My Birth Story (37 Weeks)

I wrote this one-handed before leaving the hospital for my birth board but ended up using a short blurb version. Anyway here it is, typo-ridden, not proofread etc but I just wanted to at least get the big details down (though really I wanted to never ever think about it again so it’s brusque).

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Samuel Christopher

DOB: 7/26/15

Original Due Date: 8/14/15

Weeks Pregnant: 37w2d

Baby’s weight: 7lb 9oz

Length: 20″

Birth story: Water broke in a huge gush when I tried to crawl back into bed at 2:27am Saturday morning. I’d called my on call OB in L&D Friday night around 7pm because I’d been having painful BH since 4pm and no matter what I did they didn’t let up, though they were difficult to time because they were light but lasted for way longer than normal contractions and came almost on top of each other which I knew couldn’t be right. Anyway, Dr. Called me back at 8pm and I felt they’d sort of slowed down though I was still thinking they must be something, my OB said I was being greedy (joking) and still had three weeks to go and would probably feel these practice BH for a while yet. I asked him how I would recognize when to come in bc I really felt like this was something and yet it wasn’t…. Well basically he explained everything we’ve all been telling each other here about when to call go in, but something just didn’t feel right. I felt silly for calling because I try not to be *that* FTM and assured my husband, SIL and BFF that I’d overstated things and it was nothing, no worries, etc and that I was going to just ignore them and if it got to the point where I couldn’t talk through them then maybe I’d pay attention again.

So yeah, felt them all night but not too painful or anything until I fell asleep around 1. I got up just before 230 to go pee and remember thinking, “man that’s a pregnancy record” as I’d not peed in such volume for a long time thanks to going so frequently. Then I went back to my bedroom and swung one leg up, ready to literally climb in as always when there was just a huge gush of fluid all at once. I was shocked and went back to the bathroom where I undressed and contemplated the possibility that I’d somehow peed myself in great volume despite having just voided my bladder. Decided that was not the case, called my husband who was working in Oklahoma and told him so he could begin arranging a flight home to Maine. Then called my best friend who lives in town (not the one I’d talked to about it earlier) so she could come bring me to the hospital. As it turns out my calls and texts didn’t wake her, so I called my in laws and my father, both an hour away. I finally called the on-call doctor and he told me to come in, offered an ambulance over either driving myself or waiting for my in-laws but I felt able to drive myself aside from the fact that fluid was still coming in big gushes and I kept changing only to find myself soaked moments later.

I eventually grabbed towels, a trash bag and my hospital bag and headed for the garage. Cat escaped into garage because Murphy’s law. Got cat back in house, put down double layered towel, then trash bag then another towel on the leather and suede seats of my brand new SUV and left for the hospital, disturbed by the drip trail I knew I’d left throughout the house.

Got to hospital. Parked. Walked to door dripping and carrying big hospital bag. Door locked. Choice words. Dripped and huffed and puffed my way to the main entrance and security. Accepted wheelchair escort up to L&D where I’d luckily just pre-registered. The rest was so long and horrible that it’s going to be the shortest part of the story.

OB agreed not to give me pitocin until Curtis’ flight came in (all 3 flights went off without a hitch thank goodness), but we started misoprostol at around 11am to ripped cervix. Almost immediately cramps became contractions and i dilated to a 2.5, 75% effaced by the time C arrived, still -3 station. Started on pit and got epidural around 3. Epidural worked for all of half hour and then did nothing to even take the edge off ctx it seems. By 430 pm was 4cm 90% effaced, -3 station. 1030pm, after hours of excruciating pain I got a bolus to try to reduce my pain level. Ctx would not regulate, were nonstop but only the peaks counted and they could be 1-4 mins apart and 60-90 seconds. Bolus worked on one side for maybe half an hour. With the break from the full in pain that kept stalling things I made it to 7cm by 10:40 pm.

After that, the pain was so bad that I went from getting v quiet during contractions to grunting level noises, to full on moaning/lowing like a cow, curtis and Cindy reminding me to breathe through them, cold clothes on my face, ice chips when I’d get a moment between ctx bc the breathing through my mouth dried me out quickly. I broke down hysterically sobbing just before the bolus bc unlike what I expected from contractions (esp w an epi!) , I often went half an hour or more without a single second where I wasn’t in pain. Thanks to my pitocin being cranked to a 14 my uterus never fully relaxed between contractions. So, I don’t know…. It’s a blur from here. Basically, kept stalling.

At my next check i was 9cm, 90%, 0 or +1 station. Thought things were moving. Kind of a blur of just unrelenting pain. Broke down again around 1230 am bc my pain was at a 10 even on my ever-readjusting pain scale and I couldn’t get a moment between contractions to relax and get my bearings. It had been an hour without a break (uterine pressure never dipping below the 20s). Sobbing in front of everyone- in laws, dad, gramma, Becca- to curtis, begging for a break begging him to make it stop for a second, saying I can’t. The pain in my pubic bone was so sharp aching and immense, this was apparently bc Sam’s head was stuck there the whole time. Nurse checked and I was 9.5 cm, nurse had me do trial pushes and he wasn’t able to come down enough that she thought we were ready so she let me labor down for even longer which is supposed to allow him to move lower on his own, but after 2 hrs when the dr came in he was at a 0 station but still not coming lower and my cervix was still there, no 10. It was 230am.

Dr. started to mention a c-section and I just started crying in relief saying, ok yes, I don’t care, just make this end. Wheeled into operating room, given bolus to allow epi to do its job for the surgery rather than a spinal or going under. Epi was “patchy” and could still feel in a “window” on the left side if my belly. They waited a couple mins, decided it should be good and could give me more if needed. I was still having contractions right up until the patchy epi (did cover those!) and was so ready to be done and couldn’t take anymore pain. I had to though, felt everything internal during my c section. No cutting feeling but more than just pressure and burning. It felt so long before they even go to my uterus and the baby and then they found that his head was truly stuck in my pelvis and it took a lot of doing and more cutting to get to him and get it out. 3am on the dot he was born. I was so sad that when he was born I finally heard him cry and Curtis was emotional and I couldn’t react I was in the middle of this horrendous surgery and could barely answer questions they kept asking me to try to make sure I was ok. Come around to kiss him and say a brief hello before fading back into my tunnel of pain and unconsciousness. My OBs were shocked at how much I felt and have been quite apologetic (I guess they’re not the ones who are legally liable for that haha).

Finally stitched up, then glued. Recovery room. My own room. Ginger ale. One hour of sleep before I woke up and started my life as a mommy, smuggling and trying to BF for the first time.

34 and 35 Week Bumps and Updates

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Well, in case you can’t tell, the baby dropped between 34 and 35 weeks (34 on left, 35 on right). I’m pretty excited about this because hopefully it means I will go into labor on my own before my likely induction at 39 weeks and also bc maybe I can avoid stretch marks since my belly is now not just getting bigger and bigger every week.

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It’s been an eventful two weeks. Last weds at 33w5d I had my growth scan to check on Sam’s size since he was 96th percentile at 19 weeks. This time he was still measuring in the 90th percentile (I think 91st overall) and estimated to be 6 lbs. The tech also noticed that I had extra amniotic fluid, which didn’t surprise me since my fundal height was measuring 37 cm, so she did a biophysical profile as well as the growth scan and consulted with the dr. The Dr. ordered another BPP for this week to check on my fluid, so I went in again at 34w5d and my fluid was 2cm higher than the week before (21cm). So, I have mild polyhydramnios and have to go in weekly for BPPs. Im not sure what that means for me when I deliver, but I know it can complicate things. Anyway, thanks to all that extra fluid (most ppl at this stage have ~12cm, so it really is a lot extra!) the tech got beautiful, clear pictures of my sweet baby’s face and I will admit right now that I fell totally head over heels in love with someone I’ve never met even though I always thought I wouldn’t be the type to turn to total mush over my spawn. I was so wrong, but he is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen andI can’t wait to meet this little ham!!!

Oh, I think I forgot about weight gain last update, so here ya go: 27 lbs total (it didn’t change between 34 and 35).

31-33 Weeks and Obviously Over It

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I think the most important update regarding weeks 31, 32 and 33 is that I didn’t bother to post about them. That says more than whatever I will now briefly say. That and the fact that I’m too pregnant to even go see a movie. I had to cancel a movie date with B today because my rib cage ached so badly from sitting for 20 minutes while drinking my coffee that I couldn’t imagine sitting for two straight hours to watch a movie. Yesterday we drove an hour each way to a food festival and sat for almost 2 hours straight watching the keynote and seafood throw down (modeled after iron chef) and even with tylenol I was physically miserable.

Also, apparently pregnancy induced carpal tunnel is a thing and it came on in week 31 and now my right hand falls asleep whenever I use it, including to brush my teeth, eat, type, put my hair up, write baby shower thank you notes, or hold anything at all.

I am getting swollen, too. My toes crease where they meet my puffy foot.

I am planning a post on Maine Fare, the food festival I went to yesterday. We shall see if that actually happens.

29 and 30 Week Bumps and Updates

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Oh my god, I am finally 75% of the way through and in the 30’s. Of course Lindsay told me the 30’s felt the slowest, but I hope they don’t for me. I’m going to have a fairly busy June, as I had a pretty busy May (baby shower, cousin’s wedding, mother’s day stuff, etc). My brother will be visiting at the end of next week, I’m going in on a cabin on the coast with him and some friends for a couple of days, Lindsay will be coming to Maine towards the end of the month, C. is scheduled to be home on the 30th because we are having our 34 week growth scan on July 1st !! I’ll technically be 33w5d but close enough (and according to my dating scan EDD, july 1 is actually the day I hit 34 weeks anyway, but they don’t care about that).

29 weeks was pretty uneventful I think… ended up passing my 3 hour glucose test with flying colors and celebrated with FIVE pints of ben and jerry’s over the next two weeks.

Let’s talk weight gain… it was 20lbs at 29 weeks and 21lbs at 30 weeks.

I had another Dr.’s appointment on Thursday (29w6d), my Fundal Height was 32 this time which was a relief since it was 31-32 at 27w6d and Baby Sam totally changed position and is now head down with his butt jammed into my ribcage on my right side and his little feet pushing out on the left side of my belly. He had a nice strong heartbeat in the 130’s and is still very active. I can definitely tell when he has the hiccups now and today when he had them, I rubbed here I know his little back is and talked to him softly like I do my kitties when they have the hiccups because I’m just that kind of crazy. I think it was Jolie who used to get the hiccups often but its been a long time now since she’s had them.

Now, onto how I’m feeling lately… shit is getting real, to be honest. When I stand too much  my heels ache, when I sit down even just for half an hour to eat a meal, my right ribs burn/ache because sam gets squished right into them and when I lay down my lower back often aches or my tailbone does, depending on my angle of recline. Seriously, I can’t believe I’m already having this much trouble getting comfortable at 30 weeks, but I guess it’s his position and he is at least a couple weeks ahead in terms of overall size, so it shouldn’t be that shocking. I’m just happy that I am having a very healthy pregnancy and a very healthy baby and neither of us have any issues of concern aside from his being possibly a bit too robust for his mommy. We’ve got another appointment June 18 where apparently it is time to talk labor preferences… I’d prefer it if he’d just magically appear, but I think they mean more epidural or no, circumcision or no, etc.

I’ll be back with another update next week, or more likely it seems, the week after!

28 Week Bump and Glucose Tolerance Test

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I guess it speaks to how looooong pregnancy feels that I’m already beginning to lose interest in making these updates. Last week was actually more eventful than others, too! On Thursday I had my appointment where My fundal height was measuring 3-4 cm ahead. It was 4 the first few times the NP did it but she finally said, “well, I guess I could call that 31″ since it’s less extreme. Fundal height is supposed to be within 2cm (+\-) the week you’re in so at 27w6d i should have been somewhere between 26 and 30. Other than asking if I was a big baby and being shocked enough to do it several times, she didn’t say anything about it although a lot of ppl get an ultrasound when it’s more than 2cm off. Im already getting an U/s at 34 weeks because he was so big at his anatomy scan, so maybe that’s why.

After that I grabbed a latte and breakfast sandwich before heading to the lab for my 1 hour glucose test. I wasn’t told to fast or anything, but ending up failing by 2 points. They like to see the number under 140 and mine was 141. So now I’m sitting here at the hospital lab, waiting for my last of 4 blood draws. I got here at 730 after going to the other lab first since no one told me about the venue change and will finally be leaving at 11:13. My fasting level was 91, which is passing, but not by too much and the rest of the results will go to my doctor’s office about 2 hours after my last draw. I’m glad I don’t have to wait too long.

Total weight gain: 19 lbs

This week stuff hurts some, like the round ligaments holding up my 4 cm too big for this stage uterus. Baby is moving a ton still, my whole belly jolts and vibrates and jumps. I took a short video to capture this crazy phenomenon.

A Rant on Counting/Math dealing with Pregnancy

Now everyone would say I’m in my third trimester, hurrah, we can all agree! I don’t know where this whole 28 weeks is the third trimester thing came from, maybe What to Expect because math and my Dr. and the insurance company all say it starts at 27 weeks (as in, when you’ve completed 27 weeks and are starting on your 28th week) but I’ve noticed that baby center and WTE call it 28, for no reason I can figure out since that makes for a very long 2nd trimester and a short third, when trimesters are just a construct designed to divide the pregnancy into three basically even parts.

[Editor’s note: here’s where we realize that my 28 week update has turned into a rant and its not coming back]

I’d say don’t get me started, but clearly I’ve already started. I have other pregnancy counting pet peeves, the biggest of all being when people say they are 7 months pregnant when they are IN their 7th month, but are actually 6 months pregnant thanks to these stupid charts that tried to simplify the whole week to month thing but obviously failed due to a lack of critical thinking. I mean, it seems pretty obvious that if theyre calling weeks 1-4 month one that you wouldn’t consider yourself to be 1 month pregnant at 1 week, except it apparently isn’t. By that logic I’d have to call myself 30 since I’m in my 30th year and we’d be calling our day-old babies a month old since they are in week 1-4. I mean. Gah.

Well, now I’ve just ranted and its probably boring to most and probably ticking off fellow pregos who just want to make themselves sound more pregnant by saying 26 weeks is 7 months pregnant because a chart said 26-30= month 7. My main problem with this is that people who are properly reporting how many months they are when asked are being treated like they’re monstrous because they’re so much bigger than other women were/are at 6 months pregnant (when of course they are bigger because they’re 4 weeks further along than other ladies claiming to be 6 months pregnant). I’ll leave the lunar month people out of this because at least there is logic behind that. I think the WHO actually tried to standardize our way of counting months during pregnancy and chose lunar months as the way to go. By regular months I am 6 1/2 months pregnant, by lunar months I am 7 months pregnant and by the super common misreading of that chart I’m 7 1/2 months pregnant. THIS is why we count weeks.

I don’t even think I can blame this on hormones, I think it’s just my Sheldon-like nature and pure vexation at inconsistencies, especially when the logic is clear. Follow the logic…. my husband thinks I’m insane and should let it go and I keep insisting that I cant because it’s WRONG. I think know he genuinely wishes he could sedate me sometimes.


26 and 27 Week Bumps and Updates,

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Guys, I put off week 26 (white shirt) for so long that I figured I might as well combine the two. Last weekend was busy with B and then Mother’s Day and then I hit one of those lazy, no motivation patches which mean that baby is growing furiously and my bump is about to pop for the 15,000th time.

Total weight gain:

At 26 weeks- 20 lbs, at 27 weeks- 17

Yes, you read that right. I had another weight explosion last week where I packed on four pounds in a day and ballooned up to 20 pounds gained, officially putting me just over the recommendation for the week! The first two times this happened (19 and 23 weeks I think) I let it go because I was behind in my weight gain anyway and I figured my body was just catching up all at once. This time, I was like oh helllllll no because I have a ways to go and cannot afford to be gaining 4 lbs a week on the regular. So, I upped my daily mileage to 2 miles per day instead of my former 1 mile goal and started using Myfitnesspal again to track my calories and nutrients. I even made a log in my planner where I note calories, sugar, fat and sodium along with weight and miles walked in case my weight gain didn’t slow and I needed to show my OB or a nutritionist what I was doing so they could tell me what I was doing wrong. Well, I lost 3 lbs this week, which really surprised me and just goes to show how much being aware of my diet and a little “exercise” can do.

Baby:

Baby Sam jabbed me in a painful way for the first time during my 27th week… I was in Amato’s trying to order a veggie sub on Saturday and kept getting this sharp little pain in my side ribs. It kind of makes me nervous about what’s to come, im just hoping he doesn’t break any ribs when he’s all big and strong in there. He feels lower this past week, but maybe it’s not that he’s lower because he’s also higher up in my abdomen. It’s just that when I stand up or, especially when I walk, I feel a weight and pressure in the bottom of my belly… probably just because it’s getting heavier and heavier.

Mommy:

Both B and Daddy got me flowers for Mother’s Day, which was especially sweet because it’s kind of a gray area when you’re really pregnant but haven’t had a baby yet. Ok, I told your Daddy he should get me flowers, but he didpick out a beautiful bouquet which the kitties have enjoyed tearing apart and shredding all over the house. I went to Fairfield to church with my gramma, aunt angie, cousin and a couple uncles for Mother’s Day, a tradition as it’s all Gramma wants every year. B and I went to see a movie, Hot Fuzz, mostly as an excuse to eat buttery movie popcorn and junior mints (cheat day!). I read Maria Semple’s “This One is Mine” which didn’t take long because she knows how to keep her readers engaged. I’m still really enjoying my espresso machine and have taken to making an iced double half-caff nonfat latte in the morning so that I still have a little caffeine allowance left over for an afternoon pick-me-up if needed.

Symptoms:

Allergy season has arrived, and added to the annoyance that is rhinitis of pregnancy. My feet and ankles get a little swollen sometimes but no one believes me because they’re normally pretty bony, so they look totally normal, but not normal for me!! But my rings still fit- I’ve made it 2/3 of the way wearing my rings, woo-hoo! I still feel good, but I make more noise getting up or down, I definitely cannot see certain parts of myself and I touch my belly an obnoxious amount because I can feel hard spots where his head and butt are, not to mention all those kicks and jabs! I was more tired but I think it was the drizzly cold weather and a growth spurt because now I’m back to my usual 7 hours of sleep and energy levels.

25 Weeks and a Nursery Update

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It’s my first public bare belly bump shot!! I made it black an white because that somehow makes an expanse of bare skin less… Well, it looks less like I’m showing you lots of skin. I don’t know, whatever. It’s a thing, I think. So here’s my real 25 week baby bump and my stretched out belly button…. I bet I’ll be one of the women whose belly buttons pop out towards the end.

Total weight gain:

this one is getting tough since my weight has begun to vary by 2-3 lbs day to day. I will go by my average weight this week, which puts me at a gain of 16.3 lbs…

Baby:

Seriously, I don’t really know much new about baby except from what the apps say. He is still a mover and a shaker, is apparently the size of a Napa cabbage and putting on baby fat!

My week:

It just started to warm up yesterday… Which means 50s and 60s and monday should be low 70s. Finally!! I got together with a friend from H.S. This week to do the crossword puzzle at Dunkin Donuts like old people. It took us 2.5 hours (with a lot of chatting) and we had to look up 2 answers at the end. Had dinner with B. At Pepinos (a chimichanga, so unhealthy but soooo good!!) And more progress was made on the nursery thanks to my dad biking up for a morning to set up the glider and hang the curtain.

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What I’m Loving Wednesday: Espresso Edition

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C. has been working so much lately that I thought it was the perfect time for him to buy me an espresso machine. Well, that’s the horrible person version of events. Reality: years ago he accidentally threw away a crucial part of my espresso machine and I could never find a replacement, so eventually he convinced me to throw it away with the promise that when we got our own house he would buy me a new one. As it turns out, buying a house is very expensive and the espresso machine was definitely not on the top of the list of things we needed. Curtains and curtain rods, blinds, a steam mop (no more carpets yay!!), a recycling bin and outdoor trash can; these were the things that new homeowners really needed.

Anyway, C. has been working in Oklahoma for over a month now and we are financially caught up after a few tight months with preparing to buy the house and move, and Bed Bath and Beyond sent us a 20% off your whole purchase coupon, so I decided the time was right. C. agreed after making sure I wouldn’t be buying a thousand dollar machine. He preferred $300 or less, I wanted a Breville, luckily with the coupon we both won b/c my $400 machine came to $320 and everyone lived happily ever and my daily dose of caffeine just tastes so much better.

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I set it up which took forever (45 minutes) since I was uncaffeinated and slow and after adjusting my dose (as they call the amount of coffee in the permafilter) I poured my very first shot and it was gorgeous and had the most beautiful crema. It was almost a shame to dilute it with nonfat milk, but the quality definitely came through. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m really looking forward to the day when I can drink a double latte in the morning and then have an early afternoon pick-me-up con panna as well.

24 Weeks!

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Pardon my wet hair in these, but I am so excited to have reached 24 weeks… Also known as the first viability milestone. Now Baby Samuel could potentially survive outside the womb, it would not be easy or free of complications, but still, it’s comforting to know he could survive in the world. He also weighs around 2 lbs and he definitely feels like it, his kicks are getting stronger and stronger. I can’t wait for C. to come home so he can feel his son jabbing away, but I still do have to wait a while.

Total Weight Gain:

15-16 lbs. seriously, im traumatized. I gained 4 lbs this week, 3 overnight and I exercised more and ate well and gained another one the next day… So yeah, 4 lbs even though my diet or exercise levels haven’t changed ughhhh. I called my OB and talked to a nurse about it because I know it can be a sign of pre-eclampsia but she was unconcerned and said that my weight gain is “excellent” and im rigt in track and that its just water weight as well as baby, increased amniotic fluid and blood volume. So, yeah, I mean I can’t even tell where it went, but thats the second time I’ve just suddenly had a huge jump in my weight, I guess that’s just how my body does pregnancy and works around my trying not to gain too much. I just hope it doesn’t keep happening because I am trying so hard to stay on the lower end of the recommended range and now I’m already in the middle and I didn’t really have any control over it.

Speaking of weight gain, ha, I’ve got a lunch date with B so I’d better cut this short. Vietnamese is the plan today.