Wednesday, January 4

Whatcha' Wanna Know Wednesday: on pregnancy

Q: How are you doing with this pregnancy? How were your other pregnancies? Are you nervous that you may have another special needs child? Where & how will you have this baby? Are you on restrictions like you were with your other pregnancies?

Pregnant with Mia ~ 20 weeks
A: Pregnancy is amazing.
I do not have a pregnancy-friendly body.
It's just the plain truth.
This 4th one is proving to be just the same as all the others.
I mean, growing a child is definitely one of those wondrous things
that I'm so grateful to experience.
And the result - my precious children - have all changed my life
in the best of ways.
But being pregnant is hhhaaard for me.

Hearing our gem's heartbeat
last month

a. Morning Sickness is over-the-top miserable
b. preterm labor/bedrest - Good grief!
c. caring for Bugg - very tricky

Mia Darling ~ one week old

With my first baby, Mia, I had lots of contractions really early on. The doc said they were just Braxton Hicks, no big. But at 35 weeks, I was already 3 cm. Which means I had to cancel our anniversary trip to Lake Tahoe and was put on bed rest for a week. I walked around at 4cm for a couple of weeks. One night, I was having painless contractions very consistently and so we decided to go to the hospital just to see what was going on. I was 6 cm! Yes! It's happening! 10 days from the due date. The crazy thing is, I wasn't in pain! All the laboring women probably hated me. Contractions were very tight but not painful. But of course, I got the epidural anyway. And the pain did come. Just late in the game.

I remember just hanging out on the bed in the hospital, and all of the sudden monitors started going off. In rushed all sorts of docs & nurses. Baby's heart rate had dropped. The contractions were too much for her to handle. So they had to give me something to slow the contractions down and they put a fetal monitor on her head. I was so grateful to be in that hospital. I felt safe & well-cared for. Then the docs discovered that Baby was sunny-side up and I might need a cesarean. The back labor was so intense! Brian gave me a blessing and was so wonderful to coach me through it all. And.....she turned. Good girl.

After 1 1/2 hours of pushing, an 8 lb, 9 oz. Mia Darling entered our lives and filled us with so much love that we had to grow an extra heart to contain it all.

I was in a starchy, noisy room with 2 other moms.
Brian didn't get to spend the night because there was no room.
The nurse encouraged me, the naive new mama,
to feed Mia a bottle since she was a bigger baby.
All of these things could have really soured my joy & caused me frustration.
But I was so taken with the blessing of having heaven's window open
to grant us this beautiful child.
A daughter.
One that we got to keep forever.
I was so happy.
It had been a perfect experience for me.

And with Wyatt, our 2nd baby, things got a bit more dramatic. The doctor thought that my water broke one evening. I was only 29 weeks plus already dilating. And because they already knew that Bugg was special & would be needing the NICU at the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, I was life-flighted (ugh! worst, scariest ride ever). They gave me a steroid shot for baby's lungs to develop. I got a tour of the NICU and saw the diaper Bugg would wear if he were born then. Tiniest ever.

However, it was determined that no, the bag of waters did not break, but I did need bed rest. So for SEVEN weeks, I lived on my parent's couch so my mom could take care of me & Mia while Brian was going to school. It was a good & hard time. Mia, only 1 1/2 years old, was so full of life. I wanted to do so much with her. And Brian was making long trips back & forth to school. I was worried out of my mind about our future with Bugg. But we were so cared for & loved living with my family. I could talk & cry to my mom whenever I needed. Mia was entertained 24/7.

I made it to 36 weeks and they took me off bed rest. Because of my history - not really knowing I was in labor because it was painless - I was induced 2 weeks early. I was okay with it since I didn't want to have a special baby on the side of the road and I was already 3cm anyway.

Labor was 3 1/2 hours long. Epidural? Oh, yeah. Everything went really well. I felt so safe being in such a wonderful hospital, with super sweet nurses. My emotions were very up & down about the future, however. What was my life going to be like when Wyatt was born? Would he be whisked away to have brain surgery before I could meet him? After 20 minutes of pushing, an 8 pound baby Bugg was born. I wish I could relive those moments. It was so special. Angels attended. The feeling in the room. In my heart. My love for my husband. Joy! Just like at the births of all my children have been. Miraculous. Indescribable. More on his birth and the pregnancy.

The third time around, my paranoia was high. I didn't know if I could handle the news that our baby would be special. I loved our Bugg so much but another special one? There were times when my anxiety would drive me insane. I just had to trust God. His Plan is perfect.

I had a new doctor that was more easy-going. While I did have lots of early contractions, she didn't think bed rest was necessary. Hip Hip! Also, Bugg was only 25 pounds. That sounds so easy now. I did my best with him. Had lots of help. Wyatt was very patient.

The night before Ella's birth.

I was induced 10 days early. Just 'cause. So handy. And it calmed my anxieties. We could have our 2 kids all cared for ahead of time. I didn't have to worry about not knowing when to go to the hospital.

Labor was dandy. About 6 hours. That epidural really has it goin' ON. What a champ! I will do it again, too. In a hospital. I've had perfect & safe experiences and feel just right doing so this time, too.

Our Ella Rose, born 8 lbs, and so sweet, perfect, adorable. My joy was full. Meeting her for the first time was like a soothing warm blanket to my soul. I can't describe it. I needed her. And having the 5 of us together was sweet bliss.

Pregnancy is hard but worth it. I'm over the morning sickness but already into those durned contractions. My doctor cautions me about lifting Bugg but knows that life must go on. With him in school, that helps a ton. And Brian is off work most days, by the time Bugg gets off the bus. It'll work.

I've heard/read/watched a zillion & one birth stories. Each one so different, so incredible, so touching. I love them all. My cousin who had her daughter on the side of the road in the car, my aunt & uncle who got to adopt their precious babe, watching my mom on videotape give birth to my younger brother & sister by cesarean......

In a hospital, at home, medicated or not, flying across the country to adopt.......I believe that God's hand is in the miracle of birth and that it is one of the most beautiful ways to experience heaven on this earth.

Yay! I can't wait!


  1. Beautiful, touching post. I'm watering.

  2. SO true. Every one is so precious. This morning i'm all in anticipation to hear news on a new baby nephew. My little brother's wife is being induced this morning. They had a baby just under a year ago full term with severe heart / lung problems. She was SUCH a miracle. She defied all odds and was born alive at full term and lived for 3 days! This little boy is their "rainbow baby" (the one following infant loss) and we're praying he comes safely and provides endless joy and peace and comfort to the family.
    My body doesn't handle pregnancy well either. I wish my early contractions had been painless. The problem is that my braxton hicks contractions were as painful as real ones and labor began very early for me. With Lizzie (my most difficult pregnancy) I was dilated to a 4 for over a month. I had the steroid shots, and took labor stopping medicaions and was on bed rest also. Fortuantely I kept my camera close to me during my bed rest and some of our awesomest pictures of little Kate are from that time (watermelon on her head, stealing a brick of cheese from the fridge, precious mommy-daughter salon time...). All three of our babies were in the NICU for about a week also, all for different, unforseen reasons. Kate was even an emergency c-section. It amazes me that babies are ever born healthy! My body contracts painfully and hard for ages before the baby is born but it requires an epidural to kick it into full gear. Lizzie and Sabrina were both vbac and each time they weren't sure it was "active" labor until my wonderful doctor declared it was, to put out of my misery. As soon as I had the epidural my body would dilate completely within an hour or two. I just had to not hurt! I'm so grateful for the sweet girls I have. And for the peace and completion we feel about the size of our family, though it's not what we talked about for all those years :)

  3. I just absolutely love reading your blog!!! THe way you described Ella being born the "warmth" you felt...I could so understand that completely, like you took the words out of my mouth. I have Kiara who's our 4th child, I don't if you remember a few years back I wrote to you. Her diagnosis is so much like Wyatt's, lack of one lol. But very similar development to each other. When I just had our 5th child this past summer, there was just no way to describe my feeling of contentment...but like you I just needed her in so many different ways to finally heal from Kiara. Again not that she's a "bad" or negative part of our life, in so many ways just the opposite. She makes you love the little things in life. But I just wanted you to know how excited I am for you for this new baby!!!! And thank you for keeping this blog going. I know how busy you must be, but you really inspire me.

  4. Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories.

  5. Loved these stories. I had one very complicated pregnancy (including 2 months of month at home and the hospital) then a perfectly healthy 7lb 12oz yet 4 week early baby boy. Then 22 months later, after the easiest pregnancy I can imagine (I was 9cm when I got to the hospital!!), Levi came out and totally surprised us by having Down syndrome! Scary, intense, wonderful, beautiful, life-changing times.

  6. bautiful post!
    all the uncertainty and feeling sick during pregnancy can be so stressful, I remember...
    hang in there, there'll be beautiful eyes looking at you soon! :)

  7. So happy to hear the good news, we will be praying the pregnancy goes well (and delivery. Very excited for you and the family!


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