Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stationery Card
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

One Week Old

We have had a couple weigh ins for Charlotte and she has gained a ton of weight, gained 8.5 oz in 4 days! So our Pediatrician feels confident in my nursing that we don't have to go back till she is a month old.  I must say it is very different this time around, with Lillian being born in Korea I didn't have the breastfeeding support I have here and it really made a difference.  Lillian is loving being a big sister and asks to hold the baby, kiss her and love on her everyday.  She gets very concerned when she cries (which is not often since I wake her up every 2 hrs to feed her) and goes over to her bed and asks, "what's wrong baby?" or "it's ok baby".  Our adjustment from 1 to 2 kids has been relatively easy.  I had to wake Lillian every 2 hrs as well when she was a baby which made making a routine/schedule very easy.  Now that I'm doing the same with Charlotte I've been able to wake her up the same time as Lillian and plan our days a bit better instead of just waiting for her to feed whenever.  I have been letting her wake on her own during the night and find I'm getting more sleep now than when I was pregnant. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Charlotte's Birth Story

It was quite a week leading up to Charlotte's arrival.  I have had both cramping and Braxton Hicks for a while but for the most part they were always irregular.  Monday night (3/25) I was woken up every hour by strong menstrual like cramping.  I had an appointment with my doctor the next morning and mentioned it.  He decided to check my cervix and I wasn't dilated but 50% effaced.  At that appointment my blood pressure was high, first high reading during this pregnancy.  The previous week I had begun to feel similar symptoms I had with Lillian, seeing more stars, getting very intense random sudden headaches but they'd only last a few seconds usually if I was squatting down to be at Lillian's level.  We decided I was probably just cutting off circulation since they were short and were not at my head but rather the base of my back to the base of my neck.  We did blood work to test for pre-eclampsia which all came back normal and scheduled a follow up for Friday; I was told to rest as much as I could with a toddler.  The next two days we lounged around and tried to just enjoy some cuddle time together.  Since I had the same symptoms with Lillian and was asked to take my blood pressure at home, I decided it couldn't hurt to take at home and bring in the readings on Friday.  I began recording them Wed. evening through Thursday and they were high, higher than the reading we got in Tuesday's appointment so I emailed my doctor.  He told me to go to triage (and was on call at the hospital).  I was monitored for a while and my blood pressure seemed to be in a high normal range as long as I was laying down.... apparently laying back on the couch was not sufficient.  Blood work and urine tests were repeated in triage and everything checked out ok.  Friday I went to my follow up appointment and it was still high, he had me lay down and a nurse took Lillian for a walk.  They rechecked it again after laying down for 10 minutes and it was again high but in a normal range.  We did a third round of blood work and began a 24 hr urine catch which is more sensitive to show protein.  He said if there was any trace of protein in my urine he would induce early for mild pre-eclampsia. 

My labor with Lillian was horrible on Pitocin and I did not want that again. My main goal this time around was to be up and moving for my labor, not tied to a bed being pumped with medications.  I tried to do Hypnobabies with my first and it all went out the window when the contractions started one on top of the other.  I listened to my Hypnobabies tracks as soon as I heard the words possible induction. I figured if we could get my cervix more favorable for the induction that I'd be able to set up a plan with my doctor of only using Pitocin for a short time to get labor going then turn it off and let me labor naturally once I was in a good pattern.  Sex, walking and nipple stimulation are all common natural induction methods.  Saturday, we went to breakfast at my favorite place and Greg brought me home and took Lillian out for the day since I was on modified bed rest.  I turned in my 24 hr urine catch at noon and rested the remainder of the day with my Hypnobabies tracks playing.  I meditated and told my daughter it was ok to come out if she was healthy enough (again I had done all these things with Lillian for weeks and had no success so I can't say I really thought it was going to work).  The entire day I envisioned my cervix opening and softening, getting ready for her arrival.  When my husband and daughter got home I suggested sex to help get my cervix ready for an induction considering on Tuesday I wasn't dilated and only 50% effaced.  Earlier in the week Greg and I had discussed a plan of starting my Hypnobabies tracks reserved for 37 weeks a little early and setting up regular intimacy sessions to help soften my cervix.  Little did I know that was all it took!  (We tried a lot longer with Lillian and had no success when the induction started so I really didn't think it was only going to take once) 

I started having some cramping and light bleeding immediately afterwards and contractions started within 5 minutes.  They were pretty regular but not painful, I was able to breath through them and just felt like pressure so I started drinking water knowing what caused them thinking they'd just go away.  Greg wanted to go down to Petco a couple miles away to get a new fish tank and I decided to join him and Lillian to keep my mind off the contractions.  They continued to be regular seeming only a few min apart for the same length of time but we were not really timing them.  Again they were comfortable enough to breath through and I would just stop and sway back and forth through them.  When we left the pet store the pressure of them increased but they still were the same frequency and length so I knew they were not going to go away.  I told Greg we should get home, grab our bags and head to the hospital to be monitored; I really didn't want to get there early but knowing I wasn't quite full term made me nervous.  I was also having the same strong pressure I had with Lillian.... the pressure started at 2 1/2 cm with Lillian so it all seemed normal to me.  When we got home Greg commented that I hadn't had them for an hr and that we should at least time them.  We started up our contraction monitor on the computer and I'd tell him when one would start and when it would stop; we figured out they were only 2 min apart lasting about 45 seconds long.  I decided to get in the shower to keep my mind off them, again I'd just breath through them and sway when they came... they never really hurt but rather strong pressure.  I set up my Hypnobabies track (although I'm not sure I was focused enough to really listen) and with each contraction I'd visualize my body doing what it needed to do.  During each contraction in my mind I'd chant, "I deserve a pain free labor, each pressure wave is opening my cervix twice as much as before and I am one step closer to meeting my daughter."  I wasn't even in the shower for 15 min before I yelled for him to call triage because they started to get stronger and we should go in.   He got the ok from them to go ahead and come on in but at that point my breathing turned into instinctual moaning through them but still swaying.  They were still not as painful as I thought they'd be, I guess I was expecting them more like they were with Lillian but I also knew Pitocin makes them a lot stronger.  Greg called a friend from a meetup group and he was going to meet us as the hospital to take care of Lillian.  As he was loading our bags in the car I started to feel nauseous and knew I was going through transition from 8 to 10cm.... again I had maybe only been having contractions for 45 min to an hr if that.  I had an awful feeling that we waited too long but kept thinking there is no way I'm fully dilated yet considering I barely had contractions.  As he loaded Lillian in the car I knew it was too late, I yelled for him from the house but he insisted we could make it.  As I walked to the parking lot and another contraction came on I told him, "you have to believe me, we need to call 911 we are not going to make it!" he insisted we would.  I think the fear of giving birth right there got to me and I still got in the car even though everything was telling me we were not going to make it....I also think we were both somehow hoping we'd make it to the hospital and she'd be born in their round about area.  We got down the road 2 miles before I yelled for him to pull over somewhere, I was feeling like I needed to push and knew I still had to get my pants off, I just wanted out of that car!  He just kept driving and in my mind I'm thinking, "you just passed another drive way, pull over NOW!" We got stuck at a light and I feel the urge to push... I think that is when panic set in for me.  The contractions were manageable as long as I was calm and once I panicked the fear of Lillian's birth where they pushed her head back in for a half an hr waiting for my doctor to arrive flooded me.  I yelled at him again that he had to find somewhere to pull over; I was assuming he was trying to find a non crowded place since I'd be clearly exposed.  At that point modesty was not on my mind and I didn't care who saw, I just wanted my pants off and out of the damn car!  We made it past the light and I begged him to pull over as I pushed once.  He pulled into an empty high school parking lot and I felt a large bulge between my legs, scared it was her head and my pants were still on.  I remember telling him how scared I was as we pulled in.  I knew my body could do it on it's own, it proved that with Lillian's birth as eventually my body pushed her out even with them pushing her back in. I had wanted a home birth with Lillian but in that instance you prepare mentally as well and still have a midwife there to keep you calm and focused. I think I felt more scared with thoughts of something being wrong since she was six weeks early.... had she been a full term baby I'm not sure I would have been as concerned. 

He parked the car I told him to call 911 and felt another urge to push and I tried to just get out of the car as much as I could.  I pushed what seemed involuntarily and this time I felt a large pop and a gush and knew I had just broken my water.  I felt another urge to push and felt the ring of fire, she was crowning.  Greg was being directed by the 911 dispatcher what to do but I always seemed to be one step ahead.  He ripped down my pants on one side down to the knee enough to have access and another push her head was out.  I can remember looking down and seeing her head and before I knew it her shoulders and body as we both lifted her up and put her on my chest.  It was a bit of an out of body experience, I was in disbelief as I watched it all happen before my eyes.  She made the tiniest cry then was quiet but breathing.  She was also grey in color covered in vermix.  It was such an unreal experience but I worried about her airway knowing they normally suction out the nose and mouth so I just kept sweeping as much as I could away from those areas.  I could hear the fire trucks coming as Greg found a blanket to put over her.  The dispatcher told him he needed to find something to clamp off the cord and he took one of the shoe laces out of Lillian's shoe.  Paramedics arrived and started their assessments of the baby, giving both of us oxygen.  They clamped the cord again and let Greg cut it. 

I feared I was going to scar Lillian as she heard me screaming in the car.  I thought at one point I heard her cry and may have even said everything was ok as I was pushing the baby out.  As Greg and I compared stories later Lillian just kept asking, "Mama what doing?"  and Greg had told her I was having the baby.  (In the pet store baby Charlotte was going to be here soon)  Of course she thought it was the coolest thing that the "wee-whoos" were there and as they were doing their assessments of me and the baby she tried talking to them.  I remember hearing, "Hi, I Lillian" and lots of babble trying to be part of the conversation.  We have always told her wee whoos come to help people.  

Charlotte and I were put into the ambulance and I was just in shock of what just happened, scared for Charlotte knowing she was early and she wasn't really crying.  They gave her an apgar score of 6 but I didn't know what that meant.  They kept blowing oxygen by her face and she looked nice and pink by the time we arrived at the hospital.  They continued to report in her improvements.  I delivered the placenta at the hospital and they began their battery of tests and assessments to get my blood pressure under control.  Charlotte looked great and had no problems for being early.  The nurses thought daddy's idea of using the shoelace to clamp the cord was very smart, they said they have never seen that before.  One of the paramedics took the pictures for us and sent it to my phone.  She weighed in the same weight as her big sister at 5lbs 7oz measuring 18 1/2 inches long (just a half an in longer than Lillian was) and she was born at 6:56pm (Greg called 911 at 6:53). 

I was diagnosed with Pre-elclampsia based on a urine sample they took from labor and delivery when I arrived at the hospital.  I have yet to find out if there was protein in my urine  from the 24 hr catch.  Recovery has been easy other than the high blood pressure.  I am not sore and luckily didn't tear.  For the way everything happened we were all very lucky.  

As Greg and I compared stories later I learned he was trying to get us to the fire station but thought it was behind the high school.... it was behind the community center that was across the street from the high school.  His hope was to just go there and let the paramedics deliver the baby in case something was wrong.  As Greg and Lillian followed the ambulance to the hospital Lillian kept asking or confirming I was in the wee whoo, "Wee Whoo take Mama" and he told her they were going to meet us there.  We are all very lucky and now have quite a story to share with our daughter later. 

 The first time Lillian got to see Charlotte. 

The next day as they visited me in the hospital.  They didn't stay long since my bp was high and felt Lillian being there was raising it.  My dad was driving down from the baby area so Greg spent the day with Lillian at the zoo.  Unfortunately that also meant Charlotte could not room in with me.  Because they were giving me medicine to lower my bp another adult had to be in the room with me when I had the baby.  Occasionally if they felt I was awake enough (the meds I guess make you sleepy) they'd leave her in there while I nursed her and got to do some skin to skin time but just checked on me more frequently.  After my dad arrived Greg came and spent the night in the hospital with me.  We are all home now and doing well.  Charlotte has a weigh in appointment tomorrow and I have a follow up with my doctor in a week regarding my blood pressure.

Although I had planned for a semi Hypnobaby birth I really did not anticipate the complete opposite of Lillian's birth.  I am still amazed that I gave birth in a little under 2 hrs and almost pain free.  The only pain I really had was once I had to sit in the car and pushing her out.  I had been practicing my hypnobabies tracks for a couple weeks and did visualizing techniques/tracks everyday for a week to help prepare my body.  It was quite an empowering experience..... to give birth and allow your body to truly do what it is meant to do. My main goal this birth was to be able to move around since I was stuck in a bed for Lillian's birth. Greg jokes that maybe the next birth we can have a home birth; I say had he listened to me that we wouldn't make it that we could have had a home birth this time ;)  I feel due to my history of Pre-Eclampsia now in both my pregnancies/deliveries a home birth would not be safe but I'm glad it also means I am not stuck with induction every time.... but lesson learned if we do decide to have anymore kids I will go quick!  (I had a fear I would but I would have never guessed that quick)

UPDATE: There has been a lot of concern regarding a mess in our "new" used car that we had just gotten a month earlier.  Although at the time I was freaking out about having my pants on it was kind of good..... that was the only place there was a mess.  I was positioned as if I was stepping out of the car so she was born kind of hanging out of the door.  Charlotte has lost some weight but we have a great pediatrician who is very favorable of breast feeding (much different than my experience overseas with Lillian)  She is ok with her weight loss as long as she gains weight from here on out.  We have had a couple follow up appointments only a few days apart to see how much she is gaining.