Welcome to your lodge Maggie!
Can't wait to follow your journey and meet you new little guy!
Welcome to your lodge Maggie!
Can't wait to follow your journey and meet you new little guy!
Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge, Maggie!!! :)
Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge :)
Yay, welcome Maggie! Can't believe your lodge is here already!
Woohoo, lodge time! Hard to believe I am so close already. Thanks everyone, I'll do the whole intro thing soon....
Welcome to your lodge! I can't wait to share the journey with you.
I'm Maggie, DH is Brian and we have a 3 year old DS Griffin. Long story short, DH and I met in Connecticut in 2001 the year after I graduated from college. We were kind of off and on for a while until we moved to California in 2003. We got married in August of 2007 (took us a while to make the big leap I guess). Since we had been together so long before we got married and we weren't getting any younger, we decided to start trying to have a baby pretty quickly after we got married. I stopped taking BC in October of 2007, and we started for real trying in March of 2008. I found out I was pregnant on Mother's Day, so it didn't take long! It was a pretty uneventful pregnancy for the most part. I remember being really tired and not feeling so great during the firs tri, but I would forget I was pregnant during my second trimester and was always bashing my belly on things because I'd forget it was there. I don't remember why or when, but I decided at some point early on that I wanted a natural birth. I think I read the Henci Goer book and that really was what sealed the deal for me. But Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and the movie the Business of Being Born were also strong influences. Plus, my mom had me and one of my sisters at home, so it wasn't a foreign concept. But despite knowing I wanted a natural birth, I was also terrified! I did some research and decided to splurge on Hypnobabies. It was hard to squeeze it in with a full time job, but I did my best and I do think it was helpful in labor and also helping me feel more prepared and less scared of birth. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I started getting sick with odd symptoms that I chalked up to weird pregnancy digestive stuff but was later diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I started getting sick around 34 weeks and DS' growth really slowed down at 34 weeks. At around 38 weeks my MW sent me for an u/s because she was worried about his growth and wanted to make sure he was OK. The u/s tech told me he was only 35-36 weeks along and I must have my dates wrong! I knew exactly when I got pregnant, so I knew she was totally wrong, and then we worried for about a week because no one called us to tell us anything about the results, and finally called the MW office and they apologized profusely, I guess there was some kind of miscommunication and everyone thought someone else had called us...anyway, after the dr. looked at it, he thought the baby looked totally fine and at that point we just had to wait! I expected to go at least a week late because it seems like everyone I know does, and so was surprised when I started having contractions on his due date...so that leads to DS' birth story which I will post separately....
OK, so about a year ago, we moved from CA to VT to be closer to our families on the east coast. We started looking for jobs close to a year before we moved, but had decided we would not give up perfectly good jobs in CA and move until at least one of us landed a job back here. So it took a while, but eventually we made the big move. It was reaaalllllyyyyy hard to leave CA, we had a great community there and really loved it. But I don't regret it, we both knew we wanted our kids to grow up knowing their grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins, etc. and not having them be strangers they visited for a week or two a year. After we moved, we decided it was time to try for #2 because I was only working very part time and was home with DS most of the time, so it just made sense. However, I wanted to wait until I was totally healthy to TTC. After DS was born, that is when I got REALLY sick and when he was about 9 months DH finally talked me into getting a colonoscopy and getting diagnosed. I lost my pregnancy weight FAST and ended up about 15-20 lbs below my pre-preg weight because I was so ill. People wanted to know my magic weight loss trick and I was like "trust me, you don't want to use my method of weight loss." TMI, but I was in the bathroom 10-12 times a day, was crapping blood most of the time and just physically not well. I was anemic, wasn't absorbing vitamins, etc. After the fun colonoscopy (actually not as bad as I expected) got the UC diagnosis and it was a huge relief, but also sucked. It was really nice to know what was wrong with me and be able to treat it, but depressing to be diagnosed with a chronic, incurable illness. I went on meds for a while and got a little better, but DS was well into being 2 before it cleared up. About a year ago, I was in remission and we decided to TTC. Didn't take the first month of trying, but we got the magic BFP in October and here I am! This pregnancy has been a bit more difficult for my physically, I think mostly because I am older? And also having a preschooler to chase around. I've been more tired, achier, grumpier, etc. This baby moves A LOT more than DS did, he was a pretty quiet baby and continues to be a very mellow child. I feel like we are going to pay for it with this one ;) My UC has remained in remission, which I am SO grateful for, and this baby is very healthy and has been growing totally normally. After some debate, DH won and we decided to find out the gender at our 18 week u/s (I wanted to wait and have that exciting "it's a...." moment at delivery). I was hoping for a girl, if I am totally honest, but we found out it is another little man. It took a minute for me to get over the fact that we weren't having a girl, but now I am really thrilled for DS to have a little brother. I've been having bouts of BH contrax for months and from the beginning thought this baby might come on the early side. I'm glad to be 36 weeks now and not have to worry about pre-term labor anymore. So, we'll see! I would really like to make it to June 28 (due date is July 2) because that is when DH is done with his crazy work schedule.
So, that is my life in a nutshell!
Here is DS' birth story:
Sunday, January 18th, 2009
My mom and some friends and I walked to brunch around 10 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, January 18th. I saw my prenatal yoga teacher there and said hello. She had been out of town and was trying to see from across the room if I was still pregnant (I was sitting).
After brunch, my mom and I went home and did some stuff around the house. I did kind of wonder if this was that last minute burst of energy you hear about before women go into labor. I had already done all my nesting the week before and had spent the last week being lazy and not wanting to do anything but sit around, but today I was scrubbing the sink, sweeping, doing laundry, dishes, etc.
Around 1:30 p.m., Brian called to say he was too anxious to stay at work (at the time, he worked 3 hours away and was gone Friday-Sunday) and was coming home. I told him I wasn’t in labor, but if he wanted to come home that was OK with me. He said he had woken up the night before with stomach cramps and it made him think he was picking up on something and he just couldn’t focus on work.
Around 3:30 p.m. I started having some irregular contractions that felt a little different from the BH I had been experiencing for the past few weeks. After a little while, I decided to start timing them and my mom suggested I start my cookies for the nurses at the birth center just in case it was the real deal. So I started baking. The contractions got more regular and were consistently about 4 minutes apart, but not intense at all yet. I took a shower and they slowed down some and decreased in intensity for a little while, but didn’t stop.
I got on the computer and spent some time playing on the internet. After a while I felt like I couldn’t sit on the couch during contractions anymore, but they were still totally manageable, and I thought it could still be a false start. I went into the kitchen to finish the cookies. I called my sister while I was doing that and she was saying she thought since I was still talking through contractions I had a ways to go. I bent over and put my elbows on the counter during a contraction and it felt way more comfortable. I felt a little pop and realized my water had broken and ran to the bathroom, still on the phone with my sister, who was excited she was on the phone with me when my water broke. I talked to her for a minute longer, and we finally realized we needed to get off the phone so I could focus on having a baby!
Almost right away, my contractions got a little stronger, but still totally manageable, no big deal. I still thought we had a long night ahead of us. We called the clinic and the midwife suggested we go to the birth center in about an hour. I was really happy because it was my favorite of the midwives at the clinic who was on call and she would be delivering my baby! We called the waterbirth tub rental place and my doula to tell them I was in labor and we’d call again to keep them posted. Brian started getting ready to go get some last minute snacks so we wouldn’t have to stop on the way.
I went in our bedroom and sat on my birth ball and leaned on a pile of pillows on the bed and put the Hypnobabies Easy First Stage track on my ipod. Almost instantly, I started having strong contractions and they started coming every 2 minutes. Brian was messing around on the computer trying to transfer money for the birth tub (we had to pay the balance when we arrived at the birth center). I had a really strong contraction and afterward both my mom and I simultaneously said it was time to go, we were not waiting an hour. Between contractions I made my way out to the car and stood and leaned in on the seat through a couple contractions while we waited for Brian to finish getting the stuff packed up. Finally my mom went to get Brian and said she would get the rest of the stuff, we needed to leave NOW. Looking back, I think he was in denial and panicking a little and his way of dealing with it was to focus on just getting stuff we might need. I think he put 5 pillows in the back seat! I remember being like "how many pillows do we need??" It was around 9 p.m. at this point.
It was really hard to get in the car, we had the carseat and stuff (5 pillows!) in the back seat and I couldn’t recline the seat or lean forward, I had to sit up straight and I was dreading the drive. Luckily, the contractions slowed a bit in the car and I only had two and they were not as intense. As soon as we got to the birth center, though, things picked up. We walked in the door and I was on the floor on my hands and knees. I felt kind of stupid, but I had to be in that position. The nurse said she needed to check me so we knew if she should call the midwife yet. Brian and I both looked at her like “seriously? I am on the floor moaning!” She said it can be really intense sometimes even at 5 cms, but I knew I was further along than that. We got into our room and I went to the bathroom. I locked the door because I wanted some privacy (I was experiencing the loose stool phenomena and didn't need anyone else witnessing it) and I KNEW someone would try to come in. Sure enough, EVERYONE was knocking on the door trying to get me to come out. They all thought I was hiding in there. Finally I made it out and ran over to the bed, trying to get there so the nurse could check me before the next contraction hit. She said she thought I was complete. Brian and my mom both looked at me and were smiling and saying “good job!” I had known that I was complete or really close already, so wasn’t surprised. It was getting very intense for me at this time and I was really having to focus to get through contractions.
It gets blurry at this point, but they put a monitor on (which was supposed to come off as soon as they got a good read on the baby) and started an IV antibiotic drip because I was strep B positive. I had thought I would really hate the IV, but I was so in my own world I barely noticed. Again, the IV was supposed to be in for 20 minutes and then I could move around freely. My doula arrived and came over and tried to get my attention and talk me through a few contractions. Brian was pushing on my back and both of them helped a lot to keep me focused. At some point the midwife arrived. The contractions were right on top of each other. She asked Brian if we had done anything to start labor, since it was coming on so fast (we hadn’t). Someone brought up that we should call the waterbirth place and get the tub in here. I said there was no way there was time and not to call. Anyway, the way things ended up going we couldn’t have used the tub even if there had been time….
During contractions the nurses and my doula and Brian and my mom were talking me through them, doing what they could to help me be comfortable still strapped to the monitor and the IV (bleah!) I became aware slowly that I could not hear the baby’s heart beat during contractions. The midwife announced she was going to have to switch to an internal monitor because the baby’s heart rate was dropping a lot during contractions and since I wasn’t pushing yet she was worried about him. My doula (bless her heart) asked me if I wanted time to think about it. I said no, because I was worried about the baby. My contractions were so close together that the midwife had to put the monitor in during one and it was horrible. She told me I needed to start pushing because we needed to get him out. She apologized that we were needing to deviate so much from our birth plan (we specifically had intermittent monitoring and mother directed pushing included). I didn’t care at that point, I just wanted the baby out and safe and not to end up with a c-section. Luckily, I started feeling the urge to push right at that moment and she encouraged me to push hard and helped me direct it. Her strategy was get the baby out as soon as possible.
I became aware that there was a strange man in the room who was wearing street clothes (not scrubs like everyone else). I could have cared less at that point, but the midwife saw me notice him and explained she had called for back-up because of the heart rate issue (his heart rate was seriously dropping during contractions and went down as low as 50 and was at 70 for 7 minutes). We found out later that he was the surgeon who would have done the c-section if it came to that, which the midwife was thinking it might. I'm so glad she didn't tell us that at the time, I would have freaked out. I wanted to kill this doctor at the time, but he probably saved me from an emergency c-section and possibly saved the baby’s life by making me stop pushing through contractions and blow through them and take deep breaths through an oxygen mask. I also had to lie on my side and my doula held my leg up and this position helped the baby’s heartbeat, so the doctor wouldn’t let me change positions. Not pushing was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I wouldn’t describe the contractions as painful (that’s the wrong word, it isn’t pain, but it is totally overwhelming), but extremely intense and it took everything I had not to push. The doctor decided he needed to change internal monitors for some reason and I about lost it, it was the worst moment of the whole labor. I think the Hypnobabies helped keep me calm and focused through most of this though, and allowed me to breathe and do what I needed to do to help my baby.
Good news was the baby’s heart rate went back up. Finally the doctor gave the go-ahead for me to push again and it was the best news I’d heard all day. I pushed through one contraction and realized I was not pushing effectively (again, I think it was the Hypnobabies that helped me have the presence of mind to realize this) and on the next and last contraction I really directed my pushing. Two pushes and he was out! I was kind of afraid I was wrong and he wasn’t really out yet, but I heard everyone oohing and aahing so I knew he was. I couldn’t see him because I was on my side facing the inside of the bed. My mom said “oh, he’s cute, Maggie!” It took me a second to come out of my daze and roll over so I could see him. Even though he had been in such distress for part of the labor, he came out pink and cried immediately. His apgars were 9 and 10. I still had my sweatshirt on because I hadn’t been able to get it off between contractions because they were so close together, so they put him on my belly instead of my chest and I reached down and held his slimy warm body. I saw he had a full head of dark hair. I was still really out of it and just stared down at him, I don’t think I even said anything. I vaguely remember Brian cutting the cord. They dimmed the lights and things really calmed down after that. The room cleared out and they gave us time to ourselves to bond.
He was born at 11:15 p.m., only two hours after we arrived at the hospital and 8 hours after the first contraction!
Not exactly the birth I had imagined, but still an amazing experience and I did it with no pain medication. I used Hypnobabies and did prenatal yoga religiously every week, and I think those two things really helped. I ended up with a 2nd degree tear because I pushed him out so quickly at the end and the MW didn't have time to do all of the things she normally would do to try and prevent a tear. I also had some bleeding issues after the birth, not immediately, but a few weeks later started having gushes of red blood when the bleeding should have been tapering off. It turned out there was still a little piece of something left behind. It was a small piece and after some discussion with the dr. we decided to give it a few more days to see if it would resolve on its own before resorting to a D&C. It ended up resolving, but I bled for a total of 8 weeks after the birth! Between the stitches (which really were a bummer) and the bleeding issues, I had a hard time recovering. My mom says I was "like a pancake" for the first couple weeks, which is true. I think I was a little traumatized by the craziness of the end of my birth as well. The first 3/4 of the labor was so easy and I just couldn't ask for anything better, but the last couple hours was pretty intense, scary, painful, etc. I'm hoping not to have the decel issue this time and that we can just let things progress normally and it will be smoother.