Saturday, August 1, 2015

Noah's Birth Story - Part 1

Oh where do I begin...

Let's start at the actual beginning shall we?  In hindsight I knew labor was impending several days before it actually happened.  But since I didn't go into labor with Jett, I was feeling very much like a first timer once we hit 38 weeks and had no idea what I was expecting.  Also, I was only 39 weeks, even though I was WANTING baby to come early I didn't actually believe I wouldn't see my due date.

On Wednesday morning, 38w6d, I woke up feeling very anxious.  The fair was in town and we had made plans to go that Friday but suddenly I felt like we needed to do it that day or it wasn't gonna happen.  No rational reason for feeling like that but it needed to be done and out of the way that day.  I also suddenly needed to do all the laundry and just sort of tidy the house up.  Not full blown cleaning but I picked everything up, sorted out anything that was left in piles etc.  And that was that for Wednesday.  We went to the fair, walked around for a few hours with nothing to indicate labor was on it's way and my anxiety went away.

Thursday, 39w, I had a midwife appt.  I got my membranes swept.  This is not necessarily the standard for a homebirth midwife, they usually have a wait and see approach and try not to mess with the natural flow of labor but we'd discussed it the previous week and she said she was comfortable doing it at 39 weeks and I said GREAT because the prospect of flying with only a few weeks recovery time was starting to weigh heavily on my mind. I wanted this kid out sooner rather than later so I had time to heal before heading back to CA.  Last time I was 100% opposed to getting any sort of cervical check whatsoever unless I hit 41 weeks but this time...bring it on at 39 weeks!  After the birth my midwife actually told me when she saw me that day she had a feeling baby was on his way in the next few days anyway so she had no qualms about the sweep.  I was dilated to a whopping 1cm which she could stretch to a 2cm, but very soft and "ready".  I left feeling very much like labor was not coming anytime soon.  We also decided that night to leave Jett with my mom so we could go to dinner.  We were thinking he shouldn't feel like when he goes to spend the night at Grandmas it means a new baby is coming, so he should spend a few nights there before baby came.  So we went to dinner, not necessarily "for the last time" as we thought we had another week but again, odd timing and perhaps I knew it was the last time.  We had SPICY curry and I ate way too much.

39 weeks

That night I woke up at 3am with the most awful heartburn I have ever had in my life.  I tried everything to get rid of it.  Even drank baking soda in water, DISGUSTING.  But I was basically awake from 3-6am then up for the day at 7am because I just couldn't lay down with the heartburn anymore.  So, SHITTY NIGHT SLEEP ONE, clearly I'm destined to begin labor after very little sleep.

Friday, 39w1d, we had plans to go to the coast, which we've never done with Jett, and again so glad we got this out of the way!  The coast is only an hour drive so we knew if I went into labor it wouldn't be a big deal to get back home quickly.  I spent the day feeling like absolute poop.  Crazy heartburn which left me really unable to eat much, a bit nauseous and a bit crampy.  Basically I was a big ball of ICK.  But we had fun, Jett especially!

I'm really glad we did this as it turned out to be our last trip as a family of 3!

On the way home from the coast I started having contractions.  Timeable, every 8 minutes, lasting for a minute.  We got home, I told Dom I needed to use the loo and take a bath, I say need because really it was like a NEED, I NEEDED a bath, so weird but when I got out I would tell him what needed to happen.  But basically as soon as I hopped in the bath, everything stopped.  Contractions went away and just generally I started feeling better.   BUT it felt like the time was near, we went to bed that night knowing we were getting close to the end.

Saturday, 39w2d I woke up again at 3am...this time not from heartburn but with timeable painful contractions.  Again, every 8-9 minutes lasting for a minute.  They continued until I finally got up at 6am, took a shower and when I got out I told Dom, today is the day, we're having a baby!

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Another Boy!

Noah Lawson Brennan
Weight: 7lbs.
Height: 18.5 inches

Born at home in the tub on July 25 at 7pm.

Birth story coming soon!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Baby #2 Bumpdate - Weeks 37 & 38

In another few hours I will officially be more pregnant than I have ever been.  I went to the hospital for my induction with Jett at 38 weeks exactly and he was born at 4:45am when I was 38w2d pregnant.

So, here we are at 38w1d and I'm starting to fret.  Let me bumpdate you all and I will share all my fears and frustrations that have begun to crop up as we enter brand new territory.

How Far Along: 38w1d

Weight Gain: Must be 32 lbs now?  I think.  I weight about 150 most mornings, give or take a lb.

What's Up With My Body: Body is actually feeling ok other than the fact that I seem to have a baby fully engaged in my pelvis and HELLO...I can feel it.  My pelvis is very uncomfortable and "full".  But sleep is good, rib is good, heartburn kicks my ass some days and other days in non-existent.  Basically I'm hangin in there.  Ready to be done and more tired than uncomfortable these last few days.

Emotions: Ugh, emotionally I'm kind of a mess.  I don't know what happened to me yesterday but I got to my midwife appointment and I just started balling.  First I was REALLY tired, like woke up feeling exhausted, took a 2 hour nap, still felt exhausted, just felt really really run down and tired.  But then also apparently this GBS diagnosis has left me a little more uneasy and stressed than I let myself believe because when she asked me about it all this information came pouring out of me that I didn't even realize I was thinking.  Like, suddenly I was saying that I didn't know if a homebirth was the safest option anymore and I felt like I was selfishly putting my baby in danger if I was still GBS positive with this retest.  And maybe I should just have a hospital birth because then I could have the antibiotics.  Really did not realize that was what I was feeling, but that's what came pouring out.

Also, Dom has been gone for just over my limit of amount of time I can stand solo parenting.  I make it to about a week and then I'M DONE.  And here we are on Day 9...I'm done.  He will be back late tonight and basically he is taking the kid WHENEVER I ASK because I'm exhausted and I can't do this by myself anymore.

And last but not least I'm still busy fretting about my baby being small.  He/she is roughly 6 lbs. according to the skilled hands of my midwife and wouldn't you know it, Jett was 6 lbs.  It was always assumed that Jett was small because of the preeclampsia and he had quit growing a few weeks back but...this baby is small too.  So I'm left wondering DID I HAVE PREECLAMPSIA AT ALL???  Or do I just grow small babies?  Or is there another reason this baby is small?  My belly measurement was 34cm this week, so up from last week but I'm 38 weeks!  My midwife is not worried, she says there's plenty of amniotic fluid, baby has visibly grown and baby is just fully engaged down low in my pelvis and yes...I grow small babies.  So, trying not to worry BUT I CAN'T HELP IT.  We've made it so far I don't want anything to go wrong here in the homestretch!

My last comparison.  38 weeks this time.

And 38 weeks last time.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Full Term and Things I'm Worried About

Well folks, WE'RE HERE!  Full term.

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

I've begun all the tricks. 

Evening Primrose Oil.  Check.

Raspberry Leaf Tea.  Check.

Walking.  Check.

Spicy Food.  Check.

Dates.  Check.

Acupressure.  Check.

Yoga Ball.  Well...I have my yoga ball but honestly haven't sat on it once...maybe today!

Sex and Nipple Stimulation will have to wait until husband is back in a week but I'm doing everything else I can!

So while some of the angst about going into labor early (why do I think I will go into labor early???) has disappeared now because I no longer have to go to the hospital if I should in fact go into labor (before 37 weeks you can't have a homebirth).  I now have other anxieties that are wiggling around in my brain.

First, I tested positive for GBS.  This wasn't even on my radar because I tested negative last time and you know ALL PREGNANCIES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME so I just figured I would be negative this time too.  

As always, I was wrong.

So, positive GBS test, not usually a big deal right?  Had I tested positive last time I just would of had IV antibiotics in labor either at the hospital or had my home birth gone according to plan, didn't matter it would have been the same.  BUT HERE IN OR midwives are unfortunately not allowed to administer IV antibiotics.  WHAT?!  So...there are alternatives.  There's a vaginal rinse that is used in Europe with good results that I'm trying now.  I've also increased my probiotics, eating yogurt and taking a shit ton of Vit C, all of which are supposed to help one's body rid itself of GBS.  So, we retest in about a week and if I'm negative at that point, YAY!  If I'm still positive???  There's a few other options but ones I'm not terribly excited about.  I'll keep you posted.

Second thing I'm stressing about.  MY GODDAMN BELLY IS SO SMALL AGAIN!  I measured 33cm at my 36 week appt and I measured 30cm yesterday at my 37 week appt.  WTF?  Do I just grow small babies???  Jett was small because of the preeclampsia and had basically quit growing after 35 weeks, but this time???  My midwife actually insists baby is growing fine and is visibly bigger to her and baby has just dropped down into my pelvis and that I carry my babies "close" so baby is all tucked inside READY TO GO.  So...I'm trying not to fret.  

BP is amazing at 117/78 yesterday and I have no protein in my urine so there's no reason to think I will end up preeclamptic again.  I took a look at my pregnancy with Jett and around this time my blood pressure was 148/93!  All good on that front as far as I can tell.

So, there you have it.  We're full term, ready to go...and now we wait.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Baby #2 Bumpdate - Weeks 35 & 36

35 weeks always feels monumental because you're 35 weeks and you have 35 days left!

Happy coincidence but one I enjoy.

How far along: I actually meant to post this last week at 35 weeks but alas we are at 36 weeks now.

Weight Gain: 149 = 31 lbs gained! The weight definitely seems to have tapered off.  This happened last time and it was because Jett had quit growing so I'm a teeny bit nervous, but I'm trying to remain calm and think that I just grow small babies.

What's Up with My Body: BP is staying under control!  It's actually well within the normal range at 112/76 last week, which makes me happy because this is about when things started to go haywire last time.  We'll see what tomorrow's appointment brings!

Rib was popped back in last week but DAMN it took 4 days for it to not hurt and now it's just...tender.  I'm uber conscious of it and worried about it popping out which seems to put some strain on the muscles around it.  So my back just generally hurts these days.  These last few weeks are a struggle!

Heartburn every night when I wake up at 2-3am but 1 Tums takes care of it.

INSOMNIA FINALLY RELEASED IT'S HOLD and I can sleep the normal 3-4 hours before I need to get up and pee.  THANK GOD.

Contractions keep waking me up in the middle of the night.  They are almost always caused by the need to pee but it isn't the need to pee that's waking me it's an awful cramping/tightness/hot flash of a BH contraction!  I kind of like it and am looking forward to the day in which it's actual labor waking me up in the middle of the night!

The bump no longer feels big, nor am I measuring big.  In fact...just like last time, I'm measuring a bit small.  34cm at 35 weeks and baby is roughly 5 lbs.

Emotions:  I am so ready for this baby.  And I'm so tired of being pregnant and solo parenting.  This ridiculous heat wave is not helping anything.  But because I'm so miserable the thought of labor does not scare me at all, I'm pretty excited for it.  I bought my birth kit and it arrived last week, so other than the birth tub which I should get around 37 weeks I'm all set!

Gender: I am fully convinced it's a girl.  Dom says 'he' and it feels wrong!  I'm prepared for either outcome but...I think girl.


36 weeks this time.

And 35 weeks last time.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Baby #2 Bumpdate - Weeks 33 & 34

How far along: 34w1d

Weight Gain: I don't know how much I've gained in the last few weeks but I'm 145ish right now, which puts me at 27 lbs gained total.

What's Up with My Body: pelvis feels better.  I went to the chiropractor and he confirmed that my left hip was in fact fucked.  The SI joint was out of whack, the hip flexor was out of whack and the round ligament was TIGHT.  All in all there was a reason for my discomfort and with a bit of an adjustment he actually fixed the damn thing!  BUT, my rib popped out again.  DAMN!  So, pelvis feels great, upper back really really hurts.  Even with a return trip and another adjustment to put it back in place...still hurts and I imagine will continue to hurt for the rest of this pregnancy.

Sleep: Pregnancy insomnia can kiss my ass.  I can't fall asleep, I can't stay asleep, I wake up 7,000 times a night.  I wake up feeling anything but refreshed.  Sleeping sucks!

Stretch Marks: No, not even the one on my boob from last time.

Emotions: OMG, as soon as the rib popped out I lost it.  Balled my eyes out for most of the day.  It turns out ALL household chores require some amount of bending and bending HURTS right now.  Dom is still gone (home tonight!) and I felt very emotional and helpless and I was in pain and my house was turning into a pigsty because I couldn't pick up toys or do laundry or put dishes away or ANYTHING it felt like.  Last night I finally worked up the energy and courage to JUST DO IT and if I take my time I can bend enough to at least pick up everything off the floor and put the dishes away.  So, feeling better...but definitely hit a low point this week.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Fear is Gone

I must confess...I was scared of having a newborn again.

Very very scared.

And for only one reason.  The sleeplessness.

The thought of being up at all hours of the night with a restless newborn or nursing every 2 hours made me want to cry.

Jett has been such a wonderful sleeper that I was no longer used to waking at night.  And honestly I didn't/don't want to do the newborn thing all over again.  It was awful.

But then I got pregnant and I was up 2 or 3 times to pee.  Ok...I can handle it, preparation for new baby, I get it.  It wasn't that bad.

BUT NOW I CANNOT SLEEP LONGER THAN 2 HOURS.  Sometimes not even 2 hours.

It's like when Jett was at the peak of the awfulness that got him sent to his own room to CIO.  I see every hour on the clock.  SLEEP DEPRIVATION IS A FORM OF TORTURE.

I have tried everything I'm allowed.  Benadryl, Unisom, Valerian Root.  None of it even touches this insomnia.  I go to bed around 10pm (can't fall asleep before that) and I'm up by 11:30.  Then 12:45.  Then 1:15.  Then 2:45.  And it continues all night.

There is nothing waking me that I can discern.  I wake up perfectly comfortable but thoroughly annoyed.  I always get up to pee because if I try to roll over and go back to sleep I will be woken up to pee shortly thereafter and I'm always trying to maximize how long I can stay asleep.  But it doesn't help.  NOTHING HELPS.

Last night I was woken up by CONTRACTIONS.  Braxton Hicks contractions, but contractions nonetheless.

I've started praying for 3 hour stretches of sleep guys...just 3. 

My husband (when he's here) has moved to the other bedroom most nights so as to again...maximize the amount of time I sleep because if he's snoring when I try to fall back asleep I can't fall back asleep.  If he's not there I at least fall asleep easily all 13 thousand times I wake up.  

I can now honestly say that I'm not scared of the sleeplessness of a newborn.  I actually think I will be sleeping MORE when baby gets here as I know they sleep for 3-4 hours in the beginning and a 4 hour stretch sounds like HEAVEN.

One night about 3 weeks ago I got a 5 hour stretch and I felt AMAZING!  I burst out of bed at 7am feeling more energized than I remember feeling in a long long time.

So there you have it, the body's amazing ability to get you ready for your baby no matter what.  I'm ready body, I'M READY!  I will take the newborn.  If I was 2 weeks further along I'd be encouraging labor just to get this baby out of me and get some sleep.

HOW IS THAT FOR IRONY?  I want the baby OUT to sleep.  

If this continues all the way to 42 weeks I will be a basketcase.

I think I only made it a month with Jett waking every 1.5 before I lost my shit.  I don't know if I'll make it any longer this time and I'm about a week in. 

Dear Baby, 3 more weeks...I can do this for 3 more weeks and then you have to come OUT or I'm going to go insane and you will have only a shell of a crazy lady for a mother by the time you arrive.

Anyone know any tricks to STAY asleep? Falling asleep is easy.  And I'll try anything at this point.