Sunday, January 31, 2010

The birth of Uriah Gregory

Wednesday I had a midwife appointment and was so tired of all the prodromal labor. We realized at the appointment why my body was having such a hard time starting labor. His hands were up by his head, making it near impossible to descend much farther down in my pelvis. My midwife was able to kind of push him up, move his hands out of the way one by one, and get him back down there. She stripped my membranes (I was 5 cm when I left) and gave me instructions to go walk around before getting in the car and driving off, while keeping my hands down by where his head was to keep his little hands from going back down so he could settle in head-down. I was supposed to use wide strides. It was very awkward to walk around in public like this.

Apparently, what we did that night did the trick. Around 12:15, I felt my first real contraction. You know, the kind that make your toes curl. Not just crampy or tightness, which all my previous contractions had been. After 15 minutes, I had had three of them and Dave told me that I needed to page the midwife. I did, and told her these ones were different, and she said that we needed to go up to the birth center. I called my sister Leslie, who came over to stay the night with my kids. Since I was laughing and joking between contractions, she was not convinced I was actually in labor. To be honest, I wasn't completely convinced I was in labor, either.

We left and told the midwife we'd meet her up at the birth center. On the way up, the contractions continued to intensify and started getting closer together. We got to the birth center almost exactly at the same time as our midwife, around 2 am. She unlocked the door and let us choose a room, and started filling the tub for us. I got into "birth mode" and changed out of my clothes into my swimming suit. I was in there maybe 10 minutes when the contractions went from me being able to talk between them, joking and laughing, to having to recover from each contraction with another contraction beginning again almost immediately. The pressure was getting intense. Then my water broke in the birth tub. Dave went out to tell the midwife my water broke (she was getting set up with her assistant out of the room- and her assistant had just gotten there maybe about 10 minutes prior to my water breaking) and then I had even more pressure on my perineum!

It only took about 5-10 more minutes before I started feeling "pushy." And, oh my goodness, I have never experienced such an urge to push as I did with this baby. I literally couldn't stop pushing. I was on hands and knees in the birth tub, and his head came out. The midwife ordered me out of the tub because his cord was wrapped around his neck three times and they had to get it untangled. I leaned up against the bed, standing, with both midwives and DH behind me, working on the cord. I said, "He's coming! I can't stop it!" and baby boy shot out into Dave's hand! His other hand was holding cord! He was born at 2:52 am.

The midwife told me this was the longest cord she had ever seen. It was about four feet long. Though Dave would describe it as even longer, and he's probably a better judge of that considering I had just given birth when I saw it. Not only was it wrapped around his neck three times, it was also under BOTH arms, criss-crossing in the back.

After a few seconds, he let out a nice little cry to let us know he was okay. We weighed him a bit later, and he weighed in at 9 lb 1/2 oz, and is 22 inches long. I escaped without needing any perennial repair! I'm pretty happy about that considering how fast he came out!

This whole pregnancy, I've had a strong feeling this labor was going to go by quickly. I still can't believe how fast it all happened! Just over 2 1/2 hours from first real contraction until he was born. WOW! I can hardly believe it. My family does have a history of very fast 3rd labors... my mother, a 3rd child, was born in the hallway of the hospital during the era of twilight sleep- no medications for my grandma because it happened so quickly! I am also a 3rd child, and was born in the labor room after my dad ran frantically down the halls trying to find a doctor to deliver me.

In labor, still filling the tub.

20 minutes later, a baby!

A few hours later, right before heading home. I was a wee bit tired! Sweet little Riah always has his hands up by his face, just like when he was in the womb. Little stinker!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

He's here!

Uriah Gregory

I went into labor around 12:15 this morning and after a very intense labor he was born at 2:52 am. Less than 3 hours from the very first contraction to his birth! 9 lb 0.5 oz 22 in long, 7 min pushing and only a tiny tear that doesn't require repair. Was going to be a waterbirth but the cord was wrapped tightly around his neck 3x and under each arm so I had to get out of the tub.

More details to come!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Little Superman

No wonder I haven't made any progress! Baby boy's hands were BOTH up by his head. The midwife moved those today at my appointment. Then she sent me out walking to engage his head in my pelvis with his hands out of the way. We're really hoping he comes tonight. It's entirely possible because I have an extremely favorable cervix, and with his hands gone from his head, it shouldn't be too long before he's fully engaged and labor begins!

As far as the rest of my appointment goes, I have lost 3 pounds since my last appointment, and everything else is right on track. Hopefully my next post will be about my new little addition! I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Waiting Game (aka ramblings from a very impatient pregnant woman)

It's now a waiting game for us. Lacy was born at 39 weeks and 2 days, and Rose was born at exactly 40 weeks, so I'm anticipating baby in the next couple of days or so, since I'm in the middle of week 39 now. Friday night I really felt like that was the night. I was contracting every 3 minutes or so for 6 hours. The girls were overnight with Dave's brother's family, so it was a perfect night to have a baby. But alas, when we went to see the midwife at 11, there was very little change since my appointment earlier in the week.

So we went home, went to sleep, and slept in until 11! It was great! Then, Brenda (Dave's dad's wife) and her son Kyle brought the girls back to us and we had a super fun day with them- we walked around the docks around the Puget Sound, ate a spicy Mexican dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, visited the cloth diaper store and the library, and came home to two very exhausted children who fell asleep like angels!

But of course, I had virtually zero contractions last night, despite the spicy food and all the walking. Today was Stake Conference, so I opted to stay home with the kids while Dave attended. I really hate attending SC with the kids because it is so hard to get anything out of it with trying to keep two kids occupied for two hours. Dave was able to enjoy it, though. We went to a baptism tonight which was really nice (at least I got some spiritual enrichment today!) but before we left for the baptism, I was starting to feel really icky and crampy. I'm still feeling icky and crampy and am having more regular contractions, but they're still to the point where I can eat during them, walk and talk through them, and basically function through them. Occasionally I'll get that one contraction that stops me in my tracks, but that is pretty rare. We're not calling for babysitting backup or paging the midwife unless I am fairly certain that it's the real deal, though. My body likes to tease me. But I have known with certainty when I was in labor both times, so I'm confident I'll know this time as well. But the anticipation! It's making me crazy!

So I've decided I'm going to get in my jammies, put on a DVD, and relax for the rest of the night and not worry about the contractions until they are strong enough for me to feel urgently that I need to leave my home and go to the birth center.

I have to admit that I'm really hoping for a birth tomorrow the 25th- it will continue our tradition of having our children born on the day after a blood relative (Lacy and Rose are also born on the same date as relatives-by-marriage) since today is Dave's grandpa's birthday. Also, Lacy's birth day is the 23rd and Rose's is the 24th, so it would be fun to have Riah born on the 25th!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dirndls & Football

Of course I have to post adorable pictures of my children, since I'm on a posting frenzy right now (I think this is part of my nesting process since it won't be long now!).

The girls looked so darned cute for church on Sunday that I had to take their pictures.

Also, Lacy decided she wanted to be a football star, and was being hilarious, so we took more pictures. Her team colors are pink and purple, but the players on her team are less than enthusiastic about the sport (FYI, she said she's the coach).

She has her football poses down pat, though.

Midwives in Training

First, the details of today's appointment: I am 38w and 5 d currently. I gained 2 pounds since my last appointment, which puts me right where I should be since I lost a pound at the last appointment. Blood pressure was high (for me) at 108/60something, but I did have kids climbing on me at the time. Belly is measuring at 39cm and baby's heart rate was at 130. Since I've been having so many contractions lately and wanted to have an idea of when I may be needing some babysitters, I got an internal check today. Baby's head is much lower than it was last week, and I'm 3 cm dilated! I'm very thick though, so I could have several more days (or not very long at all). I'm thinking it's going to be within the next week, but honestly, who knows at this point! I just really hope I won't continue having these contractions into February!

The girls always love to help the midwife with checking me each time I go. They help with measuring my belly:

And listening to the heartbeat with the fetoscope

In full bloom

I tried posting this a few days ago, but I got a new memory disk for my camera which wasn't compatible with my disk drive. I have it all figured out now, so now you get to see pictures again!

Here I am, a couple days past 38 weeks. Usually I don't post the bare belly pictures, but the girls were being so cute that I'm going to do it this time.

The Hair

...and because my hair looked so beautiful in those belly pictures, I decided I would do something about it. I got it chopped off. The idea of having really long hair for labor wasn't that pleasant to me. I'm going to donate my ponytail as soon as I decide which charity should get it! I got about 10-12" chopped off.

Waiting for the cut with my snuggley cuties

Full length

The finished new hairstyle:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Getting Ready

Two weeks to go until the baby's due! If you want to make a guess on when baby will make his appearance, you can make your guess here.

Yesterday I was feeling completely unready to have this baby. I went to the midwife yesterday and expressed my concern about the place of birth- the birthing center in my city is not legally able to be operated as a birthing center quite yet (they're waiting on the health department) and there is no guarantee that it will be ready in time. I'm not mentally prepared for a homebirth, nor can I fit a birthing tub in my tiny home at this time, so I'd prefer to birth outside of my home, yet still outside of a hospital setting. I was going to register at a nearby birthing center (it's still a 45 minute drive on a good traffic day, so it's only sort of close by) but they have a non-refundable $250 fee that is not covered by insurance at all. I was afraid of paying that and then having the birthing center be finished in time and not be able to get my money back, or having a freeway baby or an unattended homebirth. There's a family history of fast labors as it is (including my own first labor which was just 4.5 hours- my second labor was much longer due to various complications during labor) especially with third babies. So I'm a little terrified of not having enough time to get there!

So the office manager at the midwifery office called, and I was able to register up at the birth center without paying the fee. I will pay the fee if I actually use the facility. We went and toured it with the girls yesterday and it was beautiful! There is one room that is decorated in purples, and Lacy absolutely flipped about that room. She really wants that to be my birthing room (plus, the tub in that room is deeper, which I really like). I'm feeling much more comfortable with the idea of giving birth now, and even started packing my bags! Now I just have to get this baby to decide to engage his head, and it won't be much longer. I'd prefer not to have this baby earlier than 39 weeks, though!

As far as a pregnancy update goes, I actually LOST a pound! AND, I tried on my belly cast the other day and there's a ton of room still. The midwife guessed by feeling the baby that he's going to be a large one, but not as large as Rosie, who was 9-6. She guessed that yesterday at my appointment he was about 8 pounds-ish. During my blood pressure check, she asked me "What would you do if you went into labor tonight?" She had to check my blood pressure a few minuets later because it started out with the top number being 140. Yikes! After a break and a talk about other things, my blood pressure was back to 104/54. Much more normal for me. Some good news from the appointment is that I'm GBS negative so even if I have a very fast birth, I don't have to worry about antibiotics. I'm happy to report that everything is looking great, and even though I'm extremely uncomfortable this pregnancy, this is the most textbook-healthy pregnancy I've ever had. I haven't even gained too much weight this time!

So today Dave and I have been working hard to get some major cleaning done, and we've made quite a bit of progress. I still have an hour of kid-free time (thank you to my friend Tina for watching the girls today!) but my back is aching so I took a little blog break. I volunteered at Lacy's school this morning, and Dave helped a family at the funeral home (he's not working there yet- it's a family from church- but it is the one he's most likely going to be working at soon). Lacy's teacher said they're going to give Lacy extra help since they know it's going to be hard for me to do it with the new baby and with Rosie already at home. I'm so grateful for their help!

Tomorrow is another big cleaning day. Hopefully on Saturday Dave and I can go out on a pre-baby date- we found two super saver movie tickets and he really wants to see Avatar (I suggested taking the kids to see the new Disney movie, but he wasn't going for that!). He was actually called in to work next week for the asbestos company up in a city that is a 2 hour drive away. He's really feeling conflicted about this. He knows that the funeral home is not ready to take him on quite yet (he needs to get his ducks in a row for schooling first) but he was looking forward to never doing asbestos work again. But, working means earning two times what unemployment pays. He's just really worried about being so far away from me so close to my due date. I really don't think anything will happen until at least 39 weeks, but... when Lacy was born, he had carpooled to work that day and had to figure out how to get home from work while the other guy (who drove) would stay at work. He's worried about a similar situation this time since he can't just up and leave the work site like he could at that other job!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

Dave bought cinnamon rolls in celebration of a possible career change and the fact that he will likely be going back to school (soon) so he can become an apprentice of this guy who is a funeral director, and eventually become a funeral director himself someday.

Lacy and Rose were eating some as a snack, and Rose asked if mommy made them.

Lacy said, "No, mom didn't make these. Mom's are gooder."

Contractions & Insomnia

So I read a while back that pineapple can bring on labor. Not even thinking anything of it, I had a huge glass of pineapple juice last night (seriously, I'm not ready yet, so I'd like to keep this baby in for at least another week, preferably closer to two). I usually get lots of contractions anyway, but last night it was insane! I don't know if it was because of the pineapple juice or because I'm a little over 2 weeks away from being due and my body is really starting to get ready for this baby. Today I'm still having a lot of contractions, but I have a lot to get done today, so I'm going to work really hard to try to get it all done.

My mom says she's been praying that I won't have the baby while she's gone on her cruise. I hope the prayers work, but if they don't, that's what she gets for taking a vacation two weeks before her daughter's due date!

And of course, the insomnia is a lot of fun. I have a lot of trouble falling asleep and have routinely been falling asleep around 2 am or later for the past few days, than waking up at 7:30 or 8 and not taking any naps during the day. I want to fall asleep, but I just can't.

Oh, the last few weeks of pregnancy are so much fun! I guess they are so uncomfortable because that way you'll actually look forward to going into labor! I've just got to mentally prepare myself to have this baby, and I've got to clean my house to the point where there's not going to be a lot of work to do once the baby is here. I did go through all my birth supplies last night just in case I end up with a homebirth! It was fun looking at the teeny tiny t-shirts that will soon have a body to fit in them!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Haven't done this in a while... kiddo stats

I knew Lacy was tall. But gosh dangit, I didn't really know how tall she was until she started kindergarten. She is the 2nd youngest child in her class, and the second tallest. Then today, we had a doctor's appointment and I got the actual measurements of my children. I am blown away by Lacy's numbers. She is nearly 4 feet tall, and not yet 5 1/2 years old. That puts her squarely in the 96th percentile for height. WOW. I mean, she's often been in the 90s, but I thought maybe she'd slow down a little as she grew, and for a while her height stats were in the 80s. I guess she had a growth spurt. No wonder the size 5 clothes don't fit her anymore- they're all too short (but fit her fine in the waist). The doctor said she is the size of a 6 or 7 year old. But she's proportionate.

I also talked to the doctor about her tip toe walking, and after an evaluation, it seems like it isn't really going to be a problem, but we can always take her to a podiatrist if we are still concerned about it. And she referred us to a podiatrist that Dave has known for years and years. He's the guy that helped Dave with his foot when he broke it the week before we got married.

I didn't have any concerns with Rose, but I did have her get a vaccine. She is on a very delayed/selective schedule, so we're just trying to complete one of the vaccine series right now before we go on to the next one. She's been getting the DTaP vaccine. In choosing which vaccines we will do, we evaluate the risk of the vaccine versus the risk of the disease, and also factor in the likelihood of actually getting the disease in our decision. I feel like the DTaP vaccine, while it has a lot of side effects, is worth it because the diseases (at least tetanus and pertussis) are not eradicated in this country and are quite common, which is why I decided to go with this particular vaccine. Rose hasn't gotten many vaccines, and we will likely decline most others, especially the flu shot and the new Guardasil vaccine (which protects against some strains of HPV and has a high rate of side effects).

And here are the stats for the kiddos.

Lacy: 47.25 inches tall (96th percentile)
49 pounds (84th percentile)

Rose: 39.25 inches tall (63rd percentile)
33 pounds (49th percentile)

Compared to Lacy, Rose is a little pipsqueak! And she was my 9 1/2 pounder and was always bigger than Lacy (at the same ages) until after she was 2.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Let the weekly visits begin!

Okay... today I had another midwife appointment. Everything went beautifully, except that I had traces of sugar in my, uh, system. So I'm hoping that's only because I ate some lebkuchen right before I came to my appointment. I'm doing well with weight gain... I'm up to almost 35 pounds gained (total) I believe. I don't want to gain too much more at this point!

Baby is still head down, and I'm measuring right on with him. I'm thinking he's going to be smaller than Rose, but at this point it's just a guessing game anyway. He still has three weeks of growing left to do- which will include more than a pound of weight gain between now and then.

It's iffy if the birthing center will be ready in time. They have their occupancy license, and now they're waiting on the health department's okay before they can start hosting births there. Crossing my fingers that it will be done in time, because the next closest birthing center is close to an hour drive away, and I really don't want to have to drive that far in January.

I'll have Dave take some pictures of me later and I'll post them. My neighbor said I looked really small considering I'm due in just over three weeks' time. Thank you, thank you, sweet neighbor. For now, we're just trying to get everything ready, while Dave is trying to butcher a cow and find freezer space for all of that. It's a little stressful around here lately, because I'm quickly running out of time!