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Emily's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story
~ Welcome Andrew!

Well it is true, we did have another precious little boy. If you are just wanting to know the quick version, he was born at 10:57p.m. on July ninth, weighing in at 7lbs, 7oz., and 20 inches long. He is super cute and we are adjusting well to life with him. If you are here for the long, detailed, drawn-out version, you might want to grab a soda, or you may want something alcoholic. Do not worry, I will wait for you. Alright then, I guess on to the story!

After my week 38 appointment with the midwife, I was very anxious to go back one week later, but decided to wait the two weeks since everything was going so well again. I also did not want to have to worry about trying to find somewhere for the kids. I was hoping to find out sooner about the Group B Strep results, but never ended up hearing anything. I guess no news is good news in this case. The weekend came and went without much activity in the contractions department anyway. I had a few rounds of them here and there. Monday the seventh came and I had quite a few contractions and really thought maybe that was the day, but it was not to be. I was getting a bit discouraged to say the least, mostly because my parents were in town, but were going to be leaving the next day again. This is how it all went when I was pregnant with Levi. They had left early that morning and my water broke late in the evening. It was very frustrating.

Well, I found out that my parents would be headed out for a fairly quick trip and back the next day on the ninth again, because my mom had a doctor appointment on the tenth of July. So the morning of the ninth came and I had absolutely no contractions. Jeremy had gone to work and ended up getting home pretty early, around 10:00 that morning because the job was not ready for them. So I admit, I was praying (mostly complaining) to God that it really would be a good day to have a baby. As if He does not know what or when is best. So the morning came and went and I admit I was getting a bit cranky and frustrated. I was going on not much sleep either, which was not helping the situation. So after lunch and getting a few things done, I showered and decided to lay down and take a nap, since things were OBVIOUSLY not happening.

I think I had been laying down for all of 15 minutes, which was more like five minutes of sleep time, when I rolled over in bed and felt a little gush. It was almost exactly 4:00p.m. I quickly sat up and I admit it put a little panic in my heart. There was no turning back at this point. I was very anxious to meet this little one, but not so excited about the pain. I knew it was my water breaking, but still had this dumb little doubting voice that said maybe it was not. So I got up and moved around a little and again it became very obvious that this was the real deal. It was just like with Levi's birth, and there were smaller gushes here and there, not one huge one. I told Jeremy first, and even though his family was there at the house, we decided to wait until we were ready to go before telling everyone else. I would say in about five to ten minutes of my water breaking, I started feeling pretty crampy in my abdomen and back, but there was nothing to time at that point. So we got things together as quickly as possible and were going to head over to my parents' house to where my sister was going to watch the kiddos. I figured if nothing else it would put us a good 15 minutes closer, because I cannot stress just how much I do NOT want to have the hard contractions in the car . . . ever again. We were ready to head out a little before 5:00p.m. Oh and get this, when I called my mom to tell her my water had broke, they were only about ten minutes away from getting home. Cool huh?

On our way there, I started timing the contractions and they were about six to eight minutes apart at that point and not too painful. I also called the midwife to let her know that my water had broken, to keep her updated. After we got to my parents' house, we got the kiddos all situated and their stuff inside and just waited. I really expected things to ramp up by this point, but it did not as quickly as I expected. The contractions were definitely increasing in intensity over time, but they were still hanging out in the five to seven minute range. Jeremy and I decided to go for a little walk, but crazy enough, that only slowed things down. During the 7 o'clock hour, they were getting significant enough to make me concerned about the 20-25 minute drive to the birthing center. As it got closer to 8:00p.m. the contractions suddenly went down to just three to four minutes apart. Just after 8:00p.m., I decided to call the midwife again and tell her I was ready to head in. She asked if I wanted to wait and see if they stayed that close together for about an hour, but I told her I was ready and did not want to spend the most painful part in the car. She was very understanding and said they would meet us there at 8:45p.m. So we got all of our stuff together, told the kiddos goodbye and headed in to the center with my mom in tow. The kids were all pretty excited that the baby was on the way.

Andrew

On the way to the center, the contractions had slowed down just a little in the car, which I was totally fine with. The midwife did check the baby's heart rate and my blood pressure when we arrived, which were both good. She said they do not typically check for dilation when the water has already broken, to prevent any infection. I admit I was still really curious, since that id what I am used to, but figured things were just going to be different this time. The contractions stayed about three to four minutes apart until around 9:45p.m. when they moved to two to three minutes apart and lasting 45-70 seconds, where they stayed until the birth. They also seriously increased in intensity during this time. I do not know what it was, but they were beyond painful from this point on. I do not even know how to describe it really. I know that birth is painful, obviously I have had four other babies. But with the others, I knew we were getting really close to pushing when I just felt like giving up. Not this time. It was about an hour and fifteen minutes of that madness, before we were on the homestretch. Those contractions were the devil. I thought several times there was no way I was going to make it to the end, but I just could not figure out a way to give up. I took some music with me this time that I was really hoping I could concentrate on to help distract me and get through them. Ha! After about the second insane one, that all went out the window. I was just in survival mode at that point. I did ask Jeremy a few days later (for accuracy purposes), to make sure it was not just that I am getting older and less tolerable of things. He did say he could tell by how I handled them (or did not handle them . . . ha!) how much more intense they were for me this time. Crazy!

Andrew

I decided to use the birthing stool this time too, which was a whole new experience for me. I figured I might as well have gravity helping me out. So they brought it in around 10:15p.m. to set it up. A little before 10:30p.m, I was starting to push, and she did check me at the point to find I was at a 9 with a little bit of a lip left, but the other midwife came in to inform our midwife that the people she was with had a baby that was crowning. Our midwife asked if I was able to breathe through a few contractions while she quick went to help with the other birth. Since we were not quite ready anyway, it worked out okay. I ended up standing by the bed again until she returned which was about ten minutes later. So I sat back on the stool and began to push through the madness. It took a little bit to get the hang of the stool, but after a couple of contractions, things were being done much more effectively. I tried pushing several times and was getting really discouraged since I still could not feel his head. Then in one gigantic contraction and push, he came out. I could not believe how much he moved in that one push. Wow!

Andrew

Our sweet little one was here and as soon as we flipped him over we found out the exciting news that we have another precious little boy. Andrew Gallant Wayne made his appearance at 10:57p.m., almost 7 hours exactly from the time my water broke and 11 days early. And the boy has a serious set of lungs. Even before he was all the way out, he let out the loudest cry I have ever heard a baby make. It was nice knowing he was okay and breathing well, but a little alarming you could say. The midwife put him on my lap to hold and wow he was beautiful. That special time when everything becomes worth it. He had a lot of vernix on him and we wrapped him in a towel and I sat and held him for a little while. The midwife was waiting on the placenta to be delivered, but after a few minutes I decided I would be much more comfortable on the bed, so we moved there. While we were waiting on the cord to stop pulsing, the little man latched on and started nursing. The midwife was surprised how early he was eating. I was a little too. Jeremy cut the cord, and the placenta was delivered about 15-20 minutes later, and then we just sat and enjoyed our sweet little boy.

We decided to call my sister since the kids were actually still up. I am sure all of the excitement had a lot to do with it. My sister is a trooper and she offered to still bring the kiddos over so they could see him. So the kids came, and other family after that, then the midwife went ahead and did his little check up and weighed him. He weighed in at 7lbs, 7oz. Amazing how all of our kids have weighed in the 7 pound range. He was 20 1/2 inches long and his hair definitely has some red in it. That was a little surprising too.

After all of the family left, Andrew nursed again and we decided to start getting ready to go home. This was our shortest stay compared to all of the kids. We were there about three and a half hours from the time he was born until we headed home. We decided we would sleep much better in our own bed, and it was not like we were going to have a lot of visitors in the middle of the night anyway. So after we got all of the paperwork and things ready to go, we left at 2:30a.m., which put us home a little after 3:00a.m. After we got home and got everything unloaded and settled in and Andrew nursed again, we went to sleep around 4:00a.m. The little man slept clear until 7:00a.m. I could not believe how long he slept. I however could not enjoy the time because I kept waking up to make sure he was still breathing. The joys of being a parent!

Daddy and Andrew

The next couple of days we spent trying to settle in and adjust to life with Andrew. And oh, my, the after pains. When you hear people say that it typically gets worse with each pregnancy. Um, yes. That is true. I hate dealing with those dumb things. I really try to tough it out, but I have had to just take some ibuprofen to help take off the edge. I have moments of feeling guilty for taking the pain killers, but I figure when I am actually having to breathe through the crazy things, it is probably time. I also know if I cannot get any rest, than that situation is also not good for anybody. Tired, cranky, and emotional . . . not the best combination. After the first 48 hours or so, the after pains had eased significantly. My milk came in really quickly this time too, within 24 hours, which is not at all normal for me. With Levi it was closer to 48 hours, and the rest of them were right around the three day mark. Also, for the first time ever, I did not have to deal with being engorged when my milk came in. That was very nice. Those of you who have been through it know it is not a pleasant experience.

We went back to the birthing center to meet with a midwife when he was five days old, and let me just say the boy knows how to eat. He was already back up to 7lbs 10oz. We also had his circumcision done when he was eight days old, and he weighed in right at 8lbs. Everything went well with the circumcision, thankfully, and we found a new method (the Mogen clamp) that seems to have been a good choice since he has healed very quickly and the procedure itself did not last as long as with the other boys. Glad to get that over with. He also lost his cord when he was six days old, which was so nice to not have to deal with both that and the circumcision at the same time. We have never had any of the kids lose the cord in under a week. We had one more check up with the midwives when he was 12 days old, and he was still doing great. Andrew weighed in at 8lbs 6oz, and the midwife was quite impressed by his weight gain. The boy loves to eat. My next check up now will not be again until he is right around six weeks old.

Andrew is really a very mild mannered, sweet little boy and we feel very blessed to have him. He gets most upset when we change his diapers, and we get to hear him exercise his vocal chords again. The nice thing is he is also very easily soothed. He loves to eat, mostly at night. During the day he will have two and a half to three hour naps no problem. Not so much at night though. The longest he usually sleeps right now is two hours at night, and frequently it is less than that. He likes to snuggle up to me, but then he thinks that must mean he should be eating. I know in time it will all come together, but right now a little more sleep would be nice. The kids have all been loving holding Andrew and loving on him. I wondered if Isabelle would be disappointed by another brother, but so far she is just madly in love with him, like the rest of us. Levi was very unsure the first night he met Andrew and just stared at him. The look on his face was pretty funny. He got over it quickly though, and now he loves to ask about and hold baby Andrew. Levi does not like it when Andrew cries though, and usually will cry right along with him, but that is getting better too. Life is good!

Well as always, I hope I have not bored you all to tears. A big thanks to Maribeth for asking me to do this again, and thanks to all of you for taking the time to read my journal (and this crazy long birth story).

Blessings!
Emily

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