Friday, January 31, 2014

Jeanette's Birth Story - Part 2

When the on call resident came in to break my water, she said that I was dilating from a 4 to a 5 pretty much before her eyes.  I assumed this was good news and meant that things would move along quickly.  I was feeling pretty relaxed, we turned on the TV in the room and watched our Wednesday night TV shows.  I continued to have contractions that were around 2 minutes apart and I couldn't really feel much of anything.  As the evening continued, I felt like the epidural was wearing off and my tailbone started to hurt really bad.  Anesthesia was called back in to give me some more drugs to help with the lower back pain and to refill the pain medicine in the IV.
My dad left to head home and get some sleep since he had jury duty in the morning and my mom stayed to help me through the rest of the labor.  I had some fantastic nurses during my time in labor and delivery and I was so thankful for the amazing care that I received.  All of my questions were answered in a timely manner and when I needed extra help, they were there advocating for me.  Andrew and my mom continued to be a great support for me and I was so thankful to have them both by my side.  

Around 10:45pm the nurse wanted to check me again to see if I had progressed and I was at 7cm!  Things were really starting to move along and we all wondered if I would deliver by midnight.  While the nurse was checking on things, she touched the babies head to see how she was positioned.  At that moment, the heart rate dropped and before I could even figure out what was going on people were rushing into the room and Andrew was off in the distance watching everything happen.  An oxygen mask was strapped on my face, I was told to lie in several different positions and then finally get up on my hands and knees (this was not easy to do since I had the epidural) and I swear about five different people were poking and proding down there and trying to get babies heart rate to increase.  

I heard the words "emergency c section" a few times, but finally after a few attempts and the insertion of a scalp monitor on the baby to measure her heart rate and an internal contraction monitor, all was well again.

Around midnight I was checked again and I was at 10cm and totally effaced.  I couldn't believe that it was really time to start to push.  The midwife was on her way so the nurse, my mom and Andrew all helped me get into the position to start to push.  By this point the epidural had worn off again a little.  I was pretty much on my own and bearing down through the pain was not easy.  When the midwife arrived she continued to help me to push.  I would push through one contraction and then rest at the next.  The baby's heart rate would drop sometimes after I would push and this went on for several hours.  I also had to put on the oxygen mask between pushing, which was so annoying and made me feel like I couldn't catch my breath.  I hated having that thing on my face and it was by far the most annoying part of the pushing. 

The on call OB from my midwife's office was then called in to assess me because of the baby's heart rate dropping and the slow progress of my pushing.  She wanted to watch me push at least once to see how things were going. When the next contraction started she had me push and I could tell she was not pleased with my progress.  "This just isn't going to work, we need to do a c-section" she said and I could just feel the disappointment come over me.  I looked at my mom and Andrew and they didn't really have much to say, but looked just as disappointed as I was.

More people came into the room to help me get ready to move to the OR.  I watched Andrew struggle into the lovely white suit he had to wear along with his mask and hair net.  Everything was happening so quickly that I felt like I didn't have time to process what was about to happen.  I was wheeled out of the room with Andrew following behind me, my mom was taken to a special waiting area as only one person was able to come into the OR.

The prep for the c-section started as soon as they got me on the operating table.  It seemed like there were so many people in the room and they made Andrew wait in the hallway until they had me fully prepped.  The anesthesiologist started putting the stronger drugs into my epidural catheter and suddenly I was completely numb from the chest down, which I might add is a very strange sensation.  When Andrew came back into the room and sat down behind me, he looked like he was going to pass out and I got even more worried but thankfully he got it together just in time for them to get the baby out.  I don't really remember her crying, it was more like a little noise that a mouse would make.  One of the nurses commented that she was a "big girl" and that she had hair, dark hair at that!  They walked her past me on the way to the warming table and all I could think about was how bad I wanted to hold her.

As they were stitching me up, they were working on our little girl.  Apparently one of her lungs was not working and they had to stick a tube in her lung to suck out whatever was blocking the airway.  Finally I heard her let out a big cry and she was given to Andrew to hold.  I wanted to cry so bad but it was as if I couldn't make the tears come out.  There was just too much going on in the room.  At 4:24am on January 23, 2014 I became a mom and I know my life will never be the same.

Coming soon.....the story of our 4 day hospital stay!  

I finally got to hold her around 8am when I was moved to my room

Such a beautiful little girl!!!

Waking up for a feeding

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jeanette's Birth Story - Part 1

Everything started around 6:15am on Wednesday, January 22nd.  I had set my alarm for 6 and had planned on going into work.  I was two days overdue at this point and didn't see labor happening any time soon.  Andrew and I were laying in bed talking and I got up to head to the shower when a gush went down my legs, I was totally shocked considering I felt fine and ran to the bathroom.  As I sat down I realized that not only was there water, but blood as well and I got a little worried.  I called the on-call midwife and she told me to head to the hospital as soon as I could.  After we fed the animals, called Andrew's parents to get the dog and told our families we were headed to OSU, we got in the car and headed to the hospital.

We arrived around 7:35am and waited in line to be checked into triage.  After one false alarm, I knew something was different this time and that I was indeed going into labor.  We finally got back to the triage room and waited for the on call resident to come back and assess me while the nurse got my vitals and hooked me up to the fetal monitor.  It was around the time that we arrived at OSU that I started to have contractions.

When the resident came into the room, she explained the two exams she would perform, one to see if my water was broken and the other to see if I had dilated anymore (I had been at 1cm for almost three weeks and was 80% effaced).  My water had not broken, though I could have sworn that it did, and the blood was a symptom of my cervix changing.  I was 2, almost 3cm dilated at this point and starting to have contractions.  They told me I was in the early stages of labor and that it might be a while before things start happening.  I was also informed there were no rooms in labor and delivery and I might be waiting awhile to be moved out of the triage room.

The hours continued to tick by, at lunch time Andrew's sister stopped by for a visit and brought Andrew some food.  The nurse came in to check on me every now and then and finally let me put on some classy mesh undies and a pad so that I could walk around a little to speed up the labor.  I was super uncomfortable because the bed in the triage room was more of a transport cart and was as hard as a rock.  The on call resident would come in and check on me every now and then as well to see if my water broke or how much more I had progressed.  I went from 3cm to 4cm fairly quickly and my contractions were around 7 minutes apart.

I was so thankful that Andrew was being such an amazing support to me the whole time.  He was timing my contractions, holding my hand, running to the ice machine for more ice chips and trying to keep me entertained.  The room we were in had no TV, but thankfully we were able to access the hospital WiFi and get on our tablets.  I continued to text updates to my mom and inlaws as the day continued to tick on by.

Finally at 4:30pm (I wish I was kidding, but honestly that's how long it took), we were moved back to an actual labor and delivery room.  Once the nurse assessed me, hooked me up again to the monitors and checked me I was given my options.

Since I wasn't progressing enough on my own, they wanted to start the pitocin and break my water so that things would start moving along.  I was told this would make the contractions more painful and I was given the option of the epidural.  I was pretty sure this whole time that I didn't want one, but the pain was more than I could handle after almost 9 hours of labor behind me already.  My back was so sore from the other bed I was in and I decided to go ahead and get the epidural.  They called anesthesia and they came to the room very quickly to get things started.  I'm not sure I was so afraid of having the epidural, but it was a lifesaver I found as the night wore on.

It was around this same time that my mom and dad showed up for moral support.  My poor dad couldn't handle being in the room for extended periods of time and would come and go from the waiting room.  My mom was actually a really great support, of course along with Andrew, and I was really happy to have both of them by my side.

I was feeling fairly relaxed after the epidural so they started the pitocin and came in to break my water.

Part 2 coming soon!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

She's Here!

So it has taken me forever to post that our daughter finally made her way into the world!  Things have been crazy, which is expected with a new baby and I'm just now finding a moment to post at least a little something about her birth (two-part birth story coming soon).

Jeanette Mae was born on Thursday, January 23rd at 4:24am.  After 27 hours of labor, I ended up needing a c-section due to the shape of my pelvic bone and the position of the baby.  The last three hours of the labor were all pushing so I was pretty disappointed when I heard the news that I could not deliver on my own.  She weighed in at 8lbs, 6ozs and is 21.5 inches long.  I'm not 100% sure yet what color her eyes will be but they are dark so I would assume they will be brown or green and she has a head full of dark hair!

Here are a few photos and I'll be sure to update everyone by the weekend with her birth story since it's rather long.  I'm so glad that I took a notebook to the hospital and wrote everything down that happened over those 27 hours and the 4 days beyond that where we stayed at the hospital.

Just minutes after she was born, I wish I was able to see all this going on behind me
Right after the baby was born, getting stitched up
Father-Daughter bonding time.  So precious and sweet.
A few days after she was born, when I was finally able to shower
and felt more human.  I didn't get to shower for four days!
Becoming a mother has been a pretty incredible experience.  I find myself feeling so full of love these days and I could just stare at that sweet little baby for hours on end.  I find it hard to believe that she goes to her first pediatrician appointment tomorrow and will be a week old on Thursday (also the day we are doing newborn photos). 

Thanks to everyone for your awesome comments and support during my pregnancy.  I can't wait to share her birth story with everyone!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Today is my due date

Well, here we are, it's January 20th and I am not yet holding a beautiful little (yet to be named) baby girl in my arms.  I had a feeling this would happen and I know it's not quite 4pm here in central Ohio but I can pretty much assume she won't be born today.

I haven't felt any different, though I've nested a little.  I cleaned and sterilized all the bottles that go with my breast pump, cleaned the kitchen, tidied up the living room and finished the laundry.  I still want to organize a few things in the nursery, maybe after dinner.  To be honest, I've been feeling a huge mix of emotions today.  I feel thankful to have made it full term with my pregnancy as I know many mom's who have not, I'm glad I've had a fairly easy pregnancy and that there was no medical need to induce me as of yet. 

But I'm sad that I was told on Friday I was still only 1cm dilated and 80% effaced, I'm sad that I had a false alarm and thought I was in labor on Thursday only to go to the hospital and find out that was not the case and I'm sad that I am still not holding that little baby in my arms.  I've tried some of the old wives tales to induce labor to no avail so I've spent most of today tidying things up around the house, relaxing and waiting for Andrew to come home from an unexpected day at work. 

Everyone keeps calling to see if I'm in labor, my phone hasn't stopped alerting me of calls and texts all day.  My mom has called no less than four times trying to get me out of the house but I'd rather just stay home.

I am glad that I went the midwife route with my pregnancy and that she isn't forcing me to have an induction for her own convenience.  I go back to see her on Friday and if I'm not in labor or if things haven't progressed I will be induced early next week.  I know that life is what happens when you are making other plans, but I really hope I don't have to be induced.  I want so badly to have a natural labor and delivery and I'm so afraid that's not going to happen now.  I feel extra bad for Andrew having to put up with me these last few weeks.  I've been emotional, crabby, hard to deal with, tired and so unmotivated.  I haven't cooked an actual meal in almost two weeks, we've been eating canned food and frozen dinners and snacking.  I hope that I snap out of this funk soon.

All I can really do at this point is pray and wait for baby girl to make her arrival, which I hope is sometime this week.  I'm planning on going into work tomorrow to wrap up a few things (assuming I'm not in labor) since I was out Thursday and Friday due to my labor false alarm.  I'm glad that my boss has been super understanding as well as everyone else in my office.

So here's to the due date that has come and gone - mommy and daddy are ready to meet you little lady!!! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Memorable Pregnancy Moment

Now that I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, I've been thinking a lot about memorable pregnancy moments or just things in general have made me smile throughout this process.  There have been a lot of up's and down's but I would like to remember the fun moments for a while:
  • Not being sick: I feel so lucky that I felt pretty good for most of the pregnancy.  I never once had morning sickness just a touch of nausea, 
  • All of my interesting cravings: the constant need for Mexican Food and ice cream pretty much lasted all summer and then moved onto cheese and really cold drinks.  I also had weird cravings like Fruit Roll-Ups, peanut butter straight from the jar, all kinds of candy I hadn't eaten in years like Smarties and Sour Patch Kids and Sour Cream and Onion Pringles (they had to be pringles, no other chips had the same taste). 
  • Feeling the baby move for the first time: I was at work and felt a very violent kick in my belly.  I never had too many "flutters" so that kick was something else.
  • Andrew feeling the baby move for the first time: We were on vacation which made it even more memorable!
  • Our babymoon: I think about our trip to Florida all of the time, we had so much fun and made so many memories.  Having that week together to relax was fantastic in so many ways and I often dream of our daily walks along the beach hunting shells and shark teeth.  I can't wait to take our daughter to all of those places one day and share the memories with her.
  • My baby showers: Both of them were wonderful and I could not ask for better family and friends!  My cousin and aunt planned a beautiful and intimate shower for me in PA with my aunts and cousins and my mom and good friend Laura really outdid themselves with my shower here in Ohio.  Both were amazing and such a blessing. 
  • Our maternity photos: Not having to hide my tummy was nice and being able to take photos at Andrew's parents farm was lovely.  Our engagement and wedding photos were taken there and I love having so many memories of their place.
  • Sharing my pregnancy journey with three of my close friends: I have friends due in March, May and June so it's been fun talking about our pregnancies together and sharing stories.  I can't wait for our little ones to grow up together!
  • The anatomy scan: I was so convinced from day one that we were having a boy and man were my maternal instincts wrong!  When we got to the gender portion of the ultrasound I was pretty cocky thinking she would say, well it's a boy but it was quite the opposite!  At first I didn't even believe her and then when I looked up at the screen it was pretty evident!
  • Preparing the nursery: This little girl has more clothes than I can even fathom and she is so loved already.  Her room is pretty girly with lots of pink, white and sage green and little birds on the walls.  I had a lot of fun getting everything organized, picking out different pieces and making the room look like the rest of our house, what I like to call eclectic antique shabby chic!  
  • Watching my body change: This has been both an interesting and scary process.  I remember at the beginning my boobs and butt got really big and I felt super self conscious about both.  As I started to get a bump, I felt a little better because then people would know it was all because I was pregnant.  I was lucky that I didn't really need maternity clothes till about 15-17 weeks thanks to my belly band.  I've gone up two bra sizes already and I'm afraid for what might happen to my chest later on down the road.  The stretch marks were a little scary at first, but I'm used to them now.  I did find a few new ones on my hip this week, but at this point it's the least of my worries.  I never really had the full round belly until about week 36 and I get a lot of interesting looks from people as I waddle around!
I feel pretty fortunate to have had a good pregnancy and I am so anxious to meet this little baby!  Cross your fingers for good news from the midwife on Friday or that I go into labor before my appointment!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pregnancy Update

Sorry again for my absence recently, but here is an update on the pregnancy, instead of a bumpdate:
  • As of today, I am 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  Yes, I'm over it and ready to have this baby.
  • I am 1cm dilated and 80% effaced as of last Friday, my midwife said I could go into labor any day now.  I'm pretty sure I lost my mucus plug already but I haven't had any contractions other than Braxton Hicks.
  • I've gained 23lbs throughout the entire pregnancy which I'm pretty happy about.
  • The 3rd trimester insomnia started this week and it is something else.  I've been "sleeping" in our office/spare bedroom because the room is cold and the bed is hard which is more comfortable to me right now.  I am lucky to get about 4 hours a night and I know this is probably preparing me for the baby's arrival, but I still have to work this week.
  • Speaking of work, Friday will be my last day in the office till the end of March, unless I have the baby before that date. 
  • Monday the 20th is my official due date.  There has been little talk of induction (thank goodness) unless I go past the date, then it will be time for a non stress test and we will have the induction discussion at that time.  
  • The baby continues to be pretty active in there and can really push hard into various places in my body now.  I can tell she's running out of room and have a feeling she will have long legs like her mom.
  • My blood pressure has been consistent and low the entire pregnancy.  My last reading was 120/60 which is wonderful.  I'm thankful that I've had no complications.
  • I'm waddling like a penguin.
  • I swear my boobs have grown again.
  • The nursery is completely done, the hospital bag is packed, the diaper bag is loaded and ready to go and the carseats have been all we needs is a baby!
Typing at work is becoming a little difficult with this belly in the way.

On my way to my 38 week appointment!