Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 Week In

The 3 of us have been home for 3 weeks now. I'm not sure if it feels like it's been shorter, longer, or right on for the length of time. It really depends on when I'm asked. Regardless, it's been something else...

It's not completely fluffy sunshine and shiny roses, but I'm happy with it all. I'm pretty happy with Emma's sleeping/eating pattern. It's pretty much every 2-2.5hr that she wants to eat, and she sleeps for a good chunk of that time. It's about the same at night except those 2-3hrs are 90% sleeping and half sleeping/eating. Of course, that just the "average" and there can be a good amount of variety depending on the day.

We're cloth diapering, and I have to say that I quite like it. We used disposables while we were still in teh hospital and the other weekend when we were visiting the in-laws. While they fit in the newborn clothes better, Emma wanted to be changed more frequently, which is the opposite of what I've been lead to believe. The cloth diapers don't seem to bother her, and even with a bit longer between changes, we've had no signs of rash or irritation at all. Besides, the diapers and diaper covers for cloth are A-freaking-DORABLE!!

Right now we are primarily using newborn sized pre-folds and covers, I'm excited to start using more of the all-in-ones and pocket diapers. Emma is just a bit to tiny in the waist for most of them at the moment.

Speaking of her size, that little miss can grow! She was 6lbs 13oz at birth, 6lbs 9oz before we left the hospital, 6lbs 14oz at her 1st pediatrician appt, and 7lbs 4oz at the next one the following week. I'm not sure exactly how much she weighs right now, but she's getting too long for quite a number of her sleepers. My newborn isn't going to be a tiny little newborn for too much longer...

I'll try and keep up some semi-regular posting. I just can't even seem to keep up with what day it is lately, so it might be a total flop. But here's to trying!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My 1yr Blog-iversary


I am 2 days late to my own 1 yr celebration (?) of my blog. What a slacker! I guess that's bound to happen when you live your life in 2hr blocks- the days all blur together!

If you had told me when I started this blog a year ago, that I'd be typing my 1st blog-iversary with my very own baby in my lap, I probably would have laughed in your face. Or maybe cried because that couldn't be true. I'm not sure which. And yet, that is exactly where I am. Crazy.

A lot more has changed in the past year than just my parental status. While not all good things, they all played a part in where and who I am today. Here are a few of the highlights:

- The Boy and I have grown closer than we were ever before. Stronger as a couple and more in love with one another. One of the few things I can be thankful for infertility.

- The miscarriage. Definitely a low point, but it opened my eyes to so much and was truly an experience that I came though the other side stronger, more compassionate and far more appreciative than I was.

- I learned to just let things happen. Take things day by day. Not plan and structure everything. While it didn't apply to my whole life, for the 1 or 2 aspects that it did cover, I was able to really enjoy the little things.

- Not sure if it''s been because of the hormones in the fertility meds and pregnancy, but my depression and anxiety are under the best control they've been for ages!

- I've become comfortable enough with our struggle to become parents that I talk with practically anyone about it, just with less details unless it's someone closer. I want people to know that we had to fight to get where we are, and maybe, it might help someone that is going through IF to know they aren't alone and it is something that can be talked about.

- I discovered a place with more support and understanding than I could have imagined. The ALI community may be full of such sad stories and hard choices, the women (and men) that make it up are incredibly strong, courageous, and caring.

Happy 1st birthday, Two's company. Three's a family! I'm beyond happy that I worked up the courage last January to write and publish those 1st posts. I hope you all have at least enjoyed some of my posts and thoughts and possibly found something to help make the journey a little bit easier, if only for a few moments.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Birth Story

AKA - The fast and the furious (and slightly fuzzy)

***This is going to be a LONG post***
(I've contemplated posting this whole thing as I have it written vs condensing it down... I just don't know what all to cut out without making it sound like "contractions, labor, baby." If you make it all the way through, ROCK ON with your bad self!!)

** I hope this is semi-coherent as it’s been written in bits and pieces when I have 2 free hands (I’ve not yet mastered 1-handed typing just yet) and a free moment not filled with visitors, sleep, or attempts to eat. **

 Wowwee! It’s been a crazy, hectic, and absolutely wonderful 5 days… As the previous post said, we celebrated the arrival of our baby GIRL Emma Parker this past Sunday. But to fully appreciate her birth story, I think I need to start back at Christmas.

Christmas day – I began losing my mucus plug and baby had dropped some already. I was being told by people left and right “Any day now!” When I became unplugged, I started to believe them!

Things were only amplified at my next Ob appt 4 days later when the Dr did an internal check and I was 2cm! When I had checked my self the day prior, it felt like just a tiny gap the size of my fingertip! Woo hoo progress! Any day now! The more frequent Braxton Hick contractions didn’t help either.

We waited. And waited. And waited a bit more. The next week at my 39w appt, things were pretty much status quo. Still just 2cm dilated. 50% effaced and baby was at about +2/+1 station. Things could change at any time, or stay right there for 2 more weeks. It was weird talking with OB nurse practitioner that has been with me from the start. We were looking at possibility of things come 41 and 42w- Induction and the like. I had resigned myself that baby wasn’t in any hurry to come out, and just wanted to play mind games with me. Might as well just go about regular business

We went out for dinners with friends a time or 2 and just had life as normal. No planning on “what if labor this that or the other.” Previously-PG SIL (the baby crazed one) invited us over for dinner. She was making chili, because, wouldn’t you know it, that’s what a friend made for her the day before she went into labor. I wasn’t buying that as a labor starter as I had my own chili the week before, it was spicier than hers, and nothing happened. But hey, a free meal is a free meal and even better that I didn’t have to do anything. Her son had a friend over for the night and they were just cutting jokes left and right! I laughed so much and so hard, my belly was actually sore that night!

On the ride home, I was really uncomfortable. Actually, I was fairly uncomfortable for most of the day. I just thought it was from all the laughing and how I had been sitting at their place as well as just the usual BHs. We headed to bed, life as usual. Except, I couldn’t stay comfortable. I was able to maybe sleep 45min over the next hour and an half. Stupid back ache! And man, I just felt like I needed a good trip to the restroom. Regardless, at 1am, there was no way I was able to go back to bed.

I sat around and surfed the internet, and started noticing a pattern. Backache, tightening around the front, and relax. Hmmm, maybe I should time these? They felt slightly different than the Braxton Hicks I had been having, thanks to the backache. Well, well, well! Wouldn’t you know it; they were about 5-6min apart, 30-45sec long. I continue monitoring them until about 2am, when I return to the bedroom to let the Boy know that I “think I might be in labor.” I told him he could go back to sleep if he wanted as I was just going to keep tracking things for a while. I gave my OB office a call and spoke to the on-call Dr, who notified the hospital that I may be checking in later. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t able to sleep alone with this knowledge for much longer. We played games in the living room as I snacked, hydrated, and worked through the increasing in strength contractions.

I suddenly dawned on me that the contractions were more like 4min apart and lasting at least 1 full minute. Man, did that gotta go feeling get stronger, too! I finally decided at that point we should probably get our things together and head to the hospital! It was getting a bit difficult to carry a convo through them, let alone walk. They didn’t exactly hurt, but just kinda stole my breath and “froze” my midsection. We called the parents and made arrangements for mine to pick up the puppy dogs later in the morning.

A short but long, uncomfortable car ride later, I was changing from my super frumpy pjs to a sheet from the 80’s with some snaps on the shoulders and ties in the back and began the baseline monitoring. Baby’s heart rate was good through the contractions, which they most definitely were and coming about every 3min at this point. Some how in 2 days I went from 2cm and 50% to 5cm dilated and 100% effaced. The baby was fully engaged in the pelvis and my membranes were “bulging.” The boy filled out all the paperwork and remembered to pass along my “Birth Plan” (which was pretty much a list of natural labor related items, as long as baby and I were doing well).

 After about 20-30 min of read outs, I was transferred to my labor and delivery room. I was able to keep drinking, walking around (ha!), sit on the birth ball, and use the bathroom as/if needed. At some point, I was actually about to “go” and finally had the show that all the sites are talking about leading up to labor. It only took me to be in active labor and 7-8cm dilated to have what most women have a few days before labor! And yes, I went from 5 to 8cm in 30min. My IV port was put in at 5:10a and blood was drawn for tests that I don’t remember now. The only way I know the time is it was written on the info sticker the nurse put on it after placing.

By this time, the contractions were so strong that I could only try to breathe through them and pat either my own or Boy’s leg until they started to subside. Apparently, I was completely my normal self between contractions though! Along with each of the crazy strong contractions was this equally strong feeling like I had to push. I told the nurse this and we agreed to do a check in a few more minutes.

“So you are at 10cm, fully dilated. This is transition and the hardest part. Try not to push as the Dr isn’t here yet.” Holy Cow! That was a) super fast, b) scary to think the Dr wasn’t at the hospital yet, and c) sounding impossible to NOT push! Heck, the contractions were coming so hard and fast that I wasn’t able to leave the bed after the check! I was informed that I should “breathe out” and “blow” through the pushing urge. Easier said than done! I lost focus on one contraction and pushed just slightly… launching my water “a good 2ft” according to the Boy. Now, the real fun starts!

A stand-in Dr arrives as we are still waiting for mine to arrive. Everything is such a frenzy and blur, but I remember her repeatedly telling me not to push at all until she was scrubbed in! Somehow, I was able to meet that request this time I think it was all due to the coaching from the main nurse and the constant reassurance that I was doing great coming from Hubs. The next bit is a bit vague and furious and all I recall is them removing my soaked gown so I was buck-naked on the bed, being intensely hot to the point of roasting, and my nurse instructing me to grab behind my own knees. I was now allowed to push when the feeling struck me! Hallelujah! Unfortunately, I also screamed, groaned and cried out, regardless of being told to steadily breathe through them. It probably sounded a lot like an exorcism going horribly wrong to anyone outside!

Next thing I know, there is a head, some crazy, unexplainable sensations down there, my Dr arrived, 2-3 pushes and a set of shoulders later there was this wet, sticky, completely perfect baby laying on my chest, crying.  My normal, semi-reserved self degenerated into the stereotypical, blubbering, overly-sappy, Hollywood-stylized woman who just gave birth. It was ridiculous. And wonderful. I had never before felt as overwhelmed with emotion as I did at that moment. I laughed. I cried. I trembled uncontrollably. Cried some more. I loved this new little person with every single ounce of my being and fell head over heels in love with my husband, again. Best 5:42am of my life.

I was beyond happy that pretty much all of my birth preferences were met. We didn’t get to have the delayed cord cutting like I would have wanted, but the Boy still did the big snip. I was able to breastfeed right off the bat, and keep her on me for at least 5 minutes. It was a completely natural birth as there was no time for any form of pain meds whether I wanted them or not! Same goes for any episiotomy. To be honest, there was definitely a point where I wanted to just have the epidural as the contractions were pretty hard, long, and painful. I couldn’t imagine holding out and not getting one if my labor had gone on for hours and hours longer. Kudos to any woman that has done so!

 There was just one small thing that I keep getting hung up on, looking back. After placing Emma on my chest, they asked if she had a name. I immediately blurted out “Emma Parker.” Not even a second’s pause to perhaps confer with her father on what we were going to call her. Oops! Good thing Emma was our front-runner and she fits the name quite well! It is a derivative of a Germanic word meaning “whole, universal.” With Emma finally here, I can honestly say that my heart does feel more whole. She has pretty much become my whole world in just a few short days (hours really).

So there you have it, my 4.5hrs of labor. My labor bag was useless as I only used the rice sock and only for a little bit. The birth ed classes were almost pointless as when it came down to the wire, all reason and cognition flew right out the window and everything was pretty much overcome with primal and instinctual urges and reactions. My concluding thoughts on the whole birthing ordeal – There is no such thing as the “perfect” or “ideal” birth. At least, from a planning stand point or how it is commonly thought. Whether X, Y, and Z happen or not and things having gone a certain way. Rubbish.

The mother and child come through the labor healthy and together – Now that is the best, most perfect labor and birth possible.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blogosphere, Meet Emma Parker.

6lbs13oz. 20.5in long.
 Just wanted to pop in real quick, between feedings, monitoring, and super short naps.

Sunday was a super crazy day!

Went into labor.

Had a beautiful, healthy baby girl.

Fallen head over heels in love with her (and all over again with Daddy!).

We are all getting to know each other and figuring things out.

More to come later!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Keep on, Keeping on, I Guess...

I had a post I was in the midst of writing about Waiting. Waiting for labor and how it is so similar to the waiting pre-PG and early on. How is it completely different. I was about half way through it and lost direction. I just completely forgot where I was going with it.

So I just scratched it and figured I'd post something. This is probably the total opposite of Pulitzer material, but something is better than nothing right?

Here I sit at 39w. Decked out in all my pj and slippered glory. Braless. Sockless. My rings on a chain around my neck. The image of pure sexiness and seduction. My come-hither (with that bag of chips) stare and sultry waddle are just icing on the cake. Mmmm, cake...

Back on topic: The excitement of all that "progress" from last week has died off. Nothing new to report in a whole week. I have my check up at the Ob tomorrow, but I'm 99.9% sure they are going to say things are just in a holding pattern. My confidence isn't just from a hunch or feeling. Oh no. The whole TTC rollercoaster and my over-achieving tendencies have prepped me to be able to take matters into my own hands.


I've managed to check my own cervix since about this time last week. I didn't want surprises going into that 38w appt. I needed to have a clue of what I could expect the Doc to say was going on, beforehand. It definitely was no simple, easy task compared to checking CP around ovulation. Let's just say things are much higher up, and it all feels the same in there. And then there is the belly thing to contend with... However, I some how managed to find it, feel it, and decide that it was slightly dilated. And then I jabbed the baby in the head on accident (not through the cervix though). Sorry!

So, by my self-test, I was right around 1cm dilated. So I was gung-ho excited when the Dr said I was 2cm the next day! Yay for rapid progress, right? Errrrtttt! Wrong! I've check myself again 2 times since last Thursday and nothing is different in there.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm still very much in love with being pregnant. I have not reached (nor do I think I will reach) the point of wanting to "get this thing out of me". It's just the excitement and anticipation I felt last week about the possibility of meeting and holding my baby very, very soon sort of snowballed. It gave me the kick in the pants to finish up a ton of things around the house and in preparation for the "impending" arrival. Nursery was tidied and practically finished. Meals were prepped and frozen, as well as massive stockpiling of groceries. I finally, FINALLY! finished packing a labor and hospital bag, installing the car seats, and other things I should have completed a month ago.

My accomplishment and excitement, much like my progress, has stalled the last few days. I managed to somehow motivate myself to return 2 items to Targe.t, get a hair cut/trim, and pick up a few other things at the W.Mart. The errands took me about 2hrs. The motivating? Try 6hrs. It's so discouraging to have gotten not only mine, but family and friends' hopes up only to keep trailing them along. I know they all mean well, but the check-ins are getting old and depressing. We all so very much want to meet the LO, but I feel like I'm some how letting people down by not having any change going on in there.

But what can I do? I don't want to take any risks of this baby coming out before it's ready, no matter how badly I want them in my arms. Until then, whenever that may be, I'll continue on with my glamorous, sensual, 9m pregnant self and try to clear out some of the lingering holiday goodies that are still floating around the kitchen. Gotta make room for the baby gear right?

(ps - if you are interested, I've posted completed nursery pics on the baby blurbs page. That bit hasn't seen any action in quite a while!)