Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lyla's Birth Story

I am trying to decide where to begin on this!  I don't want to start when we got to the hospital because so much more happened before that which led to her amazing birth.  I suppose I should start when I first found out I was pregnant with her.  March 11th I took a test at 3:30 in the morning because I was 10dpo that day and usually that's when you can get a positive!  Sure enough, I got a super faint line at 3:30 and then I took a digital at 5am and it said pregnant!  I, of course, woke Martin up at 3:30 to show him the line and he said he couldn't see it and went back to sleep.  I can't say that I blame him, here's the pic of the first test:
You can hardly see the 2nd line right?  I studied that test until I was convinced that it was a positive!  Martin then accepted that we were pregnant with our 3rd baby when I showed him the pregnant digital test.
Yay!  We went to iHop to celebrate!  
I told him right then and there that first day that I got my positive that we were NOT going to find out the gender of this baby.  I wanted to be surprised and we already had all of the baby gear and clothes for each gender so why not wait?  He reluctantly agreed and I got my way :)

My pregnancy progressed and I started bleeding.  I went in at around 5 weeks and we saw the little bean with a flickering heartbeat:

I started bleeding again around 9 weeks along and went in to see what was going on.  My ultrasound showed a perfectly healthy little teddybear baby but I had an SCH which is a hemorrhage outside of the baby's sac that was causing the bleeding.  It resolved on it's own after a few weeks but it caused me some major anxiety!

I was sick a lot more with this pregnancy than I was with the last 2.  Morning sickness while taking care of 2 other kids is not fun.  The kids watched more tv than I care to admit because I was sick and exhausted all the time.  The first trimester was not a happy time for me!

The 2nd trimester was smoother.  I started showing and got my energy back again.  We bought our house and moved while I was 6 months pregnant and got settled in just in time for her arrival.  Bringing a baby home to our home was something I wanted so badly!   

I had felt that this baby was a boy from the beginning.  I would have days where I thought it might be a girl but in my gut I always thought boy.  Martin and I had the hardest time agreeing on a boy name.  I should have known right then and there that she was a girl because we both liked the name Lyla early in the pregnancy.  We never agreed on a middle name but at least we had a girl name picked out! The Chinese gender chart said boy, the Ramzi theory said boy, the way I was carrying said boy, even random strangers always said I looked like I was having a boy.  Hardly anyone thought girl.  Well, my mom and sisters and super close friends thought girl- I should have known they were right!  I had always thought it would be nice for Ella to have a sister.  I hoped for a girl but I would have bet that I was having a boy.  I was obviously very wrong!

In my 3rd trimester I was in the hospital twice for pre-term labor.  This was definitely a more chaotic pregnancy than my last 2 were.  Both times I was given a shot of terb (that stuff is awful) and the 2nd time I was given procardia after the terb did nothing and that actually stopped the contractions for a long time.   I remember thinking that I never want to come back to this hospital again....until it's time to have the baby :)  I was worn out and ready to be done.

During my 2nd and 3rd trimesters I was researching birth in all of my spare time.  I had been induced with Ella and Kaleb and had got the epidural before I even felt a contraction.  I had amazing birth experiences with them because they were calm, peaceful, planned out, and pain free but I wondered what it would be like to go into labor on my own.  I started researching natural births, home births, water births, looking into getting a doula, placenta encapsulation, name it, I wanted to do it.   I read birth stories until late at night, birthwithoutfear was my favorite blog and I was super into all of Ina May's books.  I watched all of the Business of Being Borns, Pregnant in America, and every other birth documentary I could get my hands on.  I was pumped to give it a go!  I have a lot of mommy friends who gave birth naturally and I thought that if they could do it then so could I!  Martin thought I had lost my mind when I told him that I wanted to give birth naturally but I am quite stubborn and basically wanted to prove it to him that I could do it.  My family also thought I was out of my mind.  I kept an open mind during the pregnancy because I know that births rarely go perfectly as planned but I had my mind made up about how I wanted to give birth.  I was a little obsessed with natural birthing and I remember Marin coming home one night while I was watching one of the BBBs on Netflix and he was said so you are really going to do this without drugs?!  He did not want me to go through pain and said that he would support me with whatever I wanted to do but he could not understand why I would want to feel that pain.  It was hard for me to explain but I just wanted to know what it felt like.  I wanted to feel labor pain as weird as that sounds!

But life happened and things didn't go according to my plan.  Around 36 weeks Martin told me that he would be going overseas and that his company was shutting down the week of Thanksgiving.  I was due on Thanksgiving Day.  I also got a letter from my doctor saying that he had accepted an administrative position at the hospital and his last day would be November 30th. Martin and I discussed it and we wanted him to be there for the birth.  It wasn't worth me waiting it out if he was going to miss it.  I had nightmares of Martin missing it and it was causing me major anxiety.  At my 37 week appointment I asked my dr about induction.  He agreed and said that it would be in my 39th week and that was what I wanted so we went ahead and scheduled it.  I was a little sad that I would not be going into labor on my own but I was pleased that my husband would be there for the birth.  It was also nice knowing the day so that I could prepare and get the kids to my parent's and have a plan for the day.  

The day before my induction I took the kids to my parent's house and Martin and I went out to eat and to a movie.  It was so nice and it had been so long since we had a date night!  The movie distracted me from the constant OMG I'm having this baby tomorrow!!!! thoughts and the food was soooo good!  We got home around 11 and I of course tossed and turned until our alarm went off 6.   I think I may have had my billionth baby dream and that night I dreamt it was a boy (I had been having girl dreams for the last few weeks of my pregnancy).  We got up and ready, I took my last shower as a pregnant woman and I tried to enjoy my big baby belly for the last time.  She gave me a few good kicks in the car when we were headed to the hospital just to make sure I knew she was in there and ready to go :)  I was getting a little bit nervous on our trip there.  It wasn't like I hadn't done this twice already but the anticipation of the day that was ahead of us rattled me up.  It felt like a whole new experience because we didn't know the gender of the baby and I was dying to know.    

Once we got to the hospital and got checked in things had a slow start.  I had an amazing nurse who was fully supportive of me going natural.  She brought in a birth ball for me to bounce on and even let me eat an apple which is a no-no in the hospital.  She also brought me all the jello I could stomach and lots of juice :)  Pitocin was started and I was determined to go for as long as I could without an epidural.  I was thinking (dreaming?) that I could have been one of those women who don't feel contractions and who dilate super fast.  I was holding out hope that when the nurse checked me I would be complete and ready to push.  That was not the case.  
Our sweet nurse took this pic of us right after we got into our room

Last belly shot

Laboring on the birth ball.  I ended up hating it and preferred to stand and sway during the contractions. 
When I was admitted I was a "stretchy" 2 and 50% effaced.  After an hour or so I was a 3 and 70% effaced.  I continued to dilate 1cm every 2 hours until I was at a 5 and 100% effaced.   My sweet nurse kept reassuring me that I was progressing and things were going well although they were going way too slow for me and I was in major pain.  After about 6 hours and me being only dilated to a 5 I "caved" and asked for the epidural.  The contractions were getting so intense that I was tensing up and starting to dread the start of each one.  I know they say that pit contractions are way worse than regular labor contractions so I was happy that I made 6 hours before I asked for the epi.   I tried focusing on things, relaxing my face, visualizing the baby moving down and my cervix opening, I tried everything I read in my natural birth preparation but it just got to be too much.  My sweet husband was really supportive of me going natural when we were at the hospital.  He was rubbing my back and providing counter pressure when the contractions got to be really bad.  He was encouraging and told me I didn't need to get the epi if I didn't want to.  I think in hindsight that he was using reverse psychology on my because he knew that if he pressured me into an epi I would not get one just to prove that I could do it.  He's a smart one that man!!  He desperately wanted me to get the epi because he hated seeing me in pain bless his heart but he was so awesome during my defiant stage. My sister Brianna was there with me during the labor and she kept to her corner and didn't say much when the contractions got bad but I knew she wanted to shake me and scream Get the epidural!!!   I was at the point where I was shaking and moaning and cussing through them and that is not like me.  I was ready to be free of the pain and I can now say that I definitely experienced labor and it hurts!  I have a newfound respect for those who gave birth naturally because it is not a fun experience!  

After my epi- I could smile again!
I must have got the best epidural imaginable because I could still feel the contractions- they just felt like braxton hicks that I had been having for most of my pregnancy.  I felt the pressure but not the pain.  It was awesome.  I could move my legs easily and did not have that dead feeling like I did with Ella and Kaleb.  I was able to sleep and when I was checked again an hour after I got the epi I was at a 7.  That was progress!  I told Brianna to call my mom and have her get up to the hospital asap because I didn't know how fast I was going to go.  My mom arrived and maybe 30 minutes later I was complete and ready to push.  Around this time I had my usual "I can't do this" freak out.  Apparently I have done this with every baby but I just don't remember it.  I was crying and doubting myself that I could actually push a baby out.  Martin was wonderful and encouraged me and calmed me and even shed a few tears with me- I love that man.  My mom and sister were in the corner of the room probably wondering what in the world I was crying and freaking out about! After I calmed down and got my mind back to the right place I was ready to go.  We had my sister who lives in Germany on Facetime in the corner of the room so she could see the birth.  She said she didn't see much at all but she heard it all and that's all that she wanted to do!  

I was ready to meet my baby and I could feel her coming down.  My nurse said to give a practice push to see where it would get us while we waited for the dr (I always have to wait for the dr when I have my babies- SO annoying) so I did and her head was right there.  She was like ok hold on!  I asked if she could just deliver the baby and she said yeah but your dr won't be too happy with me!  In my mind I was thinking screw this, I am not going to hold this baby in because my dr isn't here so I pushed when I felt like it without letting the nurse know :)  I could feel every contraction and it felt good to push although I wasn't pushing very hard, I was just doing what I felt like my body needed to do.  By the time my dr got there she was pretty much crowning.  I heard him say I see the ears!  I pushed through one more contraction when he was finally there and she was out!   Feeling a baby leave your body is the strangest most amazing feeling in the world.   I wish there were words to describe it but there is not, I guess it's just one of those life experiences that one has to live through to understand.  It definitely makes you put your faith in your body and know that it was designed to do this!

Waiting for Martin to announce the gender was probably the most surreal moment of my life.  She was out, and I felt like the world stood still.  I completely zoned everything else out except for Martin's voice.  In the video we have of her birth you can hear my mom saying It's a, It's a.... but she never said girl and I totally didn't hear her say anything at all!  It was like I blocked everything else out until I heard Martin say it.  He said it's a............(long pause because he said that the cord was in between her legs and he wanted to make sure he was right haha!) GIRL!  I started laughing and crying at the same time.  I was SO happy I had another girl!  They immediately put her on my chest for skin to skin and it was amazing.  She looked just like Ella.
My favorite pic of the whole birth.  Thank you Brianna for taking all of the pics and videos!
I had an amazing birth.  All of my births have been amazing but this one was special.  I felt the rush of hormones after she was out and instantly fell in love with her.   I was on a "birth high" for days afterwards.  I felt like I was dreaming.  She latched immediately and has been a perfect baby since.   I didn't tear, had a very easy recovery and now 2 weeks later I feel awesome.  She is the perfect addition to our family and we all love her to pieces.  Ella was very excited to get a sister- she was wanting one badly.  Kaleb thinks she is cute but pretty much ignores her.  She has her daddy wrapped around her little finger.  I think he was wanting a girl the whole time :)  We are now a very happy little family of 5 and I am feeling very very blessed.