Baby Girl’s Birth Story

Illyana Joy Paveza
“My God Answers”
Jan 12, 2017 at 1:51am at home
7lbs 9oz, 18.5 inches long

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This birth story wasn’t my plan from the beginning but God answered my prayers and it was truly a blessing. I learned to trust Him more and lean on Him when I didn’t understand why. We never know the future but it is a beautiful blessing.

It was December, Christmas season, where I celebrate the birth of my Savior. My family was coming in town to celebrate since I wasn’t traveling due to being 36 weeks pregnant. Everything with the pregnancy was going along smoothly. We were set for our home birth with our midwife, Jessica, and her team. Baby girl was in position (head down), I was healthy and she was healthy. I was looking forward to January 1st, 2017 as I would be full term and baby girl could safely come with my birth plan at home.

But we got a surprise thrown at us as baby girl chose to flip breech on Christmas Eve which sent us into a week and half search for answers. We didn’t even know for sure she was breech until Tuesday after Christmas because the ER visit on Christmas Eve didn’t tell us the full outcome of the ultrasound but that is another story. Rob said, “this girl is already causing drama.”

But what were we to do? Did we have options? Would she flip back before I went into to labor?

My plan had been a natural home birth with my midwife but California law states that midwifes can’t deliver breech or twin babies. The “norm” and “mainstream medicine” stated that baby had to be head down or I would have to have a C-section in the hospital which was opposite of everything I wanted and scared me. I worried about bonding, healing, complications, breastfeeding, etc. There were so many unknowns to me about a C-section.

So, the first step was to try to coax baby girl to flip in the immediate days after finding out. I started doing tricks to see if she would flip. This meant doing a handstand in the pool, ice packs on top of belly, and doing inversion on an ironing board. I did feel her do a big movement and pull into a ball which I hoped meant she was ready to be head down. But my midwife with her mentor midwife could not tell what position baby girl was in when I was checked. So, the only way to know position for sure was for another ultrasound. Off I went and the ultrasound confirmed she was still breech. Her head was nicely tucked under my ribs and I was now almost 37 weeks. She probably wouldn’t flip on her own.

My midwife sent me the phone number for an OB in Santa Monica that specialized in vaginal twin and breech babies specifically at home, Dr Stu Fischbein. A vaginal breech birth? I had never thought or heard of that but I wanted information for anything besides a hospital intervention with a C-section.

So, I called him and left a message. He called right back to talk. We set up consultation to talk options and check her position for Tuesday, Jan 3rd. Now the goal was to make it through New Year’s weekend or if she decided to come early we had to have a C-section in the hospital. It wouldn’t be a choice for us but forced.

We made it to Tuesday and met with Dr. Stu. He was definitely a specialist in breech birth; confident, knowledgeable, friendly, and honest. He took the time to get to know us and what we wanted. He then did an ultrasound to confirm breech, specifically frank breech position. He advised against trying to manually flip her with an ECV (External Cephalic Version) due to my anterior placenta and baby girl being frank breech. Frank breech means both feet were by her face which wouldn’t give her any leverage to move on her own.

After meeting with him, Rob and I decided to go with him and keep our home birth plan just with a vaginal breech birth instead. We trusted Dr Stu because we felt he practiced evidence based medicine and was straight forwarded with us. We would still have our midwife, Jessica, and her team along with the doctor. It wasn’t in my first plan but it was the new one.

I got to relax now that we were all set. But I was oh so ready to meet my baby girl after the two weeks of stress. But no one can predict when a baby will arrive. It was just getting harder to keep up with David. And I started having more cramping and more Braxton hicks which were getting painful. This was very different from David’s birth lead up.

I just couldn’t imagine baby girl waiting until my due date of January 21. It seemed forever off.

Then on Tuesday, January 10th, I went to picked Rob up from work to go to small group when contractions started pretty consistently but not that painful. Throughout group they started to pick up slowly. On my way home I contacted Jessica to give her a head up in case it progressed over night to full on labor. I was nervous about the chance of having her before anyone got here. The contractions were consistent until I finally fell asleep at 11:30pm when they dropped to just cramping. I was a bit disappointed because I was hoping baby girl was coming.

On January 11th, I woke up early due to all that had gone on through the night. I went down stairs to work on my “baby puzzle”. It was the same puzzle I made the day David was born. I was in new territory and had no clue what to expect so needed to keep distracted.

 

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Completed Baby Puzzle

I did continue to have contractions throughout the day while keeping up with David. Sometimes it seemed consistent then other times just two per hour. This is called prodromal labor. It was quite exhausting and tiresome. I kept myself distracted by taking David to the park and walking. I knew if labor was coming walking would help it get stronger anyway. I also made a chocolate chip cookie cake just in case baby girl did decide this was to be her birth day.

 

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Cookie Cake

 

 

I finally made a call to Jessica at 430 looking for more natural ways to induce what was hopefully labor. It was mainly because I didn’t feel I could do another day of the off and on contractions and keep up with David. Just having David touch me was driving me crazy. I was done and this baby girl needed to come tonight. If she did come today she would share my sister’s birthday.

Blessings did come. I had probably prayed throughout the day pleading with God to just let baby be coming today. My labor finally got consistent and stronger between 5:30-8pm. I went on a walk around 7pm to help them coming and started prepping the house for a delivery while Rob put David down.

I think David sensed it was time because throughout the day he would tell me, “meet baby sister”. Too sweet and melts my heart just remembering it. How can an almost 2 year recognize something unseen is beyond me but he did sense it.  He even couldn’t stay asleep like he normally does. He was asleep when my midwife, Jessica, arrived around 8pm but Dylan barked twice on her arrival and woke him up. Dylan usually barks at night and David sleeps right through it. And David never went back to sleep. We had to call some friends to pick him up and he was so amped to come down stairs at 9pm ready to meet baby sister.

Sadly, my labor did slow while dealing with David. He had become my priority for the moment so it was blessing he was leaving. I gave him one last goodbye hug as my baby and only child. He said bye and mentioned meeting baby sister again. I told him in the morning he would meet her.

I went upstairs to do a position called “knee to chest” with Jessica. She said it would get labor going faster and closer together again but I had to be in that position for 45 minutes and it might be uncomfortable. She rubbed my back while I was in that position for 45 minutes. I relaxed and let what was happening come. Sadly, I was only dilated to about a 4 so not even halfway yet or in active labor.

I labored on my side afterwards with just Rob in the room while trying to as much rest as possible because it was close to 11 by now. I wanted in the birth tub but it was still too early so went in the shower instead. I was just trying to work through each contraction and let myself relax. I finally went back to the bed where the midwife checked me again and still I hadn’t progressed very much.

Then I mentally shut down. I totally lost focus and was frustrated that I didn’t know what to expect any more. I had hoped labor would be faster. I wanted left alone on the bathroom floor with only Rob. I felt I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t progressing. Was it the breech that changed my labor? Weren’t second babies supposed to come faster? I wanted on my bed or the birth tub but both were not recommended by Jessica. Frustrated!

In the bathroom, while all those thoughts went through my head, I threw up. Rob said he recognized this as the sign my body was switching into active labor. I didn’t know that Jessica had called Dr Stu to come as she felt it would happen by sunrise. I moved from the floor to my yoga ball which was in the bathroom when Jessica came in to announce that Dr Stu was here and if he could come see me which I agreed to.

My whole team was here and in place. Dr Stu calmed me, reassured me baby would be here this morning and sent me to bed to try to rest. Just two contractions after he went back downstairs while I was in the bed I felt a pop along with a giant gush of water. It was a new sensation for me but I knew what it was, my water had just broken, all over me and my bed. It caused quite the commotion.

My contractions became very close like less than 30 seconds apart and super strong. Dr Fischbein checked me and I was at a 6, suddenly. I wanted the tub now!

Luckily it was all set up. So, off I went to it. The birthing tub is my favorite place to labor in. I love it because with every contraction I can easily move to a different position with the water still hugging my body. I just focused on my body and what felt right. After baby girl was here Jessica said I looked like a swimmer gliding through the water while laboring.

Before I knew it, I felt the urge to push. It happened so quickly that at first I thought it was just a bowel movement but no something/someone was coming out. Butt first, baby girl was coming. I had to tell my team what was happening. Dr Stu had just laid down in David’s bed to try to sleep thinking he still had time before the birth.

I was immediately asked to get out of the water. I just needed help to get out so Rob and Jessica assisted me over the side to the floor. Where on the floor of the nursery, next to the birthing tub, I gave a good long push on my knees.

Then Jessica and Rob quickly guided me down the hall to my bed. I kept my eyes closed concentrating on just baby and my body. Almost ran into the wall but Jessica guided me well. I climbed onto bed on hands and knees which felt like the best way to deliver this breech baby girl. And I began pushing while Dr Stu commentated what was happening for the team and Rob. Not even five pushes later and with the help of Dr Stu, my breech baby girl, came out. My beautiful baby girl.

 

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My midwife doing Illyana’s newborn check

 

What I thought was going to be a slow labor turned into a fast hour of active labor from the point I knew all my team was set to deliver. My body was just waiting for my team and to feel safe. When it felt that it exploded into action.

Dr Stu said she had great color, great lungs, she just took a few more seconds to cry then a head down baby but very quickly still. Her butt was bruised but no cone head like David. I got to cut the cord. And to hold my baby girl. A healthy baby. No tearing for me and I feel better afterwards then with David. She was a nursing champ. A perfect addition to our family.

 

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My two blessings

 

My birth plan changed but God answered my prayers in a better way. I am so thankful I moved to Orange County where Dr. Stuart Fischbein practices so I could have my miracle. God is so good and faithful.

 

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So glad to have found Dr. Stu

 

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Death by Chocolate

So yesterday I got the urge to make cookies so I rummaged through my pantry and put together a version of monster cookies with oatmeal, peanut butter, and 4 kinds of chocolate. They turned out delicious. David enjoyed one. I ate two before my husband came home.

Oh and the batch made 5-6 dozen. Even though I am pregnant I don’t need that many in the house for just 3 of us. So I decided to freeze a dozen and half for later. And to send a dozen and a half to work with my husband.

When my husband came home today I asked how his coworkers liked the cookies. He said they were all gone.

We had city group (small group) with our church tonight. We were gone for about two hours. When we came home my husband took David upstairs to go to bed and I went to get comfortable. I usually hit the pajamas pretty quickly in the evening because they are the most comfortable with an ever expanding belly.

And when I got to our room I stumbled upon two empty containers with cookies crumbs.

I assumed our beagle, Dylan, had rummaged through my husband’s backpack to find the crumbs and eat them. I was not happy about my containers being ruined especially because Dylan has been extra annoying lately with David and me.

My husband came downstairs and I showed him the containers and asked him if he could figure out what happens. His reaction was completely unexpected because he said, “Did he throw up some where?” I didn’t know why that would be the case with crumbs. He then informed me that he had forgotten to put the cookies out and was planning to do it tomorrow which meant our beagle just ate one and half dozen cookies with a lot of chocolate in them.

So we are now on look for death by chocolate to our dog. I am hoping it doesn’t end with him throwing up tonight on our down comforter before we leave for our Thanksgiving vacation. I don’t want to have to do that laundry. And I don’t want to wake up to a dead dog either.

Oh, the joys of a dog!

 

Fall is in the Air

Just over a week ago I woke up to a beautiful Fall morning for Southern California. It was in the low 60s. My bedroom windows had been open all night. The room was cold. And I didn’t want to get out of bed. I just laid there for a minute. My little man didn’t let me do much more then that.

Then again today it was close to the feeling. Fall is in the air.

That is if I can ignore that it is predicted to be close to 100 this weekend. What? Off topic.

Also, at the beginning of this month my new friends here started texting about Starbucks PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte). Oh and how they had pulled their boots out. It was a bit surprising since it hadn’t felt like Fall and to those up north this probably wouldn’t ever feel like Fall. But for me it just made fall feel closer even if I have never had a PSL. My favorite drink of Starbucks is their peppermint mocha which I won’t order until Christmas time.

And my favorite part of Fall being in the air is all the activities starting back up. This week was the kick off of MOPs!!! I waited all summer for that to come back. And last week I started a new Bible Study at a different church. So this week felt more like Fall with activities and places to be.

I so look forward to falling into a routine and enjoy all that Fall has to offer. My little man needs a little encouragement to switch up our routine of daily morning park visits but in a couple weeks it will all be adjust hopefully. He is currently being laid to bed at 6:10pm because he only slept for 10 minutes on the ride home from Bible Study.

So my next step this week would be to pull out my fall decorations and make the house look more festive. Tomorrow should get me in the mood as I am going to a painting girl’s afternoon that includes a picture of pumpkins.

What makes you feel that Fall is in the air?wp_20131028_004-copy

Downside of the Middle

This week I didn’t get very good naps while my little slept which doesn’t help me be a better mom while pregnant. I don’t always fall asleep but I usually lay for an hour and half or so. I still usually feel rested even if I don’t sleep because I treasure the quietness of my house and just being still.

I don’t get to be still much with a toddler even when I try to sit down he has something to show me or want me to do. And quietness in our house when my little man is up usually isn’t good. I would rather hear his little voice or feet running around so I know where he is. But, oh, as a mom, I treasure the quiet.

Well to say the least it wasn’t quiet the last three days here.

Why?

The HOA decided it was the week to trim the trees.

I noticed our street started when I took David to the park to play and saw their progress as I returned. Sadly, doing the math in my head would indicated that the trimmer and the tree branch crusher (probably not correct name but a loud noise maker) would be at our house right at nap time. I hoped I was wrong.

Well, I wasn’t. I put my little man down and went to lay down and it was none stopped noise for the whole time. And to add to the noise our windows were all open because it was such a beautiful day.

That should have just been one day right?

Nope, they came behind us the next day and hit our area again.

We are a detached townhome that is smack in the middle of the street. So I got it in a back to back days.

Then today it was warmer so I closed my windows and thought they were down. But about 20 minutes into my nap the tree trimming noise started right back up. Ugh!!

Three days of no peace and quietness or nap. That wears on a pregnant mommy.

Plus side is it is Friday which means I can attempt to nap this weekend well. But I do have visitors coming for the weekend so I don’t expect much.

What do you treasure the most in your day?

We are having…

Yesterday we found out what gender the baby was that we are expecting in January. I went to the ultrasound myself so made delicious cupcakes that I was going to fill with the proper color of the gender to reveal it to my husband. And the results were…

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A Girl!!!

My husband looked at me after eating it and asked if I was lying. He always jokes that because God loves him he will only have boys. But we are expecting our first daughter.

Now to pick out new colors to add to the nursery. Choose what baby quilt I will be making. And probably make a few dress and outfits for the little girl. She will most likely be dressed very girly with lace, frills, and skirts.

My little man will make a wonderful big brother. Looking forward to the new addition.

 

Unmotivated

Sorry to be MIA for so long.

But I have been so unmotivated this pregnancy. Or the first half of this pregnancy. I am not the woman who is only sick for the first trimester. Nope! I am exhausted, nauseous and feeling nasty for almost 20 full weeks of pregnancy.

And this pregnancy I had a busy toddler that I had to somehow take care of though all of the above which translated into being very unmotivated concerning just about everything else.

Are you ever unmotivated? What caused you to be?

With that being said, hopefully I will be back a few times a week from here on until roughly the new baby comes. I can’t say what will happen after that. Maybe I will learn to how to blog on my phone while nursing my baby which will be half my day!

I am 20 weeks along with the pregnancy. I hit the half way mark on Sunday and now I am very excited for Friday as it is my anatomy scan ultrasound where I will find out the gender. This past week I have gotten an itch to start prepping and nesting a bit for coming baby but it helps to know what gender it is.

Now I really don’t care if it is a boy or a girl but it does reflect how I will get ready for it. If it is a boy I won’t have to do too much as I have everything a baby boy needs or I want a baby boy to have. I will make a baby quilt and do a few special things for the baby boy. BUT if it is a baby girl I will want some girly things and change up the nursery a bit more. And my family will probably spoil a baby girl a bit more too.

So I am excited for Friday.

Cute moment today from my adorable little man who is 18 months old. I was changing his crib sheet and putting a clean one away when he wanted it. I said, “no, it is a sheet.” And he said, “baa, baa, baa.” He heard sheep not sheet. I chuckled to myself. He is an energetic toddler but makes me smiles and love him every day.

 

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My Toddler

This week I have been thinking about my toddler. And oh, how he is growing and changing. Most of the time it makes my heart swell with love and pride but then there are the times it makes my heart beat with worry.

My son is usually a cautious boy so I usually don’t have to worry too much. But my toddler has began to climb. And climb. And climb everything.

Just the other day I went to use the restroom and walked back to our living area to find my son dancing on our kitchen table with a spray bottle full of water in his mouth. He looked so content but my heart skipped because he could easily fall off and hit his head on our tile that cracks everything that falls on it.

He can also climb into his jogging stroller. We learned that after a walk and I left it in the front hall instead of the garage because I didn’t have an garage opener with me. Again he astounded me with that ability but gave me a heart attack because again he could fall on our tile or into my glass china cabinet.

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Climbing into his stroller

Also, he knows how to climb onto my bed which usually is ok and cute. It has become one of his favorite reading spots. He can even get books up on the bed while climbing. But he also likes running from one side to the other which then I just picture him falling off the side. Ugh!

 

I have heard if a toddler is climbing by themselves they are less likely to fall because they know how much they can do. But I also know just one slip and he could hurt himself. And it is hard to keep up with a climbing toddler while doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen up, and being pregnant which equals more trips to the bathroom.

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Reading on our bed

 

Things that my toddler does that makes my heart swell with love is that he gives me a goodnight huge and kiss every night before bath time. My husband takes care of bath and bedtime now so I say goodnight. It is just the sweetest thing for my son to run to me and give me a hug.

He also helps unload the silverware and puts in the drawer. It might be just a pile in the drawer but he is trying.

He loves reading and will tell us book, book, book when he wants it.

He knows what knocking is and will knock on closed doors while saying knock, knock.

He can brush his own teeth while on his step stool which he knows how to say step stool too.

He decides what shoes he wants to wear and sometimes even picks out his socks or clothes. Today I have him dress in shorts and he brought me over a pair of paints from his dresser that he wanted instead.

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Getting the paper out for painting

 

And the top thing that I love seeing almost daily is he choosing what craft he wants to do. This is actually only between coloring or painting but he knows where each of those things are including the sponges to paint and he knows where to get the paper to do it. He will carry the paints out to his picnic table outside and then pull at our roll of paper to indicate what he wants to do. Then while I take the paper outside he will bring the sponges. Just too cute to see. Sadly though yesterday I didn’t pick up a crayon that he took outside and the sun melted it to the pavement. I get to figure out how to clean that up now. Oops.

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Crayon melted on the cement

 

I love watching my son develop and grow. He has such a personality and loves making choices. I just hope I can teach him where not to climb before he hurts himself.

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His most recent creation

 

What is your toddler doing?