Monday, June 28, 2010

Hunter's Birth Story

Sorry for the delay, but I've been a little busy feeding, cuddling, loving on, etc. our baby boy. :] It is amazing the amount of love I feel for Hunter and how in love I am with Carl. I didn't think I could love Carl more than I did before we had Hunter, it is an amazing feeling.


Carl and I left for the hospital Monday and checked in around 5:30 pm. My most favorite nurses, Kelly and Meganne, were working that night. Kelly helped set me up, and Meganne was on until 11pm. My midwife came in around 6:30/7ish and inserted a folley bulb (spelling?!). It is a catheter they insert to the cervix and then fill with water to create a balloon. Wasn't the most comfortable, but luckily I was able to get a room with a tub and relax in it (thank again Kelly!). At midnight, pitocin was started on a low dose to push Hunter's head on the balloon to force me to dilate. I was given some sleep medicine, so in between getting up to pee, I slept sooo good. Poor Carl, he had to help me every time I used the bathroom because so many things had to be unhooked and I had to drag an IV with me.

Leaving for the hospital... 40 weeks and 5 days

At 6am my pitocin dosage was increased and the folley bulb removed. I was about 4-5 cm when my midwife came to check me. She didn't break my water at the point since I wasn't too far along. Every 30 min. or so, the pitocin was increased. The contractions weren't bad (mainly just in my back), and I spent a lot of time on the exercise ball.
My favorite nurse

Around 1:30, my midwife came back and I was 5-6 cm, so she broke my water. That was the weirdest feeling ever. And then with every contraction I felt like I was peeing myself. After she broke my water, the contractions started to become stronger, and closer together. I got a dose of IV pain meds and was so drugged. I was laughing at nothing, and then couldn't catch my breath, which set off a panic attack. Again, poor Carl, he ran and got Kelly because I couldn't "breathe". Kelly was very good at getting me to calm down and talk me through the panic attack. I was able to take a little nap before the meds wore off. My contractions were about 2 min and 20 sec apart, so I asked for the epidural around 2:30/3. The worst part was the numbing medicine. After that, the rest of the procedure was fine. I had to move back towards the anesthesiologist before the procedure started, so he was helping me, and I swear he copped a feel. He could have just moved his hands down a little so they were not on my breasts.
After the epidural
I love my sisters
Labor is hard work

I apparently do not react well to pain medicine. After getting the epidural, I kept shaking uncontrollably. This went on until after having Hunter. On top of the shaking, every time I would lay flat, I would feel like I was going to vomit.  How annoying.

We kept an eye on the contraction monitor hoping they would get closer together. My midwife was back around 6ish that night and checked me. I was 6 cm still. They put an internal contraction monitor on me to see just how strong the contractions were. Not very strong at all. They checked me a few more times between then and 8:45 and I had made no progress (except for feeling a little more stretchy). Hunter had stayed at -1 station the whole day. So, my midwife called the OB to ask his opinion. They gave me the options of: keep laboring (because I had 24 hours from the time my water broke), wait an hour and a half and to see if I had made any progress (then keep laboring if I had, or go for a c-section), or just call him in and do the c-section then. I asked to wait an hour because I really wanted to give birth to him vaginally. But, around 9 pm, Hunter's heart rate went from 140 to in the 70's and the only way to get it back up was for my midwife to push his head up. That was our sign to call the OB and go ahead with the c-section.

Me and my midwife ready to go to the OR
Carl getting suited up

I was prepped with all the medications, signed my life away for the c-section, and Carl got suited up. They took me back to the OR and gave me IV meds and a different dose in my epidural. I had to lay flat for the procedure which made me feel like I was going to vomit.  They gave me this suction tube and said, if you're going to vomit, vomit in this.  Really?  Luckily, I didn't vomit and that eventually wore off.  Once I couldn't feel anything, Carl was able to come back. He actually watched them cut me open and do all the other stuff they do. He said, "Pat was just holding your uterus, massaging it, outside your body." He likes to randomly tell me things about the procedure. He loves telling everyone how when they first pulled Hunter out, he was blue and floppy. Then, Hunter took his first breath, he puffed up and turned pink.

As they were cutting me open, I could feel the pressure of what was going on. It wasn't until the last cut that I thought, "Did I just feel that?!" I ignored it because after that part, they were pulling and tugging and all I felt was pressure again. But once they got Hunter out and were putting all my insides back in and together, I could feel everything they were doing on the right side. Apparently my epidural wore off on the right side. Kelly really was a great advocate for me, getting everyone to give me more pain meds. She said she had never seen someone so small get so much pain medicine and it not touch me. Carl was so worried and didn't want to leave, but wanted to go with Hunter to the nursery. Luckily, Meganne was there and she came and sat with me so he could leave. I didn't want him to see me like that; I actually didn't want anyone to see me the way I was. It takes a lot for me to be in that much pain, and it is a little embarrassing thinking back on how I was. Thanks Meganne for letting me break your fingers!

Daddy dressing Hunter for the first time

I was able to see Hunter once he was all cleaned up. I think that was the only time I opened my eyes the whole procedure. He is so adorable!
Smiling through the pain

They finished fixing me up, and rolled me back to the room. I think I scared my little sister out of having babies. I was finally able to hold him, but I just wanted to sleep off the pain, so everyone else cuddled him. After getting another dose of pain medicine, I was able to not feel anything and around 5 am I asked the nurse to bring him back into the room.
So in love with these two

Holding Hunter right after surgery

At 6am on Wednesday, we were moved to the mother/baby unit. I had to stay on the L&D unit so they could monitor me with all the medicine I had received. Hunter got his little "man" operation that afternoon. We had so many visitors that day, it was a little overwhelming. Hunter has so many people that love him, and it is so amazing to see that! Thank you everyone for your visits and well wishes!
My midwife and Hunter

I wish I had gotten pictures of Hunter with his favorite nursery nurses. They were amazing! Our night nurse for me was amazing as well. One of the nursery nurses made us feel so much better about supplementing him with formula until my milk came in.

We loved our experience at Maryview! Thank you to all the wonderful nurses and staff we had! Thank you to my sisters, Carl, and Kelly for being a great labor team for me! Thank you Kelly for being such an amazing friend and nurse! Thank you Meganne for being another great nurse and great friend. We love you all so much and can't wait for Hunter to grow up with you guys!

I will upload a post of just pictures of visitors and our time in the hospital. But I have a hungry baby waiting on me! Want a different point-of-view? Read my sister's blog post.

He's Here!

Hunter Allen was born June 22 at 10:21 pm via c-section. He was 8 lbs 14 oz and 21 3/4 inches long. We were able to come home on Friday, and we have loved every minute with him! He is a great feeder and gives us some good stretches of sleep at night.

I promise I will post the birth story soon; I just haven't had a good stretch of time to type it up. Now my sister can update her blog. :]

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sign Language

I love sign language; I love using sign language with kiddos. This is not surprising since I am a speech therapist (how awesome is it that I can say that now?!). It is awesome seeing young ones use sign to help avoid frustration when trying to communicate what they want/need but do not yet have the verbal language to express it. I'm not saying you have to teach your child how to "speak" through American Sign Language (although, that would be really awesome), but I do recommend teaching some basic signs (such as "more," "all done," "please," "thank you," etc). I do not know how to "speak" with sign language; I know lots of basic signs and continue learning more. Eventually, I will take some sign language courses, probably at TCC, because that would open so many doors with working with the hearing impaired and hard of hearing.

Anyways... the reason I am posting this is because of an article in July's issue of Parenting Magazine. The article is titled "Your Baby's Got Talent!" on page 121. In it, it expresses the benefits of teaching sign language. Those benefits include:
-Helps children pick up any language more easily later in life, due to the pathways created in the brain.
-Tend to learn to talk earlier
-Score higher on intelligence tests
-Develop a larger vocabulary
-Display more self-confidence
-Engage in more sophisticated play compared to non-signing peers

The article recommends starting with "eat," "more," "sleep," "wet," and "drink".

Always say the word when you sign it, or the child isn't going to learn the verbal vocabulary that goes with it. When starting with a new sign, face your child when you use and say it. You can even sit behind them afterward and model it with their hands. You will be amazed at how fast your child can pick up on a sign. But, like anything, if you barely use it, your child is going to barely use it, if at all. And I promise, sign language does NOT hinder expressive language. If you have used sign language and your child is diagnosed delayed in expressive language it was NOT because you used sign language. In fact, it is a great thing you used sign language with them if they have an expressive delay because they would really have no means of communication without those signs.

I'll put a plug in here for Baby Signing Time.. it's a good video to invest in. Nope, not getting paid to say that; in fact, I don't own a copy (yet). My good friend Kelly has ordered me a copy for Hunter. You should see Emma sign; she has taught me signs I didn't know that she has learned from that video. I'll also put a plug in for The Little Gym... we do sign language with our program. :] Maybe another reason I LOVE that place?

So that's me on my soap box. I'll be stepping off now. I only have one picture of a child signing, and it is Emma signing "please". My sister has used sign with your little ones, but unfortunately, I do not have a pictures. I can't wait for Hunter to express himself with his hands. :]

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nonstress Test

Since I'm 40 weeks and 2 days, at today's appointment we had an NST. Everything looks great. I had a few contractions during the NST and Hunter's heart rate didn't drop. He is perfectly happy in there. To get him to move more, they have this thing that vibrates and they put it on your belly. He really didn't like that. Carl did have fun putting it to my belly to make him mad once my midwife stepped out of the room (okay, I admit, I did encourage him to do it). The readers (yet another technical term) that they placed on my belly have to be really tight. They left some fun imprints. These fun readers will be hooked up to me once they start pitocin. My midwife said I should hope for a fast labor so I wouldn't have to have those on me for very long. :]

We are scheduled for an induction on Tuesday. We go in Monday at 5pm to get situated, then my midwife will meet us there and insert a catheter and create a balloon with it. I'm not sure what time they will start pitocin, but we should be in active labor Tuesday. Hopefully he will be here on the 22nd (if not sooner). :]

How are you feeling?

I really don't mind people asking me this. Because in all honesty, I feel fine. I guess that's the problem being 40 weeks and 2 days, ha. This pregnancy has been good to me; I'm healthy and Hunter is healthy. What more could you ask for? I was able to work (remember, I taught 1-7 year olds gymnastics) until I was almost 37 weeks. I could have probably worked longer, but my parents were giving me the worried look every time I walked into class. I've been able to walk at least a mile every day and live basically the same life I lived before I was pregnant. All and all, my pregnancy has been good. I shouldn't complain.

But, if I can be honest (and, since it is my blog, I will be), there are some things that I haven't really enjoyed. And, since I want to be able to remember everything about this pregnancy, I will just list those things.
-Swelling... all the time... in my legs, my feet, and my hands. Sometimes parts of them go numb. But, blood pressure is good so there is no need to worry.
-Peeing.... every hour at night. And having to roll this big belly out of the bed. I should have taken Carl up on his offer on building me one of those things that transports whales from one water to another.
-Having to get off the couch. Our seats are tilted back, so getting up is quite the task. I have now resorted to sitting on the exercise ball if I'm sitting down.

Really minor things, but I feel I can be honest on here. I hear you forget all these things once the baby has arrived. So, when Carl and I are discussing a second baby down the road, I will come back here and ask myself if I'm ready for all of these things again. :]

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Hunter is very comfortable where he is. I am pretty sure he isn't going arrive any time soon. I'm only 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. His head is low, but isn't engaged.

He was served his eviction notice yesterday during our 39 week appointment. If he has not arrived by next Friday (18th), we will have a non-stress test performed at our appointment, and then will be scheduled to go to the hospital Monday night and then Tuesday morning I will be given pitocin to start contractions. Unfortunately, if we have to go this route, I will not be able to walk around. I will only be allowed to sit in the bed, on the ball, or in the rocker and walk to and from the bathroom. I'm really hoping he decides to come on his own because I would prefer to be able to walk around to help me dilate. If he does decide to come on his own, I'm guessing he comes between tomorrow and Wednesday because my midwife is out-of-town and that would be my luck. But, as my friend Kelly (who is a L&D nurse) says, they really just come in a catch. So, if he does come during those times, hopefully either Kelly or another one of my nurse friends will be working. :]

I've been walking at least a mile and a half almost every day, doing squats, sitting on the exercise ball, etc. to help convince him to come. I even jumped in a kid bouncer this past weekend at my sister's mother-in-laws surprise party with no luck.

I really haven't been anxious for him to come (I mean, I have, but it hasn't bothered me that he isn't here) up until the last week and a half. I really just want to meet him and cuddle him. Carl told me I was being selfish because I'm not sharing our son with him, lol. I will gladly give him my belly for a while, I would love to see my ankles with no swelling.

In other news, Hunter's nursery is TOTALLY complete. I'll post pictures later on. I also received my degree in the mail today. Woohoo! It's official. :] Now I can send my official transcript off to places.

Sorry this is the only picture for this post. Hopefully my next post will be titled "He's Here!!!"