Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Welcoming Hunter

Planning for a "normal" birthing time (AKA labour and delivery) is somewhat challenging, you have preferences of how and where you want to have a baby, whether or not you want drugs for pain, how you want the baby to be treated when they arrive, etc.  I was planning what they call a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) because David was delivered through a cesarean section because I was told that was just how it had to be because he was breech and had no education around what my options were.  For this pregnancy and delivery, I was determined to have it differently than the last and know what my options were ahead of time and make educated decisions on everything that comes up.  We decided to take a Hypnobabies prenatal class to prepare us for the birth of our baby.  Hypnobabies is a way of reprogramming our minds to think positive about birthing a baby and teaches us how to use self hypnosis relaxation techniques that will help to get through the birthing time.  It's a little known fact that birthing babies is not easy, hence why it is called "labour", and this class better prepares you for the work that is ahead.  It is wider known from stories you hear that birthing babies is very painful and this scares many of us women about what is to come.  The unknown is scary, so hypnobabies helps to take the unknown out of the equation.  I wanted to have a "normal" drug free VBAC, that was my preference but as with many things in life, it did not go as planned.

Hunter Wilson Bennett joined us on September 25, 2012 at 7:52am after 32 hours of labour that started at 1am on Monday morning.  It was a very long road for both myself and Clayton.  He was 6 days late and weighed 9 pounds 7.5 ounces.  He was not in a favorable position for birthing and my labour started out in my back that is known as "back labour" and got progressively more intense as the night went on.  

Labouring at home went pretty well, we used hypnobabies techniques to relax and breathe through pressure waves (AKA contractions) however some waves were so intense that they made me vomit, I wasn't expecting that.  Clayton helped by reading hypnobabies scripts, getting me to relax through each wave and timing them, he got me water and snacks.  We stayed home until 6:30am when we decided to go to the hospital for an assessment.  At 7:30am, they sent me home because I was only dilated 1cm and the baby was not in a good position.  We went home and continued using relaxation techniques to try and breathe through the pressure in my back.

I got into the bathtub because it gave me a little break from the intensity of the pressure in my back but I think this slowed down any progress.  Baby still wasn't moving from the position he was in from the beginning.  We decided to head back to the hospital.  I was assessed around 4:30pm and was dilated 3cm and baby had not moved.  This news was very discouraging after 14.5 hours, however we got settled into our room and prepared for another long night.  

Every other pressure wave was very intense in my back and I would have a short break in between.  It was around this time that I was offered gas to take the edge off the pressure, I took the gas to see if it worked.  It did take the edge off the smaller less intense ones however, not the more intense ones.  It also helped regulate my breathing through them but I was getting very tired and on the verge of giving up.  We had a hot bath that gave me a little break.  My midwife suggested we try acupuncture to see if that would get baby to move, we thought we would give it a try and an acupuncturist that was also a doula came to the hospital to do some work.  Some of the intensity was taken away by acupuncture but not totally which I was hoping it would.

Another assessment took place and I was around 4cm dilated, baby still had not changed his position.  It was around 8:30pm, I had a good cry, talked to Clayton and decided that plans had to change and we discussed what our options were for pain management.  My midwife, nurse and Clayton felt that I had given it a good go so far, I on the other hand felt like I was giving up and was feeling a little proud to turn to pain medication but didn't think I could go any further without it.  I needed to rest and build up my stamina to push this baby out and Clayton also needed a rest, so we opted for the epidural.  In the meantime, I was given a couple shots of fentenol until the anesthesiologist could get there.  Once I was given the epidural, my water was broken, oxytocin was started and we were able to rest... I could still feel the back pressure waves but they were nowhere near as intense.  

At midnight, my nurse went for her break and the relief nurse checked on my "blocks" before my nurse left.  She thought that my epidural was too high up my chest and proceeded to turn down my epidural.  My nurse told her that she talked to the anesthesiologist and not to turn it lower than 10.  When my nurse returned, the pressure was returning in my back and due to oxytocin, were more intense than they were before the epidural started.  Unfortunately, the relief nurse had turned the epidural too low and the freezing had went away on half of my body, including half of the cervix that was swollen on one side and dilated to about 8cm.  Baby was finally in a better position but resting was not an option, the epidural was not working anymore and the nurse couldn't get it back to what it was.  The anesthesiologist had to be called back to fix it.  By the time it was somewhat regulated again, I was starting to feel pushy, my midwife arrived to assess and I began pushing around 6:30am.  I felt everything that was happening, I got up in a squatting position and was given a birthing chair to sit on.  The waves were intense and difficult to the point where I didn't want to do it anymore.  I would get discouraged every wave because it would feel like he was coming out but the wave would end and he was not there.  It was very hard for me to keep going, but at the same time I just wanted it to end.    

Hunter arrived at 7:52am and was immediately placed on my chest... I was so relieved to have him out and the next few minutes were a blur.  Our relief and happiness that he was here turned to fear and sadness when our baby wasn't breathing on his own.  The nurse pressed a button and we were warned alot of people were going to enter the room... about 8 nurses came in at once and took baby away to the big contraption in the corner.  As one nurse took him, I saw he was a boy and told them his name was Hunter, the next couple minutes seemed like forever as the nurses helped him breathe on his own by giving him oxygen and massaging his chest.  He started to cry and we were happy all over again that he was ok, he was brought back over to me and Clayton and I were crying tears of joy as we looked at our boy who was looking back at us.  We were told he did have a heart beat, he just needed some help to take his first breath... I would never wish that on anyone, it was the scariest moment of my life fearing my baby boy was not going to breathe.

So, overall, I did get to have a VBAC, it was not how I "planned" it but it was all totally worth it no matter how haywire it went.  Hunter is a beautiful little man that Clayton, David and I are so happy to have in our lives.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happiness comes to those that wait

Now I know that I haven't quite finished my story about being a young Mom and the struggles I went through being a young Mom to my boy... and in time, I am sure the words will come to me and I can finish the story but for now, I have a new story to share with you... my second pregnancy 14 years after the birth of my son... how exciting is that!?  Even more exciting is that my baby is due on David's 15th birthday.

I am the first to admit that I was the biggest nay sayer when people asked if I was ever going to have any more children, you could hear me saying things like, "why would I start all over again now?" or "one is enough!" and it wasn't until I met Clayton that I reconsidered my decision.  It turns out that it wasn't that I didn't want more children, it was that I didn't have the right person to share the joy of more children with and I sure as hell wasn't doing it alone again!

I met Clayton a little over a year ago at a party and fell madly in love with him the moment we met.  It's a disgusting story that people (including me) would say never happens to anyone but for us, it is real and it forever changed my opinion about meeting that one person that you will "just know" when you meet them.  He walked into the party and was preparing an appy that he had brought, I couldn't stop myself from going over and introducing myself, it was like a magnet sucking me in... haha... cheesy but true story!  From that moment on the connection was so strong between us that people at the party that didn't know us thought we were a couple, it was a strange moment in my life.  I had just spent a few fabulous days in Vegas on a "single girls" trip and was feeling pretty good about being single and wouldn't you know it, single-ness ended that weekend I met Clayton.  I still say for all you single women (and men) out there, you have to love yourself and be happy with yourself before you ever love anyone else, these things really happen!  We saw each other everyday until I left for a 24 day trip to Nova Scotia to spend Christmas holidays with my family.  We spoke to each other every day through text, and we would call each other once in a while.  The love was strong between us, even in the early days.  I returned home and we resumed seeing each other every day... he would come see me at work, then come see me after work, I would hang out with his dogs while he was at work, he would eventually move in with David to stay with him while I was away in Victoria training for my new job as a social worker, then he and the dogs officially moved in with us.  It wasn't long after that we were trying for a baby... a very exciting adventure to start yet another new chapter in life.

So now here I am, 22 weeks pregnant with my second baby.  14 years after the first... wow... it's pretty amazing how much you forget about growing a little person in your body, mind you... if we think back, I had just found out I was pregnant with David 3 weeks ago and it was still sinking in.  I don't know how I didn't know, my body must have been very different then because the first few months of this pregnancy made it very obvious that I was pregnant.  I couldn't BELIEVE how tired I was, all I wanted to do was sleep... thinking back to David, I am pretty sure that's all I did then too when I wasn't out partying.  I wasn't sick, but didn't have an appetite and actually lost about 12 pounds in the first few months.  Then I got a sinus infection that lasted a month, then the headaches... oh my god the headaches were the worst.  Crazy how much your body changes over time.  Around 17 weeks I started to feel better, sinus infection went away, headaches eventually subsided and my appetite came back, though I still can't have hamburgers or any meat that is just by itself.  I caught a cold last week and that is slowly making it's way out too.

We just had our second ultrasound and baby is growing wonderfully, he/she is healthy and happy, we don't want to find out the gender because we are looking forward to one of the only surprises left in natural life.  People try to guess based on heart rates, the way my belly sits, etc but I don't really know... it changes from day to day whether I think it's a girl or a boy.  Turns out they didn't want us to know anyway because the ultrasound technician said baby was covering his or her mid parts for the whole scan.

I think it is mind blowing that we female humans can grow another human inside our body and how quickly it turns from a tiny little cell into a baby... totally amazing don't you think!?  Mind you there are days that I am feeling anxious and wanting baby to come out already, but then I take a few deep breaths and try to enjoy the process.  I can't wait until he or she is born, I am so excited to be able to focus on my family for once and be able to enjoy pregnancy and our baby, this is why they tell you to wait when you are younger, this is what my brother was talking about when I was pregnant with David.  Like anything else in life, you need to be in a stable place mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically (and financially helps but not necessarily) to truly enjoy things that come your way, and I am so so looking forward to this.  David is a huge part of my journey though, obviously if it wasn't for him, I may not have gotten the motivation to get my ass in gear and I did enjoy his childhood, but I was also juggling going back to high school, university and trying to find my place in this big world while trying to be the best mother I could be to him.  It wasn't until a few years ago when I was able to slow down with the career building and be in a place that we were comfortable to just be, be with each other, enjoy our time together and enjoy our time apart.  David is an amazing young man, I am very lucky to have him in my life and he is the most solid piece of evidence I have that things really happen for a reason.  He is going to be a great big brother and great helper for Mom.  Clayton will be an amazing father, I know this because he already is to David and I am just tickled pink to be so lucky to have David, Clayton and this new little one in my life... happiness really does come to those that wait...

All my relations :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spirit of a Man

I have been thinking alot about my father lately... so he has inspired me to write today.  I don't know what I am going to write about but it's a nice quiet Sunday morning and it's been a while since I wrote anything so let's see what I come up with...

I thought of you today, just as I do everyday
I thought about the times when we would go out on adventures, seemingly leaving our cares behind.  I remembered a time that we were driving home in the night and we saw a great light in the sky, you turned to me with a smile and said, "what could that be in the sky ahead?"  I was intrigued to explore but it was close to bedtime, you said, "it's ok, it will only take a minute".  I watched the wonderment in your eyes and I remember it making me feel so excited... it wasn't until later that I realized what that was but at the time I could barely sit in my seat because the anticipation of what we were going to find was too much to bare.  I thank your wonderful spirit for sharing the gift of adventure.

I thought of you today, just as I do everyday
I thought about the times when I would fall asleep on the couch watching TV with you and I would pretend to stay asleep when you reached around me, picked me up and carried me to my bed.  My eyes would be closed and I would keep my body limp so you wouldn't think I was awake and make me walk to my bed.  Your warmth and strength to carry me to bed, lay me down, and tuck my blankets over my little body made me feel so loved and cared for as you kissed my cheek and said you loved me even though you thought I was asleep.  You would turn and walk to the door, before turning back and checking on me.  I would quietly say that I loved you too as you shut the door.  I thank your wonderful spirit for sharing the gift of love and kindness.

I thought of you today, just as I do everyday
I thought about the times we would go fishing together, we would drive all over the place looking for the off beaten path that leads us to fishing creeks and holes that have rarely been fished.  You pull up, park and smile and say, "I feel good about this one!" as you got out of the car, got your gear and we both trekked down to the water together.  I watched you with amazement and hoped that you were going to catch something to make you smile even more.  You would cast off your line and take a seat or sometimes you would stand.  If you didn't get any nibbles after the first few casts, you would pack your gear up and say, "I guess this wasn't the one!"  You didn't give up as we carried on driving from water hole to water hole not catching a thing half the time until dark came and it was time to go home.  You would still be happy even if you didn't catch anything because you enjoyed the adventure of finding a fishing hole and giving it a try.  I thank your wonderful spirit for sharing the gift of never giving up and always smiling even if things don't go your way.

I thought of you today, just as I do everyday
I thought about the times I would go to work with you when you were on call on the weekends.  I would get to walk around the mine right behind you while you were checking whatever it was you were checking.  We would go to your office and you would let me sit in your chair and color while you worked on whatever you were working on.  I felt important being in your chair and remember thinking, someday I would have a chair and a desk and be important just like you were.  I would color you a picture and give it to you and then watch you smile at it, then proudly put it on your bulletin board for everyone to see on Monday.  I thank your wonderful spirit for sharing the gift of being proud of my accomplishments no matter how big or small.

I thought of you today, just as I do everyday
I thought about the times you would wake me up on a Sunday morning and tell me that we were going for a drive.  I would grab my blanket and a couple of toys to bring with me as I crawled in the backseat of the car and prepared for another long drive to where ever you decided we would end up that day.  I remember hating long drives and always getting car sick so most of the time I would just sleep.  You would wake me up to ask me what I wanted from Tim Horton's and my answer was always the same, but you always checked just in case I changed my mind that day.  We would end up somewhere beautiful on the ocean or in the forest.  I thank your wonderful spirit for the gift of appreciating mother earth and all she has to offer.

I thought of you today, just as I do everyday
I thought about the dark times we had in Venezuela when I would hate to see you come home and cause the pain in my mother's eyes.  I would try to ignore the fact that you were not totally with us at this time and try to make the best of the situation not only for myself but for my mother who was hurting so much.  I didn't see your smile anymore and wondered where you had gone.  You had lost your adventure, your kindness, your smile, your pride, yourself.  I was mourning the loss of the spirit of the man that had taught me so much and wished that you would just come back to us.  It wasn't until we left that you realized what you lost, you were going to find yourself again and I am sure you would have come back to us but Creator had other plans for you.  I thank your wonderful spirit for sharing the gift of pain and hurt and most of all, forgiveness.

I thought of today, just as I do everyday
I thought about the times that I feel you with me, listening to my worries and making sure I know you are there for me.  I think about all the great things you have taught me and wonder if I have made you proud throughout the years.  It's been almost 18 years since you left us, I can't believe it's been so long... so many things have happened in my life since then that may not have happened had I not experienced your teachings in life and in death.  I know you are proud of me, and my brothers too.  I continue to feel your strength, warmth, love, kindness and your smile as your spirit sits beside me through every happy and sad moment in my life.  I thank your wonderful spirit for carrying on in me and in my boy who carries your name.  I love you very much Daddy and will never forget these teachings from such a wonderful spirit of a man.