The inspiration for Our Beautiful Hope came from this passage:
“When an oyster is hit with trauma – a foreign body that invades the sheltered life it lives in its safe shell, it takes action. It builds upon that painful intrusion in its life, adding layer upon layer of iridescence, until it creates a pearl. An object valued for its depth of beauty, the pearl is the beautiful hope born out of the oyster’s pain. Just like the pearl, we can be inspired to take action in our own lives to create beauty and hope out of times that are traumatic and painful. We can create something strong that will be admired by all we let see it, for the depth of its many layers, and the beauty of its strength. Whether it is illness, loss, pain, or trauma, we can transform what life brings us and use it to move forward with wisdom and grace.” – Strength of Heart, by Judy Fredette
I woke up Monday, July 4th, at 5:30am, and wasn’t feeling much movement from Jack, so I went downstairs. I proceeded to walk in the kitchen and all of a sudden felt a ‘gush’ and thought my water broke…only to find tons of blood when I got into the bathroom. I called the hospital and they told me to call 911 and be brought in. The ambulance arrived shortly after and we got to the hospital in under 30 minutes… Joey followed in our packed up car – we had it packed and ready from the previous day when we were actually at the hospital since I was having tons of BH contractions and severe back pain. The ambulance ride was not comfortable and extremely bumpy, but thankfully, because of that, Jack started moving a ton during the ride – that eased by concerns a bit since he hadn’t been moving much that morning.
As my son’s first birthday approaches, someone recently asked me what I would tell him about the day he was born. And to be honest, I don’t really know the answer to that question. Why? Because my birth story was not typical. It was a day filled with such joy but also unimaginable sadness. In putting my story into words, I have realized that there are many gaps in my memory. I think that this is my brain’s way of protecting me from the trauma of that day. But, here is what I do remember….
They (whoever “they” is) say in order to keep mankind going mothers will forget the pain and exhaustion associated with childbirth so that we continue to reproduce. What “they” don’t tell you is this amnesia doesn’t happen overnight. It took a good few months until the sugarcoating of my memory took over. But, hey, now we are itching for baby #2 so I guess it really does work.
It was a Thursday and my last day at work before my leave. I planned to work from home the following week and try to relax before my scheduled induction the following Sat. My mom was flying in that week as well to be there for the birth and help me afterword. So, as I sat to make my “padsicles” which I was told were a must for after giving birth I was surprised to feel like I was having a contraction. I wasn’t even really due for another 12 days. They thought the baby was measuring small though and didn’t want me going over 40 weeks which was the reason for the induction. I brushed it off and thought it was a Braxton-Hicks being that this was the first time I felt this way.
Do you know what it feels like laying your head down for the night thinking you weren’t waking up the
next morning? And I am not talking about sleeping through your alarm. I am talking about literally not
waking up. Dying in your sleep.
This was my nightly thought process every single night after having my son.
The contractions were coming and they were coming hard. I didn’t imagine them to be this painful! At least I hoped these were the actual contractions, being that I have a high threshold for pain thanks to 6 years of braces and orthodontic work. All I could think about was my left over P.F. Changs from yesterday’s dinner that I probably wasn’t going to get the chance to enjoy now.
I never in a million years expected Fin’s birth to happen the way it happened. My husband will end up reading this and probably tell me that I missed something or told an event wrong because he remembers everything! Even the part where I bit him. Anyways, Matt and I created a simple birth plan to give to the doctor and nurses when we arrived at the hospital. I packed some of my hospital bag during the week I was 38 weeks (better late than never).
Labor Day weekend of 2015 my husband and I found out I was pregnant. This was extremely exciting as I had suffered a miscarriage in March that same year. That weekend I enjoyed my last glass of wine for the next 9 months. I had promised myself I would be ultra-careful with this pregnancy- I was that borderline crazy pregnant lady when it came to “the rules”.
BOY or GIRL? Even before we got pregnant, my husband and I decided that we wanted to be surprised. I had a moment of weakness while I was trying to register, but that quickly passed. The wonder of not knowing kept me going. I couldn’t wait to hear the Dr. say “it’s a BOY or it’s a GIRL” and have my little bundle of joy placed in my arms for the first time. Well, I never got that chance.