Welcome to your lodge!
Seriously!?!?! It is time for your lodge? Not possible, is it??? Really.
Congrats mama! I'm so happy for you and your family. I'm eager to share this journey with you!
PS-- I may be in MI in early August....what exactly is your due date?
DD 8.03, DD 6.05, DS 3.07, DD 5.09, and DS arrived 6.17.12
Wow, August lodges already! Time sure flies when you're having fun!!! Congrats and welcome!
Oh - I wanted to start your lodge...I have been stalking your ticker for months!
Yeah I cannot wait to follow your journey. I will bet the farm that this one does not make an appearance until after your due date.
Sorry Liz, I guess I beat you to it. That is one reason I started it early.
Mommy to three gorgeous girls
at 6 weeks 22/10/09
Ohhhh I am so bummed! LOL I wanted to start your lodge sooo badly, I've been watching your ticker like a mad woman lol
Welcome to your lodge my dear friend! I am so SO excited for you! I can't wait to follow your journey & to see what this cute little guy looks like!!
Welcome to your lodge!!
Ok, I am teary now...I am blaming the hormones, but you ladies really are so incredibly sweet!
I gave birth to Kailey at 37w5d, but I am wondering if this guy will be later. With Kailey, I was in the mindset that I would go past my EDD, so I am trying to keep in that frame of mind this time too...so you guys may be sick of me by that point, LOL!
For those who don't know me and didn't follow my lodge with Kailey, here's a quick intro...
I am Karly, mama to my beautiful DD Kailey, born last March and adoring wife to my best friend and DH. I just turned 31 and my DH is about to be 37 at the end of July. He is rooting for this little guy to come on his birthday (7/30). This pregnancy has been very easy, as was my first, and time has flown by. This is probably our last child (as we both have always had "two" as our number), so I have been savoring the experience. It really is an amazing thing, to see your body grow and nourish a human life.
I started my pregnancy with Kailey, thinking that "of course" I would have an epidural..."everyone gets one and it makes it easier if you end up needing a c/s." And this was on top of having a mom who gave birth naturally for both of her children. She was the one who put the bug in my ear that childbirth wasn't a horror of pain and an epidural wasn't a prerequisite. Luckily, I also stumbled my way over to this board and soaked up all the knowledge from the supportive community here. My birth guides were Ina May and Henci Goer and I still recommend Henci every time I get the chance.
My first birth was at a hospital birth center and was honestly a great experience. I was lucky that they are very supportive of women having the birth experience they wish. However, this time I found myself wanting "more." I really admired the homebirth stories that have been shared on this board. The hospital stay after DD was born was a terrible experience (although luckily very short) and I couldn't give up the image of catching my baby, peacefully in my own home. I kept going back to Audra's homebirth with Miles...the gorgeous images of her laboring in the pool and seeing her girls greet Miles so lovingly wouldn't leave my mind. So, around 18 weeks, I took the plunge and emailed my MW. She thoroughly answered all my questions and invited me to meet with her to ask any others I might have. Long story short, we met with her and DH had his concerns put to rest. I had my anatomical u/s at 20 weeks and seeing the perfect little boy in there, I had complete peace with our decision to homebirth. I discontinued care with my OB (I was going to have dual care) and started preparing for a homebirth with our MW.
Whew, long intro, but that pretty much catches things up. I will post Kailey's birth story in the next post. I have a home visit with my MW on Wednesday and she is bringing the birth pool. Otherwise, things are nice and boring with the pregnancy. My pelvis is bothering me more this time, but besides that, I feel very good...not even any swelling yet! (*knocking on wood*)
If you made it this far, thanks for reading!
Kailey's birth story from my last lodge:
And an entry from my blog which addresses the questions most people seem to ask about our life:Kailey Alexis, born at 7:11 am, weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces and 19 inches long
I felt great up until the end...no signs of impending labor (no mucus plug loss, etc). I was tired on Saturday (3/10) and told my DH that I was ready for her to be out. He laughed and told her that she had over stayed her welcome and should come and say hello. I guess she listened to her daddy. I had strong BH contractions for my whole pregnancy (since about 16 weeks). Toward the end was the only time they became uncomfortable, as they pushed her into my bladder. My last few weeks were filled with night time trips to the bathroom. So at 3 am on Sunday, March 11th, I felt a slightly stronger twinge and a small gush. I knew I had just been up to the bathroom not too long ago, so I should get up and check it out. When I moved, I got a much bigger gush, LOL! I dribbled my way to the bathroom and called to my DH that my water had broke. He sat up in bed and said "is it time to go?!" I laughed at him and told him that I hadn't even had contractions yet, so we had some time. I had just started maternity leave on Friday, and planned on having at least the next week to get things in order, so I had to pack clothes for the hospital, etc. We called my mom and told her my water had broke and she said I should lay down and try and get some rest. Instead, I packed some things and started to fold a load of laundry. However, my contractions started about 15 minutes later. They got painful pretty quickly and I decided I should try to take a shower...which didn't help! They had told us that the guideline for a FTM, was 5 minutes apart, lasting for more than a minute. Mine were 3 minutes apart, lasting for 30 seconds, but they seemed strong, no peaks/valleys. We decided to call the OB. I had actually met the last OB in the group at my appt on Friday and she was the one on call. She asked me how much I was dilated at my appt. I told her she didn't check since I wasn't 38 weeks yet, but that she said her head was super low. She could tell I was starting to freak out and said we could come in whenever I was ready. We called my mom and we were on the way.
At this point, I was starting to panic. I had no reference point for how "strong" the contractions were, but I was barely able to deal with them. The car ride was the longest of my life. I sat in the back seat and DH had the radio on and I was trying to sing through the contractions to relax and take my mind off the pain, but it wasn't working. DH said it was funny and he wishes he could remember what I was singing. We made it to the birth center around 5:45 am and my mom was waiting for us. Thankfully, they had just taken another woman up to the 3rd floor and the tech was coming back with a wheel chair, because I couldn't walk through the contractions. We went up to get checked in and there was a lady in front of me being admitted. Her labor looked like she had a slight headache and I wasn't very nice, cursing her in my head! Things finally got in order and I was checked in (which was good because there were about 10 people in the waiting room and I felt like I was the nightly entertainment). They put me into a room and I kept demanding to be checked. My mom and DH had to strip me and get me into a gown, as I kept saying that if I was only a "2" then I needed an epidural. Well they checked me and were shocked to find that I was fully dilated and ready to push...Hello, I was telling you!
They got me to a room right away and the OB came in. She was great and everyone was super supportive when my mom told them I wanted a natural birth (no time for the birth plan, so good thing mom and DH were prepared). I refused to lay down on the bed and they put the monitors on me while I was standing. They got me a squat bar and I was helped into position. The OB helped me feel how I was supposed to be pushing. This was about 6 am and she told me I would have a baby in about an hour. I can't say that I really felt any urge to push, but the contractions were really painful and there was a ton of pressure. I was glad that people were helping to coach me in pushing, but I stopped and started whenever I felt like it. I wasn't comfortable holding my breath for the 10 count and just did what felt right. They also tried to suggest other positions (in a supportive way), but I stood my ground and kept with the bar (as opposed to laying back on the bed). I kept thinking I wasn't pushing well and everyone was laughing because I kept saying that I didn't know why on earth women have more than one child. An hour seemed like forever, so I have so much respect for those women who push for several hours. I was getting discouraged, so the OB said to reach down and feel her head, as she was so close to being out. I felt and said "Are you sure that is her head? I can't feel any hair." It felt like a squished beach ball...they were laughing at me again. They asked DH if he wanted to feel the head and I was feeling evil, so I said he should feel it (he is squeamish). They asked if he needed a glove and my mom felt sorry for him and said he did need a glove. He felt the head and agreed that it felt like a squashed beach ball, LOL.
The OB was really great and did a lot of massage. When she was coming out, I felt most of the pain up higher and worried that I was tearing in the front, but by that point I needed her out at any cost. My mom was standing down at the end of the bed with DH just behind her. Kailey was facing toward the right and you should have seen mom my jump as she was sprayed with amniotic fluid! Good thing she didn't care, DH might have been done! She slid right out after crowning and they put her up on my stomach. DH hadn't been sure about cutting the cord, but they didn't give him a choice and he did great. So she was born at 7:11 am, weighing 6 pds, 5 oz and 19 inches long. Only a little over 4 hours of labor!
Anyway, my daughter is beautiful and is the best baby. She eats, sleeps and poops like a champ. We did, however, get some very unexpected news and were told that she has Down Syndrome. We are very blessed that she has no heart or digestive problems (as this is the first concern for babies with Down Syndrome). She has great muscle tone, kicking around, making expressive faces and has a good suck reflex. So although, the diagnosis is never one any parent wants to hear, we can never feel bad for long, as all we have to do is look at her and be reminded of what a gift she is and how much we love her.
...if you actually read my crazy, long birth story, then you know my daughter has Down Syndrome. And yes, my blog title is somewhat a play on people's perception of my life. It truly is normal (and often mundane), but it is our happy normal and perhaps an atypical normal. My blog is not about Down Syndrome, but since it is part of our life, it will be mentioned. It's ok to be curious and I am happy to answer all honestly asked questions. I didn't know a whole lot about Down Syndrome either. Here are some questions/comments people often have:
- Did you have prenatal testing? No, we didn't. I was 29 and DH was 35, so we didn't have age factors and have no family history of issues. We had an anatomical ultrasound at 20 weeks and everything was perfect. Well, were a little surprised she wasn't actually a boy, but that's a whole different story!
- You sounded so positive, sharing your birth story, announcement, etc. Well, I had a gorgeous daughter. I won't sugar coat it. The day of her birth was the happiest day of my life and also my darkest. The very foundation of your life, marriage and future gets quite an unexpected jolt. The unknown is hard. No one can tell you what Down Syndrome will mean for your child and you don't even get a chance to bond before you are handed the news. That being said, things sort of splintered for me. The Down Syndrome would be dealt with in pieces and chunks over the next months and getting to know my daughter was a separate issue. There was no way I could look into those beautiful blue eyes and feel sorry for one minute. She was perfect. Period.
- Special people get special babies. I am sure this is the case for many wonderful parents, but I can assure you, we are just average people here! And my baby is special and wonderful...just as every baby is. Trust me that I am no different than any other mother, who loves her child. It's not any harder at all to love her and you would do the same in my position.
- Do you worry about her future? Honestly, of course. But no more than I will worry about the future of any of my children. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing. I think I am very blessed to have learned this lesson now, because I truly am thankful for every day. People of all ages get sick, have car accidents, etc. Your life can change in an instant. I have been lucky to have some good guides in this new territory. People with beautiful children have shared their lives and their stories with me. Down Syndrome is something my daughter has...like blue eyes, brown hair and her daddy's endless smile...they are all just a small piece to the puzzle. She will learn. She will be happy. She will live a life with meaning. She will have struggles and she will have triumphs. She is loved.
- Doesn't Down Syndrome mean health issues? It can. Many couples learn about the possibility of Down Syndrome while pregnant because issues like heart problems often show up on ultrasound and can be "soft markers" for Down Syndrome. We are very blessed that Kailey is very healthy. She has no heart problems (found in about 50% of children). We were worried about her hearing in the beginning, but visits to the audiologist confirmed she is fine. She has smaller ears and ear canals which can lead to problems with fluid and ear infections. We have been lucky not to have any problems so far, but if she has issues we will just have tubes placed. She will need glasses in a year or two, but this is most likely due to the fact that mom and dad both have worn glasses. Otherwise, she is smaller than typical kids, but otherwise perfect.
Wow Karly, I learned so much about you that you never shared on the August 08 board. I love your attitude about Down's Syndrome. I'm a physical therapist and I daily see the great potential these children and adults have. I hope everything goes great for your home birth. 4 hours is a very fast first labor!!