Monday, June 26, 2017

Elie's Birth Story!!

Photo cred to Sarah Wiseman Photography. Love her!! P.S. this is her very first cry :')
I literally wrote up my entire 40 week bumpdate post for nothing since this little lady decided to arrive on her due date, like who does that?? XD But let's get down to the nitty gritty! Expect some gory details.

Saturday, June 24

I woke up feeling like poop. The baby dropped hard, and my pelvis could really tell. I was incredibly sore doing anything other than lying down. I had maybe 7 contractions all day. I just wasn't feeling too hot. I told Husband before he left for work that there might not be a point in him going in but insisted he go anyway just in case. Around 2100 I ate half my dinner (read the only thing I had to eat until after this baby was born). Around 2300 I started telling myself I should probably go to bed, but I got way too distracted by Zuma and ended up staying up later than anticipated. I kept going to the bathroom after each contraction because for whatever reason contractions made me have to pee.

Sunday, June 25

0148 my water breaks while I'm walking to the bathroom after contraction number 4 in the past 2 hours. I immediately call my midwife to tell her and determine what our course of action should be. She advised going back to bed (little did she know I hadn't been to bed yet). Then I called Husband's work to let him know we were having a baby TODAY. To help pass the time while I waited for him to get home, I called my mom and sister. While on the phone with them, my contractions were really picking up from every 30 minutes to every 3. The intensity was very mild, about a 2 on the pain scale. 0248 Husband gets home and gets our birth pool set up with all the birth supplies in the kitchen ready to go for the midwife.
0308 my contractions start to intensify. I put on a movie and try to stay distracted. By 0405, my contractions were consistently 3 minutes apart but were only lasting 40 seconds which tells us that Elie was busy trying to turn herself around and get into a better birthing position. 0644 I had managed to do some sleeping between contractions, but they were getting stronger. Still just 3 minutes apart and not lasting long enough. I have gotten in the shower three times to try to ease the back labor. My pelvis was in so much pain. When the contractions were in my uterus instead, it was a lot more bearable. I had been losing pieces of my mucus plug all morning and threw up twice. I was so hungry, but I just didn't feel like eating. Even water was hitting my stomach wrong.
1112 the contractions are starting to get bad, about a 4 or 5 on the pain scale. I wake Husband up to microwave a rice sock for me to put on my back. Getting on my knees with pillows under my chest and the sock on my back really helped with the pain. Gravity kept the baby off my pelvis, and the heat helped my pelvis to relax and let Elie move around as she needed to. Eventually, all the weight was too much for my knees, and I had to move, but it felt great while it lasted. I asked Husband to apply counterpressure to my back so I could sleep a little more because I decided that at 1400 I was going to get up and try to eat and drink before birthing this baby.
Bad idea, though, because I woke up at 1357 to contractions that were finally five minutes apart and lasting longer than a minute, but these contractions were no joke. They had two peaks. Right as I thought it was starting to taper off, it would build again. Most of these were lasting 2 minutes, sometimes even three. I hit a 7 on the pain scale, but the midwife was thinking it was still going to be a few more hours. At this point, I lost my composure. I was really concerned that I wasn't going to be able to handle this after all.
1425, the contractions are coming right on top of each other, and I was feeling the need to push. I finally got some bloody show. I'm having a hard time staying calm at this point and was yelling at Husband to get my midwife here now. He started filling up the pool. My midwife said I was probably at a 7 so to help stall labor until she could get here (she lives in Stillwater so it would be about an hour before she could get here), I had my butt up in the air with my chest down to try to use gravity to keep Elie off my cervix so I would stop dilating. I texted the photographer to tell her to go ahead and head this way.
1457 even with my butt up, I was starting to feel like I had to push again so I got in the pool. We had run out of hot water of course so we started boiling water to get it up to my body temp so as not to shock the baby. Luckily we were only off by 4 degrees so it didn't take too many pots of boiled water. The photographer got here around 1520. About 10 minutes later, so did the midwife. She did a quick vitals check and made sure the baby was handling the contractions just fine. All was well. We talked through what to expect and how to move through the next stages of labor. I got the okay to start pushing her down further.
Around 1640, fetal ejection reflex kicked in. Husband was having trouble not passing out so he was elsewhere, but the midwife said we were about to have a baby so I called him into the living room. At this point the contractions were far apart again so I was getting plenty of time to catch my breath between pushes. I had a mirror and actually saw her head even before the midwife did. At the point where she should have crowned and stayed out, she got sucked back in so it looked like the cord was probably wrapped around her neck. After I got her head out a second time, the midwife got the cord unwrapped. Then just a couple more pushes, and I had our baby girl! She was born at 1704.
She started screaming as soon as she came to the surface which really surprised me, but it got her a 9 on the APGAR at one minute old. Her second score was a 10. The placenta took its sweet time exiting my body because I had my legs too close together so it didn't have room to escape.
They are so protective of her already
We went into the living room to do our checks. Baby Girl weighed in at 7 pounds even and 20 inches even. We both looked good, but my blood pressure was on the lower side probably because of how little I had eaten. I had no perineal tearing and no hemorrhoids. I did have a labial split on each side, but those heal so much faster than anything else. Also, we did no perineal prep. No perineal massage. No Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. No Evening Primrose Oil. Nothing. So if you take your time through your birth and go through the journey together with your baby trusting your body, it doesn't have to be a rough experience.

Now that it's all said and done, had I known how close I was to the end of the labor, I would've handled it a lot better. I was just convinced I had so much more to go. All in all, we had about 15 hours of labor, most of which I spent sleeping on and off, followed by 28 minutes of pushing after the fetal ejection reflex kicked in. And I got to have my baby girl in the comfort of my own home in my own way. I didn't have to worry about our dogs who handled meeting Mommy's new puppy very well (I attribute this to them being around at the time of the birth instead of us showing up with a stranger). We do have a chiropractic appointment lined up for little miss Elie, but the midwife says she didn't have a rough journey out so it should be routine. So ya! That's our story :) Feel free to ask me any questions. I'd love to share!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

5 Rules for Visiting My Newborn

So you think you want to come visit our newborn baby? Here are 5 ground rules to keep in mind to make your visit pleasant for all of us!

1. If You Are NOT an Animal Person, Don't Come
This is the ultimate "they live here; you don't." We have 2 dogs who are higher energy, who have been very attached to me throughout the pregnancy, who are very attached to the new baby, who are also both dominant breeds. I do not need to be worrying and/or stressed out about my dogs being outside or super noisy in their crate to accommodate you. Additionally, we have 4 cats. If you have an allergy, please keep that in mind, especially since the whole house is carpeted and one of the cats is long-haired.

2. I WILL Be Breastfeeding. Expect to See Boobies.
Breastfeeding is very important to me. It is a brand new experience for both the baby and me so we are doing our best to learn together. I will be nursing on demand and very likely just wearing a robe and shorts. If seeing boobs being used for their intended purpose bothers you, please wait until after the baby's first growth spurt (around 3 weeks) when we will be nursing less frequently and less likely to need booby juice during your visit.
3. If You Have Recently Been Vaccinated with a Live Virus, Wait 4 Weeks.
Vaccines which use live viruses mean just that: you have been injected with that virus. Recipients of vaccines containing live viruses can shed said virus to others such as newborn babies with brand new immune systems. I have no intention of arguing this point. The CDC has a published study about shedding (yes, the risk is low, still no thank you), and I'm sure Dr. Google has tons more info if you're curious.
4. If You Bring Vegan Food, I Will Love You More
This is by no means required, but I'm the only cook in the house. Walmart has awesome vegan foods in the freezer section (the Neighborhood Market has WAY more) if you don't/can't cook. Boca, Amy's, and Gardein are the three brands they carry. It's not all vegan, so please double check with me or Google. Offering to do things around the house would be super appreciated as well, but again not required.
5.  Don't Overstay Your Welcome
Pregnancy gave me a short fuse, and I am tired. I have just pushed an entire person out of my body, and Elie needs me every few hours so I'm not sleeping much. The dogs still need me, too. If I start dozing off, please don't ask me to stay up and hang out with you. I will be going to nap in my bed with my daughter since I'm the one with the booby juice. If you disagree with our parenting style and choose to comment on how much we hold our baby or refuse to let her cry or otherwise offer unsolicited advice, there's a good chance I will have words for you. Be a decent human and talk about us behind our backs instead so as to preserve our friendship.
And that's that! I truly hope you can understand where we're coming from. If you don't, then I will come see you whenever we're ready to venture out into the world. This period of transition is all about us learning how to be parents in our family of now 9. Patience with us would be awesome. We love you all. Thank you for supporting us through this journey!! <3 xoxo

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bumpdate #32 (39 weeks)

Woohoo! Full term! And I've made it through my first week as a stay-at-home wife. On our way to being a stay-at-home mom. The final countdown is still flying by so to all of you who say this last bit drags on and on, I have no idea what you're talking about. We've added Rebozo sifting to our daily regiment to try to get this baby from the right side to the left, and I feel as much crazy movements after that as I do after the chiropractor!

Rainbow:

All your systems are working away. Your digestive tract has the meconium ready for us for when you make your grand entrance. Your vernix and lanugo are mostly gone now, too. You're still adding more fat to your frame, and you're about the size of a small watermelon. Midwife says you're weighing in around 6-6.25 pounds, and you've got a short body. If your legs aren't long like I think they will be, then you're just going to be a tiny nugget.

Me:

Period-like cramps have started. I've been having them once a day most days this week. But nothing consistent. And now that I'm not working, the Braxton Hicks have calmed down, too, but I did have one real contraction. Then nothing. My areolas are officially uneven, though. The right one is bigger which makes it look like that boob is smaller, but I'm pretty sure that the boobs are the same size. I am so tired all the time this week. Even little excursions are wiping me out so I'm doing a LOT of sleeping. Gotta get it all in while I still can!

Anyone have any tips for introducing the baby to the dogs? Anyone's mommy instincts get it right on if your baby was coming early or late? What did you miss most about pregnancy after it was over?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bumpdate #31 (38 weeks)

We're here! We're on baby watch! I was born two weeks early as my mom's first baby so we'll see what happens! And today is my last day of work :/ so many mixed emotions about that. As much as I'm glad to have this time to focus exclusively on baby preparation and resting, I'm going to miss the people at work. But hey, so long as everything goes to plan, I can always go back!

Rainbow:

You're still considered early term this week, but all systems are go! Your reflexes are in place to get you through the early days while we're both learning together. Your brain is still developing as it will continue to do throughout your life. You're still putting on weight and practicing your breathing, and you've had hiccups less frequently. You're also as big as a leek now! It's crazy to think how many inches of baby are curled up inside my uterus. As much as we were starting to think you were going to come early, I would really prefer you make it to July after all to give us time to work on what we learned about me this week.

Me:

I found out at the chiropractor that my pelvis is tilted too far forward which means my bones are blocking this baby from getting into a better birthing position. In addition to our once daily inversions, we're now adding 2-3 times daily pelvic tilts. I have also started paying even more attention to how my pelvis is positioned while standing and doing my best to keep it in a more neutral position. Thanks to all of that and my first ever Webster's adjustment, my lower back and round ligaments have been pretty sore. We see the chiropractor again on Tuesday to check our progress. Fingers crossed for good news! And apparently my blood pressure was a little elevated for a couple days last week because my head wasn't feeling too great. But other than that, the BH have continued everyday with 4 in one day being the most I've had. Heartburn is still calmed down for the most part. Fatigue has definitely set in hard.

Who all had a first baby come early? Anyone have any other tips or tricks from Spinning Babies they'd like to share? Anyone have tips for surviving a long back labor?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Bumpdate #30 (37 weeks)

Today is my baby shower! Woohoo! I know we're cutting it a little close, but it should still be fun. Junky food, friends and family, fun and games. And pedicures with my mommy and sissy tomorrow :)

Rainbow:

Depending on which app you look at, you could be considered term today. I like the idea of calling the time from weeks 37-39 "early term" meaning you would most likely be completely fine coming any day now, but hanging out for the extra couple weeks to give your lungs and brain a little more time is totally fine, too! It feels like you're spending more time in the middle and on the left, but you're still not very settled into an anterior position. I'm hoping you'll flip around before I end up having to go through the more painful ordeal of laboring an ROT or LOT baby. But hey, still better than posterior! You're also about as long as swiss chard now, still just growing into yourself. Can't wait to see how much hair you have.

Me:

This week I have been feeling very run down. My hips are killing me. If I sleep without a pillow between my knees, I am miserable (chiropractor for the win!). My leg muscles are sore and tight and crampy. I have Braxton Hicks contractions almost everyday. I've had a weird cough. My sleep has been very all over the place, and I've lost motivation. I have had to pee so much more often just from getting punched in the bladder that it's like if I feel even the slightest bit of fullness in my bladder, I'm heading to the bathroom to stay ahead of the baby. All of this is to say I'm starting to think we won't have our July baby after all, and I'm not ready to say good-bye to this chapter. I have been planning on going 41 weeks this whole time, but my always head-down nugget seems to have other plans.

For those who have been following the pictures closely, does it look like I've dropped yet? When did you go on baby watch and start really paying attention to your body for labor signs?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Bumpdate #29 (36 weeks)

The nesting phase has started to set in more or less, but really, knowing we are 2 weeks away from being on baby watch has me wrapping up everything we haven't done yet. I finally started washing diapers which is good. After my baby shower next week I'll hopefully have some clothes to wash so this kid will have something more to wear than just diapers. Work is starting to wear me down so we'll see if I do keep working until I pop, or if I'm going to put in 2 weeks to give myself a real end date. If I get all the nesting nonsense done, it probably won't bother me so much to have my time split like it is.

Rainbow:

You're still just putting on the finishing touches and gaining weight. You're up to about the size of a crenshaw melon now! The inversions seem to be really helping because you're starting to spend more time in the center instead of just on the right side which is awesome for me. Your movements are definitely smaller now that there isn't much room left for you, but you're still as active as can be.

Me:

Thanks to a dog (cough, cough, Achilles, cough) that has learned how to jump the fence, I have been doing a lot of extra walking around which has started me having quite a few more Braxton Hicks contractions. The heartburn is starting to settle down which is great since my appetite has taken off again. Your proximity has me nervous that we won't get everything ready for you in time, but I am so excited to meet you and see your little face. This is also the week we start perineal massage so that's going to be fun.

Any tips for getting through the last month of pregnancy? Has anyone done perineal massage, Evening Primrose Oil, or the 6 dates a day trick to shorten labor and prevent tearing? How close to your guess date did you keep working?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bumpdate #28 (35 weeks)

Ahhh!!! Time is still just flying by! On the plus side we finally have all the baby furniture put together. Now just to finish organizing the other room, and we'll be good to go! Just over a month left until our guess date. And we finally got our maternity pictures done :) I can't wait to get them back; I'm so excited!

Rainbow:

You're still moving around quite frequently throughout the day, and some of your stronger movements are giving me an opportunity to practice relaxing. Your kidneys are fully developed, and your liver can process some waste. Nearly all systems are a go! You're also about as heavy as a honeydew melon and putting on the pounds. If you are born now, chances are that you wouldn't even need to stay in the NICU at all :)

Me:

Really not much new for me this week. Still doing what we've been doing. I will say I'm starting to get more tired at work, but I'm also getting more hours lately thanks to it being summertime so it could easily be a combination of both simply working more and carrying around an ever growing baby.

For those of you that had maternity pictures done, are you glad you did? At what point did the final month start to stretch on and on for you? Anyone have a baby still flipping head up to down this close to term?