Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Yesterday when we were playing outside, Dean was making up a game with the side walk chalk. I heard him say to our neighbor girl, "You stand on Texas. I'll stand on America."  I had to see what he was talking about, and he had written the words, "Tecces" and another word that was supposed to be America, but wasn't quite as recognizable. I was so proud of him for trying to sound out and spell things at age 4.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Announcing Edward Steed -- The Short version

Since the birth story is quite windy for my journaling purposes, I figured I'd give the bare bones basics.

Name: Edward Steed B.

Born 11:31 pm on February 14, 2012

Height: 22 1/4 in.
Weight: 8 lbs. 11 oz. (my biggest baby yet!)
Lots of dark hair
Two dimples and a cleft chin (SO CUTE! Can't wait till he's smiling!!)

After 2 days of contractions that didn't hurt that much, we went to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon. We checked in, did all the paper work and answered questions, checked out, went to dinner, went back to the hospital about 2 hours later. Labored intensely for 4 more hours. Pushed my posterior baby out in 16 min. All natural, no drugs and I got my VBA2C!!!!!!!!!! My body is not broken. I am capable. The Lord has blessed us immensely.  He is a fantastic baby.

3rd baby 40 weeks 4 days -- The long version

Right before we left to the hospital
Note: I didn't proof read any of this. Sorry!
On Sunday night everyone was talking about the first snow/sleet of the winter predicted for the next day. Great. I was supposed to drive 45 min. away for my doctor's appointment. I convinced Matt to drive me while my parents stayed with Dean and Walt.

On Monday morning Matt and I headed over to Denton for my check up at 7:30am. Luckily it was just rainy, and no ice or sleet at all. When Dr. Cummings checked me, he said I was a good 2, almost 3 cm. dilated. He stripped my membranes, which was a bit uncomfortable, but the pain was short lived and I was hoping to get the show on the road. He said, "I bet you'll have this baby by Wednesday!" (I was hoping he was right since he was leaving town on Thursday!!)

We went home and Matt went into work. Mom stayed with the boys while dad and I went out jogging in the rain, hoping that would help contractions start. We did 2.75 miles in about 29 minutes. I felt great. Around 10:30 contractions started coming regularly about every 8-10 min., however, they weren't really painful. We did some Just Dance on the Wii for about 45 min. and that really helped the contractions stay regular. Walter refused to nap after lunch, so I let him come out and he and Dean helped me make our traditional Valentine's Day cheesecake. Contractions continued every 8-10 min. the rest of the day until about 9 pm when I started playing Rummikub with my parents. The contractions nearly came to a stop and I decided to get some rest about 10pm.

Walter woke up at 11:30 and 12:30 wanting to be tucked in. At 4am Dean (who NEVER comes and gets me in the middle of the night) woke me up to help him find his stuffed snowman that got lost in his blankets. I wasn't able to go back to sleep after that and just laid in bed until 6.  I only had 3-4 contractions. I was tired of just laying there doing nothing, so I got up and walked a mile around our neighborhood.  When I got home, I woke Matt up to help me jump start contractions again.

Within 20 min. my contractions were regular again and this time they were about every 6-8 minutes. The boys woke up and I made them puffy oven pancakes with raspberries for Valentine's Day. We got Dean to preschool at 9.  My mom, dad, Walter and I all ended up back at preschool at 11:30 for Dean's Valentine's day party. My contractions were every 5 min. at this point, but still not that painful. When they started coming every 4 min.and were increasing in intensity. I called my doula Kathy and Matt and asked them to come.  They both finished up their lunches and wrapped up a few loose ends and made it home by 1:30.  By the time they got there, my contractions slowed down a little and we had some of the V-day cheesecake.

I decided to do some more Just Dance. My contractions were coming every 3-4 min. so we decided to head to the hospital since we had a 45 min. drive. The contractions slowed a bit on the drive, but increased in intensity. I felt kind of silly going to the hospital, however, since they still weren't unbearably painful. We got checked in around 3 or 3:30 and the nurse had a ton of questions while I was strapped to the monitor. My contractions were every 4-5 min. and I was at 4 cm, but the contractions were only "mild to moderate". They asked if I wanted to walk the halls for an hour to see if anything picked up or changed. My doula suggested we discharge and go out to dinner for Valentine's day, walk the mall, and reassess if I really was in labor.

Matt and I ended up at Genghis Grill for dinner. We'd never been, and when the waitress started explaining the process, the baby seemed to shift inside and whoa did my contractions change! I had to really stop and concentrate. They kept coming at increasing intensity every 3-4 min. or so. I wasn't able to just sit and wait through them while we waited for our food. I had to walk outside, go into the bathroom, go into the lobby, etc. every time they hit. I was pretty hungry, so once our food came, I tried to shovel in as much food as I thought I could handle in between contractions, hoping I wasn't going to see it later. After dinner I called Kathy to let her know we were heading back to the hospital and that the contractions were WAY more intense. I could barely talk through them.  I also called home and said good night to the boys and let my mom know we were heading back to the hospital.

By the time we got there, I was really feeling it. It was amazing how much it had changed in less than 2 hours! I had to redo all my paper work since I had been discharged and I was furiously signing things just wanting to get up to my hospital room. Once I got to my room, I immediately sheared off my pants and changed into the skirt that I was going to labor in.

At first I dealt with my contractions on my knees by the bedside with Kathy up by my head talking to me and reminding me to relax through the contractions. Matt got my music. The first song that came on was Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson. Perfection. I really liked having the music, but my headphones weren't cooperating in the positions I could "relax" in, so after a few songs I ditched it.  When things started to get really intense I did a lot of laboring draped over Kathy (she's my exact height) and would "dance" or sway while Matt applied pressure to my back or squeezed my hips.  I required a lot of support from both of them those 4 hours!

The nurse checked me at some point and said I was at a 9, fully effaced with a bulging water bag. The on call doctor, Dr. Dooley came and checked me to see if I was far enough along to call Dr. Cummings. I didn't get a good vibe from her and when she checked me she said I was at an 8 and the baby was still high. She wasn't going to call Cummings yet. Luckily the nurse had already called him. "She was at a 9, the baby was low when I checked, and her contractions were 2 min. apart. She was close and Dr. Cummings said to call when she was close." I was so beyond grateful for that nurse. I wanted Cummings there. I trusted him.

When he got there, he watched me through a few contractions and checked me. He said I really only had a little lip of cervix left that would go when my water broke. When he asked if I wanted him to break my water bag, I said, "I don't know" and he said, "Then I'll help you make the decision." and I felt a gush. He said the baby was posterior and we needed to try and get him to turn so I could push. I threw up twice after that, but I don't think it was all of dinner.

To try and turn the baby, he suggested I stop laboring standing up and lay on my side with my leg propped up in "tree pose" if you will. I don't know how long that lasted, but I started on my right side and after a number of contractions I flipped to the other side in hope of some relief. It was worse, but Kathy helped me gain enough control to relax a little. I flipped back to my right side and it was getting unbearable. Kathy said my eyes were rolling back in my head. She asked me to sing or recite a scripture to keep my mind present in my body. "You don't want to have another c-section!" That was enough to keep me focused on the cause. All I could do was hum the song "Children of our Heavenly Father" since that was one of the songs on my birth playlist sung by Plumb. That helped keep me present, but I said there was lots of pressure and Kathy went to get the nurse.

She checked me again and said he was lower, but still side way and not in the right position. I said I needed to push this baby out.

She had me lay on my back, and while I was a little hesitant because I had bad memories of trying to push Dean out while lying on my back, but she said with the position he was in, it would be the best. She held one leg and another nurse held the other.  It was the first time I was grateful for the building contraction since it meant I could do something to make the pain stop.  Matt was on one side and Kathy was on the other up top. When I pushed, I pushed with all my might, trying to engage every muscle in my body toward the cause.  The first push wasn't all that effective, they redirected me how to position my head. I curled my head down and tried to really focus on pushing with the right muscles.

About that time Dr. Cummings came in. They said they could see the baby's hair. Dr. Cummings was liberal with the olive oil to help me from tearing.  When I pushed I'd try and get 3 good pushes in, and each time I'd push until I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my head. I never felt the "ring of fire" and I didn't feel like my hips were going to rip apart. Pushing was the least painful part of the 4 hours of hard labor.

His heart rate decelerated and at one point Kath said she saw 78 bpm on the monitor. I'm pretty sure they whisked me to a c-section with Dean when his heart rate was in the 80s.  Cummings was confident I could get him out quickly enough. At one point they asked if I wanted a mirror or to feel his head. No thanks. I just needed to focus and get this baby out!16 minutes after I started pushing, I pushed my posterior baby out.  He turned at the very last second.  I ended up with 2 first degree tears, one needing stitching.

The BEST doctor ever. Dr. Cummings
They asked if Matt wanted to cut the cord, he declined. They asked if I wanted to, and I declined.  They asked Kathy if she wanted to and she did.  I got immediate skin to skin contact and held him on my chest while I delivered the placenta.  After awhile he was doing a little bit of gasping, so they took him to clean him up and run the tests and really get his lungs going.  They did all of that in my room, though, so I was able to listen to it all.  The nurse said he was the longest baby she had ever measured at 22 1/4 in. He was 1/2 in longer than Dean was, and we thought he was a long baby! His foot was so big it baaaarley fit into the little window pain they stamp it in.

Name: Edward Steed Brasfield
Born 11:31 pm on February 14, 2012
Height: 22 1/4 in.
Weight: 8 lbs. 11 oz. (my biggest baby yet!)
Lots of dark hair
Two dimples and a cleft chin (SO CUTE! Can't wait till he's smiling!!)

After all was said and done, I tried to make it to the bathroom with some help and ended up passing out on the toilet. A couple hours later I made it to the toilet, but passed out right after I got up and was on my way back.  That time Matt said I was out cold, and even snored and was kind of frothing at the mouth.  They put a catheter in after that, and I am grateful because it just meant I got to sleep without having to worry about anything! Then at 10 or so the next morning we tried again. I made it to the toilet, tried to wash my hands, and then on my way back to the bed I passed out again. Luckily that was the last time! After lunch I felt much better and didn't pass out any more. My sister Suzie said she had the same passing out thing with all 4 of her children too.

We had to stay in the hospital for about 2.5 days because I was group b strep positive and I only received 1/2 a dose of the antibiotics too close to the time I delivered. We got to come home on Friday about noon. I am feeling much better than after a c-section, though my tears are pretty tender still and of course I'm pretty tired. Hopefully they'll heal up quickly.

I feel so blessed that my parents were able to be here to take care of Dean and Walter. They have been so good for them and it has just been awesome to see them play together since my parents don't get to see them much.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

3rd baby 39 weeks

Well, we're still here. I figured I'd do a picture yesterday since I had Walter c-section at 39 weeks. I am happy to NOT be at the hospital with a c-section. I will gladly wait a little while longer.  After a week of walking back at 36 weeks, I switched back to jogging. I realized that just because I have 1 or 2 "hard" days, it doesn't mean I have to be finished for good or that other days will feel like that. I just try and listen to my body and jog if it feels fine and walk if it doesn't. So far I've only had 1 day I've had to jog/walk and the rest of the time I've kept on jogging. I did cut back mileage, so the longest jog I've done in the last two or three weeks has been 2.5 miles. Depending on whether or not I have the stroller, I'm still maintaining a 10-11 min. mile by myself and about a 12-13 min. mile with the stroller and both boys. I am very happy with it. It makes me feel strong and free, and like I am in control of my body.  I feel like I can do just about anything I set my mind to, which is exactly the confidence I need at this point. I have also been doing yoga on Saturday mornings the past month and have loved it. Something the yoga instructor said about natural birth has stuck with me: There is purpose in that pain. With a toothache or an injury you're just hurting.  But pain during childbirth comes and goes in waves and there is meaning behind it.  That is a very comforting thought to me.

I've had a few days of mild contractions or braxton-hicks or whatever, but mostly I've just been feeling normal, albeit pretty big bellied. At this point I am around 155 lbs, so I have gained 25-30 lbs. depending on when you want to start counting (from first dr. apt. or pre-pregnancy).  I've only gained 3 or 4 lbs. in the last 8 weeks I think.  

Here's a link to what I looked like with Walter at 39 weeks (at the hospital, just before we went in).

Here's a link to what I looked like with Dean at 39 weeks. Oh boy do I look worse for the wear in this one! (and I remember feeling very puffy).