Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Labor Experience

Let's see how this works... I am copying and pasting this from my facebook notes.

Labor, "its not called labor for nothing"

by Marissa Armstrong on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 10:24pm

An update that was too long to be my status: (I was writing this while in labor)

11/30/10 Well I figure now that I'm not in labor, not all drugged up, and now that my daughter is here it's time I read this and edit it. I laughed when I looked at the time I wrote this (10:24 pm on the 24th), it was just before the doctor came in and talked to me about having a c section. I also thought it was pretty funny that I used my iphone to type such a long note during labor, but I had the epidural and was wired and couldn't sleep knowing that I was soon to hold my baby. My edits below will be underlined. If it's not underlined imagine me lying in my hospital bed with my iphone in one hand writing away.

I am so grateful for the wonderful nurses I have had here at kaiser. Also for the support of my amazing husband, mother, and mother in law. This baby just wants to be born on Thanksgiving... I started early labor late Sunday (11/21/10) but never progressed enough to go to the hospital (the closest my contractions ever got were a consistent 8 min apart for 24 hours and then they died down to anywhere from 6 min apart to 1.5 hours apart. My water broke last night (tues 11/23/10 at 8:30 pm) and I was admitted to Kaiser Santa Clara at 10 pm. At 4 am this morning (wednesday 11/24/10) I was still not in active labor the doctor was concerned because of group strep B and meconium in the amniotic fluid, she wanted to start me on petocin to get things going. I asked her if we could wait an hour and she was agreeable, so for the next hour I drank lots of fluid, power walked around the unit in between contractions and used a birthing ball to try and get things moving. At the end of the hour I was thinned out and 3.5 cm's... I was still not in active labor so I was started on petocin. When I was checked at 11 am I was at 8.5 centimeters and 90% effaced. At 3:30 pm my contractions were 2 min apart and when I was checked they found that I had not progressed, the babies heart rate was dropping (Andy said mine was too but I don't remember this) with my contractions and her head was a +1. Her head was tilted (I think they called it "asynclytic presentaion") to one side and facing out as opposed to having her chin tucked, because of this her head was not pushing on my cervix in the right spot to dialate the last 1.5 cm's. At 3:30 pm my amazing nurse, Nancy, who helped me though the day by supporting me in natural birth (I was able to walk around the unit, use a birthing ball, drink fluids, take showers, and try any position that my body felt like) pulled Andy out into the hallway and explained what was going on and recommended getting an epidural. Poor guy was put in a tough spot because I had told him to not let me get an epidural and that if staff offered it to me that he should consider asking the head nurse to assign me a different nurse who was supportive of natural birth. So Nancy came back into the room and explained to me what was going on and asked me what I thought about getting an epidural. The way she talked to me was perfect, I trusted her and knew that we had done everything we could to get me dialated the rest of the way. I am so thankful for the compassionate use of drugs when needed and I agreed to getting the epidural. I trusted Nancy and am happy to be lying in bed getting up the energy to possibly push this baby out. (there is a possibility of a c- section because of the position of her head and her heart rate not cooperating with these contractions) It has been a long slow process. I have felt peace in trusting in God. She is definitely worth the wait, I am thrilled to meet her...most likely on Thanksgiving. They are guessing that if I do push her out it will take 3-4 hours of pushing because of the position and size of her head. Sorry if all of this is TMI, but I know I have so many wonderful family and friends waiting for an update. I better get some rest now.

The 30 min after accepting the epidural were the most difficult 30 min... I knew that the relief from the intense contractions was coming and so I wanted it to kick in immediately. The contractions were difficult to get through because I had come out of my "trance like state" that I had been in. I laugh now when Andy tells me that he watched me and that there were times which he didn't think I was in pain. :) That makes me happy because I achieved my goal of letting my body go and riding with the waves. During natural labor I would go to a place of complete rest and relaxation the minute I had in between each contraction, I dealt with the contactions one at a time and stayed with them in the moment, during my resting breaks I was not anticipating the next contraction. And that is what changed when I knew the epidural was coming...I anticipated every contraction and I tensed up my body, During natural labor I never once felt the desire to ask for the epidural, although I can't say I didn't have moments where I felt like I couldn't do it anymore, but it was in those moments that I called upon my Heavenly Father for strength and support. It was truly an amazing experience to go through. Some things that helped me were: being told to stick with it during a contraction, having a loving supportive husband to lean on or hold my hand (the poor guys back was really sore the next day). My Mother-in law and Mother were also there and would massage me, feed me ice chips and popsicles. My mom said I was nice during labor, I remember that sometimes things people did during a contraction made it harder to deal with the contraction, but I was able to shew them away and then when the contraction ended I would quickly explain to them why it didn't help. (ie. asking me questions or talking to the nurse during a contraction, the smell of hairspray or scented chapstick, were some things that didn't help). After getting the epidural I wasn't able to drink, have ice chips, or eat that popsicle that I only got 4 bites out of before. My legs swelled up, and I was numb from my toes to my T4 vertebrae, it felt so strange, I felt like a huge beached whale. The shooting pain down my leg, the pain in my abdomen and back and the rectal pain were all gone, the only thing I could feel was some rectal pressure. They had to stop the petocin to give me the epidural, once I got the epidural they started it back up again. After having the epidural from 4-11pm I had still not progressed, I was 8.5 and had gone down to being 90% effaced (at some point I had been fully effaced). The doctors were worried about the baby being in there so long with the bag of waters being ruptured now for 26 1/2 hours, I was still not dialated and the babies position of the head had not changed (which they had hoped would). Dr. Jacob asked me how I felt about having a c-section, I teared up as she explained the benefits and risks of it to us. I asked her for a minute alone with my husband in which we hugged and cried, came up with what we thought would be best and prayed for confirmation that that was the best option. We decided that we would go for a c-section, we felt that the baby was not doing great and that she was not doing terrible, we were still stuck away from the phase of being able to push and the last thing I wanted was to have something go wrong and to then have to be rushed in for an emergency c-section and be slashed open. Since it was less than an hour from Thanksgiving I asked to be prepped for the surgery and to be able to deliver the baby after midnight so it would be on Thanksgiving, afterall it was less than an hour away at this point. It turns out that the girl in the room next to me had to be rushed in for a c-section (her babies heart rate had dropped for 5 min), I was thankful that the staff was preparing for mine at the time so they were maybe even able to help her a little quicker with hers. I went in at 1:15 and heard the cry of my sweet baby girl at 1:58 am on Thanksgiving morning. It makes me tear up thinking about this amazing experience, my heart is filled with joy and thankfulness to my Heavenly Father for sending me this perfect little child. The c-section was interesting, I laid on the table with Andy sitting next to me holding my hand. There was a curtain across my chest so I could not see anything below. An anesthesiologist sat on the other side of me and let me know what was going on during the operation. It was such an interesting feeling, there was no pain just a lot of pressure, when they cut into the uterus the pressure came all the way up to my lungs and I felt like I couldn't breath. When they pulled the baby out we heard at least 3 of the doctors say, "wow, she is huge!" Andy squoze my hand tight and full of emotion said, "can you hear that, that's our baby girl crying". She came out with a good strong cry that was so soothing to hear. Andy was able to go see the baby and from across the room he told me she had hair. She was pretty and pink, and had an apgar rating of 9. The doctors told my mom that I was lucky that she had had such a strong healthy heart beat throughout my pregnancy, that this is what helped her through such a long labor. Adalyn Joy Armstrong weighed in at 9 pounds 9 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. While getting sewn up Andy and Adalyn had some bonding time in the hallway. Once we got back to our room I was able to immediately get the skin to skin bonding time with my baby that I had wanted. I was shaking uncontrollably and as soon as Adalyn was placed on me I no longer had to focus on taking deep breaths to stop shaking, the shaking and trembling instantly went away. The nurse asked if I wanted help with breastfeeding and I said no, I wanted to see Adalyn use her natural instincts first. I had read somewhere that after giving birth the nipples secrete the scent of the amniotic fluid which attracts the baby to them (yet again another witness of our divine Creator!). I had also watched a video of a baby being placed on her mom's chest, the baby bobbed around until she latched onto the nipple. This was just what Adalyn did, she bobbed about 5 times and latched herself on and ate so good, it was so amazing to see!

I am so happy with the wonderful labor and birth experience I had. I know that Heavenly Father has a hand in all things, and there's nothing that I would change about the way things went. If my labor goes faster with the next baby, I'll gladly accept that ! :) I don't know the reason for everything but I do know that because I had a c section my hubby is an expert diaper changer. Our love for one another has grown immensely through this experience. I truly have so much to be thankful for. And I look forward to trying for a vbac with the next one.

Our beautiful Adalyn (named by her Dad) doesn't have a half of an inch of room in her newborn clothes and she is already in size 1 diapers. She loves to have her head tilted back and to the side and I am amazed at the strength and control of her head and neck muscles. She is easily soothed, latches on well, has hair that hangs out from her beanie, exceeds the daily goals for the number of wet and poopy diapers by about triple, has very alert periods, is easily moldable when she's asleep (good for pictures), is chunky, and so loveable.

I was attached to the name Adalyn throughout my pregnancy, never thought I would be set on a name, always wanted to decide on a name once she was born. Andy never liked the name and was always giving me other suggestions. A few days after she was born I said okay we have to name her. We went through a list of names and I liked the name Julia, Emma, Aleah, and of course Adalyn (however I would have spelt it Adelyn). Not wanting to choose the name he didn't like, I said to Andy, I think she looks like an Emma, and his response was "I think she looks like an Adalyn". :) So I got the name I loved, and he was set on spelling it with and "a" so that her name would have his initials in it, :) Andrew Douglas Armstrong. I couldn't argue with that.

Now I've got a baby to feed! Goodnight!

· · Share · Delete
    • Melissa Armstrong I am in awe of you Marissa. So so proud. I love you and can't wait to meet my niece!!!
      November 24, 2010 at 10:27pm ·
    • Ana Steele Radunich so excited for you thanks for the update. I will pray that baby Armstrong gets here safely.
      November 24, 2010 at 10:34pm ·
    • Alison Armstrong Brown Wow Marissa, are you trying to achieve the world's longest labor ever?! She just wants you to be REALLY thankful for her!!! You know......being born on Thanksgiving and all!
      November 24, 2010 at 10:34pm ·
    • Megan Connors Briggs Good luck! So excited for you!
      November 24, 2010 at 10:36pm ·
    • Jessica Yahm McCartney You're doing great Marissa!! We are all so excited to meet the new addition to the family! So proud of you, I hope you can get some rest tonight. Love you!
      November 24, 2010 at 10:49pm ·
    • Nikki Miner Nichols You can do it... I pushed both of my kids for 3 hours, good luck and we will be praying... You both are wonderful!!!!!!
      November 24, 2010 at 10:53pm ·
    • Chelsea Denney keep it up! c-sections aren't too bad!
      November 24, 2010 at 10:55pm ·
    • Brooke Church go marissa! go! you the woman!
      November 24, 2010 at 10:59pm ·
    • Brenda Martinez Wowzers! I will keep your family in my prayers, sounds like you have great support. Go team Marissa. Can't wait to see pictures of your baby girl.
      November 24, 2010 at 11:06pm via Facebook Mobile ·
    • Amber Kincher They say the next one goes quicker than the first, so there's some wishful thinking!

      Thanks for all the details! Hope to hear more about her, weight, length, time, details! We'll be praying for you both!
      November 24, 2010 at 11:34pm via Facebook Mobile ·
    • Ashley M-something Hey mar, I've never officially meet you but Andy is honestly one of my best friends and trek heros. I am so excited for your little girl. It's late but I'll be thinking and praying for you both!!! Xoxoxo :)
      November 24, 2010 at 11:43pm ·
    • Gerusa Nobre
      Oi Ma!!!! você realmente é uma guerreira heim!!!!! each time I do admire you more and more!!!! Thank you sooo much for posting this even when it is such a tough time to consetrate! please, know our prayers and BEST thoughts are with you, An...See More
      November 25, 2010 at 4:06am ·
    • Marissa Armstrong The story is now complete, but it's 1:30 in the morning so I'm not reading it through to change any punctuation errors or format paragraphs. All that matters to me is it's written so I can remember it. :)
      December 1, 2010 at 1:31am ·
    • Linda Phillips Thomas What an amazing experience it is to give birth and to be a mom, the birth of Owen went much much quicker and boy and I grateful, I had had false labor for 3 week and had been dialated to a 3 for 3 weeks before they induced me, and I was lucky enough to give birth to Owen just 7 hours after they broke my water, just the same it was an amazing sureal experience meeting him for the first time and it's hard to imagine life without him now.
      December 1, 2010 at 2:05am ·
    • Lynleigh Chamberlain Robbins
      Wow, great story! Can't believe you already wrote it all down. It took me more than a month to finally get around to it. Glad it all turned out great, even though it took forever and not quite what you expected. I think I told you that I ha...See More
      December 1, 2010 at 8:54am ·
    • Julie Johnson Golter Just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this intimate and glorious story. I can't wait to meet your girl tonight!
      December 1, 2010 at 11:57am ·
    • Nikki Miner Nichols Marissa, what a beautiful special experience. It was so great to read that! Congrats you guys!
      December 1, 2010 at 9:50pm ·

Graduated from her bassinet to her crib

It's been an eventful week for Adalyn. She had her shots on monday, she will be seven weeks old tomorrow, and she spent her first night in her own room last night. She did great sleeping in her own room and crib, mom and dad just missed having her close by.

My favorite thing about the day:
When I got to my friend Cheer's house I had Adalyn in her stroller, (which I love! I snap her car seat into the stroller, she is high up and faces me, she's at arms reach.) Cheers son Bauer (3 years old) ran and got a stool, put it right next to the stroller and peeked in to see Adalyn. He was so cute with her! While Cheer helped me on the sewing machine (she is so talented!) Bauer rocked her in her car seat, showed her pictures, and put her pacifier in her mouth when she started to fuss. Adalyn didn't seem to mind that he put the pacifier in upside down, she just liked his attention. I love watching other children interact with Adalyn!

Monday, January 10, 2011

We're Parents!

Finally two hands to type! I have been wanting to blog but facebook from my iphone has been easier, I have been nursing one handed and posting on facebook with the other! So here I am blogging and here are some of my ramblings. Not well written, but written, and to me that's all that matters. :)

In April 2010 I thought I would try to catch up on the months and months I had been behind on blogging so then I could make our big announcement... We're expecting! :) I never got caught up on my blog and now my big announcement is... We're parents!

On March 6th 2010 we found out we were expecting! I can still remember grinning ear to ear in excitement and waiting for Andy to get home from his hockey game so I could tell him the great news. I remember feeling filled with joy, I was now closer to what I had always wanted to be, a mother! My brother-in-law Josh just reminded me the other day about the first time that I had met him. He said he asked me what I had wanted to be when I grew up, my response was "a mom".

I had a fairly easy pregnancy, I had all the usual aches, pains and symptoms that come along with growing a baby inside of you, but nothing too severe. And I always knew that any discomfort I was having was for a great cause, afterall Andy and I were going to get a baby out of it! :) Metamucil became my lifesaver and pre-natal yoga was a wonderful way for me to take some time out of my weeks and focus on my body and my growing baby. I loved having that time to bond with my baby and to be in a room filled with other pregnant women. I am so thankful that I was able to find the time to do yoga, it helped me stay in decent shape which has definitely helped in the recovery.

So today my baby is 6 and a half weeks old! :) We have been enjoying our time together as a family of three. We love her so much! We have been spoiled by having a pretty easy first baby. Wow, there is so much I could say about her and the fun we have had with her over the past month and a half.

My favorite memory of our first night home from the hospital was when she started crying in the middle of the night.
Marissa: "Andy she's crying can you get her for me" (Dad was in the routine of getting her for me so I could get ready to feed her. He's back to work now so I no longer have this luxury).
Andy: (Gets out of bed and walks to the foot of the bed and starts frantically patting down the covers) "Baby, baby, where's the baby, where's the baby?!" (repeated over and over again).
Marissa: Laughing "Um, she's in her craddle".
Oh the joys of being new sleep deprived parents! :)

The first week and a half of being a mother I had this amazing burst of energy, what I called, "new mommy adrenaline", I tried not to count the hours of sleep I was getting because I knew it wasn't many and that if I counted them my mind would tell me I was exhausted... So instead I enjoyed feeling like an energizer bunny (the pain killers were probably helping with this as well). And then the week and a half mark hit, the adrenaline wore off and I realized I was exhausted! I felt as if I had been run over by a bus. The next few days I tried to sleep as much as I could during the day, I kept telling myself that when she napped I needed to nap.

At Adalyn's two week check up her doctor walked in the room and said, "so this is the room with the high octane breastmilk!" It is normal for babies to lose up to ten percent of their birth weight in their first two weeks, but Adalyn had kept and exceeded hers. When she was born she weighed 9lbs 9 ounces, at 2 days old she went down to 8lbs 13 ounces and at two weeks she weighed in at 10 lbs 5 ounces. At her two week appointment her doctor told me that I no longer needed to wake her up at night for feedings. (I had been in the routine of feeding her every 1 1/2-3 hours during the day and then waking her up every 5 hours at night to eat.) I was really excited to hear this news! That night I didn't set my alarm and she slept for 7.5 hours! I felt like the luckiest mom alive. From that point on she was a pretty good sleeper.

One thing that has helped me throughout my short weeks as a mother to an infant is to get rid of all expectations. I have found that if I have no expectations the things that can be unpleasant are not so unpleasant.

A great memory of Adalyn was when she was two weeks old, she was being fussy and kept wanting to be latched on, I was pretty sure there was no way she could eat that much without making herself sick. So that was the night we introduced her to the pacifier. She took the pacifier right away and I loved watching her suck on it for the next 30 min. I felt so happy that it was a pacifier and not me!

Now, I feel like I need to put a disclaimer in here: I am not writing this blog to make other parents hate me. :) I have been blessed with an easy baby, but she's just my first. Just because I have an easy baby now doesn't mean I won't have a difficult toddler, teenager, or a difficult baby the next time around. If it makes you despise me when you read my blog please don't read it. I write so that I will be able to remember my time with Adalyn as an infant. And I have sympathy for parents with colicky babies.

Adalyn's Stats and percentiles:
11/25/10 Weight: 9lbs 9 oz, Height: 21.5 inches
2.5 weeks:
12/13/10 Weight: 10lbs 5 oz (94%), Height: 21.5 inches (84%)
6.5 weeks:
1/10/11 Weight: 12 lbs .5oz (94%), Height: 23 inches (89%)

We have Kaiser insurance, which I love and highly recommend! The care I have received has been outstanding! Adalyn goes to the campbell clinic for her check-ups. She sees Claudia Rimai NP who is fantastic. She is down to earth, personable, and really listens and responds to any and all questions with honesty. At Adalyn's appointment today she had her shots, Dad chose to leave for that part. Claudia told us that Adalyn was growing right on track and that her stats showed her that she was eating just the right amount, and that she was the size of an average 3 months old. I could have told you that, I have even pulled out some 3-6 month clothes!

More fun things:
-listening to her cute cooing and snoring sounds
-watching her stare at people and track them
-watching her be entertained by the stars on the ceiling from her lady bug nite lite
-watching Dad put her quickly to sleep in his "sleeper hold"
-her ear to ear smiles with her little dimple (new years eve)
-watching her suck her fist, her finger, she even found her thumb the other day
-being amazed at her strong neck (from day 2)
-watching her in her preferred head position with her head back and tilted to the side (makes me laugh because this is how she was trying to come out of the birth canal, it didn't work so well! Failed attempt! :))
-sticking her cute little tongue out to show me she's hungry
-giving her baths
-watching her discover things for the first time
-swaddling her up when it's time for bed
-her hair that has stuck out of the back of her beanie since day one
-watching Dad experience Adalyn's first blowout
-watching Andy be a Dad
-kissing, snuggling and talking to her
-putting her in her bed awake with a full tummy and having her be able to soothe herself to sleep
-watching her stretch as she's waking up
-ichatting with family
-watching her sweet cousin, Jonah (6yrs old), interact with her. Hearing him say,"oh, look at her cute back". Having him ask to see her "kind of walk", he demonstrated for us by getting down on the floor with his hands holding onto the couch (so cute!). He taught her how to do high fives (it worked out nice that when she was stretching out her hand it hit his). He wanted to hold her, be near her when she ate, teach her the ABC's, and teach her about Christmas and Rudolph.

Other Names She Goes By:
Baby, baby girl, my little love, squirrly girly, little girl, the kid

Where she's been in the first 6 weeks: (she started going on "outings" with mom at 1 week old)
Kaisers newborn care club, Target, Trader Joes, Valley Fair, Los Gatos Baby, Buy Buy Baby, many walks around los gatos, out to dinners, Vasona park festival of lights, Families houses, Logitech Ice to watch her Dad play hockey, the movie "True Gritt", a utah Grizzlies hockey game, Centerville Utah, Church, The Olsen's home to make gingerbread houses, Liz Peters' home, Julie's Baby Shower for Gracelyn (Gracelyn is expected to be born in the end of Feb)... and other places I'm forgetting about.

Mom and Dad have even left Adalyn to go on a date to a Sharks game. Terilyn, Dana and Peter were great babysitters! Adalyn loved all the attention, took her bottle, and even gave Terilyn a big smile!

We love our little family and are enjoying watching our little sweetheart experience life.