~*~*Rachael's (ShiningLight) Birth Lodge*~*~

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~*~*Rachael's (ShiningLight) Birth Lodge*~*~

I know it's several weeks early, but it's about 4 weeks from the time you usually have your babes! Welcome, hope you enjoy this time!

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Welcome to your lodge!

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Welcome to your lodge!!!

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Looking forward to following along again!

Cindy

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Woah! I didn't realize I already had a lodge going...guess that means I'd better get to it...my first actual lodge and it's our last baby. Didn't make lodge time with our last LO even.

Well, lets see...this pregnancy has been pretty uneventful as far as my high risk pregnancies go. No visits to Urgent Care whatsoever, which is amazing. I have a history of miscarriage, I'm a diabetic, and I've had 3 births at 35 weeks as well as a history of pregnancy induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia. The only bump was around 18 weeks when my AFP came back elevated and we spent a couple of months trying to rule out spinabifida. As it turns out, it appears Nate has 1/2 of a vertebrae missing in the lumbar region of his spine and there's a noticeable curve in that spot. I still get to have him naturally and they'll do an xray soon after his birth.

I have an amazing doula named Carol who was with us for Hannah's birth and she really got me through a tough labor after my water broke early and my epidural failed after pitocin administration. I never wanted any more kids after her. It was that traumatic.

So Carol's around this time too, on alert and waiting for me to call. My hope is that I will have an easy labor for Nate. Just in the past few weeks alone I've had so many noticeable contractions that I've almost gone to urgent care to get checked out. I have a cerclage in so it's unlikely I'm dilating but I do wonder sometimes. Having contractions even as I type this. I just have a feeling some days I'm not going to hold out much longer. Nate consistently measures 10 days ahead so it's likely I'm due Nov. 18 as opposed to the 28th. I'm praying we hold out at least until 35 weeks.

My hope is that I am able to stay home until Nate's about ready to be born. We're only 10 min. from the hospital and I wish with all my heart I could have a home birth but it's not possible. I know my body can do this without all the pitocin if docs would just give my body time. I'm not a fan of the hospital we're going to either.

Ok, so me and Ryan...we met online in March of 2007. It's a long story of how God brought us together and told us what we'd be doing together. We married May 24, 2008. Basically, he's just gotten his associates in theology and is studying to be a pastor, and when my body's back in shape, I'll finish my psychology degree so I can counsel pastors and their families, as well as children affected by the foster care system. He came into our marriage with 2 dd from his previous marriage (Abby & Rach), and I came with 3 boys (Chase, Hunter & Caleb). Hannah and Nate are ours. I never, ever thought I'd have 7 kids! Especially with all the losses and heartache. Ryan and I have been married for about a year and a half now. I think :roll:. We've spent the last 6 months in marriage counseling b/c man, has the enemy hit us with so much junk that our marriage has been a struggle this entire time. Top that off with Ryan's recent heart attack at the old age of 34...it's a struggle right now even more so when we don't have medical insurance for him and he's manged to loose a job and the other cut back his hours @ work. So keep us in your T&P. We need it right now.

So, a rundown on my pregnancies.

#1-Brenden was born at 20 weeks after a lot of mysterious, unexplained bleeding. What my OB thought was placenta previa actually turned out to be Incompetent Cervix. He didn't survive.

#2-Chase was born at 35.5 weeks after my water broke early. 30 long hours of labor. It took pitocin to get my cervix to dilate past 2 cm and scar tissue. I developed a fever and Chase spent 2 weeks in the NICU. 6 lb 6.5 oz, 18.5 inches.

#3-miscarried at 8 weeks.

#4-miscarried at 8 weeks after a huge placental abruption.

#5-miscarried at 8 weeks after another placental abruption.

#6-Got in to see a perinatologist after learning I was pregnant with Hunter. He figured out that I had a progesterone deficiency and put me on the largest oral dose of prometrium possible. Took my cerclage out at 35 weeks and I instantly dilated to 3 cm and 80% effaced...and I spent 3 very miserable weeks in preterm labor. Doc induced me at 38 weeks after several amnios for lung maturity and Hunter was born sunny side up at 7 lb 15.2 oz and 20 inches. He was my butterball...oh, and he was born with hydrocele and had surgery at 3 months old.

#7-chemical pregnancy.

#8-Caleb came along at 34.5 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. That is one bear of a complication to deal with-the swelling and magnesium sulfate suck. He was born at 5lb 3 oz and 17.5 inches. He spent 2 weeks in the NICU and almost had to have a blood transfusion from high bilirubin levels. At 26 weeks, I found out my ex husband was having an affair and I filed for divorce. I still remember my dad sitting at my feet cheering Caleb on to come out. He kept decelling and the docs were getting a c-section room prepped for me when I suddenly had to push him out!

#9-miscarriage

#10-I was ecstatic when I found out I was going to have a girl!!! I went to the hospital several times after my cerclage was placed due to bleeding. Other than that, her pregnancy was uneventful until my water suddenly broke at 34 weeks 5 days. She had her hand above her head when labor began so the docs wouldn't allow me out of bed. She finally moved it and I had to convince the docs to give me at least 12 hours on my own before pitocin was administered. I was ok until the pit began the next morning around 10 am and the epidural failed. Thankfully she was born around noon. I was literally SCREAMING Jesus Loves Me the entire time from 6cm-10cm. Thank God for my doula. We were both so irritated at the staff after that whole experience. I had planned to have my tubes tied after her but some stupid intern wouldn't allow me to do it under general anesthesia. After the epidural failed, there was no way in hell I'd do it that way.

#11 Well, back to Nate. You can read his story above.

So, I think that's about it for now...were I to share everything there is with my family size, it'd be a book.

My next u/s & appointment is Sept. 24 so I'm waiting to see what the doc has to say.

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Wow, what an intro! I'm sorry you and your dh are struggling so much right now & hope that things begin to settle down for you! I also hope that your able to carry this little fella until it's safe for him to come out *hugs*

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Wow, I can't imagine going through all you've been through. I hope little Nate stays put for a good long while and comes out healthy.

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Oh fun. Haven't been up for too long and the mild contractions and pressure have started in again. Of course Nate is rolling around right beneath a very ticklish spot on my stomach, so now I'm giggling. Silly boy.

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Goodness hun, you've been through a lot!! I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. I really hope that little Nate stays put another 6 weeks, but more then that I hope he's born healthy!

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Welcome to your lodge! I hope Nate hangs out a while longer. What a tough time you have had.
I know it isn't funny, but I had to laugh at you singing Jesus Loves Me during Hannah's labor. I found myself singing a few times during labor with Cassie and DH thought I was completely losing it. But it did help.
Look forward to reading about your pregnancy from this point on! I'll keep you in my prayers!

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Thank you God for Tin Roof Sundae Ice cream...

Abby has something known as cyclical vomiting...and it's been a lovely episode of that this week. Caleb starting running a fever last night and was wheezing and coughing and developed a strange rash. 3 hours in the ER and we were both crashed out. We finally gave up and went home around 1 this morning b/c I didn't want to risk being in the ER any longer than I had to.

So today, off to the pediatrician. She did an immediate strep swab which came back negative so they're sending it off to do a culture but they're starting antibiotics anyway. And they think the rash is totally unrelated and I am so proud of Caleb for not crying when they drew blood. It may be overkill, but they're testing him for some disease (see here: http://www.drmdk.com/html/dr_barin_hsp.html) that affects the lower limbs with arthritis and swelling. I doubt that test will come back positive. My gut says strep and strep rash.

This is the same doc who tested Hannah for everything under the sun to see why she was so small. I suspected it was from her ear infections and sure enough, after she got tubes in her ears, she's gaining and growing now.

DH has had 3 job interviews so far and God hasn't opened those doors. So we keep looking and praying and trusting God for what we need.

I am going to go crash now. Nothing like getting 5 hours of sleep in 24 hours to make a mama cranky!

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Hey Rachael!!!! Welcome to your lodge! I hope the kiddos feel better soon!!!

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Woo! DH went in to talk to his boss yesterday about not getting hours and he got a huge pay raise, insurance, & a guarantee of being paid 40 hours/week even if there isn't enough jobs to give him that many hours!!! Woo God!

Caleb has a viral infection and is on the mend. Yay God for that too!

And yikes...ok...Nate's been measuring 10 days ahead consistently. That would put me at 31 weeks, 3 days today. He could show up in as little as 4 weeks!!!

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That's great about your DH's job. What an answer to prayer!!!
So glad that Caleb just has a virus. It's always scary when kids get sick. I HATE going to the ER. I am also afraid of sitting there too long. You never know what you are getting exposed to while you wait.
Hope little Nate stays put for a while longer!

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Nothing new really. I woke up this morning feeling stiff and swollen in my hands, legs, ankles and feet. I almost didn't get out of bed. The nesting urge has kicked in...I just wish I had the energy to get all this stuff done. My next appointment is Thursday @ 8:30 for an appointment and ultrasound. I'll update again then.

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Oh man. I really wish I could be on that call with Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake tomorrow. I'm kinda sad again. I wish with all my heart I could have a home birth where I call all the shots. Especially after Hannah's birth and the stupid hospital! It was when i was pregnant with her that I discovered what NCB is. I HATE pitocin b/c my body doesn't react well and it makes a drug free birth nearly impossible. I don't know how to describe it other than feeling extremely conflicted and...anxious. Just one baby God. Just one. I need a textbook, easy delivery where I spend most of my time laboring at home and arrive at the hospital in time to push. I just need one easy birth. I've had so many dreams where I've delivered at home and it was easy and it wasn't painful.

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I don't know why I'm just now getting around to your lodge, but welcome! You are an amazingly strong woman for making it through everything you've experienced both in life and in pregnancy, I can't imagine how hard it all must have been. Congratulations on your DH's raise and getting insurance!! I hope that will help with your marriage troubles, I know money is definitely a point of difficulty in many marriages (mine included).

I hope Nate hangs out inside a lot longer, you DO deserve a beautiful natural birh, I hope you get it!

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Welcome to your lodge, Rachael! I don't know why it took me until now to see your lodge either.

I echo everything Jessica said. I am sorry for all you have gone through. You are a very strong woman and I commend you. I am so happy your DH got a pay raise and insurance. That is great news! I hope Nate stays in there quite a while longer. I look forward to going on your journey with you. Smile

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"ShiningLight" wrote:

Oh man. I really wish I could be on that call with Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake tomorrow. I'm kinda sad again. I wish with all my heart I could have a home birth where I call all the shots. Especially after Hannah's birth and the stupid hospital! It was when i was pregnant with her that I discovered what NCB is. I HATE pitocin b/c my body doesn't react well and it makes a drug free birth nearly impossible. I don't know how to describe it other than feeling extremely conflicted and...anxious. Just one baby God. Just one. I need a textbook, easy delivery where I spend most of my time laboring at home and arrive at the hospital in time to push. I just need one easy birth. I've had so many dreams where I've delivered at home and it was easy and it wasn't painful.

I hope you get it mama! That's how I was with my last one ~ I just wanted one "beautiful easy birth". I spent most of my pregnancy, when I could make myself think of it, visualizing a fast easy birth & fast it was lol

:bighug:

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Wow. No wonder I feel so done. We did another u/s today. Nate is measuring the size of a 36 weeker at 5 1/2 lbs (give or take a pound). I got the standard "go to Urgent Care" if you experience contractions-especially with a cerclage in. And I started nesting big time yesterday. I scrubbed the kitchen, the girls' room and our bedroom and got Nate's crib set up and things organized. I'm telling you guys...I'm not going to make it much longer. I told the docs that and I swear, I love how they listen. "oh, we're going to assume you're going to make it full term" blah blah blah. Yeah, thanks for looking at my 35 week delivery history. I guess that's the joy of being seen at a hospital resident clinic. My blood pressure was 120/80 and I have mild swelling but everything else was normal. I go back in 2 weeks to start my biweekly NST's. I hope I make it 'till then. I'd only gained 5 lbs in a month which is good for me and the high amount of insulin I have to take. To top all that off my DH is having a selfish day apparantly. He's got to go to work @ 2 p.m. and the company that is helping us with his meds only have their pharmacy open from 2-4 on Thursdays. I told him I wasn't feeling up to dragging two small kids through a parking garage to wait in a long line. And then drag 5 kids into the car at 9:30 at night after he gets off work at 10 p.m. Now, all the sudden, I don't care about his health since I told him I'd do it for him yesterday since he has to go to work. Yep, I've spent 34 years of his life not caring about his health...yet he's the one who had a heart attack because he does care. Most of the time I have to remind him to take the 10 different meds he has to take twice a day. But I don't care. I'm sorry if I sound like a baby right now, but his half a$$ed apology of "sorry I got frustrated at you" sounds empty and I want to cry.

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Huge (((HUGS))) hun, I'm so sorry your haveing a bad day:(. Sometimes men just don't get it do they! I can understand how you wouldn't want to deal with that my word! It sounds like your body is wanting to be done with pregnancy. I hope little man makes it a while longer, but I also hope his birth is something you can treasure. I'll keep you in my prayers. I know that a warm bath, even with a kiddo or 2 in it, helped me to feel a little more calm and relaxed. Try and rest as much as you can hun. More (((HUGS))) to you and that little man.

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Got my flu shot yesterday. Don't know if my body's reacting to that or if my system finally got whatever Caleb had. Aching, stuffy nose & the back of my jaw hurts. I woke up 2 hours ago and I can't seem to sleep. I did manage to get that bath in, but Hannah has now learned to climb in the tub. I got an unexpected visitor in my bath when she climbed in with me yesterday diaper and all, the silly girl. I figured it wouldn't be too long b/c she's suddenly decided to walk about 25% of the time. Poor thing is cutting 1 year molars also-cranky and drooling like crazy.

2 a.m. or so...I thought the D-CON had finally killed our mouse visitor, but it didn't. I about woke the entire house up screaming when it ran across my living room floor. That sucker is going to DIE.

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My blood pressure is up in the 150/90 range. I've felt like crap all day and even a loritab hasn't gotten rid of my headache or stopped the sharp pains I'm feeling. I've had pre-eclampsia before and I have a feeling it's happening again. My BP has been in the 120/80 range or less this entire time. Soon as I get all the kids situated, we're headed to the hospital to find out what's going on.

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I'm sorry to hear about your bp issues, I hope they resolve themselves!

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I'll definitely keep you in my prayers, Rachael, that things calm down at home, and that baby stays put until you can have that wonderful easy complication-free birth you're so dreaming of. ***hugs***

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Thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Well, thankfully, no Pre-E. That was welcome news. Now I'm about ready to whack my DH upside the head so I know my hormones are in full effect. My crap meter is just about full and mama is about to blow. Sigh.

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What wonderful news about the pre-e! Just hang in there, Rachael - you've come a long ways and are doing great! Not much more to go (and I'm sure all DH's deserve a whack once in a while Wink - maybe try a marshmallow shooter)

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I've made a decision. I am going to suffer through whatever I have to suffer through to at least get to the point that if Nate comes early, it will be past 35 weeks so I can stay at home through most of the birthing process.

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How I wish my birth plan could read (I'm just venting to get this out)

Dear docs, nurses, & residents who have helped women birth millions of babies:

You've never helped me deliver one of my babies. This is my sixth birth. I know my body better than you, so I call the shots, not you with all of your acclaimed medical expertise.

Yes. I'm a diabetic. This doesn't mean I need to be hooked to a bed with an IV of sugar water. I'll be drinking gatorade, thank you very much. Check my sugars once an hour if you must, but otherwise, GO AWAY.

Yes. I have incompetent cervix, which means it might take me longer than your usual expected time to deliver for a mom who's done this before. Scar tissue around the cervix does that. This does not mean I need to be tied to the bed writhing in pain or given pitocin to speed up the process to fit your timetable. So long as I'm doing fine and Nate is doing fine, GO AWAY and leave us alone. My body doesn't do pitocin well and if you're not going to allow me to labor without it, then send me home. I know my body can do this. If you leave me alone.

Listen to me when I tell you where to put the IV that I have to have by your standards. Don't put it in my hand or wrist. Put it in the crook of my arm. Save yourself time this way by not having to redo a painful IV procedure because you've just blown another one of my veins.

Give me the freedom to get up and move around as I need to. I'm well aware of how to read a contraction monitor and listen as baby's heartbeat reacts to contractions. Don't expect me to labor in that horrid bed just b/c it's easier for you to monitor me. Gravity will help me speed up the process. And don't dare tell me I have to have a c-section for failure to progress. If I want pain meds, I'll ask for them. Don't push them on me.

When it's time to push, I need you all to shut up and not count to ten, or tell me how to push, or tell me when to push. Being that I push well and my kids are out quickly, you can help me by being quiet. If I feel the need to moan or scream, I don't care if it offends your ears. You're not the one experiencing the pain so you get to say nothing.

Once Nate is born, give him to me to hold for as long as I want! You can do all your stuff later. I'm so tired of the hospital whisking my babies away. This is my last baby and I deserve this. Check him out if you must, but you can do it while I'm holding him.

No, my husband doesn't want to cut the cord and please don't show me anything gory from the placenta.

I am aware of all the risks of childbirth, which is why I come into this experience totally informed. If I had my way, I wouldn't be here and I'd be birthing at home. So please, feel free to thank me for paying you and your staff thousands of dollars I could have saved myself by birthing at home.

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AH (((HUGS))) hun, I can tell your haveing a hard time with everything. I wish I was close and could help you out some how. You so very close to seeing this little boy, and I pray that his birth is a wonderful peaceful thing for you. I know what it's like to have a deep desire for an un "assisted" birth, and know that it's not something your going to get. Please take care of your self and try and get some extra rest when you can. I think it's great to try and work through all your feelings in your lodge, we are here to help you.

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First (((giant hugs))) I remember going through similar feelings while pregnant with both my 4th ds and my first dd. I remember the inner turmoil I would go through as I thought about it and the more I thought about it the more upset I would become. I finally had to sit down & write out everything that I was feeling, I spent a good few hours going through an emotional brain dump and it REALLY helped.

After that I decided okay, there ARE some things I can control and those things I will concentrate on making sure that so long as it's possible my wishes were respected, I also made sure those who would be with me for the birth were aware of what I needed. The things I couldn't control or change I worked on learning to accept & to succumb to what it was & not letting anyone or anything make me feel less because they had to happen. It was very freeing once I was able to reach this point & I hope that your able to find a place of peace during this pregnancy, and that however it turns out you'll be able to think back on the experience w/ fond memories.

:bighug:

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Thinking of you today hun, how are you doing?

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I can't figure out exactly why, but my world feels 'panicky.' We applied for Section 8 housing assistance back in March of this year and it's usually a 2 year process unless you have someone in your family that has a disability (Abby has Asperger's). We went for our appointment June 23rd with all the documentation. A month later we got a letter saying we were denied b/c my husband had broke a lease with a former landlord. Except that he hadn't. So two months later, we have to bring in more documentation after we got that all straightened out and they told us it would be 90 days before we had a voucher to look for a 5 bedroom home.

I am thankful that we got approval in the mail yesterday in 90 days from start to finish (it was supposed to take 6 months!), I really am. We've all been crammed in this 3 bedroom 1 bath house for 2 years now. This assistance will help us afford the larger home at the same price we're paying in rent right now. We have 60 days to find a home, get it inspected by OHFA, and move in.

And 60 days from now is: December 1st. Two days after my EDD with Nate. We've managed to find one 5 bedroom 2.5 bath home and we went to look at it yesterday. It's huge compared to where we are now, and I like the dishwasher and the fact that we all won't have to share a bathroom any longer. One of the 5 bedrooms will become an office for my hubby and I since it's very tiny and I work online with kgb_ and ChaCha, and so my hubby has a quiet place to study for sermons. Plus one of the bedrooms is huge b/c it used to be 2 bedrooms and it has 2 closets and plenty of room for the girls to all be in one room and have plenty of space.

But anyway, onto the panicky part. I wasn't planning on moving until after Nate gets here and I'm trying not to feel panicked or overwhelmed but for some reason, I am. It won't take much to move us b/c my dad has a huge trailer and he and my uncle Jeff are going to help my DH lift the heavy stuff. Maybe someone else can put a finger on it as to why I feel this way. I usually don't sweat moving too much b/c I know it all works out in the end and I'm organized in how I do it. DH said he wants to make sure he's able to bring me and Nate home from the hospital to a new home...so time is ticking.

Still having contractions every so often but otherwise, just trying to hang on for a few more weeks. My first NST is on Oct. 5 and I start in on biweekly visits next week. God knows when this baby is going to come...He knows.

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I applied for ChaCha quite awhile ago but never got he job LOL Do you like the job? I have several friends who work for them too. I really hope that he house thing works out for you guys, that can be such a stressful thing. When we were pg with our 4th ds (Seamus) we were in an awful rental but were finally able to purcahse a home when he was a few months old. It felt so good to have our own place ~ your in my T&P's.

Remember to breath, one day at a time mama ~ or sometimes even just one hour at a time. Things will work out ((giant hugs))

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I do the transcribing thing for ChaCha. I didn't get in as en expeditor. They have 4 roles that you can try for. You might try kgb Julia-I'm making $300/month there.

My blood pressure's a bit up again this morning-140/100 range and I am one cranky mama. Today's just one of those days where I wish Nate were here.

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Having very definite contractions 3 minutes apart.

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Please KUP, extra prayers are with you as I type...

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I hope the contractions went away, sending lots of prayers your way!

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Keeping you and Nate in my thoughts and prayers, Rachael!

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Keep on baking little guy!!! Thinking of you Rachael!

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Praying for you hun, I'd love any update when you can. Hopeing you were able to get things to settle down.

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Sorry to update so late. Those contractions kept on until 2:30 in the morning. I even had my doula on alert. I finally sat down on my bed and said, "Ok God, if you're ready and Nate's ready, let's get this show on the road. Otherwise, I need all of this to settle down." Two seconds later, the contractions stopped. Just like turning a light switch on and off. I had to take a day and recover from all of that. I took benadryl before I went to bed last night and I actually slept. I told my doula today...since my cervix can still dilate above my cerclage, perhaps when they actually take my stitch out this time I'll be a good 7 cm instead of the usual 4. That would be heaven.

Went to the doc today for an NST. Nate looks great. Only minor contractions. And high blood pressure. It was 144/96 when I went in...so they kept me on the BP cuff for a while. I go back Thursday when I plan to talk to the OB about it. They let me go 'cause it got into the 130/80 range by the time I left.

Say some prayers though that Nate doesn't arrive Friday or Saturday. Ryan's at a men's retreat for church. It would be ok 'cause I have my doula, and I'm sure someone could get him back home in time (2.5 hours away), and all the kids are going somewhere Friday evening through the weekend except for Hannah, so I wouldn't be stretched to get her somewhere if need be...but anyway, we just hope he doesn't appear this weekend.

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Glad to hear he's still cooking!! Hang on little man, and Mama. How are feeling hun?

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Ok, all we've got to make it to is 17 more days. I'll be 35 weeks then. I got a call from a church we attended over the summer (we already have a new church home) and they're getting together plenty of boy clothes for us. I'm still incredibly amazed that God knows even the littlest things we need.

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That's awesome that you are getting the things you need! I was constantly in awe of how much God knew I needed not only my pregnancy, but also all the complications ended up being what I needed to grow in my walk with Him. I hope you keep Nate in even longer than 17 days!

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Just jumping in to your lodge.

Praise God for the clothes, that is wonderful.

17 more days....

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I'm glad your little guy is still baking! I hope you get your uncomplicated birth!

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Went to the doc for another NST today. Blood pressure was 131/69, which was great...but the contractions were showing up every 2-3 minutes. 'They wanted to know if they hurt, and I told them I felt them and they're annoying, but you have to understand I won't really start complaining about contractions until I'm around 6 cm. The doc wanted to check to make sure I wasn't dilating, but with my cerclage in, if my cervix was dilating, I know I'd see a bloody vaginal discharge from the stitch being strained. So I declined. I know the dilation, if any, is happening above my cerclage. I gained 2 lbs. I did inquire about when they'd take my cerclage out, which they said would be at 37 weeks. If I go into labor at all they'll take it out then also. So I asked if that was the scenario, if they'd take the stitch out and let me go home. The doc said it depended upon who was the attending that day. I was like...and you guys really expect that I will stay at the hospital just because I'm in active labor?

So now, instead of the usual "if you're having more than 5 contractions in an hour" rule, they said go in if they lasted more than 2 hours (already done that) or if they changed in intensity. 15 more days is all I need.

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Just peeking into your lodge for the first time.

Congratulations on your newest little one on the way.

It's so great that you have the support of your church. That's so nice to have when you've got a big family to take care of.

Glad to hear that the NST went well. Hopefully, Nate will stay in for a while longer and you will be the birth you want!

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15 more days! Your soo close! That's wonderful about the clothes :thumbsup: As for them keeping your or not, that's not really their decision Wink

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