Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jude's Birth Story: Part 3

The nurse quickly started wiping up the blood from placing the IV port.  I started to feel faint.

"I'm going to get some wipes to clean this up.  Don't look down," she said as she jogged over to the supply closet.

"This happened last time too.  Why does it always do that?," I asked the nurse as I stared at the wall.

"You just have really good veins!" she answered.

The nurse began cleaning up the tray table (which got covered in blood), the floor, and my arm.  The smell of the alcohol made my head spin.  I thought for sure I was going to pass out or throw up.  Was I sure I could have a natural child birth?  At this point I definitely wasn't so sure.  I started to wonder if I should just ask for the epidural, get the Pitocin, and not feel a thing.  It was something I was considering.

At 7:50, I wrote this entry in my phone: IV port in place.  Hooked up to monitors.  Waiting on my midwife to come break my water.

A few minutes later, the anesthesiologist came in.  She had me fill out some papers in case I decided to get an epidural.  She explained how it would work and how the catheter would work.  I told her that I was planning to try to go without the epidural.  I don't remember what her response was to that, but I could tell that she had heard that before and that she wasn't buying it.  I decided I wanted to have the baby naturally just to show her that I could.

"Well, you will probably still be getting a catheter.  You won't want to be up having to empty your bladder every few minutes while you're in labor."

I looked at Adam.  I have never even heard of that.  I didn't know people got catheters without having an epidural, except for when you are on Magnesium Sulfate or something like that.  That doesn't even make sense to me.  Anyway, I knew she would not be invited back into the room.  I will happily empty my bladder before I will take a catheter.

My nurse came back in a little while later, and for the next hour I sat watching the monitor and answering her questions.  To be honest, I can't remember her name.  She was very sweet and would be my nurse all the way until the baby came.   

At 8:45, my midwife arrived.  I got really nervous when I saw her, but she was very cheerful and upbeat.  She lowered the bed back to check me.

"You are at about a 3," she said.  "I am going to go ahead and break your water.  Take a deep breath and relax."

I saw her remove the amniotic hook from the plastic wrapper, and then I found a spot to stare at on the wall.  I told Adam about the amniotic hook the night before.  He thought the midwife just used her fingernail to pop the bag of water.  I don't think he realized how tough the bag of water is.  It took my midwife a few tries, but she finally got it to break.  I didn't even feel it.  I exhaled a big sigh of relief.  About as soon as I felt the relief, I felt a lump in my throat.  Now he has to come out.  There is no going back.  He will be born today. 

"Alright, I will be back to check on you at lunch.  If you need anything, let them know."

"How long do you think it will take?" I asked, hoping she was thinking somewhere along the lines of a couple hours.

"Well there is no way to tell, but I think you are ready.  It didn't take long with August, right?"

"Right.  I went from 3 to 8 centimeters pretty quickly," I replied.

"Well, it probably won't take too long then," she smiled.  "I'll be back at lunch. Let your nurse know if you need anything."  She gave another smile and a wave as she left the room. 

My nurse explained to me that my contractions would soon be picking up in intensity.  She told me that she would not offer me any pain medication during labor, but I was to let her know if I wanted anything.  She unhooked me from the monitor next to my bed and began getting me on the wireless monitor.  It consisted of 4 sticky pads that attached to my belly and a necklace with a little black receiver on the end to communicate with the monitor next to my bed.  They had to "exfoliate" my belly where they needed to stick the pads to make sure they would stay in place.  They basically used a fine grit sandpaper to do this, and that part did not feel good.

Once the wireless monitor was working, the nurse left us, and I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and walk the halls.  When I stood up, water went EVERYWHERE.  I soaked the entire bed and the floor all around the bed.  We had to call the nurse back in to clean it up.  I felt so embarrassed, and I really felt bad that she had to clean it up.  She told me not to apologize and that it is part of her job.  I still felt really bad.  I went on to the bathroom, put on the giant mesh underwear and pad, slipped on my flip flops, and we headed out to the halls.

The labor and delivery part of the hospital was very small.  The hallway I was on was very short.  We started walking up and down the short hallway.  There were visitors coming down the hallway headed to different rooms.  I wondered if they thought it was odd that I was in such good spirits, walking the hall with no IV cart, in a hospital gown.  They probably wondered what I was doing there.  I started to wonder the same thing.  I felt really silly.

After a few minutes of hallway strolling, I told Adam we needed to step it up.  Power walking or something.  But there wasn't really anywhere to power walk.  My contractions were very irregular at this point, and they still didn't hurt.  I had a little more sensation with them after having my water broken, but still, nothing was really going on.

"I don't feel like we should even be here," I told Adam.  "Nothing is happening.  This isn't working.  I wish we could go home."

I used to always have the same dream when I was pregnant with August.  My plan has always been to go to the hospital at the last minute.  I have always planned to labor at home as long as possible.  But I kept having a recurring dream where I would check in at the hospital and realize that I wasn't in labor.  Once I was there, they wouldn't let me go back home. 

This felt exactly like that. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jude's Birth Story: Part 2

We woke up the next morning just before 5.  My nerves were already jittery before my feet even hit the floor.  I got up to get ready while Adam caught a few more minutes of sleep.  I had been keeping a labor diary on my phone for the past couple weeks, recording my symptoms and feelings.  I typed this while I was getting ready.

                 August 29, 4:50 a.m. I can't believe this day is here. I didn't sleep much last night.  Dozed off and on. Got up 2 or 3 times to pee.  Kept waking up with a stomach ache.  Very nervous about having my water broken and nervous about pushing the baby out without an epidural.

I remember with August that it didn't hurt when the doctor broke my water.  I wasn't even sure she had done it, even though she told me she was fixing to break it.  I didn't have an epidural at that point, but I was on the Magnesium and Nubain, so I was pretty out of it.  I imagined a balloon popping inside of me.  Wouldn't I feel that?  Wouldn't it hurt if I didn't have any drugs?  I knew when I began pushing Jude out, that I would have adrenaline and all that going, but when they broke my water, it would just be me, sitting there dealing with it.  No drugs, adrenaline, or labor to speak of.  Just me getting my water broken.  I was really scared about it.

Adam started loading the car while I finished up my makeup and straightening my hair.  Yeah, I'm that girl.  I snapped a quick picture once I was all ready.

Comparing this picture to my other pregnancy pictures, I could tell that my face was starting to swell.

We packed a diaper bag, the "My Breast Friend" pillow, a suitcase that we shared, both of our pillows (we figured out from August's birth that these are a must have! Hospital pillows are awful, and you only get 1.), the video camera bag, and my purse.  We were set! 

It was 5:35 a.m. when we left the house, and we were supposed to be there at 6:00.  I of course wasn't hungry, but I knew I needed to eat.  We stopped by McDonald's, and I got a chicken biscuit.  I scarfed it down as we made our way to the hospital.  Our car ride was mostly quiet since we were trying to finish our breakfast.  I analyzed my body to see if I could determine anything.  I was definitely feeling some tightening, but no real pain.  It seemed to be coming about every 10 minutes. 

When we pulled into the parking lot, it was right at 6.  I was trying to keep the tears from coming.  I was so nervous, but I wanted to go into the birth optimistic and excited.  Adam parked the car and said that he wanted us to pray.  We bowed our heads, and Adam prayed for the delivery and for the nurses and our midwife.  He also prayed that my body would progress naturally and with as little intervention as possible.  When we said amen, I wiped a tear from my eyelashes, and we began unloading the car.

As we walked in the front lobby, a nurse was leaving.  She smiled at us, watching us with all of our stuff.  I remember thinking that was really nice of her to smile.  She sees people having babies every day.  I'm sure it's nothing new.  But it's nice that she smiled, and I felt encouraged by her.

When we walked up to the nurses' station, I gave them my name and what time I was supposed to be there. 

"She is so cute!" a nurse said.
"She is adorable" another nurse said.

I felt my face get hot, and I smiled when I realized they were talking about me.  I felt kind of silly being told I was cute and adorable.  Especially when they were about to see me not so cute and adorable.  Haha.  I wondered which of them would be my nurse.

They had me fill out and sign a few (scary) papers.  Then a nurse with a strong northern accent took us to our room.  She made small talk asking us if this was our first, and then when we said no, she asked us questions about August.  We got the same surprised reaction we always get when we told her our son was born last year.  :)

She took us into the labor room.  We were at a different hospital this time.  We would have a labor room and then a recovery room, which is different from our last hospital where you stay in the same room the whole time.  It of course looked more medical looking than I wanted.  I saw the IV cart next to the bed, and I immediately wanted to say that I wouldn't be using it, but I decided to wait. 

The nurse gave me my gown and told me to go ahead and change and go to the bathroom.  I walked into the bathroom and started changing.  Seriously, has no one come up with a better hospital gown yet?  Those things are so complicated.  I was probably supposed to go ahead and take my underwear off, but I left it on.  I wasn't ready for that yet.  I came back out and climbed into bed as the nurse had instructed.

A few minutes later, she came back in and asked if I had a birth plan.  I asked Adam to get my birth plan out of my purse, and he handed it to her.  She left the room to make a copy.  Here was my birth plan:

Adam and Amanda Hare's Birth Plan

Jude's Expected Due Date: 8/29/13

We are the proud parents of a 15 month old baby boy named August (born 5/3/12), and we are excited to welcome our second baby boy, Jude, into the world! August's birth was induced at 40 weeks and 2 days. We had planned on the birth being as natural as possible, but I was diagnosed with Preeclampsia upon check-in at the hospital. I was on IV fluids, Nubain, Magnesium Sulfate, an epidural, a catheter, continuous fetal monitoring, and several oral pain and blood pressure medications. I am hoping this birth will be a much different story. Thank you for reviewing our hopes for Jude's birth! We appreciate everything y'all do! We are looking forward to meeting our sweet boy!

-Adam and Amanda

  • I wish to have wireless fetal monitoring or intermittent fetal monitoring, as I hope to be mobile during labor.
  • I would like an IV port only- no IV fluids or IV medications unless medically necessary. This has been approved by my midwife.
  • I would like to try my very best to labor without an epidural, and I would prefer not to be offered one.
  • If labor is not progressing at a safe rate, I would like to try natural labor induction techniques and use pitocin as a last resort.

  • Birth
  • I wish to sit propped up to push Jude out, since I believe that will help my efficiency with pushing.
  • Please, no episiotomy unless absolutely necessary. I would greatly appreciate it if I could be coached and assisted so that I will not tear. Warm compresses and perineal stretching would be helpful. I had many 2nd degree tears with August, but he was pulled out of me all in one contraction, so I had no time to stretch. If tearing looks imminent, I prefer to tear naturally as opposed to an episiotomy.
  • Adam may prefer to "catch the baby" as long as everything is going well. However, he may decide to stay by my side.
  • I wish to delay cutting the cord for at least a couple minutes and to allow Jude to be placed on my chest after being born.
  • If any emergency assistance should be needed for Jude, I prefer for it to be given to him while he remains on my chest.
  • I wish to hold Jude for an extended period before he is passed off for cleaning up, weight, measurements, and the works. During this time I will give him the chance to nurse if he shows the desire.

  • Jude's Care


  • Transition: I request that his transition services be done in our room. I requested to fill out formal paperwork on this service during our hospital tour, but we were told to just request this service when we checked into the hospital.
    • Jude will be rooming in with us during our stay so that we can establish breastfeeding. I would prefer he be in the nursery (if he even has to be in the nursery) for the least amount of time possible so that he can nurse frequently.
    • Please do not give Jude any bottles or pacifiers. I would like to establish breastfeeding and will not be introducing artificial nipples until I feel that he has mastered nursing.
    • If for some reason supplementation is needed, we will not be supplementing with formula. I will be bringing a manual breast pump, and will supplement Jude with colostrum or breast milk (whatever I'm making at that time), and I will use a syringe, spoon, or dropper to give it to him.

      When the nurse came back in, she told me that she would be off duty soon, and that my new nurse would be here shortly, and she would be with me for the whole labor more than likely.  She walked over to my bed with what I recognized as the IV port.  Yay. I called Adam over to the bed for moral support.

      As she began cleaning my wrist for the port, my stomach turned flips.  I hated the smell of the alcohol wipe.  I tried not to look at the needle or the tubes.  Once she had all of her tape ready, she said the infamous words, "Big stick!"

      I stared into Adam's face as he watched her place the port.  I wished he would look at me and not at what the nurse was doing.  Then all of a sudden, I felt a sharp, stinging pain accompanied by a loud noise that sounded like someone was slurping the last drops out of a straw. 

      "Oh, don't look!" said the nurse.  "I made a mess.  Don't look."

      Sweat started pouring off of face.  Here we go again. 


      Thursday, October 10, 2013

      Jude's Birth Story: Part 1

      Well, I disappeared for the rest of Jude's pregnancy, but here I am with his birth story!  I really fell out of blogging for a few months.  I was so busy enjoying my last few months with August (and I was so exhausted from taking care of August) that blogging fell to the back burner.  However, even though I didn't document the last several weeks of Jude's pregnancy, I want to document his birth.  It was quite different from his brother's!  You can read August's birth story HERE.

      I'll do a quick recap of my pregnancy.  It was so much different than my pregnancy with August.  I was working during my pregnancy with August.  I ate tons of fast food, did not exercise, gained 51 pounds and developed preeclampsia.  I took much better care of my body this time around.  I took vigorous walks several times a week, and I watched what I ate.  I ate healthily for the most part, and I watched my portions on the food that wasn't so healthy.  I also got good sleep every night, and toward the end of my pregnancy, I got a nap every day.  I'm not sure of my total weight gain since I didn't check on it the last few midwife visits, but I think I gained around 35 pounds.  Oh that's another thing, I went with a midwife this time instead of an OBGYN.  Here are a few of my belly pictures with Jude!

      6 weeks ish?

      10 weeks

      13 weeks

      14 weeks

      15 weeks

      23 weeks

      26 weeks

      27 weeks

      30 weeks

      31 weeks

      33 weeks....He was really low that night!  It looks like a watermelon!
      34 or 35 weeks
      36 weeks....ready for my brother's wedding!
      37 weeks
      39 weeks
      40 weeks at 5:30 a.m

      Monday, August 26, 2013

      Jude's birth story starts on Monday, August 26.  I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  I went to my midwife appointment that morning.  Up until this point, I had been experiencing some Braxton Hicks, but nothing timeable.  My blood pressure was reading a little bit high at the appointment at 140/90.  This was a bit concerning to my midwife since I developed preeclampsia in my previous pregnancy.  My feet and face were also starting to swell slightly, although it wasn't bad at all, just noticeable. I had gained 3 pounds in 5 days, so that was most likely water weight.  She checked me, and I was 1 cm dilated and about 70-80% effaced, same as I had been for weeks.  My midwife told me that she was starting to get nervous.  She said she really felt like we should induce by mid-week.  This was not the news I was expecting to hear.  I had every intention of making it to 41 weeks before I wanted to talk about induction.  However, I knew that if I did hold off, and I ended up developing preeclampsia, then I would have to endure the Magnesium Sulfate and all of the things that came with it (catheter, medications, probably epidural, etc.).  My goal was to have a 100% natural birth.  But, I knew that induction with a little Pitocin was better than an induction with Pitocin and Magnesium Sulfate. 

      I had asked my midwife at a previous appointment what I could do to help things along.  Among other things, she suggested taking black cohosh.  I hadn't taken it up until this point, because as natural as black cohosh may be, I really wanted my body to do everything on its own.  I asked her again if she thought the black cohosh might put me into labor, and she said she believed it would.  I figured black cohosh would be better than Pitocin, so I began taking 1 capsule every 2 hours, per her suggestion.  My midwife wanted to see me back on Wednesday morning, and she said depending on what is going on, we may induce Wednesday night.  I was disappointed but excited at the same time.  I had mixed emotions for sure.  I left my midwife appointment, headed to Walmart to pick up a big brother gift for August and some snacks for the hospital, and then I headed home. 

      By about 6 p.m. that night, I had taken 4 pills.  I would have a contraction about 10-20 minutes after taking the pill, but nothing besides that.  That night I did some cleaning up around the house, and I got August's big brother all wrapped up.

      Tuesday, August 27, 2013

      The next morning I woke up, disappointed to find myself still pregnant.  I took a few more of the black cohosh pills, but I started getting a bad feeling about them.  Everything online that I had read said it could cause postpartum hemorrhaging and potentially other complications during labor.  I quit taking it, and I felt good about that decision.  I texted Adam and asked him if we could go walking that night and try to get things going.  He agreed, and I was excited!  I at least wanted to give myself a good shot at going into labor on my own.

      My parents kept August for us while we went walking.  We went over to the high school and walked the track as we watched pee-wee football practice.  We would walk a lap, climb the bleachers, walk a lap, climb the bleachers.....

      After a couple hours of that, we decided to walk around town.  We did about 3 hours of exercise total.  I was completely worn out when we were done.  It was about 9 p.m. when we finished.  Afterward, we went through the McDonald's drive-thru for a late night supper.  I felt I had earned every bite of that supper!  Haha.  I had several contractions that were stronger than they had been, but nothing timeable.  That night I went to bed knowing that I had done everything I could to go into labor on my own.  We would see what my midwife said in the morning.

      Wednesday, August 28, 2013

      I woke up very nervous knowing today could be the day that we got things going.  I was fully prepared to ask for a few more days before the induction.  I still was hopeful that she may have changed her mind about the induction if I had a good blood pressure reading.  My blood pressure read 134/88, which was slightly better.  However, my uric acid level was 6.3.  I was having contractions about 10 minutes apart, but they were very mild.  Just a tightening of my belly.  My midwife checked me, and I was 3 cm dilated!  That exercise must have done something! She asked me if I would like for her to strip my membranes, and I agreed, hoping it would get things going since I was already so dilated. The pain during the membrane strip was excruciating, and I had to scream!  I'm sure the people in the waiting room were really freaked out.  She said that she had stretched me to a 4.  I was so excited!  I thought maybe she would give me some more time.  However, she told me that she would still like to go ahead with the induction.  I asked her if I could have more time, and she told me she thought it was time.  She really didn't want my body getting sick again.  She showed me how my BP reading was still higher than all of my previous readings, minus the one from Monday.  She said she really wanted me to avoid the Magnesium Sulfate and all of its complications.  I asked her how long she would give me, and she said she wanted to induce by the next morning.  That really threw me off.  I was hoping she would give me til at least Friday since I felt like my body was headed in the right direction.  She told me that if we waited until the weekend to induce, she could not promise me that she would be there to deliver me.  She was not on call, and she had been away from her family a lot lately.  (My midwife works in an OBGYN office with several other doctors.)  I knew I wanted her there since the others in the practice were men. I agreed to induce the next morning.  My midwife told me that I had options for the induction.  Options?!  I was definitely never given options with August's induction.  These were my options:

            1.) Induction with Pitocin: I definitely wanted to avoid this.  I wanted my body to do everything on its own. 

           2.) Induction with Cervadil: She didn't think this option was necessary because Cervadil is a cervix softener, and I was already about 80% effaced and 3-4 cm dilated.  She didn't think it would do much.  I was SOOO glad I didn't need it, because if you remember from August's birth, I hated that stuff.

          3.) Breaking of my water: She said when we arrived at the hospital, she could come in and break my water and see what happens.  We would give my body some time to work on its own, and if nothing happened, then we would move on with the Pitocin.

      I chose option 3.  I was excited that she had given me that option.  I definitely preferred my water breaking on its own, but I would take that over Pitocin since I wanted my body to progress as it wanted to. 

      My midwife said we either needed to induce tonight (Wednesday night) or the next morning.  I called Adam to see which he thought we should do, and we both agreed that we would rather try to get some sleep in our own bed that night.  So we set the induction for the next morning.

      We walked into her personal office, and she called the hospital to get me all set up.  My heart was pounding, and I couldn't believe in less than 24 hours I would be at the hospital (hopefully!) in labor! We were to report to the hospital at 6 a.m., and my midwife would arrive shortly after to break my water.

      I walked out of my midwife's office full of emotions.  I was excited, scared, nervous, feeling guilty about how August will feel, and wishing I had more time with him just the two of us.  I hope that doesn't sound bad, but sometimes I feel like I don't make the best of time with him. 

      That afternoon I got all of my cleaning done, except mopping the floor.  That would have bothered me a lot with my first pregnancy, but this go around, I was just glad it looked clean, haha. That night we went to church where Adam and the rest of the mission team shared about their trip to Haiti. One of our friends snapped a couple pictures of us with his phone after the service.


       When church was over, my parents followed us home to get August's car seat and all of his things for the next few days.  I cried as they were leaving, knowing things would never be the same again.  I had so many mixed emotions.  I think it was so hard because August is so young.  He was only 15 months old.  Still a baby himself.  I felt guilty for taking away his baby-hood.  But I knew having a baby is a good thing, and it would bring joy to our family.

      By the time we had said our goodbyes to August, it was about 9:15 p.m.  Adam and I realized that we never ate any supper.  (We fed August before church, but not ourselves apparently.) The thought of fast food sounded disgusting to me, but I also wanted to get in bed quickly.  We decided we better take advantage of the evening alone though, so we went to Cracker Barrel- the same place we had our last date before August was born.  I guess it's tradition now.  I ordered the same meal as before- blueberry pancakes with eggs and bacon.  My pre-labor meal of choice. :)  I was allowed to eat breakfast in the  morning before I arrived at the hospital, but I knew I would be too nervous to eat much. 

      After we got home from dinner, we packed a few more things and left out our last minute things for the next morning.  I took a couple Benadryl in hopes it would help me sleep.  (This is what my OBGYN suggested before August's birth.)  I don't know that it actually did anything.  I took a shower, dried my hair, and tried to wind down.  We finally made it to bed around midnight.  I tossed and turned all night in anticipation of the next day.  The day we would meet Jude.
      Images by Freepik