A birth story: Quinten Marcus

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I woke up at 4:40 am with a pretty strong contraction. I’d been having strong ones at night the previous week, but nothing had woke me up. I didn’t think much of it and tried to go back to sleep. A little while later I had another equally strong one so I rolled over to look at the clock and saw that it had been 15 minutes. Also not all that unusual but I was surprised that they had both been strong. I tried sleeping again and had another one 15 minutes later. By this one I had to focus through it and woke Bryan up with my breathing. At 5:25 I got up and took a shower. Bryan made me leave the door open in case I needed him. I really enjoyed that hot shower as I imagined it would be my last relaxing one for a long time. {I remember being afraid of the water after I had Maximus. I didn’t want it touching my incision.} Close to 6 am Bryan called my mom and asked her to come over. He’d showered and we’d both finished packing our bags. I was able to stand up during all my contractions but I did have to stop until they passed. A little before 7 am Bryan called First Nurse to let them know we were going to come in. At this point I was sitting on the couch eating a donut and drinking water. My contractions had gotten closer together but I was also experiencing a little bit of inconsistency. I should note that i I never wrote any times down. I just looked at the time and tried to remember when the last one had happened. I suppose there’s a little room for error in that method! 🙂 They had not gotten any easier, but I was a little leery about the timing. Being the second time around, I knew the pain I felt was the beginning of a quick labor with Maximus. There were only 5 hours between those sharp pains and my first born.

We arrived at the hospital around 8 am. As we walked in I anxiously said, “I hope I’m not that woman who shows up and she’s not really in labor.” The contractions had continued on our drive but I felt oddly calm. Maybe it was because I’d done this before. But it made me doubt that it was actually happening. We were taken to a tiny observation room and I was hooked up to a heart monitor and a contraction monitor. I sat in there for over an hour before the doctor came in. I had experienced a few really STRONG contractions and was extremely uncomfortable. But, again they weren’t getting any closer. The nurse came in a few times and commented that it was unusual for me to have such strong ones and then have ones that I barely felt. Finally, the Doctor came in to talk to me. He’d just watched the monitors at the nursing station and saw that I’d had a very strong contraction. It was the one that made me wiggle and start to panic in my head. I needed a plan. I needed to prepare myself if I was going to actually DO THIS. It was the same doctor who delivered Maximus and that was very reassuring to Bryan and I. He walked in and greeted us as if it hadn’t been 2 1/2 years since we’d last met. He checked me {and it was JUST as uncomfortable as I remember!} and determined that I was 4 cm and 100% effaced. Everything appeared to be good. He told me I was in active labor and then told me what I’d been dreading. “This isn’t a VBAC hospital. We can let you labor longer or I can find the anesthesiologist and book the OR.” I expected this response because it was a Saturday morning, but I tried anyway because they didn’t seem busy. I asked if there was any chance I could do a VBAC and he repeated again that the hospital policy said no. I agreed to a c-section and requested that we do it as soon as possible because there was no point in suffering through the pain if I was going to have a c-section anyway.

At 10:15 am the Doctor came back into my room and said that the hospital had declined my request for a VBAC. He explained the procedure as well as the preparations the nurses would do. I signed the consent form and they started hooking me up to an IV, putting in a cathedar, and putting bracelets on me. Soon, the anesthesiologist came in and explained what he’d be doing. Until this point, my contractions had stopped. I think it was at least 40 minutes that I’d gone without them. I was also sitting up cross-legged on the bed and I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it. When the anesthesiologist came in I was laying back in the bed again and had the hardest time listening to him because I was having contractions again. And they were STRONG. I remember thinking Get on with it buddy, I can’t hold eye contact with you much longer!

Around 11 am my nurse asked me if I was able to walk back to the OR. It wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to do, but I said yes. I awkwardly walked with her holding on to one arm, Bryan holding the other, and the nurse pushing my IV cart. Awkwardly doesn’t fully describe it because I had a cathedar that made me not want to move and I had at least one contraction while we were walking back there. Bryan waited in the hall while the anesthesiologist started my spinal. This was one of my fear points. It turned out to not be as bad as I expected. The initial numbing agent did hurt, like he told me. After that I couldn’t feel it. My body felt cold, like he told me, and they had me lay down. They tilted the table to the left and then with my feet above my head. As nurses prepped me and the room, the Doctor came back in. I was checked to see if I could feel a cold alcohol swab, then the table was adjusted some more so the medicine would travel a little higher on my body. I was given an oxygen mask and Bryan came in the room.

I didn’t feel anything that they were doing. In the reflection of the lights, I could see the Doctor and the nurse assisting him but I didn’t look long enough to see if I could tell what they were doing. Bryan did a good job of talking to me in the beginning to turn my focus from what they were doing. At the time I remember being kind of groggy but coherent. I didn’t have much desire to talk, but I knew everything that was going on. If you know Bryan, you won’t be surprised to hear that he started geeking out with the anesthesiologist about equipment. Then he realized that I wouldn’t care about that so he started talking about random things again. I had three small panic attacks throughout the whole process. They were mental panic attacks probably brought on by feeling claustrophobic. I had on a huge oxygen mask, a hair net, and my glasses. My panic attack morphed itself into my eye itching. Like crazy! Bryan had to take my glasses off and was softly trying to itch my eye. I finally told him to literally jab my eye.

After what felt like an eternity, the anesthesiologist stood up and looked over the curtain. He poked his head into my line of sight and told me they were almost to the baby. A few minutes later, at 11:20 am, we heard someone say, “I see boy parts.” {Later Bryan commented that no one knew if we knew what we were having. During the spinal, one of the nurses asked if we knew and what we already had.} Seconds later, a nurse brought our little boy around the curtain so we could see him. We never got to see the gooey Maximus. She handed him to the pediatrician and they got his stats while a nurse asked us if he had a name. Quinten Marcus. The pediatrician came around the curtain and told us, “He’s perfect. 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 20″ long.” They took him to the nursery while the Doctor finished with me. This was by far the longest portion of the surgery. Soon we heard the nurses counting. It took me a couple of series to realize they were counting tools and instruments. It took me even longer to realize that he couldn’t close me up until they were done counting. This was by far the oddest part of the whole thing and I know at least one of those panic attacks was during this period. I just wanted it to be DONE. Finally, he told me he was going to close me up.

I was in the recovery room with my nurse. Bryan had gotten his bracelet as soon as Quinten was born so he’d gone to see him. The difference this time around was the he was told he could go back and forth between the recovery room and nursery as often as he wanted. Bryan came back to see me and showed me pictures of our little guy.


The nurse got on the phone and asked a lactation consultant to bring Baby Leger to recovery for skin-to-skin. And that phone call is the reason I go to that hospital. I hadn’t asked for anything or even asked to see him. With my previous recovery I hadn’t been able to see Maximus until I was in my room. I assumed this recovery was the same. A very nice nurse {who I think we talked to later but I’m not sure because she was in scrubs the first time} uncovered Quinten and put him on my chest. When my hour was almost up I started feeling nauseous. I asked the nurse to pick him up and then told Bryan I was going to get sick. Little did I know that was the first of many times I’d be sick that day. The rest of the day is a blur to me. After I got sick, they transferred me to my bed and wheeled me to my room. The same nurse brought Quinten back to my room and tried to get him to latch. The first few times we tried I had to have someone hold him because my arms still felt weak. That evening he latched for the first time and we’ve been going strong since. I continued throwing up until 10 pm that night. Unfortunately they couldn’t find an anti-nauseous medication that would work for me. They even tried a motion sickness patch. I wasn’t able to keep my eyes open because it made me dizzy. I wasn’t able to sit up because it made me dizzy. That makes for an interesting experience to try and throw up after just having stomach surgery. Not pleasant doesn’t exactly describe it. 🙂 When Maximus came to visit I was only able to open my eyes a few times and had to fight back throwing up until he left the room. I didn’t want to scare him any more than he probably already was, but he didn’t seem to notice too much.


We’re two weeks out and all doing well. My recovery has gone great. Quinten has a good schedule and doesn’t need much other than feeding and burping. Maximus has adjusted ok. Our first week was full of a lot of whining and crying. Our second week was much better and we got back into a routine.

December 20, still a day we’ll always remember

December 20.
Today I was supposed to have a scheduled c-section delivery. At 39 weeks. {Also my sister-in-law’s birthday. Happy birthday, Danielle!}
This is what it looks like outside my dining room window. I’ve heard that we got 13″ of snow! The lights keep flickering and the wind is NUTS. Thunder was heard during the snow fall last night and our power went out once at 3 am for 30 seconds. I think all the schools in the state were closed and many businesses also. Wouldn’t that be an exciting day to have a baby…



So it’s a good thing that my baby decided that he would much prefer to distance his birthday from the Christmas holiday. He picked December 8 as his birthday and vetoed our December 20 deadline.


Quinten Marcus was born at 11:20 am on December 8. He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long. He was born at 37 weeks and 2 days, but showed no signs of being premature. The pediatrician indicated that his gestational age looked to be 39 weeks. {My doctor later told us that even when they do IVF the peds can come up with a different gestational age. Take what you want out of both statements.}


Bryan spent an hour and a half blowing snow this morning so he could go to work. He braved the snow and worked the morning before bringing us lunch. This morning was my first solo morning experience with Maximus and Quinten. I’m still in my pajamas and Maximus watched a lot of tv while I was nursing, but the house is still in one piece and there wasn’t any crying. With most of our company on vacation, plus the weather, Bryan opted to spend the afternoon at home with us. He’s put in a lot of overtime this past year so he’s earned a little extra time off. Maybe he’ll stay home tomorrow too!


We tried our best to enjoy lots of family time last week during our first week home with Quinten. The truth is that Maximus was a whiny, crying mess. Neither of us expected him to be his normal self, but all.the.whining! This week Bryan went back to work and my sister  came over every day. {Except for today. Blizzard.} Maximus is much better with this routine and hasn’t spent much time whining or crying. I can’t lift anything over 15 pounds. Maximus is double that so I’ve needed help lifting him. Thankfully each day I feel better and am able to bend and move more than I could with my first c-section. That means I can pick up Quinten out of the moses basket and I’ve been able to lift Maximus up on the changing table with very little pain. It also means that I can get out of bed myself and don’t need Bryan to haul me up! I’m thankful that this recovery is much faster and easier than my first!


We’re tucked away in our warm house listening to Christmas music and watching the twinkle of the Christmas lights. We’re all thankful that Quinten came early and we’re not traveling or stuck in a hospital during this bitterly cold winter storm. We’ll be huddled up  getting lots of baby and toddler snuggles through the New Year when Bryan goes back to work.

Merry Christmas friends!

37 week update

We had a bit of a screw up with our 37 week appointment this afternoon. Apparently my appointment was scheduled for 1:45, but we thought it was at 2:15. So, we missed my doctor because she got called over to deliver a baby. {And then Bryan said, “that could be us!} So I saw a midwife instead. She was nice and I was thankful to get in, but I was hoping to ask MY doctor some questions. Last week she told me that I’d find out the plan for December 20 at this appointment. It feels a little unnerving to have not seen her today, but we’ll deal with it.

I scheduled my next appointment {my LAST OB appointment!} for next week. Only she’s not available on Thursday, so I’ll see her on Friday. I’ve only seen her on Thursdays this whole pregnancy. It was like that with Maximus too. He was due on a Thursday. At my 38 week appointment she was going on vacation so I had to schedule with a midwife for Friday. I went into labor on Thursday. So, see ya next Friday doc? Or maybe we’ll come in earlier! 🙂

Or at least that’s how I feel since my complaint this week is focused around contractions. Every night. Not a big deal, but they are slowly starting to get a little more intense. As I learned at my appointment today, they are more intense the second time around. And more common at night. That makes me feel a little better. So far I’ve been a little anxious because I don’t have any experience with contractions that don’t lead to labor. With Maximus, I had contractions that I couldn’t feel. Then one night I had some that I could barely feel. I woke up the next day and they were a little more real and he was born that night. So! Contractions that I can really feel {like while I’m typing this sentence} make me wonder if I’m going to have a baby in the next 24 hours.

I’m trying not to be an anxious mess, but there are a lot of what-ifs. So, I packed my hospital bag tonight and finished up any of the baby laundry so I can pack the diaper bag. The pack ‘n play is set up in our bedroom, waiting for a little guy to sleep in. The car seat is waiting on the final inserts to dry so it can go into my car. Uh, I think that means we’re ready. I made sure to wash Maximus’ laundry so we don’t have to worry about him having clean clothes. I finished up some of the organizing I had started last weekend. Now I just need to clean both bathrooms and I’ll feel like my house is ready for me to leave. The only two things left on the list are to decide between option 1 and 2 for middle names and tomorrow I’m getting a manicure and pedicure. Then I’ve done all the things I wanted to do. {Maybe start wrapping Christmas presents…}

My thoughts on the birth of this baby: VBAC and C-section

At our 12-week appointment, my doctor explained that our hospital isn’t a VBAC-approved hospital because it isn’t large enough. However, if you deliver during business hours they have enough staff because the practice is right next door. I’m paraphrasing a little here, but I did repeat it back to her as that. “Basically, if I deliver Monday through Friday, from 8-5, then I have the chance to do a VBAC?” Yes. Ok, so there’s little to no planning for this birth. Check. Ironically, this conversation made me feel better. One of my first emotions was fear. I couldn’t imagine knowing I was going to be scheduled for surgery. Obviously I’ve already experienced one, but I had 2-minutes to think about it. When in the throes of major contractions, there are plenty of things to keep your mind off of the specifics. Specifically the part where the doctor said, “don’t push!” Maybe if I’d only had that one c-section I wouldn’t be so nervous. With a recent foot surgery, going into an OR is very real in my mind. I can still feel the anxiety and emotion that I felt that morning when I was waiting to go in. I left that appointment feeling really good about the birth. It may be completely out of my control, but I felt really well about the possibility of a VBAC.

At my 2o-week ultrasound our due date was estimated to be off by 8 days. We talked with my OB about changing the date and decided not to push it up a week. If I remember correctly, our ultrasound with Maximus showed the date being off by 7 days. So, we’re keeping the December 27 due date, even though the ultrasound suggests it’s more likely to be December 19. Due dates seem to be much of a guessing game anyway, that no one seem worried about it.

Unfortunately, after we decided not to change the date she told me she probably wouldn’t let me go past December 20 {39 weeks}. She didn’t type anything into the computer so I didn’t push the topic. I just absorbed what she said and tried to not feel disappointed. Wouldn’t you know, the next appointment she mentioned it again. 😦 So, it looks like we didn’t change the due date but she’s not into the idea of letting me go past 39 weeks. I’m trying not to dwell on it because her and I both think that I’ll go early anyway. But, now I’ve got this giant target and I hate having something weigh me down. With Maximus, I told myself I would go 42 weeks. I didn’t want my due date to come and be devastated that he wasn’t here yet. I was prepared for him to arrive, but didn’t want to put an enormous amount of hope into it happening on a certain day. I didn’t want to screw up my mental game, if you will. I’m a little concerned this unexpected news will screw up my plan. Then again, I didn’t really have much of a plan to begin with. I guess we’ll all find out in December!

Come December, send me some healthy birthing vibes! I’m looking for a text-book delivery that falls between normal business hours and with a little boy who is ready to exit the right way. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for! 😉

Third trimester starts now!

Third trimester! Today marks my 27th week. I’ve got about 12 weeks to go. Yes, I did the math right. I haven’t formed cohesive thoughts about the delivery yet. I was recently told that I wouldn’t go past 39 weeks since I’ve been measuring a little more than a week a head. So, I know that in at least 12 weeks I’ll have two sons. {Two baby sons, because when do I stop calling Maximus a baby? Never, right?}

At the beginning of the third trimester we have a lot left to do! For instance, our baby needs a name. Depending on your outlook of time, this may or may not be a big deal. We have one name that I thought was the direction we wanted to go. After a conversation with Bryan yesterday, I realize even though it was his suggestion he’s not 100%. Ironically, I had suggested the name during our first pregnancy. We have zero runner ups or even bench warmers. And of course no middle name. At least the last name is picked! 😉

We also need to find bedding. I struggled with Maximus and I’m struggling again. I have a basic idea and can’t find anything in a reasonable price without having a custom-made set by someone on Etsy. I don’t want characters and that’s almost impossible. I may back off that stance a little and do something with elephants or giraffes or something, but I want color. That seems to be the hardest part. It needs to look boyish, be something that a toddler can have, and use bright colors. Of course we can’t paint the room until the colors are picked. So the room sits in its hunter green glory.

Although Maximus was a summer baby, we have newborn clothes that include pants and sweatshirts. I am very thankful for this! Luckily we have lots of sleeves and pants because it was air condition season so our little babe had to stay warm. I’ve got plenty of receiving blankets for swaddling so I don’t feel the urge to buy newborn clothes. I do plan on buying a homecoming outfit for the little guy. I had originally thought about bringing him home in the same outfit that Maximus wore but I think I want them to each have their own. What do you think?

Lest you think we’re completely unprepared for LBL 2.0, we do have nursery furniture. We actually have the crib in the room. Obviously it’s not setup. But! It’s in the room along with a mattress. The rest of the furniture hasn’t come in yet so I can’t really start cleaning out the guest closet or unpacking the newborn boxes that I keep adding to the room. And the dog kennel is still in there and the dog spends his days hanging out there. So, the crib doesn’t feel like much of an accomplishment.

Ok, I might start to worry! No clothes washed and put away, no blankets ready for snuggling, and no idea what the layout of the room will be. None of the baby stuff has come up from the basement, so it definitely hasn’t been cleaned of Maximus slobber. I haven’t searched for baby hats to keep him warm when he shows up in the middle of winter. We decided that we hated the newborn fleece bodysuit that we had so we have to buy a new one.

You’d be right if you thought I hadn’t read a single baby book this pregnancy. Nothing about the pregnancy and nothing about delivery and nothing about bringing a new baby home. I’m winging it this time. There’s too many unknown toddler experiences to get through. I’ll trust my memory to kick in when this newborn shows up.

Anyone else starting to feel like 12 weeks isn’t a lot of time? Anyone want to do my Christmas shopping for me? Because when am I going to have time to do that.

Happy 2nd birthday, Maximus!

We celebrated Maximus’ 2nd birthday today. We started by sleeping in, then had waffles, and went on a walk. All things each of us enjoy!

Nap time was spent preparing food, blowing up balloons, and building a workbench.

Although Maximus wanted to go bye-bye, he stuck around long enough to see that more people were coming over and he wasn’t going anywhere with grandma and grandpa. (One time! Once he left our house with them while we were still home.) He quickly got over the shyness and ran around the living room with the big boys chasing balloons. He kept a close eye on my baby niece and enjoyed sharing the dinner table with her. He got lots of great toys that he’ll be enjoying for months to come!




Prioritizing financial goals

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about our finances. {Let’s be honest. It’s been a while since I’ve talked about anything!} We’ve found that our motivation for following the budget flows up and down depending on the time. While I was nursing my broken foot, we floated by from month to month. We weren’t spending much money so we weren’t spending much time looking at it. Once things got back to normal we decided to attack some areas of our finances. Specifically, our mortgage. We’ve been following a plan where we are paying more than our monthly payments, but we wanted to get more aggressive and shave more time off our loan. Of course we started this plan after we got through the first few Dave Ramsey Baby Steps.

As always seems to happen with us, other things come up. I got pregnant and our financial goals changed. We had saved up money to buy a new vehicle. Like we had all the money we wanted to save, but just needed to decide what we wanted and if we wanted to use all the money. {We expected to feel a giant pull at giving away all that cash!} We reassessed our finances and decided that money would be used elsewhere. Specifically, medical bills, hospital bills, covering paychecks that we wouldn’t get while I’m on maternity leave, and nursery furniture. So, gone was our car fund and in its place a baby fund.

Here’s my dilemma. I feel like we’re always saving up for a goal and we get so close to obtaining it and then we have something else come up and spend the money another direction. Yes, most of these goals are materialistic, but at the same time we will eventually need a new vehicle so it’s a little of necessity and desire. If not because of space and car seats, well then because one of our cars will crap out on us soon. Since starting the Dave Ramsey plan, we can’t imagine ever buying a car on a loan. So, now we start back at zero for our car fund. And now we’re left deciding if we aggressively build the car fund back up and cut out all extras until we do. Or do we slowly build it back up while reaching some of our other “fun” goals too.

How do you prioritize your goals? How do you plan for these goals?