Friday, January 29, 2010

Olivia Louise - A Birth Story!

On Monday, January 18, I had my doctor's appointment. I was still only 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. My doctor told me that he was going out of town as of Saturday, the 23rd. He was going to be gone from Saturday to past my due date of January 27. He said since I was having contractions and had some activity with my cervix, I could be induced the very next day. For those of you who know me, you know this was a difficult decision to make. I am not a fan of having medical intervention in a process that I feel like should just happen on it's own. Being induced meant I would be given Pitocin and knew that could sometimes lead to more and more interventions, and could result in a C-section. I was torn because I didn't want to deliver the baby without my doctor there. I called Aaron and discussed it with him and we both decided to go ahead and do it.

My doctor told me to be at the hospital at 5:00 the next morning. I delivered the baby in a hospital that is about a one hour and fifteen minutes drive from our house. This meant we would be leaving the house at 3:30 a.m. I figured this was probably fine since I was so nervous. I didn't think I would be getting any sleep anyways.

I got home and got the remaining things ready around the house. I started to have contractions about every 15 minutes during the middle of the night. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. I got up at 3:00 a.m. I took a shower and called Grammy to make sure she was on her way over. I then got Aaron up. We ended up leaving the house at about 20 minutes until 4:00 a.m. We were debating about going through the mountains or driving the longer way which was all highways and smoother travel. We had been having some extreme storm weather for the past several days and the mountain road was snowy the day before when I had gone to the doctors. Since Aaron's truck has 4 wheel drive we decided to take the mountain road. It had just been plowed, but not very thoroughly. And then we hit a huge patch of fog/clouds that you couldn't see through. I was okay with the icy conditions but the fog made me a nervous wreck since it was so dark out and the plow had only gone through the middle of the road.

We eventually got to the hospital safely and got checked in. After the nurse started my IV and got me hooked up to the monitors it was about 5:30 a.m. She went ahead and started me on the Pitocin. They start you off with a very small amount to see how you and the baby will handle the contractions. We were both doing well. I was thinking it wasn't really too bad. I could still breathe through the contractions. After about a half hour to an hour the contractions were coming about 2 to 3 minutes apart.

I was able to walk around and sit in the rocking chair, so it was not too bad for this part. My doctor came in at around 10:00 a.m. He checked me and said I was only about 3 cm dilated at this point. He broke my water and told me that would speed things up and get my contractions to work harder. Boy, was he not kidding! The contractions started to come faster and incredibly strong. After about an hour I just could not take the pain anymore. I was crying with each contraction.

I never had even considered having an epidural with Thomas. But this was so much different. The Pitocin makes the whole experience so much more intense. I was scared of having an epidural and having one more medical intervention, but I wasn't sure if I could make it with the strength of the contractions, especially since they were one on top of another. I asked the nurse to check me to see how far along I was. I was only 5 cm dilated at this point. I decided that it was time for an epidural. This was at a little before noon.

I was really nervous about getting an epidural. Not just because of what an epidural entails - mainly having something put into your spinal fluid, but also because I had heard many stories from friends where they had Pitocin, then an epidural, then somehow all seemed to end up with a C-section. I did not want that at all. But, I also knew I was not going to be able to handle the pain any longer. The anesthesiologist came in and administered the epidural after explaining everything to me.

After about 10 minutes I was in heaven! I couldn't feel a thing. I was so relieved and relaxed. I never expected to feel that way. The sensations in my legs were very strange. It was like lifting lead weights. After about 20 minutes with the epidural in place, I started to feel really sick. I told the nurse that I thought I was going to throw up. Then I started to feel really light headed and started to black out a little. She told me that my blood pressure had dropped. I think she had said at one point it was at about 65/50. She moved me over onto my left side and gave me oxygen. After about 5 - 10 minutes I was feeling normal again. Luckily, my blood pressure stayed up the rest of the time.

At about 1:30 my doctor came back in and checked me. He said that I was about 7 cm dilated at this point. I was happy that I was still progressing normally. It gave me more confidence that I would not end up with a C-section. At around 2:10 my nurse checked me again. I was now between 8 - 9 cm dilated. Literally, 10 minutes later I felt something change. The only way I can describe it is pressure. It was so much different from my sensation to push with Thomas. I asked the nurse to check me again. She said that I was now at 10 cm and the head was "right there."

The nurse told me not to push. The doctor was back at his office. Luckily, his office is about 5 minutes away from the hospital. I had to keep breathing through the contractions so I would not push, but luckily I think the epidural helped with that. The doctor came in and got everything prepped. Seven minutes and about five pushes later, Olivia Louise was born!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baby Time?

I woke up in the middle of the night last with contractions. They were not like the Braxton Hicks ones that I have been having that just feel like my tummy is tightening. These were more painful, like menstrual cramps. I have been having them all day, but don't seem to be making too much progress. I will have a few that are close together, and then I won't have one for like a half hour. I am hoping this weekend is it. I really hope things start to pick up in the next 12 hours or so, so we can get this show on the road.

If not, I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday afternoon and then I can see what is actually happening!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All Things Baby

I am now 38 weeks pregnant. When the baby is coming and how much longer we have to wait to meet her is pretty much all consuming on my mind these days. I am trying to keep the house cleaned up now that the rush of the holidays are over. So I have a lot of time on my hands now to just wait.

Here are some belly pictures from last week. Everyone I see tells me how small they think I look for being as far along as I am, but let me tell you, I feel huge!

37 weeks

This is one of my favorite pictures. I had seen a lot of these after I had Thomas and knew I wanted one like it whenever I got pregnant again.

Here is Thomas helping to paint the baby's room. He actually did pretty good trying to help us. The room is a really bright orange that matches the bedding that I am making for her room. It has taken a little getting used to, but I think it is going to be really nice when the room is completed.

This is the bed skirt I sewed for the crib. I still need to make a sheet, bumper and matching window valance, but I am not sure if I am going to work on them before she gets here or not.

I am having a really hard time focusing on much else these days. I am so anxious to meet her. We finally decided on a name - Olivia Louise. Louise is after both my middle name and my mom's middle name. I am sort of hoping she comes on my mom's birthday, which is the 21st, but I am getting really impatient. I know I potentially have two weeks or more to go. These last couple of weeks just seem to creep and crawl by. Plus I am anxious to see how this birth will be different from Thomas' birth. It is all so exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time!

Christmas 2009

We had a really nice Christmas this year. Our first event was going to the annual American Legion Christmas party with Thomas' Great-Grandma Glenna. It is always fun. The kids play games and win prizes. And of course, Santa is there. I wasn't sure what Thomas would think of Santa, but we had been talking about Santa a lot. He went right up to him and sat in his lap. He was so excited to be getting presents.

Here is a picture of some ornaments I made for presents and also one for our tree. I got the idea from Scrapbooks, Etc. website. They turned out really cute!

Here are the sugar cookies I baked and decorated to give away to friends and family. I also made some fudge, which to my dismay turned out dry. It tasted okay, but wasn't how I wanted it to turn out. Someday I will have to have someone with the magic fudge touch show me what I am doing wrong!

Here is Thomas with the cookies and milk for Santa and the carrot for the reindeer. He was pretty excited this year and seemed much more interested in Santa then last year.

Christmas morning was a lot of fun. It was funny because Thomas just went about his normal business for the morning - having some milk and watching a cartoon. I had to actually remind him that it was Christmas. He had been asking about it for weeks, so I am not sure he believed it was really time to open the presents yet.

Thomas after opening up all his presents!

Thomas with his new camera from Santa. Finally he won't have to use ours anymore.

Our holiday Christmas photo.

Snowy Day Pictures of Thomas

Snow day!

 Sledding in the backyard. (Really just Mommy pulling Thomas all over the yard).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Halloween 2009

For those of you who know me, Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. I love the decorations, carving pumpkins, dressing up, the fall colors, roasting pumpkin seeds, hot apple cidar - the works! We had a great Halloween this year. Thomas was really excited to be able to dress up like a pirate.

We went to the Pumpkin Patch Carnival Festival in downtown Prescott, AZ. The kids got a back pack to fill with treats they won for playing games. Here is Thomas in his adorable costume.

Not surprisingly, Thomas' favorite part was riding on the little train. It actually made me a little nervous because the driver was driving these kids really fast. But I am sure that just added to the excitement.

Every year for as long as I have been out on my own I have carved pumpkins. I recruited Aaron into my pumpkin carving madness even when we were first dating and it has been a tradition ever since. I think his favorite part is the roasted pumpkin seeds, but he humors me, nonetheless.

Thomas got to scoop out his own pumpkin again this year. He thought it was a little too gooey, but he did a great job. We even let him "carve" his own pumpkin. This resulted in this poor pumpkin having multiple stab wounds from the pumpkin carving knives and pokers.

I helped Thomas by carving a "mad face" on his once he was done. You can see it here in the middle. My pumpkin is on the left. It is a ghost coming out of a fire. Aaron's was really complicated. It said the word "BEWARE" with claws along the top.

And finally the trick or treating! Thomas was so excited to go. We had been talking about it for weeks. We practiced a lot at home saying "Trick or Treat." He was very well prepared when the day finally came. Here he is giving me his best pirate "arrgghh" of the evening!

Mommy and Daddy with our little pirate.

We went trick or treating with one of my friends and her son. They were too cute going up to all the houses together. All of the trick or treating went great, except for one house. It was decorated really spooky, so we maybe should have known better. We went up to the door which was not well lit. The kids knocked on the door and this guy jumped out from behind where we couldn't see him. My friend and I both screamed and instantly both the boys went running and screaming and crying. I think the guy who jumped out should have known better since they were small kids, but they did both survive.

Here is Thomas with all his loot. I think he did pretty well!