Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nate be pimpin'

Nate's first birthday.

We went apple picking.

Nate ate his very first apple straight off the tree.
From October 2009

Mmmmm apple.

Then his mommies dressed him up in suits and took pictures.

From October 2009

From October 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A follow-up on the miscarriage post

I was just recalling the first month or two of my "new" job at Google (two years ago). I found out that Jonathan no longer had a heartbeat on August 30th, (2007) gave birth to him early in the morning on the 31st and went home that day to find an email letting me know that I had an offer. I made Steve wait 3 days before speaking to him and told him that the offer was a great thing in an otherwise shitty week. Yes, I said "shitty." I started working at Google on September 24th. That first day I told Steve that I had miscarried. He comisserated (his wife had miscarried between their two children). It was still so raw for me and the way that I deal with things is to talk abou them so I found myself bringing up the fact that I'd had a miscarriage in spots where it maybe didn't apply. I think people understood and I was able to bond with others who had gone through similar experiences including with one of the engineers I support. Now it comes up up no longer because it's raw and I'm trying to heal but because it actually fits into the conversation not because I'm making it fit.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Year Ago Today ...

On this date one year ago, we were getting everything together to head to the hospital. My water had broken 24 hours earlier and the midwives wanted me in the hospital to induce labor since I wasn't having regular contractions (though they had finally started about 18 hours after my water broke). Yes, I got to be just like all the women in movies and television shows whose water actually breaks before they go into labor. Fewer than 15% of women actually have their water break (AKA ruptured membranes) before they're in active labor. In fact, a large number get it done by the doctor/midwife at some point during labor. It's not really that exciting. It was actually annoying because I didn't get to go into labor naturally and had to be induced. But it was fine. :) I managed to labor for 10 hours without any drugs as I had wanted (though I was open to anything) and get to 8 cm dilated before it turned out Nate wasn't going to be able to come out vaginally because the silly monkey was trying for that whole face-first thing. :)

So a year ago today I was getting nervous. Like happy excited nervous because I knew we'd get to meet our baby of unknown gender soon. Nathaniel Thomas if he was a boy and Grace Elisabeth if he was a girl. We knew it was going to be a boy though. I think I would have been surprised if Jen had said "it's a girl!" instead of "it's a boy!"

So today Nate opened his very first birthday present from his grandma. A fun bath toy (a net with balls that squirt water) and a copy of the book Nate the Great! Tomorrow we are going to go apple picking and make an apple pie for his birthday. Sunday we will have cake with nana and great-nana. And on the 25th it's his big first birthday party with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. Oh, and I want to dress him up in the 2 suits we've gotten (one as a gift that was used for his dedication at my church and the 2nd we got him for his baptism with our family and friends). Then I'm going to take lots of cute pictures.

Friday, October 2, 2009

But Nate's not our first!

Nobody talks about it.

But lots of people seem to have experienced it (1 in 4, they say).

Shhhh ... don't say it too loudly ... miscarriage.

Oh wait, I mean ...


It's really sad to lose a baby. It doesn't matter if that baby has been born still, lived for days or months and then died or if that baby only gestated for 6 weeks ... 12 weeks ... 17 weeks before it died without its parents even getting to meet it.

We had a miscarriage. Nate is not our first. In May of 2007 we got pregnant for the first time after 5 months of trying (with one month off). August 31, 2007 we got to meet little Jonathan, though he had already died by the time he was born. He had been growing for 17 weeks. Though we don't know for sure when he stopped breathing in utero, according to his size he may have died around 14 weeks.

After it happened, which was about a month after we had started telling work and more people than just family, so many women told me that they had had one too. Men told me that their wives had had them. Friends told me that their moms had had one. But nobody talks about it.

I do. I talk about it without any embarassment. I didn't do anything wrong. Most miscarriages don't have a known cause. Especially the ones that happen before that "magic" 12-week mark. Sometimes they're not healthy. Jonathan wasn't healthy. He just lasted a little longer than many. We're lucky to even know the cause of his death. See, since I was 17 weeks along, we were given a choice. Instead of miscarrying naturally, which is sometimes a possibility (it's like a really heavy, rather a bit more painful period, I have heard), we could either get a D & E (not D & C, those happen earlier on, after a certain point, it's E for extraction), or get induced and deliver. Our first thought -- get it DONE! D & E. No doubts. However, it was Thursday before Labor Day weekend. We wouldn't have been able to go in until Tuesday because the doctor was booked on Friday. My body hadn't realized the baby was dead yet. Our reasons for choosing D & E was to get it over with. Tuesday was too far away. So we went in Thursday evening and I was induced. I delivered tiny Jonathan around 4am. He was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand but big enough to be able to see he was a boy. :D And big enough to see the problem.

He had an omphalocele. A really bad one. An omphalocele is when the intestines are outside of the body. When a baby develops, its intestines develop outside of its abdomen and then by 12 weeks or so the abdomen closes up around them. Sometimes a little piece gets closed up outside and that's an omphalocele. Jonathan basically had everything out. Poor kiddo.

It was really really sad. Really sad. 5 months later we did get pregnant again, and 9 months after that Nate was born. No problems.

So if it is so sad, why do I talk about it? Well, because I think miscarriages should be talked about. Because Nate is not my first. Because I've had 2 pregnancies to draw experiences from. Because Nate has an older brother that he will know about. And just because I want to, dammit. It helps me.