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Thread: ~~**~~Stacey's (Spacer) Birth Lodge~~**~~

  1. #11
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    I was reading Aurora's intro and it hit me that I could be her mom. So here's my intro: I'm Stacey and I'm old.

    The Story of Us

    My DH (who insists on remaining anonymous online) & I have been together almost 25 years. We met in our first class our first day of college. It was an English Honors class, only 12 people and one of them was my younger sister. She met her husband in the same class, and DH & I met one of our oldest & bestest friends there, too. The other 7 people were just weird. DH says that I chased him like a dog, but it's not true. He had a film-making class and a lot of camera equipment to lug around, and I drove a truck. That's all there was to it. A year later, I was living with him in his dad's house, a year after that we got our own place. Eight years later we got married.

    Neither of us was really interested in getting married, we were one of those couples who just didn't need "the piece of paper" to validate our relationship. And then one day DH got sick and ended up in the ER with chest pains, and I wasn't allowed in to see him and wasn't given any information about his condition. A nurse came out and asked me how to get hold of his mother, but she wouldn't tell me anything because I wasn't "family." I sat in that waiting room for 12 hours not knowing what was going on, or even whether he was alive or dead, until he walked out and said he could go home. On our way home, I told him that we needed to get married so that neither of us would ever have to go through that again. But we didn't do it. And then a close friend of mine who was an artist died and, despite a will leaving everything to his same-sex partner, his parents sold off all his artwork and took everything else, leaving his partner with nothing but memories. I told DH (who is also an artist & writer) that we needed to get married so that neither of us would ever have to go through something like that. I couldn't stand supporting him & his art for so long, just to see his parents rip it all away from me and sell it to strangers, or worse, just box it up and never do anything with it. One night in March or April of 1994, it was late and we were drinking and talking about the future, and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I thought he was joking with me and I started crying about what a nasty thing that was to do. He said he was serious, and I said if you're serious then go get the calendar and pick a date right now. He got a calendar and chose December 10th.

    We were going to get married at a lovely little garden restaurant in San Francisco called Tuba Garden. It was a charming old Victorian with fireplaces in every room, and a heated garden patio out back with antique tubas hanging on ivy-covered walls. We're vegetarian, and they worked out a beautiful menu with us. We had about 85 people on our guest list, which ticked my mom off because she wanted to invite all kinds of extended family in addition to everyone else she knew, but only wanted to contribute $3000. DH's family offered to contribute some money since we weren't having a rehearsal dinner, but then his mom had to have surgery that wasn't covered by insurance. We told them to keep the money, and we scaled back our plans a bit. Then just a month before the ceremony, the big payment was due to the restaurant and my mom balked at handing over the money she'd promised us. She said, "Why should I have to pay for food that I'm not going to eat?" She wanted me to change the menu, change the color scheme because she doesn't look good in green or gold (even though I asked her to wear black), and to not serve alcohol because some of our relatives are bad drunks (even though I hadn't invited any of those relatives) and there's probably other stuff I'm repressing. Anyway, the end result is that we canceled the wedding about a month before the date. We still got married on our special day, we just did it in Golden Gate Park with only the minister who married us and DH's best friend who took some photos.

    We had agreed to not have kids for at least three years, and when three years rolled around, I was back in college full time and didn't even want to think about it. I graduated with a degree in Accounting in 1999 and did some time with a CPA firm for a couple of years, then did some work with non-profits for a while, and then finally landed a job with the State toward the end of 2002. I love my job! I'm using my brain and my degree, and I don't come home smelling like a cheeseburger! (I was a restaurant manager before returning to school.) And with the agency and especially the department I work in, I really feel that I'm doing something good for the world. That's what drew me to non-profits, but I like having a solid dependable paycheck which is never a certainty with non-profits. (The current budget mess in California is so far not affecting me, and is quite unlikely to affect me unless the entire state government collapses or the state slides off into the ocean or some other dire event like that happens.)

    I turned 37 in the summer of 2003, and my biological clock started bonging like a church bell. When I was 35, I'd gotten a renewal on my BCP prescription and mentioned something to my nurse practitioner about how I was almost 36, and she said, "Oh, we don't worry about your age until you're over 36." Well, suddenly I was over 36! I was older than my mom had been when she had her last child, who is 12 years younger than me! I was older than MIL had been when she had her last child, who is 14 years younger than DH! DH wasn't really interested in my biological clock and didn't want to feel rushed into making any decisions. I told him that we needed to start talking about when/if we were going to have children, because this was a deal-breaker for me. As much as I loved being his wife & partner, I wanted to be someone's mama even more. He was busy with some work project and said let's talk about this next month when I'm done, and I agreed. That conversation was some time in September 2003, and we found out on October 13th that Tiven was on her way.
    Last edited by Spacers; 06-30-2009 at 07:03 PM.
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  2. #12
    chevylfan
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    What! That's it?

    There'd better be more.

  3. #13
    Mega Poster JJO_Mommy712's Avatar
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    Stacey, welcome to your lodge! I cannot wait to share in your VBAC journey. But, where is the rest of your intro?!
    Beverly
    Wife to Johnny
    Mom to Jack (7/12/2007), Derek (7/5/09) and their canine brother, Atari (5/9/2004)
    Read my blog



  4. #14
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, sorry! I forgot to mention that there will be much more, probably tomorrow.
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  5. #15
    graysonsmom
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    Welcome to your lodge!! Hope you get a perfect home bith I really enjoyed your intro, and look forward to more. I've also always been curious how you pronounced Tiven's name?

  6. #16
    Mega Poster perkyblue's Avatar
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    Welcome to your lodge Stacey! Great intro so far!
    ~Darci, Certified Cruise Consultant
    Mom of Kevin (6) & Julia (1)


    Book with a professional for the best rates & service!

  7. #17
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    The Story of Tiven

    We found out on October 13th that I was pregnant with Tiven. My grand-dad (whom I called Papa but I've stopped since Tiven calls DH her Papa) died on October 13th many years ago, and I've had a series of sad events on that date over the years, so it was really great to have something positive happen on that date. As I said earlier, we weren't trying to get pregnant, and we weren't even talking about when to try, we had just agreed to have "the talk" and I guess Tiven heard. DH wasn't quite as excited with the news as I was, and we had a couple of really serious talks in those first few days. I told him that he was free to leave, no strings attached, but that if he stayed I expected him to "be there" for me & our baby 100%. He stayed, and he is honestly the best parent I've ever known. I'm so lucky that he's the father of my kids!

    We didn't want to know the gender of our baby, and we didn't like the idea of naming a baby we hadn't met yet even if we did know, so we decided to come up with a nickname. Our baby was due in June 2004, which was the Year of the Monkey in the Asian zodiac calendar, so we started calling the baby Monkey. I *knew* she was a girl even though we didn't really know. I've felt since I was a young girl that my first child would be a girl, I can't explain it, I just knew. And it drove DH batty!

    I had an absolutely dream pregnancy. I was tired, exhausted actually, for most of my first trimester, but that was it. No morning sickness, no heartburn, no hemmorhoids, no swelling, no acne, no nosebleeds, I had none of the normal pregnancy complaints. (I'll wait while you throw something at the computer! ) We planned a home birth, but between waiting too long to start looking for a midwife, and financial issues when DH stopped working midway through my pregnancy, it looked like it wasn't going to happen. I get free prenatal care at my HMO through my work insurance, so I was seeing a nurse practitioner regularly, but as time went on, I more & more did NOT want my baby born in that hospital. I threw out the idea of going unassisted and, to my surprise, DH was cool with it! He liked the idea of it being just the two of us, and in the event of an emergency we're less than 10 minutes from the HMO hospital and there's another hospital even closer, and the EMT response time in our neighborhood is ridiculously low since the firehouse is six blocks away, we couldn't have asked for a better situation for an unassisted birth. So that was our new plan for a few months and we educated ourselves about various complications and how to deal with them, and how to recognize an emergency. I bought an automatic blood pressure monitor and rented a Doppler. And then my dad, totally out of the blue, gave me $5000.

    So there I was suddenly at about 35 weeks pregnant with enough money to afford a midwife. I called a bunch of them back and one, Maria, had an opening. We went to meet her and fell in love and we hired her on the spot. My NP had gone on vacation so my 37-week appointment was with an OB, who did an ultrasound to confirm baby was head down, which she was, and who also said baby was already nine pounds and we needed to induce immediately. I said thanks but no thanks, and didn't go back.

    Our Monkey was due on Thursday, June 17th, and that day came & went. A week came & went. Another week came & went. I had a few NSTs done at the HMO per Maria's request, and everything looked good. One time the amniotic fluid was low, but they had me drink some water & apple juice and go for a walk for an hour, and when I came back, it was fine. All of our efforts to stimulate labor naturally weren't working, and we tried everything -- sex, nipple stimulation, grapeseed oil capsules, acupuncture, acupressure, castor oil, even the homeopathic versions of black & blue cohosh. On Wednesday morning the 30th, Maria did an internal exam and my cervix was still high & only fingertip dilated. For those familiar with the Bishop's Score, mine was a 5 and that was before subtracting points for nulliparity & being overdue. On Thursday afternoon, July 1st, I had another NST and this time the amniotic fluid was low and it didn't bounce back, and the doctor told me to go across the street to L&D for monitoring.

    WARNING: I have a personal policy of not sharing my birth story with pregnant mamas. But seeing as how this is my lodge and I'm the one working through things, I'm going to tell it here. Those of you in your Bubble of Peace may choose to not read this, and I totally understand. It does have a happy ending, it's just not a happy story to get there, kwim?

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    I didn't want to go to the hospital! We went home instead and had a snack, fed the cat, talked with Maria, and I sat quietly in my rocking chair and talked to our Monkey. I told her (I should mention here that we had finally peeked in the envelope and knew for a fact that she was a girl) that I would do whatever she needed to get here safely, so please let me know that she was doing OK in there. She didn't make any movement at all for many minutes, not until after I told DH we were going in.

    So we headed to the hospital and got there about 6pm, and things still weren't looking good. The AF was still low, and the baby's cord was looped up in one large pocket of fluid, which was also under her arm. I mentioned my Bishop's Score from the prior morning and said I wasn't comfortable inducing with Pitocin on an unripe cervix. The doctor, a resident, asked me to get out of my pants and said she would be back in a few minutes to see what my cervix was doing now, but she didn't come back. DH & I said to ourselves that we were going to leave at 8:45pm because that would have been an hour since she left. I went to the restroom at about 8:35pm, and as I'd done a few times since I'd been there, I unplugged the wires and punched the "offline" button on the monitor. When I plugged the wires back in and punched the "online" button, I noticed that the heartrate was in the 70s and I thought it was picking up my pulse instead of the baby's. A nurse came in and moved the sensors around and asked me to roll over onto my left side. When I did that, the monitor went to zero and started beeping wildly, I looked at the clock and it was 8:45pm. I rolled back over and it went up to 50. More people started running in, a man introduced himself as the anesthesiologist and a woman introduced herself as the Chief of Obstetrics, and I was so glad to be in the hands of "real doctors" and not just a resident.

    I was moved all around and given an oxygen mask and a shot of terbutaline to relax my uterus, and a bunch of other stuff was being done to me. DH said, "Is this an emergency or do we have time to talk?" and those words were music to my ears! I can't express how happy I was that he remembered the Informed Consent, even though the answer was a resounding, "Yes!" I told DH to call Maria, and it was so comforting to hear him say, "She says they should be doing this.... they should be trying that.... did they do the other thing...." and they were!

    In the midst of all this chaos, I was calm. My Bradley Method training really kicked in, I focused on deep breathing, making sure that Monkey didn't know that anything was going wrong on the outside. I just surrounded her with love & oxygen and only came out of my bubble to answer the really important questions. Monkey's heartrate was wavering between zero and 50, and only occasionally coming up to 70. My water broke, and was full of meconium, and an internal scalp monitor confirmed the low heartrate (but I was fully effaced & dilated to 4cm!) so we were off to the OR. They were prepping me for a c-section and doing an amnio-infusion and putting an IV line in and all kinds of other things all at the same time. I asked if there was time for a spinal and the anesthesiologist said, "We're doing everything we can to make that happen," but when I heard the heartrate monitor zero out again, I knew it wouldn't. I heard a nurse saying, "Baby's back up to fifty," as I was put to sleep and I just kept focusing on that as I went out.

    Monkey was born at 9:01pm, just 16 minutes after the first alarm went off! She'd inhaled meconium, which was confirmed with a chest x-ray. The ICN team was unable to intubate her for deep suctioning, so she was in the ICN for three days for IV antibiotics and oxygen therapy, and she was on a heart monitor as well. DH had been left in the hallway since they'd had to put me under general anesthetic, and they called him in about 5 or 6 minutes after she was born. DH accompanied Monkey to the ICN and was involved in her care and didn't let them give her any nipples or formula. Maria, our midwife, got to the hospital about 5 minutes after DH had been called in to the OR, and she stayed with him & Monkey until after I'd been brought back to a room, and then she gave him a ride home to pick up some things & get our car. When he got back, he came in and kissed me and then spent the rest of the night in the ICN holding our Monkey. The nurses in the ICN didn't like that she didn't have a name yet, and refused to call her Monkey. On Saturday morning, we had a little naming ceremony, just the three of us, and we told her what her name was and why we chose it. Tiven (pronounced TIV-un, not TIVE-un) is a name that DH heard when we were planning our wedding, he was working as a reservationist at a restaurant and a woman had that name. He asked about it and she said she was named after a musician named Jon Tiven that her parents either knew or liked. He came home that night and said, "If we ever have a little girl, I want to name her Tiven." 10 years later, I was pregnant and he still remembered that name and I couldn't come up with anything better. Her middle name is Olivia, which means peace and seemed appropriate given the circumstances of her birth.

    It was 11 hours before I was able to get out of bed and make the wheelchair trip to see Tiven, and I made that trip back & forth many times over the next two days. They called me whenever she needed to nurse, and she never got a pacifier or formula. They took the heart monitor off after two days, and we went home on the third day after she'd completed her antibiotics and a second chest x-ray showed that the blobs in her lungs were breaking up. Breastfeeding was very challenging at first because my huge breasts had absolutely flat nipples, she had nothing to latch on. After multiple consultations with the stupidist lactation consultant ever, using nipple shields, and pumping, a nurse finally suggested I try nipple shells. Just an hour later, my nipples were drawn out enough for Tiven to latch, and we never looked back.

    Physically, I had a pretty decent recovery, I healed quickly and I healed well, my scar is barely visible. Emotionally is another story. I thought I was suffering from post-partum depression, and I went on Prozac but when it kicked in, I realized I was actually dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. I learned some different anxiety & panic control techniques, and I did a lot of grief recovery work. It took a few months to get back to a good emotional balance, and it was over a year before I could even think about Tiven's birth without crying. When she was about 3yo, DH told me that he knew I was doing good when Tiven asked about her birth, and I smiled.

    Since I've been pregnant again, I've been dealing with an overwhelming sense of sadness and loss. I've been unable to even think about Tiven's birth without crying. I've been seeing a hypnotherapist who specializes in healing birth trauma, and it's really helping.
    Last edited by Spacers; 06-30-2009 at 05:08 PM.
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  8. #18
    Prolific Poster tanismom's Avatar
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    aaah! it's the "to be continued..." line at the end of your fave TV show! I won't get to read the rest till the morning! I guess it's just as well since I'm a pregnant momma in my "bubble of peace"!!
    ~Ayelet & Yoram
    Tani 7/6/04
    Odeliya 3/8/07
    NJ, USA to Israel 12/29/08
    Yitzchak, 22.6.09
    Asa'el, 14.10.11
    Welcome baby boy!! 26.7.13

    Rambling on at http://milkandhoneymomma.blogspot.com
    facebook and twitterID: ayeletschwell

  9. #19
    chevylfan
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    I'm on pins and needles.

    Despite all our time together on the VBAC board, I still don't know the details of T's birth.

  10. #20
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Sorry, I actually had to get some work done before I could get back to editing the birth story in. It's up now, enjoy!
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

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