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she's in love with a boy
...and they lived happily ever after
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With Madelyn turning 8 weeks old yesterday, I figured it was about time to get my birth story written down.  I'm sorry this is going to be kind of all over the place as I didn't use livejournal really at all during her pregnancy and there are some things from during the pregnancy that I'd like to have written down.)  This pregnancy was an odd(ish) one for me.  After my miscarriage in 2009 I was certain we would get pregnant again quickly as it had happened our first month trying.  Unfortunately it took 12 or 13 cycles to get pregnant with our rainbow baby Samantha.  Of course, her pregnancy was full of anxiety.  It was debilitating but somehow I got through it.  Samantha was born at 39w1d after being induced due to low amniotic fluid.  We started trying for Zach when Samantha was 11 months old thinking it would take a long time again.  Much to our surprise, we got pregnant the first month.  Zach's pregnancy, while still with anxiety, went much better than Samantha's.  He was also born after being induced due to low amniotic fluid at 38w4d.  We started trying for Eliza when Zach was 12 months and yet again, got pregnant our first month.  Her pregnancy was a breeze.  I had my anxiety under control and even though the pregnancy had its trials (thinking she had Down syndrome, low movement at the end) I was able to keep my anxiety in check and actually enjoy being pregnant.  She was my first natural birth and was born at 39w4d after only an hour of labor.

We started trying for Madelyn in August of 2015 just before Eliza turned 1.  I went into it expecting to get pregnant right away but sadly that didn't happen.  It took 9 long months before I got that second pink line.  The months were full of tears and by the last few months, I honestly thought I would have to settle with the idea that our family was complete.  I was thrilled once that BFP showed up.  Unfortunately with the 9 months of trying, the anxiety was back with a vengance this pregnancy. Thankfully not as bad as with Samantha's, but definitely not as great as Zach and Eliza's.  The first ultrasound, I was so nervous going into and I don't know if my uterus was in a weird spot or what but the tech was searching and searching and finally asked if I was sure I got a positive pregnancy test!!  Cue the nerves lol!!  She did finally find the baby though which was a huge relief.  Shortly after that I had two instances of spotting which were quite scary.  The first one was scariest as I was sent to their second office where they have an older ultrasound machine that doesn't give as clear of a picture.  The doctor was digging and digging and I finally said "If there isn't a heartbeat just say so", but he did finally find it.  Then as most of you know, at 13 weeks while driving from Connecticut to Chicago my aunt rear ended a semi.  After an ambulance ride to the ER we found that Madelyn was safe and sound in there.  I did have one more instance of spotting on Halloween which caused me to miss volunteering in Samantha's classroom for the halloween party.  That was a very rough day for me and I was in tears at the hopsital thinking about how I let Samantha down.  (I didn't, she didn't even know I was supposed to come volunteer.). The plan throughout the entire pregnacy was to schedule an induction since Eliza was born so quickly.  (For those that don't know/remember, I woke up with contractions, my water broke 30 minutes later.  I woke up Chris and we drove straight to the hopsital [after getting gas becasue apparently being on E when your wife is 39 weeks pregnant is totally acceptable] and she was born 8 minutes after I got into the hospital bed.). I scheduled the induction for December 26th at the beginning of December.  Aunt Pam scheduled herself to fly out the morning of the 27th and our neighbor Gretchen was going to watch them the 26th until she arrived.  I was feeling conflicted over all of this because I was mad and bitter towards Gretchen as a few months earlier she "tricked" Zach into revealing Madelyn's name.  The only name we revealed before birth was Samantha's and with Zach and Eliza I had such a fun time keeping it a secret.  Well, of course, the kids knew the name and one day when we were over at Gretchen's playing I made the mistake of making a joke to Gretchen saying she should have been at the bus stop because Samantha was talking to my belly and calling the baby by her name.  Gretchen acted shocked that the kids knew the name, even though I know she knew that they knew, and then called Zach over and asked him to say the baby's name.  As Zach walked over I said "Remember it's a secret" yet she asked him again for the name.  Him being only 3 years old of course blurted it right out.  I was furious and so angry with her.  What grown woman would trick a 3 year old into revealing something that was obviously meant to be a secret.  It would have been completely different had he said it accidentally without prompting but this was not the case at all.  Angry doesn't even begin to describe my feelings.  This made me so angry that we ended up revealing the name to our immediate families since I didn't feel it was right for her to know and our families didn't.  We made it fun and had Eliza say her name on a video and had everyone guess what they thought the name was.  No one got it right!!  They all thought her name was going to be Emma.  😂 I was hostile towards Aunt Pam because it felt like she was forcing me into an induction so she could be here for the birth.  She would preface everything with "Well due to your history....".  Every pregnancy is not going to be the same and it was very frustrating to not have my wishes respected with regards to how the birth would go.  Both her and Chris were so adamant that I be induced and I wanted nothing to do with an induction.

The weekend before Christmas things started to feel "off" to me.  Madelyn would move somewhat decent during the morning but as we got to the afternoon, it would drastically slow down.  I ended up going to the hospital on the afternoon of Friday December 16th to get monitored.  Besides the low movement I was also worried as Zach, who has a seriously hard head, was racing through the house and ran into my stomach.  They monitored her for a while and even though she wasn't moving much, she passed the NST with flying colors so they sent me home.  It was funny because I'd gone to the hospital for NST's with the other 3 and usually you just see the nurse and that's that.  I don't think I was in the room 5 minutes before my doctor ran in lol!!  She said she saw my name pop up and was afraid I was in labor and she'd miss it so she ran in to check.  So nice of her lol!!  Saturday she still wasn't moving much but because of the NST the night before I tried to remain calm and reassure myself that she was okay.  Sunday she really still wasn't moving much.  We went to church in the morning and she would normally get pretty active then and while I felt a few little movements, it was nothing like her typical dancing.  She continued not moving much and my anxiety just kept getting worse so I finally called the doctor and she said I could go back to the hospital again.  She looked great yet again on the NST but Dr. Amarante ordered a BPP too just to cover all our bases.  The ultrasound room was super backed up so it took a few hours before I was taken back.  During the BPP they have 30 minutes to complete certain skills for 2 points each, plus some general criteria.  I know they check fluid levels, practice breathing, and movement.  I'm not sure what the last one is.  (Looked it up, it's a reactive heartrate.). It took her 28 minutes to breathe and move.  Since it was in the 30 minutes it was considered passing but since it took so long, it didn't really help to ease my mind that she was okay.  They ended up checking my cervix (1cm dilated and 50% effaced.) and sending me home.  Monday was an amazing day.  She literally moved ALL.DAY.LONG!!  I thought she had just had a lazy few days and now was back in her groove.  It was such a good day.  I picked up Happy Meals and surprised Samantha at school and ate lunch with her.  So much fun and I loved having that special time with her.

Tuesday morning, Madelyn was back to not moving as much.  Thankfully though I had a 1:15 OB appointment so I tried to stay relaxed.  I had a 10:45 appointment with the cardiologist for Eliza so I dropped off Zach with Gretchen and headed there.  I was having braxton hicks contractions pretty frequently but they weren't painful at all so I didn't think too much of them.  I took Eliza to her appointment and was having the contractions the entire time, lol.  Eliza's appointment went well and we got completely cleared from having to go back!  The doctor listened to her heart and said besides a still slight murmur, it sounded great and she did amazing with her echocardiogram.  Hole is closed up and everything looks as it should!  Phew!  We got out early enough that I had enough time to run back to Gretchen's house and drop off Eliza and go back out to my OB appointment.  I got there and they did the weekly BPP which she again passed.  My blood pressure was a little bit high (and it had been the two times in the hospital - we chalked it up to nerves) but this time, I was feeling completely relaxed.  The nurse had me lay on my left side while I waited for Dr. Amarante to come in.  Thankfully she was in rather quickly and I didn't have to wait hardly at all.  She said that if my blood pressure didn't go down they would have to send me back to L&D for monitoring.  I told her I had been having a lot of braxton hicks and had 4 or 5 of them during the BPP.  She asked if I had been checked yet and I said that I was 1cm when I was at the hospital on Sunday.  She went ahead and checked me again and I was a 3cm.  She said I had to go straight to L&D!!!  They were just going to monitor me to see if I kept progressing.  I asked if I could go home as I didn't have any hospital bags with me.  They were packed, just not in the car.  She laughed and said of course not becuase of how fast Eliza came.  I ended up calling Chris and he left work an hour early to get to us.  He stopped at home first though to pick up a few things.  After I called Chris I called Gretchen and told her I was being sent over.  She was able to run to our house and get most of the hospital stuff that I needed immediately.  Without me knowing she went to school and picked up Samantha and then came to the hospital.  Well, that's not true, I did know she was going to pick up Samantha but she just asked if I wanted her to pick Samantha up and I said yes thinking she meant she'd go get her when school was over instead of having her take the bus, not go get her right that second.  It was okay though.  They came up to the hospital to bring me my stuff and hang out until Chris got there.  I asked to be put into L&D room 7 where Samantha and Zachary were born and thankfully, it was open!!!  Eliza was born in room 3 since she came so fast I didn't even think to ask lol.  When I got to the hospital Dr. Gonzalez was in a csection so it was about an hour until he was able to come and see me.  At that point I was (I think) still 3cm.  He said we'd watch it for a bit but if I wasn't progressing they'd have to send me home, even with my history, because I was only 38 weeks.  They ended up doing the IV and bloodwork then just to be ready.  The first nurse that tried to do my IV was awful.  She first tried in my hand and it didn't work,  She then tried my wrist and was seriously digging the needle all over the place.  The spot actually still hurts now.  It was so so painful.  After those two attempts she went to get another nurse to do it.  The new nurse was Ginger who I was my nurse on Friday when I came for monitoring.  I was so happy to see her since she was very friendly and calming.  She ended up getting the IV in on the first try, thank goodness.

He came back about 20 minutes later and checked me again and I was 4cm!!  He decided to break my water.  I asked if we could wait because Chris hadn't gotten to the hospital yet and with Eliza being born only 35 minutes after my water broke I didn't want to risk him missing the birth if the labor progressed quickly.  Thankfully he was okay with it and Chris got there rather quickly afterwards so it wasn't long before they broke my water.  (I really should have written things down as they were happening or written my birth story sooner as I don't remember times that well at all!)  Okay so I went back and looked at messages between a friend and I and it looks like they broke my water a little before 3:30.  As he broke it, the nurse suggested that there was meconium in the water.  The doctor said no, but as the water continued to come out it was apparent that there was a lot of meconium.  I'm not sure how they tell, but the doctor said it looked like it had been there a while, probably longer than a week.  For the first of my labors every time I had a contraction I could feel a huge gush of water.  It felt so disgusting!!!  At 5:00 the doctors switched and Dr. Amarante came on.  She said she was going to hang out at the nurses station since Eliza came so fast and she didn't want to miss it, haha!!  I labored for 2 hours before I decided I wanted medication.  Unfortunately the anesthesiologist was in a c-section so he couldn't come give me an epidural.  I ended up getting some stadol in my IV.  I tried to go without but I needed something.  I really hate to say this, but Chris is not the best support person when I am in pain.  The contractions were coming literally back to back.  I would have him hold my hand and the second the contraction ended he'd race back to his phone and another contraction would start.  Ugh!  I also wanted him to rub my neck to try to take my mind off the pain, but he was rubbing it so fast it made it hurt worse.  I needed a nice slow rub but he was seriously going as fast as he possibly could.  It was very frustrating.  After I got the IV meds I was still in a good deal of pain and with Chris not really helping I kept begging for an epidural.  FInally the anesthesiologist was able to come and I got the epidural a little after 6:00pm.  At that point I was 6cm but still thick.  I messaged my friend at 6:16 saying I was going to relax and try to get some rest.  I was feeling amazing with the epidural in place so I had Chris turn off all the lights and I reclined the bed and tried to get some sleep.  The next thing I knew, my doctor and what seemed like 10 nurses were in the room saying that everything was okay but we needed to get the baby out immediately.  Everyone was gowning up so fast it was surreal.  The stadol seriously made me feel drunk so I was in a complete daze while all this was happening.  A nurse raced to my head to give me an oxygen mask and calm me down.  Thankfully it was Ginger again so I felt very comfortable with her and it was "easy" to relax a little bit.  They said that her heart rate was decellerating and not coming back up so we had to deliver her immediately.  She checked me and I was a 9 or 10 with just a slight lip so they had me start pushing.  Unfortunately with the epidural I couldn't feel anything and apparently wasn't pushing that great.  The next thing I knew there were 2 nurses slamming on my stomach from the top and Chris said Dr. Amarante had her hand up in me trying to yank her out from the bottom.  Again, the stadol had me super out of it and the epidural gave me no feeling so suddenly I looked down and Madelyn was on my chest lol.  I seriously had no idea at all that she had come out!!  She was born at 6:36pm on December 20th.  She was 8lbs 8oz and 21 inches long.  Crazy since she was my earliest baby at 38w2d.  Sadly, they cut the cord as soon as she came out which was rather disappointing.  Chris has never been into cutting the cord so we had it all planned out that I would get to cut it.  I was really excited for that.  Obviously this also meant we missed out on delaying the cord clamping and her getting all that great placenta blood.  Of course I was thankful she was here and healthy, but it was still sad to miss out on these things I had in my birth plan.  I had a first degree tear and ended up needing 2 stitches.  Her apgar scores were 7 and 9.  Another thing I was excited for was since Eliza was born the hospital had gotten the warmer scales in the room that put up the little picture of the bear with the rainbow and their weight.  Well, of course, our room was the only one with a broken scale.  I was devistated by this and begged them to take her to another room to get her weight.  I think they thought I was joking because they wouldn't do it.  I kept asking and asking and finally they did it.  I obviously didn't get to see it since it was in another room but Chris got to take pictures so that was good.  We had bonding time and Gretchen brought the kids up to the hospital so they could meet Madelyn that night.

We finally got moved to the post partum room which was okay.  Apparently they're renovating the hospital and of course they were replacing the floor in the room right next to us so the construction crew was super noisy.  Thankfully it wasn't too distracting though.  The following day was pretty relaxing.  I was looking forward to a nice dinner because the birthing center got a new thing where the parents get a nice 3 course dinner after having a baby.  In the past, the dad didn't get any meals.  It was salad/entree/and dessert.  I called to order our dinner and then my cousin walked in with her two kids.  I had no idea they were coming.  Our dinner came while they were there and we didn't want to be rude and eat in front of them so we waited for them to leave.  As soon as they left we started eating and a few minutes later Brent (Gretchen's husband) walked in with the kids.  Again, we had no idea they were coming.  Gretchen had said she was going to be bringing the kids up but she hadn't been responding to any of my text messages so I wasn't sure what was going on.  He came in and said that Gretchen wanted Chris to come home.  I kind of thought he was joking because why would she make him leave the hospital?  They were here for a while and Brent was goofing off with Eliza and Eliza grabbed his glasses and the frames snapped in half.  Gretchen had told me previously that these frames cost like $1000!!!  I could tell Brent was angry and I was seriously trying to hold back tears.  I finally said they had to leave and whispered under my breath for Chris to go home with them.  I told the kids that daddy would come home to help put them to bed thinking that Gretchen would come down and then Chris could come back.  Well, they got home and Brent just left.  Gretchen still wasn't responding to my messages.  She finally responded to me that her son was having an "episode".  He is autistic and bipolar and has been having A LOT of episodes lately and the doctor even said he needed to go to treatment but they refused to do it.  I was so angry.  The second they left the hospital I burst into tears.  That was all I heard from her and no one came to watch the kids so I was left in the hospital alone and for the first time for any of my births, I didn't have Chris there.  I didn't hear from the neighbor at all during the day the following day so Chris ended up needing to bring all 3 other kids to the hospital to sit and wait around for us to get discharged.  It was awful having them in the room.  They were boucing off the walls, messing with my bed, pressing the call nurse button.  Seriously, so awful.  Madelyn got discharged in the morning but I didn't get discharged until later in the afternoon.  After I was discharged the nurse said there was an issue with Madelyn's paperwork so we had to wait for the doctor to correct it before we could leave.  So frustrating.  Finally though, we got to leave and bring our beautiful girl home.  Chris went and got us Arby's for dinner as that is typically my first meal in the hospital but with everything that happened, I didn't get to have it.  Seriously, everything went wrong.

Overall, this birth was nothing like I ever expected it to be.  I am just thankful that Dr. Amarante decided to stay at the nurses station to do paperwork and she was able to get into my room quickly so Madelyn could safely be delivered.  I am also SO thankful that I went into labor naturally and didn't need to be induced.  The entire pregnancy I insisted I was 100% done but with how poorly everything went, the second she was born I said I wanted to have another baby.  I really want another boy!!  (LOL and Aunt Pam is at it again.  She said with 100% seriousness that we can't have another baby because my announcement picture on facebook was me wearing a tshirt that said "This is my last one...seriously" with an arrow pointing to my belly.  She even tried to bring home the baptism gown last weekend to have it preserved.  I don't know why she is so against us having kids.)  I am still harboring a lot of resentment towards Gretchen for flaking on us and being left on my own when I so desperately needed help.  She never even apologized for leaving us high and dry.  Chris and I agreed that if we ever have another baby (which I will be honest, I really don't think we will have another one, but I am not ready to take permanent measures to make sure of it.), we will be calling his mom to come down as soon as we know the baby is coming.  We don't trust Gretchen to have them again.  It sucks to know that we don't have anyone here we can count on in a pinch.  And now I am in tears just thinking about it.  I'm so mad that she tricked Zach into giving the name and then abandoned us when we needed her the most.  I really wish we were closer to family.  She is here and healthy which is what matters most and even with all her crying I love her to pieces.  She has been the perfect addition to our family and I am so excited to see who she grows up to be.  (Though I hope it doesn't happen too fast since there is a good chance she's our last!)

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