I’m sitting out on our rooftop patio before sunrise today. It’s beautiful. I’m wearing a tank top and shorts and I’m neither cold nor hot and I’m in heaven. In just a few short hours this rooftop will be uninhabitable and we will be locked up tight back in our igloo where we stay nice and cool all summer long. Which in Los Angeles has sorta become half the year now. 😉
I’ve been thinking about dusting off the blog now that I have so much free time, HA!, I mean I’ve been writing blog posts in my head for months, just sitting down at my laptop at a time I’m feeling creative or like unleashing just isn’t always possible. And then when it is possible, I’m too tired or stabby to attempt to communicate! But I NEED it again. I NEED to write. It’s been four years since I was writing weekly/daily.
Four years ago I met my husband and figuratively put down the pen. I had a hard time transitioning back then from “angry, lonely, sad, almost 40-year old” to “happy, on cloud-9, engaged woman, expectant mommy, married mommy to be, wife……” it was ALL SO MUCH SO FAST. It still is. But writing has always been how I quieted the voices in my head. And it’s time again. I’ve realized I don’t have to write about the present if I’m still taking time to process what’s going on, like my baby turning 3 in two days, let’s not talk about that right now. Or maybe I will. Maybe I will talk about things that are going on in the here and now. Like how much I love motherhood, every.single.thing, but MAN having a toddler is tough!!!
So here I am picking it pack up again…….just like that I am jumping in. Or sitting down and putting my feet in while I slither in slowly.
I’ve never written Sloane’s birth story. Oh, who’s Sloane. Duh. Traci, you haven’t written much since Sloane’s birth so perhaps you should take one GINORMOUS step back. Okay. My baby girl is named Sloane…….she is the light of our lives and a joy to everyone she meets. Well, that one is negotiable these days, but she is truly a miracle sent here to do big things. I’m in awe of her most days. That I grew her. I helped make her. I have loved and watched many babies grow up, but there’s something about Sloane that’s just different. And I promise you it’s not just because I’m her mommy, she’s here to do something big, but for now, I’ll settle just for potty training! HA!
Today is my due date. June 12th. 2016. For anyone who’s been pregnant, we all know that that due date sticks to us like glue. We hear it for 9+ months at the Dr. We repeat 3,000 times to anyone and everyone who will ask. It sort of becomes part of ones identity. “When are you due? What are you having?” are the most common questions one gets asked!
Admittedly, I’ve been caught several times misidentifying my daughters birthday as “June 12th, er, I mean June 16th. Nope! Its June 14th. It’s a long story!” I’ve said THAT one more times than I’d even like to admit. And you know what, I decided in this nice cool morning air, as I breathe in that familiar “camp smell” only someone who remembers what summers in Los Angeles were like in the 80’s would know. Cool mornings, capped off by scorching days and warm nights. Yes, it’s extremely nostalgic for me. I guess Summer is my season; ironic since now it sends me into hibernation, but I’m going to try and enjoy more early mornings up here…….
Back to today being my due date.
35 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago I was fully pregnant and ready to explode. But not quite wanting to experience “what came next”. I was more than ready to be done being pregnant, I assure you, but, I never was too excited for the whole childbirth experience. LOL. I laugh now, but at the time my anxiety couldn’t have been higher and I unfortunately did not get the help and support I needed. So instead we made jokes about how exactly was I planning on getting her out? I didn’t even care. Or want her out. Yet I did not want her staying in. LOL
It was a Sunday. The first day of my 40th week. My Dr gave me every chance to go into labor on my own. In fact , for the last 5-weeks they kept saying “she’s coming early”. She did not in fact come early or even on time, so clearly they knew what they were talking about there. LOL. Nothing like thinking that at any moment you’re gonna have your water break and your ginormous baby is going to be sneezed right out in the middle of Target. Looking back I just laughed outloud, if only it was that easy! HA!
We were to check-in at Labor & Delivery at 8pm. We had all day to relax. And wait. And eat. And wait. And talk about how this time next week we would have our baby at home, meanwhile every single conversation about this makes me more and more scared about giving birth. And my husband who was so damn excited about her would have pushed her out himself if he could have, cannot stop talking. It’s like he’s so excited and so nervous he’s talking in full conversations to himself but loudly that it appears like he’s trying to converse with me. I know now this isn’t an uncommon habit of my husbands, but at the time I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to interject or just let him keep going! Lol
We had an appointment for 4pm at the Beverly Hills Library for our passports. Yes, you read that correctly. The day I was being induced we went to the library to get passports, like it was just any day. I THOUGHT THAT WAS WEIRD THEN AND I THINK IT’S HILARIOUS NOW!!! So after my husband says, “what now?”. I’m literally about to explode with baby. Every move is hard work. Her head is resting on my pelvis and he wants to know “what next” as if that in and of itself on my due date wasn’t enough. LOL. Please understand, I say this all as true comedy that it is and was.
We barely knew one another, we were both grown ass adults who were used to being on our own trying to learn this new dance called the compromise and I’m looking like a whale as we stand in BH talking about what’s next. On my due date. When we need to be at the hospital at 8pm. And not a moment earlier btw, because of a shift change at 730pm. (Shift changes made me stabby, wait until you hear about the shift change I told off a nurse!)
So we go home, I “nap” with the dogs. My husband is packing for himself. Or something. I don’t remember. He just moves around a lot. And I don’t. Especially 10 months pregnant and hours from being induced with my first baby. I was anything but fast!
The hospital is 8 miles from our house. We have driven it many times. We have driven it in traffic hour and it’s about 30 minutes away. 45 would be including parking. And that’s in weekday morning traffic. This was a Sunday. We leave our house with 90 minutes to get there. We stop for sandwiches at Jersey Mikes so that we have something to eat while we are sitting there and waiting.
My husband is happy to just drive slowly down Ventura Blvd taking in the scenes. I am not. I am ready to get this baby out, but I’m scared to fucking death and he’s quite literally on a Sunday stroll. I don’t really remember this time well other than please dear lord don’t let it pass too quickly I’m not ready for this and please make him stop talking because I just cannot hold a conversation right now.
We check in at labor & delivery a few minutes to 8pm, they ask us to wait a few minutes while they finish their shift change. No big deal. They say its not a busy night and proceed to put me in a corner room. You see, I’d been in L& D before with some preterm labor and false alarms, and because of my age I was checked for everything constantly, both because of protocol and because I was a nervous nelly. This was legit the smallest, oddest shaped room I had ever been in, and this cannot possibly be where they keep me for long. Right? Wrong!!
This room was so small and stuffy, I asked for a fan they brought me a hand fan. Like the kind you spread out and look fancy with?? Yes that’s what they offered to me as I was laying like a beached whale, terrified AF, getting ready to be induced.
I wish I could say it all went by in a blur but that would be the absolute opposite of the truth. Time could not have taken longer at this point. Someone comes in and tells me that I’m having contractions but not dilating. Yes, I’m aware. For 5-weeks this has been going on lady. So she tells me the most fun part, “because you’re already contracting, but not dilating, we can’t give you Pitocin, we have to try something else first”. WHAT. Why didn’t anyone mention this ahead of time? I’m a details person, and Kaiser, the HMO where we had Sloane is anything but detailed. They like to tell you as little as possible so you can’t question anything. LOL. I mean that’s hopefully not their protocol but I stand by that assessment!
So they come in to do the balloon induction. Picture the thing you use to raise a car to change the tire, inserted to help open ones cervix. Good times.
I FREAKED. This was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life and we aren’t even close to getting this baby out. I have learned A LOT about childbirth and previous trauma, no one mentioned any of that to me before pregnancy or during and unfortunately it caused a lot of stress and emotions I didn’t expect on what was supposed to be the happiest day of our lives. (More on that in another post.)
I get an epidural. I’m laying there contracting every few minutes but nothing productive.
I’m still in the tiniest room in the world shaped like a triangle. An isosceles right triangle. It was stuffy. I felt miserable. No one was really explaining anything and I’m laying there just waiting for this baby. I was kept calm the whole time by being able to watch the fetal heart monitor and hear it as loud as I wanted so I know she was okay, and as long as I knew she was okay I felt that I could survive this “incredible” process.
I can hear the little princess screetching to get out of her bed now……sorta hard to focus on the miracle of her beautiful birth with that going on. Although perfect and ironic considering. LOL!
I’ll stop here for now. And this way it’ll force me to write more and complete her birth story before her 3rd birthday on Friday. ❤