I'm trying to divide my time between getting house work done and finishing up editing sessions for my photography business. I'm kind of regretting taking on the last session I did since it's now hanging over my head. I unpacked my boy box of 0-3 month clothes yesterday. Wow I did not expect to be so teary. Such little tiny clothes! I grabbed all the neutral stuff and put the box back in the closet until we know what we're having. I need to find my girl 0-3 month stuff though it will be for the wrong season. We may have to just make do with neutrals if it's a girl for awhile since my last girl was born when it was still pretty cold out - I doubt I'll want to bundle this one up that much.
I realized that I haven't shared any birth stories on this particular thread. Being lazy I decided to copy paste from previous lodges my birth stories for Hunter and for Adelle.
Hunter's TTC and Birth Story
The year after we were married I started getting some baby-fever. Especially when a couple of my close friends announced their pregnancies. We decided to go off the pill and see what happened. By March 05 I was getting antsy, by July I was full fledge temping and charting and frequenting every TTC board I could find. My sister announced her 4th pregnancy in Sept. I had asked her the night before if she was pregnant but because she was wanting to save the surprise she had said "no". To be blown over like that the next day was hard - I wasn't prepared and I started crying in front of my family. I felt awful - I was happy for her but we had been TTC informally and formally for months, coming up on a year and I was heartbroken that it wasn't us. I basically let it go at that point. I felt awful that I had drawn attention away from my sister and figured we'd just take it easy for a couple months. Well take it easy in that I let something inside me go - we still BD'd and I charted that month but DH was on a wonky night schedule so everything was off. It was October 30th, 2005. I was at my mom's for supper and we were celebrating my newly pregnant sister's birthday. Brian was working until 2am so I was without him. My back was in agony. I felt like I had thrown something out in a serious way. I could barely move. My mom massaged it for a long time (much to my pregnant sister's annoyance lol). I left my mom's and drove home (45 minutes) and I remember the exact stretch of highway where I remember thinking - man I feel strange - hormonal but not...oh my gosh...I'm PREGNANT! I got home and immediately took a test. I was only 6 dpo but I swear I saw a line. I took the test apart and held it up to the light...that had to be a line! I took a digital picture and reversed it in editing so it appeared as a negative and there was definitely a line! (LOL - so obsessive!)
My sister (same one who was at the time pg with her 4th) actually set the bar when it came to ncb. She had had a horrible birth with her first with interventions up the hoo haw - everything but a c-sec and she was lucky. Her second one found her with a midwife and because of the way she talked about the care she received I knew that's what I wanted for myself. Her 3rd and 4th now were also with this same midwife group. The midwife group was in my backyard - literally. We lived in a bedroom community about 30 minutes from the city and were fortunate to have a "hospital" 2 minutes from my house - where the midwives work out of. I say hospital in quotes because it's really not equipped the same way one of the hospitals in the city would be. It is more like a birth centre. If you were in need of a c/s you would have to be transferred to a city hospital. Depending on who is staffed at the time of your birth you may be able to get a walking epi but anyone I know who has actually needed one (ok only one girl that I know of) had to be transferred to a different hospital as well. Anyway - the program started to change around the time I was pregnant with DS - they were getting so popular that to service as many ladies as they could they changed to group appointments. It was actually much better than I thought it would be. It was so great to manage my own care in a way and be supported by such an awesome group of ladies. My group for DS still to this day gets together regularly and they are so special to me.
All in all DS's birth was fantastic! For a first time birth I am so happy with the way it went and I owe a huge chunk of that to a midwife who strangely enough - I struggled with! More her manner than anything else - but she has the most experience of all the midwives and she has done years and years of homebirths making her very naturally minded. She was technically the midwife "assigned" to me for DS. I found the group appointments N led frustrating though because she would repeat herself week to week and I felt like we weren't really covering or discussing anything new. It was a minor annoyance at the time but I was assured by my sister that N was great during birth.
The week leading up to DS's birth my oldest sister was visiting from the west coast. So my two sister's and I had a blast together. We went to a "lovely" Alberta lake (ok - lovely for us anyway...not tons to pick and choose from when you're land locked lol) and spent a day in the sun and water...and I came home with Swimmer's Itch lol. The next day my mom and sisters and I went to West Edmonton Mall (one of the largest malls in the world) and shopped for probably 4 or more hours. I was 38 and a bit weeks and I figured the walk would help get me that much closer anyway right?! I was big (had gained 80 plus lbs!!!) but didn't have BHs or ctxs at all so I figured it could still be weeks away and was content to wait that. I think it really helped move things along though. I just had a feeling I would be early. However I had a MIL who was 3 weeks late with her first and was convinced that I would be another month at least! That drove me crazy and more and more I just wanted to prove her wrong lol.
My MIL decided that we should go get pedicures done about a week before my due date. I woke up that morning feeling intense pressure below everytime I moved. I did not feel like spending the afternoon with her! I got up and got ready and thought - hmmm I should take a belly picture. I hadn't my entire pregnancy but I did that morning. Interesting in retrospect. Anyway off to the spa I went to meet her. She was late. There was so much pressure when I sat or stood or anything. I asked to use the washroom (good thing) and relieved myself. When I stood up again I felt a pop and a gush! I wasn't sure what had happened - did I pee myself (every girl's first thought lol!) or was that my water? At that point it was still gushing every time I moved and there was bloody show so I figured it was my water after all. Then the moment of indecision. It actually crossed my mind...do I stay for the pedicure? The people pleaser in me didn't want to disappoint my MIL! I called DH from the bathroom and told him what happened and asked him what he thought. Good thing for the voice of reason - GO HOME! I came out of the bathroom sopping wet (as I was still having liquid leaking in small gushes everytime I moved) and dripping on the salon/spa's floor. No one talked to me and my MIL still wasn't there. I walked out of the salon and waited for her to show up. She did and I explained what happened. She was so flustered lol. She cancelled our appointment and wanted to drive me to the hospital. Uh...no I think I'll just go home I said. She was pretty insistant but I won out in the end and drove myself home.
I called the midwife clinic but apparently they were closed on Mondays! (Might have been a nice thing for my midwife, N, to relay to me). I hated to do it but I called N's cell phone to let her know. She seemed a little annoyed to be disturbed (later I found out it had been a horrible week where everyone went into labour and she had had no sleep). When she found out that I had no ctx she said to come into the office the next morning if I didn't go into labour before then. Tuesday morning arrived - not even a cramp. I went into the office where I was hooked up and monitored and then we sat down to talk induction. Nope she did not want to induce me. We had lots of time and since I hadn't been checked my risk of infection was low. Just drink lots, don't introduce anything to the area and lets try to do this naturally. It seemed like a much longer time to wait than I did now when I think back on it. The next day I got a different midwife (N was sleeping or attending a birth) and I said I was ready for an induction. My family was awesome, but my inlaws were making me crazy. My MIL had in the meantime called every person in the medical profession she knew (including a friend of mine who was a student nurse) to get their perspective on the fact that I was still at home and not in a hospital getting "treatment"! It's so amazing to me still that no one in my immediate care circle was screaming "dead babies" to me (not even the supervising OB!) but my MIL was screaming it loud and clear! She actually didn't affect me that much. What broke me in the end was that DH had just started a new position at work and could only be off that week. He had to go back to work on Monday and he had sat around with me for 3 days. I wanted him to be home with me when we had a baby! The supervising OB was brought in that day too - just to make sure all was ok. When I asked for the induction both the midwife (who I had never met before that day) and the OB agreed (she had to sign off on any inductions) saying that she would have loved to see what I could do naturally and me and baby were fine but understood where I was coming from and agreed to my induction. (Boy do I feel somewhat silly thinking back on it). Unfortunately (or fortunately in my case) they were full at the moment so I would have to wait till the next morning.
So DH and I headed home for our last night together. Finally I could rest - no more walking miles and miles, nip stimulation, raspberries, tincture, and struggling to get labour started. We hunkered down that afternoon, ordered Chinese for supper and watched a rented movie. After the movie was over we watched our favorite show "So you think you can Dance". Apparently baby liked that show - I felt my first ctx.
It wasn't long before I realized that it wasn't the Chinese - this was labour! It must have been around 8pm or 9pm. I can't remember. They started in at 5 min apart and 90 seconds and by 11:30pm they were 1 to 2 minutes apart and 90 seconds long. I laboured on the toilet because that's where they felt the strongest and I really wanted this to be it! I had DH call midwife N. She asked him to call the hospital instead. He called the hospital who after hearing that my waters had been broken for 60 some hours wanted him to call the midwife N. Sigh...poor DH. So he calls back N who wasn't happy to be disturbed and muttered something about no one wanting her to get any sleep...she said she would call the hospital and we should head in.
Hospital is only 2 minutes from our house so fortunately it was only a couple ctx's in the car. It being more of a country hospital (we're in a town) it took awhile to figure out how to get into the hospital after hours. Ended up we had to go through the Ambulence bay. DH still gets a kick out of that. The nurse apologized but all the main birthing rooms were full and so for now I would have to go in their tiny assessment room. I didn't really care at this point although getting in the tub would have been nice. She checked me (moment of no turning back) and I was a 5-6! I was staying! DH and the nurse helped me into the shower. This was around 12:30am. DH was getting sleepy poor guy but he was really great. Basically he held a shower head on my back for 3 hours.
I've been asked what it was like - pain-wise a few times. Honestly I have trouble remembering. I didn't do hypnobirthing or babies but I think I managed to enter my own state of hypnosis. I remember gripping tightly and using my voice in low low tones during ctxs and falling asleep between them. It was back labour - I do know that but it was all very manageable - again kind of put myself into a zone so much of it I can't remember.
I got out when I felt "pushy" and the nurse was on hand to check me a again - I was at least a 9 (I think) with a little lip of my cervix left. I sat on a stool for awhile and then got on the bed. Midwife J came in at that point - actually I guess she had been in and out but had seen that I was dealing well with everything so had gone to check on another mama. I guess N got to go back to bed. I was actually kind of grateful just based on N's gruff manner up to this point. J was an older lady and so soft spoken and kind. When she had me start pushing she told me that it would take "patient pushing dear - don't worry about it just push when I felt I needed to and be patient with myself and my baby." It's a good thing because that ended up being the hardest part of my labour. I pushed 3 and a half hours. DS was posterior and so I found the most comfortable to be on my back. J had me try other positions - leaning up over the top of the propped up hospital bed was probably where I made the most progress but in the end exhaustion from being up all night and the back labour made me default to my back. DH was pretty much falling over at this point. Because of the small room they removed the only chair so that they could bring in equipment etc. J had him run small errands - or take a break. I remember thinking when he left "don't leave me" but couldn't say it and stay in my zone.
Here is where the majority of my fear for this one lies. About 2 of those 3 plus hours I remember in detail. I couldn't stay in my zone. The last hour J and DH would pick up my legs to push during a ctx and after it was over they would drop them. When the next ctx started having my legs down was so painful until they picked them up again. I used low tones to help but that didn't put me into my zone - just helped me cope within the moment. I am a little fearful of this stage for this one. I even had a dream about labour this weekend and the beginning was bliss, but when I started pushing it was awful. I think it was my position more than anything so this time that's a major thing for me. The actual getting him out was not an issue. I don't remember feeling a ring of fire - just that feeling we were close and ctx one after another. I was told to slow down but at that point I really really really had to have him out and this done so I plowed on through. Poor little dude had a major lump/cone head and bruise on his noggin. He came out making a bleating noise more than a cry. DH and I joked that maybe I gave birth to a baby goat. He was so sweet though. They towelled him off and we lay there for a long time. I delivered my placenta (what a sweet feeling after pushing out a baby...I loved that feeling!), and everyone left us to bond. The birth time was 7:01am. My induction was to begin at 8:00am. It felt so good to be already holding my baby - not getting ready to go in for the induction.
We started making calls around 8am. Baby still hadn't left my chest so I had no idea what he weighed or anything. Since last anyone had heard we were having an induction at 8am everyone was shocked when we called to tell them that little Brian Hunter was here! Eventually the nurse and J came back and DH and the nurse left to weigh him while J came back and stitched me. I had a 2nd degree tear - and about 14 stitches I think - probably wouldn't have been anything if I had gone a little more slowly at the end. Note for next time.
I had 3 goals for this birth.
#1. To do it naturally
#2. To arrive at the hospital late in the game (I wanted to be a 6 at least - wish now I had waited just a bit longer at home but still it wasn't too bad).
#3. To walk out saying "lets do it again". Mostly that was my stubbornness. I had been told (mostly my MIL) that I was crazy that I would "find out" that it was a horrible thing and would want drugs. I hated the people who shook their head at me as a naive FTM - I so badly wanted to not only do it but do it and have a great birth story to tell.
I think that I accomplished all three goals and I have a wonderful almost 4 yr old boy Hunter to show for it.
I have to add - that I loved having J as my midwife for the labour and delivery, but I do acknowledge the fact that N probably saved my natural birth by urging me to wait on an induction. So while her gruffness when I first went into labour really turned me off of her I am grateful for the role she played. Also in retrospect I think that psychologically I needed to get the pressure off - and scheduling an induction did that. I don't know what I'd do in a similar situation again but for this particular situation it took all the pressure off of me and allowed my body to just do what it was meant to do.
Adelle's TTC and Birth Story
After the trouble we had conceiving Hunter I really didn't want to go back on any kind of hormonal BC. I don't like the way it makes me feel and even though I've tried out a bunch of different kinds I just don't do well on them. I get migraines and gain weight and don't feel like myself.
Normally we use condoms and occasionally if I've been paying close attention to my cycle we get a "nekid sex" day lol. They are not the norm though. In June of 07 DH and I had one of these so called "nekid sex" dates. I ovulated 5 days later. At the beginning of July we were in Winnipeg, MB visiting Brian's grandparents for their 50th anniversary. A day or so in I felt like my back was out. It started to cross my mind...hmmm...but NO...I couldn't be. We went to a beach where my MIL told a story of coming there and being pg with one of her sons but she didn't know it yet. I thought...I wonder if that will be my story too? I actually considered going and getting a test there. DH convinced me to wait until we got home. The drive home (15 hours) I felt like a SUPER bag. I was annoyed with everyone and everything. Hunter was just over 11 months at the time.
Shockingly...or not lol...I was indeed pregnant. I had already made arrangements to start back at work in August and here I was pregnant again? They were going to kill me! It actually took some time to be happy about this pregnancy. We had had the talk of course about having another (this is apparently what makes us pregnant now lol) but wanted to wait so that I could potentially quit work all together. Brian's job was also unstable at the time - rumours floating around about the company moving out of Canada. Sure enough that fall he lost his job. He remained jobless for almost 3 months as the economy started to tank around that time as well. Finally the week of xmas he received two job offers. One that seemed amazing but would cement us staying in the town we were living and we weren't sure. The other was for a company that was on the list of top 10 places to work in Canada - and while the position was nothing amazing it would be stable, and the benefits were great. So we ended up choosing that one. The only problem is that he was tier 3 support for a tax software and the baby was due smack in the middle of tax season so time off once again was an issue.
About a month before Adelle was born we started seriously pursuing a move into the city to be closer to Brian's work and to our families. We got all our finances lined up while we waited for our Real Estate Agent to get back from missions trip he was on. We knew we would be upgrading houses too. We had been living in a half duplex and renting out our basement for the past 4 years. So us and two dogs had been living in about 900 square feet and we knew we wanted a whole house to ourselves.
At 39 weeks our RE agent returned...and I came down with probably the worst cold I've ever had. I even got it checked out by a dr to see if they could do anything for me. Nope - it was influenza. DH had it too but less severe than me. I really do think it stopped me from going into labour. At 41 weeks I started to feel a bit better but I had already pulled a stomach muscle and potentially bruised some ribs from all the coughing. We decided that we didn't want to put our lives on hold waiting for this baby who seemed quite comfortable so the next week we made appts with our RE agent to go see houses. March 26th we walked into a house that had only been listed just that day - and only on the RE website - not the public one yet. It was a dream. The layout was amazing and it was a great location. I was ready to make an offer right then and there but our agent didn't have time Also that same day we scheduled my induction... I was feeling better but felt like things were going down hill again - so we planned it for Friday March 28th when I would be almost 42 weeks. So the next day on our 4th anniversary (the 27th) we drew up all the papers for our dream house. That anniversary sucked by the way lol - DH says well at least we got to DTD and I did buy you a house. We found out that there was another offer being made so if we really wanted it we couldn't put any conditions on the sale (ie like the sale of our home or inspection etc) and we had to offer more money than the asking price. Our offer would be presented to the sellers the next day.
Friday morning we went in for the induction that was to start at 9:30am. Here is the birth story from my '08 lodge...
I LOVE those pictures. They just portray such a lovely, warm, peaceful birth experience. Who took them? I know YOU are the photographer, but whoever took those did a great job. When I saw those photos after Adelle was born I thought how awesome it was to have birth photos in B&W, and I had my mom take a bunch in B&W at Owen's birth. It just makes the whole look a bit softer and it helps hide all the blood and birth mess!
I had forgotten about you guys buying that house at the same time that Adelle was born! Wow, and then you moved in just a few weeks later right? Well, there ya go, at least this time around you don't have all that added stress on you!
And, glad to hear your camping weekend wasn't too bad. Funny about your BIL! And a good sign that you were having some super pressure and ctx. Even if your cervix is closed, you know as well as I do that that doesn't necessarily mean anything right now. You could have a baby in your arms in 24 hours, especially with this being #3. Hang in there, and stay positive! It's nice that you had a little break yesterday.
Thank you Nicole! It's been awhile since I looked at those pictures too - they make me feel warm and fuzzy - and a little sad that I'm not doing a water birth again. It's just so much easier to deliver in the water vs a bed. Brian took the first couple and then one of the midwives picked up my camera (I had set all the settings before things kicked into gear!) After I just turned the more graphic ones into b&w. I agree - it makes everything far more share-able! The majority of my pictures from Hunter's birth can't be shown as I'm very naked in all of the images so I told DH to not let me take off my top for that one and I'm thankful. I have great memories now.
My dad texted me today and asked if I wanted to come down to my brother's farm for the rest of the week (2 hours drive). I'm feeling the need to stay close to home though so I passed. Hope I don't get bored later and regret it! I know I'm feeling a ton better as well as I got a large chunk of the house cleaned today! I know there is a very good chance I will go overdue again but I still feel the need to stay close.
Thank you for sharing your stories and pictures...I really enjoyed it all!
Listen to your gut on the staying close to home. I think turning down plans at this point in pregnancy is nothing but smart. I don't know about you but boredom has not been a problem lately...there's always either something to clean or a nap to take!
Adelle's birth sounds a lot like Zoe's, except I didn't have the option of a water birth and I gave in to the epi. But the super fast labor and intense contrax right away was the same thing I experienced with a miso induction. It also took a while for my cervix to respond and open up. That stuff sure is powerful. Lets hope neither of us needs it this time.
All these babies on the way...makes a girl have baby fever (can I call it that when I'm pregnant?) in a serious way!
I've kicked everything into gear. I'm drinking several cups of RL Tea now plus EPO and I'm stopping by my old health store today to pick up the owners special birth tincture the midwives always recommended. I had my computer upstairs in my room so I could chill in bed and work on stuff but have moved things back to my office so I could sit on my ball while I work. I woke up around 4am this morning pretty crampy and my vajayjay is super sore... from the ball? I'm still feeling out of sorts but going to head off to my sister's today to let the kids play and maybe soak up some pool time if the rain holds off. DH and I joked all week that Thursday was a good day to have a baby (we both felt like something is supposed to happen today but neither of us could remember what when discussing plans earlier this week). I'm good with next thursday too of course if this one doesn't work out