My Birth Story

Due Date: November 10

Birth Date: Tuesday, November 25  (Tuesday’s child is full of Grace)

Time: 5:33am

Weight: 7lbs 1oz ; Length: 20.5in ; Head: 12.75in.

Hair Color: Blonde

Eye Color: Blue

I asked my mom to write down my birth story. I have heard some of these stories before, but it is nice to have it all written out!

Learning about Pregnancy: • It took about a year to get pregnant and was starting to get worried, but luckily Mother Nature worked it out. Obviously, I was ecstatic to be pregnant with my first baby! I hoped only for a healthy child; I didn’t care what sex would be. • The first person I told was baby daddy, then grandparents, then all our friends and family. Everyone was as overjoyed as we were! • I educated myself about pregnancy; but did not take any classes. I talked to friends and family about their stories and read as much as possible. I got a subscription to “Parents” magazine and joined Better Homes and Gardens (BH&G) book club and ordered many applicable books. One of my favorites and most informative was a BH&G pregnancy; childbirth; infancy reference book. I referred to this book throughout my pregnancy and throughout the kids early childhoods. Read about Lamaze birthing methods, although we never took any formal training classes. I understood the importance of staying calm and breathing so I attempted to educate myself. I didn’t use coaches, etc.; my Doctor was an OB/GYN & delivery was planned for the hospital. • I worked full time up until 1 month before Cortney’s birth. I gave 2 weeks’ notice (2 weeks before due date) but since she was 2 weeks late (due Nov 10) I gained 2 extra weeks off work so ended up not working for the last month of my pregnancy which was nice since I was so huge … and I never went back after Cortney was born. • I was super sick the first 5-6 mos of pregnancy. I could not stand scent or smells of any kind. I could not stand to look at or smell meat; esp. raw. I could not really cook or eat anything. I had to even throw out my strawberry-scented lipgloss & bath/perfume products. I was dizzy constantly like being seasick, I threw up & had dry-heaves almost round the clock (not just in the morning). Did not gain much weight in these months and I was exhausted. I could sleep for 12-15 hours easily, plus naps. It was very hard to work during this time period. • I had cravings for milk-related products @ about 3-6mos pregnant; esp. ice cream and cream cheese. I ate a frozen cream cheese pie every day along with quarts of ice cream. Actually this was about all I could keep down since I was so sick with morning sickness practically 24/7. • Even though I was so sick in the beginning I ended up being Huge! I gained about 40lbs (120 to 160). This is a heavy load to bear for someone who is 5’3”. Had to deal with water/fluid retention & possible toxemia. Was supposed to eat low sodium diet. I also had joint problems due to swelling; excess weight & whatever. Developed “temporary” arthritis in knees & fingers. Note: Unfortunately I was pregnant with both of my kids before I educated myself on healthy eating. Basically at this time of my life I was still a meat eater & I ate salads that were made out of iceberg lettuce and then drowned in Ranch dressing with mounds of croutons and grated cheedar cheese etc on top … & I thought this was healthy eating? Also ate a lot of hamburger (as in Hamburger Helper); Taco Bell burrito supremes; & Meat- Lover pizzas with goobs of pepperoni; sausage; ham; cheese; etc.

First Indications: • We had gone out to dinner on Monday evening ,Nov 24, for a big steak dinner (which was typical). I don’t remember eating that much as I was huge & just didn’t feel too hungry. I remember wondering if I wasn’t that hungry because labor & delivery would be soon. My hunch was correct. • We got home around 9pm & I went to bed around 10 or 11pm. Woke up at 2:30am (Tues Nov 25) with what felt like mild cramps or gas pains. Ran a hot bath & sat in it for a half-hour or so as the heat felt good on my lower back & stomach. Since all the stories I had heard or read were that I would probably be in labor at least half-a-day (i.e. 12hrs) and probably longer (since this was my first baby) I didn’t feel any urgency to rush around getting ready for the hospital. But then the cramps & pain started getting more intense & lasting longer but more frequent & my water broke. Was happy I had already been packed for several weeks for the trip to the hospital. Woke baby dada up around 3:30am & said we needed to go & soon. By this time I was hurting & sick. I threw up everything I had eaten for dinner & possibly everything I had eaten the previous day(s). Also I didn’t realize a blizzard had blown in since we had gotten home at 9pm the following night. First, dada called the Doctor who said to come to the hospital right away & he would meet us there. Second, he called his mother who rushed right over. Third, he called the Sheriff’s dept who said they were discouraging travel but the highway was still open but only for 4-wheel drive vehicles or with chains. Forth, since we did not have chains or a 4-wheel drive vehicle, he called the neighbors across the street to borrow their 4-wheel drive truck & they gladly consented.

Trip to Hospital: • Baby dada drove us to the hospital along with my mother-in-law (who came over to the house which was easy since she just lived around the corner). • We had an approximate 30 mile trip to the hospital. Unfortunately, a winter blizzard had blown in & weather & road conditions were very bad. We needed a 4-wheel drive vehicle to make the drive into town & had to borrow the neighbors across the street since we did not have one. And due to weather it took us longer to make the drive. • I sat on my knees in the floor board of the truck & laid my head on the seat in the front seat. My mother-in-law was sitting in the front seat & rubbed my back which helped with the cramping & labor pains. • We left home at 4am & got to the hospital at 5am. Dada pulled up to the Emergency Room entrance. They hospital crew was expecting us & came out to the car to help us. They brought out a wheel chair but I couldn’t & wouldn’t sit down. Next they came out with a roll-away gurney which I laid down on & they wheeled me in to delivery. Cortney was born at 5:33am.

Labor and Delivery: • I was not into setting any endurance records or becoming a labor and delivery queen role model so I opted to get a local as this appeared to be a fairly pain free and healthy way to go according to my research. I did not want a spinal or to be totally knocked out or drugged up during my labor and delivery as this did not appear to be a healthy way to go. • Since I got to the hospital only a half-hour before baby was born it was too late to have any interventions including a local and too late to have any drugs or pain meds to take effect; additionally at this late stage any drug could affect my delivery and the health of the baby. So, to my own detriment off to delivery, I went in about as natural a state as one can get! Bottomline is that this is not a painfree experience so if one accepts or “bites” this reality from the beginning and psychs themself out in preparation for this experience then there will be no surprises and you will do ok.

Naming: • For some reason I was drawn to “C” names. Potential candidates for girl names were Courtney Lynne; Colette Michelle; Carolyn Grace (nickname Carrie); Chrystal Dawn; Christy Leigh; Cheree’; Colleen; Chelsey; and Hope for a possible middle name. I really liked Colette Michelle and was still debating this name up until the baby’s birth. But I wanted the baby girl to have my middle name and I didn’t feel like Colette Lynne flowed smoothly. Carolyn Grace was beautiful and my great-grandmother’s name and Carrie was her nickname but Carolyn Lynne was one too many “lyns” plus I couldn’t get that ridiculous 70s horror teen flick “Carrie” out of my head so I checked this name off my list. Chrystal and Chelsey were really trendy in the late 70s and early 80s so I decided not to go with these names although I then went with the very trendy Courtney and thought I was clever by deleting the “u” in order to be different. Making up baby names and reinventing the spelling was also an upcoming 80s trend. In hindsight I wish I would not have dropped the “u” from Courtney but that’s what happens when you think you are a cool and trendy parent. Christy Leigh sounded too much like a country and western singer (although Lee was baby daddy’s middle name) and Colleen Lynne had too many “Ls” and didn’t flow well so this name was out. I always liked Cheree’ but had trouble finding a middle name that flowed with it. Had I had a second daughter I would have struggled with Colette Michelle or Leigh; or Carolyn Grace or Leigh (middle name after Lee for dada) as I would have felt compelled to have the second child with dada’s middle name to follow the current naming convention but it would not have resulted in the names or flow that I wanted.

Life with Newborn: • Was ecstatic to be home with my beautiful new baby girl! • I was obviously tired a lot & didn’t get much sleep but new mothers run on adrenalin! • Unfortunately, Cortney had colic for approximately the first 6mos or so; so this caused some stress for me. Nothing seemed to work: home remedies or Pediatrician’s advice & medicine. • Cortney also had a lot of energy & really never slept a lot like most newborns. • I breast-feed Cortney for the first 6mos. Nursing was really nice & convenient since it was cold during the winter months. I didn’t have to get up in the middle of a cold winter’s night to make baby bottles etc. This was also easier for me since I did not return to work. But with a baby that is eating every 2-3 hrs it makes it difficult to go anywhere or get anything done! • I was a tad “hyper” as a new mother due to all of the slight stresses above. • This was the fastest weight loss ever! I was in the hospital for 3 days & the day I left the hospital I had lost all 40lbs gained while pregnant (from 160 to 120). This means within 3 days I weighed exactly what I had weighed when I got pregnant. Within one month of giving birth (i.e. by Christmas) I had lost an additional 5lbs so I was back wearing my size 3 jeans • Also nursing also burns mega-calories and helps to contract/shrink abdomen muscles back into shape faster. I highly recommend this to all new mothers plus breastfeeding is healthier for baby!

Thanks Mom!!!!

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