Welcome!! Wishing you a wonderful birth!
Welcome to your lodge!
Mara & Joel, 2009
Yay, was just coming on here to see if I had a lodge yet. I guess I can post at least some of my story too.
I grew up an only child in Southern NJ and moved to East TN when I was 12. It was never "home" to me though, but my parents still live there. Right after I graduated high school in 2002, I did a summer long mission based in South Jersey, one that I had grown up attending the programs of. Basically, the mission consisted of performing programs every night at a chapel on the boardwalk (hence the name "Boardwalk Chapel") and afterwards going on on the boardwalk and witnessing to people. While there, I really grew in my relationship with God and also met some wonderful people, including my future husband. Tim and I both worked at a fudge shop during the day - he was a fudge cutter and I was a cashier. Although I didn't really enjoy my job, I did enjoy getting to know him and spending more time than I needed to in the cutting area where he worked.
(This was the following summer, but you get the point. This is the "Blind Date" skit.)
Tim finally declared his feelings for me a few weeks before the end of the summer. It was pretty funny looking back, it was such an awkward conversation and I was clueless as to where he was going with it! I told him that the feelings were mutual BUT later I had to confess that I had feelings for another guy on staff that were stronger. The night I told him that, we talked into the wee hours of the morning on the front porch and told very personal things about our lives to each other.
After the summer ended, we continued to email back and forth, while the other guy I liked wasn't interested in a long distance relationship. I realized I really did miss Tim (who lived and went to college in PA) and we started dating on March of 2003. It was rough being away from each other, but we were able to talk a lot on the phone and we saw each other probably every 3 months or so. We spent a second summer at the Boardwalk Chapel and in the fall of 2004 when Tim had graduated college with a Geography degree, he moved down to TN to be closer to me. He actually lived with my parents for a little while which is not something he wants to ever do again (he gets along with them fine now, but it was difficult to live under their rules) and bounced around doing odd jobs like factory work and telemarketing. Eventually he was able to afford a small apartment very close to my college (my parents lived an hour away) and he found a job in his field. After I graduated from East TN State with a degree in Business Management, we got married on June 17, 2006, and moved to an apartment in the area and I got a job at a bank.
Here are some pictures of when we dated and got married:
Christmas 2002. We weren't officially dating here, but I got to meet his parents and sisters.
Niagara Falls the week we officially started dating
My college years
Our engagement - he planned a skating get together with my friends and had the DJ call me to the middle in front of the whole place! It was actually perfect - just what I wanted.
College graduation (2nd is with my parents)
After we got married, we planned to stay in TN for a year and move to SC where Tim planned to go to seminary to be a pastor. A little less than a year before our first anniversary, we unexpectedly found out we were pregnant! I had been on birth control but I felt like it messed up my hormones so I went off that and had been charting for three months. Apparently we caught that egg and the sperm survived for 5 days before ovulation! Whoops! We were a little worried since we had planned on moving that summer and starting a new life with new jobs. This wasn't the best timing for a baby, but it was God's timing so we learned to be at peace with it and look forward to it.
I knew I wanted a midwife and a natural childbirth before I got pregnant. I'm not sure how I came to that conclusion, but my aunt had a midwife with all eight of her children and my mom gave birth w/o drugs in a hospital with me, so I was surrounded by that influence. I also knew I didn't want to be in a hospital. I hated the sterile, medical environment and didn't feel that pregnancy was an illness and therefore I didn't need to be in a hospital to have my baby.
Thankfully, there was a freestanding birthing center in the town we moved to that was recommended by some mutual friends of ours and we toured it and loved it. We did some Bradley-based birthing classes and felt that we were prepared for a natural waterbirth. My pregnancy went smoothly and there were no problems. At my last appointment I learned that my baby was posterior and my midwife stripped my membranes at 40w 3d, putting me in mild labor that evening. I labored the whole next day without much change and after experiencing some strong pressure pain in my stomach, finally went in to the birthing center at around 9pm that night. I was about a 5 when I got there, still posterior so I walked in a loop inside the center and during contractions leaned against the wall and swiveled my hips around to see if he would turn. Finally I just laid down in the bed and Tim applied counter pressure to my hips for each contraction. Sometime in the middle of the night, I kicked Tim and he turned to me and realized I was having a seizure! Immediately Amy rushed in and hooked me up to oxygen, took my blood pressure, and told Tim to call an ambulance. I was taken to the hospital minutes down the road where I had a second seizure. They started me on pitocin, they broke my water, and we consented to an epidural b/c I had been in labor so long and with the possibility of a c/s, I would have had to be put to sleep otherwise. After the baby's blood pressure dropped and I started losing a lot of blood, they decided to do a c/s. My midwife was impressed with the amount of things they did to try to have me deliver vaginally. She was telling them to do a c/s when I got there! She thinks it was because they knew me being transferred from a birthing center, that a c/s was the last thing I wanted.
Anyway, Micaiah Philip was born at 9:56am on Feb 14, 2008 at 7lbs 15oz and 20 3/4in. I ended up being diagnosed with eclampsia that quickly developed into HELLP syndrome and almost needed a transfusion but my numbers went up enough that I was back to normal within a few days. The only signs I had had before labor were trace protein in my urine and swollen ankles off and on during the last part of my pregnancy. It really only appeared RIGHT at the end.
Unfortunately Micaiah lost a lot of weight after his birth (down to 7lbs) and I had problems getting him to latch on. He also had a blue spell in the nursery so he was put in NICU. He had another spell while there and had to be in an incubator. I had to go home without him. The doctor in NICU took pity on us, however, and after 24 hours out of the incubator instead of the procedural 48, he was able to go home.
Although he eventually learned to latch on properly, I had a lot of pain from the beginning and was never able to exclusively bf. We lasted for 10 months when it finally wasn't worth it anymore. Whew!
Here are some more pictures:
39 weeks with Micaiah
Just born, around 6 months
One year and now
Off to eat lunch, be back with the third installment!
So this time around, we planned the pregnancy. Tim decided to at least take a break from seminary for now and found a really good job in his field that he's been at for about 1 1/2 years. I found a job working at a gym childcare a couple days a week and took on a second job babysitting a little girl 9 months younger than Micaiah two days a week. Currently I am only babysitting and I plan to continue after this baby is born, until their second child in born in July. I am going to the same birthing center I used with Micaiah, however this time I have to see Amy's nurse midwife on staff because Amy is a LPM and can't legally deliver VBACS. She does plan to attend the birth though. Again, I have had an uneventful pregnancy but this time I am more closely monitored b/c of what happened with Micaiah. I have a BP monitor and urine test strips I can use at home to keep closer tabs on things. Best of all, Amy and Dara are both Christians and will be praying for a safe and uneventful delivery! I am eating lots of protein this pregnancy and taking my calcium tablets religiously in hopes of avoiding pre-e. At my last appointment, Amy encouraged me and said she thinks I seem a lot more healthy this time around and isn't worried about it happening again, however everyone is on alert if it does. I have had no swelling this time around (well, except, err, down there :/) and trace protein a couple times but nothing serious. My BP has been low the entire pregnancy.
This baby, however is again posterior so I am doing weekly chiro visits and trying to do pelvic rocks regularly to get her to turn!
Pics at 35 weeks:
TFS your story. It will be fun for me to follow your lodge since we were both pregnant with our first babies on Feb 08 together. Good luck getting your little girl to turn anterior.
What a great intro! You DS looks like a little ham I'll be praying your next delivery is much smoother, it sounds like your doing all you can to make sure it is!