Wednesday, October 12, 2016

{ Labor & Delivery }

{Jace is born}

The next morning at 7am I woke up to painful contractions...again. But this time they felt different! Audrey came in the room that morning and kept nudging me, kicking me, and more while I was trying to rest and I just couldn't take it. I decided to shower and shave...just in case, because I felt different. A couple of hours later, I realized they hadn't gone away, and they were happening consistently. I just wanted to enjoy the day, and I was still scared that they would eventually go away. I noticed that they hurt worse while laying down, so I got up and started doing stuff around the house. We decided around 1pm that we were going to have a cook-out that night with my mom and her husband, so we went to the grocery store to shop. After that, I went home and tried to rest. I started *really* timing them, but there wasn't a super consistent pattern. They would be about 8 minutes apart, then 5, then 3, back to 5... At about 4pm, I realized that I couldn't even sleep between them, and I was pretty sure that they were hurting worse. I texted my doula to tell her that I was 99% sure that today was THE DAY.

While my husband started cooking, my mom had me in Jace's nursery asking me where she should hang some shelves. I knew then that this was the real deal. I couldn't pay attention to what she was saying, and I didn't want to. I was trying really hard not to show that I was hurting a lot because I didn't want to jinx it. I finally just told her. We ate dinner and they were getting ready to leave, and told us if we needed them in the middle of the night to call and we could drop Audrey off at their hotel. At this point it was around 7pm. At that moment I knew that I needed to have them take her then, because I didn't know what this labor would be like. After all, it was pretty much my first experience, with no memory of Audrey's. So we packed her stuff and they took her! 

Guys, words can't even describe how excited I was. In LABOR. My did what it was supposed to do. I was contracting. Around the time they left, they started getting even MORE intense, and since I had no idea what to expect, I decided we had better just start getting ready to go. Clayton showered, and I smiled through my contractions even though they hurt, because I was just so happy. We packed, I talked to my doula on the phone, and she said she would meet us at the hospital.

We got there a little after 10pm and were sent to triage. The nurse checked me and said I was 1-2cm and 80% effaced. I was surprised. After 13 days that were filled of nights/mornings of painful contractions, and being in labor for 15 hours already, and all that was different was some thinning? I went with it, and laid there for an hour laboring while they had me hooked up to the monitor. When the hour was up, the nurse checked me and no change. At this point, I was shocked. They told me I could either go home, walk the halls for another hour and be checked again, or go walk elsewhere and come back in an hour or whenever I wanted. We decided that going home would be pointless, so we walked. They definitely got more intense as I walked. With each contraction, I had to stop and hold on to the handrails and sway or squat to get through them. Towards the end of the hour, I was trying to moan through a few. 
They checked me again at the end of the hour and I just knew I'd be going to the park or something to walk at 2 in the morning. But I was 2.5-3cm! It wasn't much, but it was change, so they admitted me at 1:15. We got to the room and I labored for a while and it was just instantly incredibly painful. I tried laboring on the toilet, on the bed, off the bed, squatting, with a peanut ball on the bed...I couldn't even decide what helped the pain, because nothing really did. My lower back was burning so hot, there was what felt like a big ball in the front that also burned. It felt like fire. The nurse came and checked on me once because I was so loud, and at another point I started crying and saying I couldn't do it. My doula thought I was already in transition, so she requested that someone check me at about 4:30. I was only 4cm. At this point I was scared, because the pain was ridiculous. I'm usually really good with pain. I've had headaches and migraines my entire life, and I actually like shots and getting my blood drawn. I honestly felt like I was in transition. I felt like a wimp, but at this point I asked the nurse when I could get an epidural, knowing it could be a while. She told me the anesthesiologist would be in surgery for an hour to an hour and a half. (So 5:15-5:45). I told her that would be fine and I could wait that long, but inside I was like "Someone just come get this baby out of me NOW". I told her to order it.

I couldn't even think straight after that point. I was loud, squeezing my doula's hands, squeezing my husband's hands. They were both falling asleep between my contractions and trying to get me to, but I couldn't. They hurt too much, and they were in a weird pattern. I'd get one, have an extremely short break, and then two right on top of each other, repeat. I had the peanut ball between my legs squeezing as hard as I could with my legs, and squeezing their hands as hard as I could as well. 
At 6:15, the nurse came and told me that the anesthesiologist was taking longer than expected, and she checked me again. I was 7cm. I honestly thought I was going to die. The burning was still just so intense. At about 7:00, they finally got the epidural in (after two freaking tries). Getting the epidural was fine, I don't have a fear of needles at all, but sitting still during my contractions was absolute torture. I had to hold on to everyone in front of me and squeeze to be still, but I was still moaning. I'm pretty sure I sounded like a laboring cow instead of a human.
Finally, FINALLY, the angel, I mean anesthesiologist, was done. I went through another set of my three butthole contractions and the nurse checked me again and...complete. Guys, I got an epidural while I was freaking FULLY DILATED AND DONE WITH THE DAMN THING. Looking back, I remember how bad I was hurting, but I really wish that they would have checked me one more time before they gave me the epidural. If they'd told me I was 9cm, I think MAYBE someone could have talked me out of it.
Jace still hadn't dropped at this point, so my (amazing) nurse put me in the Trendelenburg position and after that he dropped lower. Once I was able to relax, I realized that it was morning, the day had started, and that meant my OB was back! This little guy waited until the perfect moment to show up.  I started pushing, and after a few practice pushes, we all realized that my water hadn't been broken, and I never had it gush or anything. He went to break my water and pretty much nothing came out. They kept looking for it and I think finally saw maybe the tiniest trickle. Looking back, I had been wet during the past few days, especially the day I went into true labor, but it only felt a little more than normal. Now I'm pretty sure I had a slow leak, and that's why my contractions felt so incredibly intense so early on.

I pushed for over an hour, probably much closer to two. I had pushed the epidural button again because I was still feeling a lot of burning. Looking back, I probably should have just pushed through the burning, because I think that was why I pushed for so long, I just couldn't feel it. But when he decided to finally come out, he flew out. All 6 pounds, 12 ounces of the little guy. It was the most amazing moment, watching him come out. He peed on my doctor, he pooped on me right when they laid him on my chest, but it was the most amazing moment of my life. I got to hold my baby as soon as he came out. Not a nurse. I got to keep holding him for as long as I wanted. *I* got to see him, he didn't go to the nursery for my family to see and hear before I could experience it like Audrey did. 
But for now, back to the delivery and healing. Everyone had been telling me to "push just like that" for the last few contractions, so I was pushing incredibly hard. Apparently, I pushed way too hard, because I tore. Not only did I tear, but I tore 12+ times. My OB stitched me up for over two hours, and one of the nurses joked that I basically ended up with another c-section, just elsewhere. The healing was awful. I couldn't really walk, and when I got home I had to sit on a boppy pillow for 2+ weeks. I had intense pressure and pain while walking for 5.5 weeks. It was ridiculous. I know I counted about 30 stitches come out, that I *saw*. I don't know how many were down there, and honestly, I'm not sure that I would want to know! Yikes.
After all that though, I still am so happy that I got my VBAC, and that I finally have my sweet rainbow baby. He was so, so incredibly tiny when he came out, and his little cry was just quiet and timid. It was instant love!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Last Days Before Labor {jace's birth story part 1}

On Monday, May 2nd, I had my last OB appointment. I was 1.5-2cm, and 50% thinned. I was kind of surprised, since I was almost due (39 weeks 2 days). By that time with Audrey I was about 2cm/70%. After he checked me, I was hit with some pretty devastating news. My OB's wife had scheduled a cruise for their anniversary the next week. Normally it would be fine, but that was the week I was due, and I seriously do not trust any other doctors in our area. All of my "he will come when he is ready" thoughts went out the window. I immediately got sad because I felt like he had to come that week, or my VBAC was not even a possibility anymore. I knew if I went into labor after Thursday night, that there was an excellent chance that I would get an impatient OB, or one who would even refuse to let me labor, and would cut me open as soon as I walked in. Defeated, I scheduled my next appointment for his first day back, Monday May 16 (41 weeks 2 days) at 10:30am. My husband and I hoped and prayed he would come that week, or wait the two weeks. My mom flew in from Detroit a few hours after my appointment, so while waiting for her, we shopped and did a lot of walking around a local park. Nothing, of course.
The next day, I had a little big of mucus plug come out, just tiny little pieces. I didn't lose it with Audrey, but I was pretty sure that was what it was. I was excited and hoping to see more! The day after that, I lost the rest, and it was...disgusting. I was of course still riveted. I got super excited and just knew I would go into labor soon. Around that time, I started having a lot of pressure in my back during my Braxton Hicks contractions. A few days after that, I started having painful contractions off/on every night and morning, but they always tapered off. I tried eating dates, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, taking some evening primrose oil, sex, squats, walking, bouncing on my ball, relaxing,eggplant parmesan, pizza with tons of basil/oregano etc. on it, pressure points...the list goes on. Nothing.
My due date came and went. I continued to have painful contractions every night in bed and some in the morning. Since my mom was visiting, she helped with Audrey, and I got to sleep in some, bounce a lot on my ball, and watch Friends on Netflix. I texted my doula, Danielle, a lot. Eventually, I reached 41 weeks, and I watched every second for blood, wished every minute for my water to break (but at the same time, hoping he would stay in just a bit longer). Nothing happened. Saturday night, at 41 weeks and 1 day, I decided to try the very last thing. Pineapple. I brought it home, and around midnight, I got it out and went to cut it up when I realized my big butcher knife was dirty. I started whining and pitched a "Forget it, it wasn't going to work anyway" fit. My husband pulled out a (clean) pocket knife and cut it up for me after that, and we went to bed to watch tv shows while I ate my pineapple. All I felt was indigestion, which I'd had the week before after eating something. I went to sleep annoyed, but knew it was for the best since my OB was still on vacation for approximately 36 more hours.

(to be continued)

Monday, September 26, 2016


Wow! I cannot believe I haven't been on in so long.

I did order a new laptop charger, but it came in an incorrect size. I finally got the other one a few weeks ago. We have just had so much going on! I *will* get to my birth story...eventually.

Jace is 4 months old now, and a week ago today he weighed 16 lbs 2 oz and he was 26 inches long.

I am so happy to say that while we have been extremely busy, I cannot use post-partum depression as an excuse for not updating! I was very depressed with Audrey, and with Jace, I did not have this issue! It has been absolutely amazing to be able to enjoy my baby. I feel like our entire labor and delivery experience is most of the reasoning for that. I went into labor on my own, nine days late, and had him ten days over. 

Jace was our VBAC rainbow baby. I am still so proud of myself for succeeding at a VBAC, but I know I couldn't have done it without Clayton, my doula Danielle, or Dr. Haraway. I had so much amazing support during his pregnancy and birth. I did tear (...a lot, but more on that later) but the experience was still so much better than with Audrey's c-section. The hospital stay was a lot better as well.

So, I promise the birth story is coming! Until then...more pictures!

Monday, June 20, 2016

He's here!!!

Our baby boy, Jace, arrived on 5/16/16, ten days late. I've been meaning to write our birth story here, but unfortunately my laptop charger is broken! We have also obviously been very busy :)

Will post soon. But we are so in love with him! He's absolutely perfect.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Pregnancy Update

Holy cow!

I've been meaning to update this, but life has been seriously crazy lately. Audrey had a stomach virus in February (which was our least busy month and when I should have updated last). In March, our nephew was born three weeks early and spent ten days in the NICU (he's okay!). Our sweet cat, Copper, also passed away that day, which has been terrible. We got her right after we got married in 2011 and she was my first little baby. We also had a labor scare (more on that later), our baby shower, and Audrey's birthday party, and then the day after she had her party, she started getting sick. She's been sick all week and is finally better. It was scary, she ended up in the ER with a fever of 104.9, and we could barely keep her awake at all. She was almost admitted for extra blood work, a chest x-ray, and an IV due to being dehydrated and them not knowing what was wrong with her. Her flu swab was negative, and she didn't have strep or an ear infection. Thank goodness she is okay now. It was not fun, I've never seen her that miserable. She didn't even want to get up, she just wanted to lay down and sleep. Anyone who knows her, knows she does NOT nap!

 We've also been working on potty training, but it's not going so well since we've been so busy and she's been sick twice. Poor baby. She did really good until she got the stomach virus, and then she did great during the day until she got sick this last time. Now she freaks out anytime she has to use the potty because she got dehydrated and they were trying to make her pee in a hat for a urine sample and it scared her.

As for the update on baby boy, he seems to be doing great in there! At about 31 and a half weeks, we had a little labor scare. I had contractions 3 minutes apart for three hours. Only a few of them hurt, I felt mostly pressure down low. Right when I was about to call labor and delivery (it was midnight ish), they started fizzling out. I would have called sooner, but I get Braxton Hicks ALL the time. I have with both kiddos since about 16 weeks. I definitely found it odd this time though that I could time them. Luckily, everything has been great since then!

We still do not have a name for the little guy, sadly. However, his nursery is starting to come along. We've painted his room, and we have the glider in there. We also have his changing table/dresser. Today I washed all of his blankets, bibs, burp cloths, socks, washcloths, and newborn to 3 months clothes and got it all put up. We still have a lot to do though!

It's getting late, but I'll put a few pictures up :)


Sunday, January 31, 2016

That "Look".

I am thrilled to be pregnant - obviously. Don't get me wrong.

However, sometimes I feel guilty. For instance, two days ago, I was out shopping for Audrey's birthday party decorations. I had Audrey with me, and was trying to keep her close to me while looking around, which wasn't easy since I'm 26 weeks pregnant and she is a wild almost three year old who had already been to several other stores.

I was walking around and kept making eye contact with this couple, especially the woman. They looked to be in their early to mid-thirties, and didn't have a child with them. The woman kept staring at Audrey and my belly, and she looked sad. I have absolutely no way of knowing if it was because they were having trouble, but it reminded me so much of the look I always had on my face when I was struggling. It broke my heart. I just wanted to hide my belly. I don't want to hurt anyone.

Things like that hurt so much. I could easily have been misreading the situation, but I just kept thinking "This woman is looking at me thinking I'm a fertile myrtle, and to her I may be, but I just want to tell her I'm not. This wasn't easy for me. " I wanted to hug her.

I feel sad every time I post about my pregnancy on Facebook, every time I post a belly picture or ultrasound picture. I know there are a few people that probably get sad anytime they see me or someone else post about being pregnant or about our babies. I still post because I'm excited, and everyone else always did it. But I always try not to say anything like "I'm so lucky", or "I'm so blessed". I have said "I'm so thankful", "I can't wait to meet him", etcetera. But I always try not to word things in a bragging way. I also would never be upset at someone for hiding me from Facebook if I was hurting them. Been there, done that.

It is amazing how I can still relate so much to the infertile/miscarriage community, and even though I have one living child, and am pregnant again, I still remember the pain so well. I still feel like I'm there, it feels like just yesterday I was bitter as can be.

I hope I can always remember, so that I can always be empathetic. Having healthy babies isn't something everyone gets to experience. I really am so incredibly thankful for this hard journey for that one reason. It allows me to truly realize how special this all really is. I will never take my babies for granted.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January news :)

Things have been going great around here!

I will be 25 weeks in two days, and I am feeling wonderful! A lot has happened in the past five weeks. We hired a doula, we've had a big talk with my OB, and we have a date set for our "baby sprinkle". It all feels so real finally!

Our doula seems amazing so far. I inquired about a few, but when I came across her profile, I just had a feeling that she was "the one". I looked up her blog and I saw that she has experienced pregnancy loss, and had some of the same feelings that I did in her pregnancy after loss. I really felt, and still feel, like I need someone who has been there. We met with her for the initial consult, and my husband liked her just as much as I did. We have quite a few other things in common as well, so I really think she will be a good fit for us.

My first OB, the one who delivered Audrey, was supposed to be the most "natural" in the area. I should have known better when I hit 39 weeks and he started talking c-section just because she hadn't dropped yet. He did "let" me go to 41 weeks before he induced me, but pushed that c-section really quick. My new OB told me he has no problems waiting until 42 weeks for any patient, VBAC or not, as long as there are no issues like dangerously high blood pressure or something else. He also said that instead of scheduling a repeat cesarean if I haven't went into labor, he will try safe ways to induce me. I'm so happy!

Our baby shower (or sprinkle) is going to be March 13th. I'll be just over 32 weeks!

In other news, Bubbie (baby's name, because he is nameless as of now) has finally flipped head down for now. I'm sure he will play around some more before he flips for good, but he has been breech for weeks now. Audrey has also learned how to write the letter "A". :) I'm so proud of her!!!

I'm so excited to start on Bubbie's nursery soon! We are going with a rustic theme. It's going to be perfect.