I would like to introduce myself. My husband is a member of Daily Kos and after I had some negative experiences in an online forum, he suggested that I try Mother Talkers! I like the way women are allowed to open up here, and share anything. I am having trouble with the layout of the board, because I am used to a different format, but I will persevere.
My name is Suzi and I am a native to Southern California. I attended high school in the 80’s and was lucky to be accepted to the only college to which I applied – UC Irvine. I left my cozy life, filled with music and performing in the high school choir, and felt instantly lost and alone at UCI. I was emotionally unready for college. I went through the motions and only changed my major once – from “Social Science” to a more concentrated “Psychology.” I got my BA in 1989 and went on to study for a Master’s degree. My career goal was to become an academic counselor. Little did I know, I would earn my degree but because of a lack of any experience whatsoever, I would never work in that field. What did I do? I worked as a buyer for a store specializing in Apple Macintosh computers!
My husband and I met at that computer store in 1992 and we were married in September of 1993. We bought a 1-bedroom condominium near our workplace in 1996 as I was certain I wanted a child-free marriage. My husband secretly knew I would change my mind. By early 1997, I got a baby ache and after treatment for cervical dysplasia, we were given the green light to try to conceive. I was pregnant by the Spring of 1997 and after a few months, we sold the condo and bought a 2-bedroom house.
Things did not go smoothly during that first pregnancy. I started to dilate at 26 weeks and was placed on bedrest with a visiting home health nurse. She discovered that I was having contractions during a routine visit (I was feeling nothing out of the ordinary), and I ended up in the hospital at 28 weeks. They told me my baby would be born that day! I was pumped with drugs to stop the contractions and finally, they succeeded. I was sent home with more monitoring devices and Terbutaline. I made it to 36 weeks – after 10 weeks of bedrest – and my baby boy was born healthy and fine, 6 pounds, 7 ounces. He spent 4 days in the NICU for jaundice.
I was happy to be a stay-at-home mom and I enjoyed doing everything with our son. We only had one car, so I walked everywhere with my little guy in the stroller. On days when I needed the car, we’d simply take DH to work and then pick him up at the end of the day.
Like many couples, we were enjoying parenthood so much that we decided to try for a second. My doctor had a bright idea – a cerclage would give me a normal pregnancy this second time around and I wouldn’t dilate early. Super! Only it didn’t work out that way. The cerclage was placed but my cervix was so fragile, it was not an ideal installation. I was, therefore, placed on bedrest at 14 weeks. And yes, I had a toddler at home. It actually worked out pretty well.
At 32 weeks, my water broke suddenly. I went to the hospital and they told me the amniotic fluid was replenishing so if I would just hang out there for a couple of weeks, I would grow the baby bigger and I would likely go into labor naturally. At 33 weeks, 4 days, that is what happened. My beautiful daughter was born, weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces. She spent 8 days in the NICU but it nearly killed her.
On the 7th day, I was visiting her for a feeding and the nurse told me to breast feed her for awhile but if she didn’t get enough, she would have to warm up a bottle of my expressed milk and I could feed her. Great. I popped the bottle into her mouth and twisted it around and spotted the name on the bottle – not mine! I pulled it out of her mouth – she had not even started to suck yet – and informed the staff. At first, I thought, eww, kinda gross. But then they pulled me aside and talked to me about HIV and Hepatitis as potential contaminants in breast milk. I held her as they pumped her stomach and then gavage fed her the right milk. I have never cried so hard in my life. I thought that this blunder had robbed her of her potential for a healthy life. All of the moms who had milk stored in the NICU freezer had their blood tested. Thankfully, the mom whose milk DD got was healthy. My daughter was going to be okay!
Those kids are now 10 and 7 years old. They’re extremely bright and they are one another’s closest friend. I’m still a SAHM and I am fortunate to have a tiny income working from home, doing typing for an appraiser. It’s incredibly interesting but there is not enough work to generate real “fun” money. We live frugally out of necessity, as my DH’s modest income won’t allow us the kind of lifestyle most people enjoy in our area.
My “extracurricular” activities include membership in three choirs and a UU church. I am on the PTA board at my daughter’s school. Both kids are scouts. We have a dog (a Cardigan Welsh Corgi) and I have enjoyed training him, plus taking him for long walks which is my only exercise. Occasionally you can find me working in our garden or prowling Craig’s List for fabulous furniture finds. I love to bake goodies and I do some sewing for fun. I’m excited at the prospect that Obama may become our next president.
Thank you for allowing me to post this long-winded introduction and I am looking forward to getting to know all of you.