Friday, September 19, 2014

Charlotte's Birth Story Part 1

My view at 39 weeks
It all started on Friday, September the 5th.  The date of our 5 year wedding anniversary.  Weeks prior we joked that we would have an anniversary baby and although we got pretty darn close, it just wasn't meant to be.  

I've wondered if I would have been at work that day if things would have gone differently.  I could have been working when those contractions started and I just know I would have panicked.  But, instead of being at work I was at home with my sick boy, who had been running a fever for the past 12 hours.  I kept debating calling out sick that morning.  I didn't want to use my precious sick leave that would cover me while on maternity leave.  But, I didn't want to leave Liam just in case we had to take him to the doctor.  I also had a nagging feeling that if I didn't go to work, I would of course go into labor and I wouldn't have that "last day" to finalize things before I had a baby.  But, my heart won the battle and I decided to stay home with my boy.

Although I had a guilty feeling about calling off of work, I was sure that I wouldn't be having a baby anytime soon.  I had a doctors appointment just two days before on Wednesday.  After weeks of putting off getting an exam to check my cervix, I finally decided to do so since I was 39 weeks pregnant.  I hate being "checked" and had been putting it off mainly because of what happened with Liam when he was born.  The doctors never knew why I had a placental infection that was passed onto Liam and caused him to stay in the NICU for a week.  But, I knew that cervical exams can cause infection during pregnancy and I wanted to avoid that at all costs.  So, after the most painful exam I've ever had (because the midwife had a difficult time getting a good feel of my cervix), I was informed that "baby's not doing much" and that I was "maybe half a centimeter dilated".  This was extremely discouraging to hear, especially since I had been working out so regularly during this pregnancy with doing body attack two times a week (up until I was 39 weeks pregnant!), walking, and still lifting light weights. The midwife did tell me that with second babies things can progress very quickly, which gave me a little hope.  But, I left the appointment feeling like I would be pregnant forever and although I absolutely love being pregnant, I definitely didn't want that.  Little did I know that would be my last appointment during this pregnancy, but luckily it was not the last time I would see my favorite midwife!  

At exactly thirty-nine weeks pregnant to the day I headed back to work.  I complained about how little progress my body had made and how this little girl wasn't going to show her face anytime soon.  I decided to head to body attack that night since I didn't have anything else to do.  Truthfully, working out made my body feel better than if I were to just sit on the couch and relax.  I didn't over exert myself, I enjoyed myself.  I slept well that night and was ready to tackle another week of pregnancy!  

The next day, Thursday, after talking to a friend and asking for suggestions to get labor started, I did about 100 squats throughout the afternoon once I arrived home from work.  I bounced on the exercise ball that evening as well to try and encourage labor some more.  But, still on Thursday, nothing.  I didn't feel any different, but I was content.  

So, there I was Friday morning, home sick with my son, in a panic and cursing the timing my body chose when after feeling crampy I went to the bathroom and noticed the first sign of a "bloody show" or the loss of my mucous plug.  Of course this was going to happen while I have a sick child!  Of course I didn't get another day at work to tie up some lose ends!  But, then the excitement sunk in.  I just knew we would be having a baby soon.  Maybe today?!  On our anniversary!  

My husband went out to run some errands.  I automatically grabbed my computer, sat down with Liam as he watched Paw Patrol and finalized some last minute work via email.  I checked my "before baby" to do list and there were still some things that I hadn't completed yet.  I went into the kitchen to start some freezer meal prep when I felt a strong cramp.  I thought it was a contraction, but wasn't too sure just yet.  I kept moving around.  At around 11:00 am I felt what I could definitely identify as a contraction.  I called Brandon and my mom to let them know things were happening!  

My instagram post on Friday.
I completed the remainder of things on my to do list.  I cleaned, I cooked, I ate.  The contractions were coming anywhere from 20 minutes to 40 minutes apart.  My pain level was only about a 1/10 and the contractions only lasted for about 20 seconds.  This continued throughout the afternoon. 

Around 3:30 pm I thought it would be a good idea to take a nap.  Luckily, I was able to nap for almost two hours without any pain that disturbed my sleep.  I woke up with more sporadic contractions but the intensity hadn't really increased, though the contractions were slightly closer together than they were before I had fallen asleep.  

I needed something to do.  I went to the grocery store and picked up a few things we might need in the next couple days and some snacks for guests that would be caring for Liam if we were to go to the hospital.  I drank lots of water, ate dinner, continued with my routine.  Liam's fever had subsided earlier in the day, but he was coughing and still feeling off.  I was so worried about having to leave him while he was sick.  I hate not being there with him when he's not feeling well.  I was so emotional. 

My father in law came to stay the night, just in case we needed to flee to the hospital.  We decided it would be best for my husband to take off work that night because we thought we would be having a baby soon.

Last belly pic- 39 weeks 3 days pregnant.  Taken in between contractions.
Before I decided to go to bed at around 9 pm, my contractions were about ten minutes apart lasting for 30 seconds to 1 minute, but my pain level was still a 1/10.  I continuously tracked contractions with the ctx timer app (free!) which I loved.  This app tracks the time in between contractions, produces charts, and you can rate your pain.  Being able to rate my pain was such motivation to me to try and tolerate it as much as possible and keep that number low.  I kept asking myself, "How bad is this, really?", before I would rank my pain level.  

I laid down to sleep with my phone on my lap to track the contractions and they were steadily at about 8-10 minutes apart throughout the night.  

My pain level increased to a 3 and then a 5 as the night went on.  I stayed in bed trying to sleep in between contractions, which I've found is really the worst way for me to manage labor pain.  There is absolutely no way for me to relax in a bed when I'm having contractions!  But, there was one point where I actually fell asleep for about an hour with no contractions logged into my phone.  

As the sun came up on Saturday, September 6th, my pain level was the worst it had been (5/10), but the contractions were becoming further and further apart at about half an hour in between pains.  I ate breakfast and sat on the exercise ball for a little bit until I decided that I could really get a significant amount of sleep in between contractions since they were becoming so far apart.  

I fell asleep from about 7:30 to 10:30 am, maybe waking once in pain.  I awoke from my morning nap disappointed and confused as to why this was taking so long.  I thought second babies were supposed to come a lot faster once things started!  Everyone else was confused too.  My husband was disappointed that we didn't have a baby yet.  My mom was shocked that it was taking so long.  Even though I was getting impatient, I also felt relieved that I had a little more time before this baby came so that Liam could get well.  But, I really didn't want this process to take much longer!  

I jumped on the tredmill and decided to try walking for a little bit.  *Note- time stamps on these pictures from my phone were taken days after, so times are not accurate.

Instagram post Saturday morning.
 I walked two miles and then took another nap afterwards, giving my body some rest since I didn't sleep much the night before.  I posted on Facebook my woes, to which I received replies from friends who had been in similar situations.  

At this point I was still experiencing major mucous loss.  So much so that it kindof freaked me out.  With Liam, I lost my "plug" about 3 weeks prior to his due date and it all kindof came out at once.  This time, there was so much.  It was blood tinged, but sometimes would be clear, and sometimes it was so thin I wasn't sure if it was my water leaking or not.  I called my ob office to which I found out that my most favorite midwife (the one from my last appointment) was on call.  She told me to walk around wearing a dress and no underwear- if I felt a drip, drip, drip going down my leg then it was probably my water.  The amniotic fluid would be the consistency of water and not stringy like mucous.  So, obviously I tested this theory and I came to the conclusion that my water had not yet broken.  

My father in law entertained Liam for the rest of the day as Brandon and I got some rest. We decided it would be best that my husband go to work that evening since things weren't really progressing.  My contractions were so irregular.  Sometimes I would have a pain every 10 minutes, but then it would die down and I would just feel one contraction in an hour.  I ate dinner, made some brownies, ate my most favorite ice cream, relaxed, and watched Dexter re-runs as Liam and his pappy went out on the town.  When they returned, I did the bedtime routine.  I felt tired but otherwise fine.  I waited for Liam to fall asleep and then decided at around 10 pm that it would be a good idea for me to sleep as well.  I kept thinking about how some of my friends had said that their labor had slowed, but then picked up full force in the early morning and their baby was born shortly after.  Something in my head just kept screaming at me to sleep before 12 am came around...

1 comment:

  1. Wow...that is so crazy that you had contractions for so long. With Alden (my 2nd), my contractions started at 12:30am and he was born at 3:45am! He came SO FAST! But I had been slowly losing my mucous plug for like 2 weeks. That was really annoying.


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