I know that it has been a long time since I have written. But, what can I say? Life happened.
And with everything I have I can honestly say my life is a mess. Some days it is a good mess. A mess full of love and humor but other days it is just a straight up mess.
First, lets talk about the good.
The good being that I gave birth to my beautiful daughter on Christmas. Yes, actually on Christmas day. I was due December 30th and for nine months I told everyone that I was not going to have a Christmas baby. But, I did and she was the third baby born that day in Summerville, South Carolina. I would also like to note the fact that she was the ONLY girl born and the other two babies beat her by minutes. I say this like it matters even though it doesn’t really. But she was featured on the news. Fancy that.
The Friday before Christmas my husband and I went out to eat at Outback Steakhouse. On the drive home my stomach started to hurt. I had false contractions a lot during my last trimester so I didn’t think to much of it. Throughout the night though, my stomach pain kept me up, but at this point I figured I ordered wrong and was experiencing the Taco Bell Effect. Meaning that the food I ate wasn’t lasting long and only upsetting my belly. You know, rent-a-food.
On Christmas Eve my husband went into work and I curled up on the couch watching Netflix. Throughout the day David, my husband, kept texting me worried I was in labor and determined to come home and take me to the hospital. I wasn’t convinced. Or I was in denial. After all, I really didn’t want a Christmas baby. One of the biggest holiday’s celebrated every year was going to drown out my child’s birthday and being a huge birthday fan I did not want that for her.
David came home a little after nine pm and asked how I was feeling and I said I was nauseous. Because that is all I was. I didn’t eat much all day and my stomach hurt like I had a little indigestion. In the end I agreed to let him take me to the hospital because it was better to be safe then sorry, right?
Due to the late hour, we had to go through the ER entrance. The Summerville Medical Center had an ER Kiosk that you had to check into describing why you were there. I remember typing “Umm, I think I am in labor…” The ER staff sent for a nurse in the maternity ward to come get me and wheel me into a delivery room.
I remember describing why I was there to the on call doctor, she looked at me like I was overreacting. I wanted to scream out, “I know! I agree…I am not in labor, I’m not!” Later, the doctor told me that she was confident I was going to be sent home that night.
They had me undress into a hospital gown and the doctor checked my cervix. To everyone’s surprise, especially my own, I was six centimeters dilated. David was so excited he wanted to call everyone we knew but I stomped all over that parade. Not because I wanted to keep the birth of my daughter a secret but because I didn’t want to believe I was in labor.
I laid there all night in the hospital bed watching my very small contractions come and go on the monitor. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that my baby was coming whether I liked it or not. Part of me still believed that it was some kind of false alarm, after all I was in no pain. It wasn’t until five am the my stomach began to cramp up more intensely. At that point I was only dilated seven centimeters.
Because it took all night fo me to dilate one centimeter, I still believed I wasn’t going to have my baby on Christmas. Why would I have? My pre-labor was taking forever but because I was so far dilated the doctors said I had to stay at the hospital.
Around seven am the doctor came in and saw that I was almost to eight centimeters and broke my water. At that point, David was like, “Now, do you believe we our having our daughter today?” I agreed and we begin to tell people via text. I am not sure what the texts said because shortly after my water broke I was in hell. Ok not literally but the pain went from 0 to 60 in record time.
The morning nurse came in around 7:15 and checked my cervix and asked if I wanted an epidural. I said no and that I was fine to manage on my own. She then told me that often times with first time deliveries it took an hour to dilate a centimeter and because I was at eight centimeters she predicted I was going to be in active labor for two more hours.
At that point I was like, “Hell no!” I figured I could handle the pain for awhile longer but not two hours! Yikes. She checked me again and then walked out of the room to get an epidural ready. But thankfully I wasn’t going to need it. Because as soon as the nurse left the room I started screaming, “SHE’S COMING! SHE’S COMING!”
The nurse slowing walked back into the room and said that it wasn’t likely because she literally just checked me and the baby wasn’t coming then. I argued telling her the baby was coming now.
I mean, honestly, how do I not notice a giant head trying to escape the canal? The nurse gloved up and sighed, clearly annoyed. But the moment she put her fingers up in the black hole she yelled for the delivery team because the baby was coming now. Oddly enough, at that time I could think was, “In your face nurse lady!” and not “Oh Sh*t, I’m about to pop a baby out of me!”
The on-call holiday doctor was delivering another baby at the time so the nurse looked at David and told him to hold my leg up in a bent position while she held the other. It was an amazing experience, that David was able to sit beside me on the hospital bed holding my leg up and helping me deliver our daughter. At some point the doctor came in and took over and by 8:39 am my daughter, Cherri Rose, was born. She was seven pounds, 6 ounces, and 20 & 1/4 inches long.
It was a beautiful moment in my life. A moment I will never forget. It was hard doing it alone without my family there because everyone was either in Montana, Washington, or Tennessee. We stayed in the hospital a total of four days because Cherri Rose had jaundice and low blood sugar.
The next few months passed by in a haze. I wanted to breastfeed her more then anything but every time I did I would get so dizzy and often faint. And because Cherri Rose lost nearly a pound in the hospital we had to supplement with formula. But in the end, what mattered was that she was healthy.
However, I was getting really sick and we couldn’t figure out why. I was in so much pain but I managed to push myself through it. I continued to pump even though it burned calories for food I was unable to consume. At one point we went to the ER because I was in so much pain it felt like was I going to die.
Well long story short I ended up having seven gallstones and had to get my gallbladder removed. So breastfeeding was out of the question because I was not about to feed my child drug induced milk and by the time all was said and done I was dried up like the Grand Canyon.
Of course there was the option to re-lactate, I even purchased the Mother’s Milk teas to do so, but by that point we put our house up for sale and were boxing up to move back home to Montana.
Like I said before, my life is a chaotic mess. I was new mom, recovering from surgery, planing on moving across country, having more financial trouble then I care to admit, and being new parents my marriage was on the tight rope.
Then the call came. The call nobody wants to hear.
I was sitting on my couch after a long hard day when my husband said we needed to FaceTime my mom. If I am honest, I didn’t want to, talking to anyone at that point was hard. I even sent a text to my mom earlier that day saying, “Seriously if anything else goes wrong I’m going to lose my sh*t…”
At any rate, the last thing I wanted to do was chat to my parents about the move and what was the most affordable way to get to point B. Screw point B. I didn’t want to talk about it. Yes, it is safe to say that my mood was foul.
Well, we got on the phone and FaceTimed my parents. We made small talk but I could tell by the look in my mother’s eyes that bad news was coming. She began by asking me if remembered that she had been working out, trying to get into better shape. I said yes my mind slowly numbing. When she told me that her muscles were sore and that she noted something weird in her chest. I knew immediately that she had Breast Cancer. In fact I even finished the sentence for her.
So here I am now. Living my parents, waiting for our house in South Carolina to sell, raising my new born daughter, and helping the bravest women I know fight the Devil.
She had her first round of Chemo last week and has nineteen more sessions to go. They are hoping to shrink the tumor before they decide on a mastectomy or lumpectomy. I want to write more about the so please be patient as I will post more details later.
That is all I want to write about today but expect more posts from now on. Maybe not as consistently as I would like but keep watch because I am going to write about my mom’s fight with cancer. I can’t imagine what she is going through. I won’t even try, because unless I suddenly get diagnosed with cancer and have to go through chemotherapy I will never understand the pain that she is facing. I do know this, my mom is a fighter, a warrior, and that Cancer sn the Devil but God is bigger then the Enemy.
Until next time.