Friday, March 25, 2011

Anika's Birth story- REPOST from 8 months ago.

***THIS is a REPOST from my OLD blog. I Just wanted to have it on here so I can share it with new blog friends. It is just a copy and paste***
For those of you who do not know. Miss Anika's "DUE date" was March 7th, 2011.  She was born March 21st. My OB tried to induce me several times, but I Just did not show up.
---THIS IS LONG. I was going to do it in parts, but I decided to just post it all in one post. I am sure many people will not be interested in most of this, but I know some of my readers will be interested in all of it. I also want to say first, that This is MY Birth Story. This is the Birth I Wanted (minus one little part :))) Every birth is different for many reasons. Just because this is what I wanted, does not mean I think any different of people who don't want what I want! My closets friends who already have children thought I was crazy for going the way I did. They probably still think I am crazy! That is ok! We are still friends :) I think people who have epidurals and c-sections are brave. Drugs and surgery scare me for so many reasons- and that is just the way I am! :)

On Sunday, March 20th, I was supposed to go into the hospital to be induced (again). When I woke up on Sunday morning and I was not in labor, I was sad. I had to decide if I was gonig to go in or not this time. I slept in and laid in bed watching things on my computer for a while. I had not done this in a LONG time. Andrew kept coming to check on me and couldn't’t believe I was still laying around considering he had not seen me do that in ages. I felt fine physically. I finally decided to get up, and the rest of the day was very productive. I ignored what was supposed to happen that night. I cleaned, did laundry, helped Andrew outside, walked, spent some “quality” time with Andrew. By quality time, I mean sex and nipple stimulation-natural ways to induce labor.  As the day was getting closer to an end, he asked if I was going to the hospital or not. I said no. I told people all day I was not going. I was going to go Monday instead. I just needed ONE MORE DAY! Andrew and I then talked about the risks the doctor talked about on Friday, although I knew in my heart A was fine. I also knew all the tests on Friday said she was doing great. After lots of discussion, we made a plan. I would go, but late. We were in charge and talked about what we would allow once getting there. We would go in for Cervidil to be administered. Cervidil is used to "ripen" the cervix by releasing prostaglandin hormones. Prostoglandin is the same hormone in semen that can soften the cervix. Cervidil is put into the vagina and kind of looks like a tampon. It can be taken out at any time, but it usually stays in for 12 hours. Cervidil may increase the activity of non-productive contractions when no other labor stimulation agent has been used. Cervidil usually does not work ALONE to put women into labor. Andrew and I knew that my doctor would want to start Pitocin after Cervadil, but we were not going to consent to that. We had to go in with our own plan and stay strong. I told Andrew that was the only way he could get me there. We made arrangements for Piri with my parents. We packed up the car with all my stuff that had mostly been packed for WEEKS!

We stopped and got dinner on the way- Indian! We both ate so much. I kept calling it my last meal because I hated the feeling of just WALKING into the hospital to have my baby. It felt SOO unatural to me. It was NOT what I had imagined. I wanted to go when I was in full labor! I didnt like the feeling at all and I whined about it the whole time. Andrew kept saying we were going in for my “extraction”. Even when we arrived at the hospital, he said we were there for an extraction. When we got to the hospital and walked into the Family Place (where delivery and birth takes place), we saw my doctor at the nurses station once we were allowed in. That dept. is locked and secured from the rest of the hospital. My doctor looked at us and said “I didn’t think you were going to show up” I said I wasn’t going to. We were supposed to be there at 7 PM. We got there a little after 8. The nurse brought us to our room. I was told to get undressed and put on a yucky Johnny thing. All my vitals were checked and I was checked. I was 2 CM dilated and 50% effaced. They had told me 75% the week before.

I was hooked up to the baby monitor to monitor her heart rate and my contractions. Ugh- I was now pretty much stuck in bed since the fetal monitors were on wires from my belly to the machine. The doctor said how they were going to administer something “LIKE” Cervadil to soften my cervix. I asked what it was. She said it was called misoprostol and she liked it a lot more than Cervadil and she said it was more effective. I had never heard of it! In all my research, this was a drug I had not looked up or learned about. They handed me a consent waiver to use this misoprostol. I was reading it- Guess why there was a consent form for this drug? Because it was not approved by the FDA for this use. It is approved for stomach ulcers, but I guess it also causes contractions. The waiver also said it can cause intense contractions, etc. The doctor also told me it was a pill that they inserted up the vagina. "So, once inserted, there was no coming out?" I asked. She said she could “Fish it out” or wash it out. I was thinking –ya right- if I am having intense contractions the last thing I want is for her to be rooting around up there for it (if I decided I wanted it out). I wanted the Cervidil which is on a string or as Andrew calls it “Soap on a rope” and can be taken out at any time, easily.

I looked at the consent form and at Andrew and mouthed “I’m not doing this” so then I looked at the doctor about to say I was not signing the form, and she said “I can tell you are not comfortable with this so we will just go with the Cervadil.” She then told the nurse to cancel the order on misoprostol and order cervidil instead. Ugh- they had already ordered the drug? They just assumed I would do what they said? No. The doctor left but before she did, she asked if I wanted a sleeping aid. I said no. I mean, I used to take ONE Tylenol sleepy time before being pregnant and that knocked me out. I didn’t want any hospital strength stuff. I generally sleep anywhere when I am tired.  I want to say now, that I LOVE my doctor as a person. SHe is very kind. I believe she was only suggesting things that she had been taught. Unfortunately for her, what she has been taught is not the kind of things I believe in.

It ended up being 9:15 when my nurse, Heather, inserted the cervidil. We had to go over medical stuff and paperwork for a LONG time after that. I signed papers and declined certain things (like drops in the baby's eyes) Then, Heather helped Andrew set up his bed. We talked for a bit, and finally went to bed around 11:30.

(Andrew's couch that turned into a bed)

The plan was to leave the cervidil in until the next morning and I was supposed to sleep though the night. I listened to my hypnobirthing CD as I tried to go to sleep, but the nurse kept coming in because my fetal monitor would move. Heather could watch the machine results from the nursing station, so she would come in whenever it moved around and she couldn’t get the reading. Around 1 AM I woke up for good. I was having contractions. They were 5 minutes apart I think, so not enough time to sleep in between. I told Heather. She said try to sleep. I couldn’t. She talked to me for a bit and Andrew slept. I was breathing through my contractions and they were fine.

At 3:45 AM, I wrote in my notebook “ 3:45 AM. This Sucks. Every time I start to fall asleep, I get a contraction. They are starting to hurt. I am breathing a lot and trying to relax. Andrew is sleeping”

Soon after that, Andrew woke up. Heather was just hanging out in the room with us now. The lights were all out in the room at that time, so the picture above must have been taken later on in the morning. ? I was breathing through a contraction in the photo. We talked-the 3 of us. We told her about how we met and everything. We then realized Heather was my nurse because she was all about natural labor. We talked about her kids and births. We talked about her being a nurse in general. It was almost like a fun slumber party! Minus the contractions that I was now not able to talk through because I needed to focus on my breathing and relaxing my body. I kept reminding myself the important things I leaned from hypnobirthing- Do not allow one muscle in your body to tense up, or the pain will be worse. I was doing deep breathing and some counting breathing. I would do 5,4,3,2,1 breathing- where I start at the top of my body and breath down. My contractions were 2 minutes apart by 5 AM, so I was not getting a break really between them. I emailed my mom from my phone and told her she should come when she woke up.

Heather made it seem like I still had a LONG time to go though. She said cervidil doesn’t work that fast or like that. But, she could see the contractions on the monitor that I was having. But, she also didn’t think they were very Strong due to how I was handling them. I was not in my Deep zone of hypnobirthing- too many distractions for me to get there. But, I was able to do what I needed to when the contractions/surges came on. I was under the impression that I was in early labor still. Heather did say they don’t like to see contractions closer than 2 minutes apart because then the baby does not get a break either. Luckily, they did not get closer together at that point. When my mom showed up around 7, I was in full labor. At this point, Andrew was with me and coaching me through contractions. He was by my side. I was on my birthing ball, but that didn’t last long. I walked around, I leaned over the bed. I tried lots of things. At this point my fetal monitors were wireless, so I could move around. I was calm, and just dealt with each surge/contraction as it came. Heather left around 7:30 and the new nurse came, Ellie. Heather had Ellie picked for me because Ellie is “crunchy” and would be very good for my natural labor. When Ellie came in my room for the first time, I was in the middle of a contraction and couldn't really talk to her. She said “I couldn’t believe it when I found out you were in the legal field and were doing hypnobirthing” haha. I told her that played a part in why I wanted to avoid drugs! I knew too much about what certain drugs given in the past to pregnant women did to them and thier unborn children. I think my constant need to research things, which is a big part of my job, is also what lead me to hypnobirthing.
Also, an epidrual just was not an option for me. For my own personal reasons and fears-it just was not in the cards.
When Heather left, I was sad to see her go and wanted her to stay. She made it sound like I had a good part of the day to go still. I remember thinking- I don’t want to do this ALL Day! Around 8, my doctor came back to check me. She took the cervidil out and checked me. I was 4 CM dilated and 100 % effaced! She was shocked and said I was in labor and to continue on. No further steps needed! YEY!

I mean, to be honest, I didn’t need to be told that. I knew I was in labor! I was also having bad back labor. My contractions were in my back. I tried some positions and moving around to get Guzzi (Anika's name while in the belly) to move. She finally did. Then, I threw up! I had not had anything to eat since the night before, so it was not a lot of substance. I got concerned and asked why I was throwing up. I guess it is a sign of being close? Or maybe, it was because my body has never felt serious pain? I was surprised I threw up though. Ellie asked if I wanted to go to the tub. I said yes. She asked if I wanted to just go in the tub in my room or to the big one down the hall. Originally, I had wanted to go in the big one. I even brought Andrew’s swim trunks so he could be in it with me to support me. Let’s just say, it’s a good thing I stayed in our room tub! I got in-naked. It was SOOO hot. I couldn’t really get into it fully because it was so hot. The heat distracted me from the contractions for sure! Ellie had a bucket full of ice water with wash cloths to drape on my head and neck, so I wouldn’t be so hot. Andrew and Ellie put the ice cloths on me. I needed cold water added to the tub so I could actually sit all the way in it. The next thing I know, my mom is in the door way with her video camera! I told her NO! To be honest, I now wish I let her tape that part. I want to see how Andrew was with me. I mean, I knew he was my rock at the time, but I wanted to see it from another view when I wasn't in hard labor.  He was the best coach ever! HE was my doula, and in my opinion, the best doula I could have had! He remembered everything from hypnobirthing and he was awesome. I remember thinking how much I loved him, and I wanted to remember those feelings forever.  He knows me better than any hired person could know me and he is so calm. I remember using the shower head as a focal point for a few contractions. I also used Andrew's eyes as a focal point a lot. I remember loving Andrew's support, but I want to SEE how we were interacting, now that I am not out of it. I was kind of out of it at the time- not due to drugs, but due to concentrating and breathing through surges. I changed my mind later and let my mom tape my birth! I have no idea what came over me, but I am SO happy I let that happen. I have watched it, and I find it amazing to see G/A come out. Before I was pregnant, I would have thought that was absolutely disgusting, but what can I say…Things have changed in me.

So, I was in the tub from 8:45-9:30 AM (about). My contractions started changing. It felt like something was pushing down. Ellie told me not to push down, but I wasn’t! Something in me was just pushing. I told her it was in my butt. She said it was too soon for me to be ready to push.(Feeling like something is coming out of your butt is a sign of being ready to push). I looked Andrew in the eyes and told him “This is not fun” but very calmly. He said I was calm the whole time. I also whispered to him “I cant do this All day” and he said he didnt think I would have to. Ellie made it seem like I still wasn’t close, but I just knew I had to be…but then again, what the hell do I know!? I haven’t done this before! I threw up again and then I told Ellie I peed in the tub during a contraction. She said it was probably my water breaking. I was pretty sure it was pee though.

She kept talking to my mom about how she thought I was close and should call the doctor to come deliver this baby. My mom kept putting new cold cloths on my head and shoulders and chest. Andrew just kept coaching me and reminding me to relax and breath. I remember looking into his eyes at one point and thinking they were completely blue- I couldn’t see the black parts because I was focusing so hard on them. My mom was awesome about letting Andrew be #1. I know it was probably hard for my mom to keep back and let US do it together. She is usually VERY involved in my life :)  Before birth, Andrew had said he didnt want my mom there because he was afraid she would try to take over. After all was said and done, he said she did not bother him at all and he was happy to have her there :) Win for all of us! hah

Around 9:20, Ellie wanted me out of the tub to check my dilation. She didn’t think it was possible for me to be ready to push, but the signs were there I guess. I got out of the tub and didn’t care- I just walked to the bed naked with a small towel around me. She checked me and I was 8 CM dilated! I laid down and Andrew was next to me through the very intense surges, and I started pushing. My doctor came RUNNING in. She was at her practice next door when Ellie had her called. She put on her gear and got ready. Ellie told her my water had already broken, but then my doctor saw the sac in me- it was coming out with the baby! They all put on coats and goggles. Andrew asked what about him! Ha. They all kept thinking it was going to explode all over them. They said they could see her head. They got a big mirror so I could see. It was WEIRD! Seeing her head poking out helped me though. The feeling of her coming down the canal was surreal. I cant even explain the feeling, but it was amazing. I just kept thinking I could not imagine NOT feeling this.

I pushed a few more times, and she was out! I helped as much as I could but it was hard for me to reach because my big belly was in the way! haha. She came out crying. They put her on my chest right away. Her eyes were open and she was staring right at us! We waited to cut the cord until it stopped pulsing. It was so long. Like, could have gone up past my head and then back down. Andrew was amazed by the length of it.  Andrew cut the cord after a few minutes and my little girl was rooting towards my breast right away. Soon after that, the placenta came out. The doctor showed it to us later. She said it looked a little late. I kept looking at my little girl. The first thing I said was “SHE is so tiny!! I thought I was having a big baby” The nurse said “Oh look she is blond with some red hair” and I said NO, not red hair! Ha- nothing against red heads- I just didn’t think my daughter would have red hair. When I watched the video my face is priceless. I am just confused looking at her. I remember thinking she looked nothing like me or Andrew. I also said “Why does she have B’s nose” (B is my brother). Haha. Her nose was wide- Andrew and I have narrow noses. I learned later that most babies have wide noses when born.  It was just so amazing to finally meet this little girl on the outside. I cried a little but I was also in a state of shock. I just could not believe what I was seeing and experiencing. For some moms, they feel like mothers when they are pregnant. I felt like a mom when I held her.

Another thing I noticed was a HUGE mouth! A few hours later, Andrew said something about how her mouth looked like the joker when she came out, and Ellie said she noticed that too. I guess it was just stretched or something from coming out! Haha. It is normal now, by the way. (Actually, she has a HUGE smile, so maybe she really does have a big mouth!) I was trying to hold her, but the doctor started touching me down there and I was OVER IT! I had my little girl and I was over the discomfort. I yelled at my doctor and told her to stop touching me for one minute. I was trying to hold my little girl and take her in. The doc said she had to give me a few stitches. I told her it was fine and not to bother! Ha. At that point, my mom said my body was shaking, and she thought I was in a bit of shock. I think I was just emotional and had what I had been working for in my arms, so I didn’t want anything else going on down there. I just wanted to enjoy my daughter in peace! 

The doctor gave me a minute, but then went to work cleaning up down there. I didn’t have hemorrhoids, but I did have a small tear. I was more disappointed about the tear because I had learned how to breath the baby out slowly to avoid tearing…but I got excited and pushed her out very quickly. I didn’t give my perineum time to stretch properly. Also, I think I could have avoided tearing all together if we practiced our perineum massage more often. We only did it a few times, and I knew it was an important part of birth preparation. Next time, we will do that more often before birth. If you want to know more about perineum massage, you can email me. Many people who read this will freak out if I write about it. Hell, I did when I first learned of it, but hey- babies come out of those parts, and so those parts should to be prepped for birth. I kind of kicked the dr away at one point too. whoops.

I got to hold my little girl for two whole hours after birth before they weighed her and such. When I finally got the doctor to get away from me and leave us alone, I enjoyed her and took her in. They were able to do the APGAR test while she was with me. She got a 9. She lost 1 point for appearance because her feet were not pink. Andrew and I just stared at her. After the 2 hours, they brought all the stuff into our room to do her foot prints, weight, length, etc. When the nurse put her on the table to examine, Anika started screaming and ROLLED! My mom just barely ran over and caught her! The nurse didnt expect her to ROLL off the table!   I declined the hep B shot. I had also declined the eye ointment the night before, when we went over paper work, but my mom informed me that I pooped before she came out, and that I should have the antibiotic ointment put in! ha. She had a point. I had no idea I had pooped, but it makes sense I guess. I had Indian the night before and had no chance to go before she was born! My mom said the nurse cleaned it all up before Anika came out, so that’s good! I wish I didnt get the eye drops now, but in that moment I just consented.
So, basically, I went from 4 cm to birth in 45 minutes. Heather came walking into my room around 10:30! Ellie had called her and she came to see us! She hugged me and had tears in her eyes. She was so happy for me and I thanked her for all her support. Ellie stayed with us all day and kept telling me how impressed she was and how proud she was. She said births like mine made her day. She is definitely bias, but she kept saying how Anika was so alert and taking to my breast so naturally because she was a drug free birth. She also said that Anika was not late. I told Ellie how my doctor told me she was on Pitocin for 3 days when her baby was 10 days late, and how I was afraid of that. Ellie said, did she also tell you she had a c-section? My doctor had not told me that part. When my doctor left my room after my birth, Andrew thanked her and said “Did you learn something from us?” He didn’t mean it in a mean way though. We really do like her! WE are just really happy we followed my gut feelings. Anika was only 7 pounds, 13 ounces! NOT 9 or 10 pounds! She was not too late. She was perfect. Some babies are just not ready at 40 weeks. That is why full term is 37-42 weeks. Every pregnancy is different. Both of my delivery nurses were amazing and I couldn’t have asked for better people to help me bring my daughter into this world. They were supportive and helped me achieve the birth I wanted.
Later on Monday, my mom said to me “I cant believe you didn’t shave before you came here” Ummm…First of all-not on my mind. And, I did get waxed 2 weeks before I was due (Which I wrote about on here), but then she was late, and well, I guess my mom was basically telling me I was a mess down there! Ha. I was a bit surprised she said that, but also thought it was funny.

Our first day and night went well. We learned lots. We slept pretty good the first night. Andrew got up when she cried, and would wake me up just to feed. Andrew became an expert in breast feeding and would get her on me right away. Then check all the positions and latch to make sure everything was right. Most of the time she was on correctly the first try. The nurses kept telling Andrew what a great partner he was, and how lucky I was to have him. I really don’t know what I would have done without him. He was able to learn and absorb all the new information that I was just too overwhelmed to take in. I was just kind of out of it all day Monday. I mean, I HAD A DAUGHTER!!! I was so amazed that only a short time before she was living in my belly, and now here she was!! It is just so crazy to take in! I only had slept one hour Sunday night and never went to sleep until Monday night.

On Tuesday night, we were told we could let the baby go to the nursery so we could sleep. I said no effing way! People told me I would regret this decision. I don’t. We had a great night for the most part. Yes, I had to feed every 2-3 hours, but Andrew would do diaper duty and calm her back to sleep as soon as I was done feeding. He got up with her so I could sleep and he would have breast fed her if he could have! The nurse on duty the next morning told us we got more sleep than any other parents on the floor that night. I never let Anika out  of our site!  I would Not recommend leaving your baby.  Just think about this- your baby has been LIVING in your belly for his/her WHOLE life. Why should your baby be put in some room away from you where she cant smell you or hear you?  Especially in her first few days of life outside the belly!! Can you imagine how scary that would be?? 
We did not have a name until we left the hospital on Wednesday. Andrew told me I could just pick a name, but I knew he did not like my first choice names. AND, after he was the best coach ever and was such an important part of the birth, I couldn’t just name our baby a name I knew he didn’t like. I felt too guilty. He has been the more hands on parent since this girl was born- He has completely amazed me, and he would have given birth to this baby himself if he could have. Picking a name we both liked was so hard, and basically Anika was the only name that I liked and he kind of liked. He likes Anika pronounced the way I don’t like, but he said to go with the way I like it. And, this happened right in front of the birth certificate people that came back right before we were discharged.

And, before you hate me for having a perfect, happy baby who is an expert breast feeder and lets us sleep pretty well (as much as newborns can), I will tell you something you WONT be envious of! I weighed myself when I got home and I am only down 11 pounds!! YES, I had an almost 8 pound baby, and all that other stuff that comes out is worth a few pounds…and that is ALL I lost! I have a long road ahead of me. I look like I am still pregnant. I am still in maternity clothes and feel like a flabby fatty.
Throughout my pregnancy, people told me I could not plan for labor and birth. Well, I want to say that you CAN! I know things happen that are out of your control, but you CAN educate yourself. You CAN prepare your body. Labor is not easy, and it takes stamina. I felt like I ran a marathon after labor and birth (5 hours of hard labor, 10ish hours total). I was told I would feel like I got ran over by a truck the next day. Guess what? I didn’t. Ya, my down there was sore, but my body was fine. No sore muscles or anything. I have worked out my entire pregnancy and my body was in shape (even if I got fat- I have the stamina and strength). I was offered Percocets and stuff after birth, but I only took Tylenol and motrin for the discomfort down there. Honestly, if it wasnt handed to me, I would not have taken it.  Oh ya- and I got contractions for the next 3 days when my uterus was shrinking back down. Every time I nursed, I would get INTENSE cramps because breast feeding makes the uterus contract to shrink back to normal size. I forgot how fun those were- it sucks to have contractions AFTER your kid is born!
What I didnt know would happen after birth? I would be wearing a diaper myself!! Seriously- the biggest pads ever. AND long ice packs in over my pad. The ice packs were a dream though.  We call them fanny packs since a fanny is a vag in NZ. I had the "I just had a baby" waddle. It took me longer to get up and sit down. I mean, I'm sure its nothing like what it feels like to have a c-section recovery, but I am just telling you the parts I didn't really think of before. They started giving me stool softeners right away to help with constipation. Im glad they did that.

I was my own advocate and I am so happy with every decision I made. Andrew backed me up on every choice. Remember how I declined that drug my doctor wanted me to take instead of cervidil- well, 2 of my nurses said it’s a very good thing I declined it because it would have given me much more intense, hard contractions that I did not need since my body was already ready for labor. My doctor wanted me to take it TO CAUSE harder, faster contractions- but my body did not need it. My mom also saw me earlier on Sunday and said she thought I looked puffy in the face and thought I was about to go into labor! Who knows if she was right.

I learned ways to have a natural labor and prepared my body and mind for it. Preparing the mind is VERY important!! There is A LOT you can do to prepare for your baby’s birthing day, and it’s just a personal choice to do so or not.

Flowers my mom and dad brought me in the hospital. YOu cant really see it in this picture, but the flower holder is a little pink square thing that my MOM received flowers in when I was born!! 28 years later, and I got flowers in it! Same exact holder. I guess I will now have to save it for when Anika has a baby! haha. Any reason to hold onto things :)

Ok, this next picture is scary- haha, but this is the raw truth of having a baby. Two hours after Anika was born, my nurse helped me out of bed to go wash off. I took a shower, and then the nurse helped me put on these big disposable granny panties to hold in the pad and ice fanny pack!

hahah- I was laughing so hard, I made Andrew come take a picture. They also gave me that yucky robe to put on. I had my own cute ones, but my nurse said not to risk getting blood on my own stuff and to just use their stuff. I am glad I listened. I put on my cute nighty later that night. There is some color on the outside of these granny panties in the photo, but its just the material- I DID Not leak through all that. My uterus was still shrinking down, and I still looked pregnant. Hell, I still kind of look pregnant 10 days later!! I need to get a photo of myself now so I can compare when I get the weight off. (UPDATED: AS of December, 2011, the pregnancy weight is off)

Andrew is proud of me and he hasn’t let me forget it. He said my confidence was key.
Andrew has been a nursing nazi! Recording every feeding- how long and how often. He wakes me up to feed and bring her over to feed. He is serious about this shit! He really listened to every word the nurses and lactation people said! But, his ways paid off!! When we left the hospital, she was down to 7 pounds, 4 ounces. They said we have 2 weeks to get back to birth weight of 7 pounds, 13 ounces. 4 days later- she is 7 pounds 11 ounces!! I guess we are getting her enough food and nursing nazi Andrew knows best! haha She is already lifting her neck and using her arms to lift up, so the doctor wants us to start tummy time now. Um- Tummy time? I didn’t even know what that was, and certainly didn’t think we had to do it at 4 days old. Also, the doctor stuck her tongue out at her and Anika stuck it out back. That has been our new trick tonight at home! Some friends came over and we were doing that. Who knew a little newborn could be so entertaining?!?! She also had her first blow out poop- all over my friend!
I just came on here to proof what I wrote last night and we had a great night's sleep. She slept from midnight until 5:00 AM! We did a 5 am feeding and I got back to sleep around 5:45, and I am awake now at 9 AM and she is still sleeping. The Nursing Nazi didn't wake me or Anika up to feed last night since the doctor said that was not necessary at night time anymore. I think 5 hours of straight sleep for mom and dad was pretty cool! I feel very refreshed this morning. Andrew is off to pick up our placenta at the hospital. He forgot it. He wants to keep it to plant a tree on (cultural I guess). When we got home and realized we forgot it, he called and said "Hi. We were there yesterday and we forgot something" they asked what room we were in...and he told them. They asked what it was we forgot (thinking it would be a shirt or something) and when he said My placenta they were like, um ok- Ya, come get it before Monday. ha.

Giving birth to my daughter was a beautiful experience (yes, it hurt at times), but it empowered me. I think Anika’s birth contributed to my confidence as a new mother. From that day, I have stepped into my role as “mom” much easier than I ever imagined I would.  I feel like "If I can do THAT, I can do anything!"
I do WISH I didn't have the cervidil. I feel guilt over it, and I am disappointed I had it and "gave in" to having it. But, it is done, and I cant go back in time. We Just learn from it. The only reason we gave into it is because the OB told us we were risking the death of our baby by allowing it to stay in me past 2 weeks.  Obviously, when a doctor says the words "death" and "your baby" in the same sentence, it is scary. I just wish we were stronger and let her come completely on her own.
(READING this post almost 9 months later shows me how much I have learned since then!! Just crazy!)

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