I need to get started on an intro so I'll start with how I met Dave. I've lived in Montana my whole life and decided to go to college in Missoula at the University of Montana which is on the opposite side of the state from my home town. I first met Dave in 1998 working at the computer labs on campus and he was always a lot of fun and just a nice guy. As time went on we got to know eachother better through work and found that we had some common interests in the local band scene since we both had friends with bands. Fall of 1999 I realized I liked him when I was getting up early (not common for me back then) just to get a chance to see him before class. In October he invited me over for chicken fajitas and Dark Side of the Rainbow and we were together from that night on. Things moved fairly quickly after that and we both met eachother's families over Christmas break and said our first "I love you's" the night before he flew out for Russia to do a study abroad over break. This was a big deal for both of us since we had never had a relationship serious enough to hit the "I love you" status.
On our one year anniversary in 2000 he asked me to marry him and planned for the wedding to be after I graduated from college on May 17th, 2002. Neither of us wanted to live in Missoula forever and Dave got a great opportunity to go in half with his boss and open a computer store in Bozeman so in early 2003 we packed up and moved to the middle of the state. It's been nice being here since we have family on both ends and our drive to visit is about 3 hours instead of 6+. I started working at MSU in Bozeman (the rival school for UM) and moved from an Admin position to working for the IT group installing cable (I do the paperwork and not the installing cable part). I've been with the IT department for 8 years now and I really do like the people I work with, too bad it isn't in my field of Botany. We bought a house 6 months after moving to Bozeman and are still in the same place.
Next up, Brodie's birth story...
Brodie's Pregnancy & Birth (copied & pasted from my last lodge so sorry if it's a repeat for anyone)
After being married for 4 years we decided to TTC and I wanted to plan my pregnancy to hit during the summer so my mom (she's a school teacher) could come up to help and I wanted to avoid being gone during fiscal year end at work. Our first month trying we got pregnant and I couldn't believe it happened so fast. We told my family over Christmas and DH's family over New Year's. Everyone was excited though DH's family moved into the guilt trips on me for not quitting my job, after several months of that I made DH have a chat with them. My pregnancy with Brodie started out fine, I had morning sickness for about 4 months then I finally started feeling better and gained back the weight I had lost the first trimester. I had issues with swollen feet and ankles, carpal tunnel, acid reflux, snoring, and my blood pressure ran high. I started this pregnancy with the plan that I'd get the epidural because everyone I knew had one and only had good things to say about them. My line of thinking was, you wouldn't have surgery without pain relief so why have a baby without it? (Obviously not what I agree with anymore). My best friend from high school had her son without an epidural and the comments from her DH really had me thinking about giving it a try. He said he was so proud of her and she was amazing and it did me a lot of good to hear that. We attended a Lamaze class and this was the turning point for me to not want an epidural. When the teacher covered the different pain relief options and their side effects I was shocked that a catheter may be necessary (of all the things to scare me right?). Dave gave me the look I was feeling and from that point on we decided to try it naturally. I lucked out with Dave being very supportive and telling me over and over that I would be fine and could do this. I also pulled from the fact that women have been doing this naturally for ages and that means I can do it also, I am a woman after all.
My BP continued to be high but I wasn't spilling any protein but from the 8th month on I was going in weekly to keep an eye on the possibility of pre-e. At the 34 week mark with Brodie an ultrasound showed that my AF was low, about 7 and something inside my head told me this was going to be a problem. At my 36 week appointment (on my birthday of all days) the doctor I had been seeing was out on vacation but told me we'd want to check my fluid levels again. DH and I had a trip planned to go to Denver that coming weekend to see Pearl Jam and Tom Petty so I figured we better make sure all looks well. Dr. W first did an internal and I was 1 cm dilated and then we did an ultrasound. I could tell that my fluid level had dropped a lot from 2 weeks prior, it was measuring around 3-4. She then told me I was to be on bed rest until Saturday (July 1st) and then I'd be induced. I struggled with not breaking down right there. After the appointment I went to work to pick up the things I still needed to take care of and then sat in bed and worked from home through the rest of the week. My plan to avoid being gone during fiscal year end was shot in the water. We checked into L&D at 8:00 am and below is my birth story.
They first had us sit in the only L&D room that was open and I swear we waited for 45 min before they came in. I was 3-4 cm dilated before anything started so I think my body was getting ready to have Brodie with or without the induction. I remember lots of questions and it seemed to take forever before they hooked me up to the Pitocin around 10:00 am and then there were more questions. We had 3 women with us, the main nurse, a nurse in training, and a student that was only there for observation. We had filled out a birth plan and I remember the nurses commenting on my pain medication request. I had stated that I wanted to see how I did without medication but that I may choose something if I can't handle the pain. I think they found it humorous and I'm sure they figured I'd be asking for something sooner rather than later.
From 10:00 to noon I wasn't feeling any sort of contractions at all and at one point the doctor came in to say she wanted to see that smile off my face. They continued to turn the Pitocin up and they broke my water a little after noon. My mom showed up around 10:30 and hung out in the room with us, she was great about staying out of the way and letting DH take care of me, she did help if it was asked. I initially didn't plan for her to be in the room the whole time but I also didn't care when it came down to it so she got to watch the show.
Around 1:30 I started to finally feel some contractions but they just felt like cramps during my period, I think the nurses were at least relieved I was starting to feel something. DH was timing my contractions so we could see progress and they did increase in pain but it wasn't by a lot (I'd say they went from cramps to gas pains during this time). They kept monitoring the baby and me but I was allowed to break away from the machines to walk the hallway and to take a shower (it felt great on my lower back). This is one reason I was very thankful I didn't have an epidural.
Around 3:15 the nurses suggested I take another walk (they kept telling me I had to have the baby by 5:00 since that was when they were off shift, I told them I'd do my best). DH and I just walked up and down the hallway for about 30 min and when I first started walking my contractions were occurring once at each end of the hallway but I was able to walk and breathe through them with no problem. By the end of our walk I had to stop for each contraction, happening now 3-4 times through the hallway. I had to bend over and breathe and once the pain was bringing tears to my eyes I figured it was time to go back to my L&D room.
I went to the bathroom one last time and then they checked my dilation, lucky me had both the head nurse and the nurse in training take my measurement. I was dilated to 7 cm so they said they would start to set things up. I was back on the bed and the contractions came on strong around 4:00. DH was helping me breathe through them but I was still doing the deep breaths and I started to feel light headed. The head nurse told me to start breathing in the hee hee hoooo fashion and that helped tremendously, I was finally getting enough oxygen. The pain was intense enough that I thought, I don't know if I can handle this, but I also knew with how fast my body was moving that I didn't have an option but to do it without drugs. I was amazed at how even though I'd never been through labor before I knew where my body was at.
I did notice in my haze of contractions that the nurses were starting to move a lot faster at getting things set up. I was really hot during this portion and ended up ripping the hospital gown off of me, good thing it had snaps on it. DH kept putting ice chips on my chest and face in between the contractions and he was also putting a wet cloth on me. I puked (what was in my stomach which was basically only liquid) during two contractions but since I had nothing to spit it into (nobody heard me when I said I puked) or onto I ended up swallowing it, that was lovely.
I could feel Brodie down in my hips and it was so hard to not push, I would even say it was painful to not push. In order to keep myself from pushing before I got the go ahead I had to move my hips during the contractions. The nurses said the doctor was delivering another baby and that if I could wait for her that's fine otherwise they would deliver for me. I heard the woman that was delivering screaming/yelling, that's not too helpful in that position. I kept from pushing for about 2 contractions then the doctor came running into the room and I started pushing. The nurses had to strip her down and get her into new garbs so she'd be ready for me.
During the contractions I remember the nurses and student being very helpful and supportive, telling me what to do to help with things and that I was doing a great job. They wanted me to look at DH during the contractions but it was hard because I'd look at him and wanted to cry, I'm not sure why. DH was also very supportive doing what I asked and telling me I was doing a great job. It was hard to hear because at times because I didn't feel like I was doing a good job. The only thing I said during the contractions was Oww, and I felt I needed to say that so they knew I was in pain.
I think I pushed through about 5 contractions and then I felt the ring of fire and I wasn't about to wait for another contraction so I kept pushing. This may have been why I had the 2nd degree tear. His head came out and she told me to stop pushing so she could do her thing then one more push got the rest of him out. The first thing the doctor said was, "He's tiny"? and all I saw was that he was a boy and I commented on his cone head then I laid back in the bed. She didn't offer for DH to cut the cord because Brodie was so small and I didn't realize there was a troop of people with the pediatrician in the room until they grabbed him. They put him in the room warmer and he started crying shortly after that. The pediatrician did bring him by me so I could see him and she said they were going to make sure everything was ok with him (he wasn't breathing well), at this point DH left to go with Brodie. I didn't notice this but his limbs were blue when he came out and there was a comment from both doctors that he had had the cord around his neck. He was born at 4:25 pm and was 4 lbs 11.5 oz.
The delivery of the placenta wasn't painful but when it came out the doctor said it was small, scarred, and calcified. My placenta had failed causing the low AF and IUGR. My body was freezing and I couldn't stop shaking so the nurses kept putting warmed blankets on me, it felt like forever before I was feeling normal again. I think being stitched up from my tear was almost the worst part. She said the tear was clean and how a cut would have been but the stitching hurt. It honestly felt like she was sticking a needled in my bum hole, which is pretty close to what she was doing. I was so happy when she was done.
I rested in the bed for awhile and I must have been out of it because things were kind of a blur. DH did come in with Brodie after about a ? hour (according to DH) and the pediatrician talked with me about his status. He was hooked up to an IV of glucose to help with the blue limbs, he did struggle at first with breathing but it was just transition issues and his lungs were fully developed and fine. Because my amniotic fluid was so low his left side had been squashed and the top of his left foot laid flat against his shin. She said this was nothing to worry about and to make sure he stretches his foot out and it will be normal before long. His left nostril was also a little smashed and the back part of his head was flat on that side.
When DH gave him to me it was so weird to think he was my child, I was a bit nervous and uncomfortable holding him but he was absolutely adorable and perfect, even with his squashed left side. I don't remember how long I held him but they took him back to the nursery so I could get cleaned up.
The new nurse was a bit more doting than I wanted. She wanted to help me walk to the bathroom but I was feeling fine and told her I was ok on my own. The shower felt great and then she helped me into the huge bundle of pads and panties they made me put on, I waddled to my room there was so much crap packed around my crotch. The room was great, it had a double bed so DH could stay with me. The nursery called us when Brodie woke up and DH gave him his first bath while I video taped. He hated everything but having his hair rinsed under the faucet, he would always get quiet and still when we rinsed his hair. I then breast fed him and he did well with latching on. It was amazing at how small he was but also at how fast we got use to his size. The nurses called him peanut since he was so small but they also continually said how he thought he was a big boy because he didn't act like he was under 5 pounds. He was so aware of everything from the beginning and we were truly blessed that he was fully developed and only skinny.
We were in the hospital for 5 days waiting for Brodie's weight to maintain before they would release him. I healed quickly and felt wonderful so I was discharged after 3 days, they would have done it sooner if Brodie would have been ready to go home. They did allow me to room-in cost free so that was nice. My next struggle was with breast feeding. Initially I dealt with the LC from hell, she was so mean and had me crying. She told me that I would never produce enough if any milk because my breasts didn't have veins on them. I kept at BFing and my milk came in after 2 days, this surprised her but she was still a b!tch. We would weigh Brodie before and after a feeding and he wasn't getting enough from me so the other LC at the hospital worked with me. She had me take Fenugreek and use a Medela supplemental nursing system (basically a little tube comes down your nipple so the baby can stimulate the breast while getting formula) and then I would pump both breasts for 15 min after each feeding. I did this for 2.5 weeks with no increase at all in my milk production, it actually went down, at this point we just moved to formula in bottles. I cried so hard the last time I breast fed him, the feelings of failure and being so alone (my mom and Dave were very supportive but it seemed like everyone could BF except me) were horrible.
Brodie 1 day old
The three of us watching the fireworks from the hospital
Lily's Pregnancy & Birth
I always wanted my kids to be about 2 years apart so I started temping this time and we were pregnant again on the first month of trying. My temping showed me as having an EDD of August 3rd . My doctor wanted to do an early ultrasound to get an idea of how far along I was in case we had problems with my placenta again and that showed me at July 24th, the same EDD Brodie had. I also had blood work done early on to try to figure out why my placenta failed since they couldn't find a reason for it failing. My blood work came back negative for everything they tested for so we have no idea what caused it to fail.
I felt great with Lily's pregnancy and was bigger than I was with Brodie. My morning sickness hung around the whole 9 months though mostly it was just heaving in the morning toward the end. I had issues with my sciatic nerve and started seeing a chiropractor weekly which helped a lot and was using the Hypnobabies Course for this pregnancy.
The Friday before I had Lily I had my 37 week appointment and I was where I was the week before, 2-3 cm & 50% effaced. I had had a few days of mild cramping lasting only an hour each day so I wasn't surprised I was in the same place. I spent the weekend trying to get things caught up around the house.
Sunday evening I noticed a slimy discharge that continued and had a very light red tint to it, I was hoping it was my mucus plug but didn't really know. Early Monday morning I woke around 3:00 am to some cramping that was more intense than I had previously had & there was now bright red when I’d wipe. I went back to bed since nothing seemed too serious and at 3:40 I woke to a small gush. I jumped up thinking it was my water breaking so I sat on the toilet and did what I thought was peed but didn’t notice anymore spurts or a trickle. I grabbed a towel and went back to bed. I woke a few more times to cramping until my alarm went off at 5:25 so I got up to get ready for work. The shower felt great but the cramping continued and I kept visiting the toilet so I decided to skip work for the day since I figured I wouldn’t be too productive going back and forth from the bathroom to my cubicle. Brodie was up shortly after 6 and I cuddled with him as best I could with my cramping, he was a very good boy for me and that was appreciated. I also continued my regular journey’s to the bathroom. Dave was up at 6:45 and I told him that I was having pressure waves and was not going into work for the day. He thought about going back to bed for a little bit longer but he saw that I was feeling the pressure waves quite a bit so he decided to shower. I remember him asking me if he’d need to come back from work and I told him at some point he’d need to be with me.
As Dave was showering I started making the brownies for the nurses and when Dave came out to the kitchen I was doubling over with the PW’s and giving myself the peace cue. Dave asked if I had timed anything and I hadn’t so he started timing me. I also reminded him of the 411 rule and the next thing I knew he told me that they were lasting about a minute and were about 4 minutes apart. This put him in a bit of a rush because he got Brodie dressed then headed out the door to take him to day care. I felt the need to go the bathroom again so I headed to the bathroom. I called my mom to let her know that I believed it was time and that she’d need to come up to pick Brodie up from day care. I then sat on the toilet and quickly realized I was feeling more pushy at this point than needing to have a BM. Then transformation hit and I had full body sweats & panic tried to set in. I knew DH was still a way out and there was no way I could travel in a car like this. I also didn’t know where to be in order to have the baby but I first made myself calm down and think rationally, panic was not helping the situation at all. I sat back on the toilet to calm down and I felt the baby’s head, this was a surprise since I hadn’t felt the baby move down like I did with Brodie. I put a towel on our bathmat and got on my knees, the PW’s kept pushing the baby without my help but I knew there was no stopping this freight train so I started pushing with my hand cupping the head the whole time. I remember 2-3 pushes and the head was out (this was an easier position than the normal stirrup position I had with Brodie) then the body slid right out. I said a prayer at this point that the baby would be breathing and OK, and thank God the cries followed shortly. I wiped off the baby’s nose and mouth and when there was a little choking sound so I patted the baby’s back and normal breathing continued.
I wanted to somewhat contain the mess so I got into the bathtub (I didn’t initially get in the tub because it just didn’t seem roomy enough for me) and held my sweet little baby to my chest. About 20 min had passed since Dave left with Brodie and he showed up about 1 minute after the baby was born. He heard me talking in the bathroom and figured I was on the phone, when he walked into the room and saw the two of us he said “Holy crap, holy crap” and ran out to get his phone, he did hear our LO cry so he knew things were OK on that manner. I hollered that we were OK and he was next to us pretty quickly. He asked what the sex was and I didn’t know so I looked and saw we had a baby girl. The 911 operator told him how to tie off the umbilical cord and then said I needed to deliver the placenta. He told her that that was up to me and asked if I felt the urge to push, I didn’t, so he told her I wasn’t ready. The EMT’s then arrived (5 min was pretty impressive) and checked both of us. Lily had an Apgar of 8 about 10 min in and was doing great, her color was wonderful. We deducted at this point that I delivered her around 7:40. I lost a bit more blood than is normal with a vaginal birth but my stats were also normal. They asked if I wanted to go into the hospital and I told them I should be checked so they helped me out of the tub and took me away on a stretcher in the ambulance. I did get Lily to latch on in the ambulance and it was surreal riding to the hospital. The EMT’s were really excited to be involved with this call & they went on and on about how happy they were, I was happy to start their Monday on such a good note. They even stopped by later on to bring me flowers and Lily a blanket. DH grabbed a few things while we were on our way and took care of a few things around the house (like turning the oven off since my brownies never made it in there). He threw all of the linens in the washer and the EMT’s cleaned up most of the mess (there were a few splatters here and there and the bathroom needed a good scrubbing but it was minimal).
At the hospital Lily went to the nursery and I was taken to the postpartum section to be checked, we were the talk of the nursery and PP unit and I think every nurse visited me at least once for the story. Since I had lost more blood than typical they hooked me up to Oxytocin and once the placenta was out the doctor saw that I tore along the same place I tore with Brodie. Those stitches weren’t nearly as bad as Brodie’s were, that was good. After about 2 hours I had had enough and told DH in a loud and yelling voice (he’d been spending most of his time with Lily) I wanted to see Lily and get a damned shower, I got to hold her for a little bit and then they moved me to a shower and my room. Lily was very sleepy at first and it took some work to get her interested in BFing but she started sucking really well in the evening. She was 6 lbs 14.9 oz, 19.5 inches long. Her full name is Lilian Mae.
We stayed at the hospital Monday night and DH stayed with me. I had some issues with being light headed when I’d get up but that passed quickly. My postpartum bleeding wasn’t as bad as it was with Brodie so that was a plus.
I wasn't able to breastfeed with Lily either, we tried the same process with Brodie and I think I produced even less milk with her.
After having Lily we did some major lifestyle changes resulting in a 40 pound weight loss for me. I was exercising regularly and the biggest change was we moved to eating gluten free. Celiac disease runs in my family and when Dave commented (after hearing his aunt has issues with gluten) that he'd like to try gluten free I joined him on the diet change. I didn't realize I was having issues from the gluten until I cut it out and it's been almost 4 years that we've been gluten free. A couple months after we realized we wouldn't go back to eating it I moved Brodie to a GF diet and saw some big improvements with him. He had been having sandy poops (I literally thought he was eating sand) but after a month GF they were gone and have only been back when he's accidentally eating gluten. By default Lily is also GF but I've also seen the sandy poops with her when she has been given gluten.
We always planned to just have 2 kids unless we had had 2 boys and then we'd try for a girl but after having Lily both Dave and I felt like a third was in the cards for us. We planned to do a 3 year difference between Lily and the third and got pregnant our first month trying in the fall of 2010. This pregnancy I had no morning sickness at all and it was a really nice change though also a bit concerning. We told our family and friends over Christmas that we were expecting again and a couple weeks later I visited with a midwife just shy of my 12 week mark. The day after that appointment I started spotting so my midwife had me go in for the blood tests and it was evident I was having a miscarriage. I wanted to let my body go through the process naturally and we believe I had a blighted ovum because when I officially miscarried there was minor cramping and tissue/blood. I struggled with mourning the loss of the pregnancy and it took me a few months to process it and be OK with what happened. I also started to have ovarian cysts and those threw my body off big time. It was hard to exercise beause of the pain they would cause so I gained about 10 pounds back. I finally found a way to balance my body by drinking red raspberry leaf tea every night and I started to get back into exercising and living life like I had before hand. We weren't sure if we could get pregnant with how "off" I was and we decided that it was our last month of trying before calling it quits when AF didn't show up in January. I didn't feel pregnant but the tests kept coming back positive so I tried to tell myself I was pregnant.
This pregnancy didn't have any morning sickness either and instead of losing weight the first trimester I was gaining it faster than I wanted. I kept waiting for there to be spotting and I didn't accept that I was pregnant at all for the first trimester. As I approached 12 weeks I called my midwife and we went in for an appointment but weren't able to hear a heart beat. She gave me a few options and I said we'd just come back in 10 days and try again. At that appointment she couldn't get a heartbeat again and I remembered that my uterus was tilted so she did an internal exam to move my uterus and sure enough we heard a heartbeat. I was in shock. Happy but in shock.
We did schedule an ultrasound to date the baby and my due date was moved up a week to October 8th and it was really nice to see a healthy and active baby in there. We told the kids first and they told EVERYONE! They were so excited and couldn't keep it in. In the months leading up to us getting pregnant Brodie kept asking God for another baby so I shouldn't have been surprised.
I have felt fantastic and not pregnant this whole pregnancy. Other than the growing belly and some mild heartburn things have been smooth sailing and I sometimes forget I'm pregnant. I have started seeing my chiropractor weekly but before that it has been once a month and that's been it. I've gained 23 pounds so far and have only started to have some very mild swelling around my ankles (I still have ankles and the swelling is barely noticeable).
Last week I had my home visit (I'm doing a home waterbirth using Hypnobabies again) and I'm all set up for the baby to arrive, other than I don't really feel like I'm far enough along to actually have the baby. She did the GBS swab and I should find out on Thursday if I'm positive or negative. She also checked me and said I'm 1cm inside with a stretchy 2cm on the outside. All I have left to do to prepare is some baking (muffins, freezer meals, granola bars, cookies) and order some Domperidone. I've talked with my midwife about my milk production issues and told her that when I would quite and become "engorged" I could literally feel 4 pockets of milk in each breast with no pockets of milk on the underside of my breasts. She agrees with me that I don't have the breast tissue needed to produce enough milk so we're going to try me on some Domperidone (which you can't buy in the US and Canada now requires a prescription so I'm going to try online through the UK once I'm done here) to increase my milk supply. She doesn't know if I'll be able to breast feed exclusively but I told her even if I can do 1-2 full feedings a day that is more than what I've even been able to do before. I really hope it works this time.
One last note, last night before bed I noticed I'm starting to lose some of my mucus plug, no blood tinge to it yet but man it was goopy!
DS 1 b. 1/19/09, DS 2 b. 1/12/11, DS 3 b. 3/3/13
Awsome stories. I love how you were so composed during Lily's birth. I probably would have freaked out. Hope this birth goes smoothly for you. I am interested in hearing the story because I want to do a water birth at a birthcenter for our next baby. Good luck.
11/2012, 12/2012, 2/2013
No changes, the baby is still high in my ribs. Dave thinks she/he will drop next week which would be on course with Lily telling me the baby will be here on 9/29. Dave is expecting 9/30 since he has plans to go to a Pearl Jam concert that's a 3 hour drive from here, it would be his second Pearl Jam show foiled by a baby
I forgot to mention in the birth stories that I believe the reason my placenta failed with Brodie was due to eating gluten. It's a very common side effect for people that can't handle gluten to have children with IUGR and failed placentas. I imagine it also wasn't looked at when they did the blood work even though I know on my paperwork I had mentioned Celiac runs in my family. I finally started to do some baking last night (granola bars are done) and am keeping myself caught up on bills, etc so I don't fall behind.
Some good news for the day is that I get to cancel the appointment I had for Monday to meet with an OB that was willing to write me a prescription for Domperidone since my midwife can't write one. I was able to order it through the UK and should see it within 7-14 days, here's hoping it arrives shortly after I have this baby. I was also given a gift certificate for a free 1 hour pre-natal massage from my chiropractor so I'm going to call and set up an appointment, I can't wait for that.
I had my midwife appointment yesterday and I'm GBS negative, I'm so happy about that. She told me that when she checked me last week the baby was at a 0 station so she's waiting to hear from me at any point. The one thing that is different from my other two is that the baby is posterior (OP from what the midwife could feel) so I'm going to work on getting this LO to roll. Any good tips or tricks? I love that my midwife is so positive, she said I can totally handle a posterior birth it just may make it a little bit longer.
I finally have everything at work wrapped up so now it's just doing little things to stay caught up until the baby gets here. I am to the point of taking a work folder home with me to do the little things that are needed while I'm away just in case.
I think this weekend, if the leg cramps stay away, we're going to take the kids to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. I figure it may be easier to do it while the baby is in my tummy. It's supposed to be really nice weather wise but it's still very smoky, that will probably be the case until it starts snowing.