Andrew’s Birth Story

_DSC0939For a few weeks, the doctor had been telling me that Andrew would arrive early. We weren’t sure how early, but he most likely would not make it to full term.  At my last appointment (37ish weeks), I was 3cm dilated and 70% effaced. The doctor said she would probably see me at the hospital before my next appointment. I tried not to think about him coming early because I didn’t want to be waiting for a baby.

On Monday, August 31, I was getting ready to go on a date with Chris when a small gush of water came about 4:30. It took me a second to realize that I hadn’t peed on myself and that it had to be my water breaking.

I wasn’t having any contractions so Chris and I decided to go ahead and go on our date and then head to the hospital. Throughout dinner I continually leaked water (you couldn’t tell thanks to giant hospital pads that a friend sent me for postpartum). Contractions started about 5:30 while we were at dinner. They were only lasting about 30 seconds and were not coming regularly.

IMG_6975After dinner we came home so we could pack and hopefully give my body a bit of time to figure out what to do. I showered, packed, walked, bounced on the exercise ball, and rested —  and nothing happened. At 9 we decided that we would get more rest at the hospital rather than waiting around at home to go to the hospital. I called my doula and told her to hold off on joining us until something happened.

We arrived at the hospital at 9:30 and entered triage. I changed into a gown and they immediately tested me to see if it was really amniotic fluid that I had lost (apparently many people pee on themselves and think their water broke). The test was negative. I was not happy. They checked dilation and I was somewhere between a 4 and 5 and 90% effaced. They said they’d do a more accurate test but it would take a while. Basically I had to get more water to come out or I would be sent home if I didn’t want Pitocin.

I walked, jumped, and sat in extremely awkward positions hoping something would come out. Finally, about 11:00, more water came and they confirmed what I had been telling them. We were admitted pretty quickly and tried (unsuccessfully) to get a short nap.

IMG_6980Our doctor was not on call so we saw a different one- and immediately there were talks of Pitocin. I absolutely did not want Pitocin because I knew I would ask for an epidural.  My mom arrived at 2:30 and we started our walks around the hospital. I had minimal contractions. Some of which I had to stop for but most were pretty minor. I was definitely getting frustrated with my lack of progression.

At 4 a.m. they checked to see if there was any progress. I was a six and fully effaced. The nurse convinced the doctor to let me go a little longer without Pitocin. At that point I text my doula and told her to go ahead and come because I needed ideas on how to make progress. She told me to get in the deep knee to chest position and that she was on her way.

I definitely should have called her earlier because labor seemed to get started about that time. The nurse came back at 5 to check and I was still 6cm, but since contractions were intensifying they let me continue naturally.

Contractions were coming every 4 minutes at this time. The ball seemed to intensify them (which I knew was good but wasn’t a fan of). I swayed through the contractions and Chris pressed on my hips.

My mom left about 6 to get Ruth from our sitter and labor continued to intensify.IMG_6992

As with Ruth, when transition began I threw-up and experienced pretty intense temperature changes. I ended up taking all of my clothes off… and then getting incredibly cold… and then hot again. My doula held a rice pack on my back to help during contractions. I remember our doula putting candles in the windows and getting peppermint oil out- both of which were lovely. Then the jackhammers at the construction site right outside of my room started going. I was able to completely ignore them and focus on getting through contractions. Things went on like this for what seems like forever. I requested an epidural if at the next check I wasn’t ready to go. I was tired and I was in pain. And I swore this would be the last natural birth we would ever have. (I currently feel as though I would still prefer an epidural but am not as opposed to unmedicated as I was in the few weeks after labor.)

Between contractions I was pretty oblivious to what was happening around me. I remember people coming in the room and asking questions and talking to me but I didn’t have it in me to communicate.

My doctor arrived at 8:15 to check me. I was fully dilated and fully effaced. She mentioned that I had a fore bag that had not ruptured and was not allowing the baby to descend, which is why labor had progressed so slowly. She asked if she could rupture it and I was more than happy for her to do so, considering I could have been holding my boy already if they had noticed before.Andrew (1 of 1)-16

After taking care of the bag, I got back to laboring. I leaned over the bed/ ball and contractions became even more intense. I remember the nurse requesting a warning when I felt like pushing, but again, I didn’t say much to anyone and started pushing through contractions. I remember exactly how long to push from Ruth’s birth to make baby come. Luckily Chris and the doula saw I was pushing and crowning so they got the doctor. She asked me to lie on my back and I politely said that wasn’t an option. I ended up pushing Andrew out on my hands and knees on the bed- which was a beautiful sight for all, I’m sure.

Andrew was born perfectly healthy and handsome at 8:43 a.m._DSC0910

I was able to hold him, snuggle him, and nurse immediately. We got plenty of skin-to-skin and I am so grateful.

We had a wonderful birth experience and a wonderful hospital stay!

Andrew’s Birth Story Through the Eyes of My Doula

I haven’t quite completed my birth story as free time has been a bit difficult to find lately. I am almost done and hopefully will post it soon, but in the meantime, here is the birth story of our sweet boy from my doula (who was absolutely wonderful!).


The Birth of Andrew Andrew

            On the evening of August 31st, you called me at 4:48 p.m. because you thought that your water had broken. We discussed what you were feeling and how the leakage looked to you, as it wasn’t a gush of fluid. You weren’t having contractions, but it was a fair amount of wetness and you were fairly certain it wasn’t urine. You had a date with Chris planned for that evening and I was in class, so we agreed that since you weren’t having regular contractions, I would just check in with you after my class in a few hours and could bring over pH strips to test if indeed your water had broken. You would proceed with your dinner plans- a nice, final date before becoming a family of four!

I texted you at 7:42 p.m. to see if you wanted me to come check your fluid, and you had made it home and contractions had started- I called and you said they weren’t very painful, but you were definitely having contractions. I decided it best to give you space until things really picked up, so I told you I would check in after going home from school. An hour later, you were feeling fine and had some great bloody show- contractions were harder, but they weren’t consistent. A little later, you called me to let me know you and Chris were going to go on up to the hospital since you were already 3 centimeters dilated and mostly thinned out; you felt you could sleep better if you were already there once things picked up. You got to the hospital before 10 p.m., and your contractions were still minor and not regular (with no contractions on the way to the hospital). They tested to see if your water broke- the first test came back negative, but they decided to test again, and it came back positive. You had made it to 4-5 centimeters with very little discomfort!

At 11:21 p.m., you settled into your birthing room and sent me a message with your game plan: take a nap, then wiggle him out. I asked you to let me know if anything changed or if you needed me up there. Unfortunately, you would not get to take a nap…Chris got a little nap, but every time you tried to sleep, you’d have a contraction! Your mom made it to the hospital during the night, and you all waited for labor to become more intense.

At 4:07 a.m. you messaged me to let me know you were 6 centimeters and 100% effaced, but were still having inconsistent contractions. You asked if I had any ideas to get things moving. I suggested deep knee chest to potentially reposition him because your inconsistent contractions indicated that he was, for some reason, not evenly applied to your cervix. You told me to make my way to the hospital because Pitocin had been mentioned as a way to get things moving.

I arrived at the hospital at about 4:30 a.m. You had assumed the deep knee chest position after your dose of antibiotics was complete, and contractions were still very manageable. After a few contractions in deep knee chest position, you sat back up and you, Chris, your mother, and I talked for a bit. I mentioned that labor may not be starting in earnest either due to Andrew’s head being in a funny position or a forebag not allowing him to descend anymore. Chelsea, your nurse, asked to check you again at 5 a.m. You were still 6 centimeters and 100% effaced, but around this time your contractions began to intensify and you were no longer able to talk through them. While on the monitor for the next twenty minutes, you bounced on your birthing ball, then tried a few other positions- hands and knees, standing and swaying- and your contractions began to seem closer together. They seemed to be about 4 minutes apart. You mentioned that you didn’t want to bounce on the ball because it seemed to make contractions come! In between contractions, you were in high spirits despite having not slept, and we all enjoyed some time talking and relaxing before labor became more intense.

Your mom left before 6 a.m. to go take care of Ruth (after a sleepless night!) and you continued focusing during contractions while Chris provided hip presses. You were very quiet and focused, and you began to get a little quieter in between contractions, which were still 4 minutes apart. It seemed that labor had gone from practically nonexistent at 4:30 a.m. to full active labor with signs that progress was moving along nicely in less than two hours! You seemed to like sitting on the ball, then standing and leaning over the bed during contractions. Chris provided hip presses and encouragement, and I applied heat from a rice sock to your back.

At 6:20 a.m., you were feeling temperature swings and threw up- wonderful signs!!! You continued to alternate between sitting on the ball between contractions and standing leaning over the bed during contractions. You were tired, but focused and working so well! I reminded you that these are good signs that you may be nearing transition. Just before 7 a.m., you told us that during contractions you felt like you needed to poop- which was great! I encouraged you to try going to the bathroom. Afterward, Chelsea came in and introduced your new nurse, Bethany. You were feeling very hot and stripped off your gown while sitting on your ball- I hoped you would not have to labor much longer, because you were really starting to get tired.

At 7:35 a.m., the jackhammer started. It lasted for a while, and I tried to open the window to yell at the offending jackhammer operator, but the window would not open. Meanwhile, you continued focusing through contractions, which were even closer together (every 2-3 minutes) while Chris provided continuous support by pressing on your hips. I rewarmed the rice bag for your back and asked if you felt any pressure- you replied that you felt pressure during contractions, but not so much in between.

Bethany came in to let you know that Dr. Scott would be in around 8 a.m. to check on you. After Bethany left, you told us that you were very, very tired from not sleeping all night, and if you had not progressed significantly, you wanted an epidural so you could rest. I agreed that was a good idea, maybe if you were 7 or 8 centimeters, we would call for an epidural, but if you were 9 or 10 centimeters, you would probably have Andrew very quickly after that. I really felt you were nearly ready to push. You continued to focus during incredibly intense and frequent contractions and seemed to doze a bit in between a couple of them. Before Dr. Scott came in at 8:15 a.m., your contractions seemed to ramp up again- when she asked to check you, you could no longer lay on the bed during contractions due to their intensity. After one contraction, you quickly laid on the bed and Dr. Scott said you had a forebag, but you were complete! Dr. Scott offered to break it, saying she thought you would have Andrew very quickly afterward, and you enthusiastically agreed to having the forebag broken. You were placed back on the  monitor after the forebag was broken, and you let us know that you were not going to do this again. J

At this point (8:25 a.m.), you were too tired to continue standing through contractions. I suggested kneeling on the bed over the ball, which would relieve your legs a bit. You worked through contractions while Chris rubbed your back and encouraged you, I held the monitor on your tummy, and Bethany was in and out setting up the room for Andrew’s birth. By 8:30 a.m., you began pushing, a little at first, then with all your might! Chris mentioned that we might need to let someone know if you’re pushing, and I assured him I was keeping a close watch to be sure he did not have to catch. I also didn’t want to call anyone over too soon, because you were doing just fine on your own. Andrew came off the monitor, so Bethany came over to readjust it, and Andrews head began to crown! You pushed fiercely and so well that he was nearly out after only about fifteen minutes of pushing! Bethany quickly retrieved Dr. Scott, who asked if you could turn over onto your back (Answer: no). She mentioned you wouldn’t be able to hold Andrew immediately if you were on your hands and knees, so you offered to turn over, but Dr. Scott said it was fine and not a moment later Andrew was out! Dr. Scott held him and you got to see him between your legs while she waited to clamp the umbilical cord. Chris cut the cord, you turned over, and you got to hold Andrew for the very first time! Throughout your labor you were calm, determined, and absolutely amazing. You had a constant cheerleader in Chris, and you did it…again! J

37 Weeks

IMG_6908How far along: 37 Weeks and 1 Day
Total weight gain: Lots and lots.
Maternity clothes? Yep. If he and I keep growing I am going to need some new shirts for school.
Stretch marks? Indeed.
Sleep: I wake up by 4:30 daily. I am not okay with this.
Best moment of the week: Movie night with Ruthie last night. She’s gotten into watching movies and it’s so fun to watch a new one with her and have an inside ‘picnic’.
Miss anything? Being able to drink things with carbonation without feeling sick. Feeling human.
Cravings? Greek yogurt with honey. Pumpkin cookies (but I’m holding off for fall).
Movement: Yes. He’s a wiggly little guy. My students actually noticed him moving under my shirt and freaked out today. It was hilarious.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Cucumbers. Red sauce. Wine. Carbonation.
Gender prediction: It’s a boy! Though I’ve had vivid dreams he’s a girl and Chris named her Emma Kate without my permission.
Labor signs: A few contractions, back pain, 3 cm dilated, 70% effaced, he’s dropped and engaged. So now we wait.
Symptoms: All of them.
Belly button in or out: Almost flat. It’s awesome.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy! Ready.
Looking forward to: Hiking this weekend. The weather will be perfect. (Don’t worry. We aren’t going far.)

36 Weeks

How far along: 36 Weeks and 6 Days
Total weight gain: Lots and lots.
Maternity clothes? Yep.
Stretch marks? Indeed.
Sleep: Not great most nights but terrible last night. I peed 12 times. 12.
Best moment of the week: Chris came home from being out of town for 6 days; lots of family time this weekend; the first day of school; quality time with Chris’s mom; and a sweet new nephew born last week!
Miss anything? Sleep. Being able to move like a normal human.
Cravings? Greek yogurt with honey.
Movement: Yes. He’s a wiggly little guy.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Cucumbers. Red sauce. Wine.
Gender prediction: It’s a boy! Though I’ve had vivid dreams he’s a girl.
Labor signs: Increase in contractions, back pain, 2.5 cm dilated, 70% effaced (I think…)
Symptoms: All of them.
Belly button in or out: Almost flat. It’s awesome.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy! Getting excited!
Looking forward to: my chiropractor appointment

35 Weeks

 How far along: 35 Weeks
Total weight gain: Plenty. But none since the last apt!
Maternity clothes? Yep.
Stretch marks? eh. I think maybe. I don’t see how I won’t end up with them. My stomach can stretch no further.
Sleep: I peed six times last night, woke up sweating another time, and finally gave up trying to sleep at 4 a.m. when a certain unborn child decided to party.
Best moment of the week: We celebrated Ruth’s 2nd birthday (which isn’t until Thursday) on Monday night with a few friends and family. It was perfect.
Miss anything? I am ready for fall beer. Being comfortable. Not getting nauseous when I eat. But mostly fall beer.
Cravings? Nothing.
Movement: Indeed. I think I may be bruised on the inside of my stomach. Is that possible?
Anything making you queasy or sick: Cucumbers. Red sauce.
Gender prediction: It’s a boy!
Labor signs: Well, I guess kind of? I am dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced. I have very tiny, trivial contractions about twice a day. The doctor made a big deal out of it, but I am still trying to convince myself he will be late. I don’t want to be waiting for an early baby.
Symptoms: All of them. It’s gotten uncomfortable. My husband has pretty much put me on bed rest when I am at home, so that’s nice.
Belly button in or out: Shallow and stretched.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Emotional. Not like grumpy-emotional. But cry-about-everything-baby-emotional. It may have something to do with my first born turning two. And back to school. And the terror, excitement of bringing another human into the world.
Looking forward to: Getting ready for the school year. A haircut tomorrow. Washing the super cute new prefolds and covers (diapers) for Baby Boy and getting them all ready for him.

34 Weeks

IMG_6711 How far along: 34 Weeks
Total weight gain: Plenty.
Maternity clothes? Yep.
Stretch marks? I don’t think so. But I can only see part of my belly right now.
Sleep: I pee constantly and my right side goes numb. So, not well. I think I may be averaging about 5 hours a night, which is unfortunate.
Best moment of the week: Date night with the husband last night. We were able to try a new Indian restaurant in town and actually talk about things other than children. It was much needed. We also spent the weekend as a family, at home. It was wonderful.
Miss anything? I am ready for fall beer. Being comfortable. Not getting nauseous when I eat. But mostly fall beer.
Cravings? Not really.
Movement: Oh yes. I can’t complain though. This is my favorite part of pregnancy: not completely miserable and really loving having him all to myself.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Cucumbers. I can’t look at them.
Gender prediction: It’s a boy!
Labor signs: Nope. My body does a pretty good job of waiting until it’s time. (Hopefully this doesn’t change.)
Symptoms: Yes. If I were rich, I would have a massage and adjustment daily.
Belly button in or out: Shallow and stretched.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy! It’s back to school season which always gets me excited, and knowing I will only be back for a few weeks before I am home again makes it easier.
Looking forward to: Finishing up a few baby things. We are pretty much ready to go. There are plenty of things we can’t do until last minute but everything else is done as far as I know. We haven’t gotten the bassinet out yet, but that probably won’t happen for about 5 more weeks.🙂 And of course, there’s the bag packing and all that jazz that can wait until the day of. But for now, I need to focus on getting my class set!

Just because...

Just because…

33 Weeks

 How far along: 33 Weeks
Total weight gain: A healthy amount according to the doc. I feel large and in charge and am a little terrified of the fact that he’s growing so I will too.🙂
Maternity clothes? Yep.
Stretch marks? Not that I can tell. Things are getting pretty stretched though so I won’t be surprised if they start appearing…
Sleep: I pee constantly and my right side goes numb. So, not well.
Best moment of the week: I had a small shower (sprinkle) on Saturday with some of my closest friends and family. It was full of pizza and beer- which means it was the most laid-back shower ever. We got some great things for baby boy (including 12 bags of clothes from friends who are done having kiddos). I had an appointment on Monday where I found out we are measuring 2 weeks ahead of time, which means nothing to me. BUT it is interesting that at my last appointment I was measuring right on track so I guess little man decided to have a growth spurt. It does make me slightly nervous he could be bigger than Miss Ruth. But I am a firm believer that our bodies are made for this, so bring it on, Little Man!
Miss anything? I am ready for fall beer. Being comfortable. Not getting nauseous when I eat.
Cravings? Not really.
Movement: Oh yes. I can’t complain though. This is my favorite part of pregnancy: not completely miserable and really loving having him all to myself.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Cucumbers. I can’t look at them.
Gender prediction: It’s a boy!
Labor signs: I had my first contractions that made me realize we are getting close. And the weren’t in my back! Maybe this means he’s positioning himself better?
Symptoms: I’m 33 weeks pregnant. I have all of the symptoms.
Belly button in or out: Shallow and stretched.
Wedding rings on or off? On. I didn’t ever have to do without them with Ruth so hopefully that stays the same. I’m kind of fond of them.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy and getting very excited. Boy clothes are adorable. We did go check out the hospital today since we hadn’t seen it yet and got super excited. It’s super nice and much smaller than our hospital in Tallahassee so I am looking forward to a more homey feeling. We also registered and paid… but that didn’t necessarily make me happy.🙂
Looking forward to: Getting everything ready the next few weeks. I head back to school soon and I want most things done before then so I can focus on getting students settled and plans for my maternity leave done. I am also looking forward to a little river time this weekend since we haven’t been able to go as a family ALL summer.


Picture courtesy of

Also, totally not related to pregnancy, but Ruth has been without diapers for 1 full week and is kicking butt at potty training! We highly recommend “Oh Crap! Potty Training” by Jamie Glowaki. It’s worked for many friends and now us. Read it now. It’s funny and useful!🙂

32 Weeks (and 6 days)

Me and my best friend at my 'Sprinkle

Me and my best friend at my ‘Sprinkle” shower on Saturday!

How far along: 32 Weeks

Total weight gain: Plenty. This will be my answer the rest of the time. I feel like I’m doing just fine, regardless of the number.

Maternity clothes? 
Yep. I’m definitely going to need a new pair of work pants for the  4+ weeks I am  back at school because the ones I bought at the end of last year (4 months ago) aren’t fitting.

Stretch marks?

Not terrible. Not great.

Best moment of the week: Another great meeting with our doula. She’s just fabulous and I can’t wait to see how helpful she is during labor. Finding out Baby Boy is head down (we are pretty sure!). Finishing a book I started in January. We also started potty training Ruth on Saturday and she’s doing great! It hasn’t been without accidents, drama, and stubbornness but she’s done so well.
Miss anything? I’m ready for a beer. A fall one preferably.


 Oh yes. His movements range from spastic movements to flips. He’s fun.

Anything making you queasy or sick:

Gender prediction: 
It’s a boy!

Labor signs: 
Nope. He is quite happy in my belly. I’m pretty sure he knows he has a big sister ready to boss him around when he does come.

All of them. Have I mentioned how wonderful a chiropractor is for pregnancy? Seriously, the lower back pain stays away for the most part.

Belly button in or out
: Barely in. And stretched- which looks disgusting.

Wedding rings on or off?

Happy or moody most of the time:

Looking forward to:
 Seeing family and my very best friends this weekend.

31 Weeks

IMG_6386IMG_6387How far along: 31 weeks
Total weight gain: Plenty.🙂

Maternity clothes? 

Stretch marks?
Sleep: Sleep isn’t too bad. I wake up on my back a lot, which I know you’re not supposed to do. My sides tend to go numb too. It’s loads of fun.

Best moment of the week: The past two weeks have been full of unexpected, not-so-great things (like replacing your heating/ air conditioning unit), so I am taking joy in the small things. I have a new found love for the chiropractor while pregnant. I ordered an awesome puzzle organizer for Ruth’s abundance of puzzles. And lots of water time for my little water bug.
Miss anything? I attempted to paint my toenails today but it was incredibly hard. How has this point come so soon? Baby boy has grown quite a bit the last few weeks, making it hard to bend.

Nothing really. I tend to eat anything. And everything. Except the long list of things that give me indigestion/ heartburn.

 All. The. Time. Which I really am loving. There’s no way he can be more of a wiggle worm than his big sister.

Anything making you queasy or sick:
 Just heartburn if that counts. Cucumbers and red sauce are the worst.

Gender prediction: 
It’s a boy!

Labor signs: 

All of them.

Belly button in or out
: In.

Wedding rings on or off?

Happy or moody most of the time:

Looking forward to: 
A baby shower in a few weeks!

28 Weeks

I don't have a good belly shot. Maybe I will post one later. But for now you get this one.

I don’t have a good belly shot. Maybe I will post one later. But for now you get this one.

How far along: 28 weeks

Total weight gain: Plenty. I plan on asking at my appointment next week just to make sure it isn’t out of control.

Maternity clothes? Indeed.

Stretch marks? Nope. Stretched, but currently no marks that I can see.

Sleep: Not awesome. Chris was in a wedding this weekend and the festivities wore me out. Like exhausted.

Best moment of the week: Chris and I had a kid-free weekend away with friends. There was lots of good food, and from what I hear, lots of good beer. I was even able to get a pedicure with my best friend today — because at this point Baby Boy is making it incredibly hard to bend over.

Cravings? Still nothing particular.

Movement: Yep. He moves a lot, but nothing that hurts.🙂

Anything making you queasy or sick: Does indigestion count as sick? Because if it does, most things.

Miss anything: Being in shape.

Gender prediction: Baby Boy

Labor signs: Nope. I had a small contraction the other day. That was fun.

Symptoms: Indigestion. I can’t bend. My legs hurt. My back hurts (yay for a chiropractor appointment next week!). I feel 90 years old.

Belly button in or out: Shallow.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy- but definitely tired quite a bit.

Looking forward to: Spending lots of time with family this week. Enjoying time with Chris since summers are so busy for him. Another wedding this weekend!


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