Monday, December 27, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome to this big ol' crazy world, Anthony!

AJ and I would like to proudly announce the birth of our new son:



Friday, December 10th, 2010

at 7:55 AM

8lbs. 3oz. & 21 inches

The story...

(kinda long--sorry)

We can't complain how Anthony came into this world...everything went better than expected. The end result was what mattered most..a beautiful, healthy boy in our arms! Here's how it all went down...

Last Thursday was a normal work day for both AJ and I. We were scheduled to check into the hospital at 7PM Thursday evening for our PRE-induction. So after work we decided to go out for dinner then head over to Community North. Over dinner we talked about how we thought the night and next day would pan out. AJ helped calm my nerves. I was such a mix of emotions..scared, anxious, and excited. Our original birth plan was to have a natural birth, but that obviously wasn't going to happen since I was about to be induced. It's possible but pretty uncommon that one can deliver without an epidural when being induced. I told AJ my goal was to make it to 7cm before being given anything for the pain. From what I had read, going from 7 to 10 centimeters (transition) is the most painful part of labor but also the quickest. So that was our plan..7cm..then home free. (Even though you CANNOT plan these things, I'm kind of a control freak I wanted to have something to shoot for). I also knew that the earlier a woman is given an epidural, chances are the labor will be longer. I was not up for a 20 hour labor! However it had to happen, we just wanted little boy (and mama) to be healthy and happy!

So we checked into our room and went over Dr. Ertle's instructions with the nurse: I was to be given three doses of Citatec-one every four hours (a pill inserted behind my cervix which dissolves and helps me dilate and thin). Then the plan was to meet with my doctor around 9AM on Friday to start the induction...break my water, epidural, pitocin drip, etc. The nurse informed me that I may have a little cramping but I needed to get as much rest as possible, since I would really need it for the next day.

Well at 9:15PM I had my first dose. Being hooked up to IVs and monitors made it really hard to sleep, so I pretty much laid there watching TV and staring at the ceiling. Fortunately, AJ was able to get a little rest. My nurse came in at 1:15AM to check on me to see if I had made any progress and give me my second dose. 2 1/2 cm and 75% effaced! Woohoo! She gave me my second dose and said I needed to lay flat for about an hour, but after that I could unhook my monitors and walk around. At 2:15AM I did just that. AJ and I walked up and down the hallways for a couple of hours. I noticed my mild cramping started turning into obvious contractions. I was so excited! This stuff must really be working! When it started getting uncomfortable, we walked down to the nursery to look at the adorable little babies...we needed the motivation and distraction.

I was determined to stay on my feet as much as possible...let the gravity do the work. The contractions started coming on stronger and faster, and by 4AM I didn't want to go out to the halls anymore. I felt too uncomfortable and modest for complete strangers watching me work through a contraction. The contractions were so strong I had to close my eyes and hold on to AJ's shoulders swaying back and forth focusing on deep breathing.

Let's talk about AJ for a minute. Holy moly...he deserves a GOLD MEDAL! He was so supportive. As the pain got worse, I could see in his eyes how helpless he felt. He was by my side the entire time giving me sips of water, massaging my back and shoulders, putting on music, holding my hands, coaching my breathing, etc., etc. I know he was physically and emotionally drained. I could not have done this without him. The best husband ever.

Around 4:30 AM my body made a sudden shift and the pain immediately went to my lower back. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt like falling to my knees. I tried to lay down on my side, but that made it worse (not to mention made me almost throw up). So I stood up, paced around, then remembered that I needed to be on my hands and knees. Little boy was putting pressure on my lower spine, and bending over would shift his weight away with the help of gravity. So AJ got me a pillow and I got on the floor and rested on a chair. Every time I had a contraction AJ would massage my back. I would switch from leaning on the bed to the chair. I hit my "self-doubt emotional sign post", and wanted to just give up. I thought I was about to die. Keep in mind our nurse thought we were "resting" this whole time and didn't want to disturb us.

Our nurse finally came in at 5:15 to check me. 5 1/2 cm and fully effaced. Since I was completely thinned she couldn't give me the last dose..didn't matter..didn't need it. She said a good rule of thumb is to plan on dilating one cm per hour. What?! 5 more hours of this!?! I was so exhausted..all I wanted to do was sleep, but the pain was obviously way too intense. My goal was 7cm, but I wanted the epidural now...was running out of steam and wanted to cry thinking about how long this could go on. She called the anesthesiologist,and he said he'd be over in about a half hour after he finished with another patient. Every minute seemed like an hour. I had no concept of time and am sure I was annoying the nurse and AJ asking how long it had been.

An hour had passed and our anesthesiologist had forgot about us. The contractions were back to back, maybe 1 or 2 minutes apart leaving me hardly any time to rest in between. At 6:45am another anesthesiologist came by my room. The nurse did a check: 9 1/2 cm! Had I been thinking clearly I would have said heck with the epidural..I had already made it through the worst part. I'm disappointed now, because I never spoke up. She went ahead and gave me a "light" epidural. :( It was 7am at this point. At 7:30 it started setting in. I could still feel my contractions and move my legs, but it definitely took the edge off. I rested for a few minutes, then pushed for about 20 minutes. This part was easy! I was so determined to meet my little boy. The nurse put a mirror at the end of the bed so that I could see his little head starting to crown. At 7:55am Anthony Charles was born! This also happened to be sunrise to the minute...kinda cool. He's our little sunshine!

I realize now how important focus is when laboring naturally. Next time, I'll definitely try again for a natural birth. I know to be better prepared mentally and stay focused (and hopefully won't have to be induced again). Overall, I am so happy with how the delivery went. Active labor for 6 hours isn't bad. We have welcomed our new son into this big ol' crazy world, and AJ and I couldn't be happier. SO in LOVE!

Jim (AJ's stepfather) was so nice to put a great little BIRTH DAY video together for us:

Monday, December 6, 2010

40 weeks and 3 days

So I'm officially three days past my EDD. After a VERY long weekend of doing nothing but waiting for something to happen, I decided to call my doctor's office this morning. She was nice enough to squeeze me in this afternoon to sweep my membranes again. She said I was a lot softer than last week and now dilated to 2 cm! She also decided to do the NST today. She hooked me up to two monitors for about 30 minutes. One monitored baby boy's heart rate, and the other monitored my contractions. Yes, contractions. Apparently I'm having contractions and had no idea. I tried to pay close attention to how my body was feeling when I could see on the monitor that I was having one. The best way for me to explain it is tightening with a feeling of slight heart rate would go up and I would have a little shortness of breath. But this was very subtle. Baby boy's heart rate was great and everything looked perfect!

After talking it over with AJ and family, we decided to see if moving up our induction date to Friday was an option. Who wants to have a baby on the 13th anyway?! Dr. Ertle said that shouldn't be a problem at all, as long as they could reserve a room for me. She'll let me know for sure tomorrow. We'll check-in Thursday night, and she'll give me something to "ripen" my cervix. The goal would then be to try to get as much rest as possible that night. Then Friday morning, she'll see where we're at, and if necessary, break my water. Hopefully that will be enough to bring on strong enough contractions. If not, she'll start me on Pitocin...which will probably mean an epidural, too. :( I really want to have a natural birth, but I'm keeping an open mind...whatever needs to happen get him here safely. And who knows...he may come on his own before Friday. Say a prayer!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


39 weeks and 6 days and still 1 cm. Absolutely no progress since last week. Really. The only thing that extra spicy dinner did last night was give me terrible heartburn and no sleep. I need to walk on the treadmill tonight, but I'm so tired. I'm tired of getting my hopes up. So here's how things next week's doctors appointment I'll be 41 weeks. She will do an ultrasound to check my level of amniotic fluid. Then she'll do a non-stress test to make sure baby boy is still doing okay. She would normally induce labor at 41 weeks, but since I would like to try to have a natural delivery, she is going to give me until Monday the 13th. The worst part? Two days in a row I've had strangers ask me if I'm having twins. Grrrrr...