Baby D Makes Three

born December 27, 2012

Coraline’s birth story

disclaimer: this is a birth story. there are some parts that might be graphic and descriptive. also, it’s long.

I went to bed on December 26th convinced I was going to be the first pregnant woman to stay pregnant forever. this baby was never coming. I was uncomfortable to say the least and as much as I had loved the experience of being pregnant, I was ready to not be pregnant anymore. I dreamt all night that I was in labor. I dreamt how I would cope with the contractions and how labor would progress. I woke up on December 27th around 7 am with a very intense, painful contraction. immediately, I knew that this was different from the braxton hicks contractions I had been experiencing. I poured a bowl of cereal, knowing I needed to eat well before active labor set in. as the contractions got stronger, and more painful, I did the dishes, and started to pick up some things around the house, and soon realized this was not going to go as I had planned. this was not a slow build up of contractions where I could get things accomplished in between them. they were already around 5 minutes apart. the first ones were around 30 seconds long but they were growing longer quickly.

at 8 am, I knew this was not false labor, so I called J at work and told him he needed to come home. I thought about getting in the bath, but the idea of laying down, even in the tub sounded excruciatingly painful, so I got in the shower instead. when J got home he jumped in the shower as well, since we knew we would be heading to the hospital at some point that day.

I spent the next hour getting dressed and trying to relax through contractions using all of the techniques we had learned in our birthing classes. I was trying all of the positions that seemed like they would relieve some of the pain, but it was getting to be too much. the only position that really helped was standing with my arms around J’s neck and giving him some of my weight.  I even got sick from the pain. we decided to try to go for a walk at around 9:40 or 9:45 and I made it to the end of the driveway before a huge contraction stopped us and I decided I couldn’t do it.

in my plan for how I wanted to labor, it was really important to me to stay home as long as possible, because I was worried that the earlier we got to the hospital, the more impatient the doctors and nurses would become and the more interventions we would receive. but at this point, I was in far too much pain to contemplate staying at home any longer. at this point, I was feeling very discouraged with how I was handling labor. how was I going to have the pain medication-free birth experience I so wanted, if I couldn’t even handle early labor at home for more than three hours?

we left for the hospital and I had four strong contractions on the way there, on what was probably a 10 minute car ride and sitting in the car for those was excruciating. J dropped me off at the door, and I made it to a bench in the lobby before the next contraction hit. J parked the car and met me in the lobby to get me to the labor and delivery unit. at 10:08, a nurse met us at the front desk and led us to triage where I continued having strong contractions. she gave me a gown and had me go to the restroom to change. I was in so much pain I could barely get out of my clothes, let alone get into the hospital gown. at this point, I was having an emotional breakdown. I was going to have to ask for the epidural because I knew most first labors lasted anywhere from 12 to 24 hours and there was no way I was going to be able to last for that long. I was asked some admission questions including was this my first child and as soon as we said yes, I could tell the nurses were thinking, mhmm, she can’t be in that much pain. but at my next contraction, when the nurse in the area next area heard my breathing, she excused herself from her patient to hook me up to monitor my contractions. at this point, it was getting really hard to breathe through them, and J had to continue to remind me to breathe and not to hold my breath. laying in the hospital bed seemed to make the contractions stronger. my original nurse came back in the room to check my cervix for dilation and as she checks me she says “Oh my goodness!” which freaked J and I out so much. then she says “you are at a 9, let’s have this baby!” J and I were in shock at this point. no wonder I hadn’t been handling early labor well at home. I was in active labor, and possibly even in transition.

things started happening really quickly around me at this point. J called our parents to let them know that I was in labor, at the hospital and the baby would be here soon. they wheeled me in the triage bed into labor and delivery, and called dr. L. in the labor and delivery room, the nurses were preparing everything and I was just trying to wrap my head around the fact that I was so close to having this baby. J was doing an amazing job keeping me breathing and holding my hand. he kept telling me how amazing I was doing and that we were going to get to meet our daughter soon, which really helped me get through. I started feeling a lot of pressure as well as the pain, and my water broke which I thought would relieve some of the pressure but it actually made it worse. I started feeling the urge to push and the nurse told me to try a couple of practice pushes with her but then they had me stop pushing and try to pant instead of pushing. that was so hard. my body needed to push. dr. L arrived and I could finally start pushing again. at this point, dr. L needed to manually turn Cora because she was sunny side up. I can’t even tell you how excruciating that pain was, but the nurses told me later that it was really lucky for me that dr. L knew to do this, otherwise I would have pushed for hours before she was born.

I pushed through 3 contractions and she was born at 11:21 am. an hour and 13 minutes after we had arrived at the hospital. and 4 hours and 21 minutes after I realized I was in labor. when Coraline was measured and weighed, she was 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and 19.5 inches long.

Coraline was immediately placed on my stomach and I got to put my hands on her and look at her while the nurses wiped her off with a towel. J cut the cord and she was moved to my chest and covered with a warming blanket for some skin to skin time. at this point, I was a mess, crying so hard. I was just so happy to see this perfect little girl that I had dreamed about for the past 9 months finally here with me.

while Cora and I had skin to skin, dr. L delivered my placenta and stitched me up – I had needed an episiotomy during the labor.

I am so thankful that I was able to labor and deliver our baby without pain medication. I so wanted to have that experience, but I had been really anxious and scared about the pain – I had no idea what to expect. it was the most painful experience of my life. but it was also the most rewarding. all that pain had a beautiful purpose. the labor and delivery nurses commented that I must have a very high tolerance for pain, and that I was obviously made to have babies. Dr. L commented to J during the delivery that he’d better pay attention in case he needed to deliver the next one since Cora came so quickly.

we were able to have a couple of hours recovering and Cora breastfed for the first time. she is a great eater and I think the class we took and all of the information I read about breastfeeding really helped. the nurses and hospital staff came back in to do the admitting paperwork at this point since my labor was so fast, there hadn’t been enough time to admit me before hand.

J stayed right by our side the whole time we were recovering and we held our baby girl together and talked to her for the first time in the outside world. J had also brought me a present to the hospital – a pair of beautiful earrings to match a necklace he had given me for Christmas three years earlier. what an amazing husband he is.

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maternity leave

I am starting my second week of maternity leave today and I have to say it’s going better than I expected. I was worried about how I would fill my day every day, but it has been surprisingly easy. I have developed a schedule/routine that seems to be working for me. first, I don’t set an alarm. the whole point of dr. L wanting me to go out on maternity leave early was to get more rest, so unless I have somewhere I need to be, I’m letting my body wake up when it wants to. then I exercise. monday, wednesday, friday it’s cardio and toning; tuesday and thursday it’s prenatal yoga. then I make myself breakfast and lay down for a little bit. then I will do any chores that need to be done around the house, or run errands. I might take J lunch at work if he wants me to or I make myself something. then I’ll lay down for a little longer before starting another chore, or working on some crafting.

it’s the stopping what I’m doing and laying down before I over-exert myself that is the hardest part, as I knew it would be. I like to start a task and get it finished, but I just can’t anymore. I get too tired. also, dr. L was very clear that he wants me laying down. so I’m working on patience during those times. thank goodness for netflix. and baby books that I’m still reading through.

on the bright side, I’ve been able to keep the house tidied up, and the shopping and errands taken care of which means more quality time with J when he is home in the evenings and weekends.

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dragging on

it’s going to be a long week. mostly because it is the last week I will be working in this pregnancy. I worked 10 hours yesterday and will work 10 hours today. this is because I had started working bits of overtime here and there earlier this month in order to have accrued 8 hours of flex time to use in december, however, now that I won’t be working in december at all, I need to hurry up and get that 8 hours earned so I can use it in november instead of a day off I took earlier this month which is one more day of vacation for after baby girl comes. so I drove to work in the dark yesterday morning and drove home in the dark yesterday evening. that wasn’t great.

also adding to the longness of the week is the fact that I have very little to do around the office. all of my workload has slowly been filtering to the other members of my team, and now that we know for sure I’m not coming in next week, I’m not getting any new assignments.

short-timer syndrome has definitely kicked in. I have a feeling I will be spending a good portion of the remainder of the week clearing out my desk of old papers and notes that I no longer need. a winter cleaning of sorts. it’s a good thing I have quite a few meetings scheduled wednesday, thursday, and friday to break up the days. it’s only today that my calendar is wide open and staring at me mockingly.

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running out of womb

we are running out of room in the womb over here. baby girl has been making it known for the past 48 hours just how uncomfortable she is in there. mostly by making it uncomfortable for the mama 😛 she presses her little feet or her little bottom up and out causing my belly to move into weird contorted angles and she will shove herself so far up into my rib cage that it’s hard to breathe. but it’s always up. I keep wanting to tell her down is the direction she needs to go to be able to get out, but it’s too soon for that, so I just laugh at the weird shapes my belly takes on, try to comfort her a little with some belly rubbing, and tell her that I’m sorry she is so uncomfortable but that she will have to remain put for at least another 3 more weeks, at least until full term. chances are she will be in there for at least another 6 as most first time moms don’t deliver before their due date. so hopefully I keep expanding, making more room for my stretcher.

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baby shower

our baby shower was beautiful. I can’t thank my mother – and sister-in-law enough for all of the hard work and preparation they did to make it so amazing. this post is going to be pretty photo heavy to show you just how wonderful it was. the food was delicious, the decorations were amazing, and the games were so much fun! thank you to everyone who came to celebrate this baby and who showered us with love.

yummy food

cute little girl clothes

little girl is all set for next season thanks to Aunt Kristy

people having fun

one of the games…sculpt a baby in 90 seconds

sister-in-law. and hubby lurking in the background 😛

artwork made by my sister-in-law of one of my favorite sayings for the nursery. “no one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you are the only one who has heard my heart beat from the inside.”

my gramma, dad, and I

my mom, and J’s grandma

my amazing sister-in-law used photos of J and I to make the silhouettes for this game card – I’m not sure why this one picture keeps turning on its side

this one is a little awkward of me, but behind me you can see where there were diapers set up to write funny messages on for our late night changes, and there was a onsie for everyone to sign as the guest book – that will go in the shadow box with some other items.

I am sad that we didn’t pay attention to what photos were being taken though. I didn’t get any with my mom, or with my mother-in-law, and there isn’t a good one of J and I. so that is a bummer. oh, and my dress? I made it. it was my first sewn garment and I’m pretty pleased with myself. there are of course, a couple of things I don’t like about it, but overall, it was a successful first attempt at sewing clothing. and there were people who complimented me on the dress before knowing I had made it myself, so I would consider that a win 🙂

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welp

I caught whatever gross bug has been circulating around my office and I’m laid up in bed trying for a quick recovery. I always took for granted the comfort nyquil and dayquil can bring when you don’t feel good. and now I can’t take it.

J took me to get sherbet last night. the berry rainbow kind. because that is the kind my mom always bought me when my throat was sore. my mama always had a way to make me feel better. since I can’t have her potato soup, sherbet is the next best thing. as much as I never want my baby to be sick, I wonder what our sick time traditions will be. there is nothing more comforting than your mama’s remedies when you are small and miserable. I hope when the time comes, I will work magic on my little girl’s illnesses the same way my mama worked miracles on mine.

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updates

we had a doctor’s appointment on tuesday. it went really well, except that we had to wait an exceptionally long time to be seen. apparently it was a busy day at the office.

dr. L says she is right on track with average size and her heart, kidneys, and stomach looked good. she is in the proper birthing position. head down and facing back. I take this to mean she is already tired of being there and wants to come early 😛 dr. L said he would guesstimate a 7.5 pound baby at birth. I’m good with that. a friend told me about a friend of theirs who had an 11 pound baby last week. did.not.need.to.know.

dr. L also said to remember no one ever tells a pregnant woman that they look the right size. everyone is always going to say you are too big or too small and to remember that I’m just right. just another reason why I love our doctor.

heartburn and acid reflux have really picked up in the last couple of days. making things pretty uncomfortable around these parts.

I’ve also noticed a couple of cases of pretty serious anxiety. I’m pretty sure I had a minor panic attack in the middle of the night the other night. don’t really know what is bringing them on, but luckily, I’ve been very successful at calming myself down with some yoga breathing and positive thoughts.

J has been sick since tuesday so it’s been pretty low-key and mopey around our house. here’s hoping I don’t get the yuck too, especially since I can’t take any medicine if I do get it.

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30 week checkup

this past tuesday we went for our 30 week checkup. my blood pressure is great, my weight is still great. no gestational diabetes for me! yay! and everything looked amazing with little girl. dr. L zoomed in on her heart and we could see it beating (wow). he could also make out the four chambers, although all I saw was a tiny heart. 😛 he saw her stomach and liver and kidneys and said everything is looking perfect. she was waving to us with her tiny little fingers and it was just so cute. dr. L was impressed that she is already head down, and I said I wasn’t surprised because she really enjoys kicking me in my ribs. as he was scanning the ultrasound around he said “did you say he?” and I was all “no, I said she.” and he said “oh good. for a second there, I thought I was going to have to say houston, we have a problem!” 😛

here is her latest glamour shot 😛 

and that marks the end of seeing dr. L every 4 weeks. from now until 36 weeks we will seem him every 2 weeks.

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requesting leave

I just submitted my official maternity leave request. my plan is to be out of the office from December 17th through May 24th. can I say right now how blessed I am to be able to take this much time before returning to work? if baby girl comes on time, that means she will be almost 5 months old before I have to go back. amazing.

also, sh*t just got real 😛 I don’t know why, but putting that request in officially just made this whole thing so much more real. and so much more imminent. like it’s right around the corner. the longest I have gone without working since I was fourteen was my first semester of college. and that was plenty of work as it was. working, and my jobs have almost defined me for the past 13 years. it’s a little scary to think of being someone new. especially a mom. someone whose sole responsibility is the well-being of another human. wow. I am so excited about this adventure. but nerves are starting to pop up as well. nerves that I didn’t expect. because my whole life I’ve known I was meant to be a mother. but that’s a topic for another time.

for today, I checked another item off of my pre-baby to do list.

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attracting attention

my friend, L and I were on our normal walk the other day when two women approached from the opposite direction. one of them got a huge smile on her face and said, “do you know if you are having a boy?” and I replied, “no, it’s a girl.” and her response was awesome: “but…you are carrying all out in front.” and despite that super scientific evidence proving that I should be carrying a boy, it’s still a girl 😛

a couple of feet later and a homeless man yelled at me: “girl! you are getting as big as a week!” thank you crazy man. I have no idea what that means but I appreciate you noticing 😛

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