Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The long awaited news from the Breastfeeding Challenge, Bitta did nurse! Even if it was for a few seconds. Some good news though, she is nursing in public more often now so thats pretty awesome. Here is a picture of a cookie we received at the challenge.
Life has been a little crazy lately. I've been watching Bee, my niece, 3-4 days a week for the past 2 months. It's been both really great and really hard. Some days are awesome and some days suck. I feel like I am still adjusting to life with 2 kids and throwing a third in there makes it tricky at times, usually when both the littles need naps. Bee is a pretty easy going happy baby so that helps. I find that it is hardest for Stinx. He doesn't get the attention he needs when I am changing diaers, feeding or putting babies down for naps. I am trying to think of more ways to keep Stinx busy and occupied. Most of the time Stinx just runs around "tormenting" the littles. And I know its out of boredom.
I've also been really busy with craft fairs. I've done 3 already this season and I have one more to go. I can't wait to be done. I foolishly took on too many this year, 3 of them being back to back. I do loving making my Nerdsicles and the aprons but I need to take is easy. Here are some of my newest nerdsicles.
Poor Bitta is cutting about 3-4 teeth right now :( Poor thing. She's unhappy at the moment so I am off.
I'm hoping to blog soon about Stinx pre-school experience... and the lack there of currently.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Because, like I have mentioned before, Bitta doesn't nurse in public. So to be going to an event like the Breastfeeding Challenge, with the baby who doesn't like doucies in public, proves to truly be challenging ;)
At 11am someone will take count of all the babies latched on at the same time. I'm curious to know if we will count if Bitta is flailing away from my breast at the exact moment they are to count us. Hmmm. I think they'll count us anyway.
I am praying for some sort of miracle. The type of miracle that involves a baby breastfeeding for more than 3 seconds (literally) in a room full of other women and babies. It will take a miracle!
I'll let you know how it goes.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
I try. I do. I really really try. I haven't given up. Bitta is almost 9 months old and I still try to nurse her when I am out and about. But she never does. And if for some miraculous reason, she does latch, she nurses for 1 minute or less. Just long enough to get my let down going. So there I am with a baby who won't nurse and a leaking breast. Brilliant. Bitta seems to think breastfeeding is best done behind closed doors, lights off and on a comfortable bed. As a Mama proud to be breastfeeding, this no nursing in public thing is a pain! I'm happy to breastfeed my baby in public, but why won't she let me!!!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Bitta seems to think that developmental milestones are best practiced at 3:00 AM. She has done this so far with all of them: rolling over, sitting up, crawling, climbing, talking etc etc. It drives this motha crazy!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Bitta is no longer in the infant bucket seat. Dad installed the convertible car seat and ever since Bitta just cries. And cries. And cries. And cries whenever she is in the car. I am hoping this is a short lived phase.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Bitta's never been a pooper. She once went an entire month without a bowel movement. No, I'm not kidding. Totally serious. Between the age of 2-3 months she never stained a cloth diaper. She usually had a BM every 2 weeks.. then weekly.
When I introduced solids at 6 months I was slightly concerned how it would affect the pooping situation. And I clearly had good reason. The adjustment to solid food was tough on her. I can't give her any banana's or rice cereal, as well as a few other things. Her diet pretty much consists of pears, peaches and water (and of course breastmilk). And... occasionally, stool softner. I should also note that I fed her a ton of prunes and it did nothing. Like, nothing.
I do admit that she goes more regularly now... Sometimes as often as once a day!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Random fact #1 - Comfort Nursing is for Suckers
Bitta doesn't like to comfort nurse. No sir'ee. That let-down issue sure put a damper on comfort nursing. Somewhere around 4 months I sort of trained her to comfort nurse to sleep. But it was short lived... because she doesn't like to comfort nurse. It was kind of funny though... My version of sleep training this go around was trying to get Bitta to nurse to sleep. HA! She still seems to think that nursing is really only intended for nutrition. She really has me wondering when she will self-wean.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Stinx keeps saying the cutest or weirdest things that make me laugh and everytime I think, "I gotta blog that" but it never happens. I'm trying to write them in a paper journal too... we'll see how it goes.
Bitta is just as adorable as the day I met her. Actually, more so. Just so stinkin cute. I love how she flirts with me when she has my attention... and I love love love watching Stinx make her laugh. It's so great that they can play together in little ways. Usually in the mornings Stinx wakes up first and when Bitta wakes up we crawl on the bed and snuggle with her. Usually she'll roll towards Stinx and "attack" him with her hands. Stinx thinks this is hilarious and pretends to be scared... ah I love it.
The weather is becoming lovely and I have been working in the garden quite a bit. It's starting to look a bit fuller now. For those who don't know, when we first moved into the house there was a HUGE pond in the backyard. It was awesome, really really nice... but I couldn't sleep at night knowing my kid(s) may fall into it and drown (typically mother worrying). So I threw some ideas at Dad about what to do with it... he finally agreed to let me put a perennial garden where the pond was. So last year we filled it up with soil and put some plants in. My grandpa, who is an excellent gardener, helped me out with some really lovely plants. And this spring they have all come back so nicely. I've also been going to some local plant swaps and finding plants for soo cheap! Either $1 or $2 a plant!! Sure beats the expensive garden centres... I did go to a garden centre once this spring and spent way tooo much money on a small basket of perennials. I have vowed to never return to a garden centre for perennials.... never again!
Guess thats all for now... I'm planning to do a cloth diaper post soon because I've been on a diaperswappers bender ! LOL.
Good bye dear blog.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
At the time I just wasn't interested in cooking. I guess I just didn't have any desire to take that class. Most of my elective classes were Sewing and Art. I did take Drama in the 10th grade... I even took Gym in grades 10 & 11 (That's a real shocker!! the punk rocker in gym class... lol). But cooking no... I didn't take computer classes either... I regret that too. But mostly the cooking class.
If there was one class in High School that I could continue to use for the rest of my life, it would be cooking. I need to cook.
It's not that I don't know how to cook... I do know a bit... but I could have learned a lot in that class. Maybe it would have instilled some cooking passion within me that I have been missing.
That all said, I have been cooking more lately and enjoying it. My pregnancy with Bitta killed all desire to cook but thankfully once she was born in came back.
Anyone want to share your favorite cook book or recipe?
I am always looking for dairy-free recipes too...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Except for Stinx. He woke up yesterday morning with a cold. And was miserable. all. day. long.
The meltdowns are so intense lately. I wish I knew how to deal with them.
I am hoping today will be much more pleasant.
Anti-Kels and I are going to the stars & strollers movie today. "Remember Me". I am sooo in need of a movie break. I'm going to enjoy myself. Even if I have to wear Bitta in a Mei Tai and pace the theatre back and forth. I will have a good time.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
In the first weeks I definitely had too much milk. Bitta was also having some reflux troubles. She was spitting up all the time. Stinx never spit up so I wasn't used to needing burp clothes all the time. Then it seemed like my let down was way out of wack. My let down would come and Bitta would pull off and the milk would spray a foot away (with 5-6 jets). It was just too much for her. Half of the time when she would pull off she wouldn't want to latch on.
And so, because of this forceful let down, this baby just doesn't understand the concept of comfort nursing... I guess I understand, it wouldn't really be comforting trying to nurse from a forceful spray. But yeah she rarely nurses to sleep. She much prefers a soother or being worn.
But anyway, when the public health nurses called to check on us, they worried about her weight. So we've been sent to see a local breastfeeding clinic. The Dr at the clinic isn't worried about Bitta. She just thinks that Bitta is taking after her short parents, Dad and I aren't really big people. She gave me some advice about nursing positions and told me to really try to get Bitta to take the 2nd breast. I also went to my local LLL and they gave me similar advice.
The doucie situation could be much worse - I am thankful to have milk (even if it's too much too fast). No one has mentioned the "F" word. or the "B" word. I just wish Bitta would nurse a little bit longer, just so she could get some more hindmilk and calories. I wish my supply and let down could just level out.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Bugma gave Stinx a tent and tunnel for his birthday. He loves it. Bugma actually went with a camping theme. She gave him a flashlight, a Dora camping book and a Curious George camping book.
I went back to work the next day. Everything was so much better. I finally knew why I had been "losing it" the previous few weeks. The hormones in my body were messing with me. I was so emotional and now I knew why. Knowing that, my patience came back. I was able to work again and found myself enjoying it. I also knew that in 8 months I wouldn't be working.
My boss ended up offering me a counselling position. Looking back, this was a really REALLY good promotion. I knew it at the time too. However, the position called for working 2-10pm. I had only been on the day shift for 5 months and didn't want to return to afternoons again (after working them for 3+ years). I was enjoying the time with my husband in the evening. I declined the position. I think I also didn't want to take it because I knew I wouldn't be going back to work full time. If I had, maybe I would have taken it.
The morning sickness sucked. I started losing weight. I wasn't throwing up often, just once a week. Usually I would throw up in the morning, just after eating my breakfast cereal and brushing my teeth. My gag reflex was really strong. At work I was really faint. The standing made me dizzy. I remember a few times when we were serving breakfast to the homeless I started to black out. I'd stumbled my way to the office and sit down. I did a lot of sitting in my last year at work. Some of the clients noticed right away.
I had these great plans to keep it a secret until I was out of the 1st trimester. Ha! It seemed impossible. My close friend Mark kept asking me to chat with him while he had a smoke break - something I didn't mind doing before - but now I declined. He figured it out instantly. Then there were things I was required to do but didn't feel comfortable doing now (like cleaning blood, or breaking up fights, throwing huge bags of garbage out). Everyone knew sooner or later.
When I wasn't at work, I was horizontal. I was on the couch all the time. I was soo tired. I'd come home at 2:30pm from work and nap. If I wasn't sleeping I was watching TV. I couldn't believe how exhausting it was creating a baby. When I was 8 weeks my mom and I decided to go on a week end get away to the exciting town of Red Deer. It ended up being not so exciting. I felt like crap the entire time. But I look back at the trip fondly. We stayed at in a old character home B&B that included a spa.
At this point I really only knew a handful of moms. My closest mom friends were Alisha (my cousin), Bianca and Sandra. I'm sure Alisha remembers the phone call much better than I do. I called to tell her I was pregnant (she'd been harassing me to get pregnant so her son would have some cousins). I don't remember everything specifically but I do remember her talking over my head. LOL. Attachment parenting yada yada yada - I had no clue about different styles of parenting. Then I remember her giving me the most important piece of advice regarding birth - GET MIDWIVES. She told me how she got midwives and described their model of care. I remember thinking it sounded great and decided to look into it. I got some books from the library and one of them was about midwifery in Canada. I really liked the idea but... it came with a $3000+ price tag. I remember talking to my husband about it and we decided not to choose midwives because of the money (or the money we didn't have).
At the time I really wanted a natural birth. My thought was that since every woman in my family had a vaginal birth (many of them non-medicated) I could too. Why would I be any different?
I remember praying every morning. Praying for the future. Praying for my baby being created inside of me. Praying for a natural birth.
Once I hit 16 weeks my morning sickness started to go away. I started to have more energy. I was feeling pretty good. My tummy started to form in the shape of a pregnant belly. I had an ultrasound which we thought would be the 18 week U/S but turned out to be 16.5 weeks. Because I only had the one period since the pill my dates were just estimated.
Since I finding out I was pregnant I was fairly convinced I was having a boy. No reason why really. At the U/S it was confirmed. We were having a baby boy. I was really excited. I hadn't been buying anything and now felt like I could splurge on the odd blue baby outfit.
My on-line life changed. Instead of just checking my "myspace" page, I joined an on-line community for moms. My estimated due date was March 4th, 2007. I joined the march due date club and read all the different posts by these other pregnant moms. I wasn't much into posting but I did read it often. Looking back it was something to kill the time but sort of stupid. Half the posts were lame and those of us who didn't have kids yet, were... so naive. But still, I guess it was my way of connecting with other moms to be.
When I was about 21 weeks along my husband and I went on a trip to Victoria. It was our last vacation before kids. We stayed at this super cheap motel called Paul's Motor Inn. It was awesome. It had a sweet retro restaurant. Every morning we'd go for breakfast. I remember ordering toast. PB &Jam....mmmm.. We went to ocean, we drove along the Island, we drove by all the beautiful houses. I remember thinking there were lots of homeless people in Victoria. It's so nice and warm there - I can see why they migrate there.
Here's a Belly pic from our holiday. I was 21 weeks.
I had been seeing my family doctor for all of my appointments and then I was transferred to a maternity clinic. The clinic had 6-7 female doctors who took turns working at the clinic or the hospital. I liked all the doctors and was happy with my care there.
That winter at the shelter was a bit tough for me - only because I was really trying hard not to catch all the illnesses that spread so easily there. I remember washing my hands an insane amount. It was too the point of OCD. For example, in order to eat my lunch I would go to the bathroom, wash my hands, take the paper towel to turn off the tap, use the same one to open the bathroom door, go to the office and not touch anything. If for some reason I had to touch something I would consider that hand dirty. I would then only touch my food with the clean hand. It was difficult being so OCD. I'd be sitting at the desk trying to eat my lunch and then the phone would ring. I didn't want to look lazy, I was sitting right there, I had to answer it. I'd answer it but the whole time I was so annoyed I had to "dirty" a clean hand. LOL. I'm such a freak.
People at work gave me a hard time about the food I ate. It was a lot of microwave dinners. I wasn't huge into eating the shelter food (seems kinda wrong to me) and I didn't want to take the chance of getting sick (any random person would bring us the meals). My old favorite of a deli meat sandwich was out (no deli meat during pregnancy for me). So yeah... microwave dinners. I'm not proud of that...
I was planning to leave work asap. I wanted to avoid as much of the winter there as possible. I must sound like a freak. See, a few years earlier I had experienced a quarantine at the shelter. The Norwalk virus (stomach flu) spread so quickly at the shelter that almost everyone got it. The sick clients were in quarantine until they felt better. I can't tell you how many times I cleaned up vomit in those 3 weeks. I really wasn't anxious to experience the same thing while being pregnant. So yeah, at the first chance I could, I went on mat leave. I took off 8 weeks before my due date.
Some people thought this was stupid. Why not work and get paid right until you are due? Then when mat leave is up you don't have to go back early... well I wasn't planning to go back. I had no reason to stay as long as I could.
I wanted to enjoy my last 2 months without a baby. I laugh at this know. I thought I was resting and taking time for myself before my baby boy came. I swear, all I did in those 2 months was watch TV. For example I watched every single episode of "Friends". If I had that kind of freedom now it would be different. I would actually DO stuff. I just didn't realize how much my world would change.
The only real preparation I did before baby was read some books and taking prenatal classes. Books like "Knocked Up". While I didn't agree with Rebecca Eckler's choices, I found her book hilarious. Still, that wasn't exactly good reading. I did read some good books, like Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and LLL's Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
The prenatal class was through the Calgary Health Region. Looking back I wish I had taken something different, Bradley Method? Birthing From Within? Something along those lines. It would have helped me more with my goal for a natural birth. But I didn't really know about those options. My husband and I took the 10 week long class through the region. We were by far the youngest parents there. I did enjoy the class and it was useful. I did learn a lot through it. If I hadn't taken it I would have been even more clueless.
A friend of mine since grade one came over and did some prenatal photos for me. I was 37 weeks.
Preparing for having a baby at our home consisted of baby showers. My husband and I bought hardly anything. We waited until after the baby showers. We were very fortunate to be thrown 3 separate baby showers. Almost everything we had was a gift from a baby shower. We had to only buy a couple things, like a stroller and some other small things.
One of the last belly pics. 38 weeks.
The weeks went by and I was getting closer to my due date.
Monday, February 8, 2010
A few months before I turned 25, I went off of the birth control pill. I didn’t really love that form of birth control but it worked and I didn’t have any weird side effects. I knew though, that once I stopped taking it, I wouldn’t use it again. So once I stopped taking the pill I waited for my menstrual cycle to regulate. I had read on-line that you should wait 3 months after taking the pill before trying to conceive, so that you can have an accurate due date. I waited and waited. It took me 60 days before I got a period. This was seriously taking forever!! I wasn’t patient enough to wait until I had a few regular cycles. We started trying to conceive after that first period, I believe it was late may/early June 2006.
June 2006 was a crazy month. I had been working at a homeless shelter for over 4 years and was feeling really burnt out. All of a sudden it seemed I had no patience for the people I was working with. For the previous 3 years I had worked the afternoon shift and loved it. But I moved to the day shift in order to spend more time with my husband at home in the evenings. I found the difference between shifts huge! The afternoon shift was really laid back and easy going. The day shift felt much more rigid - black and white - institutional. I honestly felt like a prison guard on that shift! I had worked at the shelter for 4 years and wasn’t used to having to harp on the homeless over little things like sleeping on the floor. Anyway, I regress!
I started to feel burnt out. I talked to my boss about changing positions. I told her I had to get off of the street level work. I offered to scrub toilets at the shelter doing maintenance. She just laughed at me and said I’d be more useful doing counseling. She said she would try to find me a position. A couple weeks went by. I continued to resent my position.
I remember breaking down at the beginning of a shift one day and just crying. Crying in front of the homeless clients, in the bathroom, in front of the other staff. I got sent home that day. Administration gave me a few days of “stress leave”.
I took a pregnancy test either right before this day or right after. It had been about a month since my last period. However, since we didn’t wait to try conceiving before my period was regular, I wasn’t exactly sure when my period was due. I took the test. It was negative. I knew I wasn’t pregnant.
I decided to go on a spiritual retreat at a local retreat centre to talk to God about what was going on with me. I rented a tiny tree house cabin away from the centre. All it had was a small bed, a desk and chair. I spent a day and a night out there, just praying about life. My concerns were mostly about work. I didn’t know what to do. I found the retreat really helpful and loved spending that time with God – giving him my full attention – something I wish I could do more often (and still do). I left the centre feeling much better about life.
I applied for a receptionist position at my church and was offered the job. I was so excited that they offered it to me but the pay didn’t compare to the shelter and the commute would be long. I decided to decline the job because I still had hope that my boss would offer me a counseling position.
I went back to work and hoped to hear from my boss. A couple of my friends asked if I might be pregnant but I was convinced I wasn’t because of the earlier test. My period still hadn’t returned though – not that weird considering the last one but I decided to test again just in case. It was the morning of July 2nd. It came back positive.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Obviosusly I don't want to go back to work right now. I guess I'm just saying that I miss my friends down there and I'm wondering how they're all doing. Some of my homeless friends have emails and cell phones.. perhaps I will just have to make more effort in keeping in touch.
And on a totally different topic.. I forgot to add in my birth story about my meal before labour started. The night I went to the hospital with Stinx, Dad and I went to the east Indian restuarant Tiffin. Although my labour didn't start and I was only going to the hospital to get checked, the Tiffin Meal was my last meal outside of the hospital before Stinx was born. The night before I had Bitta I picked up some Tiffin and brought it home for us to eat. That was before I shoveled the walk... Isn't that weird? Tiffin is closely associated with my kids births. Bizzare.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I never had a Braxton hick’s contraction. In the week leading to the birth I had some mild cramping but nothing I was convinced was a Braxton hick. At my 39 week appointment the Dr rimmed my cervix. At my 40 week appointment she rimmed me again.
On Wednesday the 23rd I felt a little cabin feverish. My son Joel and I had been hanging out at home the past few days. I called my cousin Alisha to come over with her boys so the kids could all play. The boys played and we chatted. I lost some of my mucus plug throughout the day. In the evening I shoveled the walk (I had done this a few times in the week). I went to bed at 10pm. I woke up at 11am with a contraction. I felt the urgent need to go to the bathroom. I went back to bed and slept until 11:3o when I had the next contraction. At this point I decided to call my doula (Tracey stein) to let her know I was having some contractions. She told me to go back to bed and try to sleep. I laid in bed for awhile but couldn’t sleep. It seemed I was just waiting for the next contraction – not in fear, but excitement. I was so thrilled that my baby was coming on her own. I also called my mom to let her know things were starting. I don’t think she really believed me. I was hoping she’d want to come over at that point because it wasn’t too late yet. But she said to just call her when I needed her to come.
The contractions just started coming faster and faster. 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 7 minutes. Between 1am-2am they had become 7-8 minutes apart. I called the doula to let her know.
By 3 or 4am the contractions were getting stronger. With almost every contraction I really felt like I needed to be on the toilet. It was my safe place! I called the doula again when I was about 5 minutes apart. She told me to try having a bath and see what happened. She said that if the labor slowed down we still had lots of time but if things picked up then we were in real labor.
I loved the bath. I can totally see why someone would want a water birth. Had I been able to, I would have stayed in there!! While in the bath the contractions slowed down a bit but once I got out they were coming every 4 minutes. We had called my mom to come over and watch Joel.
When getting out of the bath Joel woke up. He seemed really concerned about why mom was moaning! I told him I wasn’t feeling good. Myk tried to get Joel back to sleep but every time he’d almost be asleep I’d have another contraction and wake him up.
I talked to the doula and told her I wanted to go to the hospital now. When I told my mom she seemed worried. She said she didn’t want me going too soon. I agreed that I didn’t want to go too early but really felt that I needed to go at the point (and besides I was keeping Joel up). Most doctors recommend 1st time mothers to go to the hospital at 5-7 min apart contractions. Most of Doctors told me to come in when my contractions were 7 minutes apart. One doctor even suggested I come in when they were 10 minutes apart (I knew that wouldn’t be happening!). So at 4 minutes apart I felt I had stayed home long enough.
At this point I was getting irritable with both my mom and myk.
Driving in the car was not fun. We pulled into the parking lot and I waited for the next contraction before attempting to get to labor and delivery. As soon as I got to the L&D desk I had a contraction. Someone asked me a question but I couldn’t answer. I just wondered why they bothered trying to talk to me!
We got into triage very quickly. It seemed to be pretty quiet compared to the time I went with Joel. They checked me and I was 3-4 cm dilated, paper thin and fully effaced, and +2 station. They said the baby’s head was super low. All good news! Because I was having a VBAC I had to have the fetal heart monitor on throughout the labor. This is the fastest way the Dr’s and nurses can detect the possibility of a uterine rupture (A very rare occurrence, Less than 1% chance). They also want VBAC’ing mothers to be hooked up to IV. So I had the monitor put on and the IV put in and I was literally attached to them the entire time. Amazingly, I wasn’t bothered or restricted by them. My doula did a great job of making it seem as though I wasn’t attached to a machine at all.
When we got into the birthing room the staff was going through a shift change. The current nurse introduced herself and laid out some “rules”. I immediately didn’t feel comfortable around her. I asked how long she would be on shift and she said “20 minutes”. I felt relieved knowing that. I likely would have requested a new nurse. I wanted someone I would be comfortable with. The new nurse came on shift and introduced herself (Kendra). She was 34 weeks pregnant and I felt like she could “sympathize” with me a bit. She really understood and tried to accommodate me as much as possible.
The doctor on shift was one of my favorite doctors from the clinic. I was a little bummed when she told me she’d be off in an hour. She was very supportive of my VBAC though and was pretty much preaching to the choir when she told me I’d need to be up and about in labor, telling me to be on the ball etc.
The next doctor on shift was also really supportive and I felt comfortable with her. Like most doctors she wasn’t around much, just came in to check on me every once in awhile.
It’s hard for me to think of time in labor. I know we were in the birthing room by 7am but after that I lost track of time. I lost track of how often the contractions were coming. The only way I can describe what I was experiencing is to say I was “in the zone”. Perhaps I was in “labourland”.
I remember my doula suggesting that I start out on the birthing ball. I am not sure how long I sat on it for.. I do remember the great counter pressure my doula provided on my lower back. It was so awesome to have that physical support. My doula truly knew how to soothe me. I then labored for awhile standing and lunging.
I remember next I wanted to sit on the toilet. Because baby’s head was so low, I continued to feel the need to sit on the toilet. I just felt the most comfortable there. The nurse was so helpful; she literally pushed the monitor machine all the way to the toilet so I could stay there as long as I wanted. After laboring on the toilet for some time I moved back to the bed so I could labor on my hands and knees, (kind of resting my top half on the head of the bed). In this position I could hardly control my body’s urge to push. I had felt that urge a bit on the toilet but it was stronger now.
I stood up for awhile but then went back to my comfort zone – the toilet. LOL.
I know that the next time the doctor came in she told me I was doing great and wanted to know if I wanted checked. I wasn’t sure. In some way I wanted to know how much progress I made, but at the same time I didn’t want to be disappointed if I hadn’t dilated much. I ended up choosing to be checked. Good thing! I was 8 cm dilated and that gave me a lot of encouragement. I actually broke out in tears – I was so elated. I was so happy to have made it even that far along!
They told me I had a cervical lip and the doula started me in positions to help with it. Hands and knees, lying on my side.
Since I lost track of time I am not exactly sure when my water broke. I figure it was between 8-10cm. I was on the bed on my knees and the top of my body resting on the head of the bed. Myk and the doula were beside me. All of sudden in the midst of a contraction we heard a loud pop and gush. It was so forceful it shocked all 3 of us. That was another exciting moment for me!
The next thing I remember is that I was fully dilated. It was about 10am. Time to start helping my body with that uncontrollable need to push! Everyone was open to me trying to push in positions I wanted to try out. We started out with the squat bar. I didn’t really like that position and tried going on my hands and knees again, with my top half leaning on the head of the bed. I figured that since I had such uncontrollable urges to push earlier in that position, it might work well. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to help. I honestly think that at that point I didn’t realize just how hard I needed to push! The doctor suggested we try with me sitting up on the bed with my husband/doula/nurse holding up my legs. Prior to labor this was the position I really didn’t want to end up in. The only reason being that I felt women only pushed this way because it was convenient for the doctor. As I learned however, this position really helped me push. Having my support people helping me I finally realized just how hard I needed to push my baby out. There were several times during pushing when everyone kept commenting on the baby’s head. “Oh we see the head! She’s right there!” etc. Everyone kept talking about her long brown hair. I couldn’t believe it! My son was born with hardly any hair and it was blonde. I had always imagined he’d have dark brown hair like his parents. I thought it was so cool this baby had hair! They told me to reach down and feel her hair. I did! At some point a huge mirror was brought in during pushing. I think they wanted to show me just how close I was to meeting my baby. They told me to look in the mirror. I could see her head of dark hair. All I needed was one look though! During the next push someone told me to look in the mirror and but I really didn’t want to... Honestly, pushing took so much energy, my eyes were sealed shut. I think I just said “no way!”.
At 10:54 am I pushed our baby girl out. She was placed directly on my chest! I was so happy to finally meet her and loved being able to snuggle with her. Mike was able to cut her chord. During pushing I got 2 tears, a minor 1st degree tear and a tiny little one. While the doctor stitched me back up I was able to continue holding my baby girl. I was so happy with how the birth went and that she was healthy. I believe at this point I just kept crying tears of joy and saying “I did it!”.
After my c-birth I didn’t get a chance to see my son for quite awhile (I got to see him for a moment right after birth but then had to wait over an hour) I was so happy to be able to hold my baby girl and just cuddle her. At 11:40am they weighed and measured her. She was 7lbs11oz and 19.5 inches long.
Shortly after they weighed her and gave her back to me I saw that my baby girl was rooting and I offered her the breast. My doula brought me some delicious peanut butter and jam toast. I noticed that my throat was sore… I guess from all the moaning and noises from pushing. I drank lots of cool refreshing ice water.
I wish I could say that we knew her name as soon as we saw her. Truth is, we still couldn’t decide what to name her. We kept throwing our top 5 names in the air.
I was moved to the post partum unit and unfortunately had to share a room. My room mate had a c-birth the night before. Her baby boy was very quiet and seemed to sleep a lot. However she never slept! I swear! She talked on the phone all the time, even past midnight. She was obviously very excited about her baby (who was obviously her 1st because if it was #2 she’d be sleeping). But she was also excited because her boyfriend had proposed to her that day. Of course I was happy for her, but I was soo tired and any time my baby girl was sleeping, I tried to sleep. I at least knew that I would be sleep deprived in the future.. My roommate clearly hadn’t gotten that memo. She was recovering from major abdominal surgery and practically begging to leave the hospital asap… I just hope she didn’t “crash” once she got home.
Thankfully I was only in the hospital for a day. On Christmas morning Santa came around the unit and handed out some small gifts. We were able to get a picture of our baby girl and Santa. That morning we had decided on 2 names and were just trying to decide which would be the first name and which would be the middle. In the end we chose her first name to be Isla and middle name to be Myka.
We were able to leave the hospital by noon on Christmas Day.
Reflections after the birth
· I am still really amazed about the VBAC. Everything went so smoothly. I am so happy I was able to have such a positive birth. I got everything I wanted from it. A natural VBAC, the choice to labor how I wanted, no drugs, no vacuum/forceps, no episiotomy etc.
· It’s crazy how I lost track of time. It seemed that I was in the moment, never worrying about the clock.
· I never thought about the risk of uterine rupture
· Never went through “transition”. I was totally expecting this. I thought I would come to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore but it never came! I never felt like giving up.
· Never thought about or considered using drugs during the birth
· When my nurse went on break the replacement nurse was really great. I remember her saying “I love when women birth without any drugs!”. I was so happy to hear her say that!