Friday, April 19, 2019

A Birth Story

What a difference a week makes!
Last Friday I was 3 days overdue and had an appointment to get an US to check out amniotic fluid levels, and get a non-stress test. So I had the US, everything seemed good (to me), even got another picture of her little profile. Then I went to the midwife part of the appointment and right away she said that there was a concern and I had something called Polyhydraminos, which meant too much amniotic fluid. Right away I asked her, "Should I be crying? Because I feel like crying." As I started to cry. She said that they actually see a case of it every week, earlier in pregnancy it can be bad as it can mean maybe baby isn't swallowing/excreting the fluid and something is wrong with baby's GI system, but they didn't see anything wrong on her earlier anatomy scan, so she didn't know really much more. So we got Doug on the phone and talked it over and she said that I would have to be induced that day. The fear was if my water broke at home the cord could come out in the extra fluid and then it could become a medical emergency, so I needed to be monitored more closely.
So I cried all the way home and we called Doug's parents to come watch August. I had wanted my parents to have him (Doug's had never done an overnight with him before), but my uncle passed a few days prior and my parents were headed to Iowa to be with my mom's sister, which of course I felt she should be there. We threw stuff in the car, and I snuck into August's room while he was napping to say goodbye to my first baby.
One last unflattering, swollen pregnancy photo, and we were off!
One nice thing about being induced is no mad dash to the hospital, no suffering with cramps and bumps on the way, and knowing that soon you will see your baby.
So we get there at 5pm and met with the oncoming shift midwife to discuss the plan. At the appointment they had checked that I was 1.5 - 2 cms dilated, but only 30% effaced (how soft the cervix is). The midwife thought the best route was to take a drug called Mistoprostol that softens the cervix. She thought that as it worked, since I had a baby before, my body would be like "oh I know what do to here" and kick into labor. The other option would be to jump right to Pitocin, which focuses more on dilation. But if your cervix is "unfavorable" aka not soft, we'd have to stop it and do the pill anyway. This was a tough choice for us as we'd read about that Miso drug causing uterine rupture, hemorrhage, death. And even the maker of the drug said they invented it for stomach ulcers, not inducing labor. But ultimately, after talking a lot with the midwife and nurse, we decided to try it and hope my body would take over. That plan is a pill every 4 hours and an hour of monitoring afterwards to make sure baby is "tolerating" the drug. So first pill down at 6pm.
For a while all I felt was just the tightening that still just felt like Braxton-Hicks and maybe very mild cramping. So Doug and I watched HGTV, chatted, ate dinner, walked the halls, ate several cups of hospital ice, and just hung out.
The next dose was at 10pm. At the second dose you are supposed to double it to 50mcg, but because we were so concerned with taking that drug at all, she let us have another check first. So I think there I was 4cm and 50% effaced, so she let us do another 25mcg as the first dose was slowly working. Another hour of monitoring and then around 11:30pm they took off the monitor and Doug and I decided to try to get some sleep until the 2am dose. I still wasn't really feeling anything at all.
About 15 minutes later I heard and felt a "pop" and I wiggled around a bit to see if that was my water breaking, and sure enough, fluid was coming out. So called the nurse who came and tested it with a little strip and said from that point no more drugs, just would watch and wait as if I came into the hospital in active labor.
So they went out and I thought I would try to go back to sleep. Now it was 11:45pm. Anyway, those mild cramps soon became bigger and it was obvious I was done sleeping. For the next hour I bounced and rocked on this big labor ball and kind of moaned, but towards the end I was yelling and finally told Doug I couldn't take it anymore and wanted drugs. At around 1am I pushed the nurse button that I wanted drugs. She came in and checked me and said I was at a 10 and 100% effaced. It was go time.
The next thing I knew the room was filling with people, although I couldn't see anyone as this time I was trying to push in hands and knees position kind of arms draped over the head of the bed vs laying on my back like last time. The books say you're letting gravity help baby descend.
Anyway, lets cut to the chase. It hurt bad. Everyone said natural labor hurts less than labor on Pitocin (which I had with August, and was no picnic believe me, but this seemed worse). And pushing. OW. It just felt like a huge ball was trying to come out and it stung and burn and hurt like heck. Worse than August.
So finally I get the head out and then the nurse was pushing on my legs and telling me to roll over right away, and I couldn't move, so people just flipped me. And there was a hand pushing on my stomach super hard and someone reaching inside and pulling. I looked at my nurse's face and she just had this desperate look on her face and I remember yelling "What is happening?!?" and looked to Doug who told me everything was fine. BS. But finally all that pressure was gone and baby was plopped on my chest while someone cut the cord and then she was quickly whisked off to the warmer. At that point I think someone finally told me her shoulder had gotten stuck so they were pressing on my abdomen to push her down and the midwife was reaching inside to pull her out by her hand. Thankfully, everything was indeed fine. (Sometimes baby gets a broken clavicle when that happens), and I remembered seeing her body and she was pink when she came out, not blue, so I wasn't too worried about her being without oxygen. We could all hear her crying loudly so that was such a relief.
Unfortunately I ripped again, the midwife had to call in the doctor to do a repair and once again I could hear a discussion about what piece came from where and how it was "like a starburst" ouch. But they stitched me up and soon I got to hold my girl. I think I was in shock for a while that just 2 hours after my water broke, she was here!
(this is what real labor looks like, being a sweaty mess and wearing glasses because you took your contacts out earlier thinking you were going to sleep)
I had planned on my friend Liz coming to be a labor support during this birth, but I was thinking nothing was really happening and that more would happen starting at 6am the next day. Later I see these texts, Doug had sent her a couple one-liners after I sent the ones about nothing happening, and now they make me laugh:
Anyway, too quick for a support buddy, but Doug did awesome.
So they cleaned me up and wheeled us to our room in mother/baby where we tried to settle in for the night and finally sleep.
Visitors the next day, including my favorite visitor, big brother!:
We had to stay for a full 48 hours since I was a GBS carrier (1 in 4 women are) and the labor happened too quick to get the required 2 doses of pre-antibiotics, so we had to make sure baby was monitored and didn't become infected. We had several visitors and I mostly lazed around. This time I made sure to have ice down there for a full 48 hours as I think it really hindered my healing last time not having that.
The next day, I don't think any visitors, and Doug even went home a couple hours to relieve his parents and put August to sleep himself before coming back to stay with me. This night was rough as I was pretty much a "human pacifier" and nursed from like 6 to 11am and then again from 6pm to 1am. It was crazy. The second you'd take her off she'd start crying, but she wasn't really nursing. Finally the nurse took her for an hour so we could sleep and she did her heart and hearing and jaundice tests (all passed!). I saw the lactation consultants a couple times and we worked on the latch and trying to help her nurse more effectively.
And finally we could go home!
We praise God for our sweet little Jeanie Marie.
This week at home she already saw her pediatrician, and the chiropractor (our doctor wanted her seen as soon as possible due to the shoulder dystocia issue and that possibly affecting her nursing) and lots of resting and nursing and being held. Big brother has been pretty good for the most part. Asking where baby sister is and what she's doing, knowing she cries because she has no words, and he's enjoying all the extra time and attention from daddy since he's been home all week.
Snuggles during skin-to-skin time with baby
Two little sweet faces in my rearview mirror, my heart is full.
We are so blessed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Due date!

Well it's April 9th, and so far no baby. Not too surprised as August was 2 weeks late. But you never know. Actually I felt pretty bad yesterday. Just 'different' and crampy and I was sure it was labor. But guess not! So just going about my day and wondering what will happen. But pretty close to ready. Pulled up my "to do" list one more time to see what's left:
To Do Before Baby List:
- The storage issue - we bought a couple bins and they are under the crib, and there will be more room in the closet once August's thick winter stuff is back in storage.
- Buy newborn diapers. - 2 packs :)
- Finish knitting her bunny hat
Done!
- Pack the hospital bag - done! Except last minute throw in contacts, hairbrush, glasses, retainer.
Doug still has to put the base in my car and then install a little mirror so I can see her when driving, but those are small and quick tasks. Mostly I've been busy cleaning the house and trying to stay on top of stuff so I can come home to a clean, orderly house. I made myself a batch of Lactation Cookies and am trying not to start eating them already, so tasty!
Pregnancy wise, here's what's going on:
Pounds gained: 31. And I'm 1.5 inches wider than I was with August.
Cravings: Same, fruit, icecream, hospital ice.
Sleep: Night sweats, anyone else had these?! I'm having to change and wash my sheets and pjs all the time because of this. Yuck.
Exercise: Still doing good. Strength training, walking, prenatal barre or yoga.
Mostly just some anxiety about what/when things will happen. I'm still working, and mostly that's ok. But I am so worried about working 12 hours and then going into labor and just being awake and exhausted for so long. But when I'm at work, I'm still doing ok. It is what it is, I can't start my time off otherwise the clock is ticking against me and then I'd have to go to work sooner after baby gets here. That's the sucky part about working for a hospital I guess. Don't ever dare get sick yourself and don't expect any special treatment like maternity leave!
Anyway, trying to enjoy these last days as a family of 3. Took a little walk last night, talking to neighbors and enjoying the spring air. Although I was feeling pretty crappy so it was a very short walk. But anyway, trying to enjoy it!
My friend found out yesterday she lost her baby, so that has constantly been on my mind and just feeling so sorry for, and weeping with her. And even in the midst of that loss she is meditating on Psalm 148, and the reminder that God is good and still in charge despite life's trials, and things we desperately wish wouldn't happen.
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever— he issued a decree that will never pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Baby #2 Maternity/Family Photos

38 weeks and waiting on Little Miss to join the family!
I'm still hoping to make it to 40 or even 41 weeks, but we'll see! I feel a bit on edge since I never really went into labor with August, so I'm not sure what to expect! I hope it's not quite yet, but more so, I just hope she gets here safely. Feeling very blessed.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Family weekend

We had such a nice weekend.
I'd wanted to do a last family of 3 trip, and we were able to do a one-night getaway to Frankenmuth. Pretty close by, and we stayed at a hotel that had a kiddie pool. We arrived in the afternoon, shared a huge pretzel with cheese dip, then went to the pool. Splashed for an hour or so. Then went into town for dinner. August went straight to bed and Doug & I sat on the balcony for a little bit talking. The next morning, got breakfast, and back to the pool. Then it was time to check out, you couldn't swim after check out- but they had an arcade/slide area that we hung out a bit in.
No actual pool pictures, but he LOVED it. That was Friday and he's still telling us occasionally: "I splashed in the water!", "Mama liked it?", "Daddy liked it?", "August liked it!" the same 4 sentences every time. Lol. So it's got me wondering if we can squeeze in another night there?? Or if I should just look for a pool around here, all I keep finding is just pools for swim lessons :/ He didn't even go to the squirting parts, just the shallow water, so at least the pool requirements are not that much. This summer I'll definitely be taking him to the splash pad, last summer I spent mostly on the couch with my throw-up bucket, so hopefully we can make it out - even though we'll have a new baby.
Anyway, so we came home and got our maternity photos done. Was supposed to do that a couple days ago, but was so cloudy and cold. It was still cold, but at least it was sunny, I was glad he could reschedule. So waiting to see those, hope to get some good ones!
Another thing I'd been looking forward to was the meeting of my cousin's fiance.
Another cousin hosted a dinner/get together yesterday and it was so nice. Catching up with family and meeting him. He was entertaining all the kids and just seemed like such a nice, happy, genuine guy. I could not be happier for her.
A couple family pics:
My cousin's kids are the sweetest
Sisters!
Anyway, it was a very nice weekend, I'm thankful.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

life lately

It's been pretty busy lately without a ton to show for. One huge thing was we started the path towards rental property #2. Our offer was accepted, then we had an inspection, found some problems, Doug spent hours on the phone and emailing contractors to get estimates within the 24-48 hours left of how much it would be to get things fixed. Then the sellers would only come down $1k so we walked away. When you have a rental property you need to stay within a certain limit to make it work and it just seemed too tight. Lessons learned, but pretty frustrating.
I'm 37 weeks now and have got a few things crossed off my 'before baby checklist':
- Buy newborn diapers. - bought one pack!
- Make freezer meals. - made 6 meals
- Natural Birth Workshop class. - took it, learned a couple things, and enjoyed a day of bonding/relaxing/being massaged by Doug :)
- Pack the hospital bag. - started!
- Family of 3 getaway. - going to a hotel with a waterpark this weekened!
I have all the newborn clothes washed, and my brother sent me a HUGE box of hand-me-downs from his 3 girls, so the newborn and 0-3 are all washed and the rest is sorted. It was so sweet to see little outfits from my first baby niece and now my little girl will wear them.
I wish I'd never been introduced to these pretzels. THEY ARE SO GOOD AND ADDICTING!!!
Other news, August has peed on the potty twice now!! I thought for sure poop would be easier since it's such a 'clear feeling' when you have to go and he always tells us, "August pooping". But both times we get his little potty, (usually when mama is going potty), and I help him get on. Then he gets on and off several times to look in it and fake grunts, which is adorable. And then I always think he's just playing around so I go do a bit of laundry or whatever and both times a couple minutes later I get back and there is pee in there! I will say he is very motivated by the M&M he gets if he goes. But hey, whatever works. We really haven't been pushing potty training too much at all. With the new baby coming they say a regression is super likely, our doctor also said boys are more ready closer to 3, and honestly it's almost more work getting out the potty and taking his pants/diaper off multiple extra times. But it's nice to be able to kind of get started.
Haha, mother/son bonding.
Today we are also getting some maternity/family pictures taken. It's not very nice outside, cloudy, but hopefully we can still get some good ones!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Productive Weekend

I was a solo-parent this weekend while Doug flew to Florida to find us a *hopefully* no to low rust new vehicle. He'd been researching all weekend on forums and with Consumer Reports and had a list of 6-8 vehicles to check out, by the time the weekend came and he got down there several had sold and he was down to 2! So that was a bit nerve wracking. Then an entire day was wasted with a flight delay so by the time he got there the dealer was already closed. *note to self- ALWAYS ALWAYS non-stop flight when possible*.
Anyway, me and my boy had a pretty good weekend and I actually got a lot done too.
My last post was all about how I have a bunch to do before baby comes. And I'm either at that point in pregnancy where you just wake up a lot, or it is my dumb "busy brain" that keeps me awake worrying about packing a hospital bag, where to store clothes, etc. So a couple of those things got checked off, or at least worked on this weekend.
This was 1.5 tubs and several bags of Salvation Army clothes that I cut tags off and sorted into newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, and 12 months. It was sweet to unpack things that I had bought, yes in my early 20s for my "hope chest" of being a mother someday and wanting a little girl. I can't believe poor college student Anne spent her money like that (mostly clearance from Target and Kohls) but still I was spending money on a baby that wouldn't end up existing for another 15 years!! Guess it shows that desire was there for a long time.
And I washed all the newborn and size 0-3.
So I've been stressed about where to store it all since August's dressers are full of his stuff. But there is a little space in his closet for some of her stuff to hang (especially when spring comes and I can pack away a good couple inches wide of his snowpants/winter coats!). And I'm going to buy one of those underbed storage drawers and just keep her clothes under the crib. Not ideal to bend down, but hey, better than cluttered over-stuffed drawers.
Another thing I did was make some freezer meals.
We did some grocery shopping
I know you can't read these, but had printed out 6 recipes and then had 6 labeled gallon bags and went through one by one cutting and putting in the ingredients.
Big pile of peelings/scraps
An hour and a half later I had 6 recipes to freeze and be ready for the crockpot. BBQ chicken, no-fuss potato soup, coconut curry chicken, tuscan white bean soup, salsa chicken, and one more I guess I'm forgetting. I also bought a couple packs of ready to bake yeast rolls to go with some of them. And at least I'll have 6 meals for when baby is here.
I also started a hospital packing list and started getting stuff together for that too.
And we did have some fun too. We had his 3 little boy friends over Friday night to play while their parents went out and then Saturday we went over to Liz's for dinner and for another boy play date.
Boys in stripes!
I kept laughing because we have the kid sized car that August loves, and Liz has this little grocery cart version for a doll, and August kept trying to get it. "Help it!!" I just was imagining him like, "hey, who shrunk my car?!?"
The next day was waffles, blueberries, and church.
And pretty soon after we got home and were sitting down to lunch, Daddy was home!
The new car seems pretty low-rust and we are thankful to have Doug back home safe. Hopefully it will be a good vehicle for our family. It's always stressful spending a big chunk of money all in one blow, but I know Doug did a ton of research so that makes it better. No more accidents!