I was so thrilled to be pregnant! I just knew that after all the time I spent waiting for that moment, I was going to be the happiest and most grateful pregnant woman that ever existed... WRONG! That lasted about two weeks, then morning sickness started. Except, it wasn't just morning sickness, it was all-day sickness. I didn't throw up much, but I was nauseous all of the time, and it only got worse at night. I was exhausted and couldn't eat hardly anything. The thought of fruit, vegetables, and meat made me completely ill. I remember coming home from work one night to find Kris cooking chicken for dinner. So nice, right? I made her stop immediately! I couldn't handle the smell. (Pregnant women can be crazy, am I right?) I pretty much lived on crackers for my first trimester and well into my second. This was pretty frustrating for me as I wanted everything to be prefect, which meant eating healthy for my baby. But, I was doing my best, so I tried not to beat myself up too much. I was in survival mode, and I had to remind myself what a blessing it was to be pregnant and not take it for granted.
I remember going to my first doctor's appointment being so nervous because I had already popped out so much! (I was sure, because of the clomid and twins running in my family, that I was having twins. I just knew it.) My midwife agreed that I was measuring pretty big for my first pregnancy and wanted to do a ultrasound. I was freaking out, but I couldn't help but be excited to see my baby for the first time! Luckily, during the ultrasound we saw just one baby. Whew! My placenta was just really large. I remember laughing at the picture she gave us because there was a tiny peanut with tons of space around him. He was living a luxury life! He was healthy and that's all that mattered. (I didn't know baby was a "he" yet, so a healthy baby was all the excitement I needed.)
After getting to the point where they considered me "in the clear", we started to tell our family members and friends. I loved being able to share the exciting news and have people in our lives be happy for us! It's amazing how a baby can bring people close together.
When it was time to find out the gender, we had our moms come and be there with us for that special moment. I was 100% sure it was going to be a boy... and I was right! (When you use frozen sperm, it usually only last 2 days opposed to 5 with fresh sperm. The girl swimmers usually die off faster trying to find the egg since they are slower swimmers, and the boys are usually fast and find the egg before the girls even have a chance. In fact, I read a statistic somewhere that said, "when doing artificial insemination you have an 80% likelihood of having a boy.")
Yeay, it's a boy! I was so thrilled! And he was healthy and growing fast. Everything was going great expect for the fact that I was packing on the pounds fast! By the end of my second trimester I was feeling really good. I had good energy and wasn't too uncomfortable; and then the swelling came. Yikes! You guys, I swelled up so bad! My third trimester was awful. I was so so swollen and just ready for baby to get out. (I think that's really the only way women actually want to deliver a baby. They become so uncomfortable that they can't wait for the baby to come out. At least in my case! Some women make pregnancy look so beautiful and effortless. I was not one of those! Ha!)
With the baby soon to be here, we had talked about a lot of names we liked, but one stood out above the rest - Boston. We couldn't help but feel right about it. We loved the name and the meaning it held for us, and I didn't think it wasn't too trendy or too common. (No one wants to be in a classroom where two other kids have your name. I didn't realize how popular it was until later when everyone would tell me a story about someone they knew named Boston. Oh well, it fits him! He is the Bos! And if you have met him, you know how bossy he really is. Hopefully he outgrows some of it!) I let Kris choose the middle name, Kruz. (We're hoping for a soccer player. Boston Kruz, doesn't that sound like a soccer name?)
Now for him to get here! I was massive by that point, and so uncomfortable. I was ready for him to be out, and I was dying to see and meet him. His due date was December 13, 2013. That day came,and we waited...and nothing. (I know, who comes on their due date? A girl can dream.) He didn't come until five days later. Those were the longest five days ever! With it being my first, they wouldn't induce me until a week after my due date. I was frustrated because I didn't want him being born so close to Christmas, but what can you do? He decided to make his own appearance, finally, on December 18th.
I remember every detail about that day (not all positive). I woke up at 3:oo AM with some little contractions, but they soon stopped and didn't come back. False alarm! I went back to sleep, but Kris sadly couldn't. She thought the contractions were going to come back and was waiting anxiously. Nothing happened and so she had to get up and go to work tired. I had my last day of work on the 16th, so this was my first day off waiting for baby, and nothing all day. It wasn't until Kris was on her way home from work and was trying to decide to go to the gym or not when everything changed fast! I was totally fine at the beginning of the phone call, saying that she should go to the gym...and then it happened. My first contraction. It hurt, like, crazy bad! And then another, and then another. They came on fast and hard. By the end of the conversation with Kris, I was begging for her to get home. I thought I was dying! (Dramatic? Maybe.) It just all happened so fast. I started timing my contractions and they we coming every five to six minutes. When Kris got home, we got in the car and went straight to the hospital. I was in so much pain the whole way! I am sure Kris thought we were going to have a baby in the car with the way I was acting.
When we got to the hospital, they got me straight into a room to check me. Sadly, I was only at a one! A ONE?! THAT'S IT??? (One of the nurses who was helping at this point knew Kris because her daughter was going to the high school where she worked. I am so happy that we had someone we knew there. It gave me a safe feeling, and she ended up being such a blessing!) They kept me in that room for an hour to make sure I was dilating. When they came back to check me at the end of that hour, I was only dilated to a two! In order to keep you at the hospital and get you a room, you need to be further than that, so the nurse stretched me to be a two and a half (OWWW!) But I thank her for it, as I did not want to go home! I was so ready for this! After they got me into my room, I was dilated to a four and was moving fast! I knew I wanted an epidural so they hurried to get the anesthesiologist in my room. Luckily, I didn't have to wait for anyone ahead of me and that doctor was right in. After the epidural was in and working, I felt great! I was able to laugh and joke with some family members and Kris. I even got some sleep.
Then I started to feel the contractions a few hours later. They brought in the anesthesiologist to give me another dose. My legs felt like cement afterward but I was grateful to not feel anything. (For whatever reason they didn't give me a button that you could push for more pain medicine, that would've been nice - or if they did, I don't remember it.)
So, there is a side story that you need to know. While I was pregnant, I had chosen to use a midwife clinic that all my sisters had used and highly recommended. They were great and I loved every single one of them that I got to work with. (They had 6 different midwives that you would rotate through on your visits at the clinic.) Well, there was one in particular that I avoided. My sister had told me to avoid her, that she was rude, and old-fashioned. My sister gets along with just about everyone, so for her to say that - I knew I didn't want meet with her. And with our "different" lifestyle, I didn't want her or me to feel uncomfortable.
So, back to the hospital. Guess who was on delivery duty that night? Ding, ding, ding! "That midwife". She was the midwife that was going to deliver my baby! I was so frustrated; 1) because I had never met with her and she didn't know me or my situation, and 2) I knew she wasn't who I wanted to deliver my baby. I loved all the midwives I had worked with and built such good relationships with, and now, here I was stuck with the one I had avoided. Kris told me to be optimistic and that because she was older, she probably had a lot of experience and would be great to work with. That's is such a "Kris" thing to do; look for the positive, always. I tend to think about the worst case scenarios. We joke that I am the "Debbie Downer".
From the moment she walked in, I didn't get any good vibes from her. I was trying so hard to be nice, trying to get to know her and build rapport with her so I could know the person about to deliver my baby. She never once asked me anything about myself, and didn't even seem to care about me. (Talking about it now, Kris feels the same way.) Luckily, the nurse we were working with was incredible. I would like to think that because of her and the other nurse (that Kris knew), I made it through the delivery.
It was roughly 1:00 AM when my midwife checked me and I was finally dilated to a ten. It was go time. I started to feel the contractions again. "Is that is normal? Shouldn't I not feel pain, just pressure?" She didn't seem to care or think much of it. She said that they couldn't give me more pain medicine because it would make it so I did't know when to push. With it being my first time and thinking she knew what she was doing, I did as I was told. Then, she started telling me when to push. That's literally all I remember hearing from her, as far coaching. My nurse, thankfully, started to coach me and help me know what was happening, what to do, and when to push (because on your first, you have no clue! It's terrifying!) So it went for three hours. I pushed and pushed and pushed. I swore that baby wasn't going to come out! I could feel everything by now, and I was SO EXHAUSTED! It was pretty much a natural birth, if you ask me. At one point during the pushing, I developed a high fever. I guess that can be a sign of infection, and they are supposed to treat it right away so it won't harm the baby. Well, my midwife ignored it! The nurse in the room was so mad. She knew it should be treated, but had to listen to the midwife's direction. The nurse from the main desk on our floor came into our room and mentioned how she noticed I had a bad fever and that it wasn't being treated. That was when the two nurses decided to override the midwife and treat the fever. DUH! (That's was also when Kris stared to lose faith in my midwife.) The midwife wasn't saying anything; it's like she was in her own world. I had to keep my eyes closed for most of it, because every time I saw her, I would get so angry! If looks could kill, she wouldn't have survived my delivery. I probably wouldn't have had to push so long if she would have done an episiotomy, but she only believed in natural tears. Well, I tore pretty bad. (TMI, sorry!) But Boston finally made his grand entrance.
He finally arrived! And I didn't even get to hold him. (I had meconium in my water when the midwife broke it, and she told me that I probably wouldn't get to do skin to skin with him, depending on his breathing. That was so disappointing, because I had looked forward to that part for so long. You carry a baby for nine months, and then you deliver them, and you just want to hold them; to see your reward for all of your hard work!) They had to swoop him off to get his lungs checked out, so I only had to glance at him for a second and tell him I loved him. And then he was off, and Kris followed, and the nurses all left, and there I was, alone with that midwife I despised! I just wanted to cry. And then, my mom came into the room. I started to bawl! I was so angry and hurt; I was past my breaking point. When I saw my mom and her safe face, it just brought on a flood of tears. I sobbed. Like, the ugliest cry you can imagine. I couldn't stop. Every emotion I felt poured out of me like a waterfall.
While my midwife sewed me up, I felt every stitch that was going in (not even trying to be dramatic.) Then she finished, she stood up and said, "Congratulations" and she left. That was it! (In my opinion, she shouldn't be allowed to deliver babies. She was horrible, start to finish! No warmth to her whatsoever.)
Then Kris's family came in. I felt so bad because I couldn't even stop crying to talk to them or thank them for coming. I just sobbed! They gave me hugs and congratulated me, and then they left. (It was 5:00 in the morning at that point, so everyone was tired! But, I appreciated everyone being there!) I didn't get to see Boston for over two hours. I was so sad and in so much pain. But, when they brought him in, everything started to get better. My mood completely lifted. Holding him for the first time was everything I had ever dreamed. My heart softened and all the frustration disappeared (temporarily.) He was pretty beat up after being stuck, waiting to come out for three hours, but he was perfect in my eyes! I was so overwhelmed that I was finally a mother to such a small, but healthy boy. Boston Kruz Packer, weighing in at 6 lbs. 13 oz. and 19 inches long. I couldn't have been more happy when they put him in my arms! It was truly a heavenly experience getting to hold and see my baby for the first time. All the pain was worth it!
It was shortly after that moment that the nurse (that Kris knew) came in to check on me. She took one look at me "down there" and said that we should have the doctor who worked over the midwife come in and check me out. She didn't think I looked sewn up properly. She described it as looking like hamburger...(too much? Probably.) The doctor came in an hour or so later and checked me out. He said that it wasn't sewn correctly, it was not good and needed to be redone and soon. I recall him saying, "We can do this now, or you can beg me to fix it in six months." Of course we decided to fix it before I started to heal. So, we planned the surgery for later that day and got everything fixed.
What a nightmare, right? I can honestly say now, looking back, that all that mattered is that I got to take my baby home and that we were both healthy. That is more than many others can say, so I consider myself lucky (I shouldn't complain!) The hospital staff at American Fork Hospital were great to us! I don't want to forget to mention that. We were nervous about how the hospital would treat us, and they were incredible. They exceeded our expectations! They put us at ease and made us feel welcome; what a blessing. They were so helpful and kind! When it came to filling out the birth certificate and other papers, they answered all of our questions, and if they didn't know the answers, they made the necessary phone calls. Since we were "technically" married, we had a lot of questions, but what it all came down to was - Utah didn't recognize our marriage, so Kris couldn't be on the birth certificate. That was a really sad and frustrating moment for us because we were really hoping that Kris would be listed as the parent, but laws are laws.
Even with that bad news, we received some of the best news we could imagine. We got a phone call from California Cryobank telling us that they had more sperm for us to buy from our donor! This was HUGE news because, after I found out that I was pregnant with Boston, I called and tried to buy more vials of sperm and our donor was all sold out again! I was so sad and even a little bit mad. I asked them to put me on a list if any came available any point, cost aside. On that last day in the hospital, after waiting over nine months, they called! Their timing was impeccable! A God-given miracle for us! We thought we would have to choose a different donor for our next child when that time came. And now to have not just one vial, but three available! Our hearts were full of pure happiness and sincere gratitude.
After everything checked out, it was time to go home (it was Friday December 20, 2013.) They kept me an extra day because Boston and I had to be on antibiotics from the fever - and do you know what happened on that day? On that beautiful Friday? (You will have to keep reading on my next post to find out, if you don't already know.) We were exhausted and so ready to get home with our new peanut! Yeay for surviving the hospital! And, yeay for going home, sweet home!
Looking back on my birth story, my advice to any of you getting ready to have a baby or starting that journey is, plan to be surprised! This is not how I imagined having a baby would happen for me. I didn't have a specific birth plan, but I can tell you that was far from what I expected. I think you have a idea of what you want or hope, and when it doesn't happen that way it can be so disappointing, even heartbreaking. My advice is to be grateful. It's your story! It is your unique experience, and if you get to leave the hospital with your healthy baby, what a blessing!