Sunday, January 14, 2018

Reid's Birth Story

Reid’s Birth Story

Disclaimer: I mention things like membranes, dilated, poop, etc. Read at your own risk, ha!

Monday January 8th I had my 40 week appointment with my Nurse Practitioner. I’d never reached 40 weeks with my first 2 pregnancies. Norah was born 2 days early and Piper was 3 days early. My NP and I were both a little surprised I was still pregnant. Baby was doing great and I was already dilated to a 3.5. We went ahead and decided to strip my membranes. I’d read that it’s not always successful and there’s not a huge risk, so why not try. But it hurt surprisingly more than I thought it would. At the end of my appointment she said if it works, you should have the baby by tonight or tomorrow sometime! I was booked a 41 week appointment just in case and headed home.

I experienced some minor cramping throughout the day, which was to be expected after stripping the membranes. I let my family know that we may be going into labor at some point this evening, if it works, and made plans for my sister to come spend the night at our house and my mom to plan on coming to attend the birth at some point. I had no idea the timing of anything and told them I may be calling in the middle of the night or maybe not until tomorrow. Fortunately, my sister was off work and my mom was going to be able to attend the birth. At 3pm I noticed some cramping turned into a contraction or 2, but nothing consistent. I was trying not to get my hopes up in case they stopped and the stripping didn’t work. I stayed busy just getting some stuff done around the house, curled my hair, got dinner figured out.

At 4:30pm I started prepping dinner and decided my cramping was turning into definite contractions, nothing regular or alarming, but I noted it mentally and told Erin that I think they’re real contractions now. We carried on with making dinner. I was using the bathroom a lot at this point, emptying my bowels, which was totally what happened with Norah’s labor and is a good indicator you’re in labor. Erin gave the girls a bath and I changed into a skort/tank top to wear to the hospital. I started timing my contractions at 7:15pm and they were about 3 minutes apart and 45 seconds long. The whole evening we never mentioned it to the girls about what was going on. I continued to pee seriously every 10 minutes at least. We put the girls to bed and I had a contraction while standing next to Piper’s crib and Norah asked, “What are you doing?” I replied, “my belly hurts.” I didn’t want to alarm her or prompt her to ask a million questions, ha. She came out of her room a few times, telling us random stuff each time. Finally, she said, “Mom, I think the baby will be here in the morning!” And I answered, “Maybe! But you better go to bed so we can see!” She didn’t come back out after that, ha.

It’s about 7:30pm now and I told my sister to come at 8:30pm. I told my mom an update and that it seems it will be earlier than I thought. My contractions were getting strong and I was needing to stop talking during them and found some relief by swaying my hips/belly side to side quickly, like a windmill stretch. Erin loaded up our bag and birthing ball and placed a towel on the front seat. We had already installed the infant seat in his car a few weeks ago. I texted my sister at 7:56pm and said “come now!” I think we drove off around 8:15pm to Kaiser, which is all of 3 miles away from our house. We walk alllll the way down the world’s longest hallway to the birthing center, which is good and all to keep the labor coming. I had called on the way in to let them know I was on my way. When we came into the waiting room, I had to wait….seriously!? It’s 8:32pm and I texted my sister that we were waiting! My mom got there and laughed because when I was in labor with Norah, it was so busy I had to labor in the tiny triage room for hours before getting a labor room. So, this was not a good start.

Not sure what time, maybe 15-20 minutes later, I get to go back and check in at the desk. Then I have go to the bathroom and give them a urine sample and go into my triage room. They tell me to lay down and I said “No thanks, standing is better.” The nurse looked a little annoyed because that meant she had to  go grab the tight stretchy band that goes over your stomach to hold the monitors on. But I’ve learned to be a little more vocal in what I need to have the labor I want. They monitored me for a few minutes and then Erin came in. The midwife came in to introduce herself and check my progress. My contractions are still about 2-3 minutes apart and 1 minute long. Seriously strong.

At this point I had to lay down and that just meant very uncomfortable contractions. I was only dilated to 4cm. (Mind you, I was 3.5cm at noon that day) I could NOT believe it. I told Erin right before she checked me that I almost didn’t want to know how far I may have been dilated because I didn’t want to get discouraged. Well, in order to be admitted they need to know your progress, which I totally understand. So, with that news, the Midwife told me to walk to halls for 1 hour and see what happens. My mom had to stay in the waiting room at this point and Erin and I took off to walk the halls. It was 9:30pm, so we knew to be back at 10:30pm to get checked again.

I was having hard, long contractions, placing my hands on the walls or hand rails to get through them while Erin applied counter-pressure on my back. I could not get through a contraction without him pressing. I wouldn’t necessarily call it “back labor”, which I had with Norah, it just felt good to have a separate contact point. I could feel the contractions spreading around the sides of my hips and in my uterus. I had to vocalize at this point to get through them. Yep, I was that lady moaning down the hallway every 2 minutes, chanting “oooohhhhh,” inhale loudly, “ahhhhhhh”. That whole hip swaying thing from just an hour ago wasn’t cutting it anymore. I was leaning over and bracing myself against the wall, and would sort of bend my knees a tad and move my weight from one foot to the other slowly during a contraction. Not sure how Erin looked trying to push on my lower back and move with me, haha. We walked for 30 minutes and my lips began to feel dry from breathing so heavy and I was thirsty. We walked back to the room, took a sip of water, got some chap stick, put my sweater back on and walked for 10 more minutes.

At this point, I was starting to feel exhausted and wanted get my ball, which my mom still had in the waiting room. It’s now 10:15pm. I know what time it was because at every nurses station we walked past in the halls I was able to see the clocks. Back into the tiny triage room we went. We placed my ball up on the bed and laid a pillow on top. I climbed on the bed, kept my knees on the bed and laid down over the ball. It felt great to rest my head and legs for a minute. I had told Erin in advance this was a position I wanted to labor in to relive pressure from my hips and get the baby in a good position as well.

2 contractions later and my water broke. If you’ve never experienced your waters breaking, I think it feels exactly like a water balloon is being squeezed out of your cervix and then pops! I felt this ballooning pressure and by the time I could think about what that feeling even was, I felt that big pop and warm water pour down my legs. I didn’t even open my eyes and shouted to Erin, “My water just broke. Tell them my water just broke and I want the gas now!”

Pause. I had been intending to try the nitrous oxide/laughing gas during my labor. It’s pretty new at Kaiser and I wanted to try it before getting an epidural, but my biggest hope was to have another natural delivery (Norah’s was natural/15 hour labor and I got an epidural with Piper after hitting transition and being in labor for 12 hours) I thought that having the gas to get me through transition would help me achieve my natural birth. This was all written out in my birth plan, in my suitcase, in the waiting room with my mom.

Once my water broke, I kid you not, I was starting to have insane pressure and feeling like I needed to push already. “Hurry!” I yell at no one in particular. Erin was out in the hall telling the nurses that my water broke and I wanted the gas. They come in and see I’m starting to freak out a little. My contractions are immediately stacking on top of one another. I’m a moaning mess and breathing loudly. Erin’s half on the bed still applying counter pressure. I’m not hooked up to any fetal monitor. No IV. They bring in a wheelchair and decide to bring me to the labor suite. I tell them my mom is still in the waiting room and needs to come with us. The nurse instructs Erin to go get her and bring her back. We get about 3 feet out the door and I’m moaning again and shouting for Erin, ha, poor guy. The nurse said, “okay daddy come back!”

We get to the labor room and I just stopped at the side of the bed and had a contraction. They offer me a gown and I said no. Have you ever had a baby before? There’s no hiding nothing at this point and I didn’t want to be fussing with clothes at the moment. Someone takes off my wet clothes and they told me to get on the bed. I said “no.” In my birth plan, you know the one no one has any idea about, I expressed how I wanted to be standing or squatting or anything but laying down this time. At this point I hear my mom in the room and she said something like, “Melanie, you’re not having a baby on the floor! Go get on the bed.” Ha. I climb on the bed and get on my knees again and face the head of the bed, resting my forearms on the head of the bed.

Holy contractions. I can’t catch my breath. I’m freaking out and starting to bear down. There’s a nurse at my head starting to ask me my medical history (bless her). I’m sorry, what? “Do you have any family history of blah blah blah…” I don’t hear half of what she’s saying because I’m focusing on the point that suddenly the pressure is so real and low that now I’m feeling like I have to poop. Great. I start shouting about how I have to poop. Someone says that’s fine. I had NO control over anything at this point. Mind you, I’m still not even admitted, hence them starting to ask questions and work on getting me in the system. They tell me they’re going to start an IV, to which I respond, “DO IT!”

I’m moaning, basically hyperventilating and yelling: I need gas *moooan* I need Fentinol…oooohhhh…. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it….inhale inhale… I want a cold wash cloth on my head (gosh I was so demanding but really proud about how I was vocalizing my needs…because no one really knew what I wanted still and my sweet hubby isn’t really a vocal person, especially in a chaotic scenario such as your wife yelling in pain)…mooooan… I need gas now… I’m gonna poop! -I’m telling you, there’s no hiding anything anymore. No dignity left.

And that’s what happened, I think. Sorry but it’s real life. I didn’t see it and someone else took care of it (again, bless them). I’m not proud of it, ha, and it’s the first time that’s happened during 3 births, but with the way things were moving, I’m not surprised at all. Now I’m legit, uncontrollably pushing but also trying not to. It’s a serious physical battle. “Where’s the gas?” I shout. The midwife gets a chance during one of the contractions to check me again and I hear her say, (because everyone is behind me at this point and Erin is still rubbing my back and my mom is up at my shoulder) I’m at 6cm. WHAT!?! I heard that and I couldn’t believe it, again. No way. Sorry, but I’m pushing. They start an IV. I’m shouting for the Fentanyl at this point because mentally I know an epidural is out of the picture, screw the gas, I need drugs. Like an hour ago. It’s roughly 10:30/40pm. My mom says calmly in my ear, “Melanie, let’s try the gas. You wanted to try the gas. It’s coming soon.” Little did I know that there was no way I was getting Fentanyl because again, not even an admitted patient=no drugs.

I’m bearing down but also trying not too because they’re telling me not to, naturally. You can’t push until you’re at a 10. I know this. I reach down and apply some counter-pressure to my perineum because it hurts. so. bad. I feel like I’m about to tear already at this point. They start shouting for the midwife to come back in, because I guess she stepped out for a minute? I’m not opening my eyes and also my back is facing everyone. I have no idea who was there ha. Someone hands me the gas mask and I start breathing like my life depended on it. Side note: the bridge of my nose was tender for 3 days after delivery because I must have been pressing it so hard against me face! No joke.

I was still breathing so rapidly that I couldn’t breathe the air back into the mask fast enough before inhaling again. I started to inhale deeeeep and long, remove the mask, and exhale over my shoulder. I did this for about 30 seconds until I could calm my breathing.

My mom snapped this picture of me with the gas. She took it at 10:46pm, right after I had calmed down.

This is where time is lost to me. The gas was beginning to work and I am breathing like a regular person now. I’m no longer trying to push. I hear people behind me. A nurse told me to lift one knee, slid some plastic or sheets or something under me and told me to lift the other knee. I’m focusing on my pain going away, for the most part, breathing, and trying to refocus. My eyes are closed the whole time. I remember taking it off my face in between breathing and saying, “My mom wants to deliver the baby.” Inhale. “She’s a paramedic.” Inhale. “Tell ‘em mom.” Ha. So bossy. Erin told me later that the midwife looked at my mom and said, “suit up grandma!”

I took off the mask again and said, “Remind me to tell you about the rainbow.” I hear some chuckling. “And I love you all.” True story. I hear someone say, “good pushing mom”. Am I pushing? I had to snap into it. I started feeling like I was crowning. That pain was still there but not as real as without gas. I remember totally being in control at this point, thinking: Yes, I feel that pressure and that I could push now and it’s gonna hurt. But I don’t think I need to push yet. I took another breathe. Waited another few seconds until more pressure came and then pushed a little more. “Good” I hear. One more deep inhale and slow push, I felt the head come out. I took one last deep breathe with the mask and took it off my face so I could come to. I pushed out the rest of the baby. Maybe a few seconds go by and I pivoted around and sat down facing everyone. Someone handed me the baby and I saw it was a boy!! Everyone else already could see but they all waited until I saw for myself. (which is great because that was definitely written in the plan!) My mom was able to assist in the delivery after his head was born, I think. Again, couldn’t see it. I hear the cord was around his neck once, like Norah.

They were wiping him down with towels and I told them to stop after a second (written down). Yay for being vocal! I just wanted to hold him, I didn’t care if he was messy. At this point a nurse said, “Oh honey, you ripped your IV out!” Sure enough, I looked down at my forearm and there’s blood dripping down. That dang IV. It was in my right arm and when I turned over my right shoulder to sit on the bed, it must have pulled out. Didn’t feel it. Curse the dang thing, I didn’t need it anyway, ha.

We did skin to skin for a bit. Erin cut the cord once it was done pulsating, which I asked about and she assured me it was done (written down). They gave me a shot of Pitocin in my arm to help with some bleeding, but honestly it was the least bleeding I had with all my deliveries! Placenta was delivered and the pushing on my abdomen was pretty painful. But it needs to be done.

Reid Cameron Rice was born at 10:58pm. 8lbs 11 oz 21” long. I went from 6cm to delivery in roughly 15 minutes, give or take. It was a whirlwind. I got my gas, which was great because it was the only thing I was going to get anyway. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re trying to have a natural birth. Maybe get admitted a littler earlier than I did, ha! I got to use it for all of 12 minutes.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Piper's Birth Story

I had been having a handful of contractions throughout the night on February 19. They were strong enough and were obviously different to me than just Braxton Hicks. I tossed and turned a bit and tried to sleep as much as I could. Around 5am, I looked at the clock as a reference to look back on and be able to say that is when my labor “started.” 

This time was different than with Norah, where my water broke in the middle of the night and then my contractions started.(You can find her birth story here) I kept waiting for my water to break this time so I could say my labor had started! I woke up around 6:30 and got Norah out of bed. We hung out in the living room for a bit and I was like a kid on Christmas morning all excited that I was having contractions! Erin woke up around 7:30. It was a Saturday, so he was home. I told him I was in labor and he was surprised! I was 3 days away from my due date and excited to be having another early baby. After I told him I was in labor and had steady contractions, I could  see him mentally starting to get into the mindset of “we’re having a baby today.” 

Norah was 20 months old and was just being a typical clingy toddler, wanting me to pick her up or have me hold her around the house. I remember washing dishes, vacuuming, anything to keep the contractions coming. She was not letting me do my own thing, hehe. So, Erin took her over to my parents house around 10am. My contractions were still totally manageable, just not ideal while having a toddler pulling on my leg or climbing all over me. I kissed my only baby goodbye and off she went to Nana & Papa’s house.

Our friend, Dan, who was building our kitchen cabinets showed up about 9am and asked casually, “how’s it going?” I bluntly replied, “Well, I’m in labor.” Ha ha. He was definitely surprised and I know he was thinking, “Well, this is awkward.” We all kind of laughed and I said, “No seriously. But it’s all good.” I really wanted my kitchen cabinets to get done! So he was working on those while I labored around the house. I mostly stayed in our bedroom and sat on my ball while watching my DVR. 

I remember eating so much this time around. I was starving! I had breakfast, and then a snack, and then pizza leftovers for lunch (bad, bad move). I was feeling really great in between contractions. This had me a little nervous, though. I kept thinking that I must not be making much progress if I feel this good and my water hasn’t even broken. I hadn’t even bothered to time my contractions until after lunch. I did my makeup and curled my hair, because I was trying to kill time and stay distracted.

Erin was around the house working on projects here and there. He was wrapping up some work on his computer before baby leave. I was able to lay down and take a little nap. I let my sister Colleen know that I was in labor. She lives in Monterey and wasn’t sure when and if she should get in the car and drive! I didn’t really know what to tell her. I wasn’t sure how much longer I had since my labor was picking up a little but my water still hadn’t broke. I was all thrown off.

Around 1pm my contractions were getting longer and more intense. I began timing them on a app I downloaded after lunch lol. Talk about being prepared! I was definitely having to breathe through my contractions after lunch and remember “breathing” open my cervix. I was trying to keep my mental game strong! I truly was staying so relaxed, it was surprising me. I walked around our property and met Erin and my Father-in-law out in the greenhouse. He was surprised it was the real deal and that I was out walking around. I was doing everything I could to keep contractions coming. 

I walked back to the house and went into our room. My contractions were around 4 minutes apart at this point and 1 minute long. I finally called the delivery center at Kaiser Vacaville (where I delivered Norah) and told them the details. I had tested GBS+ so I knew that I needed to get there and have time to get the antibiotics. They said since it was my second baby, I needed antibiotics and based on my contractions, it was time to head in. So off we went!

We said bye to Dan, who was still working in the kitchen and he wished us luck hehe. I remember looking at Erin on the way to the hospital, just the two of us and smiling, thinking “okay, let’s have another baby!” It was a surreal moment. 

When we got there, they told me I was at 4cm and was getting admitted! I felt somewhat nervous that I may not have been that progressed and would have to go back home. So I was excited that we were staying and this was it. The midwife who greeted us knew my wishes for a low intervention, natural delivery. She asked Erin if he would like to catch the baby and he said yes! I’m so glad she was including him in the birth if he wanted to help. I opted for the wireless monitoring so that I could freely walk around and labor without intermittent monitoring. We let our family know that we had checked in and this was it.

After getting settled into the labor suite (something foreign to me since I labored for 5 hours with Norah in the triage room!) we walked the halls for a while. Labor was definitely picking up. We came back into the room and I sat on my ball for a bit. They started an IV and started administering the antibiotics for me. After that was done, I didn’t need to be hooked up any longer. I remember getting some really bad gas pains at this point, maybe around 5pm. Suddenly that pizza I ate for lunch was causing me some serious pain on top of my contraction pain. I was able to use the bathroom and felt a little better. However, bearing down only caused my labor to get seriously so much more intense. 

I remember starting to get scared. Around 6pm I told Erin that I was thinking about getting an epidural. I began to feel nauseous and started shaking and sweating. This is textbook transition phase. I was just in so much pain and my contractions were not letting up. I was no longer able to calmly focus my breathe and relax during contractions. I was fighting them. I asked my nurse to check me because I was wanting an epidural and needed to know how much progress I had made. I was 6.5 cm dilated.

My nurse came in and knew my birth plan and told me again the other options, but I told her to order the epidural. This was around 6:30pm. I had been in labor for over 12 hours at this point. Norah’s labor was 15 hours and I was getting discouraged. Wasn’t your second labor supposed to be shorter? I still had more to dilate and knew how much harder it was going to get. And I hadn’t even began pushing yet! Erin was very sweet and asked me, “Have you been thinking about this for a while? I thought you didn’t want an epidural. Are you sure this is what you want?” I said, “I want the epidural!” lol I was reassuring him that it was definitely what I wanted at this point. 

Around 7pm, the gal who administers the epidural came in and agreed that Erin could stay there with me while I got it. I was shaking so uncontrollably at this time I wasn’t sure I would be able to sit still long enough to get it! I kept saying how I didn’t want to hold still. Movement was seriously my best friend. Swaying, dancing, bouncing, anything but being still to get me through one contraction onto the next one. I sat on the edge of the bed, hugging a pillow. Erin was facing me in a chair and I was resting my feet on his legs and held onto him. This was the first time I had really sat down in hours. It was hell. lol. They gave me the epidural and I didn’t even care that it hurt. I truly am surprised they gave me one. It was seriously cutting it way too close. 

I got into the bed. I changed into the hospital gown, finally. They gave me the oh-so-fun catheter. They were explaining the whole IV button thing, were you press it and it takes 10 minutes to feel the relief, so don’t wait too long. I remember feeling everything still, but now only on the right side of my body.  I kept waiting for the drugs to kick in! Come on! At this point, the pain was constant. No letting up at all. Colleen had Facetimed me and was on her way from Monterey! I couldn’t even talk to her and had to hang up because I was in so much pain. I told Erin to push that button! Then my water broke. Finally! I felt the pop and gush of water and the nurse confirmed it had broken. I looked at the monitors and my contractions were just stacking one after another. I was slowly getting some relief from the epidural. My left side was getting numb. My nurse told me to let her know when I felt the urge to push. Seriously, 2 minutes later I had the urge to push. It came on so strong.

I was filled with relief knowing my labor was still progressing. That was definitely a fear of mine, getting the epidural and then my labor stalling. The nurse checked me and I was at a 10!!!! I couldn’t believe it. My midwife came in, along with 27 other people (just kidding, but seriously like 5 other people) and she told me to start bringing the baby down. They brought over the mirror and got everything all set up. 

We had had the TV on earlier that afternoon and I remember sitting there, at the edge of the bed, feet in the stirrups with all my goodies exposed looking at the discovery channel lol. I asked someone to turn it off and then it got awkwardly silent. haha, I made a joke out of it. Seriously though, everyone was just there waiting for the big show. Anyways, I was able to sit up completely straight and use my arms a little to hold myself up as I pushed. The epidural had kicked in 100% at this point. Praise Jesus. I started to see the head in the mirror and began pushing more and more. I had to look over my shoulder at the monitor to even know when to push! I could no longer feel contractions. 

After maybe 10 minutes of pushing, her head was born. Erin had put on some gloves and was there with my midwife. He grabbed just under her hands and helped pull out the baby as she was being born. I reached down and met Erin’s hands and we brought her up to my stomach. I could tell in the mirror that she was a girl:) I went to bring her up to my chest, but the midwife said her cord was a little short lol. After a minute, she got some slack on the cord and I was able to bring her up to my chest and take in all her little slimy, wrinkling goodness. 

Piper Ellie Rice was born at 8:26pm February 20, 2016. 7 lbs 3oz and 20 inches long. My labor was around 15 hours. We kept her placenta and plan on planting it somewhere at our new home…along with Norah’s, which is still in the freezer. Yikes! 

I did have some minor tearing. I also had some blood clots that they had to sweep out after she was born. Overall, it was a great labor and delivery! I loved having an all natural delivery with Norah and I love that I was able to labor so long with Piper on my own and that the drugs kicked in for the most important part! The recovery with an epidural is harder, in my opinion. I was numb for hours after Piper was born. I had to keep the catheter in overnight, which was really uncomfortable. I had a little bit of bruising from the epidural itself. Overall, not terrible and totally worth it:)

My sister, mom and aunt came to visit that night around 10pm and got to see little Piper. We hadn't told them over the phone if the baby was a boy or girl, so that was fun for them to come and see! My parents brought Norah over the next morning to meet her sissy :) We went home Sunday night around 7pm. We have had such great experiences at the Vacaville Kaiser! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cloth Diapers

We have been cloth diapering Norah for a few weeks now, so I feel like we are experienced enough to blog about it:) I believe we started when she was about 2 1/2 weeks old.

I had originally intended to start the cloth diapers when she was big enough to exclusively wear the AIO (all in one) size pocket diapers we have. However, one of Erin's coworkers gave us 17 newborn prefolds with a variety of covers. Awesome! So, we started earlier than we had planned but we were able to do so for free :)

These are the newborn prefolds (free) and the cloth wipes I purchased from Buy Buy Baby. We have 24 flannel wipes and so far that has been a good amount. I had to wash diapers every other day when we were exclusively using the prefold diapers. About 1 1/2 weeks later, we introduced the AOI pocket diapers, too.

I honestly don't know how many diapers Norah goes through in one day. Sometimes she likes to poop in the diaper 1.5 seconds after I lift her off the changing pad. So, that throws off my count of how many she would have normally gone through :)

Anyways, this is what our diaper area looks like and the system we have.

Prefolds and wipes are stored in this drawer.

The green thing is a "insert grabber." It's really meant to be an over mit thingy, but it's perfect for grabbing wet inserts from the pocket diapers!  

The second shelf is where I store the pocket diapers.

I also store pocket diapers on this side. These diapers are already stuffed with a charcoal and microfiber insert. We double up at night time so I rarely have to change Norah's diaper unless its poopy. I stuff the diaper with both inserts in the pocket. It's so much better than waking her up more by changing her diaper. And, she has never had a diaper rash so far.

I am able to store the flannel wipes in this old wipe container that I saved. I found this awesome tutorial here that shows you how to fold them just right so they can be dispensed one by one. Brilliant. We store them dry and when we change a diaper, we just walk about 5 feet to the bathroom sink and wet it with water. Easy peasy.

I have two of these super cute wet bags. This is a small/medium size bag that will hold a days worth of diapers. I keep one in my diaper bag. I also have a larger wet bag that I use on rotation when these are dirty. I throw the wet bags in the laundry with the diapers.

This is a long wet bag I bought on Etsy that fits in the diaper genie. I wash it with the diapers as well.
My husband, who doesn't "know" how to fold his own t-shirts will fold a prefold diaper on Norah. What a man! Now we need to work on the t-shirts...

Here is what the prefold looks like on a super cute baby!
We fold them with a snappi. They are really easy to use. The 3 ends have little prongs that catch on the diaper and hold it in place. We have a 3 pack and that's really all you need. I keep an extra in the diaper bag and changing table. 
This is the cover you put around the prefold. We have a handful of these that we were given, too.
This is a AIO pocket diaper. Fishy butt!

When I'm done with diaper laundry, I sit on the couch for maybe 7 minutes and stuff the diapers. When they are stuffed in advance, it makes changing the diaper just as fast as a disposable.
 How do I wash my diapers? It's pretty simple. They all are stored in the wet bags. That doesn't mean there is any liquid or anything in the bag. You just put the dirty diaper in the bag and zip it shut. Or shove it in the diaper genie. We do remove the insert first, that way we don't have to do it two days later when they smell "nice" ;)

When it's time to wash, everything goes into the washer: the AIOs, the prefolds, the wipes, the covers and the wet bags. Rinse on COLD. Wash on HOT with detergent. Rinse on COLD again. I put the prefolds, wipes, and inserts into the dryer. The AIOs, wet bags, and outer covers get line dried. When anything has a stain, they get bleached by the sun. It does wonders I say!

After drying in the sun for a few hours.
I use Tide free & gentle laundry detergent. It's not a cloth diapering detergent but a lot of people use Tide and say it's fine. It's also very affordable.
My AIO diaper stash consists of:
-16 Alva pocket diapers with microfiber inserts
-7 Bumgenius freetimes
-2 Bumgenius 4.0s
-10 charcoal liners

That's about it! When I'm not at home, changing her diaper isn't any harder. I store dry wipes in the wipe container my diaper bag came with and throw the dirty diapers into the wet bag! For now, we are using both the prefolds and the AIO but eventually it will just be the AIO diapers. I don't plan on buying any larger prefolds.

I think I personally have spent about $200 for my diaper stash. I used 20% off coupons for all my bumgenius diapers since I bought them at Buy Buy Baby. I did have a giftcard or two from baby showers, too. I bought 10 alva diapers from a diaper exchange facebook group for $50. Only 2 had been used. The other six I bought new for $50 (these ones have the fun designs: fish, owls and chevron). The charcoal liners I bought from either Amazon or Mot's Tot's Diaper Boutique on facebook. That is also where I bought the owl wet bags ($6 each). The diaper genie bag was from Etsy and I think it was $10.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Norah's Birth Story

     I really loved reading other women's birth stories while I was pregnant. It helped me understand how every woman is different and I learned a lot about ways to birth, how to labor, and what medical interventions I did or did not want. I want to share Norah's birth story with anybody who wants to read it. I will be honest and open, so if you think you might not want to know the little details, maybe you shouldn't read it :) Also, my sister took some really great pictures of her birth and I will put in the tasteful/web appropriate ones that are very special!

     Norah's birth was no cake walk but I absolutely love that I brought her into this world myself, as a woman doing what my body was designed to do and as her mother, bringing her into my arms and finding out our little rice cake was a girl :) You might want to get comfortable, this is one lengthy post.

     Thursday, June 19th was a pretty relaxing day for me. Erin went to work in Sacramento. I had a lazy morning in our apartment. I took a belly shot of me (my last one). I met my mom for pedicures around 12:30. It was a really nice pedicure! I had been wanting to get one all week. After that, I went to 5 guys and got a hot dog with everything on it except pickles. This girl has never liked them and pregnancy did not change that. I also asked for jalapenos. Praise Jesus I NEVER had heartburn while I was pregnant. Then I went and grabbed a coffee from Peet's.
     Later, I met Erin in Sacramento and we drove together up to Roseville where we grabbed Thai food for dinner and then headed over to a family's home from our church and we had a meeting that ended about 9:30pm. We drove back to Dixon and crawled into bed at 11pm.

     At exactly 1:45am on Friday, my water broke. I woke up to warm water gushing and said "oh my god" and jumped (as good as a extra pregnant girl can jump/flop/roll) out of bed, then ran to the bathroom, which happens to be all of 7 feet from the bed. Erin was up right away and it was obvious that we knew what just happened. I think we laughed a little and were like, "Ok, now the sheets are all wet and the bathroom floor has puddles." We immediately washed the sheets and made the bed again. I put on a pad, only to have my water keep gushing every contraction for a while. I went through a lot of pads :) I called my mom first at 2 am and told her my water broke and I would keep her posted. Then I called my doula Michelle and told her the facts, "I was having contractions but they are irregular and not painful, just like a braxton hicks." By 2:45am, they were painful and there was no doubt this was the real deal!

     I remember reading a lot and people saying to go back to bed if you can. Ya right! I was so excited. I think I laid in the bed for all of 10 minutes and then got up. I took a shower and shaved my legs and washed my hair. The contractions were totally manageable. I texted my doula later, not sure what time and told her my contractions were about every 5 minutes. She said she was on her way!

     Erin and I had breakfast at about 2:30 am lol.  I sat on my ball and was able to be comfortable. Michelle arrived around 5 am and suggested we walk around the block. That was nice and we walked for about 15 minutes. When I had a contraction, we stopped and I tried not to look like a crazy bent over pregnant woman, but that's probably what I looked like. When we got back,we popped in a movie and sat in the living room. I tried getting on all fours and sticking my butt in the air but really sitting on my ball was most comfortable. We decided to head to the hospital about 7:30 am when my contractions were between 3 1/2 -4 minutes apart and consistently 1 minute long.

     We checked into the hospital at 8 am. I kid you not, it was the busiest day the birthing center has since they opened in November. They finally checked me and I was at 4 1/2 centimeters. Not bad! The baby's heart rate was dropping a little during contractions when they first started monitoring me and that concerned them (however, I think that is very common to have their heart rate drop a little and then pick back up after the contraction). Unfortunately, it concerned them enough to keep me hooked up to the monitors and they started a IV in my arm but didn't connect me to anything. I didn't want to be hooked up and wanted wireless monitoring, but oh well. Mind you, I was planning on having a natural birth with as little medical intervention as possible.

     I had to labor in the triage room for 5 hours! They did not have any labor suites open because there were so many women in labor. I sat on my ball for the few hours and would stand up and sway my hips during contractions. I kept having to go pee and would have to disconnect from the monitor and walk across the hall to the bathroom, since our room was so small and not a labor room. My water was still just gushing with contractions and I was constantly drinking water to stay hydrated. I did eat half of a granola bar sometime after 9 I think. It made me a little nauseous so I only ate half.  Sometimes during contractions I would lean across the bed and someone would hold my hands on the other side (my mom or Michelle) and Erin started applying pressure to my lower back at this point. They checked me again and I was 6 1/2 centimeters dilated. After 12:30pm, they finally said there was a room ready and we eventually made it to the labor suite.

     This part of the labor is kind of hard to remember all the details. I was in full on active labor and had to close my eyes and really concentrate during contractions. My mom and sister were there in the labor room, I remember them sitting on the couch and talking and they would take turns holding my hands while Erin or Michelle pushed on my back. I would get up to use the bathroom and then cry out that I was having a contraction and Erin was always right there waiting to help me through it.

Erin looks exhausted too. I could tell my sister was starting to take pictures but I seriously didn't open my eyes for 3 hours. It was easier for me to keep them closed and concentrate.

     There came a point where I was just exhausted and Michelle recommended I lay on the bed and try to sleep during contractions. I didn't want to at first because I knew I would be really uncomfortable but sure enough, I fell asleep during every contraction for over an hour and would wake up when one came, grab onto someones arms and Erin would push on my back. When it would pass, I would lay down and fall asleep! My contractions slowed back down to 5 minutes apart but I was still progressing. They checked me and I was at 8 1/2.

      I then moved to my knees and leaned over the back of the bed and labored for awhile. I was now at 9 centimeters. This was the one time I asked for something for the pain. It went something like, "Is there anything you can give me now? Just anything right now?" He he. The answer was gently no and that was that. I didn't cry or beg, I was going to have to keep going. In my mind I had wanted to ask for a while but I never said it out loud until this point. I started second guessing my ability to continue because I hadn't even started pushing yet and that scared me. I kept saying, "I don't know. I don't know." My sweet husband just kept holding my hand. I know it put him in a hard place to stand there and watch me say that and be in pain.

      Then I started involuntarily pushing and they told me not to and to try and breathe through the urge. I kept saying how I needed to poop haha. It seriously is the exact same feeling. I tried not to push but at the same time I really tried to poop. I didn't even care who would see or that I was still in the bed, that's what I wanted to do! Don't worry, I didn't :) Next thing I know, I was at 10 centimeters and it was time to push.
Michelle fanned me for hours. She is a really sweet and awesome doula.

     I turned around and started to push the baby down. This was hard but not the hardest part :) They brought over a mirror and I was able to start seeing the baby's head come down more and more. I started pushing on my back but I didn't like that. I ended up turning onto my left side and holding my legs up myself and leaning forward. Eventually, the head started to crown and I started screaming. Like full on wild animal screams every time a contraction came and I would push. I could tell I was going to tear, I said it out loud how I knew it and it hurt but everyone said, "It's the ring of fire. It's going to hurt." Well, it hurts!

     Eventually, I pushed the head came out, and the cord was wrapped around her neck once. Her hand was also at her head as she was born. Ouch. I stopped pushing so the midwife could move the cord and a few more pushes and her body came out. I pulled her up onto my chest and said, "It's a girl!" I loved that we were able to see for ourselves that it was a baby girl. I didn't wait 9 months for someone else to tell me! I looked at her and said, "Hello Norah." Erin thought it was a girl as I was pulling her towards me, but then the cord was between her legs and he second guessed for second :)

Norah Amelia Rice was born at 5:11 pm Friday, June 20, 2014 weighing 7 lbs 14oz and 21" long

     Erin cut the cord after it was done pulsating. We weren't sure he would want to do it, but they handed him the scissors and he just did it like it was no big deal. I did skin to skin for a long time and then passed her off to Erin, who also did skin to skin for a while. My labor was 15 1/2 hours and I pushed for 1 hour.

     Right after the cord cutting, they focused on me. I had a lot of bleeding. They gave me 2 different pitocin treatments, a shot in my leg and one through an IV. Good thing I already had the IV started just in case.  I immediately had more cramps/contractions that hurt. Then, they had to empty my bladder and put a catheter in me for only a minute. I pushed out the placenta and we kept it. We plan on planting it at our new house. I had 3rd degree tearing and needed stitches in my rectal sphincter muscle. That required a different doctor to come and do that repair. Ouch. I could definitely feel some of the stitches and kept asking for more lidocain. I wanted a natural birth but I'm not a martyr:)

    After an hour, I was all ready to go! I feel very blessed to have the support of my husband and family and my doula. They really helped me get through it all.
And yes, I would do it again :)