Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Keeping Our Standards High

Adelay to me, upon hugging me after my shower on Thursday: "Wow, you smell nice! Where are you going?"

Me: "Well, nowhere yet. But Daddy was here to watch Jamie, so I went ahead and got ready after breakfast."

Adelay: "But... it's MORNING. Why are you getting dressed already?"

Me: (thinks back fondly to a time when I didn't have to make a point of scheduling showers and teeth brushing into my day.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jameson's Birth- The End!

First Thing: Baby Grayden is continuing to respond well to his botulism treatment, thank goodness. It will still be a lengthy recovery process, unfortunately, and he'll probably go home on a feeding tube, but at least he will LIVE and be fine. Things were very tense there for awhile, and we all feel very relieved. Also, thank GOODNESS his grandparents could come and be with their kids while all that was going on, right? So they have and will continue to have help with the babies, at least.

Now they just need help with all the hospital bills! Did you know botulism in infants is so rare they have to make up the treatment solution (which I guess is actually kind of like a vaccination: they infuse the baby with a form of the bacteria that caused the initial illness? or something? and then that causes the body to fight off the initial bacteria) on an as-needed basis. It's only made in California, by the department of health, and then gets shipped out whenever a case arises. So each treatment costs- wait for it- forty thousand dollars. That's JUST the actual medicine, not the doctor's bills or the hospital stay or anything. Hello! So, you know, try not to ever get botulism, is the moral there. Scary AND expensive.

Now, back to the birth story. And this will be the LAST installation, I promise! Good grief. (Parts one and two are here.)

So my water was broken at about seven fifteen in the morning, and the tub was filling. I was feeling different and weird, but still the contractions didn't all of the sudden start coming fast and furious like I expected them to. Also, we had been told that the baby's head was coming down sideways, so Stacy advised me that the best position to be in to turn him around facing down was to sit on the ball. So that's basically what I did, just bounced on the ball for the next two hours. I even ate breakfast and had a couple of monitor checks while sitting on it.

If you can believe, I didn't get my first real, hurty contraction until forty five minutes after my water broke. After that, they did finally start coming on a pretty regular basis and were intense enough that I wanted a heating pad on my back and to hold someone's hand during them. Around nine I apparently said that I could feel the baby turning, so I guess the ball worked. I don't remember anyone saying that he came out sideways, anyways, so I assume it did!

My mom and my SIL Jenn had arrived by this point, so I had quite a support team to keep me entertained while things started picking up speed. Around nine thirty I had a contraction that literally took me to my knees- I just kind of rolled off the ball and hit the floor with my elbows on the bed. And I stayed there for quite a while, at least it seems like it to my memory. It felt like one non stop contraction for about twenty minutes. I think that was the point when I began making some noise, if I recall correctly!

At ten o clock in the morning I got into the birthing tub, finally. I was still at seven to eight cm, and the baby's head was at zero station. Same place it was at thirty weeks when I went on bedrest, but it certainly feels a lot different to have a three pound baby's head there than to have an almost seven pound baby's head there! I stayed on my hands and knees almost the entire time I was in the tub. Every time a contraction came, about every two minutes by then, Stacy would put pressure on my tailbone and Jim would stroke my head. I would just kind of arch my back and try to concentrate on what I was feeling, which was the baby literally moving down my spine as my cervix opened. I just kept reminding myself that it was a GOOD thing even though it felt excruciating! I definitely felt very aware of what was going on with my body and the baby during transition, rather it just being a big blur of pain, so that was cool.

I started pushing around eleven. I still vividly remember the contraction when the pain went from lots of pressure to an urgent, must push right now because the baby's pushing himself out pressure. I think that's what I said, even- "You guys, he's coming out! After the second or third time I yelled at them that no, really, I HAD to push right then- 'cause you know, the first time you say it, they're always like, "Yeah, I know, honey, it's going to be soon now!"- the nurses ran across the hall to get my doctor, who had another patient out-screaming me over there. (In what was supposed to be my recovery room, by the way, but they got so full I ended up staying in the birthing room the whole time.)

I think the first few pushes, which were totally involuntary, happened on my hands and knees. I didn't actually want to give birth in that position, because I wanted to see him come out and pick him up right away, but I kind of felt unable to move once that urge kicked in. They finally got me to roll over, though, primarily by yelling "Sarah! You have to turn over first!" and it was about fifteen minutes from then until he was born. I got to the point where everyone was cheering, "He's crowning! He's right there!" and that's when I kind of hit a wall and stopped pushing for awhile. I think I was almost numb by that point, and I also felt this strong need to wait a minute. I told them, "I need a break." (Possible TMI: I don't remember actually thinking it, but I imagine subconsciously I was remembering that I really really didn't want to tear, and that it would be better to give myself some time to stretch.) After a minute or two I finally did start pushing again, and then there he was, and without any tearing whatsoever, and only minimal screaming and shrieking.

The scary part was that when he came out, he was more or less blue. The cord was wrapped around his abdomen four times, and it was also a really short cord, so we had a bit of struggle getting him unwrapped while also keeping his head above water. I didn't see that he was tangled at first, and was confused as to why the doctor wasn't letting go of him when I reached for him. When I saw what was going on I sort of panicked a bit and was trying to unwrap him myself. The doctor was like, "Just hang on a minute, let me get it!"

But then finally- really within just about sixty seconds- he was in my arms and looking up at me, crying and starting to pink up. He was just amazing. How could that moment ever be anything but amazing, holding this child who was inside of you one minute and in your arms the next? (Also amazing, and hysterical, is the picture of me, still holding Jamie in the water, when my doctor told me I wouldn't need any stitches. I seriously looked like a kid on Christmas morning; I was so delighted that I'd actually gotten what I was hoping for with the water birth!)

After a few minutes, once the cord had stopped pulsing and was cut, they took Jamie to put him under the lights and give him some oxygen, since his hands and feet were still pretty blue. I was helped out of the tub and delivered the placenta back in the bed. At that point I was glad I'd had the intravenous access port put in, because I bled quite a bit, just like in my previous births, and had to get a shot of Pitocin and a dose of it through an IV right away. I got pretty lightheaded and felt like crap for ten minutes or so, but then the bleeding slowed and I got to hold my baby again and all was well.

Jameson nursed right away then, and Stacy told me it was the best and fastest latch she'd ever seen on a newborn. He definitely has not had a moment's trouble figuring out nursing since then! It took us a few minutes to decide for sure on his name; it was still between Jameson and Isaac at that point. I let Jim get the final say since I'd pretty much named Eli all on my own, and he chose Jameson. The middle name, or names, rather, took quite a bit more hammering out, but we finally decided on Beckett Isaac.

After I got cleaned up and showered, we ordered a celebratory pizza, and man, doesn't your first meal after having a baby just taste like the best thing EVER? I still remember that pizza vividly. Then the kids came and met their little brother, and that half hour or so was just the sweetest thing. I want to remember it forever. It went so much better than I had ever dared hope. All in all, I really had a great hospital stay and the nurses were great about mostly leaving me be to rest and bond with my baby. I wish I had chosen to stay the extra night I could have, but I really wanted to get home to be with the older kids again.

And... I think that's it! Water birth was awesome, and I would totally recommend it, and I will definitely do it again if I have the chance. I don't know how much it helped with the actual pain level, but it definitely helped me cope with it better and feel more free to move around into positions that helped me work with the contractions the most effectively. And yeah, the no tearing part was amazing, compared with the thirty plus stitches from Eli's birth! I seriously could hardly even tell I'd HAD a baby the next day, the recovery was that easy. Two thumbs up for the birthing tub! (I know it doesn't always work for everyone, though, and some people straight up hate it, so you know, this is just MY experience. Don't sue me if you personally end up not liking it or needing stitches or whatever!)

Having a doula was also wonderful, yet again, and I also highly recommend that. Or, just hire my husband! He was a total rock star, to use a tired but appropriate expression. He did and said everything you would hope your partner would do and say during labor, and I definitely was never tempted to swear or throw things at him! And having my family and friend around me was wonderful. I was so happy they got to be there for such a special event in our family's life. Just knowing they were there really helped keep my spirits up when I would get bored, or scared, or freaked out. Also, of course, Jess took all those wonderful pictures for us! What an awesome gift.

And that is the end, really and truly, and thank you for hanging in there if you actually managed to read all of this! I feel very blessed that, after such a rough time trying to conceive and carry this sweet little boy, his birth went so smoothly and relatively easily. We are all very much in love with him, and he really does feel like a gift to our family. Sometimes when I look at him, sleeping in my arms with his solid, deeply breathing little body as real as my own, I still can't believe he's actually, finally here. He's actually ours. Our third baby.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Therapy. Also Known Less Kindly As Complaining.

At my ob/gyn's office they have these TV monitors in the exam rooms that endlessly loop through a Power Point presentation covering all possible female issues: UTI's, osteoperosis, STD's, PMS, pregnancy, preterm labor symptoms, and of course, post-partum depression. I have waited in those rooms so often that I pretty much have every screen shot burned into my brain. I could tell you exactly what to do if you experience a continuous trickle of fluid while pregnant, or what to take if you have vaginal burning and itching. Particularly, I have memorized the list of what to do to "manage" your stress. Exercise! Sleep! Don't eat crap! Hire a maid and a nanny so that you have time and energy to actually DO the above!

No, but seriously, one of the suggestions is actually a very good one, in my experience, and that is to write down every single thing that's currently frustrating you, rather than just letting random vexation to swirl around in your head all day. So um, here goes:

-MICE. Enough said. But I'll say more anyways. We've trapped three now, and it looks way more horrifying than I expected. Thank goodness Jim disposes of them and checks the traps. We also found one dazed and dying on the living room carpet, not even moving when Jim and the dog circled it. He had to carry it out and dispose of it while it was still half-alive. I feel just awful about all the death and poisoning and neck snapping and GAH, the poor little mouse MOMMIES whose babies are dying or who are leaving their babies orphans or whatever. But I couldn't find any of the humane kind of traps, and anyways, what's the point? Catch and release them so they can sneak back in next week? But it's still guilt inducing and also just downright grim. And I am so sick of feeling all nervous and jumpy in my own house. I basically live in the kitchen, den and bathroom right now, where thus far there has been no sign of mousal activity. Last night while (hastily and warily) changing clothes in my bedroom, I thought I felt a mouse dropping on my BED and just totally lost my shit. Jim went in to check it and found it to be a little wad of fruit snack, which he proceeded to EAT in front of me. And then I died, the end.

-Laundry. Oh my gosh, between Jamie's poo blowouts and Eli's constant accidents (yes, THAT'S still happening,) my washer is never free to do any of the regular stuff because I'm always rinsing and soaking someone's excrement or urine out of their rapidly fading clothing.

-The dog. The wily opportunist who runs away at every open door and free moment, refuses to even pee when on the leash, and likes to puke up violent green stomach acid at inopportune times which takes me a half hour to blot out of the rug. It's a fun new hobby.

-I was losing weight rapidly the first few weeks after Jamie was born, but I seem to have plateued and now, if it's possible, am getting fatter. Whatever happened to breastfeeding just MELTING away the fat?

-Eli. Is continuing to act out, some days worse than others. The last two have been just horrendous. In the last forty eight hours I've dealt with: approximately four pee accidents, five attempts to run away and hide while in various department stores, countless screaming and throwing himself on the floor fits (usually in public,) one setting off of the emergency exit alarm in Kohls, and more outfit changes than a Lady Gaga concert. Seriously, the kid is killing me with his passion for being either Spiderman, a "football guy," or a pirate, and he rotates between costumes all day long, until there are random clothing articles littering every floor. Sometimes I even think he wets his pants on purpose so he can change clothes again.

-Addy. Keeps hitting/physically bullying Eli, which is MADDENING to me.

-Odors. I swear between the dog, the diapers, and the constant wet laundry, the house smells funky no matter what I do.

But there are good things. The baby only woke up once last night, for instance, and is starting to coo and smile at us. I made a yummy lasagna AND pumpkin chocolate chip cookies yesterday, and both turned out well. Also, I just found out that a Cold Stone is coming to town soon. That's very good news, right there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I had planned on finishing up Endless Birth Saga today, but I'm taking another break to ask you to please keep my friend's little grandson in your thoughts. He and his twin sister were born just a few weeks after Jameson, and his mom had had health problems all through the pregnancy. They were born at thirty five weeks gestation, and initially were healthy, though the little girl had been much smaller than her brother. In the last week or so, though, little Grayden started refusing food and his cry was getting very weak. They first thought he had failure to thrive and were giving him nourishment through IV, but he's now been diagnosed with infant botulism. This is very serious and very scary, and also very very rare. They have no idea how he contracted it, but it's an illness that can actually be fatal if not caught in time.

Grayden has a feeding tube in now and began his treatment this afternoon. He had had high blood pressure going into it, so they were concerned about how he would tolerate it, but he did respond well and his blood pressure began to go down, too. So everyone's encouraged that he will hopefully make a full recovery, but things are still very scary for his parents and grandparents, who both flew up to be with their son and daughter in law. Grandma and Grandpa are staying at the house and taking care of Teagan, the little girl, while the mom and dad stay at the hospital with their son.

So please just keep the whole family in your thoughts and prayers the next few days, if you will. I can't imagine going through such a rough pregnancy, the scare of a premature delivery/nicu stay, etc., only to have to deal with this as well. It also makes a certain fussy but otherwise perfectly plump and healthy baby boy seem like the luckiest, most amazing thing in the world.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Day The Baby Came, Part Two

So where were we? It was around eight or nine at night, I think, and I'd been walking and walking and talking and walking some more, and I was still at five to six cm and still not having regular contractions, but the baby's head had moved lower at least. (Here's where I'm running to the baby's room to get the birth story our doula gave us, because I'm realizing that the timetable in my head is fuzzy at best, and if I have a hard copy available with exact details, I might as well go and fetch it.)

OK, I'm back! And I immediately found a significant detail I had neglected to mention previously: for once, I was group B strep NEGATIVE, so I didn't have to have an IV! I did have to get an INT so that they would have intravenous access if necessary, so the painful insertion process was the same as an IV, but then once it was over, I had no cumbersome pole to drag around with me for the next night and day! I was incredibly psyched about this.

And my timeline was definitely fuzzy, because according to the paperwork here I didn't get my second cervical check until a little after ten, not eight. I had also forgotten that somewhere in between checks I had decided to try bouncing on the birthing ball, but the hospital's was flat, and they had no clue where to find a pump. So Stacy had to go down to her car and get her own ball, which she fortunately brings with her just in case. That was kind of funny at the time, I remember. The nurse had shrugged when questioned about why the ball was flat and said, "Well, no one ever uses it!" So I was the crazy lady in the bathtub room bouncing away on a big red ball to help open her cervix instead of laying in bed, hooked to an IV like a good little patient. :) (I may also have been eating all night long, too, here and there, which I'm pretty sure was technically against their rules. No one said anything to me about it, though.)

It was around this time that I kicked everyone out for a few hours so I could rest in peace. I had kind of been assuming that my doctor would have suggested breaking my water by now, since I'd been at the hospital for four hours or so with hardly any progress, but when the nurse called her with the results of my check she just said, "Sounds good!" So I was feeling a little tired and frustrated- I'd thought that I would be close to pushing by now, given the fact that the nurse kept telling me how the water bag was bulging and all. I had been sure they would've just broken it, or that it would have broken on its own, and then in an hour or so the baby would be out! But things seemed in limbo for the night.

After my family and friends left, Jim and Stacy and I discussed requesting to have my water broken and whether it would be wiser to git 'er done, as it were, or try to sleep through the night and gather some energy, then have the baby in the morning. I was hoping to have a magical water-never-breaking until the pushing phase birth like my friend Jess did, but once again, as in my previous births, not much progress past five cm. seemed to be happening with the water bag intact.

When the nurse came back in to check my monitor (I had gotten in bed to rest for a bit, so they did a twenty minute strip to check on baby and contractions) she said that my doctor had another patient who would be arriving early the next morning for an induction, and that the plan was to hold off on breaking my water until then, assuming it didn't break on its own. My doctor was currently at home and wouldn't be in until the morning UNLESS I insisted on having my water broken right away, and I hated to be the jerk patient who dragged the doctor out of her bed. I also figured that if the doctor wasn't in any hurry to urge the baby out, I guessed I didn't need to be either. Plus that would give me a little extra time to labor him down with my water cushion still intact, which is always less painful, and also to see if maybe for once my water would pop on its own.

So all that to say, I didn't end up getting my water broken that night, and opted instead to try to get some sleep while the contractions were still mild and infrequent. Jim and Stacy stayed, obviously, and so did my sister Laura and friend Jess- the room across the hall was earmarked for me, as a recovery room, so we were allowed to use it as a hotel room of sorts that night as well. Jim, Laura and Jess crashed out on the bed and pull out sofa over there (after making a late night Arby's run) and Stacy stayed on the couch in my room to keep an eye on me and take notes.

I slept fitfully on and off, I think, but most of the time I was just laying there thinking. I was trying to figure out why I still felt hesitant about the labor and delivery process, why I was still a little freaked out at the idea that the baby was COMING and was actually going to be here. With my other two I was always desperate to be done with pregnancy and thrilled to finally be at the hospital, but right then I felt reluctant and wanting to stall, despite the physical discomfort. I kept thinking vaguely, "What if we just went home? Maybe we can wait a week or so still!"

I did a lot of praying and meditating kind of stuff those few hours, trying to relax into the role of mom of three and accept the new stage of life that was beginning. I think that was the problem- I was still so much enjoying just finally being off of bedrest and getting to live my normal life and take care of my family. Everything felt fun, and I knew once the baby came it was going to be a rough jolt into sleepless nights and lots of work all of the sudden, as well as possible jealousy issues from the two kiddos who were currently being so happy and sweet because I was finally off the couch and playing with them. I was reluctant for that post-bedrest bliss phase to end, I think.

I did finally feel at peace, more or less, and also pretty awake again. I hadn't really slept much, especially since they were monitoring me on and off through the night since I was in bed anyways. I barely felt like I had had any contractions. But Stacy said that she had been aware, throughout the two and a half hours I was quiet, of every time I had a contraction because of the way my breathing changed.

Around four fifteen I was awake for good, and Stacy got up and went for a walk with me. I also had a cereal and orange juice snack- I was ravenous again! I don't know how women make it through labor without eating! When we got back to the room we somehow got on the topic of churches, religion and spirituality, which was very interesting and a good distraction from nonstop labor thoughts. Around five fifteen Jim, Jess and Laura woke up, and we went for another lap around the maternity floor. I would have contractions, but nothing on a regular timetable, and nothing I couldn't talk through.

Finally around seven my doctor arrived and checked me. Amazingly, despite pretty much an utter lack of anything I could honestly describe as PAIN pain, I had reached seven to eight cm! When she broke my water bag, the fluid was clear, but there was not much water left in there. We discussed the possibility that I may have been leaking fluid for awhile now, What I had been sure was just constant urine leaks from a giant baby on my bladder may have actually been a small tear in the water sac. But I had had an ultrasound just a week earlier which showed plenty of fluid, so if things had gotten unhealthy in there, at least it hadn't been for too long. Still, it made me feel very relieved that he was coming out now! The doctor reminded me to keep drinking lots of fluids to keep up the water supply for him since I didn't have an IV running.

At this point I was informed that the baby's head was asynclitic, or cocked to one side. This made sense since most of the pain I HAD noticed was in my lower back and tailbone. I was actually relieved- I had guessed he was probably totally sunny-side up, as they say, and at least sideways left a greater chance for turning him around the right way. I had them start filling the birth tub after my water was broken; I figured the contractions were sure to get intense pretty soon and I would want to get in. My body definitely reacted to the change intensely: the first time I stood up after my water was broken, my legs were shaking violently and I could barely stand. And mentally I felt different- I could feel in my bones that real labor had commenced, and I started to panic a little bit. I was afraid of the pain getting suddenly huge, instead of building up gradually like in a normal labor, and I was afraid of the pushing phase, which was now looming.

I remember pulling Jim into the bathroom with me, shutting the door on everyone else, and telling him, "I need you to pray for me now to stay focused." I knew the only way I could have the birth I wanted was if I kept my brain in sync with what my body was doing, instead of letting it freak out at what my body was doing! So we prayed together and hugged for a little while, and I calmed back down and came out feeling ok again. Which, you know, is what you always hope for out of a bathroom trip.

And now, duty calls and I have to stop again. Holy excessive details, I can't believe this is going to take me three posts! (You: no kidding.) But I wanted to tell it the way it came to me, and this is how it's coming to me: in very specific detail. Whadda ya gonna do. Hopefully I'll be back to wrap this up tomorrow!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Freak Out

I interrupt this birth story flow to say that while I was doing remarkably well emotionally the last few weeks, I have finally had evidence of post partum insanity in the form of absolute hysterics re: mice. I mean, mice are gross and their feces can carry germs and all and no one likes finding evidence of them in their homes, but people, I am losing my damn MIND over the sudden mouse spotting in our house. Every closet has been dug through, every piece of furniture moved and cleaned under. I do not understand how, in a house that is pretty darn clean by most people's standards, we are suddenly having this problem. To the point that THREE times now I have actually SEEN a mouse dart out from around our wood stove. SEEN IT WITH MY EYES. And then sat on the couch, frozen in terror for a good ten minutes. This last time, today, just when I was beginning to relax and think that for sure the poison had finally done its work... well, I saw the mouse and then burst into tears. I cried for... a little while, let's just say.

There is poison in every non-kid accessible corner and there are traps in every spot we suspect there to be mouse activity. I don't know what else to do short of getting a few tomcats. But if I see one more effing mouse in my home, I may have to be committed. Seriously.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It Only Took Six Weeks To Write This Post- Part One

SIDE NOTE: Before I launch into recounting my experience with water birth, I just want to mention in passing that having a new baby right before Halloween and the beginning of the holiday season, aka Pumpkin Flavored Everything season, is a terrible idea. Unless of course you're actually LOOKING for an inner tube of fat to cart around above your jeans. (I have to say though, if I could afford to go out and buy a whole new pants wardrobe, I wouldn't really even care right now. But I currently have only one pair of pants that fits me and that aren't maternity, and it's beginning to be embarrassing that I'm still wearing elastic waists. Or maybe not! If you can remember by the end of this sure to be lengthy post, comment and tell me how long it took you to get out of your maternity pants post baby!)

Ok, with that said, let us commence story telling while both boys are still magically sleeping! So if you recall- and you probably don't since even I barely recall it after six weeks- Sunday, September twenty sixth, which made me thirty seven weeks and one day pregnant, I had a lot of symptoms (some grosser than others, and I will leave it to your imagination and any standard pregnancy book to suggest them) that made me think I was going into labor. I laid down on the couch and tried to sleep, though, instead of rushing to the phone and then the hospital, since I'd had enough frustrating experience with false labor in my previous birth that I was determined not to jump the gun this time.

I kept thinking that the level of discomfort was such that if I just went to the hospital, I was sure they'd declare me in labor and let me stay. Keep in mind I was already four centimeters at this point. But I did, after a few hours and a lot of moaning and back pain, manage to go to sleep, and when I woke up there was no baby and no regular contractions. I did have a huge burst of nesting instinct that day, though, and got a ton accomplished from my Do Before Baby list.

Finally, on Tuesday afternoon I had my official thirty seven week check up, which revealed that the weekend's excitement had left me eighty percent effaced and five centimeters dilated. Or in other words, HALF WAY THROUGH LABOR by textbook standards. My doctor sat back, snapped off her glove and regarded me thoughtfully, then said, "So, what are you doing today?" And I looked at her face and said, "Uh... having a baby, I think?"

Then I back pedalled a little, freaking out at the idea that this was it, and also freaking out because I knew I couldn't have a water birth if I had to be on Pitocin, and going to the hospital before I was in an active contraction pattern made me much more likely to end up on Pit. However, I also knew that Addy's fifth birthday party was scheduled for that Saturday, and that I had all but promised her I would not go and have a baby on HER personal birthday. The fact was that if I dug in my heels and insisted on waiting for "real" labor, I was risking: a) going into labor during my daughter's party and/or having the baby on her actual birthday and b) never actually getting into a regular contraction pattern, having my water break suddenly, and then giving birth in my own bathroom while frantically trying to pack for the hospital.

On principle, though, I did weakly ask if I couldn't just wait another day or two and see what happened. My doctor basically said that yes, of course she couldn't DRAG me to the hospital or anything, but then said, "When you come in here five centimeters, I don't willingly send you back home, you know? You're having this baby SOON, one way or another. And if I strip your membranes, I think that should be enough to trigger more progress." I nervously started in with my concerns about Pitocin and still having a water birth, and she looked at me very seriously and said, "I promise there will be no Pitocin. We're not going to need it."

Well, that was good enough for me. I let her strip my membranes (which was a new experience for me! whee!) and then she sent me home to finish packing my bag, get the kids settled in with someone, and then return to the hospital within two hours. I couldn't believe how jittery I was as I got dressed and left the office on shaky legs. The nurse even gave me a hug and said reassuringly, "It's going to be great!" That drive home was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I couldn't believe it was actually happening, after all these weeks of lying around trying to keep this baby IN. Now he was coming OUT, and I still wasn't sure I was ready for labor or for the reality of three kids. I spent that ten minute drive alternately calling everyone who needed to know and taking deep cleansing breaths, muttering, "Here we go!"

When I got home, my brother in law, who had been watching the kids during my doctor's appointment and had agreed to stay with them until the baby came, took off to run a few errands while I packed and got my head on straight. I totally wandered around the house in a daze, loading random cups into the dishwasher, beginning and then abandoning little chores, and slowly packing the last of my things. I remember Addy basically packed my toiletries bag for me. If it hadn't been for her, I would have forgotten my glasses. Through all this, I was having mild contractions here and there, but still nothing different than the last few weeks.

When I had finished doing every last thing, including sterilizing the breast pump parts and packing the clearance-three-dollar-wearing-in-the-birthing-tub-and-then-throwing-away dress, Jim arrived home to drive me to the hospital and Brett got back to watch the kids. I had no excuse to not get in the car, so I kissed the kids goodbye and heaved my pregnant self into the passenger seat for the last time. I was still in a total daze.

At this point we were running a little late, but I hadn't had dinner yet and I knew I wanted to eat before we checked in. So we stopped at our family's coffee house on the way downtown, where I promptly had several humongous contractions that led me to call our doula and ask her to hurry. This was unfortunate, since she hurried so fast that she ended up beating us to the maternity ward. Whoops. But I partly blame the tripping of the fire alarm in the hospital lobby right when we got there to check in, which seriously slowed down the process. In hindsight it was kind of funny, but at the time, I was just nervous and annoyed and beginning to go deaf from the blaring alarm.

Anyhoo, so I got wheeled up to the birthing suite, hooked up to the monitors for the routine twenty minute strip, asked a bunch of questions, and checked. Five to six centimeters, is what the nurse said, so it seemed I had made some progress already. I was having only irregular contractions on the monitor, but they were happening, so I was officially in labor by hospital standards. I still felt no different than I had the last few weeks, though, and was talking and smiling. We spent lots of hours just walking around the halls and talking with our various visitors, including my mom and dad, sister, and Jess. By the next check I was still five to six centimeters, but the nurse said his head was lower.

...AND break.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


It really sucks. The end.

Oh and also, I am really sorry I'm barely commenting on anyone else's blogs since this bebe came along. I have yet to master the art of nursing while keeping my hands free, and basically every time I'm sitting down and free to read blogs, I'm nursing, so... I'm still reading you guys! And I miss you!