Monthly Archives: July 2012

Hudson’s Hands

The third text I got from my husband after he made it to Spokane to be with our daughter said “She is 20 1/2″ long. 7lbs and 14 oz. And she holds my finger.”

We made a big, beautiful baby. And those hands! Our daughter’s hands, like her head and her feet, were huge.

I got that text from the Hubs and I immediately felt a few things – pride, jealousy (I wanted so badly for her to hold my finger), and hope (she holds his finger!).

Hudson had to spend almost her entire life hooked up to a series of monitors and tubes and wires, and she also had to receive blood transfusions, so her hands were never quite unencumbered. IV lines, monitors, something was always in or attached to one of Hudson’s hands. Initially, her blood wouldn’t clot on its own, so Hudson’s hands were sometimes bruised and swollen and purple.

But her hands were perfect.

Soft, teensy finger nails. Those little thumbs, perfect for hitching a ride. Wrinkly palms, the perfect spot for mommy’s kisses to land. When I got to her bedside the first thing I wanted to do was kiss those perfect little hands.

And sure enough, she held my finger too.

We have a model magic heart that we pressed Hudson’s hand prints into together. It’s a little misshapen from Mommy getting her hands in it on accident. And we have video of us making the model. I’ve watched it a few times since we got home from Spokane, and my favorite thing about it is seeing how tenderly Hudson’s daddy pressed each finger into the mold. He was pressing her right hand into the mold, and her right hand had recently had an IV removed, and was swollen and purple and shiny and he was so tender with each finger, not wanting to hurt our baby girl, but wanting to capture her perfect handprint.

But no model will ever be able to capture the perfection of Hudson’s kissable little hands.

She holds my finger!

Daddy’s tender hand pressing

Those sweet, pudgy little fingers holding Daddy’s finger

 

 

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The Red Sox Socks

Our daughter’s feet were huge.

We never got to dress her up in all the paraphernalia we got for her, because she was hooked up to a lot of tubes and wires that clothes could interfere with. We couldn’t put little hats on her because they were trying to keep her body temperature at 33 degrees (Celsius), and who’d want to cover up that gorgeous head of hair anyway?

But one thing we COULD dress our daughter in were little socks.

The Hubs and I took our babymoon to Boston, and I took some pride in the fact that the only clothes I bought for Hudson before she was born was a little Boston onesie outfit, socks and a hat.

Go Sox

“Go Sox”

The second picture The Hubs sent me from Sacred Heart (when I was still stuck in Walla Walla) was a picture of Hudson wearing her Red Sox socks, accompanied with the words “Go Sox.”

I fell a little more in love with my husband when I got that text.

I love Hudson’s feet. They curled up when I ran my fingers across her sole, one of the few acknowledgements I received during her life that she knew I was there with her. I loved them bare, wrinkly, perfect. But I loved putting those Red Sox socks on her feet. It was as close as I got to dressing up our daughter, and I loved to scrunch up the little ankles to the toe, ease her tiny-huge foot into them, tug them tight to the toe, squeeze her little foot to let her know I was done.

During a footprint session, Hudson’s Red Sox socks got knocked onto the floor and we weren’t quite sure we wanted to put them back on her. I had a few other socks in the overnight bag I’d packed for Hudson before coming to the hospital, so we swapped a few other pairs into the rotation.

But the Red Sox socks were the ones I loved the best.

Our daughter went to her first Red Sox game at Fenway Park before she was even out of the womb. That’s a lifelong fan! We had so much fun together in Boston, and it was one of the first times during my pregnancy that I felt that “pregnant woman worship” that a friend had told me about. Carting around Hudson in my tummy as we walked around the sweltering city of Boston, having people volunteer their seat on the T for us, those are precious memories with my daughter even though she was still in utero. And those Red Sox socks, among the only articles of clothing I bought for Hudson – I’m just so glad that she got to wear them. I will never forget how much I loved putting socks on our daughter’s feet.

She was wearing the Red Sox socks when her heart slowed to a stop, and they still smell like her. The Hubs and I each get one to hang from the rear view mirrors of our cars. For somebody as obsessed with baby shoes during pregnancy as I was, I have to say that socks beat the socks off of shoes, any day.

Red Sox Socks

Sweetest feet ever. Huge, but sweet.

Hudson at one week

Our daughter would be one week old today.

The Hubs and I decided to get out of town for a while, to be away from the familiar faces in Walla Walla who might see me and ask about Hudson. We didn’t want to be captives in our own home so we headed a few hours west.

Funny things remind us of Hudson.

We went into a Sports Authority and I wandered past a little girl’s softball gear display and I thought about Hudson playing sports and how competitive she’d be.

We went into a Safeway, and the Hubs was picking out apricots, and the soft skin of the fruit reminded him of Hudson’s soft skin.

I saw a mother with a newish baby in Safeway, and I hated her.

I want my baby.

The walls in this Red Lion hotel are thin thin thin. I heard a baby screaming yesterday and I wanted so badly for it to have been my baby. I never heard Hudson scream, never saw her open her eyes, I was robbed of the gross diaper changes.

As parents of a one-week old, we should be sleep deprived and on edge and getting to know the ins and outs of our daughter. Instead, we are sleep deprived and on edge and planning her memorial, clinging to our precious few memories as they get farther and farther away and their edges get muddled.

I feel guilty when I think of her and don’t cry, when I talk about her and don’t choke up, when I laugh at something at all. We’ve now spent more days without her than we got with her. And I know this is all part of the healing process, that the hurt starts to numb at a certain point, it just has to.

Mornings are the worst. It’s like the extra sleep I get restores my Sad and Angry Vault so I have a whole new wealth to tap into. By the end of the day I’ve either cried it all out or I’ve at least been able to talk to the Hubs and sort and organize my sadness and anger, so at least I can sleep at night.

And when I sleep, I dream of Hudson and only Hudson.

Last night I dreamed that as long as my heart was beating, Hudson’s heart was beating. So I was making a conscious effort throughout the night, thinking of my heart beat fueling my daughter’s.

I miss our baby so very much. Her little spontaneous gasps and shivers, her crazy mop of hair, her wrinkly feet. I want to put lotion on her cracked hands and feet, to sing “With Hudson in the Family” to her and to cradle her head in my hand. I want to pinch the tips of her perfectly formed ears and kiss her sweet cheeks.

I haven’t been able to derive much hope or happiness from the thought of seeing Hudson in heaven. I’m not sure why. I think it is okay to not be comforted by that right now,  because I’m still hurt and angry that I didn’t get to hold and cherish and love her more in this life. Heaven may be perfect, but being Hudson’s mommy was heaven on earth and I didn’t even get to experience a fraction of it. I can’t even imagine the overwhelming joy – because I’m stuck here at one week after our daughter’s birth, on the opposite end of the spectrum, missing my precious baby girl with every ounce of my being.

One week from Tragedy

I went into labor a week ago today.

I never got to bring my baby home.

The extra week of carrying my daughter was draining me, I wanted my baby so badly, and I was tired of waiting. I started to feel funny fairly early in the day, the occasional cramp had me thinking maybe I’d eaten too many bran muffins of late.

The Hubs and I went and played 9 holes of golf. I shot a 49.

We went to see the doctor, and she stripped my membranes after informing me that we were dilated to a 3.

Bring it on.

We went home, and I started to time contractions. By 3 o’clock it was evident we were in labor, and it was time to go to the hospital. I took a quick shower and we packed the car, hurried and full of anticipation and excitement, time to meet Baby Dub.

Family started to show at the hospital by 5. Labor was progressing pretty quickly, but so was the pain of my contractions. I wanted to try to go as far as I could without an epidural… I made it to a 6.

I was doing my best to breath through the pain, but I had a hospital room full of visitors who were all laughing and joking and then boom, a quick procession of three contractions in about 4 minutes, ouch, ouch ouch… ouch.

My sister made some comment about how my phone was “blowing up” and I just wanted everybody to be quiet.

“Don’t talk!”

Okay, yea, time to get an epidural.

The epidural was lovely, but it also slowed down labor. I got an epidural around 6:30-7 and I didn’t get to start pushing until after midnight. In the meantime we played the brutal waiting game, naps in between visitors in between occasional check ins with the hubs to see what he was up to (reading on the Kindle, pacing the room).

The Hubs was a gallant knight throughout the labor experience, never wanting to leave my side even to get something to eat or get some air. I married an incredible man.

When the doctor came in and told me I was “Complete” I was overjoyed! Time to start pushing! Let’s get this baby brought into the world!

I believe I raised some victory fists.

I might have gotten a fist pump from the Hubs.

Pushing is not all it is cracked up to be. I puked like, 5 times.  I pushed for over two hours but Baby Dub wasn’t coming.

That’s when her heart rate started to indicate distress. And we went downstairs for a C-section and everything went bad.

It’s hard not to look back at that night without looking for a moment when I knew things weren’t going well. Maybe if I had been better clued in, less tired, hadn’t had the epidural, wasn’t so opposed to a C-Section… maybe I could have said something, and Baby Dub’s heart would never have stopped beating.

I can’t go back. I can’t change anything. In the end, I don’t get to bring my baby home. And it’s all I want to do.

No-Show

Baby Dub is still, as the title of this post indicates, a no-show.

Four days past our due date.

We are now closer to 41 weeks than 40.

And not an inkling of her arrival. She’s stayin’ put.

The good attitude, the brave face that I’d attempted to put on earlier this week has faded and I’m back to being aggravated and a little put out.

I mean, come on, Baby Dub. This does not bode well. Already showing signs of stubbornness and tardiness? Failing to respond to parental pleas? I can only pray these are merely personality traits that are being displayed in utero and that will disappear upon entry to the real world.

I always try to end my posts on a positive note – after all, our daughter will one day be old enough to read, and I don’t want her thinking I bear any resentment toward her (but seriously, come on out already) – so here’s my attempt at a positive note.

I have had an inexplicably easy pregnancy. I sleep at night, I didn’t gain too much weight, I never threw up and have yet to discover a stretch mark (I thought I had found one about a week ago, but that’s a story for another day). I’ve suspected the easiness of my pregnancy might be a precursor to a horrible baby.

You thought this was going to be easy? Think again, sucker! You were blessed with this easy pregnancy because otherwise parenthood would have absolutely destroyed you.

But maybe these 4 days of waiting are my paid-penance for the puke-free, restful pregnancy.

That’s what I’m clinging to, right now. Bring on Day 5.

The longest days of your life…

…are the days following your due date.

I’m sure this is true whether you’ve actually had the baby or not.

In my case, we are still baby-free, and I gotta tell you, I’m not enjoying the waiting game much.

I’m so grateful for the Hubs, who patiently endures the random mope-fests, the huffing and puffing because “I can’t think of anything to do”, who rubs my pressure points and goes for long walks with me and offers to run to the store to buy evening primrose oil capsules.

I married a good man.

I’ve also gone for more walks in the past week and a half than I can keep track of. I’ve traded our comfy couch for the bounce-ball. I ate an entire jalapeno on Tuesday.

Ladies, these “labor inducing methods” are for the birds. Unless they make you feel better. For me, they’ve all been fruitless. Yes, you can pump your body full of herbs and spicy food and teas and pineapple and castor oil. Whatever makes your skirt fly up (or your stomach twist and turn). You can walk miles on end. But if your baby isn’t ready to come out, he or she is staying put.

Baby Dub is stubborn, living proof.

My parents were here all week, and she couldn’t come on time?

My hubby’s brother and his wife are close this weekend – she couldn’t have made her entrance in time to meet her Aunt & Uncle in non-wrinkly form?

I’ve got to attain a zen-like state about this whole baby arrival thing. I can do nothing to coax her out. Bargaining isn’t working. “Natural labor induction methods” have proven ineffective. She’s going to show when she’s good and ready, and I think if I was less desperate to meet her, I’d probably be pretty proud of her for sticking to her guns right now.

This girl will not cave to peer pressure.

Or parental pressure.

So we continue to wait. And I try to make the most of it.

Baby Dub just better not make a habit of being late. This is frowned upon by the Shiz side of the family.

Past Due Desperation

I never even allowed for the possibility in my mind of going past our due date.

And here we are on July 5th, with no sign of a baby on the horizon.

Already, our daughter is starting to develop bad habits.

OR if I chose to spin this positively, our daughter is “Fashionably Late.”

I had wanted to have her on the 4th of July so very badly. I want to have her on the 5th of July even worse!

The 4th of July was an agony of a day. All day, any twinge, “could this be the start?” Nothing built momentum. We decided to play 9 holes of golf, trying to swing her out. No luck. I watched fireworks from my deck, secretly hoping the loud noises would shock her out.

Nada.

I couldn’t sleep last night for quite some time. Baby Dub seemed to sense my aggravation, because she wiggled and squirmed for several hours while I laid there thinking of all the things I hadn’t gotten finished yet that maybe my body is waiting on.

“We haven’t picked a pediatrician yet. Maybe that’s why.”

“I never finished that mobile. She could be waiting for that to be done.”

“There’s laundry to be done. Perhaps she wants her mom to have clean clothes when she gets home from the hospital.”

At 12:07 am, I realized that we had officially missed our due date. Baby Dub is late.

I cried.

Leave it to the Hubs to put all of this in perspective.

“Baby, really the waiting game should start NOW.”

*sigh*

Argh!! It’s frustrating to be past due. I’ve completed the baby prep. I’ve done my 40 weeks. I should have a baby to show for it. Right?

She’s going to end up with a super brain from all the extra time in the uterus.

“Yes, I had a 10 lb. baby. But most of that is brains.”

I can’t think of anything else. I should be doing things that you can’t do once you have a baby. But all of that stuff is kind of off limits. Can’t go on a quick vacation. Can’t stay out late and get  cocktails with friends (that is strictly prohibited!). BAH! Plus none of that sounds good anyway.

All I want to do is have a baby.

More belly pics

My attempt at craftiness – a homemade, 4th of July belly bouquet

Here's a better shot of the belly!

Hmm, in this picture we look like we are anticipating the future and loving the present… right? Or just posing like Melissa told us to. Whatevs.

I love the bridge shots!

Another good shot of the belly…

Ticking Time Bomb

All last week, I referred to myself as a ticking time bomb.

Whenever I was asked by a client or coworker or stranger on the street how I was feeling, I would respond “Oh you know, like a ticking time bomb.”

My friend pointed out that given my previous post about not wanting to be told I look like I’m “about to pop” maybe referring to myself as a bomb (which explodes) wasn’t consistent. I see her point, but I hold that “pop” implies an accident, something unstable, while “explodes” implies force, intent.

So I’m glad we cleared that up.

But here we are, after the weekend I was SURE that our baby would arrive, and I’m on my way to work and our due date is the day after tomorrow, and I’m at the point where I don’t care whether I pop or explode, I just want to meet our daughter.