Monday, June 28, 2010

The Labor Scoop

Happy Monday, friends! I have been itching to share my labor and delivery tale with you, so here goes!!

As many of you know, labor really began last Wednesday on MG's due date. We had been to the splash park south of the river in the morning and were back home. I noticed regular Braxton Hicks contractions about every 20 minutes throughout the afternoon and was cautiously optimistic. We had been through this two previous nights, so I wasn't going to hedge any bets on being in labor. I was hopeful though. My two previous labors had been very much the same, finishing off the next morning. Little did we know that MG would take a bit longer before making her grand earthly entrance! This was all part of the prodromal 24-hour lead up to birth. Whew! I think I prefer the former labor experiences to this one, but I'm just so happy all turned out healthy and well. Can't ask for anything more!

I had crampy aches and continual BH contractions all night, accompanied by leg cramps that prevented me from walking well. Overall, though, I was able to sleep and that was a blessing seeing how LONG the next day ended up being! At 5am I awoke to begin timing contractions--they were 10 minutes apart. With the other babies, I would have had the baby by 10am, so I felt it very necessary to begin being super vigilant on the baby front. I went on a walk (early, before the 104F temps!), bounced on the birth ball, and timed. We timed contractions all morning--they were more intense than the ones the day before and seemed to be getting stronger, but compared to what?! I was having trouble assessing their intensity. My doula thought I was in early labor and made arrangements to be at our house at a moment's notice. I spoke to Red on the phone and she, too, thought I was in labor, but with some time left to go.

I had to be patient! Ahhh...
At noon GG decided we needed to do more walking and get out of the house, but to where? Temps were already at record levels and we had few options. One seemed to make the most sense--To the gym we went! On the walk to the car I experienced my first can't-talk-need-to-focus contraction, so we saw that as a good sign. At the gym GG ran on the treadmill next to me and I rigorously walked. I would take breaks when contractions were too painful to walk through, but overall, it was good for us to be out and about. I don't think many people were onto the fact that the very pregnant walker was in labor! ha! :) We had 'em fooled.
At home again contractions slowly intensified. GG got some administrative tasks done. My parents occupied the boys. I hung out on my own a bunch and tried to rest in between. By 5pm it seemed like things were continuing as they had been and I was getting annoyed! Let's get this over with, for crying out loud!!! I was ready to have the baby...

Thankfully by 7pm my contractions were hard enough that we started considering heading to the hospital. We made arrangements to meet the doula there and I went ahead and called over to my obgyn practice to let them know I was coming in. Unfortunately, there was one small problem: NO L & D BEDS were available. With my history of having a very quick active portion to my labors, the doc felt it necessary to send me to the other hospital down the street, an exact mirror image swap of what happened with our L & D with Baby J. No beds at Hospital A, sent down the street to Hospital B. This time, no beds at Hospital B (where my doc had transferred to), sent down the street to Hospital A. We couldn't believe our luck/misfortune! In the end, the change was fine, but did end up giving us a few hiccups along the way...
Upon arrival, we met our nurse and began the check-in procedure. Because I had been diverted, though, the new hospital had NONE of my records. I began giving an oral history of my last 3 labors (all while experiencing some intense contractions). Our nurse also happened to be less seasoned, so upon checking me, we learned I was only 3-4cm dilated and partially effaced. WHAT?????!!!! What in the world was my body doing?! I was beyond bummed and could only feel guilt and responsibility for getting everyone all hyped up about coming into the hospital. She recruited another nurse friend to double check her assessments--the new nurse gave us hope: "You are 4-5cm dilated, 80-90% effaced, and the baby is really low. Your body has been doing a lot of work today!" Hallelujah! It was just what we all needed to hear.
Contractions started picking up, coming every 2 minutes and lasting 40sec +. The doula, GG and I began really working well together as a team. We tried some different labor positions and I began meditating on some prayer intentions to offer up for the pain. It was awesome! That was until the doc entered the room... Because I was at a different hospital than my ob practice, we were forced to use the hospitalist on call. It was a bummer because from the get go the man's bedside manner was anything but charming. He was clearly put on guard by my choice to go without drugs, the doula present, etc. Poor guy also had no records to use, so he was relying on me to give him unbiased information. Who was I to him? At one point things got a bit contentious and GG stepped in to my and the doula's defense, arguing that we were well-educated women and deserved respect. Whew! Just what one wants when she is experiencing unimaginable pain! For those of you who know me, I also avoid conflict at all costs, so this was really uncomfortable!! (I almost get the willies typing it out! :)
Things settled and the doc left without an internal check, assuming I had a ways to go. He also ordered a battery of tests because my bp was slightly elevated (a common thing for me in labor). A little while later, though, none of it mattered because I felt the urge to push! It was about an hour and a half after check-in. Praise God for that--the least amount of time we had to spend in this environment, the better. I had to be checked twice again--very painful as I was having to experience contractions while on my back--but hopeful because we learned that I was almost ready to push, just had to wait for my water to break and then "the baby would be born"! Hooray!
A few contractions more with GG pushing on my hips (to open the pelvic floor) and me leaning on the doula, who held a cold washcloth on my head, and my water broke! The room was a flurry with baby prep. GG and the doula had to encourage me NOT to push yet... At this point I was so delirious and ready to be done that I had difficulty focusing on what was around me. GG's words, "She's right here!" brought me back to earth and with two pushes, we had our little MG!


I couldn't believe her dark hair and loud cry, right from the start. Everyone commented how vocal she was (probably more alert!) and I was so relieved it was all over!! Praise God for a healthy little one... The doc finished up with me and we all parted on good terms. He even had offered to let GG deliver the baby at one point! We thanked him for his expertise and I was glad when it was finally time to sit and enjoy MG. She was so cute and loud and took to nursing right away. My mom assures me its a "girl" thing--we're just a little quicker on the uptake. Whatever it is, this little lady has gotten nursing and sleeping down to a T!

Despite the outside variables, our natural labor and delivery experience was AWESOME! We loved having a doula and thought she was the *perfect* compliment to our "team". I asked GG later if I did anything during labor that embarrassed him and he assured me that all was very calm and never felt frantic. Excellent! That was my perception too. Things really went swimmingly.

And really, what could be better in the end than a healthy, sweet baby girl?! Love her!
Thanks for sharing in our joy and reading our (novel) tale...
You all are the best,

Saturday, June 26, 2010

BabyMooning

Hello dearest friends... we're back!

As I type we are HOME and WELL. (So well, in fact, that we sent my parents out tonight for a movie--they've earned it!! ;) MG and I had a glorious two night stay for our first girls' getaway at the local hospital. It actually ended up being a different hospital than where we thought we were headed (the reverse of our Baby J delivery scenario, if you recall), but that's a story for another time... I'll give you all the wonderful labor and delivery details soon enough.

In the meantime, THANK YOU for your prayers. This little gal is melting our hearts, coming off of an amazing delivery (yes, drug-free!!!!) and first two days. Praise be to God.

Can't wait to share more.
Much love and warmth,



Friday, June 25, 2010

Smitten...

A few pics of the smitten family:




We should be discharged from the hospital Saturday. You can bet there will be some eager boys ready to welcome home their new little sister!

GG

She's Here!!

B-Mama delivered MG at 11:23 last night. Our little lady weighed in at 7lbs 14oz, 20.5in, with a head full of jet black hair. Mama and baby are doing great. Pictures and delivery details coming soon! Thanks for all the prayers over the last 40+ weeks, and for rejoicing with us at the arrival of this precious new addition to Gasperini-Ville. Population: 6!!

GG

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Labor?

Contractions have been going through the night... this time with a hopeful outcome... I have reason to believe we're at baby time! :) Pray for us! Off to shower. Will update when we head to the hospital.


*12pm: GG and I are heading to the gym to walk the treadmills. It is 104F outside! No thanks!! Still feeling like early labor with moderate contractions, so I'm hoping it's not more of this prodromal business! I would love your prayers for a baby today... Don't know if I can take many more days of this!!!!
**4:15pm: Still laboring. More intense contractions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Due Date!

The date is here.
We've been anticipating it on our trusty calendar for some time.
You've been seeing it atop this blog for close to 9 months.
We've made it.
So how are we celebrating?
With a trip to the splash park south of the river...
No better way!!

My un-pregnant day yesterday was a breath of fresh life to my soul. It was really good for me to take a break from being pregnant, if just for a day. The boys, my mom, and I headed out to the gym in the morning. What a refreshing time that was... We walked on the treadmills and drank coffee afterward. The boys had a great time playing in the daycare.

Later in the day, my dad, T, and I ventured out to buy some lawn products for GG and then to Lowe's to find a mirror and closet shelving system for the third floor. Fun! No doubt last night I paid for it--my pelvic floor was so sore from the walking and I was bushed. Even Invictus couldn't captivate me long enough before I fell asleep on the couch.

Thank goodness I have a mom who knows just what I needed to cap off the day--a McDonald's hot fudge sundae. Excellent. To say we are being well-cared-for is an understatement. My parents are amazing... I just hope we don't exhaust them before we really need them when the baby comes! lol :) Thanks Mom and Dad for all you're doing!

To finish this post, here's a final look at B-mama @ 40 weeks. Enjoy because this will most likely be the last pic I indulge--too depressing from here on out! Might I say, my belly is quite full of baby. There are identifiable parts sticking out all over the place. Love my sweet girl and can't wait to see those parts in the flesh! Soon, very soon.
Have a brilliant June 23rd!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Taking the Day Off!

I've decided to take the day off of being pregnant.

Who's pregnant?? What??
Not B-mama, at least for today.

I'm starting to get a little heady about all of this anticipation and its beginning to stress me out! Almost like a performance anxiety is sweeping in. Like I'm late for a date that technically isn't my due date. That date (according to modern wisdom) is tomorrow!! I could squash ultrasounds at the moment. Who ever trusted those silly things!!! And why is my doctor using that date to lord over me?!!

My body will do what it will do when its ready.
And it will be so good when it happens.

So today:
I'm not interpreting signs.
I'm not talking to my doula.
I'm not going to any doc appts.

I'm going to do chores around the house.
I'm going to the gym.
I'm going to enjoy my boys.

I'm taking the day off! :) Ha!!

Unofficially un-pregnant,

Monday, June 21, 2010

All's Quiet

on the baby front.
No change at the doc today! I know, can you believe it?!

I was rather surprised.
I just have to trust that my body is doing exactly what is necessary to bring this baby safely into the world... And while we wait, we're doing very well.

Off to drink my raspberry leaf tea.
Thanks for your thoughts and happy Monday!

**Also, if you need something to distract you today (since B-mama is not in labor), check out our new site over at Building Cathedrals. We are pumped to be up and running with a new look and better legibility! Switching to our new domain happened to be a pre-labor goal of mine, so I'm glad to check that off the list. Whew! :) Let us know what you think!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Baby Rumblings

B-mama here at 9:30pm with reports of contractions and a first in the round of more intense BH contractions. Could it be labor? Could MG be born on Father's Day or somewhere near it?? Who knows???, but we'll definitely keep you posted!

**Update 11:30pm: Heading to bed with a wide variety of contractions of varying intensity, duration, and frequency. No use losing sleep while we wait! I'll provide an update in the morning... Blessings and thanks so much for your prayers! :)

***Update 7:30am: As of this morning, I have nothing different to report. Contractions continued through the night to this morning, but never become painful enough. I think my uterus is practicing for the big event ;). I have a doc appt. later this morning, so we'll keep you abreast of the latest. Hopefully going to see this little lady soon! :)

To All My "Daddies"

My Da-Da:
My "Baby Daddy":

And my Daddy In-law:
Happy Father's Day!!
I couldn't love these men any more than I do!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

TGIF Status

Hey gang and happy Friday!

Starting around 8:30pm last night, I started having pretty regular Braxton Hicks contractions all through the evening and into bedtime. I awoke around 3am (as usual) still having them and thought perhaps this was the beginning of the end. No dice! By morning all was chill and without consistency. Still largely prego. :)

So that's that and we've gone about our day today. We are getting things accomplished around the house... and playing and eating... and now waiting... My parents decided to speed things up on their end of the journey and will be arriving tonight before dinner! Woo hoo!!

We are so excited for their visit and can't wait to host them on the third floor. :)
And little Miss MG, we can't wait to host you too, little lady. Come on, the party's just starting! :)
**I should also mention that I have until next Sunday, the 27th, before my doc will insist on inducing. She considers this Sunday, the 20th, my official due date (my counter at the top of the screen goes by my chart due date, the 23rd. Just an FYI!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Slow Progress!

As of my appointment this morning, I have progressed to 2-3cm dilation.
While it means very little the grand scheme of labor, at least its progress, right?!

We are well and the boys are doing beautifully while we wait. Tuesday we had a fun lunch playtime at a local playground with one of their preschool buddies. Yesterday we spent some fun time at Maymont here in town and I practically induced labor walking up a long stretch of hills with the whole crew in our stroller at the end! Whew! :) No need for a workout after that. Today they spent time at the gym child watch while Mimi went to yoga and GG and I were at my doc appt. It was great for them to get out and have new scenery for playtime!

All in all, things are good. Little T's tonsils appear to be flaring up at the moment, though, so we're hoping to stay healthy for the remainder of the wait. Pray for him.

And with each passing day, Little Miss MG is one step closer to being in our arms... Can't wait!
Don't worry, you'll know when I head to the hospital. I won't leave you in the dark!

Blessings,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Soccer Studs, Friends, and Bedrooms

As I mentioned in the last post, M finished his soccer season Saturday. It was a great game and we were so proud of his hustle and determination, complete with two goals! Way to go, stud muffin! :) What a fun season it has been to share with the little man. With every score, he turns around to see his cheering section go crazy. Definitely a "words of affirmation" love language kind of guy!!


Yesterday we had the treat of hosting friends of ours from back in our Army days. They are still in the Army and are heading up to West Point for the next three years. How great it was to spend the afternoon together. The boys all played so nicely and had a ball. They were pooped little pups when all was said and done!! Thanks E, L, S and O for driving to see us!! L, I'm kicking myself that we never got a shot with the two of us together. Next time... :)

And finally, here are a couple snapshots of our bedroom in its new color "Tranquility" by Ben.jamin Moore. The camera did a decent job of capturing the color, but I think it has a little more green in the hue than what appears here. Nothing like deciding on painting a bedroom atthe 11th hour--haha! Thanks to my friend, Tricia, for inspiring the color choice. I was at her house Thursday and saw it on the wall and loved it. She gave me what was left in the can to take home to try out. One swatch was all I needed to know it was the one--I taped and trim painted Friday afternoon and GG rolled onward Friday night. By 10pm, we were finished. Whew! Just in the nick of time. MG will have the luxury of enjoying Tranquility for her first month of life as she co-rooms with us in her bassinet. Cute!

Can I tell you how excited I am to labor in this room??? Tranquility, take me away!!
Blessings,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

No News Is Good News

No status changes for the day--just wanted to keep you all informed. If you feel anything like I do around the arrival of a new life, you need to know. I know. I am usually obsessed with the computer when anyone else is expecting a baby!!!

What else is going on today in Gasperini-Ville?
Last soccer game for M, complete with 2 goals!... A newly painted bedroom for GG and B-mama (yes, we took on another project without telling anyone--we didn't want you all to confirm our craziness--but incidentally we are loving the new color!!)... A fun picnic with friends...

I'll update later with pics!
Blessings,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Contentment

It's on days like today that I find contentment.

Not that things are perfect, not that they're anything like I'd hoped. They just ARE. And "ARE" is wonderful for us right now.

Why do we rush things? Why can't we stop and smell the roses?
My tendency is to wish this baby to come tomorrow, but in reality, she'll get here and when she does we will face all the challenges of life as a family of 6. We will be ready and she will bring us great joy.

But in the meantime, life is pretty aok at the moment and we're pretty happy waiting.

Can you hear my subtle tone of convincing? The reason for it: I had a doc appt. today and nothing has changed. Our little lady is head down. I am barely effaced and holding steady at 1cm.

All is very well. Thanks be to God.

So why hurry?? In fact, there are too many fun things happening in the days ahead to wish labor and delivery upon ourselves... I will be meeting up with a good friend from our Army days on Sunday. She and her family are visiting Williamsburg and are going to trek over to see us. The boys should have a ball together. Can't wait! We also have tentative plans to take our builder and his wife out to dinner between now and then... And I have two girlfriend celebratory birthday dinners to add to the mix. T desperately wants to head to the Children's Museum and we have some friends who want to get together for a "final" playdate.

There is plenty to do (as there always is, even when we clear the schedule! ha!)

Little MG, we can't wait to have you join the fun.
But if you decide to stay put, we'll be just fine. Just fine.

Smelling the roses,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Feeling Groovy

I went to type the title to this post as "Feeling Good" and then couldn't help myself with the "Groovy" addition. lol. We ARE feeling groovy, so why not start off the post appropriately?! :)

Life is groovy around here. The third floor is essentially finished. The new bath is *clean*! All extras have been hauled away and our rooms are now all taking shape. MG's nursery is coming together. My bag is actually packed for the hospital. To top it off, Mimi and Papa are back from Hawaii, so we have our support system in place should we need it at the spur-of-the-moment!

On the wee baby front, I am feeling great. For those of you who don't know, it is my goal this go 'round to make a real effort toward having a drug-free labor and delivery. J's birth was drug-free, but by accident. We loved the actual experience and hope to do it again!! To help us achieve this, we had the fortune of finding a last-minute doula (birth coach) who is in training and FREE! We met with her Monday night and so enjoyed meeting her. She was chill and kind and warm. GG and I agree that she will bring a perfect complimentary vibe to our delivery! We are currently brainstorming our birth wishes and I am typing up a birth plan this afternoon.

According to doula wisdom, #4 births can be "tricky" with longer prodromal (pre-labor) phases as the body does more of the work ahead of time (perhaps because it knows there are other children to take care of!) Actual active labor, then, is much shorter, which means less time at the hospital. Funny enough, yesterday I was crampy/achy all day and had some Braxton Hicks contractions with an edge last night. Could this be a sign? Who knows!

Whatever happens, we're less than two weeks from my due date anyway, so we'll see this lady soon enough! GG requested I wait until the weekend at least. I'll try, honey ;).

Have a blessed day,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pink and More Pink

I was so blessed this past Saturday to be showered by some dear friends of mine in the area. They recognized our extreme need for all things girl, pink and more pink, and shower, they did! We had the "tea" at a local tea parlor that doubles as an adorable shabby chic boutique. It was such fun. Thank you to my girls, Stacey, Rachel, and Mary Sue, for hosting this sweet time! You all are gems! At this point, I think it's safe to say little MG is about spoiled rotten with clothes!! :) What a lucky girl she is...



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Distractions

We have been on pins and needles this week awaiting news of our friends and their health. (You can head here to get regular updates.) It appears their recovery is going to be long and slow, but we're hopeful for their eventual health. Day by day. Thank you for your prayers!

Of course you know we're waiting on our little lady too... No status change on that front. I am 1cm dilated and barely effaced. I learned this after taking all three boys with me to my appointment on Thursday. Let's just say squeezing three small children, an OB, and a patient (who can't move from the exam table because she's not fully clothed) into a small room amounts to very little productivity and a whole lot of chaos. Gotta love it. We couldn't get out of there fast enough! The boys did enjoy hearing MG's "heartbeap" (according to T), which was rhythmically beating away. She is well and all is good. Might I add that no woman in my side of the family has ever shown up early for anything! "Late" is our middle name...

So what's a family to do when it seems like they are waiting on everything? Especially when we tend toward impatience??...

Why, you make a waterpark in your backyard, of course!




The boys were filthy and SO happy when all was said and done.

Cheers to summer!
God bless,