Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Wednesday night was short. My mom came with us to the hospital so that she would be able to find the room the next morning and Wendy met us there. Ya’ll have no idea how nervous I was about IV’s and all that hospital business. And being induced I was given full hospital business treatment (stupid automatic blood pressure cuff & stupid veins that are hard to find). Twice throughout the night Ann inserted some sort of cervix softening pill thingy to get it ready for the big stretch. She also gave me a little sleep helper pill so I would able to get some rest. I’m not too sure sleep woulda been possible without it. Dave and I fell asleep not long after Mom and Wendy left for the night.
And Thursday. We were woken up right after 7am by our new nurse, Tisha, and Dr. v. He blew in with an, “ok and now we’re going to break your water” and set to work. It was one of the hardest moments in the entire pregnancy. I haven’t fully processed why…honestly I didn’t give up hope that Sammy would be healed until he was placed on my belly. I couldn’t tell the doctor no, I don’t know why. But as soon as we were alone again I cried. Not long after that Wendy, my mom, Duane, Sharonne, and Laura showed up and around 10:30am Sara, the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer showed up.
I have no idea what time contractions started. We didn’t do birthing classes we just talked with Wendy about laboring techniques, I read a lot of birth stories, and my co-teacher gave me the book Hypnobirthing. I read about half the book, it talked a lot about breathing so I would practice deep yoga breaths each night as I fell asleep. Dave called it my “creepy breathing”. Music has always been a powerful tool for me as well so I made Sammy a playlist and made sure my “Feel the Love” playlist from May was ready too. In one awesome natural birth story the mama talked about how they got l.e.d. tea lights to set the mood at the hospital. So I bought some of those too.
I don’t remember the music much, I do remember being in my own little labor world. I did lots of creepy breathing and had lots of hate for the blood pressure cuff that kept tightening on my arm just as a contraction would start (coincidental). Having Wendy (doula) around was perfect at this point. I know in the heat of the moment had Dave or my mom suggested I move around and try a different labor position the answer would have been NO. But since Wendy is one of the sweetest people I know and not at all related to me, it was hard to say no. Oh yeah, and she’s kind of an expert at the whole labor/birth thing.
In some of my reading of birth stories women would talk about hearing what was going on in the room but only addressing what was happening in their head. I don't know if I said that clearly but I was totally there. I could hear conversations and would "respond" in my head. It was weird and probably for the better, especially at the end.
So we moved around the room a bit. I think the first variation we tried was laying on my side, it was HORRIBLE. Hours later I would hold my son and contemplate laying on my side but decide against it, remembering the pain I felt with those 4 contractions I had while laying on my side. There was a birthing ball, loved that, still required a couple people to get through contractions though. One time Wendy made me stand…after I decorated Dave, the birthing ball, and the floor with all the water and juice I drank that morning I didn’t have to try standing up any more. Gross. There was a birthing chair but that hurt too. It was a long day.
I know at some point I started visualizing items disappearing as a contraction progressed. I remember 3 different things vividly and I’m sure there were more…first was a cookie. As I took my deep breath in one big bite of the cookie disappeared and as I let that breath out slowly some more of the cookie disappeared. I have no idea where this came from (having not eaten since 7pm the night before). I also pictured the breathes out as blowing out some candles on a birthday cake, but I didn’t like that visualization because it always took more breathes to get through the contraction than it took to blow out all the candles. Even during labor my mind is unsatisfied with itself? Really?
I spent the day laboring naturally...at the start I was 0cm and 50% effaced, -3 station, by 1pm I was 4cm and fully effaced. Woohoo! Seemed to be trucking right along. At 4pm I was 6cm and we had high hopes of delivering sometime early evening...I know I was hoping for 8pm at the latest since I was going about 1cm an hour and after the fact I found out everyone else was thinking the same thing.
By 5:30 I was ready to give up (I only know the approximate time because of the picture at the beginning of this post, this was my final semi-comfortable laboring position and the clock says 5:30. I was probably trying to figure out a way to weasel drugs from someone while this was being taken). Contractions were very painful and all the positions and tricks seemed to have stopped working. Wendy and I had talked about possible drug options if they became necessary so I broached the subject, knowing she was partial, in Sammy’s case, to IV narcotics as opposed to an epidural. I mentioned being just about done with all this *smile* and she suggested we have the nurse check me since the doctor was taking quite a while to get back and check me after his office hours.
At 6:30pm-ish Tisha checked me and I had basically stalled...still 6, maybe 7 cm and -1 station. I wanted to cry, especially because I had to be back in the bed for the check and contractions while sitting/laying in the bed were horrendous at this point. They were 1 1/2 - 2 mins long 2-3 minutes apart...and increasing intensity. I was whiney...I tried to cry but it made everything hurt worse.
At this point my doula said she actually thought an epidural would be a good idea (God was guiding her for what was to come). I didn't care, I just wanted something to take the pain away. Here is where I mention that I had the squeakiest hospital door ever in life. Best I can figure at this point everyone who’d been hanging out all day decided it was time to line up outside the door and take turns coming in. Slowly, one at a time. Every time the door opened I waited for the “It’s Tisha” announcing her arrival and the arrival of relief (read: drugs). I don’t know if I said anything out loud but I was loosing patience with that door and the absence of the nurse. At one point a doctor came in, but was in the wrong room, I probably would have taken whatever was in his pocket at this point.
So it was decided I would have a shot of narcotics to take the edge off while I waited for the 2 bags of fluid I would need to run into my body before the epidural could be placed. Shout out to my Mom and Laura for squeezing those bags of fluid into my arm until they got an official iv bag squeezer thingy in place. I wanted to try natural, I did. I was a little scared of how I might respond to drugs...turns out we are besties :-) me and drugs get a long reeeeaalll good (if ever anyone can find a vein).
Sometime after the initial Nubain shot I had the 3rd vivid visualization for getting through the contractions. Have you ever seen contractions on a monitor? They look like mountains. Single mountains if you’re lucky, if you’re not they’ll have 2 or 3 humps like some of mine did. Anyway, this time I visualized a rainbow…I was climbing the outside layer of a rainbow and going down the other side on the inside because it was too boring to just climb up and down the outside…and then I wondered what color comes first on the outside of a rainbow. Oh boy…
Clearly with the shot of narcotics I was able to relax...I had been shivering uncontrollably for an hour or so, cold but also just couldn't relax. I could talk between contractions again and a bunch of girlfriends from church arrived about the time I got the shot. They came in and visited with me until the epidural dude got there. We had really deep conversation, my first interactive conversation 8 or so hours, it went like this - "So, what have you all had to eat today?" LOL - I was hungry!
The dude with the epidural came in so my friends stepped out for him to do his business. For anyone fearing an epidural or a catheter I would suggest 8-10 hours of natural labor to distract you from that fear. I did not feel either when they were finally all in place. Again, before this day started I couldn't watch someone draw my blood and had to take deep breaths the entire time they did. I scoff at little blood draw needles now. Scoff.
My friends came back in to pray over me. During that prayer one of my friends was kinda rubbing my belly and said Sammy was kickin' like crazy during the entire prayer...he always loved him some prayer.
The doctor finally came in and did his own check. Less than an hour after the epidural I was +1 station, fully dilated, and ready to start pushing. I was shocked and asked for 20 minutes to power nap before we started. Hubs and I took a little rest and spent some final minutes talking to Sammy. Dave would always ask Sammy questions and tell him to kick if he agreed...Sammy rarely answered. This time when Dave asked if Sammy was excited to meet us he responded with a thump :-) We were ready to meet our baby boy.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
If I could add trumpet fanfare to the beginning of this birth story I would...although that might be misleading because I feel like this first part is boring but I guess that's how labor & delivery work -the excitement is at the end...
Our first induction date was set for October 11, 1 ½ weeks past my due date. At one of my last appointments we asked if there was a busy baby time of year in New Orleans and the doctor confirmed that it was the end August, September, beginning of October…about 9 months after cold weather usually hits the area, which coincides with the holidays so it's kind of a double jeopardy I guess. * smile* This "busy baby season" contributed to the late induction date, if someone scheduled for October 7th went into natural labor earlier we would be the first ones bumped to that day.
We got a phone call from the doctors office Friday the 1st. I didn’t recognize the number at first since, you know, being 40 weeks pregnant I didn’t my doctors office phone number yet programmed into my phone (it wasn’t until 38 weeks that I realized if I went into labor I wouldn’t know what to do first, call the dr or go to the ER or ???, I still say this fact alone makes me a dream patient). I listened to the message and immediately called Wendy (my doula) and when she didn’t answer I called my mom to see what difference 5 days would make in the wait for my body or Sammy to decide to be ready for birth. The consensus from both was that since my body was making such little progress the boost of induction would probably be helpful and 5 days probably wouldn’t make much of a difference. My family history is pitocin is necessary and babies like to hang out past their due date. And every doctor I talked to told me that babies with anencephaly generally go past their due date and would hang out forever so I was already resigned to induction…
My first reaction to moving up the date was excitement. Dave wasn’t quite ready. So I asked the doctor for the weekend to decide, 7th or 11th. I kept thinking of reasons why I liked the 7th but wanted to respect Dave’s feelings and his part of the process. I learned that *my* original due date was the 7th but I showed up a couple days early. I googled the 7th of October and the 11th of October to see if anything special on one of these days would make it clear which day we should choose. Other than the 11th being National Coming Out day (while semantically fitting in one way, probably not quite what the founders of this day had in mind), nothing really grabbed my attention. Obviously we decided on the 7th and got the family all geared up to come into town. Oh - and turns out it was probably a God thing that we chose the 7th...
My mom and stepdad had already been summoned to New Orleans and had flights planned for the evening of the 3rd. Dave’s mom (Sharonne) and sister (Laura) made their plans to drive down on Tuesday. I honestly don’t remember much about Monday-Wednesday. I know we (read: my mom) cleaned and waxed the floors at some point…we got pedicures on the 5th, which was my 29th birthday, and I wasn’t really in the mood to go out so we had Whole Foods Deli for supper and Pinkberry for dessert.
Wednesday during the day I really don’t think we did anything. We did go out for supper and I finished packing my hospital bag before we headed to church. Every Wednesday night our church has a prayer and worship service, this was one of the reasons an induction on the 7th appealed to me. The doctor’s initial scenario started with going into the hospital the night before at around 9pm. Perfect for spending some time in prayer right before walking into the hospital, one of the moments I had most fearfully anticipated.
We got all checked in and met our first nurse, Ann. She was fantastic. Everybody I met was fantastic, all that worrying and stressing I did in June/July, well, I wanna say it was a waste of time but really I think it was the Lord teaching me trust. I still feel it was justified anxiety but I will never forget the underlying calm, knowing somewhere really deep down that it was all gonna to work out.
And it did.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Sammy was born at 9:47pm weighing 8.8 lbs and 20 inches long. He is by far the chunkiest newborn I have ever seen!! He was born still but was kind enough to answer an inquiry from Dave right before I started pushing and kept kicking/punching til the very end.
More later - we are going to enjoy a few hours with our little man.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
- traveling mercies as Sharonne & Laura drive down, leaving MI at 4am Tuesday the 5th and arriving here 18-20 hours later (they are an hour away as of this post - so far so good!)
- for my body to progress enough that the gentle induction methods will be enough to get things going Wednesday evening
- for a peaceful labor process...
- of course for Sammy's healing!
- 2nd best case scenario - we don't have to break my bag of waters and it helps protect his head through the birth process...which seems like an impossibility in all the reading I've done so that would be a HUGE answer to prayer...
- for some time with Sammy
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
The fall bug hit me today. I came across a website that was advertising all their fall wonderfulness and I had to take part. Immediately. I have a few decorations that I need to get out of my seasonal decor box but I also knew I wanted a fallish table runner.