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


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!


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


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.

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…

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. 🙂


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).

Brand new family 🙂