Archive | June, 2012

Abbie’s birth story: Part 2

16 Jun

When we arrived, my dad pulled into the parking lot at the same time (weird!) and so all 4 of us headed up to labor and delivery. We waited at the desk for what seemed like hours. All I remember is bending over and lifting up my leg because it was the only awkward position that took pressure off of my tail bone.

Once we were admitted around 1pm, we were taken back to our labor and delivery room (which was SO nice and big!) and I was told to get into a gown and get in the bed so the nurses could do their protocol, routine, nurse stuff. I hated every second of it. Luckily, we had our birth plan with us and handed it to the nurses/ doctors/ pediatricians on staff so that they all knew we were aiming for as natural of a birth as possible.  They were all SO willing to go along with most of our plan and that put me at ease. I could avoid any needles for a few more hours while they let me labor.

The time seemed to go by so quickly. The contractions continued to come and it was pretty miserable. The pain was all in my lower back and it was getting pretty bad. The worst part was, I had to stay in my bed, laying on my back (the WORST position to labor in or push a baby out), hooked up to monitors that watched Abbie’s heart and my blood pressure.  There was also a nurse that would come in every hour to take my temperature and check my BP.

A few hours later I was hooked up to an IV for fluids since I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink (although I snuck Gatorade and peanut butter crackers a few times).  That was also an unfavorable part of our time in the hospital… that painful IV port on the top of my hand!

  Around 5 or 6pm they came to check my progress and I still was only around 3 or 4 cm. The nurses said I needed to go on pitocin to get stronger, “more effective” contractions. I learned that night that “more effective” is hospital lingo for PAAAAIIIIN! They hooked pitocin into my IV and started me at a 2 (on a scale of 2-20…it goes up by “twos”). I still had no pain medication at this point and I was very thankful for that. I was already dealing with the IV, but was thinking to myself that I could NOT handle a giant needle being jabbed into my back for an epidural! Plus, we had studied all of the drugs that go into pitocin, epidurals, etc and how that affected mother and baby. The result of those studies was our desire to have a natural and drug- free birth.  Needless to say, I was trying my hardest to tough it out and handle the pain. We had taken a Bradley childbirth class that was all about relaxation and focus, but with these contractions on top of one another and all the pain focused into my lower back without the freedom to move…it was too much.

The nurse pumped up my pitocin to 4…..then to a 6 a couple hours later. Still with no pain medication. By 7 or 8 pm I was in the most unbearable pain that I have ever experienced and only dilated to a 5. I was getting to the point where all I could do was sit in my bed and cry through contractions since I was so sleep deprived and physically exhausted. I just couldn’t relax or stay on top of them anymore and I was becoming delusional (which was partly due to the high fever I developed during labor). I had reached my wits end and remember telling Justin “I need an epidural. I have to get one. I can’t take it anymore” between sobs. I knew if I didn’t have anything to help with the pain, I wouldn’t be able to push her out and have the vaginal birth that we wanted, which was the most important thing and all I really had left to hope for and that point. The thing that made me most relieved was our doula, Cee, saying it was okay to get it. Not that we needed her permission, but we were all on the natural childbirth band wagon and she knew how much we wanted that natural birth. So for her to know what I was going through and to say that it was probably a good idea to get it made me a more at ease and less guilty about my decision.

Around 11pm, I was 5-6cm dilated and the anesthesiologist came in. She kicked everyone out so it was just her, the nurse, and I in the room. I remember telling her I was so glad to see her but I was also very scared. I think the worst part was having to sit on the bed leaning forward, hug a pillow, and stay perfectly still while she was putting the needle in … ALL while having constant contractions in my lower back. Talk about miserable! Once she was done, she had me lean back and performed all kinds of tests on me to make sure the medicine was kicking in. It is the strangest feeling to slowly lose control over my body! After we knew the medicine was working, the nurse put a catheter in since I had no control over my bladder or my muscles.  This was also, as you might guess, miserable. Lol.

At 11:50. The OB came in to check me and break my water. She said I was 8cm dilated and before she could break my water with the amniohook, it broke naturally on its own!

We were all thinking we could rest for a bit until it was time to push…but 15 minutes later that I felt an urge to push rush over me! It was something that I couldn’t control. I remember yelling , “I have to push! I can’t help it!” Cee and Justin were telling me to breathe through it but it was the strangest thing that came over me and I could feel that Abbie wanted to get out…and quick! The nurse checked me and a I was a good 9 cm dilated! I forget what happened  within the hour, but at 9:50 she asked me to try and push a little and right after I pushed she said “okay you’re 10 now”!  The nurse called the OB and we were on our way to having Abbie in the world!


**side note: the whole time we were in the hospital, Cee was texting back and forth with one of our midwives, Hope,  and she had just arrived at the hospital to be with us to help me push : )

The OB came in and as she was tending to me I could see a bunch of nurses and doctors setting up the room for delivery. Stirrups came out of nowhere, my bed got taller, a baby incubator showed up, and we were ready for business. 

The “legit” pushing started around 12:50am. The doctors told me to just listen to my body and push when I felt like I needed to. I pushed hard quite a few times. It was so comforting to be surrounded by Justin, Cee, and Hope in that time. I remember I just had my eyes closed and I was so focused on their voices encouraging me. That was such a beautiful moment for me! Before I knew it, they told me “she’s right there! Push and bear down!” Suddenly, I felt a huge pop and out Abbie came! Abbie Noelle Shannon was born at 1:41am. Dr. Wilkes quickly unwrapped the chord from around her neck, cut it, and then the pediatrician took her to the incubator because there was meconium in the fluid. One of our wishes was to hold off on cutting the chord until it stopped pulsing, but since there was meconium in the fluid, they had to whisk her away and clear her lungs. At 1:57, I easily pushed out the placenta and the doctors started fixing me up (I tore pretty badly with 2 third degree tears).

Once she was cleared, she was brought to me and I tried feeding her. She was so precious! Abbie scored a 9 on her APGAR test right away…she was a big, healthy baby!


Abbie’s birth story: Part 1

16 Jun

Sorry I have been so M.I.A lately. When summer time rolls around, it seems like my to-do list gets packed and my “me time” is pretty much non-existent. Especially since Abbie is scooting/ crawling EVERYWHERE now! My days are very full lately. I usually sit down when she goes to bed around 10pm and wonder where the heck my day has gone! Is the “mom life” always like this from here out? You experienced mamas, let me know your take on it 🙂

Anyways…with Abbie’s half birthday coming up (heck yes, we celebrate those!), I figured I would share her birth story with those of you who haven’t read it. Be warned, its long! 

Our due date came and went…we found ourselves at 41 weeks 6 days and we were running out of patience! On December 19th, we had a 2pm appointment with the midwife to see if I was dilated at all. By Florida law, we could not deliver at the birth center if we were at 42 weeks and not progressing in active labor or if we were below 4cm dilated.

I did not realize it at the time, but around 11am on the 19th my contractions had started (my mom and I were at Taco Bell eating lunch haha)…I had no idea because it was all back labor and it just felt like a back ache that was coming and going every 15 minutes. At the midwife appointment, I was only 1 cm dilated and so they decided to sweep my membranes to see if that might get things going more quickly. We sadly made a backup plan to meet there the next morning (the 42 week mark) at 8am to see where my progress was at…but things weren’t looking promising.  If I wasn’t progressing, I would have to transfer out of their care and go to Shands Hospital to get induced. We contemplated just sitting at home, waiting to go into labor on our own, and THEN walking into Shands. Since we weren’t sure if my backaches were contractions or not, we didn’t know if that would be too risky. We decided to trust the midwives’ advice and the plan that they gave us.

My “backaches” continued to come every 10-15 minutes throughout the day, but I still wasn’t convinced that I was in labor since I had never heard of someone having only back labor. That evening, I went to get an adjustment at the chiropractor I even resorted to taking castor oil! (big mistake..)

As the night went on, my back labor contractions were getting more intense and painful…we knew that something was happening and I was so excited! Maybe we would dilate enough through the night and be able to have the medication-free water birth that we had been praying for! We called Cee (our doula who was a God send!) and she came over to help us out. I forget what time because everything was pretty hazy, but I had been laboring for at least 12 hours. It was late at night.  I was bouncing on the birthing ball, going for walks, etc to get labor going- little did I know labor WAS going, it just wasn’t a regular labor with contractions in my belly. Even though Cee was there helping us and these contractions in my back were getting painful, I still wasn’t convinced that I was in labor. Was it supposed to feel like this? Shouldn’t I be having pains in my stomach?

The two most prominent memories of that night were  1.) Puking my brains out due to that stupid castor oil.  I was throwing up so violently I thought that my water had broken…but realized I had just peed my pants! Not a very glamorous side of labor lol. 2.) Walking with Justin up and down our street at 3am and stopping every few steps to have a contraction. I was relaxing through them at this point.

I continued to get through the contractions (all in my back, by the way. I don’t think I had more than 5 contractions in my stomach the whole time) and we decided to meet one of the midwives, Katie, at the birth center around 6am to get an idea of my progress. We were so excited! All I wanted to do was get in the tub at the birth center and have this baby!

Justin packed our birth bags in the car and then we were on our way. Katie checked me and to everyone’s disappointment, I was only 3cm dilated. I had painful back labor for almost 20 hours and I was only THREE cm dilated?! I was distraught. Why were our prayers not being answered? Why couldn’t we just have a natural childbirth without intervention like we wanted? Katie called the midwife on call (Hope) who was at a home birth and she said we could go home to labor for a few hours more, then come back to the birth center to be checked yet again. Okay…crunch time, baby! Let’s dilate!

Cee went home to get some rest and we decided that we would call her after we saw Hope to let her know what the plan was. Justin and I raced back home (all the while having back contractions about 2 min apart) to labor some more. We tried to rest but couldn’t since the contractions were so painful. At this point I was so discouraged and I was mentally trying to prepare myself for being in a hospital  “just in case” so I wouldn’t have a nervous breakdown (I am NOT a fan of white coats, needles, or hospitals in general).

Around 11am, we met up with Hope and I was “3 maybe a 4”. My progress just wasn’t fast enough and the midwives had done all they could legally do for us…it was time to drive to the hospital.  Cee came to meet us at the birth center and then we were off to Shands. 


June photo of the day: 4

4 Jun

Picture #4: CLOSE-UP

Here’s my sweet, milk-drunk daughter 🙂

June photo of the day: 3

3 Jun

Picture #3: ON YOUR PLATE

This was part of our (very paleo-friendly) dinner. Sweet potatoes, peas, peppers, and garlic. We ate some grilled chicken along with it . Yum!


June photo of the day: 2

2 Jun

Here is is, picture #2: EMPTY (and in need of cleaning/replacement). 

I am pretty sure I’m always doing AT LEAST one or two loads of laundry a day. Between Abbie spitting up on herself, me, Justin, and her toys….it is always being used. And as you can tell by the picture, we definitely need a new one soon. We have had this one for since we got married (3 years) and we bought it used from a garage sale for $50. Thank God that it is still running, though!! I am thankful that today was a “no laundry” day and that this sucker is empty!


June photo of the day: 1

1 Jun

So I’ve been seeing these “365 photos” and “photo of the day” things all over facebook. When I saw this:

..I figured I would give it a try. Why not, right? I’m doing it on my blog AND instagram because I really need to keep up with my blog and this will be a good way to hold myself accountable 😉 So here is picture #1: “MORNING”…

I took this at 9am, but it feels like it should be 2pm. Abbie is going through a growth spurt so she was up at 11pm, 1am, 4am, 6am, and then 8am. Yikes. Needless to say…I’m exhausted! Just look at her innocent eyes…how could I get upset with her?? Going  through a growth spurt must be hard work. In this photo I’m watching her play while eating my cereal, and watching the clock praying she’ll go back to sleep 😉

Feel free to join this challenge with me!

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