Me & Troy!

Me & Troy!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Jack's Birth

Early labor started as prodromal labor 2-3 hours a night 3-4x a week for like 3 weeks around 36-37 weeks... then on Wednesday (4/8) I woke up at one AM and strong, painful contractions were coming every 7 minutes, but weren't getting closer. They were so strong I couldn't sleep. I made Troy take me out to breakfast at TC Eggington's in the morning, just in case this was it and this would be my last meal before things got real.

While we were at breakfast this horrible wall of fatigue hit and fortunately, my body recognized it needed to shut this labor down. The fatigue was stronger than the contractions. They eventually spaced out and stopped completely after going for about 10 hours. That night I decided to go to bed early, JUST IN CASE it happened again. So I got a solid 6 hours, mostly thanks to my heating pad.

Around 330 I woke up and they were every 7 minutes again and too strong to sleep through. I texted Troy's boss at 6 and told him I thought it might be baby day, so I had turned off Troy's alarm to let him sleep, because he was going to need it. Troy and Autumn got up a little later and I told him I didn't think he was going in that day, and I had told my mom to come. Well... the freaking things spaced out again! This was good I guess, because it allowed me to sleep for a couple more hours.

At 10 we went to the midwife and I got my membranes swept. He had turned ROT, so she suggested some things and I asked if the Miles Circuit would be a good idea. She said that would be a good idea, so we sent Autumn to my mom's while we went home and I did the Miles Circuit. Things started to get a bit more intense, but when I felt my belly he was posterior. So I texted the doula and told her I was going to rest, but even though they were coming every 4 minutes, I was hesitant to believe it because I had no mucus plug or bloody show. She told me to lay down and see if they kept coming. Well. They did.

At this point my friend, Rachel, who was in Utah texting me, was stressing out because I was obviously in labor and no one was at the house. I was like, I am way too coherent for this to be labor. I was worried I would get everyone here, and not even really be in labor, and everyone would be mad at me. Well... It turns out she was right... It would have been the ideal time to get everyone there, but Troy and I were both just sure that we had seen how I am in active labor, and this was NOT it! I was way too calm and collected and coping way too well. But I decided that the timer said it was active labor so I better get everyone there in an hour or so. Troy started on his list of birth preparations like filling the tub with air and hot water. It was a longer process than we anticipated... or maybe it was just the birth was much shorter. :)

The doula, Julie, and my talented photographer friend Ashley were coming in about an hour. The midwife, Crystal, was ready to come as soon as I decided I needed her and was just a short 5 minutes away. I decided I wanted to look cute in pictures so I asked my sister to come do my hair. I took a shower and it felt sooooooo good. But I had to get out fast because my sister was coming. At this point the contractions were getting stronger to the point my hormones were making me shake. Alright, maaaaybe this might be a little real.

My mom came and things were getting stronger and I had to start to vocalize through contractions and grab walls, doorways and counters to sway through contractions. My mom was on snack and hydration duty for me. Little did we know it would go so fast that the only time anyone would eat would be after all was said and done. My sister arrived and asked where I wanted to sit to do my hair. I laughed and was like... no. Well I decided I could sit on the birthing ball. So she did my hair and I asked her to make cake with Autumn for the baby's birthday and told her, 'This is why I waited until labor to ask. You have to say yes now.' She laughed and was like, 'I will humor you.' I texted the midwife and told her things were getting more intense so maybe she should come, but it wasn't urgent so no need to rush. Around about now I started to feel a little head rush as the hormones were kicking in to help me to cope. I checked on baby again and he had moved to ROA. (Yay!) That was the last time I personally checked on him to see how his position was.

Julie walked in around 4 after I had called to tell her to leave the driveway open for midwives, but due to contractions, I had to pass the phone to Troy because I couldn't do anything except focus on vocalizing through the contraction. Things were definitely stepping up to the next level. In my head it went from conversational breaks to wanting to just say 'Don't talk to me, but DO NOT LEAVE ME!' I was feeling myself getting into the zone to focus on the task at hand. However, I was still totally aware of my surroundings and the people, unlike last time where I went so far into labor land that I was absolutely gone mentally and emotionally.

Julie told me she was concerned if I stayed standing up through contractions I would wear myself out. She suggested hands and knees and I think I told her no. She let me do another contraction standing and then suggested hands and knees again. So I reluctantly agreed to go lean over my ball to rock and relax through contractions. Julie helped me to open my hips so that Jack could descend. She used ice and a cool washcloth and massaged my back and helped me through. She asked me if noises were bothering me, and they weren't. My biggest concern was feeling like I was going to wet myself. It was around about this time I considered joking and saying, 'Can I get the epidural now?' But I lost my desire to joke at all at this point and just kept telling Julie, 'It hurts!' She kept comforting me and telling me things like, 'I know it does, but you are doing so good!'

I kept wanting to ask her if she thought I was getting close to transition or not, but was really scared of the answer. If it was no, then I had a long way to go. If it was yes... well, then I was about to go into transition. Around this moment, Crystal, my midwife walked through the door and Troy and my mom were talking in the kitchen. I was so angry that I just yelled, 'Be Quiet!' I heard Julie letting Crystal know this was a sudden change in my coping and so Crystal knew that meant she needed to get on getting birth supplies ready quickly. Apparently, I unintentionally lied when I told her it wasn't urgent. :) Whoops.

I heard Ashley come in, and I don't really know if Dianah, the other midwife, was there at this point or not. I remember everyone else coming in besides her. Julie convinced me we should move positions and go sit to labor on the toilet. I wasn't happy about this again, but crawled my way from the living room to the bathroom to labor on the toilet. Julie helped me remember to keep my pelvis open as I labored there and I was thinking, 'Dear heavens, PLEASE let this be transition!' The contractions were incredibly strong and I could feel his head descending into the birth canal. I labored there and I kept telling Julie, 'This hurts so much,' 'I don't want to do this,' 'I can't do this for several more hours,' and 'Is it just me or is this going fast?' between contractions. She helped me rock through them and breathe through them and said, 'We are going to rock this baby out.' I was shocked at how quiet I was compared to Autumn's birth. I was aware of the baby and not deep in labor land, although it may have looked that way from the outside.

My brain kept telling me all the kinds of things I have spent the last couple of years studying and affirmations kept coming to mind. Some of them I couldn't remember the whole affirmation in the moment so I would hold on to pieces that I could... "Soften, open, release," "I relinquish control," and "This is for someone I love as much as Autumn," were the ones I used the most. I also focussed on my pain coping techniques from Birthing From Within. The most useful was, 'Focus on your out breath," followed by "Breathe, see, hear, touch."

I asked Julie to have the midwife come check the baby, and the midwife told me she was actually just on her way in to do that. When she came in the dark bathroom she used such a calm, soft voice and it really contributed to the sense of peace at the birth. They listen to baby's heart during contractions to be sure baby is responding appropriately. He was doing great and exactly what he should, however, I couldn't hear it on the Doppler during my contraction at first. I heard it after what was probably a few seconds, but if it wasn't for everyone around me telling me they could hear his heart, I would have been scared. They did a great job at meeting me where I was at and assuring me all was well. I could feel him SO low in the birth canal I knew it wouldn't be long, and I began aggressively requesting the tub around now. But since Troy and I weren't sure about an hour earlier... it wasn't ready. (The thought in my head at that specific moment: Why didn't I listen to Rachel and we could have been an hour+ ahead on this filling the pool business?)

Julie kept telling me I was closer than I thought and that I was doing better than most at this stage. Then my water broke. I had an, 'Oh $&!;#*€#,!' Moment in my head because I knew water breaking intensifies the following contractions. Crystal came in to check the fluid to be sure it was clear of meconium. It was, but when she checked I had finally lost my plug and had bloody show. Now I finally knew I was really in labor! ;) They told me the tub would be ready in a few more minutes. Just 2 more contractions and I could get in. Well, the next 2 contractions were pushing contractions. I had been feeling the baby in my birth canal for awhile now, and had to keep reaching down to be sure I wasn't going to have my baby in the toilet.

The second I heard the hose turn off in the tub, I bolted straight for the tub and jumped in on hands and knees and my body was pushing like there was no tomorrow. Troy was sitting on our bed and I had my head on the side of the pool by him, and he rubbed my cheek between pushes and it was so nice. Crystal told me if I wanted my top off for skin to skin, this would be the time because I wouldn't have another chance. I took my tank top off and resumed pushing with the urge. She kept reminding me to take it slowly and kept telling me I was stretching beautifully and kept my mind on preserving my perineum, not just getting baby out. I focused on allowing my body to do the pushing with contractions and not pushing any more than that. He came quickly, but only as fast as my body was telling me to... and as such, I totally understand the ring of fire references now. That was an intense moment in time. Haha.

I managed to push his head out and then my contractions stopped as I felt him wiggling in the birth canal to find a position to get his shoulders out. His head was out for 3 minutes under the water (which is fine - he had been living in fluid for 9 months prior and still was receiving oxygen via the placenta, so this truly wasn't a problem, it was just a bit longer than usual) and then Crystal had me move one foot up by my hands as she gently helped him rotate and I was then able to push his shoulders out. And then his hips were caught, so I had to push again and he was out at 5:22. Troy and I laugh because this is what our texts to friends look like, '3:30 - Meh... I'm not sure. Probably tomorrow.' '5:30 - He is here.' (Ok, we weren't texting that quickly after, but you get the idea.)

His head had come above water in the process so I moved over to get in a position to take him since he couldn't be under water anymore and I flipped over and he went on my chest and he gave us a little cry and then decided it was time to nap. I was freaked out by that briefly, but Crystal had her stethoscope out listening to his lungs and heart and told me, nope, he's fine. (At a postpartum visit she told me she knew he was fine, because she had seen this once before where the baby came out completely relaxed.) He really was just taking a nap. There was a bunch of cheesy vernix floating in the water and once he decided to interact a little, he kept sticking his tongue out at us. I told him I was so glad he was here, thank you for coming, and happy birthday.

I spent the next half hour repeatedly trying to deliver the placenta but it wasn't coming. It has released from my uterus but had suctioned basically inside the birth the birth canal. The 'rules' say mom has to deliver the placenta in 60 minutes at a homebirth, so I knew the clock was ticking. Troy took off his shirt so that he could take Jack and they had some sweet snuggle time while we dealt with this. Crystal helped put my mind at ease about the time limit. Around half an hour we decided to try to deliver it 'on land'. Dianah set up a path and orchestrated chux pads between the tub and my bed to protect the carpet from all the birthiness. We moved to the bed and it came out quickly there.

I had minimal tearing, which was such a relief after Autumn. It only required the equivalent of one temporary stitch that was removed 2 days later. The midwives kept an eye on us for awhile, and I took some tinctures, I think for cramping and bleeding that helped and ibuprofen. I had snacks and the midwives cleaned up everything and set up a siphon so that the tub would drain overnight. After they were sure we were stable they gave us directions and Crystal has remained on call for us 24/7 in my postpartum period. We haven't had anything worse than after birth contractions to call about, though. :) She came and did a follow up visit on Saturday and it was so great to have her fill in some missing pieces in my birth story, as did Julie while she worked as a postpartum doula a couple of days when Troy had to work that first week.

They asked me if I wanted to see the placenta... um.... YES! (I know, so weird.) Diana gave me a glove and showed me all sorts of things about it, and I got to feel it and stretch the amniotic sac. It was amazing and looked so much bigger and healthier than Autumn's. It was very cool.

My biggest shock with this birth was how efficiently my body worked, and how calm, peaceful and positive the experience was. Yes, it hurt. But somehow pain and  peace were there simultaneously. It wasn't even a matter of looking back on it, it wasn't bad, it was peaceful IN THE MOMENT. I am still trying to process how something could hurt so much but be so perfect at the exact same time. It is causing a major paradigm shift on my thoughts about birth, in a very good way.


Oh, and almost as awesome as the baby, was not having to take Diclegis or Zofran that night, or at all since giving birth, AND not being nauseous anymore! Birth cured my HG. :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Baby Shower

Amazon Wish List

Babies R Us Registry

Target Registry

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapers are not for the faint of heart.  However, anything that rocks rarely is.  I acquired a stash from a mom who was done having babies and was selling her stash through Craigslist.  I was so excited because it had big names in it like Fuzzibunz and BumGenius. We started cloth diapering after my post partum healing was done, and I was disappointed at how leaky they were! My sister in law was diapering two kiddos and started to get into cloth diapering herself.  It really gave me the push to figure this out.

Buying Diapers

Like I said above, I bought a stash off of Craigslist and did a thorough wash to start.  This can be a great way to start, however instead of just washing, I recommend stripping them (see below). Diapers can go for around $18+/diaper, and that’s just crazy.  Don’t do it. My expensive brands are not my favorite.  You are really paying for the brand name, not the quality of diaper.

The same SIL I mentioned above kept talking about these co-ops on Facebook and I was thinking, “What the crap are you talking about!?” She explained to be that there are groups on FB that get together and buy various things from companies at wholesale and then they ship it to you for a small amount of money for their time.

So get into a co-op is my first tip.  Here are links for my three favorites: – Generally, these ladies are really on top of things and fabulous about keeping up with things and are great. – Renee is really chill and my kinda person!  There aren’t a ton of buys going on all the time here, but she is great about keeping in touch and answering questions. – These ladies are really organized and on top of things as well.  I haven’t experienced anything remotely shady or frustrating on this page.

Your options for diapers vary. There are flats, prefolds, insert-types (like WeeGro), or pockets.  Maybe there are more, but these are the kinds I have or have used.  If you have hard water, I highly recommend flats or prefolds.  The cotton doesn’t hold on to the ammonia smell like blends do, but I will get into that more later.

My stash is mostly pockets.  Pockets are super easy because you simply stick an insert in them on put it on the baby very similarly to how you would put a disposable diaper on. Flats and prefolds are less daddy or wiggly baby friendly, as you have to get the inside layer of the diaper on, use a Snappi to keep it on, then put a cover over it. These are more similar to the cloth diapers our parents and grandparents used.  Prefolds are a bit better, but flats are the same exact thing with fancier covers.

The brands of pockets that I love most are Kawaii (especially their Goodnight/Heavy Wetters – or GNHWs), Sunbabys and JC Trade – also referred to as Cartoons, I believe. For inserts, I love the ones that come with Kawaii or I love BabyLand inserts.  The CBI (Charcoal Bamboo Inserts) and Bamboo are my favorites, but the microfiber are fabulous too. I prefer these CBI because they are much more flexible than the other CBI I have tried. 

I also like to buy liners through co-ops whenever possible, but also get them off of Amazon.  If your baby is not Exclusively Breast Fed (EBF) then you will DEFINITELY want these.  You put them in the diaper, and it catches most of the poop and you simply dump the liner into the toilet, let it sit for a couple minutes and flush. Most of your clean up is done!

Another thing you want to buy if your baby is not EBF is a sprayer to connect to your toilet.  You can get one through Amazon or a co-op, but be sure that the connector is metal!!!! We bought one that was plastic and it broke and flooded our bathroom. Luckily those middle of the night feeds woke me up before there was real damage. We simply connected it with a tube with a metal connector and have had no problems since.

I will update with more later.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dairy-free Chicken Pot Pie

Dairy free pie crust (for top and bottom - Either store-bought or homemade)
1/3 C Vegan butter
1/3 C Flour
1/3 C Chopped onion
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1  3/4 C Chicken broth
2/3 C dairy free milk alternative
1-2 C cooked Chicken (with lemon pepper seasoning)
2 C Chopped vegetables of choice (I.e. carrots celery potatoes or peas)

Melt "butter" in a sauce pan on the stove over low heat. Once the butter is melted add the flour, salt, & pepper until bubbly. Add the chicken broth and milk alternative and bring contents of pot to a boil. 

While you are waiting for this to come to a boil, put your piecrust bottom in a pie tin. Poke the crust with a fork so that there are several small holes in the bottom of this crust. Pour your cooked chicken and vegetables into the crust. After the contents of the saucepan come to a boil, allow it to boil for one minute. Then pour over the chicken and veggies in the pie tin. Press the top pie crust over the contents of the pie tin, and cut slices in the dough to release air and heat while baking. 

Bake uncovered at 425°F for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before enjoying!

Credit to Alisia Griffith for original recipe from which the dairy free version is derived. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Birth Story

As my husband and I have talked about the day our sweet baby Autumn was born over the last few days, I have found that my perception of my birth experience and reality are two different stories entirely. I started to discover this was the case when a day or so ago, I was going through my email and discovered that as I was hitting transition I had emailed the instructor from my birthing classes and told her 'I'm so not coping well' and asked her to help me refocus. I have ZERO recollection of this, and doesn't that seem like the kind of thing you call someone about, not email? Upon telling Troy about this discovery there were a couple other details that I have no memory of. For example, it was snowing as we drove to the birth center, and the windshield wiper broke on the way in the snowfall. So there you have my disclaimer. What is to follow may not be accurate, but it is my perception of reality that day. 

About two weeks before I had Autumn I had prodromal labor begin. This ranged from some of the early signs of labor and mild contractions through actually having labor start then stop. Troy was studying for his final CPA exam on the 11th so we didn't want to trigger labor until after that was over. Once the test was over, we started doing a few things to get labor going. It all increased prodromal labor, but nothing progressed. It turns out that these are signs of your being posterior. I was trying to be positive and be a trooper, and genuinely didn't feel miserable 90% of the time. I actually enjoyed the end of my pregnancy more than any other time. 

So... I wake up on the morning of the 17th from a dream that I am in church and going into labor. The contractions are getting more intense in my dream to the point they actually wake me up and I realize that my subconscious was taking my real pain and incorporating it into my dream. I thought this was funny and just another tease so I told a group I participate in about it, but was convinced it would stop just like it had repeatedly done over the last two weeks. They convinced me to start timing things and call my midwife when my contractions dropped suddenly from 6 and a half minutes apart to 3 and a half. The pain was real, but it was very manageable, so I didn't think it was 'it'. I called the emergency line at the midwifery and talked with Karin, and told her what was going on and we decided to meet at nine. However, nine was when the next midwife takes over being on call. So Karin told me that she would talk to Onica, who would meet me at 9 to check things out.

We met Onica at the birth center, and I told her about what was going on, but that I wasn't convinced this was 'it'. She checked me and I had barely progressed from my previous appointment in dilation but was more effaced. She asked if I would like a membrane sweep to help take the painful part of a contraction from about 20 seconds and move things along. I agreed and then she suggested a handful of activities to get the baby to move down and intensify and lengthen my contractions. She also told me to get more food on my belly to prepare for what a marathon of sorts. 

So Troy and I went to go to the mall to start stair climbing, but got there and it was closed. (Duh, who goes shopping at 9:30 on a Sunday!?) Then we realized that the building he works in has 14 flights of stairs and no competition on a Sunday. So we went to the Frontier Building and began stair climbing in a way to open the pelvis and get things going. She told me to take the stairs two at a time, while taking as wide of steps as possible, by putting my left foot as far to the left as possible and the right foot as far to the right as possible. I was suddenly glad we were in this quiet building doing this and not in the mall with people watching me climb stairs this way at 9 months pregnant. 

By about the third floor I noticed things were intensifying. I still didn't believe this was 'it'. We continued to climb to the top of the building stopping every few minutes to breathe through contractions. We got to the top of the building and just rode the elevator down. 

I had only had a bagel with cream cheese that morning so we figured we better go get a solid meal in me. We tried all the ihop type places, but it was a Sunday morning and apparently that is THE time to go to these places. I considered going in and announcing to those waiting that I was in labor and wanted one last solid meal, and could I please cut in line? But then I felt dumb even considering that and there was no way waiting for an hour to get in would go well in labor, so we just went to McDonalds and grabbed something. 

We went home to let me rest and see what my body was doing by noon. I was able to rest through some contractions, and called Onica at noon to touch base. Contractions were more intense and longer, but the painful part was only running about 45 seconds, so we agreed to check back in an hour. In this hour, my body needed movement to cope, so I spent my contractions walking back and forth from one end of the apartment to the other. We checked back at one, and agreed to meet at 1:30 to see how things were going. 

Just before we left, my friend Kim came to pick up our puppy, Trixie, to watch her fora few days in case the baby actually was coming. I was still in denial and was waiting for it to stop or space out, but thought 'just in case' we better have them take her. I had been awake for 8 hours contracting every 4 minutes on average and was barely beginning to think, 'Maybe...'

So we headed to the Midwifery again to get checked. At that point it was the longest car ride of my life. I had to shout through contractions since I couldn't move around. We got there and Jen, who had taught the birthing class we took was there teaching another class. She came back to check and see how things were going and offered to come help at our birth if we wanted. She suggested a few things to try to get Autumn out of the posterior position. 

Onica checked me and I had only progressed to a two and she knew that we had a long birth ahead of us, so she gave us some options. One was to take a sleeping pill to help me get a little rest and energy before the long night we were anticipating. She also suggested a few things to get Autumn out of the position she was in. She did a more extensive sweep to help out, since I was in a slow progressing labor. We then made the long (in reality we are talking 10-15 minutes) drive home.

We got home and I decided to try a couple of the things, one which helped with coping with the pain was hanging on to the towel rod in a deep squat while moving side to side with my hips. The pill started to kick in, so I decided to go to laying on my side with several pillows under my right leg through several contractions. This is where the pill kicked in and things start to get fuzzy for me. I ripped all the tags off the pillows during contractions and actually ripped a hole in my pillow. I would just whimper and say, 'Please move baby.' Then all I remember is laying on the bathroom floor after having the urge to strip down completely, and waking up for contractions on top of my pile of clothes on the floor. There was bloody show and plug somewhere in that fog too. Maybe that was earlier. But I think it was here-ish. 

Troy kept checking on me and asking what I needed and took great care of me all day. At 6 we were to check back in with Onica. 6 o'clock came and Troy came to check and see what to tell her. I told him I didn't want to get in the car, and didn't think I had progressed enough to be admitted anyway. He told Onica this, and she said she would come to our apartment to check me so I didn't have to get in the car. (Show me an OB who'll do that for a laboring patient!) 

Onica came and checked me. I had gone from a 2 to a 4 in those 4 hours. Onica said she helped me out with another stretch, pushing it to a 5 and I had a good deal of bloody show at this point. She told me that things were going to be kicking their way up to the next gear. She asked if we had eaten and said she was going to go grab food and would meet us at the birth center in 45 minutes. A contraction hit and when I was starting to lose my focus during a contraction, and started screaming, she said to me 'Low tones, Mama' and had me say 'Ohhhhh' with her in a low tone through the contraction. The 45 minute plan was scrapped and she said for us to head to the birth center.

This is when I must have hit labor land. I remember next to nothing from here on out, so a majority of this is what I have been told. Troy took the bag out to the car, then came in to get me. He escorted me to my seat and got out because it was snowing quite a bit, and the windshield wipers had frozen to the windshield. The driver side blade ended up breaking off when he was removing it from the windshield. He had to pull some sort of MacGuyver move and reattached the broken blade. 

He says he was doing this for a good ten minutes. I have no memory of it. While he was doing this, I apparently also emailed Jen to get her help. Somehow email seemed like the logical way to reach her in such a time sensitive case? I have no idea.

We got to the center and met with Onica in the midwifery then headed into the birthing room. I wanted to get into the water, and Onica showed Troy what to do with the shower head for my back labor and the tub filled from the runoff. I actually took off my bottoms as fast as possible and jumped in the water before taking off my shirt, because I wanted the water so badly. 

I labored with a pad under my knees leaning over the edge of the tub. The contractions were intense and I latched on to the 'Ohhhhh' trick through every contraction from here on out. The water was heavenly, but started to slow things down. Troy tried getting me to focus on my beads and as my 'Ohhhh' was getting more intense and turning panicked, he said for me to focus on the beads, and I just growled, 'I AM!' at him. Poor guy. 

He turned on music I had requested, which provided comfort and at the same time seemed like I was in a completely different world... It was like a reminder that the other world still existed and gave me a distant connection when I hit the depths of labor land and was in my own world. (Think of the trigger music in Inception when they are in the dreams that comes from outside the dream.) 

Jen, who I had emailed had tried emailing me back to get my number and had found it and tried calling me. I obviously wasn't paying attention to my phone, so she called Onica to find out if I would like her to come. She got there while I was in the tub still. 

Once the contractions were slowing down from the relief of the water, the midwife gave me options. They were to get out of the water and labor 'on land' for a while or break my water bag to move things forward. I had heard people say how much more intense contractions get after the bag breaks so I got out of the water and labored on my knees bent over the birthing ball. When contractions would hit I would continue to say 'Ohhhh' and rock with my upper body side to side. I had intense back labor from her being posterior, so while contracting Jen used acupressure on my sacrum and hips. I remember when I was trying to figure out what my body wanted to do, Jen told me, 'This is YOUR birth. Do what YOU need to do.' It was something I latched onto mentally for the rest of the birth. 

The point came where this wasn't doing the trick as well and my 'Ohhh's needed to not turn into screams. It was time to try something different. I moved to labor on the toilet, facing backwards to open the pelvis, and a pillow on the back to rest on. I was in transition deeply at this point and the contractions seemed to last forever. 

Onica and Jen were constantly having to remind me to use low tones and not lose control. They kept telling me to stay on top of the contractions and not let the contractions take over. I needed to be the one in control. It was extremely difficult and my low tones would turn to screaming but they helped me focus and bring them down. 

After a while I started to notice the urge to push with contractions but kept thinking, 'I can't be done, this isn't the end' so I kept fighting the urge. It was the most intense sensation. 

Finally someone said to move and I just said that I wanted to get back in the water. I remember being told I had earned that, and could. I got in the water and laid down and I felt a little sheepish when I said 'I want to push.' I felt like there was no way I could be done and they would tell me no. Of course I was shocked when Onica said, 'Okay!' She said she was going to check me on the next contraction, just to be sure. 

I ended up having a tiny lip, but was dilated enough to push. She had me feel the water bag so that I could see how close I was, and it was RIGHT THERE. Troy held my right foot for leverage as I used the structure of the tub on my left. I pushed with the urge and did warrior mama shouts as I felt the baby descending in the birth canal.

After a few contractions I felt an intense pop and rush of fluid as my amniotic sac burst into the water. The shape of her round head was extremely apparent as I felt it alone in the birth canal. After a few pushes, they told me to reach down and feel my baby. I felt the top of her head and was so excited that she had hair. A couple more pushes and she was fully crowning and soon after I noticed the whole head sticking out of me. 

Then I experienced what I have since read happens in posterior births where the shoulders get caught. Troy told me there was a sense of urgency surrounding this delay of me pushing her out. I had to push extra hard to get them out and then she slid right out of me, and Onica caught her and put her on my belly. This was 25 minutes after I started pushing. Troy told me I said in a bit of a whiny whimper, 'Ohhh, Baby!' 

She was COVERED in vernix and lanugo still, and we waited for the cord to stop pulsating in order to perform the delayed cord clamping. At one minute she scored 7/9 on the Apgar and at five minutes scored 8/9. Troy cut the cord while she and I had skin to skin time. 

The tub was drained around this time and Troy took Autumn for skin to skin time while I delivered the placenta. It was just a quick push and it came out, and Cindy, the birth assistant, bagged it up for us. I moved to the bed and we had skin to skin time and Cindy helped me begin breast feeding. Autumn caught on quickly, and it went well. 

Cindy also massaged my uterus and taught me how to do it myself once I got home. I also had only been drinking sips of sparkling Apple Cider throughout labor, so she got me to drink the rest of it to get my energy and strength back. 

Troy took the baby at this point to dress her while they assessed my tearing. Due to the extent of my tears, they called in the most experienced midwife to do my sutures. They wheeled me down to the midwifery to do it while Troy held Autumn. 

They used two packages of sutures but got me all sewn up, and Onica held my hand while Karin was sewing in parts where the lidocaine wouldn't take effect. Karin was awesome about telling me how she loves to quilt 
and so this is a fun challenge for her. I cannot begin express how much I love the midwives and incredible quality of care at Geneva Woods! I wish the six midwives there could move with us when we leave Alaska. 

Shortly after this I got dressed and we went home. Four hours after giving birth, we were headed home to recover in the peace, comfort and privacy of our own home. 

Recently on the Birth Without Fear blog they were having women write why they are amazing. My empowering birth experience and pregnancy has shown me I too am amazing. I am amazing because I am a hyperemesis survivor. I am amazing because I had a difficult pregnancy and trusted my body despite difficulties. I am amazing because I had to develop a dairy and egg free diet for much of my pregnancy. I am amazing because through counseling and hypnosis I was able to cope with my past and heal my body and soul. I am amazing because at 28 weeks pregnant I passed a kidney stone with minimal medical intervention for the pain. I am amazing because I used alternative medicines like Chiropractic and Myofascial massage to cope through the end of my pregnancy. I am amazing because I had two weeks of prodromal labor and didn't do anything against my birth plan to move things along before my baby and body were ready. I am amazing because after 18 hours of labor, I birthed my persistent posterior baby with nothing more than a sleeping pill mid-labor. I am amazing because my body made the most beautiful and perfect baby girl I have ever seen, and I am the one that did that. I simply had to trust my body to not fail me... And it didn't. Because as I have learned again and again over the last 41 weeks, I am amazing. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The First Trimester

I ended up having an AWFUL first trimester.  I’m still telling Troy there will be no more children.  I didn’t feel great, but I threw up the first day, and didn’t again for about two weeks.  The nausea was AWFUL, and it was worse every day.  Once those two weeks were up, however, all heck broke loose.  Troy’s mom left, and Troy left to go out of town the same day.  I ended up getting quite sick (THAT kind of sick) that day, and called the midwifery, where they were wanting me to keep trying things like ginger ale, sea bands and eating small meals.  I tried and failed. 

The next day I ‘got sick’ 6 times, and called and said that if they wouldn’t give me medicine I was going to switch providers, bawling, and desperate.  The LPN got me a midwife who when we talked about everything, she told me she would be seeing me in the morning.  My neighbor drove me to my appointment the next day, and they performed a test to check on the protein in my urine (ketones), and see how dehydrated I was.  Their specific office had run out of the tests, so they borrowed one from another office in the building.  It was different than their tests, and they looked at it and thought it was negative, but sent the nurse to the office where they borrowed the test to confirm. 

They, in the meantime, had brought me into a room and were talking to me about my ‘desire to medicate’, when the nurse opened the door and said, ‘Her ketones are literally off the charts.  She needs an IV NOW.’  Needless to say, I felt very vindicated.  I ended up spending my next 4 hours getting IV fluids (two full bags), and finally by the end I WANTED food.  My neighbor brought me a frosty, and then on the way home we stopped for another.

They put me on Zofran, which made it so that I could eat, and took my throwing up down to just a couple time times a day, and eventually I’ve gotten to the point where now it’s just a couple times a week.  I tried going back to work after this, but ended up spending most of my time in the bathroom, unable to function, so I’ve been off work until Mid-September, when a co-worker goes back to school.

The next 8 weeks were uneventful.  I’ve lived in my pajamas, and have been fighting a constant battle with my stomach.  I’ve also had very rough acid reflux, which has caused a range of problems. It’s been the reason for throwing up, my throat bleeding, an almost constant bubble in my swollen throat, and most recently my tongue bleeding, among other things.  It’s at the top of my list of things to talk about with the midwife at my next appointment.  I had been put on a couple of natural supplements for it early on, and they helped with my worst issues, but the tongue bleeding has pushed me over the edge, so I will be seeing what our next option is.

My other less severe symptoms were pretty typical.  I had some pretty bad fatigue that made me have a hard time breathing, but I’m starting to wonder again if this is acid reflux related.  My food aversions were extremely intense.  There are still words that are not allowed in our home because they make me want to hurl.  I was pretty weepy… Okay, I cried through Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.  So VERY weepy.  Troy hesitantly told the midwife that I am needy.  Ha.  It’s okay, I know it’s true.  I’ve struggled with staying hydrated as water itself has been one of my aversions.  I’ve had a lot of headaches and a sore back/muscles.

I had my 9 and 13 week appointments, and the midwives could find the heartbeat almost as soon as she put the Doppler down both times.  That’s always a relief!  I’ve had very low blood pressure, and eventually put on a whole ¼ pound.   They were happy with that considering how sick I’ve been, as they were anticipating that I could have lost weight.  Somehow I have to put on at a minimum 20 pounds, but more ideally 30.  However with my new appetite, that shouldn’t be a problem.  I want to eat all the food in the world.  All day long.  It’s really time consuming, and not nearly as fun as normal me would have thought.  Bummer.

This is me at 11 weeks

Needless to say, I’m not anxious to get pregnant again any time soon, and have been welcoming all the little bits of relief offered by the second trimester so far.  If I can just get the acid reflux under control, I will be one happy girl!  Less than 6 months to go… unless I’m 10+ days overdue.  Let’s hope not.