Thursday, May 2, 2013

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Since I am notorious for my "keeping it real" blogs, I have decided to write very honestly and candidly about my journey to Mommyhood.

I am sure many of you have read the book "What to Expect When You are Expecting" or laughed out loud at the hilarity of the movie of the same name. I watched the movie when I was 3 months pregnant with Crew.As my husband and I sat in that theatre, I couldn't help but relate to many of the scenarios each of the women portrayed. I laughed at the woman with an ovulation alarm on her phone and celebrated with her when she jumped in the pool to show her husband the positive pregnancy test.I cried with the young woman who suffered a miscarriage.Having suffered two miscarriages myself it brought back a raw pain in my heart. It also brought those nagging fears that I dealt with on a daily basis. "Is there something wrong with me?" Did I do something wrong?" "What will make this pregnancy different?" "Will I ever be in the safe zone?"

As the months went on, the doctor reassured me that he did not see any reason why I could not carry this baby safely to full term.Women who have not had a miscarriage assume that they will hear the heartbeat at every appointment. I went to every appointment assuming there wouldn't be one and praying for the best. I couldn't wait for the day that I could feel my baby move so that I didn't have to wait for my next appointment to hear a heartbeat.

As I progressed through my pregnancy I began to really relate to many of the "what to expect" moments. I thought it was hysterical when someone would tell me "your're glowing." All I could think to myself is "I'm sweating like a pig. I can't see my feet.  It is summer and I am hot and bothered.My legs are rubbing together when I walk and I just want a gallon of Breyer's ice cream."

The other phrase I heard on a daily basis was,"you're all baby."Crew was 9 pounds 2 ounces at birth, so any other body part paled in comparison to my extremely large belly.With a belly that enormous it helped to distract from my ever growing thighs, butt,arms, face, calves, ankles, fingers, wrists, toes. But I most definitely knew that I was not ALL baby.

Image by Truly Blessed Photography

This brings me to another one of my "only me" stories. Most women when they are 6 months pregnant are in that perfect pregnancy stage. They aren't too big yet, but they have that cute little bump. Everyone except me. When I was 6 months pregnant I was already the size of a hot air balloon. We went on a family vacation in July with Daniel's family to the BEACH! Lucky me. It was 105 degrees that week in North Carolina. I'm always hot even when I'm not pregnant. That week was the worst torture I have ever endured.

We stayed in a beach front house. I was very content watching everyone else in their skinny beach bodies from the couch in the house in air conditioning.I literally froze everyone out of the house that week. I would turn the theromostat down to 50 degrees and everyone would walk around in sweatshirts.I kept catching my father in law turning up the theromostat and when he would leave the room I would sneak over and turn it back down.I did attempt to go on the beach one day and my belly got burnt because I refused to give up my bikini just because I was pregnant. I think my belly was the closest thing to the sun that day which explains my horrible sunburn.

 One day while everyone else was enjoying the beach and I was sitting in the house,my brother in law and his wife came into the house. We were sitting there and all of a sudden I heard my sister in law say, "I wonder if that girl is going to talk to the guys." I looked down and there was my husband and his brothers sitting on the beach. Some skinny minnie who was walking by them decided to strike up a conversation with them. I grabbed the binoculars and ran out on the balcony.As I stood there on the balcony looking through the binoculars with my big belly,  Daniel's brother pointed up to the house and the girl looked up. I was caught red handed!

She walked away and I was so upset that I started running down the steps towards Daniel. He saw me running and he knew that me running in this heat meant there must be an emergency! He ran up to meet me halfway and asked me what was wrong. I put my hand on my hip and said, "Who's your little friend?"(and yes, I pronounced friend exactly like on Scarface)  Daniel looked so confused. I then demanded to know who his "little friend" was when it registered to him who I was referring to. It was just some girl asking his brothers a question. Yes, I overreacted. But can you blame me? Here I am, waddling over the sand dunes all hot and bothered and definitely not feeling the least bit attractive. I waddled back over the sand dunes and up the steps and into the house. I was so hot and flustered. My brother in law and his wife just sat there laughing at me as I turned down the thermostat(again) and settled back down on the couch. That was my only insecure meltdown over the 9 months. I learned my lesson. Next family vacation if I'm pregnant...we are going to ALASKA!

 I was so glad that I had read "What to Expect" because it prepared me for the numerous bloody noses, swollen ankles,cravings,mood swings,cravings,dizzy spells, late night potty breaks, cravings...did I mention CRAVINGS?! I think on average I consumed a box of Trix a day.The big box. I went through about a gallon of milk every 3 days and 1 jar of peanut butter a week.I ate WELL.

I was due on Wednesday October 24th. I went to see my doctor a few weeks prior and he was afraid Crew was going to be a big boy. I really thought I looked normal. I mean, doesn't every woman look like a house when she's pregnant? Apparently he didn't think so. He told me, "You look like a cartoon character and I know you can't see it, but your shirt isn't even covering your belly right now." Ouch. So he ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound predicted Crew would weigh about 8 and a half pounds. My doctor scheduled my induction for Thursday October 25th. I am so glad that I never read the last chapter of "What to Expect." That chapter is NOT for the weak at heart!

The night before my induction I was so nervous! Daniel and I didn't sleep a wink. I was so worried that something would go wrong. I felt like I had made it this far and I just wanted to see my baby boy and know that he was healthy and safe. I had so many things running through my head. "Would I be a good mom?" "What if Crew is a fussy baby?" "What if he isn't cute?"  "What if I have post partum depression?" "I have no idea what I'm doing!" "What if something goes wrong during delivery?" I was also quite worried that I would be one of those rare statistics of women that die during childbirth. We went to the hospital at 6 in the morning to be induced.I was so ready to meet Crew!

 Eight hours of labor, 3 vaccum attempts,3 hours of pushing, a catheter, and 8 hours of labor later... I met Crew! He weighed 9 pounds 2 ounces
and was 21 and 3/4 inches long. He was HEALTHY and perfect!


All that I know is that there is not one book that could have ever prepared me for the love that I instantly felt when I saw his face. I read every book that there was on parenting, babies, pregnancy; but, I never expected to fall so completely in love with that little boy. He made every insecure and uncomfortable moment worth it.He made those 8 hours of labor worth it. He made the back pain,swollen ankles, and stretch marks worth it. He made every single thing worth it. He is my miracle. He is not what I expected. He is so much more.

Image by Truly Blessed Photography

Image by Truly Blessed Photography

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