Saturday, December 31, 2016

Birth Story of Baby #4

Friday, December 23, 2016

10:30pm - I went to bed having 45-60 second long contractions about every 10-12 minutes. Sometimes they were uncomfortable enough that I timed them for a while when they would wake me up to see if they were getting closer together but they stayed at about 10-12 minutes all night.

Saturday, December 24, 2016
12-24-16 Due Date
Happy Due Date, Baby #4! And Merry Christmas Eve!

7:30am - I got up thinking that Baby would be arriving right on the due date. Surely, after contracting all night, things would pick up as I got out of bed and moving about in my day. I got dressed, fixed my hair, put on some make-up, etc, all with the assumption we would need to be heading to the hospital in the next few hours.

10:30am - We had eaten breakfast, gotten the kids ready for the day, put our hospital bags in the car, and my contractions were maybe a little more uncomfortable when they'd come, but not really getting closer together.

12:00pm - We decided to go for a family walk around the neighborhood to burn some energy from the kids and see if we could get some contractions coming on longer and stronger. They came a little closer together, like every 8ish minutes, but still nothing super noteworthy. It started to rain so we cut our walk short, but I planned to keep moving at home. We ate some lunch and hung around a bit and I got moving again. I actually got out my exercise step and did some up and down stepping in the living room.
On our family walk
At my last midwife appointment, Amanda told me about the Miles Circuit to help with optimal positioning of Baby. Based on the back labor I was having and all of Baby's movement on the front of my belly, I could tell Baby was not in the optimal position (head down but kind of sunny-side up) so I went through this circuit while the kids watched a movie. Example pics of going through the Miles Circuit:
Stay in this position for 30 minutes.
Move to this position for 30 minutes.
It had stopped raining so I went out to do the "get moving" part of the Miles Circuit and walked again on my own. I did some lunging and "curb walking," which felt kind of strange but helped keep me focused on something to do.
Curb walking = walking with one foot on the curb and the other on the street.
The point being to be upright and putting the pelvis in open, asymmetrical positions to help Baby move.
4:30pm - While actively moving I was able to work the contractions closer together, like every 5-8 minutes, but when I got home and relaxed they spaced back out a bit. I was starting to feel like things were stalling so I took about an hour nap.

When I got up from my nap I got right back to moving. I crawled around the room on my hands and knees, I cleaned the bathrooms, I vacuumed the whole house. Each time a contraction would come I would stop and either get in a hands and knees position with my butt in the air, sit on the exercise ball leaning forward, or stand leaning the small of my back against the kitchen counter for counter-pressure. Over the next couple hours the contractions continued about every 5-7 minutes, definitely increasing in level of discomfort, but I felt like they still weren't building so well on their own and that if I wasn't working in attempt to bring them on they weren't consistent.

8:30pm - Richard started getting the kids ready for bed and I got in the bathtub to try relaxing further and see what/if anything would happen with my contraction pattern. I added a few drops of clary sage essential oil to the bath and just soaked for a while. The contractions I had in the tub were strong and deep and I really had to focus on my breathing and relaxing head to toe through each of them but, again, they weren't really getting closer together.

Once I got out of the tub I felt like I just couldn't get warm and kind of had the shakes. I was feeling pretty tired after this day of labor so I was thinking about trying to sleep again for a while, even if only every few minutes between contractions. By the time we got the kids settled and in bed I decided that there was no point in trying to sleep because my contractions were really strong and I knew it would just make me feel angry to be awakened every few minutes by such pain. I finally asked Richard to start doing some counter pressure on my back for me and we talked back and forth about when/if we should head to the hospital. I really thought Baby's position had me stalled and that I wasn't ramping up to the 3-5 minutes because of it. However, the contractions were STRONG and they really were every 5 minutes at least on their own, so I texted my neighbor to come hang out at the house so we could make our way to the hospital.

10:45pm - We started driving to the hospital and I quickly decided that I did NOT want to be sitting up straight in the front seat for the whole ride. Richard pulled over and I got in the back seat where I could move around as I needed. We seriously hit almost every red light on the 10 mile drive between our house and hospital and I started really hating being in the car. I couldn't wait to get out when we pulled in the parking lot at the hospital.

11:15pm - The women's pavilion entrance was closed at this late hour so we had to go in the ER entrance. I checked in there, and they wheeled me up to labor and delivery. (I asked to walk but they said they couldn't let me.)

I got weighed and changed into a gown at labor and delivery triage and got hooked up to a monitor to listen to Baby. The nurse said she needed to check me and I asked her to wait until the next contraction passed and then to hurry so I could sit back up. Taking a contraction lying down is the WORST.

11:30pm - Contraction passed and I layed back for a check. It only took the nurse a second and she sat me back up saying 9cm. "What!?" I asked. "9cm," she confirmed. She quickly called down the hall to another nurse telling them to summon my on call midwife who was not yet at the hospital at that point. I had been mentally prepared for a 5-6cm report and was SO relieved to hear that all that work I'd been doing at home was productive and making great progress after all. And some things started making sense; like contractions were stronger and more painful and I was having the shakes because I was in transition!
Just arrived in our labor and delivery room. They wanted me on the monitor for a few more minutes since I had just gotten there but I didn't want to sit or lie down so this was my position of choice where Richard could jump in and do some counter pressure on my back for me.
My midwife, Yvonne, must not live far away because she was there in no time. I had originally planned on not having artificial rupture of membranes, but when Yvonne came in she said "I think we should break your water and have this baby. Then you'll feel much better!" Agreed. So she broke my water and then had me get into an almost stomach lying position with my left leg way up on a "peanut ball," which looks and feels like an exercise ball but is smaller and in the shape of a peanut. Baby's head was turned and not quite coming down, just as I suspected, so this position was good for opening up my pelvis and letting Baby's head turn and move down the rest of the way. After just a few (horrendous in that position) contractions I started involuntarily pushing a bit. Yvonne told me just to do what my body was telling me so I breathed low and deep through the beginning of a contraction and was quickly pushing by the end. She told me I was pushing enough now without intent that it was time to put some effort into it on the next contraction. I popped up to my hands and knees and pushed, grunted, and hollered through another contraction. "The baby is seriously right there about to come out, right!? It's almost over, right!?" I definitely said that.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

12:14am - Baby was OUT! I was still on hands and knees and could hear the crying and could kind of see but couldn't tell what it was yet. Yvonne passed the baby up between my legs into my hands and I pulled HER up to see. "It's a girl! Oh my gosh, she looks like Ava!" And then upon second look, "Holy cow, she looks just like Cade! All the way down to the red mark between her eyes."

Some volunteers at the hospital had made this beautiful blanket and hat to be given to the first baby born on Christmas day. Vera Renee was the proud recipient of this special gift. :)

Anyway, the whole experience with labor and delivery and then recovery at this hospital was FANTASTIC. They pretty much left us alone completely aside from the legitimately necessary checks. We had tons of skin to skin, bonding, breastfeeding, snuggling, family time when Rich brought the kids in to see us, etc. After all the talk and worry about this baby arriving too early, I think God was just showing off His perfect timing by having her born not just ALL the way full term, but even a few minutes after her due date and ON CHRISTMAS DAY! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Midwife Appointment - 12/22/16

I had an appointment with midwife Amanda this morning at 8:45. While I am not yet "overdue," I definitely did not want to do anything too invasive in attempts to get labor going, but she did check me (3cm, 50% effaced) and strip my membranes. She said if the membrane strip is going to help with anything it usually starts within the next 24 hours or so. So we'll see…

We also talked options for what happens when/if I go even beyond 41 weeks pregnant, but she said she doesn't expect me to still be pregnant that long and I'm thinking birth day will be before then too. Again, we'll see…

I know God has the perfect birthday planned for this sweet baby. <3 p="">

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016 - 37 weeks, 2 days

I am a complete 37 weeks, 2 days now. I had a couple bathroom sightings yesterday evening that lead me to believe some changes are happening… I've definitely been having more Braxton Hicks contractions the last few days, and I felt a little crampy this morning but no legit contractions. Suddenly I have this nervous energy and drive to complete a million undone tasks. Getting all the laundry done, wrapping a few Christmas presents (that were sent here by other people), cleaning the bathrooms, making sure the kids have packed what they'll need whenever we have to drop them off wherever, etc.

I haven't really done any Christmas shopping of my own yet, so that needs to happen at some point too. These last few days, though, my focus has been on preparing the house and kids in short spurts and making sure that Richard and I are getting good sleep at night and naps as we can. He has been working so hard that I feel like if I went into labor at the end of a long day he would be pretty well down for the count, which would obviously not be ideal for either one of us.

37 weeks, 1 day

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's December!!!

Today I went for the second of my now weekly appointments. My blood pressure was 106/68, Baby's heart rate was 145-150bpm, and his or her head is down but slightly off center so it's not super low yet. I declined a vaginal exam/cervical check today so as to not "stir things up." Hoping to stay pregnant another couple weeks! Midwife Amanda guestimates Baby's size at about 7 lbs now. It's getting so real!
36 weeks - 11/26/16
36 week side by side with my pregnancy with Ava

Saturday, November 19, 2016

35 Weeks - Hallelujah!

I am officially a full 35 weeks now, so I ran a couple errands on my own. Nothing too extensive but I made a quick return at the mall and a got a couple baby things at Walmart. I'm feeling so relieved at reaching this milestone of time and am excited about the fact that we are really coming down the homestretch and not too prematurely.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

34 Week Side by Sides

I was due with Ava 12/21/08 and am due with this baby 12/24/16. Facebook shows me these time hop pictures that take me back 8 YEARS but to almost the exact same stage of pregnancy from then to now. Crazy to see these side by sides!
34 weeks - 11/12/16

34 weeks with Ava and 34 weeks with Baby #4

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Another Kind of Appointment Scheduled

I have been going to a chiropractor weekly for the last year or so. Regular adjustments have been awesome both before and during pregnancy. Now with labor and child birth just around the corner AND the possibility that Baby is currently breech, I sought out a chiropractor in the area who specializes in pregnancy care and is well experienced in the Webster technique. The Webster technique is a specific sacral adjustment that helps facilitate the mother's pelvic alignment and nerve system function. This in turn balances pelvic muscles and ligaments and reduces torsion to the uterus which offers a greater potential for optimal fetal positioning. Plus, regardless of Baby's position, proper alignment for my body will hopefully equate to a short, smooth labor and delivery.

So I have my first appointment with this doctor on Friday morning. I'm looking forward to it! She would like to see me a couple times before my next OB appointment so we can see how/if Baby is positioned after a couple adjustments.