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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Something I've stolen from a few blogs that I like to read, basically it is what it says.  Instead of you reading my babbles, on Wednesday's I'm going to try to post one or a few pictures (most likely of the new baby) for your viewing pleasure.  I will (try to) keep words to a minimum.  So, here's the handsome devil!

I love this squishy face

Ezra and his 91 year old great grandmother

Proud daddy

Tired mommy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby Ezra has arrived!! - Very Long Birth Story

Baby Ezra made his appearance on Wednesday, October 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm.  Here's the story of how he came to be an outside baby.

At 7:10 pm on Wednesday night Mike and I were planning to take a trip to Walmart to do some shopping (I can't even remember what we thought we needed) and I had just grabbed my purse.  I felt a small gush and then a second gush.  I'd had my membranes stripped that morning at the doctor so I wasn't sure if it was just bleeding or possibly my mucus plug.

I told Mike "I think my water just broke" and he turned completely white and followed me to the bathroom.  Not to be graphic but it wasn't as much fluid as I expected.  I expected to have wet pants, but it was mostly contained in my pantyliner. Mike immediately went upstairs and grabbed the 2 bags that we have half packed and practically threw them in the jeep and drove off without me.

I called the doctor and explained what happened and he asked me if I had been feeling contractions.  At that point I had only been feeling small cramps so I wasn't sure but he obviously had me go to the hospital to check if my "membranes had ruptured" or not.  I helped Mike pack the few things we hadn't put in the bags and we were off.

At the hospital, they have you check in through the emergency room and then you wait in the waiting room for a "triage" room.  We waited a good 20 minutes which was somewhat annoying because I was definitely starting to have contractions and continuing to "gush."

In the triage room, they took away my clothes and hooked me up to a baby heart monitor and a contractions monitor.  It showed that I was having small contractions.  They checked me and saw that i was still 3 cm dilated but I had definitely broken my water.  So off to the labor and delivery rooms.

At this point we called our parents and let them know what was going on.  We were put in labor room 10 with Darlene, the labor and delivery nurse.  She was wonderfully calm and accommodating.  My contractions started to get more intense at this point so Mike and I decided to walk the floor.  The nurse gave us a pole for my IV and it just happened to be number 170 - which is also my husbands racing number.  We thought this meant Ezra would be racing out, but that was not the case.

After about 4 hours of contractions, walking, laying on my side, sitting, breathing, trying to relax, my pain was about a 10.  Unfortunately my contractions were also still somewhat erratic, coming every minute then a five minute break, then small ones followed by very big ones.  It was hard to get into a rhythm with them, so I asked to be checked around 1:30 am.  The doctor checked me and I was 4 cm dilated.  That was soooo frustrating!!  I thought for sure I was hitting transition and this baby would be here before the sun came up.  At this point, I decided to go for the epidural, which scared the crap out of me.  Also, the doctor discovered that when Ezra was moving down, he blocked the hole in my membranes and sealed it again, so he had to re-break my water.

Anyone who knows me knows I don't like being stuck with needles.  I don't like having my blood taken,  I don't like IV's, I don't like any of it.  So the thought of a catheter being inserted into my spine was frightening - I may have had an anxiety attack.  Hey, I did the best I could.  Once the medicine started to take, I still felt pain in my left belly.  I tried to ignore it, we tried laying on that side to get the medicine to go that way, but it wouldn't go away.  I lasted until about 4:30 with the pain, and then asked the nurse for a Top off because I couldn't take it.

Once they came in and topped off the meds, I didn't have any pain on that side but I also couldn't move my feet or toes a millimeter.  This did give me and Mike a solid 1 and a half or two hours of sleep before I started to feel intense pressure.  Around 6 the nurse checked me again and I was 10 cm dilated and we were ready to push.

The difficult part was that I couldn't feel the contractions, except for back pressure, and when I was moved to my back, I couldn't feel anything.  It was difficult to push because I had no idea if I was doing it right or if I was even moving the baby.  Darlene assured me that it looked like I was but after the doctor checked me again (about 45 minutes later) we decided to let the contractions do the work for a little while to see if the baby would come down farther.

This brings us to 7 am which is also shift change.  This brings Cheico the Nurse into the picture and a doctor that I have never met, seen, or heard of as she was from another practice.  Something that my practice should've explained to me - but I digress.

Around 8:15 am I started to feel the contractions again so we decided it was time to be checked again and to probably start pushing.  After being checked the doctor made note that it didn't feel like the crown of his head coming down like it should be, so she was worried that the baby needed to turn to get out.  C-section was thrown around at this point but they decided to let me push and see if the baby would turn.

I pushed for about another hour or so, during which time my epidural emptied and had to be refilled.  When they refill your epidural you aren't allowed to push for at least 20 minutes but we decided to fill it anyway so that hopefully my pushes would be more effective.  Again, the medication only took on one side so they had to top it off which took another 20 minutes or so.

At about 10 am the doctor checked me and felt like I had a better shot at getting the baby out because he was much lower in the birth canal.  We resumed pushing and Mike was able to see his head and his hair with each push.  I still had a hard time being able to tell if I was pushing the right way and had to ask after each push if we were making progress.  The doctor and Cheico were trying to get his head to come out by moving my skin as I pushed, but his head was stuck on my pubic bone and I wasn't able to push him under it.

Vacuum extraction was thrown around at this point, too, but they decided he wasn't far enough out for that to be successful.  They let me push for almost 2 hours.  I was exhausted and frustrated.  I started crying and the doctor decided that I was too wiped out to keep pushing and I needed a C-section.  Ezra's heart rate was dropping with each push, too, so it was getting to a point where it could be dangerous for him.  That was the most difficult news that I had heard.  I felt like a failure and I was completely afraid of going under a knife for major surgery.

One thing that I didn't think about until this point was that the doctors and nurses had all asked me if I'd gotten an estimated size of the baby and I hadn't.  They all seemed to be concerned about the size - which I thought was normal, but apparently big babies are harder to deliver - go figure.

My epidural started beeping again, indicating it was empty - and I would start to feel a lot of things that I didn't want to feel.  Because Ezra was so far down in my birth canal I couldn't sit up, and had to lay on my back.  This put lots of pressure on my back and generated lots and lots of pain.  The worst pain I've ever felt.  Worse than the kidney stone.  At this point, I was anxious because I didn't want a c-section and I was hysterical because I was in so much pain.

I'm sure I made a total idiot out of myself but I was so far at the end of my rope.  I was crying, moaning, groaning, yelling, squirming, and demanding pain meds.  Mike was amazing.  He was amazing all night and he definitely stayed calm and tried to reassure me.  He didn't make me feel bad; he just was supportive and calm.  I couldn't imagine having gone through all of this without him.

It also took the anesthesiologist 45 minutes to come in and administer the surgical level of pain meds.  I was pretty much putting out a hit on him by the time he got there.  They wheeled me into the operating room and I had the shakes like I've never experienced.  You would've thought I was having a seizure.  They kept telling me it was normal, but it felt far from normal.  Again, the pain meds took more on the right than on the left, so they had to boost them up again after they did the scratch test.

Once Mike came in I felt better.  I'm glad they didn't talk me through what was going on because I didn't want to know.  At one point I said "it seems so much faster on TV" and the Dr. said "are you calling me slow?"  A little humor always helps.  They told Mike when the baby was coming out so he could see and the first thing they said was "What a big baby!!"

When Mike went over to the see Ezra he was having trouble breathing which was nerve wracking.  It was so hard to not be able to see him from where I was and to be worried that something was going wrong.  After 45 seconds he started crying and the nurses did their evaluations.  He had a low Apgar score, but they attributed this to the distress he was most likely under while I was trying to push him out.

Mike got to cut the cord and take pictures.  He weighed in at 9lbs exactly and he already had the cutest double chin and rolls I've ever seen.  Mike got to take him back to the labor and delivery room while they put me back together and sewed and stapled me up.  I still had the shakes and had visions of a jagged scar, but the doctors did a great job.

Seeing Ezra back in the room was amazing.  He was wiggling and just so cute.  I didn't want to hold him right away because I was shaking so bad, but once I stopped shaking a little bit I got to give him a squeeze.  It was definitely love at first sight.  He couldn't be more perfect.  Here's some photos so you can eat your heart out ;)






Wednesday, October 20, 2010

T minus 48 hours...

Induction scheduled for Friday - as long as all of Rhode Island doesn't go into labor and they have a room available. 

So an end date in sight, it still makes me a little nervous to go with the induction, though, because we all know it hurts more and you have more of a chance of C-section.  Hopefully, if we get to Friday, Ezra is in a cooperative mood.

My doctor assured me that because I'm now a "good 3 centimeters" dilated, the chances of having a successful induction are good.  And since inductions are supposedly worse than natural labor, I might call and schedule my epidural before the day is over, too.

The doctor also re-stripped my membranes and I think rearranged my ovaries (at least that's what it felt like) in an effort to jump start things.  She used the word "agitated" I would have to agree with that statement because I was quite agitated and almost kicked her in the head.  Now I'm having cramps again, but still nothing timeable or definitive as a contraction.  Mike even took the bumpy way home from the doctor's (that would be route 146, thanks for the suggestion Lin!).

So, a quick nap, then some walking, ankle rubbing, stair climbing, trampoline jumping, spicy food, and maybe a glass of white wine.  We still have time, Ezra, before I have to deliver the eviction notice!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Update...

How far along? 40 weeks 3 days

Weight gain: I've decided that all you need to know is that it is more than 30 pounds, which is totally normal. ;)

Belly measurement: 


Stretch marks? Yup and they keep popping up.

Sleep? Could be better, but its ok. 

Best moment this week? My birthday!!  Ice cream cake makes everything better and it was nice to have some time with family and friends

Food cravings: nothing really

Weirdest symptom: My belly button... hurts.  I have to roll my pants down so there's no pressure on it and I have to be careful if I rub against something and my belly button hits.  I really can't believe something so insignificant every other time in my life has caused me such grief this week.

Funny Pregnancy Moment: I couldn't get enough breath to blow out my own candles.  My 3 year old niece had to blow them out for me.


Labor signs: Update - 2-3 cm dilated according to my doctor last Thursday.  Impressive.  I've been having some "cramping" but nothing really timeable.  The doctor stripped my membranes today (google that one) so I'm cramping right now, but we'll see if that turns into labor.  She seemed pretty convinced that I'd have the baby before my appointment next Wednesday.  If not, we schedule an induction.  (it is now Tuesday, no baby...)

Belly button in or out? Halfway out.

Movement? He's pretty still, but I think he doesn't have a lot of space to move around anymore.  Sometimes I think he's trying to poke his hand out of my cervix and wave hello...

What I miss? looking forward to my due date as an end point.  Everyday that I go over is one less day that I get to spend with the little guy before I go back to work!!

What I'm looking forward to: Seeing him, holding him, meeting him!  I can't wait for him to be here!!

Weekly wisdom:  Babies R Us is evil.  They suck you in with coupons and promotions but they're always on weird dates and have strange restrictions.  I've discovered the prices on their clearance items aren't that great either, disappointing.  I placed a $130 order and they are now telling me there is a computer glitch which is preventing me from getting my Rewards points on the purchase, but they hope to fix it... one day.  I try to avoid them, but they really do have a lot of things that other places don't!!


Also, don't put a towel under your carseat when you go to have it inspected.  Apparently the installation book from the manufacturer says it's ok but the Federal Government doesn't.  Friendly emails have been sent but I haven't heard back from anyone.


Milestones: My due date is clearly in sight...in my rear view mirror

Me and baby - hopefully the last belly picture!!




Dear Ezra,

You should be on the outside any day now.  I can't wait to count your little toes and kiss your cheeks.  I can't wait to see who you look like, if you have hair, and see how big you're going to be.  I'm so excited for your arrival, I can barely think of anything else these days!!

You've led quite an exciting inside life up to this point.  You've been to the hospital, twice.  You've lived through a car accident - Daddy broke 10 ribs.  You've been on a road trip to Washington DC to visit your cousin John.  You've been to 4 Boston Red Sox games.  You've been camping, swimming in the ocean and the pool, snuggled with the dogs, and kicked a few loved ones.  You've been to weddings, parties, cookouts, motocross races, concerts, and the movies. 


Some things you can look forward to:
-snuggling with your two crazy dogs
-working with Daddy in the garage
-shopping trips with Mom
-Halloween costumes
-Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas lights
-Charlie Brown movies
-the pool with Memere and Pepere
-camping with Nana, Grampa, and your cousins and aunts
-loud motorcycles and rides in the dump truck
-lots of hugs and kisses
-lots of loud family parties and dinners


I can't wait to take you to meet all your friends and relatives so they can go on about how cute you are!  You have lots of people on the outside who love you already and can't wait to meet you.  So come out when you're ready, but don't take too long!!

Love,
Mom

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!!

So October is a busy month for birthday's in my family, and it looks like we'll be adding another sometime soon... sorry folks.

But today is a celebration of ME!  I was born 27 years ago today at 7:31 am according to the only two people I know who were in the room, my parents. 

I had a gut feeling that Ezra would decide that October 13th is a fabulous day to have a birthday, too, but no signs of him making an appearance before midnight tonight.  We have been trying a variety of techniques to get labor started, none of which have worked.  (yes mom, I rubbed my ankles last night...)

I'm just noticing that it is more and more difficult to do anything physical - walking, moving, rolling over, reaching for the remote, etc.  We went shopping at Target today and now my whole left side hurts.  And every time I have the smallest twinge my brain goes into overdrive, I note the time, how long it lasted and then I realize I just have gas or I need to move.

But we shall see.  In honor of my birthday, my loving husband is out right now picking up a:



Yes, folks, a Carvel ice cream cake - I think I'm more excited about that right now than the small celebration.

My fabulous mother picked out the perfect matching Vera Bradley wallet to my new diaper bag with a little something special inside.  I already switched all my stuff over to it, so exciting.

My husband even got me a card from Ezra and crossed out the past tense and made it future tense in the card.  So cute!  (lets be honest, I cried).

And to top off a wonderful day, look what I found at Target - and Mike's cousin instinctively bought for me!!  (I thought I was going to have to order them online!!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

38 weeks, 5 days

How far along? 38 weeks 5 days

Weight gain: I've decided that all you need to know is that it is more than 30 pounds, which is totally normal. ;)

Belly measurement:  45 and 3/8"


Stretch marks? Yup.  Under my belly and breasts.

Sleep? It depends on what is going on in my life.  Some nights I sleep really well, others I don't.  I still enjoy an afternoon nap.

Best moment this week? No more work!!  Although this followed a bit of a health scare for me, it's still nice to not have that stress right now.  I wasn't feeling well on Monday and decided to go into the doctor and my blood pressure was a little high.  The doctor decided I should just take the rest of the week off to rest so that it wouldn't get worse, and thankfully at my appointment this week, it went back down.

Food cravings: nothing really

Weirdest symptom: The pelvic pain has switched to back pressure.  I still feel like my pelvic bones are separating but now I can feel pressure on my tailbone.

Funny Pregnancy Moment: I can't think of one from this week...

Labor signs: 1 cm dilated, still.  Although it's a "good 1 cm" meaning its not facing back and it's soft.  My belly seems to have dropped over the last few days, too, and I've been quite crampy.  Seems like mostly gas cramps though.

Belly button in or out? Sometimes, one side pokes out, but never the entire thing.  Belly buttons are definitely weird

Movement? I can definitely feel actual body parts now.  Like a foot sticking out, or a bum.  I feel a lot more movement lower, from his head and shoulders, than I had before, too.

What I miss? I don't miss anything this week ;)

What I'm looking forward to:  Getting to meet the little guy.  I can't wait to see who he looks like ;)

Weekly wisdom:  FYI - "OMG you're so big!!" isn't a compliment.  Especially if you're not close family or friend.  Yes, I'm aware that I am the size of a house, I know that I'm waddling.  A comment about how cute my belly is or how big the baby is getting is a little bit nicer.  I'm not overly sensitive about this, but it's difficult when someone you barely now yells about how big you are and expects a kind smile in return. 

Milestones: Almost done!  Down into single digits now


For comparison:

Me at 35 weeks:



Me at 38 weeks 5 days, definitely hanging a little lower!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Incredible Shrinking Wallet

All I can say is this kid costs me more money than I ever imagined and he's not even here yet!!  I don't mind, it's not like I can fit in those cute fall clothes right now anyway ;)

Fortunately, we have VERY generous friends and family and haven't really had to dip too far into the wallet to get the things we need for Ezra.  The problem that I'm encountering is all the things that I want.  Classic need vs. want struggle.  And anyone who knows me knows that I can usually find an excuse to buy anything... so this struggle has been particularly difficult as of late.

So this week I made a few major purchases.  Luckily, some gift cards took the edge off a little.

One purchase that I'm super excited about is my new Ergo carrier and Heart to Heart insert.  Here's a picture of the one we got:

Google "babywearing" and you'll find lots of posts and articles about the benefits of "wearing your baby" (you might also read some articles about people who think strollers are blasphemous and wear their babies nonstop - this also goes along with Attachment Parenting, co-sleeping, and Elimination Communication - seriously, google it) but this is the carrier that most people love and use through toddler age.  It is supposed to be best for using for long periods of time and best for the baby's development.  Apparently the Bjorn "hangs babies by their crotches" which paints an entirely different picture to me... not a baby in a baby carrier.

We decided to go with this one mostly because of all the reviews but also because we wanted something that was sturdy, will last a long time, and we can use all the way up through age 2.  I figure if we still want to do things like beach trips, festivals/carnivals/fairs, our nephew's sporting events, motocross racing - this might be more handy than a stroller in many situations.  Plus, I can lug the kid shopping and still have 2 hands to do whatever I need to.  Sweet.

I'm sure I'll let you know if it turns into a huge disaster.

Another big purchase this week was the rest of our cloth diaper stash.  I have been doing extensive research (-insert: avoiding work and abusing google) and I've found a new diaper that is very highly rated and people rave about.  Softbums



They are an All-in-2 system, which is different from the pocket system (BumGenius and Blueberry, read this post) and the fitted with cover system (kissaluvs, read this post).  The All-in-2 system is basically a cotton or microfiber insert or "pod" that lays inside a cover.  It isn't inserted it a pocket, just snaps into the back of the cover and goes up against the baby's skin.

The draw of this type of system is that you can reuse the covers during the day, unless they start to smell or there's some poop on it somewhere.  It means less laundry because you don't have to wash and entire pocket diaper every time you change the baby.  4 covers with a days worth of pods is less laundry than 12 pockets and a days worth of inserts.

This system still gives you the ability to adjust the amount of absorbency that you get by putting in more than one pod or adding a doubler.  It also helps you keep costs down because you don't have to use their pods inside the diaper, you can mix and match other brands of doublers/inserts/fitteds/ and also just use old fashioned cheap pre-folds folded in thirds.  The ladies at diaperswappers.com rave about them, the system, and how well the covers hold up to washing.  If you have problem with wetness and rashes, just put some cut up fleece inside for the same stay-dry effect.

Another great thing about Softbums (I swear, they aren't paying me, and I haven't even tried them yet) is that they are more adjustable than the typical one-size diaper.  I've seen pictures of these on 5 and 6 pound babies and 25 pound toddlers.  They have an adjustable elastic inside the leg opening with a small toggle that lets you really adjust the size.  I'm interested to see how that works.

I like the idea of having a few different types for different situations.  I'm not sure which ones Mike will want to use if he's with the baby for the day, or which our babysitter will want to use when I'm back at work or how comfortable grandparents will be trying something different.  It gives us lots of flexibility - and hopefully will make cloth diapering successful for us.

The final big purchase of the week - is actually my birthday present.  My birthday is in about 2 weeks, right around the time that Ezra will be here (we have a lot of October birthdays in the family - Sorry Memere).  The only thing I could think of that was really a splurge for right now that I really really wanted was a Vera Bradley baby bag.

I had a gift certificate to a store that sells them and with the gift certificate, it was a much more reasonable purchase.  Unfortunately the store only had 3 patterns of the baby bag - all of which were not on my favorites list, so we decided to go with a different bag, the Weekender.  It's a little bit bigger with one shoulder strap and lots more space.  The only downside is that it doesn't have the plastic lining inside the bag and it didn't come with the cute changing pad.


But it's gorgeous.  This is the pattern we got, too.  It's one of the new winter ones. Vera Bradley is also running a promotion (it runs until Oct 4th, FYI) that if you spend $75 you can get a free large cosmetic case, wristlet, or pen and paper set.  I love free stuff!

So this week, we'll focus our wallets back on groceries and bills so we don't have the heat turned off and Mike can go back to lunch meat sandwiches instead of Fluffernutters.  (I kid, I kid)  But really, who thought you needed all this junk just to have a baby??