Disclaimer: This is rather disjointed. This has been written in multiple sessions more than a week on after the actual event. I’ve been rather busy and had my hands full, you see. This is probably the longest I’ve yet gone in that time without actually holding Ewan, or someone else holding him. But anyway… here you go. TMI is likely.
After a week and a day of motherhood, I think I'm forgetting how to sleep.
This week has been nothing short of surreal. Right now I'm finally getting to type with both hands and with a sleeping baby on my chest. A baby. Our baby. How is that possible? Even though I was pregnant for the entirety of the year up until last week, it still seems as though even that may not have happened. I keep looking down at this little person and wondering how on earth he could 1) be real and 2) be mine.
( Labor and Birth )
Well that isn't what I was hoping for in terms of detail, flow or any amount of literary achievement but there you go. It only took me a month to actually post.
Bye bye Home Birth
So, I went to the birthing center so that Darlene could check that my water has actually broken, and it has. Unfortunately my blood pressure was 152 over 92 which puts and end to home birth.
We are being sent to Anacortes to have the baby. I am officially high risk now. The worry is that my blood pressure will keep climbing (Darlene says that's almost a given) and that it will/could lead to seizure. So, I will have to wear a monitor. I will most likely have to have an IV. I will likely be given Pitocin to hurry along labor as they will want the baby out.
Our new goal is no C-Section. I've been bawling and very upset, but trying to calm down and realize that it's better for the baby and better for salvaging our birth experience. The baby is moving and ok, but seems to have rolled over again all of the sudden.
On top of all of this, one of Darlene's other moms is in need of her care all of the sudden so she cannot attend our birth. We will be attended by Dr. Larson. Also, Darlene has arranged a Doula for us whose name is ... well I can't remember now, but she'll be there around 4.
So I need to finish doing what I'm doing to get ready and read out of here before someone takes my bed. They've kicked out a postpartum mother so I could have it. Losing that bed would really top off the day.
So we'll try to keep updating from the hospital, but I really don't know how that will go, or how easy it will be.
We're going to have our baby. I'm really sorry baby, I feel like I've failed you already.
So, that nasty egg concoction was not well digested by my body. The Castor Oil was not well received. Starting around 1am I was getting contractions, and by 1:30 they were coming hard and strong and three minutes apart and lasting about 1m 20 secs, on top of constant tightness. That was crazy no fun. Stephen was a champ and very helpful through that section, especially the part where I expelled the Castor Oil Eggs and goodness knows what else into one of the handy foot soak tubs I purchased for doing pedicures with to_rei_shi. That was a $1.56 well spent!
Given this, we called Darlene. I was pretty out of it. I was clinging to the counter at this point, managing to talk, but not that well. Seriously not fun. So... we decided to hold off the on the second does a little while long- I think it ended up being after 4am before I managed to really make it back to bed and stay there for longer than about 10 minutes at a time. 10 minutes in bed, 45 in the bathroom. GAH.
But... I had some show at 3:27, according to my log, and then more just before 4am. This means to me that those horrible contractions were doing something.
The good news is that after about 4:30 or 5 the priority switched to sleep- which we both desperately needed. At 9:45ish, I was getting up to use the loo again and felt rush of fluid, so I froze thinking maybe I'd soiled myself, but moved again and more fluid which I couldn't stop with Kegels. Then at 10:08 more fluid... and since then about 1 TBSP just about every time I move- so it looks like my water really has broken.
Stephen has been sent out to bank and to collect my thyroid Rx refill... so while he's gone, I'm trying to get contractions going on their own (which will work better when I actually get up and start moving more- right now I'm just wiggling in my chair). If they do, we go with it. If they don't then I do the second round of terrible Castor Oil via the chocolate milkshake. I think I'll do the milkshake anyway- something cold and creamy (soy creamy) sounds really good on my shredded intestinal tract. I'm thinking yoghurt is going to be high on the list of edibles as well...
However, we made a run to the Co-op last and got a lot of really good food. I have fresh radishes, yams, the BEST apples ever- almost as good as the huge one I got in Germany near Blenheim- two big jugs of organic apple juice, pear juice, the shampoo and conditioner I love, and generally healthy, yummy goodness. I shall masticate it and love it all (in little bits at a time of course, I really don't eat that much)... and hopefully it will all stay put.
So anyway... we're still not in consistent active labor but I think we're on our way to getting there. Baby is still moving around... can't believe we're going to meet our little peanut soon! I washed everything last night... so lots of clean, soft clothes and blankets await baby!
The Grandma's have been alerted and will be arriving later this afternoon.
I wonder how long this is going to take... will we have an 11th or 12th baby? Probably 12th.
K Stephen, hurry up! I'm finally hungry again.
However, I had to finish some laundry... had to. It's compulsive. But I feel better knowing it's done.
About 10:30pm ( a little behind schedule), I made three eggs scrambled with 2 oz of Castor Oil... and some salsa, Brother Bru Bru's and rice cheese. That was like eating greasy Styrofoam. I hope to NEVER eat eggs again. However, I managed to choke down all but the last couple of bites (small ones). I have so far succeeded in fighting the urge to vomit every last disgusting drop of that stuff back out of my body. So far. Regardless, since it's been in, I have had some more contractions, a little bit stronger ones. This could be partially (and I'm sure should be) blamed on carrying around laundry and bending a bunch. But hopefully that disgusting stuff will do its job and get some good labor going.
I've been having irregular contractions on and off all day, and especially this evening. They're not too bad. For some reason I find myself just needing to breathe more even though I wouldn't really say I'm in pain, so much. This is confusing to Stephen, but he'll live. Right now I feel numb to pain. Let's hope that continues for a long, long time.
Ah well... so nothing super stellar to report before I head off to bed tonight. I think we're slowly getting a little bit further along, but I couldn't say where we are in the process. We haven't bothered timing contractions at all yet, and I'm not really planning to do so until they really start to hurt, or are strong enough to stop me in my tracks.
I have orders to finish the last 2 oz of Castor Oil at 0400... not too long from now, really. That dosage is scheduled to find its way into a non-dairy chocolate milkshake. Hopefully I'll be able to gulp down the retched stuff and not feel it so much. *shudder* It's all so very disgusting. I really hope I don't vomit. I don't want to have to do that more than one more time.
Alright, sleep. We're hoping to have a long, hard day tomorrow. (Short and tolerable is also an acceptable reality, but not one we're expecting.)
P.S. A note on contractions: I have been having some down lower over the last couple days that I did not immediately recognize. The stronger, upper ones seem to be back. They feel a bit like having the wind knocked out of you, but oddly further away from where that sensation should be. I suppose that's an indicator that my gut really is that big. Bye, Bye belly! We'll not be together for long!
It Begins | 40 Week Midwife Appointment
There is nothing like going in to something like a midwife appointment at this stage in the game and hearing just what you wanted to hear.
After all of my efforts this week- Acupuncture, Thai Curry for lunch yesterday, walking for an hour with Darryl and Alice, "Indian Hot" Vegetable Curry for dinner last night, and thinking wide cervical thoughts- it turns out that we are in fact getting somewhere. Not only have I had some intermittent contractions and a lot of tightness, but I am, in fact, 3 cm dilated! My cervix is about 1 cm thick and the baby is at -1 Station (which is pretty good). I think the baby was quite surprised to get poked in the head for the first time EVER. Imagine its confusion.
So, the only not great news is that my blood pressure has crept up a little bit further, but that turns into good news because give that my cervix is favourable, Darlene doesn't want to wait until next week and possibly jeopardize our home birth. Basically we're looking to have a baby tomorrow or Friday. To accomplish this I have to find some happy balance between walking, controlling my urge to clean the whole world, and getting plenty of rest and then take 2oz of Castor Oil tonight at 2200, and another 2 oz tomorrow morning at 0400.
Mom has been alerted. The Mother-in-law has been alerted. Stephen's boss(es) have been alerted. I'm officially done with work for a while (other than photography stuff which never really stops). The house could use a last once over, but other than that we're pretty much there. The plan is to spend the afternoon with Charlotte and allow myself to be pretty much distracted with things until Stephen gets done with work for today. The plan then is to hit the co-op and get the last minute food items we may need in the next few days... and other than that, the plan is to spend some time together with just the two of us.
It's odd to think it won't be just the two of us again... probably not ever, really. Our lives, our relationship, we are about to change permanently. It's even more odd to know that these changes, this huge life event and everything that entails is just staring us in the face. We are a family- now more than ever. That's a pretty amazing feeling.
This morning I was so uncomfortable and rather grumpy with being uncomfortable... now I'm more excited than I know what to do with. I'm standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking a vast ocean- the winds of change are blowing across my face and my toes are wrapped around the edge of the sheer rock. I have my arms out just waiting to jump... and hopefully fly. Then, from the beautiful sunset on the not so distant horizon, a little butterfly flutters up and lands on my nose.
What a crazy ride.
Watch this space.
The Due Date
Today is our due date. All of the pregnancy emails I receive are saying it's the end of the pregnancy- and one has even gone so far as to send info on taking care of a newborn opening with "Welcome to parenthood!" Yeah, I wish.
Last night Stephen bestowed his permission for me to have the baby after 11 am this morning. So, we now have a go ahead from Dad... and my mom requests that we get it done before the weekend because she has a work thing on Monday. So I guess we'd better get going.
First of all, a statistic: Only 5% of babies are born on their due date. Of the people I've met who did have babies on their due dates, all followed by saying they were induced. I've no idea what the actual spread is nation wide... but I'm pretty sure there is no hope for us.
That said, I will mention that starting last night I've had some pretty extreme tightness in my lower abdomen, though only a couple of noticeable contractions. Otherwise it's a pretty constant pain. I'm starting to regret planning a full day of distraction for myself (all of which is out of the house). However, some of it will hopefully speed along the launch of labor and baby.
First on the list is seeing Leslie, my acupuncturist (so I'd better make this a quick post). Given that we're now very much full term, Stephen has given the go ahead, and I am more than ready to meet this baby, I will be instructing Leslie to please, please, please! push every baby button- especially the big red one marked "eject." Fingers crossed. Next we're going to spend time with my favourite Mr. Mom, Darryl, and five-month-old Alice. Maybe thinking and seeing babies will be helpful. Then, assuming labor hasn't started, it's off to my last day of work at the college until after my baby break. Then, if labor still hasn't started, it's off to Indian Curry with my mom. This will supposedly induce labor. I have no plans tomorrow, other than the midwife and then the chiropractor, so please can I have a baby now?!
I know it's ridiculous to think I can make it happen. I'm sure women all over the world beg and pray for labor with no results at all. However, one can dream! I really don't want to wait until next week. I still have in my head that the end of this week is the time, so I'm happy to help push it along.
Come on Baby! We're all waiting for you!
Also, as mentioned before, I've been ravishingly hungry- second trimester style- for the last few days. Anyone know if this is a good sign of labor preparation? I'm hoping so because this is very much unlike me. I feel like I haven't eaten in days!
P.S. I finished my thank you cards- I was really quick on about the first half and then somehow the last few weeks have just vanished. So, some people should already have one. Others are in the post... or likely you haven't gotten one yet because I don't have your address. This includes several people who I know don't read this blog, like Stephen's Aunts. I'm working on it. Oh well... hopefully they'll make it out soon- preferably before the baby announcements get sent!
Now that the baby has turned there are only two things left to do: 1) make sure it stays that way by continuing all the things mentioned in previous posts, and 2) wait.
This isn't so good, really. You know why? I'm really having trouble maintaining patience at this point. It really is at the point where it could be any day. Labor could start any time, and I really want it to. I have nothing else to do but take my primrose oil and rearrange things. That and I'm still on a mission to get some decent Indian Curry in the next week.
I talked to my boss at the college and we've decided that I'm just going to work my Tuesday evening shift and then be done, baby or no baby, until I come back (probably early November). Tuesday is due date day... in case anyone needs a reminder. So I think it's appropriate that after that point we do what we can to get labor going. Besides, everyday from here on out it's just more and more likely that it will be that day. Personally, I'd rather not be stuck at the college with no one else to whom I can turn over the office. I'm the closer. So, only one more shift there and then... more waiting.
I'm supposed to be sleeping, though. So... sleeping it is. Or at least trying.
Nursery Update: I did organize the changing table. Turns out we could use some more liners (possibly) for the cloth diapers, but those are super inexpensive. I opened the wipes warmer and put it out. Somebody still hasn't put up shelves for me, so it's in a temporary position until that is accomplished. It won't be plugged in or turned on until it's time to open the wipes, but they're all ready and waiting.
So, on the docket for tomorrow is vacuuming in here and organizing the office end of the things. Oh, and of course, continued nagging about the shelves.
My cat is being super duper needy and whiny so I'd best her some lovin'.
P.S. I've been ridiculously hungry today (for the first time in ages) and the baby is wigglin' up a storm. I hope that's a good sign.
Feeling much better today, even though I'm a bit nauseous after eating a dessert type item for brunch today... MISTAKE. I should know better but I was pressed for time. And now I pay for it.
On the plus side, I was pressed for time because I went and collected the labor tub, which is currently dominating the back seat of the Subie.
There's nothing holding us back now. I'm going to give this Evening Primrose stuff a try and ... see if anything happens I guess. I hope it's not as gross as it sounds. Yuck.
Oh, also on the good news list: most things are arriving in the post! I love getting things in the post. It's terrible. Now I'm just waiting for my Caden Lane messenger diaper bag to get here from Canada. They sent it via national post and it's taking freakin' forever. I asked for a tracking number, and much like our own ridiculous postal system, it only had information dating to the 28th of September. Thanks... that's oh so helpful. I hope it shows up!
I'm going to finish the baby room tonight. That's my plan. That means organizing the changing table, taking the wipes warmer out of the box, putting the cloth diapers in the crate thing I got for them, and making the room look really cozy. I'm intending to take pictures, but we'll see if I really do it. That would be better tomorrow when there is window light.
And now for more water... and hoping these hiccups knock off.
Oh, last thing of note: even my too big clothes are tight now! Bah. I squished into a tie dye dress today and have to keep checking to make sure the buttons haven't popped open again. Good thing I'm wearing under layers. It's tempting to say I'm not going to work here next week and just live in pajamas until the baby comes out. I'll miss the gut when it does, though. It's a special thing. But next time... if there is ever a next time (which could happen if Stephen is as keen on babies as he is on his cats) I have a couple of requirements. 1) Loose some freakin weight first so I feel prettier, and 2) invest in real maternity clothes that actually fit and ESPECIALLY knickers.
That is all.
( More about not feeling great... )
( Occipital Posterior )
Ah well... almost there, though. Today, officially, I can say I'm about ready to get this over with. Part of me still wants the rest of the week to get things done in the office and wrap up with clients, but there is a huge part of me that is so ready for the baby.
Every night for the last few nights I've had baby dreams. I had one where I could grab the foot from outside of my belly and I tried to spin the baby around so it would be going the right way. There was another one where we, Stephen, baby girl, and myself were riding in the car. I had the baby in my lap in the front seat and she was looking out the window. She had a rainbow aura and a cute hat. I kept thinking I should really put her back in her seat now, but I didn't want to let her go. I had another one which was basically just looking back at the car seat (from the front seat of the car, which I do all the time) and finally seeing feet in it. I'm looking forward to that.
I'm ready to be captivated by the tiny creature.
Oh yeah, did I mention that we're now within a week of our due date?
We are definitely getting close now. It's odd to answer the "how long do you have question" with "oh, two weeks." That's two weeks until the due date, by the way. Realistically, it could still be up to four more weeks before baby makes an appearance, but I sincerely hope not. The dull, menstrual like cramps continue to plague me, as so some of the stronger ones. I really hope, fingers crossed, that this will make for a smooth laboring process.
It's started to occur to me that by 12, 16, 18 hours in to first stage labor that I might become a bit anxious if we haven't hit transition yet and don't know when we will do. I really hope I'll have the stamina for this. I've been sick on and off this last week and fighting hard not to be. (Of course I would wait until nine months pregnant to get ill, right?) Being ill makes me want the baby to come out so that 1) I'll be more comfortable, and 2) my body will be free to amount a full immune attack and make me better once and for all. However, laying there wishing labor would just start may not be the best move as I would starting from a state of exhaustion and imagine this would make everything harder. It is from this the notion has sprung that it might be a lot longer and harder than I can currently comprehend.
Oh, and as a side note- last night I still got the "you're not that big" thing. What's wrong with just saying, "you look healthy" or some other generality?
( Read more... )
( Early Mornings and Final Preparations )
Ah well... time will tell all and everything will work out. We're really almost there. It's all so surreal!
Edit: Ah Peanut! Mom is sick with random flu and doesn't want to infect me... so I guess I'm on my own again.
Anyone want $20 to help with me scrubbing tubs, vacuuming the stairs and reaching things I can't reach right now?
Well... I am now. The Ellie Belly seems to have suddenly exploded into hugeness this week. This is not surprising considering that the up-and-down space available is totally used up. Bending in any direction, including simply leaning to one side or another, is not only extremely uncomfortable, it's damn near impossible. I do believe the kid is now going very much in the out direction. I'll see if I can get Stephen to take a picture of me tomorrow... but geese do I feel gigantic. Note: this doesn't mean that it is advisable to agree with me... and I know there are certain people saying "you always were."
Last time I checked I could still see my feet, but maybe I should check again.
It's past midnight and I'm avoiding going to bed. Why? Because it's so difficult to get comfortable that I almost don't want to try. The midwife says I'm not to recline as we're still trying to get baby to roll over and face the right instead of the left, so I'm forced to sleep on my side. For some reason sleeping on my left side, the advisable one for multiple reasons, is the less comfortable of the two possible sleeping positions. I have taken to creating a pillow nest, which Stephen despises, and seems to work a little better than some of the other options. But ... still not comfortable. This is true to the extent that by the fourth or fifth time I've woken up to go to the loo, around 6am, I lay there not wanting to bother trying to get back to sleep. I've been spending a lot of mornings wandering around the house, going down for juice or otherwise just staring at the ceiling. I suppose this is all good practice for feeding around the clock.
I never thought I would be looking forward so much to sleeping on my stomach or my back. I have always been a side sleeper, but this is a different ball game. Baby got heavy and it pulls on the muscles/connective tissues of my abdomen and sides. It's also killing my back. Amazingly enough, laying down is the most uncomfortable position for me. I find this pretty surprising. Now with two weeks to go until the due date, I'm finally finding myself wishing for labor. It's only now that I really feel big and pregnant.
Ironically, I've been wearing my pre-pregnancy trousers this week and they're so much more comfortable than any of the maternity clothes that I have. Fair be it, they are totally unzipped and held up by my Bella Band (invaluable thing that it is), but they fit everywhere else. They, unlike all the maternity trousers, are not made for short women. It's so nice not to be high-watering it, although that may be appropriate now that the rains and autumn have arrived.
It's really feeling like autumn now. This change in the weather is something I've been waiting for to signal that we're close to baby time. Funny that it's come just as we hit full term. The days seem drastically shorter. I'm finally sleeping with a blanket again (first time in months). I'm also getting to layer and wear sweaters- which I love. I'm so not a summer person, and I'm very happy to see it go. This transition is so marked this year. Of course this is possibly the most significant change in seasons I will ever experience. Going into this new year (Celtic, that is)I will be a mother.
I'm really looking forward to baby coming. It feels like it's pretty cramped in there and I wonder how long it will wait until the magical proteins or whatever are released and signal that baby is ready for the oxygen world. We are armed and ready. We are armed with things that I wish we never had to buy (and couldn't do with a straight face). Our home birth kit is here as well, the basket of classic home birth items (all from out check list) is stocked and ready to roll, and all we need to do is finish cleaning up the bedroom. It's a lot closer but more cluttered than I'd like it to be. Also, the bathroom could use some deep cleaning but somehow I haven't been too excited to get down on my hands and knees to scrub anything. Shocking, I'm sure.
The Green Room is put together and peaceful. Although, Stephen has, as of today, turned on the television and hooked up the cable, so it has been invaded. However, this is still likely to be a nice, quiet tea and sitting room, and likely where I'll nurse a lot of the time. My glider/rocker fits wonderfully in there and I'm very happy with it.
Well... I guess I'll go fight the bed. We all need rest.
P.S. I have been getting a lot of random food cravings again, although I have not been able to indulge them. They come and go very quickly, but it's sort of funny... I'm really feeling full circle in many ways. I blame my trousers.
Below is a copy of an email reply to my inquiry as to the cleaning procedures used with regards to the tub we are considering (still hoping to) rent for labor and possibly birth. For further information you can also check out their website: LaborTubs.com.
( On Cleaning Protocol for Labor Tubs )
I'm really crossing my fingers for one of these.
Thing 2: Stephen has just been sent on only the second midnight grocery run of the entire pregnancy- and for the same thing I sent him for the first time, I might add. Apple Juice. I want apple juice... that and Ocean Spray White Grapefruit juice. Mmmm vitamin C.
Monday is not likely to be fun as I think we can officially say we're both ill. Welcome autumn!
Oh... and as a bonus...
Thing 3: Babeh will not stop poking me in the magical hip nerve of d00m! OUCH. "Lay on your left side," they tell me. Yeah... that puts little fingers in destructive places. But at least Wiggles is well wiggly this evening and apparently having a grand old time routing around in my pelvis.
Oh well... before we know it I'll be posting that I am having contractions... and then that I'm officially a mum. How surreal, strange, crazy, weird, etc is that?! Is this really happening?
I shall ponder this whilst I await the delivery of my delicious and nutrition juice... and I don't mean the kind I will shortly be producing.
Originally uploaded by NicoleRaine
Lisa, our baby shower hostess, is in town. This afternoon she took me out to tea at a place I didn't even know existed. Apparently there is a very quaint little country village (see cutesy shops and touristy things) in Bothell. We had a lovely time... there are more photo highlights from our tea party on my flikr site.
Tomorrow is our baby shower. It's looking from the guest list like it may turn out to really be a baby shower and less like the BBQ get together we were originally envisioning. I think this should probably work out pretty well- there will only be a couple of male types and I'm sure the most uncomfortable of all of them will be Stephen. He has permission to bail should it turn into an Estrogen Fest. I'm hoping it will be a nice afternoon with friends.
I'm planning to bring my camera and hoping to try something different. I would like to get pictures of the gift givers holding the gifts instead of me with everything... might be nice as a memory- that way we're sure to know where everything came from years down the road.
( Midwifery Update )
...and on that note... it's time for midnight snack and then bed.Edit: Stephen gets the curry... I get a glass of Almond milk and a purple carrot.
We hope to see everyone tomorrow at 4pm!