Friday, December 19, 2014

Emmett's Birth Story

It all started this summer when I was measuring small. The doctors panicked a little and sent me for ultrasounds. This happened several times. In fact that's how they discovered Emmett was breech. That's also how they decided my amniotic fluid was low. In that last month it was quite low. Then normal (but on the low end of normal). Then low the week before my due date. I had several non-stress tests, which we of course passed with flying colors, so the doctor's let me keep going. I was stressed out and sick (stupid head cold), and I just had a feeling that at my last scheduled appointment on 10/22, the results would not be favorable. So I called it quits at work on 10/21. Wednesday morning I went for a walk with the dog and then to my appointment where I learned my fluid was at 2cm (not good). Because I had passed a NST on Monday night and fetal heart rate was good, doc told me to go home, eat a good meal, gather my stuff (and my husband), and head to the hospital. So that's what I did. We picked G up from school, dropped him with my mom, and got checked in at Saint Mary's.

It was all very familiar since I also was induced with Graham. I'm a little sad I never went into labor on my own, but it did make for a calmer trip to the hospital. I was only 1 cm dilated and maybe 50% effaced, so rather than start pitocin, I was given a round of cervidil, which is a topical treatment on a suppository meant to soften the cervix to make conditions more favorable for induction. Though it's not meant to start labor, it can (especially if this is a second delivery). It was put in at 3pm on Wednesday and then we waited. And waited. And waited. And then were told it had to stay in for 12 hours. In the evening I was advised to take a sleeping pill and get some rest before the induction, so I did. I got a few hours before waking up around midnight feeling very uncomfortable; I had started to go into labor!

At 3am on Thursday, they removed the cervidil and the nurse suggested I get up and walk around before starting pitocin, so again I took her advice. The contractions started to become more regular and when my cervix was checked around 4:00 I think I was about 4cm dilated! Pitocin was administered around 4:30am and that's when it got real! At the time, it felt like a long labor, but in reality things moved quickly. At every check I was more dilated and effaced. I was doing good with my ujayi breathing and using the birthing ball to get through contractions. But as baby kept dropping it became more and more painful. At one point, I felt a pop during a contraction and my water broke. At the check where I was 5cm dilated, I felt like things were moving too slowly for the amount of pain I was in, so I decided to get administered Stadol, which in retrospect I don't think helped. Contractions were still painful and I felt totally loopy and sedated between contractions. At around 8am, I decided to throw in the towel and ask for an epidural. I cried because it hurt and I cried because I again felt like a failure not being able to deliver a baby without medication.

Here's the catch: the anesthesiologist was in a C-section and unavailable until 9am. Again I cried not knowing how I could possibly make it another hour. And it turns out things would just get more and more painful in that hour, which I spent on my hands and knees on the bed while Jeff and the nurse rubbed my back and assured me that not only could I do it but I WAS doing it.

At 8:45 I used the bathroom. At 9 I decided I needed to pee again and as I sat on the toilet it was if my body was taken over by some other force and it felt like the baby was going to burst out of me. So I think I yelled, "The baby is coming now!" The nurse and Jeff each grabbed one arm and they whisked me to the bed. The weird thing is, I suddenly felt calm and the contractions stopped hurting, despite the fact that I was surrounded by chaos as the nurse was yelling for the doctor who on rounds and the baby nurses came in to receive my boy. I could hear Jeff breathing heavily and quickly as he became overwhelmed by this turn of events. Apparently at this moment, the anesthesiologist came in and proclaimed, "I guess I'm no longer needed." A resident told me not to push; they were concerned about me tearing and they were still trying to find my OB. Once she arrived, she told me she was going to do an episiotomy and said I could get baby out in just a couple pushes. "Really?" I managed to mumble. I still was feeling a little disconnected from my body and from the reality of the situation; probably the combined effect of the Stadol and the relief from the contractions. Yes the "ring of fire" stung like hell, but truthfully it felt better than the previous hour of labor. Sure enough, just a couple pushes and only 20 minutes after I announced that baby was coming, out he came.

Suddenly I was snapped out of my stupor. When Graham finally came out after 4 hours of pushing, I sobbed because it was finally over. When Emmett came out so quickly, with no epidural, I exclaimed, "I DID IT!!!" I felt overjoyed because my sweet Emmett and his full head of dark hair arrived at 9:21am on October 23. I felt grateful (in hindsight) that I had to wait that excruciating hour for the epidural it turns out I didn't need. And I felt relieved that despite the last month of worrying about having a too small breech baby with complications due to low fluid, I had this totally normal, healthy averaged sized boy in my arms (and no longer pushing on my tailbone). Like with Graham, I was instantly and completely in love.  

My mom brought Graham over to the hospital and Jeff brought Graham in to be the first to meet his new brother. He was nervous and very concerned about why I was in a strange bed, wearing a strange hospital gown, and with an IV port in my hand. But he did great. My mom and dad were next to meet him, followed in the afternoon by my dear friend Jess and by Marsha and Harold.

Halloween 2014

Halloween was a week after Emmett was born and for once I was going to be at home to attend a party at Graham's school! I had worked with my mom to make Graham a green dinosaur costume per his request. I don't know what it is, but I've always disliked store bought costumes. I think the fun of Halloween is making something at home. It may not look as polished, but Graham got a lot of comments from the administrators at BCPS (that's where they had their school parade since they share a building) and apparently from all the neighbors when he went out to trick or treat. Marsha and Harold came out to visit with Emmett and Graham, so they were able to stay with Emmett while I buzzed over to Graham's school. That night, in spite of the frigid temperatures and blowing wind, Graham, Harold, and Jeff went trick or treating. He did great! Harold wheeled the wagon in case Graham got tired, but he walked the whole time. When he'd had enough (and his pumpkin was almost full), he had just as much fun handing candy out to other kids through our front window.

Graham got a hold of the camera - the only photo worth saving

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Emmett Lawrence Teague

I am super behind in my blogging and have failed to blog in a timely manner that our second son, Emmett Lawrence Teague, was born on October 23 at 9:21am.  He weighed 7 lbs and 7 oz and was 21 inches long.  I will share my birth story in another post, but for now, here are a few pictures of my handsome little boy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

37 weeks and baby has FLIPPED!

So this past Friday I went in for my version. I remarkably found some semblance of zen that morning despite doing work before heading to the hospital and not eating anything. Jeff met me there and the nurse got me all checked in. Which actually involved getting in a hospital gown in a labor and delivery room, laying on the bed, and getting attached to fetal monitors. The baby was his usual self and very active, which the nurse said was a VERY good sign. Then I had to get an IV catheter stuck in my arm, you know, just in case.

We waited another 20 minutes or so until the doctor, resident, and med student arrived. When the nurse was putting on the fetal monitors, she was having a hard time finding a solid heartbeat up where breech baby's heartbeats are usually found. We thought it was a little curious, but shrugged it off.  We get the speech about the low (but present) risks of a version and then I sign all the consent forms.  So the resident does the ultrasound and seems puzzled. Turns out, baby is HEAD DOWN!!!!

I had an OB appointment that Wednesday with the RN and her student, and baby was still head up. At least that's what we all thought. I will trust that they can tell the difference between a head and a butt. Thursday I started getting shooting pains in my left round ligament and I was feeling like the hard mass near my ribs was different. But I still had a nagging fear that the version wouldn't work and I'd be getting a c-section. Turns out my intuition was right: sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning, he turned the right way.

We all chuckled, they got me unplugged, said they'd see me in a few weeks, and we went off to work (after I stopped at the bakery for much needed sustenance).

Just when I think Graham is looking more like his dad, I see a picture like this.

37 weeks with Graham

37 weeks!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Breech Baby

For several weeks I've been feeling like the hard mass around my abdomen is the baby's head and yet I've been unable to convince the doctor's to give me a definitive yes or no.  They would say things like...well, it might be. But don't worry, there is still time to move. So I went in at 34 weeks and measured small, which seems to be happening every other appointment lately.  She scheduled an ultrasound for the following week.  Ultrasound said baby was normal size (same thing happened back in July).  BUT - ultrasound also said he's breech and my amniotic fluid was low.  Doctor now became concerned about both of these things because 1) low fluid can be indicative of a leak and can cause baby growth problems and 2) breech baby approaching 36 weeks means baby might stay breech.  Sigh. I was instructed to chug fluid for 2 days and return for another ultrasound.  The good news is I got my fluid into normal range and it's not leaking.  Bad news: baby still breech.  So - I've been doing all the homeopathic tricks to attempt to turn baby:

He gets real squirmy, but no sign of doing a big flip.  Since my fluid level is back up and assuming it stays back up, I have scheduled an external cephalic version for this Friday.  I'm kind of freaking out.  Partly because it's a medical procedure that is low, but not no, risk.  Partly because I have SO much to do for work this week to feel ready for this baby to arrive.  This is the first time I've really felt panicked about having another baby, working full time, and planning a conference for my state's professional organization. My committee meeting is Friday afternoon and I fear that even if the procedure goes well, I won't make it to the meeting, which is our last in person before the winter (and oh yeah, the conference is in March).  Also, I'm freaking out that something will go wrong with this procedure and baby will have to be delivered Friday.  

Consequently, I'm feeling nauseous and jittery.  And if this procedure (and all my other DIY baby turning tricks) don't work, baby will be delivered via C-section in 2.5 weeks!!!! I'm in many ways not nearly as prepared for this baby as I was for Graham, but really from just a superficial perspective.  His quilt isn't done.  He has no decor in his room.  Oh yeah, and if I have a C-Section, I have no place comfortable to sleep (I've been told to sleep in a recliner because sitting up from laying can be brutal after surgery).  And we have the pack n play which Graham slept in which really wasn't ideal because there is no recline but it won't fit by the side of my bed.  So, I guess neither of us have ideal sleeping situations.  Also, the cushions on the rocking chair don't exactly match.  But that doesn't matter.  I more or less know what to expect from a newborn.  I don't know what to expect from my older child and I think that is more terrifying.  

So I've gone into panic mode, which is not a place that I like to be. 

Belly Pics of Baby 2

I have not been a good blogger.  I blame a slow computer and a busy schedule.  I'm currently 36.5 weeks pregnant and haven't posted a photo since 20 weeks.  Here are a few updates (and comparisons).  One thing that has been interested about the development of this pregnancy is that the growth seems to go more in spurts.  I go 1.5-2 weeks with no weight gain and then BAM! 3 lbs in 2 days.  That seems to coincide with my doctor's appointments.  One appointment I will measure small (which has meant numerous ultrasounds) and the next I'm fine.  But when you look at these photos, I'm not smaller than I was with Graham (I measured spot on with every appointment), and in some instances I look bigger.  I FEEL bigger because I feel much more pressure on my sacrum than I did with Graham.

22 weeks with baby 2
22 weeks with Graham

26 weeks with Graham

25 weeks with baby 2

25 weeks with baby 2
30 weeks with baby 2
30 weeks with Graham

34 weeks with baby 2 (and one of my favorite pics so far)
33 weeks with Graham

34 weeks with baby 2

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to compliment a pregnant woman

It's simple really.  Three words.  "You look great."  Don't want to be so profuse in your praise because you're really only saying something because you want to be nice?  "You look good."

I know this is weird but it's actually almost NOT a compliment to tell a pregnant woman that she's "so small," or "doesn't look pregnant."  Why?  Because I can guarantee said pregnant woman FEELS huge even if she looks small to the untrained eye.  She feels like she's got a ball made of cement sitting on top of her bladder and stretching her skin to the point that it feels like it might rip.  She also might be significantly larger than she was 7 months ago (she may have gained at least 20 pounds already) and worrying about fitting back into her work clothes after baby arrives.  Conversely, when these compliments come on the heels of her OB telling her that she's measuring small (really???), she will freak out that she's not doing an adequate job caring for her unborn child.

So be generic in your compliments or compliment some other part of her that isn't her expanding abdomen.  "Your arms are so toned; you must do yoga."  Why thank you crazy lady in the bathroom and TSA agent at the airport!  We're a sensitive and hormonal breed, us pregnant women; tread lightly.