Monday, December 1, 2008

Four Pregnancies Later

This morning I started thinking about how different each of my pregnancies and labors have been, and I wanted to blog about it so I will have a record of it at some point:) I tried to make this without to many embarrassing details for the guy readers. Sorry if you end up rosie-cheeked anyway.
So 1st Seth. Seth was due nine months to the day after we got married. We planned it that way, as much as you can really plan when you want to have a baby. We kind of figured that there was no need to get married right away, unless you were going to have children right away. So, having said that, I had my first bout of morning sickness on September 16th. And then I was sick everyday until I had Seth on May 21st 2003. I also dealt with Gall bladder attacks from Thanksgiving of 2002 until July after I had Seth. Being 19, inexperienced, and unsure of what to expect when I was pregnant, I had no idea that I was having gall bladder attacks until after I had Seth. I had many people who knew me before I was pregnant tell me pregnancy was not a disease, and I just needed to get up and be happy. My mom said, "Pregnancy is the only gift that shakes you instead of you shaking it." But, somehow I just couldn't enjoy it. Our extended family told us you could do all kinds of things to get the baby to kick, cold packs, pushing bumps, etc. But every time Seth would kick and I would try to get him to kick again, he would go into hiding for about 3 days. I felt really sorry for Tom at this time. Before we were married, I was a fun super energetic upbeat person. Then when I got pregnant, every time he leaned in to kiss me, I had to run to the bathroom to be sick. We still did a lot of fun things, like Tom would talk to my stomach every night, and tell Seth how wonderful he was and that he was destined for great things. From the very first day that we knew we were pregnant with Seth, we called him Seth Thomas. In the scriptures it says Seth was in the perfect likeness and image of his father. And, I couldn't imagine anyone better for my son to be like. Thomas means Twin, and obviously it is also Toms name, so the name fit and it was perfect. At my first baby shower I received a rocking chair recliner. It was so soft and comfortable, I am pretty sure that I slept in it the for almost the entire last month of my pregnancy. As I rocked in it I would sing "I am a child of god" to my tummy. It was really one of the only primary songs that I remembered. It must have stuck, because when Seth was about 18 months old, he could sing it word for word. When I was a week late for my due date, my doctor broke my water and I went into labor. My appointment was at 2 pm. At 5 I fed the missionaries. At 7 I went to an awesome Enrichment night, where they put on a skit from all of the songs of the "woman at the well". This was about the point that I figured I might really be in labor. When I got home from enrichment I told Tom that he better go to bed and get some sleep, because I was probably going to have a baby that night. At about midnight I woke Tom up and told him I thought this was the real deal. He asked me if I could try to go back to sleep. At which point I informed him that I had not been asleep and he better get up! He got up and took a shower and got ready for work, just in case it was a false alarm-since he worked at 6am. Then we went to the hospital. Earlier that night I called the attending nurse in the OB wing to ask her how I would know if I was really in labor. She laughed and said if you can talk and smile during your contractions, its probably not the real thing. Since I was talking to her when I was having contractions I decided I must not really be in Labor. When we got to the hospital I was at a four. When she asked how much pain I was in I told her I wasn't really in pain at all. She figured I probably wasn't in active Labor, so she asked me to walk around for a while. About a half hour later, walking wasn't really an option, so she checked me again and I was at a 6. At this point she decided this must be the real deal. She asked me if I wanted an epidural. I was kind of indifferent, so I decided I might as well. I must tell you that for me putting the epidural in was the most painful part of the entire labor for me. They had a hard time getting it in and poked my back with a huge needle about 10 times. At this point Tom almost fainted and they brought a bed, some juice, and a snack for him. -which I must say, is not really fair, since I was stuck with ice chips! After they had the epidural in place the next five hours were completely pain free. I rested, though I was to excited to sleep. Tom slept. And at about 7:30 I had a sweet little Setherdoo. My nurses shift was over at 6, but she stayed with me until I had Seth. It was so nice to have her there and know that she cared! All of my family came to see me within a few hours of having Seth. Our Elders Quorum president was Seth's pediatrician, so the ward was informed soon after he was born. And they were so great! The night after I had Seth, the nurse came in to wake me up. She said that my baby had been crying for several minutes. And Tom and I had just slept through it. Whoops! The next night after we brought Seth home from the hospital, Tom and I slept peacefully until 6. At which point I realized it was light out side and I still had not fed Seth all night! I ran in to his room to see if he was still alive, which of course he was, and he woke up about 20 minutes later. Happy and hungry. This is the earliest digital image I have of Seth, but I figured it was applicable.
Next came Gabriel Noah. Gabriel means Gods anointed one. I loved this name, because he is the one who got to tell Mary and Joseph of our Saviors coming! Noah means rest in Hebrew. I always joked that after Seth we needed a rest. As some of you may know, Gabriel the angel is Noah the prophet. We decided to have Gabriel in January of 2004. But things worked out differently than planned and I didn't actually get pregnant until July of 2004. At this point I had already started Beauty School. Morning sickness wasn't to bad, and I did great until about November. At this point I started passing out at school every time I would have to stand for to long. The school director asked me to go in to the doctor. So in to the doctor I went. They found out I had very low blood pressure. They suggested lots of rest a high calorie diet and not to stay on my feet for to long. By the end of the month, I just had to put school on the shelf for a while. When I came home, I felt a lot better and things seemed to get easier. I was able to be home with my little setherdoo and sleep when he slept. The Doctor I had with Gabriel was very happy to use medication. We scheduled my Labor for April 22nd-2 weeks early. I scrubbed my floor the night before I had Gabriel. The next morning at 5 am I got up and curled my hair and put on some makeup. Then I woke up Tom and we went into the hospital. They started with the Epidural, which went in without a hitch. after that was going, and I couldn't feel a thing, they started me on pitocin. After a few hours of that they were able to break my water, and I had Gabriel completely pain free a few hours later. Perfect hair, makeup and completely rested!
There was a concern when I was in labor with Gabriel that they were going to have to do a C-section. Every time I had a contraction Gabriel's heart rate would drop. When he came out, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his foot. The more educated I became, the more I realized that this could have happened because of the stress of the pitocin.
Seth 23 months-Gabriel 4 hours

Hyrum Lawrence
Hyrum means exalted brother, after Joseph Smiths brother- the greatest brother and friend I can think of, and Lawrence-meaning Laurels or award is after my Dad- Larry, though not the same, it was the intention.
When Gabriel was 6 months I was getting ready to go back to beauty school. One morning I woke up and I was sick. After a few hours I felt fine. I decided it must have been food poisoning. Then I started to have other symptoms of pregnancy. So I decided to take the test. When I took the test one line came up indicating that I was not pregnant. So I called Tom and told him it was a false alarm. And I went to work-I cleaned houses. When I got home I realized I had not thrown away the test. I happened to glance at it before it went in the garbage, 2 lines- I was pregnant. I couldn't believe it. I was still nursing Gabriel. I called Tom. It really took me about 3 months to get excited to be pregnant. Then I decided I must be having a girl. Who really has 3 boys in a row-right. So I went to the store and picked out a cute little girls dress. Then we had the ultrasound. I had the doctor look again 3 times just to be sure. Yep sure enough it was a boy! It took me almost another 3 months to be excited to have a boy. I am not sure if anyone else has ever been so grumpy to carry one of Gods greatest gifts. As far as my health went, from month 2 until about month 5 I was literally bed ridden. I could not get out of bed. My blood pressure was so low that my limbs were numb. To lift any part of my body felt like know in the Incredibles(kids movie), when Mr. incredible gets hit with those black balls that inflate, and eventually he can't move... well that is how I felt. I just had to forget completely about my house. The boys just played in my room- Gabe was still a baby and Seth was a great help! He would get diapers and he became very proficient at making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He was 2 and 1/2. Tom would make sure he had breakfast everyday, and he tried to come home for lunch to see if we were all still alive. Then he would come home and fix dinner. About the time that I had the ultrasound, is when all of this nonsense got over. They figured it was just to much stress on my body to have 2 so close when I had low blood pressure anyway. I think I may have only been sick about 4 times during this pregnancy. I had the same doctor with Gabriel as I had with Hyrum. When I was 2 and 1/2 weeks early he induced me. However, because I already had two, I did not get on my hands and knees to scrub the floor, and I slept through my alarm on the morning I was to be induced. We were about a 1/2 hour late. Oh well! I did try to do a few things, so that it wouldn't be to hard to have three. Like I wrote out all the checks for bills, and stamped them so I could send them. The night before I had Hyrum, I sent these bills accidentally. Though Tom was working hard, we were not in a financial position to pay bills twice in the same month, so the next morning when I was having Hyrum I made an emergency phone call to my mom to ask her if she could cover it until I could pay her back. Oh the joys...
When I got to the hospital to have Hyrum I told the nurse that I wanted to go epidural free as long as possible. She kept that in mind. I was feeling pretty good, until she came in 5 hours later and I was feeling like I must be almost done- it was hurting pretty bad-and she checked and I was only at a 3. Then I told her I should probably get an epidural. This was at the same point that my doctor told her to increase the pitocin to the maximum amount. Uhhg! This feels like getting kicked in the stomach over and over and over. 20 minutes later she came into check me and called the doctor with an emergency call, I was at an 8. At this point I was sobbing. It hurt so bad, that everything was a blur! They were asking me questions and telling me not to push and trying to get me to wait-yelling at someone to turn of the "pit". But there was no waiting. Hyrum almost fell on the floor, because they weren't ready. When they caught him they put him on my chest, as if to say- could you hold him for me...I still have to get my gloves on. As soon as they put him on my stomach I was in love! I had not felt that kind of love so intensely or immediately for either of my other boys. Going from a 3 to a 10 in 25 minutes with no meds really puts things in perspective for you :) As I think about it, I think they may have put something in my IV when I was at an 8, I will have to ask Tom.
This is also the first time I got to hold a brand new messy, naked baby on top of my stomach, before he was cleaned up and sleepy. I started to form an opinion at this point, that there must have been a reason why the Lord gave us Labor. It is not a forever thing, but it is something that you have to work hard through and at the end you get the greatest reward. It may sound strange to you, but for some reason because it was so hard, I loved him so much sooner. Hyrum and I, about 10 minutes old

So now for little guy number four. Whom we call Enoch John. We love the prophet Enoch. He was such a righteous leader that he was able to teach an entire city how to love each other with hearts of Zion. That city was later taken to Heaven, none of its inhabitants having to taste of death! Wow what a teacher! And the John, after my Grandpa John. This brave man married into a family of 6 kids and saved them. He was able to hold this family together. He is one of my greatest examples, right next to my dad and my husband. When I found out I was pregnant with Enoch we were so excited. We had been trying for about 5 months, with one miscarriage in between. I didn't take a pregnancy test this time, I just knew I was pregnant. I never got sick until about 9 weeks. I stayed nauseous for about 3 weeks and then it was over. I have only gotten sick 2 more times since. This has been such an easy pregnancy. Remember when I said that " this is the only present that shakes you." well, that is exactly how I feel this time. Every time he kicks or wiggles I get a big happy goofy grin on my face. Tom thinks its cute. This time, I was just positive it was a girl, because it was so different, and really who could have 4 boys in a row. Plus the baby room was already pink :) I was going to call her Twila Eve, however she is a he. When I had the ultrasound, I just laughed. About a week later my rib went out the first time. Luckily I was in Indiana with Rosie-my aunt, and she knew exactly what it was. She popped it back in and so I knew what was wrong and what to do. Each time it has popped out since, I have known that relief is only a few hours away- whenever Tom got home from work. I actually got to a point where I learned how to pop it back in on my own. Since then I think Enoch has dropped, and my rib going out is not a problem any longer. Over all this has been the easiest pregnancy ever! I have a midwife this time. Her ideas of labor are different than my last doctor, and that is what I was looking for. I am not scheduled to have a baby. It will just happen when it happens. The hospital is right across the street from Toms work. He jokes that he will go to work and I can call him when its over. :) The OB unit is terrific at this hospital. I feel very educated on the subject and I am so excited to have this baby and experience everything! It is funny how you learn things in life. At least for me, I find that the opinions I originally have change over time and through experience. When I first started having children, I kind of felt like why not have pain relief if it is there. Now, I kind of feel like, Labor doesn't last forever, women that have children are the only ones who get to experience it, so why not! This will be my first actual med free labor, so I may be singing a different tune, but I can't imagine that I will since I did Hyrums labor on full "pit" without any meds for pain, and that is when I started to form this opinion. So, I know this is long and boring. If you make it this far, I would love to hear your stories.


Kade and Teann said...

Erika, you almost made me cry while reading that! I loved your thoughts you shared. Isn't it amazing that even with all the pain and discomfort pregnancies bring (and I don't have room to speak because I think my pregnancies are kind of cake walks...), we can still feel like it is a PRIVILEGE to carry these children and then go through labor to get them here. We are so blessed to be mothers!!

Trisha said...

Thank you for sharing all these thoughts and experiences! I've had two pregnancies/labors now and neither one of them have been pain free. We had the same wonderful group of midwives for both and I wouldn't change the experience of either labor, hard as they were. The human body is an amazing and wonderful thing! I commend you for your faithfulness in following the Lord as well as your own instincts. I'm a firm believer that mothers should make their own informed and prayerful decision about where and how and with whom to birth their babies. Every person is different and God tailors each of our experiences to our personal needs and growth.

Annette and Ted said...

I really enjoyed hearing about your pregnancy/labor stories. I've been thinking since I only missed about 30 minutes with Zada my next one will also be med free-if I decide not to get induced. Ted can't believe I am thinking about this already, but I really love being a mom!

ang :o) said...

I had no idea you had a blog! And congrats on the pregnancy! So exciting!

Brandon & Natalie said...

Hello!!! How are you guys? 4 boys to kiss, I love that! Wonderful to find a fellow blogger, it's nice to see you again!

Joni said...

I love hearing about other peoples pregnancies! You sure are a good writer! I am way impressed. I guess we will start lookin to live in the North end of Boise. Thanks for the help! We sure miss you here!