Saturday, March 7, 2015

The HBA2C Birth Story of Charlotte Elise Bailey

Wow. Last post was almost a year ago now. I can't believe how quickly this year has gone. We've almost lived in our new house for a year. I have an almost FOUR month old, an almost three year old, and a FIVE year old. Things are crazy. Actually I've been thinking lately that I am actually scared at how fast time is going. Somebody slow it down please.

I wrote out my birth story back when Charlotte was first born and have since then been rewriting it again and again. I finally decided that it just has to be done. I can never convey it correctly so here's my best shot. (What is following is a BIRTH story so if you are squeamish or my brother/dad/father in law, you might want to stop reading now ;) )

This is the story of my homebirth after two cesareans. The reason for my first cesarean was "suspected big baby" at 39 weeks after my OB told me that he could "induce and you can labor for 24 hours and end up with a cesarean anyway or just have a cesarean." After my cesarean, he informed me that I had made the right call because "no baby bigger than 6 pounds will ever go through you." The reason for my second cesarean was reaching 42 weeks with no signs of labor and an unfavorable Bishop score for induction. She ended up in the NICU despite being a 42 week baby and we both said we were never doing that again. In fact, for many months, Stephen wanted to be done having children altogether.
Fast forward to right before my Reese's second birthday, I got my big fat positive. Although we had been talking homebirth and planning it, the second I saw that second line, I admit to having second thoughts. I just didn't believe I could do it. After all, my body just doesn't work. It doesn't go into labor.
My pregnancy was mostly uneventful and yet full of one God thing after another. We had a limited ultrasound around 22 weeks to determine the placenta's location. I was so anxious for this ultrasound as the placenta's location could very well determine whether or not I could have this baby at home. I went to the ultrasound by myself and just prayed the whole way there for peace and wonderful results. I asked the tech to check the location first as I really didn't care about anything else. And my placenta was as far away from my scar as it almost possibly could be. What a huge relief and what an answer to prayer. I also managed to remain firm in my resolve not to find out the sex of the baby although I was positively convinced that I was having a boy.
I kind of suspected (although I was really hoping that I was wrong) that I would go post dates. 40 week appointment came and went. 41 week appointment came and went. 42 week appointment came and went. It's hard to believe how long 2 weeks can be, but those last couple of weeks were longer than the entire pregnancy. I could just feel my baby getting bigger and my doubt growing. My body was meant to do this. Except maybe it wasn't. Maybe my body is in the 3% of women that actually need a cesarean. The constant questions of "Aren't you afraid of what might happen to your baby?" and "When are THEY going to induce you?" and "When does this get dangerous?" wore on me and I just wanted to be done. At my 42 week appointment, I asked to be checked. I was so convinced that this was never going to end and that my body wasn't working and I just needed encouragement. 3-4 cm?! I had never been that dilated before! I asked to do a membrane stretch and sweep. My midwife gave me some castor oil to take home. And then I waited. Nothing still.
I kept feeling like maybe my baby just needed a little kick in the rear to get out of there and I had really really hoped that the membrane sweep would have done it. But no. Stubborn little one remained firm. I decided to take 1/2 ounce of castor oil (which is 1/4 of the recommended dose) and then take a nap. Most lovely nap followed by the most rude awakening.
Labor hit me like a truck (or that's what it felt like). From the time I woke up to a contraction to when I started pushing, my contractions were 60 seconds long and 60 seconds apart. There was no early labor for me, it was just hard. I texted my mom to come pick up my older two girls (we had initially planned for them to stay with me but my instincts told me that they needed to go) and texted Nannette that I thought I was in labor. She told me that she would come in an hour because "sometimes castor oil can cause false labor." I remember thinking that there was NO way this was false labor and that she better get there sooner than an hour. Stephen asked if he should fill the tub and I said "no, it's not time yet." He, being the man that he is, got right on that and started filling the tub. Nannette checked me soon after she got there and I was already at 7cm. She showed Stephen how to do the hip squeeze and instantly labor got more bearable. (I mean, seriously. The hip squeeze is the best thing ever invented.) I got into the pool on my hands and knees and although slightly better, I still felt so out of control. I started praying for control and asking Nannette and Stephen to pray out loud. The pain didn't go away, but the peace was there. Grace, our birth assistant, came in sometime during this time and was a rockstar. There's a reason she's such a fabulous doula. She got right in my ear and just talked me through it.
And then all of a sudden, I HAD to push. I've never ever felt a sensation quite like that. I remember looking at the clock and thinking "It's only 9pm! It's only been 5.5 hours There's no way it's time for me to push!" and telling Nannette that it was too soon. And that I couldn't do it. She told me, "but you already are! You are already past the point!" I reached down and felt the baby's head RIGHT there. Sack still intact. I tried to break it thinking that it would help things be over sooner. No dice. It was strong! But feeling the baby's hair beneath that strong sac. I will never ever forget that. Nannette moved away to do something and Stephen got behind me to rub my back and then my water broke in the water. Stephen sounding a bit stunned told me, "Um, I think that was your water."
And then the head was out. We rushed to get out of the pool as it wasn't done filling (try getting out of a tub with a head between your legs) and I put my hands on the side of the bed and out came the baby. I pulled baby up to me. And then looked to find a penis. Except there was no penis. Holy moly, we have a third girl! She was so slippery and slimy and yet so delicious and amazing and beautiful. I was in so much shock that I had actually done it. She latched on right away and we just laid skin to skin and I stared at this amazing amazing new baby. I couldn't believe how much I loved her. I couldn't believe that I had done it. That my body DOES labor. That it DOES birth. This amazing new BIG baby. Grace weighed her and as I saw her strain to pull her into the air in the scale, I knew she was big. And then this: "Ten pounds, fourteen ounces." My first labor, about 5.5 hours long, and out came an almost eleven pound baby girl: Charlotte Elise.
I did end up transferring to the hospital to be treated for blood loss and a tear caused by Charlotte's hand being by her head when she came out, a decision that I do not regret one bit. We were home in less than twenty four hours and then Stephen kept me in bed for over a week while he cooked and cleaned and took care of our older two girls. The recovery was an absolute breeze compared to the surgeries with the girls.
It's weird to me that so much of my labor felt like a blur. I don't remember how badly it hurt but I do remember Nannette reading a Bible verse out loud to me from the cards I had on the dresser. I don't remember how much I wanted it to be over, but I do remember Grace telling me "You wouldn't let your girls say I can't, so I'm not going to let you say it!" after I kept saying over and over again "I can't do this." I cannot thank Nannette enough for giving me a chance when no one else would. I gained an amazing friend in her through my pregnancy and birth. And in her words, "a part of me that I didn't even know was broken became unbroken when I did this."
Second picture is by Sengpiehl Photography

Monday, May 12, 2014

Twice yearly update it is ;)

I guess I am switching to twice a year updates ;) Here it comes quickly in pictures.
Christmas 2013

First piggies. How cute is she? I can't even handle it.

My big girl turned 4.

Followed by my little girl turning 2.

Some big news....Bailey 3.0 is on the way!

And a recent picture of the belly. We are team green, so you'll find out along with us in November whether this baby is a boy or a girl! I am feeling flutters all the time and I love it. I feel fantastic. Very blessed.

And in other big news, we bought a house! And moved to WV. Things are crazy around here. It's a complete change for me and I'm still adjusting. Prayers for me and also for Stephen as he adjusts to a long commute.

Some birthday party pictures taken by Victoria. See them all here. These are just a few of my favorites.

And yesterday we got home from an amazing trip to Florida. We got to spend the week with Monica and I got to see Briana several times. So fun.

Pedis with Briana and new sandals for my birthday

This picture still cracks me up. Her last words prior to falling asleep under here: "I don't like the dark." hahaha

Reese's face when I told her we still had more driving to do (12 hour drive phew)

Lots of exciting (and scary!) things going on in our household. Keep us in your prayers. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Pictures 2013

Could they be any cuter?

No, seriously could they?

And from last year. Sniff, sniff. How little.

Monday, December 2, 2013

This is becoming a thing

It's becoming a thing for me to log onto my blog and think "HOW has it already been one, two, etc months since I last updated?" But seriously, how is it already December?! 2013 is almost over and then I'll have an almost 4 and 2 year old. Me! Craziness. And here comes the motherload of pictures.

Stephen's yearly head shaving. Reese loved how it felt.

She's such a little bookworm.

Skyping with Aunt MJ

This face. I can't get over how cute it is. Reese is on my lap and just hollered "BA!" (bath) She knows what she likes!

So. Many. Dresses. But organized. So I don't mind it.

My little nightowl. She's not a fan of sleeping. Ever.

She is so much fun to do preschool activities with. Looking forward to many years of teaching her. 

Little bedsharers. Love it.

A little preview of our Christmas pictures :) 

Here for a short time. Gone too soon.

My little pirate in her $0.10 Halloween clearance outfit.

Our new activity mat is the best. You match upper and lower case letters along with finding a word that starts with that letter.

Our new tree train. Not sure who loves it the most.

Now for the newsy things: Reese still isn't a big talker. She's just a quiet kid in general, but she also doesn't speak super well. At her 18 month appointment (if we decide to take them in again, her next one is at 2!!), the doctor said that 8-10 words is normal and she definitely has that between signing and some incoherent babbling. She knows all her body parts though and a couple of animal noises. She follows one step directions and has for some time now which is nice for "go put this in the trash."

We are very hit and miss with cloth diapering these days. Some weeks I will put all my effort forth and she will be in them all week. Then other weeks, it just doesn't happen. That's okay. I have been cloth diapering for over 3.5 years now and diapering alone gets old, let alone cloth diapering. It is VERY nice to have the option. 

Her sleeping...ugh. A topic best left alone. She generally takes one nap a day but she seems to be trying to ditch that one. NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Eating: she is still breastfeeding and eats LOTS of food. As I type this at 8pm, she is having a bowl of cottage cheese with Eva. She eats very well and a wide variety. Never did I think that I would be nursing a toddler, but I have to say that I enjoy it MUCH MUCH more than I did nursing a little baby. It's just fun. I don't really know how to explain it to someone who hasn't nursed a baby, let alone a toddler. I wouldn't give it up for anything and thankfully, Stephen is very supportive as he was ExBF as well.

Her favorite toys are dolls. She's my dolly girl. She tucks them in, feeds them, wants me to feed them, carries them with her. It's quite adorable. 

Reese has 4 front teeth and 4 molars. No eye teeth (just like big sister) and the molars right behind them are missing. She has a class IV lip tie that we will be getting fixed soon (hopefully).

And here is Eva's 18 month (or so) update if you feel so inclined to compare the two.

Overall, we are doing well. I work 10 hours a week taking care of 2-3 preteen boys and I'm very thankful to be able to bring Eva along (most days) and do some preschool activities with her. She is just soaking everything in and I'm so glad to be a part of facilitating learning with her. Christmas is coming up and we are getting ready for that. Love this time of year. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

This summer....

This summer has been MIND BLOWINGLY busy. We have been gone for at least a week each month all summer long and it was so so fun. If you have been following me on Instagram, you have already seen the pictures coming up, so bear with me. 

July 4th- last day of relaxation with Elliot before he left for bootcamp

Eva on the left, July 4, 2011
Reese on the right, July 4, 2013

Top, July 4, 2012
Bottom, July 4, 2013

Reese on the left- July 4, 2012
Reese on the right- July 4, 2013

Eva on July 4, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013

Late June 2013

Beach trip June-July 2013

In July, right after Elliot left for bootcamp, we left for a trip to Texas to meet my mom's biological mom and half siblings as well as to see Monica. Her A-school is in San Antonio. Texas in August. HOT. 

4 generations

I love my new uncles. I hit it off with Ricky right away.

Mom's biological mother, half sister, and the 4 of us

Meeting some wonderful friends for the first time. I have been a part of a mommy's group with this amazing mommy for over 2 years now. Our older girls are days apart and our young are around the same age. It was so neat to meet someone in real life who I had been talking to for a long time. 

Riding the boat on the River Walk in San Antonio- isn't she beautiful?

I got to meet Michael Rapaport while in Atlanta for a million layovers. He came up while I was playing with my girls and was talking to them. I knew he looked familiar but couldn't place him. I loved him in Friends and Prison Break! So cool to meet him and shake his hand. 

Some random July-August pictures

Happy 16 months and National Breastfeeding Week to Reese & I!

She sure does love her mini ponies. :) 

Blackberry picking with Carrie at Great Country Farms! Such a fun day!

Picking up our weekly quail and chicken eggs- aren't they pretty?

And then our whirlwind trip to Chicago to see Elliot graduate- here we are waiting to get in.

And post graduation! Graduation was MIND BLOWING. Such a patriotic event and very soul rousing!

Garret, Carmen, & Bess pulled an all nighter and surprised Elliot for graduation. 

Summer hair cut and color!

Littele miss smarty pants and some of her letters. I love seeing some of the things we learn click for her. It's so fun.

And then the BEST surprise the other weekend. Came down to Mom and Dads because Mom took the day off. Hanging out in the living room and who should walk in?

This girl!

Best surprise and the best weekend followed. 

My awesome Ikea find for storing all our homeschool supplies on- I absolutely love my area. 

And my sign for above it (that I still need to hang)

A throwback: Eva on the left at 18 months, Reese on the right at 18 months

And for some more recent photos:

Pumpkins- fall has arrived!

Seriously, how can you not just adore that face? She was SO freaking pleased with herself putting her alphabet in order. I love her.

And there is our summer (and part of our fall) in a few short pictures. Excuse all the run on sentences- it's late and I should be cleaning or sleeping. These little ladies sure do keep me busy and I sure do love them.