Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Imogen's Birth

I've been meaning to write this all down for 3 months. Hopefully I can recall it all correctly.


You were born on your due date. April 3, 2014. 

The drs wanted to induce me, but I refused. I knew you'd come when you wanted. In an effort to stave off their induction pressure, I agreed to have my membranes stripped the morning of the 3rd, at 10:00 am. It hurt like hell.

By the time I got home, I was in a fair amount of pain. I took a bath, and made sure I had my bag packed in case you came that day. I straightened my hair, and put on waterproof mascara. 

I called your dad and told him that I needed to go in to the hospital. Once we got there, they checked me and told me that you weren't coming yet. They told me to go home and walk for 2 hours. So we left. The ride home my contractions got more and more intense. By the time we got home (5 minutes or so after leaving) I could barely walk. Your dad convinced me to go straight back. I was screaming so loud, I don't know how he focused on driving, but he did and he got us there fast. A really nice woman whose name I didn't catch saw us coming in, and got me a wheelchair and ran with me to the elevator and up to Labor and Delivery. I'm glad she was there at that moment. 

Once we got there, we went straight back. They told me that you were already WAY down, and that I'd dilated to 5cm since I was there, which was about 10 minutes earlier. You were coming today, for sure. 
I changed into my gown, and waited to be put in a birthing room. My contractions were so intense that I can't remember how many I had or how long they lasted. I remember that I had no time in between to rest. It was exhausting. I had such a mix of fear and pain and excitement and panic. It was incredible. 

Your dad was awesome. I'm sure I nearly broke his hands holding on to them. I grabbed his shirt so much that I'm surprised I didn't rip it. He spoke up when any of the attending nurses got snippy or rude, which they did. He knew exactly what I wanted and exactly what I needed, and he made sure they did too. I'm so happy that he was there, and that he is who he is, and that he is your Daddy.

After a few hours of constant contractions, fussing at nurses, and screaming for pain meds that they didn't have time to give me, I felt like I needed to start pushing. It was so empowering. I felt more vulnerable and more powerful than I've ever felt in my entire life. You were coming. We were going to meet you. I was finally starting to feel like myself and we call cracked jokes and laughed when I could. It was a pretty pleasant experience.

I was given some medicine to take the edge off, since I was completely exhausted after how fast labor was. I was so thankful for that and I don't regret it at all.
I pushed maybe 10 times, and there you were! Your Dad got to watch you come, and he got to touch your head as you emerged into the world. I liked watching his face when he first saw you. They said, "And here's your baby girl" and the first thing I said was, "SHUT UP!!" Everyone laughed. 

They gave you a quick wipe down, since there was meconium on you, and handed you to your dad, who handed you to me. You were so beautiful. You still are, of course, but I can't explain how overwhelmed I was with how beautiful you were when i first saw you. We both loved you so much already, and we had just met you.

This was 6 months ago. You're just as amazing now as you were that first day. Your father and I love you so very much. So does your big brother.

We love watching you grow, and it's happening so fast! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

for anyone that was following my posts about ppd, they're now here

Monday, February 3, 2014

Carrying you, Imogen (A letter to Sprout II)

I'm around 33 weeks pregnant, today. You should be here in the beginning of April. 
This pregnancy hasn't been very different from my experience with your brother, which is nice. 
I was a little sick in the beginning, but nothing bad and it went away after a couple of weeks. I've done everything the same. Healthy diet, exercise, no prenatal vitamins, and absurd amounts of water. I feel great. You move all the time, more assertively than your brother did. It's funny. I'm very aware that you're in there all the time. 

I'm incredibly nervous about you. I'll be honest, I absolutely wanted you to be a boy! Not for any mean reason, I think little girls are wonderful, and I'm already so glad that you are who and what you are. I'm nervous because my relationship as a young girl with my mother and other woman figures wasn't very positive. I don't know that I know how to be a mother to a girl. I'm afraid that with no experience to pull from, the difficult times will get the best of me and I'll do something terribly wrong. And that frightens me.
Of course, I had no frame of reference for raising your brother either, and he has so far turned out fine! We have a great relationship and I can't wait to have that with you as well.

I can't believe that you'll be here in like, 7 weeks! Well, you're scheduled to, anyway. I have a feeling you'll show up whenever you want. We're in the process of moving, so soon I'll have your room all put together and ready for you. I can't wait. You don't know this yet, but your mommy designs one heck of a nursery. 
See you soon!

Friday, January 31, 2014

A word on "parenting styles"


 I have the privilege and honor to be responsible for the future of this little face.
Hair included.
I've heard lots of things about attachment parenting, RIE method parenting, Euro-style parenting...

What about just being good, honest, loving, and respectful parents?
I've never taken the time to identify what "type" of parents we are to Liam. We're his parents. We're here to love and support and respect him.
Yes. Respect the toddler.
I'm not going to say that there is a right way to bring up your child into adulthood. I will, however, say that there is most assuredly, a wrong way.
His needs and feelings, no matter how fleeting or extreme or the manner in which they are expressed, matter.
They matter to him, and thus they matter to his father and I. This won't change when he's older. I hear "Just try to feel that way when he's a teenager."
I'm not stupid. I know it's going to be difficult sometimes, for us and for him.
My mother was a single mom, who did the best that she could. She has her own set of issues, and I'd be lying if I said that they didn't have an impact on the type of parent she was. I was around my maternal grandmother a lot growing up after my parents' divorce. A woman who, while she loved us, was not of the mindset that children deserve respect. We (my sister and I) weren't allowed to freely walk around her home. We had to sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing, if we weren't doing housework. We couldn't take naps. As teenagers she would often send us to bed at 8:30. She regularly read our diaries, stalked our school habits, and refused to let us have friends over. We were allowed 5 minute showers and she would rarely let us shave our legs (teenagers, people.) She would shame me about boyfriends and when the time came, sex. I once had UTI in high school, which girls get from time to time, and she told me in front of my sister "You know you can only get those from dirty sex."
Nice. I remember her once covering up the mirrors in our room because "you guys look at yourselves too much."
We were teenage girls! Are you kidding me? Still, they insist it was "best for us" and "built character" and I'm sure she'd insist that if she hadn't done those things I'd be an axe murderer by now. Not so. As a result, I grew up feeling like my feelings didn't matter, and to feel ashamed and embarrassed of my changing body and hormones.
I don't know if it was a generational thing, or what. But I can absolutely say that this is the wrong way to do things. I still have problems that I can trace back to feeling like I was less of a person as a child and a young adult.
I think that starting when your child is a baby, you need to respect them. Respect that they are their own people and they won't feel how you want them to feel all the time, and that your role as a parent or parental figure is to help them get through awkward times, not punish them for being "difficult."
Thankfully I had a very positive maternal figure in my best friend's mother. Jamie helped me through a lot, and to this day I call her Mom. 
My son and daughter will have "troublesome" times as young children. They'll rebel as teens. They'll have sex at some point. My daughter will one day ask about birth control. I welcome these times. I welcome the opportunity to be for my children the positive adult role model that I didn't have in my family growing up. My family did the best they could, absolutely. But isn't it our job to do better, and to honor and respect our children simply because they are people? All "methods" aside?