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Labor and Delivery: Part I

April 21, 2012

Well, hello again!  I finally have a moment to breathe and update you on how week 40 went.  In my last post, I shared my hopes of having a full moon baby, but to no avail, baby Connor had different ideas.

The full moon had little effect on him coming out, but may have aided in the progression and onset of labor.  I lost large chunks of my mucus plug (TMI, I know), my belly dropped considerably lower, and the crampiness and off feeling continued on throughout the night.  So much that I decided to start my maternity leave on February 8th, the Wednesday before my due date.

It was the best decision I could have made.   It was my last day of rest.  I even indulged in an hour long prenatal massage (and had them focus on those very important labor induction points).  That evening, I could sense that something would be happening soon and before I went to bed that night I decided to snap one last belly pic just in case.

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I slept horribly that night and spent the evening peeing every 20 minutes and trying to sleep through the worse back ache.  I finally fell asleep at 2:30 AM, but sensed I would be waking up to labor.

I was right.  I woke at 4:50am to pee and found that once I finished and had stopped an additional fluid continued to flow.  Immediately, my mind began to race with the thought that my water had just broke.  I was 90% sure I hadn’t sleepily continued to dribble out urine and rushed to the bedroom to wake up my husband.  As soon as I woke him I had the convincing gush that I needed.

We made the necessary calls and within 30 minutes I was at the hospital waiting for our little one to come.  If it were possible, I would have much rather spent early labor at home, but because my water broke and I was GBS+ this wasn’t possible.

By 5:30 am (2/9/12), I was hooked up to the necessary IVs (antibiotics and fluids,) and geared up for the natural, drug and intervention free  labor I had planned for.

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Well, things didn’t go as expected and well over 24 hours later I finally met the tiny person I had spent the past 9 months growing.  Our baby boy came into this world via emergency c-section and was absolutely perfect in every way.

Meet Connor, born on February 10, 2012 at 10:12 AM–just one day late and one whole day after labor started.

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As, I’ve implied, things didn’t go as planned, but in the end it didn’t matter.  In fact, it all worked out for the best.  Stay tuned for a more thorough labor story, it’s a doozy!

Week 39

February 7, 2012

It’s almost time.

Time for us to become parents AND time for little baby Connor to get the “F” outta dodge (AKA my uterus!).

We are ready to see his cute squishy face, pinch his little wiggly toes, and hold him in our arms.

Since my 37 week appointment, we’ve tried every trick in the book when it comes to natural labor induction techniques and nothing has worked.  I’ve inhaled (ahem and inserted) the evening primrose oil, sucked up red raspberry leaf tea, walked my booty off, bounced on my ball, and ate spicy foods.  However, to no avail, Baby Connor has stayed put.  He’s quite the stubborn little monkey, but we already knew this.

I know what you’re thinking.  Wait, don’t you still have more time to go?  Yes, technically he’s not due until Thursday the 9th, but most pregnancies end anywhere from 38 weeks on.  I’ve hoped to be in the lucky bunch that get their babies out a little earlier.  So far, we haven’t been so lucky.

Today, I’m just 2 days shy of D-day (aka our due date) and the wait is torturous.  Every little twinge, ache, or odd behavior sends my husband and I into wondering if today could be the day.  We thought that perhaps the busy weekend of cooking freezer meals and watching the Super Bowl would do the trick, but come Monday he was still stubbornly in place.  On the plus side there has been progress.

At my 39 week appointment the midwife noted that I had dropped, baby’s head was engaged, and I had begun to dilate to 1cm.  I also opted to have my membranes swept in the hopes of helping things along.  It wasn’t as painful as I’ve read about, more so it was uncomfortable.  And, if nothing happens by Friday, I’ll ask to have it done again.

I’m eager to get this baby out ASAP because we do have a time limit.  The longest they want to wait for induction is 41 weeks, which is on the 16th.  Ideally, I would prefer to have him come on his own, sans Pitocin, but know that my original plans may not come true.

I know we should be patient, but with the end so close it’s hard not to get eager.

Tonight is a full moon AND a Tuesday.  “They” say that more babies are born on full moons, but who knows, it could be another old wives tale.   What we do have in our favor is that the majority of births do occur on a Tuesday.  I’ve felt achy and crampy all morning and of course this has me excitedly thinking that it could be today.  In reality, I’ll likely be posting a 40 week update soon whining about how little baby Connor has decided to stay put.  Either way, the day is upon us and we will have our baby in 2-9 days at the most.  Let the countdown to parenthood begin!

39 week belly shot (excuse the craptastic bathroom shot, hubs is getting tired of taking my picture!)

Week 35

January 30, 2012

Written 1/12/12

What can I say, I’m one of those lucky women who is having a pretty decent 3rd trimester.  Don’t get me wrong, sleeping is a difficult task, I take 100 trips to the bathroom a day, I lose feeling in my fingers, can’t make a fist without pain, bending over to put on shoes is like running a marathon, and the list doesn’t end there.

However, I am content with how things are going and have nothing to truly complain about.  Ok, scratch that, I do complain on occasion–it’s something I do when I don’t want to walk the dogs or if my feet are puffed up and need a good rub down.  Manipulating my husband with the pangs of pregnancy is OK, right?  If not, well then don’t judge.  I deserve some sort of reprieve after my trials and worries in the first and second trimester and I still have weeks to go before I never sleep again.

Speaking of pampering, the moms threw my baby shower this week and it was wonderful.  I helped out a bit with the desserts because I cannot resist an excuse to make cake/cupcake bites.  The theme was a winter wonderland and everything was perfectly fitting.

There were delectable and beautiful desserts!

Yummy foods…

Cute foods..

Pretty blue punch..

Wintery centerpieces…

And, so many gifts!

I’ll admit, opening gifts while seated in a dress proved to be challenging.  I had never understood why it was hard to keep your legs crossed/closed in later pregnancy.  I also hadn’t noticed that my new natural seated position led me to being a splayed-legged Susie!  Looking through the pictures had me laughing because I had no idea I was sitting that way!  I’m just hoping my tights were opaque enough to avoid any offense to my friends and family!

All in all, it was a great week and a great shower.  It was so wonderful to have my friends and family share in the joy and celebration of our little boy.

And, because an update without a bump shot isn’t an update, here’s a shot of my 35 week bump.  Baby boy has grown a lot!  I’m thinking we’re going to have a little chunker on our hands.

Weeks 31-34

January 23, 2012

Let’s cut to the chase here, I’m a slacker.  Weeks 31-34 flew by faster than I can type D-E-C-E-M-B-E-R and here we are now, well into January.  The holiday season and baby planning prep sucked the life out of me which is why I’ve gone so many weeks without updates.

To quickly recap the earlier weeks, let me just start by saying how much of it was chaos.

Week 31:  The week of bodily pain.

After days of severe pain in my foot, I was diagnosed as having a stress fracture and had the fun of wearing a walking boot for 3 weeks. Trust me, being pregnant and walking around with a boot adds a whole new level of difficulty to the pregnancy waddle.

Add to that the joy of pregnancy induced carpal tunnel and increased difficulty sleeping at night–I was not a happy camper.  I swear, I was two steps away from becoming a “bah-humbugging Scrooge”.

Week 32:  The week of disappointing lab work.  Or was it?

After months of monitoring my anemia, my most recent tests showed that my iron levels continued to drop.  I had already been upped on the iron supplements, which had the midwives worried.  Fortunately, more thorough testing showed that everything was fine and that my blood levels looked good.  Anemia in check=one happy preggo!  Taking high doses of Iron 3x a day was not fun!

Week 33:  Merry Christmas baby!

After nearly a month of living without carpet or an accessible kitchen (all our misplaced furniture was consuming it) our new carpet was finally installed on the Friday before Christmas.  We also began to receive the first round of gifts for baby.  Included in that lot of gifts was the mystery Kindle Fire.  It’s a mystery because I have no idea who sent it to me.  Another friend suggested it was Santa, but I don’t know and Amazon will not tell me.  However, I will not look a gift horse in the mouth and will gladly accept my new toy which is sure to come in handy while I sit in the hospital or during night-time feedings.

Week 34:   Oh, BTW you actually have an ultrasound at your appointment tomorrow…

We had our last (and might I add unexpected) ultrasound during this week and get this, after 34 weeks of waiting we finally know what baby is.  I hadn’t realized that we were due for another US,  the last one showed that everything looked good and the placenta had moved enough to remove any concern.  Well, apparently, one of the midwives decided it was better to be cautious and take an extra look.  Fortunately, the placenta had moved even further and removed any doubts.  And, because Craig begged me to ask, I had the tech take another look to see if we could get an answer.  There it was clear as day, the evidence we had waited for–we’re having a BOY!


via

 

Weeks 29 and 30

January 10, 2012

written 12/8/11

Turkey day came and went faster than ever, but it was fun to be with family and have the time off.

Our baby must’ve enjoyed it too or was a fan of turkey and thanksgiving fixings because my bump had a growth spurt while I was home.

The timing was perfect too!  We had a maternity shoot scheduled with a friend on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (prior to heading home).  The weather was comfortable and in the high 40s–perfect for the outdoor shoot we had planned.

The shoot went well and I loved seeing this sneak peek of myself.

via Jared and Debbie Photography (@29 weeks, 3 days)

Not only is baby growing, but he/she is starting to get very active.  My mom saw my belly move while we visited and Craig finally saw it move a few days later.   I also noticed hiccups for the first time.  It’s a strange sensation and only slightly annoying.

We had our birthing class during week 30 on December 3rd–it was a brutal waste of time.  Yes, there was valuable information provided, but the class was 8 hours long and a lot of the information was review for us.  The biggest thing of value from the experience was the hospital tour and seeing the delivery ward.  If I could do it over, I would save the $75 fee for baby items.

This was also the week that my fingers decided to swell up so much that I feared I would have to get my rings cut off.  I panicked throughout the day as I googled methods for removal.  None of them worked–when I got home I explained my fear to Craig, but he took a look and decided that he could and would get them off.

Well, he was right, he could get them off.  It hurt like HELL!  I seriously thought he would pull my finger off.  My finger was so swelled up after he removed the first ring that I couldn’t bear to let him remove the other until the next day.  Well, the day wait wasn’t that much help.  My finger was still puffed up and getting the band off was even more of a challenge.  I’m pretty sure I shed a tear while he pulled it off.

Here’s a piece of advice for all you early preggos out there, even if you reach 30 weeks with fitting rings don’t assume you’ll get through the pregnancy with them on.  Be sure to remove your rings on a daily basis to make sure they can still slide on and off easily.  I only waited a few days without taking mine off and it was nearly too late!

All and all, it could have been worse.  The swelling has gone down some, I still have my fingers,  and we now have an entertaining story to share.

Weeks 27 and 28

January 6, 2012

Written November 23, 2011

At the start of 27 weeks, my family came up to visit. It was great to see my mom and she enjoyed seeing my growing belly.  My dad and brothers also came up—as a nice gesture my dad offered to buy me a few pieces of maternity clothes–my guess is he noticed I was in dire need of some bigger shirts and a bigger coat.

The moms also spent time planning for my January baby shower.  They finished up the invites and made plans for a theme while I passed out on the couch.  Clearly, I was the biggest help of all!

MIL also brought my husband’s stethoscope from his EMT days so that we could listen to babies HB–it took a while, but I was finally able to find the rapid thump of our baby’s beating heart.  A huge reassurance for a worry wart like myself.

Baby has also started to move so much that it’s become uncomfortable and has caused a decrease in my appetite.  Not, ideal with Turkey day quickly approaching.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to get over it in time to stuff my face!

We also had our third and final ultrasound at 28 weeks.  They had wanted to re-check the placenta to make sure it had moved far enough from my cervix.  This gave us our last opportunity to see our little one and hopefully catch a glimpse of the goods.  Fortunately, the placenta had moved enough, but baby was still being stubborn.  The tech tried really hard to see if she could spot anything, but baby was so squished she could barely give us a guess.  She thought that maybe she saw a spot, which could mean boy, but with the slight glimpse she said it could also be girl parts–she could not give us a definitive answer.

I wasn’t too surprised that baby made things difficult, but the hubs was bummed.  The one benefit is that we now have the tiniest inkling and even though we don’t really know, we can mentally prepare for the possibility of a boy.  Now, this doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and buy boy things.  With  my luck, we would plan on a boy and get the surprise of a girl on delivery day.

So, here we are, forced to team green.  It is exciting to have the added surprise and now I am actually eager to find out on baby’s birthday.  Yes, it would be nice to know, but I can see the allure of not wanting to know now.

p.s.  sorry for the lack of pictures–I’ve been holding onto this post for too long and know that if I keep waiting to add the photos I won’t ever get around to sharing!

Weeks 25 and 26

December 20, 2011

*Disclaimer–  Pregnancy, life emergencies, and general baby prep have tied me up in the editing department and my weekly posts have stacked up.  I’m now in my 32nd week and plan to play catch up by clumping the past few weeks together in upcoming posts.

written November 10, 2011

The return of morning sickness continued on through week 25 and I ended up getting sick a few more times.  It wasn’t fun, but it was tolerable and I’ve adjusted my morning routine a bit to accommodate my 2 hours of feeling queasy and it has helped some.

I also heard from my dad.  He was in the hospital.  Apparently, he had suffered from strange vision changes and overall ill-health.  It finally got so bad that my brother (whom is staying with him) forced him to get checked out.  It turns out he has diabetes and his kidneys were beginning to fail.  Honestly, it wasn’t a surprise to me.  He has a poor diet and never really takes care of himself the way he should.    The surprise was hearing from my father.

We’ve had a strained relationship since he bailed on my wedding last year (that’s a long story I don’t care to get into).  Since then, it’s been very difficult to allow him back into our lives and neither of us had made the effort.  Hearing from him on his own accord was new to me.  In the past, the many times he’s called he’s had an agenda.  This time was different, he wasn’t busy preaching and was actually interested in hearing how I was doing and how the baby was growing.

I think being so sick struck him with the realization that he needed to make an effort to fix the things he had broken.

It’s also changed my view on things.  I now want to give him the opportunity to be in my child’s life.  It’s been something I’ve been on the fence about since learning I was pregnant.  As a parent-to-be, my protective instincts took over and my initial decision was to cut that line of communication.  I wanted to protect my child from the pain and disappointment he has caused me, but now feel that if something were to happen to him I would regret it.  Yes, I’m still wary about opening the door again, but we’ll take it step by step.  He deserves the chance to prove himself and at least I’ll know we tried.

In other news, I had my 1 hour glucose test in week 26 and admit that I was rather nervous.  After hearing about my father’s diabetes, I feared that perhaps I had a predisposition and that the test would confirm the worse.  Fortunately, it wasn’t as horrible as I expected.  Yes, the drink was extremely sweet and it did make me feel sick to my stomach as time passed, but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve experienced.

It actually reminded me of those super-sugary fruit punch drinks that used to be geared towards kids.  I think they were called lil hugs?  Either way, the drink was pure sugar, containing 50 g of glucose.  Of course, curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to physically see how much glucose it actually looked like, so while at work I weighed some out.

  That my friends is a lot of sugar!  Sugar that my body needed to process properly over the next hour.  Upon arrival, I was sent directly to the lab, the technician pricked my finger, took two samples of blood, and sent me off to the midwife.  I figured we would have a standard monthly meeting and that the results would be discussed when they came in.  To my surprise, by the time I entered the room the midwife had them at her disposal.

The news was both good and a bit not so good.  The good news?  I passed my 1-hour glucose test with a 119 (they require you to be under 130).  Yippee!  The not so good news?  My anemia was still present and my levels were at a 10 (I think these were my hemoglobin levels).  Ideally, during pregnancy and before delivery, they would prefer my levels be well above a 10 to prevent hemorrhaging during labor.  The midwife wasn’t too concerned with this since we were just on the cusp, but said that they would want to continue monitoring it and that I should be sure to continue taking a supplement and eat foods that are rich in iron.

All in all the appointment went well.   I’ve been feeling pretty great and my bump is officially large enough to announce my pregnancy.  I’ve also had my first experience with seeing my belly move from the outside.  It’s definitely strange to watch my stomach spasm as baby kicks and wiggles around, but I love every minute of it.

26 weeks, 3 days

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