Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gavin's Birthday

Here's the crazy story of how Gavin Alexander entered this world.  I woke up Thursday the 28th by Jackson walking in our bedroom a little after 8:00 a.m.  I realized that I had had a few "real" contractions throughout the night.  I assumed it was no big deal.  They were strong enough to wake me up, but not strong enough for me to think twice about them, or time them or anything.  Eric got up then too and got in the shower.  I told him that I had a few real contractions in my sleep, but that they were really irregular and to go to work anyway.  By the time he got out of the shower around 8:30 I had experienced maybe 2 or 3 more "real" contractions and asked him to not leave for work until after I took my shower.  I started timing them with a free contraction timer iphone app I downloaded and asked him to push the start button for me when I had contractions while I was showering.  During that time my contractions were ranging anywhere from 10 seconds to over a minute and were anywhere from 1 minute to 7 or 8 minutes apart.  Some of them hurt really bad, some hardly at all.  I still wasn't convinced I was actually in labor yet though.  By the time I got out of the shower, dressed and ready, it was 9:15 and I had a feeling that I should at least get Jackson to our neighbor's house.  I sent him next door at 9:30 with the idea that I would see how it goes at home for a while.  By 9:35, I was yelling at Eric that we should go to the hospital right away.  I knew I was in labor.  I wasn't timing my contractions anymore, because my "free trial" was over on my "free" app.  (stupid Apple!)  But they were coming every couple minutes were very intense!  He called our doctor's office (who was still out of town) and told them I was in labor and to call the backup OB.  They were really casual about it, and said that they'd call back after they called the backup OB.  We live about 15 minutes from the hospital and, of course, they randomly had a lane closed for construction on our way.  It took probably 20 minutes to actually get there.  I walked into the hospital (was offered a wheel chair, but sitting down made it hurt much worse) and went straight to labor and delivery.  They asked if I had called ahead.  "No."  They asked if my doctor had called ahead.  "No." "But I'm for sure in labor and went fast last time".  I was impressed with how quickly they moved me along.  I didn't have to go to triage first, like last time, they took me straight to a room and had me change into a gown.  By this time I was screaming and crying in pain and just wanted an epidural.  (And was making that abundantly clear!)  They promised me they would get me one, but needed to check me and the baby first.  They tried to strap a fetal monitor on me, but it hurt so bad to have the band pressing on my stomach, I'm not sure if they ever got it on right.  They never even tried to get the contraction monitor one on. She checked me and I was 100% effaced, baby was at 0 station and I was dilated to 7 cm.  I completely freaked, because I knew how fast I was going, and was scared I wouldn't get the epidural.  There were now several nurses in the room and they got an IV started on me and immediately called the anesthesiologist.  He was there within a couple minutes and started the procedure.  I was about 2 minutes into the procedure, sitting up on the edge of the bed and I suddenly felt the baby coming out.  Yes, COMING OUT!  There was SO much pressure and pain I was screaming and crying.  They laid me back down to check me, even though the anesthesiologist wasn't finished, and I was 10 cm and ready to push.  The anesthesiologist had gone as far as to give me the initial shot in my back and put the catheter in, but hadn't actually hooked the epidural medicine in yet.  They called a doctor in the room while they prepped the table for pushing.  By the next contraction, the doctor was there and I started to push, feeling EVERYTHING!  It was an overwhelming urge to push, but I was also very scared to push, because it hurt so much more.  I was screaming that I could still feel everything and the doctor finally told me "You are going to feel everything, JUST PUSH!"  So I did.  And on the next contraction at 10:26, I pushed long enough and hard enough to push him out.  I had been in the hospital less than 45 minutes.  I didn't even have a hospital bracelet on or anything.  

After delivering the baby, the doctor gave me a local anesthetic to stitch me up.  About 15 minutes after that, the initial numbing shot kicked in and I went mostly numb.  I laid in the bed, numb, for about an hour or two, waiting for the medicine to wear off.  It was at that point that I wished I wouldn't have insisted on the epidural.  I felt everything anyway AND went through the process of an epidural too.  I had lots of nurses come and go in my room during that numb hour.  They finally checked me in, and I made several phone calls and texts.  (And Facebook status updates...I mean, I wasn't actually doing anything at that point!)  All of the nurses and doctors were so shocked at how fast everything went and kept telling me what a good job I did.  I didn't feel like I did that great of a job.  I mean, I was screaming and crying the whole time.  But the baby was born and everyone was okay, so I suppose it was a success.  One nurse commented that if I ever get pregnant again, my husband better know how to do a home birth.  I kind of laughed, but she kept her straight face and said "no, I'm serious".  Oh.  In hindsight, I don't know how I could have gone in any earlier.  I went in as soon as I was sure I was in labor.  I'm also really glad I didn't send Eric to work that day and that he slept late that morning.  I would have had to call 911 otherwise and Eric would have missed the birth completely.  I also would have skipped the epidural, had I known.  (I betcha I'll still get a bill for it though)  

Our stay at the hospital went great.  Gavin finally got his name about 24 hours after he was born, after MUCH discussion all day Thursday.  I breastfed the first day at the hospital, and it was as painful as it was with Jackson.  I met with a lactation consultant on Friday, and she advised that I actually stop trying to get him to breastfeed, and just focus on pumping. (A second consultant also agreed on Saturday)  As she put it, it's an issue with my skin tissue, NOT the baby's latch or anything having to do with the baby.  The problem is not fixable, so the only way to really deal with it is to manage how I'm damaging the tissue and try to go as easy on it as possible.  With pumping I can control the speed and suction and try to minimize the damage.  So far I've been pumping for three days and haven't gotten a single drop, even though my milk is coming in.  I'm hopeful that I'll be able to start actually producing tomorrow.  I've been giving Gavin formula the whole time though, and am okay if that's all he ever has.  He's a great eater!  I'll be sure to update about Gavin and our nursing/feeding adventure as things unfold.  

I'm so grateful that he is here and we are all healthy.  Jackson is adjusting pretty well too, although he has been extra whiny and needy since we've been home, but that's to be expected.  It's an adjustment for all of us! 

Gavin is here!

Our little Gavin Alexander is here! He was born on Thursday July 28 at 10:26 a.m. and was 6 pounds, 10 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long. We are all home safe and sound now and everyone is doing great! I'll be sure to add tons of pictures and tell his birth story soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

38 Weeks

You know you are getting close to having a baby when your uterus expires before the gallon of milk in your fridge!

Only one more week, at the most!  I have to say, I'm really really hoping that I make it all the way to 39 weeks and get induced.  So many people would think I'm crazy for wanting to be induced, and I'll admit that most of my reasons are rather selfish.  I mostly want to make it so that I'm positive that I'll have someone at our house, ready to care for Jackson.  (I have amazing friends and neighbors that have all volunteered to take Jackson, but I hate to put that on them)  I got a call last week from my sister telling me that she couldn't come to Denver anymore.  Between that, and my doctor being out of town until Sunday, I've been crossing my fingers, and legs, that this baby waits until the 3rd, when I can be induced.  My mom will be here.  My doctor will be here.  There will be minimal surprises.  I just really want it to work out that way.  And besides, just yesterday was my last day of work, and I feel like I haven't had much time to relax.  And we still don't have a name picked out.  BUT, I know that's not the way it works and this baby will come when he's good and ready.  I've just been trying stay off my feet as much as possible, drink lots of water and stay cool.  I guess that's all I can do.

Baby's size: 6.8 pounds and over 19 1/2 inches long, like a leek.

Belly size:
About 40 1/2 inches around.  Same as last week.

  I've had lots and lots of pink lemonade this week, but that might have something to do with how hot it is outside.  Twix candy bars have also sounded really good, but I've mostly resisted that craving.....mostly.

Mood: I'm getting a little touchy.  I've noticed myself getting annoyed very easily and a little more weepy than usual.  I think I'm just over all of this.

The most annoying symptom right now is the pain down really low.  It makes walking or even lifting my leg to walk very difficult and painful.  This is something I never experienced with my first pregnancy.  I don't know how people do this more than 2 or 3 times! I've also had some other, rather unpleasant painful symptoms that I think a lot of pregnant women (and just unlucky people in general) experience.  I'll leave a little to your imagination, and just say two words.  Sitz bath.  Ugh! 

Go to clothing: Anything that goes over my belly and isn't too hot!

Sleep:  The last few nights have given me trouble.  I'm really uncomfortable, have to pee every 30 minutes and can't even roll over.  Not to mention that I've been stressing about baby's name and "what if I go into labor before next Wednesday" thoughts race through my mind.

Baby movement:
  He's definitely running out of room and moving a lot less. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Nursery Is Done!

Well, close enough anyway.  There are still a few small things I'd like to get finished, but it's definitely ready for us to put a baby in there.  So, the theme of the room started from the inspiration from this picture I found on etsy.
The theme is owls, but specifically, rock band owls.  And I didn't realize until just now just how totally specific that is.  It's really two themes.  Owls and music, so you'll find both of those things in the room.  It might not make sense to most people, but it does to me, so it works......
This is the new piece of furniture in the room.  I fell in love with this rocking chair at the beginning of my pregnancy.  It's soooooo soft and sooooo comfortable.  I don't know if you can tell in the picture but it's made of corduroy, which I love.  The problem with this chair was the price tag.  I knew there was no way, even if we had the money, that my husband would let me spend our money on it.  So I did what I always do, which is figure out a way to get it that didn't involve spending money out of our weekly budget.  Usually I look at something and try to figure out how to make it, but furniture making is definitely not in the scope of my abilities, so I did the only other thing I could think to do.  Make money exist where no money existed before.  Craigslist to the rescue!  We have so much in our house that is actually worth something that we use almost never.  Like, for example, our Wii system.  In the last year and a half, we have used it exactly one time.  And although I was a little sad to sell the Wii, because I think Jackson would really enjoy it as he gets older, we still have a Play Station.  And I also needed to compare it to how much I would use this rocker versus that Wii.  We are talking daily use versus once a year use.  No question in my mind.  Totally worth it.  So between selling a couple sets of dishes, the Wii and other household stuff that we don't use anymore, a 20% off coupon, and a little baby present money from my in-laws, I got my chair!  I also made that little matching throw for it.  (Knowing how to sew is priceless!)

The crib is the same crib Jackson used.  I made this quilt a while back, and just yesterday  whipped up this quick bedskirt.  (One of the easier projects I've ever done)
Here's the band.  We have a drummer, singer, guitar player and pianist.  Under them is another new piece to this room.  I love these little cubbies and have them in Jackson's room and two in the playroom.  They are great for books, toys and other items.  I have the receiving blankets, bibs and burp cloths in this one, plus some books and a bear.  I'd also like to point out the tv on there.  This is NOT a permanent fixture in the room, but only something to entertain Mommy during those late night feedings the first couple months.  It will go soon after that.
The changing table and shelf above are also leftover from Jackson's nursery, but I changed the clothes hanging from them and the accessories above.  I have a wipe warmer on the table, but I don't really suggest them.  I think they dry out the wipes.  I just store them in there, unplugged, so I don't have to look at the box they come in.
And finally his little closet.  The top row of clothes is all of this newborn size.  The bottom row is 0-3 months.  As you can see, this baby is not in need of any more clothes, especially 0-3 months, but when I was first getting everything ready, I only had 6 newborn sized onesies.  A quick trip to the Carter's outlet solved that problem though!

Now, the only thing I'm missing is the baby!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Bags Are Packed....

I've got my hospital bag all packed and ready to go.  One of the most common questions I see on birth boards is "What do you really need to take to the hospital?"  I can't speak for other moms, but I know the first time around I waaaaaay over packed.  This time around I'm keeping it to the bare minimum....for me anyway.  Here's what made the cut:

1)  My pillow from home with a not white pillow case on it.  I'm kind of a weirdo when it comes to where I lay my head at night, so this is a MUST for me.  And our regular sheets at home are white, as are the hospital's.  I don't want my coveted pillow getting confused for the hospitals and taken out with theirs, so I have a different color case.  Obviously I didn't actually pack my pillow yet, because I need to sleep on it until then.  But, I'll be sure it gets grabbed on our way out the door.  (The green case is in my bag though)

2)  A robe.  I'll spend my time there in the hospital gowns.  (either the one I made, or the one they provide)  So, it's nice to have a little extra warmth, in case it's over air conditioned, and butt coverage for walking around.  I got this robe for my last hospital stay with Jackson.  

4) New slippers.  I'm a slipper wearer.  I wear them at home 90% of the time.  I figure giving birth is a reasonable enough excuse to get new, not stinky and dirty ones.  I found these pink ones on clearance for $7 at Walmart. 

5)  Toiletries.  This is kind of self-explainatory, but here is a basic breakdown of what I'm bringing.  Shampoo, conditioner, an unscented bar of soap (I don't want anything too offensive smelling on my skin, for baby's sake), my lotion I can't live without (also unscented), two travel toothbrushes (one for me and one for Eric.  He can go home to shower and get ready, so he won't be taking any other toiletries, but a toothbrush for him certainly won't hurt anything), my chapstick that I also can't live without (I'm kind of addicted to chap stick), deodorant, a brush and a travel hairdryer.  I'll probably throw in a little bit of make up before I leave for the hospital, but nothing too major.  Probably just my basic bare minerals stuff.  

6) My unmentionables.....that I'll be mentioning here.  Okay, here's the deal.  When a baby comes out of your who-ha (or apparently even if you get a c-section) there is lots of blood that comes out too.  The hospital will give you these mesh things that go over your who-ha that are supposed to resemble underwear.  I'm sure there are many many women out there that wouldn't be caught dead in them.  I'm NOT one of those women.  I wear them.  For me, there was so much tearing down there, that the entire first day, I had an ice pack down there, and there was so much blood that I really didn't want to ruin anything of mine.  So, I wear them while I'm there and save my granny panties for when I go home.  As far as the other unmentionables to the north.  Last time, I got a night time nursing bra.  This was a total lifesaver for me!  I wore them around the clock the first few days, especially in the hospital.  My mom had to go buy me another one while I was in the hospital.  They are super comfortable, and nursing is an already uncomfortable process (for me anyway), so anything to help is a-okay in my book.  I'm still not even sure if I'll nurse or not, but I'll be wearing these in the hospital, regardless. 

7) An outfit to go home in.  I just put this in this picture to show you, but I don't have anything actually packed yet.  I don't have enough clothes that fit right now to take anything out of rotation.

8) My phone and charger.  I would be lost if I forgot either of these things.  I'd send Eric home to get them if I forgot them, probably even during labor.  

9) My camera bag with cameras.  I'm bringing my easy point and shoot, which has video features, and my good DSL.  The batteries are fully charged and the memory cards are completely empty.  To me, this is the most important thing for me to bring to the hospital.

Here's what I'm NOT bringing that lots of other people suggest you bring.

*Anything for labor.  Like relaxing music or books to read or massage stuff for Eric to use on me.  The only thing I need during labor is an epidural.  And maybe my iPhone.

*Pajamas or other clothes to wear while there.  Lots of women are more comfortable in their own clothes.  I, for one, was more comfortable in the hospital gowns.  I had lots and lots of stitches and swelling and bleeding last time around, and was being checked down there every couple hours.  It would have been a major pain to have to pull my pants down each time, not to mention that I really don't want anything pressing up against it.

*Food or snacks.  Personally, I kind of liked the hospital food, and they gave me tons of it.

*Medicine.  Again, they will provide it for you.

*Pads.  A lot of women have a brand preference, and I certainly do at home, but at the hospital I don't care.  At all.  In fact, that first day, they even ripped the pads open and put ice packs on the inside of them for me, which was genius!

I also have a small bag packed for the baby.  Here is what I included:

1)  My diaper bag.  I could have totally thrown everything in my bag, but I just think this bag is cute and I feel like taking it.  So sue me.  

2)  The "My name is _____" shirts that I made for little one.  I made one in red that's a newborn size, and another one in blue that's 0-3 months, in case I have a larger baby or in case I just feel like putting him in a blue one.  (And NO.  We still don't have a name picked out!)

3)  His little take home outfit.  With Jackson, his take home outfit was waaaaaay too big for him to wear, so my mom went out and got him a new preemie size one.  We'll see if this one fits, but it might not....

4)  A receiving blanket.  The hospital will give you blankets to use while you are there, but last time they told me not to take it home.  So I didn't, like a good little rule follower.  I will probably take 1 or 2 this time.  I didn't realize that the hospital ones are much bigger than the ones you can buy at the store and wish I would have had a couple at home with us. 

Stuff I'm NOT bringing for baby:

*Pretty much everything.  The hospital will provide clothes, diapers, wipes, medicine, formula, blankets, hats, brushes.  Seriously everything.  And make sure you save room in your suitcase to take all of that stuff home with you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

37 Weeks

Full term today!  And I made it just fine through my conference this weekend.  It was actually kinda nice to have an excuse to sit for hours at a time.  I also had a doctor's appointment today.  She checked me and I'm now 2 cm dilated and the baby is all the way down.  She also informed me that she has to go out of town (again) starting on Tuesday through Sunday.  Which sucks.  I'd have to make it two more weeks to have everything line up "perfectly" i.e. have my sister here to be with Jackson AND have my doctor deliver the baby.  I guess it's possible, and I hope that it happens, but I'm not expecting it.  She has me coming in on Monday to check me one more time before she leaves town.  Before I left, she told me that she will see me Monday or this weekend when I go into labor, and kinda gave me a look.  I corrected her and said she would definitely see me Monday.  She continued with her look and said "we'll see".  

Baby's size: 6 1/3 pounds and a little over 19 inches long, like a stalk of Swiss chard.  Ummmmm....okay.......

Belly size:
About 40 1/2 inches around.  Smaller than last week.  The doctor said that I was measuring smaller than last time too, and it's because he is down in my pelvis.

  I'm mostly craving a clean house, so I'm eating whatever doesn't make a mess to cook and clean up. 

Mood: Mostly just nervous and nesting like a crazy person.  I'm also realizing that no matter how hard I try, I'll never get everything done on my to do list.  And the list is especially long, because I have to make up for weeks   months of being exhausted and slacking on housework. 

Same as last week. I'm still getting those weird front of the leg almost charlie horse things. And LOTS of pain and pressure down low. I think that's the most uncomfortable thing right now. But I'm still getting my typical stuff too, braxton hicks (that are becoming more painful), acid reflux, and back pain.
Go to clothing: It's been hot hot hot around here!  I'm just trying to stay cool.  Dresses and skirts help.  So does staying in the a/c.

Sleep:  Some nights are better than others.  Getting up to pee is the most difficult thing.  I've been managing to make it almost 2 hours at a time most nights.  And when I do get up, it's really painful down low.  The baby's head MUST be pushing on something these days.   

Baby movement:
  He's definitely running out of room and moving a less.  He gets lots of hiccups still though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DIY Hospital Gown

No, I haven't gotten so big that I can only wear a moo-moo, and I haven't gone into labor, yet.  This is a picture of the hospital gown I made.  Okay, okay.  I know this is totally useless and silly, and that the hospital actually provides ones for your to wear.  But sometimes it's nice to do something frivolous for yourself.  Especially after you've pushed something the size of a watermelon out of the size of a, I don't know....grape.  Unless, of course, you are this girl.  (click on it after you read this post.  It's funny, I promise)  

Anyway.  I've seen the designer gowns that the celebs wear when they have their babies, and, as cute as they are, they cost a pretty penny.  We are talking upwards of $70.  For something that you'll probably bleed all over and wear once.  But with this free hospital gown pattern and a few yards of fabric, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost.  Mine ended up costing about $18 total, but I did make a few upgrades, which I'll get into later.  You could definitely make yours for much less though.

The pattern calls for about 3 yards of fabric.  The fabric I chose was $10 per yard and I had a 50% off coupon at Joann's, so it ended up being $5 per yard.  (Did you know there is a Joann's app for your iphone that you can upload coupons right to?)  That's an okay price, but if you really looked hard, you could find a fabric for about $5 a yard and then use those handy Joann coupons to lower it to $2.50.  I made two gowns, one for me and one as a gift for a friend, so I was a little pickier about the design on the fabric.  Once I used the pattern to cut out the fabric, I stopped using it and didn't pay attention to the directions, so I have no idea if I did it according to the pattern or not.

This is what I did: 

1)  Cut the pattern out on the fabric.

2) Start working at the shoulders.  Make a hem where the shoulders are.  (I always double it over, it looks nicer)  You will have 4 of these.  Front right, front left, back right and back left.  I hemmed the top and the side, where the arm hole is.

3)  After hemming, I added the snaps.  These shoulder snaps are really handy when you are breastfeeding. The pattern calls for velcro, but I upgraded to a strip of snaps.  It's a little more expensive, but I felt like it was a little nicer touch. 

Be careful when you are sewing this, especially with the male side of the snaps.  If you get the metal snaps too close to the presser foot it can get caught in the foot.

Another thing to be careful about when adding the strip of snaps. Be sure that the snaps go together like THIS so it lays flat:
And NOT like THIS:  (I made this mistake not once, but twice, and had to rip it out and do it over again....twice!)  It doesn't lay flat and looks really stupid if you do it like this. 
4)  Once the snaps are in place and the arm holes are hemmed, it's time to add the bias tape.  I already had two packages of pink bias tape for a project that I never got to, so this was a free step for me.  You also don't have to use the tape and can just hem the edges down, saving you a couple dollars at the same time.  I added tape around the neck and all down the back.  Leave the bottom and sides open.  If you DO want to use bias tape, be sure to get at least 1/4" or 1/2".  Working with anything smaller will be a huge pain and not worth your time.  I added the ties WHILE sewing on the bias tape.  For mine, I used a pink ribbon.  While it was easier, I thought it didn't blend in very well, so for my friend I used some of this teeny tiny bias tape I had from a previous project that I knew I would never use again as bias tape, because it was too small.  I sewed it shut,
And added it under the bias tape. 
I much prefer this look, because it matches, but it IS more work.  
A note on where to add the ties:  I don't know where the pattern said to put these, but I put them at the neck, chest height and waist height.  In this picture, you can see the neck and waist ones.  (The chest one is tied on the inside.)  I also put the ties on the sides where the seam is, and not just along the open edges on the back.  Given my smaller frame, and knowing this was a one size fits all pattern, I wanted the option of pulling it tighter.  It also gives the back full coverage.  You may or may not want to do this, depending on your build.

5)  Sew the front to the two back sides along the side on the inside.

6) Finally, hem the bottom edge.

This whole project took me about 3 hours, including undoing and redoing my mistakes.  I'm sure that if I were to do this again, it wouldn't take nearly as long.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Number two

I made this little shirt for the baby to wear while we are at the hospital.  
I thought I could take a picture of the baby in it to announce his name and birth to everyone, since no one knows his name yet.  NOT EVEN US! 

Why is this so hard?  We are considering just calling him "number two".  

Coming up with Jackson's name was hard enough, and now we have to do it AGAIN!  Right now, Eric and I are at a name standoff.  He really likes one name and I really like another name.  (Most people I ask prefer my favorite name) 

As recently as yesterday we flipped through the baby name book, trying to find something we both equally like.  A lot of people have told me that we will just know what his name should be when we see him.  Maybe they are right, but I know that wasn't the case with Jackson.  He was born and the doctor said "What's his name?" We thought we'd probably be naming him Jackson but weren't 100% yet.  Even after seeing him, we weren't completely sold that he looked like a Jackson.  To me, he looked like some sort of poop covered alien baby with baggy skin and chicken legs.  (He was very skinny)  It wasn't until later that he grew into the name Jackson.  

Hopefully we still have a few weeks to figure this out!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

36 Weeks

The countdown begins. In one week, I'll be full term. In two weeks, my sister will be here and I'll be okay with having the baby and leaving Jackson at home. It will also be how far along I was when I had Jackson. In three weeks, I'll be induced, if I still want to be. (I highly doubt I won't want to be!) It's kind of crazy that this baby will be here in no more than three weeks!

I'm leaving for the blogging conference this afternoon. Everyone send some positive "baby stay in there" vibes my way. I really really don't want to have the baby this weekend!! I'll be out of town. My doctor is out of town. (A different town, of course) Eric is in a yet another town until tomorrow night. (He is joining me after work tomorrow night and Eric, Jackson and I are staying the night in Colorado Springs) And besides, I'm really looking forward to this conference, and if I'm in the hospital having a baby, I'm pretty sure I won't be getting the most out of it!

Baby's size: About 6 pounds and 18 1/2 inches long. About as big as a crenshaw melon. (I don't know what a crenshaw melon is, but most melons are pretty big!) Okay, we'll see....

Belly size:
A little less than 42" around. That's bigger, for sure.

For a couple weeks now, I've really want a chocolate covered banana from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, but haven't been able to make it there. So, instead I've had Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream. It's very good, but
still not a chocolate covered banana. I've also been eating a lot of cold cut sandwiches, which I don't normally like.

Mood: Okay, I guess. I'm not really overly emotional. Just tired all the time. I did notice yesterday that I kept getting annoyed with people who weren't being overly friendly with me, so maybe I'm a bit touchy.

I'm still getting those weird front of the leg almost charlie horse things. And LOTS of pain and pressure down low. I think that's the most uncomfortable thing right now. But I'm still getting my typical stuff too, braxton hicks (that are becoming more painful), acid reflux, and back pain.

Go to clothing: Same as the weeks before.

Sleep: I guess it's been slightly better this week. It has really helped that it's been a little cooler at night. Last week, it was in the 90's every day, which made night's insanely hot (even with our a/c on all day, it doesn't ever really cool down our upstairs). This week, it's been in the 80's and raining so that definitely makes it cooler at night.

Baby movement:
He's finally starting to settle down a bit. I still feel plenty of movement, but he's not nearly as active as the previous weeks, which is nice. And less nauseating.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mother of the year

And the mother of the year award goes to....ME! But in the sarcastic, you're-actually-being-a-shitty-mom sort of way. This past weekend, I worked on a special order quilt for someone. From Friday around 1:00 pm until about 10:00 pm Sunday night, all I did was sew, eat and sleep. And guess what? I'm still not finished with it! (I'm getting close though and it does look good) Here's the problem with sewing. I can't do it with Jackson around. I just can't. He pulls on my arm and wants to "help" and gets super duper needy about every little thing. So, Eric was in charge of entertaining him all weekend, which he did. He does a good job of entertaining him. What he's not so good at is cleaning up the entertainment. So, when I woke up this morning and took a look around our house, I realized that it was dirtier and grosser than it had been in a long time. If ever.

Perhaps this was brought on by typical end-of-pregnancy nesting, but it HAD to be cleaned. Like, right then. Like, I didn't even change myself or Jackson out of our pajamas first and just started cleaning. Except it wasn't normal person cleaning, it was crazy woman cleaning. And I put Jackson in front of the TV or computer the whole time and fed him blueberry muffins for breakfast and a lunchable for lunch.
Note: Diego on the computer, pj's still on and the lunchable. (He actually said "but we aren't at the pool" when I gave him the lunchable. That's usually the only time he gets one)

In my defense though, I did actually make the blueberry muffins for him this morning. From a "just add water" mix, of course.

My crazy person cleaning looked a little something like this:

1) Start cleaning the family room, then realize that the dining room should probably come first so we can eat at the table later.

2) Move on to the dining room. While cleaning the pile where I dumped out my purse looking for something this weekend, I realize that I'm cleaning rather frantically and wonder if it's because I'm nesting and I'm actually going to go into labor soon. Then the thoughts of "what if I'm about to go into labor" go through my head and the first thing I think of is "but the sheets in the guest room aren't clean. Where would Jackson's babysitter sleep?"

3) So I stop cleaning the dining room and go into the guest room, rip the sheets and pillow cases off the bed and take them upstairs to the laundry room.

4) While I'm up there I see the basket of clean, but unfolded dish towels, dish rags and cloth napkins that still need to be folded and put away.

5) So I take the basket of towels downstairs to fold them, only to realize that I have no clean surface to fold them on.

6) So I put the basket down and continue to clean off the dining room table.

7) Then I text my sister.

All of this happened in the span of about ten minutes. But after about three hours of this frantic cleaning, the main floor is (mostly) clean. The guest room sheets are clean and on the bed, and all I have to do is the main floor floors, which shouldn't be too hard (thanks to my Bissell steam and sweep), but I can't do that until I put Jackson to bed. (again, he likes to "help", which is really more of a pain than it's worth. I like that he likes to help, and I like to help him help, but some things are just better left for me to do alone)

Maybe you are wondering why on Earth I'm blogging instead of cleaning right now? Well, after a few hours of vigorous cleaning, I'm hurting. Hurting in an area that I can only imagine to be my cervix. Or maybe my inner pelvis? I'm not very good at anatomy. So, now I'm sitting. And eating Chunky Monkey ice cream. And blogging.

But, I'm still left with a very messy master bed and bath, and messy basement. I'm hoping to get it all done during the day today though, so that I can focus on some of the other important projects looming, once Jackson goes to bed tonight (like the 90% finished quilt). It's not like I'm trying to make my house spotless or anything. Just not embarrassing. I'm really feeling like I can't get anything else done until it's not embarrassing. Oh, and I should probably clean out the fridge too. And change the sheets in Jackson's room. And while I'm changing sheets, I should probably go ahead and get that waterproof mattress pad put on our bed, just in case my water breaks in bed.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quick update

Just a quick update on my doctor's appointment today. I'm dilated to not quite 1 cm, which isn't too much more than last week, and I'm about 50% effaced. (I had to ask her what that meant again. It means that my cervix is about half as thick) Also, apparently I was mistaken last week. The baby isn't actually engaged in my pelvis, but is just really low. She told me not to go into labor while she was gone and to not do anything too crazy (whatever that means). I really really hope I make it at least 3 more weeks though. She is faxing my info to her back up OB though, just in case. She did say that I can go to the blogging conference in Colorado Springs next week, which is about an hour away. As long as I don't have any leaking or unusual (unusual for me, that is) contractions. If I do go into labor, she told me to go to an ER in the Springs and not try to make it back home, given that I went fast last time, there really aren't any hospitals between here and there, and I'm traveling alone. Also, my group B strep test came back negative. Woo Hoo!

The past couple days I've had lots of pain in my low pelvis. Like a whole bunch. Like, I can't even walk for more than a minute or two. This is going to be an interesting few weeks here! Nothing is going to surprise me at this point. I could go into labor tonight or I could have to be induced in a few weeks. I can tell you though that I never had this amount of discomfort with Jackson. Not even at the very end. Well, except for when I was in labor, of course. It sure would be nice to make it until my sister gets here at 38 weeks though. I'd have someone to take care of Jackson, and I'd know for sure that the baby is good and cooked.

Sisters: Guest post

Today is a guest post from my sister.

My sister and I are both Stay-At-Home-Moms (and freelancers). My sister and I are both Stay-At-Home-Moms (and freelancers) who get bored. And we're Stay-At-Home-Moms (and freelancers) who get bored and have, obviously, identical upbringings. We're Stay-At-Home-Moms (and freelancers) who get bored, have identical upbringings, a sometimes under-used artistic streak (because of the toddlers. I get to use mine professionally, and so does she. You know. With the freelancing) and a very silly sense of humor.

And we live very, very far away. (Greenwich, CT and Denver, CO)

So. We collaborate. From very, very far away.

Here's one we did a while ago. We think we're funny.

If you don't think we're funny, well, that's OK. But you could come up with other ways to entertain us. It's important.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

35 weeks

I've been so uncomfortable lately that I'm actually not as nervous about going into labor. I'm really looking forward to this baby being here and the whole labor and delivery thing being over with. I guess that's why we have to be so uncomfortable in those weeks leading up to labor. It makes us not care about the pain we are about to be in! I connected with my doctor at the end of last week and I have an appointment to see her tomorrow, right before she leaves town. Unless something changes, I'll probably just see her the day before she leaves and the day after she gets back. I'm just really hoping to easily make it through the blogging conference next weekend. I doubt that it will be a problem, but I guess only time will tell. I'll report anything, if there is anything to report from the appointment.

Baby's size:
18 inches long and 5 1/4 pounds. The weight of a honeydew. Okay....we'll see.....

Belly size:
Still about 40" around.

Cravings: Still loving s'mores this week. Pop has tasted really good lately too. (Yes, "Pop" and not soda)

Mood: Okay, I'll admit. I've been a little grouchy lately. It's been really hot and I'm constantly uncomfortable and tired.

Symptoms: The only new symptoms are not being able to sleep (see below) and I've been randomly getting cramps in my thigh/quad area. It hasn't gotten to a full on charlie horse yet. I'm always able to catch it and stretch it out just moments before it's a charlie horse, but they still seriously hurt! I also got a cold or allergies or something this past week and have been really stuffed up. No cough or sore throat or anything, just a stuffy nose. It's not a huge deal, but I have had to take a sudafed at night so I can breathe enough to sleep. Other than that, I'm still getting braxton hicks every few minutes, acid reflux most nights, and just general back and all over pain.

Go to clothing: Whatever is big enough to cover my belly and isn't too hot in this 90+ degree weather!

Ugh. It started this week, since the baby has dropped. Most nights I'm waking up (and getting out of bed) at least 4-5 times per night. I have to pee, I'm hot and sweaty, and I can't get comfortable. I'll probably eat my words, but I swear, I'd rather be waking up with an infant right now, because at least with an infant, when I DO sleep, I'm comfortable and getting good rest. I remember sleeping pretty darn hard those first few weeks Jackson was born.

Baby movement:
Again, it's hard motions and not necessarily flips and kicks. He is definitely in the ready position. His head, elbows and knees are almost always in the same place, and I can totally feel them. My stomach has corners now.

Feeding Frenzy

The media is like a feeding frenzy of hungry sharks. I don't watch the news. Ever. If the news comes on, I change the channel. If I can't change the channel, I leave the room. If I can't leave the room I do my best to distract myself from it. I see absolutely no point in watching it. I'm not saying that no one should watch the news, I'm just saying that I, personally, have no reason to watch it. If something important happens that I need to know about, TRUST ME, I'll hear about it. But 99% of the news I don't need to hear.

I also don't consider myself naive or unprepared for real life. I know shitty stuff happens. That's why we have a great security system on our house, lock our doors at night, shred our important documents before throwing them away and avoid bad parts of town.

I don't think that knowing that someone else got hurt or jumped or robbed or raped or murdered makes me (or anyone else) more prepared for it to happen. And hearing about someone else getting hurt or jumped or robbed or raped or murdered only makes me paranoid and stressed.

There is enough in my life, and everyone's life, to worry about. I don't need constant reminders of bad things happening around me. So I make the choice to ignore it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Jackson's Birth Story

Almost every week, I've brought up my anxiety circling around labor. I guess it's only fair to share Jackson's birth story with you, so you can understand a little more about why I'm so nervous about it happening again. I'll try not to exaggerate the details, and I'll also try to leave some of the gory details to your imagination. I mean, we all know where babies come out of, right? I also want to say that I know how lucky I am. I had a healthy baby, and a complication free labor and delivery. There are an awful lot of women out there that can't say the same thing. I don't want to minimize anything anyone else has experienced, all I know is what I went through.

My pregnancy with Jackson was easy-peasy. I mean, really. No morning sickness, minimal weight gain, no medications (except for thyroid stuff), or pre-term labor. I did have back problems, acid reflux and lots of braxton hicks, but that all seemed minimal compared to many other pregnant women. I should mention that my mom lived with us when I was pregnant. Oh, and I wasn't working. So, my days consisted of sleeping in until 10:00 and just hanging out, day dreaming about Jackson, planning and getting the house ready. We were finishing our basement (ourselves) the whole pregnancy, which kept me pretty busy. I did much of the work myself, like helping mud and tape the drywall, painting, and all of the tiling. My mom
helped did all of the laundry and all of the dishes, as well as a lot of the other housework. And I didn't have any other children to take care of, so it goes without saying that I had it pretty easy. I never really felt that OhMyGodICan'tDoThisOneMoreDay moment that so many pregnant women feel. I went to my 36 week appointment and my doctor checked me. I was closed up nice and tight, and Jackson had dropped. At 37 weeks I was dilated about a fingertip. At 38 weeks, when my doctor checked me, I was 1 cm. Knowing that I'm not that big, my doctor was slightly concerned with me not being able to push the baby out and didn't want him getting too big. So, while she was checking me she casually said "I'm just going to strip you here". That hurt pretty bad. Getting checked is already a somewhat painful process. Getting your membranes stripped really hurts. My response was "Wait! Won't that, like, make me have the baby?" She just kind of smiled and said "probably". Then she said "See you this weekend!" That was on the Thursday before Father's Day. Friday, I went and got a mani/pedi with another pregnant friend, due about a week after me. I didn't go into labor. Saturday morning, I went and got a massage. Still nothing. Then I got a text from that same friend due a week after me that her water had broken and she was going to the hospital. That's when I started getting a little jealous of her. I was due before her. My doctor had stripped my membrane. It was MY turn to have the baby! That day, I finished grouting the tile on the fireplace in the basement and did some touch up painting. Eric and I also went to a co-worker's house to check out his newly finished basement. For dinner I had something really spicy (I didn't know it was going to be spicy when I ordered it) and after dinner we walked around the outlet mall for a while. Realizing that I was no closer to having Jackson that day than I was a week ago, we went home and I took a bath and went to bed a little before midnight. I had been in bed about five minutes and started getting some rumbling in my stomach. You know the kind? Where you'd better get to the bathroom, and quick! Stupid spicy dinner! It was causing all kinds of cramping. About three minutes later, it happened again. Five minutes later? AGAIN! This is NO TIME to have the stomach flu! After about fifteen minutes of that I started thinking back to those birthing classes we took, and remembered hearing something about how sometimes your body will "clean itself out" at the onset of labor. So, I thought I should start timing them. I was getting these cramps about every 3-5 minutes. Eric still hadn't come to bed, but about 45 minutes of having contractions every 3-5 minutes, he finally came up. I told him that I thought I was maybe in labor. Or that I had the shits. One of those things was definitely happening. But being the good little rule follower that I am, I wanted to wait until I had contractions every 3-5 minutes for a solid hour before calling the doctor, just like "they say". I told Eric he could lay down and I'd just see what happens. The contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart, lasting about 3 minutes each. They were painful, but I was still able to joke around and walk around our bedroom. By the time the hour rolled around, I told Eric that we should probably at least call the doctor and see what she says. We called the office, and they called her. It was about 45 minutes later before she called us back, saying she was expecting to hear from us. By now I'm certain I am in labor and the contractions are still 3-5 minutes apart, lasting almost 3-5 minutes each. I was no longer finding the humor in things and couldn't have a conversation. The doctor told us to get to the hospital. So I went downstairs and told my mom to be ready, and that I was headed in. The car ride there was insane. We are only about 10-15 minutes away from the hospital, but I swear if there was a bump to be hit, Eric hit it. We checked into the emergency room when we got there, because it was after hours, and they sent us up to labor and delivery. I had to walk up there myself! In the movies they get the poor lady a wheel chair, but no, they just pointed towards the elevators and told us "second floor". When I got there, they immediately put me in a triage room. I changed into the hospital gown and laid down on the bed. This is the part of my labor that I remember as being the worst! They hooked me up to a monitor and a blood pressure machine, checked my cervix (I was at a 3) and continued to ask me question after question about my medical history. I answered questions for at least two hours while they monitored me. By now, I was really nauseous from the pain and my blood pressure was through the roof. They were making me lay completely flat on my back, which is the most uncomfortable position you could possibly be in when in that kind of pain. I was pissed. Everything I read was saying that contractions are really painful, but that you'll get a break between them. Yeah, they'll hurt for a minute or so, but then you'll get a couple minutes to catch your breath. That wasn't happening. I was getting no break. They were coming on top of each other. Finally after about 2 hours, they admitted me. It was about 4:00 in the morning. They got me in the room, gave me an IV and took some blood. They checked me again, and I was still at a 3. That's when I got really pissed! I kept saying that "I can't do this for hours and hours", and "I'm not getting a break!" My doctor went ahead and okayed the epidural over the phone, since it was clear I was in active labor. We just had to wait for me to go through a whole bag of saline through my IV first, and wait on the blood work to come back okay. The anesthesiologist, nurse, Eric and I were all just sitting there, prepped and ready for my epidural, waiting for the phone call that the epidural was a go. I don't know how long that took, but it seemed like forever. (It was probably a few minutes) Then the phone call came and within seconds life was good again. For those of you who have never had an epidural and are in any way nervous about it, all I can say is don't be! It's amazing! It didn't hurt at all (not compared to the kind of pain I was in before hand anyway). There was a slight popping feeling in my back, then warmth shooting down my legs. And then it was like the heavens opened up and God (or the anesthesiologist) shone down on me. I literally felt no more pain! Within a few seconds I got really dizzy and nauseous. I told the anesthesiologist and he immediately put something in my IV and it stopped right away. I also started shaking all over. Like shivering. The nurse said it was totally normal, and it was from the labor, not the epidural. The only other weird side effect I had was that it made my face really itchy. Like, crazy drug addict itchy. The nurse gave me a wet wash cloth to scratch with, instead of my fingernails so I wouldn't scratch myself. By now, it was probably about 4:30. My blood pressure had gone back down again (because I wasn't freaking out anymore), and I was able to sit up in the bed. The nurse put the catheter in me (which I also couldn't feel at all) and checked my cervix. I WAS FULLY DILATED! She let the catheter do it's job and then took it back out and called my doctor, telling her to get to the hospital. About that time I felt something warm and wet downstairs. I told the nurse and my water had broken. She was a little less than excited when she checked though. Apparently Jackson had his meconium inside me. (That's the baby's first poop, for those of you that don't know) I guess this can be dangerous, because the baby can aspirate it. By now, my mom was in the room with us. The nurse had me do a "practice push" while we were waiting for the doctor. I got about one second into my first "practice push" and the nurse told me not to practice after all. We will just wait for the doctor. So we sat there and waited. For about a half hour. Around 5:00 a.m. the doctor came in the room and I started pushing. During the pushing process, I couldn't feel a thing. (I mean, I did just get my epidural an hour before) I actually felt like, every time I pushed, it tickled a little bit. Like, the kind of tickle you feel when your leg falls asleep and starts waking up again. My doctor said that I'm the only person that's ever said that pushing a baby out "tickles", but I thought it did. I also couldn't feel any pressure and had no idea when I was having a contraction and it was time to push. They had to tell me when to push. At first my mom and Eric were each holding a leg, but then the nurse was wanting me to open up my pelvis a little more so she had me hold my own legs (bottoms of my feet together, grabbing my ankles and pulling them toward me). Not the most flatter thing in the world, but apparently it was working. This new position also meant that my mom and Eric no longer had a job and were strictly spectators. I didn't care in the moment, but I guess looking back, it might have been a little awkward. And I had a very strict "no peeking, stay by my head" rule with Eric. So his job was to tell me when I was getting another contraction. Apparently, Jackson's heart rate dropped some during this time, because they made me wear an oxygen mask. Every time I had a contraction, I would push three times, for 10 seconds each, and then we would all sit around and laugh and joke, waiting for that contraction to pass and another one to start. I finally asked my doctor if I was allowed to push more than three times per contractions. She laughed at me and told me I could push as long as I wanted. A little before 5:30 a.m., I had my next contraction, I
pushed, and Jackson literally dove out of me. Both of his hands beside his head, dove out. They put him on my chest, all covered in poop and screaming his head off. The doctor didn't even get to suction the meconium out before he took a huge breath and screamed. The first thing the doctor said was that he was small. Much smaller than she thought he would be. After quickly wiping him off, the nurses immediately took him to the nursery to check him out. That worried me a bit, since I was told the baby would stay in the room, as long as everything was okay. The doctor reassured me that she was only having him go to the nursery because he was so small. Eric went with Jackson and my mom stayed with me, while the doctor delivered the other stuff that comes out when you have a baby and stitched me up. I was getting stitched up for over an hour. Apparently the combination of a fast labor and the fact that both of Jackson's hands were on the sides of his head, caused a lot of damage. Towards the end of the stitching, my epidural was wearing off and I started feeling her stitching. That wasn't a great feeling, but it was bearable knowing that the hard part was over. About the time the doctor was finished with me, Jackson was getting wheeled back into the room in his little bassinet. He weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces and was 18 inches long. He was perfectly healthy, regardless of his size.

My labor was fast and furious. 5 1/2 hours from my first contraction until Jackson was born. I don't know if fast and furious is "better" than a slow and long labor. I have nothing to compare it to. But I know that it was super intense, and I had very little time to prepare for it, as far as mentally knowing I'm in labor. I don't know if you can ever totally mentally prepare for labor. I completely freaked, making my blood pressure get ridiculously high and my body tense up so much that I was actually keeping myself from dilating like I should. I was so wrapped up in thinking that I was going to be in so much pain, without a break, for hours on end (like the horror stories everyone always tells you about). I'm hoping this time, with the knowledge that I probably
won't have one of those crazy long labors, I'll be able to relax a little more, keep my blood pressure down, and let my body have the baby like it should. I'm also not going to wait the full hour before calling the doctor this time!

Oh, and my friend that went into labor Saturday morning? Poor thing still didn't have her baby until several hours after me! And no. We weren't at the same hospital. That would have been too cool!