So, I have decided to do that for you ... give you the goods. Whether you want the info or not, that -- that my friends -- is strictly up to you.
It is my new goal to write every now and again about events that have shaped my life in a series (I've just always wanted to say "in a series." Thank you for letting me do it!) we shall all call "Life In Review." Go ahead, start one yourself! Wouldn't that be sweet!? But be sure to share your innermost, happiest, or most pathological thoughts while you do it.
Today's "Life In Review" will be all about one of the most life altering events in a Woman's life ... the birth of a child. We shall call it:
We loved being parents to a child like K.J. He was magical. So of course, we wanted another.
It took us almost a year to get pregnant with Olivia. Being the impatient person I am, this was a long and arduous and painful wait. It got to the point when I just truly hated those few days every month where I wondered if I was ... and then found out I wasn't. I know some of you reading this know exactly what that feels like. Even much better then I do. It is unhappy feeling. I don't know if men can feel the same way we do as Nurturers (what a powerful word!) -- it's like everything inside of you yearns for this one thing. I'm not presuming here, menfolk. I just don't know how you feel. I only know how I felt.
I was over a week late before I ever said a word to The Double B. It was like, if I acknowledged it, everything would evaporate and I'd go right back to where I was. But on Day 11, as we were driving out of the Costco parking lot and making out a grocery list, I spontaneously told him to add one more item -- a pregnancy test. He then entered his 'slightly manic' (I like to call it) state of excitement: "Are you sure? How long? What?! Why didn't you say anything! Let's go get it, and take it, NOW!" I didn't really want to. I didn't really want to be told 'no' again. But we stopped and got one (and lemons, 'cause you know? I always have to add lemons when buying anything of a feminine nature. I'm not sure why. It's just so personal, and lemons seem to take the edge off).
The Double B apparently thinks I can go potty on demand, 'cause he rushed us into the house with the command "Now go pee! Pee!" And followed me in there. I pretty much just wanted to be alone, 'cause I thought that would be better when there was only one line. For some crazy reason, the father of the child thought he had a right to be there, too! Crazy, I know.
Imagine my shock when a second line started to form. Pretty definite, but I just couldn't believe it. I wasn't sure it was there. I made The Double B wait the whole three minutes before getting too excited. He hopped around and then pulled me into his arms. I was still in shock, so I'm not sure what I felt. It felt like ... determination.
The first trimester was kinda yucky. I had quite a bit of pain from stretching that I didn't have my first pregnancy, and I was sick. Not overly, just mostly in the afternoons and evenings especially. I would just feel so nauseous. But I didn't throw up more then a few times, and right on schedule, just past Week 13, the sickness let up and I settled into pregnancy. Ben was sure she was a girl. I was not sure at all! It was fun to try to convince little two year old K.J. that there was in fact a baby in Mommy's tummy.
I grew a lot more quickly this time around. I remember feeling her move for the first time at 16 weeks! It was thrilling, I knew just what I was feeling. It was so incredible. I savored that moment.
The Double B's birthday is August 17th, and that is the day I reached 18 weeks. So I surprised him by scheduling the ultra sound for that day, and we were happy and relieved to see a healthy baby wiggling and thriving. He was especially thrilled to find out he was right and it was a girl. He rubbed it in. Good for you, buddy.
I always knew I was a BIG pregnant lady, but sheesh!
No wonder I felt so awful. Poor me. Poor, poor Marie.
No wonder I felt so awful. Poor me. Poor, poor Marie.
The U.S.S. Marie, 38 weeks.
The third trimester, as every woman who has experienced it knows, is not all joy and bliss. I had so many aches and pains and grunts and groans. And you should know, we all need to be thankful the Lord invented clothes. 'Cause I'm pretty sure not even my husband liked to see this beached whale in her birthday suit. Olivia would roll all over in her cramped housing situation. It was so fascinating to sit in the bath and watch body parts lift and roll across my stomach. Kinda weird. Kinda awesome.
I was progressing pretty well. That could be due in part to the fact that for the month previous to her birth I would have hard contractions, 5 minutes apart, from about 4-6 every evening. Let me tell ya, that got old real fast. However, due to this fact and also that she was my second child, my darling and beloved doctor agreed that I would have her one whole week before my due date. That dude is awesome!
My pink ladies took me out to dinner a few nights before D-Day. We went to Applebee's. It was fun. I love them.
The day before she was scheduled I had my last appointment and was dilated to a 5. A 5, PEOPLE! Try walking around all cozy like that! That's right. You can't. So take that. In fact, he even brought the bucket over when I laid down in case my water broke. (P.S. you might be wondering, like I was, why he didn't just take mercy on me and break my water, since I was there and all. I don't know the answer to that question. But he'll be accountable for that!) (I'm sorta kidding. Not all the way, but mostly.) In fact, that sweet man slept at the hospital that night 'cause he was so sure I'd be in there. Hm.
I don't remember the rest of that day. I know my husband and my father gave me a priesthood blessing.
But I do remember that night. It took me forever to fall asleep. Somethin' about having flesh of your flesh ripped out of your body in the morning kept me awake... hm.... I wonder why. I finally fell asleep about 1 a.m. and had the strangest dream.
I dreamt that I was with my primary president (I was secretary at that time). She was due in the same week I was with a baby girl she was also going to name Olivia (whatever!) I dreamt that she was in labor and an angel came and asked me if I would be willing to feel her contraction for her. I said 'sure,' cause I'm just nice like that. So the angel gave me her contraction, and OH MY HECK. It was excruciating! I didn't remember pain like that! It finally faded, and I went on with my dream. A few minutes later, the angel asked if I would take another contraction. I politely, but firmly, said "NO!" But I got it anyway. It felt like fire was ripping me in half. It woke me up, but it didn't stop. Good granola bars! I was in labor! For the next two hours, I laid there, cried, or paced and bent and cried. That pain was AWESOME! And I say that as a compliment, 'cause it deserved a lot of respect. I cried because when I had K.J. the hospital didn't call until 10 a.m., and since it was only 4:49 a.m., I knew I would never survive. Imagine my JOY when at 4:59 the phone rang and it was a beautiful, wonderful nurse inviting me in! I was jubilant!
We called my parents. My dad, bless him, came over to stay with K.J. until a more decent hour, when my amazing and wonderful sister Trina would take him. K.J. woke up in the scuffle and cried and cried because he didn't want us to go and have baby Olivia!
When we finally got to the hospital, the nurse checked me, looked at me funny and said "You are at a 6. You are in active labor. Were you ever going to come in here?" I could only say "Yes. Eventually." She started me on petossin (does anyone actually know how that drug is spelled? Anyone? Anyone?), but quickly took me back off of it, I was going too fast on my own. My mom arrived. My dear sweet doctor took his sweet sister time and came at 9 and broke my water. I was about a 7.
The Double B and my mom encouraged me to get an epidural, but I felt on top of the pain still. Finally, I asked for one because I was so far along, the pain doctor came, and he also took his sweet time putting it in (and shocked my nerve like 3 times, by the way). By that time, my contractions were starting to rip my guts out, so I was pretty happy he was there. I was sitting up leaning over my sweetheart. I remember his face so clearly. He was concerned, he knew I was hurting, someone was putting a giant needle into me, and he loved me. It was nice. I also remember my incredibly wonderful nurse, who stood next to us with her hand rubbing my knee, silently supporting me. I love good people. There are so many of them. But I love that nurse. A lot.
By the time he was finished, the pain was severe, and I wasn't really numb. The nurse pushed the button for more meds, but that didn't really help. A few minutes later, when I was considering crab crawling off the bed, she pushed it again. I was numb on top, sorta, but not really on the bottom. And if you're curious, it felt like a knife was stabbing me and sorta sawing back and forth. (Enjoy that imagery. I'm sure you will.) (You're welcome.) She was about to call the anesthesiologist to see what he could do, but decided to check me again. I was ready to go. Ben had run to quickly get some breakfast at his parents apartment across the street, so the nurse told us to call and tell him to "run!" They called the doctor. He didn't actually believe it! When he came into the room, I could see he was slightly skeptical, but he checked me and said "This has to be a world record or something!" Ben had come in just a moment before, and I was ready to push this baby out. My good doctor couched me for just a few tries (what can I say, I'm an expert) and, at 10:04 -- exactly 59 minutes after breaking my water -- she was born. The most beautiful baby girl you could ever imagine. She was so pink and delicious, and screaming her little head off.
I will always remember the moment they put her across my stomach and I held her for the first time. Her little arms were flailing, her mouth was open and her eyes squinted in an angry wail, and she was exquisite. I remember touching her all over, she was so, so beautiful. My daughter. My precious, precious baby girl. I don't remember them fixing me up or anything around me, just my child. My husbands hand on my head as he bent over her.
Grandma cut the cord, and they took her to quickly clean her up. As is my honey's policy, he stayed next to my side to protect me and provide for any needs I might have while Grandma walked to the other side of the room with my angel baby.
It's all blurry until they put her back in my arms. She was so incredibly plump -- deliciously plump. Eight yummy pounds of plump. And the most beautiful, most pink and delightful thing I had ever seen. She was precious to me. She laid across me and looked deeply into my eyes. She was so at peace. The feeling she brought with her was incredibly peaceful. We stared into each others souls. It felt like that moment of "hello, again." It was one of the most special and important moments of my entire life. All I saw was her.
We had many visitors that day, the most important being the new big brother, who told Aunt Trina he didn't want to go because he was "scared of baby Olivia!" He was much more interested in the balloon then in her. But that quickly faded. She enchanted everyone she met.
That night Ben stayed with me and our new little one in the hospital. I felt really pretty good and ate enough turkey sandwiches to feed several small countries. And most importantly, I had this precious pink bundle. I'm not joking, and I don't think I'll ever get over it. She was the most beautiful color of pink. Just so, so pink. I have never seen another baby so deliciously pink. (Am I saying "delicious" too much? It just is the best word I can think of to show how satisfied I felt.) I tried to send her to the nursery so I could sleep, but after an hour I simply couldn't stand it any more. They kindly brought her back to me. After awhile she fussed. My wonderful Man was asleep, so I gingerly got up and put her into bed with me to nurse her. She was the most delightful little bundle. When she was done, we looked at each other for awhile, and she snuggled perfectly into my side. That is how she and I spent the night. We bonded. We bonded tightly. I remember every time a nurse would come in they would be surprised I was still awake and would encourage me to sleep. But I couldn't. I just rested. My precious, precious daughter in my arms.
I wish I could convey the power of my feelings that night to you, but I can't. Let's just say -- I pondered it in my heart.
The next day she came home, where she was most welcome. All was well.
I only had one major break down, and that took place after The Double B squirted K.J. with a water gun in the house. That was just more then my hormonal body could take. I sobbed hysterically in the bathroom. The Double B had to unlock the door with a butter knife to take me in his arms and console me (and promise to never squirt a water gun in the house again!). But when I had calmed down, I got to lay down and snuggle with my pink bundle of joy. Bliss!
This pregnancy was particularly hard on my body and the effects lasted for awhile. But what does that matter? She is here. She is mine. I love her, with all of my heart.
One of my greatest treasures.
One of my greatest treasures.
Olivia got to know our Granny-friend for two whole years.
They loved each other.