Sunday, March 30, 2014

Arthur's Birth Story

I didn't think it would be so hard to write a birth story, but it has been.  It's taken me quite a while to collect my thoughts, and I'm still not sure they're completely "collected".  Having a baby and becoming a mom has been overwhelming in just about every way possible-the good and the bad.  My birth experience was the same.

On Tuesday March 11th I went in to L&D for my scheduled induction at 8pm.  I was induced at 39 weeks because my growth ultrasound at 37 weeks estimated that the baby was already 8 lbs 5 oz.  In addition to that, his head and shoulder measurements were also large-measuring at 41 weeks.  My doctor was worried about me having a successful vaginal delivery if I went past 39 weeks so we went ahead with the induction.

Before we headed out to the hospital, we had our "last supper".  We went to this little Italian place that's near by.  It's one of our favorites.  I ate big knowing that it would probably be a while until I'd be allowed to eat again.

 Steven is super thrilled to be a dad! (He hates taking pictures)

After that we went back home.  I showered and packed a few last minutes things in my hospital bag (which I hardly used ANYTHING I packed haha) and then we were off to the hospital!

Goodbye fat face and feet!!

We arrived at the hospital at 8:00, and got all checked in.  My nurse checked me and I was only dilated to a 1 and about 40% effaced…we had some work to do!  The plan was for them to monitor my contractions and fetal heart rate for a couple hours and then to start me on cytotec at 10pm.  The nurse was pleased to see that I was already having contractions about every 5-6 minutes, some of which I felt, others I didn't.  

At 10:00 the nurse placed the cytotec to help soften my cervix.  My contractions started to get a little spastic after that.  I would have 5 contractions right on top of each other and then an 8-10 minute break.  My contractions continued in that pattern for the next four hours.  I wasn't in a lot of pain, but the back to back contractions were enough that there was no way I was getting any sleep.  

At 2am the plan was to place another cytotec, but the nurse said I was contracting enough that they would just start me on pitocin soon.  She said that the pit would make my contractions more consistent and stronger.  

At 3am they started the pitocin.  I was a bit nervous about it because I've heard horror stories from a lot of people, but I was actually able to sleep for an hour after they gave it to me!  After that my contractions became 2-3 minutes apart and gradually became stronger. 

By 6am I was ready for the epidural.  I wasn't in extreme pain and I could've waited, but I didn't want it to get really bad and then end up waiting forever for the anesthesiologist so I just decided to get it.  

After I got the epidural things just went down hill from there.  Honestly, it's hard to say how I'll go about labor next time around because I hated pretty much everything about that epidural.  I got really nauseated and I got dizzy and started passing out multiple times because my blood pressure went so low.  The nurses kept pumping me with stuff to bring my blood pressure back up, but it wasn't working too well.  The epi also killed my legs, which I know is normal, but I guess I was expecting to still be able to move them.  I couldn't even wiggle my toes! It was just no fun.  

At 8am my doctor came in and checked me.  I was only dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced.  She broke my water in hopes that that would help speed things up.  

The whole rest of the day is kind of a big blur.  The nurse kept coming in every 2 hours or so to change my position to see if that would help the baby descend.  I had a few more cervical checks.  Steven's job was to have the popsicles and ice chips on a constant flow.  I was starving.  Oh!  And I remember being SO DANG THIRSTY!  Ugh, that was awful!  Steven kept telling me that there was no way I was dehydrated because of the IV, but that didn't matter.  My mouth and throat were like cotton.  All I could think about was my baby and getting some water as soon as I could after he was born.  

At 4:30pm my doctor came back in and checked me.  I was at a 6 and 100% effaced, but the baby was stationed at a -3.  He wasn't descending and she (and Steven) was worried about the baby's collar bone breaking if we continued to try and move him down the birth canal.  

From there I was prepped for a c-section.  There was a part of me that was heart broken, but another part of me that knew this was a possibility in the first place, so I wasn't freaking out.  By that point, I was just so ready to be done with the whole labor thing and have my baby.  

The c-section went as well as it possibly could have.  Although, I'll admit that it was much more uncomfortable than I ever expected.  Lots of tugging and pulling, and when my doctor went in to pull the baby out it made me sick.  I couldn't hold the baby right after I had him because I started throwing up while they were stitching me up, but Steven was able to hold him close to me.  Some of the most precious memories I have were made in that OR.  

When they started the section, Steven was sitting close by my head, holding my hand, but that lasted all of 1 minute before he jumped up and went to the other side of the curtain to watch the delivery.  I could tell by the look on his face how excited he was!  I loved watching him.  

Hearing my baby cry for the first time was just about the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.  I couldn't see what was going on, and I'm sure everyone was working fast, but it was killing me that I couldn't see him for a few seconds.  Soon they held him over the curtain, screaming his little head off, and the tears started flowing.  I couldn't help it.  He was so perfect! And he was finally here!  

Like I mentioned, I couldn't hold him after that because I got so nauseated, but his birth was still a beautiful and spiritual experience.  There has been something so magical about it all, it's hard to explain.  

 Here he is!  Arthur Steven Neeley.  Born on March 12th, 2014 at 5:29pm.  8 lbs even (we think).  And 19 1/2 inches long!

Did I mention Steven hates pictures? haha

Soooooo interesting story about the birth weight.  When he was born the nurses said he was 7 lbs 4 oz. I just about had a cow (in my head of course).  I COULD NOT believe I had just had a c section for a 7 pound baby!  Ugh, I was upset.  The next 24 hours all of us (me, Steven, the nurses) kept saying how he did not look like a 7 pound baby.  So we re-weighed him during the newborn exam and it said he was 8 lbs even.  This made a little more sense, but also seemed off, and when he was weighed at 3 days old on a different scale he was 8 lbs 10 oz… SOOOO I don't really know what my son's birth weight was haha.  I just go with 8 lbs even.  At least I know the scale in the OR was off. 

Having Arthur here has been a whirlwind.  The first 48 hours were really rough because I wasn't producing a lot of colostrum and poor Artie was screaming all the time.  We supplemented with formula and that helped a lot.  He was a little angel once he was being fed enough.  Once my milk came in after a few days he started eating like a champ despite being tongue tied (which we had clipped a week later-also went really well).  Things have continued to go really well on the breastfeeding/eating front. 

Steven and I have been enjoying our journey as new parents!  I'm so grateful my mom was able to come and stay the first two weeks, especially with my c section recovery (which was not so fun).  I have been amazed at how close Steven and I have become since Arthur has joined our family.  We've made a great team, and I don't know what I would do without my amazing husband!  He has been so helpful! So grateful to have our boy! 

And now for the picture overload:

 He sleeps with his mouth open sometimes…it's so cute!

 First bath…Artie did not appreciate. Mommy did.  

 Post bath sleep faces

 First family photo!

My squish :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hopefully the final update!

How far along: 38 weeks (on Monday)
Total weight gain: 34 lbs
Maternity clothes: I'd be naked without em!
Stretch marks: Almost overnight I exploded with stretch marks.  They're everywhere (especially the underside of my belly) and it's very depressing. 
Sleep: I'm actually sleeping really well considering.  I still move from my bed to the recliner by 1am, but I'm getting quality sleep.  I don't feel tired during the day. 
Best moment of this week: Finding out at my ultrasound this week that this guy has lots of hair!! :)
Miss anything: I miss my old clothes and shoes.  I miss being able to lay down and get up quickly.  I miss enjoying driving (speed bumps and turns are just no good at this point).  I miss being able to give Steven good hugs and being held really close.  I miss being able to do the dishes without my lower back killing me because I have to bend over a little, or do the dishes while I stand sideways haha.  I miss a lot of things right now.  
Movement: Still moving just as much as ever.  Whoever said that babies slow down during the last month because they're all squished is a big fat liar.  He still moves constantly.  The only difference is now he's huge and very strong.  The only thing that's changed is now the movement is very painful sometimes.   
Food cravings: None.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!

Have you started to show yet: Hahahaha
Gender: Boy
Labor signs: The braxton hicks are becoming a part of the daily routine.  I have them intermittently throughout the day, and by evening they're accompanied by menstrual-like cramping.  Still not rhythmic enough.  Still no patterns.  Still not getting stronger….come on, come on!  No other labor signs.  At my appointment on Wednesday I was dilated to a big fat 0 and was 0% effaced...
Belly button in or out: Outish

Wedding rings on or off: The rings came off at about 35 weeks.  My feet are chronically swollen, but my hands are on and off.  Sometimes they're back to normal and I could put my rings back on, but I don't just in case.  
Happy or moody most of the time: I'd say I'm pretty happy.  I don't feel moody or depressed.  I was kind of having a break down after my appointment on Wednesday, but overall I'm doing well.  I'm really not in that much pain.  
Looking forward to: My last week of student teaching before I take off for spring break and maternity leave! :)

--Amber and baby