21 October, 2013

Birth Story (This is Long)

This is long over due, but better late than never!  Everyone told me I would forget a lot of the details and pain of my labor and I thought they were all madmen! Everyone that asking me how labor I would respond,

"The worst ever. The worst thing I have even done. I will NEVER EVER do it again."  

I should have have taken a video of myself so I would NEVER EVER FORGET.  Because, here I am thinking, "I could do it again.  It wasn't that bad."  Time heals all pain, eh?

Almost 11 months later, here is what I remember.

This is Evangeline's story.  This is how she entered the world.  This is her beginning, covered in prayer from the start.
November 29th, 2013 I woke up at 4am to head to discipleship.  I headed into the bathroom to start getting ready.  When I was emptying my very full bladder I noticed a large blob of something in the toilet, something of light pink color!  I took a better look at the blob in the toilet and come to the conclusion that labor was starting!  Poor Kev, decided he would take a quick pee before he headed back to bed. He walked into the bathroom and I started rambling away about everything, recalling every single detail I had ever read or heard about the beginning signs of labor.   Kev is not a morning person, AT ALL, and all this crazy talk at 4am was not what he was expecting.  He just put his index finger up (indicating "Give me one second), started blankly at me with squinty eyes and bed head and then walked away.  I, of course, was shocked that he wasn’t ready to talk about my body fluids at 4am.  After a few FOREVER seconds He returned with the book “The Birthing Partner” and had turned to the page describing “Water Breaking”.  With our vast medical knowledge we were trying to diagnose if I was indeed in labor!!  After some reading and hmmm-ing and haaaa-ing we decided, we didn't know.  So, with places to go I showered and headed off to Discipleship.

This next part I will never forget.  I drove to discipleship and eagerly told Jan (my mentor) that I thought this baby would be here soon! Jan had all the girls gather around me and place their hands on my big belly. One by one these women prayed over this sweet little girl that would soon be coming to join the world.  They prayed for her salvation, purity, husband and fruitful life ahead.  They prayed for me as a mama and the strength that would be needed to get me through labor and becoming a mom.  I could feel the Lord’s blessings pouring out on me and my little one. I loved that this little woman coming into the world was already covered in prayer.

After discipleship I headed home.  I still didn't have any contraction but decided I should work from home just in case. I called me parents and let them know that I thought my water may have broke and thought maybe they should start heading over this way.  But, since my contractions hadn't started there wasn't any urgency.  I decided to call Dr. Grant (whose the BEST doctor ever to exist) and let her know what was going on.  She suggested I head into the hospital to get things checked out. I called Kev and told him I would need to pick him up from work; we were headed to the hospital.

We walked into the hospital, laughing, joking and holding hands.  Dr. Grant had called ahead and the nurses were waiting for us.  They brought us into a labor and delivery room and had me change into a robe.  They hooked me up to a fetal monitoring system and checked to see if my water had broken, it hadn't.  The news that my water hadn't broke bummed me out, I was so ready to meet this sweet little girl.  They asked that I stay a bit longer so they could monitor the baby’s heart rate.  All the nurses had left and it was just Kev and I in the room talking and joking to the sounds of our little one’s heart rate.  As we were talking we noticed the heart rate seemed to slow down quite a bit.  Just then two nurses rushed into the room.  They asked me if I was feeling OK and quickly put an oxygen mask on me.  I looked into Kev’s eyes for support and courage; I could tell something was wrong.  I started praying and pleading with the Lord.  I could tell Kev was also. The nurses were buzzing around asking me to relax and breath deep.  After several minutes we heard the heartbeat return to its quick pace.  Apparently, I was having a very long contraction (I think it lasted over two minutes) and it was a little tough on the baby.  But, since our baby was one part me and one part Kev she was one tough little cookie and bounced back after so much squeezing. With this little scare the nurses ask that I stay for three hours to be monitored.  We agreed happily.  A little while later we had a visit from Dr. Grant. She sat with us, checked my progress (I was at 3cm) and kept us company as we made sure little Evangeline's heart stayed strong.  After monitoring baby and me for a while Dr. Grant gave us the option to stay and labor at the hospital or to go home(as she thought we would soon be meeting baby).  I was only just starting to have very light contractions and I didn't want to be stuck in the hospital for days. We packed up and headed home.
Obviously not a woman in labor.
A few hours after we got home from the hospital the contractions started to get stronger! I was SO excited and they were coming and coming and coming!! I started to time them and keep a little contraction log like all the books said I should.  They were about 8 minutes apart!  It was pouring rain outside but I REALLY wanted to go on a walk.  So Kev and I put on our rain jackets and made a few loops.  Knowing the contractions were not close or strong enough to head back to the hospital we knew we were in the waiting game.  Dan and Sarah had invited us over for dinner and we gladly accepted wanting to kill some time! After our wet neighborhood walk we loaded in the car to make the trek down to Gladstone...in rush hour.

The drive to Gladstone was a little uncomfortable.  My contractions were varying from 13 minutes to 6 minutes apart.  I knew this baby would be coming soon. Kev still seemed a little skeptical that this was actually happening. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of eggplant Parmesan and headed home.  To my disappointment my contractions had slowed quite a bit.  But, I was thankful that I might get a full night's rest.  My parents had arrived from Bend and joined us for dinner and the waiting game. I kissed my parents goodnight and told them I would wake them if anything started happening. 

At 2am I woke up with contractions and strong ones.  I got up and started to pace the house.  A contraction would hit and I would have to brace myself.  Trying to remind myself to breath and relax (like either of those things were going to happen). I grabbed the exercise ball and bounced every time I felt a contraction and then would lay my head on the bed until the next contraction hit. I didn't want to wake Kev, I needed him well rested so he could help me through the hardest part of my labor. My contractions were about 7 minutes apart.  The contractions were becoming really painful and a couple times I had to run to the bathroom to puke. I started pregnancy hugging the toilet and I thought I might as well end it this way.  Kev woke up around 5:30am to lovely sound of me puking my guts out.  He sat up with me and helped me move through more strong contractions. At 6am my mom came upstairs as she heard Kev and I talking.  Being the wise woman that she is, a mother of three and a nurse, she convinced Kev to call Dr. Grant even though my contractions were not very close together.  Dr. Grant told Kev we needed to head to the hospital.  Kev still not entirely convinced I was in labor decided he would shower and then we would go.  I paced back and fourth through the house having no idea how I was going to make it to the hospital especially in Friday morning traffic.  As soon as Kev was out of the shower he grabbed our hospital bags and we hit the traffic packed road.
Me before we left for the hospital.  This looks more like a woman in labor.
I prayed though the entire 40 minutes that it took us to get to Portland Providence from our house in Vancouver and "Thank You, Lord!" my contractions slowed down to 13 minutes apart during that drive.  Kev dropped my mom and I off at an entrance that he thought was closest to the maternity ward. He was mistaken.  It was really really really far away, or at least it felt really really far away.  He could have dropped me off two feet in front of my hospital room and I would still have thought it was too far away.  When we stepped foot into the hospital it was like my body knew I was there and my contractions were back and back with a vengeance.  I had to stop every few minutes and put my head against the wall and try to breath and try to relax until the contraction passed.  A hospital worker asked if I wanted a wheel chair.  Walking sounded much better so the hospital worker was very kind and navigated my mom and I thought the “backway” of the hospital to get me to the maternity ward.  An eternity later we arrived to the maternity floor.  Hallelujah!  

Less than 24 hours from the last time we visited the maternity ward I arrived very differently than before.  This time I walked in wearing Kev's sweats, panting, and no smile on my face.  When I saw the nurse I burst into tears when she said, “Welcome back!”.  As I was bawling, I said, “it feels so good to me here.”  I was in so much pain and it felt good to be at the hospital.  It felt like we were one step closer to having the pain over and meeting miss Evangeline.

They checked me into the labor room and I was trying to change into the robe but as far as I got was pants off. I still had on my shirt and my socks. What a sight to see.  The nurse checked my progress and I was already at a 7! I found that it helped when someone squeezed my pelvic bones together during a contraction.  Whoever was closest to me when a contraction started got that job.  The nurses quickly filled the tub for me, and I asked Kev to join me.

We entered into the tub room and the tub was only big enough for one.  Poor, Kev sat on the outside of the tube wearing his board shorts.  He was so supportive.  Held my hand and pushed on my back during every contraction.  The tub felt amazing, but my contractions were becoming more and more painful and frequent. Up until this point I was able to stay pretty calm and quite during a contraction but now I couldn't hardly get through a contraction with our letting out a whimper or groan or scream or amazon woman sounds.  Dr. Grant popped her head in the tub room.  She has such a gentle and peaceful way about her. I had been in the tub for about 30 minutes and felt like I had to poop.  I was panicked thinking about pooping at a time like this!!  The nurses helped me out of the tub so they could check my progress and assured me that I didn't need to poop but would be pushing soon. 

I was now naked, wet, cold and hurting.  I crawled onto the hospital bed and curled into the fetal position and that is were I stayed for the next two hours. A contraction would come and everyone took a role.  Kev sat right at my head and whispered into me ear, “almost over” “You’re doing great” “one contraction closer to the end”  “You’ll have a break soon”.  It was so comforting to open my eyes and see my Kev-0.  My mom would push on my back and cheer me on through every contraction. Dr. grant would sit at the foot of my bed softly swaying and humming.  My God sent nurse, Amie, would gently stroke the different parts of my body that were tense to remind me to relax. I slept between every contraction. I know, crazy but I did.

After about two hours I could feel my whole body bear down when the contractions came.  It was time to push. Dr. Grant had asked me hours ago if I wanted her to break my water.  I told her NO because she said that when the waters breaks the contractions would be quicker and more intense.  I didn't think I could survive anything more than what I was already experiencing.  But, when I started to push, Dr. Grant told me she had to break my water now and that it would be a lot easier to push.  I was looking forward to this stage.  I had heard from so many women that this part felt “good”....yeah, I COMPLETLEY disagreed.  Pushing hurt soooo bad. I seriously thought the baby was trying to come out of my butt. Seriously, at one point I started alerting everyone that the baby had jumped holes and was coming out of my butt!! My angle Nurse Amie put warm washcloths on my hole. Complete angel, right?!  After about 30 minutes of pushing with all my might I felt the baby come out. Now that felt good!

And just like that, it was over.  A beautiful little slimy baby was placed on my stomach.  She has a full head of dark hair and had a little read “strawberry” on her knee.  I looked at her and said, “Hi, Baby.  I am your mommy.” Totally worth it.

17 October, 2013

It is Actually Happening!

So remember waaaaaay back when, when we announced we were building our first house?!  Well, we still are.... doesn't it seem like it had been FOREVER?!  Well, we just got the news that we should be able to move into our new house the first week of November!! That is like 2 weeks away!! WE head over to the new house every couples of days the view the progress.  I, of course, don't feel like they are moving fast enough and when it it looks like nothing has been done in a couple days I always call Kev whining like that will make the house be build faster.

But, we are getting down to our final days and I started packing and cleaning getting ready for our big move! Well at least I am trying.

Last week I decided to get all Pinterest on myself and clean my oven with baking soda. It wasn't until I was head first in that oven trying to wipe out the baked on baking soda paste that I remembered some ovens have a "Self Clean" setting... sigh...ours has one.  I am still trying to get all that baking soda out of there!!

The other night Kev was gone and I was determined to pack up everything in the kitchen besides the essentials.  Instead I watched an episode of Hart of Dixie and text my friend Erin about how much I hate packing.  But I did get one cupboard packed.

But, I won't let these failed attempts discourage me.  Our house is almost done and it will be clean, odor free and ours!  

15 October, 2013

New Years Goal

I've always hated running.  Always.  It is like the WORST ever! But, this last Sunday I ran my fourth half marathon and actually it was my second half this year!  When I was pregnant my girl friend, Erin, who was also pregnant at the time, and I decided signing up for a half marathon would be a good idea to help us get back in shape post baby, NOT!  We were so sweet and so naive.  I mean, who knew there wouldn't be time for all the training shenanigans when you have a newborn? OK, every mom out there, but we learned the hard way and we trained (kind of) and did it with our other mom friend, Meghan.
Left to right: Meghan, Erin, Me.  We all had babies under the age of 1.
Then, I somehow roped myself into another Half Marathon a few months later with my cousin Katie and Kev's cousin Brita (cousins!!!). I hate to admit it, but it was super fun, well being with Katie and Brita, not actually running or the actual training.

(left to right: Brita, Katie, Me)
Katie aka, coach, was my lifeline during the run.  That chica has so much energy and became my little train that could.  Nothing but encouragement out of that girl 13.1 miles long.

Do you see what I mean?  Katie, energizer bunny! This is a mile 13.1!!
And then there was me... you will see in the pictures what I was doing.  My face can not lie. Katie is looking to make sure I am still with her...
Kev knows me so well, I drugged up before this race, and well every other race.  I get myself all hopped up on sugar and caffeine.  Crash and Burn.
Brita was an allstar.  Barely getting a chance to train because of her awesome architect job but she ran like it was ain't no thang.  

Every time I am training for a half I think, "I am NEVER doing another race again.  Never."  Then I FINISH the race and think, "Wow, this was the most fun thing ever."

I got a text from Katie the day after the race saying, "I will keep my eye out for another run"... um, I don't think so... oh alright, maybe just one more!