Birth Story

I am in awe of our birth story and the beautiful little reward at the end of it all.

The prior 2 days I started having really bad hot flashes while at work. We're talking...sweat dripping behind my knees....I had a feeling something was going to happen soon, but I was thinking March 1st sounded like a good day for things to happen.

Around 1am yesterday I thought I was going to throw up, sat up and a gush happened and I hurried to the bathroom. I started shaking - my whole body convulsing. We paged the on call midwife and while we waited for the call, I called Kim to express my shock/concern/freaked out/ack feelings. Heike called - Pete talked to her and then he put me on the phone with her. I told her I was shaking like crazy and she told me to breath deep and that it was a surge of hormones causing the shakes. She asked if I'd had any contractions and I told her nothing other than braxton hicks had happened. She told me we should go to sleep and she'd hear from us in the morning (it can take up to 24 hours for real contractions to start after your water breaks so she wanted us to get our sleep in while we could). I laid back down in bed and felt very uncomfortable and then at some point, a contraction. I knew at that point that I wouldn't be getting any sleep that night as it was very uncomfortable to lay down. I got up, brushed my teeth and wrote my prior post. Then I went and sat in the glider in Hailey's room. I put the blanket my mom made on my legs and Wesley (our cat) came in to cuddle on my shoulder while I glided through contractions (3 minutes apart from the start says Pete). I figured I would try to let Pete sleep as long as possible since I had prepared myself mentally for this challenge and knew I just needed his presence, but not much more for the laboring bit. I guess you could call this early labor... I sat in the glider for about 2 hours gliding and focused on my breathing. In the nose, out the mouth. There I sat in the dark. The glider was becoming uncomfortable so I worked my way downstairs to bring up a medicine ball so I could sit on it (thank goodness for our amazing birth class I learned all sorts of laboring techniques that proved to help get me through).

By this time things had gotten pretty intense and I asked Pete if he could join me as I was at the point where I couldn't talk through the contractions (they say you shouldn't 'go in' to the birth center if you can talk through). I felt like I was already in active labor, but the short timeline made me have my doubts. Pete brought in all our books and we flipped through them in between contractions to read up on 'early' labor and 'active' labor. We knew that for early labor we were to try and conserve as much energy as possible and to find or make a distraction. Pete took the big clock off the wall (another great thing I learned from my pregnancy fit class!). This ensured I wasn't watching the time. I thought it would be neat to paint Hailey a picture while going through this experience... turns out that just setting up for the activity during the breaks kept me busy. The contractions got real hard...I soon could only sit on the medicine ball, push don on the sides with my hands and grimace through while keeping the end goal in mind. Pete just laid on the floor. The lights were out. I just needed him there with me, but I didn't need him to do anything. In fact one time he tried to touch me to comfort me and I chased him away with my actions. After that contraction I told him, just be here, don't touch me. He did just that. He hadn't timed my contractions in a while, but I was sure we should be getting going to the birth center at any time now...and for a bit I freaked out telling him "load the car - grab this that and the other thing". He didn't quite believe me and took his sweet time loading the car...I wanted him to run and do it and he was walking around gathering things. Around 5:55 or so I convinced him to call the birth center and tell Heike what was going on. She called back and wanted to talk to me to hear me through a contraction. I must have been on the phone with her for 10 minutes or so...and I didn't have a single contraction during this time. She said 'if I'm able to distract you this much, I think we should give it an hour and then we'll talk again'. As soon as we hung up I of course had another huge contraction... Pete said it was hard to watch me go through these contractions. I went through the shaking again, I requested lots of blankets be put around me...then I got hot and would throw them off only to want them back on again. I forget which part of labor it is where you fall asleep between contractions, but I went through that (I know this because I woke up almost falling off the medicine ball a couple times). It's amazing our bodies do this to gain a little bit of energy to help make it through the tough parts. I noticed it getting lighter outside and was hoping an hour had passed so we could call Heike back. Worried about hitting the morning traffic, I convinced Pete to call her (it was around 50 minutes later). She told him we could head in (they don't want you there too early because they'll turn you around if you aren't dilated far enough - this is why I was waiting so long at home - I did NOT want to be sent back home).

The car ride was horrific. I developed a pattern in the car...window down between contractions and window up during. I carried this out for a while, then between contractions I asked Pete to keep on doing it. I wanted it shut during so I could focus, but I was so hot that between contractions I wanted it open. By the time we were nearing Kirkland I was completely out of my seat, holding the seatbelt out and bracing my arms and legs as I fought through contractions. By the time I saw the exit sign, I knew her head was very low and I got the urge to push - but determined not to have her in the car - I did my best to focus on breathing through the urge (thank you class!). We ran a red light and pulled into the birth center parking lot at 7:45am. I very slowly got out of the car...and stood outside freezing while another contraction or two came and went. We hobbled into the birth center and I headed to Suite 1 (our first choice room). I ripped off my pants and not knowing what else to do, hovered over the toilet. Pete went to find someone. There was another birth happening and our midwife wasn't there yet. The student and midwife attending to the other birth came to the rescue, set up a birth stool and finally convinced me to get off the toilet and to come to the birth stool so I didn't have the baby in the toilet. I wanted to labor in the bath and they couldn't fill that thing fast enough. The midwife checked me and told me if I wanted to push, I had permission to do so. I didn't want to have her while on this stool thing, so resisted pushing until I could get in the bath. Finally...with Pete's help I got in the bath. Heike and Keri (student midwife) arrived around the same time. Pete overheard the midwives talking and learned that Hailey was at +3 - which means that she was already in or through the birth canal (from what I understand the scale goes from -3 to +3 in terms of where the head is in the whole birth canal - I'm fuzzy on this topic though).

Heike told me I fooled her on the phone and she was impressed that I came in so late in the process. They told me I could push...I was scared. I finally mustered up the strength to push. Pete kept a cool washcloth on my forehead and held the ice water near so I could drink between pushes as I was pretty dehydrated. There were no lights on in the room, just natural light from the windows. I wanted it quiet and it was perfect. I focused and bore down and pushed. Pete told me she had lots of dark hair and Heike told me to feel her head of hair. I felt a bit weird feeling her head but not having her out, but it gave me the urge to push more so I could really see her head of hair. Finally I pushed and pushed and her head made way. They told me to stop pushing as the cord was around her neck. Keri worked for a while to get the cord off, after we were through it all she told us it was really tight and she was a little worried because she had a struggle getting if around her head. Then they told me to push again and 'schfloop' - out came her body and Pete caught her and brought her to my chest.

She was covered in Vernix and looked blue. She gasped for air and made a really cute little girly squeaking noise. I was worried and shocked and in awe and told her hello and I love her and that she's beautiful and perfect.

Pete cut the cord and blood squirted onto my chest. They rubbed her down a bit while she was on me - meanwhile I pushed out the placenta ("shlop!"). The water filled with blood at this point and they gave Hailey to Pete so they could wash me off. Scrub a dub, I got out and laid down in the bed and they gave me my girl and she took right to breastfeeding (about 15 minutes after she was born). I was shocked there was anything there for her. She ate for a good hour or so.

She didn't get weighed or measured until about 2 hours after she was born. In the meantime Pete and I just laid on the bed with her...looking at her, talking to her and taking it all in.

We packed up and headed home from the birth center at 12pm. Determined to rest for the day, we asked people not to come until we called them to give them the okay (we really wanted this day to rest and be together as a family). We napped for about 6 hours - well, Hailey did...Pete and I were in and out of napping - I think due to the excitement of it all. Now we've had visitors and are getting the hang of changing teeny diapers and all that. I agreed to a week of bed rest in exchange for stitches...so I'm trying to lay low. Pete has been amazing through it all.

We're so in love with our new little angel!!

The start

I typed this earlier and thought I'd post it for you all to have a glimpse into how our little Hailey arrived into the world at 8:46am today.

After a pleasant girls night at Sarah's....I drove home and passed some time surfing the interwebs (while Pete was playing COD). At about 11:50 we finally got ourselves in order and laid down to sleep. By this time I started experiencing some mega heartburn and blamed it on the pizza I ate at Sarah's. I usually get heartburn right when I get in bed, so I chomped on a couple Tums and laid down. I read a little bit from one of our pregnancy books (the part about feeding schedules when you bring the baby home) and then we shut off the lights. I wasn't comfortable and I felt like throwing up. I got up a few times to stand over the toilet, but throwing up didn't sound like fun...so I went back to bed. I tossed and turned a bit and then sat up thinking I was really going to throw up...and there was a gush and I said something like "babes...I think my water is breaking" and I waddled to the bathroom to sit for a while. I started shaking a ton...and got real scared. I called Kim and told her my water broke and I wasn't sure what to do. She told me 'you're going to have your baby soon!' and well, honestly I didn't know what to think because I had yet to experience a real contraction.

Pete paged the birth center and Heike called back right away. Pete talked to her and then I did and explained what had happened and told her we didn't know what to do... she said to try to get some sleep and to call back if the color of fluid turns green. I wasn't having any noticeable contractions at this point...so going back to sleep sounded like a nice idea. Even after talking to her, I still didn't really believe/comprehend that our baby would be coming soon...and that I'm done with work.

Well, here I am typing. It's 2:22am. When I lay down I feel really gross...and I'm pretty sure the contractions have started. Pete was just hollering for me to come to bed...but I feel much better sitting up so I'm trying to decide if I will try to go rock myself in the glider or just how to get a bit of wink eye.

I thought I'd document this now...as I don't want to forget. Pete also did a little video tonight and I explained the details I'm trying to type.

I just had another contraction. Yikes, I'm kind of freaked out.

Flexing & Status


So....this is a gross picture of me, but it's pretty amazing of my belly. Jenny had posted a pic of her belly from the top down with abs flexed - so here's a new perspective. Once Pete took this picture and I saw it I couldn't stop laughing at how silly it looks. I was hoping I wasn't crushing our poor girl...Pete reminded me that her bones are soft. haha

Also, we went to the birth center today. In order to have a birth center birth my iron level has to be above 30. Guess what it was??? 30.1! They did another draw today to see if it's still up - I'm hoping it is despite not getting the shot last week. Her heart rate is still 140 (same as always) and she's in position sitting nice and low. I got my shot of iron and it was all good news today (other than getting a shot and a blood draw - but I'm getting used to all the poking now)!

36 Weeks - place your bets!

Here's your chance to place your bets! Leave your estimated birth date, weight and length in the comments and we'll see who comes closest!

Due date is March 11th if we go by the 7 week ultrasound (which was done to measure gestational age).
Due date is March 14th if we go by the calendar dates (this is what the midwives use as they want to have the max amount of time before calling me 'late').

Our Birth Stats
Shauna
10 days overdue
7lbs 8 oz
20" long

Pete
3 weeks early - scheduled C-section
8lbs 10 oz
22.5" long

My Guess
March 6th
7lbs 10oz
21" long

35 Weeks

Looks like I have a bowling ball under my skin doesn't it?

It's hard to believe I'm 35 weeks already - this Wednesday marks 36 weeks - which means I COULD have a birth center birth (36-42 weeks is the 'ok' time to have a birth center birth)! :OThis past Thursday I went to the birth center to get an iron shot (in the rear). As it stands my levels are too low to have a birth at the birth center. They told me "it's serious, but we have time to try to fix it". I should have paid more attention to that statement because I got a bit sad and went into a little bit of a panic - we haven't toured the hospital! I hate hospitals! Ack!! But then I calmed down a bit and realized that the goal of these shots is to get my levels up to a safe place so that we CAN go to the birth center when the time comes. If my levels still aren't high enough at the next blood draw, I will be going in 3 times a week for iron shots. I'm REALLY hoping we don't have to go there...I hate shots - but if it's better for little Hailey and me, it's easier to accept the needle.

Anyway, we have been eating lots of red meat and spinach salads (hence the picture above).

We picked up this little number today and I already got 2 coats of paint on it (it was a bluish gray color). Kim M. suggested using mod podge to put some letters & numbers or story book pages on the back wall of the shelves. Or to use wallpaper. I love the idea. I can't wait for it all to dry and get it set up in Hailey's room! Next task is to find some cute door handles - the ones that were on it aren't very cute at all...

Iron and other rambles

My iron levels have dipped even more...so I've been instructed to doubled my dose of iron pills (4/day now) and I'm going in tomorrow for an iron shot and will continue to do so until I have Hailey and I guess potentially after as well.

I've been taking the elevators up from lunch lately as walking up the long flight of stairs takes so much energy. I have a debate in my head each time I'm faced with the decision - do I get the exercise by doing the stairs and suffer up (it feels like my whole body is filled with lead, every step is a challenge) or do I take the tiring walk to the elevator and conserve my 'stair' energy? I know, I sound like I'm complaining. And I guess I am. I don't like shots and am not excited to have to get them every week. At least my appointments change to weekly now so I don't have to make extra trips to the birth center. :)

I read that low iron can lead to pre-term labor and low birth weight babies. Well, I think I'm fine with being about 2 weeks early...so bring it on! I am trying to eat more iron filled foods now...but when it comes time to eat I tend to blank out and just grab the closest thing I can get my hands on. Lately it's been cupcakes (thanks Kim and Brianne!).

I still haven't talked to my boss about my maternity leave plans - I think he's in denial that I'm actually going to be out of office. He's on vacation this week and our HR department doesn't seem to take maternity leave planning very seriously. Meanwhile...I'm starting to get short timers syndrome (shhh!).

I feel pregnant.

I woke up with a sore pelvis and hips. They must be spreading. Which is probably good...but I feel like I'm waddling now.

I am having a hard time finding clothes to fit over the bump, and have to continually pull down my shirt. I refuse to buy more pregnancy clothes at this point.

I love feeling her move, but this morning it made me weary as she seemed to sleep in pretty late. She eventually moved around...shifted from the right side to the left. She usually hangs out on the right side. She also had the hiccups this afternoon.

She's head down and has been this way for several weeks (I didn't pay enough attention to know when she settled on being upside down).

I'm tired. I can't focus. I want to sleep a lot... and I just don't know what to do with myself at work. I skipped all my meetings today. They weren't important ones. Or so I told myself.

I even went to the car to sit in the heated seat for a while because my back was so sore and I was so bored with work.

At least I'm not throwing up like Kim is today. Hope you feel better Kim - love you!

33 Weeks

Here I am at 33 weeks.

And here's the room as of today!


In other news...work has been nutty and the weeks have been packed. We haven't had much time for car shopping. We did make a costco run during lunch today so we wouldn't have to go after work. We really needed a night to chill out...but we have a list of house 'to do' items to get through...one of those includes putting away the christmas decorations. They've been in a pile downstairs since just after the 1st of the year. I suppose we should start with dinner...it's 7:20 and we have yet to eat (we didn't leave work till 6).

Over and out!

Nursery


Things are coming together! Check out the super cute pillow Kim B. donated to the nursery!

Tonight we hung the little shelves (high enough so when she's able to stand up on her changing table with me holding her she can't reach them) and I just finished putting up the bird cage. I will be putting 2 others over the crib as well as the mobile over the crib. :) We still have to hang the chandelier we got (it's SO cute!) and replace the nasty single light bulb light fixture in the room - but it's starting to feel much more complete - especially since Dave helped Pete move the bathroom cabinet out of the room yesterday - WOOHOO (thanks Dave)!

Okay, that's it for updates tonight.

Basketball

I'm serious, this thing is huge. I was just in the bathroom at work and as I was walking out I stopped and just stared at how big it is (and decided I better take a pic to capture it for you all). This isn't a very good pic, but you get the idea at least....

HUGE.


Okay, this is serious.

I'm officially huge (my boss laughed at me when he saw me today) and our little girl is starting to get real cramped in there and it's like she's trying to stretch things out for herself. It's quite weird and totally incredible too!

I was sitting at work and my right arm was against my belly...and all of the sudden, WHAM!, my arm was kicked away from my belly and I saw this HUGE bulge in my side! I exclaimed 'ouch' as it shocked me and was the first time it didn't feel good when she kicked me! It was nutty and thus I declare this the beginning of the end of this pregnancy (it's all downhill from here I'm sure). The reason I even thought to post something here was because my back has been really sore tonight.

On another note, I'm feeling a bit better tonight (I know I just said my back is sore...but my throat is feeling better!). I have great hopes of being even better tomorrow. I felt bad sitting in the corner during meetings today - I was totally foggy and coughing up some nasty stuff and not contributing much because when I tried to talk, I didn't seem to make sense. :-

Oh ya, and I just found more Christmas pics on the 'big' camera...I thought I'd share a pic of the cute piggy bank Pete found for Hailey - cause well, it's cute!

30 Weeks


It's really weird to think about having been pregnant since June. Time flies and now I'm 30 weeks...3/4 of the way through my first pregnancy. It's exciting and overwhelming to think about.

We are going to have a mini me to raise - what characteristics will she get from me and what will she get from her dad?

Sometimes Pete and I have what we call 'oh crap' moments - where we are looking at my belly, or feeling her move...and we suddenly become overwhelmed by the huge responsibility we're about to take on. And then we wonder - will she get my stubborn side? Will she be a leader like her dad? Will she be shy or will she be outgoing? Will she have blue eyes or brown - blond hair or brown? These questions excite us, but also scare us when we think of our faulty areas and wonder if we will be passing those traits on to our daughter. This whole child rearing thing sounds so fun when you're on the outside looking in, but are we ready to handle the responsibility of raising kids so soon into our marriage?

We are excited and feel blessed - don't get me wrong. It's just scary at times and to be honest, my hormones are kicking back into high gear (I cried several times over random things on Friday). Weird things are happening to my body, I'm getting stretch marks and noticing new moles all the time. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who treats me like gold and makes me laugh - even when I'm having a cry. I can't wait to see what features our little girl got from her daddy - and to hear her laughing and see her expressions. It's just such an amazing thing... I've been watching friends and their kids lately and noticing the funny little things they do that reminds me of their mom or dad...and it just puts me in awe of the whole creation process.

Anyway, on to crafty things...

Kim B. saw the nursery and told me about a pattern for little birds that I could make into a mobile (thank you Kim!). So....I did a search, found the pattern and then went to the fabric store and bought little bits of fabrics that I thought would fit the colors of the room. I started making little birds when I got home! Notice...I haven't sewn the tails shut - I despise hand stitching (blah blah blah)! My sewing skills are quite rusty but thankfully the birds are getting better as I go.

29 Weeks


It's Christmas Eve and the start of my 29th week. Hooray! The stockings are filled and presents are wrapped. We're ready to welcome our 1st Christmas as "man" and "wife" tomorrow! Hope you all have a wonderful time and that the snow doesn't hamper your plans too much.

27 Weeks


27 Weeks

It's SNOWING!

Here's a room update... we found a glider on craigslist and my mom is recovering the cushions in black (thanks mom!!!). We changed our minds on cribs once we went and looked in person and are now eying a black crib. I have yet to order the decals for the room, so it's looking a little bland right now. The important thing is I got a clothes hamper and have already been using it as I get new things and toss em in and then do a 'baby' load in the wash. :) Funny how it's so fun to wash and put away little clothes...I'm sure it won't be so fun once it's an actual chore though. In general I hate doing laundry.

Hope you are all enjoying the season! This weather is making me smile. :)

Movements

On Monday Pete and I were sitting in our rental car taking a break from walking around San Antonio. I pulled up my shirt to expose my belly and we watched as my belly moved all around. It was really crazy to watch and it was the first time for both of us to see my belly moving as Hailey was doing her daily kickboxing. Yay!

I was reminded of this as I was just now browsing the web and looked down to see my belly moving like crazy. This little girl is quite active!

17 weeks

Here I am...17 weeks.The stripes help demonstrate just how big my belly is. I'm up 1lb from pre-pregnancy weight, though I lost 2 at the get go and just this past week gained both those back and added another pound. I think I'm looking pretty big, so I'm convinced that I've just traded in muscle for baby weight.

After church we went shopping today...it was our first time looking at anything baby related. :) We checked out cribs and gliders and found an oh so cool stroller (uppababy vista). It's really cute and seems very functional - Pete inspected every little piece of the stroller, evaluating all features and making sure it was well engineered... Lots of great features and it comes with the bassinet.

Then we headed to good ol' Westfield shopping center so I could finally go to a maternity store to try on some prego jeans. I was able to find 2 pairs of pants...though the black jeans I bought have a flair like no other...I'm hoping I can muster up the strength to use the sewing maching to make them a bit more fitted. Then we headed to forever21 (thanks for that tip Jenny!). We were rushing to get out of there so we'd make it to bible study...but I did pick up this blue jacket that has room for a belly to stick out from under. I thought it was pretty cute. In the pic below I'm wearing the new black jeans and the jacket...sorry, you don't get to see the leg flare. You can't even see my feet...that's how big the flare is. Hope I can sew em up without ruining them....they happened to be the most expensive jean (of course) I could possibly find at Motherhood Maternity ($45 - compared to the $20 jeans throughout).

All in all, it was a good day. Pete had hoped for a relaxing day at home...but with church and shopping...the day just slipped away from the lazy side of things. He's playing some xbox now...so I suppose he's pretty content.

13 weeks...belly sticking out

I don't know how Jenny does it, but she gets really good progress pics. Mine suck. I don't know why, but I just think I look really silly in them. Maybe it's the clothes? Lately I've just said oh screw it, I can't suck it in...this is all hanging out because of the baby so I'll just pretend this bump is the baby - not my left over beer belly.

Upon stepping on the scale this morning it appears that I still haven't gained weight (though I thought I had)...my belly is much more pot belly than before I was pregnant....so....maybe I've puked just enough to put weight on in the boobs and belly and to lose it in my....arms? I guess I have lost some muscle... :(

On a happy note, I went to Nordy's today and got fitted for a new bra. Wowsers! :O I don't know if it's the proper blog etiquette to be posting such things, but I was standing jaw dropped when the girl told me I was a D. I asked her if we should maybe try a C and she was like, no...you are a D - no doubt. And to my shock and surprise...all the D's fit! No wonder these old B bras have been killing me.......

Fluttering

I know it's really early and all...I'm just entering week 12 of this pregnancy...but this morning I felt something totally weird and cool and I swear it was the baby. I felt this fast fluttering in the lower left side of my belly - Pete asked if it was my stomach, but I'm sure this was in my uterus and not my stomach. It happened after I bent over to dry off my feet after a shower...and I stood up and there it was. It lasted for a little while. I realize this could be fluids and the baby is supposedly too small to feel, but since I'm feeling like throwing up right now (typing this as I lay on the couch next to my cube) I'd like to just pretend it was the baby I felt.

I've been feeling a bit like I'm not pregnant the last week or two. Don't get me wrong, I'm still totally out of energy and have been continuing to throw up at random times. I think it's just that my belly isn't growing and so I feel like it must be a fluke. The flutter this morning made me think "there really IS something in there!!!". So call me crazy or whatever...but I'm just going to go on assuming my baby was trying to tell me 'hi' this morning. :)

UPDATE: After feeling the baby 'for real' I have since decided that this 'first feeling' was not the baby...but I'm sure it was something related to the pregnancy...