Hi, everyone! Thanks for my lodge- I've been anxiously awaiting it.
My name is Jennifer, but my sisters somehow twisted that into Jooniper when I was little, and these days just call me Joo. My sister is Loriloo, by the way, who just had her baby this morning (woohoo!) That's grandbaby number 11 for my family, if I'm counting right, making mine number 12. I grew up in Vancouver, Washington (near Portland Oregon) and have spent the last 5 years in Utah going to BYU before moving to Texas.
I'm 23 years old and work as a Web Analytics Consultant for a Utah-based company (I help major websites figure out how people navigate their sites and stuff). I graduated in 2006 with a BA in linguistics (I studied french and arabic).
I'm married to Kenny, who is the love of my life. We had known each other freshman year of college and even went on a date, but apparently I talked about other boys the whole time and he lost interest. I was busy chasiing some idiots back then. Anyways, he went on a 2-year mission for our church (we're LDS), and we didn't write or anything... in truth I pretty much forgot about him... until a freshman reunion. I realized he was on his mission when Return of the King came out, and remembered him being a Tolkien fan like myself, and asked him if he had seen it yet. He lied and said he hadn't and came over November 3rd, 2005... we've been together ever since. We got engaged February 18th and married August 2006.
Last december we moved to Houston Texas, where we could actually afford a house, and my husband started teaching high school math (he graduates and becomes official THIS WEEK- hooray!)
I've been wanting a baby for a LONG time now. I've always loved kids and nannied on and off through high school. When I was 18 and fresh out of High School, I went to live with my sister Becky for a little while. At the time, she had an ADORABLE 10-month-old, Andrew, and was pregnant with #2. Well, Andrew and I became best friends. He was this happy, chubby little kid and my heart melted. Here we are playing in a fountain:
Ever since then I've been dying for one of my own. When Kenny and I married, I made this "budget spreadsheet of doom" to calculate the exact moment we could afford to get pregnant, and planned for a year on that date. We were lucky and got pregnant first try, exactly as I planned it, on our one year anniversary while camping.
This was a huge deal to me- I have a history of painful ovarian cysts and have been diagnosed (and then undiagnosed) with PCOS as well as some other things I know I don't have. I've always had weird hormones and weird health problems, so I was prepared for a long TTC journey. We are so blessed that we got pregnant first try. I had charted and all that and the two week wait was a killer- I'm not sure I could go through that again
I've had an "easy" pregnancy. Haven't thrown up once, though I did lose my appetite for the whole first trimester and ending up losing 15 or 20 pounds. I've since gained about 40 back, so in the end I'm about 20 pounds up from where I started.
At 28 weeks, I was IMing with Lori, sharing our typical pregnancy complaints, when I noted I was feeling crampy all day and my back hurt. Nothing bad, just annoying. Well, I left the convo to have a call with a client, during which time Lori got in touch with our other sister, Becky (the source of all reproductive knowledge), who said that that is exactly how she had felt when she went into preterm labor with her first. So I get back from my call and Lori is freaking out about how I have to go to L&D NOW. So we do, and sure enough- I was having back-to-back contractions (so consistant that I wasn't feeling them come and go, so I hadn't thought they were contractions) and was beginning to dilate.
For 3 days, the hospital kept me on Magnesium Sulfate to stop the progression of labor. I got the steroid shots and got all kinds of poked and prodded. We were never too worried- it didn't feel like the baby would come yet- but it was a long, hard three days. And that magnesium sulfate is AWFUL! I did throw up from it once and then lost consciousness. Scary stuff. I had just started really thinking hard about birthing naturally and was so scared that the preterm labor had thrown off my plans.
Well, they finally stopped contractions and sent me home, and I've been on strict bedrest for 8 weeks. EIGHT WEEKS. It's a long time. Fortunately, I work from home 40 hours a week and have been able to continue that. It keeps me sane (most of the time).
For most of March, I had 4-6 painless contractions every hour, but they didn't progress labor much so I stopped paying attention. They only got noticable if I got up and moved around.
My little guy has been consistantly measuring ahead and seems to be one healthy little boy. I am SO ready to meet him, at last. I know I have another week before I'm full term, but after being so convinced for so long that he would come early, I'm ready to be done. I'm hoping next week is the week.
My greatest fear is being induced with pitocin. If that becomes necessary for whatver reason, I'm sure Ill give in and get an epi. Otherwise, I want to be IV-free (though I'll get a hep lock probably) and mobile. I've read Birthing from Within, and Ina May, and a few other books... bedrest kept me from attending any classes. I'm feeling as well prepared as a FTM can be, and Kenny will support me no matter what happens. We are doing the OB/Hospital route this time around but look forward to maybe a home birth next time.
At the moment, I'm contracting a couple times an hour and dilated to 4 cm (as of last week). I have my weekly appt today and am hoping to hear we've made some progress.
Welcome to your lodge Jen. Congrats on making it to 36 weeks. I enjoyed your intro and pics too. I've followed your story on our BB all along and it's so exciting that you have your lodge now and we're getting to the good bit!
First, may I jsut say I am ecstatic about my new beautiful niece.
Well, today was my weekly appointment and I finally had my own doctor again (which may or may not be a good thing). I had started this pregnancy with a midwife (same as my sis Lori who had such a great birthing experience this morning) but since we moved halfway through the pregnancy, my options were pretty few and we took the first doctor that was recommended to us.
First, I'm very sad because this doctor seems pretty determined to have me on an IV and EFM the whole time. I had really hoped I could be mobile through a lot of the labor. Next time around I am DEFINITELY getting a midwife. Kenny is sweet though and is willing to fight really hard for me when we get to the hospital, since I'm so likely to cave and do whatever makes it easiest for the doctor.
I was hoping there would be some progress from last week's 4 cm, since I have been kind of uncomfortable and I'm very eager to meet this guy, even if I'm still not 37 weeks.
Anyways, she checked me out and I'm dilated to a...
She's surprised, too, that my water hasn't already broken- apparently it's pretty much bursting. She definitely seemed really freaked out that I could be this far without being in active labor. Like, that was one nervous, scared doctor. Hardly confidence inspiring.
She told us to head over to L&D and she'd meet us there and we'd go ahead and do this thing.
My greatest labor fear is pitocin (and the whole cycle that can start) so we said we'd go home and see if we can't get labor moving on our own. She had a hard time with that, but it's obviously my decision. She did tell us (almost begged us) to come in this weekend while she's on call, and she'll go ahead and break my water to get things going.
So, if I want, I'm having a baby this weekend for sure.
BUT, I am nervous about having her break my water. If that doesn't start active labor, then they'd have to give me pitocin. I really don't want to force my body on this one, but I also don't want this baby to come so fast that my poor husband has to deliver it at home (we are NOT equipped for that, we're lucky if DH stays conscious through the whole thing.)
At this point I've done so much reading of Ina May and the like, that I'm so scared of ANY medical intervention. But then, this has definitely not been a typical labor.
So, the current plan is to see if we can't start labor ourselves (already tried the long walk thing) tonight and tomorrow. Come Saturday morning, we'll see how I feel. We'll probably pray long and hard about it, too. I want to do whatever is healthiest for this little guy.
I do think at this point, we'll get the water broken and have the baby this weekend- I'm relatively sure that if they broke my water that things would start happening for real, but I'd love any advice and insight you ladies can offer to help me keep my goal of a Natural Birth.