Sunday, September 23, 2012

our last few days

the past several days have been a whirlwind, and with three nights in the hospital, there aren't clear endings and beginnings to the days.

wednesday i was scheduled for a 4pm induction. it would have been in the morning, but the nurses in labor and delivery were at a conference all day and my doctor had to argue to get us a spot even that late. i'm thankful he did, because delivering at 41 weeks is late enough. on the way, we got stuck in road construction that had been scheduled but was never actually happening. then, we were supposed to be pre-registered, and that wasn't in the system, so it took us until probably 5 to get into a room and ready to go.

i think they hooked up the medicine around 6pm, after i had been checked over and had signed a bunch of papers. my parents and justin's mom were there, along with sam, who just played in the room with whatever he could find and had a fun time.

i had contractions on my own before the pitocin was hooked up, so that was great news. they were about 5 minutes apart, and with the pitocin they came closer, around 3 minutes apart. nothing else was really happening, so everyone went home and we stayed. during the night, the contractions got bad enough to keep me awake but not bad enough for an epidural. they offered me pain medicine through my iv, and hoping that i would sleep, i agreed.

instead of sleeping i just felt drunk and woozy and still woke up with every contraction, so basically i slept about 2 minutes at a time. justin had the birthing ball (which i tried to use but the monitor wouldn't stay on the baby so i couldn't) next to the bed, sitting on it, trying to comfort me into sleeping. i slept a few minutes and then woke up to him sitting there looking exhausted on the ball and i said sadly, "oh justin, you don't have to sit on that ball!" he thought it was the funniest thing. i didn't want him to have to sit there, but the overly sappy nature of the comment was definitely the result of the medicine.

i guess i got to about 3 cm that night, and levi dropped enough by 5am thursday for the doctor to break my water, which wasn't exactly comfortable at 3cm. on a gross note, oh my gosh how much "water" can fit inside you? seriously. there is a lot of it. my belly felt somewhat deflated, and the contractions got a little worse.

i was trying to wait until i was 4cm to get my epidural, which seemed fine at first. i wasn't hurting, and even when it did start to hurt, it only hurt for a minute and then it was over. then, i DID want my epidural. i was about 3.75cm at my last check and things were starting to hurt pretty badly. the girl told me it would take 30 minutes for the bag of iv fluids to go in and then i could have the epidural. it took an hour. then the anesthesiologist took so long to get there, i wanted to poke him with his own needle.

i had two contractions while he did the epidural (i didn't think he could even do that, but he did it) and then it was glorious and it didn't hurt anymore. before the epidural, i had several contractions that made me cry because they lasted about 3 minutes each and were in my back, and before those i had a lot more (shorter, not in my back) of what the nurse told me made most first time laboring moms scream. one of the crying ones, i was turned sideways, holding tight to the bed rail, moaning in pain, tears streaming down my face, and i said, "it HAS to be almost over!" the nurse said, "it just peaked, you're about halfway." after that i told justin i didn't want any more kids. i am pretty sure i was serious.

this was all sometime thursday afternoon. things were going well and then two nurses ran in, shut off my pitocin, gave me an oxygen mask, and had me lay on my left side. levi's heart rate was still up, but it wasn't where they wanted it, so they had to be careful. my contractions also stopped completely, meaning i was no longer having any on my own. levi was fine, and they started the pitocin again, at a low dose. i was at about 5cm, 90% effaced, and that was as far as i would ever be. each check from then until 9pm was the same. we went from a normal chance of a regular birth to a 15-20% chance. i cried. a lot.

i didn't know what i wanted to do, and justin didn't know what he wanted to do. we had been praying all day long and all night and all day before, and so we prayed again and decided on a c-section in hopes that levi would be safer that way.

we were in the operating room by 10pm and he was born at 10:22pm. one of the people assisting in the c-section encouraged justin to watch as they pulled him out, and so he looked over the curtain in time to see them pull him out and the doctor unwind the umbilical cord twice from levi's neck. justin said it was the scariest thing he had ever seen.

the doctor said, "happy birthday!" and then, "he is huge!" i watched as they weighed him...9 pounds, 3.5 ounces. one nurse measured his head. "38 cm. he wasn't coming out," she declared.

all that time i wanted a vbac, and everyone tried to help me have that happen, and he was better off with a c-section because of the cord and his size - something that nobody can know or account for or write about in a medical article or a blog about vbacs. Nobody except the One who made sure i didn't progress enough to put levi and myself in danger.

the doctor told me that we probably would have been in the operating room for an emergency c-section because the cord was wrapped around his neck, even if i had progressed. so strange how things pan out, and how something can be "for the better" even though it might seem like the worst option initially.

levi is great - perfectly healthy and fine. i am sore, taking medicine, and hoping to recover quickly. it all worked out for the best.

and so that is my long story of how i ended up with a second c-section and a second fabulous little boy.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


we were really hoping for an august baby. by "we," i mean me, and by "hoping," i mean pleading with justin to learn to do a c-section to get levi OUT. ok, not so drastic as that, but i am VERY ready.

i have already gained 10 more pounds with this pregnancy than i had with sam at 39 weeks, so i feel more pregnant than i have ever been. in addition to that, levi is head down and engaged, so he is way low and way painful. i can't say if i prefer low or high, because sam's melon head in my ribs was not a fun time either, but then it didn't hurt to walk. i haven't progressed since 36 weeks, and i'm 38 1/2 weeks now. (i think that cervical checks are just a cruel joke doctors play on you to make you excited that labor could come any day, when in reality it will probably never come and you'll be pregnant forever.)

so we will just say i'm a bit impatient with the last bit of this pregnancy. you'll all be so excited if i get pregnant again to hear me whine and complain about it - but then again the end of pregnancy isn't fun for anyone, so i'd say i'm pretty normal.

sam is almost 14 months old now. he is fantastic, as always. he is walking more and more but is still not a huge fan of it. i'm not sure why, but it doesn't matter. he CAN, and it's not really a delay, so we just let him be. he walks when he wants to.

he is talking a lot too, but he always has been one to repeat things, starting with whispering "teeth" to us. he tells us he is a "big boy" and that he wants a "gnk" (drink). he signs "more" and sometimes will say it, but not often. he says, "YUM!" when he likes something. he says, "get get!" about calvin still, but it's much more clear now than four and five months ago. he can pretty much repeat whatever we ask him to if he's in the mood to.

this weekend he is telling us, "hi baby." he told levi and then kissed my belly. so sweet. he won't know what to do when levi is no longer in there! he also says that he loves us all the time. so sweet. he shakes his head no and tells us, "uh huh!" for yes. he also says, "BOOOO!" or "GOOOO!" for gross. we don't really know why.

animals either neigh or growl, unless it is a bee. a bee buzzes. horses are accurately in the neigh category, along with puppies and giraffes, and lions growl, along with gators, cheetahs, and the toy farmers that go with his farm set.

he has become a fit thrower. he is stubborn, but we are bigger than he is, so he can only resist our will so much. sometimes parenting a 14 month old, you feel like size is the only thing you have going for you - that is, when they won't listen very well. i know it's a hard phase where his will and his lack of understanding of certain situations (and what is and isn't appropriate or nice) are conflicting, and it will get better. it is definitely easier to take care of a little baby (as demanding as they can be) than to parent a toddler.

work is hard, but not the job. leaving sam hasn't gotten one bit easier - it's harder, even. i still cry to leave him some days, and it's not just the hormones. and levi does make it more tiring as well. i look forward to maternity leave as a time to spend with my boys and rest and recover. i wish i had more than 6 weeks but i am thankful to have what i have.

justin is enjoying his student teaching and is picking up some more responsibilities as time goes on in the semester. we will both be glad when he is finished for good in december.

that is pretty much what is going on with us these days. keep praying for this baby to make his appearance very soon! i've tried all the tricks aside from castor oil and i can't get those contractions to start! i know they will when they are supposed to - i just want "supposed to" to be today.