Monday, March 20, 2017

Catching Up - Baby #3

It appears that I have been slacking quite a lot.  During my previous pregnancies, I started writing posts as early as 7 weeks.  While I got my "big fat positive" test at 4 weeks this time, here I am writing my first post at nearly 12 weeks.  Oops.

When I first started this blog, I was pregnant with Logan, so the title "3 Snookies" seemed to be appropriate since he was the 3rd member of the family.  I'm pretty happy with myself now because I'm carrying our third Snookie, so it finally makes sense again 😃.  Bear with me.... it's the little things that make me happy 😉.

Since I'm nearing the end of my 1st trimester, I'll briefly recap the past 8 weeks.  Nausea and exhaustion.  That's about it, lol.  I took a positive test on January 24th, 2017 and was able to keep it a secret (from ALMOST everyone) until I announced to my parents on February 10th, their anniversary.  The public announcement was on February 14th and I kind-of went all-out with pictures, making shirts for myself and the kids, etc.  Jason said I went a little overboard, but since this is most likely our last baby, I wanted to have fun with it.

Anyway, back to the symptoms.  I have nausea almost all day, every day.  It progressively gets worse throughout the day.  Multiple times I've thought bad thoughts toward the person who coined the term "morning sickness".  Lies.  All lies.  I thought I was tired with my other 2 pregnancies... after all, I did work full-time and was chasing a toddler with the second one.  However, this one seems to trump the others.  I have to plan my days out carefully because I'm fairly limited by my energy.  I run a couple of errands (max) in the morning and then I try to do a couple of chores when I get home.  After 1pm, though, I'm pretty much useless.  I've somehow managed to make dinner every night, even when I'm feeling super nauseated.  Also, I keep the kids alive all day, so... Boom.  My house might be a disaster, but we're all surviving.  I consider that a victory.  Another strange symptom I've had is the chills.  It's like when you get a fever and your body feels freezing cold, no matter how many layers you have on.  That happens to me every day, so I have to stay bundled up in blankets on the couch.

This pregnancy has had some fun up-sides, though.  Since Logan is 5 and Elise is 3, they both kind-of understand what's going on and they like arguing about whether the baby is a boy or a girl.  They both want a little sidekick.  I have a feeling that they'll both be super excited with whatever it ends up being and we should hopefully find out around Logan's birthday.  They also love me telling them how big the baby is.  It started out as a poppy seed, then progressed to a blueberry (which they thought was hilarious), raspberry, and now a fig.  Sharing the whole experience with them has been a lot of fun.

My food of choice has been:  nothing
Cravings:  chicken gravy (weird, I know)
Aversions:  I don't really care for chicken (at least when I have to cook it)
Weight loss/gain:  -10lbs

That's all for now.  Until next week 😊

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1 Month Postpartum

Happy 1 month old, Elise!  I can't believe it has already been this long yet at the same time when I think about the past 4 weeks, a lot has happened...

Elise has had 2 doctor appointments since her original newborn checkup.  At birth she was 7 lbs 15 oz and 20.5" long.  At her 2 week appointment she was 9 lbs 1 oz and 21" long (I think).  Today she is 10 lbs 13 oz and 22.5" long.  I guess this leads me to the topic of breastfeeding... baby girl loves to eat! ;)  When we were in the hospital and for the first few days after we came home, we supplemented a little bit with some formula.  Once my milk came in (holy milk, batman!) Elise was all about breastfeeding.  She's a bit of a breastmilk snob now.  Jason has tried giving her the formula bottles when I'm out running errands but she doesn't want anything to do with them.  I think they have even turned her off of bottle feeding in general because he has tried giving her milk that I've pumped and she doesn't like drinking it from a bottle.  It might just be the bottle itself, though, so we might have to try different brands to see what she likes.  Anyway, I breastfed Logan and we overcame many obstacles (2 open heart surgeries & stays in the hospital, teething, growth spurts, working full-time, etc.) so feeding Elise has been a breeze in comparison.  My supply is pretty solid right now so I've been trying to pump at least once a day to build up a little supply in the freezer.

I guess I should backtrack a bit to our time in the hospital and updates from labor and whatnot.  Since I got an episiotomy, I had to be stitched up.  I don't know how many stitches I got but I think they have healed/dissolved because I haven't felt them or been in any pain for a couple of weeks.  I had contractions for about a week after delivery, especially when nursing but nothing since.  The postpartum bleeding lasted about 3.5 weeks but has pretty much stopped.  All the swelling and water retention from pregnancy went away within the first 2 weeks.  I almost have all the feeling back in my right index and middle fingers from the carpal tunnel I developed in the third trimester.  I thought it would go away immediately (along with the swelling) but it didn't. 

I gained a total of 36 lbs during the pregnancy.  When I weighed myself at 3 weeks postpartum I had lost 37 lbs.  Thank God for breastfeeding ;).  I'm wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans again but my belly is still larger than it was before.  My weight seems to have been redistributed to different parts of my body :P.

My hormones have normalized a bit... I did have some postpartum blues during the first week but they went away quickly.  During that time, I really wanted to go back and stay in the hospital. I think it was a combination of feeling so grateful for their support of my vbac and them waiting on me hand and foot ;).  Things were just easier there.  Once we came home, reality set in so I had some mixed emotions.  Emotionally I'm pretty cool now :).  My hair is starting to dry out, though, so I'm getting it chopped this weekend.  My skin has been fairly dry too, which is a welcome change from the usual oil slick.

All-in-all things have been going well.  Elise is a great burper so she hasn't had the bellyaches that Logan had.  As a result, she sleeps much better than he did.  She's still a baby, though, so we have a lot of room for improvement in the sleep area :).  We all love her like crazy, especially Logan.  He just adores his sister, "baby Halise" :).

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 21 - Elise's birth story

I'm going to attempt to type out Elise's labor and delivery story, even though some of it was a bit fuzzy at the time... which means it's even more fuzzy now :).  I'll try my best, though.

I started having random contractions on Wednesday night, December 18th.  I was hoping they would pick up speed on Thursday but they pretty much stayed the same.  I went in to work for half a day Thursday but told my boss I would not be back on Friday... I was determined ;).  I went home and tried to get things in order.  I had a feeling we might need to clean things up, so I had Jason help me get the guest bedroom ready, just in case we had to have his mom stay with Logan overnight.  As we were making the bed, I felt a warm gush and just knew my water had broken.  I told Jason as I ran to the bathroom and he said "are you sure you didn't just pee your pants?"  I was sure ;).  I called my doctor's office and they told me it wasn't an emergency but that I should pack my things and come to the hospital.  We contacted Jason's parents and they headed to our house.  We left the house and arrived at the hospital around 10pm and they were expecting us.

They took me to room B2 and checked me to make sure my water had actually broken and it had.  They hooked me up to the fetal and contraction monitors, IV (fluids & penicillin every 4 hours for Group B Strep), drew blood and basically told me to get comfortable because I wasn't leaving until the baby was here.  When they checked my cervix, I was only dilated to about 1cm and I think I was about 70-80% effaced.  I was starting to feel the contractions more but they were still coming at only about every 10-15 minutes.  I think they waited to check me again until the next morning and I had dilated to 3cm.  My doctor (Dr. Lambert) had gotten to work at this point so he told the nurse to start me on pitocin to get my contractions going in a better pattern (more frequent and intense).  I had been dealing with the pain fairly well until then but the pitocin (aka Devil's venom) put me over the edge.  I finally requested the epidural, which the nurse thought would help me relax enough to dilate more.  When the anesthesiologist showed up, I was ready for the drugs.  I seriously almost gave that man a hug.  Anyway, once it kicked in, I was much more comfortable and was able to rest a little bit.  Soon after they gave it to me, they told me I was no longer able to eat or drink and that I was only allowed to have some ice chips.  They kept pumping fluids into my IV, so I guess that was supposed to keep me from getting dehydrated.

I really wish I had snuck a Zantac at some point that morning because my heartburn was really horrible.  When they checked me again in the afternoon, I had dilated to 5cm and was about 90% effaced but baby Elise was still really high up and definitely not in position in my pelvis.  The nurse had me trying all sorts of different positions in the bed to try and get the baby to drop.  Since I had the epidural, I wasn't allowed to get out of the bed to squat or walk or anything like that.  One of the positions she had me try was lying on my side with one leg propped in the air and the other leg straight out.  I had to roll over about every 20 minutes and one such roll made me really nauseous.  The nausea combined with my heartburn made me throw up and when I threw up, I had a heart palpitation.  I've had these since I was really young and they used to be much more frequent but even now when I get them, they only last about 5 minutes and then they go away after I lie down and breathe slowly.  Well... that wasn't the case this time.  The nurse called the doctor and a cardiac team and soon there were about a dozen doctors in my room asking me questions, hooking me up to an EKG, doing an echo on my heart, and monitoring my heart along with the baby's.  The baby was completely content so they didn't freak out as much as they could've but after all the tests came back showing that everything was normal, they decided to try a beta blocker first and when that didn't work they tried another drug that started with a D (don't remember), which finally brought my heart rate back to a normal level.  They said it had been about 20 beats higher than the baby's which was averaging around 130.  The palpitation had lasted about a total of 30 minutes, which I thought "of course this had to happen while I'm in a hospital", oy :).  After all of this, they determined that I have what they called SVT, which is Supraventricular tachycardia and sounds like nothing to be really concerned about but they still kept me hooked up to a monitor for the duration of the delivery.

After my SVT episode,  they started the pitocin drip again and Dr. Lambert continued to check on me to make sure I was feeling ok.  I was making progress yet it was very slow.  I was sure Dr. Lambert was going to get tired of waiting and just tell me it was time to have another C-section but as long as I made some kind of progress, he gave me "2 more hours" each time, which kept me going.  Late Friday night, my epidural stopped working.  The anesthesiologist came back to my room and tried giving me another dose of pain killers, but they didn't work.  The nurse called him back and he redid the epidural completely.  It worked pretty well but I still felt pain in my lower abdomen.  Even so, there wasn't much that he or anyone else could do about it so I just dealt with it.  At 2am on Saturday I was dilated to 9.5 and was 90% effaced.  Baby Elise was still really high, though.  My nurse continued to do whatever she could to try and get the baby to drop.  Elise was also in a bad position in my belly... she liked to curl up to the side.  One thing the nurse did was tie a sheet around my belly to keep the baby in the center of my belly.  It was kinda comical, really.  At some point early Saturday morning, the 2nd epidural stopped working.  A 3rd anesthesiologist came to the room and ended up redoing the epidural for a 3rd time.  Again, it worked ok but I still felt pain.  As a side note, anytime a new doctor or nurse came to my room, they commented on the excitement I caused earlier... apparently "that girl in B2" had quite a reputation :).

At 4am I was 10cm dilated and 100% effaced.  The baby was still really high up, though, so the nurse was getting a bit discouraged and wasn't sure if I would be able to avoid a C-section or not.  At 5:30am we decided that I should start pushing along with my contractions to see if I could move the baby into a better position.  After about 30-45 minutes of pushing, the nurse started getting really excited, saying "you're doing it!".  My doctor came in around 6:30 (I think) and was pleasantly surprised.  He said he had come in to talk to me about moving forward with a C-section but he could see that I was making progress and that I was doing a great job.  I could definitely feel pressure from the baby moving into position so I set a goal for myself of 7:30am.  It seemed reasonable at the time but time really went by fast while I was pushing.  I think it was around 7:30 when the nurse called for the doctor and a team to come prep for delivery.  I was pretty delirious at this point.  Even though contractions were coming every few minutes, I kept falling asleep in-between them.  My eyes were so swollen that I finally told Jason to tell me when another contraction was starting (yes, I felt them but they were hard to recognize between the pain and pressure of the baby's position).

Everyone who was in the room was encouraging me and telling me to push harder.  I was getting a bit frustrated at that point because it was a little after 8:00 and she still hadn't come out.  My nurse from overnight (Mary) even stayed past the time she was supposed to leave because she wanted to see Elise born :).  I kept pushing and just about the time when I was going to request an episiotomy (or anything to get her out), the doctor gave me one.  With my next push at 8:17am, she came out and they put her on my chest while they massaged her to get her breathing.  It was a really crazy moment... I was exhausted beyond words but so happy at the same time.  This experience was so different than Logan's birth (c-section).  I got to have skin-to-skin contact with Elise right away, they honored my request of delayed cord clamping, and I was able to start nursing her within 30 minutes of her birth.  Before the nurses did anything with/to Elise, they asked me if it was ok. 

Baby Elise is absolutely perfect.  She has my chin, Jason's toes, and she has such a sweet temperament.  She rarely cries, she loves to snuggle, and she eats and burps like a champ :).  She was 7 lbs 15oz and 20.5" long and is a beautiful little girl :).  Even though my labor and delivery didn't go exactly as planned, I was able to successfully achieve a VBAC after 36 hours of labor.  Elise (or "baby Halise", as Logan lovingly calls her) is here, healthy, and I will always be grateful to the doctors and nurses who helped her to get here safely :).