Saturday, October 27, 2012

Insert Clever Birth Story Title

I'll attempt to make this short...but we all know it won't happen that way and will end up as a book (or at least a novella)

Pumpkin Seed's Birth Story

On Wednesday, 10/10/12, we checked into the hospital around 8pm.  We had stayed home late enough for me to put Little Monkey to bed and make sure my mom and stepdad were sufficiently up to date on all of the care instructions for him.  When we got to the hospital, I was super nervous. Nervous about what an induction might mean for how the birth would go, nervous about leaving LM and nervous about change in general.  The nurse brought us right to our room and I worked on getting changed.

We filled out the tons of admission paperwork...well the nurse did. I answered lots of questions (on top of the 3 page pre-admission form I had filled out months ago) about every little thing while a nurse drew a vampire's lot of a blood from me, got me bracelet'ed up and got all of the IV's ready.

Sidenote--no idea how I managed to answer all of these questions while in labor last time with LM. I don't remember there being so many and know my contractions were strong enough that I wasn't 100% coherent.

We started an IV of fluids and they checked my cervix...still 2cm and 50% effaced...STILL.  Then, there was a bit of drama as my nurse said she was going to go call the on-call doctor to get the ok to start my pitocin.  I explained to her that my OB was supposed to be the one she was communicating with because she had told me she would be handling it all--and wanted to monitor me for contractions first to make sure we needed the pitocin.  So, she went away to call her. And we waited. And waited and waited.  Never did get a good reason why my OB didn't get right back to her...but I def watched TH get more and more ticked as he was beginning to think she wouldn't show up until delivery which isn't what she promised me when I agreed to induce so she would be in charge of me (yes, I know she probably wouldn't have been there until delivery regardless but she had told me she wanted to monitor me, break my water etc). Finally, after noting that I was having contractions fairly regularly--though they weren't strong and I couldn't really feel them--the nurse finally said that the OB on call from my practice wanted her to start the pitocin.  It was 9pm.

They were going to check the pitocin every 30minutes and see where we were at.  We started at 2...I don't know the units that go with the dosage.  So, time began to pass. At the first 30 minute check, I hadn't strengthened in my contractions yet and still wasn't really feeling them yet.  She upped the dosage and we went back to watching tv and talking.  Repeat at 1000. And 1030.  By now we were up to an 8 with the pitocin. I was feeling the contractions by now pretty strongly. She checked me and sadly...still a freakin' 2cm. I was 80% effaced though. I got up to go to the bathroom and had a small gush of fluid..similar to LM with no big waterworks or anything. The nurse checked (by smelling it...not the pH test) and said to her it smelled like amniotic fluid....not exactly scientific.

So, we went back to waiting. At 11pm, she checked me again and said that my water hadn't broken. either it was a small gush or I peed myself....still no idea. I was now at 4cm.  I was disheartened at this point...both about the water and lack of progress. She upped the pitocin to 9 and we went back to waiting, reading.  At this point, I told TH to try and rest. I was reading my kindle and trying to suffer though the contractions. Since they were pitocin induced, I was in some pretty serious pain but without my water breaking and only being a 4...I knew I needed to wait on the epidural.  It was awful though---I was contracting every 2-3 minutes and had been laying tilted to one side for hours (though alternating sides) because PS's heartrate was a bit "flat".

Finally, I got permission to lay on my back for awhile...and the contractions became much much worse.  All of the sudden, a wee bit before midnight, there was a GUSH of fluid...EVERYWHERE. Turns out...that was my water breaking. It was all quintessential classic water breaking...the stuff of movies.  I paged my nurse and she came in---my bed was soaked with fluid and bloody show. She helped me to the bathroom...literally gushing ALL OVER the floor on the walk there. I went ahead and peed. As I was finishing up, my OB showed up. She laughed and said that she had shown up just to break my water after midnight (she knew that I had originally wanted Thursday as our induction day) but that obviously, baby didn't want to wait for her. She said she would go tuck in to an on-call room and be there to monitor me. They checked me again and I was at 6cm.

Bring on the epidural!! This anesthesiologist was SO much better than last time. With LM, he was disheveled and clearly had been woken up to go my epidural...and grouchy. He got grouchy at me because I wasn't arching my back the right way....while contracting like mad. This one...he was calm and explained things was like getting an epidural from Mr. Rogers. I felt it get better right away...bliss. I know so many people are strong and can do birth all naturally...not me. I'm just not built to handle the pain. I was SUPER cold though so they piled the heated blankets on me. The epi kicked in around 1am.  The nurse stayed to monitor my blood pressure for 20 minutes or so...and this is where it got scary.

She had me roll back to my side because PS's heartrate was dropping after my contractions were finishing instead of during the peak. She showed me the monitor and I could see her heartrate dip down out of the safe "blue" zone...with every contraction.  She whips out the oxygen mask and says she wants me to try this. Just as she's putting it on me, my OB rushes in and says "oh good...I was coming to tell you I wanted O2 on her".  I had flashbacks to LM's birth where the same things happened during the marathon of pushing and they started talking about c-sections. Luckily, both times the O2 helped.

However, I had to stay on it this time for a couple of hours. Her heartrate slowly got back to normal but they still kept me on the oxygen.  It was hard to keep breathing correctly as I was still shivering from the epidural and nerves. I tried to read and had TH try to nap. My nurse came in around 300 to check me again and found that I was at 8cm but apparently her head was so low that my cervix was bulging from the pressure and turning a volcano was the nurse's description. She said that it was good I had gotten my epi when I did, because my contractions were off the charts and she said the pressure on my cervix was quite a bit.  She went to go talk with my OB to make sure that she didn't want to make any changes. I was allowed to change positions again to see if it would help.  I kept reading and TH kept trying to nap.  By this point, I was super tired of the oxygen mask...the noise of the swooshing, the drying out of my lips and way it made my mouth taste.

Around 4, my nurse came it to check me again.  I was complete at 10cm!! However, still had some room to drop so she went to check and see what my OB wanted to do.  Because of how long I had to push with LM (1.5 hours!), my OB wanted me to labor down for an hour. I was crushed. I thought we had finally (FINALLY) gotten to where she was about to come. I was tired of waiting. At that point, I didn't see or care about her logic...nor had I ever read about the concept of laboring down. An hour seemed like it would take an eternity to pass. My nurse left me with instructions to buzz her if I felt pressure.

Thank goodness I had my K.indl.e.  My (now) old school version was a birthday present before LM's birth as TH knew I would want to read if my labor was long and drawn out (as I heard all first time labors usually were) and wouldn't want to pack a bunch of books (I'm a fast reader). That time, I was in too much pain until the epi to read and from epi to push time was hardly any time at all, so...alas, I didn't even break it out. This time though---I got into the book I was reading and made some good progress in it :-) It helped me take my mind off of things and the hour went faster than I thought.

At a bit before 5, my nurse came in and confirmed that PS had dropped the rest of the way. In came the pedi nurses (and an EMT student who "assisted"...which I didn't quite get but oh well) and my nurse to break down my bed, prepare the baby supplies/warmer etc.  They confirmed with TH that he wanted to be up my by shoulders to help support my back while pushing and we all got ready. And then we waited.....for what I swear was FOREVER but really apparently was only a couple of minutes...for my OB.

While we all stood awkwardly about, totally out of small talk by this point, it really hit me that we were about to have another baby. Two under two.  Thank goodness for the meds in my body because honestly, it kept me a bit grounded from totally freaking out.

When my OB came in, she did a quick check to see where we were at---reminded me about how to push and said that we should do a quick practice one with the next contraction.  I had minimal hopes for pushing being a quick process because of how long it took with LM. So, as I did the "practice" push, and they all told me how great I was doing, I didn't really buy it. I heard that a lot last time....and it still took forever, so clearly--I wasn't doing it great!  However, as soon as I was done with the push, my OB hopped up and said that she better throw on her gown etc before she had to catch her bare-handed! She hurried into her gear and sat back down. She told me it would only take a couple more pushes and she'd be out....yeah right. I can't feel anything below my belly button...sure I'll push her out easily.

The next contraction came up and I pushed until I counted (well they counted) to ten. Took another breath and pushed again. And then, suddenly, there she was. Tiny, slimy and a little bit blue. They laid her on my stomach and asked if TH wanted to cut the cord (no) and then asked me if I wanted to cut it ( I'm emotional, medicated and shaky...not a good combo!!). My doctor was pretty excited to cut it herself--she said she doesn't get to do it very much anymore. She didn't cry right away but man, when she did...she has a set of lung on her!

Three pushes....and there she was...our daughter. They let her lay there for a minute or so, then took her to the baby warmer next to my bed to clean her up and check her out. Her APGAR scores were 8/9.  My doctor worked on delivering the placenta and stitching me up (small tear or re-tear rather from where I tore with LM). We chatted about how much easier this delivery was than last time. I made sure that I told her how glad I was that we went ahead with the induction and that it was her who delivered my baby and made the decisions (I'll write more about that another time). TH did a stellar job capturing PS getting all cleaned up etc on video and "film". Once again, we have amazing shots/video of the first few minutes of being in the outside world.

The rest is pretty blurry.  Lots of cleaning up, snuggling and talking.  There was no family waiting this time (benefit of delivering early in the morning on a workday!) so TH and I got ample time just the three of us to look at her, try nursing (she was a champ from the first latch!) and just being. We also marveled at just how much she looked like LM...and I mean, wow--we compared their birth pictures and besides being We make carbon copy babies!

And, so that's how she arrived. I could follow-up with the obligaotory tales of recovery but since it seems like most of my followers already have little ones these days...I'll save those posts for requests!

7lbs 1oz

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A baby, a baby!

Sorry for not updating sooner BUT--a baby, a baby...and they let me take her home!

PS was born Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 (yes, 10-11-12) at 508am.. We started laboring at 9pm the night before so it was a long labor but wen the the came (spoiler from the soon to be written birth story) 3 pushes and she was out!

7lbs 1oz
19in long
Perfect in every way

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dear LM,

Dear LM,
Tonight we leave you in the capable arms of your grandparents. We'll put you to bed like always. You and I will have our book time, snuggles and songs. We'll talk about what day tomorrow is and what you'll be doing...just like always. You'll ask me about seeing everyone at daycare...rattling off your list of names (including the dog) that you're so excited to see.

But, when you wake up (hopefully, not in the middle of the night sweetie...sleep well for them) Mommy and Daddy won't be there to get you up. It will be strange and new...and hopefully you'll be a good little monkey and not refused to lay down on the changing table. This morning you clung to me like a monkey saying "no no" when I wanted to lay you down. You just wanted to snuggle...despite your soaking diaper.  You'll go off to daycare and spend your day the way you normally would.  You'll have fun and get extra snuggles from C because she knows how things are about to change.

When Grandma picks you up, you'll eat dinner and then come to the hospital to see how your life has changed.  You'll see Mommy and Daddy again...and I'll probably cry tears of joy at getting to see your face light up when you see us. But, you'll get to meet your little sister.  She'll be just like the baby at daycare, that you love and dote on, but she'll be coming home with us. She'll change the way our lives work...somedays you won't like it. But one day, you'll love having a sister.

A lot of things will'll always be my baby but you're our big boy now. There will be times you'll have to wait for the attention you need...wait for reading a book or for your milk from the fridge.  Other times, we may have to stop what we're doing because the baby needs something. But, you're still our numero uno. The little man who we tried so hard and long for...the one we thought we'd never have.  You'll be the star of the show, even when you have to share the spotlight. You are special and magical. You have the special job of teaching your sister how to be as amazing as you.

I know the next few days will be new, scary and probably a little rough. But--we're a family and we'll be there together. It may be scary to not see Mommy for a few days...but then we're home together every day until after Christmas. You'll be sick of us and be super excited those days you get to still go to daycare!

Just remember, that no matter what happens in our lives---I love you to the moon and back. You're my baby and you'll own my heart forever... no matter how many people you have to share it with.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

--Cue freak out--

TH has spent the last two nights at work until 8 (after teaching all day) doing parent teacher conferences. LM has shall I say it...a bit of a pill. Monday he is always fussy and cranky because he has trouble settling down and doesn't get enough sleep on Sunday night. Usually he settles down by Tuesday (he crashes early on Mondays).

BUT--wow. Tonight he was in full, early terrible twos form. He oscillated between slap happy silliness with the dog to full on temper tantrums over nothing significant. He was a mess...and so was I.

At one point we were both crying. Him, because the dog ate the noodle he threw to him to eat. Me, because I have no idea how I'm going to do it. Two kids is one will be a handful and busy and chaotic.  But--I'm starting to remember the beginning newborn days...the sleep deprivation, the mindlessness feeling, the numbness of moving through each day trying to figure it out, the engorgement, the feeling of constant feeding....oh and the pain (once the pain medicine prescription wears off).  There are the happy feelings...the snuggly baby sleeping on you...looking all precious. But--it takes so long to overcome that scary do I survive that AND be a good mom to LM?

We already know he's going to struggle with not being the center of attention. That's a given...he's 19months old and has us wrapped around his little finger. He didn't ask for a sibling, he would be perfectly happy with just us three (well, and the dog). It's going to be hard for him when he wants to snuggle and read a book with him and I'm feeding the baby. And, when I can't work up the energy to be the "fun" mom...he's the one who will suffer. I've already been given a taste of this as this pregnancy draws to a close. The pain and exhaustion I've been dealing with has made it hard for me to (and want to) get down on the floor and play with him. I've pushed through it most of the time...but he's already had to adapt and it's not fair for him. I know in the long run, he'll do more independent play and he'll love having a sibling close in age.  But for it just makes me feel guilty.

I don't know how we'll do it...I know we will survive...but I have to have to have to find a way to survive in a way that meets my expectations for our family. We can't just go through the motions.

It's scary to think about how I'll survive...somedays I barely make it with one. But, I guess it's a little late now!

It's on like Donkey Kong!

We're officially scheduled for Wednesday night! My OB was kind enough to push back the normal start time until 8 so we could put LM to bed before going to the hospital. I wanted one more normal night with him. Then, Grandma will be there to get him up in the morning, take him to daycare and keep him on his regular routine for the day so that he can come visit (hopefully) his little sister after dinner!

Super excited. Super nervous. Super anxious.

My OB is hoping that I'll be having enough ctrx by then that we can skip pitocin off the start and just break my water. I'm feeling off and crampy today so maybe it's the start of something on it's own...or at least helping the process along naturally! But, I'm imagining we'll have to start the pitocin anyway.

Not sure where the next few days will take us...but here we go!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Eviction notice?

The last few days have been a bit...overwhelming to say the least.

At my OB appt on Wednesday pm, she shared with me that she would be out of town on a medical missions trip for a week (starting on my due date).  **Cue record scratch** WHAT!! Surely this is a conversation that we could've had earlier in the game??  However, I do get that she thought I would go early...and frankly, didn't have to tell me earlier.  However. HOW-EV-ER.

Anyway. She wanted me to think about whether I wanted to deliver with her sometime next week (either if PS comes on her own or schedule an induction) or if I wanted to deliver with whoever was on-call in the practice when she actually decides to come.  Stressful. Because we all know how much I am a SUPER decision maker--no wavering at all from lil ole me.

I told her I'd talk about with TH and call back.  In the time I had between when I talked to him and when I left the office, I let myself get excited about the idea of knowing when she was coming, being able to have a good plan in place for LM, getting to deliver with my OB etc. 

Then, I talked to TH. He freaked a bit (to put it mildly). Suddenly, (as men tend to be) he became an expert in all of the science and experiences of induction---finding only the risks, horror stories, c-section numbers etc when he researched online. I tried to explain to him that I'm already 2-2.5cm dilated, 50% effaced and PS is super low, it's not like the inductions where everything is still closed up like Ft. Kn.ox. 

Long story short, we went round and round about it. I ended up scheduling an appt on Monday to a)keep my weekly appt with my OB/cervical check etc and b) have a chance to talk more with her about the whole thing. 

I had resigned myself to the idea that I should let her come when she comes. But, the nagging little thing in the back of my head kept telling me how much I really wanted to deliver with my OB. I know her, trust her and when I'm a hot, drugged mess--I need to know that when she says we need to do X, I know she really means it. She's a straight shooter like that. When I delivered LM, she was out of town (he came a day early) and another doctor in the practice delivered him. It was fine--the nurses do most of the work until the end anyway. But--there was a moment when she said his heart rate was dropping with every contraction and we may need to use the vacuum or perhaps a c-section if he didn't start recovering. TH and I panicked because that wasn't what we were expecting to here at all. We chose to try giving me more O2 to see if that would help things---and it did, all other things were averted. However, it's always bothered me that if push had come to shove (no pun intended), I didn't really know her to know whether she was a quick to intervention/c-section doctor or only rec'd them at the last resort. But--I do know my OB and know her style. And I wouldn't have to question her.

So--today I called in and scheduled an induction for this coming Thursday (10-11-12). Squee! I'm just waiting to here back from the OB office that it is confirmed with the hospital (it's a popular date). Now, I'm not willing to do Friday since the idea of labor going long enough that my OB has to leave and not deliver her anyway would defeat the purpose. Wednesday seems a bit early to me (3 days before my edd). SO--if it won't work then, I'll take it as a sign that we wait for her to come as she pleases.

Until then...we wait for the phone call, wait to see if labor starts on its own (my goal is to do a lot of walking this week), waiting for our little pumpkin seed to arrive. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On being pregnant with a girl vs a boy

I've been debating writing this post for some time. Obviously, my experiences may just be my own and not be able to translate into anyone else's. But, these are the kinds of things that I looked for when I was "comparing" pregnancy symptoms waiting to find out what we were having. So--here is what I've noticed this time around.

  • Morning Sickness
    • This was pretty much the same for both pregnancies--I was nauseated with both but threw up only a handful of times (less than 10) with boy and only 1-2x time girl.
    • It started around the same time (six weeks) and ended around the same (12w)
  • Linea Nigra
    • I had the classic boy vertical line, nice and dark with LM. But, nothing this time around.
  • Bump
    • I started showing earlier (as to be expected with number 2) with girl but my bump is much more straight out than last time.  With LM, it was a bit wider and lower. It wasn't until waay late (7months+) that it looked very straight out girl. Though, I tend to be all belly anyway.
  • Movement
    • I felt both around 18-20weeks.
    • She is MUCH more active at this point in the pregnancy than LM was. It may be a size difference (he was out of room by the point super official medical terms). 
    • Both were strong movers but I still see her movements much more--but I had anterior placenta with boy.
  • Skin
    • The old wives tale about girls causing more acne was totally true in this case. With LM I only had a few breakouts which seemed to correspond to fetal growth spurts. With PS--I broke out early and often. It was my first real "girl" clue.
    • Though broken out, my skin has been much less dry/flaky with girl (may be a seasonal difference though). My nose has been less dry too.
  • Hair
    • Both times, my hair has grown super slow (the hair on my head that is). With girl, the hair that frames my face actually started growing in a different color (natural highlights?). It was obvious because I don't highlight my hair while preggo.
    • Leg/body hair grew much slower with boy than girl. I'm still having to shave regularly...well...not that I can reach much but I "need" to shave regularly.
  • S.ex Drive
    • High 2nd trimester with boy
    • High 3rd trimester with girl
    • None 1st with either ;-)
  • Energy
    • The 1st tri energy void was present with both but with girl I didn't ever get the 2nd tri energy burst...but it might have been chasing a toddler around!
  • Weight gain
    • Weight gain total (or where I'm at now) has been similar--I've about 7lbs less right now than with boy but I've also had different cravings and move much more chasing him around.
    • Weight gain was more gradual with boy, took until almost 25 weeks to pickup with girl.
  • Swelling
    • BAD swelling near end with boy. So far, so good with girl. My OB says you swell less with the second.
  • Pain etc
    • Cervical twitches have been much more prominent with girl.
    • Back pain started early (20w) and has been a lot worse with girl
    • I had more nerve pain/leg pain with boy.
  • Cravings
    • Boy: milkshakes, pineapple, fried food, comfort foods--stuffing, mashed potatoes etc
    • Girl: fruit, chocolate, lemonade, ice cream

Not sure if this will actually help anyone...but at least I've got it out there for you! If I forgot any categories..lemme know!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

Today is Day 2 of my maternity leave (the two weeks prior to EDD that my OB wanted me to take in case I go all super swollen, sponge.bob-square-feet again. Yesterday I was super productive--ran errands, did laundry, hung up LM's clothes for the next size up, cleaned up the kitchen etc.

Today...well...its rainy and I'm sleepy so I've done a little here and there around the house. It's going to be hard to not fall into a pattern of laziness. I'm feeling ok...PS is all up in my rib cage so I only feel comfortable in certain positions. Maybe she'll be long since she's apparently super low and dropped too. I've been battling swelling when I eat anything with a slightly more than normal amount of sodium. Friday we did Chinese food for a farewell lunch at work and then we went to my SIL's house for tacos that night...I could feel my ankles all tight and swollen with even a little movement. So, I'm trying to be careful.

LM is still in the dark about what's happening. He can tell you where "the baby " is--he pats my stomach and he says "baby" when he sees the infant carseat next to his (two carseats squished in my about an overwhelming moment!!). But--cute little thing has no clue. He's been super snuggles lately but I'm not sure if that's because he's just in the mood for that or if he senses something. I'm more nervous about him being away from us for two days (my mom is staying at our house with him) than I am about the whole giving birth again thing. I'll miss him so much and I'd hate for him to be off his routine and out of sorts, only to have us add to the mix when we come home. Anyone have any baby transition tips???

I have a doctor's appointment'll be interesting to see how things are progressing. I was up to 2cm last week. That's where I hung around with LM until my water broke at 3cm (hit 2cm about the same time). I'm anxious to get things going but I also want to wait as long as possible.

That's about all here...the exciting stuff happens in the next couple of weeks I suppose.