Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lila's Birth Story

Lila's here! She arrived on 2/10/15. Here is her story...
Disclaimer: I'll use words like dilated and contractions. If you don't want to read about me giving birth just skim the pictures and move along!

As I had mentioned in my last post I had pneumonia. Because of that I was having LOTS of contractions and dilating. I stopped working 2 weeks before Lila's due date and barely made it until then! It was my store's biggest sale of the year and the constant on my feet on the heels of being so sick was just exhausting. I just wanted to sit down!
 This is for another post- but Chris lost his job. My maternity leave started on a Wednesday. The Thursday before I went out on leave Chris was let go due to downsizing. We were definitely scared about what we would do, but also were grateful for the opportunity to spend time together. He went with me to a doctor's appointment that Friday where it was discovered that I had preeclampsia symptoms. I was immediately sent for blood work and was so glad Chris was with me!

While we waited to see if my proteins and blood pressure would drop we tried to get the baby out! I was told that 41 weeks was the deadline if she didn't come on her own since my results were moving in the wrong direction. Here we are at the Shedd Aquarium trying to walk her out!
 Here I am laying over my yoga ball making sure she was in position.
 I wrote out my birth plan.
 I made baby blankets.
I'll just say we tried everything to get her here! Chris and I had this conversation at least 3 times-
Chris: "Ok, let's go to the hospital."
Me: "Why???"
Chris: "We have to tell them nothing is happening. I'm sure they can do something!"
Me: "Chris we are NOT going to the hospital."

Finally on 2/9 my midwife told me we shouldn't wait anymore and to go to the hospital the next morning for our induction. I was excited to be done but I was disappointed that my body had let me walk around dilated 4 cm. without going into labor all weekend. I was disappointed that I wasn't going to be having the all natural labor and delivery I wanted. I was already agreeing to interventions. I was afraid of Pitocin contractions.

The next morning (Tuesday, 2/10) we were supposed to be at the hospital at 8 am. We took a few final pictures and were on our way.

When we were a few miles away the hospital called to say that they didn't have a room for us yet and that we should get a light breakfast and they would call us when it was time. About 4 hours later after I found myself crying in the food court of the mall because we were "never" going to have a baby, Chris called and was told that we could come in!

We checked in and then waited. My mom was going to be my birth partner and just stayed on call. I told her this could take forever, so Chris would call her when stuff got real.
After trying some other things to induce labor that didn't work I finally was hooked up to Pitocin around 2:30 pm. I couldn't wait for things to get rolling and to use the tub in the room!
I also couldn't wait to see my girl in the warmer.
In the beginning my contractions were consistent and manageable but the monitors were saying they weren't coming at all. 
I wanted to be up walking or on birth ball, but I was told that they kept losing Lila on the monitor so I had to stay in bed. They also said I was only having weak contractions and kept cranking the Pitocin up.

Here I was when stuff got real… Chris called my mom at this point. It was around 8:30 pm.
Finally I couldn't take it. I'd seen midwives my entire pregnancy. I had gone into this with the goal of no interventions. I'd already compromised and was induced. I'd tried to make the best of it and move around and was told to stay in bed. I'd lusted after the tub for months just to be told I wasn't able to get in. My contractions were non-stop and I was being told they weren't happening. Finally I begged Chris to get my midwife. She had been delivering someone else and told me that this was like "early labor" until my contractions really got moving and she would be with me after I hit active labor. I was done with my nurse. At one point she laughingly said "well this is why they call it labor" and I almost threw my water pitcher at her.

Claire came in. I explained that I gave up. If I was stuck in the bed, on an IV, not allowed to even sit forward because of the monitors on Lila losing her, and I wasn't progressing as fast as I'd like, then I just wanted an epidural. This wasn't my birth plan and I was disappointed. I wanted to be checked and if I wasn't nearly ready to deliver I couldn't take this laying on my back in pain thing anymore.

Here is why I love Claire. She said "I've done everything I need to do with my other patients. I'll hold that monitor on the baby so you can do whatever you need to do. Sit on the ball, get in the tub, whatever. I'll hold the monitor. We'll do whatever we can to have this be what you want it to be." So that's what she did. I had only dilated to 5 cm. They got the stuff tying me to the bed off. They got the ball out. They told me I could get into the tub soon. She also realized that I had literally no break in contractions and the motor wasn't picking them up. The Pitocin was dialed WAY down. This is her holding the monitor on Lila. 
That contraction was it. I was suddenly so uncomfortable I had to move. After a couple of moves I found myself sitting bolt upright back in bed. I started shaking and Claire checked me again. I was 7 cm. At some point I then grabbed onto the left bed rail and decided I was dying. My brain knew things were moving and this was good but my mouth only knew to curse. I cursed and cursed. Right in my mom's face! I decided that if I couldn't get in the tub NOW I wanted an epidural. I couldn't do it. I apologized to the room for being "weak." They told me they had to get more IV fluids in me first and they'd fill up the tub too. The water was running. I was screaming for an epidural and for God to kill me/save me, begging for help, and had my head pressed so hard into the bed rail.

Then I grunted. I was pushing and I couldn't help it. An hour ago, if that, I'd been 5. No way.

I remember my mom asking how far along I was again and being told I was I could push. I remember hearing the room get really busy and things clanging as they were being set up. Someone was by the warmer getting it ready. My mom near my face telling me "This is all happening for you. She's coming." I remember the tub being drained and begging them to fill it and hearing the water turn back on. I remember being told I should get my head out of the corner of the bed and sit up and refusing to.

Finally I was pushing. I remember hearing the anesthesiologist outside the room and being told I'd deliver any second so there was no need. The tub was also drained again at this point. 1 hour after I was 5 cm. I was pushing. Less than 15 minutes later stuff got real (as you can see on Chris's face below!) and Lila was born!
Lila Rian was born at 11:18 pm. with no interventions other than the induction. I couldn't have done it without my amazing birth coaches of Chris and my mom and my amazing midwife Claire:

Chris has been an amazing dad since the second he held her
And my mom was thrilled with her shirt we surprised her with (and her granddaughter)

This was minutes after she was born. She came out SO alert and was staring right at me. We refused the eye ointment so we were really able to stare at each other!
I cannot wait to do it again. I never ever ever want to be induced again! I can't wait to do it without Pitocin I should say! Labor was bad but fast. Pushing felt amazing. The impact on my body and the damage and repair I sustained was by far the most surprising and challenging part of the whole experience. I'll leave it there. I'm sure my coiled position I was in during pushing didn't help!

That is my girl Lila's birth story. I have never loved anyone like I've loved her. Motherhood is by far the best thing I have ever ever done! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Home Stretch

I have pneumonia. At 9 months pregnant. I was feeling pretty good about this pregnancy thing until that struck. Now I'm counting the days. Because I'm home sick I'm mass writing blog posts. Right now I have 27 days until my due date. By the time this is published I may have my baby girl though! 

Her bed is ready:
Our bags are packed:
My dad has terrified Chris by giving him a childbirth kit in case we don't make it to the hospital in time (please God no!)
And she looks pretty fully cooked to me!
We've come a long way baby girl!

I know that when I do go into labor I'm going to have a big weep. I'm going to miss her on the inside. I do not love being big. Apparently I've started to waddle. I can't pick things off the floor. I have terrible heartburn as I type this. My maternity clothes are starting to not even fit over my belly and I definitely haven't been able to tie my shoes for at least a month! But… I love waking up and feeling her kick. I love the mystery of trying to figure out what each bump is (a leg maybe?). I love the unknown of wondering what her little face will look like and the kind of person she'll be. I love knowing she is alive. I love that she's safe right now…

 What if her cord wraps around her neck when she is being born and she dies? What if SIDS strikes when she is a month old and she dies? What if she darts into the street or takes a stranger's hand when she is 3 and is kidnapped and dies? What if she drives too fast as a teenager and she dies? What if she lets some bad guy convince her she isn't the most special person ever and finds herself abused? 

I will never not be scared again. Being a mom is the scariest thing I've ever experienced and I'm not even there yet. Every time I've been on a plane with my mom I've laughed at her for how much she has white knuckled her way through the whole thing. She has always said "wait until you're a mom. You'll be scared of everything. I have so much to lose if this plane crashes." Now I get it. It started the second I saw that second pink line. I was scared I would miscarry. I just had to make it to my second trimester. Then I made it and I was scared that she would be born too early to be viable. Then it was that she would be premature and a sick little lady. Now I'm afraid for when she is born. I am forever changed.

My goodness I'm an emotional wreck. I'm so glad to be near the end and can't wait to share my little Lila with you all! Thanks for being with me on the journey!

Friday, January 16, 2015

DIY Christmas Projects

I had a very home spun kind of a Christmas. Last year we gave everyone a bottle of wine or two from Chris's favorite vineyard. It stunk. I wrapped everything and he got mad because the wine I wrapped for each person didn't match their personality. I gave my boss a bottle just to find out he didn't drink, etc. This year I made my own wrapping paper and my own gifts. Much better!

I bought red and black bags and wrapping paper and went nuts with my chalk marker:
 I also ended up using the marker to redo what I'd messily written with old fashioned chalk. 
 So here are the gifts I gave. For the non-drinkers I had candy cane hot chocolate and peppermint bark.
 I bought the jars and black labels at The Container Store. I held everything together with this tape and tied it all together with this twine. 

 For the drinkers I made candy cane vodka and peppermint bark. Then I included a gift card in addition to the edible gifts. 
 I bought the bottles at The Container Store too. Here's how to make Candy Cane Vodka:
- Add a few candy canes to a glass bottle with a hermetic seal
-Cover with vodka. It can be inexpensive, but not so cheap that the flavor overpowers the taste of the candy.
 About an hour later this is what it looks like. By the next day the candy will have completely dissolved and the vodka will be pink. I couldn't taste test it due to baby girl but I've heard some rave reviews!
 I used this recipe to make the peppermint bark. 
 It was delicious and also highly reviewed! 
 I then put it in a jar, used my chalk marker, and tied it off with some twine. Overall I think I knocked this year's gifts out of the park compared to last year's! 
We also got our first live tree this year! I've always wanted my own live tree. I think I only convinced Chris it was worth the hassle because we were away for our first anniversary and I was massively pregnant and gave him those big "please" eyes. We got it in Michigan and prayed our way back to Illinois that it would stay on the roof!
When we made a fresh cut to the bottom I saved the little stump for the tree:

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