Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Birth Story

Caution- This is a long post filled with far too much information about my body. I plan to make up for it with baby photos.

On July 22nd 2015 at 10:19am I fell in love with a baby.  They say you can't prepare yourself for the moment you become a parent and I agree. There is no amount of writing that can sum up the way I feel about this little girl. Just being near her relaxes me and makes me realize why I was put on this earth. I realize it all sounds cliche and maybe it is, but I don't care because it is also amazing. I could sit here all day and tell you about her amazing cheeks that look just like her dads, or the way she twitches when she sleeps, or how after she eats she gets a perfectly satisfied look on her face that makes my heart melt. I actually plan to tell you all of those things, but not today. Today is the day that I share the story of my child coming into the world. It isn't as adorable as her cheeks, but her cheeks make up for it so I will show some photos afterward. 

It all started last Monday. I had my weekly NST (non stress test) with the high risk doctor at about 9:00am. I always schedule my appointments with the high risk doctor and my regular OBGYN on the same day because they are literally right down the hall from each other and it just works perfectly that way. The unfortunate thing about this is that my high risk doctors appointments are always so fun, while my regular OBGYN was always a total buzzkill. At my NST I learned that I was having moderate contractions about 7 minutes apart. My favorite nurse told me she didn't believe I would be back to see her the following week because she knew I would be having this baby. Just what I wanted to hear! Eric and I were excited! But then we went down the hall to my regular OBGYN office for an internal exam. I had been refusing internal exams because honestly they don't mean a single thing (you will see what I mean later). They are invasive and they are extremely uncomfortable and you can be 3 centimeters dilated for a month before having a baby, or you can go in and nothing can be happening and you can have a baby the next day. My emotions were not prepared so I had been refusing them for weeks, but my doctor insisted she had to do one now that I was closing in on my due date. 

At this point I wasn't excited for the exam at all. I had good news this morning already and I didn't need any bad news from anyone. I was too pregnant for someone to tell me that I wasn't having a baby anytime soon. Plus, if I didn't get that baby out on my own they were giving me a week before they would induce. I knew that people who were induced had higher rates of c-sections and I wasn't about that. So imagine my surprise when I gown up at the office and a stranger walks into the room. It was a nurse practitioner who I had never met before. My doctor had to leave at that exact moment to do an emergency c-section. My nurse practitioner literally knew nothing about me. She walked in with no file or anything in her hand and just did an internal exam. She told me nothing was happening and said they would probably have to induce me. She also told me that a lot of women think they are in labor when they really aren't and basically told me not to go to the hospital until my contractions were  every 5 minutes, lasting a minute, for over an hour and a half. She basically was warning me not to cry wolf because they will send me home. I was so sad after my appointment. I had been telling everyone that this was the week I was going to have the baby, that I felt like she was coming soon. I felt like a total failure and I was hot and tired and emotional (and this is why you don't get internal exams).

So after wallowing in self pity all monday evening I decided I was not going to let anyone get me down. I kept walking, doing household chores, helping Eric with some woodworking projects, and just trying to keep myself busy. All the while I was having contractions that just weren't adding up to anything. Monday night I got some really strong ones, and Tuesday I had mild contractions all day. Eric dragged me to 3 hardware stores on Tuesday where I helped him lift plywood pieces for a project he was working on. That night at around 6pm I started feeling a tad weird. I was having contractions but they were pretty far a part (like 6 minutes). Around 8:30pm I knew I was in labor. The contractions were hard and fast and I could time them easily. However, the nurse practitioner had scared me so bad the day before that I thought there was no way this could be happening. She said I nothing was happening. I couldn't go from nothing to complete labor in just one day, could I? So when Eric said he was going to bed around 9:00pm (he has to be at work at 6:30am) I just pretended like I was all cool and let him go. There was no use keeping him awake because there was simply no way I was having this baby.

I sat and watched tv reruns and counted my contractions for THREE hours at home. I woke up Eric at midnight to tell him I think we were ready to have a baby. He had no idea what was going on, because no man understands when you wake them up in the middle of the night. Once he came out of his trance and realized what was happening he was ready to get me to the hospital. The funny thing about Eric was that he was always ready to get me to the hospital. If you tell a man you are having the slightest twinge of a contraction I think they can't help the instinct of needing to get you to a hospital. The entire way to the hospital I kept saying they are going to send me home. I felt silly. I thought I was losing my mind or something and they were gonna hook me up and I would be having no contractions. 

When we got to the hospital it turned out that I was having contractions and when they did another very invasive internal exam they found that I had dilated 2 cm from the time I had left my doctors appointment the day before. I was making progress so they called my doctor and she told them to admit me with the plan of breaking my water and letting labor just happen. That is the moment I freaked out. That was the moment that I realized a baby was coming out of my body right now and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I might have had a small panic attack. I calmed down after a few minutes and decided to take it one step at a time. So I got admitted. I got my iv put in. I got wheeled up to labor and delivery. By the time all of this was said and done it was 3:00am. Eric and I are just hanging out watching my contractions come and go and also watching Law and Order because what else is on at 3:00am?

At 4:00am two lovely ladies came in and inserted my epidural. So at this point I had labored on my own for like 8 hours and I felt like that was enough. I showed how strong I was, now give me the good drugs. And guys, they were good drugs. In fact I was so sad after delivery when they took them away. For those of you who don't know the epidural process, I would give you a lengthy explanation but I never took a birth class and I didn't look at the dang thing at all because I didn't want to totally freak out. Just know they are good. I was still able to feel when I needed to push, but I felt no physical pain. It was wonderful. 

I think it was about 5:00am when they broke my water. They said "my water bag was already bulging" so I guess that was good. I didn't ask questions because I didn't want to know. I was just aloof and that is how I planned to stay through the entire thing. 

6:30am rolled around and we hadn't said anything to our families. It was just me and Eric hanging out and waiting on a baby. My doctor showed up around this time and said she didn't think we would be having a baby until dinner time so we decided not to bother anyone. Eric laid down for a nap now that I was comfortable and I closed my eyes as well. 

About an hour later a resident walked into the room out of nowhere with a oxygen mask and told me to put it on. He said that the baby's heart rate was going down during each contraction and they were concerned. He even started to ramble on to try to get me to prepare myself for a possible c-section. The entire time I kept thinking it made no sense, that I felt the baby moving down. There was so much pressure and I felt like everything was going so smoothly. So when he was done yammering on about a c-section I let him know that I was feeling A LOT of pressure and that I was confused on how that could be a bad sign. So I got another exam and it turned out I was 8 cm dilated. WOAH. Everyone in the room was like WTF. Eric woke up pretty quick with that news. The good thing was that the heart rate dropping was a good sign now that they knew I was this far along. He basically took back everything he said to me and told me to have a good delivery. 

Time was passing super quickly at this point and I can't get really detailed with the timing from here on out because I was about to have a baby. I know we decided to call our parents and get them to come up to the hospital. I was in the middle of trying to get ahold of my mom when I started feeling the urge to push. When the nurse came in the room I explained myself, and she looked at me like I had no clue what I was talking about. She decided to check me out and we realized I was ready to push! Holy moly!

The only problem was that my doctor was at a completely different hospital. My nurse told me to sit tight and not push for a half hour while my doctor drove over. Not pushing was actually the hardest part of delivery. With each contraction she was trying to come out and I was trying to hold her in. At one point I told Eric he better get down there and get ready to catch a baby. 

When my doctor showed up we were ready to roll. I started pushing right at 10:00am and had 4 rounds of pushing before she made her arrival at 10:19am. She made herself very known. She was a loud baby. The nurse handed her to me and I melted. She was perfect, loud but perfect. Eric cut her cord and hung out with her while the doctors fixed me up. I watched as Eric became a dad and it was perfect. He was perfect and she was perfect and my heart was full. 

And thats the story of how our Addi Grace made her fast and furious entrance into this world. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pregnancy Feels Like...

Just in case you are curious...

Pregnancy feels like being an exhibit for everyone around you. People will walk up slowly, try and touch you, make loud comments about what they think about very specific parts of you, and then walk away like it never happened.

Pregnancy feels like someone ripped open your stomach, shoved a basketball in the hole and then sewed it back up. And the basketball is alive. And it is repeatedly punching you in the ribs.

Pregnancy feels like when you pick up a basket of laundry to do a simple task like take it down the same flight of stairs you always have, only to have to stop half way to take a break.

Pregnancy feels like when you are are trying to sleep and you can't get comfortable so you roll over only to be met with the pain of a thousand stabbing knives somewhere in your abdomen.

Pregnancy feels like back pain. But like, the nagging kind that lasts 110% of the day.

Pregnancy feels like one giant doctors appointment. Probably because you have seriously given some thought to bringing a bag with you and staying over night. Saves on gas am I right?

Pregnancy feels like a million people shouting in your face what you can/cannot do all day long. Strangers, your mom, your grandma, that one crazy person who talks about placenta far too much for you to be comfortable.

Pregnancy feels weird. Like really weird. And when you bring weird things up to your doctor they just look at you and say whatever it is "is normal".

Pregnancy feels like all of the sudden you are this superhero who can make it through all the really weird stuff.

Pregnancy feels like adorable hiccups that make your stomach jump in the middle of the night.

Pregnancy feels weird, horrible, terrifying, and extremely cool.

...Now get this baby out of me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

38 Weeks

38 weeks. 
Each week gets it gets a little hotter outside and I get a tad more antsy waiting for this girl to show up. We try and coax her out by talking to her a lot and Eric also tries to bribe her to come out. I have had cramps for several days but that is about it. I have chosen to skip my internal exams because I just feel like it doesn't really matter either way. I could be making progress or not and she is still going to come whenever she wants so it doesn't really matter.

She has become a lot more lazy at her weekly stress tests. She likes to nap a lot during so it becomes a pretty long appointment after a while. They want her to move twice in 20 minutes and I just watch her heart rate stay steadily at 140 as she naps away without a care in the world.

I walk a lot. Mostly indoors now that it is getting so hot outside because walking helps keep everything going. I feel like I am making progress when I am walking so I do it whenever I can. I am also starting to sleep a tad deeper at night. I still get up every two hours, but when I do fall asleep I sleep well which is a big contrast to how it has been the past few weeks.

Weight Gain: 19 pounds total. 

How I'm Feeling: A combination of ready and terrified. Weird right? I can't wait until I am holding this baby girl but if someone could just hit me over the head with something so I don't have to experience the process of her arrival that would be great. One minute I can't wait for labor and the next I am in a panic because I will have to be in labor eventually!

Sleep: I am happily on the couch with the air down low and no blanket to speak of. 
Hormones: I am hot. I am hot all the time.  I spend my days panicking about labor and doing rain dances, massage, walking, and anything else to try and get her to come. 

Food: Little girl is finally starting to regulate on her own and as that happens my gestational diabetes is slowly melting away! Thank the good lord! There are still a lot of things I can't eat yet, but now I can at least sneak in the occasional treat with no damage and that is totally ok with me :) 

Best Moment: Getting to see her head on an ultrasound even though it was facing my back. Eating Ted Drewes Frozen Custard like a normal person for once. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

35 Weeks

35 weeks. 
This little one keeps us on our toes that is for sure. After a trip to the hospital last week and the news that I should be "resting" and "relaxing" I have started mostly working from home. Though I try to go a few times a week for a few hours. She is sitting low. By low I mean a midwife at the hospital looked at me like I was crazy when she felt how low her head is .Midwife-"Oh she is low! I can feel her head." Me-"Great! Can you just grab her and pull her on out now please. Lets just get this over with."

Otherwise we are just waiting around for her to make an arrival. Preterm labor is one of the conditions for gestational diabetes, so it wouldn't be surprising to anyone if we had her now although my doctor would prefer she be 36 weeks along. 

Weight Gain: Still 17 pounds.

How I'm Feeling: This week I am just tired. I can sleep all day and all night. In the afternoon/evenings I never fail to get contractions that never amount to anything but they really get on my nerves. 

Sleep: Seriously. Can someone explain this mythical word to me?
Hormones: I am hot. I am hot all the time. The humidity here is horrible and the combo of rain and 100 degree temps don't help. I think my emotions are triggered by how tired and hot I am. Lately I have noticed I have been complaining more so I try to apologize to Eric for it if I am noticing too much of it. 

Food: I don't eat very many sugar free foods because they have a lot of really sketchy ingredients but I got a sugar free snowcone the other night and it rocked my world. I had been wanting a snowcone for a long time but a cup of sugar just didn't seem right with my GD. It was a perfect one time splurge and I ate the entire thing.

Best Moment: I am trying to enjoy the little things as they come. So my favorite moment was when she woke me up in the middle of the night with hiccups that were so intense they shook my body awake. It was adorable.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

34 Weeks

34 weeks. 
Baby Messmer has been playing with my mind a lot lately. One moment this child feels like she is on her way out and the next moment I feel like I will be pregnant until the day I die. 

This week is weird. My blood sugar numbers are odd because 32-36 weeks are supposed to be the worst weeks with gestational diabetes. The baby is getting bigger and is blocking more insulin or something and it is supposed to make your numbers super high. Although some people experience a lot of low numbers near the end. Low numbers could also mean your placenta is failing though, so basically all of my options are super scary. high number= bad for baby low number=bad for baby see what I am saying? That is a lot of responsibility for one meal. 

I also have this weird eye thing happening. A lot of blurred vision and these floaty things in my eyes. Right now I have been asked to literally just rest my ass off. Do nothing. It is a modified form of bed rest to see if it helps me over the coming days. 

Weight Gain: 17 pounds. 

How I'm Feeling: Exhausted. I have been working extra hard to plan for my maternity leave from work. It starts July 2nd. Well, I start working from home July 2nd. I don't get time off until this baby comes. That combined with last minute baby worries and I just don't sleep much. 

Sleep: What is this?
Hormones: Pregnancy has made me the most emotional version of myself. I hope this isn't what the rest of my life is going to be like because it is super weird and I am not really a fan. 

Food: Food does nothing for me anymore. With gestational diabetes there is no creative way to get the food you want. you just have to deal until the baby comes. I do have a list of food I want after the baby is born though. Does that count?

Best Moment: Every moment of being pregnant is a miracle at this point. Sometimes with all of these issues it feels like the baby is just sucking the life out of me, but she is totally worth it. If I have to be uncomfortable and cranky so she can stay in there and cook a little longer I am ok with that. 

Photo: Stephanie Mueller Photography
Hair and Makeup: Gretchen at Willow Reed Salon and Spa

Friday, June 12, 2015

To My Husband: One Year

Every moment we have shared together in the past year has made it the best year of my life. From the moment we met (6 years ago!) you have made me a better person. Your ambition and drive is something that I envy on a daily basis and inspires me to be a better person. Your dry sense of humor and your sarcasm make you absolutely hilarious (to me at least) and I can't help but laugh at the majority of the things you have to say.

Some people say that marriage is just a piece of paper but I have to disagree. Yes we have a fancy piece of paper, and we have joined a few bank accounts, but from the moment we said "I do" it has been so much more than that. The months following the wedding were busy. I took a dream job, you took a dream job, there were graduations, a new home, a new dog, and now we are expecting our greatest blessing, a little girl within the coming months. Through this you have been strong. You have held our small family together as we tackled home renovations, night shifts, and my sickness and emotions as I tried to gather enough energy to build this little life inside of me. When I responded to pregnancy with doubt and concern, you responded with excitement and the biggest grin I have ever seen. You reminded me that we can do anything together.

You have been my rock. The foundation that I live my life on. The support I need on a bad day and the first person I run to when the day is good. You always have the words of inspiration I need when I feel like I am already struggling as a mother or even as a wife. The best part is that I have never doubted you. Not as a husband or as a father. I know that when we bring this little girl into the world I will have my best friend standing beside me through it. I sleep well every night knowing my little girl will always having an inspiring and wonderful dad in her life. Basically I know that you will always be with us, for better or for worse.

This is what marriage is. Trust me when I say this is a lot better than a fancy piece of paper.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

33 Weeks

33 weeks. 
Baby Messmer is getting BIG! I know this because every time I stand up it feels like she is going to fall out. TMI? Probably. But extremely accurate. 
Our growth scan showed her at just over 4 and a half lbs. Now I know why my back hurts all the time.

Weight Gain: Right at 15 lbs. I's sure this will go up over the coming weeks as baby gets bigger but I am ok with it. 

How I'm Feeling: Weird. Sometimes it feels like she could be coming any minute, and sometimes I think I am going to be pregnant forever and they are going to have to force this baby out. Either way I am so excited to meet her and see her face in person. Eric is getting so excited the closer we get. A day won't pass without him talking about how much he wants to meet this baby. It makes my heart melt every time. 

Sleep: I have officially moved to the couch. I sleep a lot better on the couch for some reason but if I can't sleep I still can turn on the tv and hangout with the dog at night without driving Eric crazy. It is a good medium. 
Hormones: A lot of crying about nothing.

Food: Strawberries, tacos, cheeseburgers, anything made by Skinny Cow because I can have most of it and it is the only real treat I get with the diabetes. 

Best Moment: We got maternity pictures done this week and at one point the photographer told us to go snuggle and look comfy for a picture. She didn't give real directions but Eric put his hand on the baby while we were getting ready for the photo and that is the first real time she kicked him. It was hard and noticeable. He has felt her move before but nothing like this kick and oh he was so excited! So between that and the pictures (which I can't wait to get back) it was a pretty fantastic night. 

Photo: Stephanie Mueller Photography
Hair and Makeup: Gretchen at Willow Reed Salon and Spa