Posted in General Updats, Milestones

Baby Story

Three weeks ago, my world changed forever. I became responsible for the very life of the cutest little boy you can imagine. He has his daddy’s big blue eyes and my dark hair. His birth was dramatic; uncomfortable, scary, and almost life-threatening at points. It was 100% worth it. This is his birth story.

The day of my 39 weeks check up, my nurse noted I had high blood pressure, a first for my pregnancy. It was high enough to throw a red flag and she asked me to come back the following day (a Friday) and retest. If it was still high, they would talk about inducing me. My husband was away on a last minute business trip. He was due back Sunday. I asked if I could wait the weekend, come in Monday, so the baby’s dad could be there. The OB agreed.

Sunday night my husband came home and first thing Monday I was in the OB being tested for preeclampsia. It all happened so fast and before I knew it I was on fluids in the Labor and Delivery portion of the hospital and they were putting in a Foley bulb (ugh, they are from hell) to force me to dilate. At 39 weeks 4 days, I wasn’t dilated in the least. The midwife putting in the bulb said I might have “mild cramping”. Understatement of the year. The ensuing contractions had me in tears on the way home. I was to come back in the morning for my induction, at which point I should be dilated to 4 or 5 cm.

39 weeks; morning of delivery
My last pregnant selfie in the wee hours of Tuesday morning…

At 5 o’clock the next morning, my husband, mother, younger sister and I packed up and headed to the hospital. I was still in pain, but less so once the Foley bulb naturally came out around 1 a.m. By 7:30 I was hooked up to a variety of IVs and drugs and by 8:30 my water broke. By 4 p.m. I had only progressed to 6cm dilated. The doctors were concerned. I was groggy from the drugs, but I could tell by their faces, and my family’s demeanor, that something was wrong. Later I learned my blood pressure was so high I was nearing the level of stroke/seizures. At the time though, I just wanted my baby out. The contractions were coming fast, with only a few seconds of rest in between. I was in and out of a dream-like state (honestly, it felt like being drunk) and my biggest concern was having the baby before I had to switch my female doctor for the male doctor scheduled for night shift. That was a lost cause, but the doctor I had been laboring with gave me an epidural before she left.

Another 8 hours of contractions left me snarky and sarcastic with my patient team of doctors and nurses. I didn’t blame my husband, hit anyone, or scream obscenities. I said a very bad word one time, when the baby’s shoulders finally came out, but otherwise I was just generally a feminist who was too scared of accidentally pooping to push properly. (Yeah, that was hands-down the worst part; fear of pooping/feeling like you were gonna. I didn’t, but still. It left my baby pinned under my pelvic bone for 6 hours and gave him an impressive conehead, according to the staff’s notes).

At 11:51 p.m., 34 hours after my contractions began and 9 minutes before his due date, Ronan was born.

For the first 24 hours of his life, I was on a magnesium IV and still felt out-of-it. My husband was absolutely smitten with our son, but I still felt groggy and disconnected. At midnight on Wednesday, they turned off the magnesium and it was like magic. My head cleared and I was IN LOVE with this tiny child. I had cared for him the day before (even on drugs, I love kids and knew he needed me), but – off the magnesium – I relished every moment. Thursday was a great day. I had meals delivered, a fantastic nursing staff at the touch of a button, and my husband brought me Starbucks iced tea throughout the day. Best of all, I had my tiny son to cuddle and love on.

We went home Friday afternoon, though they almost kept me another day. I have neverIMG_20170514_050501292 been so scared to be responsible for a baby, despite a decade of babysitting and having four younger siblings. I am eternally grateful that my mother flew out to stay for three weeks. She made the transition much easier.

So here we are, three weeks later, and finally settling into a routine. I have officially joined the mommy club and it is my favorite thing ever. 🙂

Posted in General Updats, Musings on Mommyhood

5 Things I Wasn’t Warned About…

It’s been a pretty smooth pregnancy. This is week 39 and not a single complication, everything normal, on schedule. Although it is my first pregnancy, I thought I was prepared. I have friends with kids; I remember my mom’s pregnancies with my little sisters; I’ve read the books. Unfortunately, friends don’t share everything, memories are fallible, and the books don’t always present the clearest picture.

Here are 5 things about late pregnancy that are apparently normal, but I was entirely unprepared for:

  1. Dizzy spells and seeing stars: this one freaked me out a bit. Two weeks ago I had an ocular migraine (seeing flashing lights, blurry vision, headache) and went to bed early. It was mostly gone by the next day, so I moved on. Yesterday, I was curious and Googled ‘seeing stars in pregnancy’ because lately this has been happening to me a lot — despite staying hydrated. I was worried when I saw it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia, but since my blood pressure has always been ok, this isn’t a concern (for me personally, but always check with your OB – I certainly did).
    Solution/Explanation: Drink extra water and move slowly from one position to the next.
  2. Nausea when laying down: the last few nights I’ve woken up feeling incredibly nauseous. No actual vomiting, but I felt it in my throat. Nasty.
    Solution/Explanation: A lovely result of acid reflux. No rest for the weary, this only gets worse as the pregnancy progresses. YAY! So eat those TUMS and sleep propped up (I make a pillow armchair and sleep kinda reclined. If I had a LazyBoy, I’d sleep there).
  3. BRAXTON HICKS EVERY TIME YOU MOVE. I’m not totally unprepared; I knew Braxton Hicks were part of the deal. Last Friday, I spent the day running errands and had tons of Braxton Hicks. Since my husband was leaving for his business trip Saturday morning, he begged me to take it easy. Hm, Netflix and microwave meals all weekend? Don’t have to ask me twice. Since then, I am just dandy if I am sitting down, but as soon as I get up (Even if it’s just to pee!) BOOM Braxton Hicks. This morning’s shower cost me two.
    Solution/Explanation: Normal for this stage of pregnancy. Call Labor and Delivery if they become regular (and frequent), don’t stop when you settle down, or are really painful.
  4. Really achy tummy: outside and in, this is not a comfortable stage. I’m not sleeping, getting up to pee every hour, and my stomach aches (like someone’s standing on it….or, I don’t know, growing inside it) all the time. It is increasingly difficult to find a position that doesn’t hurt. Sitting up straight on a comfy chair seems optimal. Of course, you can’t sleep sitting straight up, so good luck there.
    Solution/explanation: the world has just chosen to keep secret how freaking uncomfortable the last month is. I thought early third trimester was bad. Experiment with positions until you find something you can live with. Move slowly when you wake up or else risk killer cramps.
  5. Weird poo: Ok, this is gross, but you know what this whole pregnancy and birth thing is disgusting and not one bit “beautiful”. Those women who gush about missing pregnancy and what a beautiful experience it was, they are lying. Or else they have memory loss. By all accounts my pregnancy has been a breeze and perfectly textbook, but it is pretty horrific the things going on with my body. This latest development I blamed on my obsession with not getting sick (ie eating tons of oranges and other vitamin C fruits). I had read this could be a sign of labor, but I didn’t expect it to start in week 38 and last for…?
    Solution/Explanation: Various types loose and/or strangely colored things showing up in the toilet are apparently normal (?!). WTH. Best part is there is zero fix for this. I’ve basically cut out fruit and upped the carbs, but as this hasn’t helped, I may just say screw it and eat my precious oranges and blueberries again. Just stay hydrated, my friends.

The combination of these symptoms since last week had me slightly concerned, my absent husband even more so. At his request (and giving in to my slight paranoia), I called the OB. First, I hate when a medical professional (ha, professional) is condescending, so I had to deal with that. Otherwise, it was a reassuring call. All normal, and they’ll see me later this week for hopefully my last appointment (39 week).

Of course, they covered with “if you start bleeding, have a sudden loss of fluid, or experience regular, frequent, and increasing contractions, contact Labor and Delivery right away.” Well, actually, I knew that much, it was just items 1-5 that I was unprepared for.

Lesson learned. Pregnancy is a gross and uncomfortable process. Little baby, you had better knock my socks off. All for you, kid, all for you.

Posted in General Updats

The Final Month Begins!

I went to a birthing class. This is going to be a nasty experience. Apparently, my hospital is big into “skin to skin” and plan to deposit the slimy newborn on my bare chest as soon as he exits the birth canal. No, thank you. I am all for cuddling my new little son but please, for the love of all that is holy, wipe off the gunk.

I looked into saving the cord blood, but my gosh that is expensive. Someone did it in a novel once and it saved the baby’s father 18 years later. Not sure if it’s enough to spend several thousand dollars on….

We have set up the crib and purchased all the necessary baby items. The stroller/carseat combo was delayed in shipping so we may end up buying a second carseat, just in case little man decides to show up before our order.

And, no, we are nowhere near settled on a name.  Oh, and my feet are still quite swollen. I miss my pre-pregnancy body quite a bit these days. I haven’t gained too much (somewhere between 20-25lbs) and it is mostly belly, but the family’s jokes about how huge I am are grating on my nerves. Gotchya, the stomach is carrying a 6+lb infant, stop pointing it out.

Tomorrow makes exactly one month until the due date! It is still surreal, but I think we are about as ready as can be to meet our little guy.