Hello! I truly love to journal, but I admit to being a little nervous already! Spelling and grammar are not my strong points, and I tend to ramble . . . but writing is special to me. I find it healing and renewing, and sometimes cathartic.
My name is Catherine (CatherineS on the forums) and I'm 26. My husband Scott is 28, and our son Jonathan was born on September 2, 1999. We're expecting our second child in June!
We live in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. I actually don't like living in such a warm climate, but I'll be here for a while. I first moved to the Dallas area in 1995 when I decided that I would pick up and move somewhere . . . but had to decide where! My parents let me know where I had relatives who would take me in until I got on my feet. I chose my Aunt Jerri in the Dallas area because of all the relatives my mom listed, she's my favorite. And, friends told me it was nice here. I packed up all my stuff into my "on-its-last-leg" car, and drove from Memphis to my Aunt's house, with the windows down and the heater on the most of the way because the car had an overheating problem and that helped! In two weeks I found a job, and in two more weeks I moved into my own apartment. There is a lot of mush between the time I moved and when I met Scott, but nothing truly exciting! Well maybe my first normal car that I bought in 1996.
Scott and I met at a job that I started in January 1997. He and I were two of five Regional Field Managers, and we got to know each other on lunch breaks and sometimes dinner after work. He intimidated me . . . a lot actually. As I got to know him better, I realized he just had an odd sense of humor. Hehehe. In March, the company downsized by half, and Scott and I were both laid off. We spent the following month together nearly every day, looking for jobs and getting to know each other better. We fell in love rather quickly, and in October 1997 Scott proposed, eight months after we had started dating. We set the date for eight months ahead, in May 1998. And, eight months after we married, we found out I was pregnant!!! We weren't trying, but we weren't avoiding it either. I think both of us wanted to get pregnant but didn't know if we were ready yet. We were so thrilled when we found out!
Back tracking a little . . . in September 1998, Scott and I decided that I would quit my job and find something part time. I really enjoyed being at home. When we found out I was pregnant, I was so glad to not be working! We decided then that I would continue to stay home, and I was overjoyed. I spent the pregnancy reading all about how our child was developing, what it would be like when he arrived, and obsessing over everything really! It was so exciting and new. I worried a lot too, but I think that's normal for some first time moms.
We moved into our first house in June, a few months before Jonathan was due. I love our neighborhood. There are many young children and new mothers . . . quite a change from our former apartment life! Things went smoothly. If I had my way, Scott and I would pick up and move right now to Cincinnati, Ohio, where I spent the most cherished part of my growing years. After visiting once recently, Scott is open to the idea and I have a feeling we'll be there some day!!
My pregnancy with Jonathan went smoothly except for my weight gain! I gained almost 85 lbs. That is a lot of weight!! Thankfully, I did lose it by the time we conceived again. There are few people who can say that they have stretch marks on the their calves. I am one of them!! I really loved being pregnant with Jonathan, and I love it this time too. I'm not sure if it's the intensity of emotions, the knowledge that life is growing within me, or just the really cute maternity outfits, but it's a wonderful time for me. And now that I have so much extra skin, pregnancy fits my body very well too!
In September 1999, Jonathan arrived by cesarean section. He was 8 lbs, 7 oz and 21-1/2 inches long. I was totally unprepared for a surgical birth, and it was truly horrifying to me. My recovery was excruciating. Scott took off extra time from work to help with Jonathan, as it was two weeks before I could pick him up on my own. After talking with other moms who birthed by cesarean, I realized that my recovery was more painful than most. I didn't have any complications, but my body just had a hard time recuperating. I did suffer from mild PPD up until we conceived this child. I am hoping that it stemmed mostly from the incredible number of life events and the emotional pain of the cesarean.
I had a tough time breastfeeding my son. It was painful, awkward, and the only way we could manage a latch at all during the first few weeks was lying down. Almost nightly I wanted to give up. My husband was such an encouragement. I think that I would've given up if it had not been for his strong and unwavering support and gentleness throughout the first six weeks. My neighbor Shannon, who helped me with positioning when the lactation consultant let us down, was also extremely helpful, and I also found a great deal of support on the StorkNet Breastfeeding Support Board. It helped tremendously to know that other mothers had been where I was, and their insight and support was priceless. I had three friends who were due in the few months after Jonathan was born. None of them had a single problem with breastfeeding. I envied them so! I do hope I'll have an easier time with this child!
Jonathan changed my life so drastically. Motherhood has helped me to see beyond myself, to consider someone else's needs before my own, even when I don't want to. I think marriage helped me on my way, but having Jonathan around really made me see "what giving of yourself till nothing is left" feels like . . . and I love it. Well, most of the time!! He is an angel to me, and I am so thankful to be at home everyday with him.
Scott and I had planned to try to conceive our second child in February of 2001, but surprise! We had planned on learning Natural Family Planning, but slacked off after learning charting basics and kept putting it off. Plus, in our hearts we knew we'd be blessed with a child whenever it was meant to happen. We found out I was pregnant on Scott's 28th birthday in October!
I think Jonathan is going to be a wonderful big brother! I bought him a sweet cloth baby doll to cuddle with and to hug. He loves his baby! We plan on doing our best to help him adjust to being a big brother. Recently he has been around two infants, and he was very nice to them. He wanted to give them hugs! Jonathan is still nursing, but he doesn't nurse much anymore. I thought for certain he'd nurse throughout the pregnancy but now I'm not so sure. If he continues, I'd plan to tandem nurse.
This time we are planning to have a VBAC, and if all goes well, we would really love to have a homebirth. I started reading about VBAC only a month after Jonathan was born. The thought of another cesarean makes me shudder, and I've been doing the best I can to learn how to prevent another one. I am taking much better care of myself with this pregnancy by eating well, exercising, taking prenatal yoga with a friend, and going for long walks when the weather permits. I have already noticed a big difference in how I feel this time, and not only that but my weight gain! I'm gaining normally, and it's a nice change. Thankfully, I did lose all 85 lbs before getting pregnant again, but I think that by eating right and mild exercise this time I won't gain so much. I have read many books on VBAC and natural birth, and I am still reading more. My midwife is so incredible! She is supportive and a wonderful source of encouragement.
My due date is June 14th, but I really think it will be the end of June. My cycles are around 40 days, so I'm guessing my ovulation is later than most 28-day cycles. But who knows! I am a little nervous about labor, because with Jonathan my cesarean was planned. I never felt a single contraction. So, labor-wise this will be like the first time for me! I am so excited that in just a few more months, we'll be welcoming another child into our family!!