Monday, August 29, 2011

The Birth Story

I've been putting this off long enough, time to get down the details before they slip away!  Here is my birth story!

On Wednesday, April 27th, I went in for my 40 week OB check up.  I had been out of work for a few weeks now and the doc had been monitoring my high BP and protein-in-the-wee levels for quite awhile.  By this appointment, those levels and the amount of fluid I was retaining was enough to alarm Dr. Ruddy Cheeks and he cheerfully instructed me to head straight to L&D. So, off we went, willy-nilly. Well, not quite... we'd had the bags packed in the van already (I had a pretty good feeling he'd be sending me) but first we made a pit stop at Olive Garden for some Portabello Ravioli and Tiramisu :) Tee hee!  Hey, I was pregnant & starving!

So, we reported to L&D where they were expecting me & even those 'we've seen it all' ladies gave me a 'whoa!' when they saw me, lol... Huuuuge. It took a few hours to get all squared away, into a room with IV, etc. and they started me on Cervadil (a cervical ripening agent) to get things rolling as I'd not dilated more than 1.5cm and that was since about 37 weeks. I had presented my Birth Plan and even though I'd expected it & assured them I wasn't a Birth Plan Nazi... I still saw them smile and roll their eyes.  I'm sorry, but I've heard too many horror stories of women whose wishes are completely ignored. I've done the research, I know things rarely go as planned... but that doesn't mean I can't *try* to get what I hoped for.  I even brought donuts to smoothe things over with the nurses :).  My Birth Plan detailed a desire for a natural birth with no epidural/drugs... but that I was prepared to change my mind if I couldn't hack it. What I really wanted to avoid was a c-section. Well... read on to see how that plan went over.

The cervadil was supposed to get my cervix ripe and dilating, and works overnight.  I was having contractions already, but they were pretty mild and not doing much. Little Bean wasn't in any hurry. Hubby darling left me for the evening as it didn't look like anything was going to happen and he wanted to be able to get a good night sleep (this was perfectly okay with me as I know how he gets when he hasn't slept!).  The following morning they removed the Cervadil and checked me for progress... exciting!  Nothing. So they started me on a Pitocin drip and increased it throughout the day, checking me periodically for progress.  I was having awesome contractions, a little painful, but still manageable. By Thursday evening, I was on the full strength drip of Pitocin and had still made no cervical change. None. WTF!?  They let me loose from all the IV lines and let me shower, walk around, etc... it was heaven.  Here is me all cleaned up and IV-free!

Back in bed and hooked up again, they inserted a Cytotec (another type of cervical ripener) capsule 'up there' and I kissed hubby good night again with promises to call if anything changed. I was woken up every few hours by the nurses to check me and insert another capsule - by now I was really hurting and every time they checked me they said "sorry!", knowing it was painful. But alas, no change still. Come early Friday morning I met Dr. Hippy Necklace (a lady doctor)- the only doctor of the practice whom I hadn't seen yet. She decided to break my water to move things along. Wow... that was the weirdest feeling, it just kept coming and coming - we were seeing just why I was so big, there was a ton of fluid. Clear, thankfully.  It worked! I was now offically in labor as within a few minutes my "real" contractions had kicked in and they really really sucked... all cervical pain, I never had the belly/back contractions that women speak of.  I did that for a few hours and discovered that I was a moaner... only way I could deal with the pain, but I was still determined to try it naturally.  And... I was dilating, yay!

One of the nurses came to check me (again), and keeping her fingers inside of me, she tilted my bed so my head was low and had Tony push the call button... Dr. Hippy Necklace came in very quickly and swapped the nurses fingers for hers - there was a lot of 'is that what I think it is' and 'do you feel that's. I was getting a little freaked out and then things started happening very quickly. Somebody said "Go?" and the doc said "Go." and within about 30 seconds, I was in the OR being prepped for an emergency c-section - the cord had prolapsed and the nurse & doctor were trying to hold his head up off the cord.  His fetal tones were still very good so they had time to give me a spinal instead of being put out. My poor hubby's face during all this was a little distressing - he was all wide eyed with a 'WTF is going on' look; I surprisingly stayed very calm (I think) - trusting the docs to do what was best.  The surgery went quickly and at 8:50am on 4/29/11, Dexter Nathaniel was born! A healthy 8lbs 10oz and 21" long. Here we are during the surgery, he'd just been wrapped up for a look by Mommy & Daddy - we are so happy!!

He was perfect.... I was so in love. It was a little over an hour before I was back in my room with my baby, what with the stitching up and recovery time. Daddy was able to follow him to the nursery - I don't think you could have kept him away!  Here are a few shots from Daddy of Dex in the nursery, less than a half hour old:

When they pulled him 'out', the doc said "It's a boy" and we smiled to each other... we were expecting that. Then she says, "he's got red hair!" and we looked at each other, surprised... we weren't expecting that one!  What a fun surprise!!  A full head of it, so cute.... of course first chance that Daddy got, he gave Dex a faux-hawk :)

The birth according to Tony:  "It was all rainbows and sunshine on our side of the sheet - but on the other it looked like they were slaughtering a pig with a chainsaw!"  According to him, amniotic fluid shot across the room when they made the incision into the uterus and at one point my intestines where heaped up on my chest.... not quite sure how much of that to believe; but I am quite happy to remain ignorant, thank you very much.

There was a bit of confusion while I was in the recovery room... Daddy was taking pictures of Dex in the nursery and sending them to his family.  Then started the congratulatory comments on Facebook ... and MY family hadn't been told yet! Heck, they didn't even know I was in surgery and there certainly wasn't time to inform everyone.  So several people were a bit confused (What? She had the baby?!?) by I started making phone calls and to be quite honest, I barely remember talking to anyone, I was had so many painkillers in me from the surgery. We spent 2 days in the hospital while I recovered from the surgery and Dex got released. We spent those 2 days in a bit of a blur, I was SO exhausted but reluctant to send Dex to the nursery for fear of being 'the bad mommy', he cried and cried and cried... poor baby.  He took well to nursing and I was very conscious of getting a good latch so as not to have all the issues and pain I have read about (yes, I read too much) where a bad latch ends up being the root cause... and it worked! Nursing was surprisingly easy and only a little tender at first while we were learning.  He did a LOT of screaming in those first few days and weeks, but a lovely lady by the name of Nurse Betty was super helpful in showing us how to calm him and how most of his issues where likely gas related. Once we figured that out, we felt a lot more capable; but he still had a mega temper!

Very late in the evening of Day Two... we all got our clean bill of health and were sent home - here is my darling, all ready to go home:

So there you have it... Long, but thorough. ;)  I didn't get the drug-free, non-C-Section birth I wanted, but it is what it is and I am just happy that it all turned out well.  We continue to be amazed by this wonderful child and just love him SO MUCH!!  We are finally a family and I can't wait to do it again ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another Slacker Update

Wow, I really have been bad at this. I'm a bad blogger... bad, bad, bad. There. Now that I feel sufficiently naughty, we can get all updated and shit.  So it appears that the last time I posted, I was 20 weeks pregnant - I'm now the proud Mommy to Dexter Nathaniel, 10 weeks old :)  He's amazing, such a tyrant... and I'm so in love!  Gosh, so much to catch up on.  I would like to thank my dear friend, Beth, for the inspiration to pick this back up.  ...for the record, I am not writing this during work hours (Not).

I think I'll follow this up with my birth story... (note to self!), but for now, let's recap the final 20 weeks of my pregnancy, shall we? I got huge. Like seriously huge. I was doing great on my weight gain until the last 2 months when I started retaining water; my fluid levels were quite impressive. My ankles and feet blew up like balloons and my coworkers started taking bets on when I'd go into labor.  I was unable to do the stairs at work any longer and had to use the freight elevator (I had myself a little giggle each day as I read the sign "Frieght Only"... I totally qualified). Dr. Ruddy Cheeks took me out of work at 37 weeks due to pre-eclampsia. High blood pressure, swelling & spilling proteins into my wee... yup, good times. Oh my, it was nice. SOoooo nice to be out of work; getting around was ridiculous... I didn't just waddle, I teetered and huffed & puffed; quite comical, really. My shoes ceased to fit months before and even my biggest 'big girl' maternity shirts barely covered my belly. I avoided most of the stretch marks until the last 2 months, then they came out meaning business. Here's me at 36 weeks pregnant:

So many things about your body change during pregnancy, it's just wonky.  I got freckles like everywhere, my face, arms & shoulders mostly - plus a few new birth marks. My hip was freezing up more and more often and causing me no little amount of pain (I really don't blame it, I was a house). I felt like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka ("... Violet, you're turning into a BLUEBERRY!") and that I deserved a round of applause for getting up off the couch (I wasn't able to sleep in my bed since about 6 months along).

I was so full of excitement though... I really only felt like I was ready to be 'done' with this whole pregnancy thing in the last few weeks (I did end up going right to 40!). I loved feeling him roll and turn, I could feel his little body often pressed against my hand from shoulders to knees... he felt SO long. Doctors were predicting I'd have a very large baby based on how I continually measured 4-5 weeks ahead, but that turned out to be mostly fluid. He got the hiccups quite often and in those last few weeks, I would just sit and talk to him, enjoying having him be just *mine* for a little while more.  He seemed to like me to sing to him and enjoyed when I would lay out in a warm bath and 'pat' him through my belly.  He still enjoys the baths and singing!  I would really love to be pregnant again... it was such a wonderful feeling that I wasn't sure I'd ever get to experience - a total blessing and I can't wait to do it again!

Through all of this, I had the love and support of my husband - he was amazing. He not only thought I was beautiful while huge & pregnant, he went out of his way all the time to make things easier for me. Whether it was helping me off the couch or picking up (yet another) gallon of milk, he was my total hero.  He's half the reason I want to do it again :)  Okay, maybe only 25%, but that's significant, no? :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Slacker Update

Yes, I've been lax about posting again... sorry!  But, in my defense... I've been very busy!  Doing really fun stuff like sanding furniture, pouring over safety articles and registering for baby stuff!!  We found out almost 2 weeks ago that we are having a BOY!!!  We are so very excited & he's got the cutest profile...
This weeks marks 20 weeks pregnant... halfway!!  Next milestone is viability at 24 weeks... but we'll still shoot for 40 :).  Pregnancy is going well, was diagnosed w/ a partial placenta previa, but Dr. Shiny Head thinks it will move up as the baby gets bigger. Otherwise, just really tired & having some swelling in my feet and ankles at the end of the day, along with some pressure and stretchy feelings in my belly. I think the latter is due to Little Bean (BOY!) moving around and stretching out.  I feel very blessed.

The name game is still a go... Darling Hubby and I are at a disagreement about the names, but... we have time. I'd just like to be able to call him something!

In the meantime, continuing to round out, bump seems to be lower as baby comes up out of the pelvic area and the bloating in the upper belly goes down (finally).  Get another ultrasound at my next appointment in 2 weeks thanks to the low lying placenta... a blessing in disguise!  So happy to get another look at our son. So weird to say that... gotta get used to it! Son, son, son...

Friday, November 5, 2010

15w1d Update!

Life has been treating us pretty well these days, I'd say.  Our TV just died, the internet & cable got turned off (can't pay it till next week, sorry!), rent is still behind and my hubby is working 7 days a week/12 hour days.... but we are happy!  We are catching up on our bills, slowly but in the right direction.  Little Bean is doing wonderfully and we are really quite happy about it!

Monthly OB appointment was yesterday at 15weeks. I was hoping for an ultrasound, but got the doppler instead.  Was so fun to hear that heartbeat again & to see hubby's face light up when he heard it :)  Totally made my day... WHY don't I have a doppler yet!?? I really have to fix that.  But the best part is that I was able to schedule my Gender Scan!!  I am so excited to find out the gender... I am pretty convinced it is a girl, but totally prepared to be wrong.  Still almost 3 weeks away, I hope it goes quickly!

People are starting to ask on FB what names we've chosen & I'm just not sure I'm ready to share yet.... I don't give a hoot, really, what people think; but I am also not inclined to hear someone give me their negative opinion on a name that has taken us months to pick.  I know you can't please everyone, all the time, but I think once we know the gender & are 100% on the name, we'll share.  The girl name is easy... Genevieve Isabella. Classic, lovely, perfect.  The boy name is a bit harder.... early on we decided we would maybe use our fathers' names, because it would mean so much to them & we both love & respect our Daddies very much.  That name would be Nathaniel Grant (Father, FIL).  Good, strong name... perhaps Nate for short.  But i'm just not sure on it... I like it, quite a bit. But it doesn't do the same thing for me that the girls name does.  Also, I mentioned the name to my stepmother, whom I love dearly... and she was absolutely thrilled that we were thinking of using Nathaniel (my father, her husband) - apparently my cousins have said on several occasions that they were going to use the name but didn't. So it would mean quite a bit to them.  That alone makes me want to do it!

The only thing that makes me not sure is that our personality & style is quite different... the other name we are liking right now is Maverick Xavier.  Unique, strong, fun.  Certainly better than "Thor" (another story...).  So, I'm still a bit up in the air, I may wait until the gender scan to give it much more thought.  If it is a girl, well then... that was easy.  If it's a boy, I'll see how it feels then... and still have several months to change my mind. Because it's what I do best.  That, and trying to put my toaster away in the fridge...again.

Little Bean is doing well as far as I can tell, I increasingly feel stronger (though still slight) movements and 2 days ago, Hubby was able to see one of the stronger pokes, right through my shirt... "Whoa!!! How'd you DO that!?"  :) It was very cute, really.  More of a very small twitch, but at least it is starting to be visible... so fun!  One thing is for sure, though, I am getting progressively rounder.  That, in itself, makes me feel good; I keep expecting to find that the baby has stopped growing or something isn't right. We've waited so long for this, it still seems surreal to think that this may be my take-home baby... just unreal & I am loving it.  Taken in the bathroom at work... in a dirty mirror :)... Here's the proof that Little Bean is thriving:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fun With Cabbage

So I ran across something quite fun on the Interwebs yesterday... and perhaps because I've not had much to wee on lately (my TTC friends will understand this!), it sounded like fun!  So the idea is this... you chop up and boil down some red cabbage, then strain out the cabbage & save the water. The boil water is supposed to act like litmus paper & measure the acidity of your wee... supposedly a more alkaline result (blue/purple) is a girl and a more acidic result (red/pink) is a boy.  A Cabbage Gender Test!  Can you see, now, how I couldn't resist??  

I've been talking myself out of buying the Intelligender test ($39!?) so this seemed like a lovely alternative...AND I just happened (tee hee!) to have some cabbage.  So I collected & poured equal amounts of cabbage water & wee into a mason jar.... and.... it looked like cranberry juice.  Kind of a reddish purple... hey!!  What gives!?  But if I must be objective, I'd say it was more red than blue, so according to the Rather Silly, Really, Cabbage Test... it's a boy :) 

Ummm, yea, I'm totally not painting the nursery blue yet!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Dream of Baby

Blech.... home sick, day 2.  Hubby is recovering from the flu and I was afraid I'd caught it too... however, I think I've gotten lucky & it's just a sinus/ear infection combo.  Still sucks, but it's way better than having flu while pregnant!  Note to self: Go Get the Flu Shot!  Head is pounding & a bit dizzy, but I seem to be on the mend... woot.

So last night I had a really cool (fever?) dream... I dreamt of my baby.  I've dreamt of the same 2 children many times over the years, but I've never seen one of them in this much detail.  In my past dreams, there is a blonde haired toddler boy & a dark-haired infant girl... and I know that they are mine.  My gf who has some pyschic talents has told me that those are likely my children from a past life, coming to say hello... those dreams are always happy & peaceful.  This same dear friend also read that she didn't think I'd ever have children... and while I didn't want to believe it, I also believe her gift is true and good.  However, I also believe that circumstances change outcomes... I have had many changes in my life physically since that reading & believe that now I have children in my future, if I didn't then.  Maybe that right tube was blocked before the HSG? Maybe my exposure to paint fumes at my last job was keeping me from becoming pregnnat? I don't know, but I'm glad I am!

Anywho... I'd always assumed that those 2 children were my future babies, but I often wonder if the little boy was my ectopic pregnancy... or will I get to meet him in April?  It was the little girl that I dreamed of last night... she was perfect in every way... in my dream I was looking at her up close, loving every little detail.  She was tiny, so I'm thinking newborn; a head full of dark brown hair, tiny perfect ears, little pink lips and fingernails & long lashed dark blue eyes.  Very similar to how I looked as a baby, but enough differences that I knew I wasn't just filling in the blanks.  Is this my sweet little girl I'll get to meet in less than 6 months?  Oh, I do hope so....  Her dream image fits with the name we've chosen... Genevieve Isabella <3.  I'm already in love!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

50 / 50

50/50... the chances of having a boy or a girl...more or less.  I can't help but think girl... but that may be because we both are hoping for a girl.  And in hoping, think I am jinxing myself and that I'll have a boy.  Which of course, is fine too!  Boy or girl, we'll be happy... but I want to know now. Not in 4 weeks, not in 6 weeks, now please.  Sigh... I'm rarely this impatient, but I'm dying to call her (him!?) by name and buy her cute little dresses (overalls!?) and pick out bedding.  Now that I am finally convinced that we are really gonna have this baby (yay!) and not checking my panties every time I wee for a tinge of red. Having this peace of mind now, I'm ready to start registering!

It took me over a year to come to terms with the idea of registries.... I love having them for when I need to buy someone a gift because I know what they want or need.  Plus it reduces the risk of getting duplicates and junk they don't like or need.  But for myself, I couldn't help but feel it was like asking for presents... a huge no-no!!  But, after many hours of pouring over Emily Post's words of wisdom & reading countless others' posts of their own registry woes... I think it's a good thing.

With four sets of First Time Grandparents eager to spoil their new Grandbaby... it'd be good to tell them what we need, right?  Otherwise we may end up with no crib but 3 Diaper Pails. =)  Can I register for a breast pump!?  I'm so clueless....