Tuesday, February 25, 2014

She's Here!

With great joy, we welcomed our newest blessing, our baby girl Brielle (meaning "God is my strength") this past weekend, weighing 8 lbs 14 oz (my smallest baby - I was shocked!!).  Thank you all for your prayers for her safe arrival. We are just getting over the stomach flu at our house...yes, the stomach flu, folks....Not sure how many women can say they battled the stomach flu while in labour...hopefully not too many....it was one for the books, let me tell you! Details and birth story to come...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Plan

First of all, thank you all for your sweet, encouraging comments and for praying for me. I am feeling encouraged.

I saw the midwife today, and it was nice to hear that all those contractions have not been in vain. I'm at least 4 cm dilated now and the baby's head is extremely low...so low that the midwife could hardly believe it. I had an hour-long appointment as we had several things to discuss and decisions to make.

We have a plan in place now that my husband and I feel good about. I know you all are curious as to what the plan is, but I'll just say that it definitely will not be long now (...as in a few days max.)

Next time you hear from me, it will hopefully be with our good news.
Prayers for a safe delivery are always welcome :-)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Prodromal Labour - Ain't Nothing "False" About It

Where to begin?

I feel like I am losing my mind. Just do a little google search on "prodromal labour" to get a feel for what I'm going through right now.

I have been having contractions strong enough to keep me up at night since Saturday, February 8 (9 days ago). I have been having painful contractions since early Friday at 4:30 in the morning, when I experienced very real, very painful contractions that lasted for 1 minute and came every 5 minutes or less for a good 5 hours straight. This "game" has been going on for nearly 5 days now, and I am so tired of it. Yes, I am tired.  Irregular, fairly painful contractions that have no rhyme or reason until they decide to try to mess with you big-time and become regular for several hours getting my hopes up again, only to fizzle out and quit for a few hours until the whole cycle begins again in a few hours.

This is my 3rd baby. I know the difference between braxton-hicks and "real" contractions. I have experienced both. Braxton-Hicks are uncomfortable and sometimes very uncomfortable, but they are not painful and they do not feel the same at all as real contractions, in my opinion. They don't cause the insane pressure/pain that radiates through your lower front pelvic area, back, and upper legs. They don't cause you to shake and tremble and require major concentration to get through. These ones I've been having since early Friday morning are real, painful, contractions - there is no question about it. The ones that have me shaking at times. (My poor sister witnessed this and is probably now scared to death to have kids!). I dare not go out in public for fear that I'll begin an episode of contractions and, believe me, there is no hiding what is going on! Elianna's bedtime prayer, "God, please help Mommy's contractions to stop, and please, please, please help the baby to come soon." LOL. If only it would work that way!!

It is exhausting, painful, and frustrating, and I've nearly had it. I'm trying all sorts of positions to get this baby into the right position as I suspect it is not optimal yet. I'm so ready to be done I have been tempted many times to drive myself to the hospital and demand a C-section. Please don't even talk to me right now about going through active labour with no pain meds... it feels like an impossibility at this point and something I am so not interested in right now.

I'm seeing the midwife on Wednesday. We will be discussing a plan then as I'm a VBAC candidate and induction is complicated. Personally, I want this baby out one way or another by Friday. I have a feeling they may try to convince me to wait at least until Monday. We will see. I know I sound pessimistic right now, and truthfully, I am. I am feeling very discouraged. I already know this baby is HUGE and growing bigger every day. Thankfully, I had a great day on Sunday as the contractions stopped long enough for me to get a decent rest. I was verging on exhaustion at that point, and the rest was much needed.

I never understood before how some women can think they are in labour and then not really be in active labour. Now I get it. I really do.

Come soon, baby.

In the meantime, Lord please give me patience, rest, strength, and endurance.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Waiting...Happy Due Date to Me

Happy due date to me! I'm starting to get a bit impatient and feel like this baby is *never* going to come, even though we all know that isn't true. Ever since my midwife appointment on Monday when she tried to "help things along" I've been feeling pretty crummy. I have been feeling very flu-ish with lots of irregular contractions and major back pain, which leads me to think this baby is still posterior, which is likely why things are taking forever to get going. On Wednesday night, I was having pretty steady contractions for 3 hours, but after I went to bed nothing really happened. Thursday, more of the same. This morning at 4:30 am I woke up to contractions again, but this time, they were quite a bit stronger...very much "real' contractions. I tried, unsuccessfully, to sleep between them and finally around 7 am I decided to call my parents to ask them to come into town as they were steadily coming about 5 minutes apart. Shortly after that, they were 4 minutes apart and intensifying. I was pretty convinced this was "it". Around 9 am I called the midwife to give her the heads up that I was probably in early labour since they like to be notified in advance. Well, wouldn't you know it...right after that phone call, things settled down. They started to come 10 minutes apart, though they were lasting at least a minute long and were stronger. This happened for a couple more hours, and then pretty much everything just quit. Upon the midwife's recommendation, I took some meds around dinner time and had a long nap. Now tonight I'm still having contractions every now and then, but nothing too crazy. Basically, I'm in early labour, so this could take a couple more days or only a couple more hours!  It's funny how every labour is so different.

 I'm starting to freak out about what I'm about to endure. There are so many unknowns when it comes to childbirth and every labour is different. Truthfully, I am undecided as to whether I prefer a c-section to another VBAC. My VBAC with Nathanael went smoothly, but oh dearly, the pain. I haven't forgotten. I begged and begged for an epidural but, of course, it was in the -40s C and the anesthesiologist's car wouldn't start! (Hello....TAXI?). The risk of uterine rupture is always on the back of my mind along with the fear of how big this baby is going to be. Oh, and did I mention the pain?

My sweet friend, who is a trained midwife, sent me an email today about how she coped with labour and I think I will try her method to "embrace" the pain and focus on it rather than distract myself away from it. In early labour, that is quite easy to do. It will take much more focus to do that in transition, though.

What is really comes down to is trusting the Lord. His will is perfect and He will guide us through this, whatever may come. I really could use prayer that I would not be so fearful about this all.

It won't be long now.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Menu Plan Monday & Baby Guess

Last night I almost thought it was baby time. I have been having tons of Braxton Hicks contractions lately, but last night I woke up around 3 am with mildly painful contractions that were steadily coming every 8 minutes and felt quite different from Braxton Hicks. After trying for about 45 minutes to get back to sleep (which was impossible since they were painful enough to keep me awake and kept coming regularly), I decided to get up and putter around the house to see if anything changed before waking my husband up.  I downloaded an app for timing contractions...and...I never even used it. After I walked around the house for awhile and drank some water, they completely stopped after coming regularly for about an hour and a half. So, back to bed I went! This is the second episode I have had like this, so it might be hard to tell early on when it really IS baby time. It reminds me a bit of being pregnant with Nathanael because I had contractions on and off for 3 days before I finally went into active labour. I remember calling my mom around 10 pm to say that maybe it was time, but I really didn't think so since they weren't overly painful and were still starting and stopping. Because it was so cold and stormy, she decided to make the drive in anyway. Well, by the time she got to our house, I was very much in active labour and it was time to get to the hospital! It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

Since we are expecting this baby to arrive any day now, I am trying to plan meals that are simple and use ingredients that I have on hand (mostly pantry items). This way, if I don't end up making the recipe, I won't be wasting any ingredients. We will probably make another quick grocery trip to pick up a bit of fresh produce and dairy to get us through this week, but no big shopping trips are planned for the next while. If I feel up to it and have time, I am going to try to bake up some muffins and cookies to add to the freezer.  If this baby does not come this upcoming week, it will definitely be coming the week after that, so this menu plan should get us through until baby's arrival. Then, we will be relying on our freezer meals.

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken over Penne, Salad, Peas/Carrots

Crockpot Balsamic Beef over Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, Salad

Cheesy Beans & Rice, Salad, Tortilla Chips

Breakfast for Dinner (Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs)

Perfect Perogie Casserole

Gaucho Casserole

Baby Guess: Just for fun...if you want to, feel free to leave a comment guessing baby's gender, weight, and birthday.

Facts: Our daughter was 11 days overdue and weighed 9 lbs 2 oz
         : Our son was 8 days overdue and weighed 9 lbs 8 oz
         : If I was under a doctor's care, my due date would probably have been set for February 8th
         : The midwives have set my due date for February 14th.

My guess is February 16th (though I'm starting to think/hope it's going to arrive a bit sooner), weighing 9 lbs 10 oz. We know the gender, so I have to keep that a secret :-).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Menu Plan & Organizing

It's quite late for this last week's menu, but here it is anyway. We are keeping meals very simple these days as I don' t want to buy much at the grocery store other than dairy and fresh produce. Our freezer is quite well stocked with meals for baby's arrival. We are gearing up for the baby around here, and as of yesterday, I think I finally feel *ready* :-). Thus, the spicy chicken curry on the menu! I had my midwife appointment yesterday, and things seem to be progressing a bit. The baby's engaged and has moved more anterior (I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to get this baby out of the posterior position.) Posterior labours are far, far worse in my opinion. Both of my babies were posterior, but Nathanael turned fairly early in labour and it was WAY "better" than Elianna's labour, which was horrendous with hardly any progress from the first contraction and ended up in a C-section. The baby still has lots of room to move, though, so I suspect he/she will not stay in ideal position but hopefully will settle in once labour begins. It's looking to be a big baby - I'm guessing between 9 and 10 pounds again. If a doctor was setting my due date, it would be set for February 8th, but the midwives have set it for February 14th (as they take other things into account and use a different calculating method when setting a due date.) I suspect it will be at least another week until this baby arrives, but we shall see. My prediction is February 16th :-). We have made a LOT of progress with regard to organizing things around here, selling items, and getting items ready to sell.  Baby, I think we are finally ready for your arrival!

Monday: Tacos

Tuesday: Sausage & Perogies, Peas/Carrots, Salad

Wednesday: Crockpot Coconut Chicken Curry, Rice, Broccoli, Salad

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: BLT's or something simple like Breakfast for Supper

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