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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week 41.5: A Birth Story At Last!

Before Silas was conceived, I posted about how the most frequently occurring birthday in the United States is September 16th.  When we finally found out that we were pregnant and my EDD was also the 16th, I was pretty excited! 

September 16th came and went.  So did the 17th, 18th, 19th,... well you get the drift, right?  On the 23rd, we had a long appointment with the OB and discussed the exit strategy after learning that I was still not dilated.  At all.  He knew how important it was to me to have a natural child birth with as few interventions as possible, but we were getting down to the wire.  He agreed to have me come back in on the 26th for another appointment but that this baby was going to have to be born by the end of the month, one way or another. 

Doug and I went home and I said that I was actually feeling better about things because we had plenty of time.  This baby would come before the 30th because I was now calm and relaxed. Also, the doctor said I could use Evening Primrose Oil though he wasn't sure it would help since most people that do use it, start it at 38 weeks or so. 

That night I used my first dose (vaginally).  Tuesday morning I woke up to bloody show.  I was sure that Silas would be born soon.  I had some mild contractions but none with any real pattern or intensity.  The bleeding continued through the night.  On Wednesday morning Doug agreed that he should not go to work and we were going to walk this baby out at Walmart.  I was hoping my water would break at Walmart and I would look like I peed my pants and suddenly be featured on The People of Walmart.  It didn't happen.

We went back home and the mild contractions were petering out.  We took Gavin and Joey to soccer and I was texting my doula all the while.  I was still feeling like things were going to happen and soon.  After soccer, my parents took the boys and Doug and I contemplated our plan.  My contractions were no where near hospital worthy.  He went to bed and I decided that I was going to hang out for a while, sit on the birth ball and play on the computer.  Wouldn't you know it, contractions started to pick up.  Soon they were getting stronger.  Then more frequent.  Then both.  They were about 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute.   I decided that since the hospital was 40 minutes away, it was time to wake up Doug and have a chat about when we should leave. 

I went upstairs at about 2:00am and told Doug, "It is time for us to think about heading to the hospital."
He woke up and I headed downstairs to gather up a couple of last minute things. A couple minutes later Doug called down to me and asked me to clarify if we were going to the hospital or just going eventually.  At that precise moment, I felt a warm gush.  I didn't answer Doug for a second as I confirmed what I thought had happened when I felt a second, larger, more obvious gush. 

I called up to him, "My water just broke, so yeah.  We are going now!"  I was basing the whole "we should leave NOW!" thing on the fact that when they broke my water with Joey, I was halfway to baby.  I didn't want to have a car baby so it was time to move!

I had contractions every 5 minutes like clockwork.  They were strong but I could still talk through them.  That should have been my first sign.  When we arrived at the hospital and went to get checked in, I realized that I had missed a contraction.  We were walked to the Labor and Delivery wing and by the time we got there, I still hadn't had a contraction.  They were getting me set up and still... nothing. 

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nieces arrived and a short time later, the doula arrived.  I had maybe a mild contraction or two in the span of 35 minutes.  Then, they checked my cervix.  I was sure that with two days of consistent contractions (albeit mild) and lots of bloody show that I would be at about a 4 and maybe even a 5.  I was a 2.  A measly 2 centimeters.  I was a mix of annoyed with my cervix, embarrassed because of the room full of eager faces that we had roused from bed with the promises of a baby arriving soon, and wanting to turn around and go home.  Instead we watched TV and waited. 

I was having some consistent contractions again but they were short and lasting only 25-35 seconds.  I was so tired and wishing that I could just go back to bed.  The room full of people left to go get breakfast and the doula and I stayed in the room to keep things moving. It was then that the doula gave me a pep talk.  She explained that I could either rest and wait very patiently knowing that I was on the "your water broke clock" or I could get up, get moving, and take an active role in getting this labor going.  I slowly and reluctantly agreed recognizing that one way or another, this baby was coming.  It could be a long painful labor or a short painful labor.  Either way it was going to hurt so lets try to do it fast like a bandaid. 

I started walking, sitting on the birth ball, and just stayed moving for a couple of hours.  The contractions started really getting powerful and were finally back to lasting a minute and coming every 5 minutes.  Plus, now, I was actually moaning, focusing and able to tell that they were becoming productive.  I was getting increasingly uncomfortable and was sure that I was getting closer to meeting the baby.   

When the group returned from breakfast at about 9:45, they were joking that they had all made bets on when the baby would arrive.  The guesses ranged from 12:45 pm to 3:30 pm.  I went against my better judgement and asked the doula what she thought.  She reluctantly admitted that she thought I would have the baby by dinner time.  I didn't like her guess. 

Things really got moving and I was having intense contractions that I was moaning through, couldn't talk through, and was feeling a lot of pressure with every contraction.  Every movement I would make would trigger an intense contraction.  I was ready to get into the labor tub to see if it might help me finish dilating and maybe I would even be able to deliver in the tub.  The nurse came in and checked me (only the second time since my arrival 8 or 9 hours earlier).  She was quiet and pensive as she mustered a very positive voice and smiled and said, "You are now a 4 and very thin!"  I was reduced to tears.  Literally.  I cried.  I was only 4 centimeters. It was at that moment that I realized that the Doula was probably right.  I wasn't even close to having this baby. 

Everyone reassured me but all I could hear in my head was "I can't deal with this until dinner time."  They also told me that I wasn't able to get in the tub until I was a 6 or 7 centimeters.  They convinced me to get in the shower instead.  I stood under the toasty warm water and just soaked in the warmth and relaxation.  I was alone.  It was quiet.  It was so peaceful.  When I felt a contraction building up I was was so upset because I didn't want my happy place to start being a lot less happy.  When the pressure and pain built, and I realized that Ihe discomfort happen but do whatever I could to stay in my happy place.  As the pressure of the baby's head pushed on my cervix, I breathed deeply allowed myself to let myself let the baby push down.  It was strange because I felt a little like I was pushing but I wasn't.  I just wasn't not pushing.  I did that for about 5 or 6 contractions and felt pretty good!  I decided that I needed to "confess" to the doula that I was not pushing, but I wasn't not pushing.  She seemed to understand what I meant but warned me not to actively push.  

The doula then asked me to climb on the bed on all fours to help the baby move past my pelvis.  I leaned on the birth ball and a few times I actually fell asleep.  But when the contractions started to build, I would dread it.  They were so strong and powerful and I could only think that I was only 4 cm 20 minutes or so ago.  It was only noon.  I just couldn't do this until dinner time.  I hit my wall.  I looked up at Doug and asked him if he would support my decision to get an epidural.  We had talked much earlier about how I really didn't want an epidural and how when I asked for one, he should remind me that I am very very close to meeting the baby.  The only issue was, we both were worried that I wasn't that close.  Doug did a very smart thing.  He stalled.  I would labor through a contraction and ask him again about the epidural.  I was in my own head trying to talk myself out of it, but I was losing that battle with my mind as each contraction left me weak, sweaty, and exhausted. 

With the next contraction, I remembered how much better I felt when I didn't fight the pressure so I started allowing myself to push a little.  I was better able to manage the pain but I was now silently contemplating how a c-section wouldn't be so bad if it meant that I wouldn't hurt anymore.  With the next contraction I realized that I was pushing a little.  I whispered to the doula, "I think I am pushing."  With the next contraction, I again whispered to the doula, "I think I am pushing."  I don't remember any real response.  On the next contraction, I remember the nurse being in the room so I whispered to her, "I think I am pushy.  I really want to push."  I said it again with the next contraction though I was a little worried that I was only being hopeful.  Like, if I told myself I was pushy, it would make the baby come sooner. 

The nurse decided that she would check me, though I am sure she was worried that I wouldn't have progressed and that according to my last reaction to my measly 4, that I would lose my mind.  She quietly checked and I may have even held my breath as I braced for the news.  She announced proudly that I was 9 cm and she was going to get the doctor.  I couldn't have been more excited! 

I watched as they wheeled in the tool table and set up for delivery.  I was shocked and unable to believe that this was really happening.  It was while I watched people move around, set up, prepare for the big moment, that I realized that I was just moments away from meeting a new little person who would surely change my life.  It may be hard to believe but it was that exact moment that my pregnancy wasn't just a baby in my belly.  It was my son.  A real person.  A person that I was going to hold in my arms and fall in love with over a lifetime!  I could hardly wait!

The doctor walked in and smiled and checked me.  He told me to push a little while he was checking me and announced that he was going to let me push.  I said, "Good, because I was going to anyway!"  The room quietly giggled. As I got ready to make this baby enter the world, I suddenly remembered that maybe this baby was going to be huge!  What if he gets stuck?  What if there are difficulties?  Then, I simply decided that I wasn't going to let that happen.  He was going to come out easily just like Joey. 

Doug held one leg and my favorite nurse grabbed the other and they gave me the green light.  I pushed like nobody's business.  I pushed with everything I had.  I heard voices saying things like, "Good!"  "Wow!"  "Look at her go!"  "Keep going, Maria!"  I could feel the "ring of fire," but I wasn't going to let it slow me down.   I wanted to meet this baby. 

After less than a minute of pushing, Silas John was laid on my stomach at 12:41 pm.  I couldn't see his face but I was overjoyed that for the first time ever, I had a baby with hair!  It was dark, long hair!  He laid on my bare chest as the cord was cut (after it stopped pulsating) and while my repair work was done (very minimal).  The pediatrician checked him out for a few minutes and then he nursed like an old pro!

We were discharged from the hospital 24 hours after he entered the world. 

Silas John: 9 pounds 6 ounces and 22 inches long!

 (I may be adding more photos to this post but these will have to do for now until I get a chance to look through all of the pictures.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

41 Weeks: A Baby Elephant

Never ever did I think I would be blogging on a Sunday night one week after this baby was due to arrive.  Yet, here I am. 

Ever see the movie Groundhog Day?  This last couple of weeks has been the pregnancy version of that movie.  Every night I have some mild contractions that may or may not follow some sort of pattern.  Each night I go to bed thinking that maybe... just maybe I will wake up to a real contraction and we will get to play out the scene from every movie or TV show where the wife says, "It's time!"  I drift off to sleepyland and then I wake up to pee.  No sign of labor.  I wake up to pee again.  Still nothing.  I wake up in the morning and think to myself, "Well, maybe later today." 

After a couple weeks worth of disappointments I have resigned myself to the simple fact that this baby is never coming out.  My mother shared with me that an elephant's pregnancy is 2 years long!  How is this relevant you might wonder?  Well, I am starting to suspect that the boy parts that the sonographer saw on the ultrasound must have been a trunk instead.  Looking forward to welcoming this sweet elephant baby in December 2014!!
Sunday, September 15, 2013

40 Weeks and Still Pregnant

It has been a wild couple of weeks!!  I had a couple of weekly appointments where my OB would check baby's position by palpating my uterus, and verified that baby was head down.  I got the results of my GBS swab and they were negative.  All was lining up for the dream natural childbirth.  Then at 38 weeks and a few days my OB again felt my uterus and this time he sighed.  After a ultrasound to confirm, he informed me that baby was breech. 

I cried. I was seeing all of my dreams for a natural birth fly out the window.  I knew breech babies mean c sections and while I clearly recognize that there is a time and place for them, I am completely freaked out by the idea.  I cried some more.  Then, my doctor began talking about doing a version.  I had seen one done on one of those baby shows years ago but hadn't heard anyone speak of them first hand.  Despite knowing very little, I was scheduled to give it a try the next morning. 

I showed up and making what could be a very long story very short, I was given an IV with some meds to relax my uterus.  The doctor came in and with the nurse holding the ultrasound machine he grabbed the baby through my belly and started moving him.  It hurt.  I won't lie.  It hurt a lot.  But, thankfully after only a few minutes, the doctor let go and said, "Okay."  It was over and baby was head down!!

Then, as I laid in bed for monitoring, I was uneasy about the amount of movement I was feeling from baby.  They had strapped a elastic brace around my belly to help keep him put but it clearly wasn't preventing him from squirming like crazy. 

A few days later, I was SURE that he was head up again.  I could feel his head in my right rib cage.  I was crushed.  I just had to make it until me next appointment so that he could flip him again and possibly induce labor so that he wouldn't have time to flip back again.  Thankfully a couple of days before that appointment, I felt him flip again.  Then, I was pretty sure that this baby was back to head down.  It was a crazy couple of weeks for sure!  At my appointment, the doctor did verify that he was, in fact, head down! 

So then we wait...

I thought for sure labor would have started early but today makes me exactly 40 weeks.  I am not feeling anything significant in the way of labor but I know that that doesn't really mean anything.  I am still in a bit of denial that this baby will arrive here any day.  Any hour.  Maybe even tonight!  I don't think it will hit me until I am in labor.  Probably more like transition.  Or maybe not until I hear a first cry.  Until then... we wait. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

37 Weeks: I can't complain.

So, really, 37 weeks.  I find myself looking down at my belly and recalling how I thought that this would never happen. Here I am in the final stretch of a pregnancy that, for lack of better words, has been uneventful.  Just strange really.

So, I know that as a "infertile" it is taboo to ever complain about pregnancy because after all, we spent years and dollars to get here so enjoy it, for cryin' out loud!  Whenever someone has asked me how I am feeling, I always seem to respond with, "I can't complain!" not because I can't but because the inner infertile in me won't let me.  But, since this is my safe place... here it comes.  Just a little bit of complaining...

I am ready to have this baby boy.  I never understood it before when people would be begging for their baby to arrive because they were uncomfortable.  Well, yeah.  I get it now.  I am uncomfortable.  My hips hurt.  My back has knots in it that hurt when I am not even moving.  My inner thighs hurt like I have been schooling Suzanne Somers on how to really use a thigh master.  I think I may have strained a stomach muscle merely by moving.  I hate that turning from my right side to my left at night requires a 8 point turn.  I am tired of peeing my pants when I laugh too hard, sneeze, cough, stand up, think about peeing, etc.  I am just ready.

Okay.. It is out there.  Pregnancy isn't always sunshine and roses.  But, when asked, I will continue to say, "I can't complain!"

Monday, August 12, 2013

35 Weeks and Thinking Out Loud

Really?  35 Weeks?  It shouldn't come as any big surprise but we will be welcoming a new human into our family in as few as 5 weeks... or even less.  That is crazy.  It really is.  Up until this week there was zero evidence that a baby would be coming into this house.  Not a single thing ready.  No nursery (planning on co-sleeping until baby sleeps through the night).  No baby clothes washed or ready.  Not a lick of baby gear outside of the few things stashed in the attic.  I have created a short "registry" on amazon only because I knew that there would be things that I would likely be ordering from there anyway so why not register and use the registry completion coupon that should be arriving soon. 

Then, last week I went on a fun play date.  She gave me a very thoughtful gift of clothes complete with a big box of diapers and wipes too!  I brought the stuff home and that is when it became real.  No matter how long I try to stay in denial, there will be a new baby boy keeping me up at night and spitting up all over me.  I am excited.  I really honestly am! I guess I may as well embrace my last few weeks of managing mostly independent kids. 

This past year I made a big step in my social existence.  I actually spoke to people.  I have a lot of internal dialogue almost all the time.  This past year, I actually struck up conversations with people when my former self would have smiled shyly and nodded along to give the illusion that I was participating in a conversation.  I jumped in with both feet.  There were a few reasons but the biggest one being that I knew I was planning on homeschooling and I needed to develop friendships and relationships with people outside of my teeny tiny comfort zone.  Oddly enough, the ladies that I decided to chat with are now some of the closest friends I have.  They have helped me through this pregnancy by giving me ultrasounds (under the radar... ha!  pun not intended... or was it?), supporting me through Doug's health issues, and helping me to laugh so had that my face hurt for days.  These same ladies surprised me with a baby shower.  With a little help from my mother, they went in and bought the pack and play that I had on my registry and filled it to the brim with diapers, wipes, creams, soaps, lotions, etc.  They had food.  They had drinks.  We had so much fun.  I was overwhelmed by how amazing these ladies are and how thankful I am that I decided to crawl out of my little hole to meet them.  I just feel so blessed to have them in my life now. 

Now for the thinking out loud part of this post:

I have been having a hard time finding the energy or the motivation to blog in this little space.  I can't imagine that in a few short weeks when my life is insanely hectic and I am functioning on 5 total hours of sleep (and that may be being a optimistic if this kid is anything like Joey) that I am going to be able to put together a blog post.  I don't know.  Maybe I'll be wrong and this transition from 2 to 3 kids will go smoothly and I'll be looking for something to do while I am nursing 6 hours a day. 

I guess what I am saying is that I don't know the future of this blog.  I am not officially signing off.  I am not saying a figurative goodbye as I have promised to all of the ladies in my online groups that I will NOT give up on anyone!  I will see all of you through to the other side of IF and losses (the other side may be different things to different people) so I will still be here and I will still check my blog email.  I am sure that I will share my birth story and there may be a few waiting for labor posts as I process all of the anticipation 

Again, going with the thinking out loud thing, I have considered starting a whole new blog where I can blog completely anonymously.  I still like the idea of having a little slice of the internet where I can spit out all of my thoughts, challenges, musings.  I don't regret a single thing about this blog but I find myself needing to edit myself for one reason or another  What can I say?  I am too much of a people pleaser, I guess. I value so many of the friendships I have made through this blog and I wouldn't want to lose them. 

This is far from my last post... Just wanted to stop in and say hello and that I am still here... for now. 

  (Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post.  Pet peeve of mine but, eh.  I'm tired and lazy.) 
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Motherhood after Miscarriages

 Over the past few years of blogging, I have had the opportunity to get to know a number of wonderful ladies.  Megan stands out in the crowd because she has a wonderful way of sharing her belief and faith in Our Creator so eloquently that reading her blog posts always serves as inspiration.  She is human though, and has dealt with the difficult feelings and challenges that present when God takes a much loved and desired baby from us to soon.  In this post, she shares her very candid feelings and experiences with becoming a first time mother after miscarriages.  I also recommend that you check out her blog My Life as a Minister's Wife.  I promise, you will not be disappointed.  I am so blessed that God put her in my path and now, I put her in yours. 

There are some unique feelings that come with having a take home baby after you’ve battled miscarriage. To put it lightly, I wasn’t prepared.

It took my husband and I a little over two years to finally bring home a third Powell. In those two years we had three miscarriages, lots of tests, and a pregnancy that required pills and shots to make it. On October 19th at 1:04 am we got to meet our little guy.

The first surprise was that after delivery all I wanted to do was sleep. There was none of that dreamy-eyed staring at him for hours that I thought would happen. I didn’t experience this feeling of ecstasy that we finally had what we’d been longing for, like I expected. I knew I needed to try and get him to nurse, but I just wanted to sleep. I distinctly remember thinking, "I wish someone would just put him on the boob and make that happen while I sleep." Needless to say, nursing wasn't successful until after I napped.

The next surprise was that I wasn’t filled with joy at every moment of motherhood. I wasn’t enthusiastically leaping out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to feed. I still suffered from baby blues. I still entered a zombie-like sleep deprivation state. I still got frustrated at poop-splosions and puke-erruptions.

I was surprised that I felt a lot of guilt for not cherishing every moment and seeing it all as a gift from God. I felt guilty for wanting a break.

The biggest surprise was grief that came in waves as I held my little boy. When I first saw him, I realized there were three little ones I did not get to see. Did they look like me or hubby? Were they boys or girls? When he cried, I wondered how their cries would have sounded. When he began to laugh, I wondered what their laughs would have sounded like. As our little guy's personality began to surface, I realized each one of those babies had a personality that I did not get to know.

Basically, it all boils down to the fact that having a baby was not what I expected. It did not immediately heal our grief. A longer journey to a take-home baby did not make me immune from the same struggles that all new moms face. Yes, I was incredibly prideful to even think for a minute that I would be “above” that. Holding a baby in my arms did not immediately make everything seem right with the world.

But, what it did do and is still doing, is serving to sanctify me further - to make me more like Christ. Becoming a mom has humbled me and caused me to repent of pride I did not even know was there. It has exposed selfishness that was deep and hidden in my heart. It has also given me an attitude of grace towards new moms. And, it is the best thing in my life right behind being a believer in Christ and being married to my man. It really is great. I love it and pray The Lord would bless us with more littles!

So, I write this to encourage moms in ALL seasons. If you are a new mom with similar feelings, repent of any pride and cut yourself some slack when things don’t go as expected. If you are an expecting mom who walked a hard road to get there, recognize there may be some pride in your heart if you are tempted to look at a new mom and think, "I won't _________." If you are in the season of waiting, as hard as it can be, show grace to new moms who may be struggling more than they are willing to admit. May we be real, humble and gracious with each other. And, may we learn from each other and be sanctified in the process.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mostly Wordless Wednesday (with a short update)

Please pass the Starbucks.
Family Fun Day
I can't wait to add another boy to this loving pair!
Yeah... I'm cool.
And one of those pictures that can never quite capture the beauty that God paints in the sky. 

I am now 32 weeks pregnant.  The weeks are starting to fly by and I am starting to realize that in a matter of a couple of months, we will be meeting this new little guy.  Gavin is excited but Joey is pretty much oblivious to the reality of a baby brother.  He knows there is a brother coming but I don't think he really gets it.  Aside from being excited to meet the unnamed member of the family, we are not prepared.  Baby stuff is still packed away.  No new purchases made.  I figure in the final weeks it will give me something to do rather than wait for labor. 

Doug is doing well.  He has been diagnosed with Membranous Nephropathy. The bad news is that it is another health issue and more medications.  The good news is that there is a very good chance that once treated, it will go into remission and never come back.  That is what we are praying for.  We are still waiting to hear what the treatment protocol is going to be since the medications used to treat this new issue is very hard on the liver and the doctor clearly doesn't want to mess up Doug's liver which is doing really well.  The medication that the doc wants to use to treat him is kinda on the pricey side.  And by pricey side, I mean I could buy a brand new minivan every month for the amount that this medication costs.  We are waiting to hear if insurance will cover it.... kinda doubtful but all we can do is wait and see.  Aside from all of the health concerns, he is feeling good and so are we!

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