I will do my best to add some pics later, b/c I have no clue how to find them on the laptop here.
First of all, I'm so honored to be a part of this board and have a lodge. This board is so awesome, I have learned SO much in the last year or so that I've been lurking/posting. So many wise women here!
Anyway....where to begin!
DH and I have been together, as a couple, for almost 10 years now. We were set up by mutual friends (sort of a semi-blind date) and had our first date on September 4, 1998. Wow, does that seem long ago or what? I keep thinking it was just a few years ago, but here we are at our almost-10 year anniversary. Anyway, we had our first date at this super-cheezy dance bar that I would never have gone to normally, but alas, that's where his friends normally would go. LOL It was pretty much an instant mutual connection and we have been inseparable ever since.
Dated a couple years and then he proposed a few days before Christmas 2000. Is it bad that I don't remember the exact date? LOL It was either the 22nd or 23rd of December. Anyway, we initially wanted a Fall 2001 wedding, but after re-evaluating our (lack of) finances, we ended up bumping the date to June 2002. I remember when that seemed SOOOO far away!
So we were married June 8, 2002. It was the PERFECT day. Seriously, everything was just amazing, and exactly the way we wanted it. It was just a wonderful, happy, fun day for both of us.
I thought I was totally ready to have a baby soon, but being that we were only 24, I knew there was no good reason to rush, and DH wanted to wait a few years anyway.
So we just enjoyed being young newleyweds for a little while, and then I went off BCP in December 2003, intending to chart a la TCOYF, and use backup birth control for a year, to see what my cycles would do. They had always been wacky and irregular, so I wanted to let them normalize as much as possible before officially TTC in December 2004.
However, in August 2004, we had a surprise pregnancy. OK, it was only a semi-surprise. I was charting, we took a chance one night and alas, BFP. We were stunned, but so excited! Unfortunately, I miscarried at 7 weeks. I was devastated. Just a big rollercoaster of emotions.
So, we decided to wait a few months for my body to recover and stick to our original plan of starting to TTC in December. This is also where we naively assumed that since I'd gotten pregnant without really trying once already, that it would happen again that easily! Um, yeah, wrong.
Ten-ish months later, still no BFP. We were doing everything "right" and it wasn't happening. I was so upset about this. Finally got a referral to a GYN to do the whole gamut of testing and whatnot. This appointment was booked in September for the end of November. While I was waiting, I decided to try acupuncture. Found an acupuncturist near me who had a great reputation for helping with infertility. Went in on October 17th for my first appointment. Happened to be ovulating that day. I told the Dr. this and he said he'd do a few extra points to "spike" my ovulation. We ended up conceiving DD that night! Two weeks later got the beautiful BFP!
Continued to see the acu. throughout the pregnancy to prevent a m/c. The rest of the pregnancy was a breeze, my worst complaints being heartburn and a sore back. I really had an easy time.
Now, I have DD's birth story typed up......somewhere. Must be on the downstairs computer? So I'll just summarize here.
ALICIA'S BIRTH STORY
Baby was super low and I was 1-2 cm dilated from about 36 weeks on. The Saturday morning before my due date, I woke up to a smallish bit of what I think was the mucus plug. Had a teensy, tiny speck of pink in it. I would've missed it if I hadn't been looking for it. Anyway, I carried on and went to my friend's bridal shower as I had planned. Had lots of BH throughout the day, as I'd had for the last few months.
When I got home from the shower at about 5 pm, I decided to time the ctx, just for kicks. They were 5 minutes apart. I sat and bounced on the birth ball for a while. We just hung out at home that evening, with me alternately bouncing on the ball and walking up and down our long hallway. Managed to convince DH that this might be it, and he really should go have a shower, pack a bag, and eat something!
Ctx continued at 5 min from about 5 pm until about 11:30 pm when we decided to leave for the hospital. DH tried to convince me it was too early but I wouldn't listen! The ctx were strong, but not painful.
Of course, by the time we got checked into the hospital the ctx had all but stopped. They still put me on the monitor for a while, and said nothing much was happening. The nurse sort of chuckled and said "No, dear, you're not in labour. You can go home now."
So, following Murphy's Law, on the ride home, the ctx picked up again. By the time we got home, I was in a lot of pain, and just wanted to lay in my own bed. Well DH conked right out but I got no sleep. Ctx were 5 min or less apart, and much more painful now. After a while, I went to the living room to try and find a comfortable position. Spent a few hours in there, and somehow managed to sleep for a few minutes in between ctx. I kept thinking, well if this isn't labour, then how am I going to cope when the real thing hits? Suddenly, I was woken up by my water breaking! Yikes, what a feeling that was. Unreal, just like a huge water balloon, with a major gush.
I ran (OK, waddled) to the bathroom, yelling for Shane to wake up - he is a heavy sleeper! Stood in the bathtub until he figured out what was going on. Anyway, that was 5 am, and after I showered, we headed to the hospital again. I was 4 cm and they confirmed that the membranes were ruptured. I had wanted to avoid the epidural, but in retrospect, I feel that I wasn't prepared enough. The pain started to really shake my confidence, and scare me actually. DH was scared of it too, I think, and didn't know how to comfort/encourage me. So I asked for the epi. Didn't know what else to do or try. If only someone had told me not to lie in bed, to move around, try a shower, something like that! Oh, there are so many things I wish I'd done differently!
Anyway, luckily I had a very good epidural experience. The doc was quick, and apparantly, quite skilled. I was totally pain-free within 10 minutes. DH went down to get some breakfast, and I tried to sleep (didn't happen). A couple hours later, I was at 9.5 cm. Thank goodness my body was still able to dilate as it should. By 12:20 pm they had me start pushing. I pushed as well as I could, but couldn't feel anything! I kept saying that I didn't even know if I was pushing or not, it was difficult and frustrating. No one ever said they could turn down the epi to help me! Grrrrrr..... Anyway, pushed for 2 hours, and they said she was hardly moving down. So they called in the OB and the forceps. A couple of quick pushes with the salad tongs and Alicia was born at 2:34 pm, July 9, 2006, at 39w5d.
I wound up with a 4th degree tear thanks to those forceps, and my poor girl was quite bruised all over her jaws/cheeks. At some point in those first few months after her birth, I got so angry that I'd suffered this injury when I probably could have avoided it. I was mad at myself for caving and getting the epi, and mad at the whole system for not helping me avoid this injury. I knew there had to be a better way.
Oy, it's super late, and my brain is fried. I think I'll have to continue this later. As if it wasn't long enough already!! Ugh, I'm such a rambler.
I enjoyed reading your intro as well Nicole! I'm so sorry that Alicia's birth in the end was so tramatic! Since hearing your story I've had at least one friend also have kind of a tramatic birth at that same hospital - apparently they are kind of known for it. I'm just so glad for you that it didn't end up in a section! What a difference your homebirth is going to be! I'm so excited for you! How are you feeling these days?
Wow. Only a few days in and I'm already slacking on my own lodge!
I'm still going to try to "finish" the rest of my intro and get pics up here at some point.
For now, though......had my 36 week appt yesterday. All is well. Very normal, boring and uneventful appt. Yay! We all know that boring is a good thing in pregnancy. I've gained about 27 pounds so far. I think I gained 33 total with Alicia. Baby's HR was 140, and he/she is lying LOT. Actually I think this little turkey switches from LOT to ROT several times a day! Alicia was LOT and stayed put for the last month or so.
And tonight, we had the first of our prenatal class series. I wasn't expecting to do prenatal classes again this time around, but these are taught by our MW at her office. It's just 3 other couples, and it focuses (obviously) on natural birth and homebirth. She goes over the options that you have with the baby, like Vit K, the eye drops, stuff like that, so that you can decide if you want them. She also talks about what supplies you need, she shows you what supplies she brings, what to expect from a homebirth, etc.
So tonight was the first class, and wouldn't you know it, our MW was called to a birth! So it was led by one of her backup midwives instead. It was great, the other couples were super friendly - it's the first homebirth for all of us. It was a very casual setup - even DH who is normally so quiet and reserved, was chiming in and asking questions and stuff.
Well, I'd better be getting to my Hypnobabies! Have to do some practising scripts with DH before bed.