My birth story

So here it is, the obligatory birth experience post. I was induced at 38 weeks due to gestational diabetes, and I’m writing this on my 40th week. Happy due date.

I was told to report to Labor and Delivery on Sunday evening (Nov 2) at 5pm to start the inducing process. I had to change into a hospital gown (boo, didn’t even get to sleep in my own clothes before labor truly kicked off) and get the IV started. Let me tell you, the IV hurt so much! I had no idea. This is one of those things no one had on their “things I wish I knew about labor” list. I couldn’t take off my rings because by the time I realized it would be a good idea, my fingers were already too swollen that far into my pregnancy. Well, with the IV in my left hand, my little fingers turned into sausages, and I was a bit worried, but we didn’t have any issues. I tested positive for Group B Strep, so I was on antibiotics the entire time I was in the hospital, even before they started me on Pitocin. The antibiotics burned so bad through the IV into my hand, and seriously by the time it was all over I couldn’t make a fist anymore. It hurt to flex my hand for at least a week after. IVs are no joke!

Anyway the nurses started me on Cervidil to ripen my cervix, since I really wasn’t all that dilated or effaced yet. At this point I realized how much of a sissy I was going to be during this labor process because the insertion hurt. More than I expected. I don’t like pain. Anyway I was told to sleep so hubby and I watched some TV and then tried to get some sleep. Poor guy slept on that little couch thing they have in the room. It wasn’t all that comfortable, but he was going to stay with me the entire time. Our doula also met us and hung out with us for a little while and made plans to show up the following morning when the show got started. Part way in the night I woke up due to some really bad back pain and asked for some of the lovely IV pain medication. I think it was Stadol. It made me dizzy and drunk, seriously. Then I was able to sleep.

In the early morning, 3 or 4 or so, I was allowed to get up and take a shower if I wanted, and change into a fresh gown. I was also given a breakfast! Well, you know, broth, Jello, some orange juice. But still, food! I was thinking I wouldn’t get to have any food until after baby was born. I did eat a big meal before going to the hospital, but still, I’m used to eating every 3 hours. We packed a lot of Gatorade for this reason. Anyway, after that the Pitocin got started and my doctor came to break my water. This is when the labor got going, but I don’t really know when to start counting the hours.

At first my contractions just felt like a menstrual cramp and I was doing alright. I even was allowed to get out of bed and move around a bit, as long as the fetal monitor stayed on. The baby kept moving though and hiding from it, so the nurses had to keep coming to readjust it. I used the birth ball for a while, and that really helped with my back pain, but hubby had to hold the fetal monitor in place and keep moving it around to keep the baby’s heart rate on the machine. We knew if we kept losing the signal the nurses would probably make me get back in bed.

Sometime mid day the contractions started getting a bit too much, and I knew it was going to get worse from there so I asked for my epidural. Yes that meant no more walking around, but I was getting tired and wanted to lie back down anyway. Getting the epidural wasn’t all that scary or painful. I barely felt the needle go in, and they allowed hubby to stay in the room with me so he helped distract me from thinking about just how big that needle really was. The rest of the afternoon was a blur. I seriously slept for a few hours through the rest of my dilating. It was wonderful.

Later I started getting back pain again and actually wanted to see if they could increase the epidural, but the nurses checked me and said I was complete and was ready to start pushing. Here’s when it got bad for me. I couldn’t feel much except for that one spot of pain in my back so the nurses decided to turn off my epidural so I could start to regain feeling. They told me the epidural would wear off slowly and I would just feel enough pressure to know when to push. THEY LIED!!! They made me wait a half hour before starting to push so that the epidural could start wearing off. My doctor had told me at an earlier appointment that they could turn the epidural down if I had trouble during pushing, but apparently they needed to call the anesthesiologist back to do that, and for whatever reason they decided not to, and all the nurses were allowed to do was turn it off. So for the next two plus hours of pushing I felt everything (except my legs, they were still noodles). I felt all the contractions and back pain and I still couldn’t figure out how to push properly. I seriously made some negative progress a few times. I was not prepared to feel that much pain, so rather than being able to isolate the pushing muscles, I just tightened everything and gave myself a massive headache. I also ended up hurting my back. Hubby and the doula helped raise my legs and I had to do a crunch each time I had to push. I had to take a deep breath and hold it while pushing and counting to 10, which was hard because I just kept feeling like my lungs were going to burst and my head was going to explode. They put me on oxygen to help me out, but I really don’t think it helped. Or, if it did, I’m afraid to know how much worse it would have been without the oxygen.

But, at 7:36pm Monday evening I finally succeeded in pushing the (not so) little guy out. He weighed 8 pounds 1.3 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long. He tried coming out sunny side up so that’s what caused me all the back pain. Hubby said the doc grabbed his head and turned him as he was coming out to get him facing the right way, and then pulled him out of me. His first words to our son was “welcome to Texas” hehe :) Hubby said he got pretty freaked out when the doc grabbed the baby’s head and turned him like that.

The rest happened pretty quickly. One of the things on my birth plan was I wanted to do delayed cord clamping, but unfortunately our doctor went on autopilot and clamped the cord before we even had a chance to react. We were pretty disappointed about that. Then they wiped the baby down and put him on me very quickly, so I was a little distracted for the afterbirth part. I did feel the placenta slide out of me but I don’t know if I pushed it out or if the doc did something to make it release. I took a good look at the placenta before they disposed of it, and it was about as yucky looking as I thought it was gonna be. I’ve seen it glamorized a lot but it really does look like a bloody chunk of tissue. I do know that when the doc massaged my fundus I cried out. I actually have a photo of me holding the baby, the baby is crying, I’m crying out, and the doc is squeezing the top of my uterus. That isn’t just uncomfortable like people say, it hurts! The next thing I remember was I saw the doc holding some scary metal hook thing in his hand. I asked him what he thought he was going to do with that, and he said I tore and he has to sew me up. So yea, that was great. I felt that too. Ouch.

I guess the part my readers are now wondering about is: what did we name him? Well, we decided on Henry “Hank”. I think it fits him quite well. The next thing I’m sure people are wondering is “where are the photos?” Well, I’ve decided to do my best not to publicly display photos of my child. I am posting them on my personal Facebook profile, but the privacy settings are friends-only and I’m not sharing the photos on my public Instagram or Twitter accounts. I might share a few here that aren’t as obvious, but I’m going to do my best to protect him and not plaster him all over the web without his consent.

I do wonder when baby Hank would have wanted to make his appearance if we hadn’t been induced. I also wonder how much he would weigh. I guess there’s no way to know but I am glad we didn’t fight the doctor’s plans to induce. Since I had a hard enough time as it was pushing his giant head and 8 pound self out, I don’t know how much harder it would have been if he had been allowed to get up to 9 pounds or more. Big babies run in hubby’s family and Hank is definitely getting some height from that side. I’m sure he’ll be taller than me by the time he’s a teenager. So welcome to the world little guy, I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

My body is amazing.

As my pregnancy is drawing to a close, I wanted to reflect upon the amazing journey my body has been going through. Ladies, this body that we have – it is amazing! It can do amazing things that I didn’t appreciate until now. Being the typical girl, I’ve always had body issues and was never satisfied with the way I looked. It wasn’t until I agreed (finally, after many years of people wondering if I ever would) to try out this whole baby thing, that I realized how amazing my body really is.

I’ve watched my body change and grow to accommodate this new life inside me over the past 9 months in awe. I’ve subscribed to all the baby websites that send weekly “what is going on inside your body” emails and I’ve learned so much about what my body is doing, even when I’m not actively thinking about it. Whether I was paying attention or not, my body has been actively working every moment of the day to grow this baby and all his accessories. I want to see my placenta before the hospital takes it away because I spent 9 months with it growing inside me. Call it scientific curiosity, but my body produced this wonderful thing that has fed my baby all this time. The least I can do is give it the respect it deserves and take a good look at it. I watched the bump slowly expand over time and watched my uterus grow from the tiny size it was normally, to this wonderfully enormous mass that supports life. How can I think it is anything less than amazing?

Yes I’ve probably complained plenty about the discomforts of being pregnant, but there’s so much more to the experience than that. The hormones, for one, have been great. I’ve never had this general calm and happy feeling before. I’ll miss it, that’s for sure. I wonder if I’ll still be this nice after delivery? Will I still have this general feeling of contentment or will I be back to the nervous wreck I have been known to be? I guess we’ll find out very shortly.

In the mean time I’ll leave you with this funny:

3rd Trimester blues and some helpful stuff I bought

I’ve posted a funny post previously about some of the not so fun things that creep up on you during the third trimester. That was more tongue-in-cheek sillyness, but this one will be a little more serious.

Some of the biggest issues I’ve had have been lower back pain, pelvic pain, and just other all around pains. You just get so dang big and everything is pressing on everything. Sleeping gets hard because you have to sleep on your side, but all that weight cause my legs and hips to cramp up. So I’m constantly waking up and rolling over (which requires a 3 point turn, let me tell you) and by the end of the night both sides hurt and I’m out of sides and sleeping is just done at that point. Moving side to side and rolling hurts in the pelvic and nether region and there’s really not much to be done about that.

However, I at least got a few items to help make it easier. I bought one of those maternity support bands that you wear under the bump to help support it and relieve some of the pressure on your back. Most of the ones I saw online were in the $60-range but I found one at a local boutique for $20, and it is the Medela brand (which is my breast pump, go figure). It goes around the belly and secures via velcro in the front. I wear it all day, and I’ve considered sleeping in it, but it didn’t seem like a good idea to have extra bulk in the bed in addition to my body pillow. In any case, I really recommend it (or any other maternity support band of your choice) because it does take some of the pressure off. I immediately feel relief when I put it on, and immediately feel more pressure when I remove it. That was a good purchase.

I also purchased a birth ball, or exercise ball, or whatever else you want to call it inflatable ball. We went to Academy and picked it up based on my height. It helps sit in a more squat-like position and open up the pelvis.  I try to sit on it daily, though I don’t always remember, but it does help stretch everything out. I also hear it is good to use during labor, if you’re allowed to be moving around. It also helps that the one that was meant for my height is purple, so you know that makes me happy. This was recommended by a doula that taught a comfort measures in birth class we took (cause it was free, woot). She also recommended taking two tennis balls and tying them in a sock to use for back massaging during labor. So we’re definitely going to put that in the hospital bag. I hope to bring the birth ball too, though I don’t know if I’ll get to use it at all. I guess if not we can always deflate it to keep it from taking up a lot of space.

Feel free to share if you have other recommendations for helpful items in this last stretch of my pregnancy.

The birth plan I wanted, and the discussion with my doctor

At my last appointment I brought in the following draft birth plan. That was when the doctor told me about the likely early induction and of course now my birth plan will need to change. But I wanted to share my original thoughts.

*If no medical complications arise, the following is my birth plan:

During labor
• Allow in delivery room: my spouse, doula, my mother
• Planned delivery: vaginal
• Stay hydrated with clear liquids and ice chips
• Eat and drink as approved by my doctor
• Intermittent fetal monitoring while I’m still mobile
• Heparin or saline lock rather than an IV
• Pain relief: Demerol at first and Epidural when requested and possible
• As few interruptions as possible
• As few vaginal exams as possible
• Hospital staff limited to my own doctor and nurses (no students/residents/interns)
• No labor augmentation

During delivery
• Not be reclined
• Use foot pedals for support
• Continue Epidural
• Use a mirror to see baby crown
• No forceps usage or vacuum extraction
• No episiotomy

Immediately After delivery
• Cut umbilical cord only after it stops pulsating
• I would like to see the placenta before it is discarded
• Hold baby and attempt to breastfeed

• Keep baby in my room at all times
• Baby’s medical exam given in my presence and/or my spouse’s presence
• Please don’t give baby formula or a pacifier
• Breastfeed with the help of a lactation specialist
• Baby’s first bath given by myself or my spouse
• Circumcision performed by my doctor

If C-section is necessary
• Exhaust other options first
• My spouse to remain in the room the entire time
• Stay conscious, use epidural
• Explain the surgery as it happens
• Hands free so I can hold the baby immediately
• Breastfeed in the recovery room

I was expecting to go into labor naturally and labor at home for as long as I could stand the pain so I could eat and move around and be more comfortable. Being induced means I’ll be strapped to the bed the entire time with the IV full of medication and of course an epidural, cause there’s no way I’m doing pitocin contractions naturally. I was expecting to have the contractions start out bearable and gradually increase, and maybe have my own pain tolerance increase with them, but that won’t be the case with induction. Pitocin contractions come hard and fast, period.

The doctor said they don’t allow you to eat because your stomach needs to be empty should a C-section be necessary. I thought that was due to anesthesia but he said it was because there is a risk you might aspirate if you throw up. Ok, got it, no food. But he said I can have glucose and clear liquids, so Gatorade is going on the packing list.

On a lot of these medical intervention items – like forceps and episiotomy (where they cut you down there if you’re not stretching enough) he said that I gotta trust his judgement. I’d rather have a small tear than a large cut, but sure if that isn’t even possible then yes if necessary, cut. I guess I should add the word “routine” to some of these. Hopefully my doula will be able to help facilitate the conversation so that the doctors and nurses aren’t making decisions without my input.

I’m wanting most of the stuff done to the baby to be at least in my husband’s presence if I’m not able to participate. Hopefully the nurses will allow that. Doctor said I won’t want the baby in my room the entire time, but it is hard to feed on demand when the baby is kept away. I don’t want them to give him formula or a pacifier at least until breastfeeding is established. But I might change my mind as exhausted and out of it as I will be at that time.

I’m also told if I end up having a C-section, I might be in the hospital up to 5 days. That doesn’t sound fun, but again, I might feel differently. I need to check with my insurance and find out the coverage details in that situation.

Got some unexpected news at my last doctor’s appointment

On Friday I had a bit of meltdown at/after my doctor’s appointment, because my timeline is being cut in about half. It started out like a normal doctor’s visit, but this one was a little more involved because the doctor took the Group B strep culture and I also got my flu shot and my Tdap vaccine. I also brought a copy of my draft birth plan because I wanted to go over it with my doctor before meeting with my doula. My original thinking was I’d go into labor and wait it out a bit at home until the contractions got unbearable. That way I could still move around and eat and be comfortable before going to get the epidural and being strapped to a bed for the remainder of the time.

What the doctor told me instead was because of my gestational diabetes they will need to induce me, and may do so as early as 38 weeks or maybe up to 39 weeks, so the baby doesn’t get too large. I was almost 36 weeks at the time of the appointment, so I kind of had an OMG moment since that’s just over 2 weeks away! I really didn’t want to be induced, partly because I’ve read that can increase the chances of a C-section, it makes the overall experience last longer since they need to give you all kinds of medication to prep your body for delivery since it hasn’t done that on its own yet, plus the pitocin makes the contractions come hard and fast, so no gradual increase in pain as labor progresses. That means I’ll be asking for an epidural right away and won’t be able to walk around for any of it.

That will certainly throw a lot of what is on my birth plan out the window, but I definitely understand the risk of a large baby. I was just thinking that I was controlling that with diet and since my blood sugar numbers have been good and the doctor hasn’t needed to put me on insulin yet I thought I was in the clear. I’m really glad I brought the topic up since that really changes my plans quite a bit.

So the doctor said he might be inducing between November 3-10. I thought I had another month to go with my due date being November 17th. So, bear with me while I get the rest of my mind wrapped around this change.

My Mom isn’t flying in until November 8th, and I wanted her to be here for the birth so she could help me get around during recovery. But now that Dad has decided to fly out with her and take a couple of vacation days to stay until mid-week, perhaps this is a good thing. At least if I have the baby before they arrive, Daddy will get to see his grandson in the short time he’s visiting. Mom will stay for a month and a half though since she can do some of her work from my house.

On a more fun and less stressful note, I had my Houston baby shower on Saturday. I hosted at my house since few people had been over yet and now my friends know where I live and can visit me and the baby. I had a really good turn out and I’m so happy with the great friends I have here. I got a lot of fun toys and good stuff for me that I didn’t have yet, so I’m very thankful.  Also, look at the Smurf cake for Smurfberry!


5 things that make pregnancy oh so glamorous /sarcasm

5 things that make pregnancy oh so glamorous

There are things we are commonly warned about that occur in pregnancy, such as stretch marks and nausea. But there are also other interesting tidbits about being pregnant, especially in the 3rd trimester, that maybe not all of us are aware of. Here are a few observations I’ve made recently that show just how UN-glamorous pregnancy can be. Come have a chuckle with me and enjoy the list.

5 things that make pregnancy oh-so glamorous.

  1. Hemorrhoids. Yep, apparently these are common. Yech. Not only are you constipated a lot, but when you do go, it isn’t all that pleasant. TMI? No topic is off limits when you’re pregnant.
  2. Incontinence. You’ll sneeze and pee yourself. Yep, it is just a matter of time. I live in panty liners now.
  3. All that discharge. Did I mention panty liners? Yep. Cause gross stuff comes out of you. Here’s TMI again.
  4. Gas. You’ll fart like an old man, I kid you not!
  5. Leaky Boobs. Ok, I haven’t experienced this quite yet, but I’m sure it is coming. I carry some of those boob pads in my purse just in case I start leaking at work someday.

Got anything to add to this list? I’d love to hear it.

Gestational Diabetes and the managed carb diet. Pricking your finger is no fun.

Gestational Diabetes and the managed carb diet

Late in my second trimester I had to do what every pregnant woman gets to do in the mid-20th weeks – take the glucose tolerance test. Well, I failed the 1 hour test, as many people do, and I was really trying to be optimistic about having to take the 3 hour test. Unlike the 1 hour, you have to be fasting for the 3 hour. So not only do I have to skip breakfast, but I have to have my blood taken 4 times, before, and at each hour after drinking the extremely sweet stuff, and not be able to eat or drink anything until the test is complete. I took a mental health afternoon from work that day since I knew by the time the appointment was over I’d have a massive headache and would be in no condition to drive to work and think anyway. So I scheduled a hair appointment instead.

The test itself was a bit worse than I expected. I felt so nauseous the first hour and was very worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I was in the waiting room with everyone else waiting for some blood work at the lab so it wasn’t like I had a comfortable place to go lie down. I just leaned back in my chair against the wall and tried to relax until it passed. Immediately after my final blood draw I had my husband meet me and we went and had an awesome lunch at Chili’s, which included their amazing giant cookie skillet dessert! YUM. Oh man I want one right now.

Anyway, unfortunately, I flunked the 3 hour test as well (yes, that is what my nurse told me – I “flunked” it). So that meant I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and needed to meet with a dietitian to discuss my results. She told me my first and second hour results were very high, but that by the third hour my body kicked in and processed the stuff ok. My fasting number was fine too. But the risk with my body taking several hours to process a large amount of carbs/sugar is the baby is getting too much food and can grow too quickly. The last thing we want is a huge baby with health problems, so for the remainder of my pregnancy I need to be on a controlled carb diet. The dietitian explained to me that I can have 30 grams (aka 2 servings) of carbs for breakfast and for each of my snacks, and 45 grams (3 servings) for lunch and dinner. So as long as I watch the labels of my foods and try to be careful with the amounts (because servings are tiny ok!) I should be fine. Then she gave me a device to prick my finger and measure my blood sugar and said to measure my blood fasting, and 1 or 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not fun at all, let me tell you. Especially pricking my finger at work. Gross. Thankfully my OB only wants me to record my fasting blood sugar. He said as long as I follow the diet, I only need to provide him with a trend of my daily fasting numbers to see whether I need insulin. So far my numbers have been fine, hope that continues to be the case.

The first two weeks of being on this diet I actually lost two pounds. I wasn’t expecting to be losing weight while pregnant, but I did have plenty that I recently put on with my “I’m pregnant, I can eat whatever the hell I want” diet. I’ve also noticed my feet haven’t been swelling as much, but I don’t know if that is related. I’ve been doing this for almost a month now and I’m finding it not too difficult to stick to the diet unless people try to tempt me with dessert. I haven’t been attending the office monthly birthday parties since it is always cake and ice cream – none of which is on my diet right now. I know I’ll splurge a little at my own baby shower – yes I have at least one more put on by my Houston friends (and maybe work will throw me one) but that’s it. For now as long as I eat a good dinner of meat and salad, I can still have the skinny cow ice cream that I enjoy. So I guess it could be worse, right? So not only am I counting down the days till I can have sushi again, but I’m also counting down the days until I can eat a giant cookie dripping in fudge and ice cream. Just bring those to my delivery room, ok?

Why would you say these things to a pregnant woman?

Why would you say this to a pregnant woman?

There’s this one lady at work who every time she sees me will say things that are quite inappropriate. She doesn’t say them in a rude way, but what she says is not something I feel good hearing. Seriously, why would someone say such things to a pregnant woman?

Here’s what I mean:

* You’re due in November? Oh there’s no way you’ll make it that long as big as you are. [Umm.. so you’re telling me I’ll have a preemie just because I’m big?]

* Are you sure you’re just having one? [Yes, just one, thanks for calling me fat.]

* How much weight have you gained? [SERIOUSLY, WHAT WOMAN ASKS THIS OF ANYONE!!!?????]

* Are you sure you’re having a boy? Did you see a penis on the ultrasound? [OMG since when is my baby’s genitalia any of your business???]

I saw this hilarious post on Pregnant Chicken on this very same topic, so I know I’m not alone in receiving such comments. Have any of my readers been on the receiving end of such remarks? Feel free to share your posts with me if you blogged about it, I’d love to read them.


Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2014 sale Sept 10-15

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy the product, I will receive a commission.

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I’m excited to have joined the team to get the word out about this bundle sale! I’ve been working on getting healthy for the past few years, with losing a lot of weight prior to this pregnancy, and now trying my best to stay healthy through this time in my life and beyond. I’m looking forward to learning from this event and continuing the wellness journey for myself and my growing family.

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Welcome to Third Trimester

Today I am at 29 weeks pregnant, so I’m well into in my third trimester. I thought this would be a good opportunity to reflect upon the end of the second trimester and everything we’ve accomplished so far.


I took this photo a few days ago so I thought I’d share it as part of this post.

Smurfberry’s accomplishments:

By the end of the second trimester, Smurfberry:
* Weighs about 2 pounds (or more, since we’re measuring bigger)
* Can kick and poke (and oh boy does he!)
* Has thickened layers of skin, some hair and body fat.
* Has all 5 senses functioning

Go Smurfberry! You keep on growing nice and healthy, but be nice and let’s not get to be like 9 pounds at birth, OK?

Mine and hubby’s accomplishments:

We’ve gotten a lot of the big stuff that I know we’re going to need – crib, car seat and stroller, dresser and changing table, etc. Here are some of the awesome things:





The crib was actually a gift/hand me down. My niece and nephew used it, and my MIL painted it so it would look nice and new for her newest grandchild. She also gave us the adorable Lion King bedding :) We’ve been wanting to use greens and browns in our theme, something forest or jungle themed, so that works out nicely.

Since we’ve already had our destination baby showers with both sides of our family, we already are stocked up on a lot of the goodies we will need. My friends are talking about throwing me a local baby shower too, so I’m excited to finish off my “you will need this” list.

I am starting to feel the effects of the third trimester though. I’m out of breath again, feel huge some days and have a hard time getting up from a seated position. Nevermind dropping stuff – if there’s no one around to get it for me, I don’t need that item! lol Heartburn is back and sleeping has become difficult. But, I’m still trying to remain optimistic that it won’t get too bad, and am trying to stay calm about all the unknowns of the labor experience. It terrifies me, but I’m trying not to let the fear take over. Now’s the time to start reading inspirational posts even though I’m not usually into the squishy stuff.

Anyone have any advice for me? I’d love to hear it :)