Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our Birth Story

Wednesday, Oct. 21st, was my sister's due date. Tomorrow she will be five days late. The same day we delivered our baby. She has been having contractions since last night and should be going to the hospital sometime tonight. I can't wait for the munchkin's cousin to arrive! So in honor of her, and before I forget, I am going to finally share our birth story.

On Tuesday, September 8th, 4 days after my due date, I had a doctor's appointment at 3:00 with Julie, the nurse practitioner. I wasn't having any contractions that were significant and I was still at 1 cm, the same as my last appointment. Julie went ahead and stretched me out to 2 cm and stripped my membranes. We hoped that this would cause me to have more contractions and get things going. I was scheduled to be induced on Thursday, September 10th, which meant that munchkin would probably be born on Sept 11th. She informed me that my OB, Dr. M, would be working at the hospital that night and that if I started to have any strong contractions to just go ahead and go to the hospital. She thought that since I was late, Dr. M would probably go ahead and admit me.

So we left the doctor's office in high hopes that tonight we would be going to the hospital. We decided to go to Schnuck's to buy some groceries and do some walking around. We then picked up some Arby's for dinner and headed home.

I had already been suffering from horrible pelvic pains and lower back pain. Other then a few new contractions, nothing really seemed to be happening. My back pain seem to be worsening though, so I decided we were just going to go to the hospital anyway. I feared they might try to send me home, but I was done being pregnant and I was just going to have to figure out a way for them to keep me there and deliver this baby. I hoped that with my doctor already at the hospital, and being past my due date, they would go ahead and admit me.

Around 7:30 we packed everything up, called our friends that were watching our dog so they would come and pick her up later, and headed to the hospital. As soon as we arrived at Labor and Delivery (around 8pm), I saw my doctor sitting in the nurse's station. I was so happy to see her. As soon as we walked up to her, I started on the waterworks. I wasn't even trying to act, or make it seem I was in more pain, I was just so frustrated with being pregnant and relieved to see her, that they just started flowing. It certainly didn't hurt though, I am sure it made me seem much more pitiful. She asked if I was in labor, and I told her, "I sure hope so". They put me in a room and started checking me in. I was now at 3 cm and having irregular contractions.

Dr M gave me my options. I could either hang out for a while, walk the halls of the hospital and see how things progressed, I could go home and wait there to see what happened, or she could break my water for me and get things started that way. I knew that after my water was broken, the baby would have to be delivered within 24 hours, so I chose that option. It wasn't exactly along the lines of my plan of doing everything naturally and letting nature take it's course, but my body was done. I could barely walk any more without pains shooting through my pelvic area. My feet were so swollen, I could barely even wear my sandals anymore. And with tomorrow's date being 9-9-09, that sounded like a much better birthday then 9-11.

At 9:15, Dr. M broke my water. It was uncomfortable, but not exactly painful. I couldn't really feel the water coming out. Joe had left the room to bring all of our belongings from the car. When he came back, I had told him she had broken my water. He seemed almost disappointed at first he hadn't been there, but then he seemed more excited that things were underway. After my water was broken, things seemed to actually slow down. My contractions stopped completely and the line on the monitor that represented them, had flat lined.

In order to pick things up, they administered the first round of pitocin at 10:15. I was extremely disappointed that we had to use pitocin. I knew that any hopes of going without an epidural were fading once pitocin was brought into the game. This usually causes you to have much more painful contractions. I was still going to go as long as I could without it though. At my request, they brought me out a birthing ball. It was much more comfortable to sit on that then it was to lay down in the bed.

At 11:45, my sister Amy and her husband J came up to visit us. It was nice to have the distraction for a while and they also brought us their video camera to use. I was so grateful later that they did. They left a little after midnight.

Pitocin was given every 30 minutes till the contractions become really intense. At 2:05 am, they checked me again. I was at 3.5 cm, 70% effaced and my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.

The contractions started to become unbearable. At the onset of each one, I tried to find something to focus on, to relax and breath through each one. But each one, became harder to get through then the next. It felt as if someone was taking a knife and stabbing me in my uterus.

I have probably had nearly 20 kidney stones in my life. They are extremely painful and hard to get through. I have been told that kidney stones are worse then labor. I have heard this quite a few times, from doctors and other people. I can tell you though, with some certainty, that any kidney stone that I have had, couldn't even compare to the intense pain I was feeling from these contractions. I don't know if it was because of the pitocin or if I was just a big baby, but this was horrible and I couldn't take it any more. I was also exhausted from not having slept in so long. I hadn't even taken my usual afternoon nap that day. After each contraction, my body would slump over in exhaustion, and all I wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep, but I knew that within another minute there would be another contraction.

At 3:05 am I was given an epidural. I was dialated at a 4 and 80% effaced. I was so disappointed that I couldn't hold out any longer. I like to think that if I had been able to get some rest, or if we hadn't had to use pitocin, I would have been able to make it, but who knows. Getting the epidural was no picnic either. I sat on the side of the bed, as the anesthesiologist sat behind me, and Joe sat infront of me holding my hands. It seemed to take forever for him to finish. I cried and squeezed the crap out of Joe's hands as the doctor put the huge needle to my spine. After he was finished, I laid back in the bed and waited. from my waist down to my knees, I started to lose all feeling. It was so strange. I couldn't life my legs at all. And when I would touch them with my hand, I couldn't feel my hand there at all. Obviously, this is what was supposed to happen, but still, it was really wierd.

With that being done, they strongly encouraged us to try to get some rest before we had to start pushing, now that I wouldn't be feeling my contractions. They shut off the lights and left the room. Joe had no problem falling asleep. I on the other hand, as exhausted as I was, couldn't figure out any way to actually sleep. I was in the hospital, in labor, getting ready to have a baby. How the hell could I sleep?!

At 5:00 am, I was at 5cm. At 6:15 the nurse came into check me. I was at a 7 and jumped to an 8. My contractions were steadily 2 minutes apart. I texted my mom and told her she better hurry and get up there. At 6:45 I was at 10 cm and my doctor was called. She was at her office, which was about 25 minutes from the hospital. With Joe on my right leg, and a nurse on my left, I started pushing with each contraction. I wrapped each arm tightly around each thigh and pulled as I pushed down as hard as I could through each contraction. Even though everything was numb with the epidural, I could still feel each contraction and the intense need to push with the pressure near my bottom. I pushed with every ounce of strength in me and each one left me more and more exhausted.

After a few pushes, the nurse said she could see the baby's hair coming out. She told Joe to look. I had told Joe that I really didn't want him to watch the baby come out. I didn't want him to see me down there all mangled and stretched out delivering a baby. But at the time, I didn't care any more. Everything seemed different and my reasoning from before, no longer seemed important. So Joe looked and saw the baby's hair too. He said he couldn't believe how much hair he saw. The nurse asked me if I wanted a mirror. I declined without hesitation.

I want to take just a minute to say how amazing my husband was. Not as amazing as me, ofcourse (I was the one in labor after all), but he was such a great, supportive, loving, partner. He helped me to stay calm and to keep a steady head. He encouraged me and was there right by my side, the entire time, helping me through all of it. I was so grateful for him.

I didn't have to push for very long before we became really close. The nurse left the room to see how much longer the doctor would be, leaving me and Joe along to push through contractions. After one contraction, Joe thought he was going to have to catch the baby himself as her whole head almost came out. The nurse came in and told me to stop pushing and wait for the doctor. This may sound easy, but it's not. When the contractions came on, I couldn't help but push, it was nearly impossible not to. But I had to try. So with each contraction, I tried to relax (yeah right) and not push. This baby really wanted to come out though and there wasn't much I could do about it. Luckily my doctor finally arrived and after two more pushes, our little munchkin was born! Pushing was about an hour long, but if my doctor had actually been there when it started, it would have been more like 30-40 minutes.

At 7:58, she came in weighing at 7lbs, 4 0z and 20.5 inches long. I was so relieved that things had gone relatively smoothly and that I didn't have to push for too much longer. I wasn't sure how much more strength I had in my legs. As soon as she was born, they brought her up and laid her on my chest.

I couldn't believe how tiny and perfect and beautiful she was. I immediately started crying and was overcome with so many emotions, I couldn't even began to describe it. They took her over to the warmer to check her over and get her vitals. Joe cut her umbilical cord, as my doctor delivered the placenta. Without meaning to, or wanting to, Joe actually got to see the placenta as he headed over to cut the munchkin's cord. I only needed a couple of stitches. I had torn just a little, but not too badly, and not through any muscles.

After wiping her all down, they brought her back to my chest so she could nurse. One of the reasons I was hoping to avoid an epidural had to due with my desire to get breastfeeding off to a really good start. I had learned that epidural babies can come out much more tired and can have a harder time latching on and that if they don't latch on within the first hour or so it can sometimes make the first couple of days harder to get breastfeeding started. I guess that wasn't really true at all, or atleast it wasn't the case for us. She latched on right away and had no problems at all. She nursed for almost 3o minutes. After we were done nursing they brought in everything for her first bath. Joe watched her get her first bath, as the nurse checked over my vitals and made sure everything was okay with me. She wasn't happy at all during her bath.

Here she is all cleaned up. You can see me in the background. Look how big my belly still was!

My parents were so excited!

Mommy and Baby, together at last.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Munchkin Picture Update

I haven't posted any pictures in a while, so I thought I better...

Here she is right after a bath. I was drying her hair with a towel and couldn't pass up this photo opportunity.

We tried a new position in the Sleepy Wrap and she fell asleep almost instantly. I just walked all over the house with her and she just slept the whole time.

Here she is in her "I love Dad" outfit, sporting a pair of her Baby Legs leggings.

All curled up with grandma...

Chillin with pops...

And here she is with me. I can't believe how big she is getting already!

I packed away all of her newborn stuff a couple of weeks ago. She'll be in the 3-6 mos stuff pretty soon.

She is still sleeping great in her swing through the night. She has even gone for some 5+ hour stretches. It's been great.

We took her to the park the other day and went for a walk. Then we took her to my sister's house and hung out there for a few hours and had dinner. It was so nice to get out of the house for an entire evening. She did great at my sister's. It was a good place to start because she has the same swing and all sorts of baby stuff since her due date was yesterday. Any day now, she will have a new cousin! Last night we went for a quick trip to Walmart. Tonight we took her to Sam's (a shopping club) and then to Babies-r-us. She did so good. She pretty much slept the entire time, except for about 20 minutes in Sam's when she just stared, wide-eyed and looked around at everything. I was so relieved.

So we are finally getting out there. It feels good to be doing things again. Saturday night my mom is going to come over and hang out with her while we go see a movie. She will be giving her a bottle so hopefully everything will go well. Joe tried to give her one on Wednesday when I went to my doctor's appointment, but it didn't go very well. She drank about an ounce and a half, but that was about it. I think Joe was just really nervous and not sure what to do. So I think it was more him then her. I think it might be better for her to start out with my mom and then Joe can try again. We'll see.

Tomorrow someone is coming to look at our house at 9:30 am. This sucks cuz we are usually just getting out of bed at that time. So we'll be getting up early and heading over to my sister's house for a little while. Someone came out and looked at the house last night too. They said they really liked the house, but they didn't like the lot. I wish they would have said why. Maybe because we live at the bottom of a HUGE hill and the first thing that everyone thinks when driving down it is "what the hell happens when there is ice?". Well, you call in sick. Obviously.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to Move on

I haven't had much time to blog or read any of my other favorite blogs. Not only because of the little munchkin. There is alot going on around here lately. Our house is going on the market today, so we have been working really hard to get things ready. Cleaning, packing and organizing has been on my to do list every day and it's not easy to get alot done with baby keeping me so busy. But we managed to get things in order as much as possible. A photographer came out today to take pictures of the house and it will be listed today or tomorrow.

Why are we moving? My husband wants to go back to school in January, and with the little munchkin here, we really can't afford our house anymore and do everything we want to do. Not to mention the decline in the automotive business (where my husband works) and me going back to work only part time. We are planning on moving into a condo or a nice apartment for a couple of years while the hubs gets his degree and then we'll find another house. I have lots of mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I am excited and looking forward to the change and what is to come. On the other hand, I am sad about losing our house. It's the first home we bought together and it is the house we brought baby home to. We have made so many great memories here. It is time to move on though and we are ready.

I am hoping it sells fast. Having a house on the market, having to keep things clean all of the time and always having to be ready to leave so someone can view it, is not going to be easy with a little baby. I am looking at it as an adventure. Who knows when I will have to grab everything, pack up the baby and throw it all in the car and leave. It could be any minute, every day. Fun.

So that's what has been going on with me and why I have been too busy to keep things updated. I hope everyone else is doing well. Hopefully I can catch up with everyone very soon.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Last night I finally was able to get some decent sleep.

The little munchkin hasn't been sleeping well, so ofcourse, I haven't either. It would go something like this. At bed time each night, I would nurse her, burp her, swaddle her and then spend about 20 - 30 minutes to rock her to sleep. Then 30 to 60 minutes she would wake up again and couldn't put herself back to sleep so I would have to spend 20 - 30 minutes putting her back to sleep again and so on until it was time to nurser her and then we would do this over and over again till morning. It takes me a while to fall asleep after she does, so I would only get aobut 15 - 45 minutes of sleep before she would wake up again.

I did a little research about infant sleep patterns. I was getting so frustrated and I wasn't able to figure out why she kept waking up and couldn't fall back to sleep on her own. Apparantly when they first fall asleep, they are in a light sleep pattern that lasts about 20 minutes, then they go into a deep sleep pattern. After about an hour, they go back into a light sleep pattern in which some stay asleep, some will wake and fall back asleep and some will wake and need to be put back to sleep in the same way they are put to sleep in the first place. Once I would hear her start to wake in her light sleep pattern I would try to follow some of the suggestions I found. I would stick her binky back in her mouth (we recently gave her the binky back and it has been working out great this time), I would rub her belly, or sing her a lullaby. Nothing would help. She would wake up every time and would only go back to sleep if I would pick her up and rock her.

So last night I decided we were go to try co-sleeping in the bed. I have been very nervous to try this because I wasn't sure there was enough room in our queen size bed for all three of us and even though I am sure I would wake up very easily any time she did or if anything was wrong, I still wasn't sure it was entirely safe. But every morning after Joe leaves for work, I bring her into the bed with me and after nursing we would both fall asleep for a couple more hours. She always sleeps so well and just really seems to enjoy being so close to me while she is sleeping. We set up the bed to be a little safer for her to join us and had everything set.

The last few nursings last night she would start to cry and act like her tummy was hurting her really bad. I figured it had to be something I ate and I am pretty sure it was the pizza we had. By the time we went to bed, it wasn't any better and she was really upset (screaming) when I would lay her down flat. We were all exhausted, I felt so bad for her and I wasn't sure what to do, so I brought her swing into our bedroom, strapped her in and set it to the highest incline. She was practically sitting straight up. As soon as I set her in it, she calmed right down and passed out. She slept for four hours. Then she woke up to nurse and I put her right back in her swing and she slept for another three. Then the same thing again and another three hours of sleep. It was so nice to be able to just wake up, nurse her, maybe change a diaper and then right back to bed. I was in heaven! I don't know how long this will work, but for now the swing will be coming to bed with us and rocking her to sleep (and keeping her asleep) for me. Yay!!

I can't believe how much she loves that damn swing. Often during the day, I will try to cuddle up on the couch with her. She will start to fuss and cry and after trying everything I can think of, nursing her, rocking her, changing her diaper, walking around with her, the only thing that that she wants is to just sit in her swing. Some mothers will try to get their baby to hang out in a swing while they can get things done or just have some time to their selves and their babies will have nothing to do with it, but it seems we are kind of the opposite. I will try to keep her really close to me, wear her in my sling and sleep right next to her, but sometimes she is just happier in her swing. I suppose I shouldn't complain though, atleast now I am getting so sleep.

Update: Here we are 2 days later and we are getting lots of sleep! I am only nursing 1 or 2 times during the middle of the night and the rest of the time we are sleeping. I am so relieved. I am not sure how it's going to work out, keeping her in her swing all night. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

1 month photo shoot

The photo shoot went pretty good last night. Our friend Scott came over to take her pictures. She was a pretty good sport, until she wanted to sleep and we kept waking her up to take more pictures. She was pretty upset toward then end, so we stopped. But not before we got some pretty good shots. Here they are....

She LOVED her halloween costume. As soon as I put her in she passed right out and slept until we took her out of it.

We are so grateful to Scott for coming out and taking these pictures for us. Scott also shot our wedding and maternity photos. We feel so lucky to have a friend who is such a great photographer. Especially since there is no way we could afford to get such great pictures taken otherwise!

And just to show how much she has changed, I am going to throw in a couple pictures that were taken of her at the hospital the day after she was born. Here she is one day old!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Munchkin!

The little munchkin is 1 month old today! Everyone talks about how fast time flies by when you have a baby. They were not lying. It's crazy how fast the time flies. I was also told that as hard as breastfeeding is, things would usually work themselves out and we would get the hang of it after about a month or so. I wasn't sure how that could ever happen, but much to my relief, it seems that we are doing just that. We still have some things to work out, but looking back at those first couple of weeks, things are significantly better.

The nights are getting a little easier. She is going atleast 3 hours between eating. This makes for longer stretches of sleep for me, but it also makes for more uncomfortable boobies. Sometimes she will go over four hours and I get so engorged, I am almost tempted to wake her up to nurse. But I try to endure it, hoping that things will adjust.

I am still nervous about nursing outside of the house. I went to a La Leche League meeting on Tuesday night. I took baby with me and Anna also met us there for some moral support. It was nice to get out of the house and to take her with me, but she slept the entire time and we weren't able to get any practice nursing. That's okay though, because the meetings are in a community room at a hospital and it would have been pretty uncomfortable nursing there anyway. It's just a bunch of tables and chairs. I brought our boppy just incase, but I'm glad we didn't need to use it. I think I would rather start out somewhere more comfortable, like at a friend or family member's house. I am thinking next week, we might drive out to Anna's house and hang out with her for a while. It will be a better place to start. I am still making a bit of a mess with all my over abundance of milk, but each day still seems to get a little better.

I did get to leave the house for 2 whole hours last night to do some shopping with my mom. I nursed right before I left and she stayed home with daddy, while my mother and I went to Kohl's and Target. We picked out some outfits for the munchkin, including something for her one month photo shoot and her halloween costume. It's so cute... I can't wait to post pictures.

Tonight, my friend Scott, who is a fantastic photographer is going to come over and take some pictures of her for her one month birthday. I am also going to have him snap a few shots of her in her costume.

It's been raining nonstop the past couple of days here. Its gray and gloomy and I miss being able to walk outside and hang out for a while with baby. She loves it outside and if she's fussy it's almost guaranteed she will relax instantly if I take her out there.

Last week my granparents, baby's great grandparents, came out to see her. Don't they look smitten?

Here's a pic of her and my mom...

Joe is now growing his facial hair back, which I am happy about. I think he's just a facial hair type of guy... I don't know what it is, but I missed it! I had to take a picture of him though while he was clean shaven, you can really see how much his daughter looks like him.

And here's one with us sporting one of our new native carriers...