Friday, November 21, 2014

Penelope Linn

The week before Bubbus was born I went into false labor. I hadn't ever experienced false labor before so here I was thinking it was the real deal although it was a little different than what labor with the other two girls felt like.
Around three or four in the morning I wanted to rest and see if I could sleep, and as I dozed off so did the contractions. Poo. Alyssa had already had her sweet baby on the 13th so I was ready ready ready for my baby to get here.
Fast forward to the next Thursday, the 20th, I went in that morning for my weekly check up with my OB.  I opted out, again, to be checked for how far dilated I was.  I knew I wouldn't be more than 1cm along and it causes so much risk to be check and there's no point in being check, so I preferred not to be.  My nurse was a little shocked the week before that I opted out and a little more this time.  I guess a lot of pregnant moms want to "get the show on the road" so to speak but I was content where I was and didn't want any "help" to progress.  Getting "help", I would learn, is what sent me into extreme contractions that were unmanageable with the first two.
So, when I went in, I opted out to be checked, but said that I felt like it would be happening within the day or two.  You just feel it when you know you'll be going into labor soon, even without feeling any contractions. My OB was pleased that I opted to be checked and supported my decision. Praise God for such a good doctor!
That evening I started having contractions again. I was afraid they were going to be false labor again so I tried to relax and encourage them to keep coming. I was unsure if they would turn into false labor again but we told my mom to come up anyway, just in case. I labored all evening and my mom got there around 8 or 9 at night, but come night time I decided to try to get some rest.  I slept through the night, waking every now and again to breathe through a contraction.
Come morning, I was still having contractions but they weren't consistent though not sporadic either. I was in early labor with painless although strong contractions. By the afternoon I had already taken 2 or 3 baths, was stopping to breathe through the contractions, and swaying, squatting to try to keep the contractions going. I was still afraid that they were going to stop again!
I hadn't really told anyone that I was in labor because I was afraid I wasn't, so when my friend Lisa P stopped by to drop something off I was trying to fake my way through having contractions but she guessed.  Ha! She squealed, "Are you in labor??" And then hurried off so I could labor in peace.
My mom, the girls, and Bryan were all just kind of doing their own things. This labor was so completely different from my first two that it was like going through labor for the first time again! No one really knew what to expect so we were all thrown off for a bit.  But praise Jesus that this one was different.  It was so much easier to work through.
Another bath or two later it was getting to be evening.  We sent the girls home with Emily P to stay the night so if I had this baby soon, we wouldn't have to worry about the girls. Things were starting to get serious as I would have to concentrate as I worked through each contraction but I was still smiling in between contractions so we weren't headed anywhere yet.
My mantra was: I can do anything for 1 minute.
Around 7:00, I was having much more of a hard time finding a good and comfortable position.  Mom was watching a show about tiny houses and I was trying to watch also to take my mind off the contractions while rolling on the exercise ball. I was starting to feel done with it all.  This time I wasn't smiling in between contractions. It was time.
Sitting in the car heading to the hospital was not fun! I had a couple contractions on our short 5 minute trip there and they hurt. Boy, did they hurt!! But they also tapered off a little bit and I was afraid they were going to stop again.
When we got there they had us go into a room so they could check me out to see how and where labor was.  It was close and it did not feel good to be laying on my back.  Thankfully she let me roll to my side whenever she wasn't checking me.
My fear was that I was only going to be 3 centimeters dilated like I was with the first two when we got to the hospital.  I was a 6. Oh my goodness, praise the Lord, I was a SIX!!
Woohoo, this baby was coming soon!!
They got me into a delivery room, and even though the contractions were incredibly strong, they were manageable.
I can do anything for one minute.
They got the water-proof baby monitors on me.  They got the portable IV hook-up in my hand. I remember looking around in between contractions and seeing nurses setting things up for delivery. They had never started setting up this soon for delivery with the first two...
I asked to soak in the bath. I couldn't tell you how long I was in there for but I had contractions while soaking.
Then I felt pushy.
I had never felt this before.
We told one of the nurses and they had us come out to the bed so they could check me.
The doctor check me.
I was at a 7.
She asked them to call her back when I was fully dilated.
I needed to push.
They called the doctor back.
I was pushing.
I was screaming.
I had lost control of the contractions.
The nurse (God bless this nurse. She was just who I prayed for.  I wanted a doula but couldn't find one. I knew I needed and wanted the support so I prayed for nurses who could be like a doula. That's exactly who God provided) got me to get back on top of them. She talked me through it all.  Got me to breathe. Got me to focus.
I had gone from a 7 to a 10 in merely minutes.
I needed to push.
It was time to push.
I pushed with all I had. I kept pushing. I couldn't not push. My body was going to get this baby out wether I was ready or not. I kept praying Dear God, be my strength but all I could get out verbally was dear God dear God dear God. I'm sure it sounded like I was cursing!
I remember waiting for the "ring of fire." I knew that once I felt that then the baby's head was almost born. Then it came. It was fast. I felt the ring of fire, then the baby's head being born. Relief. One more push and the baby was out. This time I was saying praise God praise God praise God over and over.  My sweet nurse said, "That's right, girl! You praise God!"
Then I remembered, "Don't tell me what it is! I want to look and find out myself!" The nurses grinned and were cheering that Bubbus was here.  They laid this sweet teeny baby on my stomach. I wanted to pull the baby up to my chest and as I went to do so, the doctor told me not to as the cord was a short one. My stomach was the furthest it would reach! (I had prayed for a shorter cord as I was afraid of the cord wrapping around the baby's neck. I'm such a worrywart!)
As one of the nurses was wiping Bubbus off, she said something about a "he" and I exclaimed, "It's a HE??" But she was quick to correct herself apologizing and saying that she didn't know. So I looked at Bryan, "Ready?" "Yup!" I moved this teeny baby so they were slightly angled so I could move the top leg up and look.
It's a girl!! 
I couldn't help but laugh. We had completely thought we were having a boy!!
Bryan snapped some photos to make the announcement that our baby was here.  The doctor cut the cord, delivered the placenta, and stitched me up.
This was the same doctor that had helped to deliver Violet but her demeanor was completely different. I had labored naturally, unmedicated, and quickly whereas with Violet, I was having a hard time, had an epidural, and took forever to deliver her.
Bryan, still chuckling to himself, said to me with a smirk, "So what were those girls names you liked?"
23 hours of early labor, 4.5 hours of active labor, and 5 minutes of transition and pushing, Penelope Linn was born at 9:46 pm on November 21st, 2014.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Miss A turns 6

My sweet sweet girl,
My, how you've grown.  You've been anxious to turn six for the last four months.  Anxiously awaiting the new age like it was a huge milestone.
It kind of is.
It means you're another year older.  Another year bigger.  Another year smarter.  Another year becoming more and more like you.
It also means I've been a mother, your mother, for a whole 6 years now.  Whew!  I guess I can say I have some experience under my belt.  At least six years of it.
This past year you are showing us just how strong willed you are.  You are a tough cookie.  Mostly just tough on us parents.  But I know this strong-willingness can be such a strength if we are able to help you grow into it in the correct ways.  I hope it all means that you will be a defender of the weak and hurting, strong in what you believe, knowing for certainty just how good our God is and are not afraid to show Him to those around you.
You are also incredibly kind.  You have such a big and kind heart.  You are so good to love on those around you.  You're helpful to your kindergarten teacher at school, you are concerned and want to check in on our elderly neighbor, you share your toys with your sister even though you don't really want to just because you don't want to see her sad.  Your kindness makes my heart swell with pride.  I love, love, love that in you.  Please don't let anyone change that in you.  You are mega awesome because of that.
You're an awesome big sister, and with another sibling on the way, I know the next one will look to you as well.  Sometimes you can be a stinker, but I know that's because of your age and the fact that your little sis doesn't always want to leave you or your things alone.  I don't blame you, really, but we still need to work more on sharing and playing together nicely more often than not.
I love watching you and trying to figure you out as you grow.  You've really started asking the tough questions.  Some of which we have to take pretty slowly so as not to tell you too much too quickly, but I love that you're asking.  I enjoy seeing your want to grow and learn.  And I appreciate your questions. Even the hard to answer ones.
You did start kindergarten this year.  You were so ready for it but at the same time had to adjust to it.
You went from going to school three days a week for half days to all day every day five times a week. The first three weeks were really hard on you.  But I think you've finally got it down.
Anyway kiddo, I love you.  I think you are amazing.  You're crazy, and smart, and sassy, and kind, and tough, but so lovable.  I'm glad you are our sweet six year old.  I'm excited to watch you continue to grow and learn this next year.  I'm excited to watch you become a big sister again and to watch you teach your little sis how to be a good big sister.  I'm excited because I have you in our life to keep us on our toes, always guessing, but always filling our hearts with all the love you have to give.
Keep on being awesome, keep on being you.
Love you much,