Monday, October 27, 2014

Rosalie June~A Birth Story

We welcomed our sweet little Rosalie June into the world on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 9:29PM.  Six pounds 13 ounces and 19 inches long.  She is our perfect, tiny little bundle of joy from Heaven and we are so in love with her!
 Baby Rosie was born a full six days before my due date, October 19th.  Considering my first two babies were five days and two days late, I was a little in shock that I was even in labor at all!  My midwife made me promise I wouldn't have the baby that weekend before since she was going to be out of town, and considering that my last check-up showed me at 4cm, 70% and super stretchy, she was worried I might go that weekend.  I chuckled because I thought for sure I would be overdue with little Rosie just like my other two.  Monday was a regular day; I was busy running errands...I went to Kid-to-Kid for some baby clothes and to Costco to stock up on some freezer meals, you know, nesting stuff!

I came home and Owen watched a show around 3ish, so I sat down with him on the couch and while I sat with him, I thought I felt something a little more....moist than I was used to feeling, but I didn't feel anything largely out of place, so I didn't think anything of it.  I took a call from my mom and chatted with her for a while, then went to the restroom and noticed I had leaked a little more pinkish fluid than, well, ever...but no continuous dripping.  I then noticed I had lost my plug.  So after that, I was on a heightened-awareness.  I didn't feel anything, no contractions, nothing; but I let Kristoffer know what was going on anyway, and since he works from the basement now, it made me so comfortable knowing he was so close.

 I had an occasional Braxton-Hicks, at least, I didn't feel as though it was strong enough to be a real contraction.  So I kept wandering around the house, and finally, and about 6pm, I thought to myself, OK, if we're going to do this, we need to do it now, because I don't want to be calling people in the middle of the night to drive to our house and watch our kids....and I don't want to be completely exhausted at 2am trying to talk myself into pumping up for labor.  So, I put my breast pump on for 30 minutes to see if that would kick start things.  I figured if my body isn't ready, nothing will happen, but if we're ready, then it will move things along (the breast pump stimulates the nipple and subsequently the brain to release oxytocin which will contract the uterus). 
Once I put the pump on, my body must have been ready; I started having real contractions, enough to consciously relax my arms, and body, and breathe through my abdomen.  Even still, at this point, I didn't consider myself in labor since I still had the pump on and I didn't consider my body to be doing it by itself.  Kristoffer sat with me through the whole process and was timing me...evidently (I didn't realize this at the time).  At the end of 30 minutes, he looked at me and said, yeah...I think we need to go to the hospital...those contractions are coming at about 4 minutes apart.  STILL, I didn't think I was in labor.  My contractions were very manageable and I didn't really consider them strong enough to go in, coupled with the fact that I was still six days away from my due date!
Once Kris's mom arrived at the house, we grabbed our bag and headed out.  My contractions felt like they were not as close together, but they were still coming, and Kris seemed pretty certain we still needed to head to the hospital, but honestly, I thought they would just send me home.  Walking into the hospital was the first moment I thought, OK, maybe I *might* be in labor; I needed to stop and lean into Kris to relax through the contraction, so at that point even I could acknowledge they were strong.  When they checked me at the hospital, I was at a 6+, so either way, they were keeping me!  I got changed and assumed my position on the my last get into prime relaxing mode while they filled the tub for me.  This whole time I was really in disbelief I was having a just didn't seem real to me! 
I moved into the tub for a little while which was wonderful.  Water is so wonderful for labor, it completely changes the dynamic of your contraction, and helps you to do the only thing you need to do in labor-relax.  The water was a little warm, and I started to overheat...I was kind of bummed but I just wanted to be out of the HOT water, even though I loved the water itself. 
Once I got out and on my side into bed, I hit transition.  Those are the doozy contractions and I really needed to tone with those contractions to pull through them.  I remembered from our last labor and our reading, that transition, while the hardest part, is also the shortest.  So I put my head down and got to work.  After about 5 or 6 contractions, my midwife checked me and I was at an 8+, but she told me I was so stretchy that I could start pushing whenever I felt ready.  After a few more contractions, I could feel pressure, so I flipped to my back.  It was a little difficult to get into pushing mode since my contractions were still dilating contractions and not pushing contractions yet.  I had to get about halfway through my second push during each contraction to feel my body take over and get that undeniable urge to PUSH.  I felt her cute little foot right under my rib and I thought I was breaking it!  So I repositioned and braced my arms on my thighs and that proved much more comfortable.  Pushing was actually so much easier with this tiny girl than with Owen.  Her head was so much smaller and she really just kind of slipped right out!  What a breeze, it was wonderful!  Owen's delivery required a lot more hard pushing (although the time required was the same), and his head was much bigger which was painful! 
Delivery of the placenta was kind of painful this time around.  Truth be told, it was the worst part.  My midwife had to reach up and scrape the rest of the placenta out, that was ridiculous, it hurt so much worse than any other part of labor.  And subsequently, I had some bleeding, so I needed an IM injection to help with that and some pretty firm fundal massage, ouch!

My husband was right there with me through the entire thing.  He is an amazing coach, truly.  I could not have found a better man for my husband and a better coach to guide me through labor.  He reassured me every time I said, "Tell me I can do this, tell me I can do this.".  He wiped my brow with a cold washcloth, he whispered in my ear that he loved me and that I was amazing.  He watched me and reminded me to relax my muscles.  He held my hand and was by my side.  His presence itself was calming and reassuring, and I have never felt a closer bond to my husband than when he is by my side, coaching me through our unmedicated delivery.  There is a strength I have never found anywhere else than working together with my husband to deliver our baby.  As strange as it sounds, it's almost like an extension of how we conceived our baby, the final culminating moment of the deepest love, the delivery of the greatest gift I can possibly give my husband.  I don't want to be numb for that, ever.  I see the way he looks at me in labor, with the most awe inspired eyes, the deepest, most tender love of watching his wife be strong and do something hard, it inspires him.   It's a level of intimacy with my husband that I've never experienced any other way. This is why I love unmedicated delivery.  This is why it's all worth it.

 So here are my THREE babies!  I can't believe I am the mother of three, when did that happen?! 
We are so grateful our sweet little Rosalie is here and healthy.  She is super sweet and very hungry!  Her days and nights have been a little upside-down, and her tummy is a little sensitive to certain foods that I eat, but she loves to snuggle and has her daddy's dimples.  I am loving having a newborn, even as exhausting as it is, I have missed having a tiny baby.  Our family has been blessed one more time with a precious gift from our Heavenly Father!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

38 Weeks and TWO Days....

.....but, who's counting right?  Can you tell I've reached my limit?  I have so many things to say about my emotions this past week.  My prenatal visit last Wednesday was, a little scary.  I've progressed with no problems this entire pregnancy.  I've never had complications, no hypertension, no placenta issues, no gestational diabetes, negative GBS.  So when my midwife measured baby last Wednesday and told me my sweet girl hadn't grown....I was completely taken off guard...and my nurse-brain ran away with me.  My husband wasn't with me, so when I came home from my appointment, and sat next to him on the couch, I burst into tears.  I was totally terrified.  My brain, already completely fried from being full-term, now had to try and sort out all the things I knew about what this could possibly mean.....placenta issues, inadequate cord perfusion resulting in hypoxemia and stunted growth, intra-uterine growth restriction, anoxic injury which could mean a baby with CP.  Can you imagine how my poor frazzled brain was rapid firing all these things and I was scaring myself to DEATH?  Even now, I have two days until my next appointment and I'm still trying to be calm.  Honestly, I have a feeling it has something to do with my rather poor appetite.  I have had absolutely no appetite recently, which is the strangest thing.  I bought some protein powder last month to make sure I'm getting enough protein, but that week before my appointment, I couldn't find my protein shaker, so I didn't have ANY protein shakes....part of me wonders if I just wasn't giving my poor girl any of what she needed.  Kristoffer has been so patient with me, loving me and reassuring me that everything will be ok.  I'm kind of kicking myself really, though.  My midwife, while I really like her, does an ultrasound at each appointment...which I thought was odd at first, but I didn't question.  Now, I'm wishing I had said something and opted for traditional measurements.  I'm a little 'hippie' about the birth process, so unnecessary US's at each appointment that are not entirely accurate anyway and scare the wits out of me...well, I wish I would have said something sooner.

Either way, the midwife did tell me my fluid levels are great, baby has a strong heart-beat and I'm progressing, 3cm and 70%.  So when labor comes, it will come quick!  I am very grateful for a Savior who comforts me when I am in need, and for a husband who loves me unconditionally.

Here is a belly shot....@ 37 weeks!
 My very wonderful Mother in law threw me a lovely baby shower...a diaper shower!  It was so wonderful to have friends and family, and the diapers I ended up with, so grateful!!  I took some of the accessories of the shower and framed them for the nursery, a gift tag from a gift bag, It's a Girl toothpicks from the cupcakes, and ribbons from the gifts. 
 At the end of the day, when everything had been taken to the nursery, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  I looked at my baby's closet, absolutely overflowing with things for our sweet girl, and just melted with the love I felt from my friends and family.  I am so blessed and so grateful, words cannot describe how I feel for the generosity shown to us.
 I had to throw this picture in.  Look at my cute boy.  Ah, he just melts my heart.  I love my son so much, he has a sweet innocence that reaches the very depth of my motherheart.  He is ALL boy, through and through, and there are times when I get a puzzled look on my face when he does funny little-boy things, but my husband just laughs and smiles and kisses me and thanks me for his son.  So grateful to be a mother, it brings a level of happiness I never knew possible, of course via a way of difficulty I never knew possible, but that's the things with the best of never comes easy.
Hopefully I'll have some good news come Thursday after my next appointment!