Thursday, April 26, 2012

Month Nine...(April 2012)

This month was supposed to be another two weeks of bed rest and then I was allowed to be more mobile, knowing that at 37 weeks, we were in the "safe zone". Our Dr.'s and midwives referred to this as the "safe zone", because if you were born now, you would likely not have any time in the Special Care Nursery, unless something didn't go well at your birth. Everyone around me was SHOCKED that week by week, you were still in my tummy!  I think your Dad and I were surprised the most.  Every week that you kept "baking", made it that much easier, knowing we would have an end to this'd be born.

I spent half of the month at home on bed rest and that was really hard!  I wanted to help Daddy cook, clean, prepare for you to come home to a finished nursery and to just spend time relaxing on my own terms.  I had up and down days...down days, mostly because the pain was getting to be unbearable in my back and hips and sleep was pretty much non existent!  We were dying for you to come, so that we could hold you in our arms and not have to deal with the silliness that was pre term labour anymore!

My last pregnancy photo taken at home!

At my 37 week app't with the Midwives, I was taken off of bed rest and couldn't have been more grateful!  I could barely walk/move at that point, without assistance, so I was ready to try to get more mobile before you arrived.  Everyone always said to us, "I bet that the second you are off of bed rest, you will deliver this baby", but I had a hard time believing that you would ever come, having stayed in so long!  I was determined to help around the house more ("nest"), walk with Daddy everyday and spend some quality time together!

I tried to re book our maternity photos, before it was "too late", booked a hair app't for the following day (I hadn't had a haircut in 12 weeks!!!) and wanted to "get ready" for your arrival, hopefully before I went overdue! HA!

Secretly, I met with the OB we saw when we were in the hospital, as the Midwives wanted me to discuss with him, an early induction, if possible. They were quite concerned with the level of pain I was in, as well as your size and lack of movements at times.  You gave us yet again, another scare by not moving for a day and sending me to the office for another NST and BPP.  They predicted at the ultrasound, that you were 8lbs 6oz, had a head measurement of 34 cms and a length of 21 inches.  You were measuring 3 weeks and 1 day ahead.  YIKES!  I saw the OB and he agreed to book an induction date for you of: April 20, 2012.  His prediction though: Anytime I make an induction date, it seems the Mom always goes into labour before then.

So, after the app't, on April 10th and a lovely procedure to kick start some labour (which only works sometimes and is not proven to REALLY work), I felt really uncomfortable and was told it was "normal".  Little did we all know, the next morning, labour signs started to show and by 4pm, Dad and I "WALKED THIS BABY OUT", as the Midwives like to say!  We went for a walk around the block to try to kick start better contractions than I'd been having for the last 7 weeks and little did we know, half way through our walk, I WENT INTO LABOUR!!!!!!!  It was an incredible, yet painful walk, that really set your Daddy into high gear once we got back home!

While this is an EXTREMELY unattractive photo of me, Daddy decided that he needed to take a photo while I was in labour at home...he'll pay for this one, one day!

To be continued... :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Month Eight...(March 2012)

Well, well.  What a month this was!  It started on February 27th, actually, but since it all rolled into the events of month 8, it will all make one post!

On February 26th, at 31 weeks and 2 days into carrying you, I started to feel "off".  It's the best way that I could describe it.  Your Dad had left for New York City on a business trip.  We both lectured each other on a few things before he left:

Me to Daddy:

1) Keep your phone on (he always has it on silent), seriously, you never know what might happen while you're gone.
2) Call before you go to bed (we always talk before bedtime, if he's away)
3) Have fun when you're not in your meeting, but please wherever you go, take your phone with you (he always forgets it)

Daddy to me:

1) Don't go into labour while I'm gone.
2) If you think you're in labour, hold that baby in until I get home.
3) Don't overdo it, as there's no one around if something happens

Daddy didn't follow ANY of his rules!  I followed two out of the three.  It was a stressful day on February 27th, a day that would change the rest of this pregnancy for the both of us!

On February 28th, by mid morning, I felt so horrible and in so much pain, that I called the midwives, called your Dad and was asked to head to the hospital immediately.  Once we arrived, it was confirmed that I was in labour!  This is where EVERYTHING of month 8, changed!

It was supposed to be a month of fun and excitement.  A month of CELEBRATION and change.  A month where we got to prepare as best as we could for your arrival.  We had maternity photos planned, a baby shower that was being thrown for us by our friends, Daddy was planning a surprise for my 30th Birthday and we had plans to finish your nursery.  Well, what it turned out to be, was a month of chaos, fear, worry, prayers, hospital visits, tears, anticipation, countdowns, goals and much, much more.  Truth be told, without sugar coating it, it was at times, a horrific month for me.  A month that was difficult to manage, explain my feelings to anyone and very intrusive.  It was a month of medical talk, risk and craziness.

At times, people asked "How are you doing?"  "What was new?"  "How was I feeling?"  I wanted to SCREAM, cry or breakdown and say, "How am I doing?"  Miserable, actually.  "What was new?"  I'm still pregnant and don't know if I want to keep growing this baby, or just have the baby arrive, so that my body can recover and not be in so much pain.  "How was I feeling?"  Terrified, alone and like I completely lost any and all privacy I have ever had when it comes to my body and this pregnancy. That I just wanted to have some sort of answer when the contractions, joint flare up and complications would end.  That I couldn't EVER describe to someone what my heart felt like on a daily basis. However, I usually answered with, "I'm doing OK, I'm hoping to keep this little one growing as long as God allows me and I am glad that I am still pregnant today.  The truth HURT and most times, no one really wants to hear it, or would EVER understand it, unless they'd been there themselves.  They want to hear the positive.  They want to hear the sugar coating.  This was HARD for me.  Some days, I just NEEDED to be negative and have someone listen.  I was thankful for the friends, family and staff that would let me do this...share my fears, talk through them and then be able to move on after.  Keeping the feelings in, made the day so long and so much worse...Sometimes, I was resentful and I HATED feeling this way.

Each day and milestone got better and better.  My first few days were spent at Mt. Sinai hospital in Toronto.  That was a scary, scary experience, as everyone there, was so high risk and babies were passing away all around me.  It made me so extremely scared.  I was SO happy to make it to 32 weeks pregnant and get the heck out of there and back to Markham-Stouffville (the hospital where you would be born).  I was not sure how long I would have to stay in the hospital, but just getting out of THERE, would surely make things a bit easier.

The first week was spent getting every test, ultrasound and exam completed to see what might be happening with your growth/this pregnancy.  We were given steroid shots to mature your lungs.  We were given something to stop labour, which in the end, I could not take, so it was even more scary.  We had 2x daily Non-Stress Tests (NST's) and weekly Ultrasounds- Biophysical Profiles (BPP's), to ensure that your heart rate was okay, you were not getting stressed inside and that your growth/heart/lungs were all maturing, in case you were delivered early.  Each time, you passed these, it was a relief.  You were still measuring large at every ultrasound (predicted at our last BPP, that you were 8lbs, 6oz, which was in fact your birth weight!), so I was happy for you to come, anytime after the "safe zone" the Dr's kept referring to 36 weeks as.  After the first week, we were told that I wouldn't leave the hospital before 36 weeks.  What a long month that would be!

As days went by, I met many nurses, Doctors and roommates.  My first roommate, was Heather.  She and I got along EXTREMELY well and still stay in touch to this day.  One week after meeting her and Ethan, they had their baby boy- Nolan, which Daddy and I got really excited over!  In total, I had 13 roommates during my stay, none as amazing as she was!  We heard many births through the walls of our room and shared many laughs, fears and worries with each other.  Each week, the staff would be shocked that I was still pregnant with you, each time people visited, they asked when I thought you were coming.  This perhaps was the most frustrating of all questions!  Daddy would ask this as well and trust me, if I could have predicted it, I would have...oddly enough, the only two dreams that I had about specifics in this pregnancy, were dreams that your birthday would be on April 12th, and low and behold, it WAS!!!!!!!!!!!

We were VERY thankful for all of the visits, supports, prayers and everything in between that happened this month.  We wouldn't have made it through this long, tiring month without so many special people in our lives.  I am extremely thankful and grateful for your Dad.  His strength, love and support for the both of us, is something that I could NEVER put into words for you.  While I missed out on your first baby shower, my 30th birthday party and many other moments, I was grateful for the love that your Dad showed me each day.  He hated being away from us, spoiled us as much as he could and spent an entire month trying to manage working, taking care of the house, taking care of you and I and trying to help me through the emotions and fears that we had, should you have come early.

I was VERY grateful to have been released home on bedrest at 35 weeks, a massive surprise, the evening of my birthday!  While I was happy to go home, I was even happier that you were still growing and that I would get to walk through the front door again and go to bed in your Daddy's arms at least one last time before you arrived.  I was nervous, as I knew it would still be a lot of work for your Dad, I could barely walk/sleep due to the pain and labour, but each day got better and more manageable, labour wise.  We fell more and more in love with you during this month, praying that you'd be okay and arrive at a "safe" enough time, where we could take you straight home.  Every bit of worry, pain and emotional roller coaster, was worth it, just to be able to hold you in our arms soon enough!

What a crazy, whirlwind of a month!  We were excited to see what next month would hold and when you're birthday would finally be!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I am SO far behind on blogging...but promise to catch up!

Just as I was starting to write out a post about month 8 and my time in hospital on bed rest, my plans quickly changed!  Little Oliver decided it was time to have his birthday!!!!!!!!

We are madly in love and can't wait to share him with the world (soon) :)  I will be doing some posts over the next week or two to catch up, so look out for some cuteness!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thank you for your love and Support.

Before we update with another post, we wanted to make sure that we thanked everyone.  It would be hard to do it all by phone call/email/card, so for now, we are going to sa it here.

Your love, support, prayers, visits, meals, cards, thoughts, calls, emails and everything else in between...have been more than we could have ever imagined.  It has been a long almost 6 weeks of both hospital and home bed rest, something I could never describe to anyone what it's really like.  You have prayed for us through fear, worry, tears, happiness, milestones and now that we sit at almost 37 weeks (full term), we can't be thankful enough.

I thought of inserting a joke here, that you could all start praying now for the COMPLETE opposite of our intial requests (that baby stay in and I can remain sane on bed rest), and pray for this baby to come out and let me get back on my feet again, but whenever baby comes, this will all be a distant memory!

We can't wait for "Gizmo" (Graham hasn't shaken this nickname for the baby) to meet you all and for you to have a cuddle or kiss in person.  It's been a long 6 weeks, but oddly, at times has flown by so quickly.  With less than 4 weeks till our "due date", it's hard to imagine that this baby is not in our arms yet, but we are very grateful that we should get to take home our baby, as long as it arrives healthy and ready!  So THANKFUL!

Can't wait to update you all when Baby Clarke decides to make an appearance...and for Mommy's sake, I'd love to be off bed rest ASAP and for you to come ANYTIME after!!!

Thank you everyone, we love you and cherish you all.

Lee-Anne, Graham and "Gizmo".