Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
This has been a hard pill for me to swallow. I would never be one to judge what another woman chooses to do as far as feeding her baby. I know many very healthy babies who have been formula fed. But based on reading about the benefits of breastfeeding and in consulting with his pediatrician, we had decided that it was worth giving it a shot. So, I did more reading and researching, attended a La Leche meeting, and had daily lactation consultations in the hospital. It wasn't easy, it hurt more than a bit, but we got it down.
And I loved it.
I loved the fact that I finally felt as if my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. It was feeding my son. He was gaining weight. He seemed to love it, too. I loved the feeling of absolute closeness, of feeling as if I could be exactly what he needed. I loved that for several hours each day, I had no choice but to be with Will. And who can argue with that? Who can say, "The dishes should be done" when the baby needs to be fed?
Not to say that we can't go back to breastmilk when the jaundice turns around. But I am concerned that he will get used to the far easier sucking that he gets with a bottle. He slurped down his first four ounces with glee. I winced as he sighed with contentment, even though I want what is best for him and his health.
I know this is what being a parent is truly about: doing what is best for your child, even if it makes you feel sad inside. I would never go against the recommendation of his pediatrician, but my heart aches when a bottle is put to his lips. The good news, of course, is that I can always pump and give him breastmilk that way. It's just not quite the same.
Has anyone had any experience getting a baby back on breastfeeding after a break?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I am a mother. My husband is a father. We are parents and we are so in love.
Just a few hours after I wrote that last post, I woke up to the gentle sensation of what I was pretty certain was my water breaking. It was 3:24 am. I called L&D and told them what had happened and they told me to put a pad on, lie down, and see
I had my first contraction at 4:00 AM. By 5:00 AM, they were five minutes apart and I had soaked two pads.
We got to the hospital at 7:30 AM and I was 4 cm dilated and my water had broken. We were admitted and the epidural was in by 9:oo AM.
We had the textbook labor, dilating one centimeter an hour until we were fully dilated. Then, the train went off the tracks a bit. The baby's head was tilted sideways and he was facing the wrong direction. I pushed for three hours and he would just not come past 0 station. Finally, in tears, we agreed to the doctor's suggestion of a c-section.
Things went fast after that and our dear sweet Little Man was born at 7:34 PM. He weighed 8 lbs, 6 oz and is 20 inches long. He has the sweetest little dimple in his chin, chubby little cheeks, and his daddy's nose. And I can vouch for the wives' tale of heartburn = head of hair.
I hope this makes sense, as I am on a lot of morphine and some other things, too. I just wanted to post this update and thank each and every one of you for your support along this wild journey. We are about to start a new phase of our lives and I would be honored if you continued to follow along.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
She wouldn't give us a timeline, but she said that it all looked promising that I wouldn't be overdue. She also gave us a rough estimate on weight - she doesn't think that he seems unusually big and thinks he will be around 8 lbs if we make it to next week. Here's hoping. I want him healthy, but I don't want him too big!
My weight gain is at a respectable 30 lbs. I am happy about that, because even if I went nuts in the next couple of weeks, I wouldn't go much over 35.
My lovely neighbors came over tonight and installed the closet organizer for the nursery. Tomorrow, I plan to organize that and then everything is ready for Little Man. Now, if only he would get the message. . .
Monday, August 18, 2008
I love my mother.
Is it completely necessary to call up your daughter, who is 38 weeks pregnant, and ask her, "Did they measure all of his bones during your ultrasound?"
"Well, I hope they did it correctly, because one of my friends just had a grandbaby boy last week, and her daughter thought everything was okay. . .the baby was born without a femur and missing two fingers."
I love my mother. I love my mother. I love my mother.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
By the time you are 38 weeks pregnant, your baby is considered "full term." In other words, if your baby were born today, he or she would be considered a full-grown baby. At week 38 of your pregnancy, your baby is approximately 19 to 21 inches long from head to toe and can weigh nearly 7 pounds.
Just because I like to say it so very much: Today, at 38 weeks pregnant, Little Man is considered. . . Full. Term.
Thank God. What a miracle.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
He got the last portable window a/c unit in the Seattle metropolitan area. Well, maybe not the last one, but surely one of the very few remaining. He installed it last night. The room went from 89 degrees when he first turned it on to 78 by bedtime a couple of hours later. It was 70 by the middle of the night. I actually needed a sheet for the first time in weeks.
The heat wave continues today, so I am pretty much vowing not to leave my bedroom. Actually, we have a bbq at a neighbors' house to go to, so I have to leave, but other than that, I am staying put.
As for the watched pot title, I am amused by the daily (multiple times daily) phone calls that we have started getting from both grandparents. My mom is the worst offender, calling with the most random questions and comments, when really, she just wants to know if I am in labor yet. My mother-in-law is more up front in her curiousity. I think it's cute that they are so excited, but people, please. Do they don't think that we won't call them when I am in active labor or at least admitted to the hospital? They are the grandparents, for goodness sakes! I want them to be here and neither live in town!
Also, I found it a bit irritating when my mother-in-law told me that this would be a good weekend for me to have the baby since it's a good weekend for her schedule. Now, I realize that she was (mostly) joking and that it's probably pregnancy hormones that caused me to have that reaction. My mother also has her request put in for an August 25th birthday - since that is her birthday as well! My husband's grandma is rooting for September 2 - her big day. I know people are (mostly) kidding when they submit their requests, but then a part of me feels bad for letting them down. I know that as the days drag on and he continues to languish inside, these phone calls will only increase. They are 99% adorable and 1% a teensy bit annoying. But it's part of the fun. I still have a sense of surreality that this can possibly be happening to us.
The waiting. . . and watching. . . continues.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Today, I hate her.
This morning, she cheerfully announced that today will be the hottest day of the year so far, with record breaking temperatures in the low 100s. She had the audacity to look pleased.
Now, I know that many of you live in areas where such blazing hot temperatures are the norm. I will remind you, however, that I am a native Pacific Northwesterner. Our skin starts melting off of our bodies at around 80 degrees, and that's when we are not hugely pregnant.
Also, please remember that we don't have air conditioning - or even a portable window air conditioner as the one that my husband purchased didn't work and we had to take it back last weekend. Of course, they are pretty much impossible to find this time of year, especially as the aforementioned perky weather woman and all of her evil fellow weather people have been talking about this impending heat wave for the past week.
It will be fans, pans of ice, popsicles, kiddie pools, and one very grumpy pregnant woman at our house today. It's all worth it, but what I wouldn't give for some AC. I actually had tears of relief in my eyes when the extended forecast included rain and temperatures in the low seventies for next week. Maybe I will forgive the meteorologist. Someday.
Is it wrong that I started fantasizing about going into labor, simply because the hospital is air conditioned?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
It started Monday night when Little Man didn't get his kick count in. He has been quieting down these past couple of weeks, which the doctor had said was pretty normal as he makes his way into firing position. However, I was still easily able to get those kick counts in, despite the slowing down.
On Monday, at about 10 PM, having pushed and prodded and only gotten a few lazy movements in return, I called the triage nurses and explained what was going on. They had me do the rigamarole of drinking some juice, laying down on my left side, and told me to get ten counts in two hours or come in. We just barely got the ten movements in, but we did, and I went to bed feeling relieved.
Tuesday, he was a bit more active, but again, I didn't get ten movements in an hour. So when we went in for our weekly check up yesterday, I decided to ask Dr. S if this was okay. But before I could even express my concerns, Little Man decided to play hide-and-seek with the doppler. It took Dr. S five minutes (and I am not exaggerating, he timed it) to find a steady heartbeat. Even then, it was lower than it had ever been. I started to panic and told Dr. S about the reduced activity. That combination was enough to win my husband and me first class tickets to L&D for a "half hour" stress test.
They had me drink some root beer to get him riled (and I think to calm me down, I was starting to hyperventilate at this point) and riled he was. It took one and a half hours to establish his baseline heartbeat and several readjustments on the monitor before we could even begin the "half hour" non-stress test. Yeah, Little Man was one of the most active babies they have ever seen. We were all laughing by about a half hour into the test, because it was obvious that nothing was wrong. The L&D nurses were great, however, and didn't make me feel stupid for being so worried. The biggest bonus was getting to hear his lovely heartbeat for that long. After the initial scare (my heart rate was as fast as his), I was able to calm down and be lulled into a bit of relaxation, just listening to that swoosh, swoosh, swoosh.
Of course, it was also interesting to watch the contraction patterns. They are mostly coming about every 10 minutes apart, some fifteen, some 20, but they are what the L&D nurses call "pre-labor" contractions, but not Braxton Hicks. In other words, I am not in labor yet, but my body is definitely getting ready, and they are productive contractions as I am dilating. Although in all of the excitement, I never did get another internal exam. Oh, well, it doesn't really tell us much at this point.
The nurse that helped to discharge us said, "See you soon! Maybe even this weekend!"
I have a few more things checked off my list now. The carpets are being cleaned today and I went on a BRU shopping trip yesterday to get the last few baby knick-knacks that I wanted. Now, it's just a bit of organizing and cooking, and I will be ready.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The list grows larger every day. I tend to add to it at night, when after one of my many trips to the bathroom, I cannot get my thoughts to settle back down enough to let me sleep. I have taken to keeping the list on my bedside table with a pen and scribbling down those middle of the night thoughts. It really does help with getting back to sleep.
Trouble is, no matter how much I might accomplish during the day, I tend to put just as many, if not more, new things on this list at night. So I can cross things off to my heart's content, but the list keeps getting longer and longer.
Today, I had very good intentions of getting a lot done. And got nothing done.
Well, unless you count sleeping until 11 AM, taking a bath, and eating breakfast, lunch, and a snack as getting anything done. Oh, and watching some really crappy daytime television, too! That's right, I accomplished nothing on my list, got nothing scratched off. I wish that I could say that it felt great, but I feel like a slouch. I feel as if I should make good use of this time off, to get things ready, to feel ready. Instead, today's version of nesting seemed to be not leaving my nest. Or even my bedroom, really.
I'll get back to my list tomorrow. I hope.
Monday, August 11, 2008
"You are way too organized, you make me sick!"
It is so not the truth.
The reason that I am so interested in getting things in ship shape right now is that I am normally not that organized. You see, if you were to drop by my house unannounced, you would find the majority of the house, the public areas if you will, to be clean. However, were you to look deeper, you would find that the hidden areas such as closets, my master bathroom, kitchen drawers, etc. are not so clean. I tend to be an "out of sight out of mind" cleaner. I am a packrat and keep way too much stuff. So is my husband. As a result, most of our closets are poorly organized and filled to the brim. We even have what I call a "Closet of Death" downstairs, named so because you never know what might fly out at you if you dare to chance opening it.
Plus, at 37+ weeks pregnant, measuring 39 weeks, with feet so swollen they tingle and itch, a lot of my list is comprised of good intentions that might never get realized. I will get a spurt of energy here and there, but it is quickly spent. The only thing that I got accomplished today was creating a baby drawer in the kitchen and doing a couple of loads of laundry - one of which is folded but not put away!
So, you see, my dark and dirty secret is that I am not organized, not really. In the coming weeks, I will have all manner of family and friends in my home, helping us as we adjust to life with Little Man outside of the womb. These lovely people have offered to clean, do laundry, stock our groceries, etc. I am worried that if I don't organize these hidden areas, they will be discovered. I am pretty sure the world would keep spinning, but I am not sure that I would survive the embarrassment!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
My husband cleared out the last corner of the garage and we bought a great, frost free, stand up freezer. I am sooooo excited! People have been offering to make meals for us, and I've been wanting to stock up as well, but our little kitchen freezer is stuffed to the rafters already. It needs 24 hours to sit upright and then another six to be food-ready, but that means that I can start using my nesting instinct to make double batches of things and put aside some dinners.
We also took back a lot of gifts to two different stores. People were so generous, but a lot of our guests didn't scan things in when they purchased them off of the registry. We had three Bop.pys, four travel beds, so many clothes that I have no place to put them all, and well, you get the idea. We exhanged those things for our stroller, which I am in love with, and a baby monitor, which my husband is in love with! It has all of the bells and whistles!
I also got some breastfeeding supplies to go with my new pump that should arrive tomorrow or Tuesday. We got more diapers, wipes, bathing stuff, and a little lingerie bag for washing tiny socks and hats.
Things still on my list:
- Neighbor still to organize the closet for me (yay!)
- Buy extra changing table cover
- Make some food for freezing
- Organizing closets in the house (especially downstairs)
- Make a "baby drawer" in the kitchen
- Carpets cleaned (Thursday)
- Finish last few shower thank you notes
- Buy a couple of nursing tank tops (any suggestion on these would be great)
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Plus, we still have things to do! We emptied out the nursery closet today (we might be a strong word, the husband took care of 95% of it) and it is now ready for my lovely neighbor to install the organizer.
I have about ten million loads of baby laundry to do.
We still have to return our duplicate presents and buy a stroller.
I have an appointment to have the car seat installed this week.
We want to buy a freezer.
See, all of this really would be lovely to get accomplished before his arrival. But they are the "nice" to get done, not the "need" to get done. And our hospital bag is packed, his diaper bag is ready. I have a feeling he will mess with us and not come until the first week in September.
Patience. . .
Friday, August 8, 2008
I know, I know.
A woman can walk around at that stage for weeks. Months, even.
But it feels just a bit closer to Little Man.
Dr. S said he could feel the head and that he thinks given everything else, it will likely be within a week or two.
I know, I know.
But it feels just a bit closer. And you should have seen the smile on my husband's face.
It is a strange feeling to be wrapping things up. And for the next few weeks, not to have anything "to do" is equally strange. Yes, I am growing a baby, and yes, there are still a few projects that need my attention. However, not to balance that between work just seems so foreign.
I have been working since I was 12. That's not an exaggeration. I started a lawnmowing business in my neighborhood the summer after sixth grade. I actually had a pretty lucrative business, doing an average of 15 lawns per week. No, I didn't declare my taxes. Uh-oh.
I also started babysitting that summer, and at fifteen, I was a nanny for a three-month old for the entire summer, 9 - 5, Monday through Friday. At 15 1/2, the legal working age for minors in my state, I got a job at a local burger restaurant. I worked there until I was 18, also working for an insurance agent at the same time and going to school.
I had to put myself through college, so I had three paying jobs during school. I graduated at 20 and started my first corporate America job two weeks later. So, really, this will be my first honest to goodness break in a long while.
Vacations don't really count to me. There is so much stress getting ready for them and coming back from them and I never "let go" 100%. Now, with a six month maternity leave ahead of me, and of course, the life-changing events about to take place, I have a feeling that I will truly be able to let go. At least, that is my hope.
I am having a difficult time letting go right now. I guess that shouldn't be such a surprise, but it really is. Handing over my entire territory, including my customers, to another person is counterintuitive. Plus, in my field, we don't have someone to officially cover us while we are away. My coworker that is graciously covering for me has her own job and her own territory, so it is likely that a lot will get ignored in my absence. I have been scurrying around this week, trying to say good-bye to customers, letting them know how to get ahold of someone if they need help, wrapping up my personal paperwork, etc.
Today, I have a final meeting with my coworker to make sure that she has everything that she needs. And that's it. Over. Finis.
It feels strange and it feels good, all at once. And I know that once Little Man is here, I will be so grateful for the time that I had to relax prior to his arrival. Even more importantly, I will be so grateful for the time that I have to focus on just being his Mommy. That doesn't feel strange at all.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The bad news is that there is a reason and it will most likely require surgery.
I have gall bladder stones. Lovely.
Apparently, this happens to about 2 - 4 % of pregnant women. Gee, guess I am not quite done taking that statistical bullet. Although this is one that I will take gladly, since it doesn't negatively impact the pregnancy - beyond my discomfort, that is.
Fortunately, I am close to term and my doctor does not believe that the stones are infected. So, the surgery does not have to be done now, it can wait for Little Man's arrival. Or, if they suspect that the stones have become infected or the pain becomes intolerable, we can induce delivery as early as next weekend.
The ugly part of it all is that many women in my shoes choose to deliver via c-section. Kind of One Stop Shopping Deal. "Hey, Doc, while you are in there. . . " I wonder if they can do the same type of deal with cellulite?
I am not opposed to a c-section, necessarily, it just brings about some decision-making. Guess I have some time. The doctor did prescribe me pain meds to deal with the discomfort, but so far, I haven't wanted to take any. Now that I know the cause of the pain, it doesn't seem as bad.
The best news of all: I got a quick peek at Little Man. I wasn't supposed to, but the tech felt sorry for me, being hugely pregnant and in discomfort, so she let me have a quick peek. He looks so perfect and so very handsome. I can't wait to meet him!
Monday, August 4, 2008
It's kind of a general fatigue, despite having taken the day off work to rest and gotten some good naps in.
What I am noticing is this: I keep getting pains in the top part of my stomach, up by where I assume his feet are at. They are not spaced regularly apart, sometimes they seem to come pretty rapidly, sometimes, almost 20 minutes will go by before another pain. It isn't enough discomfort to make me cry or scream, but it does take my full attention. I have had a few at the bottom of my belly, too, but they are mostly at the top. This happens whether I am laying down or moving around.
I don't know whether it's just him, stretching around, or something else - like Braxton Hicks? I have had BH contractions for awhile now and these definitely feel different. I have also noticed that Little Man is not moving as much these past couple of days. He barely got his kick count in last night, which is not like him (but he did get it in, so I know he's fine).
I have consulted with Dr. Google on what a contraction feels like, and there just aren't any consistent answers. I guess I could call my OB, but I feel a bit like an idiot.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I was trying to explain to my husband that we are kind of "next." There were a bunch of us infertiles that got pregnant around the same time, me being on the tail end of things. Now, most everyone has had their babies, so it's my "turn" if you will. This both delights and scares me.
I think that I spent so much time thinking about how to get this baby in that I didn't really think much about how to get him out. Yeah. I'm getting a little nervous about how all of that is going to go down.
I am not shy about taking things for pain, so I am not as worried about that as I am about possible complications. I am terrified that something could go wrong and Little Man would be in danger. I think these are all very normal fears in the final weeks of pregnancy. I am also starting to read chapters in the pregnancy books about postnatal recovery and there is a lot that I don't really know if I am ready for!
But, ready or not, here he comes! This month (hopefully)!
I am starting to pack my labor bag this weekend. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Friday, August 1, 2008
For the record, my feet don't normally look like this. I usually have ankles. And a cuter pedicure. But that's another story.
Yesterday, at my (almost) 36-week OB appointment, my blood pressure was up. Not dramatically, but over the 15-point rise that can diagnose pre-eclampsia. I had a small amount of protein in my urine. Not enough to get excited about on its own, but enough that, combined with the swelling, headaches, and BP increase, my doctor is a bit concerned.
I am in the strange land where I cannot quite be diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, but I definitely have some warning signs. The most common way of treating this gray area is typically to reduce stress and increase rest. My OB told me to start checking into my pregnancy short term disability leave and that we would discuss my work status at my next appointment, which they then moved up to next Wednesday. In the meantime, I am to get as much rest as possible, with my feet elevated. I am not on bedrest at this point, but it looks as if it might be heading in that direction, or at least to being off of work for the duration of the pregnancy.
This is what I have been waiting for, right?! Well, yes, and in a way, I am relieved. Work has been getting more and more difficult. None of my shoes fit, I am exhausted, and my boss is a stress case.
In another way, though, it feels a bit scary. Work has been my identity for so long. When I was struggling with my miscarriages, at least I felt as if I still had something, even if it wasn't quite what I wanted.
Financially, we won't feel the strain of this extra time off. My company has excellent short term disability coverage and I will be getting 100% of my pay from the time I stop working throughout my maternity leave. Can't complain about that.
But emotionally, it feels weird to think that I am almost done.