Currently: December Edition

Reading nothing right now. I just finished Lie to Me (felt meh about it) and I’m about to start The History of Bees, maybe tonight. I have good intentions of reading and then life with a newborn thwarts me! I hope I can start reading on my kindle while nursing soon. Any suggestions for good books to read while dealing with the exhausted/fuzzy newborn brain??

Loving baby cuddles! Seriously, is there anything better??

Feeling pretty tired. We are so lucky to have a good sleeper and a baby who sleeps well in her bassinet (knock on wood as baby sleep can change at the drop of a hat). But the most I’ve slept in a row in the last 4 weeks is five hours and usually it’s more like 3-4 hours. It’s also pretty broken up sleep as other new moms know because you are regularly waking up every time the baby grunts or makes a peep. So yes, definitely feeling the new mom exhaustion!

Thinking about January! On January 5th I will be 6 weeks postpartum and able to workout again, I can’t wait and plan to start a Fitness Blender program the following week. I also can’t wait to get back to yoga.

Anticipating Christmas! Such a special Christmas for us this year. Hard to believe that last year we were getting ready to head to Kauai for Christmas and also were thinking we might never have a baby… life can change a lot in a year.

Watching so much Netflix! Right now I am mostly watching Scandal. I started it over from the beginning and am already almost done Season 2 since I spend so much time on the couch feeding Olivia which equals lots of time watching Netflix. I’m also watching and loving Life in Pieces, sooo funny. Oh, and a few corny Christmas movies thrown in there too. I still need to watch The Holiday, which is my very favourite Christmas movie, hopefully that will happen in the next couple of days.

Working on getting organized. I am someone who craves organization and routine so after a month long break I’ve broken out my bullet journal again and it’s really helped me feel more like myself. Even if my to do’s include things like “return book to library” and just getting that one thing done is a huge accomplishment for the day.

Grateful for this beautiful little girl.

Listening to podcasts, as per usual. No new ones to share though.

Wishing for 7-8 hours of sleep in a row. That would be heaven right now. Other than that I am feeling pretty content and not wishing for much…

What are you watching, loving, listening to and grateful for? 

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Baby H’s Birth Story

Since all during the labour Olivia was still referred to as “Baby H” it seemed appropriate to title this post with Baby H’s Birth Story instead of Olivia’s Birth Story 🙂

It has now been just over one week since Olivia entered our world as she was born at 3:39 am on Friday, November 24th.

This birth story actually starts on Wednesday, November 22. I still wasn’t showing any signs of labour at 9 days overdue so was scheduled to start the induction process that evening. Eric and I headed to the hospital at 7:30pm where we got a cervical check and found out my cervix was “soft and favourable but closed”. They inserted the prostin gel to soften my cervix even more and get it ready for labour and we then had to lay there for an hour while they monitored both mine and babies vitals before sending us home. I started getting really crampy in that hour and they offered me a shot of morphine but I declined. They said to come back if I couldn’t sleep.

Well sure enough we got home and I took some sleeping pills they had given me but it wasn’t enough. I was crazy crampy and that I probably could have handled but the cramps were moving into my lower back and there was no way I was falling asleep. Eric filled some of his socks with barley and heated them up in the microwave to act as heating pads but even that didn’t help. Back to the hospital we went to get the shot of morphine. It was after midnight when we got there so they had to do another cervical check before they could give it to me.

We headed home and I crawled into bed, still having terrible terrible cramping in my lower belly and back. Eric was laying in bed with me rubbing my back when I got up to go to the bathroom and heard a pop and felt wetness running down my leg. When I got into the bathroom more wetness gushed out of me. Sure enough, my water had broken! Because I was group B strep positive I had to go to the hospital and get a dose of antibiotics so back to the hospital we went for the third time that night.

At this point we called my aunt who was acting as our doula / birth support and she met us at the hospital. It took awhile to get the antibiotics in and actually I have very little memory of this, maybe because of the morphine, but we left the hospital around 2 or 2:30am and headed home. At this point the cramping and contractions were getting pretty strong and it was clear we weren’t going to sleep that night. We had to be back at the hospital at 8am for another dose of antibiotics so we spent the next 6 hours labouring at home.

While I was technically in the ‘early’ labour stage at this point, and I know a lot of people can sleep through early labour, that was not the case for me at all. They say when you are induced it can bring on contractions faster and harder and I definitely found that to be the case. I spent a lot of those 6 hours in a hot bath and my aunt or Eric would sit beside me on the toilet and pour hot water over my stomach when I would have a contraction. My aunt snapped the below photo of Eric and I 🙂

I found myself dozing off between contractions, which were about 10 minutes apart at this point. I also spent some time labouring on my hands and knees or leaning over the table/counter and swaying my hips. Moving during the contractions definitely made all the difference in the world.

At 8am we headed back to the hospital and I have to say the vehicle ride there was terrible. I had two contractions in the 6 or 7 minute drive and I had to be in the back seat of the truck on my hands and knees.

At the hospital we got our next dose of antibiotics and a cervical check. I was 3cm. At this point we could have gone home, but we were offered to check into a labour & delivery room and I really didn’t think I could handle driving back to the house again so opted to stay at the hospital. Luckily the labour & delivery room had it’s own private bathroom so I again spent a lot of time labouring in the bath tub or walking the halls of the birthing centre. I had another shot of morphine at 9am. At 12pm, I was 5cm dilated so requested they get organized for the epidural. I think it was around 2 or 3pm when I finally got the epidural.

And here is a lovely photo of me getting the epidural 🙂

Unfortunately the epidural significantly slowed down my labour. From 3pm – 5pm I wasn’t really having contractions despite them hooking me up to pitocin. At 5pm the contractions started again but were very irregular despite being on the highest dose of pitocin. By 8pm I was only 7-8cm dilated.

Honestly all the time in bed is a bit of a blur to me. I looked at my phone, visited with my family, dozed… at the time it seemed like time was moving SO slowly but in hindsight it’s all a bit fuzzy as to what was actually happening.

At 8pm when we found out I was 7-8cm we knew this would be a November 24 baby and also born in the middle of the night so were advised to get some sleep. Honestly it was a bit hard sleeping with all the monitors they had hooked up to me but I slept the best I could. At midnight I was fully dilated and they told me to get ready to start pushing even though I didn’t actually start pushing until closer to 1am. The epidural made this super hard as my legs were completely numb. I had started to feel some back cramping again about 30 minutes before that so had pressed my button to give myself a higher dose of the epidural as the back cramps were keeping me awake. So the first 30 minutes or so of pushing was super difficult because I couldn’t feel anything and the contraction monitor wasn’t doing a great job picking up my contractions so I didn’t really know when to push.

Then the epidural started to wear off because they turned it down so I could feel my contractions. I don’t remember what time this was at but I just remember the pain was excruciating. This is when it got super duper hard. I was pushing so hard and between each push my stomach and lower back was still cramping and having contractions so there was no break from the pain. I would push, then I would “rest” but during the “rest” I was in so so much pain.

This is when I started sobbing and saying I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t handle the pain. I was basically hyperventilating between contractions and pushes and they were trying to calm me down. Finally they started giving me laughing gas between contractions as it would force me to regulate my breathing and take the edge off.

At one point I flipped onto my hands and knees and pushed on my hands and knees for awhile because I literally could not stand the pain in my lower back anymore. We later found out the back labour was due to her not ideal positioning…

I don’t remember when the doctor arrived but that is when things got pretty crazy. I guess as soon as he arrived he knew he had to get out the vacuum so he could pull while I was pushing. Baby’s position was not great and she was not moving down the birth canal as she should have been. So for awhile he pulled on the vacuum while I pushed. Again this was SUPER HARD, I can’t stress enough how hard and painful this was. Now that it’s over it does seem like it went by so quickly but in the moment it was excruciating, felt like the hardest thing I’d ever done and I truly truly felt like I could not continue.

Then things got really scary…

All of the rest of this is what I was told by my aunt, mom and Eric who were all in the delivery room with me. I of course did not know this was happening at the time (thank god) and now that it’s behind me I realize how truly lucky we were to have incredible and competent medical staff looking after us.

Of course we did not know we were having a 10lb+ baby and apparently my pelvis was not quite big enough to accommodate her so her shoulders got stuck after her head came out. This is called shoulder dystocia.

But here is the scary part. Our doctor has delivered babies for 40 years and he told us later this was the worst case of shoulder dystocia he had ever seen. Once the head is out the babies breathing is usually cut off and that means they need to get the shoulders out ASAP. They have 5 – 10 minutes to do so before there is a huge risk of permanent brain damage from lack of oxygen.

Olivia’s shoulders were stuck for 6 minutes. 

Eric was right there watching and he said her head came out and then he could literally see it start to turn blue/purple almost immediately.

A code blue was called and suddenly the delivery room filled up with other doctors and nurses. The doctor had to give me an episiotomy to get her out and he also had to tug very hard on her one arm / shoulder. When she came out she was completely blue/purple and was not breathing. They put her on my chest for all of 3 seconds so I could see her before whisking her away and starting to work on her to get her breathing again. I kept saying “where’s my baby?” “is she ok?” and my aunt and mom kept saying she was and they were just checking her over (which was a lie they actually didn’t know what was going on).

I then had to deliver the placenta and the doctor started stitching me up and I kept asking over and over again if my baby was ok. Finally, after what seemed like forever, we were told that she was and everyone in the room was SHOCKED when she was weighed and we found out she was over 10 lbs. Talk about a big baby and explains why she had shoulder dystocia. Also, Eric’s shoulders got stuck when he was born and apparently shoulder dystocia can be hereditary.

After what seemed like FOREVER, she was placed on my chest for some skin-to-skin. As you can see in the below photo her right arm / bottom arm is still really purple. Her whole body was that colour when she came out! That is the arm that was stuck when she was yanked out and it got hurt. They thought her collar bone might even be broken but after some follow-up with the peadiatrician and x-rays we found out it just has nerve and tissue damage. We need to take her to physiotherapy but they expect her to make a full recovery.

I am doing pretty good considering how tough of a labour it was. The episiotomy is obviously very sore but I was lucky to have such an experienced doctor, all of the nurses in labour and delivery told me that his stitches are impeccable. I actually don’t even know how many stitches I have, he wouldn’t tell me, but it took him a good 20 minutes to stitch me up and I was told by a couple of people that it was a big cut!

So, after 26.5 hours of labour that included 2.5 hours of pushing Olivia Mabelynn was here and healthy despite the scare. And in the end, that’s really all we can ask for.

Kudos to you if you read this whole thing!! 🙂

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41 weeks pregnant

Hello from 41 weeks pregnant, aka 1 week overdue, aka hell.

First, if you have never been overdue please see below. Every single person who has been overdue is sending me supportive messages “I’m so sorry!” “I know how much it sucks” and people who had their babies early, on time, or 20+ years ago are the ones who tend to say “baby will come when they are ready.” Yes, easy for you to say if a) you’ve never been 41 weeks pregnant or b) you haven’t had a baby in over 20 years. #justsayin

Let me tell you, I’ve now been 37 weeks pregnant and 41 weeks pregnant and 37 weeks pregnant is 1,000x more comfortable than 41 weeks. So while I’m obviously very glad that baby didn’t come dangerously early, that doesn’t make it any less annoying/uncomfortable/crappy that baby is so late.

See also, all the things I’ve tried to bring on labour. Google “ways to naturally induce labour” and I can guarantee you I’ve tried it. For whatever reason, this baby is incredibly comfy on the inside and doesn’t seem to want to budge.

All of this is made worse by the fact that we are having the most horrendous weather right now. We’ve had around 60 – 70 cm (almost 30 inches) of snow in November, and it’s only the 20th! It was also -27 C (-16 F) yesterday, aka too cold to do anything outside the house.

I always thought that baby would be a bit late, but I was hoping it would just be a few days, especially since we know the exact date we conceived. I did not think baby would be 7+ days late and I also didn’t think we’d have such hellish weather around his/her due date that basically makes it impossible to venture outside of the house. Every single day feels like it’s 48 hours long, not 24 hours.

And no, I won’t “sleep while I can” thanksverymuch considering how insanely uncomfortable I am when trying to sleep and that I wake up every 2 – 3 hours due to sore hips, having to pee, a throbbing / swollen hand or cramping. And every time I wake up – even if the need to pee wasn’t what originally woke me up – I have to go pee anyways.

Will I miss being pregnant? Yes, I think I will. However, I definitely will NOT miss being 41 weeks pregnant and I definitely could have done without this last extra week of pregnancy and I would never wish going overdue on anyone. 40 weeks is more than enough time to be pregnant and every second over and above is torturous.

Anyways, regardless of what happens, Baby H will be here this week as we will be induced on Thursday (10 days overdue) if he/she hasn’t made her appearance by then. Thursday truly feels like an eternity away to me still, but at least there is an end in sight.

I’ll leave you with this. As you were…

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