December 3, 2013

Georgia Jean Forsyth

First of all, how has it been over a year since I last posted. Over a YEAR. That is... ridiculous. So much has happened in that year as well, my land. I'm ashamed. Moving on.

One of the most exciting and monumental things that has happened is the birth of our third little one (why do I keep saying 'little one' - such things don't exist in the Forsyth family) miss Georgia Jean. I don't know why it is but every new mom likes to share their birth story and I am no exception, us women love to hear all the juicy (poor word choice?) details of labor and delivery. If you would like to know the particulars surrounding baby girl's entry into this world then keep reading, but just so you know I may use words like cervix and placenta. 

The due date I calculated for baby #3 was October 26th. When I had my ultrasound in June the technician said I was measuring 2 days farther along so if I wanted to I could change my due date to October 24th. I didn't. What's 2 days, and what's a due date anyway? (My feelings on that could make up a whole other post.) So I stayed with the October 26th target and called it good. For weeks before her due date I kept saying things like, "I'll be surprised if I make it till then..." and "I'm sure this baby's coming early!" and other such nonsense statements I should have known would ensure my going overdue. And sure enough October 24th, which technically could have been her day, came and went, as did October 26th, 27th and 28th. The afternoon of October 29th I was not feeling well at all. I had a lot of cramping and pressure but I had had that for days, ok weeks, so I wasn't getting my hopes up too high. That evening I began to feel nauseous so I put Neil in charge of dinner and went to bed. I got up a couple hours later but still didn't feel well. I ate a little dinner and then laid on the couch for the rest of the evening. By 9 or 10 the cramping I had been feeling on and off throughout the day turned into obvious contractions but as any expectant mother knows that doesn't mean they are "real" contractions or that they will last and develop into anything. Within another hour it was clear they were in fact labor contractions and I hoped they were getting the party started. With my other 2 labors my contractions never regulated, so many minutes long and however many minutes apart. They were very sporadic and random in their strengths. I anticipated that that was just how my body operated and figured there was no point in trying to time these ones and decided I would just go to the hospital when it was obvious I needed to go to the hospital. It worked twice before! Neil and I laid down in bed around 12:30 but by 1am I couldn't lay in pain any longer and decided to get in the bath. As I got in the bath I noticed I had started bleeding which confirmed that this was the real thing. I was able to relax for about an hour and by 2am the contractions had reached an intensity that I knew I had better get on our way. When I was in labor with Rigby I got to the hospital far too late for any kind of pain relief and the thoughts of enduring another natural bush-woman labor terrified, terrified me (sorry to all you older generations reading this that had to do all your labors that way) and I thought I'd rather get to the hospital too early than too late - grab your boots! I called my best friend who lives a block away and she came over to be with the boys. (Thanks Shar!)

We got to the hospital and checked in. Because my contractions aren't regular it's hard to gage where I'm at on the labor scale so the nurse took me in a testing room and watched them for a while and then did an internal check. My cervix was dilated about 3 cm which isn't enough to book a delivery suite but she didn't want to send me home. She told me to walk the halls for 2 hours and come back at 5:30am and she would check me again. Neil and I walked the halls while I stopped to breathe through the contractions which were getting noticeably stronger. I unashamedly planned on getting an epidural and knew that I had better eat something as when I had one with Porter it made me throw up and I currently had nothing in my belly to get rid of. Strange to eat something with the intention of throwing it up, right? One of the nurses made me 2 pieces of toast and gave me a fruit cup. I would later be grateful I had planned ahead. We went back at 5:30 and when the nurse checked me I was dilated to 5 cm and she moved me to a delivery suite. I told her I wanted an epidural and within 20 minutes the dude with the drugs walked in. Everyone's best friend! I teased him about how young he looked and asked how many of these he had done. He said he appreciated a funny woman in labor (I do what I can...) and teased me back which created a really pleasant atmosphere among those in the room. Our nurses were one young girl who was extremely competent and fun and friendly and her student side kick who was extremely nervous and was later sent home with crazy shakes from anxiety. (Ha ha! I was only her second delivery.) The doctor asked Neil to hold me while he put the needle in my back but that was a bit much for Neil and as I felt his grip loosen I immediately told him to go sit down and asked the nurse to hold me instead. Neil had to breathe it out for a while before he was whole again. Thanks for the support babe! Once the epidural took I immediately started to feel numbness overcome my body. I could still feel the pressure of the contractions but not the pain. Within a few minutes my chest started to feel really heavy and I was having difficulty breathing. I told the nurse and she sat the bed up as to help me catch my breath. Apparently this was the wrong thing to do and it immediately made me light headed and everything started closing in on me. If you have ever fainted you know the feeling - your vision tunnels, your hearing gets fuzzy and you start sweating profusely - at least that's how it happened for me. I remember the nurse saying, "Michelle, stay with us! Michelle are you there?" and I was hardly able to mutter an audible "barely" when she called to bring the anaesthetist back in to help. I lay there barely in consciousness and wondered if something really bad was happening to me (oh great, I'm going to be the statistic..) when he came over and turned the epidural off. I was soon fully awake and fully nauseous and proceeded to upchuck the toast and fruit I had eaten earlier on. See, I knew I'd need that! After I was done heaving (2 episodes worth) Neil got a cold cloth and placed it on my sweaty forehead while the doctor explained to us that the freezing block had risen too high in my chest and dropped my heart rate and then my brain couldn't tell that my lungs were still breathing and started the whole shut down mode on my body. He told me to place my hand on my chest which helped my brain feel that my chest was in fact raising and lowering with breaths and started the whole system functioning properly again. Crazy. He put a drug in my IV to raise my heart rate and then when he turned the epidural back on he lowered the dose. I'm just little. He stayed and cracked jokes with us for another half an hour to make sure that I was ok and that everything was going well. I really appreciated him. And his drugs.

With the epidural in and the fainting and puking over Neil and I were able to both rest a little bit. He had slept an hour or two and I hadn't slept at all yet so closing our eyes felt really good. I didn't actually sleep but dozed for an hour or so when the nurse wanted to check my cervix. I was eventually at 8 cm and just like with Porter seemed to stay there for quite some time. They gave me some oxytocin to increase the contractions and speed up the dilation. We all chatted and laughed for quite a while and waited for me to feel the urge to push. I kept turning to Neil, saying what an incredible labor I was having a what an enjoyable experience it was. I am grateful I brought Rigby into this world but compared to the moaning and bed biting I had done with him, this was a dream. I had really been worried about labor and delivery and this was going better than I had imagined it could. Drugs may not be for everyone but I was grateful for them and the opportunity they gave me to relax, calm down and enjoy delivering my baby girl. I told the nurse I was starting to feel some pressure in my behind area and that I wasn't ready to push but it wouldn't be long. She called for the doctor to make his way to the hospital and we all teased her that she could just do it, we didn't need him. She was adamant that I may NOT start pushing until he walked in the door. Because I had an epidural I wasn't able to get up to pee but needed an empty bladder so it didn't get in the way of pushing so she stuck a catheter in quickly to drain my bladder and no sooner had she pulled it out then I was feeling the urge to push. She kept telling me to breathe through the contractions and NOT PUSH because the doctor wasn't there yet. The staff had all the tools out on the bed, the spotlight up and ready for the show, and the little tiny bed and warmer ready for my dolly - we just had to wait for the doc. The second he walked in the door I said "finally!" and told him he had barely made it. He gave me permission (thanks) to push during the next contraction and I did. It took one more contraction and her head was all the way out. Often times when you deliver the head and shoulders the rest of the body just kind of slips out but not with this baby - the doctor kind of tugged on her but she wouldn't come. I pushed through one more contraction and delivered the rest of her chubby body and she was here! She arrived at 10:14am on October 30, 2013. I hadn't heard her cry or see her take a breath yet so I said, "She needs to breathe!!" but everyone assured me that she had already breathed and she was fine. I was grateful to see her start to turn pink from the bluish shade she had been. The doctor asked Neil if he would like to cut the umbilical cord but he politely declined, as he's a bit of a queezy guy. The nurse took her to the little bed to check her over while the doctor helped me deliver the placenta and check me over. I had a clean delivery and did not require any stitching (Porter really paved the way for any future siblings, what a champ) and I was glad to hear that, it makes for a nice recovery. I was very anxious to hear the stats on this little girl. Her brothers were both big babies, with big heads (ok, ginormous heads) and I wanted to hear how she measured up. I was in complete shock when they told me she was my biggest baby yet - 9 pounds, 3 ounces and 22 inches long. Her head was smaller than Porter's but bigger than Rigby's at 36 1/2 cm. Geez girl! Once they counted all 10 fingers and 10 toes they handed her back to me and said the only thing they could find was that she had one more fat wrinkle on one leg than the other and that she was absolutely perfect - which of course I already knew.

Neil and I had a few names picked out for our baby girl before she was born. We knew for certain we were going to use the middle name Jean as that is my very special granny's name and Neil's wonderful grandma's name as well - it was a must. We couldn't decide on a first name and had a couple options. The last few weeks of my pregnancy Neil had really favored the name Georgia while I was keen on Ivy. When she was born and was such a big girl I knew she needed a good strong name and thought perhaps we'd call her Georgia. When we got settled in our room I asked Neil what he was thinking and he said he really liked the name Ivy. I laughed and said that I had been thinking Georgia - which I had thought would make him happy! He said he was trying to make me happy with Ivy but would like either. We sat for a while longer with her and went between the 2 before finally deciding on Georgia. It was the only first name that had significance. My best friend Sharlee has been called George by her family for as long as I can remember and we liked that it would pay homage to her. My maternal grandmother's name was also Georgia although she didn't go by that name, it is in fact a family name as well. We loved the way Georgia and Jean sounded together and thought it made for such a cute name. Georgia Jean it was.

Georgia Jean (Photo by Mandy Baker)

We have had Georgia for over a month now and I have enjoyed every minute with her, honestly. She is really a wonderful baby and I am now enough of an experienced mother that it allows me to relax and enjoy more than I was able to with the boys. Porter and Rigby adore her and that is something that has brought me more joy than I have ever known - seeing all my babies loving eachother, especially 2 sweet and caring gentleman. One thing I hated during my pregnancy was how many times people said they hoped our little girl would be strong and tough to be able to put up with her brothers, but they are kind and gentle and loving with her, just as I knew they would be.

We are finally the Fivesyth family. :)

The day we brought Georgia home. Because of the measles outbreak  in town the boys were not able to visit her in the hospital, they got to meet her the day after she was born. (We didn't have a photographer to take the obligatory first family photo, lol)