Wednesday, June 30, 2010

6.23.10 (a.k.a. I live for birth stories. Skip it if you don't.)

6:00am: One week after my due date, I wake up after a few hours of restless sleep (Brian slept soundly, totally psyched that for once we didn't have to be up all night in order to give birth).

7:00am: Feeling very uncomfortable and lots of pressure gets my hopes up that I would've gone to the hospital today anyway, and that when I get there, they'll tell me I'm 5cm already (I was 3 at last check). Wave good-bye to 3 grandparents and the kids as we pull out of the driveway.

8:00am: Arrive at hospital, feeling surreal as we walk from the parking garage with our boppy pillow underarm. Saw our dental hygienist arriving for work on the way in (yes, I know it's strange that we get our teeth cleaned in a hospital - university insurance requires strange things).

9:00am: Shown to our room. (like I said, University Hospital - takes FOREVER)

9:30am: First check reveals 2.5 cm - which I politely refuse, because they can't take that half a centimeter away from me. (notice Brian still reported 3 on that blog post - good man) Pitocin drip starts.

10:30am: My OB stops in to check on me. I'm already having contractions 2-3 minutes apart, but they're very manageable. She says I'm a 3 and lower, so she breaks my water. Hurts like CRAZY (previously when I had my water broken, I was farther along and already had an epidural. This OB practice is known for breaking water early on).

11:45am: The contractions have picked up, and I'm calling them 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. They check me again and I'm at 4cm.

12:15pm: After a couple of contractions REALLY catch my attention, I decide to go ahead and get the epidural. I had hoped to make it farther than 4cm, but I was nervous to be in too much pain before they tried to insert it, since I had issues the last time.

12:45pm: The epidural was inserted successfully (i.e. my blood pressure remained steady and it was in the right spot). I'm relieved that this part is over and that it is providing some relief. However, they check me again and I'm STILL 4cm.

12:45pm-1:45pm: Even with the epidural, I'm still breathing through contractions. Over the hour, they increase back up to 7/10 even with the epidural (can you imagine how intense they would have been without? Pitocin is kinda scary). The nurse calls anesthesia and they give me a bolus (extra medicine through the epidural site). This provides instant and almost total relief. Sweet mercy.

2:00pm: I'm feeling so shaky that they decide to check me again and I'm at 6-7 cm. Finally!

2:55pm: Even though I'm not feeling any pressure, my nurse decides to check again because I'm shaking so much. She is shocked to discover that I'm fully dilated and ready to push. Since I told her that I only pushed for 20 minutes with David, she asks me not to push until the doctor arrives.

3:17pm: OB arrives and gowns up.

3:21pm: My first instruction to push. I push through one contraction and he is out - time of birth is 3:24pm. I was shocked - just could not believe that he came so quickly.

3:30-4:30pm: I got to spend that first precious hour holding my son. He seemed to be uncomfortable, and finally they determined that his blood sugar was too low (common among larger babies). He was not able to nurse, so they decide to take him to the nursery to give him some formula.

6:00pm: Up in postpartum, I am having very strong contraction-like pains. I assume these are normal after-birth pains, and I ask for a stronger pain medication. As the nurse comes in to give them to me, I experience a very scary hemorrhaging episode. It was the kind of thing with paging doctors and rushing medical professionals and vitals and panic and pain. At one point one of the nurses says something like, "This is why you shouldn't give birth at HOME," which I thought was a strange thing to say. The word "blood transfusion" is mentioned, but over the course of the evening, things get under control.

8:00pm: Katy and David (and grandparents) stop by for a short visit, but I barely remember it.

9:00pm: Although the scary part of the episode is over, I am now pumped full of a bunch of drugs and feeling terrible. I get sick when they raise the head of the bed, and I'm not able to attempt to nurse because I'm too weak. Brian holds Luke and we hope for a better day tomorrow.

Night: Gradually over the next 16 hours I start to feel better, and in the morning I am able to cuddle with Luke and appreciate my fortune.

Summary: Overall I'm a fan of the induction process: we got to plan for it, sleep the night before, and skip the wondering whether it was time to go in or not. Also, this labor was certainly my easiest overall - but then did that lead to all the complications of the following 24 hours? Or was that destined to happen anyway with such a large baby? Either way it turned out fine and the end result is healthy mommy and baby. We couldn't ask for more than that.

Monday, June 28, 2010

From the Homefront

So we came home on Friday, and on Saturday I started working on a post about being home, doing well, adjusting, etc. But if Saturday was a step forward, yesterday was a couple of significant steps back. I woke up having some new pain, which grew to the point of heading to the Urgent Care. I came home with an antibiotic and a follow-up appointment. So the bad news is that I've had a hard time, physically, this time around. But there's quite a bit of good news.

All of the grandparents that have been in our house for the past week have been so tremendously helpful. My kids have been fed, bathed, dressed, and entertained while I am focused on feeding the baby and trying to feel better.

The best news is that Luke is perfect. There is nothing better than a newborn asleep on your chest. He is such sweetness in a cute little bundle. I love snuggling with him, staring at him, and imagining what he'll be like when he's older. That's the best part about newborns.

Katy and David are doing well with Luke. Katy is absolutely enamored with him, asking to hold him constantly throughout the day and "help" me with various baby-related tasks. David, on the other hand, doesn't seem to notice the new addition to the family. He goes about his business and doesn't really respond to Luke unless you say something like, "Where's your baby brother?" But I'm glad that he isn't overly jealous or frustrated, at least not yet.

My sentiments exactly, buddy

Another relief is that nursing is going well. Luke decided to follow in Katy's footsteps and not latch on for the first 24 hours. His blood sugar was low so they had to give him 2 bottles of formula. I was starting to get nervous, not sure that I'd be able to handle pumping for a third child. But finally he started to figure it out, and now we seem to have a good pattern established.

To demonstrate the magnitude of the cheeks

And of course, there's the lack-of-sleep factor. The first two nights we were home, we couldn't get Luke to sleep in the bassinet, so we took turns dozing in the recliner with him on our chest. But last night, he did two 3 hour stretches in the bassinet, which felt like heaven. I'm trying not to get my hopes up that I can expect this as a new pattern. But it's a good step in the right direction.

So this week I hope to get together a birth story, as well as sibling comparison photos. My mom is here, Katy's taking swimming lessons, I have a birthday and a couple of doctor appointments. It should be a good week, and I'm optimistic that I'll be feeling better soon. That would be fantastic.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcome to...

Luke Brian
3:24 pm
9 lbs. 11 oz.
21.5 inches

We are so thrilled to finally introduce the newest addition to our clan, even if he had to be evicted to get him here. We'll be coming home from the hospital tomorrow, where Katy and David are very anxiously waiting their new baby brother. Luke's arrival into this world has been, once again, a unique experience that could include a few key phrases such as:
*4 cm to 10 cm in 2 hours
*nearly 10 pounds - pushed out in One. Contraction.
*difficult and scary results of such a quick and large delivery lead to a challenging 24 hours.
But more on that to come. For now I'm thankful to be blessed with those three healthy children, and I'm looking forward to our time of adjustment to being a family of five. Please pray that Luke and I make some progress in the nursing arena, because it hasn't come as naturally to him as it did for his brother.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Healthy baby boy! Born at

Healthy baby boy! Born at 3:24pm. Weighing in at 9lbs 11oz. standing a full 21.5 inches. Please give a shout out to Luke Brian!

it is now 3pm. em

it is now 3pm. em is fully dilated. calling in the doc. won't be long now. em is doing really well!

Em is making progress. Doc

Em is making progress. Doc broke her water around 10:30am. At 11:30 was 4cm. Just got epidoral and feeling better.

by - Brian We arrived

by - Brian
We arrived at hospital at 8am. Emily is comfortable. It is now 9:45am just started pitocin and 3cm dilated.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Check back tomorrow

Well, it's 8pm on Tuesday evening and I got nothin', so we'll be induced tomorrow at 8am. It's a very strange feeling to know that tomorrow is The Day. I cuddled the kids extra tightly as I put them to bed, and I packed my bag the night before. And I'm a bit nervous, never having had an induction before. I'm wondering how long it will take and how my body will react. (Of course, both previous times I've gone into active labor on my own, but they've still had to break my water and give me pitocin when I've stalled, so hopefully it won't be THAT different)

Brian will try to send updates to the blog from his phone as the day progresses. Please pray for healthy mommy and baby, and specifically for my epidural experience, which was less than stellar last time. It really gives me peace to know that people are praying, so thank you.

Family of five, let's do it!

Monday, June 21, 2010


This evening I went to meet up for Girls' Night with my ladies from life group, who are in so many ways my Life Line. I wasn't supposed to make it to this evening's festivities, of course, and do you know what they were doing? Making me a month's worth of dinners, Once a Month Cooking style.

I don't even know how to express what this means to me. If you know me well, you know that there really isn't a better gift for me than the gift of No Cooking. And I just can't get over the amount of organization and prep and hard work that it took - but of course they made it look easy, because that's how they roll.

So thank you, ladies, you are the BEST! Brian and I were licking our chops as we loaded up the freezer this evening. It's going to be a tasty month.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

As you must be assuming: still no baby. At some point each day, I accept the fact that I won't be having a baby today. Sometimes the "acceptance" doesn't come without kicking and screaming. But I'm trying, with Brian's help, to appreciate that I am not in a lot of pain, and to set my heart on Wednesday's induction. That way anything sooner is a bonus. So Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday...

So speaking of Brian, I fear that I didn't do the greatest job of demonstrating my appreciation for him today. I really wasn't planning to be home, just the four of us, without a new baby and all the hoopla that comes with that. So I gave him a mediocore gift and we went to the pool and had dinner with friends. And he put up with me, not the most cheerful of wives today.

But as per usual, we had a nice day because of him. He let ME sleep in, he offered to take the kids to the pool alone (I decided to go along), and he ate cold cereal for breakfast and PB &J for lunch. He's always positive, doing more than his share, and talking me down off the ledge.

So thanks to my husband for being a wonderful Father. Sorry that I didn't give you a third child today as a little bonus gift, but soon enough. Katy and David already know what a good Dad they have, and Baby Boy will learn quickly.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yep. Still preggers.

Well, it's 8pm on the day after my due date and it appears that I'm going to break my pattern of having babies one day late.

Today has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I went to the OB early this morning, where there were 3 significant points:
1) I was 3cm dilated, after being "almost 2" since 36 weeks.
2) She did the ceremonial "membrane stripping," which for my first two seemed to kick things into gear and I delivered within 48 hours.
3) We discussed scheduling an induction. She said that someone would call me by the end of the day with a time for "early next week."

So I left feeling pretty good. I had made some progress, I was optimistic about the stripping, and worst case scenario, I can make it until Monday.

I came home and took the kids on a long walk in order to encourage progress, and I just enjoyed my time with them, appreciating the stage that they are in, and knowing that I won't be able to focus as much attention on them in the near future.

But then late in the afternoon, the OB office called. My induction is scheduled for next Wednesday, June 23rd. It felt like a punch in the gut.

I know that there's a good chance that I will go on my own before then, but I'm feeling very discouraged. Twelve hours after my appointment, I'm still not feeling much activity, and I expected to deliver by now because I had done so with the other two. It's tough when you have "June 16th" in your head since October, and then June 16th comes and goes with no baby.

I also have a fear that I'll experience some of the early labor stuff that I had with Katy and be in pain for several days before delivering. (I know, don't you wish you had to live with me and my irrational fears every day? Lucky Brian.)

But it's 6 more days. Six. Or less. Likely less. I can do it. And when it's over I won't even remember why it was so hard to wait those extra days, and this will all be a blur.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thirty-Nine Plus

Katy took this belly shot, and I think that things from her perspective look even more extreme. But I suppose I'm less than a week from my due date, so extreme they should be.
Yesterday I was feeling content with my situation, happy to go until next week and beyond, and feeling like I wasn't so miserable and desperate that I couldn't wait. THEN I went to my OB appointment. Found out that I still hadn't made any further progress. And that if I make it until my appointment next Thursday, they'd schedule an induction for the following week.
For some reason this got to my head. All I heard from that was, "Blah blah blah, TWO MORE WEEKS."
I know that there's a good chance that I will go on my own before they schedule an induction, but I just feel so tired and ready to be done, that it felt discouraging. Of course, I'm trying to appreciate the sleep that I'm getting right now and the time that I have left with just Katy and David. But there's also a part of me that is just struggling with the mental game of, "Now? Baby? Is that it? No? How about now? Or now?"
But I know. He'll come when he's ready. This is the home stretch.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Updates and The Waiting Game

(pictures from our trip to meet my grandparents at Young's Dairy, and the kids enjoying the bubble gun they gave them)

My neighbor offered to take my kids for the morning...just because. I can't remember the last time I was in the house alone. It's awesome.

I'm nine days from my due date, but I hadn't made any further progress at my last OB check, so I'm still assuming I'll wait until next week to deliver. I've officially gotten past all my plans and appointments and "it'd be nice to wait untils," so I really feel like I'm just waiting now. Which is a tough mental game to play. However, I've come down with a cold and have no voice, so I would certainly prefer to wait until I am feeling well to go into labor.

Our new washing machine was delivered on Friday, and I welcomed it with seven loads of laundry in the first 48 hours. But I really like it so far, and the kids are mesmerized by watching the clothes spinning around in circles. The only downfall so far is that it takes a full hour to do a big load, which I almost always do. But that really only matters for the first load, because after that, the dryer takes an hour anyway, so no big deal.

Work has been CAH-RAZY lately. One day last week I set a new record for me, which was logging six hours in one day (and I try really hard to only work when the kids are sleeping, so that makes for a long day). As of today, I am technically on maternity leave. I'm sure I'll be checking in this week and smoothing out the transition to the person who is covering for me, but it's a huge weight off my shoulders to hand that over.

I've been thinking lately about how Katy and David seem to have entered a relatively "easy stage" in the past couple of months. Of course they are still very busy and it takes a lot of work to care for them, but they are downright enjoyable and pleasant, and we aren't having any serious battles at the moment (enter newborn here). Compared to a year ago, 2 and 4 is really nice, and they are doing so much of life together it's days, it's great to watch. Of course a new baby is going to throw a serious wrench into this system, but I'm glad that the older two are doing well when we're about to mix things up a bit.

I can't believe that my husband, who isn't typically a fan of teeny-bopper shows or music in general - has gotten me addicted to Glee. The Ohio references are fun, though.

I'm using our ancient laptop to post this because we've been having issues with our regular laptop. I swear, if one more thing breaks in this house!! Luckily, my husband works in IT, and Dell has fabulous warranties. So if Brian can't fix it, we'll be able to get it replaced without cost. But seriously, that's it!! (Don't know if I mentioned that we had to replace the dishwasher in our rental last week, too.)

I went to this massive kids garage sale this weekend, and it's pitiful how happy it makes me. While we were waiting in line, my friend asked me what was on my list. I stuttered....and she said, "Please don't tell me you're here because this is fun for you." Yep, pretty much. BUT! I got a whole set of Big Boy Room decor - super cute firetrucks on a twin quilt, pillow, nightlight, and five pieces of wall decor, most of it from Pottery Barn. Now I'm anxious to decide what we're going to do about the bedrooms so I can set it up for David. I know he will love it.

I need to get Brian to test it out and see if he'll be able to send updates to the blog from his phone while we're in the hospital. That was fun last time to be able to let everyone know our progress. Hopefully we'll figure it out, and one way or another we'll have news to report in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Triumph in the Pediatrician's Office

Major milestone in Katy's little world: today we went for a check-up, and she did not cry one. single. tear. And she even got a shot. I know, right?

Besides the relief of a healthy check-up, this is significant for Katy after a long battle with a severe fear of medical professionals. It started around 18 months with bizarre almost seizure-like activity. It peaked many times since, including well-visits and sick. All of our cases of strep throat this spring forced us to work on it more often.

So I told her about the visit last night, she started to protest, and then she talked herself down off the ledge, saying, "at first I feel nervous, but then it's ok." She brought her blankie, and she sat on my lap while we waited for Dr. B, but she was totally fine once he entered the room. She was even bouncing around being silly with David while I talked to him. And THEN, although they had previously told me she didn't need a shot, I had to spring that one upon her. Again, she sat nervously in my lap, and said, "ouch," but it was over so quickly and she was more focused on the sparkly band-aid and the sucker. Sweet victory!

So we talked about night terrors and growing pains, and the fact that she resists pooping, but other than that everything looks good. Oh, but if she gets strep one more time in the somewhat near future, we will be referred to an ENT.

The funniest part to me was the stats:

Weight: 32 pounds, 20 %'ile

Height: 38.25", 20 %'ile

I've been noticing lately how short Katy is compared to her peers, and this explains it. He said that she's on track to be about 5' 2". Right on, girl. At 5' 3.5", I'm the tallest woman in my family, so that sounds about right.