family, labor and delivery, pregnancy, Uncategorized

More Amazing Pregnancy Lessons from a mom of 5

So, you have read my first 2 pregnancy and labor experiences. And I’m sitting here thinking, three more to go.  Can I write anything new and different and fun? And I’m sure you are thinking, “Goodness! Do we have to read 3 more of her pregnancies?”  I’m going to save both of us the trouble and decided to combine my last 3 experiences into one blog with a few more tips.

Fast forward to my last doctor’s visit with my third pregnancy. She wanted me to get an ultrasound because I was measuring low when she checked my fundal height. Lesson #1. Fundal height is where the top of your uterus is felt.  It correlates with how many weeks you are into your pregnancy.  For me, it was the amount of amniotic fluid, surrounding my baby.  At the ultrasound, the fluid was low enough that my doctor wanted to induce me.  I was admitted, started on Pitocin and felt my contractions quick and strong. Lesson #2.  Pitocin is a medication that is used to start contractions.  And the contractions are usually stronger because of the medicine.  All of a sudden, the whole team came rushing in because my baby wasn’t tolerating the labor and his heart rate was dropping.  They rushed me to the operating room about to do a cesarean section.  Everything was chaos, I didn’t know where Eric was and I was left speechless.  My doctor came rushing in and said I was going to deliver this baby vaginally because I “was a good pusher.” Lesson #3. I’m sure there’s a lesson in here about an emergency, trying to stay calm, etc… for the sake of time, I’ll let you do some self-learning.  Ultimately, I had my baby and everything ended up wonderful.  My third boy was here and joined our chaotic, loving household.

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My fourth labor started out the same as my last. I needed to be induced because my fluid was again low.  But this time, it was even lower and I started worrying if the same thing would happen.  My doctor actually sat in the room this time waiting.  She and my husband were talking and my contractions were off and running.  My doctor asked if I was ok.  I actually gave in this time and said that I would like something for pain.  Her response was, “Pitocin does make your contractions stronger and closer.  Your contractions are 1-3 minutes apart.”  Then she started talking with my husband again.  Umm. My pain medicine?! They were so busy talking, I didn’t know how to interrupt them. Finally, they stopped talking and I said I would like something for pain.  Lesson#4.  Don’t be afraid to ask for pain medicine, whether during labor or after delivery. It’s hard to be in the moment when you’re in pain.  The nurse gave me something through my IV and the next thing I was pushing.  The fourth boy arrived with no complications and healthy.  Now I felt our family was complete.  I was a happy mother of four boys.  I wasn’t going to get my girl, but I knew our family was complete.

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#TEAM WALTON!

After talking and debating and almost getting a tubal ligation, my husband decided to get a vasectomy. One week before his procedure, I found out I was pregnant! I’m not going to lie, I took the test a few times, bought different brands. I used it first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.  I finally showed Eric the last test I took, it had a bright pink positive sign.  I think Eric was a little stunned also because he was like, “Positive, so that means good.  You’re not pregnant?”  As you could guess, we weren’t quite ready or expecting another addition.  Another boy?! Another busy, loud, messy boy?! We came to grips with our new reality, we were told the baby was a girl, friends and family were excited.  I wasn’t going to believe it until I saw my baby.

I was older, working 12 hour shifts and pregnant. I would text Eric and see how quickly he would respond so when the time came I knew he would be available.  I started looking for a back up because he wasn’t passing the practice runs.  I had a couple people willing to watch the other kids when the time came to go to the hospital. Lesson #5.  Know who you are able to call to watch your other kids when you go into labor.  Remember, you could go into labor any time so it might be helpful to have someone ready during the day and someone willing to do the midnight shift if needed. 

The day came. I made it to my OB visit and told my midwife I think I was having contractions.  She checked me and said yes, you’re 3 cm dilated.  Then I felt something and she said she stripped my membranes.  Lesson #6.  Stripping your membranes is done to help labor progress.  What?! I still had to pick up my kids from school, I can’t go to the hospital yet! She said, well you know when you need to come in.  That put a lot of pressure on me because I really don’t know when I needed to come in.  Lesson #7.  Learn when you should go to the hospital, whether your water breaks, how far apart your contractions are, and especially warning signs for going to labor delivery.  I picked up my kids and then called Eric and then my friend.  My friend came to the house before Eric.  I called him again and he said he was about to leave the school! Oh no! He wasn’t even on his way yet! He is totally failing this final exam! He came home and we took off hoping we wouldn’t run into traffic.  We arrived to labor and delivery, the midwife on call came to assess me and said, “So you think you’re in labor?” The way she said it, made me doubt myself, my water hadn’t broken, maybe I’m not.  She checked me and I was 9cm dilated! I had my baby 45 minutes later.  The first thing I did was look to see and was ecstatic to find a girl! She was so small, only 6 lbs 2oz.  The midwife asked about my medical history, I didn’t have any, because my placenta was calcified and “looked old.” Lesson #7. If you’re older and pregnant, it’s very important you eat well, rest, and monitor medical health especially blood pressure and blood sugar.

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The Princess Arrived !

If I thought my family was complete with four boys, that one girl added a whole new dynamic to my family. She is hard headed, tough, rambunctious, loud–not what you think a girl should be. She’s also caring, funny, smart and a true princess; everything a girl should be.  I would not have my family any other way.  Yes, there’s challenges. Yes, there’s yelling.  There’s hair pulling (me pulling my hair), there’s sibling rivalry, there’s noise.  There’s also laughter, love, kisses and hugs. 

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My Family / My Love

Kristine Walton,RN , BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@hotmail.com

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family, labor and delivery, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Amazing Pregnancy Lessons from A Mom of 5

Pregnancy is a wonderful soulful miracle. Whether you’re religious or spiritual, we can all agree that carrying this precious tiny human affirms how spectacular life is and will always be.  Everyone says each pregnancy is different. Each labor is different. Each child is different. And what you do, what you eat and how you feel affects your pregnancy.  I’m here to let you know from my experience, that those statements are so very true.  I’ve had five pregnancies, five deliveries and five children. And each one was different.  I hope some of the things I went through can help in a small way with your pregnancy, make your labor and delivery a little less scary and give a slight piece of parenting help.  Because we all know, any help is appreciated. 

I was 29 when I became pregnant; shortly after becoming married and after deciding we would wait since babies are expensive and we had just bought our first house. Lesson #1— Pregnancy rarely happens when you expect or plan it.  A miracle does happen when you least expect it. We were excited; I did everything right. Ate the recommended foods, eliminated my favorite beverage-Coca-Cola; which was the hardest thing for me. My one indulgence was eating coney dogs with chili cheese fries while working midnights at the hospital. It was so deliciously delightful though. My one craving. My one sin.  

I went to Child Birth Education Classes.   Childbirth Education Classes helped me help myself. Lesson #2–please go to this class especially if you are a first time mom. I truly believe that knowledge is power and will lessen any fear of the unknown. Fear increases pain which may slow labor down. Labor is already a long process without anything slowing it down! If you have the opportunity to attend a breast feeding class, I would recommend it also.

I created my birthing plan; which included Eric cutting the umbilical cord. I wanted to do skin to skin, where your baby is placed immediately on your bare skin as long as everything is fine. I wanted to breast feed. I did not want an episiotomy, a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth, to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues. I did not want any medication. I wanted to try to have a natural birth. I thought women have had babies for centuries and were able to go through labor without medication; to me women bodies knew what do, if we let them.

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Lesson #3–have a birthing plan, know what you want but at the same time allow flexibility.   In my experience as a nurse, patients that had extensive super detailed plans and who were set on only doing things they planned, always ended up with a C-section. Those moms were always disappointed in their birthing experience and we, as nurses, always had to reinforce that they have a beautiful healthy baby–that’s what mattered in the end.

I woke up one morning; Mother’s Day, May 9, 2004 with a little twinge. It came again. I thought, let me go back to sleep and if that twinge is still there, I would call my doctor. I woke up later and still felt these cramps so Eric and I decided to call my doctor. She said to go to labor and delivery once my contractions became about 5 minutes apart.

Lesson #4–have phone numbers readily available. It is important to have your doctor’s number and labor and delivery number easily assessable. Post it on the fridge so both you and your partner can find it easily because you’ll both be excited and anxious and probably not thinking straight.

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What are the Numbers?!!!??!!

Lesson #5–learn to time your contractions, because the nurses WILL ask you. Have your partner learn to because you may not be in your right mind to be counting and timing. I called labor and delivery and they asked me how far apart my contractions were and then if my water broke. I answered, “No.” they told me don’t come in until your water breaks. I must have had a stunned moment of silence, not expecting them to tell me NOT to come to the hospital?! They then explained there were no beds available but if I wanted to come in I could. I decided not to because less time in the hospital, the better. Eric and I walked. And walked. And walked. And walked. Lesson #6–walking during early labor will help speed up the labor process.

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My water broke. Not as a big gush that you see in movies but I felt like a peed but didn’t have the urge and couldn’t stop it. We went to the hospital. Upon examining, doing a cervical check, I was 6 cm dilated. Lesson #7–cervical checks are THE most uncomfortable experience both physically and mentally. It may feel like your doctor is elbow deep in your vagina. Let’s hope your doctor and nurses have small hands–Check them out during your doctor’s visit.

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I was having back labor. My nurse told me to get on my hands and knees with my head down. I can promise you, this was uncomfortable, and I thought, “What is this nurse doing?!” She came back in about 20 minutes later and told me I could sit up. Wait! Where’s my back labor?! They were gone!     Lesson#8–listen to your nurse. They are there to help you. Believe me, they want your labor to progress just as quickly as you do!

I used the birthing ball. I breathed during each contraction. Eric was eating dinner and came over leaning down, close to my face and said, “I don’t know about you, but this meatloaf sure is good!” My nurse was thoughtful enough to say in a kind way, “She’s going through labor. I don’t think she really cares about eating.” Because otherwise, Eric’s dinner may have been thrown across the room if I had to say something.   Lesson #9–be prepared that your partner may not be the help you thought and hoped. You may have to be specific in telling them want you want and need.

Throughout my labor, because, I did not want an episiotomy, the nurses would massage my vagina with warm wash clothes and olive oil to slowly stretch my vaginal opening to allow an easier delivery of the head. It came time for me to push..Lesson #10 when you start pushing, push like you’re having a bowel movement, keep your eyes open and even smile or grimace. Making that guttural sound helps. Be prepared that you may actually have a bowel movement.  But don’t worry, your nurse is discreet and will take care of things for you, so you don’t even know.

The doctor told me push, push, push, and I felt this burning sensation! Lesson #11— yes you will feel the burning sensation and it is your baby’s head coming out and true to it’s name—the ring of fire! Imagine the size of a baby’s head and how big your vagina is…yes it will burn.

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Feel The Burn

Then my son came! Eric was ecstatic but was too overwhelmed to cut the cord. Lesson #12–your partner will see your vagina in a whole different light when they see a baby come out of it! “The wait 6 weeks until resuming intercourse” is for the benefit of your partner. It allows them time to process the experience, allows them to recover from what they just witnessed. When I was a nursing student, I saw my first delivery and told Eric how the father cried. His response, “Why? Did it smell?”–that is how men view labor.

Once you get to hold your baby, a feeling overcomes you, a feeling you never knew you had. Unquestionable, undying love. Your partner will feel it too. I remember Eric staying up all night holding and rocking his first son, tears in his eyes.

 

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A Father’s Love

Lesson #13–if your partner is a father, let him be part of his child’s life no matter the relationship you may have with him. A child needs his father. A son can only learn to become a man from a man. A daughter learns how she should be treated when her father protects her, helps her, and tells her how beautiful she is. She learns to not accept anything less from any man.

This was my first pregnancy and labor experience. I felt everything was text book, everything went according to what I expected. Breast feeding was a breeze, no problems with latching on, no pain or discomfort. This was my first. My second would be a whole different experience.

 

 

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1st Baby Boy Walton

 

Kristine Walton,RN,BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kd_2426@hotmail.com

Find her on this blog “The Amazing Adventures of Pregnancy” every Wednesday

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Do you have any stories about your 1st Delivery

family, Uncategorized

Wednesdays with the Waltons

Kids have a way of being honest, almost to a fault. It’s to the point, where, as a parent, you just want to disappear.  Blend into your surroundings.  Melt into the ground. Or walk away without looking back.  Sometimes pictures tell a thousand words.  These are just a few quotes and moments I’ve captured.

 

 

 

  • Imagine trying to sleep while Princess Girl rubs her Barbie shoe on your face, asking, “Does this feel good?” No. Not really. Hard, pointy plastic being rubbed on your face.

 

  • She just asked me “can we have a conversation?” Sure. And are you Barbara Walters.

 

  • KWBlog1Ahh. To sleep.  Even while standing up.  What I wouldn’t give to master this skill.

 

 

  • Princess wanted me to look at her milk mustache. She then said “Is my mustache POPPIN’?”  

 

  • Most kids love driving around the holidays looking at all the lights. Not my child. When I asked the kids: “doesn’t that look pretty?” Asher replied, “it looks like a waste of energy.” Great. I’m raising the Grinch.     

 

  • KWBlog2Someone should have warned Eric to never fall asleep while kids are awake. And armed with pizza.

 

  • When your baby tells you, “I love you too. But no more kisses ok?” Nine months and going through labor for you? I’ll kiss you all I want.

 

  • Worldly advice from Princess, “I am not doodoo. I’m your sister. You have to be nice.”

 

  • And yet more advice that should be heeded, “Get off my bike with your big head!!”  

 

 

  • KWBlog4A warning that can not be ignored. When your son asks, “Are these markers permanent?” My mistake was not inquiring why the curiosity? My second mistake, when it became quiet and I didn’t look to see what 3 boys were doing. I found out later.

 

 

 

  • “Can your woody do this?” Are words a mother never wants to hear. I decide to take a peek in the room. And was relieved to see my boys swinging the Woody doll from Toy Story around the room.         

 

  • When you hear a small knocking and hear “help me.” After following the sound you discover this.  kwblog5

 

 

  • The boys excitedly point and with such sweet enthusiasm say, “Is that a real midget?!” I quickly walk away without looking back.    

 

  •  When you run and take a picture then help your son. How he did this, you still wonder to this day.         kwblog6

 

  • Eating at a Chinese restaurant, my kids look forward to the fortune cookies. My son picks his and says, “Mine is about bananas.”   

 

  • KWblog7The original Captain Underpants!

 

  • Your son is reading a book, which you decide is quite big so you ask, “What are you reading?” The response, The Dictionary. Oh. Not something I even considered to have on my reading list.      

 

 

 

  • No words, necessary.KWBlog8

 

Kids are amazing little people that have a mind of their own. They will make you laugh, cry and sometimes question your parenting skills. But I would never change one thing in these past years with my children.

 

 

 

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Kristine Walton, RN , BSN

Wife/ Mother of 5/Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kd_2426@Hotmail.com

Find her on this blog every Wednesday

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What things do your children say?

family, Uncategorized

Wednesday’s with the Waltons

“Introducing the Walton’s.  The Walton’s will be sharing their adventures of 2 quirky no-nonsense parents and 5 adorable children; one who is a real princess. Stop by on Wednesday to read about their adventures on parenting, pregnancy and raising 5 children”

*Disclaimer- as a mother of 1- I may disagree with some of her statements image

 

Being a full time working mother of 5 children, I have very little empathy for parents who complain about their hectic, chaotic lives with 1 or 2 children. Please, come to my house with 4 active boys and a girl who truly believes she is a princess.

Enter the Walton house where 5 lovely, rambunctious children will greet you at the door with their laughter, if you’re lucky, or their screams of madness if you come on a bad day. But picture our day at 6am when the kids are waking up, slowly and begrudgingly.  The princess somehow found her way to my bed and is stretched out the long way across my bed looking like a cat in a window bathing in sunlight.

In my own bathroom, I have to maneuver around kids and husband. Am I irritated? Yes. Yes I am.  But let me point out that the boys have a bathroom of their own.  I don’t want 10 toothbrushes, 3 tubes of toothpaste with no tops and toothpaste residue on my counter, sinks and mirror! Can I scream on the inside?  The princess is running away from me trying to hide her comb because “combs are mean.”  She starts crying because, “This is torture! I’m just a kid!” and her daddy is the hero because he patiently holds her hand through this process and all I can do is roll my eyes and allow another internal scream.

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I’m getting lunches, helping kids find matching socks in our version of Mount Rushmore of Lost Socks. I have a glimmer of hope that the other matching pair will be found somehow, somewhere.  I swear my kids who normally can’t sit still are moving like snails stuck in molasses.  And it’s only 6:25am.  My husband now has the kids for school. And I can relax and go to work.

Homework, dinner and bedtime can be a night that never ends. The kids have chores after dinner and no matter how long they have had this job, every night they act like it’s brand new to them.  One turns the vacuum on but then stands there for 10 minutes hoping we’re not paying attention and then turns the vacuum off.  Yes, son, you need to move the vacuum around to pick up the food that has fallen on the floor.  Another son, moves things around on the dining table and when asked if the table is wiped says, “yes.”  Why is there still food on the table?  The reply, “no there isn’t.” Son, I’m looking right at it!  ALL this has to be wiped clean.

Taking a shower is a battle of wills, which I refuse to let them win. Being the first one to take a shower is like asking them to pull out their fingernails.  Why? Why is it a punishment to be the first one to take a shower?!  At 8pm, I excitedly tell them “Bedtime!” I’ve even danced a jig while saying it.  But the night doesn’t end like a fairy tale.  I can still hear laughter, talking and the pitter patter of feet running upstairs.  A friendly, “Go to sleep, you have school tomorrow,” comes out my mouth.  Then a more stern, “GO TO BED!”  After an hour, I have to strain and hold my tongue with all the power I can muster not to scream, colorful expletive words young children should not hear.   And the day starts over at 6am the next day like a modern day Groundhog’s Day.

So parents of 1 or 2 children, this is a typical day for me, a full time working mother of 5 children. If I don’t say or offer to help out or show you empathy like you thought I might, it’s because I have 5, FIVE children ages 5 to 12 years.  Let me say it again.  FIVE.

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Contact Kristine Walton @ kd_2426@hotmail.com

Kristine Walton: Wife /Registered Nurse/Mother of 5