Categories for

April 16, 2019 2:15 pm

Allergies

A couple of months ago, Thora had an eczema flare-up that I felt like I couldn’t get rid of. Most of her flare-ups make her legs patchy and red for a few weeks and then it goes away. This one wasn’t going away, so we took her to her doctor and got some recommendations, but I also brought up possibly doing allergy testing.

She had a bad reaction to a kiwi last fall (vomiting, red mouth/chin, a hive next to her mouth) that we treated at home with Benadryl, but it did freak me out because she’d had kiwis before with no visible ill effects. Given the kiwi incident and the current eczema problem, I asked if it would make sense to do the allergy test. Her doctor agreed, and we made an appointment for a blood draw.

IgE Test

Thora handled the blood draw like a champ – I don’t even think she blinked when the needle went in. A few days later, I went to meet with her doctor to get the results.

They were devastating.

The test was an Immunoglobulin E (IgE) test that looks at 22 common foods, and she showed reactions to over half of them:

Allergy panel results showing multiple food allergies

Clam, Corn, Garlic, Pea, Mustard, Orange, Peanut, Potato, Rice, Shrimp, Tomato, Walnut, Wheat, and Soy

Additionally, her IgE number, which according to the paper should be between 0 and 60? It was 1131.

Her doctor (Dr. M) was incredibly sympathetic and advised us to eliminate the foods she showed responses to from her diet and to feed her the “safe” items on the list. That said, she acknowledged it was incredibly restrictive and difficult and said that while she could counsel us on what to feed Thora, she would have to Google it first. I asked for referrals for people who would know, and we agreed on sending us to a local allergy clinic and a nutritionist.

Dr. M let me know that the lab still had a bit of Thora’s blood left on which we could run additional tests. We agreed to test for coconuts and almonds because if she can’t have wheat, potato, or rice, those are the alternative flours she could potentially have. Plus, she drinks almond milk nearly every day since we already avoid dairy for her.

(Weirdly, her IgE test showed she was not allergic to dairy, so it’s definitely a sensitivity versus a true allergy.)

Dr. M’s office called me back later that day to tell me she tested positive to coconuts and almonds as well. By that point I had used up all my devastation and panic and I limply agreed to avoid those as well and hung up.

Allergy Clinic

It took two weeks to get in to the allergy clinic, during which we fed Thora an incredibly limited diet of meats, vegetables, and fruits, and cooked everything from scratch. We had a really hard time finding any prepared foods that would be safe for her given the sheer number of foods to avoid.

I wasn’t sure what the visit to the allergy clinic would entail, and the doctor we got was… not my favorite.

She seemed unclear why we were even there, and kept interrupting and talking over me when I tried to explain. She was incredibly dismissive about our concerns, declared Thora’s eczema as “not that bad” without doing an examination on her or even looking at her legs which are always the worst, vehemently disagreed with our decision to meet with a nutritionist (“No, no, no. That’s… Ugh. You don’t need that.”) and dropped her arms down and her head back in annoyance when we mentioned the phrase “gut health” within the context of Thora’s high IgE number. She also seemed to not believe that Thora could have a sensitivity to dairy even though she didn’t test as allergic and sternly told us that strictly avoiding foods was how you make allergies worse. It really felt like she thought we were enormous idiots for eliminating the foods she tested positive to on the IgE test.

The allergist also had zero concerns about Thora’s high IgE number and told us we could give her some Zyrtec if she’s itchy but otherwise feed her whatever we want.

However, she did agree to do the skin prick test to confirm/deny her allergies to many of the foods on the initial list, plus dust mites, cats, and dogs.

Thora showed as allergic to LITERALLY ZERO of the items.

Skin prick test showing no allergies
Not allergic to corn, egg whites, egg yolks, milk, peanuts, soy, tomato, wheat, almond, hazelnuts, walnuts, potatoes, or bananas according to the skin prick test.

It’s hard to describe how completely bewildering this was. It seemed to validate the allergy clinic doctor’s (perceived) opinion that we were bananas for even showing up there, and completely invalidated Dr. M’s advice to avoid those foods.

The allergist’s parting words were basically “forget the blood test, feed her all the foods.” The only thing she did seem concerned about was Thora’s reaction to the kiwi last fall, and she wanted to bring us back in at the end of summer to do a skin prick test for kiwis in addition to an Oral Food Challenge where they feed the kid the food they’re supposedly allergic to and see what happens. That way, we know for sure that she’s allergic before she starts school and we can make sure she has an EpiPen in case she needs it.

We left that appointment even more confused than when we went in. I was obviously incredibly relieved that she didn’t seem to have a skin reaction to any of the foods the blood test said she was “allergic” to, but… why the disparity? Is she allergic or is she not?

Nutritionist

Meeting with the nutritionist was so helpful. She laid out the science behind the different kinds of allergy tests and the antibodies the tests are looking for. She also described the concept of “leaky gut” and how that can relate to allergies and Thora’s high IgE number.

Her take was that the IgE test results are (more or less) a symptom of a larger gut health problem for Thora. If her guts were healthy and not-leaky, those IgE antibodies wouldn’t be able to enter her bloodstream to create that high number. Because her guts and intestinal flora have been damaged somehow (possibly through antibiotic use?), they’re spilling this stuff into her bloodstream which is causing the eczema and the alarming IgE test. This also helps explain why her skin prick test showed negative to all these items – she has antibodies for them in her bloodstream, but they haven’t risen to the level that they cause an obvious histamine reaction on her skin.

We made a plan that includes gut-friendly foods like bone broth, good meats, and organic fruits and vegetables, and does not include GMOs, corn, dairy, or wheat. It feels hard but do-able, unlike her initial elimination diet! We are also adding in probiotics, vitamins A, D, E, and K, and I think some digestive enzymes though we haven’t received those yet. She said we should see results within about a month – kids’ tissues heal quickly so she’d be surprised if it took longer than that.

I felt so much better after meeting with the nutritionist! I am still somewhat irritated that Thora’s doctor treated the IgE test like it was gospel without explaining more of the science behind it.

For instance, there was no indication to me that those test results could change in the future OR that simply because she has antibodies, it doesn’t mean we have to, like, clear the house of those things. I was already envisioning changing Thora’s shampoo and conditioner and our bathroom cleaner because they’re formulated with coconuts, and not letting her play with Play-Doh because it contains wheat. Those things are still fine for her, but that was definitely not clear to me from that initial meeting.

It also helped explain several things, like why she had never had an ear infection until about the last 18 months, and why she got a UTI right before her fourth birthday, and why she always seems to have a cold. Her body’s immune system is so preoccupied with this leaky gut issue and creating antibodies that it probably doesn’t have anything left to fight off basic infections.

I am also incredibly irritated at the allergist and her dismissive attitude. Even if she felt we didn’t need to be there, EXPLAIN WHY and don’t make us feel stupid for being worried about an alarming test result and trying our best to help our daughter.

We are still in the thick of things and haven’t started the enzymes or the probiotics yet (they have yet to arrive in the mail!) but I’m glad we have a plan going forward! Here’s hoping it helps her eczema and her overall health.

Comments Off on Allergies

January 1, 2016 11:57 pm

First

A lot has been going on these past few months!

Wesley started Kindergarten and it’s been so fun seeing all the schoolwork he brings home. Over the course of a couple months, I read the first three Harry Potter books to him for his bedtime stories and gosh, is there anything better than sharing interests with your kids? He is obsessed with all things HP and listens to wizard rock constantly – I find papers all over the house with song lyrics he’s written down. 

I maaaaay have let him know that the west coast Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens this spring and now we’re both dying to go. 

Thora requires constant vigilance. She made it onto our roof this summer while we were installing a drip edge. Daniel had his back turned for approximately 45 seconds and she scaled the ladder, wiggled through the rungs and then just crouched up there until Daniel heard her shoes squeaking on the metal and went up to retrieve her. 

At a few days shy of 20 months, she still doesn’t put herself to sleep so we rock her to sleep in the Tula for her nap and at bedtime. She loves putting on her own socks and shoes, brushing her teeth, and getting into trouble.

She plays a game where she says “I’m mommy” and I say, “no, I’m the mommy!” and she says “ah-I’m da mommy” and so on. (It’s way funnier than it sounds.)

She loooooves Wesley and calls him “Weh-wee” and they usually get along really well until she shouts at him or something and he gets his feelings hurt. He is fantastic with her and is always happy to help out. 

She doesn’t sleep through the night yet so sometimes we’ll try to stick her in with Wesley when she wakes up. He volunteered the idea and reported back that he “tried to snuggle with her but she just wanted to sleep in the crack” which says a lot about them both, I think. 

She’s still allergic to dairy – it’s not an anaphylactic thing (yet?) but she gets a full body rash if she eats anything with cheese or milk or butter. Possibly eggs too, we’re not sure. Wesley is pretty conscientious of it which is great – he moves his milk cup or cereal bowl out of her reach if he leaves the kitchen before he’s finished. 

She still nurses a couple of times a day as well as morning and bedtime, but she can easily skip the daytime sessions if I’m at work or something. She’s also mostly nightweaned; very occasionally Daniel isn’t able to get her back to sleep at like 3am so I’ll nurse her to make it easier. And she’ll happily demand to nurse if I’m in bed, so after six months of being SUPER GREAT at not sleeping on the couch, I’m often back there so that I don’t have to nurse her all night. Sacrifices, man. 

Daniel gets to go to El Salvador again in a few weeks while I am stuck at home with the kids, BUT this time I’m not six months pregnant, super sick, and parenting a 3.5yo so I am pretty sure it’ll be better this time. It does make me fantasize about running away to Canada by myself for a weekend though. 

What have you all been up to? Who even checks in here anymore? Haha. 

2 Comments >

May 3, 2015 9:53 pm

Thora’s Birthday Crown

Thora will turn one this Wednesday and to celebrate, I wanted to make her a keepsake felt crown. I saw some nice ones on Etsy that I took some inspiration from, and then remembered that Jessica had written a Waldorf felt crown tutorial a loooong time ago so I started there.

First birthday prep. Not bad for my first attempt at a felt flower!

I bought my ribbon on Etsy – a good search term is “floral jacquard ribbon” – and used that as my color scheme. My local Waldorfy store had some lovely 100% wool felt sheets and I bought colors that matched my ribbon. I highly, HIGHLY recommend splurging on the nice 100% wool felt. This project would have been way harder and looked a lot less nice if I had used the cheapy stuff.

Using Jessica’s pattern, I lengthened the pattern piece B (the crown part) vertically by an inch or so because I wanted to make sure there’d be enough room for the name oval and the ribbon, and I cut the pattern piece out on the fold so I didn’t have to stitch the bottom together. I also made the middle point a weensy bit taller than the side ones because I liked how that looked.

Using my computer, I found a font I liked (and now I can’t even remember what it was called – it started with an L) and typed Thora’s name using it. I held a piece of paper to my computer screen and traced the letters onto a piece of paper, cut them out, then used the paper as a stencil to trace the letters onto a sheet of felt. Then I painstakingly cut out every letter using a teensy pair of embroidery scissors. (I do have a Cricut and there is probably a way to use a Cricut to cut the felt but I’m not very experienced with it yet and it seemed more trouble than it’d have been worth so I didn’t try it.) I Tacky glued the letters to the ivory oval and then blanket-stitched the oval to the front of the crown.

Then I looked up “felt flower” tutorials on Pinterest and found ones like this and this and used one of my accent colors for the flower. I used Tacky glue to actually glue the flower spiral together and then embroidered some French knots in the center to give it some character.

Felt Birthday Crown

For assembly, I followed Jessica’s instructions for the elastic strap and ended up stitching the bottom of the ribbon onto the crown, sewing up the sides of the crown to trap the elastic band between the felt layers, and then sewing the top of the ribbon on. That way, I had the crown all stitched together except the pointy parts at the top, meaning I could attach all my decorations to the front piece and then have the stitches hidden when I sewed it to the back piece.

After I stitched the flowers on, I wanted to use the blue and orange accent colors so I cut out some little orange circles and blue hearts and stitched them on, kind of under the flowers so they felt like one whole group.

Once all my decorations were on, I machine stitched the pointy parts of the crown closed. Voila!

Felt Birthday Crown

There are a few things I’d do differently, like using 1″ elastic for the back vs the… 1/2″? I had on hand. Either that or make the casing way smaller. The elastic tends to twist around in there and I find that annoying. I’d also maybe match my casing fabric to my crown better, but ehh. Small potatoes. I’m really pleased with how it came out and I’ve had several people tell me they want their own or that I should take commissions!

Happy first birthday, Thora! I hope you like your crown.

Queen Thora does not approve of photos.

1 Comment >

August 26, 2014 11:54 pm

Thora – 3 Months

I think I blogged all the time when Wesley was an infant and the poor second baby gets a birth story and then radio silence for three months.

Thora has already crawled off our bed (because we are sinful, SINFUL people and *whispers* she sleeps on her tummy most of the time). She was terrified but perfectly fine and landed on her back on a stack of diapers. She did it at a day shy of three months old. Overachiever!

Baby rolls.

She slept through the night for the first time right at two months old, and BELIEVE YOU ME, I was as shocked as you could possibly imagine.

Wesley nursed every two hours around the clock for FOREVER (though I guess he often slept from 7pm-midnight at 3mos) but Thora really does not want us to interfere with her sleep. She doesn’t nurse to sleep. She indicates that she’s sleepy by going all red around the eyes and being fussy, so I lay her down in bed, awake, and then she goes to sleep and I don’t hear from her for hours.

She doesn’t require the backbreaking joggling with white noise that Wesley required, nor the Indiana Jones-style precious-cargo-transfer into the crib. I can plonk her down in the most awkward of ways and she’ll shift her body a bit and go right back to sleep. It’s a beautiful thing.

I describe her as being much fussier than Wesley was but a much better sleeper, so I am not going to complain. She goes to sleep at roughly 8pm and I don’t hear from her again until about 4am. Last night she started making a peep around 3 so I gave her a binky and she happily slept until 6am.

8pm to 6am. WHO IS THIS BABY?!

I don’t want any new parents or soon-to-be parents reading this and thinking this is normal and that their baby is messed up because it wants to be fed every hour and a half or two hours around the clock. I HAD ONE OF THOSE BABIES. Trust me. I think that sort of baby is more within the realm of normal than the sort I have now.

It also makes me laugh at the people with one baby who are like, “Yeah, it’s all in the nighttime routine. Lay them in bed – AWAKE – and they learn to fall asleep by themselves.” HA! AHAHAHA! No. It is the baby’s personality and general temperament that determines how they prefer to be put to sleep. As a baby, Wesley required so much effort on our part to fall asleep. When Thora was littler, I tried all the baby whisperer tricks I knew from having Wesley and she would. not. have. it. In fact, she just got madder and madder the more I tried to “put her to sleep.” As soon as I left her the hell alone, she was fine. Different babies require different approaches.

Anyway, she is a delight.

Fun with accessories on this thunderstormy day.

She’s very drooly and still a “happy spitter” who spits up all the time but gains weight just fine so who cares. (Me. Sort of. I do a lot of laundry.)

We still co-sleep/bedshare, but ever since she crawled off the bed I’ve been putting her down in our co-sleeper crib and then she comes to bed with me once she wakes up to nurse. She nurses just fine – no nipple shield! – and I can’t describe how freeing that is. I have not once felt like I needed to use a cover and I no longer live in fear of being caught somewhere without a shield, unable to nurse.

Jeggings McBaby, reporting for duty.

She’s rolled over a few times already – front to back – and it’s never been when I am actually watching her. I’ll set her down and turn around only to hear her squawking because she rolled onto her back and didn’t want to be there.

She laughed for the first time today. Grammie was playing with her and she thought it was the best ever.

We love her to bits.

"Aww, mom!"

1 Comment >

May 20, 2014 4:59 pm

Birth Story Extras

There were a few things that happened during and right after Thora was born that didn’t seem like they fit into the birth story, so here’s the down low on those things:

Double Placenta

At my 20 week ultrasound, the tech thought I had an accessory lobe on my placenta. Usually, accessory lobes are like an extra little “bloop” of placenta connected to the main one. After Thora was born and they took the placenta out, we discovered that the accessory lobe was essentially a whole placenta of its own, nearly as large as the main one! This is really unusual. Daniel had the presence of mind to take a photo for me and it’s disgusting and wonderful. I’d post the photo here, but it’s kind of gory? I mean it’s an internal organ in a plastic tub with some blood, basically. I texted it to a couple friends so we could marvel over the weirdness though!

During surgery, I overheard one of the doctors say something about “sending it to the lab” and “seeing what Pathology had to say about it” and at that point, I could probably have declined the testing, but I was also curious as to why I might have a double placenta. Like maybe I was supposed to have twins but one of them didn’t work out? I don’t know.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the pathology report was disappointingly normal. They essentially said it was a variation of normal and still classified it as an accessory lobe.

I had somebody lined up to encapsulate my placenta, so I was disappointed that I didn’t get to do that this time around, especially since the pathology report didn’t reveal any juicy information like an absorbed twin or anything. On the bright side, I’ve been doing really well emotionally and I didn’t lose very much blood during surgery, so I don’t feel like I desperately needed the placenta pills.

HELLP Syndrome

Upon my admission to the hospital, they took some blood for lab work. Oddly, despite having none of the obvious signs of preeclampsia like severe swelling, proteinuria, high blood pressure, headaches or visual disturbances, my liver function and kidney function tests came back with HORRIBLE numbers. My liver function test should have been somewhere in the 30s and it was 250+. Kidney function was also terrible, but I don’t know the exact numbers.

Because I had none of the other symptoms, they tentatively classified it as “Atypical HELLP Syndrome” and the OB on call, Dr. S, opted not to give me magnesium sulfate because my follow-up bloodwork showed my numbers were improving steadily. I am ENDLESSLY thankful to her for making that call. It was kind of a controversial one, given that the risk for skipping the mag was me having seizures – the OB I saw the next day said that had she been there and seen that first lab result, she would have put me on the mag straight away, no questions asked, even if the follow-up tests showed I was improving.

I really credit the lack of mag sulfate for my dramatically different recovery. I was able to get on and off my hospital bed earlier than I did after Wesley, with a minimum of pain and suffering, and I felt like my body was my own. With Wesley’s birth, I basically felt like I was wearing a fat suit and it was so hard to move.

The fact that I ended up with the “worse” version of preeclampsia is kind of scary to me. I assumed since I didn’t have any symptoms that I managed to make it through this pregnancy without any pre-e complications, but then I ended up with this weirdo version of HELLP.

Remember when my feet got really, really itchy a while back? We chalked it up to an estrogen spike, but knowing that my liver was basically toast at the end of my pregnancy makes me think that my liver was the cause of the itchy feet like the internet said it was.

It probably sounds really irresponsible, but I’m kind of thankful we didn’t investigate it further. Like, had I really pushed things, Denise could have done bloodwork and it probably would have showed poor liver function and then we would have had to make a decision about early induction, and I likely would have ended up with an emergency c-section and wouldn’t have gotten to labor at home at all. So! I’m kind of glad I didn’t follow up on that hunch.

I actually just got a call today saying my repeat bloodwork from my 2-week incision check was good – my numbers weren’t back to normal yet but they’re definitely trending that direction.

Surgery Differences

I touched on this in the actual birth story, but my two surgery experiences were so vastly different that I wanted to expand on this a bit more. With Wesley’s birth, I really felt it was something done to me instead of with me, and I was treated like a weird baby-carrying vessel that was entirely ignored during the procedure.

With Thora’s birth, the hospital staff definitely made both Daniel and I feel like we were part of the process. It’s actually hard for me to articulate how nice it felt to have somebody acknowledging me during the surgery and checking in to make sure I was comfortable. Even something as simple as where the anesthesiologist stood during the surgery! It’s such a small thing, but it made such a huge difference in my experience. JJ was right next to me where I could see him instead of standing behind my head, out of my view.

The atmosphere in the OR was also sort of jovial and friendly. It was probably technically an “emergency” c-section because it was unplanned, but it didn’t feel crazy or rushed like Wesley’s did. My mom works at the hospital, so I think a lot of people involved in the surgery knew I was her daughter. It didn’t get me VIP treatment or anything, but it did make the surgery less scary knowing that those people knew me (and I knew some of them). I could hear the doctors talking and everybody seemed cheerful, which helped it feel like a happy occasion versus the kind of dour atmosphere everybody had during Wesley’s birth.

I did know several of the OB nurses I had over the next few days, which was kind of fun. My mom was actually my night nurse the second evening we were there!

Birth Partner

This birth story wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention how amazing Daniel was throughout my labor and the subsequent hospital transfer and delivery. With Wesley’s birth, neither one of us had any idea what we were doing and we both felt panicky and unsure of ourselves. With Thora’s birth, we took Bradley birth classes that made us both way more confident in the labor process and what to expect.

Daniel spent basically eleven or twelve hours squeezing my hips with his hands to help me through contractions. It took a lot of effort and I am so appreciative – he didn’t complain about it at all. I’m not the sort of person that needs a lot of verbal cheerleading – it usually feels really artificial and silly to me. Daniel did a great job of recognizing when I needed supportive things said to me, and for the most part simply provided a comforting presence and the ever-important hip squeezes.

I obviously have no idea what it’s like watching your partner experience something as crazy as labor, but when we’re talking with people about the labor process, he’s quick to jump in and say how awesome I did. I haven’t really talked with him much about his experience specifically, but I get the impression that he is proud of the effort I put in and he obviously knows how important trying for a VBAC was to me so I know he’s glad I got to experience labor and pushing even if it didn’t end how we expected it to.

ALSO: I have to mention his expert hospital bag packing – we were seriously out of the house in about five minutes after we made the decision to transfer, and he managed to grab me a totally acceptable going-home outfit of yoga pants and two shirt options. Really the only things we missed were our phone chargers and a going-home outfit for the baby, which wasn’t even a big deal given that we live about a minute and a half from the hospital anyway so he could just go home to get stuff we forgot.

Long story short, he was the exact kind of labor support I needed and I love him to pieces.

Mastitis

On Monday, I got off the couch to use the bathroom and as soon as I made it in there I got full-body chills. My boobs were huge and hot, which is normal after your milk comes in and you get engorged, but I knew that the fever chills were a sign of mastitis, so I took my temperature: 99.5. I drank some water and took a nap, but when I woke up an hour later and took my temperature, it was 101.6, and I was already on ibuprofen and oxycodone + acetaminophen which should have done something about the fever.

Mastitis is a breast infection and the symptoms make you feel like you have the flu. I felt awful.

I got a doctor’s appointment for the next day. I did feel better that morning and my temperature was 98.2, but when I went in for the appointment the doctor was like, yep, I can see exactly where the infection is! She prescribed me some antibiotics to take for a week. I was nervous about getting thrush, but we seem to have avoided that for now (knock on wood).

Mastitis is absolutely no fun. Now I just have to hope I’m not one of the unlucky people that gets recurring mastitis! Gah.

Comments Off on Birth Story Extras

May 20, 2014 10:02 am

Thora’s Birth Story

I woke up at 8am on Saturday the 3rd having infrequent contractions. They didn’t seem worth timing, but they also didn’t go away after several hours. Right at about 1pm, I decided to time them to see if there was any kind of pattern.

Timing revealed they were about five minutes apart and were lasting for roughly a minute. Since that’s more or less the rule of thumb for calling your providers saying you’re in labor, I decided to make sure things were actually happening so I waited it out — for the next SEVEN HOURS.

The contractions seemed to start spacing out a bit around 8pm, so I called my midwife, Denise, to let her know what had happened that day. The waves never got closer together or any more intense, so I correctly assumed they were prodromal labor and not actual labor and Denise basically confirmed this. Still! It felt like progress.

The next morning, I barely had any contractions at all; certainly nothing worth timing. However, I did start losing my mucus plug (gross, sorry) which continued throughout the day.

Monday was pretty similar. I knew things were barely getting going and I was okay just letting events unfold – I wasn’t getting my hopes up that this was “real labor” or anything.

That said, I was super uncomfortable and cranky all day long. I went to my chiropractic appointment at 10am and couldn’t get comfortable on the table. I was coming down with yet another cold (I think the grand total over the pregnancy was seven) and I just wanted to lay down and relax but I couldn’t figure out how because no positions felt relaxing in the slightest.

I went to my prenatal appointment at 2pm and declined a cervical check. I just hate them so much and I also didn’t want to know a number and have it discourage me. It would only be a measurement of where I was right then, not where I might be once labor kicked in or even a guess as to when labor would kick in.

Much later that evening (Monday the 5th), I noticed I was having a pattern of contractions. They weren’t severe, but they were definitely much more difficult to get through than the ones from Saturday. Daniel was tired and I told him it was fine to go to bed – I was watching TV and working through the waves.

After several hours of working through the waves by relaxing, I noticed that I wanted to vocalize to get through contractions. I felt like an idiot doing it, but I made a little noise with each and that seemed to help get through them. They were still about ten minutes apart, but they felt really intense.

Finally, around 2:30am, I tried to get comfortable enough to rest just in case labor actually kicked in and I was in it for the long haul. I propped some pillows up on the couch and reclined a bit. It wasn’t the greatest, but it did allow me to fall asleep.

At 4am, I woke up because of a weird sensation in my nether regions and I thought, “that felt like it could have been my water breaking.” But I was so outrageously tired that I drifted back to sleep for a split second and then momentarily became convinced I dreamed the whole thing. Then I came to my senses and realized that if I thought my water had broken, even if I was wrong, I should get off the couch and into the bathroom.

The second I stood up, I knew it was my water. I soaked my underpants and leggings just with the few steps to the bathroom, and I stood there for a minute trying to decide what to do. I wasn’t having contractions right then, but maybe I should call somebody? Or not? Aaah! This was turning into the real thing!

I decided to put on some Depends underwear so I didn’t sog any furniture and I laid back down and tried to get some rest. I managed to wait until 6:30am to wake up Daniel and tell him my water broke.

At about 7am, I requested to switch him spots so I could have the bedroom and he could use the living room to entertain Wesley for a bit. I called Denise to tell her my water broke at 4am but contractions were still about 10 minutes apart.

However, at about 7:30am, contractions really started to kick in and they quickly became more difficult to work through. I received a text from my friend Meagan saying she saw my tweet about my water breaking and if I needed her to take Wesley for the day, she’d be happy to do so. I let Daniel know that she offered and that things were picking up to the point where I felt like I needed him, so could he please go drop Wesley off? He got everything together and left to walk Wesley to her house.

Once he left, contractions were about 3.5 minutes apart and I had a really weird crying jag. The contractions weren’t unbearable by any means, but I just felt like I needed to cry, I guess? It happened a couple more times over the course of the day and I found myself saying “I’m okay, I don’t even know why I’m crying.” Once Daniel got back, I let him know he should probably call the midwives to tell them that things were really kicking in.

(more…)

1 Comment >

May 7, 2014 1:06 pm

Thora Pauline

Thora Pauline was born at 7:49pm on May 6th, weighing 8lbs 2oz and measuring 20 inches long. She’s lovely.

Baby Thora

I didn’t get my VBAC, but it sure wasn’t for lack of trying! I labored at home for nearly twelve hours and made it all the way to the pushing stage, but baby’s heart rate reacted really badly to pushing, so we transferred to the hospital right at the end and I ended up with a repeat c-section. Birth story coming soon! (It’s a bit of a novel.)

She’s a dream and Wesley just loves her.

Wesley and Thora.

1 Comment >