An (epic) story of labor and birth…

I wrote this birth story in 2 sittings last week…I’m glad I got it all down so that I can look back over the years and remember just how it all went.  Enjoy!

Today has been exactly one week since Urijah was born.  I don’t know where the time has gone!  However, this story starts quite a few days before last Thursday, when my water unexpectedly broke during my 36th week of pregnancy.  It was early Sunday morning, October 9th, at about 2 am, when I felt a small gush and thought that I had to go to the bathroom.  A minute later I felt another small gush and got myself up and to the bathroom.  Immediately I started thinking “no, no, no, it’s too early”, but at that point it was out of my hands.  My water had indeed broken, so I woke up Scott to tell him, but we went back to sleep since nothing else seemed to be happening.

I called Heather the next morning and told her what was going on, but that I wasn’t having any contractions yet.  We decided to wait and see what happened.  Little did we know that “Wait and see” would turn out to be the mantra that we would repeat to ourselves for the 5 days until Urijah decided to make his appearance.

On Tuesday morning, I felt my first identifiable contractions.  They were sporadic and not very strong, so we went to the birth center for a check in and to come up with a plan.  We all agreed that we were willing to maintain the wait and see approach – we didn’t feel there was any need to go to the hospital even though the hours were ticking away since my water had broken.  The baby sounded good and I felt good, so we wanted to give him as much time on the inside as possible.  Since the risk of infection was a possibility after my water broke, the midwives couldn’t check me to see if I was progressing, so we did a swab to verify that my water broke.  The first swab I did at the center was negative so we thought I was mistaken and it was a false alarm, but a second swab a little while later once we were back at home showed that my water had indeed broken with no question.  User error on the first try?  We’ll never know!

We essentially continued this pattern for the next 2 days…I would have sporadic contractions that would really pick up in the evening and nighttime, and all but completely stop during the day.  They were easy to breathe through, so that’s what I did.  I was running on very little sleep, and on Thursday morning after another sleepless night of stronger contractions that were coming regularly, I called Heather and said I needed to come in.  I was tired and starting to feel anxious and she agreed it might be time to head in, so we did.  We got settled into the room and tried to get some rest.  The contractions came and went and Scott and I managed to get a bit of sleep on and off.  Heather continued to monitor the baby and me throughout, and we were fine.  Then the contractions stopped…again!  Around 2:00pm, we decided to head home, although we were hopeful enough that we left our stuff in the room.  I wanted to have that baby!  I couldn’t handle any more waiting around.  As it turned out, I didn’t really have to.

I napped at home for 2 hours and woke myself up around 5pm moaning through some pretty strong contractions.  I leaned by the side of the bed for a few of them, but had to go downstairs to get Scott to help me though them, as they were starting to come fast and hard.  These contractions felt absolutely different than any I had felt so far.  At 6:00, I was shivering and knew this was it – I called Heather and told her what was going on, and she said she would call Sandra and meet us at the birth center.  Scott was concerned that I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast and I would need some energy for what was to come, so we loaded up and got into the car, thinking we would swing by Subway to get some food just in case I would manage to eat.  Ha.  It was quickly evident that was not going to happen – I was feeling the urge to push while we were about halfway there!  We got the birth center and I’m sure I made quite an impression on the Hypnobirthing class that was sitting in the family room waiting for their class to start, as Scott helped me back to our room.

Heather and Sandra did some quick assessments and they could tell – this was it.  They starting filling up the birthing pool and I leaned over the birthing ball that was on the bed, as the contractions came.  I told Heather and Sandra that I needed to push, and they assured me I could go ahead!  Scott stood behind me and applied counter-pressure to my lower back during each contraction, which helped so much.  At this point, I started to feel scared – this was unlike anything I had felt before, and I could feel the panic starting to take over.  I think I started to make high pitched noises during the contractions and Heather reminded me to make deep, low noises and Scott reminded me to relax my jaw and even those two small things made such a difference.  It gave me a sense of control over what was going on, even though my body was really in control – I just had to go along and let it do what it knew was best.

When the pool was full, Scott and I both got in the water and it was THE best feeling ever.  The water was so warm and so soothing and immediately helped me to relax.  I changed positions in the water several times trying to find which one felt the best and while I stayed on my knees for a time, I figured out pretty soon that my legs were too tired to maintain that.

Finally, Scott and I settled into a position with him behind me and me reclining between his legs, which was so wonderful as he could keep whispering in my ear to relax and telling me how great I was doing.  Heather and Sandra monitored the baby’s heart rate as contractions came and went and I began to calm down and just concentrate on the moment and relax as much as possible – I didn’t have any space in my mind to spare anticipating the next contraction.  Heather knew just what to say during and after each surge – she told me when to push more and longer, she told me how fantastic each push was and what good progress I was making each time, and when I was making nervous comments about the pain, she reminded me that yes, it does hurt, but that it’s not bad and that I didn’t need to be scared of it…I respond really well to positive reinforcement, so this was just what I needed to hear.

I pushed from about 7:00pm-10:52pm when Urijah came into the world.  He made his appearance with the cord wrapped around his neck and his little hand up next to his cheek, and I caught a glimpse of his face under the water when only his head was out and all I wanted was for the rest of him to come OUT! Heather unwrapped the cord and maneuvered his arm and the next thing I was aware of was there was a baby on my chest and Heather and Sandra telling Scott and I to talk to him while they rubbed him with a towel and worked on getting him to announce himself.

What a feeling!  I said to Scott, “Can you believe this!?”  Scott didn’t say much at the time, but later he told me he was overcome with emotion, and wasn’t able to speak without losing it totally.  We enjoyed a few minutes in the birth pool snuggled together, but since Urijah was so small, we needed to be concerned about his temperature, so we all moved to the bed to get to know each other and get him warmed up on my chest, and for me to deliver the placenta which seriously, felt so good!  Scott cut the cord once it was done pulsing, and after a while, Heather stitched me up and we worked on some breastfeeding with Sandra’s help, and then Baby U got the full once-over and we learned that our baby boy was 5 lbs 15 ounces and 20.5 inches long!

I am so proud of my birthing experience and what I was able to accomplish.  This being my first baby, I obviously didn’t know what to expect pain-wise.  I must say, even during the contractions, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I knew I could handle it.  They were manageable and even though I was so tired, my body kicked in during each surge and it felt like a rocket boost of energy that made each push so much more effective.  I have such a respect for my body and what it was able to do….near the end of the pushing my contractions had really slowed down, and I was able to relax so much between them that Scott told me I fell asleep several times!  Who would have thought?!

The whole long labor was not anything like I anticipated, and definitely lasted a lot longer than I would have chosen, but I believe that my body knew just what it was doing and Urijah got 5 extra days in utero because we were patient and willing to trust my body and our midwives.  Heather and Sandra both took excellent care of us, and I could not have asked for more supportive and intuitive caregivers during the entire process.  We never felt rushed or pressured, and they were absolutely patient and calm during all of the waiting – always encouraging us and reassuring us.  The delivery was just what we had hoped for – calm and peaceful and intimate and Scott and I will forever be grateful that they were there to guide us and share in the birth of our baby.

Milk…it does a body good.

So…Urijah is now 10 days old and we are still working to get more and more milk into that little body.  We’re on a pretty regimented schedule of feeding and pumping, and supplementing…it’s draining and time consuming, but I’m hoping it will do the trick and put some weight on his frame and give my body the clues it needs to START MAKING MORE MILK.

We will forever be indebted to my sister Lisa who has been pumping her own breast milk and FedExing it to us, so that we can supplement with it, rather than formula. As of right now, I’m feeding Urijah for about 15 minutes on each breast, and then Scott gives him a bottle of about 30 ml of Lisa’s milk and my pumped milk combined.  I am pumping about an hour and a half after each feeding session, and am getting about 15 mls total each time – not a whole lot, but better than before.  We’re trying to wake him up to eat every 3 hours.  He’s a lazy nurser, though, and likes to just settle in and fall asleep.  Maybe I should take that as a complement that he finds me soothing?

Aside from the feeding challenges, he’s just amazing.  I am constantly staring at his face and thinking that I can’t believe he came out so perfect.  I can’t stop myself from kissing his cheeks every single time I pick him up, and peppering his scrawny legs and belly with kisses every time I change his diaper.  His has very light downy hair on his back and shoulders, and along his jawline, his feet and hands are big for his body and his fingers and toes are long!  He looks just like Scott and even has his toenails.   I love when he has those little gas smiles…I know he’s not actually smiling, yet, but it makes me so happy to see, regardless.

Speaking of Scott – he has been so amazing through all of these first days.  He has handled so many of the phone calls and scheduling, and meals, and laundry and making sure I have water and that I am following all the activity restrictions the midwives gave me.  He has been so encouraging during my doubtful moments and the crying jags (mine, not the baby’s) and held and soothed Urijah during both of the blood draws he’s had to endure so far.  (One for the newborn heel prick and one to check his bilirubin levels.  Bilirubin came back ok.)  He’s given every bottle and changes his share of diapers.  I couldn’t feel more loved or taken care of.  Especially since my brain has not been functioning very well…I am depending on him to think for both of us until I can return to my normal cognizant state.

So, we’re taking it one day at a time.  We’re hanging in there.  We’re loving this baby a little more each day.  Even when poop gets on our hands.



Urijah James King



5lbs and 15oz

20 1/2 inches long

I have a crazy birth story to share, but that will have to wait a bit, as we sort of have our hands full right now!  Urijah and I are both doing well, and recovering from a very long week.  He’s pretty much the cutest baby ever (and the spitting image of Scott, if you ask me)  and his head smells amazing.  🙂

Guess I can get rid of that pregnancy ticker that still says I have 20 days to go.  Ha!

Tiny baby!

I will update things as soon as I can.  Once we get the hang of what we’re doing!

*No more weeks pregnant, and Urijah is about 43 hours old.*


And here we go!

Just a quick post to say that my water broke and now we are just waiting for things to get going!  Not much to report yet, but I’ll let you all know when he’s here, for sure!


36 weeks!

What’s going on this week:

Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she’s in a head-down position. But if she isn’t, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an “external cephalic version,” which is a fancy way of saying she’ll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

My Update:

Due Date: November 4, 2011 –  28 days to go!

Weight Gain: honestly, I haven’t checked in a while.  I have my next appt on Tuesday, we’ll know for sure then!

Symptoms:  Sciatica.  Every day for the last 5 or 6 days.  It kind of sucks.  And the fatigue has really kicked in…everyday at about 2:30, I just want to crash out.

Cravings/Aversions:  Nope.

Sleep: Sleep is starting to make a downward spiral…between waking up 4-5 times a night to pee, and waking up fully every time I need to change position, and Scott having to poke me or wake me up when the snoring gets going a couple times a night, I’m not getting a lot of consecutive hours of sleep.  (I don’t think he is either, unfortunately.) Hopefully this is preparing me for the nighttime waking up that is to come…I’m usually such a great sleeper and one of my big fears about new motherhood has been the lack of sleep.  I don’t really function very well when I don’t sleep…it makes me cranky and spacey.  Maybe my body is anticipating that and is getting adjusted.

I am loving:  The little stockpile of meals I’ve been working on for after the baby is here.  I made a list of meals and snacks I wanted to have on hand for some quick dinners and breakfasts, and I’ve been working my way through getting them all prepped and into the freezer this week.  It makes me happy knowing they are there for us, and that Scott or I will just need to heat up the oven and pop one in for a  quick dinner.  I made a full batch of blueberry muffins and another one of pumpkin muffins, as well, and  I’m trying really hard to forget they are there for now.  Those pumpkin muffins are calling my name!

I miss:  Being able to do everything I want to when I want to.  Taking it easy is harder than I thought it would be.  It makes me feel guilty to be sitting on the couch reading or watching tv when Scott gets home from work, even though I know it’s the best thing for me right now, and really, it’s all that I’ve got the energy for by that time of day.

Movement:  Good…I’ve been trying to catch a good video of one of the times when he is moving around a lot, but the little stinker seems to know exactly when I start recording and stops moving.  Then I stop recording and he starts up again.  And so on.  Over and over.  We’re at an impasse.

Nursery progress:  Not much change since last week.

Exercise:  Does changing positions in bed at night count?  It should.

Looking forward to:  Either when the baby changes position or comes out so the sciatica goes away.  Only to be replaced by other aches and pains, I’m sure.  🙂

Belly Shot: we totally missed the week 35 picture.  So we’ll just have to do without that one, but we took a week 36 yesterday, so as soon as Scott dumps his card, I’ll post it!

It’s so hard to say goodbye…

Well, the time has come my friends.  I had hoped to avoid this, if at all possible, but it was becoming increasingly obvious that the situation was deteriorating, and I needed to take action.  So, for 4 days I tried – everything I could think of!  Water, soap, olive oil, ice cubes, air conditioning…nothing worked.  My engagement ring was stuck and stuck tight.  I was having visions of my finger tip turning blue and having to go to the hospital to have them cut it off.  What if I gained another 10 pounds before this baby came?!  There was no room for that! It was already leaving an indention on my finger.

But yesterday, the stars aligned and something went right, and I noticed while I was in the shower that the ring felt a *bit* looser.  So I gave it another try.  And I tried and tried and pulled and flexed and rotated, and FINALLY, off it came. Thankfully, my wedding band is a half size larger than my engagement ring, so it still is fine to stay on for the duration. (I hope!)

I’m sad to have to take off my ring, though.  It was sort of like my badge of honor that I had been able to keep it on this long – I didn’t want to give it up.  But, practicality (and panic) won out.

In other news, it was not one bit hard AT ALL to say goodbye to the heinous bathroom wallpaper that Scott and I have lived with for the last, what, 7 years that we’ve lived in this house?

This picture was taken prior to purchasing the house.

Scott is nesting hardcore and our master bathroom is now his current project to check off the list before the baby comes.  All that floral-vomit wallpaper came down and then he had to texture the walls and paint everything, and then new flooring will go down in there, too, along with all new hardware and fixtures, etc.   It has meant a very late night every night this week for him, and since I can’t really help out too much or be enclosed in that small area with all the paint fumes, I’ve gotten a ton of reading done in the evenings while he’s been working.  (Book tangent: I just finished The Hunger Games Trilogy and it was really quite good.  I’m not usually into Young Adolescent reading, but I’d heard such good things about the books, I couldn’t resist.  The books were really easy to read, so they didn’t take me long, but the story was very imaginative (albeit mostly depressing and a horrifying look at government gone wrong) and the characters were ones that you feel like you’re really friends with by the time you are done.  We had a connection.  Anyhow – I recommend the books.  Read ’em.)

And really, the sitting down and just reading has probably been the best thing for me, since I’ve had some sciatica really kick in the last several days and last night was the worst so far.  I don’t notice it when I am sitting down, but as soon as I stand up or take some steps, yep – there is is.  Only on my right side, thankfully, but still, it isn’t pleasant, and so I was fine last night to mostly sit in a comfy chair and not move for most of the evening.

Hopefully something shifts soon and the pain goes away, but I’m mostly preparing myself for just dealing with it until the baby is out, which from all the books I’ve read, is the only surefire way to make it stop hurting.  And since today the countdown has reached 29 days to go, I don’t have too much longer to wait!  (Yeah, I know he can, and likely will be, late, but don’t you burst my bubble!)

29 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Picture Round-Up

It really feels like everyone was just here a minute ago, but really – it’s already been a  week since the last of the family left after the Great Baby Shower Weekend.  It was a great visit, and while chaotic at times, it makes me even more aware of how fantastic my family is, and how truly excited and happy everyone is about this baby.  The family time was fun, the baby shower was great and my feet only barely swelled up one time during it all!

My mom is a picture taking machine, which comes in really handy for a time like this – even though we all grumble while she’s snapping shots, I’m always glad we have them later on.

Lisa and Ada got into town first (Lisa and I may have both cried when we saw each other at the airport.  We’re calling it pregnancy hormones for me and postpartum hormones for her.  Ada, the BABY, was the only one who managed to hold it together emotionally). Mom and Dad arrived a couple hours later.  Ada wowed everyone with her ability to sit up totally unassisted at only 4.5 months!  And she’s been doing it for weeks now. But she still needed the pillow fortress for the occasional topple-over, which was, really, so hilarious every time it happened.

Reading with Gram. Look at those rubber-band wrists!

This trip was extra special since Dad came – it was a good opportunity to see all three girls, one son-in-law, 3 granddaughters and one great-grandson all at one time, so he couldn’t pass it up.  He was a hit!

On Saturday morning Ali, Grace, Meredith and Tripp arrived and we had some good visiting time around the house.  With Tripp being quite mobile this visit, it was a good chance to get a baby’s-eye-view of what things drew his attention that Scott and I will eventually need to relocate out of reach once our little one reaches the investigating stage.  It was sort of like a baby-proofing home inspector!

Tripp and Ada's first meeting

The Oklahoma bunch

Later that afternoon though, I had a friend’s baby shower to go to for a bit, and it actually worked out perfectly, since my mom and sisters and nieces wanted to do a little shopping without me present, so we left Dad in Scott and ESPN’s capable hands, and the girls headed out to spend money and I headed out to drink punch and watch someone else open tons of baby presents.

At this time, I would like to state for the record, that apparently I excel at baby shower games.  Maybe it’s my one true calling in life. (If that’s the case, though, I need to find a lot more friends that are having babies and baby showers, because a true talent is a terrible thing to waste.)  Anyhow, I won the game at the Saturday shower (and at my own shower the next day!), and if I can manage at some point to get a copy of the story I wrote that won the game, I will post it here for you all to enjoy.  The game was a take on the old standby of writing down some advice tidbits for the new parents-to-be, and you had to use as many candy bar/candy names in your advice as you could.  They provided the list of candy names to choose from, and I think I used about 23 or 25…something like that.  Enough to make me the winner – and enough to prompt them to tell me to read my advice out loud in front of the whole shower, which made me start to sweat and made my throat close up a little bit, so that I had to keep swallowing in order to finish, and I KNOW without even looking, that my cheeks were probably bright pink by the time I was done.   I’m such a dork.  Not a fan of speaking in front of groups, that’s for sure.

After the shower on Saturday - am I indicating how wide I am? I don't know.

A friend of mine that was supposed to come to the shower on Sunday ended up not being able to make it due to a really bad sickness, and sadly that also meant no baby shower cake, since she had offered to bring it.  I was sad to not have her there, and I know she was so upset to miss the shower and to not be able to give me the cake, but thankfully I have a professional baker for a sister and she took control of the situation on Saturday and whipped up the cutest baby shower cake in no time at all!  Both Scott and I just stared at her icing job and couldn’t believe that she got it so smooth so quickly – we’re used to my cakes, where I ice and ice forever and it NEVER comes out like that.  We were impressed, to say the least.

The finished product - Welcome Baby Boy!

Not my most flattering angle, but it was a mid-cake decorating sisters moment. You can see the piping bag in Lisa's hands!

On Sunday it was baby shower time!!  Scott’s parents drove up and we left Jim and Dad and Scott at home and all the girls (and Tripp) headed out to the shower.  I can’t say thank you enough to Kristi and Elizabeth for hosting and to Martha for welcoming us all into her home.  It was a great shower and we had a blast!

(Sorry – a lot of the shower pics are blurry, but they are the only one we’ve got!)

My lovely hostesses!

Ali, (Ada), Mom, Me, Lilly, and Elizabeth.

Look at all that loot! Thanks everyone!

There was lime sherbet punch (YUM) and I do believe that Kristi said that every single food item they served was vegan, expect for one, which was so great – Lisa was so excited!  We ate and had cake and opened presents, and played a word scramble game (winner winner chicken dinner!) and just sat around and chatted.  A good time was most definitely had.

On Monday, Mom and Dad and the Oklahoma crew all left to go home – but Lisa and Ada and I had one more day to pal around.  We took advantage of the time and finally managed to satisfy the sno-cone shaped emptiness in our tummies (Tiger’s Blood for Lisa and Lemon-Lime for me, in case you were curious) and checked out a thrift store in town and took a nice long, leisurely stroll through the BabyEarth retail store.

On Tuesday afternoon, the house felt SO empty!  But Scott and I both know that now it’s only a matter of weeks until the house never feels empty again, so we will enjoy it while we’ve got it!


The *almost done* nursery reveal!

Last night we hit a milestone!  I think I had my very first false labor contractions.  Since I am still currently pregnant at this moment, I feel pretty confident saying it was false labor.  Everything started right after we had eaten dinner last night and I started to feel really nauseous and yucky.  I was sitting on the couch and I tried changing positions and moving around, but I just felt so gross.  I thought at first that it was dinner not just sitting well, but the baby was being very active and it didn’t feel like normal nausea.  I don’t know how to explain it other than that.  Eventually I just sat cross-legged on the couch and closed my eyes and focused on my breathing, and it lasted about 10 more  minutes and then sort of started to abate.  So we went upstairs to watch a movie and while I still wasn’t feeling great, the nausea definitely wasn’t as bad.  Until I noticed that I was having some cramping going on that was lasting about 45 seconds-1 minute and then subsiding, and I would feel fine and then in another minute it would kick in again.  It took about an hour or so of this on and off until my brain actually kicked in that something was going on and was aware that it was something unusual.  I went to the bathroom and started drinking some water and after about another 20 minutes or so, it stopped altogether.  The cramping was not very painful and I was fine watching the movie, but I was surprised at how active the baby was being during all of it.  I wasn’t expecting to feel all of that movement, but I guess if he was being squeezed in there, it makes sense. Today I feel totally back to normal, and Lisa suggested I call and tell my midwives that it happened, just so they are aware, but other than that, I guess it is par for the course at this point.  (It did freak both Scott and I out for a bit there, though.  Especially that part when I told Scott to pause the movie and I just blurted out “I think I’m having  contractions.  But I’m not sure.”)

OK – on to the nursery!  So, like I mentioned already, we still have more stuff that we (I) want to do to the baby’s room (rug, side table by the glider, bookshelf, closet organizers shelf-thingy, more wall decor, etc), but here are the basics as it was last week!

Crib! Glider! Ottoman! Really cute little stuffed bluebird.

You can see in the slightly open closet door that there is one more grey tissue-poof hanging in there – I think I want to hang it on the other side of the crib – in that little space between the crib and closet.

Another view so you can see my poofs all hung up. And my Ikea curtains!

Also, I made that blanket that’s draped on the glider – but don’t look too closely, as it is really poorly done.  I don’t mind though, and the baby won’t know, so we’re all good.

Dresser/changing area

You can see my little bird picture on the wall in this shot, too.  The picture, that along with the Ikea lamp, sort of started the whole room ‘theme’.

Up close!

Lamp shelf with pig variety

Taa-daa!  Scott really cranked this one out.  Luckily the wall color was already in place – I just had to do some touch ups, and paint the baseboards, but other than that, it was all him, including all furniture assembly.  As usual, his work is top notch, and I couldn’t be happier!