Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pregnancy: 40 Weeks - Reese's Birth Day!

My story begins with my 39-week check up on 3/13 with my midwife. Assuming this visit would be like all the other visits and very ordinary, I was thrown for a curve ball when my midwife recommended an induction. WHAT?! I was in complete shock and had a zillion questions. Throughout the later weeks of pregnancy I was measuring small by both belly measurements and ultrasound measurements. Over the last several weeks the ultrasound was putting my little one in the 18th, 22nd, and 11th percentile for size. And my ultrasound in week 38 put her in the less than 3 percentile. This dramatic drop was the reason for the concern. This led my midwives to study my file and decide their recommendation. With my baby having a chance of IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) they felt she was better off being delivered soon and getting breast milk instead of being in utero where her growth seemed to be restricted.

After several conversations with my husband and support team, we decided to move forward and err on the side of caution as our midwives rarely make this recommendation. But we truly felt everything was OK and our baby would be just fine either way. But I could never live with myself had I declined and something actually gone wrong and I trust my midwives.

We arrived at the hospital at 5pm on 3/15 (my due date) to begin the induction. That night I started Cytotec suppositories to ‘ripen’ my cervix as I was only 1-2 cm dilated on my own. I had 3 suppositories. The next morning on 3/16 I was 3 cm with contractions 4-6 minutes apart. There was a chance I may not need Pitocin. After waiting a while to see what would happen, and not much did, we started low dose Pitocin to increase contractions. My midwives only use low dose Pitocin to increase the chances of a vaginal delivery with an induction, which I appreciated but it also means a longer labor. I continued to progress VERY slowly. About 10:30pm we called my doula because contractions were intensifying. We also had an apprentice doula that we invited to get more experience. So its me, hubby, my mom and two doulas in my L&D room. At this point I still had hope for a water birth. With Pitocin, a water birth is still possible when I get to 7-8 cm and the Pitocin can be turned off.

I labored all night and contractions continued to increase. My pain level was very intense but with all my support I was able to make it through them. Despite the Pitocin in an IV I was still able to move around pretty well. We were using every tool in the book to manage the pain and get through the contractions (counter pressure, massage, rice sock, guided relaxation, multiple positions, music etc). At one point during the night we turned all the lights on, cranked up some 90’s jams and I danced for a while! It was a great change of pace. And I finally learned that I was having back labor. During each contraction my very low back felt like it was on fire and the only thing that helped was strong counter pressure on that area during the contraction. I was also using a heated rice sock on my back. I didn't feel any pain on my front. I would have sworn my baby was coming out of my back! Early Sunday morning the contractions were consistently 2-3 minutes apart and very strong. I was vocalizing through them and started to get the urge to push. My doula’s told me that I was progressing through the holistic stages of labor and it looked like I was about to need to push so they called the nurse in. The nurse was going to check my cervix before calling the midwife….and this is where the game changes.

We’re all expecting her to say I'm 9 to 10 cm….and she says 5 to 6 cm. WHAT THE HELL???? I was completely in shock and quite frankly devastated. Obviously it wasn’t time to push. Everyone was in shock too because I showed the classic progression signs. By now I’ve been in labor 30 something hours, I hadn’t slept, I was completely exhausted, emotionally drained, and didn’t see how I could continue doing this much longer. I reached my breaking point. My doula talked with me about my options – break my water to progress faster (but this would also greatly intensify the pain level), get Fentanyl to relieve pain and try to rest, get Epidural and break water. At this point I was upset and crying and my doula suggested everyone leave the room but Dean and we had a heart to heart. I told him I was done and I can’t do it any longer. I was tired. I was in pain. I told him I wanted my doctor to go in and get her out, do whatever was the fastest. He was able to calm me down and get it together again. He reassured me and read our affirmation cards to me - You are beautiful and you can do this. Your body was made for this. I can do anything for 6 minutes an hour. Every contraction brings me closer to meeting my baby... (a MUST during L&D!!). He was my rock and together we decided to get the epi. So at 7 am on 3/17 I got the epidural.

Sweet relief!!!!!! Oh my word, what a difference. I felt great. The epidural was perfect. I didn’t feel pain but I could still move and feel pressure. The nurse used a catheter to empty my bladder one time so it didn’t stay in. My midwife broke my water. In choosing an epidural I knew I could no longer have a water birth and could not move around at all (these are some of the reasons why getting and epi wasn't part of my plan). Fine. I accepted that now. The next several hours went by very slowly but much more peacefully. I could feel the contractions but not pain. My nurse told me to let her know when I felt pressure that made me want to poop. So about 1:30 I had that feeling and told the nurse.  My midwife came in and checked me. 10 cm! Thank you Jesus!

A crew came in to prep the room for delivery (is this really about to happen?!) and at 1:45 I began pushing! It felt so good to push and I really gave it my all. My midwife put up the squat bar that I planted my feet on which was amazing. I pushed through 6-7 contractions. I reached down and felt her head as she was coming out. What a head of hair. My midwife was coaching me through the pushes to help avoid tearing if possible. Her head came out…and with the next push her body came out. I did tear because her hand was up and came out with her shoulders – 2nd degree. At 2:12 pm my little precious rainbow was born. She was put on my chest immediately. Oh my God. There just aren’t words. All 40 something hours were absolutely worth it. She is perfect. My life has forever changed. I’m a mom. We're a family.

Reese Monroe Friedland
Born 3/17/13 @ 2:12pm
6lb 4oz, 19 inches

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pregnancy: 38 weeks

How far along: 38 weeks 3 days!!! (11 days and counting! Estimated of course)

Size of baby: About the size of a pumpkin, about 6.8 pounds, and 19 1/2 inches long

Weight gain: 29 pounds

Symptoms: Feeling good...not much to report. Well, Braxton Hicks ('practice' contractions) are in full force but thankfully aren't painful. Just noticeable. My belly tightens up and becomes a perfect hard circle for a minute or so.

Movement: I still love feeling this baby girl move. A few jabs have taken my breath away and I swear she's about to jump out of my skin but obviously that didn't happen. She is now shifting from having her back at my left side to having her back on my right side. But she's still head down, wahoo!  

Preparations for baby: We've hired a doula! What is a doula you ask? Well here you go: 

From dona.org

What is a doula? 
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula
  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level

My birth plan is to have a natural unmedicated childbirth and most likely a water birth. Having this plan we decided to hire a doula who has attended LOTS of births and will be my 'labor coach' to help me have the birth experience I want to have. Most doctors and midwives may come and go during labor but the doula will be there start to finish. 

We are also currently taking a childbirth class. It's a 12 hour course that we're taking every Sunday for 3 weeks. One more class to go so we hope Reese let's us finish our last class on March 10. 

We found our doula and class at Labor of Love (alaboroflove.org). Working with this company has been nothing short of amazing and I'm excited beyond words for labor as I know it will eventually lead to me meeting my little Reese face to face!

And of course there's been more progress on the nursery! I've been painting, recycling and hanging! 

It's only a matter of time now until we get to meet our girl. We're ready when she is but I'm certainly not rushing a thing, I know she will come when the time is right and she's ready to enter this world.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pregnancy: 35 weeks

How far along: 35 weeks 5 days

Size of baby: About the size of a honeydew, about 5.25 pounds, and 18 inches long

Weight gain: 24.5 pounds up! A-okay with me. I can definitely feel the gain and it has thrown my balance off a little bit. And I'm waddling a little now too. 

Symptoms: Still having some acid reflux. I stopped drinking acidic juices which has really helped. But I do miss my OJ. Energy is still very good, wahoo! I definitely feel the shifting and loosening of my hips and I try to move and stretch often. I enjoy doing figure 8's on my exercise ball and bouncing on it. Several people have told me 'she's dropped' which may be true as I do feel her way down there, more pressure, and more potty breaks!

Movement: Reese loves my right side. She is constantly poking and prodding on that side far more than the left. She doesn't have much room these days so I feel even her slightest movements. 

Preparations for baby: My GA baby shower was A-MAZING! Wow, I'm so blessed and thankful. It was so wonderful to see all my guests and we had such a great time. My hosts were fantastic. The guests all made hair bows for Reese and my best friend Julia surprised me with a special 'Friedland Baby Story' slideshow! You can watch it
Kizoa slideshow: Friedland Baby Story! - Slideshow

">here. We will cherish this forever and cannot wait to show our little girl. 

Her nursery is getting closer to complete! We definitely have all the essentials so now I'm focusing on the details and decor. Her custom bedding has been ordered (thanks to Lolli and Pop (my parents)) although it might not arrive until after she's here which isn't a problem. I can't wait to see it, it's going to be gorgeous! Curtains have been ordered too and should arrive on Friday! I got some adorable pink baskets for organization and did her first load of laundry to make all her newborn stuff nice and fresh. :)

I've also packed up her hospital bag. In case you're wondering, here's a list of what's in it. I looked at several lists and put the most common items in my bag. I tend to over pack but I also prefer to be over prepared than under. My bag is in process! 

·      clippers

·      aspirator
going-home outfit

·      2-3 onesies/sleepers
·      hand sanitizer
·      receiving blanket
·      extra diapers
·      hat
·      socks
·      hand mitts
·      Memory book page for hand/foot prints
·      Empty plastic bag for dirty/soiled clothes

Next week I have a water birth class and we are selecting our doula! Very exciting stuff to me!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pregnancy: 32 weeks

How far along: 32 weeks 6 days

Size of baby: About the size of a jicama, about 3.75 pounds, and 16.7 inches long

Weight gain: Haven't checked yet this week but last check was 20 pounds...I'm noticing it in my face and arms now but everyone is very sweet and tells me I'm all belly. Love my friends and family. 

Symptoms: Acid reflux maybe? I'm not sure but sometimes after I eat I burp quite a bit and feel like theres something coming up my esophagus and I might throw up...thankfully no actual throwing up though! And BH are in full force! I can feel them, they aren't painful, I'm just very aware of them. I don't mind at all. My body can do whatever it needs to do to get ready to bring this girl into the world! Prego problems. 

Movement: I'm pretty sure Reese already knows how to swim! I feel her all over my belly now at the same time. I try to guess body parts as she kicks/punches/knees/lunges but I have no idea if I'm right. But she is her most active in the late evening...hmmm...

Preparations for baby: My Florida baby shower was on Sunday and was AMAZING! My MIL and SIL were incredible hosts. Everything was perfect. It was very surreal being the center of attention and all for a baby! Wait...I'm having a baby?! What?! I still don't believe it sometimes. This made it feel more real though...Reese got some incredible things and we're so thankful. The games were awesome and most of all I really enjoyed the company. AND...on Saturday we did maternity pictures with Adam Opris - he's our dear friend and a stellar photographer. We're fortunate to know him! I have one sneak peak pic but I'm so anxious to see the rest! The weather wasn't quite what we hoped for but the rain stopped just long enough for us to get some great shots around the park and Dean's parents community. 

My GA shower is this weekend and I'm really overwhelmed by all the generosity and excitement! My best friend is hosting the shower and I know it will be nothing short of perfect as well. 

And we're making progress on Reese's room! Finally it's coming together. I found some inspiration and I LOVE the direction we're going. The soft pink and gray are simple and elegant which is exactly what I wanted. These are my inspiration pics. 

Random: I turned 29 on 1/22 and it feels amazing to be at the age that I'll have my first child. I'm really looking forward to this year, the year that my family of 2 becomes 3. 

Here are some pics over the last few weeks...

1/20 Baby shower!

12/31Lake Lanier Nights of Lights

Amazing gift! Pack and Play

1/19 Belly on the beach

Reese's armoire

32 weeks!

Shower favor - LOVE these!