Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A few more pics

Another first bath pic

As I said, Ollie is never far away from her.

Please excuse my stretch-marked belly hanging out... This is the dogs usual position with her. Yes, they are usually that close.

Chillin' with her daddy.

Her first sponge bath

Ollie is never very far from her.

Her in her billiblanket

Typical night

One week old update

Abbie is one week old today. It's been an interesting week.

Abbie had/has jaundice, so they made her stay an extra day in the hospital under the phototherapy lights. That was by far the hardest part for me, of my stay in the hospital - them taking my baby away from me. I cried a lot. We went to the nursery every three hours so I could nurse her, and we did this for about 36 hours. Not my idea of fun, especially since I was discharged a day before she was and we weren't sure they'd have a room for us to stay in until about 3 hrs before we had to be out of our current room. I was preparing to spend the night in the hospital waiting room, but they ended up having a room for us. We went home around 4pm on Saturday.

Sunday we took her out of the house for the first time to the commissary and BX on base. We used the mei tai my friend Emily made us, and it worked wonderfully. (And I used it again today.) I started out wearing her, but my back was (is) still hurting, so Mark ended up wearing her a majority of the time. Pretty cute.

Monday we picked my mom up from the airport in the morning. It's nice having her here, and it's been a huge help. She's a pretty easy baby, but it's nice having an extra set of hands, especially since Mark is back at work now and has been studying a lot at home.
Tuesday we had her first peds appt. Everything went well. She weighed 8lb15oz, which is up 3oz from her lowest weight. However, they did a biliruben test on her to check her jaundice, and it's SUPER high now (19.9 - it was 11.6 when we left the hospital). So they ordered a billiblanket to be delivered to our house and we have to have this thing on her all the time, which is a huge PITA. It's awkward and it's connected to this box for the motor and it makes it hard to move her around - especially at night. But hopefully it's helping and she won't have to wear it much longer. We took her in for another blood test this morning, but we're still waiting for the results. And she has another peds appt tomorrow.
The dogs are doing really well with her now. They were SO interested in her at first, and they still are, but not to the maniac point they were before. Both of them want to be in her face all the time, or right next to her, or on her and I'm fairly certain he thinks that she's his. He pretty much guards her now, and if it comes to choosing between being with me and being with her, he chooses being with her. We can tell he's still a little jealous, but not too bad. That went a lot better than I was anticipating.
Breastfeeding has been going really well, I think. She's pooping and peeing 8-10 times a day, and she has the seedy poops now, which I think is a good sign. The hardest part about BFing is that I don't know how much milk she's actually getting, but the fact that she's pooping and peeing enough reassures me some. I've tried pumping a few times with my little manual pump and I got 20ml out one time and 30ml out another. So I'm assuming she's getting more than that when she nurses since they get more out than the pump does. It doesn't hurt as much as I was expecting. It hurts sometimes when she first latches on for maybe a minute, but then it's fine. And I think my milks come in. Sometimes my boobs feel a little sore, but I don't think I have engorgement at all. I was expecting BFing to be much harder, but I guess maybe this is the one thing that's going as planned for me. (Knock on wood.)

Other than that, everything is going pretty well. I don't feel overly exhausted, even though I'm up quite a bit with her at night. I usually fall asleep in the chair while she's nursing and I think last night I slept more in the chair than I did in the bed, but it's not too bad. It seems like as soon as I get back into bed, she's up again about 15 mins later. But I nap during the day when she naps.

The dr just called. Her billiruben count is down at 18.5 now, thank God. It's still high, but at least it's gone down some, instead of up. If it had gone up, we would have had to put her in the hospital again. We'll see what it is tomorrow morning. Please say a prayer that she gets over this jaundice soon. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our 1st Birth Story

Our 1st Birth Story
There are two main things I’ve learned over the past 40 hours. The first is that I married THE most amazing man in the entire world. I’ve heard many, many times from the staff at the hospital how lucky I am to be married to him, and how well he supported me during our labor and delivery and first day as parents, and I couldn’t agree with them more. The second is that births rarely go the way they’re planned, and that’s okay.
We checked in to the hospital at 6:09am on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. Julie, our doula, was waiting for us when we walked in the doors with all of our luggage. You’d think we were moving in for a week if you’d judged by the amount of stuff we brought with us. What can I say? I like to be prepared. By 6:30am we were registered and I was in L&D room #5 and hooked up to the monitors. I should say that when I walked into the L&D room (by myself – they made Mark and Julie wait in the waiting room) the nurse told me to change into the gown and that they’d be inducing me shortly. At that point my heart pretty much stopped and I told her they weren’t inducing me, they were breaking my water. She said no, our orders from your doctor are to start you on pitocin. I said that they should be to break my water because I really don’t want pitocin and she looked at me like I was talking a foreign language and said well that’s what our orders are. I was starting to panic at this point and was about 5 seconds away from bursting into tears and I was REALLY wishing my husband was in the room with me, but I managed to just ask if we could check with Dr. Branaman before we did anything and the nurse agreed to that. Whew.
They let Mark and Julie into the room with me after they’d asked me “personal” questions (that they’d already asked me during our trip to triage) and Mark and Julie got all our junk situated on one side of the room, out of the way. At 7:45am, one of our nurses, Kim, tried to start an IV port. Notice I said “tried”. Both our nurses, Kim and Nikki, checked out both my arms for a good 15 mins before Kim tried to start it in the side of my left wrist. It didn’t work. After a little more inspecting, Nikki decided to try to put the IV port into the back of my left hand, but once again, that one didn’t work either. Yay. So then they brought in a 3rd nurse to get her opinion and she decided to try on the back of my right hand. She got it under the skin, but apparently it was beside the vein, instead of in the vein, so she messed around with it for a little bit, and then Nikki took over again and messed around with it some more (none of this was tickling by the way), and finally at 8:45am they got the stupid IV port in. What a pain in the butt, but I survived.
At 9:15am, Dr. Branaman came in and examined me, and said I was still 6cm dilated. She broke my water at 9:19am. I was expecting a huge gush of fluid, but it was only a little trickle. I guess I was a little disappointed by that, but I got over it quickly. Two minutes before 10am I told Kim that I had to go #2 and she said that I couldn’t until she examined me again because I guess she had a patient before that thought she had to poop, but it was actually the baby coming out. Ha! I could only dream of that happening. Anyway, she checked me and the baby was at a -1 position, and I was 7cm dilated. We were all excited I was making progress.
I started feeling contractions pretty much right after she broke my water, and they got progressively worse throughout the day. I had to spend 20 mins per hour being monitored in bed. When I wasn’t being monitored, I got in the shower a few times, and walked around the L&D unit a few times and used the balls Julie had brought, but oddly enough, I felt more comfortable sitting on the side of the bed and leaning back on Mark and rocking from side to side during the contractions. By 3:30pm, I’d had about enough of the drug-free delivery idea. My contractions were pretty painful, coming about every 2-4 min and would last between a minute and a minute and a half. Kim checked me again, and I was still only 7cm and I got really discouraged. Mark and Julie talked me through it and I managed to last until about 6pm before I’d literally had enough of the drug-free thing. I was still only 7cm and they were going to start me on pitocin and I decided that I wanted an epidural before they induced me because I was already hurting pretty bad (for almost 9 hours).
The anesthesiologist came in and explained the risks of having an epi, and honestly I don’t even really think I listened to him because at that point I didn’t care what the risks were, as long as the pain stopped. It took him two tries to get the epidural in, and probably took 20 minutes before he managed to get it positioned right. Luckily Mark was able to stay in the room with me, but they made Julie leave. They made Mark sit down in front of me and one of the nurses stood infront of me also. They kept telling me to tuck my chin and relax my shoulders and round out my back, and I was trying to do that but it was hard. About 5 mins into the ordeal, the back of my neck and top shoulder muscles started to hurt a LOT. I was having pretty bad contractions and it was hard to deal with those and stay relaxed without moving at all. I thought my back was relaxed but the next day the anesthesiologist came in and told me that my back was stiffer than a board. Oops. As soon as the epi was in (around 6:45pm), my pain level went from about an 8 to a 2. However it was short lived. The nurses put an internal monitor in me to monitor my contractions and also a catheter, and I could feel both of those, which was my first indication that the epi wasn’t working. After going through a few more contractions with the pain getting more intense each time from when it dropped, the nurses decided to call the anesthesiologist back. He came back and determined that the epi had come out of the epidural space in my back, so instead of pumping the drugs through my system, it was just pumping it under my skin and that’s why it wasn’t working. It took him about 10 mins to get the 2nd epi out and the 3rd epi in, and by 7:25pm the epi finally seemed to be working. Thank God. Although I did think that once it was in correctly I wouldn’t really feel anything, but that’s not how it worked. Apparently epidurals are gravity sensitive, and since I wasn’t allowed to lay flat on my back, whichever side was higher would eventually start feeling the contraction pain. So I kept having to switch which side I was laying on more to evenly distribute the epidural. I could also move my legs the whole time and I could feel the contractions, but they didn’t hurt. It just felt like my stomach was a little tight.
At 8:20pm, they started me on pitocin. By 10pm, I was 9cm dilated and she was at a +1 station. We were thrilled about that, however, my neck and shoulders hurt so bad and were so stiff (from "relaxing" during the epi) I couldn’t even move my head. I was pretty much ready to ask if they could give me an epidural from the ears down, my neck and shoulders hurt so much. At 11:30pm I asked Julie to get me some ice for my neck, and she filled up a hospital glove with ice for me, and thankfully, that seemed to relieve quite a bit of my neck pain. I was really concerned about how I was going to push and put my chin down when I couldn’t even hold my head up off the pillows or move it side to side without excruciating pain. They also checked me at 11:30pm and I was a little more than 9cm dilated. At 12:55am on May 20th, our night nurse, Lorraine, had me push a little to see if I could get the baby’s head to move past the little cervix rim that was left. We made a little bit of progress and by 1:05am I began pushing every contraction. I was trying to remember all of the advice I’d heard given to people on TLC’s Baby Story, and I was trying to put it to use. I knew that I would take away from my pushing if I made noise while trying to push, so I didn’t make any noise, and I never really felt the urge to anyway. I usually pushed about 4 counts to 10 with a breath in between the counts with every contraction. Sometimes I could do 5, but usually just 4. They put me on oxygen for maybe the last half hour of my pushing and we also did a few rounds of “tug of war” pushing, where instead of me holding on to my legs and pulling back from that, I held on to a sheet with a knot in it and the nurse held on to the other side and I would pull as hard as I could during my counting. I didn’t mind pushing that way, but my forearms got tired after doing that about 4 times, so we switched back to the “normal” way.
During most of my pushing, Mark was holding my right leg and Julie was holding my left leg. When they say you lose all modesty during labor, they are 100% true. At first I was nervous about Julie seeing everything (even though she’s done this lots of times), but long before the pushing stage, I was comfortable with her there. At the very end of my pushing, a nurse took over for Julie and Julie took LOTS of pictures for us, which was great. We had a hard time getting the baby past my pelvic bone. I pushed for probably 45 mins and we still couldn’t get her head past my pelvic bone. I kept asking Mark if he could see her head and it was encouraging when he kept saying he could. Mark was INCREDIBLY supportive throughout the entire labor. He was constantly telling me that I was doing a good job and that he was proud of me. I had one time during the labor before I got the epidural where I completely broke down, and he was right there for me and reassured me and made me feel 100% better. I asked him to count for me while I was pushing to give me some sort of reference as to how long I was pushing, and he did a great job with that, along with Julie. Mark got pretty excited when he could see her head and got a big smile on his face, which gave me more energy to continue.
Eventually Dr. Branaman said that we should probably give the vacuum a try, since I still couldn’t get her past my pelvic bone and I was pushing as hard as I could. I really didn’t want to use the vacuum or forceps, but her heartrate was at 200 (120-160 is normal), and it had been high for a while, and Dr. Branaman said she thought it was more risky to prolong the pushing verses using the vacuum, so we agreed. She put it on the baby’s little head, and with my next push, she pulled as I pushed. She said that I would be doing the majority of the pushing and she would just help the baby a little while I was pushing. When I was pushing and she was pulling, the vacuum lost suction and popped off the baby’s head, which we later saw caused a laceration on her head. After she was born, you could distinctly see exactly where the vacuum was, but Mark said Dr. Branaman was pulling downward on the vacuum handle trying to get her head past my pelvic bone and it worked. She only used the vacuum through two contractions and then her head was thru. It scared the CRAP out of me when I felt the vacuum pop off her head. For a split second I seriously thought she’d pulled the baby’s head off, but Mark wasn’t passed out on the ground so that reassured me. The next scariest part was when I was trying to push her shoulders thru. Her shoulders were bigger than her head, and Dr. Branaman, as I was pushing, got this worried look on her face, and her voice sounded panic-y and she started saying a bunch of medical stuff and all the nurses started coming towards me. (Julie told us later she was saying "super pubic", which means the shoulders wouldn't fit through my pelvis.) Mark said this was the point that he got pretty worried too, because we really didn’t know what was going on. But just as the rest of the nurses were getting to me as I was pushing, I felt her come out and Dr. Branaman said “She’s okay, She’s okay.”, and the next thing I know Abbigale Rose was in my arms. I just laid there and cried and I couldn’t even really see my newborn through my tears. I remember asking if she was okay a few times and looking at Mark and seeing him smiling, so that made me feel better. They rubbed her down while she was on me, and cleaned her off as much as they could, but she was pretty darn slimy. I held her for a few minutes and then the delivery nurse asked if they could check her out and clean her off and look at her head some, and I said it was okay. So they took her over to the other side of the room, and Mark went with her and they spent about 15 mins checking her out and cleaning her up. They even said she was extra "cheesy" and it took them a little longer to clean her. Because she had a temp of about 104 when she was born, they called a neonatologist in to check her out. (I apparently had a small fever too when she was born, so I think that’s probably why she had a fever.) The doctor ordered a blood culture for her to rule out any infection. They also had to put ointment on her head where it was raw from the vacuum. But overall, she was doing pretty well. Her APGAR score was 9 at one minute and 8 at five minutes.
Abbigale Rose was born at 2:14am on Wednesday, May 20th. She was 22 inches long and weighed 9 lbs 9.2 oz. Her head was 14 inches and her chest was 14.5 inches. She’s a pretty big baby. Dr. Branaman said that she’s very glad I came in when I did because if Abbie had gotten any bigger, I would have had to have a c-section to get her out. Surprisingly I only had two minor tears.
She is absolutely beautiful. I was pretty worried about having an ugly baby, but she was cute even when she was all squished up. I’d always said I wanted a chunky baby, and I definitely got one. She had the biggest chubby cheeks and she has quite a few of the baby rolls already. Many of the hospital staff has asked if I delivered her by c-section and when I say no, their eyes always get pretty big. At 48 hours old, she’d dropped down to 8 lbs 12 oz, which is still okay. She doesn’t fit into the newborn sized diapers – we’ve been using size 1 on her.
After the delivery, Dr. Branaman stitched me up and Mark left with Abbie to the nursery while she was getting checked out. I was absolutely exhausted, to the point where I could barely keep my eyes open. Our night nurse wasn’t the best though, and she kept coming in to check on me, and she’d uncover my legs and turn on the lights, and then not cover my legs back up or turn the lights back off, so I had a hard time sleeping. Then she made me eat a bowl of cereal. By the time I was done, Mark and Abbie were back and he sat in the chair next to me and held her for the first time. I slept for what felt like 30 seconds, although I’m sure it was longer than that, and then the nurse said I either had to get up and pee or she was going to put a catheter in again. I REALLY didn’t want the catheter so I agreed to try to get up to go to the bathroom. My epidural hadn’t completely worn off, but I was able to stand up on my own, so Mark and Lorraine, the night nurse, helped me to the bathroom. As soon as I sat down, I knew I was going to pass out and I told them. The nurse was telling me to keep my eyes open and take deep breaths, and I was trying really hard to, but it didn’t work. Every time I managed to open my eyes and look at Mark he had this terrified look on his face. I felt terrible and I was trying really hard to stay with it, but it wasn’t working. They gave me those smelling salts and that worked for a second or two, but then I’d start fading. They got another nurse and a wheel chair in the bathroom and I remember them telling me to stand up and pivot myself into the wheelchair, and last I remember I was doing that, but when I woke up I was back on the toilet again. Oops. And Mark looked even more worried. Eventually I got into the wheelchair and they took me out to the bed again and I got into the bed with Mark’s help and slept for a little while. After I rested for about 15 mins they wanted to move me to the recovery room. I was still so tired I could barely hold my head up, but I managed to get into the wheelchair again and got all situated, and then they gave Abbie to me. Lorraine pushed us in the wheelchair to the recovery unit and Mark and 2 nurses followed with all our junk.
So overall, the birth didn’t go anywhere near the way I was hoping. Before the birth, I was worried that I would have my heart set on it going drug-free and if I didn’t do it without drugs, I’d be disappointed in myself. But I was much more okay with things going the way they did then I thought I’d be. I really wasn’t too upset about it at all, and I’m not sure what I’ll want to do with our next birth. At this point, I’m not sure I’d hesitate as much with getting an epidural, even though it took them three times to get one in me.
Mark was absolutely amazing throughout the whole process. He was there for me every step of the way, supporting me physically, emotionally and mentally and he’s stepped into the dad role like he’s been doing it for half his life. He’s had to help me do things that I never in a million years thought my husband would be helping me with, but he never even blinks an eye about any of it. The moment she was born, I think I fell in love with him ten times more than I was before, and I didn’t even think that was possible. I am truly blessed to have him as my husband, partner and best friend.

Monday, May 18, 2009

We're having a baby tomorrow!

Mark and I will most likely officially be parents tomorrow and we couldn't be more excited. We just got back from our OB appt. I'm now 6cm dilated, and she's still at a -2 position and measuring 39 1/2 weeks. Our dr stripped my membranes, which the dr said would probably hurt quite a bit, but really it didn't hurt much at all. It was a little uncomfortable and made me feel like I had to pee, but I wouldn't say it was painful. My dr and doula both think I just have a really high pain tolerance, and I hope that's true. Anyway, she said that if the membrane thing works, it should work within 6 hours, so there is a possibility I'll go into labor tonight. If not, we're going to go to the hospital early in the morning tomorrow (6 or 7am - don't know yet), and she's going to break my water to help get things moving. She's pretty optimistic that breaking my water will be enough to put me into labor if I walk for 4-6 hours after she does it. Luckily she's on call all day long, until Weds morning, so we know she'll be the one to deliver our baby, which is really important to both Mark and me. I'm really hoping that breaking my water will be enough to put me into active labor, but if we have to resort to using pitocin, so be it. I only have 4 more cm to dilate before I can start pushing so we'll see how it goes!

Overall, I'm not really nervous at all at this point. Every time I go to one of my OB appts, it seems to give me more confidence that my body is made to do this. I'm telling myself that I can do this, and that maybe I do handle pain differently than some people (although I'm not sure that's true). We're both optimistic about the whole thing and super excited. I'm supposed to eat a good breakfast tomorrow before we go to the hospital and the dr said that she'd even let me eat while I was in labor and I could still use the shower after she broke my water, so that was encouraging also. I think I'll be 100% more relaxed just knowing that Dr. Branaman is going to be there for us instead of some random person we don't know.

So hopefully tomorrow we will be parents. Please say a prayer that we have a healthy baby girl and that our labor isn't TOO unbareable. =)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm ready.

I think I'm finally mentally ready for this baby. At our appt last Tuesday, I'm not sure I was 100% there yet as far as being ready, but now I am. And I'm not ready because I want her out of me because I'm uncomfortable, I'm just ready to move on to the next stage in my life and to meet this little person I've been "growing" for the past 10 months. I keep hearing from numerous people how they are SO ready to be "unpregnant" the last few weeks of their pregnancy, but I guess I haven't been all that uncomfortable. Sure I'm not as comfortable and mobile as I am when I'm not pregnant, and shaving my legs is damn near impossible, but I'm definitely not miserable.

My OB appt is at 3:20pm tomorrow. Mark and Julie (doula) are going with me. I think I'm going to ask Dr. Branaman about stripping my membranes to see if that speeds things up some. The theory behind that is the dr basically runs her finger around the top side of the cervix which separates the water bag from the cervix and releases proglastins, which is what naturally induces labor. It's not a guarantee that I'll go into labor, but it's worth a shot. If that doesn't work, we're going to talk to her about breaking my water on Tuesday. Mark and I have discussed it a lot, and we've decided that we'd really like our OB to deliver our baby, and our OB leaves Friday for 2 weeks. She was measuring at 39 1/2 weeks last week, so I'm not too worried about her not being ready to come out and I'd definitely prefer to have her smaller when she's born. Plus my situation is a little bit different since last week I was 5 cm dilated. If I was 1-2 cm dilated, our decisions might be different, but I'm already halfway there. And who knows? I might be even more dilated at my appt tomorrow. In fact, I'll be disappointed if I'm not past 5cm tomorrow.

I am just so darn excited to have this baby. My fears are basically gone, although I'm sure that'll be different when I'm on my way to the hospital. But we really just can't wait to meet our little girl. If I have her tomorrow or Tuesday, Mark will be able to stay home with me until next Tuesday, which would be perfect, and my mom would fly down on Monday and help me out after Mark goes back to work.

On a side note, I've been having some pretty decent contractions today. A few even woke me up from a nap. They have been by far, my most noteable contractions to date, and they were even coming every 5 mins for a little bit, but they've pretty much stopped now. Bummer. They were getting a little bit painful, but nothing I couldn't handle. I was all ready to pack up and head to the hospital. I was almost excited to go to the hospital! What the heck is wrong with me??

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Feeling kinda blah

Mark's been in training for a little over two weeks now. He's doing academics, so he's gone from around 6:30am - 8am to 4pm-6pm, depending on the day. Usually he can come home for lunch for a half hour to 45 mins. So I'm home for the majority of the day by myself, and it's starting to get to me.

I pretty much feel worthless, mainly because I do nothing all day long. Literally, nothing. I get up between 8:30 and 9:30am, and eat breakfast, call my mom and check my email. Then I usually go back to bed and read my book or watch tv and almost always end up falling asleep again until noon at least. Sometimes when I wake up I feel good and then I just kinda hang out the rest of the day, doing little chores, but mainly messing around online or watching tv. Other times (like today) I wake up and feel pretty crappy. (Headache, groggy, achy, etc) I feel like I should be cleaning the house or doing something constructive, but I still don't. Our vacuum cleaner is probably one of the heaviest on the market and it completely wears me out when I do that, and Mark doesn't want me carrying it up and down the stairs. Sweeping and scrubbing the floors also have me huffing and puffing within 2 minutes of starting. Our electricity plan is where it's a LOT more expensive to run things between 9am and 9pm, so I try not to do laundry then since it costs so much more. I've been having a LOT of pelvic/ hip pain lately, along with a weird crick in my back so when I stand up sometimes I get shooting pains, so walking around hurts a lot. I almost fell over last night the first time I got up to pee it hurt so bad. And besides, walking around outside right now is kind of out of the picture since it's over 100 degrees here every day. I should go grocery shopping right now, but I'm not because I've been having quite a few contractions lately, and while they don't hurt at all, they are kind of uncomfortable and just make me want to sprawl out and not move. So pretty much I sit at home by myself all day and do nothing. Thank God for the weinas because they try to keep me company. I guess I'm just ready for this baby to come so I have something to occupy my time and so I can go out and do things without getting tired really quickly or being uncomfortable or worrying about going into labor when Mark's not around. I kind of feel like she'll give me a purpose again, because right now I truly do feel pretty worthless. Plus, once I have her and Mark's back at work my mom will be here for a little bit to keep me company and then I won't be so lonely.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not much to report...

Sorry I'm a little late on this. We had dinner at our friend's house after our appt so we just got home.

I was nervous about his appointment. Part of me wanted to be more dilated, but part of me wanted to still be at 5cm so I didn't have to worry about her wanting to break my water. Hence, my BP was 140/102. (At 11am at home, it was 120/62.) So the news is, I'm still 5cm dilated, still -2 position and I'm now about 80% effaced. So not much different from last week at all.

I asked her about breaking my water and how some of you had said that that would make my labor a lot more intense than if it just broke on it's own and she basically that that wasn't really true. She said that when you break your water, usually it causes your body to release oxytocin, which it does naturally anyway during labor, so it would be speeding it up, but not necessarily make it more intense than if it broke naturally. She said the only reason my labor would be more intense than it would naturally is if I didn't go into labor on my own after they broke my water causing them to have to induce me with pitocin. She asked me what I wanted to do - wait another week or come in later this week and have them break my water. I chose to schedule an appointment for next Monday (instead of our usual Tuesday's) with our doctor and see what I'm at then and go from there. I told her I'd prefer to go into my labor on my own instead of trying to rush things and she understood that and was completely open to it. My only concern now is that next Friday (the 22nd) she's going out of town for 2 weeks and I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want her to deliver our baby. So in other words, I really want to have this baby by next Friday.

Every time we see Dr. Branaman, we like her more. She seems so open and receptive to the type of birth we're hoping for and always answers all of our questions and explains things well and makes sure we have a good understanding of everything. Today she didn't even make them take my blood pressure over after my exam because I'd given her my BP records for the week and I didn't have any protein in my urine and I'm not swollen anywhere.

Our bags are packed and in the back of the SUV. The only thing I need to put back there is our pillows and a blanket. All of that stuff will probably stay there until we come home from the hospital with our blueberry. Oh, and she was measuring at 39 weeks this week... YIKES! I'm praying that she's just super long and not extra large.

Monday, May 11, 2009

No baby yet

Before y'all get your pants in a bunch, there's no baby yet. I wish there was because I would give anything to not have to pee 6+ times EVERY night, and to not be sweating hot even though it's 69 degrees in the house. She'll be here soon enough though. I was convinced two weeks ago that she was going to be early, but now I'm not so sure. I'm slightly worried I'm going to have a 10lb baby. I'm not a little person to begin with, and with my Buddha belly added to my frame, she has a pretty good sized home to live in, and she's taking up ALL of it. That's why our OB thinks she's already 8+lbs, because my belly is so tight and it's all baby. But she seems to be pretty content in there right now. I've only been having minor contractions still. Her due date is in 2 and a half weeks. My next OB appt is tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4pm.

Part of me isn't ready for this pregnancy to be over. I LOVE being pregnant. I love having random people come up to me and ask me when I'm due and what I'm having, etc, and then tell me about their kids or their pregnancies. I love walking around and getting these knowing smiles from lots of women. I love feeling her move around inside me and being able to push on parts of my belly and have her push back. It's like having our own little language that no one else understands, except for maybe Mark since he pushes on my belly a lot too. Even the anticipation of what she's going to look like and what her personality will be like is fun. If only I could bend over easier, and I wasn't so hot all the time and didn't have to pee tons in the middle of the night, I'd want to be pregnant forever. But I'm sure it just gets better from here anyway.

My parents and Mark's parents and our good friends, David (who was the best man in our wedding) and his wife Amy, all sent me Mother's Day cards, which totally made my day. And Mark got me a Mother's Day card too and one of the things he wrote in it was "Thanks for growing our baby." which I thought was really sweet.

Last week we had another little mishap with Sadie. I swear that dog is going to give me ulcers. We've been doing this thing with them for a while now, that we call "night night drinks". We ask them if they want a night night drink before we go to bed, and if they do, they definitely make it obvious by jumping up, licking their lips and walking around in circles wagging their tails. It's to the point now where we don't even have to ask if they want one - they let you know - and it's not so much a "night night" drink anymore. It's more of an "any time either of us is in the bathroom" drink. So when they want a drink, we'd pick them up and put their front feet on the edge of the sink and hold our hand under the faucet and let them drink the running tap water. They LOVE it. At our new house though, we can set them both on the bathroom counter and hold our hand under the water and they both get a drink at the same time. We've been doing this since we got here, and haven't had any problems. However, last Friday Mark gave them a drink and then turned around to dry off his hands and the next thing we know, we hear a thud and a grunt and Sadie is sprawled out on the floor. Apparently she had tried to jump off the counter by herself. Mark and I turn around (I was in the closet) and see her on the floor. She wasn't yelping or anything, but when she started to "walk", she was dragging both of her back legs, which completely freaked us both out. So I snatched her up off the floor and started to feel her legs for broken bones and at this point I'm already designing little carts in my head for a weina dog with useless back legs (I'd seen them on TV before). Mark got Ollie off the counter and then took Sadie from me and we both checked her over and didn't see any obvious damage, so we tried setting her on the ground again, and she took off just like normal. .... What the heck? We finally concluded that she somehow pulled either a back muscle or leg muscles because she had trouble jumping up on the couch or bed or going up the stairs for a few days, but she's good as new now. That dog is going to give me a heart attack one of these days. I spent all weekend worrying about her and watching her very closely, but she's okay. Lesson learned was to not turn your back on them for even two seconds when they're on the counter. This is why we have weina dogs. They're amazingly good practice for kids and we can get all our mistakes out on them before the blueberry arrives. =)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Almost 37 week appt

I'll be 37 weeks tomorrow. It was my goal to make it to 37 weeks so I'm glad we did. Mark was able to go to my appt with me today, which I was very thankful for. I was so nervous about him going to my exam appts with me at first, but now he's pretty much my security blanket and I'm much more relaxed at the appts when he's with me.

I've lost another pound since last week, and my blood pressure was 135/85!! Woohoo!!!! It was 129/76 an hour before at home, so it didn't go up too much. I'm 5 cm dilated now, 75% effaced and her head is at a -2 position now. Our OB said I'm very close and I'm feeling more ready for this every day. (By "this" I mean labor and delivery.) She did say that she thinks she'll be a pretty decent sized baby - between 8 and 8.5lbs. If she's huge, it's 100% Mark's fault since big babies run in his family. Since I was a twin, I was pretty small and my dad was like 4lbs or something when he was born, so she won't be getting her large-ness from me. Although I'm not sure it'll make a huge difference if she's 7lbs or 8lbs when I'm pushing her out...

I've been tracking my BP at home, and brought my records in to Dr. B, and she was glad that I had done that and made copies of them and put them in my records. I asked her what her opinions were on my BP "problems" and if she thought they'd be a huge issue during labor and delivery and she brought up a good point. She said that my BP seems to be high at the beginning of appts or situations and then it goes down once I get settled down, which is 100% true. She said that if I go into triage with high BP, but it goes down after that, that that should reassure her (or whoever the on-call dr is) that I'm okay. She pointed out that even after she'd completely freaked me out last week, by the end of my appt, my BP was normal, so she thinks once I get settled into labor at the hospital it should be okay, unless there really is a problem. She also said that if I'm 6+ cm next week that they might consider breaking my water. She's worried about me walking around and being far away from the hospital (it's about a 20 min drive from our house, without traffic) because she thinks I'll have a very quick labor and I might not make it to the hospital on time if I go into labor on my own when I'm already 6+cm dilated.

And those of you who kept telling me to pack the bags, they're all packed and they were even in the back of the car during our OB appt just in case. =)

Monday, May 4, 2009

"The trots and the tummy"

Not a whole lot going on here today. Yesterday Mark was pretty sick all day - from 5am to 5pm. He had diarrhea and threw up a few times, and we're still not quite sure if it was a bug, or food poisoning or from pills he took. He has to test what the Air Force calls "go pills" along with sleep meds to see how his body reacts to them, before they deploy. When they do missions over there, they give them the go pills so they can stay alert the entire time they're in the air, and I guess people have problems sleeping while they're deployed so they give them sleep meds too. He took one Ambient, and it didn't seem to help him fall asleep at all, and the next morning he woke up sick. It said some of the side affects were diarrhea and upset stomach, but I think he had a little more than an upset stomach. He said he's not taking those ever again, just in case. Luckily I haven't gotten whatever he had yet, and hopefully I won't. (Fingers crossed.) He's going to make me go to the hospital if I do get it because I'll probably get dehydrated pretty quickly.

I didn't really have any major contractions yesterday, mainly because I laid in bed with Mark for the majority of the day. Every once in a while I still feel my whole stomach tighten up, but nothing major. Mark keeps telling me he's really going to miss my big belly. For some reason he really likes it, although I'm not quite sure why. He pretty much can't walk by me without rubbing my belly and he's always telling me I'm getting bigger, but I don't really see it. In fact, I've lost about 7 lbs from my top weight during this pregnancy. Apparently she's getting bigger and I'm getting smaller, which is fine with me, as long as she's not a ginormous baby when she comes out.

That's all for now!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mixed emotions

This picture was taken at 36weeks. (Wednesday) Mark keeps telling me my belly is getting huge, but from my angle, it doesn't really seem to be getting much bigger. What do you think?

I didn't gain any weight between my appt last week and my appt this week, and according to our scale at home, I am now losing weigh. Only a pound or two, but still. I don't really have an appetite now, and I get full REALLY fast, and as soon as I eat or drink anything, I pretty much have to go to the bathroom immediately.

The worst part of this pregnancy for me, has been the stretch marks.... Mark says my stomach looks like a watermelon and he wants to paint it green. Nice. As long as they turn white and fade a bunch later on, I'll be okay.

And they go all the way back by my hips too. It's lovely really... I took my diamond ring off this week because it was getting a little tight. I feel naked without it, but I don't want to have to worry about them losing it at the hospital if they have to take it off me there. And I don't want them to have to cut it off either since the band is platinum.

I still haven't packed our hospital bag. Mark and I will probably do it tomorrow, along with get the car seat in the back of the SUV. I just have this feeling that as soon as I'm completely ready for her to come, she will... And I'm not sure I am (or will ever be) completely ready for her arrival. Part of me just wants to get this whole labor and delivery thing over with, but a bigger part of me is getting REALLY nervous about it. I have a feeling I could take a brisk walk and that would put me into labor, especially considering that a slow mosey to the mailbox (less than half a block away) gives me contractions. I realize now that I've probably been feeling contractions for at least a few weeks. Since they don't really hurt, I thought it was her moving around and changing positions, but now I realize they're probably Braxton Hicks. My entire belly will get hard as a rock for about 30 seconds and then it goes away. I guess I thought Braxton Hicks are usually felt in your back, and I feel these mostly on the top of my belly, right under my ribs. They only scare me now because they're a constant reminder of what's to come.

Mark started training yesterday. I felt so bad because he was nervous about starting training, not because of the training, but because he was worried about leaving me at home by myself. He talked to some of his instructors though, and they said that as soon as I go into labor he can just leave and they'll get him caught up with the rest of the class when he gets back. So that made him feel a lot better, knowing that the Air Force knows where his priorities are, and that they're okay with that. He gave me a whole list of numbers of people to call when I go into labor, who will be able to get him. He's not allowed to have his cell phone with him in classes, so my chances of reaching him on that are slim to none.

Overall, I've been feeling okay. I'm afraid to go do things outside the house by myself though, so I sit at home all day and wait for Mark to come home. I don't want to go into labor or have my water break when I'm alone and away from home, and both of us are more comfortable with Mark being with me for that reason. I've been so tired lately, that it really hasn't been TOO bad being home alone all day. I'm actually getting somewhere on the book I've been reading for a month now, even though I fall asleep EVERY time I try to read it. I usually sleep for 3-4 hours during the day, and I wake up still tired. I think of everything I should be doing, but then I never do any of it so I feel pretty lazy. I figure I'll take advantage of it now though before she's here.

I ordered a pump today, which I'm pretty excited about, along with some counted cross-stitch patterns, from They have the pump I like at Target, but it was $30 cheaper at, so I bought it from there. So now the only thing we're really missing is the video monitor that Mark wants to get. I really can't believe we're this close to being ready. I've known QUITE a few people who've had babies in the past few months, and I was (am) so excited for them to meet their little ones. It's a whole different ballgame for me though. I'm very excited to meet her, I'm just praying to God that the labor is short and sweet and that I'm strong enough to do this drug-free, because I know I'll be very disappointed with myself if I'm not able to give birth without drugs. We'll see though... I have a feeling she's going to be here pretty soon.