Yesterday, 10/11/10, was Maeve's THIRD birthday. I know every mother under the sun says this, but really, "WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?"
I've been thinking for a few days about how I wanted to blog her birthday. She did have a party with a few friends, and I definitely want to include those pictures... we had cake with family... and then there was her "real" birthday yesterday.
I guess I'll start out with saying that from the first moment I knew she was a "Maeve" she's had me.
The ultrasound tech, Dana, said she had never seen a reaction quite like our family's (good or bad thing?) but when she said "its a girl!" The tiny room exploded with shouts (of joy :) and tears. I don't know why we all (secretly of course) wanted a girl so badly, but we did. And when it was confirmed, I could finally put a name with the fetus: Maeve Annabelle.
The pregnancy was rough- in terms of anxiety. Every little hiccup (and that's no exaggeration) was counted. I spent HOURS lying in bed feeling her move and imagining what she'd look like.
I managed to pack tote after tote (we were living in my parents basement while our house was being built...) full of the prettiest, girliest things on the planet.
We had a little calender down in our room and each week was marked with "week 29," "week 30," etc. I was counting down (or up I should say) to BABY day. And I could hardly wait.
Unfortunately we hit a few bumps in the road my sweet Maeve (this is the part in the post where it turns into more of a letter to M). I have this HORRIBLE, AWFUL condition called ANXIETY that really gets in the way of a lot of good things. I had a few ER trips because of my blood pressure and heart rate, which were high, due to my anxiety. Each trip would be the same- a giant pregnant woman waddling through the doors, gasping for air- I was always swept up in a wheel chair and given the royal pregnancy treatment.
In the midst of my panic attacks, the doctors would want to give me something to lower my heart rate, I'd make them triple check that it was okay for pregnant women. After things would settle down, I'd ask the nurses to check your heartbeat- it was always steady, the same. Mine could be racing at 200 BPM and yours would still be at 130 (which sounds high, but is perfect in fetus land:). Things are still this way today; I'm chasing you around with panic and you've got your giant, nookie, gap toothed smile like there isn't a bad thing in the world.
The week before I had you (my Maeve), I tripped and fell over a box. This landed me in labor and delivery for a day of monitoring. I was having regular contractions and the nurses continued to check on me, asking each time, "Are you feeling these?" I proudly said "Nope!" Like I was a birthing master or something... The nurses were sure I was in labor (and I was giddy with excitement on that rainy Monday) but each time they checked my "progress" (or lack OF I should say) I was told there was "no change." I was discharged later, and one of the nurses said "Hope to see you soon!" I said, "You're telling me!" The nurse then replied with, "She's going to be stubborn, huh?" I smiled, and thought "Yup I've got a little spitfire on my hands." OHHHH Maeve... how little did I know :)
Eventually things came to a halt (in the womb anyway- as Dr.P said)... your measurements had stayed the same for a few weeks, meaning you hadn't grown and in Dr. P's words "she'd be better on the outside now." I completely agreed :) Induction was set for Wednesday, October 10th, 2007. My first thought was, "Woah, this is really happening." My second thought was "YES! You're going to have a birthday that no one will forget, 10/10."
The night before the induction, dadda spent the entire evening (and most of the night) installing the giant tv we now have on our wall. He said it was on the "top of the list" because I'd be spending so much time on the couch. I laughed, saying "Yeah right! We're going to have lunch dates and shopping days!" Dadda knew better then, and I think he still does now.
I tried my hardest to sleep. I couldn't. I remember the numbers ticking on the clock and I was willing them to reach 5 AM as quickly as possible. At 4:59 AM, I called up to labor and delivery to see if there was a bed available... there was and I was in for 10/10/07.
We stopped by nana and poppa's house. Nana insisted on getting a "last" picture of you in my belly.
We got hugs, kisses and wishes of good luck and then we headed downtown to Foote (it was still Foote in 2007). The streets were dark and inside our car it was quiet and cold. I felt your movements and thought that in just a few hours I'd be able to hold your hand instead of feeling it through my belly.
At Foote, I registered and became a "prisoner" of Foote- (that's what the registration lady said as she put on my hospital bracelet- nice, huh?). Dadda was so nervous (although he wouldn't admit it,) that he forgot my bags in the car. I remember standing in the lobby, as he ran out for the bags, thinking, "there's still time to escape!" I was terrified of the unknown Mae mae :)
Once we were settled up in our room (which was really the nicest birthing suite on the floor, or so we were told) I was literally shaking with excitement. I wanted that pitocin PUMPED up to the max. The adrenaline had kicked in and I was READY. Unfortunately, you, my girl, were not.
All morning, and into the afternoon, the pit was turned up. Dr. P broke my water and I walked those hallways for hours. I'd come back to the bed, the number "10" flashing through my head, the only thing that was keeping me alive, get checked and hear the very disappointing news that I was at a "3" or a "4" and "baby's still high."
I'm not very strong miss Maeve. And that was never my point in labor- I wasn't trying to prove anything. But I was more scared of the epidural paralyzing me, than I was of the contractions. So I kept on...
I remember crying with your poppa. I remember throwing a magazine at your dadda because he fell asleep on the job. I remember your aunts doing crazy things to try and make my smile. Aunt Emi would rub my feet in between contractions. Aunt Meggie would do cheers about pushing.
The problem with not getting an epidural and laboring for so long, as that there is a giant (and I mean GIANT) gap of time that is unaccounted for. I just can't remember, as hard as I try.
Hours were whirling by in a blur. A new face popped up in mine- the nurses had had their shift change. Cindy, my new nurse, looked like an angel.
She leaned over and was pressing a washcloth on my head and explained very calmly that I wasn't having you tonight. That you'd be born tomorrow. And that if I don't start progressing, a C-section would be in my (our) future. The first thing that came to mind was my utter disbelief that you wouldn't be born on 10/10. The thought hadn't occurred to me that I'd be laboring into 10/11. Maybe its a good thing that thought hadn't occurred, because surely it would have sent me into a panic attack :)
As I was saying before, I don't remember details, but I do remember agreeing to an epidural. I remember making Cindy promise me that I wouldn't be paralyzed. And then began the shaking.
I was later told that there was an emergency in the ER (go figure, right?:) and the one and ONLY anesthesiologist was attending to that. I remember Cindy telling me it was a little boy, and I thought "thank GOD for that... because if it were some old lady or man I'd be stomping down there and injecting myself with the epidural." :)
FINALLY, after what seemed like hours (and actually, I think it was- 2 hours to be exact), the anesthesiologist walked in. I was shaking so badly it was hard for her to insert it.
Once it was inserted, I remember lying back down and thinking "I did it. Now its going to be a picnic." :)
Soon enough, I realized something wasn't right. As much as I pressed that little yellow button for more of the goods, it was doing nothing. Well, let me rephrase- it was numbing one half of my body but not the other half. Which, in my opinion, was worse than feeling contractions on both sides. I was DEVASTATED. "Just knock me out- I want a C-section" I told Dr.P. -he laughed. NOT the thing to do.
Cindy was my advocate, and I heard her arguing with Dr. P and the anesthesiologist. The next thing I knew, I was being sat up, for another try at the epidural. Neither Dr. P or the anesthesiologist was pleased. I remember the anesth. saying "Some women just don't have an epidural space that will work for an epidural." Momma said some bad words.
They threaded the catheter out, and put a new one in. Right away, I could feel the difference. THANK YOU JESUS!
I reclined in my bed with my entire lower half numbed, thanking God for modern medicine.
It was around 1:30 AM and I remember the rain hitting the roof outside. I asked Ryan to open the windows, (you know how Momma loves the rain), he laughed. Again, not the thing to do.
I never really felt the urge to push, but my nurse said to try it. So I did. I must not be a very good pusher, because for a solid hour and a half I pushed, and pushed, and pushed, and dry heaved, and pushed, then dry heaved some more. I remember every time I dry heaved, Cindy would say "YES! That's the way you need to push!"
Dr. P came in and watched me. I remember saying "Okay just get the vacuum, I'm okay with that." I guess he wasn't because he didn't move.
This is all so blurry to me, and to be honest, all I really remember is an incredible amount of pain and then the sight of you. At 3 AM on the dot, our world became brighter.
Dr. P called you a "peanut," which I'm sure he calls all tiny babies, but I remember thinking "MY peeeeaaanut. This is her!"
You screamed from the get go. A very reassuring thing for me- and you scored a 10 out of 10 on your APGAR.
I wish I could say this was the moment I took you in my arms and studied you, but I can't. You did a lot of damage my girl ;) I held dadda's hand, and nana held you. I am pretty positive this is why you and nana have the relationship you do :)
The time couldn't have come soon enough for you to be in my arms. And when you were, I thought "This is my life. This is my purpose." Initially, I thought you looked NOTHING like me. You liked like a daddy- turns out, its because your head and eyes were so swollen :), because now, you're my twin.
We ended up having to stay a little longer in the hospital due to your stubborn entrance into the world, that left momma in some major pain. We had lots of visitors and everyone marveled at how tiny and perfect you were.
Nana and Gigi (YES, Gigi flew in from FLORIDA to see you:) made a few runs to the store for some preemie outfits. Apparently, newborn clothes don't fit tiny newborns. We must have changed you at least five times a day while in the hospital.
I remember the post partum nurses saying you weren't allowed to sleep in bed with me. Therefore, I forced myself to stay awake just so I could tuck you in my gown and hold you. The only time I'd put you down is if you were another pair of loving arms. I remember making up excuses at 2 in the morning, like how hungry you were, therefore we must wake you up for a feeding. When really, I couldn't bear to see you in the bassinet- you deserved to be in arms... at all times.. this later came back to haunt me. :)
We learned lots of things in the hospital. The most important was, that the cafeteria has awesome milk shakes. No, really, they're awesome and anything else that was "taught" to us made me laugh or roll my eyes. I won't get into the breastfeeding lady... lets just say we were anxious to get home.
After a long 4 night stay, we were both discharged. Now, let me tell you, that during the entire pregnancy I was glued to any and every "Baby Story" that TLC aired. I watched as the new mom would sit next to the infant in the back seat... I always thought it was because the camera man (from the show) was in the front seat, therefore, the mom had to sit in the back, by the baby. We definitely did not have a camera man, but it felt unnatural to sit in the front seat. Therefore, I slid in next to you, in the back. And held your head over every bump and turn, yelling at dadda to slow down.
Our first few days at home were rough. I was very sore and you were, well, a baby. Meaning, you liked to be fed, changed and held ALL.THE.TIME. It's funny, because I remember thinking "Let me just get through these first few weeks and life will become so much easier." Now, I'd give just about anything to rewind time on you (and your brother:).
Maeve, that is your birth story. Nothing remarkable or miraculous (in the eyes of a regular person) happened. But in the eyes of me and dadda, you were and ARE just that- remarkable and miraculous- and a billion, zillion other things.
You can run, jump, skip, and watching you master each one of those was like seeing you perform a miracle. Ha :) I remember your first steps, thinking "SURELY, this baby has the best looking first steps EVER!"
Maeve, for a while there, you did no wrong. I can't lie and say that you still do no wrong... because you're a stinker and you do. BUT, I wouldn't have it any other way. At the end of the day, you always leave me with a few good stories to tell to dadda or nana, or anyone else that will listen :).
You're kind hearted. You're compassionate, and concerned. You're curious and into everything. You love your little brother but can get so frustrated by him. Just yesterday, you set up your brand new "Beauty and the Beast" tea set- it was perfect; the spoons and little plates were set in just the right way. And then Henry, aka "Godzilla" attacked. I am pretty sure every fiber in you, was wanting to lash out. Instead, you shouted (pretty loudly) "NO THANK YOU HENRY!" and then began to cry and shake. I could tell you wanted to let it out, but you've got a sense of control that is beyond me. I am fairly sure dadda gave you that.
You love anything and everything that's pretty. You put lipstick all over your face and I have to pretend that you look beautiful- and don't get me wrong- you're ALWAYS beautiful, but its super hard not to crack a smile, when you come out with mismatched high heels, a t-shirt, your face painted with lipstick and mascara. You say "I'm so beautiful momma!" And I say "You ARE!"
You love your long hair, but hate to have it brushed. You like to eat the toothpaste of the tooth brush, but will not allow dadda or I to actually BRUSH your teeth. You prefer mints to any other type of candy... what other 3 year old eats "Altoids?"
You love donuts. You love balloons and aren't scared when they pop in your face. You love lying in "Momma's bed." And we laugh, because you refuse to call it "Momma AND Dadda's bed."
You love to dance and sing. You love to read.
You love your nana. I've never seen a more special relationship. You two are peas in a pod. As much as I'd like to be queen of your world, I know that truly, Nana is your queen... and that's okay. She's a pretty good nana.
You still suck a nuk... shhh- don't tell Dr. Williams :) You hate sippy cups, and will only drink from a straw.
Your dadda and I aren't sure how you're surviving and have so much energy, because you don't eat. This worries momma every day... but I've been reassured you won't starve yourself.
You're very sensitive. If you're singing, and I tell you "Shhhh!" because I'm on the phone or something, you'll cry. And it breaks my heart. I never want you to "Shhh."- ever! You have things to say and I want to hear every word.
You don't like to get dressed, eat, sleep, etc. on anyone's terms but your own. You're strong willed like that. I can say "Maeve its time to put on pajamas!" And you'll throw a fit, but within a few minutes you say "I want my pajamas." As long as you make the decision and not me, we're good :)
You hate the carwash and anything "spooky." Halloween season must be completely terrifying for you. In your world, everything should be princesses, pink and lovely.
I remember in the weeks after I had you, I'd sit in the shower, crying, and pray to God that you'd never, EVER get hurt, sick or picked on, teased. I couldn't fathom anyone tainting this perfect baby I had brought into the world.
The truth is, that this is an ugly world my girl. I can't stop the boo boo's or the flu. I can't keep you secluded in this house, away from bullies and the ignorance and cruelty that make up this world.
I am pretty sure you think that the "wicked witch" from Snow White is real, and out there. And the truth is, she is- maybe not how you imagine her to be, but she's out there. At night when we say prayers, and you say silly things like "Spookies not get me... " I look you in the eyes and say, "Never." I tell you that the wicked witch is all gone. I tell you about rainbows, playgrounds, ice cream and the ocean. Oh how I wish with everything in me, I could keep it this way forever.
I can't. But, my girl, I can promise you that I will always love you- unconditionally. It doesn't matter what you say or do, you will always be my girl. And even when the "wicked witch" shows her ugly face, I will continue to tell you that it will be alright- there's always the morning sun (which you love to see rising :)
My sweet girl, three years have gone by with you here on this planet. We believe that you were meant to be ours before we even existed. God has us all named and planned before we're put on this earth. And we thank Him for you each and every day. You are our girl!
Love you more than words maebug...