Friday, August 17, 2012

Nettie Jean Rhodes

Birth Story:

WARNING: This is mainly for me as a way to document all the details while they are still fresh. It will most likely be boring and WAY too lengthy for many of you.

Her birth definitely did not go according to plan though- but when do they ever? Ever since she dropped around 36 weeks, I was in constant pain. It only got worse as the days went on. So when her due date (Friday, August 3) came and gone it was getting pretty tough for me physically and mentally. Everyone kept telling me to walk, walk, walk, but walking only made things hurt worse without us getting our baby. 
At our appointment Monday, August 6 (which also happened to be our 2 year anniversary!) my midwife checked my progress-I was only 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced. I was very discouraged considering the discomfort I was in. So we talked about possible induction methods. I wanted to avoid pitocin if possible, so she told me about a natural method and a different medicinal method that we could pick between on Thursday, August 9, depending on my progress. The plan was to try the natural method Thursday morning, or the medicinal method Thursday night-either should get me into labor by Friday. At our appointment Thursday I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced-great progress! I was too far along for the natural method to help much, and my midwife decided breaking my water would be more productive than the medicinal method. So we scheduled an induction for Friday, August 10 at 6:30 in the morning, hoping that maybe I would go into labor on my own before then.
We left our appointment super excited. Either way we were going to meet our little girl within the next day! We spent all day Thursday together, relishing the last hours as a family of two. Throughout the day I was getting pretty bad backaches, nausea and pains that felt like cramps.
 (I had been getting them all day Wednesday as well. I had planned to go with my friends, Ashley and Lea, to Omaha Wednesday to drop off Lea's boyfriend at the airport and shop around a bit. I didn't want to cancel, but the minute we got on the interstate I regretted coming. I was incredibly nauseous and experiencing a terrible throbbing in my lower back. I was shaking all over, and it took all my self control to keep it together-Lea's boyfriend had to get to the airport so we couldn't turn around. Once we got to the airport I walked around a bit and things felt better, so we headed to the stores. Shopping took my mind off of it for a while and we made it home in one piece! That night I wanted to go out once last time with Seth. so we headed to Coldstone for some ice cream. The nausea and back aches came back full force when we were in line, but we had a gift card so I got a scoop of ice cream anyways. We sat down and I could only eat one bite before turning to Seth and exclaiming, "We need to go home NOW." I still didn't think labor was close by, I just wanted to get home so I could hop in the shower and try to get comfortable. Things cooled off a bit until Thursday morning.)
It steadily got worse, until 10pm Thursday night when, sure enough, I started getting regular contractions ranging from 3-5 minutes apart. I took a long shower, pacing and lunging while enjoying the hot water on my back and lower belly. The water worked wonders in relieving the discomfort. After a while I got really tired and decided to try to sleep. I found that if I laid super still and focused on relaxing every muscle in my body while breathing deeply and rhythmically, the contractions came and went with little pain. I was also able to sleep in between each one which helped.
Come 1am and my contractions were now a steady 3 minutes apart. So we called my midwife and my mom and got ready to go. We were so calm, yet super excited. We walked through each room of the house and made sure everything was in its place (well mainly Seth walked while I sat through contractions). We met my mom at the hospital at 1:40am and there wasn't a single person in sight. The calm and quiet was weird but nice. 
When I was checked this time I was 5cm dilated and 90% effaced. I'm pretty sure Seth and I high-fived each other, we were so excited. So I spend the next couple hours walking the halls, bouncing on the exercise ball, lunging, and relaxing in the jet tub. The contractions were still not very painful-they were more just uncomfortable. There were a couple times I could barely feel them when I was in the jet tub (I highly recommend this as a coping method-it worked wonders for me!) My mom even commented that she couldn't even tell when I was having one until I told her to start the contraction counting app.
The nurse checked me around 5am and I was only 6cm dilated. I was still only 6cm when she checked again at 6:30am. We decided to break my water (the plan all along if I didn't go into labor on my own) in hopes it would help labor progress. My midwife broke my water, and there was meconium. She said it was due to our little gal being overdue and not because she was under stress. The problem came when she checked me. She kept feeling something soft-definitely not the crown of her head. So she brought in the ultrasound nurse to see what body part was facing down first. The nurse confirmed it was her head, but still wasn't sure what part of it. Her chin was supposed to be tucked against her chest, presenting the crown of her head-the smallest diameter. My midwife thought her chin was pointed up, presenting her face-the biggest diameter. If this was the case, she wouldn't fit through and a c-section would be in order.
A c-section was the last thing I wanted to happen, so I kind of freaked out for a moment. My heart started racing and I started getting emotional. As we waited for the doctor to confirm her position, the nurses stuck me in bed and began an IV. These next couple hours were the worst part of our labor experience. I was breaking down mentally, the IV was painful, and the contractions were getting very painful because I had to lay still in bed through each one. Finally the doctor came in and checked me, confirming that she had a face presentation and I had to have a c-section. It was so painful and I became so nauseous as he wiggled his hand around making sure he was feeling correctly. The tears were definitely streaming down at this point.
He didn't tell me how dilated I was, but I am sure by that point I was pretty far because each contraction kept coming way stronger and way faster. It didn't help that I was stuck on my back, and crying from the realization that I had to deliver my baby through c-section. I know people say that it doesn't really matter the method, as long as I have a healthy baby, but my plan was to go as natural as possible, and having a major surgery was not natural! This was not the birth experience I had envisioned and longed for.
It was all a blur as the anesthesiologists, nurses and doctor prepped-but I clearly remember my midwife at my side the entire time, comforting me (she knew this was not my plan and how nervous I was). Seth became extra protective at this point (he also knew this was the main thing I wanted to avoid, and how scared I was). He kept making sure I was as comfortable as could be physically and emotionally. 
The surgery itself was crazy mentally-it was very hard at first for me to trust that the drugs were going to work and I would feel no pain as I lay there wide awake. But physically, it was a breeze. Seth sat at my head holding my hand, as I felt a tug here and there while they made their incisions-I swear that was the longest 5 minutes of my life! Finally, at 9:27am, I felt some pressure as they lifted her out. There is seriously nothing that could ever compare to the first sweet cry of our very own baby. Seth and I couldn't stop crying from pure joy and awe.  And the tears kept coming as they held up her swollen little body. She was completely perfect. A whole 8lbs 15ounces of perfect. We started laughing in disbelief when they told us how big she was! I laid and watched as they wiped her down, checked her over, and helped Seth cut her cord. 
Finally it was my turn to hold my little lady! When they put her on my chest for some skin to skin she immediately went searching for food, and she knew exactly where to search!  I lay in amazement of God's precious design as I watched her. But then to the recovery room I was sent. One of the bummers of a c-section is that while dad and baby are bonding, getting the first bath in the nursery, and lots of first snuggles, mom is stuck in a bed, numb from the stomach down and tired as can be. But that was soon forgotten as we headed to our postpartum room as a merry little family of three.

Birth stats:
8 lbs 15 oz
20 1/4 inches long

4 day stats:
8 lbs 3 oz
20 1/4 inches long

Friday, August 3, 2012

40 Weeks and the Nursery

I have made it to 40 weeks. It's all about patience and trying to get comfortable from here on out.

 I guess it's about time to document the nursery. We were working with such a small room, so there wasn't much to do really, but it was fun being creative (well trying, anyway) and using what we already had on hand. I wanted the room to be in wood tones and white tones. Here is some of my inspiration.

Basically my color palette for the room-I love how wood and white look together.

Curtains and curtain rod.

White, drapey mobile.

Wooden ladder.

A little girly touch with doilies and wooden embroidery hoops.

I wanted to make some arrows and incorporate somehow. 

After I gathered some inspiration, I searched our house high and low in hopes of finding past decorations (from Christmas, showers I had thrown, our wedding, etc.) that I could use instead of having to buy things.

And this is what I came up with.
My dear friend, Dani, helped my build the branch chandelier. Seth built the side table for me, and also hung the curtains using sticks as rods (apparently it is much more difficult than using a regular curtain rod-needless to say, I very much appreciate his hard work). He was also going to build the ottoman, but decided it'd be easiest to just buy one. I wanted all of our main furniture pieces to be in neutral and wood tones-that way they can be reused in a boys nursery (that is if we are blessed with a boy next time) or elsewhere in the house over time.

Just waiting on Baby N.