December 25, 2010

Christmas and Other Things!

It's late here at the Whitlow house so this will probably be short. Just wanted to do a quick update and let ya'll know how things are going around here.

The most exciting thing has been waking up to a white Christmas this morning! It hasn't snowed on the holidays in years so it was alot of fun to enjoy that experience with the kids. Unfortunately, we've all had colds or something so Blake was too sick to get out and of course Darcey is too little so they both stayed in where it was warm and cozy while the kids and I played out with my parents and brother. (and since Dathan and Delancey have some of the symptoms as well I'm hoping and praying it doesn't make them worse...I just couldn't stand to not let them go out though!) Mostly Christmas has been pretty laid back this year with things being so hectic with Darcey, but it turned out being okay really. I'm just thankful for my family and all God has blessed us with.....the best gift being His son and the reason we were able to celebrate this holiday in the first place! It might not have been as planned or what we expected, but it's still good just because of Him.

In other news, Darcey turned 2 months old yesterday and is growing and changing all the time. I still fully intend to do some more posts about her and how life has been since she was born, but once again it will have to be another day. For now I'll just share how thankful I am that she's a part of our family and how special she is even on the really rough days. I'm also grateful that she slept laying down by herself, propped up on a little pillow this week for the first time. Anyone who's ever had to hold a crying, sick baby almost 24/7 for weeks on end, knows exactly how big of an accomplishment (and relief!) that is.

As for her two older siblings, they are growing and changing as well. I think they are sprouting up right before my eyes every day and are starting to look so grown up! It's sad to see your babies get older, even if it is a natural part of life. :( 
They are both great helpers with Darcey and love giving her attention. They are also as of right now most interested in football and princesses....although after getting some other toys for Christmas those might change soon! I'm pretty sure a camera and sewing machine are on Delancey's top favorite list and Dathan got alot of spy equipment so I'm seeing some new hobbies developing around here.

And for me and Blake, we're just staying busy and trying to keep sane while living life with 3-D's. lol Oh, and we were also engaged to be married 9 years ago on the 22nd and are wondering where the time has gone?! I think that about wraps it up for now though. I'll try to post some pictures and update on some other things soon. Until then hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and continue to enjoy this holiday season as we get ready to start a new year!

December 14, 2010

Darcey's Birth Story #2

*if you haven't read the first part of the story yet then click here*

I obviously still wasn't able to get comfortable enough to sleep since the contractions were harder than ever(which by the way the midwife told me were probably not real and just a product of an over-stimulated uterus)and made even more so by me trying to go to bed. I ended up deciding to try a warm bath around 11 and Blake was up with me so we could talk about things and try to decide what to do. He was timing the contractions and they were still just all over the place, but really starting to hurt even more. I was still second guessing it so much though because of all the midwife had told me that I hadn't even called her back again yet because I just didn't want to be told that it didn't sound serious or she didn't think it was the real thing until I was totally convinced it was. As I was getting out of the bathtub I ended up having a couple of contractions about 7 minutes apart that just felt different than before and was actually a stranger and worse pain in some ways than what I rememberd with my last birth. I suddenly got this feeling like I wanted to be seen now and not wait to call the midwife, try to talk her into coming, and then wait at least another hour and a half for her to make the drive. At this point, I was also so tired and hurting so badly that I wasn't sure if I could make it much longer if this was going to keep on like that indefinitely. As determined as I was to not use any medicines because of how badly I reacted before I was willing to try something if I thought it would be best for the baby and help me relax enough for her to come sooner if need be.

So Blake and I talked about it a couple of minutes and checked in with the hospital and decided that it was probably best just to go there and find out what was going on rather than dealing with the midwife again at this point. I woke up mom and let her know what we were doing and then started getting a few things together. I knew I was hurting pretty badly at this point, but just wasn't saying much about it or timing the contractions anymore. Mom came into the bedroom to see if we needed her to do anything and to discuss what they were going to do about coming to the hospital if I ended up staying, etc. She had only been in there a few minutes before she asked was I not having several close together and I realized that I hadn't really thought about it! She said we could just go ahead and she would bring whatever else we needed later so we kinda just dropped everything and headed out. I think we made the drive in a little over 15 minutes and I ended up counting 4 contractions during that time so they were definitely closer and more regular now!

We got there and had to go through the crazy process of trying to get someone to listen to us and then actually do something about getting me into labor and delivery. Then we get upstairs and the nurse makes me lay flat down on my back so she can hook me up to a moniter and sits down at a computer where she proceeds to ask me a million crazy questions that honestly had nothing to do with me giving birth that I could tell. I kept trying to ask about getting checked, getting up and then finally said that if they weren't going to do any of that then just GET ME SOME PAIN MEDICATION!! Unfortunately for me they didn't take me seriously either and thought I was probably just in the early stages of labor, although they should have known something was going on from the way I started acting.....I mean, who would be that upset unless they were close to giving birth??!!  They tried calling the anethesiologist and couldn't get him. They also tried calling the doctor and didn't get her either, but they weren't seeming all that worried about it because they thought we had plenty of time. You know since they weren't bothering to check me and make sure!

Finally she finished up asking me everything and said she would see how things were going. At which point she looked very stunned and said that we probably weren't going to need the anethesilogist anyway since I was already a 10. Her next words of course were that I couldn't push because the doctor hadn't gotten there yet, to which I replied, "That's not my problem!" Let's just say that I was not my normal nice speaking self at the moment. In fact, I'm pretty sure at some point that I slapped the nurses hand away from my stomach and told her not to touch me again.....and that is so unlike my usual behaviour! lol That could have also been partly due to the fact that she was the one who had the moniter straps done around me too tightly and wouldn't take them off and it was pure torture to have them on during a contraction. I wasn't entirely happy with the whole situation at the moment and was just ready for somebody to do something to help me! The doctor made it about that time and another nurse(who happened to be a man which was a little strange at first)and everything was ready to go. I was still horribly uncomfortable being on my back and was practically begging to just be able to do something different. The male nurse asked me what I wanted to do(yes, he was actually the only one who listened and tried to help me!)and I replied that I wanted to try squatting on the bed while pushing so it wouldn't hurt as much. To my utter amazement he was totally fine with the idea and the doctor didn't seem to have any objections either! Unfortunately that only lasted for about 2 pushes and they had to lay me back down because the moniters were messing up and the baby's heartrate seemed to be dropping. Thankfully I only had to push through a couple more contractions while laying down though and she was there!! My water actually broke while pushing right before she came out which was kinda neat since I wasn't sure if it had yet or not. I think if I'd had to push a little longer I would have perfected the whole grunting type scream that helps you push better as opposed to the shrill, bloody murder type screaming that doesn't really do anything except make you hoarse afterwards kind. (I wish I was kidding, but I really am not.....besides, that kind of pain really isn't anything to joke about! At least until several years after the fact.;)  

To sum it all up, it was a crazy day/night and more than a little stressful but we're just thankful that Darcey was born safely and that things went as well as what they did. She actually did have the cord around her neck,which is what I figure kept the contractions so sporadic and her movement and my pain so odd for that long but of course don't know that for sure. They had to give her a little oxygen right after birth but it was nothing serious and she was otherwise perfect! I was a little dissapointed to not have another home birth since we loved the experience of that with Delancey, but I think after the way things went we ended up in the best place we could have been. Especially seeing how she was born in a little over an hour from when we decided to go to the hospital and the midwives probably wouldn't have made it! I can only imagine how stressful that would have been. All in all, the hospital experience ended up being okay too I guess even if it wasn't what we expected. So there it is finally....the wonderful, unforgettable story of how Darcey Ella came into the world! Hope you enjoyed reading about it. I'll try to share some of what's been going on since then soon. :-)

Darcey's Birth Story #1

The moment I know you've all been waiting for.....when I finally get around to writing about what happened when Darcey was born. But first let me say that I can't believe it's already been over seven weeks ago...this year has flown by so quickly it doesn't even seem real that it's almost Christmas again! And then again some of the days with her being so sick and crying all the time have seemed to last forever. But that's a post for another day I think. Okay, now that's been said, on to the story.......

As most of you probably already know I had been having contractions for several weeks, some of them strong enough that we actually thought she might come early.(HA!) There were more than a couple of times that I honestly thought it was the beginnings of the real thing, but it always slacked off and eventually stopped after awhile. Needless to say though I was getting worn out by how my body was doing and the lack of sleep I was able to get. Then comes my due date and we were just sure it would be any time now....but were we ever wrong! The days creeped slowly by and with each one I woke up and went to bed wondering if this would be it? Not to mention that I begin trying just about everything I'd heard of to naturally induce labor to no avail.

Let me back up for a second to mention that although I had seen a doctor in Huntsville for most of this pregnancy, my heart was still wanting another homebirth like we were able to have with Delancey. Our only concerns with that were that I had some health issues that I didn't then which we weren't sure if the birthing process would cause to worsen and also that I went so quickly the last time that if it this one was any quicker we might not be able to drive to Tennessee. (which is where most midwives are certified to give birth) As it turned out one of the midwives who is not technically certified by the state agreed to come here to our house whenever I went into labor and see how things were progressing instead of us making the decision to drive alone to TN and Blake have to deliver the baby by himself in the car! And then of course we were all kinda expecting to just end up giving birth here if it went as quickly as we thought and things were going normally....which was fine with me since I thought it would be great to just stay home. We also knew that Dr. Cimino would be willing to deliver in the hospital as a back-up plan if something went wrong or we changed our minds so we were pretty comfortable with the whole idea.

Back to the whole waiting game....the due date has come and gone several days past and I'm starting to think Darcey is never going to show up! Then I wake up at 12 am the morning of the 23rd having a contraction that hurt. Alot. It just felt different than the ones I had been having before. I ended up getting out of bed and walking around thinking of things I needed to do if this was the real thing. Then I leaked some fluid and started having a bloody show so I was pretty convinced she would be coming soon! I woke Blake up just to let him know and called the midwife just to give her a heads up and ask a couple of questions. We ended up trying to lay back down but although my contractions were still pretty far apart and sporadic when they did come the pain was bad enough that I just couldn't sleep. (needless to say it was a really long night!) Dathan was supposed to play his last game of flag football that morning and I was torn between wanting to go and worried that things would start progressing too quickly once we got there. At this point some of the contractions were 10 minutes apart and still pretty hard but just didn't stay regular enough for me to think it was close to being serious yet. So we figured I could go ahead and try going as long as I was able to get ready.

Fast forward through the game and the awards ceremony after it was over and I've now been in what I was pretty sure was labor for several hours. And totally confused as to why the contractions were so hard at times but never staying consistent for long. I talked to the midwife a couple more times and was more than a little dissapointed in her reaction to what I was going through. (and the fact that she actually had the nerve to suggest I come to her for a hour and a half away from my house!) She just kinda kept acting like she wasn't so sure it was the real thing and telling me I didn't sound like I was labor yet.....although at 11 days overdue I'm not totally sure what else she thought it could be?! We told her we weren't comfortable with getting on the road for that long in case it did turn into something quickly and although she said offered to come to us she also acted as though it would be a wasted trip and mentioned that she'd have to charge us extra to do so. At this point I was getting a little irritated and even more so just confused by some of the things she was telling me. I felt like I was really in labor and wanted them here to keep a check on things(which was what they got paid for!)and she kept acting like we should put off them coming for as long as possible and wait until I showed more obvious labor signs. But my question was, what if there aren't any until too late for you to get here??!!

She had suggested I try laying down and resting that afternoon and then we'd talk about them coming over and seeing if we could do some more things to encourage the labor along, but was also adamant that I not try anything by myself in case it did cause something to happen quickly. My contractions still weren't any more regular at that point, but I was still feeling them enough that I couldn't fall asleep.(they actually got alot harder if I tried to lay down at all) I waited until about 6 and called my parents to come over to watch the kids and then the midwife to let her know I was feeling like they were getting harder even if they weren't close or regular yet and I was more than ready to try some stuff. But unfortunately for me she had decided that maybe it was best if we kept waiting to see what would happen on it's on and since I hadn't slept and she was really tired too then we should probably just try to go on to bed if nothing happened by 9 or so. On top of that she even told me a couple of things I should do to try to relax me and actually STOP the contractions! Needless to say I was not only shocked, but even more confused than before since I was getting such mixed signals from her than what I felt like myself. I ended up getting so upset that I just agreed and didn't insist on her coming anyway... which looking back is what I definitely should have done.....

*don't miss reading the rest of the story on the next post! click here to finish*