Friday, April 17, 2015

One Month with Baby #2

Wow, I can't believe that we have already pasted the one month mark. And what a month it has been, I think that the biggest reason we made it through so well is because your Nana was here to help.

We love you so much already, it is just amazing that even though you are so tiny, you take up so much of our heart and life. We love watching you explore the world as you gaze all around and take it all in. Our favorite game to play with you is "copy cat. You love to try and copy all the expressions on your Father's face when he holds you, sometimes you will even copy his head movements. My favorite thing to do is to stick my tongue out at you and watch you try and do the same back at me.

In this first month you have already given us some very sweet little smiles and cute little half smiles.Now it may just be gas but they are still the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

You are very good at letting us know when you are in need of something and you do so very loudly until we have finally figured out what you wanted and then you quickly become happy again.

I don't want to jinx anything but you are giving me hints that you might become a very good sleeper, as you are starting to have more and more good nights. Which at this point means sleeping closer to 3 hours in between feeds. And actually go back to sleep between feeds and not needing to be held for those 3 hours.  Once you even slept for close to 7 hours one night!!! I couldn't believe it and thought something must be wrong but no, you were fine just really sleepy that night. I hope that you give me more of those nights. Although often when you give me a good night then the next few nights are rough. It seems like one step forth, two steps back kind of thing. Oh well, you are only a month so really I'm not expecting to get a lot of sleep but I can hope!

You are also learning to be patience with your sister as she loves to come and gives you "love taps" that are often a little to hard then they should be. I'm so glad that you two have each other and I hope that you two will grow close and become the best of sisters. It will be fun to watch you two grow up together.

We are so happy to have you as a part of our family, and look forward to each day with you and getting to watch you continue to learn and grow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Birth Story for Baby Number Two

Once again I would like to share my birth experience with you. I share again because I know how much it helped me to hear/read other women's birth stories. It helped me realize that there are a lot of different normal births. In sharing I hope that I can help other women who are about to give birth and what it could be like, what they may feel and how it truly is an amazing thing that we as women can do.  This experience has made me feel so strong and empowered and so thankful for my body and what it can do. With sharing my experience I do not mean or wish to scare or frighten  anyone, yes giving birth can be intense but I truly feel it should not be fear but welcomed and embraced. Also I want to say that no matter what experience a women has when giving birth they should feel proud of themselves knowing that what they just did is a beautiful miracle of life.

Now this first part of the story I debated whether or not I should share because it's embarrassing. Like really embarrassing, but it is part of the story so I feel like if I don't share I would be being dishonest in some way. All I ask is that you don't ever bring it up with me. It would be nice if that as soon as you read it you quickly forgot all about it. If you could do that it would make me feel a whole lot better. :)

So it starts at 4:30 am on March 3rd, I was a sleep in bed and I semi woke up and went to roll to the other side, and when I did that a felt a big gush. That woke me right up, "was that my water?" I didn't move, "that must have been my water". I slowly moved some more to go to the bathroom, and felt a little more of a gush. I made my way to the bathroom to check things out, knowing that I should look for any signs of meconium (the baby's first poop) Anyway I didn't think there were any signs of that, but I really had no idea what to do. Mike had woken up at this point, and asked how I was doing. I filled him in, and then went back to being unsure of what to do. I called my midwife to see what she would say. I happened to have an appointment with them at 10:30am that morning so she just moved it forward to 8:30 am to check and make sure that was my water but I was to call her if things start to happen sooner then that.

So I tried to sleep and rest but that didn't really happen I just laid there waiting and listening to my body...."was that a contraction.... no just baby kicking".

Well I made it to 830 am and went to see the midwife, and she determined that it was not my water, I just peed myself :( Not that best news to hear first thing in the morning. I loved learning that way before my senior years  I was going to have to start wearing depends :(  The silver lining was that when she check me, I was already dilated to 3 cm and she was able to stretch me to 4-5cm (although she said the stretched centimeters don't count) and she did a sweep. So things were looking like they were ready to getting going anytime now. So that made me feel a little better.

The morning and most of the afternoon past without any other issues. Until about 4 pm when I started to feel some slight cramping. I didn't get to excited at first, due to the false alarm I already had that morning and the week before I had a bunch of cramping and nothing became of it. But by about 6pm they were strong and coming more often so I felt like this could be the real deal but I felt I definitely was at the beginning so I just need to ignore them and continue on like normal. So I did, I finished making dinner, and after dinner we watch our favorite show "Coronation Street". I started timing the contractions about 7pm as they were coming a lot closer together and a lot stronger. It was about this time as well that I told Mike that I was having contractions. He suggested going for a walk to help keep things going so we walked back and forth in front of our house for a bit but it was really cold that night so it ended up being kind of a short walk. But it did seem to help as the contractions continued to get stronger and closer together.

By about 9pm Mike called the Midwife to let them know what was happening, at first she thought she would come to us, check me and give me the antibiotics (I tested positive for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) again this pregnancy) But immediately after Mike had hung up the phone she phoned right back and asked about how far apart were the contractions, he informed her that they were about a minute to two minutes apart. "Oh well sounds like you are in active labor, we should meet at the hospital

So we left pretty much at that moment, everything was already packed and ready to go due to my fault alarm that morning . The drive in to Calgary wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong it got very intense but for some reason I feel like the drive with Rose was worse, but maybe that is just my memory playing tricks on me. Anyway like I said things continue to grow in  intensity on the drive, they were getting stronger and closer together and I was starting to get louder and louder. I started with some "ooooo's" and "awwwww" to get me through each contraction but that was not really helping and in the end what felt the best was a nice long "fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck", with and quick "shit" seem to get me through each contraction the best. I do have to apologize for the language I normal don't swear. I like to save them for very special occasions, like being pullover by the cops or when my team is losing very badly. But it now seems like I can add labor to that list of special cursing moments. Mike admitted to me later that in the car ride he had to stop himself from laughing at me because as he put it, it sounded like I had tourette's. it may have been hilarious to him but for me it was all business and just getting through one contraction at a time. I don't know why swearing seemed to help but for some crazy reason it did.

About 45 minutes later we arrived at the hospital, (it was about 10pm). The midwives were already there and had a room for me which was so nice cause they just got me in there so fast. Which was good cause it really felt like things were moving along fast. The midwives were so good, as they put the IV in to give my the antibiotics and checked on baby. They worked around my contractions and worked around my need to rock back and forth. It was so nice to have them do their best to accommodate me instead of me having to accommodate them. It made me feel respected and that they respected the birth process and were willing to let my body take its natural path.

After they did those first two things, they checked me, I was 7 cm. I had mixed feeling about this I was happy that I seem to be progressing nicely but I was a little disappointed that I wasn't farther along. I really wanted to be farther along.

Well I didn't feel that way for long because my body seem to go in to overdrive and this is when I entered when I like to call "crazy town". The contraction were all consuming, there was a lot more swearing, followed by an apology to everyone in the room as well as my baby (I felt like this baby should not hear her Mother swearing like a sailor on her journey in to this world) and that was followed by some crazy split personality self talk "You're doing great" "You're doing fine", "You made it through". I don't know what everyone else thought but even I thought that sounded crazy! And it got me through each contraction and really helped me get ready and pumped up for the next one. I know that Mike was there beside me giving me a lot of support as well yet it was hearing my own voice that seem to give me to confidence to know I could get through the next one.

Time at this point was very blurry to me but what felt like just a short time after they first checked me, I felt like I wanted to push. So the midwives wanted to check me again. Some how I got back on the bed and I have no idea how they were able to checked me because it felt like once on the bed I just was rolling from side to side (like I said crazy town) but I must have been able to stay still for a minute or two cause they told me I was 9 and half cm! Almost there, they asked me if they could break my water, feeling that once all the pressure from the baby was fully on my cervix that would quickly get me the rest of the way. Again I have no idea how they were able to break my water with me acting like a crazy woman but magically they were able to do it. My water had signs of meconium so they told me they would have to call in some doctors to check on the baby after she was born. Fine, all of that barely suck in my mind. It funny that when they told me all of that they were standing right next to me yet to me they sounded like they were million of miles away to me. I was just so focused on the contractions, the rest of the world seem to almost fade away.

It was also about this time they told me I need to get on my hands and knees, I have no memory on how I was able to get to my hands but somehow I ended up there.

Around this time I asked to the gas. (Again time is really blurry  at this point and I'm sure some of these things were happening at the same time or very close after each other but this is to the best of my memory)  That wonderful gas, I know some women say that it doesn't really do anything. Well I would have to disagree with them 100%! That gas is like a miracle drug for me. It took me to a nice little place high above the clouds, and most importantly it helped me relax......... which I really needed to do. I finally left crazy town and was able to feel 100% relaxed and ready to push my baby out. The gas didn't really take away any of the intensity of anything but I felt so relax that it didn't really matter.

Also it allowed me be able to focuses enough to push, although I do have to admit that overwhelming feeling to push did made me feel a little crazy again for a moment or two. This time I also felt that burning "ring of fire" as the baby was crowning. Funny thing about that, for some reason I thought that the midwives were still touching me and when I felt that burning I told them to "STOP TOUCHING ME!!!" and very kindly and sweetly they told me "that is not us Elva that is your baby." "Oh yeah, I know what is happening, that is the ring of fire, she is almost here"  And she was literally was out the next moment. I only ended up pushing for 20 minutes so a lot quicker this time. She was born at 11:20 pm March the 3rd.

Our beautiful little Violet had finally arrived. And she was perfect. Weighting 7 lbs and 4 oz and  20.5 inches long. And thankfully there was no problems with the meconium as she gave a beautiful wonderful loud cry as she come out.

Holding her in my arms made every moment so worth it. It was just wonderful heavenly bliss.

And what was the cherry to top it all off is that once everything was all done and they checked to make sure both the Violet and I were fine and healthy we got to go home. Oh that was so nice to go home to my own bed and not have to stay in the hospital over night. And it felt so good to be home and to be there in the morning when Rose woke up so we could introduce her new baby sister.

I can't believe that I now have two of the sweetest most lovely little girls. I feel so privileged to call my daughters and I feel so so luckily and honored that I get to be their Mother.

Some overall thoughts and feelings;

I was so glad to have midwives this time around it was such a different experience then with Rose. I felt so care for and that I was being guided through my labor and not focused to fit a schedule. They were just outstanding and all around amazing!

Although I do have to say that after Violet was born I did get to meet and talk with one of the nurse on the unit and she was SUPER nice and while talking with her I had that thought if I did needed to switch care to the hospital staff,  it would have been fine.

Also going through this labor without an epidural helped me feel a lot better about getting an epidural with Rose. I know that may sound a little funny but with Rose I had labored so long and was so tired that I really don't think I would have lasted till the end. I wouldn't have been strong enough due to how long it was taking. It was just nice to have that reassuring feeling that I did the right thing. Even if it wasn't what I planned on doing or even what I really wanted being able to now look back and now know what I did in Rose's labor really was the best thing for me. Again I know it may sound silly but Violet's labor really helped me come to peace and feel good about Rose's labor.

And last but definitely not least, my wonderful husband was once again was my biggest supporter and really is the greatest birthing coach there is! He was so good and just right there with me ever step of the way. He was just so amazing and just gave me so much love and encouragement during labor, he really deserves a medal. And he was so patient and understanding and never made me feel bad for going a little crazy during labor. A great example of just how understanding he was is that at one point in all this I told him to "Shut your mouth", and he just did. He didn't get defensive, or get upset with me. He just shut his mouth and continued to stroke my hair, hold my hand and get me water whenever I needed it. He truly is one of the good ones and I'm so glad that he is my husband.

Welcome Baby Violet