March 31, 2014 § 51 Comments
So… I had a baby, finally! She is very astute and takes direction well, she came right on her due date which is apparently pretty rare. I was sure she would come early but I was wrong… Starting three weeks before her due date I was having pretty intense contractions, not Braxton Hicks, false labor contractions. There is a difference! False labor contractions hurt like the real thing but don’t progress labor, Braxton Hicks are mildly uncomfortable and don’t progress labor. I clarify because it was frustrating to me to have such painful contractions and have them be called Braxton Hicks. I’m fairly tough and don’t usually complain but those were uncomfortable. I was glad to have that issue cleared up at the hospital. So after three false labors in three weeks I finally transitioned over to real labor, it was terrifying but also welcome after five solid days of contractions no more or less than 10-12 minutes apart. That got old, fast. It was worse at night too so I didn’t get much sleep. On the fifth night they got a little stronger and I had had just about enough but the timing was spaced too far apart for a hospital visit still. I was lucky to be able to get a couple hours of a nap in earlier in the day because there was literally no sleeping on the fifth night. I tried everything I could!
I had the suggestion to drink a half a glass of wine, which I did and then took a hot shower around 3am. As soon a I got in the shower the contractions sped up, every other time the shower helped ease the pain. By the time I was out of the shower contractions were 6-8 minutes apart but not letting up. I was going crazy with no sleep so I woke James up to go to the hospital. I was sure they would send me home telling me I wasn’t in labor but I thought at least then I could trick my head into thinking the contractions don’t really hurt and I would be able to get some sleep. We got to the hospital around 4:30 in the morning and on the way there everything resembling a contraction completely stopped. I felt dumb for heading in. The hooked me up to the monitors for twenty minutes to get a baseline, not a single contraction. The checked to see how far along I was, only dilated to 3 cm, same as my last check up the week before… I felt more sheepish… The had me get up and walk around for a while, while the shifts changed. As soon as I started walking contractions were back on so I felt a little less sheepish. James started timing them and they were just over 2 minutes apart. We walked the halls for about 40 minutes, stopping every 2 minutes plus or minus and then went back to the room to be checked. The new nurse came in, she hooked me back up to the monitor and I was relieved to see the contractions actually registering. She was planning on sending me home because I wasn’t making any noises or acting like I was in labor but she checked me and I was dilated to 5 cm, so I was admitted. Then things got real and I got scared but excited :).
James went home to make sure Denny had his bag packed (we didn’t do it before we left because I was pretty certain I would just be sent home!) and was ready to be picked up by my brother. He got his food and toys together to go stay with Uncle Nater while we stayed at the hospital. James was back by my side before I knew it. I expected time to drag on but it actually went by very fast! Every so often my nurse would check in on me but for the most part we were just left alone so I could labor as I wanted. It was more privacy than I expected and very welcome as I like to do those sorts of things on my own, preferably without an audience. My particular midwife happened to have the day off, her only day off that week so I had a stand-in midwife who was also awesome. Both her and the nurse asked what I would like to do for pain management to which I replied ‘I have no idea how this will go, I’d like to try no meds but I am open to things changing if they need to’. The nurse said that based on how I was coping with things so far she didn’t think I would have any issues with a natural birth, that was reassuring to hear! She was awesome. She explained to me how everything would feel so that when I got to each point I knew I was progressing just as I should. She talked me through some contractions when I was getting closer to the end and I was panicking a bit and not relaxing in between as much as I should. I had sort of expected labor to just be pure ‘hard’, it wasn’t, there were contractions which hurt but then there were breaks in between. I noticed that so log as I could relax my body in between contractions (relax my shoulders and face, that was the best advice the nurse had for me!) I could rest enough to handle the next contraction, I just took it one contraction at a time for a couple hours until I was ready to start pushing the kid out!
A couple hours later there was a transition point that my body started to tell me to push, it was weird how it just switched over like that. The midwife and the nurse came in and helped to talk me through what was going to happen, how it was going to feel and how I can make things easier and faster. Since I was able to get this far without any drugs they said it would probably go much quicker since I could feel things better and could respond accordingly. It was right about this point, JUST before the big event that I panicked a little (giving birth is scary, more in theory than reality I think… not to say it doesn’t hurt but TV sure builds things up too much!). When I panicked I stopped relaxing in between contractions and that made them just compile on one and other and hurt a lot more! At this point I asked the nurse if I could take anything to which she really just didn’t reply. I took it as a no and went on my way with labor. I’ m glad she handled it that way, I was close enough to the end that it would have been a shame to get an epidural at that point, I just didn’t know how close I was, I expected things to take longer… Poor James had planned on staying above the waist but he got pulled into helping and had to watch the whole thing! I feel bad because honestly, that is not something I would want to see! Some things can’t be unseen. He took it like a trooper and even said he was glad he got to partake (I can’t understand why, honestly I don’t know if it is worse to be the one in labor or the one watching someone be in so much pain and not be able to do a thing to help!). It felt like I was making no progress at all but after a relatively short 35 minutes of pushing MiniM was born!
To that point in my life I had never held a baby, I really hadn’t spent much time around kids at all, I honestly had no idea how I would feel the moment she was born. I figured I would just go with it and see how things worked out though, nature has a way of making thing work out. In Lamaze class I remember watching one of the videos and a lady was giving birth (surprise, right, in a lamaze class! ;-)) but when the baby was born the midwife was handing the baby to the new mother and she wasn’t grabbing her. I thought that was so weird watching it and was thinking ‘why isn’t she grabbing her baby?’ Well, when MiniM was born she was purple and brownish, she had JUST come out and the midwife set her on my stomach and I thought about that video and I realized I was not grabbing my baby! I was a weirdo too! It turns out that was ok because her cord was wrapped around her ankles and I really couldn’t have grabbed her anyway until she was untangled so I didn’t look like a weirdo per-say but I had a moment of ‘what do I do’ none the less! As soon as she was untangled though the nurse brought her up to my chest for some skin to skin contact MiniM grabbed my hand and looked at my face, I was in love :). The midwife and nurse both told me that as soon as she was here I wouldn’t even feel the pain, that was totally not true, it still hurt! After she was here I asked for drugs, I didn’t want a natural birth for any magic reasons, I just wanted to limit the possibility of various interventions for MiniM’s sake, not for my own! Once she was out it was fair game, I was happy to just get some Ibuprofen again though, that worked for me!
We ended up staying two days in the hospital since it was the weekend and the nurses encouraged it for first time parents, it was nice to be able to get all of my questions answered and feel pretty good about things before being thrown to the wolves on my own. We are very lucky to have a very healthy and happy baby girl though! There was a little scare with jaundice in the hospital but from what I understand that is pretty common and we were able to just scoot by without needing any assistance with that. It was funny, I was basically on no sleep for several days but once she was here all I wanted to do was watch her. I spent most of the first night awake just looking at her :). It’s amazing how your body can just rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done and when you have such a sweet baby to look at you don’t even begrudge it in the least! Denver ven likes her! He had a funny look in his eye at first like he thought we got him a new stuffed animal to bat around but he quickly learned that she is not in fact a stuffed animal. He’s pretty sure I am hurting her at every diaper change and gets concerned for her but lets me do my thing :).
So, that is why I have been a little absent, James and I have been thoroughly enjoying our new baby girl. James has been a complete rock star helping out too. I am pretty lucky for that, I am really glad that I made all that food prior to D-day though, it’s easy for James to heat it up and we get to eat fairly healthy meals! Some of it has taken better to the freezer than others but it is far more nutritious than what I would be eating otherwise I’m sure! James has been keeping the tiny house clean for us too. MiniM has been visited by every aunt and uncle and grandparent too, what a lucky girl! Turns out I am not so bad at this mom thing either, she seems to like me. The milk coming in was a challenge, that wasn’t all that enjoyable but we are over the hump and feeding is going much better! I am very glad to have the tiny house, it’s working out oh-so-well in all of this!
We are trying the best we can to keep MiniM’s identity and personal details somewhat private, there are plenty of people who read this that know all of her details but I’d like to ask that if you are one of them that you keep things like her specific birthday and name private and not out in the open. I will still be referring to her as MiniM for this blogs sake :).
I meant to get this update out much sooner, and it probably could have been better but I am back at the point I was in the beginning of the tiny house build (babies are like tiny houses??) that it is probably better to get SOMETHING out instead of waiting until things are just perfect and not getting anything out. So there you have it, the last minute post because first thing in the morning James, Denver, MiniM and I are hitting the road and making our way from Idaho to North Carolina for the Tiny House Conference!
Hope everyone is well!
March 2, 2014 § 9 Comments
I think I should probably do one of these now because I think it will be a baby update if I wait too much longer! The little gremlin is making her way out soon, I’m sure of it! I also want to apologize to those of you who have emailed me or left a comment that needs a reply, I haven’t been able to get back to them all just yet, I will try to very soon! I usually try to answer my emails over the weekend but this weekend has left me doing other things before getting to them, if you have sent me an email or left me a comment I WILL get back to you, just as soon as I can!
MiniM is doing just great, I have complained a lot through this pregnancy (because much of it DOES suck!) but really things could be SO much worse. I have been sick and miserable, and wanting of a lot of sweets but she is healthy and seems happy based on her constant dancing… I hope everyone’s ‘building of a person’ could go so smoothly! In reality I would take a lot more if it assured me she was going to be healthy and happy!
The worst singular part to date (other than the CONSTANT nausea) is the second glucose test because I failed the first one by so much. I had to take it again. Nothing about that was terrible terrible, I mean I like sugary stuff but they take your blood and then make you drink this awful pure soda syrup crap then draw your blood every hour for three hours. I’ve never been scared of needles at all, if I were it would have only been the icing on the cake next to the 5 hours of shakes and dry heaving (trying NOT to throw up so I didn’t have to do it all again!). Through all of that MiniM was doing flips and having just as hard of a time. I had taken my laptop in to get SOME work done while I waited the three hours but ended up not even being able to focus enough to do a thing. AND I had to fast for it. It really should be illegal to make a pregnant lady fast! If that’s the worst of it that is not so bad.
There have been very few ‘cool’ parts up to this point but by far the coolest part is that I get the opportunity to know and bond with this little human being before anyone else! She has a little schedule it seems (we still play before bed), she doesn’t get scared of things like she used to (I let/encourage Denver to bark so that noise won’t set her off later). She is mostly pretty quiet until it’s just her and I and then she gets playful, and she gets the hiccups a lot! Lately she has started sucking on her thumb I think, there is a weird rhythmic motion she seems to make right before she gets quiet. That stuff is pretty cool and hasn’t really started until the last couple months or so.
It’s funny how completely terrified you are in the beginning of all the things your body will have to endure but by the time you get this far along you are ready for whatever, you could literally cut me open and I would be ecstatic just to eventually know that I will heal and will be able to lay down again, someday, comfortably! Last night I ‘slept’ upright again in a recliner because that was as comfortable as I could get. That is of course the most uncomfortable thing on my recently broken back… it is a miserable balance most of the time on how I am going to be able to get enough sleep to sustain my next round of ‘things’ to do. The great news, I am done working for a while at my day job! I still have other things to do and get done that I will fit in my schedule but stopping working now helps for SO many reasons. Again, it involved sitting for 8 hours a day which KILLED my back. The biggest part though was that I haven’t been able to get to really real sleep for the last several weeks until 5:30-6:00am… and then was woke up to go to work at 8… to which I could never seem to be on time! I can sleep and stay asleep now when I am actually asleep… that is until she’s born…
So, one week ago on Sunday I was woken up at 2am with a really bad stomach ache. I was dazed, a bit confused and then I realized that must be a contraction. I got up and walked around to make it feel better, I was literally doubled over, it was awful (just wait… I know )! It didn’t go away at all with my walking so I just waited it out and tried to relax through it, which is hard to do when your body is rebelling so hard! It lasted 6 minutes, I know because I looked at the clock when I woke up and then it just stopped and I decided I should go back to bed and get some rest. If it kept happening then being rested was the best thing for me. Two hours later the same thing happened, except I had to RUN to the bathroom, I felt like every single piece of everything in me was about to explode out… another 6 minutes and I was going back to bed. Then, nothing. Just two really bad Braxton Hicks contractions. So I have been on alert since about a week ago. No real ‘nesting’ kicking in, just being a bit alert. On Tuesday was my latest midwife exam (I am on to weekly exams until she gets here now), my midwife asked if I had any contractions I said ‘yep!’ (she has asked me this before to which I replied ‘I don’t know, I think so’… met with a joking eye-roll ). She laughed and said THAT’S how we know its progressing, and that it was a good sign. She listened to MiniM’s heart-rate (it’s perfect 130) and took my belly measurement. It should be about 1 cm a week from week 20 on up to about 40 cm, my last measurement was 39 and this time it was 32. I was a bit confused about that but she said she dropped and was now engaged in my pelvis and ready for action any day now. I think her moving into place must have been what that Sunday night business was all about. My midwife thinks it’s any day now, whenever my body says go. She said most first time moms go to 41-42 weeks but I may be one of the lucky ones that get’s out of this a little early! I am at 37 weeks which is perfectly acceptable, if I go into labor they won’t stop me. The main concerns are only that MiniM hasn’t grown her brown fat that helps regulate her body temperature so after birth, they would make sure she’s eating and staying warm, other than that no worries.
So that was awesome news! Which brings me to Friday. Friday was my last official day of work. It still hasn’t really hit me that I won’t be going back tomorrow morning… I have a whole list of other to-do things to do but it will just be weird to not go to the office. So Friday, I wake up and head to work. I sit down and instantly start having contractions. Nothing too terribly painful and not too close together. I just keep tabs on things and we are talking 2-3 contractions per hour lasting the entire time I was at work and a couple hours after, then they seemed to slow down a bit. They were still there but maybe 1-2 an hour. I decided on Friday that I had better go get her some clothes and stuff ready in case so I drove home and headed to my folk’s place to get a few loads of laundry done (I do have a washer/dryer but I find I don’t use it too much, laundry is a good excuse to visit!). I head out there and visit/hang out and then head home to do a little more work. The contractions continue throughout all of Saturday too, not getting any more or less in frequency or intensity. Saturday night I did not sleep at all. I was upright in my chair, pissed off at the world that I could not get an ounce of shut-eye, Denver was sleeping like a little princess and I just wanted to shake him awake so I didn’t have to be up all night alone! Finally, at almost 9 this morning I was able to get to sleep and slept until noon. When I woke up there were no signs what-so-ever of labor. Short story, it’s been a weird weekend and I think I am going to have a kid soon but I have no idea!
I have been nervous to be alone so I have made poor James drive all over with me, we went and got all those items on my ‘need-to-get-before-baby-comes’ list. He has been working his butt off to tie up some of his projects so he can hang with MiniM AND spent the weekend building Denver a fence so that I don’t have to keep my eye on him with my hands full of newborn. It will be so nice to be able to let him outside to play without having to be there with him constantly (to date we haven’t had a fenced area for him).
And today, was a burst of energy for the nesting! I have literally started at the top/ceiling of my house and have been working my way down DEEP cleaning everything (I no longer have Denny slobber on my ceiling…). Yeah!
I hope everyone is well, if I am offline for a little while now you know why!