Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carpe Nappum ("Seize the Naptime")

Reporting to you live from Baby Central Headquarters...
According to my notes from yesterday, this here is prime napping time.  Sophie likes to sleep from 9 AM to 11 AM.  (At least, she liked it yesterday, and she fell asleep again today at about 9:20 AM.  Here's hoping it's a pattern...)  Yes, everybody says sleep when baby sleeps, and you can be sure that I will, but this is her longest nap of the day (the rest of them are just 30 min-1 hour), so I have to carpe nappum and get things done while she sleeps.

Right now, we are trying desperately to finish sending out the birth announcements.  I think we have about 20 to go.
I would be getting these done faster, but these adorable baby feet are terribly distracting.
And sometimes I am without the use of one hand, which also makes things like writing and typing and eating a bit challenging. (This is a picture from last week when my parents were still in town, but its a good illustration of my continuing role as a Human Security Blanket.)
Oh rats, she's awake already! Aaaand just like that, naptime is over.  So much for my productive two hours.  More like half an hour. Oh well.  Hungry tummy is calling. More later from the Land Of One-Handed, Sleepless Blogging....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Week Old Already?!

I can't believe how much she's grown up in just a week.
We got home from the hospital on Thursday evening and spent the weekend trying to figure out how to feed a VERY hungry baby.  She was a week and a half late, and she showed up with a serious appetite. Unfortunately, I spent the weekend playing catch-up, and we ended up having to supplement her with formula for two or three days.
Luckily, the milk has arrived, and Sophie is oh-so-glad about it.  She's already back to her birth weight.
She zonks out like this about half an hour after she eats, and she's out for at least an hour or two.
Which means I get a chance to try to take her picture with one arm while holding her in the other.  It's hit or miss...but I did get some good shots of tiny baby hands...
I'm trying to figure out what clothing will fit her right now.  The 0-3 month sizes are too big, but some of the newborn stuff is already too small.  She may or may not have worn the same outfit two days in a row earlier this week.  If the onesie fits, why take it off?
So now we are working to determine what kind of schedule Sophie is going to make for herself.  I'm feeding her on demand and letting her sleep and wake and do everything in the timing that she wants, and I'm waiting to see a pattern take shape.  Right now, she likes to eat alllllllllllllllll day long, but she managed to sleep from midnight until 4 am last night, and Mommy was mighty pleased by that development.  My parents get here tomorrow, and I can't wait for them to meet little Miss Sophia!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Chocolate Cake Must Have Worked...

So when we last left you, our fearless protagonist had baked herself a chocolate cake in an effort to bring about a very, very overdue baby.

Well, it worked.

I started having contractions at about 2:30 AM on Tuesday, October 12.  They started about 30 minutes apart, and gradually got closer to about 10 minutes apart by the time I woke up for work at 7 am.  I had convinced myself that they were nothing and went ahead getting ready for work.  By the time I got in the car to go to work, they were about 7 minutes apart.  Still in denial.  I arrive at work, they are 5 minutes apart.  Starting to get a bit nervous, but still trying to stay calm.  They hurt, but they don't HURT yet, so I'm unsure what to do.  I go into work, and then realize that if they keep progressing like this, I'm going to be utterly miserable and wasn't the rule that you should go to the hospital once they are five minutes apart?

So I called Steven.  He arrived at my workplace IN RECORD TIME and whisked me away to the hospital.  By the time we got to the hospital, the contractions were about 3 minutes apart and were starting to get rather painful.  They took me up to triage to check me out, and I started getting excited.  Maybe this was it!!

The triage nurse called our doctor, and apparently in my excitement I hadn't followed the correct procedure (which procedure, of course, no one bothered to TELL ME ABOUT before hand, but anyway...).  I was supposed to go to my OB's office first, for "monitoring," before going to the hospital.  The triage nurse checked me, declared that I was 3 cm, and told my doctor over the phone.  He said that since I was 2 cm yesterday, it wasn't enough progress yet, and they sent me home.

I was so upset and frustrated and felt like an idiot.  An idiot with contractions that were now coming every 2 minutes.  More than feeling like an idiot, I felt really frustrated that they didn't want to take me at the hospital -- like they were saying -- here, you go deal with this on your own for a while.

So we drove ALL the way home.  It was like a 30 minute drive.  It's about 11:00 AM at this point.  Steven sits down at the kitchen table to do some last minute work from home, since he realized he might not be going into the office at all that day.  I tried to watch TV but my back was killing me and the contractions hurt and I was generally just frustrated and weepy and miserable.  I went upstairs and took a bath and it didn't really help much.  Things slowly got worse from then until about 2 pm, and I started watching the clock and getting nervous about rush hour.  I finally called my doctor's office in tears, asking if I could please go back to the hospital now.  They told me to come in to the OB office first, but not the usual office by our house, but the OTHER office all the way across town.

At this point I am starting to get angry and feel like no one believes that I am really and truly in labor, for real no kidding this time.  The contractions were still between 1.5 and 2 minutes apart, and the drive to the OB's office was not a single ounce of fun. At all.  (Poor Steven for having to put up with me this whole time, by the way.)

We arrived at the OB's office (which, thankfully, was near the hospital after all), and I slowly walked in the front doors, crying and huffing and puffing and generally making a total scene.  The lobby of the office was chock-full of pregnant ladies, who I'm sure I have now totally terrified with my antics.  We finally got back to a waiting room, and the doctor came to see me.  He took one look at me, and said, "Ok, let's call the hospital and let them know you are coming. I presume you are going to want the epidural?"

Yes, please, you dummy.  Thanks for sending me home earlier.

So, I walk back to the car, we drive over to the hospital, and we get set up in a room.  At the OB's office, I was 4 cm dialated.  We checked into the hospital at about 3:30 PM, maybe closer to 4.  The doctor showed up to check me at about 5 PM, and I was 6 cm at that point.  I felt like we had to wait an eternity for the anesthesiologist to show up, but when he finally did, he changed everything.


"Hi everybody, I'm a human being again!"

Wow.  Never was I so thankful for a needle in my spine.

They wrote our names on a white board in the room and wrote "Happy Birthday Sophia!" and I started crying.  Ohmygosh she really might be born today.  This really might be her birthday.
After the epidural, we watched the contractions on the monitor for a while.  They were coming fast and strong (according to the screen, thank-you-Jesus-and-Mr.-Anesthesiologist) and about every 60-90 seconds.  I got checked again at some point, and I was at 7 cm.  Oh man.

And so we waited.  An hour later, I was still at 7 cm.  Two hours later, still at 7 cm.  At this point, the doctor came and explained that Sophie's nose was facing my hip bone, and that she would need to (a) rotate, and (b) travel further downwards, and (c) I would have to dialate more for this labor thing to happen on its own.  The doc said he couldn't give me anything to make her do that, and my body was already contracting on its own just as good as it would be on Pitocin.  (Yes, I know, Doc, remember when I called you in tears earlier today and you sent me home? Not that I'm holding any grudges or anything...)

So we had a decision to make.  Do we wait for Sophie to turn, descend, and for me to dialate, and hope that she doesn't get stuck and create the need for an emergency c-section, or do we go ahead and make the choice to have her by c-section now, before it becomes an emergency?  The doctor said his opinion was that she probably wasn't going anywhere and that she was probably too big to get any further and that a c-section made sense.  I considered it and hemmed and hawed for about 45 minutes, and then said, "Okay.  C-section it is."
So they got Steven all garbed up in scrubs and took us down the hall to the operating rooms.
Being in the operating room and hearing all the chatter from everyone and being under the lights was really rather scary, but it wasn't the end of the world and I tried to be brave and realize that my little girl would be in my arms in less than 30 minutes.

And sure enough, at 9:53 pm on October 12, 2010, my little chunk of love was born.
When they took her out, the first thing Steven said was "Oh man, look at all that hair!  She's beautiful!"
And she was.  She was also HUGE.
Just after the c-section was the hardest part for me.  I got the shakes and they'd really drugged me up good, and I was trying so hard to be present for this very special and sentimental moment, but I couldn't focus or respond well to what anyone was saying.  And I was unbelievably thirsty.
This was in the recovery room after the OR, and I think I'd gotten my ice chips by then.  I was still very out of it, but Steven said "smile" and at least I could remember how to do that.

So, our little pumpkin Sophia has finally arrived.  We are thrilled with her, and enjoying (and learning more and more) every second.

(I'm sure there will be a ridiculous number of future posts about her now, so get ready.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lesser-Known Old Wives' Tales

I've tried most of the Old Wives' Tales for bringing about labor.  Pineapple, spicy food, eggplant parmesan, evening primrose oil capsules, red raspberry leaf tea, climbing stairs, cleaning my house obsessively, walking (and walking and walking and walking...)

But there may be a lesser-known Old Wives' Tale that I've heretofore overlooked:
That's right, chocolate cake.  Double-layer, homemade chocolate cake, to be precise.  I even wrote a loving message to our future child on it.  (I was going to write "Welcome Sophie," but I figured that would give everyone the idea that she'd already arrived, which is most assuredly not the case.)

What else have I been doing in the last week since her due date passed???  Well, I made her some photography props winter hats.
I'm hoping these will fit her little noggin.  (I have no idea how big or small baby heads are, and yet I feel this information will be crucially important to me in the coming days.)
I'm working on hat #3, in hopes that if I involve myself in enough little projects, Sophie will decide to show up right in the middle of things.
(And plus, I couldn't take any more googling of "Week 41" symptoms.  "Your baby is the size of a watermelon and you're miserable."  Yeah, that just about sums it up.)
This is eventually going to be one of those little stocking caps with the loooooong tassel on the end.  (Muy cute, although it really will be just a photo prop, since I can't let her wear it for real -- the tassel is apparently a strangulation hazard.)

In other news, my feet are officially missing.  This makes walking down stairs sort of tricky.  Here's the view as I see it:
And here is Sophie, in size comparison to her cake.  Yeah, I could probably eat that entire cake.  Anyone got a fork?
So now that I've baked (and inhaled) a chocolate cake, what else is there to do?  I've already stuffed the freezer full of meals... (complete with instructions for hubby and/or visitors)....
She's probably not going to pick 10/10/10 as her birthday, after all.  I told her it would be a cool birthday, but I doubt this will be the last time that she and I disagree on what is actually "cool."

My next doctor's appointment is tomorrow.  I'm hoping for at least 2 or 3 centimeters.  We were at 1 centimeter a week ago, and I've walked about 400 miles since then.  Wish me luck.