Friday, February 21, 2014

Squeaker's Birth Story

He's here! He's here! My Valentine's Day baby is here!

I started writing this one out while still in recovery because I don't want to forget a single detail of what has been, by far, the most intense experience of my life! I am seriously not exaggerating when I say that the whole thing went down like it was a dramatic scene in a movie.

I started having contractions about 3:30am and they were very bearable. I went through the relaxation techniques I learned/read about and just hung out in bed. DH woke up at 5:00 for work and I told him he needed to call in. He went down and took a shower and by the time he got out, the contractions were about 10 minutes apart and getting stronger. I figured I had better shower too and jumped in for a quick one. Something about the water sped things up a bit, but not so much that I felt we needed to leave yet. I called my midwife and let her know that they were eight minutes apart now and she said to get some breakfast in me and head over.

It was about this time I found out that my parents had actually left for work thinking they had plenty of time and Little Man wouldn't need them for a while. I called them in full-on pissed-off labor mode and made them turn around. My grandma made me a sandwich and a small cup of coffee and while I sat there eating, the contractions got to be about three minutes apart! Keep in mind all of this happened in about a two and a half hour time span. She finally kicked us out of the house at 9:00.

*Special side note: every time I had a contraction, Little Man would sit by me and play "Wind Beneath My Wings" on a little music box to help me feel better. Lovf that kid :-)

I set the mattress protector from my bed down on the passenger seat and climbed in. It's such a good thing I did because my water broke as we were pulling out of the driveway! Chalk up a point for grandma; we totally should have left sooner.

The drive to the hospital usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. Luckily this was all going down AFTER morning rush hour, so there was no traffic to contend with.  There were, however, ASSHOLES that wouldn't move the hell over no matter how much MyLovf honked at them. Who does that!? Who just ignores frantically honking, light flashing, desperate looking people? Karma is definitely coming for them. ANYWAY... to hell with the normal commute time, MyLovf did it in half an hour. And thank God, because I felt like I was being ripped in half. It seemed like every time LO moved, he triggered a contraction. And he moved a lot. I swear I could even feel him moving down. Such a weird sensation. By this time all the coping techniques I had been practicing for months went right out the window. Having to sit upright in the car was unbearable.

Tell 'em Snookie!

When we got to the hospital DH pulled in to the ambulance unloading area and ran to get a wheelchair to help me get out of the car. He kept fretting that an ambulance might need to pull in and wanted to leave me sitting by the entrance so he could go park the car! *meanwhile "don't care, don't care, don't care" kept scrolling through my head* He was saved by one of the ER nurses that heard me scream/yelling. As she ran me along to the elevators she apologized for leaving him behind. I think my exact words to her were "I so don't even care".

I got to my labor room and was so out of my head with pain that I barely noticed when the nurses stripped me down and helped me onto the bed. DH arrived in the room as I was getting up there. I remember a nurse saying that I was in a safe place now and let's have a baby! Her saying that did actually help my mind frame so I calmed down just a little bit. My midwife checked me and said I was already at 8.5 centimeters. There was no way I was going to be still enough for them to place an IV and arrived too far advanced to get an epi; which despite my desire for an intervention free birth, was sounding REALLY good. Ever since the crap experience I had with LM's birth, I have been looking forward to going med free. **What the bloody hell was I thinking!?** They also asked repeatedly what time my water broke. I made a point of looking at the clock when it happened because of the whole 24 hour time limit thing so I said over and over that it broke at 9:00! I don't know if they didn't believe me or what, because they kept asking!

I could never imagine that level of pain. I was screaming bloody.fucking.murder, swearing like a sailor, and making sounds like I was some kind of animal. I think I may have scared My Honey a little, not to mention the other laboring women on the floor! Those that had epidurals were probably all mentally patting themselves on the back for not taking the route of the crazy lady that was screaming in the halls! I labored on all fours for a while and didn't want to move even though it that position wasn't doing much. The contractions were coming super hard and fast and I remember a bit of tunnel vision and all the voices around me going a little muffled. My midwife had to physically guide me move into a "running start" position and OH BOY. Yep. That moved it along quite nicely. After contracting like that for a little while, they made me get on my back to push. Pushing was the most amazing feeling after being in so much pain for what seemed like a year. It was a sort of weird relief. The "ring of fire" however, was not amazing. I distinctly remember yelling that I could feel everything! *LOL flashback to Knocked Up* No joke, I felt like I was going feral. Not fun. At all. Once that head was passed through, the rest went fairly quickly and without much more pain.

This face. Exactly this face.

LO was born about an hour after we arrived at the hospital. Right before he made his grand entrance, my midwife asked DH if he wanted to catch. I didn't really think he would be that enthusiastic about it, but he ran right over, washed his hands, and assumed the catching position! Alas! He missed! LO was so slippery that he flew right through his hands and onto the bed! *no worries, he was no where close to falling on the floor or anything* DH picked him up and placed him on my chest. The clouds parted and the angels sang and I fell in love all over again. *Not a joke* There was a nurse floating around taking pictures and she got some pretty decent shots, but they all either have a boob in them or I look like death, so no, I'm not going to post any here. I totally tear up whenever I look at them, but no one besides DH and myself will ever see them. Even showing them to LO when he's older is unlikely.

We stayed skin to skin for about an hour and LO didn't show any interest in nursing just yet. He was very intent on looking at me and then DH. Over and over, from mommy to daddy and back again. Just staring. While he was drinking in the new world, my midwife was doing unpleasant things to my lady bits. She shot me in the leg with some Pitocin to help get the placenta out and then stitched up a "cosmetic tear". Don't ask me what that means, because I don't know. I didn't want to know. Ugh. I think the stitches sucked more than actually having a baby! One thing that I did like was that I was able to get up and walk to the bathroom under my own power. With LM, I had to have two nurses holding me up to make sure I didn't fall on the floor. DH was holding LO while I was in the bathroom and it was there that I discovered just how sore my arms were from grabbing the bars on the side of the bed and using them as leverage to bear down. And I also lost my voice from all the screaming! Yaaaay! *wheeze*

When I came back LO was ready to nurse and he latched on for about half an hour and never closed his eyes. Then he was whisked over for measurements: 6 pounds, 11 ounces, 20 inches long (just like LM. So weird) and Apgar scores: 9 for both. We were in the L&D room for three hours before they decided to move us to recovery. I had just placed my mesh panty covered butt gingerly in the wheel chair when my mom and dad and LM came busting through the door! How they got in at that time, I have no idea. No one asked me if they could come back, yet there they were! Balls. They trailed us down the hall and into my recovery room. The nurse that was pushing my chair was trying to make nice small talk while I just wanted to stare at my baby, but I do remember her saying that she had fun at my delivery and that she wished they all went like that. Really? That was fun? Yikes. No. But I'm glad you had a good time!

Rambo accurately depicts my reaction to crazy nurse.

So we get to the room and my mom takes LO from me "so you can get settled in bed" and then cries all over him while NOT handing him back to me. Then the great-grandparents arrived and they took him for a while and didn't give him back to me. It was only after LM started complaining about being hungry that they finally gave him back and left. That first meeting did not go AT ALL the way I wanted it to and I'm really sad when I think back on it. My plan was to call them to come when we were settled in recovery and then have LM come in by himself at first to meet his brother. I did NOT want my parents to swoop in and steal my baby for two hours while almost completely ignoring LM and acting like the apocalypse was upon us every time he tried to get close to him. For the record, he has taken to being a big brother amazingly well. He is such an awesome little dude.

He brought him a sweet little bear!
After everyone left I was talking to DH about how it all went and realized that I got literally every little thing, bullet point by bullet point, that I had written down on my birth wish list. It all went down exactly how I wanted it to! And if I had to do it all over again knowing what I know now... I honestly would opt for an epidural. It was all just too much for me. I am so incredibly proud of myself and my body for doing it med free, but if there is ever a #3 (which there probably won't be, but if there were) I would totally be yelling for that anesthesiologist! SorryNotSorry.

I was hoping to go home after the first night, but the cramping was pretty bad this time and I was really needing the pain killers and support so we ended up staying the second night. LO took to BFing immediately and we have had no problems in that area (thank God!) I realize that he cries exactly like his older brother used to when he was hungry! Same size at birth AND the same cry!? Be still my heart! We left the hospital after the newborn pics were taken and I had an awesome lunch.

Hat and blanket by Mama

So all in all and amazing, empowering, spiritual experience and I am so so so so so happy that he decided to come on VALENTINE'S DAY! Best present EVAR!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ticker Change Day: 39 Weeks

Weekly Survey

  • How far along?: 39 Weeks
  • Total weight gain: 161: starting weight was 126.
  • How big is baby?: Baby weighs seven to eight pounds and measures 19 to 21 inches.
  • Maternity clothes?: Stupid maternity clothes. I've pretty much been living in yoga pants and MyLovf's t-shirts because nothing fits anymore.
  • Sleep?: Still good :)
  • Best moment this week/Milestones?: Got some motivation to paint and decorate LO's wooden letters and actually hung them up over the crib. I've had all the stuff sitting in the room for weeks and finally decided it was time to get those done.
  • Movement: Frequency is still up, but the strength of them has gone down. I called triage after a day of worrying and the nurse said it's normal due to lack of space. It's still freaking me out a little though.
  • Food cravings?: Eat all the foods!
  • Belly button in or out?: Still flat.
  • What I miss: I miss feeling like a normal person. I can't walk around without feeling like I've run a marathon. I can't lay how I want or turn over. I can't do anything really. I'm ready to have my body back.
  • What I'm looking forward to: I'm looking forward to getting this little guy out! MyLovf and I went on a long walk after dinner to see if we could jump start something, but all I got was a nasty headache. That'll teach me! No more trying to speed things up.
  • Developments:  Coming down to the wire! His brain is still growing at an astonishing rate, a pace that will continue for the first three years of life. His pink skin has now turned whitish. His head may have dropped into your pelvis by now, which makes your breathing easier but walking harder.
  • Other Stuff: 
    • Sporadic contractions since Friday. 
    • Went in on Saturday for a trim and ended up with hair 4 inches shorter than I wanted. I cried. It took me forever to grow it that long. At least the cut is cute.
    • My honey goes into immediate panic mode when I call him at work. It's kind of precious :)
    • I'm secretly lovfing that LO is taking his time because my mom was pretty smug about "knowing" that he would come today. As I was heading up to bed she scolded me for going past my deadline. I literally snorted and walked right past her. No mom, I don't give a tiny rat's ass that LO isn't adhering to your schedule. He'll come when he's ready.
Belly pic!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ticker Change Day: 38 Weeks (Long and Picture Heavy)

Weekly Survey

  • How far along?: 38 Weeks
  • Total weight gain: 159: starting weight was 126.
  • How big is baby?: Baby is about 20 inches and weighs about 7.5 pounds
  • Maternity clothes?: It's a crap shoot lately. Some of it fits, and some of it doesn't.
  • Sleep?: Decent, but getting up a couple of times a night to pee.
  • Best moment this week/Milestones?: Erm... Things have been pretty quiet this week.
  • Movement: Wiggle monster! On a related note, I got a FB message from an old friend that I haven't spoken to in like 10 years sending me info on reduced fetal movement later in pregnancy and telling me to call my doctor if I felt like I wasn't feeling the "appropriate" level of movement. It was the most random thing... Thanks for your concern...?
  • Food cravings?: Meh. I'm just glad to be able to eat without too much discomfort.
  • Belly button in or out?: Still flat
  • What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach. Soon!
  • What I'm looking forward to: Seeing my little squish! I know I'm still two weeks out from my due date (and that date could potentially be pushed back two more weeks), but I want to meet him already!
  • Developments: Development is complete, baby's main job is to gain weight. The body continues laying on the fat stores at a rate of about an ounce a day, that will help regulate his body temperature after birth. The amniotic fluid, this is approximately equal to 4 or 5 cups. It doesn't sound like much, but just wait until your water breaks, it will feel like much more. Baby may have a full head of hair now, an inch or more long, but some babies are born with only peach fuzz. Speaking of hair, most of the downy coat of lanugo that covered your baby for weeks has disappeared, but you may see some on the upper back and shoulders when he arrives. Almost gone has most of the vernix caseosa, the whitish substance that also covered baby.

    Your baby will swallow the lanugo and exterior coating, along with other secretions, and store them in their bowels. These will become your infant's first bowel movement, a blackish waste called meconium. Your child's intestines are accumulating lots of meconium. About 30% of babies move their bowels before birth. Usually this is a sign that the baby is under some stress and can cause pneumonia if the baby inhales any amniotic fluid with meconium in it. If there are signs of meconium in the amniotic fluid at birth your care provider will make sure that the baby's throat and lungs are suctioned thoroughly.
Belly Pic

  • Other Stuff: I think I may have avoided that uncomfortable conversation with my mom and grandma. The day my mom got home from Colorado she asked me what the "plan" was for when I go into labor. I didn't explicitly say that I don't want her or my dad (or my grandma) anywhere near the hospital, but I did emphasize a couple of times that I need them both to be home with Little Man. I'm praying she got the hint and won't ask about it again. And my grandma is leaving the state again! After all the belly aching she did about wanting to be back from Mexico in time for LO's arrival, she's planning a couple weeks trip to California and will probably be leaving in the next few days. I'm a little confused, but am actually relieved. She would be the one to hold the grudge longer and more vindictively than my mom would.
  • Minor/Major Annoyances: Both of my parents have a (very non-essential) business trip to Visalia, CA planned for the last week of February and my mother keeps telling me I have to have the baby "sometime this week" so she'll be able to go without feeling bad for leaving me alone with a brand new baby. Or she'll say something to effect of "You need to deliver already because I want to hold a baby again!" Yeah. I'll get right on that for you.

  • She and my grandma have also been plotting on how to get my baby away from me as quickly and as often as possible. For whatever reason, they seem to think that it's perfectly acceptable to kidnap him whenever they want because whoever is holding the baby doesn't have to help with getting dinner ready/chores/whatever. I'm hoping so hard that they're just saying this stuff to get a rise out of me and aren't serious because I WILL lose my shit if they're for real. For their own safety, they better not be expecting me to jump back up and act like their own personal cook/maid right after I deliver. MyLovf is also less than impressed with the way they've been talking and acting and says that if this behavior really does manifest itself, he will find us an apartment and we'll be moving out asap. That is huge coming from a guy that spends the better part of his weekends in the garage and HATES apartment living. I actually wouldn't mind. I really miss having our own space.

My daddy was nice enough to come out to a local park with us to take a few maternity pictures. He's obviously not a pro, but I think we got some good ones :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Already Uncooperative

Oh well.

At least I got the birthstone I wanted and LO gets a birth month all to himself and won't have to share with any cousins. So far anyway.

I don't know if it was my own wishful thinking or something will legit happen soon, but I did have a few pains yesterday and this morning. It's too late to avoid the mom, but if he's born before 9:00pm, I'll avoid the grandma again ;)

Lordy. I need some chocolate. 

P.S. The blog has now received over 10,000 views! I wish I knew who was reading!