Lo’s Birth Story: Part 3

if you want to get caught up, check out part 1 and part 2

Spoiler alert: this one has a happy ending. 🙂

Lorelei, less than an hour old

Lorelei, less than a day old

As I mentioned in the last part, I left the hospital and went home for the weekend.  Words can’t describe the defeat I felt; but I also realized that I had time to finish everything around the house.  Although my midwives were adamant that I ‘take it easy’ over the weekend, I couldn’t sit still.  I reorganized the nursery, I unpacked and repacked the hospital bags, picked out a new outfit for coming home, gave the dogs extra cuddles. Truth be told, there was also quite a bit of pity partying happening that weekend too, but I’m pretty sure it was justified.

I had an appt scheduled on Monday morning for follow up, and this time I knew I needed Jeremy at the appointment with me.  We headed over to the clinic and began the waiting game again. In an all too familiar routine, I was called back and sat down at the blood pressure machine.  Sure enough, it was high again; the nurse didn’t even have to tell me- she saw it in my eyes when I read the numbers on the screen. We went back to the exam room and I waited for the m/w to come tell me the news.  To my surprise, she didn’t want to jump the gun on the induction immediately.  She had me to another non-stress test after taking another urine sample.  Maybe 15-20 minutes later, she came back with good and bad news. Good: baby was still healthy! bad: they found elevated protein in my urine.  Time for induction round 2.  She did tell me to go home, get a good lunch, gather my thoughts, and head back to the hospital in a few hours. 

Jeremy and I left the clinic, walked to the parking ramp and got in the car.  The moment I sat down, I lost it again.  It’s not fair. I don’t want to go through this again. I think it was worse because I *knew* what I faced. more hours in that stupid hospital bed. more waiting. more drugs. more nurses. more midwives. more waiting. But I sucked it up and went home, arranged for my cousin to come hang out with the dogs, wrote up a note on their usual routine. (I remember being REALLY concerned about this.) We grabbed lunch and drove back to the hospital.  At least this time I knew where to go. Same nurse was working when I checked in. I just said “hey. I’m back. did you guys miss me??”  I also made them swear they wouldn’t reassign me to the same room.

I got settled into the new room, in an oddly familiar routine by this point.  It took awhile for them to find someone who could get my IV set up, because my veins were completely shot by then. The midwife came in to say hi and set a game plan.  She checked me first, and good news! I had actually made a little progress while hanging out at home. Baby girl had moved down a little, I was more dilated. She sounded pretty hopeful the induction would be much smoother this time.  She asked if I wanted my membranes stripped too ‘just to see what happens’.  That was… weird… feeling. But it did kick in some contractions, which was a good sign. She got me started on the pitocin again almost immediately, and I settled in attempting to rest a little.  It was about 4pm on the 27th for anyone keeping track.

mom and the machines

mom and the machines

By about 6pm, she came back and broke my water, joking that they couldn’t send me home again now. (It’s common to start a 24-hour timeclock from when your water breaks to needing baby out.) That was such a strange sensation; it was a lot like the ‘gush’ they portray in movies.  But the part that surprised me was that I still felt it over and over again with every contraction after that. Right around the time she broke my water, they also started the pitocin again. I was having pretty frequent contractions, but they weren’t very regular; the hope was that the pit would help even out the contractions and strengthen them a little to get the show going.

Around 8pm I opted for an epidural.  I originally wanted to avoid the epi as long as possible (if not altogether) but after 3 days of ‘labor’, I just wanted relief and a chance to rest.  Once the epi was in, I was actually able to doze off for a little bit off and on… until it wore off. Yup. I think it was around 2am that I realized I was feeling everything again. Every contraction- the pain and pressure. I begged the anesthesiologist for something else and she was able to give me a boost of the epi or something. I never got completely relief though. Around this time, they also turned off the pitocin completely when my body finally decided to cooperate. The contractions continued, getting more intense (I finally made Jeremy turn the monitor away so I would stop staring at the little number that measured my level of contraction) and more regular.  That whole saying that they feel like waves? So accurate. I told myself over and over again “this one will pass. It’s one step closer to being over” with every contraction.

By 4-5am, I was in serious discomfort.  The anesthesiologist said she only had one option left for drugs, so she encouraged me to hold off a little longer.  She was surprised that I was in so much pain, and to be honest- I think she doubted me… until she did the little poker test thing.  I wasn’t looking, but I could tell whenever she poked me, and I was only numb down to my belly button or so.  Not so helpful when all the pain is below that. I could move my toes/feet too at that point.  She left with a promise to come back and check on me soon.

Around 8am, she returned, to me- in tears.  She knew I was in serious pain at that point, and went to grab the last of the drug options (I really can’t remember what it was. But I think she gave me a shot of narcotics into the epi line?) It was enough relief to at least lie down for a few minutes.  The m/w came back and did a check, saying it would probably be soon! I was fully dilated and soft and all of that good stuff, but baby girl was still a little too high to actually try pushing.  She told me she wanted me to ‘labor down’ for a little while in hopes of an easier delivery.  For those that don’t know, ‘laboring down’ sucks.  Basically- you allow your body to continue contractions and the natural process that forces baby further down the birth canal… all while resisting the natural urge to push.  The idea is that you don’t waste energy pushing, and wait until baby is much closer before really working with the contractions.

So anyway. I did the whole “labor down” thing for about an hour. It was absolutely awful.  I felt like I was going against every natural instinct in my body (which I was), and it hurt. It wasn’t painful, per se, but so uncomfortable. The worst pressure I’ve ever felt. People joke that it feels like you need to take a huge monster crap, and I think it’s pretty accurate. Except 100x worse.  The nurse came in at one point to check on me (graciously, they had left me mostly alone all morning) and I BEGGED her to let me push because it hurt so bad.  She said she’d go grab the m/w, but asked if I wanted her to check me quick.  yes. PLEASE tell me there’s been progress and this has all been worth it. As soon as she started to check, she grinned and said “I can feel her head! You’ve made so much progress!” ohthankgod She paged the m/w right away and told her I was ready to push. (This was about 9:45am)

I don’t remember much about the first half hour or so of pushing. It was very repetitive, and involved a lot of awkward readjusting trying to get comfortable (ha) with it all.  The nurse I had was absolutely amazing and I owe a lot of it to her.  At one point during pushing, I remember looking at her going “I’m going to puke. Please tell me that’s a good sign!” (it is. it’s a common sign of ‘transition’). Although I was 100% convinced I didn’t want Jeremy to be anywhere down there during baby girl’s birth, when the time came, I did not care at all. about anything even remotely related to decency or humility.  So he watched, all of it.  And watching the expressions on his face was more motivation that I ever could’ve imagined.  The feeling of pride I could see and seeing his awe in what I was doing, what my body was going through, was better reassurance than anything else at that moment.

Quick pause. Because I just need to remind you all that this is a birth story, and I want all the dirty details recorded. So I’m going to get detailed. Probably more than you ever wanted to know about all that. So continue with that in mind 😉

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Lo’s birth story: part 2

“Not only did I fail at being pregnant, I failed I giving birth”

I left off with the pee in the fridge. That’s quite the way to start a blog post, eh?

So I hung out at home for a day, because really? Who wants to go to work and figure out how to discretely store their pee… in a bright orange container… in the communal fridge? yeah. *oh. at this point I should mention WHY they wanted me to do a urine collection in the first place.  Because of my headaches and high blood pressure, my midwives were concerned about the onset of pre-eclampsia.  The only definitive test for pre-e is a 24-hour urine collect to test for protein. My quick test in the clinic was negative, but they wanted to run the more accurate 24-hour test.

So I stayed home on a modified ‘bed rest’ until I dropped off the sample at the lab on Thursday (8/23 if you’re keeping track) before going to work for the morning. I had an early-afternoon appointment that had been scheduled for awhile anyway, so I headed over after lunch.  They took my blood pressure, which was a little elevated, but nothing severe.  My lab results weren’t back yet, so my midwife wanted me to go home and stay on bedrest through the weekend, and follow up the next Monday to see how I was feeling.  I called Jeremy, gave him the scoop, and went home.  Minutes after I walked in the door, my phone rang. It was the clinic, and my midwife sounded concerned. My heart sank, because I knew what she was going to tell me.

Sure enough, she wanted me to come back in for an induction immediately.  My lab results came back with a concerning level of protein in my 24-hour sample of urine. Combined with my high blood pressure readings (and headaches and blurry vision), I officially had pre-eclampsia.  I was late enough in pregnancy that it was going to be safer for Lo to be outside than inside.  I remember trying to stay calm and asking what time she wanted me to come in. “as soon as you safely can get here.” I hung up, called Jeremy and told him I was coming to pick him up from work.  Somewhere in all of this, I organized to have my sister come watch the dogs. Then I called my mom to tell her and I completely broke down. I can vividly picture myself standing in the kitchen between the wall and the counter, crying, begging the dogs to come over and give me a hug. Knowing it was the last time I’d see them before our whole house, our lives, changed. Somehow I gathered up my stuff and walked out the door.

Jeremy and I got to the clinic around 2pm, got checked in and tried to get settled.  It was a very mixed-emotions experience; excitement over meeting our daughter, and terror over having to go through the whole childbirth thing for real.

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Lo’s birth story: part 1

So. Here it is. Over 11 months late, but better late than never, right?  It is super important to me to have this written down somewhere, but it’s been a really hard thing to sit down and write out.  For a few reasons. Time, of course. and also? It was a really difficult week (yes, week) of labor and delivery and processing.  But my little baby is going to be a year old (!) at the end of the month, and it’s time to get it over with.

Fair warning: this will be messy and long-winded. If you don’t want to hear the details, just read my quick summary and skip on past the rest.

CN: “Totally boring pregnancy” until 37w5d when my BP randomly spiked.  I was induced a few days later for pre-eclampsia.  After two days in the hospital, nothing had progressed and I was given a few options (stay and keep trying, go home, rest and come back in a few days, or c-section.) I went home for a few days, went back for a follow up appointment the next week. My blood pressure was still high, so the sent me down for induction #2. After about 10 hours of real labor and less than an hour of pushing (on a failed epi), Lo was born the next day, healthy.

Ok. Seriously. Don’t read further unless you wanna know all about all that.

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We’re still here!

ohhey. We’re here still. Life, as a cliche, as been crazy.  I have a lot I want to talk about, but I figured the best way to get going is to just type something. I know I owe you all a 9 month update for real. But I wanted to at least drop her stats here before I forget.

5/30/13

Height: 29.5″ (50-75%)

Weight: 20.4 lb (75%)

Head: don’t remember, but I know it was 95%+ as always

Shots: nada!

Big milestones over the last month or so include crawling. and pulling up on everything. and not sleeping. and TEETH! two of them, on the botton to be exact.

Yes, we had her 9 month appointment almost 3 weeks ago, because my baby is almost 10 months old. no. not possible. Seriously. I’m having major issues coping with this.  I feel like I say that every month, but it’s just worse the past week or so. I dont ‘know what it is- maybe the teeth? the crawling from room to room? the pounding on doors and understanding that there’s someone/something on the other side she wants? Maybe it’s the glimpses of her stubborn, wise personality- you know, the one I’m going to dread when she’s a teenager.  Payback and all that.

Seriously though.  I feel like I’ve missed so much of her life, and it’s a hard thing to come to terms with lately.  All of a sudden I don’t have a baby anymore. I have a little person living with us. A little girl who already is so full of curiosity and opinions and love.  I often catch myself just watching her expressions, trying to figure out exactly what’s going on in that little noggin of hers.  Wondering what it’s like to start to really understand this huge world we’re all living in.  (goodness knows I, at 27, really have no clue what it’s all about.) I love watching her sneak up on Puckett and squeal in delight and pride when he jumps after she grabs his tail.

There are so many moments that make me catch my breath. So many moments that make me realize just how blessed we are, and just how much I have to look forward to.  But for now? I want my little girl to be a baby. To cuddle up and grasp my finger while she nods off to sleep.  If anyone has suggestions on how to freeze time, please send them my way.

Miss Lo- 8 months!

Oy. I’m late by a week!  Life is crazy these days.  Work is at its busiest point all year as we prep for school end close and start up the summer season. And gone are the days where I can set down little Lo and do something productive for half an hour.  My little baby is moving around so quickly and fearlessly- her new trick is to follow me into the kitchen.  So we spend a lot of time on the floor with her, playing with new toys and practicing ‘be nice’ to the puppies.  So far Levi is pretty unaffected- he just does his own thing, stopping by for a quick sniff once in awhile.  Puck though? Puck and Lo are going to be best friends, we can tell already.  When she cries, he’s there immediately.  When she’s on the ground, he’s lying next to her and he’s been so good as she starts to climb on him and give ‘kisses’.  (I just play oblivious to the obvious dog hair she’s ingested thus far.)

Puppy and Baby Games

Puppy and Baby Games

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Perspective

aka the “what is wrong with this world” post.

edit: woah. this got really long.  Welcome to my stream of consciousness. I’ve split this into a second post that I started, with the intention of finishing tomorrow once I can gather my thoughts a little better.

I apologize up front, because this is going to be jumbled and probably not totally cohesive.  But I’ve been struggling to wrap my mind around all the shit going on lately and I need to get it down somewhere.  This is one of those days where I wish I kept a journal, but that’s sort of the purpose of this blog.  So I’ll spill some feelings here in hopes to help talk myself through my emotions.

To start, today was a crappy crappy day.  Work sucked for a variety of reasons- people at work were annoying me, clients were asking ridiculous questions, partnering offices were being needy.  Basically, the usual crap I get paid to deal with, but on a heightened level.  That combined with an overtired, already-crabby and over-stressed me, and it was just not a positive day at the office.  I spent far too much time complaining with my coworker about lots of rational and irrational issues throughout the day. Then I left work. I got frustrated with about 95% of the people on the road who screwed up my commute home.

But then I stopped at daycare and was greeted by my beautiful little girl. Continue reading

Our First Easter… recap

Easter isn’t really a holiday we celebrate much, but it is a great chance to get together with family!  We decided lay low this year, and opted not to travel back to Wisconsin to visit my family. Instead we stay here to grab lunch with Jeremy’s family, who most certainly did not disappoint.  But first. Let’s talk about the loot.

The Easter Bunny obviously had a little birdie hanging around our house, so he knew there was a new baby in this home.  He showed up sometime Sunday morning with two baskets for the family- one for the boys and one for the girls. Jeremy and the pups got some candy, a few trinket toys, some Burt’s Bees lip balm (that is impossible to find in the stores, BTW), and some beef rib bones.  Lo and I got some candy, some plastic bath books, a set of baby PJs, and bubbles. Good job, Easter Bunny! The best part? The baskets were hidden behind our La-Z-Boy chair, which is where they were always hidden growing up. What a crazy coincidence!

Easter dress!

Easter dress!

Even though we didn’t have any fancy plans, we wanted to get the little one in a cute dress for Easter lunch. And, since she was wearing a dress, of course I had to torture her by taking a few dozen pictures. Thankfully, we got one really adorable one for the ‘baby book’ (aka, what you’re reading right now. Because clearly I’m never going to actually keep up a real, written baby book.)   Turns out she’s not a fan of headbands though; it lasted all of about 2 minutes before she was reaching to pull it off her head. She still looks ridiculously cute, eh?

We had lunch with Jeremy’s family, so we went over to his parents’ house for the afternoon. It was great to see his parents and uncle and little brother.  I was worried about being gone for awhile during normal nap time, but Lo did great!  She even napped for about an hour at their house while we ate.  She did wake up in time to try a little Easter meal though. We let her taste test a little watermelon and turkey, which she loved. She would’ve eaten the whole bowl of watermelon if I had let her, I think.

She chowed down that turkey, too.  Most of the afternoon we just hung around and caught up with the family.  A few more pictures that I snapped on my phone while we were there:

Hanging out with Uncle Evan

Hanging out with Uncle Evan

Chatting it up

Chatting it up

I should mention just how spoiled Miss Lo is, too.  Apparently the Easter Bunny visited the grandparents’ house too!  She got more goodies there- some toys and clothes, and a shovel and bucket to help dad outside this summer! All in all, it was a great dad with some delicious food 🙂

So that’s our Easter in a nutshell; we are truly blessed to have family nearby that we can visit.