Birth Story

Birth Story

We left our house around 6:45 AM on Monday April 16th. It was strange to be driving to the hospital to have a baby while not in labor. We checked in and were taken to our room. I used the restroom, and found that I had lost the remainder of my mucus plug. I changed […]

Birth Story

We left our house around 6:45 AM on Monday April 16th. It was strange to be driving to the hospital to have a baby while not in labor. We checked in and were taken to our room. I used the restroom, and found that I had lost the remainder of my mucus plug. I changed into the hospital gown. The nurse started the IV. It took her a couple of tries, which mystified me because I have nice visible palpable veins that don’t roll, and no one has ever had a problem before. She then hooked me up to a monitor, and the doctor came in and checked me. I had progressed to 3 cm and 90% effaced. He attempted to break my water, which was very painful. I may have cried a tiny bit. He was not successful, probably because there was hardly any there….

They finally started the pitocin around 8 AM. My husband and I walked around our floor for about two hours. The contractions got progressively stronger. We got tired and bored of walking around, so we went back to our room. I sat on a birthing ball while we watched an episode of Modern Family on the computer. I was very uncomfortable by this time, so I told myself that when the show was over, I could ask for my epidural. My husband said something about not thinking I was ready yet. I’m really not sure if he thought I was not in enough pain yet or if he didn’t think I had progressed enough. Either way, I gave him a dirty look and asked anyway. The nurse checked me, and I was 6 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I got the epidural about 20 minutes later. It was wonderful. However, I could still feel the contractions on the upper part of my uterus, and I could feel pressure in my pelvis with every contraction. It wasn’t really painful though, so when the anesthetist came back in and asked if we were friends, I said ‘yes.”

I took a nap, and when I woke up, I informed a nurse that I was having increasing pelvic pressure with contractions. She told me that my nurse was at lunch, and she would check me when she got back. By that time, I was complete! She called my doctor, and he came over to deliver the baby. The nurse told me to push while the doctor was gowning up, but then started yelling to stop because the head was right there and no one was ready to catch her. I ended up pushing twice, and then there she was: our 6 pound 9 ounce, 20 inch wailing bundle of joy! She was perfect, and I have never been so happy to hear a baby cry! We named her Lauren Michelle.

He ended up doing an episiotomy, so I had a few stitches. I also asked about the cord and placenta because of all of the concern about her weight and fluid. He said the cord was nice and thick, but really long. He considered the cord’s length to be irrelevant though. He said the placenta looked normal, but he sent it to a lab for analysis. I will be interested to know if they find anything wrong with it.

We had a lot of visitors both in the hospital and once we got home. (Side-note: it was really nice to come home to a super clean house). Our son was very clingy and whiny at first, but he is adjusting and has been nothing but gentle. Lauren is doing well. I wake her every 3 hours during the day to nurse, and she usually wakes up once or twice in the night. She is very sweet, and we love to snuggle her. I am looking forward to being her mom and shaping her growth. Thanks for following my journal!

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Pregnancy Journal: Week 39

39 Week Journal

At my specialist appointment this week, the fluid had decreased to 5.0. I thought maybe they would decide to induce that day, but the doctors suddenly did not seem very concerned and assured me everything would be fine until the induction date. At my regular appointment, he didn’t do a non-stress test or anything. He just checked my cervix, blood pressure, and the baby’s heart rate. My cervix had not changed, but my blood pressure and the baby’s heart rate were both good.

We had a busy weekend. My husband’s concert was Friday night. His kids did a great job! we also had our carpets cleaned, which was harder than it sounds because we had to move a very heavy couch (the kind that reclines) and a very heavy piano. My husband’s dad came over to help with that since I’m not strong enough even in my non-pregnant state. On Saturday, I worked my last Urgent Care shift for eight weeks. It was actually pretty slow, and I read a whole book, which was nice. On Sunday, we cleaned, planted flowers, hung pictures, changed light fixtures, and otherwise prepared our house for the market. I was exhausted! I also lost part of my mucus plug later in the evening, which didn’t mean much since I was being induced in less than 12 hours anyway.

Exercise: walking and cleaning

Weight: 151 pounds (up one for the week and 36 for the pregnancy)

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Pregnancy Journal: Week 38

My appointments went great this week! I saw the specialist for a BPP and measurements. Baby’s fluid was between seven and eight. She was practice-breathing and moving. Her heart rate was 150. But the most exciting part was her measurements; according to the ultrasound, she now weighs 6 pounds 11 ounces! This is the 42nd percentile, and we consider it huge! The reason I started seeing a specialist in the first place was because she was small – about the 8th percentile at 25 weeks. At that time, he told me that I would be lucky to have a 4.5 pound baby, but she has continued to get bigger and make up percentiles. In the last two weeks, she must have had a growth spurt though because she went from the 19th to the 42nd percentiles. I just can’t believe how big she is. My son was only 6 pounds 1 ounce.

I also had an appointment with my regular doctor. He did a non-stress test, which looked good. My blood pressure was fine, and there hasn’t been any change in my cervix. I am still 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced. He always asks if I am having contractions, but I very rarely notice any. I don’t think I had much in the way of Braxton-Hicks with my first pregnancy either. We also set up an induction day, though I really don’t want to be induced. I would really prefer to go into labor naturally, but since I am being monitored so closely because of her low fluid, he says everyone will be relieved to see her out where she is no longer in danger of cord compression. I want what’s best for her, so I agreed. It looks like her birthday will be Monday April 16th unless she comes on her own before then. I will be 39 weeks 2 days at that point. It is nice to have an end-date and to be able to plan a little bit, particularly because my husband has a couple of concerts coming up and because we need to figure out what we will do with our two-year-old……

Aside from doctor visits, I have been nesting like crazy. Part of the nesting is due to the approaching birth of the baby, but part of it is due to the fact that our house is going on the market soon, and I am trying to prepare for that. We met with two real estate agents and chose one. He is ready to move fast, so we are getting our carpets cleaned this week and doing some other cleaning that isn’t regularly done (at least in our house) like washing windows, dusting blinds and ceiling fans, etc.! I think he wants to list it the 20th, which is 4 days after the induction, and not really ideal for me. Apparently the Friday before the agent tour is a good time to do it though, so we’ll make it work. Wish us luck!

We had a nice Easter visiting with my family out at my aunt’s farm with a big egg/candy hunt for the kiddos. We then went to my husband’s parents’ house to visit with his side of the family. We were so thankful for beautiful weather and getting to enjoy spending the day outside with family. We came home with way too much candy though (and candy is a major weakness for me – just what I need while I’m trying to lose the baby weight…..)

Exercise: just walking, but I got permission to walk longer distances (about 40 minutes a day) in hopes of encouraging a natural start to labor. So far, it has not helped with that, but I have been enjoying the longer walks.

Weight: 150 pounds (up one for the week and 35 for the pregnancy

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Pregnancy Journal: Week 37

I am officially full-term, which is so exciting! Baby’s lungs should be developed by now, so anytime is a good time for her to be born. I had two appointments again this past week. I saw the specialist at the beginning of the week and had a BPP and a non-stress test. The BPP was great; she was practice breathing and moving around. Her blood flow looked great, and her fluid was around 7. Her heart rate was a bit fast during the non-stress test, but the doctor wasn’t too concerned since it demonstrated a lot of variability plus she was moving quite a bit.

My second appointment was with my regular doctor, but he did a non-stress test and an ultrasound just to check the fluid. The non-stress test was good; her heart rate wasn’t even high this time! It was, however, quite obvious that my doctor is not accustomed to doing ultrasounds and also that his office ultrasound machine is a bit dated. With the nurse’s help, he managed to get an AFI done though. It was 8.4, so we were all happy. My group B strep test came back negative, so that’s good – one less thing to worry about. I am still 75% effaced, but am now also 1 cm dilated. The doctor proclaimed me to have a “favorable cervix” should he have to induce labor. Things seem to be going pretty well though, so hopefully I will get to go into labor on my own…..

Next week, they will do measurements to see how big she has gotten. I am hoping she weighs six pounds, but we’ll see…..

My only new pregnancy symptom is difficulty sleeping. It’s not horrible, and I AM sleeping. I just have more trouble finding a comfortable position, wake up once during the night to use the restroom, and then wake up fairly early in the morning (earlier than I would like) and can’t get back to sleep.

We are pretty sure we have decided on a name for Baby Girl. It is not on her wall or anything, but we have been calling her Lauren instead of Baby. Our son has been talking about playing cars with Baby Lauren and sharing his doggies with her. We try to tell him that it will be a little while before she is able to do those things, but he’ll probably just have to wait and find out for himself.

In other news, we have two real estate people coming on Friday afternoon to look at our house and give us a market analysis. We’re hoping to get our house on the market in the beginning of May, shortly after the baby is born. This seems very stressful to me, but we don’t want to miss home-buying season. We have also been looking at houses we might want to buy, which is more fun. However, we really want our new house payment to be less than our current one, so we are eliminating quite a few houses.

Exercise: just short after-dinner walks

Weight: 149 pounds (up two for the week and 34 for the pregnancy)

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Pregnancy Journal: Week 36

I am still pregnant!

I actually had two appointments last week (one with the specialist and one with my regular doctor.) At the appointment with the specialist, I had an ultrasound for a BPP (biophysical profile). The fluid was better at 7.4, so we were happy about that. Baby Girl was taking a nap in there though, so she wasn’t practice breathing or moving. They ended up buzzing her to wake her up. It’s such a funny sensation to feel/hear the buzzer and then to feel the baby jump in response to the buzz. After she woke, she started moving and practice breathing right away.

A few days later I saw my regular OB doc. The appointment started with a non-stress test (my first), and the heart-rate was high. It was running around 160-170 at baseline with accelerations up in the 190s. She was running around like crazy during this test, but it still made my doctor nervous. He ended up checking my cervix to see if my body is anywhere near being ready to deliver if that becomes necessary. I was 75% effaced, but not at all dilated. He also did the Group B Strep test, which I’m guessing I will get the results for this week. He then sent me back upstairs (to the specialist) because of his concern over the heart-rate. The fluid was 9.4, which is the highest it’s been! Then they hooked me up to another non-stress test, and her heart-rate was much lower with a baseline in the 140s and accelerations in the 160s. She had gone back to sleep and only moved a few times during the test, which is probably why it was lower. Two hours later, I went home.

Because this baby could be born anytime now, I packed my hospital bag. I didn’t pack one until the morning my water broke during my first pregnancy, but I ended up forgetting a lot of things and sending my husband home to get them. I think he made two or three trips 🙂 I have also been trying to make sure the house is clean every night (especially the nights before appointments) in case the doctors (or the baby) decide that she would be better off out than in.

My symptoms are the same: heartburn/reflux, frequent urination, and hip/pelvic discomfort. I expect these to continue until the baby is born.

The highlight of the last week was the variety show at my husband’s school. He actually sang at it with a couple of other teachers. It was fun to watch him. There were a lot of other good acts as well. It was a fundraiser to help raise money for a new auditorium; I haven’t heard how much they made from it, but my guess is that it was not nearly enough. I believe they need to raise $350,000, but i suppose every little bit helps….

Exercise: not much. I go for short walks with my family after dinner now that the weather is nice. I am really looking forward to running again after the baby is born.

Weight: 147 pounds (up 2 for the week and 32 for the pregnancy)

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Pregnancy Journal: Week 35

At my 35 week appointment, there was good news and there was bad news. The good news was that the baby gained a whole pound (in two weeks), so she now weighs five pounds and is in the 19th percentile for weight. The bad news was that her AFI (amniotic fluid index) was down to 4.0. Anything less than 5 is worrisome. He gave me the option of being admitted for IV fluids or drinking a lot of water and seeing him again in four days. I chose to drink a lot of water. I have been drinking about 6 liters of water and a 20 oz gatorade for the past three days, and my appointment is tomorrow. My understanding is that if the AFI is above 5, baby stays put for a bit longer. If it is below 5, we deliver. I’m hoping to stay pregnant for two or three more weeks, but of course, my number one goal is to do whatever is best for the baby. Aside from the low fluid, Baby Girl continues to look healthy with good blood flow and symmetric growth. My blood pressure also continues to be good. I’ll be interested to hear my doctor’s assessment of the placenta once she is born, and he takes a look at it.

My pregnancy discomforts include heartburn/reflux and just recently (probably the last two days) my hips have been hurting. I assume it’s from the relaxin hormone preparing my body for delivery. Obviously, I also have frequent urination, which is expected when a person who is 35 weeks pregnant drinks more than six liters of fluid in a day. However, it is not quite as frequent as I had anticipated it might be; maybe that means the extra fluid is going to the baby?

We have been thinking of selling our house and moving about 30 miles away to the smaller town where my husband teaches. We need to do some de-cluttering first, but we are hoping to get the house on the market in May. I have never sold a house, but I can already tell that it is stressful and not fun. Buying a house, on the other hand, is fun. We went through three open-houses on Sunday and found one that we both really liked. We have to sell our current house before we can buy anything else, but if it’s still on the market, it might be our winner 🙂

Exercise: two hour-long walks and a couple of shorter walks. The last few days, I have been trying not to do anything that might make me sweat (in order to conserve fluids.)

Weight: 145 pounds (up one for the week and 30 for the pregnancy)

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