Hello Baby!

If you’ve been following me for awhile, I’m sure you know by now that I occasionally write blog posts for my friend Taylor over at Not Just Another Teen Mom. Well, here comes another one!

This time, Taylor has put together a wonderful blog series where moms discuss their birthing stories. And what mom DOESN’T like to talk about their birth stories?! Whether good or bad, most of us will tell you every tiny little detail – sometimes we do it without you asking. I will do my best to limit some of the finer details (no talk of mucous plugs here) and I will try to keep them as short and sweet as I possibly can. Buuutttt, considering that I have two stories to tell and both labors lasted a few hours…. well, you know.

Here are my stories:

Baby J

He is four years old now, but I still remember the day he was born as though it happened minutes ago.

My labor began at home, ON my due date, right at 9:00 PM. Because he was my first child, I was way too excited to want to sleep! No way could I close my eyes – I needed to be timing contractions! They started off every 4-6 for the first hour and rapid increased to every 2-3 the next hour. By 11:00, I was calling my OB to let them know. They gave me the go ahead, so we grabbed our bags and loaded into the car.

After triage and getting admitted, my labor began to stall. I waited until morning to talk with my doctor and we decided to go with pitocin and breaking my water.

Around lunch time, they came in and got the pitocin started. A few hours later, they broke my water.

I wanted to go without an epidural, so I did my best to labor without it for as long as I could. By about 4:00 PM, my knuckles were white as I gripped the rails of my hospital bed with each contraction. My doc came in to check and see how much progress I had made and gave me a grim report. 5 cm. 5 FREAKING CENTIMETERS. After laboring forever and being in the worst pain I’d ever experienced… no. I asked them for the epidural and they brought someone in shortly.

My doctor (who I think was the biggest airhead in the hospital) said she would come back and check on me in a few hours. Four hours later, I was so numbed up from the middle of my abdomen down that I couldn’t feel when people touched my legs – not even pressure. Doctor Airhead came back in, glanced at my monitor, saw that my contractions were mere blips on the screen, and decided she’d come back in a few more hours. Didn’t even bother to check and see where I was at.

Not even 10 minutes after Doctor Airhead left, my wonderful, glorious, amazing nurse, Lauren, came in. They had just switched shifts and because it had been awhile since I was checked last, she decided to check me herself so she personally knew where I was at. Because I was all numbed up, she said she was just going to check while I laid on my side.

She lifted the sheet, pulled my legs apart, and slowly said, “Oh…”

She then closed my legs and began to slowly peel her gloves off while backing towards the door and saying, “I’m gonna go get the doctor… because we’re ready to deliver NOW.”

“NOW?!”

“Yes. Now.”

Then she bolted out of the room.

I thought it was some kind of weird joke. They told me I’d feel pressure. I felt nothing.

His poor, unsuspecting father, was heading into the bathroom when I said, “Hey. What do you see?” and pulled the sheet back…

“THAT’S HIS HEAD?!?!”
“Seriously?”
“NO, SERIOUSLY! THAT’S HIS HEAD! OH MY GOSH…”
“Are you playing with me right now?”
“NO!!! THAT’S HIS HEAD! RIGHT THERE!”

At this point, Lauren and another nurse rushed back in.

Lauren grabbed my legs, flipped me onto my back in one motion (I still have no clue how she did that…), and told me to push. No one dropped down the bottom half of the bed, the giant overhead light didn’t come down out of the ceiling, my feet didn’t go up in the stirrups… just push. My doctor wasn’t even there.

I looked at her like she was crazy and once again, she said, “Push… NOW!”

I gave the most half-assed push of my life (I seriously put in about the same amount of effort I would to pass gas… I still didn’t think they were serious) and he came FLYING out. Lauren caught him, cut the cord, and put him on my chest with a million blankets and told me to just keep rubbing him to keep him warm. I did. And the entire time, I was crying.

I took birthing classes, did my research, read books… none of them ever talked about it happening like this.

But there he was. And with a head full of dark hair.

J&M

Born at 40 weeks and 1 day: 7 lbs 8 oz, 21.5 inches long, 7:19 PM (exactly 15 minutes after my doctor left my room), and absolutely perfect.

Baby N

Now, her story is a little less exciting. 🙂

I started laboring early in the morning with her, sometime around 6 or 7. I called my dad and let him know so he could come be with J while we were at the hospital, but told him to take his time. When we got to the hospital, it was about 10:30 AM. They took us back into triage where I did a whole lot of sitting and watching my contractions.

They were a little bit further apart, but strong. I had made some progress, but not as much as my doctor wanted to see before I was admitted (SHE was brilliant and compassionate… not an airhead). So my husband and I got up and started walking the halls of the hospital.

Let me just say that walking around with my husband while contracting was one of the funniest things ever. Every time I would pause to breathe through a contraction, he would pause with me. But there was one moment where he made me laugh so incredibly hard in the middle of a contraction that I seriously considered punching him.

He decided to quote a movie to me. So there I am, having a contraction, and he starts saying, “Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up! It’s baby time!”

I couldn’t breathe because I couldn’t stop laughing.

Right after that, we went back to triage and my doctor checked up on me and decided to go ahead and admit me.

Once again, after being admitted, my contractions began to spread out and my labor started to stall. They got me on pitocin and broke my water not long after. I was determined to make it through this one without the epidural.

I went until about 7:30 PM before I told my nurse that I felt like I was going to need to push soon. There was SO much pressure and I was to the point where I thought I was going to pass out and throw up at the same time every time I had a contraction. My nurse checked me and told me I was still sitting at 5 cm.

I remember thinking, “There is NO WAY I’m only at 5! This hurts so much more than it did with J!” After thinking a little bit, I told her to go ahead and bring someone in to do an epidural. I decided that if I was hurting that bad at 5 cm, I didn’t want to feel the next 5.

Shortly after, they sat me up to do the epidural. We waited for a contraction to pass, and then I felt the pinch of the needle. Instantly, another contraction started and there was SO much pressure. I began telling them they needed to hurry up because I needed to lay back down so I could push. My nurse kept trying to reassure me that I was only at 5 cm and it wasn’t possible for me to push yet.

As soon as they laid me back down, I said, “I need to push. I know my body. Will you please check?”

She checked again and said, “Oh. You’re complete! I’ll go get the doctor.”

Soon, I had my nurse, another nurse, my doctor, and a whole bunch of nursing students in the room. They got everything ready for her arrival, and then went to get my husband. Once he came back in the room, it was go time. After 3 good pushes, she was out. Her dad got to cut her cord, and they handed her up to me.

I remember my first thought being that she was so tiny and I was afraid I would break her. But she sure was perfect. No dark hair like her brother though. She’s my little blondie with blue eyes.

N&M

Born at 38 weeks and 4 days: 5 lbs 10 oz, 19 inches long, 8:15 PM, and beautiful in every way.

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Worrywart Mommy

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Preschool.

School in general is somewhat of a touchy topic for me because I had a rough time with it. Not so much with the actual class portion of it all; more so with the kids. Kids are MEAN. They say mean things. They judge. They pick on other kids. Feelings get hurt. Blah blah blah. I wasn’t one of those kids that got picked on and then went and sulked in the corner though. No way. I’m too loud and too outgoing for that. Instead, I sucked it up and did my best to let things roll off my back. I discovered that I’m good at making it LOOK like things don’t bother me when in reality, I let things get to me far more easily than they should.

I’m a worrywart. I worry way too much about every little thing. I KNOW that my 3 year old is more than likely NOT going to be judged by the other 3 year olds if he has a little bit of syrup around his mouth, but it isn’t the 3 year olds I fear – it’s their moms. Moms (women in general, really) can be catty! There’s no other way to put it. And I’m not talking about ALL moms, but we all know there are catty moms out in the world. They judge your every little move:

“Her kid is wearing THAT?!”

Well, yes. My child IS wearing that. HE picked it out because I am teaching him to be an independent individual and he is learning how to make choices for himself.

 “Is that jelly I see on his cheek? Gosh, doesn’t she wipe his face?” 

Oh, that? Yeah. I guess it is. I let him wipe his own face (ya know, the whole “independent kid” thing) and then I wiped it when we got here. Kinda hard to get every last spot when they move around.

“Oh I would never send MY child to school in a stained shirt like that!”

Well…. it WAS clean – until he spilled chocolate milk on himself in the car. Whoops.

And I have one thing to say to all the judgmental, self-righteous moms out there: Take that holier-than-thou attitude and SHOVE IT.

The moms of the preschool world aren’t the only terrifying thing though. My kid was recently sent home with a progress report. Not one that says “This is how your kid is doing in math/reading/science,” but one that tells you how they are doing developmentally. Well, that makes me worry too.

When my son was about 18 months, he had several “red flags” for Autism. Anyone who has an autistic child or who has ever had some of those “red flags” come up knows how terrifying this can be. It can really make you question a lot of things. I decided to wait until his 2 year check up before making up my mind on whether I wanted him to see a specialist or not and I’m glad I did. He had zero “red flags” at that appointment and his doctor wasn’t the least bit concerned.

After working with a therapist, we determined that the reason for a lot of those “red flags” was mostly due to the fact that his biological father and I were going through a divorce around that time. Moral of that story is “Do your absolute best to never yell/argue in front of your children.”

With that being said, I still worry when it comes to my son’s development. I worry that he still isn’t caught up with the other kids his age. So when his progress report came home and there were a few things marked as “working on,” I immediately began wondering “Am I doing everything right? How much of this stuff should he REALLY be doing at this age? Do ALL kids do these things? What can I do to get him doing this?”

I’m sorry, but I think that all the growth charts and percentiles and milestones that doctors have put in place for our children are just plain stupid. I feel like many parents (and some doctors even) use these milestones as deadlines when really they are more like estimates. Your kid didn’t start crawling at 6 months? Okay. Neither did mine. They weren’t sitting at 5 months like Betty-Lou’s daughter down the street? Who gives a flip?! My son sat at 6 months and my daughter at 6 and a half months. Not walking by the time they turn one? Don’t pressure them. My son started at 11 months, a friend’s daughter started at 10 months, another friend’s daughter started at 8 months, and my daughter is now 13 months and she doesn’t even stand alone for more than a few seconds at a time. Every child is different.

Same thing with the growth charts. My son is 3 and a half and weighs 29 lbs. I worried that he was underweight because I know a lot of kids his age who weigh over 30 lbs. Well, we went to his doctor for a check up and turns out that he is perfect! Not underweight at all. He’s just a string bean. His pediatrician said that for his height to weight ratio, he is right where he should be. She also said that with him being as active as he is, he’s probably always going to be on the skinny side.

Then you have my daughter: 13 months and only 17 lbs 7 oz. She is a petite little thing. But she was 5 lbs 10 oz when she was born – she’s always been small. Her doctor wanted me to put her on formula at 9 months because she wasn’t “gaining enough weight” and was in the “zero percentile” for weight. I asked her doctor to look at her height and tell me how much she had grown – she gained several inches and was sitting at the 33 percentile mark for height. So while she didn’t “gain” any weight, she did continue to grow. Plus, she had started crawling 2 months earlier and was shedding baby fat because of it. Once I pointed those things out, her pediatrician’s whole tone changed to “Oh! Well in that case, she’s fine.”

I don’t like worrying, but I’m a mom. It’s kind of my job to worry about every little thing.

But I really wish our society didn’t try so damn hard to give us things to worry about!
C’mon world… help out the moms.
Make our lives just a LITTLE less crazy.