welcome to your lodge!!
Yay!!!!! I'm glad you started it too, Kristen, since you really inspired me to take charge this pregnancy.
I feel like I've already shared a lot about myself, but I guess that's what I'm supposed to do here.
I am 36, I live in Portland, OR in a small 1950s ranch house with DH (35), DD (2 1/2), a Greyhound (7) and two cats (11 & 12). I'm a middle school reading specialist in a fairly large urban school that is only a 5 minute drive from my house. I teach 7th and 8th graders and beginning next year I will focus on the top tier of the 3-tier Title 1 intervention model (I know....wth is that?) It means I work with students who are reading between 5th grade level and either 7th or 8th grade level (depending on what grade they are in). It is a reading strategies class focused on note-taking and study skills.
I am originally from Maryland and DH is from Michigan. We met in 1999 in Olympia, Washington when we were both "older" college students. I was almost 26, so this August, we will celebrate 11 years of our relationship. I studied drama and literature mostly and he was a US history major. Both of us planned to go to grad school. He wanted to go to Arizona or Georgia and I planned to go to school in Seattle or San Diego. He moved into my large 3 BR apartment after only 4 months of dating mainly out of convenience. I needed a new roommate and his lease was up. He had his own "room" which became an office. We also lived with another female roommate. She moved out the following summer and DH and I had the huge place to ourselves (us and the cats) for about another year.
By the time we graduated with our BAs in June 2000, we were getting pretty serious and realized we may need to re-vamp our plans for grad school. We both planned to take the 2000-2001 school year off to work and apply to schools. I worked as a non-profit social worker and taught an after-school program at a middle school. DH worked at the front desk of a corporate hotel. DH got rejected from grad school in both AZ and GA (both very competitive programs and he was applying for the PhD fast-track). He decided then to apply to 2 schools in Portland. Got rejected from one and accepted to the other. I looked into PSU, but really didn't want to go to a large university, so I applied to the master in teaching program at Evergreen in Olympia where we had gotten our BAs. I got accepted for the 01--03 cohort. DH deferred his enrollment to winter quarter 2002.
From Jan--June 02 and Sept--Dec 02 DH drove the 90 miles each way from Oly to Portland twice a week for classes. It sucked. Meanwhile, I continued working for the non-profit (part time) and began the first year of my masters program which included writing my thesis. In Sept 02 I did my first student teaching practicum at a high school in Olympia teaching college prep writing, Junior English, and drama.
Then in December 2002 we made the move to Portland, went to Maryland for the holidays, and got engaged. DH now was able to take on a teaching assistantship at PSU and stop commuting. I was able to arrange to complete my student teaching just over the river in Vancouver, WA in a middle school. I was totally dreading middle school, but it turned out to be great--the perfect fit for me.
Okay, let's skip ahead a few years.....We got married on 7/19/2003 and I worked a series of temp teaching jobs over the next year and ended up taking a full time position at a small private school about 25 miles south of Portland. I hated it. Lots of rich kids with attitude and a$$ kissing of the snotty parents. I worked there for 3 years while DH tried to complete his thesis (he never did) and went through a series of jobs and layoffs.
In December 2005, we bought our house. In May 2006 we began TTC, and in August we adopted our Greyhound, Raleigh. On November 12, I got my first BFP. The following week, the governing board of my school decided they would be closing down grades 6-8 the following year---I would no longer have a job. DH had suffered a layoff the previous April, but luckily found a new job right away and was safely employed, but at entry level (just a bit above minimum wage). I began scouting out new jobs in the spring when I was visibly pregnant.
It was during all this stress that my panic disorder really got bad. On top of that, I had terrible m/s. The end of the school year came and I still had no job lined up for the following year. Zoe was due on 7/19, our anniversary. That day I had an OB appt and learned that my cervix was still high and closed---she couldn't even reach it. Meanwhile, during my pg and that summer I was back in school in a post-masters program to get teaching endorsements for both reading specialist and special education. While at the OB's office, I got a call for a job I hadn't even applied for. I warned the VP who called me that I was overdue to have a baby but desperately needed a job for September and not to be shocked when I waddle in to the interview. I got the job and I have been there ever since.
Knowing I would have to start work on August 21, and it was July 23rd with no baby yet, I fearfully chose to get induced. I knew exactly what I was up against and had prepared myself for a c-section. It was a very hard choice to make, but I don't regret it. Had I not taken this job, we would have lost everything. The economy really tanked that next year and school districts stopped hiring and some even did mass layoffs. I feel so thankful every day that I work here. I love the school, it is close to home, and I now finally have job security.
Zoe's induction began when I left a behavior disorder class at 9:00 pm, went home and got my bag packed, and checked in to the hospital at 11:00. They gave me a dose of miso (aka cytotec) vaginally. I drifted off to sleep. At 5:00 am some nurses came in and said I was having contrax (I felt a little crampy) and did an exam. My cervix was still high and closed. Zoe was trying to descend and her heart rate or BP became "unstable." So they turned me on my side and hooked me up to an IV. They said they needed to slow her down until my doctor arrived. DH was still asleep on the little couch thing and I woke him and told him the dr was being called and I was going to get sectioned. The nurse had already told me to mentally prepare myself for it.
As usual, the doctor took a while to arrive---maybe an hour and a half. She already had a sectioned scheduled for 8:30 and she was planning to get there and do mine first. By the time she came in and checked me around 7:00, I was feeling like I was having a panic attack. She said "no, I think you're actually in labor." She checked me and sure enough I was at 4 cm. I was so relieved. She left and said she'd check again after her scheduled section. Things got super intense right away. Contrax one after the other (I had no pit..this was just my body). That lasted about an hour and a half. I couldn't breathe and there was no one around to help me get any kind of relief. I didn't think I could move. It was like having a whole-body charlie horse cramp. DH thought I was sleeping....lol....b/c I had my eyes closed and was totally silent.
OB returned around 8:30 and said I was at a 6. I was so exhausted from the non-stop contrax I decided to ask for an epi. The nurses made me get out of bed to pee before it went in and I didn't think I could move. When I did get up though, it actually relieved a lot of the tension in my arms and legs. I stood and rocked by the side of the bed until the epi arrived. It only took a few minutes for it to take effect and I felt so much better.
By 10:30, I was fully dilated and ready to go. Zoe was born at 10:59. I again felt very blessed b/c I didn't have to get a c-section and things went pretty smoothly and quickly. I had told myself if things went well, I would go for NCB the second time.
So here I am only 4 weeks away. My cerivx is still closed and posterior, but the MW could feel the baby's head on it and she said it had dropped and was beginning to soften. Yay!
I'm doing hypnobabies and I have a doula. I feel very confident that I can have an unmedicated birth this time and I'm actually really excited about it.
Dang...that was long....sorry.
Yay!!! How did time go by so quickly???
Welcome to your lodge!
I enjoyed reading your story and learning more about you! Sounds like you have a good team and are really prepared for this birth!
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)
My husband (from SoCal) and I ABSOLUTELY plan on moving back to the portland area someday. He actually applied to teach at Catlin Gable but that was a long shot. If not for our desire to get pregnant/have a baby right now, we could have had enough for the move, but the baby took priority. Once we can afford the move we'll make it. My sisters are both up there (well, Redmond and Beaverton) and my parents are still in Vancouver. My brother lives 15 minutes from me down here in Texas but brothers just aren't the same, you know? Besides I miss that beautiful green city and the mountains and the waterfalls and the actual bodies of water that aren't coated in slime...
Whew, sorry. Apparently once you get me talking about homesickness I can go on for a while. The moral: enjoy Portland!
Yay! Can't wait to read more about the next few weeks.