My Birth Story

Why hello again! It’s been a while. I’ve been enjoying the last week as a new mom and hadn’t felt the urge to post. But now I’m ready to share how Finley Marie came into this world.

As of Monday, June 17, I was one week overdue. Tuesday morning I went in for a non-stress test to make sure things were still going alright in there.
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To my surprise, I was having contractions (albeit not painful) that were fairly regular. I had been feeling these contractions for weeks but got so used to them, I never thought to time them. My doctor said I was still 1cm dilated. Brody went back to work, and I went back home, neither of us knowing that we’d be back at Triage in nine hours.

Tuesday afternoon I met up with Nicole at the dog park.
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She has two dogs as well, and we had a fun time chatting, looking for milkweed plants with McKenzie, and walking (not waddling…I don’t think I ever truly waddled) around the park.

Once Brody got home from work, we ran to Target for a few random items, and it was on the way back to the car that I felt something. A little leak. Different from anything I had ever experienced before.

At home, I made calzones for dinner, and the little leaks continued, occurring every fifteen to twenty minutes. Eventually I became curious and googled “water break slow leak” and also texted with my friend, Jeana, whose water also broke. Brody caught me in my research. I had kept the situation from him because I wasn’t sure what was happening.

Finally, I called Triage, and they suggested we come in. We grabbed our bags, packed up the dogs to drop off at a friend’s house, and made it to Meriter around 10pm. While I was fairly confident we were on our way to having a baby, Brody later said he was 90% positive we’d be picking up the dogs a few hours later and driving back home. I was right – Brody was wrong.

A simple swab test confirmed I was leaking amniotic fluid, and I was very happy as this meant I wouldn’t need to artificially induce labor. We were admitted and made ourselves comfortable in one of the very large and new delivery rooms. I chose to hold off on starting Pitocin to see if “real” contractions would start on their own.

We slept (kind of) until 2am, and then I was put on a very low dose of Pitocin. While this was something I had thought I want to avoid, I had different opinions once it was all happening. This was exactly the advice of many friends (shout out to Jess and Mary). We again slept, or did as much as possible when your whole life is about to change.

From here on out, I’ll just provide a timeline of Wednesday, as I took notes during the whole process. I had heard how quickly you forget everything that happened, and I wanted to remember it all.

6:00am – The amniotic fluid I am leaking is slightly yellow, and the nurse says Baby Girl likely had her first bowel movement (meconium) already. This meant that NICU would be in the room when she came out in case they needed to suck out the meconium or take her up to the NICU. Although this sounds kind of scary, and I know it can cause major complications, the nurse and my doctor are calm about it, so we aren’t freaked.

8:30am – Brody and I walk the hall for about twenty minutes. It was a little reminiscent of his week long visit at the hospital in Antigo when he had rhabdo.

9:30am – A resident checks me and says I’m 3cm dilated. She also really breaks my water (what she calls a forebag). I was not expecting for there to be so. much. fluid. Seriously – it kept coming, and coming, and coming…

10:30am – Contractions start but I am able to walk and talk through them.

11:30am – At this point, the contractions become uncomfortable. I breathe through them, try lots of different positions, and even relax in the bathtub for twenty minutes. The pressure is all in my hip flexors, and eventually, nothing I or Brody do make them better.

1:30pm – A resident checks me, and I’m relieved to hear I’ve progressed to 4cm. My doctor gives the ok to start an epidural. Hell yah.

2:00pm – Brody says the look of relief on my face when the anesthesiologist walked in the room was priceless. After waiting for half a hour (which I know is not that bad), I am ready for some drugs. I feel a small sting when the local anesthetic is inserted but otherwise feel NOTHING.

2:30pm – For the next four hours, we relax, I eat a couple popsicles and a jello cup, and I even doze off here and there. My nurses (yup, I had two from 7am to 7pm because one was a nursing student) come to flip me every 30-45 minutes. One funky side effect I experience is uncontrollable shaking and shivering. When I completely relax, it goes away.

5:45pm – My doctor stops by to check me, and I’m at 8cm! Woohoo!

7:00pm – I start to feel some pressure down there, which is a sign that my body is getting ready to push.

8:30pm – I am at 10cm! Let’s do this.

8:45pm – Brody and I had been watching the Blackhawks game, when after my new nurse (who came on at 7pm) flips me, I puke at the exact moment that the Hawks score a goal. Brody is briefly conflicted (cheer for the goal or comfort me?), but he chooses correctly and holds a plastic bag while I vomit up an orange popsicle.

9:00pm – My doctor arrives, and I start pushing. The Blackhawks game is turned off.

For the next two hours, I have no sense of time. I push when the monitors show I’m contracting or when I feel it myself. Eventually, I close my eyes during and after pushing, not knowing who is in the room, where anyone is, or who is checking me. Brody is an AMAZING coach and says all the right things. He reminds me to hold my breath as I push, counts to ten, and gives me words of encouragement. Unfortunately, besides being told how great I’m doing at pushing, I never hear “We see the head” or “You’re getting close.” At 11:00pm, my doctor divulges that two hours have gone by…and I mentally fall apart. I say “I can’t do this anymore,” “I want to be done,” and “I want a c-section.” My epidural is still connected, but I swear it has worn off. After each round of pushing, which actually feels “good,” I feel intense pressure down there and moan. Somehow, I’m convinced to push for another thirty minutes. I give it my all but to no avail.

11:30pm – My doctor recommends a c-section. Baby Girl isn’t moving down the birth canal and is only at station zero. In a very calm manner, the anesthesiologist (not the same one who gave me my epidural) and obstetrician (my doc is family practice) come in to explain the surgery and have me sign papers. My epidural is upped (I luckily didn’t need a spinal), and I am brought into the operating room and prepped. Brody comes arrives dressed in scrubs and sits by my head. The anesthesiologist stands by my head to monitor my comfort level, and he’s very nice. I continue to shake from the drugs. Besides some tugging, I don’t feel much.

11:53pm – Finley Marie arrives! I hear her cry, and it is the most amazing sound ever. Brody looks over the curtain to see her (and sees my insides momentarily!) and goes over where the nurses clean her off and suction out some of the meconium-filled fluid from her lungs. She cries more, and I feel such a sense of relief and joy. Brody brings her over and I meet my daughter. Incredible.

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12:30am (Thursday) – The surgeon finishes stitching me up, and we are brought to a post-surgery room for an hour. The good parts of this hour: I feed Finley (she latches on correctly right away), and my nurse and Brody feed me ice chips. The bad parts of this hour: My very sweet nurse (for real, no sarcasm) has to push on my uterus (the only time I swear throughout the whole birth process!) and places a sandbag on my stitches – ouch!

2:00am – Brody and I are brought into the post-delivery recovery room, Finley gets a bath, and we listen to a very chatty nurse talk about hockey, running, and her ex-husband. We are beyond exhausted and I believe sleep for a few hours as a family of three (or five including the dogs).

While my birth story did not happen as I had hoped it would, I could care less. Finley was born healthy – that’s all Brody and I ever wanted. Yes, I got Pitocin and had a c-section, the two things I wanted to avoid…but I don’t care and am not upset, angry, or disappointed in myself.

Introducing Finley Marie, 7lbs 15 oz (bigger than I had expected!), 21 inches

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Up next: How our first week at home went.

A Photo Every Hour {6/14/2013}

I decided to copy Chelsey’s post, which was actually Katie’s idea. This way you can all see the ridiculousness of my life at the moment. Yes, I know it is all about to change drastically in ways I could never imagine, but for now, please appreciate, scoff, or relish in the supreme laziness that is my current life.

7:00am

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After a decent night’s sleep (read: four trips to the bathroom), I arose a little after 6:15am. I made Brody’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ate a toasted cinnamon and raisin bagel, drank an iced coffee, watched the news, and at 7:00am, was getting the dogs ready for the park.

8:00am

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The three of us met up with my favorite dog park people, all of whom are over the age of 60. Not sure what that says about me – I’m an “old soul”? I walked about two miles with them, and here we are on our way back to the car.

9:00am

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I took a quick bird bath (aka a shower where you don’t wash your hair) and plopped down for some Today Show entertainment and blog reading. A snack of cheese and Triscuits happened around this time too.

10:00am

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I left the house for the second time in one day – woot woot! While browsing the clothing section of Target would normally take at least twenty minutes, I had no reason to even glance in that direction. As I’ve been told, I shouldn’t expect to be wearing my normal clothes for a while. Sad face. Instead I bought interesting things like printer ink, crackers (on sale), Manwich, and yogurt covered raisins (for Brody). Also, if you are wondering, 9:30am is prime time for pregnant women and moms with newborns. We were everywhere in that store!

11:00am

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Back at home, back on the couch. I did a little reading about induction methods and going beyond your due date and watched TLC’s What Not to Wear.

12:00pm

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Post-lunch, I moved my pregnant butt outside to the back deck. I finished Gone Girl yesterday (so good but quite eff’ed up characters) and started a YA book called If I Stay. I randomly found half a bag of M&Ms in the lazy susan with my cooking supplies – how I forgot they were there blows my mind. They were a perfect sweet treat for my sweet tooth.

1:00pm

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Still outside and still reading. I was also doing quite a bit of texting with Brody and various friends. It seems like everyone has a life and stuff to do as no one was able to come hang out with me or meet me somewhere.

2:00pm
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My pregnant college friend, Tina, called and we chatted for a while about pregnancy and baby things. Her due date is approaching and she was planning on getting reflexology done. This is one “natural” induction method I hadn’t read about. I did some research and found a massage clinic that also does reflexology just a few miles from my house. They don’t open until 4pm, though, so I need to wait to see if they can fit me in soon (like this afternoon still – ha!).

3:00pm

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Frankie and I spent some quality time on the back deck together. I moved into the shade and ate a grapefruit.

4:00pm

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I worked on this post for a while before calling the reflexology place. Good news! She got me in at 9am tomorrow!!!

5:00pm
I failed to take a picture this hour but was talking to Brody who had just gotten home from work.

6:00pm
Again, no photo. I was getting ready to leave the house for the third time in the day.

7:00pm

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Brody’s involvement in the United Way brought us to a charity event, Berry Bash, at Heritage Hall in Camp Randall. I ordered a club soda and cranberry juice.

8:00pm

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This is the same dress I wore to last year’s Berry Bash. Obviously it’s not a maternity dress but is big enough (or had enough stretch) to fit over my pregnant belly.

9:00pm

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I actually remembered to get a picture of us.

10:00pm
No photo – we were still at Berry Bash, and I was probably eating a piece of cake.

11:00pm
No photo – I was in bed soon after this time.

There was my Friday, June 14. Although labor didn’t happen, it was a good day.

Welcoming Fall

Happy first day of fall!

Can you believe it’s already September 21st? Just insane. Before we know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving, Christmas, and…well, you get the idea. Does time go by faster the older you get? It sure seems so.

While I love many things about fall, which I’ll detail below, it is NOT my favorite season. With fall comes winter, and this Wisconsin born and bred girl does not like the cold. Last winter was the best winter I could’ve asked for: it snowed twice and was not very cold. Please, Mother Nature, give me another winter like that.

And yet, there are some pretty, delicious, and fun aspects to this season.

1. Cooler temps for running

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Last year, the weather for the Haunted Hustle was perfect – I wore pants and long sleeves for the entire 13.1 miles. To my surprise, I even found myself enjoying running in the snow and even colder temperatures.

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Mel and I smiling after a ten mile run last winter. I’m excited for more of these runs!

2. Sweaters
As mentioned above, I dislike being cold. I must be a cold-blooded person. Sweaters and dress pants are my weekday uniform, and for weekends, I swap out the dress pants for jeans or yoga pants. My sweater collection needs a little pick-me-up, though, and the $10 gift card to Kohl’s I received in the mail may come in handy for that. In the spring, I try to pick up a few discounted sweaters at Gap or Old Navy, but I think I forgot to do that this year. Yup, definitely going shopping right after I hit publish.

3. Butternut squash
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I haven’t talked about it at all, but Brody and I did a CSA this summer. For the last few years, I pressured Brody to do one, and he finally caved in this year. The farm dropped the goodies off right at his office. Very convenient. Unfortunately, I did a craptastic job of using the veggies and herbs (especially the herbs). Lots of veggies were roasted, lots of salads were made, but sadly, lots of produce was thrown away. Sad face. But, one item that will never be go to waste: butternut squash. This baby will be morphed into soup, likely using Liz’s posted recipe.

4. Costco opening (only this fall)
Sometime next month, the Costco a half a mile from my house opens. Two weeks ago, the actual signs were up and it became real. I am both excited and nervous. Shopping for food is like a hobby for me, and now I’ll have Costco, Target, and Woodman’s all within a half mile of each other. You know where to find me every weekend.

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Also, have you had their frozen yogurt? It is delicious, and I told Brody I will probably go just for that.

5. Uggs and ballet flats
My feet aren’t pretty, and I blame it on the years they spent in pointe shoes and now running shoes. Flip flops are great, and my feet love to breathe, but I prefer to hide them from my coworkers and students. On cold or snowy mornings, I wear my Uggs to school and then switch to ballet flats, many of which are colorful. Hmmm, maybe I’ll look at shoes at Kohl’s, too.

When I start to complain about all of the negatives that come with fall (e.g. shorter days, dark mornings, grading on the weekends, etc.), I will look back on this list. I will also remind myself that time goes by too quickly and to slow down and appreciate moments in every season.

Question:
What do you love and/or dislike about fall?

Sweatin’ at The Studio

Back in the day, I did a lot of yoga, namely Bikram or hot yoga. The summer I graduated from college I found Bikram Yoga Madison (now Inner Fire Yoga) and bought a one month unlimited membership. I went five to six times a week and fell in love. Even though it was the summer, I loved the heat, sweat, and challenge that came with every class. My regular yoga practice lasted just over two years.

Once Brody and I bought our house (a thirty minute drive to the studio) and I started teaching, I had no time to continue practicing. It made me sad, but obviously I eventually found another activity to throw my whole self into eventually (running). Yoga, though, complements running really well, so when I can fit in a class, I do.

My body has been very tight from all of the running and BodyPump; in particular, my hip flexors, hamstrings, knees and hips feel different. After yesterday’s ten mile run, I wasn’t very sore but knew a yoga class would help stretch things out.

I purchased a Groupon ($29 for five classes…booyah) for a newer yoga studio in Madison called The Studio. The Studio looked beautiful.

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When I arrived for the 10:30am class fifteen minutes early with Groupon in hand, the receptionist was especially friendly. I quickly filled out waivers and walked into the heated room. This studio keeps the room heated to ninety-five degrees (to compare, Bikram studios keep the room at one hundred and five degrees).

It was a fantastic class, and I am looking forward to going back again. Because of the heat and the fairly crowded class, I was dripping in no time. I really liked the instructor; she was confident and offered lots of variations to poses. At one point, after moving between crescent pose and warrior two multiple times, I had to go down to child’s pose; the dizziness became pretty intense and I could taste bleach (this also happens to me after camel pose). I left the class looking like I had just showered but with a big smile on my face.

I wore something new to the class this morning. Before Brody woke up, I drove to Target (only a mile away!) and was the very first customer in the store (lame or awesome?). Along with boring but necessary stuff like printer ink, toilet bowl scrubbers, and air freshener, I bought three new work out items.

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This is me attempting to be artistic with my “photography.”

I hate running in shorts but have wondered about spandex style shorts. Target had a pair for $25, and I figured that even if they don’t work for running long distances, I could wear them for occasional yoga classes or even cross training. For yoga this morning, they stayed in place on my thighs and were very comfortable. As for the other goodies, I don’t have many running tops and found this pink one on sale for $9. Lastly, my left big toe nail keeps making holes in my socks = annoying. This three pack was $8, so we’ll see how they hold up. Hopefully they don’t give me blisters.

It feels good to end the weekend feeling like I had a good balance of activity (run and yoga), rest (nap yesterday afternoon and ten hours of sleep last night), time with friends (The Hunger Games and Culver’s), work around the house (laundry and stained the porch swing), Brody-time (grilling out together last night and running errands today), and me-time (blogging).

I hope you also had a balanced weekend!

Questions:
Do you go to yoga regularly? Where and what kind?
What was the last item of workout clothing that you purchased? I would love more suggestions, especially for distance running.