Archives for the month of: March, 2015

I’m going to post this without pictures for now but I will try to post them asap when I get them from my sister. 

Here it is. The story you have all been waiting for! 😉 I have wanted to write this down for days but I haven’t had the time. Here we are, Levi is already one week old today and so much has happened. I doubt I will get all the times that things happened exactly right but it’s close enough. This is going to be very blow by blow and extremely gross at times so feel free to skip and jump around. I also want to say that DH’s part in this whole labor and birth just doesn’t come through in this story the way it was in real life. He was so there for me the whole time. Helping me to the bathroom every hour, pushing the IV stand around, rubbing my back, doing counter-pressure, and keeping me in good spirits the whole time. He prayed for me and I felt so calm and relaxed whenever it was just him and me in the room, him helping me work through the contractions. Up until transition, I never had any contractions that were worse than my periods have been for the majority of my life, which proves how awful my endometriosis pain was. I kept waiting for them to get unbearable but they never did until after my water broke. It was a beautiful labor in my opinion. 🙂

 

I woke up Thursday morning the 19th and weighed myself one last pregnant time. I was almost exactly 165 making my weight gain 35 pounds. I liked that it was a nice even number. 🙂 I got up around 9am because I couldn’t sleep anymore. My sister had spent the night and gotten up with Tru so I could sleep in. She helped me all day with getting things ready that HAD to be done before I could possibly imagine heading to the hospital. 😉

 

DH came home from work 2 hours early and we went to take a nap for a few hours. I probably slept all of 45 minutes but I felt refreshed. I was pretty nervous about how the labor would go and very afraid of the pain I would be experiencing later whether it was from labor and delivery or from a giant incision.

 

I fixed us a nice healthy supper and we finished packing all the last minute items. My mom came over for a bit and my sisters swapped out on watching Tru for the night that way 2 of my sisters could come to the birth. I put Tru to bed at 9pm but he knew something was up and just cried and cried while I curled my hair so when I got done, I got him out of bed and snuggled him and let him play until it was time to leave at 11pm. He got upset when he saw we were leaving so DH went outside and I pretended I was staying and put him to bed. When I walked out through the rain to the truck to leave, it felt so surreal. I asked DH, “Is this really real? Are we really on our way to have our 2nd baby? Is this really my life?” I was so excited and scared out of my mind about the labor and delivery.

 

We got to the hospital around 12:30am (March 20th) and got checked in. I was contracting pretty often but not in actual labor. I had 2 acupressure sessions and a membrane stripping in the last few days leading up to the induction and I think I had started to have some prodromal labor as my contractions felt more business-like. After getting one vein blown out, I had my IV in and the resident Dr came in to check my cervix. I’m not sure but I think I was still 1cm and 70-80% effaced. She put in the Foley Bulb which was uncomfortable but HSGs and SISs hurt a lot worse so I was fine getting it placed. It made me cramp a lot afterwards. That was at 2am. At the same time the pitocin was started at a 3 which is quite low and the first contraction hurt! From there on I was unable to talk during my contractions and just had to breathe through them, blowing and groaning in a very deep voice. I was out of the bed by the second contraction and had NO desire to get back in. I spent the rest of the night pacing back and forth, bouncing on the ball, sitting on the edge of the bed leaning over the bed tray, swaying my hips, rocking in the rocking chair, leaning on DH, kneeling, squatting and on all fours…. basically, I never sat still. By 3:40am, my contractions were 1-1.5 minutes apart and I was not getting enough break in between to recover from the contractions. I asked the nurse if we could turn off the pitocin as I was shivering and shaking from the pain. She got the ok from the Dr and turned it off and gave me a bolus of IV fluid to try to flush the pitocin through and space the contractions out a little. After a couple hours, my contractions were still coming every 2-3 minutes and staying nice and strong. DH took a little hour and a half nap and I worked through the contractions as best as I could. Everyone kept offering me the epidural right away since I was getting the line placed later anyways but I really wanted to get it put in later on. It was so annoying that I felt super pressured to get it right away.

 

At 6am the resident came in and checked me and said I had thinned out more but the bulb was still in tight (it is supposed to fall out, usually around 4cm). I tried not to get discouraged. I noticed my contractions slowed down more if I was sitting too long but I was so exhausted, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to stay awake much longer. I was pacing and doing a bit of nip stim if the contractions went longer than 3 minutes between. I started to fall asleep in between the contractions while sitting on the ball. A new nurse came on shift (I loved my overnight nurse and the new nurse – they were absolutely wonderful.) and said that I should take a nap to regain some energy. I told her I was afraid to because that could stall out my contractions and I would have to restart pitocin which I now saw as the devil because of the awful contractions it had given me earlier. She said she would be willing to let me try to restart the contractions naturally if they did stall out so at 8am I laid down and slept in between the contractions which spaced out to maybe 5 minutes apart but stayed consistent. At 8:30am, my Dr came in and said they would check me at 10am. I was so excited that I was in labor still on my own without the pitocin that I excitedly told her so. MISTAKE!! She freaked out on me and said I needed the pitocin on (I had been laboring for almost 5 hours on my own at that point) and that I needed to be committed to a vbac or I was going to get a c section. She said I had to get the epidural placed NOW and I was risking general anesthesia. It was all quite ridiculous. I found what she said to be very threatening and upsetting. My nurse came in as soon as the Dr left and at that point, I was ready to pull out my IV and leave the place and labor on my own elsewhere and come back when I was ready to push. The nurse found the idea of restarting the pitocin to be very unnecessary told the Dr so. She said this was a battle we would be fighting all day. Apparently this Dr has a reputation of being very pushy and manipulative. I saw this in overdrive all throughout the day. The nurse said that I should try to walk the halls and see if I could progress in dilation. She didn’t care how far apart my contractions were just so long as I made progress. She also said I should just get the epidural line placed now to shut the Dr up. So I set out walking the halls with DH pushing the IV stand and telemetry monitor along behind me. I was SO thankful that they had the telemetry monitor so that I could walk and not get stuck in bed! It was actually kind of fun walking the halls, passing the other couple who was there doing the same thing.

 

At some point I got the epidural line placed. I forget exactly when. The anesthesiologist was very confused as to why I was getting a line but no meds since I was contracting. I guess he hadn’t seen that happen basically ever. It left me with a weird discomfort in my left butt cheek and made it more uncomfortable to walk. I was mad about it at the time but later I was glad I had it placed when I did.

 

Around 10am, a resident Dr came in to check me and remove the bulb. She asked if we cared to guess how far dilated I was and since the bulb didn’t fall out, I said maybe 4. She said to take 4 and double it because I was at 8cm already! And plus 1 station. I couldn’t believe it! I had been in labor only 8 hours and had yet to have any unbearable pain. I started losing the mucus plug in great wads after that. I stayed in my room because I was afraid I would break my water in the halls. I just kept doing what I had done all night to cope with the pain. I was on a labor high and so thrilled!! 🙂

 

Around 1pm I think, the Dr came in and wanted to break my water. I argued with her for at least 15 minutes about it. I didn’t want my water broken despite the fact that I had made no more progress because I was afraid the baby would go into distress without the cushion, I wouldn’t progress even after my water was broken and would then be “on the clock”, and I would be in so much more pain after the water breaking (“Get an EPIDURAL!!!” they kept saying). In the end I gave in because the Dr said she would call c section if I didn’t get it broken and failed to make any more progress in 1 hour. She literally said that she would call a c section and not allow me to labor another hour. I am pretty sure that is illegal and she couldn’t literally force me to have a c section, but I was in pain and tired and getting more and more upset. (I noticed that the madder I got, the farther apart my contractions would get.) So she broke my water and it shot out of there like a cannon. It was actually kind of funny looking back but at the time, I just bursted out crying and cried and cried in anger. I went into transition immediately and it was horrible! I was in transition for a whole hour in the worst pain I could imagine. My mom and sisters arrived right after my water was broken and they and DH tried to help me cope but my arms, legs and face all went numb from the pain. I was shaking uncontrollably and shivering even though I wasn’t cold. When I would open my eyes, the room was going dark. The nurse finally checked me an hour later I guess around 2pm and I had made no more progress. Still at 8 and 0 station. At that point I said that I had to get relief and my mom told them I wanted the smallest dose of epidural possible. At that point, I thought I wanted the whole thing but my mom and the nurse knew better than to let me have it because they knew that wasn’t what I really wanted. I wanted to be able to move. My MIL and SIL showed up right about that time.

 

After getting the shot of epidural, I was sure it hadn’t worked because I wasn’t feeling any relief and I wanted more but the nurse said to wait 15 minutes so I did. I eventually felt some of the intensity fading but I felt no numbing. I was still getting on my hands and knees and blowing through the contractions. DH was rubbing my back and doing counter-pressure and I could feel just the slightest numbness in my back but nowhere else. I kept getting pressure all throughout this time that felt kind of pushy but it always felt like it was sucking back in. I tried to describe it to the nurse but all I could say was that it was sucking back in, I couldn’t really describe it and I still can’t. I wasn’t allowed out of bed (I could have walked no problem, I don’t know why I wasn’t allowed)  but I really had to pee. I didn’t want the nurse to cath me so my mom, bless her heart, brought me a container and I just knelt down and used it so we could comply with the rules of me not walking.

 

At 4pm, the Dr came back in and checked me again. Guess what? No progress. Also, they were not picking up my contractions anymore. We will never know what happened because the contractions were still coming but they were not on the monitor after that point. The Dr said I had to restart pitocin (her anthem) but I absolutely refused. She said we would do the lowest dose but I still refused. I was not going to make these contractions any stronger. I didn’t want to rupture and I didn’t want the baby to be distressed. I believed he was not coming down because he felt slightly posterior to me. I kept feeling him move his shoulder right above my pubic bone like he was trying to turn to face my back. The Dr never confirmed this but the nurse said I should lay on my left side if that is what I thought was going on. She knew I had been on all 4 for hours. She also told the Dr that she was feeling my belly during contractions and I was still having them regularly. The Dr was very upset and said she was going to some department (I forget who) and telling them that I was refusing to do what she said and that she would not be liable when I ended up with a c section and something went wrong. She ranted about it for no less than 15 minutes arguing with my mom because I closed my eyes and refused to argue about it. She said I had 1 hour or I WOULD be getting a c section. (Ironic how her 5pm deadline coincided with the 5:30pm c section she had scheduled for someone else.)

 

The nurse said that my baby may be getting neurological damage from being pushed against the pelvis for so long. I was so confused as to how making my contractions stronger with pitocin was supposed to help that so I blocked out what she was saying and just laid on my left side doing my thing. I think that is a terrible thing to tell a laboring mother, especially when I had been in labor only 14 hours. A lot of pressuring, manipulating and threatening happened that day. It was extremely stressful for me. I hated it. My MIL gathered everyone together and they all stood around me laying hands on me and praying. This is when things changed instantly.

 

At about 4:30, I told the nurse that I no longer felt a little pushy, my body was pushing for me and I couldn’t help it. It had been only a half hour since I had been checked at 8cm, not fully effaced and 0 station. But I was pushing like it or not. The nurse checked me and I was complete except for an anterior lip. She called in the Dr who could apparently not believe I was already pushing. She checked me and tried to move the lip but I told her to get her hand out of me and stop putting it in there. She tried to move it again and I about lost my mind on her. I just kept pushing while the nurse, Dr and resident coached me. The resident is lucky I didn’t kick her in the face because I have seriously never met a more annoying person. My contractions were only long enough for 2 pushes and she wanted 3. She kept saying I was doing it wrong and trying to make me push again. After every contraction I had to keep saying “It’s gone” to get her to stop yelling to push. The nurse was awesome at this point though. And the Dr was singing a different tune too. DH stood by my head praying and rubbing my arm and telling me he could see the head. The baby’s head was there the whole time, I just took my sweet time pushing him out. I have to be really gross here (because I can’t stand it when I read birth stories and the poop is edited out – come on – you know you pooped) and say that the Dr told me “I see nice stool coming out! You are pushing great!” Thank you. Just really, thank you. My sister stood at my head making me keep my chin to my chest. Every time I was tempted to throw my head back, she would break my collar bone shoving it forward. I owe her a lot for that because it really makes a difference and it’s hard to remember to keep chin to chest. My other sister video recorded the birth. I pushed for 30-35 minutes until I finally got brave enough to just push past the burning to get his head out. Actually, the pushing didn’t hurt. Only the ring of fire when the head was actually pushing through hurt. That was the worst pain EVER! The pushing contractions didn’t hurt though. Every time I would get his head almost out, I would either lose the contraction or just not give it every single bit of strength I had and it would slip back in. At 5:05pm, I finally gave 2 or 3 horrendous pushes and felt the most intense relief I have felt in my life as the Dr handed the baby to me. It was so amazing!!!!

 

The rush to deliver the placenta was on even though I was literally begging the Dr to let my body do it in it’s own time. She kept pulling on the cord and telling me to push. I tried to push but there was nothing TO push – yet. I also asked for the cord to stop pulsing but instead she just shoved the blood up it with her hands. Which ended up being ok because they had to take the baby since he decided he didn’t want to breathe after all. His apgars were 5 and 9. He pinked up quickly after the nurses rubbed him down.

 

But back to the placenta, all that tugging is what I believe made it tear. I finally did feel like pushing it out and I did but by then I had retained placenta and started hemorrhaging. I could feel myself going weak and I asked for the epidural. I was given another small dose. I could still feel pain but it was dulled. I could not recommend this more! If you have to get your uterus scrapped out multiple times with Dr’s whole hand scooping around in there, I can tell you, the pain is insane. The Dr said she thought I had accreta and we may need a hysterectomy. I freaked out and was asking her what we could save. I wanted my cervix still! She calmed me down quickly by getting an ultrasound and verifying the retained placenta was gone. Thank God!! Then she checked that my scar hadn’t ruptured because I was still hemorrhaging. That was all good too thankfully. She ordered me 40 whatever it is of pitocin which I was happy to have at that point. The nurse messed up and gave me 60 but it was all good. I got to have 3 lovely cytotec suppositories and 2 gels but finally I stopped bleeding so much. I was crying though because I had worked so hard for my vbac and I only got to hold my baby for a few seconds and I laid there getting stitched up for 45 minutes. (Oh yes, there was tearing.) I was too weak to hold the baby once I was allowed to again so my mom sat there and helped me keep him on my chest. My arms were too weak to hold onto him at all. But I did get to breast feed him with help. So our beautiful moment was redeemed. 🙂 In a couple hours, I regained some strength and could lay more propped up to hold him. He is absolutely beautiful and I love him so much. I am so glad that I got that time with him on my chest.

 

I think this is long enough. I have more to say about our hospital stay (which was interesting to say the least and much longer than we anticipated) but the important thing is, we are doing well. And believe it or not, I loved my labor and birth. I wish there hadn’t been so much manipulation but all in all, bonding with DH, being in that zone, getting to have the vbac – it was all perfect in the end and I wouldn’t change a thing. 🙂 God is good.

 

Dear God, thank You SO much for giving me the exact birth You wanted and for keeping us safe all through the labor and birth. Thank You so much for Your protection and love throughout everything. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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I’ve wanted to post this for days now, but things have gone so unexpectedly that I haven’t been able to. We are finally home from the hospital!

Levi was born Friday, March 20th at 5:05pm. He weighed 7lbs 14oz at 20&1/8″ long.

We got to have our vbac! Birth story to come soon I hope.

I bet some of you weren’t expecting to see me here still… Well, I am. But this should be my last Levi Pregnancy update. I am a bit concerned now about inducing because I woke up this morning feeling fine – pretty great actually, but as the day is progressing, I am feeling like I am coming down with a chest cold. Body aches, head hurts, chest and throat are tight. Also feeling pretty nauseous. My body has been working overtime in clean out mode for a couple weeks now. It’s a wonder a germ has a chance to live in there. Not too surprising though I guess since DH just got over a cold, but I was hoping I had avoided it. I guess not. Hopefully it goes away as quickly as it came and we can all stay well. I talked to someone at the hospital today about whether they would still induce if I am actually sick and they said yes, as long as there is no fever. I checked and my temp was 98.4. I just worry about passing it on to Levi and him getting sick…..

 

I had my weekly check up yesterday and what was supposed to be my last NST. They made me have a fluid check. I really don’t understand it though. My fluid was 15 at the BPP I had last tues, 12 at the BPP the Dr ordered 2 days later at my appointment, and 19.5 yesterday. All good readings but so sporadic. I didn’t have any readings like that with Tru. Also, I am group b strep negative unlike last time! YAY! Anyways…. the Dr I saw yesterday was one I remember from when I was pregnant last time but I hadn’t seen him any this pregnancy. I asked him if he really thought inducing was a good idea and told him that I was fine waiting till my due date if that made any sense. But he said he thought it was a good plan to go ahead now. It’s not really upping my chance of a c-section much since my chance of having that is already pretty good (bad?). He said though that he does think it will be successful as long as Levi tolerates the labor well. And if I wait I am just taking the chance that I never go into labor on my own, Levi starts going into distress and I have a c-section without getting to labor. This Dr said that labor is good for the baby so even if I only get to do it a few hours, it could have a healthy impact on Levi. Hearing that makes me happy. 🙂 I always wanted to labor at least a little bit if nothing else. I had made a little progress since my last appointment which is just fantastic. Hopefully I am still progressing well. I was dilated to 1cm on the outside, 2cm on the inside, 60-70% effaced, soft and (finally!) the cervix is anterior! All good signs. Levi’s head is quite low (should have asked what station) and the Dr offered to strip my membranes. I didn’t ask – the other Dr said that they don’t do that at their practice but this Dr said it isn’t his standard but he would be happy to strip them if I wanted just to give that extra advantage. Of course I said yes! I had lots of contractions yesterday and into the night but they stopped around 1am and so far today, there has been nothing worth mentioning. The Chiropractor did some labor inducing acupressure a couple days ago and he wants to try it again today. I am hoping that I will feel well enough to go today. He had originally said we were going to try acupuncture but I guess he changed his mind.

 

I am sentimental now that I know I am only days (perhaps less!) from having this baby. I am physically very done with this pregnancy. I am bleeding randomly from injection sites and usually have several bandaids all over my belly, hips and thighs at any given time to try to control the bloody shirt situation. That is gross and I am definitely tired of the Heparin twice a day…. only a few shots left! If I deliver naturally, the Dr said I might get out of taking the Lovenox shots for the 6 weeks post partum! 🙂 But as sentimental as I may be emotionally, I am so excited to meet Levi.

 

I bought a car seat base yesterday so we have one for both vehicles and don’t have to change them out all the time. I need to get Tru another car seat too because we are always having to swap his out all the time. The base I bought is usually about $35 but I got it for $11.45 because Target gave me a $20 gift card and I had 15% off! I was really happy about that. I also went grocery shopping on monday and bought almost 2 carts full of groceries. I was trying to stock up and make it so DH would have quick and easy things to prepare. I think we have about 15 easy meals ready. After I came home, I wore myself completely out making meals for the freezer. But it was worth it to now have home cooked food to eat instead of depending on DH to make a bunch of processed junk that makes us both feel sick. So far we have homemade: chili and taco soup (my sister says they are the same thing – whatever), vegetable soup, ricotta stuffed shells, scalloped potatoes, chicken enchiladas, and potato soup. I want to freeze some side dishes too if I get a chance/feel well enough. I still have things to do to get ready but I think if I was to go into labor today, it would be ok. Everything is close enough to being done.

 

The hospital called today and said that on induction day (as long as we still go in for the induction) we should get to the hospital around 12:45 am (yes AM!) and it takes about an hour to get everything ready. Expect to be in labor by 4am (in other words, expect to be exhausted), and baby should arrive around afternoon. I love how they think they have it all worked out and in control. I am not going to even kind of believe that timeline. I have no expectations. How is that? Seems safer.

How far along? 38 weeks 4 days. I can’t believe it! I was sure I would go early. 

How big is the baby? I think he’s probably about 8 pounds. I know he feels really really big in there. His movements feel so newborn-like. Not jerky anymore. Just slow and smooth. 

Total weight gain/loss?  It appears to be +36 pounds now. I don’t have too much swelling at this point unless I am on my feet/do a lot of walking. Then it gets worse and takes a few days to flush the fluid through.

Sleep? Fitful now that I am thinking about the birth and worried about being gone from Tru for so long. It is so hard for me to think about being gone from him. I worry about every little thing…. 

Best moment this week? Finding out that I have finally started to dilate. It gives me the least little bit of hope. 

Symptoms? All the usual. 

Food cravings? Speedy Freezes. 🙂 

Food aversions? Nope. 

Gender? Baby boy Levi Shay. 🙂 

Labor signs? Pretty much covered that above. Still no extra discharge to speak of, no loss of plug etc.

Belly button in or out? It is so far stretched and it hurts so bad and is so hot to the touch. It is gross folks. Gross but pretty amazing! 

What I’m looking forward to? Still just wanting to meet this little one who has surprised me in so many ways for months now! And anxious to see the sibling bond and the changing dynamic of our little family. 

Milestones? So very pregnant! I still can’t believe I’m actually pregnant and now it’s time to have the baby! WHAT? 

Bump? It aches and hurts from all the bruising. I can also really feel the muscles pulling apart down the middle. I told DH last night that my belly feels so low now. I look down and it’s practically between my legs. I joke that if it gets any lower, it will be between my knees. DH said that he too had been noticing how low it had gotten. I’m so glad that Levi got head down and so nicely engaged. I need to take some bump pictures today and I really want someone to get pictures of Tru hugging and patting my belly like he loves to do. I love it so much! It’s so precious that he has no idea there is a baby in there but he loves my belly so much. 

 

Dear God, I ask that you will please keep me and the family healthy for Levi’s birth so that Levi won’t get sick. I pray that You will make the labor and birth go smoothly. Please don’t let Levi have any problems or distress. I pray that it will all go according to Your will and that Levi will be born in whatever way is Your will for his birth. Please protect him at all times. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

 

I had my appointment yesterday to see my primary OB about a birth plan. I figured she would give me until my due date to go into labor on my own as long as baby was looking good until then. Then I figured she would have me scheduled for an induction on or close to my due date that could be changed to a c-section if needed. So, I’m sure you can imagine that I was a bit surprised when she told me we were scheduling an induction for next week at 39 weeks. I’m not giving the exact date on here for privacy reasons but those who know me IRL are free to ask me and I will give you all the details. I asked the Dr if she was sure about scheduling now and she said yes, because the few days more that she would be willing to let me go probably wouldn’t make a difference as far as me going into labor on my own. At this rate, even an induction is a long shot for several reasons:

  1. My cervix has made no changes in 2 weeks since they started checking me. It is posterior (I was wrong last week about it being anterior. It’s posterior and that is not a good sign for successful induction.), not dilated, and soft but not completely effaced (didn’t think to ask exactly how effaced though).
  2. Baby had the incident earlier this week on the NST where he had a sustained drop in heart rate with my contraction. That is not a good sign. If he has dips in HR from my piddly Braxton Hicks, then pitocin contractions could very well cause enough dips that we cannot proceed with induction and just have to go in for c-section.

But I am thankful that, barring any other problems that might pop up, at least for now I am getting the option to try to VBAC. I really don’t have any high hopes for it to be successful. My Dr seemed to think that 70-75% chance of success was possible especially if baby tolerates the contractions well. The Dr scared the pants off of me for a few minutes when she brought up that she thought one of my earlier ultrasounds showed signs that the placenta had grown over the scar and that there was a chance that talking about a VBAC was pointless since I may be having a hysterectomy. Thankfully she didn’t leave me in agonizing suspense too long as she took me over to the ultrasound room and did a quick ultrasound herself and decided that the placenta is most likely in a good spot afterall. Thank God! The H word sure scares me! I’m only 25 and I really like my parts all to stay intact a good while longer!

 

I am still considering changing the date for the induction against my Dr’s preferences to the following week around my due date. But I also realize that if I do that, the chances of him not tolerating labor and contractions will be at least the same as now if not worse and also, every week that I go is potentially growing him a half pound larger. Since we think he will be about 8 pounds by next week if not more, I don’t really think that waiting till he is even bigger is going to be doing either of us any favors.

 

We talked about a more natural cesarean approach if it ends up coming to that. The Dr made it clear that it is not in her usual practice to do family centered c-sections but that she would definitely be willing to work some things around to make it happen as long as we are not having an emergency situation. I requested:

  • Immediate skin to skin. I don’t think she is willing to do this immediately but she made it sound like we would try to do it sooner than waiting for me to be moved to recovery like last time.
  • Not having my arms strapped down. Again she didn’t say yes, but she also didn’t say no. I think we can make this work.
  • I told her I don’t want any narcotics like I had last time. I hate the way they make me feel. I don’t want that at all during the birth. She said I need to make that point to the anesthesiologists. This one is perhaps the most important.

I also talked to her about the epidural line. I am afraid to have it because I am scared of the potential for a spinal hemorrhage resulting in permanent paralysis. She said that the choice is mine but in the rather likely event of a c-section, I would be going under general anesthesia. I think I will go with the epidural line getting placed because I am very afraid to miss out on my baby’s birth. But she said I can have it turned on at any time I choose during the labor, I don’t have to get it turned on immediately. I am supposed to stop my Heparin the day before the induction and I am supposed to stop the aspirin now so that should lower the risk of problems with the epidural. I am giving myself grace about the epidural. I have heard so many horror stories about the pain of Pitocin contractions so I plan to try without the epidural on but I will give myself grace, whereas if I was laboring naturally, I would try much harder to get through it on my own if for no other reason than being able to move around and try different laboring/birthing positions. That is SO IMPORTANT to me.

 

The plan is to start induction with pitocin. If I am at all dilated by the time I get to the hospital, the Dr said they will try to insert a Foley Bulb to dilate the cervix. If I’m not dilated at all, they plan to start the pitocin and try again with the Foley after the pitocin has a chance to work. I really hope we can use the Foley because I know the dose of pitocin will be extremely low because of the previous c-section scar and I need all the help I can get to move that cervix along. I also want to use as little pitocin as possible because I am a little worried about the extra risk of uterine rupture which is small but still scares me a little. The Dr said with a natural labor the risk would be only 0.7%.

 

She said I can move around during labor. Not walking but sitting on the ball and using different positions. I am wondering if I can change her mind about the not walking part although that means I have to push around an IV pole. I forgot to ask if they can do remote monitoring of the baby. I do want him monitored the whole time as I am sure they will also want to do.

 

So, yep. I think that is about the gist of it. Unless labor starts earlier or I don’t chicken out about the induction dates, that is the plan. I do hope to try acupuncture twice next week. I am not trying any other natural labor inducing methods right now though. I may yet try pumping, maybe on the day of my next NST and possibly before we go to the hospital to induce. I don’t know.

 

I am feeling bummed out that I probably will never experience that whole “Honey, I think it’s time!” or “These contractions sure do seem mighty consistent! I think we better time these.” labor. But still, the fact that I might get to actually experience even a bit of labor makes me happy. If we do end up with a section, hopefully it will be a much better experience than last time. Pray for us! 🙂

 

Dear God, may Your will be done regarding Levi’s birth. I pray that You will bring him safely into our arms and in the perfect way You have planned. Please make the labor and birth go beautifully and be a happy and healthy experience for all of us. In Jesus’ name, amen

I am officially the most pregnant I have ever been. I crossed that bridge 2 days ago. I told DH that I now feel “overdue”. I can only imagine how much I will hate myself for saying that now if I actually do go overdue.

 

I have crossed the line from uncomfortable most of the time to miserable all of the time, which I have heard is actually a good thing because it means baby is close to coming. I hope that is the case! I am so unbelievably tired – more tired than first trimester even. And the belly is so very very heavy. I am lightheaded and actually started to pass out yesterday as I am having a hard time keeping my blood pressure high enough. I know that is a much less scary problem than having it too high though so I really can’t complain about that. It’s harder and harder to breathe. Ya know, normal end of pregnancy stuff that makes you just tired enough of being pregnant that you are ready to get that baby out! It’s a little extra motivation otherwise I think some of us would put it off until everything is ready, which could be never considering how slow I move. But I am certainly ready to be done and have this little guy in my arms. Especially after he gave me a little scare yesterday and had a prolonged drop in heart rate during my NST when I had a rather strong contraction. I was sent for a BPP (bio physical profile) on the baby and it came back good. So we were sent home but I was totally ready to be sent for a delivery… His fluid has stayed great at 17.5 last week and 15. something yesterday.

 

I have set up the co-sleeper, I just need to wash the mattress and sheet and that is all done. I need to put the car seat in the vehicle. I still have a few items that I need to add to our hospital bags but it’s not really a big deal if I don’t. I need to sanitize the pump and pacis. (I still haven’t tried pumping. After Levi’s heart rate dropped with my contraction yesterday, I am a bit afraid to purposely start anything that could be too strong for baby.) I need to set up the pack and play and I have a few minor cleaning projects that need done but are not really all that important. I feel like I have the nesting bug but no energy. Take it from me, don’t feel silly to get those things done early. You may not feel up to doing them at the last minute.

 

The baby sprinkle was perfect and so much fun! We just had a great day. I actually got quite a lot of baby gifts which wasn’t at all necessary but so very appreciated nonetheless. I counted up how many diapers we have for Levi now and what we got along with what I had already been stock piling, we have 773 diapers! That should get us through a week or two… 😉

 

I have an appointment tomorrow with my primary OB to talk about a “birth plan” which I am pretty sure is code for “scheduling a c-section” since my group practice does not allow birth plans. (They even have you sign a form at your first visit stating that you understand that birth plans are not allowed.) I am looking forward to getting that appointment done though because in the event that a c-section does happen, I have a lot of requests that I want to make and I need to do that now, not at the last minute.

 

How far along? 37 weeks 4 days

How big is the baby? Probably about 7.5lbs if the ultrasound is at all accurate.

Total weight gain/loss? About +33.

Sleep? Better than expected but have a hard time falling back to sleep.

Best moment this week? This week has been a bit rough. But the chiropractor helped my inner thigh pain SO MUCH this week. That was pretty great. 🙂

Symptoms? Pretty much what I wrote above. Also getting very nauseous. And some pretty bad hemorrhoids. Even that word is disgusting…

Food cravings? Nothing. I feel sick. I have been eating a lot less and nothing really sounds that great. Except chicken noodle soup…

Food aversions? Nothing in particular.

Gender? Baby boy Levi.

Labor signs? Probably not actually labor signs but what the heck… I have been cramping. It’s probably all that kale I ate. I am nauseous. Probably because there is a baby pushing on my stomach. Nothing exciting. I am supposed to have a cervical check again tomorrow. I don’t expect any progress as I am having no increased discharge etc.

What I miss? I am at the point where I miss my skinnier self because it’s so much easier to get around. I miss sleeping on my belly and back. I miss being able to move around quickly and I miss being able to breathe. It’s all worth it but I am starting to feel a little too cow-like.

What I’m looking forward to? Holding my Levi. 🙂 Hearing his first cry. Labor as long as it isn’t scary. Seeing Truett meet Levi. Being done traveling to the Dr 2-3 times a week.

Milestones? The most pregnant I have ever been. Over 9 months pregnant now. 🙂

Bump? It hurts and it’s stretched to what cannot possibly stretch any more. Oh wait, yes I guess it can. How in the world do bellies stretch for twin, triplet and even quad pregnancies? I look at how huge mine is and I just can’t imagine it getting bigger!

 

Same outfit that I wore with Tru at same gestation. 37+2.

Same outfit that I wore with Tru at same gestation. 37+2.

You can't see the front on. It's too scary and I think some people might find all the excessive bruising gross.

You can’t see the front on pic we took. It’s too scary and I think some people might find all the excessive bruising gross. Can you believe how big I am? It scares me and makes me laugh. 

The babies wanted in on the fun too. They threw the paper all over the floor. It was so cute. :)

The babies wanted in on the fun. They threw the paper all over the floor. It was so cute. 🙂

That is a HUGE box of diapers.

That is a HUGE box of diapers.

We were never looking at the same camera at the same time. It was totally my fault.

We were never looking at the same camera at the same time. It was totally my fault.

I have some serious imagine issues about my size from this angle...

I have some serious imagine issues about my size from this angle…

Tru ate a billion pickles and paraded around in his "awesome big brother" shirt that my SIL made him.

Tru ate a billion pickles and paraded around in his “awesome big brother” shirt that my SIL made him.

Some of the action.

Some of the action.

One of the guest tables.

One of the guest tables.

Up close of the duckies.

Up close of the duckies.

Our cake. It was as delicious as it looks. SOOO good and moist. It was sad to cut the ultrasound pics though.

Our cake. It was as delicious as it looks. SOOO good and moist. It was sad to cut the ultrasound pics though.

Our food table. I actually FORGOT to bring the vegi tray... Wow.

Our food table. I actually FORGOT to bring the vegi tray… Wow.

A blurry picture of the present table.

A blurry picture of the present table.

 

Dear God, thank You for all of the blessings You have provided for us during this pregnancy. For the sweet baby sprinkle that we got to have to celebrate our babies. For bringing us to this point of pregnancy. I pray that You will continue to bless us all throughout the labor and birth of this sweet little one. Please continue to watch over, bless, guard and protect him. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Oh boy… I had quite a day yesterday. I had my 36 week check up and the Dr checked for dilation. After groping my tonsils for a few seconds, she said “Yeah, no dilation.” And I am pretty sure my face just went all weird because she started immediately trying to make me feel better. “You could go into labor today or it could be a few weeks!” Oh please. I could go into labor today – That’s a real laugh! I was so surprised that I had no dilation. Contractions have been waking me up at night several times a night for at least a week now. I have so much stabbing pain down there that I feel like I am getting a hundred pap smears a day – from the inside out…. It was very disappointing. And yet, realistically I know that even if I had been dilated it still wouldn’t mean diddly squat since women walk around all the time dilated for weeks. But it still would have been nice. Especially since the Drs have my due date as March 26th even though I believe it is March 28th so they have a cut off that is closer than mine for when they want to talk c section and granted it is only 2 days difference but right now 2 days could mean all the difference. The Dr I saw yesterday said that their practice does not strip membranes. She didn’t say why but I thought that was interesting. The good news is that my exam showed I have started to efface (the ultrasound tech last week measured my cervix just for the heck of it and it was around 2cm long – I don’t know how that translates in terms of effacement but it’s interesting to note anyways) and the cervix is very soft but still pretty high although anterior so that’s good. I am trying to remind myself that things can change quickly and dilation isn’t everything but at this point it is pretty super important if we are going to vbac so… get on it cervix!

 

I started drinking raspberry leaf tea since it is said to help tone the uterus and shorten labor. After I drank it last night I went to bed and had only maybe 3 contractions and have had hardly any today compared to normal. (The tea does not stimulate contractions, it only tones the uterus.) The upside to not having contractions all night was that I didn’t wake up in pain over and over for no reason. 🙂 I also have been rethinking breast pumping starting at 37 weeks. I know my Dr said it is fine after 37 weeks but I have read that it can cause dangerously strong contractions. However, from what I read on Dr Google, this is more likely to happen if you are pumping for HOURS. (Can you imagine? Who would pump for hours?) My Dr didn’t set a time frame but I am pretty sure the unspoken understanding was that this was meant to be a 15 minute thing once or twice a day. So maybe if I do end up going ahead with it, I will wait until right before I go for an NST so that if anything wonky does happen, I will be there at the hospital.

 

No need to read. My silly thoughts at end of pregnancy.

I think people are starting to think that I am just being impatient about this last month of pregnancy.  As excited as I am to meet little Levi, I can wait 3 more weeks if that’s what he needs. But my main motivation to get labor going in the next 1-2 weeks is I am worried that I will end up with another c section even if it is unneeded. I have no problem getting sectioned again if it’s what Levi and I need, but I just feel like we should be able to do this! And I feel like I’m losing my confidence in that. Also, I have literally nowhere else to inject my Heparin that isn’t a bruise already and it is getting very painful. My belly looks and feels like it has been kicked by a steel toed boot. My hips are also bruised and I have a particularly awful bruise on my leg. I am also allergic to something in the Heparin and I have itchy spots everywhere I inject. My injection sites have also been bleeding for sometimes over 8 hours after I take my shot. It is not pretty. I miss Lovenox. Lovenox hurts more during the injection itself for me but the after effects are very minimal. Also, driving over 3 hours round trip twice a week to get monitored for 20 minutes and sent home even when  Levi doesn’t quite pass (he has had several times that he just didn’t accelerate enough but the Dr still sent us home with no extra monitoring leaving me wondering why I even went) is wearing me out. As far as physically being in pain and tired, that I can handle. I will miss being pregnant as far as the kicks and that sweet time where baby is always with me wherever I go… I really will miss that part. I am so conflicted!

Ok, you can read again. 

How far along? 36 weeks 4 days

How big is the baby? Probably close to 7 pounds if he was really 6lbs 8oz last week as the ultrasound estimated. The Dr said she isn’t concerned about the difference between his head and belly percentiles at this point because A) he is almost ready to be born and B) she thinks he has done well following his growth curve and C) his head is engaged so it really may be bigger than it measured.

Total weight gain/loss? I’ve had bad water retention issues again this week. I went up 9 pounds in less that 48 hours and lost most of it quickly but I have had a hard time with that now and then when I walk a lot. A trip to the mall sent me over the edge this time. But yesterday at my appointment I had gained just 2 pounds in 2 weeks so I guess I am probably up 31-ish pounds. Maybe more.

Sleep? As I mentioned before, contractions waking me up have been a bit of an issue until last night. But honestly, I feel like I am sleeping really well for this point of pregnancy.

Best moment this week? I had a really nice tech do my growth ultrasound. She kept trying to get a shot of Levi’s face which we haven’t been able to see for almost a month now as he has been mostly facing my back. But she really took her time and I about fell off the table when she said “I wish he would turn so I could do some 3D.” Then a minute later she asked if I would mind if she did 3D. I haven’t had any done this pregnancy so of course I was really excited that she wanted to try. We saw his little face and it is so cute and squishy! Unfortunately, Tru started screaming right then because he had sat through my NST and the growth ultrasound and waited in the waiting room and he was just done. So the tech said she would quit playing around and let us go. Talk about disappointing! Just when it was getting good! 😉 But she did print me one 3D picture in which Levi looks super grumpy. It’s precious. 🙂

Symptoms? I saw my Chiropractor this week and he said my pelvis was out pretty bad on the right (which I knew already from the pain). He got it back to normal and said to come see him every week until Levi is born so we can hopefully keep the pelvis aligned for an easier birth. He also offered to try inducing my labor with acupuncture after 38 weeks. I probably will take him up on that. The OB said it couldn’t hurt but she doubted it would work. But hey, if it can’t hurt, why not? So my inner thigh pain is slightly better. Since baby has dropped, a lot of my symptoms have lessened. I actually feel pretty good. Heavy and slow but good.

Food cravings? Still on my greens and salads and I really want candy/sweets.

Food aversions? As if! 😉

Gender? Baby boy, Levi. 🙂

Labor signs? Apparently not although my body has switched to clean out mode if you know what I mean. Gross.

What I’m looking forward to? Baby sprinkle if we are able to have it, weather permitting.

Milestones? Less than a week until I am the most pregnant I have ever been.

Bump? We had some maternity pictures done last weekend. I haven’t seen them yet but I am excited to see how they turned out.

 

 

RSCN2858

I feel like I look really weird. I’m not sure what is going on with my face. It’s just that end of pregnancy look I guess.

 

Dear God, I ask Your blessings and protection over the last bit of this pregnancy and birth. Thank You for how far You have brought us to this point. Thank You for this sweet baby and for his sweet kicks and movements and for this last bit of time that I get to have with him just me and him. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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