Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Oliver's Birth Story

 To think, in one small week our whole world changed for the better.

Bringing Oliver to this earth was the best day of my life. This is going to be a long post, so in sum the 8 hour delivery was beautiful, and unexpectedly easy and pain free. I know, I didn't think labor could be described like that either! I was able to birth him unmedicated and didn't feel any pain until my final push. Tayler was the sweetest, most encouraging supporter and I couldn't have done it without him. My doctor and nurse were so supportive of my choices to birth without pitocin, an epidural or an episiotomy and I felt safe and respected the whole time. It was my dream birth and I'm so grateful I got to start motherhood the way I wanted.

The number one question I get when people ask about natural (unmedicated) labor is why I would choose that route. There's a lot of things that go behind the decision but basically 1) I hate needles, so I wanted to avoid an epidural and the IV that goes with it, 2) I didn't want Ollie to be out of it for his first moments on earth 3) Last semester I took a Childhood Across Cultures class and was amazed at how women give birth outside of America. It's treated less like an emergency and more like the natural process it is. So I wanted that!

Now for the long version....

Tuesday, October 2nd started off bright and early with Oliver letting us know it was his day. It was 7am, and after a decent sleep I sat up - with great effort because of my big, 37 week 6 day belly, and immediately heard a little pop accompanied by some involuntary gushing. Instantly I knew my water had broke, and I knew that meant labor was starting!

I woke a sleepy Tayler up to tell him the news. He looked at me, through half open eyes, with disbelief. "Are you sure?" he asked skeptically. "I'm pretty sure!" I answered, a little bit annoyed that he doubted me. Turns out he didn't know that your water can break before you have contractions so I had to use some Google on him to convince him.

I politely demanded that he make me a large healthy breakfast knowing that if the hospital admitted me I would be on a clear liquids only diet. He went downstairs to make me an omelet while I rushed around doing all the things I thought I had 2 more weeks to do: washing all the baby clothes, organizing a diaper changing station and packing my hospital bag.

My birth plan was to labor at home for as long as possible, head to the hospital when I was dilated to a 7 or 8, and then birth the baby naturally. So, thinking that we still had hours until we needed to go to the hospital, Tayler headed into work.

About 5 minutes after he left he called me and said that after talking with his dad, who's a doctor, I should call my OBGYN and ask them what to do. I'm so grateful he did because apparently the risk of infection and complication increases after your water breaks. My doctor instructed us to go straight to labor and delivery. Tayler turned his car around and came back to pick me up. We had assumed that we would stay at home until my contractions started, so we begrudgingly packed up the car, certain that we would be sent home.

I felt foolish walking into labor and delivery, obviously not in any pain. The receptionists looked at me doubtfully and pointed us in the direction we needed to go. We were checked in, taken to a labor suite and I was given a gown. One simple test later and it was confirmed, my body was in labor. They strapped my belly up with monitors, one for the baby's heart rate and one to measure contractions.

We immediately loved our nurse Melissa, who was fun and cheerful as she measured mine and baby's vitals. We were chit chatting and then she surprised us by looking at me with confusion and asking, "Did you not feel that? You're having a big contraction."

Me and Tayler looked at each other, laughed, and gave each other a high five. Apparently I was having contractions! Tayler and I had practiced pain coping methods and counter pressure points to deal with contractions, and it turns out I couldn't feel them! Melissa gave us the run down of what to expect and that anticipated that I would deliver that night between 10-12pm. Since I wasn't feeling any pain, we decided that Tayler would go home and clean and prepare our house for baby for the next couple of hours.

Those hours went by quickly, and I enjoyed the solitude and slow pace of the small hospital. I sat in my quiet room looking out the window at Tower Mountain's fall colors and thinking about how close baby was. While Tayler was gone they checked me again, and this time I was dilated to a 5. At this point I could identify the contractions, but it still felt like a mild cramp.

The nurses were in disbelief that in two hours I had progressed so much. This was amazing to me too because I've never considered myself to have a high pain tolerance, but I tried to keep my head level and prepared for things to get harder. The mantras I'd recite to myself were: "All you have to do is relax and breathe" and "Every contraction brings your baby closer."

Tayler returned around 2pm and for the next two hours we joked, talked and laughed. I think we were both a little giddy at the prospect of meeting our baby so soon, and we were in complete disbelief that labor was going so smoothly for me. Melissa was an awesome nurse for us, checking in occasionally but for the most part letting us do our thing. She did offer me some pain medication around 3pm when I started having to breathe deeply through contractions, but I didn't feel like medication was necessary.

It's routine for nurses to check your cervix often to keep track of how dilated you are, but I declined several checks because I didn't feel like I'd progressed at all and didn't want to be discouraged if that was the case. But after some stronger contractions that Tayler had to massage my feet to help me get through, I let them check me. I still wouldn't describe the contractions as painful, but they were intense.

Melissa announced that I was at a 9. A 9! One little centimeter away from being ready to push. I was hoping I was maybe a 7! Melissa scurried out of the room to call the doctor and we heard her tell all the nurses at the desk I was a 9, it was fun to hear them sound so surprised and excited.

Dr. Nance showed up around 4pm and he was so sweet and complimentary about how I was managing labor.

I've heard it said that some women like the pushing phase of labor more than the contraction phase of labor. I am not one of those women. Although pushing didn't hurt until the final push, the pressure of baby Oliver so low wasn't painful, but it was incredibly weird and uncomfortable. For an hour Dr. Nance, Melissa and Tayler coached me through pushing. In between contractions we talked about important topics like the cafeteria's peanut butter bars.

Pretty soon I started getting discouraged that it was taking so long, when my dilation had gone so quickly and smoothly. I was tired from not being able to eat all day, and I was starting to think that Tayler and the doctor were lying to me when thy said the baby was so close. But then out of the blue, at the height of my first painful push I felt a huge whoosh of baby and the doctor was holding up the cutest, purple, wide eyed alien I'd ever seen. They put him on my chest and I couldn't stop the tears. He was here, he was safe, and he is ours.

We have so much love for you baby Oliver and we feel so blessed to be your parents.

And a note to all my pregnant friends - believe me, if i can give birth naturally so can you. I cry when Tayler pops the blackheads in my ears.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Bumpdate: Week 28

 28 Weeks Friends. Do you know what that MEANS? I am in my third and final trimester. This pregnancy has flown by, but it also feels like I've been pregnant my whole life. I just ordered this cute nursing friendly jumpsuit for post pregnancy, but I have the hardest time believing that someday I won't be pregnant and can wear it!

Baby is moving like cRaZy. And no, Tayler hasn't slipped yet and told me the gender! I love being able to work from home because baby is most active when I'm sitting on our bed, and I can just watch those little limbs prod and poke me while I'm chugging away on my laptop.

My doctor is a very kind, older gentlemen but he doesn't give me too many details. He's never said whether the baby is measuring big or small, at my appointments he just kinda hums and says, "Perfect perfect!" like he's Ollivander inspecting a wand. (Can you tell I'm rereading the Harry Potter books?)

As for me, I have gained 30 pounds and I'm feeling great! I feel like the past 8 weeks have been the prime of my pregnancy. The baby is so active and fun to watch, but I'm not sore or hurting at all. Shout out to our new Purple mattress for the awesome sleep I've been getting too.

Craving... Hamburgers + Lemon Curd (not together!). I've had more hamburgers this summer than I've had in my whole life combined. I normally do not like meat but baby wants what baby wants! Also craving lemon curd? Haha I love stopping by Cornerstone Bakery and getting a lemon tart or this spot by Tayler's work that has a Lemon Curd shake. Sooo yummy.

The nursery is coming together and I can't wait to share pictures when it's finished. It has a very mellow, gender neutral theme and I can tell it's going to be one of my favorite spots in the house. We've been gathering big ticket items as the paycheck allows, but are still on the lookout for a good rocking chair and a new rug. I'd love wallpaper but the removable stuff is SO EXPENSIVE so we'll see if we do anything major with the walls.

That's pretty much all that's new for now! I have my glucose test this week so cross your fingers for me, last time I got my blood drawn I threw up and almost passed out. TMI? Yaaaay needles.

My cute sister-in-law is due in September (with her 7th beautiful baby, doesn't she look great?!) and she asked us to take her maternity photos. I love how they turned out and she let me slip into a few of them! It's so fun being pregnant together. And yes we totally looked like Sister Wives when we rode up the ski lift in Sundance with Tayler between us.
Maternity Pictures Wildflowers Utah

Maternity Pictures Sundance Utah

 Link to the jumpsuit I ordered if anyones interested: https://brickyardbuffalo.com/deals/gno-jumper.html#.W14aEhozrVo

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Bump Update: 21 Weeks

Woo 21 weeks now! More than half way there?! I feel like this week has been a whirlwind of firsts and changes. On Monday the 4th I had a stranger touch my belly for the first time. And not just any stranger- a PANHANDLER. Haha this lady- who has probably seen a harsher side of life and had only one front tooth- came up to my mom and I in the parking lot of Walmart and when we apologized to her and said we didn't have any cash she went straight for my belly to determine the gender! I was too shocked to do anything, I just gave my mom some panicked side eye. The lady was very nice though but still: WEIRD. No touching someone's stomach unless you're close friends and family k?

On the 5th I felt the baby move! I have felt twinges before but I was never sure if it was bowel movements or baby movements, but this was for sure a baby movement. The baby is the size of a microphone at this point so it makes sense I'd feel it by now, it just took me a while to recognize it! It feels like a happy little gold fish dancing around in there.

On the 6th, TAYLER could feel the baby move! Haha we were watching the Bachelorette and I put his hand on my stomach and BOOM baby performed. It was a pretty special moment and Tayler may or may not have had tears in his eyes.

On the 7th, we got to see our little person! We had our anatomy scan and it was a wild ride. Turns out I have a tilted uterus (which is pretty common) but it makes the baby sink down into my pelvis. I guess its a nice, comfy spot because he/she was not budging from it, to the annoyance of our ultrasound tech. He was a very knowledgeable guy but my goodness he was rough. He was pushing SO HARD with his little ultrasound wand I thought both me and the baby would bruise. Since the baby's head wasn't easily visible, the tech took the wand and bounced it up and down on my lower stomach to try to scare/ force the baby to move. I've been prone to vomiting my whole pregnancy, so all that pushing and bouncing made me feel sea sick. Luckily he had some of those handy bags right by his desk. Bleh. But, he saw what he needed to see and baby looks perfectly healthy, we are so grateful and relieved!

As for the gender of little baby P., someone decided last minute that they had to find out! Haha I have always wanted it to be a surprise because A) a baby is a baby, boys and girls need the exact same things B) I know it won't be our last kid so why not get all gender neutral stuff C) I want that extra motivation in labor and D) I LOVE surprises. But Tayler wanted to know, and I didn't want to be a dictator and decide for both of us. So while the tech inspected the lower half of the baby, Tayler watched while I looked away. If Tayler saw what he thinks he saw, then he knows, but he has promised to try his hardest not to tell me! Haha I'm praying he can keep it a secret because he knows how important it is to me.

While most of our life revolves around this baby, other life events have occurred as well: we've lived in Utah for a month, Tayler started his job, and I got an awesome work from home job, but we'll talk about those things in another post.  Meanwhile enjoy these pictures we took when we went to Sundance Tree Room for date night this week!