14 October 2015

Our first (and only) internationally born child

Moving to Korea was an adventure.  We had to move early because I ended up pregnant earlier than we had been planning.  Being due just a few days before my husband's report date, we had to move our moving up by 2 months at least.  Which we did.  We got to Korea on August 17th. 

I was 33 weeks pregnant and unsure about where I'd end up delivering.  I started prenatal care with the military hospital up at Yongson and to be honest I was pretty surprised at the care there.  It wasn't as bad as I was expecting considering the stories.  They are obviously heading in the right direction as far as care.

I still was not okay giving birth in a hospital.  We found out that I couldn't stay at lodging up at Yongson for half price unless I gave birth at 121 and I was not comfortable with the idea of driving anywhere while in labor at all so around 36 weeks we started looking into or homebirth options.  I was still not comfortable with the idea of unassisted birth although Michael and I did put a lot of discussion into it.  I just preferred the idea of having someone there to assist for those "just in cases."

So we contacted a homebirth midwife.  She was completely hands off in some ways, and hands on in ways I wasn't expecting.  But, all in all I'm glad we called her.  She was really only there for a short part of my birth, but I LOVED her assistant Jasmine.

So, my birth story:

On October 10, 2015, around 10am I had some bloody show.  I have a history of short labors so we called the midwife and let her know.  She sent her husband and assistant out because she was teaching a class.  My labor was very slow to start.  Early labor lasted a very long time.  All day in fact.  Contractions were slow to establish, but they were pretty intense when they were showing up.  It wasn't until around 5pm, after doing some sprints around the building for about half an hour, that my contractions finally picked up.  That's when I'd say active labor started.  The birth pool was set up, and I swayed and moved, and walked around, and leaned, during contractions.  It was very different from my other labors in that I felt the need to move between contractions during this one.  I was also able to breathe, instead of moan through them for the most part for the first part of active labor.

I was in and out of the birth tub a few times, until I think it was closer (to be honest at this point I was fairly exhausted so details are pretty fuzzy)  Kids were in and out of the room, Michael was in and our of the room, and at some point I just lost track of who was there.  Jasmine was awesome at helping me relax during and between contractions.  We had to live and press in on my stomach to get Isaac to engage and drop down because of how relaxed my muscles are.  I do remember hoping that I'd still give birth on the 10th but it was looking less likely.  The contractions kept coming and I was slightly excited when my thoughts turned irrational (thinking drugs would be nice) because I knew he'd be here soon.  At some point Rosa showed up....but I honestly don't remember when.

And then like always the fact that I was pushing kind of snuck up on me and surprised me.  Wasn't as easy as Katara, Isaac's water wasn't breaking while I was pushing and I think that scared me, although I'm not sure why.  Obviously it made pushing harder, but I think it would have been cool if he'd been born in caul but I kind of freaked out at the fact that it wasn't breaking.  At that point I know there was a flurry of activity, and Rosa helped guide him out as I pushed.  He came out all in one push though, head, body and everything.

And he was born. 

Isaac Lee came on October 11, 2015 at 12:49am weighing 8lbs 1oz and 21" long.  He came out crying, and with a short cord like his sister Willow.

Oh So Many Things to update!

We made it to Korea!  I'll have to save some pictures and share them later.  Too much to update now.

So, we went through the easy process of EFMP which was just a meeting confirming any medical or educational care we may need and then we got the green light for that.

We had a little snag with CS when we didn't have a paper filled out that we needed, stating that I was not a sex offender, but after we got that in I'm pretty sure we got the green light on CS within a week.  We were excited!

Then it was time to set everything up to actually move and boy was that stressful!  A LOT of rearranging times, dates, and movers who threw tantrums.  But we made it out only wasting a little over a week of Michael's leave time.

We went to FL and NC to visit family, and took a trip to Sea World.

Then it was time to go.  We drove up to Fort Gordon for a night, then Atlanta to drop off our van.  Another snag, because we didn't actually turn our van in, Michael's cousin awesomely did, and then we flew off to Seattle!  The kids were pretty excited about their first plane ride.  We were all exhausted by the time we go there though, and from there it kind of just got worse.  lol 

We pretty much stayed up all night to get through security, check ins, and then finally, around 8am we actually boarded our flight.  All 7 of us in one row.  We flew from Seattle to Japan where we stayed while the plane refueled, and then from there to Suwon, South Korea.  It was afternoon of the next day, and we were all very tired, from travelling, being on a plane for almost 12 hours, and from the time differences.  We'd lost half a day (13 hours) in the flight.  We got bussed to Osan to go through customs, and get one of our pets and then we were finally on our way to Yongson!

We had to do a very late night briefing (I say late night but I think it was only 9pm) and then we could go to bed.  We checked into the Dragon Hill Lodge (or DHL) and we all kind of crashed.  The hotel is very big and pretty.  I wish I would have explored more.  But, we went to Humphrey's the very next day after Michael had arranged with the pet center to pick up our 2nd cat from the airport, and we rode the bus with one cat to Humphrey's and our 2nd was brought to the gate here.

We arrived late evening and our sponsor helped get us checked into the lodging here on post.  From there my husband started in-processing! 

All in all, even with all the stress, it ended up being an easier process than I was expecting and now we are settled in our on post house (which will be another post) and we have our vehicle, and.....we have a new baby!  Our first international born bundle of joy! :)