Things they don’t tell you about labor

Well, it’s been two weeks and I’ve managed to keep Banana alive. This is a big win for us. (I kid, I kid).

I survived the first week mostly by myself. We came home late Saturday night and Sunday/Monday night, Phil was still on night shift (so he was basically useless), and then Tuesday-Saturday he left for Florida and Washington. I did it though. With the help of my mother in law, a few friends here and there, I finally got the swing of things. I also became incredibly overwhelmed with all of the help, to the point that I had to say stop. So..my 100% honest advice is to just dive right in there. Don’t get help from people until week three. Establish routines. The hustle and bustle of people makes you feel like you need to be “on” and causes you to be even more tired. Tell people thanks for the help, but I’ll see you in a month. The baby will still be a baby in a month.

Anyway–on to the point of this post.

There were things about labor I knew (it hurt), and things about labor that I didn’t know. I’m sure I read about it, but it wasn’t until I actually experienced it that it made sense.

1). When your water breaks you don’t have to go in right away. I’m so grateful I asked how soon I had to go in. The sooner you go in, the higher the chances that you won’t progress naturally. If your water breaks and you don’t have contractions, hang out for a while. I told my story to my girlfriend who delivered at an inferior hospital in Richmond, and she was told to come right in, hooked up to pitocin right away, and was confined to her bed her entire delivery. And this was just two years ago. Also, don’t get antsy like we did. Take a nap. Relax. It will happen in due time. If we had taken a nap we might not have been so exhausted.

2) When they check to see how far you have progressed, it hurts. A LOT. This is a great time to practice your breathing and relaxing techniques. Because they will come in handy for when the real “trouble” begins. It’s not like a regular pap smear exam. This is like a whole hand in their jabbing around, I actually don’t even know what’s going on in there. A finger puppet show?

3) Moan with your contractions. I don’t even know how I knew how to do this, but good golly. Think of going into a man’s voice and repeating “low” like “looooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww”, over and over and over again. I don’t think I ever did any lamaze breathing. The moaning was more helpful.

4). Labor on the toilet. I know. Weird. But when you are sitting on the toilet, your body relaxes more and the contractions aren’t as painful (hahahahha). But seriously, they aren’t. I guess it’s just a natural thing to relax when you’re on the toilet. Whatever it is, it works. At one point I was just begging to go sit on the toilet.

5) You will try to bite your partner’s hand off. Don’t do it.

6) You will want to give up. You will curse the world. You will wish you weren’t pregnant.

7) More painful than birthing the child, is birthing the placenta. The doctors or midwives will push down very hard on your stomach. They call this a “massage”, I called this the death of me. I ended up having to do more moaning and breathing just to get through this part. It doesn’t last very long, but you feel like there is no end in sight. I had no idea about this. Silly old me just thought the placenta kinda..fell right out. Nope. It is forced out.

8) They really need to provide women who birth children with those silver blankets that marathon runners get. Within 20 minutes of delivery you will be shaking all over. Convulsing. Uncontrollably. Motrin doesn’t help. You just shake. And there is no solution. Except to keep shaking.

9) You might need a catheter to go to the bathroom the first time. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just weird seeing all that pee inside of you in a bucket/bag.

10) The next day you will be sore. Like physically uncontrollably sore. Not just your lady bits, but your whole body. For me it was my arms. I couldn’t lift them up at all. I had to have Phil brush my hair because I psychically could not.

Anyway, those are the highlights. Be prepared.

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Introducing…..

Well, actually, I’ll wait on introductions and tell you the story about a birth that is so crazy even I don’t believe it happened.

Last Wednesday (1/29/2014) my water broke. As every other blog will tell you, it didn’t feel like what it does in the movies. It just felt like a constant stream of water. Pouring down my legs. I would say that my water breaking is even more gross than birth. So, at 3pm my water broke in the middle of a meeting. I stood up, alerted the office, everyone was concerned that I needed someone to drive me home, and I assured them–I had a towel in my car, I was fine.

I called Phil. I called my new Doula, I called Labor and Delivery. And I was cool as a cucumber. I wasn’t having contractions, so Labor and Delivery told me it wasn’t urgent to come in, but if they hadn’t started to come in between 6 and 12 hours later. So, we sat around the house and waited. And waited. And waited. And contractions never started. At about 11 pm we went in, because we didn’t want to go in at 3 am.

Luckily we had that dress rehearsal, so we were more prepared, and more comfortable this time around.

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They wanted to hook me up to pitocin right away, but I asked if we could wait until we were officially at 12 hours. And we did. Long and short of it, no matter what we did we couldn’t kick start these contractions. So starting at 5 am we started the pitocin drip. And we increased it every few hours by 2 measurements, until 2 pm. And nothing happened.

I’m serious.

Nothing happened. I would have contractions for like five minutes and then they would stop. But because I was pitocin I had to be monitored constantly. Luckily MCV offers wireless monitoring, so I could walk around, but because I was so round they wouldn’t stay. Basically every time I moved or switched positions the monitors fell off. And the nurses and doctors would freak out. It was a long boring 22 hours.

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At 2 pm I asked if they would check me (oh, I forgot to mention when I checked in I was the same stats as I was a week and a half ago, 4 cmts, 100% effaced and -2). The Dr’s (who were the same doctors as before, bonus!) checked me.

One thing no one tells you is how painful it is when you get checked. Is it more painful than birth? Probably. So they check me and I’m the exact same stats as I was 18 hours ago. WTF.

I turn to Phil and start crying that they are going to make me have  a c-section because I wasn’t progressing. He reassures me that I won’t just relax and let’s get through this.

Within 30 minutes, I go into serious contractions. It turns out I had two bags of water (which is totally normal, but I am too sleep deprived to find an article to explain it better!). Basically when the dr checked me she broke my other bag of water and I was on level 18 pitocin. So I went from nothing to, it’s go time.

And holy hell. I now know why they tied women up when they had babies. Mind you I haven’t had an epidural because I still wasn’t dilated enough and at this point I didn’t want anything that would slow this process down, I was over it. I cried, I moaned, I thrashed, I tried to bite Phil’s hand. I stressed out, I screamed. I went animalistic.

So they gave me a painkiller, that put me to sleep and I only woke up every now and then to moan.

And then I screamed “I feel like something’s coming out of my butt!”. Phil ran and got the doctor, I screamed “Give me that epidural now!”. They check me. Doctor says, “Honey, no time for an epidural, it’s time to push.”

So push I did. Six rounds, of five pushes. Everytime I would get to the fifth push they would say, the baby’s right there. RIGHT there. One more push. And then I would quit. I turned to look at Phil and he had pleading eyes and said “please, just one more push..” and I pushed.

They said reach down and pull your baby out (once the head and shoulders were out, I was told to reach down and pull it up). So I reached down, they said what is it, and I looked and couldn’t focus and finally came too…

And It’s a girl!!!

Anne Rae Taylor was born at 5:15 pm on January 30, 2014. She was 6.14 lbs and 20 inches long. And she’s beautiful. And we love her. And I’ll tell you all about the what to expect when you’re in labor another day. But for now. Look at my beautiful daughter.

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PS. In case you were wondering. D finally pooped/threw up all the underwear. She ate three full bowls of food today. She will be the death of me. 🙂

Dress Rehearsal

On Sunday, I turned 36 weeks. I also experienced what it might be like if I go into labor. Maybe this kid is like me–good to be prepared? Better safe than sorry? Anyway-the point is I spent the night in the hospital Sunday night, because I apparently had nothing else better to do.

Here’s how it went down: I started having contractions. I attributed them to Braxton Hicks and thought:
“Maybe I need to drink more water,” and nope, they weren’t going away.
“Okay, maybe I need to change positions”. Nope. Not changing. Pretty consistent every seven minutes.

Phil is getting ready for work (night shift, yes!) I tell him that I think I might be having contractions. We call the doc and he says “If they continue to last for another hour or so, increase in pain, or water breaks I need you to come in.” Phil leaves for work. I decide that if I have to go into the hospital, I should wash my hair. (I hadn’t washed it since Thursday. I’m trying to wean myself off of shampoo so that my hair gets use to it. Three days is about my max). Then like an idiot, I’m standing in the shower going–“Well how the hell am I supposed to know if my water breaks if I’M IN THE SHOWER?!”

I continue to go about my business, and the contractions continue to go about theirs. I’m not ready to go to the hospital, and I am not ready for this baby to come, I MEAN THE CAR SEAT ISN’T EVEN INSTALLED. So I avoid it for as long as possible until I get a contraction that was like a feeling of  Joey Lawrence a la Blossom “Whoa.” So packed my bags (thankfully they were mostly packed) put the dogs up, but the spare key in the spare key spot and drove to the hospital. In the 10 minute drive, I did try to call all my best friends who have had babies to have them talk me off the ledge, but it is 9 pm at night and of course no one is picking up their phone.

Still not convinced that this is anything, I park my car on the street with a $700 + camera inside. So for all you ladies that go into fake labor: Remember to actually bring your bags inside. Poor Phil had to run out like five times.

I check in, I get monitored up, and my contractions aren’t even registering on the monitor. So I’m kind of like, okay than what is going on? My gal pals are texting me and I’m trying to give updates but I’m all “I DONT KNOW WHY I’M IN PAIN AND WHY COMPUTERS ARE TELLING ME I’M NOT.”

(For those who wonder, the contractions felt like period cramps that came in waves. Sometimes they were painful, but I could still talk and breath through them, but they were 100% uncomfortable and I just kept telling myself they will pass, they will pass, they will pass).

Doctor comes to evaluate me, and I’m 3 centimeters dilated, 70% effaced, and the baby is at -2. Naturally, I shot straight up and said “Am I having a baby today?!” She said maybe, and that she would check me in two hours.

And that was the longest two hours of my life. Because I couldn’t move, I was uncomfortable, I tried to read (because all the blogs said bring a book–and HAVE THESE PEOPLE EVER GIVEN BIRTH BEFORE? I read the first three sentences 50 times before throwing the book back into my bag, because that was definitely not happening). I kept telling Phil we weren’t ready, he kept saying–do you think you will be ready in four weeks? I said “can we go back to 2009 when I didn’t want kids?” he said “Too late now”.

Doctor comes back, still 3 centimeters dilated, baby is at -2, but now I’m 100% effaced and the contractions are 4 minutes apart, and we are 80% sure we are having a baby tonight. Also-Phil gets called into surgery to do a hip replacement. PERFECT TIMING WORLD.

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I do the only thing I know how to do. I cry. Hysterically. I call all the parents, I continue to cry. I am texting my girlfriends. I text my friend Heather and ask if she can come in and just sit with me because I need someone who won’t tell me it will be okay, but will be like yeah this sucks (but..it’s fine). I’ve got the doula on stand by, I’ve got painful IV’s in my arm, I have no make up on (but clean hair). And this was not my plan. The Epidural doctor comes in and goes through the concerns and I’m 99% sure I just kept nodding and saying this isn’t happening, but okay Doc–you keep telling me what’s up.

Heather comes, Phil comes, we sit in the room..Things are good. Still having contractions. Still freaking out. Still in a Hospital.

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This is why you want makeup. and a Hairbrush.

And then it’s time to sleep (but ha! because no, that doesn’t happen). There are lights everywhere, things beeping, even when you turn off the overhead lights and shut the blinds, the monitors are still on. They have given me 2 (maybe 3) saline drips, so I have to go to the bathroom just about every five minutes. And I’m hungry, but I didn’t bring snacks to the hospital BECAUSE I WASN’T HAVING A BABY.

Well, at about 4 am when I woke up for the 800th time. I looked at Phil and said “We aren’t having this baby.” My contractions had just about stopped. I was hungry, I wanted my bed. My dogs. And I wanted to not be there. So I somehow fell asleep for another hour and a half. The doctor came in and checked me, I hadn’t changed. And what do you know, I WASN’T HAVING THAT BABY.

Thank God.

So now, I have 4 weeks left. I’m 3 centimeters dilated, and I’m 100% effaced. Neat.

However, the dress rehearsal taught me the following:

  • Bring an eye mask
  • Bring your own pillow
  • Pack snacks
  • Bring ear phones
  • Bring socks (This was something I didn’t have because socks are weird to me, and that hospital is freezing)
  • Maybe put some makeup on? You’re waiting around for a while. Maybe you want to send some selfies to friends.
  • Forget the books-bring something trivial. A magazine, an Ipad, something that requires zero concentration
  • DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGER
  • Download the Sleep Pillow app. That’s the only thing that got me to sleep was the sound of a fan, coming from my phone.
  • Practice breathing exercises now, those helped tremendously when I would start to have freak outs. Thank God I started yoga early.
  • Leave detailed instructions to people who are watching your dogs. Like, please make sure bathroom door is closed or else you have this on your hands:
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Things I can’t say enough about: The nurses were fantastic. The Doctor’s were fantastic. The hospital room (minus the terrible pillows) was actually decent.

At the end of the day, Phil and I long distance high fived, went to sleep, installed the car seat, and lit a ton of candles that this baby would bake for 4 more weeks. Here’s hoping!

Sorry for the Delay

Hi y’all. I could blame this break in posting on a number of things, the holidays, having mini time off with my husband, being pregnant, whatever…but I’m back.

Where did we leave off? Oh, I broke the internet with D and her being the most adorable dog ever.

So high-level recap on my life:

1. 2 weeks ago I flew to St. Louis for my baby shower. Unbeknownst to me, my mom who lives in Japan flew in and surprised me (Thanks Dad!). It was great to see my mom, spend time with the family, see my cousins, and start plotting my move to St. Louis. It really was a wonderful shower, with delicious food, and Baby T and I are completely spoiled.

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2. Christmas! This could honestly be the first Christmas that I wasn’t disappointed in a single gift that I received. They were all great, and wonderful, and it was a really relaxing day with my in laws. Food was also included and it was delicious.

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3. I became lazy. I’m pregnant, so I can do that. Phil was on a mild vacation, so we cleaned house (barely), watched a lot of movies and TV, and just vegged. Call it a staycation.

4. New Years Eve. We went to a wedding. It was beautiful. We were beautiful.

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5. Now the countdown is on. 6 more weeks of work and then this little person arrives. To be frank, I’d be okay with 4-5 more weeks of work (but who’s counting!)

I will say, upon all of these things–we’ve ran into friends who had questions etc about pregnancy. Which like –I get. I get that people are polite and want to ask and whatever. But literally, every time I see someone and their first question is “How are you feeling?” It enrages me. I will tell you and talk about it if I want to, but if you ask me about it I immediately shut down. Mostly because I feel like there is more to me. Remember me? I’m a person. I have real things going on in my life.

Also, I FEEL FINE. I FEEL NORMAL. So as I’ve mentioned I feel like people want me to complain, but anything I have I feel like I can’t complain about it.

1. I have had heartburn twice. It’s not enough for me to bring it up and talk about because a) I don’t want to hear “just wait it gets worse” and b) people get heartburn all the time. Like people are actually on medicine for it, so no. I don’t feel like this is something to bring up.
2. The baby kicks me and it hurts. Still not going to complain. My baby is moving. It’s healthy. It will be out of here in 6 weeks.
3. Swelling. I take my rings off at night. Not worth discussing, or complaining about.
4. I get out of breath going up the stairs. But I’m in better shape than like 75% of the population, so I don’t feel like I should complain about this stuff, because I know other women have it far worse.
5. I wake up in the middle of the night and pee. Do you really want to hear me discuss my bodily functions with you?
6. I’m having trouble sleeping. BECAUSE THERE IS A 5LB BABY INSIDE OF ME. What is worth discussing about this? So you can say, oh I’m sorry that sucks?

I know all of these things suck, I don’t want to talk about them. My New Years Eve resolution was not to complain as much. In fact this the quote I hope to live by:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain”

When people ask you how your day is, and if its going great, don’t find something to complain about just to make conversation. Say you are having a great day, don’t say, it’s going great but it sucked this morning because this asshole cut me off. That’s irrelevant.

I digress. I digress because I got some unhappy news today and I just want to vent about it–but venting won’t change anything. So, I’m looking at all my silver linings, and hoping for a happy 6 more weeks.

Updates on us:

Baby is head down, yeah! Baby is about 5lbs? 17 inches? Baby is very very active. Hiccuping all the time–which I read is a good sign because it says it will be good at swallowing once it’s born, helpful for feeding situations. Baby’s legs really like hanging out underneath my right rib cage.

Next week, when I don’t feel rushed–I’ll be a bit more cheery 🙂

How I broke the Internet

Nothing to update you all with today–except for the cutest picture that was ever taken in the history of the universe  (and the picture that will break the internet because it’s so adorable)…

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My dog, D, is hugging the baby. And the baby is only kicking where her left paw is located. And that happened for 15 minutes.

And excuse me while I clean myself up from this puddle of adorableness.

78% Complete

I mean it’s nothing but countdown time.

Would love to enlighten you all with exciting moments since the last update, but not much has happened– it’s been a really mellow week (thankfully!).

Last week I was as lazy as I could possibly be to make up for being crazy busy the week before. I would like to say that I caught up on sleep–but I literally did nothing. Oh! I did laundry.

One thing that’s really been weighing on my mind is packing the hospital bag. How much is too much? What if I forget something? Should I pack it this early? I’ve found a lot of great lists (this one and this one (which isn’t so much like a hospital list but a to do list)), and about 5 trillion lists on my phone. I keep referencing the lists at least twice, if not three times a week. At this point you’d think I’d have it memorized, but I just don’t know!

So, I’m taking the plunge and starting to pack the bag now. And by starting to pack the bag, I mean I’ve identified the bag, and I have some clothes sitting on a chair and I bought BB laundry detergent.  I’m really on my A-game!

I purchased Meyers baby laundry detergent. I since have learned I can just use ALL (the one without dyes, or smells or anything), so money saving tip number one!

Since it’s Christmas time and apparently the only acceptable gift to give to women (according to Target) are PJ sets, I bought a PJ set to wear in the hospital (Treat yourself!). I also bought boy cut underwear since I’ve read that’s the most helpful thing after delivery. Odd’s are I’ll have to buy more, one pack just won’t cut it.

Other things on my list to pack are:

  • A towel from home (because hospital towels are poor)
  • Colored pillowcase (so the hospital doesn’t confuse my white with their white)
  • Eye Mask (Still need to purchase, probably will help at home with someone and their insistence on watching TV before going to bed)
  • Nursing sleep bra (still need to purchase, along with 50 other nursing bras)
  • Nursing pads (got em!)
  • Boppy (got it)
  • Copies of birth plan and phone numbers
  • Outfits for BB to come home in (clothes, jacket, wraps, mittens, hat)

Other things that I will probably pack the day of: toiletries, robe, change of clothes for leaving the hospital (new outfit–I wish…), headphones, notepad, shirt to have for labor to bring home to the dogs, camera, iPhone charger, sanity, etc.

See, even looking at that list I’m like THERE IS SO MUCH MISSING. I doubt I’ll ever get the hang of this.

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I tried to hide my bump in this dress..yeah, not happening.

BBT this week.

How Far Along: 31 weeks. I’m officially at the point of seeing my doctor every two weeks.
Size of Baby: A pineapple. I feel like all the length and weight app dates are the same as  3 weeks ago, so basically maybe the baby weighs 3.5 lbs and maybe shim’s 18 inches long.
Total Weight Gain:  As of last week 20lbs total. From the front you can’t tell, from the side, hello baby.
Symptoms: I really can’t complain about anything this week. It’s getting harder to put on stockings/pants/socks. I told Phil this morning he’s going to have to start putting on my socks for me. I think I’m starting nesting because all I can see is dirt and things that need to be picked up everywhere. Braxton Hicks are strong at night. And no sleep. I wake up at 3 am every day for like a good hour.
Eats: Same as last week. Nothing exciting. Just small portions. I ate A TON of soup last week, and I might be a little over soup. (noooo!)
Best moment of the week: Capturing baby on video. Moving like crazy. Looks like an alien.
What I’m looking forward to: Trip to St. Louis this weekend to see my family! I love, love, LOVE, St. Louis in the winter time–because everything is so Christmasy and perfect.
Milestones: All five senses are fully developed. Major brain development. Which duh, with a dad like Phil this kid is going to be pretty dang smart. Irises now react to light–if I shine a flashlight on the belly it would squirm. So it’s just getting fatter for the next nine weeks. gulp. Oh, and this kid has the hiccups all the time. Which my mom told me I had hiccups 90% of the time too–soo turns out we are related?

Two Hands!

Well the countdown has begun. We are on to two hands. 30 weeks. 10 weeks to go.

Gulp.

Everyone keeps asking us if we are ready and I’m like..I think? I suppose? Ready as we’ll ever be? My surrogate RVA mom told me this week that all babies need are a mom, a boob, and some blankets. So, I’ve got all those things plus a package of newborn diapers. We just might make it after all.

I had my first shower this weekend with just my girlfriends. It was great! I truly have the best group of girlfriends in the entire world.

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Me and my hostesses: Roper and AG
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Mimosa Bar
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Cupcakes
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EATS


( I might have another post with more pictures, I’m just waiting for my gal pals to send them to me)

I could have cried over everything that I received and all that love that was “showered” on us and BBT. I got all the necessities! Diaper cream, a bath tub, the boppy (!), feeding chair, breast milk storage, plus a million other things. Like this snot sucker outer. Which is apparently THE BEST nasal cleaner on the market at the time. The other really neat thing was that the hostesses asked for no cards and instead everyone bring a book. I got a lot of the necessities (Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are, Good Night moon, etc), but I also got a lot of books I had never heard of that were classics! The Little Prince is one that I’m really looking forward to reading with the wee one. I think the best book I received, based on the irony alone was this one:

image_6 this was my reaction: IMG_8377
My favorite gift, by far, the one that caused me to break into tears of happiness/sobs/whatevers was this gift from one my closest friends Mandy:

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Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

I started watching Friday Night Lights in October and became obsessed. It was the best show ever created. This onesie just made me have all the emotions and stuff.

Phil and I threw a Christmas Party on Friday night–people didn’t leave until 3:30 am. So it was a success? Here is our house looking festive and us looking festive:

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Baby Updates:

How Far Along: 30 weeks.
Size of Baby: A cabbage. The baby is huge. Weighs about 3 lbs and is probably close to 18 inches long. Supposedly in the next few weeks the baby will pack on more pounds than inches.
Total Weight Gain:  Zero since last time! I weigh 156 still which has me at 21.5 lbs total weight gain. With 10 weeks go to I’d say I’m doing a really good job.
Symptoms: I am giving up on breathing. It’s just impossible. And it frustrates me that I can’t walk up and down the stairs without needing to take a five minute breather.
Eats: I don’t have cravings anymore, but I have I can’t eat anymore. I’m back to August where I needed to eat only small amount of foods. No more big meals for me. Which is fine, but also kind of wasteful :/
Best moment of the week: This weekend. The Party on Friday and the Baby Shower on Saturday. It was so great to be surrounded by so many of our closest friends. (Let me just gush more about how loved we feel).
What I’m looking forward to: A little bit of decorating this weekend and seeing the 1975 on Saturday.
Milestones: Baby’s brain is growing, so less weight gain this week. As of Friday the baby is head down, but the midwife said not to get too concerned with that because it still has 10 weeks to wiggle around and settle into position.  The baby is shedding some hair (just like Hatteras!) but growing the hair on it’s head. I was bald. Odds are so will this kid. And it has the hiccups A LOT due to the air sacs inside the lungs and it practicing it’s breathing.