Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Welcome Baby!

Introducing Cameron David!

Our sweet little baby joined us a few days early on June 19 at 11:06 pm.  He weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces (I have that wrong on Facebook, but in my defense it was written wrong on his bassinet card!) and measured 21 inches!  

I definitely was not expecting him to make an early arrival, I still had a whole list of things to get done before he came!  He obviously had other plans.  

Wednesday morning my day started at 5am with some contractions and a few other symptoms that made me wonder if it was going to be the day.  I called the labor line and they told me to keep track of things and call them back in an hour.  I called them back at 6:00, but nothing new had happened.  The contractions didn't seem to be getting any stronger or closer together.  They told me just to wait and see, it could take a long time for things to progress (I'm assuming they meant days, not hours!)  Just thinking that I could possibly have to go in was enough to put my nesting into overdrive.  Hubby was awake installing the carseat while I was getting our bag packed.  I'd hate to leave home without the special sandals I bought to wear in the hospital (the ones I had been wearing around outside were so dirty... the nurses would obviously care if I came in with filthy feet!)  I figured even if I didn't have to go in, it would be good to have my bag finally packed.  Might as well get some of the things on the list done.  

Hubby left for work giving me strict instructions to go back to sleep.  Impossible.  So I went through a few of the different books and papers I had accumulated for lists of "What to bring to the hospital" because I didn't want to forget anything.  I searched everywhere for the charger for my purse camera, but it was no where to be found.  I read through the other book the hospital had given me that had the list of signs that you are in labor.  There was a whole page that listed out signs of real labor compared to signs of false labor.  I felt like I was somewhere in the middle of the lists, so that wasn't very helpful.  I decided I should probably take a shower, just in case I had to go in.  After my shower, the contractions completely stopped. Apparently this is very common.  I had no idea.  I called Hubby and told him that it must've been a false alarm.  I was finally feeling tired, so I decided to take a little nap.  I don't think I slept for very long, probably about an hour. Just long enough to miss Price is Right and wake up for the beginning of Young and the Restless.  That was when the contractions got real.  Whatever little break I had from taking a shower I was definitely making up for now.  I started timing them again, but they still didn't see any closer together.  And they still weren't strong enough for me to call Hubby to have him come home.

My sister wanted to come over for lunch so on my way to pick her up, I stopped at Auntie Lu's.  Lucky for me, she has the same camera and knew where her charger was.  I told her about my contractions and she told me to go in right away.  So I told her I would get a few more things done and see how I felt.  I picked up Stephanie and we had some lunch.  Or she had some lunch and I think I must've just watched her eat.  I wasn't hungry.  This is a sign that quite a few people warned me about.  "I just wasn't feeling right so I didn't eat and then I had to go in so I didn't get to eat for a long time!"  So I started prepping my cloth diapers.  If he was coming soon, we better have the diapers ready!  This is a job that probably could've taken all day long.  Cloth diaper prepping requires washing the diapers 5-6 times to get them to maximum absorbency.  I'm not sure if I was supposed to dry them in between washings, but I clearly did not have time for that!  The contractions were getting stronger, but were still kind of at random intervals.  Hubby called concerned that maybe he should come home, but at the same time had co-workers telling him that a first baby never comes on time and definitely won't come early!  He was hesitant to leave work and I didn't want him to leave for no reason.

By 2:00pm, I had enough of not knowing for sure.  I decided that we could just make the drive to the hospital (with the road construction I figured it would take us closer to 2 hours than the hour and 15 minutes it would normally take.)  I packed our swimsuits, assuming they would try to send us home, so that we could just stay at a hotel.  If it was getting closer but not close enough to be admitted, I didn't want to have to make the drive all the way home again.  Stephanie and I got the diapers hung on the clothes line.  By this point the contractions were strong enough that I had to bend over and breathe through them.  I called Hubby and told him that he should probably come home so we could go in just to make sure.  I called the labor line again, they still weren't convinced that I needed to come in but they said if it would make me more comfortable we could go and get checked.  So I told them we would be on our way as soon as Hubby came home.  Stephanie decided that she wanted to help me clean, so she scrubbed the bathroom and I vacuumed the whole main floor.  We did dishes and got a bunch of stuff cleaned up.  I got some of the bags loaded into the car.  I called the insurance company with questions that were on the list of "Things to know before you go to the hospital."  Hubby came home, curious how soon I thought we needed to leave.  "Do I have time to take a shower?  I suppose I should be showered in case we get admitted!"  We obviously think alike.  "Do I have time to make a sandwich?  I still haven't had lunch."   Sure, I still wasn't in any rush.  So he was clean and fed and we left soon after.  On the drive, the contractions were getting much stronger, although they were still spaced 5-8 minutes apart and sometimes they went 15-20 minutes!  There wasn't quite as much road construction as we were expecting, but still enough to make me a little anxious.  As long as we kept moving at a decent pace I was ok with the contractions.  I did not like the thought of getting stuck in traffic.  We got to the hospital at about 5:30pm.  When we got there, they weren't convinced it was time, so they sent us on a walk.  

We walked and walked.  We timed the contractions.  We read all of the signs on the wall that told about babies who had stayed in the NICU.  Many times.  And then we walked some more.  The contractions were getting stronger and I would have to stop walking and hold onto the railing.  There was another girl walking but she had already been admitted- she had a gown and moniters and everything!  I was still in my normal clothes!  I told Hubby I was surprised the carpet didn't have holes in it from so many laps being done.  I think we walked constantly for at least an hour.  Every time I had a contraction in the hallway that one of the nurses saw they gave me a little cheer.  Hooray for contractions!  Ha.  

My legs were finally so tired that I had to take a break.  We went back into our pre-delivery room to wait and see if they were going to admit me.  I'm convinced that they were still thinking about sending us away because I wasn't far enough along.  I had gotten a text from my cousin and she suggested doing lunges.  Apparently they encourage labor.  So when the nurse came back into the room I was busy lunging away.  This time when they checked me they were very excited about my progress!  Apparently the walking was working really well for me.  They offered me a gown and told me they were going to get me to my room right away!  I told them that I thought I could wait until I got to the room to put the gown on.  They told me I had made so much progress that my water would probably break on my walk down the hallway to my room.  I told them that would be ok, I would take the chance.  I hadn't taken my week 39 picture yet!  I had a special shirt and everything!  So at 7:30 we were finally in my delivery suite (and my water didn't break in the hallway, if you were wondering).  

Josh ran down to the car to get our bag so I could take my final picture in my shirt.  (I will put the pictures in a future post and it will make sense why this was important.)  The nurse kept saying "He better hurry or this baby is going to come before you get your picture!"  She thought it was hilarious.  "You are awfully crafty for someone who is in labor!"  I told her I had 39 weeks invested in this little project, I couldn't miss my last opportunity!  

From there things progressed very quickly.  They gave me an estimated time of delivery of about midnight-1am, based on typical first delivery.  

I got out my Young Living oils and we made ourselves at home.  Lavender was my key oil that I felt would help me through the experience.  We also brought the diffuser so we could have Peace and Calming in the room.  I started off in the bath, something that I was really excited about.  I had heard good things about how the water takes some of the pressure away and can help things progress quickly.   When I was safely in the tub, Hubby decided that he was going to need some supper.  I had read too many stories of husbands passing out or being sick with hunger... I didn't want that!  I sent him on his way.  Of course the hospital cafateria was closed, so he had to leave the hospital for any kind of food.  He asked me where he should go.  Well, I wasn't going to be eating so I really didn't care.  My only request?  Don't go too far away!  There are tons of restaurants just down the road from the hospital so he had quite a selection.  He came back with Taco Johns.  I'm fairly sure I could smell it as soon as he came into the room.  Gross.  He came to visit me in the tub and offered me some potato oles.  Absolutely not.  At that point the smell of food was repulsive.  My nurse assured me that if I wanted to eat I could.  She said just to keep in mind that I should really like it and not mind if it comes back up.  Either way, I wasn't interested.  I heard her tell Hubby to let her know as soon as he was finished so she could take the stinky garbage out of the room.  Very thoughtful.  

Someone came in and offered me an epidural, but that would have meant getting out of the tub and I was doing just fine in there.  So I passed.  I was a bit worried about that decision, because I wanted to keep the option of having an epidural open.  I asked the nurse if it would ever be "too late" to get one and she told me that if I decided I wanted one, they would make sure I got one.  So with the option available, I just kept passing on it.  I had heard that it has potential to slow things down and although I would be more comfortable, it might take twice as long.  I didn't want that, and I was enjoying the great smelling lavender bath and the Italian Ice popsicle that they brought me (who doesn't love a nice cool treat while taking a bath!) 

Finally it was to the point where the contractions were right on top of each other.  I asked if there would come a point where the contractions wouldn't have a break, if it would just turn into one really long contraction.  (Obviously we skipped the birth classes where I would have learned the answer.) I was starting to get shaky and they told me that meant I was entering into a new stage of labor.  That meant it was time to get out of the tub and ready for the real action!  They were surprised again at the progress and moved the estimated delivery time to "definitely before midnight!" 

"You're baby is coming TODAY!  Today is your baby's birthday!"

Most definitely one of the coolest things I had ever heard.  Amazing.  

I still did not have an epidural.  I was powering through the pain.  Josh kept the water close by and the nurse counted me through my contractions.  Even in the middle of some of the worst moments, we still had a lot of positivity.  When I started to get angry, he brought me water and said "Do you want some of this water?  It tastes really good!  And it has good ice!"  and then I remembered that it really WAS good water and good ice.  I agreed with him and we had a nice little chat about the good water and good ice.  The nurse was cracking up.  Apparently people don't usually talk about things like that while they are in the last stages of labor.  

And then it was almost time to push.  I was not very happy at this point.  I was in pain.  (But at least I wasn't hungry!)  I had to remind myself that I really wanted this baby.  I told everyone that I was really happy that I get to have this baby, even if I felt like I wasn't going to survive through the contractions (and at this point I hadn't even started pushing yet!)  They reassured me that I would survive.  I told them that I'm sure there are lots of women that wish they could go through the pain of labor but are not able to.  I told them that I was really lucky I get to go through this much pain.  They agreed and told me I was doing a great job.  I (being angry) got after them because they tell every woman that she is doing a good job.  The nurse laughed.  She told me that she wouldn't lie to me if she decided I was doing a bad job.  I asked if I should have an epidural now.  They told me they could get me one, or I could just start pushing and be done with it.  They said that I would probably push for about 45 minutes and it would be over.  Otherwise they said we could wait for the epidural and that would be ok, but baby might not be born before midnight.  No way I was going to let this last longer than it needed to.  I accused the nurse of telling everyone that they can deliver without an epidural.  She said that sometimes women come in and she thinks "If this woman doesn't get an epidural, none of us are going to make it through this!"   Hilarious.  She reassured me that I was not one of those women.  I declined the epidural again.  

Time to push.  At least I told everyone it was time to push.  They told me to wait, but I ha a really hard time not pushing.  Surprisingly it was such a relief!  I was not expecting that it would feel better (I'm hesitant to use the word better, because it still hurt, but there isn't really any other word to describe it.)   Apparently this portion lasted about 30-45 minutes, but I honestly don't think it seemed like it was that long.  I do remember telling them that it was a completely different kind of pain than I had ever experienced.  My midwife told me that it would feel like a burn.  That pretty much sums it up.  Burning pain.  But without the epidural, I could also feel the progress I was making.  I could feel the difference between productive pushes and lazy pushes.  At one point Cameron's head got stuck on my cervix.  My midwife warned me that it was going to be the worst pain I had felt so far; she was going to have to push my cervix back up over his head!  She wasn't joking.  I don't even have anything to compare it to.  The only thing I can think of is when I first got contacts and had two different solutions, one to "clean" and one to "rinse" before putting them in.  A couple of times I grabbed the wrong bottle and "rinsed" with the "cleaning" solution.  Horrible burn.  I suppose it was something like that, only completely different.  

Anyway... everyone was so supportive.    The nurse kept reminding me to keep my eyes open and find a focal point.  The only focal point I kept finding was a weird thing they had hanging on the wall.  I didn't like it, so I finally had to ask what it was.  I guess it had something to do with good luck during labor. I immediately felt bad for thinking it was ugly. They told me not to waste my energy with screaming.  They told me to bite down and use my scream to push instead.  That seemed to work.  I also tried to quit.  "I'm done! I quit! Baby can just stay in there a couple more months!"  That's when my midwife chimed in.  "You are not allowed to cancel baby's birthday!  He's almost here!"  And after that she invited everyone that checked on us to join the birthday party.  I don't think we had any takers, but we really tried to get him a good party going.   

And then there he was!  

Brand new baby Cameron.  His poor forehead was completely bruised when he came out.  

My awesome midwife.  I'm so glad she was the one who did the delivery!  
I asked about the other girl who had been walking the halls with me.  Had her baby come yet?  Nope!  I felt bad.  I told everyone that I was sure I really scared her because of all of my screaming.  They laughed and assured me that no one else could hear.  Apparently her baby wasn't born until about 4:00 that morning!  I consider myself very lucky.  And to think I had been jealous of her robe and moniter. 

It's hard to believe that it has already been one week!  We are all doing great, Pepper included.  She loves checking on Cameron.  She doesn't really like to leave the house and when she does, she stays right next to the house.  She's a very good big sister. 

 And just for fun, here are a couple more from our newborn photoshoot we had yesterday...


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Any Day Now...

Well it's been a while since I've updated.  We're counting down the days until Due Date (FIVE!) and we've been trying to get everything crossed off the list of things we wanted to get done before baby comes.

Last week was week 38, or the week that I had to stop wearing my wedding ring.  Sad.  It was getting a little uncomfortable and one day I decided to try to take it off and really struggled.  Luckily I have a great ring that I got in Scotland that has always been a little big...  perfect fit now!  So my finger doesn't feel so naked.

My mother-in-law came to stay with us last Tuesday to help us get some things done around the house. Our main task was making some freezer meals so Hubby and I don't starve when baby comes.  I'm not much for cooking, so it will be nice to have (really, really delicious) things that we can just throw in the oven!  Some of the things that now stock our freezer include lasagna, tater tot hotdish, and chicken enchiladas.  Not only did we get a bunch of meals made, we made cookie dough (I'm not sure if we'll actually bake it or just eat it) and even some cookies that we can munch on!

Not only did she help me make awesome food, she defrosted our deep freeze, washed our refrigerator and upstairs freezer, AND organized everything so it's not just a big mess to dig through.  It's great to be able to open them and see what we have.  I'm hoping that we can keep it looking nice, but I'm not too confident in our organizational skills.  Seriously, just look how organized it is!

It was a very productive visit!  I definitely would not have gotten that done without all of her help!  

When she left, I tried to stay busy.  So I went to work in our onion garden that had become overgrown with grass.  It was driving me crazy not being able to see if there were actually onions growing or just grass.  And LOOK!  We do have onions!  There are still some weeds and grass in there, but don't judge.  I should've taken a before picture.  

I also got my car cleaned out and had been planning to vacuum it, but then I realized that I needed an oil change and they vacuum for me when I take it in!  So really, why not just let them take care of that part for me.  So I did that yesterday and now my car looks great!  Another check off the list!  

I had a doctor appointment on Friday and she said that everything is looking good.  Baby still has some room to move down so she said she didn't expect to see me back before my next appointment, but she said she didn't like to say that because it could progress quickly and I could be back the next day!  It's crazy to think that baby could come any day now!  

On Friday night Hubby's brother came for a visit.  So Saturday morning Hubby took him out to spend some quality time in the new boat.  They didn't bring home any fish, but this was obviously because they knew we were heading to a wedding that afternoon so we wouldn't have been able to eat it anyway.  Saturday afternoon we went to my cousin's wedding.  We had a super great time in the photo booth.  Every wedding should have a photo booth.  :)

 It was nice to take a break from all of the nesting.

That brings us to Sunday... the start of WEEK 39!  We got a few more things crossed off of the list of things to do.  Mom and I mixed a few bottles of oils that I plan to use during labor.  I've been hooked on Young Living oils for a while now, they can do incredible things and I'm hoping to have them be a big part of the labor process!  I'm really excited to try them out!  That will have to be a whole blog post in itself after I find out which things work.  

Yesterday we started painting the glider for the nursery.  The cushions are all finished, so now we just need to get a second coat of paint on the glider and get it moved into place!  After we move it I will be able to show the before and after photos!  Hubby finished planting the rest of our big garden so we won't only have onions.  If everything grows as planned we will have some tomatoes, banana peppers, lettuce, beans, peas, squash, pumpkins, carrots, and I'm sure there is more that I can't think of.  I can't wait for things to start growing!

Things left on the to-do list:
1. Pack hospital bags (I have a start, but I only have a few pairs of comfortable capris that I really like wearing so they need to be washed and I just need to leave them alone so they will be ready to go.)
2.  Prep diapers (Cloth diapering is a bit of a process to prepare for.  They recommend washing the diapers 5-7 times each before using them so they reach "maximum absorbency."  Some people don't do this, but they seem to have more issues with leaks until they've been washed a few times.  This really needs to be done before baby comes!
3. Make mobile
4. Make crib skirt
5. Install car seat base
6. Put up railing in entryway
7. Organize a drawer to keep diapers in (I filled all three drawers in Baby's dresser with clothes and then realized that we don't have a place for diapers.  Instead of buying a separate unit to keep diapers in, I think we will just have to take out the bigger clothes and store them until they will fit.)

FIVE DAYS until due date!  I can hardly believe it. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Off Kilter

I have been meaning to write about a recent adventure for a whole week now.  I had to give it a little time to make sure that it was a funny story to tell and not a tragic one.  Last Thursday was a busy day.  In the morning I picked up one of my clients for a super fun game of bowling.  I was training in the person that will be working while I'm on maternity leave and when I left my house I had a pretty good feeling about how the day was going to go.  I even had my cute pink shoes on.  The problem, I soon realized, was that these cute shoes don't require socks.  Bowling shoes require socks.  I suppose they don't... but gross.  For me, they do.  So that was a minor set back.  Luckily the bowling alley had socks for sale.  So my day was still looking pretty good.

And then it was my turn to bowl.

I have gone bowling more working with my clients than I ever had in my entire life.  I'm still not the best, but I've been pretty proud to at least break 100 almost every time.  So last Thursday I thought "Alright.  Let's break 100 again.  Maybe we can even get into the 120's today!"  I've had a lot of good conversations with the bowling alley staff.  They say that some pregnant women have bowled their best games when they are far along in their pregnancies.  One of my clients tells me that it's not fair because I have extra help.  Clearly with scores in the low 100's people aren't begging me to join their leagues, but it is a vast improvement over hoping to break 50.  Anyway, it was going to be a good day for bowling.  At least that's what I thought.  I grabbed my hot pink ball (the lightest one I can find at the bowling alley... probably made for children) and headed up to the lane.  I'm not exactly sure what happened next... maybe I tried to move to fast, maybe I "stuck" (I don't have a "slide" so I'm not sure that it would be possible for me to "stick").  The next thing I knew, my body was starting to fly down the lane with the ball.  In the process of trying to stop myself from going down the lane, I did a twist, what I imagine looked like cartoon style kicking, and landed on my poor tailbone.  My feet were in the air.  The foot foul buzzer is blaring, as if I don't realize that I crossed the line.  I tried to move, but the lane was so slippery I didn't even have a chance of getting up on my own.  I wasn't exactly sure what to do next.  When I tried to get up, I just slipped back down.  So I laid there. I'm sure it was only seconds, but when you are the clearly pregnant lady who has just fallen on the bowling alley lane, time seems to move pretty slow.  Knowing I couldn't do anything to save myself, I held my arms out and waited for someone to come pull me off of the super wax.  I was thankful that I didn't slide very far down the lane so that my co-worker was actually able to reach my hands and help me up.  The bowling alley staff didn't even know what to say.  They were concerned that I was going to go into labor in the bowling alley.  I told them that they were probably just lucky I didn't pee my pants when I fell.  (I've been reading stories about pregnant women who sneeze and pee their pants, so I can imagine that falling down could also cause this.)  I put in a call to my doctor, just to be safe.  I had an appointment the next morning so they thought that I should be fine.  Thankfully baby didn't seem phased by my big tumble, he was busy moving around shortly after my fall.  I was still pretty worried that I had done some damage, so it was nice to hear his heartbeat the next morning!  My doctor was actually more concerned that my tailbone may be broken.  I'm not sure if it is, but it still hurts.  Really bad.  Apparently a broken tailbone would be a really bad thing to have during labor.  Hopefully it heals before I head to the hospital!

People have been warning me that pregnancy causes balance issues.  I guess I believed that I would experience some things, but I had been feeling pretty steady so far.  Sure there had been a few close calls (one specifically when I was trying to run down my basement stairs wearing heels while running late for something... big surprise, but I'm not leaving the house without a snack!)  Needless to say, I won't be doing any more pregnant bowling.  For the record, I'm not the first pregnant person to fly down the bowling lane.  The staff told me that the other lady dove down the lane with the ball... on her belly(!) and slid all the way past the arrows!  So at least my slide didn't take me down to the pins.

Oh, and the best part?  I won the game.  I don't remember what my score was, but I do know that I broke 100.  Or maybe the best part is my sweet souvenir... bowling socks.