Friday, December 7, 2012

Our Birth Story and Pictures

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this: I get started writing a blog post and before I finish it, I get distracted (there's something I want to look up, a certain picture I want to find for my post, or there's Pinterest...) and then I don't manage to get back to my post that day.  The one day turns into a couple and before I know it, a few weeks or even a month has gone by and at that point it's just embarrassing to post that one update that is now so old.

I usually don't end up finishing or posting it at that point.  This one is a different matter.  I had planned on posting Liam's birth story while we were all still in the hospital, but well, I didn't finish writing it...

Who's Liam you ask?  Oh yeah.  I had a baby.  In October.  So I'm finally getting around to finishing that post.  Who knows - maybe I'll go back and finish all of the dusty, half-written posts sitting in my drafts folder.  Probably not, but you never know.  :)


For those of you who came here solely for the pictures, scroll down to the bottom.  And now for the story...

Our Birth Story

Let me start by saying that when I was pregnant, 1) I was probably *a little* crazy, and 2) I figured that I would probably go past my due date, so I planned to stay as busy as I could to either induce labor or forget that I was over due.

art gallery reception with Denny Holland before Liam was born
Not 24 hrs before Liam was born.  We might be a little crazy...
On Friday (Oct. 12) I managed to keep myself pretty busy, putting the finishing touches on some upholstery and design work I was doing for a client.  Ben and I figured it would be our last real date night for a while, so we got dressed up and went to see a friend (and his art) at a gallery awards reception.  When we got home it was still fairly early so we decided to watch a movie.  I started having contractions during the movie, but they were so irregular (and honestly didn't hurt as bad as I thought contractions were supposed to hurt) that I didn't even tell Ben until a few hrs later when they seemed to pick up a bit.

We hurried and packed all the last minute stuff in my hospital bag, just in case, and went to bed (it was about 1am).  I tried to sleep, but that didn't work for very long, so I woke up Ben (about 3:30am) and we started timing the contractions. They were getting longer and closer together until about 5am, when they sort of stopped so we went back to bed and I was able to sleep, uninterrupted, for 3 hrs. When I woke up the second time, things picked up right where they left off with much stronger contractions (some lasting over a minute).

Just before 10am, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom and I made it to the toilet where my water broke (no mess - yay!). I then took a nice long, hot shower. The contractions were right on top of each other at this point, but they were shorter than they had been earlier. I kept telling myself I had plenty of time.  Pretty soon though, I started feeling a lot of pressure and an urge to push, so we jumped in the car and hurried over to the hospital.   Luckily it's only 2 blocks away - I don't know if I would have waited so long otherwise. We got there at about 12:30pm and I was rushed upstairs in a wheelchair. I was completely effaced and dilated to a 5 (at first they thought it was a 7).

The rest is really a blur to me, but I labored for a little while in the bed (so they could get their 20 min. of fetal monitoring) and on the ball (the ball was amazing!) while the nurse tried to ask me questions between contractions. Ben was a champ though and took care of all of them, and pretty soon I was [really] ready to push. I think I ended up pushing for an hour and it definitely wasn't fun, but I was able to actually sleep between pushing contractions. After what seemed like forever, he crowned and then Ben got to catch him!

They put him on my chest immediately and everything seemed to stand still.  Such a perfect little person.  He started nursing right away and I don't know what to say other than that it was truly amazing.

It really was such an amazing experience for both Ben and I.  I'm so glad we took the Bradley classes and took time to prepare for a natural, drug-free childbirth.  We worked hard and it was everything I could have hoped for - honestly better than I expected even!

Liam Edward arrived at 2:49pm on October 13.  He weighed 8 lbs 7 oz and was 21.5 inches long.  He's such a happy little guy and is just full of smiles.  Currently, he loves reading books with Daddy (A Christmas Carol anyone?) and playing the piano with Mommy.  He's also a great sleeper.  And did I mention that he's positively adorable?  See for yourself...




big smiles

first bath







Thursday, September 20, 2012

Update: 36 weeks and counting!

So, like usual I've been pretty terrible at updating this blog.  At least right now I have an excuse!  :)  I feel like I've been so busy the past few weeks trying to get everything squared away and ready for Baby Liam to come join our family.

35 weeks 5 days
Tuesday, Ben and I had our last birthing class.  It was kind of bitter-sweet.  We've really enjoyed the class and getting to know the other couples in it, but it will definitely be nice to have our Tuesday nights back!  (more on that in a minute)  Yesterday was my last day of work, and boy does it feel good!  Knowing that, at least for the next few weeks, I can sleep in if I want is such a great feeling!  This past Sunday we had the Primary Program at church (I'm the Primary Pianist) and it was fantastic!  We've worked so hard all year and I'm so glad I was able to be part of it.  I was kind of worried when they originally planned to do it in October!  Also, a couple weeks ago, Ambyr threw me an awesome baby shower.  It was so much fun and everything turned out so beautifully!  (pictures coming soon!!)

35 weeks 5 days
Back to the birthing class.  I've had the Bradley Method recommended to me pretty much my whole life and when the time came to think about birthing options, I did a little bit of research and Ben and I decided that we did want to try out the Bradley Method.  The class is a little bit more invloved than most birthing classes - it's a 12 week course!  We lucked out and found one that was being taught in 9 weeks - 2 hrs every Tuesday night for 9 weeks - and went for it.  The class was awesome!  The main idea behind the Bradley Method is for both the husband and wife to be fully educated in the whole birthing process and have the husband or "coach/advocate" do just that: coach and advocate for the wife who is in labor and shouldn't be worrying about other things, all the while focusing on deep breathing and relaxation.  We learned so much and I know that it has helped me to feel calm and excited about labor, rather than being nervous.  Short of actually experiencing labor and delivery (which will happen soon enough!), I feel like I know as much as I can know about it and I feel totally prepared.  Ben has also mentioned how much he enjoyed the class and how empowered he feels as he's able to discuss things with our doctor and help me prepare for a smooth delivery.

In a nutshell, I would very highly recommend the Bradley Method to anyone that will be having a baby, whether it's their first or fourth!

...and a random pic from our Tahoe trip last month...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

25 Weeks

At 25 weeks, I feel like I'm finally starting to look pregnant (to other people - I've been feeling pretty big for a while now).  :)

He's started a new "trick" lately.  Instead of just kicking and rolling around, it feels like he's rubbing a hand or foot back and forth in the same place... and it tickles like crazy!  He must realize that it gets a reaction out of mommy because he  seems to do it a lot.  :)

I love how active he is.  I'll admit, it's a little overwhelming thinking that he'll probably be this crazy after he's born as well, but it's just so amazing feeling him kick and turn flips.  I can't wait to play with those tiny little hands and feet.  

In the meantime, it looks like I'm going to have to start buying maternity clothes pretty soon!  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Off the Grid

So, it's been a while...  Working for an accountant during tax season means coming home from work with my brain fried and the thought of doing anything is a little too much to handle.  That means blogging is the last thing I think about.

This was a couple weeks ago (at 19 weeks)
Well, I'm back... and with a little announcement!  This October, a super adorable little boy will be joining our family!  We already know he's going to be an active little one.  His movements have graduated from little flutters to genuine kicks... and they seem to be constant! (2-3/minute most of the time!)  Ben was able to feel him kick yesterday and that was really fun for both of us.  :)

In other news, Ben finished his second year of law school and I lived through tax season working 6 days a week during my first trimester!  To celebrate (and since Ben's internship doesn't start for another week), we've been taking a number of mini vacations.

Two weeks ago, we decided to go on a two day camping trip and spend some time hiking in the mountains.   Well, one "disaster" led to another, and pretty soon we were back in our living room building a blanket fort, but not before we cooked and ate some delicious tin foil dinners in the mountains while fending off smoke and mosquitoes.  Our hike turned into a cuddled up read-aloud session (you know, the kind where you sit up all night reading...) of Enchantment by Orson Scott Card.

Then this past week, we drove down to San Luis Obisbo to visit one of Ben's law school buddies and check out the amazing farmers' market they have each Thursday night.  It was a wonderful and relaxing vacation, spent swimming and watching Star Wars, in which I forgot entirely that I had a camera until the drive home.  We turned the 3 hour drive into something closer to 8 hours as we slowly wound our way up the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping at all the beaches and just enjoying the scenery.  We stopped at Hearst Castle, but decided to make a special trip and spend more time there and instead went to visit the elephant seals on a nearby beach.  Then we ate pancakes and went to bed early.  All-in-all a wonderful trip!  :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Scotty of the Opera

Dear friends, family, and anyone else who happens to be reading this.  In honor of little Scotty's return home from his mission tomorrow, I wanted to post this video.  Sadly, facebook is retarded and won't let me share it on my blog.  Here's the link.  Definitely check it out - you're in for some laughs.  After two years do you think he'll still be the same?