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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Bump Update: 36 Weeks

36 Weeks

How far along: 36 weeks

Baby’s size: large cantaloupe (19 to 22 inches, 6 pounds)

Total weight gain: 35 pounds

Maternity clothes: same shirts with regular pants, although now that I am officially on maternity leave, it will probably be yoga and sweat pants from here on out 🙂

Stretch marks? yeah same clusters, but they seem to be less angry-looking this week

Sleep: has not been very restful or comfortable

Best moment this week: so much good stuff happened this week. my work threw us a lovely baby shower, I finished my last week of work, and we had our childbirth class which was very informative.

Food cravings: pretty much sweets of all kinds

Food aversions: cucumbers are not my favorite thing anymore, which is weird, I usually love them in salads

Gender: ribbons and bows

Symptoms: so tired, my back aches pretty much all the time, heartburn is wicked, and I’m pretty sure little girl is right on my bladder because I feel like I spend more time in restrooms than out of them.

Belly Button in or out? still technically in, although very flat

Wedding rings on or off? off

Happy or Moody most of the time: pretty happy

Looking forward to: some rest this week, re-packing the hospital bags (the childbirth class gave me some different ideas), and getting the house more in order

What I miss: sushi. my lovely coworkers gave J and I a satori gift card at our baby shower – they thought we could use something for us and not just for little girl. I am so excited.

Movement: yep. she’s been getting the hiccups way more frequently and she likes to throw private dance parties

Doctor’s appointment: on tuesday

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Bump Update: 30 Weeks

How far along? 30 weeks

Baby’s size: butternut squash (17 in., 3.1 pounds)

Total weight gain: 23 pounds

Maternity clothes: yes, but not today. the only thing I’m wearing that is maternity today is my belly band

Stretch marks? one started to form this week 😦 I’ve been putting extra lotion on that area twice a day

Sleep: still not getting adequate rest and the dreams are crazy

Best moment this week: I got some more sewing done. 16 more burp cloths and another aiden and anais style swaddle blanket. the extra car seat base arrived on friday. and our breastfeeding class was awesome. non pregnancy related: we went to Apple Hill yesterday. it was my first visit and so much fun.

Food cravings: the later half of this week I was really craving giant salads.

Food aversions: nothing

Gender: girl!

Symptoms: fatigue, backache, tightness in my joints (especially the hips), heartburn, clumsiness

Belly Button in or out? still in

Wedding rings on or off? off

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy

Looking forward to: our baby shower is in two weeks! I am so excited for that

What I miss: sleeping on my stomach and back

Movement: I can tell she’s getting more cramped in there, but she is still super active

Doctor’s appointment: on tuesday. can’t wait to see her on the ultrasound again 🙂

burp cloths

 

swaddle blanket

 

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a moveable feast

we took the breastfeeding class last night and I’m so glad we did. I feel so much more confident in my ability to breastfeed, and less anxious about possible complications or roadblocks. I also liked the instructor for this class much more than I did the baby basics class. she was down to earth and mellow, and so knowledgeable. I think she really did a good job making sure everyone was comfortable, which I think would be hard to do with a topic like breastfeeding.

we learned some interesting statistics and got some great information, but what I think was really helpful was the video where it showed a lactation consultant assisting a new mom with latch. no matter how many times I looked at the pictures in the womanly art of breastfeeding book, I couldn’t figure out what a good latch was actually supposed to look like. so it was really helpful to see one.

I have found a couple of dvds on netflix that are specific to parenting, pregnancy, and labor and delivery. they have been very informative. I think I’ll look to see if I can find any on breastfeeding as well. I’ve become a truly visual learner. while I can still get basic information from reading, I’ve found I really need to see something before I feel comfortable trying it (at least when it comes to baby stuff :P)

we are noticing that the more classes we attend, books we read, and videos we watch, our hospital packing list is getting longer and longer. every new source says, “it’s a good idea to bring _____ with you to the hospital.” J wants to know how we are going to get all of our belongings to and from the hospital, especially since we will be returning with a newborn 😛 I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

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Bump Update: 29 Weeks

How far along? 29 weeks

Baby’s size: small cabbage (17 in., 2.9 pounds)

Total weight gain: 20 pounds

Maternity clothes: yes and no. pants are a problem right now as the maternity ones are too big, but the belly band over my pre-pregnancy pants isn’t the most comfortable either.

Stretch marks? nope 🙂

Sleep: well, I am sleeping, which is nice, but the crazy preggo dreams make sure I don’t get adequate rest. I am so tired.

Best moment this week: we worked more on the nursery and it looks like a room 🙂 we celebrated our second wedding anniversary at the melting pot. yummy.

Food cravings: caffeine free diet pepsi. mmmm.

Food aversions: nothing

Gender: baby girl

Symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath, a couple of moments of dizziness/light headedness (according to the books this is because there is too much blood, and the heart isn’t able to keep up with it all), backache, more leg cramps (while awake now too), and I have definitely slowed down (it takes me way longer to get places than it used to :P)

Belly Button in or out? still in

Wedding rings on or off? off, but I did wear them to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. I think the cooler weather is helping with the swelling, but they are still tighter than they once were, so they are staying off.

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy happy

Looking forward to: our breastfeeding class is this tuesday, getting some more things put away in baby girl’s room, and picking out fabric to make a crib skirt.

What I miss: sushi.

Movement: oh yeah, especially at church this morning. she was loving the music and all the voices singing. I might start calling her boots because when she kicks me really hard, J says she is booting me 😛 she has booted me hard enough to make me jump multiple times this week.

Doctor’s appointment: not this tuesday, but the next one.

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hospital tours and prep classes

on saturday we took a hospital tour. whoever came up with the idea to do hospital tours is a genius. both J and I feel so much better prepared for when the big day finally comes. we know that we can just head straight up to the labor and delivery floor (we even know where to park and where the elevators are). and we are pre-registered now, so none of that nonsense. we also know that our visitors will need to know my full name to get in because there is a security door to get on the labor and delivery floor. this makes me feel so at ease. not because any of my visitors will be crazy, but other people’s could be 😛 also if someone is coming to visit me in the hospital, they should probably know my name, right?

there was a fun group dynamic on the tour. pretty stereotypical actually, but it entertained hubs and I, so that was all the better. the black couple where the woman is having her second child and the man is having his first (total assumption). he was very grossed out by the thought of the baby being placed straight on mommy’s chest right after being born. he was all “you clean it off first right?” with this look on his face like he wanted to throw up. priceless. the teen mom there with her own mom. the over the top ghetto latina woman who didn’t understand why her young (probably 5 years old) daughter couldn’t just come chill with her and her husband as she gave birth. the tour leader was patiently trying to explain that her husband would be busy helping her through labor, and another adult would need to be with the little girl to take care of her needs (i.e. hosptial staff are not babysitters lady!). and the couple who waited WAY too long to go on this tour. she was already full term and super neurotic. she about had a panic attack when she learned there are two postpartum rooms on the floor that are shared rooms. in near hysterics, bright red face she explained she cannot possibly recover while sharing a room. chill out lady. they aren’t asking you to labor with someone else. and really, how much rest do you actually get in a hospital anyway when nurses are constantly checking on you?

overall, I am so pleased with the hospital and the labor and delivery unit, in particular. the one concern I have is that you aren’t allowed to plug anything in there, which means no charging of batteries for important things like cell phones and cameras. they have iPod/iPhone docks that will charge a phone so J ordered an adapter from eBay that should allow our phones to work with that and hopefully they will charge, but if not, our family will be getting VERY few and far between updates on how my labor progresses as our phones die very quickly. we would basically have to say, checked in this room, phones are going off…baby was born, phones back off 😛

we are taking infant, child, and adult cpr and first aid tonight and thursday through our parks department. we are also registered to take pretty much all of the classes our hospital offers over the remainder of the pregnancy. here is what the baby class calendar looks like for us 😛

9/18 – cpr

9/20 – cpr

10/02 – baby basics (what to do when baby comes home with you)

10/16 – a moveable feast (breastfeeding)

11/7 – great expectations 1 (learning all about childbirth)

11/14 – great expectations 2

11/28 – great expectations 3

12/5 – great expectations 4

hopefully by the time little miss arrives, we will feel fully prepared and will not panic. do I hear laughter? a girl can dream 😛

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