Monday, March 23, 2009

Noah's Labor and Birth Story, and beyond!

Okay, well I have both of the kids down for a nap (we'll see how long that lasts). So gonna try to type now... shhh, yes, I know there is a big pile of unfolded laundry and dishes amongst other stuff, but this is MY time to sit!

Please Note: This blog post contains some very controversial issues. You may not agree, but please respect our research and decisions as we will do the same for yours. Also note, it is very long and sometimes I start to go on tangents :D

So I was due with Noah March 9 according to my 20 week ultrasound. My original EDD was around March 10-17, so I figured he'd be a bit later. There was so much stuff I was stressing about getting done before his birth because I knew (and am experiencing now) that time would be more limited once he was here.

One big thing I wanted to do was take a shopping trip to Trader Joes and Whole Foods to stock up on some Organic Items (that are reasonably priced). I knew we had to go b4 the baby came because it would be such a challenge to make it there after (it's an hour away). My good friend Angela was gracious enough to take this trip with me on Saturday March 7, when both of our husbands had off and could watch the kids. Going with her vs. Brad, RG and I going was just better in many ways - love RG, but takes twice as long. And even better, Angela is a nurse! So if I went into labor, I have help right with me, hehe! :) Plus it was just fun to go out one last time for a while with just a girl friend. We got to have lunch and yes, I had Sushi.... shhhh ;)

A lot of walking and I was tired! I remember at the end of Whole Foods getting into the car, feeling like I had something in my pockets and then realized these pants didn't have pockets. So I'm thinking the baby was lower. My thoughts were, that's okay, they drop prior to labor and we are gonna make it until Wednesday for him to come out!

So exhausted when I got home, my Braxton Hicks Contractions for the past few days had always been a lot more painful in the late evenings, so nothing out of the ordinary. Rachel Grace however, what a sweet girl. She wanted me SO much more that evening and she wanted me to swaddle her baby dolls and she was carrying them around saying "baby baby baby" "baby baby baby." Honestly it was like she knew something. She was just acting different and like I said, a lot more clingy to me. When we put her down for normal bed routine, she would not leave me or let me go. She had to sit on my lap and she didn't want to go by daddy. I finally had to tell her I love her and leave the room and Brad finished putting her down. It was odd.

So I was tired and not feeling the best and even though there was a lot to do, I figured, I'm going to bed early - ummm, by early, I mean just before midnight. I had been sleeping on the couch the last few nights for just even the first couple cycles of sleep (meaning I get up to pee about 3-4 times a night) because it had been nicer leaning my back up against the couch and well, other reasons I posted about earlier. ;)

I wake up as normal needing to get up and pee. Was I sweating? Hmm, maybe, I felt a little damp and I was quite warm. Maybe I accidentally peed a little in my sleep I thought. Well, I get up to walk to the bathroom and I feel water trickling down my legs. Oh my goodness, did I pee in my pants was honestly my first thought! Ummm, no, my water broke. It was 3:30 am, I was freaking out! I wake up Brad and get changed. He's like "huh? what? are you sure? okay... can I go back to sleep." Seriously, I did not like that. But I think I said I'd call my doula and then come back for him. I check again and I had also started bleeding - thankfully this time around, I knew that would happen when I went into labor.

My wonderful Doula - Christina was amazing! I linked you to general information about Doula's because she does not have a website with her info (hint hint, Christina - you need a website!). But for anyone in the Racine/Kenosha area that would like to use one, she is awesome and I can refer you to her!

So I feel horrible calling her at 3:30 am, but I was assured that is what I was suppose to do. So much better than calling the hospital and going in like I otherwise would have. We talked a bit, she started getting some of her stuff ready, Brad and I started getting our stuff ready (I didn't plan to have the baby til the 11th, so I didn't have my bad packed of course!). Contractions were regular, but light. A lot of back pain, I was working on breathing through them because often I would tense up. I snacked a little which was good. Rachel Grace continued to sleep soundly, Brad continued to want to sleep. Christina got to our house about 5:30 I believe. Then Brad got to go sleep some more and she helped me as my contractions continued to get a little stronger.

I continued to pack and trying to pack RG's stuff, made some steel cut oats for breakfast with Christina's help as my contractions continued to get stronger. They were also pretty regular, probably 5-7 minutes apart. The stronger contractions were coming along a lot faster this time. I did use some Peppermint EO on my back and I really can't remember if that seemed to help at all with the discomfort.

I think around 7:30ish, wake up Brad because we really need to have everything ready, wake up Rachel Grace, get her ready and figure out where she is going. Call my wonderful friend Angela about taking Rachel Grace (as we had previously talked about) and said to bring her over whenever. It took so much longer eating and getting ready because my contractions kept getting stronger and closer together. RG did good with helping me breathe, hehe. She is cute like that, she would imitate my breathing. What really helped for some reason when I was having the contractions was me leaning over and either Brad or Christina squeezing my hips. It was strange I though, but really seemed to help a lot!

I think around 10 I finally called the hospital to let them know I was in labor. Didn't tell them my water broke because they didn't ask and they just said to come in whenever. Brad took Rachel Grace to Angela's so that it would be easier to finish getting ready. Just odds and ends, like putting food in the freezer since we won't be eating it in the next couple of days and what not. I didn't want stuff to get wasted!

Brad's back, we're about ready and I ask Christina if I can ride with her. That way we could get there and Brad could finish getting the stuff in the car and meet us there. I think they both thought I was crazy because one of the first things I did around 4am was print a shipping label for a package I needed to send out and I insisted that Brad drop it off at the PO before meeting us at the hospital. Maybe I am a little crazy, but I just wanted to get it out to my customer!

So, we get to the hospital, check in at 11:10am. Contractions are bad, for some reason they monitor me before putting me into my room. Talked over the plans for the labor and after, of course, I want to do my best not to get an epidural. I want to do this as naturally as possible - I mean what did they do all those years ago!? Well she checked me at 11:45 and I was 3 1/2 cm dilated. I was like - "that's all?" because I was in so much pain. I was having some back labor too. I don't think that lasted as much as when I was in labor with Rachel Grace though.

So they finally move me to my own room, as expected, I was told the warnings and stuff again for turning down taking the antibiotic since I tested positive for GBS. This is the reason I turned it down. I am always looking for alternative and natural remedies for things and wish I would've known more the first time around. I of course do not want my newborn to be sick or die, but if it can be avoided, I do not want them to start their life on antibiotics. I had asked my doctor to retest me a few weeks back, however they would not, so I just went ahead and opted not to have it.

Contractions got closer together and stronger so quickly! I was sitting on all fours in the bed to help with the back labor and comfort in general and had to go to the bathroom - again! And I remember being in there and talking to my Doula and pretty much saying "I need the epidural, I want to get it." She did a good job at encouraging me not to, that this labor is moving quickly and reminded me of how much I didn't want to get it. I said I know, I don't care, I need to get it. Told the nurse and of course it would be a while because they need to start me on an IV and what not and call the guy over. She also reminded me how I didn't want to get it. That was nice, but seriously, I felt like I was dying.

Checked me before starting the IV and I was 6 cm at 12:32, which explains why it hurt so much because the labor was moving quickly. Start the IV, and encouraged me to get the sedation drug instead. Or at least to start. I said okay so I would at least have something and soon after, they started me on that. I remember it was a bit before I started feeling loopy and I kept asking for the epidural. I could feel the contractions the whole time through (with RG when they had me on the sedation, I couldn't feel the contractions except when I was coming out of it after 2 hours) and they were painful! I don't know if this is when they were able to get the epidural guy, but they checked me at 1:32 and apparantely I was 10 cm. I remember asking for the epidural and Christina said to me "Michelle your at 10 cm. You're gonna start pushing soon."

Me all out of it was like "Huh? What, really?" and in my head I was thinking they were lying to me so that I don't get the epidural! LOL

I apparantely started pushing at 1:48 (someone wrote all these times down for me, I had no clue what time it was when it was happening). I don't remember much of it because I was so out of it, but I remember everyone being really nice and trying to help me relax and encouraging me. The on call dr. was the other doctor I had considered switching to when I found out my dr. would be having back surgery and out for a while. He came in at some point, but I never really remember seeing him or hearing him.

I continued pushing and all of a sudden his head came out! (as I'm told, not that I saw, lol) and then the rest of him, I had my little baby boy! I couldn't believe it. The plopped him on me and well, I hardly even remember since I was still so out of it from the sedation. It was 2:07pm that he was born. We did delayed cord clamping, so they waited to clamp the cord until it stopped pulsing.

Adding later: I forgot to write that apparantely his cord was in a snug knot when he was born. The doctor thought that it probably happened when he was round 5-6 months because after that, he wouldn't have had the room to move around for that to happen. Thankfully it wasn't tight, just snug, because that could have been very bad. God is good and has blessed us greatly by it not being serious and granting us such a healthy boy.

I'm told the baby (we didn't have a definite name yet) took really well to nursing right away, though I do not recall because I was so out of it still. I was excited because I got to hold him right away whereas Rachel Grace, I didn't get to, but I wish I would've been more with it so that I could have remembered holding him. I also recall that I kept trying to stay awake and I kept falling asleep.

He weighed 8 lb 4.7 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. Almost a pound more than Rachel Grace and an inch longer! WOW! I mean that's not a big baby - I know others that have 9-10lb babies or more, but when I look at what Rachel Grace was compared to him, it was quite the difference.

I would like to say it was all one beautiful, wonderful experience as originally intended by God, however, I don't remember much and it was quite painful and hard. Was it all worth it? Of course as I look at my beautiful son (and of course my daughter) and all that God created him (and her) to be. Will I do it again? We shall wait and see. I know after Rachel Grace, I said "we're adopting next time" and that's what I'm still saying now, but give it time and I may once again forget. After all, I am still on the recovery.

After labor, I ended up losing a lot of blood still, so I ended up taking pitocin to give me contractions to stop the bleeding. The whole rest of the afternoon I am not sure if I was out of it because of blood lost or because of the sedation drug. I remember the nurse telling me I have a phone call and asked if I wanted to take it. I said "Sure." "Hello" "Hi this is Erin" "Erin Who?" I seriously had NO clue! "Erin from Oregon" haha, it was a funny conversation once I realized who it was. All I was really saying was "I want food... I'm hungry.... I just want a cracker...." I'm sure Erin will comment on here and agree with those statements. I laugh now, but I seriously was just starving and they made me wait so long until I got to eat anything. I was so mad. Something about I couldn't eat in case they had to do surgery or a transfusion from the bleeding. Seriously, you don't tell a person that just had a baby those things, I was scared!

Oh one of our fun things too was that we didn't do the Vitamin K Shot. Why? Because of the same reason we don't do vaccines - the components that are in them that really, just aren't good. And you know they say no mercury is in vaccines anymore, but it all works the same as trans fats - if it has less than some small percentage, the companies can say it's not in there even though it's still in there. I could go into greater detail about why we don't vaccine, but that's not my current topic. We did however give an oral drop of Vitamin K. Safe, natural, no chemicals and got it from the Berglund Health and Wellness Center - same location we go to for our chiropracter, though he isn't our chiropracter.

The fun part of that was the conversation my husband got to have with the on call pediatrician. She did not like that we were not doing the vitamin K shot and pretty much scolded him on the phone over our choices for that - oh and the fact that I didn't take the antibiotics. Interesting fact about the antibiotics is that by the time they would've had me on them, it wouldn't have mattered anways because of how quickly my labor went. They wouldn't have had them in me for enough time for it to make a difference. It doesn't seem she had any issues about us not giving him the eye drops. Wish I would've known more about those last time around too - they are for STD's that can cause them to go blind. I don't have any STD's and many woman don't, yet they still automatically administor these to babies at birth. If you are in a monogomous relationship and neither of you have any, it's not a very necessary thing to get. I never researched what was actually in the eye drops, just when I found out what they were for, we knew we didn't need them at all. With the Vitamin K, we wanted to be more careful because there could be hemorraging that we don't know about.

When we talked to our pediatrician the next day, she knows us and knows that we didn't make any of these decisions lightly and had respect for our choices. One reason we're so thankful we were able to find her as a pediatrician and she is absolutely wonderful! She is also very knowledgable and knows that in most other countries, they do oral Vitamin K instead of the shots.

Back to after labor... I ended up losing over a liter of blood - I have no clue what is normal but I guess that is a lot. My hemoglobin levels were around 7 which is also apparantely very low. They said 13 is normal, but anything below 10 is of concern. Probably why I was so weak and dizzy. I tried getting up to go to the bathroom and got dizzy when they even just helped me sit up, so they put in a catheter. I didn't get up out of bed until next morning when they took it out and I had to pee and I got so dizzy, almost felt like I was going to pass out. That continued the whole hospital stay. I unfortunately could only get out of bed to pee because I had no other energy except to sit and nurse Noah and eat.

Noah did eat very well. I remember one night where he slept almost 5 hours, I couldn't believe it and of course knew that he wouldn't continue that at home! He was very healthy though, never had a temperature, ate very well, no GBS :) Pooped and peed like a champ (and is continuing to til this day).

Rachel Grace came and visited of course and she was more interested in the room and everything going on rather than the baby. We did however ask her once again what she would like the baby's name to be and she said "Noah." So there we have it, his name! She did name him on her own about 4 months ago and she never let go of it. She did also say Eli a lot and continues to, so that is why we have Noah Eli Bradley! Sometimes she calls him Noah, sometimes she calls him Eli, sometimes she calls him Baby. That's okay though, she's not even 2, she can do that... she calls herself "grace" w/ almost a silent "g" though sometimes is starting to say "wachel wrace."

Rachel Grace did great at Angela's - of course she had her buddy Nathan (14 months) to play with. She had a hard time coming home and adjusting for the first couple of days. I wasn't able to do much with her unfortunately and I know that made it harder. And there was this baby here that was taking all of mommy's time and energy and a lot of daddy's. She is still acting up a little bit, but getting better.

Well I'm going in to too much other stuff then my labor and birth story, so I'll save the rest for my future "Life with two" post.

Hope you enjoyed reading my labor, birth, and beyond story! Sorry it's so long, but if you know me, you know it can't come any other way!

Here is a link to pictures of Noah!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Noah Eli Bradley is here!

So I'm a little late and you probably already know - My son, Noah was born March 8, 2009. 2:07 p.m. Weighed 8lb 4.7 oz. 20.5 inches. So an inch bigger than Rachel Grace and almost a lb. more. He was due on the 9th of course who knows because it was determined at an ultrasound done at 20 weeks. I thought he'd be a little later actually, but by size and everything, I guess it was time!

I haven't had time to be on the computer much, but I do hope to post my birth story soon while it is more fresh in my head. I never got around to doing Rachel Graces (but in summary, over 27 hour long labor, noticed regular, minor, real contractions around 6am, checked into hospital 9:30, they kept me there, things went slow, got the epidural about 20 hours later at 4am, delivered her 8:38am the next morning, couldn't get out of bed until 5pm ish cuz of no feeling in my legs).

But I'd like to do his in more detail since I can remember more. I'm holding him typing right now, not the easiest thing, he about launched himself out of my arms... very strong and healthy boy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sleeping in the Same Bed

Nope, not about cosleeping... well sort of I guess, but not with your baby! LOL

Brad got done with his 7 nights of 3rd shift, blah. Shouldn't complain, he is blessed with a stable job, but sometimes the hours get challenging. Being huge and pregnant, it was actually nice having the bed all to myself (except for the one night Rachel Grace got up and actually did fall asleep in bed with me (usually she does want to play) however, I could not sleep cuz I was on the edge... I know, how can a little girl take up SO much room? And well she rotates and moves so of course her feet were on me). Never did figure out what was bothering her that day, but she was scared for some reason.

Anyhow, so last night we're both sleeping and goodness I'm trying to get comfy and he's RIGHT there. I had to lay my pillow on his arm and at one point knocked knees literally - ouch! Just was harder to sleep, even though I have a hard time sleeping anways! Plus, love my husband, but the snoring NEEDS to stop!

So tonight, he as usual goes to bed before me. Well, I'm getting ready and he's on MY side of the bed. I tickle his feet, shake him, everything. Finally, I get the couch ready that I'm sitting on now, turn the light back on, grab the pillows, hehe, and here I mean. That's my vent of the day, dozing off ofo g'nite!