Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
9 lbs. 4 oz.
Just a quick picture from the hospital, even though I'm SURE
you've been satisfied with the plain old text we sent
yesterday. We are doing well and will be home tomorrow. More
details on the little man's arrival to come... but for now
I'll just say that he has surprised me on several accounts.
Over NINE pounds? (The doc had estimated 8 even) All that
DARK HAIR? (Brian and I were both blond baldies) He's a good
nurser? (Katy had SUCH hard time)
So already I can see that this experience will be totally
different, and I'm really excited to get started. Love you
all, thanks for all the congrats and prayers.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
They also scheduled me for an induction next Monday, March 31st, in the wee hours of the morning, if I don't go on my own before then. At this point I'm really hoping that I will, just because I'd like to avoid induction, but I'm glad to have an end point in mind for sure.
Tomorrow is my due date. Maybe this baby just likes to be very prompt??
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
I've tried to capture her "performance" on video, but as soon as she sees the camera, it's over. So I guess maybe we're not ready for Randy, Simon, and Paula.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I've got one last belly shot for you. The reason I say it's the last one is because this is the last week that I took one when I was pregnant with Katy, and I like to have a comparison shot. Plus, I'm not sure that I want to post anymore pictures if I get any bigger than this. Ugh.
39 weeks with Katy...oblivious smile
39 weeks with New Baby...nervous smile
Finally, the really good news is that we finally got the hardware to assemble the crib. So New Baby now has an official place to sleep. Maybe that will coax him to come out (though I don't think newborns are generally big fans of cribs, especially not cribs in a different room than Mommy and Daddy).
Friday, March 14, 2008
Emmaline came to visit with her mom Jen and her Mimi. We had a good time having lunch and shopping...(Note: I started this post on Friday and didn't finish it until Tuesday. It's long, and mostly for my own historical record. But if you're interested in this kind of thing...feel free to take a few minutes to read it)
As my due date approaches and things are gradually checked off of my to-do list, I'm getting more and more nervous about the upcoming events. You know, labor, delivery, newborn, nursing, no sleep, toddler adjusting to new baby, etc. One thing that I did shortly before Katy was born was get a pedicure. It was the BEST, so I decided to do it again. I haven't been able to comfortably reach my toes in months, and I'll be spending a lot of time with bare feet or sandals sometime soon. For the past few days, if I feel a contraction or something that feels like it could be a sign of labor, I've been thinking, "But I haven't had my pedicure yet!" Well, now I can relax, because my toes look like this:
But as I think about the impending arrival, of course I'm thinking back to my experience of becoming Katy's mom. I know that everyone handles having their first baby differently, but I had a hard time adjusting to it. I know that many of you know the story of those first few months, but I thought I'd share it here while I am thinking about it, since I know how these things can become fuzzy the more time passes.
With Katy, I was due on a Thursday. That Tuesday morning, I woke up having contractions, harder ones than the Braxton-Hicks I had been having for weeks beforehand. We started recording the time between them, and they were between 10 and 20 minutes apart. I got up and took a shower, happily thinking that I would be heading to the hospital at some point that day, and I was relieved that I had finally started the labor process. But as the day wore on, there was nothing consistent about the pattern of these contractions. I began calling them small, medium, and large. The small ones were just slightly uncomfortable, the large ones required practiced breathing patterns, but they were completely random, and they weren't getting closer together. The pattern would be 18 minutes, 12, 20, 16, 16, 10, 20, etc. That night I went to bed frustrated, and didn't sleep more than 10 minutes at a time the whole night, as I dozed between contractions, half paying attention to the timing, and half wishing they would stop so I could sleep.
The next day, Wednesday, I went into the OB clinic to see what was going on. They monitored my contractions and checked my dilation. My cervix wasn't dilating past 1.5 (where it had been since 36 weeks), and my contractions weren't getting consistently harder or closer together. They informed me that this was called "prodromal labor." It means labor that doesn't progress, but typically means that "true labor" would begin soon. They told me to keep tracking my contractions, and if they got to be less than 10 minutes apart in the night, I could go into the hospital. Otherwise, come back in tomorrow.
So that night was a really rough night. At this point I had been awake for nearly 48 hours and I had still not gone more than 20 minutes without a contraction during that entire time. I was hurting, I was exhausted, and I was frustrated. So in the wee hours of that Thursday morning, as my contractions briefly stayed below 10 minutes apart, we decided to go to the hospital out of desperation. This was another disappointment. First we got yelled at for not calling our doctor before coming in, even though that wasn't how we had interpreted what they told us at the office that day. Then she monitored me in triage, checked my cervix, and told me in an annoyed manner than I needed to go home because I wasn't close enough. She gave me a sleeping pill to help me get some rest. I went home and took the pill, got 3 hours of sleep, and then woke up Thursday morning to more of the same. This was my due date.
On Thursday, I went to my OB appointment, still 1.5 cm, still contractions not close enough together. She "stripped my membranes" and said to call her if I hadn't had the baby by Friday and they would schedule an induction for MONDAY. That would've been nearly a week of labor - can you imagine? But fortunately I lost my mucus plug before I even left the office, and I was hopeful that things would start to progress, which they finally did.
That evening my contractions were very slowly headed toward 7-9 minutes apart, and I was having more "large" ones than small. We were watching the series finale of Will and Grace, and as that hilarious sitcom came to a close, we called the doctor and headed to the hospital. When we got there, we were ecstatic to hear that I was finally 3 cm. However, in order to make sure that I was truly in labor now, I would need to walk the halls for an hour to see if I dilated further before they would admit me. That was the worst hour. One of the nurses told Brian to make me walk quickly to encourage progress, so he put his hand on my back and pushed me around the halls as fast as I would tolerate. My sister was with us, too. I was at my wit's end and all I wanted was for them to admit me. At the end of that hour, I was 4 cm and alas, officially in labor.
Despite previously thinking that I might be able to do this whole labor and delivery thing without an epidural, I hadn't anticipated the 3 days of laboring at home (and without sleep). I was completely spent, and requested relief almost immediately after I was admitted. I wanted to marry the nurse anesthetist, it was such a relief. I fell asleep for a couple of hours and woke up at 7cm.
Then I stalled out. I didn't make any more progress for a while, and my water still hadn't broken. This part is a blur, but at some point they broke my water and started pitocin, though I'm not sure in which order. Eventually (after a few hours? I don't remember), I started to feel the need to push, and sure enough, I was 10 cm and ready to go. Strangely enough, even at this point my contractions were still 4-5 minutes apart.
After the first couple of pushes, the nurse called my doctor and told her it would be awhile. But apparently I learned quickly because a few minutes later she called her again and said she'd better hurry. I pushed for about 30-40 minutes and was crowning, so they told me to stop and wait for the doc. I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to stop if it hadn't been for the epi, but I was able to. They had a resident and a student nurse there just in case she didn't make it in time. But she walked in, scrubbed up, and less than 5 minutes later Katy was born. After the whole process started on Tuesday morning, she finally arrived shortly before noon on that Friday.
Then, of course, the whole experience of being a new mom completely blindsided me. The first big challenge was nursing. I had no idea that something that should be so natural would be so hard and so painful. Katy didn't latch on at all for the first 24 hours, and then after several hours with a lactation consultant, would finally only do so with the use of a nipple shield. That piece of plastic would become our lifeline as well as the bain of my existence for the next 5 weeks. Finally, after alot of struggle, she learned to nurse without it at 5 weeks old. We had a brief readjustment period, and then the colick kicked in.
I know there's a lot of debate about colick and it's definition, what causes it, etc. But I read several definitions that were based on the amount of inconsolable crying that a baby does, and Katy definitely fit into that picture. Whatever you call it, she was just miserable in her skin until she was about 6 months old. For the first 4 months of her life, she cried every evening from about 5pm until midnight, give or take, and there was nothing we could do about it. I had a laundry list of things that would stop her from crying, but they would only give about 5-10 minutes of relief. I remember that I myself cried everyday for the first several months, mostly because I thought that my child was going to be miserable for the rest of her life. Of course, that isn't true, and I wish I could've seen the very happy child that she is today, because it would've helped me get through those months.
It seemed that as Katy got more mobile, and after she was weaned at 10 months, she became a completely different kid. She is now, of course, SO happy. I think that if I have another fussy baby it will at least be more tolerable because I know that it doesn't last forever, and that it doesn't necessarily predict a child's temperament.
So ANYWAY, my point in sharing all of that (sorry, I went into a lot more detail than I originally intended) was not to whine and complain. New motherhood is a huge adjustment for everyone, and I love to talk to new moms and compare stories and see how things are going. I think my thought is just that when I remember that whole time, it was extremely overwhelming and stressful. It took me a long time to adjust to being a mom, to love being a mom. So I'm just hoping that this new experience with the new baby goes maybe just a leeetle more smoothly, perhaps if only because I am expecting it to be overwhelming? Because if it's like the last time, it's going to be a rough six months coming up.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The word from the doc this week is the same: 1.5 cm dilated, 50% effaced, but the cervix was "further forward." I'm not sure what that means, but she said it was good. She shrugged and said, "I'm not expecting anything this week. But we'll see." So we're still chugging along.
There's one reason I'm really thankful for this: I've come down with a cold and have essentially lost my voice. It's not a terrible cold, but it's keeping me up at night more (as if I wasn't already waking up enough!) and is just annoying. I think it would be nice to get past this little ailment before the delivery, but of course it's not a huge deal. Last week I was feeling desperate to have this kid, but this week I feel like I could wait a while. So we'll see...
And now... a funny Katy story:
At some point during the day, I usually let Katy pick out and watch a video. I think if you were to ask her, she would call this the highlight of her day. She will frequently go over to the cabinet where the DVD's are, pat the glass, put on her cutest face, and ask, "Watcha bideo? Watcha bideo?" If you answer in the positive: giggling, laughing, and dancing follow.
So today she came up and asked me for a video right before naptime. I was on the phone, and in a distracted manner, I said, "in a minute." But when I got off the phone, instead of putting in a video, I informed her that it was naptime. Not good news. Tears, and I mean real tears of sadness, not tantrum tears, ran down her face. As I put her in the crib she was crying, "Bideo! Bideo!" So as I walked out of the room, I promised, "After nap, honey, you can watch a video."
Fast forward an hour or so, and I heard the familiar Mommy-calling from her bedroom after the blissful silence of her sleep. As I walked down the hall to her room, I wondered if she would remember that I had promised a video. So I cracked open the door to barely peek into the room, and she stood up with a huge hopeful grin on her face, "BIDEO?!?" Not even a greeting for Mommy, it was as if she'd been dreaming about that video the entire nap. With a memory like that, I think I'm in trouble... and I better watch what I say.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
We've gotten some snow, and we're supposed to get a bunch more. The forecast actually says "Blizzard." Are you kidding me? When Brian got home from work, he went out to shovel and took Katy with him (for which I am thankful. She loves to play in the snow, but I cannot zip my coat or fasten my boots at this point, and I feel so badly that she's stuck inside with such a swollen mom). She came back inside crying because she didn't want to come in, even though her cheeks were as red as they come.
Watching a video while cuddling with baby. Lately she's been obsessed with her babies. We even took one of them to storytime this week (big mistake on my part, as baby caused a ruckus among the other toddlers). I'm hopeful that this means she'll at least be somewhat loving to New Baby. Until, of course, she realizes how much of mom's attention he demands. Then the honeymoon, I assume, will be over.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
I mentioned before that we are going to a different hospital this time because we are now on Brian's insurance as opposed to mine. We took the tour this week so we could figure out where to park and sign in, etc., and we were surprised to learn one annoying fact: no cell phones are allowed in the rooms, either labor and delivery or post-partum. They suggest bringing a calling card. Huh? At my previous hospital, we were allowed to use cell phones everywhere, and that's how we were in contact with everyone. Since we don't have a land line at all, I don't know anyone's phone numbers and I wouldn't even know where to buy a calling card. Maybe it's just me, but this seems a little...ancient. Those of you who have had babies recently, did you have this restriction?
In case you noticed our "test" posting the other night, Brian learned a new trick that will hopefully come in handy when New Baby makes his arrival. Thanks to our friend Brett, Brian can now send a text from his cell phone that will post directly to this blog. That means that he will be able to send up-to-the-minute updates when it comes time for the arrival, so everyone can check here to see when we become parents of 2. Of course, now that we know the hospital policy, he'll have to go out to the waiting room to do it, so maybe it won't be as frequent as it would've been before.
We're supposed to get another snow storm tomorrow. I don't think I could say it any better than Erin.
Brian and I had a date night tonight, and just in the nick of time. I've been feeling all week as if I am this close to losing it. Just completely at my wits end, emotional, tired, uncomfortable, nervous...you name it, all those things you experience weeks before a new baby. But it's amazing what a night out can do for you. I still feel all of those things, but on a smaller, more manageable scale. Thanks to our friends Kate and Dave for their creative and generous shower gift that gave us a much needed break.
Monday, March 03, 2008
So I often joke that it all comes back to Ohio. There have been many scenarios in my own life in which this is true, but we also seem to be a consistently pivotal state when it comes time for elections. Tomorrow is Ohio's (and Texas') primary election. And once again, the news is talking it up as if everyone will be watching to see if these two states can help determine with more certainty the presidential candidates for November. Now, I'm not heavily into politics, and I don't want to start discussing politics on this blog, but this excitement has me thinking of a couple of stories.
The first takes me back to the last presidential election in 2004. Of course, after the close race of 2000, record turnout was expected, and there was a lot of anticipation related to the election. All day as people in my district went to vote, I was hearing these crazy reports that people were waiting 1-3 hours in line. I really couldn't believe it, but I was not about to be daunted. In addition to the presidential election, I needed to vote for a school levy that my very job depended on. I had told my sister that I would wait and go with her to vote after she got off work, which meant that we arrived at the polls only minutes before it closed at 7pm. They led us to the back door of the school building, in which I could see a long line of people weaving in and out of hallways on the opposite side of the building from the gymnasium where the booths were located. Prepared to stand there for as long as 3 hours, we settled in, with only 1 other person getting in line behind us before they closed the doors. But soon, people who were leaving were telling us stories like, "I started out waaayy up there, and I waited 3 and a half hours." We got to know the people in line around us quite well that evening. Some people had brought cards, and I learned a new game or two. Others were talking on their cell phones, and rumors started in the line: the national news is reporting that the election is SO close, it may all depend on Ohio. Not only that, but our district is the only one with people still in line, so essentially - the election all comes down to US! So ok, none of us really believed this to be true, but it sure was fun to see people that excited about voting. So finally, to a make a long story tolerable, I finally cast my ballot shortly after midnight, over 5 hours after I arrived at the school. People were high-fiving each other as they left the booth, so proud that they weathered the storm to claim their right to vote. So what about you - did you wait in long lines to vote for that election?
The other story goes back to my days in Ithaca, in which my studies granted me the opportunity to meet the First Lady, who is currently running for President. At the time, she was running for Senate in New York, and she stopped by a place where I was working as part of a research project with the elderly, and she had some kind of interest in inter generational collaboration or something. I know some people are not big fans of the Clintons, but no matter how you feel about them, it was pretty cool to meet the First Lady. The security was amazing - I had to get clearance a full week ahead of time to even be able to stand in the same room as her. Then just before she entered, they brought in these REALLY intense looking dogs to come into the room and sniff us all out. (and this was before 9/11) I was so nervous, and I have absolutely no recollection of what I said to her. The whole thing lasted about 10 minutes, and it was such a blur. I just kept thinking, "This woman is married to the President. Wait. This woman is married to the President." But even if I can't remember it, at least I have photographic evidence:
That's me to the left of Hillary. They made us wear those shirts to represent the college - ugh.
So anyway, I can't wait to see the result of tomorrow's election. I even dreamt about it last night. And as much as it would be cool to have a picture of me standing next to someone who eventually became President, I'm not planning to vote for Hillary tomorrow. But that's as far as I'm willing to discuss politics here... if you live in Ohio - remember to go vote tomorrow!
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Rooms rearranged: 4
Rooms repainted: 1
Pieces of furniture given away: 7
Visitors to our home to collect unwanted furniture: 7
Pieces of furniture accumulated: 5
Closets/storage spaces emptied and reorganized: 10
Large garbage bags taken to Goodwill: 8
Large garbage bags taken to garbage: 15
Trips to Target to purchase items related to this project: countless
Months to complete this project: 3
Days to spare before due date: 25
At last, photos:
Master bedroom before:
Bed awkwardly crammed into corner space
Katy's swing, which is currently homeless
Master bedroom after:
New bed, more space, deal-of-the-century bedding
Corner space rearranged to accommodate Brian's office (see below)
Brian's office before:
This was the space where Brian was allowed to do whatever he wanted
Brian's office, i.e. new guest room after:
Now offering queen size accommodations for our guests, but not much else...
Guest room (and sewing room and storage area before):
You can't tell, but this is actually quite a large room
And this angle doesn't do any better...
Guest room, i.e. new Big Girl Room after:
My mom helped me make these curtains, lined with room darkening shades for nap time
The quilt will be the bedspread when we move to a Big Girl bed, and this dresser was generously donated by Weed.
This table is a temporary solution, and these toys are why we had such a brief nap today.
And just for fun, we added another one...
Guest bathroom before:
"Decorated" mostly with college leftovers
Hard to tell, but the shower curtain is a pretty lavender and silver shimmer
And I can't believe how much of a difference new towels and new pictures can make
And ironically, the only room untouched...
The Nursery (which will be outfitted with a new crib when we get the hardware by next week):
Katy's old crib... now in her new room
New Baby's new room - hope he likes it...
So what do you think? Was it worth all that effort? I'm not doing this again for a few more years, if I can help it.