Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Birth story (long!)

Getting pregnant was really hard, but I feel so lucky because for the most part, BEING pregnant was an absolute joy I loved nearly every minute. And I feel like my birth was everything I wanted it to be. We have so little control over our bodies and our fertility, so I feel very thankful to have come through this with a little girl and feel ultimately SPOILED to have had the pregnancy and birth that I did.

38w2d 3 cm 60% effaced "You will go any day!"
39w2d 3 cm 60% effaced "Maybe we'll see you this weekend!"
40w6d 4 cm 60% effaced "We should schedule an induction"
41w2d 6 cm 80% effaced "I know I'll be delivering you this weekend."
41w3d Started REAL labor!!

I went to the midwife on Friday 2/20 desperate to avoid an induction, which was scheduled for Tuesday. Having a natural birth has been very important to me, so I really didn't want to use pitocin. The MW seemed convinced I would go before then and wouldn't need the induction, though they'd been telling me that for weeks! She also recommended I take Castor Oil the next morning to naturally induce. I was nervous about doing it on my own, but under her care/direction, I was willing to try.

11 am drank 4 oz castor oil with a smoothie
12 pm puked everything in my stomach!
2 pm had bad diarrhea (liquid)
2:30 pm timeable contractions started coming every 4-6 min! After about 30 min of those, we called the midwife and headed to the hospital

3:30 pm
We got to the hospital and were admitted. When I got to my room, I was put in a gown on the bed and hooked to the fetal monitor. Contractions were painful, but I could rest/recover during the breaks. After they saw good movement/heartbeat, I was able to get in the jacuzzi bath! HEAVEN! Contractions still hurt, but I was able to work through them much better on my hands and knees in the nice tub. They also had some bars around the tub to hold if I wanted to stand up. Mark was amazing, helping me breath through all the contractions and pouring warm water over me.

5:40 pm
After awhile in the tub, I started feeling too warm and nauseous, so I got out and sat on my birth ball. I was definitely in a lot more pain and contractions were coming closer together. I never felt an urge to push, but after awhile, the nurse helped me into bed to check my dialation -- I was at 9+ with almost no cervix, so I stayed on the bed. My water still hadn't broken, but I felt a little trickle. Just as my midwife was about to break it, I felt a big gush. Fortunately, the water was clear, so no meconium! I was a little worried since she was so late and the castor oil!

6:20 pm
Shortly after that I felt a HUGE movement! My baby had been posterior almost her entire 3rd tri, and I think this is when she turned. After she turned and moved down, I had a few bad contractions, still not feeling any urge to push, but they checked again and I was ready.

6:30 pm
The contractions hurt really badly, and somehow pushing felt much better. They pushing was physically intense, but I was not in pain. During all of it my midwife was using oil and massaging my perineum, which hurt. (Thanks to my midwife I had no perineal tears!! I did have a small labial tear, but it hasn't really hurt to use the bathroom or anything, so I feel pretty lucky! I did Kegels and perineal massage for weeks prior to the birth, so that probably helped too.)

Mark was holding one of my legs and watched the whole thing! I hadn't really wanted to watch and was even a little freaked out when the nurses had me reach down and feel her head! But every push felt productive and I knew I was getting close when the nurses came in with the warmer. This motivated me, and I kept pushing harder.

7:40 pm
I had one huge push and felt her head come out. I waited for a contraction and pushed again and out came baby Petra! They put her on my chest and she was so squirmy and wiggly! We delayed the cord cutting until it was no longer pulsing and Mark got to cut it. We are a family! Amazing!

Here is the slideshow:

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mark is an AMAZING daddy already!

Mark really is an amazing father. It seems like a lot of men are afraid of babies and especially newborns.

When we were in the hospital, Mark would wake up in the morning and hold her for an hour and gaze into her eyes!

The only time she seemed to cry was when she was cold and getting her diaper changed. Mark rigged up a heater (after mean mama said not to bother) and now she gets a warm air bath and happy diaper changes.

The past few nights have been rough with her staying awake or nursing a good part of the night. Mark figured out how to calm her (thank you Happiest Baby on the Block!) and got me much more sleep and a happier baby.

He also sings and plays guitar to her daily and she just eats it up!

And he does just the little things, very nurturing-- like changing her diaper or putting a hat on her or snuggling and kissing her.

I love my husband so much, and having a baby has really enriched that relationship in a very special way. I love seeing him being a father to Petra. I feel so lucky to have this family.

I had my baby!!

I will post the birth story soon. I know everyone disappears for awhile after they have their babies and now I know why! If I'm not caring for her, I am sleeping! But it is so amazing being a mom. I cannot describe how much I love this little baby.

Petra Jo M born 2/21 at 7:40 pm 7 lbs 11 oz 20"

Friday, February 20, 2009

6 cm & 80% effaced

I cannot believe I'm not in active labor?! This has either been the longest pregnancy or longest labor ever! 7 cm is usually "transition" when you are in the most painful part, according to my birth class instructor!!

I saw the midwife this weekend, and she seemed confident I would not need the induction on Tuesday. I hope she is right, but they have been telling me that for 3 weeks now! However, I have made a lot of progress since Tuesday when I was at 4cm and 60%. So I might actually believe her this time. Again, the baby is still doing great, so no worries on keeping her in a little longer.

She swept my membranes and also recommended the castor oil tomorrow morning, so I'm going to do that. I'm not sure if it will put me in labor, but I can call her over the weekend, so I feel more comfortable doing that than just trying it on my own.

She also said the they may just break my water instead of starting pitocin for the induction. I'm not sure which I would prefer. In some ways, I like the natural breaking the water with no pit and still able to change positions, etc, but I have also read if the baby is posterior and labor is stalled, you shouldn't break the water because the cushion of water gives the baby more opportunity to get in position. So, I'll have to weight the pros/cons of that.

But overall, I'm feeling much better about the birth and hopefully going into labor on my own. I may actually meet my baby this weekend...!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting over it

I went to the doctor yesterday and the good news is the baby is still doing fantastic-- perfect heartrate on the NST and perfect fluid level. So no urgency in getting her out.

But the bad news is, I am still pregnant and now I have an induction date for Tuesday. I was seriously in labor for a few hours last night-- like major contractions that increased when I was walking. But I got home had it for another hour and then it all disappeared! Beyond frustrating!

I started looking into things a little more, and I think the reason I'm going so late is because she is posterior. Her head just isn't in the right position to trigger labor. I had not been worrying about this because I thought she'd just turn when I was in labor, but now I'm wishing I would have done more. I've been trying now, but I think she's too big and too low until I start getting contractions again.

I think maybe I should just resign myself to the idea of having a c-section. And it isn't guaranteed I will need a C, but I think I need to prepare for that since it is about 50% chance. I don't have a lot of confidence that the induction will work-- I think I'll be in labor and then she won't be able to turn and then go into distress.

I keep telling myself, I should be thankful I'm having a baby at all. So what if the birth isn't the perfect birth I had so wanted?-- that may not have happened anyway.

And what is bad about a c-section if the baby arrives safe and alive? I'm just scared bonding and breastfeeding won't go well or that my uterus will collapse (already had 1 surgery and it is abnormally shaped). I wouldn't choose it, but my little girl is the most important thing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sister Visit!

My stepsister came this weekend. I think the original idea was to see the baby, but she is still not coming out! We still had a fun time, though. We saw my parents, went for a walk, watched a few movies, and just hung out-- nice to have a distraction for the weekend!

Nothing much new to report on the baby. She's still moving around a lot, and I'm feeling so ready to have her! The most uncomfortable part is this little burning spot on my upper belly-- nothing seems to help. And I'd love to be able to sleep on my back and/or tummy again.

I go to the doctor tomorrow to strip my membranes and do a NST just to monitor the baby and my contractions. I feel like things are progressing, just slowly-- I get more cramping and more contractions every day, but it never seems to turn into labor. I'm also going to acupuncture tomorrow too.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Still pg, but got a card "Congratulations on the birth of your baby!"

Um no. I'm still pregnant! Ugh, but I've resigned myself that she is overdue and I'm okay with that. I was getting anxious because I wanted her here more for others even than myself. I keep getting emails from well-meaning friends who just want to know, but it was making me feel like there was something wrong! And my sister is flying in tonight, though I had told her awhile ago that there may not be a baby-- though I think we both expected there would be!

I had a OB appt. yesterday, and it went well. Baby is still measuring great-- she suspected 6.5-7 lbs, just by feeling, so not huge, which is good, since that could cause problems getting her out! She also told me she is posterior (sunny side up), which I had thought myself for awhile! She could change during labor, so I'm just going with that. Apparently her head was really low and "wedged" in there, so I don't know if there's much I can do to change it anyway until contractions start.

And the most exciting part-- she stripped my membranes! It was uncomfortable, but not horribly painful. Hopefully since I feel so ready, this will give me the extra boost I need. I go back Monday or Tuesday and they'll do it again along with a non-stress test, just to make sure the baby is doing okay. I go again on Thursday or Friday, when they'll do it again and then schedule the induction.

Induction won't happen until 42w, which I would prefer, and I may try to push a few extra days if baby is okay. It will be a little boring for our visitors, but the most important thing is waiting until the baby and my body are really ready.

I'm going to acupuncture today too, so hopefully that will give me a boost as well. I feel the most on the nights after acu, so I think it is doing something...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

40weeks minus 1 day

Hopefully my last belly pic (for awhile!):

I'm measuring ~38weeks, depending on who the midwife is! So she still has a little room to grow.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Update to Bells Palsy

I think it *might* be getting a little better. I'm in a lot of pain on my left ear only at night for some reason, but I think I can turn up the corner of my mouth now?! I tried to take a picture, but honestly, no one could probably tell.

I would love it if this crap goes away soon!

I give up!

Okay, I have no idea when this kid is coming?! Sometimes I feel like it is really close, but then I start feeling good and don't think she'll be here for awhile.

In all reality, I'm not *that* uncomfortable. I feel big and it is hard to bend over and turn over in bed and the Bell's Palsy sucks, but I'm not in pain or swelling.

But I was really down last week, wondering when she would come-- I think they got me all excited. I was the same 3cm+ on Friday and this midwife didn't seem too concerned-- although she said something about who would be on call over the weekend?! whatever!

I was also feeling a little anxious because my sister is coming this weekend and Mark's parents will be here next week, and there may not be a baby. Plus, I don't want to go into labor when we have people here-- I think it will stress me out to have anyone around, except Mark. I don't want my mom or anyone at the hospital until after she is here.

But more than that, I don't want to be induced. I hope it won't come to that-- I don't think there is much risk of the baby getting too big, since I'm measuring ~38w, and I don't think they really start looking at it until after 41w. I shouldn't think about it now.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Getting closer?

Well, last night was miserable, so maybe I'm actually getting closer?

We went to sushi, and got some extra spicy rolls. I felt awful just before bed-- kind of like bad indigestion, but nothing really helped. Then the Bell's Palsy started this pain behind my ear that would NOT go away. I was able to sleep with a heating pad on my head behind my ear. Plus, she was rolling and moving around like crazy last night. I hope she wasn't bothered by the spicy food. Poor baby! I also lost my 'mucus plug' this morning. I'll spare the details, but it is also a good sign labor is coming.

This morning I woke up and still felt pretty bad, but amazingly I went to acupuncture and now feel soooo much better! It was strange because he put in a few needles and asked "does your tummy feel better?" and I realized "YES! It does!" Wow-- amazing! He mainly worked on labor stuff today because I'm improving on my face, but the biggest work will probably come after she is here.

So no baby yet, but maybe soon?!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Productive Day

I'm feeling better today. I had acupuncture this morning, so I'm not sure if it was that or just getting out of the house?

I tackled a couple things that I really needed to get done that would be a lot harder after she is here-- getting on Mark's dental plan, since I'd have to do COBRA for mine. Thank goodness I'm already on his medical!

And I also did more to fight back on my disability. I don't even know if I'll get the money, but I want them to deny me because of employment, NOT because of some idiot who didn't even call my doctor. I got my medical forms and a doctor's note saying my last day of work was Jan 15, so hopefully that is enough!

I've also been trying to get in touch with HR about my severance. They only want to give me 4 weeks, even though I have worked there for 6 years, meaning I should get 6 weeks. I took a leave while we moved, but I was always employed by them. I think it is still going to be a fight, and I'm not hopeful. But they need to answer my questions. And as much as I dread doing this, I know it won't be easier after the baby is here!

So overall, probably good she hasn't come yet! Now we're hoping for Thursday because that is my mother-in-law and Mark's birthdays! It will be 3 generations born on Feb 5th! And then I don't need to get Mark a present, right?! :) And then most of you who took my poll might be right-- 39th week!

Monday, February 2, 2009

still waiting...

I felt like she might be coming this weekend, but we're still waiting! I would be surprised if it takes another week, but we'll see...

I have felt pretty down the past couple of days. I think it is just being at home and the Bell's Palsy and just waiting. I just don't feel perky or excited about anything. Usually if I feel this way, getting out of the house or being active helps, but in this case, I just feel exhausted. I think it is more of a hormonal thing. I hope when the baby comes, I'll be full of all those "love" hormones, that I'll be able to shake this. Mark is a very calming influence, which is nice. He has been making me walk a ton to try to bring on the labor-- he's ready to meet his baby!

I got a stupid letter from disability saying my doctor never called them back, so they closed my case. Last week they left me a message and I called them back with the right extension since they had just been calling the nurse's line, but apparently they closed it anyway. Annoying! So now I have to chase down the medical records in order for them to reopen my case. As if I needed something else to do, but I AM doing it. I think this is part of their game to deny people what they are owed.

I also haven't called about my severance. Or I just did tonight, but had to leave a message. I have been feeling so unmotivated to fight with them. And I really wanted to come at them from a place of strength, which I really haven't been feeling. But I think I can do it now-- I feel up for a fight.

I am uncomfortable, but I'm still sleeping well, so I can be happy about that. Right now I'm feeling the baby simultaneously kick and punch me as she tries to spread out (no more room lady!). And now it is causing a contraction. She's got to be coming soon, right?!