Monday, August 30, 2010
It's about time I tell my crazy story while it is still a bit fresh in my mind. I do feel like the last bit of pregnancy can be the hardest, especially when you are waiting on the baby. While Hadleigh came a day before her due date, we had expected her to come earlier. I had a stress test done 2 weeks before she was due because there was some concern about how she would due during labor. At that point my doc told me to pack my bag, come to the hospital and expect to leave with a baby. Well, everything went fine with the stress test and HC decided not to come at that point, but every thing was ready, so it was really difficult to wait after that.
Annelise dropped at 35 weeks, and my midwife really thought that she would be coming early, so again every thing was ready...and then she did not show up until 10 days after her due date. It is really stressful to wait for a baby, especially when you have other little ones to worry about and family does not live in the area. I do understand why some folks opt for inducing, though I'm thankful I have not had to resort to that.
After those two experiences I was determined to stay tough mentally while I waited for True to make his appearance. I kept telling myself that the last weeks of prego (especially week 40 and 41) are like going through labor without an epidural...if you can't hang in their mentally you are through. When you are in labor you don't know how long it will be, and how much harder it may or may not get, so if you don't have a good mental game it is over.
All that said I was trying not to worry about when True was coming. I had prepared as best as I could for him to be late. I concentrated on being with my girls and spending as much time with them as possible, taking them to the pool and reading to them, etc. I knew once True came into the picture those things would be over for a time. All that mental talk really helped me get through the last 6 weeks of being prego, which let me tell you was misery in some ways.
I never thought being prego in the summer was an issue, and I figured that because I was due mid-July I would miss the most unbearable month of the summer which is generally August. That was not so this year. June busted onto the scene with triple digit temperatures, ridiculous humidity and heat warnings (too hot to be outside). And those temps lasted basically all summer long. This past week I went outside really for the first time since May. It was unbearable! And I was so swollen it was ridiculous. Dave's mom came down for a couple weeks while I was still prego to help out, and one night while we were sitting around Dave thought he should rub the pressure point in my foot that can start labor. Apparently it is just above the ankle, only problem was we could not find my ankle. We were all in hysterics.
On July 15, True's due date, I woke up at 4am with some contractions 20 minutes apart. They felt like the real thing, but you never know, so I just tried to sleep and rest and not think about it too much. By 6 the contractions were starting to come every 10 minutes, so we felt more confident that things were looking good for a birth that day, or the next. Dave's mom was still with us, so Dave went on to work while I waited to see how things were going to progress. I got the girls up and we started the day. After Dave called me at 9 to see how I was doing, and my contractions were 7 minutes apart he decided to come on home, and I thought I should tell Dave's mom that I was in labor and give a call to my friends Bif and Kris who were going to keep the girls while I was in the hospital (because Dave's mom was leaving that day).
Things continued on, my contractions were irregular, which is normal for me, but it makes it hard to know how things are progressing. My contractions were hard and would go from 7 minutes apart to 6 to 5 to 4, 4, 4, and then jump to 15, 7, 6, 5, 4, 4, 4. I didn't know what to do with it all except to stay calm and wait.
It was still this way around 1.30 and my plan was to give a call to my midwife around 4, if it was continuing as it was and see what she thought. But Dave finally convinced me to call, and I spoke to my midwife's nurse who told me to go on the hospital. Now, my labor with Annelise was 16+ hours and 10 of them were spent at the hospital, so I really did not want to do that again if possible. So when I told the nurse she just suggested that I come into the office to get checked and see what was going on.
Dave and I sped down to the office and I was anticipating a massive contraction in the lobby, but managed to wait until my nurse had taken me back. I was hooked up to be monitored and my first contraction was to the top of the machine...nice. I was glad to be in real hard labor, and to hear that I was 5 cm dilated. They sent me on to the hospital and we were at the check-in desk at 4.
My contractions were hard, but I was still able to handle them without too much problem, and I was laughing and smiling and joking. All the nurses thought I was crazy, but I don't know how else you should be while in labor. I got all hooked up and received my crazy anti-biotics for group beta strep, and was walking around the room again at 5. By this time things started getting harder, I was sitting on the birthing ball, but it was not helping because the baby felt really low. My midwife came in and gave me a couple more suggestions about positions that might help, so I tried those. In my brain I was expecting to labor until around midnight, so I was trying to stay mentally tough, but the contractions were coming quickly and were really hard. I finally decided that I wanted to lay down in bed on my left side (at the suggestion of the midwife), and labor. I was surprised because I do not like laboring in bed, but I was having so much pressure being in bed helped a lot. By then my contractions were right on top of another and I kept looking to Dave (who was holding my hand) asking with my eyes...can I do this? He kept telling me that I was doing great. At some point I knew I needed to push so I let the midwife know. At some point around here they broke my water and then I pushed through 3 contractions and True arrived! Dave was able to help deliver him, so now he must be a pro since this was his third time catching a baby. All I have to say is- ring of fire...dude...that is by far one of the worst parts about a natural birth. I would not be sad if I never have to experience that part again, but all in all I only pushed a short time, so I did not have to endure the fire for long. But come on all you ladies who have had a baby without an epidural should know exactly what I am talking about. Whoa!
True was 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 3/4 inches long. He looked great from the beginning. And let me tell you, recovering from his birth was by far the easiest because I did not need one single stitch. I don't know how I managed that since he was my biggest baby. And I'm certainly glad he came when he did, because I would not have wanted to try to get anything bigger out of me. All in all I was very pleased with how things went.
Of course after having a breeze of a time with labor and delivery I was bound to have something go wrong. I had no idea it would be with nursing. He seemed to be latching like a pro from the beginning, so things were looking great, but then my milk came in and that is where things went downhill. Let's just say my boobs are huge...as in when I told my mom the size bra I had to get she laughed out loud in unbelief. It was only funny for a day because I became so engorged I was crying a lot. I could not move without being in pain. I could not lift my hands above my head, I could not move my arms, let alone nurse without being in extreme pain. And nursing was horrible. I did not have enough hands to do everything I needed to do while nursing. And now I know the truth is it is harder to nurse with big boobs. I was on the brink of quitting because I knew if things continued as they did I would not be able to nurse in public, and I have two other children, so I feel like I HAVE to be able to nurse while I'm out and about, coming home every 3 hours is just not an option for me.
I decided to give it another week and see how things were going. At week 2 things were beginning to look up, still a lot of pain, but I could see it was getting better, so I decided to give it another week. This is where things took a turn. All of a sudden the pain got really bad. I had to stop nursing on my right side completely and just pumped because it was so painful. I called the lactation consultant who told me it was a latch problem and to try a different nursing position. I assured her again and again that it wasn't a latch problem, but that was about as much help as I received. After reading a couple of books I decided I had a yeast infection and asked Dave to bring me home some nystatin, and I decided I was giving up. 24 hours after I decided to give up nursing I got a call from a friend. Thank the Lord I had met Laurie at church a couple months before True was born. She is a post-partum nurse and when I mentioned I was having trouble nursing she offered some help. She came over and after I explained everything that was happening and after she watch me nurse True she assured me it was not a latch problem (hello I have nursed 2 other babies I know what a good latch is), and agreed that it was a yeast infection. So I started on my second prescription. I was still unable to nurse out of my right side, and my milk had drastically dwindled, but Laurie thought if I could nip the infection (which takes about 2 weeks) I might be able to get my supply back up again. All this time I had been supplementing with formula when I could not nurse.
A few days later I had my post partum appt with my midwife, and she gave me a third prescription because I also had a cyst from pumping too much/too hard/probably with a wrong size pump (since as I mentioned before my boobs were/are HUGE). I was prett skeptical about how every thing was going to play out at this point. My mom was still around during all this, so I was able to spend lots of time feeding and pumping, but I knew once she left I could not continue. By week 4 I felt well enough to begin nursing from both sides. I had no idea what was going to happen, by about the 5th day of nursing I began to feel my milk let down on my right side and I stopped supplementing with formula.
I feel all of this has been an insane adventure that I NEVER want to live through again. I am still having some pain because of my cyst/bruise which is still healing up, but it nothing compared to the pain I was experiencing. I am so thankful to my wonderful friend Laurie who gave me such wonderful advice and really listened to me. I am thankful and fell it was very providential that I had help in the form of Dave, Dave's mom, and my mom during these first few weeks because if I had been on my own, I never would have been able to continue. And I am also thankful for my other wonderful friends who knew about what was happening and who were praying for me. The Lord was gracious to me during this time and helped me to persevere through it all. AND I will NEVER ever judge anyone who can't/doesn't want to nurse. I don't think I ever did to begin with (am not a real die hard nurser to begin with), but if I ever had the thought I won't do it now. It was very merciful of God to let my milk come back and a blessing I had not expected and was afraid to hope for.
For now things are mostly normal and without drama, and we are thankful to be together and in better spirits all around. And if you ever have a nursing issue, feel free to give me a call.
Posted by Dave, Ami, Hadleigh Claire, Annelise, and True at 2:34 p.m.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I am obviously a bit busier with three kiddos since I have not updated my blog in a while, although it seems that the blog has suffered quite a bit this year. Maybe I have less and less to say...or not. =) If I had the time I would post several things today, but I do not think that is going to happen because in 30 minutes I will need to feed True, and I abhor typing with one hand...it is so slow.
So, life with three, and life with True. True is a sweet and smiley baby. Believe it or not...and I have a video to prove it, so that probably means you need to believe it, True began smiling at us when he was one week old. I know, you think I am just a doting mother, but seriously this is my third baby and it was not a gassy smile. So it seems that the Lord blessed us with a sweet, sweet baby and we are forever grateful. He is very alert and loves talking to the girls, who absolutely ADORE him. He enjoys looking around, and sleeping in our arms, and also sleeping in his bed. He enjoys eating every 3 hours and now enjoys going right back to sleep after eating (during the night). He rarely cries, except for one night after I ate curry...woops! And usually he stops crying as soon as you pick him up. So sweet! He loves the swing...thank you to Christy for letting me borrow hers!
The major bump in the road with True's arrival has actually been on my end, a series of insane issues related to nursing. That might be a story that I write about when I blog my labor story...the update is, thanks to numerous prayers, a wonderful friend who is a post-partum nurse, and because we had a lot of family help from our moms, I am still nursing and it is going much better.
As I mentioned the girls ADORE True. Their initial reaction to him ran just as I should have expected given their personalities. Annelise came running in the house, right up to him, touched his head and said, "hello little one!" SO SWEET! Hadleigh quietly came in and observed him for a while. She wanted to be near him, but she did not want to touch him. After a couple days she was holding him and feeding him from the bottle, all anxieties gone.
Because I do not have a 20 month old this time around this transition has been a LOT easier. The girls easily entertain themselves for hours on end. They have not shown signs of jealousy, just signs of normal transitions. They are super helpful and will go and are happy to help in any way possible. They hate it when I change a diaper without them (have to check out his poop), and are eager to bring me things, throw away things, talk to True if he is fussy, give him his "chewy" (pacifier) or blanket, or animal, or anything that might make him feel better.
Today I was feeding True while reading to HC during her rest time. When I finished she sat and talked to True, and popped his chewy in his mouth a number of times until he fell asleep...and all the while I was taking a little snooze myself. Whenever he smiles at her, HC exclaims, "True loves me!" The other day I overheard HC talking to True, "I can't wait until you grow up so I can play with you. Then I will share all of my toys with you!" And honestly I believe she really will.
The first week home Dave's mom came to help which was wonderful, and then Dave stayed home for a week and finally my mom came for two weeks. I am now in the second full week of being on my own and we are all surviving. I have ventured out on my own for groceries, for haircuts (for the girls), and today we even went to the pool. We are still getting meals from all of our wonderful friends, so I don't have to worry about that, but we have even managed to keep our house fairly straightened. These are all blessings, I don't know if they will last, but for now it is good.
We are all looking forward to fall, when hopefully it will not be 100 degrees and ridiculously humid. I can't wait to spend some time outside because I feel like I haven't been outside since May. And as we hit September we are getting into more of a routine and pattern of life. I love having a routine that I can count on and also deviate from when I feel like it. I hope to be able to blog a little more...maybe with a post about Labor and maybe with a post about School...we'll see what happens.
Posted by Dave, Ami, Hadleigh Claire, Annelise, and True at 6:57 p.m.