15 February, 2016

Jayden's Birth Story

As with my pregnancy with Summer, I loved being pregnant. I feel like this was a much healthier pregnancy, as I ate better and stayed more active than with Summer.  (Not much of a choice to be lazy when you have an active toddler!)  My biggest (and only) complaint with this pregnancy was the amount of pelvic pressure I had, beginning right around 26 weeks and progressively getting worse.  Every movement hurt, rolling over in bed was a process, and getting up off the floor was quite the sight!  Because of this pain, I was very ready to have a baby!

Knowing that he was so low, I asked the doctor to check me for progress at my 35 week appointment.  At that point I was 1-2 cm, 40% effaced, and baby was at -1 station.  (The doctor commented about how low he was explaining the amount of pain I was in.)  At that point, I was told he really could come any time.  My whole pregnancy I was convinced he was going to come early, and so I began preparing myself for his birth.  At my 36 week appointment, I was 2cm and 60% effaced.  So we knew we were making progress!  At 38 weeks, I was 3cm (not given an effacement measurement).  Because of my pain level, I asked the doctor to sweep my membranes and she did, saying that my cervix was favorable.  I continued to bounce on my exercise ball, go for walks, and eat pineapple, hoping to go into labor.  After 72 hours (the usual time that labor will occur after a membrane sweep) nothing had happened.  That week I even went home from work early on Wednesday and Thursday--we all thought that I'd be having a baby soon!  At my next appointment, Dr. DeWitt did another membrane sweep (she wasn't impressed that the other doctor had done it already at 38 weeks).

That was Monday morning.  I went home unsure if the membrane sweep would work since it didn't the week before.  I was trying not to get my hopes up.  I texted Courtney, our doula, and let her know about the second sweep.  She suggested that I try pumping (nipple stimulation) to get the ball rolling.  I started when I put Summer down for her nap at 1:30 and pumped on and off for an hour.  By 2:30, I was having regular contractions and I started timing them.  I bounced on my ball for a while and then called Courtney.  She listened to me work through a few contractions and then we decided she should head over.  When she got here we went for a walk.  My contractions stayed regular, coming about 5 minutes apart, but didn't get stronger or longer.  Around 6:30, Courtney decided to go home since I wasn't progressing, and instructed me to take a warm bath and go to bed and see what happened.  She left, and we all thought she would be back within a few hours.  I went to bed....and woke up when my alarm went off Tuesday morning.  No baby.  I had a few contractions after I got up, so I called into work thinking that I'd be having a baby soon. Nothing.  

Wednesday I decided to go to work.  Everyone thought I was crazy, but I figured I might as well do something to get my mind off of waiting to go into labor. I planned to work half a day but ended up staying all day.  My co-workers were surprised to see me because they thought I had gone into labor on Monday.  Late Wednesday afternoon I started to have some mild contractions.  I figured they were just like the ones on Monday, and they really didn't hurt, so I didn't think much of them.
At 10:20 Wednesday night, I started getting ready for bed.  I used the bathroom and when I stood up, I felt a little gush of water.  I looked, and my panty liner was wet.  I knew it wasn't pee because I had just gone!  I texted Courtney and told her I thought my water had broken.  Then I called her and told her what happened.  I waited about 10 minutes before going to the bathroom again.  When I did, I felt another gush, and I could see amniotic fluid in the toilet.  I texted Courtney and let her know this was it--my water had broken!  She said contractions should start to pick up soon and to let her know when they did so she would head our way.  I heard a pop and had another gush of water.  A few minutes later (11:00ish), contractions started.  By 11:20, they were coming 5 minutes apart.  I texted Courtney to let her know to come over and woke Mike up.

I went to sit in the living room and try to rest a little while.  I sat (on a towel) on the couch and tried to watch a little tv.  Contractions picked up in intensity and I had to stop and breath through each one.  Inhale-exhale.  I'd close my eyes or completely zone out during each one.  Courtney arrived at 11:45 and my contractions continued to pick up.  We all sat on the couch and watched tv for a while.  Courtney said we could play games or do whatever, but sitting was all that sounded good.  I had Mike put a few last minute things in my hospital bag while we waited.  

By 12:30, my contractions were coming about 3 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute.  Courtney would rub my arm or my leg as I breathed through each one.  At one point she suggested switching positions or walking around a bit between contractions.  I found that standing and swaying through the contractions really helped.  I'd put my arms around Courtney's neck and she would support me while I breathed through each one.  Around 1am, Mike called his mom to come stay with Summer.  We got ready to head to the hospital and arrived there around 1:30.  Riding in a car and having contractions is not fun!  Thankfully most of the lights were blinking yellow so our trip wasn't very long. Ironically, the fog was thick, so the street to the hospital was closed and we had to go the longer way.  Then Mike forgot that the main doors would be closed and started heading that way until I said "no!  Emergency room!"  (We got a laugh out of that--especially because Courtney was following us and wondered where he was going!)  I had a strong contraction as soon as I got out of the car, and another one as soon as we got in the hospital doors.  The nurse who came to get us asked how close my contractions were and we told him about 2 minutes.  

I was in my hospital room at 1:40 and changed into a hospital gown.  The nurse checked me and said I was 5cm.  Honestly, I was disappointed!  All the contractions on Monday, and then the past 3 hours and I'd only dilated one more centimeter?!  How much longer was this going to take?  

I was most comfortable reclined slightly in the bed with my legs out straight.  Mike and Courtney were on either side of me holding my hands.  I squeezed their hands and breathed through each contraction.  I couldn't believe how much focusing on breathing helped!  At one point, Courtney left the room to get an exercise ball and I cried to Mike "give me the epidural.  I can't do this!"  My contractions were coming hard and fast, with little rest between.  I couldn't imagine continuing the pain for hours longer, or actually pushing out a baby!  He reminded me that I could do it on my own and I really didn't want the epidural.  He was right, and I kept going.  

A few times I felt nauseous and thought I was going to throw up.  Mike had to leave the room ;)  I didn't throw up, and we found that a wet washcloth on my forehead made a big difference.  At 2:15 I requested to use Nitrous Oxide to take the edge off.  I had the mask on for the length of one contraction, but it made me dizzy and nauseous, so I pushed it off.  I don't think it helped much for the pain either.  

I tried to shift positions, as we had talked about me using the exercise ball or getting in the tub.  When I sat up, there was so much pressure and it hurt too badly, I knew I wouldn't be able to sit on the ball.  I remember having my eyes closed a lot and just focusing on breathing and squeezing my helper's hands.  I also said that I was so tired (I'd been up since Wednesday morning at 7, and had worked a full day!) and didn't think I could do this anymore.  Courtney had me repeat "I can do this" a few times and it helped.  My doctor was in and out of the room, and I was surprised that they seemed to be preparing for the birth already.  Everyone was so calm and quiet.  

A few minutes before 3, I told Courtney that I thought I'd like to get in the tub and see if that would help.  She said we could start to get the water ready.  Since my doctor was in the room, I asked if she would check me before I got up.  I wanted to know how much longer I could expect to be in labor.  Dr. DeWitt checked me and said, wow you're almost complete!  To our surprise, I was 9.5 cm already!  (Just over an hour after checking into the hospital!).  She told me that I could begin pushing when I felt the urge.

At 3:00, I had a strong contraction and felt like I needed to push.  I pushed through my whole contraction and everyone encouraged me.  It was so incredible.  I remember thinking that it felt like I needed to poop--not push out a baby!  I had two more contractions, but didn't have the urge to push through either of them.  Instead I just kept my eyes shut and focused on breathing.  With the next contraction, I wanted to push again.  I remember yelling (ahh!) at one point and pushing with all that I had.  The next thing I knew, my baby boy was laying on my chest!
Jayden Michael was born at 3:13am on Thursday, February 11th.  He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long.  

I looked at Mike and kept saying "I did it! I did it!"  Adrenaline set in and my body started shaking like crazy.  The doctor was cleaning me up and the water was cool, so that didn't help.  They covered me with warm blankets, it took 4 before I finally was able to stop shaking.  It made all of us laugh a bit :)

Jayden was absolutely perfect!  He had such long fingers and toes.  And we couldn't believe how long his fingernails were!

I delivered the placenta after about 15 minutes or so.  I asked to see it and was so amazed at what provided nourishment for our son.  It was so incredible!  I tore a little (doctor called it a 1.5 degree tear), so I needed a couple stitches. Dr. DeWitt prayed with us again before she left and it was such a powerful moment--I'm so thankful she was there to deliver!

Jayden and I had lots of skin to skin time for the first hour of his life.  Mike cut the cord after it stopped pulsing.  Jayden's apgar tests were performed while he was on my chest, and he scored 8 and 9.  He was so sleepy and just snuggled.

After a few hours the pediatrician came in to check on Jayden.  He said everything looked good, but noticed that Jayden was tongue-tied.  He asked how nursing was going, and I said that we were having some trouble with his latch, and him being interested in nursing in general (baby boy was so sleepy!).  The doctor recommended that we clip his tongue tie, and after a few minutes of telling us what that involved, Mike and I agreed to have it done.  It was a simple procedure and Jayden began to latch much better afterwards.

The biggest issue we had was our sleepy boy!  He slept all the time and was so hard to wake up to feed him.  We tried, the nurses tried... finally we decided he must have just needed his sleep.  We also noticed that he would spit up some mucous-y gunk and a bit of it was tinged with blood.  The nurses think he probably swallowed some fluid during labor, explaining the spit up and his lack of interest in food (from his full belly).  By Thursday late night/Friday early morning, he had begun to show more interest in food, and I was able to get him to latch on.  The nurses said he was doing great and at his last weight check, he was just under 7 pounds (I can't remember exactly), but he had only lost 7% of his birth weight.
We had a few visitors on Thursday: both sets of grandparents, Nana, Alecia and Ovi with Olivia and Marcus, Tara and Aubrey (from my work), Jen and Tyler, and Rich and Tracy.  My dad and Mike brought Summer up to the hospital and she was so excited to meet her "baby brother Jayden".  She loved holding him and was so good with him!  Friday morning my mom brought her up again, and then she came with Mike Friday afternoon.  We were released from the hospital at 10am Saturday, and our first couple days at home have gone very well!

Our family is so blessed to have this little guy here with us!

13 February, 2016

He's here!!!

Jayden Michael was born on Thursday, February 11 at 3:13 am.  He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20" long.  We are in love!

07 February, 2016

39 Weeks

How far along: 39 weeks (2/7/16)
Baby size: Head to heel, about 20 inches.  And about 7 pounds. 
Total weight gain: 35 pounds.
Maternity clothes: I'm wearing all maternity clothes or yoga pants.  Most of my clothes are getting too small :(
Stretch marks: There are a couple new ones that just popped up on my belly.  
Sleep: I feel like I've been doing pretty good with sleep this week.  I even got a few naps in!
Best moment this week: Nothing specific, but really trying to savor and remember each of these kicks, punches, and hiccups. 
Miss anything? Being able to move like normal (without pain)!  
Movement: Yes!  He moves a lot now!  He's running out of room, so I'm constantly getting knees, feet, and his butt up in my ribs.  
Food cravings: Carbs--specifically blueberry muffins!
Have you started to show yet? Yes! 
Gender: It's a boy!
Labor signs: No real signs yet.  I've had lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing painful or real labor yet.  At my appointment on Monday (2/1/16), I was 3cm and 50% effaced, and the doctor did a membrane sweep.  She said it would work within 24 hours if it was going to, and that my cervix was favorable.  Unfortunately, it didn't work, and Baby K2 is still in me. I also ate an entire pineapple on Friday, have been bouncing on my ball, walking, and trying some accupressure.  My contractions have picked up and there were quite a few today, but still nothing real.  
Belly button in or out? Flat, but starting to stick out on the top.
Wedding rings on or off? On--permanently 
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy the majority of the time, but I'm definitely more moody and my patience is minimal these days.
Looking forward to: Going into labor and meeting our son!
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