Something new to stalk! Yay for your lodge!
Okay, here's a little bit about me! Warning -- I love to write so this got a lot longer than I thought
I'm Kristen, 30, married to DH, 34, and Mama to Alexa, 2 1/2 (born June 27, 2007). DH and I met in Spring 1998 at work. We both worked the graveyard shift at a grocery store; he was my boss . It definitely wasn't love at first sight; in fact, we pretty much hated each other for the first few months we knew each other. I was young & the group I worked with was pretty tight-knit and clicquey. DH was an "outsider" and had his own ideas about how everyone should do things. He wasn't all too keen, or really interested at all, in becoming friends with the rest of us. I acknowledged right away that he was "really good looking" but a jerk (well, not the exact word I used ). There was a lot of stupid drama with my co-workers from past incidences and, over time, DH and I started hanging out more. I remember he came over one morning to help me get some pants untangled from my washing machine. How dorky, right?? We were both looking for some furniture for our houses so we ended up going shopping together and hanging out. Turns out we both liked each other a lot more than we thought . I learned never to automatically go on first impressions! We started dating in late October 1998. In August of 2001, DH and I took our second trip to SoCal. We had gone in 1999 as well and this time we stayed in Huntington Beach. On our first night there we planned to go walk out on the beach after dinner. DH complained that his stomach was sick and I told him we could walk later, but we went anyways. We walked for quite aways & I was totally shocked when, at sunset, he proposed on the beach. Like, we had always talked about getting married and our future and etc, but I was totally floored that it happened the way it did. We got married in September of 2002.
I had graduated college the spring before we got married and I worked full-time while DH went to finish his degree. He graduated in 2006 and we considered opening our own business -- a kung fu studio. We had both trained for a long time and were very excited about the prospect of partnering with the owner and mentor. Due to a whole mess of circumstances that never worked out and, sadly, neither of us have trained kung fu since then either. After this opportunity fell through, DH took some time and really thought about what he wanted. He wanted to start a family. We had always known that we wanted a family, but I wasn't sure we were ready. I mean, it would be nice to have a bigger house, more money, better jobs, etc etc. After a lot of talking we decided there could always be "more" and we should just go ahead and try. I went off the pill at the end of September 2006. I'd been on the pill for about 10 years so we decided just to go with it and see what happened. We figured it would take awhile for my cycles to get regular and for us to actually get pregnant. We were very low stress with TTC and I wasn't too surprised when I got a BFN when I tested (either on Halloween or Nov 1st..can't remember). I wasn't upset at all, I really didn't plan on getting pregnant that first cycle. On November 18, I was working and I was feeling really sick. I had went out to dinner with a friend the night before and just figured I ate something bad. I munched on Saltines and drank 7up all day at work. When I got home DH suggested maybe I should take another pregnancy test. I was like, eh whatever...I really thought I was just sick, I don't think I really thought at all I could be pregnant. I took the 2nd test from our 2pack and nothing showed up...NO LINES AT ALL! DH went out to the store to buy some more and I took the test as soon as he got home. Almost instantly there were two blaring lines. I was pretty much in shock. I was nervous. I hadn't planned on it happening right away. I was excited, but that first night the nervousness was the top thing on my mind. I took another test first thing the next morning, I don't know why, just for reassurance I guess or in case the last one was wrong . Sure enough....the lines were still there.
My first pregnancy
On Monday morning I called the OB's office (I had been seeing the same OBGYN for all my gyno care for the last 10 or so years so it was an easy decision to go there) and said, "I think I'm pregnant." (See, I still wasn't convinced ). They asked if I took a pg test and I replied that yes, I had. In fact, two of them. She replied, "Well, then you're pregnant." I had had a lot of cramping and gastrointestinal problems and was a bit concerned about those. I can't remember if I called again later or if the nurse just called that afternoon, but I ended up in the ER that night becuase they wanted to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. We waited....and waited....and waited. God, waiting in the ER wondering if there was something wrong with the baby was insane. It really sucked. Finally, after a few hours or more of waiting we were seen. It was crazy seeing the ultrasound. He/she was just a little bubble, but there was our baby. The u/s estimated we were 6w 1d pregnant. Apparently my gastrointestinal problems were just horrible constipation and I was sent off to take some colace and follow up with my OB as soon as possible.
The pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I really liked my OB. I felt like she took the time to listen to our questions and really talk things over with us. On March 1st we found out we were having a little girl. Four weeks later I took my GD test and barely failed. I took the 3hr and failed by 1 point. I was a gold-star patient and went on the diet faithfully. On the diet my numbers plummeted to almost fasting levels, so I was instructed to add carbs back into my diet. I could pretty much eat anything I wanted & not have my numbers spike. If I balanced a blueberry pancake breakfast with ham & eggs, my numbers were fine. To this day, I am convinced that I had a false positive on the test. On the upside, I did feel really good eating a higher protein lower carb diet and it helped curb my weight gain for sure. At 33 weeks pregnant I had a bit of spotting and ended up at the Maternity Center on the monitors. Turns out I was having contrax every 3 minutes or so, but I didn't even really feel them. I ended up getting a shot of terbutaline & went home to take it easy. I took a few days off work and then went back trying to take things a bit easier.
I always wanted a NCB, but sort of had the let's-wait-and-see mindset. I didn't do a ton of research. My OB had given me a copy of Penny Simkin's Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn when I got pregnant and I read most of that. I lurked on this board and posted a little. We went to the hospital classes and actually they were pretty informative. DH and I landed on the "anti-epidural" team for a discussion session we had and it was after that class that I was more dead set on avoiding any and all drugs if possible. DH was on board too. He wasn't too interested in information gathering on his own, but would listen as I told him things (sometimes over and over!) and, after that same class, he was really not wanting us to get drugs either. All my friends told me to "just wait and see," "you will be begging for the epidural when your contractions start," "this is your first one," and this and that. Even approaching my due date I was still open to the possiblity of getting an epidural if it was really a lot worse than I thought, I think a lot of it had to do with everyone telling me I couldn't and the fact that I didn't want to set myself up with too high of expectations. So, basically I tried to go into it with no expectations. Maybe not the best game plan, but it ended up working out.
Alexa's Birth Story
On Tuesday June 26, DH & I went to the store to get some stuff for dinner & say hi to my coworkers. We BBQ’d some Kalbi chicken, ate, & DH headed out to look at some big screen TVs that we had been wanting to get. He called from Circuit City & was looking at one to buy; basically playing good cop-bad cop trying to get a deal by telling the salesman that his wife didn’t want to spend so much money. As we were talking on the phone he asked if I was okay because I didn’t sound very good. I replied that I was “feeling funny.”
I started having contractions, but at first just thought it was weird stomach pain. After awhile, I felt them not only in my abdomen but they radiated all throughout my back. Between 9:30 and 9:45 that night I started timing my contractions. They were about 9-10 minutes apart and I was able to relax or doze off in between them. At 10pm I switched the channel to start watching the news, but quickly realized I was falling asleep and ended up turning off the TV. The contractions kept up until about 1am & were about 7 minutes apart at this time. When I got up to go to the bathroom. There was a lot of blood so I woke up DH and decided it was time to call the Maternity Center. They said it sounded like it might be labor, but to wait to come in since the contractions were still so far apart. I expressed concern that I hadn’t been feeling Alexa move as much so they instructed me to drink some water and juice and do a fetal kick count. I was supposed to call back if she didn’t move like she should. I laid down and drank 2 small glasses of cranberry juice and Alexa was moving around just fine.
After doing the kick count, the contractions kept up at about 6 or 7 minutes apart but then slowed to 10-12 minutes apart, and then around 20 minutes apart. Somehow I was able to fall asleep between 2 and 4am. I woke up at 4 and the contractions were still going. I woke up DH and we laid in bed for awhile.
At 6am, I called the Maternity Center again. My contractions were still about 6-7 minutes apart on average, but weren’t even really regular. I told the labor nurse I didn’t know if I should come in now or wait. She encouraged me to wait it out at home as long as I could because I would be much more comfortable. She said most first time moms coming in having contractions ever 3-4 minutes were only about 3cm dilated. I said “I just don’t know” and she replied that when I couldn’t take it at home anymore I would know. She said they would leave my file out and just to call and tell them when I was heading in.
We turned on the news and DH fried up some eggs and made me toast and sausage. We started getting our things ready & I took a shower. I later learned that DH said he remembered from class that I needed to eat. How sweet!
My contractions got stronger after I got out of the shower. They were hurting very bad in my back. I laid on the bed but my contractions, although stonger, never really got regular. Sometimes there would be one after only 3 minutes, then 6, then 9. They were all over the place. Finally at 8 I called the Maternity Center to tell them I was coming in. They were still wary because my contractions were, on average, still pretty far apart. I then realized it was 8am so my doctors office was open. I said maybe I would call there. The labor nurse said “do whatever you want, just call back if you’re coming in.” I called the office and they had me come in because they were going to hook me up to the NST and check everything out.
As soon as we got into the car, my contractions quickened to 3-4 minutes apart all the way there. Luckily, it was only about a 15 minute drive because they were also getting a lot more intense. Dr. C checked my cervix and said I was 5-6cm. She said “You’re having the baby today.” As we walked to the maternity center I was elated. Already 5-6cm. That’s over halfway there. I became more confident in my ability to do this delivery naturally. The doctor’s office called as we were waiting to be checked in & the receptionist asked me if I was being induced. Apparently I must’ve looked pretty darn good. Then we met Cindy, who I soon would find out if the best labor nurse ever! I told her about all the pain in my back and she encouraged me to lean on the railing each time I had a contraction as we walked to our room. We got settled into room 2172.
I was hooked up to the monitor for about 20-30 minutes. Cindy encouraged me to try different positions every 30 minutes as it would help with trying to deliver naturally. So after the monitor we walked the halls for 30 minutes, got in rocking chair (I did not like that at all and only stuck with it for 3-4 contractions), and sat on birthing ball. Cindy said maybe the tub would be next step because it helps a lot of people with the pain. She told me she would have to check my cervix first because they don’t want you in the tub if you’re at 10cm. Cindy went to her lunch break and we got a new nurse for a bit. She checked me in the tub and said I was at 10cm but my water bag was still intact. She let me stay in the tub for a bit while she called Dr. C to see if she wanted to break my water.
About noon the doctor came and broke my water. She asked Cindy, who was fresh back from lunch, if I had been having any back labor to which she replied that was all I had been having. Dr. C said the baby was traverse and I immediately panicked. Traverse?!!?! I looked at Cindy and said “She’s traverse?” She must’ve been able to sense my concern because she reassures me & the doctor explains that Alexa has moved so she is facing my hips/pelvis and not my back anymore. So Alexa is halfway to where she needs to be. Doctor explains she has to do a quick surgery & encourages me to hold off pushing as long as I can since it can be very tiring and take a long time for first time moms and to give Alexa time to turn around more.
Cindy has me get on my knees leaning my arms over the back of the hospital bed which was semi-upright. I keep breathing and DH gets me a popsicle. We do this for about a half hour until Alexa’s heart rate dropped suddenly. Cindy had me move positions since Alexa didn’t like that position anymore. She had me lay on my left side and immediately Alexa’s heart rate went back up. She had my try a test push and then said it was time to call Dr. C and have the baby. She takes a picture of DH and I and says “Ready to push and smiling—don’t show this to people, they’ll be mad.”
The doctor comes in and asks if I’m about to have a contraction because she says she can’t tell by my face. Said she never would’ve guessed I was 5-6cm this morning by looking at me that morning.
Time to push! After a few pushes, I say “It feels like her head is still out of me” and Cindy has me reach down and touch Alexa’s head. After only 5 or 6 pushes (about ten minutes worth) Alexa Jadyn is here! Born June 27, 2007 at 2:13pm. 6lb 8oz, 19 3/4 inches long.
Our first family pic
Okay! This is getting entirely too long for an introduction post, so I'll stop now and post up about this pregnancy later tonight or tomorrow....
Thanks if you read all of it
WOOT!!! Welcome to your lodge!!! I can't wait to follow along on your road to Mr. Preston's arrival!
Mama to Kostas with the Mostest, born 07/10/07
and Marek "Cricket" Joshua, born 12/07/12
(Hi Shauna! Long time no see. Kostas's photo is adorable. )
Leo (3 1/2) with Malcolm the cat
Okay, I'll continue my intro later, but just wanted to post up that I have my birth plan appt with the MW today (no worries there -- everything I want is standard care for them) and I'll have my GBS swab. Really hoping not to have to worry about that; I was negative with Alexa so hoping for the same this time around. The MW did say that was the only reason I'd have to have an IV which I *really* don't want unless necessary.
I'll try to see if I can write up about this pregnancy while Alexa naps this afternoon.
OH wow! It's time for your lodge already????? That means mine is around the corner....
I'm SO excited and I loved reading your intro too. You are SOOOO close!