Friday, July 25, 2014

Holland's Birth Story

This birth would be different. I knew it. I told myself, I prepared myself, I prayed. A lot. I trusted my body. I wanted to bring this baby into the world naturally, after being told with my first that I couldn’t even deliver my babies vaginally. My pelvis was too flat, blah, blah, blah. With Porter, I trusted those danged doctors and had an uneventful elective c-section.  It was fine, but I felt guilty for not giving my body a chance. The recovery was difficult. I knew deep down that I could have a baby the conventional way. With my second pregnancy I had a very supportive midwife who thought I would be an ideal candidate for a VBAC because she thought my previous doctors were full of hooey. They were. I had a successful vaginal birth with Paisley, and it was a wonderful experience. My only goal was to push her out, and for that I was SO grateful. However, I ended up being augmented with Pitocin and I elected for an epidural, which wasn't my ideal plan. I pushed for 37 minutes and out she came. I learned a lot during my labor and delivery with her. This time I knew I could do it again, and it would be an even better experience. I wanted a natural birth. I wanted to feel what my body was capable of doing all along, what I was told I couldn’t do. Why would I ever listen to anyone tell me what my body can and cannot do? This time I was calling the shots. I would be as prepared as any pregnant lady could be. I hired a doula and a birth photographer.  I visited the chiropractor once a week. I took special vitamins and had a labor-prep massage. I read a fantastic book on natural birth and I took copious notes. This was my last baby and this labor and delivery were going to be epic. I hoped. And I was a little bit scared. Scared that I wouldn’t go into labor.  Scared that I would have to have another c-section. Scared that my water would break and then nothing would happen, like last time. Scared that I wouldn’t dilate without an epidural. Scared that I couldn’t do it. Scared that I would get exactly what I wanted and it would hurt like heck.

 My due date was Tuesday, May 20th,  2014. I went in for my scheduled 39 week visit with my midwife on Monday the 12th, the day after Mother’s Day. I wanted to be checked, hoping to high heaven that something would be going on down there, but I had never dilated or effaced with Porter, and with Paisley I only did after about 5 hours of Pitocin, so I didn’t expect much. Also, since my water broke spontaneously with Paisley and I didn’t go into labor, I didn’t want her to accidentally get things started if my body wasn’t ready. I was a little scared of having her check me. Curiosity got the better of me, and when she checked I was ONE centimeter and 40% effaced! I wanted to kiss her face. Then she easily stretched me to a TWO and I wanted to name my baby after her (a baby name? That’s an ENTIRE different story). I was so happy that my body was actually making progress all by itself this time! I had been praying for this all along. She tried not to make any promises, but she told me she didn’t think she’d see me at my 40 week appointment. YES. I was so excited!

Thursday morning, May 15th, I woke up at about 6:30 a.m. and went to the bathroom. I had some bloody show, and you’d think it had been a new car. I was so excited because my body was playing along and getting ready for a baby! Thinking back, I remembered that I had two contractions in the night that woke me up and sent me to the bathroom, because I didn’t want to lay down through them. I didn’t think anything of it and went straight back to sleep.  Craig was playing in a golf tournament that day and he was concerned about going, but I assured him that I would be fine, and I wanted things to be as normal as possible so I didn’t drive myself crazy waiting for labor to begin.  I started having real contractions immediately, but they were not too painful and pretty unorganized, coming about 5-10 minutes apart. I also had tons of Braxton Hicks contractions mixed in with the real ones, but I could definitely tell the difference between the two.  I knew I was in early labor. I also knew it could stop any time, but I had a sneaking feeling that this was it! Porter went off to school, and I cleaned all morning and hung out with Paisley. Craig’s mom and sister offered to take her, but I felt so connected to her that day. I knew it would be the last day that she would be the baby, and I wanted her with me. My friend Dawnelle came over to keep me company and she helped me with the last-minute cleaning projects that I was hoping to get done before the baby came.  The sun was shining (another thing I prayed for) and I was in such a good mood. I was in labor! And I didn’t need drugs to get me there!

Around 1:00 my contractions intensified. They were coming every 6-8 minutes and lasting for about a minute each time. I put Paisley down for a nap, and then I ate a PB & J and a piece of cheddar cheese around 1:15. Craig said he would be home around 2, so I called him to make sure he would be coming home soon. I felt myself longing for his company.  I was so happy that he was on his way when I called, and he was very surprised when he asked me if I was in labor and I said yes! I felt relieved enough to lay down for a nap. He came home while I was trying to sleep, but by 2:00 I was too uncomfortable to lay down during contractions, so I got up. We chatted for a few minutes and he was so sweet, so genuinely happy for me that my body was cooperating and that things were going the way that I really hoped they would.

At 2:15 I got in the shower, and it brought me so much relief. My contractions slowed in time and intensity. At 3:00 I sat down to relax and watch a bit of tv with Craig, and they immediately picked back up and were coming 6 minutes apart. By 3:30 I noticed that the contractions were spreading to my back. Oh, the joy of back labor. I got up to sit on the birth ball.  I texted my friend Erin because she never fails to make me laugh, and a good laugh sounded so nice. I knew that laughing can help you relax and dilate, and I was in need of some distraction from the pain. She’s pretty much the funniest person alive, and BOY did she make me laugh. Something about an elephant and a mattress that I laughed out loud over for about 10 minutes.  Oh, and a picture of a hideous body builder woman with a goofy grin that she said she pictured me looking like during contractions.

I called my doula, Leah, and asked her if she would come at 4:30. I knew that Granny would bring Porter home from school and that she would have taken him and Paisley with her to her house by that time. I was happy to see my kids for those few minutes, but happy to have them well taken care of as well. I did not worry about them for one minute while I was laboring, and that was such a blessing. I noted in my journal at 4:45 that contractions were more painful, but not getting closer together. Leah arrived and we all left at about 5:00 to walk around the outlet mall. I was tired of being at home and I needed a change of scenery at that point. I wanted to walk to get things moving, too. We needed a sleeping bag for Porter’s upcoming school trip, so I thought it would be a good time to go pick one up. Labor and run errands. I love multi-tasking. I remember the man checking us out at the Coleman outlet. He asked me when the baby was coming and I said “Hopefully tonight!” and he totally thought I was kidding. I had a big, fat contraction right as we walked out the door of his store.  We stopped in a couple of children’s stores and picked up a few little things for the new baby. Leah was very sweet and reassuring during the painful times. I really felt most comfortable holding onto Craig during contractions, and walking and holding his hand in between. I felt hungry, so we decided on a place to eat. Something healthy sounded good to me. I chose Panera and no one argued, since there is an obvious rule that the one in labor gets to pick the place to eat.

We stopped by Granny and Grandpa’s house to drop off Porter's sleeping bag on our way to Panera at about 6:45. I got hugs from my kids out on the sidewalk and I freaked Grandpa out by being in labor near him, so we headed out. Craig preferred 5 Guys, which was right next door, so he ran there to grab his dinner and bring it back to eat with us while Leah and I ordered our food. I had to step out of line to have a contraction (don’t worry, I wasn’t yelling yet) and a lady asked Leah of I was ok. She said that I was fine, and that I was just in labor, and the woman practically panicked and asked very loudly if I needed a chair. By then the contraction was done and I thanked her with a smile and jumped back in line. A chair sounded like the worst thing ever, anyway! We ate in an emptier part of the restaurant so I could stand up during contractions. Sitting with back labor was awful. I was eager to take my first bite of food but I immediately had to jump up to have a contraction. It was torture to be sitting during one, so I had to get up quickly each time one came. I was swaying and breathing deeply during the rushes and smiling and eating in between. I had broccoli cheese soup and a strawberry chicken salad and it may have been the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted.

We got home around 8:00. My contractions were still 5-6 minutes apart. I texted Anna, the photographer, and told her she could come anytime. I was pretty sure it was the real deal by this point, but I was still cautious. I sat on the birth ball and used the heating pad under my belly and on my back. Craig turned on a movie, but within minutes I wasn't even aware it was on. Anna came quickly, at about 8:15, and started taking pictures of us in the living room. At 8:45 I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, and I needed a minute to myself, so I headed up to the baby’s room. I wanted to see all the tiny pink things that were waiting for her. I wanted to tell her that I was ready for her. That I couldn’t wait to meet her. I wanted to sit in my favorite rocking chair and just be. I was in labor. For real. And I loved it. 

Leah asked if she could join me and I said yes. Anna followed and took some of my favorite pictures while I was in the baby’s room. I remember being so uncomfortable that I didn’t stay in one place for more than one contraction. I moved around a lot.  I noticed two contractions really close together. Then the next one came very quickly, too. I said to Leah and Anna “Did those seem really close, or is it just me?” They agreed, so I timed them on my cell phone. 2 ½ minutes apart. I filled the tub and got in at 9:15 seeking some relief, and wondering if they would space back out. It felt so good. Leah was trying to offer me chap-stik and water, but I didn’t want anything. I asked her to get Craig. He is the only thing I wanted. He sat by me and we smiled and talked for a few minutes. I couldn’t get comfortable, and the contractions were still steady at 2-3 minutes apart. I kept smiling in between, though, so I thought we still had lots of time. Leah was taking notes and she wrote “9:30-Crushing it like a rock star. Contractions lasting longer and getting stronger.” Anna left to go make sure her kids were in bed around 9:40. I told her I would text her when we were on the way to the hospital so she could come there when things got more serious.

It seemed like two contractions later when I realized that I was having a much harder time relaxing my body during contractions. I stood up and said, “This is it! We’re going to the hospital!” I still felt like I was coping pretty well, I was just nervous about dealing with the pain in the car with the contractions any closer than two minutes. I am so glad I followed my instinct to leave then. I went to my room to get dressed and grab a few things, and Craig was there with me. I think it all sunk in at that moment, and I hugged him and cried for a minute. It felt so good to just let it out. It hurt, and I just needed to cry. I needed a break from being strong and I felt vulnerable and scared. With the next contraction I was reminded of the urgency that I had felt to get going, so we headed for the car. I texted Anna from the garage at 9:51 and told her we were headed out. She replied and said to let her know how dilated I was when we got there and that she would leave her house in 5-10 minutes.  My first contraction in the car was at a red light, and I was so thankful. Craig asked me if I should call my midwife and I thought “DUH!” Why didn’t I think of that?!” I called the on-call midwife, and she said that she would call Nancy. I had a contraction while I was on the phone with her, and I assume when she heard my deep moaning, she decided to put a rush on that. She said she would tell her to hurry. I still thought I had hours more of labor ahead of me. While we were pulling up to the ER, I said to Craig how I was bummed that the baby’s birthday would be the next day since I had labored that whole day but it was already 10:00. I never dreamed she would be born within the hour!

We got into the hospital ER and I stood at the counter through about a million contractions while Craig checked me in. It took forever. The nurse came downstairs with a wheelchair to wheel me up and I politely declined. Okay, maybe not so politely. There was NO way I could sit down. I remember having a contraction and then booking it down the hall to see how far I could get before another one came. I made it to the elevator, and when the nurse saw me have a contraction I guess I passed her ‘Is she in labor?’ test, and she called up and said we were skipping triage and going straight to room 303. I made sure it was a room with a tub. I couldn’t wait to get in the water. Ha.

We got to the room around 10:15 and they started hooking me up to the monitors. I was standing by the bed and holding on through contractions. They talked about starting an IV, which I had previously discussed with my midwife that I could decline, but the nurse was pressuring me. I told her to take it up with my midwife and that I didn’t want to discuss it any more. I had work to do! She had me lay down and she checked my cervix at 10:25. 4 centimeters, 80% effaced, and 0 station. I was SO upset! I really thought I would have been at least 7 cm. I had been going for so long!  I hopped back up out of the bed and the contractions started coming like a freight train. At some point my midwife, Nancy, came in, as well as Anna, the photographer. My other doula, Mary arrived around 10:40. I felt a connection with Mary from the beginning and I felt relief when she got there.  I was scared because I thought I had hours worth of dilating to do, and I felt my control slipping, no… running, away from me. There was no break any more. No time to take a breath, to reassure myself, to relax my body. I thought I was regressing because I was so tense.  Everyone was rushing around trying to think of ways to bring me relief. The tub was being filled, the birth ball was being inflated. I swayed, tense, and cried. I yelled, I pleaded for help. I started bleeding and I told Nancy that I thought maybe my water had broken. They took my pants off and I saw that it was blood, but not as much as I thought it felt like. She said it was likely my cervix dilating quickly. Not quickly enough, as far as I was concerned! She checked me again, I’m not sure of the time, but I was 7 cm. I could not get back out of that bed fast enough. I was screaming, begging for relief. I yelled my code word for the epidural to my husband “The duck flies at midnight, THE DUCK FLIES AT MIDNIGHT!” I knew I couldn’t have it, but it made me feel better knowing how silly I sounded yelling that! I knew I couldn’t be still enough to get that injection, and strangely, I still didn’t want it, but I wanted that pain to STOP, and it felt good to succumb to the pain a bit and ask for it. It felt better just to yell anything. It hurt so badly from my belly down to my knees I couldn’t tell what part of my body was what. People were helping me stand up, and I only know that Leah was pushing on my back from the pictures. I squeezed Mary and I told her I was not coping. At all. And I needed her to help me cope. Now. I had no idea what was really going on. I was having a baby really, really soon! I still thought I had some time to endure, so I was hugely concerned with finding a way to cope until the end, which was unknowingly only moments away.

My water broke in an explosion on the floor. There was a towel under my feet to catch the blood from a few minutes before, and I was glad it was there when my water broke. I felt immediately terrified because I knew that when your water breaks the contractions usually intensify, and I had NO power to endure one more ounce of pain. Almost immediately I felt the strongest reflex I have ever felt. It was not a choice. My body was doing its job no matter what I did. I was pushing! She was coming! I screamed “I’M PUSHING, SOMEONE CATCH HER!” I was making noises I didn’t even know I was capable of making! My midwife suggested that I get up on the bed on my hands and knees, with my arms up on the back of the bed. Miraculously, I somehow did this and gave one gigantic push. I felt her head come out, and with a breath and another deep groan and a “CUT HER OUT, JUST CUT HER OUT!” she slid into this world at 10:50 p.m. Craig was right by my face and I whispered to him “Oh, thank God” …and it was over.

Nancy put the baby up on my back so she could get organized and it was the closest skin-to-skin available at the time. Then they put her up under my raised left knee and I held her for the first time. She was perfect. Purple and bruised, but perfect. She let out one good scream and they started rubbing her. They told me not to pull her up to me because the cord was short.  I turned over somehow, and they gave her another minute to pink up. They said she wasn’t breathing well and that they needed to take her to the warmer. Craig cut her cord and they took her. I was disappointed for a half second because I wanted to delay the cord being clamped, and I wanted to snuggle her without any interventions. When your baby is in distress, though, all those thoughts go out the window. I watched her in the warmer from the bed, and I easily delivered the placenta. They soon took her to the NICU because she had so much fluid in her lungs from coming out so quickly. Craig and Anna went with her. She stayed there for 2 hours before I could see her again.

There I was, lying in the bed, in no pain. None. What a difference from five minutes earlier. I was totally overwhelmed. No pain, but no baby in my arms either. Nancy said I needed to be stitched and I wanted to cry. I did not want anyone to touch me. My senses were so heightened that even the nurse’s touch with a washcloth felt like a thousand razors. I whimpered through the shots and stitches and begged over and over for her to be done. I was so glad Mary was there to hold my hand through this part. It felt like I needed her more afterward than while I was in labor! I shook intensely and prayed for it to be over. I just wanted everyone to stop touching me. We talked and I tried to process what just happened. I felt like my eyes were as big as saucers. I was so happy that I gave birth naturally, but the pain had been so intense that I almost regretted it in those moments afterward…almost.

I found out while the doulas, the midwife, and I were talking that she was born with her hand up over her face, and I knew immediately that it is what I felt. It wasn’t a separate head and shoulders experience like I expected, but more continual. She also had her cord around her neck. Nancy told me that she thought the baby turned from a posterior position when my water broke, because she did come out the right way, but that was probably when her hand slipped up. Everyone kept telling me what an amazing job I did and I honestly felt like an imposter. I labored beautifully, but those last few minutes were pure torture. I would have done ANYthing to stop that crazy pain. 4 cm to birth in 25 minutes is just not supposed to happen, I’m convinced. I felt so strange. Like I had been given everything I hoped for, but I would never do it again. Ever. I feel differently about that now because I know what to expect, and I've had time to process and appreciate what happened. 

The NICU nurse came in to give me an update on the baby and I asked if they had weighed her. She said “No, but she’s a big girl.” I laughed and wondered what she meant by that, and she said “probably 8 ½ or 9 lbs.!” My other two were 7 lbs. 3 oz. and 7 lbs. 4 oz., so I was shocked to hear that! She also asked me if they could give her a pacifier because she was trying to eat everything in sight. I told them yes, but I felt guilty that I wasn’t with her to nurse her.

At around 1:00 a.m., after lots and lots of asking, the nurse finally let me go to the NICU to visit my precious baby. I saw on her bed that she weighed 8 lbs. 4 oz. and I couldn't believe it. A full pound bigger than Porter! I was so excited to hold her. I nursed her immediately and she knew just what to do. 

After nursing her, they took us both back to the room and encouraged me to hold her skin-to-skin to get her temperature up, and there is nothing more I wanted. Craig drifted off to sleep as I held my tiny  new baby on my chest for hours. Thinking and processing. Kissing her and smelling her. She smelled like heaven. I’ll never forget that smell and how healing and calming it felt to just breathe her in. I was completely in love with this new person. I just inhaled her for hours. Nothing else in the world mattered to me in those few hours. She was here. She was safe. She was mine.

We finally chose a name for our sweet baby as we were packing to leave the hospital on Saturday morning. We went through a list of names we liked, and then an all-inclusive list just to be sure. Craig would call out names, and I would say no to most of them, but every once in a while we would both go over to the bassinet where she was sleeping to see if she looked like that name. She definitely wasn’t any of the other names. She was a Holland, we decided. Sweet Holland Paige.

Holland has brought more joy to our family than we could have ever predicted. Porter and Paisley absolutely adore her, and they never leave her side. She is a happy, smiley, calm, snuggly baby, and an amazing sleeper. I have said many times since her birth that she feels like a little bit of heaven right in our home. She brings peace to my soul and makes my heart burst with love. We are so thankful that we listened to inspiration from our Father in Heaven and His gentle encouragement to bring her to this earth, and we are so thankful to Him for her safe and magnificent arrival.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My sweet Paisley,

You are ONE year old today! How did that even happen?! This last year has gone by at warp speed, but in a way it seems like you have always been here. It's a strange sensation looking back to when I didn't even know you. When you were just inside my tummy and I wondered what you would look like and who you would be. Now I struggle to remember what life was like before you came to our family. You belong here! You are part of us, and I couldn't imagine one minute without you in my life.

My Paisley girl, you are so special to me. I am so thankful to be your mommy. You are such a sweet and special little lady. I think you are wise beyond your year :) You are funny and bright, and you have a little streak of sass running through you! You have a definite opinion and you aren't afraid to share it! I love that about you. Some days are a little more tiring when you are being extra lively, but I sure do love that about you. I think your strength will come in handy when you get older and have to stand up for yourself. I'm glad you have a bit of spunk in you!

You are also a cuddly girl. I snuggled you so tight tonight before I laid you down in your crib, fast asleep. If I ask you for a snuggle, you will lay your head right down. I love it so much. You also lay on the middle of the floor sometimes with your cheek pressed to the ground, and it makes me giggle. You can never see a blanket or a pillow without snuggling right into it.

There are a few things that make you super cell phone, the remote, the house phone, being up on the couch or bed, eating (pretty much anything!) and drinking out of a sippy cup, and  of course the people that you love. You went through a stage where Mommy was the only one for you, but you have long outgrown that. You lunge out of my arms if Granny is nearby, and Daddy is slowly becoming your most favorite person. You adore your big brother, but you don't like when he hugs or snuggles you too tight, which is almost every time. There is a distinct squeal that says "you'd better get off of me!" that we can all distinguish these days :) He just loves you so, so much. He told me yesterday that you are his best friend. I know that's true. Seeing you both play together makes my heart melt. He gets so excited when you learn something new or say a new word. He is your biggest fan!

There are a few funny things that you don't like, too. You hate being thrown up into the air. It makes you   nervous. Sometimes you tolerate it, because adults seem to love to do that to babies, and sometimes you will have none of it. You gasp and get stiff. Super funny. I put up the swings in the backyard yesterday and you hate those, too. I somehow doubt you'll like roller coasters when you grow up :) You HATE when I take something from you that you shouldn't have. A little temper tantrum typically ensues, and I typically laugh. You also don't like when I have to fish something out of your mouth. It's like I'm stealing your well-earned property :)

You are such an easy-going little girl. You are great in the car and travel wonderfully. You are so flexible that we don't have to worry if your schedule gets off. You'll be fine and you adjust well to change. You are taking one nap per day, and I can't even remember the last time you were up in the night. I think you may actually be the best sleeper ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you for that.

You are a happy, happy girl, and you bring smiles to so many faces every day. It is a normal occurrence for someone to stop us in the store and say how beautiful and happy you are, what a good baby you are, and of course, those eyes. Everyone mentions your eyes. Your big, blue eyes and your curly eyelashes win everyone over. In fact, I don't think there has ever been a trip to the store when someone didn't mention how beautiful you are. Your cheeks are pretty popular, too. Your pediatrician said that even though your weight is only in the 15th percentile, your cheeks are in the 95th :) People love to squeeze them and I can't blame them. Pure deliciousness. You also have to rosiest, most luscious lips I have ever seen. I can't help but kiss them all day. I think you look similar to me when I was a baby, but then Granny brought a photo of herself when she was little and boy, do you look like her! I hope you get her genes. She is beautiful inside and out, and that's why we named you after her! You look like your Nana, too, and you looked just like your Aunt Tori when you were first born. All of my favorite people are wrapped up into one perfect little baby!

My girl, you make me so happy. I am so thankful to my Father in heaven for sending you to me. I hope we will be best friends for the rest of forever :) Happy, happy birthday to my favorite little girl in the whole world. You are so special and so, so, so, so, so loved.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Introducing our sweet baby girl...

Paisley Ann TerBlanche
Friday, March 25th, 2011
4:22 a.m.
7 pounds, 3 ounces
19 1/2 inches

4 days old
4 days old
This moment was indescribable! 
Absolute perfection!
My amazing midwife, Diana, a sweet new baby girl, and a SUPER happy mama!
7 lbs, 3 oz. of deliciousness!
3 days old

Our sweet Paisley joined our family three weeks ago. She has been an absolute blessing and a delight and it is already very difficult to remember life before she came into our lives. She has such a calm and sweet disposition. She is a wonderful sleeper and nurser...every mommy's dream! Porter is absolutely in love and is such a wonderful big brother to her. He wants to hold her and kiss her constantly, which melts my heart every time. We are so thankful that she is part of our family! We love her so, so much!

Here are the details of how she came into this world!
I went to the doctor on Wednesday, March 24th, for my 39 week appointment. I was 1 cm and 70% effaced, same as 2 weeks earlier at my 37 week appointment. She was still VERY high, which was my biggest concern as the shape of my pelvis was the reason for my scheduled c-section with Porter. I had started seeing a chiropractor to help her engage in my pelvis, but it didn't seem to be helping. I still left feeling optimistic. That night, at 3:00 a.m. on the dot, my water broke while I was in a dead sleep! At first I thought it was blood and then I realized VERY quickly that it was coming too fast and there was too much of it and I immediately figured out my water had broken! I yelled to Craig "Honey, honey, honey! My water just broke, and I am NOT joking!" He flipped on the light and I ran to the bathroom as fast as I could! I was SO excited that my water broke! I had been hoping for this all along, because then I would really know it was time without having to worry about timing contractions and wondering if it was real labor. That, and I knew I would have some time to take a shower and get things in order before we left for the hospital. Poor Craig spent a good while scrubbing our carpet from the bed to the toilet :) We called Granny and she immediately came over to sit with Porter so we didn't have to wake him, and we left for the hospital around 4:30 a.m. We stopped at Craig's office to pick up his laptop and then at a convenient store to pick up some snacks and drinks. I was having mild, irregular contractions. We arrived at Littleton Adventist Hospital at 5:00 a.m., and were admitted immediately. My sister called me as we were being admitted and told me she was on her way from Pennsylvania! I really hoped she would make it in time!

The excitement of the morning started to die down after we got admitted. It was clear the my contractions were not strong or regular, so I began walking. And walking. And walking. In a very short and boring hallway. Dr. Graham came to check on me around 9:00 a.m. and decided not to check my cervix since my water had broken and he wanted to reduce the risk of infection. He felt my belly from the outside and said she was still VERY high. We knew it would be a long day. 

Sometime around 11:00 a.m. my midwife, Diana, came to check on me, and nothing had progressed, although she did not check my cervix. She and I talked about pitocin, which I wanted to avoid if I could. By 1:00 p.m. it was clear that my body needed a little push to get things moving along. They started me on the lowest dose of pitocin (1 mL per hour) and my body responded well and my contractions picked up in intensity and frequency. I was so thankful that they were willing to try pitocin, since they normally won't with a VBAC attempt. About every hour, they raised my dose by 1 mL because my body was getting used to the amount of medicine, and the contractions eventually faded. At around 2:00, I called my friend Ivy to come and be my doula, since I was beginning to feel a lot of pain. Unfortunately, by the time she got there, I was in one of those periods where the contractions slowed and I wasn't in any pain, so I felt like she was bored for a long while, but she sure helped keep my company, which gave Craig a much-needed break. This cycle of regular, painful contractions and then periods of no pain went on for a few hours until they found the right dose of pitocin for me. My sister arrived at the hospital around 5:00 p.m. I was so thrilled to have her there! By around 7:00 p.m. I was in active labor...finally!

Ivy, Tori, and Craig were very helpful in keeping the atmosphere light and helping me get through lots of very painful contractions. Craig's mom and sister, Shannon, came for a visit, too. It was so nice to be around people that I love, and who were so supportive of this labor and delivery! Diana came to check me around 9:00 p.m. and I was 1 1/2 cm dilated and a -3 station. Paisley was still very high, which was my concern. I was fine with the dilation, as long as they would let me continue to labor and let my body do it's job. There was no time limit on when they would make me have a c-section. As long as I was fine and the baby was fine, I could labor. And labor I did. I was so excited to still be going, and as long as it took would be fine with me.

I told Diana I didn't want an epidural yet. The contractions were ridiculously painful, but I was breathing through them by trying different positions, and visualizing my baby girl coming out the way I wanted her to. I thought I was being pretty tough :) She really wanted me to have one, and she really thought I would start to dilate with one, so I agreed. I wanted to go as long as I could without one, so when she left at around 9:45 p.m. I told her I would try for a little while longer medicine-free. By 10:20 p.m.I asked for the epidural because I realized it was in my future anyway, and at this point it seemed silly to torture myself for a few more hours if I was going to have the epidural anyway. I received it around 11:00 p.m. and the nurse checked me a few minutes later and I was 3 cm. If I had only known how the night would play out, I just may have had a baby au natural! No regrets, though :)

Around midnight we all decided to try to get some rest. I felt much more comfortable, but I could still feel my contractions (and my legs) which I was very grateful for. I didn't feel out of control. I got a tiny bit of sleep and then realized my contractions were becoming painful again, especially down low. They were very tiny on the monitor, which was strange and misleading since they were again becoming more and more painful. My nurse, Joanie, told me that the anesthesiologist didn't use a lot of medication in my epidural, so if it became painful, she could call him to administer more. By 2:00 a.m. I was having to breath through my contractions again. I wanted to call for her to come, but I didn't want to wake everyone up! By 3:00 a.m. I was in so much pain that I had to call for her! She decided to check me, and I was 10 cm! I was SO surprised! I never had the 'pressure' feeling that women describe when they are fully dilated. I really anticipated an afternoon baby! It happened so fast, and I felt foolish that I had been laying there in so much pain for a couple of hours because I was fully dilated and ready to push! Craig called Granny, and she came right away to witness the birth of her newest granddaughter!

At this point the baby was still very high, a -2 station. Joanie called Diana at home and gave her an update, and she said to have me push for a while. She had me push 3 times and called Diana back for her to come in. She arrived around 3:40 a.m. and I started pushing again around 3:45 a.m. I was SO determined to push out that little girl that I almost popped my eyes out :) I was so concerned that I was pushing wrong since my face hurt so bad, but she assured me that I was being very effective and gettting that VERY high baby to come down. At one point, the nurse asked if I wanted a mirror and Diana answered for me and had her bring one. It was really helpful to see my progress, although I didn't watch when she came out, for fear of seeing something get damaged! Around 4:15 or 4:20 I asked Diana how much longer she thought it might take. I was willing to push for hours if I had to to get that baby out, but I needed to be mentally prepared. I was still cautiously optimistic for a VBAC, but I knew at any moment they could whisk me into the operating room for a c-section. She said she thought it might be another 45 minutes. Well, I set out to prove her wrong, and our sweet Paisley came quietly into this world about two minutes later at 4:22 a.m. It was an overwhelming moment. I had a perfect and beautiful daughter, and I was so proud that I had actually PUSHED her out! I did it! It was the most amazing moment. Paisley didn't cry, but no one worried since she was breathing. They laid her on my chest and I held my daughter through uncontrollable sobs of joy. They eventually took her over to the warmer where she made tiny little noises to assure everyone of her health, but no cries. They promised me she was perfect, and they were right. 

We are so thankful to our Father in Heaven for the blessing that Paisley is to our family. She has brought pure joy into our home and into the lives of our families, and we will forever be grateful for the sweet and precious spirit that she is.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Girl Update!

I know it has been FOREVER since I have updated the blog... I have a couple (lame) excuses. One, I am pregnant, and I can get away with it...right??? Two, I have lost my camera cord!!! SO SAD! I really don't believe in blogging unless you have a picture to share, so for this much-needed update I included a photo of Porter on the very day we found out he would be a big brother, July 16th, 2010! He wore this shirt and surprised his Daddy when he got home from work! I always thought it was so cheesy to do the big brother/sister shirt for announcing a pregnancy, but once you have your first, it is super exciting that they will be a "big"! I couldn't help myself :) It is crazy to me that SO much time has passed since this photo was taken, and all of the excitement of having a new baby was buzzing! Now, we only have 10 days until my due date!

As for little sister, she is doing really well! I have enjoyed this pregnancy MUCH more than my pregnancy with Porter for lots of reasons. I still feel pretty good and I only complain at night when I am sore from the day...right, babe??? ;)

Here are some reasons this time has been more pleasant:
~I have gained HALF of what I gained with Porter. 60 lbs with him, 29 with this one, and my goal weight gain was 35 lbs...I am proud of this!
~I feel MUCH better than I did with him, probably because of this lesser me at 9 months.
~I have clothes that fit me...I borrowed lots of maternity clothes with Porter, and I actually bought more of my own this time that fit right, so I have lots of comfy clothes that still fit, and I don't stand in the closet and cry that I have nothing to wear like I did with him...wah.
~I am not working this time around, so I can stay in my jammies or sweats all day if I want to :)
~I have learned to control my heartburn better this time, even though it is JUST as bad as with the boy. Hopefully she will have hair like he did :)
~It is cool here, NOT like Florida in June when P was born. I will never, never, never do that again. Swell city.
~Speaking of swelling, my wedding rings still fit me, when with P I outgrew my rings AND the 'fat ring' I wore towards the end.
~Doctors and a midwife who actually give a rats about what I want! What a feeling!!! Love them all.
~a VBAC!!! I am really, really hoping and praying not to have a cesarian this time around. My midwife and doctors are WONDERFUL and SUPPORTIVE and I am looking forward to the birth experience I have always longed for!

Things about this pregnancy that are worse:
~NEW stretch marks. How rude is that?!? Half the size and NEW stretch marks??? Totally and completely not fair. Hiss.
~The low/no sugar carb diet that has helped me not be as much of a heifer. Not fun, but worth it. I only started at 28 weeks, so don't feel too bad. But feel a little bad.
~Stressing about my birth experience. With Porter, I blissfully thought I would have the experience I wanted which was shattered at 37 weeks when I was told I had to have a cesarian (booooooooo to you, North Florida OB/GYN!)...this time around I have been optimistic about having a VBAC, but hoping and not knowing has been a little stressful. Better than being told what to do, though!
~Not having a super simple time choosing a name, like we did with Porter. We do have a name now, though (I think)! It will be a big surprise to lots of people on the day she is born! :)

I am so super excited to meet our little girl! It doesn't seem like it's right around the corner, but it is! I have lots to do to keep myself busy and I hope I can finish it all before she arrives! I am excited, too, at the thought of going into labor and driving to the hospital in excruciating pain...okay, maybe not so much that part, but the excitement of the unknown is really fun. I am also really happy that my Mommy will be coming out to visit us on the 29th! It's a little weird not knowing if she will be here for the birth or not (I'm due the 30th), but I am almost as excited for her arrival as the baby's!

I am also REALLY looking forward to seeing Porter as a big brother. He is such a wonderful and sweet boy. It will be so fun to see him in such a new and wonderful role. He is really excited about her arrival and he talks about her ALL the time. I can't wait to get a photo of my TWO babies together!!! What a blessing!!!

We will keep you updated on baby girl's arrival! I think I will bite the bullet and buy a new camera cord tomorrow, so I will have more motivation to update, but the news will definitely be posted :)

Can't wait to meet you, little girl!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The first snow!

It snowed for the first time this year on November 9th, as opposed to September 21st last year! I, for one, welcomed this change with open arms! It has been fun seeing Porter get SO excited about the snow, even though it has been sparse so far.
And where there is snow, there is hot chocolate! Cheers!
Here's to a warm and cozy winter, snuggled up to these two cute boys :)

Goodbye, old friend.

Thankfully a material friend, but a friend nonetheless. I think this picture explains itself for the most part. This is Porter kissing the t.v. goodbye before the garbage men took it away. (Actually someone still took it off the curb before you REALLY think we put it out there without making absolute sure it was broken?!)

Neither one of us saw what happened, as I was making dinner and Craig was changing clothes upstairs, but we like to think it was an accident. Sigh.


This year our little man wanted to dress up as a firefighter! My friend, Amber, let me borrow this adorable jacket and Porter was THRILLED! He wouldn't take it off for hours at a time!
We attended our ward Trunk or Treat, which was INSANE. I think 5 times more people came than they expected, but surprisingly they didn't run out of food or candy, so a good time was had by all! Porter even won a prize for having one of the top 3 cutest costumes in his age group!

Here is Porter getting deadly peanut m & m's...don't worry, Mommy ate...err, I mean confiscated them to protect the little guy :)
Here is Daddy helping him go from car to car. Daddy was dressed as a baker, and I wore my "bun in the oven" costume from when I was pregnant with Porter. It was a big hit! I only have a few pictures from that night because it was pitch black and all of them are of the back of Porter.
On Halloween night we spent the evening with Craig's family. The kids had a blast trick or treating and came home with tons of loot!

Here are the pretty princesses!
I had to carry Porter's bucket for him because it got so heavy with candy that he couldn't pick it up!
This is our wonderful neighbor, Tom. Can you see how concerned the little firefighter is with that raging fire?!
The kids doing their Halloween duty!
Afterwards we decorated Halloween sugar cookies. Our neighbor, Kaleb helped the kids trick or treat and decorate :) Porter ADORES him!
Check out Lissie going straight for the icing! Who needs the cookie?!
It was indeed a Happy Halloween!