Welcome to your lodge!
Christy birth doula, Hypnobabies instructor, small business owner & most importantly MOMMY.
Yay, welcome to your lodge!
Jessica & Daniel
Welcome to your lodge!
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)
DH (Jason) and I met in January 2003. I was in my 4th year in college (of a 5 year bachelors/masters combined program), and I had just started back from winter break. Never having had a "real" boyfriend before, I spent much of fall semester bemoaning the fact that I didn't have a guy, etc. etc. When I returned from break in January, I vowed to just enjoy that semester with my friends, since many of them would be graduating and leaving at the end of the spring semester. Everyone always says that you will find someone when you stop looking... that is pretty much what happened. After being back for a week or two, a friend of mine (S) and I were hanging out but wanted to go somewhere but not just the two of us. So we called our other friend (J) and she was out at a quiet, laid back bar with some guy friends, many of which she had known since high school. I had met some of them before at other parties, etc. that I went to with J, but I had never met Jason before. He caught my eye...and eventually that night, one of his other friends must have noticed us chatting, etc. and offered to switch me seats so I wouldn't be cold by the door *wink wink* Oddly, I was then between Jason and another guy, both of whom were flirting with me...the other guy eventually picked up on the fact that I was into Jason, and when he got ready to leave he told me "have a good night and kiss my friend" Since I had driven S and I there, but the boys had bought us far too many drinks, Jason, who was DD for some of them, offered (at the suggestion of my friend J) to drive us back to their friend's apartment (which was closer than Jason's house) and then drive us back to our car once we all sobered up. I remember questioning J's idea, and then she said "trust me, this is a good thing" My friend S ended up chatting (and probably making out with ) one of the guys whose apartment it was, but Jason and I spent a couple hours talking, and eventually had a nice first kiss. After that first meeting, our mutual friend J wanted us to go on a double date with her and her boyfriend that next Friday or Saturday. Jason and I chatted on the phone and on AIM several times, and ended up spontaneously going out to a movie in the middle of the week (wednesday or thursday) b/c we were both bored. It was snowing out, and I kept thinking "my parents will be so mad if I wreck my car going to meet some boy for a movie!" I can still remember butterflies when I saw him standing in the lobby of the theater. I hated the movie we saw, but that didn't matter My friend J made fun of me that we couldn't wait and went out before the scheduled double date for that weekend.
That is the long version of how we met. DH likes to tell it as "I met her in a bar" I always tell him that we met through a mutual friend, and it just so happened to be in a bar...but the way he tells the story makes it sound like he was some random dude that picked me up with some cheesy line and bought me a drink
DH and I in February 2003, about a month after we met (we look so YOUNG!):
It was funny that we had never met before, since we later realized that we were both at the same place at least 2 other times when I was out with my friend J and a large group of people, some of which were those guy friends of hers from high school. I guess what they say about people meeting at the right time is true.
A little over a year later, in March 2004, he proposed. My grandmother had given me her diamond a couple years prior (she had it set in a necklace due to not being able to wear it on her hand from lymphedema from breast cancer in the past, but she and my grandfather always wanted me to have it), and she had given me the ok to put it back in a ring some day if I wanted. So, I knew the proposal was coming at some point, since DH had my grandmother's necklace with the diamond that was to be in my engagement ring. That Saturday that he proposed, we had a HUGE practical exam basically where our professors acted as patients and we drew a card with a certain patient diagnosis, scenario, etc. We were graded on how we did evaluating and treating them. If you don't pass, you have to redo it and pass before you are allowed to go onto your clinical rotations...so lots of pressure. I passed, and later that day when Jason came over, he proposed...nothing fancy, just in my apartment. He brought back the box that my grandmother's necklace was in and said "I brought back your necklace" and the ring was in the box...he got down on one knee, etc. etc. I later asked him what his plan was if I hadn't passed my practical exam...he had no back up plan...good thing I passed
Graduated with my master of Physical Therapy in August 2004:
might as well include wedding in here. we got married September 10, 2005 ...nothing exciting to report about that...
Here are some more pics from our wedding. We got married here in Pittsburgh, even though I grew up in VA, since I didn't really have a home church there...and the only family of mine in VA is my immediate family (mom, dad, sister). We got married at the church I joined here and still attend. Anyway, here are pics:
and being silly:
(might as well keep typing stuff up while I have the time and motivation I will separate them out, but bear with me, here, ladies)
Before getting married, we talked about waiting several years before having kids, but that baby fever crept up sooner than we had anticipated. After being married about 1 1/2 years, we started talking kids...or I started bugging DH and we agreed that we would start trying about spring of 2007. I was worried it would take a while for my cycles to get back on track after going off the pill, but lo and behold, I got pregnant on my second cycle off the pill in May of 2007, got a BFP at the beginning of June. I have always loved kids (my sister is 7 years younger than I am, and I was always known as the little mother...I loved to babysit...and I ended up practicing physical therapy with pediatric population), and I was excited, yet scared out of my mind, to be expecting a little one of my own.
I joined this online community a few months before going off the pill, learned a lot from ladies on the boards about fertility signs, natural birth, etc. When I was first TTC'ing, I wasn't dead set on natural childbirth, but many of the smart ladies on the boards made me aware of the many resources out there. I read up on lots of things, and decided I wanted to go as natural as possible with DS #1's birth. I wasn't "brave" enough to switch my care to the MWs with him, since I had never done this before, didn't know what to expect, etc. So I did what "Everyone" does and stuck with my OB group...I had a few of my faves that I hoped would be on call during labor. I did have a couple negative experiences with 1-2 OBs at that group, which lead me to hire a doula, a little late in the game at 34 weeks, but I am so thankful I made the decision to get a doula. She was the first to respond to my initial email, and at our first meeting, we clicked and i knew she was a great match for us.
DS's pregnancy was relatively uneventful, other than a few findings at my anatomical scan at about 19 weeks. They found choroid plexus cysts (relatively common and usually benign, I later learned) and renal pyelectasis (or dilated kidneys). The nurse who called me did not explain anything, just rattled off these terms and told me to make an appointment with the maternal fetal specialist. I am so glad I was home sick that day, because I was beside myself. Those 2 things together CAN be soft markers for trisomy 18... Since the nurse didn't explain anything or put me at ease at all, I looked things up online, ended up freaked out beyond belief. After meeting with the maternal fetal specialist, he put us more at ease, and we monitored the kidneys with an u/s every 4 weeks until I was 36 weeks when the measurement of the kidneys was within normal limits. The choroid plexus cysts resolved at some point earlier on. We never went down the road of amnio, since my quad screen (which I initially declined but went back and did once the u/s showed those things) came back with no increased risk and we wouldn't have changed anything, other than had the appropriate specialists prepared at the time of birth.
eta: belly pic from DS's pregnancy, 39 weeks
DS, Nathan, is now almost 3. His bday is 2/12...so he will turn 3 shortly after this new LO arrives!
On Monday, February 11, I went to work like any other day. I was feeling some discomfort throughout the day, which I brushed off as Braxton Hicks. Several coworkers throughout the day asked me if I was sure I wasn’t in labor. I didn’t have a patient scheduled from 3:00 to 4:00, so while I sat at my desk, I started paying more attention to these “pains” and how often they were coming. I used an online contraction timer around 3:45, when it said my contractions were varying from 30 second to one minute long and five to eight minutes apart. So, things were still somewhat irregular, but they were definitely getting stronger and getting my attention more and more. I left work around 4:30, saying to everyone “see you tomorrow.” On my way to the parking garage, I called Jason and told him “I don’t know what is going on, but we might be on baby watch tonight.”
The contractions were getting more uncomfortable on the way home. I kept an eye on the clock to see what the contractions were up to. I called my mom and Jason a couple times, a bit panicky asking “how do I know if this is really it???” I was feeling it mostly below my belly button and still thought they might just be Braxton Hicks. As the contractions got more uncomfortable, I found myself pulling my waistband away from my belly during each one. Driving home I thought, maybe I should have left work earlier!
I got home around 5:00 or 5:15. Jason and I called Joanna, our doula, and I told her my symptoms and what the contractions were feeling like and how far apart they were. She suggested that I take a shower, eat something, have a drink, and then call her in about an hour to let her know if things had changed at all. Around 6:00, before getting in the shower, I called the doctor’s office and left a message with the answering service. While in the shower, Dr. Sword called and talked to Jason. He says “sounds like labor” and that we can head into the hospital. Jason and I were both SO relieved to hear that Dr. Sword was the one on call, since he was one of our favorites.
Meanwhile, contractions did not go away or decrease at all with the shower, in fact I had to stop four or five times while in the shower to breathe through some contractions. Jason and I start packing last minute things, and Jason takes everything to the car. We called Joanna again around 6:45 with the update. She suggests laboring at home as long as possible rather than head right to the hospital. Around 7:30 when we talk to Joanna, I am a little apprehensive about staying at home, not knowing how long it will be, so we ask Joanna to come out to the house to labor at home with us for a while. While waiting for her to arrive, I think I said to Jason “I don’t think I can do this” at least ten times. The only way I was comfortable during contractions was standing, leaning over the dresser, Jason or the bed and swaying or kind of doing little squats up and down. I tried lying on my side or on my hands and knees, but as soon as a contraction came, I had to jump up to get comfortable.
Joanna arrived a little before 9:00, and she brought in her birthing ball. Thank goodness for that thing. I was able to get comfortable without having to be constantly on my feet and exhausting myself. The contractions continued to get stronger and closer together. It felt like I didn’t get much of a break in between. I also learned that it was now snowing outside. Right before 11:00, we decided to head to the hospital. Jason and Joanna warmed up the cars, while I tried to pee, which was more like sitting on the toilet through three or four contractions, only to get a little tiny dribble…very frustrating.
The car ride to the hospital was really hard. It was snowy, so Jason was trying to drive as quickly as he could without putting us all in danger of getting in an accident on the way. There were a lot of bumps along the road, many strong contractions, and increasing pressure with each contraction. When we pulled up to the ER entrance, I started to feel a little fluid leaking but nothing major. Jason wheeled me in, we checked into the ER, and waited for an OB nurse to come take us upstairs. While in the ER, I breathed and moaned through several contractions. The other people in the waiting room probably thought I was nuts, but I was beyond caring who was there or how much noise I was making. Still waiting for the nurse to get us, I ask Jason if we are supposed to go up or if someone is coming, he affirms that someone is coming to get us, and I impatiently tell him “well they better f@$%ing hurry!”
We are finally taken to OB triage, and we don’t have much time between contractions to change into a gown, get on the gurney, get hooked up to monitors, etc. The nurse takes my vitals and hooks me up to the monitor. Everything looks good, except for the one BP reading that was taken during a contraction! The nurse leaves to get the doctor to check me, and while we are waiting, my water breaks during a contraction. It was very dramatic, breaking with a pop and a gush. By the time the doctor came to check me, it was about midnight and he says I am already 9 centimeters!
Off to a room I go, with barely enough time to get a heplock in me, etc. I don’t think I even got a hospital bracelet or answered some “pre-admission” questions until after the birth. With each contraction, I am now feeling lots of urges to push. Jason and Joanna do a great job coaching me to breathe and pant to resist pushing until I am completely dilated. That was the hardest part of labor…not pushing when I really felt the need to. Around 12:30, Dr. Sword checks me again, and I am 10 centimeters…yay! I am allowed to push with the next round of contractions. After those contractions towards the end, pushing felt heavenly.
I ended up staying in bed, in semi-reclined/seated position to push, since I was so exhausted from being standing, sitting, on hands and knees during most of the laboring. I pushed while Jason and Joanna held my legs. Dr. Sword and my nurse, Amy, were great coaches/cheerleaders as well. Part of the way through the pushing, Dr. Sword decided I needed more leverage with my arms than I was getting by holding my knees. He held one end of a towel while I pulled on the other end during pushing…never thought I would play tug of war with my OB, but it did the trick.
As I got closer, they “broke the bed” and got all the towels and such ready. Dr. Sword put on his “spacesuit” and got ready for the baby to arrive. During the last part of pushing, I learned that Nathan was full occiput posterior or “sunny side up”, which is apparently harder to push out (great!). Finally at 1:52 am on February 12, after less than one and a half hours of pushing, Nathan is born. Jason got to cut the cord. Nathan had a nice cone head, thanks to being posterior, but he still looked absolutely perfect to us. I ended up with a second degree tear that Dr. Sword stitched up while Nathan was being weighed, etc. After the nurses got him cleaned up and Dr. Sword got me fixed up, Joanna helps us nurse for the first time. I couldn’t have done it without my awesome team…Jason, Joanna, Dr. Sword, and my nurse Amy. The next couple days, in addition to the obvious soreness, my whole body was sore from all that pushing and pulling on the towel, but it was so worth it to get my wonderful little guy!
oh dear, he looks like such a little peanut! he was... 6 lb 9 oz, 20.5 inches long And he is STILL a long and skinny thing!
***in hindsight, I would have pushed in a different position and waited until I felt more "pushy" to help avoid tearing. I think, since he was OP, I was feeling the urge to push early on (at the end of the car ride into the hospital and just prior to being told I was completely dilated), but once I was complete, I wasn't feeling it as much. Probably should have taken advantage of that break to rest. This time, I will remember that!
and last, but not least, here is our family now, pics taken at the beginning of Dec...