Birth Story #1: Oldest

I was going to link up with Mandi at Life.. Your Way to share my birth stories. But I wasn't able to get my posts ready in time. Also, I had a baby. That slows things down a bit. Still, I thought it would be fun(?) to write out my three birth stories. I haven't recorded them yet and I don't want to forget! Without further ado..

Birth Story #1: Oldest

Oldest with our newest!

Let me start out by saying that Oldest's labor and delivery did NOT go as planned. Does it ever really, though?

When I was pregnant I read *almost* every pregnancy/birthing book I could get my swollen hands on and thought that I was as prepared as I could be. Never having gone through labor before, I knew there would be things I didn't expect, but I thought I had educated myself enough to know kind of what labor would be like.

I wanted to have a natural, drug-free birthing experience. I wanted to try alternative pain management. I wanted to give birth standing or squatting and have the option to move around. I had even watched "The Business of Being Born" and thought, YES! I can do this! (I actually watched that again recently during this most recent pregnancy and had the same feeling--I can do this!! More to come on that.)

I had this image in my mind of sitting in a tub with Enya playing in the background while I breathed evenly through each contraction. *hee hee hoooo*


Towards the end of my pregnancy I started getting a rash that changed everything. Let me correct that, I got TWO rashes that changed everything.

PUPPP and Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis. (notice the latter is on a website called "Rare Diseases." HA! Notice also, in the article it states that one "rarely gets it during pregnancy." (This just keeps getting more funny!) I've gotten it every time, though not as bad the third time around--thank the good Lord!

So about 6-8 weeks from my due date I started to get an itchy rash on my belly (PUPPP) that proceeded to work it's way all over my whole body. In between my fingers and toes--everywhere. Did I mention it was ITCHY?! By the last few weeks of pregnancy, I was hardly sleeping, taking 2 oatmeal baths a day, and spreading anti-itch cream all over my red, splotchy body. It was miserable. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. If I had a worst enemy.

I didn't really know it then, because I really couldn't tell the difference between one rash or the other, but I actually had both rashes at that time (PUPPP and APD) and I've had APD ever since. I *think* PUPPP set off the other one? Who knows.

So, I had gone to the doctor a few times concerning The Rash and on my due date the doctor (my midwife was on vacation!) suggested I be induced because of The Rash. Well, being induced was the LAST thing I wanted to do. Even though I was completely miserable. I really, really wanted a natural birth. As natural as possible anyway.

Four days after my due date, I called the doctor's office from the bathtub, crying, telling them I couldn't take the itching anymore and was ready to be induced. :( That was a tough phone call to make.

The next day I arrived at the hospital bright and early at 7am and they gave me Cervidil. I stayed all day until about 4pm but nothing really happened. I dilated to about 3cm but wasn't seeming to progress any farther so they sent me home and told me to call if contractions got worse.

Me, before labor started. Obviously.

We went home and I tried to rest. I remember thinking that the contractions felt really bad, but I because I had spent all day at the hospital, I didn't want to go back for no reason so I waited a while, even though my contractions had me doubled over in pain. Then at around 10 or 11pm I decided contractions were "bad enough" to warrant going back to the hospital.

Our hospital is about 35 minutes from our house, but it felt even longer. I was gripping the handle and clenching my teeth most of the way.

I don't remember too much about what happened right after we arrived. I do know that at around 3:30am (my husband tells me), I asked for an epidural. I was exhausted and the pain was just. too. much.

It wasn't until the next afternoon, that it came time to push. I pushed and pushed for 3 1/2 hours. Yes, you read that right. I was so exhausted that I would actually sleep (or pass out?) in between pushes. It was about that time that the doctor came in (my midwife was still on vaca) and asked if I would like "help getting her out?" Of course, I said YES. and YES.

I just. wanted. her. out.

I'd like to add that at this point, I was totally naked. And for some reason, thinking about the doctor walking in ready to help me push while I'm laying there in my birthday suit, is SO embarrassing! I don't know why? I typically don't get embarrassed that easily. At the time, though, I was so hot and had to have my clothes off. The nurses actually put a huge box fan in front of me, too. I wasn't embarrassed then, but thinking about it now makes me cringe.

He then asked if I would prefer suction or forceps to help to get her out? I had no idea. I was exhausted and I could barely think. I chose suction. I did not choose wisely. Note to self: DO NOT USE SUCTION. Along with ripping me apart, it ended up causing a huge hematoma on her head that didn't go away for a month! They started to suspect a skull fracture. Praise the Lord, she ended up being fine. :)

Minutes after Oldest was born.

Turns out her head was crooked in the birth canal and that's why I couldn't push her out. The doctor finally got her out at 3:40 in the afternoon(!) with the help of the suction and they whisked her away to give her oxygen because she was in the birth canal for so long. (Unbeknownst to me at the time. They don't tell you anything while it's happening, do they?)

She was 8lbs 14oz and 21 1/2in. And besides the hematoma, was as healthy as can be!

Daddy holding Oldest for the first time. 

After all of that, I finally had my baby girl! Thank God! They put her on my chest and she latched on right away. Unfortunately, breastfeeding got worse before it got better, but I ended up nursing her until she was about 16-17 months old. So all in all, it was successful!

Stay tuned for Baby #2's birth story!

If you have a birth story to share, put your link in the comments! :) 


Littlest Has Arrived!

Ahhhhhhh! It feels so good to not be pregnant anymore. Can I get an "Amen!"?

I was going to wait to post anything about Baby #3 until I had my birth story all typed up, but that's taking a little longer than anticipated.

Littlest is here! He was born on Sept 15th (his due date!) at 2:10am. Coming in at a whopping 9lbs 14oz! (I still can't believe that.) Birth story to come in case you're interested.

We are all completely and totally head over heels in love with this little guy.

He's stolen our hearts. I'm pretty sure he's going to develop callouses on his little cheeks and head from all the kisses!

A few things I didn't expect...

~ I didn't expect to need several lines of defense against The Unpredictable Urinater. *ahem*

~ I didn't expect to want to stare at him just as much as my first (and second) baby.

~ I didn't expect to not mind the late night feedings so much--just more time for cuddling.

~ I didn't expect him to fit so seamlessly into our family.

Here's to the unexpected! Thank you, Lord, for our sweet new addition.


My Pregnancy Week 39

It's funny. I don't think it's totally sunk in yet that we're having another baby. I was so sure that I didn't want anymore after the two girls and now here I am--one week from my due date with Baby #3. I've got to be honest, I'm pretty stinkin' excited. I just can't wait to meet him! What will he be like? Will he be more quiet and subdued, or will he be a little on the wilder side? What color will his hair be? Will it be curly like Daddy's? Will he be handsome or will he be rich.....

I'm so excited! eek!

I've been feeling a lot better emotionally this last week or so. It always amazes me how much hormones can have an effect on you. Seriously, I was a blubbering mess. I'm just trying to be thankful. It really helps so much when you're feeling down to look at the things you're thankful for, doesn't it?

Physically, I'm feeling suprisingly well. I don't feel nearly as BIG as I was with the other two (at the least the parts of me that aren't belly) and I'm starting to have little bursts of energy here and there. Granted, it hurts to bend over to put my pants on, but I can deal with that. ;)

I keep having a TON of contractions and they're fairly regular, too. It's good, I know. (Or may not be doing anything at all!) But it's making me VERY anxious! Every night I go to bed thinking, maybe he'll come tonight! And every morning I wake up thinking, maybe my water will break today!


I'm pretty much ready to go to the hospital. My bags are packed except for a few last minute things and I've been trying really hard to keep the house *mostly* clean and tidy. I just received my cloth diapers in the mail, too! Yay!

I keep forgetting to mention how absolutely adorable the girls are being with my being pregnant. They kiss and talk to the Baby all of the time. Middlest keeps telling me all of the things she's going to do to help--push the stroller, change his diaper, let him sleep in her bed, etc. It's so precious.

Whenever I kiss the girls goodbye or goodnight, Oldest has to kiss my belly. She's so excited to meet him. I know she'll be a great help and a great big sister. 

Oh, how sweet the girls are. I love our family and am so excited to add to it.


A Few of My Favorite {Baby} Things

It's funny how much baby paraphernalia you think you'll "need" with your first child compared to subsequent children. We lived in a TINY apartment when Oldest was born and we had so. much. stuff.

This time around, with Baby #3, I'm finding that I really don't need much. Diapers, clothes, a bed and a few other things. It got me thinking about some baby stuff that I don't really need, but is nice to have.

1. WubbaNub - Apparently, this is, like, the best pacifier EVER. Just read the reviews on Amazon. I have a friend who introduced me to the Wubbanub and her 5 month old absolutely loves hers. Apparently, because there's an animal attached to the paci, it's easier for the baby to keep it in it's mouth and find it if it gets lost.

We did not use paci's with our first two, but I did try. I didn't try too hard, though, because I thought it would interfere with breastfeeding (I'm a HUGE breastfeeding advocate!), but I really think it'll be ok and I'm determined to try harder this time to have Baby take a paci.

2. Fisher-Price Rock 'N Play Sleeper - I'm not sure who's idea it was to name this thing "Rock 'n Play", but nonetheless, I'm SUPER excited about trying this!! Again, read the reviews! Because the baby is enveloped in the bed, they're supposed to sleep better. I'll keep you posted! I'm really excited and hoping it works! (My other two were colicky and not very good sleepers in the very beginning.)

3. Lilypadz Reuseable Nursing Pads - I used these with my second baby, and I absolutely loved them. I make A LOT of milk and leak A LOT and I wore nursing pads for over a year with both girls. Lily Padz are great because they're REUSABLE, DISCREET and they actually PREVENT leaks! I highly recommend them for breastfeeding moms!

4. Soothies Gel Pads - These almost qualify as a need for me. During that first week or two, or 8, *cough* breastfeeding can be hard on your... *ahem*... breasts. The gel pads feel like HEAVEN if you're sore. Heaven, I say. I keep mine in the fridge for an extra little cooling comfort.

5. Robeez -I adore Robeez. I don't put hard-soled shoes on my babies and these are a WONDERFUL alternative. They are not cheap, though! There are some other less-expensive brands of soft-soled shoes that I've owned and I think they're all about the same. But they are my fave baby accessory. ;)

6. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow - Again, what's with the corny name? I used a Boppy with my first two, and being a tall drink of water at 5'9", with half of that being my torso, the Boppy just didn't work that well for me. I ended up putting a pillow under it every time I used it. The My Breast Friend is very thick and very sturdy. As a bonus, it straps to you so theoretically you can nurse while walking around. But who wants to do that?

7. Nursing Tank - These are definitely not a necessity, however they are sooo nice to have. Especially for at night and if you nurse on your side. You don't have to hike up your shirt in bed. They also keep your post-pregnancy belly nicely covered while nursing in public. Love 'em.

What are your favorite baby items??


My Pregnancy: Week 38

There are so many thoughts running through my head right now. I'll be lucky if I can write a coherent post. Bear with me!

Starting last night at around 8pm or so I started having regular contractions. They were about 2 -10 minutes apart and lasted all the way through to this morning. I'm still having contractions but they're not quite as close together today. I wonder if this means anything? Mamas out there--do you know??

Because I'm having so many contractions I've decided today is a good day to get my tush in gear and finish the few things I need to before Baby makes his grand appearance! (Hurry, Baby!)

So far this morning I've done laundry (not a big deal), assembled a second dresser (Thank you, Linda!!) which took ALL MORNING and this afternoon, I'm going to put Baby's clothes in said dresser and start moving some things around because Hubby and I are trading rooms with the girls.

I'd love a nap, but I'm not sure I have the time! Although, I might be tired enough to lay down for just a bit...

To do before Baby comes:
- order some cloth diapers (see this sale?! yippee!)
- finish the My Testimony posts. I only have one left, but do you think I can get it posted??
- wash remaining baby clothing
- pack hospital and diaper bag (I'm doing this TODAY)
- pray for attitude adjustment. I just can't seem to get out of the funk I've been in.
- I really wanted to make some meals to freeze, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Hoping to get a few done.
- I'm going to make some Trim Healthy Mama's Muffin in a Mug's to take to the hospital with me to snack on. They are deee-lish! And healthy! (I'll post the recipe later)

That's all I can think of for now, although I'm sure there's more. Our windows are REALLY dirty and I'd love to get them cleaned before I have him, but that might be aiming a little high. Unless, of course, I get a crazy case of NESTING! HA!

Thank you to all who are praying for me, btw! I'm so blessed and thankful!