Wow! What a great intro...congrats on your lodge! Can't wait for the rest of the story to unfold for your soon to be newest addition!
I love your intro! It's so cool that you've known your DH for so long.
Did you have a natural birth with your DD?
I did have a natural birth with my daughter - or perhaps unmedicated is more accurate. I had several interventions but all minimal. I will try to get the story posted tonight. UT is playing in the Fiesta bowl, so we are watching football. Maybe during halftime.
Our first pregnancy was a mix of emotions. Work was difficult for me because of the nature of a production chemist. There were tasks that I needed someone else to perform. My boss was a jerk most days because he could only see how this was bad for the company. I did not have benefits (we were an 8 person company) and did not have FMLA because we were so small. My boss would swear at me regularly about "how f***ing irresponsible and unreliable I was to have gotten pregnant. How could I do this to him and the company?" And how he "couldn't have the laboratory sitting empty waiting for me to get my f***ing a$$ into work after dealing with a kid all night." Mind you, I missed the least number of days per year out of everyone there at around 6 per year. I only missed 2 half days while I was pregnant. I was fastidious about time and worked hard. After 4 months, I could not take any more and my blood pressure had been high from the stress of it all. I turned in my notice the same day my boss layed off our shipping warehouse manager. Unbeknownst to me, the other friend who was trying to conceive and already a mom turned in hers as well- the same day. It was a bad time for my boss (but I did not feel too bad). We took out student loans to make ends meet and I was able to get on Mike's insurance when enrollment came around.
We had started with a midwife but after the early high blood pressures and, later, protein in my urine, it was recommended that we switch to their back-up OB or other natural child birth friendly doc. We interviewed lots of OB's in Austin and liked the birth center's back up doc the best. Even with the midwife transfers, he had the lowest c-section rate we could find. He was also a straight shooter but respected our research and believed woman were strong. He was pretty great. He monitored me closely, but was pretty laid back with treatments. He let me go "past due" since my blood pressure had not risen above 125/80 and that was in early pregnancy. He did not even mention induction or do any vaginal checks. I came in for biophysical profiles once a week after 38 weeks.
Thanksgiving (Nov 25) came and went. My due date (Nov 26) came and went. Nothing. At 40 weeks and 4 days I went to the chiropractor for an appointment. I started having some Braxton Hicks contractions in the evening. They were only slightly regular, but did not go away. Mike and I went to sleep and when I got up to go to the bathroom around 3 am, I noticed a wetter, mucousy feeling. I turned on the light and discovered, I had passed the plug. I was too geared up to sleep, so I got a glass of water, filled the tub, and took a nice long bath. The contractions were steady and fairly close together (about 4 minutes) but still not painful. I decided to wake Mike and talk to him about it. We reread the doctors instructions and since we were past 40 weeks we were supposed to go to the hospital if it was not during office hours. We called our doula and our parents/families in Oklahoma City and set off for the hospital around 5 am. I sang to the radio on the way there. They were playing Christmas music and we were going to have our baby! I was excited, but not uncomfortable. (This should have been a clue. . .!)
In the hospital, they checked me in and started the monitors. The very grumpy nurse zeroed the machine while we were talking, but it was during a contraction. So the only subsequent contractions that were detected were those stronger than the one when she "zeroed' the machine. She declared that I was not in labor and did a quick cervical check. I was still closed but about 80% effaced. I knew this was it, however, we decided we were better off at home than waiting for her shift to change so we went home. When we checked out, the discharge lady asked my husband "Oh, did somebody have a case of the 'falsies?'" He politely smiled and said, "We'll be back." I though he was going to smack her. He is NOT a morning person and it was not quite 6 am. So we called our families back. My mother asked me if I thought I was in labor and I told her I was sure of it. They said they were coming anyway, that I knew better than anyone else.
We went home. I ate some raisin bran and we made love one last time. I took a bath and listened to a hypnosis cd. I "slept" for almost 3 hours and then my family was there. I could only talk to them for a few minutes before retiring back to our room. By this point (about noon) contractions were steadily coming every 3 minutes or a little less and taking all of my focus. We called our doula, Courtney, to come sit with us at home. She arrived about 1 pm and rubbed my back. I wanted to listen to the cd again and I was back in "the zone." At some point, Courtney asked Mike "Is she sleeping? I think she may be asleep." I waited for the contraction to stop and I said "I am NOT sleeping. I am dying!" Courtney asked if we wanted to go back to the hospital. She said the cats were acting funny and I was "settling in." I said that if we were going to go, we should go now, because I did not think it was going to be long. That was a little after 3pm. We called the doc and they wanted to check me in the office. In the car we called back and said we were going straight to the hospital and to let the doctor know. When we arrived, the only wheel chair they had did not have leg rests. It was awful trying to hold my legs up through contractions so they could push me. Finally, we got up to our room and I changed, gave a urine sample, and they started the monitors at about 3:45 pm. Our precious baby was having late decels with each contraction. Her heart rate was falling into the 60-70's each time and only recovering to around 90. They paged my doc to come quickly. I rolled over and we agreed to start an IV to rule out dehydration and get extra oxygen. They checked my cervix and I was "only" a 4. My contractions were hard, long - about a minute and a half to two minutes- and I had less than 20 seconds in between. When my doctor arrived, he confirmed that the baby was in distress and gave us our options: do nothing, have an emergency C-section now, or try internal fetal monitoring and an amnioinfusion in case the baby's head or umbilical cord were being compressed by the strength of my contractions (which were already greater than 90mmHg). We elected to try the amnioinfusion. I also asked for an anesthesia consult in case of a c-section since I have severe narcotic reactions. At 4:25, he ruptured my membranes (thick meconium), attached the internal monitor and oxygen probe to the baby's scalp, and placed the intrauterine pressure catheter (IUPC). He said my cervix was a solid 5 cm so I was definitely progressing. Within a few minutes, they began running a solution of saline water through the catheter to help artificially inflate the uterus (and provide clean fluid for the baby to reduce the risk of meconium aspiration). It worked (and hurt like HE**); the baby's heart rate began to come up steadily. Each contraction had less of a drop and her new baseline was back up to about 115- not great, but not an emergency if I was still progressing. The anesthesiologist came pretty quickly and we agreed that a quick analgesic-only (lidocaine or bupivocaine with no narcotics) spinal would be the best option if I needed a C-section. (Though I was obviously in pain, doc did not offer me anything. Kudos to him!) I was unable to talk for most of this time and only had a few words between each contraction which were now lasting over 2 minutes with less than 15 seconds in between. My husband and our doula were great, asking all of the questions and I only had to nod and grunt! My doctor left about 4:35 to run over to his office and grab the rest of my files and check on another patient facing an induction for pre-eclampsia. Courtney had to run out and call someone to pick up her kids. While she was gone, I was lying pretty much motionless on the bed, trying to breathe through each contraction. Another nurse came in and the two nurses were talking. My nurse made a comment that she had not had any babies that day and would not be around to see this baby born. The other nurse asks when she get off. She says, "Nine." I was devastated. I could not imagine going on like that for 5 more hours. I told Courtney as much when she returned and she asked me if I could just do 5 more contractions. I agreed and we continued. It somehow was easier then. I went back into the "zone."
Shortly after that, I felt nauseous. Now according to my husband and Courtney, I mostly appeared asleep or unconscious except for the low occasional moans. So when I started pulling my oxygen mask off and the nurse was there telling me that I needed to leave it on. I told her I was going to throw up and she handed me the little pink kidney shaped bowl/spittoon. I shook my head and tried to ask for something else, but before I could I vomited all over the nurse, our poor doula, myself, the bed, the floor. . . They were all pretty shocked since I had been lying there so "peacefully" before! The nurse decided to check me again before she left and I was 7 cm. She went to go change her scrubs. Just then the door opens to my room and I heard this simpering sweet voice say, "Knock, kno-ock!" Great, the in-laws were coming on in! Everyone was covered in vomit. My legs were up and open wide, and IV pole between them, with the cords and catheter taped on my thighs. My bottom was pretty much on display and I was feeling particularly vulnerable and annoyed! My contractions now were continuous and all of them were off the charts (over 200mmHg). Luckily, our doula, Courtney was the closest and she intercepted them very effectively and guided them back out. She also left with them to go change shirts, so Mike and I were alone. It was 4:47. After a few minutes, my contractions let up briefly. I was so relieved! I remember looking up at him for the first time in an hour and smiling.
Then suddenly the "pushing" started. It was like dry heaving, so much pressure! I could not stop it. Courtney came back in and saw what was happening and paged the nurses station. The nurse came and everyone was telling me to just relax and not to push, but I honestly could not control anything at that point. Courtney asked the nurse to check me and she said she would check me in 5 minutes. Courtney calmly looked at her and said, "Maybe you should check her NOW!" She obliged. Another contraction hit while she was checking me and the baby was crowning and there was only a lip of a cervix left. She held it back through the contraction and I was complete. She asked my husband to punch the button and nearly yelled, "I need a doctor in here! Now, now, now, now, now!" About that time, the monitors all went haywire and 2 doctors(blue scrubs), 4 nurses (pretty patterned scrubs), and 9 NICU staff (bright canary yellow) came filing into the room. They put ups the side rails shifted my IV lines and were preparing me for transport, when finally the on-call doc looked at me and said (in his heavy South African accent) "Stop! This baby is coming out vaginally." I was in the middle of a contraction and he started asking for the vacuum. My doctor walks into the room, just in time to do a quick episiotomy (I was never more thankful, my labia was tearing upward!) and catch the baby. He told me just to push, that we weren't going to wait for a contraction. There was blood everywhere and out she came about 10 seconds later. She was born at 5:04 pm November 30, 2004. I briefly saw the baby as they were pulling her out and cutting the cord. She was blue and lifeless (initial APGAR 3) and they whisked her away to the little isolette table. Then she cried! I was sooooooo relieved. One of the doctors asked Mike if he would like to go see her and he got to carry her to the NICU where they did her assesments and suctioned her lungs. The meconium had not made it passed her larynx and vocal cords so she was declared to be just fine.
I was still bleeding profusely, I could actually see it puddling on the floor and one of the nurses slipped on it. Eek. Part of the placenta came out about 5 minutes later. We waited, for almost another 8 minutes, but my blood pressure was falling and the doctor asked me if he could give me pitocin and suggested that I needed a curettage (scraping out of the uterus). I agreed to both. I did not how much blood was normal, but I was pretty sure it was not that much! The curettage is really not bad. It felt a little like menstrual cramps- and only moderate ones at that. I lied back with hands behind my head, watched the ultrasound (one person scans the uterus while the doctor uses a broad spoon looking thing to make long sweeps of the uterus), and drank my orange juice that the nurse had so generously brought in abundance. It took about 15 minutes for the procedure with my doctor initially asking me if he couldn't give me something now for the pain. (". . . um, what? Are you kidding, this is nothing. I just pushed a baby out of my vagina! I feel no more pain.") I was truly relaxed now. A nurse came in to report that our daughter was perfect. Her second APGAR was a 9 and she had no meconium in her lungs. They were moving her to the regular nursery for the vitamin K shot (we agreed since her labor was traumatic). It was a strange time with the nurse, Courtney, me and my OB. We were laughing and joking about things. My doctor shared that he had missed Thanksgiving and his favorite thing was sweet potato pie. While he stitched me up, I asked him if all of my labors were going to be that fast. He said that in his 27 years of delivering babies, he had "never seen contractions that strong - with or without pitocin." I was glad he said that because I was feeling rather like a baby at one point where I did not think I could go on. I asked him if all of my labors would be like that. He made the comment that he could not believe I was even considering doing it again. He said he was a big believer in natural childbirth but that even he had been worried when he saw my strip (from the internal pressure monitor). He said that he had seen placental abruption several times, but that my placenta appeared to rupture. It was side-lying about mid way to my naval, and he suspected it had been caught by her shoulder, arm, or knee as she was moving down and being post dates may not have helped since there was some calcification present.
After I was all cleaned out and getting stitched up, Mike returned - with no baby. I was kind of upset, but patient and reminded him that he was to stay with her at all times. He said that both sets of grandparents were now watching over her outside the nursery window and he had had to use the restroom. (Okay. It had been several hours for him too, so I guess that is all right!) I told him he should not watch me get stitched up (he gets woozy from things like that) because some day I was going to want to have more kids with him. He gave me a quick kiss and told me how proud he was and then left again. The cleaning people came to mop up the floor, and my parents came in after the doctor was done. They were miffed that we had not called them to tell them we were on our way to the hospital and that they "missed" it. I told them I would not discuss it again, and as I still not seen my baby and they had, they had not "missed" anything except being scared to death by people rushing around with alarms sounding in the hall.
It took a little over four hours to get them to bring our baby to me. I was getting really irritated! I threatened to walk down and get her myself. As I was not medicated, I could. Eventually, after I was transferred to the postpartum ward, they brought her in. Mike and I kicked everyone out and just looked at her and decided to name her Molly Ann. It just fit perfectly. I nursed her and Mike went out to let the "Grandmas" and my sister in to keep me company. She latched on with no effort and it was all so magical. We had our first baby and everything was great!
Mike and I (in Vegas for Thanksgiving 2003)
Our first homecoming (the day before I found out I was pregnant!)
37 weeks pregnant with Molly
Newborn Baby (before I had really seen her. . .)
20 hours old!
Wow, what a birth story. Hoping this one is much more peaceful. You deserve it.
Sienna 11/2/05 Michael 1/11/09
Last year, I was having some abnormal cycles. I thought I was pregnant in April as I was having some really weird symptoms consistent with what I remembered from the last time. But all the tests were negative. I finally went to the doctor and had a blood test to be sure. It was negative. THe doctor wanted to run and ultrasound to make sure everything was okay with my internals. He found that I had multiple cysts on my ovaries and told me that I probably had PCOS. I asked him what that meant for future children and he said that without fertility treatment or intervention, it was unlikely by possible we could conceive on our own. He talked to me about Metformin and other low level drugs and gave me some literature to read and studies to review. I was going to come back for a more thorough workup after school was out and I was less stressed. I was devastated but resolved. I began cutting out my sugars and exercising everyday to try a less invasive approach to controlling my hormone imbalance. Mike and I also decided that we would stop trying to prevent a pregnancy since it was unlikely I was ovulating anyway, and if it happened a little earlier than we were planning, we would be thankful.
THe following Friday about a week later, my husband Mike won some tickets to a live broadcasting of the radio show (Jeff Ward on KLBJ in Austin) at the Alamo Draft House. Every year, he hosts a live show with film critic Gary Cogill from Dallas. I got someone to cover the last 10 minutes of my class and left early for the day. Molly was going home with a friend and spending the night. It was the best date we had had in a long time. We went to the show, ate dinner while we were there and laughed and booed and cheered. It was great! (The Drafthouse is perhaps the best theater ever! There are a few popping up in other Texas towns and if you have a chance, go there for a movie. Every other row of seats is replaced by long narrow tables and they serve really good bar/grill style food as well as assorted beer and wine- though I have never actually had a drink there. They show current flicks as well as special engagement sing-alongs and "quote-alongs" to classics. So much fun!) After we got home, we had some extra time and got to work out together (a rare treat with a 3 year old) and then sat in the hot tub for a while talking. It was just so nice as we had been missing each other a lot with Mike finishing his dissertation and me teaching for the first time. Later that night, things heated up and we had some "quality time" together. And again in the morning.
I had begun charting in earnest after my appointment and I started noticing some erratic temps, but there was still a definite rising trend. I had ovulated! And then I noticed that the rise had come a day after our really great date. Hmmmm. I was watching everyday and by day 12 post ovulation I noticed a second rise. I went and bought a test during lunch and tested. It was very faint - so faint I had another friend look and see. She thought it was *maybe* positive, but didn't really know if it was just an evaporation line. I taught my last two classes and run out quickly to the store to get a different test. My friend said that the "Answer" brand was her best and darkest test (They were also one of the cheapest!) so I bought a 3 pack. I did the test and it was positive - faint but definitely there. I called Mike. He was surprised and pretty stoic, but definitely handled it better than the last time.
The timing was not ideal, but not bad. Three days earlier, Mike had accepted the position at ACU over the offer from Yale and we considered this a "God thing." We were in the process of getting our condo on the market to sell and I was finishing up the school year. It almost felt like the final piece of our transition from Austin and graduate school to being adults.
We sold our condo in 8 days and were furiously trying to find a home to buy in Abilene. Molly and I went to preview houses, while Mike kept writing his dissertation. We found a house I loved, but I was concerned it might be too small (1700 sq ft, 3 bedrooms) but it felt right. When Mike came the following week, we decided we could enclose the porch for a playroom/guest room and it would be perfect for our little family. We moved all of our stuff into storage and spent the next three weeks between closings couch surfing between our friends and family.
I was much more sick with this baby but less tired. At 8 weeks, I started growing really fine hair on my chin and neck. I waxed it off and other hair popped up in its place, but by 12 weeks it was mostly gone. I thought this was weird but I read that this is when boys are developing their testes and they release testosterone in large quantities. So I thought that this was a boy.
In August, we moved our boxes into our house and we went to Disneyland. Sadly, two days before we left, I got a norovirus and spent two days in the bathroom. On the morning we were leaving I felt better, but still really weak. The first day we walked about 7 miles. I had some light spotting but my doctor said it was probably from being dehydrated or from the extra stress on those tender membranes. After that, I had to take it easy for a couple of days and go a little less than full tilt. It was a great vacation overall and we had a ton of fun!
The next week, Mike started work at ACU. Our life seemed to be moving so quickly. I saw a doctor in Abilene. He was okay, but the appointment took 3 hours - 2 of which were spent in the waiting room with Molly! The next week, I saw on the new that he had been arrested. Apparently, he had an argument with his daughter and she accused him of trying to strangle her. Who knows if it was true or overblown, but I changed doctors to the one I have now. Perhaps I should have taken my chances with the other doctor! (More on that later, but if you have read my other posts, you know the gist. . .)
Abilene is not particularly NCB friendly. The C-section rate is very high as is the induction rate. About 98% get epidurals and over 90% get pitocin. I was floored when I started asking questions. So I began searching for a doula and that is how I found this board! Melissa (newbeginnings) had posted something about doulas and Abilene. I was finally feeling like I was not alone in an abyss.
At 20 weeks my suspicions were confirmed. We are having a boy! I am excited and nervous about his birth, but I am getting more confident everyday. I am doing HypnoBabies and I have found a good sounding board in my physical therapist. She is likely going to attend our birth and serve as my doula. She is wonderful and I feel very blessed to have found her.