Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's A...... {Baby D 4.0 birth story part 2}

(Part 1) [warning, there are some tasteful, but could be considered graphic, birth pictures to follow]

So! The whole room was prettty unprepared when I said the baby was coming - including Mike and my mom!

Our midwife said "are you sure?" checked and said some version of "yep, you're sure - that baby is coming!" Nothing was ready in the room - in fact, I was still wearing those awesome mesh underwear and a pad - that was super fun to try to get off in a hurry!

Once we took the 90 seconds or so to get as situated as possible I could push when I wanted to. I stayed on my left side the whole time because that was most comfortable. I remember thinking "there is NO WAY I can lay on my back right now" I held up my right leg and honestly, the contractions did all the work.

I remember hearing about these "pushing contractions" in our Bradley classes years ago and let me tell you something, the body does such awesome work. I was really deep in my own head at this point and so laser focused on the end game - I let the contractions do the majority of the work and just waited it out.

My midwife let me dictate all of the parts of delivery - I pushed when I needed to and listened as best I could. She reminded me that my water hadn't broken yet so she might ask me to stop pushing to avoid getting sprayed in the face! Honestly I don't remember a lot of what anyone might have said to me or what I might have said, but I think I was pretty quiet and again, focused.

There weren't many contractions that happened and I passed right by the ring of fire. Maybe because the sac was still intact, delivery didn't hurt at all - in fact, it was the least amount of discomfort, kind of like birthing a water balloon paired with relief.

I couldn't believe how easy this delivery was, I didn't even break a sweat! I had a single, brief moment of thinking "come out now baby" but then I felt that squirmy little bottle wiggle on out!

One of the things we (I) really wanted was for Mike to announce the sex of the baby. He probably said "it's a boy" three or four times before I really "heard" him.

And then Sara said "reach down and grab your son"

And then it hit me. A BOY BABY!

I looked into HIS eyes, stared at his sweet face and instantly declared "He looks like Vivian" and thought a million times, I can't believe it's a he!

As of 4:01 am on April 9, 2017 this boy was in our world now.

And he needed a name. We had a few ideas for names but Mike was in charge of picking. A few names sort of immediately didn't fit and we were between two. We stared at him and said the names a few times until one fit the best. It was something we agonized over for months and suddenly it was the easiest choice in the world.

I grew this child - a child I really, truly wasn't sure would come to be after the journey to get pregnant this time.

But here HE was. In my arms, safe and sound.

We prayed so hard for this - for the safe passage of another tiny human into our family. And that prayer was answered so abundantly and in ways we couldn't have imagined.

Samuel Michael - what did we ever do without you in our lives? 

Gianna's birth story
Aleesia's birth story
Vivian's birth story

*all photos by the awesome Christine at Bella Rose Photography 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ready To Meet You {Baby D 4.0 birth story part 1}

As I neared the end of my pregnancy I was still feeling fantastic – large and in charge, but overall really great. As happens when have several other humans to care for, I really just wanted to make it through a few appointments and meetings and a work deadline before this baby arrived. Once I hit those few things, a few days before my due date, I was ready to have a baby! I had been practicing regular meditation, using essential oils and trying to maintain a positive mental attitude in preparation for labor and delivery.
As with Aleesia and Vivian, I was planning on going natural and declined any cervical checks until I was 39 weeks, half expecting (assuming?) to be at 4cm, have a membrane sweep and go into labor shortlly after. Except that I was only about 2cm and while I did have her sweep my membranes at that appointment and it made some contrations happen, I wasn’t really that hopeful afterwards. I tried not to be frustrated, but I was a little bit. I had made it through all of my “must do” things on my list, was feeling great but still ready to know if this was a girl baby or a boy one! To appease my frustrations, I did a fun comparison of baby bellies – this one got lots of boy votes!
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The next day, a Friday, was my last scheduled work day and I spent my lunch walking around the mall with the kiddos! Still not super helpful in the “get baby out” game, but we tried out the new double stroller and the girls gave it 2 thumbs up! And Mike and I were able to get a little mall walking date in because my mom is super awesome.
On Saturday morning Aleesia had a class at the Y, then we went to a community easter egg hunt, and dropped the older girls off at the request of their grandparents.
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While the big girls were gone and the little girl was napping, I decided to grab a smoothie and try to fall asleep to some meditation. I’d been practicing meditation and using essential oils throughout this pregnancy, so it felt like the right thing to do. I was a little bummed that I wasn’t having a baby yet, so I told myself to rest/relax, the baby will come when the baby wants to come, and I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was having contractions. I laid there for a little while and the contractions kept coming – I knew for sure this was the beginning of the real deal.
Mike was supposed to work that night, so we got things situated on that end and the girls taken care of (thanks to awesome grandparents and aunts!) and headed to the hospital around 6:30/7.
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We were in triage for a little while and a few of my blood pressure readings were higher than normal (because they were at the beginning of contractions!) so I couldn’t walk around, which frustrated me. At one point, they tried to tell me they wanted me to go home for early labor and come back and I basically told them hell no! Before they had a chance to discharge me, my contractions got stronger and the resident decided to recheck me for progress and I was at 5cm – it was most definitly baby time!
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We got into our delivery room about 11:30/12am and I was so ready for this. I met our midwife, Sarah, for the first time and was so excited by her calm presence – I knew this was going to be great. By the time our awesome birth photographer got there I was in a good groove – contractions were coming strong and steady and I was able to focus through them without much of an issue.
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Between them I was still feeling great!
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We walked around to keep things moving along. You can tell the progression of contraction strength by the progression of how I look – hair went up, jacket and glasses came off!
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There was a point when I felt the contractions coming along stronger and faster at which point my midwife came in and I asked her to check me for the first time.
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I was starting to head deeeeep into labor land and losing my words. As she was checking things, I started to feel the transition-shakes coming on. She told me I was at 7cm but I knew that was about to change quickly.
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I worked my way through a few contractions sitting up and out came the uncontrollable labor sounds – I was trying to keep my body relaxed but it wasn’t easy. I rolled to my left side which I knew was going to be really uncomfortable so I was very thankful for the calm voice and hand massage from my midwife to get me through it.
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She sat with me for 2 contractions and was getting ready to leave when on that third contraction I felt the baby crowning to which I yelled as calmly as possible “baby is coming NOW, I need to push” to a very unprepared room!
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