Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The birth story.

I will take a (now) rare moment of peace and quiet to share the details of how Henry came into this world.  The story really begins on Friday, July 19th.  I had been going to the OB weekly for several weeks and had been "progressing" for a while.  Without going into too many gross details, my cervix was pretty dilated, indicating I was possibly ready to go into labor at any moment.  Knowing this, JP and I became convinced that Henry wanted out.  We began talking about our various options.  Due to a lot of various reasons, we were really wanting Henry to deliver early, prior to July 31st.  We had been given the option of inducing on July 24th, but I wasn't crazy about the idea.

So...this past week, I had several shifts at work, that were beginning to get a little more uncomfortable.  JP and I were talking about what day we would want Henry to come if we could choose.  Friday the 19th was my day off, so that became Operation: Come on, Henry day.  On the list for the day were various old wives' tales for ways to bring on labor.  The plan for the day included pineapple, a walk that turned into a jog, and spicy Thai food.  We completed our checklist, but I really didn't feel all that different...darn.  We went for dinner and fro-yo with some friends, and still, nothing.  Later that night, I had a couple of strange little crampy sensations throughout the night while getting up every few hours to pee.  (This got ridiculous in the last few weeks).  Although I was sure I WASN'T going into labor, I also felt like things were just different.  

[Insert pause to feed a VERY demanding Henry.  Seriously, he does this Gremlin thing where he gets frantic while he's feeding...it's the funniest thing.]

Saturday morning I got up to go to work, and was talking with JP about what we would do if I went into labor that day.  Again, I just had a funny feeling that I still can't really explain.  JP drove me to work, just in case.  I got to work, and thankfully, while it was steady, it was not crazy busy.  I started having some light cramping in the morning, mixed in with my usual Braxton Hicks contractions.  These started getting a little more uncomfortable around lunch time.  The red flag for me was that I had to force my lunch down.  I really kinda felt sick to my stomach, and the idea of food was pretty terrible.  This was really unusual, especially for these last few weeks, where my appetite had been huge.  I decided to call the answering service for my doctor and she instructed me to count all of my contractions and give her a call back.  I sat down for a few minutes and timed them, and they were coming every 5 minutes like clockwork.  I called JP to come get me and off we went to the hospital.  At this point, these contractions were still not painful, at all.  On the way to the hospital, we didn't call anyone, because I was sure I was going to be sent home and told that I was in "false labor."

We got to the hospital and they hooked me up to the monitors and observed me for around 2 hours.  Although I wasn't progressively dilating, my contractions were getting closer together (2-4 minutes) and were now becoming painful.  By around 6:30 pm, the contractions were painful, but nothing I couldn't handle.  My L&D nurse encouraged me to go ahead and get my epidural (which I'm so thankful for.)  It took almost two hours for me to go through the process of getting the epidural.  Over these next two hours, the contractions were still coming every 2-4 minutes and were getting increasingly more painful.  It took almost all of my energy and concentration to deal with the pain.  The anesthesiologist came to do my epidural, and honestly, the whole process took maybe 4 minutes.  I instantly felt relief, and this wonderful warm, tingling sensation in my legs.  I was confident in my decision to get an epidural before delivery, but now, I know it was the best decision for me.  Seriously, I loved it.  Almost immediately, the ob came and broke my water, and then I slept for the next two hours.  While I was sleeping and not feeling a thing, I was having contractions about every 2-3 minutes and had fully dilated.  About 11 pm, the L&D nurse called the ob to come and deliver me.  I began pushing at 11:18.  Thanks to the epidural, this process was not painful, just required a lot of concentration.  I couldn't really feel my legs or lower abdomen, so I couldn't really feel if I was pushing.  Henry came QUICK.  He was officially born at 11:54, which means I pushed for 34 minutes.  Not bad for a first baby.  

Here's Henry right after delivery:

So cute.  

That's it for now, I'll write again soon to give an update on the first few days at home.  Yay Henry's here!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Back to normal...

So, this may very well be my last post as a preggo...here's hoping anyway!

Updates: I am officially on "any day, any time" status.  I have four shifts left before maternity leave, so hopefully I can make it through those in one piece.

For the past few weeks, I have found myself saying things like, "when things get back to normal," or "when I get my body back," or "I really hope things go back to the way they were."  Now, admittedly, when I say these things, I am mostly talking about my body.  Because realistically, what woman wants her body to be changed forever (especially in a traditionally "bad way") by her pregnancy?  I've been thinking about this a lot this week, and I have felt really convicted about this.  The tough truth here, is that things will NEVER go back to normal.  Our marriage, our home, our perspective, our attitudes will FOREVER be changed.  From here on out, in addition to being a a wife, daughter, sister, I will also be a MOMMY.  There will be a person that will be entirely dependent on me.  While this is kind of a scary thought sometimes, it is an unbelievable honor to know that I have been trusted with this incredible honor of raising a son.  I finally realized, I don't want things to go back to normal.  If that means I gain some pounds, stretch marks, or my belly button never looks the same, so be it.  

I have always been one of those people who has tried to do everything and be everything for everyone.  And honestly, while I know in my head and heart I can't physically do this all the time, a lot of times, I do get pretty close.  Up until a week or two ago, I was working crazy hours, running, and living life pretty much as "normal" as possible.  It was pretty exhausting.  I have to admit, I hit a brick wall.  I was exhausted, I was grouchy, I was miserable.  Although he never said so, or even hinted so, I'm sure JP was miserable also.  I finally came to the conclusion that if I am hoping to be a decent mommy and wife, while also working, I have to give up this idea of "as close to perfection as possible."  I have been trying to let go of the reins a little over the last couple of weeks and give myself a break: if I'm tired, I sleep; if I'm hungry, I eat; if I don't feel well, I let myself have a lazy day.  This has been hard.  It goes against everything I have always tried to be and do.  But for my health, my family's well being, I know this is a change that must be made.  

JP sent me a great article about "first world parenting" that you can read here, if you're interested.  The gist of the article, basically, is that pinterest is evil.  Haha.  Not really.  I love pinterest, but it's definitely a love/hate relationship.  I worry for my generation of mommies, and for the kiddos that are being raised under this pinterest mantra.  Now, on one site, in one place, you can compare yourself to thousands of women that are "doing life" better, thinner, cleaner, more organized, and more creatively than you.  As if women need one more influence telling them they are failing.  Again, I am not advocating a boycott of pinterest, as I still frequent the website a few times a week.  But I use the grain of salt mentality.  I use it only to improve myself not to compare myself to others.  I hope that in the midst of our culture, I can raise a child who is thankful, who shares, and who is gracious with his imperfect mama.  Not everything will be handmade and homemade.  Not every snack will be simultaneously healthy, cut into tiny pieces and miraculously a piece of artwork at the same time.  

To wrap this blog up: I am a hodge-podge of emotions this week... I am:
EXCITED to start a new life adventure.
SCARED that I will permanently scar my child.
NERVOUS that despite my preparations and research I will have no idea what I'm doing.
GRATEFUL that I have a supportive husband, family and friends so I don't have to do this all on my own.
IMPATIENT for Henry to just come on already :)
RELIEVED that I am full term and myself and Henry continue to be healthy.
FRUSTRATED at times that I am limited physically by my belly, my energy.

I have learned so much these past nine months.  I hope every woman has as beautiful a time as I have.  And I hope Henry likes me.  That's all for now...here's hoping to a speedy, painless and convenient delivery :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Maternity pics!

So here is a peek at our maternity pictures we took a couple of weeks ago.  All credit goes to Grace Hill Photography, who did an awesome job at capturing such beautiful pics!  So, this is me around 34.5 weeks at about 6:30 in Houston....needless to say, I felt huge and hot and not cute whatsoever....but luckily the pictures turned out well.  So glad we decided to capture this time of life together and celebrate our last few weeks before our family of 2 becomes a family of 3.

So, without further ado...here are a few of our favorites:

A tribute to the city we love and call "home"

We have a secret...and his name is Henry.

Love this!

And the battle begins...

Will he be a Bear or a Razorback?

We love our little nugget.