Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Birth Story of Baby E pt. 1 – Accepting a New Birth Plan

The first ultrasound I got when I was pregnant was during the second trimester – the special ultrasound where they measure everything and make sure all the body parts are there and developing well. I was slightly nervous going into it but the doctor said everything looked good and our baby’s heart was “gorgeous.” I was relieved. The next hurdle was the gestational diabetes test (the orange drank is yuuuuuck). I took mine right after the holidays—a time when I was stuffing my face with the ever flowing candies and baked goods that lingered around my office. Again, I was a bit nervous for these results but to my surprise I passed with flying colors. My last hurdle (I thought) was the Group B Strep test, the result of which would determine if I had to be hooked up to an IV, etc. during labor. Test came back negative (phew!).

So there I was, third trimester and everything looked textbook perfect. I didn’t realize it until later, but I was beginning to feel invincible. I had confidence in my body and I had confidence in the birth process. In my mind, my birth plan was about to be realized to its full extent, easy-peasy. Then, during my 37 week visit, my doctor mentioned he was concerned about my week over week increase in blood pressure. My BP was still normal but it was now on the higher end of normal. And I had been gaining a little more weight in a week’s period than he would have liked.

What? I didn’t know my BP had been slowly creeping up week over week… I mean I did have some caffeine and a big lunch on the way to my appointment… and the week before I had gotten flustered over clogging the office’s toilet right before my BP reading (oops). So maybe the readings weren’t an accurate reflection of my normal BP? Whatever the reason for the increase, I knew my doctor would be looking at my BP the next week and it had better be a good reading. Of course the expectation only increased my nerves. Increased nerves = increased BP. So then it happened. Self-fulfilling prophecy at its worse. The next week I could not keep my nerves in check and my BP was just above normal. Awesome.

The doctor said he would check my BP again at the end of the appointment. If it was still high then he would send me to labor & delivery for blood tests, a urine collection, and a non-stress test (NST). If my BP was normal then we could wait until the next day to do the NST. These tests were meant to determine if I had preeclampsia. If I did have preeclampsia I would need to be induced that week (38 weeks pregnant).  I would also have to be hooked up to magnesium sulfate to ensure I wouldn’t have a seizure. Preeclampsia, induction, IVs, seizures… wait, who, me? I asked my doctor if he thought there was any chance of me going to 40 weeks. He said it didn’t look like it. My head was spinning and it was now time to take my confirming BP. I was freaking out inside. I asked for a few minutes. I tried to calm down but I couldn’t. How did this happen? I was in mint condition. I passed all that there was to pass. My BP wasn’t high… not normally. I was just stressed. I am not the stereotypical gestational hypertension/preeclampsia patient. This couldn’t be true. I didn’t believe it but I couldn’t calm down. So I shot myself in the foot with a BP that was through the roof. And down to labor and delivery I went. Everything looked okay so far but they wanted me to do a 24-hour urine collection to confirm.

When I got home that Monday night I was so disheartened. I wasn’t afraid that I had preeclampsia. I didn’t even think I had hypertension. I believed I was healthy but I was worried that my perceived health was bad and that it didn’t matter what I thought, it only mattered what the BP cuff, the scale, and my doctor said. I was worried I would be induced before 40 weeks. I was worried about what that meant for my baby and my birth plan. I was supposed to have a natural birth. I was going to labor at home for as long as possible and hopefully make it to the hospital just in time to birth the baby. I was going to walk around as I saw fit. Take a shower, perhaps a bath. Eat all that I wanted to eat. I was not going to be hooked up to anything. I was not going to be induced. Induction = takes forever = super tired+more intense contractions = epidural please! I saw my birth plan flash before my eyes and flush down the toilet. Because of nerves. My stupid nerves. And big lunches.

The next day was gloomy. I stayed inside all day, collecting pee and feeling anxious. And thinking “oh crap, I could have a baby by the end of THIS WEEK.” I no longer felt invincible. Actually it was at that moment that I realized I had become cocky. I realized I was trying to do this baby thing on my own strength. I wanted my birth plan and assumed I would realize it perfectly. It dawned on me that I had never thought about what God’s birth plan was for me. I assumed my plan was perfect so it didn’t occur to me that God would have other plans. I realized I had forgotten to pray. At that point I surrendered my birth plan. I didn’t want my birth plan and I didn’t want the doctor’s. I wanted God’s. I believed his plan was best and that was the plan I wanted.

I started praying and seeking truth in His Word. I turned to a faithful friend: Philippians. Of course the famous Philippians 4:6-7 was on my mind: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition and thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” I went to Philippians because of this verse but it was a different verse that really struck me. I’m sure I had read it before but never through these lenses. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,  who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” Philippians 3:20-21.

Sigh. Peace. My birth plan no longer mattered. I was reminded that this life is short and that I don’t belong here. Any collateral damage from being induced early, using an epidural, etc., it didn’t matter. Not really. This body is decaying anyway. It’s dying. But there is hope. Right now I have this lowly body but in heaven I will have a glorious body. And so will my baby. Whatever complications might exist during this birth it was okay. For both of us. Because this life is temporary but heaven is eternal and my hope rests in Jesus and His goodness and sovereignty. I had forgotten that.

Later that week I had another appointment. Doctor said everything looked good but he wanted me to come in twice a week for a NST until I delivered. He was much more positive during this appointment and said that I could easily go to 40, even 41 weeks. I was relieved!

During the following weeks I started a journal of truths and affirmations based on the verses in Philippians as well as Proverbs 31. Week 39 came and went. As did week 40. And I wasn’t surprised, but I began getting nervous again. My doctor said he didn’t like patients going past 41 weeks and 3 days. I was quickly approaching 41 weeks and again induction looked like a very possible future and my human heart started writhing anxiously. I had gotten cocky again. Things were looking good and I had ditched the prayer and Bible reading. I went back to Philippians and Proverbs, my journal of affirmations and truths. How quickly the mind forgets. I began reading these and rereading these often. 41 weeks came and went and my amniotic fluid looked borderline low. My due date was May 12th. It was May 20th and it was time to induce. The next morning I would go to the hospital. To my complete surprise I was calm and filled with peace as my doctor laid out the plan. As we left the office, Ryan and I laughed at the sudden role reversal. He was giddy and nervous and I was calm, cool and collected. We laughed all the way through the parking lot.  Ready or not, it’s go time!

Friday, April 24, 2015


My bestest Taylor was kind enough to document my baby bump before it (somewhat) disappears! I'm 37 1/2 weeks pregnant aka a ticking time bomb :) here are some snapshots!

Now there are a few more things I'd like to get in order and then baby is welcome to come whenever he or she is ready!! 

Xo D

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Life Lately

So I think it's safe to say I will never get around to posting all that happened in the last six months, so I suppose I'll just move on to life now. I do hope to write a blurb about the adventures of this pregnancy, but the way things are looking, it won't be anytime soon. 

Life lately:

- we moved out of our Ventura studio and into a cottage in the Santa Rosa area of Camarillo. 

- Ryan left for San Diego on February 1st and won't be back until the end of the month :( then he'll be home for a weekish and gone another three weeks in Palo Alto. THEN HE'LL BE HOME FOREVER. 

- I'm a workaholic (old news)

- This past weekend I went to my dear friend Christa's bridal shower and bachelorette party. We went bowling at The Spare Room in Hollywood. I was the bowling ball. 

- I am 27 weeks pregnant and finishing up the second trimester. We are waiting until D-day to find out the sex! 

- My sister-in-law is having her baby sometime in the next couple weeks! My first niece or nephew :)

That's all for now! 

Goodbye beautiful brick wall...

Hello way more space!

Hello giant closet and giant pregnancy pillow!

Hello sunny kitchen with microwave and dishwasher!

Hello back patio and the beautiful hills surrounding!

What's up cool coffee shop with the succulent wall?

Hey there beautiful bowling bride!

Howdy-do my leather duo!

Where'd you come from great big belly?

Xo D

Thursday, January 29, 2015

California skies have room to spare

Hey folks - been a long time. I will hopefully put time into  more of a "catch-up" post soon, but for now, here are some awesome views from my commute home today.  Sometimes on my drive I need to stop and smell the ocean. Cheers!

         Did I mention we're pregnant?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Christmas, Carnivals, and Creeper Crawlers

Hey folks! It's been an eventful couple of weeks, which I can only summarize with a proper alliteration of C's.

1. Christmas - what?

Yes, that is correct. Christmas in August! My sister has lived in South Korea for the past couple of years and has only been able to come home for a short time during the summers. Because of this my mom decided to throw her a little Christmas surprise during her recent visit. We decorated the Sunday before she arrived; a festivity made complete with holiday tunes and a fake Christmas tree. Throughout the week many guests arrived. First, my sister and her beau from Korea (he's a New Yorker also teaching English there), followed by my brother and his gal from Oregon and my sister's childhood bestie and her husband from San Diego. It was a full house at the 'rents. We balled our eyes out during “The Fault in our Stars.” Us girls kayaked the Channel Island harbor while the boys tested their dexterity at the shooting range. We had a wonderful Christmas dinner Saturday night and opened stockings the next morning. It was nice having everyone together again (and adding some friendly faces to the mix!). It was too short of a visit but I'm glad we could make it happen!

Michelle, me, Amanda, momma, and sista Dawn
 Euc and Amanda's hubby, Ian, enjoying dinner on the patio
Team Vickers
 My brother, Daniel, being a turd & Michelle being cute
 Euc and Dawn with a photobombing Ryan
Ryan and I opening stockings
 My mom showing off her cute Vietnam apron courtesy of Dawn
 Saying goodbye :(

2. Carnival!

Last Friday my company hosted its annual company picnic. The theme this year was "Shoebilee" (insert courtesy laugh for the cleverness here). No but really, I underestimated this by a long shot. I thought it would be decorated like a carnival... maybe some face painting and a juggler for the kids... some popcorn perhaps. But it was clear Thursday afternoon as I saw a Ferris wheel being constructed right before my eyes that this was really going to be a carnival. But even Friday morning as my co-workers and I wondered about what the growing carnival would entail, we joked that there would be a pony ride. But later that afternoon as I regretfully scaled to the top of the Zipper, I looked below and noticed a couple ponies taking some kids for a ride. Whaaat? And a petting zoo! It was the best carnival ever because it had everything I wanted AND it was all free. AND I won a prize. My only regret is denying the coveted cotton candy upon first entrance (because I wanted a real meal first) only to come to terms that the cotton candy machine overheated and was out of service by the time I finished dinner. Sigh... but let's be real. I can't complain.

3. Creepy Crawlers ><

Friday night after the carnival, me and the hub went to go see a movie only to find ants crawling ALL OVER the inside of the car. Okay, dramatizing. They weren't everywhere, but they were all along the driver side door, the center console, and some were even stranded on the dashboard. I. was. pissed. and tired. And my complaining of said ants may not have been enjoyable to said husband. So what's the update? Well the picture below was taken on Tuesday... after paying $4 for a mass vacuum attack on Saturday. Last night I covered the ant trail with banking soda and that has slowed them down a lot. My next plan of attack is to get the entire car professionally cleaned, spray the tires with raid, and perhaps set up some ant bait. There better not be a queen living in the deep dark crevices of my car! urghhhh. As I've been writing all of this, I have been battling ants on my water bottle, across my hand, and over my keyboard. I just carry them with me wherever I go... you may wanna back away before I really snap.

Post Script:

As a bonus C alliteration, I'll add in that I had a lovely day at Castaic on Sunday with some pretty fly folks.

Happy Humpday and goodnight!