Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My pregnancy adventure

Pregnancy for me was pretty amazing.

Yes, I did have morning (all-day) sickness in the beginning until about week 11, where it subsided for the most part and then subsided completely after week 14, but you know what… 

I never felt more comfortable or beautiful in my own skin.

It was a whole new fabulous experience, granted I had been hoping and feeling ready to start a family for 5 years and so when we finally hit that point of being ready, I couldn't believe that it had finally happened!

I had some pretty typical symptoms and aversions…

I couldn't handle my beloved, coffee super early on until about week 14 or so when it started to taste normal again.

I could smell cleaner and other random things from distances far, far away.

I was tired and irritable and swore at inanimate objects.

I felt lonely, mostly because I wanted to wait to tell most people until we hit the second trimester, but keeping a secret like that is super hard because it's all that consumes your thoughts. This did not of course stop my husband from telling everyone when I was only about 6 weeks pregnant! I kind of think it's really sweet he was so excited to tell everyone, but still.

I felt pretty good, awesome actually, in the second trimester. I felt good until about 33 weeks when I started to swell and that kind of sucked. I couldn't wear my rings anymore, I know that's typical, but it just felt funny. The third trimester was harder, especially as it got closer and closer to my due date. The weekend that I was 37 or 38 weeks pregnant I went away for a night for a bachelorette party with friends and that is when I experienced the dreaded kankles. Oh MY! it was horrific and embarrassing, but what do you do? Obviously I had a baby cooking and that was why. Sleep was hard, as it should be carrying around a big belly and having to get up multiple times a night to pee. I also didn't get any stretch marks until way late in pregnancy, I feel pretty lucky that they're not super bad, but still they're quite obvious and I'm a little self-conscious of my postpartum body and having my hubs see them as everything is getting back to where it thinks it should go.

Pregnancy was an adventure and I do miss that belly. I am not sure if we will have more kids, I think we always planned on two and then we'll see. Obviously right now with a 3 and a half week old baby, that is not on my mind. But it is funny how you start to forget how hard things were in labor and that you would totally go through that again for another amazing little human being.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Emma Claire | a birth story

I had sneaking suspicions or "feelings" if you will, about certain dates throughout my pregnancy.  But in my heart, I knew she was going to take her sweet time. And that she did.

I went into the doctor's office on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 to have a non stress test, and ultrasound to check the fluid around my baby girl. At this point I was 41 weeks pregnant to the day and wasn't progressing past 1 cm dilation or 70% effacement. I had been the same for weeks. The ultrasound showed that Emma only had 3 cm of amniotic fluid left around her in my tummy. It was a definite indication that my placenta was getting tired of doing its job and feeding my baby. The doctor said they like to have at least 5 cm of fluid left around the baby to feel comfortable leaving the baby in for any longer, especially in a post-date situation. So that meant I was for sure getting an induction in the very near future. I went in to have my non-stress test next and it showed that I was actually having contractions 5 minutes apart, but they were only lasting around 30 seconds, and they obviously weren't very painful, and she was handling them well on the inside, so it wasn't too much cause for concern, meaning i didn't have to rush right over to the hospital to get my induction started right away. They scheduled my induction for the next morning, Friday at 7:30 am. Because it was so up in the air at the doctors office still as to what they were going to do… send me right over or wait, Troy ended up meeting me outside the doctor's office before we knew they weren't sending me straight to the childbirth center, and then we just ended up going home. 

My car had been packed with most of my essentials for the hospital for weeks, each week that I went to the doctor hoping I was going to be too dilated to go home, and each week disappointment. So we went home and relaxed and did our usual expecting to call in the morning to make sure we were still on schedule for 7:30am. Then the phone rang at 9:30 at night and it was the hospital on the caller id… they were having a slow night and wanted to know if we could come in that night to get my induction started. I was so flabbergasted! Our childbirth center is infamous for setting inductions back because of being too busy or having more emergent births come about, not calling ahead to see if you can come in early. Troy didn't really want to go in, he wanted one last good sleep in our bed, besides being exhausted from a long day, but I just knew we needed to go in. So we made sure we had everything and we went in and got to the hospital around 10:30pm.

By the time I was finally admitted to our labor room it was near midnight and they started my induction with some cervadil to try and get my cervix to efface more before moving on to pitocin if that didn't work to get my labor started more naturally. The cervadil ended up working a little too well and my contractions became between 1 and 2 minutes apart, but I still hadn't progressed past 80% effaced and more than a couple centimeters dilated. In the meantime I had pain medication administered to take the edge off my contractions, but that's about all they did and the medication didn't last very long, it was time for my epidural. Up until that point I was really sure I could try going through childbirth all natural and not medicated, but having your contractions induced is apparently much more painful then if your body does it on its own and I couldn't handle the pain anymore. So I got the scary epidural and it was pretty easy except for having to pause for me to have a contraction, the anesthesiologist did an excellent job. Then they put in a catheter, something I never really thought about when having to get an epidural, that became the worst part. I was good there for a couple hours, they started the pitocin and I was able to rest for a little while. Unfortunately I could still feel things in my lady bits but everything else was numb, I was good for the most part except that stupid catheter was pinching me. I knew something wasn't right, but the nurse assured me it was normal to not go completely numb especially in your vagina. It was a horrible pinching feeling and after being on pitocin and having my epidural for about 6 hours I could feel my contractions again, the catheter seemingly making the pain nearly unbearable.

I told them again and again how much the catheter was bothering me, but they just kind of had to ignore me after a while, thinking it was just normal. The doctor came in to check me every few hours, but even with the pitocin, I was progressing but not past about 6 - 7 cm dilated. And I still wasn't 100% effaced. The baby started to not like certain positions, like me laying on my left. And having to change positions was so hard having your legs numb and unable to lift them. Besides the pressure of the contractions, it was awful. After a while the pain and pressure from my contractions baring on the catheter, all I could do to get through them was moan in agony. I couldn't breathe through them like a contraction, the moaning is all that took the edge off. It was bad and Troy just felt helpless I could tell. At some point they had broken my water after they decided to slow down on the pitocin to see if that would help progress things… it was funny (in a not too funny way) because nothing really came out since she had such little fluid around her left.

Finally the doctor came in around 11 pm on Friday evening after I had been there for about 24 hours and having had my water broken for around 6 hours, things still weren't progressing, and so he had to suggest we get a c-section.  He said we could wait a little while to talk about it and see if I progressed anymore in the meantime, but it was time to start thinking about it because that might be our only option. He said the baby was getting stressed, but wasn't quite to the point of being in an emergency situation, but if we waited too long it could get that way. The thought of a c-section was the only thing that scared me about pregnancy. My whole pregnancy I said I have no fear of childbirth, I only have a fear of a c-section, Troy knew that,  and I was so exhausted at that point I kind of just wanted him to make the decision for me. I kept asking him, "what do you think?" I just wanted him to say, yes, I think this is what we have to do now, but it wasn't what he did. He wanted to make sure we tried everything we could before it got to that, because that's what I would have wanted in my right mind if I weren't so tired and upset. So we waited a couple more hours and the doc came back in, it was around 1 am on Saturday the 25th, he checked me again and realized I actually regressed in my dilation a little, it was time to get a c-section, the baby was getting stressed and I was so tired, I don't know if I could have birthed her at that point even if I could do so naturally. At this point he also noted to the nurses that in fact the catheter had been pinching me this entire time! UHG! 

From that point they had the anesthesiologist come in to re-up my epidural to get me ready for surgery. It all happened pretty quickly, they got Troy his scrubs and my mom (who had been there practically the whole time knitting quietly in the corner) was able to wait in the hall. I could see the tears of fear in her eyes before I left the labor room. She was able to wait in the hall and then in the recovery room with Troy and the baby before I was wheeled in.

I was wheeled into the OR and moved to the operating table. I was given this disgusting lemony drink before we left the room, and since I had to lay flat on the table in the OR, it was giving me crazy indigestion. My ob began shaving me (haha) for my incision, the blue sheet went up, Troy was brought in and they began my cesarean. Not too far into it, but past the point where they had made the incision, I just knew I was going to throw up, they had a little kidney-shaped bucket by my head in no time and i threw up, practically projectile since it hit Troy's scrubs and the blue sheet, I threw up for a while it seemed like, in actuality it was probably just a couple minutes. Finally I was done vomiting and was all cleaned up again and i just waited staring in my husbands eyes. This part makes me tear up a lot. It was one of my favorite moments ever. We just stared in each others eyes waiting and then she came out and we just stared in each others eyes with the most happy joyful look. So in love and so happy to hear that wail. Emma Claire was born at 1:34am on Saturday, October 25th, 2014. 8 lbs, 9 ounces and 21.5 inches long. They cleaned Emma up on the warmer a bit and cut her cord and brought her right over to Troy to hold and put up by my head. I just stroked her head and stared at her and couldn't believe she was finally here. 

She was ready to eat from the first time I saw her on the warmer. she was trying to find food, asap! But she had to wait. Troy was able to take her in the recovery room and my mom got to hold her before they moved me in there. But my mom was abruptly moved out once I arrived, I didn't even get to see her or say anything to her before she left, they were pretty strict about having just mom (me), dad and baby in there to make sure there were no other distractions. They tried to get Emma to breastfeed right away, but I was numb up to my neck, plus laying flat and with my hospital gown all pushed up, I couldn't see anything. The nurse was kind of pushy and this was seriously so frustrating. I just wanted to try it on my own, but I couldn't sit up yet, nor did my arms feel strong enough yet to hold her on my own. This was so frustrating! I was so ready to get moved to our postpartum room and or even just be able to sit up. 

Emma was born with a sweet little head of brown hair, and steel blue-grey eyes. She was so sweet from the start. I just held her and did skin to skin and tried to breastfeed her, but that didn't work so well. I was given a nipple shield by the nurses, which helped a little, but I wasn't even producing much colostrum and Emma became jaundice pretty soon. So we unfortunately supplemented a little with formula because her jaundice was getting kinda bad. It helped until my milk came in on Tuesday. It felt like such a long time that we were in the hospital, but it really wasn't. We ended up leaving the hospital on Monday afternoon, much to the on-call doctor's hesitation… he in fact said, "are you sure? you're a new mom and you just had major surgery"… although maybe we could have stayed in the hospital 1 more day, we were both getting kind of restless there. I didn't realize though how hard it would be when we got home. I was so incredibly sore from the surgery and I could barely get out of our bed. I didn't realize how hard that would be to do since the hospital bed could be made lower to the ground, it was getting easier to get out of bed there. Getting out of my own bed was horrible. Emma and I mostly snoozed those first few days. I am so happy that Troy was able to take two weeks off from work. If his work didn't have such great paternity leave for moms when they have c-sections, I'm not sure what i would have done. He was super helpful and supportive and let me sleep and got me anything I needed. I hit the husband jackpot for a man who is dutiful to his wifey in her time of need. Recovering from a c-section sucks.

Emma is a super alert baby. She was from the start. She's a good eater (like her parents). She makes funny faces and is pretty good baby. She doesn't cry a whole lot, though we think she was somewhat sedated from my taking pain medication for my incision for the first couple weeks; she seemed to "come alive" a little more after I stopped taking them. She's also been able to hold her head up pretty well, better than we expected of a newborn baby. I kind of attribute that to her being an "older baby", that's what I like to call her since she was over due. I'm still somewhat convinced that her real due date was somewhere around the 9th-11th since she is so alert and because she can already hold her head up and push herself up a little. But who knows. She had characteristics of a late baby either way with very dry skin, etc. She's my little punky girl, I just love her so. I have all sorts of little nicknames for her, my husband likes to call her "Squeak" since she squeaked a lot from the start. She's my light, my little love.

Dealing with the postpartum hormones has been something else. I think I'm still having a bit of baby blues even though it has gotten a lot better. But i cried a lot in the beginning. That also has to do with the unknowns of not working right now and just relying on Troy financially is stressful for me, I've never not made my own income. So hopefully I can make some more sales with my Etsy shop soon, it would be such a blessing for that to get a little more business, making me feel a little more secure, but it's so hard to get much done with that right now.

New motherhood is surprising, rewarding, stressful, delightful and not what I was expecting. I really don't know what I was expecting. I never thought about how much laundry I would be doing everyday and being spit up on or pooped on or peed on. But even so, it's all lovely. I enjoy being a mom. I can't believe that's my new title still. I'm a mama! and what is really lovely is getting smiles out of my baby girl, even if they're just for gas or to fill that diapy. 

She's the greatest thing. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Oh the domesticity.

While I'm waiting for this babe to get here. My domestic-ness has reached an all-time high. 

And I'm really not meaning to brag by making this list. Not one bit. Actually I find it a bit pathetic, pathetically impressive. Ha! Just know how hard it is waiting for a baby to come out and you'll understand.

I've made:
-A foxy pillow for my girl's crib
-Sewed my husbands shorts that have holes that have been in a pile waiting for a year.
-pumpkin pancakes
-pumpkin spice coffee syrup
-gluten free pumpkin muffins
-almost gluten free oat and butterscotch cookies
-crockpot Italian goulash
-taco time taco meat
-brown sugar buttercream for those pumpkin muffins
-homemade liquid hand soap
-the most delicious scratch brownies

And I'm sure there's more.
It is seriously hard and discouraging waiting for this baby. There have been days I've cried. I definitely cried a couple ob appointments ago when I hadn't had any progress as far as dilation goes. But I am so grateful for this experience, to have our very own child, and I'm done with my pity party. She'll come when she comes! I just have to realize she is our daughter after all and duh, of course she's taking her sweet time!

Happy Friday!

I'll be in domestic land making some pumpkin scones...