and clean, take the baby when I need a nap, and give all of their love and patience to us. Again, words cannot express how grateful and happy I am to have them here. I'll be sad when they go, but I can't think about that right now, so I won't.
Thank you all for your prayers and congratulations. I definitely felt the wave of thought and praying during the whole process. Please continue the prayers, especially in the weeks to come when we don't have both mommies to help us out. But again, Soren's smile leads me to be believe that that is going to be just fine.
First, we'll start with the known. I'm starting to get really nervous about Soren making his appearance. Everything is so unknown and up in the air, which makes me feel soooooo unraveled.
Everyone keeps saying,
"That baby will come when he's supposed to!!"
And I know that, but part of me really, really, REALLY wants him to come in the few days following my mom and Jan's arrival so it doesn't mess up anyone's schedules. I've been looking up ways and asking around about how to induce labor, but the truth is, Soren WILL come when he's supposed to and that's going to be just fine with everyone, even if they have to push their flight back a little or just not have as much time as they thought they were going to have. My praying lately has been focused on trusting in God and not worrying about time or schedules or even my own fears.
"Fear is the mind killer."
Second, prayers for the people making their way over here in the next few days. It's a looooong way and a lot of money and I can't help but feel overwhelmingly thankful for their willingness to fly over to be with us. If there's anything I can feel relaxed about, it's that I'm going to have TWO mom's there during everything and there are no words for how blessed I am for this being able to happen.
Third, prayers for Justin and I to relax in the next few weeks. I mean really REEEELLLAAAXXX. Things have been so stressful around our house and at his work that we haven't had time to really kick back, enjoy the last of being just us and relish in the fact that we're going to be having a beautiful baby boy in our arms soon. I keep thinking and talking about all the work that needs to be done around the house before people get here and honestly, I could leave my house the way it is right now and my mom or his parents wouldn't know the wiser or even care. I've actually been tempted to just leave it and see what happens, but then again, my nesting and OCD keep me from doing so. That and both of us being tired all the time, anxious about Soren coming and some other stuff (of which I'll mention in a minute) have pretty much made us basket cases. The next few months are going to be trying enough and I just pray that we'll retain SOME of our sanity.
Fourth, as I said above, the 'other stuff' I'm talking about has to do with some friends of mine that I've made here on Okinawa and with a certain organization that we're both a part of. It's been an on-going battle between Justin, myself, and these friends for the past month and a half and I just need prayers of encouragement to be able to say what I need to say to her and end this feud that has been the bane of our existence and a major stress to my marriage to Justin. I'm nervous about what I have to say and sad that I have to say them, but they need to be said and have NEEDED to be said since this whole thing started and I've just been to chicken to do anything about it. If I was saying these things to Justin or my best friend back home or my mom, I could half-way predict how they are going to react, but with her, I'm just not sure and that makes me scared. So, yes, prayers of encouragement, prayers to dispel fear and prayers that if this ends badly that the pain will be on temporary.
5 more days (I hope). Oh boy...
This past weekend we had a maternity shoot done with a very kind and very patient (there were weather issues and asking a pregnant woman to pose is an event in itself) woman here in Okinawa. She sent me a sneak peak on Sunday evening and it's up on Facebook, but I also posted it on here. Hopefully we'll get to see the rest of them at the week's end so everyone can see. I am so excited about them and judging from the first picture I've seen, I'm thinking the rest are going to be gorgeous as well. My friend Kate said, "Okay, you got the maternity shoot done, now you can have the baby!"
Haha, four and a half more weeks...
I'm also really excited because the same photographer is going to come to the hospital after Soren is born and take some 'family lifestyle' pictures. Then ten days after that we're going to do a newborn session as well. So, bascially, expect a lot of pictures. :D
Also, can you believe September is almost over?
It's really, really strange to be at this point already. I swear I was looking at the positive pregnancy tests just yesterday.
Now I'm practicing relaxation techniques and getting the last few things I need for Soren to be here.
I was having a conversation on Facebook with my sister, just chatting and I said, "Is it bad that I think the weirdest part of all of this is Mom becoming a Grandma?"
She said, "I think the weirdest part is YOU becoming a mommy."
Oh my, that really IS the weirdest part of all of this. I've started saying things like, "My son," or "Our son," when I talk to people and while I like the sound of it, but it feels strange coming out of my mouth. I've always wanted to be a mommy and now it's happening and I feel so...out of place almost.
I know that will change when I hold him in my arms for the first time and see that the past 9 months haven't all been a dream.
I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day and she was asking what I wanted for my birthday. I was kind of taken aback because I haven't thought about my birthday since I got pregnant. Usually, my birthdays are a big, big event (Birthday Week, Birthday Month, you get the picture), and I'm thinking about what I want to do for my birthday and what I want as presents and this year...well, my mind is a little preoccupied. In my mind, the big event is Soren, considering his due date is the day after my birthday, so doing the "party-thing" aren't registering as even being okay. Also, since I'll be right at term on my birthday, "partying" won't really be on my To-Do List. My mom will be here by then and she plans to make me a homemade birthday cake, which I'm completely ecstatic for, and that's all I need. My mom, my husband, and a birthday cake.
I can't wait!
Please keep us in your prayers over the next month and a half that everything goes smoothly and that no major complications arise. I think I would be kind of bummed to have a completely unremarkable pregnancy up until the last stretch and then a complication just suddenly happens. However, God knows what he's doing and I know I need to trust that, even if it's not how I planned it out. As long as Soren is healthy, come what may.
Also, pray for my mom and the trip she's taking over here. It's a really, really, REALLY long flight and she's not too keen on travel so just pray that she stays relaxed and gets here safely. She's a wonder woman, my mother, and I am so glad that she is coming out here to be with me.
I hope I can be half the mom she is.