Birth Story Part 2

For part 1 click here.

For some unknown reason I thought it would be a great idea to lay down on our bed with my head at the foot of the bed. So when Yolanda said she could see our baby’s head, I was not moving! This led to a bit of an extra unexpected challenge, mostly for Ben, but we’ll get there in a minute..

Yolanda said that when I felt the next contraction that I could push. This was the moment I had dreamed about. I was so excited to push after trying so hard not to push for the last hour. I was excited to get some relief and was even more excited because I knew baby would be here soon!

I pushed with all my might with that next contraction, and the contraction after that and the one after that.

Ben grabbed all the pillows he could find and used them to prop me up and keep me comfortable in between contractions. If I would have been laying the right way in the bed I could have leaned on our headboard, but I wasn’t thinking logically so I didn’t do that! Ben was sitting on my right side and I was pulling myself up using both of my arms on one of his arms during each contraction.

Yolanda kept me updated with baby’s progress into this world and shocked me by saying baby had a ton of hair! At some point Yolanda used a mirror to show me our baby. This was wonderful motivation!

I feel like I was pushing for an eternity with little progress. The contractions weren’t painful anymore and I barely felt them. I was quickly becoming exhausted and remember saying at one point that I can’t do this. It was then when Ben really stepped up and helped me through the pushing. I remember just staring at him and he could help me without even saying anything.

I’m working the hardest I have ever worked in my entire life when all of a sudden I hear a cell phone go off after receiving a text. I actually kind of got mad because I told Ben weeks before I wanted our phones on silent but looking back now I think Ben was a little busy so I can’t blame him. It was our friend, Lauren, who was asking me if their was any signs of baby because, well, Ben and I tried to coax out baby the night before. ūüôā

I knew Ben checked the message but what I didn’t realize until hours later was that Ben actually texted her back.

The conversation went like this.

Lauren: So… any signs of that baby?
Ben: I can see the head!
Lauren: Haha! If that were true you would definitely not be texting me (she thought I was responding and didn’t know Ben was).

(half an hour later) Wait, are you serious??

(another half an hour later) Your non-response had me suspicious and excited all at the same time…ahhhhhhhhhhh

While Ben was texting Lauren I continued working my hardest to meet our baby.

Then all of a sudden major progress was being made and Yolanda told me how important it was to listen to her and do what she said. It was the best advice she could give me and I worked so hard to follow her instructions as I pushed so hard to deliver our sweet baby’s head. Yolanda urged me to put my hand down to feel my baby and I remember feeling baby’s wet hair and I believe it was about then that tears filled my eyes.

I watched Ben and his eyes as the love began to fill his eyes. This was the moment we had been waiting for. Pushing really had a purpose now and I carefully listened to Yolanda as she instructed me to push lightly, push hard, stop pushing and over a few more pushes I grabbed down and brought our child into this world. Our blue, squishy, slick baby was born at 10:10am on April 1st, 2013 after 8 hours of labor which includes one hour of pushing.

Yolanda quickly rubbed down our baby with a towel and covered baby up. Our baby quickly grabbed my finger as he/she rested on my chest. Ben and I both were crying as we watched our baby begin to cry. At this point we had no idea if we had a son or daughter but Yolanda did. After a few minutes of staring and touching and kissing our baby we found out this baby was a boy! Our Miles. Now things really felt real because this child, our child, had a name!

I had hoped to let a good amount of time go by before we had to cut the cord but due to my blood type we couldn’t so Daddy cut the cord a few minutes after Miles was born. I held on to our sweet boy while I delivered the placenta. I was nervous about this because I had just given birth to a chunky baby and wasn’t sure what to expect. Yolanda comforted me by saying I just gave birth to a baby filled with bones and the placenta doesn’t have any so I wouldn’t need to exert a ton of energy. She was right.

I’m going to share some not so pretty details but this is my way of documenting the birth so I don’t want to leave out anything.

Yolanda showed Ben and I the placenta and talked about it with us. She described different areas of it and then shared how she knew I delivered the entire placenta, how nothing was left behind. Yolanda then cleaned me up as I continued to hold Miles. Then came one of my least favorite parts of labor/delivery – moving! Remember my head is at the foot of the bed so eventually I would have to move. I was sitting on an absorbent pad (the kind used for bed wetters…) and Yolanda grabbed unto the pad from both sides and together we had to move me to the correct side of the bed. Because of the adrenaline I wasn’t in much pain after birth until that moment, ouch.

Then came another fun part, Yolanda squished and pushed on my uterus to make sure it stayed contracted and I didn’t continue to bleed. She continued to do this on and off for the next few hours and it was super uncomfortable.

It was around this time that Ben called both our moms to share the news that Miles had arrived. Ben told them we would call them later when we wanted them to come and visit. My brother was too antsy so my family came from Kalamazoo right away so they would be in town when we made the call to come and visit.

Miles then nursed for the first time as we lay skin to skin for the first few hours after his birth. Yolanda left us alone for a few hours and put away our dishes, completed paperwork, cleaned up after the birth, etc. She came in to check on us occasionally and push again on my uterus but it was only for a moment or two before she was gone again. On one of our visits, Yolanda scoured our fridge and brought Ben and I some fruit to eat and then brought me some juice.

Ben took a photo of Miles nursing and sent it to our family and some friends to announce that Miles had arrived. Ben sat next to Miles and I as he read all the messages to me.

I knew how it important that first nursing session was and how vital skin to skin contact was for Miles and myself so Miles hung out on my breast for a long time until about 12:30pm when Yolanda came in to weigh, measure and check over Miles.

Here is Yolanda.

IMG_4108Checking Miles’ head, spine, and limbs.

IMG_4109Miles was less than thrilled by all this poking and prodding so Yolanda took a few minutes to snuggle and warm up our boy before continuing.
IMG_4112Next up was checking Miles’ lungs. Yolanda said she could hear they were working well because of the way Miles was screaming!

IMG_4116I did my best to sooth him from a distance but he was beyond comforting at this point.
IMG_4117Then came the part I was most excited for, to see how big our baby was! He seemed pretty chunky so I couldn’t wait to hear the official numbers.
IMG_4118 8 pounds, 8 ounces! That is a lot of baby considering I’m only 5 feet 2 inches tall! I was about the same when I was born and Ben weighed almost 11 pounds. I was thankful for a “bigger” baby but even more grateful that Miles wasn’t as big as his daddy was at birth!

IMG_4119

Daddy took all these pictures and this is by far my favorite from those first few hours of Miles’ life.

Then Yolanda dressed Miles in his first diaper, outfit, socks and hat. We had a neutral outfit picked out for Miles but when it came time to dress Miles Ben ran into the nursery and came back with this instead.

This outfit was one of the few outfits we bought before our baby was born. It came in a pack with three other striped onesies and we fell in love with them! They were a bit too boyish but we didn’t care – turns out it didn’t matter!

IMG_4125Now that Miles was nice and warm and had lots of skin to skin time with Mommy it was finally time for Daddy to hold Miles. I couldn’t believe we had gone a few hours without Ben holding Miles but in all honestly that time flew by and it felt like only minutes.

Ben wanted to continue the skin to skin time with Miles so he took off his shirt before reaching for his son.
IMG_4126I had waited for this moment for so long. I couldn’t wait to watch Ben become a dad and knew my heart would melt when I watched him holding his baby for the first time. I wasn’t disappointed. Ben looked so comfortable holding Miles for the first time – like he was made for this. Ben is such a fantastic and supportive husband that I knew he would make a spectacular father.
IMG_4128Ben and Miles spent some time together while I put on one of Ben’s shirts and then continued to admire Ben and his love for his son. I then got some more snuggle time with Mr. Miles.
IMG_4132At some point Yolanda left our home and then we were left alone with our little family. Yolanda suggested taking a few hours to ourselves, shower, eat, and soak up this time together. Miles was quite exhausted so we put him in his pack and play and then I showered while Ben cleaned up the bedroom a bit to prepare for when our family started to arrive.
IMG_4135 IMG_4136My shower felt amazing. Ben helped me get into and out of the shower and also had to help me get dressed but overall I was feeling pretty well. The adrenaline was still pumping through my body so I wasn’t feeling too terrible at this point yet. After my shower I got some more snuggle time with Miles as we called our families and told them they could come visit.
IMG_4138Miles was so pink a few hours after birth.
IMG_4139Daddy also got in some more snuggles with Miles before our family came and we had to share Miles.
IMG_4140Miles’ Birth Stats

APGAR at one minute: 9/10

Miles lost one point for still being blue at the one minute check

APGAR at five minutes: 10/10

                                                         Born April 1st, 2013

10:10am

8 pounds, 8 ounces

20 1/2 inches long

Birth Story Part 1

As I write this I am watching my nine week old boy starting to doze off in his bouncer. I am still in shock that our baby is here, my son, is here. After his birth I knew I wanted to take in this time and to take a break from the blog. But I’m back and will pick up where I left up so I can document my sweet boy and the beginning of his life.

Here is his story, in more detail than you might care to know… this is your warning. ūüôā

My parents came downstate for a few reasons; to bring some of Justin and Tia’s belongings back up North with them because they were moving back at the end of April and to visit us for my Mom’s Spring Break. They came into town on the Saturday before Easter. The plan was for them to spend a few days with Justin and Tia and then spend a few days with us. They hoped that our baby would be born during ¬†the week but with my due date at the end of their stay, I just knew baby wouldn’t come in time.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

Ben and I had a very busy Easter. We attended church in the morning then went to his parents’ house for a delicious meal. At this point of my pregnancy my carb intake was minimal but because it was a special day I did eat half a baked potato. Then my parents, brother and future sister-in-law came into town. Together we made an Easter dinner and then spent some time dying Easter eggs and playing Ticket to Ride. During dinner I helped myself to more carbs; crescent rolls and two helpings of cheesey, bacon mashed potatoes.

DSCF6551 DSCF6553 DSCF6560My mom snapped this picture of me and the baby bump at the end of Easter Sunday. It would be the last photo of me pregnant.
DSCF6568My family left around 9pm and after cleaning up a bit, Ben and I went to bed. A few hours later I woke up with the strongest urge to pee and pee NOW. I quickly looked at the clock and noticed it was 1am and that I haven’t been sleeping for very long. I went to the bathroom but still felt the urge to go. I went back to bed but the feeling was so strong that I got up almost instantly to go to the bathroom again. This time more liquid came out.

It was at this point that I grabbed my Yoga ball and decided to spend some time on the computer until the feeling went away so I could go back to sleep. I was a little concerned about the extra liquid that just left my body and I decided to ask the ladies in a Facebook group that I am a member of. The Facebook group is filled with women who all had April due dates. I explained what happened and one mom said it sounded like baby would be here soon and a few others agreed.

As an hour passed by I started to feel quite uncomfortable and was having what I believed to be contractions. I woke up Ben at some point and then he went back to sleep. Around 2am I woke him up and asked him to be with me.

I started feeling more and more uncomfortable as the minutes went by. I now knew that I was having contractions but I wasn’t too excited yet. Even if this was early labor, I knew I could be in labor for hours or even days before baby arrived or that labor could stop all together.

Over the next few hours I worked with the contractions on all fours, on the Yoga ball, over the couch, leaning on a wall, bending over the kitchen counter and anywhere else I felt comfortable. I did my best to walk around the apartment and Ben did his best to keep me comfortable. Ben was timing my contractions and providing me drinks from a V8 juice box. We still weren’t convinced I was in real labor, at least I wasn’t.

Ben was suppose to go into work at 4am and he called work a few times letting them know that I was having contractions and if they continued he would not be coming in. Eventually he made the call and said he wouldn’t be coming in early but would continue to update them if he was coming into work for his regular scheduled time at 7am.

We weren’t sure when to call our midwife and since I figured I’d be in labor for FOREVER, we waited until a reasonable time to call her. It was difficult for Ben to time my contractions because they were pretty constant. Ben called our midwife, Yolanda, around 5am. It was around this time that the contractions were getting harder to manage so I moved to the bathtub. It was also around this time that Ben called work and said he wouldn’t be coming in that day.

After speaking to Yolanda, Ben updated me on what she said. Yolanda said it sounded like I was in early labor but it was likely that as the sun came up the labor would stop and it would probably start again in the evening. She would stop by around 8am to check on me and see how things are going.

5am to 8am is a blur to me. I spent most of my time in the bathtub sitting on a thick towel because it hurt so bad to sit on the hard bathtub. I did my best to breath with the contractions and I truly spaced out for quite awhile. Ben slept for awhile on the toilet and he thought my contractions were calming down and updated my midwife. In fact, my contractions were getting stronger but I was getting “used” to them and was finding a way to work with them and accept them.

I bounced around from the bathtub to the yoga ball to the toilet. I enjoyed sitting on the toilet because there was no direct pressure on my butt unlike sitting in the tub or on the yoga ball. Labor was getting pretty tough but I was still managing the pain pretty well.

8am rolled around and Yolanda arrived but we were unaware of her arrival. Our phones were on vibrate and she called both phones multiple times. At some point our neighbors saw her outside and after questioning her why she was on their porch, they let her in. Ben updated Yolanda with what he was seeing and then she came in by me. I don’t recall speaking much to her but she talked a bit to me. Yolanda checked my progress and said my water hadn’t broken yet and I was 6cm.

I was in shock. I was in labor. Our baby would be born at some point on April 1st, 2013.

Yolanda left and said she had some things to take care of and would be back no later than 2pm. She told Ben to call her if my water broke or I was feeling the urge to push. Ben called my mom and his mom and let them know the news.

It wasn’t long after Yolanda left that I couldn’t get comfortable and felt the urge to push. I couldn’t spend more than a few minutes in the tub or on the yoga ball. The pain was unreal at this point. I remember sitting on the yoga ball shivering because I was so cold and paranoid that I would be feeling this way for another 12 hours. I knew I was just 6cm and had 4cm to go before I was ready to push so I did my best to not push because I thought it was the right thing to do. I even remember Ben saying something along the same lines. We both didn’t even consider that I was progressing that fast.

I ended up spending most of the next hour on the toilet by myself. I had asked Ben to leave me alone and I couldn’t stop myself from pushing at this point. Finally I asked Ben to call Yolanda back. She arrived around 9am and after observing me for a few minutes she decided to set up everything she needed to deliver our baby.

I spent time alone focusing through the pain while Ben and Yolanda worked together in our bedroom. At some point I moved from the bathroom to the bedroom. I don’t remember if I moved without assistance or if Ben helped me. I do recall laying with my head near the foot of the bed and curling up into a ball. Yolanda came in and checked me once more and sure enough my water had broken at some point and she could see our baby’s head. It was time!

Our baby would be born soon and likely before lunch time.

It was go time!

(to be continued here…)

Week 39

Week 39I am a bit bummed and forgot to take a 39 week photo but my mom did snap this picture on Easter, the last night I was pregnant. 
Week 39 LetterHow far along?  
39 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: ¬†35 pounds, more than I thought I’d gain..

Maternity clothes?¬†Yoga pants, Ben’s shirts, Ben’s pajama bottoms and my work shirt… that is my wardrobe! When I go out in public my options are a dress with leggings.. yup, my wardrobe is quite limited at this point.

Sleep:¬†Still can’t really complain. Good night, not so good nights and very little sleep nights are all a possibility at this point. I did sneak in a few naps this week though so life is good.

Best moment this week:¬†I was thrown a surprise baby shower at work. The kids made group cards on large pieces of paper and I received a few gifts from my staff. The kids loved on the bump giving the baby hugs, tickling baby and trying to find baby’s butt (they were successful!). Of course, baby slept through the party¬†despite¬†the children’s best efforts to wake baby up.

Movement:¬†Baby is most active after my daily half glass of orange juice and in the evenings as I am settling in for the night. <——– same as the last few weeks

Food cravings: Still craving sugary treats and carbs, both of which I am doing my best to cut out in the past two weeks. I would give up chocolate for three days (whoa!) if I could have a bowl of rice right now! Few more weeks..

Gender: Ben and I have both agreed that this is the part we are most excited for, to figure out if we have a son or daughter!

Belly Button in or out? Flat…gross..

What I miss:¬†My normal self. I love being pregnant but I do miss my wardrobe, my shoes (I only wear ones I can put on by myself… so slip on ones), and being able to play with the kids at work.

What I am looking forward to:¬†Seeing my family this weekend. They are coming down for my mom’s Spring Break with hopes of meeting their grandbaby. We will get to celebrate Easter together! I’m also looking forward to Spring Break/maternity leave. I am officially done with work and look forward to some time of rest and relaxation before baby arrives.

Milestones:¬†On Wednesday, Ben and I went for a walk and we snuck away to a nearby¬†cemetery that we often walk through. While we were there Ben challenged me to some intense fast walking and at one point we were (I was…Ben was fast walking..) sprinting through the cemetery. I called it sprinting, others may have called it waddling quickly, but the result was the same. Some extra intense Braxon Hicks contractions and a giggly mom and dad-to-be.¬†¬†I’m thankful for the beautiful weather coming our way after all the snow/rain/hail/sleet we¬†experienced¬†this week.

Baby Week: Homemade Gifts

Baby WeekAs I was taking pictures of all the homemade gifts our little one has¬†received¬† I was completely blown away at the kindness of our family and friends. When I mentioned this to Ben his response was, “we are so¬†incredibly¬†blessed.” We really are! I can’t¬†imagine the time, effort and love that went into these projects! So many of the other gifts we received were also incredibly thoughtful. We. are. blessed.

To start here are two special pieces that hang in our lil’ peanut’s nursery, each made by a cousin of mine. Cousin, Kaitlyn made the fingerprint artwork on the left and my cousin Noah made the hanging sign on the right. (click on the photos to enlarge them).

Art PiecesHere are some special hats for baby. One bought by Grandma Kelly, embroidered by Great-Grandma Judy and another made by my Grandma Judy’s friend, Joan.

HatsBaby also received an embroidered onesie to match the elephant hat above that says lil’ peanut on it and six geeked out onesies made by our friend, Lauren. 3 Harry Potter ones and 3 Star Wars ones with quotes like “Mischief Managed” and “The Force is Strong With This One.” Those are in a “big kid clothes” tote and I’ll be sure to show off those outfits when my model is wearing them!

Below are fabric cubes my mom made, my aunt made a few wash cloths all with a design inside, Ben’s mom made seven animal bibs and my aunt made four hooded towels (two infant ones and two toddler ones).

MiscBaby has¬†received¬†numerous special blankets! My mom crocheted one, Ben’s mom made a huge fleece quilt, my colleague’s wife made the softest, fluffiest blanket and my Grandma Judy embroidered one and gave it to me a few years ago.

Blankets 1

Mandy and my cousins surprised us with a beautiful embroidered Harry Potter blanket that Mandy’s friend made. We also got a the cutest dog blanket from Lance’s parents. Lance is one of our best friends and was Ben’s groomsmen. His mom made this quilt and the dogs ears move. Ben’s sister made a super soft and comfy fleece quilt that matches baby’s room so well!

Blankets 2

We can’t wait for our lil’ peanut to use all these special gifts!

Baby Week: DIY Artwork

Baby WeekI found a ton of cute art pieces on etsy but couldn’t press those final buttons to buy them. They were so expensive and not quite what I was imagining for our baby’s nursery so the solution was to make my own! I knew I wanted to create animals and paste them on canvas. I considered fabric and paper and choose paper since I thought it would look more “finished” when the art was created. I wasn’t sure I could make the fabric look as neat and tidy.

Next step was to find an adhesive that would keep the paper stuck to the canvas. This is what I came up with (thankfully I had both on hand).

IMG_3973I went shopping at JoAnn’s Fabric and Hobby Lobby and grabbed some fun patterns in yellow and grey. I then decided on the elements of the art pieces and drew them on the paper. Daddy helped with some of the design and approved them throughout the process. I needed some extra support!
IMG_3974I laid out the pieces as I was creating them to make sure I liked the piece as a whole. Then I adhered the paper to the canvas.
IMG_3994I put the paper down on cardboard before spraying the adhesive spray. I then went back with a tiny brush and Modge Podge to make sure everything was attached well.
IMG_3975Here are the three pieces all together. Each one contains a mommy/daddy and a baby and each art piece contains a heart or two.
IMG_3992Here is a close-up of the other two pieces. Ben designed this one and I designed the other two.
IMG_3995 IMG_3993After about a week or two of drying I double checked to make sure the paper was still sticking well. Then the next step was to find a tall handsome man to put the art pieces up and make sure they were level. Enter tall handsome man.
IMG_4029Here they are up and ready for baby!
IMG_4034

Baby Week – Nursery Reveal

Baby WeekWelcome to BABY WEEK! A week of sharing all the special projects we did for our little one, the homemade gifts that were given from our family and friends, how we organized baby’s room and more!

We will start the week by unveiling the nursery! In a perfect world I’d have another nine months to prepare baby’s nursery. I have so many fun projects that I would love to do and this room would look different if we weren’t renting and didn’t have plaster walls (that crumble with every nail). But here it is! We enjoy the room and we can’t wait to see our lil’ peanut in it!

First a few “before” pictures when this room was still a guest bedroom/office.

IMG_0657 IMG_0658 IMG_0659 - Copy IMG_0661And now.. the nursery!!!

Starting at the door way looking straight on.

IMG_4030Stepping to the right.
IMG_4031Stepping to the left.
IMG_4032 IMG_4033 IMG_4034Sundvik Crib from IKEA
DIY Crib Skirt, fabric from fabric.com
DIY Artwork

IMG_4035Selje Nightstand from IKEA
(spray prainted by Ben)
Rocking chair from Craigslist
(it was orange and now Ben painted it white)
DIY Pillow, fabric from fabric.com
IMG_4036Toy Basket from Target
Expedit Shelf from IKEA
Scale passed down from my Great-Grandma’s cousin
IMG_4037 IMG_4038DIY Fingerprint Art Piece from cousin, Kaitlyn
Lamp passed down from Ben’s sister’s nursery
Lamp Shade from World Market
Tarva Dresser from IKEA
Fabric Organizer from Diva’s Intuition on Etsy

IMG_4039 IMG_4040 IMG_4041Such a tiny little car seat, ready for a tiny little person!
IMG_4042There it is! We started emptying out this room and preparing it for baby the day we found out about our little peanut. We started by putting our futon on Craiglist. We worked slowly and we were able to create an environment that we can’t wait to share with our little peanut!

Week 38

Week 38Week 38 Letter

How far along?  38 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: ¬†34 pounds… ouch..

Maternity clothes? I pretty much live for comfort these days. At home I live in my pajama pants and Ben’s shirts (and the few medium shirts that I have). Out of the house I live in yoga pants and my work shirt or one of the few pregnancy shirts that still cover my belly. Putting on yoga pants actually makes me feel like I am dressing up! I tried to wear a normal pair of pants and my belly band – half way through work I got so sick because they were constricting my belly too much. Yup, yoga pants from here on out.

Sleep: Still sleeping quite well considering I’m huge and constantly having to use the bathroom. Some nights I am up for a few hours but I go to bed early and still try to get as much sleep as possible.¬†

Best moment this week:¬†Having our home visit with our midwife! Found out lots of good information on my body; how it will likely handle delivery and how my body is progressing. More details than you probably care to know but I want to document the details since this is my virtual scrapbook. I’m currently 75% effaced and 1 cm¬†dilated¬† This doesn’t necessarily mean that baby is coming any time soon but it does mean my body is preparing for baby so yeah!

Movement: Baby is most active after my daily half glass of orange juice and in the evenings as I am settling in for the night.

Food cravings:¬†Not much this week. Been craving sugary treats more so I’ve been trying to find better ways to satisfy my sugar cravings like eating an apple with some peanut butter.

Gender:¬†I’m getting super antsy and for the first time really just want to know! I made a voting chart for the kids at school to cast their vote. When I left on Friday boy was in the lead!

Belly Button in or out?¬†Flat…

What I miss:¬†Warm winter clothing that fits! Only one coat has fit me for most of the winter and that one barely fits. The wind goes right under my coat, my coat won’t button up if I wear a scarf and my button holes are so stretched out that the wind whips through there as well. We’ve had a few cold days this week and I was freezing on the playground.

What I am looking forward to: Putting the finishing touches on the nursery and posting pictures of the nursery here on the blog!

Milestones: Like I mentioned above, my body is slowly preparing for our little one which is quite the milestone. Daddy and I keep preparing for our little one; our house is cleaning and more organized every day, we are educating ourselves more and more everyday and the baby to do list gets smaller with each passing day. We are ready!

Here is a picture of my baby daddy and I going out on our last date night before you make an appearance! Daddy brought us to The Derby Station where we ate a ton of delicious food then the date night continued with renting The Hobbit and snuggling in bed.
Last Date NightHere is an better glimpse at the basketball that hides under my shirt!
Week 38 Basketball