Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quite possibly...the next chapter

So, I have not mentioned it here, but I am starting my own business. I am going to be teaching early childhood general music classes out of my home starting in January!

I have a website and everything. Check it out.

More later, but...if you're local to me...spread the news! I am excited and motivated and I want students! :)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Isabelle birth story

Ok, so here is the birth story of our little Isabelle:

(minus unsavory details...plus random pictures thrown in)

she looks particularly small next to Jon
I had just commenced my maternity leave from my public school job the previous Friday (oct 12)....and it was Tuesday morning (oct 15) at 5am when I woke up feeling...

...let's say...uncomfortable.

 About every 11 minutes I was uncomfortable.

 This was ten days before her due date.

Jon and I discussed possibilities, and by that point, contractions had stopped being regular, although they were still happening. I told Jon he should just go to work (about a half hour away) and I would call if things amped up. He put his cell ringer on high.

We got Jeremiah on the bus, and that morning I actually ran some errands with Isaac (pausing to breathe through slightly more painful contractions at moments).

After lunch, I took Isaac upstairs for a nap (for him and for me).  After we slept for that nap...I woke up feeling painful contractions...just a different level than before. They still weren't that regular though.  I'd have two 45 minutes apart, then two 10 minutes apart, then 20 minutes apart...it was strange.

I decided to text Jon to see if he could come home a little earlier than normal, just because handling the two boys while making dinner would be a bit difficult while laboring...at least I assumed so.  Jon said he could come home right then if I wanted, but I told him I didn't think that was necessary.  Just come home about 1 hour earlier than normal.

I made a pasta cassarole as the boys played outside, and then laid down on the couch while Jon and the boys ate dinner.

That was a bad idea, as the contractions amped up again.  It seemed that laying down makes things progress.

Jon put the boys to bed and I called the midwife to ask what the heck I should be thinking about these fairly painful but irregular contractions. I had heard enough stories from women in my life about how they just barely made it to the hospital with their 3rd child that I had it in my mind that I did not want to do that.  Plus, I was being reminded exactly how painful labor is...about every 5 to 20 minutes.  This was about 8:30 Tuesday night.

The midwife said it would be best to wait until the contractions became more regular and call back.
So, I took a shower, Jon brought the hospital overnight bag down, and got things ready for the car.  About 10:15pm I realized that I had had five contractions 13 minutes apart, then three contractions 11 minutes apart, and was starting to have them 8 minutes apart.

Things were happening quickly!

Halloween costumes.  Isaac was throwing a fit off camera.

very sad. It was a candy overload, methinks.

We called my nana to come stay with the kids overnight; called the midwife again (I could tell I woke her up this time, and felt bad) and told her we wanted to come in.  Jon seemed particularly stressed as we waited for Nana to show up (I had a couple that were 6 minutes apart right before she showed up).

We traveled the 20 minutes to the hospital and parked (Jon wanted to do valet but I thought that was silly and said I could walk.  As I stopped to breathe through a contraction or two on the way in, a nurse brought out a wheelchair.  I really felt silly then. Oh well.)  They got us up to a room and gowned me up and the midwife checked me.  I was 6 centimeters and 100% effaced.  She commented, "Well, it's a good thing you came in!"

At this point, it all became very real to me.  I'm not sure why it wasn't real to me the entire day of having contractions, or during the hospital ride, but I can say that knowing my body was pretty much ready to pop out this baby




I was not mentally in a place where I was ready for the pain of childbirth.  I pretty much told them I wanted an epidural as soon as I was in there, so they prepped me with an IV port...or tried to.  It took the nurse two attempts and then they had to call in IV therapy (which i didn't even know was a thing) to get the needle in.  During the nurse's second attempt to get the IV in, I started crying hysterically - which, for those who know me, is really not like me.  It was certainly painful, but I think it was just as much mental for me, realizing how much pain I was in for.  Things were just progressing way faster than with the previous two labors, and it was pretty painful and I just wanted to not do it.

Unfortunately, that wasn't an option.

I got the epidural and immediately felt the need to push, which was just as painful as the contractions.  So, while the epidural took away the contraction pain, the pushing was right on top of it, and gave little relief.  I think the epidural did make things slightly more manageable...but part of me wishes I was not such a wimp and just powered through. But, I can't take it back, so I won't worry about it.

Two things I loved were the midwife and nurse with me.  I had been worried that they would judge me for wanting medication, but they were very supportive of whatever I wanted, telling me that I was still strong no matter what because I was having a BABY!  It did make me smile even though I was having a hard time leaving behind the guilt.

(Let it be known that I have no problem with medication during labors...I had an epidural with Jeremiah and it was great.  I just was wacky this time around and emotional...)

Anyway, after a few minutes of the eipdural taking effect, the midwife told me that I was ten centimeters and anytime I felt the need to push, I could.  I realized that I felt the need to push, which struck me as ludicrous, but there it was. So, I pushed, and ten minutes later...Isabelle was on my chest yelling her little head off.

Jeremiah looks like this every time he holds her. :)

She was very red with lots of black hair.  She didn't stop crying for about an hour - very different from my boys.  During the first few minutes, Jon and I looked at each other and I commented how surreal it was that this was it! She was actually here!  I feel like I can't accurately describe how...un-ready I was for all of it.  Not the bringing her home and such...just the actual labor and delivery. With the boys, I reached a point where, bodily, I was SO ready for them to be out.  I was uncomfortable and miserable, and if labor was the way to get out of the situation I was in, then so be it.

With my girl, I never got to that point.  I was still functioning, albeit with uncomfortable evenings.  But I was far from the miserable person I was right before the boys were born.  So, I guess in my head, I still had time.

But God had other plans.  And she is here!

Isaac and Jeremiah are going to be great big brothers for her.

She is such a good baby.  Very mellow, smiles a lot, rarely fusses.  She sleeps at night, and lets me sleep some too.  :)  And I feel pretty good post-partum, too. Aside from some back aches and tiredness, I feel happy and healthy - even from a few days out from the labor.

Thank you to all who have prayed us through this pregnancy and into a new time for the family.  Things are pretty peaceful for now, and let's pray for that to continue.