Avery’s Birth Story

Birth story

The reason I started blogging was to share my birth story with other moms.  I felt compelled to talk about Ryley’s birth after a 32 hour labor.  Two years later, I havent told Avery’s birth story.  [Poor second child.]  Its completely different from his sisters, just like their personalities now.

Birth story

I found out I was pregnant with Avery when I was 4 months along.  Crazy, right?  I knew I was pregnant two months into my pregnancy but was in denial.  Ryley was only 9 months!  There was no way I could be pregnant again.  Plus I was breastfeeding, you cant get pregnant while you breastfeed!  [Side note – before I got pregnant with Ryley I said if it wasn’t twins then we should have Irish twins.  I was just joking.  God thought I was serious.]

Avery Sono

I went in for my first ob appointment and she went to an ultrasound and asked if I wanted to know the sex of our baby.  Yup.  First appointment and we were finding out the sex.  I was NOT prepared for this at all.   I had a really easy pregnancy but it went fast!

When I was 36 weeks I started spotting bright red blood, so we rushed to the ER.  I was examined and everything was fine.  I was slightly dilated but nothing to worry about.  They also guessed that the baby was about 6 pounds from an ultrasound.  I was put on bed rest for a week and told to take it easy.

My estimated due date was May 5th, but I kept telling my doctor I was ready at my 38 week appointment.  I asked her to put me on bedrest so I didnt have to work.  I was tired and I was fat and I was miserable.  Taking care of a toddler, working full time and moving into a new house was a lot.  She couldnt put me on bedrest just because I was tired, but we scheduled my induction day for April 25th.  I was so happy!  I called work and told them I was going out.  That was probably my second favorite phone call to make.

Ryon and I went to the hospital that evening and Ryley stayed with grandma.  They started pitocin at 7PM that evening and my doctor told me I would have the baby before noon the next day.  I thought, ‘Yea right!  I was in labor for over 32 hours with Ryley.  Ill be here awhile.’  I was able to sleep most of the night, which was a blessing.

When I woke up the next day my contractions were getting really painful.  They were completley different from what I had experienced with Ryley.  I wasnt even sure they were contractions but we looked at the monitors and they said they were.  It was like a really bad period cramp.  That lasted for minutes at a time.

I was scared to get an epidural because my first one was so miserable.  At one of my ob appointments I had my doctor give me a pep talk about getting one.  She told me just talk to the anesthesiologist before and let them know my experience.  I still wasnt sold but when I couldnt talk through my contractions and I was only 5 cm dilated I decided I needed an epidural.

My anesthesiologist was amazing.  He threaded the line on the first try and even made me laugh.  [Side note – getting an epidural is NOT fun.  I shuddered just thinking about having one put it.  Know going in that they suck and talk to your anesthesiologist beforehand to ease your mind.]  I was able to fall back asleep after the epidural kicked in.

I woke up at 11AM because I had a ton of pressure down below.  I waited til my nurse came in and told her ‘Either I have to poop or I need to push.’  She checked me and said I was almost fully dilated but I wasnt there yet.  She upped my pitocin and within 30 minutes I was ready to push.  I had so much pressure I knew this baby was ready to come out.  [SO different from Ryley!  I had nothing but back labor with her.  This was a whole new experience with Avery.]

They called my doctor to come in around 1130 AM.  She scrubbed in and I started to push.  I had my mom on one side and Ryon on the other for support.  I pushed for 15 minutes and Avery James Grant was born.  He was born at 1147 AM and weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce.

my beautiful baby boy

He was a few pounds bigger then we had expected.  Still so very beautiful and healthy!

meeting grandma

Meeting Grandma for the first time.

bear meeting her brother

Ryley meeting her little brother for the first time.  Oh my goodness I love these two so much!

avery coming home

Heading home from the hospital.  He was born with a full head of jet black hair.

My Everyday Valentine

Today he is a blonde hair blue eyed little terror.  He has his own opinion and make sure you know it.  He is also the sweetest little boy ever and I love when he says ‘mommee’.

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Happy 2nd birthday Avery James!  We love you so very much!

 

Labor of Love – Tygre’s Story!

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Thank you Kelley for putting together these precious moments!  I enjoy reading about the adventures of these cute kids and their mommies.  I’m a mommy of two little goobers, but I am so happy to be sharing our daughter’s birth story.
 
Our daughter, Maevri Kate, made an early entrance into the world…
 
It was late June of 2010 and I was at about 35 weeks when our little girl started showing signs that she wanted out of my tummy.  I was still working part time, but had been segueing out of work responsibilities.  It was summertime and I was working at the museum, so I was on my feet the majority of the day.  Late July was our due date, but my boss went ahead and took me off the schedule to let me rest.  I went to work my last day on Sunday, but left early because of some rib and back pain.  I felt like a big sissy, because I definitely teared up in front of my boss, who thankfully urged me to go home and rest.  I thought that my massive kankles and back pains were just part of pregnancy and being on my feet all day.  I was seeing my doctor the next day though, so I didn’t worry about it much.  I had also scheduled another appointment a week earlier and we were all a-OK.  My parents were coming into town the next day too, so I was looking forward to relaxing with them.
 
The next day, I went in for my regular bi-monthly, check-up appointment.  My body was still achy and I felt like my feet were going to explode.  Remember those massive kankles? (My lovely hubs is rubbing my kankles below.)  2:30 p.m. rolls around and I finally get called in.  I do the normal sprinkle in a cup, weighing and blood pressure check.  
 
Hold the train… 
 
I had gained fifteen pounds since my last visit and my blood pressure was about 150/80.  For those of you that don’t know (I didn’t.), that’s ridiculously high.  And who gains fifteen pounds in one week?! Well, it’s definitely possible, but I had not been eating any more food than usual.  I remember my sweet nurses, who I loved being pampered by, cautiously saying, “Uh, your blood pressure is really high… how do you feel?” Another nurse walks into my room and says, “Girl, why is there blood in your urine?” She gives me the judgmental look that asks, “Have you been drinking your water, sinner?” and runs to get my doctor. (Too much information? Sorry.)  Meanwhile, I’m freaking out.  My mind was racing with questions and concerns. 
 
My doctor walks in casually, but concerned and says, “Hey, it looks like we’re going to have a baby today.  How do you feel? You might want to call your husband.”
 
Hold the train again.  
 
“Hey. Wait, what?! Is everything okay??” were the first words out my mouth.  “We’re having our daughter today?! How is she?!” I was so ecstatic to be meeting our baby girl that day.  I would be pushing our daughter out soon, but I felt like I hadn’t even processed that yet.  I think I was expecting that classic labor story.  You know? Where I’d be at home doing laundry, start having contractions and frantically call Tod to tell him that my water broke.  Well, that wasn’t going to happen.  
 
First, my blood pressure needed to drop drastically and then I could be induced for labor.  She would be arriving a month early!  It turns out that preeclampsia crept in the last week or so of my pregnancy, so our baby girl needed to come out quick.  She was doing great, but there were dangers of her heart rate decreasing and my blood pressure continuing to sky rocket. 
 
I was really nervous and scatter-brained, but called Tod with a grin on my face to tell him that we’d be meeting our daughter that day.  He definitely didn’t believe me at first and thought I was pulling his leg.  He excitedly gave in though after my preeclampsia spiel.  Yes, I was a big girl and teared up on the phone.  I basically told him to hurry and get to the hospital too. They would be walking me over to delivery really soon.  I was SO thankful that he was off of work that day and at home.  He hurriedly packed me and our daughter an overnight bag and got the car seat ready.  (Did I mention that we had not picked a name yet? Well, we had not even picked a name yet, hence the “our daughter” references. Talk about not being prepared!) Tod also called my parents to tell them that we would not be meeting them at their hotel pool later that afternoon.  They had just driven into town!
 
Tammy, one of my nurses, walked me to labor and delivery and reassured me that everything would be easy peasy.  I changed into my gown and was quickly prepped for those lovely IVs of labor inducing and blood pressure meds.  I was on pain medication too and was shaking so much because of nervousness and not feeling up to par from the preeclampsia.  They set up heart monitors on my belly too to monitor our daughter’s heart rate.  I was elated and relieved to see my husband walk in the door.  
 
My parents and in-laws arrived at the hospital too, but weren’t allowed into my room.  The nurses were still monitoring my blood pressure and didn’t want to take a chance on it getting higher from socializing with visitors.  My anesthesiologist didn’t scare me at all either (insert sarcasm) when he wrapped my bed rails with sheets in case of a seizure.  Still shaking with nervousness…
 
Maevri (finally… we picked her name) was doing great, but her heartbeat began to slow down after a couple of hours into getting my pressure down.  My doctor decided to schedule a c-section.  Pushing in labor was a risk for Mae and me.  My husband teases me about pre-delivery because he says that I was really loopy and out of it.  I was thrilled to meet our little Maevri, but everything was happening so fast! I completely trusted that God would protect us, but my fears got the best of me.  I just wanted Mae baby out and safely in our arms. 
 
At one point, Tod was out in the waiting room with our family and we were waiting to go meet Mae.  Of course we can’t forget when my doc jokingly told me to tell Tod to *ahem* “Get his ass back in here. We’ve got to go.” Prepped and ready to go for a c-section, I held Tod’s hand (really) tight.  He was prepped too in his good lookin’ hospital scrubs.  A few minutes later, we welcomed our daughter into the world! (See her Lion King birth pose picture a few rows down.)
 
Maevri Kate
Born on June 28, 2010
 4 lbs 7 oz
9:09 p.m.
 
 
Maevri was born a month early and was so tiny, but she was also completely healthy.  We did not want to break her!  I love telling her delivery story because it was all unexpected and happened so fast, but we love to look back on God’s provision through it all.  Our Lord gave us a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  I remember crying and praying with Tod the night Mae was born in the wee hours of the morning while we were still in the hospital.  It was the first, quiet moment together that we had as a new family.  Amidst a crazy, new schedule and learning to nurse and care for a baby, it had been a long and worrisome day, but we were so grateful.  
 
Some of God’s provisions that day:
-My last day of work was the day before Mae was born.  Mae and I had remained healthy amidst the mysterious preeclampsia.
-My prenatal check-up appointment was scheduled.  I could honestly say I probably would have thought nothing of my massive kankles and achy feelings. It’s normal… isn’t it? ;) 
-Tod had opened and prepped Mae’s car seat the night before labor.
-My parents happened to drive into town that day.  They live about seven hours away.  Little did they know they would get to meet their granddaughter on her birthday. 
-My in-laws (Mae’s other grandparents, Ma and Pa) brought over tons of preemie gear and clothes for lil’ Mae baby. 
-We were in the hospital for about a week.  Tod was itching to go home, but I was scared to leave our nurses.  If anything went wrong, they’d come to the rescue right?  I was very grateful for my doctor and nurses that checked on me and Mae frequently.
-Our church family and friends also provided meals and other goodies for us later that week.  
It was good to reflect on God’s protection through the pregnancy and reflect on His goodness. Two years later and we’re still blessed with a precious, baby girl.  Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! 
Love this story!  Tygre is such a sweetheart and her daughter is too!

Labor of Love – Paige’s Story!

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Hi, I’m Paige from The Crunchy Mamacita and The Sweet Spot. This is the story of my homebirth after 2 cesareans. You can also watch my video here

I don’t know when to say it really started so I’ll just start with Monday. Monday my Braxton Hicks contractions were a little stronger than normal. I went to my midwife appointment and everything was great, I measured 38 weeks which was no surprise because I’ve measured small this entire pregnancy. Monday night around 1am my contractions woke me up. They were every 5-7 minutes apart and hurt a little but nothing bad. Tuesday morning around 9 am we decided to head to Edmond because we had originally planned to have the birth at Jimmy’s grandmother’s house to be closer to a hospital in the event that something happened. My contractions never picked up and if anything they weakened so we came back home that evening and brought all of our birth stuff home with us. I had a feeling I was going to need the comfort of my own home.

Tuesday night around 2 am my contractions woke me up again. I went to the bathroom to pee and that is when I noticed the bloody show. My contractions were stronger than they had been the previous night. I went back to sleep around 4 am and drifted in and out until about 7 am which is when I texted my doula. She arrived around 8:30 am. From then until about noon, my contractions were strong and regular about every 3-5 minutes but they were not picking up. My doula said she would go and get some lunch and hang out somewhere else for a while if I wanted her to so that I could be alone and I thought that was probably a good idea. She left and I went and laid down in my bed because it seemed like when I was completely relaxed in my bed is when my contractions were really productive. That did the trick! I drifted in and out and had Jimmy time my contractions. They were closer and much stronger and at about 1:30 pm I texted my doula and told her she should probably come back. I called my midwife and told her that I needed her to come as well.

I got in the tub for about an hour but I was able to breath through my contractions much better when I could fully relax and let the rest of my body sink into my bed. My midwife checked me at 3:30 pm, I was at 5-6 cm and she said the baby was really low. I asked Jimmy to lie down beside me when once the contractions started to get pretty intense. It is so weird, you hear about the natural endorphins that your body releases during labor and it is so true. Between each contraction I would dose off just like when you are on pain pills (I know this because I was on lots after both of my previous cesareans). It felt like the time between my contractions was long but they were much more intense now with a lot of downward pressure. I was still lying in bed at 5:15 pm when my water broke. I felt yucky so I went to get in the tub. While I was standing in the bathroom waiting for them to fill the tub up I suddenly felt like I had to poop and they said that it was time to push. I pushed for maybe 15 minutes in the tub but I couldn’t focus my energy to the right place because I was trying to pull and hold myself up with each push. I said I wanted to get out so I went and sat on the birth stool at the foot of my bed. It was much easier to push there and baby Liam River was soon born at 6:05 pm weighing in at 6 lbs. 14 oz and measuring 20 in long. I heard someone say that he was born 49 minutes after my water broke.

I never felt like my contractions were unbearable. In fact, before they got really intense in the end, the feeling of coming off each one was sort of intoxicating. The hardest part for me was pushing, not because it hurt but because it felt like it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I thought it was going to take forever when I was in the tub but once I got on the birth stool and started pushing effectively it happened so quick. With each push I sounded like some sort of wild animal on a nature show roaring! When he was crowning I remember them asking me if I wanted to feel his head or if I wanted a mirror and I said, “NO! I just want to get him out!!!”

The whole experience was so beautiful and perfect in every way. Jude helped his daddy cut the cord and both of my boys are in love with their new baby brother. I am so proud of myself. I’m proud that I can say I had a drug free, completely natural birth. I’m proud that I chose to step outside the norm and have a homebirth. And I’m proud that I can be an inspiration for other women with one or multiple cesareans who choose not to be cut again. I knew my body was not broken, it is strong and it was made for birthing my babies naturally. I finally did it!!!

The beautiful photos were taken by Sharalee Stephens.


Thank you so much for letting me share my birth story on your blog Kelley!

Amazing!  Truly an amazing story!  

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Labor of Love – Rachel’s Story!

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Hi, I’m Rachel and you can find me blogging about my juicing adventures at underjuiced.blogspot.com.  I am so grateful to Kelley for allowing me to share my 4th baby’s birth story.  It’s been great reading everyone else’s stories, and I feel privileged being part of this series.
The news of baby number four came as a surprise to my husband and me.  We had both begun long-term projects (a Master’s degree and certification for me, and grant applications to do research abroad for him) that we thought were best completed between babies.  But, as always, God knows best and everything happens for a reason.  ‘At least,’ I thought, ‘we can give a brother to our son.’

                                                          

What is it that people say about making plans and God laughing?  When we found out that I was pregnant with my third daughter, all we had was pity for our poor son, still the only boy, still alone amongst bossy sisters! 
My pregnancy was great.  I drove into the city of Pittsburgh (an hour away) for my prenatal appointments with a group of midwives who deliver in a free-standing birth center.  My mother is also a CNM, and had been present at the births of my three previous children.
I was busy taking classes, both on campus and online, and LOVING them.  In the spring I was careful to only take online courses that were eight weeks long.  The official end date of the classes was my due date, March 4.   Now for another surprise: one of the classes I was taking was the hardest class I have ever taken:  Master’s level Statistics, online.  (Oh, so many tears of frustration shed that semester!)
I bumbled my way through this course (it actually made my third trimester go faster) and before I knew it, I was full term.  I had my 40-week appointment in the morning on March 3, the date of my final exam. Kara was the midwife on call that day.  I told her I felt kind of crampy.  She said I looked kind of “labor-ish.”  After she checked me, she recommended that I walk around the city, do some shopping and come back to have her check me again in a few hours.  But I had to get home and take my final exam!
Contractions continued mildly the rest of the day, but I didn’t take them seriously, since in other births I have had the tendency to stall labor.  I got some laundry done, cleaned the kitchen and sat down for my Statistics exam.  I began with a prayer:  a desperate, begging, pleading prayer.  One hour later, I finished and my grade popped up … 100%!  A miracle!
After the school, dinner and bedtime routine, I walked on the treadmill at my in-law’s to stimulate labor.  After a mile it got very uncomfortable.  Arriving home, my husband was excited that I might be in labor, but was more excited to watch the previous night’s LOST episode online.  I don’t remember much from that episode; we left right after that to drive to the midwife center. 
We arrived at 11pm.  I was dilated to 7cm already and my bag of waters was bulging.  My mom arrived around midnight.  Kara broke my water and I transitioned.
                                           
Pushing was awful.  There was something funny about her head position.  She didn’t quite turn her head the way babies do as they’re being born.  I remember stiffening my legs straight and the midwives coaching me to relax and bend my knees, but it seemed impossible!  I also remember grasping the wrought iron headboard and seriously thinking that if I could just climb through the openings in the headboard that I could get away from the pain.  (It didn’t seem that silly in the moment!)  I pushed for about 20 minutes and Elizabeth Marcella was born at 1:20 am on March 4, 2010.    
                                          
She was my biggest at 9 pounds, 8 ounces!  She is also my fairest, with white blonde hair and light blue eyes.  We call her Libby, and she has just celebrated her second birthday!  We love you dear Libby and don’t know what we ever would have done without you.  
Thanks for sharing your story Rachel!  Look at the beautiful baby girl!
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Labor of Love – Erin’s Story!

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Hello everyone, I am ErinLee, a wife of 8 years and a mother of 2 little boys; Wyatt Daniel and Mason Rivers.  I blog over at the Blue Mason Jar.  Both of my pregnancies had their moments of excitement, but after having Mason I would have to say that my pregnancy with Wyatt was fairly normal.  Mason’s pregnancy was not what I expected and I tease that had Mason been my first born…there would not have been a second!  
During January of 2011, I was enrolled in Medical Assistant program and taking a full load of courses at the local college.  Late in the month I came down with a terrible cold, which we chalked up to my then 2 yr old being a germ machine and bringing something home from daycare.  I finally had to break down and go to the doctor for something to get me well again.  During the visit we talked about what meds she wanted me to take and then she asked me the question…”could you be pregnant?”  I giggled and said, “sure I could, but pigs could also fly if they had wings”.  We laughed and I then pee’d in a little cup…not thinking any more of the conversation or the cup.  When the Doctor came back she informed me that I was probably going to be sick for awhile and that there were few meds I could take and that I was indeed pregnant!  {WHAT}  I about fell off my chair.  Wasn’t a total surprise…but wasn’t what I expected from that visit.  
During the next weeks I was sick as a dog!  Morning sickness is a terrible thing…TERRIBLE!  I made my OB appt and went in to get a better idea of how far along I was {here begins the next 8months of confusion}. My initial ultrasound showed I was about 6wks…but that didn’t match up with my cycles.  My OB decided that we would do another u/s in 2 weeks and recheck the baby and size.  Two weeks rolled around and sure enough the size was different and the dates then matched up better to my cycle.  I was 9wks and given a due date of Sept. 14 2011.  

 
 

I proceed to show a baby bump quickly…and the morning sickness got worse.  I ended up dropping my school schedule and stayed sick. Made it to my 20wk appt and found out that we were going to be expecting another baby boy!  {YAY, I wanted another boy}. Everything looked great, measurements matched up great and my due date seemed to be right on track. Now with Wyatt I had early contractions/Braxton Hicks a lot, and it seemed I was going to have the same issue with Mason.  Many nights spent in the labor & delivery triage…lots of meds to stop the pain and contractions.  Finally I was put on “pelvic rest”, now I still don’t fully get that but basically it means no sex (wasn’t interested in that anyhow), no heavy lifting (couldn’t bend over to lift anyhow) and no standing for periods (to tired to do that).  
{Now here is were it gets tricky and the confusion kicks in.}
At about 34wks, around July….27th, I woke up one morning and just didn’t feel good.  I was having mild contractions, super over the top tired, very upset tummy…just felt off.  I called the doctor and they agreed to see me later that day.  I dropped the 2yr old off at the in laws and struck out to the doctor…70 miles away, by myself.  By the time I made it to the doctor my stomach was so upset and the contractions were getting worse.  The doctor on call saw me and said “I am sorry honey, but I am sending you to triage…you need to be on the monitor”. Not what I wanted to hear, but I felt awful.  So across the street I went to the Women’s Pavillion and it was a packed house.  I sat in the waiting room to be seen for over an hour…alone!  Finally I waddled back to the row of curtain rooms, hooked my hard as a rock belly to the monitor and I watched the contractions rise and fall every 2 mins.  I was hooked up about 10mins and the nurse came in to tell me they felt I was in labor and I was being admitted.  {I proceed to freak out}  
I got my husband on the phone, “honey, you need to come to the hospital… I am in labor”.  My Dad was on his way down for a visit and I had to redirect him to the hospital, called the in laws to give them the news and continued to panic.  A sweet friend of mine that was local came to the hospital to sit with me until family could arrive.  They basically told me they were going to do all they could to stop the labor and the NICU would come in to talk to us we got closer to delivering.  They were expecting the baby to still be very small, possibly around 5-6 lbs (my first born was a 9 pounder, so yes 6 lbs would have been small for me).  I was hooked up to IV’s of magnesium, pain meds, steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs and who know what else.  I felt awful…contractions got stronger, but never more than about 2-3 mins apart and I never dilated.  
That night the head OB doc came by (here’s were it just gets weird).  She informed me that I had made up my due date and it was NOT 9/14/11 that it was 9/28/11…WHAT!  It was the middle of the night, I was sick from all the meds and she was not friendly.  BAD COMBO…we swapped words and she decided that I was only 31wks and few odd days.  I was…pissed!  {to this day I still fume over that whole incident}.  I spent the next 10 days in the hospital, pre-term and no baby arrived.  
I was discharged and sent home on bedrest…that really sucked.  I was in nesting mode bad!  I still held to the fact that my baby was due on the 14th of Sept and we were in mid-August.  I slowly begin walking around and doing little things…didn’t really stick to the bedrest rules.  I had an appt on Aug. 26th a Friday, I was dilated about 2cm…no biggie, but I was over it still, cause in my mind I was about 36/37weeks…(I was not in the mood to listen to anyone tell my due date was wrong).  Made it through the weekend with a few mild contractions…no biggie.  Monday I got up and felt awful again, tired, upset tummy…just blah.  Wanted to sleep!  I finally started timing contractions and when they got to 6mins apart I  had my Dad drive me back to the hospital.  By the time we made the 70mi drive the contractions were 4mins apart.  I sat in the waiting room for TWO hours!!!  Once I got into triage my contractions were 2mins apart and I was 3.5cm dilated.  Called they Hubby and he started to head my way.  
I waited on the epidural, I managed to breathe through the contractions and then by the time I was about 7cm I asked for the epidural.  Now my with my born I had to have the epidural twice, cause the first time it only took on one side.  I had concerns this time…but explained all that to the nurses and they assured me it would be okay.  So epidural is in…not feeling my legs and feeling better.  Then it happened…my blood pressure bottomed out.  It dropped down to something like 40 over…nothing.  Quickly the room filled up and they began giving me meds to get me back on track.  That was a scary moment…my Dad said all the color just went out of me and my lips turned blue…ugh!  
Several hours went by and they decided to break my water, which really wasn’t as traumatic as I thought it would be (my water broke with my first).  Another few hours pasted, now remember all the hospital staff is thinking this is a pre-term baby.  They had NICU on stand by to take him if he had breathing issues or any other problems.  Finally I began to feel the contractions through the epidural and the urge to push.  My mid wife came in and we began the delivery process.  ( and let me say I loved the mid wife delivery, over the traditional OB doctor delivery) At 3:36am on August 30th, 2011 my Mason Rivers was born…no NICU needed!  And would you like to know how much my “pre-term” baby boy weighed…. 8 lbs 12 oz 19 in!  Pre-term…HA!   His APGAR score was great and there is another score they do now to give a better idea of the weeks and he scored at 40wks!   The pediatrician the next morning came to see us and laughed that he was far from being pre-term. 
However he did get sick the first week and we ended up back in the hospital twice for about a week at a time.  They ended up deciding that he had caught a cold from his snotty nosed 2yr old brother…but it was still no fun.  Trying to breast feed a baby that is hooked up to IV’s and monitors is not fun!  He is healthy and happy today.  

Thank you Erin for sharing your story!  I want to pinch those cheekies!  

Labor of Love – Tonii’s Story!

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Hello everyone, and thank you SO much to Kelley for having me! My name is Tonii and I blog over at Blue Skies Ahead. I am a wife to one handsome husband, mother of 4 loud and crazy adorable kiddos, lover of crafting and teaching, and perfect at none of it :)
I am so thrilled to be a part of Kelley’s Mom Panel. I LOVE being a mother, and I think only good things can come from meeting new moms, learning from them, and coming together to support each other. Today I am sharing the birth story of my first daughter, Skylar.

Just like all new parents, my husband and I were thrilled, nervous, scared and ecstatic when we found out we were expecting our first baby. My pregnancy was pretty run of the mill, lots of morning sickness til about 14 weeks and then I was feeling great! I loved my little baby bump and was so excited to meet my first litte baby girl.

One day when I was a little over 31 weeks pregnant I remember being at work and just feeling yucky! My back was killing me and I felt really crampy. I called my husband and told him…he said it was probably just gas :) OH the abuse he has taken over the years for that comment ;) I left work early and went home to see if laying down would help at all. At this point I was a little concerned because I realized the pain was coming and going every 8-10 minutes. I called my doctor and left a message, still not too worried. Then I went to use the restroom and was horrified to see LOTS and lots of blood. I immediately called my doctor back and they told me come in immediately.

I remember still not being THAT worried…I really didn’t know anything about having a baby yet. I was still just seeing the doctor every 4 weeks, and was scheduled the next week to take the labor class. I was really nervous, but sure the doctors could work it all out. They immediately placed me in a room and had a nurse come in to check me. When she loudly announced I was dialated to a 5 and 90% effaced…then I got really scared. My doctor came in just a few minutes later and really explained to me what was going on and what we needed to do.

 By this time my husband had left work and sped over to the hospital. We were both emotional and pretty scared about what this meant for our baby. Since the hospital I was planning on delivering at had NO capabilities to take care of a premature baby my doctor gave us 2 options. I could stay there and deliver, then my baby would be Life Flighted to another hospital once she was born. The much better solution was to have ME Life Flighted to the hospital where they had the states best NICU and Neonatologists. We went with the second plan and the helicoptor was on its way!

I am terrified of flying, especially on small planes. I remember just trying to block it all out as they slid me onto a cot not much wider than an ironing board. I got REALLY nervous when they introduced me to the Neonatologist that was on board…just in case I went into labor while we were in the air :) Luckily we made it to the hospital safe and sound, WITHOUT having baby Skylar.

The next few days were a roller coaster of emotions, information, a million doctors and LOTS of prayers. One doctor would come in and say they didn’t think I was going to have the baby any time soon…then another one would come on call and not let me eat anything because he was SURE I would have the baby that day. I was immediately given the first round of steroid shots to help develop the babies lungs and lots of medication to stop my contractions. We prayed with all our hearts that we would be able to go long enough that we could recieve all the rounds of the shots before we had our daughter. You get one shot, then 24 hours one more, and then 24 hours after that the steroids have taken their full effect.

We were trying to soak up any information we could about what a 32 week baby means…we simply had no idea! We were told very realistically what we could expect. Best case scenario, she would be around 3 to 3 1/2 pounds. Best case scenario, when she was born she would need oxygen to help her, worst case she would not be breathing. 90% of babies born at 32 weeks survive. It was fact after fact, but knowledge made me feel more powerful and helped me know what to expect.

The third day in the hospital I finished my rounds of the steroid shots and STILL no baby! We were thrilled…they constantly told me every day I kept that baby in my tummy was 3 days less she would have to be in the NICU. They decided to move me out of the Labor and Delivery and to a long-term room on a different floor. I remember feeling really anxious about that decision. The labor room I had been in was literally next door to the NICU, and they had a window that went straight from my room to the best NICU in our state. It had given me so much peace of mind to be in that room! Nevertheless…off we went to our new room. Within just a few hours of being in my new room…my water broke and I was right back in my favorite room :)

They rushed me back and tried to get the epidural ASAP! Once my water broke within 20 minutes I was dialated to a 10 and ready to start pushing. Now I have to preface this with something…I figured I was pushing out a 3 pound baby. I was pretty much expecting her to FALL out :) I was totally discouraged to find myself STILL pushing almost 3 hours later. After being in a bed for 3 days with a catheter and almost NO food I was incredibly weak.

I will never forget those moments. I had given it everything I could. It was not enough. All I could do was pray. What happened after was a sacred experience I will always treasure, and a few moments later my beautiful Skylar Ann was born.

Then she stared crying. They had prepared me to expect her not to cry. Oh, it was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard! They immediately took her and passed her through the window before I could see her. I kept asking how she was and if she was ok. I would hear them yell things through the window…things I couldn’t believe. “Girl Johnson is 4 lbs 11 oz!” “Girl Johnson’s apgar is 9!” “Girl Johnson is on room air…no oxygen!” Again and again my little miracle was beating all the odds, and being BETTER than all the best-case scenarios we were given. My husband left to go be with her while they finished up with me. Within a few hours I was allowed to be wheeled to the NICU to see my baby for the first time.

As I was being wheeled into the room I saw her. And I thought to myself…”I hope that one’s mine!” She had a head full of beautiful dark hair and was the most perfect baby I had ever seen. Those first moments with her were so precious. I could not yet hold her, but to see her and touch her was enough.

The next few weeks were long and exhausting. Having a baby in the NICU is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Leaving the hospital without your baby is like leaving a piece of your soul, but I was always humbled to realize what a wonderful gift we had been given in our little angel. After 3 weeks, lots of attempts at nursing, feeding tubes, IV’s, and incubators we took our little girl home.

Each of the births of my children have been special and sacred to me, but the birth of my first daughter changed me. I learned about faith, and I also learned about hope. That experience was necessary for me to become the kind of mother I want my children to have- a mother that trusts in God and His will, even when it differs from my own.

Thank you so much for letting me share my story Kelley, I think these birth stories shape us into the mothers that we are and remind us of the absolute miracles of our children!!

Labor of Love – Anitra’s Story!

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Hi everyone.  My name is Anitra and my blog is It’s me, aniCbut I have been all but neglecting it while I blog at the Milan Maternity blog.  I have loved reading everyone’s birth stories (reading birth stories is one of my obsessions) and I’m happy to share mine with you.

I feel like before I go into my daughters birth story I have to give a little info on the birth of my son.  My son was born ON his due date!  I went into labor the night before at about 10:15 p.m.  Nothing major…just a little bleeding, and light contractions.  I woke up at 2:30 a.m. for one of my nightly bathroom visits and the contractions were a bit stronger.  Knowing that it was really happening, I couldn’t fall back asleep that night.  We checked into the hospital about 11:30 that day.  It was a long process.  Baby still high, water wasn’t breaking, epidural was horrible.  From the time the contractions first started to the time he was born, it was 25 hours.  

I expected my daughters story to be EXACTLY the same.  The same midwife was on call and she was born in the same room…everything else was COMPLETELY different!


My daughters due date was Dec. 16. However, at the beginning of my pregnancy(when ultrasound dating is most accurate),  I got an ultrasound and they said it was 4 or 5 days later. But they don’t change the due date unless it’s more than a weeks difference. Dec. 16 came and went, and even though I always said she’d be late, it was SOOOO hard to see the due date pass with out a baby to show for it. But according to those calculations in the beginning, she came just on time…


On Dec. 21 I had an appointment with the midwives in the morning. The midwife talked of stripping membranes, but basically said if the baby is ready, it would speed things up and if the baby wasn’t ready it would make no difference. So I opted to not go that route. They did an ultrasound to make sure there was enough fluid, they set up an appointment for the 23rd for a nonstress test, and set up an appointment for me to be induced on the 27th. I really thought all of those appointments would occur.


After I got home from the midwives, my husband had to go back to work and my son was so upset. I ended up taking him for a drive to calm him down. I thought I would take the opportunity to go by a friends house and drop something off for her and hang out a bit. The whole time I was there she joked about my water breaking on her carpet, and it better not because it was new carpet. I assured her we were safe and there was no way my water was going to break.


At about 11:30am my son and I were about to leave. He asked me to hold him, so I was standing there in her kitchen holding him in front of me when all of a sudden I felt something. I thought that with the way I was holding him and the position of the baby I must have had a little accident….oops! That had never happened before! But I didn’t want to ask to use her bathroom because I knew my son would freak out. So with out saying anything, we left her house and I got home as quickly as possible. My water breaking before labor started had never crossed my mind because I always assumed it would happen exactly the way it did with my son. After I got home I realized that there was a good chance that my water did break.


I called the nurse at the midwives office and told her what happened. She told me what to do to “test” it out and see if my water broke. When I called her back to tell her the results of the “test”, she said “REALLY!?” Apparently she didn’t expect it to have actually happened either. But, my water broke for sure!


I immediately called my husband. No answer. I called the babysitter who was supposed to come. No answer. I called my husband again. No answer. I called the other babysitter. No answer. I called my husband AGAIN. No answer.


Seriously…NOW?!?! Now is the time no one picks up?? I called the cell phone of the other babysitter. She finally answered and said she’d come as soon as she could. Called my husbands work phone. No answer. Called his cell phone again. No answer. FINALLY got him and told him my water broke.


I quickly finished getting things together that I needed to. My husband got home and a few minutes later the babysitter came. We headed to the midwives office because they said they had to do a test to be 100% sure my water broke and it was easier to do it at their office. Of course as soon as the midwife checked, she said we could go ahead to the hospital. When she told me that Margie was the midwife on call, I was excited because that was who delivered my son and I liked her and it was familiar.
We got to the hospital around 1pm and they led me to the same exact room my son was born in.  I fully expected to be there for a looong time before our daughter was born. I was about 3 cm dilated and she was still high.  I told my husband that we should make ourselves comfy.  They hooked me up to the antibiotics I needed and did a round. After it was done and I could get up, I did. Up to that point my contractions weren’t very painful and weren’t regular. After I got up they started getting really painful.  The whole pregnancy I had planned to have a natural birth, but the whole time I was never convinced I could do it. As the contractions got more painful, I really started to doubt myself. I asked if I could sit in the tub, so the nurse and midwife got it ready for me. Before I got in, she checked to see how far along I was, but said she wouldn’t tell me. It is most definitely a good thing she didn’t. I found out later I was only 5 cm, and I’m pretty sure if she had told me that I would have asked for an epidural.


I was in the tub for about 20 minutes when things really started getting painful and uncomfortable. And I started feeling a lot of pressure and like I needed to push. My husband went and got the midwife. Back in the room she checked me again. As she was checking I went from 8 to 9 cm. Soon after I was at 10 cm and it was time.


I’m not going to lie people. I was in PAIN. I was screaming. (I always said I wouldn’t be one of those people screaming, but…) My body took over and I honestly felt like I had no control over what was happening. I pushed through 3 contractions and at5:24pm ….way earlier than I expected, my daughter arrived (only 6 hours from the time my water broke!  Much faster than with my son!!)


She was 7 lbs and 20 1/4 inches, and she, of course, was our perfect little Christmas baby.  And now she is the sweetest, sassiest, and funniest little 15 month old!

What a sweet baby girl!  Thanks for sharing Anitra!  

Labor of Love – My Story!

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So I started this blog because of my personal experiences.  I have two beautiful children, a daughter and a newborn son.  My first was born February 2010 quickly followed by my second April 2011.  I have wanted children for as long as I can remember and was beyond excited when a few weeks after I got married, found out we were pregnant.  My pregnancy was pretty standard (besides some migraines the first trimester) and nothing could have prepared me for the labor and delivery of our daughter.  

My husband and I did everything that was expected of first time parents.  He came along with me to all my doctors appointments, we asked our doctors a ton of questions, and we even took the baby education classes (lamaze).  I had no fears as my due date approached and thought I was ready for the wonderful beauty of childbirth.  

My daughter was due on the 25th of February, but I showed no signs of labor on that day.  I went to my final doctors appointment where a midwife suggested that we ‘scrape your membranes’ to kick start labor.  I thought sure why not.. cant hurt.  My appointment was at 1 and I started having contractions around 5 pm.  My husband and I put our bags in the car and headed up to our local grocery store so I could walk around and hopefully move things along.

When I couldnt talk through contractions anymore we headed up to the hospital around 10 pm.  Once at the hospital my contractions got slower and less intense until the next morning.  I opted to try some pain medicine that afternoon (the 26th) after the doctors started me on pitocin.  The nubane worked for a short period of time but once it started to wear off I became sick and vomitted.  I got 3 shots and threw up after each one wore off.  

At this point I decided that I needed an epidural because I had horrible back labor and was in a lot of pain.  The nurse anthesist came in and started prepping for the epidural.  She tried to thread the line between contractions but having her poke my back on top of having  severe back labor was unbearable.  She missed her spot twice and informed me that she ‘hit a boney spot’ in my spine.  I was in tears and wanted to scream at her, but I just cried and yelled at my husband instead.  (He tried to calm me down by asking me softball trivia but I just yelled at him more.. poor guy.)  

Once she got the catheter threaded they decided not to give me the full amount of medicine because my heart rate increased and my blood pressure decreased.  Basically I had put myself in shock because of the pain of the epidural and contractions.  I was put on oxygen and I was told that a cardiologist was going to come in and see if I needed at ct scan.  I lied in bed in tears with a mask on my face still in more pain then anyone should ever experience.  I kept telling the nurse that my lower body wasnt numb and I could still feel the contractions that were getting closer together.  

My water was broken in hopes that the baby would move down into birthing position around 4 pm since she was still high up.  I dont remember much between this point and delivering my daughter because I was in so much pain still.  I was only getting 5ml an hour of pain meds and the only thing that did was allow me to sleep when I wasnt having contractions.  

Finally, after being in labor over 24 hours, my doctor came in and informed me that if I wasnt able to deliver within the hour he was going to have to do a c-section.  At this point I didnt care what happened but I knew I didnt want a c-section.  Within 15 minutes the nurse had to get the doctor because the baby had moved down and I was ready to push.

Pushing was the icing on the cake of labor.  It was my light at the end of the tunnel; I was so relieved to get to this point.  Plus its the most ‘natural’ part of child birth because as my nurse put it ‘you push like your pooping, Kelley!’  I had pushed maybe 8 times and then my doctor told me to stop.  What the?? Why??  Apparently the cord was wrapped around my daughters neck.  So once her head was free, I stopped, they cut the cord off her neck and then pulled her the rest of the way out.  

I couldnt stop crying after that.  They put her on my chest and I just cried even more.  I personally dont think that labor is a beautiful thing, but seeing your child for the first time is one of the best feelings in this world.  She was healthy and just looked at me with the same wonderment that I was looking at her with.  The first thing I told my husband was ‘she has green eyes! she has green eyes!’  (Which wasnt even true.. she has blue eyes).  That was was of the only things that we said to each other because we were just both amazed at this new little life that came bounding into the world.

The doctors started to stitch my back up and the nurse had to massage my belly to try and make my uterus contract back to normal.  She was pretty rough and kept apologizing.  I told her that what she was doing was nothing compared to what I had just gone through.  She laughed and I did for the first time that day as well.  

A few interesting facts about my labor:
My daughter was not born with a cone head despite my long labor.  :)))
My mom had enough time to buy a ticket, fly from Texas and still be in the room for over 6 hours before my daughter was born. 
When I had my son I was given 12ml/hour with my epidural!


Ryley Ellen 
7 pounds 12 ounces – 20 inches long

Happy, tired family

New! Introducing the Mommy Panel!

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Big news, friends!  I am starting a Mommy Panel!  I know you’re asking yourself.. what is this super awesome ‘Mommy Panel’ thing?  Its just a group of moms sharing their thoughts, opinions and experiences on babies, toddlers and kids. 
Every week we will have a new topic and the Mommy Panel will give their feedback to share with yall!  Plus we have our Labor of Love series starting too.  Its just going to be baby crazy over here.. and I cant wait!
Wanna know more?  Go here to find out more details.  

My personal experience (Part 1)

Name: Kelley Grant
Baby: Ryley, daughter, 7 pounds 12 ounces, 20 inches
Born: February 26, 2010 at 11:37 pm
Length of labor: about 30 hours

My labor story:
So Im starting this blog because of my personal experiences.  I have two beautiful children, a daughter and a newborn son.  My first was born February 2010 quickly followed by my second April 2011.  I have wanted children for as long as I can remember and was beyond excited when a few weeks after I got married, found out we were pregnant.  My pregnancy was pretty standard (besides some migraines the first trimester) and nothing could have prepared me for the labor and delivery of our daughter. 

My husband and I did everything that was expected of first time parents.  He came along with me to all my doctors appointments, we asked our doctors a ton of questions, and we even took the baby education classes (lamaze).  I had no fears as my due date approached and thought I was ready for the wonderful beauty of childbirth. 

My daughter was due on the 25th of February, but I showed no signs of labor on that day.  I went to my final doctors appointment where a midwife suggested that we ‘scrape your membranes’ to kick start labor.  I thought sure why not.. cant hurt.  My appointment was at 1 and I started having contractions around 5 pm.  My husband and I put our bags in the car and headed up to our local grocery store so I could walk around and hopefully move things along.

When I couldnt talk through contractions anymore we headed up to the hospital around 10 pm.  Once at the hospital my contractions got slower and less intense until the next morning.  I opted to try some pain medicine that afternoon (the 26th) after the doctors started me on pitocin.  The nubane worked for a short period of time but once it started to wear off I became sick and vomitted.  I got 3 shots and threw up after each one wore off. 

At this point I decided that I needed an epidural because I had horrible back labor and was in a lot of pain.  The nurse anthesist came in and started prepping for the epidural.  She tried to thread the line between contractions but having her poke my back on top of having  severe back labor was unbearable.  She missed her spot twice and informed me that she ‘hit a boney spot’ in my spine.  I was in tears and wanted to scream at her, but I just cried and yelled at my husband instead.  (He tried to calm me down by asking me softball trivia but I just yelled at him more.. poor guy.) 

Once she got the catheter threaded they decided not to give me the full amount of medicine because my heart rate increased and my blood pressure decreased.  Basically I had put myself in shock because of the pain of the epidural and contractions.  I was put on oxygen and I was told that a cardiologist was going to come in and see if I needed at ct scan.  I lied in bed in tears with a mask on my face still in more pain then anyone should ever experience.  I kept telling the nurse that my lower body wasnt numb and I could still feel the contractions that were getting closer together. 

My water was broken in hopes that the baby would move down into birthing position around 4 pm since she was still high up.  I dont remember much between this point and delivering my daughter because I was in so much pain still.  I was only getting 5ml an hour of pain meds and the only thing that did was allow me to sleep when I wasnt having contractions. 

Finally, after being in labor over 24 hours, my doctor came in and informed me that if I wasnt able to deliver within the hour he was going to have to do a c-section.  At this point I didnt care what happened but I knew I didnt want a c-section.  Within 15 minutes the nurse had to get the doctor because the baby had moved down and I was ready to push.

Pushing was the icing on the cake of labor.  It was my light at the end of the tunnel; I was so relieved to get to this point.  Plus its the most ‘natural’ part of child birth because as my nurse put it ‘you push like your pooping, Kelley!’  I had pushed maybe 8 times and then my doctor told me to stop.  What the?? Why??  Apparently the cord was wrapped around my daughters neck.  So once her head was free, I stopped, they cut the cord off her neck and then pulled her the rest of the way out. 

I couldnt stop crying after that.  They put her on my chest and I just cried even more.  I personally dont think that labor is a beautiful thing, but seeing your child for the first time is one of the best feelings in this world.  She was healthy and just looked at me with the same wonderment that I was looking at her with.  The first thing I told my husband was ‘she has green eyes! she has green eyes!’  (Which wasnt even true.. she has blue eyes).  That was was of the only things that we said to each other because we were just both amazed at this new little life that came bounding into the world.

The doctors started to stitch my back up and the nurse had to massage my belly to try and make my uterus contract back to normal.  She was pretty rough and kept apologizing.  I told her that what she was doing was nothing compared to what I had just gone through.  She laughed and I did for the first time that day as well. 

A few interesting facts about my labor:
My daughter was not born with a cone head despite my long labor.  :)))
My mom had enough time to buy a ticket, fly from Texas and still be in the room for over 6 hours before my daughter was born.
When I had my son I was given 12ml/hour with my epidural!

I want to hear about your labor and delivery!  Email me at kelleyannegrant@yahoo.com with the following information so I can post it on my blog!

Name:
Baby:
Born:
Length of labor:
My labor story:
Interesting facts about my labor: