It Matters More in the Dark

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In the past when the power went out the husband and I just watched whatever movies we downloaded or could stream on our phones, cuddled up and hoped the power would be on before we woke up. This time, in 2019 things were different, we have a baby to think about.

This February the Seattle area was slammed with “the storm of the century.” Before this we had only lost power twice in our house, both in the summer months. The first time a tree fell, the second time a raccoon had an unfortunate meeting with the transformer. This time however it was like waiting for a fuse to slowly burn, the sheer amount of ice and snow there was no way the trees or the power lines could hold out. Sure enough it was not long before we were without power, which meant no heat with no guess of when it would come back.

I will freely admit that my anxiety got the best of me that night. I was panicked! My husband made a joke about brushing the dog for extra insulation and honest to god I stopped and said “should we?!”

One of the many reasons I love my husband is that he lets me spiral for a little bit to get it out of my system before he tries to bring me down and rationalize with me. So while I was collecting blankets, lighting every candle in the house, angrily yelling about batteries and basically preparing to call the national guard he had texted some of our friends to ask if we could come camp out for the night if we wanted. After a sigh of relief another anxiety twister started. What do we pack? Should we take the dogs? Where will the kid sleep? And then my husband did something out of the ordinary, he looked at me and said “we have this under control, he will be safe, he will be fed, he will be warm…. the power comes back on as Im carrying bags to the car.

To save my sanity, we went anyway. I have to say our kid was INCREDIBLE, he waited patiently while we packed things up, he slept like a rockstar in his little bassinet. However I was still reeling and I vividly remember every last thing I was freaking out about. The list is as follows:

  • How will we keep his equipment charged (his pump has a battery life for 3 day)
  • How will we keep him warm (We have soooo many blankets)
  • How will we keep his formula cold (ps it is Winter)
  • What do we do if we run out of diapers! (I have a 4 wheel drive jeep and grew up driving in much worse snow in Minnesota)

Long story short, I was panicking about things I never had to think about before because with anxiety the unknown is the scariest, the unknown is dangerous and untrustworthy because well, you just don’t know. So while to most it seems like no big deal to most people even the littlest things make a world of difference for someone in a spiral. Little things we don’t think about more than once matter much more in the dark.

How I got here pt. 2 (with a twist!)

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This is going to be some M, Night Shyamalan type stuff! So bear with me. So by the end of April everything seemed to be going great, the baby was all caught up growing and despite not cooperating for any of the ultrasounds all the testing was coming back looking super positive. Then in May one of my Uncle’s passed away, he was the true patriarch of our family after my grandpa’s passing over 40 years ago, it was a devastating blow to my dad’s family. I received the call on my way into work, from my brother. I will spare all the details of the innerworkings of my family but this was a HUGE and unpredictable blow to all of us.

Upon arriving to work I let me co-workers and boss know what was going on. My sister called and while I was on the phone with her I felt the unmistakable feeling of something running down my leg. Holding back my hysterics I walked out grabbed my purse and told my boss I was once again going to the ER, this time however I was 17 weeks pregnant and in my mind this could only mean a true disaster was happening.

Once again I spent a day in the emergency room and thankfully my baby was happy, with a strong heartbeat and wiggling like a champ. Yet there was still little and basically no explanation for why I was bleeding. 

The next few months stayed quiet, literally like crickets. Our “friends” had left us by the way-side because fun Molly was no where to be seen. To them I had turned in to a always hot and complaining pain in the ass. Honestly they weren’t wrong, my least favorite thing in the world was going somewhere so my husband could have a few drinks and I could drive him home, I was always tired and Summer in Seattle is a nightmare trying to find a place with AC. However the friend issue is something I will address in later posts.

We took the road trip back to Minnesota for a wedding and to see family. It was so nice to be surrounded by the people who know you best. Then I took the trip home with my mom, a car full of baby things and my trusty little dogs.

My Mom stayed 3 weeks, long enough for all of us, and went home in early August. The day she left I had an OB appointment.

The next few months stayed quiet, literally like crickets. Our “friends” had left us by the way-side because fun Molly was no where to be seen. To them I had turned in to a always hot and complaining pain in the ass. Honestly they weren’t wrong, my least favorite thing in the world was going somewhere so my husband could have a few drinks and I could drive him home, I was always tired and Summer in Seattle is a nightmare trying to find a place with AC. However the friend issue is something I will address in later posts.

We took the road trip back to Minnesota for a wedding and to see family. It was so nice to be surrounded by the people who know you best. Then I took the trip home with my mom, a car full of baby things and my trusty little dogs.

My Mom stayed 3 weeks, long enough for all of us, and went home in early August. The day she left I had an OB appointment. That appointment led to a trip to the hospital because I was dialated. They just wanted to check fluid levels and stuff. We left and everything was ok. I was however advised to skip our friends wedding in Colorado due to the potential risk of early labor. I was worried I would end up on bed rest until October if I pushed things too far.

August 29th, it all changed again. I went in for a normal OB appointment as usual and she asked how I had been feeling. I told her I had some tightness and light cramping but nothing major. So she decided it would be good to do another check. It took her about 3 seconds and she said “oh no.” I can firmly tell you that oh no is not a phrase you want to hear when someone has their hand in your vagina.

I was 3.5 inches dilated and progressing towards labor. My doctor looked at me and said “are you ok? You need to go to labor and delivery now.” My heart hit the floor, I was only 31 weeks along, how could this be happening! I called my husband, he was shocked but calm and ready to roll as soon as i got home. He had made arrangements for someone to check on the dogs had our bags and electronics ready to go.

The next week was awful and what I thought was going to be the worst week of my adult life. For 6 days i was confined to the anti-partum. I was dreading how long the length of my stay could potentially be. It is like the antithesis of labor and delivery, your only goal there is to stay pregnant and at only 32 weeks that was exactly my plan. Baby Ryden however had other ideas. On September 2nd they told me if everything stayed the same and I didn’t progress and oh that Tuesday September 5th would be my discharge day.

September 3rd 2018: The contractions were real, I was doing fine breathing through them and I could still talk and I tried to stay calm because I really really wanted to go home. They had moved me back to labor and delivery early that morning because of slight progression but also increased contractions. I spent the day in room 8, pretty much crying, there was no way I was leaving the hospital now. That night at about 9pm I think the nurses were sick of my emotional responses. They agreed to let me take a break from the monitors, eat my food, take a bath and then they would give me a small bump on my sleeping meds to get some rest. The bath was drawn, I had a belly full of hospital food, Mathew and I were watching Black Panther. I got up to get in the bath and , GOD DAMNIT something started running down my leg. I tried jokingly to play it off like I had simply peed myself like a silly pregnant lady. The nurse, the L&D resident and my husband were having none of it. Back in bed I went and they slapped those monitors back on.

Things picked up so quickly from there is is just a blur. They placed an epidural after an eternity of poking me and telling me to sit still. I was told to lay on my side for a bit while they started the epidural, which never happened because after another quick check my baby was ready to roll. I was being told to roll on my back and start pushing because my baby was ready and the heart rate was dropping. I never did get that sweet medicine I was so looking forward to. My birth plan was so far out of the window it was basically in Idaho. My delivery was 12 minutes long and then he was here. Our little dude, it was so exciting to see him and more so to hear him cry for the first time. I would like to say that from this point on it was smoothing sailing but it was far from it September 4th 2018 would just be the start of our journey. This is why I am writing the blog, this is just the start of my story.

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