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.

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