How Long Will I Love You...

Today on August 19th Blake and I celebrate 8 years of marriage. We got married young. I was barely 19 and he was a strapping 22. Maybe people doubted our union would last, maybe they didn't.  Truthfully at the time I was to twitter- patted to care. I read a blog post recently entitled  "For the ones who married young".  It kind of hit home for me.
"This one’s for the completely smitten college kids – the ones who got married at 19 in the church basement. It’s for you who sat on your parents’ couch, hand in hand, while they looked at you, completely panicked. 
For the young lovers – and for the older ones – who figured out marriage is much more beautiful and terrible, simple and complicated than you ever could have imagined. This one’s for you."

I started this post last year so today actually marks 9 years of marriage. We spent our 8th eating takeout in bed. After which I promptly expelled the entire contents of our celebratory dinner in honor of human development....literally.  But it only seems fitting to finish what I started being as it is a post about marriage. 

 I don't really regret much from my wedding, perhaps I might have picked different flowers or colors and I do think I would have chosen a pale pink dress instead of a white one. Sometimes I ask Mr. Robinson for a do over because styles change so quickly and really, I'd just like to try them all.  He laughs and says sure,  if you can explain that one to your friends and family. 

There were some days with-in the last 9 years that I wanted to relive forever and others I feel like we barely survived once. We've done fun things and hard things. Had moments I couldn't stand to be without him and others where I just couldn't take one more minute. We've fought, laughed, travel, learned, prayed and loved but mostly we've grown.  

Before I would agree to marry Mr Robinson and being the good business women I am I struck a deal.  I should have drove a harder bargain. (wink, wink) I said I needed at least 7 years before we could have kids. I wanted to travel, experience the world which would include but not be limited to Europe and the continental US. 

Thinking back  I realize now how completely wrong it could have all gone.  At 19 the world is full of possibilities, the kind you think are without consequence. Our first year of marriage was hard. We spend a lot of time just trying to figure out who we were together.  The problem was we didn't really know who we were apart. 
I've always been particularly gifted with the last word and  though I hate to admit it the dramatics of a burn you to the core and leave you smoldering kind of fight were always my favorite form of victory revenge.  We watched our un-married college friends drift away. They didn't really know how to be there for us anymore. 

I'm pretty sure we threw around the word divorce more than a few times. Then after a particularly bloody battle. I can't remember what it was about, I don't even know how many years we were into our marriage. Mr Robinson said to me, "If you need some time to figure out you, take it, I'll wait."

 I'd like to say that suddenly there was a choir of angles, we embraced and danced and made out like crazy but we didn't.  Officially, we just stopped sucking at being married. Personally we stopped focusing on ourselves and started working on "us". We didn't know a lot of other people our age in the same circumstances so we stopped looking at the glittery unencumbered lives of our friends, stopped comparing ourselves to the rest of the 20-somethings, stopped fantasizing about what might have been and made our own rules. We discovered that our personal fulfillment wasn't bound by our marriage it was magnified. 

We discovered that life was HARD but it was hard for everyone.  Our joy stopped coming from personal victories and more from the ones we fought together. We built a life on a dime scale budget of thrift store couches, broken down cars, road trips, budgeting, burned dinners, mutual consideration and change.

"When you marry young, you’ll change and he’ll change, and in the midst of all of this growth you’ll realize that you can’t change each other. There will be moments and days and seasons that are really hard. And you’ll be tempted to think it’s because you got married young, but really, it’s just because you got married."
This is a very rare appearance of one of our original wedding photos. As you can see Blake had Braces. You bet your bottom dollar I photoshopped them out of every single picture. However I think it illustrates wonderfully how young we really were.

 So today I'm celebrating, we've worked hard at our love. We've fought for it more than once. Our union is a continuous balancing act between working on ourselves and our marriage. I've seen him at his worst and at his best. He's pushed me through my insecurities and I've drug him through trials he didn't want to face. We've grown from awkward married kids to ever changing, reasonably adjusted adults. "Marriage doesn't require a perfect man or a perfect women. It only requires a man and a woman committed to strive together toward perfection.- Dallin H Oakes"
I am committed. I'm committed to this lifetime and to eternity. The one we promised each other on that day 9 years ago as a couple of naive kids. I'm committed "to live every day as if it was the final day of our extraordinary ordinary life- About Time."  How long will I love you...


Delivery + Baby Penn

You know that conversation you have with your parents and they tell you where babies really come from. You know the one, where if your a girl you realize that babies don't come out of tummies but rather the lady bits. That a watermelon sized object is going to pop out a whole the size of a cutie orange and because you're really special you'll get an audience of strangers to witness this master piece. Ya, I think that's the day I decided I was never going to have kids.

Fast forward a good 17 years 8 of which were spent married to Mr. Robinson and we find ourselves in our current predicament. Somehow along the way whether we call it blinded by love or stupidity I FORGOT about the watermelon and the orange and the pain and the lady bits on parade and found myself with child. That makes it sound kind of biblical, heck even monumental. I'm keeping it in this was defiantly noteworthy and I'm writing it down so that's basically the same thing.

As we walked home that bright and warm afternoon in March I casually joked with Mr. Robinson that I had just finished the last remaining item on my "Before Baby"check list. Teach Relief Society lesson, *check* and that I fully intended to spend the last week before D-day relaxing in PJs. He smiled and chuckled softly to himself.
After lunch I snuggled down for a small afternoon nap while Mr. Robinson busied himself around the house preparing for an unexpected meeting. At 1:00 he kissed me on the cheek, told me he'd be back in an hour and a half and hurried out the door. At about 1:30 I started feeling kinda crummy. Crummy enough to text Mr. Robinson at 2:00 the follow before the completion of his meeting...."Can you come home? I'm having some pretty weird sporadic pains but some are hurting crazy bad." Yes, my texts are always this poetic. He called immediately and told me he was on his way.

After a brief discussion we decided to time my crummy, sporadic, hurting crazy bad pains. Emphasis on the word sporadic because despite our best efforts and Mr. Robinsons timing skills we couldn't find any rhyme or reason to the madness. So after a Google search on the definition of Braxton Hicks,  a conversation about my need to wash and curl my hair if this got serious (because nobody wants to look homeless when your having a baby) we put in movie.

 At about 5 or 6 the crummy pains started picking up speed with a little more regularity. We called our Doula seeking some advice she told us to keep a watch full eye and call her back in an hour. It was at this point that Mr. Robinson told me it might be time to wash my hair. so between the movie, Mr Robinson's multi-tasking ability of timing, holding a mirror/my curling iron while I pushed though my crummy sporadic pain we somehow made it though another hour. We called the Doula and she said she would join us when we felt ready. I was READY.

While we waited for the Doula's arrival we made sure to cover all the bases. So we called the midwife who insisted on talking to me. By this point the crummy sporadic pain had morphed into a furious beast and I was splayed with my puke bowl on all fours on the ground but hey my hair was curled.

My midwife was out of town and her replacement proceeded to test me with a burage of questions. "What baby is this? "1" "How far apart are the contracts?" "When did they start?" "5 minutes at 2:00." Sweat started to prick up at the edges of my hairline. I ran my fingers over my face in a fit of exasperation as I braced for another crummy sporadic pain. "Are you in very much pain? Now I'm grumpy. For heaven sakes women yes, yes I am in pain?" "On a scale from 1-10."  Ahhh, breathing heavily holding back the urge to call her something mean "10, 10!!!!" "I think you still have a long while hang in there." Click.

Somewhere in between the pain and midwife conversation our Doula had arrived. She went right to work asking me where I was most uncomfortable  and trying to ease some of my back labor with a few tricks that proved helpful but provided short lived relief and ended with me in the bath tub saying that I felt the need to push.

After much debate between Mr. Robinson, the Doula and mostly me because I was truly worried this really wasn't labor and after dragging me to the hospital the staff would all look at the dumb newbie with pity and send her home, I agreed to get out of the tub and dawned my gray and pink floral night gown sans underwear (It was very freeing) and took the longest (shortest... less than 5 minutes) ride from H. E. double hockey sticks to the hospital. I kept thinking to myself this must have been what it felt like in a covered wagon. Thank you lord for allowing me to be a modern day women.

In the commotion from the car to the wheel chair to the hospital Mr. Robinson forgot to give the valet the keys and dropped our birthplan out of our bag and left it on the back seat. Our Doula had told me a good way to push through contractions was to moan long and low. When She told me this I had laughed and said to myself there was no way in Hell I was going to be loudly moaning down the halls of the hospital. Never say NEVER.

As we raced to labor and delivery, wheel chair a blaze gray and pink floral night gown billowing in the breeze and I pantieless moaning to beat the band I kept thinking to myself if I am only at a 2 Just kill me now.

By this time we had reached our deluxe natural mama sweet complete with jetted tub. They popped me on the bed checked my current progression and proclaimed I was at an 8! (cue the choir of angels).

For the next hour I pushed. I pushed through a nine, bit Mr Robinson 5 times, told the nurse she was mean for putting the monitors on my tummy during a contraction, had my water break on Mr. Robinson's leg and kept wondering to myself why in all the movies does it only take 3 pushes to have to baby come out. Told Mr. Robinson I wanted to die, that I couldn't do it. Stuck my naked bottom dollar in the air with no shame and Then we hit 9 and a half and everyone started getting worried.

My contraction which for 80% of my labor had been in my back switched to back labor coupling contractions which meant I was no long getting a break in between cycles and one contraction rolled right into the next with a constant urge to bear down. The midwife kept say there's a lip on your cervix and we can't get the babies head through. Every time you push we move it but when you stop the baby falls back down. For the next 4 and a half hours I pushed and  pushed but no baby. So we asked the dreaded question. What are our options? With a heavy sigh the midwife laid it all out.
1.Keep pushing, hopefully the lip will dissolve.
2. Baby goes into distress and we have to get a c section or
3.You get an epidural.
Everyone went quite.... And then I sat up on the bed (this is Blake's favorite part) had a come to Jesus meeting with myself pointed at the nurse and said, ladies get the man with the needle!

You know how I said the car ride to the hospital was the longest 5 minutes of my life. I take it back waiting for the anesthesiologist was the longest 5 minutes of my life. He told me to hold perfectly still. So I boar down with all my might and he stuck me with my drug of choice and everything went quiet. My bodies ferocious quaking slowly began to ease. My mind became clear and as the heavens parted I looked up and said to the man in scrubs. "So that's why they pay you the big bucks"

Then we slept for one glorious hour. Mr Robinson on his tiny hospital sofa and me with my giant numb elephant legs. We slept until the nurse woke me to, say my contractions had slowed and because of the babies position we needed stronger contractions to turn and push him into the birth canal. Her solution potocin. Ugh, I'd given into the epidermal no, no potocin. She agreed to give me a half an hour longer to see if my contraction would pick back up but then we would need to make some decisions.

My half an hour came and went with no luck and then baby Penn started to get grumpy so they put me on oxygen and gave me 2 options pitocin or c section. I took the pitocin. They gradually increased the dose until the nurse came in with a worried look to say the babies heart rate had dropped again but that she was going to check me and see where I was at. I had finally reach 10 centimeters a crazy 2 and a half hours post epidural. At this point I was feeling good about my decision to get the drugs. However the baby was still in the wrong possession but I was completely dilated so the midwife agreed to call a doctor to try and turn the baby while I pushed.

The next 6 hours were a flurry of pushing and hands internally trying to turn baby into the correct position with no luck.That's when they discovered I had an abnormality of tissue blocking the babies exit out of the birth canal. They asked me if I had know it was there.  I remember thinking you have to be kidding me why am I paying all of you professionals money. You've been poking around down there for nine months why didn't you notice my abnormality. That's when Mr. Robinson proudly announced that he knew it was there. I laughed.

After a brief discussion between the higher ups they decided it would have to be removed in order for baby to come out. Since I couldn't feel a dang thing I was pleasantly optimistic about the minor surgery. And was feeling extra good at this point about my decision to get the drugs. Mr. Robinson on the other hand was more coherent and began looking rather pale after the doctor called for extra help to "stop the bleeding"

It was at about this time 7:00 AM that we had a shift change and our room went from one nurse to six, one midwife to 2 and then they called in a specialist to try and suction cup baby out.

 As the doctor got everything ready I asked if we were still going to have to have a c section his response was that this baby needed to come out now. My Doula leaned over and told me that the situation was serious and that the doctor would need to use any means necessary to get the baby out. This meant an episiotomy . Truthfully our birth plan despite our best efforts had just been chipped away at piece by piece I was tired and out of it so I simply nodded my head in understanding.

The doctor told me he needed a good push. I asked if the suction cup would fall off before my babies head popped off ( I told you I was out of it) he laughed and reassured me it would. He pulled, I pushed. Mr. Robinson coached with a chorus of positive reinforcement. The suction cup popped off babies head but it was enough and out he came. 7:31 AM March 24, 2014, 6pounds 2 ounces, 19.9 inches long.

Mr. Robinson likes to tells me baby Penn looked like a purple frog when he came out which makes me giggle. All I can remember is his expression. It went from worry to confusion to wonder to pure joy. That's the part I like to remember most. I thought I'd regret my decision to get the epidural but I don't somewhere near the end of it all I asked my Doula how I would have dealt with all the unforeseen complications. (painful complication) she said we would have had to use a few coping techniques. So, ya I'm happy I got the drugs. I'm super glad we selected our delivery team carefully. I truly believe without there willingness to discuss my concerns and possible options our birth would have ended differently. My midwife told me that next time I need to be really close to a hospital because I have a high pain tolerance and I might not make it next time. That made me feel good. I guess the only thing I'm kind of bummed about is I never got to experience the good part of natural labor. You know that part where the baby comes out and you get that rush of feel good hormones that make it all worth it. But hey I guess there's always next time. *wink wink*

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