Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

The hardest part  April 20, 2016

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 10:35 pm

Finally the birth story! It has been almost exactly two months since she was born, and I’ve had lots of time to think about it. I didn’t really want to write about it at first because I was kind of traumatized, if I’m perfectly honest with myself, and I didn’t really know what else to say about it except how incredibly hard it was. All of that is still true but I have a little bit more perspective now. 

My labor actually started on her due date, so I was all excited and expected her to come soon. My experience of seeing babies being born was from watching my sister in labor and all of her children came out in less than a day, so I expected the same. Boy oh boy, I was in for a surprise. 

Thirty-six hours, people. THIRTY. SIX. HOURS. 

Yeah, it sucked. When I started having painful contractions at my hotel, I stopped eating solid food because, you know, you’re supposed to try and not have lots of potential substances in your bowels. Well, that was a mistake because I didn’t end up eating anything for the next thirty or so hours. 

I went to the hospital, didn’t progress at all, and they sent me back to the hotel, with a sleeping pill and told me to get some rest. I was tired, so I tried laying down, but kept having horrible contractions. It felt like someone was squeezing me and stabbing me from the inside, all up and down my abdomen. Not pleasant. So I took a hot bath and dozed in the tub for a couple of hours. I then went back to the hospital because my contractions were still horrible. 

From then on it was basically just twenty four hours of consistent pain every few minutes, but nothing moving forward. Just lots of pain. 

Now, I am a very stubborn person. I could have probably opted for an epidural sooner, but I was stubborn so I didn’t want to. I thought that the pain had to be doing something so I just sucked it up. I was very stupid in my foggy labor induced pain. 

Now to the positives of this. When I got to the hospital the second time, there was a nurse named Maria working. She was AMAZING. She helped me move around, and tried basically everything she could think of to get the baby moving along. She even had essential oils to help me calm down and relax during my contractions. She was firm and explained how to best relax during the pain, and she was kind and straightforward. Plus, she spoke Spanish and was just generally wonderful, someone I would probably want to be friends with. I cannot even begin to explain how grateful I am for that woman, who I had never met before. 

Another amazing woman that I am so glad was there was my mom. When I first got pregnant I was so scared I would have to go through labor without my mom. I’m glad to say that didn’t happen. She was there beside me the whole time, helping me out and calming me down. It would have been about ten times more traumatizing without her. 

After about twenty four hours of this craziness, Maria came into the room and helped me stand up to go to the bathroom. (Peeing while in labor is so difficult and unpleasant, let me tell you). I was sitting on the toilet, in horrible pain, and my muscles wouldn’t even relax enough to let me pee. It was so horrible and I just wanted to cry. Maria sat down in front of me, as I was exhausted on the toilet, in my hospital gown, all sweaty and smelly with my hair matted in its braid. She looked me in the eye and said, listen honey, are you SURE you don’t want to just get an epidural? We have to move things along for the baby and I think it will help you so much. You are not weak for getting one. 

I looked at her and said I think I might. I did, for some reason, have this thought in my head that doing it without pain meds was Steiger and better. That is so wrong. After that I apparently asked my mom if I should get one, but I literally have no memory of that. I got ready, and Maria held me still while the anesthesiologist gave me the epidural. Let me tell you, it is really hard to hold perfectly still for a person to put a giant needle in your back while you are having a contraction, but somehow I did it. 

INSTANT. RELIEF. 

Okay, maybe not instant but it definitely was pretty fast. I finally was able to sleep and relax, and long story short, baby was there!!! 

Haha just kidding it was still another ten or so hours. Like I said I slept for some of that, but when I started getting harder contractions it was the strangest sensation. With an epidural you can still move your legs, but they are numb, like when you go to the dentist and they numb you and you lips can move but you can’t feel them. But for me, for some reason the medicine wore off on one side of my body. It was really weird. 

The pushing process is honestly the most physically exhausting thing I have ever done in my entire life. Part of that is because of how long I was in labor, but still, it was so much work. It didn’t really hurt, because of the meds, but there was so much pressure and movement and frustration. I could feel things happening but I just wanted it to be done. 

Another thankful moment: my mom again and my sister in law. My husband’s sister Jean wanted to be in the delivery room, and I didn’t care who was there, so I said yes. She was with me at most of my ultrasounds and I got to really know her because I had to go to Sitka all the time for my appointments. Well, I am so incredibly glad she was there because she and my mom stood on either side of me, and they let me mutilate their arms while I was pushing. I held on to them so tight, that the next day she came to visit and said her arm was sore!!! She is awesome and I love that she was there. I’m also grateful that her daughter Donna was there to see it all. She wanted to stay in the room and I remember her standing there watching while I pushed. For some reason she was a calming presence.

Back to the story, the baby finally came!!!! 

It was messy and I tore in three places, probably because the last push I just wanted it to be over. The doctor had told me two more pushes, so I really took that to heart and made it happen!😉 but because of that, I bled. A lot. Apparently the doctor was a bit nervous, but I was so relieved to be done and see my girl that I didn’t care. I even asked her about the stitching up process while she was doing it! I’m a weirdo. But looking back, I am so thankful I live with modern technology. If not, I probably would have been in labor for WAY longer. And honestly, without the medical knowledge that exists today, I could have died. Something as simple as stitching up a little torn blood vessel is so vital in that moment, and you really don’t realize the magnitude or seriousness of having a baby until you are there and you experience it. 

Now for the reflection. 

Like I said in my first baby post, it is hard. Super hard. Like, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to do it again hard. Labor is traumatizing, and I had a relatively good one because of all the love and support I was given. I can’t even imagine doing it by myself. 

But without all of it, Helen wouldn’t be here. Honestly, it took me awhile to feel that gush of love and affection people say you have. Of course I loved her right away, but I was so tired that I wasn’t really overwhelmed by it, more just relieved. And as a tiny newborn, it was still hard because she was so fragile and needy, and it was scary and exhausting to take care of her. But little by little every day, her personality comes out more, and she gets stronger and more beautiful, and I can’t even imagine my life without her. She was always meant to be here. 

And maybe, just maybe, she will get a sibling someday. Once I forget a little bit more about that crazy labor. 
  

 

The third trimester March 10, 2016

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 5:45 pm

I know that most people say that their second trimester is the easiest, but for me at least, the third was easier than the second. I think that I was finally used to being pregnant and I was getting in the groove of doing things while pregnant, even if it was harder to do them because I was pretty huge. I didn’t actually feel huge until I went to Sitka to wait to have the baby. I also had some funny encounters with kids during this trimester too. I work at a school, mostly with elementary students, so they are very candid and curious about the whole pregnancy thing. One of my students was sitting next to me in class, working quietly, when he asked me, “well, how did the baby even get IN there in the first place?” (This was a second grade boy, mind you). I just laughed and laughed and told him to ask his mom when he got home. He wasn’t too pleased with my answer. This same student also seemed to forget I was pregnant and told me I needed to work out more when I couldn’t keep up with him while playing four square. I told him he should try playing it with a giant basketball in his belly and see how he did. His eyes got really wide, and he said, “oh. I guess that would be hard.” Those are just a couple of the encounters, and I can’t even keep track of how many kids were all surprised when I said I was pregnant (even with my huge belly). 

So here is the fun part about being pregnant when you live in a village in southeast Alaska. You can’t just wait until things happen naturally and stay at home until the last minute. We only have a clinic here in town, and no major medical facilities, so in order to actually deliver the baby, the doctors send you to wait either in Sitka or Juneau at around 37 weeks. That’s right. Three weeks before my due date, I had to pack up a bunch of stuff, and my husband and I went and stayed in a hotel in Sitka to wait for the baby to come. and since it was my first baby, we were there the full three weeks. 

don’t get me wrong, hotel stays are fun, but not for long term. It was BORING. I colored a lot, and walked a lot, and spent a lot of money because we got tired of hotel food and sandwiches. The one nice thing about having to leave town is that the rest is excellent. I could sleep in every day and not have to worry about going to work, and the weather was pretty awesome while we were there, so I got to explore a lot of Sitka. Plus we got to spend time with family there, and my parents got to see it for a little while too because they arrived a few days before I had the baby. 
I have to say the strangest part of this time was feeling my belly get bigger literally every day, and then feeling the baby drop lower and lower. Walking was extremely difficult by the end because all of my muscles and tendons and bones and ligaments from my abdomen to my thighs felt like jello. Things were popping and creaking and stretching, which was good for actually having the baby, but it sure does feel strange when you try to walk. However, I never really got so uncomfortable that I wanted her out (I mean, until I was in labor). I was just really tired of not being at home, and I wanted to see her face. I started labor right on her due date, but that will be the next installment.

  
Baby’s first fashion headband. 

 

The second trimester  March 2, 2016

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 9:43 pm

The second trimester 
It just occurred to me that boiling down three months into me blog post is quite strange, but considering that my pregnancy was pretty smooth and fairly uneventful, it seems sufficient.
Anyway, the second trimester was, well, uneventful. Here is a list of some of the highlights.

1) wicked, WICKED heartburn. (See pictures of my girl, and it explains why. So. Much. Hair)

2) growing belly, but surprisingly little amount of stretch marks

3) working while being pregnant. This one is interesting. I was a little concerned that my boss would freak out a bit, but she was very supportive and excited for me. (Her denial and slight freaking out didn’t come until about two weeks before I had to stop working, haha)

4) being physically tired all the time. I say physically, because it really was mostly just my body that was tired. I wasn’t very social during this time because after work my body was just so tired. Thankfully I had an hour break in the afternoon in between my jobs that really helped.

5) lots of ultrasounds. So, my daughter didn’t want to cooperate with the ultrasounds and it took about four tries to get all the measurements they needed. This meant four trips to Sitka on the airplane, because I live in a little village and doctors appointments require travel. This also meant that I missed a lot of work, which the school was not happy about, but it all worked out okay. 

6) riding on a small airplane while pregnant= having to use sick bags. Yeah, I actually really enjoy flying, but while I was pregnant, it was like instant sick. Even on just a half an hour flight. Thankfully, the engines are so loud that no one could hear me “calling a dinosaur” as my husband calls it. 

7) as soon as I started showing, people got super protective of me. Now, I understand there are all kinds of guidelines for how much you are supposed to lift and move and do while pregnant, and working in special Ed, I certainly had to limit my activities, but I have to say that I started to get annoyed at people being so cautious around me. During this trimester, I could actually still do quite a bit without any discomfort, so I didn’t quite like the tiptoeing around me. I did appreciate the concern and support though.
That’s pretty much it. Pretty smooth going! Next time will be about my last few months and the weird process of what you have to do when having a baby in rural Alaska. 

  

 

The First Trimester February 26, 2016

Plans change immediately when you get pregnant. Kelly and I had been kind of trying for awhile to get pregnant, but not to the point of planning everything out. I just am blessed to have a very very regular cycle so I could know when would be good.Anyway, I knew right away that I was pregnant because of my regular cycle, and I was about to go to Jumeau at the time to help with Nations, a college age group that comes to Kake every summer. 

I was so SO hungry for those first couple weeks, but also incredibly tired. My body just would not function, even though my brain was okay. This was the first time that I felt kind of guilty about being pregnant. Everyone was super happy for me and very understanding, but I had gone up to Juneau to help out, and I just couldn’t function. And when I got back home to Kake it was even worse. I was supposed to lead some morning Bible studies, and I wanted to spend time with the group, and do summer activities like berry picking and hunting and fishing which are really important here, but I literally couldn’t do anything except sleep and eat crackers, and watch Bones on TV. (That was weird, the blood and guts of the crime show didn’t bug me while I was nauseous all the time)

I knew that all of this was considered normal, but I still felt so incredibly guilty, and also it was the first time that I realized that having a kid was going to change my life in ways I never even thought about before. I am very independent, and my job involves being around kids basically all day, but when I come home, I can do what I want, when I want it. Looking back now at those first parts of pregnancy, I can see the beginning of realization that I wasn’t my own person anymore, and that I was going to have to learn a lot of new things.

I still am learning— I want to do all kinds of things this summer too, but I know I will be limited because of having a kid now. But I’m learning not to feel guilty about it, or to be too disappointed. I hate letting people down, but sometimes building relationships is more important than being successful at a job, or getting ahead in life, and my daughter is teaching me that.

  Though I will say that taking care of a newborn is exhausting, boring, and wonderful all at the same time, and that makes absolutely no sense. 

Just like most relationships I guess. 

 

Babies February 24, 2016

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 2:49 pm
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I had one. Yup, I pushed one out. It was INSANE. seriously that is the best word to use to describe it. But I’m getting a little bit ahead. 

Since I will be at home for quite awhile, both from just simple recovery reasons and because I’m learning how to take care of my daughter, I’m going to do a few posts about different stages of having a kid and being pregnant and share things that people don’t always share. I wanted to do this during my whole pregnancy, but I kind of like having the retrospection now. 

First one:

Pregnancy and giving birth is really really REALLY hard. 

I had a really smooth pregnancy. There were no complications, she was always healthy at checkups, and I was able to work and do things during my entire pregnancy. 

That being said, it was still super hard, and when she was born, and I saw her face for the first time, that hardness didn’t just get forgotten. Maybe I’m the exception to this, but so many moms say,”oh when you see your baby none of that will matter. You will just be so in love!”

I think that’s silly. I remember every single difficulty, and I think that is what makes it so much more special. I’m not going to forget the wicked heartburn and my almost 36 hour labor time or the pain of breastfeeding the first week. Those things are important and I think it is there to remind me that having a kid is a big commitment. 

And yes, the adrenaline and endorphins that were pumping through me when I finally did see her made me ignore certain things, like the blood and pain, but I felt it afterward! 

I’m not trying to be pessimistic or a downer here, but I just see so many moms and pregnant women gushing about the beauty of pregnancy and childbirth, and maybe it is just my personality, but that made me feel really inadequate while I was pregnant. There were only a few people who were really honest with me about how hard it is, and I would rather have that then the sappy memes about how much I will love my baby. 

And now that she is here, I do love her so much. And it is much harder than being pregnant. And I’m going to tell people that because she is worth it.  

 

 

Listing December 14, 2015

1. I am now about seven months pregnant, and the best word I can find to describe pregnancy in general is “weird”. 

2. It is almost Christmas and by next Christmas I will have a kid probably walking around. 

3. I want to take way more amazing pictures of where I live, because the landscape here is like a fairy tale and more people need to see it. 

4. I love Instagram for its artists and I kind of hate Facebook, but it is so darn convenient for staying in touch with people. 

5. I’m not super into shopping for baby stuff, because, well I don’t really care that much about what stuff looks like. Clothes and things are adorable but I really don’t have much preference as far as other stuff goes. 

6. Descriptions for breast pumps are really awkward and specific. 

7. I really wish I could wear stretchy pants and sweatshirts 24/7, but I work at a school, so…..that’s not gonna happen. 

8. Maternity clothes are overrated. We should just go back to big, baggy tunics, medieval style. So much more comfortable. 

9. I really want to see what my girl looks like, because she is so incredibly active and I just know she is making some crazy faces in there. 

10. This list was way longer than I expected. 

11. Here is a picture.

  

 

Music December 13, 2015

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 4:26 pm
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When I was a kid, it seemed like my dad listened to Phil Keaggy ALL  the time. And Yes. 

When I was a kid I thought it was annoying because for some reason I thought that music that was mostly instrumental was boring. 

But now, I love it. Okay, maybe not all of Yes, but I definitely like some of their dogs. And Phil Keaggy— he is honestly one of most amazing musicians I’ve ever heard. 

So I’m pretty grateful that when I was a kid, my dad didn’t let me dictate the musical choices because now I have the ability to listen and remember and appreciated the beauty of music that has no words.