Baby “Saber”

I noticed that there have been many views on the blog’s FB page in recent days. My guess is folks are looking for any news regarding Baby “Saber”….

I’ll try to keep the gory details out, but, it’s a birth story so…. read at your own will.

tl;dr version:
Name: Xavier Alexander, nicknamed Saber
Born on September 22, 10:38 PM
Stats: 7lbs 15oz, 21”

20170930_142451_001
1 week +1 day

So, first things first. Lets start with a little background leading up to the birth.

It felt like we had a lot of “LIFE” happen this summer, in the second half especially. It wasn’t all bad, but there were definitely some crazy/stressful things. In a nutshell, my MIL moved in with us (Jared and I went to down to Georgia to get her, road trip style when I was about 34 weeks along). Stressful family stuff came up back there a few weeks later, so MIL decided to return.

After that, I had some shortness of breath combined with dizziness. Dr. Google suggested I contact my provider and see what was up. So I did. The same day I called them, I had some sort of episode where I couldn’t really see out of half of either eye. I freaked out a little (because I’ve had eye issues in the past), ended up at ER on Monday (the 18th) and just finally got really overwhelmed with…. everything…

I had a follow-up MRI on Friday…. but…. apparently I’m severely claustrophobic, and after approximately 45 seconds in the machine, I wanted out and pretty much we all came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be able to complete the scan. {Total side note: we’re going to let the scan go for now, and just see if any more episodes happen, and if not, then we won’t worry about it.}

So by the time I got to my midwife appointment that afternoon (at 1:00 PM), I told her I’d had enough, due to all of the above, and normal end of pregnancy discomfort, and I was done being pregnant. She couldn’t offer me an induction because I wasn’t 39 weeks, but I asked if she could strip my membranes to see if that could start things moving. I was measuring about 4cm at this point, although my cervix was still a bit long.

Went home and was basically just waiting for contractions to start getting more regular. They were getting a little stronger, but nowhere near regular. I made it through the afternoon and managed to get some food on the table, all while having inconsistent but just slightly stronger contractions. In my mind, for some reason, I kept thinking “I just have to make it till 7:00 PM, when I can get the little ones to bed, then till 8:00 PM when mom and dad should be done having dinner with their company” (they were going to watch the kids).

I got Nicki to bed by 7:00 or so, and contractions were picking up in frequency, but were still not regular, so I was having a hard time timing them. I folded some laundry, and tried to tidy up our room a little. Katherine was kinda hanging around chattering on about whatever crossed her mind. I did finally ask her if she could go to bed because I was needing some space. (I kinda like to labor alone.) So she went. Z went to bed. It was getting closer to 8:00; I was messaging one of my sisters-in-law; and I decided somewhere in there, I was going to try to lay down and rest. This was 8:06. (Don’t know why I remembered the time…).

Between 8:06 and 8:28 I had three contractions, roughly 10 minutes apart, but kinda painful. So I got up to try to walk them off. Folded and put away some more laundry all while contracting. They were getting painful and more frequent, but I could still manage them. A few I had to actually stop and breath through. After a few of those, I decided I needed to call. It was 9:01.

Now, where was Jared through all this? Like I said, I like to labor alone for the most part. And he had planned something on his game (like days before), and he was doing that, this is online gaming with headsets and groups of people. He did come and check in on me at least once in the 8:00 hour, and I told him things were looking like they were picking up, but thought it would be fine for a while, especially since my last two labors were about 12 hours (and even the two previous to those were 5 hours).

Anyway. Midwife called me back pretty quickly. She thought because I had further apart contractions (at 8:00) while laying down that it wasn’t real actual labor, so I was advised to drink a big glass of water and lay down for an hour (the end of the hour was supposed to be about 10:30) and see if they remained closer together. I hung up the phone, laid down and had a super, intense, painful contraction. When that was done I said “wow! that one hurt.” A few minutes later I had another one. Then another. Then I started shaking uncontrollably. {Found out later, that’s actually a sign of being in transition…}. Then the contractions started feeling like there was pushing involved and not voluntarily by me.

I had been texting mom starting about 9:00, letting her know what was going on. Then telling her I was supposed to wait for an hour, but felt like I needed to go in sooner. She showed up about 9:40 or 9:45? I started to lose track of time. Jared was getting off the game event (words like “I feel like I’m going to push this baby out right now” get things moving). Mom helped me through a few more contractions by putting counter pressure on my lower back/ Jared was getting dressed and getting ready to go. I was starting to get really impatient, anxious to be going.

Jared said later that the car clock said 10:02 when we left. I imagine we were at the hospital by 10:08? (We live close). That was an excruciating ride. My bladder was full and baby felt like he was pushing and it was everything I could do to hold everything in.

I remember blowing past security. And basically demanding that the check in nurse get me to a room ASAP because I was going to have the baby. That flustered her a bit. She couldn’t seem to figure out how to order up a room on demand.

We got a triage room. Nurse tried to get me to undress and get on the monitor (why  at that point, I don’t know). That took a few contractions. She was also flustered. {Jared said later it felt like she wanted to stop everything so she could figure out what to do – I guess they don’t deal specifically with delivery down there…} I kept wanting water, but she wouldn’t give it to me. They managed to get a doctor in relatively quickly to check me. I was at 10cm with a bulging (water) sac. I was still demanding water, still contracting, and still trying to hold everything in. They were discussing whether to move me or not, because they didn’t want me to deliver in the elevator. Honestly by that point I didn’t care if they moved me or not. I was at the hospital and on a bed so that’s what I cared about. I mean, I did want an epidural, but once the doctor said 10cm I knew there was no way that would happen. They moved me. A short, excruciating ride later, I got to the delivery room, dragged/pulled myself from the triage bed to the room bed, looked at the clock, it said 10:32.

I guess midwife showed up a minute or two later. She offered to break the water bag, I don’t even remember what I said – I wasn’t thinking really at all by then. I do know the water broke at 10:35 because I heard the nurses talking over it later. I was given the go ahead to push whenever I wanted. They weren’t going to direct anything. No one held my legs or anything, I just held/squeezed Jared’s hand. I still wanted water so they went to get me some and I almost panicked when they said they had to leave the room to get it (I felt I was almost choking, my throat was so dry). But I got a tiny sip of water and started pushing. I don’t know how many pushes, maybe four? (I do remember coherently thinking that I didn’t actually want to push him out, I did still want the epidural…) but at 10:38 PM Xavier Alexander was born.

I’d like to refer to it as my “Hollywood birth” – minus the dramatic gushing of water to start things off.

A few other things I learned about myself… Apparently the reason the midwife didn’t say to come in when I first called was because I sounded “so calm on the phone”. And Jared was basically thinking the same thing. So…. I guess I need to work on my verbalizing skills ;).

As with all the other boys’ births, I didn’t have any tearing. I did have a little hemorrhaging, but a shot of pitocin and a quick “clean up” of the uterus by the midwife took care of that.

It happened so fast, that at 11:00 I was still not even sure how it had happened like it did. I also remember thinking something along the lines of “well, now that that’s done, what are we gonna do for the rest of the night?” Up until we were leaving for the hospital, I really had expected it to take a few more hours after we arrived.

I had tested positive for GBS during pregnancy. But, I didn’t receive any antibiotics during delivery (go figure, huh?) so we had to stay most of 48 hours to make sure Xavier didn’t contract some form of meningitis. But, he was good, and we had an otherwise dull and uneventful hospital stay, and were able to come home on Sunday night.

Some pictures of the big kids visit

Nicholas James: A birth story

 

Nicholas James

I promised a few weeks back I would try and write up a birth story for baby Nicholas. And I have a *very few* precious moments this afternoon, so we’ll see how far we get. Also, going to link it up to Michaela’s Theme Thursday post as this week’s theme is “New Life” and… well… this is new life… so….. Two birds, one stone or something like that (although, there really should be a less morbid analogy).

To start this story I need to back up to a few days before. We had decided to go with my family (parents, siblings, etc…) for a family weekend (Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon) to an Abbey about 45 minutes from our house. Now, when plans were made to go up there (about a month previous), I knew that it could potentially be cutting it close to the due date.

But….

I figured I wouldn’t go that early, since I never have in the past. Anywhere from two days to six days early has been my norm (with three out of the previous four babies going at two days  “early”).

{You know where this story is headed right?}

N birth story pics-3

Anyways, so there we were at this Abbey having a great weekend. Romping around the grounds, visiting the farm, visiting the gift shop, exploring the huge guest house we had to ourselves. We even managed to get in a busted chin, archery practice, and a family meeting. All in all a full weekend.

Saturday night I decided to take a bath in one of the absolutely amazing bath tubs. I clearly remember thinking, when I was crawling into bed soon after that “well, we made it through the weekend, and I guess no baby. I haven’t even had a contraction all day, with all this walking around”.

Sunday morning 4:30 AM.

N birth story pics-4

Woke to my water breaking. Not a trickle. But, what felt like buckets of water. I made it out of bed and managed to grab a towel without totally drenching/ruining the bed, carpet or anything else. (Remember, we were still at the guest house, and I definitely didn’t want to ruin anything there… But, I found out later that if I had managed to ruin the mattress it would have been fine, because they would have loved an excuse to get a new one…)

I should at this point mention that my water has never broken early in labor (except with Katherine where it supposedly broke at some point, but I didn’t feel it). My water has always broken minutes, minutes (like less than ten) before my babies have arrived. So, to say I freaked out a little would be an understatement.

But, I gave myself a quick “assessment” and realized that I actually still wasn’t feeling any contractions, so it was probably very unlikely that baby would just pop out in the next few minutes. I placed a call to the midwife and woke Jared up, both those helped to calm me down, but I still ended up just sitting on the bed bawling because… I don’t know… pent up emotions I think.

Midwife suggested to come in, since I had tested positive for Group B Strep, AND since we were 45 minutes away AND since we didn’t know how fast I would progress. Woke up my parents, and let them know what was going on. We drove their car back home, dropped off a few things we didn’t need, picked up a few things we did, switched the car for Jared’s truck and headed the five minutes down the road to the hospital.

We did our triage stuff (I was about 3-4 cm at that point). They did one more quick ultrasound to check baby’s position since she couldn’t feel the head. He was head down, he was just so far down and towards the back that I guess it was hard to tell.

I walked myself up to the delivery room, was tired of sitting by that point as it was getting on towards 6:30/7:00. I did a little bit of walking, swaying, moving stuff once I was in the room. I knew I wanted to have an epidural, but decided since I wasn’t so far along that I would move around and much as I could before to get things more progressed.

{And here’s where things just get very uneventful and “boring”}

Around 10:30 I asked for the epidural. After doing it twice, since it didn’t go in the right spot the first time (I think he said it got into a blood vessel instead of the space?), I got comfy and tried to rest. At some point around noon the nurse checked me (she was trying to learn cervical checks), and said I was about a 7. (Yay! only a few more hours I thought).

About 1:30 they checked me again, said I was at a 10. They got themselves ready and started pushing around 1:45.

Nicholas was born at 2:01 PM.

minutes after birth
minutes after birth

I remember grabbing at him almost before he was out to pull him up to my chest. And the only thing I could think was “he’s so tiny!!!” He weighed 7lbs 5oz. so compared to Zachary (who was 10lbs at birth) he was just so, so scrawny.

(These were taken a few days after we go home… Now, my brothers hands are by no means slender, but…. these are still some skinny legs..).

If you recall a few months ago I wrote about not being super excited for this pregnancy, and if I’m perfectly honest I was still very nervous at the thought of having another baby up until we were on our way to the hospital.

Now, you could say I’ve come around. I find myself gazing at this little guy, kinda wondering why God allowed us to have another baby when we already had one, but also so happy and excited and full of incredible joy.

Of course, that’s all helped along by the fact that he’s an absolutely GREAT night-time sleeper 🙂

N birth story pics-2

Seven firsts for baby #4 {pregnancy/birth edition}

IMG_2792

As the fourth baby, there’s not many firsts for baby Zachary. I’m pretty determined to make sure I note those few and far between firsts, just so he can have some claims to fame. 🙂

This is regarding my pregnancy with him and my labor/his birth. {Don’t worry, it’s pretty mild, not much gory detail, but it is birth related, so if that’s not your thing… just be warned} It may also have to double as his mini-birth-story because I’m not sure at this point if I’m going to get an actual birth story written up. And everytime I start writing it on paper I feel like it’s something just for me at this point, maybe later I’ll be ready to share it in more detail.

1. He’s the first baby we found out we were expecting while we were in Georgia. Along the same theme, we were also able to tell Jared’s family in person (at least I was, technically Jared was able to tell them about Katherine, but I wasn’t there for it……) And finally we were able to tell him family first out of everyone else (which hasn’t happened… I don’t think).

2. I didn’t go to the hospital even one extra time for baby Z before he was born. No bleeding where I went, no going in early for labor and having to leave, nothing!

3. While I didn’t go for baby Z, I did go in for myself to have a surgery (with no general anesthesia). I’ve never had a surgery while pregnant (before him). Since this wasn’t baby related, maybe I shouldn’t include it, but details, details…

4. He was my first pregnancy where I tested positive for GroupB Strep. Which meant that it was the first time I had antibiotics given during labor…. I was told the first dose would take about 30 minutes. Two hours later it was finally done and I was able to go walking the halls (I hadn’t want to drag the IV pole, which is why I hadn’t gone earlier.) But I was able to use the birth ball and that worked really well for me, so all was good. (Unrelated to GBS, I also told the midwives I wouldn’t be doing an early glucose test just because I had had a previous baby that was over 9lbs. It was the first time I’ve told them “no” #powertothepregnantladies)

5. This was my first natural birth, so it was the first time for all the things that go with that. No drugs, walking around as much as I wanted, getting into the hot tub, pushing while on all fours, being able to feel everything. If I had to describe it in one word: intense. Not necessarily painful (although right there at the end it was, it really was), but just really, really, intense. I felt that I handled it well though. I was at least able to maintain control of myself (although, there may have been some screaming and yelling as he was crowning… I don’t know…). He was the longest labor of my boys about 13 hours start to finish, just about 2-3 hours of more “active” labor and only the last little while was really “hard”. No tearing or stitches or any complications of any kind (yay!).This all happened in our hospital’s alternative birthing center which was really nice.

6. He weighed the most of any of my kids (10lbs even). This isn’t a first I guess, more of a “ranking”… and I suppose it could be subject to change if we were to have any more children. 🙂 I was also told a few weeks later that his head measured 14” (I understand that “average” is around 12″) I don’t remember what the other kids’ were, but I’m going to assume he had the biggest head too!

1890500_805400720427_3288151654209058201_o

7.His birth resulted in my shortest hospital stay. Less than 24 hours. That was mainly due to the fact that he was admitted to NICU (unfortunately he wasn’t able to hold that title of “first” as John also went) and I didn’t want to stay in my room if I couldn’t be near him. But I also think that was only possible because I didn’t have an epidural or anything else during labor. I felt great, considering I had just given birth.

~~~~~

I’m sure there will be more firsts for him, I know of at least one already, so I’m sure there will be another write up at some point in the future. 🙂

(NICU stay ended with no problems, and he’s been home now doing great since the beginning of November.)

Linking with Kelly for 7QT

 

Karl’s birth story

Karl

Continuing this year’s tradition of writing up the kids’ birth stories, I figured I’d better get Karl’s up there. Yup it’s late as I’m starting this (10:09 PM), lets see how long it takes 🙂 I’ll preface this by stating up front this is a birth story, and there may be parts that aren’t squeaky clean, just for your reading discretion.

Where to begin???????????

I’ll start with a brief bit about the pregnancy. It was by HUGEMONGOUS leaps and bounds the best and easiest pregnancy I had. Don’t get me wrong. It was still a pregnancy, and while I absolutely LOVE the babies once they’re here, I DO. NOT. LIKE. BEING. PREGNANT. I’m just not one of those people. But…. if I compare it to pregnancy #1 and pregnancy #2. Piece o’ cake. Well, at least in the “morning” sickness department (I had very little with him). I was tired a lot of the time, but not so completely exhausted like I had been with the other two. It was an uneventful pregnancy. (There was a little tiny incident where I slipped down our back stairs around 36 weeks, but that didn’t cause any harm).

At 38 weeks 4 days (a Monday) I was at the office, I think there may have been an office meeting, don’t remember. I do remember feeling contractions. Nothing intense, but they were there and a bit regular (to the point where I was noticing them). I thought to myself “yay, this is it! We’ll have the baby today and that’ll be great!” It got to the point where I even texted Jared and told him I was contracting and thought maybe this was it, so just “be ready”. Then I went to eat some lunch. And it stopped. 😦

Tuesday afternoon. Repeat. 😦

Wednesday night: Repeat. 😦

Thursday afternoon: I had my 39 week midwife appointment. I had already been looking up ways to jump start labor, pressure points on the ankles, stripping the membranes… I asked Jared to come to the appointment with me because I had already decided I was going to ask the midwife if she could strip my membranes and I didn’t want that to jump start anything right then and there and not have Jared with me. Plus it was pouring down rain and they had stopped work for the day. Well, she asked how I was feeling (seriously?!? WHO asks a pregnant woman “how are you feeling?” when they’re anywhere past 36 weeks pregnant?) I grumbled my “I’ve been having on and off again contractions” reply just as desperately nicely as I could. (I think she caught my meaning). She said “well, lets check things out down there…… {gets gloves on}…… mmhmmm, looks like you’re about 3cm dilated” Me: Practically jumping off the table I was so excited (for reference, it took me a full 24 hours of steady labor with Katherine to get to 2cm)

Midwife:  Would you like me to see if I can get things going for you?
Me: {Um, hello?} Sure, that’d be fine.

Stripping membranes is fairly uncomfortable. Lots of pressure. I’ll leave it at that.

No, nothing just up-ed and started right away. We left the appointment and went to get something to eat. Gathered up the other kiddos, told mom that maybe tonight was the night and could we please bring the kids back to spend the night with you “just in case”? She said sure, bring ’em over after dinner (she’d been watching them all day by this point, and I think she needed a break).

So, that’s what we did. Almost. I decided I *needed* to go get some groceries “just in case” and I also *needed* to go pick up my new glasses that had come in, you know “just in case”. In the end nothing happened, but looking back, I was feeling TONS of pressure everywhere, not really contractions, but just pressure, and it probably wasn’t a great idea for me to go running all over by myself.

Took the kids to my moms. Had a disagreement with Jared over something on the way home (I decided it was better for me NOT to drive by this point). I think we got home around 8:00 PM. I was feeling frustrated and tired so I went to bed. I woke up around 10:30 with contractions. Decided that “this was it” like it or not, this was going to happen “right now!”. I walked around for a little while, contractions steady. I sat down on the couch contractions a little less steady. Tried a few pressure points on my ankles, contractions a little more. Walked some more, and they stopped.

It was about 12:30 AM by this point. I was put out. To say the least. Somewhere my rational brain told me to go back to bed and get some rest. So I did.

Woke up at 3:03 AM, had to pee, went back to bed.

Woke up at 3:10 AM, had to pee, went back to bed.

Woke up at 3:17 AM, had to pee, went back to bed.

{Sometimes it takes me a while to get the point}

Woke up about 5 minutes later, thought to myself “seriously, again?” Then I think I finally “got it”.

So I got up and walked around some more. Then the contractions started to pick up. (Mind you, I still had to pee about every 5 minutes). They started getting a little more intense. I was timing away and they seemed pretty consistently to be every 2 to 3 minutes for about 30 seconds. Not quite the every 4 minutes, lasting 1 minute, for 1 hour. I was debating whether to call the midwives or wake Jared up because there had been so many “false starts” (this wasn’t a false start, and I knew it, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to call at the moment).

Around 4:00 AM, I heard a little tiny voice in the back of my head as I was holding on to the vanity, it was my mom saying “I knew it was time to go when I couldn’t just walk through/stand up through a contraction”. Well here I was squatting by the side of the sink thinking “maybe I should…?”

To put things in perspective a little bit: With Katherine I never made it this far without an epidural. With John, I was induce and started an epidural almost right away.

I went pee yet again, and had some bloody show when I wiped and I figured things had gone quite far enough on my own. I called the midwife. She called me back within 3 minutes. I explained the situation and she asked how fast could I get to the hospital? I said 5 minutes once we’re on the road, but I have to wake up my husband. She said to come as soon as possible.

All said, it took us about another 45 minutes to get ready to get out of the house. Don’t ask me how that happened. While I was waiting for Jared to get up, dressed and ready, I remember feeling calm. A little anxious to be getting to the hospital (because I DIDN’T want to have him at home), but I was mostly calm. Things were more intense than I remembered feeling with the others, but I was still able to cope with it.

We arrived at the hospital just after 5:00 AM, and I lost it. It probably had to do with one) another couple walked in right before us, and she was quite obviously not as far into labor as I was, but you know triage, first come first serve and two) registration *needed* Jared to come and check me it (while I was hanging onto the nurses desk while squatting on the floor by myself, while the other couple went on ahead).

I got into a triage room, Chloe, my midwife showed up with in minutes (she had been my least favorite of the midwives at the practice, which was probably another reason I “quit”), I was alone otherwise. She needed me to get undress and I physically couldn’t do. I had a pretty good sized contraction as soon as I stepped down from the exam table. Fortunately she was right outside the “door” (a piece of cloth) and came back in and helped. I had really wanted to do Karl’s birth naturally. But those 5-10 minutes alone in the hospital were enough to take away whatever will power I had left and I truly panicked. {Next baby (no I’m not pregnant), but next baby: I WILL have someone with me the entire time}.

Chloe check me, I was 7 cm (!); asked me if I still wanted to do the ABC (Alternative Birthing Center). I said no, just give me an epidural, I can’t do it anymore. I don’t know if Jared was back in the room with me by this point. We were upstairs in the L&D room by about 5:30 I guess. It took a little while for the epidural. But I imagine it was done by about 6:30. A funny thing, I’m about 99% sure I had the same nurse that I had when John was born. (Actually, that wasn’t the only time it happened during this hospital stay; I had another nurse while I was in recovery who swore she remembered me from last time….)

I could still feel a lot of pressure. I distinctly remember Chloe saying at 7:48 AM that it looked like she wouldn’t get to meet the baby after all (her shift ended at 8:00). She fiddled around with something for a few minutes then said “lets just check once more before I go”. She looked and SUPRISE, there was his head. So of course that puts the entire nursing staff into a huge scramble of activity all the while I’m being told “DON’T MOVE!!!!”, not like I can since my legs are practically dead weights.

It took another few minutes to get everyone all set. I pushed and the redeeming moment of his birth was that I could feel him coming out (still no pain). So, whoever that anesthesiologist was, I want her next time too if I don’t make it to a natural birth. He was born at 8:02 AM… on Friday the 13th. He weighed in at 8 lbs 11 oz, right in between the other too.

Kal and me
I was able to have him laid on me right away 🙂

The next few days were a blur. Highlighted by the fact that my brother closed the window in my room when the maintenance man said the window was broken and would need to be fixed.

He is named for my great-grandfather Karl Westling.
His middle name Joseph was picked because we liked how it sounded with Karl, after the fact we realized that it is the name of another of my great-grandfather’s: Joseph Barbarow. So, even though it wasn’t 100% intentional, I like to think of him being named for two of my great-grandfathers. 🙂

Karl with his siblings and Aunt
Karl with his siblings and Aunt

In the end, it was my best and worst delivery. Worst because it was the one I most wanted to have naturally and I didn’t get that. Best because he was born nearly a week early, and even though it wasn’t “natural” it was the first birth I was able to feel.

P.S. finished at 11:30 PM. If I just would stop getting distracted online, it may have been done faster 🙂

Good night all!

Katherine’s Birth Story

10-1b* birth story

Just like for John’s birth story, this story is first being written down four years after she was born. I just never thought to write it sooner. But, like I mentioned in John’s Story, I absolutely LOVE reading birth stories, so I thought I’d share another one of mine for you all to enjoy.

First, if you’d like to read a little background to see where we were at as a family when she was born, check out the page “Katherine’s Story… Our Story“.

Ok, all set? A heads up, towards the end there’s a little more, shall we say, descriptive detail than some of you may want to read, I’ve noted it just before if you’d like to skip…

So, there we were having just moved into our new apartment on Saturday.

9020_519163881347_2579918_n
Getting settled in

I was continuing to work and unpack and wish longingly for her to “just hurry up”. I remember at some point specifically complaining to my mom about how I couldn’t unpack anything because I was so tired. She said, “don’t worry, once the baby comes, you’ll have so much energy.” {She was right by the way, which is why I really can’t stand when people tell new-mommies-to-be to “sleep while you can, ’cause once the baby comes you won’t be able to”. I happen to think that’s a bunch of baloney and here’s why: yes, it’s true, you will be up every few hours with the baby. If you’re lucky you’ll get a good stretch and sleep for three or even four. But here’s what I noticed. That last month of being pregnant was SOOOOOOOOOOO uncomfortable, that I was hardly getting a good nights sleep anyways. I spent more time tossing and turning (or trying to turn) and then getting up to pee that I was hardly rested come morning. Once baby came, when I was able to sleep, that sleep was SO. MUCH. BETTER. that it almost made up for not sleeping a full 6-8 hours. Yes, there were moments during the day when I was so exhausted I’d fall asleep if I sat down, but when I did sleep I slept. And for the most part when I was awake, I could *gasp* actually DO something.}

But um, pet peeve moment… where was I…

Oh yeah. New apartment. Feeling VERY pregnant. Tuesday morning, the 29th,  I was waking up every half hour or so to go pee. Somewhere around 5:00AM I realized that things were probably getting rolling. I took a shower. Started to feel lightheaded so decided that was probably not the best idea. Told Jared, he was excited. For the most part I continued my day as normal. I remember I went into the office, at my parents house, for a while and tried to work. I don’t think I accomplished much. I was excited to get things going too. Took a nap there. Chatted with my doula, Julie for a bit, told her I’d call once I thought things were further along. Things were picking up a little, but not much. After I got home, we kinda just hung out for a while. There were still a few things left to do on the apartment (some shelves or lights or something), so my dad was there doing them. I just went in the bedroom and was quiet. Around 6:00PM I called Julie. The way my dad explained it later, she got there and “took charge” of things.

The next few hours were spent timing contractions and wandering up and down the street. I forget how many times we walked those two blocks, but we ended up coming back inside around 9:30/10:00PM. On my end I felt things were regular enough to go to the hospital. We piled in the car, spent some time waiting in triage, they checked me out found I was only 2cm dilated, and they said I should just go home and rest there, that I’d be more comfortable. I was completely fed up with everything by this point, but decided that it would be better to go home and rest rather than walk the halls at the hospital. (I think it was around midnight by this time.)

I did manage to sleep for a little while. I fell sound asleep (whenever it was) and woke up at 2:30AM. I got up, walked out of the room, Julie popped her head up from where she was on the couch. She asked if I wanted to try anything else, maybe a bath? Sounded nice so I tried it. It was pretty good for a while. Contractions definitely felt a lot stronger and more regular. I decided I really just wanted to go back to the hospital. So we packed up… again. Drove there… again. Went through triage… again. They checked me… again. I had progressed exactly one centimeter. But, my water had broken (musta been in the tub, because I didn’t remember feeling anything else), so they let me stay.

I got a room. And started walking the halls. It must have been about 6:30/7:00AM because the on-call midwife switched. We went back to the birthing room and alternated between the tub, a little exercise ball, laying on the bed and walking the halls. I was getting pretty exhausted by this point, and basically starting to loose it. They checked me again around 11:00AM and I was to 5cm. Then I lost it and said I was done, get me an epidural because I’m not doing this anymore.

The epidural arrived around noon. And I was asleep a few minutes later. I went into a complete dead sleep, as someone was kind enough to document…

9020_519287837937_3514980_n
31st hour. Epidural!

The rest of the afternoon was a blur of me being completely out of it and slightly aware of people coming in and out of the room. I think Jared and Julie switched off getting lunch. Maybe they went home? I don’t know. They checked me at 5:30/6:00PM and said I was at 10cm, and “just wait a few minutes until everyone gets set up and then we’ll start trying to push”. I was happy I was to that point, but mostly I was out of it. We started the pushing, and to me, it felt like only a few minutes, but later they said it was about half hour.

Katherine was born at 6:58PM (on Sept 30). She weighed in at 8lbs 1oz.

The rest of the evening was basically a blur too. My dad, my sister and one of my brothers came (to the delivery room), they were there by 7:30PM.

I did manage to breast feed her a little, she latched right away!!! Jared left to go home soon after my dad left. Julie left right after Kat. was born. I was told I would be able to get a room “soon… after the bleeding got a little more under control”. Around 8:00PM or so they took Kat. to the nursery to bathe her, etc. I was really in no state to watch her while I was waiting for the bleeding to get under control. And they way the nurses were talking, it would only be a “little longer”.

Sometime around 10:30PM (still in the delivery room), bleeding still wasn’t under control (obviously I was hemorrhaging pretty seriously), someone, I guess a nurse, said they were going to have to try a couple more things, and if that didn’t work we’d have to go to the OR…. Then I started to kinda freak out a little because I was alone. Jared had gone, and I figured he was probably dead asleep by that point (he’d been up for a day and a half too), so I called my mom. She of course has no problem waltzing into “Restricted” areas of hospitals. 🙂

{TMI ALERT}

The nurse came back with the Doctor (first doctor I’d seen since I arrived, who actually happened to be someone we all know personally, so that was nice). They put some pill thing up my bottom, couldn’t tell you what it was… something to stop the bleeding is all I know. Then the doctor informed me she was going to reach inside me and use her hand to make sure everything was all cleared out. She said “you can do anything you want, but just don’t kick me”. That procedure hurt. A lot.

But it worked. I stopped bleeding 10 minutes later. I got to my recovery room at 1:00AM (on Oct 1). Apparently I had just managed to pass out again when they brought Katherine in for me to feed her. But my mom was still with me, and getting to watch her face as she saw her first grandchild was pretty special. I can’t say what time mom left that night. I didn’t leave that bed the entire two days I was there.

We found out later that Katherine had (and still has) a hole in her heart. (It’s not big and medically, there isn’t any reason to do anything to correct it, so we’re just watching it for now). But, she made it through that entire labor and epidural without any “stress” (dipping her heart rate).

9020_519329045357_5255763_n
Brand new family 🙂