In the beginning…

Hello, there! First, I want to thank you for taking time to read my blog.  I am new at this, so bear with me! I want to give you a little background info on me, which might or might not come in handy later on as I start telling my story.  My husband, Mark and I met in high school, through band.  He was a senior and I was a sophomore.  We started dating in December of 2005, got engaged in 2008, and married in 2009.  Yes, we were high school sweethearts (AWWW!) and we are still very much in love today.

About a year and a half after we got married, we decided to start trying to have a baby.  Sounds simple right? I mean, tons of people have babies with seemingly no effort!  I went in to the process thinking (naively) that within a month or so, we would be telling the world that we were going to be parents.  A month went by and nothing happened. Two months.  Five.  I finally (around 6 months in, I think) had a very faint positive on a home pregnancy test.  Sadly, within a couple of days, I lost the baby.  Time went on.  Over the next year, I had another miscarriage and a chemical pregnancy.  I started getting depressed.  Why was it so hard? My very best friend got pregnant as soon as they started “trying.”  I hated myself for it, but I was insanely jealous of her.  (I got over it, don’t worry! She’s still my bestie and now our kids are besties!) Everywhere I looked there were babies and pregnant women.  I cried every time I started my period.

Mark and I had just about given up hope of ever becoming biological parents (we could NEVER afford fertility treatments, in vitro, or surrogacy) and were looking at fostering/adopting a child.  I was working at a daycare at the time, in the toddler room, so I was around kids all day.  I loved it! Sometime near the end of April 2012, I started feeling a lot more tired.  I could have probably slept for 14 hours a day if possible.  I chalked it up to getting more hours at the daycare. After all, I was caring for nine 18-24 month old kids at once! I got what the stomach flu one day…and every day after that, I was nauseous.  I thought it was just from some acid reflux or something stirred up by the bug. I didn’t think anything of my symptoms.  One of my co-workers mentioned that she thought that I was pregnant.  It was still about 3 days before my period was due, but it planted the idea in my mind.  Could it be? After all this time, could I really be pregnant??
After work, I went to the store and got five 88 cent pregnancy tests ( I had to make sure, right?), came home, and took one.  Negative.  Oh well. The day of my expected period came, but darling Aunt Flo did not.  Hmm…maybe I should test again? Negative again!! Two more days went by and I tested again. Still negative.  Maybe it is just late. After a week of waiting for my period to start, my husband started getting anxious.  I didn’t take another test until the next night.  After having our weekly dinner with my mom, dad, and grandma, we went home.  I didn’t tell Mark that I was going to test again.  I didn’t think anything was going to happen.

I yelled for Mark to come in to the bathroom, and he came running in, crashing into the door frame.  “Look at this. Tell me what you see. You see that, right? I’m not imagining things???” He looked at the test. “I see two lines.  What’s that mean?” With shaking hands and tears in my eyes, I looked back at those two pink lines. “It means we’re having a baby!” Mark had the most befuddled look on his face, then told me, very calmly, “I don’t believe you,” and walked out of the bathroom.  Of course, the first thing I did (at 9pm) was call my mom. Her reaction to becoming a grandmother again? “Oh, I kind of figured you were.” :/  I then proceeded to take a picture of the positive test and send it to my best friends.  Three days later, after church, Mark and I met up with his parents and grandparents at a restaurant for lunch.  We had decided to wait until then to tell them.  I sat next to my mother in law, Judy, and Mark sat across the table from me.  After saying hello, I said, “So….Mark and I found out something pretty interesting Thursday night.” “Oh what’s that?” Judy asked. “Well…um…,” I started, “Mark and I….are going to have a baby!” Shocked, all she said was, “Oh.” Not exactly the reaction we were hoping for.  It was to be her very first grandbaby, after all.

As the weeks went on, my morning sickness passed, we had our ultrasounds, and my belly grew. It grew and it grew and it grew.  I got stretch marks. My back and my hips hurt so bad that I had to sleep in the reclining chair with 3 pillows placed under various parts of me.  I got heartburn from everything, even ice chips. At 24 weeks, I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions.  Pregnancy was nothing like what I had expected, and What to Expect did not help, either.  Finally, the day of my last doctor appointment arrived.  I waddled into the room and waited for the doctor to come in and check my blood pressure, measure how big my belly was (HUGE!!) and see if I was dilated any.  I had dilated to 1cm, was about 75% thinned, and the baby was starting to engage.  We scheduled me to be induced on Monday, January 14, 2013.  He told me to check into labor and delivery at about 7:30pm Sunday, so we could give me antibiotics and a medicine to help finish thinning out my cervix.  That night (a Friday), Mark and I planned our last date night before our baby came.  We went to Varsity to eat, then went shopping at Carter’s for my best friend’s daughter’s first birthday present.  I was feeling fairly uncomfortable by the end of the night, but that was pretty much a constant state that late in the game.  The next day, we went to Madi’s birthday party, and wound up leaving a little early because I was so tired, went to his parent’s house (where I took a 2 hour nap), then met up with Nanny and Grandad at Bob Evan’s for Grandad’s birthday dinner.  All night I was feeling very uncomfortable and tired, but not really having any strong contractions.  Sunday dawned.  We didn’t go to church that morning, so we could finish loading everything up to take to the hospital, feed the dog and cat, and have a few hours to ourselves (for pretty much the last time ever).  We went to Nanny and Grandad’s for lunch that afternoon, like every Sunday.  I lazed around all day, snacked around, and napped.  Finally it was time to go to the hospital.  As we pulled into the parking lot, there were butterflies in my tummy as well as a kicking baby. After filling out all the paperwork, getting changed into those lovely, fashion-forward hospital gowns, and getting hooked up to monitors to see baby’s heartbeat and any contractions, I got my iv, about a million hospital bracelets, and settled into my bed.  At 9:15 pm, a nurse came in and gave me the medicine to finish thinning out my cervix and checked to see where I was.  I had progressed to 2cm dilated, 80% thinned, and the baby was engaged. Judging from my contractions (which just felt like Braxton-Hicks), they determined I was in early labor already! Yay! No Pitocin for me!! Within 30 minutes of taking my pill, I went from 2cm to 4cm and were having legit contractions, where I was on my hands and knees swaying back and forth and moaning. Where was Mark during all of this? Asleep. On the couch. Ugh.  I threw a pillow at him to make him get up. Things went quickly.  I had not planned on having an epidural.  Finally the nurse checked me and said that I was 6cm and my bag of waters was bulging.  I told her I wanted the epidural, but I needed to go to the bathroom first.  I got up with Mark’s help, waddled into the bathroom, cried, and waddled back to the bed.  It took a minute or two to get me situated to get back onto the bed, because my contractions were coming so close and were extremely painful.  Just as I started to sit on the edge of the bed, I felt as though there were a water balloon that had popped and a gush of water came out.  For some reason, this absolutely terrified me.  I started crying and said, “My water just broke.” After being half lifted onto the bed, the nurse sent for the anesthesiologist. I got my epidural and proceeded to sleep until it was time to check me again.  They said that I was fully dilated and ready to push and sent for the doctor.  Mark, my mom, and my mother-in-law were the only ones I wanted in the room.  After pushing a total of 30 minutes, my precious baby boy was born!  I instantly fell in love with all 7lbs, 12oz and 20″ of him! After two years of not being able to get pregnant, I was finally a Mom!  Words cannot express the joy, wonder, and love I felt in that moment.  We named our son Michael Ray, after both of our dads.

My journey to become a mother was not an easy one.  I relied a lot on my faith in God and I knew that He had a plan for me.  Every day since then, I have had to rely so much more on Him.  I pray for patience, understanding, forgiveness every day.  I thank God so much for my little Mikeyman.

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