Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Peanut's Birth Story

First off, please excuse any typos or grammer mistakes. I am typing this quickly. I don't have alot of time for blogging right now, but I really wanted to get this done before I forgot anything important.

I still can't believe she's finally here. She's no longer moving around in my belly, she's now officially an outside baby. I also can't believe how amazing everything went with her birth. It was such an overall wonderful experience. So much better then I could have hoped for.

Things started overnight and early Friday morning, July 6th. My contractions were strong, but nothing consistent. They were coming every hour, sometimes more, sometimes less, but they were pretty strong and definitely different then the contractions I had been having before. They came and went throughout the day on Friday. I would sometimes have to stop what I was doing and hold on to something nearby, focusing my breath and trying to relax as they came and went. They would never get any where near a consistent five minutes apart, so I just kept going about my day and getting through each one.

Throughout that night and into the next morning, the contractions started to become extremely intense and much more painful. The came almost exactly one hour apart throughout the entire night. Each one seemed to last a really long time and each one seemed to be stronger and more painful then the last. I just laid in bed, on my side, trying to stay calm and focused and breathing through each one. It was a very long night and somehow I still managed to get some sleep between each contraction.

I got up early Saturday morning and told Joe that I had a feeling we were going to have a baby that day. My mom texted me around 9:00 am asking the peanut to come out and meet us. I told her what a horrible night it had been. She said she would get the little pool in her back yard ready so I could sit in it. I told her that this was the day. It had to be.

I started getting some things packed. They started becoming about 10 minutes apart consistently. About 10:00am, I decided to lay down for a while and see if I could get any rest. The contractions kept coming, getting closer and closer together. I laid in bed wondering if we should maybe head to the hospital soon. I just didn't feel it was time quite yet.

I really really wanted to have an unmedicated, natural birth. This isn't always easy in a hospital setting and I knew the longer I could hold out at home, the better chance I would have. I knew as soon as I got to the hospital and they started trying to poke me with things and make me sit in the bed while they monitored me, that it would be so much more difficult to handle the pain and make it without any assistance. I was afraid I would cave as soon as I was stuck in that bed, the contractions getting stronger and stronger and more and more painful and the nurses saying, "Are you sure you don't want an epidural? Are you sure we can't give you anything for the pain?" I just didn't want the temptation. I also knew that dealing with the contractions in my own home would be so much more bearable. I could lay in my bed, take a shower, sit on a ball, walk around the house, or lean up against my wall, all in a familiar setting. I could have the help of my husband and the distraction of the munchkin.

I got out of bed once I realized the contractions were started to get closer and closer together. I started to time them and realized they were around 2 to 3 minutes apart. Looking back, I am surprised I didn't just drop everything and head in at that moment.  I didn't really have a master plan or think really hard about what I was doing. I just kept going with my gut and doing whatever felt right. We started bringing everything into the kitchen to get ready to load in the car. I told Joe to grab the cooler so I could pack up all my food in it for our stay. He asked if we really needed to, he could always come back for it. I told him that we were definitely going to have this baby when we got there and I was going to be starving afterwards! After an hour of the contractions being 2 to 3 minutes apart, I called my mom and told her that we were dropping off the munchkin and heading to the hospital.

The ride to the hospital was the worst. Every bump and sharp turn felt like I was being stabbed somewhere down below. The contractions were getting so strong and close together I could barely see straight. By the time Joe pulled up to the emergency door exit, I knew there was no way I could even get out of the car by myself. Joe helped me out and walked me in. He parked the car, while an employee put me in a wheelchair and brought me up to the maternity floor. We had called my OB on the way there and told her it was time.

As soon as I arrived in the maternity ward, they could see how much pain I was in. I told them my contractions were only a couple minutes apart and they started working really quickly. It was a whirlwind of nurses and technicians all bringing equipment into my room.

They asked me if I wanted an epidural and I told her no and that I didn't want any pain killers of any kind. They put me into the bed, hooked up the little monitors to track the baby's heartbeat and my contractions and then went to check my cervix.

"She's at a 9 and 100% effaced!"

"Call her doctor, this baby is coming!"

I think I timed that one pretty good if you ask me!

Suddenly my legs were up on the racks and my doctors partner, who was already at the hospital came into the room. There was no way my doctor could make it there on time.  My water had not broken and was still in place. The doctor told me to let her know when I was ready and she was going to break my water. She said that things were going to move very quickly after that. My mom still wasn't there and I didn't want her to miss it, but I was in so much pain and I needed to move forward. The doctor broke my water and right after, my mom flew into the room.

With Joe on my right leg and my mom on my left, we were ready. Atleast as ready as I would ever be. The doctor told me to let her know when I felt ready to push and to start pushing with the contractions. For each contraction I would bear down and push as hard as I could as Joe and my mom would help pull up my legs. I was pushing so hard and at one point the doctor told me to relax my face as much as I could and try to push only through my bottom.

Joe told me later that my face had been so red and all of my veins were popping out, so that was probably why she offered that suggestion.  Also afterwards, I had tiny red dots, little blood vessels, that were all over my face and shoulders. They faded after a day, but if the doctor hadn't suggested that to me and I hadn't followed her advice, I probably could have done some real damage there.

Through each contraction, I pushed as hard as I could. They kept telling what a good job I was doing and I tried believing them, even though it hurt like hell and I couldn't tell if I was really making any progress or not. At one point I remember saying that I didn't know what to do, it just hurt so bad and then I asked if anything I was doing was even helping.

I had read about the "Ring of Fire", but nothing could have ever prepared me for it. I knew as soon as I felt it that it was exactly that. It was crazy intense, a burning feeling that really felt like a ring of fire. Everyone was telling me to push as hard as I could, to push right where the pain was. The doctor said that she could see her hair and her head was coming out. Joe and my mom were taking peeks, getting excited and telling me that she was coming, to just keep pushing. I took a deep breath, let it out and pushed as hard as I could, then pushed a little harder.

Suddenly I felt the intense pressure and I knew her head was coming out. I also felt a huge sense of relief as soon as it passed through, them more pressure as her shoulders came through. I could actually feel it all, each part as it passed through. It was crazy painful, but so wonderful at the same time. I can't describe that feeling... but even as the pain was hitting me, I was somehow grateful I could feel it.

Later Joe told me that right before her head came out, as it was pushing it's way out and stretching things, that my vagina looked like homer simpson's mouth, but with the slit going in the other direction. Ewe.

Finally her shoulders passed and a huge feeling of relief passed over my body. The doctor pulled her the rest of the way out. I was able to stop pushing and let me body relax.

Holy crap, what a relief.

We arrived at the hospital right around 1:00pm and she was born at 1:52pm!

Joe cut the cord, and she was handed to me. She was covered in the thickest layer of vernix you could imagine. My cheesy little baby! I was so happy she was finally here and that I could love on her and hold her.


The doctor finished everything up below as they checked the baby over and made sure everything was okay.

It was weird passing the placenta and feeling everything. I had a small tear, so the doc stitched that up as well.  I told them I wanted to start nursing right away and once the doc was finished up with everything else down below, they handed her over to me. She latched on right away and nursed for 15 minutes on each side!

Her first bath took forever. The nurse had to work really hard to remove all of the vernix from her skin. Joe asked her if we could collect it in a bottle and use it to moisturize our skin. She laughed, but also looked at him like he was crazy.


I couldn't believe how great I felt. I was able to get up and use the restroom and there was nothing constraining me to the bed. I had zero swelling anywhere on my body and other then feeling pretty sore down below, I felt completely normal.  After my first birth experience with the munchkin, I was stuck in the bed for hours afterwards waiting for any feeling to come back to my legs from the epidural. I hated it. What a different experience this was!

I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. I was so inlove with this new baby. So happy she had arrived safely and healthy. I was so grateful. I was also so happy that everything had happened the way that it did. That this birth experience was everything I had hoped for.  I felt incredibly lucky.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

40 Weeks!! Still no baby....

Today is the day! You know, the day I marked on my calendar as the DUE DATE! The day we have been counting down to and waiting for and planning for....

The munchkin was late. Early on, I assumed little Peanut would be late too. But as we got into the last couple of months, I was having so many contractions and false labor I thought for sure my body was gearing up and she would arrive early.

June 15th was our first false alarm. I started having contractions and they continued to get closer together and lasting longer. They were not extremely painful though so I hesitated to go into the hospital. It was a Friday night though, so I couldn't go in to see my doctor the next day and it just seemed like something wasn't right. So we headed in, and instead of coming home with a baby, I returned with a diagnosis for a urinary tract infection and dehydration. Apparantly that is what was causing all of the contractions. I was a little confused about the dehydration, since all I really drink is water, but I vowed to try to drink more. As far as the UTI, this was my 2nd one while being pregnant. They assured me this was normal and that being pregnant can cause them very easily with the weight of the baby and all of the pressure sometimes pushing down on things and causing infections. Ugh.

The following weeks, the contractions continued. Nothing that had a pattern or that made me think anything major was happening. Definitely enough to be annoying and make a good night's sleep very hard to come by.

Wednesday, June 27th, was our 2nd false alarm. I started having contractions around 6:00pm. I didn't think much of them at first, evening contractions were pretty normal for me at this point, but over the next few hours they started getting extremely strong and painful and much closer together. Between 9 and 10 they were less then 5 minutes apart and were lasting about a minute each. We decided we better head in. We packed everything up, dropped the munchkin off at my parents and headed in about 10:30. I was literally yelling out in pain and stopping during contractions to catch my breath and hold on to something. The drive there was awful. They were coming in so strongly and painfully, I was afraid we weren't even going to make it there on time. Once we arrived, parked and headed up to the maternity floor, the contractions started to slow down.  Right then I had a feeling we were not having a baby that night and I was soooooo upset! Not upset that she wasn't ready, but upset that we had waited and waited and made sure before we took another unecessary trip to the hospital (which was also a 30-40 minute drive from our home). I really really really didn't want to head in again, just to come home empty handed.

But ofcourse, that is exactly what happened. After hooking me up to the monitors to check everything out and see how my contractions were going, they suggested I walk around a little to see if things would get started again. I walked for a little bit, but then decided to just head home. It just seemed to me that if something was going to happen, it would be happening... and I didn't want to just hang out at the hospital on a Friday night when I could be at home in bed sleeping (or trying to anyway). We headed home around 1:00am. Atleast I now I had two giant water mugs with straws as souvenirs from each trip. I guess that is something. 

After discussing my schedule and daily activities at the hospital, they did suggest I might want to try and take it much easier and that I was probably trying to do too much at this stage in my pregnancy. It seemed everyone else was telling me the same thing (including my husband), so I decided to go ahead and start my maternity leave and try to slow down and relax more before the little Peanut's arrival.  That was a little over a week ago, and I guess it was a good idea, because I haven't had near as many contractions and have been feeling much better. I am going stir crazy though!

So obviously, she will be arriving late. Just like the munchkin. I have absolutely no desire to be induced or force anything along, so it will just be a waiting game until she decides she is ready. I hope it doesn't come to it, but my doctor will only let me go 2 weeks over. That will put us around the 19th for an induction date if it comes to that point (oh how I hope it doesn't go that long!). I have a doc appt today and I guess she will set a date for us just incase. I haven't been having my cervix checked or anything like that, but now that we are at my due date, she will want to check it and see what is going on.

I am definitely ready for her arrival. I have been nesting like a mad woman and I don't think I could find another cabinet or drawer to clean out. I have cleaned and organized every square inch of this house and have cooked, frozen and packed away enough food to feed us all for months. Joe keeps calling me a doomsday prepper. I might have gone a little bit overboard... but it definitely isn't going to hurt anything.  I won't have to worry about any cooking for a while, I can just concentrate on this little baby once she finally decides to grace us with her presence.

It is so strange how different things feel anticipating our 2nd baby, as opposed to our first. I feel so much more calm and at peace with things. I am ready. I just wish she was!

Until then, we will be anxiously waiting her arrival!!

Here's a few pics we took earlier in the week. I am 39 weeks and 4 days along...

The munchkin loves giving little peanut hugs and kisses.

The munchkin gets pretty upset when we tell her that her little sister isn't ready to come out and play yet.
The munchkin will put a hand on each side of my belly and with a very serious look on her face, tell little peanut that it's time to come out and meet us and that we are waiting for her. She will hug and kiss my belly and tell me that she loves her and that we are all family. It's the cutest and sweetest stuff and it just melts my heart.

Look at the size of this belly!!

Me and my sis :)
I am hoping my next post will include some good news about this baby's entry into the world!!

Update: I just got home from my doctor's appt and there really isn't much new going on. I am still dilated at about a 3 and "very thick". Looks like she is hanging in there a while longer. I have an appointment set for next Thursday. They want to do a stress test and make sure everything is going well. I guess if we make it to that appointment, they will then make plans and set a date to have me induced. Hopefully we won't have to go there. She still has two more weeks to come out on her own. I am not too worried about it, I think she will come on her own just fine. That's what I am telling myself for now anyway.