Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Surprise Delivery and 6 Hour Labor

My goodness where to begin? We had a baby!!

She took us by surprise by arriving 3 weeks and 4 days early.  My labor and delivery lasted only 6 hours.

I loved my birth experience!! It's long but I tried to remember everything and not leave anything out. 

Sadie the dog had been acting so WEIRD around me starting Wednesday evening 10/16/2013. We were dog sitting for my in-laws for almost a week and were flying back to town that Sunday. Before leaving for their trip:

MIL: Don't have the baby until I come back!
Me: We won't!

This dog is old. She usually sleeps or putters around.  Her change in behavior was that every time I wasn't lying down on the couch or in bed, she would keep barking, and sniffing my feet and calves.

On Thursday morning I started showing slight signs of effacement, but figured it wasn't anything alarming because I wasn't contracting. At least I knew my body was getting ready for labor.  After all, I read that for first time deliveries it would probably take a couple of weeks before true labor began.

Dave wanted to grow his hair out until the baby was born. However he was getting tired of his long hair and decided to get his haircut on Thursday evening from my good family friend Rosalia.  

She and her husband and boys are family to me. While living with them, I met Dave and stayed with them until we got married.  We went over to their house (they live very close to Dave's parents), had dinner with them, Dave got his haircut, then we went back to the house, let the dog out (she was still weird), and we went to bed around 10PM.  I was completely fine, I didn't feel anything other than my back was a bit achey and I wanted to go to bed.

I woke up around 1AM feeling some mild contractions.  I thought they were Braxton Hicks but decided to time them. I was using some iPhone app to time them and took a while to figure out how to use it. In the meantime I decided to text my mom about it.  I started writing some notes for my blog.  I texted my mom again and my sisters around 2:30 about my mild contractions to see if they could come later that day.

At 3AM I decided to take a warm bath to see if the contractions would go away. I woke up Dave to let him know why I was in the tub that early. The water relieved some of the back pain. However, pregnant women really need a BIG tub to move around and find the best position to best relieve the contractions.

I woke up Dave again and said "I'm contracting but they're consistent. I'm also seeing blood when I wipe"

Dave went ahead and called triage. The nurse told him that we could come and have myself checked but they would only admit me if I was effaced 5cm or more. I didn't want to go only to be turned away!

I was still contracting and was desperate for some extra support.  My mom had three more weeks left before flying out to see me and prepare for baby.  My MIL was out of town until Sunday. My sisters were 45 min away and my doula even further.

Notice the timing and how things progressed.
Can you imagine my mom's reaction reading all of this when she woke up?

Instantly I decided to call Rosi.  We were at her place about 8 hours prior. It was 4:20AM. I knew she usually got up at 5AM but hoping she pick up.

She did!  I explained I was contracting a lot and asked if she could come over because I didn't know what to do. Rosi asked about my water breaking and I said I didn't know, I didn't think it had broken. She then replied she would come over and see what was going on.

Around this time my contractions became closer and stronger together. I could NOT concentrate on timing the contractions on that iPhone app and said "Forget this!" I just knew they were coming less than 5 min apart lasting around a minute.

About 20 minutes later, Rosi came and I was already on the toilet.

It is SO TRUE that contractions come and go. They're manageable to deal at the beginning but when the baby is close, it hurts. I was feeling a lot of labor pain on my lower back.  Rosi asked how I was feeling and I said I felt like going poo and just didn't know what to do and just hugged her for relief and motherly support. She rubbed my back and forehead a bit.

As I got up from the toilet there was more reddish discharge, Rosi took a look down there and said "Um, yeah we should go, it's time to go"

Dave quickly packed whatever we had left for our dog visit. Basic toiletries and some clothes. I had not prepared a bag yet for the hospital with any baby stuff, a cute robe, Boppy pillow or whatever your friends tell you to bring to the hospital.  We survived just fine although id definitely say bring body wash!!

Dave also had to let out Sadie one more time to go potty and tie her up. She was barking so much and along with my contractions, drove me nuts, and I let out "Shut up Sadie!!!!!"

Dave drove while Rosi and I were in the back.  I rested my head on her lap. The drive from my in-laws to the hospital and being wheel chaired in to triage was the worst I felt with contractions. I must have began transition on the drive because I was moaning and agonizing a lot in the car.

From my in-laws to the hospital was a 30 minute drive.  Ooooowwwwweeeeee! I couldn't get myself to move until the contraction was over.

The security guy tried to wheel me into triage as fast as he could but it hurt so bad when I had another contraction.  "Stooooopppp!!!! It hurts!!! Go slower!!!!"

It was about 5:45AM when we arrived in triage.  It was a good thing that Dave called triage earlier because by the time we arrived we had a room set up for evaluation because it hurt.   Aaaaagghhh it hurt. But when it stopped it was relief and when it began then aaaaaaagggghh.

I hired a photographer that Wednesday to document the birth. We were planning to meet up the following Wednesday assuming that the birth would happen in November...not the end of the week! While in triage, Dave called her and explained what was going on so she rushed on her way to photograph the birth! 

After a few minutes lying on the bed, the nurse came to check on me!

I was dead set on natural/ zero intervention birth.  I had no idea how dilated I was but at the moment I decided to eff natural birth, if I was at a 5cm I'd take the pain relief.

The nurse checked me and said:

"Honey, you are at a NINE.  I can feel the baby's head!  You better start pushing!!"  

I was so happy to hear that, happy enough to where the contractions didn't seem as bad.

I changed clothes to deliver, lied in a gurney and wheeled across the hall to labor and delivery.

So many things happened at once!!!  Such a complete blur when I delivered and the rest of the day went by so so fast.  Faster than our wedding day.  

At L&D, the nurses and doctors tried to insert IVs for fluids and a pit drip to contract the uterus after delivery.  However I was so shaky and sweaty enough that my veins were too flat and couldn't insert anything. Got minor bruising from that. But they put some warm blankets on me.

My water hadn't broken so the attending physician broke it for me. It was a lot of relief but then it was a lot of pressure pushing.

The L&D nurses were THE BOMB!!!  They were like fans, cheerleaders, and football coaches all at once.  

One had a fabulous method of doing a tug of war with a bath towel.  So when I'd contract, she'd grab one end of the towel, I'd pull on the towel, chin down and push!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmpppppphhhhh!!!!!!!!!

That way I wouldn't concentrate on contracting my legs. I was sweating and shivering a lot too!!! I was getting so exhausted and so nervous to push. I didn't want to push because it felt like someone made a consistent nasty pinch to the top of my opening with pliers. I wanted to take things slower but I couldn't slow down!!

Rosi was at my side the entire time.  At some point I said I didn't want to push but she gave me THE LOOK and said 

"You GOT to push!!!"
So I pushed.

Then the baby popped from my piƱata.  Aaaaaahhhh relief!

Rosi with Baby that just arrived!
The best labor coach on the planet.  

I did feel great but down there... I felt like I got raped by a horse and kicked in the back once they lifted me off the bed to use the restroom.  I was hobbling around but I could move and use the bathroom instantly!!

The labor felt completely natural, like my body was meant to do it and I should just let it happen.

There was pain involved, but it was a different pain...I look back now and say man it really wasn't bad at all. I'd definitely will attempt natural again if the pregnancy is routine and uncomplicated. It was pain with a great purpose. I think I've experienced worse things than childbirth. Childbirth is WONDERFUL not awful.

Emotionally, it was amazing.

Us three.
Photo by J Taylor Photography

I have recovered so well physically and feel so energized.  I don't feel or look like I've given birth!  

The baby is beautiful!!

We left the hospital on Sunday, the same day Dave's parents came back.

Things are more settled now from that fast paced weekend.

Sadie is a lot calmer now.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Old dogs are the best dogs

I am not a dog person!!!

Didn't grow up with dogs as a kid, had a phobia of being bit by them, and dealt with more than enough weird dogs while proselyting as a missionary in Brazil.

I would be perfectly fine without one for the rest of my life!


I love only one dog.  My in-law's dog.  She's perfect.  She's old.

Meet Sadie!  The sweetest, fluffiest doggy around.  She does request her dog food to be seasoned with chicken bullion.

When I began dating Dave, I knew that he was a good guy and would be a good parent because of how well he treated this little old lady and took good care of her.   That being said: RUN FOR THE HILLS if your significant other has a pet and it's not well-fed and taken care of.


Old dogs are PERFECT for anti-dog lovers like me because they don't do stuff that drives anti-dog lovers batty.  Here's why:

Old dogs don't jump on you.

Old dogs don't jump on your bed.

Old dogs are potty-trained (okay, rare accidents do happen, but they're old so let them out often)

Old dogs sleep most of the time.

Old dogs don't chew on your stuff.

Old dogs don't wear you out.  Especially when you're pregnant.

Old dogs love you just the same.

If we ever get a dog, I want to adopt an old rescue dog.  They are the first ones to be euthanized and that's so sad, because they are probably the best dogs to have around.

I'm dog sitting Sadie this week.  Today I was trying to see where in the house she went and I was able to find her because of her snoring.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dave is Home Makeover and Upcoming GIVEAWAY

Dave is Home has a new look!  

I finally figured out how to add links below my blog title thanks to some online reading and help from one of Dave's friends.  I learned that this is called a "menu bar"

I also made some cosmetic updates.  I don't know anything about coding or graphics.  Only enough to know that I can view the source code of a couple blogs I liked and copied and pasted some cosmetic coding in CSS and played around with it.  

It's still a work in progress, there are still some things I want to tweak on.  

I wanted to improve the look of the blog since I'm doing a legit book review and wanted to make the blog look nice for the FREE book giveaway so...keep your eyes out for it.  

Other stuff, I'm becoming more physically similar to Humpty Dumpty and getting ready for the baby that's coming soon.  Weekly visits to the doctor now.  She's getting bigger and my bladder has become her punching bag.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five Ways to Prevent Stretch Marks

The first piece of advice I got upon announcing my pregnancy was...stretch marks!

Some tips to prevent the tiger stripes on the belly.  No guarantees but this is what I do.

#1  "Don't scratch your belly! You will get stretch marks!!"

I heard this A LOT.  But only from Latinas.  I have yet to hear this piece of advice from a white chick.

I haven't scratched my belly.  I don't know if scratching is really the root cause of stretch marks but I'm prone to get them.  I have some old ones on the back of my thighs to rapid weight gain and loss waaay before pregnancy.  Meh.  That being said....

#2 Watch your weight!

You DO gain stretch marks by gaining weight too fast.  Exercise and diet are optimal but what you eat is key!  There are many days in pregnancy where you'll feel like a beached whale and not move, much less exercise.

Therefore, do your best to monitor your cravings, watch your portions, and eliminate foods and drinks that guarantee fatty status.
#3 Exfoliate your belly

Once a day when I shower, I exfoliate my belly by using a homemade scrub made of salt, olive oil, and essential fragrance.  The oil helps to minimize the itching.  The salt helps to remove dead skin cells.  I also noticed that it slowly faded my old stretch marks.  

#4 Apply lotion and ointments.  

I have more than plenty of bottles and samples of lotions so I'm trying to use up what I have already.  I don't have a preference for lotion for pregnancy, other than that the fragrance can't bother me.  Lotion is lotion, and it feels good.  I try to generously apply lotion around twice a day, all over my body after I shower and right before I go to bed.

Ointments are fabulous for itch relief!  Especially in this dry weather.   I tried both and they have the same results.  They feel the same but mum + bub is organic and has a pleasant fragrance.

If you still feel itchy in bed, wash your sheets and use softener.... 

#5 Drink lots of water!!!

Aside from keeping skin elastic, drinking water prevents a ton of preggo problems like: protein and sugar in urine, kidney stones, back aches, leg cramps, and edema.  In addition, drinking water helps mothers stay energized during labor and nourishes breast milk supply after birth.

Nothing yet.  But we'll see.  They can come anytime.  

Any other tips or lore you know of to prevent stretch marks?