Wednesday, June 30, 2010

11 days old

Lauren is now eleven days old.  She is the sweetest, most precious little thing I have ever laid eyes on.  Being a new mommy is not really what I expected. I thought there would be more bonding time and more sleeping...from her, not me.  I looked everywhere for the reset button on this thing but it's nowhere to be found.  I suppose I should consider myself lucky that she isn't colicky or sick but this kid has a fierce resistance to sleeping during the hours of 9am to 5pm. I had visions of taking her for walks in the park and sitting outside in the sun with her.  Me, soaking up the rays, her, under a shaded blanket. Taking in the experience of having my own family. Instead we start the day with feeding, then we poop, then we get changed and dressed. Next we eat again, then we poop, then we whine and kick and complain. I don't know what she wants.  She doesn't cry. She just whimpers and whines at anything and everything. "Gimmie the pacifier. No I don't want the pacifier. Put me in the swing. No, mama, I hate the swing. Take me for a drive. Ahhhh a nice sleepy car ride.  What? The car ride is over???" Time to eat again, then poop, then whine some more.  The adorable picture you see above was one of three good pictures that she let me take of her before she went into tantrum mode because how dare I enjoy a moment for once? Silly mama.

We had a bath last night. This one wasn't filled with crying like the other two baths we've had so far. However, this one the kiddo decided she would save mama a diaper and just let it rip in the tub. Not too uncommon, right moms? Well, let me tell you how fun it is to clean newborn mushy jaundice poop from an adorable pink mesh bath hammock. All right before the bath began. So you must remove the naked baby from the pink bath tub to clean the poop off which risks more fun poop cleaning from other places in the kitchen or your husbands arms. We survived it and we managed to get a clean baby out of it. But clean babies don't last long so enjoy them while they smell fresh. But I must say, they are pretty damn cute even when they stink. 

Honestly Mama,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life as a Mom

Lauren is now 9 days old and she's starting to develop her own little personality. Sometimes she looks like me and sometimes she looks like Tom.  She has her daddy's nose and hair and she has her mommy's lips. She hates to be swaddled. She'll fight and fight until her arms are free so she can suck on her hands. I have to agree her hands are pretty tasty.   Adjusting to motherhood has been a challange.  I forgot what it feels like to actually sleep. When I do get the chance I am always on edge, ready to jump up and run through fire to save her at any moment.  The fierce instinct to protect her shocked me.  I knew I would feel it but I didn't realize I would be willing to claw people that I dearly love just to make sure she is ok. I don't like to share her.

On the opposite spectrum I have my moments where I want to return her. But unfortunately the return policy is a little tricky so I'm stuck with her marathon feeding rituals and dealing with the constant fear that she needs me.  It's hard to be responsible for a newborn.  She's a very easy kid (so far) but the weight of her life is in my hands and that's very nerve racking. I've had many moments where I've broken down because just can't manage to let my guard down. I have a constant edginess and tightness in my chest. I haven't been able to nap much either.  This kiddo likes to be awake 4-5 hours at a time so she can wiggle and stretch. If she could talk I'm sure she'd be complaining about something I'm not doing right.  I'm hoping the misery moments are hormonal so I'm going to try to take a deep breath and wait for my follow up doctor's appointment. Maybe they'll be gone by then and I won't have to worry about postpartum depression. I don't want to be the mama that resents her own child.  She's a precioius beautiful baby girl. When I look at her I just know that she's going to be the focus of the rest of my life.  I just need to stay healthy for her, which begins with trying to take a nap.  The whole "you sleep while the baby sleeps" is a whole bunch of crap.  I know the housework can wait but I need to eat and wash the bottles and breastpump supplies. I need to take a shower and wash her dirty clothes. There's a lot that needs to be done and now that Tom is back to work, this all lays on my shoulders.

But for now, we'll try for that nap.
Honestly mama,

Friday, June 25, 2010

She's here! Birth Story

I met the most amazing person. She came into my world on june 19th, 2010 at 10:20am. I was lucky enough to be the privileged person who made my belly her home for the last 10 months. I have been overwhelmed with being in the hospital for 4 days, going through recovery and adjusting to life as a mommy so I haven't been able to write anything. Here's how I brought my angel into the world:

Friday, June 18th:

830am: I had my regular weekly check-up at the doctor's office. My swelling was still pretty bad and I was STILL not dilated. My blood pressure was up and there was a bit of protein in my urine so the doctor sat down looked at me and said "I think it's time to have a baby" and I laughed like well duh. And then she said "so I'll call and set it up" and I was confused so I asked when? And she said today.... right now. And it hit me OH MY GOD TODAY?? This can't be happening. I know I want this baby out but I was prepared for the 24th not emergency induction right now. I started crying and shaking and all the nurses hugged me and my doctor hugged me and sent me on my way to have a baby.

930am: Went home. Fed the cat. Grabbed some stuff. Left for the hospital.

10:00am: Hospital time. Lots of paperwork, signatures, labs, vitals and exams. Got hooked up to the monitors and IVs. Very terrified.

1:00pm: Given medication to soften my cervix. The medication takes 4 hours to work.

5:30pm: Medication didn't work. Got another dose.

8:15pm: Got up to pee and my water broke. The doctors decided not to give me the pictocin since my water broke. They wanted to let my body contract on it's own. Contractions came every 2-3 mins. They were so painful I couldn't talk, I couldn't think, I couldn't take it.

June 19th, 12:00am: Asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came and put me in the most uncomfortable position a pregnant woman could ever be in. I was cross-legged, sitting straight up then hunched over a pillow with my shoulders relaxed down. It was almost impossible to sit still in that position. It took 40 mins, 3 tries and 2 anesthesiologists to put the epidural in. It was very worth it. I was instructed to get some rest. I tried to sleep after that but the automatic blood pressure cuff was going off every 10 mins and every time I would move, the heart monitor on my belly would slip and they'd lose her heart rate and come running in to adjust it and are you kidding me? Who can sleep through all that?

2:00am: Contractions slowed pictocin was started

4:30am: The nurse came in on her usual rounds and asked how my pain level was. I explained that the epidural was crap and not helping when in reality it WAS helping but not as much as I expected. She seemed confused and told me to keep pressing the epidural button. I said I already was pressing it and it was still painful. Again she seemed confused, "do you feel pressure in your bum like you need to push?" And truthfully I did feel pressure but I said no because I didn't feel any urge to push.

5:00am: Nurse came back and I told her how I did feel pressure. She said that would be highly unlikely because that would mean I would be dilated. But she called the doctor anyway.

5:30am: With tom still sleeping the doctor came in, checked me and said "10 cm! Time to push!" Tom woke up from all the commotion. I looked over "did you hear that? 10cm babe". He was so confused. He had just woken up and his wife was getting ready to give birth right here, right now.

6:00am: After pushing for a little over an hour the doctor came to check on our progress. She announced lauren was face up and pushing her out was going to be extremely difficult. I had to really push harder. I was already giving it all I had so I didn't know how this was possible. But I couldn't give up.

7:00am: The doctors switched shifts so now I had my regular doctor that had taken me through this whole pregnancy. She came in to check and told me she was stuck under the pelvic bone, face up and we either need to move her manually to face down, push harder, or do a c-section. I certainly didn't want a c-section so I said let's try to flip her. She brought in another doctor who stuck his evil large man hands up and tried to coax her to flip. It was more painful than all my contractions combined. And it didn't even work! So my doctor said I really could push her out if I pushed hard enough but most likely a c-section would be needed. I wanted to keep pushing.

9:15am: After pushing for 3 and a half hours I had no strength. You see it in movies where the woman cries that she can't go on and the man gives her a heartfelt pep talk and says just one more push, cue music, woman screams, baby is born. But this is real life and I really couldn't move. I could barely talk or open my eyes. I have never felt true exhaustion and let me tell you, it's absolutely paralyzing.

9:30am: Doctor came in to check and said I had only moved her less than an inch in all that time. All the nurses were shocked I pushed as long and hard as I did. And with all that pushing, she just couldn't get out in that position. A c-section was necessary and that was that.

9:45am: I was taken to the operating room shaking violently from all the numbing medication. This was defiantly the scariest moment of my life. What if something bad happens? What if she doesn't breathe and I can't see her? I have never had surgery before so I had no idea what to expect. And this was the birth of my child not a silly little surgery.

10:20am: I heard her cry. Her beautiful beautiful cry. Tom lost it. I breathed a sigh of relief. They yelled out 7lbs 6oz, 21 inches. I was still shaking so hard from the anesthesia that I couldn't enjoy the moment my daughter was born and that truly pisses me off but I obviously understand. I did what I had to do. After a few minutes she was cleaned off, umbilical cord cut and swaddled up. They handed her to tom and he brought her over. She was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Her coney head and wrinkley nose were so precious. I instantly loved her.

I couldn't keep my attention focused on her though because of the anesthesia and the exhaustion. I had been awake for 28 hours straight with no food, in labor for 22 hours of which 3 and a half I was pushing. That was when all of it hit me and boom I fell asleep right there on the operating room table while they were sewing me up.

This amazing pregnancy journey has finally ended. It's time for a new chapter and so far, motherhood has been tiring, painful, funny, emotional, stressful and through my first week with her it has been truly wonderful and I wouldn't have changed a thing. The way she smiles in her sleep. The way she cries out for me. The way she curls up in Tom's lap. The way she holds my finger with her tiny hand. The way she snuggles on my chest. The look in her eye when she finds my face. It's everything I hoped for and more. Who knew that life on this side of the womb would be so good?

Happy birthday Lauren.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Harry Times

This fabulous story brought to you by:

So You're 38 Weeks Pregnant, and You've Gone and Peed Your Pants: A Modern Girl's Guide to Embarrassing the Eff Out of Yourself!

First, as soon as you feel that gush trickle down your legs, open the bedroom window and call out to your husband, who is playing on the driveway with your toddler, "Oh my god! My water just broke!" This adds a classy touch to what will shape up to be a simply fabulous evening.

Next, call your mother, who lives 4 hours away, and tell her to hurry her ass up-- the baby is coming! The baby is coming! This is an especially good thing to do if your mother plans on bringing lots of frozen food with her.

Then, email all your colleagues short, panicky emails. Make sure your husband does the same.

Fourth, spend forty-five minutes wondering why you haven't felt anymore "water" beyond that first initial gush-- also use this time to re-do your make up and flat iron your hair while plunking your increasingly agitated toddler in front of a Caillou DVD because your priorities? Always in perfect order.

Fifth-- and this step is crucial if you really want to be the effing jackass you're destined to be-- pee your pants AGAIN and say "That must be my water. I'm going to call the hospital and the baby sitter."

Sixth, laugh when your husband says, "Yeah-- I mean it's not like you peed your pants twice in a row. But that would be awesome, too."

Next, take your freaked out kid with you to Labor and Delivery because your mom is en route but still coming from quite a distance, and his beloved babysitter is rushing back from her weekend at home celebrating her belated birthday with extended family. Note, it is absolutely crucial that you inconvenience AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE, you goddamn idiot.

At labor an delivery, a nice nurse will want to spare you any invasive tests because she says from what you've described, it must be your water breaking; I mean otherwise you'd need a bladder lift, right? She will send you into the bathroom with a glass slide and a strip of paper that should turn blue in the presence of amniotic fluid.

Break the slide.

Lose the paper.

Later, when another nurse suggests you get out of bed to encourage gravity to help get more fluid out, make sure the back of your hospital gown is tucked into the elastic of the monitor you're wearing around your belly, so that you can flash your bare ass around as much as possible.

Be glad your husband left to take your freaked out kid home and missed seeing that, since he would so mock you.

Do not believe the nice nurse when she tells you that this happens all the time. Most people are not as dumb as you.

Finally, let many strangers stick their fingers, cotton swabs, and sterile specula inside you to see what's going on.

What's going on is this: You peed your effing pants. Twice.

And then you told the internet, you goddamn incontinent idiot.

And oh yeah? You're still pregnant.

Thanks Sarah. I needed that.
Don't forget to check out Sarah's blog at

Due date

Today is my due date.  I never thought she would stay inside this long.  Punctuality is very important to me and Lauren has really let her mama down in that department.  Originally I thought I would end up with a c-section due to the placenta previa. But then that corrected so we went back to planning a vaginal birth.  Then she was measuring too small and worried about her growth so I immediatly thought they would induce early. But then she caught up a bit so we scratched that.  So I just continued to wait. It's great that I don't have any complications to warrant an early birth plan but it's hard to wait for her. I really want my doctor to be on call when she's born so that leaves her options at the 19th or the 24th. I really like the idea of having a scheduled birth so I can be mentally prepared. It's extremely frustrating to be home all alone wondering and waiting and thinking it can happen at any moment. Then I would have to call Tom to come home from work and I worry about him driving safetly and getting us to the hospital on time.  Although I'm sure I will have plenty on time. In fact, I plan on showering and getting ready before leaving, assuming the contractions don't come on too fast or too close together.  I have a doctors appointment tomorrow morning and then straight over to have a biophysical profile ultrasound. If it is safe to continue the pregnancy, we will schedule to induce on the 24th. If not, I suppose they will take me straight to the hospital? Not really sure how that will work.

As frustrated as I am at waiting, I really am enjoying being home and off my feet.  I like having these few moments to myself before my life gets flipped upside down. I actually had a chance yesterday to sit outside in the sun with some lemonade and do nothing in the middle of the day.  It literally freaked me out.  I don't ever get to enjoy the sun because I'm stuck inside all day at work and I only get a 45 min lunch so I am struggling just to have enough time to buy and eat. The weekends are usually spent sleeping and cleaning and running errands so I don't get to go outside then either.  I think having a child will actually get me outside more because she'll need exercise and playtime and I'll need to be watching her so I'll have a reason to make myself go out.  A kid will make me appreciate life more.  I spend so much time at home avoiding society because of social anxiety that I really miss out on a lot.  With a child in my life, I will want to show her the world and she'll really give me an excuse to participate in life rather than sit it out.  I would do anything for that little girl. 

Honestly Pregnant,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

baby hats

You will lose your mind at the cuteness of these baby hats!!! Go to: Beanie Designs

Home from work

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning.  As always, Tom came with me since we drive into work together.  Still no changes in my cervix which actually seemed to bum the doctor out a bit.  She seemed apologetic to tell me that I'm not making any progress. On a good note I lost a pound instead of the usual gain of 4-6 pounds that I've been packing on in this last month.  My feet are intensely swollen and my carpal tunnel is hurting again after years of relief. So my doctor decided to take me out of work. She is worried about my blood pressure spiking while I'm at work.  I haven't had any blood pressure problems throughout this pregnancy so I'm not sure why she has this concern. But for now, I'm stuck at home on the couch with no car and lots and lots of daytime TV to keep me company. 

We've picked a date to induce if I still haven't had her.  I will go into the hospital on the night of June 23rd and be induced the next day.  So now I have a date to look forward to and I have to admit I feel much more comfortable at home in case my water breaks or contractions start.  I wasn't sure really what to do if contractions started while I was at work.  Was I supposed to just keep working while timing them? I'm an insurance phone rep. Are you kidding me? I could never continue to talk to those ungrateful rude customers with a smile on my face while having a labor contraction.  It just isn't possible. But I live a bit far from the hospital and work is so much closer so it didn't make sense to leave work and go home if I was having contractions.  My job was just so conveniently close!!! Luckily I'm home now so that dilemma won't happen. For the next 9 days I will just sit and wait to go into labor.

What we decided to do is have Tom continue to take the car to work instead of leaving it with me. I won't be able to drive while in labor anyway and this will allow him to jump in the car and fly like lightning home to me where we will use his handy iphone contraction timer app that he is oh-so-excited about and wait for our lil girl.  He is very worried to not be here with me when I do go into labor.  He doesn't want to miss a moment and I think that's exceptional parenting!! Go Daddy! His parents are bringing me their extra car on Thursday so I only have to go 2 more days without a car.

Now that I have time to sit and think about my upcoming parental duties, I have found that it's really the last thing I want to think about.  I want to enjoy these next few days just lounging and relaxing and maybe I'll sneak in some naps because the next thing I know I'll be surrounded by diapers, nursing bras and cartoons. Luckily I am a big cartoon fan. But after that brief bonding period I'll be back to work full-time and I suddenly won't be the primary caregiver of my very own child.  The thought of someone else taking care of her full-time even if it is Tom's parents, still tears me up.  I trust them fully yet I want to raise my child my way. I usually don't like to let other people help me so this will be interesting.  I fear alot of crying fits will happen, and then even Lauren might cry too. 

Honestly Pregnant,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

5 more days...

I decided to get some peace of mind and watch a you tube video of a woman giving birth.  Big Mistake!! I started crying and shaking after only a few seconds into the video.  I've decided I cannot do this with the amount of anxiety it is causing.  I would really benefit from some type of calming medication then maybe I could sleep more than 2 hours a night. I'll have to wait until after she's born to get my doctor to write anything for me. But it's not going to stop me from asking at my appointment on Monday. I'm absolutely terrified. I wish I had a scheduled c-section like all the other mommies-to-be around me.  It would take alot of stress off me knowing what day will be the big day and I would feel much better to know that MY doctor will be there instead of using whatever doctor happens to be on call from my practice. 

At this point nothing is making me comfortable and nothing is helping the swelling.  It is just the nature of the mommy biz I suppose.  I'm due in 5 days and I haven't had one contraction yet and I'm not dilated at all.  She's slowed her movements a bit. I can feel she's got no room in there.  I also feel like she hasn't gotten any bigger.  I know my own body is still rapidly growing with all the fluid I'm retaining but I don't feel like she's growing at all.  She does feel a bit stronger. I have an ultrasound scheduled for Friday so we'll know then if she has grown at all.  I'm still measuring about a week and a half behind but my doctor says she's ok with it since I am so short. 

So far I've tried everything to jump start labor from sex to raspberry leaf tea.  She's just a very stubburn little lady. I should take that as a compliment.  Apparently I have been quite the good hostess, she's loves it in here.  But I mostly feel terrible for Tom.  He is stuck by my side now just waiting it out.  He's been beyond amazing, coming to every appoitment and changing his work schedule to mine so that we can drive in together.  He even drops me off close to the door and then goes and parks and walks by himself into work.  Working in downtown Pittsburgh, thats quite a feat. I know I would do it for him if I wasn't pregnant (aka crippled) but I still feel grateful to have him.  I've been beached on the couch every spare moment that I'm not at work.  In turn that makes him stuck at home too. But really, this is a team effort so I expect him by my side and I know he would never think to not be here.  Thanks, babe. You're the best.  (PS please buy me vodka when this is over).

I don't think you should expect any more weekly progession pictures. I may sneak another belly one in but I promise you my fat face will not be photographed until labor day, baby labor day that is.  So keep your fingers crossed that the next picture will not be of me, but of Lauren...this time on the outside.

Honestly over this,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

39 weeks

I had a doctors appointment today.  I'm extremely grumpy at this point and I wasn't even going to post anything but it's been awhile so I thought I would put something up. Still not dilated one bit. My feet are so swollen I have avoided even looking down at them.  Propping them up, drinking water and avoiding salty foods hasn't helped at all.  My feet are just swollen and that is that.  I gained 6 pounds in one week all from the swelling.  I look enormously disgusting. My doctor sent me to have blood taken to check for preeclampsia. I don't have high blood pressure so I don't really understand why she sent me.  But she seemed concerned and said she wanted to keep a close eye on me.  I have to go back again on Monday for another office visit.  I'm hoping that will be the visit we discuss our options for getting her out.  So many people have expressed their opinions about how they were on bed rest, with high risk diagnosis and so uncomfortable and the doctor still wouldn't induce them so I not very hopeful at any type of solution.  I hate waiting this out.  I've never been so miserable. So until this baby is out or they invent a drainage solution for pregnant bodies to get all this extra fluid out, I will be cranky and unpleasant.

But I do want to thank my husband for pointing out that I have been pretty tough throughout this whole thing considering what I've been dealing with, you know, manufacturing humans in my belly.  I feel awful for being so lazy and tired. He has gone out of his way to come to all of my doctors appointments, driving me to work and all the extra chores he has done around the house.  He'll be the best daddy.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

38 weeks

I was awake at 5am this morning just laying in bed listening to the birds chirp. Then at 6am I decided I wasn't going to fall back asleep. My nerves were eating me up too much to sleep any longer. It was hospital tour day. This shouldn't have made me nervous yet I was almost shaking. I put my hand on my belly and felt the little kicks inside and realized there is little time left where her and I get to share the same body. I want her out just as badly as I don't want to go through labor. Not knowing when she'll decide to come out is making it much harder than it needs to be. I treasure the way I get to keep her safe in my belly. But she's making me so uncomfortable and I'm left hanging in the balance just waiting and watching the clock. My feet and ankles are swollen. I'm sore all over. My carpal tunnel and tmj are aggravated from the swelling. And I've been crying for no reason all day.

I've been avoiding people because all they want to talk about is the baby. My anxiety level is at a 9 already but everyone around me seems to want to put me over the edge by talking about how much they are going to smother me and lauren once she's born. I know they all mean well. It's my issue for thinking that this is a private family time. It's just that I want time with her all to myself so I can get to know her before everyone else. Tom doesn't feel that way at all. He wants everyone to come and celebrate and smoke cigars and toast champagne so he can pass around his daughter and get a pat on the back. I guess this is just how men see childbirth. It's not wrong but it is the exact opposite of how I'm feeling. The hospital tour made me feel even more guarded. Especially because we were told visitors are allowed in the labor room and the postpartum rooms pretty much 24/7. It's probably my instinct to protect her. I wonder how many other moms felt this same way.

For now I'll be counting down the days till she finally arrives. I wish there was some way I could know when to expect it. I am scared to leave the house. When I do leave, I have everything with me for the hospital in the car and I try to keep tom with me at all times. I have been feeling pains very very low in my belly like a menstrual cramp. I feel them more often and I've also been noticing that my belly gets tight. My doctor tells me these "cramp" pains are not contractions. Maybe I'm not explaining them correctly to her. I don't know what else they could be. Maybe she's trying to head butt her way out. I wouldn't be surprised.

So.....we wait......

Still pregnant,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just smoke her out of there

Here I am with two weeks to go until my due date.  I dont really have much to say so i haven't taken the time to write. The clock is tick tick ticking..... s-l-o-w-l-y... I had a doctors appointment this morning. No dilation yet but I did gain 4 pounds since last weeks appointment.  I'm so ready for this little stinker to get out. She's causing me so much weight gain and miserability. I'm ready to just smoke this chick out of there.  No human should ever gain 4 pounds in one week, pregnant or not.  I have to admit I have been eating a healthy portion of food lately but nothing too crazy. Except maybe the ice cream, klondike bars and s'mores.  But it wasn't 4 giant pounds worth of food, that's for sure. 

Tom and I started driving to work this month instead of taking the T downtown.  That way our bags are packed and ready to go if I go into labor at work.  I have a deep unsettling feeling that I will not go into labor naturally and will have to be induced in July. By then I will have gained 16 more pounds at the rate I am going. That angers me in every bone in my body. If you figure in the 24 I've already gained, It would bring me to a grand total of 452 pounds. Ok well at least that's I feel like with all the swelling and edema that have graciously taken over my body.  The problem with being induced so late is that my baby will be too big to deliver naturally.  I'm not against a c-section but I am against staying in the hospital longer than 48 hours.  I'm also not sure just how long I can take the constant karate kicks in my ribs.  I really like my ribs. Why does she hate them so much? Please stop kicking mama.