Last Thursday I was getting ready to post an update on here about my 38 week prenatal appointment but instead I had a baby!
Anna’s birth story really begins on the day of my 38 week appointment. I was still feeling really good, but having random contractions more frequently so I figured my body was probably getting ready for something but didn’t expect anything to happen in the near term.
My doctor and I had discussed the possibility of an induction during my 39th week as a means to have greater control over my delivery and help ensure the baby wasn’t too big given the tearing and related complications I had post-delivery with Maya. We decided at my appointment last week to go ahead and schedule it for July 19th. I was all set for that to be her birthday, I really didn’t think she would come earlier than that since when I was examined I was still only about 1.5 cms dilated and I wasn’t feeling like labor was eminent.
The next day, Wednesday, Maya and I had our regular play date with our best buds Heather and Claire. I was feeling good that day. We took the kiddos to the park and between carrying Maya back and forth to the bathroom and running up a hill to save her from the monkey bars by the time we headed home I was feeling really uncomfortable. My hips and pelvis were killing me. I still didn’t think anything of it because I remembered the pelvic pain and hip pain in the late days of my pregnancy with Maya as well. I figured I had just over done it and I would feel better in the morning.
I went to bed Wednesday night exhausted and very uncomfortable from the hip pain. Luckily the exhaustion won out and I was able to fall asleep easily. A couple of hours later, at midnight, I was awoken by a contraction (a definite real deal contraction). I fell back asleep only to be awoken again 10 minutes later. I dozed on and off for the next couple of hours with contractions steady at 10 mins apart. Then all of a sudden I woke up to a contraction and glanced at the clock only to discover it was only 5 mins since the last contraction. I convinced myself I misread the clock and closed my eyes again. Sure enough 5 mins later I woke up again to another contraction and there was no question the time frame had switched to every 5 mins.
I decided at that point to go ahead and get up and lay on the couch to time my contractions. I tried to doze off but the contractions were consistently coming every 5-6 minutes. After the first hour of that I convinced myself that I needed to keep timing them to make sure. I was trying to avoid waking up Lorne and Maya in the wee hours of the morning. So for another hour I timed my contractions only to find they were getting even closer together with contractions coming every 3-6 minutes.
So, at 4:00 am I decided it was definitely time and woke up Lorne. He figured something was up because he heard me up and walking around so I don’t think he was entirely surprised when I woke him and told him the game was on. I also called my friend Heather, who was going to be watching Maya for us, to give the heads up that I was on my way into the hospital and Lorne would be dropping Maya off with her within an hour or two, assuming I was admitted.
When I woke Maya and told her she had to get up because it was time for Mommy to have the baby she said “No” and rolled over. That happened twice before it dawned on her what I was actually saying. Once the thought settled in she became super excited and was ready to go. We loaded our bags in the car, which I had just hurriedly packed before waking up Maya because my plan was to pack our bags that day in preparation for my induction on Tuesday not thinking the baby would be arriving any earlier than that, and headed into the hospital.
It didn’t take long before they decided to admit me. My contractions were strong and frequent on the monitors and I was about 4 cms dilated. This was definitely the real deal. So, I got settled into a room and Lorne headed out to drop Maya off at Heather’s house.
I spent the hour or so that Lorne was gone bouncing on a birth ball to help get the baby engaged because when they first examined me they told me she was “bouncy” which meant she wasn’t yet well engaged. When Lorne got back my nurse came in and examined me and sure enough the ball had worked, the baby was way down and I had already progressed to 6-7 cms. They decided they would probably break my water shortly to get things moving along instead of hooking me up to Pitocin, so I decided to order my epidural before the contractions got too crazy.
Boy was getting my epidural a fun experience. The first time the anesthesiologist got the catheter into a vein. He worked it a bit hoping to get it out and did his test shot. My heart rate sky rocketed from 63 beats per minutes to 102 beats per minute in about 30 seconds and I was extremely light headed as a result. It was obvious his manipulation hadn’t worked so he pulled it out and had to start again. Lucky me! The second one got into the right spot and the test shot didn’t affect my heart rate so we were good to go. I started to feel some relief immediately.
Shortly after my epidural was in place my nurse examined me and my water broke during the exam. Things progressed quickly from there. Unfortunately I also started to get some feeling back. During the roughest phase of my labor when I was getting double dip contractions every minute or so I could feel EVERYTHING. I was in a lot of pain and the anesthesiologist had to come back in and up the dose along with giving me a booster shot for some immediate pain relief. He told me it was take about 10-15 minutes to kick in and boy were those the longest 15 minutes of my life considering I had at least a dozen or more contractions in that time frame.
Shortly after the epidural started working a bit better I started feeling a lot of pressure. My nurse examined me and sure enough I was completely dilated and the baby was right there. She called my doctor and told me he would be there in about 15 minutes, this was at around 11am. I thought the previous 15 minutes took forever to pass, they had nothing on these 15 minutes. The pressure was so intense. I got to the point where I didn’t think I couldn’t not push and the nurse said she would get the house doc to stand by in case my doctor didn’t show up in the next couple of minutes. About a minute later he walked through the door and we got the show on the road.
I pushed for about 10 minutes and the baby was out. Unfortunately that boost in my epidural was not very effective so I felt a lot of pain and burning during the actual delivery. That was not fun. But the end result was all worth it.
Anna Lily was born on July 14th, 2011 at 11:26am weighing 6lbs 4oz and is 20in long. She has a full head of dark hair, and big gorgeous dark eyes.
Even with her being super tiny I still tore. I tore internally in the exact same spot that I did with Maya as well as a 2nd degree perineum tear. Luckily, this time around my swelling was minimal so my doctor was able to get things stitched up much better and there is no indication that I will have any of the post delivery complications that I had as a result of my tearing with Maya’s delivery.
Anna and I spent the first hour of her life skin to skin. It was an incredible experience and I just stared at her and marveled at how adorable and tiny she is. She looks a lot like her big sister Maya did when she was born with a few of her own individual traits thrown in.
She is a tiny little thing, such a little peanut. She is a calm, relaxed, laid back baby so far. We love her so much and are having so much fun getting to know her. She completes our family perfectly.
Monday I hit 37 weeks, in just a few days I’ll be 38 weeks. I’m now in the full term pregnancy catergory. Full term! Baby Girl 2.0 could make her appearance at any point now. In fact, Maya was born at 38 weeks 2 days, if this one decided to do the same that would be next Wednesday. Holy crap! Excuse me while I hyperventilate for a moment. After waiting what felt like forever to actual get pregnant and then struggle through the first few months of this pregnancy with morning sickness and exhaustion that made the time drag by, I can hardly wrap me head around the fact that the end is at most a couple of weeks away.
Soon this belly will return a normal size and in its place will be a little bundle of baby.
You may notice something different in the background of this picture. The room behind me has been transformed from an ugly, cluttered, unready room into a beautiful nursery. When Lorne got home last weekend he was under strict instructions to get the nursery done. My usually organized ahead of time self was going more and more insane with every glimpse at the walls filled with patches and primer, the guest room furniture sitting where a crib was supposed to be and boxes of furniture yet to be put together. He was really good about my drill sergeant ways and got the furniture put together, the room painted and helped me put it all into place. It feels so good to have the room finally ready and it turned out just as I imagined in my head. Here is a quick glimpse of the completed nursery (ignore the balloons and the princess pillow in the crib, Maya has decided the nursery is a great place to play!).
I can’t wait to use this cozy corner with my new glider to feed and rock and cuddle with Baby Girl 2.0
And, I can’t wait to fill this “Me and My Big Sister” picture frame that rests on the dresser with an adorable picture of my two girls.
As I near the end of this pregnancy I am still feeling really good. The occasional back ache and an inability to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time between having to pee constantly and being uncomfortable is really all I have to complain about, not too bad. The braxton hicks contractions are a lot more intense now and more frequent. They are being joined by real contractions as well, nothing too severe, just the occasional contraction throughout the day. Last night I was actually woken up twice by contractions. At my last appointment I was 1.5cm, going on 2cm, dilated and about 80% effaced. Things are starting to happen, we’ll just see how long it takes for it to go from my body getting ready to baby time.
We are in the home stretch of this pregnancy. I’m now 36 weeks pregnant. There is less than a month until my actual due date. It won’t be long now and I’ll be posting a “Welcome to the World” post. I’m getting to that point where I feel like I’ve been pregnant FOREVER. It mostly feels like “holy crap, how am I already 36 weeks along”, but at the same time it definitely feels like I’ve been lugging this big ol’ belly around for far too long and my body is getting tired of it.
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago the last couple of appointments with my OB have been about determining if it is going to be safe for me to attempt another vaginal delivery after the tearing I had with Maya and the post partum complications that came along with that. And, the short answer is, yes, I should be able to deliver Baby Girl 2.0 vaginally if that is what I want to do, which it is.
Last week my doctor did an internal exam to check for any signs of scar tissue build up or other healing issues associated with my tearing that may indicate that a vaginal birth was not in the cards for me. He found that I healed very well and found no scar tissue build up. He stated that based on that alone he would be very comfortable advising me that a c-section would not be necessary. There was, however, one more thing he wanted to check on, the size of Baby Girl 2.0. If she was measuring large he wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable recommending that I try for a vaginal birth. So, a growth ultrasound was schedule for this week’s appointment. I can’t tell you how neat it was to see her moving all around in there. I didn’t have a late pregnancy ultrasound with Maya so it was so cool to see what things look like in there at this stage. She is definitely squished in there but still has plenty of room to wiggle. She was very wiggly through the whole scan and did her best to make it a challenge for the ultrasound tech to get the measurements she needed. She also spent a majority of the time sticking her tongue out at us. She is going to be quite the little stinker, just like her big sister. The good news is she is measuring right on average for 36 weeks gestation and is on track to be a bit smaller than Maya was. So, with those two factors in check I’m set to continue on the track of having a vaginal delivery again as long as nothing comes up in the mean time and nothing happens during delivery to make that not possible. Yay!
The appointment went very well after the ultrasound too. My weight is good, my blood pressure was perfect and I’m measuring right on track belly wise. I had my first cervix check today and my body is already making progress. I’m 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. My doctor does not think I’ll make it to my due date. The only requirement I have is to make until after Lorne gets home from Australia (Friday night!), after that she can come whenever she is ready.
I’ve been having a few irregular, minor contractions lately, which makes sense now that I know I’m already starting to make progress. The braxton hicks have also picked up. They are happening a lot more often and although they don’t hurt they are definitely more uncomfortable. I’m still getting back aches at the end of the day, but they actually aren’t as bad as they were a couple of weeks ago. Some days I feel huge but most of the time I”m still feeling really good and since I can still paint my own toe nails and shave my legs in the shower I know I’m not crazy big yet
I’m so thankful that I’ve been blessed with another uneventful, enjoyable pregnancy. It feels so good to be in the home stretch and know that it won’t be long now before we get to meet this little girl.
Maya is now, officially, a Certified Super Big Sister!
This weekend I took Maya to a Sibling Class offered at the hospital where I will be delivering Baby Girl 2.0 (same hospital where Maya was born too!). The class was for kiddos 2-9 years old that are becoming big brothers or big sisters. The idea of the class, according to their description, is to introduce the kids to some of the things they can expect when their new baby brother or sister comes home.
I was super excited for the class, and so was Maya. When I told her we were going to the class today she said, super excitedly “Oh, is the baby going to come out now!” I think she is definitely ready to get this show on the road I reminded her that her baby sister is not allowed to make her appearance until after daddy comes home!
Our class was packed. There were about a dozen other kids in the class. One family had 5 kids already with baby #6 on the way. I’m guessing the older siblings could have taught the class since they’ve done it so many times already! Most of the kids, with the exception of the older kids in the large family, were in the 2-5 year old range. The nurse who taught the class did a good job of gearing the class towards the younger kiddos. You could tell she had taught the class many times and loved doing it.
A majority of the class focused on how the kids might feel when their new brother or sister arrives and what they can and cannot do with a brand new baby. There was a lot of discussion about the different feelings they might have and how, no matter what they are feeling, it is okay and they should always tell mommy and daddy how they feel. The video they showed and one of the hands on coloring activities talked showed them each of the different feels from happy and excited to sad and angry. Maya said she was just happy because she loves her baby sister, it melted my heart. Each kiddo in the class got to take a turn holding a baby doll and got their picture taken to show they were now Super Siblings. We took a tour of the obstetrics floor including a tour of a post delivery room where they got to play with the buttons on the bed and a quick look in the nursery at a few of the babies who were born this weekend.
The class was great, and Maya did a great job in the class. The only thing that freaked her out a bit was when they talked about how mommies have to stay at the hospital for a few days to rest after the baby is born. Maya will be having a super fun sleepover with her best friend Claire at my friend Heather’s house during my stay in the hospital so I talked to her about how fun that would be. She was okay with it once we talked about that but made me promise that she could come to the hospital to spend lots of time with me too. This is the part I’ve always known she would have the hardest time with, which is why I have arranged for her to spend the nights away from me with her favorite people. She adores my friend Heather and loves being around her little friend Claire so I know the distraction of having a super fun sleepover will be just the thing to take her mind off of being away from us over night for the very first time.
I’m very proud of my big girl and I know she is going to make an amazing big sister. The class was a great way to reinforce the things we’ve been talking about for a while and to get her even more excited about the arrival of Baby Girl 2.0. I’m really glad we did it.
It actually kind of freaks me out a bit to see the number in the title of this post. I’m 34 weeks pregnant, I’m in my 8th month. That means there are only 6 weeks until my actual due date. Maya arrived almost 2 weeks early so it is quite possible I have less than 6 weeks to go. This freaks me out on more than one level. There is the obvious reason that I’m 8 months pregnant and my husband is still on the other side of the world, that is enough reason to be freaked out, don’t you think. The other reason that seeing that big number at the top of the post and realizing how small the weeks remaining number is freaks me out is because NOTHING IS READY!! The nursery is still a guest room. The walls have not been painted, the crib has not been brought upstairs, cleaned and set up, the other furniture is still in boxes in the garage. And none of this stuff will be done until Lorne gets home. That goes against every fiber of my being. I’m an organized person, I like to have things done well in advance of when they need to be done. I hate procrastination. I hate waiting to the last minute to do something. Seeing the room so unfinished and knowing there is so little time left until this baby makes her appearance and yet I can’t do anything about it makes my head hurt.
Sanity-wise I’m a little worse for wear, but pregnancy-wise I’m still feeling really good so that helps me feel a little less worried that Baby Girl 2.0 will want to exit the comfort of my uterus before her time. I don’t have any unmanageable symptoms. I am 8 months pregnant and carrying around what looks like a bowling ball where my flat stomach used to be so needless to say I do have some aches and pains, but they aren’t too bad. The worst is low back pain. I had it with Maya too at this point in my pregnancy with her. It is worse on days when I’ve been really busy or done a lot of bending like if I am cleaning the house or carrying Maya a lot or gardening. It usually hits me in the evening and can make it a bit difficult to sleep. Speaking of sleeping that has also become a bit of a challenge. I find it hard to find a position that is comfortable for any length of time, plus I have to get up to pee A LOT, so my sleep is usually in short bursts now. Other than that I’m feeling good. I’m getting more braxton hicks contractions now and Baby Girl 2.0 is taking up more and more space in there. My ribs have become her new favorite kicking spot and my bladder is still her favorite punching bag. Lately she has taken to sticking her little backside out as far as she can to the point that I can feel my skin and what remains of my abdominal muscles stretching painfully to their brink. if she pushes her butt out any further she’ll pop right out I think
I had an appointment with my obstetrician last week. It went really well. My weight, blood pressure and tummy size all looked great. The baby’s heart beat sounded great. All in all things are progressing very well. We spent most of the appointment revisiting a topic we had discussed earlier in my pregnancy, whether or not I can deliver vaginally again or if a c-section will be necessary. Since I had such major tearing with Maya followed by hemorraging and the need for surgical repair of the tears a week after she was born, my previous OB (my current OBs former partner) had mentioned that a c-section may be necessary with any subsequent deliveries. My current OB, early on in this pregnancy, had reviewed all the notes from my pregnancy, delivery and post partum complications with Maya and was of the opinion that I would likely be able to delivery vaginally if that is what I wanted to do. He did say we would have to look at a few things later in the pregnancy before a final decision could be made. Well, now is the time to revisit that question. Over the next several weeks he will be investigating a few things including the extent of the scar tissue build up around the tear sites and the size of this baby and will give me his professional opinion based on the results of those tests. Next week at my appointment he’ll do an internal exam to check for scar tissue. If there is a lot of scar tissue build up than I’ll probably have to have a c-section. The following week they will perform a growth ultrasound on the baby to determine her approximate size. As long as it looks like she would be right around Maya’s birth weight (7lbs 10oz) or smaller than delivering vaginally shouldn’t be a problem. So it all boils down to how big this kiddo is and how much scar tissue I have around the tear sites.
He advised me that ultimately the decision is mine, all he can do is give me his best professional opinion and guide me in my decision based on what is going on with my body and the baby. I do not want to have a c-section if I can avoid it. I’ve had abdominal surgery before and the recovery was no picnic. I don’t want to have to go through the recovery of a c-section when I have a new baby to care for and a 3 year old who is going to want her whole mommy, not a mommy that can’t pick her up or play with her as much, etc. What I went through when Maya was born was scary, but in all likelihood that would not happen again if everything in the next couple of weeks checks out. Internal tears heal much faster and are much more forgiving than external tears. As long as my body healed properly and well (not too much scar tissue) and this baby isn’t looking like she’ll be above average weight wise than I am bound and determined to at least attempt a vaginal delivery. But, I’m not going to risk myself or this baby, so if my doctor’s opinion ends up being that a c-section is a wiser choice for me, that is what we’ll go with.
The next few weeks are going to be filled with a lot of information and I’ll have some big decisions to make. In the meantime I’m just going to keep enjoying this pregnancy and the time I have with this squirmy little princess before she decides it is time to meet the rest of the world.