A Day That Will Live in Infamy

That was supposed to be day my child was born.  My due date was December 7th, “Pearl Harbor Day” as every man over the age of 35 reminded me of.  So when I headed to a pretty routine doctor’s appointment for a nonstress test due to some high blood pressure issues while I was pregnant, I had nothing to worry (or stress) about.  It was a gorgeous, crisp October day, and I had nothing going on at work except my baby shower and my end of the year review.  My boss was out of the office, my husband was out of town, it was Friday and I had a weekend of baby themed things to do.  I dressed super comfy because my feet were starting to swell and I was 34 weeks and 3 days pregnant, and being as cheap (and practical?) as possible, I was wearing as few maternity clothes as possible, but we were about to hit another season and I still had six weeks to go, so I knew I would have to make some pointless investments soon.  For the time being, I settled on some leggings, a long sweater and some wide gold flats.

Unfortunately, my appointment was at the furthest of the two locations of my OB, and I had made the appointment early, so I couldn’t sleep in and had to drive 20 minutes (as opposed to 5) in traffic.  So I drove there slightly annoyed at yet another inconvenience in my squished bladder, indigestion filled, swollen foot life.  I got there as on time as I usually was, and didn’t have to wait all that long for the nurse to call me back, get my belly set for the non stress test and leave me with my copy of Happiest Baby on the Block and nothing but time.  The first time she came back, she looked a little concerned, the second time, she brought the doctor with her.  He explained to me that when I indicated that the baby was moving (by pressing a button), the baby’s heart rate should go up 10 or 15 beats above the baseline and stay there for 10 to 15 seconds.  Instead it would go up 5 to 10 beats and stay there for a second.  They told me that they were going to send me next door to the hospital to do a contraction stress to see if that would get his heart rate moving.  Then things happened pretty quickly.

I called my mom and told her they were sending me to the hospital.  I called work and told them that I might be late for my own shower.  I got a text from one of my best friends telling me that she was going to be induced (she was 2 days past her due date).  The doctor told me that they were going to get an ultrasound to make sure everything was still okay in there.  I had the ultrasound done in 2 minutes (it usually takes 30 to find everything).  The tech gave me a dozen new 4D shots of my baby, but I couldn’t focus enough to really take them in.  My doctor sent me to get another meal and told me to be back in an hour in case I just hadn’t eaten enough.  My mom arrived at the office and she and I drove around and around trying to think of something that sounded remotely appetizing to me.  It was 10:30 in the morning, I had already had breakfast and my stomach was in knots.

An hour (and two cinnamon raisin biscuits and a large orange juice later), we arrived back at the doctor’s office, I was plugged in again and waited.  My mom was so sweet, trying to be as optimistic as possible, but I saw the writing on the wall, they were going to send me to the hospital.  And that’s exactly what they did.  We walked over there which was a long haul.  We hadn’t gone on our tour yet, so I had no idea where I was going, I was just walking.  When they got me all strapped in there and things started sounding better, I wondered if maybe it was a fluke and there was older, less technically advanced equipment at the doctor’s office because things were already sounding better.  Again, I waited.

An hour and a half later, still no pitocin (to start contractions), just me in the bed, Mom trying not to pace and the two of us talking.  Apparently they were down a person, which is why it was taking so long for the pitocin, so when my nurse returned, I asked if I could please use the bathroom.  Got up, did my business, back to the bed, got plugged up again and that is when it got scary.  The nurse yelled at me to lay down on my left side, put oxygen over my nose and mouth and paged the doctor to come to the room immediately.  Apparently my baby’s heartrate had been in the 70s for several seconds (it should have been close to double that).  Apparently my placenta was tired of supporting a baby.  Apparently, I was going to have this baby sooner than any of us thought.  Maybe, I should call my husband and let him know what was going on.

Six hours later, Brad was at the hospital (a miracle considering modern air travel and he was coming from Louisville), my sister had turned around 30 miles from home after taking 90 minutes to get there with no end in sight, Brad parents were at the hospital, my dad had gone and picked up our dog and brought him to their house, he was sitting in the parking lot because he had a hunch that something wasn’t right, dozens of phone calls had been made and received, there weren’t any more scary moments or seconds, they had recanted about the whole “you may not be pregnant much longer” and then they came in at 8:35pm, exactly 12 hours after my appointment that morning and said, “We’ve decided he is healthier outside of your womb rather than in,” and informed me that anesthesia would be in to administer my spinal block in 30-45 minutes.

I peppered her with as many questions as I could think of.  Am I going to puke?  Maybe.  Is he going to the NICU?  Yes.  It could be a “drive by” (a week or so) but probably until he was full term (three weeks) or even up until his due date.  Would I hear him cry?  Maybe.  Could I hold him after he was born?  No.  Well, that was that.  There was nothing I could do to change what was happening, so I stayed calm and so did everyone else.

Five minutes later, anesthesia showed up.  My first question to them?  Am I going to puke?

The c-section is a bit of a blur.  When they wheeled me in I was taken by how bright white it was in there.  I felt like I was in a movie studio rather than an operating room.  I had no problems with my spinal block.  And after I asked the third (or was it tenth?) person if I was going to get sick, I decided that I would not.  I was so tired of seeing all of those women on TV/reality shows complaining about how they felt, or wimping out and freaking out about c-sections when they need to be the strongest that they have ever been. So I made up my mind that I was going to be the strongest chick that they had ever seen.  No tears, no puke, no whining.  And that’s what I did.

It seemed like forever, but at 9:11pm (36 minutes after they told me they were going to get him), little Chase William Sorgen, weighing 5 pounds, 2 ounces and measuring 18 inches long arrived.  A new chapter of my life unfolded.  My life would never be the same.  I was a mom and the happiest woman on earth.

Happy 1st Birthday to my love, my heart, my life.  You make my life worth living and I can’t imagine a day without you.  I love you more than you will ever know.

Love,

Mom

Legit

I am now.  Well not me, but whatever I end up naming my alleged baking business.

This past weekend I was asked to make cupcakes for a wedding celebration for a friend.  Four-hundred and eighty mini cupcakes, four batches of icing and 480 chocolate shaped shells later, I had accomplished something I have been dreaming about for years.  I actually made baked goods for a real event (and someone paid me to do it).  Thankfully, my trusty right hand woman made the trip down from Nova to help me.  I hope that she had as much fun as I did.

I got nothing but rave reviews and CANNOT wait to do it again…

Cupcakes!

Finished Product

Baking/Icing/Decorating Machines!

Oh Dear (oh dear, oh dear, oh dear)…

I wouldn’t call myself someone that dwells on the past, but I am very nostalgic person and I like to be able to remember things.  I have always been like this, which is why I try to write everything down.  So I knew once it started cooling down and the smells of fall arrived, I would start to reminisce about Chase’s birth, how the whole thing all went down, him actually being born, experiences that I had in the hospital and tons of things that I have forgotten about.  My husband asked me if this was a type of post partum depression and that’s not it at all.  I’m not sad.  It is more about embracing everything that happened and knowing without a doubt that it is going to trigger a flood of memories.  I’m not sad about Chase getting older, but I know as every day passes, I will eventually get to the point where I won’t remember everything (or much) or we will have another child and everything will be different or it won’t be so fresh in my memory because it was just like this day (or that day or this week) last year.

It is the tiny things that are making me get all wonky.  This weekend I put on a perfume that I must have worn around the time Chase was born, I was throwing a baby shower (so I was already in a baby state of mind), it was chilly outside and one of the biggest songs of my pregnancy came on the radio.  It was a perfect storm.  But I didn’t break down, I just remembered.  Lying in the hospital bed before Chase was born, looking at the lights in the ceiling and thinking that NOTHING was going the way it was supposed to go.  The wet, chilly leaves in the parking lot after a rainy day on my way to the NICU to visit Chase.  The aching in my heart at not being able to hold my own child for the first couple of days of his life.  A physical pain that I did not ever imagine would exist.  My phone alarm going off in the middle of the night to wake me up to pump (which was the song I heard this weekend) and my husband climbing out of his bed in the hospital room to clean the pump parts and me painfully pulling myself up.  The pajama pants that I wore with my flip flops the five nights I stayed in the hospital because I WAS NOT going to wear those awful socks with the rubber on the bottom.  Feeling extreme hatred and jealousy towards all of the babies who were in the nursery.  How long it took for the hallway shower water to warm up while I was waiting to take a shower (and my room didn’t have one since it had two beds).  The LONG walk from the parking lot to the elevator to the Labor & Delivery floor to the NICU that I made five or six times a day that I insisted was the route that I would take because it was the same way I walked from my doctor’s office the day Chase was born. Looking on my “On Call” board or the hospital’s entrance and knowing that one day, I wouldn’t even remember what that board or my room looked like.  The first night in my bed hoping and praying that every “Code Blue” and “Code Silver” and “Code Anything” that they were announcing over the hospital PA was not related to my child.  Crying uncontrollably after talking to one of my friends and her hoping out loud that Chase would be home by Thanksgiving, which was about a month away because I knew that I couldn’t keep it up the fight or the appearance for that long, I was barely holding it together after a couple of days.  The multiple trips to the hospital every single day, the smiley, chipper me, and coping with a baby that couldn’t stand to be touched, much less stroked or held.  That same friend hesitating when two days after his birth (and one day after her son’s birth) I choked back the sobs as I told her, “I just want to hold him” because it was something she had taken for granted.  Running back to my room to tell Brad that Chase was going to be taken off of the ventilator.  The constant stream of visitors and endless phone calls from friends, coworkers and family.  Being greeted as “Mom” for the first time.  Rocking Chase in the NICU by myself and thinking that every love song on the radio was written for how I felt about him.

Then yesterday I went to Babies R Us with a friend of mine who is pregnant (the same friend who called me on the first cold morning of the fall to make sure I was ok, because she knew I was going to be like this) and again, it sent me into memory overload.  I remembered going to the same store the week Chase was born because I was having anxiety about not having a box of Newborn diapers in my house.  Going to Target and daring someone to ask if I had a baby so I could vomit my story on them and wearing my hospital bracelet like a badge of courage everywhere I went.  To me becoming a parent was something that only a select few people had gone through or would be going through and no one could duplicate my story.  Going hunting for preemie clothes because I only had 3 newborn onesies to my name.  The wild frenzy of getting everything together for Chase to come home.  Having him sleep in the same room as us for the first night and that every sigh, rustle or cry would wake us up.

I get it.  My whole story is not nearly as traumatic or tragic as some.  But it is my story and my memories and it was not what I expected would happen or anything that I was prepared for, so it still took me by surprise and there are things that I want to remember from the whole thing.  Not for me, but for Chase.  I want to tell him every detail if he wants to hear it when he gets older and I know the more time that passes, the more I will forget, so I revel in the memories and let everything come flood over me.  I hope that for the next child (or children) that we are blessed with will have less of a story, will be more “normal” birth and first several weeks.  It was ten days of my life and he will have no memory of those first days and then weeks and now months of his life, so I have to be the one to preserve those for him.  Although not all of them are pleasant or good memories, I am enjoying every second.

A Shower with No Rain

A few days ago I threw a shower for one of my BFAWs (Best Friends at Work).  She is expecting a baby girl on Thanksgiving Day, but we are depending on the “Curse of Work Showers” to send her into early labor as it has the last three pregnant employees/wives of employees in the end of October.  With the exception of a very last minute venue change, the shower was a success with a lot of fun, laughs, games, gifts and baked treats!

The weather was questionable most of the day, but cleared up just in time for the shower and was sunny with a little chill in the air.  It was a perfect day for a shower.

I made cake pops and strawberry cupcakes for the occasion.  I also had two cake orders for Saturday, so it was a baking filled few days in our house.  I loved every second!

Can’t wait until baby Chloe’s big debut!