Peanut's birth story

{ Wednesday, November 28, 2012 }
I have no excuse for taking almost six weeks to type up this story, except that, you know, the newborn.  And the toddler.  They're taking up some time.  Anyway, here goes.

I think I posted here that I had been having contractions on and off for a couple days before Peanut was born. I kept calling the midwives thinking I was getting ready, but the contractions would then stop.  Finally, Thursday evening I had bloody show and went to bed with contractions that were 6 mins apart.  I woke up at 11:30 still having them (every other night they had stopped when I slept) and they were a bit more uncomfortable.  I slept on and off all night and they kept coming, but they weren't getting closer together or more intense.  We decided to keep bean home from school Friday just in case and sent her to stay with our neighbor for the day.

41 weeks

We already had a nonstress test scheduled for 10am so we went to that--baby looked good and I was contracting away at 4cm.  They sent us home to rest and told us to call when contractions were 4 mins apart.  We went out for breakfast and then the boy decided to go next door to play with the bean while I napped on the couch.  At some point around 1pm I realized I was no longer sleeping through the contractions and was needing to focus when I had one.  I decided to take a shower and thank god I thought to text the boy before I did.  At this point I felt like something was different--I was having to really concentrate to get through the contractions and was keeping my eyes closed between them--really starting to focus inward.  The boy came home and asked how far apart they were, but I couldn't pay attention to timing them.  The boy timed a couple at 4mins and one at 3mins, so we headed back to the midwive's office.

We arrived at 2pm and I still felt like we had a lot of time, so we were both shocked when the midwife checked me and I was 7-8cm.  We headed upstairs to the birth center and the boy started calling people to hurry and meet us there.  I got in the tub and labored there for about 1/2 hr.  The whole experience was so different from the bean--I was focusing to get through contractions but then just having normal conversations and joking between them.  I still felt like we would be there for hours.

At some point when I was in the tub, things changed again and the pressure in my pelvis was too intense.  I got out and the midwife suggested I sit on the birth ball.  That really helped for about 4-5 contractions and then I started to feel pushy.  I had been telling everyone for 9mos that I did NOT want to push on my back but for some reason I turned to the boy and said, I'm gonna do it on my back!  I just felt like I didn't want to hold myself up anymore.  The boy argued with me and we never really settled the matter before a huge contraction hit that made me stand right up.

With the next contraction, I leaned on the boy's shoulders and pushed.  I felt my membranes bulge and then my water burst all over the boy's feet.  I don't really know why but I got a little hysterical after that (although I laugh so hard now thinking back on the expression on the boy's face).  I remember the midwife telling me that everything was OK, that my water had just broken and I was saying I know, I know, but still kinda freaking out.

I climbed up on the bed on my hands and knees, fully intending to flip over onto my back, but another contraction came and I had to push.  I heard the boy ask if the baby was crowning and the midwife said no, but before we knew it I had another contraction and I felt his head.  Another push and the head was out.  One more each for the shoulders and the body and peanut was born.  Six pushes and six minutes after my water broke!  Out of all the positions I could have been in, I had not planned to push on my hands and knees but there really wasn't time to think that through.  There also wasn't time to set up the video recorder, or the mirror that I had wanted so I could see the birth.  Although my total labor was 16hrs, I was able to pretty much ignore the contractions until the last 3hrs, so it felt like it went very fast.

Peanut was born at 3:45pm.  Bean had planned to help catch him, but in the end she was nervous about how much noise I was making and she didn't want to touch the blood so she just watched.  She actually wouldn't touch the Peanut until we had him all cleaned and dried because she didn't want any blood on her.  We spent so much time preparing her for the birth and for her new brother, but I guess we didn't talk enough about that!  Because of her reaction, I was worried she'd be upset, but she got over it quickly and she's pretty excited now that she got to see it.  She loves her baby brother so much!


{ Sunday, October 21, 2012 }
Baby boy peanut
10lbs 11.5oz 22.5in

Still here

{ Saturday, October 20, 2012 }
(I wrote this 3 days ago but never got around to publishing it. Spoiler alert-the peanut arrived yesterday!! Details to come.)

I'm just over a week overdue and still waiting. We've been stepping up our efforts to get this boy out-evening primrose oil, red raspberry leaf tea, long walks, castor oil packs, and acupressure. Yesterday I had my first membrane sweep-I was 70% effaced and 3 cm dilated which felt encouraging. I went to sleep last night expecting to be in labor by morning but nada. I looked back at my notes from the bean's pregnancy and realized that I was at about the same dilation, although almost a week further along, when I had my first membrane sweep with the bean and went into labor that night. I know it must be soon. The contractions I've been having have become more frequent and more intense over the last few days and I keep thinking it must be any minute now.

This evening I'll have an acupuncture treatment and, if I'm still pregnant by Friday, a second non-stress test along with another membrane sweep.

I'm trying so hard to enjoy these last few moments of being pregnant (ever!), but its so hard when there's all this pressure to get him out before the deadline.

I'm also feeling so guilty about not being able to pick up the bean, or to even bend over to help her get her shoes on or reach something off the floor. I keep promising her that once the baby comes, I'll be able to do these things again, but then I think oh after I heal and then after I recover from all that sleep deprivation of having a newborn and oh yeah, when the baby isn't sleeping in my arms or nursing. I know it will be an adjustment but we'll figure all this stuff out eventually. I'm just already feeling badly that I may break some of these promises.

And I just can't end on that negative note because, oh my goodness are we all excited to have a new little baby in the house. To squeeze that little peanut and kiss baby toes and fingers and watch him sleep and yawn-yay! The bean has already professed her love for this little guy and has so many plans for what she plans to teach him and what they'll play together and how much she can't wait to help change diapers. Also, the upside to being so overdue? We are so ready! We are working through the things on the to do list that I thought we wouldn't have time to finish. So yay for that! (And please come soon, peanut!)

40 weeks

{ Wednesday, October 10, 2012 }
The peanut's due date was two days ago and it seems that, like his sister, he's going to make us wait. I remember with the bean how, over those two weeks between her due date and her birth, we became more and more desperate to get labor started and avoid an induction.  I am really trying this time to be calm and patient and trust that the peanut will come in his own good time, but of course every day feels like an eternity when you're waiting for an overdue baby.

I've been feeling for days (weeks?) that the peanut could come any day.  I've been having lots of "practice" contractions that sometimes become regular and painful and then fade away for a few hours.  Its led to a few false alarms for us!  Part of the anxiety, I'm sure, is the conventional wisdom that second babies come early.  We were half expecting this peanut to arrive before his due date, so we've been on edge for weeks already now.

And, of course, the whole "being patient and letting the peanut come in his own time" thing will likely only last a couple more days before we start all of the natural labor induction techniques that we can think of.  We have been cleared to birth at the birth center, but we are not allowed to birth there after 42 weeks, so there's some urgency here.  Of course, it will all work out one way or the other.  I can't wait to see what day the peanut chooses for his birthday!

Belly belly belly

{ Wednesday, October 03, 2012 }
I know I've been remiss in posting belly pics, so I'm here to overwhelm you with a large number of pictures of me.  I also wanted to share the few maternity clothes that I've made, so I'm combining that here.

About maternity clothes--aren't they horrible?  I walked around for most of my pregnancy with the bean feeling frumpy in clothes that were way too big and unflattering.  I wanted to save money by buying clothes that would last me throughtout my pregnancy but they were all too big in my second trimester and you know what I've decided this time around?  There's nothing that looks flattering during the third trimester.  At least on me.  So this time around I bought just a few more fitted things that did not look like tents on me and sewed myself a couple things to fill in.

I bought the pattern for this top after seeing some really cute maternity versions online.  I decided to make a nursing top as a test in a size larger than I would normally wear.

This got me through the beginning of the second tri, but I'm also hoping the extra room will serve me well while I'm sporting some baby weight this winter.  These pictures are at 18 weeks.

The pattern for this dress is from Handmade Beginnings and is covering a 27 week belly.  I added a ruffle at the bottom because the hem started to feel immodest as the belly grew.  This dress also has a nursing panel, but there's so much fabric gathered at the front that I'm not sure I'll wear it much postpartem without taking it completely apart and reworking the skirt, which probably won't happen if I'm being honest.

I found this shirt on clearance and bought it a size bigger than I would normally wear. I just added a row of elastic under the bust and it was a super comfy top for the second trimester, but it didn't take long before my belly started peeking out of the bottom, as you can see in this shot from 29 weeks.

And here's the maternity version of the nursing top I made.  This top is a whopping three sizes larger than I would normally wear plus I added a few extra inches on the sides and to the front length to accomodate a belly. 

At first I thought it was too big, but I underestimated how big the belly could get, as you can see here at 32 weeks.

And finally, nothing homemade, but this is my favorite maternity top today at 39 weeks.  I really can't imagine getting any bigger--baby boy, please come soon!

Third Birthday

{ Friday, September 07, 2012 }
Its been a few months since we celebrated the bean's third birthday, but I'm very excited to share some pictures from her party.

We started the day bright and early making a new line on the bean's growth chart.

She was so happy that she was three (feet tall) on her third birthday!

Then off to the park, which has become a birthday location tradition.  The bean had requested an elmo theme, which you know I got a little carried away with.

Here's the bean sampling all the food before the guests arrived.

We couldn't find an elmo bounce house, so the bean chose a disney princess bouncer.  I wish we had been able to get a good picture of it--it was quite impressive to see all that pink in the middle of the elmo party!

The kids spent most of their time in the bounce house, but we also had a craft, pin the nose on elmo, and the bean's aunt did some amazing face painting.

The princess theme (sub theme?) didn't stop at the bounce house--the bean also wanted an ice cream cake with all the princesses on it.  How could we say no on her birthday?

By her third birthday, I finally got around to making the birthday crown I've been planning forever.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  Its a little big, but hopefully she'll grow into it!

It was such a whirlwind day--we never did get a shot of the three of us together, but I really like this one of the boy and I.  Also, no bump shots all day.

It wasn't until we were all getting ready for bed that we realized we hadn't taken our birthday sign picture, so we stepped out on our deck and tried to get a quick shot as the sun was going down.

Peanut is . . .

{ Monday, June 11, 2012 }
a Boy!!!!

And, of course, more importantly he is growing and developing just as he should be.  He is measuring a week and a half ahead, but we aren't concerned (his sister took about six months to drop down onto the growth chart--apparently, I grow them big).

Its so hard not to compare things to my last pregnancy and so I keep counting months and remembering that at this stage last time, the boy and I were getting married, renovating a house, and moving.  Don't get me wrong, I have many projects planned for this summer, but I am moving so much more slowly this time around!  Of course, part of it is that nothing gets done quickly with a toddler around, but I'm also finding myself stopping to rest at a frequency I only remember from the last month of my first pregnancy.

Also?  Its HOT.  We are just a couple weeks away from the bean's birthday, which means I was walking around in a tent dress with the air conditioning on full blast, taking naps on the couch, and complaining loudly this time three years ago.  Its hard to imagine making it through two and half more months of summer as I keep getting bigger and bigger, but I have little choice in the matter.

I am carrying baby boy very, very low (because everything is stretched out?) which is interesting.  I feel many more kicks and movements now than I did with his sister, but they are all so very low.  His position seems to be contributing to the pain I'm feeling in my back and legs and also making it difficult to bend or reach forward.  All stuff I associate with later in pregnancy, so its odd to be experiencing it now in the middle of the second trimester.

Its also strange to me that there aren't a lot of preparations for us to make this time around.  I keep wanting to make lists of baby essentials, but we already have most everything I could list, since we purchased things for the bean with the idea of reusing them for a sibling.  We won't be taking any childbirth classes or hospital tours this time around, so I just have some fun knitting and sewing projects to tackle along with so much organizing around the house.  And maternity clothes.  I've been sewing a lot of my maternity clothes since finding cute clothes to buy is so difficult.  Stay tuned for pictures of those soon!

19 Weeks

{ Friday, May 25, 2012 }
Now that I'm solidly in my second trimester, things are finally starting to feel real. My biggest fear with having a second child was not how hard it would be to take care of two kids, but taking care of just one while experiencing the same morning sickness I had when I was pregnant with the bean. I was terrified of it, but mercifully it was not as bad. I definitely did feel sick and worn out, but I was able to work through it and the bean and I made it through. I kept obsessively checking my journal from when I was pregnant with the bean to see when the morning sickness got better. It was 16 weeks with the bean and a little bit earlier this time-probably 14 weeks.  Thank goodness we are through that part and I'm feeling better and getting my energy back.  There were a rough couple weeks in there were we were in pure survival mode, I imagine we'll be familiar with that mode again in a few short months!

Now I'm in that middle part of pregnancy where you sometimes forget that you're pregnant until you catch yourself in the mirror. Well, also this time around I've been accidentally overdoing it and being reminded that I'm pregnant by my body which has insisted I take it easy.  When I was pregnant with the bean, I was working on my feet all day so I worried that I wouldn't be getting as much exercise this time.  Of course, I completely underestimated how physical taking care of a toddler is.

Now that I'm able to feel this peanut moving around, it's starting to become more real. Honestly, it's been pretty difficult to imagine having a second child who is different from our first. I know that sounds strange, but I guess the only experience I have to base having a child on is the bean, so that's what I think of when I think of having another baby. I have to keep reminding myself that this child will have his or her own personality and likes and dislikes. It's amazing, but pretty hard to picture at this point.

Because there were some concerns during my pregnancy with the bean, we had several ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy and were able to find out that she was a she at 16 weeks. This time, things look fine and we hopefully won't need those ultrasounds, so it's been a long time since we had a peek at this peanut. In just a couple days, we'll have our level II ultrasounds and get to check this little one out and check that everything looks OK.  (We'll also find out the gender).

We've been taking belly pictures every week or so and I've been comparing them to the pictures from when I was pregnant with the bean. I know my belly is supposed to pop out sooner, but everything looks pretty similar up to this point. I've been waiting to post pictures here until there was something to show you!

Here I am this time around at 6 weeks

And 18 weeks
And this is 19 weeks with the bean, pretty similar, right?

Bean update

{ Wednesday, May 23, 2012 }
Now that our bean is on the verge of turning three, I'm finding parenting to be much more challenging.  Of course, this is the "terrible twos" cliche, and I think for me its mostly about trying to adjust to this ever changing little girl.  I know the first year of parenting, things change rapidly and it was tough, but we were able to adjust to give her what she needed, even as it was constantly changing.  Then, things settled down a bit and the changes started coming a bit further apart, and I think I've just stopped expecting them.

Or perhaps I'm just expecting too much out of our bean.  Somedays she puts on her own shoes, cleans up her own toys and patiently stands still while I brush her teeth.  Other days, there's chaos and things being thrown at me and straight up refusal to do things that I know she's capable of and I'm just . . . confused.  Knowing that there are lines that need to be drawn but wondering where to draw them and wondering how much consistency there should be.  Yesterday, it was perfectly acceptable for me to cut her waffle for her, but today doing so results in screaming and crying.  Its hard to keep up.  As always, we are trying to make our way and figure this all out together.  Its a rollercoaster for sure.  Three years old is going to be exciting and maybe a bit scary, but hopefully it'll be really fun too.

At this age, the bean still loves music and dancing.  Its interesting to me that this has seemed to be a constant throughout her short life so far--she's always been calmed my music and singing and started singing and dancing around herself as soon as she was able to.  She now attends a weekly music class that she loves and enjoys having impromptu dancing sessions in our living room.  She's also started making up her own songs about things that are happening around her.  Who knows if this will continue to be an interest of hers, but its so fun to watch it develop and to encourage it for now!

The bean is starting to learn the days of the week and I've taught her that Saturday means "no work, no school and Mommy stays home all day!' which is so exciting for her.  My work days are typically at the end of the week, so Saturday is truly a day off for all of us and she gets so excited for the boy to be home, because that always means playing all day (sadly, there are a lot more chores to be done on the days that I stay home with her).

A few months ago we finally gave in and got the bean her first haircut.  We were resisting the upkeep that comes with bangs, but finally decided that something needed to be done to keep all that hair out of her face and we now wish we had done it sooner.  I love the bangs!  (In these pictures, I see she's due for another trim--all that upkeep!)

This update is so very random, but I'm trying to quickly get all these things down while I have a minute to blog.  Let's see . . . the bean is very excited about becoming a big sister.  I'm almost wishing we had waiting a bit longer to tell her because its so hard for her to wait.  We talk all the time about how she's going to help change the baby's diapers and hold it and feed it.  She's even told me that I'll get a turn holding the baby too--how lucky am I?

Oh baby

{ Monday, April 30, 2012 }
I have been away from this space for such a long time. Its not that I haven't had much to say--I have so many things I've wanted to talk to you about, but what's been on my mind has been too painful to get out and that's babies. Specifically one more baby. For us.

It has never been our intention for the bean to be an only child. Well, OK, there was that period of time immediately after the bean's birth when I turned to the boy and said that I was never going to do that again! But that faded. After a few months I started to think that maybe I could go through it all again. We had hoped for two children, two years apart, so we started trying again when the bean was 18 months old. Even then, I'm not sure either of us were quite ready, but we knew we'd have 9 months to get used to the idea.

I got pregnant easily with the bean and I think we were both hoping that would be the case the second time. We were very superstitious about doing things the way we had with the bean--we inseminated at home, with no assistance from our doctor. This was the way we wanted it--just the two of us doing this thing together (and occasionally the bean waking up at inopportune moments). We soon learned that was not to be. I didn't get pregnant. Over and over again, it didn't work. I was still nursing the bean, so we started the long process of weaning. I still didn't get pregnant.

Our supply of samples from our donor started dwindling and we asked for help. I tried to hold on to my idea of getting pregnant on an unmedicated cycle, but we soon decided that we would throw all the medical interventions we could at this problem. Triggered ovulation, timed inseminations, Clomid. Nothing. We were down to our last try before we would have to make the impossible decision of whether we would spend all our savings on an IVF cycle with no guarantee of a baby or spend all our savings on an adoption with no guarantee of a baby, or just give up. In my mind, I had already given up. Even before the bean was born, I spoke to myself and to the boy about our children. They. There had always been two. I started talking myself into the idea of the bean being an only child and looking for the positives in that.

Our last cycle, we decided to try injectable drugs, which significantly increase the risk of multiples. We love multiples and if we had them, we would love the heck out of them, but we are also aware of the increased risks associated with a multiple birth. (Including the risk of losing your mind trying to take care of more than one newborn!) I had resisted injectables for that reason, but here we were, at the end of the road. So there I was, dutifully injecting my belly, sometimes multiple times a day, until I could no longer find a spot to inject in that wasn't bruised. I went to the doctor every couple days and had more blood drawn than I can keep track of. All the while, I had no hope.

I don't think I ever mentioned this here, but when it became clear that the bean wasn't interested in weaning at 18 month, I decided I would nurse through pregnancy. I had gotten comfortable with this idea to the point of being disappointed when I ended up weaning. I always felt that I would regret weaning before the bean was ready, especially if it ended up that I couldn't get pregnant again. I felt this regret so deeply, and believed so fully that I wouldn't get pregnant, that I decided to start nursing again even before we found out the results of our injectables cycle. I was actually shocked that we were able to get back to nursing after having been weaned for several months, but I was also very pleased.

Now, forgive me, but I have to tell this part of the story in even more excrutiating detail because I love it so much. I woke up 11 days after insemination and took a pregnancy test, which was negative. This was our 7th attempt in over a year and even more than the others, this negative devastated me. Fate has spoken, only one child for you. (Which is a huge blessing! We are so lucky to have even one! But we really wanted two.) I was taking medication that should be stopped if I wasn't pregnant, but continued if I was. I waited a couple days, until the day my period was due and took another test, fully expecting it to be negative, but I needed to confirm before I stopped the medication.

The boy and I were both in the bathroom getting ready and I set the test down on the counter while it developed. The boy glanced over at it and said, "Hey, what's that?" For some reason, I thought it was a joke and I was upset. How can you joke about this when my feelings are still so raw? I picked up the test and squinted at it and saw a shadow. A little faint ray of hope that darkened before my eyes into a reality that we had hoped for for so long.

Because I had started the process of convincing myself this would never happen, I've spent the last several months trying to convince myself that it is happening. Test after test, ultrasound after ultrasound. Are you really in there peanut?

And, oh the irony, that I weaned our bean in order to get pregnant but didn't get pregnant until after I relactated and started nursing again!