Friday, March 31, 2006

Nicky's first doctor's appointment

Well we took Nicky in for his two week appointment at the pediatrician today. He was measured, weighed, had his cord stump pulled off and got his first immunization shot. Ow! Here's how much he's grown:

At birth 3/17/06: 19.75 inches long and 8 pounds 1 ounce
When discharged from NICU 3/24/06 he was back up to 8 pounds 1 ounce.
And today 3/31/06: 21.5 inches long and 9 pounds 2 ounces!

WOW! He's grown 1.75 inches and gained 1 pound 1 ounce! What a good boy!

I think I was mostly traumatized watching his cord stump get removed. Ugh! He was crying mad during that ordeal. And he screamed so much with that shot! Poor baby! He settled right down both times though. What a sweet baby he is.

We're still trying to get him latched on for breastfeeding, but now I just think I'll have to wait to see the lactation consultant again. Hopefully I'll have my act together enough to go to the regular meeting she holds on Tuesdays next week. Until then I'm pumping like a fiend and we're giving him a combination of expressed breastmilk and formula. He doesn't seem to care which one he gets as long as he gets it! He's like a hungry little tiger at his feedings!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The final chapter

As I woke in the recovery room, my mother was at my side. I was so happy to see her. She held my hand and talked a little. I learned that a nurse had recruited my family to move our things from the birthing suite to this recovery room. I can't remember all we talked about, but I think she'd gotten to see the baby and talked about how beautiful he was.

At some point Tom came in with Nicholas. He was just beautiful! I got to hold him for a few minutes, and we tried to get him latched on. But he was grunting and although he clamped down a few times he seemed really uncomfortable. The nurse came and took him over to the warmer to listen to his lungs. It sounded like he had a bit of mucus still in them, so she suggested she and Tom go ahead and start his bath to get him crying to see if that would clear his lungs.

First they washed his hair, which he was fine with. Then they started wetting him all over to bathe him, which definitely got him upset! Poor little guy! I was in the bed, watching, calling my boss with the news and talking with my mom. I remember the nurse saying he needed to return to the nursery for assessment because he was breathing too fast and still grunting. Tom and I agreed it was best to err on the side of caution and have him checked out.

The next thing I remember was a nurse coming in and telling us that they had done a chest x-ray of Nicky and he had some mucus in his lungs. They had him receiving oxygen and were monitoring him. I wasn't really worried though. They said it was pretty common for c-section babies to have a bit of extra fluid in their lungs since they aren't squeezed through the birth canal. After talking with Tom about this for a moment I fell back to sleep.

I started waking up soon though because my nose started itching so badly. As soon as I would put on my CPAP mask (which keeps me breathing when I'm sleeping-I have sleep apnea) I would have to rip it off my face to rub my nose! It itched like mad! This continued on through the night. My nurse gave me nubane, which is an IV pain med that is also supposed to help with the itching. That didn't help, and it wasn't long before everything else started itching too. I was also really hot and sweaty. Quite an uncomfortable night. Oh, and by morning Tom had the cold too. At one point a nurse came in and asked if they could please give Nicky a pacifier so he could self-soothe a bit since they couldn’t hold him. Tom and I agreed, knowing there was a risk of nipple confusion, but he needed some kind of way to sooth himself. Poor baby!

Saturday I tried resting. They finally hooked me up to something that counteracted the pain med that was making me itch. By the time it kicked in my poor nose was rubbed raw. I think I slept off and on, but I was starting to get anxious to see my baby. To see him I would have to go to the nursery since he couldn’t come to me. My nurse helped me get up to go to the bathroom and clean up. I still had a catheter, so didn’t have to go to the bathroom or anything, which considering how slowly I was moving, that was a good thing! I washed my face and brushed my teeth too, which succeeded in making me both clean and dizzy. Then I sat in the rocking chair for a bit while the nurse went in search of a wheelchair for me. I was so excited to see my baby!

When I finally got to see him it was wonderful. I didn’t get to hold him, but I could touch him a little bit as long as I didn’t stimulate him too much. My memory of this visit is a bit fuzzy. I remember how perfect and beautiful he was, and that he had his IV in his left hand. The tape was making his poor skin all red, just like it did mine. I got to go see him a few times that day, and they moved me to a smaller postpartum room around 6 pm. There I finally got off the catheter and was down to a hep-lock instead of getting fluids via IV.

I made it through most of the day fine, but it was getting harder as the day wore on. Finally I just broke down and cried my eyes out. I wanted to hold my baby so badly. He’d gone from being inside me 24 hours a day to being completely away from me for over 24 hours. I thought my heart was going to break. Late that night though I talked to one of the nurses about maybe using a canula for a little while on Sunday so that I could hold him for a while. She thought that was a definite possibility since he only needed 30% oxygen anyway. I held onto that thought through the night. I also was set up with a breast pump and started pumping colostrum for him like crazy. They gave it to him in his feeding tube when it was a lot (around 5-10 ml sometimes!) and just put it on his binkie when it was only a little bit.

In the morning my doctor took out my drain and the hep-lock, threatening that if I didn’t keep up with drinking water they’d put in a new IV. That worked! I started forcing fluids like crazy! I took my first shower, which was wonderful! I got dressed in my only nursing gown and went to see my boy. When I finally got to hold him I swear I was in heaven! I will never ever take holding Nicky for granted! We even tried nursing some. Between Tom and I if he held Nicky with two hands and I held my breast with two hands we could get it to work for a while, but it was really difficult between the size of my boob and the jaundice making Nicky sleepy he would mostly just get really relaxed and fall asleep. Poor little fella!

So while Friday was a lot of excitement and Saturday was a lot of crying, Sunday was heavenly! Then came Monday! And on Monday we were really having a lot of trouble getting Nicholas to latch on at all. He was so tired from the jaundice he’d just fall straight to sleep. We met with the lactation consultant and she suggested pumping, giving him that via bottle and then making up the difference up to 30ml with formula. We had to get rid of the jaundice to get him to work on nursing. I cried, but agreed that was best for him. Also as soon as he was eating regularly by mouth we could take out his IV and leave him with only a hep-lock for his doses of antibiotics. And I wanted that IV OUT of my baby!! So I pumped every 2-3 hours and my milk came in that day. I was getting around 10-20ml each pumping session and he’d get that first and then whatever amount of formula he needed to get up to 30ml a feeding. He was off the IV by evening, and around 7pm or so he was able to come to the hospital room to be with me instead of being in the nursery!

Now, Tom had spent the night at home Sunday night, and he needed to do the same Monday night. (Remember he was getting over that cold he caught, and he had to watch the dogs.) I was also discharged from the hospital on Monday evening .(Against my will I might add, I think the law says they have to cover 98 hours after a c-section, but no one would listen to me.) That meant I was now “boarding” at the hospital. They all assured me it was just the same except I wouldn’t have a nurse of my own and would have to take my own meds and buy my own meals. Ok, Fine. Well Nicky and I had a blissful night together Monday night. I changed his diapers, fed him, pumped for him, held him, talked to him, sang to him, and we listened to Enya together. He was just the perfect baby! I didn’t sleep all night, but that was fine. I knew Tom would be coming in the morning to bring me food and I could sleep while Tom watched Nicky during the day.

In the morning, Tom came to see me, bringing food with him. I was absolutely incoherent I was so tired. I hadn’t really slept since Thursday night for any length of time, so I was pretty wiped out since it was now Tuesday morning. I took one bite of my food when a nurse came in. I was expecting the lactation consultant, so when she said “I’m the person you don’t ever want to see” I was a bit confused. Until her next words came out… “We need your room.”

Apparently they were going to be doing a bunch of gynecological surgeries that day and were kicking out all the borders. I held it together while she told Tom what we had to do, but the second she left, I completely broke down. I had only just gotten my baby, and now I was going to have to leave him there at the hospital and go home without him.

Tom packed up our stuff while I cried and held my baby boy. My step-mother in law, J.M., came to help. We took Nicky to the nursery and I sat with him while Tom and J.M. packed the car. Eventually we left, picked up some food (I hadn’t eaten since that first bite that morning) and drove home. Tom was wonderful to me. I was still in a lot of pain and had a hard time moving around. He fed me dinner and we both went to bed. I slept until 10pm when I heard Tom on the phone with the nurse. He was checking on Nicky, and had to read the numbers on my wristband to confirm who we were. Nicky was doing great and was eating, peeing and pooping perfectly.

So the rest of my week was spent going back and forth between Citra and the nursery. We’d shower and pack up all the milk I’d expressed overnight then head to the hospital. Then we’d snuggle with Nicky all day at the nursery until he got his evening dose of medicine, tuck him in with kisses and head home to crash.

Then came Friday, March 24th! And Nicky came home!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Nicky's birth story: Chapter two

Well I left off when I got the internal monitor set on Nicky. Now I could hear his heartbeat all the time and didn't have to worry about moving around as much as long as I didn't pull the monitor out. Truly I ended up staying in bed most of the time though. When lying on my side I had horrible back pain with each contraction. When sitting on the birth ball leaning on the bed I had the back pain too. When sitting on the ball leaning back on Tom I had the pain in the tops of my legs, but he couldn't reach to rub them. So back into bed I went and ended up with my legs straight out in front of me and with the bed sitting up at around a 70 degree angle or so. Jennifer, my doula, was on one side and Tom was on the other. With each contraction I'd breathe and moan (mostly moaning by this time) and they'd rub the top of my leg with one hand and my shoulder with the other hand to help me stay relaxed as much as possible. Contractions were coming one minute apart or faster and probably lasting around 30-45 seconds most of the time. So about a 15-30 second break between them.

I kept laboring this way until about 4pm when the doctor came in to check me again. I was still at 3cm and 80%. Very disappointing. The nurse offered me pain meds in my IV but I turned them down (barely). I told myself to wait for two more contractions. Tom was replaced at some point by his mom and by my mom. Someone gave me a foot massage at some point too. Everyone was very supportive. All I remember was riding out the waves as much as possible and trying hard to relax and breathe. I wanted music with violins and listened to a lot of Vivaldi and Mozart, trying to ride off in my imagination with the violin music.

Right before 5pm or so I finally talked with Tom and Jennifer. I was concerned that I was tensing up my legs even though I was trying hard to relax them during contractions. I decided that taking a little pain med thru the IV just to take a bit of the edge off might allow me to relax my legs and change to a better position to help the baby move down. We wanted to try laboring on hands and knees for a while and I just couldn't imagine doing it with the pain I was in at that point. So we told the nurse we wanted pain meds and sent my mom and Tom's mom to wait in the waiting room. I figured they'd already seen me spill amniotic fluid everywhere, they sure didn't need to see me on my hands and knees in those wacky gowns with my heiny hanging out.

It was taking forever for the nurse to come in with the drugs. Finally a guy came in I hadn't seen before. I said "Please tell me your an anesthesiologist." He was. I asked him what he could tell me about pain meds via IV. He said "Nothing, I don't do that." Not the right answer. It was a good thing I couldn't move during a contraction or I might have beat him to death right there.

He said he'd been sent in by my OB to talk about setting up an epidural. Not to dose it if I didn't want to, but to have it ready in place in case I wanted it or in case we had to do a c-section quickly. I knew two things:
1. I was not happy about getting an epidural. I didn't want one. I was afraid of them.
2. I had a 50/50 chance in my mind of going c-section. A lot was riding on me getting the baby to drop by about 6:30 and that was approaching fast. Getting the epi started would save time and help me avoid having to have a general anestetic if we had to do things fast.

I talked with Tom and decided to go ahead and get the epi put in, but not hooked up to any pain meds that way. I'd wait for the IV pain meds first.

As soon as I gave the guy the ok he went out to get his stuff. I went to the bathroom. I stayed in there with Tom for a while laboring on the toilet where it felt a little better for some reason. Finally I had to get up and out there and they already were ready to do the epidural. The anesthesiologist was talking with my doula about epidurals in a fairly hostile way. Basically they were debating birthing philosophies. I was about to tell them that if they'd like to debate about this they could get the hell out of the room, but I was too stressed out and in pain to even talk. I was really scared, I didn't even realize how scared until I had to sit on the edge of the bed, lean over the table they have on wheels, and bend my spine out towards them. Keep in mind I only had about 15-30 seconds between contractions, and in this position my back was killing me through each one with no one to rub it.

I was lying my head on a pillow on the table and holding onto Tom's sides in front of me. Jennifer was on my right, rubbing my arm, and the nurse was on my left alternating between playing the hardass and telling me it was ok. I was crying, sobbing and shaking with fear. Not only was I allowing someone to do something I didn't want to me, they were behind me and I had to actively cooperate with them, holding very still through my pain and bend my back out to them, knowing it was going to hurt.

I logically know this was the right thing to do, and that it couldn't possibly hurt that badly since people have them all the time. ButI think there were several subconcious things going on in my mind that made me so scared. I know I had a spinal tap done on me when I was around 5 years old. I know it was very traumatic, although I have completely blocked it out of my concious memory. But also I was raped at the age of 17, from behind, and holding myself out so vunerably to a male stranger who was invading my body in a way, well I think it dredged that up too, particularly since I was dealing with so much pain at the time and probably very emotionally vunerable.

So anyway, they had to end up poking me 4 times to find the space. I sobbed like a broken-hearted terrified child the entire time. That was the worst part of the entire thing though and it was over pretty quickly. Everyone was really nice to me through it though and I'm sure I'll get one with my next child since I found out I have to have c-sections from now on.

So anyway, the epidural was in. Finally my nurse says let's get in your pain meds. The anesthesiologist was shocked I hadn't had them already! Looking back, actually it would have been good to have had those first, but aw well. I laid down on my left side because I was afraid to lie on my back, and they wanted me lying down when I got the meds. It only took about 15 seconds to kick in and man was that nice! It was like a warm blanket came over me, between me and the pain. I still felt the contraction coming, felt it hit, but I was totally able to relax and breathe through it with no issue. It was like the contractions I had on Wednesday. Much easier to handle! I felt like I could try other positions. My doula and Tom were ready for a break since their poor hands were killing them from all the massaging. Jennifer left to get a quick bite to eat before she fainted from hunger. Tom was looking forward to grabbing a bite too I think, but right then my OB came in to check me.

I was still 3cm and 80%. Damn. If the doctor had to give him a station it would be a -4, he wasn't even engaged yet.

Tom, the OB and I had a quick conversation about our options. The baby's heartbeat was still good, and I was doing ok right now on the Staidol (pain med). The Staidol would last about one hour. I didn't think one hour was going to make that much difference since I hadn't progressed at all since that morning. I decided to go ahead with a c-section while the baby was still healthy and I was still healthy. I knew the baby was facing the wrong way since I was having back labor, and with the size he was estimated at I just think he couldn't come down any farther. I wanted him out and healthy.

Things started happening really fast then. I hope Tom will write up a birth story from his point of view soon since I was fairly loopy from the medicine. I remember signing something and then having Tom sign too since I was out of it from the meds. Then they brought in a hair net for us both to wear and some outfit for Tom to put on. They unhooked my monitors, told Tom to wait in the room for a minute and started wheeling me to the operating room. It was just a few doors away, on the Labor and Delivery floor and everything. I gabbed with everyone around me. Told them all about Nicky being my miracle baby after 11 years of trying. Told them a lot of stuff, commented about how bright the room was, etc. I was feeling very good on that Staidol stuff!

They had me get off the bed and onto the operating table. I have no idea how I did it, but I did! It was very hard and flat and only about 2 feet wide. They tilted it to the left and then put my head lower than my feet. There were places straight out from my sides to put my arms, but they didn't strap me down. I felt them doing things to me, like draping my tummy, rubbing stuff on it and stuff. They kept asking me what I could feel and asking me questions. Getting the epidural just right I guess.

I started wondering where Tom was! I kind of said "Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom" quietly over and over until the lady by my head asked me what I needed. I said, "I need my husband Tom. Please don't let them start cutting on me until he's here." They sent someone to get him and I immediately relaxed. They had him bring in his Afrin nosespray because I had gotten my mother in law's cold and had a stuffy nose. Well you would not believe how much worse a stuffy nose can get when you're upside-down!! That helped some, but mostly having Tom there was wonderful! I felt them doing stuff and they were talking, I looked into Tom's eyes and kept my right hand on his face and said, "Talk to me, I don't want to hear them." So he talked. He told me he'd called our doula, told everyone in the waiting room what was going on, and said lots of mushy, lovey things that made me feel much better.

I felt pressure like everyone mentions, but I mostly felt like they were emptying my whole body and arranging my parts on my chest and stomach. Finally it felt like they pulled a TV out of me and set it on my chest. Soon I heard a suction thing and a little fussing from my BABY! They pulled down the drape a bit and held up my baby so I could see him. He was so beautiful! They cut the cord and I sent Tom around to go with the baby on the other side of the drape to watch him get cleaned up a bit. I stayed there (like I was going to move right?) and just cried from happiness that my son was born and healthy.

A lady came around the drape with my little pink son all bundled up. I got to talk to him, touch his little face and kiss him. I saw Tom holding him and they said they were going to take Nicky to the nursery to weigh him and assess him. I told Tom to go with Nicky and to send my mother to me in the recovery room, but to stay with Nicky no matter what.

They were putting me back together, much like the scarecrow getting re-stuffed in the Wizard of Oz movie I imagine. I heard the OB say "Ok, the uterus looks good." So I asked, "How are those ovaries looking?" I heard him say "What?" "How are the ovaries? Are they ready to go again?" He said, "You've had too much medicine." LOL. I think most women aren't asking about their fertility for the next baby while having their c-section finished up. (By the way, later on I asked again and he said they look great!)

They finished me up, covered me in lots of warm blankets and rolled me to a new room. Somehow all our stuff was in this new room, but it was not the same room I'd left. Weird feeling. I met my night nurse and talked to the anesthesiologist. He wanted me on my cpap machine (for my sleep apnea) or on oxygen for 24 hours. He reminded me about the side effect of one of the pain meds we'd agreed on having in my epidural. I think it was called Deramorph or something, and it makes you itchy, especially your nose. I figured I could handle that. And promptly crashed out to sleep.

I'll write more later. Heck I'm not even to the part about Nicky! He's still in the special care nursery today, but hopefully is coming home on Friday! He's an angel! And I have some pictures for you finally!!

Here they are:
Nicky, the brand new baby:
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Nicky's first bath:
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Nicky's first hair wash:
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I'll have more with the next installment!

Nicholas Charles Mott: Born at 6:59pm, 3/17/06 at 8 lbs 1 oz and 19.75 inches long!

Well, I got home Tuesday around 2pm. I slept around 7 hours straight, got up at 10:30 to pump and eat and slept till 2am. Now I'm trying to pump and type at the same time.

I wish I had a pic to share, or even one I could look at but I have to wait for one of my family members to send me one. So instead I'll try to write up my birth story...

I went in Friday morning for my second induction. As you know I had the cervadil and pit on Wed, but only got to a stretchy 1cm and 75%. Well on Friday I was still a very stretchy 1cm and 80%. The baby was still not engaged either, although he was definitely much lower and my belly had dropped.

We started right on the Pit at 8:00. We got the contractions going quickly up to 2 mins apart. As soon as they were regular I got my IV of antibiotics (I'm GBS+.) They were coming harder than on Wednesday, so I was hopeful that they were actually working. The nurse I had Friday wasn't as accommodating as the nurse Wed. I was pretty much in bed the whole time. I did get to move to my ball and change positions in bed, stand up a little next to the bed and such, but I had to be on the bp cuff, and external monitors constantly. I loved hearing my baby's heartbeat though; what wonderful sound! He was still moving around quite a bit and they had a hard time staying on him. The little booger! :)

I'd say around 10am they checked me again and I was at 2cm and still 80%. They wanted to get an internal fetal monitor in as soon as I hit 3cm, so they went ahead and broke my water. (Seeing the monitor thingy on Wed really helped me to want to do that. Especially so we'd not keep losing him and having to find him all the time with the external). What a funky feeling that was! It was kind of a relief though, and warm! It was quite a trickle! Not quite a gusher. My contractions started coming closer very quickly after the amniotomy.

I labored more, and the contrax were getting rough and about one minute apart. I was breathing, and now also moaning, through them though, and I remember being on my left side because that seemed the position Nicky was easiest to be found in. Tom started rubbing my back and I started asking him to rub harder during contractions. I was starting up back labor. I'd expected it, and it sucked, but I was doing pretty good still breathing and moaning thru, only occasionally cussing...

At one point I really had to pee. I do remember specifically my MIL was in the room at that point. By the way, only my MIL and my mother were in the room this time, other than Tom and my doula of course. I'd talked to my sister Jessica and my Dad on Thursday and made it clear that although I loved them, I just can't really relax and show my feelings and pain around them, so they agreed to wait for the baby to come before coming in the room. They seemed ok with that. I hope so since I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm glad we talked about it, because I really ended up in quite a bit of pain and would have felt the need to try to be stoic if they'd been there instead of going with the pain and saying/doing some possibly funny sounding/looking stuff to get through it. My step-MIL had a photo job she had to attend in the morning and early afternoon that kept her away (she's the photographer so no early labor pics from her darn it!) My best friend was sick and we'd decided she should come when she was well and after the baby, when she'd really be a big help to me. And my sister Elizabeth had to attend a class her boss had already paid for in the daytime, but would be back Friday evening.

Anyway, the point was I really had to pee! Once I got up though I was gushing water all over in a mess from the bed to the bathroom! LOL! I hope it wasn't pee too, but I couldn't tell! It was so weird! I just got straight into the shower and showered off. The water felt good and I was able to go thru several contrax in the shower standing up holding onto the bars and leaning against the wall for balance and support. I'd have loved to stay in the bathroom, even sitting on the toilet felt good, but I had to get back to the monitors. Oh, I did learn that amniotic fluid isn't clear. It was kind of peachy colored, almost orangey looking to me. Tom said it was blood tinged. I insisted it was just paint, like the red paint that sometimes would show in the IV line. (Whatever it takes to keep from fainting or puking right?)

Anyway, Back in bed I went. Shortly after that I got the internal monitor on the baby.

I'll have to finish this story in increments I think. I'm really tired now. Just pumped 40ml of milk for my sweet Nicky! He's so beautiful!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

STILL pregnant

Well, I'm home today. AND I'm still pregnant. :(

Wednesday morning at midnight we went in to Labor and Delivery. I got the cervadil, and about three hours of broken sleep while they kept coming in to readjust the external monitors to keep track of my VERY active baby. By real 'morning' I had dialated to 1cm and was up to 70% effaced.

We kept this up, and got up to having contractions every 3-5 minutes, until being rechecked around 1:30pm. I was up to 1cm and 75%, so I had effaced a little more. I was hooked up to the Pitocin drip at 2pm. We increased the pitocin every 15 minutes until my contractions were 2 minutes apart. They were definitely stronger, but between Tom, my doula, and the wonderfully accommodating nurse we had, I was able to breathe and move a bit through them and didn't need any pain medications.

We kept this up until 6:30pm. The pitocin can only go up to 22 and I was already at a 17. Tom and I were in the middle of vigorously swaying our hips side to side to Abba on the cd player when the doctor got there. :) I was checked again. Still 1cm, but a 'stretchy 1' and 75% and the baby was not coming down to dilate me more. We talked about our options and here's the plan...

I was taken off the pitocin and kept for an hour or two while my contractions slowed to every 5 minutes. Then I came home Wednesday night around 9pm. Orders are to rest, eat, relax. I might go into spontaneous labor on my own after the agressive exams we did, but if not I go in Friday morning at 8am and we start on the pitocin right away. Labor through that all day. By 4-5pm he'll know whether the baby is dropping and I can try a natural delivery or if the baby is not dropping we do a cesearean. One way or another, this baby is born by Friday! He's worried about the baby's size, and we're not sure if the baby just wasn't ready to move down today yet, or if his head is just too big to engage. Guess we'll find out Friday!

He did make a point to say that it was definitely not a waste of time to go in Wednesday. We have gotten the cervix a lot more favorable, and if the baby will just drop he'll probably dilate me quickly. Every exam he also stripped the membranes vigorously so that might help things along even before Friday.

So here I sit this morning in my living room. I slept a good 10 hours last night, but had to finally get up from just being really uncomfortable. I'm a bit sore in the legs and left arm. Not sure if that's leftover from the pitocin or just from working so hard yesterday though. I think I managed all the contractions well, and I'm happy about that. I just hope that "productive" contractions don't hurt a ton more. If they stay this way up until transition then I really think I can do this unmedicated (unless a cesearean is necessary of course). Again though, we'll find out soon! Keep tuned in and my next update will hopefully be all about the birth and the baby!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Let the games begin!

Well, I went in for my appointment today at 10:30am. Guess I'm feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing since my blood pressure was 90/60 Wow! I gained 3-4 pounds since last Wednesday which seems a little weird, but the OB wasn't concerned about it at all, especially since my blood pressure is so good.

Then he checked the position of the baby. Still not engaged, but he could feel him. I was still 50% effaced, but now I'm also dialated 1cm. He went ahead and stretched the cervix a little and stripped my membranes. It was a little uncomfortable, but not really painful or anything. It definitely caused a little crampiness, which I think is a good thing. Anything to get things moving! He said I might have a little spotting, so I'll watch for that. Nothing yet though.

So now the plan...
I have my marching orders. We are to come home and walk today and tomorrow (and rest some too.) Tomorrow night we call Labor and Delivery at 11pm to make sure they have a room available for us. Then we go in at midnight (of the full moon no less) and have the cervidil put in. I'm supposed to go to sleep then for the rest of Tuesday night.
(Hopefully all the walking will have made me tired!) Then Wednesday morning we wake up, have the OB check for progress. If I'm not in labor yet, we'll try pitocin a bit to see if that will start things up. We'll probably give it till Wednesday afternoon/evening to get into full labor, but if nothing is happening there is a possibility we'll go home for a few more days. So we're not planning on having anyone actually start coming here until we know labor is definitely starting on Wednesday. Hopefully though Nicky will make his entry sometime on 3/15/06!

I'm so excited!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

New belly pic! 37 weeks. Will it be the last?

Ok, so I look a little tired after working all day on Wednesday until around 6:30pm, but I thought I'd share the whole pic with you anyway!

Notice the beautiful blue walls that Tom and his Mom painted for Nicky this past weekend. Ahh, soothing aren't they. And there's Nicky's crib waiting for him! Lot's more to do in the Nursery, but since he won't be in there for a while (he'll be in our room in the bassinet/pack and play) I'm not too worried about it.

No progress yet. I'm told I'll definitely know when Nicky drops, but I'm not so sure. I have had to go to the bathroom a LOT yesterday (both kinds) in the evening, and that's supposed to be a sign. But maybe it's just a sign that I had to go to the bathroom a lot. Who knows. I did have some cramps a little bit last night, but they could have been bowel related and not uterus related. I just don't know. But I hope somethings going on down there.

Today I'm going over to JM's house to finish up the maternity pictures. I can't wait to share those! There are already a few I really like that Tom and I did outside, but you can't see the belly much. But man, she made US look good! :) Now we'll do some real belly shots of me and Nicky today at noon. I'm supposed to be rested, but I woke up at 5am this morning and just had to get up. So I'm sitting here on the birth ball at the computer. I will probably take a little nap in a while and then get a shower and fix up my hair or something. You know, something I NEVER do! Ha! I don't even have a curling iron or my curlers here! They're still in Micanopy somewhere. We'll see what I can do with a dryer and a brush.

After pictures maybe I'll walk home from JM's. It's not very far. And maybe Nicky will get the message to settle downwards a bit. I wanna have him on Tuesday! I see Liz can't make it on Friday, so hopefully I'll go before that. I'm still excited about labor. Not scared at all! I am wondering how well I'll be able to focus while having all the people there that I want in the room. Hopefully I'll be fine. I am an extrovert (like you didn't know right?) and so theoretically I gather energy from being in contact with people. So it might be good to have them there. But I figure if it gets to be too much everyone will just have to take a break and go to the waiting room or the cafeteria for a while. We'll just have to see.

Still, I'm looking forward to it! The birthing experience is the next big thing I've wanted to experience for so long! AND then after that we get to try breastfeeding! YAY! I even dreamed about that Thursday night. Of course in my dream it was stressful because I had the baby (which was a girl) and then had to go back to work the same day and didn't see her for 3 days! When I finally got to breastfeed her though it was great! And so relaxing to finally have time to sit and bond with her. Hopefully it will go great with Nicky in real life. (AND I won't be going back to work the same day, just for the record! LOL!)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Things are moving right along!

Well, we had an excellent BPP today. No new measurement, but he scored an 8/8 again, another A+! He was a little wiggle worm and did all his breathing too. Fluid levels are good and the placenta is still rated a 2, which means that although it's older it's still in good shape.

Then we went to the OB appointment. My iron was even lower by a tad, which seems funky since I've been on 300mg iron/day thing for about a month! Whatever. My weight hasn't changed at all. Still 298.5 so at 23.5 pounds gained total. Blood pressure was excellent at 118/70. I showed the OB my blood sugars. They're still high in the morning, but I showed him how they're low around 2-4am and then get higher by themselves by 8am. So he doesn't want to risk the insulin now since I could go too low at night. So yay for me for keeping good data!

I got another internal and am now 50% effaced and soft. Still no dilation yet, and the baby isn't yet engaged either. But the really exciting thing is the doctor wants to see me on Monday (our next appointment was going to be next Wednesday) and check for dilation and station. If the baby is engaged he'll go ahead and induce me! We could be having Nicky early next week! The latest he wants me to go is 39 weeks because of Nicky's size, so the latest I'll go is week after next! I'm so excited!

So Tom and I went right away to the store and bought some Red Raspberry Leaf tea and Evening Primrose Oil. We're also going to walk every evening for as long as I can stand it. And I'll do a LOT of sitting on my birthing ball too. We want Nicky engaged by Monday! I'm really ready to take some time off work and spend some time with my baby OUTSIDE my body! :) I'm really not miserable yet although everyone says I will get that way soon. I'm happy having him in there, and I know I'll miss it when he's out, but I still can't wait to see him. So stay tuned, watch the blog and stay by your phones!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A few pictures from the shower

Here are a few little pictures from the baby shower. It's hard to upload from home with just dial-up internet, so I'm trying to just pic a few.

Here's one of Tom and I opening gifts.

And one of my mother and sisters.

And one of Tom writing furiously to record all the wonderful gifts we received!

It was a lot of fun!

Right now Tom and his mom are in Nicky's room painting up a storm! The painting of the walls should be done today and then I just have to pick a glossy white for the trim, closet and doors. Then Tom will paint those and put in the flooring. Progress is being made! I can't wait to show you pictures of his room all finished!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ok, this may be gross, so stop here if you haven't had dinner...

Just have to give everyone all the news. Hope you're not squeamish!

Last night at about 7:30 I lost my mucous plug! How cool is that?! Of course I had to call Tom in to see it and we both marveled at this proof that things are progressing!

Now that doesn't mean labor is emminent, or even necessarily near, but when I called the OB's office today the nurse said it was a sign of progress and that it could still be 2 weeks. HA! 2 weeks! That would be so cool to go within 2 weeks!

Today Tom's mom came back to visit. We're having a birthday thing for Tom tomorrow. His birthday was on Wednesday. Tom and his mom picked me up from work and then we went out to dinner and then to Lowe's where she bought the flooring for Nicky's room. I also finally picked a color blue for the walls and we went ahead and bought that too. So Tom will be painting the room and then pulling out the carpet and putting in the wood laminate interlocking floor. It's a honey oak color and should look great when it's all done in there! I'll have to put up pics.

Speaking of which I am woefully behind in posting pictures! I have two or three from the shower and a new belly picture too. I'll try to get them up this weekend. Promise!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New measurement today!

Ok, I have a lot to catch up on since the last post.

First the shower went beautifully. I should have pictures soon from JM. I know my Dad's wife, Gwen, also took some good photos and will be sending those to me soon too. Lots of people came, I think about 18 all together, and we got tons of stuff for the baby!

We're set on clothes I think until Nicholas turns two! We also got some toys, books, a cradle my dad refinished, a crib, and the travel system. We have a few things left on the registry that are "important" but Im'm nt too worried about it at this point. I do have to go buy the breast pump ASAP, and the bathtub and the diaper pail at some point, but the swing can either wait or be skipped all together if need be. So all in all I think everyone set us up very nicely for our first year with Nicky!

Oh, and the cake was divine! Bad, bad Angela for eating so much of it on Saturday! But I've been good since!

Now, on to my new news!

We went to the BPP today and got a new measurement! Ready for this?

Head Circumference= 33.26cm (37 weeks 3 days)
Abdominal Circumference= 33.41cm (37 weeks 4 days)
Femur Length= 7.29cm (37 weeks 2 days)
Estimated weight= 7 pounds 4 ounces (40 weeks 2 days)
Estimated due date based on his measurements= 3/19/06
He's in the 80th percentile in weight right now. Whew! What a big boy!

My blood pressure was excellent at 120/70. Iron is still low at 32. Weight holding steady at 299 now, up only one pound over the last two weeks, and heck, that's how much Nicky grew! I had my first internal exam. Fun stuff. And the doctor doesn't think I'll have any trouble with an 8-8.5 pounder. Past that we'll just have to see. No dialation or effacement happening yet. And I'm positive for Group B strep, so I'll have antibiotics via IV during labor. More fun stuff.

We shared our birth plan with the doctor and he thought it was all fine. My sugars have been good except for the fasting ones that run around 104-109. He's upping my Metformin in the evenings to two pills at night and still one pill in the morning to see if we can get those down. If not then we'll have to consider insulin at night.

That's about it I think! The OB said he's very proud of us for doing so wonderfully this pregnancy. So we must be doing well. I like hearing things like that. :)