Posts Tagged ‘last baby’

Welcome To The World, Finnegan!

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Introducing our fourth child…

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My birth story is decidedly average, with nothing super interesting or noteworthy happening. But since I like reading birth stories no matter what, I’m assuming other people do too.

My due date was August 28th, and although I’ve been preparing myself to go at least a week late (I did with both Evan and Linc) I was SO SO DONE when I got to my weekly exam on Monday the 29th. DONE. I had enough of the heartburn and insomnia and peeing every 20 minutes and sciatica and pelvic pain and throwing up (I was still throwing up every morning when I got out of bed) and being incredibly uncomfortable 24 hours a day. I had made it past all our vacations and commitments and E was back from his work trips and my mom had just gotten into town to help with the kids. So basically, everyone was sitting around waiting for me to have a baby but I was in too much pain to walk 10 miles a day to start labor.

I’d been taking evening primrose oil for a while, since it’s on The Internet’s List Of Things That Might Start Labor But Who Actually Knows. I’d also been drinking gallons of red raspberry leaf tea, eating all my food with extra hot sauce (and then crying myself to sleep because my heartburn was so bad) and doing as much walking as I could handle. I’d had a couple of evenings of steady, increasing contractions but they always faded away before I seriously considered going to the hospital. I had refused any checks to see how far along I was because in the past they’ve always been very discouraging, so when I went in at 10 for my appointment I didn’t know what to expect. OK, that’s not quite true. I knew I had either a UTI or a kidney infection. I knew my midwife wasn’t against induction. And I knew if she offered me one I would say yes.

I was right about all those things. My UTI turned out to be caused by e.coli, so I needed treatment. (Sidebar: it must be some sort of non-terrible e.coli though, because I wasn’t any sicker than I regularly am with a UTI. I wouldn’t have even treated it beyond cranberry juice and Tylenol if I hadn’t already been under a doctor’s care.) My blood pressure was high enough that it fell in the hypertensive range and I needed to go up to L&D for a non-stress test anyway. And my midwife could see how tired and stressed I was. Right after I got upstairs she came in and said “So do you want to have a baby?” Yes, yes I do.

If you had told me before I had my first child that someday I would happily and joyfully agree to an almost-elective induction, I would have called you a liar. And at the time I would have been right. But 3 births later, I was perfectly comfortable saying yes. I had a few moments of doubt when things got slow and I didn’t manage to have a baby by 8 pm (which had been my secret goal). I’m not someone who enjoys or longs for a natural, unmedicated birth. I think people who do are amazing and with my second pregnancy I briefly thought about giving it a try, but that one ended with pre-eclampsia and a definitely-medically-necessary induction. I used to think I’d like to know what it’s like to have my water break spontaneously, and then that happened with my third pregnancy, where I almost ruined our mattress and carpet. So this time, my only real wish was to get the baby OUT.

I went to the hospital around 3 pm. I hung out, E left to wrangle the kids and gather up the stuff I forgot, I bounced on the birth ball (I really loved the ball, I wish I had bought one for home), eventually they decided I was definitely progressing so they would start pitocin and break my water. A little later I got an epidural, hung out some more, finally agreed on a name with E, and waited. I ended up with a very slight fever (possibly the UTI, possibly something else?) and they stopped pitocin for several hours which let me get some sleep. But I woke up on Tuesday and felt like having a baby, so we started again. The doctor on call was one of the good ones, he was patient and trusted me to trust myself. Despite the fact that their monitors weren’t showing the contractions super close together, I could tell they were strong and if I were to try pushing things would happen. I secretly tried pushing. Things happened. So I told the nurse and the doctor and they did all the room switch-over stuff for birth and then everyone waited while I did a practice push to prove I could get the baby out. They were all very impressed with my pushing skills. It’s really the only part of birth I’m particularly good at. I was so good at it, my husband and my nurse forgot to help me hold up my legs and I remember thinking “this is nonsense, I don’t want to hold my own legs AND do all the work!” But everything happened so fast I didn’t have time to vocalize my complaint before I had a baby!

The doctor called him a bruiser. Everyone made sort of terrified faces at how enormous my baby was. My guess pre-birth was that he would be 9 lbs 4 oz AT LEAST and E said no more than 9 lbs, so even though they gave us lots of time to cuddle and nurse before they took him off to the scale, we really wanted them to weigh him. 9 pounds 13 oz is a LOT of baby. Plus also I was closer, so I win.

Because they had given me antibiotics while in labor, we had to stay for a minimum of 48 hours. Then his bilirubin levels came back high and they kept us another night. We finally got to come home…but right now as I type this E and Finn are back in the hospital so Finnegan can spend some time under the lights to help him get his bili levels down. I managed to pump so much milk in the past couple days trying to stay comfortable as it came in (I have oversupply issuses, which sound silly, because most people worry about undersuply. But let me tell you, oversuply is nooooo fun) that E can stay the whole 24 hours without me having to go back. I’m not going to completely abandon him – my natural urge to stay near my baby combined with the mom guilt of letting other people take care of him plus the fact that this breast pump is just NOT as effective as an actual baby means I’m eager to get back and nurse and cuddle and spend some time with Finn. But I really really reallyreallyreally REALLY really really appreciate that E is willing to do this part. He missed a lot of stuff after Linc was born because he had to go to sea (including a nearly idetical trip back to L&D for 24 hours under the lights) and the experience of doing it alone was really hard for me. It sounds silly to say “traumatic”, but the second I heard Finn’s bili levels were high I started feeling anxious and I’ve barely slept since then. I don’t like hanging out in hospitals.

Fingers crossed that 24 hours is all Finn will need and then we’ll just be done forever with the birthing center at our hospital.

I meant to do a really good job documenting this birth, but it turns out that’s hard to do. I felt very distracted and had no desire to pick up my camera at all until several hours after all the birth stuff was over. But I did take a few. I’ll have the official Fresh 48 photos up later this week too.

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I never made it in for a pedicure pre-baby. Now I probably never will.

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These cups full of crushed iced and water are the BEST part about the hospital. I love that ice.

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Me: HONEY QUICK GIVE ME THE CAMERA SO I CAN CHECK THE SETTINGS BECAUSE I’M ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY

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All the kids really love holding the baby. It’s adorable.

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Thank you to everyone for the well wishes!! We could not be happier to be a family of 6 and hope we will all be back under one roof again soon.

 

A Fourth Pregnancy Update

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

belly 32 weeks

Here’s the thing about having a fourth baby – you don’t really have time for a fourth baby until the baby actually shows up and you HAVE to give them your attention. That’s why I am currently  31 31+ 32 weeks pregnant and haven’t written a single pregnancy update so far. I have no weekly bump shots, no cute comparisons to fruit sizes, no lists of symptoms or weird body changes. All changes have already been made, at least one whole baby ago. My body can do all sorts of horrifying things and my reaction is “meh, I’ve seen worse”.

It has gotten very hot recently, and I am reminded why summer pregnancies are the worst. I am feeling extra large and swollen and sweaty all the time, even when I am doing my best to drink water and keep my feet up and not move more than necessary between the hours of 11 am and 4 pm. Several of those hours also happen to be Linc’s current nap hours, so there is a lot of afternoon screen time happening in our house. I keep trying to feel guilty about it – because I’m supposed to feel guilty about letting the kids watch iPad instead of having an #unpluggedchildhood, right? – but can’t work up the energy. Maybe after a quick nap.

I had such good intentions when it came to really enjoying and basking in this last pregnancy. I was going to think about things like “This is the last time I’ll feel relief at 24 weeks” and “This is the last time we’ll get to pick a baby name”. Instead, I keep forgetting how pregnant I am and please let’s NOT talk about the complete lack of name decisions being made. I think a big part of it is that when I was pregnant with Lincoln they were concerned with my amniotic fluid levels, so I had a LOT of appointments. There were bi-weekly non-stress tests and weekly ultrasounds, all of which Evan and Caroline attended with me, plus regular check-ups and blood work. In contrast, this baby had one extra ultrasound early on and we’ve reached the point where I have the standard weight-belly size-any questions? appointments every 2 weeks, but no NSTs, no extra testing, no dragging my kids to the hospital all the time. This baby is unwatched and unmonitored and completely average.

That doesn’t mean he isn’t trying to to make himself known. My current daily heartburn levels are somewhere between “being stabbed with hot knives” and “oh my God I must have esophageal cancer this cannot be normal”. I still have daily morning sickness and sometimes evening sickness. I have to pee constantly. Like right now. Even though I just went 10 minutes ago. And all night. It’s exhausting. He also kicks and rolls more than any previous baby, sometimes moving so much I gasp and clutch my belly and feel like he’s about to just pop right out, Alien-style. I would much rather he make his exit the normal way, so hopefully he figures that DOWN is a better direction for the poking in the next few weeks.

I have plans to force my family to help me take maternity photos again, like I did last time. Since this is my last pregnancy, I’m going to be as completely cliche as possible – long dress, flower crown, standing in a river looking pensive about the miracle that is motherhood – and not feel the least bit self conscious about it. Plus any excuse to stand in a river sounds really good right now, since it’s 93 degrees outside and we don’t have air conditioning. For now I’m going to finally hit publish on this, put a cold washcloth on my head and take a nap.



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