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Monday, January 3, 2011

Dear 2010, I shall miss thee

It's January 3, 2011, and I can't believe how much my life has changed in the past year. It took one year to get pregnant and have a baby, lose a job, get married, and gain a larger family.

On February 9, 2010, I took a test to which the results were to be life-altering.

On April 26, 2010, I lost my job for [known] reasons still unknown to me.

On August 15, 2010, I married the person who completes me.

On September 30, 2010, I gave birth to the most beautiful, most perfect tiny human being I've ever had the grace of knowing.

It was a life-changing, name-changing and humbling year for me. For the better, of course. Although I can honestly say that a pregnant woman with no job, is a disaster waiting to happen. Asides from going on countless interviews, submitting hundreds of resumes and cover letters, and scouring the internet looking for a company who might hire a pregnant lady; I read, blogged and bumped a lot. I met a few women who have turned into some great friends. I read countless pregnancy books, watched hundreds of birthing videos, and basically...freaked myself out, as well as worry my now-hubby, with my 'fountain of knowledge', as I like to call it. Oh...and the stories of drama on The Bump.

When Keith and I found out that I was pregnant, our first reaction was "holy shit, what are we going to do?!" and "how the hell did this happen?" Well, we knew 'how' it happened...we were just stupified that it happened while on birth control. We went from debating on whether or not to get married, to deciding that we didn't care about what society considered 'normal', to saying we would tie the knot after the baby was born, to worrying about money and preparation, etc., etc.

Fast forward to April, when I lost my job. I'm still relatively sure that I was fired because I was pregnant, and new on the job (I had only started in October 2009). But...who knows? It sucked royally for the remainder of my pregnancy trying to find a job. I landed countless interviews, but as soon as they realized I was pregnant (how can you hide that?!?!), they would kind of shoo me and in and out, and not even call me back. We worried a bit about how we were going to survive on one income, but things have worked out - we just have to be careful.

In July, we decided that - or better yet, I decided for us - that this child was NOT going to come out into this world to an unmarried mother. I just decided that there was too much stigma surrounding an unwed mother, that Lentil (as he was then known as) was going to stay in my tummy until we were hitched. So we planned a smallish wedding for August. To this day, we're still dealing with a few upset friends and family who weren't invited and are now offended.

So, on August 15, 2010, Keith and I were married by a Justice of the Peace. My parents flew in from San Francisco and St. Louis, his parents and step-mom were there, as well as his sister, and step-siblings. I had my two best friends and their families. We also invited one of his aunts, and one of his uncles. It was a perfect day, with the exception of the humidity.

Fast forward to September. My [surprise] baby shower was on September 19th. My best friend put it together with my mother-in-law and step-mother-in-law. I think my mum had a hand in it, too - but unfortunately couldn't make it. She had already come here to visit back in June, and then again for the wedding, and knew she wanted to come when Lentil arrived. I was beginning to freak out, because I didn't know about the shower, and knew Lentil's due date was fast approaching. Little did we know...little did we know.

A week after the shower, I was induced. Lentil was born on September 30, 2010 at 6:19 a.m. Alec Keith Maciog was born 3 weeks early via induction due to 3 factors: (a) almost no fluid in my amniotic sac, (b) poor circulation through his cord, and (c) smallish measurements. It took our OB thinking that my tummy was measuring small and ordering an ultrasound to find this out. I thank my stars every day for this. Had he not seen this, the technician wouldn't have seen it, we would not have been sent to labour and delivery and then sent to a perinatologist for an in-depth ultrasound.

My induction took 36 hours. As soon as I realized I was being induced, I realized I was not going to be able to go med-free. To be honest, I had no clue what I was up against, and I was more worried about having to undergo a C-section, then begging for an epidural...which I did. With contractions coming one minute apart, and peaking off the monitor, for about 4 hours, I realized I couldn't do it. I was shaking when I screamed for an epidural, and the anesthesiologist was in my room within 20 minutes.

Alec was born 9 hours later. No C-section needed. I thank the hospital staff for handling my labour so perfectly. I went in at 37 weeks gestation, without a single iota of progression towards natural delivery. I was not favourable, and in fact, the OB later told me he was worried I would end up in a section. Yay for me!

When people tell you that motherhood is the toughest job in the world, they're not joking.

Alec is 3 months old. I have just gone through the most humbling experience of my life. I have had to depend on Keith as my rock, my shoulder to cry on. I have held my child in arms, trying to make him stop crying. I have struggled with breastfeeding. I'm still struggling. Each day gets better, and Alec is more patient with my low supply. We still supplement, and I have a feeling we always will.

I look at Alec, and I see myself, as well as Keith. I see yesterday, today and tomorrow in his eyes. I see this tiny little human being, someone Keith and I created....from scratch! How can a few cells grow into something so perfect?

Every day, Alec learns something new. Or we learn something new. He is a morning baby. He wakes me up in the mornings by cooing and talking to himself from inside his bassinet...which is still next to my side of the bed. We're all set up for him to go in his crib in his nursery - but yet I can't bring myself to do that just yet. He recently just started raising his arms when he knows he's going to be picked up. I love that. He smiles when we talk to him.

My body is not back to normal yet. I can fit into a few pairs of jeans, but I have to use a hair-band to hold them up. I can't wait to start running again. I would love to be able to wear my clothes boobs got bigger about a month ago, I think when my milk supply went up a little bit. So my shirts are definitely too short right now. But hey, I live in yoga pants and t-shirts.

Now...if only I can stop buying all these cloth diapers, we'll be good.

2010 also brought some loss to a few people I care a lot about. A dear 'bumpie' friend of mine gave birth to a stillborn at 37 weeks. Another dear person lost her baby at 15 weeks gestation. Someone else I hold dear to my heart almost left her newborn son without a mommy right after delivery.

So, my resolution for this New Year, is absolutely no resolution. It's to live life one day at a time, and enjoy Alec while he's still small.

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