Hospital Stay

Since I delivered before midnight on Friday, that night counted as night one. This made me happy because I was SO ready to get home! I know most people say to stay in the hospital as long as you can, but because I was in so much pain, I was really ready to get home to my comfy bed and sofa. I was also ready for Sean and my mom to take care of me instead of random nurses :)

Here are some pictures from our 2 day stay!

- Our first morning, waking up in our room!

- He was slightly swollen after making his way through the birth canal. Still adorable to me :)

- He loves putting his hands over his face!

- Grandpa and Nana holding him for the first time!

- Grammy in her happy place :) She is so good with babies! 

- Sid had low blood sugar when he was born. It corrected itself within 12 hours of his birth, but we had to supplement with a tiny bit of formula. Sean was learning how to feed him with the bottle.

- Hands in the face again! Sean calls this his "Tim Tebow", ha!

- In heaven! Skin on skin connection.

- Mastering the swaddle!!

- This melts my heart. Their bond is so strong already :)

- See what I mean? Like father like son! We were waiting to be discharged.

- For the past 7 months (at least!) I have been telling SP that all I wanted once the baby was born was a Jimmy Johns sandwich! I am not a huge sandwich person, but I LOVE JIMMY JOHNS! While we were waiting on our discharge from the hospital, Sean went to get me my wish :) It was the best sandwich I'd ever had!! 

- Finally, after Sid's circumcision, my DTap vaccine & blood draw, plus a few signatures, we were on our way home! Don't judge me - his head wouldn't stay up, ah!

- When we pulled up, we were greeted with this little setup my mom put together :) She's so awesome!

- Soooo happy to be home!!!

- Grammy was sooo happy we were home as well because she didn't come up to the hospital on Sunday since we were just busy trying to get out of there. Plus she was at home cooking and straightening for us. Such a good mama :)

The hospital was so good to us, but there is nothing better than being in your own home, with your own baby, and your own family :)


My Birth Story!

Let me start by saying I never in a million years thought this would be my birth story to tell. I had always dreaded the thought of childbirth. I mean, no one makes it sound like much fun, let's be honest!

I had started tossing the idea around in my head about a natural, unmedicated childbirth. Still not sure if that's what I really wanted, Sean and I decided it would be a good idea to hire a doula to help with my labor. Stephanie has been my yoga instructor throughout my pregnancy. I knew she was also a doula. We took her partners prenatal yoga series, and soon after we knew going the doula route was right for us. I was comfortable with her and trusted her. Now looking back, we'd of paid her double! She was AWESOME!

It was Thursday, June 5, 2014. We spent the morning waiting on an AC repair man because our AC went out on Wednesday night. I just knew I was going to go into labor that night for the simple fact that it was 82 degrees in our house and I HATE being hot! Especially when I'm 9 months pregnant in June! Not only that, but Sean spent the night in the guest room because he was running a little fever the night before. Lucky for me, it wasn't until early Friday morning around 2:30 am that the contractions started. Sean was back sleeping in our bed and our AC was working in full force!

I got up to go to the bathroom around 2:30. Shortly after getting back in bed, I felt something I hadn't felt before. I didn't really think much of it until another one hit at 3, but still I convinced myself to keep trying to sleep. Just as I began to doze off, I was jarred out of bed by pain! It was so intense it brought me to my feet! I woke Sean up and told him I didn't know what was going on, but there was no way I was going to be able to lay down and keep sleeping. He stayed up with me and after an hour or so, the contractions weren't stopping. We tried to time them, but they weren't consistent enough. We decided it'd be a good idea to get some food in me in case this was indeed the real thing! Sean made us scrambled eggs and toast at 4:30. He really wanted to take me to Waffle House (yea right!).

4:00 in the morning!
Cooking us breakfast :)
Eggs & Toast with strawberry preserves

I continued to labor all morning with Sean's support. He was really good at staying by my side as each contraction would come. He was cracking me up. He mowed the yard at 7:30, tied up some lose ends with work, made egg salad, and finished packing our hospital bag - all while coaching me through my pain. He stayed calm and helped me remember to focus on my breathing, which helped a lot. The contractions were really picking up, but still hard to time.

I was trying to wait until 6 to call my mom. I didn't want to wake her if this was false labor. Sean called her since I was having trouble talking through my pain at that point. We told her to go to work but to take her bag just in case she needed to hit the road at noon when she got off. She even went as far as to go ahead and make arrangements for Louis at Camp Bow Wow for the weekend. Call it mothers intuition - she knew it was time and that she'd be southbound by 12:00 that afternoon! So glad she was, because it was definitely baby time! There was no doubt in my mind at that point. I knew I was going to have this baby over the weekend!

Around 11:00 I was really starting to lose it. I would get down on all fours and tell Sean I couldn't do it anymore. I was already feeling so tired, & breaks between each contraction were getting shorter. He sent Anastasia a text asking her opinion on when to call the doula, as she used one when she had Yasha. She advised to go ahead and call. He did, and Stephanie showed up to our house 30 minutes later! Hello game changer!

When she arrived at 12 o'clock, she immediately sat me down to rub some oils on my wrists and ankles to help speed up labor. My next contraction came on pretty fast once she arrived. I immediately stood up and leaned over the couch. She quickly stood behind me, applied counter pressure on my hips, and had me briskly sway from side to side. Within seconds I felt the pain go away. We labored like this for hours. She had me try different positions. We tried me laying in bed, leaning over the birthing ball, and sitting and bouncing on the birthing ball. The only positions that were tolerable for me were leaning over something, like the bed or couch, or sitting, bouncing on the ball. I also took several hot showers which was nice. The hot water felt really good on my back.

At some point Sean ran to the grocery store to get me some light snacks because Stephanie wanted to make sure I kept my strength and energy up. He got greek yogurt, fruit, apple sauce, and carrots and hummus. I think I managed to eat a yogurt and a bowl of apple sauce with cinnamon added.  I attempted a Kind bar, but I remember not liking how dry it was. Too hard to swallow when a contraction hit.

After many hours at home, Stephanie suggested around 4:00 that we might want to start thinking about heading to the hospital. It was a Friday afternoon, and our house is 30 minutes from the hospital, without traffic! When I heard the words come out of her mouth, I immediately began to cry. I was so scared of leaving the house because I was in a groove at home and was comfortable. I was scared of having contractions in the car. I was scared I would get to the hospital and my birth plan would go out the window. I was doing it, I was laboring, and I wanted to continue doing what I was doing! I also knew Dr. Allen wasn't on call for the weekend and she wouldn't be there to deliver me. Stephanie talked me through exactly what would happen when we arrived. With that, I sucked it up, pointed Sean in a few more different directions, making sure our bags were ready to go, closed the blinds, and loaded up in the car!

The drive wasn't fun, but I survived and to be honest, barely even remember it. We made it to the hospital before 5. We drove right up and parked in one of the laboring mother spots right up front! I remember as I was getting out of the car, there was another couple getting into their car with their new baby - headed home! I couldn't help but feel excited knowing that would be us soon!

We got to Labor & Delivery and got checked into our delivery room. That process was extremely quick, as they could see I was clearly in active labor. No triage room for me! I changed into my hospital gown and then was told to lay on the bed. They had to monitor me and the baby, check me, ask me about a bizillion questions (I barely remember this entire process - I hated having to lay down while having contractions!).

The first set of nurses were terrible! It was almost shift change and they were in no mood to help me I felt like. They put my hep-loc in the worst spot ever - it was in my right wrist. I couldn't hold a pen to sign my name, or hold anyone's hand to help with a contraction. Ugh! Once they got all the hospital procedures done and figured out my progress, it was like the gates of heaven opened (well, ok - maybe not THAT great yet - I was still laboring after all)!  I had dilated to 6 cm. I was very encouraged by this! Dr. Allen stopped by for a minute before leaving the hospital. I felt good that she was able to see me and confirm my birth plan was still ok to follow.

They new nurse, Angie, was like a gift sent from above. She was nothing shy of amazing. This woman never left my side, and helped me follow my birth plan completely! She encouraged me by talking me through tough contractions while Sean and Stephanie were busy pushing on my hips for the pain. She let me labor out of the bed, and when she needed to monitor the baby's heart rate, she would come to me with the monitor and not strap me down every 20 minutes! She fed me apple juice and ice chips, and was just all around so encouraging and up lifting. We had the lights very low, and calming music on the iPod dock. This helped me zone out, which is what I needed!

The hospital provided this COACH scrub top for the soon to be Dad!
I labored on the birthing ball, with my arms leaning over the bed mostly. I did take a shower while sitting on the ball, but that didn't last long because apparently the ball was on top of the shower drain and we almost flooded the room, ha! Whoopsie! I had no idea what was going on at the time.

As the evening progressed, my memory gets a little fuzzy. I met Dr. Kindrick who was the doctor on call that would be delivering me. I loved her and immediately felt better about Dr. Allen not being there. When she checked me, I was at an 8. It was 8pm by this point so I was progressing about a cm per hour, which is very standard. I was glad to hear how far I'd come! I knew I could make it to a 10 at that point. I wasn't prepared for the news she had for me though! Apparently my water hadn't broken!! A previous (first shift nurse) told me it had! Although it was a little discouraging, I think it helped me mentally thinking it was already broken. Dr. Kindrick asked if I'd like her to break it, but I decided to give it a little longer to see if it would break on its own. I remember Stephanie and Angie continue to remind me if I felt the urge to push to let them know. That sort of stressed me out because I had no urge yet, and I kept thinking I should for them to keep asking me.

An hour later, the doctor was back to check me again. I wasn't interested. I just wanted to stay in my zone! I guess I changed my mind because she ended up checking me (she was very sweet and never pushy on any decision which I really appreciated). She said I was almost 9.5 cm. I let her go ahead and break my water because I was ready to get the show on the road! I was getting really fatigued. It took her nearly 10 minutes to break it! Not normal! She said it had such a thick lining around it there was no way it would have broken on its own. I was so glad I let her do it knowing that.

I'm pretty sure after this check I stayed in the bed. They got the squatting bar set up for pushing and I could feel how close I was to meeting my precious son. They were getting all set up. The bassinet was rolled in, the doctor got all suited up, the big light from the ceiling dropped down. It was so exciting, surreal, and intense, all at the same time! To be honest, I have no idea how I transitioned from laboring to pushing, but all I know is I started pushing at some point.

The doctor stayed with me the entire time, which apparently is not common. Stephanie said they usually just come in right before the head comes out to catch the baby. I felt so lucky to have had Stephanie, Sean, Angie, & Dr. Kindrick cheering me on during my entire 45 minutes of pushing!! Man, pushing was HARD! Apparently I was at a 10, but still had some cervix in the way. The doctor felt sure she could get the baby's head over it, it just made it harder for me to get him out!

Pushing was a total out of body experience. I remember the low lights, the people around me, the music, but I was in another place. I was completely checked out, but yet still so aware. When I would push, I'd sit up and grab the squat bar in front of me and push with all my might! Then, I'd lay back, and feel overwhelmed that his head wasn't out yet. I kept asking everyone if I was getting anywhere and if I was going to get him out?! I was really wearing out. Keep in mind, I'd been going since 2:30 Friday morning, and here it was after 10pm! Everyone kept rooting me on. Sean even told me at one point he could see "one hair" - NOT FUNNY! - I wanted to see the whole head of hair!! I would fall asleep between pushes. I was out of it. My body was shaking, and I was laying there praying for it to all be over soon. When I would push, I remember for some reason visualizing rocks! I could see the baby's head moving down, but beyond that, in my mind, all I could see was big, heavy, rocks! Ok, so that tells you how hard this was! Sean said he was getting worried because my contractions were beginning to slow down, but this is apparently very normal and my body was just getting me ready for the pushing and knowing I needed to rest in between.

Forty-five minutes later, I felt the head come out and then the amazing release of his entire body.  That was, without a doubt, the most beautiful feeling of all! At 11:15 pm our amazing Sidney Loyd was born! They immediately placed him in my trembling arms. I was on such a high. I had just delivered our baby boy, exactly the way I wanted. I felt so empowered that I got our 8lb 10oz baby out with not one drug. I did it! Sid's heart rate was perfect the entire labor, and was never in distress. Thank you, Lord, for that!

Feeling pretty amazing :)
Our beautiful boy!

I ended up with a 3rd degree tear. While the doctor spent a good while stitching me up (yes, I did get numbed first!), I just stared at Sidney. I wouldn't let Sean hold him yet because I really needed the distraction! The stitches weren't fun! My goodness though, he was absolutely beautiful!

The happiest!!
After I finally got all fixed up, his grandparents came rushing in to meet him! I was shaking all over still, but completely amazed with what I'd just done! Before getting to our recovery room, they came in to check Sid out. I slept while Sean observed and learned what he could. I didn't mean to sleep, but it just happened!

We finally got to our room around 4am. We three slept in our little recovery room, for the first time all together. What a blessing. We are truly blessed and so in love!


Third Trimester

Week 27 
(March 11 - 17, 2014)
I feel like this trimester has started with a bang! Helloooooo 3rd trimester! It's like I hit 27 weeks and instant discomfort began. Ok, so I'm probably being a little dramatic...or a lot...but I can definitely feel some differences! I feel pressure! He is sitting low. I don't seem to feel him moving in the middle anymore. Now it's much lower. It's not as many jabs, it's been swooshing feelings. He definitely has been on my bladder more. By mid afternoon I have to really take it easy bc of the pressure I start to feel. The doula, Stephanie, says we can try some different positions to move him off my bladder or my right side (hip - where he LOVES hanging out!). I get another sonogram at 28 weeks and we'll be able to see exactly how he is positioned. And then, she will know how to help me get him off whatever he's hurting! I wouldn't describe it as pain, but definitely more discomfort and pressure have begun! It's all worth it, right :) :) :)

Week 28 
(March 18 - 24, 2014)
This week was good! I really didn't have any issues which was nice! We went to the doctor this week and got another sonogram! It was definitely harder to get a good picture this time because of his position. He is head down, butt to my upper right, and legs towards my left. Like a "7" rotated once to the left. He is measuring only 1 week ahead now (instead of 3!) and apparently has a big head, ha! Oh and he's 2.5 lbs. I will now start having doctor visits every 2 weeks instead of every 4. It was so nice to see our little man again! We are so ready to meet him!!  My weight gain is now a total of 10 lbs! I'll take it! In other news - we went to our supper club at The Hooper's on Saturday night, only to find out they threw us a surprise baby shower with all of our friends! We were so surprised and feel so special they did this for us. More on the shower later :)

Week 29 
(March 25 - 31, 2014)
Exhausted. Nothing gives me energy these days. And that in itself is exhausting! I have a feeling this is just my new norm for a while. I am missing that 2nd trimester energy big time! I am soooooo glad we got as much done as we did during the last 3 months. I'm spending my days reading positive birthing stories to be as prepared as I can for the "intenseness" of labor. Heart burn has crept in this week, but normally only after eating something spicy or acidic - I should know better, but it's just hard sometimes :) Almond milk still knocks it out, though! I am still doing yoga but thinking I'm going to have to start taking it a little easier in class in the upcoming weeks. According to my doula anyway :)

Week 30 
(April 1 - 7, 2014)
I am sort of in shock I am in my 7th month of pregnancy now! Where did the time go? Baby will be here before we know! THAT is sooo exciting!!! I woke up this morning to noticing him hiccuping for the first time! It took me a minute to realize what I was feeling, but the steadiness of it...gotta be those annoying hiccups, ugh! This was a fun week! It started with a trip to the doc where I found out he's measuring 2 weeks ahead, and it ended with a trip to Shreveport for my baby shower :) Shower was so fun and had a great turnout!

Week 31 
(April 8 - 14, 2014)
I spent this week in Bentonville with my mom and Louis :) Baby and I rode back with her from Shreveport. We had a good week. We had lunch with friends, shopped for baby, ate lots of chicken n dumplings, and just chilled. I felt good all week. I was able to spend my mornings relaxing and writing thank you cards while she worked till 12 everyday. Then I would pick her up, we'd go to lunch, shop, then head home and play with Louis! I am sleeping pretty good. Bathroom trips are becoming more frequent in the night, but I always go right back to sleep. So it doesn't bother me too much. I had the hip/leg cramping only one night this week. So that made me happy :) On Friday she drove me home to Texas and we had a fun weekend putting final touches on the nursery :)

Week 32 
(April 15 - 21, 2014)
When I took my belly picture this week I titled it "Week 33!" - ha, whoops! Not quite :) It was really nice getting back to yoga after missing all of last week. We had a doctors appointment on Tuesday and a tour of the hospital on Wednesday! Everything was good at the appointment, and the hospital was really nice and clean. He is still measuring 2 weeks ahead, so at my 36 week appointment she is going to do a sonogram to get an accurate measure again. I am doing good all in all, but I am really ready to meet this little fella of ours! It's already driving me nuts not knowing when exactly he's going to come! Patience patience. I know. No bad symptoms this week. Definitely getting a little tougher to get comfortable when sitting. Still comfy when I sleep though! SP got all the final things hung up in the nursery. It looks so good. We both love sitting in that room so much :)

Week 33 
(April 22 - 28, 2014)
Not a lot has changed this week. I am feeling the same. Fatigue comes and goes, and discomfort is slowly becoming a more steady thing. I guess the major thing to note is baby's hiccups! They come quite often these days! It freaked Sean and I out due to the consistency of them. We called the doctor and the nurse told us it's perfectly normal, no matter how frequent or infrequent they occur. So, that's good...but they annoy me! I can only imagine how baby must feel. Poor little guy. He is getting more and more into my rib cage, which I'm not really enjoying. Especially knowing it's going to get worse the bigger he gets. I think that's about all I've got this week. He is still very active and moves around a whole lot :)

Week 34 
(April 29 - May 5, 2014)
We went to the doctor on Tuesday! Everything is going great. He is measuring 37 weeks! Ah! I think he is just long. Dr. Allen says she bets he'll be in the 8 lb range which I'm ok with :) My mom found my dad's baby book because I've been wondering how much he weighed at birth...8lbs 3oz! Hard to believe I weighed more than my dad at birth (8lbs 7oz). Yoga was soooo hard for me on Monday, but awesome on Wednesday. I guess some days I'm more uncomfortable than others. All I can think about is baby's birthday! I am so ready for him to get here!! I made a list of things to pack for the hospital this week. So other than just trying to get prepared for final things, I still have a raging sweet tooth. Boo! I gained two more pounds at the doctor. So still on trend with a pound a week at this point. I have been getting up every 2 hours for the bathroom at night. And continuing to get more uncomfortable as the days go on.

Week 35 
(May 6 - 12, 2014)
Discomfort. Most all the time. I don't last long standing anymore, and anything that requires bending over, like unloading/reloading the bottom of the dishwasher - is very difficult, especially by evening. I'm so thankful for SP b/c he is so helpful! He just laughs, while I politely glare at him for the situation I don't find particularly funny! No, really! We both find humor in my abilities, or lack there of, these days. Bathroom trips at night are still consistently about every 2 hours. Ugh! Had a busy weekend with my last baby shower and Mother's Day! My mom and Louis were in town. I think I am starting to experience some Braxton Hicks. A few woke me up in the middle of the night. Not painful, just serious tightening and pressure! Stephanie said this is a good sign and my body is just getting prepared! I decided to quit yoga. I feel good with this decision. It is time to listen to my body and start taking it easy :)

Week 36 
(May 13 - 19, 2014)
This week marks the week I will start going to the doctor weekly. Holy woah! Hard to believe, but we are definitely nearing game day! We went to the doctor on Thursday and got another sonogram. Baby boy is measuring 7 lbs 1oz currently. He is larger than average, but not huge. Sean thinks he will be 8 lbs 5 oz, and I think he will be every bit if 9 lbs, assuming he's on time and not early. I have had some mild cramping and a few Braxton Hicks contractions, but I think these are all good signs of my body preparing for labor. I am trying to rest as much as possible and stay hydrated! I began drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea once a day because I've read that it helps prepare your uterus for labor. Can't hurt, right? And also, I've been trying to eat 6 dates a day because I've also read that it helps speed up labor once it's in progress. Let's be honest, I'm not a patient person. So anything that could help speed up what could potentially be 24+ hours, I'm all for! We got new carpet this week, yay!!! So I've been very busy trying to get our house back in order. It looks and feels great! It's nice having a fresh start before baby comes :) We also got the car seat base installed in my car this weekend, so it's ready to go!

Week 37 
(May 20 - 26, 2014)
We went back to the doctor on Tuesday...and guess what!! I found out I am 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and cervix softened. These are all great things! She was able to feel his head! But, as exciting as this news is that I'm progressing, it really could mean nothing. It could still be weeks until I go into labor, or a few days! The look on her face though made me feel like he's ready and coming sooner than later, eeeek!!! Before leaving she said "I'll see you next week if not before at the hospital!" And when I mentioned needing to pack our hospital bag, her response was, "Yes, you probably want to go ahead and get that packed." OMG! I am trying to relax and not get overexcited, knowing it really means nothing and this baby could hang on till after June 10th if he really wants to. (But let's cross our fingers that he comes a little sooner :) ). I feel good for the most part. One day I have energy all day, which means the next day I can hardly remove myself from the couch. I think I probably need to learn how to balance that out a little better. I made my birth plan this week, and was able to discuss it with Stephanie (Doula) before taking it with me to Dr. Allen's. All is good and Dr. Allen is in total agreement with it all, which is a nice feeling. My biggest complaint these days is the intense cramp I get in my lower back on the left side after standing or "doing" for too long. It's SUPER annoying because I can hardly finish anything I am trying to do. Sean is very accommodating and helpful, but he's been so busy with work it's hard to wait on him sometimes.

Week 38 
(May 27 - June 2, 2014)
Well, I'm still hanging in there. As ready as I am, I guess baby has a mind of his own and he is just not quite ready to make it debut. We went to the doctor again on Tuesday and found out that I'm still 1cm/50% effaced. This still doesn't mean much other than it could be any day, or still another few weeks (sigh). I go to bed every night wondering if I'll go into labor. Thankfully I'm still sleeping just fine and it's not keeping me up at night...yet. I hope it stays that way because I definitely need my rest. She had a hard time finding his heartbeat at this appointment, and it was only because the baby has dropped so much lower. He wasn't in his usual spot for finding the heartbeat. So that's definitely a good sign! I just am taking it easy and doing as little and as much as possible all at the same time, if that makes any sense at all! I am mostly just nesting around here still. I feel like I finally got done with the nursery. I got all of his laundry washed. The only thing left to prepare is the washing of the bottles and breast pump supplies so it will be ready when that day comes. We decided to go with the Born Free glass bottles. I just wasn't comfortable heating his food in plastic, so glass it is! The last thing on my list is to pack our bags for the hospital (I've started setting stuff out, and I have a list - but nothing in an actual bag yet!). And also finish my Moms on Call seminar so that I will be a pro by the time baby arrives (ha!). One can dream, can't they ;)

Week 39 
(June 3 - 9, 2014)
At Tuesdays doctors appointment I found out I'm between 2-3cm and 80% effaced! Yay! Progress!!! I had for the first time that evening some more intense contractions & cramping. Could that mean baby is really on his way?! Eeek! Can't wait! Aside from this, SP went to bed with fever. YES fever.