It’s a boy?!?

June 19, 2015

Ok, yes, here I am, weeks late again with this post, but you’ve probably come to expect that from me by now, haven’t you? And I’m sure most of you know, or have assumed by my absence, that #3 has arrived!!!

So, without further ado, here’s the birth story of our adorable #3…

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Sunday morning, May 31, 2015, started off fairly normal for being 9 months pregnant. I told Ryan around 9:00 or so that I was putting him on alert because I was feeling very slightly crampy, but I had also just pooped twice. Glad you know that now, aren’t you?

Thankfully the girls had slept in until about 8:00 if I remember correctly, so at least we got a good night’s sleep before there were 3. So anyway, I got the girls showered, got dressed, and set out to run some errands. I also texted my mom telling her that I was putting her on high alert as well, just in case, but that I hadn’t actually had any contractions. Then off I went.

At 10:40 AM, the first real contraction hit, right as I was pulling off the highway to go pick up a spare high chair for my mom’s house. I let Ryan know and started to think that maybe labor was actually going to happen that day. Up to that point that morning, I wasn’t convinced that the cramping was a signal of anything, since I was having zero other labor signs.

However, the next contraction didn’t come for about an hour, so I still wasn’t fully convinced. I thought maybe things would pick up later that night or even the next day, if they continued at all. But when I got home I texted my mom again anyway, then she called and we assessed the situation. I told her I’d had a couple contractions at that point, but nothing regular, long, or terribly painful, so she didn’t need to hurry to get up here. I did decide to ask her to come up, though, because I figured if I was feeling some contractions at that point, we’d probably need her sometime within the next 24 hours anyway. So she said she’d finish up what she was doing there then start getting ready to hit the road that afternoon sometime. My sister was in town that weekend, too, another reason why she didn’t need to speed up the pike. Arianne could watch the girls if we ended up needing to leave, although she was flying home Sunday night.

So we just hung around that afternoon, nothing special or feeling too urgent about anything. I put Lana down for her nap around 1:00, and contractions had started to pick up a little and were getting more painful. So by then I was pretty sure labor had, in fact, started with that first contraction at 10:40. I called the after hours line to my doctor’s office, since, once again, I was in labor on a Sunday. My doctor was not on call that day (again!), and the doctor who was was actually in labor and delivery with other patients, so the nurse with whom I spoke said that since I was past 38 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and thinking I might be in labor, I needed to go in to be assessed no matter what.

Say what?!?!

I wasn’t ready, we didn’t have anyone set for sure to watch the girls since Arianne had to fly home that night (and how was she getting to the airport if we were at the hospital??), and I was totally caught off guard. And THEN, in typical universe vs. Rau fashion, my mom sent me a text saying she had a flat tire and was dealing with it.

WTF?!?! I thought she was joking, trying to make me nervous, but once I spoke with her on the phone I realized that no, she really did have a flat tire and was only minutes from their house. So, after having to wait for AAA for what was going to be about an hour, she wasn’t going to be to our house until after 5:00. Crap!

So I quickly began texting our neighbors to see if anyone was around since things were starting to speed up and I was beginning to get really anxious. Fortunately a couple of them were, so I was put at ease that we wouldn’t have to abandon our kids in order to have another one.

At 2:00 I decided I’d better get in the shower, and told Della she could skip her nap that day to stay up with Auntie Arianne before she left. I didn’t want to get her all worried that I was getting to be in more and more pain and that Daddy and I were going to have to leave soon, so I just let her play. All she knew was that Grandma was coming and we might have to go get the baby that day.

While in the shower, I honestly thought I might not make it to the hospital. Contractions had started coming out of nowhere fast and furious, then they’d slow down for a while or stop all together. But by the time I got out of the bathroom, dressed, and finished getting the last things in the hospital bag, I knew it was time to go. NOW.

Thank heavens one of our neighbors had come over while I was showering, so both she and Arianne were there when we had to leave. I gathered up my bag and pillow, Ryan packed up all the camera gear, we gave everyone hugs and gave Della extra kisses, I thanked Arianne for coming into town for a surprise visit and wished her safe travels home, then we set off down the lake to await #3’s arrival.

We left for the hospital at 3:00, and, for the 2nd time, that drive down Lake Dr. was the most utterly painful experience. Why do those potholes never get filled?? I knew I was pressing my luck with time, because I had to hold onto the oh-shit handle again to deal with the pain. I was just scared I was going to miss the window to get the IV pain medication again that I so desperately wanted. This trip was not nearly as leisurely as it was when I was in labor with Lana, but it wasn’t quite as frantic as it was with Della. It was definitely closer to Della on the pain scale, though.

So we got to the hospital probably around 3:15, I went into the lobby and got in a wheelchair while Ryan parked and brought all the baggage in, then he wheeled me up to L&D one more time. When we got up to the check-in desk, it was like I instantly became invisible. I’m not sure if the nurse at the window wasn’t used to looking for laboring women in wheelchairs or what, but I swear she would not have seen me even if I’d had a rotating disco ball on my head. Dude, what is taking so long?? Can’t you see a baby is about to fall out into this wheelchair?!?

I felt so bad, too. Another woman had come up to the window, not in labor but presumably to find someone’s room, and she was saying how tiny I was and how big she had been with her girls, and yadda yadda yadda. I was trying to be polite and smile and nod at her, but I know all I was doing was grimacing at her as the pain in my gut worsened by the second.

After what seemed to be an eternity, Ryan finally wheeled me through the giant doors when some other random person came out, not even because the nurse had waved us in. Seriously, people, do you not understand the urgency of LABOR? That’s what the L in your L&D moniker stands for!

We then waited. Some more. When our nurse finally came out to take us back to the triage room, I was about ready to punch someone. That poor woman. I’m sure I was horribly rude when she was asking me how I was doing, etc., etc. But come on – I’m having a baby. That’s why I’m here! Why does everyone keep asking me? I’m not taking the tour again so I can see it from the vantage point of a wheelchair!

Into the triage room we went, she asked if I can leave a urine specimen, I told her she’s crazy (not really, but i wanted to), then I got my beautiful hospital garb on. Now here comes the best part. I got hooked up to an IV pretty quickly since I was group B strep positive again and needed penicillin before delivery (ideally 4 hours before again, as with Lana, but, oops), and she asked if she can check me to determine the progress. Well yes. Again, that’s why I’m here people! And I’m certainly not able to do that myself. So. Drumroll please…

“Well, Jocelyn, you’re 8 cm.”

What. The. F*ck. I did it again!! I waited too long. AGAIN! Did I not learn my lesson with Della? Apparently not. So now I knew that I was too late to get the IV pain meds that I wanted so badly and was going to have to do this all by myself. AGAIN! Motherf*cker!!

Ryan can attest to this because he saw the look on my face when she told me how far along I was – it was a simultaneous mixture of shock, horror, and utter sadness. I wanted to cry and hit somebody all at the same time. The last thing I wanted to do was have a 100% unmedicated delivery again, because experiencing that pain once in a lifetime was plenty for me. I’m not proud.

So anyway, they wheeled me down to the delivery room, where a bunch of other nurses, residents, and who-knows-whats came in and started asking me more questions. I think I glared at them all and answered no to everything, especially to the resident with the high, squeaky voice, who so sickeningly sweetly told me, “No, I’m sorry!” when I said, “So I can’t have the IV pain medication?” Ooo. She I wanted to save a really special punch for.

At one point, one of the nurses spoke with the doctor who was on her way in for delivery, and she gave the go-ahead for me to get a lower-potency pain medicine in my IV than what I had with Lana, but something that would still take the edge off the contractions. And the angels sang HALLELUJAH!!! I almost cried again, this time from elation and relief. Yes! Put that bad boy in my IV please, and STAT! And this one I could have every half hour, so you bet I had my eye on the clock. I got 2 doses before #3 was born.

Interestingly enough, I would have still been able to get an epidural at 8 cm dilated, which I almost ordered. The only thing that stopped me was the time factor – it would have been almost an hour before the anesthesiologist was there, got me prepped, got the epidural administered, and the medicine to kick in, all the while I would still have to deal with the pain of quickly intensifying contractions. I asked why I could do that but not get the IV meds, and it was because the epidural would affect only my body, whereas the IV stuff could cause sluggishness and respiratory problems in the baby when administered too close to delivery. But fortunately this substitute painkiller was low enough to not have that effect on #3. So there we go.

Even with the medication dripping into my IV, the pain in my lower back was killing me. So the nurse helped me roll onto my side to alleviate that pain from the baby pushing on my back. For as much as I could not heave myself into a different position, doing so really did help. Plus I was able to grab onto the bed railing to breathe through the contractions, for the pain wasn’t completely gone. I was facing Ryan once I rolled over but couldn’t see the contractions monitor, so it was funny to see his face during the big ones. Thank god and everything holy I had that little bit of pain help to get through those.

Ok, so. The doctor finally arrived and got decked out to catch a baby, and it was showtime. I kept saying I was starting to feel “pushy” with the contractions, so she checked me, my cervix was gone, and it was time to break my water. She even let me stay kind of on my side to fend off that back agony, which was great.

This particular delivery was really nice, because it was just the doctor, our same L&D nurse who’d I’d been such a bitch to at the start (i did apologize to her once i’d gotten the pain meds and she just laughed, saying that was nothing compared to some and they feel bad having to ask us all those stupid questions when we’re in such pain), one other nurse/helper/nasty bed sheet changer who was really just in the background the whole time, and us. They didn’t even turn the room overhead lights on all the way either. Very zen and much calmer than the utter whirlwind and room full of a circus that was Della’s delivery.

When my water was broken and it was time to start pushing, the nurse held one leg, Ryan had to hold the other this time, and I set to getting that kid out. My body was starting to fail me again, though, and the pain and body shakes made it hard for me to be able to hold the backs of my legs to push. But somehow I did. The first round I pushed 3 times, then waited for the next contraction. The next round I pushed 3 more times, the baby’s head was almost all the way out but I was spent and running out of air so I had to take a pause to muster more strength, then one final start/stop/start/stop/start/stop set of a push, and we had a head. As far as I was concerned, my job was done.

Then the shoulders were maneuvered out, the rest of that squirmy little body appeared, and I heard the doctor ask Ryan if he wanted to tell me what we had. His reply came, “It’s a boy!”

Ho-ly shit. It was over! And we had a little boy?! Wow.

They showed us the umbilical cord, because it was fully tied in a knot. The doctor said that’s really rare, so it was pretty cool to see. She slid the knot right up and down the cord, too. It wasn’t stuck in place like a knot in a piece of string. I talked Ryan into cutting the cord this time, too. Last chance and all.

But as for having a boy, I was completely shocked. By the end I was starting to assume we’d have all girls, so this beautiful little bundle of boy totally threw me for a loop.

But come on – this face just melts hearts.

MJR

Morrison John Rau

Born Sunday, May 31, 2015

4:54 PM

8 lbs., 20″

We did take a little while to decide on his name for sure, just to make certain it was the one we wanted (again, not really preparing for a boy), but it was the only boy name we’d had picked since I was pregnant with Della. So we finally put it into play. And yes, it’s musical – from Jim and Van.

So from first contraction to baby born, this was by far my shortest labor at 6 hours total. Looking back and knowing now that I was, in fact, in the early stages of labor with Della much earlier than I thought at the time, her labor was 12 hours total, and Lana’s was about 16 hours total. So this one being only 6 was another thing throwing me off – it progressed so quickly!

There it is. The birth story of our 3rd little Goonie. And our first little boy. I’m still not completely used to the fact that we do, indeed, have a son, but I’m sure it will sink in in time. I sure hope it does anyway! Morrison is the snuggliest little guy, and so far proving to be a pretty great sleeper and eater. He has started to wake up cranky, but I’m pretty sure that’s normal for a two week old. And that newborn smell is divine.

Welcome to our family, Morrison! You have made us 5, and we love you and all your little grunts and snuffles so much!!

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the day we came home, after della got home from school

 

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38 weeks

May 27, 2015

Will this be the last update? …

  • How far along?  38 weeks. Della was born 6 days from now; Lana was born 8 days from now.
  • Total weight gain:  Like 40 pounds. I was actually down 3 lbs. from last week’s visit at my appointment yesterday afternoon, so who knows what that’s all about. I’ll take it, though. Probably some swelling that had just gone down.
  • Maternity clothes?  I’ll just make this easy. Yes. I’m having a baby in a matter of days; of course I’m wearing maternity clothes.
  • Stretch marks?  Nope, not yet. And the third time around better not be when those suckers rear their ugly heads, either.
  • Sleep:  Terrible. I’m uncomfortable all the time. I did get one of those big curly pregnancy pillows, which isn’t bad. I’ve begun sleeping on top of all the covers with just a blanket on me, though, because trying to position that thing and roll over while under all the sheets and comforter was a battle that I’m done fighting. And now my fingers have begun to swell just enough so that my hands hurt all the time, especially at night. Yippee!
  • Best moment this week:  Finding out yesterday that there actually hasn’t been any more progression. Still 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Just lets me know that some of the pains I’ve been feeling aren’t anything to worry about. Yet. And hearing that the baby looked great on the monitors at my first non-stress test yesterday before my actual appointment. They hook me up to the monitors you wear during labor to track the baby’s heartbeat and movement, and we passed with flying colors. They want to see 2 heartbeat accelerations due to the baby moving around in a half hour span (the most boring half hour ever, i may add), and we did just fine. And the long weekend we just had. It was so much fun. We really didn’t do much, but it was nice just being home all together for a couple days while we’re still 4. Ryan got the swing up on the girls’ new swing set, and they had an absolute blast on there.
  • Miss anything?  Being comfortable in my own body. I’ve reached that point, and unfortunately it arrived much earlier this time than I expected. Add to that being able to tie shoes comfortably, go for a walk without fear of peeing myself, and being able to stand up without feeling like my hips are going to give out on me because this kid is sitting right on them.
  • Movement:  Yes, since 1 day before week 15. That’s the earliest of all 3 – D was 20 weeks and L was around 16 weeks.
  • Cravings:  Not right now.
  • Aversions:  Now that the first trimester is over, again, not really anything. Those first couple weeks, though, wow – life in general was an aversion of mine. Scents are still stronger than normal, but nothing like when I was pregnant with D and my entire sense of smell got turned upside down.
  • Gender:  Did not find out. I’m still sure it’s a boy.
  • Labor signs:  Lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. Wonderful. And the dilation progression. Obvs.
  • Symptoms:  Horrible daily heartburn, frequent pressure and tightening in my abdomen (the braxton hicks), my hair barely sheds at all when I brush and wash it, my stomach constantly “gets in the way” when I’m trying to do things like put on my socks and shoes, my back gets inordinately tired and hurts often, and there’s an almost constant stabbing pain in the back of my left sacroiliac joint. I literally get stuck getting out of a seated position it hurts so badly. My hands have also begun to swell just a tiny bit, which is resulting in constant aching. It’s not too noticeable when you look at them, but I can certainly feel it. I think the baby has dropped, too, because I get frequent shooting pains down the tops of my legs, which my doctor said are definitely coming from the baby’s head sitting right on my cervix. I know you wanted to hear that, didn’t you?
  • Belly button in or out?  It’s out and it’s gross.
  • Wedding rings on or off?  On. We’ll see for how much longer, though.
  • Looking forward to:  Maybe making it to my hair appointment on Saturday? Also, finding out if little #3 is a boy or a girl. Also again, I’m very curious as to when he/she is going to make an appearance. For as much as I’m ready to be done being pregnant, it would be nice to finish most of the school year without having a newborn in the mix. Della’s last day is June 11 and my due date is June 10, so it’s a total crap shoot at this point. I would love to just make it until June. Stay tuned!

Possibly the last comparison shot? We shall see. I didn’t bother with exact dates this time, but left is around 38 weeks and the last picture with Della; middle is around 38 weeks and the second-to-last picture with Lana; and right is today, 38 weeks exactly with #3. How many more will he/she get?

38w

 

 

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Almost 4 no more

May 24, 2015

Seeing as #3 could easily arrive any day now, I wanted to get at least 1 non-pregnancy-update post down before that happens.

Knowing our third child might be here momentarily, I’ve been trying to savor these last few days with just the 2 girls as much as possible. Watching each of them as they play and do whatever it is they’re doing alone. Usually that’s Lana setting up tiny tea parties and Della coloring. I’m just soaking up their respective essences even more so than usual as much as I can.

Today we spent the afternoon and evening across the street at our neighbors’ house for a little Memorial Day BBQ, so the girls didn’t have naps. Of course this is no big deal for D, but poor L was exhausted by about 6. She had a little meltdown at the end of our stay, which prompted our departure. I knew she was just beyond tired and there was nothing we could do about it, so as soon as we got home I got her in pj’s, brushed teeth, got her diaper on, and got her ready for bed. All the while with her screaming hysterically at me for no reason whatsoever other than that’s all she knew how to do at that point.

I darkened their room, turned the music and nightlights on, and sat down with her to rock. Within minutes her frantic thumb sucking slowed, her mile-long eyelashes were down permanently, her breathing slowed, and she even let out a couple little sleep squeaks that assured me she was out cold. I knew that was all it would take, but I kept rocking anyway.

I smelled her hair, watched her beautiful little face, cradled her tiny body, and loved every second. I don’t rock the girls often anymore, but I knew this one was special. It’s beyond rare that she’s tired enough to ever fall asleep in my lap, let alone while she’s still the baby. Della even came in at one point and asked why we were rocking so long. Finally, after about 10 minutes, I stood up and laid her gently in bed, tucking her in and giving those sweet baby cheeks a kiss.

Then I came out and colored with Della in her Hello Kitty coloring book. It’s been her favorite lately, and every night she’s a coloring machine. It’s one of those color wonder books where the markers are essentially clear and only show up on that particular paper, which I absolutely love. I don’t have to worry about it getting all over her or her clothes or the couch or the floor. So we took turns coloring a couple pictures, and I just loved watching her enchanted by the pages. She’s such a smart and wonderful kid, it warms my heart to be with her. I sometimes feel like I don’t spend enough one-on-one time with her, so I adore that she wants me to color with her these nights. I watched her concentrate and played with her pigtails, curly from all her playing today.

After coloring, she read a couple books with Ryan, another one of her favorite activities. She is getting so good at reading, it amazes me. When I put her to bed I didn’t mind at all giving her the extra back rubs and resting leg pats I do that she requested. Her yawns and sleepy eyes told me that she is probably well on her way to the land of nod already. I’ll go in and give them both one more tuck in and kiss before I go to bed. I still find nothing better than watching my beautiful children sleep. Ever since day 1.

With the impending arrival of #3, I am much less worried about “sharing” my love than I was when Lana was about to be born. I now know that the love in my heart for my children automatically increases exponentially as soon as they are born, so any fear that I couldn’t possibly love another as much as who we already have is completely unfounded. That hasn’t even been a thought in my mind this time around. In fact, I’m actually excited to see just how much I can love all 3 at once. And I know watching the girls with their little brother or sister is going to be magical. So in that respect, there’s a level of calm surrounding this coming birth that is nice.

I have made no bones about the fact that I would love to have another girl this time around, which is one thing I never said with the first 2. When we started having kids I always wanted a little girl, but as long as they were healthy, that’s all that mattered to me. But now that we have 2 incredible little girls, a third would just be so easy – we have all the girl clothes and the girl stuff and I know little girls. I know nothing about raising little boys. And I’m fearful that I’d be a terrible little boy mom, because I hear they’re constant balls of energy and movement and we all know I tend to be lazy. I mean less energetic than is probably necessary for a little boy at this point. Right.

So since that is out there in the universe, I’m sure #3 will be a boy. Who I will of course love from the start and make everything I just said sound utterly ridiculous. But that’s what babies do – turn your world upside down and prove just how much you can love. And quite often prove you entirely wrong when you’re just starting to think you know what you’re talking about and doing.

I think that’s about it. All the thoughts I’ve had running around in my head that I wanted to get down before #3 is here. Because once he/she is, my time on these pages I’m sure will be even more limited than it is now. But things here are in pretty good shape for baby’s arrival, too. The girls’ swing set is sanded, stained, and in place; this week I cleaned the entire house in preparation; this morning I cleaned up part of the garage, got the infant car seat adapter hooked onto the stroller, and steamed the floors; so now we’re just waiting. We do still need to pick names, but I’m sure we’ll get that done.

We’re almost 4 no more. And I pray that we thrive as a family of 5.

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37 weeks

Thumbnail image for 37 weeks May 20, 2015

FULL TERM!! And in other news, my fingers have begun to feel like sausages. Excellent. How far along?  37 weeks. Full term, kids. This baby could literally come at any time now. Total weight gain:  Like 40 pounds. I’ve had 2 appointments since last week’s update, so I can’t hide from the scale. I’m now just a little […]

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36 weeks

Thumbnail image for 36 weeks May 13, 2015

You guys? Almost full term. !?! Sorry for the 3-week lapse, too. No, I didn’t go into preterm labor; I’m just lazy. I mean busy. How far along?  36 weeks. Which means that in about 1 more week the baby could be born and basically be fine. I’m still predicting around 39 weeks for the actual birth […]

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33 weeks

Thumbnail image for 33 weeks April 22, 2015

Ok, I’m just getting lazy now. I won’t even try to lie about it. If every other week is as often as I can make myself take a picture and sit down here, then so be it. But that means you get to see an even bigger belly each time. Lucky ducks you are! How […]

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31 weeks

Thumbnail image for 31 weeks April 8, 2015

Sorry I skipped the 30 week update last week, which I considered to be a fairly big one, but I am just so tired all the time lately. I know that comes with being in my 3rd trimester with my 3rd baby, but still. I kid you not, if I simply don’t feel like doing […]

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