Showing posts with label birth story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birth story. Show all posts

Greta's birth story

So, truth be told, I started writing this blog post on our way to the hospital to have Greta. Truthfully, I was extremely upset that this was the way her birth story would be told. There would be no dramatic lead ups, no involved labor stories, no hours and hours of waiting for her to arrive. Instead, we would just drive to the hospital one Monday in July and have a baby a couple of hours later.

But let's back up. Greta's due date was estimated (key word there) to be on July 15th. Well, July 15th came and went and this pregnant lady was getting extremely anxious and sick of being pregnant. With my two previous kids I had delivered before my due date, so naturally I expected to follow the same trend with this little lady. I had been slightly dilated (3 cm) for about 2 weeks and had my membrane swept three times. In the past, this usually put me into labor about 24 hours after my doctor visit. Greta, however, had some other plans.

My doctor suggested I have a scheduled c-section on Friday, July 20th. I had been trying to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) and asked if I could have the weekend to see if I would go into labor naturally on my own. The doctor agreed as long as I come in to have a non-stress test performed. Basically I just had to sit for an hour while they monitored the baby's heart rate to make sure she was doing okay in there. On Thursday, 7/21, we both passed the non-stress test with flying colors and we were sent home to wait out the weekend.

On Friday, I was getting extremely stir-crazy and decided to go for a drive. I actually drove by one of my job sites to check it out since I wasn't fully on maternity leave yet. On my way back home I noticed that I needed gas and decided the worst thing we could have is an empty gas tank if we had to rush to the hospital. I stopped at a gas station to fill up and while I was getting gas, I decided that I could step over the gas line (like an Olympic hurdler or something). It was not a great idea. I tripped and fell pretty hard on my knees, stomach, and front teeth. It was embarrassing, painful, and scary.

I called my husband in tears and after we talked for a while, he recommended I call my doctor just to see if I needed to come in. And of course, in an abundance of caution, she recommended I go straight to the hospital to get the baby monitored. Luckily, 6 hours later, we were released because everyone was still healthy and doing just fine.

The rest of the weekend I tried to walk carefully and not attempt anything too risky (like filling up the car with gas). I did end up having some fairly regular contractions, but nothing actually came of them.

So here we were, driving to the hospital to have a scheduled c-section at 9:30 am on Monday morning. I was upset that this is what had to happen. I wished I had a few more days to go into labor naturally. I was 41 weeks and 1 day and no matter how much I wanted to wait, the prudent thing to do was to get the baby out before she became stressed.

So our Greta Jo Ostrum was born at 1:16pm on July 23, 2018. She was a healthy 7lbs 14oz (same as her big sister, Chloe) and 20" long. Her APGAR was great and she passed all the tests in the hospital with flying colors.

Being fully awake and rested during a c-section is a very different experience than having an emergency c-section after 8 or 10 hours of labor. Since I was fully aware of everything I was definitely freaking out. I am really thankful for nice nurses and my husband for talking me through the whole procedure. Once Greta came out, I calmed down immediately and was just listening to her crying and everyone fussing around her. I got to see her for a moment before they took her to clean her up, but once she arrived my focus shifted immediately to her.

The hospital stay was a quick two days and we were able to come home. Both Chris and I felt like everything went so much smoother with our third child. We knew what to do and I knew what I needed to do for my recovery. I remember what it was like being a first time parent and I am so glad we aren't in the place anymore.

Welcome to our family Greta! We waited and waited for you to arrive and we are so glad you are here! 

Elinor's birth story

Happy half birthday little miss Elinor!

Today I want to share the story of how she came into the world 6 months ago today.

Elinor LeLesch Ostrum was born at 2:18pm, Wednesday, February 11, 2015.  She weighed a healthy 7lbs and 2 oz and was 19.5" long. Just like her sister, she didn't worry too much about her mother's wishes of an easy, normal birth and decided she'd surprise us all. She was our little breach baby that no one had a clue about until the very last moment.

I had been having contractions every evening for about a week before she arrived. Each evening as I was laying down to sleep I would get very rhythmic contractions that would have me convinced that the baby was coming that very night. The last few weeks of pregnancy are some of the longest known to man, so any sign that this whole show was getting started was enough to get me excited. However, her arrival really didn't get started until I was sitting in meetings on Monday at work. I can't quite remember what we were talking about, but I remember having contractions while our Vice President was talking and thinking, he has no idea that one of his employees might be in labor right now.

I felt pretty terrible that day, tired and just off, so I decided it was best to just call it a day early. Once I got home and settled in, I decided that our bedroom just had to be re-arranged before the baby arrived. I must of had some serious nesting hormones kicking in. I was lifting baby cribs and moving heavy chairs like a professional mover.

My contractions had slowed down and weren't too regular until after Chloe went to bed and I was relaxing on the couch (watching Downton Abbey). By about 9pm I was having pretty regular contractions that were increasing in strength. Since Chloe had been born via c-section, our doctor advised us to go in to the hospital early so that I could be monitored. At about 1 am, my contractions were reliably at 5 minutes apart, we made the call to drive into the hospital.  After checking in and being monitored for a while (3 hours), they decided it was best to go back and progress at home.  I was only at 3 cm and had a ways to go yet before the baby would be here.

So off we went back to the house. Our nanny came over to sleep with Chloe, so we knew she was well taken care of. Chris went back to bed and I decided it was time to get into the tub. I was exhausted and dealing with strong contractions at this point. With Chloe I had never had a chance to labor in a tub because my water had broken early on. This time I was ready to try it out. Resting in that tub of hot water was almost instantly relaxing.  I was actually able to doze a bit. Once the tub cooled down I reluctantly got out and attempted to rest in bed.

Once the sun came up, my body decided it was time to get serious. My doctor's nurse called to check in on me after our short hospital stay the night before. I couldn't answer the phone, my husband had to do all the talking. She advised us to head into the office so they could check on my progress. That was another surreal moment, being in an OBGYN office in active labor, huffing and puffing over near the fish tank.

Once we got in to see the nurse, she examined me and found I was 4 cm dilated at that point. I was happy I was getting closer, but somewhat disappointed I was only at 4 cm. She recommended we head right over to the labor and delivery and get settled. I told Chris to drive around and I was going to walk from the doctor's office to the hospital. It was about three blocks and every 3 or 4 minutes I had to stop walking and breathe through a contraction. By the time I got into a room and examined again, I was 6 cm, so all that walking was definitely worth the effort. At this point, I was in my own world. I was deeply focused on breathing through contractions and resting when I could.

At about 11 am, I requested some medication to help me deal with the pain (14 hours in). The anesthesiologist showed up (with a student doctor who was taking notes the whole time) and ever so slowly administered my epidural. In case you didn't know, it's incredibly hard to sit still when you are experiencing strong waves of pain and wait patiently while someone tries to stick a large needle in your spine. I had really wanted to go all natural, but at that point, I was done.

My doctor arrived in my room at about 1:30 pm and checked on my progress.  This was the first time I had seen her and it was wonderful to finally chat with someone I knew and trusted. She quickly got down to business and discovered I was at 8 cm dilated (wahoo). As she was examining the babies position she got a surprised look on her face. 'That's not a baby head, that's a baby butt.'  This little baby was breach and nobody had had a clue until that moment.

She quickly explained to me that it was time to go to surgery because no one delivers breach babies anymore, they are always delivered via c-section. So all that work I had put in with the goal of having a natural birth and once again we were headed to the operating room.

For me, childbirth has never gone to plan, but in both cases, healthy little baby girls were born. I am so very grateful that they were perfect and now I just have a little war wound to show them one day.

Happy Birthday little one

My mother was the first to arrive and greeted us as we came back from the operating room

Chloe arrived a few hours after Elinor was born. She was so thrilled to meet her new sister.

p.s. On a slightly silly note, I would like to comment on the fact that I look like a hot mess in these photos. I'm so not the girl who labors with full makeup on and beautiful hair and then retouches her mascara right before photos are taken. This is the look of a lady who just labored for 20 hours and then had surgery. So I hope you appreciate the realness...

chloe's birth story

Tomorrow is a big day.  Our little girl turns two years old!

Now that we're expecting another little baby, I've been reminiscing about what my first pregnancy and delivery was like.  As I get closer and closer to my due date, my attention is shifting away from day to day events and more inward towards this little baby hiccuping and kicking in my belly.  It's crazy that the whole world is moving around you and you've got a little being inside of you merrily moving along to her own beat.

I've always wanted to write down Chloe's birth story, but I've been a bit shy about sharing anything too personal on this blog.  Now I'm coming to realize as time moves on I will remember less and less about that night/morning and if I don't write it down now parts and pieces will be forgotten forever. Of course now it's been two years, so my memory isn't quite as fresh as it once was.

So here goes nothing.  :)

It was December 11, 2012 and I had spent most of the day at work.  That afternoon we had our annual Mustache/Christmas party at a local restaurant.  This was an excuse for most of my male co-workers to grow crazy facial hair and try to win various prizes while everyone else got to laugh at their efforts and enjoy some festive snacks and drinks.

I had been sitting near the door waiting for the prizes to be given out so I could head home a bit early. Everyone at the party kept asking how I was feeling since I was about a week away from my actual due date (December 19th) and looking very pregnant at that point.

I left a bit early (around 4pm) and drove home.  As I was getting closer to home I started having contractions.  I had been having these contractions off and on for the past week or two, so I wasn't terribly surprised or anxious at that point.  After I got home, I plopped on the couch and started watching some TV as I waited for Chris to come home.  I texted him, telling him I was having contractions and that I was hoping this was it.  He had gotten lots of those texts in the past couple weeks, so I am sure he wasn't really believing me.

The contractions continued on even after he got home, and shortly before 7pm my water broke.  It was the weirdest/funniest thing to me.  It felt like I was going pee, but when I sat on the toilet it just kept coming out and I wasn't doing anything.  Even after I stood up, it was still coming out.  I quickly realized that this for real and it was time to start paying attention to the timing of the contractions.  It was such a weird experience that I couldn't help but laugh at it.

After I told Chris he started rushing around the house getting things ready for the hospital.  We had both been packed for some time, but he wanted to take a shower and make sure he was ready to jump in the car at a moments notice.  He had this frantic energy that I also thought was pretty funny.  I knew I would be at home for sometime, so I wasn't rushing to do anything.  The thing I remember most was him putting on his shoes, then deciding he didn't want to wear those shoes, taking them off and trying on another pair. Very uncharacteristic of my husband who pays very little attention to what's on his feet.

So after talking to the mid-wife once my contractions started getting closer to 5 minutes apart, they advised us to start making our way to hospital.  It was about midnight at that point and we loaded into the car.  I was having some painful contractions, but nothing I couldn't breathe my way through and still watch TV.  Once we got in the car and my mobility was inhibited, I started really feeling the pain of the contractions.  It started to get a lot harder to feel comfortable.

We arrived at the hospital and after finding the right entrance (we tried the ambulance entrance first), I got put into a wheelchair and wheeled to my room.  They checked me in and started checking me out and listening to the baby.  I was at three centimeters and running a pretty high fever.  I hadn't noticed that I was sick because I was dealing with strong labor contractions every 5 minutes.

They guessed I had an infection in my uterus, since I hadn't been sick all day.  I had already been tested for Strep B, so it had to be something else.

So after laboring without pain medication, with a fever, with contractions every 5 minutes or less, and restricted movement, until 6am, I decided I had had enough.  I still hadn't progressed past three centimeters and the pain was intense.  I had been trying to have a natural, medicine free delivery, but I was exhausted and in too much pain to try for that any longer.  I asked for the epidural and after that request, the next 15 minutes of waiting for the anesthesiologist to show up was almost longer than the rest of the labor combined.  After he showed up an gave me the medicine, I was so incredibly thankful.  I wanted to kiss that man.

I only got to rest for about an hour before the doctor showed up with the mid-wife and let me know they both recommended I get a c-section.  Chloe's heartbeat was high and she was stressed.  My contractions were strong and seemingly ineffectual.  My uterus was working really hard, but because of the infection the contractions weren't doing much.

My options were taking some Pitocin and speeding up my labor while continuing to monitor Chloe or just go for a c-section, which would probably be needed either way.

I was terribly afraid of having a c-section, but we knew at that point it was best for Chloe.  So within the hour they had me wheeled into the operating room and I was prepared for surgery.  I do remember being really annoyed at the nurses and doctors talking about their travel plans while I was laying out like a beached whale about to experience one of the most momentous events of my life. "So how was your trip to Vegas?"

It all went smoothly and quickly and before I knew it there was our little baby girl being weighed and measured.  I didn't get to hold her right away, but Chris got to cut her umbilical cord and check her out for me.

That nurse is holding a little card that records her first cries.  It's one of my favorite things about that day.

Once her little mouth opened and her tiny, indignant wails started filling the room, my eyes filled up with tears.  So did Chris'.  It was a life changing sound.

All three of us look pooped! 

Afterwards, Chloe got all cleaned up while I was all stitched up.  I later found out I had a Strep G infection, or Chorioamnionitis.  This only affects the mom, thank goodness, but does require lots of antibiotics and testing.  I plan to get checked this next time and make sure I get antibiotics before I go into labor.

We had our baby girl!

Chloe Anastasia Ostrum.  She was born at 9:18am on 12/12/12, weighing 7 lbs and 13 oz.

Here are a few other photos from those first few days.

Dad's first swaddle.

We are so excited to go through all of this again with your little sister.  Only a couple months more months!