E’s Birth Story

Here is E’s birth story, exactly as I wrote it after we came home from the hospital.  I didn’t want to forget a single detail! It’s written to E, in case he ever wants to know just how he came into this world.  🙂

Saturday, November 23, I lost my mucus plug.  I ran into the bathroom to Michelle, yelling “Babe! I’ve got mucus!”.  We knew it was a sign you’d be coming soon.  We called and told Nonni (my mom), but we all knew it could still be a few days.  We went and ran a few errands, went to Maya’s basketball game, and then went to our friends’ to watch the Ducks game.  While we were there, Michelle and our friends were bugging the kids to tell you to come out, and making them tell us their predictions on when you’d be here.  Brian told them that only whoever was closest would get a birthday that year, and Pete was very worried that he might be serious (Pete guessed you’d be here in one day!).  When we got home around 7, I started feeling contractions.  I didn’t want to tell Michelle in case it was a false alarm, but she figured it out when I kept looking at the clock to time the contractions.  Contractions were irregularly spaced, but we decided we’d better try to get some sleep in case this was it!  Around 10:30, though, we got up – I couldn’t sleep through the contractions – called Nonni and told her what was happening, texted our midwife, Sam, and went to make dinner since we hadn’t eaten very well during the football game.  Nonni got here around 2:45am, and we all tried to get a few more hours of sleep.  Michelle and I had about 4 hours sleep total Saturday night.

            Sunday, we mostly stayed around the house, resting and timing contractions.  They continued to be irregular, and weren’t becoming longer or closer together.  We spoke with Sam, our midwife, and she said it was definitely still early labor.  We walked the dogs, played some games, read, and went to the dog park, and I dozed between contractions.  Michelle kept encouraging me to walk around, knowing that would intensify contractions, and we started walking laps around the house.  I had a few more intense contractions that made me sick, and Michelle said she thought it was time to go to the hospital.  Sam said they would directly admit us to the hospital, even though it still sounded like I was in early labor.  We got to the hospital around 7, and spent the first few hours doing admission.  The nurse was driving us crazy!  She seemed to be going so slowly, and couldn’t figure out my IV (I had to have penicillin because of Group B Strep).  We had asked that there not be anyone extra in the room unless absolutely necessary, and the nurse just hung around, commenting on our conversations, and making everyone feel awkward.  Amy met us there too and started taking pictures.  When Sam arrived, she checked me and I was 4 cm dilated.  She suggested that she break my water since we’d been up for so long, and we didn’t know how slowly things would continue to progress.  Michelle and I went for a walk around the birthing center, and the contractions made me sick again.  The nurses in the hallway had to run to get something for me to throw up in.  At 10:30, I was 5 cm dilated, and Sam broke my water. 

            After that, things changed quickly.  I got into the tub, and stayed there for hours.  My contractions became much stronger, and I needed Michelle to push on my back during each one.  Around midnight, it was time for another IV.  The nurse couldn’t get it figured out, and I was stuck in an uncomfortable position, with my hand raised up out of the water for what felt like forever.  The nurse even dropped her glasses into the tub, and I had to fish them out for her.  I wanted to kill her.  I asked for Sam, and she came and stayed with me the whole rest of the time until you arrived.  At one point, I needed to go to the bathroom, but the thought of going all the way across the room with contractions was too much, so the nurse brought me a bedpan.  The contractions were incredibly painful, and Sam coached me to moan/yell in low pitches.  Michelle helped me to keep my breathing even too.  After what felt like forever, Sam suggested that I try hands and knees on the bed.  It was freezing out of the tub!  When she checked me, I was 8cm dilated, and I was really upset that I wasn’t closer to being done!  I was so tired, I couldn’t hold myself up on hands and knees, and it was impossible to find a relatively comfortable position.  Finally, around 3am, the nurse set up the birthing stool, and I knew we were getting close.  I sat on it, with Michelle behind me on the edge of the bed, and Sam sat cross-legged on the floor in front of me.  I had to wait to push for a few minutes because my cervix was stuck blocking you.  Finally, Sam announced I was “complete”.  I pushed for about 45 minutes before you arrived.  I had almost no pain during contractions at this point, but I felt a little nervous about tearing, so I didn’t push hard right away.  I had no idea how close you were to arriving until they called in the extra nurse.  Sam had me feel for you just before you were born.  A couple good pushes and you were here!  Sam held you down below me for a minute, and we marveled at you.  I kept saying, “Oh my god, oh my god!”.  Michelle was in shock.  Sam handed you to me, and I got to hold you for the first time.  Then your momma cut your cord (it took two tries), and I got into bed with you so that Sam could stitch me up (I had a small 1st degree tear).  We were so happy you were finally here!

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Early Labor

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Laboring in the tub

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Our first look

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We are so in love with him!

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Michelle and E

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And baby makes three!

 

 

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Pregnancy Photos and More

I am getting worse and worse at updating this blog…  It was so easy when I had news every two weeks – pregnant, not pregnant, etc. But rest assured I am still closely following all of you!

I am now 30 weeks pregnant with our little E. Baby showers are fast approaching, and the nursery is complete!

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I’m feeling great and looking forward to the next few months! Today our good friend took some pregnancy photos for us, and they turned out fantastic!

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In other news, the US government has decided that if you are married in a state that recognizes gay marriage, regardless of whether your own state does, you will now receive federal recognition and benefits of being married. So we drove up to Washington state (thank you, WA!) and applied for our marriage license on Friday. So there is an official marriage in our near future! (Right now we have a “Domestic Partnership” in Oregon that isn’t recognized outside the state.) Exciting times and historical moments, although to us it feels much like a hoop to jump through since we “married” and had a “wedding” four years ago. More to come on that!

It’s a….

I know I promised I would post pictures from our reveal party on the 8th, but I swear I have a good reason it’s been three weeks.  =)  My friend is our official baby photographer, and she has been super busy lately (as have I).  But, finally, here is the moment you’ve all been waiting for!!

Gender Reveal 1

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It’s a boy!!

It’s Been Awhile!

Wow.  I don’t even know where to start.  So many fantastic and wonderful things have been happening!

I am now 19 weeks pregnant…

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Quite the belly, eh?  =)

This week I started being able to feel the baby move.  It is so amazing to be at a point where I’m getting constant reassurance that everything’s still alright down there.  Besides a few near-fainting episodes at the hospital I’m interning at, I have been feeling great.

We have been exploring cloth diapering options, and feeling more than a little overwhelmed.  It seems everyone has different preferences; my head is spinning with the choices: all-in-ones, hybrids, all-in-twos, pocket diapers, covers, inserts, and on and on.  I am such a planner, it makes me crazy that I might have to buy a bunch and “wait-and-see” what works!

We just came back from our big vacation (for Michelle’s 40th) to Puerto Rico!  We had many adventures and misadventures…  We had an awful seven hour layover on the way there, Michelle’s suitcase got lost (for only a day, luckily), everything was closed for Father’s Day, and we were there during torrential downpours, but we saw some amazing historical spots and architecture, the rainforest, and had one beautiful (and hot!) day at the beach.  And I got to try stand-up paddleboarding (I have been waiting years for that)!

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Everything has been really great, albeit super busy.  In an attempt to get the majority of my classes out of the way before baby arrives, this term and next I have full time internships (40 hrs a week) and 2-3 classes.  It makes the time fly by though!

We find out the sex of our baby in one week!  We had been considering having a private ultrasound done so that we could find out sooner, but the sonographer (a parent of a past student) convinced me to wait.  She said, “Would you open your Christmas presents three weeks early?”  No, I would never do that!  So we’ve toughed it out.  We planned a BBQ where we will find out with our friends and family, but I will post details and pictures of that next week!

I have finally started the process to have my name changed.  When we signed our domestic partnership papers four years ago, I had the option to have my name changed, but it would have been for Oregon only.  I still would have needed to go through the court process to have it changed federally, and at the time that wasn’t practical.  I have always felt strongly, though, that sharing a last name is one way to help us be recognized as a family.  I had to file paperwork, pay a fairly large fee, post a notice in the courthouse for a two week waiting period, and I will appear in court tomorrow for the judge to sign off on the change.  Then I believe there is another two week waiting period before it’s official. And then of course, the change of names on every card, loan, title, deed, et cetera!  Quite the process you have to go through when you can’t be legally married.

Finally, I’d like to say a bit about the Supreme Court decisions this week.  Obviously, this week was a momentous step in this movement towards marriage equality, but I feel like the media is leaving out some major details.  Not all of DOMA was struck down.  So, that means that only the couples living in states with legal gay marriage will now receive federal benefits.  Thirteen states only.  We and many others like us are still waiting.  This week is cause for serious celebration, but I don’t want people to forget that there are still battles to be fought.  Our state will be voting on gay marriage again next November, and it would be a tragedy for people to not realize how much their participation is needed.

Graduation Day

Last Thursday (I know, I have taken forever to update) we had our second ultrasound.  I’ve been feeling extremely nauseous the past few weeks (excellent even though it doesn’t feel so great) and we were feeling positive but not confident going into the appointment.  The nurse practitioner came in to do the ultrasound, which is probably a good sign that the doctor wasn’t too worried, but I’ve never felt totally confident in her abilities.  The ultrasound showed that our little bean is growing perfectly.  I was eight weeks six days, and the bean measured eight weeks five days (I guess two days above or below is fine), and the heartbeat was strong and fast – 170!  (Maybe a little girl??)  And the best part?  It wiggled it’s little bum while we were watching.  =)  So, we were released from the RE’s office, and will now see my OB/GYN exclusively.  Yay!  The doctor and nurses all came out to congratulate us and tell us how much they’d been rooting for us after our long and hard journey.  It was really touching, and they were all so genuinely emotional about it.  The nurse practitioner offered us a book – Expecting 411, asking if we already had it from one of the previous pregnancies.  We didn’t, which I guess makes it clear how little they had believed those would work out.

We’ve taken our first pregnancy belly pictures and are slowly starting to tell people.  It still feels like we’re going to jinx it!  I’ve told a few of the key people at school so that we can begin planning the rest of my graduate school career around our little babe.  I so hope that this is it.  There’s still so much at so many points along the way that could go wrong.  I also reached out to the friend who had seemed so cold about our losses, and she said that at her first ultrasound they couldn’t find her baby’s heartbeat, and that for the week that they had to wait to look again, she understood a little bit of what we felt.  We are only seven weeks apart in our pregnancies.

We are getting so excited, although it still feels very surreal.  We’ve even started to talk cloth diaper brands.  =)  Tomorrow is our first appointment with the OB for family history and genetic testing.  We’re on our way!

Good News

Yesterday we had our first ultrasound, and for the first time, the results were good!  I was six weeks six days, and the baby measured exactly that.  And the heartbeat was 123, perfect for that time.  I’ve spent the last few weeks with my defense mechanisms working overtime on not letting myself become excited, that I’m having a hard time turning them off now!  I know there are a lot more milestones ahead, but just to have passed this one with positive news feels like a miracle!  Our doctor was even excited (usually he’s all business).  We have another ultrasound in two weeks, then we’ll be released to our OB.  It doesn’t seem possible that we might have finally made it…

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

We had our beta today (12 dpo) and the numbers came back at 54.23. I’m officially (hearing it from a doctor and all) pregnant again.

We have hesitantly talked about when a due date might be, and what life will look like at the time of the year for maternity leave, etc., but let’s just say we’re not buying any maternity clothes yet. Our beta was higher than previous betas for that day of the cycle, but they’ve always been considered “good” and doubled appropriately. It’ll be the six week ultrasound that’s the “make or break it” moment. We have yet to have a good one of those.

I know I’m approaching the ultrasound like I used to approach getting pregnant. “All I have to do is have a good ultrasound, and we’ll be good to go.” like I used to think “All I have to do is get pregnant, and we’ll be good to go.” I’m nervous about what hurdles might pop up even if we do make it past that first ultrasound.

I go back in on Friday for the next beta.