Monday, September 13, 2010

4 weeks after the birth

It feels like it has been WAY longer than four weeks since the delivery of Logan, but at the same time I can't believe that we are four weeks away either. It all seems so surreal. I still have to remind myself that I actually delivered a baby! It's amazing how the mind can forget such memorable things. Things that I promised myself I would always remember feel like just a distant memory. I remember when I was pregnant thinking I can't even remember what it's like to be myself again and now I can't remember what it's like to be pregnant! I remember the things that happened during and after the delivery, but I can't remember what the pain felt like or how intense it was. Did this actually happen?? Sometimes it feels like it isn't even real. I love looking at the pictures of Logan with his parents, but I still cannot connect in my mind that he was the one inside me all that time. There's nothing that clicks... it's really weird. To put it simply to me he is Ben and Ali's son. He's adorable and I love sharing in their joy, but I am not part of that equation anymore. He is all theirs!! :)

The recovery has been going really well. Physically I still feel great. It is discouraging that I am not fitting into my old pants yet, mainly b/c I keep forgetting that I was pregnant four weeks ago. When you have a baby at home it's a constant reminder of what just happened, but for me I feel 100% like myself only I'm not really looking like myself. We are going to Mexico in December and I really want to shed the baby weight so that I can at least fit into my usual summer clothes. It feels like I have a deadline for this weight loss and I am really feeling that I need to let that go. It's going to be gradual no matter what I do and I need to remember that.

Emotionally I have been doing okay. I have to say that I am surprised by the feelings that I have been having lately. I think in trying to ward off the feelings of things being very anti-climactic I have completely warn myself out. I have had two days at home since the delivery and it's starting to drain me. I am an extrovert. I LOVE my friends. They are the highlight of my week and I never get sick of seeing them. It's always been hard for me to put the breaks on and slow down my social life, but even more so right now. I feel like I have reverted back to my high school self who needed to see people all the time and my ability to be content in my own home is not there. Knowing these things doesn't make it easier to change them though. I don't want to stay home. My kids love getting out just as much as I do and it's hard to say no when I know there is something funner to do than sitting at home. So I'm working on that... and thinking it through. I can't believe how emotional I have become either. I could honestly say in the past I was not a crier, but now think I would fall under that category a bit more. I am finding emotions just touch me so much more. Be this pregnancy hormones or lack of sleep I don't know, but I think that I am beginning to like it. I love that things can touch me on a deeper level. I still have a head on my shoulders and I'm not going to get swept away by what I'm feeling, but I think that I'm giving myself the freedom to actually feel them and it's freeing. I think this journey has taught me a lot about the freedom in feelings.

I've been keeping in touch with Ali and Ben, mostly over e-mail. Logan is healthy and growing and they are having a blast showing him off. I love looking at the pictures they post of him. It blesses my heart to see that they are enjoying and loving him SO much. They just beam in the photos. He is such a blessing, all our children are and I feel so honored to have carried him.

I was actually catching up on the blogs that I follow today and it hit me... I miss it. I can't say I miss being pregnant at the moment, but I miss the journey. It had it's ups and downs, but wow it was special. I know there were hard days, but overall it was enjoyable. It makes me want to do it again. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

After the birth

I didn't sleep well in the hospital. I was still having major adrenalin rushes and the excitement of the day kept replaying in my mind. My dr had said that he would come in around 8am and release me and so about every 20 minutes throughout the night I would jolt awake and look at the clock thinking oh it's almost 8 o'clock, but then it would be only like 3am ... it was a long night needless to say. I remember hearing Logan crying down the hallway and he sounded so adorable, but the overwhelming feeling for me at that moment was that I was so glad he was with his mom. I had prepared myself to enjoy the recovery without a newborn and I honestly was and still am.

The next morning finally came and my dr released me. My husband came and brought our daughters to meet Logan. I felt like I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I was feeling really great physically and emotionally and I just wanted to get home, rest and spend time with my family. I was curious to see how my girls would respond to Logan, but beyond the usual curiosity of a baby they didn't seem all that fazed by the whole thing. I explained to my 4 year old on the way out that that was the baby that was in my tummy and that it was Ben and Ali's and they were going to take it home. She just responded "I know mom b/c your tummy isn't big anymore." That was it... end of conversation as far as she was concerned. I'm glad she took it so well. My two year old was a bit out of sorts for a couple days, I think mainly from me being gone and messing up our schedule, but she's back to her normal self now. I realized that she is VERY unready to be an older sister and that's just fine with me. haha

Getting home was really nice. I really didn't have a lot of emotions about everything. I had a good cry once I was finally alone, but that was mostly a frp, the feelings of relief and shock that it had finally come to an end. I wasn't sad that I wasn't bringing a baby home or missing the pregnancy. It felt like everything was as it should be.

That same day I got a call from my mom. The blood tests on Logan had come back and he had a positive blood type so I had to come back and get my Rhogam shot (since I was negative). I was more than happy to return. I'm a maternity ward junky haha. I will miss seeing the nurses there and always love catching glimpses of the women coming in to labour or moms with their new babies. It's 'usually' a happy place. So I went back in, got my shot, visited with the nurses for a bit and then went in to see Ben, Ali and baby one more time before they left. I got to hold Logan again and this time I actually felt like I could focus on his face and his little hands and who he looked like. There is no denying the genetics of this baby! He didn't look like any baby that had be born into my family. He wasn't a familiar face. He looked like his dad! :) It was nice to hold him one last time. They were being released the next day and we didn't know if we would get chance to see each other again. I actually prefer "maybe goodbyes" rather than the regular ones. They feel less final and I felt like saying goodbye, maybe we'll see you tomorrow was the perfect kind of closure. It still left us open to seeing each other soon even if it wasn't the next day or even a few months later.

The few days after they left I just kept myself busy. There was so much activity going on towards the end of the pregnancy and knowing my feelings after I had my youngest daughter I felt that if I could keep my mind busy and my days filled with friends and family until I got passed the hormonal stage I would be fine. I can say for the most part it worked. There was one evening, I think it was day 4 after Logan was born. My husband had gotten called into work, my kids were in bed, my friends were all with their families and I felt the familiar feelings of "oh no, I have nothing to do!" creeping up on me. Having something to look forward to really helps so sitting their by myself made me feel vulnerable. I don't know if it was God knowing what I needed or if I just happen to have really great friends who call frequently (probably both), but that night and those feelings passed with random, much needed phone calls from friends. We even started planning our Mexico trip in November (with a group of people) so that gave me some homework to do and a much needed distraction. That feeling hasn't returned and I don't think it will. It's the usual hormonal stage that comes when your body has been through such a dramatic change. I knew it would come and I'm happy it's gone. My milk came in with a vengeance that day as well and for two days I was SORE like never before, but thankfully after 48 hours my body took the hint and started to diminish the supplies. haha It's hard for me not to think of it as a waste, but I am really happy to not be breastfeeding right now.

It is now 6 days after the birth. I am feeling completely healed. My body seems to be returning back to normal faster than I had hoped. I have a client (I'm a doula) who was due yesterday and I am looking forward to sharing that birth with her. There are lots of joys in life and I feel like I am ready to experience them as myself again. I can be a mom, a wife, a daughter and a friend the way I was a year ago and it's nice :) I am SOO happy to have gone through this journey and I am happy now to have completed it. I look forward to watching little Logan grow and I know that he will be enjoyed and loved by his family.

Lots of people ask me if this is something that I would do again. It feels like a really complex question now that we are done. I look back on this journey with fondness and appreciation. I feel so blessed that this was something that we were able to do and yes it came with it's sacrifices, but they are hard to remember already. My husband had a harder time than I did with it. Here he had a wife who was pregnant, but it wasn't accompanied with the same type of joy and excitement that it does when it's his. He had a hard time finding ways to share in this journey. So I guess the answer to that question is maybe. I won't actively search for a couple, but if something came up (just like it did this time) than I would pray about it and of course consult my husband and we would have to see if we felt that was where God was leading us. Who knows what life holds :) I'm excited to find out!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Logan's birth story continued...

We arrived at the hospital, did a quick NST before my dr. checked me. I was 4cm and thinned right out! That was good. I had little pain and had made it 1cm more. He administered another half of the gel and I had to wait another hour on the monitors and that horrible bed. The bed feels like a death sentence to me when I'm in labour. I just wanted to get the heck out of there. The contractions started again almost immediately. They were much stronger and probably 3 minutes apart. These ones hurt in all the right places. They wrapped around my back and flowed into the lower part of my uterus. I just realized that I forgot to mention that my mom happened to be working that day!! I loved having her as my nurse. She was such a comfort to me and although I had gotten to know most of the other nurses during my pregnancy and quick visits for NST's I was glad to have her familiar face to see every time we showed up that day. Anyways... back to the story...

They let me off the bed and I was still contracting much stronger. It was starting not to be fun anymore. Walking really brought them on so I sat in the rocking chair in my room for a bit. We waited there for an hour or so and then I decided that I could leave now. We went to my friend Shannon's house for tea and some of our friends met us there. I can not describe to you the comfort of having my close group of friends around me. It feels so natural to have the support of women during labour. I would recommend it to anyone. It took my mind off of what was going on and although I was unable to really visit I was able to just relax and enjoy their company. The pain intensity of the contractions had really picked up and I asked my doula to call my dr and ask when we should come back in for a check. He told us to come in around 6:00pm. I had a goal now. I had to make it until 6:00pm and then we could go. My doula said that she literally watched my eyes glaze over after that. Things had changed. We were in active labour and I finally said I think it's time to go. She says "Ok good!" She was waiting for me to say it and had known it was time.

We arrived at the hospital at around 5:30pm. My dr came up from emerg and checked me. I was 5cm's. Ok that's active labour, but I was thinking I would be more like 6 or 7. Either way we were there to stay. He asked me if I wanted him to rupture my membranes. I said yes, but wasn't very excited about that idea. I knew from my previous births that this would bring the pain on in a whole new way. This was going to get really really painful very soon. We texted Ben and Ali and told them it was time. I called my husband and told him to arrange to get my brother there asap. From the second he broke my water the pain increased DRASTICALLY. We were not messing around anymore. This baby was coming TODAY! I went into the shower right away. The pain was so intense I dreaded each and every contraction. I was surprised how much dialogue I had going on in my head through each contraction. I was trying to use my knowledge to dissect each contraction to see how much more of this I would have to endure.

The feeling behind this birth was obviously different for me than with my own, but I don't think I was prepared for how it would effect me mentally. The motivation was really hard to come by. I knew that I was in this, there was no way out except to walk through this door, but I wasn't feeling joyful about it. It wasn't something I was trying to enjoy like I did with my own babies it was more something I had to endure in order to finish this journey. Honestly I have never felt pain like that before in my life. It had come on SO quickly and SO strong that I didn't have time to adjust and work my way into things. Ali arrived shortly after we texted and she came in and waited with us through each contraction. I had been in the shower for about a half hour when I felt the urge to push. It would go away with each contraction, but it was pretty intense. I didn't want to make the walk to the bed so they tried to check me while I was in the shower. They couldn't feel any cervix left, but once I finally did haul myself out of the shower and to the bed they discovered I was still 8cm. I still had 2 more to go. We were close!! We had gone from 5cm to 8cm in a half hour. I was disappointed b/c I wanted it to all be over, but obviously I had no choice.

I moved to the rocking chair instead of back in the shower. I remember my thoughts through the contractions. I was telling myself "this is as painful as it's going to be. I'm in transition, it won't get worse, I'm almost done..." My husband still hadn't arrived at this point and my mom was on the phone frantically trying to figure out what was going on. My brother still hadn't arrived at our house to watch the girls. He was stuck there!! We really didn't know if he was going to make it. I actually didn't hear a lot of this I was in my own world. I do remember looking up after one contraction and seeing Ali there and she had tears in her eyes. I was happy that I could share this with her, but I hoped she knew that I wasn't sorry we were here. We just had to get through it. We were in the home stretch.

I had about 4 contractions sitting in the rocking chair when all of a sudden things just stopped. I had the most wonderful 8 minute break in between that contraction. I relaxed my whole body and almost fell asleep. I remember thinking "I'm going to pay for this break." Tara (my doula) whispered something to my mom about this being the calm before the pushing. Oh boy was she right! I got the mother of all contractions (which I knew was coming) and an INTENSE urge to push. I could feel the head right there starting to come down. I was scared I wouldn't make it to the bed. I waited for that contraction to end, my mom went and paged my dr over the intercom and rushed around getting the room ready for the delivery. I managed to get on the bed sort of in a hands and knee position. I remember thinking I don't care who is here if I get another contraction I pushing this baby out. My doula had her hands ready (I think she could read my mind) to catch if she had. Thankfully my dr arrived before the next contraction and I laid on my side supporting my body with my arms. I remember saying when I saw him that I didn't want to do this anymore. This is the stage that I always hated. I have no good memories of pushing. Seeing my dr made me realize that this was really happening. CRAP! The next contraction took over my body. My dr had just managed to throw on his gloves and stuff when my body started pushing. He later told me that he had to support the head a bit to stop it from just shooting out my body haha. This is when my husband FINALLY arrived!! I was so relieved to see him. I didn't want him to miss this. I needed to share it with him. The head came out and I had to wait a minute for the next contraction to come and for me to be able to deliver the rest of the baby. That all felt like it took forever, but in actuality from the point that we realized it was time to push to the baby being out was only minutes. That was the BEST BEST BEST feeling in the world!!! We were DONE!! No more pain! No more pushing!! The baby was out!! Ali got the baby handed to her and my dr cut the cord. They wiped the baby down in her arms and my mom announced "It's a boy!!!" They took Ali and baby out to the nursery to meet Ben and check little Logan over.

I can't tell you how much of a relief it was to be done. I have never felt better in my life. I delivered the placenta was told that I had no tares and settled back to rest and wait for Ali and Ben to bond with baby and for Ali to try breastfeeding for the first time. My brother came in to say congratulations and give me a hug and we all just rejoiced in that room together. It was over!

Ali and Ben then came in and let me hold Logan. It was weird seeing him for the first time. I didn't feel that connection that this was him. He had been inside me this whole time, but he wasn't familiar to me. This was their baby! Ali walked in looking like a mother. She had such peace on her face and it felt like friends introducing me to their baby for the first time. I held him for a few minutes and then handed him back to his mom. I remember Ben was beaming from ear to ear, the vision of a proud father. Everyone said their goodbyes and Ben and Ali went to their room to get settled in. My husband went to get me some food and I had the most amazing shower. From the time they broke my water to baby being out was exactly 1 hour 7 minutes. It had felt like triple that to me, but am so thankful that it wasn't. It was INTENSE and very painful, but fast. I'm glad that everyone was able to make it and SOOO glad that it was over. I got admitted to my room and almost immediately I had groups of my wonderful friends show up. We all just sat in my room talked, shed a few tears, opened gifts. They got to go over and hold Logan quickly and give their congratulations to the parents. It was so amazing to have so many women surrounding me, giving me their love and support and to be able to share with them the events of the day. It just felt so good to be me again!

I will end the story here for now... I will continue with the feelings and events of after the birth in a bit... :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Logan's Birth Story

Wow it felt weird to type that title. It still hasn't hit me that there was a little boy inside my body that whole time and now his name is Logan Dexter and he's happily at home with his parents. This last two weeks have been such a whirlwind it's really taking awhile to absorb it all. This is going to be a long post and I may have to do it in sections. I want to share all the feelings and events that occurred before the actual birth of Logan began.

The last post I shared was the day that Ben and Ali arrived. It felt like a milestone to make it to that day and I was on an emotional high. We had a busy few days of dr's apt's, an ultrasound, NST's and then the big get together for my friends to meet Ben and Ali. I saw my dr. on Friday (5 days before the due date) and he swept my membranes. This gave me mild cramping and spotting all that day and night. I was hoping to go into labour at our "Meet the parents BBQ" but that didn't happen. My dr and I had agreed that we would do one more sweep the next day just to try and get things going if I didn't start labour that night. At this point all the key players were here and we were all anxious to get things going. I went into emerg at 8:00 that morning (where my dr. was working for the day) and he checked and excitingly I had gone from barely 1cm to almost 3cm overnight without any pain! I was so excited. He swept my membranes again and then sent me to maternity for another NST. Baby was happy in there and responding really well to the contractions I was having. The 2nd sweep had really helped the contractions pick up and I was starting to think I was in labour. I called everyone on the way home and invited them to my house to wait and see if we would have a baby that day. By the time I got home I was convinced that yes this was the day. The contractions were coming frequently and were getting more intense. I jumped in the shower while I waited for Ben, Ali and my doula to arrive. Unfortunately the shower really slowed things down. I was still getting contractions, but they weren't very regular or painful. We started to try a few different techniques for getting early labour going. We walked, rocked on the ball, tried some homeopathic remedy's for speeding up labour, but none of those stopped labour nor brought it on any stronger. By this time it was 5:00pm and I was starting to get discouraged. My dr's wife (she's a friend) called to see how things were going and my dr happened to be home for a quick bite to eat as well. I talked to him and we agreed to meet on maternity in a half an hour to get a check and see if we could rupture my membranes. I can't remember the timing of the contractions at that point, but I know emotionally I was starting to get discouraged and wonder if I was actually in labour.

We arrived at the hospital, did a quick NST on baby (who was doing great) and then got checked again. I was so disappointed to hear that I was still not quite 3cm's. I was a little bit more thinned out, but he couldn't rupture my membranes since I wasn't in active labour and we didn't want to risk not going into labour and having to get induced or worse have a c-section. He told us to walk around for an hour and see if things picked up and he would come back to see us. It was during that wait that I realized this was not it. It was around 7:30pm at that point so it had been a long day of waiting and watching. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and starting to get quite stressed out with the whole thing. I felt responsible to get things going, but I just couldn't, nor would I be able to until my body was ready on it's own. I realized that I did not want to relive this scenario again and I would not call anyone that early again. We would KNOW I was in labour the next time we decided to wait together. We went and hung out with friends that night and relaxed and I continued to have stronger contractions, but felt them getting more and more spaced out. I knew I would be getting sleep that night and I was kind of glad that we could just put this to rest for a bit. I agreed to meet my dr. on maternity the next morning at 8:00am while he was doing his rounds. We wanted to keep an eye on how things were going and make sure baby was tolerating everything that was going on. He checked me again and not only was I still almost 3cm's, but my cervix had actually gotten a bit thicker. Ok great I was going backwards! He did one more sweep of my membranes, but that didn't even give me cramping this time. I felt like it was time to call it quits and just let nature take it's course. The membrane sweeps had done all they could at this point. We agreed to meet at the hospital again the next morning and check progress and baby one more time. I think we were all feeling the pressure and making sure baby was fine with everything going on was really important to us all. We were only 3 days until the due date and in my pregnancy history I had never made it past this point so we were all surprised when not only did we make it past the Monday morning NST, but also to my regular dr's apt on Wednesday. He told me that if he had bet on this delivery he would have lost a lot of money. We were all so sure I was going to deliver early and now it was my due date! I have never made it to my due date let alone past! It was a weird feeling and I couldn't help but feel very conscious of the fact that Ben and Ali had now been here for a week.

That Wednesday morning visit I didn't even bother getting a cervical check. I knew I wasn't dilated any more. I hadn't had a contraction since Monday. My dr excused himself to call the OB and discuss with him about another biophysical and when he came back I was more than a little surprised to hear the words "We would like to induce you tomorrow. How would you feel about that?" I NEVER thought I would have those words spoken to me so it took me a bit to digest that. My mind filled with all the information that I know about induction and I knew that there were places that this could go that I wasn't willing to. He wanted to use the Cintocin gel on my cervix and was very confident that that would be enough to send me into active labour. My cervix was very favorable and this was my third time being pregnant. There was no need to worry that we would be introducing pitocin into the mix. We were all concerned that the stress and pressure (which I was putting on myself) to deliver this baby wasn't helping and since they were thinking it would be a small baby it would be best to deliver now while he was still tolerating things instead of waiting for him to show signs of distress. I agreed and we set the date! September 2nd would be the birthday!! I went up to maternity for one more NST and left knowing that baby was happy in there for one more day. I called Ben and Ali and gave them the news that they would be parents tomorrow! That was a fun call :) I heard the light in Ali's voice and I couldn't help but get excited too.

I have never been induced or known the date of delivery before the actual labour began. I felt calm and good about it for most of the day and then it all just hit me. Oh my goodness I had to go through labour tomorrow!! ACK!!! I wasn't ready all of a sudden. Thankfully I was at our women's book club when this epiphany hit me and I was so grateful to have their support and love. We all held hands and they prayed for me and the safe delivery of this baby. They prayed that angels would surround me and be with me during this event and that God would bring me peace. It still brings tears to my eyes remembering their support and prayer that night. I really needed them. This was never something I knew I could do on my own and my friends are so important to me. They have been through this whole journey with me and were all emotionally invested. I left that night exhausted and ready to go home and have a "good" nights sleep before I had to face my fears. Surprisingly I did sleep very well that night and woke up feeling ready to do this.

My husband agreed to stay home with our kids until I was in active labour and Ben and Ali agreed to come then as well. I met my doula at the hospital at 7:45am to begin the NST and get the gel put in. I didn't know how I was feeling at this point. Scared, but accepting of the inevitable. First the OB checked me (you need to have the agreement of two dr's in order to induce someone in our hospital). He agreed that yes induction was a good choice and recommended that my dr. only use half a thing of the gel since my cervix was so favorable. My dr agreed and went ahead and administered it. It worked within 10-15 minutes and I began contracting stronger than I had in this pregnancy yet. They call these cinto contractions b/c they come on a bit stronger at first (from the cintocin hormone) and then usually slow down and regulate themselves a bit more naturally. I had to lay in that bed getting monitored for an hour and then we were free to leave and told to return in 4 hours to see how things had progressed. My doula and I went for a nice walk outside. It was the first sunny day in days and it was so refreshing and relaxing. We went to her house and invited friends to come for lunch. The time just flew by and before I knew it it was 1:00pm and time to return to the hospital. I was contracting frequently, but knew I wasn't in active labour yet. I could still carry on a normal conversation and was having too much fun for it to be active labour.

I am going to take a break and continue in a bit... this post is getting really long :)

Friday, September 3, 2010


Precious little Logan was born September 2nd (1 day overdue) and weighed in at 6lbs15oz. I know I may be a bit biased, but he is seriously once of the cutest little boys ever!!

Exactly what has transpired in the last couple days is just starting to sink in now. It felt so surreal during the delivery and hospital stay and now that I am home and digesting everything I can't seem to do much but sit here completely shocked that it's all over. I'm SOOO relieved that it's done and I have my body back, but at the same time I am sad. Actually at this moment I can't seem to stop crying... it's good. It's tears of relief and joy and peace. It feels cleansing to just let it all out. Everything went so well and it turned out exactly as we all prayed it would and I am so glad that we went through this journey. I feel like I am myself again and it feels SO great, but very strange at the same time.

I am going to write the birth story in a day or two, but for now I just wanted to share the exciting news and let everyone know that mom and dad and baby are doing amazing and I feel really really awesome. I didn't tare so I feel like I don't really have much healing to do. I'm home already and happy to be with my husband and two girls.

Here is a picture taken this morning (Sept. 3rd) of my family visiting with little Logan. This was the first time my girls had met him and I don't know if they knew exactly what to think.