Posts Tagged 'childbirth'

kellan’s birth story

(This was written on my iPhone in a sleep induced haze, so forgive any parts that might not make sense)

It all started Saturday, February 18, though at the time I had no idea anything was even happening.

My mom had come into town on Wednesday, the day before my official due date, and she and I had gone out on Friday to do girly things while Tim was at work since Thursday turned out to be a depressing disaster….

Thursday was when I had my 40 week OB appointment. When we left we packed the car, hoping I would be far enough along that they’d send me right to the hospital.

My mom also told us not to come back without a baby.

No pressure or anything…

At the OB, I learned that I really hadn’t made any progress since the last week. Funny, though, the OB was surprised to see me, convinced I would have gone into labor early based on my progress (that story is here). The first thing she said to me is, “You’re *still* here?!”

Well, the going straight to the hospital plan obviously didn’t happen *and* I wasn’t able to convince her to strip my membranes, so I did the next best thing I could think of at the moment: tell her I was DONE being pregnant and needed to do something about it.

So, we scheduled an induction for Monday, February 20 (that story, again, is here).

I really didn’t want to have to go the induction route but I also didn’t want to be pregnant anymore.

I made Tim stop at a cupcake shop on the way home so I could wallow in my non-laboring status.

When we got home, my mom was all, “I don’t hear a baby crying” and Tim was all, “We didn’t want to come home empty handed, so we brought cupcakes!”

That brings me back to Friday. My mom wanted to get me out of the house so I wasn’t thinking about NOT having a baby. We went antique shopping, where my mom bought Kellan all kind of children’s book, then we got a pedicure and had lunch.

I’m so glad we had that day together, too, because little did I know that two days from Friday Kellan would make his appearance.

Our girl time Friday was the last time we’d ever have that sans baby. It was fun and special and I’ll cherish it forever.

Friday night, somewhere in the early, early morning hours, I woke up to make one of my many bathroom trips and on my way back to bed (ie: the couch because I had a really hard time sleeping and didn’t want to keep Tim awake) I felt something…really painful in my lower abdomen.

Was it a contraction?

I laid there for awhile, the pain continuing every so often but never as painful as the first time and not at all consistent. I figured if it was the real thing, it would eventually wake me up, and I went back to sleep.

If they were contractions (which I’m 99% sure they were), they petered out by morning.

So, on to Saturday.

It started out normal enough. Tim and I took the dogs on a long walk, somewhere near four miles, during the late morning. I was convinced that I was going to walk Kellan right out and had been walking for an hour on the treadmill at the gym or taking the dogs for a walk daily…for months.

Gravity assist, I called it.

After our walk, Tim and I watched a Duke basketball game on the computer, because we had missed it on TV die to some weird blackout channel restrictions (don’t even get me started on DirecTV). My mom decided to go on her own walk…and was gone for HOURS…to the point we called her to make sure she was ok/wasn’t lost.

She wasn’t.

She decided to walk all the way into town to find this little church she saw the last time she was here.

She found it…eventually.

Also, our town is tiny. The “main drag” is like, two blocks long, so it wasn’t like she was crossing major highways.

Anyway, during the game I started noticing I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks. As in every five minutes and they were really strong – but not painful. I had them before but never this consistent for this length of time (an hour or so).

I mentioned it to Tim but neither of us really thought anything of it since I’d had them for weeks….months, really, so it wasn’t really cause for alarm.

I’m pretty sure that somewhere between all of this I decided to volunteer to clean the floor mats in Tim’s car with the carpet cleaner and also vacuum the family room/clean the wood floor in the kitchen and the remainder of the downstairs (the family room is the only non-wood surface on the main level).

As I was finishing up my mom was all, ” I think you’re nesting. This is the most I’ve seen you do since I’ve been here.”

(Thanks, mom)

That night we ordered in from Chili’s. Tim and I didn’t feel like cooking, so that was the easy option. We, unfortunately, do not have very many restaurants – other than Chili’s – nearby. It’s one of the downfalls of living in a small town. That and not having a clue where the nearest hotel is located.

I probably should have eaten more, knowing what I know now.

The night ended early, somewhere around 7:30-8pm, because I decided I was tired and needed to go to sleep. We were all in the family room watching the Big Bang Theory (fantastic show, by the way) and I wasn’t having any Braxton Hicks or anything else that led me to believe labor was imminent, so sleep seemed like a fabulous idea. Plus, part of me secretly hoped I’d wake up with contractions again like I had the previous night. I had been privately begging Kellan to come on his own….dreading the induction scheduled for Monday. I mean, he listened when he was transverse and turned himself right around the very next day…and it wasn’t like I was asking him to come early or even on time. Just come before Monday…please, please, please come before Monday.

Monday would have been four days past my due date.

So, I think I’m drifting…back to the story.

Before I went upstairs to bed, my mom told me, rather bluntly, that I needed to be waking her up at one in the morning to let her know I was in labor and that her patience was wearing thin.

(I mean…it wasn’t like I could control anything more than I already had by scheduling an induction for Monday).

Tim decided to sleep on the couch that night and I went to sleep upstairs in bed.

Then, around one in the morning, I got up to pee – again – and had another pain like the night before.

Again, like the night before, I laid there for another 30 minutes or so, waiting for the pain to happen again. When it did, it felt like a super sharp tightening in my lower abdomen that wrapped around to my lower back.

Textbook contraction pain and it HURT.

Like H-U-R-T.

But, like “they” all say, the pain goes away once the contraction is over.

I had a difficult time deciding when the contraction was *actually* over because there is this dull residual pain that wraps around your entire middle section…and that pain seemed to last almost until the next contraction started. I have no idea if that is normal or was because of the position Kellan was in…but more on that later.

I had a few more in the span of 30-45 minutes and figured I should go downstairs and get Tim.

I really don’t know why I decided to do it…the contractions weren’t consistent but something just told me I needed to wake him up.

As I walked downstairs, I started having another contraction and by the time I made it to the family room where Tim was, it reached the peak and I had a hard time explaining to Tim what was going on.

I really didn’t have to do much explaining, though, because he had told me to wake him up if anything was happening, so he pretty much put two and two together.

When I say “two and two together” I mean he jumped flew off the couch all, “What’s wrong?! Are you having a contraction??”

I pretty much nodded ‘Yes’ and he and I made our way upstairs to lay in bed to see if the contractions continued.

They did.

Oh, joy of rapture.

Tim and I laid in bed…well…he laid. I writhed…for four hours.

As much as I had read about what contractions would feel like, I hate to even say this, because I hated reading the same phrase over and over again- but it is so true: you KNOW when it’s a real contraction. There is no mistaking the pain…the sensation…the slow building of pain that peaks and then dies down again before another starts the cycle again.

You can’t talk. You can’t think. All you can do is get through it and squeeze the hell out of your husband’s hand or arm or whatever is within grabbing distance.

If you’re questioning the pain, I’m sorry to say it isn’t a contraction.

And if you want to know what hospital-worthy contractions look like, timing wise, here are the last dozen or so of mine, right before we called the OB.

Well, Tim called. I was busy contracting. Read: cringing, curling up in a ball and trying not to cry every four minutes.

It kind of sucks knowing the pain is coming and there is nothing you can do but deal with it…every four minutes.

Oh, right. My contraction history. Kind of got carried away there for a minute.

The third column is the length of each contraction and the fourth column is the space between each one. I assume you can figure out the other columns on your own because you’re smart like that.

20120315-103406.jpg

We used an iPhone app called Full Term to time the contractions.

So, once Tim gave the on-call OB my contraction history, she didn’t even hesitate. She was all, “Go ahead and come in.”

I can’t even describe the rush of emotions when you realize that THIS IS IT. There is no more “what if” or “when will.” There is “it’s happening…and it’s happening right now.”

Tim immediately went into husband freak out mode and started getting things ready while I got into the shower.

Part of me feared the contractions would peter out again once I started moving around, but, fortunately enough, they didn’t.

I had contractions in the shower that made me stop whatever I was doing and put my hands against the glass wall to support myself.

I had contractions while getting dressed, brushing my teeth and drying my hair.

Every few minutes…I had a contraction.

And every few minutes…I had to stop whatever I was doing to breathe through the pain.

Eventually, the contractions led to a poo, which was -TMI – mostly soft, super smelly and difficult to, you know, DO, because the contractions kept coming. I wouldn’t call it a full on “cleaning out” like some people describe. It was just a regular sized poo, albeit softer than normal.

Anyhow, during my slow going getting ready (speed is not an option when contractions are involved), Tim managed to take a shower, wake my mom to let her know we were headed to the hospital and get a few last-minute things – like our own pillows – together downstairs to put into the car.

By the time I made it downstairs, carrying a few ancillary things to help Tim, like phone chargers, my mom was up and waiting, the dogs trying to figure out what the ruckus was all about.

Tim started packing the car while I stood in the kitchen with my mom, the contractions coming every so often.

Whenever they did, I’d bend over and put both of my hands on the table and close my eyes. My mom would rub my back, telling me to breathe or breathing with me through each one.

I remember telling her I hoped I was actually in labor and wouldn’t be sent home. Her immediate response?

“Oh…that’s a real contraction if I’ve ever seen one. You’re definitely in labor.”

Then, at one point between contractions, I looked at my mom and I absolutely lost it. I started crying and hugging her and then she started tearing up saying I was about to be a mom and poor Tim had no idea what to do.

I guess it was all of the hormones compounded with the realization that I’m actually about to go to the hospital to have a real, live baby.

That’s a lot to take in going off of hardly any sleep and four hours of pain.

Before we left (Finally. It felt like Tim was taking forever to get the car packed. I’m sure it wasn’t that long but it felt like it), I knelt down and told the dogs to be good and that we’d be bringing home a baby.

They both just sat there, calmly, while I patted their heads, like they knew something big time was going on. Actually, I’m convinced they knew.

I hugged my mom, told her I loved her…she said she loved me…took a deep breath…and then Tim and I were off to the place where our lives would be permanently changed forever.

…to be continued…

she lied

So…..what does one do ON their due date with no baby?

………………

I’m just saying, the OB was obviously wrong when she was all, “You won’t make it to next week.”

Surprise!

Here I am.

Sans baby.

We had another appointment today where, first, the OB walks in and says, “You’re still here??!?” and then told me I was a “good 3 centimeters” and would only require one day for an induction because my body is, well, basically ripe and ready and just….waiting.

You better believe we scheduled that induction.

At first, the OB was all, “We usually wait until 41 weeks”

I looked at her and said, “The other doctor said I could go 40 + 4, so…”

I guess I had some kind of tone in my voice because the next words out of her mouth were, “Get dressed and I’ll take you to the lady who schedules inductions.”

Induction date?

February 20.

Baby sprout, your eviction notice has been served and your mother’s patience is wearing thin. An induction is absolutely not in my desired birth plan and it’d probably be better for everyone if you just pulled the trigger and came before then.

I’m begging…no…as your mother, I’m telling you to obey me on this. You might be stubborn but I’ll be damned if you can hold a candle to the fire of a 40+ week pregnant woman.

By the way, do you have any idea how hard this part is? Just waiting? Not knowing? Hoping something happens?

FYI: The waiting game sucks big fat donkey nuts.

My mom came into town yesterday and she’s dying for baby sprout to come. Like, on pins and needles, eagerly anticipating, forcefully willing him to greet the world.

When we came back from the OB appointment this morning she was all, “I don’t hear a baby crying!” when we walked in the door.

Yah. No kidding.

Believe me when I tell you I had Tim go to a cupcake store after our appointment to buy half a dozen giant cupcakes because that’s just the kind of mood I was in.

I’m still in that funk even after I ate so much pineapple my mouth is raw and then lugged myself out the door for a three mile walk.

(that sentence is structured funny and at this moment in time I have no desire to fix it but I think you get my point)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a yoga ball and an eggplant sandwich.

dear sprout

You’re almost here.

I mean, technically you’ve been “here” for nine months but I mean “here” as in in my arms and not my uterus.

There’s a big difference.

Inside it is easy to protect you, feed you, comfort you.

When you’re on the outside?

You scare me, tiny little helpless person. There are so many nights I lie awake, usually at three in the morning, thinking and worrying and knowing that these moments of quiet will soon be replaced by diaper changes and feedings and endless rocking you to sleep. Moments where both your father and I will be at our wits end, exhausted, stressed and completely defeated by you. I know we’ll manage. I know we’ll pull through the rough patches but that doesn’t mean they don’t scare me any less.

Your daddy is terrified that he won’t know the answers to your questions and he wants to make sure he does his absolute best in caring for you.  I mean, he practiced putting a diaper on a teddy bear just to make sure when the time came, he’d know he was doing it the right way for you. He wants to do everything for you the right way from the start and even though both he and I will make mistakes, it isn’t for lack of effort. More like lack of knowledge and experience.

Regardless, I have no doubt that your father will do just fine with both diapers and helping raise you. Whether or not he’ll have the answer, he’ll give you guidance and comfort. And as mad as you’ll get at him sometimes, always know you’re blessed with a wonderful, wonderful father. Don’t ever take that for granted. You’re one of the lucky ones.

As for me, I’ll do my best to be a good mom even though at this point, I really have no idea what I’m doing…not that you’ll know this, at least not until you reach that defiant age where you’ll obviously know more than anyone, but in the beginning I’ll be flying by the seat of my pants. Even though I’ll live and die by trial and error, I cannot wait to teach you and experience life with you and help you when you need it. That first little smile or giggle you let loose will melt both your dad and my hearts forever.

I know our lives will not always be easy and at some point, I’ll probably completely understand that saying, “I brought you into this world and I can take you right out.” However, if there are two things I’ve figured out, one is that the things that really matter are never easy and two, life is one big learning experience and I’ll do everything I can to help you get the most out of your life. You deserve that. You deserve everything the world has to offer and your father and I will stop at nothing to give that to you.

Now, will I miss you moving all around inside of me? As strange as it was in the beginning, I know there will be moments when I’ll miss putting my hand to my stomach to feel you roll around or kick me in the ribs. Having you on the outside will be much more rewarding but right now, it really is just you and me, kid. We’re together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I suppose I understand why you’ll want to be held constantly in the beginning. I’ve been holding you continuously for nine months.

Your daddy and I are convinced that you are going to be full of personality and gusto right from the beginning. You’ll test the limits and our patience on a daily basis. We’d never expect any less, though, because you’ll be ours and we both did the same things to our own parents. You are our little (Chinese water) dragon baby and we already love you more than you’ll ever know.

Deep down, I know how much you will change our lives…but how much will we impact yours? I can only hope we give you a loving, nurturing environment where you feel safe enough to explore and experiment and learn, knowing we’ll be there for you, regardless if you fail or succeed.

Your daddy already gets so nervous if I start having any weird pains that could potentially mean you are on the way. He’s going to be a basket case getting me to the hospital and even more so after you’re here. He has been anxiously waiting to meet you ever since the day I told him you were inside of me. As each day passes, his excitement grows exponentially and the moment you arrive?

There are not words, little sprout, to describe the rush of happy emotions your birth will evoke.

It’s only a matter of a few days or weeks (praying it isn’t weeks) before you are here…before your arrival helps complete us as a family.

Your daddy and I both love you so much already and cannot wait to meet you.

(so please, come out soon?)

all the cool people do it pain free

I never thought I’d ever – EVER – contemplate doing what I did yesterday.

What did my twisted mind think would be a good idea?

I researched the reasons why going a la natural is better than getting an epidural.

It’s like, all of a sudden, this no-pain-meds-during-childbirth idea is becoming more appealing (read: in the slightest, tiniest way possible) than just automatically opting for the drugs.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

I asked Tim awhile ago if he was nervous about the whole birthing process and he was all, “It’s not like you’ll be in pain, so…”

Seriously? That is THE WORST response you could possibly give to that question.

Telling me that your job is to get yelled at a lot is also probably not the right answer. I mean, really, you just have to STAND THERE while I do all of the work. My job versus yours? Not equal. Being called the reason I’m suffering an inordinate amount of pain is nowhere near on the same level as childbirth.

(sore subject…obviously…the men will never understand…)

I’ve yet to even tell Tim about my deranged research project and the teeny, tiny idea that maybe…just maybe…I could pull it off without any of the drugs. In the beginning, I was all, “Load me up with the goods the second I hit the hospital floor. STAT.

Now, the no-pain-med-birth idea, at least during the whole childbirth process, has seeded itself in my brain.

As for meds versus no meds after all of that PUSH! drama…um…I really haven’t thought that far ahead. The farthest I got was, “I wonder if I could do the whole thing without the epidural…”

Maybe I want the challenge…or the experience…or bragging rights that I DID IT PAIN FREE (and I’d totally want a shirt proclaiming that). I have no idea what it is or why it even sounds remotely appealing to me…because why would someone put themselves in pain on purpose when technology has given them the option to *not* be in pain?

I don’t have an answer to that.

Now, dear husband, how about we revisit that “are you nervous about childbirth” question again, shall we?

WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER NOW?


this is where you ask those burning questions

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