As a joke, T drew up a contract for me. If I wanted a third child, there would be some things I would have to agree to. He delivered it to me in a professional looking manilla envelope. We still have that signed contract, tucked into a safe place. Maybe in a few years we will pull it out and have another laugh about these early years.
We started looking into the difficulties Kailey was having. She had turned 2 the month before and only had 5 words. She was incredibly agitated almost all of the time. It was so hard on us, because communication was impossible. I contacted the county Help Me Grow and they came out with different early intervention specialists. It was suspected Kailey had speech apraxia, a neurological disorder that affects a person's ability to remember movements of the mouth muscles. They also suspected Kailey of suffering from unspecified anxiety disorder. Our hearts were so sad for her. We had tried to make all 'the right choices' for our children. We wondered what her future would hold. Would she learn to talk? How could we get through therapy if she would break out in hives every time she got upset, or put herself to sleep when she felt overwhelmed? There were so many questions, but at least we had an answer. We had a starting point.
October 26, 2013
Thorsten came home from work early that evening to watch Kailey. I had planned on taking Nick to birth group. As I got us ready T made a joke "You're pregnant."
As the words came out of his mouth I knew it was true. I felt a twinge of excitement as well as panic.
I stopped at drug mart in Bainbridge on my way to that meeting. I bought a box of pregnancy tests and tucked one into my pants pocket before exiting the car in the library parking lot. Before the meeting began I took my 10 month old son with me to the ladies room, and held him as I hovered over the toilet, waving that wand in the general vicinity. Low and behold, he was right again. I went to that meeting with my heart beating so fast. I felt like I had an amazing secret. I took a picture and sent it to T.
The rest of my pregnancy went as they usually do. I do not enjoy being pregnant. It was more difficult this time around with 2 little ones. At my monthly prenatal appointments, my midwife Pam would give me a hard time for not taking better care of myself. I found it so difficult to make time to eat healthy. By the time I finished taking care of everyone else, and nursing Nick all my exhausted body had time to do was swallow a handful of animal crackers and drink a glass of juice. I kept telling myself that at least I was taking awesome whole-food prenatal vitamins and fish oils. Pam warned me if i did not do a better job with my diet that I was risking growing another large baby.
Pam sent me home with a blood sugar test kit. I started to test my blood sugar. My numbers were high, but not G.D. high. I tried to eat more protein. Nuts replaced my handful of animal crackers and I cut out all the juice.
The months ticked by, and by week 30 I was measuring so far ahead. I made an appointment with a local OB and went with my friend Meagan. He was a total jerk, as I knew he would be. Meagan and I laughed so hard on the way back from that appointment, but i got the information I wanted...there was only 1 baby, and he could not see any abnormalities on the ultrasound.
Week 40 came and went, as did 41. and 42. Week 44 was going to be the 4th of July. In addition to Pam's concern for a very large baby past 44 weeks, there was the logistics of what if we decided to go to the hospital? During a holiday week? Without an in-house care provider? At the end of week 43 I made an appointment with Dr. Andreani and T accompanied me. My mother stayed home with the 2 bigs. She was practically insisting I go get induced.
At this time I should probably mention that for the past month or so I had been doing all the go-to home labor inducers, cohoshes, evening primrose oil, castor oil, sex...well not in that order ; )
Dr. Andreani knew that I knew my stuff. She knew my birth history, and knew the size of Nick (10lbs 13oz). She said if I were in her care, she would prefer to schedule an induction, but that in her opinion she did not see a need for an automatic c-section. Her ultrasound put the baby's size around 9lbs 2 oz and she said I obviously had a proven pelvis. The baby's head was engaged and there was really no risk of cord prolapse. I thanked her for her time, but decided I wanted to wait a bit longer. I promised to call with an update by Tuesday, July 2 with a decision to induce or not.
Monday, July 1, 2013
It was any other day. I did my best to clean the house and take care of the kids. Around 4 pm I was watching Judge Judy. T would be home soon. There was a change. Things started to feel different. I started to believe labor might happen. After T got home he watched me have a few contractions. Then we put it into high gear. I made my phone calls and he got the room ready.
Mom. Jeana. Meagan please call Jenna. Finally Pam.
" Hi Pam, its Jackie. Are you doing anything tonight? No? Ok, good. I think we are going to have a baby. No, don't come now. I will call you when I need you."
Probably 30 minutes later I called her back. She was already on her way. She knows me better than I know myself : )
Mom and Dad came. Jeana came with her camera. Meagan and her 8 month old daughter, Chaela came. Jenna arrived. Pam came in with all her luggage. Nicole came.
As the evening progressed I was having a difficult time getting into a pattern. I was totally over thinking the situation. The contractions were pretty intense, and they seemed to go on forever. I was trying my best to temper my labor noises as I did not want to alarm Kailey and Nick. The bedroom lights were dimmed, and I frequented the privacy of the bathroom. Even though there was a heaviness in my pelvis, this baby was not where I needed her to be. I was so frustrated.
In my bedroom I was surrounded with support. I needed all of them. Every single one of them, down to baby Chaela. I felt strengthened by them.
Most of the time they were silent; quietly watching the age old process. Once in awhile I would look up and see T in the doorway. I can look back to that moment and see him. He looked calm. he looked like he believed in me. He knew I had it. At no time did those around me doubt me or the process.
When I asked others their memories of that night-
Jenna wrote: I think the thing I remember the most from your birth was how strong you were. There was a point where I was trying to comfort you (hand on the back or something useless ;d) and you were just emitting this incredible energy and strength. I'd never seen it before (and haven't since). You were just so powerful that I pulled my hand off of you like pulling it off of a hot burner. It was amazing. You were in charge of your decisions the entire time. There was no coercion, no influencing, no talking you into things. You were educated, knew what you wanted, and asked your care provider to provide it. It was great. I'm still so honored to have been a part of it xoxoxo"
At some point I walked around the backyard with T. I was only wearing a bra. Some amazing soul handed me a bathrobe. The mosquitoes were atrocious. We were being eaten alive. T only complained a little.
When we went back inside Pam asked me if I wanted her to break my waters. I said "Yes! Yes! God yes!"
In true Pam fashion, she wanted to make sure I was informed on the whole process. "Jackie you do understand that when I break the bag, your contractions are going to get a lot stronger."
"I know! I know! Just do it!"
The midwives prepared the bed and floor for the mess, and Pam got her instruments ready. It seemed like the process took forever, because Pam was explaining everything to me as she did it. Therewas a lot of fluid. I felt relief for approximately 1 minute.
One minute I felt relief. The next contraction hit and I jokingly said "Oh shit! I want to make a different choice!" It was incredibly hard to stay on top of things. I knew the intensity meant the end was in sight. That progress was being made. It was still hard.
I pushed for a long time. During that time though, it felt kid of like a dream. Time was kind of standing still. Looking back I probably thought I was in eternal hellfire. Maybe that was it. I kept reminding myself that it was almost over. Eventually it would end. And it did.
I heaved that slippery baby out with a few final pushes. It was the most primal, unbelievable strength I have ever felt. She was placed on my chest and covered with a towel.
As the midwives checked the baby and me, and everyone else assisted with the duties of cleaning up and making us comfortable I was in such immense pain. I did not feel the relief that sometimes accompanies the end. There was no 'after glow'.
I was helped to the toilet in the half bath next to my room. Pam needed me to pee. I tried and tried, but could not. She began talking about transferring to the hospital to get a catheter. I was also bleeding quite heavily. There was some concern of hemorrhage. Sometimes it is mind over matter, and I did not feel like walking to a car or ambulance...I peed. Pam then gave me herbs to help slow the bleeding.
Pam stayed for another hour or so and everyone but my mom slowly filtered out just at quietly as they had come in.
Thorsten went to lay down with the 2 bigs in his room. My mother laid down in my bed next to me and the new baby. I tried to rest until the sun came up. My mother snored so loudly.
This baby was to be named Emily if she was a girl. We were convinced she was going to be a boy. It would be 5 days until she had a name. Marissa Mae. Her papa named her.
Marissa Mae was BOH on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 12:50 am. She was in a brow presentation and weighed 11 pounds even.