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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Our Birth Story

Update: edited for formatting and to add Baby2’s birth stats and some more details. Never too soon to chalk that up to mama brain, right?

First, thank you everyone for your comments on my last post! My heart swelled with your kind words and well wishes. Each one made our day that much more special. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts as we awaited the birth of our daughter!

And oh my, what a birth it was.

First, let’s go back to Tuesday’s midwife appointment (which I wrote about Tuesday night but had scheduled to post Wednesday morning, which just happened to be hours after our delivery!). She said that, based on Baby2’s positioning, my labor would likely start with my water breaking and then be intense and quick.

Oh my goodness she was so freaking right.

It started early on Wednesday, July 19th. I woke up to go to the bathroom a little after 4:30 AM, which is very normal for me lately. I went back to bed and tried to fall asleep, but I couldn’t (which had been normal for the last couple weeks).

Suddenly I heard The Pop. The Pop I had read about in other birth stories. The Pop of my water breaking. I thought, nah, that probably wasn’t it, but seconds later I felt a trickle of warm fluid. I ran to the bathroom to avoid soiling the sheets (and I totally made it down the hall and to the toilet without leaking! Score!). After I drained for a bit, I went back to bed to rest before things got going.

Mr. Handsome had just woken up a few minutes ago, but I didn’t tell him my water had broken until I had the first contraction. I quickly had three contractions in less than 10 minutes. Mr. Handsome could hear me breathing through them and asked if it was time to go. The clock said 5 AM and I realized things were happening fast. Time to pack up Kiddo1 and get going.

I got dressed and went to the bathroom a couple more times. The contractions were already super intense and I had to vocalize through them. I knew I needed some food in me, so I went to scramble some eggs (it seemed totally sane at the time!). Kiddo1 got ready with a quickness (luckily his bag was already packed and in the car!). He found me in the kitchen hunched over the counter, trying so hard not to scare him with my moaning, but probably failing.

I finished making my eggs and had to ask Mr. Handsome for a to-go container. I was already so out-of-it I couldn’t find the containers that I had reached for every morning to pack up my eggs for work. Yikes. I remember the next contraction dropped me to the floor and I pounded my fist and yelled out. Yelled. Loud. I felt the sensation of pushing. And I didn’t fight it, I pushed with each contraction from then on out.

Mr. Handsome moved with lighting speed after that! We piled in the car and took off for Kiddo1’s friend’s family’s house who, luckily, had answered the phone and agreed to take our child and lives about a minute down the street from us. We are forever in their debt for responding so quickly and keeping our son safe and occupied!

We dropped him off fast and headed toward the hospital. It was about 5:45. Mr. Handsome was so amazing. As I was somehow knelt on all fours in the third-row seat of our van (one leg on the bench seat, one leg on the floor, head toward the window grasping the seat belt and pulling on it with each contraction) he was driving us the six miles to the hospital. He asked if I wanted to stop at the hospital-affiliated clinic that is on the way. I told him to just keep going to the hospital (the clinic was probably closed anyway). The contractions still made me push, but they had slowed down. Because of that, I knew this was happening. Now.

We arrived at the hospital just before 6 – Mr. Handsome got us there in 10 flat minutes which was amazing! He later told me he ran three red lights to do it, but I was so grateful that he did! As we pulled up a contraction was starting. I finished it and we walked in together from the loading zone, where he left the car. I had a contraction in the lobby that I was able to stand through, as he explained to the front desk that I was indeed in labor and needed to get to labor & delivery, stat. They brought a wheelchair but there was no way I was sitting down! So they ushered us toward the elevator.

When we got to the L&D floor, I dropped to all fours again with another intense contraction while Mr. Handsome ran to find a nurse. I finished my contraction, got up and started wandering down the hall. I heard my name called behind me and saw Mr. Handsome and a nurse approaching with another wheelchair, which I refused again. The delivery room was right around the corner.

When we got in the delivery room I dropped my bag and literally crawled on to the bed. The nurse asked if she could check my cervix, but I told her she probably didn’t need to. I could feel the head crowning.

She and the staff had no idea what was coming.

I/she pulled off my underwear; my skirt and shirt were still on. My face was buried in the pillow and my butt was up in the air for all to see. Another contraction, another push. The nurse suddenly knew what was happening.

A fury of people entered the room. I heard a doctor introduce himself, who I believe I gave the thumbs up to. The midwife on call was rushing from another delivery. Another contraction, another push. More fury in the room. I heard Mr. Handsome say that we were interested in the waterbirth option (how freaking sweet is he?!) and a nurse (and I?) respond that there wasn’t time for that now!

Another contraction, and I knew this was it. I pushed hard and felt the ring of fire, so I backed off. How I was able to back off I don’t know, but I really didn’t want to tear!

Another contraction, and I pushed. I heard people tell me to push, but I didn’t need any direction. I felt her head emerge, I pushed again, I felt her shoulders. She was born at 6:13 am, less than 20 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. The midwife arrived 10 minutes later, so apologetic, but honestly, all I needed was someone to catch and I didn’t care who that was!

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I couldn’t see her! I wanted to see but I couldn’t figure out how to flip over from my all-fours position. A nurse said something about skin-to-skin and I quickly ripped off all my clothes (that stretchy Old Navy skirt came in handy! It went right over my head). Mr. Handsome and a nurse helped me turn over and my daughter was placed on my chest. I looked at her, she was amazing. Mr. Handsome and I both said that she looks exactly like her brother did when he was born. The spitting image – it’s completely amazing! I looked at the clock and realized all that happened in about an hour and a half and my mouth fell open. Oh my goodness, what just happened?!

The cord blood donation process happened quickly. The nurses were so amazing. The placenta came out quickly and a nurse asked if we wanted a placenta tour. I declined but Mr. Handsome was all over it! He finds this birth thing just fascinating.

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The next two hours in the delivery room were a blur. Our daughter was here and she looked amazing. She came out perfectly pink, she was alert, she was completely healthy. She started to nurse about an hour after she was born and she ate for a solid hour. When she was done the nurses took her stats and APGARs (6 pounds, 8.8 ounces, 19 inches and perfect scores) then we were packed up to recovery and met more incredible nurses.

In the end, my GBS positive status didn’t matter at all. Of course I didn’t get a drop of antibiotics, but Baby2 didn’t show any signs of infection whatsoever. She did so great on all her tests that we were released a mere 30 hours after we had arrived (GBS positive births require a stay of 48 hours).

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We’ve been home for 27 hours now and life could not be any more perfect. Mr. Handsome is my knight in shining armor, Kiddo1 is so excited and helpful, Max is slowly taking in her smell and getting used to having a new little one to watch. Our family feels so perfect. We’re all so very happy!

Happenings…

What a day it has been! Our wait is over – Baby2 has arrived! We are doing awesome. It was a perfect birth, even though it didn’t follow the plan! Birth details/story pending, but here’s a little name hint…

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Last Group Prenatal Appointment

We had our last scheduled group appointment last night. I gotta say, I was super relieved to see another couple there! I sort of thought we’d be the only ones. And she was overdue too, which made me sad for her but it was great to have an empathizer. We swopped stories about post-40 weeks pregnancy. Good times.

We also learned that the couple who were due on the 11th (two days before us) had delivered that morning, so at least we had company in our overdue club.

The midwife talked to us about baby care and we watched “The Happiest Baby on the Block” video (I read the book ages ago, or at least it feels like ages!). The little baby faces in the video were so freaking cute. Very exciting.

The midwife freaked us out a little by saying that the hospital has been very full lately. They have had to “divert” people that call in (ie send them to another hospital). Our midwife basically says that if you just show up in the throws of labor, they can’t send you away. But when you’re Group B Strep positive and have to get antibiotics four hours prior to delivery, that advice is kind of conflicting. I guess we’ll see what happens!

As far as progress goes, baby’s head continues to be super low (so low the midwife couldn’t really feel it, but she knew it had to be there!). I was not checked again (and I didn’t want to be) so I don’t know of we’ve progressed beyond Friday’s 3 cm. She said baby is right-facing anterior, which typically means labor will start with my water breaking and will be intense but fast. Also that it should go down in the next couple days. We’ll see!

Obviously Friday’s membrane sweep did not put me into labor, but I have felt closer and closer every day. For the last couple days, I have had evening contractions that feel more and more productive. Last night they were getting a little more… noticeable. Not painful per se, but definitely there.

Anyway, I left the appointment feeling pretty relaxed (despite knowing the hospital has been full!). Even though I know our midwife could be completely wrong about her prediction, having a professional give me an estimate just makes me feel better.

My parents are a couple hours away – there’s just no stopping time! The next few days should be exciting. We have a “fetal assessment” scheduled for Friday, just in case. Fingers crossed we don’t last too much longer!

Tie Tuesday

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Well, don’t I look triumphant? This was the first official day of maternity leave and a day or two before the anxiety had set in of wondering when this baby would come. Happy day!

It’s been hot this week and we don’t have air conditioning so jeans are pretty much off the clothing menu. Plus, I’m kind of afraid to put them on anyway! What if they don’t fit anymore? I don’t want to face the idea of it! But these shorts from the Gap worked fairly well, although by the end of the day, sitting in them was getting a tad uncomfortable. Still, it felt good to get at least one more wear out of these shorts, since I did only buy them like two months ago. Perhaps they’ll come in handy for the first couple postpartum weeks, too?

I went for this purple tank from Old Navy for some color – and to keep me cool as well! The Forever 21 necklace gave me a good “bling” feeling, too, although by the heat of 4:00 or so it had to go.

 

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Knocking on my belly, starting to wonder when she’s going to come out! She doesn’t respond to knocking though – or any of the other tactics I’ve tried to coax her out!

In keeping with trying to stay cool, I steered away from pants again on Tuesday. This outfit is all Old Navy, except for the shoes. These Kenneth Cole Reaction sandals are apparently my go-to shoes of the week: they are comfortable to walk in and they let my toes be as free as can be! Plus I might as well take advantage of being able to sandal-it-up to my heart’s content now that I’m away from the office (not that being in the office really stopped me from wearing these, but I couldn’t get away with it every day I suppose).

This Old Navy skirt hadn’t been a favorite at first, but the last couple weeks I’ve been loving it. It’s loose and flowy, which makes me feel a little pretty, plus it’s a nice soft cotton. And it keeps me cool! Plus the waistband is super stretchy so it is not at all constraining, even as I continue to grow! Score!

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Feeling pretty down on Wednesday, but I got up and dressed myself anyway! I’m slouching a little in this picture, but I think my belly still looks pretty low. It’s hard to tell – some days she seems at her normal height and some days, like Wednesday, I can feel her little bottom has sunk down a couple inches at least. I suppose she just hasn’t made up her mind yet!

On Wednesday we went to the science museum and this man told me I was having a boy. It was kind of awkward. But I guess that means my belly is looking pretty compact lately? He went on about his grandchildren and what not… Strangers are funny.

Anyway. this shirt is more Old Navy. It has a little sparkle mixed in with the print (although it’s hard to tell in this photo). People always seem to like the sparkle!

The straight skirt is knit from Forever/Love 21’s defunct maternity line. I like that it can sit above or below my belly. Nice versatility!

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By Thursday, I needed to feel pretty. It’s funny, I don’t feel as big as I think I look sometimes. I catch myself in the mirror and I’m shocked at how big the bump is! But when I’m just sitting or walking around I don’t feel big at all. Especially when I’m laying down, I sometimes forget the bump is there. Weird.

I love this Old Navy dress. It’s so soft, I love the cut on the sides that pull the dress back to my body from the “waist” down (“waist” being defined as below the bump, in this case). This simple trick makes me feel like I don’t look huge, which is always a bonus! Some of my dresses that just hang straight down from the bump have gotten the, well, bump from my wardrobe lately. They just make me look so much bigger than I feel! And that’s not going to help anything right now!

To dress this up I added these two long necklaces, one from Target and one from Forever. These two necklaces always seem to go together, and lately they’ve been a handy set for any outfit I want to dress up a bit.

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I needed to feel really pretty on Friday, as it was my due date and nothing was happening! I put on make-up and everything! It’s nice that my mind feels a little bit better when I do something as simple as dress nicely for the day. It only takes a few more minutes in the morning but the effect lasts all day!

I did discover that all my shoes are now too tight so I didn’t wear these pink flats for long. I changed into some bronze sandals but I was too lazy to take another picture. The dress only made it a little over half the day, too, until I changed into my Old Navy skirt and a tank because it was hot! Plus, this dress is one of those that just hangs from my bump, so I wasn’t too excited about it. It’s nice for the midwife’s office (which was the main event Friday morning) – easy access to the bump with this wrap style!

So that concludes week one of maternity leave. I’m writing this on Sunday and, of course, there’s no baby yet. I plan on keeping Tie Tuesday alive until Baby2 arrives, so who knows? Maybe we’ll have a Tie Tuesday post next week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for not having one though!

On a More Positive Note!

Still no baby, but I have been busy the last couple days which has helped my mind a lot!

Last week, Kiddo1 received his shipment of Titanic memorabilia. He was very excited about getting these commemorative coins and reproductions of Titanic stuff. We came up with the idea to frame some of the cool stuff so he could always look at it without having to get it out of a box or something. Yay project for me! I finished it up last night while he was at a sleepover. We still need to get it hung (always a sticking point for me!) but here’s a picture we took of it just now…

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I used a new mating technique where the mats are raised a little by another layer of mat board hidden underneath the other two layers. Difficult to describe, easier to show. I think it makes the mat a little more interesting.

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Also during Kiddo1’s sleepover away, Mr. Handsome and I got in a date night! Probably the last one we’ll have for awhile! We went out to dinner downtown and stopped for some ice cream to celebrate National Ice Cream Day. Yum!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Then today I not only fit in two, TWO, naps, but we also took Kiddo1 and his sleepover buddy downtown with us for lots of walking and to see some sand sculptures that were being built for a festival this weekend. I had no idea how hoping downtown is during the week! We usually only venture down there on the weekends, and I figured those were pretty busy. I guess all those people working come out of their buildings and make it quite a busy place!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

We stopped by a toy store, too, and the kids got a little crazy with some ride-on toys. Normally I would not condone this behavior (I swear!) but it was pretty cute and the store was dead. Then the kids crashed, which was hilarious.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I’m glad Kiddo1 got some energy out. He seems to have been a bit anxious himself these last few days. He releases his anxiety by basically going a little nuts and bouncing all over the house. We go to the park, get out to museums and generally “run him” at least once a day, but right now that isn’t really cutting it. I really hope his extra energy is due to nerves (that sounds bad, but stay with me) and not some kind of energy surge in general because that will make a house with a newborn kind of crazy! We’ll still be able to get him out of the house, though, and with family here he’ll have lots to do. He insists that he wants to just stay home after the baby is born, but I’m sure he’ll get bored enough to want to go out with them after a couple days.

So not a bad past 24 hours or so. I’m feeling more zen this afternoon than I was this morning. It helps to be accomplishing things, like the framing. Now I must find something else to create!

Someone Else’s Birthday

Today is my dad’s and father-in-law’s birthday. So happy birthday to them! They were both hoping for Baby2 to hold out until today, of course. Up until a few days ago (or a week? Or yesterday?) I was sure we wouldn’t make it this far. Now I’m not even sure if she’ll be born today!

I’m fighting my tension. I know my lack of relaxation is not making things any better. I feel horrible that all my recent posts have been so negative. I’m usually a very positive person! I can usually see the up side of any situation, but I’m different right now. I must make my next post more positive!

But back to the bitching for just one more minute… The part of this whole thing that I’m stuck on is now there’s no chance of getting my wish for alone time with Mr. Handsome and the kids before my patents and in-laws arrive (my parents will be here in two days). I fought Mr. Handsome so hard on this and now… why was I fighting? What does it matter now? Ugh. I feel like if I didn’t have the family visits bearing down on me, I wouldn’t be having such a hard time right now. I want to enjoy these last days (weeks?) of pregnancy!

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to see my family, of course! I just know that the closer to the delivery date that they arrive, the more tired and “not normal” (for lack of a better phrase) I’ll be. That’s just not fair to them. Whether they say they want/need to be entertained or not, I want to entertain them! I want to be a good host! And I can’t do that if I can barely stay awake… or sit down without an inflatable donut.

At this point, though, this is something I’m just going to have to get over. I can’t get my way with this one. Shoot, at this point I should just be hoping she arrives before their visit ends!

Babywatch Update

Still no baby and we’re two days overdue, but some progress to report. We went to the midwife on Friday – as of last Tuesday’s (7/3) appointment I was fine with not going in again, but as the days lingered on I felt like I needed to go for my own sanity.

We had to see a different midwife but she was very nice and supportive. Before going in I almost thought I’d get some lecture about how I have to be patient and what not. But there was no judging on her part, which was great!

My uterus measured at 38 cm, right on track (last Tuesday it was 37 cm). Baby2’s heartbeat was in the 130s, also very good. I asked to please be “checked” and she agreed to, although she did make sure to tell me that the results aren’t indicative of anything, really. It won’t tell me when this labor thing is going to go down. Sigh.

I was 2-3 cm dilated, 50 percent effaced and “soft and ready,” she said. She didn’t find any signs of scar tissue from my LEEP (in 2004) which is great because I was nervous about that. Also, my cervix has already moved up and away from my spine, which is great!

She also swept my membranes because I was already a bit dilated. I spotted for several hours afterward, but she said that’s probably just the rest of my mucus plug. I was pretty crampy for the rest of the day, too, but no contractions. Well, that’s a lovely paragraph to read, huh? Might as well add that I’ve finally pooped a couple times too! You’re welcome.

Physically I’m still feeling awesome, but my emotions are touch-and-go. In what seems like a split second I flip from excitement to frustration, from contentment to sorrow. Of course it’s worse when I’m not actively doing something, which makes sleep continue to be difficult. Last night I could nod off around 11:30 but I was up wide awake at 4:30 this morning. I refused to nap yesterday, thinking it would affect my nighttime sleep, but at this point I suppose it’s best to take what I can get!

On a non-baby note, I was fortunate enough to attend the wedding of one of my favorite friends last night. I said the only thing that would stop me from going would be if I was in the hospital, which I obviously wasn’t! Plus I’m still physically feeling great. And I’m so glad I got to go! It was a perfect weather day, a touching ceremony and a lovely reception complete with awesome food. And the bride was a knock-out! How did I not take a single picture?! Damn my absent mind! Anyway… Congrats Trang and Andy! Enjoy your tropical honeymoon and safe travels!!