Saturday, February 27, 2010

Griffin and Gabriel

Griffin and Gabriel look alike. I see Gabriel in his face. It is an amazing thing. I still miss Gabriel everyday, in fact I have cried for him several times since the birth of Griffin, but I also feel a peace that I haven't felt since my loss. I am a mom with a baby here to take care of now. My purpose is being fulfilled, my arms are no longer empty. I will always miss Gabriel, but I will also always be grateful to Griffin for giving my purpose back to me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The birth story

As you all know Griffin was born on February 14th (valentines day) at 12:30 am. There are no words to describe how happy I am that he is here and how wonderful my new little man is.

I wanted to share my birth story so here it is :) In case you didn't know I decided before the birth to try to do it without an epidural. I wanted to do things as naturally as possible and to fully experience it.

I started having contractions that were waking me up from sleep at 3am Feb 13th, nothing new, so I just tried to ignore them as much as possible, but they were waking me up about every 20 minutes.

Then by 5am they were coming about 10 minutes apart. That continued for about 2 hours. At this point I was just thinking here comes more false labor.

Soon the contractions were getting stronger and stronger and stronger. They kept coming no matter what I did and soon were 5 min apart consistently.

I kept telling myself it wasn't real because I didn't want to get my hopes up, but these contractions had never hurt this much before and I was getting so emotional!

After lunch they took a turn and started doing some VERY painful things, like not fully going away and before a new one would start. They were just getting so strong and painful. Everytime I would think they couldn't get more intense or more painful they would! It was very emotional for me, I was crying through some of these really bad contractions. I did NOT want to cry, but no matter how hard I tired not to cry, the tears would squirt out anyway.

So around 2:30pm we decided it was time to start heading into the hospital. We jumped into the car, and the labor spaced out slightly on the drive. When we got there the contractions were 10 minutes apart again. They took me up and hooked me up to the monitors. I was contracting regularly enough that they wanted to admit me, and they checked my cervix, it was still 3-4 cm but now fully effaced and they said his amniotic sac was BULDGING. The nurse was saying it is going to break VERY soon.

My Aunt Kerry was our Douala and she was also thinking my water was going to break very soon based on her experience and the strength of my contractions.

They took me back to a room and now things were REALLY serious. I was pretty much totally in my own world trying very hard to deal with the pain I was having constructively. Right about now I lost all ability to make decisions. People kept asking me things like do you want to try this position or do you want a drink, and all I could say was I don't know. Just when I thought it couldn't get more intense it did, they got closer together, about 3 minutes apart. Now I was having a hard time keeping control of my breathing and starting to get a bit hysterical near the peak of each contraction. Jeremy and my aunt were life savers, talking me through it, and pushing on my back to ease the pain. I found it so helpful to make noise, to moan to groan to let out some of the pain.

It was right about this time that I was feeling like there was no way I could continue. I was saying I need pain meds, please give me something, I CANNOT do this anymore. Jeremy and my aunt reminded me that I really wanted to do it naturally. I agreed to get through another 5 minutes before making a decision. 5 minutes passed and I still wanted drugs so they popped in an IV. I don't remember much of it but I am told it took them 1/2 an hour to get that IV in. They gave me something in the IV but let me tell you what it did NOTHING to make the contractions hurt less. I say it was like throwing a drop of water at a burning house... so in hindsight probably not worth it.

Soon during the contractions I started to feel different. A pressure, almost a pulling down feeling, it felt better to grunt. I needed to push. The midwife checked me and I was ALMOST 10cm She told me I could do little pushes. I did that for a while and nothing was changing, contractions were now about 1 minute apart, and my water had still NOT broken despite everyone's earlier thoughts.

Finally the midwife came in a broke my water because Griffin was not coming down and she felt this was why my cervix was not dilating the last little bit. Soon after that it was time to get down to business. I assumed the pushing position. Holding my legs and pushing with all of my might. This is where things got the most intense for me, my contractions never fully went away before another would begin. There was about 30 seconds from the start of one contraction to the start of the next.

I was pushing and pushing, I felt like it was never going to end. I was told that the pain is less when you push and I found that the pain in my tummy and back was less but for me the pain moved down low not away. I was working soooooo hard. They kept telling me that he was going to be here soon, and I kept saying "NO not soon, I want him here now!!!"

After a while they were telling me they could see his hair, so they put up a mirror and then I could see him too. It was almost over, I kept going. Soon the midwife was telling me to push little pushes and out popped his head, and then with one more push the rest of him came out, she pulled him out and plopped him right up and onto me.

That moment is the moment I remember most clearly from that whole day. The intense pain that I thought would never end was instantly gone, and there he was, warm, wet, and fuzzy. He was real, and in my arms. He was here! I was asking is he ok? because he did not make any noise right away, it took him about 30 seconds to start crying. But when he did it was such an amazing sound. My little boy was here and he was alive and making noise!

Jeremy was standing next to me just looking like he was awe struck. He kissed me and said "we did it, and I love you!" I was rubbing Griffin's back and holding his hand and just marveling at him. I loved him for all this time and now he was here in my arms, I had imagined this moment so much over the last months, and it could never compare to the real thing. It was AMAZING.

A sense of relief like I have never felt flooded through me. It was over, this journey that had been soooo full of worry and unknowns, was over. My baby was here, my baby was ok, everything I had gone through had been so worth it.

Within the first 5 minutes Griffin welcomed me as his mommy by peeing and pooping on me. I didn't even care!

I must say that the labor and birth experience was INTENSE, I'm not sure if I would choose to do it without an epidural if I get pregnant again, but I wouldn't take back a second of this experience because despite the pain, it was an unbeliveable thing to be a part of, and it's what brought Griffin safely into this world.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

update after 38 weeks apointment

Went to my appointment with the midwife today, progress continues. I am now 3-4 cm dilated, 95%effaced, and the amniotic sac is tight (she said this means it is more likely to break anytime now). She said that she will be surprised if I make it to my appointment with her next week... so we will see what happens. She said all of this Pre-labor (contractions feeling real, and starting and stopping) I am having is normal so the waiting continues just a bit longer.

Come on Griffin Mommy and Daddy are ready to meet you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

False labor

A subject I have become all to familiar with is false labor... I have been having contractions since 27 weeks!

Since the cerclage came out 2 weeks ago these contractions have taken on a whole new strength and intensity but still nothing has stuck around long enough to get this little man born!

I thought I might have something exciting to share with you on Saturday, I thought I was going into labor, but then it went away. I woke up at 3am with a REALLY bad contraction and couldn't go back to sleep because they kept coming so I woke Jeremy up and we started timing them, they were 5-7 minutes apart and pretty dang strong! I walked around, sat up for a while, took a bath and none of it changed them. I thought this was a good sign that it was the real thing. I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep so at 6:30am I decided to go lay back down and rest a bit, I was still having contractions when I fell back to sleep but when I woke up a few hours later they were gone.

I got up and got ready for the day, took a shower and got dressed, and then went up stairs to help cook lunch. They started again, but now they were even more irregular, more like 5-15 minutes apart, I still thought maybe it was real because they were soooo strong, I was moaning a bit through them because they HURT! Well this went on for a while, I took another bath, same thing, then called my aunt (who is a doula), she suggested I take a walk, so I did that. Nothing changed and then closer to the evening they started loosing strength. Still coming same interval just not very painful anymore, I could talk right through them. They continued until I went to bed around 1am and then nothing throughout the night.

Sunday and Monday were both the calmest days I had in weeks maybe only 10 contractions in total each day.

Yesterday they decided to hit full force again, VERY strong contractions 5-15 minutes apart. I did consider going to the hospital because they stayed 5 minutes or less apart for close to 2 hours but just when I was really getting serious they spaced back out a bit and got irregular again. yesterday it started at 2pm and continued until I went to bed. The difference between yesterday and Saturday is that yesterday almost ALL of them were VERY strong. Only right before bed did they start calming down a bit.

I am so ready to meet this little guy I wish my body would just get down to business, instead of playing around like this... it just tires me out physically and emotionally.

I have also been loosing my mucous plug for the past week now, so I hope that is a good sign.

I go back to see the midwife tomorrow so we will find out if all of these contractions have had any effect on my cervix or not. Last check I was 2cm dilated and 90% effaced.

It's so funny after all this time of hoping and praying for Griffin to stay put, now I am hoping and praying to meet him. I really am so grateful to have carried him this long. It has been a miracle.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My newest pictures of the growing belly :)

37 weeks

Sorry it has been so long! I really haven't had much to say since things have been pretty calm. I do however have some exciting updates to share so here goes...

First of all my cerclage came out last week Tuesday Jan 26th at 35 weeks +5 days. That in and of itself was not a fun experience AT ALL. I had been told it was no big deal and that it would mearly be uncomfortable... but OUCH! The Dr was having a hard time getting a good view of the stitch to snip it and in the end tried 3 different sized speculums before he found the right one, and those scissors were HUGE and he kept putting them in and out. It was bad. Jeremy couldn't come because he had to work, so my mom was there with me. She held my hand and I tried really hard not to cry but the tears were squirting out of my eyes anyway... ughh It ended up taking the Dr about 20 minutes to get the stitch out.

When he finally got it and snipped and pulled it out I was so relived it was over! The Dr showed me the string that had held things together down there for so long, and I was surprised that's what it looked like. I thought it would look formidable, but it just looked like a blue thread. Amazing!

After the stitch came out I was sent for monitoring, not much going on right after but then when mom and I started for home I got some REALLY big contractions the biggest ones I've ever had. They were pretty painful. They stayed about 10 minutes apart for most of the evening and then spaced back out. I had contractions again that night that kept waking me up with pain, which by the way is not a fun way to wake up! Around 4:30 I couldn't sleep anymore and Jeremy got up with me to time them. They were only 5 minutes apart VERY consistently. We thought maybe this was it. Then after two hours... poof... they were gone. At that point I was so tired so I went back to sleep and slept until about 12:30pm.

Now it has been just over a week from then and things have been fairly calm. The Dr also took me off my contraction medication. I haven't noticed a huge difference in how often I am getting contractions just that they seem to be consistently stronger. I am still having contractions every day usually 2-3 an hour.

Another exciting bit of news is that since I am so far along I no longer need to be part of the high risk clinic so they transferred me to the low risk clinic right next door in the hospital where we are delivering. The reason I am happy about this is because since I am low risk now I get to have a midwife do my delivery. It is what I would prefer because I would like to do things as naturally as possible, and midwives are much more supportive of that.

My first appointment at the low risk clinic was yesterday and it went very well. The midwife checked me and I have made progress... HURRAY! I am now 2 cms dilated, 90% effaced (cervix thinned out), and Griffin's head is engaged... the midwife said... wow he is right there! Now that I am 37 weeks Griffin is considered full term and he can come anytime he wants with no complaints from anyone, including me ;) The midwife says she thinks he will come sometime in the next week 2 at most and I know that she can't tell the future but it is still soooo exciting!

I am soooooo uncomfortable now! Moving hurts! I am allowed to do anything I want now, and have been doing some exercises to help me get stronger for labor but if I stand or walk for more than a few minutes my back KILLS me. Another thing that has become really hard is rolling over in bed, it hurts my tummy and hips when I roll over. Griffin is also still sitting right on top of my bladder even worse than before, so I pretty much always have to do acrobats, lean every direction and be very patient to go the the bathroom.

Now that Griffin is safe and I don't have to worry about him anymore I have been thinking more and more about this whole labor thing... lol I will admit I am SCARED! Jeremy and I did take birthing classes and I did a lot of reading about it, but somehow all of the talking and reading still leaves me scared of the unknowns. I am going to try REALLY hard to do this birth with no pain medication. I think it will make it a more rewarding experience for me to be able to do it naturally, and I know it is better for Griffin. I am also realistic. I don't like to be in pain (who does?) So if I decide part way through that "I want the drugs!!!!" I will not be disappointed in myself.

I know it is so close now. It funny because The Drs kept telling me I would not make it to full term but hear I am. Griffin and I proved them all wrong. Despite my fears of labor, I can't wait to meet Griffin and I admit I am getting impatient. When will this little man show up? I hope it's soon :)

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