Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Remi Lauren!

Remi was born January 7th, 2014 at 4:46pm. She weighed 7lbs and 2oz and was 20in long.

On the evening of January 6th, which was my due date, our family met up and went bowling for my cousin's birthday. I had been experiencing contractions on and off for weeks and didn't really think I would be going into labor any time soon. Actually, that day I was hit with a big energy burst and even told Jon that I didn't feel 40 weeks pregnant. I spent the day with the kids, playing in the snow, having a dance party in the living room, signing up for my first 5k, and looking up natural labor induction methods. When we got the invite to go bowling, I was like, "okay, why not?!"

Toward the end of our game I started having low, shooting pains in my abdomen. They didn't feel like contractions but they hurt pretty bad. They started coming on a little stronger and were hurting enough that I couldn't walk through them. Jon made the decision that I should go get checked at labor and delivery. I honestly didn't want to go. I was worried about the hospital keeping me a long time to monitor me and then sending me home over nothing. We had the kids to worry about and it was freezing outside. However, Jon won the argument and we headed to the hospital. We decided that I would go in alone and he would keep the kids in the car. I was sure I was going to be sent back home within an hour and there was no reason to bring everyone inside. When I reach labor and delivery a nurse takes me straight into a delivery room and has me undress and put on a gown. She then checks my cervix, which hasn't even been checked by my OB yet, and says I'm 4-5 cm and 70% effaced.
I was surprised but I knew that this didn't necessarily mean anything. Then she hooked me up to a monitor to watch my contractions, which were about 7-10 min apart, and called the doctor on call. My doctor was on his way back from Vegas.... great. The doctor on call came in, checked me, and confirmed that I was about 5. He said I wasn't going anywhere tonight and that he thought this baby would be arriving soon. Because I was having a VBAC, he didn't want to take the chance of me going home and going into full blown labor at 5cm.

I couldn't believe it. I was uncomfortable but not in any real pain and I did not think I was truly in labor. So, I called Jon and let him know we would be staying at the hospital and to take our children to my aunt and uncle. Then I decided I should call my parents. I was hesitant about calling anyone because I was still in denial that I was actually in labor. I told my dad not to worry and that I didn't think Remi was coming any time soon and that we would update him as things changed. I could tell he was torn and that a part of him wanted to come on to the hospital to be with us, bless him.

After Jon took the kids to my aunt and uncle he had to go home to grab a couple of things. We had packed the hospital bags and an over night bag for the kids in the car just incase we were out when I went into labor but we didn't have the camera and we needed to take care of our pets. He didn't really want to go, but I insisted he go ahead and run home. Meanwhile, I'm sitting at the hospital by myself getting poked and prodded by a nurse who admits she is really bad at putting in ports and drawing blood. She actually told me not to look while she tries to find my vein because she "tends to make a mess." Awesome. She blows a vein and I literally almost pass out....twice. I did talk them into just putting in a saline lock since I loath having an i.v. and I wasn't anywhere near getting an epidural. I absolutely hate being tied down to a bed. I feel like I can't move with an iv.

Alright, so Jon finally gets to the hospital and gets settled in. My aunt comes to see how I'm doing after getting Laney down to sleep and we just wait....and wait....and wait. My contractions become sporadic into the late hours and by morning they have all but stopped. My new, thank the lord, nurse checks me and says I've only dilated slightly. At this point I'm just thinking that I want to go home. I want to labor at home. Just as I'm starting to feel overwhelmed, my midwife arrives. I can't describe how much I needed her in that moment. I was exhausted and anxious.

She swooped in, looked over my chart, checked my cervix, and decided they needed to augment my labor. A little hesitant, I agreed to a low dose Pitocin drip. Because I hadn't eaten dinner the night before and I was feeling low on energy, my midwife allowed me to have some jello and Gatorade. Thank God for midwives, because they made the world of difference. She also had me go out onto the floor and walk for about an hour. I felt so refreshed after that. My contractions also started to pick up a little.

At 9:00 am they started me on 4ml of pit. A little while later they doubled it and that's when things really started to happen. My contractions became regular and painful. My parents were there at this point which gave us some company. After a few hours of Pitocin I decided to get my epidural. I was a good 6-7cm at this point so I felt good about going ahead and getting it.

Am I the only one who has a traumatic experience every time they get an epidural? I tremble and cry uncontrollably when I'm getting them. I've been told this is a normal experience but sheeeesh, it's awful and I always end up feeling like a complete sissy. Okay, back to the story.

After my epidural is in, the nurse suggests that I try to sleep and hold off on having any visitors for a little while. I'm glad to oblige and I'm soon off in sleep land. Jon said that I slept so hard and so peacefully that he got nervous and went and got the nurse to make sure I was doing okay. While I was sleeping my contractions got much stronger and much closer together. Jon said he just stared at me and my monitor the whole time.

Next thing I know I'm waking up with a large amount of pressure down below. I tell Jon to "Call...No...GO GET THE NURSE!" Two nurses come in within seconds and I tell them that I feel like it's time. They quickly examine me and one says, "She's got hair!" They decide not to let me practice push because they feel the baby will come. I ended up having to sit like this for about 10-15 minutes until the doctor arrived. The next 45(ish) minutes were amazing.

The doctor arrives and gets into action. The room fills with nurses and all sorts of gadgetry is pulled out of cabinets. The doctor looks at Jon and says something to the effect of, "are you ready to get in the action?" to which Jon says, "sure." He had no idea what the doc had in mind. Next thing I know, Jon has on a gown and is running through five pairs of surgical gloves because he keeps ripping them or touching things. All while I have a bowling ball sitting between my legs...but I'm trying to wait patiently because I know this is going to be epic.

Jon looks like a giddy child who has just had candy for the first time as he sits down to help deliver our baby. Then I watch him transform as he puts on his "game face" and follows the doctors instructions. As I push I steal glances of my husband. For a moment it felt like it was just he and I bringing our baby into the world. We were doing this together, as one. I felt so close to him in those moments. It's something I will never forget.

After a final and extremely hard push our baby girl finally emerged, guided by her daddy. Jon then laid her on my chest, where she rested against my skin, and he cut her cord after letting it rest a moment. Jon kissed me, kissed her, and told us he was proud just as he did with all of our babies.

Remi was gorgeous. Different from our other babies, her hair was dark. She had a little pink stork bite on the tip of her nose. She was tiny and perfect. She simply glowed.

I nursed within moments of giving birth and Remi knew exactly what to do. She only left me briefly to be weighed, measured, and foot printed. It was perfect. We were perfect. It was an amazing VBAC experience and it went so smoothly, Pitocin and all.

Jareth and Laney were the first to come in and meet Remi. They LOVED their baby sister and our family of five became complete. It is now three weeks later and we are all doing well. My post partum recovery has been easy and although we are still trying to find our groove, we are all so happy we brought our little love child into the world to complete our family. I can't imagine not having her in our life. It was meant to be.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Dear Remi

We are just days away from your expected due date and I find myself in a whirlwind of emotion. One moment I'm anxiously pacing the floor, trying to bring on labor. Then other times, I find myself patiently belly gazing, not wanting my last pregnancy to end quite yet.
My pregnancy with you has been wonderful. Sure, I had my share of morning sickness as well as general aches and pains and in the very beginning I wasn't quite sure how in the world I was going to be able to take care of three kids....but I've felt more at ease this time around. Maybe it's because I'm more prepared and more of a veteran mom now. Perhaps it's because your dad and I have never been better and we are in a great place both financially and in our relationship. Whatever it is, it's good. It feels good. Don't get me wrong, we are completely stressed out at times. Your big brother and sister are quite a handful and adding another baby to the mix is going to be interesting. I think we can manage though. You'll just have to forgive me for my insanities at times, I can be a bit crazy. I'm quite impatient as well. And I'm a little stubborn. But I'll love you more than anything else in the world. You'll see that one of my strengths and weaknesses is that I love really hard and that my family comes before anything else.
I just can't wait to meet you, little Remi. I can't wait to hold you in my arms and smell your sweet skin and hold your tiny hand. I can't wait to see what and who you look like. I can't wait to get to know your personality and watch you with Jareth and Laney. My prediction is that you'll be sweet and gentle natured. Of course you'll be beautiful.
I'll try to keep being patient until you're ready to make your debut. There are a lot f people ready to see you though, including your big brother. He is old enough to understand that he is getting another baby sister and he is just thrilled. He talks to you often. Laney thinks you are in her belly. She pats her tummy and says "Remi." It's very sweet. And your daddy, well, he is just excited as can be to have another baby girl. He can't wait to cuddle with you. We are all so excited to bring you into our family! You are loved!