Thursday, October 30, 2014

Alanna's Birth Story | Part 2

Start with Part 1

If you made it through Part 1, you are amazing.

"Part One" was long for me too. But it also flew by. The older I've gotten, the quicker those 10 months go by.

So the story-telling left off at the first attempt at birthing this baby.
Labor stalled.
Came home empty-handed.
And then had a very uneventful  next week.
VBS had wrapped up. We didn't get another Bible School baby. 

I was so tired. I was big. Couldn't breathe. My feet were still really swollen. My face was fluffy. I wasn't sleeping well AT ALL. 

My smiles had turned to something a little like this... half-hearted.
Grateful for a baby baking longer. But half-hearted.
^^^^^More CookOut shakes! Yum! Anything cold and wet and unhealthy right?!

So the two weeks prior, I had been losing my mucus plug slowly over time. It wasn't like with Jasper coming as one big glob (sorry, entirely way TMI!). Everything was throwing me for a loop this time. But I had made it to 37 weeks. That day at work, I again started having some mild contractions. I honestly didn't think too much of it because of all of the BH contractions I had had over the months and the previous week of labor stalling. I told everyone that I was NOT going to the hospital unless I was fo' sure in labor. Like, can't breathe, crying, hurting labor.

Well that evening when I got home from work, we decided to work in the garden a little bit. I helped weed and water the garden - dead of June - it had to be done. Watering the garden wasn't hard work but it was hot, that's for sure!

While watering, the contractions started feeling a little different. It only took me about 10 minutes to do that so once I was done, I went inside and changed out of good clothes into my maternity/nursing comfy nightgown and some tennis shoes. An obvious wardrobe choice. And decided to go for a walk. We were going to see what these contractions had going for them. I wasn't going to sit around for another night of worrying and obsessing over contractions that were coming too close, too soon, too early. I was 37 weeks. This baby could come. I was full term.

Joshua and I walked while his mom and dad drove in the Baccamobile with the kids. The contractions were definitely getting more intense but they were not that bad. His mom and dad decided to take the boys with them that night just in case something happened. We knew from previous experience, I like to go into labor around midnight.

So that night, contractions kept coming, things were looking promising but they were just not coming at any frequency that seemed worthy of the real thing.

I decided that I would try to go to bed. I figure, if history repeats itself, around 11pm or so, I'd wake up with some nice contractions and we'd rush off to the hospital. Before going to bed that night, June 25th, I took a photo of my belly. I had definitely dropped. My belly button was the nice blue color it always turns when I'm so stretched and full of life inside.

^^^Pretend that's a bathing suit!

The next morning I woke up at 5:55am. I looked at my clock and sighed, I had slept all night long. Midnight had come and gone. But something strange....had I dreamed that I had just had a nice strong contraction or was it real? I decided to trudge downstairs to pee - I had gone all night without - which was the first time in quite a while that I hadn't made a nighttime pit stop!

While using the potty, I had another nice contraction and then there bright red blood and lots of it. I was a bit concerned. The show that I had been having earlier was nothing like this. I knew bright red blood wasn't the best sign so I called Dr. A. and she said to go ahead to L&D. I called my mom, hands shaking....this time this is real. The finality, the rush, the excitement and anticipation, nervousness & some fear flooded me.

Contractions were picking up after losing, what I believed, was the last of my plug. Joshua got dressed while I packed the last few items and paced the living room. I still believed that somehow the contractions might die. Once my mom and Doc got there, we took off toward the hospital.

This was our "It's a good morning to have a baby!" sunrise. God welcomed us by way of sunshine and clouds, drawing us toward the hospital. It was the calm before birth.
On our way, we stopped at McDonald's to grab breakfast. Food is important to us. Even when having contractions strong enough to catch my breath. I still wanted food because you never know how long it will be until you can eat again.

Let's be real....
This was how I felt.
And it wasn't the hot biscuit sitting on my lap either.
And yes I was taking selfies while having a contraction.
I'm ridiculous sometimes!
Once we made it to the top of the parking deck, I knew we wouldn't be sent back home this time.
This was it.
I was having a baby.

We started using the Big Bertha camera at this point.

Part 3 to come....

Alanna's Birth Story & Back Story | Part 1

Third baby.
You'd think by now I'd know what having a baby entails. You'd think I'd know the signs, symptoms by heart.

Well think again. Every single one of my pregnancies has been a little different and each birth WAY different than the one before. So here's a little recap and then the story of the birth of a sweet baby girl!

Lukas - Birth Date: June 19, 2007 - So my pregnancy with Lukas was a totally new experience...obviously. Lots of morning afternoon night (ALL DAY!) sickness; heartburn; tired; hormonal; body acne. It was bad. Pregnancy did not suite me well with him. I got HUGE! I gained the most weight with him, about 30lbs...mostly in the thunder thigh region and my chin. I mean CHINS! I was just gross. Zero complications though really. He came 9 days early on a Tuesday morning. I had planned for a natural birth and made it to about 6cm before "caving" to Stadol. After that wore off and didn't do anything but make me feel drunk and sick to my stomach, I then "caved" to the epidural. I used every measure possible but I just wasn't prepared for the level of pain and coping with it. I was very disappointed in myself.... quite unnecessarily because I did the best I could. Labor was the longest with him. Went in around 11pm and had him at 10:23am. Used the mirror for pushing because of the epidural, I felt NOTHING and didn't know how to push. I had 2nd degree tears that required sutures. I was starving as soon as I pushed him out. The labor was just exhausting dealing with all of the pain. I suffered from post-partum depression after his birth. I think I just put so much pressure on myself as a new mom. I was sad I got the epidural and didn't "try harder". I was surrounding myself with people who seemed perfect to me; people who appeared to know just how to be the perfect mom. Make the most breastmilk. Give the most organic food. Wear their babies in the most beautiful carriers. While I was over here like "How do you even have the energy to FEED your baby!?!" I was a hot mess. Tired from a colicky baby, had a hard time with breastfeeding and mastitis, clogged ducts.....I suffered it all it seems. It took me quite a while to even consider having another child.

Jasper - Birth Date: December 23, 2010 - I knew I was pregnant with Jasper when I was on a trip to Texas. I was SO tired the whole weekend and just extremely emotional to get home (and leave my friend). The morning sickness kicked in not long after finding out I was pregnant. This time I was WAY less staunch about not taking meds. I went immediately to the doctor and was given some meds! They didn't completely take away the sickness, but it did keep it at bay enough that I could at least function; whereas, with Lukas, it was bad. Really bad. I think I gained around 25lbs with Jasper. I had a feeling he too was a boy because of the way I was carrying. I was very low with both of the boys and was bigger all over, especially puffy in my face and rear! With Jasper things were going pretty smoothly when at 36 weeks I went into labor suddenly around 11:00pm on a Wednesday night. By the time I was at the hospital an hour later, I was 9cm. I was still able to get an epidural, which slowed things down. I had him at 5:10am. Easy delivery, didn't feel a thing. Had an episiotomy, sutures and was sore for quite a while. He was 4 weeks early which meant a special delivery team was in the room to attend to baby if needed, but they weren't! God was with us for sure. Jasper was just a much easier baby. He slept 6 hours the first night in the hospital!! We thought surely he was drugged by the epi because Lukas NEVER slept that long as a baby. He came home Christmas day and was treated like such a special little baby in the hospital since we were the only ones there. Life after his birth was much easier. No PPD. But even still, Joshua was done. We were done.


Then Alanna happened!


And here's where her story begins.....

The third weekend in October 2013, we went on a marriage retreat with our church. Aww, that's us. Look how sweet!

It was a great weekend. Like I said, we had no intentions of having any more kids. We thought we were done. I've written all about that in the post announcing her pregnancy. But I did want to show a few pictures. The weekend was beautiful. I'll never ever forget it. She was honestly the most prayed for child. The most unexpected. But is also a conclusion to my baby-making days. So she's sortof special in her own right, just like the others have very special "birth rights" as well. Each child is so different. As a mom I think you probably get what I'm saying right? If not, well... just ignore me and look at the pretty pictures!!!


Alanna - Birth Date: June 26, 2014 - Now a reminder, we didn't find out the gender of any of the three of them until birth. We were pretty scared of having a girl if I can be completely honest. We knew, of course, that there was that possibility, even despite Joshua fathering three boys!! I tested with her before I even had symptoms...just on a whim, on November 6, 2013. The test was positive. I may have had a freakout moment...but boy I couldn't imagine life now without her!

Screenshot I saved at 5 weeks pregnant. Isn't that amazing? I'm always amazed at growing a life inside me. There's nothing like it.
 My "before" shot....

The morning sickness kicked in around 6 weeks. Again, I immediately got medicine to alleviate the sickness at my first OB visit. These new meds worked wonders! I'm really sad that they didn't have these with my previous pregnancies. Although it wasn't 100% effective, it was a game-changer. I knew from the beginning that things felt different, I carried differently. I just felt 95% sure that it was a girl this time but I just couldn't convince myself. I thought what I saw on one of the ultrasounds were girl parts but I just knew it was another boy.

I had forgotten I had captured this on my cellphone.

But, I didn't make girls, right?!

All throughout this pregnancy, I knew it would be my last. I tried not to rush things but it just seemed like things were flying by. Around 16 weeks I began taking progesterone shots to ward off preterm labor. I was already having major Braxton Hicks contractions beginning around 14 weeks. I was constantly on alert and had numerous episodes (if not almost daily) of timeable contractions lasting a minute and coming every couple of minutes. This pregnancy, I would say, was more stressful in that I stayed worried that I wold deliver too early and the baby would require extra hospitalization. I had several false alarms sending me in to be checked for dilation or leakage of fluid, etc. Each time, it was confirmed that baby was staying put. Despite some early dilation, the FFN test was always negative.

A note from my calendar on May 16th: " 1cm, 30%" 
(Hence why I was a little nervous. Something was doing something in there!)

I had several ultrasounds, this one at 20 weeks:

Hey baby!!
This girl stayed hungry.
I craved Taco Bell, Banana Milkshakes from CookOut and anything sweet...preferably in the form of cake.
 And a little rundown on my symptoms:

I continued on the progesterone shots until 35 weeks. They were awful. I had some pretty gnarly reactions to the medicine. They were injected into my hiney and I was constantly scratching and "ouching" when I'd bump against the injection site. 17p shots they are called. Not enjoyable. Something I will not miss.

A little ditty I made up showing my progression. Whoa belly! At 8 weeks, as you can see, everyone was saying it must be twins. My belly was big fast it seems. Then looking back at pictures it went back down some. before really popping out there around 18 weeks it looks to me.

I think sometime around 33 weeks I started dropping. I was getting to be a big mama! Everyone was commenting about how it wouldn't be much longer. As you can see in the pictures above, there's a noticeable difference in the dropping from weeks 35-37. People at church would just love on my baby bump and make their predictions on the gender...tell me how tired I looked....or even thought pregnancy suited me. You just never know what people are going to say to you when you are pregnant but you know they mean well!

These images are comparing my belly from my previous pregnancy and current pregnancy. The top picture was with Jasper at 35 weeks. Bottom picture was this pregnancy at 36 weeks. See how much higher I was this go 'round? How much more out front I was?

And apparently I had turned into a vampire with white, thin skin and freakishly blue veins.
No stretch marks though. Hooray!!

At work feeling large and in charge! But do you know that now when I am looking back, I really, really love my pregnant belly. Despite the crappiness of being pregnant, it is the most amazing and wonderful feeling ever. I can't say it enough. I can even see how happy I look. Tired yes. But so happy....and ready to meet this punkin!

June came around and everyone was joking that because I had Lukas during our Vacation Bible School, maybe this baby would come then as well. It was like my body was on high alert! That week things were just crazy. My body showed every single possible sign of pending labor (contractions, nausea, my body was cleaning itself out, exhaustion, losing my mucus plug, etc.). My right ankle was huge! I had never had that happen before. I'm telling you. If there was a symptom, I pretty much had it. The summer was wearing on me.

(Yes that's a barbed wire tat. Don't judge. That was pre-common sense!!) :P 

Wednesday of that week, I was at work and all day I just felt off. I felt the exact same way I did the days before I had the boys. I was 36 weeks at this point...same as with Jasper when he was born. By the time I made it to church, I was in tears and was thinking it was time. All of the ladies at church were being so sweet as I sat there crying, and at the same time, shoving my face afraid it would be my last meal for a while and I didn't want to be starving like I did with Lukas! Joshua was playing Pharoah's guard in the skit and wasn't answering his I waited and everyone let Mariann know she was flying solo with our group of boys...folks, we were having a baby!

Contractions weren't letting up. Once we was done, Joshua, my mom, and I took off toward the house to grab my hospital bag that had yet been packed. We took her truck and grabbed a towel just in case my water were to break. Doc would have all the other kids from VBS so he had our van.

On the way to the hospital, I had some pretty good contractions but I knew they weren't overly painful or worrisome like it was with Jasper (hence the smiles). We got to the hospital and went into triage and was monitored and checked.

I had been 3cm the week before and was now 4cm so they decided that with the continuing contractions and 4cm being technically "active labor", that they would admit me. Things were moving right along. My mom & Doc, sister, and of course, Joshua, were there with me in the room. I was having contractions that hurt enough that I decided to rub a little lavender oil on my feet to see what would happen. I was breathing through contractions at this point but they weren't really getting closer together. Sometime that night, they decided to grab some food and went out to the lobby to eat. During that time, I kept being told to relax and sleep if I could. At one point, I was on the side of the bed rocking my body and easing up the contractions. I was alone for quite a while.

Around 3:30am, I had gotten comfy in my bed and was relaxed enough to close my eyes for a few minutes. I opened my eyes and thought "hmm. This is odd." I called Joshua on his cellphone and asked him to come back to the room. I knew that my contractions had slowed down big time so I got up and started to walk to the bathroom and sway beside the bed to see if anything happened. Once Joshua came back to the room I told him what was up, and that I felt like things had slowed way down and I was a little concerned. Surely labor doesn't just stop, right? My nurse came in and checked me. I had not dilated any further, and sure enough, they had also been watching my contractions and admitted what I knew, my labor had stalled. I was so disappointed. Not that I wanted an early baby. I know the risks of preterm labor, despite the nasty tone the nurse gave me about "don't you know 36 weeks is too early!?". I could've slapped her but instead, I bit my tongue and let a few tears trickle. Of course I didn't want anything to be wrong with my baby and if he/she wasn't ready then, so be it! But let me tell you, it is disappointing to think you are about to meet your little one for the very first time, to see his/her face, to touch the skin of the squirmy little baby that's been inside me unknown and unnamed for 9 months!

At this point, I was shaking my finger at the lavender oil. I didn't mean for it to be quite THAT effective! Also, they said dehydration probably made the contractions worse and having the fluids "helped" with that. Seems to me they would've tried fluids while I was in triage instead of admitting me considering the way the mean nurse treated me.

The sweet nurse decided to keep me hooked up until my doctor could come in the next morning, hoping that maybe things would pick back up but if not, get the doctor's opinion on what to do. She told me to rest at that point, just in case.

The following morning around 7:30am, Dr. Anderson came in the check on me. At this point in our doctor-patient relationship, we know each other pretty well. She knows my children, my sister's children. She saw me almost every week and always calmed my nerves about preterm labor...she would go over the details with me of what to do if it was too early, where to go, who to call. She was Lukas' delivery doctor and also Huck's and Paisley's. She knew I did photography because my sister gifted her a small flip album with images from Huck's delivery. She is who I wanted to deliver this baby because of our connection and her motherly tenderness that a mom needs each and every time she's about to give birth. She walked in and threw up her hands and asked what in the world was going on! I was tired at this point. I had slept maybe a couple of hours. I knew that she was going to send me home but I was scared. I didn't want to get home and then immediately go from 4-10 in an hour, again, like I did with Jasper. I was scared of that and I told her so. She mentioned that she could keep me but that she thought sending me home would be best. I could eat. I could sleep in my own bed. Wrap up any loose ends that I needed to. She was encouraging and not degrading and I appreciated that. Even through my tears, she knew my disappointment tears weren't selfish tears, but a flood of emotions that just needed to come out. Hormones are a beast!

So I went home. After a much-needed HOT breakfast! And do you know that I didn't have a single contraction or even Braxton Hicks twinge for the entire next week. I was stumped and growing very impatient!

But alas, I'm NOT still pregnant, obviously ;)

.......READ PART 2

Monday, October 13, 2014

A little bit of June

So much work has been going on around these parts. We've had so many changes and things going on. We've been busy and I've been slacking but I do kind of have an excuse! And she's REALLY cute! ;)

Mom & Doc are building their new house...a temporary home while they sell their house. Eventually they will build back there behind us to the left.  The boys have LOVED seeing all of the machinery that has come in and out to do work. Jasper can call each one by the correct name. To me they are all ((un))officially backhoes.
That's my madre. And that's me. 36 weeks pregnant. Large and in charge! I went into labor just a day or two later (only to be turned away with stalled labor - more on that later!). By the way, it is so hard not to rush the last month of pregnancy. Being so big really is just tough. Your back hurts, you feel like you could stick a pin in your skin and just fly away like a balloon releasing air.
Swollen feet.
My face always gets so puffy.
And just in case you can't tell that I'm as a big as a barn, the yellow really just points it out like a big fat pregnant hi-lighter!
These boys do love their "mighty machines"! All boy, through and through. What an adventure this has all been.

So many trees have been cut. In all honesty, it makes me sad. The forest was beautiful. But it was necessary. The pines that grow around here get so very tall and are top heavy causing safety concerns around a house. It's beautiful out here now though, seeing the clouds sweeping by.

This boy. That hair. My twin. We can't control the nappy-head at times. It just is what it is. We go with it.
We also go with dirty faces because this kid....dirt finds him.

Unintentional twinning. I love it. They need matching jon-jons.
Not really.
We aren't really the jon-jon "type".
We prefer dirt and hand-me-downs.
And I prefer to remain married to my husband!!
By all means, do NOT let them fool you! They haven't been this sweet since I took this picture.
And just in case you think this was yesterday....I'm behind on blogging.
Big time.
 Izzy-girl always ready for a jog around the property.
Our very first "field" of sunflowers. And I use the word field loosely. We were planting the garden and turned around to notice that Jasper was spreading the seeds in the ashes from last year's burn pile. We weren't sure if any would grow. But we did end up with a good stand of them and they were beautiful!
How does one look at a sunflower, or any plant for that matter, watch it grow and bring forth fruit, seed or vegetable...BEAUTY....and not believe in the majesty of GOD?! Who else could make something so perfect?

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. // Genesis 1:11-12

We had broccoli. First time growing it. We, unfortunately though, were not prepared for the bugs and animals who destroyed the crop. I hope it was tasty little grubs. I wouldn't know. You're welcome.

So that was a little glimpse into our June.
More to come.
A lot has happened since the grubs ate the broccoli and the "backhoe" cleared the land.
Our family has grown // They've painted // He shaved // We started a new business // We lost sleep // I've cried, rejoiced, discussed and pondered...and did it again // We had summer //

We loved and lived.
It's been a season of change.
A season that I never thought would come again....and it has passed so quickly.

Time sort of has a way of doing that.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...