Malachi's Birth Story - A Speedy, Natural Birth

Malachi's Birth Story - A Speedy, Natural Birth

Second babies make for a very different pregnancy experience. For the most part, I didn't really think about being pregnant because I was so busy chasing around a toddler. A couple big differences this time are not being anxious, working out regularly at Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby, and having gestational diabetes. When third trimester hit, I began experiencing regular labor symptoms--meaning things that were clues that labor was coming any day with Judah were just trimester-long occurrences with Malachi. Unfortunately, this made third trimester reeeeeally drag, and I was torn between wanting this baby out and wanting him to stay put until I had finished my work meetings the first week of October. 

False Labor

False Labor {ReagsAndTabs.com}

Yesterday, I hit 39 weeks. That was the day I went into labor with Judah, and the crazy amount of pre-labor symptoms I've had the past two weeks has had me thinking, this kiddo's going to follow suit. Let me give you an example. 

First Pregnancy:
- No Braxton Hicks
- Digestive System Flush before Labor Started
- Lost Cervical Plug the Day before Labor Started
- Cramps the Day before Labor Started
- Water Broke around 8cm

Second Pregnancy: 
- Braxton Hicks the Entire 3rd Trimester
- Cramps Regularly at 37 Weeks
- Cervical-like Discharge Regularly at 37 Weeks
- Digestive System Flush about once a Week
- Contractions for 5 hours at 39 Weeks (...but I'll get into that in a moment.)

I've been doing my part to induce naturally at home now that I made it through my week of work meetings because I am ready to be done with all these symptoms that meant it's time to have a baby with the first pregnancy but apparently means nothing of the sort with this one. 

How to Naturally Induce Labor according to the Internet:
- Eat Spicy Food
- Exercise (went for a bike ride)
- Have Sex
- Nipple Stimulation
- Bounce on a Yoga Ball
- Drink Red Leaf Raspberry Tea
- Eat Dates
- Acupressure
- Massage
- Chiropractic Adjustment
- Warm Bath
- Clary Sage Essential Oil
- Eat Pineapple (couldn't do this one because it's the only thing that makes me throw up while pregnant...my husband and firstborn are also allergic, which I think may contribute while they're in the womb)

There are other things, but these are the ones I've been working on the past couple days. At around 3pm, I thought I was starting to have contractions, but I wasn't sure because maybe it was just cramps or maybe it was just Braxton Hicks. They were stronger than the pain I'd been feeling previously, but I could still talk through them. When they'd been happening for a while, I decided to start timing them. They were consistently 30 seconds long, 4 minutes apart. I figured it was probably early labor at this point, and we called my parents to come get Judah--just in case. We tidied the house, I put up my affirmation cards, and got Judah ready to go. 

After Judah left, we texted our families to let them know, and I used the yoga ball for comfort through the surges. We watched TV and Reagan put pressure on my back for the back pain through surges as well as massaged some essential oils in. We stopped for dinnertime, and then went out for a walk. We did curb-walking to help baby shift down, had a mini ice cream date, and enjoyed each others' company. All this time, my contractions stayed at 30 seconds, 4 minutes apart. When we got home, I got in a hot tub to relax, and around 8pm, my contractions went to 20 seconds, every 20 minutes. I was discouraged and tired after 5 hours, so I went to bed. I knew I was no longer in labor when I could go to the bathroom without having a contraction right after--that is always a guaranteed way for me to have a surge when I'm laboring. 

Morning came, and no baby. I feel tired and confused. I read an article about the difference between real and false labor, and I shouldn't have had so much consistency in my contractions for such a long time. False labor is supposed to be irregular. There was no progress over the 5 hours, but I figured I was just in the early labor stage rather than active labor. I hate that all the clues that labor is coming for the first pregnancy are the experience I get to have for weeks before the baby actually comes this time around. I am so baffled and have no idea what to expect from this upcoming week. Trying to figure out if Reagan should go into work this week or not was an interesting conversation. Picturing myself going through what I did yesterday sometime this week while Reagan was at work made me think that I would just keep putting off telling him to come because I don't think I'll believe labor's really happening. 

Nesting

Is there anything better than nesting when you're pregnant? I don't know about you, but I feel so productive during this stage. All the projects and plans and things that have been put off start getting checked off the list one by one. I'm a fan. Especially because you know absolutely nothing is going to be getting done the first few months of life with a new baby, lol. 

Resources for Moms - Find Your Village

"It takes a village to raise a child" as the saying goes. In our day and age, we don't have that sort of environment that the saying came from. We lead very independent lives and our work and home schedules keep us busy and separate. I've been pleasantly surprised to find how easy it's been to build my village!

Week 14 - Baby Helms 2.0

I'm out of first trimester! {Insert "Hallelujah Chorus" here.} It wasn't too bad. I felt much calmer and less anxious this time around. I got nauseous almost every night the 2nd month and off and on the 3rd month. But it was usually close enough to bedtime that I could just go to bed early and sleep it off. Ginger and Peppermint Essential Oil were my friends. Big time. 

What No One Told Me About Breastfeeding

At Stroller Strides every day, we are given a question to answer when we go around the circle and introduce ourselves and our kids during our warm up. (Side note: I love that about Stroller Strides; it really adds a connection with the other moms and kids instead of just focusing on the workout the whole time!) The question we happened to have on that rainy day was one thing about mom life that you simultaneously love and hate. For me? That would be breastfeeding. 

Dedication Sunday

There were many components of today--the more humorous "mom life" side, and the more serious, and sentimental side makes me smile and fills my heart to overflowing. Baby dedications remind me of weddings, and dedicating our son took me back to that day two and a half years ago that we invited our friends and family to come be our witnesses as we pledged to honor each other and be true to each other for the rest of our lives. I cried my eyes out as I made my promise to my husband in front of all the people we love so dearly. 

Self-Soothe Training

Judah is a wonderful baby. He's not colicky, his cry isn't very loud, and he has an active, inquisitive mind. From day 1, he's slept in three hour increments through the night--waking up to eat after each. This is great for a newborn!

The only thing that's been challenging during those night shifts is the 3 or 4am shift when he decides he wants to have Awake Time after eating and won't go back to sleep for another hour or two. Several people and sites had said how important it was to put them down drowsy, but Judah would cry and not sleep at all if we did that.

At 4:30am on Sunday morning, I hit the wall when he was wide awake and fussing every time I tried to put him down. I decided that was the moment we were going to start teaching him to self-soothe. 

StitchFix Review #5!

This is my first StitchFix box postpartum, and I was pretty picky about what I wanted. I'm attending an outdoor wedding in Washington next month and have had no luck in finding a dress that doesn't make me look pregnant still and is easy to nurse in. A shirt is easy enough to lift to nurse with just a nursing cover, but you can't really go hiking up your dress to feed your child decently. In my box, I asked for a dress appropriate for the wedding and nursing. The rest of my items requested were summery tops. All items were needing to be easy to nurse in and not clingy on my midsection that is still tightening back to normal size.

Thank You Nurse Bags

I read several Pinterest pins about providing the nurses with something to thank them for their help during labor and delivery. I always believe in thanking people when they do a good job, especially when their job could often involve many long hours and not enough thanks. I put together some goodie bags for our nurses after asking on our hospital tour how many nurses would be assigned to help during delivery. I got some insight from a dear friend of mine who is a labor and delivery nurse herself what she would appreciate receiving. 

Tackling the Baby Registry: What Do You Really Need?

Due to our small space at home, we didn't want an overload of things we didn't really need, so I chose the few necessities I felt were important. Now that Judah's here and we're actually using things, I can reflect on many of the items and give you my two cents about 12 things I wouldn't want to live without and some additional notes on things we've used or are waiting to use. I'll update more when we use some of the items he needs to be bigger for! :)