Pregnancy Update: 25 Weeks

Tomorrow I’ll be 25 weeks pregnant! I had a total meltdown last night when I realized how soon this baby is coming and how much we still have to do. Things are truly so so different the second time around. In some ways it’s much harder but in other ways I actually like it a lot more. I think this time around I feel so much more connected to the baby because I know what I’m getting at the end of all this. That sounds so weird but the first time around, you don’t yet understand how much love you will have for your child. I hadn’t experienced nursing yet, or those moments you share with only your baby. The first time around it was almost so alien, so strange. People would explain things to me but I had yet to experience it for myself. This time I am experiencing pregnancy as a mother. This time, I have Dex, a perfect example of what is to come and it makes me just so much more excited to meet this baby and experience all those little moments with him or her.

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I wanted to change up the questions this time around so I took some of these from my sweet friend Allison’s blog! She’s expecting now too if you guys want to follow along with her as well!

How far along are you?: 25 weeks! yeah right!

Baby is: Awesome! kidding, kind of. I think I’m supposed to say: 14 inches long and about a pound and a half!

Movement: Crazy movement. From 16 weeks on I swear I can feel every move this baby makes. My placenta was at the front last time, so I never felt Dex like this. It’s super fun to be able to even feel little rolls and sharp things like (what I can only assume are) feet and knees and elbows. Dex was chill in the womb and chill when he came out so we might be in trouble with this babe!

Total weight gain/loss: I’m up 15 lbs. Which is way more than I had gained at this point with Dexter. But, I’m feeling good and eating well and happy with that!

Maternity clothes?: Yes – I got the most amazing jeans from H&M that make me feel stylish again! For shirts, I’m still just sizing up or getting long tees and tanks! H&M is really the best for all things maternity – whether it’s in that section or not. I also love the maternity line from Asos.com

Belly button in or out?: Almost out – and it never came all the way out with Dexter at all – so that’s different!

Stretch marks?: No not yet, but I’m crazy itchy and I think that’s connected somehow. I didn’t have an itchy belly with Dex until I was like 36 weeks!

Obsessing over: New baby shopping and nursery decorating! I’ve been pinning like crazy and working with an amazing e-designer on the new room! It’s hard when we don’t know the gender but we are going to prepare the best we can and then buy the gender specific touches after the baby is here.

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(cutest new organic swaddle blanket from Darling Littles – softest swaddle blanket I’ve ever felt!)

Sleep: Insomnia has hit me hard! I had it in the first trimester big time and now it is back. It feels like I drank a double americano at 1 am and then tried to go to sleep. My eye muscles literally hurt from trying to keep my eyes closed. Maybe it’s my body trying to give me a taste of what my new life will be like. Up all night, then up with a wild toddler all day. (I CAN do this, I CAN do this!)

Favorite moment this week: Hmmm – not going to lie it’s been an uneventful week. I guess the best part had nothing to do with babies/pregnancy at all but my amazing mother in law came over to watch Dex while I went out for the morning shopping alone! I hit up David’s tea, Lush and H&M and it was magical! Do i feel guilty that the best moment didn’t involve my babies? A little – but Dex saying “mama” for the thousandth time is the best part of my day and I thought that might be a little expected haha

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Working on: Our house. We are finishing up our bedroom then onto the new nursery, Dexter’s toddler room and a playroom in the basement. We were so confident that we could easily get all this done before the baby back in December and now I’m starting to freak out! At the end of the day the LAST thing I want to do is put together furniture or paint a room but it needs to get done. Waaah.. We will get there.

Thinking about: The birth. Always. Sometimes I lose sleep over it. I’m planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian) and feeling all kinds of anxious about how it will go. I know it is the right choice for me and I am so excited at the possibility of it happening but there are so many factors that can throw things off. I know this baby will get here how it gets here and that God has it all planned out but I’m still thinking about this whole VBAC thing alllll the time! (If you have had a VBAC I would love love love to hear from you!!!)

Currently craving: I barely had any cravings this time around until like this past week! Lately, I will think of something and nothing else will do until I have it. I’m loving orange juice, candy (like those 5c fruit candies), pizza, cucumber/tomato/feta salad, watermelon and ice cream.

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Anything make you sick or queasy?: No nothing. I have thankfully been nausea free since around 16 weeks, and it was BAD this time around so I’m so so so happy about that.

What are you most looking forward to?: Meeting this baby and finding out whether it’s a boy or a girl!! (spoiler alert – that will be my answer every week). Last time, we didn’t find out the gender and it was so easy. I was never tempted at all. This time, I am DYYYYING not knowing what it is. I think it’s because last time I was like 99% sure it was a boy in my heart. This time I have no feelings either way at all! I am just dying to know who it is and meet him/her and give them a name and a room in our home. Now that this child exists it just feels like our family isn’t complete until he/she is here. I am however, really working on soaking up my last couple months with one child and being able to spend all my time with Dex – so I’m also just looking forward to that – just the end of this chapter and the beginning of the next.

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Thanks so much for reading!

ps. SO many selfies in this post – just realized haha tired of the back of my phone yet? Me too. :)

B

First Trimester Recap

So I’m past the first trimester, but I thought it would be cool to do a little recap instead of doing weekly updates because the first trimester for me can basically be summed up in 3 words; sick, tired, HUNGRY!

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^ 14 weeks

It felt like my first trimester was only a month long because if you read my last post, you will know that we didn’t find out we were expecting until about 2 months in – which I didn’t mind one bit!

So far this pregnancy has been super different in some ways and exactly the same in others. It has been really fun to look back on my pregnancy updates from last time and compare details.

How it’s different:

Last time I had 13 year old boy acne for like 4 months straight and this time, I’ve maybe had one breakout.

Last time my nausea was just in the morning, this time it has been all day. This time is was also way more intense and although I never threw up there were waaaay too many close calls. I think it might be because this time I change diapers and seeing poop like 4 times a day is about the worst thing ever when you feel nauseous.

This time I had a huge meat aversion. YUCK!

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^ must sleep!

This time I’m craving more citrus/sweet/cold/fresh things, last time it was all pasta and the saltiest things I could get my hands on. Seriously, all I wanted all day was salami (?!?!)

I don’t think I have mentioned it on the blog before, and I’m even a little uncomfortable mentioning it now but, the biggest difference is last time I had (I didn’t even know this was  a thing) pre-natal depression (also called Antenatal depression). I literally got punched in the face with hormones and felt so down and depressed all the time. I know pregnancy brings about a lot of hormones and emotional changes for everyone but I could tell this was something different. I would get so emotional over the most random things my husband said to me and have super bizarre thoughts about things like my marriage and my body. For example, I had gained maybe 3 pounds and I would literally look in the mirror and loathe myself and feel enormous (but in the second trimester when I had gained like way more I felt amazing).  If my husband said anything to thing to me (ie. teasing me about chewing loud – this actually happened) I would cry for like 2 hours and then tell him that if he wanted out now then he was free to go and I was prepared to raise this baby on my own – and I would mean it. I would see that as a real possibility. Like, what in the actual hell right?!! This was so NOT me and I knew it at the time but I couldn’t get myself out of it. Thankfully it passed on it’s own. I can specifically remember the day where I was getting ready for bed at night and I realized “OMG – I didn’t cry today!!!!!!” and then the next day I didn’t cry, and the day after that and I knew it was over. I thank God for my husband’s patience and grace through that first trimester. It was funny because this time around I could tell he was prepared to tread lightly because of the hormone explosion that happened last time, but this time is nothing like that at all. I was so relieved to not have to experience that. Until this I had zero experience with any form of depression. I was always someone who never understood depression, and even now I don’t think I grasp it completely, but after my experience in my first pregnancy I thought to myself ‘I kinda get it.” I’m a little embarrassed to say that  I was a little insensitive about depression before. You can’t just “be happy” or be told “you’re not fat” or “I want to be married to you” – you still don’t believe any of it. Anyway – I’ve never said any of this before haha – but maybe some of you have felt the same. In case you were also wondering, I didn’t experience any post-partum depression after Dex was born.

First Trimester Recap: 

Total weight gain/loss:  I think I gained about 8 lbs in the first trimester. To me it seemed like a lot, but I started at a much lower weight than I did with Dex. I think it was because of nursing. I still haven’t caught up to what I naturally sit at (120) before pregnancy/dex/nursing. I was also eating for like a full family of 4 in the first trimester sooo. I’m currently about 118 and counting ;) (and because someone always asks I’m 5’2″)

Maternity clothes?: None during the first trimester but this week (17 weeks) I decided I’ll need to go get some maternity pants/leggings. Thinking of trying H&M. What are some of your fave maternity brands?

Stretch marks? Nope – doing the whole sweet almond oil thing again. It seemed to work last time.

Sleep: Sleep was so good the first 3 months. I’ve got a baby who sleeps through the night and my bladder can still make it until morning too! I’m dreading this changing!! I slept better with a newborn baby than I did when I was pregnant.

Best moment: Finding out we were pregnant was in the first trimester so I’ll say that. I also love seeing my little bump and taught Dex to say baby and where his and my belly is. The dating ultrasound was also fun…seeing a little bean on the screen is the best!

Miss Anything? Hot yoga, and I probably would have liked a glass of wine over the holidays but nothing really.

Movement: Not in the first trimester but started feeling them December 27th.

Anything make you queasy or sick:  YES! Meat of any kind, baby poo, garbage smell, weird textures, being hungry.

Have you started to show yet:  Yes! I’m much bigger this time around. When you think about Dexter was literally in there 16 months ago so I think my body is just like “I remember how this goes, I’ll just get started now.” I’m about as big at 16 weeks as I was at 23 weeks with Dexter.

Gender prediction: Last time I KNEW! We didn’t find out but I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was a boy. This time I have a feeeeeling but it’s nothing like last time. If I had to guess I would say girl but it’s still like 60/40.

Belly Button in or out? My belly button never went all the way out last time, but this time it’s already well on it’s way.2015-01-07 09.48.55

^ 15 weeks // full disclosure: I make these black and white to try to hide how filthy my bathroom mirror is. I don’t think it’s working. haha. I told you I was tired – no time to clean.

Happy or Moody most of the timeHappy! So much happier than last time!

Preparations for baby: We haven’t done much yet but I have some nursery plans. We will have to move Dex and decorate a toddler room for him too!

Looking forward to: Feeling kicks and Zach being able to feel them too. Also decorating a nursery and toddler room!

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^ today @ 17 weeks

Thanks for reading! I won’t be updating weekly but as much as I can and as things change! I’m also thinking about changing the questions in this update a little, I feel like so many of the answers stay the same every week. Any suggestions??

-Britt

 

Baby #2 – How We Found Out!

For my first pregnancy I basically thought I was the first person to ever be pregnant. Just kidding….kind of. It was just all so crazy and new and exciting and the whole thing had to be documented. Now this time around, I am equally excited but I remember feeling like not a lot changed last time from week to week so I’m going to be doing pregnancy updates monthly. Even that feels super ambitions as I sit here exhausted at 11:30pm thinking about how my toddler better not have another 6am wake up!

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(my husband  – the artist ^)

I’m (*checks Baby center app on phone*) 17 weeks so I have a bit of catch up to do but I thought I would start with how we found out!

Lets go back a bit. I knew I wanted more children after I had Dex. I also knew I wanted them to be close in age. But when you are nursing and your baby still feels so little it was hard for me to imagine bringing another baby into the family. My husband was totally ready, but I knew my body needed more time. I needed more time. Around Dex’s first birthday, I started to get a little baby fever. Then we started weaning and he started sleeping through the night and I wasn’t exhausted anymore and I thought “Alright, NOW we can do this.” I was still back and forth from time to time, but I was starting to feel ready. My husband and I talked a lot and decided that we would leave it in God’s hands. We believe that He knows what is best for us and He already knows what and when our family will grow so instead of letting our emotions/hormones/fear dictate we would just let go and trust Him. Well — God was certainly waiting for that “go ahead” (Not that He needs it.)

To give you a bit of a timeline here, Dex turned one on August 19th, we went away for our anniversary around the 25th and AFTER that we decided to start the (what we thought would be) long process of “trying” for another baby. Well – without giving you TMI the doctor estimates that I got pregnant sometime around September 1st.. soooooo super super fast….like first time fast!

I hadn’t gotten my “cycle” back the whole time I was nursing Dexter and even after we started weaning so I had no way of knowing I was “late”. I noticed what felt like period cramping around the end of September. I assumed it was my cycle making it’s way back.  Well – it never came and the cramping continued for about 2 weeks. At this point I am still 100% it’s my period. I heard the first one after pregnancy comes back with a vengeance (sorry, that’s gross) so I just thought it was super drawn out and my body was just finding it’s way back from nursing/pregnancy. I was doing makeup at a wedding with my sister in law on Saturday and she had her baby 4 days before me and was weaning and we got chatting and I told her I think my cycle is going to return because I’ve had period cramps for like 2 weeks. She pretty well instantly told me to take a test.

I bought one the next day (which was Thanksgiving sunday) and asked Zach if he wanted a surprise again or wanted to be there for it. He wanted to do the whole wait 3 minutes and look together thing so we did.

Evidently I assumed I was an old PRO at pregnancy tests (HA) and didn’t read the directions at all because we had literally “tried” maybe 2 times and I am totally, obviously not pregnant! I do my thing and leave the test on the counter. The test has 2 windows – one is the control and always has a line -the other (this is so confusing) has ONE line if you are pregnant and NOTHING if you aren’t pregnant (is that not weird??). I am an idiot and figured it was like a plus or TWO lines if you were pregnant and one if you aren’t. I literally made this up because I was totally NOT pregnant.

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(I know!! It says it RIGHT on it – but I was that sure that I was not pregnant so I think my brain just saw what it saw.)

After 3 minutes we went in and I grabbed the test, saw one line, and like a total know-it-all said “see..negative” Zach looked at it and for a second was like “oh. okay”. At this point ready to walk out of the bathroom and move on (because even when you don’t know what you want or if you are ready – when you take a test you suddenly really want it to be positive) and my husband picked up the test and took a closer look (thank GOD!) and it went like this

Zach: Uhhhhhhhhh………I think…….it’s positive.

Britt: *grabs test* No – one line. Negative.

Zach: No…one line..pregnant..see.

Britt: *Takes a closer look. Hand on mouth. Falls onto toilet.* “OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG OMG……..!!!!!”

Dex sensed our excitement and got all excited too and it was actually such a beautiful moment – the 3 of us all hugging in our tiny little bathroom. It took me like a week to wrap my mind around it. I had no idea when it happened and although it was so much quicker than we anticipated we are so blessed that it wasn’t difficult for us and that we have been entrusted with another baby!

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(Took a second – non-trick test to be sure!)

At our ultrasound we found out we were already 2 months along – which was great because no one likes the first trimester anyway ;)

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When people ask I never know what to say. It was a surprise but we also knew what we were doing and 1+1 = 2
soooo we really shouldn’t have been as shocked as we were. It was an amazing thanksgiving surprise!

Thanks so much for reading! I’ll be posting my first trimester update tomorrow!

Britt

Baby Number TWO!

Hey guys! Welcome (or maybe it’s welcome back) to my little family blog! I started this blog to be able to document and follow my first pregnancy (Dexter born August 19th 2013) and now that I’m expecting baby number TWO in June I figured I would get back into it. It’s so fun being able to document all the little details and look back on them. I especially love now that I am pregnant again, comparing how I felt each week with Dexter to how I’m feeling now! Totally different pregnancy so far!

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I took a little break from this blog and it became super sporadic. Which worked for me at the time because I would rather be spending time with my busy toddler, than blogging about him and Lord knows, he doesn’t give me a whole lot of free time. I also was working on another blog with my best friend Natalie. This blog has been my priority and I would love for you to follow along there as well! It’s more of a lifestyle blog where we post recipes, DIY projects, favourite toddler products, beauty and style posts and anything else we are feeling inspired by! I will be posting some pregnancy stuff over on Three Little Crowns (fave products, must haves, etc)  but I’ll be posting more of the personal pregnancy stuff here along with super amateur iphone photos (just being honest) and family/bump updates.

We recently did a family shoot with Mint Photography to announce our pregnancy and capture some family photos before our new baby arrives. It’s nice being able to capture our little family of three since it will only be the three of us for another 6 months!! Natalie did such an amazing job!! It was so cold and Dex was so grumpy but you would never know by these gorgeous shots. Thanks so much Natalie – we are obsessed!

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Thanks so much for reading! Tomorrow I’m sharing a first trimester recap and the surprise story of how we found out about baby number 2!!

Photos by Mint Photography – www.mintphotography.ca  @_mintphotography

Makeup by Makeup by Brittany – www.makeupbybrittany.com   @makeupbybrit

Dexter’s Birth Story

I have been back and forth for weeks now on how to write this post.  Like most women, my labour and delivery did not go according to “plan”. I know, I know. I have read it a million times: DO NOT have a birth plan. So honestly, I didn’t have one. I had some mental ideas for what I expected, but I had nothing written down and was prepared to go with the flow and bring this baby into the world in whatever way I needed to. Looking back, nothing could have prepared me for how “off plan” things actually went.

I have been hesitating to write this story because honestly after the experience I was feeling a little bitter. I wanted to write this when my hormones had calmed down and when I could appreciate the experience for who it brought me instead of looking at it as a situation where I was a victim. (Hormones make you feel pretty cooky after labour.)

Well, it’s just over 6 weeks later, and finally I feel like putting it all down and sharing our labour and delivery story. Here it goes….My apologies for the delay. Aside from wanting to take some time to deal with the emotions that come with giving birth, I also wanted to take some time “off” to get to know our baby and not rush back into blogging. Thanks so much for staying with me :) I’m back for good!

NOTE: this post is incredibly long. If you’re not into reading about gory birth details feel free to skim to the photos :)

Other NOTE: There are so many different opinions on pregnancy, labour and birth. All I ask is that if you disagree with any choices I made or have anything to say that is not supportive or encouraging then please don’t comment. Everyone’s situation is so unique and different, and while my situation couldn’t have been farther from what I wanted, I look back now and feel proud of all I went through and stand by every decision I made.

Thursday August 15th – I had a midwife appointment, and everything was looking and sounding good. I knew my due date was approaching quickly, but something told me I would go over and I was okay with that. When my midwife was feeling my belly for the position of the baby she said I was having braxton hicks contractions and my belly was too hard to feel the baby. We needed to wait a couple more minutes. As she was saying this I got a strong ache in my back. She said “Your belly will feel like this when you are in labour except there will be pain or cramping too.” I just wrote the back pain off and waited the contraction out. We felt for the baby and everything felt good and normal. Then we left. I dropped my husband off at work after our appointment and went to grab some lunch and do some shopping. While I was shopping the back cramps continued. They were different than the usual “period cramps” that I had been feeling throughout my pregnancy but still not super strong. I was able to walk and talk and shop through them, but I knew something was different. They were about 20 minutes apart and stayed that way for the rest of the evening. That night I couldn’t sleep. I would wake up with each contraction, not in a ton of pain, but uncomfortable for sure. The pain was all in my low back and bum at this point.

Friday August 16th – After a brutal night’s sleep I tried to go about my normal day but nothing had changed in the contraction/pain area. The pain was now coming about every 15 minutes apart and was accompanied by a super hard belly. Eventually around 5pm I called my midwife to ask her about my sleeping situation and if there was anything safe that I could do that would help me sleep. I knew it wasn’t “time” but I also knew that if there was a chance I could have a baby in the next couple of days that I needed sleep. She told me to take 2 gravol and 2 tylenol and try to sleep through the night. I hate taking gravol because I feel like a zombie the day after I take it, but I knew I needed rest. Bedtime came, and I was still feeling the pain. They were coming about every 15 minutes, so I happily took the pills. To my surprise, I fell asleep and stayed asleep until about 4:30am (I assume that’s when the gravol wore off). After 4:30 I was up again every 15 minutes until I woke up for good. Booo

Saturday August 17th – My mom arrived from 5 hours away. I had been talking to her about what I was feeling and she thought it would be a good idea to come down just in case. Call it mother’s intuition, but she says she knew it was time. I, on the other hand, was in complete denial. I literally thought she was going to hang out for a week with no baby and then need to go back home and miss the birth. Zach, mom and I spent the day walking around Pawlooza (it’s like this outdoor festival for dog owners and dogs – so fun) with our dog and seeing if we could get things going. After coming home from the festival, things picked up. We started timing contractions and they were coming exactly 10 minutes apart and getting strong enough that I could no longer walk through them. I found I needed to lean against something and focus. My mom was making me freezer meals and I was still in denial. I had heard so many stories about this happening and then everything just stopping, so I think I was trying to not get my hopes up. Around 6:30 I had a particularly painful contraction. This one stopped me in my tracks. I had my mom push on my low back to ease the pain. It was brutal. After that contraction I went to the washroom and found that I had lost my mucus plug (not as gross as it sounds). I think this is when I started to think that this was actually happening and that Baby Havens would be here soon! By Saturday night, every contraction felt like the really bad one. They were around 7 minutes apart now and I was experiencing incredible pain like a knife in the back and the bum. I think I had about 4 or 5 baths that night. It was nothing like how I expected contractions to feel like. I did the gravol/tylenol thing again and tried to sleep. This time it didn’t work at all. Up all night every 7 minutes. Most contractions I would wake Zach up and have him push on my lower back as hard as he could. This night was bad. I knew I was getting exhausted and wouldn’t be able to get through labour after not sleeping for 3 nights in a row.

My mom took this photo as my “last belly shot.” HUGE right!?

40 weeks pregnant

Sunday August 18th – I called my midwife again and updated her. I told her about my night and she agreed that although I wasn’t in active labour yet that I couldn’t keep this whole no sleep thing up. She came to my house around noon to check me and see if I was progressing at all. She prepared me that most women progress really slow and if I wasn’t dilated at all that that was completely normal. I prepared for that, but to our surprise I was 2 almost 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. She seemed surprised by this and told me she thought we would have a baby by tonight. She also did a sweep at this time to try to get things moving so that I wouldn’t have to go another night with zero sleep. After my midwife left, things continued to pick up. Contractions were coming 5 minutes apart and were incredibly painful. I had a bath an hour and tried to rest as much as possible. My mom was timing. I wanted to stay at home as long as I could. I don’t love the hospital and felt comfortable in my own space. By 10 pm I thought it might be time to go to the hospital. The pain was becoming unmanageable for me. No bath or counter pressure could help me. I could no longer talk through my contractions and was feeling exhausted. I called my midwife (a new one had come on-call at this point). She came to the house and checked me again, she said I was at 3-4cm. This to me was kinda bad news. These contractions felt so strong, and to think they only progressed me 1 cm was hard. I couldn’t imagine doing another 6 cm like this. I felt like I would be in labour another 4 days. She said we could go to the hospital or I could continue to labour at home. She didn’t think it was time yet so I agreed to stay home and see how it went. She left, and an hour later we called her back and told her to meet us at the hospitall. Honestly, I don’t know if her being “all up in there” made things happen but HOLY CRAP, those minutes were the most intense thing I have ever experienced. The pain was sharp and still in my back and bum. It made me want to scream. I have seen plenty of natural childbirth videos and none of them seemed like this. I really have an incredible pain tolerance but this was like body splitting in half pain. The drive to the hospital was the most painful 10 minutes of my life. My husband was speeding and a police car began to follow us, my mom put on the 4 ways and when we came to the red light he rolled down his window to see why we were blatantly speeding.  My mom explained that I was in labour and he put his lights on and let us run the red. Police escort, not bad. :)

This is us waiting for the epidural. I’m trying super hard to look pain-free. haha

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From here things got really sloooww. As soon as we got there I was begging for the epidural. I was 5cm dilated and 100% effaced. Half way there, or so I thought. The epidural was placed and all the IV’s were in. None of this is what I wanted but at this point I was desperate for rest. I needed energy to push this baby out and all I could think about was sleeping. It was 2 am and Zach, mom and I tried to get some sleep. I could barely sleep because I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to meet my baby. 3 hours later (5am) and my midwife checks me again. At this point I’m expecting her to tell me I’m 7 cm dilated and that I’ll be ready to push in no time. Instead she tells me I’m still 5cm dilated. So no change. She decides to break my water to get things moving along. After my water is broken she feels for the baby and tells me that my baby is facing up and that it will need to change positions before it can be delivered. They put me in a weird side lying position to try to get the baby to turn. Water broken, we wait until about 1pm and check me again. Ready for this?? 6 cm!!! Honestly?! That’s one centimetre in 8 hours! Clearly things were not going as everyone thought they would. I was frustrated and exhausted. The epidural was making my have the shakes and my jaw was in tremendous pain from chattering for almost a day. We still had the option of starting me on Pitocin, but this had been something I desperately wanted to avoid. At this point though, it felt like my only choice. My contractions were not getting any stronger or any closer together, and with my water broken, the baby’s head was now pushing up against a 6cm opening. I agreed to a super low dose to see if it affected me at all. I had 4 cm to go and if it could even kick start things a little I was willing to try it. They started the Pitocin and about an hour later I got a fever. A bad fever. They were checking my temperature every 5 minutes and with every check it was higher. Then my baby’s heart rate spiked and stayed there. My contractions actually got shorter and less intense. (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) I whispered to Zach “this is my worst nightmare.” I knew where this was going. I told Zach that under no circumstances was I having a C section. I was desperate to “deliver” my baby. My fever was incredibly high so my midwife went to get an OB.

The OB came in, and she was incredible and funny, but I was so zoned out. I just laid there crying waiting for her to tell me what I already knew. She checked around a bit and told me that it felt like a big baby and that it was still face up and tilted. She then sat on my bed and told me that I had an infection. Chorioamnionitis. It’s an inflammation of the fetal membranes due to a bacterial infection. It typically results from bacteria ascending into the uterus and is most often associated with prolonged labor. Prolonged labour is right! At this point I hated my body. I was so mad and confused.I felt like a failure. I asked the OB how I got this infection. My biggest fear at this point was that I caused this or that I had it before and could have treated and prevented this whole thing. I thought that maybe the epidural  or breaking my water caused the infection. Thankfully she assured me that it is a spontaneous infection that I literally got in the last few hours. It’s very rare and occurs in less than 2% of all births.

I held Zach’s hand and he tried to act super cool and excited and get me pumped to meet our baby. I was devastated and exhausted. Hot tears ran down my face as the OB told me we didn’t have much time to get the baby out and that a C section in the next 10 minutes was our only choice. I was so worried for our baby and just nodded and tried to zone out and not let my exhaustion and fear overwhelm me. I prayed in my head that the surgery would go smoothly. I prayed that our baby would be safe. I kept looking at the monitor and the baby’s heart rate was still extremely high. My mom was there and I could tell she was upset. She knew how scared I was and how I desperately wanted to do this the other way. I said goodbye to mom and they wheeled me down the hall to the operating room.

Zach getting stoked to meet our baby.

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This room was scary. They moved me to a table in the middle of the room that was under the brightest lights I’ve ever seen. There were like 15 doctors in the room. Each of them immediately got to work on something. One was upping my epidural, one putting monitors on my chest, they changed my gown and started sterilizing my belly. I heard my OB talking everyone through the procedure and explaining why I was there. At this point Zach was out of the room getting changed. I closed my eyes and prayed so much. My midwife was with me which was incredible. She kept me calm and distracted while I waited for Zach. They started the surgery and I had a little freak out because they hadn’t let Zach in yet but about 3 minutes after they started he was by my side. I don’t remember much between Zach getting there and our baby coming out. It felt like an hour but it was about 8 minutes.

I felt a ton of pressure and doctors pushing on my belly to push the baby down and out. At one point it felt like my entire body turned inside out and I knew our baby was here. I immediately stopped crying and just looked around the little curtain they had blocking me from seeing the surgery. They said they would show us the baby (at this point we didn’t know the sex) and then our baby would have to go to a different room due to the infection. To my left I saw him…. This was the greatest moment of my entire life. The doctor held him and let Zach proudly announce “it’s a boy!” I can still see him exactly how he was at that moment. I reached out my hand towards him even though I knew I couldn’t touch him. It was so reflexive. I cried harder than I ever have in my life. I literally couldn’t breathe. All the emotion and exhaustion built up over the last 4 days came flooding out all at once.  He, on the other hand, didn’t cry in the operating room which scared me but, shortly after he left the room we could hear a baby screaming down the hall and we knew it was him. My incredible midwife followed our son to the other room and captured his first photos!

Dexter Zachary Havens / born August 19th, 2013 at 2:32pm / 8lb 6oz / 51cm long

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I was crying so hard after seeing him that the doctor actually had to ask me to stop crying because they couldn’t stitch me up. They were laughing at me. I calmed down and took a second to assess what just happened. Zach was looking down at me with tears in his eyes and I heard him say “Dexter”. I had a son. A boy. I KNEW it was a boy!

Zach left and they finished the surgery and after what felt like forever brought me my son in the operating room. I held him for the first time and my heart exploded. He was puffy and gooey and the most beautiful boy I had ever seen. I stared at him and tears streamed down my face. Zach joined us and we were wheeled to the recovery room.

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It is all such a blur. I wish I could watch the whole situation again as an outsider. It was the scariest moment of my entire life and the most beautiful.

In the recovery room we took some more pictures and Dexter nursed (like a boss) for the first time. I was deliriously happy. I have never had such energy in my life. I have also never been so starving. Laying there with my son in my arms and my husband at the side of my bed is one of my favourite moments of my entire life.

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Was my labour and delivery what I wanted? NO! Do I still hate it? Yeah, kinda. But, it brought me my son. My perfect healthy son and I would do it 1000 more times to have him in my life. I would do it 1000 more times to have him even smile at me.

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At the end of it all, my midwife said to me, “Most women don’t get the labour/delivery they want, they get the labour/delivery they need.” It kinda hit me. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. I also believe that God is in control of these things and I trust Him. I trust that for whatever reason, this is the birth story that I needed. This was exactly what was going to happen from the start and God had his hand on us and is trying to teach me something through it. I still struggle some days. I still long to have pushed him out but I have decided that I absoutely “delivered” my baby. It might not be the traditional way but my body still nurtured him and brought him here.

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Thank you for reading and for caring at all about my story. We are doing well and can’t wait to post more updates!

B

My Hospital Bag – Labour and Delivery

labour and delivery Since becoming pregnant packing my hospital bag was something I was really looking forward to. I love packing for a trip or vacation and to be honest couldn’t wait to shop for some new things to take with me. As a first time mom, I wasn’t sure what I would need to bring so I did a lot of research and read some other blogs with amazing suggestions on what to pack. Each hospital is different and each labour is different so obviously what everyone feels like they need to bring varies. For me, I’m an over-packer every single time I have to go anywhere. I tried not to over-do it because everyone I know said they didn’t use anything they brought but there is always that “just in case”. Here are my hospital bag essentials for labour and delivery: (from left to right)

1. My own towel – I grabbed one of our crappy ones because I assume most of what comes into the delivery room gets ruined anyway. I just thought it would be nice to have my own big soft towel after I shower.

2. My Gownie – I got this online after seeing them on What to Expect When You’re Expecting. They’re adorable hospital gowns that are meant for labour and delivery and are actually super cute. I know all dignity goes out the window when you give birth, but I thought if I had the option to not have my bum hanging out as I walk the hospital halls then why not! It does all the way up the back and the front comes down for breast-feeding and skin to skin. I ordered mine from Baby Be Mine.

3. Babies R Us Postpartum Support Band – I just purchased this yesterday after several friends recommending it to me. Essentially it’s a tight band that you velcro around your waist after you have a baby to help things go back to where they belong. It is supposed to help with posture, uncomfortable uterine swelling, bloating and overall back support. Apparently it just feels really good to have this band holding all the jiggly parts in. Will this work? I have no idea, but the reviews are great and for $26 I’m willing to give it a try.

4. Disposable nursing pads by Lansinoh – I bought reusable/washable ones for home but grabbed a small pack of disposable nursing pads for the hospital. I’m sure none of my visitors want to see ..well.. leaky-ness.

5. Enormous Granny Panties – I just got a cheap pack that I didn’t mind ruining or throwing away. Just your classic pack of Hanes super high-waist briefs. Sexy right?

6. Toiletries and Makeup bag – more detail on this in my next post.

7. Nursing Bras from Thyme Maternity – I have a white and a black. I have the comfortable almost sport bra looking ones. They had cute ones, but I know underwire can be uncomfortable and lead to blocked ducts (not fun!) and mastitis (even less fun) so I’m thinking comfort is the name of the game here. They have little hooks for quick access for baby and for skin to skin contact. The exact ones I have are pictured HERE.

8. Bandeau Tops – I packed these to use in place of a nursing bra. Easy access. Soft fabric. What’s not to love?

9. Socks with grip, slippers and flip-flops – All kind of serving the same purpose. I hear you can get really cold while in labor, so socks/slippers are a must. And the flip-flops? What happens on those hospital floors is something I try not to think about. My sister is a nurse; I have heard the stories and my feet are staying far away! Well, like a 1/4 inch away. Good enough!

10. My own pillow case and (not pictured) my pillow – This one was, like, top of everyone’s list. There is something really comforting about your own pillow. Let’s face it – you could be laying down for a looooong time and I need, like, 4 pillows now for me to feel comfortable, so I’m not leaving it up to those flat little hospital pillows. The chevron case is just so it’s not white and doesn’t get confused with any of the hospital pillows.

11. Cell phone and charger – To capture all the details. Okay, maybe not ALL the details, but at least to let everyone know that Baby Havens is here!

12. Robe – I got THIS amazing lightweight one from Target by Gilligan and O’Malley. Its soft and can be thrown over anything for when visitors come.

13. Going home outfit for me – I packed my maternity leggings, a loose nursing tank top from Target and a light cardigan in case it’s chilly. I’m obsessed with Target nursing tanks!

14. Notebook and pen – It’s been my ‘List book’ throughout this whole pregnancy, and I prefer pen and paper to anything on my phone.

15. Snacks – I brought some sweet snacks for during labor to give me a little sugar if I need it. These have been taunting me every day. They might not make it to the hospital. Mmmm

16. Enormous Overnight Maxi Pads – I don’t need to explain these. I opened one up the other day. It was basically a diaper. I’m not sure the above mentioned granny panties can even contain this much maxi pad. Blah!

17. Big Bag to fit everything in – Mine is just a duffel by Volcom.

Not pictured: Breast feeding pillow.

That’s pretty much it. This list ended up being far more embarrassing than I thought it would be. I guess the only people reading it are probably going to need to pack a bag like this for themselves someday.

There are a few things left around the house that we need to grab before we leave, and things like our good camera, laptop, change for vending machines, and important documents are packed in Zach’s hospital bag.

Also, I know I may have overpacked but that’s what I do. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bring a cute pink towel and overpack to the point of Zach hardly being able to carry my bag. As tempting as it might be to tell me all the things I don’t need, please let me know if there is anything I may have forgotten. :) Thanks experienced mamas! Thanks again for reading!

Britt

Dear Baby Havens

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Today I am 39 weeks pregnant. I have a pregnancy journal where I record all pregnancy related stuff and of course, this blog but I have never written a letter to you. So here it is. From a scared mama-to-be to my first-born. As I sit to write this letter to you I imagine you reading it at different stages in your life. Should I write it for you to understand when you are 7 or 17? At this point I can’t believe you’re ever going to be 7 or 17.

Looking back, this pregnancy has been the best time of my life so far. I was talking to your dad the other day and telling him that even though there were hormonal and uncomfortable parts or days when I felt sick or couldn’t sleep I have never felt such peace and surety in the direction of my life. I have never felt more complete and connected to another human being. You are mine, you were made for us, and we were made for you.

I remember at the very beginning of this pregnancy when I first realized how much I loved you. It was like nothing I have ever felt. I thought of you growing inside me and realized right there that I would lay down my life for you to be okay. I would walk through fire, give up all my senses for the rest of my life…anything for you to be happy and healthy and okay.  I thought surely that no one had ever loved like this before. I must be the only person who had ever felt this way. Then I realized that I have a mom, and your dad has a mom and well, everyone has a mom. It literally hit me like a ton of bricks that my mom (your grandma) feels this way about me too! I have always known my mother loved me. I have always known that she would do anything for me but does she actually feel this way about me? The answer is YES, she does. All moms do. That is the beauty of this motherhood thing. It is this whole new, all-consuming love that I would have never experienced had it not been for you. A love that transcends anything I could ever want for myself. A love that takes me away from the things that I think matter and points me toward you and our family and my husband and God.

Baby, we are waiting patiently for you. I feel like I know you so well. I am somehow so deeply connected to you and I don’t even know if you are a boy or a girl. I feel like I know you better than I could know anything or anyone but the exciting part is…I don’t yet. There is so much about you to learn. My whole life will be spent getting to know you and all your uniqueness. I couldn’t imagine anything else I would rather do.

The anticipation leading up to meeting you, touching you and bringing you into our family is like nothing I could have ever imagined.  Everything I have ever dreamed or accomplished before is now eclipsed by the idea of loving you and of being yours. I can’t promise you we are “ready” or “completely prepared” but we are here, and we will love you, protect you and provide for you. We will learn together along the way and while it won’t always be easy, it will be so so worth it.

I thank God for you very day. He has blessed us with you. He has knit you together. Every detail was thought out and ordained by Him and I have no idea how I am deserving of you but I don’t take being your mother lightly. I pray you are safe in there. I pray that you are healthy and that you have a safe delivery. I pray that you will grow and love God and that with His help I will be a great mom to you.

You are the only one who knows how my heartbeat sounds from the inside. You have changed me and your dad already and we can’t wait to see you, hold you and fall even more in love with each other and you.

Whenever you’re ready little babe…

Love, Mom.