Monday, May 6, 2013

13 Months Ago (or that time when I gave birth to Little Brother)

The Birth Story of Little Brother
Born: Monday, 3-19-2012, 10:59 a.m.
9 lb, 21.5 inches

Sunday 3/18/12:
We ate breakfast at Mimi’s CafĂ© at the Town Center.  I think I made the comment “This could be our last meal out together as a family of three”.  I was feeling lots of pressure and it was very hard to walk.  We went to Dick’s Sporting Goods where it was getting increasingly more difficult for me to walk.  That evening, we had dinner at my father-in-law’s house.  I decided to soak my feet in the jet tub and Baby Daddy suggested I take a full soak.  I wish we had a jet tub …

Monday 3/19/12:
At approximately 2 am, I woke up with a cramping pain in my lower abdomen/sides of my uterus.  I was able to “relieve” the pain by rubbing the area in a circular motion with my hands.  I dosed off between the “contractions” (wasn’t sure that’s what they were at that point and don’t know how often they were coming).

At 5 am, the contractions were getting closer together.  I was sure they were contractions at that point.  I timed a few and they were about 8 minutes apart.  At 5:30, I woke up Baby Daddy to let him know it was the day we would meet our baby – it just happened to be the day he had guessed!

At 5:56, we texted our doula to let her know I was having contractions.  She wanted to know if the contractions were regular.  I let her know that they were becoming more regular at around 4 minutes apart and lasting about 30-45 seconds.  I said I wasn’t sure if my water had broken.  She asked how I was feeling and if there was any trickling with the contractions, as that usually happens after water breaks.  Baby Daddy wrote back to let her know I was hungry and wasn’t trickling that I could describe but that I was peeing frequently with each contraction.  Our doula said she guessed that my bag of waters was still intact.

Big Sister woke up around 6 am.  I was hungry at this point, so Baby Daddy warmed up a muffin (from Mimi’s) and got me Superfood juice.  Big Sister and Baby Daddy sat in the bed, where she proceeded to eat most of the muffin.  I think I was taking bites in between swaying side to side by the bed during the contractions.
At about 6:30, Baby Daddy texted our doula again to let her know the contractions were getting closer together and that I was feeling pressure in my butt.  Our doula said that it sounded like the real thing and asked if I had eaten.  Baby Daddy let her know that I had and our doula asked us to time a few contractions and let her know the numbers. 

At 7 am, I spoke with our doula (while laboring in bed on my hands and knees).  She said she didn’t think it was time to go yet, that I would sound more “glum” if it was.  She asked me to call her back at 7:30.

I took a shower at some point and the contractions were very intense.  I was holding onto the towel bar, swaying back and forth and was pushing with each contraction to ease the pain. 

After getting out of the shower (without combing my hair, I’m sure), I labored in my bed, pushing with every contraction and eventually feeling a warm gush with each one.  At that point I figured that my water had broken, but I’m not sure when.  Baby Daddy had laid out several towels on the bed.  It’s a good thing he did, because I was bleeding with the gushing.

I wait as long as I can and then I asked Baby Daddy if it was 7:30 yet because I thought we needed to go ahead and go to the hospital.  It was 7:25.  We called our doula at 7:30.  Baby Daddy spoke to her and apparently she heard me scream while they were on the phone.  She told Baby Daddy that she would head over to our house. 

I’m not sure what time we called my mom to come over so she could take Big Sister to school.  I was on the bed and was trying to keep Big Sister out of my room since I was vocalizing my pain during the contractions.  For some reason, my mom came into my room and I screamed “GET OUT!”  She saw that I was bleeding and was worried that I was tearing.  I was just worried that I was pooping each time I pushed, because it sure felt like it.

I was so ready to go at this point.  I remember laboring on the bed and watching Baby Daddy getting his things together to go.  It seemed like he was moving in slow motion.  I didn’t understand why our doula wasn’t at our house yet, she only lives about 10 minutes away.  I was getting more and more impatient and I’m pretty sure my contractions were about two minutes apart.  I was pushing hard with each one, even though I knew I shouldn’t.  I was really worried I was going to wind up having the baby at home.  Baby Daddy kept telling me to wait and that our doula was almost at our house.  I kept telling him that I did not want to wait.  I finally got up, got ready enough to leave the house and went and sat in his car.  I told him it was time and I was not waiting any longer.  He told me our doula was pulling into the neighborhood.  I sat in the car and waited and at about 8:15-20 (?), our doula popped her head into the car and I looked at her and very matter of factly said “It’s time to go”.  She looked at me seriously and said “Okay”.

The drive to the hospital (as I sat on top of garbage bags that were protecting the leather seats) seemed to take forever.    

We arrived at the hospital around 9-9:25 am.  I walked in and proceeded toward the elevator to go to the 3rd floor L&D unit.  The people at the front desk stopped me and told me I needed to check in down the hall (which seemed miles away).  I told them I couldn’t walk all the way down there, that I was pushing.  They repeated that I needed to check in and I repeated that I couldn’t.  Someone got me a wheelchair and they took me up to L&D.  At first they wheeled me past the ante-partum door and Baby Daddy had to tell them which door to go in.  We went through the initial ante-partum room with the three curtained beds to a private ante-partum room where a nurse told me to disrobe so she could check me.  I was having contractions at this time so trying to get my shorts off was difficult.  She kept telling me “you can’t push with your shorts on” or “I can’t check you with your shorts on”, I don’t remember.  She also tried to prevent our doula from coming into the room.  Our doula had to ask me “Is it okay for me to be here?”  At some point the first nurse disappeared and the nurse I know, S, came in to check me.  I don’t recall how I got into the bed.  S checked me and I waited in anticipation for her to announce how far dilated I was.  I’m pretty sure I was holding my breath and exhaled when she said “7-8 centimeters!”  It was time to go to a room.  They asked me if I could walk to the room and I could not, so they wheeled the whole bed down the hall to room 327.  The ride to the room felt so weird, I think I had my eyes closed and it made me dizzy.  Next I had to haul myself up and into the L&D bed.  That was difficult.  I don’t think it was long before S checked me again and announced that I was 9-10 centimeters.  It was pretty quick after we arrived in the room that the nurses were converting the bed so I could start pushing.

Dr. R arrived, decked out in “street clothes”.  I don’t know if he was on call or just the closest doctor to the hospital.  He checked me and said that I was about 9 centimeters and still had a lip of cervix that he needed to move out of the way.  I think that was more painful than the actual contractions.  I screamed at him to basically leave me the f*** alone.  He sat down on the stool in the corner of the room.  I pushed a bit and a few times was offered the epidural which I wanted but didn’t want.  There’s no way I would have been able to hold still for them to put in an epidural anyway.  The contractions were too close together.  Dr. R said that my pushing wasn’t productive and that every time I pushed, the head would come down but then go back up.  He wanted to use a mini-vacuum to help the baby come down.  He used the vacuum with a few contractions and then stopped.  He checked the baby’s position and I heard him say quietly to the nurses that it was OP, which meant the back of the baby’s head was facing my spine and the face was sunny side up.  Not the ideal position.  Baby Daddy suggested that I turn over and push on my hands and knees.  I turned over and grasped Baby Daddy’s and our doula’s hands with such force that I broke a couple blood vessels under my fingernails!  I felt intense pressure and pain between my legs and I yelled at Dr. R to leave me alone.  He said “That’s not me, that’s the baby”.  After about 2-3 sets of pushing on my hands and knees, I turned back over.  A mirror was rolled to the end of the bed so I could see the baby’s head as it descended with each set of pushes.  They thought it would help motivate me.  Seeing a baby’s wet wrinkled head at the “exit point” is quite … gross.  I’m pretty sure I gasped “Is that it’s brain?!?”  Does not look like a cute round baby head at all.  So I watched the head come down with each push and it was motivating but at the same time, I was in so much pain.  The pain really wasn’t from the contractions anymore; it was from the burning sensation in my lady bits (read: searing ring of fire).  I could tell that the pain was holding me back from making progress.  I even skipped pushing during one set of contractions.  I needed the break.  For some reason, they started rolling the mirror away and I had to twist my head around to see into it.  I guess it was so Dr. R could come back to catch the baby.  I thought to myself that I just had to push past the pain to get it over with so I bore down with everything I had during the next sets of pushing and felt an amazing sense of relief when the baby’s head came out.  It was 10:59 am, about two hours or less from the time we arrived at the hospital.  I don’t even remember the body coming out, just how the pain disappeared with the emergence of the head.  At some point before the baby emerged, a nurse placed a plastic sheet on me and I was worried about why they did that.  I asked what was going on and they said it was so they could place the baby on me.  They put the baby on my chest and Baby Daddy looked at its bits and then announced “It’s a boy!”  We wanted to wait until his umbilical cord had stopped pulsating to cut it.  Baby Daddy cut the cord.  We named our baby boy.  The name came to me one day while I was on a walk with Big Sister, before I was even pregnant.  Baby Daddy suggested his middle name, within a week or so before he was born.  It really took us until the week before he arrived to settle on a name.  Since we didn’t know if we were having a girl or boy, we had names picked out for either gender. 

I experienced some tearing, but it was minimal compared to Big Sister’s birth.  I am not sure how many stitches I received.  I think Dr. R repaired my tear before the placenta was born, probably to allow the cord to continue pulsating.  Before baby brother was born, when we were emphasizing the most important points of our birth plan, Dr. R had offered to “milk the cord”, which I declined, but our doula said she saw him do it anyway.

We kept baby brother’s placenta to have encapsulated.  When we told Dr. R we were going to do this, he was kind of dumbfounded.  Our doula shared this story with her doula group:

Me - (while the baby's head was on the perineum) - We will be taking our placenta home with us.
R - I saw that in your birth plan. Are you going to plant it or what?
Me - Um... no. We're doing encapsulation.
R - Oh... like placenta art? I've seen some of those.
Me - (pushing through another ctx and rolling my eyes)
Doula - No... encapsulation. The placenta will be dehydrated, ground and encapsulated.
R - Like in a time capsule kinda thing?
Doula - No, so the mom can take the capsules.
R - What? Like carry them around with her? Like a good luck charm?
Doula -  (seriously having trouble stifling an outburst of guffawing) - No... the mom takes the capsules... like vitamins...
Me - I will INGEST them.
R (after a very long pause while he stood with a blank look on his face) - Well... it's certainly full of a lot of nutrients, I bet.
Doula - Yes, and lots of good hormones. It helps with postpartum depression.
Me - And milk production!
R - So... you're going to do this yourself?
Doula - Some women do, but there are also trained specialists who provide that service. A friend of mine will be picking up this placenta tonight or tomorrow to encapsulate it.

SO FUNNY... I'm really surprised Dr. R's head didn't explode with all that enlightenment. LMAO. He really was trying to show us that he was all up on all this crazy stuff people are doing with placentas these days, but he really looked completely perplexed when we finally got him to understand what exactly was going to happen to that placenta.

I am so proud of myself for having the unmedicated, natural birth that I had hoped for.  The labor and delivery was 9 hours from the time I felt the first contraction to the time Little Brother was born.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Little Bubba!

My baby boy is one today.  I'm still in denial a bit, but I am so happy and proud to have created such a sweet little guy!

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

1 Year!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Stranger Danger

While I'm late with a birth story and one month post for Little Brother, I wanted to get this out while it's still fresh in my mind. 

Yesterday, we attended the birthday party of my best friend's children at a local park. The party festivities took place in the pavilion, adjacent to the playground. When the party wrapped up and all the other guests had left, I asked DH to move the car closer since it had started sprinkling. While I was getting Little Brother situated in his carseat, I was also keeping an eye on Mungee. She was by the swings where a family had just started to play. The next thing I saw was a man lifting Mungee into one of the swings. I walked over and he said to me "She wanted help getting in the swing". I know his intentions were innocent, though I typically think it's inappropriate to make that kind of contact with another person's child without permission. My bigger concern at this point is the fact that Mungee had absolutely zero fear, reservation or apprehension about this complete stranger. 

Mungee and I have discussed strangers, mainly when she sees people walking or riding their bike outside while we're driving somewhere and says "Can I hug them?"  This prompted me to begin to explain the concept of strangers.  To her, a stranger is "a person we don't know", but she doesn't get the deeper meaning.  She's approaching three years old.

At what age did you begin to talk about stranger danger?  When did it sink in, when did your child(ren) get it?  What did you find to be the best resources to facilitate the discussion?

I appreciate your input!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

9 days to go ...

I am absolutely miserable.  I thought I would have this baby early, but I am afraid I'm going to be eating my words.  I've had a terrible hacking cough for a week now and I'm convinced that I've cracked a rib on my right side.  I can't sleep - everything feels smushed when I lay on either side and sleeping on the back is definitely impossible.  The other night I tried to sleep upright in our chair in the den and that didn't even work out.  I've been up the last two nights for hours, just watching tv in the den while Mungee and DH sleep peacefully.  I know I shouldn't complain, but it's hard not to when I'm feeling this bad.

Here are some cute pictures to compensate for my misery.

At the zoo

New Year's Eve


 35 Week Belly

I'm linking up with Shell at Things I Can't Say to Pour My Heart Out

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