Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Mom, New Life Lessons

Hubs took an "artsy" shot of us Friday night.

Everyone tells expecting parents their "lives are about to change forever," "a baby changes everything," "you'll never be the same again," "you'll have to find a new normal."

Everyone is right. I didn't expect anything else.

What Elijah has taught me so far:
How to take showers so much faster
Getting myself ready in at least half the time
How to sleep much deeper in a shorter amount of time than ever before
Love, a crazy, deep, emotional, almost desparate kind of love that doesn't go away when he's screaming, has crazy steaming diaper-fulls, or his latest - big, projectile spit-ups.

It's a brand new life. Praise God, I wouldn't want to have any other :-)

****Please forgive the slight mishap with the blog pix. In an effort to create more space I deleted a few picaso albums, who knew that would remove pix from the blog as well :-(

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

6 Weeks!

My son is 6 weeks old! Time for a picture and life update:

 Thursday Baby and I got out to see some work friends. What we wore:
Baby - gifted plaid button down, long-sleeve onesie, brown cords, and argyle socks
Mom (i had to re-read the word "mom" and thought 'wait, when was my mom here?' oh...)
/kohls, leggings/ don't remember, brown distressed boots/DSW
Thursday was bittersweet. I enjoyed showing my son off to women who had watched me grow for the majority of my pregnancy, and who had meant so much to me; but it was crazy-hard letting them know that I wouldn't be back. I'll miss the afternoon chats when the ladies needed to de-stress, and I may miss working. I've never been jobless before... not that being a mom and managing the home isn't work... it's just different.

Friday I happily discovered I can BUTTON my PANTS!!!! Until now I have continued to use a borrowed bella band. This was a nice confidence boost right before I headed out to put my beginner couponing and deal hunting skills to the test.
First run - 37% saved on grocery bill. Enough to encourage me to keep trying!

 I just LOVE the way baby looks all fresh and clean, bundled in a hooded towel, fresh out of the bath!!! Saturday night we decided it would be a good day to bring Elijah's baby-sweet skin to a glow from a warm bath before his first Sunday at church!

We were so happy to finally worship our Lord as a family at our local church.
Elijah stole the hearts of many in his sharp suit. I love his baby-man look!
Baby Stats:
Focusing on our faces more
Discovering the toys dangling above his head in his bouncer and bassinet
hand and arm strength is growing
Ability to support head getting better
Acid reflux improving
Enjoys - Playing with Papa, snuggling with Mama, mouthing his pacifier in between feedings, rolling back and forth while parents try to change his diaper
Mama Stats:
Can button pants!
Getting out of the house more
Getting more done around the house
Beginning exercise
How Life has Changed:
These days our excitement comes from a new delivery of diapers (seriously, when diapers arrived yesterday, I felt more excited than when I used to get a new dress, bag or shoes); fresh load of diapers out of the washer, or anything fresh out of the wash; a good feeding; 3-4 hours of sleep; and coffee in the morning.
Have a happy Tuesday!!!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Strange Encounters - Thursdays at the grocery store

I began taking my son with me on small errands when he was 3.5 weeks old.  Our first day out just the two of us, we go to the local grocery store. I know putting your baby in a sling attracts some attention, but this was ridiculous. As I'm getting Elijah out of the carseat, there suddenly appears an old lady at my shoulder peering into my car at my son. I'm not one for close proximity to strangers, and this was REALLY CLOSE. As I tried to maneuver my son into the carrier, the lady stays right with me, asking the typical, "how old?" Saying the usual, "So cute," "Aww". Then she moves around me to the front passanger side and is looking all over my car, then back at me, very strange. I'm feeling uncomfortable but not sure how to handle the situation. Then she says, "Well, is there anything I can do to help you? Do you need anything?" I thought "sweet, but still a little odd." I thanked her and said no, we were fine. She made her way inside and I took my time trailing behind her. We continued to run into each other throughout the store, one time she called me out because there was a bag of doritos in the cart and she said "I'm going to have to report you, new mom should not be eating that." Then she laughed at her own joke. I felt obligated to explain they were for my husband and we had a free coupon. What an encounter.
The next Thursday I'm shopping at the same store, getting Elijah out of the car same as usual, putting him in the baby carrier, when a couple is coming up behind me and the man says authoritatively, "You need to cover that baby's head!" I thought he meant support the baby's head, and I was about to get Elijah settled in appropriately so his head would be supported, so I smiled and nodded. The woman says "How old?" I respond "One month." She nods and smiles and pulls her man along. In the entryway to the store they're still there, the man turns, puts his hands on his hips, bobs his head with much attitude then makes a clicking sound with his mouth and says, "I told you to cover that baby's head! It's cold out here!" (he was wearing shorts and a tee shirt, I wasn't even wearing a jacket.) I explain in an attempt to sound jovial, "You don't understand, I have a really sweaty baby!" (I really do, and he has a ton of hair!) The man shakes his head again, the woman says "Don't pay him any attention, you have a beautiful baby." And she drags him into the store. I hang back and shake my head, determining not to come back to that store on a Thursday ever again.

Instead, today I am beginning my second leg of clipping coupons and hunting deals. I'm going to try and do better by the family budget by being a more careful shopper. It's been a tough week with the baby, I haven't gotten as far as I wanted to be by today, but I'm doing what I can.

Wish me luck ya'll!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Flashback Friday!! just kidding

I used to see "Flashback Friday" posts all the time, now I can't find anyone with whom to link.

If I would have linked up today, I would have used this picture:


And I would have said:
This is a recent flashback to when Elijah was almost two weeks old, in fact, he was 11 days old in this picture. My Aunt happened to have a client in a nearby city and she managed to work us into her schedule! She spent 4 days getting to know my baby, her great nephew (though I think she's too young to be a great aunt... but some people don't seem to age ;-) ), feeding us yummy meals, and spoiling all three of us in general.
We had a blast, and from what I hear through the family grapevine, she did too!
We had a little drama while she was here. I managed to develop mastitis and we decided on going to Urgent Care one night, where the incompetent Doc. refused to even check my breast for the proper diagnosis, sent us to the hospital ER for apendicitis... wrong "itis" doc. The four of us trecked across the way to spend the rest of the night and part of the early morning getting further incorrect diagnosis. We were glad there was a 3rd person to help hold baby, and then the next day spoil us with more good cooking.
Finally, her 2nd to last day we got to go out and have some real fun trecking around a local park.
For the record, my aunt reads this blog, so SHOUT OUT to her, and a BIG THANKS!!!! :-)

But since, this isn't a real flashback Friday, I'm actually doing this survey-thing I got tagged with by Carrie.

Liebster Award:
Thanks Carrie for the award :-) These things usually intimidate me, sometimes I overthink my answers. But for you, I'll just try and enjoy the questions! I have to ask though, what is so magical about the number "11"? These things often have 11 questions...

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:

Each person must post 11 things about themselves
  1. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you
  2. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  3. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to post. Go to their page and tell them.
  4. No tag backs.

11 Things about me!
1. I really hated pregnancy and childbirth. So much that I'm seriously considering being mother to my one and only, only.
2. Sometimes I regret not earning a degree in a specialized field.
3. I blame boys for my bad grades second semester, freshman year. But I learned my lesson and got serious about studies and less interested in boys sophomore year, much to their disappointment and inability to understand. The more boys complained the more serious I became!!
4. I've changed more since being married (i think in a positive way) ,more than I expected or would have thought I needed too... I mean seriously, wasn't I perfect before? ;-)
5. Poopy diapers don't gross me out like I thought they would... maybe I haven't seen one bad enough yet? I seriously hated diaper changes when I was a babysitter and nanny. There really is something different about wiping your own child's butt.
6. I went through a crazy ghetto phase... Only because rap music makes me laugh.
7. I don't like shopping. For anything.
8. I love coffee dates.
9. Hanging out at a pretty park is my favorite past time.
10. It's hard to come up with so much stuff about me.
11. I love crocheting, I wish I could read a pattern so I could make more stuff.

These are the 11 questions Carrie sent me:

1. If you could pick anywhere in the world to live, where would it be? Portland, Oregon

2. If you won the lottery what would you buy first? My way out of student debt.

3. What is your favorite season? Fall

4. Movies in a theater or your living room? Originally, it would have been in the living room at a slumber party, then not at all, then back to in the living room during college, now it would have to be in a movie theater because mama has to get out of the house!

5. What is your biggest fear? Something awful happening to my son or husband.

6. Do you go out on Black Friday or camp out at home? Definitely do not go out if I can avoid it, see #11 in things about me.

7. Favorite holiday tradition (any holiday for anyone!) I don't have any traditions right now, but when I was really little we would always go to this place called "tiny town" and there were kid-sized doll houses decorated for Christmas for neighborhood kids to play in. My parents would take us and then go to this other place that would always have super-ornate decorations. Some years the whole family would get together and go to theme park that would have a special Christmas theme.

8. What is your most prized possession? Total honesty, my engagement ring... am I a bad Christian because I didn't say "Bible?" I don't really think of the Bible as a possession, it's God's word, it's important to me, but it's in my heart, the earthly material book doesn't matter as much as the word inside. Although, I do really love the one hubby gave me for my first bday with him, it has my married name engraved on the cover and it's purple :-).

9. What is your ideal date night? How about having a date to start with ;-) Seriously though, browsing quaint shops downtown, stopping at a local coffee shop, and leisurely enjoying a pretty park nearby.

10. Most difficult DIY project? I suppose I haven't had it yet? Probably starting up and Etsy shop... that's why I haven't done it yet ;-)

11. What is something about you that would surprise people? Possibly that I was a professional bra fitter the Summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college... I got so good at my job I could size women (and sometimes men) at a glance and began to do it automatically, even when I wasn't working. Yea, a little weird. It became a game for my friends, sometimes they didn't like the result.

Here are your 11 questions:
1. Do you believe in soul mates, you know, one right person for everyone?
2. What is your ideal place to vacation (you can pick a place you've never gone)?
3. Where would you like to be in your life next year?
4. How did you and your partner get together?
5. What is your favorite childhood memory?
6. What is your dream career, if you wanted a career?
7. What is your top pet peeve?
8. How do you feel about the outcome of the election?
9. Do you enjoy these surveys?
10. What is the nicest, unexpected thing ever done for you?
11. What is the most appalling social situation you've ever witnessed?

Remember this award should go to blogs with under 200 followers and feel free to link back to this blog as well!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Baby Monkeys

 Monkey bouncer, monkey pj's, monkey receiving blanket....
Most of baby's toys resemble monkeys in some way...
Are we over-doing the monkey-theme?? ;-)

Linking With:

http://lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Life as we know it by Paula

    href="http://www.jennifromtheblog.com/"> border="0"   
http://i44.tinypic.com/2jae260.png"  />

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

1 MONTH today!

Elijah seems to grow and change every time I look at him. All of a sudden we are here, one month after his birth-day.

Holding his head up for a few seconds spontaneously
"Stepping out" (term referring to putting his legs out strait and balancing his weight on his feet)
Eyes focusing briefly on objects, and especially our eyes
Sleeping 3-4 hrs. at night in between feedings

Today I had to put away his newborn clothes :..-( He is in 0-3 and 3 month clothes. My baby is BIG!
The good part here, my silver lining, we made sure to have more clothes in these sizes when we were registering and shopping, so he has WAY CUTE outfit options right now.

Getting more done around the house when Papa is home to watch baby
Feeling more and more like myself, only like "bonus me" because now I have a baby
Switched out my wardrobe because it is getting WAY cold... inspired by rearranging my sons wardrobe ;-)
Sleeping better now with my random spurts of opportunity than I did the whole time I was prego
Still have 20 lbs to go til pre-prego weight reached
Keep hearing I don't look like I had a baby, I'm ok with that ;-)

Hubby's 31st birthday was celebrated successfully and enjoyably from last Thursday-Sunday (took him to his favorite doughnut shop Thursday night while a friend kept an eye on baby has he took his after dinner nap! We listened to Frank Sinatra in the car while we ate our doughnuts at the park. Friday he got to have powdered doughnuts for breakfast (he really likes doughnuts). Saturday night I made him homemade pancakes with sausage and eggs for dinner. Sunday was the grand finally, see below)

 He's such a happy Papa!
 I dressed Baby Bear and I up to surprise Papa Bear when he came home from church. "We" videoed him walking in the door while "we" sang "Happy Birthday" to Papa!
 Ordered Papa Bear a steak dinner and bloomin' onion from Outback
 My first homemade layer cake! He liked it :-)

We took it out!

Enjoyed a nice day out at the park as a family Saturday... Well Papa and Mama thought it was nice ;-)

About to tackle a new way of life in the way of couponing and deal shopping... actually went to a money saving class saturday to get myself started :-)
Looking forward to getting more involved in my local MOMS group

Life is good! Loving having my baby at home.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

3 Weeks!

My baby is growing so fast. Everyone says that about their kids... wow... I'm someone with a kid.... but really, he is growing fast! He doesn't even look like the baby I brought home.

 To celebrate, Saturday night  we watched the birth and coming home videos. It has taken this long for me to feel brave enough to watch what little footage we got in the delivery room. It was intense, David laughed at the expressions on my face as I watched myself push. I said, "Hey man, that was really painful!"

So here is what Elijah looked like at exactly 3 weeks old:

 Holding Mommy's finger
 Admired by Daddy

Elijah's sweet feet at 21 weeks gestation
 Elijah's beautiful foot at 3 weeks of life on the outside

Sleeping almost 1-2 hours every 3 hours after a good feeding
Nursing consistently every 2-3 hours, 4 at night when he's feeling generous ;-)
Filling up his diapers like his career depends on it
Staring at nothingness as intense as can be when he's awake
Accidentally smiling at us while we stare at him in awe
Bouncing in his bouncer and swinging in his swing interchangeably depending on his mood, or which parent is watching him ;-) (I prefer the swing, David the bouncer)
Tolerating tummy time about 3 minutes a day

Mommy update:
20 lbs. to go to reach pre-prego weight
Substantially less issues with engorgement (hallelujah)
Stretch marks significantly fading
No tummy flab
Wearing largest jeans with bella band - still
Overall, happy with life, trying to be grateful for moments of boredom
Excited to have gone to church Sunday past!
Looking forward to attending worship as a family!
Planning hubby's birthday surprise on the fly

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Baby Gear!!

We're so excited about some of the pieces we have for Baby Bear! David of course, always goes to work right away whenever a new item comes in the mail. We cannot wait to use this AWESOME stroller!

We chose the Baby Jogger City Micro. Jogging strollers seemed more versatile, better for activity, and this particular line is light-weight, has forever-air tires, one hand collapse, and one hand steering!
So far it seems to be a success! I can easily collapse it, and throw it in the back of the trunk while on the phone or holding large bags, unassisted. Oh, and Elijah likes it too ;-)
I really want to be a baby-wearer! Originally we had a sling from 7 slings. I followed all the care instructions, and still the thing shrunk down to the size of a baby doll sling! I was mortified. Then I went to babble.com for sling recommendations and found the Baby K'Tan. I'm stoked with the possibilities! you can find it on amazon.com, and target.com, and read the babble review here!
Obviously cloth diapers get a bad wrap for many reasons: alot of care, less convenient, just gross. My husband was super-hard to convince when it came to giving the cloth diaper route a try. I really want to save money wherever I can, and just thinking about how much diapers cost and how long baby would wear diapers, just floored me. We heard about Sunbaby diapers from a friend, and saw that these diapers could grow with baby. Hubby let me buy a small order, and now we're both hooked! Definitely durable, comfortable material, and really not a lot of up-keep. Once the diaper is soiled, we just put it in the laundry room until there are enough for a load, throw them in the washer, inserts out, set to stain wash, and they come out good as new! Plus they come in WAY CUTE patterns!!! Check'em out!
The other items we could not do without:
Whenever Elijah falls asleep after eating and I need to do dishes or just pee, I can slip baby into this swing and he's content almost until the next feeding, unless he has a dirty diaper!
We love this whole set, but the rocking seat has been such a blessing lately! He prefers sleeping in that right now, the vibrating motion seems to really keep him calm through the night so I can try for some zzz's in between feedings :-)
Hope this gear guide helps!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Elijah's Birth Story

Yesterday was awesome! After our early afternoon feeding, I decided Elijah and I needed to get out of the house, a little further than the loop around our apartment. We went to the park where 3 weeks ago, hubs and I were trying to "walk our baby out." I have longed to do this since before we conceived Elijah. I had a moment of feeling that I've come full circle - Desiring a baby, being pregnant, dreaming of what motherhood would be like, and finally beginning my journey as mother. Like I said, yesterday was awesome :-) And now...

Perhaps long-awaited by some, here is the story of our son's birth (brace yourself for the long version).

Some may remember when I listed the pre-first stage labor signs I had leading up to the actual event. Thankfully everything that I felt happening inside really was making progress. Friday, October 5 when we went for our prenatal appointment, our midwife (one of our top favs) offered to examine me. I'm very grateful I didn't have to have exams throughout the pregnancy, and this was an option for me. She discovered I was at 3cm and 50-60% effaced. I was happy, but also knew I could hang out from 3-5 cms and be fully effaced for days before ever going into the first stage of labor. Still feeling those irritating tuggings and some uterine tightenings, hubby and I decided to walk at the mall to see if anything more would happen. Since we live over an hour away from the clinic and hospital, we hated the thought of getting home, labor starting, and having to come all the way back.

We walked the perimeter of the mall, stopping every once in awhile for a slightly stronger tightening, then decided to see "Transylvania", but before the movie, hubs bought me some chocolate at the chocolate shop! After the movie we walked some more. We spent almost 6 hours at the mall. Things got exciting around 5pm, then everything stopped around 6pm. I was exhausted from not sleeping the night before (heartburn, peeing constantly... general restlessness) and just wanted to go home and chill. When we got home David lit candles for me and I enjoyed a long shower and then bubble bath. We then set up the laptop in the bedroom, candles on my dresser, and cuddled in bed while streaming "Clueless"  on Netflix. I couldn't handle the stupidity in the movie and finally thought I could sleep, it was 9:45.

*I'm really, really thankful we got to make so many special memories together in the hours leading up to delivering our son! A nice way to go into labor :-)

I barely dozed off and was up around 10:15 to use the rest room. Gave up on sleeping at 10:45 as I was very uncomfortable. Went downstairs to watch netflix on the tv, and at about midnight woke hubby up to help me time contractions. We sat in the baby room in the dark, me in the rocking recliner, him on the cot, me calling out when contractions would stop and start. After 1 hour the contractions had consistently been coming every 2-4 minutes and lasting 1.5-2 minutes. They were pretty strong. We finally decided to check in with the midwife. One of our other favorites was on call. She wanted me to try to eat and drink something and see how things were going in another 45 minutes to an hour.
Hubby and I went downstairs, flipped on netflix, I had a banana, trail mix, v8 fusion, and waited. We decided to watch "The Office" the niagra and baby episodes. When contractions would become strong I had to pause the show and focus. This went on until about 3:15am. I decided to call the midwife back and tell her things had slowed down. She recommend I go to bed and try to sleep. I told David he needed to rest. As soon as I tried to lay down I would get a huge contraction. I gave up trying to sleep and just rocked in the chair. I would get super hot, then really cold. It was really frustrating. All the while I'm wondering if this will be go-time or am I once again going through alot of discomfort/pain for nothing.

At 4am I realized contractions seemed regular again. I started timing on my own. After 2 hours I called the midwife again. She said it was best just to come in and get checked out. She said try and eat something first. I was having really bad heartburn (this would continue for the rest of my birthing process), I didn't know how I would eat. I woke David up around 6am and told him the latest. We got ourselves together, a couple outfit changes for me, I didn't expect it to be cold outside. We went first to get gas, then grabbed some breakfast to go at Burger King because there was no line, we did however have to wait by the door because they didn't have anything fixed ahead of time. All the while I'm breathing through contractions. My pain level was manageable, but I really had to focus. I couldn't eat through contractions.

As contractions intensified, I decided to call my best friend (it was 7:30am), she is the one person I could count on being up early on a Saturday and who I thought I could handle talking to in this situation. I asked her to read one of my birth passages, Psalm 33. I feel certain this is when I got to 7cm. I became pretty weepy and had to set the phone aside to try and focus. When she was done reading I said I had to go so I could keep focusing. As we got closer to the hospital, it was getting pretty intense. The roads were getting bumpy and we were hitting every red light!!!

We couldn't remember how to get to valet parking. We drove crazily through the parking garage and finally saw signs to valet. Valet ended up being closed because it was Saturday. David found an employee who said we could park wherever we wanted. We got a spot near the door. We made our way to triage. Triage was STUPID!!!! As always. I had one simple page to feel out, but the whole time I'm trying to breathe through my contractions, she's asking me more questions that I can hardly bring myself to answer, AND she can't find me in the system. They can NEVER find me in the system. Of all the names I have that she could spell wrong, she was misspelling "Miranda." Really?

FINALLY! In a triage room. Getting in a gown. Then, SURPRISE! The midwife-in-training we had met the day before at our appointment is on call with our fav midwife who had also seen us the day before. Midwife had the student check me. SHE.WAS.AWFUL! Roughly fumbling around in my business, squinting and twisting her face trying to figure out where I was. I'm telling you, she had a alot of room in there and I felt every plunge of her rough little fingers. She's mumbling out, "mm, well, uhh, I'm thinking a ssixxx?? Maybe six and a half?" The midwife says, "Would you like me to come in behind you and make sure?" "Yea, I think I want you to come in behind me." Midwife is in and out and says, "She's more like a 7, I'm going to say 7 1/2." I was relieved, all that work for a reason! David was beaming, of course. Midwife says, "Good news, you're going to have this baby today! We just have to make sure we can get you a room. There are a lot of babies being born today."

Let me interject here to say in this moment I had another realization of how differently David and I approach situations. For me, I saw this as a time to work. We had a mission. Its time to get the baby out. David only saw the end result, our baby coming, finally, and that's all he could think about and he was over the moon. I desperately just needed his focus to help me breathe.

In a little while, a nurse came in and prepared us to move to a delivery room. We got a room with somewhat of a view, which was nice later in the afternoon. By 9am I was getting my antibiotics for strep b. That was annoying. I had to sit in the bed with IV fluids and antibiotics and getting monitored. This, I felt, was getting in the way of my progress.

note snack bag and yoga mat in the background.
I didn't have a single snack and the yoga mat was a fail!
Admittedly, I did not have the patience I should have with the nurses. I didn't verbally express annoyance, but I didn't respond to their friendly chatter either. Internally I was responding with snarky comments. For me, this was not a time for light-hearted, random chatter. This was serious business! Finally the antibiotic finished and the bag of fluids. They left the port in my hand, but at least I could move about freely again.
I was able to keep VE's (vaginal exams) at bay for most of the day. The midwife and student came in every so often to observe, but mostly stayed out of the way. They loved how David and I were working together and didn't want to get in the way of something that was working. The main nurse of the day kept monitoring me, but finally the midwife convinced her to just use the doppler instead of trying to strap me in every 30 minutes.
 My temp kept fluctuating, I'd have the gown on, half on, completely off by times. Sometimes bundling up in a sheet while my teeth chattered so hard I thought they would fall out!
This is the majority of how we spent our labor. Me sitting and trying to relax when I got a break, and then once a contraction would come on I would leap up and wrap my arms around David's neck and beg him to count my breathing so I could work through the pain. Seriously, the midwife was really impressed with this.
With all the Birthing Better Pink Kit Skills we had practiced, I mainly found sitting in a way that allowed my pelvis to feel open, and just breathing through the pain to be most useful. I tried using my yoga mat for some pelvic opening poses, but I really couldn't handle it, in the moment it didn't feel as helpful as when we had practiced at home.
Around 3pm the midwife and student came in to talk with me and find out how I had been feeling and to observe a few contractions. They could tell they were coming on more intense. Midwife offered to check me to get an idea where we were. I asked if there was any way I could get checked without lying down in the bed. The idea of lying back on my back sent my mind reeling. She said no, but that we could wait till I was ready. I made sure to ask that she be the only one to check me. While I was getting examined the nurse had to monitor. Midwife found me to be at 9cm. She offered to break my bag of waters if I wanted to move things along. I declined. I then labored on the toilet for a while. They all, midwife, student, nurses wanted me to labor in the shower. The shower was DISGUSTO!!!! Big yellow stains on the tiny stall floor, calcified shower head with little flow, and no stool to rest on. At every one's behest, I gave it a shot. It was awful. The water didn't get to my back or anywhere helpful. The toilet worked for me. I was impressed and grateful that the midwife came in there and sat with us for a while, just crossed-legged on the floor like any regular person. She talked with me about my options - breaking waters, it wasn't too late for epidural, vaginal sweep. I resisted. I still wanted to give baby and I shot at natural birth. We had been working on it this long, why not keep going?
I had a couple intense contractions and midwife said try pushing with them a couple times to see how it felt. OUCH!!!! I backed off pushing as soon as I started. She said, "it doesn't feel good? Like a relieving feeling?" All I could do was shake my head no. She said ok, don't worry about it for now. Shortly after they wanted me off the toilet and to sit on the edge of the bed and try laboring that way. They had brought in a birth stool earlier that I had tried for a while, it was now serving as a foot stool for me. Then I got one HUGE contraction. I lept off the bed and grabbed for David, as I did there was a flood of water pooling in my flip flops. I was shocked, shocked out of even feeling the contraction. Everyone in the room got really excited. This was 4pm. (there was a clock in the room, I was always staring at it, so I know the exact times of everything). Shortly thereafter midwife wanted to check again. I hadn't dilated any further, but she said my cervix was really nice and soft. She said a small corner of the bag remained and she could get it for me if I wanted and then I should open all the way. I let her do it, then another huge contraction came on!
She said I could try to push when ready and things should move along quickly now. I tried a couple pushes, it felt awful and I stopped (probably out of fear). I really didn't want to push in the bed. I had a huge stigma against birthing in bed. I wanted to be like the African tribal women who wonder how people ever birth in bed on their back. Still, we tried in the bed for a while. We got serious about pushing at 5pm. Around 6 (maybe later?) they urgently told me to stop pushing, got oxygen and monitors strapped on. The baby's heart rate had dropped. Midwife began saying that if they couldn't get the heart rate back up they would bring in a doctor for his opinion and we might have to go the forceps route. I couldn't get my control back for a long time at this point. I found it difficult to even inhale the oxygen. Finally I made eye contact with David and he helped me count breaths again. After a little bit they let me try the squatting bar. This actually felt good. My head could comprehend pushing in this position and I was actually getting the baby down, so I thought. I was doing well enough at this point that they took the monitors off. I was so eager I started helping them unstrap me, which made everyone laugh.
Midwife discovered that he was just not as far down as she first thought, she was a little surprised. As I continued to push using the squatting bar, midwife noticed I began swelling. She made me lie back immediately. She told the nurses and student who were there to grab my legs. She kept thinking "this was it" and getting ready to catch, and then the head would go back in. She was encouraged at the softness of the cervix and she said the slowness at which I was pushing would prevent me from tearing.
*Side note. This whole time I really did not feel as in control as I imagined myself to be once I got to this situation. I felt weak, scared, and like a wild animal... I couldn't push without screaming. I'm sure I was the loudest person in the hospital. I kept waiting for my uterus to do the work like I had read and heard about from so many. The urge never happened for me. I had to wait for strong contractions and push with those.
Midwife really wanted me to have the baby on her shift. She had been with us for several appointments and with us the whole day, she wanted the honors. She made the comment "C'mon Miranda! Time to get him out, I really don't want (name of other midwife) to catch this baby!" Believe me, I wanted her to catch the baby too. I kept looking at the clock and trying to get him out before 7.
At 6:30, the next shift came in. The room filled up with people. I had two people at each leg, David was one of the people holding my right leg. I had another person pushing my back forward with pillows. It had been all women, but with shift change, in comes this strange looking man with horn-rimmed glasses, white ponytail, and he goes to my back to hold me up. I ended up being grateful for him because he was a lot stronger than the nurse. David and I had definitely exchanged a look though, we had not expected a man.
*Side note, remember the nurse who kept monitoring me? She was now at the top of my left leg, occasionally dropping her hold to ANSWER or SEND a TEXT!!!! Seriously! She would show people around her and say "Oh this is my kid!" and random stuff like that. Every time she did that I would totally lose focus in irritation and bewilderment. HOW COULD SOMEONE TEXT IN THIS SITUATION???? OF all the places where it's inappropriate to text, the delivery room during 2nd stage labor when people are counting on you to help, should be one of those places! I could not believe it!
Finally at 6:40 I got really into pushing, I hit my groove or something. I was staring at that clock and praying with everything I had, screaming in my head to the Lord. "OH MIGHTY GOD! PLEASE HELP ME! I HAVE NOTHING LEFT (something I would also say outwardly)! PLEASE LORD, YOU ARE MIGHTIER AND STRONGER THAN ME. PLEASE PUSH THROUGH ME BECAUSE I CANT!" I had begged for the midwife just to pull my baby out, get forceps, anything! She was patient and encouraging, kept telling me I could do it, that we would have this baby naturally. She never stopped believing. All the people in the room, and believe me, there were a TON! I had no idea so many people would be in there, this was also distracting, they just kept cheering. They could see the head and they would say, "There he is! You're doing good Miranda," "you're doing so great!" "Keep going!" All I could do was keep praying over and over again. The new midwife was sitting in the catching position (She happened to be the one I talked with on the phone in the early morning, and our other fav). The first midwife was in the room watching from afar. I pulled myself up, bore down, and with every last ounce of strength I had just pushed, pushed, and kept pushing. I could feel the excitement in the room, I saw the light shining from David's eyes as I felt the head come through. In that moment, I was far enough up that I could look down and I saw his face between my legs, eyes close, face scrunched up and gray, covered with fluids, and I was a little horrified. It was just crazy looking! Monsterish, even. (that ring of fire? not the good feeling I've heard some women describe. I thought it would kill me), the new midwife smiled encouragingly and nodded saying not to give up, keep going he's almost here! Then, FINALLY I felt his feet slip through, it kind of gave me a sickening feeling. Then, his slimy, wriggling, crazy strong and weak body, was on top my belly. It was 6:59pm, 10/6/12.

 (we couldn't have video. David started to video the birth and the nurses threw up their arms saying "No! No video in here! No crotch shots". Bummer. Weirdos! My Body, our birth, our choice! Guess not.)
It took me what seemed like several minutes to even realize it was over and that my baby was with me. Finally I started to discover him. Then I began to fall in love with him. For David, it was much more instantaneous. I didn't pay attention in the moment, but I love looking back and remembering that swell of love and amazement he felt. He was in love with his son right away, and fell deeper in love with me.
Once Elijah was out, they told me to take my bra off so the baby could better bond with me. I didn't even think about it, it just flew off. I now remember that the old, male tech was sitting in the rocking chair towards the foot of the bed. I start chatting it up with different people in the room, learning about them and their families, while I'm learning to nurse my newborn son. Crazy right? I hadn't slept for two days, had nothing to eat for 12 hours, and I'm full of energy and being social, all the while I'm completely naked... not that everyone in the room hadn't just seen everything that was once a mystery.
So weird what childbirth does to a woman :-)
So that's our story. Here's his first bath and other fun stuff:

She styled his hair!!!

Loved his who-do! Or baby faux hawk ;-)

The bath and everything took about 1 hr. I really missed my baby and hubs!

Just before we leave the hospital, new family all together!

Taking him inside his home for the first time.

Showing him his room!
Hope you enjoyed, folks!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...