Saturday, November 17, 2012

Becoming Three Part 2 & 3

Twas the eve before Halloween...

The next day was your due date, the day babies never come on. It's an unwritten rule that the day the doctor's say your due, you aren't suppose to arrive. ( This drives mommies crazy!) What are the chances that out of 365 days in the year that a baby actually comes on their due date? Doctors make an educated guess at when you will arrive, they count nine months ahead, close their eyes and point to a day on the calendar and that is your due date. (Well something like that).

On February 25, 2012, mommy found out she was expecting a baby! This was a surprise for me, and I couldn't wait to tell daddy. Before I took the test, I thought for sure I couldn't be pregnant. I was babysitting that afternoon for a friend of mine and on the way to her house, I swung into Walgreens to get a pregnancy test. The lady behind the counter noticed that was the only thing in my hand, and smiled and asked if I was excited. I told her it would be a shock if I was pregnant but babies are always a wonderful exciting thing!

My friend left, and I was all alone with her two girls and the pregnancy test. After taking the test, it instantly turned into a plus sign, no two minute delay, no second to think it was negative. The one line although faded was definitely there, which meant I was definitely pregnant! I kept pulling it out of my purse and staring at it -- still positive. One of the girls I was babysitting asked what it was I kept looking at, I told her it was just a little something that would change my life. She was only five so she was confused and quickly found something else to occupy her.

When I got home, I wrapped up the test and put it in a gift bag for daddy to open. I told him I bought him a little gift that only cost $12.99 at Walgreens. I was hoping to throw him off, but he suspected it might be a pregnancy test. He was very excited and shocked when he saw the positive test. We waited (well mostly waited) about twelve weeks to tell our family and friends the exciting news. And even though you were an unexpected surprise, it took only a moment to fall in love with you! I began dreaming of your future and what you would look like.

On April 6, 2012 we had our first doctors appointment. You were 11 weeks in the making and we got to see you on the ultrasound. Your little arms and legs were flying everywhere and you were alive and healthy! It truly was love at first sight. Once they told us your due date, Halloween, I kept trying to change the date of my LMP so your due date would be different. But every date I tried to give them kept coming up with a Halloween due date. I finally accepted it ( besides babies never come on their due dates, remember?!).

When we first found out we were expecting, it seemed the end would never get here! It seemed so far away! But here we were the day before your official due date, awaiting your arrival. It could be any day or moment now!

We arrived home at nine o clock in the evening and were watching Netflix. I started to feel my stomach tightening and some pressure down low, but it felt just like the Braxton Hicks contractions so I didn't think anything of it. I thought they would go away. Around 10:30pm they seemed to be pretty consistent and I told James about the contractions I was feeling. He asked me if I wanted to pack my hospital bag, but I told him no. I said if I packed then the contractions would probably go away, it would be too good to be true. I did make a list of everything I wanted to make sure I brought to the hospital right then. Around 11pm, we got ready for bed. As soon as I laid down the contractions got stronger. Laying down was really uncomfortable. Around 11:30pm, I decided to try to time the contractions and see how far apart they were. (Which in active labor is hard to do! Who wants to think about watching a timer when going through contractions?) I noticed some blood in the bathroom and I knew this was the real thing!! Labor!! I was so excited I ran to the bedroom and told James, I was really in labor. And it's a good thing I made that list, because it gave James something to do while I was having my contractions. We called my friend, Bethany around 11:45 to give her a heads up about being in labor. (She was my doula or labor coach.) Then we called the midwife at the hospital and waited for her to call us back. Around 12:45am, we decided it was time to head to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 1:30am, and I was checking in while James parked the car. I could barely sign my name as the contractions kept coming. As we finished signing everything, we were waiting on the nurse to come down and take us up to the birthing center. While we were waiting I had about four contractions and as the last one came and went, I threw up on the floor in the ER. A little gift from my heart to theirs. Normally, I might have been embarrassed, but when you're in labor all of that goes out the window. Finally, the nurse came and wheeled me up. She said it had been a busy night with women in labor.

Part 3: This section I will go in detail about my unmedicated water birth. I have had many ladies ask me to share the details of my birth story and how I was able to do it. So if you don't wish to read the nitty gritty of my delivery then I would stop right here and fast forward to the last paragraph. :) 

After checking me for about 20 minutes, she told me I was 7cm dilated and 90% effaced. I was relieved when she told me how far dilated I was. I had planned on a water birth so they were filling up the tub and I couldn't wait to get in. I hated laying down! I was breathing through the contractions like I had been practicing and trying to keep my body relaxed. The contractions only lasted a minute and were like a wave. They would start out not as intense and at the peak be the strongest and then it would fade away. During the contraction I kept telling myself, just thirty more seconds. I figured anyone can handle pain for 60 seconds. I was able to get in the tub a little past 2am. It was so warm and cozy, such a relief from laying down on the bed. James took a moment to pray with me as I was getting in. It was such a sweet moment, as we prayed to the Lord to help us and give us strength.

My doula recommended that I get down on my hands and knees and sway my hips during the contractions to help the baby move down. Easier said than done! That was pretty hard to do when the contraction came on but I managed. I kept thinking during the contraction that soon I could snuggle with James for a couple minutes and rest in between the contractions. After the contraction would fade off, I would sit up against the side of the tub and hold James hand as he rubbed my back. Then as soon as another contraction started, I would get into position and let go of James. ( I didn't like any touch or talking during my contractions. That was the best way for me to stay focused on relaxing and breathing.)

Around 3:30 they checked me again and I was at 8-9cm dilated but there was a part of my cervix that still hadn't softened yet. So I got out of the water to labor on the ball for a few minutes and then I had a few contractions standing ( I would lean against James and sway.) My water was close to breaking so the midwife asked if I wanted it broken but I told her no. ( I had been recommended that if it can be avoided to not have them break your water because it is a cushion for the baby during the contractions.)  I got back in the tub for a few minutes but the water seemed to be relaxing my body too much and slowing the contractions down. So I got back out and just as I did, my water broke. By now it was a little after 4am and they recommended I labor out of the tub a little longer. Around 4:30 or so they wanted me to practice pushing on the bed so I would be prepared to deliver Jacob in the water. But after a few "practice pushes" I was staying put! I did not want to get up. They gave me the option if I wanted to deliver in the water but that wasn't a big deal to me, and the bed was just fine.

It was like a pep rally in there with each push. The nurse,Emily, James, my friend Bethany, the midwife all cheering me on. "Oh I can see his head!" " He has a full head of dark hair!" "Good push!" "Just one more deep breath- push he's almost here!" "Okay rest...Okay one more...Good push!" "You're doing great!"

Now believe it or not, pushing was my favorite part. The entire time I was in labor I felt the urge and intense pressure down low and I could finally give into that pressure- it was such relief! And after thirty minutes, the crowd went wild, as Jacob head had finally come out! Success! Someone said to look down, but all I could see was my giant belly still. One more push and his shoulders and the rest of him came out. Just then the loudest cry ever heard to mankind filled the air. His lungs were in good working condition! The time was 5:14am (which is pretty neat because our anniversary is 5-15!)

They placed this beautiful crying baby on my chest and were wiping him down as I was holding him. He started calming down right away as I talked to him and tried to soothe him. I finally got my "moment". The one I had dreamed and prayed for, this moment with my son in my arms, it was priceless. I looked up at James and he was grinning from ear to ear. I asked James if he wanted to hold him but I was forgetting he was still connected to me! (I hadn't delivered the placenta yet. oops) Instead James reached out his finger and Jacob held on to it. It was so sweet.

After a few minutes, I delivered the placenta, and James cut the umbilical chord. The worst part I thought, was all the pushing on my stomach after I delivered. Just when you thought it was all over, those evil nurses torture you a little longer. ;) I was able to feed him right away and held him for almost two hours before they took him away to get all cleaned up. Twas the happiest day of our lives!!

 The best advice I heard during my pregnancy was that labor is all mental. I had mentally prepared for labor through lots of prayer and positive thinking. I had to ignore the millions of nay sayers who said it was difficult and painful. I told myself this is what the Lord has designed my body to do and with the Lord's strength I can do it! And it really was tolerable. I don't remember thinking in labor about wanting an epidural. I had already made up my mind that it wasn't an option and I could do it unmedicated.

To all you who are wanting an unmedicated delivery, you can do it! The best advice I could give you is to pray, practice relaxing (find what relaxes you, music, a specific scent, etc), and practice breathing!  I would practice breathing through pain when I would stub my toe or hurt myself. So then it became a reaction that when I was in pain, I would breathe and relax. And be excited about labor and delivery, don't be afraid of it. It's what our bodies were created to do! Fear makes pain worse.

We proudly welcomed Jacob Daniel Pranger into our arms on October 31, 2012. Yes, Halloween and his due date. What are the odds?! He weighed 7lbs and 7 oz and was 19 inches long. He had the most perfect round head and a little chubby body. He has his daddy's lips, and eyes, and mommy's nose and ears. The hair color looks like daddy's but it might be mommy's as it is lightening up. His eyes seem to change a little every day but are a dark grey/blue/green. What a blessing from the Lord our son is! We are cherishing every moment with him, including the middle of the night feedings. He loves his mommy so much he wants to spend most of the night with me. I'm a milk slave, what can I say? But he is worth every minute!

Our first family photo ;)

Praying together

Our sweet boy!

Brand new! 

Newborn Photo by Mommy

Our Family of three! 
We pray and hope we can raise him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. May Jacob see the Lord in our lives and desire to serve Him with his life as well. We look forward to raising him on the mission field of Russia. He has stolen our hearts! And we can't thank the Lord enough for this precious gift.

And that is how our family of two became three!