Monday, August 22, 2011

Colin's Birth Story and my VBAC Success

I first of all want to thank all of my family and friends for being so sweet to us the past few days, we have felt so loved.

Our new baby boy is finally here! Here's the story of how he made it into this world....

I posted my 39 week update on Monday feeling like labor was 2 weeks away, and literally as soon as I hit "post" I started to feel different. We had the hospital tour on Tuesday and I started to get really excited for labor and delivery. So I began doing a ton of walking. I got really tired and went ahead and gave my mom the green light to come from AL. I cancelled a lunch with girlfriends on Wednesday (very out of character for me) due to they all suspected Colin would be here soon :)

When my mom arrived on Wednesday I took a 3 hour nap, then we ran errands and walked the neighborhood after supper. I still went to bed that night feeling like I would probably make it to my 40 week Dr. apt on Monday and began to get worried about induction pressure.

Thankfully, Colin decided to cut me a break and come early. On Thursday morning, August 18th, a contraction woke me up around 3:45AM. I knew exactly what it was and began to watch the clock, after about 3 contractions that were 10 minutes apart, I woke Cory and told him that "today could be the day". I told him to go to work that I would labor at home all day, my mom could watch Carson, but to keep a watch on his phone just in case. I of course could not go back to sleep after this.

I tried to watch some TV and surf the internet in order to "ignore early labor" but by 6:30AM, I began needing to breath through my contractions that were then 5 minutes apart. At that point I called Cory's parents and let them know, and my mom called my Dad since they all had to travel from AL. I got in the bath tub to see if the contractions would stop b/c I didn't want everyone making the drive from AL for false labor! But the bath only sped things up. Contractions were then 3-4 minutes apart and I even had some come every 30 seconds or so...but still manageable.

I called my Dr. and she suggested I head to the hospital. So I called Cory and told him to come home and at that point contractions were still about 3 minutes apart. So I continued to labor at home with a toddler who wanted only me that morning and not Nana.....very hard. I started to really feel the pain after that and began to get everything together for the hospital, I put on some make-up but could not do my hair.

Cory got home around 7:45 and by 8:15 we were on our way (in morning rush hour traffic) to the hospital. I was warned by my sister-in-law that the ride to the hospital would be very painful, and that was so true, I needed to move around and squat and bend over for contractions and being restricted made the pain worse. Contractions were 1-2 minutes apart and Cory made some more phone calls on the ride over, he was so excited. Thankfully we weren't caught in any traffic jams and arrived at the hospital at 9:30AM.

They checked me and I was at 3cm, they offered to give me pain meds and break my water, but I declined and said I wanted to walk the halls. But before I could do that they had to make me lay on the bed and monitor me and the baby for 30 minutes or so. This was excruciating, at no point in my labor was I able to lay down, I just couldn't manage the pain, and I insisted on sitting on the edge of the bed and leaned on Cory during contractions.

Contractions were coming constantly then, I felt a gush and my water had broken, I knew there was no way I could handle the pain all day, so I insisted on getting an epidural. In order to do that they had some forms for me to sign, they had to get 1 liter of IV fluids in me, and had to do some blood work before I could get it. They offered me some narcotics while I waited on the epidural, but I declined that for fear of adding vomiting to the chaos. It felt like forever waiting on the epidural and I began telling Cory I wanted to die, and that I couldn't do this; the L and D nurses were very helpful in reminding me how to breathe. Cory was so calm and tried to help, but there was nothing he could do except fan me with a pillow, let me squeeze his hand, yell at him, and dig my claws into his arm every contraction (I still feel terrible about this). He was able to apply some counter pressure to my back and legs that helped a few contractions. He tried to help me make it through w/ out getting the epi, but I just couldn't take another second of pain and at that point I wasn't really getting any break between contractions, I couldn't do anything with my body anymore to manage the pain, nothing helped.

I had to sit still during contractions to get the epi, which was unbearable, then they made me lay down for it to take effect. I kept asking why it wasn't working b/c with my c-section it took effect instantly...but for the c-section, I was given a spinal block and this was different. It took about 15 minutes to work, then they checked me and to my surprise the nurse said I was COMPLETE (10 cm). I was in complete shock, I had no idea that I had made it to the end, and shocked that they didn't check me before giving the epi, and that they didn't notice the signs of me being in transition. But they probably just went ahead and let me have it since I was being so demanding (I apologized to every nurse for being rude after it was all done, they all laughed at me and said it was no big deal).

They called my Dr. and she gave the green light for me to start pushing. I pushed for about 15 minutes with just Cory and one nurse and then my Dr. arrived and a few more pushes, I was able to feel Colin's head emerge and then after about 8 hours of labor he was here; Colin Alexander Phillips was born at 12:24pm weighing 7 lbs, 13 oz and measuring 20 inches long.

Cory told me all during the pregnancy that he didn't want to see what was going on down there, but when the action happened he was glued and when they asked if he wanted to cut the cord, I answered YES for him, I would have let Cory catch Colin if the rules would have permitted that! We didn't get any video footage...this all happened so fast. It was such a whirlwind and I can't believe my labor progressed so quickly. I attribute the speed of it all to the fact that my body went into labor on its own, my water broke on its own and I was able to wait until the end for the epi.

I am so happy that I educated myself and got the birth experience I wanted, and most importantly my sweet baby boy is here safe and sound. It is still surreal that I got my VBAC, I am so happy to be a part of the growing number of VBAC's out there, and it would not have been possible without the many birth bloggers out there that sparked my birth curiosity and education, my supportive hubby, great friends and family, supportive Dr., and an amazing hospital...when I got checked into my room, the nurses were going over my chart and they were so excited for my VBAC, North Fulton Regional Hospital was just wonderful, I can't say enough positive things about their staff.

We stayed at the hospital for 48 hours and then we were released. I am pretty sore "down there" and I was given an episioteme, which is no fun but much better than having a c-section! Breastfeeding is going ok, we have a few challenges but I am committed to trying as hard as I can this time. I lost about 10 pounds so far and have MANY more to go...

Carson is doing amazingly well, he loves Colin and wants to touch, hug, kiss, and play with him every time he sees him. So far he hasn't shown any jealousy, he is genuinely happy to have Colin around which makes me so happy.

Cory went back to work today, we miss him so much. I am so blessed to have such a sweet husband and such an amazing father to my boys...that feels so good to say "my boys". :)

And excuse me while I brag......I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

39 Weeks

I am trying to be very patient! I feel fine and don't really feel like labor is around the corner, of course I am ready to meet my new baby boy, but I am very at peace just waiting right now, I know the more I do to force labor, the greater my chance is of having a c-section.

Dr. Apt this morning:

  • No weight gain, so still +32
  • I honestly don't remember if she measured my belly or not, I had Carson with me so I was a little distracted
  • Colin's heart rate was 146
  • All my other stats were good
  • The Dr. offered to strip my membranes, but I declined. I will be more willing to try some natural induction tactics after my due date has passed, I don't want to do anything too early.
  • I am 1cm dilated and cervix is very thin she said. A lot of what I have read says that cervical progress is no indication of when labor will start, some women can be dilated as much as 2-3 cm for 2 weeks before labor starts, and some don't dilate at all until they have real I am not getting too excited, just being patient. I haven't seen or felt any other signs of labor coming. 

Other preggo news:
  • I also remember feeling just HORRIBLE at 39 weeks with Carson, but I don't feel that way at all this time. Maybe its because I haven't gained so much weight and have been chasing after a toddler during this pregnancy, or I am not as swollen...who knows. At this point I have no idea when this baby is coming. But we are prepared in case he does come on time. 
  • Heartburn is still bad
  • Sleeping is getting tough, SO hard to roll over and even though baby is head down and dropped, its hard to breathe well while laying down.
  • I encountered a horrible hillbilly in Kroger the other day, and for once I put one of these "rude strangers" in their place. She basically yelled at me in the check-out line asking when I was due (I guess I didn't hear her the first time she asked), I replied "one week" and she said something like "yeah it looks like it". So I just smirked and shook my head to sort of let her know that was inappropriate. Then she said "well you're just not a happy camper are you?"  That really annoyed me, so I said "Actually I don't prefer to discuss my pregnancy with strangers" and then she finished with "well, we just good ole country folks trying to share the joy that's all" ..................I did not respond, I was so pissed, I have been so happy with this pregnancy and simply because I don't spill every detail to strangers doesn't mean I am not joyful about my new baby, I just happen to believe in boundaries and MANNERS. This baby is still in MY body and I don't welcome comments about MY body from strangers.

So here is my JOYFUL belly picture at 39 weeks, 2 days, please excuse the hair this was at the end of a busy day:

Monday, August 8, 2011

38 Weeks

Dr. Apt:
  • I lost a pound, so that makes it +32
  • Belly measured 39cm
  • Baby's Heart rate was 150's
  • No dilation or progress (not surprised since I am still 2 weeks from due date, and I didn't really see any "labor signs" with Carson until around 39 weeks)
  • Head is still down
Other pregnancy news:
Well, the discomfort has officially set in!
  • Colin's movements have become painful on me sometimes, and he loves to rest and move his head on my urethra (ouch).
  • Every time I stand up, I have to stand there a minute to get use to the pressure down there.
  • The groin pain is really bad and it still stops me in my tracks and I have to reposition my legs or hips to help the pain.
  • Oh the heartburn...there are no words.
  • Can't go in public with out some sort of comment from a stranger.
  • I am driving myself crazy trying to keep my house "presentable" in case I go into labor (for my friends and family that will be caring for Carson), I am the type that must clean if anyone is coming over no matter who it is. 
  • I am also trying to stay stocked up on all of the food, drinks and essentials for Carson just in case. 
  • I question every single feeling I get in my stomach and south of there, its really annoying not knowing when I will go into labor. I am a big planner and I love being OVER prepared, so this is the hardest part for me.
  • I haven't really seen any labor signs, other than some cramping here and there.
  • I signed up for a hospital tour (will be 39 weeks at that point), I am hoping Murphy's law will kick in and I will have the baby before the tour! No such luck :)
Our Hospital Bag:
We are pretty much packed for the hospital, we are taking:
  • Camera
  • Slippers/house shoes for us both (Cory's feet froze last time, and I was constantly sending him for apple juice and crackers, so he had to take off his socks to put on his flip flops, it was annoying for him)
  • Cory's pillow - he has a certain one that he sleeps on every night :) 
  • Toiletries
  • Couple of outfits, pajamas, undies and socks for Cory
  • 1 outfit, socks, grandma undies, a couple of nursing bras and 4 gowns for me in case I have a C-section (longer stay)
  • I will probably throw my hair straightener in my bag in case by some miracle I feel like looking nice, I also am keeping my make-up in my purse, I did manage to put some on last time for the hospital pics
  • We just need to throw our phone chargers in our bag and grab Colin's stuff and we are set.
Colin's Bag:
  • 4 gowns (much easier for diaper changes) and hats
  • 1 blanket
  • Brush and comb (they wouldn't give us anything in the hospital to tame Carson's crazy hair!)
  • Cute outfit for the hospital pics/going home (I will order some of these pics so I want him to look cute)
  • Breast pump, I had to wait about 24 hours to see a lactation consultant with Carson, so this time I will have my own pump in case I need it.
  • His carseat and base are all clean and ready to go.
Just now noticing I wear this outfit a lot! I do love this shirt, I am going to be sad to put it away in a few weeks!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Carson is 2 years old!

My sweet little boy has turned 2, I don't think I could possibly explain how adorable he is, but I will try!

At 2 years old:

  • Carson's favorite songs are Wheels on the bus, Bunny Foo Foo, Twinkle Twinkle, Hickory Dock, and some different versions of the ABC song (which he can mostly sing on his own)
  • His favorite foods are blueberries, mac n' cheese, cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, m&ms, spaghetti, green beans; he has been such a good little eater, we are very lucky!
  • He loves to drink chocolate milk every night and morning, then during the day he loves capri sun or any juice, and gatorade. Sometimes at dinner he gets to drink sweet tea.
  • He loves to be outside and loves to play in water (which he now calls it "wogger")

  • He speaks mainly in sentences now, and can say pretty much any word you ask. He is our little parrot! Its funny when Cory and I are having a conversation and he repeats everything we say and says our "real names". 
  • He is very generous with his hugs and "I wud you's"
  • His very favorite thing to do when we are home is play in "Cossin room", he goes straight for his little play kitchen to cook, and he pretends to make coffee, sweet tea, and soup. He also likes to put his little dishes in the sink and run the "wogger". He has really gotten into playing pretend this past month.
  • He also loves to play T-ball and is pretty coordinated with hitting the balls, he is a little dangerous! 
  • He loves to pretend that he is going night-night in his bed. 
  • He got some new books for his birthday and there is one about animals that he loves, we read it over and over.
  • He still gets his passy when its time to sleep, I am not really in a rush to take it away just yet.
  • We don't do much potty training, he isn't really interested, we just talk to him about it and get excited with him when he does inquire about the potty, I don't want to force it and it be a negative association.
  • He is quite bossy, he told me the other day "sit on me beanbag Mama, I be right back"; he wanted to watch his you tube videos the other day and he said "gimme phone Mama". 
  • He always says good morning to the desk person at daycare, even if no one is sitting there :)
  • If he sees a balloon, he goes crazy and has to have it. He can spot them anywhere!
  • I am so pumped that he will sit still in the mornings and watch some cartoons for a little while, I have waited a long time for this! 
  • He loves Braves baseball, and he is always the 1st to know if there is baseball on a TV in a restaurant.
  • He is in a huge Daddy phase right now, he loves to take showers with Daddy, he prefers that Daddy rocks him to sleep, and he copies everything that Daddy does. I am quite jealous :(
  • Speaking of showers, when he is all clean, he knocks on the wall for me to come get him and when he hears my voice he likes to "see Mommy"......

I just love him so much! 

Happy 2nd Birthday Carson!

Monday, August 1, 2011

37 Weeks

I am very excited to meet my new baby boy soon! Hoping he won't be late :)

Had a check up today:
  • Weight Gain - + 3 pounds! Total +33
  • Baby's Heart rate - 140's
  • Belly measured - 38 cm
  • Head is down
  • Blood pressure was good
  • Progress - zip, I asked to begin cervical checks so that I can find out asap if he turns breech (abdominal exams aren't always correct) that way I can try some techniques at home to turn him instead of scheduling a c-section. They said if I was really worried next week they could do an ultrasound to give me piece of mind. 
  • We also discussed options for the scenario of me not going into labor at a certain point. She said at 39 weeks they can strip my membranes and do the same at 40 weeks. At 40 weeks they will do an ultrasound to make sure he is ok, then they will let me go one more week after that. They don't like VBAC patients going to 42 weeks, and from what I have read its hard to find caregivers who will let you go that long. 
Other pregnancy news:
  • I am definitely feeling a ton of pressure when I stand up, I can tell he has dropped. Sometimes when I walk, I get these groin pains and I have to stop walking to reposition my hips, or squat down, or lift my leg or something to get it to go away, strangers get very concerned when I do this :)
  • People keep asking me if I am "done" and the truth is that I am a little sad this pregnancy is coming to a close. I have been fortunate to have pretty easy pregnancies (although not without their challenges), and I must say I have loved being pregnant. I love the whole process, and the best part is right around the corner! However, I am concerned about Carson's feelings and reactions to the new addition, I just hope I can show him enough attention still and that he feels as loved. 
  • I can sleep pretty well, just have to get up a few times to go to the bathroom, turning over in bed and getting out of bed are tough. 
  • I have some swelling, but nothing compared to my pregnancy with Carson.
  • Felt some cramping this morning and an occasional Braxton Hicks contraction day-to-day, other than that no labor signs. My guess is that Colin will come right around his due date. Looking back at Carson's pregnancy, at around 39 weeks I began to see many signs of labor coming soon, I will spare you the details. I am hoping this is the case with Colin.
  • I got all of the breast pump stuff, bottles and passies washed and put away in the "baby cabinet", that is such a task..I forgot how much crap a baby needs if he has to be bottle fed (and bottles are a must for daycare babies).
  • I have a plan in action for someone to watch Carson until my mom can get here from AL. 
  • I am waiting to see what kind of success I have with breastfeeding before I buy all the storage bags, nursing accessories, etc....
  • I don't think there is anything left to do except pack, I have a couple of gowns, nursing bras, undies, etc...and my toiletry bag set aside, but I need to get some new slippers (mine are so old, stained and chewed up), and I need to get some hard candy, juices and snacks for the hospital bag. 
  • Colin's bag is packed, for him I am taking a blanket, hats, some sleeper gowns, and a nicer outfit for his pictures. I am also taking his comb, brush and nail clippers. 
  • I need to find my big yoga ball for labor, but if you know my son and his obsession with balls, I won't be able to utilize this until he is sleeping and when I go to the hospital!

Belly Pictures (feeling a bit more plump and whale-like these days):