Thursday, April 21, 2011

6 days old + Birth Story

Just a quick update on how Eliza is doing, some pics and then a way-too-long birth story :-p

We've had a surprisingly easy week with Eliza, a lot thanks to my mom staying and helping out with baby, laundry, food and most importantly - taking a third nighttime shift so Jeremy and I can get some extra sleep :)

Little miss has been nursing like a champ with just a few hiccups along the way. She has even given me a few four hour breaks which is fantastic. She is lifting her head up a lot already, and the past two days has had some long wakeful periods where she just takes everything in. We have done a lot more than I would have expected, but are feeling pretty darned good all around. On Tuesday we had our doctor's appointment and everything looked great. Jeremy and I left the house to Target and Qdoba on day 4 and little miss slept the whole time. Yesterday was a big day, Eliza went to school with me and met most of the teachers. We tried out the Moby and took a walk to the park to get her some sunshine and fight off any jaundice, and even made a grocery store run in the evening. Today we made our weekly run to our favorite breakfast joint, Kings Chef, where all the waitresses were thrilled to meet her. We also *yikes!* test-drove a Subaru Outback and Forester. We had talked about buying one before Eliza came but decided we would put it off until winter, however getting the carseat in and out of the center seat of our Civic with Eliza in it is already quite the maneuver and she's only going to get bigger! The other big event today was Eliza's umbilical cord fell off - we had both been eagerly awaiting this as it's such a pain, but didn't expect it so soon. Our little girl is growing up! *sniff sniff*

Funny faces

Smilin girl, loves to be swaddled

Got to meet both of Jeremy's parents via Skype

Trying to eat Daddy's finger

Froggy girl

Moby wrap

Catchin some rays
(btw, this was yesterday - right now our lawn is white with snow!)

Bath time!

If you don't want to hear about water breaking or cervical dilation, stop here!!

Eliza's Birth Story
As soon as Jeremy came to bed Sunday morning around 2, his head hit the pillow and he started breathing heavily. Within 5 minutes of him being completely out I started having my first contractions. We had talked about how he would be totally fine with staying up a long time for labor as long as it didn't start right after he fell asleep, so of course that's what happened!
I wasn't sure I was in labor because the Thursday before I had false labor pains and this felt totally different. I thought maybe I had eaten something that didn't agree with me, and decided to leave Jeremy be and try to get some sleep myself. From about 2:30-6am I had contractions in bed and was able to get little bursts of sleep here and there. Still not totally convinced I was in labor, I got up at 6, took a shower and ate some breakfast.

When Jeremy woke up at 8 I told him I wasn't entirely sure but I thought this might be it. He called our doula Desirre and described what was going on. Contractions were about five minutes apart and lasting a little over a minute- she said I was in first stage labor, gave us some tips and said to call when things started to progress. At that point I was able to walk around between contractions, grabbing last minute things to go to the hospital. Within an hour, though, Jeremy decided to call Desirre because I couldn't talk or move much through contractions.

By the time Desirre and my mom showed up, the contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and getting pretty strong. I headed downstairs to our big tub and mom and Jeremy spent the next couple of hours boiling water and bringing it down to keep the tub full and warm which was a lifesaver. At this point I was pretty out of it and had myself convinced that I wasn't in real labor. Desirre kept assuring me that I was, but I just wouldn't believe her :-p
By about 11:30, I was down to less than 30 seconds between contractions, sometimes with no break at all and at that point Desirre said we needed to go ahead and head to the hospital. Getting me out of the tub and up the stairs and out the door ended up taking over thirty minutes because I had to stop every time I had a contraction. Between contractions I was booking it as fast as I could so we could get to the car.

I can't believe what I did to some poor woman on my way out of the house. Mom, Jeremy and Desirre were still in the house and I made it about halfway down our walkway when a couple walked in front of our house. She looked like she was about 8 months pregnant and right at that point a contraction hit me so hard. Jeremy came out and I ended up hanging on him and moaning my fool head off soooo loud for well over a minute. They kept looking back with horror as they walked down the block. I feel so bad for giving her such a graphic preview of what is to come :-p

Thanks to our excellent location and Jeremy's pro driving we made it to the hospital in less than five minues and it's a good thing. Desirre said that if we would have stayed at the house for another 20 minutes we would have ended up having Eliza at home.

When we got to the hospital we had the same issue of getting me to the maternity ward that we had getting me out of the house because I couldn't take more than 4-5 steps between contractions. When we got there the nurses were taking their time, going through the very long drawn out process of getting me checked in - until one of them checked me and found out I was 8 cm. At that point the process picked up as they rushed me to a delivery room and frantically called for the doctor. Unfortunately neither of my doctors were on call so I ended up with the hospital's doctor on call. I had a birth plan in place that my doctors had signed off on and knew they would follow our wishes for the delivery and after. One of my wishes was that I would be able to push in any position that felt "right", rather than only on my back. Laying on my back had been very painful for me since I was about 6 months pregnant and adding to my labor pains was not something I wanted to do. When I got to the room I ended up on the bed on my hands and knees and did not think I could move to any other position even if I wanted to. When the on call doctor walked in, she very snottily said "I have no problem with your birth plan other than having you push any way. I have back problems and if you don't push on your back I'm going to have a really sore back tomorrow."

Keep in mind I was in the most intense stage of labor and hearing this about sent me off the deep end. I was in such incredible pain and to have her tell me that her back would be sore for a day kind of made me want to kill her. When you consider that in reality all she had to do was wait for Eliza to crown and then lean over to catch her rather than sitting on a stool, it was pretty darned ridiculous. Instead of screaming at her which would have taken too much energy, I just turned my head the other way and completely ignored her. I don't think that she could have gotten me to flip over me if she tried considering that Jeremy was the only man in the room and he sure as hell wasn't going to help.

At that point, I started pushing which for some reason was the scariest part for me. As soon as they told me I could start I wanted nothing more than to just quit. Of course - quitting not being an option - I beared down and started. I didn't realize it at the time because I was so focused, but the doctor was called out for another birth which was having complications and a second doctor was called in for me. Apparently she was also unimpressed by my not laying on my back and just sat in the chair with a complete look of horror on her face every time I started pushing. Jeremy said he could see her thinking "please don't let this baby come out this time, please!" She kept insisting that they needed to get the other doctor back NOW. This whole idea of a woman only being able to deliver in one specific position only started because they are easier to sedate and strap down if they are on their backs. Doctors have become so accustomed to it that the majority of them are completely confounded by anything else. ANYway, sorry got sidetracked. The original doctor did come back and didn't push me anymore to change positions, but she was not pleasant to us at all.

At this point, my water still hadn't broken and we knew it was going to happen at any time. Jeremy was very happy that he was up by my head encouraging me through a push when it happened - let's just say Desirre took the brunt of my water breaking and she was standing a good three feet away when it happened. My head facing the other way, I obviously only felt it but with six people gathered around the end of my bed, it sounded like they had just seen an amazing fireworks display with the OOOOOOOHHHH that filled the room. Too funny. Shortly after that was Jeremy and mom's favorite part of the labor - between screaming like a crazy animal on a push, I suddenly stopped and turned to them and said "I'm starving!" in a totally normal voice. What can I say, it just hit me! They all burst out laughing and I kept on going. Pushing only took a little under an hour (which I still have a hard time believing - it felt like forever!). When Eliza's head finally came out, one of her shoulders got a little stuck because in addition to having a huge head she has very wide shoulders (Momma's little football player)! At that point I was able to flip over and that slipped her shoulder right out. Jeremy just sat there in awe that she kept on coming - when they put her on my belly I was in shock as to how big she was.

At this point the doctor started going against our birth plan again - and luckily I had Jeremy there - I was too incoherent and in shock to really stand up for myself. One of our unusual requests that had been approved by my doctor was to delay cutting the umbilical cord. When babies enter the birth canal, they push back 10% of their blood supply into the placenta. When the doctors immediately clamp and cut a cord, baby is cut off from this supply. By delaying the clamping and cutting, the cord keeps pulsing until all of that blood gets back into baby's system - basically just giving them extra oxygen and making them more alert and with it. So of course, the doctor immediately clamped the cord (even though she said she was okay with everything but the pushing on my birth plan - grrrr). I started to protest and she snapped "I have better things to do than mess with your umbilical cord!". I was so numb and in shock that I just held my baby and kind of blocked it all out, but Jeremy made her unclamp it - much to her disgust. Until the umbilical cord is cut, the baby and mom are still technically under the delivery doctor's care - so she couldn't leave until that was taken care of. She kept trying to tell Jeremy that the cord had stopped pulsing so he could cut it and every time he would feel it and refuse because he still felt a pulse. She was super annoyed, but Jeremy was strong and refused. I was just happy when it was done because it meant she would get out of there.

After that, things moved right along, Eliza had all of her tests done and passed with flying colors and we were moved up to mother-baby for the night. They were a little concerned because she was such a big baby that she might have blood sugar issues so kept coming in to poke her poor little foot and check it, but after three pokes she was still going strong (yet another reason I'm glad the cord wasn't cut right away) and they stopped torturing the poor little booger. At the 24 hour mark Monday afternoon we were on our way home and have been getting to know our little love ever since :-)

Overall it was a very good birth - things went pretty much exactly as we had hoped. We wanted to stay at home until right before I had to push and were able to do that with no complications. I didn't have any medication - something I'm not entirely sure I would have been strong enough to refuse if I had been in the hospital during the worst of the contractions. Though it felt longer, the entire labor lasted about twelve hours, with only five of active labor. Most importantly, we have a strong, healthy little girl that we can't get enough of!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Absolutely in love

We are home and doing great! I will get the birth story up shortly. Until then, here are some pictures as requested! (I know there are a ton - blame it on baby hormones that this is what I was able to "narrow down" to) :-p
Probably my favorite picture - Proud daddy immediately after he cut the cord

Putting a face with the voice she's been listening to for so long

In love already! (hot hospital gown, I know)

Buddha baby with Grandma

Snuggling with daddy

Weighing in at a big ol' 8lbs 4 oz

Sportin some chubber thighs!

Big beautiful eyes and a headful of hair!

Passing the hearing screen with flying colors - so cute!

First outfit

Getting ready to head home

On our way!

Meeting Olive (who has been pretty much indifferent since)

Meeting Ginger - her second mom. Ginger has to check on baby about every hour and gets soooo stressed out when she cries.

Baby's first bath

All cozy and dry

Loving her swing already

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flippin baby!!

I promised a report out on the baby flipping, so here goes.
Bottom line is, Eliza did get turned, even if it was pretty unpleasant. When I called, the woman I talked to told me the only uncomfortable part of the flipping was going to be the fact that I had to lay on my back - but that other than that it would be completely painless. That miiiight have been a slight stretch of the truth. Reminds me of last year - Jeremy and I both got Lasik and the doctors told us we would feel slight pressure on our eyeballs - if by slight pressure they meant an elephant sitting on our eyeballs, this was totally accurate. Nonetheless, I would do the procedure again in a heartbeat with all the good it did!
The doctor said that flipping the baby would take anywhere from 3-20 minutes, and average was 7 minutes. Of course, Eliza was stubborn so we were there for 20 minutes. As soon as he started putting the pressure on my pelvis I had instant dizziness, nausea and got extremely hot and clammy. It was very uncomfortable the entire time - but it is done! And all without passing out or vomiting, both which were serious concerns at one point. My body's still getting used to her laying on the other side of my belly, and my waddle has increased significantly, but hey - if it saves me back labor I'll take it any day of the week!
In other news, at my weekly OB appointment today, the doctor checked me and I measured at 2-3 cm and 80% effaced! (If you don't know what that means, you probably don't want to know). Basically it means things are progressing on their own with no outside intervention and little miss will probably make her appearance sooner rather than later!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Our ultrasound on Wednesday which was scheduled because the doctor was concerned Eliza wasn't growing fast enough yielded the opposite results - now the doctor is getting antsy that she's too big!
It was really fun seeing her all smooshed in there - when we had our 18 week ultrasound her face looked very skeletal so I was not expecting to get to see her face in such detail. Her cheeks are super chubby which I, of course, think is adorable. At this stage she is so big that you can only see one part of her at a time. She was holding one hand in front of her face, which she did at the last ultrasound, and the other hand was grabbing onto her toes - how cute is that??
They calculate a percentile based on the femur length, the head circumference and belly circumference. Eliza's head and femur measured average for 37 weeks, but her belly was huge and measured at 40 weeks! This pushed her up into the 90th percentile. The machine "calculated" her at 8 lbs, but even the ultrasound tech said she didn't think she weighed that much. The doctor expressed concern, but conceded that these tests can be totally inaccurate. If I haven't delivered in two weeks, we will do another ultrasound. He said if both of them put her at the 90th percentile, we'll talk about "moving things along". I smiled and nodded - I'll talk to him alright, but that doesn't mean I'm going to do anything. Jeremy and I both would really like to avoid an induction if at all possible.
With her chubby cheeks and enormous belly, it can't help but make me think that we are going to have a little girl version of Jeremy's favorite chubby man . . .
The ultrasound confirmed what I had suspected, which is that little miss has her head facing up towards my abdomen. This isn't a big deal for delivery if you have an epidural, but since I'm going the all-natural route, if she comes out face up, the back of her skull pressing against my tailbone will lead to back labor which sounds absolutely miserable. My doula and my yoga instructor both swear by a chiropractor in town who specializes in flipping babies in the womb. I talked to several women who have had him work on them and they sung his praises. So on Monday I am scheduled for a baby flip. I am intrigued and skeptical at the same time, but if it works it will be the best sixty bucks I could spend right now. It's supposed to be uncomfortable for me just because I have to lay on my back but other than that completely painless. Basically one person will press up on my tailbone which will make Eliza uncomfortable and cause her to pull her chin to her chest. Once she does that, as soon as she moves, the doctor will push in the direction she is moving until she flips. They said depending on how active she is it could take anywhere from 5-20 minutes and this late in the game she is very unlikely to flip back. I will report next week on how it goes!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Last stretch

2 1/2 weeks left and I have hit my most hated pregnancy symptom thus far - swelling. I think I'd take the nausea again over this :-p I don't like staying off of my feet!
Tomorrow we go in for a sizing ultrasound - last week the doctor said that I wasn't measuring quite as big as he expected to see. He said that the form of measuring is very imprecise and didn't seem super worried about it, but wanted to schedule an ultrasound just in case. I think Eliza heard him because that was 8 days ago and I feel like my belly has popped out bigger and bigger each day! Don't tell my baby girl she's not growing fast enough, she'll show you! It should be interesting seeing how scrunched up she is in there - last time we had an ultrasound was at 18 weeks and she had plenty of room to stretch and kick around.
Looking at this picture I don't even know how I'm standing up without falling over! Send your positive vibes our way - hoping she stays put until her due date!