Monday, December 30, 2013

Colin's Birth Story

I re-read the last blog post. I really shouldn't blog while I am sleep deprived. But if I don't then I won't remember the details once I have more energy.

I like to document how my children come into this world. Not only for my own record to reflect on, remember for the next child and for others to learn from, perhaps? I am NOT saying we ARE planning on having another. That is a decision that is personal and not to be determined right now.

Anywho, here are the details.

My due date was December 27th, the exact same day Jocelyn was born. The girls were both early (12 and 6 days respectively) so I thought there might be a chance that this baby would be early. But I was really insistent on not having a Christmas day baby or a shared birthday with Jocelyn. So my midwives said they would be willing to schedule an induction one week before his due date and only if my body was ready to be so. I tried preparing it by drinking red raspberry leaf tea, staying busy doing household chores, activities with kids (mentioned in previous post), etc. By my last appointment (the Monday before he came) I was dilated to a 2 and my cervix was soft enough to be induced.

All that week I was hoping he would come on his own though. I have experienced pitocin with Jocelyn and it was intense. Fast but really intense. I didn't want to use pitocin again because of my previous experience but the other options would have been less effective and sounded just as uncomfortable.

They would only schedule inductions on weekdays and at 39 weeks which was great because December 20th, a Friday was exactly that. I wanted him to be born on my Mom's birthday the next day but that was a Saturday so they wouldn't schedule it.

So the Thursday night before, after our power went out, I could not sleep! I tossed and turned all night and I was not experiencing peace of mind. I kept thinking of how hard it was going to be the next day and I was worried. The next morning I was to call them at 7am to see when I could come in. So I woke up at 6:30 to shower and be ready. I called at 7am and the nurse sounded a bit distracted or frantic? I couldn't even speak with the charge nurse to get a time because she said they experienced some unexpected emergencies the night before and they were really busy (I think due to the bad weather and a full moon....does strange things). So I was allowed to eat a light breakfast and to call back in an hour. I did and they were still too busy. So I was to wait 2 more hours! Ugh. I knew I could get bumped because I was an elective induction, not emergency. I just didn't want to get bumped to the next day because then I would have another day to worry. So I took a nap which was wise. I told Rose to go run some of her errands and to be on call if the hospital called sooner.

They called at 10:30 and we arrived around 11 am. Rose took Cecily shopping and the other two kids were still in school until 2pm. Thanks to Rose for watching them all day!

Condensed version for those who don't really care about the nitty gritty!
11--check-in to hospital
12--start Group-B-Strep meds
4pm--They break my water
5pm--They start pitocin
7:04pm--He's born!

Read on for the details:

Right before the IV. Yikes!

 This was taken earlier in the week.

By the time I got checked in at the hospital and my IV in with Group-B Strep (not the same thing as strep where your throat hurts) meds it was noon. They gave me the only room with a birthing tub because I was choosing to go naturally. However, I never ended up needing it. So from noon until 3:30pm I just waited. My midwife wanted the meds to be in my system for at least 4 hours before we started labor so that we could try to get the 2nd dose in before he was born, to limit risk of respiratory problems with the baby. During this time Tyler went home to get the ipod charger for my "relaxing" music and lunch for himself. I was allowed to eat jello, graham crackers and drink powerade. That was refreshing as I was starting to get hungry and was getting a headache. I also had him bring the movie Christmas Vacation to watch because we hadn't seen it this season yet. By the time he got there we barely finished the whole thing. I was sort of watching and trying to laugh even though I was a bit nervous. OH, I forgot to mention that I had Tyler give me a Priesthood blessing right before I got the strep meds. He said I need to be patient and that I would have peace of mind. Both things I was praying for all week.

At 4pm Jennifer, my midwife, gave me a few choices. We could start pitocin right away or break my water and see if I went on my own. I was dilated to a 3 at this point. I opted to have my water broken. It didn't hurt. Yay. The nurse suggested I walk around for an hour. If not much was happening we agreed to start the pitocin in one hour. So I walked the halls, alone. Tyler happily played on the laptop. I ran into an old friend from the Brick Oven. His wife just had a C-section delivery that morning because she was induced and her baby flipped bum down. That was not very encouraging as I was about to get pitocin. So I kept walking and texted Jennie as if she were my doula. It would have been nice to have her there but it couldn't be. Contractions were very light (they still felt like Braxton Hicks with the occasional contraction) and 10 minutes apart. After an hour of walking I was kind of bored so went back to the room.

The nurse came back a few minutes later and she was ready to start the pit. In my mind I said, "Okay, let's do this!" Tyler was now hungry and wanted to get some dinner. I told him, "No way. You need to stay here because this is when it gets intense." So he went to the snack room and got a coke and some soda crackers. We dimmed the lights and turned on my "birthing" music. At 5:10pm she gave me the lowest dosage of pitocin, in an IV. Luckily, she found a warm bag of it so it didn't freeze my veins like it did with Jocelyn. The contractions did not start as strong as they did with Jocelyn. They were getting stronger than the hour before and were now 6-7 minutes apart. I thought, "Okay, I hope this isn't a long night and they don't have to increase the pitocin." But by 5:30 they started to be 3 minutes apart and were stronger. Jennifer came in and suggested I move around. She brought in this big plastic peanut shaped ball. It was different than the birthing balls in that it was shaped like a peanut and lower to the ground. So I sat on that and on the contractions Jennifer would push on my knee and my back gently as I held onto the bed. They were getting harder and I was now needing to breath on the contractions. At one point, during contractions, after one of them peaked, I started laughing. Then Tyler laughed because the monitor showed that it was "off the charts" like a really intense contraction but that I wasn't reacting that hard. We were both laughing and the nurse asked if she was missing some inside joke. I said, "No, it just feels good to laugh right now." That only lasted a couple contractions.

At 6:15 she checked me again because I moved to the bed. I was dilated to a 6! I decided to stay on the bed as the contractions were now getting harder and more consistent. I knew that he would be coming soon because I was nearing transition. The nurse said her shift ended at 7 and she wanted to see this baby before she left, I told her I would do my best to make that happen. That actually encouraged me to stay focused on relaxing and bearing down. At 6:45 I asked her to check me again. I was at an 8! Almost there! I was starting to breath a bit faster and Jennifer reminded me to keep my voice at a lower register as I was breathing/moaning through the contractions instead of in my chest because it's more productive that way. I was still talking in between contractions at this point. But then a few contractions later things were getting intense and the I could feel the ring of fire and I couldn't talk anymore. It was time! She checked me and I was complete. I could push now! She called in the nurses with some urgency and they got everything set up and told me not to push on the next contraction yet. She said I could stay in the laying down position. Sweet, I didn't have to move. at about 7pm, I am guessing, I could push on the next contraction. THIS is when it hurt. Both Tyler and Jennifer both said though that I was making it "look easy" because I apparently seemed very focused and not in any discomfort during that last hour. Ha! I certainly was uncomfortable. But once I pushed, it only took one long, hard push. Tyler told me he had hair! Yay! I smiled and kept pushing with my eyes closed and legs folded up to my chest and I remember saying out loud, "Ouch, ouch....ouch!" but then soon it was over. He was born at 7:04 pm (and coincidentally weighed 7 lbs 4 oz)! They placed him on my chest and I opened my eyes. I was so relieved. He was beautiful. I laughed, cried and smiled as I looked for Tyler's face to smile at. It was over! Hopefully my last delivery! It was awesome and I was so glad that I was patient, had peace of mind and even though I was so out of shape I had the energy to go through with it and with no complications. It was another great experience.

Colin Steven
December 20th
7:04 pm
7 lbs 4 oz, 21" long

He passed his tests with flying colors and did not have Juandice! Yay! I'll post later about his first week :)

He's a sweetheart and we all love him dearly.

Gollum's feet? According to Samuel they are.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pre-Baby post

I wanted to blog a little before the baby came but that didn't happen. I have kind of fallen off the blogging train. Perhaps this can be a New Year's resolution--to blog more. But....I haven't even thought about resolutions yet because that would require more brain power.

The two weeks leading up to Colin's birth was full of anticipation, nerves, and stress. After Thanksgiving totally wore me out (mainly from cleaning my house for two days straight before guests came) and I swelled up like a blow fish, whale, sausage? I was totally beat. I had almost all Christmas shopping done but I had still had a bunch of things to do on my "nesting" to-do list. Here are a few of them plus a few activities hoping to keep the kids distracted (from Christmas.....they were going bonkers since Halloween and the excitement just grew each day).

When we renewed our Pass of all Passes for Seven Peaks we got $20 Arcade tokens with each pass--that's $100 worth of tokens. They expired the end of this year so I didn't want them to go to waste. So when the Stoehr's and Furber's were in town for Tyler's Christmas MOTAB concert we headed to Lehi to play some games. I shared some of the arcade money with the family and we all had enough to be entertained for 2 hours....on a school night, no less! Eeek. I didn't take enough photos but Cecily mostly hung out with me. She got to play mini bowling. It was totally fun and just her size. In the lanes next to her were Trent and Carson with Jana/Troy and Steve playing too. It was fun to watch Cecily do a little jig every time she knocked down some pins. Jocelyn hung out with Emily and Samuel and Steph played this pirate game and at the end I took over Steph's role and Samuel totally beat it! Too bad that game was broken and not offering tokens/tickets because he would have got a boatload of them. Each child got to go home with fun prizes, all of which broke within the week. Oh well, they were free.

Also on my to-do list: Get pedicure and eyebrows waxed so that even though physically I looked like a whale mentally I did not want to. Thanks to my in-laws for being willing to watch Cecily so I could go. They also helped me fold laundry, clean the kitchen and wrap Christmas gifts! Although company is sometimes hard to prepare for when 9 months pregnant, sometimes I decide not to care and not worry what they will think of my housekeeping skills and just not stress about them coming. Then, they help out with what I needed to get done anyway! Thank you Stoehr's and Furber's!

Before the Stoehr's/Furber's came I knew I wanted to mop the floor but did not have the energy or back strength to do so. After Cecily watched Tangled she came upstairs and felt inspired to clean! Yay for Princess movies that motivate! So I taught her how to mop. She did the most of the kitchen/dining floor before she got burned out and she did a pretty good job too! It was such a blessing.

Tyler surprised me with a bouquet of flowers the last night of his concert series. We have learned that the busyness for MOTAB only increases as the year progresses. He had practices two nights a week plus practice from 7:30 until 11:30 am, instead of the usual 7:30-10 am on Sunday's for the last two months. Needless to say, he's been busy and tired and I have too, as I get to hold down the fort and wrestle the kids at church. So he surprised ME with the flowers. It was sweet and thoughtful. Thanks Mom and Dad for picking them up at Costco for him. I was able to attend the Christmas concert (secretly hoping I'd go into labor during it) with my parents and sister Rose. It was a pretty good concert. My favorite part included the actor John Rhys-Davies and his narration of the Christmas Carol background and the Nativity. I was glad his crazy concert season was almost at an end too.

I have had this on my To-Do list for a long time: organize the linen closet. I had organized it when we moved here this summer but it started to get out of control. I wanted to make chalkboard labels for a long time but that required me getting my vinyl cutting machine out and setting it up, etc. So one night I just got bunch of things cut. Including these labels (not the ones that are clipped onto the baskets....I bought those for party labels on Etsy a while back and hadn't used them yet.) and the vinyl for my Menu board (below) that took 18 months to complete, lol. Now I feel we can find things easier and Tyler doesn't have to ask where a specific medication is when he needs one

I made this last year when we lived in the basement apartment. We had little to no cabinet space and I need a place accessible to our spices. So I bought a bunch of metal magnetic spice containers and stick on labels. I can show a photo of this project later, if you request it. It fit about 100 containers because it's an old medicine cabinet I bought on KSL for $3. I painted it, removed the shelves inside and put the spices in it's own cabinet. We mounted it above the stove so we had easy access. I covered the mirror with chalkboard vinyl and had planned to use it as a menu board but didn't really use it much. But when we moved to our new home we had a nice big drawer to put the spices so I wanted to use this board still. It hangs in the dining room now. I finally printed the vinyl for it and now I will try to actually use it as a menu board (when my meals are actually not changing every other night). 

The day before Induction day our power went out. I tried to stay calm and took advantage of being forced to slow down a bit and rest. I was going to clean the bathrooms that day but without any light it's kind of hard. So I organized the linen closet instead (which is kind of a slow activity--it's kind of fun and I was able to sit on the ground and sort through lotions, eye stuff, teeth stuff, etc into piles). I wasn't planning on getting it done before Colin came. It was on my list but not a priority for a baby to come so I wrote it off as getting done next year. But the power went out at 8am. It didn't come back on until 10:30 that night. So for 12.5 hours we had to find other things to do. The labels were already made so I just had to organize and put back together. Then Cecily and I mated socks while resting on my bed. Here she is as the "sock sniffer". She was playing a dog game and it was her idea....they were all clean already so the sniffing was not necessary but made it more fun.

Because we had no power once the sun went down at 5:30 pm it dropped to 63 degrees inside and was dark, of course. Tyler came home right before it grew dark and prepared. I was so glad to see him home a bit early. We had a few flashlights and candles but not enough to keep warm. Luckily, we had firewood from cutting down a stupid sumac tree from our front yard. So Tyler and Samuel, after shoveling the driveway and sidewalk for the third time that day (oh yeah, there was an ice storm that morning and it snowed all the night before and part of the day--so I was NOT going to brave the unpaved roads to warm up shopping at Target or elsewhere) they went out to the backyard and gathered wood. Tyler started a fire and we all huddled around it. It was actually the perfectly calm night before I was to be induced that I needed. I then made dinner (because I had thawed out chicken that morning thinking we'd have power soon). Tyler reminded me that although the gas stove runs on gas it needed electricity to spark it. BUT we could also use a match, duh. So I made a simple dinner wearing a head lamp and we ate at the table under candlelight and my vase of red roses. It was like we were at a romantic restaurant. haha. I have no idea how people did this every night back in the days before electricity. After we were done eating I could feel crumbs on the table but couldn't see well enough, even after wiping it off. The next morning revealed what a crappy cleaning job I did in the dark, lol. We also enjoyed hot cocoa for dessert. We had no distractions of electronics (my phone was now dead). The kids had fun cozying up by the fire and then doing light shows in the living room and there was little fighting. It was Tyler's dream come true to sit by a fire like this, he said, because he had never experienced a power outage for this long. We got the sleeping bags out of the garage and they made little beds right by the fire because it would have been too cold downstairs in their bedrooms. They were asleep by 8 (with the exception of Cecily who took a nap with me earlier that day). It was perfect. Rose came over to sleep since I was scheduled to go to the hospital the next morning at 7:30 and we feared the roads would be worse then for her to drive over. As soon as we hit our pillows at 10:30 pm the power was restored! Rose wasn't going to freeze sleeping downstairs and I could check my phone again.

This was at my last appointment before Colin was born. The girls got sick so they had to wear masks. Jocelyn had to stay home from school for 3 days. All she had was a fever, cough and runny nose. I took her to the Dr. to be checked for strep because that is the last thing I wanted floating around my house. Imagine going through contractions with a sore throat! Luckily, it wasn't strep and I did not get their sickness.

The Tuesday before Colin was born MOTAB hosted their annual dinner for the choir members and a guest. We ate at the Grand America Hotel (thank you to Rose for watching the kids again). This (other than the kids music program the next day) was the last thing I really cared about attending. I secretly hoped my water would break or something dramatic like that but it didn't. I wore flip flops on this cold evening because no other shoes fit. We realized we were under dressed for this event as some people were wearing some nice outfits. Anyway, it was a pretty fun night. I twas nice to meet some other choir members too.

So, that was the week or two leading up to Colin's birth!