Thursday, June 24, 2010

Delivery Story

I always love hearing other womens delivery stories (good and bad), and apparently so does a large chunk of the population, given the ridiculous amount of reality TV dedicated to just that topic. I figured I would write out mine for those of you who would love all the details, like myself. I don't plan to be graphic, but I do plan to give a few details that you may consider TMI. If you don't want to know that much about me, just go ahead and skip this post. That was your warning! Here we go...

At my 35 week appointment, I was checked simply so my doctor could verify that Hailey was in fact head down as she suspected (she had been in the transverse position since about 28 weeks). I was thrilled to have her tell me that, yes, she was definitely head down so I could cancel the sonogram and stop worrying about what would have otherwise been a very possible c-section. During that exam she also found out that I was already 2.5cm/30%. She was concerned about me progressing too quickly and advised that I 'take it easy' so I could let her cook as long as possible.

At my 36 week appointment I had another exam where I was measured at just over 3cm/80%. The doctor told me that she didn't think I'd make it into July! That was definitely exciting, but I still had things on the calendar up through June 20th that I really wanted to be able to attend, plus I wanted to at least hit 37 weeks so she would be 'full term'.

The following Friday (37wks, 1 day) I had another appointment at which point I was measuring 4cm/80% - so I was obviously progressing week to week.

My mom, my sister, and good friend Kelly hosted a 'diapers and wipes' shower for me the next day and after everyone but family had left we all took turns guessing the day of her arrival. I guessed Monday (6/21) partly because it was only a couple of days away (and I was hopeful), but mostly to be funny because I thought that was too early to actually be a good guess. The rest of the guesses filled up remainder of that week, but no one else wanted to guess Monday with me.

Sunday night I took a bath and joked with Frank about how I needed to go ahead and shave my legs since I'd be at the hospital delivering the next day and wanted to be prepared. Again, totally not thinking it was an option since I felt completely normal. But I put in the effort and shaved my legs anyway (anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that it is definitely effort!). Frank and I stayed up talking till a little after ten, and then went to bed but I was never able to fall asleep.

About an hour later, I started getting some mild contractions that just felt like menstrual cramps so I got up and drank some water and then laid back down on my left side to make them stop. Another hour later they were still coming and had increased in intensity to the point where it was too painful to even think of sleeping. By 12:45am I decided it would be a good idea to start timing them just in case so I woke up Frank and asked him to get me my watch, a pen, and some paper. He was too tired to be alarmed, and I'm pretty sure he went back to sleep immediately (lol). I laid there and took notes on the timing of the contractions for about 20 minutes and quickly noticed that they were exactly 4 minutes apart and lasting 60-75 seconds.

The pain was increasing and I started to actually wonder if this was it! I certainly wasn't going to be able to sleep, and I definitely didn't want to go to the hospital looking like I had just rolled out of bed, so I decided a shower would be a good way to be prepared 'just in case', and possibly keep my mind off the contractions. I woke up Frank again to catch him up on the details, and told him I'd let him know if I decided that we should start packing a bag.

So about five minutes into my nice hot shower I look up and see Frank standing on the other side of the glass. It was really comical because he was just standing there staring at me as if that would help him discern our situation better. Then he tells me there is no way he's going to be able to sleep, so he needs a job so he can feel like he's not just sitting around waiting. I didn't have any suggestions since I still wouldn't let myself believe that I was actually in true labor, so he went and cleaned the kitchen while I finished.

After showering and blow-drying my hair (and still unwilling to pack the hospital bag) I did some reading online to see if I could find some information to help me better tell if I was in labor or not. I found a site that said that if it was true labor, then walking would intensify the contractions. So Frank, Maggie (our dog) and I set out for a walk around the block at 2am, stopwatch in hand. I actually felt pretty good and by the time we got home I think I had had only one contraction, so I went back to bed. About five minutes after laying down the contractions started up again and had intensified so I got out my watch and timed them at 3 minutes apart.

Call me crazy, but I STILL was afraid to go to the hospital in the middle of the night just to be sent home again, so I called the Labor and Delivery line and talked to a nurse. After telling her my situation she assured me that they would keep me, so Frank and I started the scramble to pack everything we would need. I threw on some make-up while Frank collected our things, and then we dropped Allison's monitor off at a neighbors house. By 3:15 we were on our way!

When we got to the hospital I still wasn't feeling too bad, but the contractions were still coming. We signed in and were put in the triage room in the L&D department, with a very spunky nurse. She joked that I must not be in labor since I was still smiling (not funny!). I got my IV, the lovely hospital gown, and the two monitors that they strap to your belly. After a quick exam she said I was at about 5cm/100%, and I reminded her for maybe the third time to go ahead and order my epidural. She said it was on it's way soon, and that she'd have us transferred to our own room shortly.

We were left in the triage room for a while, and during that time my contractions got a lot worse. At first I could only tolerate the pain by sitting up in the bed and breathing through the contractions, but there was eventually so much pressure 'down there' that that was not working either. I decided I'd rather be standing, and I needed to pee anyway, so I took off the monitors around my belly (half hoping that would set off an alarm and get my nurse to come back) and headed for the bathroom. Once I got back from the bathroom my contractions were around 60 seconds apart and VERY VERY painful, and I was panicking. I was literally shaking from head to toe - barely able to stand but in too much pain to sit, and I lost the ability to control my breathing so I was taking very short quick breaths. With still no sign of our nurse I started crying and I begged Frank to go check on our room and the epidural because I had already felt WAY more than I had planned to for the delivery. I was terrified that the baby was coming too fast and I would lose my opportunity for the epidural and be forced into natural labor.

The nurse came back and helped me walk to our room around the corner and she gave me some pain meds (not sure what) that would take the edge off and also help with my anxiety. She kept trying to get me to slow my breathing because she was worried I'd hyperventilate. I could feel the drugs kick in pretty quick, but the pain was still way too intense for me. Thank goodness it was only another five minutes or so until the wonderful anesthesiologist showed up. Just like with Allison, the epidural was administered with virtually no pain. That was around 5am, and I was resting comfortably by 5:30. Another quick exam showed that I had only progressed to 6cm at that point. I couldn't believe all that pain only got me 1 measly cm!

I was exhausted and, with plenty of drugs, was definitely in the perfect state for a nap but my mind wouldn't turn off, so I ended up watching the History channel instead.

The next few hours went by pretty quickly, and I don't remember many specific events. I know they gave me some pitocin when I hit 8cm to get my contractions to get closer together, and around that same time my doctor came in and broke my water. She was confident that that would take me the rest of the way to 10cm very quickly, and she was right!

The next time they checked me I was ready to push, so they called my doctor and started getting everything set up. I warned my nurse that not only was I an excellent pusher (lol) but that my last baby came out quickly and I would expect this one to do the same. She still wanted me to start pushing before my doctor got there, so I pushed for about 5 seconds and her eyes got really wide and she told me to stop or else she'd be delivering the baby! My doctor flew in the door and sat down to finish the delivery. I asked her if she wanted me to push and she just laughed and said something like 'well I guess you can, but you could also just sit up and she'd fall out!'. So I pushed for another 5-10 seconds and Hailey was born! The doctor said that was literally the easiest delivery she had ever done. Don't hate me!

Hailey cried immediately when she came out, and she looked just perfect! She didn't even have much of a cone head. They let Frank cut the cord, and I got to hold her while they toweled her off.

Other than the terrible pain at the beginning of labor, I definitely got my wish of a wonderful and easy delivery. The recovery this time has also been great - even better than last time. I feel like I'm already almost 100% back to my old self.

I hope this satisfies the curiosity of all of you who want to know the 'whole story'! Sorry it was so long, but I wanted to write this for myself, too, so I don't forget the details with time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Hailey Michelle Barnett! My newest little angel was born Monday morning at 9:08am, weighing 5lbs 8oz, and is 18in long. She was a tiny little thing since she came over two weeks early!

I've really enjoyed getting to know Hailey these last two days. She looks so much like Allison did when she was born! I was expecting a totally new look since their 3D sonogram pictures were so different, but they really do carry a lot of the same features. We'll have to play a few 'guess who' games with their pictures in the future.

Here's what I've learned about her so far. For starters, she's a great eater! It took me a loooong time of working with Allison before I felt like she got the hang of nursing. I would spend around an hour feeding her every time she ate because she was so inefficient and slow. Not Hailey - no ma'am! She latched on like a pro on the first try, and has been eating a ton ever since. I probably feed her for about 20-30 minutes every two hours. (Hence the lack of updates!)

Hailey is also very cuddly, which I love! She wants to be held even while she sleeps which will eventually cause some problems, but for now I'm just soaking it in and enjoying time with her.

That's about it for now. Like I said - it's only been two days! :)

I will hopefully write out the whole story of the delivery soon, but for now I'd just like to sleep. I haven't had more than two hours of consecutive sleep since Saturday night, and that's really starting to take a toll on me.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us in the last few days! We feel so loved (and well fed!).


The only picture I have of my baby belly through the whole pregnancy!

My sister Amy came early Monday morning to wait with us for Hailey.

Hailey being measured after delivery.

Allison meeting and holding Hailey for the first time. She's waving hello!

Now a family of four!

Hailey with Grandma.

Papa and Hailey

First day at home, bundled in her bouncer.

On her way to her first doctor appointment.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Liveblogging Baby #2: The Home Stretch

Nurse just came in and they're starting Kristin on a pitocin drip to get her contractions closer together (they spread out when she went to sleep and haven't narrowed back).  That should get things moving, so the nurse expected our little princess to make her appearance within the hour.

So this will likely be the last blog post, although there may be some facebook/twitter updates if I get time.  We'll post pics and more info as soon as I have time.

Liveblogging Baby #2: An ETA

With Kristin's contractions redlining (the scale is not apparently large enough to show the full range of the spikes), the nurse just came in and after a brief exam, gave us an ETA of "mid-morning," or around 9 or 10am.

For those of you with kids or otherwise know what this means, she's at an 8 (I'll spare you the other potentially TMI details), so everything is on target for mid-morning.  Kristin's doing great thanks to the wonders of modern medicine (read: epidural).

Liveblogging Baby #2: Checked In

At a little after 1:30 this morning, Kristin woke me up to tell me her contractions were getting so serious and regular that she felt like it was getting close to time.  But - not wanting to be the type that checks in early only to get sent home - she took a shower, and we went for a walk around the block.

Then we called the hospital and headed on in.

We've got a feisty Irish nurse with a great sense of humor - helpful, since Kristin's contractions were causing quite a bit of pain for her.  But, thankfully, we got her an epidural and now she's fast asleep.  As I'm watching the monitor showing her contractions, I'm really impressed at how well the drugs work.  I don't exactly have a frame of reference, but spikes like that don't look particularly comfortable.

In any case, looks like Allison's little sister will be born on the first day of summer - two little June bugs for us!

More to come...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Allison Turns Two!

Over the weekend, we celebrated Allison's second birthday. Ever since I found out that I was pregnant and would be due in early July, I had made the decision that her party this year would be super small. I mean, I love Allison, but let's be honest - she still has no idea what's going on, and I don't have a love for party planning that would outweigh my desire to take it easy with only a few weeks left until a baby will be joining our family.

We had to limit the invitation list strictly to immediate family (Allison's aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents). The moment we step out of that box, we instantly have over 20 people added to the list, so we stuck to it.

Our party plans basically included opening presents, grilling out burgers and hot dogs for lunch, followed by cake and a nap - because who doesn't love a nap??

Our party snack spread. Believe it or not, Frank did that watermelon himself before I even got out of bed that morning!

Aunt Amy made this adorable strawberry cake for Allison! She did a fantastic job! I'm so impressed with her skills. Thanks, Amy!

We tried to get Allison to pose, but she spotted the candy. Oh well!

Allison really enjoyed having a house full of people she loves!

Playing with Amy and her pretty necklace.

Can you tell how much she loves her Uncle Eric??

Allison felt very special that day because she received so many fun treats! Not only was she allowed to eat some peanut butter M&Ms, punch, and cake - she was also given some fantastic gifts! Everyone seemed to get her a gift that suited her perfectly and she has loved them all! Funny story: The next day as I was putting her down for her nap I was talking with her about everything that we did at her party. I went through everything I could think of to tell her about it - who was there, what we did, etc. (not even sure if she was getting the gist of the conversation) and when I was done she piped in and said "and CANDY!" I love how she can make me laugh!

This farm came in the mail from Papa Mickey and Nana Janet a few days before her birthday, and I let her have it early. She LOVES it!

Opening presents with Daddy.

Frank and I got her some new books and a soccer ball for her birthday.

This is her new "scooter" from Papa and Grandma. She loves to ride it around the kitchen every day, and outside when we go for walks.

Singing 'Happy Birthday'.

She felt very special with everyone singing to her!

She looks so grown up!

Allison enjoying her yummy cake!

She polished off every bite of it, but here she is licking some frosting off her fingers.

The day was not emotional for me like I would have expected (especially since I'm full of pregnancy hormones!). These big milestones with Allison always remind me of how much she has changed, and tend to make me a little sad that I wasn't able to bottle up a little bit of her and save it forever. No one ever told me that she'd change just as much in the second year as she did in the first! I watched a video of her last week that was taken right after her first birthday, and couldn't believe my eyes. She was a baby! She still walked like a baby, looked like a baby, and sounded like a baby. Now I have a little girl - it's undeniable!

The party was wonderful, and we were all ready for our scheduled naps when it was over. Thank you to all our family who showed up to help us celebrate Allison!

This blog wouldn't be complete without a few fun stories about her, though, so here are a few of my favorites.

I always try to do a few specific things with her when I put her down for a nap: read a book, sing a song, and say a prayer. I was tired of the usual songs (and just tired in general) so my creativity wasn't at it's peak. All I could think to do was hum Brahm's lullaby. She seemed to calm down significantly while she sucked her thumb and cuddled with her sheep, watching me with sleepy eyes. When I had hummed it a few times I started to get up to leave and she pulled her thumb out of her mouth and said "more hmm hmm' (since she had no word for humming). It was so precious! I sat there for another five minutes or so just humming the short tune over and over, and to my great surprise she fell fast asleep! I guess there's a reason its a classic lullaby!

One of my favorite things about Allison is being able to communicate with her. People don't believe me because she is so shy outside of the house, but she talks non-stop at home and in the car. I love hearing what's on her mind, and finally having a glimpse into how she sees her world. Allison is very expressive, and has a flair for the dramatic. For example, she likes to slide off our couch head first (in slow motion) while exclaiming 'oh no! I'm falling, falling!' and then hits the floor and says 'I'm ok!'. But if there is even a hint of pain she will point to the offended area and with wide eyes say "oh no! happened!" (because I usually ask 'what happened?' she now thinks happened is an entire sentence). Then she will tell me 'hurt!, kiss it?'. Aww! Who could resist?? She can also be a little whiny, so I've recently started telling her "no whining" in a stern voice when she starts it up, and so far it's worked pretty well to correct the behavior! Yay!

Dressed for church on Sunday. I loved this dress, so I snapped some pictures of her before we left.

I cut her hair again recently to give the sides a chance to catch up with the growth in the back. I think she looks darling. :)

Allison also loves to be tickled, which I will never understand because to me it would be a form of torture! :) But she likes it and will often run up to me and try to tickle me, then she'll grab my hand and put it on her tummy and say "tickle tummy, Mama!". Another thing she loves to do is crawl in my bed with me. Usually in the morning after her breakfast she will come to me and ask if we can go to "Mama's bed", so we do, and the first thing she does is cuddle up on Frank's pillow and pretend to sleep. When that's done, she rolls over and gives me a big smile and usually wants to count our fingers. When that gets old we have some tickle time, followed by reading a book together or looking at pictures of her on my phone. The best part of it all, though, is that at random times between all our play time she will give me a big hug and say "I wuv you!" and kiss me on the cheek. I think she sees that it melts me, so sometimes I get three hugs and kisses. :-)

Finally, I have to brag for a minute about how smart she is. She definitely got her Daddy's brains! She is consistently recognizing about half of the alphabet, she can count in spanish (which I can only assume she learned on TV!), and she can recognize her own written name. One of the times that she was given a peanut butter M&M, she examined and then looked at me in surprise and said "Hey, an M!", and then told me it was orange.

Can you tell I love this child? I seriously can't get enough of her. I love her big brown eyes, her sweet disposition, and I love watching her learn. She is a bigger blessing to this family than I ever could have imagined when I dreamed of having kids. It makes me excited to think that we are starting this journey again very soon with another little girl who will give us just as much joy.

Finally, an update on the baby. As I noted on Facebook, she has officially turned and is now in the correct head down position. Yay! I hit the 36 week mark yesterday, and when I saw my OB again this morning she said things are still progressing so she feels that I most likely will not make it into July. But then again, I was told I would never make it to my induction date with Allison and I did, so I have to take their opinion lightly or I'll drive myself crazy! The baby also 'dropped' yesterday which caused a lot of discomfort and pain. If I felt like I was waddling before, I was wrong! :) Anyway, it's just a waiting game now. Who knows when we'll meet this sweet little one, but till then I'm going to soak up as much Allison as I can - and maybe a few naps!

By the way, Frank has informed me that he will be 'live-blogging' this birth again so stay tuned in June! :-)