Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Baby Story - 39 weeks - Induction

     Today we are officially 39 weeks and 1 day along in this pregnancy.  Last week, the doctor had mentioned that she could not schedule an induction on my actual due date, the 19th, but any other day that week was fine. She was ready to get that baby out! I told her I was ready and anytime after final exam week was perfect for us. We didn't narrow down anything specific and she sent me on my way, promising to check the hospital's schedule to see what would work best.
     This past Tuesday, I went in for my very last prenatal appointment, and after she had checked his heart rate, measured my belly with the tape, and checked my cervix (about 3 cm dilated), she said, "Ok so you've been pregnant your last Monday! How does that feel? Do you have any questions for me about next week?"
     "Um...go over everything with me..."
     "I've got you coming in at 4 am, we'll start your IV and you can go back to sleep -- teasing! As if you could do that! Then I'll come in sometime between 7 and 8 to break your water and we'll have a baby that afternoon." At this point I'm starting to freak out a little bit. Without really requesting it, I had scored myself an appointment to be induced THIS MONDAY. Our baby boy will be here on the 17th whether he likes it or not!
     So I said, with ultrasound goo on my belly and my feet in stirrups, "Are you sure he's ready?"
     "Of course! You've got a wonderful cervix," Um...thank you? "I don't recommend a 39 week induction to just everybody, but your body is so favorable and everything has been progressing so smoothly. You'll be two days away from your due date, so baby's lungs and brain will be fully developed and ready for the world. At this point, you fall in a category with less than 10% chance of anything going differently than what we have planned. I can't guarantee that you won't fall in that 10%, but I'm willing to recommend we take this route. We may get there and he's just too big and we have to go another route, but I'm prepared for that. I'm ready, you're ready, he's ready. Let's do it!"
     I was starting to feel better about this with every word, so I asked, "I've heard from some people that induction and Pitocin will stress the baby out and cause problems."
     "Not any more than natural labor is going to do. Once we get in there and break that water, baby has less of a protective barrier cushioning him from the contractions. Things will get more intense then, but if he was going to have problems, he would start having them either way. Sometimes we see a drop in heart rate or the placenta can't provide enough oxygen, and that's when I'd have to intervene with a c-section, but those are things than can and do happen to many people with a natural, non-induced labor. I've monitored contractions with Pitocin and without, and Pitocin isn't always the cause of baby's stress."
     I really started to get excited then. I have been in so much pain for the last few weeks with contractions, softening hips and pelvis, baby sitting on my nerves, feet in my ribs, and 32 extra pounds on the front of my body. I'm finally going to be done and I finally get to see my baby boy! As I left the office, it gave me such great joy to tell the familiar receptionist, I don't need an appointment for next week. We're having a baby! I sent Dillon a text (he was at work), called my mom, texted my in-laws, and updated Facebook.
     Since then, we have each taken four exams; cleaned out both cars; done our last grocery shopping; done most of our laundry; packed Mommy's hospital bag; installed the car seat base in Daddy's truck; spent the last $30 on our University Dining Dollar ticket on 24 cans of soda, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, bacon, Doritos, and a Snicker's bar; returned our rented books and received $7 for two books we had bought (a ridiculous rip-off as usual); paid a parking ticket hours before the fine doubled for late-payment; made arrangements for our parents to stay in a few of the executive suites at our apartment complex; and I've been working diligently to clean the house.

     On December 17, 2012 I will officially be a Mommy and I couldn't be happier. I know everyone is so ready to meet this baby boy and start a new adventure as a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, or 'family' member. It's almost time, Roman Keith! You're about to receive more love than you know what to do with!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This Is My Confession: Part 5

Wedding Planning Continued...
Dillon chose his long-time friend Tim Ellen as his best man, and I banged my head against the wall trying to choose a bridesmaid. In the movies, I would automatically have three best girlfriends and we would do everything together and you would call me Carrie Bradshaw. However, I had a history of ‘girl issues’, I do everything with Dillon, and I don’t have my face printed on the side of any buses so I must not be Carrie Bradshaw. Until recently, I struggled with hanging out with other girls because of a serious superiority complex. Chi Alpha has taught me what sisterhood really is and has given me some lifelong friends whom I know I can always count on. They are my prayer warriors and my audience, depending on what I need that day. Living in community with some of these girls has taught me how important transparence and vulnerability is among true friends. Most of the people I am closest to now I had known for less than a year at the time of wedding planning, and many of them live too far away to really help me plan anything. It just seemed like no one’s life corresponded with mine this summer! After fighting with myself and with Dillon over who I should choose, and deciding I was going to buy a bridesmaid mannequin to stand next to me at the wedding, a thought occurred to me. Bridesmaid doesn’t have to be a girl...ya know? Step aside typical folks, there’s a rebel with a Man of Honor coming through.
I chose Travis Finch as my man of honor and his mom took over the responsibility of co-hosting a shower, since he would have felt totally awkward doing so. He was there in spirit, and in gift, as he sent me an owl-shaped vase for my apartment. An atypical gift for an atypical friendship!

The rest of my wedding planning contained just as much stress over choices, but none that seemed to be as hard as picking someone to stand next to me while I said my vows. We began the hunt for a wedding dress. We exhausted all of the consignment shops in Paragould and Jonesboro, scouring for a deal since we do have a little human to save money for, and found exactly 2 appropriate dresses. One was too small and one was just not me, so the search continued. David’s Bridal in Memphis was a total bust due to a rude worker who wrote us off because we weren’t going to be her big sale of the day, so we made our way back to Bay and hit up Jessica’s Bridal and Formal. Here is where the magic happened. The dress I had been looking for was here, with a price tag that for many would have seemed normal or even low, but like I said...little Aunt Debbie paid for the excess cost, and I started to feel like this wedding was going to be worthwhile after all.
           The dress was empire waist in order to flow over my tiny belly. Little did I know just how valuable this empire waist was until we had to cut out the inner lining on my wedding day because I had grown so much since the last fitting! It’s the little ‘disasters’ like this that make for great stories.

Tossing the bouquet to some of the girls.
Dillon's sister Brooklyn (16) who caught the bouquet. Daddy said, "No, she's not next!"

This Is My Confession: Part 4

The Proposal

We had our pastor, but there was just one problem-- I still didn’t have a ring. I completely acknowledge that a lot of the spending for this wedding was frivolous and unneeded, but a ring was NOT part of this frivolity. I needed a ring, not just to fight off the throngs of boys chasing my chubby pregnant self (haha), but to feel special about. I wanted to look at my ring and think of our promises, our love, our commitment, and our future. I told Dillon not to spend much, to choose something simple, and to not get one that only had a tiny cluster of diamonds. I wanted at least one good sized stone, so he picked out the most beautiful little ring and I anticipated the moment when he would give it to me. Again, my fantasy was far greater than my reality, so I cried before the proposal even happened because I knew it just couldn’t stand up to what was in my head. I wanted him to have prepared a little piece of paper with something to say. I wanted a walk along the water and romance so good it belonged in a Nicholas Sparks book. I was trying to pin my dreams on top of a man who already had everything I ever needed and wanted. I was doing him a disservice by expecting something too over the top. In the end, I found him standing on my aunt and uncle’s back deck, overlooking a serene lake. He sat me down on a porch swing, knelt beside me and held out his ring. In that moment I just wanted to sew us together so he would never be away from my side. There were tears in his beautiful blue eyes and he was shaking from nerves. He told me he would love me forever and said Will you marry me? Be still my heart, he was just so adorable! I didn’t even look at the ring, I just hugged him and kissed him until I felt like we could speak again. Then, I slipped the ring onto my little size 4 1/2 finger and dazzled at how well he had done. The ring was perfect for me--just like he is. My overwhelming happiness told me that our moment had enough magic of its own without all of my fantasies getting in the way.