Thursday, July 14, 2011

The birth of a mother

Preparing for my first baby was exciting and new. I remember details like the way I felt when I walked into her room and touched the bedding of her crib. Or the smell of her freshly washed clothes, before she was born  I would smell them and imagine them hugging her tiny body. But what I remember mostly, the freshest most vivid memory is the one of her birth.

I woke up Saturday morning at 6:30am feeling a slight cramping and noticed I was leaking some fluid. I knew it was the beginning of our beginning. I woke up Dan and told him, he was tired and fell back asleep so I called my mom.  She too told me she was tired and told me to sleep. But I couldn’t sleep! I was in labour and there was lots to do. I showered and looked through my hospital bag , ate some breakfast and started timing my contractions, they were steady at 20 minutes apart. By 8 am I woke Dan up and  we started our day. It happened to be my niece’s birthday party so I went over to help decorate and make some food. When the kids started arriving I took charge, playing games, bathroom trips and  having fun trying to pass the time. By then I was contracting every 10 minutes. When everyone left I took a bath and Dan and I went on a bumpy car ride, we drove around for about an hour and then went home to walk our dog. It was about 8 pm and I was ready to go to the hospital, we got our stuff together and went over. As we walked in I remember Dan asked me how far I thought I was, I said I better be at least 3 cm. They hooked me up to a monitor and I asked the nurse what the screen meant that was displaying my contractions and she said something very snooty like “it means you are having contractions, but we’ll see if we are going to keep you or send you home” I whispered to Dan that she was a bitch. The nurse checked me and did a test to see if my water had broke. It turned out I was 3 cm and my water had broke, funny I never felt a gush. They said it was a slow leak and my water had to be fully broken later on. After that the nurse who’s name was Krista was so nice to me and kept reassuring me that I was doing a great job. I managed my contractions pretty well and felt comfortable because we brought my own blankets and pillow. I was a little upset they wouldn’t let me have my dr. pepper. The entire time Dan was always by my side, stroking my hair, rubbing my feet and tickling my back. He even cuddled up in the hospital bed with me and you could tell the nurses were impressed with how attentive he was. I wanted to do it natural but at around 7 cm I was in a lot of pain, it was the middle of the night and I was exhausted. Krista recommended a shot of morphine because she knew I did not want the epidural. I agreed and let me tell you it made my whole world spin, I felt so weird and out of body I was freaking out. After about a half hour it wasn’t so bad and I was able to sleep.

I slept through or at least  rested for the last  few centimetres until my dr got there. He checked me and I was 10 cm Yay! He broke the rest of my water and there was the gush I had expected. I thought hey I’m 10 cm it’s go time but my dr told me there was still a tiny bit of cervix and we would wait. Krista said when it was time I would feel a strong urge like I needed to got o the bathroom. I kept waiting and waiting and eventually after a half hour I faked it. I never had an urge but I said I did because I wanted to get the ball rolling. My contractions were so strong and back to back I just wanted her out at this point. Krista said we would have a “practice push” because I’m pretty sure she knew I was faking the urge. She got ready and I got into position in the stirrups and did our first practice push.  The look on my nurse’s face was pure shock. She could see Lily’s head and my dr was finishing the staples in another patients c section. She called in a more experienced nurse and I just remember them saying “don’t push! don’t push!” I was yelling that I needed to push, that I wasn’t doing it my body was and I remember mid yelling Dan looked at me so serious and said “Elizabeth you can’t push, you are going to tear. You need to breathe through this! We have worked so hard let’s not ruin it” It brought me back to a calm state where I felt I had a little more control over my body. He and I had been doing  perineal massage for the last 4 weeks to decrease the chances that I would tear. Dan let me know after Lily was born that at this point one of the nurses stopped the crowning process and actually pushed Lily’s head back in! When my dr came in the room minutes later he was shocked to see Lily’s head. He quickly got ready and in three strong pushes my baby was born. She was perfect and they put her right on my chest to enjoy. Dan and I welcomed our precious joy into the world.

Dan cut the cord and they took Lily away to be checked out and cleaned up. I remember they were giving her the heel prick and she started to cry  I yelled at the nurse “she doesn’t like that!” and Dan reassured me that it was ok and she was fine. He stood beside her the whole time and when he spoke to her she stopped crying, it was so magical the way his voice calmed her. And we both agreed that reading to her while in my womb had gotten her familiar with his voice. Dan brought Lily back over to me so we could enjoy her together and it was sheer bliss. Happiness was pumping through my body and I was completely high on love! We enjoyed her together for an hour and then family came in to see her little self. Every one agreed she was perfect. She had a perfectly round head, I think it was because I was such a great pusher c:

I never thought of getting her a ped before hand so when the one on call came to check her out my mommy instincts kicked in and I asked if she was accepting new patients.  Everything was as perfect as I could imagine. I made the decision before she was born that I would breastfeed and breastfeed we did. It was a little tricky at first and we had a really rough time in the first 2 weeks but that is another story. Bottom line when she was born she did go to breast and it was extremely painful, and it was it was exactly what I wanted, and it was perfectly wonderful.

That morning my precious daughter was born and so was I. The mother I am today, the woman I have become. I am forever grateful to her for the life she has given me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Through her eyes- What was she missing?

Through her eyes.
what was she missing.

On September 20 2009 my perfect, angelic, beautiful baby girl was born. She was more beautiful then I could have dreamed, more perfect than I could have ever imagined. During her first few months of life I grew to love her more and more, fixating on every tiny accomplishment and taking in every moment of her pure existence.  She made me a better person, she made my relationship stronger, she made my life complete.

Fast forward to about 10 months old and my baby girl started  crossing one eye. I thought this was normal and something she was playing around with. 2 weeks went by and the turn became more and more apparent. She was crossing her  right eye whenever she tried to focus on something. I was in denial but my loving husband gently lead me to the decision to bring her to an optometrist, stating “it can’t hurt” and that “even if it’s nothing and she’s just playing around at least we’ll know.” I made the appointment knowing that the dr would tell me something was going on but also knowing I needed to hear the truth.  So I brought her in to see who was kind and gentle and very sweet with my lady bug. She sat on her daddy’s lap while poked and prodded at her eyes testing her vision and looking into her eye. He told us that lady bug was near sighted and  was trying to compensate with an eye turn… what does that mean well it means she has a hard time seeing things far away and when she focuses her eye turns inward. He told us we were great parents for being on top of it and that with out assistance from glasses she may have lost the ability to see from that eye. Two weeks later I was scheduled to pick up glasses for my 12 month old baby girl.

Waiting for those glasses was tough, actually it was unbearable. I wondered what she would think of them, how the hell I would keep them on her tiny perfect little face, and what others would think. It sounds awful but I did I couldn’t help myself. up to this point everyone always commented on how gorgeous she was and how she could do modeling. Would glasses change their perception?  Why did I even care what people thought?  I spent many nights crying to myself  and complaining to my husband. I felt cheated… like we didn’t deserve this.  Why couldn’t it be someone else? I kept this all to myself like a little secret in a tiny letter I wrote only to myself.

They came! They were finally here and I was ready to take lady bug in to try them on. nerves were running through my body like electrical shocks pulsating violently. The receptionist handed them to me and we sat down to see how they fit, if we liked the shape and colour, etc. And there she was my lady bug with her glasses. I looked at her and she was the same. Still perfect, still unbelievably gorgeous, still lady bug. Once we left the office I immediately took them off her face and looked through them, for some reason I felt weird doing this in the office. I wanted to see how much prescription she needed. It was so blurry and I knew at that moment what it was like to see through her eyes… without her glasses.  I sobbed thinking of what she had missed. I attributed every slight delay or clumsy fall to her not being able to see.  How could I have not noticed she couldn’t see before the eye turn? I felt I failed my daughter .

The next few weeks were a challenge to say the least. lady bug ripped her glasses off, threw them around, stretched them, and scratched the lenses. She even took them off and threw them on the floor then bounced all over them in her exersaucer.  We became regulars at the dr’s office and were thankful the dr recommended the extended warranty. We finally realized we needed a back up pair and put the order in. during the waiting time for the back up pair the glasses we had became scratched and we were left without them for about a week. Something magical happened during this glassesless time. lady bug realized they helped her see. She no longer ripped them off or tried to fight me as I put them on her face. In fact she cries when we take them off for bed, she pokes her head out when we go to put them on her in the morning. She loves them. This makes me smile, makes me know without a doubt  we are doing the right thing for our baby girl.

Lady bug has had her glasses for over 6 months now and she is doing great. I am too. I have come to terms with the fact that to strangers I am the mommy of the little girl with glasses.  I no longer feel furious when people ask questions, I don’t assume people are judging her or poking fun at her. We are at a place where lady bug and her glasses go hand in hand . I am happy that my little girl is complete and I am grateful that she can see the world like any little girl should.