Sunday, March 28, 2010

The difference a pound makes...

Towards the end of my pregnancy with Selah, I started to mentally prepare for challenges after she was born. For those that don't know - Ephraim was a terrible eater. He couldn't latch on well and we had to use a supplemental nursing system for weeks. It would take close to an hour to feed him and then I had to pump afterwards. He gained weight very slowly and had jaundice that caused him to be under bililights for two days. He also was/is a horrible sleeper.

With all of the challenges I had with Ephraim, I wanted to be mentally ready for any of them with our baby girl - all while praying and hoping that things would be easier.

Selah - 10 days old
Let me tell you what a difference a pound makes (and almost two weeks more gestation). Selah came out weighing one ounce short of a pound more than her brother. She latched on with ease and has had no latch issues since. (Although we did meet with the lactation consultant at the hospital so I could feel more at ease). She eats amazingly fast. I only nurse her for 5-7 minutes total. She has had no weight gain issues and actually is gaining weight faster than most babies her age. She did have elevated jaundice levels - but due to her weight gain, did not have to be under lights. Selah is also a terrific sleeper. I believe this is completely connected to her ability to eat.
Ephraim - 10 days old

Needless to say - Selah's ability to eat and sleep have made the transition to two kids pretty easy. And for that I am incredibly thankful.
Selah - 10 days old

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So far...

In her first week of life - Selah has:
~been to the doctor's twice
~had her heel pricked 4 times for jaundice levels (highest it got was 13.9)
~been bonked on the head several times by her big brother
~gotten lots of love from her big brother
~met one of her second cousins
~eats every 2 hours
~become more alert
~received a rash from mommy's body wash on the first day home
~met all of her grandparents

~goes 3 to 4 hours in between feedings in the middle of the night
~has peed on her dad, mom and their bed
~been a complete joy

Monday, March 22, 2010

Family of four

When we called my mom at 4:30 AM, Ephraim had just woken up and was upset that we weren't there. We told her to bring him at anytime. They showed up around 5:30. I was in the shower when they got there, but Ephraim quickly joined me in bed.
Our first family photo.
Ephraim quickly discovered that there is a hospitality room just down the hall that has pudding, applesauce, jello, turkey sandwiches, several types of juice and small cans of soda available at anytime. By the time Grandma and Grandpa Arnold arrived around 10AM he could walk them to it.
Ephraim loves to hold babies, but he wasn't quite sure about Selah.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Selah's Story

I want to get Selah's birth story written while every thing is super fresh in my mind. There are going to be a lot of details - but that is so I don't forget them - feel free to skim if you want.

Selah's birth story really starts at my doctor's appointment on the 10th. I left the appointment 4 cm dilated and with an induction scheduled for the 18th. For the rest of that week and through the weekend I had intermittent contractions that were strong enough that I would go "oh, that's a contraction" but they didn't really hurt. I was completely convinced that I would make it to my induction since I saw no signs of my body actually starting labor. My mom drove up on Saturday night to stay the week with us. It gave me great peace of mind knowing that she would be here for Ephraim for when we were in the hospital.

Monday, March 15
I had random contractions throughout the day. I had been getting contractions only at night, so this was a change, but they still were not painful so I didn't think much of it. I also had some lower back pain that reminded me of my high jump days, but again, it didn't last all day and would come and go so I didn't pay much attention to it.

Ephraim and I fell asleep in my bed around 8:30. My mom moved him into his bed and I stayed asleep. Forrest was working downstairs. Around 10:30 Ephraim fell out of bed (for the first time ever) which woke me up. My contractions had disappeared (which was typical for when I fell asleep) so I took my heparin shot around 11. Forrest and I watched some tv with my mom and went to bed around 11:30.

Shortly after we went into bed I started to get contractions. These were different. They were a sharp pain that took my breath away, lasted about a minute and were about 6 minutes apart. They were primarily in my lower belly. After 3 contractions I woke up Forrest and said "these hurt", but I stayed in bed and continued to time them. Forrest later told me that he was hoping they would stop because it was sleepy time. By 12:30 I nudged Forrest awake and told him we should probably get up and he should take Ephraim's car seat out of our car.

I went to the bathroom, saw that I was slightly bleeding and finally figured out that this was probably really it. I woke up my mom and told her we were going to go in. Forrest hopped in the shower and took one of the quickest showers I have known him to take. Ephraim woke up right as we were leaving and was upset, but waved bye-bye to us.

Tuesday, March 16th
We left our house at 1AM. We plugged in Valley Medical Center Emergency Room into our GPS just because we had never had our GPS take us to a hospital before. The drive to the hospital took a little over 20 minutes. I had several contractions on the drive, but was able to breathe through them. Once at the hospital we entered the emergency room and were escorted to the Birthing Center.

I was evaluated in Triage Room C. I was hooked up to the monitors and baby girl looked great. I was checked and was at a 6. The nurse told me "you don't have to prove yourself, we can just admit you." They called the on-call doc for my practice and thankfully it was my doctor - Dr. Rice. Dr. Rice informed them that due to when I took my heparin I would be unable to have an epidural. The nurse in triage started my iv and drew some blood. She even drew some blood to check my platelet level - even though Dr. Rice hadn't ordered it - just in case my platelets were good enough that I could get an epidural. My L&D nurse Lynn came and walked us to our room - room 2133. By this time my contractions were stronger, but I was still able to breathe through them.

me being evaluated in Triage - the last picture of me pregnant

I went into the bathroom right after getting into our room and by the time I got out Dr. Rice was in the room letting me know he was there and would be getting updates from Lynn. It was about 2:30 AM. Lynn filled the bath tub for me and I climbed in.

My contractions started getting stronger and I started to moan through them. Forrest told me I sounded like a walrus. They were still several minutes apart so we talked and laughed at my walrus sounds in between them. Forrest even said he could throw ice chips at me if it would distract me. I turned him down. My contractions continued to get stronger and I could no longer stay still. Forrest held my hand during each contraction and kept telling me I was doing great. Lynn would check on me and tell me I was "singing her song" and that I was doing amazing.

After being in the tub for almost an hour (it was around 3:20) Lynn had to check on baby before, during, and after a contraction. I asked her to check me because I was having some pressure. I was 8 cm. I asked if there was anything I could take to take the edge off and was told no. Lynn explained that I was progressing quickly and she didn't want to have a sleepy baby. Lynn believed that if Dr. Rice broke my water that we would be having a baby very soon.

She called Dr. Rice and he stated he wanted to hold off a little longer to break my water, as sometimes that slows down labor and he didn't want to do that. Lynn told me she would check on me soon and to call her if the pressure didn't go away during contractions. I asked Forrest to call her three contractions later (the contractions were only 2 minutes apart by now). I was at 9.5 cm and had a "bulging bag".

I moved to the bed and Dr. Rice broke my water at 3:47 AM. I was immediately told to start pushing. I'll be honest - I really struggled those first few pushes. I remember crying "I can't do this" and not holding my breath while I tried to push. Dr Rice told me "Amy - I know it hurts, but you are not helping yourself or your baby by not holding your breath when you push." Forrest commented later that Dr. Rice didn't have a lot of sympathy for me, but it was exactly what I needed to hear to get me to focus.

I immediately started to push better. It was a completely different experience than with Ephraim. No one was counting to ten - I just pushed until I ran out of air and then took a deep breath and did it again. Dr. Rice explained that she was making a turn around my pelvis. Hearing this helped me figure out exactly what I needed to do to help her. It was funny to see Forrest get all excited and have him, Dr. Rice and Lynn all yell "yes! just like that!"

I got to experience the "ring of fire" - although that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. 13 minutes after Dr. Rice broke my water at exactly 4:00AM Selah Ruth was born. She was placed directly on my chest and started crying immediately. She hardly needed any suctioning (unlike her brother who had to be taken off my chest for not crying loudly). After a quick weight check she was placed back on my chest. 7 lbs, 11 ounces (almost a pound more than her brother). She scored 9's on both of her apgars. Dr. Rice stitched me back up (I didn't really tear, only popped open the scar from Ephraim), told me I did amazing and then left.

Right after she was born
Selah nursed for over an hour after she was born. I felt bad that Forrest hadn't been able to hold her, but he kept telling me it was okay. They put the eye ointment on her eyes while she was on my chest and waited for her to be done nursing to get her dressed and do her vitamin K and hep B shots. Forrest called my mom and told her that she could bring Ephraim in anytime. He then called his parents and let them know that their granddaughter had been born.

Although her birth was nothing like what I expected it to be - it was perfect. I am glad that I got to experience natural child birth. If I hadn't been "forced" to, I am not sure that I would have ever chosen to go that route. If we have a third child, I may choose to go natural again... we shall see.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Selah Ruth Arnold
Born Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
7 lbs, 11 ounces
19 inches long

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baby Update

I have been told that I need to update my blog. So... here are the baby stats as of Wed (3/10)

Gestational age: 38 weeks, 5 days
BP: 120/68
Weight gain: Minus two pounds
Dilated: 4 cm, 75% effaced

Everything looked great at my last appointment. Baby girl is still head down and I will never complain about losing 2 pounds. I was very glad to have made some change to 4 cm - and told my doctor after he checked me that if he had said 3 again, he was going to have to lie and make it at least 3 and a quarter. Most women I know - when they hit 4 cm are in actual labor - and are either at the hospital or on their way. Not me. Or Colleen. Apparently my body is taking after Leeners and will dilate without any major contractions. I am totally fine with this - but I would like baby girl to make an appearance.

I think the hardest part the past two weeks is just not knowing when I will go into labor. In many ways I feel like a first time mom again. Since Ephraim was induced so early (37.5 weeks) I really have no idea what to expect. Forrest tells me I am impatient. I tell him that he would feel the same way at 39 weeks pregnant. For the past week I have been getting contractions in the evening for a few hours. They will increase in strength and go from 8-9 minutes apart to around 5-6 minutes apart. Then, around 8 or 9 PM they will decrease to 20 minutes apart and then pretty much disappear when I go to bed. The first time they got to 5-6 minutes apart I got really excited thinking "this is it" and now I don't. I am beginning to think that my body will not get into a consistent labor rhythm until my water breaks (which is what Colleen's body does).

At my appointment on the 10th, Dr. Rice and I discussed the different options we have. He is willing to induce me this week if I haven't gone into labor on my own. (Is it really an induction if he is just going to break my water to see if that works - and not use pitocin unless necessary?) We will talk more about it on my appointment on the 17th. The one benefit of being "induced" is that we can then time when I take my heparin and my risk of increased bleeding is diminished. The only downside is that my mom is in town now and I would like to go into labor while she is here. Either way, I don't have to be patient for much longer - baby girl will be here soon!