It’s time for a special announcement…
Countdown to Baby
I’m so excited to share with you that Baby Estabrooks #4 is on its way! Our due date is March 22, 2018. Let the countdown begin.
This pregnancy has given me the toughest first trimester of all my kids. Which isn’t saying much, because I’m usually pretty light on the morning sickness… But as you may know, I suffered from depression this summer and things became a bit rocky for me.
As soon as I found out we were expecting, I got in touch with my midwife and my counselor to make a plan regarding my antidepressant. God is so good, and as He would have it, it was perfect timing. I was already weaning off my counseling, and we decided to go for it and wean off the medication too.
I’m not going to lie, it. was. rough.
My midwife warned me I might feel awful for a few weeks while my body adjusted, and that was so true. The exhaustion was astounding. I’d sleep ten hours at night and still need three naps the next day. I battled headaches and upset stomachs. And, probably the most public side effect was the overwhelming motion sickness. I struggled with it, not only in the car, but also whenever I looked at a screen. Computer screen, phone screen, TV, tablet, the nausea rolled in and took over. So now you know why I went quiet on the blog for a while there!
I was so relieved when I finally took my last dose of meds, the side effects dissipated, and I was able to identify what was morning sickness and what was from the meds. Mild nausea and fatigue were the norm, but I was thankful for those signs of a healthy baby.
As the meds were wearing off, a stomach bug kicked in and lasted for over a week. I also had some random swelling in my joints that we thought was Lyme disease, but thankfully wasn’t. It was about this time that I decided to stop worrying about the why of all my symptoms, and when they’d give me some peace. I stopped obsessing about not being able to clean the house or stay awake or do the grocery shopping. Instead I decided to give myself a break. Adjust my schedule and my expectations to how I felt each day.
Since then, the morning sickness and everything else awful has worn off and my baby bump has made an appearance.
I want to thank you for all your patience and prayers while I struggled with so many health situations and kept you in the dark. I don’t plan to talk much about my pregnancy on the blog, as I prefer to focus on writing about prayer, though I’m sure the topic will be woven into my reflections here and there. But I figured a special announcement deserved a special post!
While we launch our countdown to Baby #4, expected in March, let’s continue our baby countdown with the birth stories of my other three kids…
My sweet Fawn. By the time her birth came around, I was a seasoned Mama. I’d gone with natural, medication free births for my first two children, so it was a no-brainer choice for me for my third as well. By now I recognized my pattern and routine, so when contractions kicked in at 3:30 in the morning, I knew I was ready to go. I called my mom to come stay with the two big kids, and my husband whisked me off to the hospital.
He led the Rosary during the car ride, while I took deep breaths and tried to keep the seatbelt from making contractions worse.
We got to the hospital with plenty of time to spare. The doctor showed up and we were ready to go. Delivery was a breeze, and Fawn was born at 8:30 am.
Princess’s birth story is much like Fawn’s, only it was slightly quicker. Labor started as usual at 3:30 am. I had my hospital bags packed, and quickly got the doctor and my mom on the phone. It was during this labor that my husband began the practice of praying the rosary on the 20 minute car ride. I was able to pray along, without too much discomfort.
In the hospital, the nurse who checked me in made me chuckle when she said, “Woah, you are having a baby!” Fully dilated, ready to go. They set me up in a room, strapped those obnoxious elastic bands around my belly, and patiently told me over and over they couldn’t take them off while I complained they were killinggg meeeee. By the time they told me it was okay to push, it was 7:08am. By the time Princess was in my arms, it was 7:11am. Well done, my girl!
Birth is a breeze for me, right? Wait till you hear this story.
My first baby. My Hero. My crazy boy.
We took the birth classes, read all the literature, and prepared ourselves from head to toe. We packed our hospital bags, put the hospital phone number on speed dial, and had our birth plan all set. I knew that labor generally started slow. I should time my contractions, and when they get 10 minutes apart, things are really starting to move. Go ahead and call the hospital, see what the doctor says…
Nope, nope, nope.
I woke up at 3:30 with an intense pain. I rushed to the bathroom, where my water broke. I got all cleaned up and prepared myself to go back to bed, because I should have plenty of time, right?
As I crawled back in bed, I told my husband, “My water broke, I’m going to try to sleep through early labor.”
Five minutes later, the next contraction pulled me out of bed. I needed pressure on my feet, badly. Okay, this is going to slow down. That’s how it goes. Back to bed. Five minutes later, another contraction. Then another. “Are you okay?” my husband finally asked.
“Yeah,” I insisted. “I’m just going to hop in the shower.” I figured that’d calm things down.
It did nothing of the sort. By the time I got out of the shower twenty minutes later, contractions were less than three minutes apart.
A walk. A walk will do the trick.
I walked turtle-pace from one end of the kitchen to the other. Contraction. Walked back. Contraction.
This was not going as planned. This was nothing like what the birthing class said it would be. Things aren’t slow. This might just be a little bit out of control.
“Maybe you should call your mom…” my husband suggested. He was fully dressed by this point, and ready to go. All that was left to do was convince me.
Me: “Mom, I don’t know what’s going on.”
Mom: “You’re having that baby! Get the doctor on the phone.”
Doctor: “How far apart are the contractions?”
Me: “About …huff, puff… two and a half …deep breath… minutes apart.”
Doctor: “I’ll meet you at the hospital.”
We grabbed our bags and hopped in the car. It was just after 5am. It was painful to sit, painful to be buckled, painful to live.
And I had to push.
I spent the car ride screaming, and my husband spent it driving the speed limit. And stopping at stoplights. “We NEED to get there!!!!” I yelled.
He gently encouraged me not to push, until we arrived at the hospital twenty minutes later.
Finally, we pulled up to the hospital at the wrong door.
“Forget it, I’m walking,” I announced as I stepped out of the car.
“No way, get back in!” My husband ran around the car and corralled me back into the passenger seat so he could drive around the corner to the Emergency Room entrance.
“Do you want a wheelchair?” they asked?
“Nope.” No way was I going to sit back down on that baby head. I was walking.
Halfway down the hall, I ended up crawling on my hands and knees, screaming again. People rushed in from all sides, someone grabbed a gurney and convinced me to get on it. I wouldn’t lay down so they had to wheel me to the maternity section on my hands and knees.
It could’ve only taken a few seconds, but it felt like forever while they begged me not to scream and not to push the whole way. Down the hall, around the corner, up the elevator, through the double doors, and finally into a birthing room.
The doctor wasn’t there yet, and I wasn’t going to wait for him. A room full of nurses did the job, and they were fantastic. When my baby boy showed up at 6:01, my husband exclaimed, “It’s Hero!” and I began to cry, “I love him, I love him,” over and over. They laid him on my chest and he pooped straight down my belly. Nice.
The doctor finally made his appearance in time to stitch me up and take all the credit.
When it was time to switch rooms they offered me a wheelchair again. And again, I said no thanks. Apparently I passed out halfway to the recovery room. Needless to say, the hospital instated a new mandatory wheelchair policy because of me…
Hero set the stage for some major labor and delivery fear that grips me to this day. Thankfully, Princess and Fawn showed me that labor, birth, and recovery can be not-all-bad.
I feel so blessed to share our exciting news with you, and I can’t to see what kind of adventure Baby #4 brings into our life.
Please keep us in your prayers!
Stay in touch by email: