Feb 1, 2011

Munchkin Land

So it's farewell to this beautiful blog again, thank you so much to everyone who has followed our journey and wished us well.  It means more than words can describe xo

I'll be updating now in my blog Munchkin Land, but for privacy reasons I have it set to invite only.  If you would like to follow this blog and don't already have access, you can contact me at macdonaldfamily@iprimus.com.au

Thanks again and my best wishes to everyone xo

Jan 4, 2011

Ryder Edward...the birth story



born at 7:01am on Friday 31st December 2010 weighing in at a whopping 9lb 9oz (4.33kg).  Here is his birth story...

It all started on Thursday afternoon at around 1:30pm.  I had been getting very strong braxton hicks contractions for weeks, but I started to notice a change in them.  It was like they were spreading down to my lower abdomen.  They were still very irregular, but different than what they had ever been.  They also started spreading a bit into my lower back which they had never done before.  They were still only just 'uncomfortable', but different enough to make me start to wonder if it was maybe the start of something happening.

Things continued this way all afternoon.  Sometimes there would be only 5 minutes between them, sometimes 10 minutes and sometimes breaks of around 45 minutes.  At this stage, they were still only noticeable, but not overly painful.  I decided to send my doula a message before going to bed to let her know that things may be starting.  In bed, I struggled to get any sleep.  The contractions were getting more painful - still easily manageable, but enough that I couldn't really sleep through them, particulary when they were starting to become closer together with not enough time to fall asleep in between.

At 1:30am they started to get painful enough that I couldn't just lay down through them.  I woke up the hubby to let him know that I thought we should start to think about getting ready.  The contractions were now consistently 5 minutes apart and enough that I had to stop and breathe through them.  We got ready, called our doula to let her know we would be starting to head into the hospital and left home around 2:30am.

The trip to the hospital took around 20 minutes and I had 5 contractions within that time.  It was so strange though after my last labour - in between contractions I felt perfectly fine.  I would then start to wonder if we were being too quick heading in to the hospital.  Then another contraction would come and I knew we were doing the right thing!

We arrived at the same time as our doula and headed for the maternity ward.  I had called ahead to let them know we were on our way so when we got there they showed us through to a ward where they had to do a mandatory check on the baby.  I was strapped up and both the baby and my contractions were monitored for the 15 minute period that the hospital policy states they must do.  It brought back memories of my last labour, being stuck on my back on the bed.  It was now that I was glad that we didn't wait longer to go to the hospital, so the contractions were still manageable on the bed.  We got the all clear and headed down to the birthing suites.  I was the only one in the hospital so got my choice of rooms - with the help of our doula, we chose the room that had the best bath set up for the water birth I wanted.

By now the contractions were now around 2-3 minutes or so apart and I was starting to feel them a lot more in my back.  While our doula added her touches to the room and got set up, I managed the contractions by standing and leaning into pillows on the bed and breathing through them.  I concentrated on not fighting the contractions, accepting them, imagining my cervix opening and working with them.  Then the back pain worsened.  I continued to have quite bad back pain in between the contractions now too.  Pacing around the room and returning to the side of the bed for contractions helped me cope for a while, then it was suggested that I get in the shower.

Oh my gosh, the relief!!  I couldn't believe how wonderful that shower was.  Our doula had one nozzle aimed on my back and hubby had one aimed at my lower abdomen.  The water was incredibly hot, but it pretty much eliminated my back pain and helped a lot with the contractions.  I stayed in there for a while, holding onto two metal bars to support myself through the contractions.  This was working well until the contractions got so painful that I couldn't stand up through them any more.  I tried sitting on a fit ball through them, but because most of the pain was in my back, I found that I couldn't cope with sitting upright either.  It was now that the midwife suggested hopping into the bath.

The bath was no where near as good at easing the back pain, but it felt good to be in the water.  By now the contractions were very close together and very painful.  Pretty much all the pain was in my back and I found the only way I could cope was to roll onto my knees with my hands on the edge of the bath, my head resting on towels and breathe through them.  By now though, they were so painful that I found I needed to be more vocal with the out breath.  Lets just say that I'm glad that I was the only one in the birthing area - I would hate to think that I may have scared a first time Mum who was not as advanced into labour as me!

The contractions were now only a minute or less apart and painful in a way that just cannot be described.  I started losing it, I felt like I couldn't cope and wasn't coping.  A tiny sane voice in my head told me that it was just the transition stage, but I really felt like I couldn't keep going.  More and more contractions came.  I kept waiting to feel the baby coming down, but all I could feel was the contractions - and all the pain was in my back.  The contractions just kept coming and I still couldn't feel the baby.  This went on for around 30 minutes.  I felt like it was never going to end, that I physically couldn't keep going.  I was passing out in between contractions, having to be physically held up so I didn't slip underwater.  I was exhausted and very scared of the level of pain I was feeling.  Everyone kept telling me that it was nearly over, but the more contractions that came, the less I believed them and the more scared I got.

The midwife suggested I try and empty my bladder - I had been given lots of water throughout the labour and they thought that maybe a full bladder was making things more difficult.  I sat on the toilet, but was unable to do much else.  Another contraction came and was incredibly difficult to deal with while on the toilet.  Then I felt a pop and a gush of liquid...finally my waters had broken.  The midwife apparently noted the time down as  6:52am.  Within seconds, I felt the baby coming down.  What a relief, finally the end was in sight.  The confidence that feeling restored in me was massive.

Straight away I wanted to get back into the bath.  I stood up from the toilet and felt like the baby's head was pushing out of me, it was incredibly uncomfortable.  I made a dive for the bath that apparently got a bit of a chuckle out of the midwives - the one who delivered him even made mention to me the next day that she'd never seen anyone jump in so quickly!  I got back onto my hands and knees which just felt like the most comfortable position to be in, and started to push with the contractions as I felt our baby coming out.  I was on a serious mission...I was done.  A couple of pushes and I could feel his head emerging.  I still felt 'the burn' but it was no where near as bad as being out of the water.  His head popped out and I felt that wonderful sense of relief that the worst was over.  It was so strange waiting for the next contraction - with it being so slippery under the water, I could feel the baby's head moving around outside me.  Apparently his eyes were open and he was looking around!  It was around this point that hubby decided he would let the midwife pull baby up instead - must have looked quite bizarre!

Another contraction and another push and our little one entered the world - less than 10 minutes after my waters had broken.  I turned around to lay down in the bath as they passed our little boy to me.  He lay on my chest in the bath, just looking up at me and gently gazing around the room.  It was incredible, such a peaceful arrival into the world.  The lights were even dimmed low enough that the midwife had used a torch to check on the baby as he was being delivered.  We lay in the bath together, my littlest boy finally in my arms.  It was love at first sight.

We all noticed straight away how big he was, but it was at least an hour and a half later before we would find out just how big.  I thought our last baby was pretty big at 8lb 12oz, so I was quite surprised to find out that this little one was 9lb 9oz or 4.33kg.

We had his first name in mind not long after we found out the sex.  Once we saw him, we thought it suited him beautifully.  We chose Edward as his middle name after my Grandfather.

He is just so perfect and we are already so much in love.  Our time in the hospital was just so much calmer than with my first baby - I really do think that his peaceful, drug free entry into the world played a big part in that.  I look back and still can't believe that I managed to birth him this way and am so proud of the accomplishment.  Can't say I'm in a hurry to do it again though! ;)

Dec 29, 2010

40 Week Update

So the OB appointment went well this morning.  Apparently I'm already 2cm dilated which is obviously a good start.  So we decided to go ahead with the Stretch & Sweep.  My gosh it was painful!  But he did warn me that he wouldn't be gentle and would do what needed to be done to give it the best chance of working.

So he thinks that it will give me a 50/50 chance of going into labour over the next 48 hours.  Again, all opinions though and the baby will come when it's ready.  But it's good to know that we are doing all we can naturally to avoid an induction in a couple of weeks time.  Even though I know it's not a likely thing, I can't help but be paranoid about the drip after my experience last time.

Other than that, everything else was looking good.  If I haven't already had the baby, I have an appointment booked with the midwife (as my OB is away next week) for next Tuesday when I'd be 41 weeks.  She will then arrange an induction date with another one of the hospital OB's.  So the next time I see my OB, it will either be in the hospital after I have had the baby, or at the 6 week follow up appointment!

For now, I just keep waiting... ;)

Still here

Still here and off to the OB this morning for my 40 week appointment.  He was planning to have a look today to see if there is anything happening, and possibly do a stretch and sweep.  But he will only do it if he thinks it will actually have a chance at making a difference which I'm happy with.

No other signs of labour yet though.  Just waiting, waiting, waiting...

Dec 24, 2010

Another (late) update

So, my 39 week appointment went well, pretty much the same as all the others.  My blood pressure was the highest it has been at 110/70, but still on the low side and no cause for concern.  Apparently baby is now 4/5 engaged so position wise is still looking good.  The OB has written on my card 'Well' and 'Ready' so again I'm thinking this may be quite a big bub ;)

I had my final appointment with my doula a few days ago so everything is all set for whenever the baby decides it is time to meet us.  She brought over a shirt for the hubby with 'Kath Can Do Anything' written on it which I thought was very clever.  All he needs now are some pom poms! ;)

Other than that there's not really any other news to report at this stage.  Life has been so busy here, it's hard to believe that my due date is only 4 days away!

Dec 19, 2010

Not much to update

So, I meant to post an update after my 38 week appointment last week, but things have gotten in the way again. But now that I've gotten around to typing it, there's really not all that much to say!  The appointment went well, my blood pressure is still about the same, baby's heart rate is good and baby is in a good position for natural labour at this stage.

The midwife did say after feeling my belly that she thinks the baby is very 'ready to be born' but obviously I have taken this with a grain of salt.  I'm actually figuring that it is more likely that it means this will be quite a big baby, especially considering my first was 8lb 12oz!

It's been such a busy week this week that it's hard to believe my 39 week appointment is tomorrow.  I've had a more than usual workload at home for our business, as well as a husband who has hardly been here for the entire week.  It's all been quite a struggle with a toddler full time as well, so I'm very glad we managed to get through the week in one piece.

I'm very ready for this baby to come at any time now, but not in a desperate 'get it out of me' stage ;)  I'm actually feeling pretty good about the labour too which is surprising.  The idea of induction really freaks me out still though so I'm really hoping that I manage to labour naturally this time.

The sciatica isn't giving me much trouble at all these days, the SPD is mainly bad at night.  It has gotten worse too in that I can now feel and hear the loud clicking of my pelvic bones rubbing on each other when I roll over at night.  Not a nice feeling at all.  Other than that, it's pretty much just the normal pregnancy aches and pains. But I can tell you, I'm looking forward to being able to lay down and stretch out in bed comfortably...even if it means I have to get up again in a couple of hours ;)

Dec 7, 2010

37 week update

37 weeks...officially 'term'!  I'm actually coping quite well at the moment surprisingly.  I'm sure I was more 'over it' at this stage last time.  Maybe it's because I know that this will most likely be my last pregnancy.  Or maybe it's because I'm just a lot busier and more active this time.  I am trying to rest when I can, but obviously a toddler is keeping me a lot more physically active!

I had my midwife appointment yesterday and it seems all is still well.  My blood pressure is still low at 90/50 - she was a little surprised at how low it was, but she assured us that it isn't a problem pregnancy wise, it just makes me feel crappy ;)  After finding out I have been drinking an average of 3L of water a day (which I didn't realise was a concern), she suggested that I may be flushing everything out too much and thinks I should try a gatorade or two a day for the electrolytes that I'm possibly missing.  Apparently this may help to rise the blood pressure a bit.  I tried one yesterday and did actually feel better after it, but whether that was due to the electrolytes or the sugar...? ;)  If it helps, I'm happy to do it though.

Other than that, the baby is still sitting head down in a good position - she thinks 3-4/5 engaged.  Heat rate was also good at 142bpm.  My iron level has also risen so that it's close enough to normal for them to be happy with and it should continue to rise a little as I keep taking the tablets.

Other than that everything seems pretty normal.  I've been getting pretty bad heartburn, mostly at nights the last few days, which until now, hasn't been too much of a problem.  The amount of water I'm drinking through the night can't be helping though (approx 750ml) so maybe the gatorade during the day will help.  I've noticed my fingers are now swollen this morning - I can still get my rings on and off, but there is quite a noticeable difference.  I'm getting very minor swelling in my feet and ankles on occasions, but nothing too major.  I'm obviously very tired - not helped by the 2-3 bathroom visits, the pubic pain that I'm still getting at night and an early rising toddler.  Most days I am trying to get at least a 30 minute nap in around lunchtime which helps.  The pain from the SPD and sciatica during the day is still usually quite manageable, again as long as I watch what I do, how I do it and wear the support belt on the harder days.  I'm also getting a lot of braxton hicks contractions, which are now very uncomfortable...enough that I often need to change positions and breathe through them.

Now we just wait for this little one to be ready to meet us!