Friday, May 29, 2009

The first moment

Every day I say to myself that I need to blog because I'm afraid that I will forget things that I never want to forget. And every day I can't tear myself away from Baby Jaguar or when he's napping there are chores to be done or papers to write or I'm too uncomfortable to sit in the office chair (yeah, that bites) or I just can't stand the thought of putting him down. And so I think I'm starting to forget some stuff.

I came into mommyhood scared of a million different things but really scared of one thing: connecting with the baby. I'll be completely candid. My mom has some great qualities but mostly she's just nuts. Like please-God-just-go-on-medication-nuts. So I don't have much of a relationship with her. I never have. And it scared me that I wouldn't be able to build some kind of connection with Baby Jaguar.

Don't get me wrong. I loved to feel him move inside me. I talked to him. I sang to him. But I was unsure the whole time if I felt as much as I was "supposed" to feel. My best friend wrote her unborn child letters and I remember thinking to myself, "Am I supposed to write letters?" I thought it was amazing that she felt that intensely connected to her child while I simultaneously worried that I didn't feel that.

Throughout the latter part of my pregnancy, people kept asking me if I was excited and I mostly said yes (y'know, because you're supposed to say that), but I wasn't that excited. I was scared. And I wanted him out. Those were my two predominant feelings. God, please don't let me mess up this whole parenting gig and also, please get him out immediately. I was so uncomfortable.

When labor actually rolled around, I still wasn't truly excited. "Are you excited to meet him?" everyone would ask. (Yes, because that's what I'm supposed to say.) In my head, I couldn't get to the moment where I actually got to meet him. I could only think about how I needed to get him out of my womb. Are you sensing a theme that I was outrageously uncomfortable by the time he made his appearance?

In the final weeks of my pregnancy, Mr. Jaguar would tell me how he couldn't wait to meet the baby and I, yet again, was wondering what the heck was wrong with me. Still, my only thoughts were get him out, get him out, get him out and please God don't let me suck at being a mommy.

And then Ben was born. They placed him on my chest. I looked at him. He looked at me. I didn't have to check for all of his fingers and toes. I didn't panic waiting for his first cry.

I knew he was just right.

And that he and I were a perfect match.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This jungle has a new cat

Presenting Baby Jaguar

Ben made his big arrival on Saturday, May 16th (sorry I've taken forever to post). After a successful version, I was able to avoid a C-section. Ben weighed in at 8 pounds 12 ounces and was 22 inches long.
He is the most exquisite creature I have ever laid eyes on.
I am completely in love.

Friday, May 15, 2009

40 weeks later...

Jungle Villas Complex
123 Wildcat Way
Amazonia, Brazil 54321

May 15, 2009

Dear Baby Jaguar,

This letter is in regards to previous requests to rectify issues resulting in complaints from your neighbors. Your belongings continue to exceed the amount permitted given the square footage of the property which is in direct violation of housing code M.O.M., section 5.15. We have tried to work with you to address this situation in a cordial manner, but are sorry to inform you that you are ordered to vacate the premises immediately. You must remove all belongings within 48 hours, return your key to the office and leave the property in the condition you initially found it in (minus normal wear and tear). Failure to do so will result in the loss of your security deposit.

Thank you,
The Management

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not so breech now are you, mister?

The little guy is back where he should be, no longer breech. I would love to tell you that he was so obedient and helpful that he turned completely on his own, but that would be a big fat lie. Instead it went a little something like this.....

Mr. Jaguar and I headed to the hospital around lunchtime at which point I realized I forgot to pick up the necessary paperwork from the OB yesterday because I now have a memory like swiss cheese. So I end up rushing, which I hate and which at one day shy of 39 weeks I pretty much suck at. In my doctor's office, I see the doc who is scheduled to do the version so I relax a little realizing that I can't be all that late. Get my paper, rush to the hospital and head into admissions. At this point, I get paired up with a woman I guess is new to the admissions process. That's my nice way of saying she's really slow. Then she decides that I need to sign all of my forms for when I deliver right now because it will make it so much easier later. Oooooookay....let's sign quickly, sister. I got somewhere I gotta be. Sign sign sign....up to labor and delivery.

I get changed into the gown, monitors get attached, one last ultrasound to be sure Ben is still breech, IV in, shot of turbutaline to relax my uterus and the doc starts rolling up his sleeves well past his elbows. Seriously, I thought the man was going to start stretching and jogging in place to warm up. This procedure looked to be some serious business.

A mountain of the ultrasound goo was poured on my abdomen and then it was go time. While I tried to focus on relaxing my abdomen, the doctor started smearing that goo all over the place (now I understood the very rolled sleeves). And then it started. Painful but manageable at first, maybe about the first 30 seconds. And then not manageable at all, for about the last 30 seconds. I couldn't speak through the last half which was probably good because I would've been begging him to stop and then he might have actually stopped which I'm now very glad he didn't. I made some I'm-in-pain noises that I can't even recall because I think I blocked out those 30 seconds as much as possible. And then the boy was flipped.

I laid there staring at the ceiling, trying to regroup while I listened to Ben's now slowed heartrate. I had read up ahead of time so I knew it was normal to slow and should come up on its own. I glanced over at the monitor but couldn't tell if it said 54 or 94. Mr. Jaguar told me later that it had dipped very briefly to the 50s and then quickly went up to the 90s before climbing back up to normal.

The boy is doing well. I am hanging in. I feel like....well, like a baby inside of me was turned 180 degrees from the outside. Not comfy but I could be much worse. I am now sporting a sexy, hot girdle in an effort to keep him in place. It spans from just below my bra to the top of my hips and I am instructed to wear it "as much as I can stand it" which to me means it only comes off to take a shower. I'm not going to lie, it's hot and itchy and uncomfortable but I can't deal with the potential guilt of taking it off and then having him flip and feeling like it's my fault. He may very well flip anyway but at least I'll know I did everything I can.

The whole procedure felt so weird. I couldn't see what was happening because I was lying flat but I could feel it all. I could feel my entire abdomen being moved while the rest of my torso stayed in one place. Mr. Jaguar witnessed the whole thing and when all the medical people left, he looked at me and said, "Whoa.that.was.crazy." And that about sums it up.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Breech

Well, the little stinker pulled off his own feat in the past few days.....not to be outdone by his large, slow mother climbing in a window at 38 weeks pregnant, he has decided to turn himself to breech. At my last 3 appointments he has been head down and the ones before that he has been oblique (diagonal) but still with his head downward. At my 37 and 38 week appointment, he had dropped some but was not fully engaged.

So now he is undropped.....lifted??!! And his skull is pushing up into my ribs which I am not so impressed with.

The good thing in all of this is we know he's breech. I got sent to Labor & Delivery yesterday for some funky spotting and bleeding. All was fine...except that he was now breech. When the resident doing the ultrasound told me, I didn't believe her. I couldn't see the screen because of a glare and just figured she must be a major newb or something. In my head, I scoffed at her, thinking, "You silly goose, that's a skull, not feet."

Apparently, she was not a newb and that skull really was a skull. The doctor said it was very good that I ended up at the hospital that day otherwise I could have gone into labor not knowing he was breech and had I gotten to the hospital late in the game and God forbid......etc etc etc. So where does that leave us? On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Jaguar and I head to the hospital to try an external cephalic version to see if we can get this little guy flipped around in the right direction. The odds look to be about 65% in our favor and then hopefully, if we can get him there, he'll stay there. If we can't, it's a guaranteed C-section. I'm trying to make peace with the C-section. Before this, I always knew it was a possibility and thought I was okay with it, but it turns out that it makes me pretty sad. I want to hold him right when he's born (this is the one that really gets me). I want his uncle to be there for the birth (only at my head). I want to be able to nurse right away. And while I know I can't guarantee those things if I try for a vaginal delivery, I'd at least like a shot at having them happen.

On another note, I'm terrified of the external version because I'm so scared it will hurt. I know...I'm a big wuss. What am I going to do when it's actually time to have this baby? I'll be the one curled up in the corner of the bed, rocking myself and sucking my thumb because I'm a giant wuss.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

38 week feat

So this past Friday, at exactly 38 weeks to the day, I accomplished something quite impressive. This would also be a good time to mention that for the past few (hell, many) months, it's been very difficult for me to lift my legs to put my socks and pants on.

I got locked out of the house. That's not the accomplishment part, that's the dilemma part. I had a contractor working at my house and, on Friday, when he finished up early, he locked the front door. Which was very thoughtful and responsible. Only he locked the lock we don't use because we don't even have a key for it. So when I came home Friday, completely exhausted with my nasty swollen feet, I couldn't get in my house to my glorious couch that was just shouting my name. I could hear it through my front door along with my crying greyhounds who couldn't figure out why their mommy wouldn't just get in the house already.

I pondered the predicament. It's an old house with a wide variety of old windows, but we are very good about locking the ones on the first floor that we open regularly. Hmmm....I decided to explore. I paused at the first window that we can never manage to get to click all the way shut. After some moving and shaking, I determined that this screen was not a screen that goes up or comes out. Is that even possible? Whatever, it wasn't budging. I moved on.

I came upon my back steps and scoped out the scene. We never use the kitchen windows because they don't stay up on their own. Maybe some of them don't click all the way shut and I just don't remember. I placed my palm against the first one and attempted to slide it up. It practically fell in the kitchen! Christ on a bike! That's not very secure. Note to self: invest in new windows or Sloman Shield immediately.

So I slide up the window which I have to hold up so it doesn't fall back down, lean into to move my kitchen table out of the way, greyhounds move into the now open space to give me some love and then I realize that the bottom of the window is at the top of my hips. Hmmm.....visions of my daily ritual of trying to put my pants on dance through my head. This could be ugly.

It took me about five minutes to find the energy to attempt the task and then three tries to get my leg in the window. It was pathetic. I move in slow motion. It must have been like a sloth trying to get up there the whole ordeal took so long. Once I got a leg in, I was eventually (and slowly) able to heave me and my 34 extra pounds in the window all while not letting the window crush my head or a limb. I'm pretty sure this moment will be recorded in my personal history as one of my sexiest moments ever.