Monday, March 10, 2014

Pigeon Forge, TN

Last August,  We took our first big family vacation with Max. One of Seth's older brothers really wanted a family vacation with all of his siblings (8 total kids) and their parents.  He wanted this vacation to happen so bad that he offered to pay for everyone to get there (plane tickets for us because we are the farthest away) and gas money for everyone else. He also offered to rent a huge log cabin for everyone to stay in for the 5 days (during peak summer travel time...aka outrageously expensive). He also graciously paid for or rental car and our hotel room for the night that we got there because we got there a day before everyone else and before we could check into the cabin. It was basically an all expense paid trip... how could we say no?! We had to provide our own entertainment and each couple was assigned one or two meals to cook for everyone (28 of us total). Here are a few pictures from Pigeon Forge, TN that I recently ran across on my phone.

A few fun notes:

-I got pulled over for speeding the night we got there.  It was about 1 am, we were trying to find our hotel for the night,  Max was screaming and apparently I floored it when we left the drive thru.  Whoops. The officer was very nice and I told him we were just trying to find our hotel and our son was ready to be done traveling for the day.  He gave us directions to the hotel and told us to have a good night.  He didn't even ask to see our licenses!
-Seth went on a zip line obstacle course with some of his siblings,  his dad snd his 86 year old grandma.  She's awesome! !
- We took a 30 min helicopter ride over the mountains.  It was a beautiful sight.
-I was 27 weeks pregnant and it hella (who says hella anymore?!) Hot and humid but thank God the cabin had a/c.
-The cabin also had a Jacuzzi that Max and Seth enjoyed each night.
-My equally pregnant sister in law and I spent an afternoon shopping at the outlet mall and then had lunch together. (Our due dates were less than a week apart, but she ended up having her son about 3 weeks before Benjamin joined us).

-Max found a llama stuffed animal and it was love at first sight! He'd never cared about stuffed animals until he saw that little llama.  

Friday, January 31, 2014

Courthouse field trip!

Yesterday I packed up the boys and took them to the courthouse! I got a ticket back in December when we visited a state park.  I had an annual pass for national parks and thought state parks were included.  Turns out they aren't and I got a $99 ticket. Lame! So I fought it and said it was an honest mistake and we've since purchased a state park pass, it won't happen again... and oh, um could you please just waive this ticket please,  your honor? He reduced it to $70 which still sucked but was better than the full amount.  Thankfully, Max was very well behaved and quiet in the courtroom and Ben nursed happily in my Boba carrier. He fussed a few times and I just had to get him latched back on and he was content.  Never thought I'd breastfeed my baby while pleading my case to the judge, but hey, baby was hungry and by golly, baby was going to eat.  Happy Baby Happy Mommy...especially in a quiet courtroom.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

my pictures

In random order because I can't rearrange on my phone. ..

1) I excavated all of these boogers (plus some not pictured) from Benjamin's nose. He sounds a lot better now! He also loves when I dig boogers out...he smiles so big!
2)  We were playing with the blocks in the third picture.  Max was apparently done and decided to throw the blocks at Ben... and then pound one into his forehead. Really,  Max? 
3) We were having a lot of fun before Max suddenly decided to be done. P.S. Max is actually wearing a diaper in this picture. 
4) I made pancakes for breakfast!  We didn't even have any syrup in the house.  I used honey...Max loved it
5) Awww, sleeping so peacefully ♥
6) Benjamin said good morning to me with this all over my shoulder.  Thankfully it's very rare that he spits up (unlike Max, who was a major spitter-upper)
7) He later peed all over my leg (this picture is actually from yesterday,  but he peed on me again today)

It's nap time right now... here's to a better afternoon! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I will be a better blogger from now on

I recently decided I wanted to blog more.  How many times have I said that?  That's a rhetorical question.  I mean it this time.  How will I ever find time time to blog,  you ask? Well I've got a newborn (whaaaaat, where did he come from!?) So I'll blog in the middle of the night when he's nursing :) good use of my time!  So that's my "excuse" for poor punctuation and spelling errors. Better than nothing though.

So that newborn I have? He's a sweet little thing!  He was born on November 3, 2023 at 5:42 pm, weighing 7 lb 11 oz and 18.5 inches long. We call him Benjamin and it fits him pretty darn good. He's a pretty patient and calm baby. He's pretty good at waiting his turn while I attend to Max.  The first few weeks were rough... More so than normal with a newborn...because it turns out he had a minor dairy sensitivity.  My mommy instincts told me he had an intolerance to something and so I started researching baby poops. Green and mucousy indicated a food intolerance so I talked to a pediatrician and he suggesed to cut out dairy, the most likely common culprit.  I cut it out (well,  the majority of it) and he's been so much happier and his poops ate back to being yellow and seedy!  Yay for normal breastfed poop! It's been an adjustment cutting out dairy... and I still cheat... but he's much happier now.  It's pretty minor so I think he will outgrow it eventually. 

Christmas was good.  We stayed home and didn't have any visitors. It was a nice, quiet family Christmas.  Well, we did have one visitor, Seth invited one of his single soldiers over for dinner and he thoroughly enjoyed the Cornish hens I made (when i offered him extras to take home,  He asked if he could have the extra hen!!)

Max is doing well and growing like a weed. He's always been on the smaller side but at his 18 month checkup last  week, he went from the 50th percentile to the 86th! He's only 18-25lbs though.  He's a skinny little thing.  Ben, however,  It's chunky and he already weighs 12.2 lbs (as of 2 weeks ago). He's my short and stout little guy while Max is tall and lean (for now anyways).

Both boys are asleep on my lap and I need to trim their fingers and toes before I put them in bed for the night.

Here's to being a better blogger in 2014!

And here is a picture of our boys on Christmas morning:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Oh, hey!

Remember me? I've not forgotten about you, little blog! I've just been know, with an active almost 11 month old! I'd really like to blog more often but it's hard because Max wakes up the second that I lay him down. Sooooo his naps consist of me holding him. Which im so not complaining about, but I don't get a chance to get as much done as I'd like during nap time. It's all good though, I get to cuddle him and I certainly can't complain about that!

Right now I'm on the iPad and its kinda difficult to balance on my knee and type. And yell at Woody to not bark...and wake Max up. So ignore typos and punctuation errors.

So what have we been up to the last several months? Let's see....we drove to my parents house in California for thanksgiving for a quick trip. My brother got to meet Max for the first time, which he loved. The road trip went well, considering. We left at like 4 am to maximize drive time while Max was normally sleeping. We drove until we about two hours away from their house (it was about a 16 hour drive) because Max was clearly done being in his car seat for the day. We had a short drive the following day which was nice.

We spent Christmas at our house. Seth's brother and girlfriend flew out here from Washington D.C. To visit us and it was great to see them. My parents also drove up, With my brother and his girlfriend,  too, and my sister and her boyfriend were here too. It was quite a busy house! It was a great Christmas though and Max got some awesome gifts.

Seth was gone for pretty much the whole month of January for training and we couldn't talk while he was gone so it was a rough month. We made it though and I was very excited when he came home. Max and the dogs were too. Max and I started going to a church while he was gone and we went to a few library story times. We've kept it up since he's been back and we go the majority of the time. Max generally makes the most noise when we are all quietly praying to ourselves. He makes grunting noises and we hear a few giggles and then the pastor usually gives him a shout out after we are done haha we also started Max on solid foods at the end of the month and holy cow, he LOVES food. You name it, he loves food. Chicken, carrots, zucchini, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, avocados, pears, watermelon, plain Cheerios, yogurt....everything. He is BFFs with food, no doubt. He doesn't like the texture of puréed peas, but will still eat them. He just makes a grossed out face but still eats it up!! That, and cottage cheese, are the only foods that he's not a fan of, and I'm sure it's texture related for both.

February was an uneventful month as far as I can remember. Hmmm, yep, uneventful.

March we visited my sister in Oregon for a quick weekend trip. We stayed at a hotel and we went swimming. Max loves the water! At the end of the month my dad got a new job. Max had a great first Easter at church and found a bunch of Easter eggs! And I enjoyed the candy in them, I'm not ashamed to say.

April brought another month of training for Seth. Max and I took a vacation to California to visit my parents! We flew and it went really well. Max did really well on both of the flights, thankfully. We had a fun time visiting my parents and brother, and seeing the house I lived in when I was 5-10 years old. We went to the ocean, saw a zonkey (zebra-donkey mix), ate a lot of food, enjoyed the sunshine and warmth, and helped my parents move. they moved into a hotel While they're still searching for a house. When we got back, I had a doctors appointment and Max sand Seth came with. Max was fascinated with a little boy who was running up and down a hall and couldn't take his eyes off of him. That afternoon, when Max woke up after his nap, he started taking steps unassisted! I swear he dreamed of that little boy and it was all the courage he needed to start walking!! He's been improving ever since then and is doing great now!!  He walks with his arms up in the air, in an L shape and just walks and walks. It's so funny and cute. If he falls, he laughs and gets right back up and tries again.

In May, we bought a combo membership to two local zoos and have been putting it to good use! We've gone six times to the closer one to our house and once to the other. In the middle of May, we want to a wedding in Oregon and Seth was in the wedding party. Max looked adorable dressed up in his Ralph Lauren slack pants and his plaid Ralph Lauren button down shirt. At the end of May, Seth left for training again.

And now it's June....the weather has been really nice the last few days and we've been playing outside  a lot. Yesterday I was picking weeds and then watered the garden and it was really warm so I sprayed some water on Max. He got really excited and next thing I know, he was in his cloth diaper crawling around in the lawn as I sprayed him with water. He was soaking wet and loved it. A neighbor gave me a blow up pool for Max and I blew it up this morning and we played in it this afternoon. He had so much fun!!! He mostly liked to hang over the edge and slap the tarp but hey, he had fun!!! I watered the garden after he got out of the pool and he got excited over the hose so he played in the water on the lawn for a few more minutes. Such an exciting afternoon was exhausting to my little guy and he's sound asleep now. Patrick is curled up with us as well.

I guess that catches me up for now!! I'll try to do a post with pictures soon because let's be honest, that's the best part of blogging. And most entertaining. Happy June!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Breastfeeding, sleeping and the pumpkin patch

It's been over a whole month since I last posted?  Oops! I'm going to try to get this posted before Max wakes up from his nap. We'll see how I do...

Max turned 4 months old on Monday! He had his 4 month check up today and weighed around 12.5 lbs (they weighed him in kilograms, so I don't know how much he weighed today, but yesterday he weighed 12.5 lbs) and he's 26 1/4 inches! He got his immunizations and he did much better than he did last time. Thankfully. I cried right along with him when he got his shots last time, but this time, he just did a little cry for a few seconds and then was a big boy about it. They did make him very sleep though and he's taken a few naps, which is very rare for him. 

The doctor said he's growing great and made the comment on how mature he looks for a baby his age. He said he looks like he could have a real conversation with Max. haha I've had a few other people tell me he looks mature or very much like a boy, whereas some babies apparently don't. Ha. IL've got a manly man of a baby boy, I suppose. 

So, onto breastfeeding. For whatever reason, my milk supply dropped significantly at the beginning of October. Like, I felt like I was drying up completely. Max was starving and I had to go through the 10 or so bags of frozen milk I had in the freezer to keep him happy, and even then, he was still hungry. I spent many evenings crying, right along with him because I was mad at my body for not making the milk that he so badly wanted and needed. I tried fenugreetk, two different kinds of mothers milk tea, lactation cookies, and Dairy Queen pills on Etsy. Nothing increased my milk enough to make my baby happy.

I still go to the breastfeeding class on post each week, and he pretty much stayed the same weight for the whole month of October, between 12.2 and 12.5 lbs. Last week, the doctor suggested I talk to a lactation consultant about why he wasn't gaining weight. So I did. My body just slowed down the milk making process for whatever reason and the LC gave me a prescription to Reglan which helps my body make more milk. There are side effects, as with any medicine, but I have yet to see them, thankfully. Severe facial twitches, depression and exhaustion are the main side effects. The facial twitches are permanent too, even after you stop taking the medication. But I really really really really want to only breastfeed him, so I'm taking the pills. Luckily, it's only a 13 day course of taking the medicine and after I'm done with the course, my milk supply should keep up. I started it last Wednesday and by Sunday, I saw an increase in my  milk. My boobs are getting full in about 2-3 hours, whereas before, it was a good 6-7 hours before they'd feel full. I'm so thankful for the lactation consultants and all of their knowledge and help that they've given me. Max was a great nurser from the beginning, and nursing was very easy for both of us. So it was a big surprise, and not a good one, when I started having these problems. Yesterday I went to the class to get him weighed and he weighed 12.5 lbs when we got to class, and then I fed him on both sides and the weighed him again. In 12 minutes of eating, he gained 5 oz! This was A LOT considering the last few times I weighed, fed and re-weighed him, it was 2 to 2.5 oz. He's eating so much better and getting a full little belly. And this means he's sleeping better too.

Since the day we brought him home from the hospital, he'd been sleeping in the basinette attached to the pack-n-play in our room. He outgrew that in early October (well, if we're being honest here, probably at the end of September, but he was just so cozy in it and slept well that I didn't want to transition him to a different bed! But when his little toes were poking over the edge, I knew I needed to change it up for his safety). So we removed the basinette and he slept in the pack-n-play in our room. He slept absolutely horribly. He'd wake up every hour to hour and a half and be wide awake. I know it takes a few weeks to adjust to a new sleeping environment so I was trying to be patient, but it was difficult because I was exhausted. On Halloween, I spent a good portion of the day thinking about if it'd be a good idea to just take the plunge and put him in his crib for the night. I didn't want him down the hall from me (he's so little!!) but I did think he'd sleep better. I talked to Seth about it that night and he, of course, was like, Lets do it!! It's easier for the guys, I think, to say lets do it to major changes like that. Anyways, we did it and Max slept WONDERFULLY!! He slept for about 4-5 hours, then I fed him and he slept for another 4-5 hours. Tonight will be one week since he's been sleeping in his crib! He's growing up! I do still bring him into our room and nurse him in bed though, then back to his crib he goes. This morning, he was in his crib babbling/talking for a good 30 minutes! It was sooo cute. I had time to shower, do my hair, get dinner in the crockpot and a few minutes at the computer. 

Now, for a few pictures. We went to the pumpkin patch a few weekends ago and did the corn maze, pumpkin slinging and picked out our pumpkins. Max slept through the whole corn maze (this was the first time he was in his big boy stroller and he seemed to enjoy it based on how much he slept in it).

testing it out at home...patrick approves of the stroller too

rainbow when we got to the pumpkin patch!


unhappy i woke him up

very unhappy

hey ladies

hard life of a baby

I feel like this post was all over the place, and I'm not going to re-read it and re-write it before I publish it! Max is waking up now...good timing...and we're going to take a little walk to the mail box and then we'll play and wait patiently for daddy to get home from work :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Max's birth story

Max’s birth story (finally).

This is a long one...just to warn you :)

Our birth story is nothing what we wanted and yet everything that we wanted. I truly love the story of his birth.

I went in for my 39 week appointment on Tuesday, July 3rd. My doctor, Dr. Le, said I was still 3 cm dilated and now about 75% effaced. He did a cervical exam and had a look on his face like something wasn't quite right. He said that he didn't feel the “normal parts” he should feel, ie Max’s head so he was going to do an ultrasound. He came back with the ultrasound machine and confirmed that Max was in a breech position. Since the doctor had been in on all of our centering classes, he knew that we were hoping for a natural child birth (no medication and definitely not a c-section if possible to avoid one).
We talked to him about our options: elective c-section, or attempting an ECV (a procedure done to move the baby into a head down position) to flip Max around and then hopefully having a vaginal birth. Since I was already 39 weeks, they didn't want to leave him breech and risk my water breaking and then having an emergency c-section. I didn't want that either. We decided on the ECV. During the ultrasound, he said I still had a lot of fluid, which usually makes ECVs more successful. He said once the ECV was done, they’d induce me right away so that the baby didn't have an option to turn back around. He said that I’d be prepped for a c-section, they’d do the ECV on the operating table in the operating room, and if it’s not successful, we’d be ready for a c-section if needed.  If the ECV was successful, I’d go back to the birthing room, be induced, have an epidural if I wanted one, and we’d have a vaginal birth. I asked Dr. Le if he’d be the one performing the ECV, and he said it would depend on when the appointment was.
We went to Firestone to get my tires rotated and I thought it’d be a good time to call and tell my mom the news. Turns out it wasn't  and I started bawling in the lobby area as I was telling her. Dr. Le had called while we were waiting and asked how July 5th looked to have a baby. I didn't really have the option to say no (we still had things to do before he arrived!!) He said I needed to go to labor and delivery sometime on the 4th of July to get my blood work done prepped for a possible c-section, and then I needed to call the hospital between 5:30 and 6 am on the 5th to see when I could come in for the ECV/possible c-section.
We went home that night and I looked up things online to do at home to possibly try to change his position. I ended up lying with pillows under my butt, an ice pack on the top of my uterus and music playing at the bottom of my uterus. Apparently something with gravity makes the baby want to move if your pelvic area is raised. The ice pack was to make the baby move away from the coldness, and the music was because babies can hear sounds and want to move towards the sound. I didn't feel any major movements so I wasn't very hopeful.
We went to labor and delivery on the afternoon of the 4th of July to get my blood work done and got instructions on how to prep for a c-section. We talked to an anesthesiologist and she explained the process of getting an epidural. They sent us home with a pack of sterilization wipes to wipe my whole body down with after showering that night for the possible c-section.  We barbecued hamburgers for dinner and enjoyed a quiet 4th of July evening. My parents and sister were on their way up and got here around 8 pm on the 4th. We went out for ice cream to celebrate Max’s birthday a little early and saw lots of fireworks on the way.
I couldn't eat or drink anything past midnight because of a possible c-section. I showered (and had shaved my legs during my morning shower, which I later regretted…) and then Seth helped me wipe my whole body down with the sterilization wipes. Let me just say how much these sucked. They made my whole entire body itchy, I could not get comfortable and I wondered if this was normal or if I was having an allergic reaction. We went to bed late and had to be up early, and I was already anxious as hell and couldn't sleep as it was. The whole body itchiness just added to my not being able to sleep. I maybe got 2-3 hours of sleep that night, but it was more of a dozing type of sleep, not anything substantial.
I got up and called the number Dr. Le had given me to see when I should go in. My voice was shaky as I talked to the nurse who said I could come in now. We walked into the hospital at 6:40 am. They put me in a room, I met with the nurses and the midwife, Roxanne, from our centering classes came in. I immediately saw her and told her she jinxed us; in one of the centering classes, we did an ‘activity’ where we picked out word cards for our ideal birth. Then they took a few of our choice word cards out and gave us an unexpected ‘birth experience.’ They had given me the c-section card. Then I burst into tears again as I told her I realllly didn't want a c-section if I didn't absolutely positively need one. She hugged me and said it’d be OK and reminded me what we had talked about in class. She said her shift was getting ready to end, but she’d be back at 7 PM that night and she’d see me one way or another, still pregnant, or with a baby in my arms.
We hung out in the laboring room for a little while and shortly before I was wheeled back to the operating room, my parents and sister came into the labor room. The nurses brought Seth a pair of scrubs to put on to wear in the operating room. I think he thoroughly enjoyed wearing the scrubs! I had also met with the team of doctors who would be performing the ECV, the anesthesiologist and some other nurses. They also hooked me up to an IV and started giving me fluids.
They wheeled me back to the operating room around 9 AM. The lights were soooo bright. The doctors were there and there were other people standing in a corner, probably in case a c-section was needed. The nurse had me straddle the operating room table so the anesthesiologist could put in the epidural needle. They gave me an epidural to help relax my uterus, which usually makes ECVs more successful. I didn't really like the anesthesiologist, she just wasn't really friendly, I thought. She put in the epidural and after that was done, she said she had hit a blood vessel instead of the correct spot. She said she was going to pull it out and re-do it. Yay. She inserted it again and I could feel the medicine being injected into me. It had a cold feeling to it and I could feel it going up my back.
They gave me some other medicine that made my heart race (which they told me would happen) and apparently it relaxed me big time too. I thought I was just very sleepy and was doing a great job relaxing during the whole ordeal, but looking back, I’m sure it was the medicine that almost made me fall asleep. I don’t remember when exactly they started the ECV, but I remember at some point opening my eyes and seeing three grown men pushing really hard on my stomach (I could see their muscles from their scrub tops) trying to flip our baby around. That’s all I remember from the procedure – I didn't feel anything while they were doing it and surprisingly, I wasn't even sore in the days after. When they were finished, I remember one doctor telling me they were going to break my water (I didn't feel a thing) and put a catheter in. They told me it was successful and they were going to induce me when we got back to the labor room.
Like I said, that’s all I remember of the procedure itself. After talking to Seth about it (he was in the room and had been watching it all), I later learned that Max’s heart rate dropped significantly while they were moving him. Apparently this is semi-normal though; the baby holds its breath and then passes out. It dropped to the high 50’s, and it’s usually in the 140-160 range. Seth said the doctor was timing it, and if it didn't come back up to its normal rate within 5 minutes, they were going to do an emergency c-section. Seth said it was in the 50’s for about 2 minutes. He said the doctor told the nurses to tell him when it had been 5 minutes; luckily it was only about 2 minutes though before Max got his heartbeat back up. I’m so so so glad I was out of it and didn't know this was happening while it was. I would have been freaking out if I’d known what was going on, and Seth said he was terrified for those two minutes. (Side note, we had the centering reunion class when Max was about 4 weeks old and Dr. Le and Roxanne were there. We were talking to the doctor afterwards and he said to us, “honestly, I was getting ready to cut you open.” I always knew a c-section was very possible, but I didn't know it was THAT close to happening. Thank you Max for getting your heart rate up and thank you Dr. Le for giving Max a second to recoup on his own!!!!)
I don’t remember much after waking up, except for them transferring me from the operating table to a bed to be moved back to the labor room. I was shaking really bad, my whole body was numb and I couldn't keep my eyes open. Around 10 AM, they wheeled me back to the labor room and I was pretty out of it for a while until the epidural and other medicine ran off. They kept the epidural port in my back, but I had asked for them to turn it off and not give me any medicine. I was hooked up to a saline IV and was going through those pretty fast.
The medicine was finally starting to wear off and I wasn't shaking so bad and I began to feel the catheter. As soon as I could feel my lower half, I asked them to remove it. The only good thing about having it was that I didn't have to get up and go pee. Once they took it out, I had to get up seriously every 10-15 minutes to go pee. That part sucked BIG TIME because I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and a blood pressure machine and it took a minute or two to get me unhooked from all the machines, wheel them to the bathroom (all while continuing to leak amniotic fluid down my legs and onto the floor…gross!), go pee and then wheel it all back to the bed and get re-hooked up. Sometimes we wouldn't hook them up all the way and the nurses at the nurse’s station couldn't hear/see the fetal heartbeat on their monitor so they’d come in and check on us and make sure everything was fine. I was also hooked up to pitocin to start giving me contractions.
From when I got back into the room in the 10:00 hour, until 8 pm, I had contractions. They really weren't that bad, to be completely honest. For the first hour or so, I couldn't really feel much except some tightening because the medicine was still wearing off. I was hooked up to a machine that monitored my contractions and it was cool to see how big they were but not feeling anything. Once the medicine wore off and I could start feeling them, the nurses kept asking what my pain scale was. I didn't know how bad they were going to get, so it was hard to know how bad they were compared to how bad they were going to get. I kept saying 2-3 for the longest time. Seth was very good about getting me jello, popsicles and chicken broth and water because that’s all I could eat/drink. He was very good about not having real food in the room, but my parents and sister ate their lunches in there. The smell didn't bother me at all, but I was starving and couldn't have anything but wanted something so bad.
One nurse had told me sometime in the afternoon to not be surprised, when the doctor checked me, if I hadn't progressed any significant amount - that was normal. Because I was being induced, progress was likely to be very slow. I didn't even want to be checked because I was already exhausted and hungry and didn't want to be discouraged.
All of my contractions were in my lower back. Every. Single. One. Towards the end, it got pretty painful, but still manageable. I had said to Seth a few days before that I was predicting all of my contractions to be in my back whenever it started and I was completely right.

I tried different positions, lying in the bed normally, getting on my knees and leaning my top half over the back of the bed, lying on my stomach with one leg up and slightly bent and my arms hanging loosely. They kept offering/suggesting the birthing ball, but it just didn't sound comfortable putting pressure in my pelvic region so I kept declining it. I did find sitting on the toilet felt rather good, but after hanging out there for a little while, the nurses came into check on me because I’d been unhooked from the monitors a little too long. I think it was at that point that I decided to try the birthing ball. Much to my surprise, it felt really good and I moved my hips in circles for a while.
Sitting on the ball circling my hips, I was completely exhausted and there was no way I could sleep through any of the contractions. I tried to lay my head on the bed but contractions hurt more when I was bent over, so I stayed sitting up. I threw up a few times while sitting on the ball too. I contemplated in my head for while asking Seth what he thought about me getting an epidural so I could sleep for a little bit to give me some energy when it came time to push.
At 7 PM, the nurses changed shifts and I got my midwife back, Roxanne. I was excited to see her and know that she’d be the one to deliver our baby. By this time, I was telling the nurses that my pain scale was an 8 or so, still not knowing how dilated or effaced I was and how much more I had to go. I think it was at this point that I asked Seth what he thought about me getting an epidural (we both so badly wanted a non-medicated birth). I don’t remember what he said, but a few minutes later, Roxanne checked me. Thankfully, she said I was fully dilated and effaced and could start pushing any time! (I do wonder how long I’d been fully dilated and effaced and how much sooner I could have started pushing). I didn't have the urge to push at that moment so I didn't  but shortly after hearing that I could, I did feel the urge. Roxanne left to deliver another baby and the nurses told me that I could still push whenever I felt the need and someone, maybe not Roxanne, would deliver our baby. Shortly after this, my parents got up and left the room on their own and I’m glad that they did. I don’t think I would have had the energy (or the heart) to ask them to leave at that particular moment.
The nurses put up a big bar on the end of the bed for me to put my legs up on and I started pushing. I remember screaming/groaning/yelling quite loudly. I may or may not have screamed something along the lines of “I feel like my vagina is ripping in hallllllllllllf!” By this time, Roxanne had come back and was sitting at the bottom of the delivery bed. I was squeezing Seth’s hand with each contraction and my sister kept getting me a cold rag to put on my head and neck. Roxanne told me to push and that she could see his head. She asked if I wanted to feel it (I didn't I could feel it enough as it was coming out, thankyouverymuch). Sometimes when she told me to push, I wasn't having a contraction so I told her I didn't feel the urge to push. I pushed when my contractions told me to push. I remember Roxanne saying his head was 1/3 out and to keep pushing. I so badly wanted to push because it felt like I was being ripped open with his head right there, but I didn't feel the need to push. It hurts to have a baby head partially out, ready to come out all the way, but just staying put while you wait for another contraction to push. I didn't push more than 10 minutes before he was completely out. After his head came out, it was another push or two and the rest of his body came sliding out. Seth and my sister watched him come out completely.
I’m so so thankful it was Roxanne that delivered him. The midwife that was on duty during the day shift only stopped by my room once. I’m sure she was good and all, but I’m glad it was our midwife that we’ve gotten to know over the last several months and talk to frequently. They immediately put Max on my chest. At this point, Roxanne ran over to the room of the other baby she had just help deliver and delivered that lady’s placenta. When she was done doing that, she came back to my room and delivered my placenta. (She was a busy lady that night!!) That was a really weird feeling…soft and rubbery. I can’t really explain it, but it didn't hurt at all. I didn't want to see the placenta but Roxanne pointed out to Seth and my sister all the parts of it. Seth also got to cut the umbilical cord, which was important to both if us.

A nurse had taken Max by this point and got him a little more cleaned up, put a shirt and diaper on him, gave him required eye drops, vitamin K and an immunization shot while Roxanne and another doctor stitched me up. Yep, I tore a few different places. They gave me a shot to numb me up down there and while getting stitched up didn’t really hurt, the thought of stitches down there creeped me out and I was tensed up, thinking it would hurt.  My sister had gone out to the waiting room and told my parents that he was born and healthy and as soon as I was stitched up, they could come back in.
There was a male nurse that was teaching/helping me breastfeed and get Max latched on. (The nurse offered to take pictures of all of us after he got done helping me breastfeed. He was showing Seth how he could help me breastfeed and massage my boobs…and in all of these nice family photos, Seth’s has a hand on my boob. Haha They’re hilarious to me!!)
They wheeled me down to the room where I’d be sleeping and luckily there was only one other lady in the room. I felt bad for her because she didn’t have any visitors (although she did get a few calls). This was her third child and she was only required to stay one night, but during the day her husband and other two kids didn’t even come visit her. They only came when it was time for her to go home. Seth got to stay late with me that night, after visiting hours had ended, because Max was born late in the evening.

getting his first bath

not a fan of bath time

cleaned up and swaddled! 

he hated his hands in the blankies

sound asleep

so sweet

i don't know how to rotate pictures in here...sorry!

view of mt. rainier from my recovery room!! 

sprawled out on daddy!!! 
The next day, Roxanne came to visit me and see how I was doing. She said that Dr. Le wasn’t scheduled to work since it was a holiday (July 4th and 5th were the holidays for everyone) but he came in just for me to help perform the ECV. I literally wanted to start crying when she told me that. I’m so thankful he came in on his day off to do this for me.
I was so beyond ready to go home, even 24 hours after giving birth. But the hospital has a policy that first time moms have to stay 48 hours. Lame. We didn’t leave the hospital until about 9 pm on Saturday (he was delivered at 8:41 pm on Thursday). I was so ready for fresh air, to enjoy some sunshine and get back to my own bed and house. And to see the dogs (ok, mostly Patrick!!).
This part might be TMI, but I’m putting it in here for my own sake. I honestly have to say that healing from my ripping was the hardest part of the whole thing. I think that’s partly because the pain lasted for several days, whereas the delivery was quick. Each time I peed, it burrrrrned ohhh so bad. It sucked because if I was dehydrated at all, it burned to pee so I’d drink a lot of water. But when I’d drink more water, I’d have to pee more frequently. It was a catch 22 in that sense. They gave me huge ice pads, which were like 18 inches long, to put in my underwear to help with the swelling and those felt awesome. Although they were uncomfortable, they did make me feel better. They also gave me a squirt bottle to squirt on myself and dilute the pee as it came out but that didn’t work as well as they said it would. Whether I used warm or cold water, it still burned like hell. They also gave me some spray pain reliever stuff that worked pretty well. Taking a shower was also painful from the water running down my legs and touching me where I’d been stitched up. And it hurt for about 5 minutes after I’d be done peeing and pulled up my pants and resumed whatever I was doing. The pain lasted for a few days after I was home.
All in all, it really went as well as it possibly could have considering he was breech. I would not change a thing about how everything turned out. If he wasn’t breech and everything would have happened naturally, our birth plan included being able to walk around freely (because I wouldn’t have been hooked up to machines) and I wanted to use a birthing tub to relax.  This would have been awesome (I assume!) considering all my pain was in my lower back. But it is the way it is and contractions really weren't unbearable all natural. 

I would definitely do a natural birth again (whenever that may be!!) and I can only hope that the baby is in the natural, head down position. I want to experience my water breaking and letting contractions happen naturally, at the speed my body wants them to go, and not be 'forced' with pitocin. But if it's another breech baby?! Please please please give me Dr. Le and Roxanne!! :)