Tuesday, April 25, 2017

3rd Pregnancy: Week 18

At the surrogate birth I attended this week. You can see my bump if you look past the scrubs swallowing me.

How far along? 18 weeks
Baby is the size of a: green bell pepper
Total weight gain: 10 pounds. I finally weighed myself at my prenatal appointment!
Waist Measurement: 34 inches
Maternity clothes? Still mainly yoga pants, pregnancy pants, and a size up in regular jeans, but I still can't find my box of maternity clothes.
Stretch marks? Not yet! 
Sleep: Sleep has been good, but I can't wait for Josh to get back because I haven't felt rested all week!
Best moment this week: Getting to spend time with Salem and the Silvey family, hearing this sweet baby's heartbeat, AND document a beautiful surrogate birth story! 
Prenatal update: Baby's heart beat was around 160 BPM. My blood pressure was great and everything checked out. What I am most excited about this week is my birth pool! I bought a birth pool and the kit to go with it. Plus I got my birth supplies and preparation list for my home birth. So excited!
Movement: Yes. Lots of kicks right to the girth! 
Food cravings: Nothing, in particular, this week.
Miss Anything? Just the motivation to work out. I have zero energy and when I have a little bit of energy I use it to play with my boys and edit a gazillion pictures.
Gender: I think it is a boy!
Symptoms: Occasional morning sickness here and there, but my main symptom is low energy.
Belly Button in or out? Mainly in, but it is starting to flatten out.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood?: Good now that I am off-call now for a few weeks. Time to rest up and spend some time with my family!

Monday, April 17, 2017

3rd Pregnancy: Week 17

I have got to tell you about my 17th week of pregnancy. I already have low energy in the first trimester, but it hasn't been much better in my second trimester either. Every time I get the call and head to a birth, I use all the adrenaline and birthy endorphins to power through each birth story. Last Thursday I enjoyed a hospital birth and went back the next day to document their baby 24 hours new. Saturday morning I visited another family the day after they had their baby to do another Fresh48 session. While at that session, I got a text from two different moms saying they were in labor. One was planning on having a home birth and the other a birth center birth in Midland. They both slowly progressed all day, and I couldn't tell which one I was going to end up going to first. My back-up photographer was ready to go at any point. I ended up going to the homebirth first and staying almost 30 minutes after she had her baby until I got the text that the other mama had made it to Midland, two hours away, and her water broke. 

Without taking a minute to really think about anything, I jetted out of that birth and drove to Midland. I got there at 2:30am. Her water breaking was really pee and they were all settling down trying to rest. I slept 3.5 hours at my mom's house before heading over to the birth center at 6:30am. 

Around 10am I recieved a text message asking about my friend, Jessica. She didn't make it to church, which is a big deal when you are leading worship on Easter morning. I didn't think much of it until I recieved multiple texts about how Jessica wasn't answering her phone, her car wasn't home, etc... All of a sudden our entire Aldersgate community and the rest of Jessica's friends and family started a serious search to find her. After checking her apartment, the house she was house sitting at, and asking all the people we could think of that may have been at the wedding she attended the night before no one could even find a lead as to where she might be. I felt helpless not being able to physically search for her and emotionally a wreck worrying about the possibilities of what could have happened to her. Finally, she was found several hours later (her story could fill an entire blog post itself). Her disappearance plus my lack of sleep was an interesting recipe for my emotional state. 

All day my client labored beautifully with her husband and doula by her side. I documented, napped, cried about Jessica, documented, ate, napped, cried when they found Jessica, and documented some more. Finally at 9:30am we headed to the hospital. It was clear that my client wasn't able to progress past 5cm. With 2 previous cesareans, we were all cautious of the risks trying for a natural labor. We went when she and baby weren't in distress, but mama was exhausted.

Long story short, my client ended up with a c-section. With her c-section they had complications with cutting her bladder and needing to call in a specialist. She ended up not coming out of the OR until around 3am. I stayed until around 3:30am taking pictures of her older kids meeting their new sister, but I didn't crawl in bed until around 4:30am.

I slept until 8:30am and got up with Sarah, the doula, to head back to Midland. My body was coasting that first day, but the next day I was completely useless. This was by far the hardest week of my pregnancy due to the physical and emotional impact on me. And you know I loved every second of it...except the missing Jessica part. Not that. But everything else was amazing!

Homebirth selfie!

How far along? 17 weeks
Baby is the size of a: Onion
Total weight gain: Honestly I have no idea! I haven't really weighed myself this pregnancy

Waist Measurement: 33 inches 
Maternity clothes? Yes - mainly just pants. I need to bust out my maternity clothes from my other two boys, but I have no idea where I've stored that box after moving from Kentucky.
Stretch marks? None so far.
Sleep: Sleep has been scarce, but that is mainly from attending so many births this week! 
Best moment this week: Getting to witness such different births this week from hospital birth to home birth to birth center transfer to cesarean.
Movement: Not really any movement, but Kelli, the midwife in Midland, measured baby's heartbeat. HIS heartbeat was 155-160 RPM. I'm pretty sure it is a boy.
Food cravings: Nothing, in particular, this week - just eating enough to survive this crazy schedule! 
Miss Anything? Just rebounding after I miss a lot of sleep. I used to be fine after getting up at 3am, but this preggy body feels it for days afterwards.
Gender: We won't find out again this time around, but I have a strong feeling this babe is a boy. #momofboys
Symptoms: Still morning sickness every morning.
Belly Button in or out? In still
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood?: Exhausted, but loving my job!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

3rd Pregnancy: Week 16

This week was especially interesting. I knew I'd have a lot of births coming up, so of course, my body decides to shut down. I start to get the sinus congestion, cough, and eventually a sore throat and mucus overload. The day that I thought I was starting to recover, I was still extremely exhausted. I almost didn't make it through our Thursday night small group. In fact, I think I nodded off a few times. I went to bed right at 10:30pm, and I got a phone call at 11pm from a client saying she was at the hospital checking into a room at 6cm. 

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE BIRTH. I love witnessing everything about it but on that particular night, something beyond my own will-power must have helped pry me out of bed.
Baby was born around 1:15am, and I stayed there until 3:30am. I finally crawled into bed after a shameful Whataburger run. I slept 5.5 hours, but the next day I felt equivalent to freshly poured tar being steamrolled over and over until there is no more give in it.

I am curious to know if I would have felt exactly the same way not being pregnant and repeating that entire timeline over again. On-call life isn't always easy or glamorous. It is sometimes really inconvenient, but it is glorious nonetheless. I've done 2 more births since then, and I am waiting for 2 more mamas to call me! So here's to my continual birth-room selfies!

This is my reality. Only taking selfies at births, because that's the only time I have to take pictures of myself!

How far along? 16 weeks
Baby is the size of a: Avocado
Total weight gain: I really need to replace the batteries in my scale!

Waist Measurement: 33 inches...not sure how I got smaller other than the fact that I have been bloating to elephant-size at night. In the morning, I am tremendously smaller. 
Maternity clothes? I've been wearing a few pants, but they are actually a little big. I'm considering hot washing them to shrink them a bit, but I'm sure I would regret that in a few weeks. 
Stretch marks? Nope
Sleep: I've actually gotten lots of sleep this week. Well, after getting only 30 minutes last Thursday due to be calling to a birth. I went to bed at 6:30pm and then 8pm the next night. Even though I've had plenty of sleep, the quality has been great. I've woken up with headaches each morning, which is no fun.
Best moment this week: Witnessing a birth! It still never gets old. Even at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Movement: I haven't felt any movement this week.
Food cravings: I still have the biggest urge to eat Thai food. I've been resisting my favorite restaurant, Thai Pepper and eating, not so healthy, 10 cents Ramen noodles with egg. Bless. But it is saving us a fortune.
Miss Anything? I am really just missing my energy level. With low energy, I haven't had much ambition to blog, take any pictures, or pursue anything beyond the bare minimum in my business.
Gender: We still don't know.
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: I've still had morning sickness, but mainly the headaches have been torture. I've had a sinus cold all week, so that's not fun. There isn't much I can do to shake up the mucus and my throat doesn't seem to get any better, but I know slowly but surely I'm getting better. 
Belly Button in or out? Still in.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood?: Exhausted

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

3rd Pregnancy: Week 15

Today, I am officially 15 weeks, and I woke up with vivid dreams about having a breech baby. That seems like no big deal, but I am pretty stubborn. In my dream, I went against hospital policy and refused an epidural for a vaginal breech delivery, but I did consent to the OR. So there I am squatting beside the operating table to get in the optimal position with everyone in the room tense because I am not abiding by their rules to lay on my back on the table with an epidural. It was an out of body experience watching myself work to relax and focus in while everyone surrounded me with sterile gowns and masks and nothing but the cold hard floor beneath my bare feet. I wouldn't dread having a breech birth, but I would dread having a breech birth in Lubbock because of the protocols the doctors have to follow.

I would be a living nightmare to the L&D nurses as well as any doctor delivering my baby may it be a normal vaginal birth or a breech birth. I have way too many opinions to fit into the west Texas norm I have come to realize, and I'd be signing every waiver there is, I'm sure.

It comes as no surprise that I am planning a home birth. I have wanted one for a long time, but I just never felt at peace in Kentucky when I lived 50 minutes from the nearest hospital. The timing is just right so that Salem will be my midwife. Salem has known me for over half my life, and I attribute my love of natural birth from her. I distinctly remember her asking me and a friend to leave her house my junior year of high school because her labor was starting to pick up with her 3rd son. She was also planning a home birth at the time.

Since then Salem has become a midwife and moved back from the Philippines to Amarillo. Although she doesn't typically serve Lubbock, I am honored that she is taking me on!

How far along? 15 weeks
Baby is the size of a: Red apple
Total weight gain: I haven't weighed myself this week.

Waist Measurement: 34 inches
Maternity clothes? Some pants but no shirts yet.
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: Last night I kept waking myself either from bad dreams, to use the restroom, or to clear my congested nose!  
Best moment this week: 
Movement: No movement this week.
Food cravings: Thai Yellow Curry still. It's bad. 
Miss Anything? Nothing this week. 
Gender: Still a surprise (:
Labor Signs: No
Symptoms: Same. Nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. 
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Cranky. It is probably from the lack of sleep.