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: 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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200 days

today I am 200 days pregnant. that seems like a very long time, doesn’t it? but it has flown by. there are only 80 days left until our due date.

I celebrated by having my glucose tolerance test done this morning. I had been dreading this test pretty much the whole pregnancy because the basic glucose tolerance test involves fasting, drinking a super sugary drink that I’m told tastes like flat orange soda, and then waiting an hour to have blood drawn. bleck. then my doctor’s office told me they did the glucose tolerance test a little differently. yay!

I had to fast overnight, then eat a rather large breakfast of 2 eggs, a cup of cereal, and a cup of milk (I’m not used to eating that much at once that early in the morning :P). then have my blood drawn two hours later. much better! so I scheduled an appointment at the quest diagnostics closest to my work at 8:20 in the morning and had breakfast at 6:20. pretty painless process.

keeps your fingers crossed I have no problems with gestational diabetes.

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third trimester!

I am officially in the third trimester now!

I’m having a hard time believing we are already 2/3 of the way done with this pregnancy. I mean, wasn’t it yesterday that two pink lines were appearing on that first response test? I have to say before I get too deep into the third trimester (as I’m told it can get pretty uncomfortable), that I LOVE being pregnant. even through all of the aches and pains and discomforts. it has been such an amazing experience for me. I am so thankful to have had such a good pregnancy.

my second trimester was so much fun. we found out we are having a little girl! and she started moving very regularly. J felt her kick. and we painted the nursery. J and his dad put in wood laminate flooring, and the baseboards were put in. we purchased blinds, and furniture. and just this past weekend, the furniture was put together. we bought a mattress for baby girl’s crib on saturday night. we also bought a super cute lamp. morning sickness all but disappeared. people started noticing I am pregnant and not just hitting the cupcakes a little too hard. and while I still have boughts of round ligament pain when I’m walking at a brisk pace (excercising), I haven’t had any when I’m just sitting for weeks. the biggest problem I’ve had in the second trimester is pretty bad backache. but I definitely count myself lucky that is my biggest complaint.

there are so many things that I’m looking forward to in the third trimester as well. my baby shower. and taking the classes the hospital has to offer. getting rounder especially when sitting and laying down (my stomach spreads out and widens when I do either of these, so I don’t look pregnant anymore :P). and baby’s kicks being visable from the outside. continuing my sewing and crochet projects for baby. meeting our baby girl!  

I am nervous about the elevated level of discomfort I have been promised is forthcoming. as excited as I am for baby girl to come, I am anxious about the process of getting her here. I’m hopeful that the hospital class will help with that. it’s really just a fear of the unknown. I have silly concerns as well. like not being able to shave my legs or tie my shoes.

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second ultrasound

we were back at dr. L’s on Wednesday and got to see our little one again. it is so amazing to have a doctor who performs ultrasounds at every visit. baby is still very active, and actually dr. L had a hard time getting a good picture because baby was moving so much. here is the one shot he did manage to get:

and just for comparison, let’s take a look back at 10 weeks. what a difference 3 weeks makes, huh?

dr. L said the best time to find out the gender is between 16 and 20 weeks. we have an appointment on july 30. I will be 18 weeks pregnant so it should work out perfectly. but we won’t be announcing here until after we are able to have a gender reveal party with parents and siblings.

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good things

I called the head ob at Methodist Hospital (where we will be delivering) to see how his appointments run. the nurse said, “well he does an ultrasound at every appointment, so the first appointment would be at 10 weeks.” and I responded, “sign me up!” I am over the moon excited that we are going to be going to an ob who will do ultrasounds for us so we can see our little one (and he doesn’t even care if insurance covers it). our first appointment is on June 4th. my brother’s birthday, and also the monday after returning from vacation. could that week get any better? I think not.

also:

this is target’s beband which is a knockoff of the bella band. and it is a miracle worker. now I realize, I am only 7 weeks pregnant and not showing yet, however, the bloating is making it uncomfortable (not to mention unattractive) to button my jeans. this thing saved me. not only can no one tell my pants aren’t buttoned, but now my jeans are almost as comfortable as my beloved yoga pants. very happy with this purchase.

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baby doctor drama

we had our official initial ob appointment today. they asked all of the medical and family history questions and we probed more about ultrasounds. my ob does not have an ultrasound machine in her office, which means to have one done, we will need to be referred elsewhere. she also told me the only ultrasound she will do is between 18 and 22 weeks. we can get one from 10-13 weeks if we decide to do the first trimester screen for chromosomal disorders.

everyone we know had regular ultrasounds, and we are feeling a little deprived. we want to see/hear our little one. so since we are going to have to switch obs at around 24 weeks anyway, we may start the search for our final ob sooner rather than later to try to find an ob who will do more regular ultrasounds.

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the business of being born

hubs and I watched this documentary on Netflix last night. here is what I took away from it: if you don’t have a midwife, and instead deliver at a hospital with an OB, you will be forced to have pitocin administered, which will necessitate an epidural, which will slow down labor, which will necessitate more pitocin, which will necessitate a higher dose of epidural, which will put your baby in distress, and you will be forced to deliver via c-section, and you won’t love your baby (as much as if you had delivered vaginally).

if you have a midwife, you will deliver at home, in a large tub, in your living room.

I don’t want to do either of those. shit. this baby can’t be born. sorry baby, you will have to live in mommy’s womb forever.

then I took a deep breath, and remembered four of our friends delivered in the hospital last year. 2 of them indeed need c-sections. both of them LOVE their babies. 1 of them was a super-rockstar and delivered pain-medication free, and 1 was able to have an epidural without needing a c-section.

in the film, it mentioned in early American history, a smear campaign had been successfully implemented against midwives, which is why they are not used as much as in other countries.

I feel like this film was a smear campaign against hospitals. they showed a lot of scary things hospitals did in the 1920s, 60s, and 70s. um, we have now advanced 40-90 years so exactly what relevance does this have in your argument?

my advice: watch with a grain of salt.

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maybe Christmas baby

you are getting two posts today. yup two. because I’ll do anything to avoid work I’m feeling generous.

yesterday’s  appointment went well. the blood work and the doctor’s urine test both confirmed the pregnancy. the doctor estimates the due date to be December 26, 2012, which means I am 5 weeks, 2 days pregnant today. we learned my doctor no longer does the labor and delivery part of ob, so after the 2nd trimester, she would refer me to one of her colleagues who does. what she does do though, is pediatrics. she comes to the hospital within 12 hours on the birth to start caring for baby. I think that is awesome. we may look for someone who specializes in pediatrics, however, right now, I’m thinking it would be pretty convenient to have my doctor also be baby’s doctor, so we’ll see. I was disappointed to learn that my health insurance only pays for one ultrasound, which will be performed around 18-20 weeks (hopefully baby isn’t being bashful so we can find out the gender). I was really wanting to hear the heartbeat soon. I didn’t think to ask if she will use a doppler to find the heartbeat in the meantime. I’ll have to ask at the next appointment.

hubs came to the appointment with me and plans to come to all of the appointments. I feel SO lucky to be married to him.

the next post is going to be the first bump update. basically, every week I am going to post a picture along with the stats I feel are important. the first picture I took of myself, in the bathroom, with my phone. so you can guess how great that picture is going to be. I will be trying to convince hubs to take the picture of me every week from now on.

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