Friday, June 6, 2014

I Just Want to be a Mom

     Belle will be sixth months old tomorrow and normally, I would do an update all about her but this subject is something I've felt strongly to write about--so here it goes.

     I write this post with great sensitivity because I know that my feelings may be only of the minority. Also, I have friends who have problems with fertility and I hope to never offend any of those who are struggling because I talk about my "problems" of motherhood when there are those who have the difficult time becoming a mother. 

     In one of my last semesters, I was discussing my future with a professor I had become sort of close to. He asked where I was planning on going to grad school. He asked what I wanted to do for my vocation. I explained my lackadaisical feelings on grad school and my slight indifference to a specific career but eventually gave him the answer he wanted. He sensed my hesitation on the topic and expressed his frustration with past students who had "wasted their time and tithing-payer money" by graduating, becoming a mom, and not using their degree. Excuse me? My feelings were deeply against his but I dared not say anything contrary to his strong beliefs. I did not believe I was wasting my time. I did not believe I was wasting tithing-payer money. I knew there were invaluable things I had learned in my four years that would help me in the future. I knew the things I learned would help me in life and in a career if I ever needed it. I knew that in no way, had my four years been a waste. I knew he was wrong. I'm not one for confrontation and I'm poor with words so I said nothing. I went home and regretted my silence.

     After graduation, during pregnancy, I was constantly asked when I would go back to work, if I was going back to school, and what I wanted to do with my degree. I would always give the same, slightly varied answer of, "Oh, I'll stay home for a while and do grad school online/grad school when we move permanently/when the baby is older". I lied to them every time. Sure the option of going back to school and getting a job in epidemiology sounded great, but that's not what I really wanted to do.

     I knew then, and have known for a long time that if the circumstances permitted it, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Now for some of you, I can understand that choice may sound lazy by not wanting to work, or selfish by not helping to provide but I knew that I wanted to spend my time at home with my children. That choice to me has never felt selfish or lazy.

     I understand that there are so many who want to spend their time with their children and also work. Now, I completely understand and respect you women--every situation and every person is different. In a women's health class I took, my teacher talked about how she was a much better mother and wife when she was working than when she just stayed at home. She then compared it to her friend who wasn't as happy when she worked part-time for some extra spending cash. No two situations are the same and I'm completely aware of that. I just know that I am more like the second woman. I also understand that there are moms who have no choice but to work, and who would rather stay at home. You are strong women who will be blessed for sacrifice, I know it. 

     I have recently come to the realization that I need to be proud of wanting to "just be a mom". I've been ashamed and even embarrassed of not wanting to further a career and stay at home instead. If this is the decision I'm making, I want to be proud of it because I know it'll make me happy. I know that I've been promised by my Heavenly Father that my greatest role in this life is in being a wife and a mother. Why should I be ashamed because I want to do just that? 

I shouldn't and I won't. 

     Even though she is only sixth month old, Belle brings so much love and joy into my life everyday. I get teary eyed at night sometimes because I want to hold her and I just miss her. She's changed my life so much and no matter what, it is for the better. I love her. We play together, nap together, go on walks together, laugh together, and do things I couldn't do if I wanted to please others and become an Epidemiologist. I'm no longer going to give an answer I believe others want to hear and I will be proud of the choice that I have made.

I just want to be a mom and I'm so happy to say it. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Belle Elizabeth Bohne

Belle will be two months old tomorrow and I figured I had better write her birth story before I forget it all. Better late than never!

I know these aren't terribly interesting to most people but I'm excited to document the birth of my baby girl.

So originally Belle's due date was December 6th because of when my LMP was but the first ultrasound told us that her due date was December 15th. This is important to keep in mind because since the beginning I knew her due date was the 6th (the 6th has significance to us because on Dec 6th, 2011 we picked out an engagement ring and our anniversary is on the 6th of April). I just had a feeling.

Here's my last official prego pic. She was born at 38wks 6days so I never took the last photo.

Third trimester of pregnancy treated me pretty well--aside from ulcerative colitis and no sleep...ever. The end of November came and I was starting to feel little contractions. They were obviously Braxton Hicks and not painful at all. I thought that I had this in the bag. I'm strong and tough, I can do this--easy. Not a wimp.

Definitely a wimp.

Monday I had been feeling good--still lots of contractions but good, not too painful (yet). Doc checked me and I was dilated to a 1. Thursday the 5th, around 8pm the contractions started coming on long and strong. Oooouch they hurt pretty dang good. With one of my apps, we timed the contractions and kept track of how far apart they were (we knew we wouldn't be admitted until 5-1-1. Five minutes apart for at least one minute duration for at least an hour). They were close to a minute long but they were about 6-9 minutes apart. We decided to keep track of the contractions but to try to sleep. The contractions continued to be 6-9 minutes apart, around a minute long ALL NIGHT. I would fall asleep sometimes in between contractions but would wake up every 6-9 minutes and almost scream in pain (okay sometimes scream--poor Jordan). That morning they stopped being so consistent and happened every half-hour or so. I was disappointed to go through all that pain and not even be close to having my baby. 

That day I tried every trick I could to try to get her to come--walk on curbs, eat spicy Thai food, jump, whatever I could do. 

Totally attractive, I know. These were "contraction pictures"a half hour before we left for the hospital. Thanks Jordan.

10:45pm, after two painful episodes of watching Chuck with contractions five minutes apart (sometimes two and a half to three) and a minute to two minutes long we grabbed our bags and went to the hospital! We prepared ourselves to be sent home if I wasn't ready enough but it was December 6th, my baby is suppose to be born today!

I got settled into a room and was told I was only dilated to a 1.5. Suck. I was told to rest and I would be checked in a few hours to see if there was any improvement. If not, I wold be sent home. Jordan and I watched "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (sad, dark, and depressing btw) on TV and waited through the contractions. Around 1:30am I was checked again and at a 2.75 and 90% effaced--GOOD ENOUGH! They called the on-call doctor and hooked me up to an epidural. Okay, I respect all you women who had their children naturally but I was so grateful and can't imagine delivery without it. I'll go into more of that later. Doctor Joseph came in at 3:30 and broke my water--super weird feeling by the way. 5am only dilated to a 6 and was not progressing as I should. Pitocin was started and two hours later was at 9cm. I still wasn't fully dilated and really wasn't making any progress at this point (I thought I was but the doctor was frustrated because "this baby was suppose to be born at 5:30am!").

Around 11:15am, I was finally ready and given the okay to start pushing. When I did, baby girl's heart rate began to drop drastically--from 140 to 70. I was scared. We tried a few more times after her heart rate went back up but it would always drop. I was told that I would need to have a C-section. Now, my mom had one with all four of her kids and I know it's no big deal but it scared me. I wasn't mentally prepared for it and because of that, I just didn't want to do it that way. I said a prayer at this point asking Heavenly Father to let baby girl's heart rate steady and to make sure she was okay. I asked that whatever was best for her would happen. I was scared that something would happen to my baby. They had me try pushing again and in my head, I tried talking to baby girl and tried telling her that it would be okay and to keep her heart rate steady. I know that sounds goofy to do but I had always felt a connection with her. During pregnancy, if I was scared that I hadn't felt her kick or move in a long time, I would shortly feel her move as if she knew my thoughts and was saying, "hey, I'm here, chill out mom". I pushed and she remained steady. No C-section, it looked like she was going to be okay. What an answer to my prayer.

After 40 hours of painful contractions, 14 hours at the hospital, and 1.5 hours of pushing, Belle Elizabeth Bohne was born on December 7, 2013 at 12:47pm, 20 inches long and weighing 7lbs 5oz.

She was a little cone-headed because I pushed for so long but she was beautiful. Dark hair, beautiful face, and I was in love. Aside from newborn jaundice, she was a happy and healthy baby.

I was absolutely terrified of delivery while I was pregnant. Yes, the contractions were bad but once I had my epidural, I was able to focus on the excitement of bringing my baby girl into this world instead of focusing on the agonizing pain I would have been in. So basically to any pregnant women out there--pregnancy sucks but delivery is kind of the easy part. Of course everyone is different but that was just my experience.

It sounds silly but we decided on the name Belle after looking through an app of names. We came across that name in July and I said no because I didn't like the alliteration. After saying it a few times, Belle Bohne (pronounced Bonnie for those who haven't got it yet) sounded great. Prior to this point, I had a few names in mind but nothing that I loved. I began to love it and Jordan did to. At a certain point, we still didn't want to tell anyone we had decided her name but we knew she was Belle. We knew strongly that our baby was Belle. PS not named after "Beauty and the Beast" and her name ISN'T Bella. Poor girl will have people thinking she's named after Twilight. Oh good gosh.

As for the middle name, it was a family name.

Elizabeth (Betty) Doty -- Great grandma (still alive and now a great-great grandma!)
Elizabeth (Liz) Dayton -- Grandma
Jennifer Elizabeth Dayton Downs -- Mom
Tess Hannah Elizabeth Downs Bohne -- Me (duh)
Belle Elizabeth Bohne --My beautiful baby girl

5 generations all alive and with a name to tie us all together.
(We can't wait to take a five gen picture!)

Belle is now two months old (tomorrow) and Jordan and I continue to love her more and more each day.

Two days old.

One week old at home.

Two weeks old, playing with daddy.

Christmas Day, two and a half weeks old.

Three weeks old, right before the move.

Three weeks old and reading scriptures with us on daddy's phone.

One month old, playing on the quilt mommy made.

One month, picture time with mommy!

Month and a half, cuddling with daddy like always.

Six weeks, new toy!

 Seven weeks, happy and alert. Not always asleep!

Two months old. 
My beautiful Belle.