Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crazy? Um, yes.

EJ is 4 months old already. Holy Crap.

She had her 4 month well-check yesterday, so here are her stats:

Height: 24", 40th percentile
Weight: 11 lbs. 3 oz., 7th percentile
Head circumference: 16.5 ", 75th percentile. (still got that big 'ole noggin!)

And no, she doesn't look like a giant egg head. She's completely proportionate, see?


So cute, right??

Anyway, because she's so small I've decided to make all of her baby food. I want to make sure that she is getting the maximum amount of nutrients from the food she will eat. And although we aren't starting her on any solid food until 6 months, I am already busy trying out my new Ni.n.ja and making trial batches of baby food. OMG, you guys... it is A-MAZING!!! I am having so much fun with it. It even pureed spinach into a texture similar to butter. I freakin' LOVE this thing!

(Okay, so not my best blog post... but at least I posted a pic. That counts for something, right?)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Next...

I don't have a lot of time to post, but didn't want to leave things with the "poor me" crap.

Life it getting better. My back is on the mend and my tummy is nearly back to normal. I got through yesterday and today's photo sessions a lot easier than expected, and have just one more to go before I take a Christmas break.

EJ's toe looks like nothing ever happened. We ended up taking her to another pediatrician on Saturday because she woke up with what looked like pink eye (yeah, last week ROCKED! At least the pink eye was a false alarm.) and I was able to get another opinion about her weight. Again, this Dr. wasn't really concerned and said that she looks healthy and that she is probably just going to blaze her own trail. We'll check again on the 28th, but my mommy-sense tells me that EJ is going into a growth spurt. All she does lately is eat and sleep with no more than an hour of awake time in between eat/sleep sessions. And she's eating A LOT. I feel like my mammaries are going to explode if she goes longer than an hour and a half without eating. Oh yeah, and she is giggling now. OH. MY. GOSH!!! Best sound EVER!! I can't wait until it gets more consistent. If I could figure out how to post a video from my phone I totally would. It's so CUTE!

Last night, my family Christmas party got dumped in my lap (love the notice) so I'm scrambling to put things together. I doubt I'll have much time this week to update again, but I just wanted to let you know that I survived last week, and things are looking up.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Whine, Gripe, and "Poor Me."

This has been an awful week.  Here's why:

1. Food poisoning.  I promise I will NEVER eat another stuffed mushroom.  EVER!! 

2. Because I was sick, EJ and I were in  our pajamas (the same ones) for 2 1/2 days. 

3.  I am losing my hair. A lot.

4.  EJ was super fussy the whole time I was sick.

5.  Yesterday morning as I was bathing EJ, I noticed that her toe was bright red and SUPER swollen.  It was at least twice the size it should have been. When I looked closer I saw one of my hairs (see #3) wrapped around her toe so tight that it had cut off the circulation, (now #4 makes sense!) but it was so swollen I couldn't actually get to the hair.   I FREAKED OUT and screamed for DH, who, luckily was able to get the hair off.  I took her to the Dr. to get it checked out and it was fine. However, I did find out that...

6.  Miss E has dropped between the 10th and 25th percentile for weight.  (Which explains why almost everyone comments that she is "so tiiiny")  She will be 4 months old on Christmas Eve and she is only 10lbs. 13 oz.  And that was with a wet diaper. :(  The doc wasn't concerned because she acts perfectly happy and looks healthy (just small), and is freakishly strong... but it didn't make me feel any better.

7.  After the Dr. appt. I threw out my back trying to lift some laundry.  I can't stand, walk, or lay on my back, and can only sit for super short periods of time.  It takes an act of Congress to roll from one side to the other because I can barely move my legs or hips.  Basically - I'm screwed.  Oh yeah, and I have a 3 1/2 month old baby that I can't lift without excruciating pain and my legs giving out on me, who doesn't allow anyone to soothe her but me.  (Did I mention she has a sore toe?)

Throw in my first PP period, finals week, and a family feud and that rounds out the top 10 reasons my week sucks. 

Stay tuned for the next few days when I must find a way to miraculously heal in time for the photo sessions I have booked Sunday, Monday, and Friday.  Monday's session includes 27 mini sessions.   All kids.

Sigh.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lucky

So ya know what sucks?  Wind. Wind freakin' SUCKS!!!!

86mph winds, people.  The highest wind recorded today (about 10 min. away from my house) was 102mph. That's the same as a category 2 hurricane, folks. 

Currently we are without power, and when I left my home at around 5pm the temp inside was only 52*.  When I called the power company, they told me that they don't expect the power to be back on until Saturday at the earliest.  My neighborhood is a disaster area.  I have never seen such destruction.  I couldn't help but cry when I drove down the street and within 3 blocks counted 9 very large toppled trees.  One of my neighbors lost their roof. Not shingles - their actual roof.  My dad, who lives only 4 blocks away, has to replace his roof.  More than half of his shingles were torn off.   I am so nervous that he wont be able to make the repairs.  He's been out of work for months. 

There is so much debris!  Trees were blocking many roads in my area, making it hard to drive anywhere. 

We were lucky.  We lost part of the roof on our shed, some shingles off the roof, a few strips of siding,  and our new barbeque was ripped apart, but we are lucky.  We will be spending the next couple of days with my inlaws until the power comes back on so we don't freeze to death, and so we have food to eat (our stove/oven is electric, and we don't dare let the cold out of the fridge/freezer by opening it). There are many people that will spend the same time in emergency shelters set up in the area.

Tonight I am counting my lucky stars.  Please send positive thoughts and prayers to those around us who were not so fortunate.





Thursday, November 24, 2011

With Thanks


Just about now, a year ago today I was waking up from egg retrieval. I remember the nurse being there with a smile on her face and telling me "congratulations!" Then I remember glancing at my hand and seeing a "16" drawn on the back. I had so much hope that day.

I have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why am I not sleeping?

Because I'm a moron, that's why.

Oh, AND because I have been trying to fix my photo printer and editing photos for the last 8 hours. HOLY COW! 8 freakin' hours! Oy! (Sadly, most of that was just trying to get the print head to function, but whatev.)

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but photography has been a hobby of mine for a really long time. I have been told frequently that I have an "eye" for good shots. So, about a year and a half ago I put all of my required courses on hold and did a whole year of photography at my university. (One day I will post pics from my final project in my digital photography course. It was all about infertility and I shot pics all through my second IVF cycle. I made 1/2 of my class cry AND I got an A. BONUS!)

Anyway... tonight I was getting some photos processed for a friend (I've been doing a lot of pics for other people lately) and I remembered that I had another memory card in my bag that I needed to upload the pictures from. It turned out to be pictures from the Halloween pics took of my girls. I had forgotten that I filled 2 memory cards! Of course I think all the pictures are cute, but there was one that made me get especially weepy. It was from after the costumes came off. I had been meaning to take this particular photo since EJ was born. I know I have said it before, but my favorite quote of all time - and the one that ran through my head through so many down-times in the last few years - is "Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you aren't willing to move your feet."

That's probably why I adore the photo so much. I had to add the quote.


I am going to make a 16x20 print and hang it in my house. I can't get enough of these perfect little feet, and the little girl they belong to.

I really love my life. =)

Monday, November 21, 2011

...and then there's that.

See, I'm not even dead! Hooray!

I feel really bad because I feel like a terrible bloggy friend as of late. I have missed SO MANY posts and simply haven't had a chance to catch up. Honestly, I doubt I ever will. Hopefully it will be like missing one or two episodes of a good show. Eventually, you watch enough of the new episodes that you get the gist of what you missed. I still love you though. Really.

I think I have finally found my stride with this whole "incorporate-new-baby-into-every-day-life" thing. You would totally be impressed if you could see all the things I can accomplish with one hand. Miss E is a serious mama's girl, and has made it clear that her favorite place to be is in my arms (Hey! Mine too!) Although my house may not be as put-together as I'd like, I'm finding it hard to be annoyed. I remember all to well what it is like to have time for all those household chores (read: without baby), and I much prefer my life now. It seems that I get enough done that I don't feel totally embarrassed if I have unexpected company, but not enough that I'd actually invite anyone over (if you are reading this, you have an open invitation. I don't give this link to judgemental douchebags. LOL)

The one thing that I am still struggling with is survivor's guilt. Every time I log on here all I want to do is tell you all about my baby, and how LJ is as a big sister, and all the cute little things that make the last 8 years so very, very worth it. But every time I do, I feel like I'm rubbing it in. This is probably why there haven't been many posts lately. So, here's what I've decided. I am going to tell you all about EJ and all her cute little quirks. I want you to know how LJ is adjusting, and how my marriage is handling the new eustress. I want you to see how completely happy I am. But I also "get it". I don't want to stress you out if you are still struggling. I don't want to pressure you. So, here ya go. You have my permission (not that you need it) to ignore my blog. If you aren't feeling up to it... no biggie. I will still be here when you are ready, and I will still love you when you get back. And in between.

There. I told you. Hopefully that will be enough to kill the guilt. We'll see.

Stay tuned...




Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall

I sincerely and genuinely hope that none of you recognize this photo. For those of you that do, I am so very, very sorry.

This time of year is hard for me. It has been 2 years. On October 5th 2009 , I mourned yet another missed due date, and a week later, on October 12 learned I was pregnant. What should have been an amazing time of my life ended up being a nightmare. In the middle of November, when I left the hospital after my second surgery due to a persistent ectopic pregnancy I noticed this photo taped to my door. It was how the staff marked the rooms of women whose babies were lost. I removed it from the door and placed it with the other items I was given as momentos - a crocheted blanket, infant cap, and a tiny gold ring.

Fast forward to August of this year. My dream became a reality, and Miss E was born healthy and strong. The day after her birth, as I walked the halls with LJ by my side she pointed to another patient's door and said, "That's pretty, huh?" I looked up and instantly felt my stomach drop and a giant knot form in my throat. It was the picture from above. The air felt heavy, and I before I could explain to LJ why, I felt tears begin to stream down my face. We walked back to my room and I told LJ the photos meaning.

Later that night, as I sat alone in my room holding my precious newborn, I couldn't help but think about the woman in the next hall. I knew that she must be experiencing unimaginable grief. The kind that leaves your heart in a million little pieces and your soul shattered beyond repair. And there I was - holding my miracle. It didn't seem fair. I felt guilty.

And grateful.

It was like God was reminding me of just how lucky I am and that I shouldn't ever take anything for granted. I remember the hurt I felt 2 years ago. I still feel waves of it, even with this brand new baby in my life. I ache for the ones we've lost and I wonder if I will ever completely heal.

I hope this year is different. I know that I will still feel some anxiety as the air gets colder but I'm hoping it won't be as crippling as it was last year.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Superhero in Scrubs

I will probably win an award for the longest blog post ever, but I don't care.

Let's talk about my nurse, Andrea.

She came on shift at 5:00 Tuesday evening- 9 1/2 hours into my labor- and stayed with me until 5:00 am. The hospital that I delivered at has a policy that each woman attempting a VBAC has a dedicated nurse. This was AWESOME, because it allowed us to do a lot of talking.

At about 8:30, I sent DH home to be with LJ, knowing that I was in for a long night, and it was unlikely that EJ would be born before morning. I saw no need to keep the poor man up all night, just to watch me labor. Especially with LJ needing to be at school in the morning.

After he left, Andrea and I sat and watched Phineus and Ferb (don't judge me!) and shot the breeze between contractions, while she kept me in good spirits even though she made my them hurt worse by making me laugh through them. We spent a good part of the night walking the halls together, trying to get things to progress a little bit faster. At one point, a particularly heinous contractions grabbed me, and left me clutching the nurses station just trying to catch my breath. I managed not to cry, and actually remembered to breath through the whole thing. When it was over, I looked up to see my Dr. sitting at the desk. "Are you impressed?" I jokingly asked, proud that I had managed not to collapse during the contraction, "Not really." he said, completely serious. Andrea, just grabbed my hand, and helped me keep walking. We talked about how I knew I was losing support. At this point, I was about 18 hours in, and the staff was starting to talk. I was only dilated to about a 5, and even though my contractions where strong, and only spaced about 2 minutes apart, not much was happening (if only we had known...). With the attitude of my Dr., and the other nurses, I felt like I needed to defend my choice to keep going. I completely vented to Andrea, and told her why it was so important to me to try for the VBAC. I told her how I was scared to death that I was going to miss out on really experiencing Miss E's birth. I wanted to feel present, and like I was actually a part of it. I know that sounds crazy - but it is exactly what I missed with LJ. I didn't want that to happen again. I explained that a c-section felt like failure to me. Another sign that I wasn't meant to have children. I mean, here I am... unable to get pregnant on my own, and obviously unable to give birth on my own. How much more defective** can I be? I needed this experience to be a good one.

As we walked, she listened to me with her full attention. She was patient and kind, and did her best to be understanding. She never offered her own opinion, but was completely respectful of my choice. She never made me feel crazy, or like this task would be impossible. She was just what I needed. The more time passed, the crazier things got. Soon, the contractions where getting more and more painful. I still wasn't ready for an epidural, so Andrea suggested another medication that could be given through my IV. It didn't take the pain away, but it made it so I didn't really care about it. LOL Its effects didn't last long, but it was just enough relief to allow me to recharge for a bit. Luckily, I got the dose just before the whole breech scare, so it didn't panic me as much as it normally would have. Perfect timing.

At 5:00 am, I said goodbye to Andrea, and thanked her for being so wonderful to me. I asked if she would be there then next night, but she told me that she was off for the rest of the week. She told me that she hoped everything went smoothly, and hugged me before she left.

My new nurse was Peggy, a completely competent nurse I'm sure, but not what I'd call a "people person." Throughout the morning, she made little comments that put me back in a defensive state. She told me repeatedly that she was "ready for this labor to be over and this baby to get here." She said this in a completely irritated manner. As if I was inconveniencing her by laboring for so long. She didn't have any other patients, and obviously I was not exciting enough for her. When my Dr. came in to check on me and break my water, he was obviously frustrated. When I had talked to him during my pregnancy and asked him how long he would let me labor, he always told me "as long as you want." I just don't think he fully appreciated how committed I was.

Soon after my water was broken, my Dr. ordered the pitocin drip to be started. That's when things really took off. I had already been contracting, and thought that pain was pretty bad, but I had NO IDEA!!! I could not believe the intensity of those contractions. I asked for an epidural. I didn't expect two. When they didn't work, my nurse was annoyed. So was the anesthesiologist. Peggy was getting frustrated that it was so hard for me to breathe through the contractions. "No! Don't hold your breath! Breathe!", she kept saying. As if I was doing it on purpose. I honestly could not make my lungs inflate. The pain truly was crippling.

Around 1:30, in the middle of a horrific contraction, I opened my eyes to find Andrea standing in my doorway. "I just stopped in to see how you were doing." she said. Seeing that I was struggling, and becoming more distressed by the second, she calmly made her way to my bedside, where she took my hand and leaned over me just enough so that I could make eye contact easily. "You can do this." she told me. She modeled her breathing into a slow steady pace, gently talking me through the peak of the contraction. "Almost done" she said, glancing over to the monitor. When it was over, she explained that she had been there for a meeting and had decided to see how I was doing, but that she was on her way out. I thanked her for coming just as another contraction set in. I was already in tears and unable to speak when I heard her say goodbye and exit my room.

About 1/2 hour later someone knocked on my door. I was more than surprised to see Andrea walk back into my room... in scrubs; her street clothes peaking out from under the sterile green fabric with "central laundry" printed near the collar. "As I was leaving, I noticed they were a little understaffed, so I offered to stay and be your nurse." she told me with a soft smile. I never saw Peggy again.

For the remainder of the afternoon, Andrea sat in the chair next to my bed watching the monitors. She dropped the bottom of my bed down, and pulled out some foot rests that I was able to brace myself on, as well as handles that I could squeeze. It was the most comfortable position I could find. During each contraction, DH and Andrea took turns leaning on my knees, applying counter pressure to my pelvis to help alleviate some of the pain. I was exhausted. I hadn't slept since Sunday night, and the lack of sleep was working against me. Each contraction left me shaking uncontrollably, and sometimes sobbing. I tried meditation, and I tried talking myself through them. "It will go away... it will go away... it will go away..." Nothing was working. By 6:30 pm, I had reached my breaking point. I begged Andrea to turn off the pitocin. "I can't do it." I told her. "I'm just so tired." I sobbed. DH tried his best to calm and reassure me but it didn't work. The monitor showed that my contractions were right on top of each other, and it was impossible to find relief. I felt hopeless. Andrea checked me again. 7 cm, 0 station. EJ was "sunny-side up". Posterior. Basically, she was facing the wrong way, and it was slowing things down. All I could do was cry. I had never been in more physical pain in my life. Every contraction felt like a red hot poker stabbing my pelvic bone and each one got more and more painful. I felt like my insides were being ripped apart, and I knew there was nothing that could make it stop. I was desperate. I told Andrea to tell the Dr. I was done. I was ready for a c-section. It was just too hard. I wasn't strong enough.

I could barely get the words out. I couldn't believe what I was saying. It felt wrong down to my core, but I just couldn't do it anymore. I was in so much pain. DH and Andrea both just sat there for a few moments. Probably unsure of what to say. It was at this point that Andrea solidified herself as so much more than my nurse. "You can do this." she told me. "I know it's hard. But I know how much this means to you, and I don't want to leave here knowing that I let you quit." "No regrets." She said. "We're going to do this one contraction at a time. Can you give me just one more hour?" She pleaded. "You're in transition. This is the hardest part, but it goes quickly. 7-10 goes really fast. I'm not going to lie. It's going to suck. It's going to hurt. But you CAN do this." "Just one. more. hour." "I'd hate for you to give up now when you are so close. Just 3 more cm. Will you give me just one. more. hour."

"Okay. One more hour." I told her through sobs.

She was right. It sucked. It hurt... a lot, but I was so lost in what was happening, that I lost all track of time (tricky, tricky!). 2 1/2 hours later she checked me again. 8 1/2 cm. Just then my Dr. came in to check me also. "She starting to get a little puffy" he said. Andrea agreed and told him that she was going to have me try some other positions to see if it would help. She explained that it was my cervix that was "puffy" and she had me turn around and lean on the back of the bed (which was set up more like a chair). I think the hope was that it would help Miss E to turn so that maybe I'd progress faster than my cervix was swelling.

Now is where I should mention that my room was the room closest to both the elevators and the waiting room. Why do I tell you this? Well, because this position was the most horrifying, agonizing, and nightmare inducing part of the whole experience. I spent most of the next 45 min. screaming into the mattress at the top of my lungs, frightening every visitor that dared step onto that floor of the hospital, I'm sure. The pressure I felt was alarmingly intense, and coupled with the pain I was already in... well, I'm honestly surprised I didn't pass out. Between contractions, Andrea wheeled in everything we would need for delivery. The bassinet, the scale, and a tray of surgical tools were all brought in. I was getting excited. We were close, I just knew it.

After she set everything up she checked me again, and her face changed. She threw her gloves in the trash, and told me that it was over. "The baby is right there!" she said. But my cervix was swelling too quickly, and there was nothing that we could do about it. I had gone from an 8 1/2 to a 7, and went from being "paper thin" in effacement back to about 70%. Exactly where I had started. She looked so sad as she left to page my Dr.. It was so strange. I was equally devastated and relieved at the same time. There was finally an end in sight, just not the ending I had hoped and worked so hard for. When Andrea returned, she told me that my Dr. as well as the anesthesiologist were called into an emergency case, and I would have to wait an hour and a half. I thought I was going to die. "I know you need a Dr.'s order, but I don't care! Pleeeeaaaase turn off the pitocin!" I begged. "It's my body, and I override whatever the Dr. says anyway!" Andrea didn't hesitate at all and shut off my IV. She told me that it would only take about 10 minutes for the drug to be out of my system. Too bad my body didn't get the memo. All it did was slow down the contractions. They were still just as terrible, and just as intense. Only now, they were 3-4 minutes apart.

Everything was taken from my room. 2 other nurses came in and wheeled out the bassinet, and all the tools needed for a vaginal delivery. I watched them take my dream away.

"What do you need me to do?" Andrea asked. "What do you want me to tell the nurses that will take the baby when she is delivered?" I explained that I wanted to be there when she was weighed and measured. I wanted to hold her as soon as possible, and I didn't want them to bathe her until I could be there. She listened to everything I said and then disappeared. I didn't see her again until I was in the operating room.

As soon as Miss E was delivered, she was handed off to the NICU nurses in an adjoining room. DH went with her. As soon as he was able, he brought her back in and held her next to me. I couldn't stop smiling. As soon as I was sewn up, and they dropped the curtain, DH placed EJ in my arms and I held her as we exited the operating room. When we returned to my room, Andrea had set up the scale and a bassinet. She banned the other nurses, and she did all the measurements herself. I was so glad she was there. She was honestly so thrilled for us. She grinned the whole time she held Miss E. She happily made impressions of EJ's perfect little feet and then left us to have some time alone with our new daughter.

About an hour later, the spinal block had worn off enough that I could walk. I decided that it would be best for me to take a little jaunt through the hallways to help stave off the pain that I knew would soon set in from my incision. (Seriously, Girls... if you have to have a c-section, get up and walk ASAP. It will save your ASS!!!!) When I walked out into the hall, Andrea saw me and offered to walk with me. The whole time she praised me for getting up, and told me how amazing I was. "You're even standing up straight! That is sooo good!" She gushed. When I started to feel my legs weaken, I walked back to my room and Andrea stayed at the nurses station to finish up some paperwork.

At about 3:30 am, 14 hours after she had stepped into my room "just to check" on me, she knocked on my door to say "goodbye". She came in and held EJ for a bit longer, posed for a few pictures, and even wrote down her address so that I could send her a birth announcement. I told her how grateful I was for her, and how I would never be able to thank her enough for all she had done for me. I barely held in the tears.

When she left, I lost it.

The next day I made sure to talk to the Nurse Manager, Joyce, and tell her everything that Andrea had done. I cried through the whole meeting. I was so frustrated because no matter how hard I tried, I could not adequately portray just how important a role Andrea had played, and how grateful I was for her. I told Joyce how I was sure that I would not have gotten through the night without Andrea, and how amazed I was that she had even offered to stay with me when it was her day off to begin with. She seemed genuinely impressed, and assured me that Andrea would be recognized for such amazing care. She then asked if she could send the hospital's marketing director in to talk to me as well. I agreed instantly. He came in the next day, and I retold the story to him. He told me that they were having a special recognition dinner soon, and that Andrea would be invited and honored along with a handful of other hospital employees. I told him to give her a raise. Really? It was the very least I could do.

It has been 4 weeks. I have thought about Andrea frequently, and have started many letters to tell her "thank you", but haven't managed to get the words quite right. I'm not sure I ever will. There is so much I wish I could say to her, but it would probably just come out creepy and make me sound obsessed (which I'm sure I do in this post... sigh). But really? How do you tell someone who has affected your life so deeply just how much it has meant to you? I'm not sure the words exist. A letter is somewhere on its way to her home right now, and I can only pray that it makes her feel loved and appreciated.

I really hope she gets that raise.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Normal?

I am at a loss. Everything is so different. SO different. And in such a delightfully wonderful way, that I'm not sure it's real.

Miss E is 3 weeks old today. She had her 2 week check up on Monday, and everything is A-Okay. She is 1 ounce over her birth weight, and her Dr. seems very pleased with her growth. I am still sort of in shock that she is as big as she is. For all the estimates being no bigger than 7 lbs. 7 oz., it still has be reeling.

As far my recovery goes, well... it's going. I am to start an antibiotic today "just in case." The left side of my incision has been getting increasingly more red (both in width and length) so my Dr. called in a prescription to wipe out any possible infection. I'm not in a lot of pain most of the time, and haven't been since a day or so after the hospital. I get a little achy by the end of the day, and I am worn out by 6, but this is life. And it's fantastic.

The down-side? (*giggle) ME! I stepped on the scale on Monday, and I am currently 30lbs. below my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm not gonna lie. I'm thrilled about the weight loss. What I'm NOT thrilled about? Not having a single item of my wardrobe that fits me. Nada. Guess when EJ gets a little older we'll have to head to the outlets. YESSSSS!!!!

The only thing we are struggling with currently is nursing. Not in a terrible way, and nothing that we won't get through, but struggling nonetheless. Miss E is a slurper and it HURTS! She will not open her mouth wide! The first 2 weeks left me bruised, cracked, and bleeding and usually in tears whenever it was time to nurse on my left side. Luckily, we are passed that part, but she still slurps. It makes me crazy. I am currently waiting to hear back from the lactation consultant at the hospital where I delivered. Luckily they offer free services for a year after your baby is born. With LJ, we never had an issue. She was a pro-nurser. Miss E is just a little bit TOO in charge. LOL

Our house is just full of excitement these days. LJ is being baptized on Saturday (similar to a First Holy Communion), and Miss E will be blessed (like a Christening) next Saturday. Lots going on.

So, there's an update. I will try to check in soon, but honestly... I make no promises. =)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How I'm Doing


Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Details Details - EJ's LONG birth story.

Wow. What a week it's been. I was going to wait to post Miss E's birth story, but decided that I might as well do it now before life gets going again. Right now, I'm in a lovely state of bliss and still trying to let me new life sink in.

It all happened in such an unexpected way. After I got to the hospital on Tuesday, I asked my nurse to check with my OB about placing a Foley catheter into my cervix. I had read about it, but my OB didn't seem to think that it would do me much good since I was already dilated to a 2. Luckily, he agreed to do it anyway. I knew it would be a while since I couldn't be on the pitocin while the catheter was in place. Imagine how surprised I was to still be experiencing STRONG contractions even after my IV was turned off.

Yep, I was in labor. ON MY OWN! My contractions were steady at 2 min. apart and making it very difficult to do anything other than whimper. By 1:30 I was offered an epidural. I decided to pass, since it was still very early (I was only at a 3) and I wanted to make sure that I could still get up and move around and I knew that once the epi was in place, I was pretty much grounded to the bed. I continued to labor all night. At about midnight my nurse checked me to see how far I'd got. I was at about a 5, but that wasn't the issue. She couldn't feel EJ's head. After 2 more nurses all tried but were unsuccessful, the Dr. was paged and an ultrasound machine was brought into my room. They were all positive the baby was breech. Luckily, it was a false alarm.

By Wednesday morning, my Dr. insisted on breaking my water so that it would make it harder for EJ to move around, and possibly turn the wrong way. I agreed, and let him do it. I was so surprised how quickly the contractions turned from "hard" to "impossible." I was so sick I pretty much thought I was going to die. The contractions were so strong! I have never felt anything like that. EVER. At about noon, I decided it was time fore the epidural. Luckily, the anesthesiologist was available right then. It took a bit of patience since my contractions were so close and so strong. I was too scared to let him stick the needle in my back while I was in the middle of a contraction. Every time I'd have one, my body would shake uncontrollably. Perfect time to try ramming sharp objects into your spine, huh? Anyway, he got the epi in place and gave me the medicine. Just a "starter dose". He set up a pump and told me that if I needed more relief all I had to do was push the button. Well, after about 20 minutes I had to push the button. Twice.
Nothing. I didn't work. He came back in and placed more medicine directly in my line. I didn't help. Then he tried more... still no change. I was almost hysterical from the pain. After a last ditch effort that failed, the anesthesiologist decided that we'd have to redo the epidural. Too bad that one didn't work either. By this point I was at a 7. My only options? A c-section right then so I could have a spinal block, or I had to do it without meds. All natural. So, natural it was.

I couldn't believe how hard it was. Every contraction was stronger, and by this point I was dilating very fast. My amazing nurse (more on that another time) was great. Because I was going for a VBAC, I was her only patient. She was able to stay with me the whole time, pretty much working as a doula. She was able to help me focus even when I thought I couldn't take anymore. Still, by 6:30 I had had it. I begged to have the pitocin turned off, and to just schedule a c/s. My nurse was able to talk me off the ledge so to speak, and I promised that I'd continue with the labor for one. more. hour. I was so glad that I had taken the time to explain to her BEFORE why the VBAC was so important to me.

Then, all bets were off. 2 1/2 hours later I was deep into transition. My contractions were only 1 1/2 minutes apart and were stronger than anything I'd ever felt. The pain started in my pelvic bone, and then would spread up into my uterus. By the time I got to an 8 1/2 I was beyond exhausted. I couldn't focus my vision, and I was shaking so bad that I couldn't control my body position. My nurse checked me again. Bad news. My cervix was swelling, and fast. I had gone from 95% effaced back down to 70%, and was now only dilated to a 7.

There was nothing I could do. 38 hours into it, and I had to submit to the c-section.
As we were getting ready to go to the OR (Me, still dying... contractions still kicking my ass) my nurse took over. "Tell me what you need. What can I tell the nurses that will be taking care of the baby?" I told her my wishlist, and she disappeared. I didn't see her again until I was being prepped in the OR.

The surgery went perfectly. Miss E was trying to cry before she had even been delivered, prompting my OB to request that she please at least "wait to be born" before she started screaming. Once she was out, the overall mood lifted. DH went off with the baby while I was put back together. I could hear her crying in the next room, and I couldn't stop smiling. She was LOUD! As soon as they had given her her Apgar scores, wiped her down, given her her vit k shot, they measured her head. The pediatrician looked up at DH and told him, "your wife didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of delivering this baby vaginally." He then explained that normally a baby's head circumference is 32-33 cm. EJ's was 37.5. THIS is why it took so long for her to engage, and why it hurt so much when she finally did. It is also the probable cause for the cervical swelling.

Once she was all wrapped up and swaddled, DH was allowed to bring her back into the OR and sit with me while I was sewn up. As soon as I was done, they lowered the curtain that was over me, and DH handed me EJ. It was amazing.

When we returned to my room, we found that my amazing nurse had set everything up so that I could be there when EJ was weighed and measured, and could even participate in giving her her first bath. It was everything I missed when LJ was born.

8 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches long. Sheer perfection.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. And as always, thank you all for being such a great support system for me. There are a lot of things that I know I would not have been able to handle if it weren't for my wonderful friends inside the computer! =)


Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Tears are for Babies, too.


Hopefully sometime soon I will have the time to post Miss E's birth story. It did not go like anything I could have imagined.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Feels Like Defeat (Not the 200th post I'd hoped for...)

Tomorrow at 7:30 am, I will be induced. All I can do is sit and cry. I feel like such a failure today.

My appointment was... I don't even know. Confusing? My Dr. opened by saying that I am at the point where he would "throw in the towel" but that it was up to me. I am 2 cm. dilated, and still about 60-70% effaced. He told me that the recommendation is to not go past 42 weeks, but that his personal comfort level was 41. I am 40w5d today. He still left it to me. He seemed as if he was genuinely trying to leave the final decision in my hands. I was so frustrated because it seems like he was arguing both ways. "You could go in to labor tomorrow...", "I don't think you're going to show much progress, if any, in 2 days..." "There is absolutely no reason to go past 42 weeks..." "Maybe you just have a longer gestation time. It's all just an average anyway..."

He told me that I didn't have to make a decision right that minute, and sent me for a non-stress test. When I was done (Miss E is still content and happy. Completely perfect), I went back to talk to him. I asked him if I could just wait until Wednesday and then come back in to be checked and if I hadn't progressed further, then we'd reluctantly induce (inducing raises my chance of c-section). He told me that was fine, but then added that he would be going out of town on Thursday and would not be back until Sunday evening. My stomach sank. I know that this is not going to be a short labor. I am planning for at least 2 days of labor. I want to give it every chance I can. But if he is leaving, that changes everything. Most Dr.'s aren't as willing to let me go as long as I'd like, and are even more likely to pressure me into a c-section before I'm ready (as if I'd ever be ready) and I don't want that. I know there is no guarantee that I would go into labor while he is gone, but even if I didn't... I'd be 41w4d when he got back. How much risk am I assuming if I wait that long? And I truly feel that my best chance of a VBAC is with my Dr. But at the same time - I'm not ready. I am not ready to give up this pregnancy. I don't want to feel like a quitter. What if I just waited a few more days? Am I giving up? It feels like I am. DH keeps telling me that I am not. He's more comfortable with EJ coming sooner rather than later, and keeps praising me for making it this far. The crappy thing is that from what we've read, the longer I wait my chances of VBAC go down further and further, and EJ's safety will be more and more compromised. Yes, she's fine now. Completely content... but no one wants that to change, and odds are at some point it would. But at what point?

I have been so set on a VBAC, that this feels like defeat. My cervix is not "favorable" and my Dr. thinks that the "trial of labor" will pretty much be pointless, but he's willing to let me try anyway. I freakin' hate this. I don't want to feel like a failure. Is there really any reason to induce now? Am I really risking anything by waiting until 42 weeks, at which point I will actually be "post term".

I feel so out of control with it all. I am hoping for another miracle. I hope that either A) my water breaks tonight, or my contractions send an obvious signal that I am in labor on my own, or B) tomorrow's induction is all that my body needs to be able to do this, and I get my VBAC anyway.

Please, no negativity in the comments. I am struggling so hard with this. This is not the ending that I expected, and I'm having a hard time dealing with it. I know that it's not really about how she is delivered. I get that. But it's just another part of the dream that could be taken from me. Please try to understand that.


This is certainly not how I expected to spend my 30th birthday.

(If you know me in real life, please, please, please do not mention this to anyone. I think I'm going to keep the induction to myself. I can't handle a single "I told ya so". Just pretend you don't know anything, k?)


Friday, August 19, 2011

Patience and Annoyance

Seriously, what's the rush? Miss E is alive and well, and I'm not completely miserable. Granted, my mobility is a bit compromised, but I'll survive. I've pretty much decided that there is no reason to preoccupy my thoughts with things like, "when is she coming". I'm just going to stay close to home, and try my best to relax. I only have 2 full days left of my 20's, and only 2 days left to enjoy at home with LJ before she goes back to school.

Have I ever mentioned how bad I HATE back to school? I hate the thought that I am legally required to send my child to school, in the care of a complete stranger, for 7 hours a day. I MISS HER, DAMNIT and I'm not looking forward to it. I know it's good for her, and I know that she loves it, but still. I'm selfish. I love my daughter, and I get sad when I can't talk to her whenever I want. Stoopid school. Oh, and this year instead of back-to-school night they are doing back-to-school morning. YUCK! The first day of school should be a time for the kids to get acquainted with each other and get familiar with their new surroundings (and for mom's like me to be able to sit home and cry in peace!). It should not be "organized chaos" where parents and kids are running from session to session in the midst of all the regular first day craziness. I am highly annoyed. Like the first day isn't crazy enough. And that's just MY feelings. I imagine it is even worse for parents who work during the day. LJ's school has over 700 students. That's a lot of parents that would have to take time off work.

I think it's a bad idea all around.

So, in a nutshell... Miss E is still cooking, and I'm dreading back to school. A lot. It's almost like legalized kidnapping, if you ask me. (a bit of a stretch, sure... but work with me, people!) I have 2 days left until I turn 30, and I'm a little peeved at how I will be spending the day.

Okay, back to sewing. I'm still working on those sleep sacks. =)



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Laughing Beats Crying

How did I pass the time on my due date, since I obviously was not birthing a child?

I went shopping. Yesssssss!

I walked the mall a few thousand times with a friend, and did a bit of school shopping for LJ. (3 pairs of cute shoes for $25! I was so proud!) When I got home, I decided to look online for some sleep sacks for Miss E since I couldn't find any in the stores. If you aren't familiar with what a sleep sack is, it is basically what used to be referred to as a baby bunting: A heavy nightgown that zips down the front, with or without sleeves. They are supposed to be used instead of a blanket at night, and have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. Anywho... I couldn't find any for less than $20, and I'm super cheap. I decided I'd just go buy the fabric and make them myself. At 40 weeks pregnant - which is so totally a good idea seeing as I have to crawl around on the floor and leeeaaaaan over to be able to cut out the pattern. I am sooooo smart. Genius, really.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. DH helped and luckily the pattern is only 4 pieces. I was pretty proud of myself. I figured out a MUCH easier way to put the zipper in than the pattern suggested. It took a bit longer than anticipated (about 3 hours), but this was with me breaking 2 needles and my serger protesting the fabric and making me re-thread it multiple times. I'm pretty sure I could sew another one in 1/2 the time, assuming I get to the store tomorrow and buy the right needles.

Here's how it turned out:


It's okay... until you look closely. Notice how all the butterflies are upside down? AWESOME! And it's hard to tell in the picture, but the sleeves are on backward. (Told ya I was a genius!)

Yeah, I pretty much rock. Actually, it made me laugh pretty hard. It make me imagine how goofy it will look on EJ, with the little mittens on backward. I used an invisible zipper that is pretty hard to see (hence the term "invisible"), so I'm pretty sure that when she wears it, it will just look like her head is on backward. I'm sorry, but that's pretty freakin' funny! Go ahead, picture it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

This is probably what I get for beginning a never-before-attempted sewing project at 10:30 at night. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. I have 7 more to make. (*giggle, giggle, snort!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Update

4 days of contractions and guess what... STILL at only 1 cm dilated and 60-70% effaced. While I was there, he was able to feel a couple of my contractions and he told me that I am "very likely" to go into labor at anytime. *sigh. I'm not that hopeful. After he checked my cervix, I asked him if it was possible to strip the membranes if I went too far over my due date. He told me that he had just tried when he checked me, but couldn't reach. Nice. He told me to schedule another appointment for Monday, just in case.

I had a little talk with him about Thursday/Friday, and he pretty much stopped me before I could begin by saying that he had had a "little chat" with the nurse I had spoken to, and had "ripped into her". Apparently, this is not the first problem there has been with this particular nurse, and he told me how grateful he was that she's "just a part-timer." He told me that he was pretty pissed, and apologized for how "unprofessional" she had been, and that he couldn't believe how she jumped so quickly to the c-section thing. She wasn't very apologetic with him, either, and continued to try to defend her reasoning, which he called "total B.S." It was a long weekend for him and I am really grateful that he took care of it for me. He was in a much better mood today, so I'm wondering if he's just not a "phone" person, and that's why he seemed so annoyed when I talked to him on Friday.

I feel MUCH better. =)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Frustration

Have you ever had an experience that left you a little bit annoyed when it originally happened, but then the more you think about it the more pissed off you got?

That's where I'm at right now. PISSED!

I told you about our fun trip to L&D on Thursday, and left you with the knowledge that I was waiting for my Dr. to follow up with me to give me further instruction. So, let's pick up where we left off shall we? Perhaps with a bit more detail?

When I called and left the message for my Dr. I was told that it was his night to stay late in the office and it was likely that he wouldn't get to returning phone calls until after office hours. I told the nurse that was fine. I had no problem with that. Well, I waited until 11 pm, but he never called. That night was awful. I continued to have mild contractions every few minutes that were making me so sick to my stomach that I could neither sleep or concentrate on anything else. The contractions themselves weren't really painful, just uncomfortable at times - pretty much the exact same as they were during our time in L&D earlier in the day. As soon as the office opened the next morning, I called. The nurse explained that my Dr. was out of the office and that out of 10 providers there was only ONE there that day, and that he was overbooked and in no way could take my call or see me. When the nurse asked what sort of issue I was having I explained; Still having mild contractions every 2-3 minutes apart, and horrible nausea. I told her that pretty much nothing had changed since I left labor and delivery. I told her that I didn't need to go back to the hospital, but I was wanting to talk to one of the doctors so that I knew the warning signs for when I DID need to go back. Since I was already having contractions closer together than the 5 minutes apart that you would "normally" go to the hospital, I was at a loss. I have no idea what I'm doing! And since this same nurse had sent me to the hospital originally, and told me that because I was wanting to attempt a VBAC my Dr. wanted me to go get checked if "there (was) any tightening or contraction-like feeling at all", it made it even harder now that I was sent home while having regular contractions. I was just looking for instructions since I wasn't given any when I left the hospital. Period.

She asked me a bit of history, and then proceeded to get all intense and scary. She looked up my chart, and when she saw that I had a previous child by c/s for "failure to progress", she freaked. She told me that I needed to go back to L&D because contractions 2-3 minutes apart are just "too close". She asked me if I was willing to do a c-section today. When I told her "no", she told me "then I'm not even going to page Dr.___, since the only reason I would be calling is to ask him to do the cesarean." She then asked me to hold while she went to consult the Dr. that was in the office. When she came back she repeated that I needed to go back to the hospital. "Now is not the time to be holding out for a VBAC just because you don't want a c-section. You need to think about your baby. "We don't want her to go into distress. She will be stressed enough just going through the birth process." Every time I told her that I didn't feel like anything had changed since I was at the hospital she'd say "yes, but today is a new day, and those contractions are just too close." She told me that she had had 3 c-sections. After the first she just wasn't willing to "risk it." When I asked her why, if they were too close did they send me home in the first place, she changed the subject.

I just about lost it. Are you freaking kidding me?!?! First of all, these contractions are just about worthy of a laugh. Barely strong enough to be felt, and obviously not strong enough to be changing my cervix at all or they would have kept me at the hospital. My only real complaint about them is the nausea that they are causing. Miss E had been fine and was keeping with all of her normal patterns of movement and sleep times, all the way down to when she gets the hiccups.

By the time I hung up the phone, I was in tears. She made it sound like I had to go to the hospital and if nothing had changed, I had to have a c-section. She made me feel selfish for wanting to wait, and stupid for believing that nothing was wrong and like I was risking EJ's life by being hesitant.

As we were about to walk out the door, my phone rang. It was my Dr..

He sounded so annoyed that it made me feel guilty. I hadn't even expected him to call. I'm not sure if the nurse ended up paging him, or if he was just then getting around to returning my call from the day before. I explained to him what had happened at labor and delivery the day before, what was currently happening, and then what the nurse had said. He told me that the longer I stayed home, the better my chance of a VBAC. "The less intervention, the better." He said with the contractions they way there were, he wasn't worried. "It could be Monday" he said. As long as I didn't go passed 41 weeks, I was fine. He told me that the nurse I spoke to was "kind of a dweeb", and that I was fine to stay home as long as I felt the baby was fine, and that I didn't feel any significant changes.

That was all I needed. I was so relieved that I ended up hanging up, and going to bed. I slept until 3:30 pm. I'm not sorry.

But now, here I am getting more and more pissed. He was soooo annoyed on the phone with me. He made me feel better with what he was saying, but so embarrassed to have needed him in the first place. Like I was calling just to bother him. Okay, I get it. I know that he had a busy day the day before, and he told me when he called that he was on-call for the entire practice, but still. I changed providers at 21 weeks so that I could have a Dr. that was more accessible. I have NEVER called or paged him before this. I am not one of those patients that calls everyday with a new issue, and I have pretty much been grateful for every single moment of this pregnancy and tried my very best not to complain about ANYTHING. The only thing that I have even brought up to him is the swelling in my legs and only because a) The swelling is very much uneven and my left leg is twice the size of my right (and that's saying something!) and b) I can barely walk by the end of the day. They get so big that the bottom of my feet round to the point that my toes don't touch the ground. Seriously. It's gross, and it HURTS! There I said it. Not everything has been wonderful, but I have done my best to ignore the bad parts. I am pissed that he treated me like such an inconvenience. My whole conversation with him was less than 5 minutes. Really, is that so much to ask?

And the nurse... oh, the nurse. What a freaking joke. I can understand her concern if there had been more to what was going on. If the contractions were more painful, or if my water had broken. If I had a fever, or if Miss E wasn't active. But nothing like that was happening. I was in the EXACT SAME SITUATION that I had been in when the nurses in L&D (and I'm assuming my Dr. since I'm pretty sure he had to give the okay to release me) had deemed safe enough for me to go home the day before. I just wanted some reassurance, and to know what to watch for for "real" labor. I know that this is something I can't play around with. Even though the risk is minimal, there is a risk of uterine rupture because of my prior c/s. If that happens the result is NEVER good. So why was it so hard to just get some simple information? It was my understanding that that is EXACTLY why we go to Dr.'s in the first place!

UGH! I have an appointment on Monday and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I feel bitchy enough to walk in there and rip into the Dr., but at the same time, I'm not sure it's the best time to piss him off, ya know? As far as the nurse goes, I will be speaking to the office/nursing supervisor. Her behavior was simply uncalled for. Just because she was so willing to have a c-section 3 times does not mean that it is right for everyone. If it comes down to that for me - then fine, but I at least want to TRY to avoid it.

How would you hand this situation? Would you let it go, or would you feel comfortable approaching the subject with the Dr.?

Chances are, I'll cool off before my appointment, but this is how I'm feeling now and boy, do I feel better getting it all out. If you made it this far - thank you. I know it was a long, jumbled post.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Psych!

Another trip to L&D. This time it was super annoying. I called my Dr. this morning because I was so nauseous that I was in tears. The waves of "OMG, I'm going to vomit!" were intense, and actually came in waves. The top of my belly would tighten (painlessly) and I would swear I was going to puke. However, it was nothing I would call a contraction.

Well, because I was having some tightening and am trying for a VBAC my Dr. sent me to L&D just to be safe. (I was hoping for some zofran and a list of things to watch for.)

It took forever to get back to a room, but once hooked to the monitors I was pretty surprised to watch the little hills appearing on the screen. Every two minutes. And I could feel these ones! It was what I was calling my "waves of nausea" before. Nope, not tummy issue, just contractions. HOLY CRAP, REAL CONTRACTIONS!! I was still nauseous for sure, so they hooked me up to an IV and gave me a big 'ole dose of zofran along with a bag of saline. I felt SO. MUCH. BETTER! Now the only time I thought I was going to puke was at the peak of a contraction, which somehow got stronger after the meds. Maybe I just could feel them better without the sick feeling?

So, imagine my surprise (*eyeroll) when I was STILL only at a 1, and 70% effaced. =( They had me finish my IV and then sent me home. I am currently waiting for my OB to call me so I can ask him what this all means. Before - he had told me that regular contractions were labor contractions. Braxton Hicks are not regular and often can't even be timed. So what the hell was this? I wish they would have had me stay just a bit longer so that they could have at least checked me one more time before I left. I'd be lying if I didn't say it was a bit exciting. With LJ, I didn't get to contractions like these until day 2 of Pitocin. Hopefully, this is a good sign, right?

For now, here I sit... at home. Contracting every 2-3 minutes with varying intensity (nothing too painful, just uncomfortable and sometimes making me hold my breath), waiting for my OB to call.

Sorry I have nothing more exciting to report... but hey, it's a start, right?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Less Than Perfect (an epic, long post)

Today's appointment was disappointing. I'm still stuck at 1 cm dilated (that's 3 weeks in a row in case you were wondering), and only progressed to 70% effaced. It's not looking good for my much hoped for VBAC.

My Dr. said that he has seen things change very quickly, yet the pessimist in me has already convinced me that this isn't going to work. At this point, if I don't dilate at least to a 3 on my own, the VBAC is doomed. He told me today that he simply didn't see the point in trying if I can't get that far on my own. If I don't get to a 3 by 41 weeks, c-section it is.

Here's the other part that sucks.

My due date is 9 days away, with my 30th birthday only 5 days behind that. Remember my original goal? I was going to be done having kids by my 30th birthday. (Granted, when I made this plan, I was naive enough to think that plans actually came to fruition and that I'd have my 4 babies by then! The nerve!!) Now, I know that the original plan went out the window, oh say... 8 years ago... but this was just one thing that I was looking forward to. "At least I'll have 2" I thought. Well, it's not looking so promising. I know it's silly, but it bugs me.

Another part that sucks? LJ goes back to school on my birthday, too. If I go to 41 weeks, it will be the middle of the first week of school. I had this vision of us being able to just spend some time at home - just the 4 of us - getting to know each other, and bonding as a family before LJ got thrown into her school routine. I know it will be difficult enough to adjust to having a baby in the house, but that and school at the exact same time? It may be a bit rough on her.

I know I'm totally missing the big picture. Either way, when this is over I will (hopefully) have a real-live baby coming home. That's the whole point, right? The method of delivery really doesn't matter. And yet, it does to me. A lot.

I need this. I need my body to prove to me that I was meant to have children, that I can at least give birth ON MY OWN and that my body isn't completely faulty. I know to some that sounds so crazy, but it is truly how I feel. Personally, it is a huge deal to me. I need to do this. I actually need it. I think it's the final piece of the puzzle that I lost, something to help me feel whole again.

Besides, with LJ, I missed out on SO MUCH! Granted it only takes a few minutes to get the baby out during a c-section, but what they don't tell you is that it takes around 40 minutes to sew you back up, and the operating room is kept cooler than a normal delivery room to prevent the growth of bacteria. This isn't the optimal place for a newborn, so frequently (as in my case with LJ's birth) the baby is quickly whisked away to be checked out and given their apgar scores. The hard part is that you don't go with them. I heard my daughter's first cries coming from another room. I found out what she weighed by her crib card. I missed her first bath. I had no idea what her apgar scores were until I got my medical records when I found out I was pregnant this time. My mom and my MIL saw her sweet face before I did. (The topic of a whole other post.) When I finally was moved back to my room after surgery and they brought her to me, I was so numb that I didn't feel strong enough to even hold her. They placed her in my arms, but I was so weak that I felt like I was going to drop her. I passed her to DH just to be safe, assuming I'd get to hold her when the epidural wore off. Well, by that time I was being moved to my post-partum room. Once we got settled, I sent DH to get LJ. He returned without her, explaining that they wouldn't let him have her and that a nurse would be in to talk to us soon. When she came in, she told us that LJ had "transient tachypnea." Basically, due to the c-section, the fluid wasn't properly squeezed out of her lungs, and she couldn't breathe.

This was followed by 4 days in the NICU (I know it could be worse), without being able to hold my baby. She was allowed to grip my finger, but I couldn't even stroke her fingers because her respiration rate would increase too much. Oh, and did I mention that the nurse was a troll? She was. Bad teeth and all. It was a truly horrible experience. (At one point she yelled at me until I was in tears because I changed LJ's diaper.)

Do you see why this VBAC is such a big deal to me? It's not the pain. It's not the recovery time. It's not even the increased cost. IT'S THE EXPERIENCE! For me, my c-section was like being absent for my child's birth. Can you tell I have issues?

I want this more than I can ever express. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to help my body along. I am stuck in limbo. I don't know how to process this. I mean, I knew a c-section has always been a possibility, but I thought my chances were much higher of a vaginal birth so I didn't really let myself worry too much about the surgery. If it came down to a c-section after laboring for an amount of time I was comfortable with - then so be it. But now, it feels much further out of reach.

Hopefully I will be one of those women whose cervix change quickly, and we'll all be pleasantly and unusually happy to know that I will get to endure (what I'm told is) the horrifying pain that is natural child birth. (meaning vaginally, still haven't decided on meds)

Please, let that be me!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Updates (not a good post if you are feeling sensitive today...)

I have so much to be thankful for.

First, my awesome cousins E, H, and C threw me a baby shower. I am still in awe at how cool it was. And I'm even more amazed that I was able to keep it together for pretty much all of it. I only got a little misty once or twice, but I never let a tear fall. I never, ever, EVER thought I'd get this chance again. I was so surreal to see all these adorable little things and to know that they are for my baby. MY. BABY!!!! OH MY GOSH!!! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!! I was humbled beyond belief that so many people came and were so supportive. The gifts were totally just the icing on the cake. It meant even more that they just showed up, ya know? This is such a huge deal to me, and it meant so much to be able to celebrate, actually CELEBRATE with people that I love.

The next day, my besties threw a girls night in my honor. It was amazing. We just chilled out and talked, and ate lots and lots of delicious food. It really doesn't get much better than that. They had all gone in on a wonderful bag-o-goodies for Miss E, and it was pretty much just a perfect night. It's amazing how seemingly "little things" can mean so much. Again, it wasn't about the gifts. Just the love. (How sappy does that sound?)

I have spent the last 2 days running around like a mad woman trying to wrap things up. I washed the car seat and covers to the swings as well as anything fabric even remotely related to Miss E. I used the cash I got at the shower and purchased a Bo.p.py, that I am super excited to make a cover for (it came with one, but I want to make some that match the blankets and burp clothes that I made... why not?)

As for progress that doesn't require loads of cleaning, or driving time... I'm not making much. Actually, I'm not making any. =( At my Dr. appointment on Monday, I was still only dilated to a 1, and holding steady at 60% effaced. No change at all from last week. This freaks me out more than I can tell you. With LJ, my c-section (read: experience that has left me scarred for life) was due to "failure to progress." My OB has warned that if I do not have a "favorable cervix" a VBAC is unlikely. So, I have been overdoing it. Intentionally. I have stayed on my feet waaaay too long most days, and done more walking than I thought was physically possible for me to do, all with the hopes that I will get some good news on Monday and that gravity will have pulled the little one a little farther towards my cervix - enough to put some pressure on the stubborn thing, and it will have progressed a bit (anything, really). I'm in no rush to actually go into labor, but I would really like to help my body along so that when it does come time, no scalpel will be required. (oh, a girl can dream.)

Other than my extreme case of elephantitis from the knees down, I'm am feeling pretty dang good. I manage to sleep through the majority of the night, and I have finally got the acid reflux under control with the help of 40 mgs. of Ome.prez.ole. Mother Nature has decided to cut me a break, and even my allergies have seemed to lessen as of late. I have decided to stop the scale watching and just accept the fact that I will NOT be making my recommended weight. I am stressing too much over it, and at this point, I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to catch up. I have to let it go. EJ is measuring just over 6lbs. and the doctor says she is healthy. That has to be enough. So my baby won't be all roley-poley. Oh, well. I have tried, but there is nothing else I can do.

So, there's my update. At this point, I have no idea what the next post will say... either "still waiting" or "she's here", so in the meantime, I'll just leave you with some eye-candy of EJ/Miss E from Monday. (She does have some super cute chubby cheeks, no?)


** I promise she's not disfigured. Just an awkward angle skewing 1/2 of her face.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

We're Going to Have Our Hands Full

Today was... um, terrifying.

We spent the morning puppy-sitting my Dad's new chocolate lab. He's super adorable, and makes LJ all kinds of happy. When he came to pick him up, we sat and talked for about an hour. Just shooting the breeze and chilling out. While I was talking with him, Miss E was moving around like crazy. It was silly to watch, because it almost seemed as if she was trying to kick things off of my "lap." (yeah, like I have a lap at this point.)

Anyway.

After he left, I decided that I was going to just relax for a bit. Funny, but E wasn't moving any more. I figured she was just asleep. About an hour later, she still hadn't moved. "Probably just squished in there. I'm sure she's fine." I thought. Another hour passed, and I started to freak out. I hopped in the tub, where she normally becomes very active. I can sit and watch her move for a good 30 minutes... usually. This time - nothing. I could feel where her little bum was, so I used the palm of my hand to push her. Hard. She simply moved down, but only from the force of my hand. Then I waited for her to kick me. She usually doesn't appreciate being "told" where to go, so I figured she'd surely protest if I pushed on her. Nothing. I got out of the tub, and had LJ bring me a Coke, that I drank through a straw while lying in bed on my left side. 5 min... 10 min... 15 min... with nothing. Queue the tears. At 20 minutes I called my OB. They sent me to labor and delivery.

So, there I am trying not to completely freak out while lying to LJ, ("oh, I forgot I forgot I have an appointment today up at the hospital for a quick test") while texting my Dad about what going on and making arrangements for him to babysit. We got all loaded into the car (I drove... DH's cast isn't exactly driving-friendly) and headed out. This is about where my heart about exploded because everyone was driving SO DAMN SLOWLY! And it occurred to me that the hospital isn't nearly as close as it has seemed every other time we have been there. Longest 15 minutes EVER! Just before we got to the hospital, I thought I might have felt something, but it was so small I wasn't sure.

Once we arrived it took another 20 minutes to get registered and hooked up to the monitors.

132 bpm. I almost puked.

Then she moved. BIG. The giant "whoosh" that echoed through the room through the monitor made me almost pass out from relief. I watched intently as her heartbeat jumped all over. From 117-184 bpm. She kept moving. At that point, I didn't care that I looked like a giant idiot for coming to the hospital when she was obviously just trying to scare the shit out of me. Well done, EJ. Task accomplished.

After about an hour, we were sent home. Happy, safe, and HEALTHY, with a few more gray hairs to show for the experience. What a stinker! She's already grounded until she's 5. I'm not even kidding. (well, maybe just a little.)

One interesting tidbit of info we learned: I'm contracting. A lot. Not big contractions, (I can't even feel them) but they are steady and regular. What does this mean? NOT A DANG THING! Another thing I learned? My doctor likes to go out of town without warning his patients. Nice. I'm a little irked by that one. I have another appointment on Monday. We'll be discussing.

As for now... I'm heading to bed to put my cankles up and hopefully bask in the delight of feeling my daughter try her best to keep me awake all night long. Go ahead, Missy E. Do your thing. I'll be happy to watch my tummy dance as long as you're willing to make it do so. And please, for the love - NEVER DO THIS TO ME AGAIN!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

An annoying pregnancy-related post, complete with pics.

I couldn't resist, and must share. (That's a good sign, right?)



Miss E @ 36w5d

Obviously, there is something in front of her face, probably her arm, but I couldn't help it. I love this picture!

My Dr. appointment was pretty uneventful. I forgot all of the questions I was going to ask, so it was a pretty quick trip. I am still only dilated to a 1, but I am now 60% effaced. I REALLY hope that things get a little better in the weeks to come and that my body doesn't crap out on me and force me into a c-section. I know there are worse things, but I really just don't want a repeat of LJ's birth story. I am a bit more prepared for a c-section should one be needed, but it certainly would not be ideal. Not being able to hold my baby for at least 40 minutes after delivery (assuming my epidural allows me to), and finding out most of her stats after the fact is just not what I want. I know it's still early, but hearing my OB tell me that my cervix is "not favorable" at this point threw me for a loop. There is plenty of time for it to change, but it made my anxiety-prone self worry a bit too much. I guess I just thought things were a little better than they are. *Sigh*

And, since I think I might regret it if I don't do one of these at least ONCE during my pregnancy... here goes:

How far along? 36 weeks 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: 1 lb. gained.
Maternity clothes? Mostly. My belly hasn't gotten too big, so I have a few items that I can still comfortably wear from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe.
Stretch marks? A whole crop stretched just above my belly button. They don't bother me at all. I'm proud of them. =)
Sleep: Lately it is harder to stay asleep. I have terrible acid-reflux at night that usually wakes me at least twice. Sometimes it even makes me throw up. Luckily, DH lets me sleep in, so it's really not a big deal.
Best moment this week: I am assuming this has to be pregnancy related, so I'll say seeing Miss E during my ultrasound today was pretty freakin' spectacular. (as usual)
Movement: She's mellowed out quite a bit in the last week or so, to the point of scaring me a few times, but as soon as I'm ready to call L&D, she gets the point and starts moving around like crazy.
Food cravings: I haven't really had any cravings lately other than lots and lots of ice water. With LOTS of ice. MMMMMM
Gender: Girl
Labor Signs: None really. Braxton Hicks don't count.
Belly Button in or out? Innie. But barely.
Wedding rings on or off? Off. My legs from the knee down, as well as my hands are enormous. It's the only thing that is really bothering me. It makes my joints stiff, and my feet feel bruised all of the time.
What I miss: Not a damn thing!
What I am looking forward to: Of course I'm looking forward to meeting her, but I'm bitterly sad that my pregnancy is almost over. I don't want it to end!
Weekly Wisdom: Caffeine is the devil.
Milestones: I hit 37 weeks (full term) on Wednesday.

Okay, I'm going to go eat a piece of lemonade pie (OMG, delish!) and stare at ultrasound pics for a bit before I hit the hay. I'll try to update again on Monday. =)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Moving Along

I'm still here. Kind of.

Things are still crazy, and I am running out of time at an astonishing rate, but things are good. DH has had pretty much zero pain from the surgery, so it's really just more of an inconvenience than anything.

My house still looks like a storage unit, with all kind of furniture out of place - either waiting to go to the actual storage unit, or to be picked up by new owners. It's the laundry that will be the death of me. My upstairs hallway is one big fire hazard. The entire corridor is lined with garbage bags full of miscellaneous fabric items waiting to be cleaned and organized. I think they will be there until I die. Pretty sure.

Right now, my current priority is packing my hospital bag. I think this wee little one will be here within 2 weeks, and I haven't even packed my bag! How did this happen? I printed out a suggestion list of what to pack from th.e bu.mp, and it is pretty awesome. Now just to gather the items. I am slowly realizing that I am not nearly as prepared as I thought I was. I have a lot that I still need to pick up. I have been scouring stores both physically and online to find the perfect outfit to bring Miss E home in, and have come up miserably short. I found ONE outfit that I thought was perfect for the occasion, but it was unavailable in the right size. I almost cried.

Speaking of Miss E, she is begun making arrangements for her arrival. At my last check I was already beginning to dilate (!) and she seems to be in the correct position to attempt a VBAC. She's a bit on the small size (which is really not very surprising seeing as I am STILL 2 lbs under my pre-pregnancy weight) weighing in at an estimated 5 lbs. 5 oz. Oh, and she was kind enough to flip-off my Dr. - in 4D - when he tried to get her to turn so that we could get a picture of her face. She gets it from her Dad, I'm sure.

Apparently, I am positive for Group B Strep, which I was surprised about. I didn't have it with LJ, so I expected that it would be the same this time. My Dr. said that it is pretty much a non-issue anyway, as long as I get IV antibiotics during labor.

Okay, I think I've brought you all up to date. I'm off to pack my bag. =)

Oh, and if any of you happen to stumble upon an outfit like this one (the pink) in a local store... PLEASE let me know! This is from Ma.cy's but of course, not the right size. TIA





Friday, July 15, 2011

Hurdle #1 Cleared

DH's surgery went well today. (Or yesterday, but whatever. Days are separated by sleep, therefore it was today. LOL)

They put him in a super smelly splint that makes me want to gag every time I come near him (seriously, I swear the dipped the damn thing in fish guts before they put it on his foot! Probably enough to last the 2 weeks he has to wear it. GAG!!!), but he is in zero pain for now. He had a nerve block before the operation that should hopefully last until tomorrow afternoon. Then the pain pills should take over from there.

Anyway... the next 2 weeks are going to suck like crazy, but in the end it will all be worth it.

Sorry for the mini-updates, but it's the best I can do for now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Remember when...

...I said 7 weeks?

Doc says 3. We'll see if his prediction comes true. Like I said, no induction.

So PLEASE, Miss E.... wait a while, k?

Friday, July 1, 2011

I should be sleeping...

...but instead I'm letting myself be, um. I don't even know.

I only have 7 weeks left! =) I only have 7 weeks left =(

I can't believe it's almost over. She's going to be here before we know it and although I'm absolutely giddy with excitement to see her precious little face... I'm so sad that it's almost! over! Where did the time go?

I lay here at night and watch my belly dance and all I can think about is how incredibly lucky we are. Even though there is so much going on right now and stress is nearly overwhelming, I am so happy. Right now, I have little EJ all to myself. I've needed this experience for so long and I am so sad to see it come to and end. I know, I know... I still have 7 weeks, but that is really not very long. I will miss her using my bladder as a trampoline, and stretching out sideways so I look like I have a watermelon in my shirt. I will miss her getting all hyperactive about 20 minutes after I eat, and I will miss my little mental conversations with her in the middle of the night after I've gotten up to pee for the 40th time.

This has been such a different experience for me. I am so much more appreciative. With LJ I was so naive, and took so so much for granted. And although by most people's standards I have plenty to complain about, I am LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF THIS! I get really frustrated when people try to get me to complain, or make comments like they pity me for being pregnant in the summer. OMG! NOT SUMMER! (*eye roll) "Aren't you just miserable?" , "I'm dying of heat, I can't even imagine how awful you must feel!"... this kind of thing. Okay, first of all... I am not miserable in the slightest. I'd spend my 40 weeks in Hades if it meant I got to bring this baby home. And really? Hot? The warmest it's been is 92*. WHAAAA! I have an air conditioner, and I'm not idiotic enough to spend my days out in direct sunlight. Why is this so hard for people to understand? Bottom line: I signed up for this. I begged God everyday for 8 years for this miracle. Why, for any reason - would I complain about it? This is EXACTLY what I asked for. This is not to say that pregnancy is always easy, but it IS always wonderful, and should never be treated as anything other than the miracle it is. Oh, and if one more person asks me if I'm going to be induced so that I can "just get her out of there", I'm going to kill someone. SHE'LL COME WHEN SHE'S FREAKIN' READY! She has my permission to use my uterus for as long as we're both healthy. I don't care if she waits until September! I am not going to wish this away for any reason! So, no. If I get my way, I won't be induced AT ALL! Ugh.

Wow. Sorry. Didn't realize all that was bugging me so bad. I do feel a bit better though. LOL

Oh, and I really need to thank you all for your kind comments to my last post. Things are still crazy, and time is just a'ticking away, but I really will survive. I know that I have so much to be grateful for, and that above all is affecting me daily. Although things are chaotic and I don't have any spare time (like I said.. I should be sleeping), I really am happy.

Thank you all for taking such great care of me. I heart you! Hopefully sometime soon I'll have a chance to catch up with all of you. But seriously. Thanks for always being here for me!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I will survive...

DH is scheduled for surgery in 3 weeks and will need a total of 3 months to recover. He will have his cast removed 2 days before my due date.

I am having gallbladder attacks (thinks the doc) and am going in for more tests tomorrow.

LJ has nightly rehersals for The. Wiz.ard of O.z. and shows running through July 5th.

EJ is breech and only in the 25% for weight, and I can't figure out how to stop losing weight.

And, the only "vacation" I was going to get has been cancelled due to flooding at the location.

I know, it could be much worse... but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I'm afraid blogging will most likely have to wait.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Point of View (PICTURE POST)


8.5 weeks. That's all I have left until my due date. It has gone by ridiculously fast for me and I'm finally to the point that most of the dread has passed.

I have been reading a lot of my favorite blogs lately with a bit of jealousy. I love looking at ultrasound/belly pics and yet, I haven't posted any of my own. So - I figured, what the hell. This was meant to be another volume of my journals, so I'm going to post a couple of pics here and there. And since this whole blog is written from my point of view, that's what you get with the belly shot. =)

I went from this...

Day of transfer (only 2 days into the heparin)


to this -
29 weeks

Granted, that last pic was taken nearly 3 weeks ago, but to tell you the truth... I look the EXACT same! I'm starting to wonder if I will get much bigger than this. With LJ, I never looked much further than about 7 months, so maybe it will be the same this time. (I can still wear my pre-pregnancy clothes if I use a rubber band.)

Everything is going really well. The anemia is under control and I haven't had any side effects from the iron. The only not-so-pleasant thing that I have going on is some adema in my legs/feet. My feet keep getting so puffy that my skin feels like it's on fire, and my legs will actually dent if I push on them. But honestly, it's not horrible. It's only uncomfortable at night, and the rest of the time it gives me a wonderful excuse to stay off my feet. =) I've been drinking more water and trying not to do so much and it really seems to be helping. I only gained 3 pounds at my last appointment (Dr. thinks it's the adema) and I am still 4 lbs. under my pre-pregnancy weight. EJ is estimated at 3 lbs. 7 ounces as of a week and a half ago, and everything looks good. (Except for my feet. LOL)


And finally - the reason I am so very very happy to be doing this:

4D Ultrasound from 4/17/11

She's perfect. She's silly (kicked her Daddy in the head twice today just to say "Happy Father's Day", I'm sure!) and she's exactly what our family has been needing. Her middle name will be "Joy", because there is simply no better way to describe her.

She is worth every. single. tear. that has been shed in the last 8 years. She is worth celebrating. She is worth seeing on this blog, and she is a miracle.

Life is so good right now.