Monday, November 29, 2010

Special Delivery

Disclaimer: This is the story of my home birth, it is long and there are a lot of pictures, but none with nudity. But it is a birth so, you know, there is blood and stuff. Read at your own discretion. Connie was there and took pictures and video for which I am truly grateful.
On Monday October 25th I was 10 days overdue. Up until this point I had tried to be very patient. The day before, Sunday evening, I spent quite a while walking with Connie and had a lot of braxton hicks and was hopeful something would happen that night, but nothing did. The next morning I went to the store and was close to Russ' work so I went and stopped by for a minute. I was starting to feel very sad and cried for the first time. I was just so ready to have the baby. Russ mentioned that I should go eat at AH-SO a Japanese restaurant that my sister in law said would put me into labor. Apparently she ate there before she went into labor and her sister did too, twice. So I thought, what the heck and called Connie to come have lunch with me (she is always so obliging to do that for me). All that seemed to happen later that day was I had gas. That night I decided to take a bath. I got in the tub and had a little chat with the baby inside my belly. Yes, I was talking out loud telling him that I was ready for him to come out, I was ready to go through labor, and I needed his help and participation. Then I went to bed. Some time in the night I woke up with a very strong contraction and had to go to the bathroom (this happened every night) so I went to the bathroom. When I laid back down I had another one. These were hurting from my lower back down to my feet. After three of them right in a row I looked at the clock on my phone - 2:28. I woke Russ up and we timed them for awhile. They were pretty close together and all pretty strong. I new it was time. Looking back I am surprised that I didn't question whether or not it was really labor or worried that they were going to stop - I just new it was going to happen. Then Russ and I started to get things ready. Russ double made the bed and I started cleaning the bathroom. After awhile we called the midwife and parents and text Connie "Thundercats Ho!" Pretty soon I got in the tub and smiled as I listened to the shuffle of Russ' feet and he moved quickly (and excitedly) through the house getting things ready.
Here I am enjoying my time in between the contractions. Connie brought some music and ice and I sat relaxing in the tub. I used the hypnobabies method, but still sorta did it my own way. When a contraction would come I would drop my head and relax my whole body and it worked so well. You could tell the intensity of the contraction by the intensity of my breathing, but nothing else moved. Russ stayed by my side nearly the whole time and rubbed my back. Having him there made it so much easier. Whenever I had a contraction without him there, it was so much harder to get through. My midwife Stephanie and her assistant Jen showed up at 3:40 in the morning. Here is a picture of our room with all the midwife gear in it. Everything was ready to go. They checked me when I arrived and I was dilated to 3 cm and 80% effaced. Later after I had labored for awhile I asked if they would check me again and their response was "that's a hospital thing" and they explained that there was no reason to check me unless I was just curious because it really would not tell us anything. We would know when I was getting closer to having the baby. So I decided not to be checked again.

Everyone was in the other room. My dad made me laugh we he first got to the house he came in and Russ told him I was in the bathroom and he said, "she is going to have him in the bathroom?" Then when he came in to say hi and the lights were off and candles were lit and music was playing he said, "where are we, a wake?" Oh dad - you make me laugh. My midwifes notes say that at 5:00 I was "still smiling".

Breakfast for everyone. My mom cooking away. I feel like if there is a kitchen in the vicinity she will find her way to it.

William was pretty excited because Connie went to QT at 4 in the morning and got doughnuts and ice. Before William left for school he came and gave me a hug and said, "I hope you have your baby soon." What a sweet heart. Around that same time at 8:00, I lost the majority of my mucus plug (I wish we called that something different)

When Gracie saw me in the tub she was confused as to why I was in there with a dress on. She wanted to get in too so we got her in her swimming dress and let her come in with me for a little while and explained that sometimes I needed to close my eyes and relax.

Once she even put her hand on my shoulder and said, "relax". Here she is washing the wall. It was a fun time to spend with her. Connie took her to her dance class and she spent a lot of the time watching some movies and playing with all the family in the other room. She was well taken care of.
I eventually turned around so Russ could really rub my back. At 10:45 I decided to get out and walk around and stretch my legs. I discovered that it did not feel good to sit leaning back at all. I could only sit forward. I tried to eat some pasta and then started to feel nauseous and went and sat on the birth ball for awhile. The contractions were hurting pretty bad and I just wanted to get back into the tub. I was in there for awhile and had to get out to go to the bathroom and stayed out for awhile, I put a towel over the toilet seat and sat there for awhile. Then I stood up because when I was standing the contractions really picked up. I would hold on to Russ when a contractions would come. I had to make him take off him belt because it was poking my belly. This is when I had my first contraction that made me make noise at 12:50. A couple contractions later, at 12:55, I was having a really strong one and I felt a pop inside and I said, "I think my water broke", then I called to Jen, "My water broke!" And just as Russ was starting to say, "wait you don't know that yet" fluid gushed out onto our rug (that was later thrown out and it was fine because I got it for 2 bucks at a thrift store). I was really excited now because I was pretty sure things would start happening fast.
I got back in the tub and laid long ways because I didn't know how else I could birth and I was afraid if I didn't get in position then I wouldn't be able to move later and I think I was right. I also remember being bugged because the sun was in my face. At 1:32 I started getting "pushy" and the midwife guessed I was at an 8 or a 9 (she is usually right)
Stephanie and Jen came in. Stephanie put that wet cloth on my head and I remember that feeling wonderful. The contractions were so strong now and they hurt in my back so much more. In fact I spent each contraction rubbing my lower back very hard. I think a lot of women squeeze their husbands hands, I just squeezed my back. For the next couple of days my arms were very soar. At this point I was doing a lot of heavy blowing while breathing during the contractions. I was not trying to hypnotize myself but I did say a lot of things to myself like, "open" and "easily down and out". That seemed to help me too. At 1:50 they said I was getting grunty and was probably 9+ cm and then finally at 1:52 I had the "urge to push" meaning my body started to push the baby out and I followed it's lead. This went by pretty fast and honestly I was so glad that the time was here and that the whole thing was almost over. I was pushing at 2:00 and his head crowned at 2:06. I would try and push between contractions because I just wanted him out, but they kept telling me to be "steady" and "wait for the contractions" to which I replied, "are you kidding?" Once his head came out at 2:10 I said, "get him out". I knew he was so close and I just wanted them to reach down and yank him out. I am glad now that they didn't:)
After his head came out there was a huge push with very high pitched screaming and the next thing I know, Russ is catching the baby and handing him to me. He was born at 2:11. Above is my I-can't-believe-he-is-here-and-I-am-so-glad-that-is-over crying face. Here I am marveling at his beauty and wondering why he was so gray. Neither of my other kids were that gray - or did they just clean them off faster and make them cry more after their births?
Look at his sweet little, wait I mean big, hands.
The placenta was born at 2:26, and his cord was clamped and cut after it was done pulsing and he had gotten all the goodness out of it.
Then it was time to get out of the tub.
Look at those puffy eyes and lips, I just love them. When he was weighed he was 10lbs 5oz and 22 1/4 inches long. i was not surprised. My mom had big babies including myself (10 lbs 3 oz) and being so overdue I figured he was getting big, but I honestly was not worried about it.
I laid in bed with the little guy on me and he started rooting around so I let him nurse.
Looking at our new baby. I was bleeding a lot, which meant that my uterus was not contracting right. I felt faint for awhile and laid on the bathroom floor so I would not pass out. Stephanie kept pushing on my stomach (uncomfortable to say the least) to try and get it to start contracting right and then finally just gave me some medicine to take and that fixed the the problem. I also got "glued" because I tore a little bit where I had scar tissue from my episiotomy with Williams birth. That is something I will always be mad at my first ob for. I did not need an episiotomy and I tore on both Gracie's and Josephs births because of it.

In all honesty after it was over I just thought, "I am never going to do that again", but I was still in pain. The next day I had changed my mind. I could do it again. It was a beautiful experience. Everything went just as I wanted it to. It hurt really bad, but I did it and I think I handled it well. Connie took a little bit of video and it was a long time before I watched it cause I didn't want to see me being crazy. When I did watch it I realized I wasn't acting crazy at all, especially since I can remember what it felt like.

When William came home from school and got to meet his new little brother.
It was hard and I wanted to recover immediately and I didn't (go figure:) but the experience of having this little boy at home was wonderful. Once I stopped bleeding (too much) the midwives quietly cleaned everything up, said some sweet goodbyes and left us to get to know our new baby. I have so much gratitude for those women, what they do, what they know, and how they love. And no matter how this little boy came into the world, I am just happy that he is here safe and sound.

The End

PS - if you are interested in watching some of the videos let me know. They are all done at an appropriate angle:)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jedi Training party

For Williams birthday party we had a Jedi training. Here they are learning the ways of the force from Russ. I got the idea to make light sabers out of swimming pool noodles somewhere online and I am glad I did (well Russ made them actually) because the boys could really fight each other and not get hurt. Their little outfits were pretty easy too, but my mom made those for me. They were no sew - just cut.
Here they are searching for asteroids under the pomegranate tree. The asteroids were just balls of foil with treat in them.
They opened them up to find Silly Bandz and Star Wars fruit snacks.
Uncle Mark helped out a ton and got the pizzas for us. Hot and Ready's have saved my life more than once.
Obi-Wan excited about something!
Grandma helping Gracie open her asteroid.
My mom helped with everything and it was a good thing because I spent the first hour of the party nursing and just before it was time for everyone to leave I was off to nurse again.
Here is Russ pouring the "Yoda soda". That was a hit.
The bee's liked it too. Here is Carter catching bee's. His mom was the helpful one taking pictures since I was not really around much and when I was, I was holding a baby.
Pretty soon Darth Vader showed up and they all got to show off their Jedi skills.
They did not want to stop fighting (poor Russ).
Then there was the cake. That was pretty much the only thing I did - the top of the cake. my mom baked it.
My mom even wrapped my present for him. Star Wars Lego's - very exciting.
And then there was Joseph, glad he showed up on time for the party. I am so thankful to everyone who helped pull this off so that I didn't have too. He loved his party and hopefully didn't notice that I was way out of it. I am sure he didn't, he was too busy fighting his friends.
What a little angel face!

On his sixth birthday

I was an emotional wreck. You see, my oldest child was turning 6 and my youngest was six days old. I felt sentimental and emotional all day. I got to go to his school and show pictures of him and talk about him and have doughnuts. It was great I loved the little program (for lack of a better term) they had for him. Russ' parents were kind enough to bring the doughnuts and my mom sat with Joseph in the car the whole time. Later that evening Russ' parents came and brought him presents to open. First was his own box of star wars fruit snacks. This kid loves fruit snacks so this was very exciting for him.
Then a colored pencil set with a sharpener. As you can see, also very exciting.

He really was excited about the coloring pad we just caught his face at an awesome moment.
Gracie did really good to just be excited for William. Maybe she is praying for a present for her right here? (She really is pretending to pray here I just don't know why) If she was praying for a present her prayer was answered.
They didn't want Gracie to feel left out so they brought her a small gift. She opened that wrapping and exclaimed, "a box!" You never saw anyone so excited to receive a box.
Don't worry, I showed her there was something inside.
Here she is looking at her new kitty knick knack with Grandma.
My brother Mark made William a white board topped box, filled with markers and an eraser. He loves it and so does Gracie. Sorry I posted so many pictures of William drawing, I just like that Russ took them in sequence.

And there you have Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon

Then we played "hot and cold" for him to find his last present from my mom. An Anikan Skywalker to put on his birthday cake for his party the next day. But that is for another post.

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