Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Louis Dean Schmitt - Birth Story

I decided to boot up the old blog to post the birth story of our sweet Louis Dean so that anyone that wanted to read it could, and it would be in the same place as my other baby's birth stories.

I had a bit of a difficult pregnancy. That's perhaps an understatement. I did spontaneously get pregnant without fertility intervention and that was a wonderful surprise! I asked for recommendations for doctors or midwives and the first one I went to was not a good fit for me (Dr Choudry), but they did an ultrasound at 8 weeks and I got a due date of September 21. I found a great option for me in OBGYN North. They have a birth center and midwives, but also doctors that can deliver at the hospital so I could aim for the birth center, but have the back up of the hospital if I got pre-eclampsia or something else again. They were great.

Pretty early on, the morning sickness hit and I was deathly ill. Lots of throwing up, lots of laying down and resting. Henry had preschool 3 days a week so I was able to rest. I threw up and had morning sickness the whole time. That sucked. I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and that was one more crazy addition to the battle with eating and throwing up. I was totally able to control it with diet, so I still had the option of the birthing center birth.

Something I didn't notice that was happening was that my depression medicine stopped working somewhere along the first or second trimester, or maybe sooner. My depression got progressively worse and I didn't realize how serious it was until almost the third trimester. I tried to find a psychiatrist that I could go to, but there were so many things that made it nearly impossible. We lost insurance, I got medicaid, then we got new insurance. Most doctors were not accepting new patients, weren't practicing in Austin, had strange hoops to jump through in order to get an appointment or were really far away. It was incredibly frustrating, and when I was depressed, I had little drive to keep searching. Despite having Amanda and Jared's family come visit and help, Joe and Marcia's family come help AND James' parents were here for almost a month, I continued to struggle.

I don't admit this lightly, but I got very depressed and suicidal. I felt completely hopeless and felt that death was the way out - that it was bound to happen someday so why let my baby come to this earth at all and possibly also have depression. After suffering these thoughts for way too long, I told my OB that I needed inpatient care. I checked into a hospital. I mostly laid in bed and read, but by the end of 9 days, the pharmaceutical changes were beginning to work and I went home. Slowly, the medicine continued to make changes in my brain and I literally felt like a different person. The fog lifted and I came back to life.  The only thing that kept me on this earth was focusing on the love my Lily and Henry gave me. They truly eased my suffering with their hugs and kisses.

A few days after coming home, I was admitted to the hospital for elevated liver enzymes. I stayed 4 days and learned that I had cholestasis. The hope of the birth center was shattered and it was a hospital birth for me. I was disappointed, but I had seen it coming. There was a lot of talk of induction early and no clear idea of when. I was basically unsure of when I would deliver from that point until the day Louis was born. I went on the medicine and my liver improved. Even so, still birth is possibly so it was determined that I would need to be delivered at 37 weeks. They had mis-entered my due date so that had to be corrected. I also began seeing the Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor. I felt fine, but had 2 appointments per week and lots of regular tests. Lots of driving into Austin.

When all the dates and weeks were finally cleared up, they told me someone would call me and schedule my induction. I had had LOTS of braxton-hicks contractions everyday for the final months and had hoped I could induce myself, but it didn't happen. On August 31, they called and said I was being scheduled that evening at 8pm. Surprise!

I was worried that I would get the cervical ripening medicine that night and go into labor in the middle of the night. So, we had Henry sleep over at a friends and James stayed home with Lily. They both were planning on being at the labor. *Some people think a 7-year old is a strange person to have at birth, but she was prepared and thrilled to be able to come. She loved this baby and kissed my belly EVERY day. She talked to baby and was so eager to meet him. She did great and it was a joy to have her there.

I was checked at the hospital and was having contractions and was dilated to a 4, so I didn't need the cervical medicine. Yay! I didn't sleep well since they monitored baby all night, but that's the hospital for you. In the morning, I met with the midwife from my practice that was on duty - Kathy Harrison-Short. (Interestingly, my doctor for Henry and Lily was also Dr Harrison.) Dr Harrison-Short was wonderful. She was respectful of my birth plan and so supportive of a minimalist birth. We agreed to start a low dose pitocin and see what happened. That was 11 am. I sat in the bed for an hour and had no contractions. She came in and said, why are you just sitting there?! Ha! I stood up and immediately had contractions start up again. At noon, as I was standing and walking (on my way to the bathroom), my water broke! A first for me. It was a strange feeling. And a mess. My sweet nurse (originally from Orem, Utah!) helped clean up and I knew things would pick up. Of course, it was tinged brown, making all three of my babies meconium babies. They all pooped on the way out of the birth canal. I turned on my Hypnobabies Birthing track and Dr Harrison made my bed into a sort of chair and I went into hypnosis. James slept and Lily watched TV. It was quiet and good.

The pressure was totally under control and while it was definitely getting more intense, I was relaxed. After the 50 minute track was done (at 1:00pm), I started it over again. I got about 5 minutes into it and felt a very intense contraction. Dr Harrison was there and she could tell I was getting ready. I turned off the track and told her I was going to be ready to push soon. I had a few minutes of respite. Transition. I actually got impatient. Dr Harrison checked my cervix and I was at a 9 and almost 100% effaced. I told her I wanted to push, but I didn't actually feel like I needed to... She said she could hold my cervix that last bit if I wanted to push. So, while I didn't need to push, I gave a little push and immediately a contraction started and THEN I sure did need to push! I experienced the sudden uncontrollable need to push and felt baby's head coming. Immediately, I wanted to keep pushing and be done. Dr Harrison told me to slow down. I said I couldn't but she said to breath and when I did, I paused pushing for about 5 seconds - long enough. I pushed again and his little body came out. The time was 1:15pm. Fastest labor yet. 2 hours and 15 minutes from pitocin! I do take some pride that this is something that I am apparently naturally really good at doing. Boo-ya!

Baby was purple, but they put him on my chest anyway while they suctioned. It was amazing! He was so little and perfect. But he was only making little squeeks so they had to take him to get him to breath. Those 3 minutes were wonderful, though! I was still in a bit of shock from delivery, but it was bliss.

Lily and daddy watched as baby got pinked up in the corner. I could see him improving and it was a relief. Lily got to listen to his heart with the stethoscope and she was loving every minute. They brought him back to me and he snuggled on my chest for skin to skin. It was perfect. It took a long time for my placenta to come out so I had to push that more than I had pushed baby. He was 5 pounds 11 ounces. No tearing or even pain for me. Wahoo!

Lily and daddy took turns holding baby. It was wonderful. Dr Harrison complimented me on such a controlled delivery. She said, "You really did amazing." That was a great feeling. We had some time with baby and he was a VERY eager nurser. More of a biter. But very alert and so serious. I loved him so much already. I still wasn't sure about his name, but eventually we decided to just go with Louis Dean Schmitt. Dean and his initials (LDS) are after my grandfather Loran Dean Stephenson.

Louis is the baby I didn't know I needed and wanted. He is a joy and having him in our family feels perfect.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

6 Months!

Henry is 6 months old and I can't believe how fast he's growing! Here are some stats about him.

Weight: 17 lbs 8.5 oz

Length: 26.25 inches

Head: 42cm

I'm having a hard time understanding that he's average size according to the American Pediatric people but he's wearing 9 month clothes and starting to get too chubby for them. I guess it's proof positive that society expects even babies to be skinny. :) I LOVE his rolls.

Some things about Henry at this age: He loves having his clothes taken off, it makes him giggle. He hates putting clothes on. He babbles lots and two weeks ago he said "maaaaaa" in reference to me. I'm calling it his first word. He's working on sitting up and if he didn't spit up everytime he leaned forward too much, he would be farther along. He eats one meal each evening around dinner (so far avocados, sweet potatoes, rice cereal and green beans. I'm homemaking all of his food this time. Woot!

He sleeps from 7pm to 7am with one interruption to eat. I am so glad he's a great sleeper. Lily is still waking 1 to 2 times at night for water, milk, binky, nightmare, no reason, etc. He has started prefering his two fingers to his binky to sleep. And, also like his mom, he plays with his ear while he sucks his fingers. Weird how that sort of thing is genetic.

His day schedule is still a little odd, but he is great at napping, it's just not a consistent length. He goes down without even crying and drifts off to sleep. He still likes being swaddled, but needs his hands so it's not real effective.

He's nearly rolling back to front and can roll front to back. He loves to play with his toes and he's got grabby fingers. His fine motor skills are awesome. Give him a toy and he passes it back and forth between hands without dropping it.

Henry smiles at everyone. People around him are his entertainment, even when they don't look at him he will smile at them. Lily is his best friend. She brings him toys, blankets, binkies and she lays next to him, straddles him to smile in his face and gets so excited when he wakes up because she can run in and pull herself up on his crib to see him. What joy that brings a mommy.

Overall, we are a very happy family!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I'm finding that I can keep myself motivated better on Instagram than on Blogger. If you want to follow me on a more daily basis, check me out on Instagram. I'm MaleaSchmitt.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Massive Catch-Up Post #2

We went to Grammy and Papa's for the weekend before Christmas and I forgot my camera! We spent Christmas morning at Grandma and Grandpa's in SLC.



Our attempt at a Family Christmas Photo. Fail. When we look bad, the kids look good. When we looked ok, the kids look bad. Grrrr... Thus, the lack of Christmas cards this year.

I took this picture of Lily the day after Christmas when we went shopping. To keep herself occupied while I bargain-hunted, she unstacked all of the chairs and stools and then sat down to read a good book.

Good times in the Schmitt Family.

Last week Henry had his first solid food! Avocado and breastmilk goodness. He was really excited and almost ate the spoon. But then he got tired of sitting in the Bumbo and was ready to be done. He was about 5 1/2 months old and we've since then fed him homemade baked yams and avocados. It's not a daily thing yet and I'm convinced this time around I will do homemade babyfood and I'm not in a huge hurry because he's really healthy exclusively nursing right now.

Lily doing dishes. A daily "help" she gives me. Never gets old for her. She loves the water, soap and the scrubber equally. I try to encourage her so that in a few years she'll still want to help with the dishes.

Henry and Lily LOVE each other. And I love them.

Big Boy! Almost sitting up! At this point, he eats one to two times at night. He smiles, he coos and ahhs. He said "maaaaa" last week and I'm counting it as his first word since he was definitely talking about me. He's strong and starting to learn to sit up. His muscle tone is normal, which is a relief since Lily was slower. I love his rolls!

Swimming at Grandma's pool! Henry was a champ although his first time swimming was not the same as Lil's. She was SO into it. And even now, she wanted me to dunk her and she was excited to learn how to move along the side by herself like her cousin, Madi. Henry was more chill. He was content but less enthusiastic. We'll see how he feels when summer comes along.

Thank you to all who helped me figure out the best way to keep posting. Right now I'm using Picasa Web Albums. When I run out of room there, I'll probably do Flickr or something else. And I'll have to start shrinking my files before posting. Thanks to everyone!