Friday, April 27, 2012

The Birth

I went into labor around 3:00pm, on April 17th. I noticed I was having contractions pretty close together, so I started timing them. I wasn't sure if it was the real deal until about two hours later, when the contractions were still consistent and getting much stronger. So I called my mom to come fetch the three kiddos, and finished packing the hospital bag. The kids left at 6:00, and Jared and I walked around at home, until we decided it was time to head into the hospital. We arrived around 7:30, and after six attempts, they got my IV in and started my antibiotics (for GBS) around 9:00p. I climbed into the birth tub, but my labor slowed down considerably, so I got back out and paced the room until 10:45 when I was in intense labor, and dilated to 8cm. We decided it was time to break my water (Which never breaks on its own. I'm not kidding, she finally got it broken on the twelfth try!). I went back into the tub immediately and my labor went from intense to almost unbearable. I only got through it because I had such an awesome God, and amazing birth team on my side, guiding me through each contraction. Then, at 11:55, I felt pushy and out came Gino all in one big, looooong final contraction. He was born at 11:56pm.

Jared rubbed my back during each contraction when we first arrived.

The "before" picture with my amazing hubby

My doula (and one of my best friends since age 10), Abby, me, and my midwife, Liz

Giovanni James arrived at 11:56pm! We just hung out in the tub, cuddling our new baby for the next 15 minutes. It was wonderful.

An I'm-so-glad-it's-over-I-love-you-I-love-our-new-baby-I'm-so-happy kiss
Daddy admiring his new son
Family photo
Within 20 minutes of birth, Giovanni latched on (the first try!!) and nursed like a champ for 45 minutes!!!

Me and Liz "before"

Liz and me "after"

Liz and Giovanni

Me, Gino, and Abs

My INCREDIBLE birth team. I simply could not have done it without these two amazing people. They tag-teamed me through each contraction. Jared holding me, swaying with me, whispering encouragement in my ear, and being tuned in to my every need and desire. Abby massaging my back and hips through every contraction (with the most amazing lavender massage oil), feeding me water and OJ, taking photos and video, and reminding me that I can do this. These two made this birth the best birth experience I have had yet.
Finally around 2:00am, we let them weigh him after he nursed for 45 minutes!

The next morning, my mom brought the other three kids to meet their new baby brother!

Sophia and Jazlyn adored the new baby...

...Brody only cared about his chocolate ice cream.

Giovanni James

Napping with Daddy

Gino checkin out his Daddy!

Giovanni's first outfit

Final family photo before we leave

Ready to go home!

It's official! Our van is full. No room left, I guess we have to be done =)

Ta-da! We are home!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Giovanni James


Giovanni James

Born April 17, 2012
6lbs. 11oz.

Welcome to the world, my sweet, sweet angel!

(more pictures to come)

Monday, April 16, 2012

38 Weeks

I'm feeling a little frustrated and discouraged. I really believed I would be holding Bambino right now. I thought for sure, I would go this weekend, because my body has been acting very... weird. I posted last Monday that I felt crampy/contracty, but then the rest of the week my body got... confused. There were two nights this week that I had contractions every 10 mins or so, and started to get excited. But the strange part is, that I only got the contractions when I was laying down. When I got up to move around, they would stop immediately. We even tried several methods to "encourage" labor, but pretty much every attempt would kill any contractions altogether. For example, I would deplete all my energy going on a mile-long power walk, then be frustrated when I didn't get even one contraction. So I'd go take a three hour nap, during which I would get several contractions. Then arise from my nap, and not get another contraction for hours. What the heck?

Obviously baby is not ready to come out yet, which is fine. I just wish it would stop teasing me. I expect baby to make an appearance this week. If I have to write a 39 week update, don't expect it to be a very peachy one.

My current state of being: my low back really hurts (not the low dull ache of labor, more like sharp, shooting pain). My hips are loose and shoot intense pain every time I stand up, causing me to hobble like an 80-year-old. Sleep is... frustrating. There is no comfortable way to sleep on a watermelon every night. (Go head, give it a try.)

I know it's almost over, and we will meet baby soon, and then I will be the happiest woman in the world! My temporary discomforts will be gone (replaced by new ones), but at least I will have the overriding joy of having baby in my arms.

38 weeks

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cherishing the Moment

I just got the kids into bed, and the house is quiet. I sat down to relax and enjoy the quiet, and immediately Bambino started wiggling. Subconsciously, I put my hand on my belly to catch every little movement, and before I knew it, I caught myself smiling and talking to my belly. When I realized what I was doing, I was hit with a mixture of emotions. Joy for the privilege of feeling a healthy, happy baby move in me, and then a little sad as I thought about the limited moments like these I have left. I fully expect that my time is down to days, not weeks. It makes me wistful to think about this being the last few days I (am planning to) ever feel these precious movements inside of me. So while I am really good and miserable in my current state, I am also sad it will all end very soon. I am cherishing these last few days and will...

miss it

(shh!! don't tell anyone!)

I am sure this tornado of emotions is only heightened by all the hormones currently surging through my veins.Just wanted to share my thoughts in these last days.

Oh. And while I am sharing my thoughts, I suppose I cannot honestly conclude without mentioning that I REALLY DON'T WANT TO EXPERIENCE LABOR AGAIN. I'd like to jump to the part where they place my baby in my arms.

So... I am miserable, I love feeling the baby move in me, I want to be done, I am sad that I am almost done, I hate being pregnant, I will miss being pregnant, and I don't want to give birth. Got it?

Ok. Now I have fully expressed my thoughts.

Monday, April 09, 2012

37 Weeks

My body continues to prepare for Baby's arrival! Over the weekend, my body felt pretty calm, energized and normal (which was wonderful for all the Easter mayhem.) But this morning I woke up feeling crampy again. We went to my 37 week check up first thing, and was very encouraged to learn I am dilated to 2cm now! I also found out I am Group B positive again (I was with Jalzyn too), which means I will just need to get some antibiotics during labor, but it will not interfere with my water birth plans. Everything else looks great.

After my appointment, my cramps turned into some contractions painful enough to make me slow my pace and breath deeply. I was hit by a wave of exhaustion by lunchtime, so I laid down for a 3 hour nap. But as soon as I was up and moving around again, the cramp/contractions started right back up. Nothing consistent. I am still a little surprised how early all of this is happening. I really feel like labor could start anytime, and I am only 37 weeks today. But who knows, it could be another two weeks.

Over the weekend, all these changes in my body put me into a bit of a panic mode, trying to remember everything that "should" get done before baby's arrival. Stocking the fridge, cleaning the house (for the 58th time), packing bags for the kids, etc. I got some of that accomplished, but concluded it is difficult to be prepared when I don't know if I will go tomorrow, or in two weeks. So I just have to keep up on all of these things?? Sigh. I'm tired.

37 weeks

Friday, April 06, 2012

Midweek Update

Just a quick update. I had my appt on Monday, and was delighted to learn that I am 1 cm dilated already! I'll take all the progress I can get.

My body is definitely in preparation mode. I have felt crampy pretty much every day since my last update, accompanied on and off by low back pain. I still have absolutely no appetite. The only thing that sounds remotely good is a vanilla protein shake, which is particularly annoying since most protein powders have artificial sweeteners in them, which I am not willing to consume.

I sleep horrible now. This is largely due to that fact that no matter what position I sleep in, the baby is so large now that the bed jams him/her into my ribcage, and I wake up every single morning feeling like I cracked a rib.

There has been a notable increase in the frequency and intensity of my contractions as well. One night this week, I had strong contractions every 10-15 mins for about 5 hours!

Ok, that's all for now.

Monday, April 02, 2012

36 Weeks

Lots of progress this week! I completely lost my desire to eat. AN.Y.THING. I had to force myself to eat all week, because, in a cruel twist of pregnancy brutality, I still get hungry, but the very thought of eating brings me to tears. Now, the only reason I call this progress is because, in my misery, I went back and read my 36 week pregnancy update with Brody, and it said:

"I have no desire to eat whatsoever. I have realized that it is not so much that I have lost my appetite, because I still get hungry, as it is that eating is just not satisfying. I eat to make the hunger go away. But usually my stomach feels heavy and upset after I eat. But if I don't eat, HEARTBURN. So its a trade off."

On Saturday night, at 10:00pm, I was struck with the urgent need to clean. Nesting. I scoured and scrubbed and wiped and sanitized until midnight. And I only stopped because I needed more cleaning supplies. Then, as soon as I laid down, I had such strong, painful cramps and low back pain that I couldn't fall asleep for an hour and a half. I only slept about 4 hours that night, because my cramps kept waking me up. I have been mildly crampy on and off since then. Another indication that I am right on track in my pregnancy progress. Here is my 35 week update from Brody's pregnancy:

"I woke up several times on Sunday night with strong cramps. I have been feeling crampy ever since. Yesterday my lower back started to ache as well...I looked back at my baby find that I started feeling this way about 2 1/2 weeks before Jazlyn was born."

That ended up following true with Brody. I started feeling crampy exactly 2 weeks (+2 days) before he was born. So... that would put me on track to meet this little one in about 2 1/2 weeks! Whoa!

It is really interesting to learn my own personal pregnancy patterns, and how consistent they seem to be!

36 weeks