Friday, July 15, 2011

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

Baby Hendrik shocked me to death! Last week I put him on his belly and at the next feeding, he was on his back. At first I thought maybe I was delirious and had put him on his side, so I just didn't think more about it. Vivienne rolled over at 4 months old. Yesterday, Johannes told me that on the previous night, Hendrik rolled over! It was true! Little man is not so little. It's going so fast!

Vivienne is having a hard time, and I think it's because she is seeing me feeding Hendrik every 3 hours, for 30 minutes at a time, and in that time, I'm not able to play with her. It's hard on mamma too. My patience has definitely been tested as we are going through some terrible twos, if you will. But I am so proud of my baby girl. She is on day 2 of peeing on the potty, with only two accidents. I have to thank Margie who really pushed her and bought her some pony panties which she did NOT want to pee on. Okay. We are getting serious now. I'm going to really go for it with her. She knows and she is ready.

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day for us! Vivienne gets to see Barney at Tweetsie! She is sooo excited! I hope she isn't scared of the big purple dinosaur in person. We scored two free tickets from a close friend, which is such a huge blessing. The tickets are $34 per adult - can you believe that???

Well, I'm on week 6 of being off work. Hendrik turned 5 weeks old last night. It's so hard to believe! He really woke up this past week. He is bright eyed and smiles and coos when we have eye contact. I love this part. We are bonding in such a sweet way.

The kids and I spent last week in WV with my parents. It was so needed and wonderful. My mom is off this summer because she is a teacher, so we had good quality time between the two of us as well. I cannot wait until a week from Monday when they come to NC. They decided to spend their vacation in NC with us instead of at the beach. They decided to because of the crazy high heat and because Alycen is due any day now and may not make it to her c-section date. She was 2-3 weeks early with both of the girls, so based on that, the last week of July is very possible. It would be much easier for them to drive home from 4 hours away instead of 13. I was bummed that we weren't going to the beach at first, but because Johannes and I are going with my sister and her family in a few weeks, I'm okay with it. I want to be at the beach so bad!! I am currently looking at things we can do while they are in town. Some things on the agenda: Asheboro Zoo, Shatley Springs, Winston or Hickory to shop, swimming in the indoor pool at their hotel! It will be good to have them here. I can't wait!

June flew by and now July is half gone. In the time it took from Hendrik's birth to now, will be the time it takes for me to go back to work. Oh my goodness, I'm sad about that. I want to stay at home more than anything, but it's just not possible. I need to keep my head up and realize many many moms have to do this. I think it will be good for Vivienne to go back to daycare because of her friends and the developmental activities, but it will be so hard to take Hendrik, as it was when Vivienne was a baby. Some other person holding and cuddling my baby boy... ugh. I never came to terms with that for Viv's first year, and I expect I won't for him either. I am praying we find the perfect person for him... a "grandma" rather than an "aunt".

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I have to brag on my sweet children. I have a daughter who is so sweet and funny, and my cuddle bug. I have a son who eats, sleeps, eats, sleeps, repeat. :) I am at peace and wonder if this is the Lord's way of saying - "You can do this several more times." :) I truly love being a mommy. What a blessing.

This week could be described as productive. I was able to accomplish a lot in the home, yet also get out and about for my own sanity reasons. I emptied out Hendrik's closet that was holding our winter coats. Bad news is that if we were running out of storage several months ago pre-second baby, we are definitely out of room now. Eek. Basically, I have a huge tub sitting on our front porch until I get down to the storage building to clear out space. Ah. I'm ready for a bigger house. We have to wait at least one more year or pay back the $8000 tax credit. I think it's worth waiting, but I might go insane in the process.

Hendrik was due yesterday officially. Thank the good Lord for early deliveries! You know with Vivienne, when I was officially "done" and told my boss I needed to start maternity leave, my water broke that night. With Hendrik, I packed my bags 2 days before my water broke. I was officially done in my mind on that Sunday. There is much to be said about mommy feelings in my opinion. People, if you are feeling that way, watch out! :)

This week I took both kids to walmart on my own. I had the babies and we were walking out to the car. I was aggravated because I waited in line forever then got up to the register and realized my wallet was out in the car. The lady wouldn't wait on me to get my wallet (though no one was behind us). I was so tempted to leave the kids there with her and run out to the car which was right outside the door, but I didn't! So we were walking out and this sad little old man was sitting on the bench with his head down. Vivienne was walking behind me while I was pushing the cart and telling her to hurry up. She continued walking real slow and my patience was tested. When we passed the man, she nearly came to a stop and was staring at him. When he looked up at her, she smiled and waved at him. I told Vivienne to come on and gave him a half smile, thinking about my frozen pizzas which must have been thawed out by now, and the baby who would wake to eat at any moment. All of the sudden, the man stood up and his demeanor changed. He had a huge smile on his face. He started talking to Vivienne and pulled out quarters to give to her. He then said to me, "Please take your kids to church before it's too late, will you?" and started crying. I just stood there stunned for a second and then got teary realizing what he was saying. He came to look at the baby in the cart, and said it again. I didn't know what to say to him. Vivienne said "TANKS!" and I smiled and told him "I will, I promise" and we walked out. I was thinking the whole time what I could say to him on my return, but when we got in, he was gone.

I learned a lesson today. Next time, I will sit and let my pizzas thaw out, and have a conversation. I had a great teaching opportunity today, and I passed it up. Actions sure speak louder than words when raising your children. Today, Vivienne's actions taught me.

On Thursday, I was talking to baby Hendrik during his few seconds of awake time every day (seriously, this child will not wake up!). He was staring at me and kicking away. All the sudden, he smiled and cooed. I couldn't believe it! We've been watching him smile in his sleep, but it shouldn't happen during awake time for a few more weeks. I think I have a genius child. ;) Just kidding - but please seriously overlook my bragging throughout this blog, but this is how I'm going to document all these fun moments.

So I have a few goals for this week. I am feeling 100% and ready to get on the fit camp bandwagon. I hope to go walk at least 3 days this week. Grandma and Grandpa Roten brought Vivienne some beautiful little girls furniture today. I'm going to finish her room this week and hopefully post pictures next. I'm so excited about it! I'm also going to pick up a futon we just purchased which will go perfectly in Hendrik's room in place of the guest bed. All this interspersed with the daily cleaning routine (how in the world does my house get to be such a mess after spending all day cleaning?) We leave on Friday for my parents and our first road trip with Hendrik. Dad wants to introduce him in our church (it's a new baby routine - we stand and get to show him off in front of 500 people). ;) I am very excited to go home and see the fam. I miss them!

July is going to be crazy. Mom and I are flying to Austin to see my younger sister sometime this month and then I am taking the kids to vacation with my parents at the end of this month. I wish Johannes could go with us, but he won't be able to take off. We go on our own family vacation in August.

So, happy due date, Baby Hendrik! I'm so thankful to God that He gave us 2 1/2 extra weeks with you. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Week One

Just wanted to record my first week as a mommy to a little boy. Wow - what a week it has been!

We traveled home from High Point when Hendrik was 1 1/2 days old. The ride was a little hard because I had to sit for 2 hours straight. I was reeling from the whole birthing experience, recalling every little detail and thanking God for his goodness. I love Him so much. He is so faithful to us!

I am also thankful for my mommy. I can't tell you how much I love her. Mom stayed in NC from Wednesday the 8th through Thursday the 16th. She was so great. She made us dinner almost every night, cleaned my house, cuddled my babies, bought a ton of gifts/groceries/plants (to dress up my porch). My mom is wonderful. I don't know what I would have done without her this past week.

Monday was Hendrik's first appointment with Dr. Lonas. He weighed 7lb 2oz (lost 7 ounces since birth). I was pleasantly surprised. Vivienne lost nearly a pound her first three days and I was warned that if she didn't start gaining the following day, I would have to supplement with formula. This time was so different. Less expectation and anxiety, and not as hard to get out the door to the appointment on time. :) Dr. Lonas asked us about circumcision. I was able to ask a lot of questions, but realized this is a lot on my shoulders -- I did not want to make this decision. After a long talk with Johannes and my dad, we decided to go forward with it and scheduled his procedure for Wednesday. Mom and I went to the Blowing Rock outlets after the appointment. I was feeling great! Everyone who saw Hendrik (only 3 days old) couldn't believe we were out and about. Totally wouldn't have happened with a c-section. I didn't leave the house outside of doc appointments for 2 weeks with Vivienne. It's just so different. Don't get me wrong - there is definitely discomfort and some pain, but nothing unbearable. I am finding the more I get out, the better I feel.

Wednesday was C-Day. Dr. Lonas came in the room and asked if I wanted to stay in the procedure room with him. I told him I didn't think I could do it. He told me I could and said, "Come on, it won't be as bad as you think." I kept my head down the entire time and definitely cried at one point. You know, the thing is he didn't even cry when he was numbed and cut. He cried when they strapped him down though. Dr. Lonas was so great - he was talking to me about missions and other subjects to keep me occupied, I believe. When it was over, he came and gave me hug and said it would be okay and that tons of babies have this done. I love Dr. Lonas. I can't tell you how much he helped Vivienne, particularly when she was hospitalized at 2 weeks old, when they thought she had neuroblastoma at 4 months, and throughout her well-checks and all the fun things you deal with when you have a toddler (ear infections, diaper rash/yeast infections, colds, etc). He is a great doctor and I highly recommend him to everyone in this area. Plus, he is a Christian and there is no doubt about it. He is very open about his faith and he has prayed with us several times. We love him.

It has been hard in our house since his procedure Wednesday. It kills me everytime I change him and he screams and screams. I honestly don't think it's his "area" as much as he hates having his diaper off. He screams before I even clean his incision place. But it still kills mommy. :(

Also, I have developed mastitis over the past day. I've been running a fever from 100-102 and in excruciating pain!! I went to my doctor and they prescribed antibiotics and a pain killer. They told me to check into the hospital if the fever goes over 102, but I don't think it will (at least, I'm taking lots of Tylenol to avoid that!) They said it could be serious if not treated.

A plus about breastfeeding? I've lost 20 pounds since I checked into the hospital a week ago! I know most is the immediate effect of having a baby, but I also haven't had much of an appetite and feeding, feeding, feeding... I know I'm burning a ton of calories. I'm hoping to lose the last 10 pounds minimum before going to the beach with mom sometime in July! My biggest hope is to lose 20 more and get to my lowest weight when Vivienne was 7 months old. I felt so great then!

We did get some pretty amazing news today. Johannes interviewed for a job and by the end of the day, they called him with an offer. I have been praying about this for a year! Not this particular job, but something more in line with what he wants to do as a career. He isn't there yet, but this is a HUGE stepping stone. It will also be a better pay grade which puts me one step closer to the dream of staying home one day. I don't think it's happening anytime soon (not in the next few years), but we can work our way there. If God wills it, we will maybe have more children and the opportunity for me to be home for the first few years. There are so many what ifs that it's hard to say. It's hard to think about going back to work in September. I'm loving being home and taking care of things in my home. I hope God allows that one day, if just for a few years.

So outside of baby Hendrik's boo-boo and my painful breast, things are going great. Hendrik is definitely a mama's boy. I love him so much, but equal to my baby Vivienne. Tonight we had a moment. I was holding Hendrik on my chest and Vivienne climbed up on my lap and laid her head on the other side of my chest and hugged me tight, and said, "Mommy, mommy. Love you." I held them both and said "I love my only special little girl, and our only special baby boy." What a perfect moment.

Make sure to tune in to TLC on Sunday night for the Duggars first grandson's birth! Anna Duggar delivered both her babies at home / no drugs. I can't wait to watch it. I told Cortney, my doula, that I would totally consider it for the next baby (which is not happening for awhile, FYI). The awesome thing is that Cortney will be a certified midwife in August. She would be so perfect to have for a homebirth. She birthed 4 out of her 5 at home as well. Anyways, make sure and watch it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birth Day

I wanted to take this time and recount Thursday - Hendrik's birthday! I'm writing this to finish out the birthing story and encourage you section moms to try for a VBAC. You are going to see, if I can do this, you can do it.

My last update came to you on Wednesday morning, after they started me on the pitocin (low dose). Vivienne came to visit in the afternoon, which was awesome. We hadn't seen her since Tuesday morning. They left and by 3:30p that day, I really began to hurt. I texted my doula who asked if I could talk through the contractions. I told her I mainly wanted to hold my breath, but I didn't feel it necessary for her to run in (she was about 20 minutes away). I continued to contract at three minutes apart and walked around, focusing on my cervix opening up with each pain. I cannot stress this enough - relaxing every single body part/muscle is what helps you to get through it. You must also take it serious when people say to rest as much as possible. They started me off at 6mu/minute and by the end of the day, I was on 18mu/minute of pitocin. At around 5p., Dr. Dorn came in and asked how I was doing. I told him I was in a lot of pain but it was bearable. In my mind, I felt like at most I would be 1 cm, but I was praying praying praying for the minimum dilation/effacement that Dorn wanted to see as I remembered in Viv's labor when they checked me at one point and I thought I was 6 or 7 and only was 2 cm dilated.

He checked my cervix and I was 1 cm and 80% effaced. This was a huge accomplishment considering that same morning I was 0/0 - absolutely no signs of labor and cervix very high. This stage takes weeks in normal early labor, so I made it to the goal of the day. He stopped my pitocin and told me the nurse would give me an Ambien that night as he really wanted me to get a good sleep before starting the hard labor Thursday morning. He told me he was hopeful that my body would continue contracting or really pick up through the night. I ate a really good dinner and met someone who I feel is partially responsible for the wonderful outcome. My nurse Kathy came in and told me she heard my story and read my chart. She saw a book I had in my room called "Power of a Praying Wife". She asked if I was a Christian and I told her yes, and we had an hour long conversation that gave me a lot of peace. She was a VBAC mom as well. When it was time for me to go to bed, she asked if she could pray over me while holding my hand. It brought me to tears. When I looked up at her, she said she really felt the Lord leading her to do more and asked if she could tell her pastor my first name and spend time praying for me through the night and next day. She would be off shift by 7a. I was so touched and said, "Please do... it means so much to me." Through the next day, random nurses came in to tell me that Kathy called and asked for an update and to let me know she was fasting and praying. Gosh - I can't tell you what this meant. Back to physical updates...

So Wednesday night, my contractions slowly spaced out and became random. I only remembered waking up a few times with a painful contraction. I was discouraged when I woke up around 6a. the following morning. Though I slept a full night, I was groggy (from the Ambien) and had no contractions whatsoever. My nurse from the daytime before (Kristin) came in and said we are going to see this through. She was working until around 8p Thursday night and said she wanted to see my baby before the end of her shift. Oh my goodness, I loved her. She was a KEY player throughout the entire process. She had drug-free labors herself and said she was a huge fan of Dr. Dorn. She was hilarious, blunt, and helped me alongside the doula when things got tough. She went above and beyond being just my nurse. I'll talk about her more soon.

Thursday - Birth Day

7:30a. - Dr. Dorn came in and checked me. No changes from the night before. I was sad, but not surprised.

8:00a. - Pitocin was started at 8mu/minute and upped every 30 minutes to an hour.

10:00a - Starting to feel intense pain.

10:11a. - Texted my doula (Cortney) and asked if she would be able to come in by 12p. I perceived that things were going to transition to "unbearable" soon as I had to really focus on breathing through the pain. My sister Michelle was rubbing my back and helping me. This is the only reason I didn't ask her to come in right then. I felt my sister was doing a great job and was encouraging me along. It's not that I didn't want my doula - it's just that I hated to bring her in to sit in the room if nothing was going on.

10:59a. - Texted Cortney - "I don't know if I can do this." My nurse Kristin came in to help me get through contractions. They were every 2 minutes apart and hurting bad. This is when I started thinking about pain meds but kept scolding myself, saying that it would stall labor if I did. Cortney asked if I wanted her to come in.

11:20a - Texted Cortney, "12:30 okay?" I was thinking that the longer I could go without pain meds and professional help, the more progress I would have.

12:18p - Texted Cortney - "Should I take Stadol? I'm in too much pain right now." I had asked my nurse what other option was there outside of an epidural. She told me about Stadol but said it would make me feel really woosy. I asked her if it would stall labor and she said no, it would just take the edge off at MOST. My sister Michelle said, "MaryBeth, I would reconsider... that made me so delirious that I was seeing things in my labor. It was horrible and didn't help me at all." I asked my nurse to check me first before anything. I wanted to know if this hard labor meant anything. I was only at 2 cm by this point. Cortney texted back, "Stadol often makes people sick or feel out of control while not giving much relief. I am on my way now. Can you try breathing through until I arrive?"

12:24p. - I texted, "I just can't. I am barely making this. I am having horrible pain."

12:29p. - Cortney texted, "Have you recently had someone pray over you for peace?" I was wondering when she asked if she meant for the present, or if she sensed that someone had prayed over me. I remembered Kathy from the night before and remembered she was fasting for me. I got a charge from this and told myself I have to grit and bear it. I put my phone away and could NOT text and barely could talk through the following.

1p. - Cortney arrived with the birthing ball. Kristin was holding my hands and telling me, "MaryBeth, you have to breathe. Don't hold your breath. Relax your face, relax your legs, relax your hands." She would physically grab a body part that would tense/tighten up and make me relax it. This helped TREMENDOUSLY. You don't realize in what ways you physically react to pain because all you can think about is the pain itself which is intensified when you tighten up. It's bearable when your body/soul is at peace and accepting of the process. She asked if she could check me. It was painful to do this while I was contracting. I was 3 cm.

Appx 3p. - I asked for the Stadol. I told Cortney I needed help bad. As told by EVERYONE in my labor room, it sent me to the edge. I was loopy, extremely exhausted after taking it, and it did not even take the edge off of my contractions which were now down to 1-2 minutes apart. I asked Kristin to please turn my pitocin down and she told me no that pain was good and that I'm progressing as I hurt. She told me she would not let me quit. I was dozing off in between contractions even though just a minute break, then waking up with extreme pain. I was so aggravated that I was so tired and not able to tolerate it anymore because of the stadol knocking me out.

4:00p. - I told Cortney I couldn't go anymore and asked for the epidural. I was crying and nearly histerical. It hurt so bad. The problem was that I waited to get to this point to ask for the epidural.

4:30p - (It took about 30 more minutes for us to tell a nurse to get an anesthesiologist and for him/her to get up there.) I can't tell if you if the anesthesiologist was a male or female. I could not open my eyes. The only memory I have was that they had me lie on my side in bed and then it was all over. Johannes said as soon as the medicine took, I fell asleep. I don't remember any part of it.

6:00p - I woke up and saw that Cortney was the only one in my room. She was calm and smiled at me. I wanted to burst out crying. It felt like I was waking up after a horrible accident. It was just calm, as I said. I could feel the contractions happening, but no pain. I could move my right leg, but not my left. I felt 100% opposite of anything I had felt at 4:00. I asked her how long I had been out and she said 1 1/2 hours. I didn't believe it. It felt like it had been at least 4 hours because I was so rested. I was disappointed in myself for getting the epidural. I had resigned in my mind that things would most likely stall now and I would get a section that night.

7:00p - Dr. Dorn came in to check me. He asked how I was feeling and I said, totally different. I wasn't surprised to hear him say 3 cm. He said if I progress 1 cm per hour, I could deliver about 1a., but I didn't take it to heart as everything happened for me at 2 cm when I was laboring with Vivienne. I just didn't see any progress in my future. After that entire afternoon, I was still 3 cm... I was so disappointed.

HOWEVER, As soon as he left, Kristin (the nurse) said, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to re-check you. I just don't believe you are 3 cm." She said that his hands were bigger and to tell how much a person is progressing, you really need to have the same person check you. She had told Dr. Dorn that I was 3 cm earlier in the day. She checked me immediately after he left and she smiled so big and said "You are stinkin' 5 cm, not 3!" I said, "Don't lie - I'm serious, you need to tell me the truth." And she showed me how big she measured with her hands and said, this is what you were earlier and this is what you are now - that's 5 cm. You are going to progress from here!" I could have cried. I had read in books that once you get to about 4 or 5, typically things speed up. My goal was always 4 cm in my head - like it would be okay if I could just get there. I asked Kristin what she thought about it all. She said, "I suspect that you will continue to go slow, but I DO think you're gonna have this baby tonight and I'm gonna stay until it's born!" I just smiled! I had hope again!

7:30p - Cortney and I had a wonderful conversation. I was at peace and I really got to know her. This was a special time between us. One theme stayed consistent for all three days that I was in the hospital. God was so present. Our conversations in the labor room focused around the Lord.

8:00p - I told Cortney I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement. We laughed and continued with our conversation. A few minutes later, I felt like it again and told her. She went and got Kristin who said, "Are you sure?? Usually people only feel this when they are ready to push, If you feel this way in a bit, let me know and we'll check you. It's only been an hour since we checked you last."

8:30p. - I called for Kristin. I told her and Cortney that I really felt I had to go. She agreed to check me and even prefaced by saying, "Don't be surprised if you haven't changed much." At this time, Dr. Dorn came in and she told him what I was feeling. He said he would go ahead and check me. He looked up at me and said, "You're fully."

I was like, "Full of what? What do you mean?"

Kristin said, "MaryBeth! You are fully dilated!" I looked at Cortney and she just smiled ear to ear and whispered, "You did it! You're going to have a VBAC!"

I was stunned and speechless! Totally totally unexpected. I kept asking over and over again and Kristin and Cortney were just so excited and pumping me up. Dorn had told me in the meantime that I was still at a station -2 and we needed the baby to descend and it would probably take another 1-2 hours before being ready to push. Kristin told me with every contraction, if I had that "need to go" feeling, to lightly bear down and it should help him descend - only if I had that urge.

9:30p - I told Kristin that I needed to push. She checked me and his head was right there. She went and got Dr. Dorn. Everything was so awesome and light hearted. Cortney, Dr. Dorn, Kristin, and Johannes were joking and taking bets on the exact minute. I would interrupt the funny conversations only to tell them I had a contraction coming. They would all jump into position, pull my legs up and get serious. It was really humorous from my point of view, but so awesome that it was such a great atmosphere. Dr. Dorn turned the light off. It was only us 4 in the room - no one coming in and out.

9:55p - Kristin and Cortney told me to reach down and grab him. I pulled him up to my chest. Dr. Dorn wasn't even the first person to hold Hendrik. I was the very first person to hold my son. I pulled him to my chest and Dorn waited for the cord to stop pulsing before having Johannes cut it. In those moments, Hendrik just looked around. He was silently laying on my chest and Johannes and I were in awe. Tears were streaming down my face. After the cord was cut, we heard his first little cry. It was so beautiful.

My water broke at 3:30a. on Tuesday morning. Hendrik was born at 9:55p. on Thurday night. Early labor took over two days, but I progressed from 5 to 10 cm in 1 1/2 hours. I only pushed for 20 minutes. I never ever thought that any part of this was going to go fast. God blessed me with this big finale. I am not exaggerating or even bragging when I say that everything was SO perfect in the final hours.

I have never been so proud of having a cone-headed baby. The mark of pride.

Johannes brought him back to me after they measured him, then they placed a matching bracelet on me.

Please don't rob yourself of attempting to experience this miracle. It is so possible. I know many c-sections are necessary and can also give you a beautiful moment. But I can't even describe fully the euphoria of bringing my son into this world from my own hands. I have never experienced a high like that moment. I will never ever forget it.

I have posted some pics I would never post on Facebook. I look horrendous, but I wanted you to walk with me to the end of this road as you all began this process with me not many months ago.

Thank you for what you have done. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support and encouragement. You are every bit as responsible as Dr. Dorn to help bring Hendrik to this world. The Lord heard our prayers and God, I thank YOU for allowing me this great opportunity!!!! You are SO GOOD! Birth is truly a miracle and we recognize that every good thing comes from YOU!

BORN ON JUNE 9, 2011 AT 9:55P
7 LB, 8,5 OZ.

Proud Pappa - Johannes Slabbert
Proud Sister - Vivienne Slabbert

Just Proud - His VBAC Mommy

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coming soon...

I had random contractions throughout the night, but nothing picked up. This morning Dr. Dorn came in and did an ultrasound. My fluid levels were low, which meant - definitely not going home. My cervix had not changed from yesterday. He started me on a low dose of pit. He said he wants me to be 1cm dilated by tonight, which means the main goal for today is to soften and efface my cervix (which is at 0% right now). They are going to do a re-check tonight and if all is well, they will take me off of pit and let me sleep through the night, then start it up on the high dosage tomorrow to kick start real labor. He said we are going to take it easy today.

When I got up after he left, my water completely broke, which is good since my fluids aren't building back up. It means the baby will be pushing down harder on my cervix and helping me to efface (that's the hope). He has not got me on any time line. He said as long as my CBC is good, no fever, and no signs of distress, we are going to really try for this. He is augmenting labor, but in the hopes that things will get going before the low fluid level affects the baby.

When I had Vivienne, they started me on a high dosage of pit and after 8 hours, I went from a "fingertip" to 2 cm. Dr. Dorn said I didn't get a good chance to labor through it, and he noted that for this time. Johannes even brought up the thought, what would have happened if they had let me keep going instead of keeping me on that deadline with Vivienne? Would I have had a c-section? I don't know.

I have been on pit now for a total of 2 hours and my contractions have become frequent and are currently 5 minutes apart. I'm not in pain - just crampy and it takes my breath away when they peak. I think part of it is the fact that I know this could possibly go on for another day or two and that it's going to get much much worse. The doula is aware of everything, but I have not called her in yet. She gave me some good exercises to do here during contractions to try and maneuver the baby down. My current nurse (4th) is awesome and definitely helping to keep me comfortable and informed. She overheard me on the phone telling someone that maybe if things don't progress by tomorrow, they could do a c-section, and she interrupted me and said, "That's not true! Dorn said he will go as long as possible - even another day or two if your vitals stay great!"

I'm encouraged that at the very least, contractions have begun. My specific prayer request is that things will pick up and I start effacing and dilating, and labor continues when they stop the pit this evening. Please pray with me!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fun in High Point

My water broke early this morning around 3:30a. I had non-frequent contractions that at times were 8-13 minutes apart, but not painful. When we checked in at the doctor's office around 11:30a., he wanted us to head over and be admitted into the hospital. They did the immediate test and confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid. Dr. Dorn came in about an hour later and checked my cervix - no dilation and cervix high. He said when he pushed up, the baby was "floating" meaning that there was a lot of fluid still surrounding him. He wanted them to do an internal swab test that is more accurate in confirming that the sac was ruptured. It was confirmed. He said he wanted my body to start labor on its own. There were several hours of the 8-13 min contractions, then it stopped, then one hour of contractions every 5 minutes, then stopped. I got a good nap in around 5p. Dr. Dorn came in to see if any progress on monitors. I stopped leaking fluid and my vitals are great. He didn't want to do another cervical check unless there were consistent contractions. This is what he told us in brief:

1. He has a suspicion that I have a "high leak" meaning that the upper part of my amniotic sac has ruptured and the baby moved and "plugged" it up. Naturally, the baby's descent with ruptured membranes causes your body to contract and dilate. Neither of these things are happening - or they are at least happening very slowly, as my nurse believes from other physical signs.

2. He definitely wants to continue monitoring me through the night and revisit things tomorrow morning. He said it's more likely than the above that contractions will start and things will progress, but slowly. Apparently this high leak is really uncommon.

However, tomorrow morning if there are no signs of infection (CBC good, no fever) and I'm still not leaking, he is going to send me home and have me check my temp every day. Could possibly continue leaking fluids until delivery, but really wants to avoid any possibility of induction because I'm a VBAC patient.

If I had been dilated, this entire story would have turned out differently. He would have felt to see if the lower sac was ruptured or in tact. If in tact and still leaking, because of concern of infection, he would have ruptured the rest of my membranes and let labor progress. Because I'm completely closed, there is no option for this.

So right now, I'm writing from the hospital. I'm tired, bored and hanging out here. Johannes went on a drive because there is not much happening. I've been hooked up to an IV of antibiotics, but can walk around at will.

I have never heard of this or read about this - even having trouble finding medical articles about high ruptures on google, but I'm finding several blogs that this has happened to several women. Ironic that this should happen to me, again. Water breaks and no consistent contractions. However, with Vivienne, I had a full rupture and I was dilated, though slight. Can you imagine having your water break, but still a FALSE ALARM? Isn't that insane????

I am so so thankful for a doctor who really sincerely cares about my wishes and also wants this to progress naturally. I have had two amaaaazing nurses, both Christians. My current nurse said she has seen high ruptures a couple times and the docs did send them home after a time. She has a feeling it's the same for me, but said you can't count your chickens until the bloodwork is done. :)

Keep in mind there is a good possibility of c-section should I develop signs of infection or labor starts, I start dilating, or I continue leaking fluid. As Dr. Dorn said, there are so many "what ifs" right now that it's hard to come up with a Plan A, B, and C. There are like three options to every scenario!

Keep us in your prayers! Vivienne has an ear infection and my sis had to take her to the pediatrician today (my sis was in town visiting and has to leave tomorrow for work). Johannes is stressed to the max and I think more tired than I am. My parents were ready to come, and I called them and said to wait - I really don't think anything is happening! My mom only has two days left teaching for the summer.

That's the update for now. What fun we're having in High Point. :) Hard to tell what will happen tonight, but I greatly appreciate your prayers. Please no FB posting as this is a select group of FB readers. I really don't want to repeat this story a million times nor share my intimate details with the public. :-0 Also don't want others to think I'm having a baby tomorrow if I'm not. I still have two and a half weeks until my due date. That's a long time to go if nothing happens tomorrow! :::Sigh:::

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I'm ready. I hit 37 weeks yesterday. Physically ready. Mentally ready. Bags are packed. Car seat installed.

I think one of my biggest fears in the beginning was trying a drug-free delivery. I'm not scared anymore. My biggest fear now is that my water will break first and labor will not progress, like last time. I have read a story in one of my books about what to do in case of this, and also recently saw a Baby Story on one. I'm praying (and please join me) that contractions start the show this time around. In regards to drugs, I've really been motivated and encouraged by blogs (thank you Jess), videos on homebirths, Baby Story (2010 shows only -- they have been great to post some homebirth and VBAC stories!), and books, of course. I'm not worried. It's natural - it's normal - and just up until last century, drug-free was pretty much the only option. It's done every day, by choice and also some that are not planned.

You know, I was never open to the homebirth option because "it's just not me", until now. I'm sticking with the plan to go to the hospital, but I have very strict criteria set out about what I expect. It is not a guideline for the doctor - it's, "please consider _____ and ____ before administering (such and such) plan", etc. I want them to know my heart desires before pumping me full of stuff. I have learned the importance of having an advocate. I have a supportive doc and a VBAC mom doula, and I'm ready. As most of you know, things happen really fast in the hospital, especially in regards to labor and delivery. Decisions are made in instants. It may have to happen, but you need to be mentally prepared. You need to be able to say, I tried all options before we had to get to that step.

For now, I patiently await the signs. I never thought I would look forward to that first painful contraction or the "other" things. :) I don't expect much, but AGH, I will sink to the floor if my water breaks or starts leaking. Is that crazy? I wanted my water to break so bad with Vivienne! They say fewer than 15% of laboring women begin with ruptured membranes. I'm hoping it's different this time.

Scenario #2 that would really stink is if I get to 41 weeks and nothing. That means they will try to augment my labor or sign me up for a c-section, depending on several factors. It's obviously not ideal to try and medically stimulate labor with a c-sec scar (although it's in great condition and thick with no windows).

Right now, I'm leaning on prayer, visualization (read about this), and very positive thoughts (NO STRESS!). My work temp is trained - we have lots we can go over, but she is ready. She is great. I'm going to focus on walking at least twice a day at work (though I'm dealing with horrible swelling). I've pulled out the support hose and gonna suck it up. I'm on the birthing ball the majority of the day at the desk. I need to get my mind completely off of the future and focus on the present day - staying happy, focused on other things, and spending time with my baby girl whose life will change completely in a few short weeks.

Choosing joy leads to a happy environment and a happy environment leads to a baby who wants to join it. (Overlook my hippie moment today - I'm just excited that my bags are packed, finally. Hahaha. I'm going with it... Go with it too before I start telling you everything I hate about this stage.) :)