Thanks everyone so much for the warm welcome!
Alrighty, an intro:
Freshman year, there was a guy in my dorms, Kenny, from California, that hung out a lot with my next door neighbors, who I ended up also hanging out with a lot. He had curly hair, but had none of my other prerequisites: didn't play guitar/sing, not into literature, couldn't name a single Bob Dylan song. He apparently liked me, though, and we went on one date to a jazz concert, but apparently I talked about other boys the whole time (oops). So we were just friends, not particularly close, and he watched me chase around the curly-haired guitar-playing boys (who, in retrospect were idiots).
Anyways, he went on a mission for my church to Montana for two years, I went through a few boyfriends (and a few heartbreaks), kind of forgot about him, lived in France for a summer, and continued on with life as usual. Then my senior year I saw him around, and remembered he was kind of nerdy and into Tolkien, like me, and that he was on his mission when Return of the King came out. I wanted someone to watch it with so I asked if he had seen it, he said no (LIAR!), and he came over a few weeks later. I wasn't interested romantically when I invited him over, but when we said goodnight after the movie, he asked me out in this really gentlemanly way if he could have the pleasure of taking me out to dinner the next night. I drove home all giddy and excited. From then on we were inseparable.
That was 5 years ago, almost to the day. By February 2006 we knew we wanted to get married so we flew to my home so he could have "the talk" with my dad.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE fountains, and one in particular in Portland, so Kenny took me there and was planning on dragging me into the middle of it and proposing. Unfortunately, it was winter and too cold and the fountain was turned off, but it's a cool structure anyways, so he proposed in the middle of it even without the water:
After a rough engagement because of my in-laws disapproval (all for stupid reasons, nothing I take personally), we were married August 19th, 2006, at the mormon temple in Portland, Oregon:
No, he didn't learn to play guitar or sing and still doesn't like shakespeare, but I can't think of a better husband. Seriously, the most selfless, hard-working and sweet husband ever, and a great dad. We're coming up on 5 years and he's still the center of my universe.
We stayed in Utah til he graduated then moved down to Houston where he did his student teaching and eventually got a job as a 9th grade algebra teacher in an inner-city school. We've been here for 3 years now and while the folks are nice, I REALLY miss the northwest. We're saving up to move up there someday.
I currently work 5-10 hours a week from home, and I hate it, but the money is good and I know I'm lucky I can be a WAHM.
Love the pics. You guys are so cute and your maternity ones are wonderful.
Christy birth doula, Hypnobabies instructor, small business owner & most importantly MOMMY.
Love the pics! So pretty! That's adorable that DH wound up being everything you never knew you wanted! Love is funny. Hope baby stays put for a bit longer! I walked around 3 cm+ for almost 3 weeks with DS, so hopefully you will make it to next week with no problem!!
I *love* that fountain too!! I used to go to the operas and ballets at the Keller (aka Civic) when I was younger with my friends and we'd hang out at those fountains for hours after the shows just blabbing and enjoying the scenery! What a romantic spot for him to propose in!
If you move back to Portland, we'd have to hang out!
I love your background story! Isn't it amazing how sometimes it's one of the least likely seeming guys who ends up being perfect?
big boy 12.8.07 @ 39+2 7lbs 8oz, 20.5" BFed for 13 months
middle boy 8.12.09 @ 39+4 7lbs 9oz, 21" BFed for 13.5 months
little boy 4.26.11 @ 38+4 6lbs 14oz, 19.5" BFed until 26mo and restarted at 30mo!
baby boy 10.25.13 @ 41+0 8lbs 15oz, 21.5"
8.16.12 & 12.16.12
Even though I was only 22 when we got married, I was really ready to be a mommy. We decided to wait a full year before TTC- to the point I planned it out to the very day we could conceive, which happened to be the week of our first anniversary. I had been (foolishly) diagnosed with PCOS in high school and had a lot of problems with cysts, so I was worried we'd have trouble, but we got pregnant first try (I like to pretend it was on our first anniversary, camping in Zion's Park, but.... I know I ovulated way too soon for that).
I think God knew I was so obsessive about it, either Kenny or I would go crazy if we had to go through more than the bare minimum to get pregnant that first time.
My pregnancy was easy. No throwing up, though I did lose my appetite for the first 3 months. We started with the Timp Midwives in utah, then moved halfway through the pregnancy to Houston and I settled for the first OB I found. Ugh, how I regret it.
My sister becky (aka redmom) had had 3 natural hospital births (And was pregnant with her 4th) and helped inspire me and inform me. There was a never a doubt in my mind about having a natural birth. I read all the literature and prepared myself as best I could.
I got a few early ultrasounds because I had some spotting and kept passing out and hitting my head on things (I like to do that, low blood pressure). At a 12 week ultrasound, the tech said "well, it's obviously too soon to tell, but... see these three little white lines? I'm 80% sure this is a girl!" This followed my own feelings that it was a girl (though we knew better than to go buy pink stuff)
My sister Lori (aka Loriloo), who I'm very close to, was pregnant with her first at the same time, due 3 weeks before me (yes all three girls in my family were pg at once). When she called me up after her big ultrasound to let me know she was having a girl, I instantly changed my mind. Mother nature wouldn't be that mean, to have us both have girls. I've lived in my sister's shadow and dealt with enough comparisons. This MUST be a boy. Sure enough, a few weeks later at my big U/S we saw that my child was indeed a boy.
Around week 27, I had some back ache and cramps. I told Lori, who told me "um, that's exactly how Becky (other sister) started her preterm labor with her first. You should get to L&D" (becky had had prodromal labor with all of her pregnancies- we've since seen that that's just the way women in my family have babies. none of hers had made it past 37 weeks, but had all been healthy and a good weight, jaundice aside). I thought that would be an overreaction, so we waited, but the cramps got worse. Finally, we said a prayer that we would know what to do, if we needed to go into the hospital. At that moment, I had the worst pain yet, so figured we should head in
Turns out the cramps were back-to-back contractions. I was effacing and, they said, dilated to a 1. I stayed in the hospital for steroid shots and 3 days on Mag Sulfate (worst experience of my life, I threw up and at one point, told them I was about to lose consciousness, they said "no, your levels look fine"... then I promptly lost consciousness for a while. Thanks, doc.) until they finally sent me home on full bedrest with an Rx for Terbutaline (which the doc aptly described as "will make you feel like a crackfiend looking for your next hit"). When they sent me home, they said I was dilated "only a fingertip"... don't know if I regressed or if they overstated the initial danger.
I worked from home 40 hrs a week, and didn't have any kids running around yet (aside from a beagle), so bedrest wasn't a big deal- I kept busy enough and laying in bed suited my lazy temperament. Just moved my laptop from my desk to my bed:
I stayed in bed for 8 weeks, with contractions still coming as often as every 6 minutes. They still didn't hurt- I could only tell they were happening by poking my belly and seeing if it was hard. By week 34, I still hadn't progressed any further, though baby was very low. Week 35, I was dilated to 4 cm and my OB flipped out- she wanted me to go to the hospital right then so she could break my water.
I never did understand how inducing labor would solve the problem of me going into labor early, but.... whatever.
With the help of my sisters (both very wise, and natural-labor-minded) and the help of this board, I fended off the anxious OB for a bit longer.
Meanwhile, sister Lori also had prodomal labor, with painful contractions starting at about 34 weeks. I really didn't want to have my baby before her- she is older, she was due first, she was in more pain from the contractions... but she lasted all the way up to 39 weeks.
(last belly pics taken, I think at around 35 weeks)
Week 36 for me, I was dilated to a 6 and STILL couldn't feel any contractions. We had many false start trips to the hospital (if you're having a contraction every 5 minutes, how do you know when you're REALLY in labor?) but babers held in there.
Sister Lori had her baby, Adelaide, on April 24th. It was a wonderful midwife-assisted natural hospital birth. Her water broke on its own and within 4 hours she had Addie in her arms.
This was one of the big things I had been waiting for- the last big obstacle before I was ready. It was MY turn now. The following day (36w4d) I was at 7.5 and STILL not in "real" labor. I was sick of having no idea what was going on, sick of my clueless and panicky OB, and ready to meet my baby who was "measuring ahead", so we started trying every trick int he book to get baby to come even though I wasn't full term yet. They sent me home from the hospital (because I still wouldn't let them induce labor with chemical means), and to keep ourselves entertained, DH and I went and bought a lego set from toys r us, so that's how I spent my last night before becoming a mother:
The next day (36w5d), we DTD for the first time in over 8 weeks. Not the most glorious experience, but it did the trick. I was bleeding like crazy and contractions started up. The blood even looked like it had something clear in it, like my water might be broken (in retrospect, it may have been semen).
"This is it" we thought. We headed into the hospital, ready to NOT come home empty handed this time. Unfortunately, though I was now dilated past an 8, the contractions fizzled out while we waited at the hospital. The swab to see if my water was broken came back inconclusive (though I wouldn't be surprised if they lied about it, they weren't about to send me home, and I won't pretend I wasn't happy to believe the lie). We were in the hospital to stay this time.
next post: Daniel's birth
Welcome to your lodge! I have loved all your stories so far...and your pictures (fantastic!). Can't wait to read the next installment!
Mara & Joel, 2009