Sunday, September 20, 2009

When the Bean Was Known as "Mini-B"

(In honor of Sammie B's first birthday this week, I've decided to write a series of nostalgic posts - about my pregnancy, her birth and the very beginning of our journey together).

When I was pregnant with Sammie B, before we knew whether she was a boy or girl, we called her "Mini-B." And shortly after we met her, I remember holding her and saying to B, "this is MINI-B!!" It really is amazing that something that starts out as just an "idea" becomes a person. Mini-B became our Sammie B.

I got pregnant with Sammie B in February, before leaving for a one-month trial in Boston. I knew I had some possible infertility issues, so we were supposed to start a round of fertility drugs after my trial. We'd decided we were "ready for baby," but we were prepared for it to take awhile . . . but instead, we got pregnant right away, without the drugs.

In Boston, I worked more and harder than I ever knew I had in me. We worked 16, 17, 20 hour days, and toward the end, there was even a period where I worked all night, went home, changed into my suit, and headed for court. I was tired, and feeling sick, but just attributed it to lack of sleep. Then, one morning, room service came (that's a perk of being away at trial - one of the few - hotels and room service, which I dig), and I threw up. The next morning, same thing . . . room service, throw up. Then, I was working in my trial office and kept getting hot, then cold. Suddenly, it hit me, and I RAN two blocks to CVS, bought the test, RAN two more blocks to my hotel room, took the test, saw the two pink lines and thought "Oh my god, I'm pregnant, and I have to go back to work." Then, I picked up my purse, and ran back to work, trying to call B all the way. He was in training and didn't answer, but he sent me a text saying, "is everything okay?" And I sent back, "go outside and call me." He, of course, was worried that something was wrong, and ran outside to call me. When I said to him, "B, I'm pregnant!" I could HEAR his smile through the phone. We were both elated, but it was very surreal. . . we both had to hang up the phone and get back to work! I made it through the last week in Boston without anyone finding out . . . I was sneaking off to the bathroom to throw up, barely eating, and feeling HORRIBLE.

That was pretty much how the first 13 weeks went . . . I felt like crap, couldn't eat a thing, and lost weight. We joked (still do) that B was showing before I was. We would go out to eat, and I would order, take two bites, and say "I'm done." And, he would finish my plate and his. But after the 13th week, I suddenly felt fabulous, and my energy returned. I actually felt better than EVER throughout my second trimester. I had tons of energy, and just LOVED being pregnant, which surprised me. I kind of had just thought of pregnancy as a means to an end, and when people told me how much I'd love it, or how much they'd love it, I just sort of thought, "yeah, but that's not me, I just want a baby, the pregnancy part, I could do without." Not true. Loved it. Loved feeling her kick, wiggle, and roll. Loved talking to her, and dreaming about what her life would be like. I work with mostly men, and there were so many occasions where I sat in a room full of men, for meetings, talking about important stuff, where I just wanted to scream with pure joy, "I can feel her kicking right now!" I just wasn't ever the girl that dreamed about being pregnant; I dreamed about career and success, but not about pregnancy or motherhood. I think I just took for granted that those things would happen too. This is why the pregnancy, and the last year of my life as a mother, have surprised me so . . . because really, I can't imagine NOT having done this. NOT having experienced that little girl growing inside me or watching her grow outside of me. For a girl that never imagined this life, I can't imagine NOT having this life, and my own crazy maternal instincts have pleasantly surprised me (though at times, the intense worry of it all has overwhelmed me, admittedly).

Here's a pregnant me - at 16 weeks - I was SO proud of that belly, I was most definitely poofing it out with all I had:

And at 20 weeks, on a cruise with B's family:

Just after that cruise, we found out "Mini-B" would be a girl. I'd wanted a girl SO badly. I felt afraid to say that out loud, lest people think I wasn't just interested in a "healthy baby" (of course I was!). But, I did . . . I wanted a girl. I'd known for YEARS (as in pre-B) that my first girl would be Samantha Abigail (good thing he loved the name). I also just liked the idea of a first-born girl. I was often jealous of my friends (boys and girls) who had older sisters. I know older brothers are supposed to be protective, and mine was sometimes, but a lot of times, he was just mean. So, based on my past, and a whole lot of other reasons, I guiltily hoped and hoped for a girl. So when the doctor said it was a girl, I was THRILLED. And when the doctor walked out of the room, B looked at me with such joy and excitement and said, "we are going to have tea parties!" My heart melted, and I knew then that I couldn't wait to watch their tea parties!

Knowing that "Mini-B" was "Samantha B" made the pregnancy even more fun. Suddenly, "it" was a "she" and "the baby" was "Sammie." I can remember sitting in a deposition, again, the only female lawyer (only other female was the court reporter) and feeling Sammie kick, and thinking, "I wonder what the world will be like when she's grown up. I wonder whether the legal profession, other professions, will be more equal. I wonder what she'll be!!"

And, here's me at 24 weeks (yes, I ate with abandon while pregnant!)

28 weeks - this was before our friends' engagement party:

Around 26 weeks, I started feeling a lot of tightness in my stomach. I called my OB's office and described it to them, and they said I was having contractions and to time them. Ultimately, I ended up going in for monitoring. The doctor sent me home that weekend with orders to "take it easy," but otherwise, things were okay.

Then, at 29 weeks, I had an evening where I kept having to go to the bathroom. I hoped it was a UTI, and figured it was, but the next morning decided to ask the OB about it at my regular appointment. Just like all of my other appointments, I was dressed and ready for work that day and planned to go straight to work when it was over. But, it turned out I was in pre-term labor. That's when I was put on bed rest. I went straight home, took the work clothes off, and crawled into bed. I cried most of that first day (and weekend). I cried to B, I cried to my mom, I cried to my friends, and I cried to B's mom. I was so scared.

I stayed on bed rest for 6 weeks, and it was very hard. I don't know that I can describe the heavy burden I felt like I was carrying. I mean, when you are pregnant, the baby is always counting on you to take care of it, and treat your body well, but my baby NEEDED me to keep her inside me for a bit longer. I felt guilty if I got up to get a glass of water, but at the same time, it was SO hard for ME (of all people) to sit still. I spent so much time reading about premies, trying to prepare myself. Everyone kept telling me what THEY would do if THEY were on bed rest (as if it were some kind of vacation) but I couldn't do anything besides think about the baby. I spent my days surfing the internet and watching "The Baby Story" and "Bringing Home Baby" on TLC. I sobbed during every episode when the baby was born. Seriously. My mom came out for a few days and took care of me, which was THE BEST. B got everything we needed for Sam (I made a very detailed shopping list!) and he got her room ready for her while I sat in the rocker in her room and watched. We didn't want her to come early, but in case she did, we wanted to be ready, and we were. Both our home and our hearts were ready for our Mini-B!

Our first year has been amazing, and we are still looking forward to when Sammie B invites us to our first tea party :o)

1 comment:

abby said...

Hi Alli,

Thanks for the comment on our's nice to know that it's inspiring (at times). I read back a bunch on your blog and I not only think that Sammie is super cute (of course she is) but also that you guys are doing terrific work with her. We are big believers in early intervention really paying off. Even though things are at times really tough for Hallie and some issues (like the eating) seem intractable, in all other ways all of our hard work has yielded such tangible progress. Sometimes we don't see it when we're focused on just getting through the day and all, and sometimes we take some steps back, but over time, it's clear that the work we're doing has really paid off. And looking at your blog, it's clear to me that the work you guys are doing with Sammie is having similarly wonderful results. This is not precisely the parenting path I imagined we would take and I am certain that you guys feel the same way, but it's the one we have before us and I think we're doing right by our kiddos. So keep on keeping on and please wish Sammie a very happy first birthday from us.