Saturday, June 25, 2011

Six years ago today . . . Part IV

June 25th, 2005 was a day I will never forget. It was the day God blessed me with a wonderful gift - one for which I cannot thank Him enough.

The morning started out with a nurse coming in at 8:30 with pitocin. She hooked me up and said, "now, you're officially in labor." I was so excited and, I have to admit, quite nervous. I remember getting to watch a TV show I used to love when I was little - The Monkees. I remember trying to watch the show and make sense of the silliness, but was too excited about the thought that by the end of the day, I will be a mommy!

My mind kept flashing back to when I found out I was pregnant. I remember being at work and getting the phone call from the nurse - all I could say was, "are you serious?!? Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh!!!" I scared my friends who were there because I couldn't talk - and I wanted my husband to know before I said a word to anyone else.

I remembered telling my husband . . . I remember telling my mom and crying because I was so scared and I remembered how close I felt to her that day. I remembered not being a very efficient employee the rest of the day. =0) I also remembered telling just about everyone I came into contact with. I was so very excited - just like I was this day. God was blessing me with someone I had wanted so much, someone He promised I would meet one day.

After the pitocin was started, the day seemed to fly by. Every so often, the nurse would come in and increase the pitocin to try and bring me into "active labor." Finally, by about 2 pm (I lost all track of time at some point), active labor began. The nurse had just come in to increase the dosage, and within seconds of that increase I felt like I wanted to run a marathon just to get away from the pain! =0)

The nurse, knowing I was trying to keep things natural - no meds - was trying to have pity on me and kept sneaking in to take me on walks in the bathroom (I wasn't supposed to be off bed rest or off my left side yet). Some moms say that they forget the pain . . . I still remember. =0)

Anyway, I remember thinking that I just couldn't keep going through the pain and I REALLY wanted those drugs! The nurse kept reminding me that it was alright and to just keep breathing. Everything I learned in the birthing classes disappeared and I felt like I was going blindly into labor. Between no sleep the night before and the contractions I was having every two minutes, I was exhausted and began to fall asleep in between contractions.

Then, around 3:30, the doctor said that it was time to meet my baby boy. Three hours later, I met him. At 6:23 pm (about 10 hours after I received the first doses of pitocin), Isaiah Christopher was born at a healthy 10 lbs. 3 oz. and 23 1/2 inches long (my 2-month old newborn). =0)

His little cry was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard and even though I had planned on waiting to give him his very first kiss (you know, until after he had his first bath), I couldn't help but kiss his beautiful forehead. I was in love - even more than I had been while I was pregnant. There was the baby I had wanted so very much - the baby I had prayed to meet since the day I found out I may not have children. He was perfect. All the pain and the waiting were worth it.

God's timing was perfect. His promise and gift were perfect.

Six years later, I am still in amazement at all God has done through my little guy. He has brought us through some really rough times and I know that He will continue to do so. Even in the midst of Isaiah's health issues and the frustration (and joy) of Autism, God is doing amazing things through Isaiah. Isaiah is still the fulfillment of God's perfect promise and gift.

Isaiah, I am so proud and thankful to be your mommy. You are truly an amazing little guy - you're my hero. You have helped me learn things that I don't think I would have learned without you - you helped me learn to be strong, to be more reliant on God, and how to pray continually. While life may be difficult for you at times, you continue to smile and laugh. I just love that about you. I also love how witty you can be and your goofy sense of humor. You are my sunshine on days when I need a smile (I can always count on you for a good smile and laugh) and you give the best hugs of anyone I know. Your amazing memory still astounds me as does your bravery. =0)

Happy 6th birthday, baby boy, with many more to come! I love you, Schtinker!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Six years ago today . . . Part III

Six years ago today, I had my scheduled appointment. This time, I didn't even consider being induced. I didn't even want to think that today was the day I would go into the hospital to meet my baby boy - I didn't want to be disappointed yet again. I went into the appointment with no anticipation, just plodding in there to hear my baby's heartbeat and to make another appointment.

The appointment was long. The doctor checked everything, left the room (he even darkened the room so I could nap a bit . . . laying there on my left side), then came back to check on me again. Instead of saying, "okay, see you in a few days," he said, lets get you checked out at the hospital." WHAT?!? Calming myself, he told me to go have a good lunch, then drive over to the hospital to be checked out. He didn't want to make any promises, but he also wanted to make sure I had eaten just in case I was there a while. So, I drove to Subway and ate what I could (I might have been hungry, but there was nowhere for food to go), then drove to the hospital. Yes, I was driving and I wasn't supposed to be . . . long story that doesn't need to be shared on the blog. =0)

When I got there, I was met by another doctor from the same practice. He looked at me and said, "you look uncomfortable!" Yeah, no kidding. My clothes barely fit (the full belly panel on my shorts was showing) and I couldn't breathe. Having compassion on me, he found a chair for me and asked, "do you have your bags with you? I can't bear to send you home - I'll see what I can do to have you admitted." Finally! A doctor with some compassion!!! =0) A trip to the car with a smiling nurse and a few hours later, I was given a room in labor and delivery. No, I wasn't in labor, but Isaiah had absolutely no room left in there and it was taking a toll on my health.

Six years ago, today, I was waiting in L&D. Waiting with hope and belief that my little baby boy was going to make an appearance the next morning. I was hooked up to all the monitors and given a few meds to prepare me for the long day ahead. Again, I was told to stay on my left side . . . they weren't kidding - they made sure I stayed on my left side and off my feet. I made a few phone calls and watched TV.

This time, I just knew I would meet my baby boy - a child I had prayed so much to have. I was excited, and slightly scared, but confident I could handle labor . . . ehem. =0) Prayer continued as I waited. There would be no dinner tonight - dinner is not given in this part of the hospital . . . but my hidden snacks worked just fine. =0)

I remember the room so well. It was made to feel like home. Beautiful wooden cabinets that hid all the evidence of being in a hospital with pretty pictures on the walls. The only evidence of the room being in a hospital were the floors and the bed. There was also the cart at the foot of my bed - the cart with all the things needed for the birth of my child, neatly covered . . . but they were there. There was also a bassinet waiting for my baby. This wasn't imaginary and it wasn't on TV - this was it. It also didn't feel like the last two times I was in the hospital - the doctor was determined to help Isaiah into the world. I was not leaving without my baby in my arms this time - even if a c-section was needed.

There wasn't much that happened that night - it was a lot of waiting. The birthday song would play for babies who were born that night over the speakers. I knew other mommies were meeting their little ones. This time, I wasn't frustrated - mine would be here soon.

I was as prepared as I could be. I had everything planned out for the next day (chuckle, chuckle). No more What to Expect When You're Expecting, it was time for the real baby books, you know, What to Expect the First Year. =0)

I slept little, if any that night. The bed made my poor left hip hurt along with my back (lovely delivery tables), but the excitement of what was to happen very soon kept me awake - even Lunesta wasn't helping. =0) All night, I listened to the sound of my baby's heartbeat and movement. I became thankful for this moment - a moment I knew God had prepared me for and prepared for me. It was perfect timing - His timing. There's no way of explaining why, it just was. I was happy and at peace . . . six years ago, today. =0)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Six years ago today . . . Part II

Today was the due date . . . at least, six years ago. I thought for sure my baby would have been born by this time and I would be holding my tiny baby boy, Isaiah, in my arms. Well, God (and Isaiah) had other plans. As I mentioned in the last post, due dates are a cruel, cruel joke. ;0)

I had my bags already in the car - I was ready to go. Still, nothing. I began timing my Braxton Hicks contractions just hoping that maybe, just maybe they would be the real thing at some point (you know, maybe that would help bring on the real thing). =0) Still nothing. I'm convinced due dates are there to torture us mommies who are doomed to exceed them. You see it coming, and you get all excited, just to see it pass and become history . . . just not the history you had hoped for. Cruel joke those due dates are. ;0)

I was sick of laying on my left side, but moving around wasn't an option either. I couldn't breathe standing, sitting, laying down, standing on my head (just kidding about that last part). I just couldn't get comfortable. Of course, it was also painful to do much else - seriously, Isaiah was stretched out in there! =0)

I had given up on the baby shows - I was sick of them. Plus, I think I started seeing repeats. =0) So, I started watching Noggin instead. You know, getting familiar with the kiddie shows. I even watched Sprout and began to watch the Baby Einstein DVDs I had purchased months earlier - I got a really good deal on the whole set . . . at least the whole set they had at the time. =0) I abandoned strict confinement to the sofa, and began to crawl on the floor and wash the carpet by hand (I didn't want a baby to be on a carpet that didn't meet my preggo standards) and fixed his room . . . again. =0) Oh, crawling??? Yeah, I figured that would almost be the same as laying on my left side. =0)

I read the final chapters of my pregnancy books again, hoping to find some bit of information that I had missed. I was all prepared with my birthing plans and with all the "tricks" I had learned for labor and med-free pain management (yes, I was one of those who did not want drugs). I made sure my tennis balls were in a sturdy sock (to massage my back), my comb was in the right pocket in my bag (to hold during labor - it's supposed to help with pain), my (shhhhh) snacks were packed. I had everything ready. Oh, yeah, and I also began to read the first chapters in the baby books so that I could be prepared for my baby. =0)

Off to the doctor's appointment . . . I was hoping it would be the last one, the one where they would say, "go, wait at the hospital, your baby is coming." On the other hand, according to the doctor, Isaiah was still baking and nothing had changed in my preggo status. It would be the last time I would hear from a doctor that my belly was measuring a bit large (meaning a large baby) . . . I had heard this one other time. I just ignored it, ignorantly. =0) Another appointment was scheduled for the 24th with no talk of induction, but just the hope that labor would begin soon for me (no sign of it, though). Oh, and more bed rest on my left side. =0)

God was still teaching me lessons that I wasn't too thrilled with being taught. I wanted God to do what I wanted Him to do . . . I was trying the speak it into existence approach, and I was finding out that God does not work that way. Persistence (or in this case, stubbornness) is one thing, knowing and having the faith in God's plan and timing are another. I'm really not the boss (not that I thought I was, but I was hoping there was faith somewhere that changed things a bit), God is the boss and had decided when Isaiah was going to come into this world - God, and apparently my baby, were not agreeing with my plan. =0)

Six years ago today, I headed back home, sobbing (more rolling of the eyes, I know) to stay on the sofa and bake. =0)

More to come . . .

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Six years ago today . . .

I was still very pregnant and nearing the last of three due dates for a baby I didn't even know I could have (but wanted so very much). Six years ago.

I was praying, praying, praying that God would just help things along so I could have my little bundle of joy finally make his debut. I had been on bed-rest of some kind for about 2 months at this point (at first, it was limited, but the last bit of it was complete bed-rest). I was tired of laying on my left side (which began to hurt) and I was tired of being pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed being pregnant and all the experiences that came with it, but I just wanted to see his little face and hold him in my arms and know that he was okay. It was at this point that TV programs like "A Baby Story" began to irritate the snot out of me. =0) But, what was there to watch while I roasted on the sofa??? . . . on my left side . . . ;0)

I remember crying and praying to God, "please, help me!" I couldn't breathe well anymore and I'm pretty sure when he would kick that he was kicking my heart. =0) My clothes no longer fit and I think I had one outfit left that would at least decently cover my growing baby bump. Too bad I had never considered a mu-mu! =0)

By this point I had been in the hospital at least twice - once because I thought my water broke and once because I was put there by my doctor for an overnight stay . . . and maybe induction. The latter hospital stay was the one that got me - all the nurses were sure that the doctors would induce labor. However, the doctor didn't induce labor and I was sent home with no baby in my arms, sobbing. =0) Silly, I know, but I wanted to see him so badly! I knew he would make his appearance, and I knew I would be overjoyed and fall in love with this "tiny" creature - I was already in love with him. I just wanted him here.

Oh, yeah, and there was even talk at one point of my baby coming early . . . ehem. =0) Yeah, at this point, he was not going to be a preemie.

Time went on, with me laying on my left side staring at the babies being born on TV. It was a trial in patience, I'm sure. I had plenty of time to think, seeing as I couldn't do anything . . . or at least, wasn't supposed to. I tried massaging the "no-no" spots on my ankles and legs, I tried herbal mixtures that were also on the no-no list for the preggos (oregano, black cohosh - safe stuff, but known to bring on contractions) . . . still, nothing. Okay, okay, so he wasn't supposed to come then . . . I get it. I still wanted to see him! =0) With every, "baby will come when baby comes," I wanted to scream. =0}

I had appointments every three days or so to check on me and baby. I lived for those appointments. I know it was more than likely the pregnancy hormones, but I felt like God was ignoring me (more importantly, I knew He wasn't) - my baby was just not finished baking yet. God knew when he would make his appearance, and He knew that it would be perfect timing. I would cry with every baby born on TV - I'm totally a sap! I would cry at commercials - any of them, really, but especially the ones with mommies and babies (insert eye rolls if you wish). =0) I longed for sleep (it's uncomfortable to sleep in one position all night . . . especially with a baby that wanted to stay stretched out all the time). Nesting instincts??? Yeah, forget about those. I think I had those from day one! =0) Besides, there is only so much you can do with a nursery without the baby in it.

I knew then, my relationship with God was changing. I was learning more about Him and learning more about patience. I was learning more on how to trust Him and a new way to listen for His voice - all lessons that would be invaluable later. The lessons didn't come easily . . . they were difficult to learn, but so worth it all.

With everything ready for baby to come, I waited and prayed. Six years ago today.

It's amazing how fast time flies, isn't it?

More to come . . .

Sunday, June 5, 2011

YIKES!!!! (turn off the music player at the bottom to watch the videos) =0)

It has been a while since I posted last . . . I didn't realize it has been so long! =0}

We have been busy - Isaiah's schedule is hectic. Since the last post, Isaiah has completed his second year in Awanas as a Spark, still hasn't gotten an IEP (though, after the second meeting, we are closer - he's so smart, he just doesn't understand language well), began real physical therapy, finished his first year in gymnastics and dance . . . let's see, have I forgotten anything??? Oh, yeah, he graduated from Kindergarten! =0) I can hardly believe my baby is now a first grader!!! Aaaaand, he had the first portion of his Make-a-Wish! =0)

Back to PT . . . his therapist told us that he has officially been diagnosed with - get ready for this, because I was totally shocked to hear this . . .

Cerebral Palsy!

Yup, that's right, Isaiah has been diagnosed with spastic diplegia - basically, it accounts for his legs being so tight and his upper body being so loose. He has hypertonia in his legs and hypotonia in his upper body, which basically means he has muscle/tendon/ligament tightness in his legs and weak/underdeveloped muscle tone in his upper body (which we knew, but now have a reason for it). Why didn't the doctor mention this a year ago when he had the MRI??? Your guess is as good as mine, but it was quite interesting to hear the final outcome from his PT specialist a year later! I'm not really angry, but I will ask the neurologist about it the next time we see him (he didn't even mention it at the last appointment). The PT specialist also told us that his measurements are borderline for braces. Nice. I am quite thankful, though, that he hasn't needed them thus far . . . hopefully, he won't ever need them.

Okay, now on to Gymnastics and Dance! He had his gymnastics recital the following week after his PT appointment (which, by the way, is done by me at home since insurance will only cover meeting with the therapist once a week for 23 sessions a year . . . ehem . . . ). Anyway . . . =0) Isaiah did sooooo well! I am so proud of him - he worked so hard and it showed. He might not have conquered a cartwheel, a push-up, or being able to hold himself up on the parallel bars for very long, but he did an amazing job! I know it was difficult for him, and at times painful, but he stuck with it. Here's a little video of Isaiah doing his gymnastics: =0)

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As far as the dance recital, (again) Isaiah did an amazing job! He is learning to walk on his heels, which is difficult and painful for him to do, and he is also strengthening his upper body. The kiddos were so cute! Since boys don't have as much in dance attire as the girls do, his outfit didn't exactly match the girl's . . . but he is just so stinkin' cute! =0) Here is the dance recital for you . . .

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Then, there was Part I of Isaiah's Make-A-Wish! This one happened a bit before the gymnastics and dance recitals . . . but it's one of the best. I had been putting off a Make-a-Wish trip for Isaiah because I felt like I was giving up and admitting the severity of Isaiah's health issues. I just didn't want to admit that they were that life-threatening, I guess. Well, I finally felt like I was cheating Isaiah out of something that was a gift for him and Isaiah got the first portion of his Wish - to see the space shuttle a bit closer than we have been able to get. He LOVED it! He was so excited about seeing the space shuttle from the causeway (just water between us and the shuttle) and also slightly disappointed . . . he thought he was going to go on a trip with the astronauts. =0) He had a blast, even though we had to leave our house at 5 in the morning to wait for a shuttle launch at 8-something in the morning. It was a wee bit cloudy, but we were still able to see this:

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Well, that's all I have for now . . . Isaiah turns 6 in about 20 days, now, so I will be posting (again) sometime soon. =0)