A Tale of Two Labors

This is the story of two very different labor experiences. Luckily, together they led to one birth: the birth of one beautiful and healthy baby girl! Sweet Wendy Christine Stryker, welcome to the world.

Chapter 1: Frustration and Jokes

Monday evening (5/17) I started having contractions. They were nothing really, but they got me excited and kept me up more than I'd like to be. By 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, I lost my mucus plug and I was sure active labor was coming soon... at least, that's how it worked with the boys. But by 6 a.m. all contractions had completely stopped and I headed to my 8 a.m. doctors appointment.

D: How are you feeling?
M: Well, I had a bit of an eventful night and lost my mucus plug early this morning.
D: Great! Lets get you checked and see how you are coming along.
D: Well, you are 2 cm dilated and maybe 60% effaced. She's still sitting pretty high as well. You have another appointment scheduled for next week, right?

Just what every pregnant women who spent a restless night with weak contractions wants to hear. Yes, I had an appointment scheduled for AFTER my due date; don't remind me.

The rest of the day, Ace and I tried walking a ton and playing with the boys, but I was just slightly sore and really tired and that's about as far as we got. Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning brought much of the same thing. The contractions were getting a bit stronger; some of them I had to sit up to get through, but they came like every 30 minutes and by 6 a.m., they were gone.

Again, there was lots of walking Wednesday. We took the boys for a lengthy walk through Sapsucker Woods and looked for frogs. I napped and wondered what the heck was happening to my body. I was still leaking from losing my mucus plug, but how long should that go on? I even started wearing a pad. I was pretty sure it couldn't be my water because with Reid I had a slow leak and there was the occasional small gush feeling. But with this, it was just constantly a wet feeling. Melody suggested I go and get checked out. Ace was taking the boys to Syracuse that evening to pick up his mom at the airport, so I decided that worst case scenario, I'd go in Thursday. 

Christine got here at 8 p.m. At 1:30 a.m. the next morning (6/19), Ace and I knocked on her door to say we were heading to the hospital. I was so so anxious about going to the hospital. I know this anxiety stemmed from pride. I was worried about them sending me home but I was so so FRUSTRATED with laboring each nigh and leaking all day. I don't know how I got Ace to convince me to go, but luckily we did because I had indeed sprung a small leak, yet again, and luckily all those evenings of inconsistent contractions had done something. When the doctor checked me he said I was a "roomie 5" and that it would take very little to get this going. Hurray! However, my contractions weren't doing it. We were admitted into the hospital by 3am and by 7am we were still just hanging out.

I took a picture, got in the tub. Don't worry I covered my top and bottom with a towel so as to remain maintain my dignity. The nurse made JOKES about Dad's getting into the tub too and how one time she was the nurse for a women who had her entire family naked in the tub with her while she labored and then delivered her baby. Her oldest son was 10. We laughed, told more jokes and Ace even dozed off for a few minutes. All these things never ever happened during any of my other labors. I felt like there was not way I was actually getting ready to have a baby.
(this picture was actually taken during one of my contractions, hence the slightly hunched over pose. But still nothing much, hence the smile)

I had texted Dr. Baclawski because she wanted to do our delivery. (she was the dr who handled our miscarriage) She had been texting with Dr. Gelber who was the dr who had checked me. He had taken off to do a C-section and when he returned at 7am. He informed us that he had told Dr. Baclawski she wouldn't be there to "catch" this baby. She had to work at the clinic and this was going slower than expected so he was just going to officially break my water and Dr. Gardner would be the one to deliver our baby. Around 7 am is when our story changed dramatically.

Chapter 2: "Im Sorry for my Behavior and for all the Nudity"

Dr. Gelber broke the rest of my water around 7am and in about 15 minutes the contractions started picking up. I quickly sat up and tried to rock my way through each one. Ace asked our new nurse if I should get in the tub. She said she didn't think that would be a good idea yet, because sometimes the water lifts the pressure and slows labor down. But 20 minutes later she was filling up the tub and suggesting we get in. I don't know if it was because I was so tired and hadn't really eaten since lunch the day before, or if it was because my body went for 0-60 in 15 minutes, but I got sick and threw-up. Since I didn't have anything in my stomach it was just bile. It burned my throat, it burned my nose and between each retch and contraction I honestly thought, I'm too tired to do this today. It will be a miracle if I can do this without some serious medical intervention.

Ace and the Sue (our nurse) got me into the tub with a cranberry juice to sip on to alleviate the taste and burning throat. This time I was in the tub, on my knees, completely naked and still rocking. I could see my reflection in the tub and wondered, who is this crazy naked women? I started feeling the urge to push, but the midwife Maurie (apparently things were going too fast and Dr. Gardner wouln't make it....the irony) suggested we try to get to the bed. So now Im walking completely naked and wet back to the bed with Sue and Ace helping me. I was having pretty good back labor so Maurie suggested I get on all fours on the bed and not lay on my back.

My head was facing off the foot of the bed and as I tried to rock I thought, I'm going to fall right off this bed and land on my face. "This position sucks!" I was tired and losing control of my mind and body with every passing second. The last position I was in was again naked, on all fours with my head pressed into the inclined bed. The contractions were crazy and I was losing it and starting climbing up the head of the bed. Maurie kept saying "Stay low, it will be much easier." "Come back down." I started pushing but it felt like I was driving a manual. The body never took over. I felt like I had to push the entire time and it was so so painful. Maurie explained it was because the contractions weren't stretching me, baby girl was actually doing all the stretching. I started screaming through the pushing and after what felt like years (and I was sure lots of damage) sweet baby girl was born at 8:49am.

Ace was crying, which is sweet and pretty normal for one of our delievers; baby girl was crying (again pretty normal); and I was sobbing! I just laid with my face in the bed and cried and cried. I was so happy and so so tired. I couldn't believe what had just happened after completely zero sleep. Maurie and Sue encourage me to flip around so I could meet my daughter.

I held my sweet daughter and felt no pain and such relief that it was all over. "I'm sorry for my behavior and for all the nudity. I kind of went crazy." Sue was sweet and told me the nudity comes with the territory and that she thought my behavior was great. The screaming was only in my head...right.

Baby girl got cleaned up a bit so she could meet her brothers, but not before Ace and I passed out! 

After Wendy Darling got all cleaned up and Ace and I woke up a bit, her brothers came to meet her. And it was the sweetest thing EVER! They just loved her.

Wendy Darling and the Lost Boys

Laboring all night, led to lots and lots of napping.

I love this man! He is one of the very best. He is our absolute FAVORITE. Definitely one of the greats.

Crazy hair

Love these three faces

Wendy Christine spending some quality snuggle time with G'ma (Christine)

(Little Sister)

Easter 2016

Easter 2016 was by far my favorite Easter thus far.
Lots of great activities leading up to Easter really helped center all of our minds on why we were celebrating. I hope every year can be as spiritual as this past one. It will definitely be one of my goals.

Happy Easter from this 31 1/2 week bump! 

Reid turns 3

Sweet Reid, I feel bad because we kind of made you grow-up quickly the months prior to and after your birthday. YOU decided, all by yourself, to potty train in November, and you did great. Then in February we ended your relationship with your paci. Again, you did really well considering how much you truly loved that thing, but we did have one night where I felt like your little heart was breaking as you were experiencing the pains of growing up for the very first time. You also ended your naps in March; that was kind of a joint decision between you, Dad, and me. Now you are a boy, no longer a baby. And if we call you "Baby ___" or "Little ___," you are sure to inform us that we are wrong and that you are a big boy.

You are still as passionate as ever! You can't be forced into doing something if you don't want to. If we do, there is always a fit. But the great thing is you don't throw mean, physical fits, just loud ones. Getting your hair cut, doctor appointments, dentist appointments -- these are all things that you have loudly let us know that you just aren't interested in doing these days.

You solo play so well and have this amazing and creative imagination. Dad and I are always trying to record you as you play at the train table, in the bath, or in your bed at night. Just give you a few action figures (at least one for each hand) and you are good for hours. You can name at least a dozen superheroes. It is actually quite impressive. Right now, your favorite super hero is Flash. You have Flash pajamas that use to be Garret's that you want to wear every day! And they aren't pajamas, they are your costume (you make sure to correct us if we say otherwise). You love wrestling and playing superheroes and always tell each of us which character we get to be. The other day, you told Dad he was Abomination and you were Hulk Smash. When it came time to fight you started shouting, "Circle, circle, circle, square, square, square!" Those are the buttons you press when fighting Abomination on the PS3 Lego Marvel game Garret got for his birthday. Speaking of Lego Marvel, you LOVE playing it! You ask me every day when quiet time is in hope that you'll get to

A Captain America shield birthday cake for our most awesome superhero

Just a couple of cheetahs eating popsicles. This little activity was your idea, except for the one-armed thing Garret has going on. Not sure about that.

A few of your favorite things: "Gold Blankie," superheroes, Transformers, broccoli (which is so great because you are actually a pretty picky eater), telling us what to do (" Mom you say 'bless you, bless you' when I say 'achoo, achoo' "), chicken nuggets, chocolate milk, Dad playing the guitar (you were in the bath and you heard Dad playing and you excitedly exclaimed "I love Dada singing his guitar. Garret does not"), and the idea of "Baby Sister" (we will see how you feel when she gets here).

You are developing a higher tolerance for the cold, even though this "cold winter" was nothing compared to last year. However, you still are the first to want out of the pool because you are cold. I think you get this from me. I really, really don't like being cold.

The above picture with your hand in your pockets cracks me up because this is what you looked like for the entire neighborhood Easter egg hunt. It was a cold morning and you were not impressed. You just kept telling me "One more Mama, and then I all done." Each kid was allowed to find 10 eggs, but we only made it to 8 before you told me enough.

Reid, you are at such a fun stage! Your personality is so much fun. You have great sense of humor that you lay on thick when you sense any tension or that someone is sad. You listen so well (except if you are in the middle of a breakdown; then there is no reasoning with you for a while). You love snuggling and saying "also" ("I love you also Mama."). Dad and I just love sitting back and watching you do your thing. We are usually laughing because you are too funny, but we are always just so grateful that you are ours. How on earth did we get so lucky? Thanks for being our favorite three year (shown by using the pointer, middle and pinkie finger) old boy!

Love you lots Reidy!

Coming May 2016

This test was taken a little before I left for my trip to NYC. Ace and I were definitely both excited but way nervous.
We hadn't been planning or really expecting this to happen for us yet. We had no clue how far along we were or if my body was physically healed and ready. So yes we were excited, but still very nervous.

Our first doctors appointment was a few days before Thanksgiving and we found out we were much farther along then we had expected. We were thinking maybe 10 weeks MAX. At our first doctors appointment we were 14 weeks pregnant.

At our appointment the ultra sound was pretty emotional. It was so good to see the baby in there moving around, heart beating. Ace said he was pretty sure it looked like another boy. I feel way better than I did last pregnancy and itt definitely feels more similar to the boys pregnancies. Ace and I were honestly feeling so comfortable with the idea of a boy or a girl. We just really wanted a healthy pregnancy and baby.

I definitely have felt more sore with this pregnancy and more ready to be done. Maybe it is just that I'm older than I've been for any of the other pregnancies or because I had about 3 months in between pregnancies so I've been pregnant for a long time. Whatever the reason, I've been pretty ready to be done being pregnant. Can't wait to see this baby and just know that everything is ok.

We got back from Christmas break on the 21st of January and had our 23 week unltra sound appointment on the 25th. Turns out we will be having a baby GIRL! Ace and I were both pretty shocked because we were both feeling very confident that it was going to be a boy. The boys specifically requested a boy as well. But I think we are all coming around to the idea of having another lady in the house. 

She's pretty lucky to have such great brothers. Can't wait for all of us to be together. Estimated due date is May 25, 2016 

Christmas 2015--- Beach Trip--- Baby Emyline's Blessing

Christmas 2015 was spent in Florida again this year. It is so nice to be able to drive and not have to buy 4 plane tickets around the holidays.

Christmas Eve the boys get new pajamas every year and this year they were pretty sweet. Reid's stances these days are always looking a bit like a superhero stance....he's pretty cool.

Christmas morning! 
The boys got these sweet pillow beds from my mom which actually were a huge blessing since these two sweet fellas spent the entire Christmas break (6 weeks) sleeping on the floor. 

Christmas break in Florida just wouldn't be complete without at least one trip to the beach. This year the weather was pretty warm the first few weeks and then the last week or so got pretty cold (just preparing us to head back up north)

 Reid is ready to destroy the castle. It blows my mind how long something can take to build and then how quickly it can be demolished.

It was the Beck family Christmas this year and it was a very special one. On December 15th, Garret turned 5 and sweet Emyline Kay Fasset was born. Shay was able to bless her the Sunday after our family Christmas party. I was SO SO GRATEFUL to be able to be in Colorado with my sweet family for the week and to be able to be at the blessing of Emy.

My sweet mom made 5 jean quilts for each of her kids and their families. I made one jean quilt and it took me forever....and it ended up looking pretty shabby. I can't imagine making 5 beautiful quilts. Im grateful for such an amazing women to call my mom.
I've got a great family!