Bun #3

pregnancy calendar

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's a Girl!

After Fridays evening's repeat non-stress test we decided to move forward with a repeat cesarean on Saturday morning.  The fluid levels were up within a normal range, but the heat rate had more dips than before.  The straight cord was also still observed.  

Friday night we prepared, packed, tidied up the house and made a last minute grocery trip.  We called Aunt Marcia and she came the following morning at 7 am.  Davin and I said goodbye to the kids and left for the hospital at 8 am.  

We arrived by 8:30 for my two hours of surgery prep which had an additional two hours of waiting due to the surgeon and anesthesiologist in turn being needed elsewhere.  I waited hooked up to the monitor listening to the galloping horse hooves of my baby's heart beat.  Davin read to me which always relaxes me.

Finally a little after noon everyone was ready and it was my turn.  I got nervous.  The IV had been bad enough to get in and occasionally stung.  I had to hold my wrist a certain way to help the fluids flow the way they should.  Now it was time for the worst of it - being separated from Davin while I was prepped in a bright operating room surrounded by staff in masks and getting a spinal poked in my back.  

Thankfully the staff was most wonderful.  My nurse, Melissa, was kind and talkative which helped my nervousness.  The anesthesiologist lightened the mood by telling jokes though he had a bit of trouble with the spinal because I wasn't rounding my back enough.  It's hard to bend over a pregnant belly!  Also my midwife, Patty, was there and has a mothering presence.  I trusted her recommendation for this surgery knowing she wanted my VBAC if it was a safe choice.

The spinal finally went in, I was laid back as the warm heaviness took over my legs.  The curtain was raised and Davin was by my side holding my hand.  It wasn't long before I could feel the pressure of strong tugging I knew meant baby was emerging.  

The magical moment of birth.  Life's first cry.  My own tears of happiness and relief.  I wasn't able to feel it or see it as I wished, but baby was here and that's all that matters.  Everyone knew not to blurt out the gender.  I wanted to see for myself.  They counted down the seconds to allow the cord to pulse for a full minute before camping.  That was the longest minute.  Then baby was brought around the curtain and I could see.  A girl!  A beautiful, perfect, healthy girl.  I watched the nurses clean and weigh her to my left side while the doctor stitched me up.  I couldn't take my eyes off her. Now we knew her name: Brielle Moya Grace.  She was 8 pounds 9 ounces, 21.5 inches long with a 14 inch head.  

Soon she was swaddled and in Davin's arms.  He brought her close to me so I could touch and kiss her.  Once the doctors were done Brielle was given to me for the ride to the recovery room.  While I was observed Brielle nursed for the first time.  Melissa also made her a cute hat with a bow and gave her a quick bath.  They were concerned with my heavy bleeding for a bit but it finally slowed.  Feeling started to return to my legs.  I was eager to finish the two hour recovery period and move tommy room so we could show her off to Nana and Papa who we're waiting.  

I forget if it was in the operating room or recovery, but we learned why this birth wasn't meant to be vaginal.  Brielle's cord was only a little more than half as long as the normal three foot cord.  Also there was a straight section of cord with a kink at the end of it held in place by scar tissue.  We knew about the straight section from the non-stress test but not the kink.  If she had descended into my pelvis or birthed vaginally there was a good chance her life support would have been cut off.  God's plans are perfect and I'm so thankful for the wisdom of the midwife who felt something wasn't right.  Brielle, which means "from the high hill or one who ascends" was meant to stay high and disengaged even at 41 weeks until I was ready to learn of and accept Gods plan.

As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. (Psalms 18:30 NKJV)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Non-stress Test at 41 Weeks

At 11:00 I had my first non-stress test for this "overdue" baby.  It felt surreal to be standing by myself in labor and delivery waiting for an available nurse. I was taken to triage and then waited for half an hour before the nurse came in.  She measured my fluid and said it was on the low side (7.43).  They like it to be above 8.  Then I got hooked up to the monitors and baby was moving enough that it was a bit hard to keep the heartbeat.  Then I waited and waited.  They monitored me over an hour.  I was starting to get antsy.  Finally the nurse connected with my midwife and I spoke to Patty on the phone.  As I suspected things don't look ideal.  The fluid is low, a section of the cord showed possible signs of compression due to low fluid, and baby's heartbeat kept having little dips another possible indication of cord compression.  That along with two prior cesareans and being a week late means they want to deliver this baby.  Now.  The midwife is willing to let me go until tomorrow or Sunday at the latest.  She said I could get a second opinion, but the doctor would probably want me to go straight to the operating room.  

So here I am at home.  Davin went back to work for the last couple hours of the day to wrap things up for being out the next couple weeks.  I'm waiting until family is off of work to make the calls for childcare and visitors tomorrow.  The plan is to have a repeat cesarean at 10:30 tomorrow morning.  

I'm still wrapping my mind and emotions around it.  I've put a lot of work into trying to have a successful VBAC, but things are not in my favor.  However, I don't want to put baby in any risk just so I can experience the empowerment of a vaginal birth.  But surgery has risks, too, and I'm not looking forward to being cut open again.  On the other hand it's nice to keep things intact "down there" and I've always healed nicely from a cesarean.  

Tomorrow is Dad's birthday.  A grandchild for your birthday is a nice gift!  

The next post will have baby pictures.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Due Dates Come and Go

Saturday was my original due date and today is my modified due date based on an early ultrasound.  I don't feel like I'm going into labor any time soon.  Of course, one of these days it has to happen.

I had my final midwife appointment on Friday with Patty.  She thinks it's beneficial to strip membranes for several days in a row to get labor started.  There is a risk the bag of waters could break and then we'd have to deliver baby that day.  Another of the midwives, Janelle, doesn't feel membrane stripping does anything.  Baby comes when baby's ready.  Well, I let Patty try, but she said my cervix "isn't favorable."  She could barely reach it and it isn't effaced or dialated at all.  She estimated that baby is still at a -3 station.  In other words nothing is happening.  I opted not to come in for further attempts to strip membranes since I doubt my cervix is ready for that after only a day or two and I don't want to set the timer yet by accidentally breaking my water.  

I have a non-stress test scheduled for this coming Friday at the hospital.  That will put me at about 41 weeks (depending which due date you go with).  Patty said another of my favorite phrases, "We don't want you to go too long."  I can schedule a cesarean any day I want.  Bleh!

I don't like hearing these things again, feeling like everyone's ready to throw in the towel.  Some days I want to, too. It would be so easy.  It could be over and done with.  I could be holding my baby tonight. But I feel so invested in a VBAC already or at least starting labor on my own.  I've hired a great doula, I've been doing physical therapy exercises, perineal stretching, and optimal baby positioning techniques.  I want to attempt a vaginal birth, but it would sure help if this baby would get things moving for me.  

Why do I want a VBAC so badly?  For a few reasons.  I want to know I can do it.  I want to be more involved in my baby's birth not just strapped to a table feeling removed from both the delivery and the immediate bonding with baby.  I want to hold the baby first.  I want to see and feel the moment of birth and that first cry rather than staring at a blue curtain.  Also I don't want a third major abdominal surgery, longer recovery, longer hospital stay.  And I'm not saying we will, but if there is a fourth child, a VBAC will make that easier, too.

We'll see what Friday brings.  Maybe it will show something that will require a cesarean.  Or maybe it will show a perfectly healthy, happy baby that can wait it out a bit longer.  It will be nice to check and see.  Meanwhile I do kick counts and try to be patient.

I wonder if baby wants to come on someone's birthday - Grammy's is Wednesday, Dad's is Saturday, and Grandpa's 90th is next Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Labor Conditioning

I've started going to a physical therapist specializing in women's pelvic issues.  I feel the exercises are helping, but I must say its hard getting in 100 Kegels a day!  I feel I can hold the contraction pretty well, but when I'm hooked up to the biofeedback machine I see that I lose it pretty quickly.  

Yesterday she used the biofeedback to get real numbers on labor positions that help me be most relaxed and offer the strongest pushing.  I was surprised that standing was a nice one for me as well as all fours (though my arms would get tired pretty quick).  I also did well with the more traditional reclined with legs up position, but that isn't ideal for baby rotation so I'd like to stay away from that one if possible.

I met with my doula, Amanda, on Saturday and I feel really good about working with her.  She's knowledgeable in spinning babies, which I've been researching.  She's willing to do some positions with me before labor and helped me go through a birth plan.  I'm holding on to my birth plan loosely, but I really want to focus on baby positioning rather than traditional medical labor augmentation.  I also like that she can come over during early labor to help me know the best time to head to the hospital.  I'd love to do as much laboring at home as possible.

So with my physical therapy exercising and baby positioning, I feel I have a full day of labor conditioning.  I'm also doing perineal massage which is not my favorite, but if it helps this baby come out easier, I'm willing to put in extra work for that.  

My kick counts have still been quick and easy.  When baby is sleeping I feel worried a bit because they take about half an hour instead of the usual 5-10 minutes.  So I try to wake baby up and then kicks are just fine.  Davin teases me that nighttime waking a with a newborn will just be payback for my need to have a quick kick count.

We're getting down to the wire.  Saturday is my due date.  I'd love for this baby to come on time!  Still I'm trying to prepare myself for hanging out here for another week and a half or so.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014


About 20 days left.  I should be loving this unique, only-going-to-happen-once time with my baby.  There are moments I love feeling him or her twirling, stretching, and kicking inside, but more and more I'm feeling done.  When this little one is awake it's constant motion.  My body is not my own.  

The worst of it by far is my pelvic pain.  I don't like saying my pain is bad, but really there are times it's severe.  And it's getting worse.  By the end of the day I shuffle across the room and sometimes have to stop completely to catch my breath.  It's brought me to tears. Laying down only helps if I don't have to move... at all.  I can barely roll over in bed, walking and getting dressed hurt, and last night trying to hang curtains in the nursery I couldn't lift my leg to step on a low stool.  The pain was too intense.  Any motion where I'm moving one leg at a time is excruciating.

I did talk about it with my midwife yesterday, and she said I could go to physical therapy, but I'm unfamiliar with my new insurance and have to figure out if I need an official referral or not before I can go.  She wasn't worried about it affecting labor, but I am.  It's that bad.  Today I'm icing mid-day whereas I usually I can get by without needing that until evening.  

20 days.  Hopefully relief will come quickly after delivery.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Baby Spinning

As I'm researching vaginal birth I'm learning new things about my first labor.  Desmond and I labored 46 hours before he came out via cesarean.  I came across the website spinningbabies.com and the more I read the more I see how Desmond's poor positioning was stalling my labor.  I even read about a swollen cervix on the site which I'd never heard of before and was told it meant I had to deliver via cesarean five and a half years ago.  Not so.  If I had someone who knew ways to encourage proper baby positioning I could have had a very different experience.  Desmond was posterior and couldn't descend properly.

I want to try again.  I'm learning some exercises and stretches I can do even now to encourage proper baby positioning.  I want to chat with my midwife about it tomorrow.  I wonder if they "spin" babies or have other input on what I can do now and during labor.  It would be so nice to birth this baby all in one day.  I'm willing to stand on my head to do it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Practice Contractions

Last night baby was bouncing around inside me for a good two hours.  I didn't even bother counting kicks; there were definitely enough.  Along with the movement I began feeling contractions.  They lasted about thirty minutes, and I knew they had to be Braxton Hicks because it's way too early for me to be in labor.  They were uncomfortable though and coming every minute or two.  It reminded me of laboring with Desmond.  Oh yeah, this doesn't feel good.  Feeling practice contractions made me feel excited and nervous at the same time.  The painful parts of labor fade away over time and it's been five and a half years since I've felt contractions.  This reminded me of the pain.  It gets quite intense.  I really just hope my labor can start and finish all within 24 hours this time.  I can last that long, but the pain and lack of sleep wear on me once day two is in full swing.

I finally got up, drank some water and washed the dishes.  Everything was calm and quiet after that.  I am glad I'm not going into labor this early.  The house isn't clean, groceries are only half purchased, and I don't have my packing list, babysitter info, or birth announcement set up yet.  Better get some of those things checked off my list soon.