Kyrie’s Birth Story: Part II

So sorry it took me so long to get this up!  I was out of commission the last couple of days due to a uterine infection, but I’m feeling much better and we caught it quickly so there shouldn’t be any complications from here on out, praise God!  If you missed it, you can read Part I of the Birth Story HERE.

*****

Things started progressing very quickly at this point. People began arriving… Stephen was the first member of my audience. When I heard him wake up I was so worried that he was just going to cry for me the entire night. He is never consolable at one in the morning unless I’m holding him.  Much to my surprise, God provided him with a very peaceful spirit and allowed my mom to hold him. He was even perfectly content (and kind of emotionless) when she had to leave for a moment. Next Jake’s parents arrived, followed by the midwife’s assistant and her back up midwife who was also attending the birth.

Birth AudienceMy mom went upstairs to see if Evangeline wanted to wake up. Now, if you know my daughter, you know that she is just like me and that being woken up does not put her in a happy place. But as soon as she heard “Mommy is having the baby,” she sat straight up and proclaimed “Oh! This is my favorite part!” She came downstairs bounding with energy and sat right next to Stephen to watch the birth.  Jake’s mom sat down to help and before long I had my own little audience with their chairs pulled up to see the big event.  It probably would have been terribly distracted if I had had any presence of mind to think about it, thankfully I was preoccupied.

They couldn’t actually see me in the tub during contractions because it was so tall, but I popped up in between and smiled and gave them thumbs up to let them know I was excited and everything was going well. Jake and I took a picture together and I was still talking and laughing in between contractions. They did get closer together, though I didn’t notice it much because they had started so close.

I started feeling a bit pushy so my midwife checked me. I was dilated to almost a nine already (and still happy in between contractions?!) so she told me to breathe through a couple more and that I was almost there.  At this point Jake’s back rubs stopped helping, which I managed to communicate mid-contraction. My brilliant midwife told him to try constant pressure instead of moving pressure. That felt much better. Contractions were getting so intense that I found myself holding my breath when one started. “I need you to breathe through these,” my midwife reminded me, which I did with quite a bit of vocalizing.

Breathing hurts less than not breathing, but for some reason the natural reaction is just to clamp up. About three contractions after my midwife checked me I let her know that my body had started pushing on its own during contractions. She started helping Jake by putting pressure on my hips while he pressed down on my back.  She asked me if I wanted him to get in the tub for support while pushing and I said no. Their cumulative effort was helping me manage and the last thing I wanted was to change it up and risk being in more pain, so I opted to keep everything the same. I was on hands and knees, not my preferred pushing position, but again I wasn’t about to move. I had found a way to cope and I was going to stick with that.

During the next contraction I started pushing. My midwife checked me afterward and said that I was fully dilated with just a little lip. I told her I was pushing through the last contraction and she said “I know; I wasn’t born yesterday. That’s why I checked you.” I didn’t laugh out loud but I did chuckle a little on the inside.  She asked if I wanted my water broken to push, and that she always felt more comfortable pushing without the bag of waters there. I was totally indecisive. I had no idea! I had never made it to the pushing stage with an intact bag of waters.

We broke my water during Evie’s labor at 5cm because I was tired of the slow progress, and Stephen’s broke on its own before his labor had even really started.  I couldn’t make up my mind, so I said we’d work through one more contraction and then decide, which was really me just stating the reality as the next contraction was already starting anyway. Several seconds later the point was totally moot as my water broke easily on its own and baby was crowning with the next push.

After that it took about five more pushes for baby to be born, way more than I’ve ever had to push before. But I had no tearing, and have been much more comfortable post-partum than I was with either of my other babies, so I don’t mind having had to wait a little longer in the pushing phase!  Baby was born at 2:10am almost two hours exactly from when active labor started. After doing some gymnastics with the umbilical cord… ahem… my midwife handed me our sweet little one and we put a towel over her to keep her warm in the tub. This is the first baby that Jake didn’t actually help deliver, but I think he was ok with that.

I held her for a minute before someone inevitably asked if baby was a boy or girl, I had to move the cord to see, and when I did I just remember saying “She’s a girl! But I already knew that, Mommy didn’t even have to look to know you were a girl.” Which is true, from my feelings during pregnancy and then seeing her face when she was born, somehow I just knew.
Baby girl and I stayed in the tub a while longer. The placenta did not come out nice and whole like it should have, so my midwife had to work on that for a few minutes (not super comfortable if you were wondering). Unfortunately we didn’t quite get all the little pieces (which caused my uterine infection a few days later).  We found that she also had a true knot in her cord, just like her older brother did!  Not sure why my children like to do that…

IMG_1558After all that was finished, Daddy brought Jacob over to cut the umbilical cord, he had just been woken up after the baby was born, although he didn’t particularly care to. The story I heard was that when Daddy went to get him and said it was time to meet the baby Jacob’s answer was “No, let’s do it in the morning.” Sigh… a child after my own heart. But he was glad afterward that he was awake with all the excitement!

Finally it was Daddy’s turn to hold the baby while I changed clothes and slowly made my way to the family room to rest in the recliner. After a good while of sweet girl nursing, Stephen helped Daddy weigh her and the midwife did a few quick newborn measurements and checks.  Last, but certainly not least, Mommy got a very early morning breakfast of oatmeal before we all headed back upstairs to bed at the very sleepy time of four in the morning. We still had no name for her at this point; it wasn’t until later that afternoon that we decided on Kyrie.

Out of all three births, Kyrie’s was definitely the smoothest. She also broke all of the similarities that my other two shared. I suppose we truly have no idea what pregnancy and childbirth are going to be like no matter how many times before we’ve done it. It is always changing from one child to the next!  Yet one thing continues to remain the same… the sacrifice is miniscule and not even comparable to the reward of bearing life. And to those dear mothers whose pregnancies didnot come to such a joyous end on this side of eternity, my heart and prayers are always with you and the reward that awaits you in Heaven is greater still.

IMG_1645

Kyrie’s Birth Story: Part I

Kyrie Rose

February 14th 2015

8lbs 2ozs – 20 1/4 in.

Five weeks after I was let off of bed rest and there I was, still pregnant. I could not believe it. My mom and brother were in town to meet the baby who was not here yet, and I was a week past my due date which had never happened before. Needless to say, I was ready to get this little one out into the world! We had one more day before my family had to leave.
The days before we tried stripping the membranes with absolutely no results. I dilated a tiny bit from 2cm to almost 3cm, but nothing else of note. On Friday evening my midwife came over with one last option to try.

She gave me an herb regimen to use that night and the next morning. It included Evening Primrose, Verbena and Cottonwood.  She told me that at this point she didn’t want to get too aggressive trying to kick start labor, and I agreed. As much as I wanted to have this baby, I wanted the baby to be ready above all else. I started with the Verbena; I was to take it every two hours that I was awake and to switch to Cottonwood the next morning.

My first dose of Verbena was at 5:45pm, I immediately noticed that my contractions seemed more persistent. We had gone walking at the mall earlier in the day, which had set off some good contractions, but they had been dwindling through the afternoon. This seemed to revive them a bit. I felt optimistic, but wasn’t going to get my hopes up yet. After a month of contractions and false alarms I was over trying to guess if I was in labor, but it felt better at least trying something.

I took my next dose of Verbena at 7:45pm, but it didn’t seem to have the same effect. My contractions were waning again and this didn’t pick them up too much after the first twenty minutes or so. I did a lot of walking, swaying, squatting and sitting on my birth ball that evening. I ate some jalapeno cheetos, joking with my mom that maybe the spicy food would help.

Mom and I retired upstairs and chatted while we waited for 9:45 so I could take a final dose of Verbena and go to bed. I told her that I didn’t want to go to sleep because that just meant one more day of not having the baby.  After all, my contractions always petered out when I laid down. But away I went, consoling myself with the knowledge that we could try the Cottonwood first thing in the morning. I took my last dose of Verbena along with the Primrose oil and went to bed.

Jake had not been feeling well so he had gone to sleep with the kids a few hours earlier. We talked for quite a while, it had been a long day and we both needed to decompress. Sleep didn’t come easily, I kept having little contractions that did nothing more than to remind me that I had been having the same ones for months and they meant absolutely nothing.
By the time I was finally dozing off, Evie woke up and I jostled Jake to go check on her. He was gone for several minutes so I checked my phone to see what time it was – 11:49pm. Two hours since my last dose of Verbena.

Well… I was awake so might as well get up and take another round right? Within fifteen minutes of laying down I had another contraction, a different-feeling contraction. It was certainly the best one I’d ever had laying down! I decided that if I had another I would sit up and see what happened. Sure enough, several minutes later another contraction started, I sat up and maneuvered into a modified squat, trying to put as much pressure on the cervix as I could while still in bed.

Ouch.

Several things went through my mind…  I had forgotten what actual labor feels like. — That was definitely an actual labor contraction. — I’m not sure I actually want to be in labor after all.— If I have any more of those I will actually be in labor.

I had another one. Just as painful. After posting to Facebook (because that’s the most important thing right?) I went to go find Jake who had fallen asleep cuddling with Evie. All I said was “Jake… ouch,” while pointing to my tummy. He got up and I caught him up to what was going on at  that point. We both started looking for clothes so I could go downstairs and walk through the contractions that were coming about 2-3 minutes apart.

On my way downstairs I knocked on the office door where my mom was sleeping for the week and let her know that I thought I was in labor and asked if she could listen for the kids for us since we’d probably be preoccupied. I knew my midwife had had two straight nights with no sleep, so I didn’t call her right away.

IMG_1406The contractions were strong from the beginning, I could talk through them barely, and I had to stop what I was doing to hold onto something. My brother was still awake downstairs so we enlisted him to take a few pictures before things got going.  I decided to do a cute little heart shape, being acutely aware of what day it was.  And Jake is texting people to come on over.  :)

I took a quick shower to see if the warm water would help relax me during contractions. It didn’t help too much so I got out and asked Jake to start filling the tub. I called my midwife at 12:51am, but told her not to come out just yet. I didn’t know how quickly labor would progress and I felt bad making her get out of bed sooner than she had to.

My mom came down shortly after that and we started prepping the birth room, I turned on my music playlist, which was awesome for helping me focus through the contractions. I don’t think I made it more than ten minutes before asking Jake to call the midwife back, this labor felt way too much like Stephen’s labor and I knew we didn’t have a whole lot of time.

The timeline becomes a bit of a blur after that. Somewhere in there I went to the bathroom a million times thinking I had to go, but not really needing to; my midwife arrived; and we ran out of hot water, so my dear brother went on boiling water brigade (heat water on the stove, put it in the tub, repeat) and that was his job for pretty much the rest of my labor. He’s a swell guy, and single by the way ladies. 😉

I also changed into my labor gown, and started getting really grumpy with Jake if he wasn’t helping me through contractions. I actually remember joking with him after one that we knew we were in labor when I start yelling at him to “pay attention” during a contraction. He’s not allowed to talk or be distracted, lol! During all of my labors he has been my biggest support, though I’ve needed him in different ways. This time he rubbed my lower back through contractions which helped to take some of the pressure off.

IMG_1423
My midwife wanted to check baby’s heartbeat and to see how far dilated I was. I told her I didn’t want to be checked yet, and she only had to see one contraction to know that I was quite actively in labor. I asked her if I could get in the tub, because I wasn’t sure if the water was deep enough yet. She told me to get in whenever I felt like it, which I did very promptly.

The water was noticeably more comfortable. I briefly considered asking someone to get my essential oils out, but I knew that at this point in labor they really would do nothing for pain relief, so I decided against it. Jake continued to rub my back through contractions from outside of the tub.

To Be Continued…

The Birth Story: Prologue

I am accustomed to writing my birth stories after the birth of the baby, but this little one has thrown us for a bit of a loop!  Labor started unexpectedly Saturday evening at exactly 33 weeks along.  I didn’t realize it at first, of course.  I had been having contractions for about two months at that point – a few here and a few there.  Nothing to be concerned about.  I was using them to gauge whether or not I was doing too much with the other kids.  “Contraction?  Ok, I guess I’ll sit down for a while.”

Then my contractions went away completely last week as I upped my protein and tried really hard to take things slow.  I thought we were doing pretty good!  But about 4:00 pm on Saturday night, back they came.  I started to notice them while eating dinner with the kids and waiting for Jake to come home.  I had no reason to be alarmed at that point because everything seemed normal… although I wondered why I was having contractions on the one day where I was lazier than any other day?  (I mean dinner was frozen pizza for Heaven’s sakes!)

After about an hour and a half it became clear that sitting down and resting was not making them go away, and I could tell that they were coming in regular intervals.  On top of that, every time I stood up it triggered another contraction.  I sat down to time them.  Four minutes apart.  That’s odd… I knew that pre-labor contractions would probably not be so regular.  After the kids were all settled in bed I chugged a big glass of water to see if that would stave them off.

No go.  On they kept, and they started feeling stronger.  Time to call the midwife!  She told me to eat some protein, to take four doses of my Calcium Magnesium and to get in an Epsom salt bath and then see if that would knock them out.  Getting in the bath was reassuring, they stopped immediately… only to disappoint me by kicking right back up once I got out.  I called again and convinced her that I thought I could make them go away by laying down, so she told me to sleep and if they kept me awake to call again.

The contractions dissipated in bed and I did go into a fitful bit of sleep, but it was more my own worry keeping me awake at that point.  I also caught some sort of a bug (maybe that’s what triggered the whole episode?) so I felt miserable on top of it all.  The next morning I woke up with no contractions, but they started as soon as I stood up.  I grabbed a notepad and wrote down every single one, and what I was doing when they happened.  Four minutes apart, unless I was doing something, and then they were two minutes apart.

I got the kids breakfast, dressed Evie for church and sat on the couch as much as possible, but to no avail.  They were just getting stronger and closer together.  I called my midwife and she told me I had to come over ASAP.  Grandma and Jake were both at Church and I had three other little ones with me, so I called Jake’s mom and thankfully she was in a position to come over right away.  By the time I was dressed she was there, and I headed out the door.

So glad my midwife only lives about five minutes from us!  She hooked me up to a fetal monitor, which was a totally new experience, but kind of cool.  I had no sign of infection, great blood pressure, awesome heartbeat and movement from Mambo and my contractions were barely visible on the monitor.  She said she was really pleased with everything she was seeing until… she checked me.  I was 1.5 cm dilated and was already presenting very soft and thinned out.  Those contractions weren’t much… but they were working.

At that point she gave me a shot of medication, which stopped them in their tracks.  Jake had just finished up service and his mom told him in the handshake line what was going on.  Poor guy, he tried to call but we had terrible reception, so he just drove over.  I assured him I was alright and that we had gotten the contractions under control, but that I felt pretty shaky and funny from the meds.  He drove back to the church, asked someone to drop him off, and then drove me home.  Sweet guy :)

I was not ordered to go on full bed rest.  “Queen of the Couch” is what my midwife called it.  I could sit, go up and down the stairs to go to bed, etc. but I just needed to be delegating from the couch and doing nothing else.  So for the rest of the day that’s what we did.  I had to take some more medication orally in the evening from contractions starting up again, but everything seemed to be going well.

The next day I woke up still feeling miserable from whatever I had caught, I couldn’t eat much all day.  Late morning my contractions started regularly at ten minutes apart.  I called the midwife, she said we could deal with ten minutes – as long as they stayed there.  They didn’t.  Almost as soon as I hung up they went to 7 minutes… 5 minutes… 4… 3… 2… each contraction was closer than the last.  And stronger.  By the time I got her on the phone they were a minute long with only about 30 seconds between them – and these were actually uncomfortable.  Not the cute, warm and fuzzy “Oh my tummy feels like it’s giving me a hug!” sort of contractions.

Amazingly she was driving by our house right that minute and pulled in to see me.  Not exactly what I thought our first home visit would be like, but ok!  I took another dose of medication and was instructed to lay down.  Sitting was only for short periods, but mostly I needed to get that pressure off, because every little bit was causing more contractions.  Bed rest, still not strict bed rest… but bed rest.

We fought off contractions for most of the rest of the day.  This was the first time I was really worried we weren’t going to be able to stop the labor for longer than a couple days.  It came on so quickly for no reason.  Every little change of position would trigger another contraction.    I was also still feeling miserable, I couldn’t eat even though I really needed to.  When I finally did go up to bed, just that two minutes of being on my feet triggered very strong contractions that I was having trouble getting dressed through.

My midwife thinks that we will be able to hold off labor for a few more weeks if I can behave myself and stay put.  She doesn’t think they’ll go away completely, but that hopefully we can make them a little less touchy so I can have a bit more freedom than I have now.  She really wants to get me to 37 weeks (January 17th) but will allow me to give birth at home as long as we make it to 36 weeks (January 10th).  Today I woke up feeling completely healthy (hope it stays that way!), my appetite is back and we haven’t seen any unwarranted contractions.  No medication yet, praise God!

I still have them every time I sit or stand, but for the most part they’ve been easy to ward off.  I am so grateful.  We have a fridge full of delicious homemade meals and already and we’ve had so much support.  I think we are covered as far as help goes for this week of Christmas, but if and when that changes we will certainly let everyone know what we are in need of.  Thank you all so much for your prayers so far!!  I am a little sore from lying on the couch, but other than that we are doing well, are in good spirits and hanging in there!  Hopefully the rest of this birth story won’t need to be written for another month or so!

Oldies but Goodies

I have a few posts in the works to start off my new blogging adventure, but in the meantime check out some of these old favorites that I have moved over!

Birth Stories…

Evangeline’s Birth Story

Stephen’s Birth Story

Natural Infant Hygiene…

Elimination Communication

Pottying a Newborn

Co-Sleeping…

The Sweet Sound of Sleep

When Nighttime =/= Sunshine or Roses

A New Mommy of Two

img_1882As you may have already guessed… we didn’t end up live blogging the birth…  I promise that I will post a birth story as soon as I have it written down, but with a labor short enough that even the midwife missed the event – I hope you won’t feel too left out that the blogging world missed it too!

In any case, I wanted to post an update for everyone.  Stephen was born on the 19th in the afternoon (his grandpa’s birthday!) and he is doing absolutely wonderfully.  He has nursed like a champ from the beginning, no pain or soreness at all!  With Evangeline it took over a month to get to a comfortable point.  When I think about it, almost everything is different this time around.  They are both equally enjoyable and lovable, but definitely unique!  I suppose if you know one baby you certainly don’t know them all.

We are looking forward to learning more about our Little Man as he continues to grow.  Evangeline is doing marvelously with her little brother.  There is no sign of jealousy, although the first day I could tell she was just a bit anxious that she was being left out.  After tandem nursing a couple of times, though, she realized that I was still just as much her Mommy as always, and she’s been doing great ever since!

We have already started elimination communication (infant potty training) and it’s going great.  We had our first two catches today!  Not even a week old, and he’s already using the potty 😀  Co-sleeping is also going well.  We’re still working out some kinks, but overall we’re getting enough rest.  And once we get a routine down that works for both kiddos I think we’ll be sleeping all night!

The transition to being a Mommy of two littles is going much more smoothly thus far than I could have hoped.  My own dear Mommy is here helping out, which is a huge part of that!  I’m hoping that during this next week I can start easing back into some basic cooking and chores and that we can get started packing up the house for our move!  So much to do!!

But for the moment I am just enjoying my precious son.  <3

img_1852

%d bloggers like this: