Today Frankie turns six months. It's amazing! She's already half a year old. She had her 6 month check up yesterday and is doing well. We started her on rice cereal when we were visiting family in Ontario, and now we can start trying every other kind of baby food. I'm going to have to look up how to do it... I think I remember something about starting her with vegetables instead of fruit because the fruit is sweet and she won't want anything else if we go with that first. And I think maybe I am supposed to mix rice cereal and breast milk with the food to water it down and get her used to it. She liked the cereal well enough when we tried that, so hopefully we'll have another good eater. Micah was never too picky, and even now he'll eat pretty much anything we put in front of him.
I do want to record my birth story with Francess and I figure the six month marker is as good a time as any since I didn't do it way back when she was born. So, if you are reading this and are not too fond of hearing these details, you may want to stop now.
I had to schedule a c-section because Micah was born via emergency c-section when some complications arose, but I still wanted to try to give birth naturally this time. So I scheduled the c-section for five days after my due date, hoping I'd maybe go into labor sometime before the date came. My parents were arriving a day before my due date and staying for about a week. For weeks, I had been having plenty of contractions. I was counting them, but they weren't bothering me enough to feel the need to call. There were times when I definitely had contractions that were strong enough to make me stop and breathe through it, but that wouldn't last too long. When my parents were here, we even went to the zoo with Micah and walked around a lot. I was hoping that maybe my water would break and I could get this baby out of me! But, looking back, I sure am glad that my water did not break at the zoo. I don't think we would have made it to the hospital in time!
So, August 23rd came, the day of my scheduled c-section. My parents said some prayers for us and sent us off to the hospital. When I got there, the nurse set up the monitors and could tell that I was contracting quite regularly and that I was already 5 cm dilated and almost 100 % effaced because she felt that she almost broke my water sack just by checking. They wondered if I'd like to have my water broken and try going into labor just to try doing a the VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I wanted to try that, so my doctor came in, broke my water, and then they moved me to labor and delivery. The nurse there told me I'd want to get up and walk up and down the hallways, and try moving about to help the baby get into position. I was also allowed to drink and eat something, so I ordered a sandwich from the hospital menu. When it came, not too long after I ordered, I took maybe one bite but I was not hungry even though I hadn't eaten since the night before. With the scheduled surgery I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything at all for 8 hours ahead.
I decided to get up and "walk." I made it as far as the toilet in my room and started feeling like I had to push. David had gone out to the car to get our overnight bag, and he barely made it back in time! From the time they broke my water to when I was pushing was maybe about 45 minutes, and the nurses thought that was super fast. I don't know, I just knew I had to push and could feel that my body knew what to do. The nurse was concerned that I was going to push the baby out into the toilet, so she made me come back to the bed and she called the doctor to come. The nurse also told me to try not to push until the doctor got there, but that was very difficult. Since I was told to try to stop what my body wanted so naturally to do, I asked for the epidural. Actually, they HAD to give me the epidural since I was scheduled for a c-section, in case they had to the do the cesarean anyway. It was difficult holding still for the anesthesiologist, but somehow the guy got it in me and then I felt the sweet relief. I just wish I had had the presence of mind to ask for a smaller dosage of the epidural so that I could still feel a little bit. The epidural worked so well that I couldn't feel anything and I couldn't feel how to push. So when they had me try pushing again, I wasn't doing it right and she wasn't coming. The baby's heartrate would drop a little, so they would have me stop pushing and just rest for about an hour, letting my body do the work of getting the baby down into position, and then try again. This kept happening for about 4 more hours, until finally I was exhausted from pushing and waiting and pushing some more, so the doctor offered to try the vacuum extraction. I was so exhausted and just felt DONE with pushing, so I said if the vacuum didn't work I just wanted her out by c-section. They moved me to the OR and got the team all ready for the c-section in case this didn't work. But on the first try, Frankie came out!