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Friday, February 18, 2011

Ruthie's Birth Story

So, unlike Zoe, I knew my due date with Ruthie, which was Valentine's Day of 2008.  So, the day before Ruthie was born (she was born on Saturday, February 9th, 2008), Jeff and I decided at the last minute to make plans to celebrate Valentine's Day the Saturday before by going out to lunch and then catching a movie; I don't remember what movie we were planning to see now, since we didn't actually know when she was coming. I had called up Jeff's mom to babysit Zoe and she said, "Well, I'd be more than happy to watch her, but I don't think you're gonna actually make it." My response of course was to "Don't tell me that!" and then she chuckled and we hung up.

So apparently, my mother in law was right, since we were getting ready, and my water broke roughly quarter after 12. We were running behind, and she had just barely called Jeff about 5-10 minutes before. Jeff had reassured her that we were getting ready, and to expect us to be there within the next 30 minutes. I think my water had broken right when he hung up. I remember I was standing up and reaching to grab my purse off of the couch when I felt something pop and fluid leaking. I then said loudly to Jeff, "You need to call your mom back!" and he said "Why?" to which I responded, "My water broke!" He then called her back, and I do remember there was laughing involved. Probably had to do with her prediction. I did think it was somewhat funny, but I was more concerned about getting a change of clothes and getting Zoe ready even faster. We get into the car, and on the way to the hospital, I called my parents to let them know my water had broken and that we were on the way to the hospital. We get there at about 12:45, and the lady at the desk asked if I was sure that's what happened. I explained to her that this was my second pregnancy, and that my water broke with my first child and so I knew 100% that's what happened. Then that's when I found out that I was not the first to get admitted that day for my water breaking, I was lucky number 8! Apparently, favorable atmospheric conditions will cause your water to break if you're close to your due date; in this case, there has to be a drop in barometric pressures. When I got to the hospital, I was 3 plus cm dilated, and I was 80% effaced.

After we get there, we just sit around and wait. My inlaws showed up at about 3:00pm to sit with us at the hospital, mostly because they were bored and had nothing to do. I got to 4 plus at about the same time they showed up, and stayed there for quite a while. Then at about 5 pm, before the pain got too bad, I requested an epidural. That was done right, and this time I was able to move my legs around sleep for some time to get energy, since I hadn't eaten anything for breakfast, and obviously not for lunch. I HATE the policy of no eating while a woman is in labor, and it didn't help that Jeff went to Wendy's and was eating FOOD IN FRONT OF ME. And let's not forget my favorite fast food place is WENDY'S. Then at about 7pm, they -being everyone else but me- decided that Zoe needed to be taken to my sister in law's house and I started bawling. I don't know why, but the idea of Zoe not being there upset me more than anything else. So, my father in law took her over, and at that point I was about 5 cm dilated. And then things really took off from there. They were probably expecting me to take much longer than I did.

My father in law got back at about 8:15, and at that time, I was dilated to nine plus! They quickly called the doctor, and while I was waiting for him, I apparently went from 9 plus to fully dilated; all I had to do was sit straight up and rock side to side a few times. It was quite funny because while we were waiting for the doctor to show up, we were making jokes and every time I started laughing, I was feeling Ruthie sliding down the birth canal a bit more. While waiting for the doctor, the nurse asked if we wanted to know what color hair she had, and we said yes (of course!!!) so she had me to a little push, and that's when we found out that Ruthie had black hair. At this point I had crowned without actually doing any major pushing. It was amazing knowing that my body was doing this all on it's own without me doing any work!

My OB got there at about 8:20 and got prepped and ready and the nurse let him know I was about to laugh her right out, and to hurry up! So then when he was completely done prepping, he had me start pushing. I pushed through 3 contractions, and she was out at 8:34. She probably would have been out sooner but after the first two contractions that came almost back to back, the third one was about 4 minutes after the first two. So we literally just stood -well I was laying down of course- and waited. The nurse did try to correct my pushing, but the doctor told her that I was doing just fine, and to not worry about it.

She was 7 pounds 6 ounces -6.2, but they rounded down to 6- and 20 inches long. And because she had come out so quickly, her head was perfectly normal shaped; absolutely no conehead. Zoe had one, but Ruthie didn't. In addition, I tore in two areas. The first tear was in my perineum, and was just a first degree tear. The second place well... if you invision the area being a clock, I tore between 12 and 1.. my labia minora tore, and I had to get stitched up there. The tearing looked really bad for about 6 months, but after the swelling went down, you can't tell that there was ever a tear that occurred in that area. I really think the fact that Ruthie came so quickly, and because her head was perfectly shaped it stretched me a little more than I could take, and that's why I tore in two places. And I don't think I mentioned Zoe's APGAR scores, but they were also the exact same as Ruthie's.. 8 and then 9. It's so odd that they were both the same size and had the same APGAR scores!

What was so different with Ruthie's birth is that it was way less stressful. I had an amazing nurse who refused to rotate patients, because she wanted to stay with us until the very end. Also, the atmosphere was just so wonderful.. we were cracking jokes, and laughing, and instead of treating Zoe like she was an annoyance, she gave her a hat and blanket and a little pink tub for Zoe's doll that she had brought along; she even gave Zoe a newborn diaper to put on the doll! It was also great to have my OB deliver Ruthie, versus having another doctor do so. We think that he lived close to the hospital because from the time he was called to the time he showed up, there was maybe 10 minutes of waiting. And of course when I got my epidural, I specifically requested that they give me fresh batteries due to what happened with Zoe, and so they obliged, I remember watching the anesthesiologist unwrapping a battery pack and putting into the machine.

I think the best part though was when she came out, they put her right on my chest and gave me towels and things to help clean her off.. a major difference between the treatment I recieved after Zoe was born. I later on found out that our nurse was given "The Nurse of the Year Award" for our hospital the year before (2007) and the anesthesiologist was named "Anesthesiologist of the Year" for our insurance group the year before as well (this is no easy feat, since we are covered by the largest insurance group in the entire state of Utah) and of course my OB was just so amazing, so I had a great team working with me. In addition, I was able to get Ruthie to nurse within half of an hour of her being born. We did have issues with her having an over-vigorous latch, but with patience, and some time with the lactation consultant, I was able to learn how to help correct it; and was able to correct it after we went home. I ended up breastfeeding Ruthie until 2 weeks before her second birthday; however it was not self weaning; we had to abruptly stop her from nursing; something she did NOT want to do, but after 2 days of being firm about it she stopped asking to nurse. I'm grateful that I was able to have a fantastic nursing relationship with both girls.

Obviously, there were major differences between the deliveries of the girls. And I think this time around for Oscar, I want to do things a bit differently.

  • It was pretty frustrating just laying there.. and laying there. I had brought some embroidery to work on, but that bores me pretty quickly, so I didn't do much with it. I want to get up and MOVE. Walk around the maternity ward or even my room, and maybe even sitting and bouncing on a yoga/birthing ball. My SIL did that with her last labor and delivery, so I want to ask her how that helped her. Even if my water breaks, I think I can still walk and move, provided I have adequate protection from the fluid leaking out and leaving puddles; most likely those disposable mesh undies and pads they give to moms to catch the postpartum bleeding.
  • I want to try and go natural without an epidural. My pains with Ruthie never got bad, and I honestly think I could have stuck it out. I plan on asking my OB what's available for short term pain management, and I'll see if they even have nitrous oxide available at my hospital. I know it's currently only available at two hospitals in the US, but I'll never know if I don't ask! And hey, I might even start a cool trend in my area. I think if I go into the hospital with the mindset of "I can do this!" then I CAN DO IT!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Zoe's Birth Story

Since I'm a pretty active follower of cloth diapering blogs, and I of course follow cloth diapering moms on twitter, I was having a conversation with one the other night.. she was up later than usual and asked if anyone was on, and I said of course.. it's amazing how much you can squeeze into a short blurb!  Anyway, she shared her daughter's birth story with me, and it dawned on me I never posted mine online with either of the girls. She had expressed interest in reading my birth stories, so of course I'm now writing them out here; I'm going to start with Zoe's since she was born first. The first reason is to share my stories of course, but the second reason is to kind of help me process both of their deliveries and kind of help me know what I want with Oscar's birth. Thankfully I had the foresight to type and print up Zoe's birth story and printed it out and put it in her scrapbook so I'm gonna refer back to this to type it up. It was over five years ago!

So, here it goes.

I had contractions start up a few days before Zoe was born, but it wasn't until November 23rd that they were bad. I remember we had gone to run some errands at Linens 'n' Things, and Target. I don't remember why we had gone to LnT, but we had gone to Target to pick up drinks for Thanksgiving dinner the next day. I remember walking around the stores and having contractions, but it wasn't until we were checking out at Target that I told Jeff I needed to sit down, since the contractions were kind of getting strong. After we checked out, we drove over to Sonics to get some Route 44-sized Strawberry Limeaids.. let me tell you those things are so many levels of epic. Jeff started to get tired at around 9:30 so we went to bed, and something told me to lay a towel on the bed, so I did. I curled up on my left side and was reading Harry Potter and the order of the Pheonix, and then around 10, I felt a trickle.  I thought it could have been my bladder leaking a bit, since I had just finished drinking a huge beverage in a short time.

So I got up to go to the bathroom, and as soon as I relaxed to pee, I felt this huge gush of fluid and then this loud wet plopping noise.. and I looked in the toilet and saw this huge white blob... apparently the gush of amniotic fluid dislodged my mucous plug in one piece. So I woke Jeff up and told him my water broke, and of course he had to ask "Are you sure?" and I was of course VERY sure. So we got dressed and toodled over to the hospital.

So after getting hooked up to monitors and whatnot, the nurse tried to test the fluids that were on the chuck pad I was resting on and then vaginally swabbing, but they all came back negative. The nurse called the doctor on call and he said for her to use her own judgement. I think she didn't really believe that my water had broken, and in the middle of her spiel about first time moms not knowing what's going on, I felt this trickle of fluid so I cut her off and said "I'm leaking fluid again." so she uncovered me quickly and visually confirmed that I was in fact leaking amniotic fluid, and so they transfered me to a labor and delivery room. Of course, after I was getting transfered, that's when I started leaking fluid like crazy and was leaving puddles everywhere.

At around one in the morning, my contractions were starting to get uncomfortable, and after being prodded into it, I decided to go for an epidural. I was able to get some sleep after that, but then because I was moving around so much while I was asleep it had slipped out a bit and had to be redone.. not sure what time it was when this happened. The scary part was not being able to move my legs. AT ALL. It sucked because when I shifted positions, I had to either have Jeff move my legs for me or I had to call in a nurse. I don't know how people who are paralyzed deal with that on a daily basis, my hat seriously goes off to them.

Anyways, my inlaws showed up at the hospital at around 10 am, and they were fully expecting to be home not too long after that. It was fine and dandy for a while, until around.. I'm wanting to say 10:30 or so, the epidural machine died, and I spent the rest of my labor unmedicated. I'm assuming it had died sooner, but it took that a while for it to wear off. I also remember moaning and even screaming, and they were telling me to 'calm down and stop screaming' which of course didn't work. And then they also gave me oxygen.. not sure why though. I had initially wrote, "Women who chose to have natural labor should have their heads examined; it was extremely painful!" (I'll address this later of course) Oh, and I threw up at this time too. A lot. I'm not sure what caused it.. since I know they heavily dosed me with pitocin, so it could have been that, or it could have been the shock my body went through when I went from pain free to experiencing natural labor. Our bodies are made to deal with the gradual increase of pain, not going from 0 pain to 10 in a matter of seconds.

The doctor on call came in, and determined that while Zoe was head down, she wasn't completely posterior facing, and manually turned her to face down properly. This was not fun I tell you that. So then, he came back a while later and said I could start pushing. Being a first time mom, I don't think he expected me to progress so quickly beacuse he came in after 20 minutes to check on me, and was surprised at how fast I was progressing. 25 minutes later after that, Zoe finally came into the world at 12:19 pm.

I'm not gonna lie. The OVERALL labor was good, but the actual birth and delivery was bad and somewhat truamatic. I was kind of pushed to have an epidural, and of course it crapped out on me twice. I realize now too in hindsight the ignorance of my comment about women who chose to have natural birth. I think had I been mentally prepared to experience the pain, it would not have been so bad. In addition, I think the epidural wore off during transition, which according to my reading is the most painful part of labor.  Oh, and the delivering doctor was HORRIBLE. He had terrible bedside manners.. he was short and rude with me, and then when they put Zoe on me to clean her off, he and the nurse chewed me out for wanting to help clean her off, and they both kept telling me to stop touching her, and I think at one point my hands were moved off of her. In addition, he YANKED my placenta out without any abdominal massage, and I'm pretty sure when I started crying too loudly, I heard him tell the nurse "get her to shut up." Maybe he said quiet down, I don't remember. And then, since it was traditional for the doctors in the OB group to give out baby shirts, I remember him throwing my shirt at me and then walking out. I still have the shirt, but for reasons unknown, I never put Zoe in it.

I'm grateful though that I had a lactation consultant come in right after Zoe was born, and we were able to establish breastfeeding pretty quickly. Zoe nursed like a champ and self weaned at 1 year old.

I guess what I can take away from my birthing experience with Zoe, is if you're gonna have an epidural, at the very least request fresh batteries with the drip... my epidural crapped out the second time because the batteries had died and by the time they had figured it out, it was too late to start it up again. Oh, and if you have a bad delivery, don't hesitate to bring it up. The doctor that delivered Zoe was NOT my OB, and I had the misfortune of getting him because he was on call. Thankfully now though he's retired, so no more women will experience having him deliver their babies.

Do I have PSTD from my birth with Zoe? No. Parts of it bothers me and I wish I had been a bit more educated, but I know it could have been a lot worse. I took my experience with Zoe, and made sure certain points of my labor were better with Ruthie.. and it was. But more on her birth story later.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Eight Point Two Eight Six Weeks Left

Well, according to my LMP due date, that's how much longer I have left until my due date of April 13th. (eight weeks 2 days for the mathematically uninclined) Either way, the end is near, and I find this to be a comforting thing, but also a bittersweet thing, since this is for sure our last baby and therefore, my last pregnancy. It's been a while since I actually blogged about Oscar or anything in regards to the preparation of his impending arrival, so here goes! Oh and before I start, my last appointment was last Thursday on the 10th, and my weight was at 129.6 which puts my total weight gain so far for this pregnancy at 16 pounds. It's roughly the same amount of weight I had gained with Ruthie at this point. So seriously, he's right on target with my due LMP due date if that actually counts for anything.

So, in case you were curious, we did decide to cloth diaper (I just realized halfway through writing this particular paragraph I've blogged about this already, but I'll do it again anyway). I had a cloth diaper store picked out after we decided to have another baby, but before we tried for conception. The store is called Diaper Junction, and they are based out of my hometown of Virginia Beach, Va. I'm not gonna lie to you, this is probably the BIGGEST thing that attracted me to their store. I won't take back what I said previously; I honestly don't see myself moving back; however I do have a part of me that will always belong there. Must be beacuse of all that ocean water I accidentally swallowed while swimming; most likely it makes up 5% of my blood content. :wink: With that said, we bought a full stash (25 diapers with 50 inserts; each diaper came with two and one diaper was actually free) back in December; and I actually got the box of diapers on Christmas Eve.. so I consider it a present to myself.. teehee. I should mention though, that Jeff was NOT really on board with it, until I found out that Diaper Junction was carrying Kawaii brand diapers; I got them for $7.95 each. When I found out they were carrying this brand of diapers, and told him how much they cost, and sharing that I was told previously they are pretty comparable to BumGenius -my original brand choice- he finally said "FINE! Get them!" and then replied after that "I'm not really sure what I just said fine to though." (I should mention this converstation was through chat and not actually face to face) So I ordered my diapers, after sharing the link to them and asking for his input on the colors we should purchase (he said "Everything but the light blue.") So I ordered six blue, six light green, six yellow and six red. Here's a picture of part of my diaper stash...

You'll notice the red diapers missing. Well, I ended up washing the diapers about 3 weeks ago, and discovered when I was stuffing them and snapping them down, that not all of the diapers were snapping properly. So, I called Diaper Junction, and they let me know that they would fix the snaps for me for free, provided I ship the shells back to them at cost, and provided them with proof of purchase from their store; I just went ahead and sent them my original sales receipt. I'm expecting them back today, along with my second order of stuff, that also includes another free diaper; the brand is a mystery though. This will bring up my stash to 26 diapers.. I'm really excited! So, now I bet you are curious as to what I've actually spent on everything, right? Well here's the breakdown.
My original estimation of total cost including disposable newborn diapers and target brand disposable wipes was $719.96.. yes this does include tax. However, this was factoring in buying BumGenius diapers. However, this estimation is now old, and is actually very off. Here's how it'll break down now. Of course, I'll share the previous breakdown.

24 Kawaii Diapers: $190.80 (same ammount of BumGenius would have cost me $406.80)
4 Bags of Rockin' Green Soap; Hard Rock formula* and scoop: $55.03 (I had originally calculated $53.90 from the manufacturer; however I wasn't considering the cost of shipping which would have actually put my total to $69.44. Of course, I could have ordered it from Diaper Junction as well, and that would have cost me $67.55)
2 pail liners: $31.45 (my original estimation called for me to get two of the same brand and would have cost me $29.90; however I was trying to pad my order to get a free diaper, so I ended up with two different brands)
2 wet bags: $19.00 (original estimation was $23. I ended up getting some cheaper wet bags than I initially planned to purchase)
*Rockin Green comes in three different formulas; classic rock for normal water that's not hard or soft, soft rock for soft water, and hard rock for hard water. We have VERY hard water here in Utah, so I have to buy the hard rock formula. If you're thinking of cloth diapering and using this soap but are not sure what your water falls under, feel free to call your water company to find out. They have a map on their site, but unless you clearly can see where you fall under, then call the water company, that way you buy the right soap the first time around.

So my total cost so far? Only $296.28! Had I gone with my original purchases, and assuming I bought everything from Diaper Junction, it would have cost me $527.25! I should mention that my estimation did not cover the cost of a diaper pail.. AKA a standard trash can, which don't run for more than $12 at the most. With that said, my estimation of newborn diapers and wipes remain the same, which brings up my total estimated cost to $566.60; assuming my estimation for newborn diapers are correct as well as the wipes. This doesn't include the cost of a pail though, since I don't know how much it's actually going to cost yet. I plan on actually keeping track of how many diapers I change, and how long it would take for me to break even. If I wasn't cloth diapering, I would most likely be buying Huggies. Sadly enough though, their diapers are shockingly thin.. like one diaper folded up is THINNER than one of my inserts.. this is crazy to say the least! And heck, when they are unfolded, they are THINNER than an overnight maxi pad.. and seriously there is something VERY wrong about this in my head.

With that said, clothing wise we are ready! Well mostly. I still need to buy socks, and two pairs of knit pants, and a bringing home outfit and then I'm completely covered for clothes; well for 0-3 month sizes anyway. My sister in law gave me some newborn stuff to borrow, and I was able to score a box of baby clothes that was completely stuffed full of clothes for less than $11... seriously I got a GREAT deal, and I'm baffled as to how she got all of those clothes in such a small box! We supplemented the stash with a few more things too of course.

Room wise, we have the most important thing already; the crib. However, we still need to get two fitted sheets -one to wash one to use-, a changing table, changing pad, changing pad cover -most likely two one to wash and one to use- and a sleepy sack to use instead of blankets. We used one with Ruthie and LOVED it. Oh, and I need a set of bumpers as well. I forsee a trip to IKEA in the near future!

Anyways, that's pretty much it! I'm really excited about the upcoming arrival of Oscar! Expect a few more posts about birthing related things; including my birth stories with Zoe and Ruthie.