"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Saturday, March 24, 2012

41 week 1 day ... buttercup is here!

whether stripping my membranes did it or not, no one will ever know, but buttercup has arrived.  let me tell you about my part in bringing her into this world:
after my dr's appointment on thursday i was having contractions and cramps on and off, but really painful.  i went to bed that night hoping to simmer them down.  it didn't work.  i woke up at 12:26 with horrible cramping (i say cramping because that's the feeling.  what i was experiencing was contractions.  they were faithfully waving every 3 minutes.)  i jolted awake because beyond the pain, i was wet.  it felt like the pillow i stuck between my legs was soaked.  i jerked out of bed like i hadn't been able to do in approximately 4 months.  i put my hand down to feel the bed and sure enough it was soaked too.  i hobbled quickly to the bathroom.  i peed and peed and peed, but it all felt like pee, so i waited for my pee to stop to see if i'd keep leaking out...  i finally stopped peeing, and nothing else was dripping out. 
hmmm... i hollered to wake my hubby a bit so he could tell me if the bed was really wet or not.  --i've "soaked" the bed in sweat before, where it feels soaking wet to me, but then when i go to lay back down, everything was bone dry.  anyway, he roused enough to answer my question that the bed wasn't wet at all.  so, maybe i was wrong.  praise God.  i was really ticked at the dr. for stripping my membranes at this point!!!  but, good.  maybe my water didn't break.  phew. 
now, stop here if you don't want TMI.  skip to the end.
so, i wiped... and came out with a TON of cervical fluid.  i'm talking my "mucus plug" or my "bloody show".  it was disgusting... that is what had soaked my panties and apparently was running down my legs on the way to the potty.  gross.  but as soon as i started cleaning it up, i remember it happening when i was in the hospital trying to naturally labor with starboy.  so what did this mean?  it meant that those cramps i was having were indeed dilating my cervix and now it was dilated enough that my mucus plug had unplugged. 
it also told me that i was experiencing stage one labor. 
i knew this because my birth coach, otter pop, and i have been reading and studying dr. bradley's book "the husband-coached childbirth" (or something like that).  what i should do, to be as natural as possible during stage one, is pretty much fake-sleep.  fake-sleep is my vocab for 6 steps in the bradley method, but it pretty much completely describes what it entails.  (lay down on the side as one would naturally in the deepest most relaxing part of sleep -also called the running position-.  mouth breathing through the abdomen.  eyes closed.  and 2 more i can't think of.)  anyway, this fake-sleep should help to relax my body so that the contractions can do what they're supposed to do. 
so, i cleaned myself up and then went back to bed.  or i tried.  i was too excited though.  i couldn't sleep at all, and after an hour and a half decided that maybe i was in the put-put stage of phase one.  so, i put-putted around... got on facebook, and posted my status, " today MIGHT be the day... we're still waiting to see. but i have been awake (and WIDE AWAKE) for the past hour and a half... and i don't feel "normal" anymore! --although i still could say i do feel "fine" this minute."  i dinked off for another thirty minutes and then went back to bed.  i fell asleep at about 2:30 or 40.  kinda.
i kept contracting fairly regularly -although not every 3 minutes anymore- all morning long.  as the kids got up around 6:30, they had spread out to every 10 minutes.  my husband told the kids to pretend like everything was normal, but to go on throughout the morning without me because i was in labor.  binkins came back to me and said, "i hope your day gets better mommy and that you stop hurting so bad.  daddy said you were in labor."  i asked her if she knew what labor meant.  she looked at me, kinda puzzled and replied, "yeah.  it means you're working really hard!"  :)  (of course she knew what labor meant!!!)  i love her.  i love my kids.  i love my husband. 
we called otter's mom early so that she wouldn't even have to go into work, she could just come right over.  but she couldn't.  but she was still over before the big kids left for school... so that worked out.  she even brought doughnuts, which totally helped the kids get their chores done lightning fast! 
otter pop drove them all (sophie included) to school to help explain the picking up of jones (that'd have to be done at noon) at the same time.  i had written down the instructions... but hands-on learning is always more helpful. 
before they left he drew me a bath, so i soaked while they were gone and when they returned, sophie just took the littles to her house so that i could labor in peace.  we stuck in a movie, or turned on the tv... i'm not sure which because it really was just a background distraction...  i fake-slept while the contractions got harder and more painful by the minute.  around 11 they were painful enough that i really really had to concentrate on relaxing through them and by about 11:30 or 45 even through the relaxation they were bringing me to tears. 
at 12:15 otter pop had a dental appointment to take measurements and pick up his new partial.  it was supposed to only take about 10 minutes -at most- so he rushed off (at 12:14).  at about 12:30 a wonderful God-sent neighbor-friend dropped in on me.  i had had 3 contractions between 12:14, when pops left, and 12:30, when she arrived.  she asked how they were progressing and i told her they were only every 10 minutes, but were really picking up intensity.  she asked how long they were lasting and i told her i wasn't paying attention to that as much as i was just trying to get through them, so she said she'd start keeping track.  well, all of a sudden they started rushing in.  12:36, 12:38, 12:41, 12:44...  they were very intense!  my friend was rather concerned as she was watching me die right before her eyes.  it was about 12:45 when otter pop arrived back home and said friend and i told him that we'd better head to the hospital. 
he packed the car and i called the birth photographer.  i was really scared because what i had realized in the past about 3 hours, that when i got up (like, to go to the bathroom), or even just sit upright, the contractions would not only intensify by 100%, but also would speed up by 100%.  in between the 11-12 o'clock hour, the speed -when i was sitting up- was pretty much piggy-backed to where it was just one contraction on top the other on top the other... 
i sat up to get ready to get out to the car, and told otter pop that i'd better go potty first.  i hobbled to the pot and tried to relax myself when i felt the urge to push...  i got really scared and told otter that we needed to go, NOW.  of course he was waiting on me... so i wiped and got up (with my hubby's help) and went another few steps before i decided i should stop at the other bathroom and empty myself again before the car ride.  did i mention that i was scared?  because i wasn't.  i was petrified! 
we made it out to the car, back up, and drove about 50 ft. before i reminded him that i'd need my purse.  so we backed up, got the purse, and then sped off to the hospital. 
my wonderful loving husband pushed on his hazard lights and sped all the way to the hospital, passing [at least] 2 cops, and running only one red light.  we arrived and got rushed up and admitted to labor & delivery at 1:36.  at that time i was dilated to a 7.  i informed me that my birth plan was just a joke and that if they really wanted to save my life, they'd have to give me an epidural as quick as possible.  well, someone must've been listening because by some miracle the anesthesisist (sp?) was in my room waiting for the nurses to put in hep-lock iv.  then, the other miracle, was that he was able to administer the epidural while i was in the laying position!  (the miracle in that act is that if he couldn't have done that, i'm sure that i would be paralyzed or dead from trying to get it inserted while sitting up with those contractions piggy-backing with the highest intensity possible!)  anyway, the epidural was administered by 2pm and by 2:12 i felt tremendous relief.  sigh.  i COULD do this!  i didn't have to die. 
my water broke during a check of my cervix and a light green color was detected.  :(  this meant that i might not be able to hold my sweet blessing right away.  however, my husband was catching... so i wasn't devastated...  :)
at about 3:45 we got notice that my dr was on her way over.  at 3:52 my dr checked me and confirmed that i was complete (at 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced and at station 0) and ready to start pushing.  as they tore down the bed, i started to feel the urges.  i had 3-4 contractions, pushed 3 times each contraction, and had my sweet buttercup on my tummy at 4:08pm. 
am i disappointed that i chose to not have this baby naturally?  absolutely not.  i didn't choose meds... i chose life!
buttercup was born, friday, march 23, 2012 at 4:08pm, weighed in at a mere 9 pounds and 5.2 ounces.  her head circumference was 14 inches.  she looks balder than a q-ball... but she has a thick head of short, fine, blond hair.  her nose is great big, smashed all fat, and long.  she has fingers and toes of a 2-year-old, but placed on newborn hands and feet.  they're not at all fat... but they're SURE long!  when she was born, her little cheeks were so chunky and pinch-able... but 24 hours later, she's all unswollen and back down to normal.  no fat rolls on her arms or legs anymore.  :(   she's a beautiful little gal!  i'm completely blessed to introduce you to her:

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


Jonathan and Telcia said...

congratulation otter, mama, and birth photographer!
you guys rock---along with all the kids and nanna. -T

Anonymous said...

You did an amazing job, momma! Otter pop didn’t do too bad either! What an honorable blessing it was to be there with the three of you! Miss Buttercup is lovely and perfect in every way! Much Love, Debbie

Sara Otto said...

Oh I am so happy for you guys! She is beautiful. It was like reading some suspense novel as I was reading your blog, pretty much coming to the conclusion Hesston will be an only child!

Again congrats! I love you and so proud of you! ~Sara

Kiley said...

So exciting.. I can't wait to hold her and gaze into her pretty little face... Welcome to a sweet and God loving family dear Arhesa Hope...

Kimberly said...

Congratulations again! Can't wait to meet her. :)

Boy Crazy said...

Great job, mama!!! Congrats