After adopting #6 DK, we were over-the-moon. Seriously, our hearts were so full! We felt so grateful and so blessed! After the excitement of adding a new family member, a sense of calm rolled over our family. I thought that meant our family was complete - I was wrong. (This has happened before, folks. We thought we were done after TWO! 😉)
Thankfully, there were 4 great things that happened during this time:
1) My family seriously stepped up. My husband, teenage son, parents, in-laws, sisters, and aunt were my saving grace. They took care of my kids, made them meals, drove them to and from practices, games, meets, and performances. They did the laundry & dishes, brought over meals, offered encouraging words & prayers, and pushed me to go to the hospital when they knew I needed medical help. THANK YOU! I'll never forget how you were there in my time of need. I am one blessed woman.
3) Despite my health, our baby was developing perfectly!
4) It lessened by 12 weeks!! That's the soonest HG has ever left me! Praise God!! Of course, the nausea always sticks around 'til the end, but I can totally "fake it" and go back to living my life!
|The m&m's say "Nuts?" or "No Nuts?" and the pizza |
box on the right says, "Sausage? or No Sausage?"
My family is hilarious... 😏
I'd been having a ton of "false labor" as always. Contractions were so frequent that I'd begun timing them on my phone. I worried this gal would come by Christmas!
Also around this time, my dr & I had a slight disagreement over the glucose test. I've always declined the test - not bc I'm trying to be difficult, but bc of my history of HG. The memory of that awfulness is seared into my brain, and I refuse do ANYTHING that may trigger a relapse. I'm severely protective of my health and chugging a bottle of super sweet "cola" or "orange drink" in under 5 minutes will only lead me to vomiting again and invalidate my results. Not saying diagnosing & treating gestational diabetes is a trivial issue, but there are many alternatives to the drink. (See some here, here, here, & here.) My ob with my earlier pregnancies was very laid-back and had no problem with finding a different path. (He no longer practices.) With pregnancy #1 he asked me to see a dietitian and watch my diet. He'd continue to check for sugar in my urine and monitor baby's size. If anything looked poor, we'd revisit the matter. With my subsequent pregnancies, he didn't even suggest seeing the dietitian, just checking the urine & baby's size again. Never had any problems. Unfortunately, the ob I had with this pregnancy was more Chicken-Little-the-sky-is-falling. Not only did he want me to visit the dietitian, but also check my blood sugars 4x a day. I thought it was over-kill, but I obliged for 10 days. After 40 perfect readings, I was done. He wanted me to continue 'til the end of my pregnancy, saying "Things could change at any minute!" I declined. (By that reasoning, shouldn't every pregnant woman test every day until the end of their pregnancies regardless of whether they pass the test?!?!) Anywho, once again, no problems.
Dec 28, 2016 - 33w1d. I went in for a check-up & ob checked baby's position - head down! Yay! (My last was breech.) To my surprise he also wanted to do a cervical check. I assume it's bc I normally deliver 1 to 2 wks early? I consented - 2 cm & 50% effaced.
Jan 26, 2017 - 37w2d. Wkly check-up. My dr was out, so I saw another. She said I was measuring 3 wks small & suggested an ultrasound. I wasn't concerned bc with #3 P I was measuring 5 wks small & my very-laid-back dr at that time just said, "you hide it well." Plus, it all depends on how baby is laying & how a given provider measures. I didn't feel the need for another ultrasound (already had the routine 1st & 2nd trimester ones), but scheduled one for 1.5 weeks out, knowing I probably won't make it until then.
Feb 3, 2017 - 38w3d. Saw my dr again, another cervical check = 2-3 cm & 75% effaced. He wanted to schedule an induction for a week early bc my quick labors made him "uncomfortable," and he needed more "control" over me/the situation. Aside from being opposed to (& offended by) being told I need to be "controlled," I was also still dealing with some trust issues from my last birth. I reminded him I prefer the natural way. A younger me would have jumped at the offer. In fact, in the past I'd done just that. Two out of 5 of my labors were induced. I was sick of being pregnant, anxious to meet my baby, and all for scheduling his/her arrival.
However, the older I got, the more my views changed. I was shocked & saddened when I saw women experience the "cascade of interventions," especially when unnecessary interventions ended in c/s. I knew opinions on elective 39 week inductions differed, but the only opinion that mattered in this case was mine and I was at a firm no.
In addition, the more times I've gone through the whole birth experience, the more I've learned what I like and don't like. Pitocin & AROM fall squarely in the "don't like" category. I felt no need to rush my baby out before she or my body was ready. Having done both natural & induced, I found natural to be far superior imo. (No judgement towards those who've induced early.)
Despite declining, my ob continued, asking what if labor went so fast I delivered at home? I replied that I'd happily have a home birth*, which led to him telling me the dangers of home births. I could suffer a uterine prolapse! Why he chose to focus on that complication, idk? I'd think pp hemorrhage or the need for neonatal resuscitation would be more likely, but again, idk? I politely listened, but declined again. Finally, he said if I go past 40 wks, then we'll HAVE to schedule one. Hmm, unlikely, I thought, but we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.
[And just to dispel the myth: I've been told when on pit you're not "allowed" (oh, how I despise that word) to move around & must labor in bed. Not true! Ask for the IV on the back of your hand, not the inside of your elbow, that makes movement easier. I've walked, rocked, danced, & plie-ed my way through pit-induced contractions. 😉]
Feb 7, 2017 - 39w
3 am - Noticed some contractions, but not concerned since false labor is so common for me.
7 am - More contractions. These were different/more intense, so I start to think this is it! As I was helping the kids get ready for school, I warned them that baby may come today.
8:10 am - I texted my husband to give him a "head's up." He was working 1.5 hrs away. I told him he didn't need to come home yet.
10 am - While having some strong contractions, I gave #6 DK his bottle and thought this will probably be the last time I do this with him as my baby. 😢 Soon we'd have 7 kiddos and 3 "babies" - a newborn, a 10-mo-old, & a 28-mo-old.
Now it became a question of timing for me. Thoughts swirled in my head: How fast will this one go? Crazy fast like my last? When should I tell my husband to start the drive home? When should I call my MIL to come over & watch the kids? When should we head to the hospital? Further complicating the matter: I tested GBS+, so I was supposed to have a bag (or 2?) of antibiotics before I delivered. But I HATE laboring in a hospital so I didn't want to get there too soon. And if I didn't get the antibiotics, like my last birth, it's not that big of a deal, they'll just take a blood sample of baby to check she's alright. But I'd rather be the one dealing with needles than my newborn. So back & forth I went...
10:30 am - I texted my husband to come home.
11 am-ish - Drove #4 S to preschool while having contractions. Stopped by LJS's for a fish sandwich & some coleslaw, my "last meal," lol! 😉 since I know the hospital has a no-food-during-labor policy. (I'm never hungry during labor anyways. Plus mine are speedy so this has never been an issue for me.)
12:30 pm - My husband arrived home. We put the two little ones down for naps just as my MIL arrived, and we headed off to the hospital.
|1. On the ball. |
2. & 3. Immediately following delivery
(yes, she was a bit purple 💜)
4. A few hrs after delivery.
Coincidentally, my sister had a dr's appt with my ob at that same time. She was the one who told him that at that very moment I was in labor at the hospital. He later told me he was bummed that he missed my labor, and (again) mentioned my quick, crazy last delivery. Apparently, he called up to warn the on-call ob that my last baby was breech, so she came in to check for sure that this one was still head-down. She was. He also told her not to leave since my labors are fast.
5:15 pm - I stood up from the ball & my water broke! Woo-hoo! I exclaimed, It's baby time!! I think I may have even clapped, people! 😂 (My babies always arrive within minutes of my water breaking.) I told them to get the dr and climbed up onto the bed rocking back & forth on all 4's. I gave a little "test" push & felt her head slide down. Then the dr entered. She asked if I wanted to flip onto my back and said I could deliver in any position I chose. 👍 I was in "the zone" and didn't respond. I gave one push & out she came! A perfect 6 lbs 9 oz, 19.5 in long, born at 5:19 pm with apgar's of 7 & 9. I flipped over onto my back, and we had immediate skin-to-skin followed by her nursing for over 2 hours! I held her as they sewed me up, which was by far the most unpleasant experience, and it seemed to take foooorever! Seriously, will I ever make it through without a cut/tear?? 😣 Is it bc my babies rocket out of me?!?! I told my husband, I.AM.OUT. I am DONE with PAIN. This will be the LAST labor & delivery for me! Lol! Then we ordered some pizza, breadsticks, & chocolate chip cookies, which we ate right in the delivery room! Sitting there, stuffing my face with carbs, my husband commented he hadn't seen me this happy in months! 😄 And it's true! The nausea was immediately gone (goodbye lingering HG symptoms!), food tasted good again, and I was so happy to have my healthy baby girl and NOT to be pregnant anymore!!!
I loved the calm, mellow nature of L's delivery, especially following the chaos of my last birth. While M's was quick & crazy, L's was smooth & unrushed. If M's birth was like white water rafting, L's was like sailing down the lazy river. Interestingly, my daughters' personalities seem to match their deliveries. M is stubborn & energetic, while L is laid-back & content. They are both beautiful additions to our family!! 😉
To reveling in the differences and appreciating my babies,
*Full disclosure: After 3 hospital births, I was ready for something different. So with my 4th & 5th pregnancies, I explored the option of birthing at home. We'd had some good birth experiences, but also some ridiculous/unpleasant/frustrating ones. Nothing traumatic, thankfully. Here's one example...
With my 1st & 2nd kids, THEY BROUGHT US THE WRONG BABY! 😱😲
- With #1, the nurse wheeled in a baby boy & said, "Here's your son. We fed him for you." Me, confused, "But I'm nursing?" Nurse, "Oops, sorry, wrong baby!" wheels him away...
- With #2, nurse wheels in a baby girl, "Here's your daughter!" My husband, "She's already in the room with us..." Nurse, "sorry..." quickly wheels out baby...
So with #3 and then #4 I refused to let them be taken out of the room, and they fought me on this, bringing in the charge nurse who said they had to take #3 out for tests. I firmly reminded her that this was my child, and we could leave whenever we wanted to. The nurse tattled to my then-ob (the laid-back one), who laughed & teased, "That's right, Becky, we're all trying to steal your baby!" I replied, "Hey, once is an accident, TWICE is a pattern!" I shared this story at work, thinking it must be just me, and one of my colleagues said the SAME THING happened to her daughter! 😲 WTH?!?! By the time #5 came, the hospital had changed it's policy to encourage rooming in, but still offered multiple times to take baby out for tests, which, of course, I declined.