Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Week Post Partum

I have to say that this has been the BEST post partum week I've ever had!  What an amazing testimony of God's grace!

First of all, hubby took the week off of work and it has been a tremendous blessing to have him here loving on his family and treating me like a queen.  He worked hard with small children by his side and got my garden prepared for planting!  I thought for sure I'd have to skip out on a garden this year, yet as I type, little plants are dancing in the breeze.  As an added blessing, in perfect timing, our neighbor had to lime the field next door.  He saw our garden tilled and sent over a dump load of manure!

Personally, I feel great!  I feel AMAZING!  I have so much energy and focus!  I cannot believe the night and day difference from how I felt during, and even before the pregnancy!  I'm healing very well and very quickly.  There are a few "kinks" in my system, such as my left hip keeps acting up on me.  Thankfully, though, the baby blues have gone and so has the scream-out-loud pain of breast feeding.

My baby boy is doing well.  He's still battling some jaundice, but he's not lethargic.  He's eating well, sleeping well, and responding very well to people.  Today, he actually following Daddy with his eyes!  I could have fallen over in disbelief!  I also love how by merely talking to him, or picking him up, he stops crying and just snuggles into me.

The children are doing better than I expected with baby brother.  My 3rd is a little extra needy, so we make sure to give him plenty of love and figured out how to snuggle while mommy nurses the baby.

We're being blessed beyond measure by our church family, family and friends.  While I was in recovery, I invited anyone who wanted to come see the baby to come.....and then I sat there.....alone.  Hubby had a mandatory class 2 hours away from where I gave birth, so he was gone all day.  I made him go anyway.  I wanted him to get it done and out of the way rather than having it hanging over our heads to get it done another time.  So, there I sat watching other moms leaving with their babies, balloons, flowers, and gift bags.  I admit, I actually started crying my eyes out because no one sent me flowers.  No cards.  Towards the evening time, my sister and her family came to visit and so did one of our babysitters.  I felt silly feeling so sad about something as superficial as flowers, and felt really silly when the nursery nurse came in a caught me in tears.  But through it all, I prayed and God told me to wait; that we'd be blessed later.  I also thought up a ministry of providing a card or flowers to women who give birth alone.  I felt so sad, but I knew that having a baby Friday night puts a damper things for other people.  Saturday was full of weddings, baby showers, and so many other obligations that kept most of my friends and family away.  So, I prayed for those celebrating those momentous occasions.  And I figured that as sad as I felt despite knowing how truly loved I am, there are women who do not have that loving support behind them and may sit in their recovery room with nothing on their window sill.  It broke my heart, so I hope, some day, to be able to send flowers or a card or SOMETHING to women in that situation.

The blessings are pouring in now, just as God promised.  Cards, gifts, gift cards or cash, help around the house, and MEALS.  Delicious meals with enough leftovers to last us even longer!!  And I'm not talking about mac and cheese or casseroles here.  I'm talking full on meat and potatoes type meals!

And I got those flowers.  A big potted bouquet of cheerful yellow mums!!  I thought I wouldn't have any flowers to plant this year, either!!

To top it off, hubby completely surprised me by getting me a beautiful set of bracelets in fresh water pearls.  I LOVE fresh water pearls, and each bracelet is a different color!  There are 10 of them!!  I was elated!

God is SO GOOD!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birth Story


A little after 6 am on Friday, May 18, 2012, I was dosing in bed when I felt the tell-tale gush.  I looked at the clock, and realized that hubby wasn't all the way to work yet and said, "You've got to be kidding me!"  All the same, I was excited.....and a little apprehensive. Would it all work out with hubby's long commute?  Would the baby be ok being my 2nd earliest baby?

The excitement won out while I called my husband and told him to turn around the come home.  I called my parents to arrange for my father to take me to the Woman's Center where I was to give birth.  I called the Center and they said to come right in.  I texted friends and my sister, took a shower, got all my stuff together, and once my father arrived, we went on down to the Center.

Contractions hadn't started yet, and deep down I knew I should have stayed home until they did, but with the baby being a bit early, and my having a very faster labor with my daughter, it was recommended that I come in right away.  I proved that my instincts were right.  I should have stayed home until contractions began.

At the Center, I was prepped and given the same ol' "suspected water breakage" speech.  I KNEW my water was broken.  No doubt.  My L&D nurse knew I knew.  You don't have 3 previous natural labors with PPROM and NOT know a thing or two!  LOL!  Now, my L&D nurse was THE BEST L&D nurse I ever had.  It felt like I had a midwife, instead.  She was very supportive, fun to talk to, attentive and a great advocate.  I wasn't there for but a couple hours and my OB came in suggesting I take Pitocin and have the baby out now so I could have lunch.  I declined, she supported.

So, there I was walking, dancing, squatting, bouncing on the ball, swaying, laughing, joking, praying, talking for hour after hour after hour with NO pain.  I did NOT take any pain meds.  I did NOT have an epidural.  So, why wasn't I having any pain?

The nurse checked me now and again upon my request and sure enough, I was SLOWLY progressing.  I am SO glad I had her check me so frequently because my OB checked me 3 times during the course of my labor.  The first time, his check agreed with the nurse's check.  By the time he checked me again, he had already pushed pitocin twice.  The second time he checked me, the nurse had just checked me an hour before and I had progressed another cm and another 10% more effaced.  I could fell the OB didn't even go all the way in.  I could feel he didn't bother spreading his fingers to check the cervix dilation.  He pulled them out, whipped off the glove and said, "no change, exactly the same."  The "you'd better take pitocin now" attitude made the air in the room feel heavy.  My nurse and I exchanged similar glances.  I trusted her.  She mouthed to me, "I will talk to you later."

After the OB left, she came in and said, "I'm checking you now."  She checked and sure enough, I was progressed.  I no longer trusted my OB.  He out and out lied to me just to get me to take pitocin and "have it done with."  I don't even know if I'll go back for my 6 week post partum check up.  I know that I'm going to be looking for a new GYN.  I cannot believe he lied to me.

So, onward we trudged along.  I was 7 cm and 80% effaced and still not a single contraction pain.  My L&D nurse tried everything to help it progress a bit more quickly naturally.  She talked to me about my children and had me show her pictures.  She explained to me why labor was slow to progress:

When I arrived, baby's head was tilted in the pelvic area and not putting full pressure on the cervix to tell the body to open and up and get him out.  Baby was also tilted far to the right of the womb.  So, first we got him straightened out with exercises.  Then, we worked to get his head straightened, rather than cocked.  Lastly, we had to get his head off of the pubic bone and into the canal.

My OB came in at 5pm, the end of his shift and once again pushed pitocin.  He'd stay and deliver the baby if I took pitocin.  I declined and he gave me this pathetic little, "well, I guess you don't want me to deliver your baby."  Um, yeah.  After you lied to me, I'd rather not.  I was afraid he'd cut me or do some other invasive procedure.  Plus, I knew the OB who was going to catch my baby.  He delivered my daughter and I really liked him.  He was very hands off and let mama do it.  I should have switched to his practice when after my daughter was born.

I was 8 cm dilated, fully effaced and just starting stronger contractions.  I could talk through them, though.  At this point, I considered pitocin, but I really REALLY did not want it.  I KNEW what had to be done and that I could do it, if the nurse and I could only figure out the trick to get him off my pubic bone.

The nurse could see how weary I was of such a slow, and sometimes even stalled labor.  She gently suggested pitocin, but in a sympathetic way, not a pushy way.  I declined farther, so she suggested I rock up on the balls of my feet.  It was about 6:30 pm now.  12 1/2 hours since my water broke.  Her shift ended at 7pm and I really wanted her there.  I started the balls of my feet rocking and it worked.  I felt baby's head slide off my pubic bone and into the birth canal.  The contractions hit like a ton of beautiful bricks!  I moaned and breathed, banged the tray table and shouted, "YES!"  The nurse came running in, overjoyed at my progress, called the on-call OB, got the room ready, and after a few more of those contractions, I declared that I was ready to push.

I got myself in bed.  I actually LIKE giving birth in the reclined position.  The contractions started to slow and weaken, but my legs had given out on me.  The OB came in and I said I wanted to push.  The first push didn't amount to too much because the contraction was weak and I huffed through it without really getting a good grip.  So, we waited for the 2nd.  It took FOREVER to come.  The nurse offered to have me stand again and then get me back in bed for delivery.  I declined because 1. my legs were too tired and 2. I knew that once this baby started out, he wasn't going to stop.  Finally, I felt the contraction began.  I said, "Here we go!"  The contraction wasn't very strong, so I knew I had to do most of the pushing.  I was determined.  I took a deep breath, held it for a second and then PUSHED!!  The OB had to get his gloves on, so they told me to stop pushing.  Too late.  My body was now doing it for me.  There was no stopping.  So, out my baby came into the hands of my L&D nurse!!  So, after that, she really did feel like my midwife!

My baby boy was small, purple-pink, and covered in butter.  He had a full head of wavy, dark brown hair and looked like me.  He also had a good scream!  Healthy!  He was born at 6:47 pm.

Oh my goodness!  I just realized that I didn't mention hubby!  He was AMAZING!  So patient, so attentive, so encouraging, and GREAT back rubs!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Waiting......

Lots of pain and pressure, but hardly any contractions!

I'm waiting for labor to kick in and in the meantime, I'm just sitting around doing nothing because I can't concentrate on anything BUT going into labor!  I was always able to just get on with life with my other pending labors, but this time I can't seem to think straight or doing much of anything productive.  Then again, I've been pretty much like this this entire pregnancy!  Very unfocused.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All Ready To Go!

I was sitting on the exam table in my OB's office today when she walked in, hand me lay down and started measuring my belly.  She said that I looked like I had dropped and she wanted to do an internal exam to check my progress.  After I was prepped, she did the exam and I nearly started laughing out loud as her eyes got wider and wider.  "You are 4 cm dilated and your cervix is really, really soft.  How far do you live from here?"  I told her it was about 20 minutes.  She replied, "As soon as your contractions are regular and painful or your water breaks, come to the hospital.  I will see you in a week if you're still pregnant by then."

So, here we go!  It's happening!.  I'm just sitting around the house waiting for labor to start!  So far today I've had a little cramping, some strange pressure/pushy-ness, and Braxton-Hicks belly tightening.  I pray my water breaks first as it always has with my babies.  That's an easy, sure way to tell if you're in labor.  I'd hate to be in false labor, or very early labor and go to the hospital and be pressured into interventions to "speed things up a little."  It means a lot to me to be able to just let my body do what it needs to without artificial rupture of the membranes, pitocin, or what have you.

Funny, though.  As much as I did not really enjoy being pregnant, it is bittersweet to look in the mirror and realize I will never see myself all big-bellied again.  I'll never feel the kicks and rolly-polies of a baby inside of me.  I'll never have exciting ultrasounds again.  I'll never stare at the growth chart in the OB office in eager anticipation of my little one within growing.

Whether you have 1 child or 20, the child-bearing years come to an end at some point.  For some women, it is a great relief.  For others it is a great sadness.  For still more, it is bittersweet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

$200 Amazon.com Gift Card Giveaway!

Mama Chocolate is hosting a giveaway of a $200 Amazon.com gift card generously offered by OverHead Doors!  

Still pregnant!

I think I will actually make it to term this pregnancy, though I am hoping to go into labor Saturday evening.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Bye Bye Holly Hobbie

I am selling my collection of vintage Holly Hobbie items.  If you are interested, please e-mail me at seamstresslady at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Made it to 35 weeks!

The baby is still in me! Good for baby, not so good for a mommy who's so ready to see her new little man and resume function as a normal human being. At this point, I think I will make it to 37 weeks. I have been having feet, ankles and hand swelling. I can feel my hips loosening. I feel like my very low abdomen is stretching. Baby has dropped more and sometimes I have that "sitting on his head" feeling. I am sleeping a bit better. I have more overall energy and I am nesting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Preggy update

Strong but irregular contractions last night. Today, I feel very weak and very tired. I wonder how much longer I can go on like this. The days are dragging. But, I remember that I made it through weeks upon weeks of horrible morning sickness and that is well in my past. Time keeps marching on. I do look forward to next Monday. I won't be so restricted and can start doing things to promote a positive labor and delivery.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Easy Days and "Preggy" Days

It's funny how one day I can feel really well and get a lot done.  And then there are days like today where I've already spent most of it in bed trying to nap and it is only 1 pm.  I'm cold today, too, craving cookies and cake, and feeling like a cold bug is coming on.

In less than a week, I will be at our original projected goal of 35 weeks!  I think I'll go longer (*sigh*) since things don't seem to be progressing at all at this point.