Friday, April 30, 2010

What Else to Say?

Hello April 2010 on your last day. How long have I wished to turn to this month on our family calendar and wonder what day sweet baby would make an appearance. I came across a post on Ask Moxie last weekend and felt compelled to respond. I typically just glance at the question and a couple of responses but that night stoped, thought about what advice I would give and then posted it.

As much as I am sure that friends are just about tired of hearing me mention the trials of the last year, getting to this month, this birth, and all that happened in between feels like a major celebration to finally be at the end of this month and move on.

Someone posted among the responses, "It's hard to look at a child you wanted so very badly and not carry just a little bit experience with you every day of that child's existence." Not that I am going to be screen printing t-shirts for Ian's first birthday with that sentiment, but I agree. I don't think time is going to help me forget how wanted he and his brother were before they were named. So here is what I posted to be added to the stack of posts from moms who understand something so very much they wish they didn't. Those moms who are carrying around a little extra thankfulness to be in the sorority of motherhood after a long process to be there.


I am reading through so many of these comments and wished I had tucked them away in our journey through IF. I found AmandaToo's especially comforting.

1. IF can impact your marriage in more ways that you recognize. If it helps to work with a therapist, do. Husbands often feel helpless or if part of the issue at fault. Talking helps. Your marriage came before your desire for kids, protect it however you can.

2. Surround yourself with friends who love you but also don't want to feel like you are fragile. Every conversation shouldn't involve your IF. By the same token friends who can't recognize that some things are painful can just as easily accept a nice card and gift without your attendance at their shower.

3. IF is a process, often arduous, isolating, filled with setbacks, and demoralizing to your spirit. Find support with others if considering procedures to know what to expect, consider RESOLVE chapters, work with RE that has your health before their success rates first.

Parenthood can take lots of routes, pick one and pursue even if it wasn't the original plan. Sending you hope that a child will be in your future.

Posted by: heatherv | April 24, 2010 at 09:14 PM

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Channeling Michael Stipe?

Bill and I were looking at all the photos from the recent shoot with Laura. AWESOME!!!I can't help but wonder if Michael Stipe is really the father and we had a embryo mix up!

With Ian's blond hair to Michael's no hair, one may never know. Big fav pics post later, the asleep version in the bear bunting is likely making the birth announcement.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Multiple Madness!

Yesterday Laura H dropped Max off on her way to UNC with Leo for his weekly appointment. We had just enough time to eat lunch, visit among 3 crying babies, feed 2 of 3 and get a game plan on for afternoon feeding/naps.

Hour 1- Ian asleep, Max crying then more feeding, then hiccups, then asleep in the bouncy seat. Ian has wet though the pack and play.. again. Change him, change sheets.

Hour 2
- Max asleep, Ian crying, feeding, more hiccups...damn what is it with the evil reoccuring hiccups today, Ian spitup and clothes change, asleep in the swing after being carried gathering laundry throughout the house to soak.

Hour 3- Max awake, then Ian after much crying by Max. Ian crying. Heather about to be about to be crying. Vegas the dog is whining. Damn dog... relegated to the porch. Prepare 2 bottles and using the Boppy pillow feed both Ian and Max. Both babies happy for about 15 mins.

All Hell breaks loose crying by both babies. Heather decides it's time to go outside putting Max back in his car seat and in the Snap and Go, could kiss the inventor of the snap and go.

Ian is in the sling. LOVE the sling!!! Take a 30 min walk through the neighborhood. On the way home I forgot the dog is on the porch and since the neighbor has called the local animal cops on me before for dog barking. I circled back and picked up the dog too and do 10 more mins.

Sucess, both babies asleep. Dog has settled down, I actually got some exercise and before they wake up, the laundry in the dryer.

Hour 4- Both boys wake up just as I grabbed something to eat. No wonder Laura H has lost over 50 lbs in 2 months. She never has time to EAT!!! Settle onto the couch with feeding both boys again. I feel good that I can do this at the same time, but damn am I tired and Laura has only been gone since 1pm.

Text from Laura H- We are in the UNC parking deck, will be home in 45 mins if we don't hit traffic. I call her and give her a back way through the country. Call it self serving, call it I need to go and pick up Ben from the friend graciously watching him as soon as I can as her sitter is watching multiple kids, call it I am wiped out.

Laura H arrives by 5:30 and she BF Max I change Leo and Ian, and then Max once more. Pull freezer food in her new speically bought travel freezer bag (hello Dollar Tree) include cooking directions. Help pack up all toys (missed 2 under the couch), help load babies in the car and jump in my own car to get Ben.

I am so tired by the time that Bill gets home around 8 pm that we never eat dinner and I find half of it in the microwave this am while making breakfast.

Yeah, in the 4 hours I got to be a twin mom I totally got my ass kicked. How do they do it? Truly only Superwomen should apply, or be appointed by GOD.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend Round-Up

It's Monday and Ian has decided that sleep is for the weak. All weekend and into the wee hours of last night he had the big eye staying up for hours past most feedings. I had hoped that he would nap a little longer, but alas 2 hours and he done. This must be the genes for functional on little sleep that I have given him.

Over the weekend we pushed it Sat and likely this was the reason for being off. Note to self that if napping has to be scheduled, then cut back. Friday night we stayed in got caught up on Lost (which btw I think I was still holding out hope that Locke really wasn't dead). Sat am we met up with a friend at the local spring festival. Ian was great, Ben was.... not. The whine capacity is being met daily only to be surpassed with asking any and all questions of "why." I have resorted for my sanity to give him 10 questions on the way home from school. Too bad he often uses up all 10 many days to ask what animals eat other animals. He's like a future evil zookeeper.

My friend Chrissy called to say that she was in desperate need for someone to help with her boys while she closed up her family shop. No problem as she has bailed me out more times that I can count. I doubled back to the house, dropped off Ian and Ben napped all the way to N Raleigh. for the next 3 hours we played outside on the trampoline, had bike/scooter races, made mummy dogs and chocolate cupcakes.

Needless to say I was tired and slept through most of watching Food, Inc on Sat night. Sunday we all attempted to sleep in, note the word attempted. Ben and I colored in pictures of HotWheels cars over lazy Sunday pancakes. I am looking for the times I can spend with just him, doing what he wants. I hope this will make a difference in adjustment to the 2 child dynamic.

We headed out for lunch on Sunday, I picked up a final few things from a meal prep place that is going out of business for pennies on the dollar for my own freeze ahead fun and then I attempted to get caught up on some sleep. Bill in his attempt to up his ranking on 500 in 2010 did 6 miles. Notice that mom is sleeping while dad is exercising.

I have put off most housework until today plus mulching my new plants from the farmers market. Overall not a bad weekend, and plans for a much more slower paced week. Hunter twins are here tomorrow!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Six Mouthfuls of Feet!

Back last fall I wrote about my long time friend Laura H was expecting twin boys in March, a month to the day before I was expecting Ian. Earlier in the week I got to meet her beautiful babies and experience for the shortest time what a little of her life has been since their arrival on President's Day (fitting given mom is a US History teacher.) Our downstairs literally looked like a Babies R Us had exploded with 3 babies!!! I made lunch (including the infamous Crack Pie) and we caught up while all holding babies before they headed on to UNC.

As I detailed back in October, Laura H has been a close friend since we moved to NC. While our relationship is now mostly texting and emails more than seeing each other outside of the times we are at the beach. She has been such a resource not only for outstanding teaching, but personally as we both have faced out own issues with infertility.

When we made the IVF decision she was my first call for support. When I heard the possibility of back labor, Laura was my cheerleader to work through what she has done laboring her older son Eli with a natural birth and back labor.

Last summer we would have been likely doing our IVF cycles in the same timeframe before mine was bumped to July. For some strange reason we were at the beach the time she found out she was pregnant with her 3rd cycle much like her 1st cycle so there was much celebration in person. In July I was hurriedly getting on the train in Harvard Square to fly home with my 24 eggs when she texted me that the RE used the words "twins" in response to her growing morning sickness. We had figured between the two of us, someone was hitting the lottery. But, I had the odds given for her final IVF they had harvested only 5 eggs, only 2 making it to implementation stage.

For the next 3 months most Tuesdays Laura will be traveling to UNC in preparation for surgery on her son Leo's cleft. I asked her permission to share her story and picture of our babies as their arrival is a blessing in triplicate.

At 22 weeks of an already difficult twin pregnancy she found out that Baby B had a severe facial cleft and suspected hole in the soft pallet of his mouth. Worse, there were other indicators that this was a chromosomal issue indicative of other long term afflictions. Both Laura and her husband spent much of Thanksgiving week waiting
out genetic testing and were relieved to find out that it was a best case scenario with the cleft alone. In early January they traveled to UNC to meet the team that would perform the testing, design the special feeding appliances, and care for their family and son through a variety of testing and surgeries.

Her sons were born after 3 weeks of hospitalization for preterm labor. Both were healthy thanks to her ability to get them to 36 weeks, 1 day. By the end we were talking/texting every few days and each and every time I felt guilty to be carrying my singleton, healthy pregnancy. I felt and still kind feel like for as much as she has been through and put her body through, God owed her an easy go. I'm sure there is some great design and knowing Laura she has not stopped to question why?

But in her normal indomitable way, she has proved she is among the few that can handle stress that many (myself included) would likely fold under. She is the epitome of supermom and to see her in action with her boys is to watch grace under fire. She is every bit of something to envy not for her stress but for the ability to stay positive and see possibility in all that she does. I am so very proud of her, wish I could carry her burden for her to give her respite, and can call her my old friend.

As she travels these next months between Wilmington and Chapel Hill I have opened my home to watch Max so she can go alone to the appointments many of which involve appliance fittings, serve as place to feed and regroup, and as always send her home with something for her freezer. This is so small and inconsequential and a very small glimpse of her life.

I know she would do the same for me and has been such a support through so much in the decade of our friendship. My good thoughts and prayers are with her and her family as they process through the next steps with 3 beautiful boys by her side.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Are ALL Feelin' It!

This was Ben within 5 mins of walking in the door yesterday. The sad part is I let him sleep on the kitchen floor for a good 30 mins while I fed Ian, responded to a glut of work emails, and made dinner.

Call it bad mothering, or just taking advantage of the situation. For the record I did attempt to pick him up to move him to the couch but couldn't lift 40 lbs of dead weight.

We are back in sleep deprived baby mode. ALL of US. Ben has decided that the best time to play his I don't want to share attention time is 3 am when he woke up telling us that he hurt all over. Legitimately he had 2 ticks on Sunday so we took it seriously, the first time.

Bill has graciously been talking half of the nighttime feedings staying up to do the last feeding around 1/2 am. Most nights I am going to bed to try and get 4-5 hours before the wee-hour shift and getting up with Ben for am routine. Can I just say how incredibly awesome my husband is...AND he already got an iPad.

On that note I had to be at school around 6:30am to run NHS new member breakfast. Ian with with me and luckily slept through almost 100 loud, crazy, donut infused teenagers. I only have new member Induction left in May and I passed off my entire notebook this morning under the guise that I am really going to need a co-advisor to handle this large group. Handwriting on the wall and I am giving this up playing the 2 kid card some return to school. Seriously, do I need irate emails with a 8 day old baby? Decision made. Now stick to it Vinson.

Lastly, very proud that I didn't eat ANY of the 15 dozen Krispy Kreams for the event. Because....

This is what Bill picked up at his 9 month surgeon visit.... Once again. I love him but I am also first in line! Call it a hopeful Push present to do ALL the plastic surgery I want or just some serious motivation to finally be able to have the body I want. It's on the fridge, near the door handle no less as I have approximately 70 lbs to be at the weight to make the surgery worthwhile.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Welcoming Ian

This post is a week in the making. Not that it hasn't already been written in my head, but just hasn't found the time to be completed. Baby-Bliss-Mode, Post-Partum mode, The reality of 2 kids mode, all have set in!

Happy One-week birthday my beautiful boy. Born at 4:06 pm on Wednesday, April 14th, you were welcomed with open arms and hearts. As I write this you are sleeping so peacefully beside me and I could literally eat you up with all your sweet baby goodness.

Since it took a good four years to write of Ben's birth I thought given while fresh on my mind and before the years of noise in a TWO boy house destroys my memory of your birthday. Just for kicks, check out Ben's newborn pic and tell me that Ian is not a blond version of Ben.

As planned we got to the hospital before 6 am and were thrilled that there was room at the inn for us. It would prove to be a very busy day in labor and delivery with our main labor nurse, Angie juggling our birth along with another family. Early on I was feeling alot of pain in my back as they did the EFM before starting the Pitocin. Much like Ben's labor I couldn't keep the EFM on without holding it and laying in the bed on one side, so we consented to an internal monitor :-( This took away my ability to be in the tub and kept me wired up but allowed me to be on the birth ball, standing, or sitting in the rocking chair to labor and OUT of bed. Unfortunately this also meant that my water had to be broken adding to my chance for cord prolapse again.

I asked Angie as she was starting the Pitocin to please run it as low as possible as I didn't want to be 0-60 in back labor without options. She agreed and reviewed our birth plan with us and let me know that my code word for an epidural was, "I really want to eat ice cream." In the end she and our doula, Sam, were an amazing team that worked well together and along with Bill were amazing support. At no point did I want Bill kicked out and later that night he showed me the damage my nails had done to his poor arm.

By 10 am I was in a regular contraction pattern but not in alot of pain, just heavy cramps. Bill and I were watching our backlog of Daily Shows and then started watching the Hangover on his new iPad, sweetness itself. It was about at the Rob Riggle Taser scene that I had the thought, "I wonder if being hit with a taser would feel better than these contractions."

Angie had been waiting on my OB to come and check me and by 1 pm she did herself determined I had progressed to 6-7 cm and called for the delivery table to be set up. I was beginning to hit transition and asked what my options were. The increase in intensity and frequency of contractions were really hurting and were about 2 mins apart. Angie hadn't marked "screaming" yet on the patient assessment only moaning and severe pain, but can still talk normally. Seriously is there a time I CAN'T talk?

Angie commented that she didn't think I would make it to an epidural due to being an hour out but offered to start the IV line if I really wanted some ice cream. She offered to run a single dose of Stadol into my IV which I had had a really bad experience on with Ben's birth. NO, in fact Hell No along with all the other cursing that was hurled during labor. She then suggested since I had had a bad reaction to Stadol to consider a dose of Nubain which she commented was a step down in pain management without as many side effects (like attempting to take off my gown and being overall hot and sweaty) We went with the Nubain which did indeed take just a bit of the edge off to get through transition without the epidural.

By 3:45 my OB appeared and I was really feeling the need to push. Angie was trying to stretch my cervix the final way and was instructing me not to push. Yeah, sure as this is literally like the most primal urge ever experienced. I unfortunately somehow wound up on my back in the one position I didn't want ot be in to push but the contractions literally had taken my breath away and I couldn't argue.

Angie told me I needed oxygen (don't they tell you that in the event of an plane crash too to shut you up), and from someone I hear the NICU team was being called in. I remember asking out loud if the cord was wrapped around his neck just like Ben's birth. Serious panic was setting in. NO, but his heartrate is in the 50/60s and we need you to push him out with the next contractions. As the NICU team was coming in someone knocked over the spotlight lamp onto the table of instruments. It was not the peaceful, serene birth I dreamed of but rather chaotic as people were scrambling to grab tools before they hit the floor. The OB told me he was going to use the vacuum to assist and within a few more pushes and the agonizing pain of crowning, Ian was out and screaming his lungs out. And yes, I graduated to "screaming" on the patient assessment!

Bill was able to immediately be with Ian unlike at Ben's and brought him to me as I was being stitched and delivering the placenta. I forgot how much the out of body experience of being totally in the moment with the pain but also like you are watching it from some other place.

It was a good labor and birth. Mercifully, during labor Ian turned from posterior I am sure because I stayed out of the bed, labored in as many positions as I could manage, and had wonderful support. I also highly recommend watching the Hangover for your disengagement from the pain of labor, actually laughing did hurt!

Happy one-week birthday my beautiful boy. How much I want for you and your brother. You have already blessed me beyond reason with your safe arrival and your beautiful blue eyes and dimple just like your brother and dad.

How much I have to be thankful for and how lucky I am to welcome you.
I'm still in sheer and total bliss.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Waiting, the Final Installment

Since this post is over an year in the making with much the same theme about waiting for testing to resolve fertility issues, waiting to start IVF, waiting through an agonizing 2WW, another week praying that a heartbeat would be detected after the first was inconclusive, and then more waiting as sweet baby gestated, and now waiting for his arrival post due date. How about some closure on the waiting game! In a matter of hours (I hope) our journey through infertility into parenthood again takes on a new chapter for our family and my identity as a mom.

Seeing that this is likely our last child unless we really want to tempt fate and wind up with our version of 7th Heaven. I have been thinking alot about what life will be like as the proverbial 2 child family. What does it mean to be the mother to sons, and in that realm what do I need to equip them with to be loving partners, good fathers, caring friends, and productive students and eventual workers?

Will I ever regret that I will likely never mother a daughter? If I did have a daughter would I spend her lifetime trying to repair my own relationship with my mom? Would we ever consider adoption at some point? Not that any of these questions need to be decided today, but a mind with time to wander leads to lots of one-way conversations and a sure fire way to be on the receiving end of strange looks at the stop light.

When I went to the OB for my 40 week appointment Monday he insisted on doing an ultrasound to check placement after having trouble finding the heartbeat. I think he could tell by my expression and that I had quit joking around that to be this far with such tragic results would be devastating beyond words. Luckily he quickly found him but also confirmed that he is laying posterior making back labor a real possibility. We are still going into the birth with hopes that we will be able to labor without meds as long as possible, but hearing this AND knowing the pain of a pitocin induction I am not taking an epidural off the table. I have nothing to prove and all I want is a good labor with my eyes on the prize.

My sweet Ian we are waiting for you with open arms and open hearts. Just as I prayed for the safe arrival of your big brother, know you were wanted beyond reason and loved before you were named.

Good thoughts, prayers, karma, and most of all love to all those who have supported us along the way.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Due Date!

The weekend came with lots of pain and pressure but once again no regular contractions. OB appointment on Friday resulted in going back later today to have my membranes sweeped and a scheduled induction on Wed if nothing happens in the next 48 hours. That is if I am not bumped as I am the last scheduled procedure for the week for any practice using my hospital. If that happens I am looking at Monday the 19th. I am seriously ready to have this baby. Over the weekend I got stuck in both my car and on the couch needing Bill's help. Believe me when I say it's not for a lack of trying to get things going naturally.

Working with my Doula I have been using several homeopathic labor inducing remedies as well as the TENS acupressure machine on labor trigger points. As much as I don't want to do an induction (like with Ben after my water broke with no contractions), I also don't want to continue on and really, really don't want to have to hold out. With an induction, I know what to expect, that it may lead to other interventions, but I've done it before and without meds so it is possible. It's a trade off I am willing to make as I am seriously thinking this birth, much like the entire pregnancy has been a rerun of 2006.

It seems like years have passed since we were planning the IVF cycle last spring, being in Boston with all the emotions and pain of shots to stimulate in July, flying early to do the retrieval and missing my presentation, and then the waiting to find out if it all worked.

I really can't complain that I have had two weeks away from work to get my house in order, arrange for lots of items marked off my to do list. All baby gear has been prepped and ready. I have participated in some marathon sleep as well as marathon Mad Men watching. And most importantly spent lots of time with my family under the beautiful spring sun.

Hoping beyond hope that the week ends with a sweet baby, regardless of how he arrives.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Bill is about to cross the 200 lb mark and over 160 lbs lost likely by summer. My guess is that as he reaches a year out he is going to plateau much like I did at 147 lbs at 9 months post surgery. Either way he is BEYOND the goal he set for himself as well as the maximum that expected for him to loose. Can I just say, PROUD beyond reason of him. Proud. not only for all the work he has put into his weight loss but in the many ways he has totally transformed his life in the last year.

He looks phenomenal to the point that friends who haven't seen him in a while have commented, "I wouldn't have known that was him until I saw you or Ben with him." With that I have also gotten the "must be nice to be able to take off the weight so easily" comments to which the mama bear in me has retorted, "yeah major abdominal surgery and months long recovery is always your first choice."

For such a long time after my own surgery I would have never been so rude, but knowing how hard this has been for him, what major lifestyle changes had to happen, and then the amount of energy that it takes to keep going when you would rather not, Hell yeah I am going to stand up for him.

He recently trained and ran in his first race a local 5K. For someone who rarely gets misty eyed a most anything, I a mess when he crossed the finish line. Ben was jumping up and down we were both chanting, "Go Daddy Go" and it was a sweet, sweet moment. We made this obnoxious sign the night before and tried to keep it a secret until Ben told him (and the fact that it was taking up most of the dining room table). Ben too got into the action and ran his own race, a 100 meter dash complete with a mommy-made medal. A childhood anchored in a healthy lifestyle. What else could I wish to pass on to him?

It is simply unbelievable what a difference a year makes for so many things that have happened in our family. Just as I knew when it seemed like we were stressed to the limit that we would prevail as having an indomitable spirit seems to be a family trait. It's even more sweet to think that a year later we have been each other's biggest cheerleaders through some really tough times. And for that I am eternally thankful and appreciative for his support with this pregnancy as well as finally getting it why the surgery IS a life changing event.

Go Daddy, and Keep Going, for all the ways you have reinvented yourself.

Monday, April 5, 2010

And YOUR weekend?

This post has been floating around since Friday but alas marking things off that to do list became all important as well as lots of sleeping and watching Mad Men from the start. I am happy to say every single item minus working on some freeze ahead dishes got done. AND I did it with Ben out of school.

Among the highlights: contracts for power washing/painting, housecleaning signed, car maintenance, shopping, washing and sorting baby clothes, cleaning the entire house, trips to play with friends, 4 hour trip on Friday to Durham Science and Life, and I GOT A PART TIME TEACHING ONLINE CONTRACT FOR THE SUMMER!!! On that last one I hope this is a foot in the door to taking some time away from full time teaching for the next year or so.

On Sat I had the crazy idea that we needed to do ANOTHER egg hunt so I looked online and voila, one advertised with 20,000 eggs, bike races, race cars, inflatables all at...the Wake Co Racetrack. I owe Bill big time for not turning around in the parking lot after crossing to the dark side of our local racin' circuit. Let's just say I was at much too at home among the rednecks and in the absence of not finding a bathroom and letting Ben pee by the car, he was too.

After shopping for new clothes for Bill, what had been some early labor symptoms when I had gotten up seemed to be worsening. At the OB on Thursday I was 2 cm and completed effaced and upon the words of the Dr, "I really don't want to deliver you on I-40, please go to the hospital." Plus I had an NST after a tacky and then racing heartbeat. So around 4:30 we headed to the hospital thinking that if I was more dilated then maybe my Easter bunny baby was making an appearance. After 2 checks, an hour of walking with Ben leading the way spilling water all over the L/D floor, two more NSTs I was sent home.

A little sad as I am really, really ready to meet my sweet son and not be so uncomfortable but I also know it's only a matter of a few more days. This afternoon we played mom's version of labor inducing games: pick up in the yard: pine cones counted at 1 pt and sticks 5 pts, Ben won with extra Easter candy and Mom won her bet that if Bill didn't mow I was going to. I think he thinks an iPad is in the deal.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Post 1165 Days In the Making

Yesterday morning Ben was "helping" me sort baby clothes and told me that he wore "swishy" pants when he was a baby. NICE! He did start impromptu singing some lullaby and swinging the baby swing and told me that he was going to be a good big brother. Be still my heart. Of course you are, sweet baby. My sweet baby born 1165 days ago.

I have have never written down his birth story and there are many parts that I want to remain just in my memory and shared with Bill. More than anything I wanted for Ben and now his brother an intimate, quiet, shared experience with as limited as possible interventions as well not have a hurried, manufactured birth experience. It was simply a gift I wanted to give him and for us as a family to bring life into the world on my own terms.

On the morning of June 8th, 2006 I thought that I had (once again) peed on my kitchen floor. Not thinking anything about it as I was 2 days from my due date I figured that damn, now I had to clean that up too. I should have thought something was up as according to at least one ultrasound I was now 2 days overdue with my 06/06/06 due date. Something that only I could make a joke about and take in stride.

So I went about my day, watched Fight Club and sorted baby clothes (yes that is a oxymoron), finished up final grades and planned for my friend Chrissy to come by and take me to school to post the grades and then onto my 40 week appointment with the only Dr that we had yet to meet. Bill had forbid me to drive anymore (or go to Target) since he was convinced that I was going to have his son my the side of the road.

When Chrissy came to pick me up I convinced her that we HAD to move this stupid desk from upstairs that she was going to sell in her shop. By the time we got to my school I was feeling bad and posted grades while she circled the parking lot with her sleeping toddlers.

Onto the Dr where the OB did confirm that I had broken my water and much to my stubbornness to me that I couldn't go home to labor but was being checked in to the hospital next door. I called Bill and my doula Robin and by 5 pm we were having a baby.

The OB, the most old-school of the bunch give me the next few hours to try and get contractions going on my own to no avail. At 8 pm he broke my water, added pitocin, and since I couldn't keep the EFM on without holding it (not a good plan for labor) I consented to the internal monitor. NOT in the plan but I maintained that I was not going to stay in the bed and I didn't for most of the next 3 hours.

In the next 2 hours I literally went from the 3 cm I had been for most of the week to 8cm with contractions coming very fast and hard. Again, not the plan and by 10 pm not wanting to do an epidural to slow down labor I agreed to a single dose of Stadol which was a horrible decision in hindsight. This was about the time that Bill was kicked out and the doulas (Robin had brought her back up partner thinking the more the merrier) were trying to help me through transition. The Stadol made me hot and drunk and when Bill returned he commented, "he didn't want to come in based on the amount of gutteral noises coming from our room". Written in my birth plan in all caps is NO Stadol as it did nothing for the pain.

By 11:30 I was at 10 cm and really, really wanting to push. Looking back on laboring Ben the pushing, crowning, and complications trying to get the cord off. (I'll spare publicly the TMI details, but needless to say it pushed my fairly high pain threshold to the limit)

Around 12:15 the mood in the room when from one of keep pushing with every contraction to Robin in my face telling me that I had to get him out in the next few contractions. I now know that behind the scenes a emergency OR was being prepped since the cord was now acting a double slip knot choking Ben's airway with each push. At 12:33 he was out and was whisked away for oxygen and CPR by the neonatal team that were also now in the room. I was obviously in alot of pain to not even notice there was suddenly another 3/4 people were in the room and prepping furiously. Bill didn't get to cut the cord and when Ben wasn't crying we both were very, very worried that my fear of losing a 2nd baby was again a reality. At 5 mins his Apgar was stable from the 3 it was upon delivery and within 15 mins I was able to hold him. It wasn't exactly the birth we planned, but he was healthy and alive thanks in part to medical intervention as well as my ability to push him at the end.

All of the pictures are from the first 4 hours of his sweet, sweet life and some that are my favorites of the last 1165 days. It took a very long time to realize that we wanted a family, to work towards healthier lifestyle to carry a child, and even longer to carry a pregnancy to term once we were ready. There has definitely been the bitter with the sweet, but we are so blessed with this beautiful blue-eyed little boy. And to do it all again making Ben the loving Big Brother I have known in my heart he is, makes the ending to Ben's birthday even more special.