Moving on

It’s time for the pregnancy blog to close down. My baby is a month old and pregnancy seems like a million years ago. Just yesterday I tried to remember how badly it hurt to birth and I could no longer recall that information. Rest assured that birth amnesia or not, I am continually reminding myself that it was incredibly, blindingly painful and I will never intentionally impregnate myself ever again. Next month I turn 30 and I am ready for the next phase of my life. I am uber-excited for my 30’s. I am convinced that I will completely find myself and my place sometime during this next decade of life. These next ten years will not include birth control (as Brent is finally getting a vasectomy.) They will not include rushed trips to the pharmacy for a home pregnancy test. They will not include morning fucking sickness or a 65 pound weight gain that renders me unrecognizable to family and friends. These years are mine. I will raise two boys into men and two others into stinky, dirty, video-game-obsessed boys. I will finally lose the baby weight–ALL of it. Not just from this baby, but from the FIRST baby that took me out of a single-digit jean size for the last ten (ten!) years. Oh, no. I’m taking it all back. Amid baby puke and bathtime and laundry and dishes I am going to turn into a kickass 30-something. You just watch.

Enough of the rambling. I’m closing on my first house this week (very 30ish, right?) and Christmas is coming and I’ve got a new blog in the works for anyone who is interested. Please leave a comment if you’d like the address emailed to you.

Goodbye!

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7 comments December 23, 2008

The Other Side of the Glass

1 comment December 16, 2008

Pregnant in America

2 comments December 16, 2008

Last week in photos

What my newborn does all day:

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A breastpump megaphone:

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The sweetest little body I’ve ever seen:

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What you find on your camera after you snatch it out of your 3 year old’s curious little hands:

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3 comments December 15, 2008

In the thick of it

I’m coming to you in between feedings, after fingerfulls of lanolin on cracked bleeding nipples, after double mastitis that hit so hard and fast that I literally thought I might die, after a shower so quick you’d hardly call it a shower, after another inhaled meal before the crying begins again, after nights of broken sleep where I have begged the baby for just 10 more minutes of shut eye, after neverending loads of diaper laundry and ointment and explosive baby poop and changing one outfit only to have the fresh clothing immediately soiled, AFTER MAKING AN OFFER ON A HOUSE AT 8 DAYS POSTPARTUM, after surviving an entire week with my mother-in-law, after 30 pounds lost, a belly still soft like bread dough, a face pale and ashen and looking strange without a speck of makeup, a constant backache and my pelvis still popping around and maxi pads and disolving stitches and a ponytail 24/7 and a head full of numbers and schedules and chores and “must-do’s” and necessities and wants and Christmas coming too soon and scribbled down messages on the backs of my hands and the management of six separate individuals. I am spent and overwhelmed and yet I can hardly find the time to complain because I am too busy falling in love.

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4 comments December 6, 2008

The Birth Pics

View this montage created at One True Media
Jack’s Birth

2 comments November 28, 2008

Jack’s Birth Story

Friday night around 8PM I started having more painful contractions than the ones I had been experiencing for the last several weeks.  We were all sitting around watching a rented movie, eating pizza and pop like every other Friday night.  Brent and I had already decided that Friday night would be the best night to have the baby, so that he could take off the entire weekend and not miss out on any work hours.  The contractions kept coming about every 6 minutes and I finally started thinking that this may be it.  At 10PM, I called the midwife and told her that something may be happening but I wasn’t 100% sure.  She told me that she’d call me back at 11 and see where I was at.  After the hour was up, the contractions were still only 6 minutes apart and they weren’t getting stronger or longer.  The midwife said she would again call back in an hour.  By midnight, the contractions had spaced apart to 10 minutes or so and I was really starting to believe that they were going to fade away.  I told my midwife that we should all just go to sleep and forget about it for tonight.  Everyone at my house went to bed and slept just fine–except for me.  I took a few Tylenol and slept fitfully for maybe 2 hours max before the contractions woke me up.  They hurt like hell, but were completely sporadic with no pattern or rhythm to them whatsoever.  Some of them were 6 minutes apart, some were 20.  In between the contractions, I was having wrenching menstrual like cramping that was absolutely miserable.  All I wanted to do was sleep, but the contractions worsened if I sat down or laid down.  I spent most of that night standing or walking.  By morning, I was completely exhausted and frustrated and I called my midwife to ask her if she would check my cervix for dilation.  This is something that I hadn’t planned on doing at all, but I felt like it would be a good idea to see where I was starting at, in case I had several more days of these inconsistent labor pains.  I knew that at some point, I’d need to hear proof that I was progressing.  I was already beginning to get ideas in my head of wanting the hospital, a whiff of Pitocin and a strong IV narcotic so I could get some rest.  I met the midwife at the clinic at 1:30PM.  She checked me and I was at 4cm.  She suggested sweeping my membranes to see if we could get the contractions to ramp up.  I decided to go ahead with that.  After she swept them, she said I immediately opened to 5-6 centimeters.  On the way home, I started getting contractions 6 minutes apart again.  We got home and after about an hour, I called the midwife and asked her to just come on over and start my IV antibiotics.  We made a decision that if I hadn’t delivered by 8PM, she would just break my water to ensure that the baby would be born that night.  (She was positive that breaking my water would bring forth a baby within an hour or less.)  After I got off the phone with her, I told Brent to fill the birth pool.  With my last birth, I waited too long and didn’t make it into the pool in time.  This time, I wanted to be in the water as much as possible!  He filled the pool and I got right in.  It was awesome and completely took away the pain of the contractions.  Unfortunately, it relaxed me TOO much and my contractions stopped.  I got out of the pool and started walking laps, climbing stairs, squatting and rocking.  By the time the midwife got there, the contractions were completely sporadic and wimpy.  She gave me my IV, which took about 5 minutes and then she did another exam.  I was 7cm dilated with a bulging bag and she swept the membranes once again.  This worked well and they started right back up at 6 minutes apart.  My parents had arrived, two of my boys were home and the midwife and her assistant were all hanging out.  We spent the next couple of hours hanging out, eating and socializing.  I was getting really frustrated that the contractions weren’t getting closer together or getting stronger.  I was also willing my water to break on its own so I could just go ahead and have the baby.  At about 5:30, the contractions started getting to be about 4 minutes apart and I decided to go ahead and try the birth pool again.  I got in and it felt so great!  The midwife and her assistant sat with me in the bedroom and we gossipped and talked for almost another hour.  Every once in awhile, I would check myself to feel how the baby’s head was descending and to see if I could feel the bulging bag of waters.  Brent was in and out of the room, but was bored and restless so he was cooking and doing chores here and there.  My parents hung out in the living room and took care of my 3 year old.  At one point, Brent came in and asked me if I wanted music.  I said yes.  He went downstairs to grab the CD player and while he was gone, I got a contraction that completely overwhelmed me.  It just kept going and going and towards the tail end of it, I felt a popping sensation.  It didn’t feel like my water breaking and I didn’t feel a gush, but the midwife figured it had been my bag of water.  Brent walked into the room as the next contraction was beginning.  He asked me if I wanted to listen to Dido or Sarah McLachlan.  Little did he know what was coming, because I said “DON’T TALK TO ME” and then started screaming.  I had been semi squatting in the pool when I felt the baby’s head barrel down and start to crown.  I sat down and leaned against the side of the pool and heard my midwife say, “Oh Rachael I can see his head!”  She called for everyone to come in and they all flooded into the doorway, with my 3 year old front and center.  I remember looking straight at him and worrying that he was going to be scared or traumatized and I was telling myself to be quiet and calm for his sake.  I tried hard to gain control as the baby’s head crowned.  I was holding my hand on top of his head as it came out, just trying to make sure that he came out slowly.  I didn’t have to push at this point at all.  It was like he was pushing himself out with his own strength and I was just doing my best to slow him down.  I could feel him kicking me as he descended.  His head emerged and there was “ooohs” and “aaahs” from everyone in the room.  My three year old’s commentary was hilarious and can be heard on the video saying, “Babies come out of of mommy’s vaginas!”  and “Woah look at that baby!  That baby is GROSS!”  After Jack’s head was out, I had to wait for another contraction to come in order to push out his shoulders.  That felt like it was taking forever, and no matter how many waterbirths I’ve seen, I was still worried that he was going to drown.  When the next contraction started, I pushed and felt his shoulder pop out.  The midwife reminded me to get him out of the water, and as soon as the rest of his body flopped out, I grabbed him out of the water.  He pinked right up and cried a little and I held him floating in the warm water while he fell asleep until I could feel that my end of the cord had stopped pulsating and asked my midwife to cut the cord before I delivered the placenta.  He scored 10/10 on his Apgars, nursed right away and was 9lbs.,10oz AFTER pooping twice.  In fact, he pooped 13 times within the first 24 hours! I had the same small tear that I always seem to get, and asked the midwife to put in two stitches to ensure that I’d heal well.  This labor was by far my hardest and longest, but was of course, worth every moment of it for the healthy baby and the experience of birthing him myself and into water in our own bedroom. 🙂

6 comments November 26, 2008

He’s here!

Jack Finley Reese was waterbirthed at home into my own hands on November 22, 2008 at 6:35PM.  Labor was a grueling 22 hours long. He weighed 9lbs.,10oz (after pooping twice) and is 21.5 inches long.  Pictures and birth story to follow.

3 comments November 23, 2008

Last night

my contractions were so incredibly painful that we started boiling stockpots of water on the stove in case we needed them to warm up the birth pool.  The kids were promptly put to bed, since the mere sound of their voices was making my pain levels increase rapidly.  The house was tidied up, a nice soothing fire was built and then….they stopped. 

Oh well.  Better luck next time.

3 comments November 21, 2008

39 week appointment

So I saw the midwife appointment for what will hopefully be my last appointment.  My blood pressure is still good and there’s nothing funny in my pee.  No clue what the weight gain is at this point, but I’m assuming it’s around 60lbs.  She felt the baby externally to confirm the position and it appears as if he is truly head down and engaged.  He’s just hanging out on my right side, which isn’t perfect, but will work.  (The left side is optimal).  She doesn’t do cervical checks (and I don’t want one), so we have NO clue if three weeks of contractions has done anything to my cervix.  Her guess is that I am probably doing exactly what I did with Rylan, which was to slowly dilate over the course of several weeks and get most of the work out of the way in spurts and starts.  We anticipate another quick labor when it finally gets down to the nitty gritty.  I’m measuring 40 weeks and Sunday is my due date.  It will be soon!!!  The one thing that is absolutely fantastic is that I am my midwife’s last November client.  All four (!!!) other women who were due in November have already delivered.  This is a huge weight off my back, considering there was some concern that she may miss my birth or that I might have to deliver at her  birth center if I were to go into labor at the same time as someone else.  That is no longer an issue.  Yeah!!!

I woke up feeling insanely nervous about birth, which is weird, considering that Rylan’s birth was fast and easy and smooth sailing.  I guess I just know too much now.  I know that if birth is anything, it is unpredictable.  And I know that somewhere along the line, it will hurt.  It will hurt BADLY.  I’ve just had these ridiculous feelings of “Oh my God, I changed my mind!!!  I don’t want to do this anymore!!!”  Funny, I know.  But probably normal.  I just hope any fear and anxiety I have doesn’t keep my body from laboring.  I would like to see my little boy soon.

Anyway, I’m feeling crampy and awful and nauseated again this evening.  I would get excited and say that it may be early labor, but it’s probably just the 3 pounds of Boy Scout caramel popcorn that I’ve ingested in the last few days.

Add a comment November 21, 2008

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