only time I had postpartum depression. I'm not sure if it was because I didn't labor and get the hormonal high, or if it was because I couldn't exercise for so long, or if it was because I felt it made me inaccessible for my not yet 2 year old. All I knew was that I felt crazy. And then when a friend of mine told me about the I CAN group, I found support and hope. I started planning on doing whatever it took to vbac for any future children. I found an amazing doctor in TX, Dr. Fredrick Cummings, who was within an hour of me who would take me on as a vbac candidate. I mentally prepared. I hired a doula. I kept myself physically active so I could push that baby out. And I did. He was my biggest baby, and posterior to boot, but I did it naturally. I pushed him out. And I healed in my body and mind. I no longer felt broken. I felt like I could do just about anything. Then my next baby was my smallest and she was a fast and easy birth in comparison. (From first contraction to pushing her out was 3 hours and she came out 10 min. after getting to the hospital!!)
When I first found out I was pregnant with baby #5, I just couldn't believe it. When people would ask us if we were going to have more kids, my standard response was, "Well, Matt and I are done having kids unless the Lord has some plan for us we don't know about!" The odds were so slim of us conceiving, I figured that God really must have wanted us to have one more even though we thought we were done. I was kind of in denial at first, but when we had our ultra sound at 20 weeks and saw we were having another girl, I was happy. Happy for Vivian to have a little sister, and to have another daughter. They were going to be best friends.
Then the "weird stuff" kept showing up on ultrasounds. First the echogenic bowel. It's a soft marker for Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and some random virus. When the doctor first told me this I didn't know how to take it. I had a few days of crying. Then I read a talk about "but if not". I will trust in the Lord that it will all work out, but if not, I will still keep the faith. And it felt so peaceful. I knew that one way or another it would work out. Even if that meant complications. Even if that meant she would have challenges or health problems, or whatever. What I knew, though, was that more than anything I wanted my baby to live. I wanted to have my surprise child I'd been carrying for 20 weeks.
I had testing done that ruled out the DS, CF and virus. Then they saw what they thought was a mass on her heart. So I went and did an echocardiogram at Primary Children's and everything looked great, no mass. The next time I had an ultrasound they didn't see the mass anymore, but they wanted a chest x-Ray done on her after she was born just to make sure her lungs were fine as well as her heart.
I was slightly worried about delivering with a different doctor in a different state because of my birthing history. But Dr. Andrew Thomas seemed to be a pretty cool guy, supportive of what I wanted. He didn't lecture me or freak out when I wanted to fly to AZ at 37 weeks. (He did advise me not to go, but he also didn't treat me like I was a crazy person and said it was up to me.) He let me
know the risks of what I was wanting to do (no epidural, vbac, etc.) then he supported me in my
|At the airport in AZ after LPM symposium with my parents|
The rest of the day I had small contractions here and there and I felt like I had to go to the bathroom
every 5 minutes. My mom kept wanting me to call Matt home from work, but I didn't feel like there
was any reason to. My mom went back to Julie's after lunch to pack night stuff for her and the kids
just in case. While she was gone I laid down and my contractions lessened. After my mom got back we did some laundry. At 5pm I went to a friend's to borrow a rock n' play before she left town, and on the way over there I felt like I had my first productive contraction of the day. I came back and made dinner, noting that my contractions were inconsistent but coming every 3-8 min. Matt didn't eat (I'd made pizza) and while I felt like I shouldn't eat anything but a shake, I did eat pizza and salad. I wish I would have stuck just to the shake.
We got our kids ready for bed around 7 and my contractions were getting more regular and closer. At about 7:15 I told Matt we needed to leave for the hospital.
Once we were there, the nurse checked me and I was still only at a 4! What?! But my water had broken unbeknownst to me (slow leak since she was blocking...must have been why I had to go to the bathroom so much) so they "decided to keep me." After she left the room, I turned to Matt and said, "what, they were going to send me away if my water hadn't broken?" I knew I was in labor and that the baby would be coming very soon, but since I was only at a 4 they seemed that think it would be awhile. They got me into a delivery room about 8:30. I knew I was in transition the way my contractions were hitting, but no one had checked me since they first told me I was at a 4. By the time they were done entering in all their info, they had the doctor come in to check me.
It wasn't my doctor since it wasn't his rotation till the next morning. I'm guessing by law he had to tell me that he advised having an epidural in case I needed to have a c-section again, "or we can just have this baby," he then added. In my mind I was like, "I'm having this baby in the next two minutes so please just shut up and let me push!" He checked me and I was at a 9, but I still had quite a bit of water above the baby. So they drained that and then it really was pushing time. I was moaning through my contractions at this point, and I was so ready to push. He gave me the go ahead, and the next contraction I gave two big pushes and got her head out. Her shoulder got stuck and with another
big push she came out. Just like that. She was born at 9:08. 7 lbs. 6 oz., 18.5 in. The doctor noted he thought she had red in her hair. We noticed she had a dimple on at least one side. Yay! For both of those things!
My body started shaking. I couldn't control my head. It was shaking back and forth and I couldn't get it to stop. Matt kept telling me to relax, that it was over. Once I delivered the placenta, it started getting a little better, but I still felt like I couldn't control my head very well. They laid her on me almost immediately, but she didn't seem interested in nursing. After awhile they took her to do tests, and not long after that they took me downstairs to the recovery floor to my room. Matt stayed with me till about 11 and then he went to get dinner since he hadn't eaten. I felt like I was bleeding a lot.
When the nurse came in to check me, sure enough, I was bleeding quite a bit. At midnight I asked the nursery to take her for the night. I didn't really feel like I was feeling well enough to tend to her. The nurse checked me again around 2 and the bleeding was still very heavy. She gave me some medicine, and almost immediately I started shaking uncontrollably again. My head was doing the weird shaking again and my body was shivering and shaking. I probably should have woken Matt up or got the nurse back in, but I didn't want to inconvenience anyone. I finally calmed my body enough to fall asleep, but I was freezing. When the nurse came in again around 4, I was still bleeding heavily and I had a fever. I felt freezing. She brought a warmed blanket and called my doctor to see what other medicine she should give me.
She gave me a shot in the leg I believe. Around 5 or 6 my fever must have broken and I was sweating to death under the double layer of blankets. I slept until about 6:30 and then I wanted my baby, but I knew shift change was a bad time. So I waited till that was over and got to see her again. We finally decided on her name, Marian Marie. Marian was for my dad's mother, Marion (though we changed the spelling to a more feminine spelling) Grider, and Marie is my middle name as well as my dad's grandmother's who basically helped raise him. So Marian has names of the two women who raised my dad.
After her x-ray the next morning, we found out she had a broken collar bone. They thought there might be fluid in her lungs, so we had to do it again the next day. No fluid, but a definite break. She nursed ok in the hospital, but not tons. When the nurses asked how long she'd eat I never really knew since she'd fall asleep within a few minutes. She was pretty calm really.
After we came home Marian didn't eat very well once my milk came in. She refused to latch and really struggled to nurse. She screamed so much and wasn't eating. I was worried something was physically wrong that was preventing her. She also wasn't pooping. So we took her to the doctor who gave us some tips. They really did get her to poop almost immediately! And then we had a lactation nurse watch her eat a few days later because by that point I was only pumping and losing my milk because she was refusing to nurse. Somehow Marian miraculously latched in front of the nurse! She saw that Marian was eating correctly from both me and the bottle which meant it was just a nipple preference. Her advice was to drop the bottle and essentially force her to nurse. She said it'd take about 3 days of persistence and a lot of crying, but that after that she would be good. And she was right on all accounts. I'm not going to lie, the thought of being able to hand her to anyone to be able to eat was quite appealing at this point in my life, but I have loved nursing my babies, so I was grateful I pushed through for her.
My parents were wonderful like always and stayed a week to help out. They were amazing with my kids. They took them for loooong walks every day to give me a break to be with the baby and sleep (one day they even accidentally walked all the way to Lindon!!), played with them, helped them do their chores, took care of me, took them to my nephew's birthday, etc. etc. etc. They are the best parents ever.
Vivian LOVES Marian. She shares toys and her favorite blanket. She still loves to hold her and giggle at her. She is fascinated by this little being. I am SO grateful. The other kids have done really well adjusting as well. Dean is so big and able to hold her and even carry her places if needed. Walter pays her more attention than probably any other baby that came after him. Edward just plain loves everyone. The first few days he insisted that Marian was a horrible name, though, and he called her Wigford. But he gave that up quickly and I think he's even forgotten that he ever called her anything but Marian.
|Enjoying another night out at a BBQ in her new stroller.|