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: 39 Weeks

39 Weeks

How far along? 39 weeks

Baby’s size: watermelon (19 to 22 inches, 7 pounds according to what to expect)

Total weight gain: 40 pounds

Maternity clothes: yes

Stretch marks? still there

Sleep: awful 😛

Best moment this week: it was a good week. my mom came to visit me and we had lunch, we went and looked at Christmas lights, and my aunt and cousins came to see us today. it’s been a good week.

Food cravings: nothing this week

Food aversions: nothing this week

Gender: sweet baby girl

Symptoms: the braxton hicks contractions are picking up, the backache is miserable, and I’m tired all the time. but there can’t be too much time left of this 🙂

Belly Button in or out? still in. this makes me extremely happy.

Wedding rings on or off? off

Happy or Moody most of the time: I’m so happy that we are getting closer and closer to meeting our little girl, but my hormones are going crazy and I’ve been pretty moody too.

Looking forward to: meeting my daughter 🙂

What I miss: sleep and sushi, but not for much longer – well, the sushi that is. I’m sure I will be missing sleep for some time to come.

Movement: she is still moving all around in there. mostly pressing her booty or her feet up into my ribs and making my belly go lopsided.

Doctor’s appointment: went well – had my first internal check and was not dilated or effaced at all yet (bummer), but dr. L is very pleased with what he is seeing on the ultrasound. next appointment is this coming thursday.

and for fun, here is the bump at 9, 19, 29, and 39 weeks – wow 😛

nines

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Bump Update: 37 Weeks

37 Weeks

How far along? 37 weeks – we are full term! baby girl, whenever you are ready to meet us, your daddy and I are more than ready to meet you!

Baby’s size: according to what to expect: watermelon (19 to 22 inches, 6.5 pounds). at the doctor’s appointment on tuesday she was 5 pounds 11 ounces

Total weight gain: 36 pounds

Maternity clothes: yes

Stretch marks? yes, boo

Sleep: well now that I am on maternity leave, I am getting more over all, however, it’s still not comfortable, or very restful. I’m pretty tired most of the time.

Best moment this week: it was a really relaxing week, but the best part was the at-home date J and I had. we made tri tip, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans, and had sparkling grape juice from trader joes (so yummy) and watched a great movie. it was perfect.

Food cravings: I had a pumpkin spice muffin from Mimi’s Cafe on monday and I’ve wanted another one ever since 😛

Food aversions: nothing

Gender: precious baby girl

Symptoms: the braxton hicks contractions have picked up and are even feeling a little bit more crampy, hip pain is getting pretty bad, I’ve had a general feeling of ickiness the last couple of days, and fatigue is still there like always 😛

Belly Button in or out? still in 🙂

Wedding rings on or off? off

Happy or Moody most of the time: pretty happy thinking this baby could be here any day but no more than 5 weeks from now 🙂

Looking forward to: another great doctor’s appointment on tuesday, sewing a nursing cover and some nursing pads this week

What I miss: laying on my stomach

Movement: she’s still fighting for space in there. a lot.

Doctor’s appointment: tuesday’s appointment was great. he said everything looked wonderful with baby girl, and dr. L reassured me that I should have no problem with labor and delivery as I have large hips perfect for birth 😛

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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: 35 Weeks

How far along? 35 weeks. today marks 35/35: 35 weeks down, 35 days until due date 😀

Baby’s size: large cantaloupe (19 to 22 inches, 5.5 pounds)

Total weight gain: 31.5 pounds

Maternity clothes: still wearing pre-pregnancy pants/skirts with maternity tops

Stretch marks? yes, they seem to be getting larger. that’s a bummer.

Sleep: awful. I was awake for at least an hour at 3:30 this morning. for no reason. boo.

Best moment this week: thanksgiving, although I missed seeing my mom because she wasn’t feeling well. we also put up our Christmas tree. and I saw twilight breaking dawn 2.

Food cravings: all the yummy thanksgiving food this week

Food aversions: nothing this week

Gender: pink pink pink

Symptoms: fatigue, hip pain, backache, heartburn, shortness of breathe

Belly Button in or out? still in

Wedding rings on or off? off 😦

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy

Looking forward to: my work is throwing us a baby shower this week

What I miss: not struggling to pick things up off the floor

Movement: oh yeah, she’s a mover

Doctor’s appointment: went really well, although dr. L put through a wrench into our plans for how much longer I am going to work. I was planning on working the first two weeks of december and then taking off, but, dr. L has recommended that I don’t work in december at all. he thinks spending more time laying down in the last month can help prevent preeclampsia. so this coming friday will be my last day at work.

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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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Bump Update: 34 Weeks

this smile says “this is as good as it gets when I don’t feel good” 😛

How far along? 34 weeks

Baby’s size: pineapple (19 to 22 inches, 4.9 pounds)

Total weight gain: 30 pounds

Maternity clothes: on top yes, bottoms are still pre-pregnancy with the beband.

Stretch marks? same ones that appeared a few weeks ago

Sleep: I actually slept a LOT this week being sick. I was surprised, but relieved.

Best moment this week: we had some photos taken by our wedding photographer, Allison Lal. I can’t wait to see the results.

Food cravings: chocolate covered peppermint jo-jo’s from trader joes. I love/hate this time of year and all the yummy holiday goodies that come out.

Food aversions: nothing

Gender: girlie girl

Symptoms: heartburn, backache, fatigue. I was sick this week so that was no fun.

Belly Button in or out? still technically in. even the top part that was completely flat last week seems like it is more in 😛

Wedding rings on or off? off for safety, but I did wear them at our photo shoot and they were fine.

Happy or Moody most of the time: being sick has left me pretty moody this week

Looking forward to: feeling all the way better, Thanksgiving, spending time with family.

What I’m procrastinating on: packing the hospital bag (not sure why, I’m just totally dragging my feet on this one)

What I miss: being able to pick things off the floor

Movement: yep, little one definitely likes to move-it, move-it

Doctor’s appointment: on tuesday. looking forward to it.

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Bump Update: 33 Weeks

How far along? 33 weeks

Baby’s size: honeydew (19 inches, 4.5 pounds)

Total weight gain: 28 pounds

Maternity clothes: tops, yes; I’m still rocking my pre-pregnancy pants and skirts with the beband. and my yoga pants for lounging around the house

Stretch marks? still the two that appeared a few weeks ago. of course they are upfront and center on my belly, so that’s annoying.

Sleep: not comfortable

Best moment this week: seeing little one on the ultrasound, and the shopping we did this weekend to finish preparing ourselves for her arrival. I think we are finally ready. well, our house is ready at least 😛

Food cravings: frozen yogurt and soft serve ice cream

Food aversions: nothing

Gender: precious baby girl

Symptoms: my hips hurt so bad, back ache, fatigue, heartburn was a huge one this week, and bending down to pick things up from the floor has become very difficult this week.

Belly Button in or out? the top is completely flat, and the bottom half is still in

Wedding rings on or off? off

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy happy happy

Looking forward to: sewing the crib skirt this week, and organizing some of the remaining things that need to be organized

What I miss: sleeping comfortably

Movement: she sure is feisty. I’m pretty sure she took her heel and jammed it into my upper belly and then dragged it down to my belly button. it hurt. and last night, J was pressing on her and she kicked me so hard in the rib cage in response.

Doctor’s appointment: this week’s appointment was a good one. everything looks perfect and normal.

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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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Bump Update: 32 Weeks

How far along? 32 weeks

Baby’s size: head of lettuce (19 in, 3.9 pounds)

Total weight gain: 25.5 pounds

Maternity clothes: yes

Stretch marks? not the best thing about pregnancy

Sleep: still struggling with this, and causing J to get less sleep as well (sorry honey)

Best moment this week: our beautiful baby shower. J’s sister and mom did such a FANTASTIC job. it was amazing and we loved it. seeing family and friends was also wonderful.

Food cravings: nothing this week

Food aversions: nothing this week

Gender: ribbons and bows

Symptoms: my hips are killing me!, and my back hurts, getting fatigued even more, and even faster, shortness of breath

Belly Button in or out? the top part is completely flat, the bottom half is still in 😛

Wedding rings on or off? off

Happy or Moody most of the time: I’ve been pretty moody. I think the aches and pains are getting to me 😛

Looking forward to: our doctor’s appointment is on tuesday, doing a little shopping to make sure we are completely prepared for baby girl’s arrival.

What I miss: sleep

Movement: she sure is one active little munchkin.

Doctor’s appointment: tuesday 🙂

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