Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We did it!

I'm really wiped out so we'll keep this short.

Natalie Grace was born at 12:41 p.m. yesterday, weighing 7 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 19 inches long. We successfully did a pitocin-induced birth with no pain medicine. It was intense and wonderful and I'm so glad we successfully experienced that and I couldn't have done it without Jay and my favorite nurse Beth. Afterwards, the placenta didn't detach and I don't know much of the details, because I had to have serious pain meds after that. I guess it was about 2 hours later that everything calmed down, they got the placenta out and uterus clamped down, and I was coherant again.

Baby Natalie is nursing like a champ and we're doing well. Recovering, really weak from the blood loss, but happy and content.

More later!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Almost time!

It seems like we've been waiting for this forevever! In a little less than 12 hours, we'll be at the hospital getting induced, unless I go before then. I've been contracting every 10 minutes, strong and steady, for about 5 hours. I feel grouchy, achy, irritable, and ready.

Yesterday was spent cleaning and disinfecting, after all but Jay caught the stomach flu on Thursday/Friday. Then we went out for pizza and, while Jay finished up his lesson plans, the girls and I played basketball.

Now, my mom is here, the girls are all taken care of for tonight and tomorrow and Tuesday. Everything is packed for tomorrow, except for the few items I want in the morning. I can just relax and chill and roll with the contractions and hopefully rest.

How wonderful would it be for these to intensify on their own? Jay thinks that if we weren't being induced tomorrow, I'd probably be going on my own within the next 24 hours anyway.

Right now, I wish I could encapsulate this feeling of ickiness and save it for later, in case I ever think I want to do this again. I just really feel that this is it, this is the end of my child-bearing. This baby will be my baby-baby. And I'm just so ready to meet him/her.

I pray that we have a healthy baby and complicated-free birth tomorrow. I want to do it a certain way, to experience it a certain way, but as long as the baby is healthy and all is well, then that's all that matters.

Come out, baby! We're ready!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off from work I go.

Today's my last day of work before going on maternity leave. I've wrapped up all the projects, re-assigned where necessary, and have everything covered, as best I can.

Monday morning, bright-and-early, we'll report to the hospital and get this show on the road. That is, if the Mexican food for lunch, pineapple I plan to eat this weekend, walking done on Saturday, and other wives-tales and natural induction methods don't work.

But in the meantime, say a little prayer that we stay healthy. Maggie threw up ALL OVER last night, and Jay was at a meeting, so I had the joy of cleaning her up, and her bed, and the stairs, and the wall, and the carpet. I'm just hoping that all the hand-washing and fruit-juice-drinking and extra resting will boost my immune system enough to avoid this round. And, please, let Lainie avoid it, too. And Katie, and Jay. We've met our quota for sickies and really don't want any more.

And while you're doing some knee-bending, say a litle prayer for a good labor and delivery. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

What a way to start the day

This morning I woke up about 3 a.m. soaking wet. It took me 5 minutes to decide whether I had peed myself, my water broke, or I burned off my cold with a fever. It was the third. But, really, what funny choices!

My last doctor's appointment is this afternoon. We have the induction scheduled for next Monday. I'm feeling good and can handle another week, thanks to my self-imposed 9 p.m. bedtime plus naps.

I know there is still a chance I could start labor on my own this week; I just don't picture it happening. I wonder what is stuck in my left pelvis -- a shoulder? elbow? head?

I cannot believe I've made it 40 weeks in a pregnancy with no serious complications. I've never done that. It's literally stunning to me. I must be doing okay now, because between the comments of when is the baby due and are you hoping for a boy, I've been getting a lot of "you look really good for full-term, like you feel great." Well, I do. Feel great, that is.

Going back to the "is this one a boy" comment, we've come up with our tag-team response. Jay says that, mathematically speaking, the statistical likelihood is that this is a boy. Then I respond, and biologically speaking, the statistical likelihood is another girl. Either way, we are geeks. Either way, we'll find out by next Monday. YAY!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A great lullabye

Last night, I went to sleep with Jay's hand on my ever-growing tummy, as we felt the baby hiccup away. Can it get any sweeter than that?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Did I mention my Doc ROCKS!

He really is awesome. I went to my appointment Monday totally exhausted and ready to just finish this. I had 4 hours sleep on Sunday night and was just wore out. But, he's listened to me explain why I was focusing on 41 weeks -- in hopes that my labor could start on its own, but if it doesn't start on its own, I wouldn't need as much pitocin and could avoid the epidural or any other drugs. That, and Maggie was born at 38 weeks and was so sensitive to everything, but Lainie born at 40 weeks was so healthy, at least for her first 18 months.

After checking me and the baby, he said he'd rather wait until the 23rd (41 weeks). He said, although my cervix is very favorable and an induction would be fine right now, that it wouldn't hurt to give the baby another couple weeks to grow. Thank you, Doc, for taking it out of my hands and helping me stick to what I've said I wanted all along -- to not be induced early.

So, officially, I was 3 cm dilated, continuing the 1-cm per week rate that I've done with all my pregnancies. The baby is a little small, says Doc, which I have thought for awhile. But, the heartbeat is strong and everything looks great.

I got decent sleep last night and feel more able to handle the contractions for another couple days. I'll just try to get through one day at a time, one night at a time, and try to enjoy this as much as is possible. Try, being the operative word. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Nesting, cramping

I spent yesterday nesting. I didn't think I was really that bad, until Jay pointed out that I was a bit overboard. I got out the clorox wipes, swifter duster, and oil rags and scrubbed anything left to scrub in the baby's room. Even the crib got dusted and disinfected. Then I just kept going -- oiling the old church pew in our foyer, oiling the woodwork in the foyer, setting the playpen/bassinet in the basement and disinfecting it with the clorox wipes, and finishing the last laundry necessary pre-baby. I still don't know if you'd call it nesting, or maybe it's just getting ready for the baby. Then, we went to a birthday party lunch, took long naps, and went to the park.

Today, I'm cramping and swollen, both new to me. The swelling is limited to my face, and isn't probably noticeable to everyone, but it's noticeable to me. And the cramping could be contractions. I've never had contractions that felt like this, but it does feel like menstrual cramps. Hopefully that means we're making more progress and getting closer. I'm trying to be patient, to prepare for another 2 weeks of this. My will is weakening, though, with every sleepless night and pain-filled day.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just for the record

Since I'll forget to write this anywhere else and some day my girls might wonder...

As I near the end of this pregnancy, I have no appetite. I've been eating, because I should, not because I want to. And I'm eating small portions, because anything half of what I would have ate a month ago, results in major heartburn. And, I'm eating healthy stuff, like fruit and pastas and lots of water and milk.

I'm 42.5 inches in diameter. We'll have to compare that to 2 months from now.

My hips hurt horribly, especially at night. They just can't handle the weight, the relaxin.

I'm entering the chewed-up-hose phase, where everything leaks.

*knock on wood* I am not having any headaches, my skin is the best it's been in months, and I'm not swollen.

But I am irritable. Maybe even grouchy. Definitely hormonal. How bad is directly correlated to how much rest I got last night.

And it will all be worth it.

3 days of labor, 2 days off

Isn't it ironic that my labor pattern matches my work pattern? After 3 days of contractions, getting down to less than 10 minutes apart and a couple minutes long each, they stopped Wednesday night. Thursday morning was really depressing, and I was irritable, to say the least. But, thanks to a friend taking care of Maggie in the afternoon, enabling Lainie and I to take a 3 hour nap, I felt decent. Then, tylenol before bed and a lot less pain through the night, I woke up feeling rested today, ready to handle not only today but also another couple weeks of this. It is amazing how some decent rest can change your perspective.

Maggie's been acting out the last day and a half or so, and we think that she's feeling left out. With Lainie getting the attention for her illnesses and Katie getting privleges like 4-H and slumber parties, guess who's getting left out. Tomorrow night, we're having a princess party, which I hope will help. Although Katie and Lainie will enjoy it, I'm going to make it focused for Maggie. We're planning to watch Cinderella and have a fancy meal, complete with a (plastic) tea party set and Princess Parfaits (aka fruit, sugar-free whipped topping, and low-sugar cake -- gotta follow Maggie's dietary restrictions!). I hope it helps.

Since she doesn't ever complain outright and we have to read her eyes to know when she's upset, it breaks my heart when she IS upset. Katie is upset daily (think 'cry-wolf'), so we just deal with her drama, try to pick the important ones, and downplay the day-to-day annoyances. Maggie rarely gets upset, so when she does, it becomes a priority for me to try to help. She's the middle child of two middle children, so I think that changes how we deal with her, too. Here's hoping a princess party will help a little.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Prodromal labor sucks

I laugh at women whose birth stories read "...and I was in labor for 24 hours!" or some like number, as if it's horrific. All I can think is, ya, well, try 2 weeks, 3 weeks, longer!

And, I had forgotten how much prodromal labor contractions hurt, compared to run-of-the-mill braxton hicks.

Monday my contractions started up. I thought I was just catching the stomach flu, but it took me a while to realize the pains were every 10 minutes and my ab was tightening. Last night, it was more clear that I was having contractions every 10 minutes most of the evening, mostly starting in my back and wrapping around. I was confidant that they would stop when I went to sleep, which they did...

And started right back up again this morning. Now I'm having contractions without pain and pain without contractions, if that makes sense. Add spotting and a very low-riding child, and it makes for an uncomfortable day.

Now, I still think it'll be a couple weeks until the baby arrives, if s/he arrives without pitocin. Jay's not as convinced. I guess time will tell who is right.

I'm grateful I have a doctor who understands that this is how my body works. He knows not to read any more into the consistent contractions, even those I can't talk through. He doesn't put much weight into how dilated I am, because he knows it takes weeks for me to get from 2 cm to 4 cm. And he's willing to give me as much time as I want to go into labor on my own, but also willing to boost labor whenever I holler "mercy!"

The question is, how long will I tolerate the contractions? How long before I'm too tired to screw with it any more? When do I give up? Time will tell.