Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Colin Daniel - A Birth Story

I went to work on Monday, June 16th as normal. I had woken up that morning to get ready for work and had some bloody discharge around 6:40am. I told PB about it, and said that it could be nothing, but it could also be the "bloody show" that we had heard about, which meant that labor could be starting. I definitely felt contractions, but after our false alarm a week and a half ago, we decided not to start timing them until they got difficult. That afternoon got the best of me and I logged onto and started timing the contractions. I kept getting interrupted, but determined they were averaging 5-8 minutes apart. They didn't hurt yet, just made me feel out of breath, so I ignored them, finished up the day and tried not to think about it. On my way out of work, I went to my boss's office and showed her the work for the next day's training. I remember telling her, "in case I'm not here tomorrow, here's all the training materials I've been working on...". Little did I know that I wouldn't be in the next day - it was more of a joke...

That night PB and I went for our ritual walk around the nearby park - I was convinced if I walked enough I could walk this baby right out. When we got home, I realized I was exhausted, and fell asleep for a few hours. PB woke me up for dinner, which we ate around 9pm or so, and we hit the bed shortly after that...I was still pretty tired.

I woke up a few times to pee in the middle of the night, and around 4am or so I realized that I was covered in sweat. Didn't think too much of it, just did my thing and went back to bed. When I woke up again, it was about 5am or so. I was definitely still having contractions, but it was too early to wake up PB, and they weren't too bad - at this point I realized I wasn't a great judge of what were "real" contractions and what weren't. I figured there was no point in waking him up until I knew for sure, or it was time to get ready for work. So, I timed the contractions until 6:15am when the alarm went off, and then woke PB to tell him I was still having them. He snoozed as usual until about 6:35am or so, and then asked if I wanted to go to work that day. They were still not so bad that I didn't know if this was "it" or not, but realized I just wanted the day off. So I told him I wouldn't go in, and he decided to stay home as well. We both called in to work, and then PB went back to sleep. (He later told me his rational was that if this was "it" he'd need all the energy and sleep he could bank now). I got up and took a shower, having decided that it would feel fantastic and if we were going to the hospital later I'd at least be clean. I ate some breakfast in bed and watched tv while PB slept. Around 9 or 9:30 we both got up for a shower (my second of the day) - still felt great.

Right about that time they started getting a little tougher, and I'd just slowly count to ten, breathing deeply with each count, to get through the peak of the contraction. It went this way for a while, I layed in bed, totally focused on the contractions that were getting increasingly difficult, while PB cleaned up the house - dishes, laundry, general picking up... At one point we tried to play cribbage out on the porch, and that's when I talked to my mom, to tell her what was going on... I had to stop during each contraction, and PB would shuffle for me. I asked him during the game if he thought we were going to have a baby today, and he said probably, but he still wasn't sure. I asked him to give me a time he thought the BT would be born if he was born today, and PB guessed 11:11pm. We didn't finish the game. They were getting tougher and I decided I needed to just lay back down in bed and focus.

We were aiming to make our regular 39 week doctor's appointment that afternoon at 4:45pm, so we didn't have to go through the experience of being turned away from the hospital again. Well, around 1:30pm PB realized that he needed to call the doc - the tractors (contractions) had been consistently 5 minutes apart for a few hours. I still didn't realize what was going on, I was just focusing on each tractor as it happened. They told him to bring me in to the office right away, so he finished getting our bags together, loaded up the car with the boppy, body pillow, diaper bag, hosiptal bag and food that we wanted to bring to the hospital, and came back for me. It took a few tries for me to make it, I had to go to the bathroom, and I couldn't really walk during a contraction. But, we eventually made it into the car and we were off to the doctor's office - about a 20-25 minute ride away - depending on traffic. Contractions didn't stop or change in the car, and halfway there I told PB that no matter what the Doc said, we were going to the hospital, cause I couldn't make that car ride again.

When we got to the doctor's office we had a few minute wait, which was fine since I had to go to the bathroom again. Jaime, the tech/assistant we'd had our whole pregnancy, was ready with the doppler etc, but considering I was still having contractions, we skipped both. She said she could tell I was in pain, and we didn't need to do it. So I got undressed and waited for my doc to come in and check me. I was terrified she'd tell me that I was only 3 or 4 cm dilated. When she got in the room it was hard because I had to lay flat on my back - not a good position for laboring in!

She began the internal exam, which hurt, definitely more than what was uncomfortable before. All of a sudden we heard, "you're 7 cm dilated, 100% effaced, bulging bag of waters and the baby's head is at +1 station. You need to go to the hospital right away". As soon as I heard that I got tears in my eyes - it FINALLY hit me that this was it, that these contractions were real and that we were going to have a baby. I was so scared she was going to tell me that I was still at 2+ cm dilated and that I hadn't made any progress. The doc left the room, and as soon as I sat up from the examining table my water broke - what a weird feeling - it was this warm gush of water, and it made it that much more real in my head.

We hurried out to the car and I was able to call my mom on during the very short drive over to the hospital to tell her the news. It was 2:40. When we pulled up to the valet parking, PB grabbed all the bags and pillows and we headed inside. Once inside the lobby PB realized that we didn't grab the camera from the car - so he ran back out to grab it rather than going back down for it later. We took the elevator to the second floor, and got buzzed in to The Birthplace. This time I was in triage for less than 5 minutes - all they wanted to do was get my weight - and then we were off to room 2006.

We met Claire, our nurse once inside, and she gave me a gown and said that since my water broke after being examined, she was going to have to do another internal. Another contraction hit before I could change, so I leaned over the bed and breathed through it. She asked what type of pain management we wanted to use, and I said, "nothing". She replied, "great, I'll do my best to help you" and I felt much better. I got changed into the gown and on the bed for the internal. I was a bit shocked to find out that less than 15 minutes after the last exam that I was already at 8 cm - this was going to be fast!

Claire got the monitors hooked up to me, and put in the hep-lock. Everything was a bit of a blur. It was so hot in the room so PB kept blowing on my face - that helped. The contractions were so hard now that the water had broken. At some point Claire tried to get me to lay on my side, but the back of the bed was raised, which made it extremely uncomfortable, so I just tried to do my best. The contractions were now starting to come on top of each other - I don't remember getting a break at all. The baby was having some complications during the contractions, so Claire gave PB an oxygen mask to put over my mouth at the peak of the contraction - it seemed to help some.

The next thing I knew my doctor was in the room, my bed was raised and the doc asked me if I was ready to push. Ummmmm, no. Not yet. And that's exactly what I told her. I honestly didn't feel the need to push yet - and everything I'd learned in my Bradley classes told me that you push when it hurts not to push. I was certainly not at that point yet. My doc decided otherwise and told me we had to get the baby out now. There had been meconium in the water, so they were anxious to get him out as soon as possible. They lost the baby's heartbeat on the monitors, and kept moving those around to try to find it but could only pick up mine. It was time to get the baby out.

My feet were put up in the stirrups, PB on my right side and Claire on the left, to help me hold my legs back in the semi-squatting position. The doc told me to wait until the contractions were at the peak to push, and then she counted to ten for me. The first few pushes were very ineffective as I still wasn't at the point of feeling the need to push. About the third contraction though I got the hang of it. I was holding my knees back, holding my breath for the ten seconds while pushing, getting another breath and doing it all over again.

Finally someone said they could see the head, and that he had blonde hair. A nurse asked if we had a camera, so PB gave it to her. The memory card wasn't in it, but somewhere in the camera bag - PB was searching for it, but couldn't find it. I was trying to explain to him where it was, but another contraction was coming on, and I told him to leave it, that I needed him with me. After that one passed, he got the card, gave it to the nurse, and she somehow got it properly installed. She asked if I cared what she took pictures of and I said no, she could take pictures of anything and everything.

They asked if I wanted a mirror to see the head, and I said no, only because I had to keep my eyes shut in order to concentrate. I did reach down and feel the head though, which was pretty wild. PB was still blowing on my face and kept telling me I could do it, that I was doing great. I'm sure there were other people talking to me, but I only heard him.

Finally, the head was beginning to crown. My legs were shaking and I felt that I couldn't push any more. My doc told me one last push, that he had to come out now. So I gave it everything I had, and I finally felt his head come out. A quick pull from my doc and the rest of the body was delivered as well. I didn't want it to happen like that, but I also didn't realize how concerned they were with the baby. The doc told us she was cutting the cord because she needed to get him to the nursery nurses right away. She did show him to us, and PB and I looked at each other, both of us with tears in our eyes, and kissed.

PB went with the baby, who was very white and very small, and I had to focus on delivering the placenta. My hep-lock had been put in to give me pitocin to help deliver the placenta, but it fell out when Claire tried to flush it with water. It didn't matter because the placenta delivered spontaneously within 5 minutes or so. My doc then told me I had 2 first degree tears and quite a few papercut-type tears. She stitched up the two larger ones and then I got to focus on my baby.

He still hadn't cried, so the nurses were running all the bloodwork and tests they needed to do. PB was with him the whole time. Finally, I got to hear my baby cry for the first time. It was such a beautiful sound! They gave him to me to breastfeed, and then took him again to weigh him etc.

We had checked into the hospital at 3:07pm and Colin Daniel arrived at 4:03pm - less than one hour later.

4:03pm 6/17/08

6 pounds, 5 ounces

20 1/2 inches long

13 3/4 inch head diameter

Happy Birthday little one. We love you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Week 39

How your baby's growing:Your baby's waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it's likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.See what your baby looks like this week.Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.
How your life's changing:At each of your now-weekly visits, your caregiver will do an abdominal exam to check your baby's growth and position. She might also do an internal exam to see whether your cervix has started ripening: softening, effacing (thinning out), and dilating (opening). But even armed with this information, there's still no way for your caregiver to predict exactly when your baby is coming. If you go past your due date, your caregiver will schedule you for fetal testing (usually a sonogram) after 40 weeks to ensure that it's safe to continue the pregnancy. If you don't go into labor on your own, most practitioners will induce labor when you're between one and two weeks overdue — or sooner if there's an indication that the risk of waiting is greater than the risks of delivering your baby without further delay.While you're waiting, it's important to continue to pay attention to your baby's movements and let your caregiver know right away if they seem to decrease. Your baby should remain active right up to delivery, and a noticeable slowdown in activity could be a sign of a problem. Also call if you think your water may have broken. Membranes rupture before the beginning of labor in about 8 percent of term pregnancies. Sometimes there's a big gush of fluid, but sometimes there's only a small gush or a slow leak. (Don't try to make the diagnosis yourself. Call even if you only suspect you have a leak.) If you rupture your membranes and don't start contractions on your own, you'll be induced.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Still no baby...

I swore I wouldn't be one of those women who were sent home from the hospital because they weren't truly in labor... it was too early etc. Well, Friday night we were sent home from the hospital. I had been in a long meeting on Thursday, and had timed my contractions - they were anywhere from 6 - 10 minutes apart. So, I headed home, called PB to let him know. I hadn't been feeling like myself since that morning... was very dizzy, not quite right. PB met me at home and we started timing the contractions... getting a little closer, and when we walked in the park they were much much closer... but each time I sat down, slowed down, took a shower etc - they slowed back down. Went to sleep that night early and woke up Friday to walk some more. We were pretty sure that it would happen that weekend - and hey 06/07/08 is a pretty cool birthday - one my mom even said she'd be able to remember :)

We walked and walked, hung out, got excited, finished packing our bags etc. We had our interview with the pediatrician that afternoon, so we headed into town early to have lunch, hang out (also got an oil change) and went to the appointment. Really liked the doc - and got some questions answered which was nice. The clinic is across the street from the hospital, and the disc golf course where PB plays is right behind it. So, he played and I walked and walked and walked. Probably 4+ miles, and I swear my feet felt like they were going to fall off. But, on the bright side - contractions were about 2 minutes apart. Even when I slowed down, sat down or stopped walking, they were less than 4 minutes apart. And some of them were lasting well over 12 minute long - many of they were lasting 3 - 4 minutes (they ones that had more time in between). So we grabbed some food - hung out at a friends house until we were sure they didn't change in consistency.. and headed to the hospital. Didn't bring anything up, and PB was very sweet to tell me that no matter what happened it was all good - I'm so glad he said that, cause when we got to the maternity ward, they hooked me up to the monitors and yes, I was having contractions, however I was no more dilated than I was before, and even though I was now 75% effaced, the contractions, while coming quickly, were not strong enough to make me progress.

I was so dissapointed. I was sure it was it. It's not that I don't like being pregnant, because I love it. I'm not uncomfortable (most of the time) and I'm not trying to be impatient, but I had my mind convinced that it was happening, so to change that thought process was kinda difficult. I have processed it now, and we decided to stop timing any contractions, which certainly led to a more relaxed weekend. So, here I am, Monday morning - back at work, no baby (stubborn little guy).

Here are some of the updated photos:

Diaper Bag I made:

Crib Organizer I made:

Wood Block Letters PB and I made:

"I love you to the moon and back" sign PB and I painted:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Maternity Pictures

Week 38

Your baby has really plumped up. He weighs about 6.8 pounds and he's over 19 1/2 inches long He has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold his hand for the first time! His organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If he's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If he's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time he's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after he's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)
How your life's changing: For many women, the next couple of weeks are a waiting game. Use this time to prepare your baby's nursery or to take care of necessary tasks you may not get around to for a while after your baby's born. Take naps, catch up on your reading, and spend uninterrupted time with your partner while you can.Some swelling in your feet and ankles is normal during these last weeks, but call your practitioner without delay if you notice excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, any swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, or have a sudden weight gain. Also let her know immediately if you have severe or persistent headaches; visual changes (such as double or blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, light sensitivity, or a temporary loss of vision), intense upper abdominal pain or tenderness, or nausea and vomiting. These are symptoms of a serious condition called preeclampsia.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Baby thoughts

PB and I are soooo extremely excited we can barely contain it. I am three centimeters dilated, 50% effaced, and the BT's head is fully engaged. While the doc thinks we'll be back in the office for next weeks appointment (38 week apt), we don't know how much longer we'll have after that.

Soooo, we almost have a baby. A new addition to our family. Something to fall in love with immediately. I can't wait....I mean, I can wait, I guess I just don't really want to :) I'm ready to see him, see who he looks like, hear him cry, see him with his daddy. I fall in love with PB more and more everyday, if that's even possible. It's amazing to think that together we have created a new life, something that is part of both of us, something that is a physical testament to our love for each other. It's such an amazing gift that he's given me.

Soon I'll be able to update with pictures on the diaper bag and other things we've done for the "nursery", as well as the maternity pictures... but not today.

Monday, June 2, 2008

We're FULL TERM!!! 37 weeks - anytime now :)

Congratulations — your baby is full term! This means that if your baby arrives now, his lungs should be fully mature and ready to adjust to life outside the womb, even though your due date is still three weeks away.Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.
How your life's changing:Braxton Hicks contractions may be coming more frequently now and may last longer and be more uncomfortable. You might also notice an increase in vaginal discharge. If you see some "bloody show" (mucus tinged with a tiny amount of blood) in the toilet or in your undies, labor is probably a few days away — or less. (If you have heavier spotting or bleeding, call your caregiver immediately.) Also be sure to ask your caregiver about the results of your Group B strep culture. That way, if the result isn't yet on your chart when you get to the hospital or birth center, you'll be able to give the staff there a timely heads-up if you need antibiotics.It may be harder than ever to get comfortable enough to sleep well at night. If you can, take it easy through the day — this may be your last chance to do so for quite a while. Keep monitoring your baby's movements, too, and let your caregiver know immediately if you notice a decrease. Though her quarters are getting cozy, she should still be as active as before.While you're sleeping, you're likely to have some intense dreams. Anxiety both about labor and about becoming a parent can fuel a lot of strange flights of unconscious fancy.