Friday, June 29, 2012

A Baby Story - Welcome, Little Drummer Boy!

At 4:00am Captain came by to check my progress. I was back at 5cm. This was something I had NOT prepared myself for. I actually had no idea that your cervix could swell shut but that's exactly what was happening. She checked me and then broke the news that there was just no other option anymore. I had to have a C-section. The one thing that I wanted to avoid above everything else was about to happen and I was really not ok with it. Captain was very professional and sweet about everything but I was crushed beyond belief. She left to go get things prepared for me to go back around 5 and I had some time with just my mom and K. I can't lie, I bawled like a little girl for quite a while. I had tried absolutely everything to avoid a C-section and I felt like a complete failure. It was easily the most disappointed I've ever felt but I finally pulled myself up by my bootstraps and took charge. I took a deep breath, looked at my mom and K and set the rules for the next few hours. Basically, it went a little something like this. "Ok. These are the rules. I'm having this stupid C-section and getting my baby. No one is coming into the room for a solid hour after he's born because I didn't want to be induced, have pitocin, get an epidural or have a C-section. Now that all of that has happened, gosh darnit I better be able to breastfeed this baby!!"
It was a freeing moment, let me tell you. I know how hard they say it is to breastfeed after a C-section and I was claiming my hour after birth with no interruptions to give it my very best shot.
Lots of people were coming in to check on us in the next hour but the scariest moment was when the CRNA came by to check on my epidural. It was fantastic for labor but awful for a C-section. When she found out that I could still feel and move a little she was really concerned. They would have to get more medicine in me and hope it would completely numb me. If not, K and my mom wouldn't be able to be in the room for the surgery and I would have to be knocked out for the whole thing. K and I were completely terrified. They wheeled me from the room and left my mother and husband behind. Awful. A solid 20 minutes later, back in the ridiculously cold operating room my epidural finally kicked in full force and K and my mom came back. K rushed over to me and held my hand. Praise God that epidural worked! I was shivering uncontrollably but just so ready to meet my son. Captain was there with Dr. S and the surgery started. My mom was there to take pictures and K held my hand the entire time.

At 5:42 am the most incredible thing happened. My son was born and I just didn't care about anything else anymore. Seriously. I heard him cry, then I started to cry and the entire previous 57 hours washed away. I waited, semi-impatiently, while he cried and was weighed and they stitched me back up. Funny enough, when they weighed him there was some sort of system down that should have converted his weight from grams to pounds and ounces. So we waited a bit and then they finally called out "10 pounds 13 ounces!" Seriously, y'all, I was floored! I yelled out, "What the crap?! No way!" right there in the middle of the operating room while they were stitching me up. It was an awesomely funny moment but one of those where you think, oh boy I hope they don't know I'm a minister's wife! K stayed with me until it was time to put on his diaper. Then he went to put it on him and bring him over to me. The first time seeing him was the best moment of my life, hands down. K and I were still able to have the sweetest moments and my shivering settled down just enough that I was stable enough to hold him and kiss his precious, chubby cheeks. He was making the sweetest sounds and I fell so in love.

The final stats were as follows:
Little Drummer Boy (obviously, name changed for the blog...but now you all know what LDB means!)
10 lbs 13oz
22" long (our first measurement was 20.5" but that was wrong)
15.5" chest
15.25 " head

I hope you'll forgive the length of the story! I wanted to write this out and remember as many details as possible. The most important thing I can say in the smallest number of words is what I shared on my Facebook after his birth: His birth was nothing like I expected but he's more perfect than I ever imagined. God is amazing and gracious.

Welcome to the world, sweet boy! Your Momma and Daddy love you to pieces and we can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for your life!

A Baby Story - Still In Labor? Yep.

Just in case you haven't been keeping up with the timeline here let me reiterate to is now June 7th. I went in to be induced on June 5th.

Yep. Still no baby.

One of the funny parts about my time in the hospital was how many Labor and Delivery nurses I had. The shifts would change every twelve hours but every time a nurse's other patient would be in active, almost ready to push labor, my nurse would leave and I would get another one. Since I was there so long I swear I saw almost every nurse possible! Each one would come in and say something to the effect of, "So you're the one growing the giant baby?" Every time I heard this I would say, "That's what they say...but mark my words, he only weighs 9 and a half pounds! I just know it!"

Anyways, Thursday started with Captain as the on-call midwife again. I got up at 6:15, ate a bit for breakfast, took a shower and then started back on pitocin. Contractions started up regularly but not intense at first. My goal for the day was to get to 4 or 5 cm so the cervical balloon would fall out and clear the way for my water to break or be broken by the midwife. I had my mom braid my hair back so that I would feel a bit more pretty and clean which was really nice. It may sound shallow, but I needed a boost. At 11:20 Captain checked the balloon and praise the Lord, it was out! This was a HUGE step for us. I was at 5cm so she went ahead and broke my water. Good grief! She did it without warning me so I just knew that I was peeing all over her! Once she explained what happened I felt a lot better. My mom and K were in the room with me most of the morning which was nice. I got to get up and move around for a while after Captain broke my water and at 11:45am I was back on the birthing ball. I alternated between the ball, the cushy chair in the room and the bed for the next few hours. Contractions were getting closer together and more intense. This was finally what I had prepared myself for. K had been doing a lot of guitar playing to help keep the atmosphere calm but now he was constantly by my side as an awesome partner and coach. He would rub my back, sit behind me in bed and talk me through the contractions. During this time we figured out that my body was responding best to contractions when I was sitting in bed so I stopped using the birthing ball as much. At 3:00pm Captain checked me at a stretchy 5cm and LDB was at a -1 station. I was so excited to have made some good progress! The movement from a -2 to a -1 was especially encouraging. At 4:30 I had another big fluid loss and the contractions got way harder. I was still working through them well, though, so I was very glad to not be feeling drawn to an epidural yet. During all of this my regular midwife came by for a visit. I was so glad to see her! She was coming from the last meeting of our Centering group and I was the only mom that wasn't there! I was sad but so glad to hear from her about how everyone was doing. Her visit was a super refreshing boost to the afternoon. At 5:45 I was still 5cm but LDB had moved down to a 0 station. Once again, the fact that he was descending was huge progress for us. Basically, I was hoping that this meant my body wasn't deciding that he was too big to move down into my cervix. My sister came back into town with her family with the hope that I would deliver that night. I was so, so, so excited that she was back. She and my mom were still in and out during the evening. The big change for the evening was when, in between contractions and with a completely clear head, I let K know that if I checked out again at 5cm I'd like to go ahead and have an epidural. Knowing that LDB was descending was great but I had been at 5cm for a very long time and I knew that an epidural was our last option to help my body progress. Sure enough, at 7:45 I was still just 5cm. That's 9 hours without any progress in my cervix. Captain agreed that my last option was to try to relax my body with an epidural and hope it would get my progress going. It was a hard decision but, once again, I was glad to have exhausted every other possibility before having it done. At 8:40 the CRNA came by and did the epidural. For the first time in a long time, I felt warm! I was very pleased with my epidural because I could still wiggle my toes, feel LDB moving around, and (with great effort!!!) roll myself over when I needed to change positions. I didn't feel completely paralyzed, which is what I had been afraid of. The best word to describe the feeling would be heavy. At 9pm my sister had to leave but I got to love on her two oldest kids for a bit and they brought by a present for LDB. Then our parents and K's brothers came back and visited for a bit. At 10:00 K pulled out the couch bed and we tried to get some rest. Every hour I would roll over to my other side. The creepy thing was that I could feel LDB shoving himself into my right side like he was trying to burrow in and take a nap. I was laying flat on my side and feeling lots of pressure from him. Contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart and now I had an internal fetal monitor in so we could get a better idea of how efficient the contractions were. My mom came back and she and I spent some good, quiet time chatting while K slept. It was nice time for us and I was thankful for it. At 1:10am we had a quiet celebration when we found out that I was at 8cm!! Finally, the progress we had been waiting for. The epidural had done it's job! My mom and I spent a long time talking and we decided not to wake K. He had worked so hard and was finally getting some very deserved rest. The next few hours I was still flipping, resting and chatting with my mom.

Finally, at 4:00am and 55 hours after the induction started, the most crushing thing happened.

A Baby Story - Let's Get it Started!

Disclaimer again: I generally don't use words like "cervix" or "vaginal" here on my blog. However, this is a birth story. If you don't care to know, just don't keep reading!

So we left off with K and I headed to the hospital. I decided on the way there that I would keep a timeline in a note on my phone with details throughout the induction. That way I would remember more when I looked back later. Seriously, that was one of the best ideas ever. There's no way I would remember 90% of this otherwise. So if this story seems a tad of an over-share that's why!

We got to the hospital at 6:30pm and registered at the desk. We were taken back to our room, asked a million questions by our first nurse and slowly got settled in. At 8:00pm our first midwife on call (let's name her Captain) comes by to check my cervix and talk with me about the induction options. We discussed cervadil (a chemical induction) and the cervical balloon (a more manual dilation method). K and I chose the balloon because it was the only way to try and avoid pitocin and the constant fetal monitoring. My parents arrived during this time and hung out for a bit before heading over to our place to stay the night. Captain came back at 9:15 to insert the balloon and have our nurse put in the saline lock in my arm. Fortunately for me, after 2 blown veins I convinced the nurse to hold off on the saline lock until the morning. One less night with needles in my arm! at 10:00pm K brought me food to eat and at 10:30 we started walking the halls. I wanted to do whatever I could to help that balloon get to work! At 11:30 we stopped walking and the nurse brought me 2 Ambien to help me sleep. She was amazing and agreed to only come by to do the fetal monitoring when I woke up to go the restroom instead of coming by every hour like they're supposed to. I was up 3 times (trippy! That Ambien made my head spin!) and every time LDB and I were looking good.

The next morning I woke up, took a shower, and spent some time with K, Mom and Dad. My amazing sister arrived that morning as well. At 9:45 the new midwife on call (nickname Sunshine) came by. She checked me and I wasn't quite at 2cm yet.  Unfortunately, the balloon hadn't started working as quickly as we would have liked. The purpose of the cervical balloon is to stimulate prostaglandins and manually dilate the cervix but it can take a while to work. Sunshine suggested starting Pitocin and gave me some time to think about it. At 10:30 she came back and I asked if I could try pumping and walking to induce contractions before trying the pit. She decided to let me give it a try, which I was very thankful for....even though it didn't work. I alternated pumping for 10-15 minutes with walking for 30-45 minutes until 11:45. Then I started doing birthing ball exercises with pumping and quiet guitar playing time. Through all of this my mom, sister and K were hanging out in the room with me. Their presence was awesome and encouraging. I'm so glad that they could be there! At 2:45 Sunshine came by again and I had yet to feel a contraction. She checked me again and said that the balloon was doing it's job but pitocin was inevitable now. Even though pumping and walking didn't work for me I was so, so thankful that she let me try. I felt better starting the pit knowing that I had tried everything else first. At 3:15 we started pitocin in an IV. This was the part I was dreading the most. Being stuck to an IV pole is not my idea of fun. Once the chemicals were in my system, we had to start the constant fetal monitoring and contraction monitor. Also not my idea of fun. I understand why they have to be there but I have explained here before that my son is a wiggler. The nurses had to come by constantly to adjust the monitor and chase him around my belly. He did NOT want to stay on the monitor!
Every 30 minutes or so they would up the pit but other than that, this time was pretty stagnant. I was still able to get out of bed and move around but it was annoying to take the IV pole with me to the bathroom and to try to be on the birthing ball with tubes coming out of my arms. I wasn't allowed to eat during all of this but the popsicle I got at 4:20 was exciting enough to make the timeline! K's Mom, Dad and 2 of his brothers arrived late this afternoon and hung out in the room with us for a bit. By 6:00pm I was finally feeling the contractions but not intensely and they weren't very regular. Sunshine checked in around 6:45 and then again at 10:30. I spent a lot of this time alternating between the birthing ball and the bed trying to work with the contractions to be more intense and efficient. At 10:40 Sunshine checked me and I was only at a 3. She suggested stopping the pit for the night to give my uterus a break and start the pit again in the morning. Basically, my body wasn't responding to and working with the pitocin the way we needed it to so resting and trying again seemed like the best option. LDB was still looking great and my water wasn't broken so there was no harm in taking a break for a while to try to give the balloon a chance to help me dilate further. This was a sad moment for our families who came a very long way just to spend the night here knowing that very little was happening. My sister had to head back home but our parents stayed around. At midnight, K brought me food which I was SO thankful for! At 12:15 I took the Ambien again and was conked out for the night. I was very thankful later for this night of rest because it was the last good rest I had for quite some time!

A Baby Story - Deciding to be Induced

Today, my son is 3 weeks old! He is a joyful presence in our lives and I've enjoyed being his mother immensely over the last 21 days. So it's about time that I got his birth story written out! We just got internet setup at our new home last night so let's see if I can get this show on the road!!

Disclaimer: I generally don't use words like "cervix" or "vaginal" here on my blog. However, this is a birth story. If you don't care to know, just don't keep reading!

In my last post, I was 40+5 and feeling good. Starting to get a bit impatient but still happy and healthy. Well, on Tuesday, June 5 (our 2 year wedding anniversary!) I went in for my midwives appointment and second biophysical profile and ultrasound. Unfortunately, at my midwife appointment we found out that although my cervix was very soft (woop for evening primrose oil!) I wasn't even at 1 centimeter yet and LDB was still at a -2 station (still not descended all the way). Basically, my body was not planning on birthing a baby anytime soon. T (the midwife at this appointment) talked with us about some different options for induction in case we were interested. We decided to wait until after the BPP to make a decision.

So, at the BPP Dr. H and the nurses were still impressed by how healthy he looked but decided it was time to check his size.
Oh. Boy.
I told Dr. H that I really didn't want to know but he said it was necessary now that I was almost at 41 weeks to check his size and make sure he wasn't growing too big. So he made his measurements and his eyes got bigger and bigger. I explained that we have a family history of big babies and his response was, "Well this one is certainly following the family tradition!" He did his calculations, warned us that these guesses have a large margin of error and then gave his estimate. 11 pounds. Let me go ahead and say here that I did not believe at this point in time that I was growing an 11 pound baby. I was convinced the guess was wrong because very, very often they are. Dr. H wrote a note for our midwives and we took it back to their office to discuss options with Midwife T.

K and I had a long time to talk before we saw T and I was so defeated. I did NOT want to be induced but I knew that we were running out of time and options. After lots of thought, prayer, tears, and conversation with Midwife T we decided that induction was the best option. T explained the risk of shoulder dystosia and other risks with large babies (but remember, I didn't believe he was that big) and we all felt like we'd better just get it over with. I told her the sooner the better, because I didn't want to spend days fretting. We went home and she called 2 hours later to tell us that they had fit us into that night's schedule. We needed to be at the hospital in an hour and a half ready to be induced! We called our family, finished packing our bags, and headed that way. We explained to everyone when we called that because my cervix was so closed this was going to be a loooong process so don't feel like you need to rush to Cowtown. A truer statement had never been uttered!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Still pregnant!

...just in case anyone was wondering. I still feel fine. Still patient. Honestly, the last few days have been sonnice because K and I have had some great time to get things packed and cleaned around the duplex. Even better, we've had some special just us time. Since grad school and jobs have defined our last 2 years it's been nice to just enjoy each other. Such a blessing.

In other news, tomorrow is our 2 year wedding anniversary! I am so excited! We've had such a beautiful, blessed 2 years. I just can't believe how fast the time has flown. Last year we went to the lake with our dogs for the weekend. It was such a nice getaway. A couple of weeks ago I jokingly asked K what he was getting me for our anniversary. I think I gave the poor guy a heart attack!! I laughed, told him I was joking and then let him know that having a baby and buying a house would do just fine this year!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Yesterday I had a Bio Physical Profile and Non-Stress Test. This is routine for anyone who goes over their due date and both tests went really well. We started with the NSS and we had a great nurse overseeing everything. Basically, they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and watched LDB's heart rate for about 20 minutes. It was really cool to hear and see how his heart rate would go sky high when he was squirmy and then slow down while he rested. The nurse said that was a great sign and he's obviously really active and healthy. She also got a lot of things setup in my chart so that I won't have to answer as many questions when we check in to the hospital! After the NSS we went across the hall for the BPP with a doctor. He was super sweet and encouraging. The BPP is a sonogram where they check for lots of different factors that indicate whether or not the uterus/placenta can still handle pregnancy and to make sure the baby is developing well. He looked at the amount of amniotic fluid, watched for practice breathing motions, checked his heart and other organs, made sure he responded to stimulation and several other things that I don't really recall. Everything checked out perfectly and he told us that there's nothing to worry about. He asked if we were interested in an induction and when we said no he agreed that it's not necessary. These tests have to be done every 3-4 days as long as the baby hasn't arrived so we rescheduled for Tuesday and Friday of next week. If LDB comes before then the hospital will notify the office and then, of course, we won't have to go. This office is right next to Labor and Delivery so it's very convenient!

K and I are still just patiently waiting. I planned on working as long as possible but we both agreed that going 1 day past my due date was plenty. I've had time the last couple of days to get tons done around our duplex in preparation for the move that I simply hadn't had the energy to do after getting off of work at 5. I'm thankful for this time! We did a lot of refresher reading on labor, breastfeeding, and coaching last night so we both feel a lot more prepared.

In the meantime, I've decided to take a hiatus from Facebook. I'll be back on after delivery to do an update because it's such a great means of sharing with a lot of people at one time but I'm enjoying being off for now.

The patience and calm that has covered both of us throughout this pregnancy, and especially in the last couple of weeks, is an amazing gift from God. We can't be given credit for it because I know if left to our own devices we would both be miserable with impatience right now!! I've been praying for God's timing to be all I place my trust in and He has generously blessed us both with comfort in His plan. We're happy and fulfilled by the Lord's's never been more evident in our lives and I'm truly, humbly thankful.