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Birth

I haven’t posted Addison’s birth story yet, and several of you have asked, so I’m finally taking the time to post it. However, for you to understand the emotions I went through while in labor, I think you also need the history of my previous births. So I’ve decided to post all 3!

Daniel, November 10, 2005:

First of all, I am not one of those women who enjoy being pregnant. Oh sure, there are a few exciting moments, and feeling your baby move inside of you almost never gets old. But other then that, I don’t like the pregnancy experience! I was determined to have a natural birth for a few reasons. The main reason is, I am so afraid of needles. Therefore, an epidural isn’t my kind of pain management. When my niece Keilahwas born, I commented that she was so alert at birth. My mom told me that was the result of an unmedicated birth. I liked that idea. Also, my mom gave birth naturally 4 times, and my sister did it twice (at the time, she’s now had 3 natural births), therefore I couldn’t be the first “wimp” to give in to an epidural. (I am a wimp though, and I have no pain tolerance!)

So I signed up for Bradley Birthing classes, which promotes husband coached natural birthing.  The woman teaching the courses told us about many natural ways that supposedly will help you go into labor. So at 37 weeks (considered full term), I started taking Red Raspberry Leaf tea and capsules. At the time I thought it helped you jump start labor, but now I know it actually strengthens the uterus, to make labor more manageable. I jogged everywhere, several times a day, and did jumping jacks. I tried to keep myself constantly on the move, because I just wasn’t interested in being pregnant anymore! I went in for a check up at 37 weeks 5 days pregnant. The Dr. gave me my first internal exam, and told me I was about 3 cm dilated.  She expected me to give birth within a week, and offered to induce a week later if I still hadn’t delivered. While 3 cm was exciting news, I also know of plenty of women who have walked around for weeks dilated at 3 cm. I was also not interested in being induced, for fear of it ending in a c-section. Back to jogging!

Two days later, at exactly 38 weeks (November 9, 2005), I was out jogging when I felt a strong contraction. A few minutes later, I had another strong one. I decided to lay down and watch LOST. I kept feeling the urge to pee, so I went to the bathroom several times, and had more strong contractions. I didn’t want to cry wolf, so I called a friend, who timed my contractions over the phone, and told me “it’s time to get your self to the hospital!”   I e-mailed a pregnant friend of mine, who was also hoping for a natural birth, and said “if this is labor, I’m getting an epidural. I can’t handle more pain!”  At 9:30 PM, 1 hour after my first contraction, I was at the hospital. The contractions were so strong and so close together, I could barely walk, yet somehow managed to run in. I looked at a nurse and said “I called, I’m in labor.” It felt like minutes had passed and two nurses just stared at me. Finally I yelled “somebody do something!” Immediately I was taken back and changed into a gown, and given a room.  My water had broken at home, but Daniel had dropped and corked it from leaking, which is why I kept feeling the need to pee, but nothing was happening.

The midwife on duty, Marcy, came in to check me. She asked me, “what would make you happy?” I replied “get your fingers out of me!” She laughed and said “well, you’re 9 cm dilated!” She looked over my birth plan, saw I wanted an unmedicated birth, and told my assigned nurse to forget about the IV.   Looking back, I’m actually surprised I was in labor withDaniel for a full 5 hours. Given that from the time I felt the first contraction, to the time I got to the hospital (1 hour), I was already at 9 cm, I probably could have given birth with in an hour of getting there. If I had been forced to pushed, my labor may have been less then 2 hours. It’s probably a good thing it wasn’t, or I would have been a wreck for my subsequent births.

I was able to fully relax, and talk and joke between contractions. And finally, sometime after 1 am, I felt the urge to push. I don’t remember exactly how long, or how many times I pushed, but I believe it was about 3 contractions, so maybe 5 or 7 minutes of pushing, and Daniel was born! I didn’t yell or scream or curse at anyone. I thought I was loud during pushing, but per Dan, and my friend Zann, I was very calm. Daniel was born at 1:28 am, witha head full of dark hair, weighing 8lbs, 2 oz, and 21.5″ long.  We went home 19 hours after his birth. I’m so glad they released me! In my opinion, hospital stays are boring!

I gained 14 pounds while pregnant with Daniel, and thanks to breastfeeding, at 6 weeks post partum, I was 12 pounds less then my pre-pregnancy weight. If only I could still say that today!

Bethany, December 8, 2007:

After my (too easy) delivery with Daniel, I was convinced I would have to live outside of the hospital, or risk giving birth on the side of the road. I assumed Bethany would practically fall out in a matter of minutes. Not so!

On Friday, December 7, I went to bed having a feeling I would be in labor soon, so I tried to sleep but couldn’t. I was restless, and kept getting up to do “one more thing,” including putting the hospital bags in the car. I drifted in and out of sleep, and at 7:30 AM, December 8, I woke up to a huge gushing sound. My water broke. I wasn’t having contractions, so I called the hospital to let them know I’d be in at some point that day. I took a shower, styled my hair, got a few more things done around the house, then woke up Dan and told him it was time to go. 

Unfortunately, I was only 4 cm dilated, I should have spent more time keeping busy at the house, (two days earlier, I was only 2 cm at my appointment. My doctor begged me to take it easy and keep Bethany in for at least another week, but I told her I would see her at the hospital that weekend. All along, I thought she’d be born December 9th, and I told many people I’d be at the hospital that weekend).  My nurse called the doctor (who was not at the hospital yet), and he said to put me on Pitocin, so in went the IV (have I mentioned yet who afraid I am of needles?) The IV was in for 2 hours before they realized the machine wasn’t working, and I wasn’t getting any Pitocin. The nurse requested a new machine, and 2 hours later, I still didn’t have one. Finally around 1:30 PM, it was working, and at 2PM, I begged for drugs. I was finally in labor!  My older sister had been in the same exact situation two weeks earlier, and she was given Nubain to ease the pain. She was able to sleep for an hour, then woke up to push. My nurse tried to talk me into an epidural, but I refused and went with Nubain. It tookthe edge off 2 contractions (yes, I counted), when suddenly I was in the worst pain of my life. I was having back to back contractions, very strong and painful, with no break in between (I believe the Nubaindidn’t work because I went from 5 cm to 8 cm in a matter of minutes). Around 4:25, I needed to push, but the nurses (I now had 2) wouldn’t let me until the Dr. arrived. It felt like forever before he finally did arrive (it was about 30 minutes), and when I was finally allowed to push, I had practically forgotten how. The nurses kept coaching me through it. In a matter of minutes, all hell broke loose.  I had no clue what was going on, but the Dr. had his hands inside of me, while I was trying to push Bethany out. I found out after the delivery, her shoulder was stuck and the Dr. was yanking her out. I lost it, and started yelling “I can’t do this! I can’t!”  Luckily, Bethany was born healthy. She wasn’t moving her right arm at first, but within a few minutes she was using it, and we haven’t had any problems with it at all. She was also born with a head full of dark hair, weighed 10 pounds even, and 19 inches long. Bethany was the “perfect” baby. She was a champion at breastfeeding, only tooktwo tries to get her latched on properly, and she started sleeping through the night at just 1 week old. I gained 22 pounds with her, and it tookme a lot longer to lose the weight I had gained. My stomach muscles tore while pregnant withher, so I’m still dealing with that!

Addison, March 12, 2009:

After my delivery with Bethany, my Dr. decided to schedule a c-section for Addison’s delivery. I knew it was probably the best decision, but I was sad about the thought of not giving birth naturally. And I was scared about how I’d be able to take care of a newborn, a 15 month old, and a 3 year old, while recovering from a c-section. We live in a 2-story house, and at the time Bethany could crawl up the stairs, but not down, so several times a day, she’d cry for me to rescue her when she was stuck upstairs. I wouldn’t be physically able to do that for a couple weeks after a c-section.

I went in for a check up, and talked to my doctor about giving birth naturally. It was a Wednesday afternoon, and I told her if I went into labor before Sunday, I would like to try doing it naturally. After that, I would go for the c-section. She told me it was absolutely my choice. I had mentioned that Addison felt smaller then Bethany. (For weeks Bethany was up in rib cage, I never experienced that with Addison). She said that Mom was usually correct when it came to estimating the size of the baby, so if I felt comfortable going naturally, then so did she. She decided to do a quick internal exam, and I was 2 cm dilated. No, that’s not a lot, but she knew in my past deliveries, I dilated quickly. I left, with both of us knowing I’d be giving birth to Addison with in a day or two.

I went home and talked to Dan about my decision to go natural if I gave birth before Sunday, and told him I needed to go running. Instead I fell asleep on the couch. I awoke to Dan asking me “Is this helping you go into labor?” I responded “yes, sleep and relaxing is very important for labor!”  Later that afternoon, I convinced Dan to buy me Caster Oil. Caster Oil is another fear of mine! I decided I would try half of the recommended amount, and if nothing, I’d wait until Friday or Saturday night to try again. Well this is where I look really stupid. I found a reciple online for adding caster oil to a chocolate shake to disquise the flavor of the oil. It called for two tablespoons of caster oil. As I mentioned above, I only wanted to try half. So I put in one teaspoon.  Yes, TEAspoon. Not tablespoon. I read the recipe wrong, and actually tried to put myself into labor with one teaspoon of caster oil. Not the recommended two TABLEspoons.

Nothing happened.

My c-section was scheduled for March 31, which happens to be my youngest sisters birthday. She sent me a text message that night (March 11) saying “you in labor yet? I don’t want to share my birthday!” (She was joking). I sent her a message back “no. nothing. I haven’t had a contraction in days!” I text another sister, telling her the full moon would send me into labor. I made a mental checklist of what to do tomorrow; pack hospital bag, dye hair, pre-register online for hospital.

I hadn’t packed my hospital bag, or the kids overnight bags (for staying with my parents while I was at the hospital), so I got a few things together, and put them in a laundry basket.  I went to bed, disappointed that I wasn’t having any contractions. At 4:30 AM, I woke up to strong contractions. I tried to go back to sleep, and forced myself to stay in bed. Close to 6 am, I got myself a cup of water and some Tylenol. Dan’s alarm went off at that time, and he decided to hit snooze and go back to sleep. I went back upstairs and went to the bathroom. I was bleeding.

I turned on the bedroom light and yelled “get up! we have to go!” I called the hospital, and spoke to the Dr. on duty there, he probably thought I was a crazy pregnant woman when I said “I’m in labor! I’m bleeding! My water isn’t broken, but I”m 45 minutes away and I have super short labors! should I come in or call 911?” (I think the 911 part is what made him think I was crazy). He told me to come on in. I took a fast hot shower, which felt so good on my back. The contractions were very painful. I tried to think clearly and told Dan what needed to be done. I didn’t even brush my teeth! (If you know me, you know that is way out of character for me. I do not do anything without first brusing my teeth!)

We loaded the kids into the car, and I put Addisons car seat in the back. I got a nagging feeling though, that we wouldn’t be bringing her home yet, and suddenly I felt sad. I called my parents, and asked them to meet me at the hospital, and said I wasn’t sure if I’d make it there in time, (It’s a 45 minute drive, without traffic, and we were hitting morning traffic).  I told Dan, “you need to drive FAST, but safe…but FAST!” 

Dan was driving about 100 mph (literally) to get us there, and I was timing contractions. They were coming less then 2 minutes a part, and were extremely painful. The entire drive, I was physically calm, but in my mind, I was screaming. I was so scared that Addison would be born in the car or on the side of the road, and that she’d get stuck like Bethany (or worse), and that everything would go wrong.  On the 5 freeway, we passed a huge car accident, and there were several ambulances and fire trucks. I told Dan maybe we should pull over there so a trained professional could deliver Addison. I was serious. 

We made it to the hospital, with the car still in one piece, and Dan dropped me off at the front so I could run (waddle) my way in as fast as possible.  Right away I was given a room, and changed into a hospital gown. The nurse was trying to get me registered, but realized it would have to wait. She did a quick internal, announced I was dilated to 8 cm, and ordered me “don’t move! Your bag of waters is right there! Your doctor is on her way.” Dan had fianlly parked the car, and brought the kids into the room. He decided to take them to the cafe in the basement to feed them while we waited. I begged for an epidural, not for the pain, but in case this ended up in an emergency c-section (if it was anything like Bethanys birth), and I wanted to be ready for it. The nurse said the anaesthesiologistwas with another patient, but would see me in about 15 or 20 minutes.  Five minutes later my doctor walked in, did another internal, and I was dilated to 10.  My water was still intact, and my doctor said “ok, lets do this! I’ll break your water and we’ll go.” I called Dan, and he came back up withthe kids, sat them down at a table withtheir food. Suddenly the room was filled with lots of medical staff, My doctor, 2 nurses, a pediactric nurse, and a pediatrician. I looked at my doctor, and she looked panicked, but was trying to remain calm.  She broke my water, and ordered me to push (though I didn’t have the urge). It only took 2 contractions, and I felt Addisons head come out. This is when I went into panic mode. I thought she’d get stuck and it would be another tug of war. But I was only able to panic for a split second, I looked down, and she was born. I said “she’s so small!” The pediatrician quickly said “maybe to you!”  Addison weighed 8lbs, 7 oz. and was 19 inches long. She also had a head full of dark hair, but hers was much longer then the other 2. (My sister calls her Electra, short for electricuted).  I never did get that epidural.

Dan’s favorite part of the story, is that he was eating sausage, assuming he’d be sitting there for a while, when suddenly he realized he was eating sausage while watching me give birth. The older 2 kids did great, and didn’t make a sound while they witnessed their sisters birth.

Unfortunately Addison had a hole in her lung, and spent 9 days at the NICU. But she’s home now, and a very healthy girl. (And her lungs work a little too well now). I was afraid not being able to nurse her until day 5 would ruin our chances of breastfeeding, but she’s great at it, and would nurse 24/7 if I let her.

At my 6 week post partum check up, my Doctor told me she was so glad we didn’t do a c-section. As she put it, it would have been “very unnecessary, and I’m glad everything worked out the way it did.”

I only gained 10 pounds while pregnant with Addison, I’ve lost it, and some, but I’m trying to tigthen my belly now….the torn muscles are making it look bigger then it is!

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Todays update

Today was a pretty great day!

It started out rough, I had been told I would get to breastfeed Addison, then I was running a few minutes late, and I called the NICU to let them know, gave them permission to give her a bottle if necessary, but ONLY if I’d still be allowed to try to nurse her.

When I get there she was still under the photo therapy lights, and they wouldn’t let me nurse her, or hold her for that matter!

I sat there crying, trying to figure out which staff member to let my anger out on. A nurse came in and finally let me nurse her!

It only took Addison about 2 minutes to latch on properly, which seemed long to me given that Bethany got it first try, but Addison is 5 days old and at that point, had only had one or two bottles, and hasn’t been held very much (which really makes me sad). She nursed great, and eventually fell asleep while comfort sucking. I held her like that for about 20 minutes.

She was very wide awake when we first got there, and just really wanted attention. She kept pulling her little eye protectors off and making screaming noises. Not obnoxious screaming, but just screams here and there to let us know she was not happy being in her cage.

I just called the NICU for the latest. She’s been off the photo therapy lights since 6 PM, feedings are going great, and they’ll hopefully increase tomorrow. They’ll do another blood check for jaundice in the morning, and hopefully those levels will be down.

I’ll go back to nurse her in the morning.

We still have no clue when she’ll be home. We get a different answer every time we ask, so it’s getting frustrating. It sounds like all that needs to happen now is everything remain stable, and her feedings increase, which makes me hopeful for Thursday. If it goes beyond that, we’ll probably put up a fight to get her out.

I’ve added new photos my online album, she’s getting more and more adorable. I think her eyes are blue, but it’s hard to tell. (They were still yellowish today due to jaundice). To me she looks a lot different from the other 2 kids. They looked exactly like Dan at birth, but I don’t see that in her. She also has a lot less cheek fat then the other 2 did, and unlike Bethany, her legs are long and thin.

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Pregnancy Update

Just a super fast pregnancy update: I am 36ish weeks pregnant and had a Dr. appointment today.

Due to my previous delivery, I’ve been scheduled for a c-section for the 31st of this month, but I’ve had a really hard time accepting a c-section. So today I talked to my doctor about my options for a natural delivery.

Turns out I’m 2 cm dilated, and she said she won’t force a c-section on me, ultimately it’s my decision, however there are risks involved. I’m hoping and praying that I go into labor within the next few days, because I’d feel comfortable going natural at this point.

If I make it to next week, I know the risks aren’t worth it, and I’ll carry on with the c-section plan. I know it’s not the end of the world, but after 2 natural deliveries, I’d hate to have a c-section if it can be avoided!

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The Williams Cousins

Liz is in town with Georgia, and they stopped by for a couple hours today. It’s so fun to watch babies interact. Georgia was born 5 weeks before Bethany. About 5 minutes before they came over, Bethany decided to start actual crawling. She’s been cruising around the room using her own methods, and I’m surprised she wasn’t crawling earlier. Oh well, as of today, she crawls.

Georgia pulls herself up without effort, and is starting to cruise while holding onto things. She’s a few pounds smaller then Bethany, but that’s expected considering Bethany was a 10 pound baby.

Bethany has her 3rd tooth coming in right now. The bottom front two have been here for almost 2 months, but now she has a top tooth (2nd to left…not front) about to poke through the gums any day now. I think I can see the whites of a few other teeth, so I guess she’ll have a mouth full just like Daniel. Although when Daniel was this age, he had 7 teeth already (yes 7! this kid had 2 teeth before he was 4 months old!)

Here are some photos of Bethany and Georgia. I tried to get some of Daniel but he was too busy showing off trying to get attention, so he wouldn’t sit still or face the camera.

 

 

 
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Happy New Year!

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