In March of 2009 I woke up one morning knowing that I needed to have my IUD removed. It was time to start trying for a baby. At the time Leah was approaching her third birthday. Matt and I hadn't not been trying for any particular reason. We just didn't feel that urge to have another baby yet. We knew we would have another baby, eventually, it just wasn't time yet. One morning I had the thought, "What are we waiting for?" I think I had been waiting for another spiritual prompting to give us the go ahead, and I realized that morning that Heavenly Father was probably okay with us making our own decision. Well, now was the time.
I called the doctor office to schedule my annual appointment as well as my IUD removal. They didn't have anything available until May. I was fine with that. It would give me more to time to prepare myself mentally for what was about to happen in our lives; time that I hadn't gotten with my last pregnancy. Now we could look into a secondary insurance plan an prepare financially for it as well (that didn't end up panning out).
May 10 rolled around and I went to see Dr. Loewen again. She removed the IUD, no problem, and said, "Alright, well I'll see you in a couple months for your prenatal appointment." I said, foolishly perhaps, "I bet it'll take me at least three months to get pregnant. I'll see you in five." Dr. Loewen's reply, "I bet it'll be sooner." I walked out of the office thinking, "Yeah, see you in five."
On June 11, 2009 the little stick showed a positive pregnancy result. I was pregnant. I don't even know why I took a pregnancy test, really it didn't make sense. Okay, so shall we do the math again? My IUD was removed May 10, the first day of my last period was May 31. This time it took a 'long' three weeks for me to get pregnant. Are we starting to notice a trend here?
Monday, August 10, 2009 was my first prenatal check-up. Dr. Loewen waltzed into the room with a huge smile on her face and said, "I told you so." I asked her why it had taken so little time to get pregnant; I mean, I hadn't even had a period for 2 1/2 years. She related the story of the IUD. Apparently the IUD thins your cervical lining, apparently this makes your body think that it is always pregnant, apparently more than 70% of her patients that use the IUD end up getting pregnant within three months of having it removed. Also apparently... no one mentioned all this to me.
Side note: Doesn't anyone think that doctors should be telling all this IUD stuff to the ladies that have a hard time getting pregnant? Me too!
The first trimester was full of a lot of sickness, again. I'd told myself to hunker down and prepare myself for the worst. I could possibly be sick every day of my life for the next nine months, as was the case with my first pregnancy.
The second trimester dawned with no nausea. What? I thought for the first few days and into the second week that it was a fluke, and surely the nausea would resurface. But it didn't. Hm, so this is why some other women don't mind being pregnant. Eh, who cares that my sciatic nerve has practically paralyzed me by my 16th week of pregnancy and my ankles looked like an elephant's, at least throwing up as well.
Also, we found out we were having a boy. Yes, I was bummed (up until about three weeks before my delivery). I wanted a girl. The seasons would have matched up perfectly. Think of all the money we would have saved! Plus, I know what to do with a girl. I feel comfortable knowing that I hadn't completely ruined Leah's first three and a half years of life (we'll see how the remaining years go) and her hair is done 90% of the time; I even learned how to french braid. Girls I'm comfortable with. But this one is a boy. First things first, how on earth am I going to potty train him and who's going to have the big sex talk with him?
Something weird happened to me about 21 weeks into this pregnancy though. All of the sudden I wasn't happy. I wasn't happy with me, Leah, or the fact that I was pregnant. It took me a few months to recognize that I was depressed. Depressed to the point that I no longer wanted this baby that was growing inside me. Depressed enough that I had, on more than one occasion, though to myself, "If this baby were to die anytime between now and birth, maybe that would be okay. At least he wouldn't have such a horrible mother. Yes, I will miss him, but at least he won't have to deal with me."
Then I started bleeding again. Only this time I was further along, 26 weeks along. It was Thanksgiving and it was happening again. I recalled that when this happened with Leah's pregancy, my doctor had mentioned that this could happen with all my pregnancies in the late first or second trimesters. I called my doctor the next morning, and she said that as long as I wasn't cramping or having contractions it was likely just the hemorrhage and I needed to lay low. During the next few days I felt the depression lightening. I felt that connection to this baby again, I felt good.
That didn't last long, it was only about two weeks into December that I felt that cloud coming back. It was suffocating. I felt as though I couldn't raise one child correctly, let alone two. Finally, in January I approached the subject with Matt. I needed him to know what I was going through. It didn't solve the problem even a little bit. I wrestled with that Depression Demon for a long time afterward, but it helped knowing that Matt was on my side and just getting those words out of my mouth, "I think I have depression," helped some as well.
As the weeks went on I couldn't shake the gloom and sadness. I knew I loved this new little guy growing and wiggling around inside me, but I just couldn't get excited for him to come into the world. I'd done the whole newborn thing before, and I wasn't very good at it. I knew how much easier it was to take care of that baby inside my belly as opposed to taking care of him outside of it.
I started telling more people about how I was feeling, my sisters, Mom, Dad, a couple of close friends. People that I knew would keep an eye on me, and would know how to help me if I got much worse. People that were concerned about me and loved me. Lo and behold, it helped. Knowing that people knew how I felt made me want to change how I felt. I made the decision to quit the job I had working at home. I reinvested myself in my family. I started talking to and hanging out with my friends again. It turns out that being a recluse only made me feel worse. I was feeling better about my family and my life than I had been in months. But still, I couldn't bring myself to feel any excitement about bringing home a new baby.
Then, three weeks before my due date, my brother's wife gave birth to twins. Ah yes, there's the excitement. There's nothing quite like the innocence and purity of a newborn baby to make you remember why you put yourself through pregnancy and parenthood. I was finally excited to meet this little guy, still very anxious to bring him home, but the excitement was there.
The difference between your first pregnancy, labor and delivery is so major going into your second. This time I had expectations. Leah came ten days early, so why wouldn't this little boy? Ten days to my due date, he was still happy as ever to keep cooking. I was dilated to a two and 60% effaced, but then again, that's where I was seven days prior. The next week I went into my appointment expecting the worst. So to hear that on March 1 I was dilated to a three and 70% effaced was slightly good news, but I refused to be hopeful. I had my doctor strip my membranes really well to see if that would encourage things to happen and we scheduled an induction date for Thursday the 4th. It worked. I started contracting like crazy about one hour later. The contractions were steadily seven minutes apart for a few hours at a time, then they would stop only to start up again an hour later. It was a long day. That night the contractions stopped all together. I slept all the way through the night, much to my dismay. The next day, March 2, I didn't have a single contraction. That was a black day, I was sure that I had been in false labor the day before and I would have to be induced.
I didn't want to be induced. I wanted to let my body do what it wanted to do. But the planning side of my brain got the better of me. I knew that if I wanted to arrange for care for Leah during the time that I had this baby I needed have something of an idea for when that would happen.
Wednesday, March 3 dawned bright and sunny. I got up, helped Leah get ready for preschool and sent her and Matt out the door. I'd been feeling some contractions since I'd gotten up that morning, but had convinced myself it was false labor. I was sure it wouldn't last. At 9:30 AM I was at the store when I realized that these contractions were actually five minutes apart, consistently, since 7:00 that morning. I called the doctor's office at ten thinking I would leave a message for a nurse to see how far apart they wanted the contractions to be before I came to the hospital. In my experience with calling doctor's offices, they usually take about thirty minutes to an hour to get your message and call you back.
As I spoke with the receptionist she asked, "Let me write down a message for the nurse, how far apart are your contractions?"
I replied, "Five minutes or so."
She said, "How long have they been that way?"
"About three hours."
"Let me just go talk to a nurse really quickly."
She came back on the phone to say, "The nurse wants you to report to labor and delivery right now."
"Oh, alright. Thank you."
I hung up the phone, called Matt and told him we were going to the hospital. I arranged to have my sister pick Leah up from preschool and proceeded to get ready for this baby. Matt came home and we headed out to Intermountain Medical Center.
At 11:15 we reached the hospital and were immediately admitted, the nurse had checked me and I was dilated only to a four and 80% effaced, and I was soon hooked up to the fetal heartbeat monitor. The nurse asked me if and when I wanted an epidural:
Nurse: "What would you rate your pain at on a scale of one to ten?"The anesthesiologist came in within 45 minutes and I signed my life away. The epidural was in full effect by 12:15 PM.
Melanie (by the way I hate this question): "Oh, I don't know a five or six?"
Nurse: "What would you want your pain to be at when you get the epidural?"
Melanie: "I love epidurals. I've wanted this epidural since I was about 20 weeks along. So I would say about a three."
Nurse: "Okay, we'll get you that epidural."
Once again, my mind was relating back to Leah's labor and delivery. After I received the epidural it slowed my progress down a lot. I figured this time would be similar, I'd even brought some DVD's to watch while we were waiting. About an hour later the nurse checked me and told me I was a five with a bulging bag a water. She asked if I would like the resident on call to come in and break my water. I agreed, but within minutes of that request my water broke all on it's own. Another hour passed and I was a seven and 90% effaced. "Wow! This is going much more quickly than I expected," I told Matt. He agreed, and we popped in the movie HITCH anyway.
At 2:45 PM my nurse came back in to check the baby's heartbeat. His heart rate was fine, but the monitor wouldn't stay in place so they couldn't get a consistent read on him. She asked me if it would be okay to put an internal monitor on him (they go in and attach it to the top of the baby's head), I agreed. At 3:00 PM the nurse came in to see where his head was to attach the monitor, and as she was checking me she said, "Oh! Well, let's just have a baby instead. You're fully dilated and fully effaced. I'm going to call Dr. Loewen." My reply, "Are you serious? Okay." Bless that epidural!
Five minutes later, Dr. Loewen and two other nurses joined us in the delivery room. They proceeded to get ready for our arrival. At 3:15 I started pushing. I'd been gearing up for this part, and was quite nervous. During Leah's birth I pushed for a long time. I remember feeling that the room was very crowded with a low hum of noise and activity. This was a completely different experience. The sun was shining, the nurses were quietly, patiently waiting and Dr. Loewen was coaching me along fantastically. Matt and the nurse helped me out, I gave three big pushes and said, "Am I even doing anything?" Bless that epidural again! Dr. Loewen replied with this, "Yep, his head is out." Once again I was flabbergasted! Was it really going to be so much easier? Dr. Loewen continued to coach me, "Just a little push- okay, now a slightly bigger push. Now give me a little push." After a minute of that, his shoulder was caught, it was all over.
He was here.
Parker Ogden Quinney had made it.
Taking his first breaths of air at 3:17 PM on Wednesday, March 3, 2010, Parker weighed 9 lbs. 1 oz. and was 22 inches long. He had some dark hair along with those trademark chubby cheeks. I immediately knew this baby's face as he looked so much like Leah. All of our family and friends remark on how much Parker looks like his dad. I couldn't agree more.