Life in Lape Haven

Archive - February 2017

Welcoming Isaiah: A Birth Story That Didn’t Quite Follow My Birth Plan

Welcoming Isaiah: A Birth Story That Didn't Quite Follow My Birth Plan. Life in Lape Haven. I thought I was ready for the birth of our third child until things didn't go quite as planned. Thankfully, God is always in control, and His plans are even better than our own.

Looking at our sweet little boy as he sleeps beside me on the couch, it’s hard to believe that he is already two months old. It’s hard to believe that I haven’t really introduced him to you yet.  It’s hard to believe that I have sat down to write his birth story at least once a week for the last nine weeks, and either life interrupts my writing (newborns can be demanding) or the words just don’t seem to come. It’s also hard to believe that that’s been okay with me.

Very few things have gone exactly according to plan since Isaiah’s arrival, such as having a stomach virus hit our home the day after coming home from the hospital with our newborn. It was the kind of virus that lingered and caused us to be quarantined over the holidays and miss out on introducing Isaiah to our family and friends. In fact, for some reason or another (mostly sickness), most of our immediate family members didn’t even meet him until he was about a month old. We also didn’t get to do his newborn pictures until he was about six weeks old instead of six days old.

With all of that and other things, adjusting to life with three boys has been…well, an adjustment to say the least.

However, through these last two months, God has been teaching me to let go of my plans (sometimes my control) and trust Him a little bit more. And He started my lessons off with a bang on the day before Isaiah was born.

THE BEST LAID BIRTH PLANS

Just over ten weeks ago, I was lying in a hospital bed with monitors strapped to my 39-week pregnant belly. As I listened to the sounds of my baby’s heartbeat and movements over the fetal monitor, I was waiting for labor to start. Praying for labor to start.

Welcoming Isaiah: A Birth Story That Didn't Quite Follow My Birth Plan. Life in Lape Haven. I thought I was ready for the birth of our third child until things didn't go quite as planned. Thankfully, God is always in control, and His plans are even better than our own.

Picture courtesy of Picture Bliss Photography.

That day hadn’t gone according to plan, at least not MY plans. In fact, if my week had gone as I’d liked it to, I would have already had our little boy the day before, on Monday, and I wouldn’t even have had to go to my doctor’s appointment that Tuesday afternoon.

But our son had been content to stay put, and I’d gone to bed with a migraine Monday night (the second in three days). I made a quick – unplanned – visit to the chiropractor Tuesday morning (in case my headaches were just from my neck being out of alignment and also to be ready for when our little guy decided to come, which I knew was soon). Then I drove an hour – in the snowiest conditions so far this winter – to my OB for my weekly appointment.

At 39 weeks, 1 day pregnant, I was in new territory. Both of our older boys had been born at exactly 39 weeks, coming naturally, on their own. The goal for this little one was as near to 39 weeks as possible, too, since I am “over 35” and the risks of going all the way to, or over, 40 weeks are higher for mothers “my age.”

As I pulled into the parking lot at my doctor’s office, I was nervous. At my previous week’s appointment, she’d had me get an unscheduled ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels. I knew she was concerned that I had measured smaller, even though everything had been okay. I also knew that I’d have to tell my doctor about the headaches I’d had over the last week. (I was really hoping that my trip to the chiropractor that morning had solved that problem, and my doctor wouldn’t be concerned.)

Since I was over 39 weeks pregnant, my doctor would be watching me closely. I didn’t want to be induced if I could help it. I knew my doctor would only suggest if there was a legitimate, serious reason.

But still, I purposely didn’t bring my hospital bag with me. Because, you know, she couldn’t send me to the hospital if I didn’t have my stuff.

Clearly, I was already suspicious that things might not be as “okay” as I wanted them to be.

I was only a minute or so into my appointment when those suspicions got a little confirmation. As she was taking my blood pressure, I heard the nurse say, “Hmmm,” over the results. For the first time ever, my blood pressure was high.

My doctor soon came in and double checked it. It was still high. So after she measured my belly and checked to see if I was dilated or effaced at all (only slightly), she was ready to talk.

And I knew what was coming. With this being my third pregnancy, I knew that high blood pressure, unusual headaches, and my age were going to be issues. But then she informed me that I was measuring smaller than the previous week and had had protein in my urine. Since all of those are symptoms of pre-eclampsia, my doctor simply said, “It’s time.”

She wanted me to go immediately to labor and delivery to be checked and stay…to be induced.

I just wanted to cry.

This was NOT how I wanted things to go. I wanted my labor to be as textbook as my previous two (which were un-medicated, “natural” deliveries), only maybe a bit quicker and even easier. THAT was how I’d planned it.

Instead, I was going home to get my bags (my doctor was adamant that I just get my stuff & go to the hospital as soon as possible).

Welcoming Isaiah: A Birth Story That Didn't Quite Follow My Birth Plan. Life in Lape Haven. I thought I was ready for the birth of our third child until things didn't go quite as planned. Thankfully, God is always in control, and His plans are even better than our own.

Picture courtesy of Picture Bliss Photography.

TRUSTING THE PLANNER

Frustration, fear, and pregnancy hormones had me fighting tears as I sent a text message to my husband at work and then called my mom. As I drove home, I worked out a new plan – one for getting my boys from two different places to my parents’ house, as well as coordinating with my husband and mom how we were all getting to the hospital.

And I prayed through tears.

I hated facing this sudden sense of urgency. I was frustrated that my body was betraying me like this. I was frightened by the worst case scenarios and the overall unknown that I was heading into. I didn’t want to face the wait, difficulties, and complications that can come with inductions, such as stronger contractions or even a C-section (with two older boys to keep up with, I knew my recovery time needed to be as easy and quick as possible).

I had to trust that God was in control, and not just for me, but for my little guy, as well. I believed that He was, and that He had His own (BETTER) plan, but I needed to REST in it rather than fight against it, demanding we go by the plan that I thought was best. Right then, that was hard.

Brad got home about the time I was ready to leave. We picked up Elijah from school, dropped him and our dog at my parents’ (Josiah was already there, thanks to my mom), and we headed to the hospital.

While Brad drove, I sent messages to different people whom I knew would pray – family, ladies in our church, close friends, and the women of my blogging group. Their replies of encouragement and faith started almost immediately and continued throughout the night.

Many mom friends offered positive notes from their own induction experiences, which helped immensely, while others spoke peace into the chaos of my heart by reminding me that God wasn’t surprised by the situation. Having that community of women that I could trust and rely on to cover me in prayer and support was amazingly comforting.

From the very first reply, my spirit began to settle, and God’s peace slowly took over, soothing my nerves and fears and calling me to simply trust Him.

So soon I was in a hospital bed, monitors strapped to my belly, no longer fearful but now resolute and ready for this baby to come.

Since my doctor knew that I wanted as little intervention as possible in my labor and delivery, she gave me a dose of Cervidil around 7 p.m. to start my induction. (It’s a medicine that’s left near the cervix to soften it. It stays there for 12 hours). There is a long line of things that doctors can do to help labor along, but she and I were hopeful that this was the only one I would need.

Now all we had to do was wait for it to work.

All evening and into the night, Brad, my mom, and I waited. With the sounds of the fetal monitors in the background, we chatted, watched TV, replied to lots of messages for updates, and tried to sleep (like THAT is possible in a hospital).

I just kept praying that the medicine would work and labor would start. While this wasn’t how I wanted my delivery to start out, I knew that I was doing what was best for my little guy and me.

Finally, about 4 a.m., I noticed some contractions and within another half-hour I was unable to sleep through them. By 5:30 a.m., I was tracking contractions that I knew meant I wasn’t going to need further interventions. (Praise God!  At least part of my plan happened!)

With those first good contractions, my focus went from all the waiting and dealing with being induced to “let’s get this baby out so I can meet him.” It didn’t matter how my plan was SUPPOSED to have gone – it hadn’t mattered much since I got to the hospital. All that mattered was that I was going be holding my little guy for the first time very soon.

Even though the nurses wouldn’t check my dilation until 12 hours after I received the dose of Cervidil, which would be around 7 a.m., they did set up the birthing ball for me to use. While my mom, Brad, and now his sister Kristin, who was there as our birth photographer, talked on the other side of the room, I swayed and bounced through increasingly intense contractions until 7:30 a.m.

By then, I was at 5cm and progressing rapidly, so much so that about 9 a.m. my water broke on its own, and I was feeling very done with being in labor!

A call to the nurse got me onto the bed and checked again (8cm). I labored there with the help of a peanut ball, my hubby, and my mom for about 4 or 5 more contractions (so NOT fun). Then I was more than ready to push.

At 9:43 a.m. Isaiah Joel made his debut. He was a tiny little guy at 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and 20” long.

With his little body nestled on my chest, I thanked God for such a precious gift. And I thanked Him for this experience. While I always knew that it didn’t matter how a baby was born, I finally had something more to base it on. The feeling of overwhelming joy and awe was exactly the same as it was when I first held my other two boys, even though I needed a little kick start to get to the moment this time.

THE BETTER PLAN

Later in the day, Brad and I would compare notes on how much better God’s plan was than mine.

For one, from what my doctor said when she checked me at her office, it is very likely that I would have gone into labor on my own within a day or so had we not had the pre-eclampsia worry there. (By the way, I tested negative for pre-eclampsia, but they did have to keep a watch on my blood pressure throughout my hospital stay.) Anyway, our weather was being properly wintery that week, that day especially, with the night of my induction having wind chills below zero and icy road conditions. Had I gone into labor that night, we would have had to deal with that not only on our way to the hospital, but also with dropping our boys off with their grandparents.

Also, with as quickly as my labor progressed, had we waited until my contractions were about 5 minutes apart to go to the hospital, we could have been cutting it close to get everyone and everything out the door, drop off the boys, and get to the hospital (in the nasty weather) before Isaiah arrived.

Not only was it cold, but there was also a full moon that night. The maternity ward at the hospital was crazy busy, so much so that we didn’t get to our postpartum room until late afternoon, even though Isaiah was born in the morning. With being induced, though, I was already in my spot in the labor and delivery side when it came time to deliver. 🙂

The timing also worked out well for our boys and Brad’s parents, with whom the boys were staying. Thanks to the yucky weather, Elijah had snow delays for two of the three days we were in the hospital, which meant he didn’t have to be at school nearly as early as normal. That definitely made for easier mornings for them, as well as more time together.

And of course, there’s that whole giving me a chance to trust God thing. Had my labor and delivery gone according to my plan, I might have relied more on my previous experiences and knowledge to get through it rather than finding my strength in God. Often times, having “been there and done that,” we think we can do things at least a little bit on our own.

So even though my birth plan went a little off script, it was exactly as it was supposed to be. Because of that, Isaiah’s birth story will always be a reminder to me that trusting God over ourselves brings us the peace we need in any situation, even when things happen differently than we want them to. God always has our best in His plan.

Our sweet little Isaiah is definitely one of the best of the bests that He has given to us. 
Welcoming Isaiah: A Birth Story That Didn't Quite Follow My Birth Plan. Life in Lape Haven. I thought I was ready for the birth of our third child until things didn't go quite as planned. Thankfully, God is always in control, and His plans are even better than our own.

Picture courtesy of Picture Bliss Photography.

 

Welcoming Isaiah: A Birth Story That Didn't Quite Follow My Birth Plan. Life in Lape Haven. I thought I was ready for the birth of our third child until things didn't go quite as planned. Thankfully, God is always in control, and His plans are even better than our own.

Our first family picture

Welcoming Isaiah: A Birth Story That Didn't Quite Follow My Birth Plan. Life in Lape Haven. I thought I was ready for the birth of our third child until things didn't go quite as planned. Thankfully, God is always in control, and His plans are even better than our own.

 

Birth photography pictures courtesy of Picture Bliss Photography.

What Will Be in My Hospital Bag?

Life in Lape Haven: What Will Be In My Hospital Bag? Labor, Deliver, & Postpartum Stay. With my experiences from two previous hospital deliveries, here's a list of what I'm packing for my labor, delivery, & postpartum stay in the hospital this third pregnancy.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you use those links.

So, here I am, sitting at about 38-1/2 weeks pregnant, knowing that both of our boys were born at exactly 39 weeks and that my doctor would prefer that this little guy follow that trend… and yet I still don’t have my hospital bag packed.

With keeping up with our boys and everyday life, plus trying to prepare ahead for Christmas with a newborn, the hospital bag is more a list than a reality right now.

I know. This is totally our third kid.

I remember with my first pregnancy having my bag ready early, just like the books and websites all suggested, and even with my second time around, we were prepped by 37 or 38 weeks, as much as we could be. What couldn’t be packed ahead of time was written down on a sticky-note and stuck to the matching bag, so we knew exactly what we needed to grab when it was time to go.

And we’re working our way to that point this week, all the while hoping that Baby #3 really does stick with the trend of arriving on the exact day that I’ll be 39 weeks, rather than coming even earlier.

Life in Lape Haven: What Will Be In My Hospital Bag? Labor, Deliver, & Postpartum Stay. With my experiences from two previous hospital deliveries, here's a list of what I'm packing for my labor, delivery, & postpartum stay in the hospital this third pregnancy.

Picture courtesy of Picture Bliss Photography.

But since I do at least have my list, I thought I’d share it with you because I’ve added things I didn’t have the first time or two, and I’m sure there are things that I took before that I know I won’t need to bother with.

LABOR & DELIVERY BAG

Okay, first off – I do make up two separate bags: one for immediate use with labor and delivery, and one for our postpartum stay in the hospital. This was a suggestion from the hospital from our very first trip to labor and delivery, and it works very well.

In the delivery bag, you want anything that you are going to need for the actual labor and delivery or up until they get you settled in your postpartum room after baby’s arrival.

The Bag – For me, I don’t need a lot for my delivery, but most of what I’ll take in will be going in my Kelly Moore diaper/camera bag (the Libby). I got this bag as a diaper bag when Josiah was little, and I love it. It fits everything I need when I’m out and about with my kids, but it also provides a space (and protection) for my camera and lenses. For the hospital trip, it will be more delivery bag than diaper bag, but once we’re home, it’ll be stuffed with diapers, wipes, changing pad, changes of clothes for the baby, diaper cream, toys, my nursing cover, snacks, keys, cell phone, wallet, camera, etc.

Robe – Because we all know hospital gowns aren’t the coziest or the covering-est, and I plan on doing some walking through the halls while I’m laboring.  Of course, once we get closer to delivery, the robe can easily come off.  You can purchase special delivery gowns to wear at the hospital, but I’m fine with possibly getting the hospital’s gown messy rather than something I brought with me and will have to clean later. For comfort and modesty, I’ll use my robe.

Slippers – Again, walking helps when you’re in labor, and my slippers have always been right there with me. I’ve gotten the same kind of slippers for years, even before I was married, to wear around the house, especially during the winter: Dearfoam Matte Spandex Ballet Slippers. I definitely don’t want to be walking around the hospital in socks, or worse, barefoot.

Nursing Bra & Pads – One thing that I didn’t know when Elijah (my first ) was born, was that I could nurse him pretty much immediately after delivery. I had no clue at that point what I was doing when it came to breastfeeding, besides knowing that I wanted to, so I waited until we were in our postpartum room before the nurse helped me feed him. With Josiah, I was better educated, and he was a way better eater, so he nursed as soon as they had his initial measurements in the delivery room. While my milk usually doesn’t come in before delivery, I’d rather be prepared with my Bamboobies nursing pads from the get-go. They are the absolute best nursing pads ever. (I used disposable ones of every kind with Elijah, and not only hated them but dealt with clogged ducts numerous times. With Josiah, I decided to try the washable Bamboobies and never had those problems. Plus they are so comfy and don’t leak!)

Life in Lape Haven: What Will Be In My Hospital Bag? Labor, Deliver, & Postpartum Stay. With my experiences from two previous hospital deliveries, here's a list of what I'm packing for my labor, delivery, & postpartum stay in the hospital this third pregnancy.

Birth Plan(ish) – With Elijah, I had printed out a birth plan with all my ideals for delivery checked off. As a first-time mom, though, the on-call doctor wasn’t impressed, even mocking me at one point because I was so determined to deliver as naturally as possible. She doubted me…until I proved her wrong. 🙂 When Josiah’s delivery came around, I didn’t print anything off, but I was much more confident and vocal about what I needed and didn’t, and the doctor (same one as Elijah’s delivery) now knew me and was fine with going along with my wishes. This time I should have my own doctor at the delivery, and we’ve already discussed how I hope this birth goes, so we’re all in on “the plan.” Of course, as with any delivery, I know to be flexible and listen to my doctor’s advice for the safety of my baby.

Camera – My good camera, charged and with a cleared memory card is an absolute must, even if it’s my hubby or mom taking pictures and not me. Capturing those first precious moments with my little guy are priceless.

Baby Book – Because we don’t want to miss getting his little footprint in it. We may not fill out the whole book over the next year or two, but those prints will be there! 🙂

Life in Lape Haven: What Will Be In My Hospital Bag? Labor, Deliver, & Postpartum Stay. With my experiences from two previous hospital deliveries, here's a list of what I'm packing for my labor, delivery, & postpartum stay in the hospital this third pregnancy.

Cell Phone with Charger – Not only do we need to be ready to let family and friends know when our little guy is officially here, but I may just play some music this time around during labor. I’ve never wanted a playlist or anything before, but I might this time. Having our Amazon Prime account means that I can stream whatever music I’m in the mood for, whether it’s calming and encouraging praise and worship or as I’ve joked (but may totally do it) – Christmas music.   Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Snacks for Hubby – Some doctors say, “Let the momma eat during labor,” and others don’t allow it. I’ve never really been hungry during labor, anyway, so beyond the popsicles that the hospital provided, I didn’t need anything. Brad, on the other hand, might want a granola bar or two to get him through, depending on when we end up at the hospital and how long the process takes this time. I’d rather have him there beside me than traipsing through the halls looking for a vending machine or headed to the cafeteria!

HOSPITAL BAG

Once baby is born, and we’re all snug in our own little room, I’ll need my main hospital bag. Beyond the usual clothes and toiletries of any overnight stay, I plan to pack:

Nursing Gown – I purchased a Dressed to Deliver Gown that can be worn for either a hospital delivery gown, a nursing gown, or even a maternity dress. As I said before, I don’t plan to wear it for the actual delivery, even though it’s really comfy, because I don’t want to risk getting it messy and then not having it to wear during the rest of my hospital stay. I’d much rather have it as a nursing gown, especially since it has snaps on the shoulders that make it perfectly designed for kangaroo care skin-to-skin. Not many nursing gowns offer that.

Life in Lape Haven: What Will Be In My Hospital Bag? Labor, Deliver, & Postpartum Stay. With my experiences from two previous hospital deliveries, here's a list of what I'm packing for my labor, delivery, & postpartum stay in the hospital this third pregnancy.

Extra Undies – I have learned from my previous two deliveries that those awesome mesh panties from the hospital are so one-size-fits-all that they don’t stay comfortably in place for me. So, I end up wearing a pair of my own over them, to keep them a bit more snug and secure.

Pillow & Throw – I always take my own pillow because it’s more comfortable, and I know I’m going to need the best possible rest I can manage (haha- in the hospital!) Tip: Make sure you use a pillowcase that isn’t plain white. That way it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital bedding. I’m also planning to add my flannel throw into the suitcase this time around because I hate being cold, and I always seemed to be during my last two stays.

Dry Shampoo – This is a new one. I didn’t discover the awesomeness of dry shampoo until last year, when I had to start taking Elijah to school and picking him up every day. Before then, I was staying home with our two boys most days, so if I didn’t get to wash my hair for a day or two, no one noticed. However, having this on-hand at the hospital, when I may not get to (or feel like) getting a shower immediately after delivery or before visitors come, will help me feel a little more pulled together.

Small Mirror – Having a small stand-up mirror available to touch up or do my makeup and hair at the hospital bed is always helpful.

Goodies – While our hospital always provides new mommas with a constant supply of snacks and treats during their stay, I’ll also be taking along the goodies that came in my Amazon Baby Registry Welcome Box.

FOR BABY

So far, everything I’ve listed has been primarily for me. But what about our newest addition?

For him, we’re packing a few long-sleeve side-snap shirts (good for not rubbing on the tender umbilical cord, and yes, the hospital has them but usually in sizes too big), mittens (my kids have always scratched their little faces as newborns), socks (not sure they’ll stay on), sleep gowns (we love those for the first few weeks because they make diaper changes so easy), & a coming home outfit (two, in fact – one newborn size and one 0-3 months, just in case he’s a bigger boy). Of course, we’ll also have the car seat along with a carseat cover (I call it our “hot potato” because it’s silver and keeps our babies warm).

That’s my list. Now all I have to do is make sure I get it all packed and ready in the next few days before this little guy decides to make his arrival. 🙂

Is there anything you would add? What was the best thing you packed in your hospital bag?