Posted in Note, Parenting, Pregnancy

Note’s Birth Story

And here it is, for the first time in print ANYWHERE, a year and a half later, Note’s birth story. Eventually I’ll repeat this to Note every year on their birthday. It’s a tradition I picked up from my mother in law (she even made up a fake birth story to tell me on my birthday) that I absolutely love.


I went to bed on April 20th, 2014 filled with relief that I had reached full term and finally letting go some of the anxiety about having a baby before my due date (which isn’t actually bad, but I’m quite neurotic after all). I remember my last thought before I drifted off to sleep was “You can come any time you want now, baby.”

I woke up the next morning feeling strange. It is a feeling I can’t quite describe and I’ve never felt before, but I just felt inexplicably different. I knew, without knowing how I knew, that I would be holding a baby in my arms instead of my belly by the end of the day. I got up, went to the bathroom, and lost my mucus plug. That must have been some time around nine am. I was getting belly aches, which I suppose were contractions, but they didn’t actually hurt. They were a strange sensation that made me uncomfortable and not want to be sitting, but they weren’t actually painful. Frank still had days off at the time (how I long for those once more now!) so we had a pre-natal appointment scheduled for two pm. We called the midwife and told her what was going on. She asked how far apart my contractions were, and when I said three minutes, she didn’t believe me and told me I must be counting wrong (bitch please, I’m an engineer) and said to just wait for my appointment.

Frank loaded everything up into the car that I had listed for our bags, which we were going to find out was a really unnecessary amount of stuff. It felt like an eternity to have to wait for our appointment, but we somehow managed. Frank tried to force me to eat, but I really didn’t want to put anything in my mouth at the time. We left around noon to go to Wesleco and get to the birth center. I threw up along the way, and I was so glad I had decided to keep trash bags and towels in the truck in fear of this.

Our appointment went well. Wight, blood pressure, listening to Note’s heart, etc. They did a cervical check and I had just barely entered active labor at four centimeters dilated. By this time, the contractions had started to pick up (and they finally believed that they were coming three to four minutes apart) and actually started to cause pain. Heather, the midwife and the only one on duty, told me it would be a while before I had a baby, so I could go home and wait or stay there and wait. Luckily, I’m extremely stubborn and I decided not to leave. This decision was probably the best one I made throughout the whole ordeal. We were ushered into a random birth house and told to wait there and take a nap and rest up. I somehow managed to sleep a bit between contractions, but most of the time I was crying and screaming that I wouldn’t be able to do this and I wanted an epidural. I went into the shower every time there was hot water and took a nap in the tub for a while too. We called and asked for Heather a few times, asking her to bring some Tylenol for pain relief, but she never showed up. We just kept being told she was really busy.

At some point a little after 5:30 I really felt like I had to poop. I went to the toilet and started trying to have a bowel movement, but couldn’t force it out. I went to cry (literally cry) to Frank about how I just really wanted to poop and he told me to try again, so I went back to the bathroom. I couldn’t force anything out yet again, and something just clicked in me to reach into my vagina and check for the baby. I almost fainted when I could feel the bag of waters around Note’s head. I yelled for Frank and told him to call Heather now because I was having that baby if she was there to catch it or not.

First latch.
First latch.

Heather (finally) arrived about ten minutes later. Her nurse started getting the tub ready for a water birth. At first, before later, I had been quite against a water birth just for fear, but once I was in labor I found that water was the only thing that soothed my misery. She was leading me to the tub when she decided to check my cervix instead, so we went back to the bed. I was fully dilated and effaced and she could easily feel Note’s head.

I could barely walk to the tub and climb in, but somehow I made it, whining all the while about how I wanted some pain relief and asking if I had other options than having a baby, as well as, very awkwardly, asking “why is this happening?” Luckily, everyone was smart enough to leave that question alone. The water barely covered anything at all, and my greatest fear was realized: I pooped in the water. I didn’t care at the time, and I don’t really care now. But before labor I was really worried about it.

It took two pushes, one for the head and one for the body, and then Note was born at 5:55 pm.My water never broke, and Note was born en caul, a quite rare and special experience. Note’s umbilical cord was also wrapped around their neck twice, which was scary, and I tried to unwrap it myself but they were slick with birth stuff. Heather was great at this point, freeing Note without pushing my fumbling hands away. While waiting to deliver the placenta, I took Note in my arms and tried to latch them for the first time. They did it and nursed like a champ. It was such a magical moment, and all the fears and reservations I had about being a mother simply melted away in that moment. That was when I knew that Note would be my child forever.

IMG_6619At some point, I wanted relief from the awkward position we were sitting in, so we migrated everything to the bed. The placenta still wasn’t ready to be delivered, but the cord had stopped pulsating so we were ready to cut it. We had discussed with Heather before that Frank would be cutting the umbilical cord with his chef knife, and he did. He still uses that knife as his primary knife to this day. He does want to retire it until he begins working somewhere else, but he hasn’t found a knife he likes enough to replace it with yet.

Once the umbilical cord was cut, Note was taken to be weighed and measured (7 lbs 7 oz and 19 3/4 in long) with Frank watching while I delivered the placenta. That wasn’t a painful experience at all, except for Heather’s hand pressing on my mid-section. After it was delivered, she showed it to me and explained how healthy it looked and what made it so. That was a really interesting lesson as I love learning all sorts of new things, and I had never read any of that in the pregnancy and childbirth books.

First diaper change.
First diaper change.

Note footprints and handprints were taken for the baby book, and after that we were left to be a family. Maribel arrived late, so she completely missed the birth, but it was nice to have her there for support once Note was born. She took a couple of pictures and helped us out with packing things up once more. We barely got any of the thousand items I thought we would need down, and didn’t use almost any of them at all. Really, all that was needed was some clothes for me, a diaper, and an outfit for Note. And don’t forget the always-important carseat.

We left as soon as we were discharged. We thought about staying the night because Frank was on house arrest at the time and this was our chance to be out and also be alone as a family. We ultimately decided against it and just went straight home. Note didn’t mind the carseat or car ride, and I sat in the back with them.

Once we got home, Frank’s mom was waiting for us. She didn’t impose, just wanted to see the baby, know how it went, etc. She has become like a surrogate mother to me, so I was more than happy to have her there. I couldn’t imagine having to stay in the hospital for three days with my newborn. The next day, Frank and I were out and about showing Note off and running errands. I can’t imagine being bed-ridden due to a c-section either. Overall, a vaginal delivery was amazing. I loved giving birth and would do it a hundred thousand times if my body would let me. More than anything, I loved becoming a mother, and I absolutely cannot wait to do it again.

Frank holding Note for the first time.
Frank holding Note for the first time.
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Posted in Note, Pregnancy

Still Nothing!

I’m 39 weeks and 4 days (which means only THREE more days until my due date!) and I still have no real signs of labor! I am getting pretty impatient to meet my little Note. My midwife says it is common for first time mothers to deliver at around 41 weeks. I am just hoping I don’t make it to 42 weeks, because then I cannot deliver at my birth center anymore and must go to a hospital for delivery.

There have been no real changes in my body. Everything seems to be gearing up towards the big day, but there is no sign when that day will come. I am hoping I am one of the lucky ones who will deliver on my due date. That date holds a lot of significance to me since it is Hailey’s birthday. It would be nice for her and Note to share a birthday.

I’ve had a very hard time staying awake today. I’m up for a couple of hours, and then I’m right back to sleep. I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes open or my energy up. I guess these are normal problems during pregnancy. I never had the fatigue in the first trimester, so maybe this is the time that I’m having it. I almost got away with it!

3 days to go!

Posted in Note, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy

No End In Sight

I’m currently 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I’m so close to the end, but so far! I’ve had two cervical checks so far. The first one was at 37 weeks. I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. The second one was last Monday at 38 weeks. I was 1.5 cm dilated and “very soft”, so I made a little bit of progress but not much. I have been losing bits and pieces of my mucus plug for the last week and a half or so. There was one little chunk that did have a bit of blood in it. I have contractions on and off, but very few of them hurt, so I’m thinking they’re just a lot of Braxton Hicks. Frank has court on Monday the 14th, so I really hope this baby can be delivered before then.

Everything is going well with my pregnancy, so this has just become a bit of a waiting game now. I’ve been bouncing on a birth ball to help Note drop, but this little baby is stubborn and absolutely does not want to drop. I’m hoping it’s not because of my scoliosis. I walk every morning with Frank. It’s not a crazy amount of walking, but he likes to take me out and we go shopping and have been trying to get some things ready before he has court. There are also a few things we need for the baby that we have to get. I will be ordering our playpen tomorrow. Even if Note comes before then, we will just have them sleep in the bouncer or sleep and play until the play pen gets here. Maybe if it takes a while, Frank will get me the bassinet I really want! I doubt it, but I can dream. I know a bassinet is basically useless because they use it for such a short period of time, but I am just so in love with the one that I saw at Burlington.

Even though I don’t have much longer until my due date, I think I will likely be overdue. My midwife even said it was very likely, although I have been progressing little by little and my body seems to be getting ready. Most first time moms go overdue, so it’s not a big deal. The thing that worries me most is that Note hasn’t dropped. All the books and apps say it should have happened by now, but I know of a lot of people on the birth boards who say their first born never dropped but they still went into labor and had no problems, so who knows? Either way, I am just excited to get this show on the road! I want Note to be here soon.

Eleven days to go!

Posted in Pregnancy

Birth Plan

I’m going to talk a little about our birth plan. It is fairly straightforward in my opinion, and the midwife said most of the things we want are done at the birth center anyway, such as delayed cord clamping. I’m going to put the birth plan that I made using this tool.

 

My delivery is planned as: Vaginal
I’d like…:

My partner Frank and my best friend Maribel

 

…present before AND/OR during labor.
During labor, I’d like:

  • Music played (I will provide)
  • The lights dimmed
  • The room as quiet as possible
  • As few interruptions as possible
  • As few vaginal exams as possible
  • To wear my own clothes
  • To wear my contact lens the entire time
  • My partner to film AND/OR take pictures
  • My partner to be present the entire time
  • To stay hydrated with clear liquids and ice chips
  • To eat and drink as approved by my doctor

I’d like to spend the first stage of labor:

  • Standing up
  • Walking around

I’m not interested in: 

  • An enema
  • Shaving of my pubic area

I’d like fetal monitoring to be:

  • Performed only by Doppler
  • Performed only if the baby is in distress

I’d like labor augmentation:

  • Performed only if baby is in distress
  • First attempted by natural methods such as nipple stimulation

For pain relief, I’d like to use:

  • Acupressure
  • Breathing techniques
  • Cold therapy
  • Distraction
  • Hot therapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation

During delivery, I would like to:

  • Squat
  • Lean on my partner

 

As the baby is delivered, I would like to:

  • Push spontaneously
  • Avoid forceps usage
  • Avoid vacuum extraction
  • Let my partner catch the baby
  • Let our voices be the first baby hears

Immediately after delivery, I would like:

  • My partner to cut the umbilical cord
  • The umbilical cord to be cut only after it stops pulsating
  • To deliver the placenta spontaneously and without assistance
  • To keep the placenta
  • Not to be given Pitocin/oxytocin

I would like to hold baby:

  • Immediately after delivery
  • Before eye drops/ointment are given

I would like to breastfeed: As soon as possible after delivery

I’d like baby’s medical exam and procedures:

  • Given in my presence
  • Given only after we’ve bonded
  • Given in my partner’s presence
  • To include a heel stick for screening tests beyond the PKU
  • To include a hearing screening test

Please don’t give baby:

  • Sugar water
  • Formula
  • A pacifier

I’d like baby’s first bath given: By me and my partner

I’d like to feed baby:

  • Only with breastmilk
  • On demand

If we have a boy, circumcision should: Not be performed

As needed post-delivery, please give me:

  • Extra-strength acetaminophen
  • Stool softener

If baby is not well, I’d like:

  • My partner and I to accompany it to the NICU or another facility
  • To breastfeed or provide pumped breastmilk
  • To hold him or her whenever possible

 

Basically, we want to be as natural as possible. We want very little medical interventions done, unless we absolutely need them. We do recognize the need for some procedures to ensure that baby and I are safe, but mostly we would like to be left on our own to birth and labor as we need and see fit. Frank and I are strong believers that the body of the person in labor will naturally know what to do. We were designed for this. There are times when things go wrong, but most of the time if a birthing person is left alone, the outcome will be wonderful.

So, this is more or less our birth plan. We have filled one out and put it in our chart. Only 25 days left!

Posted in Health, Note, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy

Salty Cravings…

I absolutely cannot get enough of these Lay’s potato chips I am eating even though I am currently suffering from reflux due to having pizza for breakfast in the morning with Frank. I have been craving salty things for about the last week or so. Another craving I have been having recently? Dirt. I want to eat dirt so badly, but I wouldn’t because it’s so… well, dirty! There’s just too much risk for parasites and infection. I used to eat it as a child, but I was too young and uninformed to think about this stuff!

Yesterday we went to the midwife and they went ahead and drew some blood for some tests. A nursing student went ahead and did it, and he had such a hard time sticking me and caused me to bleed all over the place. Then she accidently pulled the needle out while drawing blood and there was just blood leaking out of me. She tried my other arm, and had some trouble again but she was able to draw the blood needed. Frank was incredibly mad and about to punch her in the face or something, but I really didn’t mind too much. It didn’t actually hurt (although it is a little sore today) and I understand they need to do this to learn. The poor girl was so shaky!

We did receive the bad news that we were not approved for the home birth because this is my first child. Labors are generally longer for first time moms, so they basically didn’t want to invest in it. So, I will have to give birth at the birth center. I can’t even begin to express my disappointment, but it was always our second choice if we couldn’t do the home birth, so I guess I should have expected this. Now that we know we won’t be doing a home birth, I’ll be making a post about our birth plan soon.

Today they called us with the results from the labs. It turns out I am anemic and I may also be having some thyroid trouble. Luckily, my liver stuff came back normal. I’ve got an iron supplement I can pick up tomorrow and need to take two to three times a day. I don’t think that it will be that bad. I remember having to take iron pills as a kid. They were hard to swallow but otherwise not too bad.

We also went to the obgyn today. I don’t have the ultrasounds on me, so I will just post the ones from the last appointment. That appointment went over well. The baby looks great and nothing is wrong. Note is head down and basically in position for birth. They estimated that Note now weighs 5 pounds 4 ounces. That’s only four ounces away from breaking the low birth weight barrier! Babies with low birth weight usually have problems, so it will be nice once Note gets over that and also goes to term.

Anyway, here are the ultrasounds from four weeks ago! (I can’t find the ones from two weeks on my computer.)

Posted in Holidays, Note, Pregnancy

Our Little Christmas Gift

I don’t celebrate Christmas, and my boyfriend is not particularly religious or anything, but we’re both born and raised Catholic and surrounded by them. So, for that reason, we more or less celebrate Christmas. It’s a perfect time to come together with your family regardless, and some of the traditions are really fun. Personally, I celebrate Yule and that’s what we will be celebrating as a family once Note is born. Can’t wait for that!

Anyway, we did a “Secret Santa” gift exchange. We exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas Day because Frank got the 24th off of work, but not the 25th.  I got Frank’s sister, Jessica, and Frank got me. He got me a new windshield for my truck, which was the perfect gift because I have been complaining about my windshield basically since I’ve met him. It’s been a wreck for three years, but I never got around to getting it replaced. I got Jessica a candle and oil warmer set that she said she wanted one time when we went out shopping together. I hope that she liked it. She didn’t really say much about it, but then she is the quiet type.

On Christmas day, Frank had to work from 3 pm to 11pm. While he was gone, I went to my uncle’s house and had Christmas with my family. They made a lot of food, and the only person to get gifts was my grandma. She looked very cute opening them on the trampoline! When Frank came back home, he was pretty tired so we went to bed and cuddled while we watched a movie (I can’t remember which one). While we were cuddling, I put his hand on my belly like I so often do. I have been wanting him to feel Note for a while, since I know that Note can be felt from the outside and is much stronger now. His/her movements changed from little flutters when I first felt him/her, and now they are much stronger kicks and punches. Well, Note kicked Frank while his hand was on my belly! He finally was able to feel Note move and his face lit up brighter than any Christmas tree I have ever seen. It was such a wonderful and special moment, and the best gift I could ever ask for.

Only 114 days left!

Posted in Note, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy

Pin Pricks and Sweet Tests

On Tuesday I got up early to do the gestational diabetes test. I had to drink this super sweet fruit punch flavored drink. You’re not allowed to eat or drink anything else for the two hour period. I managed to gulp it down at 7:45 and then I had to wait two hours to do the test. I fell back asleep (the instructions were to take the drink between 7:10 and 8 am) and woke up at about 9:15 because my blood had to be drawn at 9:45 (the doctor is about 10 minutes away). While brushing my teeth to get ready to go the doctor’s, I threw up the drink. We went to the doctor’s anyway, hoping they would still let me do the test although I knew that they wouldn’t. Of course, they told me that I couldn’t do the test. Luckily, I was able to do the rest of the blood work they were going to do that day.

They gave me instructions on pancakes from McDonald’s to eat for the test since my morning sickness seems to be what prevented me from keeping the drink down. I had to do that today, and it was really awesome. I got pancakes and orange juice like instructed, which is one of my favorite breakfast foods. While getting in the car, I started gagging and was scared I was going to throw up and have to do the test again. Luckily, I was able to get the food to stay down.

At the doctor’s office, they just drew some blood and sent me on my way. They asked me if I wanted to find out the gender of the baby again. I’m really on the fence about finding out. Frank stands firm on the fact that he doesn’t want to know, and that is perfectly fine. I really want a boy, so I think that’s why I want to find out but at the same time I would like to wait with Frank to find out. Because of the way we want to birth and who we want in there (our best friend) even after the birth, we won’t find out the gender until our friend leaves the birthing area. Frank doesn’t want anyone to know the gender for as long as we can put it off. It’s an interesting way to parent in my opinion, but I don’t see much negative to it. Gender doesn’t define anyone.

Today is also Frank and I’s one year anniversary! Unfortunately, Frank has to work today so we can’t go out on a nice little date or anything, but we had a fun morning together with the doctor and then going out to look for a rug for the baby’s room. Our life revolves around the baby, but we still find lots of moments to be “just us” together.

I love when Frank talks to my belly. He told the baby last night that he was happy Note could be with us during this of our first anniversary. He said millions of cute things and just made my heart melt. I love him so much and can’t wait to see him tonight!

Only about 130 days left to go!

Posted in Francis, Note, Pregnancy

Some Basic Info and a Little Intro

Hello! I would like to take the time to welcome everyone to the blog (I hope my children will read this some day when they are older!) and offer up a little basic information about this blog and where it comes from.

I’m currently pregnant with what will hopefully be my first child. I have lost one pregnancy to miscarriage at eight weeks. We had been TTC (that’s trying to conceive) for about six months at that point. We were both devastated and decided to stop trying. But children were in the cards for us it seems, because after three more months (this time on birth control) we were blessed with not one, but two beautiful little amniotic sacs on the ultrasound screen. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the end of tragedy. We found out at nine weeks that the other twin didn’t develop, but we still had one seemingly healthy baby. This is actually a really common occurrence in twins pregnancies called “vanishing twin”. One twin just kind of “disappears” early in the pregnancy. Of course, that doesn’t lessen the hurt of losing another baby and the twin for our child.

Just a few days ago, we went in for a few test and found out that everything is perfectly alright with our baby. He or she is completely healthy! I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant and everything seems to be going well (besides the constant morning sickness). We’re on team green, and not going to find out the gender of the baby until birth. Besides that, we’re not going to reveal the gender to anyone until it becomes “apparent” in the child. We’re not going to go through great lengths to avoid people knowing the gender (if someone wants to change a diaper, we are certainly not going to stop them!) but we’re not going to announce we have a son or daughter on Facebook, just that we have a child. Gender isn’t what is important afterall.

I’ll write more and put up pictures as things get further along, but for the moment I think this is a pretty good introduction. I can’t wait for my little one to be here! I am just counting down the days until I can hold him or her in my arms.

Only 135 days left!