Monday, August 30, 2010

Aaron Joshua, The Birth Center Way

The Beginning

So as most of you know, Nuge and I decided we wanted to have a natural childbirth at a birthing center. It wasn't something we decided on lightly, but was definitely something we researched and talked a lot about. My sister had had her daughter, Emma, at the same birth center we were planning on using and had an amazing expereince. Everything about it was wonderful. All of my friends who had had kids, all had hospital births and all had some type of complication that required interference. Not that anything is wrong with a hospital birth vs. birthing center/home birth, but for us, there was no contest as to which one we wanted to do.

So the process:

Once Nuge and I found out we were pregnant, we made an appointment at Family Birth Services in Grand Prairie with my sister's midwife, Lisa. Our first appointment was awesome. She talked to us about how everything would go down, gave us a tour, answered all our questions and concerns and even told us to bring in Nuge's parents so they could be reassured that a birth center birth was completely safe and they had nothing to worry about. We listened to the baby's heart beat at every appointment and, like I said, answered all our questions and went over everything that I was thinking and feeling about giving birth. We felt very at ease with her and she was just a very likeable person. We had a student midwife, Rebekah, that would be with us at most of the appointments and the birth. She was the one that took my vitals and just watched Lisa do her job. Sweet girl.


Nuge and I had decided to go on Date Day before the baby came. We wanted to go see movies, go to dinner and just in general, hang out with each other. So we did that on Saturday, August 28th. 2:30am, I was woken up by some massive cramps (ladies, it felt like your worst menstrual cramp ever). I thought it was from the Panchos we had for dinner (it was Nuge's half of Date Day). I text my sister (since she's a nurse and had been through labor 2 months before), and she told me to give Lisa a call. So I called Lisa at about 3am and told her what I was feeling and what was going on. She told me to try and time the contractions for an hour and then try to lay down and go back to sleep for a little bit.

So I got Nuge up (hey, if I had to be up, then so did he!), and we packed our bag (since we weren't planning on going to the BC for another 11 days), and he timed the contractions. They were coming between 8-10 minutes lasting about 45 seconds each. I called Lisa after an hour and told her I was going to lay down. Yeah, that didn't really work very well. They were too close together to sleep and too strong that when they did start, I would be wide awake and couldn't get back to sleep again. So I gave up and Skyped with my mom and dad for a little bit. I got Nuge up again at 7:30am cause I wanted some company as I was going through them. He made me an egg sandwich. I knew it was going to be a long day and I was going to need some protein to get me through it.

After the contractions started to pick up, I decided to call Lisa and tell her that they were very strong and coming at about 5 minutes apart and lasting over a minute each. She told me I could go ahead and come on in and be checked. So after packing up some snacks to eat during labor (which they encourage you to do to keep your strength up), we headed for the birth center. Once we got there, Lisa checked me and said I was at a 3, which was good cause I went from a 0 to a 3 in just a few hours. She encouraged me and told me I was making great progress. We picked a room to put our stuff in and I got in bed. A lot of books that I had read told me to stay up and walking, but the contractions were too strong that my legs felt like they couldn't handle the shooting pain. It was actually a lot more comfortable to labor in bed or on a couch.

After a while, I got bored just sitting in the room having nothing to do, so we went downstairs and put in Father of the Bride. After about 2 hours, I wanted to be checked again since I was sure I had made some great progress. Nope...4cm. We were in for a very long labor. We went back to watch the movie and then the contractions really picked up. One was so bad that I had to throw up. I told Nuge "I'm gonna throw up! Lisa! I'm gonna throw up!" They both set off to find something to catch it in. I couldn't wait. Nuge ran over to me and caught some in his hands before Lisa came with a bowl. What an awesome man he is for catching his wife's barf in his hands. That, my friends, is true love!

So after that, I was pretty much done watching the movie. I wanted to go back upstairs and concentrate on breathing and relaxing. Between contractions (that were now lasting about 2 minutes each) I tried to rest. I think I even dozed off a few times. Then, all of a sudden, I needed another labor position. Lisa got the birthing ball and put it on the bed and I got on my knees and rested on it. That was, by far, my least favorite position! I felt like I tossed the ball across the room and said, "I do NOT like that position!" Then I needed to throw up again. But I didn't. I told Lisa that I wanted in the tub right then!

Side Note:

I had decided a long time ago that I wanted a water birth. I had heard they were more comfortable (as comfortable as delivering a baby could be) than a bed and I was determined to try it.

The Tub:

Lisa checked me again, telling me that if I hadn't made much progress, we would need to put the tub off until later. If that had been the case, I would have asked to go to the hospital. By this point, the contractions were so strong and so painful that I wasn't sure I could really do it. When Lisa checked me, 2.5-3 hours after the last time she had, I was at 9.5cm. I went from a 4 to a 9.5 in 3 hours! It was awesome! So we headed to the tub. On the way there, I had a contraction and just felt the need to push. So Lisa told me to push. Got in the tub, and it was almost instant relief. Well not "relief" but it definitely felt better in the water.

Once in, I had another contraction and needed to push. This went on for a while. Between them, we could hear our phones going off in the bedroom. It was rather amusing because I had promised to keep people updated through Facebook but things happened so fast that we were unable to do that once we found out I was at a 9.5. I started to really hate the sound of my phone. But it was so awesome to know that we had so much support and prayers coming from our friends.

After about 45 minutes, the head started to emerge. Then, all of a sudden, things got going really fast. Once the head was born, I had one more contraction and then the baby was on my belly. I even missed the part where Nuge caught him and put him up there. I was in complete shock. We sat there drying him off and listening to our baby cry. We didn't even know what sex he was until a few minutes later. I asked, "What is it?" and Lisa said, "Why don't you check it out Daddy". He lifted the towel and the leg and said, "Oh my gosh, it's a boy! It's Aaron!" And that was that. A few minutes later, I had another contraction and the placenta was born. We called our parents to let them know they had a grandson.

Once out of the tub, we got back into bed and just looked at our beautiful son. He was perfect. They checked all his vitals and he was great! Nuge got to weigh him and the midwives had passed him around to see if they could guess how big he was. Nobody guessed less than 6.5 pounds. 5 pounds and 15 ounces. He was a tiny little thing! After eating some yogurt and boiled eggs, Aaron and I took an herbal bath. It smelled like something you would cook pasta in. It was so relaxing. It's supposed to help with my bleeding and drying out Aaron's cord. After the bath, they let me wash my hair (which was like staying in a 5 star hotel!). Then we just hung out for a little bit. Filled out forms and learned what to do with him now that he was ours. I had to nurse him before they would let us go. So around 9pm, we got to leave.

And that's that. That's our birthing story. It was the most amazing experience of my life, but it was also the scariest. I had never felt pain like that before, but in the end, it seriously was worth it. To know that our son is healthy and happy.

God really did design childbirth to be an amazing thing. I am so blessed that I was able to feel everything that God intended me to feel. We are also extremely blessed by our friends and family who prayed for us throughout the entire pregnancy and birth. Trust me, the prayers were heard! We felt everyone's presence there, even though it was just the 2 of us. We knew that the Lord had given us so amazing friends that were there for us. So thank you to everyone who prayed and thought about us yesterday!

I'm not embarrassed by my birthing pictures because I know that it was hard work and you can't always look your best when working that hard. So for those of you who might thing that giving birth is a glamorous event, it's not and I'm not ashamed to show you the true side of it. So no, I'm not wearing make up and yes, that's really what my face looks like. And 2, I had been sweating for hours and so yes, my hair looks terrible. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

38 Weeks Down, 2 To Go

Well, we have made it to 38 weeks! So far, everything is looking great! Our midwife, Lisa, said that Baby Nuge is in a perfect position for birth. He/she is head down and pretty low, which, according to her, is really good for 1st time moms this early. So that makes me excited! :)

Nuge and I have been camping out in the living room because sleeping on the couch is more comfortable than in the bed right now. It's actually been a pretty pleasant experience on the couch. I think I'm sleeping better and feel a little more rested.

I've been hanging out in the pool a lot lately to relieve some of my back pain. I love being in there, but when it's time to come out, the pain comes back. I guess you never realize how your weight can affect everything. 25 extra pounds around my belly has proven to be pretty heavy. I'd like to start walking around the mall so that I can maybe get labor started sooner rather than later. Although, Baby Nuge will come with he/she is ready. It's all in God's perfect timing!

So far, the due date is September 9. Our 2 year anniversary is on Sept. 5. Labor Day is on the 6th. So we like to think that Baby Nuge and I will start contractions on Friday, Sept 3. That way, Nuge will have all weekend off work, plus Monday! Then, his paternity leave will start on Tuesday. So that's the plan and we can't mess it up! :) Our midwife is also going out of town on Sept 11, so we can't have the baby on that date. But anytime after the 11 is ok with us! :) Of course we are joking!

I put a survey at the top of the blog so you can make a prediction of what gender Baby Nuge will be!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We Are Ready (I think)!

And by "ready," I really mean the nursery is ready. I'm getting there, but I still have 3 more weeks until I'll be "ready"!

Crazy!! 3 more weeks. Which really means, I could deliver next week or 5 weeks from now. I'm not really worried about when the baby comes, as long as Baby Nuge is healthy. I have enjoyed being pregnant, so if I have to stay this way a week or 2 longer than planned, it's no big deal. Baby Nuge will come when she's ready to come.

I've only started being really uncomfortable these last few weeks though. It's hard to roll over when I sleep, sit up when I'm taking a bath or laying down, or putting on shoes. I haven't been able to fit in our shower for a few months now, so I've resorted to baths. Let me tell ya, when I've had a hard day, nothing beats a nice warm bath!! My fingers have swelled up so bad that I can't wear my wedding rings anymore. Since I'm not comfortable going out in public without my rings, I've put them on a pony tail holder and wear it around my wrist. A much better idea than not wearing them at all or wearing them on my pinkie. My feet no longer have bones in them. Or if they do, I can't see them anymore. When I wear tennis shoes all day and then take them off, my feet start itching really really bad because they have been constrained in a shoe and then are finally released. It makes for not such a fun night sometimes.

But all in all, it has been a very wonderful experience and I'm so blessed to have the trust of my Lord that He has allowed me to carry and care for one of His Children. I just can't get over what a blessing it is to have His trust like that. It's also very scary to realize that He has trusted us with something so precious. But I feel confident that Nuge and I will be able to take care of God's child as long as we remember Who's Baby Nuge really is! He is not ours, but God's. What an amazing realization.

Our midwife experience has also been wonderful. I can't wait to come back and post about the birthing process from a birthing center point of view. In the next week or so, I will post a survey of what the readers (that's you!) think we are having. It will be interesting to see what y'all think.

That's another thing that has been pretty cool...not finding out the sex. These last few days have been a little harder only because we have baby girl clothes, that my sister has graciously given us, in our closet. I very much want to take them out of the bags and hang them up, but if we have a boy, then it would be wasted time. So that's really been the only "hard" part of not finding out. Other than that, it's been a blast putting the nursery together and seeing my vision come to life on the walls. I would have never been able to do any of it without the help of my awesome friends and family.

Thank you so much to ladies in our Friday night LifeGroup (Linda, Kim, Lisa, Jennifer, and Heather). Y'all have all had some part (big or small) in the coming together of our nursery. And to the husbands who helped paint (Clint, Ben, and Kyle), y'all are pretty awesome too! Also, to all the ladies who put together and thrown the 3 best baby showers ever, y'all did such a great job and I enjoyed each and every one of them. So thank you Jan, Sally, Carolyn, Tricia, Jennifer, Jennifer, Linda, Erin, and Stephanie. And a massive thank you to the ladies who actually showed up to the showers! If it weren't for y'all, we wouldn't have much. I love you ladies so much!!

So here are some pictures of the nursery coming together. For more pics from the various showers, you can check out the Baby Nuge photo album on Facebook.