Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fam Time. Idaho style.

The weekend before my induction my family came up to visit for the weekend. Considering where we live, we had limited options of things to do since they aren’t too interested in farming or the family dollar store in town. We made the most of every minute including a trip to the arcade, pumpkin patch and sandwich shop. 

The best part though had nothing to do with the tickets at the arcade. The best part was just lurping around, crowded in my living room talking and being together.  Anyone that knows my family knows that there are a few things in common. 1. We all married introverts (so far). 2. We are all fairly (and by fairly I mean foghorn level) loud. 3. We all like to laugh hard. 4. We all like to be together. Besides those four things, there is pretty much nothing else in common. I have four brothers and they couldn’t be more different. One is a fireman/former MMA fighter/cowboy. The other works at the MTC and is planning on law school. The third brother has red hair, works as a water treatment specialist and the only plan he ever makes is planning on having a good time. My youngest brother is the only non loud person in my family and beloved by everyone and has done everything from construction to making doughnuts at Kohlers.  My sister Em is one of the most organized mothers I have ever or will ever know. She is type AAA like the battery and I am type Z and don’t plan ahead for anything. My youngest sister is in beauty school and a senior in high school.  Sometimes I just look around and wonder how we all can enjoy each other so much when there are so few common denominators. I guess it doesn’t matter at all what you have in common with your family if the one thing you have in common is that you love to be together.  There really is no better feeling.   

Like Lilo and that psychotic mutant blue creature Stitch taught, “Family means no one gets left behind.” It also means you belong to something bigger than yourself. That you hurt and feel stressed when you know one of your siblings isn’t doing well. It means you stay up until 2 am playing super smash brothers because you don’t want to miss out. It means that you know that there are people on Earth who just get you because they are apart of you.  It means that even if you didn’t know about DNA or genetics, that you have people that understand your humor and that you have a mental food storage of shared memories like eating the cake mixes from the food storage room on Sunday, or midnight parties or playing lost kids in the dog kennel that no one else on Earth shares with you or can ever be recreated. Family is everything.   

Welcome to Earth Lucy Bliss....

 I don’t know what everyone else was doing on October 14, 2015 but I was busy giving birth to a human. No big deal. Actually is there anything that is a bigger deal? I’m having a hard time thinking of it if there is. The whole process is quite mind boggling. It always will be. A human being that’s been cramped up in big water balloon called the uterus (what an awkward word) comes out through something people call the birth canal (why do they call it this? Canals are wide and long, I do not think either of those words describe the birth exit accommodations) and all of a sudden you are completely responsible for another person for the rest of their existence. How do you even describe that feeling when suddenly there is a screaming purple mini human covered in mozzarella easy cheese laying on your chest? The answer is you can’t. You simply can not explain it unless you have felt it.  And after you have felt it, you will still not be able to ever explain it so don’t even try.
 Lucy’s birth was hands down the easiest of the three gals that I now call my eternal team.  This was my first induction.  I have always wanted to have an induction but it hadn’t worked out the two previous times so I was quite delighted that she was still uterized  (my own made up word for being inside) on the induction date. Inductions have always been the gold medal 5 star birthing dream in my opinion.  After being a labor and delivery nurse for 7 years, I saw far too many rushed deliveries of people coming in at 4 am with soaking wet towels, or placenta stained front seats. I never was a fan of the experience where you could hear the screaming in the elevator before you ever saw the panicked face of the woman who couldn’t sit in the wheelchair because there was another head that was not her own already out leaving a traumatic trail of fluids all the way to the room. 

 I am all about respecting whatever kind birth women want as long as it is safe but as for me and my womb, I choose the easiest route possible.  Everything that my pioneer ancestors embodied before me, I am the antithesis of.  I read stories of them giving birth next to a wagon wheel and then walking on the next hour gathering buffalo chips for dinner.  I bring shame to all that they represent because if I had my way, I would get an epidural the entire last month of pregnancy and wheel around the house in a wheel chair so I didn’t have to feel a single contraction.  Let’s just say it like it is, I am the ultimate weinie. I’m not proud of my allergy to anything uncomfortable, difficult or painful but it’s the sad and sorry truth. I wouldn’t have lasted 7 minutes at Rocky Ridge or in a time period without electricity, epidurals and cars. I get a laughing gas overdose for even the slightest cavity, I like the bum warmers turned on in the car whenever I drive and don’t get a flu shot every year because I’m scared of needles.  So birth has never really been my thing.  On birth eve, I took my final pics with my gals. It was so nice to know when it was going to happen instead of just waiting to be in writhing pain at an inconvenient time. My sister Em took the pre birth photos...

     When the nurse asked me about my birth plan I clearly helped her understand that an epidural was in our very near future…as in she could call the anesthesiologist immediately. She pointed out that I wasn’t in labor. I didn’t understand what that had to do with anything. I felt like getting my epidural before signing all the papers and putting on the gown but I was trying to be compliant.
The worst part of the whole ordeal was having to call at 4:30 am to make sure we could still come to our birthing suite.  I was so tired at 4:30 that I got back in bed and told Gar we could do it another time. Those who know me understand that there are few things I value as much as sleep and few things I loathe more than getting up early.  Gar is a morning person and could see the logical necessity of us getting to the hospital in Pocatello so we got in the jeep in the dark still morning and headed down the empty highway to room 208. 

 After the IV, paperwork, epidural and Pitocin was all started we asked them to turn off the lights, Gar laid on his plastic bed which was the equivalent of laying on a large pack of tortillas, and we both slept until 10:45 am when they checked me and said I was ready to push. Dr. Carlson was my OB but he let Garrett do the delivery.  After 3 pushes at 11:05 am they put a quiet baby girl with lots of black hair on my chest and then I felt what it pointless to explain other than at 11:04 my life was completely different because at 11:05 I became a mother again forever to another spirit that I will spend the rest of my life loving, serving and trying. If there’s one thing that having two children has taught me, its that babies aren’t born as a ball of playdough that you shape and form. They come with a personality. Oh sure you can read all the parenting books you want and you try to your best to teach and to discipline in a way that will help them not end up in jail or being a complete loser but when it all comes down to it, they come in a dependent body with a very independent old spirit.  They come to Earth already knowing things, with a soul that has been alive for eons.  It’s a sobering, humbling reality to try to fully process that I could be trusted with such a responsibility; to take care of, love, and teach another human being forever.  

After they put the transformer bed back together and a fresh sumo wrestling size pad, I guzzled 3 cups of grape juice and sprite while Garrett held her and I laid there numb like a mermaid on a rock.  Of course I never missed the chance to push my epidural button (it’s the best video game I’ve played) including 2 minutes before she came out which gave me an extra dose of complete paralysis. It took 3 hours (imagine being numb for all of church) until I could finally get sensation back enough to get in the wheelchair and go to the recovery suite down the hall.
   During that time Em, my mom and the girls came to visit.  After seeing the hospital lunch, a peanut butter honey sandwich sounded divine.  They  brought the sandwich, balloons, signs and the car seat. I doubt there is a sight that could have made my heart feel happier than seeing them all in the doorway and so excited to see their new sister. 

There is nothing better than family. Especially family meeting the new team member. The girls were completely thrilled to meet her. I was completely thrilled about not being pregnant anymore.  Everyone was a winner.

The rest of the day was so fun. We talked about what to name her, napped, called family, did our dutiful Instagram posting, had my uterus mashed every few hours like they were kneading bread dough with my belly, went to the bathroom with all the new accessories (post birth bathroom accessories are great…water bottle, more sumo pads, ice packs, wipes, the works, it’s an event all by itself). I felt so happy knowing my girls were home pretending something wild with my mother who was rocking their worlds.  Dana, Kyndra and Jessalee came in the evening which was so fun.   

Gar picked up Texas Roadhouse and cold stone (per my request) for me and the nurses and then tried to sleep.  

    Sleeping at the hospital is utterly and completely futile. It seems like every hour the uterus masher comes in to do some kneading, or someone wants to take your blood at 3 am, or you have to get a critical blood pressure taken in the middle of the night.  Someone has something to do every hour which makes sleeping nigh unto impossible.  Not to mention the fact that they bring the babe in every 3 hours for nursing. Sleeping was a joke.

 By 4 am I was completely wiped out. The nice nurse walked in and said, “It’s time to feed your baby.” I responded, “Uh huh,” and then rolled over and kept sleeping. Finally she woke up Garrett and gave the baby to him and told him to wake me up.  By the time the sun shone I was ready and excited to get back to my own bed and my own shower and sleep without someone wanting to come chat about taking my blood in the middle of the night.  Luckily, one of the nurses was our friend Reagan from our ward so we enjoyed an added hangout.

That morning we decided on the name Lucy Bliss. We both had liked the name Lucy for the last few weeks. The runners up were Emma, Claire, and Elizabeth. I have always thought the name Bliss was so cute and when Garrett read the definition of what it meant, he was convinced. Bliss means, “supreme happiness, blessed or complete joy.”  We both feel that this year has been a year of bliss.  It is my far my favorite year of marriage and we have been boggled at how blessed we have been this year.  After making that monumental decision, we filled out the paper work, got a flu shot against my wishes, packed up camp and headed home.

She didn’t make a single sound the whole way back home.  It felt so good to be back home. My grandma and grandpa had driven up to meet her and Em had stayed with her kids so it was a full house of humans we love.  The whole thing seemed surreal.  It had only been 24 hours but it felt like everything had changed, and definitely for the better.  I haven’t talked with Lucy (we have quite a language barrier considering she doesn’t talk) or even know anything about her but I do know that I feel a deep and very real love for her. 

 I know without a doubt I’m going to make about a jigabillon mistakes raising her because I have no idea how to raise humans but I also know that there are going to be some dang good family vacations, talks, laughs and experiences in the process. And even though you give up sleep, money, time and so many other things, there is nothing more worth it on Earth.