Rowen’s Birth Story…

I love looking back at both girls’ birth stories.. Here is the story of our little man..  (this will be long.. hope you have coffee or tea.. lol)

On Saturday, January 8th I started noticing that my contractions were a bit more frequent than they normally were, and also been much more crampy through my lower stomach & back.  I decided to start timing them and tracking to see how many times they were happening per hour.  Around 4pm, in an hour I’d had around 5, then the next hour a couple more, then the next a few more than the last hour.  By 7-8pm, I had 17 separate contractions in one hour!  I called the OB nurse hotline, and after getting all the details she said, “Yeah, this being your 3rd child, I’d go ahead and go in”..  Still not completely sold that this was the real deal, I thanked her, and decided to wait a little while longer before heading to the hospital.  Kaylor was staying the night at a friend’s house, and after putting Ashlyn to bed, we sat down to watch a movie.. I thought that relaxing would really be our tell all.  A friend of ours was here too, and he looked a little nervous when he’d glance over to see me cringe as another crampy contraction came  & went.. (I have to admit, it was rather entertaining to see his reaction.. lol)  Contractions weren’t coming as frequently, but I was still recording the times.  Now they were happening around 10-12 times/hour, but were still happening.  They did however feel like they were getting stronger, and a bit more uncomfortable, so this threw me. I texted my cousin who just graduated w/ her nursing degree (go, Kim!!)  and she said it did sound like the beginnings of labor.  We finally around 11:15pm decided to go ahead and make a trip to the hospital, as I felt I would feel more at ease if we at least just went, they confirmed I was still a 1cm dilated, but not effaced.  Plus, I’d been having contractions every hour for the last 7 hours.. There had to be something to that..   I let my mom know, so she headed over to stay w/ sleeping Ashlyn.  I added a couple items to my packed hospital bag, and off we went.

By the time we arrived, it was just a few minute after midnight.  We headed up to labor & delivery, and waited in our room for about 45 mins before I disrobed and hopped into a bed.  They’d had an emergency c-section, and were tied up.  I got changed, and after checking, she said I was around a 2cm dilated but very effaced.  This was definitely different news than how things were just Monday at my checkup.  The monitors showed that Rowen’s heartrate was not stressed or getting too high or too low, so we waited it out for a bit.  Since I wasn’t hooked up to anything else, the nurse allowed us to do some laps around the floor to help see if things would progress.  It was definitely the scene from what you would picture as the norm for pregnant women in the hospital (at least what I always saw on tv).  Erik & I walking laps, me in 2 hospital gowns (to cover any drafts in the back..lol) and lovely hospital slipper socks.  The only part that was missing, was me having to stop and heave-ho breath through contractions.  It didn’t get that crazy 🙂  This was around 2:30-3am.  After awhile of walking.. er waddling, I was getting a little tired.. Heck, I wasn’t allowed to have been this active in the last almost 8 weeks!  The nurse told us that the on-call doctor didn’t think that I was in active labor and to send us home.  Which, obviously sort of what we expected to hear, so no big surprise.  The nurse checked me again, and said I was now between a 2 and 3cm dilated.. So I WAS still progressing, regardless of the contractions getting more frequent or not.  The monitors showed I was still having them (and I was feeling them), but sometimes 4-5 minutes apart, sometimes 7-10 minutes apart.  The nurse said she wanted to keep us just awhile longer, because I was making progress, there was no need to go home, and possibly hours later have to turn around and come back.  We tried to get some rest since it was wee hours of the morning.. Erik seemed uncomfortable, but I heard some snoring noises, so I think he was still achieving the goal of sleeping.  I was a little tired, but just as soon as I started to drift to sleep, contractions would wake me, as well as the nagging dry cough I had been fighting off.  The hospital having extremely dry air didn’t help w/ that.  Another check around 5am showed that I was at 3cm, again, still making progress.  Finally at 6:30am the nurse came in and said they were going to start in iv w/ fluids, and pitocin.. Wha?!?  Um, I KNOW what that does!  haha.. After still thinking we would be heading home, they were now saying they were going to get this really going!  Whoo hoo!  I woke Erik and we both just looked at each other like a deer in headlights.. We WERE going to stay and we ARE having this baby boy!  Eeek! lol  Of course we were super excited, but just had convinced ourselves otherwise, and didn’t expect that it was actually going to be time.

We started updating our family & friends to let them know of the news.. They got the drip going and I could definitely feel the increase in contractions..  Around 9:30 they went ahead w/ the epidural to make sure that it would take properly, since I’d had some issues in the past w/ it only working on one side or the other.. Thank goodness this time worked like a charm!  My dr was out of town for the weekend 😦  so an on-call dr was going to be delivering.. I knew it would be fine, but just bummed that my dr, whom we absolutely love, would miss it.  The dr came in around 10:30/11am and broke my water.  My mom & Erik’s parents arrived at the hospital shortly after, and later Erik’s brother.  My great friend Courtney headed to our house to stay w/ both of the girls.  At 11:40am they checked my progress and I was at a 6cm and he was much lower.  I was still feeling good w/ the epidural, but around 12:30 I started having a lot of really bad back cramping and pain.  So bad that they brought me to tears!  Erik was such a great support, and was right there soothing me, holding my hand, and rubbing my forehead.  I’m so thankful for him!  Upon checking again, the nurse says, “You’re there!  You’re at 10cm”… Um, no wonder I could really feel it now!  haha..   I didn’t recall at the time, but we later realized that the very similar also happened w/ Ashlyn when I got to 10 cm.  Lots of back labor, even w/ the epidural.  So, it was time to start pushing!  At 12:50 they were setting up the bed, supplies, etc.  W/ Erik on one side, and my awesome mom on the other, it was time..  After 3 big pushes and about 5 mins of pushing, he was here.  I will always remember looking up at Erik and him saying to me, “You did it, I’m so proud of you”..

Wow.. What a whirlwind of emotions for the third time in my life.  You always wonder what sequential pregnancies & deliveries will feel like emotionally, and the only way for me to describe it would be, priceless. First child, second child, and now my third child, and the flood of love that fills and overwhelms you at that immediate moment is like no other.  I hope I never forget those feelings in that very moment.  Truly what I would describe as God’s grace.  They put Rowen up on my chest, and it was the moment I had been waiting  9 1/2 months of pregnancy for.  It’s at that very moment that time stands still.  Ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes.. Full head of hair.  He was absolutely perfect.  Daddy cut the cord, and they moved him over to the baby cart for some heat & a rubdown to get his blood well circulated.  I kept asking, “is he okay?” and the nurses reassured me that he was.  They kept commenting on how thick the umbilical cord was, and how great it looked.. I’m assuming that meant he was eating well in there..  lol  It was such a relief to know that he was able to breath on his own, and passed the vitals & tests they check.  Erik was absolutely beaming while video taping & taking pictures of Rowen.  To watch his love as a father grow & grow is priceless.  Just when I think I couldn’t love my husband more, I find that I can, and do.  Thank you for giving me the joy of experiencing not only life w/ you, but parenthood as well, Erik!  I love you to infinity!

The girls came to the hospital shortly after, and after being curious for so long how it would go, it couldn’t have gone better.  Kaylor wanted to hold him immediately, and Ashlyn was so sweet & gentle checking Rowen out.  I think it’s fair to say that they both fell in love w/ this little man immediately too.

Motherhood couldn’t be more amazing, and I’ve been blessed to experience it for the third time in my life.  Three miracles of life, that are my children.  Two daughters, and now a son.  Simply God’s grace.

Rowen Zane
1-9-2011
6lbs 14oz
20in




Erik & I decided on the first name Rowen, shortly after Ashlyn was born.. We played around w/ a couple of other names, but this one stayed at the very top of our list.  His middle name wasn’t set in stone, but after thinking about it some more, it couldn’t have been more fitting.  Zane is a Biblical name, meaning “God is gracious”.. And that He is!  We love how his name fits him already 🙂

Give Praise…

I wrote this blog while lying awake in the wee hours at the hospital, after just giving birth to Rowen a few hours prior.

We often times cry out to the Lord in times of despair, and in times of need.. I know I have & do..  Life isn’t perfect, life isn’t always “fair”, or seem to be going according to our wishes, but sometimes.  It is.  For this, I give praise.  I cry out to the Lord to praise Him.  For the grace I don’t always deserve, for the sacrifices He made, for the unconditional love that my God has for me.  I cry out to praise Him.  Tears fill my eyes in the dark hours of this morning.  For life CAN be perfect, life CAN be fair, life CAN go according to our wishes.

Dear heavenly Father.  Thank you.  Through tears of joy, I absolutely thank you.  You have blessed me with your grace beyond what my heart can express.  I shall not only turn to you in times of need, but times of praise.  Thank you, Lord!

“Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name”  Psalm 97:12

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” Hebrews 13:15

Whew!…

what a week!  I always jokingly say, “never a dull moment”, but when it’s true, it’s true!  After my appointment on Monday, all day Tuesday and throughout the evening I had a lot of contractions that were very crampy.  Mostly throughout my lower back and low in my stomach.  I have vivid memories of my “real” contractions w/ Ashlyn feeling the same.  I actually started to wonder if this wasn’t the beginning of more.  Gradually they tapered off though.

I was also starting to feel a head cold coming on, and just couldn’t dodge it fast enough.. It hit, and hard.  Oye.. The last thing I can imagine is being sick when we meet our baby boy.. 😦   Knowing that there aren’t a lot of options for pregnant women, as well as not being a fan of medicinal ways anyhow, I was out to find what I could try.  I recently have been wondering about neti pots, and decided it couldn’t hurt to try.  I was pleasantly surprised that a) there wasn’t a risk of drowning and b) it actually gave me relief!  Double score!  So as of yesterday I had a lot of relief from the congestion, but completely lost my voice!  Com.plete.ly!  Both girls thought it was funny that mommy had to whisper all day.. Mmm Hmm.. of course they did!  So, in addition to trying to clear my nasal passageway a couple of times a day, I also had the humidifier going, and put vapor rub along the soles of my feet w/ socks slipped on last night.  (if you’re laughing, don’t knock it until you try it! lol)  I’m happy to say that I woke up yesterday morning feeling much better!  Still have a dry cough, but my voice came back, and the congestion isn’t too bad either.  I don’t sound so great, but my head doesn’t feel like it weighs 500lbs, and that’s a lot to ask when you have a head cold!

In other happenings, on Thursday I wiped out.  Yep, pregnant girl went down in our garage.  Ashlyn took a couple of steps away from the truck when we were leaving to pick up Kaylor from school, and I stepped to grab her hand, and tripped on a piece of carpet that lays where Erik parks.  Thank goodness it has a foam padding underneath as well, so the cement was plenty cushioned, AND I landed on my right knee and right hand.. It happened so fast.  Scared Ashlyn because I took her down too, but she is like a puffed up snowman in her winter coat, and it wasn’t too hard, so I know it just scared her more than anything.  Guess when they talk about losing your sense of balance during pregnancy, it’s true!  Well, either that or I’m just clumsy in general 🙂

36 weeks…

and counting!  My checkup yesterday was much of the same.. Baby boy’s heartbeat steady & strong in the 150’s.. Surprisingly I’ve actually lost a pound since last week’s appointment.  Obviously not a lot, but strange to hear “you’ve lost weight” when you’re 9 months pregnant.. lol  She started checking today to see if anything is “happening” and I’m 1cm dilated, but she said cervix seems pretty thick.  We’ve been joking that this would be the case.. Ah well, at least we know that being cautious for so many weeks has helped him to grow stronger for the outside world.  If I make it to 39 weeks then she’ll induce.  So, looks like the 24th will be the furtherest date away from us meeting our new miracle.

35 weeks…

I’m so thankful to still be updating this blog as a pregnant woman!  Praise be to God for keeping our baby boy in the womb to continue to grow.  Our weekly update says he should be around 5 1/2 pounds & over 18 inches long.  Belly is now 40inches around too!  My doctor this week was very happy to see me back for another check up, and not at the hospital to deliver.. Her exact words were, “I’m glad you’re still pregnant!”.. lol  Everything looks good, she was pleased to see my measurement still growing.  Next week she will start checking to see if there is any dilating going on.  We already know I’m extremely effaced, since there is little that remains of my cervix.

These pictures always amaze me..  With all the movement I feel and trying to figure out the difference between a little bottom, feet, and heels, I try to picture him in there like this;

[index.jpg]While trying to stay as comfortable as possible over the next days/weeks, I thought I’d share one of my favorite pregnancy items.  I was having some horrible, shooting pains into my lower pelvic several weeks back when walking, so I looked into support bands, and did some research.  This is the one that I ordered, and I’m SO glad I did!  It helps immensely to “lift” up the weight of your pregnancy belly and since wearing it, I’ve not once felt that tearing, shooting pain.

34 weeks…

Another week down!  Whooot!  We’re all so, so grateful for another week of this pregnancy.  The hospital bag is all packed, little man’s bedding is all washed and ready for him, clothing, blankets, burp rags, etc, are all washed & put away.. Daddy put together his new crib last week, and even installed a new updated ceiling fan too.  His nursery is coming together, and just a couple of little items left to tackle.  I ordered curtains, but um, well apparently didn’t read too closely, because it was only one of the two panels that I needed.. doh!

Up until recently I’ve been feeling really great, physically, but now I’m definitely starting to have trouble sleeping, and being comfortable.  Feeling every bit of almost 9 months pregnant.  I did get a prescription for Nexium last week for the acid reflux, and ohhhhh thank goodness, it’s SO much better!  I recommend if you start having problems w/ it like I did, don’t wait it out until the point where tums, maylox, and an over the counter aren’t offering any relief whatsoever!  (lesson learned)  I also feel like he’s dropped down a little bit.  My lungs seem to have a bit more breathing room.

At my 34 week check up, I saw the backup dr since mine was out for holiday vacation, and she said measurements were great, no swelling in my ankles, and good strong heartbeat still.  All of what we like to hear!’

Apparently my pregnancy brain has gotten the best of me again.. I could have sworn I took a 34 week pic, buttttt, nope! Ah well, will again at 35 🙂

33 Weeks…

Growing more & more and getting closer to a safer zone for baby boy!..  While I don’t necessarily “feel” my belly growing significantly, it definitely is!  Two weeks ago I measured my waistline (or lack there of rather?) and it was 37 inches. Last week it was 38 inches.. This week?  You guessed it, 39 inches around!.. Yep, I’m almost to the jolly ol’ St. Nick stats.. lol   For the most part, really feel pretty darn good for being 8 months pregnant.  The last couple of weeks I’ve had some increasing troubles w/ acid reflux in my throat, but thankfully started a prescription of Nexium today.  After just one dose it is already making a huge difference..

Appointment this week was a quick one.. I took Ashlyn along since I wouldn’t be having a sono (big sis was in school), and she did great!  Did however, make the whole urine sample scene interesting in that teeny bathroom, and explaining why mommy was peeing in a cup, but hey.. Life isn’t supposed to be boring!  Dr.had to wait a couple of minutes to recheck baby’s heartbeat because it was in the 170’s/180’s, so she waited for him to calm down.. Once he did it was back in the 150’s again.  She called him a “mover & shaker”.. We just may be in trouble w/ this one.. lol

Little man’s crib arrived over the weekend, his nursery is all freshly painted (bye-bye pale pink walls w/ a chocolate brown wall, from it being Ashlyn’s room) to warm tan walls & one chocolate brown wall.  Bedding has been ordered (yay!)  and should arrive any day.  I didn’t think Erik was too interested in the theme of things, but I sure was wrong!  He said he couldn’t not be, since this child is our BOY!  (Ahhh… so the “a man & his son” thing starts this soon? lol)  So, needless to say after showing him my bookmarked links, he did some looking of his own, and found this one that he liked.. I’m good w/ it too 🙂

I really want to make a homemade mobile, but that may have to wait until after he’s here so that I can pick up some materials for the project..  That can wait, right?  I’ve got some wall art in mind too.  Always a craft project to keep life interesting!

Thoughts…

As Erik & I were laying in bed last week, we were talking about our little man’s upcoming arrival.. We both agreed that while we’ve obviously known for the past 8 months that he’s coming, and we’re busy prepping our home to welcome him, his clothing, necessities, etc. it still seems a bit surreal.  We’ll finally be meeting our baby boy.  We can’t help but think about how he will fit in to our home & family, how the dynamics will change.  We cannot wait to see our girls interact w/ him and just know they will be little, mini mommies, and fall in love w/ him.  I’ve been finding myself daydreaming about this little boy too..  Our son.  I wonder about his personality, what he’ll look like.  I know I won’t be feeling his movements, kicks, and wiggles w/in my body for too much longer, but my arms sure do long to hold him.  I’m treasuring the last few weeks of having our two girls to love before expanding my heart for a third child..  It’s amazing how just when we can’t imagine our heart having the capability to give even more love, it always does.. Amen for that!  What a blessing children are..  My heart is full w/ the grace we have been given to have three children to call our own..

4D Sono

What an amazing experience.. We’ve gotten to see baby boy quite a bit on 2D sonos, but this was our first 4D.  Wow!  Technology really is incredible.. I cannot stop looking at him, and these images bring me to tears.  Little man is definitely filling out, w/ chubby cheeks just like his big sister had, and sweet, pouty lips too..  He didn’t have a cleft in his chin, but he definitely has an upside down heart shape to his bottom lip.   He loved having his left hand up on his face, and no matter how much the tech tried to wiggle him to get his hand to move, nope, wasn’t having it.. Daddy was also happy to see a nice clear shot of “the family jewels”..  lol  We could also see his hair.. That explains the drastic amount of heartburn.. I wonder if it will be dark like Kaylor’s or blonde like Ashlyn’s was.. Only a short time before we get to see this cute little man in person 🙂

32 weeks…

Today’s appointment felt more like a “normal” one.. (finally!)  Had the very last sonogram to check for cervix length.. It’s around 14-15mm now.  Down from last week, but this could very well be normal, maybe not, hard to tell at this point, since preparation for delivery is around the corner regardless of being high risk.  I got to sneak a peak at baby boy too.. He seems very content in there, so hopefully he stays put just a little while longer.  The nurse tried to see if we could tell how much hair he has, but she couldn’t quite get that far around his head to see.  On a funny note though, she started laughing and looked at me closely to see if I had a cleft chin, and asked if my husband did.  I said noooo, don’t think we do.. She said she’s curious to see him once he’s born because he could either have a defined, square shaped jaw or a cleft chin.. Too funny.  He’s still head down, bottom up on my right side, and little feet in the center/sometimes in my right side.  Yep, that sounds like the norm for him!  I then saw my dr, and since the sono was done prior to, she couldn’t do the fetal fibronectin test again (too much, um, “interference”.. lol) but she wasn’t too concerned.  Measurements were good, belly still measuring exactly at 32w1d, and while I’m still officially on bedrest, she said in 4 weeks from now, at 36, she would “release” me and I would be allowed to do normal activities.. No marathons, but normal activities.. Yay!  4 weeks =28 days.. Eeek!  That’s really not too far away!

I have to say again, that I don’t know what I would do w/out my husband.. He has been busting tail around our house to get some projects done, fix meals, bathe Ashlyn, cleaning tasks, etc. and I’m so, so thankful for him.  He’s more than proved to have a Mr. Mom role!  (I’m not so sure he’d want to keep that for good though..hehe).. Love you, honey!

And here’s little man once again..

I know sometimes people look at sonogram pictures and go “huh?”.. lol   This might help see little man’s face a bit more..

Another foot shot..

Annnnnd a belly pic;

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