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!