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Monday, January 5, 2015

Juni Birth Story

I am never sure where to begin.  This is my 3rd and perhaps last birth story.  I feel like birth stories begin the day you find out you are pregnant.  And in Juni's case it was a complete shock to us that we were going to be having a baby.  I had been feeling very tired and off for weeks.  Doug's parents had taken Grayson and Revi for a few hours on a Sunday so I could try to get some energy back.  We went to the grocery store,  Doug and I hadn't spent much time together so this was his first time witnessing the kind of  tired and sickness I was talking about.  I thought I was just burned out from taking care of 2 toddlers....after a spin around the grocery store he suggested I buy a pregnancy test.

I was only complying to rule it out.  And I was pretty certain I wasn't(for a number of reasons that I will spare details about) When I was taking the test I thought "wouldn't that be funny, they would be about the same distance apart as Grayson and Revi" I surprised myself by being slightly disappointed when the test said negative.  I also felt relief.  I felt tapped out with 2 very young children already and it would be INSANE to wish for another. As I was washing my hands(and about to throw away the test in the garbage of grocery store) I thought--wait:  1 line means not pregnant right?.....right?!  I grabbed the box.  It turns out that it depends on the brand of test you use apparently.  In this case, after actually reading the instructions, 1 line actually meant PREGNANT!!! 

I think I lost touch with reality for a moment and just kind of staggered out of the bathroom and threw the test at Doug.  I felt confused and scared and overwhelmed.  So many thoughts overwhelmed me.
With Grayson being so young and Revi still not sleeping though the night because of extreme and chronic reflux Doug and I were barely making it day to day.  We were sleeping on an air mattress after months of sleeping on our couch in an effort to get Revi to sleep even for a few hours in a row.  The only way she would fall asleep was nursing and woke if we moved her so we just left her in our bed and then leave her so we could catch some sleep.  I was barely making it.  It was hour by hour as it was and now, it seemed life was piling on.  I felt a little hopeless.
Doug looked confused and gave me the look that says: "bottom line me".
"I'm pregnant" I forced out.  Feeling a little like a twenty something girl in a bad chick flick--"how did this happen?!"  Is this even possible?

We drove home and greeted our dear friends and neighbors along with Grayson, Revi, Grandma and Grandpa on the front steps of our beloved loft.  "we will have to move" I thought.  We didn't say anything to anyone for a few days because we were still quite shocked and not sure what to think.
I called Rebecca though and she informed me that I would most likely be due during her break AGAIN!! 

Fast Forward past rearranging or life, moving to a house and through a beautiful summer riding bikes and enjoying our little spirited family.  I felt really great(if not a bit grumpy) until about August.  Doug was traveling nearly every week and I was just cranky and sore all day long.  Running after(and reasoning with and cuddling) 2 little crazy toddlers was taking its toll and the thought of another little soul to care for terrified me.
Rebecca does an ultrasound at each visit if we want.  She determined that baby girl was breech...."when do we worry?" I asked.  "I'll let you know"  she assured.  The majority of babies turn on their own.
We got to 35 ish weeks and I started to worry--I followed every thing I could on spinning babies and yet, at 38 weeks she was still breech.  I nearly had a nervous breakdown thinking of the possibilites.  The thought of having a c-section and being unable to lift my other two babies for 6 weeks AND caring for a newborn, cooking and everything else a wife and mother does for her family was just impossible.  I was officially freaking out.

We went for a consultation with the famous Dr Silver that Rebecca recommended(who had turned all of her babies in need of turning except 1) He eased our fears and assured us that we were ideal candidates for our baby to turn--we waited through the weekend and on Monday we went to the hospital and successfully turned our little girl--we were now in the clear to deliver at home!!

Grayson and Revi were both early by 9 and 8 days respectively.  Rebecca had barely made it to both births just in time to help me through transition and then help me catch the babies.  She assured us that the 3rd baby is always the wildcard, the unknown.
Since we were completely unsure of my LMP or conception date we were determining due date on best guess and all of our ultrasounds were the same with a due date of Oct 29.  Since this baby was breech I was sure she would be late.
After it was confirmed that she was head down I settled in for the long haul.  That friday I went shopping and decided to make a really fun weekend.  I shopped for everyone's favorite foods, I planned desserts, I had a long list of tasks saved for the last weeks.  I walked around Smiths contracting and breathing---normal stuff for the end of my pregnancies.  I just feel tired.

That night we put the kids down and talked for hours.  About everything.  It was so wonderful.
Doug fell asleep--I was alone--I needed a bath.
I was in the tub thinking that I was pretty comfy--the denial begins--a hallmark of my births.
Doug came in around 3 or 4 am and asked how I felt.  He watched for a few minutes and then started asking what I wanted the plan to be for the kids--I told him to hold off knowing if we breathed a word of "labor" to the outside world chaos would ensue.  I assured him I wasn't in labor.  He didn't believe me.  I was annoyed.  I wasn't ready to let the quiet go.  I hadn't had my last few days with my babies yet.  I needed a weekend to say goodbye.  I wasn't ready.

I heard him on the phone.  Making arrangements.  I would pipe in every few minutes with directions.
Luckily we had talked through what we thought we wanted to do for Grayson and Revi the night before so I could mostly just stay in the calm.

Then the kids woke up.  People arrived to care for them. I felt rushed.  I felt territorial.  I wasn't ready.
I took Revi.  I walked with her and talked with her through many contractions.  I cried.  I knew what was coming for her.  I wasn't ready.  I could never explain to her how sorry I was that she was no longer my baby or my only little girl.  I just wasn't ready for it to be today.  I needed more time.
Finally she wanted down and went to "Maga".  I felt irritated(not at the loved ones who had come to support us but that I couldn't be alone) They took the kids.  I felt ok.  I felt like I had a huge task to complete that could not be done unless I was alone.  Rebecca showed up: "I just don't trust you my dear. Let's see how your little girl is doing"   She took a listen.  You could have a baby in 20 minutes.  I was shocked!  Again?!  I didn't believe it!  Then more people came, well meaning and treasured people.  People that if I was a different person I would have loved to be actually attending the birth, but I am not that person.  I tried to be kind, I tried to see past my irrational response, but really I just wanted everyone to go away.  I felt my contractions slow and then stop completely.
We had breakfast, we sent everyone off promising that we would let them know the moment she was here.
I felt scared.  I felt like I had done something terrible by not listening to myself and keeping everyone away.  I was frustrated with Doug for not keeping everyone at bay.  I was worried that I had endangered our baby.  Rebecca reassured me that the baby sounded happy and if she broke my water the baby would be born within minutes.  That didn't seem right.  Nothing seemed right.  I felt trapped, I felt a little panicky.  Labor had never just stopped for me before.  Grayson and Revi were coming and they didn't really care what I thought.  Then again, it was just me and then Doug and only for the last few minutes Rebecca.  This was new.  I had too much time to think and too many interruptions.  It seemed, she was patiently waiting for me to be ready and in a good place for her to be born.  I was astounded at just how sensitive the entire process really is.

After trying to walk and take a nap and some herbs we sent everyone away.  Rebecca and Bri left the house.  I felt better.  Things started picking back up. I told Doug about my frustrations and fears.  He understood.  Before I knew it Rebecca was back.  She just kept listening to the baby's heartbeat and saying "She is Reeeaaaallllyy low.  You let me know when you want to have a baby."
I got in the water.  All the sensation went away.  I liked feeling progress so despite all of the classes and 2 previous births that had taught me to move to where I am working with my body and the pain goes away I found myself trying to move toward the pain to reassure myself that progress was being made.  I kept thinking and saying aloud: "this isn't it, it can't be as far along as everyone seems convinced it is because I am not in enough pain!"  We were having such a fun time(mostly Doug, Rebecca and Bri making fun of me for not believing that she was almost here) but there was a contraction, then we would joke, then another contraction.  Rebecca kept telling me to feel for her head and even when I did I didn't believe she was almost there.  Then suddenly, with one contraction my water broke and the baby born into the warm water!  I grabbed her and lifted her to my chest.  I was SHOCKED!  I couldn't believe I was done!
Juni cried VERY LOUDLY.  Since it was 12:39 in the afternoon there was beautiful light in our bathroom but it seemed to bother he so we shut the blinds and she seemed happier.  We got to cuddle in awe while she got some good cord time and then Doug cut "the HUGE" cord.
She was here! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Revi 10 Months

 I need to get a tutu.  And some vintage inspired headpieces.  A tub and a basket.  Babies seem to like this sort of thing according to Pinterest and Etsy.  Perhaps later.  I just cannot resist the urge to show my babies as they are:  wise, complex and beautiful.  In our home.  The home that is truly ours in every way, where they were born, that we are making all kinds of firsts in, starting so many traditions. 

 Revi is a sorcerer.  A wise and deep person.  She clings to me still like she is a newborn at times and then others we find ourselves asking:  "where is Revi?"  She is keenly aware of her place in our family.  She is paitent and loving to her brother, who she seems to know is still having a hard time sharing his mama, she waits her turn, recognizes the toys that he cannot bear to share.  She'll tease him once in awhile but who could resist that?

She doesn't sleep.  She goes sometimes 4 hours at a time at night.  She then wakes up and proceeds to kick, hit and exclaim "hi, HI!!" until we snuggle her and wait for sleep to catch her once again.  This is genetic I am afraid and comes directly from me.  One day we will scheme and create together.  For now, I am exhausted most of the time.  A state that will pass as all things do with babies.

I cannot believe we are already here.  She is 10 months going on 30 years old.  She really is wise beyond her years and it makes me long to talk to her, learn her secrets.

She is signing and talking a lot.  Just like Grayson her words are: "HI!, Bye, Dada, Mama, What's That?!"  and mimicking whatever we say.  She is really great at signing which is so much fun!

Having a daughter is more magical and heartbreaking than I ever imagined.  Seeing a mirror image of yourself makes you understand your life in ways not possible otherwise.  It makes you long to right your wrongs and prevent theirs.  It is wonderful and horrible.  I wouldn't change it for anything.

She is our littlest girl, Grayson's partner in crime, our little Reverie.

My favorite photo of her to date.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stealing the Show.

This was Revi's 6 Month shoot but I had my little boy by my side as always so I couldn't resist getting a few shots in this beautiful light in the most amazing fall I can remember. 
It is his heart that will always stand out.  In a crowd, while reading stories, while picking out pastries at our neighborhood bakery.  He is kind, he is careful and he is curious.  His kindness is  a disarming kindness, the kind that doesn't happen often.  I am excited to see him every single time I do.  He is also a joker. He is my littlest boy, and he barely fits in my lap, which makes  my heart break and sing, all at once.  I guess that makes me a mom.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Our 6 Month Old

 I don't really know what to say.  This month has been a bit rough and I think that is ok to say but not always easy to allow myself to think.  My beautiful, curious, smart and sassy little girl wants to be attached to me day and night and while I am flattered, it is taking it's toll.  She is desperate for me, every minute of every day and it makes me wonder if that means I am doing it wrong, or right or if I ate too many cookies while pregnant with her or if I am not giving her the right kind of attention or stimulation or that she has low self esteem or that she is too demanding.  Any and all of it my fault.

Sigh.  Mommy guilt is alive and well in our house!

But. Guess what else is happening?  Grayson and Revi have developed their own language of sorts.  They babble back and forth and laugh hysterically and then start all over.  Then they reach for each other and hold hands and then more laughter and then more babbling.  It just doesn't get any better.  It doesn't.  Their bond is already apparent and I am just hopelessly in love and breathlessly watching it unfold.  That pretty much sums it up:

I am hopelessly in love and breathlessly watching it unfold.

My life is a dream and a whole lot of work.  And there are tears.  Almost every day.  Both happy and  and bittersweet and also tears of frustration and sometimes even moments when I know that I cannot go on another minute.  And then I do. And then I am proud.  I know that I am giving every single ounce that I can to make their life healthy and beautiful and interesting and educational and clean and fun and well, a life they will remember fondly.  And that makes me know that a moment has not been wasted, and that makes me happy.

I am so intrigued by my little girl.  She and I share a bond that is intense and still unfolding.  I am both amazed and overwhelmed that I get to experience having a daughter.  Especially one as fierce and soulful as Reverie is.  She is unlike any other person I have met.  She is captivating and demanding and beautiful and whip smart.  She will leave a deep and lasting impression on the world.  Just watch.