Posts tagged pregnancy
my iud experience

While I do always want to keep some aspects of my life private, I thought this topic was something I should share, as I was googling the experience of others often.

Grafton and I definitely want to wait a bit for the next bébé, so birth control was on the radar the weeks following Jasper's birth. I hadn't had good experiences with "the pill" before so I knew that I wanted to avoid that. Additionally, since I am breastfeeding that limited things somewhat as well. This brings us to the IUD; I decided to go with the Skyla since it's only for 3 years and a little smaller than the Mirena.

I googled a lot of "side effects", "placement experiences", and "horror stories" (naturally). For the most part, people really liked their IUD's and it seemed like a good fit for me so I made the date to get it at my 6 week postpartum checkup. 

Skip this next paragraph if you're not okay with TMI or cursing.

Holy shit, it hurt to get it put in. I'll spare the full anatomical procedure explanation-google it if you really want to know. Lucky for me (emphasis the sarcasm), my cervix was already closed so my midwife had to get real crafty with her instruments. Seriously, it was more painful to me than childbirth. Not even joking. This kind of pain had no purpose, there was no bundle of joy making an appearance from this, nothin'. I used to get TERRIBLE period cramps, like puking-my-guts-out-in-a-ball-on-the-floor kind of cramps. Everything I read online said it would be like a bad cramp. F*CK THAT. WRONG. Luckily I took an Ibuprofen before hand so the cramps while driving home weren't too bad. The few days following, I got my period (yippee for ovulating so early after giving birth), had some minor cramps, but otherwise felt okay.

I had an appointment scheduled 4 weeks later to make sure it was still in place and everything was okay....fast forward to then: SHE COULDN'T FIND THE STRINGS. yup. gone, missing, not there. couldn't see it. She was a little concerned because I hadn't noticed any pain, so she scheduled me for an ultrasound to make sure it either a) fell out, or b) was still there and it just moved a little.

Well, my ultrasound was clear (I got two different kinds: ladies, you can figure it out), as in it was clear and they couldn't find it. They said it most likely fell out...like what the hell? Wouldn't I have felt that?? When I got home I scoured my house, all over the bathroom, in and around my bed but still couldn't find it. I went outside and was shoveling snow thinking "what the hell? with my luck it's probably lodged in my uterine wall". WHAT DO YOU KNOW-my midwife called me at that exact moment and said she wanted me to get an X-Ray because she was super uneasy about it. I have to tell you- KENDRA JOHNSON YOU ROCK. Seriously the best care provider I have ever had. So, I went to the clinic down the road from my house and got X-Ray's. The next morning I got a call that they found it... floating outside of my uterus by my pelvis.

Because it obviously wasn't where it should be, this meant I needed to get a laparoscopic surgery to retrieve it. Last Thursday I went into the outpatient clinic-it was a fairly easy surgery that I was anesthetized for, only taking about an hour. BTW, that anxiety juice they give you before going into the OR is always entertaining. I was cracking up laughing from the time the anesthesiologist accidentally ran my bed into the wall until I got to the OR doors, then I don't remember anything.

It was a low risk and non-invasive surgery that I had prepared myself for by once again, googling/youtube-ing videos of...the medicine side of all this stuff interests me if you couldn't tell. Anyway, I got one incision about 2 inches long in my bellybutton and the other near my lower left pelvic area. I was sore for a few days, mostly from the gas that they use, but other than that-my incisions are healing well and I'm glad to have this whole ordeal over with. 

Would I ever get an IUD again? Probably not. My experience from the get-go was not great, and I chose the arm implant Nexplanon instead. So far I'm super happy with it and haven't experienced any negative side effects, plus the placement was super easy. Maybe a few months from now I'll have an update on how I like it.

 

I want to stress that this is my own opinion, I am not trained in a medical field and am simply expressing my own experience with an IUD. Perforation from an IUD is rare, your doctor should be your source for medical advice.

jasper the bear

We were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little one, who was due on November 13.

At my 36 week appointment I had high blood pressure and an abnormal amount of protein in my urine. Valerie, one of the midwives I was seeing, was also concerned with the additional info that I had been experiencing headaches that weren't going away with Tylenol and that I was seeing spots for 2 weeks prior. I got sent up to the fourth floor to get labs drawn and was booked to come back three days later for another blood pressure check and was told to check my BP daily at home. 

My midwives were worried that I was developing preeclampsia, I was right on the edge. 

At my appointment that Friday, my blood pressure was back to normal but I was told to continue to monitor. I had a few moments that following week where my blood pressure would spike, then return to normal within the hour. At my next appointment, everything was fine but we did another lab draw to make sure everything was ok. Grafton was with me and was asking the midwife a lot of questions about preeclampsia like he had the week before also. I was glad he was there because it was hard for me to pay attention to everything she was saying.

On Sunday October 30 I woke up with a headache and took some Tylenol, my blood pressure was a little higher than it had been but it was still under the threshold they told me to look out for. I went to church but still had a nagging headache by the time I got home. I was seeing a bunch of spots and stars and had a feeling that something wasn't quite right so I called the midwife on call. Tonia didn't want to take any chances so she asked that I come into the hospital to see what was going on. Grafton was finishing up an appointment and I told him to just keep working and I would call him and let him know what was going on.

IMG_3395.JPG

I drove to the hospital and filled out my paperwork. I felt nervous and anxious. I prayed for peace-worrying wasn't going to help with anything. I got more labs drawn and gave another urine sample. Everything became real when they put the bracelet on my wrist. I was now checked in at the hospital. By then Grafton finished his appointment so he came to the hospital where we waited in room 3001 for my results.

A couple hours went by so Grafton left to pick up take-out from PF Chang's and get stuff from home when Tonia came back with the news that I was officially diagnosed with preeclampsia, my proteins had tripled in a week. 

She then went over my options:

  1. Wait and see what happens. My blood pressure could go down and I could go on to go into labor naturally, or,
  2. They induce me.

Tears were welling up as I was trying to pay attention to what she was saying. Tonia explained that the scary part about preeclampsia is that no one really knows what could happen. I could be fine, or things could go really bad really quick. She told me to think about it and to call Grafton to talk to him. She knew that we were hoping for a natural birth and wanted to keep that plan to the best of their abilities.

I called Grafton and in a shaking voice I told him everything that was explained to me. We decided to induce-although it was not what we were expecting we wanted our baby to be healthy and safe and we were concerned about my health. When Tonia came back in I told her our decision, and we began to prep.

A shift change brought us Kendra, one of our favorite midwives. She was quiet and reassuring that everything would be okay. She explained that they would go as slow as possible with the induction to allow my body time to adjust and hopefully for labor to kick in on its own. She wanted to use Cervadil first to ripen my cervix because I was still only 1 cm and 10%. It was uncomfortable to place, and a few hours later I was getting a lot of cramps so I took a sleeping pill to get enough rest to hopefully meet our baby the next day.

At 4 am Kendra took out the Cervadil and said that nothing changed, the next option was pitocin and she stripped my membranes. My problem was that even though I was having strong and frequent contractions, they were coupling and were too frequent. The pitocin was going to help regulate them. 

On Monday October 31 my family arrived and Grafton's family was there as well. Although initially we didn't want anyone else in the room with us, plans had changed and we knew it was going to be a while before labor really started to kick in. I sat on the birth ball and used the TENS unit (got rid of that after 10 minutes, I wasn't into it haha) to help get through contractions. The tub and ball helped me the most, but I still didn't feel like I was progressing much even though I threw up twice.

After a couple of hours Kendra checked my cervix again-disappointingly, I was exactly where I was the night before. Kendra discussed a few different options which included a Foley bulb and continued pitocin. The Foley bulb basically just mechanically dilates your cervix to about 4cm, then comes out. We planned to put the bulb in at 8pm.

As the day went on I tried to sleep as much as I could, but the contractions and stress kept building up. At around 6 that evening I decided I wanted to get an epidural. I felt disappointed that everything seemed to be going the opposite way of how we pictured it. Grafton asked me if I was sure I wanted an epidural, since we originally were not wanting to use pain medication. I preferred to get the epidural over fentanyl because baby gets fentanyl too if that's what I chose. Before the Foley bulb was placed, Heidi, the anesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural. She asked me general health questions and if I had any allergies (I didn't, to my knowledge), then I mentioned how once for a surgery I was prescribed oxycodone and it made me hallucinate-turns out, that's considered an allergy. So once I got the epidural I was given two more wonderful bracelets. Red one for "Allergy" and Yellow one for "Fall Risk". Walking epidurals aren't a thing guys, your legs feel like you just completed 2 Ironman's in a row. Grafton and I prayed lots that night; prayers for peace and guidance, for encouragement, safety, and to hopefully avoid a c-section.

After all of that, I was pretty tired so our families left and Grafton and I watched a home video that Grafton's mom had brought in for us. We went to sleep shortly after to prepare for the day ahead, only I had to wake up every hour to flip over (fyi: epidurals work with gravity). At about 6 the next morning, Kendra came in and checked on my progress, she was happy to say that the Foley bulb came out and I was dilated to 4! She then broke my water and I finally felt a sense of relief that things were going to start moving.

We continued the Pitocin (it had been on a really slow drip) and our families came back later that morning to hang out for a while. At around 11:45 I felt really tired and nauseous so I asked Grafton to ask our family to leave for a little bit so I could rest. They said goodbye and my grandpa cracked a joke that this baby was coming by 1 o'clock--a couple of nurses and my mother-in-law laughed at that one...

I felt like something was off so I asked the nurse, Tera, who had also been one of my nurses when I was admitted for preterm labor at 27 weeks, to get the midwife. Renata was the midwife who was on now, she said that sometimes epidurals can make you nauseous if your sitting in one position for too long but she would check my cervix to see what was up.

"You're complete!"

I looked at Grafton like, "holy shit. this is happening." I was finally complete and nurses started coming in to set up to deliver a baby! Grafton started crying (it was pretty cute guys) and I started to freak out a little bit because I was so excited. Tera and Renata explained how to push and they brought out a mirror so I could see what was going on if I wanted.

We had our "Baby P" playlist on in the background and the only light in the room was from the huge windows looking out at a beautiful rainy fall day. After 2 pushes I could see the top of his head. At this point my dad texted Grafton and asked what was going on-they had no idea that I was starting to push because I was still talking like normal and making jokes. With each push our little baby closer to us, and after 45 minutes Grafton caught him and placed him on my chest.

IMG_3799.JPG

At that point I lost it. I was crying uncontrollably, finally holding my little bear cub. After his umbilical cord stopped pulsating Grafton cut the cord and we snuggled our baby. Everything went by so fast, and our baby was earth side and healthy, that the days leading up to that point were forgotten. Time is interesting when you're welcoming your baby into the world and it doesn't quite make sense. Even though a lot of things didn't go as we'd hoped, the birth of our little boy was something I would do over and over again, it was perfect. 

On November 1, 2016 at 12:49 PM we welcomed Jasper Robert. My grandpa is Robert. The most wonderful man I have ever met in my life, and I wanted Jasper to have a part of him, so it only seemed fitting that we give him Robert as part of his name.

Jasper weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and was 20 inches long. He had the most beautiful slate blue eyes and a head of dark curly hair. His hair is a little lighter and his eyes still melt my heart from when I first saw him.

We are so thankful for the wonderful midwives at Rockwood Midwifery and nurses at Deaconess Hospital who cared for us, and for an enduring faith that helped get us through the whole process.

i'm over it

It's pretty safe to say that last night, Grafton and I both thought we would be grabbing that baby bag and running out the door. I had quite a bit of irregular, but hard contractions the last two day then last night on the drive home they went from every 20ish minutes to about every 4 minutes. Of course, after about an hour they settled down a little bit-but at 3:30 this morning I woke up to an intense contraction. I think I scared the buh-jeezus out of our cat.

Deliriously, I tried to time the contractions in my head but I was so tired I couldn't. I was guessing they were about 4 minutes apart again and they weren't stopping, then all of a sudden I got super nauseous. That's when I thought that this morning could quite possibly be the morning we have our little bear. But no--contractions stopped. I've had a few more little ones since I woke up, but nothing like I did early this morning. 

Needless to say, I'm tired, and I'm over it.

Yes, people keep telling me that once he's out and actually here I'll want him to be back in sometimes. No. I refuse to believe it. I am over being so uncomfortable. Up until about two weeks ago I was doin' super. Felt great, had minimal pain, then BAM!

Tuesday at my appointment I had high blood pressure and proteinuria as well as some other things that my midwives were not happy about seeing. Preeclampsia was what they were worried about. The only other time I had heard about preeclampsia was on an episode of House when a young girl was pregnant, didn't know it, developed preeclampsia, which in turn lead to full blown eclampsia and she died. Luckily the midwifery practice I go to are all wonderful women who were sure to calm my nerves about it. I was scheduled to come in the next day, then again yesterday to check my blood pressure as well as check it myself at home. Just FYI, my BP has been back to normal since the first little scare, praise the Lord.

I am over the constant feeling of fullness, not being able to bend over to put on shoes, I want to wear my regular pants again. I'm over these false labor instances, and burning ribs.

I'm ready to meet this guy, although I know I will miss feeling his kicks and wiggles when he's earth-side. 

 

countdown

In one month, our little baby is due. It's a little crazy for me to think about how fast the last eight months has gone by. Today we have a birth class (all day-cause you know, cram as much as you can in at once...) and it's really starting to sink in that this is all for real.

A lot of people have asked if I'm nervous or excited, etc. I'm every emotion packed into my little body. I'm nervous for delivery, I'm stressed trying to figure out how my school schedule will be, I'm scared for Grafton (hopefully I don't become a raging laboring woman haha). I'm excited to have our little babe wear all the cute clothes he has gotten. I'm really excited to be able to go out dinner and have a beer with my meal. I can't wait to snuggle Baby and nuzzle his head with my nose and give him all the kisses I can.

I look forward to all the adventures we will get to bring him on, although for some reason a lot of people keep saying things like, "you can't do this or that anymore". PFFT. Say's who? Last time I checked babies can be held and carried...and I'm fully capable of having a life outside of sitting inside my house. Yes, I'm aware that having a baby will make it more difficult to go places-but I'm okay with that. 

Thanks to my best friend Hailey for the photo.

I think the most interesting part of my third trimester so far is the weird/dirty looks I get while walking across campus. Mostly from young(er) girls. It must be a little shocking to see someone waddling to class with a protruding belly when a majority of the students there are "traditional students". I just want to point out the fact that, yes, people with children and full time jobs and maybe even people who are over 40 years old can go to university. 

Often times I've noticed that it's these non-"traditional" students who succeed the most in college. They aren't out partying, they have priorities, they know why they're going to school. I'm in year 5, so it's a little late to drop out. Plus, I enjoy being in school and learning more. I probably should have gone the faster route to graduation, but hey, college is about exploration right? Since I started university I have changed my major about five times and have transferred schools three times now: I started at BSU, transferred to FVCC and graduated from there with an AA, transferred BACK to BSU then Grafton and I moved to Spokane last December for him to start his business so I transferred to EWU. I definitely do not encourage transferring and changing majors a bunch of times. It's one hell of a hassle to deal with. 

Once I found out I was pregnant I was forced to really think about what I wanted to do about school: do I finish? Or do I drop out? I decided to just go for it, and a few months ago I had to officially declare my major with the university, and because I was a transfer student, I needed a certain number of credits from EWU to graduate. Well, just being a studio art major wouldn't get me there so I had to either double major or declare a minor. Me being me decided, "Hell, I'll just do both". So here I am, officially declared as a double major in Studio Art and Art History and a French minor about to have a baby in 4 weeks. Luckily my professors this quarter are okay with me possibly missing the last 3 weeks of class and the same professors will most likely be my professors next quarter, and they are totally okay with me bringing baby to class if I need to. 

T W E N T Y N I N E days until we meet our sweet baby boy. Four weeks until I get to meet him, kiss him, cuddle him, show him off. One month until I get to hold my Baby. 

w e l c o m e
Photo by my lovely friend Hailey from  Verse and Venture .

Photo by my lovely friend Hailey from Verse and Venture.

For the last few months an idea has been creeping in and out of my mind: start a blog. I have started and stopped a few other blogs because I simply got burnt out on what my initial niche was. However, this time around, I hope this blog can be something that grows.

I am 33 weeks pregnant with our first baby and currently stretched out on our couch with a heating pad 'cause this little bear loves kicking my ribs. I am definitely feeling 33 weeks pregnant and am hoping I don't get too much more uncomfortable in the next few weeks.

Growing this miracle inside me has been the main inspiration for wanting to start this blog-I want to document our life as a family and as a mother. I want to share products we believe in, home inspiration and décor ideas and recipes. I want to have a community of people that read this and can relate to the struggles of being a first time mother (or even a mother of multiples), I want others to share their insights on motherhood and faith with me as well. Community is what I seek in this, even if it's from afar and from behind a screen. 

I look forward to sharing more and hearing from all of you who read this-

Cheers,

Brooke