Category Archives: Pregnancy

Anna!

Sorry this took so long to post… I started this while I was still in the hospital, but haven’t really had time to finish it until now. I have been a little busy with visitors, nursing, diapers, etc etc. It seems like my hands are always full now.

On to the post…

She is finally here! Annabelle Frances Miller arrived Saturday, August 31, at 12:33pm weighing 7 pounds 9 ounces and measuring 20.75 inches long. Of course all new babies lose a little weight, and she got down to 6 pounds 14.5 ounces by her first doctor visit on Wednesday. That was a 9% weight loss, and they worry once it gets above 10%, so we had to make another trip to the doctor Friday. At that point she was up to 7 pounds 1.5 ounces, so we got the all clear.

So, here is the full story for those that care to hear. I will try not to make it too detailed though…

Since we missed the Tuesday due date, Thursday evening Sean decided I should do acupuncture to try and induce labor. He got this idea after hearing a co-worker talk about how it worked with both of his kids. I was willing to try it, so Sean made me an appointment for 10am Friday. However, I woke up to some mildly painful contractions Friday morning around 5:30. That was after not being able to sleep until around 2am, and then sleeping poorly. When Sean woke up around 7am I told him I didn’t think we would be needing that acupuncture appointment.

Sean was of course immediately excited and wanted to spring into action getting ready for baby, but I told him to calm down and be patient because it was still going to be a long time. And boy was I right. I was really hoping to be heading to the hospital in 12, maybe 14, hours… it ended up being 24.

At first the contractions were not painful enough for me to need to breathe through them, and they were just in my lower abdomen with an occasional pain in my back on the right side. I let work folks know that I was taking the day off and would likely be on maternity leave after that. The contractions were mild enough that I was able to sleep a little later in the morning, so I was mercifully able to get a couple more hours of sleep.

As the day progressed they became stronger, but stubbornly stayed pretty much just in my lower abdomen. I always read that real contractions should start in your back and come around the sides to the front of the belly. I also always read they should be regular, while mine started out at 5 minutes apart and then stretched out to an irregular pattern. Because of this I wasn’t sure if it was a sign that I was just having a really slow early labor, or if it was just a false alarm, so I called the OB office around 1:30 to ask the doctor’s opinion.

The doctor said that I was definitely in early labor, but it sounded like it could still be a day or so before I delivered. That was awesome to hear. She explained that full blown contractions would be top to bottom of my belly and would go around the sides and into my back as well. So I spent the rest of the day waiting for the pain to spread all around, and for them to reach the stage where I couldn’t talk through them. The classes and doctor had always said it was time to go to the hospital when you couldn’t talk through a contraction.

While waiting for things to progress I slowly finished up last minute things around the house, and Sean of course helped as well. Actually, he took care of many things for me, like cleaning out the fridge and doing a few chores around the house. He was trying so hard to help me out in any way he could, because there really wasn’t much he could do to help with labor. The more uncomfortable I got, the more last-minute things went into the hospital bag… like insurance cards, phone chargers, etc.

I tried hard to get sleep Friday night, but I couldn’t do much more than drift off for 6-9 minutes or so between contractions. Laying down made them hurt more; plus instead of feeling them ramp up (they are like waves) and preparing for them, I would be asleep and then suddenly smacked awake with the peak of the contraction. It wasn’t long before I gave up on sleep and just tried to work through the contractions using some of the methods they talked about in our class… like walking, sitting on a birthing (yoga) ball, etc. Really the best thing that ended up working for me was putting the ball by the bed with a couple pillows for me to lay across. When a contraction began to ramp up I could use the pillows for support while I tried to relax and breath through the contraction. In between I occupied myself with my iPad, playing games and surfing the web.

By 4:00 I woke Sean up (or he woke on his own, I can’t remember) and said it was nearing time to leave for the hospital, but I wasn’t sure if I should go yet. I knew that if I went too early (less than 4cm) they would just send me home or have me walk around the hospital for a while before admitting me. I was still trying to go off the “can’t talk” rule, and the description of full-blown contractions the doctor had given me. I really didn’t want to talk through contractions, but I could. And the pain was all lower back and lower abdomen by then, with a little in the sides as well. They were also still irregular, ranging around 3-6 minutes apart.

Sean encouraged me to leave for the hospital, but I was still unsure. I called the doctor again and asked if she thought I should go, or wait a little longer. She seemed a little unsure as well, but told me to come on in and get checked out. So, I started getting dressed while Sean took care of things like letting the dogs out and getting things in the car. Around that point I started getting the shakes with the contractions and suddenly they seemed to come one on top of another, so it took me a while to get dressed because I had to keep stopping. It was almost an hour later when we made it to the hospital, which is less than 5 miles down the road from the house.

On the ride over I had three or four contractions, and then suddenly they let up a bit when Sean dropped me at the front door of the birthing center while he went to park the car. They spaced out a bit more and lessened in intensity, so I was a little worried that things were slowing down or that I would be sent home. I was also grateful because I didn’t want to have a major contraction while I was standing in the lobby. Things started to ramp up again about the time I was changing into a gown for the triage check, and they admitted me around 5:30 at 4cm dilated.

I was walked back to a delivery room, where the triage nurses took care of getting all the monitors and things set up. They also started an IV, which took them four tries. So that was fun. Compared to the contractions though, having them repeatedly stabbing me and rooting around for veins wasn’t that bad. I still have bruises up and down my arm 9 days later.

The nurses explained that if we wanted an epidural later I had to have at least one liter of IV fluids before then, which would take about an hour. I decided to go ahead and let them give me the fluids so I didn’t have to wait later on if I chose to do the epidural. They put the fluids on full blast; between the cold fluid and the labor I was shaking/shivering horribly at that point. My plan was to wait for the fluids to finish and then get up and walk, since laying down made the pains worse. By the time the trio of admitting nurses left the room it was getting close to 7:00. I know this because they went through three hospital bands before they got my name right, and the latest one said it was printed at 6:32.

Then we met our awesome nurse. She stayed with us through pretty much the whole thing, and had 32 years of experience. Her demeanor and experience made us trust her immediately. She floated around doing her thing while the doctor stopped in a little after 7:00. The doctor asked us about our plans and talked about our options for pain management; I told her that I would just go with the flow, but hold off on an epidural as long as possible since all our classes and literature said epidurals could slow the labor. I also was not interested in taking narcotics. The doctor also asked if we wanted her to break my water to help things speed up, and since there were no negatives to that one I agreed to it. So she broke my water, and said I was at 5cm. The fluid was tinged with meconium, which meant the baby had a bowel movement in the womb. That happens sometimes when they are past their due date. This meant the delivery had changed a little and we would now have a special care team (2-3 people) come in for the birth so they could keep her from breathing any in.

Once we were alone with the nurse we asked her advice for the labor. She said that honestly she would have the epidural as soon as possible if we wanted one, that it wouldn’t slow labor and may actually help it go faster since I would be able to relax and let things progress rather than tensing against the pain of contractions. After talking with her for a bit, we told her to go ahead and send the order.

It seemed like no time at all before the anesthesiologist showed up, and he turned out to be the same one Sean had with his gastric bypass. The epidural was placed quickly, while I sat on the edge of the bed and Sean stood in front of me. Poor guy. I didn’t mean to, but I couldn’t move and I needed something to grip when a big contraction hit at the same time the doctor was shoving a huge needle in my spine… so poor Sean ended up being my stress ball for a couple minutes.

The epidural started working on my left side pretty quickly, but not the right. Due to my scoliosis the medicine seemed to be heading left, so they had to do some trickery to get the right side numbed up. Eventually they did, and it was an amazing relief. The only problem was that then my left side from about mid torso down was completely and totally numb to the point where I couldn’t move it at all and my leg felt incredibly heavy. The right side was also numb, but I still had a little control over movement.

Sean was able to go get some breakfast from the cafeteria at that point, and somewhere along the way the nurse checked me and I was at 6-7cm. While Sean was still gone my blood pressure dipped a little and they gave me some oxygen to help the baby, but that didn’t last too long and I fell asleep without even realizing it until I woke up. Things are a little fuzzy due to a mix of dozing off at times and things just moving quickly with a lot happening. I think the order of events there were that she got the epidural working on the right, then sent Sean out to eat, we were chatting about dogs and things, then she had me roll over to the left (she had to help with my dead legs) for the oxygen, and at that point she also checked my progress and found that I was at about 7 or 8cm. It was after that that I fell soundly asleep for a little bit, waking up to find Sean napping in a chair and the nurse returning when I didn’t even know she had left the room.

The nurse decided to check my progress again. She had a surprised look and said, “Oh, hello baby!” when she unexpectedly felt the baby’s head. Apparently I was already 10cm and the head had moved down into position to start pushing. Since I was so incredibly numb she decided to let the baby work her way a little lower before I started pushing, so we waited a bit and started pushing. I think it was a little past 10:00 at that point.

There wasn’t much progress after a few pushes, so the nurse decided to let the baby drop on her own a little more. She changed the bed configuration so that I was sitting up and called it the “throne position” and we waited until about 10:30 to push again. There were a few more breaks like that before the real pushing began. Eventually we reached the point where the nurse felt it was time to call in the doctor. From there things went really quickly, just a few more pushes and the baby was born.

The doctor held her up for me to see while they quickly clipped the cord and then whisked her away to clean her up before she could breathe in too much meconium. Sean stood watching, I think he was simultaneously amazed at the birth and traumatized by all the blood. A couple minutes later the special care nurses called him over to see the baby, and then sent him back to get the camera. Meanwhile I was being stitched up and could only watch from across the room. I didn’t have my glasses so I didn’t get a really good look at her until they brought her over for me to hold.

We were both kind of teary eyed, and I didn’t really notice what everyone else in the room were doing. We were both just marveling at our daughter. I think the doctor pretty much finished stitching me up and then left while the nurses cleaned up everything. We were back down to our delivery nurse pretty quickly, and she helped get me changed into clean clothes and ready for the trip to the postpartum room. Somewhere in there I fed Anna for the first time, and I was shocked we actually managed to do it without much trouble or guidance. Of course the subsequent feedings weren’t as easy, but that first one gave me confidence that we could figure it out.

It took until the next day for my left leg to wake up enough for me to walk. For a while there I was worried I would be one of those people they send home with a walker. I was so glad when it finally woke up enough for me to put weight on my leg without the knee buckling. Being unable to get out of bed and having to literally be carted to the bathroom was getting old really quickly.

This post has gotten really really long… So I will try to wrap this up super quick. Anna is now 9 days old and we are starting to get the hang of this baby thing. She is still pretty easy at this point though, as she sleeps most of the time. The first few days she had some trouble latching properly, but now she is a pro.

We have even made it out of the house several times. We came home from the hospital Monday, and left the house for the first time on Wednesday to go to the doctor for her check up. Before coming home we stopped at Rite Aid to try to find the vitamin drops the doctor ordered and some more diapers… both of which they didn’t have. Then we swung by the bakery next door for muffins before coming home. The next day we took her out again to pick up those vitamins and diapers at Walgreens, and to visit some friends. Friday we again went to the doctor, followed by a short trip to the mall for lunch and an errand. Saturday we took her to Barry’s Cafe and Sweet Bottoms, then later that night we went to Hayashi for dinner. Sunday was a trip to Babies R Us. Today we went to Target and Elevation Burger. We have also had several visitors in that time, so we have been pretty busy!

The steady stream of visitors has quieted down now, so we are beginning to settle into our new life + baby. This week Sean is working from home, and next week I will be on my own. Scary!

OB Appointment

I was hoping that I wouldn’t be going to today’s appointment when I made it, since kiddo was due Tuesday. Not that I am surprised she is late, I had just been using the due date as a goal for myself. Now I have no definitive date to count down to, which sucks. Now it is just a waiting game with no end in sight (although I know it can’t go on much longer).

The doctor did the usual belly measuring, heartbeat check, and the always fun cervical check. I am still only dilated about 2cm, but the good news is that I am 75% effaced (thinned). It won’t hit 100% until labor actually starts, so 75% is pretty good I guess. I couldn’t tell if she was just trying to make me feel better, but she said there was a good chance the baby would come before my next appointment.

The next appointment is set for Sept 4, which is Wednesday. That appointment would include a 20 minute “non-stress” test where they monitor the baby’s heart rate for 20 minutes. There would also be another ultrasound to check fluid levels, and we would have to set a date for induction. I told her I wanted to avoid inducing as long as possible; she was fine with waiting, but said we shouldn’t let it go past the 10th. I am comfortable with that, if kiddo isn’t here by the 10th I am going to be beyond ready to give in and let them induce.

So I am still left hoping to go into labor at any minute… but in an effort to be realistic I am setting my sights on the weekend as my next “I only have till…” goal. It would be really nice for my next post to be a birth announcement.

Officially Late

Well, it is August 28… That makes her officially past due, but I am not surprised. They say you typically deliver somewhere in the 39-41 week range. So that means this could stretch out until next Tuesday, if not longer.

I got a little hopeful on the 26th because I was having contractions 10 minutes apart, but they weren’t painful at all. I am still having frequent, but irregular, contractions. I guess this is yet one more thing to add to the list of “any day now” symptoms I have. I certainly haven’t gotten that burst of energy they talk about though, if anything I have been wanting to sleep all the time. Not that I have time to sleep, I am still working from home full time.

The next OB appointment is tomorrow afternoon… hoping for some news of progress. Well, actually, I am hoping to go into labor any minute… but not really expecting to.

40…

Tomorrow will make 40 weeks. The day after is the due date. I was really hoping to have the kid this weekend, but unless things start happening soon it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. Of course I wasn’t really expecting anything to happen, I was just hoping.

My appointment on Thursday didn’t show much progression, I was only at 2cm. But the past couple days I have had some “signs” that labor will start within a couple days; like a lot of braxton hicks contractions and some cramping, along with other things that might be a little TMI to post about. At least the internet tells me these things mean labor is starting soon(ish), and the book from our childbirth class seems to agree. So maybe there is at least hope that she won’t be late? I think it is really a “who knows” sort of thing though. Maybe she will come tonight, maybe she will end up a September baby. All I know is that we are ready for her to be here.

39 Weeks

39… wow… so close now. And I am definitely ready, even if it seems kiddo isn’t. As I said in my post from Friday, I am 2cm at most. At least it isn’t 0 I suppose. Hopefully by my Thursday appointment things will have progressed more. Or maybe labor could start any day now…

Right now I am pretty miserable. Just walking up the stairs, or doing some light chores, leaves me out of breath. And this kid seems to be punching me in the cervix, which is somewhat painful. And the pelvic/sacroiliac pain is even worse now. Maybe I over did it yesterday by walking around for an hour or so, but today I have felt like I could barely move without wincing in pain. Needless to say I have sat around doing a lot of nothing today. Sean was great though, he did a lot of cleaning up for me while I mostly just sat/laid around and directed him. I felt bad about it, but I really couldn’t help. At least the plantar fasciitis seems to have gotten a lot better now that I am not going in to the office. So that is one less thing to hurt with every step.

We are ready though, at least we think we are. We got some more things on the dwindling to-do list taken care of today… the bassinet is in our bedroom, most of the baby laundry is done, and the car seat is in my car. I think that just leaves packing the bag for the hospital stay, which I have put a few things in already. I am not too worried about that since we live so close to the hospital (easy fetching distance), and I am sure I will have plenty of time to pack when I go into labor. Everything else is just little stuff that can be done after she is here.

1 1/2 – 2 cm

Had my doctor’s appointment today. It took forever, I was seriously thinking of opening the door and asking if they had forgotten about me. I sat in the exam room for at least 30 minutes waiting, and that was after waiting about 15 minutes to be called back. The appointment was scheduled for noon, and it was almost 1:00 when I got to see the doctor. The whole time I was nauseous because all I had eaten was an english muffin for breakfast and I really needed lunch. At least the lab folks were on the ball, I didn’t even get to sit down before I was called to the lab area.

The labs all still look fine, and they are happy with my weight and measurements. Although she did say I was measuring on the small side of normal, but I wonder if that is just because the baby has dropped. When she did the cervix check she said it was about 1.5 to 2 centimeters dilated now, and said that was good progress (it was less than 1cm two weeks ago). I was really hoping for more, but I suppose it is only the 38th week. I am just so ready to get this kid out.

I don’t remember if I said this already, but I stopped taking my nausea medicine Sunday since I am working from home full time now. I might have to give in an start taking it again though, it hasn’t worked out so great. I threw up Monday and Tuesday, and nearly threw up this morning. And once I finally got to eat lunch at 1:30 today, I threw all of that up. I really don’t want to take the medicine anymore, but it is looking like my choices are to either risk throwing up all the time or just suck it up and take the medicine a little while longer.

The next appointment is scheduled for Thursday afternoon…

Week 38

Two weeks left! Come on Aug 27! But with my luck she will end up being a September baby.

I pretty much gave all the baby update there is in the last post (Aug 9). There won’t be any new news until Friday when I have my next appointment. There will be another cervix check then to see if I am dilated any more. I am looking forward to that just because I want to know how things are progressing, and dreading it because it is so uncomfortable. Of course, that is the least of the uncomfortable things coming my way so I tell myself to shut up and deal.

From now on I will be working from home full time, and I am so glad I am able to do that. The pelvic pain gets worse all the time, and I am now definitely at a slow waddle. I swear that happened over night. It was uncomfortable before, with pain when I was stiff or moved in certain ways. Now it is pretty constant. And I am so out of breath all the time, which is also lame.

Saturday I was pretty sore when I got up, but thought it would ease up as I started to move. It didn’t really let up much though. We had lots of things on the to do list, so I stubbornly pushed myself to go out and get some of them done. It started with just a few things around the house, then we went to drop a package off at the post office (off Westgate) which didn’t take long at all. The post office is next door to Wish Upon a Quilt, so we made a quick stop there as well. From there we went over to Brier Creek and had lunch, after which I seriously thought I was going to throw up but somehow managed not to. Then we headed to Target for a few needed items.

I slowly plodded through Target picking up a few items on the side we entered on, the two things we needed on the other side of the store seemed so far away. I waddled over there though, with Sean patiently walking at quarter-speed for me. If you are familiar with the layout of Brier Creek’s Target… we entered on the Pharmacy end, picked up a few things there in the pet section. Then we walked over to grab some air filters before going to the greeting cards. So we basically made a loop around the store. By the time I made it up to the greeting cards I was feeling pretty wiped out, and suddenly noticed my hands felt tight. The swelling hit out of nowhere, and at first I couldn’t get my wedding band off. I grabbed the cold drink we had from lunch and held it for a few minutes, and luckily between either the ice or the condensation I was just able to wriggle the ring off. So I guess no more rings for me.

After that I really just wanted to go home and lay down, but we needed to get some things from the grocery store… I managed to make it through that, but was so glad we had to go home afterwards. However, trying to carry purchases up the stairs lead to the discovery that walking up stairs while carrying things is now pretty painful. One more thing I can add to my list of simple things that are now ridiculously difficult.

I am so tired of not being able to do things I want/need to do! Saturday evening I should have been at a friend’s birthday party, but instead I was napping. And there were so many more things that needed to be done on my to do list this weekend too, but I was either too tired or too sore to do them. When we were cleaning up last night I had to mostly just sit around and give Sean instructions, although I did manage to help some. I hate it! You would think I would be happy to get out of chores, but I would so much rather just do something than order someone else around… especially Sean, who already does so much stuff to pick up my slack.

I am going to adopt the mantra that it is almost over… Only a couple more weeks now. I will ignore the part where during that time this baby will gain an ounce a day, and by the end I will be dealing with another pound of human living in my belly.