Sunday, October 27, 2019

Our Birth Story: Meeting Emmie Kate!!

My last checkup was my 40 week appointment on October 11. Happy due date, sweet girl! I couldn't believe I was watching another due date come and go because I REALLY thought she would be here before then. I was 3 cm, still about 60%. She did another membrane sweep and we scheduled my next appointment for the following Friday (I'd be 41 weeks) and went ahead and put an induction date of 10/22 (41+3 again, same as Beau) on the books. At this point my biggest prayer was that she would come on her own and I would NOT have to be induced again! I felt like she would so I wasn't super worried about it, but I will say this is the most "ready" I have ever been at for one of my babies to come.

My parents let the boys spend the night with them that Friday night after my appointment and Jonathan and I went out on a date night. (If you live in Gainesville area and haven't had Recess on the square, you've gotta try it. SO good!) The rest of the weekend was business as usual. I took the boys to a birthday party on Saturday, we went to church Sunday morning,  and then dinner with Jon's dad and sister on Sunday night. Monday we did school, I made dinner, and we went to the gym. I walked on the treadmill because that was the only thing that seemed to bring on contractions. I actually had to stop two different times because I was having contractions (yay!), but nothing was consistent or crazy intense. It actually felt kind of good to have a contraction as crazy as that sounds.

Tuesday morning I took the boys to our homeschool co-op and then met my mom and dad for lunch at Zoe's with the boys. Tuesday (10/15) is my mom's birthday!! I had a feeling Emmie Kate was coming soon because I was having contractions all throughout the day, but nothing consistent enough to time yet. After lunch I took the boys to get hair cuts & and we got home around 4:30. I wanted to go to the gym to walk some more, but Jonathan was busy doing things around the house so we decided to just stay home. I made teriyaki chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and roasted cauliflower and broccoli (which I ended up burping up all throughout labor- yuck) and then baked some cookies for dessert.  My contractions were really picking up while I was cooking dinner. Jonathan kept trying to make jokes but I didn't think they were funny. Ha! Jase said "I know Emmie Kate is coming soon because we prayed for her to come soon. Dad, I think mom's in labor and you need to call 911!" Every time I'd stop and pause Jase would ask "is it labor?" And Jonathan kept asking "What is it? A contraction?" I don't like to talk when I'm dealing with any sort of pain, & if I didn't respond Jon kept on asking over and over...but I was trying to be sweet and loving even though it was pretty annoying. ;)

After dinner I cleaned up and washed dishes (have I mentioned that I cannot WAIT for a dishwasher?!? I am grateful this was my last time trying to wash them with my big old belly getting in the way though), then went upstairs to get the boys ready for bed. At around 7:30/8 I told Jonathan we might should call his sister Jade over to come spend the night with the boys just in case. I just didn't want to call her a 3 am and have her rush to get to our house since we live about 30 minutes away. I texted her and he called her (he actually told her we didn't need her to come cuz I'd just delivered the baby in the tub...daddio got jokes) and we told her we'd let her know by 9 pm for sure. Contractions were coming more consistently and by 9 pm they were consistently 10 minutes apart. I was still debating because I didn't want to waste her time if they were just going to stop, but I decided we should probably have her come just to be on the safe side. She left work, got her little girl, and got to our house around 10ish. Grateful for friends & family willing to drop everything for us! I took a quick shower, dried my hair, and painted my toes. Jon said "You're going to have this baby in the middle of the night, aren't you?" I was like "uhhhhh, I don't know. Probably! I'm just grateful she's coming on her own though!"

By this time contractions were every 7-8 minutes but still not unbearable. I decided to call and leave a message for the midwife around 11:45 pm to see when they wanted me to come in since the doctors kept telling me #4 can come quick. Plus, they wanted me in to monitor the baby since I'm VBAC. One of my biggest prayers this whole pregnancy was that I'd know WHEN to go to the hospital. When I called, I didn't think about what I was going to say ahead of time so I just said "I think I'm in labor and trying to decide when to come in." When she called back she asked me the normal questions "Has their been any bleeding? Has your water broken? Are you able to breathe and talk through contractions? How far apart and how long are they lasting?" No to bloody show, no to water breaking, 7-8 minutes apart, and I told her I was actually having a contraction right then. She asked if I had tried laying down & suggested I drink some water and lay down to see if it was the real thing. I wanted to say"No I'm for sure in labor, that's not the question...I'm just trying to figure out when to come in." (I should have just said that to start with instead of beating around the bush, because by this time I KNEW I was in labor.) I decided to try laying down, but as soon as I did I had a monster contraction that I couldn't talk through. Whoa! I prayed "Okay Lord, if I have another one like that I'll know it's time to go on in." Sure enough, about 8 min later, another monster contraction. It was about 12:30ish probably and I called Jon in the room (he had just finished working on the house and had just sat down to start drawing a closet) and I told him it was time to go. He loaded the truck with the boys' gifts, the boppy, car seat, my bag, gifts for the nurses, etc. We hopped in the truck (it was raining) and were jamming to some praise music & prayed together. When we got to the end of our road (about 12 min from our house & halfway to the hospital) I realized I forgot my mascara (hahaha, hello diva!) & told him we needed to run by the store. He said Wal-Mart was the only thing open and it'd just be easier to go back home really quick. By this time contractions were about every 6 min and we got behind a truck pulling a trailer going like 5 mph the whole way! It took us what felt like forever to get home. Jonathan asked me to try not to have the baby in the car! You got it bro. We got home and I grabbed my mascara out of my car and we were back on our way. He dropped me off at the entrance to check in while he went to park. Unfortunately it was sprinkling AND the doors to the maternity entrance were locked. I forgot you have to go in through the emergency room entrance after a certain time of night. I had to stop once while I was walking over to the entrance because contractions were getting stronger. When I got in and called triage, again they were asking me questions like I wasn't in labor. (I know it's just standard. I know there are probably lots of people who come in too soon. I know they have no way of knowing that I am NOT one of those people.) It almost makes you feel stupid so I tried calling Jonathan to tell him not to get all the bags out of the car in case they weren't going to keep me. He didn't answer though and about that time walked in with all the bags. I had another contraction in the waiting room and then a nurse came out and called me back. I changed into a gown. peed in a cup, told her my quick story (3 births, first c-section because of a swollen cervical lip, 2nd natural VBAC, 3rd induction/VBAC). She put me on the monitor and checked me. Baby looked great, definitely having some good contractions, and she said I was 6 cm and they were going to put me in a room. She asked if I preferred a doc or midwife and I told her I didn't care. I had my bloody show as soon as I sat up from getting checked. (Jon was a little grossed out- he told the nurse he was there for the after party & not all the pre-game stuff! Lol!) This was at 2:15 am.

When we got into the room (same room where I delivered Kade I think) & I met all the nurses. Registration also came the same time, and at this point I'm having regular contractions that are growing in intensity. The nurse decided to ask Jon some of the questions while I was talking to the super sweet registration lady.

When I declined something for Emmie Kate, one of the nurses said she wasn't sure if they had to call DFCS and she would find out. She picked up the phone to call to ask in front of us. I really did not appreciate that because I know she knew the answer and felt like it was bullying/a scare tactic, but I prayed that I would be Christlike to everyone I encountered and that we would have favor with the staff. Thankfully I was in the middle of a big contraction so I had to focus on that & I know that was God's way of keeping my mouth closed. I have read every single insert, done a ridiculous amount of research & prayed through every decision, studied research from toxicologists, read published medical journals, & listened to a 14 hour evidence based seminar on all of these things. I'm not just a mom blogger making a decision based on someone's FB post, but thankfully it all went smoothly after that and I never had to say anything. After that was over, all of the nurses were so sweet and encouraging! Everyone we came into contact with was wonderful. The charge nurse did a great job getting my IV in quickly and painlessly. Our nurse Diana was also very sweet and super open to whatever I wanted to try when I told her I wanted natural childbirth again and preferred to be able to move around. At that time the midwife came in to check in on us and she offered to break my water, but I prefer to let it break on its own so I opted out. She also told us they switched shifts at 7 am and who would be on call the next day. I think this made Jonathan think we had some time, but after she left things started picking up & I knew EK was coming sooner than later. He was working on drawing a closet he had to get done & I remember asking him if he thought I should go ahead and call my mom. He said "nah. let them sleep," but I felt like it was getting close so I went ahead and called them around 3:20. The nurse, Diana, suggested we try a new monitor they have that is wireless, allows you to move around (even get in the shower) and still monitors baby continuously. The other monitors NEVER stay on me since my belly is so round, so not thinking clearly I agreed. She had to exfoliate my belly (contractions were pretty intense at this point and coming pretty quickly so I barely noticed) and tried 2 different monitors, but neither would hook up. I later realized they were blue tooth and was thankful they didn't work!
At this point, my legs started trembling and I knew I was in transition. I know it's intense, but the shortest part of labor and usually means you're very close. I also know it's when you tend to doubt & want to "give up." I told Jonathan that I was in transition (and he later told me he had no idea what that meant) & told him he needed to get me a trash can cuz I thought I might throw up. I was also starting to feel hot & my legs were still shaking. When Diana walked out of the room to try to get another monitor, I remember feeling very alone. I was staring at the back of Jonathan's head while he was drawing a closet- and I kind of wanted to just throw something at him. Lol! I remember thinking "He has no idea what a rock star I am" and wishing I had a doula. Bwahah! I mean, could I be any more humble?!? I also told him I needed him, but I didn't want him to talk to me or touch me. (Poor guy. I can see how that would be confusing for him.)  He tried to encourage me but I kept telling him to shhh. At this point I was doing the low moaning as I was trying to relax and breathe through contractions. I was quoting Scripture in my head over and over. I was thinking about the baby turning and moving down the birth canal and trying to breathe all the way into my uterus and where the contractions were happening. I asked Jonathan if he thought I should just go ahead and get an epidural because I couldn't take much more of this. He tried to encourage me but another contraction came on and I shhhhed him again. I knew this was normal during transition, but I just needed some reassurance and wanted him near me.

At this point I was laying on my left side. I had asked for the peanut and a ball, but I wasn't getting a long enough rest between contractions to even move. When Diana came back in I told her I was in transition and it probably wouldn't be long. I told her I felt like I was dying and she encouraged me and told me what a great job I was doing. I hadn't been checked again since getting to the hospital, and I wasn't on the monitor since we were trying to get hooked up to the other one. (This meant no one but me knew how strong they were and how quickly they were coming.) I told her I thought my water was maybe breaking a little (I was actually feeling some pressure but couldn't say it) and she said "I was thinking the same thing but that just smells like urine." Lol! We cracked up about that later. (No shame. I had lost all sense of decency by this point, another sign we were getting close.) I told them I wanted to try getting on the ball. Jonathan helped me get out of the bed to get on the ball. At this point I was having a contraction, so I leaned over the bed while Diana stood behind me with her arms around me to hold the monitor on the baby. She said "Wow, she is really low." When the contraction was over and I sat down on the ball, my water ruptured everywhere! It was just like a movie!! I have never had my water break like that, but it legit sounded like a balloon popping and dumping a bucket of water on the floor. (Poor Diana. Her shoes probably got soaked on that one.) She said "now THAT was your water!" Jon turned his head around and told me later he thought I'd thrown up on the floor or something. It was SO loud! I felt pressure immediately (I'd been feeling a little before that too but again couldn't really communicate much) and I just said "She's coming! She's coming!" I stood up and leaned over the bed, then climbed on it quickly (I was on all 4's) because I didn't want her to come out onto the floor. Diana said "Well, I can see that she has hair!" I couldn't see her, but Jon said she looked a little bit frantic (although she was talking calmly to me) and fumbled to get her gloves on and the phone to call for backup. She said she needed someone immediately- nurse, doctor, tech, whoever, ASAP in our room!

(At this point my mom was right outside my room but they wouldn't let her in. She said she heard them calling over the intercom and knew it was for me.)

Several nurses rushed into my room ASAP and they told me they needed to get me onto my back. (I was still on all fours at this point.) I promise I wasn't trying to squat her out or anything, there was just so much pressure and I told them I felt like I couldn't move. A lady with dark curly hair said "sweetie, this is probably going to be a nurse catch so we need you on your back for liability." Jon asked if he needed to help me. I don't know how I got rolled over, but next thing I know I'm on my back, my legs are up (they had to help me grab them), and the midwife was walking in putting her gloves on. I'm sure everyone was relieved. (Later the nurse thanked her for running to get there!) EK's head was already crowning at this point and it's what they call the "ring of fire." It was pretty intense & felt like it lasted forever, but to me that part isn't nearly as bad as the contractions right before. I stayed here through the rest of the "break," and with the next contraction I felt the urge to push again. They were all encouraging me to push too. so I pushed and the next thing I heard was "head's out..." Then "look down mom" and they handed her to me. Emmie Kate Butler, born at 4:02 am on October 16th, head full of dark hair. She was lifting her head and looking up at me. She was just beautiful!

They mentioned she had some bruising on her face (she did come out fast), and I remember asking if she was okay. I told them originally (before delivery) I wanted to see how the birth went to determine if I wanted to do vit K. (I did it with all the boys, but they don't have preservative free so I was strongly considering drops this go round if everything was uneventful.) I ended up doing it because of the bruising, but I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Jaundice is one of the known side effects, and she did not pass her first test which meant we had to stay in the hospital an extra 10 hours to re-test.
They wanted to cut the cord pretty soon after she was born, but I asked if we could leave it for a little bit longer. They let me know it was already white and done, but I asked if we could just hang on for a few minutes anyway. At this point they let my mom in & she came over and cut the cord for us at 10 min. I would have loved to have waited even longer but I felt like I was bothering everybody. The feeling of the cord on you is the WEIRDEST feeling ever. I can't stand that thing touching me but wanted delayed clamping for as long as possible so I just tried to block it out. (It feels like an octopus on you or something.) My mom cut MY cord when I was born, so it was very special she got to do this for Emmie Kate too. (I hate that she missed the birth but was glad she was able to get in there so soon after she was born.) Jonathan was more than happy to give her the honor.

The midwife said "Wow, you were just meant to have babies!" And Jon immediately chimed in and said "yea, 4 babies!" Hahhaa!!! They all kept saying "You didn't even need us in here" but lawd have mercy, I am SO glad I made it to the hospital in plenty of time! One of the nurses said "You didn't even break a sweat!" I was just thinking "y'all didn't see me about 10 minutes ago writhing and moaning on the bed!" I told Jon after having birthed my last 3 babies and knowing what I know now, I don't think I would have had a c-section the first go round. If I had it to do over, I would not get checked so much and I would have let my water break on its own with Jase.

They took the baby for just a minute while I changed my gown and went to pee. When they gave her back, she started nursing immediately like a champ. She nursed for 15-20 min on one side and about 40 min on the other.
The stork nurse was such a sweetheart and let me keep nursing as long as I wanted. She did an awesome job getting her footprints and all of her stats.

When they weighed her, Emmie Kate was 7 lbs, 10 oz, and 21" long. They all commented on how perfectly round her head was for being a vaginal delivery.I couldn't get over how DARK her hair

I decided not to take any Motrin or anything since I felt so good. I chugged a huge bottle of water I brought from home (total water snob) & ate a half of a Clif bar. They moved us to mother/baby around 6 am (at which point I'd officially been awake for over 24 hours straight).
Super proud parents!! Can't believe we have a GIRL!

Jonathan's birthday is October 17th, so I love that she wanted her own birthday and the Lord snuck her right in there between my mom and Jonathan.
My beautiful, precious girl....we have prayed for you! You are an answered prayer, and I felt God's hand on every part of your delivery. I can't wait to watch you grow and see how the Lord uses you, Emmie Kate.
**Also, huge shout out to my sweet prayer warrior friends (you know who you are) who prayed very specifically for ua. Your timing blew me away, & it was so cool hearing afterwards how and when you interceded for us. You ladies are such a treasure to me and I know God used you and your prayers!

Our Birth Story: Meeting Jase
Our Birth Story: Meeting Kade
Our Birth Story: Meeting Beau

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Baby Butler #4 is 40 Weeks!!

Update: I had a checkup on Friday 10/4 when I was 39 weeks. My blood pressure was great, heart beat was strong, she was measuring right on & moving well. I was 2 cm, 60%, & a -3 station. She swept my membranes (which wasn't as painful as I was anticipating) to try to stir up some action. We went to a birthday party that afternoon & the boys had a blast. 
Spent the next week doing all the normal things with the boys (BSF, music, church), finalizing things around the house, & praying for contractions. I ran some stairs & took an afternoon nap most days. 

No action really though. We didn't schedule my 40 week, so I had to call to book that. I went on 10/11 for my 40 week. Everything still looked/sounded great. Measuring right on. This time I was 3 cm (I had a couple of contractions the night before but nothing too serious) & still 60%. She swept my membranes again and I did lots of walking. (Definitely the most action I feel, but my back gets tired and I really want to sit.) 
My parents took the boys to the movies yesterday and let them spend the night last night so I could get a good night's sleep. Jonathan and I enjoyed a fun date night at our favorite restaurant on the square, & I slept for a full 7 hours last night without getting up till 5.

They went ahead and set my next appointment for next Friday (when I'll be 41 weeks) and set an induction for the following Monday (10/21...holy moly, does that not seem like forever away?). They haven't done any ultrasounds or monitoring or anything this time- I feel like I had way more of that with Beau. I'm thankful though. I know they'll do all of that if I make it to the next appointment.

My mom's birthday is 10/15 and Jonathan's is 10/17. Everyone kept joking when we first found out I was pregnant I could have her on one of their birthdays and I was like "yea right, there's no way I'll go past my due date again." But here we are! Hahhaa! I seriously cannot believe it. (I say that every single time I'm pregnant. Jase was 40+1, Kade 40+2. Beau 41+3. Anyone noticing a trend here??)

I am not uncomfortable or anything, but I am really praying she comes on her own. I really, really do not want to be induced (ever) again. I don't plan to labor at home as long this time once active labor begins because I feel like it will go quickly. (Then again, my "gut feelings" haven't exactly been spot on so who even knows.) If I could pick an ideal time, it'd be during the day so I could get the boys somewhere without having to wake anyone up in the middle of the night to come stay with them. But at this point, I'm not picky.

We are all VERY ready to meet her! Jase is starting to ask lots of questions and is way more interested in her. He is also anxious for me to sign him up for some 5Ks and really wants me to be able to run with him again. Kade has been extra loving with me too. If anyone asks, they say they aren't excited about a girl, but I can't WAIT to see them with her. I love hearing them talk about her and try to help us name her sister. (Jon said a big fat NO. Me and the boys both want another baby though. Jase wants to name her Elizabeth.)
I reread my birth stories from the boys. God is so good! I've had 3 completely different labor/delivery experiences, so I sorta feel like that makes me the ideal patient, right? I mean, I know that every labor is different and am open for whatever it takes to get her here safely. Ideally I want another natural, vaginal birth. I definitely want to avoid anesthesia if I can until I can do more research (after learning anesthesia can affect you differently if you have the MTHFR gene mutation, which I do.) My easiest recovery was after Beau.

Here are my birth stories with the boys. I'm so grateful I typed them out because there are SO many details I definitely would have forgotten!
Meeting Jase
Meeting Kade
Meeting Beau

My Symptoms: I can't think of anything. I feel good. Very thankful for a healthy pregnancy. (After I typed that, I remembered...holy moody! I feel way more easily irritated than normal, so I'm just keeping my mouth shut & ask the Lord to fill me with JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, & self-control.)

Maternity Clothes: Temps dropped this week and I wore some of my favorite maternity jeans. It's cool in the mornings and evenings but still hot during the day. Feels SO good outside! Mostly wearing leggings & t-shirts, & then dresses to church on Wed & Sunday.

Movement: Sometimes I forget & think "uh oh, have I felt her move?" But when I pay attention, she's moving plenty. She definitely moves the most at night time. I'm hoping that isn't an indication of how it'll be after she's born...

Sleep: I've been taking naps the last few days (when I can) because I wake up at 3:15 every morning to pee, and then wake up at 5ish for the day. I'm normally a 7:30ish (or later) kinda gal, & I personally think waking up that early is for the birds! Ha!! Sleeping okay.

Cravings: Popsicles. And anything sweet. Definitely been feeling more hungry lately.

Supplements: Still taking & LOVING IDLife.

Nutrition: I've slacked up a little these last couple weeks. Definitely need to tighten up. Eating more junk than I normally would (because when someone brings you donut minis or a Chik-Fil-A biscuit, you eat it, right?). 

Work Outs: Mostly walking. I did take a body pump class last week and did some body weight squats and upper body stuff yesterday, but mostly walking. That's when I feel the most "action."

Goals for next week: Have a baby!!! Been meaning to ask how long they'll let the cord pulse before cutting it but I keep forgetting. Hopefully I get to find out live and in person before I get a chance to ask at another appointment.

Sibling Comparisons:
40 Weeks with Jase
40 Weeks with Kade
40 Weeks with Beau

What I’m praying about: Still praying I go into labor on my own, make it to the hospital in plenty of time, and we have a God-ordained staff of medical professionals who have the wisdom and minds of Christ. Praying it's quick (but not too quick) and we have a perfectly healthy baby and mama. Praying for a natural birth free of any interventions, and that I will be Christlike to everyone I come into contact with.

Praise Report: A couple weeks ago Jonathan and I were driving after church to his uncle's funeral where he was going to be a pall bearer. We were in the left lane and came over the top of a hill where traffic was dead stopped. He locked it up (as did all the cars in front of him and behind him) and looked to see if he could get over to avoid rear ending the guy in front of him or getting rear ended by the guy behind us. Unfortunately there were cars coming in the right lane so we couldn't get over to the right, and to the left was a median and two lanes of traffic coming from the opposite direction. We just sat there like sitting ducks and I was praying the cars behind us weren't going to hit us. You could hear tires squealing all over the place. The three cars in front of us all hit one another. The four cars behind us all hit one another. We saw pieces of vehicles flying everywhere, and it was one of the times in my life I can remember almost VISIBLY see the hand of God putting a hedge of protection around us. No one was severely injured thankfully, & I know it stunk for everyone involved, but it would have been a way bigger deal for us. We would have had to replace 4 car seats, and I probably would have had to go by ambulance to the hospital immediately. Car wrecks are always scary, but at 39 weeks, you reallly do not want to be in a wreck. I am so incredibly thankful for the Lord's hand of protection on us that day and wanted to give him praise by sharing that testimony. He is faithful!