Friday, January 27, 2012

Ava Joy's Birth Story, Part 3

Ava Joy's Birth Story, Part 1
Ava Joy's Birth Story, Part 2

Once we got upstairs to Labor and Delivery, it only took a few minutes of paperwork and such before the doctor came in to break my water. Then, the walking began.

Lots of walking. Walking, walking, walking.

More walking than I had ever done in either of previous labors.

Probably more walking than I did in my previous labors combined.


Oh, and the gushing. The walking made the gushing happen. Lots of amniotic fluid coming out.

There was some massage and relaxation.

Even some more squatting.

Every 15 minutes, we would pop into the room and check the baby's heart rate.

And once in a while, I would have a contraction. A nice, powerful contraction.

But mostly, walking.

It was pretty boring thrilling.

Thankfully, I had some very nice walking companions.

I guess I hadn't realized how out of shape I was from being on bedrest. I was getting darn tired of walking before too long. Thankfully, after about a 90 minutes, the contractions became more regular- about every 10 minutes or so, but very powerful. I thought we might actually be getting somewhere.

We had agreed that 2 hours after my water was broken, we would have another cervical check to see if I was making progress.. The time came and the check happened.

And despite all that waaaaaaaaalking... a whole lot of nothing had happened to my cervix.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ava Joy's Birth Story, Part 2

Between John and I, I tend to be more likely to shoot from the hip when it comes to bad news. So for John to just blurt it out like... "something is not right"... well, I took it to mean he was pretty freaked out. And when John is freaked out, his ability to focus goes out the window. Thus, it was, according to my sister, an overly-long time before he and I came to a plan.

When we came out of our room, I told my sister that we planned to head to the hospital. A barrage of questions followed, and I think she maybe got a little too much information about our "intimacy habits" when she asked how John even knew that his assessment of my cervix was significantly changed from my OB's assessment 2 days before. I believe his exact words were "well, something is there that wasn't there as of last night!"

Oh yes, Disney, my man knew there's something there that wasn't there before! Ahem.

After as much commotion as you would expect, we all packed up and headed to the hospital. I notified my doulas and my birth photographer that we were headed in to see what was going on; no promises, but... We decided to take 2 separate cars, so John and I headed to OB receiving while my parents, sister, and the kids got packed up.

What followed was a very long process of another cervical check and fetal/contraction monitoring and decision making. Turns out I was basically 5cm, 90% effaced and a +1 station (hence the sensation of vaginal fullness.) But, I wasn't having any contractions. I was hours away from the 39 week mark. What to do?

I really wanted an intervention-free labor. But my doctor said that if I wanted to, she would break my water to get things moving for me. We both agreed that once my water broke or I started having contractions (whichever came first), my labor would be very quick. Quick enough that I might not make it to the hospital. With Abigail's birth, I went from 5cm to having a baby out in less than 45 minutes. With JohnAndrew, I went from half a centimeter to having a baby out in less than 1 hour. I was already 5cm and the baby was practically half way out... this was going to be quick once it actually happened.

As much as I make light of this now, it really was a gut-wrenching decision process. I so wanted to just let nature take its course. On the other hand, I felt equally as strong about not having my baby on the side of the highway while trying to get to the hospital. John and I went back and forth, and in the end, even when I talked myself out of staying, something just didn't feel right.

We called my OB and made a few stipulations. If we stayed and they broke my water, I wanted to make sure she would come in to do my delivery. She would. I didn't want to be hooked up to a monitor or IV. She agreed I wouldn't (although did want fetal heart tones every 15 minutes.) And I wanted to know what would happen if I didn't start having contractions right away.

This is where I was so thankful to have done my research and to have a great relationship with my OB. She requested that if I didn't make some cervical progress within 2 hours, she wanted to start me on a bit of Pitocin. I agreed under the condition that it was a half dose of the normal starting dose, we could stop if the contractions got bad, and I still wouldn't be hooked up to a monitor (but would have fetal heart rate checks every 5 minutes.)

I feel like we played the game well. I made some concessions, but did so from an informed place in the spirit of compromise. To be honest, I feel like I got more of what I wanted than my OB got:) So that settled it. We were staying, and we weren't going to leave until we had a baby!

I called my doulas and photographer, and waited for a bed to become available. Next stop: labor and delivery!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stupid Timeline

Like, well, basically every other blogger on Blogger, Timeline seems to have messed up my feed.

If you subscribe in a reader or by email, can you let me know if this is working okay? I'm trying to get this fixed on Facebook, too. You can always keep up with me on FB at the Gracelings Blog Facebook Page!

Ava Joy's Birth Story, Part 1

I'll be honest: I was expecting Ava Joy to be born by 38 weeks. I told God that for every day past 38 weeks that I carried her, He should shave an hour off my labor. And my labors were both less than 12 hours.

On Thanksgiving day, I was 38 weeks and 6 days. I felt pretty good and hosted my folks, my sister, and John's sister and her husband (although, to be honest, I did not cook a lot.) I ate. The food was good. I kept telling the baby to come out. There were about 3 random contractions.

Once the evening began to settle a bit, my sister encouraged me to do something, anything, to get labor going. I knew I was 4cm dilated and 80-90% effaced at my OB visit earlier in the week. And John and I had tried, um, a natural way to start labor. The day before I had even gone for an acupuncture session to help get the labor juices flowing. My sister was also doing some accu-pressure on labor spots. Still nothing.

I decided to do some squatting. My back was hurting and squatting usually helped. After a few minutes...

Okay, stop. I am about to get really personal and graphic. If you don't like this kind of stuff, just stop reading. I'm warning you.

So, after a few minutes of squatting, I swear I felt something in my vagina. I got up, walked around a bit, and went to the bathroom. The sensation of fullness in my vagina was so intense that I was afraid to bear down because I thought the baby might just pop out! When I was done in the bathroom (and reassured that there wasn't a little hand sticking out or something), I got John.

For the most part, being married to a doctor is helpful. But like most internists, there are a lot of OB type questions that John is completely useless to answer. However, I felt pretty sure he could help me on this one. I asked John to step into our bedroom. I explained the situation then asked him to do a quick pelvic exam to make sure there wasn't any part of the baby or cord protruding. I really felt strange, but if nothing was where it shouldn't be, I didn't want to make a trip to the hospital on Thanksgiving night!

He argued with me, but in the end decided my plan was best. Good husband.

Now, here's what you need to know about John and matters relating to women's health: the last pelvic exam he did was about 5 years ago on a woman in the ED, and he did the bare minimum required for his training. Which is to say, he is not an expert at pelvic exams by any stretch of the imagination.

So it was pretty disconcerting when he looked at me and said "well, I don't know what's going on, but I can tell that something is not right."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Me, elsewhere

Ava Joy's birth story starts tomorrow. Excited?

In the mean time, check me out over on Jamie's blog as I talk about my breastfeeding journey in her Clever Cleavage post! (Delivery room photos included:)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chicken and Rice Soup

The other day I made this soup. Kind of.

Here's what I actually did. I recommend you do this, too.

9 C. homemade chicken broth
2t salt
2 frozen chicken breasts
2-2.5 C. fresh veggies, prepared
1 t. Herbs de Provence
3 C. cooked rice (I used leftover jasmine rice)

Wash vegetables. Dice, blend, or put them thru the food processor to desired size. (I used 3/4ths of a frozen onion, some celery sticks that were probably not going to be eaten, a handful of baby carrots, and a crown of broccoli*, and put them all thru the food processor.)

Dump all ingredients except rice into 6 qt crock pot. Cook on low all day (6+ hours).

20-60 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Return chicken to pot and add rice.



*Note: I would probably not use broccoli again. I think it added a bit of a strange flavor, and it looked funny floating in the soup. I would increase the onion, and try cauliflower along with carrots and celery. But any number of veggie options would work. Use what you have!

We interrupt this silence...

We interrupt this bloggy radio silence for an actual post!

I know. I am super behind on blogging. I have about 43 posts rattling in my head- some just Christmas catch-up, and some about actual stuff. Adult thoughts and all that.

Alas, time is short, my nights are shorter, and my temper is shortest when I am sleepy. So here are a few tidbits.

1. Did you know you  can make baked potatoes in the crock pot? And if you have a second CP, you can concurrently make a meatloaf? And if you are really cool, you can start the crock pot at 6am when you are up to feed the baby, and when you get home from church at noon, all you have to do is steam some veggies and put the salad on the table and you have a yumm-o meal. Ask me how I know this:)

2. JohnAndrew gets a diaper rash every time he is about to cut a tooth. Why is that?

3. I am going to Created for Care this weekend. I am really excited. It will be just Ava Joy and I... and 399 other cool peeps:) I am really excited that I won't have to cut anyone's food but my own.

4. I think I am supposed to feel more overwhelmed than I do right now. Society often gives that impression... 4 kids or 2 little ones are supposed to mean you are overwrought. Now, this is not to suggest I am not tired or that I don't have my moments when I just want to sit down and cry, but for the most part, I am finding motherhood to be even more joyful with my 4 than it was with 3. I definitely laugh more.

5. One day in 2012 I will stop wearing my maternity pants. I am not sure if this is a threat or a promise.

Friday, January 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes- Random Kid Quotes, 3nd Edition

Some of these are from a while back, but they still make me laugh!

Abigail: Mimi, what is Eminent Domain?
(Insert long explanation from Mimi.)
Abigail: Well, in that case, I am against it.

(shortly after the "baby scandal" news broke)

Me: (singing) Billie Jean is not my luv-ah...
John: You know, Justin Bieber should totally remake that song.
Me: *rolls eyes*
John: Come on, you know you would laugh if he did.
Me: John, I laugh at just about everything Justin Bieber does.

Anna: Momma, did you know that Obama is the principal of the United States?

Abigail: What about the shipping and causing?
Me: Uh, I think you mean shipping and handling?

John: So, are you enjoying these last few weeks of what is probably your last pregnancy*?
Me: Dude, I'll believe this is my last pregnancy when permanent measures have been taken.
John: Really? Then you have a lot of faith in the medical profession. I'll believe it's your last pregnancy when you are post-menopausal.

Anna: And then God made the breasts. And He made the warm milk and the cold milk. And when I grow up I am going to ride a horse.

Anna: Momma, how come you don't have all the breast-is like the mommy pigs? They have lots of breast-is for their babies. You only have 2.

Thanks to Jen for hosting! Do your own 7 Quick Takes and link up!

* Clearly, he's never been pregnant. Enjoying the last few weeks? Right. There were also comments about how the baby was going to fall out. Ahem.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Miss Representation

I can't wait to see this film.

Unfortunately, I can't find a screening near me. Maybe you can.

If not, there is still lots you can do.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Taking it to the Street

Remember how I said I loved Sesame Street?

Guess what. A lot of people do. And they want to see breastfeeding return to the Street.

I signed the petition. Will you?

And if they did get a celeb to breastfeed on Sesame Street, who would you like to see?

I think Pink would be great! She has spoken out about how she enjoys breastfeeding and has been photographed nursing in public.
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