January 14, 2018

Leading up to the birth of Millie

I am really looking forward to sharing Millie's birth story with you guys. To be honest, it's gonna be a pretty short story, haha. But before I do that, I need to share the weeks/days leading up to her birth. For some reason I feel like it's all part of the story and definitely something I don't want to ever forget. So get through this part with me, if you want, and the birth story will be posted very soon!
As many of you know I have used the Hypnobirthing method for each birth. I love it and would recommend it to anyone having a baby whether it be by C-section, medicated, or un-medicated. The breathing techniques and affirmations you learn are so helpful to any laboring mama, in my opinion. During the last 2 months leading up to my due date, January 8th (also my Mom's 50th birthday), I had finished reading the book and took a lot of time preparing with the affirmations and breathing cd's. I was nervous. More nervous than with the last 2 babies. I was mainly nervous about birthing a healthy baby without any complications, but also nervous about the pain. Which is funny because the hypnobirthing concept is all about relaxation and power of your mind to help you to not be tense, which in turn should prevent a lot of the pain women feel. (They explain the body/muscles and science behind this incredibly well in the book.) So perhaps I am not doing it exactly right because I 100% feel pain, and a lot of it, but I am able to get through it without any medication. Anyway, I was nervous.

Then, as some of you may know, mid December the company Bodie works for offered him more money to come back to Northern Utah to begin overseeing some work in Jan, with the option left up to us whether we wanted to move before baby, or right after. I, of course, chose before because moving with a 2 week old sounded like an awful idea. So we decided to spend Christmas in St. George, and then move a few days later. On the 13th I told our landlord we would be moving right after Christmas, not exactly a 30 day notice, but she was great and worked with us on finding new tenants quickly so we wouldn't need to pay Jan rent on top of the new place up north. It wasn't looking good with new tenants, but then last minute a sweet family was basically in the exact same situation as us but transferring jobs from up north to St. George and needed a place stat. It ended up working out super well. We began packing, arranged very quickly for a place to live that we could at least bring a baby home to and live for a couple of months until we found something more permanent, and just got all our ducks in a row. Well, mostly. You wouldn't believe the to-do checklist I had. Craziness.

A week before we left I asked for an ultrasound for peace of mind and while baby was perfect, my amniotic fluid was on the low side. So for the next week I had to drink 1/2-1 gallon of water a day and "take it easy". Ha! Imagine that. But I must have done something right because the following week, the day before moving, I had another ultrasound and the fluid level had gone from a 6.6 to a 9 and that was a huge relief. At each of those last appointments in St. George they asked if I wanted to be checked (dilation/effacement) and both times I answered with a very quick and confident "No thanks!" Normally I don't mind being checked  but I didn't need any numbers messing with my mind. I just needed to get moved and somewhat settled before baby came. So Thursday, December 28th came, 12 days before my due date, and we parted ways with St. George. We were sad to leave. We wanted to live there for years and years to come. But I am a lover of change and this move felt right. I had struggled my entire pregnancy with feeling "right" about the midwife that I had been seeing, and then switched from her to a Doctor (first time having a doctor, and first time having a male) and had just began seeing him when we found out about the move. I wondered if maybe this move was why I never really established a good relationship or "feeling" about them in St. George. But I also had feelings like,"Is something going to go wrong with the baby or me? Are we moving because we need to be near those doctors and hospitals?" Lots of thoughts, lots of wondering, lots of unknown.

It was a 4 hour drive to our new place and during that drive I didn't feel too great. The braxton hicks contractions were really strong and annoying and I remember thinking, "Maybe I'll just swing by the hospital and have a baby on the way." Pretty sure it was just stress and being anxious, but later on during the drive I felt much better. With the help of amazing family and friends we were basically unpacked and settled by Sunday. It was a long weekend, and knowing we would be moving again soon and not needing to unpack all the boxes was nice. But we unpacked enough to live very comfortably for a couple of months. Almost all my to-do list was crossed off, except for probably the most important things: finding a hospital, securing a midwife, and transferring all my records. Not only was I needing to transfer and change providers and be seen by them with one week until my due date, but Bodie's company decided VERY last minute, like the week of Christmas, to completely chance insurance providers/carriers/plans. New year, new insurance, new care. Wow. At one point, back in St. George, I was asked by a billing staff member if I wanted to have the baby early without going into 2018 to keep all financials easier on everyone. I politely declined. I am a firm believer of baby coming when she's nice and ready, and no forcing on my end.

Monday was New Years day, so first thing Tuesday I got on the phone with the new insurance company, get our member ID info, and made sure the hospital I wanted to go to, as well as the midwives I wanted to see were in network. Luckily, they all were. Later Tuesday I had an appt with the midwife who also delivered Dash, we got a plan set and I felt so much relief. She checked me and I was a 3+, 70%. I left that appointment with nothing left on my checklist except to pack a bag for the hospital. We were officially ready for baby to arrive. The rest of the week was spent enjoying time with Dollie and Dash and just relaxing after an insane couple of weeks. I found myself listening to birth affirmations more and more as the due date drew nearer. When meeting with Josi, my midwife, we discussed how quickly labor was with Dash and decided it would probably be best for me to not hang out at home for too long once labor began. Usually I labor at home for 3 hours. Josie recommended heading to the hospital much sooner than that, especially where were 30 minute away from the hospital. My sister, Courtney, lives about 30min away and the plan was to have her come to my house when labor began. In the event that it was the middle of the night she would have to bring Sophia, my 4 yr old niece, and I was really hoping she wouldn't have to do that in the middle of the night. Also, I've only had summer babies, so snow storms have never been an issue. Bodie's mom would come as soon as labor began to relieve Court, but she was two hours away and would be unable to come if snow was bad. I had also set up a birth photographer/videographer and was really hoping I would go into labor at a decent time (not the middle of the night) so that she wouldn't have to worry about her 3 young kids, and also so that my kids could come be in the birth story because obviously we wouldn't be waking them up in the middle of the night to come see baby. With Dollie, contractions began around 2am, and she was born at 10:41am, with Dash contractions began around 5am, and he was born at 10:27am. I was really hoping for something along those lines.

So each night/day passed. We were all getting very anxious. I really didn't want to make it to my next appointment on Monday the 8th, and I really wanted Josi to be there. She was the on call midwife Thursday, Saturday and Sunday that week, and if you read Dash's birth story then you'll know why I wanted her there. (Sudden bathroom floor, leaning over the tub birth sort of thing) Every morning we kept waking up and the kids would ask when she was coming. I still hadn't packed my bag, but I did pack Millie's bag and at least wrote down a quick list for my bag. On Friday our new insurance cards showed up in the mail which I knew would be very helpful over the next few days, and also Dollie asked if it was a special night (meaning a night where we get to go do something fun as a family) and I told her sure why not. So that night we all went out and I thought to myself that this could be the last night out as a family of 4, and even just for the next few months. We went to dinner, then to Costco, then to Scheels to ride the ferris wheel. I made it a point to take a family selfie. We all went to bed that night, as usual, feeling completely normal with no extra expectations, only to wake up hours later with those bold, beautiful, and oh so familiar contractions....

...to be continued!
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