Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not much of an update

My Mom flew in from China and arrived in Las Vegas yesterday, so that is a relief.

39 weeks tomorrow, a few painful contractions last night that stopped as soon as I went to bed.

Follow along on Instagram for more reliable updates! (Link in menu)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: Mia's birth story

This blog post was written (and published) on my [now defunct] family blog, and I thought it would be fun to repost it here while I wait (and wait and wait) for Baby #2 to make her appearance.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mia's Birth Story

Mia Jennifer
 7 lbs, 2oz, 19"
May 25, 2011 at 4:56pm
By now, I am hoping that nobody is learning of Mia's birth for the first time from this blog. However, B and I are proud to announce the birth of our daughter, Mia Jennifer, on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011. For posterity, and other people's curiosity, I'd like to share Mia's Birth Story.

On Tuesday, May 24th, I had my final appointment with my OB. I had a morning appointment, but Dr. K was busy at the hospital again, so I didn't end up being seen until around noon. He did an exam, and found that I was about 2 centimeters dilated, but manually pushed me to 3 cm (which hurt like crazy, btw). He warned that I might have some mild cramping and bleeding.

After stopping for lunch at Jimmy John's, my cramps started to become a bit of a nuisance, enough so that I decided not to go into work that afternoon and lay down. The cramps "progressed" and became what I would consider contractions around 3 or 4 pm, and I began timing them at 9 minutes apart around 5. I decided to call B at 6pm, so that I could catch him before he left for his softball game that night. I didn't tell him that my contractions had progressed from 9 to 8 minutes apart by then, but that I'd like him to keep an eye on his phone in between innings. No use in him rushing home if the contractions went away, like I expected them to.

By 2 am, we decided this wasn't a false alarm, and it was time to head to the hospital. After gathering some essentials, taking a shower, we headed to the Hospital, car seat already installed. Mom followed us shortly afterwards. It was a very busy night at the Labor and Delivery, so I spent the first few hours of my hospital stay in a large triage room which lots of people would periodically walk through. I was at 4 cm dilated by the time I was checked by Cindy, my very nice overnight nurse. She had the exact attitude that I needed, especially since I was so nervous about getting the all the little procedures done (like the IV, epidural, etc.), and the fact that I was still not in my own room.

Dr. H, my very nice anesthesiologist came in and put in the epidural around 5 am. It was every bit as unpleasant as I expected, but B and Cindy coached me through and soon enough, I could only feel my toes. My contractions almost stopped once the epidural kicked in, so I was given pitocin after all to speed up my dilation. Cindy put in an internal fetal monitor, which is a little probe that gets stuck to the baby's head, and we had our first clue of what Mia looked like. Cindy had to put in two probes, because the first one got so tangled in her hair that the readings were not coming through!

By the time I was 6 centimeters dilated, they decided that I definitely needed to be moved into my own room. Since there still were no labor and delivery rooms, I was put in a makeshift room by adding the necessary machines/baby nursery/delivery table/bed with stirrups to a postpartum room. It was a bit crowded, but luckily, I wasn't moved again for the rest of my hospital stay.

Once I was settled in my new room, my day shift nurse named Haze started. B and I were thrilled to find that she was the nurse assigned to us, because she taught the birthing class which we attended a couple of months earlier. Haze has been a labor and delivery nurse for about 30 years. She was no-nonsense and efficient. Even though she was basically a 180 from Cindy, she was exactly what I needed as a coach during the actual delivery.

Around 4pm, after laying numbly and miserably in my bed for the whole day, I was finally 10 cm dilated. Mom, B and I asked whether Dr. K had been called yet, since we assumed he should be there before I start pushing. Haze said that Doctors don't get called until crowning, so we had a little work to do first. Dr. K had already stopped by to check on me a few times, since he had 8 women in various stages of delivery at the hospital at the time.

Apparently, I was unexpectedly efficient at pushing, because after about 30 minutes, Haze urgently called for Dr. K. When he still hadn't arrived 5 minutes later, Haze made a "NURSE DELIVERY" announcement into my call button and about 5 different people came rushing in to "catch" our little girl. Dr. K came in about 30 seconds later, welcomed by a crying baby. Unfortunately, Mia came out with one of her arms up by her face, rather than it staying down by her body as most babies do, so Dr. King arrived just in time to fix the damage. Luckily, it was nothing too serious.

Our first family photo!

At 7 lbs, 2 oz and 19 inches, Mia showed everyone that she was quite a bit trimmer than she was expected to be. She also had a full head of dark hair, very chubby cheeks and an adorable round nose. Our new little family spent the next two nights in the hospital, to make sure Mia was feeding properly and I was healing well.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Still Here, Still Pregnant

My mantra, for the time being, is this:

Every day your baby stays inside makes post-birth life easier.

I'm on the verge of 38 weeks, so the "full term" milestone has basically been reached at this point.  But the closer to 40 weeks (or even 41 weeks) you get, the better of baby is and the easier everything will be afterwards. Their eating is more regular, their sleep is more regular... everything. I keep telling myself this, reminding me not to wish my baby out of me until she's ready.

My college roommate, and one of my best friends, was pregnant and due 2 days before me. She gave birth early this morning to a beautiful little girl. It's their first and I'm thrilled for them, but their baby is only 2 gestational days older than mine, so... really... at this point... I've got a newborn inside me and I think I've hit the threshold of misery.

She's sitting quite low in my pelvis, and pressing against some nerves in my back and spine that send a surge of pain through me every so often. Most times, it's right when I'm getting up out of my chair, allowing her to shift just so into my spine... making me topple over if I don't catch myself on the corner of my desk or on the doorjamb. It's unpleasant, but since I can predict it now, I don't think I'll actually do any falling.

Today was Las Vegas' first foray into temperatures below 60 degrees. A couple of months ago, I decided that I did not, in fact, need any additional maternity clothes for the "winter" portion of my pregnancy, since I would probably only be pregnant for 1 or 2 weeks of actual cold weather. Despite only needing "real" clothes for a maximum of 6 more days (since we'll have casual friday, and casual wednesday-before-thanksgiving), I definitely regretted that decision as I tried to squeeze into and button my only pair of maternity slacks. The kind that still has a fly, just a really low fly, with those nice elastics on the side? Well, let me tell you... those do not fit a 9-month belly. I mean, I'm wearing them. But tomorrow? I'll be wearing leggings and a tunic. Sorry "business casual", but you'll forgive me this transgression. Once on maternity leave, I fully plan on getting back in maternity clothes (I'm not delusional) but I am sure those low-panel type pants will work just fine postpartum.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

37 weeks!

Here we are, closing in on full term status!! At 37 weeks tomorrow, I basically feel like we're in an "any day now" situation, and while I don't constantly have my mind on going into labor, I have been feeling the need to sort of "wrap things up" every evening before I shut down my work computer. I find myself not starting anything new towards the end of the day, just in case.

I don't think I would be feeling this way, except that we had our first trip to Labor and Delivery last Thursday. I was having what I thought might possibly have been "back labor" from the Dr. Google descriptions, and I had been having these very painful type cramps in my lower back for about... 5 hours at regular intervals. I called my Doctor's office, and of course, they said to just go into L&D to get checked. B and I dutifully headed over there, even though I was fairly certain this wasn't labor, just to get some peace of mind that nothing else was wrong. B ran around like today was THE DAY but I told him that if he brought the car seat and my hospital bag in with us, I would kill him. So he did not. And after about 1 hour on the monitor and a cervical check revealing a "posterior and closed cervix", it was determined that I was in fact not in labor, everything looked fine, and perhaps the baby was just pushing on some nerves back there. Yes, perhaps. I mean... it still freaking hurt, but after laying down in various positions trying to get her to shift, she finally did and the cramps stopped around 10pm.

The next day, I had a regular OB appointment, where I had actually progressed to about 1cm dilated and "nicely effaced", so B started freaking out all over again. I've been assured (by Dr. Google) that you can stay between 1-3 centimeters dilated for weeks, so that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I'd still very much like to not go into labor until my Mom gets here (on November 24th) but it sure would be nice not to be pregnant anymore...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

By the numbers...

Before I get into it, let's just put this right here for posterity:

Mia, as Rapunzel, minus the blond wig that she did not want to wear, that incidentally made her look like a drag queen. 

16: The number of working days I have left before starting Maternity Leave 2.0

20: The number of days until my Mom gets here. And my personal "permission to go into labor" deadline. My belly has "dropped" significantly already. My go-to maternity pants are one of those "low panel" pants, that basically look like regular pants but with an elasto-waist no longer fit. I mean, they fit, but they are incredibly uncomfortable, so I've switched to basically wearing tunics and leggings every day. The recent drop in temperatures (Las Vegas finally got the memo that it was fall, and we've had 70 degree below days, with lows in the 50s in the mornings) has facilitated the switch away from those pants, so I guess this works too. And I refuse to buy another pair of maternity pants for a measly 29 more days. Part of me is still quite nervous about not holding out until those 20 days.

29: The number of days until my due date.

2: The number of items left on my shopping list. Want to know what those two things are? Super exciting: a thermometer (rectal) and breast milk storage bags. Neither of which are terribly essential, but it would be nice to at least have a working thermometer in the house by the time the baby is brought home from the hospital. We bought most of the other (boring) stuff this weekend, and even managed to score a free pack of diapers and a free Dr. Browns bottle from Babies R Us. Check your mail for coupons.

4: The number of Doctor's appointments I have left (and scheduled) for the remainder of the pregnancy. I have my first cervical check on Friday, and while it won't necessarily indicate much, if I go in and I'm 3 cm dilated... then I'll at least know to pack Mia's overnight bag in addition to mine.

36: The number of weeks pregnant I am, as of tomorrow. I had a terrible weekend of not-sleeping, and on Sunday night, I rearranged my pillow situation and managed to sleep uninterrupted for a good stretch. My belly is so low (and loose) that it hurts to lay down on my side without it being fully supported. So my belly has its own pillow now.

17: The number of visitors we have coming to Las Vegas for the Holidays this year. Arrivals are staggered throughout December, but  this is currently the official number. It is still subject to increase. My Mom and my Uncle have been furiously calling and sending emails for the past couple of days, but we managed to get most things finalized and I put together a nice long list of activities for them to do. It was a bit overkill, including links and ticket purchasing options, etc, but I'm glad I did it now while I still have the brain capacity (and patience) to put things down in list form. Goodness knows that I do NOT want to be bothering to look up how far away the Grand Canyon Skywalk is and how to purchase tickets while I am going on no sleep and breastfeeding.

6: The number of bedrooms the house they rented has. Thank goodness we were able to find something that will both accommodate them for sleep, but also has enough living space for everyone to gather together comfortably for those days. I'm really looking forward to it, but since Baby #2 will be a maximum of 4 weeks old at the time of their arrival, I am also pretty sure I am going to feel exhausted and frustrated at not always being able to participate in the fun activities. I remember feeling a similar sense of frustration when Mia was first born, when only my immediate family was visiting. I'm hoping that since I know what to expect, I'll be able to temper my frustrations a little and realize that I should enjoy the downtime with my little one(s) while I'm off work.

120: the number of earrings I have made for the Holidays. Check my Etsy Shop for new listings!

5: The number of skeins I have of a pretty pink yarn for Baby #2's blanket. While Mia's was done about a month after I found out we were in fact having a girl, I'm determined to have this one's done before I go into labor. Poor Baby #2 has gotten so few things of her own, this is the least I can do.