Thursday, April 4, 2013

a time to be born

It's Thursday afternoon and I'm listening to the Lilybird sing to her dolls while I upload photos and type. No sweeter background music could I ask for...

Lately I have just been savoring every sweet moment with Lily a little bit more thoughtfully ~ she's only going to be our baby for seven more weeks. I'm sure we won't treat her any differently, but I know with all my new babies comes a realization that the child just above them in age really wasn't as much of a baby as we thought they were. And there's a certain bitter-sweetness in that revelation every time. Babies do need to grow up, but as a mama I am always reluctant to acknowledge that they are doing so.




 Tomorrow we go to see our eleventh baby on ultrasound again. The doctor wants to check on growth - a standard thing to check for women over 40 - and I am just happy to see this little person before he or she arrives. We don't know the gender, and we won't find out tomorrow....although I am extremely tempted right now. My thoughts are dominated by this baby- who they are, what they will look like, when they will arrive, what labor and delivery will be like again, how Lily will react...






....and on and on and on. My baby consumes me.


And the hormones that are multiplied in these last few weeks of pregnancy are bringing with them a flood of emotions. Just ask my family. I think I have a crying meltdown at least once a day, and it's usually around dinner time. I feel guilty for being so slow-moving and sore, I feel large and uncomfortable and unattractive. I feel like I'm not taking care of my family enough- everyone is pitching in extra to keep things running smoothly. My emotions skyrocket one moment in anticipation of this much-longed-for-baby, and plummet the next in anxiety about what could go wrong.


Plummeting...

After all the ups and downs of Lily's pregnancy I feel a little nervous, like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even the thought of my routine ultrasound tomorrow has me a bit on edge, because we never had a routine ultrasound with Lily. And the closer we got to her delivery, the more things pointed to the fact that something very different was going on inside of me. I'm trying my hardest to just lean into God and ignore the thoughts of what-if, but the stage of "almost there" is bringing back a lot of memories.



The bottom line is I just want to hold my baby in my arms and know that he or she is here safely. And I wish it were now.




Because there is a part of me that really feels like I missed out after Lily was born. We had a few hours in the NICU with her before she was transported to Portland, and I spent that first night alone at our hospital while Sam spent the night at OHSU with Lily. I missed out on my favorite moments in life and instead spent the night in a drug-induced sleep... and even the next day was so difficult, seeing my baby hooked up to tubes and wires and not being able to nurse her normally or sleep in the same room as her. In fact we slept in a completely different building from her, and even when I was with her during the day I felt disconnected.


That week was such a blur of information and specialists and tests and exhaustion and emotion...it honestly felt like The Twilight Zone, and I don't want to ever go through that again. Yes, there was the grace of God enveloping us, but just like anything in life, you still have to walk through your trials, even with a loving God helping you through it. It was not a fun time, and I think that's what is making me hope and pray so hard for a "normal" birth experience this time around.


Just one more lesson for me in trusting the Travel Agent.





Skyrocketing....

I cannot wait to smell that newborn smell. Favorite.smell.ever. So much of it comes from that creamy white vernix babies arrive covered in, which is why I'm always telling the nurses ahead of time- don't rub it off ! And that's also probably why I am so excited about a water birth this time around... I get to deliver my own baby, pull him or her up onto my chest, and nobody gets to clean them up right away. They're mine ... hands off !

Which brings me to my next source of excitement- a water birth. I love love LOVE to labor in the tub, and with some of my babies I had to be physically pried out of the tub before pushing. Okay, not really. But I did not want to get out of the water. It is so relaxing to me, and I am so looking forward to labor because of the thought of a water birth. I've watched a kajillion videos of water births over the years, and have always wanted to have one.

I'm sure there will be questions after posting this. Here are some answers ahead of time:

No, Sam will not be in the tub with me. He doesn't even want me to touch his toothbrush, so you can be guaranteed he won't even put his toe in the water of a birthing tub. Which is fine with me anyway- I prefer to be alone in my pond :)

I will be fully clothed in a flowing bathing suit top and bottoms, so even though I will have some family members in the room, including my older kids, it will be for the most part private. If you deliver in the buff and that's your thing, great. After ten kids, I am still quite modest... so if you're doing a visual of me when I go into labor, make sure not to forget a long flowy black tankini . Just like I'm going for a swim, very discreet.

Moving on...

Yes, the baby can breathe when he/she comes out under water. Just like they can breathe in amniotic fluid. They breathe in through their mouth when they hit air.
 
Yes, it is extremely safe. It took many years, and mountains of data for our hospital to be convinced of this, and believe me they would not allow birthing tubs if there wasn't significant data to show how safe it is.

The water might be murky. But a hospital bed doesn't exactly stay clean either; you just clean it up. And I won't stay in the tub for very long after the baby arrives, I'll get into a nice clean warm bed and enjoy my baby there.

And I can't wait for that.

I mean I CANNOT WAIT to hold my little baby and watch my husband and kids do the same, and I cannot wait for the joy, the unspeakable joy that comes from meeting that new little person for the first time.

And I can't wait for her to experience that either...






So here I am at the end of my post...and while searching for a misspelled word or punctuation error I made some decisions. Which is why I love writing and blogging so much - it brings my brain into focus so often. And this month especially, I need some focus.



I'm going to ride out these last seven weeks of emotions, knowing that this is the very last baby I'll carry. I'm going to soak up every moment with Lily as my baby, and look forward to the changes that will happen when she graduates to big sister status. I'm going to let my family rally around me as I depend more on them to do the things I usually do, and know that in just a short time I'll be back to my normal self. I'm going to trust that God will help me through whatever labor and delivery brings, just as He always has. And I'm going to cut myself some slack when my hormones and goals take a plummet or two, have a good cry, and remember those wise words of old...



To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.... 







He hath made everything beautiful in his time.





14 comments:

vaneelynn26 said...

Hi Patti,
I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and have since gone back to read many of your posts, including Lily's birth story. I've pretty much fallen in love with your family, and an completely enamoured with Lily.
My husband and I are expecting our first baby in just 3 weeks! We don't know if it's a boy or girl, but if its a girl, her name will be Lily, after my great grandma. :)
Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know that I love your blog (and Instagram pictures as well)!
-Vanessa

Patti said...

thank you, Vanessa- congratulations !!

Mariah said...

Hi Patti,

Beautiful post. I'm so glad for the decisions you made! This post, and the decisions you made while editing, remind me for some reason of Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, which I am currently reading. Her words and yours are helping me make some decisions too: decisions to fully enjoy everything that God gives and to live happy in the assurance that He is in total control of ALL things!

lisa said...

Patti - I enjoy your blog so much. Your willingness to share your journey and your heart have been a great encouragement. I have prayed for your requests but have never commented before now. Thought you should know that Lily has found her biggest fan in my 2 year old daughter Ellyana. Ellyana also has DS, and wears little pigtail buns in her silky blonde hair. My husband and I were so tickled with your videos of Lily singing and dancing, I shared them with my other children, including Ellyana. She LOVED it and now keeps signing for 'more' 'baby'. It is absolutely precious to see her dance along and gigle while watching Lily (I'm hoping she will try to mimic some of those words!) Just thought I'd share that, hope it makes you smile. Maybe I should post a video of my baby girl watching your baby girl... :) Blessings to you - praying for your new arrival! - Lisa

Maureen Huizinga said...

You will love the water birth! 4 of our 6 have been born that way. Very safe & easier on all involved, imo.

Amy P. said...

I'm gonna have to quit reading your blog. The way you describe the delivery and newborn stage is causing somewhat of a baby fever. I am done! Ya hear? Done! Lol Just kidding. I've been reading for about 2 mths and I'm hooked. I read lots of blogs and this and your IG makes me smile daily.

Danielle said...

Beautiful post patti! Can't wait to meet your little either! (:

Amy said...

Patti- At the risk of sounding like a nut, I so wish you lived nearby 'cause I think we'd be great friends :). Praying for you from TX.

Alaina and Kyle said...

I'm right there with you. I'm only at 24 weeks but had Beau at 29 so my emotions are going crazy. This will just be our second but after our experience with Beau, I'm nervous about everything! Hope these next 7 weeks go smoothly for you.

Ashley said...

Ahhh, these pictures are beyond gorgeous! <3

Elle's mommy said...

love this and love the verses at the end...He truly has made everything beautiful in His time... :) amen...praying for you and that sweet baby!!! I can't wait!!!

cara said...

Loving the pictures of Lily! She is so beautiful!!!

I cannot wait for you to have this precious baby either Patti! I LOVE the newborn phase and will SO enjoy watching you enjoy it through your blog. I know you will savor every single second. I tried SO hard to with James, and I cannot believe he is already nine weeks old today. I cherished that newborn smell too. And my heart broke when we could no longer smell it on James. I had a beautiful and quick water birth with James. It was my best yet. I tried to with Benji, but I got out of the tub so she could check me. I stood up, and he came fast and furious right in front of my bed. SO, I was thrilled to have James in the tub. And once again I am laughing because I am just like you when it comes to modesty. I was fully covered. We had beautiful worship music on, and I was able to praise God before he entered the world. He came SO fast that my midwife said she never had a baby come out so fast with no transition between his head and shoulders. Before I knew it, this most precious, sweet baby boy was in my arms. And I had so much peace. I never even questioned his health. I just knew he was fine. And I am still enjoying every second with this little guy. SO thankful for another baby. I am also praying for a quick, smooth, beautiful labor for you and this precious baby that I cannot wait to see!!

I went through the same emotions as you before birth about Benji. And it has worked out so good. He does seem bigger to hold, but still my baby boy in so many ways. I make sure to get in that extra, extra cuddle time with him. And he adores James. xoxo

Just Trying Not to Blink .... said...

Just a quick note to wish you a wonderful remainder of your pregnancy and an equally wonderful birth. I had my last one at 45 as well. Being a little bit "older" allowed me to really cherish the experience and appreciate even more what a privilege it is to bring another life into this world.

Can't believe Lily's hair! So long and thick already.

Jane George said...

oh patti i had a picture in my head and now i have to paint in a black flowing tankini and a clean-freak husband (still with hairy face!) protecting his toothbrush! you do know how to give a girl extra work here! xxx