Monday, October 28, 2013

Birth story

I have been meaning to write this for quite some time but I haven't been able to find the time.  Who knew keeping a 2 year old and a newborn alive would be so much work?

So, on Oct. 8, I was 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant.  I had an appointment with one of the midwives that day.  I was nervous about this appointment because of my previous cesarean.  I was nervous about the conversation I knew we would inevitably have.  I knew I would have to make a decision and I didn't know what options they would give me.  The midwife checked the baby's heartbeat and it was perfect.  She then checked my cervix.  I was one centimeter dilated and almost 50% effaced, and the baby's head was not engaged.  Her head was not in the best position to put enough pressure on my cervix.  The midwife gave me a bishop's score of 3, which means I wasn't a good candidate for induction because it more than likely wouldn't work.  I was given three options.  Option 1: I could go into labor and delivery that night and have a foley balloon inserted into my cervix.  They fill the balloon with water and it dilates your cervix to 4 centimeters.  Sometimes this is enough to get things going, but if not then they have to start pitocin which greatly increases my risk of uterine rupture and cesarean section.  Option 2: I could schedule an ultrasound to make sure the placenta is still supporting the baby well and two non-stress tests during the next week and keep waiting and hope that nothing goes wrong.  Option 3: I could schedule a cesarean section.  I was in tears.  I decided to talk to Joe about it and call the midwife that afternoon and let her know my decision.

After my appointment I called Joe at work and he told me to pray about it and he would support whatever decision I made.  I knew I wasn't going to schedule a c-section, I wasn't willing to give up just yet.  After praying and pondering I decided to schedule the ultrasound and non-stress tests.  I just felt like the baby needed a little more time, and I wasn't willing to take the risk of the foley balloon.

After my appointment I felt a lot more pressure in my pelvis than I had been.  She had finally dropped.  I think having my cervix checked stirred things up a bit because I began to have more frequent contractions that were a little stronger than the braxton hicks contractions I had been having for weeks.

The rest of the day I had a huge desire to just take a nice long bath, but wasn't able to until after Sunshine went to bed.  I finally got to take a bath around 9.  I got in and Joe played my Hypnobirthing birthing day affirmations CD.  I was finally able to relax after the stress of the day and that's when the contractions started coming stronger and closer together.  It was finally happening!  I finished my bath and got ready for bed.  I turned on another relaxation track and tried to sleep.  We called Joe's sister and put her on alert.  We called her again at about 1 and asked her to come down so we could go to the hospital.

We got to the hospital at about 2:00 AM.  I was monitored for an hour and my cervix was checked.  I was dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced.  I hadn't made much progress in the hour that I was there.  They suggested that I go home and labor there.  The longer I stayed in the hospital as a VBAC patient the more likely I was to have a c-section.  So we went home. We slept in between contractions which wasn't much sleep at all.  By the time morning came we were both very tired.  We ate breakfast and around 9:30 we decided to head back to the hospital.

The contractions were getting much closer together and stronger with each one.  We got to the hospital around 10 that morning.  I was 5 centimeters and 50 or 70% effaced, I can't remember exactly.  I decided to get in the jetted tub and labor in there.  I labored in the tub for about 1 & 1/2 hours.  The contractions were becoming unbearable and I couldn't handle them anymore.  I couldn't relax my body anymore to let it do its job.  They were close together and so strong my entire body shook.  I told everyone that I couldn't do it anymore and needed an epidural.  The midwife thought I might be near the end and checked me.  I was 5 centimeters and 80% effaced.  Her head was still turned slightly and wasn't putting enough pressure on my cervix.  I was exhausted at that point and I knew that if I continued laboring without an epidural I would be in labor for many more hours because I couldn't relax anymore.  Joe and my midwife tried to encourage me to continue but after explaining what was happening they agreed that I needed the epidural.  So I got the epidural and I was in heaven.  I do not regret that decision at all.  After getting the epidural my water broke and I was fully dilated, fully effaced, and ready to push within 2 hours.  The midwife was concerned that because her head was turned the wrong way that they would have to vacuum her out or worse, perform a c-section.  Thankfully baby girl turned her head right when she needed to.  I pushed for 30 minutes and she was born.  It was an exhilarating experience and one I will never forget.  She was put on my stomach immediately and then placed on my skin.  We got to bond right away and it was just beautiful.  We did it!  We had a successful VBAC!

I wouldn't change anything about our labor and delivery.  Joe was a wonderful support the entire time and the midwife who delivered me was so wonderful!  I loved laboring at home for the majority of the time.  It was more comfortable and more bearable.  I enjoyed feeling the sensations of labor.  I never realized how powerful my body is until I felt the power in those contractions.  Birth is beautiful and I so loved experiencing a vaginal birth. 

Our baby girl was born October 9, 2013 at 2:53 PM.  She weighed 8 lbs 1 oz and was 21 inches long.  She is beautiful and we love her so much.  We are glad to have her in our family.

   Photo credit: Tif Photography

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What's in the Bag?

My friend asked on Facebook for some advice on what to take with her to the hospital.  There were sooo many suggestions from many, many women.  I told her I would send her my list since I finished packing my bag yesterday.  I decided to post my list on my blog.  So here it is:

  • Drivers license
  • Insurance card
  • Birth preferences - multiple copies
  • Wallet
For Labor and Delivery
  • Washcloths
  • Tennis balls
  • Chapstick
  • Hair ties, brush
  • Snacks (crackers, granola bars, beef jerky - for Joe.  The hospital won't bring you food but you can bring your own.  The midwives said I could eat during labor.  Most practitioners won't allow you to eat, so ask for some privacy and sneak a granola bar if you really need it.  I hear labor is a lot of work or something ;) so you just may need that energy.  Also, I had Sunshine just before midnight and all they could offer me after her birth was saltine crackers because the kitchen was closed.)
  • iPod player
  • Birthing ball
  • Extra pillows (Just in case the hospital ones are crappy.  Be sure to put colored pillow cases on them so they don't get whisked away.) 
  • Camera/charger
  • Video camera/charger
  • HypnoBirthing booklet for Daddy to reference.
  • Essential oils
  • Swimsuit (I am going to request a birthing pool in my room.  I'm bringing this so I don't have to show off my goods to the world.)
Hospital Stay - Mommy
  • Flip flops for shower
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Hair ties
  • Shampoo/Conditioner 
  • Soap
  • Lotion
  • Face wash
  • Dry Shampoo (I had a c-section last time and couldn't shower, only spit bath.  The hospital didn't have any dry shampoo so my hair was really gross.)
  • Lanolin lotion
  • Nursing pads
  • Poise pads (I know the hospital has them, but I took a couple just in case)
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Nurse sleep bras (I only wear these for the first few weeks post-partum because of breastfeeding.  Your breasts change so much and it can be painful.  Sleep bras help support but don't put too much pressure on your boobies).
  • Pajamas (I didn't pack these because I don't want to risk getting them ruined from bleeding.  I just wear the hospital gowns, but some women prefer their own pajamas).
  • Going home outfit (Don't pack your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, they won't fit just yet.  I packed some sweatpants and a t-shirt).
  • Prenatal vitamins (Keep taking these while you breastfeed).
  • Phone/charger
  • Blow dryer/straightener (I can't just hang around with wet hair, it bugs me too much.)
  • Nursing pillow
  • Wet wipes (For me to freshen up if needed). 
Hospital Stay - Baby
  • Going home outfit
  • Hat 
  • Swaddling blanket/heavy blanket for ride home
  • Carseat
  • Baby mittens (Sunshine came out with razor sharp claws and I was too nervous to trim them.  The Gerber Baby brand has the best ones I think.  They're smaller for their tiny hands). 
  • Diaper bag (You can leave it in the car.  You never know what could happen on the way home, haha.)
  • Photo albums of Sunshine as a baby
  • Gift for Sunshine from baby sister. 
I didn't pack anything for Joe, and I didn't pack anything for him last time either.  We don't live too far from the hospital so he will just go home to shower and change.  He probably won't be staying at the hospital with me anyway because its way too uncomfortable for him and Sunshine will need him to be home with her.

The items under the paperwork and labor and delivery sections are all in one small backpack.  I told you in my last post what happened with our bag last time.  This time it won't be such a hassle to bring it in with us as soon as we get to the hospital.  Everything else is in another bag to be brought into the hospital later.

When you go home be sure to take everything in your room aside from the linens.  Take the diapers, wet wipes, chux pads, mesh undies, pads, tucks wipes, spray bottle, water jug, everything you can.  Your insurance was already billed for it so take it all with you.  

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

39 Weeks :)

We made it to 39 weeks.  I am hoping to not make it to 40 weeks though.  We have 5 1/2 days left of September.  I'm crossing my fingers we have this baby by the end of the week!  Friday would be ideal, but we'll see what happens.

My body is definitely getting ready.  I'm having sporadic contractions all day and the pressure in my pelvis is getting more and more intense.  I'm pretty sure she has dropped.  She is still not in the ideal anterior position, but hopefully she will turn when labor begins. 

I packed my hospital bag today.  I know most women have their bags packed much earlier but I really didn't want to live out of a suitcase for a month.  I am taking much less stuff to the hospital this time around.  I learned my lesson from last time.  I also packed two separate bags.  One is for the things I will need during labor and delivery and the other is for the things I will need for my hospital stay, which hopefully won't be too long of a stay.  Last time I packed everything in one large bag and Joe didn't want to haul it in when we first went into labor and delivery just in case we were sent home.  That resulted in not having our bag in our room until after Sunshine was born and it had our camera in the bag so we didn't get photos of her being born.  This time I have a small backpack with all the stuff we will need for labor and delivery.  That bag will definitely go in with us.

I finished writing our birth preferences a week or so ago.  Yesterday I took it with me to my appointment and went over it with the midwife who then signed it and scanned it into my electronic file so the nurses will have it when we go into labor and delivery.  I've heard it said so many times that you shouldn't write a birth plan because you will be disappointed with the outcome.  I've also heard people say that those who go to the hospital with a birth plan come out with a c-section.  I don't think this is true, if you go about it in the right way.  I feel like our birth preferences are completely reasonable and still leave room for whatever may happen.  It was important for me to write our preferences down because I do not want to be asked or have to discuss induction/augmentation or pain management, unless there is a real medical need.  I also like having our expectations written down so there is no question on the nurses end and also so we don't get the "routine" labor and delivery.  We hope our preferences are respected and we hope it helps us achieve the birth we have envisioned.

All that is left to do now is wait, and do whatever we can to help jump-start labor.  We hope she comes very soon!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

38 weeks

Today marks 38 weeks and boy am I feeling it!  I went to my appointment with my midwife yesterday and found out that the baby was posterior.  I have gotten her to turn for the time being.  I'm hoping she stays that way because I don't think back labor would be good for me with my herniated discs.  I've been feeling back pains with some of my braxton hicks contractions.  Hopefully when it comes time for labor and delivery she will get in the right position. 

The midwives don't "check" their patients prior to labor and delivery so I don't know if I'm dilated or effaced at all.  They don't do it because there is an increased risk of infection and it doesn't really help one way or the other.  I was kind of bummed but at the same time, the baby will come when the baby wants to.

I tested negative for Group B Strep.  One less thing to have to consider.  Also, they offered me a flu shot and the pertussis vaccine.  I was hesitant but realized that we were heading right into the beginning of flu season and I wanted to arm my baby girl with as much protection as possible.  I told the nurse that the last time I got the pertussis vaccine it didn't hurt at all afterward.  I didn't even feel it when they gave it to me.  I am thinking it was a pertussis only vaccine.  The one they gave me yesterday was the T-DaP (tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis).  So she put the flu shot in my right arm and the T-DaP in my left arm...I'm left handed.  My left arm is in so much pain!  It is sooooo sore!  I can't move it without it hurting a lot.  I didn't sleep much at all last night and can't get comfortable at all.  I blame it on the tetanus.  Ouch! 

The clinic I go to is a group practice so whoever is on call when I go into labor is the midwife that will deliver our baby.  Yesterday I met one of the midwives I hadn't met yet and I am really hoping she delivers our baby.  I asked her questions about the delivery and how lenient they will be with me during my labor to avoid another c-section.  She made me feel like she would give me a fair chance with my VBAC and made me feel more comfortable than some of the others have.   Not that the others have expressed a strict atmosphere but she just made me feel more at ease with it all.

I really want this baby to be born in September, not October.  I don't know why, maybe because I don't want to throw Halloween themed birthday parties every year.  September just sound like a good month.  I'm hoping she will be born next week sometime.  I think the 27th would be a good day.  We're working on it :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

3 more weeks!

We are 37 weeks pregnant and have only 3 weeks until our guess date!  We are officially considered "full-term" but I think this baby needs some more time to fatten up. 

We've been busy with preparations.  The nursery is complete, her clothes are washed, and all baby gear has been cleaned and is ready to go.  Joe and I have been practicing relaxation techniques and I've been listening to my birth affirmations.  It is helping me stay more calm and less anxious as we wait for this baby's arrival.  Last night we took Sunshine to a Sibling Class at the hospital.  They talk to the big brothers and big sisters about what a baby is like and teach them some rules to follow.  Then they show them how to put a diaper on, wrap a baby in a blanket, and how to hold them.  They then take the kids on a tour of the labor and delivery unit and the mom and baby unit.  I think it was a bit over Sunshine's head, but she loved the class and is taking such good care of her baby doll.  She said yesterday, "We will go to big sister class and then baby will come out of your belly."  She is excited and I hope she does well when the baby does come. 

My body is definitely gearing up for the event.  I'm having more and more Braxton Hicks contractions that seem to last longer and longer.  I'm also having a lot of pelvic pressure, it hurts to walk for a bit after sitting.  Another thing that is new this time around, I've been having menstrual cramp-like feelings.  I try not to complain much about it all because it just means that my body is getting ready and that's a good thing.

One more thing I'm doing to "prepare" for this baby is pampering myself.  I've been seeing a chiropractor for the past couple of weeks which has helped me sleep so much better.  Tonight I am getting a prenatal massage.  I'm so excited about this, I love massages, they always make me feel amazing.  Next week I plan to get my haircut and get a mani/pedi.  After I'm done with all that this baby is more than welcome to join our family.

We are excited!  Thanks for all your support through this journey!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I was a little hesitant to post the nursery, because it doesn't look "Pinterest worthy" and my camera is a simple point and shoot and doesn't take great photos.  Then I read an article about how moms need to stop judging each other and stop being so critical of themselves.  It made me realize that it doesn't matter that the nursery isn't perfect.  I love it and baby will be comfortable in it and it is how I want it to be.  It's cozy and perfect for us.  :)

This was not the nursery I had envisioned, but it's what we ended up with and we like it.  I had plans to paint the room but my husband and I were done with house projects for awhile, so we kept the neutral tan color.

My husband told me if I didn't make him paint the room then he would let me buy a rocking chair.  I found this on KSL classifieds and got it for a steal.

I love finding free printables on Pinterest.  I love instant, free art.

I found this one here.

And this one here.

I love this print!  I got it at Ikea for $12!  It was a lot larger, so I cropped it.  Who needs a bunch of white space, right?  Even after cropping it, it is still a pretty large picture.  Sunshine loves this picture, and I'll probably buy another one to put in her room.   (Also, notice my awesome reflection? haha!)

I have plans to maybe make a crib skirt, I just don't have the energy right now.  It may be a project for later, after baby comes.

That's the quilt I still need to finish.  I had planned to finish it at my mother in law's house last weekend but ended up not being able to make the trip.  My sewing machine doesn't have a perfect stitch and I want it to look nice since it will be quilted.  Hopefully I can finish it before baby arrives.

Dresser/changing table.  Can I just tell you the deal I got on this dresser?  I was browsing the clearance at Target and noticed this beauty.  Regularly $299 and was marked down to $75!  It was awesome and it looks great in the nursery.

I have plans for some more wall art above the dresser.  I have to wait until after the baby is born though, because we still haven't decided the name yet.

I made this mobile and unfortunately the picture does not do it justice.  I found the tutorial for this here.  It was a fun, simple, quick project and it is so much more fun and more modern than what you can buy at the store.  It was also pretty cheap, less than $10.  I did buy way too much felt though, so it probably costs around $5

So, there it is, our nursery.  We are so excited to bring our baby girl home and enjoy this space with her.  I love how it has turned out and I promise you, the pictures really don't do it justice.  This is such a fun time for our family.  The anticipation and excitement is building.  Sunshine talks daily about baby sister and give her kisses and snuggles.  She often asks when baby sister is coming.  Soon, I hope, soon.  She also loves that rocking chair.  It has become our new reading spot before quiet time and bed time.  

As we've been getting things out for baby and buying some things Sunshine asks about them and we tell her its for baby sister.  She then says, "Baby sister will share with me."  Haha, she is so funny and she is so excited to meet her baby sister.  Only 4 more weeks until our guess date!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

7 weeks left!

We are nearing the end of this pregnancy and the excitement is building.  I feel sooo much better emotionally than what I had been feeling a few months ago.  I'm back to cooking and cleaning again and I am much more patient with my little 2 year old Sunshine.  Life is going pretty great right now.  Time to switch things up, right? 

Joe and I have been attending our Hypnobirthing class for the past 3 weeks.  We have one more session and I'm kind of sad about it.  It has been a great bonding experience for us.  He has been supportive in helping me practice the different relaxation techniques and is totally on board with it all, even though some of it may seem a bit cheesy.  This class has made us complete believers in painless natural birth.  Any woman is capable of having a painless natural birth, she just needs the right tools to get her there. 

The fears and anxieties I have been feelings are pretty much gone.  I feel confident and empowered that things will go how I want them to this time around.  Thanks to the Hypnobirthing class, I am going to have an awesome birth!  I can't wait to blog about the entire experience on here.

I have been busy getting things ready for baby girl.  Her room was cleared out last week.  Since moving into our home it had become a "catch all" room.  Now, it just has a crib and a rocking chair.  I'm excited to decorate it over the next few weeks and get a dresser and a few other things in there.

Sunshine graduated from a toddler bed to a twin size bed.  She transitioned well and loves her new bed.  She is so excited to be a big sister.  She talks about her baby sister every day and asks when she will be here.  She can't wait and neither can we!