Thursday, January 17, 2013

Oh Hi There!

Having a baby has mad my life move at a pace that I am having a hard time keeping up!
I have copied and pasted Evelyn's birth story below.  It's long and detailed, so know that before you read further.

Short story:
"E" arrived on Sunday, 12.2.12 at 3:38am after a 31.5 hour labor.  She was 8lbs 6oz and 20.5" long. The birth was nothing I could have planned or prepared for... But we are healthy and happy and so in love - and that's all we are concerned with!

Long story (with a lot of details regarding the birth, so you've been warned):
My due date was 12.1.12.  I lost my mucus plug on Sunday Nov 25th.  I had light, sporadic contractions through the week. On Thursday, November 29th I had a chiropractic adjustment and a massage. On the drive home from the massage I started having time able contractions, but they stayed about 7 min apart. H and I did pretty well at ignoring them. Those contractions lasted from 5pm-11pm and then they just died out. We slept really well and I was thankful they didn't keep me up all night and I could rest for the real thing.

On Friday, November 30 I started having contractions again at 8pm. We had dinner plans with friends that I didn't want to break... So we went on. I had contractions through dinner that I was not timing or letting anyone know i was having them. By the car ride home from dinner, I knew these contractions were different than Thursday's. Once we got home we started timing and they were 5 minutes a part and getting stronger pretty quickly. We labored at home from about 10pm to 2am. By then, I couldn't talk through the contraction, and they were 3-4 minutes a part. Off to the hospital we went!

When we checked in (2:30am) they monitored me and said in was 3cm dilated. Because my contractions were strong, I felt like things might move quickly, so we stayed. I labored mostly on the yoga ball. I vomited several times, but tried to keep moving as much as possible.  At 6am I was checked again at was at 4cm. I was having a difficult time with the pain, so I took the ball into the shower which felt great, but I was I was having an extremely difficult time concentrating. Henry must have reminded me to breathe 1 million times between 6am and 11am. By then, I was convinced I couldn't go on and requested to be checked again.  I had started feeling like i wanted to bare down and it honestly scared me.  I got out of the shower and was checked.  I was a 7cm and felt completely overwhelmed and told H I wanted an epidural. He was so supportive and kept reminding me I WAS doing it.  So I tried to believe him and keep going. The doctor suggested I go with the bare down feeling and try to move the baby down because she was still really high. I used the squat bar, while laying in the bed, as something to pull on and use resistance to move the baby down.  It was excruciating. At some point, my water broke doing this. After 3 hours of this (2pm) I was physically exhausted and mentally, my confidence was gone. They checked me again (my request) and I was at an 8cm. My doctor said she could tell the baby's head was transverse and that was probably what was stalling my labor. I knew it had been 18 hours of labor, and I felt like I had nothing left to give.  I requested the epidural at that point.

By 3pm the epi was administered. I felt very content with my decision, although that was obviously not something I anticipated. H and I were then able to sleep for 2.5 hours which was amazing because I was so tired. We woke up at 5:30pm and continued laboring until 11pm.  By this time, by water had been broken for 12 hours and I had been laboring for 27 hours, and I could tell the nurse was getting concerned with my slow progress. The doc came in and checked the baby's position, and also found what she called a "fore bag" of water which was possibly also blocking the decent of the baby. She broke that and said that she was worried there might be a reason the baby isn't coming down and that she needed to see progression within the next hour and a half or we would have to reevaluate.  At 12:30am (now Sunday, Dec 2) I was checked again and only at an 8.5cm.  My doc was awesome and said any progression was good, but another hour could pass before she would recommend a c-section.  Shockingly, by 1:30 I was fully dilated.

She said that the baby's head was still high and transverse, but she was willing to try what she could to turn her head to enable a vaginal birth. She suggested trying to wait an hour and not push until the baby was "right there" to increase my chances. So I waited. At 2:30am I NEEDED to push. Even with the epi, I felt a huge amount of pressure and was able to push very effectively. (i also never lost movement in my legs and feet. They were heavy and uncomfortable, but not totally numb.)

After one hour of pushing, E arrived. She was wide eyed and screaming. Henry said she saw the doctor manually turning her head as she was being delivered to help with the positioning issue. They laid her on my chest and it was the most incredible thing I have ever felt. I was joyous. I was laughing and smiling and could not stop looking at her, then to H. Love was like magic. It happened in an instant. It still takes my breath away when I think back.

Recovery has been very difficult. I had a 2nd degree tear. I also lost a lot of blood.  They ended up giving me a shot in my thigh (cant remember the name) to help slow down the bleeding.  My placenta took at least 45 minutes to deliver and was huge! Since the delivery, I am still struggling with passing blood clots that are unnerving in size. My OB has put me on a new medicine that should hopefully stop that soon.

Life with E and H is more than I could have dreamt. To see H transform into a father has been nothing short of incredible. This little girl has rocked our world, strengthened our love, and created a family. I will be forever thankful to her.

photos by Libby Ann Photography when she was 9 days old

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hospital Bag Packing List

I'm a first time mom and I'm sure you experienced birth-ers are going to laugh at my list.  That's okay.  Once your done laughing, I'd love your input! And I'm not just saying that!  Please let me know if I'm missing something - or if you think something is totally unneeded!  We googled several lists and editing/adding we came up with this (so far):

Clothing for Mom:
  • Nursing Tank x2
  • Robe
  • Nursing Bra
  • Sleeping Bra (what I plan to labor in)
  • Socks x3
  • Loose (cotton) maternity Capri pants
  • Maternity (cotton) pants to wear going home
  • Flip Flops
  • Cheap (potential toss) panties x3
  • Nightgown x2 (picked two $8 ones at walmart, in case they need to be trashed)

Clothing for Dad:
  • Jeans
  • Shirt x3
  • Underwear x3
  • Socks x3
  • Bathing suit (if I want him in the shower with me while laboring)
  • Pajamas

  • Mini Shampoo/Conditioner/Soaps
  • The Husband's glasses
  • Face Wash
  • Hairbrush
  • Headband
  • Hair ties
  • Toothbrushes
  • Chapstick
  • Deodorant x2

Items for Labor:
  • Exercise/Birthing Ball
  • Sock with tennis balls (for massage)
  • Bradley Method "cheat sheet" (mainly for The Husband)
  • A pillow with a brightly colored case

Items for The Baby:
  • Boppy
  • Newborn sized sleeper (going home option)
  • 0-3 month sized sleeper (going home option, if she's huge)
  • Headband
  • Hat
  • Hand Mittens (to avoid scratching her face up)
  • Blanket (to cover her in the car seat)
  • Baby Book (to get her footprints, and make notes in)
  • Receiving Blanket (to give to our dog with her scent on day #2)

  • Iphones x2
  • Iphone chargers x2
  • Ipad
  • Camera
  • Camera Memory Card
  • Camera Battery Charger
  • Video Camera
  • The Husband's work laptop
  • Ina May's Breastfeeding Book (for reference)
  • Snack Bag 
    • granola bars
    • jolly ranchers
    • water bottles 
    • mini snickers 

Random Important Items:
  • Photo I.Ds x2
  • Insurance Card
  • Copy of our pre-registration paperwork
  • Pediatrician's info and phone number (to call after delivery to set up 2 day old appt)
  • Newborn Photographers info and phone number (to call after delivery to set up photo shoot date)
  • Pen and Paper to jot down notes/questions/etc.
  • Our friends cell numbers to call when we leave for the hospital so they can pick up the dog and keep him for a few days. 

For the Car:

  • Trash bags x2 (one to put under me (and under a towel) if my water breaks in the car on the way to the hospital, and one as a 'barf bag'... just in case)
  • Towels x2 (birth can be messy, and The Husband loves his car)

We broke things down into 4 bags (I know, I know... at least they're all pretty small/portable).  In addition, there will be a labor ball, pillow and a car seat in the backseat.  
  1. A small (carry-on sized) rolling suitcase - holds The Husband and my clothing items + toiletries
  2. Baby's diaper bag - has all of baby's stuff
  3. Camera Bag - has all of our camera equipment, lenses, and video camera
  4. Extra Random Bag - has things like the snack bag, water bottles, and will eventually hold all of the 'last minute items' (cell phone chargers, etc...) that we'll be using at home, until we go to the hospital.
I packed the majority of this the weekend that I turned 35 weeks.  The things like our phone charges, ipad, laptop, toothpaste, glasses case, and camera are written onto a small piece of paper and secured to our bags to remind us to grab those things and add them to that "Extra Random Bag".  Because I want to labor at home as long as possible... the birthing ball, massage items, etc will also be packed last minute.

Everything is sitting in our master bedroom, just waiting for little miss to make her arrival.  We're down to 28 days until her estimated due date!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oh yeah... October's almost over.

About a month ago I pulled out the decor from last fall, and my nose curled up.  There wasn't enough.  We had only moved in about 3.5 months before and we were on a tight budget that didn't include letting loose at Garden Ridge.  Also, we had very little furniture in our house at that time... so there wasn't much to decorate.  

A year later, our house is no where near "complete" - but we are a lot closer than we were 365 days ago!  I gave myself a strict budget of $100 and came back from Garden Ridge happy.  It's still not a lot - but it's an improvement from last year.  I know the longer we stay in this house the more season decor I will accumulate, so I'm taking it one year at a time!   With only one more day of October remaining - I  wanted to share these!  

The mantel decorations are the bulk of the new items for this year.  The vase on the right has an awesome glisten.  The fall "garland" was only $8 and helps fill the space pretty well.  My favorite items are the iron 'pumpkins' with orange candles inside.  They're just my style and The Husband actually liked them too!  The little broom is one of those cinnamon scented brooms that reminds me of fall.  

And here is a little side by side from last year's fall mantel.  

2011                                                                 2012 

As you can see, we hung the photo, added a fireplace "thingy" (for the brooms, shovel), and I recently added that plant to the left.  Even 2012's version is not ideal... I think it's an improvement from last year!  

Our front door:
The wreath is left over from last year and I think it still looks great.  I also love the way it looks from the inside of the house...

Our little "nook" in the entry way.  And another comparison:

2011                                                                2012

I think the win may go to 2011 on this one... it's certainly more spooky.  But the candles found a new home on the table that has been dubbed the "drop your shit" table.  

This is the "drop your shit" table

It's just inside the entrance from the garage door (where we enter/exit 99% of the time).  It's a perfect landing place for my purse, receipts, change, etc.  It's typically a disaster and shoes are generally stored underneath it.  The photo above is a true current representation. 

For what it's worth - I think the table is perfect for the space, and I love the art above it.  It's basically just a thick paper that I framed and turned different directions, but the colors are great for fall.  I'm planning on replacing the paper for Christmas this year for a cheap holiday decor.  

The dining room is also new this year.  The pumpkins that were on the mantel in 2011 landed here with another fall 'garland'.  

In other decor news, I've picked up a few new items that I never blogged about:

Pillows for the couch! (Purchased at Garden Ridge)

A fun quote painted onto wood for a wall that desperately needed *something*. 
(you can also catch a peek at another jack o lantern that lives on our TV stand)

 You can see that the wall where this quote is hung is the first wall you see when coming into our (bowling ally) entry way.  That same wall has an oddly placed thermostat that makes hanging larger items in that area more challenging.  The Husband doesn't love this item - but I had a $35 gift card to Pier One, and this was $32 and the correct dimensions... so I grabbed it.  
(coming soon ((hopefully)) will be carpet runners in this area to warm it up a little bit.)

Now, I'll tap my toe and wait until November 2nd when The Husband has given me "the go" to start decorating for Christmas.  Having a baby around Thanksgiving really changes the timeline of decor!  I will have my Christmas decorating done before I go into labor!  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Birth Preferences

The Husband and I have faithfully been attending our Bradley classes to help prepare us for the birth of baby girl.  My goal is a vaginal, unmedicated birth.  Although our preferences may not have been your preferences, I thought it would be nice to share our plan.   
Disclaimer:  I am well aware, like any plans you make in life, things are subject to change and in the end the heath of our daughter and myself are of highest priority.  

Birth Preferences

o   End goal:  A healthy mom and a healthy baby girl!
o   Overview:  We chose ("name of our hospital") for the birth of our daughter because of your reputation for allowing women to birth naturally. 
o   We understand that situations may arise that would cause deviation from this plan. 
o   We expect that any doctors/nurses/midwives would discuss all procedures with us before they are performed – including why it is necessary, risks, benefits and alternatives in order to help us make the best possible birthing experience for all involved. 

o   Our desire is to use the Bradley Method as much as possible to help facilitate our desire for a med-free birth.                                                                       
PROCEDURE                        PREFERENCES
Vaginal Exams            Minimal internal vaginal exams.
                                 During any vaginal exam, I would prefer for my membranes to not be broken.
Augmentation             If baby and mother are healthy, I prefer to go at least 12-14 days over my due date.  If induction 
                                     becomes necessary, I would like to try natural techniques first (with guidance of my practitioner).
IV                              I would prefer a heparin lock over an IV.  Please place it in my forearm. 
Fetal Monitoring          I prefer to be only intermittently monitored to allow for as much mobility as possible during labor.
Pain Relief                  I am prepared to try to handle pain with natural and alternative methods.  Please do not offer pain 
2nd Stage Labor          I would prefer no time limits on pushing, as long as baby and mom are healthy.
                                 It is important to me to push instinctively.
                                 I would prefer to tear, rather than receive an episiotomy.
                                 Please use methods such as oils, compression, massage and encourage me to breathe properly for 
                                 slower crowning.

o   As long as my baby is healthy, I would like for her to immediately placed skin-to-skin on my abdomen after birth.   I would like for her to stay there for a minimum of two hours. 
PROCEDURE                        PREFERENCES
Cord Cutting          Please wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before clamping.
I would like for Husband to then cut the cord, if desired, after the pulsing has stopped.
Placenta                 I would prefer for the placenta to be born spontaneously without the use of pitocin.
Breastfeeding         Please do not allow any visitors until after my baby has successfully breastfed on both breasts (at a 
                              minimum of two hours).
                            My baby is to be exclusively breastfed.  Do not offer formula, water, or any artificial nipples
                             I would like to see a lactation consultant for further recommendations and guidance.
Rooming In           I would like full rooming in, no separation, no exceptions, unless my baby is sick. 
                  I would like to have all routine newborn procedures in room. 
Bath                      Please do not bathe my baby.
Eye Drops             Please do not administer eye drops to my baby.  I am willing to sign a formal waiver.
Vitamin K              Please do not administer vitamin K to my baby.  I am willing to sign a formal waiver.
Immunizations       I prefer any immunizations to be postponed to a later time.                   

Any suggestions?  Things to add/delete?  I'd love any additional feedback - as long as it's constructive and understanding that these choices are ours (my husband and myself) to make.       

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pregnancy: 34w, 6d. Nursery Reveal.

Since my last post we I have been in preparation mania for baby girl.  It seems like there is so much to do.  I have been trying to keep my hands busy, so my mind doesn't go into panic about how I will be giving birth within the next 7 weeks, and then about how we have to parent her for the next... well... forever.  Thankfully, I know The Husband is in this with me, and he's the best partner I could imagine.  He's really been a rock star through the pregnancy and seeing him with baby girl is going to be the highlight of my life.  

Over the next few days/week, I have several posts planned.  

  • Nursery Reveal Photos - today!
  • Baby Gear
  • Birth Plan
  • Hospital Checklist

All of your experienced mamas lurking on this blog... I would love your feedback, ideas and helpful hints.  I am certainly a researcher by nature, but nothing beats first hand experience!  So comment on the posts or email me directly! I'd love to know what worked for you!  

Now... the Nursery Reveal.  I'll try to include as many details as possible.  If you have any specific questions, leave me a comment and I'll try to look it up!  We tried to keep her (small) room very light and bright, and clearly very feminine.  I didn't really have a vision for the end result... but I love the way everything has come together.  I hope baby girl loves it too.  

View from when you enter her room. 
The door on the left side of the photo is entrance into her closet.  You can see the pink/green/white stripe runs throughout the entire room.

This is the first thing hanging on her wall when you walk in.  It's our family tree.  This was handmade by one of my amazing friends.  It's so special to me.  

Another view from when you take your first step into her room. 

Another step in.
Eventually, I would like to add a small bookshelf, or display case to this area.  I foresee many books being read together in that rocking chair with the owl lamp on.  

That quote that we had painted onto wood (see below for Etsy Shop Info) is quite possibly my most favorite thing in her room.  It really speaks to me, as a mother, and what I want to instill in my daughter.  That quote is something that I hope becomes apart of our baby girl's soul.  I hope our little one is brave, strong, and smart.  

This is the start of her library (sitting on top of the tall 6 drawer dresser)
I stalked PBK for those owl bookends to go on sale.  My patience paid off!  They're perfect.  

This is my very first DIY Pinterest Project.  A headband holder!  See below for details.  

You can see the things on top of the dresser from afar.  You can also see how meticulous The Husband was in making sure those stripes were p.e.r.f.e.c.t.

Changing Table.
In those baskets are cloth diapers, cremes, shampoos, etc.  The bottom box holds all of the sweet cards I received at the baby shower.  Someday it will be more storage.  

My sister found inspiration online and created these three owl canvases.  She used three kinds of fabric and glued them to individual canvases and then had them framed.  I love them.  I was also able to use her extra fabric for that headband holder.  

On the interior wall is her crib.  It was hand painted by my dad and very special to me.  

I just love the bedding.  My mom really wanted to buy bumpers.  I'm not sure if/when we will feel comfortable using them - but because little miss will be camping out in our room for the first few months, they are there to display.  We will re-evaluate in a few months. But they are very sweet. 

We purchased these wooden letters off Etsy, and I love them!  The Husband and I spent a solid hour and a half measuring out everything and making sure each letter was perfectly spaced.  See below for details on Etsy shop.  

 There you have it.  E's sweet room.  I go in there on a daily basis and sit in the rocker and imagine what life will be like in a few very short weeks.  I am so excited, nervous, anxious, and filled with anticipation about my life as a new mother.  Hopefully E will be understanding and patient as I learn.  

Here are the details I can remember off the top of my head.  If you have any additional questions, just let me know! 

  • Pink Paint Color:  Behr Ultra "Radient Rose" (we color matched to a Glidden eggshell)
  • Green Paint Color:  Glidden "Fresh Guacamole" in eggshell
  • White Paint Color:  Glidden base color (nothing added) in eggshell
  • Tan Paint Color:  That is the color the builder used throughout the house.  It's called "Montgomery Sand" but I don't know the brand.  

  • 6 drawer dresser:  Ikea Hemnes (we paid $199 on sale)
  • Changing Table:  Garage sale find that The Husband and I painted with leftover white paint from the walls (we paid $15)
  • Rocker:  Pottery Barn kids Wingback Rocker in green twill (we paid approx $700 for this chair).
  • I must say, this chair was a huge splurge for us, but I bought it in green hoping that it would be used with all future children.  I'm not a fan of the wooden gliders, and this chair was incredibly comfortable. We did receive a gift from a family member of cash that enabled us to swing this chair.  
  • Night Stand (2 drawer):  Ikea Hemnes 2 drawer dresser (we paid $79 on sale)
  • Crib:  My mom bought it for us, and my dad painted it.  (free to us)  I have no idea the name.  
  • Curtain:  Pottery Barn Kids, Audrey Chenille Dot Blackout Curtain - Green ($89)

End Table Decor:

Dresser Decor:
Changing Table Decor:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pregnancy: 29w3d

Last week was our specialist's appointment.  All in all, we came out more confident than we went in.  So that's good.

Long story short... Little miss is small all over.  Which isn't surprising since The Husband and I made her.  Basically, all of measurements are calculated and compared against the 'average', and then they are graphed out, within the (wide) span of 'normal' (on the + or - side of the average line).  Our baby's measurements all fall on the small side of average, just within that normal range.  Her head measurements fall just out of that span of normal - but really, not that far away from the rest of her body.  In the end, there are no "disproportionate" concerns.  

The specialist said she really was not concerned and that little miss would probably just be a petite little thing.  Which is fine by me.  I do have to continue to see the specialist once a month to track growth and make sure the baby doesn't fall any lower on that graph.  So grow, baby, grow.   I secretly love the extra ultra sounds and opportunities to see her beautiful little self - but I'd prefer for her to put on a couple pounds, and inches before we return to the doctor!

I'm feeling more and more uncomfortable as the days tick along.  I'm trying to remember that just 10 weeks from now, we'll be at her due date.  Simultaneously, time seems to be flying by and dragging.  I'm not sure how that's possible... but it is, apparently.  I've been a shopping machine lately, and our baby shower is approaching, so our house should start looking like a daycare at any moment now.

Here is her beautiful (smashed) little face.  She's buried super low into my pelvis, so getting an image of her face is tricky!  She's hiding that tiny head very well!

...and sorry if 4d photos freak you out.  Honestly, they kinda freak me out, too... but I'm embracing it, cause, that's my kid and all...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect.

That deep, gut wrenching, stomach churning, pain that is so unfamiliar you can't even begin describe where it came from or what it means...  I assume that's mommy worry.  I've had tough breaks, and stress, and unexpected pitfalls in my life - but the thought that something isn't exactly right for your baby is completely different.  It's a feeling so deep and specific, I know I've never felt it until now.  

So many moms (myself included) spend countless hours creating a nursery that is perfectly designed.  Clothes hang in the closet that have been organized by month and perfectly folded pajamas sit in dressers.  Hours of research go into finding the best car seats, and bedding, and swings... and all the other 'stuff' that makes for a perfect transition into parenthood.

It suddenly doesn't matter if you have concerns about your baby's growth.

Six weeks ago, The Husband and I had our anatomy scan at my regular obgyn's office.  They mentioned she was very low in my pelvis, making it difficult for them to measure her.  I needed to come back in four weeks for another ultrasound so they could get measurements of her head.  I chalked it up to her being her 'father's daughter' and stubbornly hiding.  

At 24w3d, I returned for another ultra sound.  After the ultra sound, my doctor mentioned that our little girl's head measurements were falling behind.  The head measurements were not proportional to her body growth.  At 24 weeks, her head was at least 2.5 weeks behind.  It became clear that they got small measurements at my 20 week, but weren't sure... due to her position.  However, the 24 week ultra sound confirmed.  I've been given a referral to see a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist on September 11th.  

My obgyn mentioned that all babies grow at a different paces.  Just like 12 year olds - everyone hits growth spurts at different times.  There is plenty of hope that her head will catch up and she just has an odd growth pattern.  However, a specialist has better equipment and can give a more detailed report.   It's totally possible we will walk into the specialist appointment and her head growth will have caught up.  If not, The Husband and will be able to walk out more knowledgeable and informed - and hopefully with less fear.  The unknown is scary.  
(Googling is even more scary... I don't recommend it.  Ever).

We are choosing not to post anything about our worries on facebook.  I want to wait until after our appointment and we can get some answers.  I would appreciate any of my FB friends to understand and help protect our fears.  

Here is a photo of our perfect little girl, with her perfectly disproportional head. 
I'm so in love.