The irony of this post taking so long is....well, kids. Ha! Every nap and every bedtime I tell myself I'm going to get this down and then 600 other things need me. Ah, motherhood!
My story is a little all over the map. Motherhood is wayyyyyyy far off from what I ever expected it to be, both good and bad.
My pregnancy was great. I had little to no complications. Up until my glucose test. I failed that and then had to take the 3 hour one. I failed 1/3 tests so I was labeled "glucose intolerant" and that meant being treated as a gestational diabetic patient- and let me tell you, THAT SUCKED. I had to test my sugar levels 4x a day. I had to avoid any and all things that I craved even before pregnancy. I felt like a failure....testing my sugars at my families' Easter gatherings felt so uncomfortable and having to explain my situation was just frustrating. But, I played along and did what I was told.
While I absolutely adored my midwife, I will admit she handled this whole glucose intolerance thing (in my opinion) a little too heavy. I was told if I carried my baby to term, he would be 10 plus pounds. I was forced (guilted/scared) into multiple ultrasounds to check baby's weight and growth. I knew my baby was in normal range but apparently they did not. While I feel most people would be excited to have so many ultrasounds, I was not. I know those waves are not good for baby and I was waiting to be surprised for my gender so every 3 seconds "look away" was just annoying. Plus I was still working and taking off all this time for prenatal appointments on top of scheduled ultrasounds was not my idea of fun. I felt like a lab rat. Just leave me and my baby alone!
Fast forward to the Tuesday before my expected due date, June 7. I had my 40 week prenatal appointment and my midwife swept my membranes and sent me on my way. I think I had lunch with my mom that day and was crabby as all get out. I was so frustrated of feeling like I was on a clock to give birth and everyone was "watching" me. I told her I wasn't telling anyone I was in labor and everyone can come after the fact.
That night I went into labor.....ha! Contractions started (what I THOUGHT) pretty strong around 11-11:30pm. I called my doula and she came over around 12:30am. I labored in the living room and around 3am I contacted my birth photographer, Amanda Ellis, and told her we would be heading to the birth center soon. Amanda so graciously came to our home and captured the final moments of me laboring there. Then we all packed up and made the drive to Aultman Orrville Birth Center.
Upon arrival, I was checked and was 4cm. I thought I would be further but contractions were coming so frequent, I just pushed through. I labored ALL day long and didn't progress past 5cm. I was exhausted. I had been up for over 24 hours at this point, hadn't eaten, and just felt utterly defeated. I was laying on the bed laboring and then it happened. Transition. Holy hell. No one was in the room with me (doula and photographer left earlier that afternoon because of my stalled labor) and my husband was in the hallway begging my midwife not to prep the OR for a c section. I remember screaming "he's coming!" (not knowing the gender but mom's intuition) and everyone raced into the room. My midwife checked me and said "Brittany, look at me. You're complete." and I just remember thinking "I'm not ready yet. I thought I got a countdown. I was only a 5 20 minutes ago!"
While I can't be certain on time, I don't think I pushed for more than 30 minutes and my baby boy came flying out! 3:40am we welcomed our Asher Ryan into our world. I kept saying "Is he ok? Am I ok?" over and over. We both were perfect and man was I happy that was over.
I had a 2nd degree tear and needed stitches. While that was far from pleasant, anything is better than labor for 30 hours! We called our family around 8am that morning and shared the news he was here. <3
We were released about 24 hours later at noon on Friday. My husband went back to work that night. I was breastfeeding but had ZERO clue what I was doing. Asher wouldn't latch right, would scream, and I wanted to give up. I wanted to take him back haha! The next few weeks felt like a complete blur but my healing and recovery were amazing. I ended up exclusively pumping and bottle feeding for about 6 weeks before giving up. Turns out, Asher has a lip tie and that means his latch was difficult for him. Even now with bottles, his top lip almost always curls in where it should be out more like a fish lip. I wish I would have known more and I wish I would have sought help. But between healing, transitioning into a stay at home wife/mom, and getting no sleep, I was too tired to even THINK about adding anything else to my day. Next time will be different.
Post partum was hard. I remember crying and saying to my mom "I just want my old life back". I missed my husband. I hated hating him for leaving me everyday to go to work. I felt so alone and so isolated during those first few months. I forced myself to go out and do things. Which with a newborn, I felt such anxiety doing so. I tried so hard to be prepared for every possible situation outside the house.
Fast forward to today. It's the best thing ever! :) Haha. Asher is such a great baby now and is so insanely routined and predictable. Just like any baby, he has days/moments where he is off and things are tough. Like last night. He is cutting 2-3 teeth on his top gums and I think that's causing him to be restless and cranky.
My story is nothing incredible or heroic, but it's my story. I went from never having any real responsibilities in life to having one hell of one. Asher came into my life and my marriage when we needed him most. He has created such an unbreakable bond with my husband and I and I will be forever thankful for him. He makes me laugh, cry, and drink a lot of wine but I wouldn't trade my days for anything!
Thanks you all so much for being my constant support system. I have met and talked with so many incredible mothers through my journey and this blog! I cannot wait to share so many beautiful mothers with you here soon!! <3