30 October 2009

Chunky monkey gets snipped.

The three of us went to the pediatrician this morning for his 2 week checkup (and circumcision...!). Cam weighs 7 WHOLE POUNDS! That's almost a pound MORE than his birth weight!! I knew he was eating well, but... daaang, boy.


(Oct. 29)

He's also grown an inch (21" now). His newborn sleepers from Carter's actually fit him (and look so ridiculously cute)... and the Gerber onesies my mom stenciled on are almost too small. Give him 2 more days and he'll be out of them.
---
I left the circumcision decision up to Brian, since it's a boy thing. He wanted to, hence the scheduling. It kinda surprised me, but he went back with Cam while it was done. I didn't (although I had planned on going with him)... and now I'm kind of glad. It would have been interesting to watch... but not on my kid. The before-and-after was alarming enough.

I mean, I don't have a penis and my penis is hurting in sympathy if you know what I mean.

28 October 2009

Losing my REM.

I suppose, since Cam (and my teeny-tiny bladder) punctuated my sleep for the last weeks of my pregnancy, that I'm doing alright with this whole lack of sleep thing. I don't nap a whole lot (but feel better when I get one), and I'm still functional. But it's hard to feel like you're okay when you nearly doze off at 3:30 in the morning while breastfeeding... causing you to spaz out and jerk yourself (and your newborn, who was peacefully eating) back to a sitting position. Unfortunately, the Boppy pillow I have does not come with shock absorbers. Poor Cam.


(Oct. 26)
I love the reflection of the ceiling fan in his eye. 

Just hanging out, feeding around the clock. He generally has one 4 hr period in a day where I don't have to feed him... all other times, 1 1/2-3 hours between feedings. I'm really having to watch my fluid intake to keep up. And my appetite is scaring Brian... I might be able to go head-to-head with David soon.

23 October 2009

Weight check.

Cam is back up to 6 pounds! We went to the pediatrician for a weight check yesterday morning.

That leaves 3 ounces until he's back to birth weight. Wooo...!


So, after the next feeding... :)

20 October 2009

L & D

So, I'll do a labor & delivery post (for inquiring minds); I don't mind answering gory questions (you lose your sense of modesty in labor, big-time), I just didn't want to post everything 'cause I know not everyone wants to know it all. :)

So after about 3 or 4 days of nice, 5 minute apart contractions in the evening that would go away when I laid down, I woke up at 3am on Monday morning and couldn't go back to sleep. (I had been doing this the past few days, too.) So I came downstairs, got some water and a snack, and surfed the web for a bit. Then I became worried that if I became incapacitated or something during/after labor, I don't have a power of attorney signed for Brian to take over & make decisions. So I went to Suze Orman's website and did that (I had a code already). Yay. I felt accomplished and posted about it on Martha's wall on Facebook.

Brian got up around 5/5:30, as per usual. I kinda puttered around until he left, then made my way upstairs to try and get some more sleep. Also not unusual. I took my cell phone in case anyone texted me.

At 7:01am (cell phone time) I had my first real labor contraction. I know a lot of women aren't sure exactly when their labors begin, because the contractions are irregular/weak at first and build, but I just knew. I hadn't had contractions while I was lying down before. Two more, and I called Brian and told him that he might need to come home, I'd let him know in a few minutes. He had just gotten to work (of course).

At 7:30, I called Brian and told him he needed to come home. By this time I had gotten up and was swaying around, and the contractions weren't abating. Got downstairs about when Brian got home, and we discovered Saxon had gotten poo in several rooms. I hung out (and took a belly pic) while Brian gave Saxon a bath. We threw the camera bag and some water bottles in the car, then walked around the driveway for a bit before heading to the hospital. I remember feeling like the ride went really fast, although all the bumps were VERY uncomfortable.

We got upstairs, and after puking twice in front of a whole waiting room full of people (I hadn't had anything to eat yet, so I had a lollipop in the car... bad move), we got back to Triage. After an hour of hanging out and electronic monitoring, they told us to walk around for an hour and come back (I was at 2cm). Ok. We walked around for 2 1/2 hrs... I did NOT want to go back and be told to walk around again! Second time was the charm. I was admitted around 2pm, and after getting the IV hooked up and antibiotics plugged in ('cause I'm a Group B strep carrier), they pretty much left us alone for several hours.

It was rough. We later learned Cam was trying to come out 'sunny side up' - meaning he was facing my front instead of my back (the normal, easiest position). This is known as back labor. No wonder my back felt like I had done about 50 back handsprings without stretching/warming up. Swaying and just sitting on the toilet helped some, but mostly I wanted to curl up in bed, though I tried not to.

Around 8pm, when the nurse came in to hook up the monitor again (we had taken it off... again), I asked her to check and see where I was... because if this was going to go on that much longer, I might think about an epidural. Turns out I was at 5 cm. I turned to Brian, widened my eyes, and said "6 hours for 1 cm..." I shed a few tears at this point and got a bit discouraged. My nurse was very encouraging though - "you'll dilate very quickly now, you're 100% effaced", etc. I said okay, check me in an hour. If there's not a significant change, I want an epidural, because I (and my back!!!) can't take much more of this.

Bonnie (my nurse) comes back at 9 and checks - 9cm!! I was VERY relieved (and tired). We called my midwife, Judy, who came in and broke my water (it still hadn't gone yet - I think if Cam had had it his way, he'd have been born in the freakin' sack!). We waited another hour, but I was just hanging out at 9cm. So they gave me the smallest dose of Pitocin... another hour or so* goes by with no change. Upped it to the second smallest possible dose. This is when the contractions really started getting almost unbearable. Pitocin is the devil's plaything, I'm convinced. Bonnie started getting nervous because the monitor kept losing Cam's heartbeat, but I wasn't worried; every prenatal appt we've had trouble keeping him on there for very long because he's so active. She wanted to do a scalp electrode, but I flat out rejected that... so she had to physically hold the monitor on (during a contraction, this was a *wonderful* feeling... NOT).

Long story short, I pushed for a freaking long time. It went somewhat faster after we got the squat bar set up over the base of the bed. This was the one thing I REALLY wanted to do in labor; physiologically, squatting is the best position. There were many primordial yells at this point, and I'm pretty sure I scared the hell out of Brian. My voice sounded funny for several days. :)

At some point during pushing, I spun Cam so that he was facing the right (easier!) way, and he was born at 1:25am. (I only know the time because I asked later, lol.) Judy had me lift him up onto my belly and we waited a few minutes, then Brian got to cut the cord.

Cam was very alert and very pink from the get-go. :) I got to hold him just a few minutes before they took him a few feet away to be weighed/measured/cleaned up. He got two 9's for his Apgar scores (YAY). I got cleaned up a bit, they brought him back over, and we were left alone for awhile... it was great. :) No, I didn't cry - I was relieved the whole 18 hour ordeal was over with and happy to have a hunky new boy! I was buzzed for several hours afterward... Brian crashed shortly after we got to the postpartum room. He might've been a little tired, I guess... all that hand-holding. ;)

To sum it all up: hardest thing I've ever done, hands down. Nothing anyone tells you can really prepare you for labor; it's like running a marathon without any training. Breathing exercises gave me something to focus on besides my back. Weirdly enough, it also helped when Brian smiled at me (except after the Pitocin!)... it reminded me why we were there and that there would be an end!

And a darn good one at that! :)

*My sense of time was almost non-existent in labor. I was focused on getting through a contraction and "enjoying" the rest in between... if I had done anything else, I have a feeling I might've gotten that epidural.

09 October 2009

A brief note.

Dear contractions, (you don't deserve capitalization.)

I believe the expression is CRAP OR GET OFF THE POT. Stop this crazy every-5-minutes-for-an-hour-and-a-half-then-back-way-off-but-still-wake-me-up-often-enough-to-make-good-sleep-near-impossible! Grow some cajones pronto or don't show up again until right before the debut.

I'm telling on you.

Sincerely,
Nicole

07 October 2009

T-minus one week (and a few days)

= minor meltdown.

So, I should've thought this thing out more.
"This thing" being labor & delivery.

Eight months ago, I had ideas about finding a midwife, having a home birth, being laid-back about and totally personalizing the whole process. Seven months and 29 days ago, first trimester fatigue hit me upside the head (and body). Sure, I'll accept the OBGYN practice my HMO sent me to, even though the closest office is 45 minutes away. They only deliver at one hospital that's an hour away? Fine, fine. I sit in the waiting room for 30+ minutes each time I have an appointment (once for over an hour BOTH in the waiting room and the exam room)? Don't care. Just let me go back to sleep. Poke me awake to see a picture of the jellybean.

I'm really regretting my love of sleep now (at 3 &4 am... oh, the irony). I wish I had taken the time to find an obstetrician that I really like, or at least one who didn't try to make me feel teeny-tiny for asking questions or stating that I want a Hep-lock instead of dragging around an IV pole. And while the hospital where I'm planning on delivering looks like a freaking hotel/conference center in the main areas... it's still a hospital. They still have protocols and policies that I don't agree with (continuous EFM, pitocin after delivery, etc. etc.). Interior decorating doesn't change that, and I'm rather angry with myself for letting these factors (sleep, plants in hallways, weird Jesus art) push me towards 'going with the flow' so to speak.

I guess I'm getting nervous. There's so many things that you can't plan about a birth - time, place, not to mention the method (ultimately). I'm scared that the hospital staff is going to ignore what I want to do and that I won't be in a position to make them comply. (Although hopefully I'll just turn into a heinous bitch if they ignore me. Isn't a problem normally, right? ;) ) I'm scared that because I'm a first-timer, people are going to automatically disregard/poo-poo my requests - "no, that's not what you want", "you don't know what you're talking about". I'm scared that in the throes of a contraction I'm going to accidentally say 'yes' to something that I really don't want and that's going to turn into a whole slew of things I don't want. I'm scared that I won't recognize I'm in labor early enough. Hell, I'm scared I'm going to have to kick scissors out of my doctor's hand even though I've written all over my notes 'do not cut me on pain of death'. Yup, I'm scared. I'm okay with admitting it, I'm not okay with feeling it.

I'm also tired of wondering whether/what to do if I'm in labor... I've had 30 minutes of contractions that are 5 minutes apart, and then go away (such as yesterday). At what point do I call Brian if he's at work? After I've had an hour's worth of 5 minutes apart? After 2 hours? We still have at least an hour's drive ahead of us. I do not want my kid to be known as the Greenway baby on the 5 o'clock news. I'm seriously considering just staying home - "oops!" (which I'm sure freaks the hell out of Brian).

And my OBs just smile and tell me not to worry, I'll have plenty of time... and seem to forget that I just told them I was born in under 4 hours, and my mom in under 2 or 3 (both firsts).**

One of their responses to this last bit of info? "Well, we could always help you along and induce you if it's getting close to your due date and you're dilated." (yup, verbatim.) Because I obviously need help at that point.

(**There haven't been any studies looking at mothers' & daughters' time in labor (according to one of my OBs), but I would argue genetics (size of pelvis, that whole system in general) plays a fairly big role. I, of course, have no idea what I'm talking about... because I'm young and haven't experienced labor (did I mention all of the OBs are male?). Yes, that's the smell of irony.)

03 October 2009

Holding pattern.

So. OB appointment yesterday showed... No change from last week.
Sigh.

Rationally:
* I'd like him to come out when he's ready.
* I do not want him to succumb to "wimpy white boy" syndrome... even though he wouldn't be technically  premature now, the longer they cook the better (within reason, of course!).
* I like sleep.
* Enjoying baby-free time is going to be a little harder with a baby. So I should probably plant those tomatoes now and bask in baby-free 'glory' for the time being... (shopping anyone?)

Irrationally (which has been the theme of the pregnancy, yes):
* I'm amazed/freaked out by just how much my abdomen's been distorted. The circumference has already grown by more than a foot... it can stop now. I won't be upset, I promise.
* Having to sit spread-legged everywhere is getting old. I have no lap for the cats. I should have Brian videotape me bending over to pick something up, because I have a feeling watching that is going to make me laugh really hard when I can bend over again. (Generally uncomfortable.)
* I'd like my guts back, plzkthx. They've been very tolerant of the near-constant massage/lack of room (and weirdly enough, my IBS has gotten better!!?!!), but enough's enough.
* While getting a tan for pretty much the first time ever is great... I'd be happier if it were more even. And not on my face. Melasma! *shakes fist*
* This week is a bye week for the Gators... so I wouldn't have to worry about finding the game on the tv/radio if he decided to pop out today. That would be very considerate of him.

...
Also, FYI, Netflix is awesome! We just got a subscription/membership (through Upromise - so NF will deposit $12 into Monkey's account!), and are amazed at all the instantly watchable shows and movies. (Old MST3K! We watched "The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy" the other night. Quality cinema.) Brian's been watching some anime, which I now think is *great* - because he'll massage my feet & legs while watching. 3 episodes = not hurting anymore! Woohoo!

Starting work on the front flower bed - Brian dug it all up and is installing some sort of drain system because it turns into a pond whenever we get rain. After that's in, we're putting down rock and planting winter squash in some half barrels we got yesterday. Also got some tomatoes to plant (Mr. Stripey and a hybrid cherry variety).

Yay for growing things!

02 October 2009

Small, short, and round...

aka "Rolie Polie Olie". Back to the 3am postings.

Wow, I overdid it yesterday. My back was killing me pretty much all day, except for about .5 seconds when I got in the car (yay, lumbar support). Add to that on-and-off contractions, and you've got a cranky behemoth to deal with. (I recommend avoidance, personally.) But the house looks nice...

I keep wondering whether my water has broken... although I'm of the opinion that if I have to ask, then probably not. Same with "am I in labor?!?" I've got an appointment in about 9 hours though - I'll just have them check then. Occasionally I wish I'd gained more weight so I could tell more easily when my abdomen is getting "hard". The thing's a freaking rock where Monkey has his butt/hip.

Then I remember, more weight = more uncomfortable! NO THANKS! Already need help getting off the couch when I lie down on it. Seriously, either Brian helps me up or I just kind of roll off onto my hands & knees. I'll laugh about this later, but right now it's really frustrating when I'm trying to rush & get to the bathroom. Or the phone.

Going to roll back upstairs and try to sleep some...