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Last week’s couple Dean and Rachel brought out some great discussions on FB groups where the post was shared.  I’d love to have some comments here so everyone can get in on the conversation, so don’t forget to leave a comment here, or ask a question or just give some congratulations and praise to these couples for opening up!  I’ll be adding questions and discussions as I get more into this and we get some more couples involved, but we’re still going to start out slow just to get a groove going.

Remember, if you would like to be featured here just comment with your email address and I’ll shoot you an email to get you started!

Our second couple is Monte and Jazzminde.  Let’s get to know them!

The MJ Experience

The MJ Experience


How did you meet?

Monte was my older brothers best friend in high school and later lived across from my parents house. We met when I was 13 and didn’t start dating until I was 25.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged?  How long were you engaged?  How long have you been married?

We dated for 2 years before getting engaged. We were engaged almost 4 months. We have been married a year and a half.

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Matthew 7:7 has always spoken to me. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Are you and your spouse Christian?

We are both Christians.

Do you practice submission in your marriage? Why or why not? Did your vows include “obey”?

I think in some ways I am submissive and in other ways I am not. I feel I could be better in that area. Yes our vows did include the word obey.

How often do you go on a date?

Well since we are new parents we do not get to go out much.

What is your personal biggest weakness? How do you try to control it in your marriage?

I have a bit of an anger issue. To try and control it I just say ok and walk away. Sometimes that agitates my husband but I would rather agitate him than to say something I regret.

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before married” self about your spouse?

Apologize. Admit you are wrong.

 

Cutie pie

Cutie pie

 

How many children do you have/want?

We have one child. Almost 10 month old son Noah. We would love to have a little girl so we will try again for one more but if the next one is a boy will try one more time I won’t be pregnant more than 3 times though lol.

What is your most disagreed upon topic as a couple? How do you handle it when it comes up? Do you feel like there is no compromise on this topic?

We disagree mostly on the fact that he is a home body and I am not. He goes out of the home and works all week while I stay home with our son and babysit other kids all week. When the weekend comes I want to get out of the house. And he just wants to sit at home. I now go on play dates for Noah with other moms just to get out of the house.

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

Put God first was my favorite advice.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

Haha. Good question. It’s not frequent at all but still being hormonal it doesn’t bother me. And he says that it doesn’t bother him.

Again, what a great couple.  I love seeing a glimpse of how other wives feel and react in their marriages.  It’s also nice to see that we aren’t all perfect…even though it’s not an excuse!

Great work, guys!

~Mel

Introducing…something new!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!  Marriage Works! Will be a series of couple profiles presented to allow us to see the people behind Christian marriages like our own.  When you’re in the day to day of real life, it’s hard to remember that you’re not alone or that other couples have the same or worse trials, issues, triumphs and good days as us.  I wanted to bring the normal out in the light. It’s not all sunshine and roses, we’re all on different paths, but a happy and healthy marriage is where we all want to be.  Hopefully this new series of quick profiles on couples like you and me will give you a sigh of relieve that you’re doing just fine, and if not, maybe we’ll find some ideas or ways to improve our own marriages.

Dean and Rachel

Our happy first couple!

Our first couple is Dean (30) and Rachel (28).  Rachel graciously volunteered to answer a few questions.

How did you meet?

We met through my best friend, who is Dean’s cousin.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged? How long were you engaged?  How long have you been married?

We dated 15 months, knew each other 17 months, engaged 5 months…total 22ish months before marriage. We have been married almost three years 11/10/11.

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Mine is Philippians 3:14 NIV
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Are you and your spouse Christian?

We are both Christians, raised in Christian homes.

Do you practice submission in your marriage?  Why or why not?  Did your vows include “obey”?

We do practice submission, but it is mutual…he knows sometimes I am more informed on an issue and lets me make the decision. I also felt convicted of the head covering passage and wear a head covering most of the time. Our vows did include obey, I believe.

How often do you go on a date?

We try to go on a date without the baby once a quarter, grab dinner, see a movie.

What is your personal biggest weakness?  How do you try to control it in your marriage?

My biggest weakness is my tongue…I can be brutal. I have told my husband to correct me and call me out on it when I am out of control

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before

married” self about your spouse?

Don’t expect him to differ greatly from the life he has always lived, just because he married me.

How many children do you have/want?

We have one, I want five or six, he wants three.

Their adorable "plus 1"

Their adorable “plus 1″

What is your most disagreed upon topic as a couple?   How do you handle it when it comes up?  Do you feel like there is no compromise on this topic?

We rarely disagree….maybe laundry? He doesn’t think it needs to be anything more than washed and dried….all over the floor instead of folded or hanging up is perfectly fine,

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

Listen to him, even when you don’t want to, obey him…God put him there for a reason.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

We would both like more sex, but our LO is making things difficult lately…but I would say we are both satisfied generally speaking…

Are your parents and his parents helpful or a hindrance to your marriage?
If helpful, how has that benefited your marriage? If a hindrance, how do you deal with that as a couple?

Our parents generally are helpful. They help us with baby stuff, etc. Both of our families would like more time with is, which is hard. My husbands parents are incompetent on many levels, which he recognizes, and we get through the issues pretty smoothly.

Well that was nice, wasn’t it?  I can totally relate to the out of control tongue part, it’s comforting to see that I’m not alone, but it was even better to see she’s not afraid or too proud to have him call her down.  I don’t do so well with that!

How do you feel after reading about another couple and their inner workings?  Was it nice to see in?  Helpful or upsetting?  Are there any questions you’d like to see included?  Do you want to participate in the Marriage Works series?  If so, leave a comment with your email (I’ll edit it out).

~Mel

“Am I off base?”

Recently Dr. Psych Mom held a contest to answer this question. While I didn’t get chosen as the winner, I did want to post my answer and link back to her because she’s pretty awesome!  Be sure to check her out!

The Question:

I am having an issue with my husband. We have been married for three years and have a baby that is 9 months old. Every other week it seems like he starts a fight with me about how little we get to go out and how “everyone else” leaves their baby with a sitter “at least once a week” and goes out for the whole night, or even leaves their baby with family and has a couples vacation. I work full time and I want to spend time with my child when I’m not working. Once a month date night is enough for me, and I don’t see how “everyone” else goes out multiple times a week without their baby. Am I really off base here?

My answer:

Mama, you are not alone, but you are off base. Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it ok, or best for you and your husband (or your marriage). I’ll start with commiserating, we have a 16.5 year old and a 10.5 month old in the house. We both work from home, there is no “break,” and no alone time unless you are indisposed, or have lost your mind and have left a room stating “I’m done for a little while.” This also means that there is a teenager or a baby that knows what we are doing at all times…at ALL TIMES. So, we don’t get “us” time. I also still breastfeed her, so we really don’t spend much time away from the girls. We NEED “us” time. I crave it, a 30 minute shower with hubs while our teen watches the baby is like a 2 week vacation. I said that (to vent, and) to say this, Mama, you need to reconnect with your husband. Maybe he needs to reconnect with you and that’s why he’s adamant. Maybe he doesn’t know how to say “I need to talk to you not while you are tired, or the baby is crying, or while Harry The Bunny is on.” We all have issues speaking what we need sometimes and expect others to read our minds, and your husband is no exception. Nor are either of you mind readers. I think he’s just out of ways to convince you so he’s trying to guilt you into it. Not the right way to do it, but you’ve really given him no other options here since you keep shooting his idea down.

So, maybe he’s going about it wrong, I’ll give you that. I’ll also give you one up because I assure you, not all of us are having weekly dates and leaving the baby with a sitter. Some of us are, but out of you and me, none of us are doing that. You have two things right…but it’s not getting you closer to your husband so you’re losing. You’re both losing. You’re not the first working mom that has a husband that wants to spend time with her. You’re also not the first mom who has forgotten that you were a wife before you had kids and your husband misses that! How many wives do we all see saying that their husband never takes them out, or tries to, or he’s busy watching football/gaming/working? I think you’re not realizing what a great thing this could be. Your husband wants time with YOU…why is that so bad? No more than 1.5 years ago you were enjoying time with him (or you wouldn’t have a 9 month old)! Get out of your rut, get out of the house, get out of “mom” mode and you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy and crave your date nights. They can be anything from coffee, to a movie, to a shooting range trip, and last from 1 hour to a couple if you want. There is no set limit or time, just spend time with him.

I encourage you to look deeper into why you’re against it so much. It is very easy to be touched out with a baby, and many women have issues with their sex life after baby, could that be part of it? If that’s not it, then why wouldn’t you want to go on a date? You mentioned working full time. Are you overtired (dumb question, I know), work stressing you out, mad that he’s not working as much? Who watches your child while you work? If baby goes to a caregiver, then leaving the baby with family, or a sitter isn’t your issue. If baby stays at home with him while you work, then don’t you think HE needs a break? Can you compromise and go once every other week until you get back in the swing of it? We all want to spend time with our children after work, we want to see what they’ve learned, give hugs, watch them sleep, play and read to them. Your husband wants the same with you, once a week. No baby, no work, no bills, no “official business,” no fuzzy pj’s, no recliner…just you two, like it used to be. If that doesn’t sound good, then it’s time to have a talk about your relationship, and the best place to start that talk is on neutral ground, with just the two of you, on a date.

~Mel

Since this is my first blog in a while, I’m just going to write it.  I fully expect it to be jumbled and I just want to get it out.  It just feels good to write something.  I’m sorry if it hurts to read it, but welcome to my head!

If you haven’t read Hannah’s Birth Story, click here!

For years my answer to the question “do you want more kids” was “nope, I’m all done, we’re almost home free!”  Even before marrying Big Daddy I had resolved (and was quite happy) to be done and to having nothing but grandkids running underfoot.  During my previous marriage, there was a time that I was willing and wanting more kids.  I’m thankful that, for whatever reason, I did not have any.  I believe God truly protected me from that situation and knew way better than I ever could.  I thought, for a long time, that my childbearing days were over, because I had not been on BC for over 10 years and not conceived in my previous marriage or with my marriage to D.  Fast forward to the day we found out that we were pregnant with Hannah and the words “shock and awe” come to mind.  It’s easy now to (and I often do) look down at this angel sleeping on me and think “how did we ever live life without her?!”  That day, not so much.

She's a boob girl, 9 months and still EBF!

She’s a boob girl, 9 months and still EBF!

Pregnancy has never been a favorite thing for me.  With C, I was so young I didn’t really have anything going on and it seemed very quick and not really painful at all to be pregnant, and let’s face it, I was in much better physical shape.  Labor was a major pain (for 37 hours) and the C-section at the end was not fun.  We planned J’s pregnancy and the second I got pregnant I thought “what the hell was I thinking?!” Every moment of it sucked.  The knee pain, the extra weight, which really wasn’t bad at about 31 pounds, the all over uncomfortable-ness is just for the birds.  I had an easy labor and birth with her and was just thankful not to be pregnant any longer.  When it just didn’t work out that I had another pregnancy, it really wasn’t a big issue because I had no problems not being pregnant.  D had gotten a vasectomy after his first child was born, and during his previous marriage had it reversed to try for another child.  They never conceived, and a few months before we married, he was checked (by our family doctor) and told that he had a zero count…not.  So, we entered our marriage both thinking that our baby days were over, and just enjoying the occasional grandbaby coming over.  Just short of our 3 year anniversary we had been through some really trying months dealing with ex’s and court  for both of us.  I was stressed, he was stressed, life was not smooth sailing, but we were both happy, healthy and our marriage was better than ever.  We both got sick with a cold and were down for about 1 week, but I never quite recovered.  I remained tired, exhausted to the point that I was falling asleep sitting up!  I couldn’t eat much, my stomach was in knots and I was pretty pitiful.  After about 2 weeks of this we were sure I was just still sick with a cold and run down from the court deal and stress.  We spent a Sunday afternoon at his parent’s house, as we often do on the weekends, and while in the sunroom with 3 other people talking to me, I laid down and fell asleep…right there, mid conversation.  You remember how in school you just got that “I must close my eyes NOW” feeling?  That one.  I woke up to go to the restroom, and went and laid down on his mom’s bed!  Still tired, something was way off.  He decided to take me home, and on the way he stopped to get some things from the drug store to help me feel better.  We got home, I got changed and settled to lay down and he pulls out a pregnancy test.  He said “either your pregnant, or your going to the doctor because something is WRONG with you!”  I blew it off and said that there was no way I was pregnant and I didn’t have to pee.  Two hours later, I had to pee, and he came in to get me some more drinks and help me up to the bathroom.  I peed on the stick, he covered it and set it on the counter, and he turned around from it to get a washcloth.  By the time I could say to him “how long do we wait” – about 10 seconds had passed, and I looked down and it said “pregnant.”  My exact words were “you have GOT to be freaking kidding me.”  I’m not sure what his reaction was…because I was so shocked and freaking out.  I think he did the “I told you” laugh a few times, and he was smiling the entire time, while trying to calm me down and pull me back from tears and the edge.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think he had a clue how much I didn’t want to be pregnant again, ever.  He was thrilled:)

It’s blurry, but oh, so clear.

Since I don’t want Hannah growing up to think that I didn’t want her, let me make this clear.  I still stand by that reaction.  However, it is NOT the baby that was shocking or what I was reacting to, or that she was unwanted.  It was the realization that I was PREGNANT and would have to carry and birth a child again!  When I say “I hate being pregnant” it is a true and honest statement.  I had zero desire to be pregnant, at 37, my thoughts were not about the adorable baby we would have, but about the painful back, hips, morning sickness (all day, and carsickness I still have 9 months after her birth), leg pain, knee pain, anxiety, and the worst part…LABOR AND BIRTH!  I’m thankful that I’ve had 3 healthy pregnancies, and I’m even thankful that I had a miscarriage and was healthy through that, but pregnancy just isn’t for me.  D can attest to that, I am not a happy pregnant woman.  I’m not mean…but I’m certainly not happy.  Let’s move on, you get the point.

Finally showing at 13 weeks 2 days!

Finally showing at 13 weeks 2 days!

We were about 2 weeks out of a long court battle when we found out, the emotions were high still.  I was right at 9 weeks pregnant when we found out (we thought I was late due to stress).  After the first week of knowing we were pregnant, the shock had worn off, and excitement was setting in and offsetting the nausea!  Babies, cute clothes, names, a child that was part of both of us and did I say, a BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very proud big sister on Mothers Day!

Very proud big sister on Mothers Day!

Big sis was grossed out, shocked, weird-ed out, proud and so excited.  I’ll throw in here, that there is no better birth control for your teenager than to see you going through all the crap of pregnancy.  Food aversions, back pain, sleepless nights, utter fatigue, reading your online timeline of what a baby looks like (that’s kinda freaky), reading “what to expect when you’re expecting,” going to all your doctor visits, and seeing the list of all the things that can go wrong, yeah, that’s great BC.  It seals the deal when they are standing next to your head while you push the baby out.  Back in pregnancy land, we were pretty excited, and life was great.  This pregnancy turned out to suck as far as being uncomfortable goes…just like I thought it would, but those things that sucked were balanced out by all the great things that make people have more than one child.  What didn’t suck, what turned out to be the best part, was that I grew our baby girl, and during that time, I learned that I can do lots of things I didn’t think I could, or that I didn’t want to, and I can be happy through them, enjoy them, find the good, and it actually turns out to be pretty awesome.  I needed that for my own good, and we needed that as a couple.  It was a rough decade before Hannah for us mentally and emotionally.

Here’s a quick trip down pregnancy memory lane…in pictures.  I didn’t think it then, but now I think I was adorable, as did D.  I looked great for feeling so crappy!

14.6-1 20.5 18.30.32 27-33 19 - 35 same dress 36.5.2

Not knowing that J was my last baby, at the time she was my baby, didn’t afford me the ohhh and ahhh moments when she did EVERYTHING.  Don’t hear that wrong, she was adorable, loved, she was “spoiled” with attention and everything she did was the most adorable thing you ever saw.  I remember and recall her walking, or videos and pictures of her firsts, and her big moments, same with my son, C.  It’s different with Hannah though, those moments are still adorable, but because I KNOW she is my last baby that I will birth they seem to have an ability to make me stop and actually note them and enjoy them more/longer.  Until I had her and had all those moments over again, I didn’t know I missed them, or that I longed for them and to enjoy them.  It’s different now than it was when either of my other kids were little, we have cameras and videos of everything now, not just Hannah, but everything.  I honestly think I have (more than) one pic for every day of her life so far.  I’m not sure if that’s last baby syndrome or just a sign of the technological times.  What I do know is that I want to remember, and I am happy and sad each time she hits a new “thing” and it reminds me of both of my older kids and how fast time flies.   I’m thankful that the season of pregnancy and birth is done, and I look forward to more babies one day, whether that is foster/adopted or more grandkids.  I’d have a million kids if I don’t have to be pregnant with them!

J on the left, Hannah on the right

J on the left, Hannah on the right

J as a baby and big brother C

J as a baby and big brother C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our children have been a blessing to both of us.  We are proud of each of them, and in the ways they learn and grow daily. D has taken on a huge role for C and J by being their dad in every way, and that’s something he and both kids needed and deserved.  While she is no more “special” than any of our children, and there was no void to fill, Hannah is everything we never knew we needed, wanted and were lacking in our lives as a family.  She has truly blended our family into a whole unit.   God really does know what he’s doing!

10505281_10204020911461340_7071894116950901065_n (1) 10448243_10204020910981328_7352318880135677652_n 10393682_10204020910821324_7664851410488359389_n 10464298_505292892936064_8654387643798957623_n
Life is good!

~Mel

VBAC & CS Links

This is a list of great places to start reading up on CS and VBAC.  I have published it only as reference for a friends to view:)  I will update and add as necessary.

13 Myths About VBAC « VBAC Facts

Myth: VBACs should never be induced « VBAC Facts

Uterine Rupture is Rarer than Previously Thought

Cesarean Rates for Your Local Hospital

VBAC Policies in US Hospitals | International Cesarean Awareness Network

12 Ways to Avoid Unnecessary C-Section — C-Section Recovery kit blog

To VBAC or not to VBAC? – MayoClinic.com

VBAC – On Whose terms?

What Every Midwife Should Know about ACOG and VBAC: Critique of ACOG Practice – by Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH

VBAC: making a mountain out of a molehill | MidwifeThinking  (Uterine rupture stats)

What is the Evidence for Induction or C-section for a Big Baby? « Evidence Based Birth

my 10 tips that helped me achieve my vbac vba2c in hospital | The Motherhood Times

Does epidural analgesia increase rate of cesarean section?

Top Ten Signs Your Doctor Is Planning To Perform An Unnecessary Cesarean Section On You | Frisco Women’s Health Blog

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) | International Cesarean Awareness Network

 ACOG issues less restrictive VBAC guidelines

 

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Hannah’s Birth Story

For more information click here VBAC & CS Links

A little background:

My son, Cody, is 20 years old now and was born after I was induced with pitocin (without being thinned or dilated) at 42 weeks pregnant.  At 17, I didn’t know any better or know to question my doctors and the things being done to me.  There were 35 hours of labor total and an epidural, and then when I was told his heartrate was decreasing with each push, they suggested a C-section.  We know now that it’s quite normal to have a decel in heartrate with an epidural and that much labor, however, hindsight is 20/20.

Before Jasmine came along I had a pregnancy that made it to 14 weeks before I had some cramping and bleeding and ended up losing the baby.  This was quite hard and really scary since we had seen the heartbeat and had multiple ultrasounds and every thing seemed fine.

Jasmine, our baby of the family (until Hannah came) is going to be 16 in a month!  She was born when I was 21, labor started all on it’s own 3 days before her due date.  At 8 am, I started having back labor and contractions, got to the hospital and had an immediate epidural and by 4 pm, she arrived via VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) with forceps.  Although her pregnancy had no issues and her labor was a breeze I was absolutely positive that I never wanted to be pregnant again.  I can handle having more kids…just never wanted to have to go through pregnancy or labor again.

Hannah was my 4th pregnancy, we were positive that our best option would again be a VBAC.  Even though my “age” and the fact that it had been 15 years since we had a successful VBAC was a bit offputting to some, our doctor was amazing and said that if it were his wife, he would insist on a VBAC unless there were obvious issues.

At 37 years old you get slapped with “advanced maternal age” as a reminder that you’re no spring chicken.  After this whole ordeal I am thankful to God that my body did exactly what it was supposed to do for our entire pregnancy and labor.  It is quite scary to be told by every book/article that your body is old and might not work right.  Now, if my body would cooperate and work well on 1.5 hour at a time sleep sessions we’ll be in business!

Our original due date, according to our doctor and calculations, was October 31/November 1, however, by measurement on early ultrasounds we were moved back to November 9.  We were convinced that the first due date was correct.

October 31, 2013

2:00 AM – David was having one of his insomnia nights, and I was in bed trying to sleep.  I woke up to go to the bathroom and my back was hurting pretty bad.  I called downstairs and asked him to come up and massage it as he had been doing for most of my pregnancy when it hurt…pretty much every night.  I fell asleep, and then he followed.  Sometime during the next few hours I began to have contractions in both my back and my stomach, alternating.

6:00 AM – Contractions were strong enough to wake me up completely and I began timing them and texting my sister to let her know and ask her some questions.  We timed contractions and talked for an hour, and after having some good, strong ones where I had to breathe through them, I woke David up.  We kept timing and with contractions from 7-10 minutes apart, we finally called the doctor at 8:00 AM to see if we should go to his office or to L&D to get checked out.  We were instructed  to head to the hospital to get evaluated.  Gege and Pawpaw came over and took Jasmine to school, and we went to be seen.

8:30 AM – Contractions only showed up twice in the 1.5 hours I was monitored, and we agreed to have a cervical check since the contractions at home were consistent.  I was dilated to 3 cm and 70% effaced.  We were released at 10:30 AM and instructed to go home, rest, eat, relax and return when contractions were 5 minutes apart, or if my water broke, or when I could not breathe and deal with contractions.

7:00 PM – We spent the day resting, eating and timing contractions that slowed and then returned.  Again, they were 7-9 minutes apart, and after about 3 hours of that I was having to breathe and very uncomfortable (I didn’t realize it then, but I clearly was NOT in active labor…even though they did hurt).  We decided that rather than going to bed only to get up or to have to rush to the hospital we would go back in and get checked to see if these contractions had dilated me any further.  My concern was that the contractions would kick in and dilate me and we would be stuck at home or driving furiously to get to the hospital in time.

9:30 PM – Hooked up to monitors again and within 1 hour had 6 contractions, they were alternating from back labor to regular contractions and the back ones did not show up on the monitor.  Hannah was tolerating everything well, as was I, and when checked after  19 hours of contractions and back labor.  I was still 3 cm and 70%…and upset.  We left and headed home after being instructed to “get some sleep.”

November 1, 2013

12:45 AM – Home finally, Jasmine went to bed and we laid down.  David fell asleep easily and according to him I moaned and whined all night.  It was not comfortable or even reasonable to expect me to sleep.

5:00 AM – I had slept about 1 hour total between contractions every 7-10 minutes.  They had gotten to the point that I was breathing, moaning, crying, moving trying to get in a non-painful position.  I woke David up and he was at a loss of what to do, but we both agreed that things were worse/different.  We decided to wait until 8 am to call Dr. Harris’ office (which is 1 mile from our home) and try to get in there first thing to get checked rather than drive to the hospital again to be told to go home.  Jasmine was up at 7 am because of my moaning even though she didn’t have school!  She was trying to help me breathe while I was in pain.  We called the doctor at 8, they told us to come in at 8:45, and we called Gege to come over and stay with Jasmine.

8:30 AM – Arrived at Dr. Harris’ office, and had to wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes.  It was funny to both David and I because I was having contractions about every 5 minutes now, and they were intense.  I had to breath through them, moan, I cried through one, and he was rubbing my back/hips while I leaned on the wall in the waiting room.  All of which would not have been funny had the waiting room not been only men who clearly were concerned for me!  One guy told the nurse “you can take her back before me, she’s struggling…hard. She’s really not doing well.”  Another went and found a box of tissue and brought it to David because there wasn’t one in the waiting room and I was crying.  I think they all felt so bad for me, and all women!

8:45 AM – We were put in one of Dr. Harris’ exam rooms and I tried to relax and be comfortable on that tiny table, I was so tired, but couldn’t sleep through contractions.  I was moaning and breathing through them all, and David would rub my back, I was not breathing quite right and was getting the shooting stars from being out of breath…that sucked.  After an HOUR Dr. Harris walked in while I was having a contraction and said “is the next sound I’m going to hear a baby crying?”  I said, “yes, if you don’t send me to the hospital it will be.”  He immediately checked me and said I was 5 CM and we could go straight to L&D and get a room and an epidural!  We headed back to the house to get Jasmine and mom and went straight to the hospital!

10:30 AM – Got to L&D and had to check in for the 3rd time.  I was listening to music to try to help and it worked in the car, but things picked up again and by the time I was standing to check in I couldn’t sign my name on the papers because of the pain.  We got taken to a room right away, and from there it was clothes off, in bed, monitors and lots of questions and bloodwork.  Three blown veins on one arm and my nurse had to put my IV in finally (she rocked).  We had to wait for an hour for the bloodwork to come back before they could get my epidural ordered and in.  David and Jasmine ate some breakfast while I was still trying to breathe through contractions, and not enjoying it.

11:30  AM – They said that the anesthetist was “busy” in another procedure so I’d have to wait.  Totally sucked.  By this time contractions were about 3 minutes apart, and both back and normal contractions.  I was not very happy, but there wasn’t much I could do but try to breathe and wait it out.  Jasmine, David and Judi took turns rubbing my head, arms, holding my hand and feeding me lots of ice chips since my throat was SO dry!  Oh, and chapstick, had to have that.

12:30 PM – My nurse, Lisa, said that everyone had to leave for the epidural, which freaked me out, but I had no choice and I was in pain so everyone had to go.  Remember, this is almost 4 hours after being 5 cm and being told by Dr. Harris I could have an epidural! The Dr. came in and read me all the side effects of the epidural, which are all scary and totally not something you should focus on or listen to when they do it (why they read that to you at that moment is beyond me, it is not relaxing or helpful to labor).  Then Lisa sat me up and had me lean over and she held my shoulders while I relaxed my head and neck and bent as far as possible.  I kept feeling faint and like I was about to fall out, mainly from pain, and being scared of the epidural, and not having anyone in there with me.  She kept telling me that my bp was good, baby was good, and waving alcohol pads in front of me.  The Dr. got the needle in after about 5 minutes, but couldn’t get the catheter to thread – it took her 3 tries with 3 caths.  All of which I felt in my spine, which is really freaky.  She said “I may not be able to get this” to which Lisa said “you will get this for her.”  After 15 minutes of trying she got it in, and did a test dose, I was told to let them know if I felt weird, or pressure or anything…I felt my ears and head kinda squeeze, almost like when you go underwater or when you have an ear infection and can hear yourself talk.  They both looked at each other like “oh crap.”  That passed and she got one dose of epidural meds in and it started to take, then Lisa laid me down and let everyone back in.  My epidural finally took totally by 1:15 pm.  I was checked again and was 8.5 CM dilated right after she laid me down!  So essentially I made it to about 8.5 CM with no meds, which was not fun.  My epidural was more like when your legs are asleep – not fully numb, but tingly and not painful, and my right leg was TOTALLY numb, I couldn’t move it at all.

While I was getting meds, David was a tad worried:)

Jasmine also used the time that I was getting medicine to ask for some prayers.

Jasmine also used the time that I was getting medicine to ask for some prayers.

1:40 PM – Lisa checked again and I still had a small “lip” on my cervix, so she had me do some pushing to help bring Hannah down and dilate me to 10 cm.  In about 3 pushes I was 10 cm and we were ready to go.  She was pretty impressed with my pushing (weird), but that proved to be a good thing since I wanted Hannah OUT!  Lisa called Dr. Harris, who was sitting right outside my labor room, and told him it was pushing time.  He came in, broke my water and Lisa’s face dropped.  There was meconium in the water, and she thought there was also some blood.  Her concern was that I was  VBAC and if there was blood it could have been due to a uterine rupture.  David picked up on her concern, and heard Dr. Harris tell her “we’re ok, it’s fine.”  To which David replied to both of them “she damn well better be ok.”  A few days after Hannah’s birth, Lisa and David both admitted that this was the only time they were majorly concerned about me and Hannah.  I had no idea they were both worried since they were all cool and calm the whole time.

1:55 PM – Legs up to my head, hands behind my knees and only a sheet covering me, it was time to push (and leave all modesty behind)!!!!!!  Jasmine and David were on my left, Jasmine was by my head holding it up as I pushed, David had one hand under my back as I pushed and was also holding my leg with me.  Judi was on my right and had her arm behind my shoulder.  I pushed for about 15 minutes and looked down to Dr. Harris who was not ready yet.  I said “you better get ready, I’m pushing her out now.”  As she crowned I felt it on my left side, not painful, but I felt the pressure and it wasn’t pleasant.  David decided he was going to watch, which was not our plan, but that all went out the window as he was so excited and ready for Hannah to be here!

2:15 PM – Hannah Grace, our unexpected, perfect, beautiful blessing was born, weighing 7 pounds and 1.5 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long!

Hannah is here (and came out crying)!

Hannah is here (and came out crying)!

IMAG3505

Where am I???!!!

Booboo lip

Booboo lip

We welcomed Hannah with tears of joy and family surrounding her.  She was placed on my chest and Jasmine took pictures while David cut the cord (which he also wasn’t going to do).  Hannah was a little goey and needed to be cleaned up and checked because of the water, so Jasmine went over to look at her and take pictures while I was fixed up, David remained by me to make sure I was doing well while the doctor finished up.  We all got to hold her within minutes and remained in the room for another hour to let her eat and get some skin to skin time.

7 pounds 1.5 ounces

7 pounds 1.5 ounces

Footprints

Footprints

Swollen, but cute.

Swollen, but cute.

Our baby girl!

Our baby girl!

Daddy is toast

Daddy is toast

Jasmine and Hannah, our babies!

Jasmine and Hannah, our babies!

Love this!

Love this!

My loves!

My loves!

Hot...

Hot…

Yum!

Yum!

hannah blog 3

Jasmine’s FB status 1

hannah blog 5

Jasmine’s FB status 2

hannah blog 4

Jasmine’s FB status 3

One Week Old

One Week Old

~Mel

A husband/daddy’s point of view:

After 48hrs plus of Mel being in horrible pain, I was ready for her to have a reprieve. Honestly it was killing me seeing her in so much pain and knowing I was at least partially to blame…although she was there for the decision making!

The back and forth to the hospital was a little annoying because the nursing staff knew she wasn’t ready, but she was MORE than ready to have this baby. She was just so exhausted and wanted things to be happening and so did I. Now, I am always one to err on the side of caution and it had been almost twenty years since either of us had a child so I would have made 100 trips to make sure everything was alright and both she and the baby were fine. The nurses were sweet but I wanted a bit more sympathy for her than I saw.

When it was time, we both knew and there was zero doubt in our minds that Hannah was on her way into the world. I could have killed Dr. Harris for taking so long to see her once we arrived in his office. Watching and being helpless is truly torture when the one you love most is hurting so badly. I’m not a violent man, but if he wasn’t the one delivering the baby, he would have needed a doctor himself. Of course I had to play it cool for her and be Mr. Level Head as any good husband should in any crisis.

I was so relieved that we were headed to the hospital and she could get some relief! Unfortunately it took much longer than either of us expected and they gave me the boot as hospitals seems to have a habit of doing. Melissa and I spend 24/7 together (how it took so long for her to get pregnant I will never know), and it really does bother us when others tell us we have to be apart for no good reason. I worry and hate not being there for her, especially when she was in so much pain. I have bragged how my wife is a badass several times since having Hannah. I have broken everything there is to break and seen some things, but she handled birth like a champ. She forever has my respect as most people would not have been nearly as strong or graceful through it all.

Things moved really fast once I was allowed back in the room. It was maybe an hour, if that long before it was truly TIME. I was present for the birth of my daughter Brianna, but promised myself that I would be more than just present and in the room for both Melissa as well as Hannah. I’m much older now and much more aware. Honestly I was much more worried this time. I know all the stats, and have seen all manner of medical emergencies. My former career forced me to see and assist in some pretty gruesome stuff. I was scared for her.

When the doctor broke her water, Lisa’s body language changed completely and Dr. Harris had a moment of pause. I had some idea of why, but not completely. What I did know is that Melissa couldn’t see me worried. I do remember saying “She damn well better be alright or I will hunt you both down,” and they both knew I was serious even though I said it lightheartedly for her sake. From that time it was literally a few pushes and Hannah was here!

There was a buzz of movement around Hannah, but I refused to leave Melissa’s side until some time had passed and I knew she was in the clear. That turned out to be after we were moved to a private room. She was perfectly fine pretty soon thereafter, however I was still shaken.

The advice that I would give to fathers or husbands is truly be there in the moment. Take it all in and participate as much as possible. It really is a life changing experience if you allow it to be. You’ll only love your wife more. Believe me guys it hasn’t caused any issues in the desire department…

David

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