Wednesday, November 11, 2015
So, we had a baby on October 20th. The basic info? Micah Alexander, 10 lbs 2 oz, 21.5" long, born at 7:25 pm in Orem.
The rest of this post is the too-much-info-nitty-gritty.
I know this baby announcement might have come out of nowhere for many of you. That's because we never announced the pregnancy. Unless you actually saw me or are very closely related to Tyler or me, you probably were blissfully unaware. Why, you ask?
Well, there are a few reasons. The biggest was the miscarriage I had last year at this time. After feeling very strongly that our family wasn't quite complete, I was due with my spring baby. I saw the heartbeat and baby move during an 8 week ultrasound. I was sick and showing enough that my kids figured out I was pregnant...except at the 12 week checkup, the baby didn't have a heartbeat anymore. We were all completely devastated. My body didn't figure the situation out and kept on with the pregnancy, even though baby had passed away. The drugs I was given to help my body through the process of miscarriage didn't work completely, so surgery was required. That week of knowing my baby was gone...but my body not knowing...it was horrible. I was very seriously, devastatingly depressed. Once the miscarriage was complete, I was better. Still fragile, but better.
A few months later, I found out I was pregnant again. This is how the conversation with Tyler went.
Ali: "So I am going to tell you something, and then we are not going to talk about it for a few months."
Tyler (wondering what the heck was going on): "Uh, ok?"
Ali: "I'm pregnant."
Tyler (stunned silence). "Um...so can I ask a few follow-up questions and then we not talk about it for a few months?"
And then, we didn't talk about it for a few months.
After a start like that, is it any surprise I never could announce it? I started thinking of all my friends going through similar issues with miscarriages or struggling with infertility and undergoing a boatload of treatments and here we are on our sixth kid...and I just couldn't.
This pregnancy was my roughest emotionally and physically. I don't know how much my "advanced maternal age" contributed, but my body was so over being pregnant by the time I was 26 weeks along. But the pregnancy kept going past 40 weeks. I haven't been pregnant past 39 weeks since I was pregnant with Sheridan and haven't reached my "due date" since I was pregnant with Jack. (Do we have time to discuss my pet peeve with the term "due date?" Babies are not term papers or bills or library books--they don't care when you think they're "supposed" to come. Everyone around you, though, who knows your "due date" reminds you constantly that your body isn't doing what it "should" do and is late. Because the person who is waiting for you to have that baby is WAY more anxious than you are for it to come...which is why I haven't announced my due date since I was pregnant with my first.)
Uh, I think I've gotten off topic. We had a baby. Let's tell that story.
So, I was 40 weeks and 2 days (not that we're counting, right? Because we know due dates are guess dates based on averages. Tell that to a woman who had gone over that date) and more than a little anxious to be done with the pregnancy. My SI joints protested painfully whenever I had to do something like move. Heartburn precluded such crazy activities as drinking more than a sip of water or eating. The hormones were only making me a little crazy. My belly was larger than it has EVER been and I was getting tired of people looking at me like I would explode.
Contractions started at home about 2 hours later while I was on the phone with my sister. After 15 minutes of those, I excused myself to labor in our awesome jetted tub (no joke, I've been looking forward to laboring in that tub since we moved into this house). Tyler's mom offered to get us all dinner, but I really didn't want her to leave. I was nervous we'd need to leave before she got back. I was only in the bath for 1/2 hour before I felt like we needed to get moving toward the hospital. When I got out of the tub at 5:30, the midwife on call was on the phone with Tyler to encourage me to head to the hospital as soon as I thought I was in labor (at first Tyler told her I couldn't come to the phone and she turned to the other midwife, "I hope she isn't going to have this baby at home!"). I let her know we were just about to head in and would be there by 6. I was starting to get teary and shaky and just wanted to go to my birthing place, so I figured that transition was coming.
Tyler loaded the car in record time and I zoned out to my Hypnobabies. Contractions were hard and about 3 minutes apart, but if I stayed in the zone they were mostly pressure. At the hospital, they put me in a triage room for all of 2 minutes until they realized I'd already been checked at 6 cm that day and moved me to my L&D room. We ended up having a nurse that attended at least 2 of our other kids' births (yay Brooke!) as well as an awesome tech who fanned my face for over an hour (yay Mindy!) in the warmish room. I got in my room around 6 pm, checked out at 7 cm and then got out of the bed to labor. Seriously, laying in that bed during contractions made the pain radiate all the way down my legs and I thought I might die. :) Since neither dying nor writhing in pain was on my agenda, I opted to labor standing by my bed, leaning over it and having Tyler squeeze my hips during each contraction. The medical staff mostly hung back and let me do my thing. Leaning over the back of the raised bed became more comfortable as things progressed. My breathing started to change toward the end of each contraction and it felt good to get a little pushy and breathe the baby down. My water broke (at least partially) during this phase. After several of these pushy contractions, the pressure started to get really intense.
It was time. I knew it...but I also knew, "I can't do this!" I held back during the first real pushing contraction because it is such a big, overwhelming powerful feeling. Powerful in a, "there's no way this will fit out!" way. Logically, I knew I'd done it before and I could do it again. Too bad logic doesn't play much of a role in this part of the story! Tyler asked what I needed and I let him know I needed those awful monitors off my belly! So he just removed them, may-he-be-blessed-forever. I loudly announced several times that I couldn't do it, and Tyler kept affirming that I WAS doing it. Tyler was by my side the entire time he wasn't squeezing my hips, telling me what an amazing job I was doing and reminding me to relax. I was pushing on my knees with my arms draped over the back of the bed. Feeling that baby descend--wow. I finally got in the zone and let my body do its job. The next contraction and I pushed the head out. I remember my midwife telling me, "Slow down! Don't push!" but baby's shoulders were already sliding right out and baby started wailing.
I did need pitocin afterwards (and with that I will take something for pain, thank you), but I did not need any stitches (Midwife: "I cannot believe it! No tearing, no abrasions!"). I was tired but I felt so. much. better. I was only at the hospital for 1.5 hours before having our boy, but what an intense hour-and-a-half!
Friday, October 9, 2015
September was full of school, homework, piano lessons, soccer games, scout activities, BYU football, and general busyness. For me, the month was a lot of shuttling kiddos around to activities and commitments. It's funny, even when we limit the amount of extracurricular activities, with 3 kids in school there is always plenty of chauffeuring!