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Violet's Birth Story (38 weeks, 4 days)

May 21, 2012 - 7 comments
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birth story

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38 weeks

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natural

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unmedicated

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bradley



Violet Audrey entered the world a week and a half early!  We feel so lucky because it seems like we get a whole extra week and a half to enjoy her :)

After reading and enjoying countless birth stories in preparation for our big day, I'm so excited to be able to share my own.  Here is the story of how she entered into the world!

A few days earlier, I started losing my mucous plug...no bloody show, just pieces of mucous plug.  At my 36 week appointment I was 1cm dilated and only a half cm more at my 37 week appointment.

On Sunday, May 13th, Mother's Day, I started feeling cramping at 10:30 in the morning.  It was nothing too unusual.  I had been noticing cramping for a couple of weeks and figured they were early practice contractions.  We had plans to drive about an hour out of the city to spend the day with my extended family and celebrate Mother's Day together.  I had been having some swelling and was feeling pretty tired because it was so close  to the end that we decided we'd sit this get-together out and try to relax some at home.

I was feeling cramping on and off much more often than I ever had before, but nothing in a regular pattern.  They'd come and go at random intervals between maybe 5 and 15 minutes.  We decided to have brunch with our good friend.  We joked about how I was having contractions and today could be the day, but really weren't serious at all.  I was in complete denial and stayed that way until 2 in the morning, but we'll get to that part later!

Although my contractions seemed to continue throughout the day, they still weren't regular.  I was so sure that because she was my first baby, she would be closer to her due date if not late.  There was no way I was in labor...right?  Dave, my DH, was starting to get excited...I told him to quit it. :)

I started nesting like crazy.  I figured that even though there was no way I was actually in labor, I might as well get things taken care that I needed to finish before her arrival anyway.  Dave mowed the grass, I mopped the floors, scrubbed the stove, cleaned the bathrooms and vacuumed.  He sterilized the car and scrubbed down the mats. We also finished putting clothes and things in the hospital bag.

It was about 3:30 in the afternoon and I started timing my cramps just to see how we were doing.  They were lasting about 35 seconds each, but coming at 5-15 minute intervals.  Still irregular.  I called my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day and joked about how Dave thought I was in labor. haha silly Dave.

Fast forward to 10:30 that night, and all of a sudden my cramps started wrapping around to my back and were lasting a minute long and coming 3-6 min apart.  I called my sister and parents and told them maybe they should start making the trip here...this could be the real thing.

Dave and I settled into bed for active labor.  My contractions quickly got more and more intense. We planned on doing the Bradley Method, but that pretty much flew out the window...there was no way I could relax through them.   About midnight, Dave called the hospital to see when we would need to come in...explaining we wanted to stay at home as long as possible and have a natural, unmedicated birth.  The OB said to wait until contractions are 2-3 minutes apart or too uncomfortable to talk through (we live only 10-15 minutes away).

I labored for the next few hours and around 2:30 Dave said he thought it was time. I was really scared...I wanted to stay home longer and had no idea how far along I had progressed. I didn't want to go in too early — I was really concerned about having intervention if I wasn't moving along far enough.  He said he'd put everything in the car and come back to get me.

The car ride was tough, but we got there quickly since no one was on the roads.  I gave a urine sample and noticed I had bloody show. I think it was at that point I finally admitted to myself I was in real labor haha! They checked me and I was 5cm.  I was so surprised!  They noticed my water was bulging, but not broken.  I had a quick ultrasound so they could confirm her head was down.

They wheeled me up to the delivery room where I labored for two more hours.  I wasn't going to have another check until 5am, but I started having constant pressure and I felt like pushing...and then I couldn't help from pushing.  They called the OB in to check and my water still hadn't broken, but it was really bulging and I had dilated to 8 cm!  She asked if I would be ok with her rupturing my membranes since she knew I wanted to go natural.  I said yes please! Do it! I wanted to get things moved along...I was starting to get tired and the contraction were really really strong. I was holding on to Dave's hand for dear life and was pushing involuntarily.

When she ruptured my membranes I pushed on my back for a few contractions. Then she felt the baby's head and she could tell she was sunny side up.  She asked that I push on all fours for a while to see if we could get her to turn around.  I pushed on all fours for about an hour and when my legs could no longer take it, I pushed on my side for a while and then she checked me again to see if she had turned and she did! What a relief!

I pushed on my back for another hour and then the sun started coming up and the OB asked if we were ready to have a baby!  She was crowning, and I started feeling a deep burning sensation.  This was the hardest part for me.  The stinging and burning was so intense it almost made me afraid to push as hard as I knew I had to.  I kept asking the doctor how much further and she said 10 minutes!  Then they broke the bed apart, my OB got into her scrubs, they turned the big lights on, and it was go time.

Dave kept saying "Oh my gosh! I can see her! She's right there!" and it was so encouraging.  I knew we were making progress and even though I was in the most pain at this point, knowing we were so close made it much more tolerable.  In 4 more minutes I pushed her out and there she was!

Violet was born at 7:35 am on May 14th.  She was 7lbs 13 oz and 20.75" long.  Perfect, of course, from head to toe.  They placed her on my chest and I held her in disbelief.  She scored 9 out of 9 on her apgar! We were so proud :) With the exception of the breaking of my water, it was a completely natural, unmedicated birth. We were so lucky to not have any complications...and I'm incredibly thankful for my wonderful supportive husband and such a fabulous staff of nurses and an awesome doctor for helping to bring her into the world.

We just adore parenthood...who knew you could love something so much! :)

36 weeks 5 days

Apr 29, 2012 - 1 comments
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36 weeks

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cramping

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pregnant



I feel like we're getting so close and I'm getting so nervous and excited! I'm getting more contractions these days...I'll get two or three in a row and then nothing for a few hours.  I'm also getting some constant period-like cramping a few times a day and sharp twinges/stabbing pain in what feels like my cervix.  Anyone else getting this type of pain late in your pregnancies? Is this effacement pain?  In general I'm feeling exhausted and uncomfortable during the day.  She's starting to drop, but I'm still having heartburn with the added joy of increased bladder pressure.  Needless to say I'm looking forward to enjoying her outside my body haha :)

Our hospital bag is mostly packed and the carseat is in the car. We got a chance to go over our birth plan with our OB at our last visit, and I'm feeling very reassured that we'll be able to have the kind of birth we'd like.  So things are pretty much in place, and we're just waiting for her arrival.  I'm so sure she'll be here close to her due date if not late because she's our first, so if she comes early I'm sure I wont feeeel prepared, but I know that will change when I actually go into labor.  I can't even remember what it's like not to be pregnant! That's going to be so weird!  

34 Week Update

Apr 13, 2012 - 2 comments
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natural birth

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bradley method

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34 weeks

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Pregnancy



Oh gosh we're getting close and it's all starting to become more real as each day goes by!  Our little baby girl is squirming and kicking and running the show these days.  It's pretty crowded in there.  She's getting hiccups a couple of time a day (too cute!), and our OB confirmed she's head down and ready to go!  

I'm feeling ok...my heartburn has been worse, and I'm peeing more than I've ever peed before in my life.  My back is surprisingly in pretty good shape these days.  I'm starting to get some swelling in my feet though, and really sexy cankles by the end of the day :( haha.  I'm definitely having more trouble sleeping at night and it's uncomfortable sitting at my desk at work for too long.

Other than all the complaining I just did, I'm feeling good! :)  We're getting so excited!  The nursery is almost done.  We ordered a rocking chair that still has to come, and we've got some shelves to hang, but other than that, it's put together.  I love it! And I love wandering in there and imagining her sleeping in the crib, or getting changed on the changing table :)

We're planning on having a natural birth (no drugs) and laboring at home for as long as possible.  We're reading up on the Bradley Method in particular.  Any ladies out there have Bradley birth stories to share?  I'm getting nervous about labor and delivery...mainly nervous about trying to have a natural birth in a big hospital.  We'll be going to Prentice in Chicago and we hear almost all women have some kind of intervention there.  We took birthing classes there last month and it seemed like everyone was very supportive of the way we want to do things, so it was comforting to see that first hand.  Dave and I are doing relaxation and guided imagery  exercises at home together to prepare.  I love that special baby time we get together in the evenings :)  

Seems like all my pregnant friends on and offline are having their babies now!  So exciting! Spring is in the air for sure :)  Can't wait to share pictures and stories from our little one's arrival too :) Hope all you ladies are getting some well deserved rest and relaxation as you enjoy your new arrivals or count down the days until your due dates!


22 weeks and update!

Jan 17, 2012 - 4 comments
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22 weeks

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pregnant

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symptom

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2nd trimester

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Back pain



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Oh gosh it's been months since I've been on here consistently! I'm so much more pregnant now than I was during my last entry haha :)  

Things have been going infinitely better since the first trimester.  I feel really good for the most part.  It took several weeks into the 2nd trimester before I was no longer nauseous and regained my interest in food.  Recording my symptoms every day became somewhat disheartening...I just wanted to feel better after months of feeling awful.  

The happy news as of late is that we finally rounded the half way mark and celebrated it with our anatomy scan!  We're having a girl! And we're so thrilled! It will be the first girl in DH's family in TWO generations and SEVEN boys!  No one thought it was even possible :) The happiest news of all is that everything is looking healthy and normal with her development so far.  She looks just perfect and it was wonderful to get to spend an hour looking at her toes and fingers and nose :)

I started feeling her at 17 weeks — a couple of kicks one morning, but then nothing for a couple of days and then a few more.  Since 20 weeks her movements have been pretty consistent and in the past couple of days, they've gotten much stronger.  I can feel them easily with my hand on my tummy and so can Dave! It makes me tear up when I see him so excited about her little kicks...such a special experience to share together :)

My bump is definitely getting bigger now...I've really started showing this past week.  As a result my chronically troublesome back is suffering.  I've had disc problems since my early 20s and just the past day or two I've experienced sciatica for the first time down my left leg.  My OB has suggested I start physical therapy to deal with the discomfort, so we just have to make sure that our insurance will cover it before we proceed. I hear it's really helpful though.

I've also just enjoyed heart burn for the first time in my life...I think it's more like reflux though...it burns in my throat and not really in my chest.  I had it twice over the weekend..especially during the night while lying down.  It improved somewhat when I propped my head up.  It's not the best, but I'd take this over morning sickness any day!

So now we're starting to get the nursery going.  We just bought paint and are trying to pick out furniture.  So fun! :)  And we're looking into pediatricians and birthing classes, so there's lots to look forward to in the 2nd half.  We just can't wait to meet her!  Every day that crawls by we get more and more excited!

Hope all you ladies are enjoying healthy and happy pregnancies so far!