Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sam's Birth Part 1

***I wrote this at the hospital on Saturday night but fell asleep and 3 days went by before I got back to it. I figured I'd better post this now and try to get the rest finished tonight.

The last few days have been surreal. So seeing as I'm pretty much bed bound and bored out of my mind here at the hospital I thought I'd seize this soon-to-be-extinct free time and try to put down the events that have just transpired in words. I'll try to make things non-rambling but I make no promises because the pain meds are kicking in right

Where to start? Let's see....Thursday morning I had my 37 weeks appointment. I thought it would be nothing but the usual heart beat check, tummy measuring, obligatory questions, and then out the door. As my midwife was measuring me, she noticed the heartbeat was very faint when she put the monitor on the lower part of my stomach. She told me this could mean baby was breech. She did manual exam of my cervix and found that a-I was dialated to a 2.5 and b-that she couldn't feel a head near the cervix. A quick check with an ultrasound machine revealed that baby was indeed breech, head sitting just under my ribs.

I was pretty worried, but she told me there were some things I could do between now and my next appoint to help move baby around. She said we'd wait a week to do anything and then check things again at my 38 week appointment. At that point, if he hadn't moved, they may have to change me over to the OBs at the clinic and talk about "options", which I knew meant cesarean.

I went home feeling a little worried but reassured that baby had a week at least to turn and that I had some time to get him to move. I was pretty surprised that I was dialated, seeing as with Eli I was induced at 41 weeks with almost no diatation. I spent the day doing normal things, cleaning the house, scrubbing the fridge, doing loads and loads of laundry; just usual household stuff. I called the midwives around 3pm with a few questions about my morning's appointment, mostly about breech-y things and felt tired but normal.

I did notice around then that I'd been having tons of Braxton-Hicks contractions all day, but didn't really note it because I'd been having these for months. I made dinner around 5 and we sat down as a little family to eat and talk about the day. I felt exhausted after we ate so Dan offered to run some errands with Eli while I stayed home and rested. In typical mom fashion I started cleaning up the kitchen as soon as he left. At this point I finally noticed that my BH contractions had been coming on pretty regularly. I remember reading somewhere that if they got regular or stronger, even if they didn't hurt, it could mean something was up.

I decided to just ring up the midwife on call and see what she said. I felt silly doing it...I knew nothing was going on. I spent a few minutes sitting and counting the contractions...3 in ten minutes. I called and Jen Krebs, the midwive on call, answered. I apologized for calling about Braxton Hicks but told her what was going on. She sounded more concerned that I thought she would and told me to lay down and not move for 30 minutes. She said I needed to track my BH contractions and call her as soon as 30 minutes were up. I thought it seemed a little silly, seeing as I still hadn't felt a single labor pain, but I said I would.

So I downloaded a contraction monitoring app (so cutting edge) and started timing them. After about 5 contractions I looked at the numbers and suddenly my brain hurt. Each lasted almost a minute to the second and were coming every 4-5 minutes. And they were coming like clockwork...almost 8 that I could count so far. I still wasn't feeling any of them so I was sure nothing was going on...but a little alarm went off in my head that somehow this pattern meant something.

I called Jen back and told her the numbers. She said I needed to go to the hospital right away. I was stunned. I asked if I could shower and wait to help put Eli to bed. She said no, because the baby was breech they really needed to check me out at the hospital in case I was in labor. I hung up and looked around the house. Things were a mess. No crib or bassinette was set up, we had no newborn diapers around, all the things I had been putting off were suddenly at the front of my brain. I couldn't go to the hospital, because babies are born at hospitals, and I was NOT ready to have a baby that soon.

At this point it occurred to me that Dan was not aware anything was going on. When he left I was just a tired, haggered looking pregnant woman but I hadn't said anything about contractions or whatnot.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Take Two

I've been pondering a bit lately on the differences between my pregnancy with Eli and my current "with child" situation. Either I've forgotten a lot of the trials and travails with my first go-around or this time is a bit more challenging. With Eli I was so drunk on the excitement of finally becoming a mom that I think I overlooked a lot of the pains and whatnot of being preggers. This time I am, of course, barely able to contain my anticipation at meeting our new little buddy but I'm also more aware of the nastiness that follows me around constantly.

With Eli I followed everything to the book; no caffeine, lots of sleep and exercise, never lifted more than the weight of a few clothes or dishes and all that. This time I've had a diet coke or two once a week at least, have been sleeping terribly for about a month now, only exercise when it involves chasing a two year old around the house, and I lift at least 32 pounds a number of times a day. So much for caution and being in a "delicate state". It's not possible with another kid to run after.

Also, this time around I'm visiting the midwives at my clinic instead of the doctors. So far I like it. Haven't actually given birth so we'll see what happens different with this one but I like being able to talk to a woman about my bodily discomforts. None so far have given me a lecture about wanting an epidural either so it appears my previously held notions about midwives are thusly false.

Most of all I've noticed the pain this time around much more. About a month ago my hips started aching, and now they hurt 24/7. When I walk I look like a cowboy, all bow-legged and hobbly. Getting out of bed in the morning is a chore, not because of fatigue (although that is a factor) but because my body takes about five minutes to limber up enough to let me take my first step of the day.

In the end though, I am enjoying life. Every time I feel bb moves, or kick, or pummel my ribs, I just think about how much I want to meet him and want Eli to meet him. I told Dan that while I am excited to see our little son, what I am mostly looking forward to is seeing Eli meet his brother for the first time.

The miracle of life is just that...truly a miracle...because I'll tell you what, for anything else I would have hit the escape button on a long time a go.