Saturday, July 20, 2013

Birth story

It’s been 13 weeks, about time I got Whitley’s birth story written up!

I woke up on Friday morning(April 19th) feeling like crap. I was 39 weeks pregnant exactly and much more pregnant than I had ever been before. I had a sore throat, was miserable and pretty crabby about the fact that I had been dilated to 4 and 80% effaced for over a week with no progress.

I hadn’t slept well at all. I kept waking up and unable to fall back asleep had been sucked into the live footage of the shooting/police chase of the Boston bombers-so I was exhausted. When 7:30 AM finally rolled around I debated skipping class but figured that I should go so that I would have less missed class time when the baby did come (which was going to be never the way that I was feeling that day!)

We went  into school and ran errands then David  left to go do some shopping for a recognition dinner (the first time he had left my side in weeks!) I laid down on the couch hoping to nap but Nate wasn’t letting that happen. By the time  David got home I was a bear. I actually threw a book at his head because he made a “smart” face with me!!! Totally not something that I would normally do! I was beyond exhausted…I felt like I couldn’t even sit up. 

Around 8:30 I was starting to notice there was a pattern to my Braxton Hicks contractions, and that they were starting to hurt, but I figured they were nothing since I had been having them for several weeks at that point. This actually got me even more ugly because I was so hesitant to get excited and have them die down. David that he knew how to make sure that baby came tonight and cracked open the first beer that he had allowed himself to drink in about a month. He no sooner took the first sip and I was rocked with a pretty painful contraction. We were laughing about it, fully expecting the contractions to stop but they got increasingly more painful.

Around 10:00 we told my mother-in-law that if they didn’t die down we would be going in to the hospital and to be on alert.  I cautioned her to not get excited, but not to crack open a beer either!! I decided to take a bath (which was a major flop because the dumb tub sprung a leak and I ended up looking like a creepy, oversized toddler stuffed in a tiny tub with 2 inches of lukewarm water)  The contractions died down a little bit in the tub and were coming so sporadically. There was really no actual pattern and I was hopeful but expecting them to stop at any moment.I was texting with my dad and thinking that 4/20 sounded like a good day for a birthday-it had such a nice ring to it! (I did finally realize after her birthday was announced in the hospital why 4/20 had a ring to it....Doh!!)

Although I was still in denial about actually being in labor, at about 11 I decided that I would probably be going in at some point that night so I asked my MIL if she wouldn’t mind coming then just in case  since she lived an hour away. I figured that it would be easier for her to come at 11, then to have to wake up at 3 and rush in. I decided to clean the living room hoping to help along these “BH contractions” (that I was still waiting to stop.) As I was vacuuming I suddenly was hit with the mother of contractions. My mother-in-law (who was a little excited) already had all her bags in the car when we called so had been able to just hop right in and go when we had called, and thank GOD for that! It was about to get crazy up in here!

 Within 30 minutes my contractions were barely manageable. When she was 15 minutes out and I realized I was going to have to leave as soon as she arrived I went into the bathroom. Based on how long I had been laboring I expected that I could have only been at 5, maybe 6, cm.  My labor with Nathan had been 18 hours after my water broke, and my water hadn’t even broken yet. I got into the bathroom and was gripped with the most violent contractions yet.

 Now I realize that I must have been transitioning but still thinking that I was in the beginning of labor started rethinking my decision for natural labor. I was laid over the toilet puking and started to completely panic because I knew it shouldn’t hurt so bad at that stage of the game. David came in and tried to reassure me. I puked so hard that I peed my pants. A lot. Like needed a change of clothes. As I changed I realized that I was bleeding but just then my MIL got there so I went out to the living room. 

I was contracting hard when she walked in and at that point they were 1 minute apart and so bad that I could barely breathe through them. I contracted on the couch, walked to the kitchen and contracted again, got to the door and contracted a third time and by the time I reached the bottom of my steps to leave the house I felt a pressure and the first urge to push. Still, being the dumdum I am and not acknowledging that I was about to have that baby in my dirty little stairwell, I continued to panic thinking something was horribly wrong. 

We raced to the hospital and they wheeled me straight up to my room. They gave me a robe to put on and I asked to use the bathroom. Although I was feeling all that pressure, I couldn’t go so I stood back up. At that point I had the worst contraction of my entire labor and felt a gush of fluid.


 I was relieved knowing that now they couldn’t send me back home since my water had just broken. But when I looked down I was surprised to see that it was actually bright red blood (which did nothing to help my fears.) I got into bed and the nurse checked me, made an alarmed face and started hollering to get a hemorrhage kit and a table in there immediately and that someone needed to find the doctor now. She must have realized that I was getting panicky because she looked at me, told me I was complete and that I needed to avoid the urge to push at all costs. I asked what was wrong and with a smile she told me it was baby time. David’s reaction was priceless. He had his back turned to me, loading my bags into the cupboard. He just froze in midair!

The OB nurses have that down to a science because in 1 minute flat the table was broken down, all the equipment was in the room and the on-call doctor (who I had never met before that moment) was standing in front of me breaking my water.  It was time to push! And holy mother-of-pearl did that hurt.
And I just totally wasn’t ready for this. Ten minutes earlier I had been worried that they would check me and send me home, and now I was pushing??

After my first 3 pushes, I lost my grip and called a time-out. I wasn’t ready for this and I was not doing it! This went on for about 30 seconds. They brought me back to reality and I did one more set of pushing (and a lot of hollering “It burns! It burns!”), I started to tear so they did a quick episiotomy and her head was out with two more pushes. My next push and she was completely out. 

Miss Whitley Harper-Grace was here at 20.5 inches long, 8 lbs, 2 oz and blonde hair! Only 9 minutes after checking in!!!

They put her on my stomach but I ended up with the spins so bad that I had to close my eyes. Thank God nobody was taping that because I looked like a total dick. I didn’t even look at her!
They took her away and when I finally could open my eyes I realized she wasn’t crying.
It turns out that she had her cord wrapped twice, and had come out so fast that she hadn’t had the chance to squeeze any of the fluid out of her lungs. The nurses convinced me that she was ok and just clearing out her lungs and the doctor stitched me up and delivered the placenta.

He examined it and then asked if I would look at it so that he could show me something. Apparently, the connection between the cord and the placenta (which was the one thing that they were never able to see on my ultrasound but were sure would be ok) was located on the very end of the placenta and weakly attached. It was a ticking time bomb to have snapped off and ended the pregnancy. I had been pregnant for 39.1 weeks and never had any clue (although in retrospect I am so relieved that it played out this way, it would have been awful being pregnant with that knowledge).

So, this being my third pregnancy and third issue with my placenta, and knowing just how devastating things could have been again, I think we are finally content with our decision not to have any more kids. Whitley gave us several scares throughout the night as she tried to clear her lungs, at one point she stopped breathing and had to be pounded and suctioned, but most of the night we had to stand over and help her work out all the fluid. 

Thanks to my mother-in-law, Nathan was able to be there to meet his sister immediately after delivery. He stayed for a few minutes (it was 2 AM after all!!) and then she took him back home. While I didn’t want any visitors in the hospital it was really important to be able to have Nathan there without demanding all of David’s attention, so a special thanks Kathy!
I am amazed by how perfectly it went. Nathan was such a traumatic delivery, and of course Noah’s birthstory was just heartbreaking. I had really doubted my ability to deliver naturally(particularly because I was attempting a VBAC), so to have delivered without even having an IV was really empowering for me and somewhat redemptive of my body’s ability. She was my first take-home baby and really closed the door on my child-bearing years with the nicest end I could have asked for. She’s beautiful and an absolute joy. I have yet to figure out how two children can each captivate my heart completely, but they do!

Friday, March 1, 2013

32 weeks

How far along?  32 weeks! (Sorry I have been MIA the past 6 weeks!)
How big is baby?
Up to 4 pounds and almost 19 inches long!
What’s baby doing this week?
She's getting ready for her descent -- she's likely in the head-down position now.
Total weight gain/loss? 
30 whopping pounds!!!
Morning sickness got better for awhile but it seems to be coming back, although not as bad. I have thrown up a few times but it seems to be only when I am really tired. And I am EXHAUSTED which is partially to blame for my lack of blogging in the past month and a half. Legitimate pregnancy insomnia has kicked in and I find myself awake all night long and I'm usually awake for the day several hours before dawn- it's getting old!
Maternity clothes?  Starting to outgrow a few of my tops already, and other ones have gotten a little short. I am almost exclusively in leggings as I can no longer squeeze into almost all of my maternity jeans.
Stretch Marks? Yep! They are now both above and below my bellybutton and starting on my hips. So ugly...
Sleep?  It sucks!
Best moment of the week?  Probably just seeing Nathan get so excited about the arrival of the baby. He has been including her in his prayers lately and talking about how awesome his changing family is.  
Food Cravings? Fruit! Finally something that's not totally gross for me!
Movement? While she's slowed down quite a bit she has gotten strong!!! She just takes the breath out of me some days. I swear she is all knees! She's not much of a kicker like Nathan was, she is more of a stretcher...some days I just watch in horror as I'm sure that she's going to tear out of my belly!
Labor signs? Can't believe I am to this question already! I'm well past the days of paranoia as every twinge gives me a panic attack and I can tell that I am getting closer and closer to the big day. While I don't have any real labor signs, I have been getting Braxton Hicks at an astonishing rate, I never had them like this with Nathan!
Belly button in/out? Popped out further than I knew possible! I look like I have an umbilical hernia!
What I miss: sleep :(
What I am looking forward to: Getting this little turkey out of me! I am so stinking excited to meet her.I just can't believe that we have come as far as we have and that things are going so well. I am just overwhelmed with so many emotions. I am relieved and anxious all at the same time. I spent so long in denial of this whole having a baby idea and here I am, getting ready to have a baby NEXT MONTH! I still can't quite get it to sink in. Every few days or so it hits me and I go into full blown panic mode as I am nowhere near ready, but then the feeling subsides and I am back to feeling like I can't possible be so close to having another kid. 8 weeks until my due date, and only 4 weeks from where Nathan was born. Surreal!
 Milestones: At this point I don't really have any major milestones left other than hitting full-term at 37 weeks! 

Belly time!

Friday, January 18, 2013

26 weeks

How far along?  26 weeks
How big is baby?
What’s baby doing this week?
  • Her eyes have started to open.
  • And her eyelashes are now grown, too.
  • She's getting her immune system ready for life on the outside by soaking up my antibodies.
  • She's taking breaths, too. They're of amniotic fluid, not air, but it's still good practice.

Total weight gain/loss? 
Is no comment an appropriate answer?? I have no gained about 15 pounds. And it's almost exclusively in my butt. Just ask my maternity jeans that don't fit anymore.
I have the backache from hell if I lay on one side for more than about 30 minutes. This makes for a VERY restless night of tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable. When I do finally get comfortable I can't sleep anyways though. I have decided I might give up soon and spend my night hours taking pictures of David while he sleeps and cleaning the house. School does start in a week though so maybe I can just stay up late reading Norton's Anthology of English Literature. That's sure to put me to sleep!!!
Maternity clothes?  Let's not talk about the jeans...But I am making the switch to just leggings and sweatpants. It's better this way.
Stretch marks? I can see a few starting :( Add those to the ones I've already got and I think it's safe to say that my bikini days are long gone!
Sleep?  I think I covered that above lol
Best moment of the week? I started buying a few more baby things which is fun!
Food cravings Nothing specific
Movement? Tons of it. She is quite the wiggle worm and she's already found her way up under my ribs. I'm in trouble!!! 
Labor signs? Nope!
Belly button in/out?Halfway popped out
What I miss: Bar dates!
What I am looking forward to: Well, we had a huge weekend planned. David and I were going to drop Nate off at grandma's, go to Appleton, get a hotel and shop until we dropped followed by dinner and a movie. But then our direct deposit managed to get stopped unbeknownst to me and my bank account is now missing two sizable checks. That said, our trip has been postponed since I have to wait for them to come by snail mail now. irritated as I am, I guess it just gives me a whole another week to look forward to my big trip!
 Milestones: Another week is over! Let's keep this baby cooking. 2 weeks until we hit our next major milestone at 28 weeks!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

25 weeks

How far along?  25 weeks
How big is baby? Cauliflower, but I am starting to question this baby= food thing because I know that Noah was way bigger than cauliflower when he was born. So, I think I might switch over to estimated measurements (about 13.6-14.8 inches, 1.5-2.2 lb.)
What’s baby doing this week?
  • She's enjoying her new sense of equilibrium -- she now knows which way is up and which is down.
  • She's growing more fat and more hair too!
  • If she was going to be born this week her NICU survival rate is 82%!!!
 Total weight gain/loss? Having a hard time remembering where I started-- but around 10-12 pounds
Symptoms? Just leg pain and insomnia
Maternity clothes?  Yep
Stretch marks? I think they are starting
Sleep?  Still am a victim of my husband's snoring. I can't handle it! I might sleep on the couch...
Best moment of the week? Nathan getting to run the doppler and hear his sister's heart!
Food cravingsNothing really this week
Movement? She gave me a little worry from Tuesday night-Wednesday morning when she stopped wiggling but now she's kicking up a storm again!
Gender? Girl
Labor signs? Nope!!
Belly button in/out? Halfway out!
What I miss: Belly sleeping
What I am looking forward to: We are taking a birthing class on Wednesday (sorry David that we have to spend your birthday doing that!!!) Also thinking about our big shopping trip next weekend (eeek!!! SOOO excited for that!!!!) I am starting to REALLY look forward to meeting this little girl and I have realized that keeping her name a secret is making it even more exciting for me. I am horrible at keeping secrets and want to scream her beautiful name from my balcony!
 Milestones: I passed the gestation where Noah was born, but outside that,every day from here on out is a milestone as our little miss practices her breathing and develops those little lungs.

Friday, January 4, 2013

24 weeks

How far along?  24 weeks--- YES!
How big is baby? Cantaloupe- about a foot long and just over a pound
What’s baby doing this week?
  • The child is now gaining around 3 ounces (90 grams) a week.
  • Baby weighs about 1.3 pounds and is 12 inches long.
  • The eyelids can be seen very clearly.
  • If born at this stage is officially considered viable, she may well be able to survive.
  Her lungs are developing branches of the respiratory tree and cells that produce surfactant. This is a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily and also keeps the small air sacs in our lungs from collapsing. The baby practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into developing lungs. The unborn baby is covered with a fine, downy hair and the skin is protected by a waxy substance. Some of this substance may still be on the child's skin at birth at which time it will be quickly absorbed.

24 weeksBaby gains about 3 ounces this week. The weight is in muscle, bone mass and organs. The body begins to fill out with its appearance increasingly becoming more like that of a newborn. Taste buds begin to form. If I drink something strange or bitter, baby may be observed showing her distaste.

Total weight gain/loss?Around 7 pounds when I weighed myself last night, but that was after a big dinner so I'm thinking I am still sitting at the 5 (maybe 6 pound) mark. I will find out when I go in for my appt on Monday!
Symptoms? Holy pinched sciatic nerve Batman! It just never ends. Dead leg galore! But, I'll take that over puking any day of the week.
Maternity clothes?  Yep
Stretch marks? I think I have one starting. I have had such incredibly sore skin, like a bruise. So I finally looked in the mirror at the bottom of my bump and I see a little pink stripe. YUCK! There goes my dreams of no new stretch marks. But it's a stretch mark within a stretch mark. Who knew that was possible? Hopefully that means it won't be as noticeable since it's already in stretched out skin.
Sleep?  The pregnancy induced insomnia is starting. It's awful. I think a  lot of it is due to my hubby's never ending snores (seriously guys- it's bad!) I usually wake up around 4:30-5 and am up for awhile, then I fall back asleep for a few more hours. The weird preggo dreams are kicking in on top of it all and combined with my dead, aching leg that keeps me tossing and turning I would say it's safe to admit I'm pooping out! Might be time to add a nap into my day ;) (hee hee, "yeah right" says every other mom of a three year old)
Best moment of the week? I was talking with Nathan about how it would be his job to help look after his baby sister and keep her safe. And as part of a "practice drill" I asked how he would react if he saw a boy kissing his sister. He told me he would run and get dad (not the answer I was looking for.) I asked what he would get his dad for and he told me it was so that he could get his gun, since he (Nate) is not allowed to touch them. Oh boy! It looks like this little girl's boyfriends are going to have to contend with not just one, but two disgruntled men cleaning guns at the dining room table on date night!!!
Food cravings Do Resee's Peanut Butter Cups count as food??
Movement? TONS! This kid is a little wiggle worm and I love every second of it. She is quite the crotch stomper though and will get you out of nowhere. I love watching my belly roll back and forth with her.
Labor signs? No
Belly button in/out?Flat with one half looking like it might be about ready to pop
What I miss: The gym! The way this girl lays it seems I can't even get the dishes done without an achy pelvis, working out seems to be out of the question. I am really looking forward to getting my butt back in shape though. I never thought I would be that person but I really do miss my exercise!
What I am looking forward to: Every day from here on out as my little miss grows bigger and stronger and more ready to meet this world.
 Milestones: Today is V-day!! Also, this week we will pass the gestation where I had Noah.