Life and Family

Audra’s Birth Story

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One word to describe Audra’s birth: Amazing!

My experience with Micah’s birth was definitely not that; a failed 27 hour long induction with “failure to progress” due to too many medical interventions, which ended in a dreaded unplanned cesarean section. Blah!

I had been praying and praying through my pregnancy that this time around things would be different. I specifically prayed for baby positioning (Micah was posterior, facing the wrong way), going into labor naturally (Micah was induced), and either before or close to my due date (Micah was 11 days overdue). Basically everything that went wrong the first time around, I covered that! I had also been praying that God would give me a daughter, and we found out at our ultrasound that my prayer was granted!

God could not have come through for me any bigger.

On Saturday January 7, 2017, exactly 1 week before my due date, I woke up that morning experiencing a different type of contraction, not just the stomach hardening Braxton Hicks kind I’d been having a lot of in weeks prior. It felt a little more “labor contraction-like”. I had noticed a couple of these through the early morning while Daniel, Micah and I were having a lazy sleep in morning and cuddling in bed. My gut was telling me something was different.

After getting out of bed, I went to the bathroom and to my surprise, I noticed I had lost my mucous plug. Ok – now I KNEW something was different. Something was really happening! I called my midwife to report this news. She informed me that this can actually happen even a few weeks before you give birth. Shoot, maybe today wasn’t necessarily the day I was going to meet my girl after all.

I went through the morning about my business, cleaning, tending to Micah, etc. Still I was experiencing these weird contractions. My gut was still telling me something was happening, and SOON. I started to panic a bit because I hadn’t yet packed my hospital bag – I mean, I had one more week to go! So I was scrambling to get that done and mentioned to Daniel that this could be the day and to start getting things ready.

After I’d gotten some things done I decided to lay down for my daily nap. As I was starting to fall asleep, I felt a little pop and gush. Oh my. My water just broke! There was no denying now – this was HAPPENING TODAY. I yelled down to Daniel, “MY WATER JUST BROKE!! Call the midwife!”

I cleaned up a bit while he called. My midwife, Breck, told us to stay home and labor there as long as I felt comfortable to do so. Daniel was totally scrambling to do everything he hadn’t done prior to this point, including studying the hypnobabies reading I gave him to be able to help me during labor. I joked with him, “Oh now you are trying to cram when it’s D-day!” I’d been on him for weeks to get the reading done. After that he was packing his bag, calling the neighbors to come get Micah, and taking care of other last minute preparations.

My water breaking was the end of the comfortable contractions I’d been having. From there, stuff got INTENSE rather quickly. I could barely manage a goodbye hug and time spent with my sweet boy before he left for the neighbors, which I felt sad about. I really figured I would have quite a while to be able to labor at home so I was trying to do the different positions and methods of relaxation I’d studied in my hypnobabies training. Seriously, all the hours I’d spent reading and training mostly went out the window and it was really – just grit your teeth and do anything you can to get through it!

I could not believe how fast and furious these contractions were coming – really no time to even relax in between almost from the moment my water broke! I started to freak out a bit at one point about when to go to the hospital. I knew it was best to stay home as long as possible, but the thought of a super uncomfortable 15 minute drive to the hospital had me terrified. I didn’t think I could manage the transition. At one point it sounded so awful that I told Daniel I’d rather just stay home and have the baby there! I think I was losing it a bit! So finally I told him, we just need to go. NOW. It was all I could do to get to the car, stopping every few feet to hang on to him to get through a contraction.

My water had broken at 4pm, and by now it was around dinner time. We got to the hospital triage and they had the hardest time trying to find a vein to start a port for the IV if needed. I had a painful bruise for weeks after I left the hospital from where they were poking and prodding me. Breck met me there and after questioning her, she confirmed that I indeed came to the hospital at the right time, that I was dilated to a 6/7. Daniel handed the staff my birth plan.

As I was yelling out during a contraction, I heard one of the nurses whisper “is she getting an epidural?” I must have sounded very uncomfortable. The other nurse responded, “No, she’s a VBAC” (vaginal birth after cesarean), which they’d read on my birth plan. If I’d ever left any doubt in my mind of doing this birth all natural, for some reason overhearing that comment solidified in my mind that yes, I was going to do this all natural. The staff was prepared that this was my plan.

They wheeled me to my delivery room and Breck had me get into hands and knees position on the bed. It was extremely uncomfortable! She then had me go sit on the toilet to labor a bit. I’d previously read this was a great position for helping you feel the “releasing” feeling, which it totally did, and I was glad she suggested it. I stayed on there for most of my laboring. Daniel was next to me and I would squeeze his hand hard during each contraction, as I would bust out an “Ohhhh Jesus!!”, and pep talk (or yell) myself through it  – “I can totally do this!”.

I sat on there for what seemed like a short time, and soon my yelling inadvertently turned to a pushing out type of noise, “huahhh!”  Breck immediately noticed this and asked me if I was feeling the urge to push, which I was. She had me get up on the bed and checked me. Sure enough my cervix was fully dilated. Time for the hard work. She asked me if I wanted a mirror to be able to see the baby come out, which at first I declined, but then thought, how often will I ever get to experience that?! So they brought one in. I had Daniel on one side and a nurse on the other both helping hold my legs.

Breck helped guide me with how to push and breathe. At one point I got really frustrated with Daniel because he kept checking his phone in between my pushing contractions, and I thought how dare he be messing around on his phone while I am going through the hardest work of my life?! Come to find out he was actually texting all of our family who wanted the play by play.

Pushing was actually easier/less painful than the contractions were so this part was ok for me. It was just a LOT of work. I was literally out of breath after each one. And I only felt the much talked about “ring of fire” once, very mildly. The next morning I noticed my poor face and neck had blood vessels showing from pushing so hard – eek!

“Look you can see her head with all that hair!” Squeals Breck, directing us to look at the baby coming out. “Uhh, no thanks”, says Daniel. He has never wanted anything to do with seeing our babies being born from the lower region area, and had his eyes fixed on my face. The nurse sensed his squeamishness and asked him if he needed a chair, clearly worried he’d faint. He declined.

I had no idea how long I would need to push her out but it didn’t feel like it was that long (ended up being about 20-25 minutes). Before I knew it, it was the final push and Breck had placed Audra on my chest! All I could do was cry and exclaim, “I did it!!”, over and over. It was like a dream, a dream com true! I couldn’t believe I was actually able to have the birth I’d wanted, the one I didn’t get with Micah.

Breck excitedly asked Daniel if he wanted to cut the cord since this is the job of most fathers, and of course he replied “nope!”. So she offered for me to do it and I said “yep!”

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Not the most flattering picture, but it’s real life – shortly after they handed her to me!

Childbirth has always frightened me, and I honestly did not know if I could do a natural drug free birth. Thankfully it went so fast that I didn’t have time to think of getting any pain relief. My water had broken at home at 4pm, and I had the baby by 8:45pm at the hospital. Whirlwind!

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I give God all the glory for His provision and getting me through everything. I even had prayed against the “baby blues” which I’d had big time postpartum with Micah. And I have had none of that. Also breastfeeding has been a breeze, where it took a long time to establish with Micah. My recovery was great too, I felt quite well after two weeks!

This was a total faith building experience, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it and my sweet baby girl.  6 pounds 13 ounces and 19.5 inches of perfection 🙂

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My Dad

When I think of my Dad, I think of…

How he can pick up on whether something is wrong with me with just one word I say

One of the funniest, wittiest people I know

An avid sports lover (Larry Bird, Barry Sanders, Pistol Pete Maravich were his past favorites)

“Come and get me tonight if you need me” – said it to me as a little girl and still says it to this day

#1 Grandpa and loves his Grand kids like they are his own children

Excellent preacher and knows the Word

Passionate about kids, and they love him!

Music lover – Bruce Springsteen, George Strait, Keith Green, Vineyard worship

Always has looked up to John Wimber and Ronald Reagan as his heros

Best giver of advice and encouragement I’ve ever known

Will sacrifice anything for his family, and I mean ANYthing

Best. Dad. Ever.

My Mom, to me…

Is a prayer warrior like none other

Is homemade peach cobbler and chicken and dumplings

Has a distinct smell that I will forever remember; a mixture of hairspray and her favorite perfume, “Youth Dew” by Estee Lauder

Is steadfast and hopeful in hard times

Has one of the strongest faiths in God I’ve ever seen

Will do anything for her family

Loves simple pleasures in life, like her bird watching, period dramas, coffee, and Big Boy hot fudge cakes

Has an opinion and appreciates it to be heard

Is my rock in hard times

Is the best listener who has great wisdom and advice

Is an ever concerned Grannie who wants the absolute best for her grandchildren

Laughs together with me until we cry

Is simply, world class

An amazing Godly example to call a mother that I could ever ask for

My best friend

….my Mom, to me.

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Part 2 – Birth

We arrive at the hospital for our 7:30 pm induction time, and are escorted to the delivery room. The nurse shows us around and tells us to get comfy. Little do we know just how long we are going to be getting “comfy” in this room for.

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I get my gown on and a nurse comes in and hooks me up to the machines. My friend Nancy calls and I talk to her for a bit. Daniel snaps a token pre-birth pregnancy picture of me smiling in the bed before everything starts. We’re all full of excitement, hope and optimism. Everything is roses.

Little do we know the ride we are in for.

A good looking young man in scrubs, who introduces himself as a Resident, comes into the room to chat with us about what is going to be happening. How they will be inserting a pill, Cytotec, in to my cervix to help it ripen and get the induction going. I think to myself, “Lord I hope this cute young guy is not going to be the one who is going to be all up in my business to do this!” Thankfully, it’s the nurse. She tells us to get some sleep and let the pill do its work.

Sleep. Pfff. A word I do not realize during my whole labor process. How on earth is a woman who is overly pregnant, in this strange, cold environment, hooked up to all kinds of contraptions, and nervous/excited all in one, supposed to sleep?!

Some time later throughout the night or early morning, the Resident tells us that they only have to use 1 Cytotec which is a good thing, sometimes they need two. He says I am contracting frequently. “Great!”, I think. This is a piece of cake so far. I will be meeting my little babe in a few hours! After all my mom and my sister had easy, breezy labor and deliveries with their kids. No more than 6-7 hours a piece, even with inductions. It’s in my genes, I will have the same luck, right?

Not so fast girl. Don’t get ahead of yourself.

Eventually I dilate to 2 centimeters, then 3 with 90% effacement. I stay like this for a while. The nurse comes to check me periodically and there is just no change happening. I am already so tired and the frustration sets in for the first time, that my pre-conceived thoughts of grandeur, ease and successful birth, may not go as I hoped, and I just break down. I thought I’d be holding my sweet baby in my arms by now! I am so embarrassed to be doing the ugly cry in front of the two nurses I barely know in the room. Daniel rushes to me, holds me and whispers words of encouragement as I sob into him. He is my rock during all of this, and will continue to be post-birth.

As I am trying to compose myself, I hear a POP! And I feel fluid gushing from me, literally GUSHING like a fountain. No, a water fall. Like Niagra Falls.

Ahh. So that’s what the ultrasound technician meant by “a lot of amniotic fluid”. There it is. “Umm…nurse, I think my water broke”, I say nervously, expecting her to drop everything and rush to my side immediately. She just nods at me, turns back to the other nurse and keeps talking. As she saunters over eventually she has wide eyes. The fluid is filled with meconium, which means the baby has had a bowel movement in the fluid. So not only does this fluid continue to gush out of me for the next few hours, it’s got baby’s poop in it. What a nice mental picture, eh?

I hear a knock at the door. “Hi Kendra!” It’s Shannon, a former coworker of mine who used to be our office OB Nurse, and who now works in anesthesia at the hospital. She had seen my name and wanted to come say Hi. I couldn’t be happier to see a familiar, friendly face. But the timing couldn’t be worse for a reunion. My bed is completely soiled from the nasty brown fluid. Embarasiiiiiiing.

Shannon will continue to come into the picture and be a rescuing presence throughout the course of my labor.

I don’t see my family too much during this whole time. Mom, Dad, Kayla and Trent come up to visit for a little while. I can’t do much because I am contracting more and more intensely, it’s hard to visit. They sense this, say their comforting goodbyes, and leave me be.

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Dr. Wallace, my family/OB doctor, comes in late in the day to check me. This is the first of only two times I will actually even see him. I had always heard that nurses do most of the work, and now I see firsthand how true this is. He places an IUPC device inside me to better monitor the contractions. At this point I am contracting every 2 to 3 minutes, which is adequate he says.

I try to manage my contractions as best I can, trying to recall the exercises that Karen, the instructor of our childbirth class taught us. She made me feel that I could do anything, including having a…. dun dun dun….Natural, Medication Free Birth. Oh dear, sweet Karen. With her always smiling, sweet sing-songy voice. So full of hope for us newbies. Dang. I knew Daniel and I should have practiced those darn labor exercises more!

Any thoughts of being able to do this pain intervention free up until this point are null and void now. My back labor is intense. The nurse thinks that the baby is probably posterior, which means he is facing my stomach instead of my back. This often produces back labor. She has me get up on all fours on the bed to encourage the baby to shift. It’s incredibly uncomfortable and painful.

I manage to dilate to a 5 before I adamantly tell Daniel: I. Need. The. Epidural. Now.

The nurse is on it like a cat on a mouse. Very rapidly, Shannon breezes in with the Anesthesiologist, a quirky thin woman with a southern accent. She has me sit on the side of the bed, Daniel sitting on a chair under me holding my legs. It’s so uncomfortable to sit this way and be still due to the contractions but they need to put in the epidural. “Just breathe honey”, Shannon says this matter-of-factly as if she’s said it to hundreds of other women in the throes of labor. They talk about her trip to Disney World the next day and I want so badly to smile and act happy for her, but I can only think of getting relief and I just grimace. What I wouldn’t give right now to see Mickey Mouse instead of this.

The epidural kicks in and I am feeling relief very soon. My contractions decrease in intensity and they start the Pitocin. I manage to dilate to 6, 100% effaced. At this point we just wait.

And wait and wait and wait.

I try to sleep but sleep does not come easy to me with being so uncomfortable and on edge. Daniel tries to set a soothing mood. He makes the room dark and puts on meditative calming music. He will eventually also use this music after we bring the baby home from the hospital to help  crazy, sleep deprived, stressed out new mommy set a calming atmosphere. To this day I cannot listen to that blasted music because I associate such unsavory memories with it!

As I am laying there awake, I start to feel sick, like throw up sick. This never happens to me. I have a strong stomach and have not thrown up since I was a child. Thankfully, I never do throw up. But the room also starts to feel like it’s 100 degrees, I am so hot. Also to make matters worse, I start to feel my contractions again. It appears the epidural is wearing off! How can this be? I haven’t heard of this! We flag the nurse down to let her know.

Next thing I know, Shannon is coming in with some more meds for me that she injects into my epidural line. “This will help with the numbing.” It doesn’t help.

Dr. Wallace has long since left the premises, he has a weekend trip up north planned that he wants to get to. Welp, it’s been real Dr. Wallace. You have fun on that lake now while I just hang out here and work on squeezing out a stubborn baby!

The OB on call, Dr. Taber, comes in to check me. I am trying to be hopeful that things are progressing, but for some reason I have a bad feeling. He tells me I am still dilated to a 6, maybe a 7. With now 80% effacement. My cervix is swelling. My temperature is rocketing to 100.4 degrees.

If I was looking for any hope, I was not going to get it from Dr. Taber. “Well, we could give it another hour and see what happens, but I am not sure it’s going to make a difference. I am a little concerned about the baby’s heart rate, and the fact that it’s been five hours with no changes.”

He doesn’t even have to say the word “c-section” and in the pit of my stomach I know exactly where this is headed. “I will give you some time to talk it over together,” as he looks at a defeated Daniel and I. We don’t make a decision lightly. It is a major surgery, after all.

If there was ONE thing I had asked friends and family to pray for in this whole delivery, it was that things would progress well and there would be no need for a c-section. This was almost comical. Does God have a sense of humor? I just cringe at the irony of this situation.

We call my family first, then Daniel’s parents. They are in agreement that maybe the c-section is just the right thing at this point. They are worried for mine and baby’s safety and health. They encourage us that everything will be fine and that they are praying.

What does comfort me in this decision is talking to the young nurse taking care of me. She’s probably my age or younger. Something prompts me to ask her, “what would you do?” It turns out, she’s been through this before herself, with having one baby vaginally and one c-section. She says the c-section was actually easier for her and she shares her story. This makes me feel worlds better to hear, since I had always skipped over the part in my pregnancy books about c-section’s because, of course, there was just no way I would be needing one, right?

It would have been nice to have just skipped past, oh 27 hours of labor had I known meeting my baby would all end in a 40ish minute procedure. I am just so exhausted at this point after so many hours of labor, and so ready to meet this little guy, that I go ahead and make the executive decision to do the deed, and leave the rest to God.

That is all they need to hear. Before I can blink the nurses are buzzing about, getting me ready. My sweet family comes in for a split second to wish me well. Kayla kisses me on the cheek, a sentiment we normally do not share; it’s something I will never forget. It’s very special in the scary and uncertain moment I am going through. They all give me encouragement, but I can also see the concern in my mom’s eyes. They have been such troopers, waiting around all this time and late into the night.

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I am whisked away to the OR. The quirky woman anesthesiologist is there, along with Shannon. She is a Godsend. I am so grateful for a friendly familiar face during a traumatic and uncertain time. She is making small talk and I know it’s to try to take my mind off of everything happening around me. Her light and cheery demeanor is so comforting. I am shaking so uncontrollably that I can barely talk. “Um, what’s happening to me?” I try to get out the words as best I can between chattering teeth. Shannon says this is normal, part of the medication effects.

They have lifted me on a table with my arms stretched out to my sides and strapped down. In my brain fog I wonder why they do this. Then I realize it must be so that my arms don’t somehow inadvertently interfere with the surgery. They put up a blue curtain at my stomach.

“Can you feel this?” Dr Taber asks. “I’m not sure, can you do it again?” I reply, wanting to make sure their numbing mechanisms used for millions of procedures like this have worked properly. They chuckle at me. “Can you feel this?” “Can I feel what?” I say. “OK, that’s all we need to know!” With that, it’s on.

The surgery is so very quick, and I don’t feel a thing really. Possibly some pulling, but not much else. My heart is racing in anticipation. Just a matter of minutes until he’s here. In a fleeting moment of feeling like I am in the twilight zone, the anesthesiologist quickly lifts up a large mirror and I get a glimpse of the unattractive scene around the curtain. Definitely was not expecting to see my insides sliced open as they pull my child out of me. Nope. But all I can fix my eyes on is him. My very first look at MY. BABY.

I can’t take my eyes off of him, ignoring whatever else is happening in the room. Just marveling at how perfect he is. He doesn’t look like a red, shriveled infant. He looks strong and healthy, beautiful with a flawlessly shaped round head. 7 pounds, 13 ounces of pure cuteness. I look at Daniels face, expecting to see tears as he is very prone to crying in moments of emotion. Surprisingly there were none, just wide-eyed with an excited smile. “Ohh look at our baby!” is all I can croon as I watch the nurse wipe him down. She gives him to Daniel who then hands him to me. This is the most amazing feeling in the world.

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“Yep, the baby was certainly facing posterior,” Dr Taber says as he’s finishing up.

I will later find out that when a baby is in the occiput posterior position, meaning facing towards belly, the woman is more likely to have a longer pregnancy and be more likely to need a cesarean. I also find out that I had what they call “chorioamnionitis”, which is basically a bacterial infection that occurs either before or during labor. Some risk factors of this are a long labor, first pregnancy, prolonged rupture of the water bag, and internal fetal and uterine monitoring. It can be diagnosed by a fever in the mother or an increased heart rate in baby and/or mother.  A series of unfortunate events. All of which took place.

We are wheeled to the recovery room, the baby on my chest. The nurse gives him a sponge bath right next to my bed. “They like this,” she states as she slowly pours water over his little head. Daniel and I just watch in awe as we are introduced to all the delicate tiny parts of our baby’s body.

“We really need to figure out his middle name now,” I say. Up until this point it has been a point of indecisiveness as Daniel and I cannot come to an agreement out of the handful that we have narrowed it down to. Daniel has always felt very strongly about what we name his boy, but he is so happy in this moment that he just lets me have the last pick.

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I want so badly to introduce him to my family, but the nurse says family is not allowed in the recovery area. For whatever stupid reason. “Forget that!”, I tell Daniel, knowing that it is about midnight and how long and patiently they have waited throughout all of this. You better believe they are going to come meet him! Daniel prods the nurse a bit more and she finally agrees to sneak them in.

As they walk in I couldn’t be more proud and excited to say, “Meet your Grandson, Micah Corban!”

Grannie cries as she gazes at him in her arms.

Kayla records a video of the moment. “He’s got really light hair!”

“My guess for a name was Levi Allen,” Trent says, having guessed it was a boy.

“Hey baby, you’re a good baby,” Grandpa says as he ogles over Grannie’s shoulder at Micah.

Micah just looks around with wide eyes, moving in slow motion and opening and closing his mouth like he’s ready for his first meal.

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My body is physically and mentally spent at this point. I’ve had no food for probably 30 hours, had maybe a couple hours of sleep, and there have been tears, pain, and moments of uncertainty. But I would do it all over again for this beautiful prize I have received.

The adrenaline and excitement keep me going. My family doesn’t stay very long and I am sad to see them go, I don’t want this joyous moment to end.

For the time being it does end. And at this point, I have no idea the new challenges that will lie before me.

But for now, I gaze at Daniel. Then at Micah, my pride and joy, and my biggest accomplishment of my life. And with a full heart, I think, “This is my very own family.”

Our journey is just beginning.

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Part 1 – Creation

In November of 2012, Daniel and I start to toy with the fact that it is time to start a family. We have been married 4 years after all. The weight of this decision on me is massive. It is scary. Doing something I have feared for 29 years of life: giving birth. So much so that the first time we try to conceive I cry afterwards. I think, “we could have just created something that is going to change our lives forever.”  Scared out of my mind describes it well. Then, I get excited at the prospect that my whole family will be together that Christmas, gathering at my Grandpa’s house. How cool would it be to announce as a Christmas surprise to everyone that I was pregnant?! I really try hard to make that happen. Sadly, it does not.

I find out I am pregnant on February 11, 2013. I have had some very small spotting around the time of my period that lasts for a day, then nothing after that. Also the fronts of my chest have been incredibly sore for days, which is very odd. I know something is up. Could this be it?! I confirm it at my doctor’s office and calculate the due date to be October 6, just two days after my thirtieth birthday.

I go home and take a pregnancy test that of course, is positive. I do this so I can wrap it up and give it to Daniel as a gift. When he gets home I tell him it is an early Valentine’s Day gift. He opens it and just looks at me wide-eyed, “are you serious? Does this mean what I think it means?” He is in disbelief. When it finally sinks in we just sit on the couch looking at each other, knowing fully well the significance this has on our lives. “Ok, this is really going to happen, we are really going to do this. Breathe.” The excitement comes after the shock wears off. We take a series of pictures holding the test to commemorate this day.

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My pregnancy overall is not a bad one. Nothing that can’t be tolerated in the name of baking a human. Luckily I do not have the vomiting that a lot of poor women suffer with. In the first trimester I get a little nauseous in the afternoons and extremely tired, with headaches from time to time. Also I am super sensitive to smells. The smell of food residue left in containers or garbage almost makes me vomit. I make Daniel wash all of his own dirty lunch containers. Certain foods just do not taste as good to me anymore either. My typical morning fruit salad is not doable for a while. My craving of choice is anything with sugar. Preferably in the form of cake, pie, candy bars, donuts, you get the picture. I have a raging sweet tooth!

The second trimester is wonderful, aside from the round ligament pain, where there is a sharp shooting in my groin from time to time. I also have an almost burning type pain in my R rib which the doctor attributes to the baby putting pressure there.

The third trimester is uncomfortable to say the least, especially towards the end. To lie on my side for a while at night will cause my leg to go almost numb. I constantly have to change sides, which is not an easy feat in and of itself with a ginormous belly. There is a point one day where I just sit and cry out of frustration that I cannot bend down to get my leggings over my feet!  And my bladder. Whoa. I get up like 6 or 7 times a night to pee! In total I gain 30 pounds.

I absolutely love being pregnant in the summer. Being able to take lots of sunny walks to stretch my ever changing body and stay limber. Getting to wear cute breezy dresses, and not having to wear layers of clothes or fighting to get a coat zipper over my protruding stomach. I get lots of remarks on my belly. Specifically on two separate occasions, in Meijer and in Target, women come up to me and say “You are the cutest pregnant woman I have ever seen!” Makes a vulnerable preggo lady feel much better about herself!

On March 22, Daniel and I just marvel when we first hear the baby’s heartbeat. It’s also amazing when we first see him on the ultrasound. There is a big debate between the two of us whether we will find out the gender, and Daniel knows how much I want to know so in the middle of the ultrasound he relents. Both of us have had a gut feeling it is a boy. It came to me in a dream. And….it is! We don’t tell our close family and friends because Daniel wants to surprise everyone. That is our compromise with finding out. We have another ultrasound, as a professional courtesy just for fun because I work there, and the baby smiles at us! We are smitten from there on.

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Before I know it my pregnancy breezes by and it is October 3, my last day of work before maternity leave. In two days I am due to meet my baby. October 4 I turn 30. We have a dinner night out with a group of friends and come back to our house for cake. Then the 5th, then the 6th. No baby. No big deal, due dates are always off aren’t they? Then the 7th, 8th, 9th, before I know it, it is the 17th and I am going into the hospital to be induced. The baby is 11 days late! I have done all I can to encourage him, but apparently he is just so cozy in my belly. Daniel and I are beyond suspenseful and excited to meet him. Daniel will talk to my tummy and sing songs to him. The baby will just kick and kick! It’s amazing, feeling him roll, move, kick, and hiccup inside me.

I have gone to my doctor periodically to be checked, and he tells me baby’s head is down in my pelvis which is good, but no effacement is happening and he’s really  high. I mean, there is just NO sign of this kid wanting to make an appearance. So they do another ultrasound and a non-stress test, everything is fine. The tech says I have a lot of amniotic fluid (later I will find out firsthand what this really means!).

So, it is time to head to the hospital for my induction. At least this way my family can plan when to be in town, so in that sense it’s convenient. Let’s try to look at the positives here.

In my over preparedness, I have way over packed and will end up using like 3 things out of the bags I bring.

The drive to the hospital is so surreal. Just knowing we are going there to meet our baby, this little person that we created, and have waited so long for. With no inclination of just how exactly, it is going to happen…