Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sylvia's Story

Sylvia’s Story
It actually started August 30, 2010. I was in an abnormal amount of pain even though I was carrying around a giant baby. Noah and I decided that we needed to go to the hospital to have everything checked out. We went and spent the afternoon hooked up to the CTG machine only to be sent home with a couple of pain killers and orders to go get some rest. We went home and tried to relax, but at 5:30 a.m. on the morning of the 31st my water broke. After I adequately explained to my husband (a.k.a. Noah being an ass) that this was the real thing, we were off to the hospital. I was so excited to know that in a few short hours I would be holding the baby girl I’ve been waiting the last 39 weeks to meet. We had no idea what we were in for…
As soon as we got to the hospital, they hooked me back up to the same CTG machine I’d spent hours on the day before. My contractions were strong but irregular. They had us go for a walk and set us up in a hospital room. After being at the hospital for about 4 hours I was still only 4 centimeters dilated. Around 2 they decided to start me on Oxytocin to strengthen my contractions. I finally needed an epidural at that point. The anesthesiologist came in and set me up with a back catheter and some medicine that made things much easier for the time being. Unfortunately, that wonderful medicine wears off quite quickly. By the time my first one wore off I was still only 7 cm. They increased my Oxytocin to try to speed things along, but that just put stress on me and the baby. The doctor on duty came in to do an internal exam on the baby just about the time my most recent epidural wore off. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even see straight. The baby was stressed, I was in immense pain, and Noah was just about at his wits end watching this train wreck. Even my midwife, Julia, that held a striking resemblance to my best friend was about to lose it.
At around 10:30pm the doctor came in and decided that we had given the “natural way” the best shot we could, but after being on 70ml of Oxytocin for 3 hours (I’m not sure how that is considered natural, but whatever) and still only being 9cm an emergency c-section was going to be necessary. I told my horribly exhausted husband to go lay down for a little while because things were about to get really hard. The hospital called in “Das A Team” which included the head OB, head anesthesiologist, and a number of nurses and midwives. They started me on Partusisten drip to counteract the Oxytocin and stop my contractions. Now, this may have stopped my uterus from contracting, but it caused severe convulsions in every other muscle in my body. I basically had a 3 hour seizure once this started. Noah came back to put on his scrubs unaware of what he was about to see. I’m not sure exactly what it looked like him when he walked in the operating room, but I know what it felt like. I was laying on an operating table, I was strapped down, and uncontrollably convulsing. He sat down next to me and didn’t leave my side. He watched as they gutted me like a fish, and he held the bucket as I puked all over myself unable to turn my head due to being strapped down. Then, I heard the doctor yell, “It’s a big one!” A sense of relief fell over me as I heard the cry of the little person that had been living in my belly the last 9 months. Sylvia Grey Davis 3930 grams, 53cm, born at 11:19pm on August 31, 2010. She was healthy. That was all that mattered. The 17 hours of labor and worst surgery of my life was worth every second, every pain, and the battle scar across my abdomen I’ll wear with pride.
The aftermath was harder than I imagined. I stay in pain, and I probably will for the next few weeks. I have a hard time lifting Sylvia. Hell, I have a hard time getting out of the bed or going to the bathroom. I lose feeling in my legs from my back catheter being left in so long. All the drugs made me feel pretty sick. I have a severe case of anemia and can’t get my blood pressure up to a normal level. I basically feel and look like a walking corpse. I can’t breastfeed. I pump every 2 hours trying to stimulate milk production, but they say when you have a complicated delivery like I did that it can inhibit my ability. The incision is bigger than I thought it would be, and I am sporting black bruises from hip to hip. That is giving me a hard knock lesson in vanity. I’ll be retiring my string bikinis now, and I have to come to grips with the fact that my belly will never be something to be envied again. I’m having a hard time dealing with it all. We told them ahead of time that I was going to need a c-section, but they refused our request because it wasn’t the “natural way” to do it. All I can do at this point is be thankful for my beautiful, healthy girl. There was a reason I was challenged this way. I may be paying for my sins, or I may just be a little unlucky. It doesn’t matter either way, we’re making the best of it. My mommy will be here on Friday!!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Almost time for baby..

As of today, I am officially 37 weeks pregnant. When I first found out I was pregnant (post complete freak out of course), I pictured myself giving birth to a bouncing baby in my mommy's hospital. I figured the hardest thing I would have to deal with would be my friends drinking beers in the visiting area. After hospital registration and my doctor's appointment this week, I realized this is not going to be the case at all.

I will be giving birth at Martin Luther Krakenhaus. It is supposed to be the top hospital in Berlin. Silly me, I expected it to be all high tech. WRONG!!!! We got to the hospital to meet the lady to register. We sat in a room with no computers. She wrote down all of my information. As we walked back to make the other appointments with the doctors there to review some of my medical history, I still didn't see any computers. Ahh, the appointment desk, I was sure they would enter that into the computer. Wrong again!! They have an appointment book. The lack of computers and use of technological advances terrifies me that they might lose my baby. I actually had quite the nervous breakdown about the thought of them losing my little princess. Luckily, Noah came to my rescue again. He promised to write D's on her before she leaves the delivery room so we know it is her when they bring her back.

Along with the lack of computers, another thing worried me. I'm supposed to hire a midwife?!?! WTF?!?! I have a doctor and a hospital, but apparently you need a midwife too. Do you know how hard it is to find a midwife when you have maybe 3 weeks left of your pregnancy? Most women book them the day they find out they're pregnant. I still haven't found one. Hopefully the world won't end if I can't get one.

Yesterday, I went back to see the doctor. My little monster was tipping the charts of the EEG machine with all of her movement, so the doctor decided she needed to do another ultrasound to make sure everything was ok in there. Everything was ok alright. Sylvia hit quite a growth spurt in the last 2 weeks! The first time she was measured, she ended up being 7lbs 6oz. The doctor thought that was a little big, so she measured her again. Her second was 7lbs 8oz. Mind you, the measurements aren't an exact science at this point, and they can end up being over or under by up to a pound. Even if she is at the smallest weight she can be, she is still about 8oz more than the average baby at her gestational age. They don't want to make any decisions about what to do with her now (Germans like things to follow their natural flow and not intervene unless it is completely necessary), but I go back in 2 weeks (if I last that long) to be measured again and make a decision on what to do. I'm really not looking forward to pushing a 10lb baby out of my vag. That just doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun.

Needless to say, this is about to be the biggest adventure of our lives. Noah and I aren't going to get the cushion of having friends and family around for support. We're on our own over here. To quote one of my very favorite people, "Things are about to get weird..."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rainy day in Berlin..

Today was just one of those days... again...

My Tuesday started out with me waking up at about 6:15 a.m. My wonderful husband had already made me a cappuccino knowing that I wasn't thrilled about going to school on this rainy morning, and I am by no means a morning person. After drinking coffee with Noah while he read me the news, I spent the rest of the morning with the worst case of morning sickness I've had since my first trimester. Every time poor Noah walked by or was anywhere near or in the bathroom he heard me either dry heaving hoping I would puke and feel better or ripping farts capable of knocking shelves off of walls. Now, mind you, I try not to fart in front of him, so when he hears these mammoth roars of gas protruding from my body, it is not a good thing. I was horribly embarrassed. Thankful that he doesn't hold these times against me, I began to start my day.

I waddled my fat, fluffy butt to the train station in the rain. I made it to my German courses on time, and by about 10:30 my nausea started to subside. My early language session went well, but my afternoon one was a different story. The Germans think the best way to teach you a language is to only speak that language to you until you pick it up. That is all fine and dandy. I'm pretty smart, and I pick things up rather quickly. My morning instructor understands that for this concept to work, she must speak loudly, clearly, and slowly enough for people to process what she is saying. My afternoon teacher is still struggling with this. She blabbers on at about 90 words per minute in a voice so soft that I can barely hear every other word. Then, she gets annoyed that nobody has any clue what the F*#$ she is talking about. It's hard enough for me to understand her teaching, but I am the only American and the only person whose native tongue is English. Everybody else has to learn German through English instead of through a teacher who speaks Spanish, Norwegian, Italian, French, etc. THAT SUCKS!

After school, I waddled back home in the rain. All I could think about, besides hoping that I make it all the way home, was taking a glorious nap. That, my friends, did not happen. When I got home, I started some laundry and began looking at the numbers to see what kind of car Noah and I can currently afford with baby Sylvia on the way. Mind you, the door to the balcony is always open because there is no AC, and it lets the breeze through. I looked out over the river which I just love when it is raining, and I saw a couple bugs on the door. I decided to play bug killer, break out the vacuum and suck down 2 flying bugs and a couple of spiders. Then, I looked behind our green curtain where it is against the door and saw the swarm. I guess where it has been raining, all of them came in. I completely blew a gasket. I started crying hysterically. I almost started packing to go back home. As much as I would love to call the Orkin Man, they don't have exterminators here for some RIDICULOUS reason. I guess they believe in "live and let live unless you're an American or from the Middle East." After my hissy fit, I realized I needed to take matters into my own hands. I broke out the can of Raid and now am guilty of genocide. I murdered and sucked about 1,000 creepy, crawly, icky insects into my vacuum cleaner, and I don't feel the least bit guilty.

Feeling quite accomplished, I am now sitting on the couch enjoying one of the most delicious cucumbers I've ever eaten and wondering if my husband is ever coming home to rescue me from.. I guess myself..

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What goes around... comes back around..

While my title may seem a little too Justin Timberlake, what goes around does come back around. I've been in some less than desirable relationships. More than I would like to admit have ended with me getting cheated on. Every time it happened I thought it was the end of the world, my heart was completely broken, and I would never love or trust again. I would always get the same advice from friends, "You'll find someone better," or, "he didn't deserve you," and my favorite, "karma is a bitch." Oddly enough, while this advice may sound like bullshit at the time, it really does ring true. Let me correct myself, it will ring true IF instead of getting even you let it go, instead of getting cold you continue to have an open heart, and instead of not trusting you just become a little more picky about who you do trust.

How do I know this is true? I live it every day. Once I let go of my anger and hurt, I met the man I now call my husband. I did find someone better that does deserve me and all that I have to give. I don't question where he is when he leaves my side, and I have never even felt the urge to check his voicemail. We have the type of relationship that really does last forever. Waking up next to him every morning makes all those times I thought I was "so in love" seem so very insignificant.

Where karma comes into play. One of my previous relationship endeavors (names will be left out) that ended with him cheating on me with his ex girlfriend and moving across to country to be with her was recently brought to my attention. She ended up cheating on him after he followed her. When I saw his post with that information, I actually didn't think any of the things I thought I would. I should have been thinking, "I told you so," or "karma got ya, bitch!" I didn't. No, I felt sorry for him. It's odd how you wait and wait for karma to show her face, but she does it after your pain and anger are gone. What you thought would be "sweet revenge" actually turns into pity. This person that hurt you so bad now just isn't important anymore. It turns into more of a reminder to live right and treat others fairly with love and respect whether they deserve it or not because something bigger than you will take care of them.

My life advice: Live your life the best you can, be altruistic, and remember that other people are usually doing the best they can. You will never be punished for doing good, and karma will take care of those that take advantage of the good ones. Trust me, I've seen it..

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ahhh Germany

So, I've been in Germany over a month now. The longer I'm here, the more annoyed I get it seems. Please keep in mind I'm going on my 8th month of pregnancy, I don't sleep well, and it is 90 degrees outside with no ac inside except for our bedroom.

~No AC?!?! WTF?!?!
When I say no air conditioning anywhere but our bedroom, I mean it. For example, on Sunday, Noah and I went to the movies to see Shrek. By the time we got out of the movie (which was fabulous), our clothes were soaked in sweat. Yep, no ac even in the movie theater.

~Chivalry? How about just common courtesy?
I know that I've turned into a horrible, grouchy pregnant lady, but common courtesy here is non existent. I'm all too often left standing on the train while young men take up all the seats without it even crossing their little minds to offer it to the lady about to pop that is sweating profusely. Even worse, a man(40-50) cut in front of me at the ice cream place on my birthday. That is actually just dangerous. He's lucky I didn't bite him!!!

~German "fashion" LMAO-- here is some advice...
1. If you are wearing a tube top, wear a strapless bra. I don't think I've seen one girl here with a tube top or tank top without bra straps showing. It's tacky/trashy.

2. If you are wearing a white shirt or white shorts, you should wear white bra/panties. Again, looking at your zebra panties and green bra through your clothes is extremely trashy. I know they sell white bras and panties, even strapless ones. I bought one here!

3. Socks and sandals should ALWAYS be worn separately. If it is too chilly for sandals, DON'T WEAR THEM!! Please put on closed toe shoes.

4. I understand that being a ginger must be cool here, but red hair does not work for everybody. Actually, the only people I know the shade of red that is worn here works for is Bozo the Clown and Ronald McDonald. I know there is a lot of pain and suffering associated with this city, but every other woman tapping into their inner clown probably isn't going to help. Try smiling at each other instead. Smiling is my favorite!!! And it looks good on most people... to my next point..

5. Swish with flouride daily, floss daily, and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Deodorant is not optional. It is the hottest summer ever. Please wear it. I carry mine with me and reapply as needed. Just an idea..

6. Along with the history of the city comes a desire for the youth to be individuals. While I'm all for individuality, I don't really consider it being an individual when your whole group of friends have the same black hair, nose rings, lip rings, facial piercings, and black clothing you have on.

That's just my $.02 for the day. We finally have internet again, so hopefully I can get back to blogging regularly.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Country.. new troubles

So, as we start settling in and moving into the new place I'm learning TONS about the cultural differences. The hardest for me to get past is the lack of common courtesy and drive to help other people. Let me start by saying, I'm from the south. Southern hospitality is something I'm accustomed to, and I believe that you should help other people when you can. Noah has introduced me to some very nice and helpful people. One girl has helped tremendously with everything from finding a good OB/GYN to finding somebody to do my waxing. She has really been a lifesaver. People like that are the minority though. Yesterday, I was at the new place all day building our Ikea furniture (side note- I will never again do the cheap furniture thing. What you save in money you put back in two-fold with time and effort.). The washer/dryer was to be delivered between 12 and 4. There was a buzz between 1 & 2. Awesome! It was right on time. I buzz the delivery guy in, he comes in and informs me (from what I gathered as my German is shaky at best) that he is only supposed to bring it to the first floor, so I politely ask him to please help me out by bringing it up seeing that I'm 7 months pregnant and can't move the damn thing a centimeter. He laughs and says no. So, a little frustrated, I offer him 20 euro. It was worth that to me, he still declines. I'm thinking this better be really heavy. So I follow him downstairs. He hops on his truck and rolls our washer/dryer off on a mechanical dolly that lifts the thing up and down. HE DOESN'T HAVE TO PUT FORTH ANY EFFORT. WTF?!?!!?! It was really just too much for him to wheel his electronic dolly on the elevator and to the 3rd floor. I've never wanted to punch somebody so bad in my entire life.

To top off all the horrible "customer service" here, our property manager had a complaint today about all the boxes being in the way when our kitchen was being delivered. Our move in date was supposed to be June 1. The reason it wasn't is because he didn't do the kitchen on time. If he would have had our kitchen delivered and installed on time, our boxes would not have been in his way. For him to have the nerve to complain about our stuff being in his way in our apartment when he is the one who is inconveniencing us is absurd!!! Even though the reason our boxes were in the way was because the moving people did not unpack them like they were supposed to. Getting people to do their job is hard, to go a little above and beyond- practically impossible.

Moral of the story to my American friends, be thankful for America. Be wary of this socialist model economy Obama is trying to put into effect. That is the type of "customer service" that will come out of it. People won't care about their jobs and will refuse to work hard because they can always fall back on the welfare system. Seriously, what I would give to hop on a crowded subway and have somebody say, "Ma'am, here take my seat," just out of common courtesy because I'm female and pregnant.

Wow.. what a bitch session. Things I'm thankful for: 1. My husband- it is so nice to be able to talk to him about anything going on, especially during this trying transition period. 2. My mom- she listens to my rants at all hours, and I know they can get bad. 3. My healthy little gobble monster growing at a rapid pace in my belly. 4. Jenn- she helps remind me, "I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy." 5. This experience- while frustrating at times, it is helping me grow as a person more than I ever would have at home. Germany really is a good place. It is just different, and I'm a spoiled brat. I'm guessing 6 more months here and a baby will undo the 25 1/2 years of being a spoiled little princess. BOB SAGET!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Finally Sunday...

What a freaking week this has been! I was just woken up by maybe one of the stinkiest farts ever, and since it didn't wake my husband up I thought I'd recap a little of what has been going on since Thursday.

Needless to say shopping has NOT been fun, and it is a huge
hassle in Germany. On Thursday I got up determined to find exactly what we needed. I started my day of shopping (by myself, mind you) at Mobel Kraft. It is like an upscale Ikea where they actually put the furniture together for you. The Germans call it FURNITURE FORCE. Kinda creepy.. I found some stuff for Sylvia's room, a really nice rocker, an entertainment center a little out of our price range, and Noah a cute little to-go cup for his coffee. I was actually feeling on top of the world at this point seeing that, "I did good." After paying for Noah's little coffee cup I go to leave the store and WHAM!!! I walked out the emergency exit setting off all the alarms in the place. Completely embarrassed by what had happened, I waddled my giant, pregnant self out as quickly as possible only to hear the piercing sounds of sirens. Good to know Germany's fire department has a pretty good response time... FML

Friday, I had my first appointment with the doctor. I was quite unnerved about going by myself, but I put on my big girl panties and did it anyway. It was actually painless. The receptionist/nurse spoke sufficing English, and she was very sweet. She and the doctor were also very accommodating to my American ways. The doctor isn't big on the idea of a c-section, and will be monitoring little Sylvia's growth every 2 weeks until she can have a better idea of how big she is really going to be. I got to see my little gobble monster though.. weighing in at a whopping 2 pounds and 6 ounces...
When Noah made it home that night, we decided to go to Ikea to figure out the rest of this shopping. We spend at least 4 hours designing closets (German rooms don't have built in closets) and an entertainment center that ended up not even being able to hold his massive tv. We were so annoyed by the lack of customer service near closing time that Noah finally just got on a phone and started dialing numbers hoping somebody would pick up. After making the decision to come back first thing Saturday morning (figuring it was 10, I was exhausted, and supppeeerrrrr cranky) we headed out.

Saturday, we got up, cranked out the Ikea crap early, and decided since it was 75 out that we should head to THE ZOO!!!!!!!!!! I had been waiting for this day since I found out we were moving to Berlin. We had a lovely day just walking around and looking at all the animals. One, in particular, stood out from the crowd. Please google a male tapir penis. IT IS AS LONG AS HIS LEGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, time to start our Sunday taking a boat cruise, hanging out in the park, and doing basically nothing :) I love Sundays!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No better time than the present...

I've been wanting to start blogging about my adventures as a wife, giant pregnant lady, and I guess grown up for a while now. I guess there is no better time to start talking about my adult life than when I'm sick in bed, missing my mommy. I've been in Germany for about 11 days now, and I've been sick about 9 of them. So far it's been pretty hectic. We did the final walk through of our apartment, and the kitchen wasn't installed in time. Our move-in date was pushed back to June 12. We've been running around like mad looking for furniture in a city that is NOT centered on customer service. I feel like I'm at Dicks in Myrtle Beach every time we go out to eat somewhere other than an Asian place. My husband is really being wonderful though. He's been busting his butt all week making sure my insurance is set so I can get to the doctor and hopefully get better. I'm just afraid I'm allergic to this city. Right now, it's 54 and rainy out, and this is the warmest day yet this week. When I left Orlando, it was 95 and sunny. I'm pretty sure it's close to the same in LKN. Even if I can't get better, it will be nice to get settled with the doctor that will hopefully see me through the last 13 weeks of my pregnancy. Aside from being sick, Noah has shown me some pretty amazing things in this city. They have the most amazing markets on the weekends. You can buy anything from fresh fish to fresh fruit to mustards to honey to handmade jewelry to real fur coats (yes, I'll need one for winter) to gorgeous antiques. *Side note- I saw a fox coat that looked just like Prissy. I really wanted it. I miss that mean little mutt.* The lifestyle is so slow paced over here. On Sundays, really all you do is spend time with your loved ones. There are no malls or anything open. You're not even allowed to mow your grass or do laundry if you're in an apartment building. A big change I've noticed in myself- I used to look forward to Sundayfunday to go get trashed on the lake. Now, I look forward to walking through the park with Noah just enjoying each other. We don't have to worry about anything to do with the apartment or his job because there is absolutely nothing that can be done until Monday. Ok, time to get back in bed. Hubby's orders :)