Thursday, March 19, 2015

Axel's Birth Story

We are so excited and blessed to have another healthy baby boy! My labor and delivery this time around was kind of a whirlwind experience for both Ryan and me. Leo's labor and delivery was long and exhausting (click here) & I prepared myself for a similar experience. Thankfully, Axel's story is NOTHING like Leo's! God is so good! If you enjoy reading this kind of thing, keep scrolling. If not, feel free to look at the pictures & click out! I know I will appreciate having this in writing some day, so that's why it's going on the blog!

Before I start, I want to add a side note. I once again was scheduled to be induced because I was past my due date. The day we were suppose to go to the hospital, a nurse calls me & tells me that they can't accommodate me at the hospital that evening. She said I should call back in 3 days & they'd see about starting me then. I'm a non-confrontational person so I said thanks and hung up the phone. I called Ryan to tell him the news. He was annoyed because this was the SECOND time they did this to us! He called them back to get a few more answers. The nurse told Ryan that they didn't have enough staff to induce me. They had several moms come into the hospital in labor & several nurses gone so they couldn't devote a lot of time to me. Since I was only a couple days late, Dr. Hippensteel told her that we could wait a few more days & hopefully I'd go on my own. (My thoughts were something along the lines of, do they remember what happened last time? I didn't go on my own! My body apparently doesn't know how to go into labor on it's own. I don't want to be pregnant any more. Why did we choose a small hospital? Maybe next time we should just go to Ft. Wayne! Very rational, I know!)

Anyways, Saturday, February 28th rolls around. I woke up at 6:47 with my first contraction. I was slightly concerned that if I did go into labor on my own, I wouldn't know what to do. Would I know if my contractions were real? I hoped I wouldn't go into the hospital thinking I was in labor only to be sent back home because it really wasn't the real thing! That happens you know! About 10 minutes later I had another contractions. Ten minutes after that the 3rd one came. At this point I decided to wake Ryan up. I told him that we should probably get ready just in case. By 8:00 AM my contractions started coming about every 5 minutes. We called the hospital at 8:45 and asked what their recommendation was on coming in or staying home for a while. After asking Ryan several questions about how I was handling the contractions, the nurse told us we probably shouldn't wait too long to come. At 9:15, Leo was still sleeping (what a blessing) so we called Ryan's mom to come over. We left our house at about 9:45. The contractions were still about 5 minutes apart but definitely stronger and getting longer. 

The last picture of me pregnant!!

We got to the hospital a little after 10:15 and were checked into our room at 10:30. My doctor happened to be at the hospital and heard that we were there. She came into my room and told us that she would have probably passed us in the parking lot if she hadn't stopped to talk to someone. While she was there though she would just check me to see where I was at. A few minutes later she told me I was 8 cm dilated! I couldn't believe it! The pain I was feeling felt similar to ones I experienced with Leo when I was only 5 cm dilated. (I was informed later that the medicine they use to induce causes the contractions to come on fast & hard. So your early contractions can feel like hard labor contractions. This is the reason many women who get induced end up getting an epidural. I found this tidbit very interesting!)

Dr. Hippensteel then informed me that I would probably have a baby in about an hour. WHAT?!?! I had a tough time believing her but my hubby informed me that she had seen a lot of women in labor & she probably knew what she was talking about. Then Ryan asked the question that was rolling around in my head. Was it too late for an epidural? My doctor told me I could still get one but it would probably slow the process down. With an epidural, I'd have another 3 hours of labor. The decision was up to us, but she was confident I could do it naturally. She told me I was handling the contractions very well & I think her exact words to me where, "Jamy, you can do it!" She's a huge advocate for natural deliveries.

We decided to try it naturally! The thought of having it all over in an hour was very appealing. Dr. H. & the nurses seemed genuinely excited for me. She then asked me if I wanted her to break my water. She & the nurses highly recommended it. It would get things moving faster, but she warned me it would also make things a lot more intense & painful. I was pretty much a ball of nervousness because I was at the point of no return. I figured we might as well get this over with so whatever it took to do that was fine with me.

I remember watching the clock a lot while I was in labor with Leo. This time, I had no clue when things happened because all I could think about was getting through each contraction & regaining composure to go through the next one. Ryan, the nurses & my doctor were with me the whole time & were awesome coaches! It wasn't long and we were ready to push. This was probably the part I was most nervous for. I pushed for 2.5 hours with Leo & I thought that if I had to do that again, I might not make it through. It was exhausting, but that epidural kept me from feeling pain. The pain this time was more intense than anything I've ever felt & I didn't think I could handle even an hour of pushing. I really can't say enough good about my doctor. She knew what to do to get the job done as quickly as possible. Even though I yelled at her a lot for making the pain worse (seriously I don't think I've ever yelled at someone like that before!), I wouldn't have wanted her to do anything different. I didn't have to push long & her expertise was apparent. I didn't have any stitches when it was all over because she knew what to have me do to help prevent any tearing. It was 11:40 AM when Axel was born. Her prediction was pretty accurate!

I think Ryan & I were both in a state of shock. We kept looking at each other & saying I can't believe it's over. I can't believe we have a baby already. The whole experience almost felt like a dream. I didn't know it was possible to have such a good labor & delivery experience. Doctor Hippensteel said it right, "You have the perfect birth story." Amen to that! God is so good! One perk to not having an epidural was how good I felt right after delivery. I seriously didn't even feel like I just went through labor & delivery. Again, God is so good! The whole process took less than 5 hours. This was truly unbelievable to me! Did I mention God is so good?! 

Ryan started calling the family to inform them of the news & I think they were just as shocked as we were about the whole thing! I guess my body really did know how to go into labor on it's own! It just needed a little practice.

See that look in my eyes? I'm pretty sure that was disbelief.
The fact that I was already holding my baby was just crazy to me!

The harsh reality of living outside the womb!

We think he's a keeper!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's My Due Date!

Since it's my due date & I'm just sitting around waiting for something to happen, I decided to share a few thoughts from 40 weeks. We took very few pictures this pregnancy, but here is one of me from about a week and a half ago. This is mostly for the benefit of those who don't see me on a regular basis.

38 Weeks

If you would have asked me two weeks ago if I was ready for a baby, my answer would have been a definite NO! Today is a different story. Over the weekend, I heard about 3 babies that were born.  Two of those babies were due after mine. Then, yesterday morning at my appointment, my doctor told me I was 4.5 cm dilated and somewhere between 60-80% thinned. She then proceeded to give me a pelvic exam which created cramping & contractions on and off all day. Needless to say by the end of the evening I was thinking I was more than ready to get the show on the road! After a fairly restless night, I woke up feeling much better…sigh :(

Now, on the day I would typically be at work, I'm sitting at home trying to keep myself busy and not think about the fact that my maternity leave starts today & the clock is ticking that 12 weeks down. A poster at my doctor's office says, "A healthy baby is worth the wait." I guess that's what I'm reminding myself right now. In one week from now, if God allows, we will have a baby. The date has been set and if I don't go into labor on my own, I will be induced for a second time. (I was almost 2 weeks late with Leo before they induced me. This time I'm a little more impatient so we set the date at my appointment Monday. I'm just as dilated and thinned as I was when they induced me with Leo, so my doctor feels confident my body is ready for labor.)

Looking back over the last 40 weeks, it's hard to believe we're at this point. I think because this is my second pregnancy I am more laid back and didn't count down the weeks like I did with my first. Leo also made life busier and kept me occupied over the last 9 months. I think those are the two reasons this pregnancy has seemed to go faster than the last one.

There are other differences in this pregnancy as well. With Leo, I faithfully lathered the Cocoa Butter on my stomach once or twice a day, going through multiple bottles. This time, I pulled out my left over bottle and used it a handful of times. Yes, I still have some left in there for my third pregnancy! Give me a few months and I'll let you know if I regret that lack of discipline. My motivation for eating healthy seemed to diminish this pregnancy too. I remember faithfully getting in my fruits, veggies & grains while pregnant with Leo. This time, carbs and sugar sound good to me ALL THE TIME and I've indulged more frequently than normal leaving little room for those dreaded greens! I'm chalking these two difference up to first time pregnancy syndrome. You know, the I've got to do everything by the book attitude most first time moms have.

Also, that crazy dark line that appeared down the middle of my stomach with Leo didn't ever come this time. I asked my doctor about that and she said that's not unusual. I guess I just assumed it was a necessary part of the process. I'm not disappointed though because that line took forever to disappear it seemed! This time around, I've thankfully had less heartburn & sciatic nerve pain. They have both affected me some, but not nearly as much. I'm also more anxious for labor and delivery. I think I'm more aware of what all can go wrong and how miraculous the whole process truly is. My faith that God's got everything under control is just as strong, but I'm more aware of the magnitude of this little miracle inside my body.

Have there been similarities you ask? Well yes there have been! I'm topping out the scales within a couple pounds of what I did with Leo! I guess I didn't totally over do the carbs and sugar!  I didn't have morning, evening or all day sickness with either pregnancy. This is a huge blessing I've discovered from hearing other women talk about their experiences. My emotions have been fairly steady this pregnancy as well.  I had a couple ridiculous melt downs with Leo, but nothing to drive Ryan out of the house. Thankfully we didn't experience more of that with this pregnancy! We've been working on another little boys room and just like last time, we waited until the 3rd trimester to get that process started. It should be pretty much done by the time we have our baby! We're also just as excited to meet this little boy as we were to meet our first little boy!

Now I need to get off this chair and go mop my kitchen floor.  Maybe, just maybe, that will get the ball rolling! Thanks for listening to my ramblings and thanks for all the well wishes and text messages you've sent my way over the last week. The prayers that you're sending are very much appreciated!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Valentine's Day

Don't you love it when your day turns for the better in an unexpected way? Our plan for Valentine's Day was to stay home & order pizza. With V-Day being on a Saturday we figured it probably wasn't worth the trek to Fort Wayne to be faced with long waits @ nearly every restaurant in town. Well not long after lunch, my phone rings. Sarah & I chit chatted for a while & at the end of the conversation she volunteers Quinn, herself & their kids to babysit Leo for us that night if we wanted to have one more date night before baby brother makes his appearance. Well it didn't take us long to say yes to that invitation!

We decided to head up to the Fort around 5:00 & check out Logan's since they don't do reservations or call ahead seating. We thought maybe we'd have a better chance of not waiting so long. Also, the weather was questionable which we thought may be in our favor!

It is normally more enjoyable for both of us if I drive when the weather gets bad. 
Most of the way I was like this!!

It really was gorgeous!

There were times I was like this!

Um, why are we driving in this?!?!?! Traffic slowed to 30 mph on I69!

Thankfully, after about 3 miles we drove out of the white out & into blue skies!

This was a good sight to see.

This was a BETTER sight to see.

This was THE BEST sight to see! What? Only 1 person in the waiting area? Um, do people know it's Valentine's Day? We ended up having to wait 10 MINUTES TOPS! I told Ryan we wouldn't be able to get in that fast on a normal Saturday night!! Yay for us!!

My Guy Ry!!

Me in all my pregnant glory :)

We sure do love our Leo, but man was this a blast! Not one interruption all dinner long (other than the occasional here's more rolls, here's your food, here's more water, here's the check etc.).

I love when it works out that we can split meals! The two entrees on the menu that sounded best to us were the same, so we shared the meals 50/50!

Dear Logan's, thanks for a wonderful evening! The food was delicious, the service was great & we will more than likely be back for more!

This may become a tradition for us! I think we ended up at Logan's on our last date night before we had Leo too! Thanks again Q, S, J, D, R & A for babysitting & giving us a great night away before we, Lord willing, become a family of 4!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

January Recap

This is how we spent our first month of 2015!

We got to join in the fun for Emitt's Birthday!  Here's the cake we made for him.

The McDonald's slide was fun for ALL!

It wasn't quite as fun for the BIG kids!  
Let's just say those tight spaces are made for smaller bodies!


Otto played hard...

and got hot & sweaty! (I wish I looked that cute when I was hot & sweaty!)

Poor Leo did NOT want to leave.  There were tears folks! REAL TEARS!

We also started working on Leo's new room.  When we bought the house we slapped some paint on the walls & baseboards and left it set for 5 years!

As usual, Ryan's dad has been a HUGE help during this "renovation" project.

If you are like my dad, you probably think these colors are a little bit CrAzY!
Wait till you see the finished room, and then it should all make sense! (We hope!)

Ryan does a great job of sprucing up a boring wall!

 Our trip to Indy with my family is always lots of fun!

A growing family!!!

 I love how we cram around one table for breakfast Saturday morning!

 Elevator Fun

We were on the 8th floor this year and Leo loved the descent.

Peaceful end to breakfast for us after Dad took Leo for a stroll around the hotel.

Ryan finally decided it was time for Leo-Leo to get a haircut, so...

later at home we started buzzing!  Thanks to Ryan holding the iPad, it went way better than expected!

What a difference a little less hair makes!

I also spent time in the kitchen working on some new cupcake recipes!

 Funfetti Angel Food Cake Cupcakes!

Lemon & Blackberry Cupcakes

Minion Cupcakes

To end the month off, we hosted our first rotating potluck.  What a fun group we had! After supper we played Family Feud, and I'd say it's been a long time since I've laughed that hard!