Lumen’s Birth Story.

If you’ve been reading my posts, follow my Instagram, or are my Facebook friend, you know I’ve been excited and impatient about my second daughter being born. The end of my pregnancy, I was just TOO excited. I couldn’t wait to hold her. But I thought I’d be pregnant for longer than I was.

38 weeks!

38 weeks!

Maybe baby girl picked up on my impatience, or maybe she was just impatient herself. At 38 weeks pregnant exactly, I surprisingly went into labor. That day I was feeling a little weird at first. I decided to take a walk, drink a couple glasses of raspberry leaf tea, and help with our horses, hoping I’d get things moving. I really didn’t expect much to happen because, even though I had noticed my belly hanging much lower and the pressure was getting very annoying, I didn’t have any sign that anything was happening. *TMI ahead* I hadn’t lost my plug. I wasn’t dilated when I was checked at 36 weeks, I didn’t even have any softening. I thought this baby was going to make me wait forever.

That night, while dishing up my plate for dinner to be exact, I experienced a strong contraction, that was in my lower stomach. I assumed it was a mixture of Braxton Hicks and stretching. I went about my night normally. I lay in bed watching Walking Dead, chillin’. I had a few more irregular contractions. No biggie, I had been having practice contractions from 14 weeks. I didn’t think anything of it. Later that night I started getting more and decided to time them. They were 20 minutes apart, 15, 12, back to 20, then 45, then a whole hour went by without one. I tried taking a shower to see if they would go away. I still had them, but they felt a lot better in the water. After I got out I was convinced this wasn’t the real deal because they were so irregular. I stayed in bed listening to my Hypnobirthing tracks, breathing through these “practice contractions” that happened to be getting stronger. I managed to fall asleep for an hour, then woke back up around 2 something am with more contractions, still irregular, but strong. I had a couple that were 20 minutes apart, then jumped to 10 minutes apart. I had only a couple that were 10 mintutes apart, but the strength grew. At one point I tried getting on my hands and knees and swaying my hips. But it just felt worse, and I couldn’t get up until it was over. At that point I decided maybe I should wake my mom, and just let her know what’s been going on. Real or not, she should just be aware. So I woke her and assured her she didn’t have to jump up and rush to the hospital or anything. However, right when I woke her up (3am), my contractions went from a couple at 10 minutes apart, straight to 2-3 minutes apart, strong and suddenly regular.

I stayed calm, did my breathing. I wasn’t afraid. In fact, I don’t know if it had even hit me at that point that I really was in labor. I even did a little bit of make up before leaving. At 3:30 am we headed to the hospital. The whole ride was not easy. We drive a large Ford, diesel, with bad breaks and barrings, which causes the truck to bounce and shake way more than it should. A rough ride indeed. I was having regular very strong contractions, with slight pressure, the whole way there. I cannot recall how long it actually took to get there. But I’m sure we made it there around 4 am. I walked through the doors with my mom, and stopped to hold the wall while I swayed to a contraction. A male nurse with a pretty sweet beard came out and helped me into a wheelchair. I was hoping to walk, but looking back, it would have taken forever to get there if I were walking. We made it to labor and delivery and I got into a room quickly. I didn’t want to be hooked up to everything the whole time, and the nurse assured me it would only be 20 minutes (liar). I changed into the robe, and climbed into the bed and was hooked up to the monitor. Also, I had tested positive for the Group B Strep, so I had to get an IV for antibiotics. My contractions continued, stronger. I was informed my doctor wasn’t on call and couldn’t come in. I was disappointed because I didn’t want to have to explain or defend my birth plan to someone new. Luckily, the wonderful doctor who was there, kindly read my birth plan sheet, nodded, and seemed pleased.The nurse wanted to check me to see how far along I was. Now listen ladies, if you’re going to have someone check your cervix while you are having strong contractions every 2 minutes, make sure they don’t have the worlds shortest fingers. I swear she was purposely digging around in there just to torture me. Anyways, I was 4 cm. 4 cm! I expected to be much farther by then. At that point, I admit, I said, “I don’t know if I can do this naturally thing if this is what it’s like at only 4 cm”. But, I swallowed my bitchassness, and declined the pain medication. 5 minutes later I was checked again because I was having more pressure. 7 cm. In 5 minutes I went from 4 to 7 cm. It was all going so fast. I remember this was the point where the contractions got to their worst. I stayed in my zone, and didn’t let myself tense up. I did start vocalizing a little, because for me, it helped with the pain. Not to mention my body started shaking uncontrollably. I remember holding my right hand up for some reason. The nurse held it. I never squeezed her hand or put any pressure on it at all. I kept as relaxed as I could manage. Suddenly, with every contraction my body was pushing itself. Everyone always says, “Once your body is ready to push, there’s no stopping it”. SO TRUE. I never purposely pushed throughout my labor. I let my body do whatever it wanted to do all on it’s own. The doctor kept speaking in hypnobirthing terms, which made me much more comfortable because it told me she had experience with this kind of birth and approved. She just sat and waited for my cues, encouraging me with birth affirmations I had been listening to for the past weeks to prepare for this moment. I was so grateful she was there. At that point, I held up my hand and cued the doctor over because something was happening. She checked and said, “Baby is right there”. I knew it. My step dad exited the room, and my mom joined me by my right side. I first tried the side laying position while my body pushed my baby down. It wasn’t very comfortable for me, and the awesome doctor (I’ll be referring to her as the awesome doctor from now on), read my mind and asked to put the squat bar on. It was quickly assembled and they helped me up. My body felt weak and shaking. I could hardly hold myself up. I managed to get my arms around the bar, holding my weight. I think I was on my left knee, while I rigged my right leg up on the side of the bar, holding it in place so it would stay out of the way. I loved that I wasn’t being told what to do. I did what my body wanted to do and what I felt I needed to. That was when shit got real. Every contraction, my baby was moving down and I was vocalizing. It felt like I was being loud, but my mom said I really wasn’t loud at all. I did remain calm at all times. I wasn’t afraid. There was only 4 or 5 pushes until the ring of fire graced me with it’s presence. The awesome doctor asked if I’d like to feel her head. I wanted to but replied with, “I can’t let go”. I was trying very hard to hold my body up. My eyes were closed the whole time. Within seconds I was feeling my baby coming out into the world, and before I knew it I was swooping her up into my arms with everyone telling me to be careful of the cord. I lay back with my just born baby on my bare chest, and kept telling her how beautiful she is and how much I love her. I was amazed. Amazed that I had really just done that.

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October 21st, at 5:53 am, Lumen Jane was welcomed into the world.

First latch!

First latch!

She laid on my chest, and naturally began to breastfeed when she was ready. Her father wasn’t able to make it to the birth, so I was lucky enough to cut her umbilical cord after it was finished pulsating. When she finished eating her first meal, she was weighed and bathed. A dainty 5 lbs 14 oz. And 19 1/2 inches long.

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Because it happened so fast, I didn’t get all the antibiotics that I was suppose to receive before she came. So, I had to stay two nights. I really didn’t want to be trapped at the hospital, but the nurses were so kind, helpful and respectful, it wasn’t that bad.

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After I gave birth, the awesome doctor held my hand and told me I was amazing. She paid me what was probably the best compliment I had ever received. “Most girls your age don’t have their shit together to have a hypnobirth”. Then continued to call me a “dream patient”. As you can imagine, I was over the moon. 

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I was blessed with an awesome birth, and awesome people around me.

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Step one.

In my last post, I hashed out an issue that had been pressuring me for a long time. At the end of the post I had found my answer. I decided I’m going to step out into the very scary and unfamiliar darkness and take a step toward improving myself, my life and my future. The next morning I sent in an application to be enrolled in the local college.

I’m very anxious taking this step. But I’m also very excited. I waited a long time to do it because I haven’t a clue what to do with myself. I can’t picture myself in any profession. I can’t even say I could commit long enough to have a career. But I don’t really care anymore. I guess I stayed in my comfort zone so long, now I’m kicking myself out. I’m forcing myself to do something for me. So I’m going to try to go to school for english. You know, literature, writing, etc. I love to write and I’d love to do something someday with my love of writing. But even if I don’t, I still want to do this.
Maybe I’ll stick with it and become a professional writer. Maybe I’ll try my hand at something else. Maybe I’ll bounce around my whole life and not really be bound to anything except my daughter. Who knows? I certainly don’t. But I can’t let my fear of the unknown keep me in this tiny box, holding me hostage from my potential. This is a new chapter in my life. And if nothing else, an experience. And that’s worth enough for me.

Step out into the darkness and let it happen.

I haven’t been able to blog recently, so now that I am able, I’m going to get right down to business and spew out everything on my worried, over-analytical, over flowing mind. Well, maybe not everything but at least the problem at hand. Although I have many problems at hand, the one bugging me the most will be the topic of which I will address; I’m in a rut.

Rut: n. 1. A narrow or predictable way of life, set of attitudes, etc.; dreary or undeviating routine. 2. A settled and monotonous routine that is hard to escape.

All of us have ruts. It’s a part of life. But how do we go about getting out of them? That is…when we’re ready to get out. I’ve been in quite a few ruts already in my short 22 years of life. But this one is probably the one I feel most “stuck” in. And being stuck is one of the worst possible feelings to me. It always has been. Which probably contributes to my fear of commitment of any kind. Anywho…back to the subject.

As you all may know, being a young single mom leaves very little time and energy for personal goals, education, planning for the future, etc. I wasn’t “16 and pregnant” or anything, I was 19 when I got pregnant and just a month over 20 when I became a mom. When people would hear that I was out of my teens, they would have a sigh of relief and spit out an “Oh, well that’s not too bad”. Little did they know I was just as lacking as a 16 year old. I guess they assumed there was hope for me because I wasn’t as young and at that age I should have been on the track for a bright future anyways. But that wasn’t the case.

I have always been sort of a “black sheep” you could say. I was never in the “in” crowd, I never had many friends, I was hardly social at all. Even a teacher asked if I was mute once. I never felt the need to be apart of society and fall in line with everyone else. Therefore when 18 rolled around I wasn’t in line at the college either. Yes, I was enrolled in a modeling/acting school…but like I said before, that school was a joke and had no right to be called a school. More like money grubbers! Oops…I’m digressing again. Now, it’s totally normal for an 18 year old not to know exactly what career path they’ll follow. But at 20…21..22? 

Now at 22, unemployed, directionless….I’m feeling restless. I still feel oddly compelled to not join in on society’s game, but I can’t sit dormant any longer. Even though I never wanted to be apart of “it all“, I’ve always harbored a flame in me, urging me to do. I’ve always wanted to be successful (by my terms) and do something good in the world. I would hate to die and know I wasted my time and any sort of talent God gifted me with just because I didn’t fit in. It drives me up the wall thinking about the lack of achievements I have piled up. I have always been a very driven person, wanting to do so many things and knew I WOULD do them if it was the last thing I do! Now, I’m stuck. I sit day in-day out, thinking of all those things I’ve always wanted to do, the changes I’ve always wanted to make and all the good I’ve wanted to put into the world that no one seems to be doing. Is my future a lost cause? 

Don’t get me wrong, I DO NOT blame my daughter for my rut. I love being a mom and it’s the best thing to ever happen to me. Yes, even with the rut and set backs. If I am a lost cause and can only do one amazing thing in my life, it would be being Rayne’s mom. Which is another struggle. I want so badly to be an amazing mom and be with Rayne as much as possible and teach her all that I can, but what happens if I do start going to school or get a job, OR if God is really gracious and I go to school and end up in a great career? That’s time away from her. Time away from being the amazing mom I want to be. Time away from teaching her, nurturing her, watching her grow and soaking it all in. I would just die if I ended up being one of those people who get so wrapped up in a career that they forget how important it is to spend legitimate time with their child. 

So here’s the deal: I want to get an education and career. I want to be the best mom I can possibly be. I want to prove everyone wrong and go completely against the statistics. Now here’s the problem: Rayne only has one parent, which would be me. Therefore, any schooling would have to be online. I don’t have a job so I would need financial aid of the best possible kind. Seems doable, right? Well, everything I’m even interested in is A LOT of work, and is mostly on campus. I would need daycare. Daycare can be $800 a month and more. The only income I have is child support for Rayne which is $240 a month. If you’re a parent you know that’s just enough for food, diapers and clothes. It doesn’t stretch too far. So daycare is out of the question. Yes, I live with my parents and sisters. The oldest of my little sisters do homeschool, but are also job searching so wouldn’t be reliable for assured babysitting. My mother is also actively job searching for full time positions that would make it impossible for her to babysit on a regular basis. Why don’t I just get a job to pay for a babysitter while I go to school? Yeah…let me just get a job real quick, spend hours away from home making enough money for a babysitter, then go to school for hours and have no time for my child. No thanks, even if it was that easy. So I see this as an either-or situation…and I choose school. But, I’m still left with hardly any drive for the online classes they offer and a fear of taking on too much without enough passion for it and opting out, fulfilling my failure. I refuse to take on something I’m not 100% willing to go the distance in. Especially when there are so many issues that come with it.

I guess I’ve gotten so comfortable and set-in to where I am. And where I am is not moving. I’m just standing still waiting for a sign from God to dive into something. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that. I’m newly convinced it’s about taking that step of faith and doing what your heart is screaming at you to do even if your brain is spouting off every logical reason not to.  I mean, if we didn’t step out into the darkness when we needed to, there would be no one lighting the way for the following generations or the other lost ones of my own kind. Dreams wouldn’t come true and hope wouldn’t exist. 

I started this post in a frustrated, lost place. And I’m leaving it with a hope that seems to be chasing out my fear by the second. Now I know what I have to do: Step out into the darkness and let it happen.

I may struggle through every step of the way…but I’ll be taking steps instead of standing still. And right now, that’s all I need.

 

Reality bites.

As I sit alone in my room for the first time in over a week, with the lettered keys at my finger tips, I can’t help but notice the lack of excitement in my life. Or, when observed closer, the lack of direction. I stare dully at the screen, wracking my brain for something interesting to write about. I started this blog as an outlet in my hectic, confusing and overwhelming life. Just as everything else I start, it was exciting and fulfilling for about the first couple months. Then the days got longer, my time got shorter, and by the end of the day I wasn’t able to pop open my laptop and pour out my thoughts into this virtual world where I strangely felt accepted for once in my life. It became an obligation. I’m not good with obligations. In fact I try my hardest to avoid them at all costs. When I caught myself worrying about not having anything interesting enough to write about to please all these strangers, I knew it was no longer an outlet. It wasn’t for my benefit like it had been at the start. Then I got to thinking, this is how everything I’ve ever started for myself has ended. As an obligation unintentionally acquired and the sudden overwhelming fear of commitment quickly opting me out of the situation.

When I saw this blog as an outlet where I vented and collected advise and good wishes, I noticed the ever-present weight had been exceptionally lifted. I also noticed it slowly packing itself back onto my shoulders as soon as I wasn’t keeping up with my daily outlet. Perhaps I stopped writing daily because most of what I write about is the same damn thing. I have the same reoccurring issues that never seem to go away and writing about them doesn’t change them. Also I could see how reading about them could be annoying. As me being the never-wanna-be-a-burden-or-annoyance kind of person, I kept my worries and problems in my mind welcoming home my depression and negative outlook. At the middle of last year, I was changing into a new woman. My life was changing and I was better. Reflecting now I see how far I’ve slipped downhill from where I was. In fact I’m close to right where I started. I was confident that My BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and Bipolar disorder had come to an end and I was finally a normal happy person. Something happened between then and now that tore me down and I have yet to get back up. Basking in my disorders and being smothered in blahness, I am without any sort of determination. I have lost track of myself, who I am, what I want, etc. I have yet to create some sort of plan for my life. You know, the one we all plaster together so whenever someone asks about our futures, careers, goals, etc., we have something impressive to say to make it seem like we’ve got it all figured out. I lack one of those. I suppose I was born without the natural instinct to make a life plan, be confident in it, and follow through with it. I still to this day cannot imagine working everyday for most of my life at a job I don’t really like anymore (if I ever did), only to make money and then die. Most of me is ashamed of this fact. I don’t feel like a real person. At least not a normal one. Why am I 22 and can’t even force myself to figure my life out?

First things first, I do not want to be a bum, so I have to get on it. But I more so do not want to be another working dog of society, wasting my life and never living like I want to. I’ve always been the rebellious, anti-establishment, non-conformist, outsider type person. But you’d think I’d of out grown it by now. But I’m fearing I never will. I will always be this way and hate the dull lives most of us are forced to live because our dreams are too out of reach and our chances of possibly reaching them are growing slimmer by the month. I do wish I could be a normal young woman my age who had gotten knocked up at 19 and easily gave up on everything and quickly picked up a nice quiet job in an office of some sort, making enough to pay the bills and feed and clothe my child, reaching a state of routine contentment. For some reason it’s seemingly impossible to me. As if my insides are screaming “I’M MADE FOR MORE THAN THIS!“, I cannot convince myself to be normal. Of course my head is not agreeing with my soul and heart, it wants to be normal. It’s the only logical way to go about my life. As my brain and gut battle, I shut down. Numbing myself to everything around me. Losing connection with everyone and everything. Like a sitting duck, I’m lost and confused, without a plan of any kind. I don’t write about it because admitting it means giving it attention. Giving it attention means feeling the pain it causes. Yes, I’m also one of those out-of-sight-out-of-mind/pretend-it-doesn’t-exist-and-maybe-it-will-go-away kind of people, too.  After letting myself think about, write about, and feel this issue, I have only come to one conclusion:

REALITY BITES.

But at least I got to vent.

Summer.

Summer is one of those things in life that you either love entirely or hate entirely. Perhaps some of that depends on where you’re at in the world when you experience it. Most people I know are lovers of Summer. When people think of Summer, they think of free time, no dreadful school, sunbathing on the hot sandy beach, adventure, excitement, tans. I on the other hand think of Summer as a little piece of Hell on Earth. The first things that come to mind are sweat, sunburns, irritability, and being extremely uncomfortable for 24 hours a day. So, while the teenagers and twenty-somethings are rushing to live this Summer to the fullest, I’m locking myself in the coolest room of the house and pumping myself full of iced tea and water. Does this make me somewhat of a “loser”? Perhaps. But I suppose I’ve always been a “loser” so it doesn’t bother me.

Of course now that I have an almost 2-year-old, its not so easy for me to hide in a cave all day. Most of the day I’m witnessing a loud, thrashing fit due to wanting to play outside (where she makes me carry her because she’s too hot to walk), and refusing to drink water like a normal human being. I’ll breakdown a few times a day and try to take her outside for a bit where my allergies attack full force and a light sunburn makes it’s bed upon my pale shoulders and cheeks. You know, I’ve never quite understood the whole tanning thing. Maybe that’s because I’m a very light-skinned person who doesn’t tan. Or maybe it’s the thought of actually laying in the sun and purposely frying my skin that turns me off to it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy many Summer activities. I love camping and wish I could do it often. In my opinion, BBQ is the best kind of food there is. And perfectly temperatured nights spent with family and friends is heavenly. It’s just the overwhelming heat, large crowds of sweaty, stinky people, and crazy amounts of disgusting blood sucking mosquitoes is what stops me from enjoying it the way I’d like to.  I enjoy all the other seasons quite well. But anything over 65 degrees is not my cup of tea. So, in conclusion, Autumn cannot come soon enough.