Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Quincy's Birth Story, Part II

       After a day off at home together, on Monday Jon returned to work for his regular 48 hour shift.  We approached his absence with some trepidation. Me more than him, I'm sure. Our "going into labor" plan was pretty rough around the edges. We had a bag halfway packed. We'd be phoning my parents (who were 3 hours away) and they'd be heading up to help, but other then that we didn't know how things would play out. Being one week out from our due date, and because of my earlier contractions we figured I could pop at anytime. Thankfully, baby held off for the 48 hours, but we had one more immediate hurdle. After Jon's shift ended on Wednesday he stayed in Reno to take a test for his department. That meant that baby needed to stay put for a few more hours.
       That morning I could feel the weight of the baby in me. I felt constant pressure on my bladder. I think I may have gone to the restroom twenty-five times that day. In addition, pain was creeping its way across my lower back. Uh-oh. I was determined to hold that baby in until Jon completed his test at around 3:00pm. I opted for sitting and molding play-doh with Nolan instead of doing many chores. We read lots of books. When Nolan napped, I napped. We knew that Jon wouldn't be able to answer his phone for the hours that he was testing, so we hoped for the best. Finally, at 3 o'clock Jon called. He was on his way home. Phew. We were just four days away from my due date now, and had dodged another bullet.
       Jon walked in the door just after 4 o'clock. He noticed that I had done my hair. I reminded him that I was going out that night for my "Mommy Shower". My closest friends were getting together at a nail salon for manicures and pedicures, appetizers and drinks. I knew it would probably be my last outing for a while. We knew we were cutting it close with the date of the shower, but it looks like we had made it. Jon greeted me with a "That's right. I totally forgot. It's guys night too!" What? Apparently the husbands had decided to get together for dinner and drinks with the kiddos, while we were all at the nail salon. I knew getting out of the house by myself was too good to be true. Instead, we rushed around getting Nolan ready and Jon changed so that we could head out to my Mommy Shower and what was now also guys night. Awesome.
       I dropped Jon and Nolan off at our friends house and I headed to the nail shop. For the next two hours I got to catch up, put my feet up- literally, eat and was pampered by generous gifts from our friends. It. Was. Awesome. And it ended way too quickly. We loaded up our cars and stood in the parking lot joking. Maybe the foot massage during my pedicure would put me into labor (I had heard several times that there are pressure points in your feet that can cause someone to go into labor). Maybe all of the sugar in that cupcake I just devoured would do it. Maybe the next time I saw all the girls, I would have a baby in my arms. Picture me throwing my head back and laughing.
Silly me failed to have my camera at hand that night, 
but thankfully a friend snapped some of these on my phone. 
Very much wishing I had more to capture the great night!
Our friends were so generous!

       With my car freshly loaded with lots of diapers and gifts, several of the girls and I headed to Lulana and Matt's house to collect the husbands and kids. Walking in the door, it was apparent the guys enjoyed their night just as much as I did (insert image of Jon with a beer in his hand here). Nolan greeted me with open arms, demanded to be lifted up and I obliged. I sat down in a very comfortable over sized leather chair to rest my heavy belly and Nolan bounded onto my lap. The house was bustling. Nolan was one of three kiddos under the age of three. Pizza boxes littered the counter. A basketball game played out on the television. And then, I felt something. A sharp cramp spread across my lower abdomen. Ignore that, just ignore that, I thought. Ignorance is bliss, right? A few minutes later, in that busy house with our closest friends I felt a wave of cramps rise up again. I attempted to ignore those as well, but I knew I was already pushing my luck with the signs that I had been having. I looked over at Jon, letting him know that it was time to go (he is pretty good at ignoring the looks that I usually give him). His response included something about my being "intense." Always the sensitive husband that Johnny.  From my previous night of cramping, he was skeptical of the cramps I was feeling. By the third surge of pain that rose up, I knew I wanted to get home. It was about 8:00pm.
       Matt & Lulana's house was just about five minutes from the hospital, and probably less then a mile as the crow flies. Jon asked if I wanted to go straight to the hospital now to get checked. Knowing that labor would only be in the early stages and we didn't have our hospital bag in the car, we opted instead for the thirty minute drive in the other direction, towards our house. After prodding Jon a bit, and experiencing some more discomfort, we were loaded into our car. I remember wanting my sweat pants, and to be laying in my bed. On the thirty minute drive home, I began paying attention to my contractions. I experienced four contractions on the drive, all about seven minutes apart.
       At home, trusty Jon continued to doubt me a bit (this from the man that thought we would still be going to a friends BBQ after I had been in labor at home for four hours with Nolan). While I got comfortable in bed and continued to track my contractions, Jon got Nolan to bed, fed the animals, changed the litter box, and did about ten other things on our "going into labor list".  It was about 9:00pm. Eventually he made his way into bed with me, where we timed my contractions together. They were bearable. I was in my own bed. And Jon and I rarely had QT time together, so it was kinda fun. Except for the whole pain aspect. An hour and a half later they continued. It was probably time to call my parents.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quincy's Birth Story, Part I

       Pregnancy number two was certainly a different experience then the first time around. We became pregnant in the midst of a crazy year, Jon was in school full time and balancing a new job, we were busy chasing a toddler, and attempting to buy a home. This time around there was no time for exercising, we opted to keep the gender a mystery, didn't attempt to put together a nursery, couldn't settle on a name, forgot to take many pics of the belly and my nesting instinct didn't kick in until a month before I was due. I guess I should have known from the difference in the pregnancy that the labor would be equally as different.
First Trimester
       We were originally given a due date of January 27th. After a later ultrasound they updated our due date to be January 30th. As our pregnancy progressed, we were very blessed to learn that we were carrying a healthy baby but also discovered that the timing of our due date was a bit Crazy with a capital C. As Jon worked his way through his paramedic program, we learned more about his finishing dates and discovered that he would be finishing his coursework right around January 16th. Well, that sounded good to us. It gave us a teeny cushion of time in case the baby came early (a la Nolan, who was ten days early). As the baby's impending arrival grew closer, we learned of several more important dates, circling right around D day- Paramedic skills testing dates, Paramedic National Registry testing dates, Paramedic graduation, not to mention the regular fire department schedule and shifts that Jon would be working. To say I had a little bit of timing anxiety would be an understatement.
       Perhaps I should add one little side note. In early October, after searching and searching, Jon and I found a house to purchase that met lots of our needs and wants. Our offer on the home was accepted October 12th, and the waiting game then began. Being a short sale, we were expecting a wait of 3-4 months before hopefully closing on the property. Just before Christmas, after waiting in escrow for 2 months, we got some unexpected news on the house. A pipe had burst in the unheated vacant house, flooding the kitchen and sitting unnoticed for gosh-knows-how-long.When we want to inspect the home, it was a sight for sore eyes.
Oh that? That's just a hole in the kitchen ceiling. 
When Jon reached up to touch it, the drywall crumbled in his hand.

It's hard to tell below, but all of the cabinetry had warped due to the water.
No big deal. 
Just one of the main structural beams in the house damaged and cracked by water.
All of the sudden, it looked like we wouldn't be moving into a new home before the baby arrived.

       With this pregnancy, I certainly wasn't in the shape I was in while carrying Nolan. I gained a few more pounds, was experiencing more aches and pains, and was tossing and turning a lot at night. Maybe my memory was playing tricks on me, but I remember breezing through my first pregnancy. Originally, I planned for Friday January 25th to be my final day of work, but as my body grew bigger I realized that that might be pushing it a bit much, so I opted to end work one week earlier. Glad. I. Did.
38 Weeks and Counting
       On Wednesday January 16th, Jon worked his final paramedic internship shift on an ambulance. It was a day we had been counting down to, and looking forward to for months. No more 4:30am wake up calls, no more 12 hour shifts and long commutes, and no more single mom duties for me. On Friday the 18th, I finished up at work around noon and headed home, where Jon and I promptly took a three hour nap. I was no fool, I wanted to stockpile sleep like it was going out of style. The waiting game had begun.
       The next day Jon was treated to a 19 hour workday. He was still paying back much needed shift trades that he had needed while in school, so the sooner he got them knocked out, the better. He left me his captains cell phone number and his stations number, just in case he didn't pick up my call. We were hoping I wouldn't need to use any of them.  With Jon at work, Nolan and I began what will be six months of stay-at-home time.
       Jon phoned me at about 8pm letting me know that he was on his way home. It was soon there after, that some cramping started. "Noooooooo!" I thought. We weren't ready. There were closets that still needed cleaning. Bags that needed donating. I still needed more sleep. Crap. When Jon walked in the door 45 minutes later, the cramps continued. I had to break the news to him; he who had already been up since 3:30 that morning. His response was calm. Just as with Nolan, he denied that I was going into labor, and asked if I just "needed to use the bathroom." "No Jon, I think I have an idea of labor pain vs. needing to poop." We laid in bed, turned out the lights and I willed for the cramping to go away. Two hours later, with the pain continuing, I contemplated phoning my parents to let them know that labor was starting. We decided to wait a little while longer. A few hours later I woke up to realize that at some point they had subsided and I had fallen asleep. Phew...we had a bit more time.