Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pain with purpose: Hudson's home birth!

April 12, 2016...
Last night out as a family of two!

I had spoken to my mom earlier in the day about when she should come to California in order to be there BEFORE Hudson arrived. I insisted I would not go into labor for a few more days because I just wasn't "feeling it." LOL. She was very persistent throughout the day about needing to arrive the day before my due date (April 14th) because she really felt like she was going to miss the birth. Mother's intuition I guess!! So, I agreed she could come early, even though I was SURE he wasn't coming for a few more days. Since my mom was scheduled to arrive the next day, the 13th, Joseph and I decided to go out to dinner for the last time as a family of two. I put on a dress and put my hair up because, at this point, I was just uncomfortable and tired and hot! We went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Westlake Village, Tuscany. All through dinner, my belly was tightening, over and over again. I wasn't alarmed at all because I had been experiencing Braxton hicks consistently for 5-6 weeks! Joseph joked at dinner and said, "wouldn't it be funny if you actually went into labor tonight?" Yea, it would be SOOO funny, except I just wasn't "feeling it." Ha! So, we ate a nice, big dinner and headed home, late. I got ready for bed and just as I was about to get comfy under the covers, I felt my FIRST contraction. Or at least, what I assumed was my first contraction. I have to say, it felt nothing like what I was expecting. I'm not even sure what I was expecting, but I imagine it was something much, much worse. In fact, I wasn't convinced this was actual labor. I thought, maybe its false labor. Crazy, I know. haha. So, I just hung out in bed feeling these contractions for about an hour before I woke up Joseph and said, "Hey, I'm not really sure, but I could be in labor." He stayed up with me for about an hour and timed the contractions to see if there was any real pattern, but there wasn't. So he said we should try to get some rest since tomorrow could be the big day! REST??? hahahahaha. You try to sleep through contractions! But, he did fall back asleep and I tried to but it was just painful enough to keep me wiggling in bed. You know, the fetal position where you rock from side to side during a period? That's where I was at. Then around 6:30 AM I decided, I think I'll take a hot shower and see if that helps the pain. It did help, mildly. Joseph came into the bathroom after ten or so minutes and asked what I was doing in the shower so early. Hmmmmm let me see...oh yea, IM IN LABOR! LOL! I told him I continued to have contractions all night at irregular intervals but finally got uncomfortable enough that I needed a change in position/scenery. After I got out of the shower, Joseph timed my contractions for another hour or so. Around 7:30-8:00 A.M., I called my doula to let her know that I was in early labor. She asked a few questions then told me to call her back in an hour or so to let her know if I established more of a pattern and to see how I was progressing. Over the next hour or so, I did develop a pattern of around 10 minutes. One hour got up to every 12 minutes then the next dropped to every 8-9 minutes. But, there was a definite pattern forming. During this time, I took each contraction one at a time and found that swaying back and forth, leaned over my couch back, was the most comfortable position. Lots and lots of moving my hips side to side! For whatever reason, that helped SO much. I put on my soft, terry cloth robe and started munching on snacks and drinking raw juices/proteins to stay hydrated and fueled for the biggest physical marathon of my life! lol We stayed on/around the couch and on my birth ball for a couple of hours then my midwife suggested I try to lay down and rest. She didn't want me to exert too much physical energy moving around and such in case I was in labor all through the night. So back to the bed we went! I laid down and immediately felt so much pressure and discomfort, but tried to stay relaxed and hips wide open. I must have stuff about five pillows between my legs. But that didn't help alleviate much pain! During that hour of hell, my mom arrived!! The house was very calm and quiet. Joseph brought me snacks to my bedside and my mom walked in to say hi and see how I was doing. There was one contraction that started while no one was in the room with me. IT WAS REAL. All of it. Holy cow, there was a baby descending. LOL. So after Joseph came swiftly back to the bedroom, we decided I needed to get out of bed for a bit to move my hips! I went to the restroom where I noticed my water broke! So...this is happening for real now. After we told my midwife and doula, we walked back into the living room to sit on my birth ball for a while. My mom was there, quietly crocheting. Stella was there, nervously walking around. And Joseph was there, being a total BOSS of a labor coach. Everything was just as I wanted it, peaceful and calm. So far, I was handling the pain fairly well. I had the birth ball, which I cannot say enough positive things about, and Joseph! God bless him. I made it through most of labor because he was so grounding and encouraging! It wasn't long after I started sitting on my birth ball that my doula and another doula in training, arrived. Whew! I was happy to see some new faces. Only because it made me realize things were really progressing and we were going to have a baby sooner than I thought! I got back rubs and warm towels and cool towels, and music played. It was all very nice. And its a good thing too because the pain was starting to ramp up a bit! 

After my doulas had been there for an hour or so, I felt like I needed to get into a different position and different scenery again. So we headed for the bathroom. While I was in there, Joseph came in and said, "I have something that will make you very happy!" What! What is it?? A time machine to get me past this uterine crushing pain!? "Tiffany is here!" (Tiffany was my awesome midwife!) Oh thank the Lord! Now baby Hudson could come any time he was ready! Tiffany checked Hudson's heart rate while I was having a contraction. All was well! So I labored a bit longer sitting down on the toilet before we moved to my bedroom to do the internal exam. After waddling to my bed, Tiffany warned me that I would probably have a contraction while she was checking me. OKIE DOKIE. I mean, at this point, whats a little more pain, right? So she started to feel my cervix and BAM. She was right! LOL. So, I had a little [read: crazy uncomfortable] contraction while she was checking how far I was dilated. Since I was still in my bed, my mom told me what Tiffany said when she came out of my room. She said, "Well, Lauren is only dilated to a 2." My mom and doula, Deb, said "NO WAY!" hahaha! Thank goodness, Tiffany was just kidding!! I was actually dilated to a 6-7, and my mild discomfort had moved into full fledged IM DYING. LOL. Ok, not really dying. But, it didn't feel pretty. Joseph and I moved into our bathroom this time and I had a series of intense contractions that led me all the way through transition! Let me just say, this was the time in which having a doula was THE BEST idea ever!! Deb was SO great at helping me keep my breath with each contraction, which totally helped me get through the pain. Truly, I think keeping my breathing under control was what got me through the toughest part of labor! (And I always thought, yeaaaa breathing won't do anything for pain. WRONG). During all the tough contractions and internal check and moving back to the bathroom from my bed, my birth tub was being prepared! Since I was in another dimension and totally NOT paying attention to anything or anyone around me, I had no idea they were having some trouble getting the faucet adapter to work in order to fill up the tub. UH OH! Luckily for me, I was none the wiser and by the time I was through transition, the birth tub was all ready for me!

Breathe, breathe, breathe...

Ok, so, the cool thing about not having an epidural or any IV's hooked up to you during labor and delivery is that you can move around freely!! The not cool thing is that you can't move around freely. ;) I had to make it from my bathroom into the room where my birth tub was set up! Luckily, I had walls and Joseph and my doula to help me get from room to room. (I'll let you paint that picture for yourself). I made it to the birth room and tub, slowly got in, and it felt SO good. That could have been a mixture of getting completely through transition and having the pressure alleviated. But either way, it felt nice. It wasn't long after entering the birth tub that I had my first HOLY CRAP IM DELIVERING A BOWLING BALL contraction. That was fun! hehe. I think (i say think because like i said, i was in another dimension) that I mildly lost it for a few minutes! Not like crying, but the cloud of doubt that comes over you as a woman when you are about to deliver a human. I COULD NOT DO THIS! The only problem was, there was no way out except through the tunnel of delivery. I do remember Deb holding my hands, looking me in the eyes, and encouraging me through the time of crazy doubt that I could in fact, do this. That all the work I had done while pregnant was to prepare for this moment. That everyone in the room was there for me and soon we would get to meet Hudson. OK. Time to refocus myself. This was going to be crazy scary and hard. There was no escaping it. All at once I felt the need to vomit, go to the bathroom, and deliver a baby! How's that for a cute delivery picture? :) Once I was talked down a bit, I tried to let my body work with the contractions rather than fight them. I won't lie, that was hard to relinquish control. But it was necessary. I was in the squatting position, leaning against the side of the birth tub. I always thought that would end up being the most comfortable position for me, but I was wrong. The pressure was just too real in that position. So, Tiffany suggested I try flipping over to my back and having Joseph in the water behind me for support. BEST IDEA EVER. The pressure of having a baby in your birth canal cannot be explained unless you have lived through it but it was so intense! Best explanation I have! haha. And laying on my back in the water was just heavenly in comparison to the squatting position. Also, it was nice to have Joseph in there with me. I just felt like I had an extra layer of safety with me. Plus, how cool that he got to be that in the trenches with me?! He was right there, feeling the pressure of my body pushing against him, when I was delivering. (Too raw? Sorry!) I had several contractions but got to a place where Tiffany said, "OK, you are going to deliver this baby!" OK THEN! LOL. I totally thought she meant like, ok, push through this contraction and the head will come out. Then wait until the next contraction. Then push again and some more of his body would come out. NOPE. She meant, Ok, you are delivering your baby!! When she said I was going to push him out now, I beared down and pushed with my entire being. Joseph said I made some primal sounding yells or screams or something like that! haha. I don't know what sounds I made and frankly, I didn't give a crap. All modesty of all forms went out the window during this process! It was operation get baby out of me! Back to the pushing...I leaned back hard against Joseph and pushed until all of the sudden I heard, "HE'S HERE!" WHAT!? I pushed him out!? I did it! They plopped his tiny, slippery body on my chest! He was so little and cute and perfect and I JUST PUSHED HIM OUT OF ME!! I couldn't believe my eyeballs. I think I was in total shock/felt like a grade A badass! Hudson laid there on me and turned his head and made direct eye contact with both Joseph and myself. He was a little person! He was so calm and dreamy. After 19 hours of labor, Hudson Isaiah Morris was born at 6:36 P.M. on April 13th, weighing in at 5lbs12oz! Praise the Lord!!

Yes, those are my christmas flannel sheets! LOL
Everyone in the room was adoring him and taking pictures for us. It was such a special experience. It was just as we desired. Very calm, quiet, and peaceful. Just my little family and our new baby! We got out of the water and walked back to our room to do my exam and deliver the placenta. We laid in bed together as a family and held our baby and practiced breast feeding. During that time, the usual post birth stuff was done. Hudson had his post birth check too! It was a family affair! My mom brought me snacks to my bedside and got to hold Hudson and love on him. Everyone was just over the moon with this little ball of perfection! 

Daddy is so in LOVE!

Meme had to get her snuggles in too!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Lets go on a trip...

Last summer, we planned a trip to Dallas to see Joseph's side of the family. Our niece was only 8 months old and Joseph's mother was transitioning into a new job in San Antonio. We thought it was the perfect time to see everyone before fall began and everyone got really busy! So, we booked tickets to fly to Dallas the first week of August. And that is where our story begins...

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
I decided not to work on this day because we had an early flight Thursday morning. So, like any crazy lady who is trying to get pregnant does, I took a pregnancy test for the third time before I was supposed to get my monthly "visit." I quickly glanced at the test and once I saw one line, threw it in the trash! I left the apartment and went on with my morning. I met Joseph for lunch at a cute little vineyard near our house then proceeded to run errands in preparation for our trip. I came back home and started packing our suitcases when a silly and I mean SILLY thought went through my mind. I thought, "I should probably just pull the test out of the trash to check it one more time, right?" Yep, that was my internal dialogue. I am sure no one has ever done that. Or they aren't brave enough to fess up! Anyways, I pulled the test out of the trash and swore I saw a faint, and I do mean faint, second line! Could I be crazy? Um, yes. But that is beside the point. So I decided I better not tell Joseph about the probably negative test I pulled out of the trash! I continued packing and Joseph eventually came home from work.

Thursday morning quickly arrived and I did not take another test! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?? Someone who was trying to get pregnant AND thought they saw a faint second line on their pregnancy test the day before?! Yep, I did not take another test. I didn't want Joseph to find out by me peeing on a stick. So I decided I would have to wait until I was completely alone, with a pregnancy test nearby, before I could find out. Great. When would that time arise? So, we left our apartment, no test taken, and headed to the airport. All the while, Joseph is none the wiser. On the plane ride, I had a hunger pain like no other! We bought several snack boxes from AA and I ate snacks I packed myself. (I guess that should have been clue number one. Ravenous hunger.) When we got to Dallas, we planned to stay with Joseph's brother, SIL, and niece. We ordered pizza and grilled chicken salad for dinner, which was tough because I forgot to mention I was eating paleo at the time. We ate and went to bed somewhat early since we had traveled all day. That night I had hunger pains worse than the day before! What the heck!! Luckily, I had snacks in my bag still from the trip over. I ate those and went back to sleep. Morning. YES! Finally, I can take another pregnancy test! I rolled out of bed to reach for my bag to take to the restroom...ever so quietly. Remember, still didn't want Joseph to know! Andddd wouldn't you know, the dude woke up! Soooo, I waited some more to take another test! Everyone was waking up so we went out to the kitchen and had breakfast. Afterward, I was going to shower and get ready for the day. Freedom!! I took my pregnancy test, make up bag, etc. to the bathroom and shut the door. THE TIME WAS HERE! I started to take the pregnancy test and barely anything came out. OMG. I had one pregnancy test and I wasted it on barely anything. Grrr. That was the only emotion to come out of that situation. I started brushing my teeth and washing my face when I glanced down at the barely used pregnancy test. Another faint line!!! Only, this time I was sure it was a second line!

I waited a few seconds and in my excitement, ran into the bedroom with the stick and put it on the bed. I asked Joseph, "do you see that!?" Well there went playing it cool and trying to surprise him. Oh well! He looked at the test and said, "yes, but it is really faint. Maybe you should take another one." Are you kidding me!? A positive is a positive bro. But, just to oblige, I said we could buy a second test. Since Joseph's brother and SIL had to work that day, we planned to visit one of Joseph's former operators. So we had ample opportunity to go out and buy another test without anyone knowing.  While we were out, we went to Northpark mall and tried to find matching "cousins" onesies so we could tell Joseph's brother and SIL in a cute way, that our niece would be getting a cousin! Let me just tell you, those onesies don't exist. At least, they don't exist anywhere except amazon. So we settled on onesies that said "best friends."

While at the mall, Joseph got the cute idea to buy some nuggets at Chick-fil-A and take a picture of me holding a nugget near my stomach. We took the picture outside and he attached a meme that said "somebody has a nugget in the fryer." We sent it to one of our friends and saved it to show the rest of his family at dinner. 
After we concluded our shopping trip, we went back to Joseph's brothers house and gave them the bag of wrapped onesies. They slowly pulled out the newborn sized onesie first and Joseph's brother said, "Oh, that won't fit Lila!" I just looked at him and laughed...I thought, "no, no, Alex. It won't." So he pulled out the second onesie that was Lila's size and finally put two and two together. They congratulated us and asked when we were due and if we wanted a boy or girl, etc. Such a fun time! Also, they wanted to know if we planned on telling everyone at family dinner, which would include Joseph's mom and boyfriend and aunt and uncle. We weren't entirely sure but we both thought we probably would end up telling them.

As we walked into the Mexican restaurant for dinner, we saw all of our family sitting at a table towards the back. We sat down and ordered drinks. While we were waiting on the server to return to take our orders, Joseph whipped out his phone and said, "Hey mom, look at this picture we took at the mall today!" (The nugget by my belly pic) She looked at the phone for a good 20-30 seconds, confused. Joseph's aunt and uncle had already figured it out by this point and we were all just staring at her like, surely, any second now. And...lightbulb. She immediately started crying and came over to hug us and congratulate us. We finished dinner and headed back to Alex and Christy's house. When we got there, I went to our room to face time my parents. I thought they would surely know exactly why I was calling, since I never face time them. Plus, I rarely call while I am out of town. So, yes, I thought for sure they already knew! Anyways, back to my story, the phone rang and my Dad answered. I said, "hi, what are you guys doing?" At that time, Joseph texted my mom the nugget picture. She came running over to my Dad's face time exclaiming, "YAY!!" They were so excited! First grand baby! We finished up our conversation and it was off to bed. The next day was filled with baby shopping and dreaming about who our baby would look like and if we were having a boy or a girl. And THAT friends, is how we found out we were going from WE to THREE!