Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Anna's Birth Story Part 2 (aka this only happens in the movies right???)

Let's see, where were we?

Oh yes. Contractions 3 minutes apart, and we need to hightail it to the hospital. Problem was, by now it was after 8:00am. And it was rush hour. And our hospital was about 35 minutes away from our new house. 

I just kept my eyes closed and tried to think happy thoughts. I get to meet my baby soon. I get to see my baby soon. I'll be holding my baby soon.

But ouch! This contraction business is no joke! I tried to breathe through it but they were so intense I felt like I couldn't breathe. Poor Jon must have been panicking, but instead he just remained calm and kept telling me "Only _ more contractions and we'll be there."

After what seemed like an eternity, we made it back to the hospital. At that point, there was no way I could walk, so Jon ran in and got me a wheelchair. He wheeled me up to Triage, and this time, they took one look at me, skipped the pleasantries, and wheeled me right back to a delivery room. They checked me right away, and I had progressed to 9cm. I was 3-4cm when we left. No wonder I was in so much pain! That's alot of progress in a few hours. I was also feeling like the baby was super low, almost to the point like she was going to fall out. But that was crazy....

At this point I knew she was coming soon, so I asked (in between contractions) when the anesthesiologist could get there so I could get the epidural. The poor nurse gave me a sympathetic look and said "Audra, I don't want you to panic, but there's no time for the epidural."

Sidenote: I don't consider myself a brave person. I am a chicken, and I will look for the easy way out whenever possible. I had never even considered natural childbirth as an option. I look at the women who have done it and think there's no way I could be that brave. I respect them so much, but I just assumed I'd never carry that title.

Well, until that day. 

I said to the nice nurse "No no no, this isn't part of my plan. I HAVE to get an epidural. I have to." She kindly explained to me that I was too far along, and the baby was coming now.

But I didn't believe her. I have never heard of a person who wanted to get an epidural and couldn't get one. I mean, that only happens in the movies, and the actress giving birth is all sweaty and screaming and it's all very dramatic.

Couldn't they at least try it?, I asked. She said she'd send the anesthesiologist in, but by the time she got there, it'd  probably be too late and it wouldn't take. I DIDN'T CARE.... GIVE ME THE DRUGS!!!!!

At this point, it got really chaotic in our room. There were people everywhere, scrambling and putting on scrubs and getting out tools. Oh my gosh, this was really happening. 

The nurse anesthetisit came in, and they sat me up as a last ditch effort to get some kind of something going. As soon as I sat up, I knew it was too late. I knew I was about to have this baby, and I was going to have to do it on my own. No epidural. No one could do this for me. Audra, the youngest child, the one who avoids confrontation and hates scary movies. The big chicken was about to experience the pain of childbirth that I'd only seen on TV and never, ever imagined would be part of my story.

The next part is an absolute blur. Like an out of body experience, I just remember people everywhere, lots of noise, and squeezing Jon's hand so hard I swear I thought I was going to break it. 

But all of a sudden, like magic, the pain was gone.... and Anna was here!! I cried so hard. Cried at how beautiful my daughter was. Cried with relief that the worst of the pain was over. And cried at how amazing, crazy and miraculous all of that just was. I seriously couldn't believe that happened. I had imagined this delivery in a completely different way, but all that mattered was my baby girl was here and healthy.

Immediately afterward, I felt freaking incredible. I was on such a high, like I just ran a marathon and I was about to go eat a huge plate of spaghetti. I felt like I could lift a truck. Most importantly, that intense pain was over.

I would never have chosen this path toward delivery, but honestly, I'm glad it turned out this way. Yeah, it sucked. Yes, it was the worst pain I'll ever experience. But (in retrospect) it was over so quick, and my recovery went so fast. We even went home from the hospital after only one night, because I felt so good (and I just wanted to sleep in my King bed darnit!)

I've had two very different deliveries, but the results have been the same. I survived, and I have two beautiful, wonderful, healthy girls to show for it. 

But if you'd like a sample of what it looked like in that delivery room, take a look at this scene from Knocked Up. This pretty much sums it up. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Anna's Birth Story (aka that one time moving put me into labor)

When we officially sold our house and selected a closing date of May 8th, I had an overwhelming sense of anxiety that I was going to go into labor and not make it to the closing table. When people would ask when we were moving, I'd always say "May 8th... you know, 4 days before I'm due - no big deal right?' I had to joke about it in order to not go crazy, because inside I was terrified.

Well, 8:00am on Wednesday May 8th came - and surprise! Anna was still cooking inside, safe and sound! We closed on our first home and then just drove around for a little bit, because for a 3 hour period, we were "homeless." Then at 1:00, we closed on our new house, got the keys, and drove our moving trucks (yes, trucks) full of our crap over to our new place. 

Over the next few hours, we moved everything in to the house. I was 39.66 weeks pregnant, so obviously I was not moving anything heavy. A lamp here, a small box there. Despite everyone saying "Stop moving stuff! You're pregnant!" I couldn't just stand there. I was due in 4 days, and I needed evvvvvverything in it's place. I was all ready to paint and unpack it all before my due date.

Around 11:00pm, I finally, finally prepared for bed. After staging our previous house for 3 months, the one thing I was looking forward to most that night was sleeping in our glorious King sized bed for the first time since February. But before bed, I desperately wanted to take a warm bath to soak my overworked muscles. As I got ready for my bath, I looked at my pregnant belly in the bathroom mirror, and Jon and I both noticed how low it was. Like super low. And I said to Jon "Huh, that's kinda funny. My belly dropped. Wonder if that means anything?" 

So naturally, I turned to Dr. Google, and I read things along the lines of "In second pregnancies, when the stomach 'drops' labor is imminent." 

Oh no no no, I thought. I'm not ready to go into labor! I have so much to do! But I wasn't having any contractions, so I figured I was fine. So I just closed my eyes to go to sleep.

Until about 20 minutes after I laid down, and bam! There they were. 

My OB's office gave us instructions to come to labor and delivery once my contractions were 7-8 minutes apart. Within an hour, we were at 8 minutes, so we woke my mom (who thankfully was staying with us that night) and told her she might need to get up with Emerson in the morning. At this point, even though I was having regular contractions, I just had this feeling they were going to send me home. I figured it'd be hours and hours and hours before Anna was ready to be born.

We got to triage, they hooked me up to monitors, and essentially said, yep, you're in labor, you're definitely having contractions (duh) but I hadn't progressed enough yet. So they had me walk around the hospital FOR AN HOUR whilst contracting to get things moving. If any of you out there have experienced contractions, real ones, you know walking is not an option when they start to intensify. I had to stop every 7 minutes, squeeze Jon's shoulder, and breathe through it before I could resume walking. After 60 long, long minutes, I went back to triage. I hadn't dilated any more, and my contractions were still only 7 minutes apart, so they told me to go home, try to rest (riiiiight) and come back when they were closer to 5-7 minutes apart. I wanted to tell the nice nurse "Um, hello? They currently are 7 minutes apart so do I really have to leave?" but even in pain I can't be mean to people, especially tired nurses on the overnight shift. So we were discharged and made the 35 minute drive back home.

I got back in bed, and the contractions started getting really bad. There was no way I was going to be able to sleep, so around 7:30am I went downstairs. My mom was up with Emerson, and I wanted to snuggle with my little girl for the last time before our lives changed forever. 

I swear to you, by the time I reached the bottom stair, shit got real. There was no way I was going back to that hospital until I knew they wouldn't turn me away, but I could barely breathe because they had gotten so bad. Sweet Emerson could sense something was wrong with mommy, and she seemed scared. She crawled into my lap, but the contractions were so close together at that point I couldn't even hold her. Because I was in so much pain, I wasn't keeping track of how close together the contractions were, but my mom counted. 3 minutes apart at that point. Um, time to get Jon and get back to the hospital NOW!

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Entryway Makeover

Slowly but surely, our house is coming together. My mom took pity on me (after one frightening phone call to a man for hire on Craigslist) and came to help us paint. And boy did we! We alternated holding Anna, playing with Emerson, and painting until it felt like my arms could fall off.

We still have a long way to go, but I wanted to share some of our hard work so far.

This is how the entryway looked when we bought the house.

This was my Pinterest inspiration.
And this is how our entryway turned out!

Note the light fixture with the Edison bulb above. Also note that before we purchased this light fixture, I had never heard of an Edison bulb.

This update is much more our style. We're slowly but surely taking the 80s out of our house, and I am in love!

Oh, and speaking of love,  here's a sneak peek of Anna's newborn pictures! :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Some notes on a Friday

I'm up before both girls!!! This is weird.  I keep staring at them on the monitor wondering why they've blessed me with all this free time. So here I am with my random thoughts.

~ Painting still sucks, but it's coming along. So far we've finished the family room, the eat-in area, the kitchen, entry way, downstairs hallway, and Emerson's room. Almost done with the half bath, but after two coats of paint I decided to change the color scheme so it's back to square one. I hate myself.

~ I'm back on My Fitness Pal. How do non-breastfeeding people do it?? Calories go so fast! But it really works. I've lost 7lbs since I started it - wahoo! Still have 15 to go though to get back to pre-pregnancy weight. Not wahoo.

~ I have yet to find a food that is not more delicious with sriracha sauce on it. I don't know why it took me so long to discover the most amazing condiment since the invention of condiments.

~ Coffee. God, it's glorious.

~ Anna has been sleeping in 6-7 hour stretches - if you know how sleep deprived I was with Emerson, you know this is a huge accomplishment. My darling Em (who to her credit is a wonderful sleeper now) never slept more than 4 hours in a row (except two random times) until we sleep trained her at 5 months.

~ I have daughters. Two children. Two girls. This concept still blows me away every single day.

~ Emerson knows so many words now it's starting to freak me out. She talks non-stop (I am sure this is retribution for how much I talk to everyone ever). We now have to spell things around her, because if we say anything out loud, she immediately wants it. Yesterday I misspelled the word kitchen when referring to her playset upstairs. Yikes. I guess her vocabulary boom will be good for all of us.

Alright, that's enough randomness for now. Anyone want to come paint my house??? Haha, I'm kidding <--- I'm really not. I'm about 2 days away from hiring some nomad off of Craigslist.