Friday, October 28, 2011

The honest truth

I've been having a hard time adjusting to the fact that Eliza will (likely) be our last baby. As much as I was sure about it when I was pregnant, I am now feeling all weepy and sad about it. 

Eliza is amazing, so precious, and such a blessing. 

But, I still feel like someone is missing. (And they are. Lots of someones. *sigh*) 

I sort of hoped, ignorantly, the feeling of "some one missing" would go away once we had decided that our family was complete.

It doesn't, does it?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A birth story

Where do I begin the story of Eliza's birth?  The Thursday before, when I went to the hospital with contractions then got sent home later when they stopped?  Probably not, but E tells me I can "count" all of those painful hours when I tell Eliza about her birth when she's older.

Monday morning, the 17th of October, I had a dr. appointment.  At my appointment, I was 4 cm dilated and 70% effaced.  (which was improvement from Friday morning when I was only 2.5cm.)  Dr. C. thought she'd see me later that evening.

I had contractions all day Monday, and all night Monday night.  When I say all night, I mean ALL. NIGHT. LONG.  They were about every 10 to 15 minutes apart and painful when I was laying down. 

Tuesday rolled around and I was still contracting every 10ish minutes.  More often when I was standing or walking around, and a little less often when I was sitting. 

I actually decided to go to bible study, since I couldn't really do anything at home but sit there and pray little girl came out soon.  Half way through, though, I got very tired and decided to head home early. 

I laid down for a nap when Isaac did, but continued to have contractions.  Still the same strength and no closer together. 

E happened to forget that Tuesday is dance for O, so I took all 3 kids to dance class.  During the class, I took the boys to Walmart to 1. get out of the dance studio, and 2. get some groceries.  While we were there, my contractions started to hurt a little more and a little more.  However, they weren't any closer together.

When we all got home, I was close to tears. (okay, I was IN tears.)  I was so tired from not sleeping and contracting all day.  I decided to call my doula to see if she had any suggestions for stopping the contractions.  (unfortunately, she was at the beach...)  She suggested I take a bath and see if it slowed the contractions down or sped them up.  I took a hot bath and nothing happened.  Contractions were still the same.  My doula then suggested I go get checked at the hospital.  Just in case.

But, I didn't want to go to the hospital.  Again. And get sent home.  Again. 

At this point, I did what every grown woman would do.  I called my mommy, sobbing.  I was just so dang tired.  She prayed with me and for me to have wisdom to know what to do (wait it out or go get checked.)

After a few more contractions, I decided we should probably go in to get checked.  We called my IL's again, and headed to the hospital. 

When we got there, it was crowded and we had to wait a little bit long time. While we were waiting, I noticed my contractions seemed to have slowed down.  A lot.  Like I only had one or two while we were waiting.  I looked at E and told him "I think we're definitely going home."

My name was finally called.  We went back with the nurse and the first thing I told her was that she was probably going to have to send me home since my contractions had stopped.  I told her if I was the same as the day prior, I wanted to go home- and maybe with some Ambien to help me sleep if needed.

The nurse started checking me at 8:20.  She got a very puzzled look on her face, like something was wrong.  She picked up her phone and called the night shift's head nurse.  She says "It feels like my patient is almost complete.  can you come check?"  What??  While she was continuing to check I had a contraction.  Then she says to us "oh, I guess when you contract you're a loose 7 to 8. You're not going home."

I couldn't believe it.

I called my friend Devan to come to the hospital.  (I had originally waited to call her until we knew what was going on, if they were going to keep me or send me home.  Especially after thursday's events.) 

The dr. on call came in to chat with us around 8:45.  I asked how long my body could contract only every 15 minutes.  How long would it take to deliver.  She said it could go on a very long time.  She couldn't be sure.  I decided to go ahead and have my water broken.

I completely forgot how bad it hurts with contractions after your water is broken in comparison to before.  If you don't know or remember-it's bad.

My body quickly went from barely contracting to having contractions every minute, then having them right on top of each other with a 5 second break.  It's somewhere around here that I decided I was dying.  (I now know it was transition, but it really was almost unbearable.)  I went ahead and screamed at told the nurse I wanted my epidural.  (I was dilated to a 9 at this point.)

(a side note: E was trying to talk me out of the epidural, since he knew I wanted to have a natural birth.  Devan was telling me she knew what it felt like to almost die.   I just wanted it to stop.  I believe one of my comments during this time was "Who's bright idea was it to do this naturally anyway?")

Those few minutes from the time I asked until the time it came were the longest of my life. (I was recounting it later and told E it seemed like 30 minutes.  He said, in reality, it was about 5.) After the epidural was all in, I was still having a lot of pain with my contractions.  The dr., who was still there, said that was because I got the epidural at 9cm versus 5cm, etc. 

Somewhere around 10:45, I was having some pressure with my contractions, but not constant pressure.  I thought we should let the nurse know.  The dr. came back in and checked me.  I told her that it was hurting.  The dr. said "that's because she's ready to come out."  While the nurse put my legs in the right places and the dr. was getting dressed, it started to hurt really bad.  The dr. glanced over and said "ha!  that's because she's half out!  don't push!"

Now, there's a phrase I've heard in prior birth experiences.  And, it's a big.fat.joke.  I wasn't pushing.  I was contracting.  The baby was just coming out.

Luckily, the dr. was in the room, so she came over to talk to me and told me to go ahead and push whenever I felt like pushing.  I gave a push, and the pain was so intense. (I asked later about the pain, and my OB said, again, it was the time issue.  the epidural just didn't have a lot of time to get into my system.) I was certain that if I continued to push, I'd tear like I did with Isaac (super bad, people.  I won't go into detail, but 30+ stitches.) I asked if she could give me a small episiotomy (my regular OB and I had talked about this prior to my pushing.  that was our original plan to avoid the damage I had with Zeke.) She gave me a tiny little cut, and the baby came sliding out.

Now, when I look back on those last few minutes, it seems like it took forever.  In reality, E said it was 3 minutes from my first push to birth.  3 minutes. Total time from getting into my room to birth: 2 hours and 33 minutes.

so, yeah.  Maybe it was a good thing I went in and got "checked".

Welcome to the world, Eliza Claire!

Her cry was so loud!  Several nurses commented on her "set of lungs"
She was still mad.  We found out a few minutes later it was because she had pooped and peed.
Cleaned up and ready to eat.

All settled in our room, and just had a snack.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

meet Eliza

I can't wait to share her birth story.  However, she's totally into nursing/sucking non-stop right now.  It'll have to wait until we get out of the hospital.

Meanwhile, meet our sweet Eliza.  She was 7lbs 3 oz and 19 inches long.  Born last night, at 10:54 p.m.

We are so in love!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

In 4 weeks, when I'm holding her, none of this will matter

Right now.  Well, right now I'm feeling a lot of emotions.  (Actually, in addition to emotions, I'm having a painful contraction...)  Anger, sadness, jealousy, impatience.  You know, all good emotions. ;)

Thursday morning, I had an OB appointment.  My OB stretched me, (I was still the same as the previous week, though, with NO change.  boo.) but didn't expect to see me until Monday, during my next appointment.

Thursday afternoon, I woke up from my nap with contractions, around 2:30.  They got stronger and closer together.  Before I actually decided to "go in" they were about every 2 minutes apart.  It took a while for us to gather every thing up and for my in-laws to head over. 

By the time we got to the hospital, it was 7pm and I had been contracting every 2 minutes for 2 hours.  The nurse (who was very new) checked me and I was...wait for it... STILL THE SAME!  Gaah!

So, my doula met us there, got all of our stuff set up, and we went to town with our birth plan: intermittent monitoring, just an IV port, and lots of walking and bouncing on the ball.  I had a lot of contractions, mostly still every 2-3 minutes apart until about 12:30 am.  At this point, they had to keep me on the monitors a little longer because they wanted to watch baby girl's heart rate a little closer.  My contractions started to space out to every 5 minutes.  Then to every 10.  By 2:00, they were only every 15 minutes or so. 

At 2:30, they checked me again and I was the same dilation as in previous checks, but I did make progress in effacement.  Up to 80%.  Trust me, better than nothing, but still frustrating.

By 3:00, my contractions had stopped completely.  I sent my doula home, and we tried to get some sleep.  I was up, for good, at 4:30.  My OB came in at 6 and sent us home.

I have no words for the emotions I felt in that moment.  Or, rather, not enough words.  I had to pack up our stuff, walk down the hall, and out of the hospital with no baby.  Not to mention I had to answer all of the posts on facebook.

So, since Thursday, I've felt like hiding in a hole.  I don't want to see anyone who knows me who might know what happened.  have ANYONE say "oh, you're still pregnant?"  or"You didn't have that baby, yet?" or better yet, my favorite (strickly because I *know* this.  I *know* it.) "She'll come when she's ready."

I don't even want to venture into church tomorrow.  I already told E, as we were leaving in the hospital, that he was going to have to go with out me.

I know I'm being childish.  Especially with the people at church.  They love me and care about me.  But, maybe that is what makes it worse?  Maybe because they know that this pregnancy is my longest yet, and that we've been waiting for baby G's arrival for WEEKS now?

Or because I'm embarrassed.  Okay.  that's probably it.

I'm starting to remember that there is nothing more frustrating in the world than realizing I AM NOT IN CONTROL!  Even though I try to control, I cannot.  Whether it be the birth of my baby girl, the many miscarriages we had, my daughter's anxiety, or my son's speech.  I cannot control everything.  In fact, I have very little control. 

That, my friends, is humbling.  And sort of infuriating.  Now I know remember why my toddler throws things when he doesn't get his way.  It's from the lack of control. 

Now, what can I throw?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear baby George

Dear Baby George,  (Don't worry.  We won't call you that once you're born.  Well, at least I won't.  One of your big brothers might.)

Let me start by saying that I appreciate your apparent love for me, your momma, and my uterus.  However, we'd love it if you came out soon.  Your growing body and growing home is starting continuing to make mommy miserable. 

Tomorrow would be an excellent choice for a birthday.  For one, mommy's doctor is on call.  All day.  For two, and more importantly, it's the anniversary of your Aunt Becky's death.  I know it might seem weird to share a birthday with that occasion, but your Grandma, Grandpa, and Daddy would enjoy having something positive/fun to think about on October 13 every year, in addition to remembering Aunt Becky's life. 

So, feel free to come out tomorrow and meet the world.  We can't wait to love on you!


p.s. Tomorrow technically starts at midnight.  Just so you know. ;)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bubbles and bellies

Our big kids had fall break this past Thursday, Friday, and Today.  Since E had to work all of those days, we decided to take the kids to do something fun on Saturday.  We headed to Birmingham bright and early, stopping at a doughnut shop in Culman first (um, yum!  Haven't had one in ages and the one I did have was still warm.  heaven.)

We spent most of our morning/early afternoon at the McWayne Science Center.  We had free passes for the kids, so we made out pretty cheaply (well, $24 for all of us.)

Most of the museum was pretty dark, so I couldn't really get any pictures.  The bubble exhibit, however, was right in front of some windows, so I got a few. 

My favorite picture of the day: 

 All three kids trying to make a bubble.

It was a fun day.  2 of the 3 kids fell asleep on the way home and slept most of the time.  The other kid, A, listened to a book on CD.  E and I actually had some conversation time.  Which was nice. :)

I had an OB appointment today.  38 weeks.  Unfortunately, nothing has changed since last week's appointment.  Not a gosh.dang.thang.   Not that I'm having a hard time or anything. ;) 

Patience is not a virtue of mine.  Well, I'd like it to be, but I tend to get anxious and worry.  About stupid stuff, too.  *sigh*  Anyway, here's a picture from before my appointment.

I have lots on my mind today, all mostly baby related.  However, A has a birthday party to attend, and I need to get the littlest down for a nap.  Since nothing is going on baby wise, I'm sure I'll have time to blog more tomorrow. ;)

Monday, October 3, 2011

hearing the little voice in your head and 37 weeks

Another funny story from my little man, A.

E got into the shower the other night, and noticed that there was a cup full of body wash in the corner.  A is the only one who takes showers unsupervised in our shower (well, minus the adults, of course) so E knew it was his doing.  When he got out of the shower, E disciplined A.  Following the discipline, he sat A on his knee and started talking a little bit about his conscience.

E: "You know that little voice in your head that tells you when you shouldn't do something?  That's God telling you that you aren't obeying or doing what Mommy and Daddy want you to do.  You need to listen to that little voice."

A: "I couldn't hear the little voice.  The shower was too loud."

E and I both almost burst out with laughing.  I  mean, seriously, you guys.  Where does a 5 year old get these things?