Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wesley's Birth Story

Saturday morning August 13, 2011 around 2:30 am I was woken up by a strong contraction, but it didn't last long, so I tried to get comfortable and went back to sleep. 20-30 minutes later I had another one, so I got up to pee and went to try and sleep again. This had been happening the past several nights, braxton hicks around the 2:30-3:30 am hours. The next one came faster, less than 10 minutes apart and there was no way I could lay down for it, as it lasted a minute. I thought, "what can it hurt to get up, sit on my exercise ball, and time these for an hour?". So I did, and I was totally disappointed. There was zero consistency! At times the contractions would be 8 minutes apart and other times 30 minutes apart, but they were lasting at least a minute. And I couldn't go back to sleep because laying down during a contraction was unbearable.

I called the midwives around 7:00 am to ask what I should do, as this was my third baby and even though there was no consistency, I felt like something was happening. The midwife I spoke with said to keep timing, take a walk, shower, do your regular stuff today and once they are 5 minutes apart, give us a call. I woke Kevin up and asked him to go sleep with the boys, so they wouldn't bother me as they got up. I told him I thought we might have a baby today, but I wasn't convinced just yet. We should work out child care arrangements for the boys for today nonetheless, though.

So we all ate breakfast, I labored on the exercise ball off and on, took Micah for a walk, chatted it up with some neighbors, then we all went to the YMCA for Kyle's 10:30 swim lesson. I was walking slower, still having contractions here and there, but nothing that was consistently 5 minutes apart. We hung out for Kyle's swim lesson, then headed towards the car around 11:15. I told Kevin I was going to call the midwives and see if we could at least come in and get checked. I had not been checked at all this pregnancy because the boys were usually with me.

Around that time, I got a text from a friend asking how things were going. I gave her a call and said it was like the labor that wouldn't start or stop! I was truly frustrated, but said I would let her know when we went to the hospital, as she had offered to help with the boys.

We got home around 11:30 am, Kevin arranged for the boys to head over to a neighbor's house and started packing up a picnic lunch and the diaper bag for them. I called the midwife on call, told her what was going on, had a contraction while on the phone (all while Kyle felt the need to yell in to the receiver "I think she is almost done now"), and she asked if I wanted to come in, get checked and I said "Yes, PLEASE!". I'm really surprised she offered this, because I now know there were zero labor/delivery rooms available and zero postpartum rooms available at the time.

We arrived at Vanderbilt a little after 12 noon and I had zero contractions on the 20 minute ride in. I was starting to doubt my decision to come in now, just like I had with Micah after we'd arrived at the birth center the morning he was born. Kevin dropped me at the front entrance with my purse. We decided he would go park, but not bring anything up until they had decided whether or not to admit me. I made it up the elevators to the 4th floor and found my way to OB triage where I had to wait in the waiting room for a room to open up. Kevin showed up and I had a couple contractions in the waiting room. Kevin headed down to the deli to grab us a sandwich to share, since I was hungry, and a powerade, since we hadn't packed any snacks or drinks for ourselves.

A triage room opened up around 12:40, so I headed in and Kevin got back with food a few minutes later. They wanted to monitor me continuously for 20 minutes. I had one or two contractions during this time. The midwife arrived, chatted with us, and checked me. Loose 6, 80% effaced, posterior cervix. Mostly good news, but third baby labors can be funny, so she asked me to walk the halls until 2:30, coming back to have the baby monitored every 30 minutes, then she would check me again.

The first walk I had contractions about 8 minutes apart consistently. Then we went to get monitored and NOTHING, no contractions. I asked the triage nurse if I could get in the shower and she said yes, but that relaxing would probably stall labor, not keep it going. So, we headed back out to walk some more. We took the long loop through the OB triage and postpartum unit twice. I was walking slower, but we only had two contractions the entire 45+ minutes we walked that time! They were intense, but I was so frustrated that the contractions had slowed down once again.

Back in the triage room for monitoring and we told the nurse what had happened. I could tell she thought we had stalled out too, but she was encouraging, saying that sometimes contractions stall out, but become more intense as you approach transition. The midwife returned to check me and as she was chatting with us, talked about how she may send us home with some meds so I could rest through contractions for a couple hours, then come back. And then she checked me: "What did I say you were before? Well, you are at least an 8 now! Admit her. You are having a baby tonight!". Woohoo! Can you imagine my elation after all those non consistent contractions and the impression that we would be packing up to go home in a few minutes and contract some more?!? It's about 2:30 at this point.

The triage nurse gives me great news "A room has opened up, and it's the tub room!". Yahoo! I'll get to transition in the water, praise God! That was all I really wanted, to labor in water. The triage nurse asks if I would like a wheel chair to head over to labor and delivery or would I like to walk? I choose walking. A normal one minute walk takes me about 10 minutes as I have a couple contractions on the way over and am walking even slower.

We arrive and there were three nurses already in the room. One was asking me questions and having me sign a few things, while the other two were readying the infant area. I remember briefly thinking, at the tour they had told us the nurses to the side in the infant area only arrive when they think the baby will be there soon. Then that thought flew out of my head as Kevin asked if he should go get our stuff. Sure, why not. I'm not going to have this baby in the next 10 minutes!

So Kevin heads down to the car while I continue to answer questions between contractions. I can see the tub is almost ready and I am so ready to labor in the water when:

BAM! I'm on my knees on the floor pushing through a contraction. The nurses are saying, Mindy, can you get off the floor? You don't want to have your baby on the floor. I get one knee on the bed and BAM! another contraction that I have to push through. There is no way on this earth I could stop from pushing. Kevin has returned at some point during these contractions. I get my other leg up on the bed and bury my head in a pillow before another contraction blows through me. The midwife is here and asking me if I can turn over because I'm going to have a baby very soon. I get myself turned over and she says she is going to break my water. I don't want her to because that is when things got bad with Kyle's labor and delivery. But I nod my head yes and as she goes to break my water, my water breaks on it's own! It is 3:01 p.m..

And then a break between contractions, whew. The midwife is talking, saying his head is right there and I ask if I can feel it yet, but as I reach down to feel his head she lets me know I'll have to push through the next contraction before I'll be able to touch his head. A contraction comes and I push through it. Progress! Then a break. Another contraction comes and I push through that one too. More progress! The midwife tells me I'm having a baby with the next contraction. A brief break, and one last contraction! I push his head out, then one last push for his body. It's 3:09 p.m. and I am holding one perfect little baby boy on my chest.

The midwife is joking how she's glad I decided to come in and get checked and that I was her easiest delivery that day! Kevin cuts the cord after about two minutes, and Wesley immediately starts looking to nurse. He latches on and nurses for about 45 minutes while all the after birth duties are going on.

Talk about a fast labor and delivery! I'm so glad I listened to my body and that Kevin was supportive of me and how I was feeling the entire time. I never made it in to the tub! My first labor and delivery at a hospital and it was nothing like I expected, but everything I could have asked for!

Wesley Ryan Harkins, born August 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm, 8 lbs 1 1/2 oz, 21 1/4 inches long.

He is almost the exact same size as Kyle was when he was born (8 lbs 2 oz, 21 1/2 inches long). We are convinced that they would have had the exact same stats if Wesley had arrived just one day early, like Kyle did. As opposed to the three days early he decided to arrive!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pop on over

to Kevin's photo blog to meet our Wesley!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sneak peak

I can't wait to share Wesley's birth story with you! But it will have to wait until I am home.

A sneak peak: Kevin was heading to the car to get our bags after I was admitted and I joked with him that I wasn't going to have this baby in 10 minutes. What we didn't know was that if he had taken 20 minutes, he would have missed the birth of our third son!

Thanks for all the love, prayers and congratulations. The big brothers are on their way to see us. I have missed my boys so much!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another update I guess

Kevin graciously worked at home this morning so he could take Kyle to a make up swim lesson at 10:30. Turns out we were the only family that could make the make up lesson, so Kyle got a private lesson! Tomorrow he will swim again, then every Sat. up to his birthday party day! He is so much more confident in the water since we started lessons this summer. I am excited that Micah will be able to start lessons next summer since he will be 3 in June! My August babies always have to wait for the following summer. That's the earliest you can start without it being a parent/tot lesson.

I am starting to get a taste of what's to come in the next week or so (God willing)! The occasional painful practice contractions are a brief, yet familiar, reminder of why it's referred to as "labor". Every person I know who also had an August due date has now given birth, every one of them before their due date. Jealous? Maybe a little. Would I like to throw myself a pity party? Yea, basically. Would I like to be holding our newest son and posting pictures of him all over the place? Absolutely! I dreamed I was in labor all night long last night, which was not cool. Then I had more labor dreams during nap time today.

One person I haven't dreamed about is Wes; which is strange because I had dreams with both of the other boys. Very real, life like, turned out to be true dreams about their physical looks and personalities! I am incredibly curious about our little guy.

Micah and I were playing catch with his Curious George stuffed animal today and he started throwing George "to Wesley". LOL. Yea, straight at my stomach. It was hilarious. He also decided to stand up and surf in the bassinet of our playpen after throwing some toys in there. I can tell that being a big brother at 2 is going to be waaay different than being a big brother at 4 was.

That's about it. I'm bored to tears, exhausted, and ready to have this baby!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

First day of school

Well, it's official: I am the mom of a bona fide kindergartner! The first day was only 2 1/2 hours long, but everything went smoothly. I cried once in the shower while we were all getting ready to drop him off and teared up several times the rest of the morning, but we all survived. Kevin stayed home a bit this morning to accompany us to drop off and take a few pictures. I know Kyle will do great this year; his teacher has got it together and the school seems to have a really great staff atmosphere (although who really knows unless you work there)! Kyle was a little nervous when we arrived, but walked right in and warmed up to the classroom with no issues. There was one poor little girl crying and Kyle said another little boy ended up crying at some point during the morning too. The pick up line took over 20 minutes, so we will be walkers ASAP. And today that pick up line was only the kinder parents; not even the rest of the schoolkids parents waiting to pick them up too! I am so thankful that even though we aren't in the best district in the state, we are in one of the best neighborhoods/elementary schools. You could tell that the families for the children that are zoned for Kyle's school are all about being supportive and involved!

In other news, Micah and I spent a leisurely two hours watching sesame street, reading books, and coloring! Additionally, he played with any toys he wanted to his heart's content. I have a feeling, even with Wesley around, Micah is going to enjoy some of this extra time at home with mommy. Whereas Kyle always wants to be on the go, Micah is more than happy to hang out and play at home. After Kyle came home and we ate lunch, Kyle took the time to do a couple puzzles with Micah and was teaching him how to match up the pictures again! It was awesome. He has been so understanding with his little brother the past couple days and I so appreciate it.

The reason I appreciate it is because I'm pretty much out of commission. I can stand up and walk slowly to do something, but there is not a whole lot of mommy play time going on around here lately. We had another afternoon appt. today, right over quiet/nap time. I left an hour early so we could buy treats at Trader Joe's in case they were running late! Kyle picked 100 calorie milk chocolate bars, I picked salt water taffy, and we picked yogurt covered pretzels for Micah, since I was carrying him through the store fast asleep. Oh yea, no big deal, I'm due in 5 days and carrying my dead limp asleep 25 lb toddler around TJ's. So they actually got us in and out in 30 minutes this time, YEA! Wes is still really low, and I was told there is a LOT of baby in there. Awesome. Everything looked good, once again, so thankful for that! I will be even more thankful when he arrives :)

Goodnight! I've been woken up at 3 am every morning lately and unable to go back to sleep, so I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

39 weeks

Yep, and last night I was up for 45 minutes thinking I was timing contractions, but it was just a false alarm *sigh*. I didn't even get to play with my fun new contraction timer app on my phone (the contractions were that erratic, although still keeping me awake)!

In other news, we got a call from Kyle's teacher last night and I get to attend the "parents only" meeting for kindergarten tonight, Kyle gets to meet his teacher and see his classroom on Wednesday night, and then he starts school Thursday morning! Things I should do before Thursday: wash his uniforms and have a good cry about my first born baby going off to school! Kevin awesomely manipulated our seating arrangement in the van so Kyle can get in and out as easily as possible (Micah and Wes sit in the middle row captain's chairs, while Kyle sits in the back row and walks through the aisle to get in and out). Have I told you I love our new van? I love our new van, LOVE it!

Kyle was so awesome with Micah this morning. I brought down the game "Memory" and sat myself in a chair with my feet up on the ottoman. Kyle started explaining to Micah how to find matches, JUST LIKE A TEACHER. It was crazy the way he was breaking down the game step by step for Micah (they were doing it picture side up) and Micah loved it, totally caught on. Kyle was so encouraging with him. I am sure one of the grandparents taught Kyle how to play "Memory" this way and he remembered (or maybe in preschool)? Kyle has been getting really frustrated with Micah lately, as in "We taught him how to share/take turns yesterday, why isn't he doing it today?" kind of things. I ask him what he does when he gets frustrated with other kids in school and he tells me that the big kids are better about it than Micah (which I'm sure is certainly true).

Anyways, time to go grab a big cup of water and put my feet up again. Kevin is posting pictures over at his new photo blog if you have a chance to check it out: http://canvasinmotion.wordpress.com/

Monday, August 08, 2011

I would love to blog right now

but there are about four hundred things to do while the boys watch sesame street. So, in brief:

I attended a surprise baby shower brunch for Wesley this weekend! It was lovely and completely unexpected. We are so blessed!

I've been having lots and lots of random contractions, especially while walking. As soon as I sit or lay down, they go away. I know I am in true labor when I am unable to sit or lay down because I'm having contractions (at least that was true with Kyle and Micah).

We had a fun, whirlwind weekend with the boys: The Frist Center, church, community group, and Kevin got the entire to do list done of "things before Wes arrives"!

More later...