Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Home Birth of Sawyer Jacob(2HBA2C)

Home Birth of Sawyer Jacob(2HBA2C)
Early in the morning of the 20th, I was awakened by contractions that started suddenly. They were mild and widely spaced enough that I could comfortably stay in bed and sleep through them. I decided to get up out of bed around 6:30. As I had had no other signs of labor, I just figured this was prodomol labor, and I thought true labor was still several days away. I told Jeff that I thought we had days ahead of us so he should go ahead to work. I made the kids breakfast and got them started on schoolwork. I called my midwife Jennifer just to give her a heads up. I remember telling her that the contractions weren't growing in intensity nor had I even lost my mucus plug yet, so obviously I had at least a day or two. She told me just to rest, eat, drink, and keep her in the loop.
   I put on a cartoon for my toddler and took a nap on the couch after breakfast. Since I could sleep during contractions and remain laying down, I didn't think I was in real labor.
   After resting,  I made the kids' lunch. By this time, I needed to lean over, sway, and breathe through a contraction. I called Jeff because he works downtown, and it was getting harder for me to complete tasks. I texted Jennifer to tell her they were getting a bit more intense, but still manageable.  I also let my doula Sarah know what was going on. I didn't tell anyone else. "Watched pot" phenomenon  during labor is a real thing. People knowing you are in labor, texting to bug you for updates,  actually just having expectations thrust upon you can psychologically impact labor and slow it down.
   Jeff came home and tried to finish work down in his office.  I put Emmalyn down for a nap and went in my room to lie down. I rested for a bit, but then it became too uncomfortable to be in bed.
I got up to use the restroom. I lost my mucus plug, but I still figured I was quite a ways from having a baby since my labor was so long with Emmalyn. This was around 2pm. I debated calling my midwife to come. I called Jeff upstairs to be with me. At this point I assumed I was maybe only 5cm. I texted my doula and gave her an update.  Things went super fast after this.
Around 45 minutes later, things had rapidly intensified.  My contractions were 2 minutes apart and really powerful.  I called Jennifer to come. I texted Sarah to tell her I needed her. I told Jeff to start filling up the birth tub. I also texted my birth photographer Casey.
   It was hard to handle the contractions by myself. Jeff was hurriedly trying to fill the tub. I was leaning over the kitchen table and breathing and swaying with the contractions.  The kids were watching movies in the family room and would pop in occasionally to quietly observe.
   Around 3pm, I felt an intense pressure pressing down and out of me. I thought it was baby so I yelled to Jeff. Quickly, there was a huge gush as my waters broke. I remember telling him sorry that I made a mess. He laughed at me for being so silly and worrying about that. He grabbed some towels to soak up the amniotic fluid. Jennifer,  who was already on her way, was called to be updated that my water had broken.
   Right after this, Sarah thankfully arrived. I knealed down on the towel and leaned over the large exercise ball. I wanted so badly to be in the warm water of the tub,  but it was only 1/3 full and not completely warm enough.  Sarah applied counterpressure during the contraction. I remember telling her I couldn't do it. She was so soothing reminding me that I have already done this and could do it again.
  The contractions were so intense. I told them that I needed to push. This was around 330pm.  I told Jeff to call Jennifer to see where she was. Luckily, she was 5 minutes away.
   She got to the house and started getting the delivery equipment out and started putting chux pads beneath me. This is when it hit me that I was super close to having baby. Pushing felt like it hurt so much more on land than it did in the water when I had Emmalyn. I remember saying, "It hurts!" a few times. I would hold Sarah's hand each time I pushed.  I remember Emmalyn running up and stroking my head. I had watched a lot of birth videos with her to prepare her. She remembered everything  I told her and said, "It hurt, but mommy ok." Then she ran off to watch cartoons. Jeff was still dutifully  (but by this time, pointlessly) filling the tub for me. Soon Jennifer told me that she could see baby's head. Jeff went to the family room to get the kids. Baby's head was out, and I pushed the rest of him out right as the kids entered the room.

Sawyer Jacob was born at 3:46pm. He weighed 8lbs 7oz and was 20 inches long.
  After Jennifer handed me baby under my legs, Emmalyn ran up to meet her new baby brother. She wanted to run off with him, but I showed her that he was still attached to me by the cord so she needed to stay by me to snuggle him.
   Jennifer said I was bleeding a little heavily so she gave me a few drops of angelica root, which stopped the bleeding almost immediately.
   They helped me down from a kneeling to a sitting position so I could nurse Sawyer while we waited to cut his cord after it stopped pulsing.
    After the cord was cut, I handed Sawyer to Jeff so I could go to the couch to deliver the placenta since I was no longer comfy where I was. Right as I got on the couch, Casey arrived. She was downtown when I alerted her about being in labor, and an accident had caused significant traffic delays. She was so apologetic,  but I considered it to be my fault since I didn't give her an adequate heads up. She still got some great shots post birth and came back two days later to do some newborn pics.
   I wasn't comfortable on the couch so I got up to try and deliver the placenta in the bathroom. I was growing impatient and wanted it done with so Jennifer provided some gentle cord traction while I pushed it out. I was so relieved to finally be done. Jennifer and her partner Barbara examined me to see if I needed any repair work, but everything checked out ok with just a minor laceration.
   I cleaned up and put some clothes on. I had some homemade soup in the crock pot so we had some dinner. The midwives and doula cleaned every thing up, including draining the birth pool that remained pristine and unused, and then went home.
Jeff, the kids, and I finally relaxed and settled into our new life as a family of 6.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekend in review

Regular boring weekend here at the Bockhorn house.
Friday we had our weekly pizza and family movie night. It was Jack's turn to choose so we watched Star Wars, of course.  Episode 6 to be precise.  Lynsey and Jack initiated a discussion about how the American government is similar to the Galactic Empire, pointing out that both rule through threats and force. Got to love my little up and coming Libertarians. 
Emmalyn had received a Melissa and Doug wooden play piano from my mom for Christmas, but I had just kept it in the garage until she grew old enough to play with it. Mostly because I think those things sound annoying, and I didn't want to hear the big kids pounding on it all day. Well, Emmalyn sits up unassisted now so I thought she would enjoy playing with the piano so I brought it into the school room. Sure enough in less than five seconds I hear the big kids run over and then "plink plink plank plunk".
All weekend long has been "plunk plink" concerts.  I think the big kids enjoy baby toys more than the baby:-)
  Saturday Jeff had to work 2pm-midnight so I took advantage and had a kid-free grocery shopping excursion.  Honestly,  shopping is easier when I have Lyn and Jack around to help me.
We have had lots of stormy weather lately so we took advantage of the brief sunshine and played outside.
   Jeff was off Sunday so we got to attend worship together as a family.  After lots of searching,  I think we have finally found our home church. It has the expository preaching that Jeff desires along with the family integrated service that is important to me. 
After we got home and had lunch,  Jeff mowed the lawn while I took a nap with the baby.  Jeff grilled us a yummy supper, and we enjoyed spending the rest of the evening together.
On another note,  I decided that I needed to make a commitment and get back on track with my diet and exercise.  I have not been doing well on eating choices since I've had the baby.  I finally got my "I care" back so I'm going to do Whole 30 and go back to a Paleo lifestyle as well as making sure I work out regularly.  Ashamedly, I sent Jeff to Sonic for some ice cream as my last hoorah. I'm not very proud of that-it is kind of like an addict going on a drug binge the weekend before leaving for rehab.
So that was our weekend. Tomorrow I get to sign the kids up for the fall homeschool co-op classes. We decided that just attending one class period would work best for our family this year. Lynsey decided she wants to take Life Drawing & Art History, while Jackson is going to take Math Games. I'm hoping we will get plugged in and become friends with some other homeschool families.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Breastfeeding Journey

I was not raised in a region where breastfeeding is prevalent.  However, after I became pregnant with my first child, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I ended up with an unexpected c-section that derailed my plans for a natural birth. Due to hospital policies,  I was unable to breastfeed my daughter immediately,  but she latched on like a champ. A few days later at home, I noticed my milk still hadn't come in. My daughter would scream at the breast and never seemed satisfied.  She wasn't having enough wet diapers and her lips seemed dry. We decided to take her to the hospital and learned she had lost a significant amount of weight. The nurse told me that she had lost a considerable amount of weight because she wasn't getting enough to eat. It crushed me to watch her hungrily gobble down that bottle of formula and realize that she had been starving. I had home visits from a lactation consultant,  power pumped, and took galactagoges, but my milk supply never increased. My daughter had also developed a bottle preference. The pain over losing the birth experience I had envision combined with my inability to successfully breastfeed was very difficult for me to work through. By the time I returned to work at 10 weeks post partum, I had given up on breastfeeding completely. 
     Almost two years later, we were anxiously awaiting the birth of our son. I wanted to VBAC, but my provider was not supportive.  I wish I knew then what I now know; I should have found a different provider. I tried to make the best out of the situation. I was very adamant about my desire to breastfeed, and I told them I wanted my son as soon as possible after the surgery. About thirty minutes after the c-section, I was able to nurse my son.  Once home from the hospital,  he began exhibiting the same frustration and dissatisfaction at the breast as his older sister had. I began supplementing, and thankfully he did not develop a bottle preference. However, he was a very high needs baby. In addition,  my husband was not home often due to his military career.  It became too difficult to care for a two year old and an infant while keeping up with the vigorous feed then pump schedule I needed in order to keep  what miniscule milk supply I had so I gave up.

  We conceived our third child after five years of unexplained secondary infertility.  I was older, wiser, and determined to have the birth that I wanted. In October 2014, I had an emotionally healing  VBA2C with a midwife in a birth center.  I was hoping that the circumstances of this birth would lead to a better breastfeeding experience. I wanted to be able to exclusively meet all my second daughter's needs with my milk supply,  but I was prepared if that wasn't a possibility.  I had galactagogues already on hand as well as a supplemental nursing system so I could still feed at the breast if I had to supplement. We had a bumpy start, as my daughter had lip and tongue ties that needed revised. I started galactagogues immediately and also pumped whenever possible between feedings. Despite doing all these things, my daughter was not gaining weight. I worked with an IBCLC, and she showed me how to use the SNS. It hasn't been easy ,and I only meet about half of my daughter's needs with my milk, but I am proud to say that we have made it 6 months and are still growing strong. I have made peace with our situation. Our nursing relationship may not look as I had always envisioned, but breastfeeding is about so much more than just the milk. I can still offer her the closeness and bonding even if I don't produce enough to meet all of her nutritional needs. My worth as a mother is not measured in ounces.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To Co-op or Not to Co-op: That is the Question

On Monday, our homeschool group's learning co-op hosted an open house. The kids were able to attend and participate in some classes. In our 6 years of homeschooling,  we have never participated in a co-op. Either the classes offered didn't interest my kids or the season of our life just wasn't conducive to having a weekly commitment.  Admittedly,  our current life isn't in a particularly easy season right now since the baby's arrived. However, we have not had an easy time making connections here so the kids and I are hungry for fellowship.
 The co-op had 3 class periods, and you can attend all 3 periods or just attend a single class. There are several classes offered each hour for all grade levels.
First hour, Lynsey attended IEW Writing. I have been struggling to teach her writing since she and I greatly differ in learning styles and strengths. I always loved language arts, whereas she prefers science and math. I thought she would prefer a different approach in addition to the social aspect of the co-op class setting.
While Lynsey had fun doing brainstorming during the writing session, Jackson had his first class called "Magic Carpet Ride". This class focused on learning about different countries and cultures.
 Second hour, Lyn went to book club and Jack went to "Magic School Bus". I was in an informational meeting during this period,  but I caught the tail end of Jack's class. They watched a segment of the "Magic School Bus" show and then did related projects.  The theme this class was the skeletal system so they worked in groups gluing pieces to a skeleton. Jack really liked this class.
  They attended Beginning Robotics together during the final hour. I thought this class was so amazing. The kids learned about electromagnetism and did a hands on activity where they acted out the job of each electromagnet component. They also made a model of an atom using beads,  pipe cleaners, and modeling clay. This class was my kids' favorite. 
 Now all I need to do is decide if we are going to commit and sign up for fall semester.  The one thing holding me back is that we have to sign up by the end of this month, but fall semester doesn't start until September.  So much can happen between now and then. I don't know if Emmalyn's naps will change, and I really don't want to disrupt her schedule since it has made life so much easier for all of us. One option I've been considering is maybe just attending one hour instead of all three, but that means I will have to find a class they both want to attend during that time. I'm sure they would both love to sign up for the robotics class, but I also really wanted Lyn to take writing too.   I'm still discussing it with Jeff and praying about it. I just wish enrollment wasn't so soon and yet so far away from the semester start date!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Positive News Monday

A five year old boy digs into his piggy bank to help a toy store.