My Labor Story

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Before
After! I love you, Peter!
As many of you know from one of my previous posts, I had been preparing to have a natural childbirth. While everything didn't go exactly as I had planned, I'm very happy about the way my labor turned out. It was the most intense physical experience of my life, and I still don't know how to describe the emotional impact, 6 weeks later. In order to maintain authenticity, you may find this post graphic at times - you've been forewarned!

I started having contractions the morning of my due date, which I spoke about in my 40 week update. The whole weekend before I was feeling a little off, especially Sunday night. Contractions began around 1am Monday, April 14th, but didn't get too intense until late afternoon. I tried to sleep and eat but in retrospect, I didn't take care of myself the way I should have.

We went to the hospital around midnight. It was a wild night - the day had been hot, almost 75 degrees, and when we got to the hospital, they informed us that their air conditioning had broken down earlier that day, so the air was thick. The hospital was also pretty busy that night, whether it was due to the full moon & lunar eclipse that night, who knows! ;)

I was 4cm dilated at my first exam. Then my contractions became much more intense. I tried my relaxation and breathing techniques with my wonderful husband coaching me, but I was so exhausted that I kept falling asleep in between contractions. Startled awake, I couldn't focus enough to get control of my body. At my second exam a few hours later, I had only progressed to 5cm. Around 7am, the pain and lack of control was so unbearable that I asked for an epidural.

As the anethesiologist entered the room, I began to cry. I never cry in front of strangers, but I felt so disappointed in myself. I knew intellectually that all I had to do was get control over my body, but I could not physically do it. I didn't know how I was going to make it through the pushing stage if I was so exhausted already.

Within 10 minutes of getting the epidural, all of my disappoint vanished and I knew in my bones that I had made the right decision. I smiled again for the first time in several hours, and I could actually have a conversation. That morning, I slept for three blissful hours. I finally had a chance to recharge my batteries.

In the early afternoon, I had another exam and was told that I was 10cm dilated. I couldn't feel the contractions or my legs, so I just took their word for it! (By the way, not being able to feel my legs was completely freaky.) The doctor came in shortly after and asked me to try pushing. Well, I had no feeling, so my pushing was for nothing. I had to wait almost 3 hours for my epidural to wear off before I could push!

When it was time to push, I felt that pain coming back and I started to get anxious. I didn't want to feel pain anymore! Looking back, I'm grateful that I was able to feel enough to instinctively push. But because my labor at that point had been over 25 hours (with contractions starting over 39 hours prior), I don't think anyone expected that this phase of labor would go so quickly for me. My husband kept bugging the nurse to come in, and she was slowly making her way. I was thinking, "this baby is coming, where is everyone?!" It only took about 10 minutes, and the doctor almost didn't make it! He rushed in and quickly put on his gloves, and my little man was born just a few minutes later. I'm definitely lucky in this respect - some women push for a couple hours.

After Peter was born, I was in complete shock. My body was in so much pain after being numb for several hours, and I had a strange feeling because my belly was gone. And sorry if this is TMI, but the stitches were the most difficult part for me emotionally - I had so much anxiety in those few minutes and couldn't truly enjoy holding my son.

Soon after Peter arrived, a lactation consultant arrived to assist me with my first breastfeeding session, but I was so in shock that I just couldn't handle it. So we were transferred upstairs to the Maternity ward (where it was even hotter!). My husband went across the street to the Whole Foods and got me a huge plate of mac n cheese, my first meal in over 24 hours. It was so delicious and I was so ravenous that I basically inhaled it!

We had a great nurse that was very helpful with recovery & nursing advice throughout the night, but it was anything but easy. I'll do another post on that later. Essentially, it was the craziest experience of my life and much more intense that I could have possibly prepared for, but looking back, I wouldn't do anything different. I'm so grateful that I was able to forgive myself so quickly for getting the epidural, because I truly believe it allowed me to have a significantly better birthing experience.

I hope my story is helpful and not fear inducing to those of you that are still pregnant. It's such an intense experience that you can't prepare for or understand until you go through it. I finally see that. Despite it all, I definitely would do it again! I love my little man! Becoming a mom has enabled me to roll with the punches better. 

I love connecting with other mamas! Please share your labor stories with me! Also, coming up I'll have posts on Peter's first week home, my nursing experience, and more updates on my baby! For more photos of little Peter, be sure to follow me on Instagram!



xo kristen genevieve




I'm a Mom!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'm so happy to share with you that I am now a Mother! I'm sure those of you how have followed my pregnancy could guess that since I've been gone for so long. I've tried to update my Instagram, but truthfully, I've spent most of my time snuggling with my little man!

I've missed blogging! My blog has most definitely taken a backseat to being a mom. I feel like I'm constantly nursing, which makes getting to a computer to type nearly impossible. But now that my little man is one month old and I've begun to learn his wake/sleep patterns, I'm hope to have more me time.

Upcoming, I'll have a post about my labor story, my nursing experience, and the first week home. Thank you all for following me throughout my pregnancy and for your well wishes on Instagram over the past few weeks! When I'm alone at home, it's nice to feel connected to other ladies who have had the same struggles and joys. Thanks for reading!



xo kristen genevieve


Pregnancy Update: 40 Weeks! DUE DATE!

Monday, April 14, 2014



Today is my DUE DATE!! Wow! I am so excited that I've crossed this mini milestone. What's even more exciting is that I've started experiencing contractions! They started this morning around 1 am and I've had 2-3 each hour pretty consistently since then. I can't believe it! 

I hadn't been sleeping well last week or at the beginning of this week because, as I mentioned in my previous update, I've been struggling with control. I feared that I would start having contractions at night (which I did) and not be able to get control of my body enough to relax. But what actually happened was that I immediately and instinctually woke up and focused on relaxing all of my muscles. I felt in complete control. It made me feel so confident about what is to come! 

I'm going to do my best to update all of you on my progress! My baby boy could be here this evening or it could be a few more days, but I have a feeling it will be within the week! I'll post quick updates on my Instagram until I'm able to blog again. So go follow me @kristengenevieve !

Week: 40 weeks - Today is my official Due Date!!

Gender: Boy!!

Total Weight Gain:
28-29lbs total! I definitely did not expect that I would be able to stay right around 30lbs. It was my goal, but I wasn't sure what would happen! 


Exercise: Lots of walking and stretching! I went for four long walks this week in addition to just getting around. Helping baby get a move on! Still stretching but no more yoga.

Nutrition: I started easing into drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea on Wednesday after my doctor appointment. It's supposed to help with labor but not actually induce. We'll see! ;)

Food cravings/aversions:
Still craving Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice Cream. I've just totally given in at this point, it's bad!


Signs of Stretch Marks: Nope! Still using Burt's Bees Belly Butter!

Maternity Clothes: No new ones. In hind sight, I wish I had a few more shirts and one pair of pants. It's been nice wearing dresses again now that the weather's nice though! Remind me to having a summer baby next time. :)

Sleep: On & off. I slept horribly at the beginning of the week, feeling anxious about when I would go into labor. But the past several nights, I've talked myself into feeling good before bed and I've slept much better. Mind over matter!

Feeling: A mix of emotions but not too emotional! (If that makes sense!) I've been feeling anxious about when this little man will decide to arrive, but I'm actively trying to relax and let go as much as I can. 
Physically, I feel great. I am pretty much fully capable - something I never expected at this stage of pregnancy. I just do things a little more slowly than before. The only time I'm uncomfortable is getting up from the bed at night. :)

Labor Signs: I was beginning to feel more "crampy" on Friday night. By Sunday evening, I could tell something was happening. Then Sunday night, I started having contractions! As of Monday morning, they're 15-20 seconds long, roughly 20 minutes apart and not painful - noticeable and uncomfortable, but not painful. Banging my knee on the coffee table would feel 10x worse.

Baby Movement: Yeah! His kicks hurt! But I can't blame him, he must be feeling so cramped in there!

Belly Button In or Out? In - barely!

Wedding Rings On or Off? Off most of the time. :( They fit tightly but I don't want to force it.

What I miss most this week: Sleep! But I have a feeling I'll be missing that for a while. ;)

Best moment this week: Experiencing contractions and feeling totally in control of my body! :D

Looking forward to: Meeting my little one! Maybe today! Ah!!!


xo kristen genevieve
 

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