Thursday, October 11, 2012

A year in review....

Writing has always been one of my most beloved interests. And even though the time is not present, the love for it still lingers.

But now, as a mommy of two.... priorities have shifted a bit. If I manage to paint my nails, its been not simply a good day, but a great day. But on a normal day, I am lucky to have a few quiet moments to myself before its off to bed, to do it all over again.  Or, off to bed to take some muscle relaxers, to have sleep induced in an otherwise overly anxious and concerned mother.

 In other words, as a mom, it is virtually impossible to turn the mommy off. We're always thinking, planning, scheming, reorganizing, and doing whatever other things mommy's do in their head, when they finally have some quiet.

With that being said, I've been thinking about this "year in review" blog for some time now. What direction was I going to take with this blog, would it be a word by word detailed description of what my family is like now, with one tiny little person added into the mix? Would it be all the positive special memories smushed into a few paragraphs? Or would I share the most emotionally draining experience that our family went through last year and be a downer for the rest of this blog?

Eh, never mind...... The girls are in bed, the dishes are done, and the coffee is ready to go. Lets just get some sleep and blog later.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One amazing day.

People all over the world have many different definitions of what an amazing day is. When you're young that day might be the day you get your drivers license. Or maybe a few years later, its the day the love of your life proposes to you. And then comes the day that you get to marry the love of your life. Those are all truly amazing moments in life. But for me, the most amazing day, was when I became a mother. And I've been able to experience that amazing day, twice. It's a day filled with victory and accomplishment. It's a day that as a mother, you push life out, a day that another heart is born, a day that a whole other person comes into this world.

My baby girl meeting her baby sister for the first time.
I kind of thought I knew completely, what that day was all about, after all, I had pushed two little babies out at different times in my life. But there was a part of me that felt something was missing. It was one thing to be the one giving birth, your so focused on the job at hand, the work to be done, the baby to see, the fingers to count and the stares and gazes to have. That is all amazing in itself. But what is it like if you're not the one who just gave birth? I never really understood why my mother-in-law sobbed after our first daughter was born. Why cry? Everything was fine, everything went great, why all the tears? She has often said it meant a lot for her to be there, and until recently, I could never truly appreciate her feelings. To her, it was an amazing day.

Which brings me to my most recent amazing day. It's always been on my bucket list to see a baby born. I'm not easily grossed out, and since I've been through it, I was quite honestly, curious how it looks on the other side. My dear friend, who was expecting twins, invited me to be there when she had her babies. I was anxious, I was nervous, yet I was excited beyond words. I was worried I would get in the way, I was worried I would be annoying, and I was really worried that I would somehow miss it. But I put those fears behind me and prepared myself as much as one could for the big day. I became Google happy, looking up as much as I could on how to be a good support for a woman in labor. I learned about being a doula, and how a strong support system is the best way to get a woman through a successful labor & delivery. But in the end, I looked back on my own experience. The words of my husband and mother still echo in my head: "You're doing great Ashley, I know it hurts, but you're doing it." Even though I didn't know it, with simply those memories burned in my brain, I was already prepared.

Then the text message finally came,  "I think my waters leaking." It was almost to hard to believe that time might actually be here. It was a Sunday night, around 6:15. Could it be that time already?  She was almost 36 weeks, good for twins, but still early, and that was a cause for concern. After a couple hours of back & forth texting, calls to the doctor, and googling how to know if your water is leaking, to the hospital we headed.  Within 15 minutes of walking into hospital, it was confirmed that she was indeed, in labor. Now came the anxiety, followed with many more questions. How long would she be in labor, are the babies in position? Her doctor was not on call, and now she was dealing with a doctor who she had never even met. Would he even let her try to deliver the twins, or would he be a cut-happy doctor in a hurry to get back to bed? A quick meeting with the doctor, and an
ultrasound confirming the babies were not breach, provided all of us, but especially my friend, some time to relax and feel peace over the fact that he was not in a hurry to rush her to the O.R. but would let things go as naturally as possible. 

As the symptoms of true labor began to set in and her body began doing its job and preparing for birth, the memories of my labor and delivery of our second baby, only 15 short months ago quickly came to mind and made her every contraction all to real to me. And knowing how deep that pain runs, I was willing and ready to help her any way possible. But in the end, it was the support of her husband that got her through each and every contraction. Not letting him out of her sight, and him not leaving her side except once to use the bathroom (And only after asking her if she would be ok for that moment), he was the one who got her through each and every contraction. I don't think I will ever forget the picture of those two. She often said "I need your strength, I need your solid."  So with that, along with many cold washcloths, non-stop fanning,  firm back compressions, her little baby girl entered the world in a hot hurry.  She didn't even wait for the doctor to completely enter the room. It was as if in that moment, time stood still for a few seconds. Nurses, me, her husband, all kind of stood there in amazement, or probably more like shock. Finally, the doctor spoke breaking our trance, saying "Ok guys, lets get this baby!" 
I took as many pictures as I could to help document it for my friend, but unexpectedly, my hands were shaking, and at this point I'm not even sure I was still taking breaths. I tried to calm myself and focus on the current moment, but a beautiful new little person was just born, and she is perfect, she is simply amazing.

Bristol Faith
We waited rather impatiently for baby girl's brother to appear. I watched studiously, as the doctor did what he did, and started to say things of concern.When he requested that the baby have a monitor placed on his head, I remember at that moment, feeling my heart sink, feeling worry, true, sincere worry. Subconsciously, at this point, I am now seriously regretting all the TLC baby stories that I watched for years. "Stay calm, it will be ok", kept silently repeating in my head. Though the doctor remained very calm through this all, he had a look of concern. And then he uttered the words we hoped to never hear, "prep the O.R.". I hated the fact that my heart knew it was headed there before he even said it. I remained hopeful though, perhaps the doctor was just being extra careful, maybe that little boy will still make his way out, the all natural way. But that little boy was stuck. With his arm over his head (probably protecting himself from his sister's quick kick-off), he was not coming out,  not that way anyway. They told her husband to get suited up, as they quickly whisked my friend off to the O.R. And there we sat waiting.

 Me, on the floor of the hospital right outside the O.R. door (And anyone who knows me, knows I don't sit on hospital floors, ever. ewww!)  and her husband left standing there wondering, what's next? We quietly waited, as we watched nurses, and doctors, running down the hall towards the O.R. that she was in. One doctor ran down the hall , threw his jacket off, demanded to be suited up & rushed himself into the O.R., followed by another doctor who didn't even completely suit up. I sat there numb. I watched as her husband walked away, down the hall, and took some time to himself. I said a prayer. I started to cry.

 Soon after that, a nurse appeared, she informed us that her husband would not be allowed in the O.R. at this point, and we would soon hear the baby cry. For one to two long minutes, give or take some time, as time seemed to be the enemy at this point, we waited. Pacing. Not saying anything in anticipation of hearing the baby. And then we heard him, baby boy was screaming with his all. He let everyone know his discontent with his method of entry into this world. But he was here, breathing, crying and beautiful. It wasn't long after that they brought him out, and his father held him for the first time. To be the one to witness that, was in a word, amazing.

Meeting Wyatt, his little warrior, for the first time.

It seemed like forever while we waited for my friend to be done in surgery. We stared at the babies, took pictures, walked up & down the halls, moved to another room, talked with the doctors, paced some more, waited some more, and finally.... She was done in surgery and taken to recovery. After some more time waiting, they allowed us in. She was emotional, confused, and in a lot of pain. But after some time, and pain killers, her mind cleared and she was ready for her babies.

So 2 long hours after her baby girl came rushing in the world, and her little boy took the slower route in, she finally met her babies. It was a beautiful sight. There she laid, holding her newborn twins, looking left to right.....right to left. Examining her newborn babies every feature. Even at one point saying, she simply didn't know who to look at.

So in conclusion, of this "ridiculously long" blog, as my husband put it, no matter how many words I try to use to express the feelings in my heart, words just cannot describe how grateful, and changed I am from this experience. Seeing a baby born, seeing a baby in possible distress, and seeing my good friend quickly rushed off to the O.R. causes one, or at least, caused me- to feel feelings I had not yet experienced. I feel older now, in the best way possible. I thought I always appreciated life in its fullest form, but I appreciate it even more. To me, and I know to my friend & her husband, that was truly an exciting, scary, emotional, and most simply,  amazing day.

Wyatt & Bristol
September 17th, 2012