Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge!
YAY, I have a lodge! I kind of feel bad because I haven't been too active on this board as far as posting- but I do lurk a lot and have enjoyed reading other peoples' lodges. I think its a really cool idea and seeing as how I am not close with many people with children irl, let alone anyone who's done a natural birth, I thought it might be a good idea to become more active on here to participate in sharing experiences, support, etc. I guess I'm supposed to introduce myself, eh? I will try to get to that later tonight or tomorrow hopefully- we've been visiting my mom all day and I need to get to some stuff around the house :D
yay for your lodge! :yahoo: if we end up in labor at the birth center on the same day I will laugh!
Ok, where to begin! I'm Jessica, I just turned 26 last Wednesday. My DH is Daniel, 25, and our son Kieran is 18 months old. DH and I met in college, we went to Bethany College in West Virginia (its a tiny liberal arts college with less than 1000 students). We hung out with the same group of friends starting in the beginning of our freshman year, though we really didn't start talking and getting to know each other until our junior year. College was fun, spent hanging out with my odd-ball group of friends (most of which we still talk to, though we're all going separate ways and that's getting harder) playing pen and paper rpg's (Shadowrun, D&D), drinking, taking walks around campus in the middle of the night, and finding strange ways of entertaining ourselves like having campus-wide squirt gun battles and building forts out of the furniture in our dorm rooms, lol. I graduated in 2007 with a B.S degree in psychology. I have always been fascinated by psychology in general and picked that as a major, even though I never knew for sure what exactly i wanted to do with it. I have a minor in zoology. DH took an extra year and graduated the year after me with a degree in computer science- which he insists is completely pointless and he never learned anything (he's been programming since he was like 8).
For most of college, I was actually dating someone else- everyone assumed we were perfect for each other, and I did too at first. Its really hard to describe exactly what changed and what made me attracted to DH... it was just something. Junior year my bf and I started having various problems and at the same time I started talking to DH more. Something just clicked and we were drawn to each other! The break-up with my bf was very long and one of the most stressful, drawn-out things I've ever done with my life. I was so emotionally confused but could never shake the feelings I had for DH- he just felt so RIGHT for me, somehow.
DH and I actually started dating the summer before my senior year- that is the summer of 2006. We had been hanging out a lot that summer (we only lived about a half hour away from each other) and in August I went on vacation with my family- we rented a cabin in Canaan Valley WV, about 3 hours away from home. We'd been texting for several days and I joked that he should come down and join us. He surprised me by doing just that! He drove the 3 hours to our cabin and stayed with me and my family for a couple days, and that's when we really kicked things off.
We dated throughout my senior year and that next summer after I graduated. That was when I moved out and got my first apartment, with a mutual friend from college who also needed a place to live. I also needed to move out of my dad's house, where I'd grown up for 16 years, because he was selling it because he had to move to get a job. It was sad to lose the house I grew up in but at the time I was just excited to get my own place. That fall DH had to go back for a final year at college but basically lived with me and drove down to classes- about 45 minutes away. I got a job working full time at a call center, tracking homeowners insurance for mortgage companies... very dull to say the least, but it paid bills.
The following spring I found a job that I could actually use my degree for, and that was very exciting. It was working for a psychiatric hospital- basically to run groups and provide supervision and support on the unit for patients. I worked on the unit with recovering, long-term schizophrenic patients, which was cool because part of our job was helping to re-integrate these people into society and help them become as independent as possible. So in addition to being on the unit with them we also took them out and about to do things like shopping, for walks, to the movies, etc. Schizophrenia is a very debilitating illness that requires long-term treatment with anti-psychotics and therapy; many of those patients had been hospitalized for years.
I got that job in March of 2008. That summer DH and I decided we wanted to be parents. Lol, it sounds like it was such a hasty decision, and in a way I guess it was, but it was what we wanted to do and looking back I wouldn't have it any other way. The truth is that though I wasn't ultimately sure what else I wanted from life, I always knew I wanted to be a mother, and really kind of couldn't wait to have kids. DH too had always loved kids and couldn't wait to have them of his own (he always has, and still does, insist that he wants about 8 :eek: ). So after talking about it for a while we decided to just go for it. I figured I had a decent, stable job and great benefits, a place to live, DH was confident he'd find a job soon.
We made that decision in late July/early august of 2008. I did some reading online and found this website, and gained a basic understanding of tracking my cycles, fertility signs, etc.
We got pregnant on the second cycle of trying. It was very shocking- for some reason I just figured it would take longer than that; plus I was sure we'd missed my O-date. But on September 28, the day before my period was due, curiosity overcame me and I tested- blazing positive! I can still remember the shock as I sat on the toilet staring at the test. I came out and showed DH, who was thrilled. And so we were on the road to parenthood!
OK here are some pictures...
Me and DH at a concert at an Enter the Haggis concert- i was actually 7 months pregnant with DS at the time
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Posing at our wedding, which was actually just this past May 15
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My pregnancy with DS was pretty text-book and uneventful. A couple months into it though my job started going downhill. They had the people from my unit start going to other units to work on when they were short staffed. The problem with this was many other patients in other units can be rowdy and violent at times, depending. The majority of the patients on OUR unit had been hospitalized for longer, on meds longer and I didn't have to worry about that kind of thing as much. But suddenly I was being sent to to units where I didn't know the patients and was being put in potentially dangerous situations. I had to explain to every charge nurse that I was pregnant and please keep that in mind while assigning me to patients. I had to actively argue with some of them at times because they assumed I was just asking for "special privileges" and wanted to stick me with patients that were known to attack people especially staff. It was stressful and it started to feel like every day at work was a fight for me and my baby's safety. Then, they started laying people off. Since on my unit I was one of the last few to be hired, I had no seniority and so I got laid off. In retrospect it was a blessing in disguise. This was in March 2009- I was just entering my third trimester. The way they did it was really shady though and I still think that if I had wanted to pursue it, I could have had a good case against them. Two other people from my unit were laid off- one below me in seniority and the other right above me. Not only were they allowed to finish the week (they sent me home the day they laid me off, even though I was paid for that week), they were actually set up with other jobs within the company and allowed to keep their benefits. With me, they did not give me that option- just severance and a wave good-bye. When I called to ask why other people got to keep their jobs/benefits but not me, they said it was done by seniority- which is not true because I was higher in seniority than the other girl. I honestly think it was because I was pregnant and they did not want to deal with me/pay my benefits.
In the end though I didn't feel like fighting it because I had other things to worry about. I was able to get unemployment and medical assistance, in addition to taking the last 3 months off- it all worked out! At the same time DH finally got a job as a programmer so with his income and my unemployment we were able to stay on our feet.
The last month of that pregnancy was stressful because we were trying to buy our house. The lease was going to be up for the apartment and we didn't want to stay because it was too expensive and not very big. It just so happened that a friend of MIL's passed away and they were selling her house as part of settling the will- they offered it to me and DH first. We decided to go for it because even though the house is old and not what we ultimately wanted, it's still a 1500 sq foot, 2 story, 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house and the mortgage is less than most apartments around here with way less space. But the bank was taking forever to close and my due date was coming up.
As it was, we ended up closing on the house 3 days before my due date. We moved the day AFTER my due date. DS was born a week later :D I always like to say he was just being considerate and letting us get moved/unpacked before he came into the world.