Hadley’s Birth Story

On Monday, November 6 I was still very pregnant – and very over it. My OB and I had discussed induction once I hit 39 weeks because I was so uncomfortable, but she warned me that other pregnant women past forty weeks had priority for induction. My official and “final” due date was 11/11, so even though I was still a week to go, I wanted that baby OUT. I decided to send my doctor an email asking her to let me know if we could set a date, knowing it had to be scheduled a few days out. Initially I didn’t want a baby to be born via induction on Holly’s birthday (11/9), so that Holly could have her own day, but I knew baby could very well come on her own if she wanted to on that day. So, imagine my surprise on Wednesday morning when I got a call from the hospital labor and deliver department, letting me know I was scheduled for induction at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 9. After talking it over with Matt, we decided we should move forward, as I was swelling like crazy, sick of having fake contractions, and I was getting restless (After all, there’s only so much Netflix binging and Oreo eating one can do.) They’d be birthday twins, and that was that! I didn’t sleep much that night with excited anticipation, and woke up at 5:30 the next morning to shower. While I was in the shower I got a voicemail that I should wait a few hours and go back to sleep, since L&D was packed. I went back to bed, and we got the call at 8:30 that we could come in around 10.

Right before we headed to the hospital! 39 weeks and six days.

I checked in, donned my hideous hospital gown, and met my first two nurses, Harley and Nicole. I felt relieved because I gave them the “Full Alyssa” personality and we all jived well, which was important to me as these women would be getting up close and personal. I got hooked up to the IV and belly monitors, and once it was confirmed that Hadley was doing great, they checked me for dilation. Happily, the amount of contractions I was showing confirmed that I was already in early labor, which I had suspected the night before, but wasn’t getting my hopes up due to the days of false starts I’d been having. At first check I was dilated to a four, so we agreed to use Pitocin to get things moving, with me having naïve hopes that Pitocin would mean I’d be snuggling a newborn in the early afternoon. I call Pitocin the Pit Viper, because it amplified the contractions with Holly from bearable to massive pain very quickly – but maybe that wasn’t the Pitocin and was just labor. Basically, they slowly increased my Pitocin every couple hours, and at this point, I was waiting to get the epidural as the pain wasn’t that bad. This part of labor was pretty boring, and I chitchatted with Matt, texted friends, browsed Facebook, and even shopped on my Groupon app at one point.

One great difference between this labor and Holly’s was that I was allowed to have “clears” this time. It helped so much to have a full belly.

At 2:00, they started cranking the Pitocin faster, and I was bummed that I hadn’t had the baby yet. I had hoped that since this was my second rodeo, I’d basically lift my legs and shoot out a baby. Once the Pitocin was cranked, the contractions started intensifying. At 3:45 I requested my epidural, and I didn’t receive it until 5:00 p.m., and by then, I was ready. They made Matt leave the room which I wasn’t thrilled about, and my anxiety soared as the anesthesiologist fiddled with my back and laced me up. It showed in my blood pressure, which rose to about 160/90, but as soon as the anesthesiologist was done, I instantly felt giddy and calm. I asked if it kicked in that fast, and the anesthesiologist explained it was actually my dopamine levels returning to normal since I had been so nervous. Whew! They gave me a quick hit button to dose myself with more epidural drug, and I didn’t end up using it much until later on.

The next few hours were slow and relaxed, with my birth playlist in the background (lots of Fleet Foxes, Smoke Fairies, Father John Misty, and the occasional electropop song by peeps like St. Vincent.). At 7:00, we had a shift change, and my new nurse, Tiffany, came in. At 9:30, I decided to try to nap, since I had only progressed to a six. I dozed on and off, and at 11:40, I was finally ready to try some “test” pushes. I had accepted at this point that Hadley wanted her own birthday, as we were 20 minutes away from the 10th. The contractions were certainly more intense, but my nurse had warned me to start laying off the quick hit button as that could delay my progress. I wasn’t happy to hear that but agreed to reduce my reliance on the joy juice, and I was impressed how much easier pushing was than with Holly – my body knew what to do, and Tiffany was an excellent coach in guiding me how to breathe.

After a few test pushes, Tiffany gave me a choice – they could call the doctor in now (about midnight) and have me start pushing, but she warned because baby wasn’t exactly in “station” (the lowest position in pelvis), I would probably have to push longer – or, I could try and nap for a bit and baby would likely descend lower into the pelvis, and it would be less pushing.  I always prefer to embrace the lazy way when it comes to physical activity, so I agreed to try and nap, and miraculously, I did. At 12:45, the nurse told me the doctor was on her way, and at that point, I went from calm to “IT’S GO TIME!”. I was having a very hard time holding the baby in at this point – and it sounds weird to type it like that, but they actually had to take my legs out of the stirrups and tell me not to push because she was ready to come out.

Honestly, this was the hardest part of labor – feeling more than anything that I needed to push, but not being able to, and being told not to. At one point I told Matt he better get a glove on and get down there because the baby was coming whether my doctor was there or not. It was actually only 20 minutes between this point and when the doctor arrived, but it felt like eternity as the pressure on my lower back and legs was making me tremble all over.

Finally, my awesome doctor rushed in, threw on her scrubs and booties, and got into position. I took a deep breath, and PUSHED. Lord almighty, did I push – and I pushed HARD and with gusto, and boom – just like that, I felt the baby’s head come out, and summoned all my strength, breathed through the pressure … and felt Hadley descend through me, arriving at 1:14 am, after just one push.

The doctor lifted her up and I had two instant thoughts “Look at all that hair!” and “She’s big!” They put her on my chest, and the medical team noted she wasn’t crying – just looking around, calm and pink. Her tiny hand joined mine and I looked into her eyes for the first time, hers full of wonder, mine full of joy. I was overcome with relief and happiness, and we spent the next 30 minutes snuggling as my doctor delivered my placenta and checked me out. Hadley was 9.2 pounds and 21 inches of rosy-cheeked perfection, delightful little leg rolls, velvety feet, and wispy dark hair.

Happy birthday, Hadley Joy – we’re so happy you’re here.

 

Baby #2 Bumpdate: Week 38/39

For Halloween, I’m a pregnant lady. Yup, still! Despite doctors’ estimates I’d go around Halloween (and hey, I guess I still COULD), here I sit with a bouncing, kicking baby bump. But! I’m on maternity leave now, and it’s been awesome to do little projects here and there and rest and prepare mentally for the upcoming newborn days. I slept awfully last night – waking up twice in a sweat (so uncomfortable), having weird dreams, and peeing constantly. But – I remember in the few days before Holly was born, I barely slept at night, so I’ll take it. Just preparation for my upcoming late nights with lil gal. My doctor said I can choose to set an induction date for anytime after this Thursday, so we’ll see how I’m feeling and what I want to do.

Baby’s Size: A Pomeranian
Weight Gain: 44 pounds. I’m not thrilled about it, but I also am not making many efforts to keep it under control. I’ll deal with it after the baby – and I’m actively pursuing the sleeve weight loss surgery later this year, so I know I have work to do, but for now, I’m enjoying just being.
Maternity clothes? All day every day or stretchy dresses.
Best moment the past few weeks: It’s been really fun experiencing Halloween with a near two year old – because she kind of “gets it” this year. We decorated a pumpkin with stickers yesterday and she was so delighted and proud of her creation. Then, this morning, we drove to daycare slowly and looked at all the decorations outside. One advantage of this baby not arriving today is I can’t wait to take Holly trick or treating tonight. She’s going to be a gnome! Also, my work surprised me with a virtual baby shower and were incredibly generous with gifts and advice, and we’ve been receiving gifts here and there. It’s heartwarming to be the recipient of so much kindness and happiness, so that’s awesome 🙂

Miss anything?
Solid sleep, and not having heartburn. Also, the back pain and slowness is getting old. I’ve never been an athlete but I’ve always prided myself on being fairly active, so it’s hard to be a slug.
Movement: Still a fair amount, but not as intense since she’s so big now.

Food cravings: I made Matt go get me some chicken salad over the weekend, and then I’m still craving red meat and ice cubes (Anemia!). We had some epic steaks last night!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Gender: Girl!
Symptoms: Sore hips, waddling, massive belly, fire-breathing-dragon heartburn, EXHAUSTED, crampy with practice contractions.
Happy or moody most of the time: My mood has been really even-keeled and positive.
Labor signs: I’m 3 CM dilated and fully effaced, so at this point, it’s just waiting for steady contractions or water breaking. I hope my water breaks because with Holly that was so easy to be like “Oh! It’s time.” My doctor has given me the go-ahead to labor at home for several hours after my water breaks (assuming I feel mostly fine), so I’m looking forward to having a few hours to kind of gather my stuff and try and relax at home while the grandparents head over for Holly duty. I’ve been having a lot of practice contractions which are mostly just annoying to me because they don’t stay steady.

Looking forward to: Trick or treating, seeing my sweet squishy lil babeh, Holly turning 2 on Nov. 9th (we’re not doing anything but will do cake and presents for her), the holidays, and giving birth! (Yeah, I know, it’s odd – but my Labor and Delivery with Holly was great, other than long, so I’m not super nervous, and if anything, it’s empowering and you get the best gift at the end!)

 

Allrighty – let’s hope the next update I make is a “Welcome, baby!” announcement!

Week 35 with Baby Girl #2: Bumpdate

How far along? 35 weeks, or 36 weeks if we stick with the 11/4 adjusted due date.
Baby’s Size: A tennis racket or a Quoka.

This is a ridiculously cute animal called a Quoka.

Weight Gain: 31 pounds, and I didn’t gain anything in the past two weeks. Whew.
Maternity clothes? All day every day or stretchy dresses.
Best moment the past few weeks: Matt started a great new job, so we’ve been having lunch together weekly. It’s nice to have “dates” with my husband again. It also means he’s home earlier in the evenings, which is a huge help since I’m so slow and waddle-some with Holly. We also saw Beachhouse recently, and that was awesome, even though sitting on a concrete bench was killer for prego hips.

It’s the final countdown! New prego update at LaLaLyssa.com. #Hadley_Gram #plussizepregnancy #PCOS #pcospregnancy

A post shared by Alyssa Curran (@lyssacurran) on


Miss anything? 

Sleeping peacefully. I’m at the point where I’m up to pee at least twice each night, and then it takes me a good 15-30 mins to fall back asleep. I’m also frequently rolling around to adjust since I have a beach ball on my abdomen!

I also can’t believe I’m saying this, but I miss working out. I’m looking forward to good, sweaty cardio sessions once I’m healed up. My body feels so stiff and achey right now that getting back into a good, limber, feeling is going to be awesome.

Movement: Lots of kicking.
Food cravings:  Chinese food, Melon Hi-Chews, Carnitas Tacos (of course) and ice cubes. I’ve totally been crunching ice cubes like crazy, especially soaked in water with a slice of lemon. I know that’s partially the anemia I have, because I’ve also been craving a lot of red meat.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not too bad the last few weeks. If I go too long without snacking I’ll get barfy feeling, but the new RX heartburn meds I’m on seem to be helping a lot.
Gender:  Girl!

Symptoms: Sore hips, waddling, massive belly, heartburn, EXHAUSTED, crampy with practice contractions.
Happy or moody most of the time: My mood has been upbeat and sunny, with the occasional flash of snappiness. (Poor Matt.) Usually at the end of the day I’m exhausted and achey and that’s when Mean Mommy comes out.

 

Labor signs: I’m having lots of practice contractions, and a few nights ago I was almost mildly worried because I felt similar to how I did at the beginning of labor with Holly. I feel HUGE and can feel my hips starting to loosen, so I know my body is gearing up. I really will be surprised if I make it until 11/4, but doctor has said I am free to set an induction for anytime after 11/3.

Looking forward to: This weekend my mama is doing my maternity photos, and I’m also looking forward to just relaxing as much as I possibly can with a wild toddler running around. Work has been really busy, and even though I work from home, I’m wiped – so I’m looking forward to some chill time.

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 31/32 Weeks

How far along? 31.5 weeks or 32.5 weeks, depending on which due date my doctor feels like using!
Baby’s Size: A large head of Romaine lettuce or a small otter. Her estimated weight at this point is 4.5 pounds.
Weight Gain: 27 pounds, and trying to slow that down now with less gratuitous junk food eating!
Maternity clothes? All day every day or stretchy dresses.
Best moment this week:  Probably seeing IT with Matt and my dad (Fantastically creepy!), or how Holly’s face lit up when I came home from a cooking class. She ran up to me with a huge smile, shouted MAMA! and gave me a big hug. Warms my heart!

Miss anything? 

  • I really miss bending over freely this week. My mobility is definitely limited with a big old bump, and I just move slower in general. Looking forward to being able to get back to my usual movement.
  • I have to take Prilosec daily now, in addition to Tums, even though I’m not eating anything particularly heartburn-ish.

Movement: Future soccer star for sure!
Food cravings:  Pickles over the weekend, chicken soup today, carnitas tacos last week.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Sadly, yes. Over the weekend I started feeling nauseous again, and I went to bed at eight last night because of the smell of the roast I made was making me green. I didn’t even eat any! 🙁 Hoping that goes away soon. I also took a cooking class and we had to handle a lot of raw chicken, and the smell of the chicken was definitely making me wish I had smelling salts nearby. Holly has had a cold the past few days and I feel like I’m getting it as of today, so I took a nap on my lunch break and am drinking a ton of water.
Gender:  Girl!

Symptoms: Sore hips, waddling, massive belly, heartburn, some nausea, tired.
Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy, though losing my dear friend has been a challenge.

Labor signs: I’m starting to feel like there’s no way this kid is waiting to come out until 11/11, my “latest” due date. I’ve been adjusted to 11/4 with no promises, but at my last detailed scan, they could tell my body is already contracting and she’s in position ready to go. So I personally don’t feel like I’ll make it much past Halloween, but it all depends how these last few weeks go. The doctor has asked me to eat less sugar because my amniotic fluid is high, and apparently sugar contributes to that. The risk of high amniotic fluid could mean early/pre-term labor, which I’m not quite ready for (I want her at 37 weeks at the earliest), so I’m trying to lessen simple starches and sugar I take in.
Looking forward to: sleep. I always look forward to sleep. And, ticking off these last few weeks so I can cuddle a sweet newborn and bend over freely to retrieve things that fall on the floor 🙂 I also want to start putting together her nursery now that we have the room painted. We ordered her changing table and since she’ll be in a bassinet the first few months, we won’t have a crib in that room, but I can get lots of other things together like with her dresser, hanging the pictures, etc.