Monday, May 31

A Baby Story

[This post will be full of TMI. You have been warned.]

[Also, it's super long. Sorry. I'll post a short version at the end if you want to skip to that.]

I feel a little weird for posting a birth story 4 hours after birth, like maybe I should still be exhausted and wait a few days... But honestly, I feel great NOW, the baby's sleeping, and I don't really wanna wait until after he keeps me up all night.

He is a grumpy monkey.

So to start at the way-back beginning, I've been frustrated for weeks at my lack of labor, and seriously considered posting a vent about it. How does one get to 4+ and 80% and just stay there?? Turns out there was probably a reason for that.

So this morning (Monday) I woke up to pee as per usual, and was shockingly awake for 7:30 AM after going to bed at 2. After emptying my bladder and going back to bed, I still felt... well, trickly, to be honest, but that wasn't anything new. I decided to get up and check anyway. And realized on my way back to the bathroom that my water was quite thoroughly broken. I ate breakfast, finished packing the hospital bag, loaded the dishes so they wouldn't smell, and finished up a few other last-minute things. Two underwear changes and about 10 super- pads later, I decided I was DONE with standing and moving, I couldn't take the grossness anymore, so we left. I never expected to have my water spontaneously rupture... I thought that was pretty rare. And FYI, it's pretty dang gross. Had the experience, got the t-shirt, let's not do that again.

So I got admitted right away, no triage needed. Unfortunately, even with my water broken, my uterus wasn't doing ANYTHING. My contractions were unfeelable, and at least 10 minutes apart, often more. I tried walking... it helped a little, but still not really enough. So I started pitocin. I had to get up to 12-14 before my contractions started getting regular and uncomfortable, and I still wasn't dilating too quickly. I think I was up to 5 or 6 by that point. My midwife wanted to put in an internal contraction and heart rate monitor, and discovered that I had another membrane to rupture. So between her breaking that, and the literally 5 tries it took to get all the monitors in place, my cervix was good and irritated and things were MOVING. And hurting. And apparently Corbin was good and irritated too, because his heart rate started dropping with contractions, enough to scare them into giving me oxygen and calling the Doctor.

We hypothesized that the cord was probably around his neck (and that was probably the reason he'd been taking so long to move down, both pre-hospital and up to that point), and the doctor and midwife strongly encouraged me to get an epidural just in case we needed to go in for a C-section. If things got that bad and I didn't have an epidural, they would have had to do general anesthesia, and that's no fun. Well by that point I was hurting so bad I jumped right on board. But the anesthesiologist had to be called in, so it took a good 20-30 minutes for him to even get there. That was THE longest half hour of my ENTIRE life. I wanted to die. The contractions got to the point of completely unbearable, and I didn't feel like I had any break in between. The world completely lost focus for me. I couldn't move, couldn't reposition myself without help (I felt like I might as well have had an epidural for how little control I had over my legs), and I was just writhing and practically screaming and saying over and over "I can't do this, I can't do this."

The rest of the experience is a pretty big blur of pain. I know a ton of people came in the room... at some point around when the anesthesiologist got there, his heart went down to and stayed in the 70's... they kept telling me to arch my back or reposition and I kept having contractions and couldn't cooperate properly... at one point I think they checked me and I was complete, and they stopped trying to get an epidural and were trying for a spinal... and while he was stabbing around sending shooting tingling pains down my leg, I suddenly said "I have to push!" I don't even know if I really did or not. It all just hurt. I couldn't figure out how to push without screaming though, it took a minute to remember to hold my breath and tuck my chin and all that jazz, and still it was all a blur. I think I only pushed a few times, but I was so afraid I would have to push for hours. I would NOT be able to handle that. The midwife wasn't even the one doing the delivery, it was the doctor... and she had to use forceps to pull him out because of his scary heart rate and my ridiculous inability to cooperate and push properly.

Approximately an eternity later, they got him out, and I completely checked out. I couldn't even open my eyes to look at him when they laid him on my chest. I had no muscle tone left in my body, and they pumped Fentanyl through my IV which made me even more sleepy. I found out later that he was born at 5:50, he was 8 lbs 12 oz, and he had a cord wrapped fairly tight around his neck. After doing his vitals and whatnot, they wrapped him up and brought him over to see me before whisking him off to the nursery. His cap refill was a little slow, and with the rough birth and everything they just wanted to make sure he was ok. I couldn't raise my arms to hold him, and again I could barely focus or get my eyes open.

It took me a long time to wake up, or want to eat, or feel better at all. They brought him back close to 7 because he wanted to eat. He had a hard time figuring out what to do with it because he just wanted to cry. But he got a good meal.... and started crying again. Seriously, a grumpy monkey. But I guess he's had a hard day. They took him back, I got a good nap, and just barely got all cleaned up and refreshed.

So NOW, I feel great. It's so good to be clean. And awake. And eating. But seriously, I am never ever ever trying to go natural again.

Think it's worth it? :)

The short version:
My water broke at about 7:30 AM. We got to the hospital at 9-ish, had very slow labor until...... I dunno, 3 or 4? After breaking another membrane and placing internal monitors, it picked up HARD, and I wanted to die. Corbin's heart rate started dropping, I tried to get an epidural but got to complete and pushing before they could place anything, and a few pushes and forceps later, Corbin was born at 5:50, 8 lbs 12 oz, with a cord around his neck. And I am never trying to go natural again.

Saturday, May 22


After attending a craft night this weekend, Baby's nursery is DONE. And cute. Except now he doesn't have a choice on his name, so he'd better come out looking like a Corbin.... Or at least a Birnoc.

PS- Big thanks to Shayla for helping me get the letters right. Crafting is not my thing.

Tuesday, May 18

Pictures, more baby, etc

Guess whose camera magically reappeared last night?!?! It was the oddest thing. I swear we've looked there before.

Well, right before it went missing, I specifically took pictures to share of my 36 week belly, and my awesome new haircut/color. I was kinda hoping to debut the hair with my maternity pictures, but I think Wendy's pretty far behind on editing so I don't know when those will be available. So, unfortunately, the color is a bit faded and not as cool (as happens so quickly with bright pink), but here you are:

Holy crud my belly looks HUGE! I swear it doesn't look that big in person. At least not from my perspective.

So last night, I got closer than ever to going to the hospital (which you're gonna laugh at, because you probably wouldn't even blink an eye at this): my contractions got up to 10 minutes apart, and strong enough to make me go "Ow." I got super excited and started watching the clock religiously..... at which point they of course disappeared completely. Dangit!

"Nesting" is kicking in, but just in response to my frustration about still being pregnant. I can't sleep as well because my mind is racing, wondering/hoping SOMETHING will happen SOON, and so as a coping mechanism I'm keeping myself busy (and walking!) by cleaning the entire house and running errands. Even though I'm exhausted. Everything else is completely ready for baby, and I'm running out of things to do, which frightens me. I don't need more time to think!

Oh, and I almost forgot, a picture of my cute husband making me "breakfast in bed" on Mother's day:

I had to work Saturday night, so Brit woke up early to have breakfast ready for me when I got home. (Unfortunately it took me an unusually short amount of time to give report and get home, so it wasn't quite ready when I got there.... but that wasn't really a problem.) He made me pancakes and brought them to a sleepy me after I'd gotten in bed. It was soooooo nice. I sleep better if I eat first, anyway. I love my Britty. And this Father's day, he's gonna be a real dad! I'll have to think up something special for him.

Monday, May 17

Hypnobirthing: My thoughts

I think I've mentioned that I'm planning on having this baby without an epidural. I didn't want to go into this completely unprepared, though, so after hearing some great reviews, I decided to read up a bit about hypnobirthing. I tried unsuccessfully to find a way to read the book without paying money, and eventually gave in and forked it out to Barnes & Noble. So I've been slowly working my way through the book over the last few weeks.

I think I agree with the general philosophy of Hypnobirthing. The idea of "tuning out" to the world and just relaxing through the contractions. At least, that's how I interpret the general philosophy of Hypnobirthing. I had to sift through a whole lot of hokey BS in first few chapters that just made me snort. Like insisting that they're not "contractions," they're "surges." Your water doesn't "break," it "releases." Just a lot of flower-power type stuff that isn't my cup of tea. But I figured that's not really the point, so I kept on reading.

Last night, I finally got to the nitty-gritty method section. At first it all sounded great. And then I reached my breaking point. Allow me to quote for you:

"Pushing can be counterproductive and actually slow down the birthing process... There has been much written about the inefficiency of forced pushing and the possible damaging effect it has on the muscles of the birthing woman's pelvic floor, but it remains a necessary part of emergence in the minds of many caregivers and women themselves... Often women themselves will speak of an overwhelming urge to push taking over. If this is felt, it is also because of conditioning that stems from a deeply embedded notion that babies cannot descend on their own."

Um, no. That's where I have to draw the line. I have NEVER met a woman who gave birth without drugs who DIDN'T feel relief by bearing down or pushing when it came to that point. I have never seen or heard of a woman in natural labor (not using this method, of course) that, when the baby starts crowning and the nurses say "Don't push! Don't push! We need to wait for the doctor!", doesn't respond with "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?"

The urge to push IS overwhelming. It is INSTINCT. It is working with your body to get the baby out. It is usually the only way to relieve the pain and feel better at that point. It has been seen and proven, over and over and over and over again. And a book that can honestly try to tell me otherwise is completely discredited in my mind. "Conditioning" my ass. Sure, they present another way to approach that stage of labor, and it works for many women. But don't tell me that pushing is "wrong." Just tell me there's another way.

So I give up on my hypnobirthing book. I desperately hope the store will still take it back so my money's not wasted. It was ridiculously expensive. Good luck to any out there who still want to use this method of natural childbirth, it's just seriously not my thing.

Wednesday, May 12

Baby Things

I had a lot of things I wanted to update about, and a lot of pictures I wanted to share. Unfortunately, after taking a couple pictures of my cute husband making me "breakfast in bed" after work on mother's day, my camera has DISAPPEARED OFF THE FACE OF THE PLANET. I know exactly what I did with it- I set it on the kitchen counter. And now it is nowhere in the entire house. I am baffled, and more than a little annoyed.

Luckily, I already got the pictures of my baby shower onto my computer. So my shower was 2 1/2 weeks ago (I'm a little slow), and it was perfect. A lot more people showed up than I thought would, but it was still just the right amount for an intimate gathering. No silly shower games (no offense to those who like them, just not my thing), and we managed to keep up good conversation without the awkward silences I feared. I loved it. Yay for parties! Thanks again, Kari and Lanie!

And then of course there was the half a sheet cake left over that Brit and I managed to polish off in about a week and a half. We are so healthy.


In other baby-related news, I had my first "big" doctor's appointment yesterday. She was reluctant to check, but I made her do it anyway. And apparently, I'm already a 3 and 60% (I figure if you know what that means, it's not TMI. At least that's how it works in my twisted brain). She sent me on with strict admonishment to "take it easy," whatever that means, and said she doesn't want to see this baby until at least 38 weeks (I'm 36 now).

Yesterday morning, I was telling everyone who asked that I was "done" with being pregnant. My hips hurt, my feet are swollen, my poor legs get tired just supporting my fat self for any amount of time... I didn't really care if he did come 4 weeks early, I wanted out. After being faced with the reality of a baby possibly coming 4 weeks early, though, my attitude has rapidly and dramatically shifted. Now, I'm terrified of this kid coming out. I don't want him to be in a NICU when we go home. I don't even want them to take him away from me for "observation" for a few hours, as they did with Isabelle. I want a nice, normal delivery with a healthy baby who stays with me and nurses when he's ready. I'm not ready for this! And beyond even my worries about a healthy baby, I'm suddenly realizing that I'm terrified to start this journey into motherhood. Looking at our little bassinet as I was going to bed last night, I realized that in just a few short weeks, sleep would be a fond and distant memory. I'm not ready for that. Sure sleeping is hard with my belly so big, but at least he's not keeping me up for hours at a time screaming. And I highly doubt he's going to just be an "easy" baby.

So I'm crossing my legs and being as lazy as humanly possibly for at least the next two weeks. My snarky husband doubts that's even possible. And he's probably right. But I'll do my best. I don't care if I'm uncomfortable, I want a healthy baby.