Category Archive : childbirth

Introducing Mackenzie Marie: The Birth Story

What a wild ride bringing this little girl into the world has been. And yes, even though she is already 7 weeks old, I give you…

Mackenzie Marie’s Birth Story

At 33 weeks I was placed on bed rest because of my rising blood pressure and at risk for pre-eclampsia. One week later, the blood pressure was better, but I was suddenly fingertip dilated, -2 station and thin membranes. Things started to begin and frankly, way too early for anyone’s taste. I continued my bed rest, and my labor continued to progress yet I made it up to 36 weeks where bed rest was listed and it was decided that if I give birth, I give birth. At this point, I had progressed to being dilated to 3 and I was having fairly regular contractions around 15 minutes apart. On December 6, I decided that I had to be done at work. There was a big fear between my husband and I that my water would break while I was downtown and that would not have been a good situation. By Monday, I was still contracting hard, but they were not getting closer together. My husband and I wanted to enjoy some of these quiet days together so we went out to lunch and saw a movie (Hunger Games. AWESOME). By Tuesday, my contractions completely stopped and I was starting to get frustrated with my discomfort and my sudden lack of progress.

On Wednesday, December 11, we went in for my regular checkup. I had an ultrasound and found that Mackenzie had moved back up and her head was now stuck on my left hip/pelvic bone instead of being in the correct position to vacate. At the NST, she was pretty hyper and I was contracting like crazy. We then went in to get checked by my OB. She did a cervical check (which felt like she was seriously trying to reach up and poke my heart for as uncomfortable as this was). She then mentioned my membranes were extremely thin, gave a singular vicious poke accompanied by my yelp of pain and my water broke in an epic rush. We were off to labor & delivery!

The only labor picture… Obviously before the real business went down 

I labored well for about the first 2 hours but wasn’t progressing. I knew I would be getting pitocin so I didn’t want to wait for that to get my epidural. Seriously, pitocin contractions are beast. I got my epidural and settled in for the long haul of flipping from my right to left side, naps and just waiting for my little princess to make her way down. However, my blood pressure tanked and I started to get sick. They quickly perked me up with some ephedrine and I was doing much better. Mackenzie on the other hand was going in the wrong direction- literally back up instead of down. While laying on my left side, she was not handling the contractions well and her heart started to decelerate. Stuck in my hip, I was forced to continue laboring on my right side which meant that the epidural was starting to wear off on the left. I was starting to feel things. Instead of rushing me into a c-section, they decided to give me the pitocin to see if she would move and present herself. Thankfully, she moved and we were able to get me on my left side but to no ado, my epidural was no longer doing its job. Ouch. Finally, around 10:10p that night (10.5 hours after my water broke), I was fully dilated and ready to have my baby! Just 20 minutes of pushing with my sunny side up baby girl and we met our sweet princess, Mackenzie Marie, who weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz and 20.5 inches long. She was perfect in every way.

Mackenzie’s first photo

My postpartum time in the hospital was good. Mackenzie was a very easy baby while there, pretty much sleeping all the time. I kept thinking there was something wrong with her because she was so quiet and so chill. Alas, both of us were healthy. I was ready to go home. We were discharged on Friday the 13th around 11:30 in the morning and we went to pick up her big brother Jackson so we could start our new lives together as a family of 4.

Jackson meeting his baby sister for the first time. He absolutely adores her.
Grandma & Grandpa meeting their 1st granddaughter. 
Mackenzie’s 1st “professional” photo
I’m ready to go home mommy! 

Happy to be feeling good, I was excited to be having such a decent postpartum experience; however, by Sunday, I wasn’t feeling well. I had developed a massive headache and backache (not to mention my massively engorged lady lumps). I had a home visit from a nurse scheduled and it turned out my blood pressure was incredibly high. By Wednesday of that week, my husband and I started to worry a bit about my health. We were worried about my having postpartum Pre-e, so my husband sent me off to bed early that night; and, like a saint, dealt with the sleep deprivation involved with a little lady waking up to eat every 3 or so hours. The next morning, I was not well. My head was pounding and I had developed a large, baseball sized lump in my right armpit. I went to see my doctor to have my lump as well as my blood pressure checked. My blood pressure was through the roof and I was sent to a surgical consultant to have my lump drained- this thing was a mix of an abscess, clogged milk duct and swollen gland. Awesome. However, that wasn’t the main concern. My blood pressure was crazy high (170/110) as well as were my liver enzymes and I was immediately admitted to the hospital with postpartum pre-eclampsia. This was devastating to me! Not only was I unprepared to be sent to the hospital, but all I wanted was to be at home cuddling with my baby girl. I begged for prescription meds in lieu of the hospital stay, but to no avail, I was admitted. I spent 24 horrendous hours hooked up to antibiotics for my mastitis and magnesium sulfate for the BP/Pre-e. I had blood drawn every 6 hours to check my liver and my arms appeared beaten and bruised from this regular assault to them. I was released after about 48 hours, but felt awful coming off of these meds. I was given blood pressure meds to take at least until my 6 week postpartum checkup. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that it was a terrible experience. No new mom wants to be taken away from her baby. I don’t think I have ever cried so much in my life.

Mackenzie has continued to thrive and we didn’t miss a beat getting back to our daily routine of cuddling and napping.

Baby feet. Nom Nom Nom. 

I didn’t think it was possible to love anything as much given my heart was already overflowing for my son, but Mackenzie is just a dream. She fits into our family just perfectly as if she was meant to be here. Jackson absolutely adores his little sister and can’t go to bed or leave for school without giving her a hug and kiss. He’s had his moments with bad behavior, but overall has been a wonderful help.

Daddy’s Little Girl 

Our family is wonderfully complete.

To Conceive Or Not to Conceive

We always thought we wanted 2 kids. The perfect little family.

The longer it takes to conceive #2 the more and more we are talking ourselves out of it.

Our friend’s beautiful baby boy.

We got the chance to visit our friends over the weekend and meet their adopted newborn baby. He is so adorable with big huge eyes and sweet heart-shaped nostrils. I got that familiar rush of baby fever. I loved listening to all of their stories and hearing all about their process. Most importantly, I loved the look on their faces: that sheer utter new parent bliss. In my head I was thinking… wow. I wonder what it would be like to have a newborn without the postpartum stuff. She can sit. Anywhere. She can bend over to pick baby up out of the crib without that shooting pain from the epidural spot. She’s not crying every two minutes over absolutely nothing. Sounds amazing. Can I do it that way next time? She even confessed that things were going great and that the transition was relatively easy- and it was likely because she’s not having to physically recover from childbirth. They are going to be such wonderful parents and I am so over the moon for them!

I was around 8 months preggo here.

I have this love/hate feeling over the whole pregnancy/childbirth experience. I loved when I was midway through my pregnancy and I had the perfect bump. Just big enough to say “Yes, I’m pregnant, stop staring at me,” and small enough not to feel as though I could topple over at any moment. I loved the feeling of the human person growing inside of me and feeling so incredibly protective over him. I loved that only my husband and I knew his name and talked to him as though he had already arrived. I LOVED feeling his kicks. I didn’t love the morning sickness (evening for me actually) which plagued me for 25, YES 25 @$##@$ weeks. I didn’t love that my weight creeped up 30lbs despite the fact that I was puking my brains out every night. I didn’t love the weird taste in my mouth that made everything taste funny. I didn’t love heartburn and reflux. I didn’t love the fact that my blood pressure was creeping up dangerously high and I was at risk for pre-eclampsia by week 30 and had to go in for checkups every week and in the last 3 weeks, I was going to the doctor twice a week (thank god for a great boss who took pity on me who was more concerned about my health and the health of the baby than what hours I was punching on the clock). I didn’t care for the fact that I could barely walk.

Funny thing is. I didn’t mind childbirth. Once I got the epidural, I was in wonderland. Meeting my son for the first time was the most amazing experience of my life. I didn’t care for the 6 weeks of postpartum recovery. As a matter of fact… that was worse than everything else. I do feel a little bad for even remotely complaining about any of this stuff seeing as I had to deal with several years of infertility as did many close friends of mine. Regardless, having a baby isn’t a cake walk and trying to convince yourself otherwise doesn’t make it all better.

Would I do it all again? Yup. In a heartbeat.

My Big Boy.

So why the indecision? The older and more independent Jack gets, the less we want to have a small baby in the house again. Part of me feels like it would be easier the 2nd time around- since I already had the experience, it wouldn’t be as challenging (ha!). The other part of me feels like we keep saying “When Jack gets older we will…” He’s getting older and we are now able to do a lot of the things we have longed to do with our child. I feel like he should have a sibling, yet I think he would do just fine as an only child. Childcare is expensive, we worry how we would pay for two kids in daycare. We worry how we would pay for two college educations. Yet… there is that little voice in the back of my mind that says to keep trying.

I’m not getting any younger. I turn 35 in a few months which is supposedly like the dreaded “deadline” age for childbearing (which is funny because I take 10 times better care of myself than I did 10 years ago…). For now, we are compromising. 2012 is our deadline. If we are not pregnant by then, we will be done and more than content with moving forward with just our beautiful boy.

How did you make the decision to have or not to have more children?