Having 3 Kids Is Kinda Insane, But Also…The Best

Over the past 8 months I’ve read a few parenting blog posts and articles implying that having three kids is the worst. I’m happy I’m just reading them now and not when I was pregnant (or sooner!). So, I decided to write this post. To anyone out there wondering (and I know you are out there)… should I have a third? Despite the negative press, my answer would be a resounding YES.

When I was pregnant with Livie, I swore to everyone that we wouldn’t be having more kids. Ha! I declared that two would be enough and that I would be DONE. I told people to convince me, when I started talking about having a third (because I know myself), that I wanted to get a puppy instead. There’s just one thing… I’m not a dog person. I’m a baby person.

Around the time Livie turned 2, baby fever hit (see Pinterest board aptly name Baby Fever)… but there was a lot of stuff going on, so I knew I was going to have to wait. Then we waivered back and forth, well, I waivered. Dan wasn’t for or against. He was fine with another little person in our home, but was also happy with the two we already had. I was fine too, but definitely felt like our family wasn’t complete. I thought to myself, “Would I regret NOT having another baby?” That answer was always yes. So, there was my answer. It just took a loooong time to get there.

But like I said – there was a lot going on. First, I wanted to run a marathon, then both of my brothers were getting married (and I didn’t want to be pregnant at their weddings). I was simultaneously patient and impatient. I knew I wanted to have a bigger age gap, but I was also worried that the age gap would be TOO big. Was 7 years between the oldest and the youngest TOO much? Then I started thinking a third would be crazy. My husband just thought I WAS crazy (there’s probably some truth in that). Finally after the races and weddings were over we just decided to see what happened. It was probably the cutest choice we ever made.

Back to real life today... I miss snuggling this guy.

I had a million fears going into having a third. Was I rocking the boat? I thought it would take me a long time to get pregnant (umm, nope). I worried about miscarriage and birth defects (I am thankful every day that I did not experience either), especially as I got close to “advanced maternal age” (35 y’all). I worried that I would have to have a c-section or that something would go wrong during the birth. I worried that I would have a colicky baby or a baby that refused to breastfeed. I worried a lot, because as a mother that’s what you do (even when everything is going smoothly – actually, ESPECIALLY when it’s going smoothly). I also worried that being a mom to three would be harder than hard. Cry in the pillow, regret my decision hard. And while it’s been challenging, like REALLY REALLY challenging,  it’s been easier than I expected, too. Sometimes.

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Adding a third child to my family was nothing like adding a first. Not that Braeden was difficult. No, I was difficult, and selfish. I had freedoms I didn’t know I would miss. I heard that phrase — you know the one — “Your life is going to change!” so many times before B was born that I wanted to smack people who said it to me. I thought I knew how much it would. But I was wrong. So, so wrong. My life did not change as much this time around. My heart grew a little more. I pay more for daycare. I sleep a little less. I don’t feel as much pressure to put on makeup or do my hair. But it’s felt nothing like that first year with my first baby.

Now, I’m not going to lie and pretend it’s not pure craziness. You would probably go insane in my house. The kids compete for my attention. The kids do WEIRD things for my attention. I make crazy baby noises to make Evan laugh. I make crazy noises to get my kids to stop talking. I sing (and scream) at the top of my lungs. There is never an easy moment in the mornings… or ever. It takes a lot of effort to leave the house. Hell, it takes a lot of effort to do anything.

But, our house is full of constant joy and love. Maybe it’s because I have two older kids, versus two that are close in age — but they absolutely adore THEIR baby. They might be jealous that he gets a lot of attention for being adorable, but they don’t take it out on him. They don’t fight over toys, they fight over holding him. They demand to give him kisses and hugs every chance they get and they will do anything to make him laugh. And is there anything better than watching your children giddy about each other?

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Sure, I have more grey hair than ever before, I sleep less, I yell more, and I really have to FIGHT to make it anywhere on time, but damn if it’s not worth it.

I also finally feel like my family is complete. I worried that I would never feel that way. That I would crave more because, I mean… babies. But no. Nobody is missing. We are all here. Evan is truly the frosting on my cupcake. He is the sweet, sugary goodness that my family didn’t know that we were missing.

So, if you’re like me and deep down you WANT three kids and you’re questioning your sanity — I’ll be the first to tell you it will be insane. It will be more insane than you can ever imagine. People will tell you you’re insane and will also ask you “How do you do it?” and you will look at them like you’re a zombie and just stare– because that question is seriously annoying.  But there will be fleeting moments where it will also be everything you ever imagined and more.

And that’s when you realize that you can’t imagine living your life any other way. And it’s truly the best.

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For the record, I AM done having kids but, please just let me know if you have a baby so I can come over and snuggle with it. Okay? Thanks.

The Entitlement of a Drug-Free Birth

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Giving birth is painful. I don’t care what anyone says, or what kind of birth you have – there’s no way to avoid the pain. It’s part of the tradeoff that women make to hold a beautiful baby in their arms. A baby who knows you from your voice and your scent – immediately. And, in my opinion, it’s worth it. It’s funny how we’ve been doing it for thousands of years and despite the gifts of modern medicine – it still hurts like a bitch.

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That said, over the past 7-8 years I feel like there has been a huge trend for women to STRIVE to have a “natural, drug-free” birth. Maybe this is because of the documentary “The Business of Being Born” (which, I recommend watching – whether or not you agree with its sentiments) or maybe it’s because the C-section rates have skyrocketed. Whatever the reason, I now feel like having a unmedicated birth has become a “thing.” Like it entitles you to have bragging rights on being superwoman, supermom,  or just “so brave.” Here’s the thing: It doesn’t.

Delivering Evan drug free was never part of the plan. Sure the actual birthing part hurt 25,000 times more than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life,  BUT I don’t think it’s made me a better mother, a stronger person, or given me any secret super powers (that I’m aware of – I could possibly be able to shoot lasers out of my vagina now though. I’ll keep you updated).

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You bore me. That’s your superpower.

Obviously, this is just a personal opinion, but I think that if you’re going to give anyone a reward it should be to people who have their labor/contractions induced by Pitocin and then go on to have emergency C-sections after being in labor for 18 hours. We’re talking 90 second contractions, at full strength, peaking at 60 seconds. They occur every 2 minutes from the start. Even when you are dilated 2cm. And for the record, 2cm to 10cm can take a REALLY, REALLY long time.

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And the difference between a Pitocin contraction and a regular contraction? SIGNIFICANT. I don’t care what anyone tells you, Pitocin does not parallel real labor. It takes it and makes it nasty.  On Pitocin, my contractions radiated from my back, to my ribs, and then down my hips. I remember with both B & L being SO SORE the next day because I felt like someone was literally squeezing my entire midsection for hours on end. A real contraction (for me) did not involve my back OR ribs – but just my lower abdomen and later (when the baby was probably fully engaged) my hips. Real labor was insanely easier. And don’t even get me started on the C-section. That is MAJOR surgery. They take your organs out! To me, that is a MUCH MUCH braver experience to endure.

While I DEFINITELY think there are huge pros to having a drug-free birth, I also think think there are some huge pros for opting to medicate/get an epidural. And if you want one, DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. Here’s my breakdown…

Epidural Pros

  • If they administer it correctly (and I found you REALLY have to communicate with the anesthesiologist on this – especially if you have scoliosis), the pain is minimal but you can still wiggle your toes, feel your legs, and feel the pressure of the contractions. I had an excellent epidural with Livie. I got it around 4:30pm (I was about 6cm at that point) and it completely took the edge off. I was able to relax my body a little bit and even rest before I started pushing.
  • It you tear, you don’t know and you can’t feel the Dr. stitching you up. Sorry if this is somewhat graphic, but it’s the truth.
  • Once you get the epidural, the nurse catheterizes you and you don’t have to worry about getting up to pee anymore. After spending countless weeks peeing more than once an hour, not having to worry about peeing is kinda the best. 
  • You can push a button for more drugs. Pushing buttons is fun.

Epidural Cons

  • The huge needle. OK, so they don’t actually SHOW you the needle (at least I never saw it), but I know it huge and yes, it’s going in your back.
  • Having contractions while GETTING the epidural. You’re supposed to sit still. Yeah, that’s easy.
  • The “test” they do to make sure they didn’t screw anything up. FYI – if you hear a buzzing noise, it’s not a good thing.
  • It’s not 100%. My epidural with Braeden sucked. It only partially worked and it was very left heavy (I almost rolled off the bed a few times). I felt all of my contractions, but thankfully did not feel any pain during delivery. Turns out this was due to my scoliosis. 
  • Once you get it, there’s no more getting out of bed.
  • It makes me itchy. It’s a minor side effect but from what I’ve heard/read it’s pretty common. 
  • You have to wait for the numbing to subside before you can get out of bed. Obviously. 
  • Back pain and headaches can be common. The entry point of the epidural may also be sore.
  • Postpartum recovery can take longer.  They say the baby may not be as alert either (this was NEVER the case for me).

Drug-Free Pros

  • Much quicker recovery – Despite tearing far worse this time around than any other birth, my recovery has been a lot faster. Obviously, I could get out of bed right away (though the nurse made me wait a little bit so that I didn’t just stand up and pass out due to pain, pressure, and blood loss), but there were other little things that I noticed that have made a huge difference in my recovery. It didn’t hurt as much to lay back in the bed, my body wasn’t as sore overall (this may be because it was also a Pitocin-free birth!), and the afterbirth pains were much more manageable. I also didn’t require as much pain meds after. Instead of taking Percocet or 800mg of Motrin, I was perfectly content with 600mg (I probably could have just gone with 400mg and been fine).
  • Milk came in sooner – I’m not sure if this is 3rd time mom thing, but my milk started to come in during day 2. With both B & L it didn’t happen until at least day 4. This would have been a bigger pro if I hadn’t been stuck in the hospital for 2 extra days (engorgement SUCKS!), but Evan was almost up to his birthweight when we left on Wednesday. There were clearly NO weight issues going on with this guy!
  • No swelling  – While I don’t typically swell during pregnancy, I did come home with elephant ankles with B & L thanks to a combination of saline, Pitocin, and the epidural. When the nurses would come by to check on me for the first time one of the first things they noticed was that my legs weren’t swollen and then their next question would be, “You didn’t get an epidural, did you?” 
  • Less bleeding – I’m not sure if  this because I didn’t get the epidural or because my delivery nurse, Gina, was BAD ASS (seriously, she was awesome – a perfect combination of “suck it up and you can do it” and empathy) and did a great job getting all of the gross disgusting postpartum stuff out of me, but I’ve had significantly less postpartum bleeding this go round.

Drug-Free Cons

  • It freaking hurt. Duh. Although, it wasn’t JUST the pain. The pressure was difficult to handle as well. I kept thinking, “Why does it feel like I’m going to poop to this baby out??” (<–sorry TMI, but it’s the truth)
  • The intensity was insane. I was really NOT mentally prepared for this kind of birth experience, so I might have felt differently if I was. But it just felt like every moment was an eternity and the loss of control was really challenging to deal with. I’m also slightly embarrassed about all of the screaming and crying I did. I know the nurses and Dr. are used to this kind of behavior, but I definitely felt the need to apologize a thousand times after all was said and done. Although, Dan WAS impressed that I wasn’t screaming expletives. Lol.
  • There’s no slowing down the birth. Pushing is NECESSARY when you can feel your body ripping apart! Unfortunately, when you can’t control that pushing it leads to tearing and a very fast birth. This isn’t JUST challenging for me – but poor little Evan had all kinds of bruising on his forehead and eyes from coming out a little TOO fast. There was also that whole antibiotics issue, mostly because my active labor was so precipitous (not necessarily because it was unmedicated). With Livie, I had to wait about an hour for the Dr. to return to start pushing and I COULD because I all I felt was a little pressure. Her birth was pretty perfect. 

Now, I’m not saying you SHOULDN’T aim have a drug-free birth if that’s what you are looking for. Hey, if that’s your thing – AWESOME. I definitely understand why some women chose this option. It IS how nature intended things to work and it leads to far less interventions and unnecessary c-sections – and obviously there are a lot of great pros. But, I’m kinda wary of hearing women brag about this decision like they deserve some kind of award. Labor and delivery is one day of motherhood. It doesn’t indicate what kind of mother you are capable of becoming. It doesn’t mean you are any stronger or any smarter.

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If I could go back in time last week and get to the hospital a little bit sooner would I get the epidural? Maybe… maybe not. It was an experience I never thought I would have and I can’t say I don’t appreciate it. It does give me a pretty insane birth story! Although, I do now think that people who plan for a drug-free birth might be insane. Or they might be smart, because they are definitely a million times more prepared to give birth than I was… But bottom line? Giving birth is not a race, a contest, or a badge of honor. It is an amazing and painful experience – no matter how you do it. And the only entitlement is gives you? The entitlement of being called “mom.” And that’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

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Medicated or drug-free birth — what was your experience? What’s your preference?

Evan’s Birth Story {or How to Have The Unplanned Drug-Free Birth You Never Wanted}

Thank you all for all of the sweetest messages, comments, and tweets about Evan’s birth!! I am overwhelmed by the love and support and working on replying to all of you :) That said – this post is not for people who don’t want to know about childbirth. I really didn’t hold back on the details, so if you read this and puke – well, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

I’ve obsessed over read a lot of articles, posts, and forums these last few weeks trying to figure out what people feel like before they go into labor. Did they know it was going to happen? Was it sudden or slow? How did they KNOW they were in labor? And the verdict? Ummm… there is no consistency. Here’s what happened to me…

Early Labor

I didn’t go to bed expecting to wake up in labor – and truthfully I didn’t wake up knowing I was either! No, I woke up at 5:30 having to pee, like usual. I sat up and felt a small gush and thought, “WTF was that?” I waited to see if it would followed by anything else, but it didn’t so I went to the bathroom to pee. I checked to see if was pee or blood (it wasn’t) and then looked it up online. The only thing I could think of was that it was my water breaking a little bit and decided to follow the advice I read online — drink a glass of water, lie on my side, and see if gushed more after 20-30 minutes. During this time I noticed that I was definitely having contractions. They were a tiny bit more painful than normal (they felt like really bad cramps). After about 30 minutes I got up to pee again… and nothing. No gushing at least. I did have a lot of pink cervical fluid, which was new.

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My last pregnancy pictures – 40w3d

As the morning progressed, and the kids woke up, I continued to have mild contractions and I started to feel like I was leaking. There was no more gushing, but I felt like something was very slowly trickling out of me all.the.time. It was annoying more than anything and I didn’t know what to do! When Dan got up, I told him I needed him to stay home from work and that at some point we would have to go up to the hospital to check to make sure it wasn’t amniotic fluid. Better safe than sorry!

In the meantime, we got Braeden ready for baseball (where he went with my mother-in-law, who later picked up L as well) and Livie ready for dance pictures (my friend Tracy took her).

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I kept procrastinating on going up to the hospital and spent the morning showering, walking around the neighborhood, and Googling anything and everything that had to do with labor symptoms. It was a very productive morning.

After eating lunch, I FINALLY decided we should go up to the hospital. My contractions continued to be regular, about 8 minutes apart, but still mild. They were lasting about 45 seconds and peaking halfway through. We got to the hospital around 2 and checked into Labor/Delivery. I told the triage nurse, Bonnie, that I didn’t really think she was going to keep me (we left all of our bags in the car) – but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t leaking amniotic fluid. She agreed it didn’t hurt to check! She hooked me up to the monitors and then used a speculum (so fun /sarcasm) to collect some “stuff” to send to the lab. She didn’t see any fluid – but she said it didn’t mean anything, so we waited. She also checked me and I was 3cm dilated, 50% effaced and -2 station. A big difference from Tuesday when I all sealed up and not effaced at all. This was the moment where I actually thought for the first time, “Woah. I think am really in labor!”

After about 30 minutes, the results came back from the lab as negative. Who knows what I felt gushing in the morning! She did talk to the Dr. on call and he offered to come in induce if wanted and I said, “No thanks!!” She agreed with my decision and told me that she was pretty sure that I would be back later that weekend – and that I was definitely NOT going to make it to my induction.

They discharged me around 4 and on the way home I asked Dan if the kids should say with his step-mom for the night. He agreed (smart thinking!), so we picked them up from his mom’s, hung out with for a little bit, and then Dan dropped them off (and picked up food for dinner). During this time nothing terribly exciting was going on. I was starting to have stronger contractions, but there still 7-8 minutes apart. It was actually frustrating me that they weren’t getting closer together. In fact, between contractions I felt great and kept thinking they were going to fizzle out — until another contraction would hit. The contractions were painful, but so much easier than pitocin induced contractions. I had scheduled an acupressure/acupuncture appointment for noon – but ended up canceling it. At that point I wondered if I should have kept it to move things along! Instead, I just stayed active. I convinced Braeden to go on another walk with me (I’m pretty sure I walked about 3 miles on Saturday!) and while Dan was gone I decided to clean the master bathroom and mop the floors. Hello final nesting!

Finally around 10pm the contractions started getting closer together and I also started experiencing “bloody show.” Hallelujah! I told Dan that if he wanted to get any sleep that he might want to do it then, so he went to bed. I laid on the couch watching TV and “sleeping” between contractions.

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Of course, looking back, this is when I SHOULD left to go to the hospital. They only shifted from 7-8 to 6-7, but things went a lot faster than I expected from this point on!

Active Labor

Around 11 I had some major stomach cramps (not contractions) followed by a fun bout of “I think my intestines are going to explode out of my body.” Active labor had begun and I didn’t even realize it!. At 11:30 I made the executive decision to wake Dan up. He pretty much jumped out of bed. We packed the car (again), and we were off to the hospital by midnight. I was still tracking my contractions and I realized after about 5 minutes in the car that they were now 2 minutes apart and peaking at the 50 second mark. Umm, what? I told Dan to DRIVE FAST and even encouraged him to run red lights onto ongoing traffic. It was not good.

I really don’t remember much of that ride, but I do remember praying that the contractions slow down a little. My body agreed slightly and I had a few 4 minute contractions here and there. The ride to the hospital is about 30 minutes on a good day and we made it in about 20. We did get behind a car in the residential area very close to the hospital going slow (well, he was going 30 in a 25!) and I screamed at Dan to pass him. I’m not sure if Dan REALLY understood the urgency at that point (he was still obeying stop signs!), but he did finally pass him. We probably scared the hell out of that car.

When we pulled up to the hospital, I pretty much jumped out of the car and ran into the ER (Dan went and parked the car). Thankfully, it was NOT busy. Through a contraction, I gave them my details (due date, Dr info, and status of contractions) and one of the nurses in triage grabbed a wheelchair and quickly took me up to Labor and Delivery. Dan arrived as they checked me in – this time he had ALL of our bags!

The triage nurse (who happened to be the nurse that delivered Livie!) was FAST. She could see that I was in serious active labor and had me change into the gown and hooked me up to the monitors for about 2 minutes to get stats. She asked the front desk to call my Dr. and tell him to come in immediately and also told the charge nurse I was going to need a room and a wheelchair. She then checked me and said I was 6cm, fully effaced, and 0 station. I thought at this point this was right where I wanted to be so I was happy about that. She asked if I planned on getting an epidural and I said yes, definitely. Ha.

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I sent this picture to a few of my friends at 12:51 that said “Made it to the hospital and I’m 6cm. I’m ready for my epidural!” About 2 minutes later I was moved to my delivery room and shit.got.real.

Transition/Delivery

The triage nurse got me to the room and told me I should try to pee before they set up my IV because I probably wouldn’t be able to go again. I sat down on the toilet just as I was having a contraction and HOLY SHIT. Not only was the pain unreal, but I suddenly felt this intense pressure like I had to push. At that moment I knew I was NOT getting an epidural and that I was probably in transition.

I recovered and for about 30 seconds thought that maybe it was just because I was sitting on the toilet that I felt that way – so I didn’t say anything to the nurses. Until the next contraction hit and the same thing happened. Oh boy. By the time the third contraction hit I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I shouted to the nurses that I felt the need to push and just started crying through the contraction. Honestly, it wasn’t just the pain that made the feel so horrible, but the pressure and the urgency – and the fact that I just had NO control over my body. It was intense. Of course, this was all happening while the nurse was trying to give me my IV and attempting to give me a round of saline and my antibiotics for GBS. They immediately checked me after my declaration and said, “Oh yeah – she’s complete and the baby’s head is right there.” Note to self: 6cm to 10cm in less than 10 minutes is not enough time to get an epidural.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t TIME to push. The Dr. still hadn’t arrived. Every time I had a contraction (probably 10 total), I would scream (and simultaneously cry), “I needed to push.” and the nurses (there were 3 in the room) would shout back to me that I needed to take a deep breath and blow it out of my mouth and forget about pushing. Yeah, easier said than done. During one of the contractions my water finally broke and I shouted sometime like, “Oh my God – my water broke.” It wasn’t that my water breaking was a BAD thing necessarily, but I remembered that with the other two that once that happened that added extra “cushion” was gone! The nurses cleaned it up right away, flipped me to my right side, and asked for an oxygen mask – I’m guessing to help slow the baby from just pushing himself out. At this point the nurse had a hard time picking up his heartbeat on the monitor (and obviously it was really important for them to make sure he was OK during such an important phase), so she was manually holding the monitoring and moving it around trying to find him. I’m sure it looked like a complete circus.

Some how, some way  I didn’t have the baby without the Dr present! He arrived probably 20-25 minutes after they called him (he said he was prepared to come in for me after sending me home, so I guess my trip to the hospital wasn’t for nothing!) and at first tried to crack jokes to lighten the mood. I seriously was just trying not to shoot the baby across the room, so I don’t really remember what he was saying. I just know for the majority of the time I had my eyes closed and that I was not amused. After what seemed like an an eternity (it was probably less than 5 minutes), he was finally prepped and ready to deliver and asked me the most magical questions in all the land…”Are you ready to push?” Hell. Yes.

For most of my screaming, Dan was sitting the chair next to my bed staying quiet and filling out paperwork. The best one he filled out? The one for my epidural that I never got (Dan thinks the nurses were just amusing me). So when they finally broke down the bed and let me put my feet on the stirrups, he was called to action. I’m sure this was his favorite part! The Dr. told me pull my legs back (with help from Dan and the nurses) and just push as hard I could when I felt my next contraction. Of course, my body picked that exact moment to take a 2 minutes break! I felt like a year passed and then finally – the first push… It hurt like a bitch and took me a few to get a grasp on what I needed to do (doing this before, you’d think I’d remember). Apparently Evan’s head started to crown because everyone was talking about his hair color (and particularly how it wasn’t red – I’m 0 for 3). This is also when everyone in the room discovered that we didn’t know the sex of the baby yet – and they got really excited. The Dr. asked if we had guesses — Dan didn’t, but he said I was definite that it was a boy. The next push was much more efficient and burned like hell. I felt his head pop out, and the pain increase times ten. Everyone started shouting “One more push!” I also heard the Dr. say – “Oh, this isn’t going to be a small baby” and guessed that I was right and it was a boy. Just as the next contraction hit, I started screaming, “I can’t do this!” over and over again. The nurses were trying to calm me, while Dan and the Dr. were all “you’ve already come this far!” So, I dug deep and just pushed as hard as my body would let me through the pain — and within seconds Evan came barreling out. I could see he was a boy before Dan announced it. They laid the baby on me for a few minutes and then I INSISTED that Dan cut the cord (he was trying to get me to do it).

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I have no idea what the Dr. and nurses were doing to me at the point (and I probably don’t WANT to know), but I remember just starting at Evan and thinking, “We did it!” Honestly, it’s still kind of blowing my mind that all of that happened in less than 24 hours!

Postpartum

They then moved the baby to the scale where everyone guessed his weight (nobody guessed below 9lbs!) and it came up on the monitor as 9lbs 4oz. This is the weight I guessed in my baby pool — so I got something right! I knew he wasn’t going to be small. They then warmed Evan up, took his vitals (I think his APGAR scores were both 9), and took his footprints…

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While all of that was going on, the Dr. quickly delivered the placenta (also not fun when you have no drugs, by the way) and I felt that immediate sense of relief. I forgot how great that feeling is! He then cleaned me up and starting prepping for stitches. I got a little novacaine (finally – some drugs!!) first. I’m not sure what kind of tear or how many stitches I have, but I’m definitely NOT surprised that I had to get them. Ha.

Once we were both put back together — we got to “meet” for the first time. Oh, how happy I was to see that face!

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I’ll skip all of the gross parts of MY recovery — but we’ve now moved into Day 3 and I feel pretty great. I have no swelling (which is definitely thanks to the awesome nurses who brought me countless diapers full of ice on demand) and most of the pain/pressure it gone. I’m not planning on riding a bike any time soon, but I’m also not cringing at the thought of sitting down either. The afterbirth pains have been horrible (as expected), but my milk came last night/today and they are slowing down and my uterus is back in place (breastfeeding works wonders for that!). My biggest pain complaint is actually my hips and back. I need to pick up a postpartum band (I know I have one, but I can’t find it) and I know it will help shift things back into place.

Evan is doing fantastic. He is in that newborn sleepy phase, so the verdict is still out on how he will do with nights and days – but so far, so good! He’s nursing like a pro and is pretty mellow. He LOVES his wubbanub – and has been cracking everyone up because he holds on to it like he KNOWS it’s his toy/paci.

"I love my wubbanub." (Thanks to @kwidrick!)

We’ve been calling him Easy E because he’s just so chill (even the 24-hour fussies and all of the blood draws he has done haven’t really bothered him).

Easy E says, "Good morning , yo!"

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The only frustrating part is that we’re still in the hospital! Because I didn’t get my antibiotics AND Livie’s history with GBS, they decided to keep him here to watch his temps, do a CBC blood draw, and 48-hour culture to make sure there no bacteria growth present (which is why my little guy has a hep-lock on this right hand). The CBC came back negative – with nothing showing up and his temps have been stable since Day 1, so now we are just waiting on the culture. They discharged me today (but are letting me keep my room as a border!), but took him down to the NICU for the night (I can’t eat in the NICU, so I’m going to stay up here to sleep/eat — otherwise I can spend as much time with him as I want). *fingers crossed* we will be able go home tomorrow!

So in short (ha ha!): This is NOT the labor and delivery I expected at all, but obviously it was meant to be. I am absolutely THRILLED that I FINALLY went into labor on my own. My body worked and my baby picked his own birthday!

That said, I don’t really know how I feel about having a natural, drug-free birth. On one hand, it’s something I really contemplated doing with Livie. I was pissed when I had to be induced with her. On the other hand, now that I’ve done it with and without an epidural, I don’t necessarily get the allure of going drug free. I’m still gathering my thoughts on this (expect a post!), but all I can say is that I’m very happy this happened with my LAST baby and not my first. What a way to end an “era.”

Regardless of HOW he was born and whatever pain I experienced – it was still one of the best days of my life. Evan was definitely the missing piece of our “puzzle” and I am so blessed to have three beautiful and healthy children — and a husband who loves us (and tolerates my crazy).

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Happy Birthday Evan!

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You are so LOVED.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

This weekend didn’t go exactly as planned. Friday I went to dinner and then the movies with Jackie Jovi and my friend Tracy to see The Great Gatsby (sidenote: I know there’s a lot of negative reviews out there — but I liked it!). During the movie (during which, we were in the 2nd row) I felt really uncomfortable. The baby was moving around a ton and my back started radiating. I thought it was just because of where we were sitting, since the pain went away once I stood up, so I thought nothing of it. In fact, I went home and pretty much just went to bed feeling pretty good (as I had all week).

But now I think — maybe not?

I’ll go into full details when I have the energy and have slept more than 2 consecutive hours (or more than 45 minutes) – but I won’t tease that my family of five is now complete!

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Surprise…The baby is s a boy!! (<–totally not surprised)

After a very lengthy labor and a very, very, very , very (got that?) quick delivery (which, included an unplanned drug-free birth) at 1:32am this morning – Evan David joined our family. He weighed in at a strapping 9lbs 4oz and measured 21 inches.

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And he is nothing but pure sweetness.

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B and L think he is pretty awesome too.

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You have to admit, his timing was pretty perfect. Nothing says Mother’s Day like becoming a mom…again.

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I hope all of the Moms’ out there had a GREAT Mother’s Day– including mine :)

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Was he the best Mother’s Day Gift ever?

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Yep, pretty much! I think this year is going to be hard to top…

Five for Friday – Things Not to Say to an Overdue Pregnant Woman {Revisted}

Two years ago, I wrote this post

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At the time, my coworker was very, very pregnant and I felt for her. To update, she ended up delivering her son a week late, after being induced (IS THIS CONTAGIOUS?? I only have a handful of friends who have gone into labor on their own).

This post is still fitting today, but I figured I would add five more tips to the list since I am experiencing them, once again. Please people, don’t say these things to your overdue friends.

1. Still no baby?

People have asked me this question to my face. Seriously. I don’t know if this is just an automatic response or if they don’t really mean to ask it in question form, but I promise you I didn’t have the baby and then put it back up there again. You can clearly see that I am still pregnant.

2. When will you have the baby?

Since I do have an induction date I can answer this with, “Hopefully no later than next Wednesday!”, but dude, your guess is as good as mine. I’m not a baby birth predictor and if it was REALLY up to me, I would have had this kid already.

3. Go into labor!

My Dr. has said this to me at the end of every appointment for the last 3 weeks. At first it was like, “OK – ha ha! I will!” and this week I just gave him the stare down. I think I scared him a little. Because it’s JUST THAT EASY.

4. You STILL don’t know what you’re having?

I actually find this question kind of funny, but I’ve heard it so often now it also makes me a little ragey. Nope, we opted not to find out and since the baby is still inside of me, we still don’t know.

5. You look like you’re carrying so high! That baby is never going to drop!

I know it looks like I am carrying the baby ridiculously high, but I promise you I am not. I have really long legs (I have a 35 inch inseam), a VERY short torso, and my hips are just really high. I actually feel like I look silly — like I am a walking belly — but the baby is not (and has never been) high.

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Telling me this though makes me feel like there is something wrong with how the baby is positioned. And even know I KNOW it’s not true, a small part of me gets paranoid. Also, only first babies are known to “drop” early. My hips and pelvis are totally ready to give birth… if only the hormones would kick in!

So, now I have given you 10 nuggets of information regarding overdue pregnant women… and I guess what it boils down to this: don’t talk to us. OK, not really. You CAN talk to us — even ABOUT the pregnancy (I mean, it IS all we are thinking about), but try to make sure they aren’t dumb or obvious questions/statements. Better yet, tell us a joke or a funny story that gets our mind off the fact that there is a very small human sitting on our bladder and smushing our internal organs. I promise, I won’t even yell at you if you make me pee my pants.