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 :).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

41 Weeks

So here we are, one week overdue.  I really didn't think this pregnancy would last this long (I actually thought she would come early) but I've come to the conclusion that I have a very comfortable uterus which causes my children to want to hibernate for as long as possible.  That and they're stubborn, which is a trait that runs in the family (I won't say which side ;)).

I had my double appointment on Monday which started with a biophysical profile (ultrasound) to make sure the baby was still moving, heart rate was strong, amniotic fluid was sufficient, etc. and she passed with flying colors.  From there, I waited to meet with my doctor but was thrown a bit of a curveball.  He was on-call and was stuck with another patient at the hospital.  This didn't bother me because when I go into labor, I hope he makes me his priority.... so I really didn't mind waiting.  The nurse was able to get Dr. Walsh, the woman doctor of the practice, to come meet with me briefly instead.  I really did appreciate her taking the time to see me but she uses a very different approach than Dr. Lambert (and Dr. Barrett) does, which I don't appreciate.  The first thing she said when she walked into the room was "so, should we go ahead and just schedule your c-section?"  Dr. Lambert and I have a plan for going forward so I really want to stick with it to have the best chance of achieving my goal of a VBAC.  I understand that Christmas is coming up and it could be a good idea to get on their schedule, just in case, but I feel that by doing so I'd be admitting defeat before I even have a good chance of going into labor spontaneously.  And maybe it's just me, I don't know, because another girl I spoke to while we were in the waiting room said that she had a successful VBAC with Dr. Walsh and she had nothing but good things to say about her.  Anyway, I told her about my plan with Dr. Lambert and that seemed to satisfy her.  I asked her about doing a membrane sweep so she checked me but said I was only "fingertip dilated" so she wasn't able to do it. 

I scheduled a Non Stress Test for this Friday (assuming I'll still be pregnant), which is where they will strap a fetal monitor onto my belly and I get to relax for about 30 minutes while they get readings of baby's heart rate to make sure she's still doing ok.  Assuming all goes well (which I'm praying it will), Dr. Lambert said he'll let me go through the weekend but if I'm still pregnant next Monday we'll have to "make a decision" (i.e. - schedule a c-section).  This is where I'm a little nervous... I doubt they'll let me go past 42 weeks, which is Christmas day so they'll probably want me to schedule a c-section sometime on Monday or Tuesday.  If it's Monday, I should be able to get discharged on Christmas Day but if it's on Tuesday, I'll be stuck in the hospital until the day after Christmas.  I'm so excited about Christmas this year because this is the first year that Logan is really into it and I want it to be a really special day for him.  I'm sure it will be regardless, but still.  I'm just praying (and praying and begging and pleading) for labor to start SOON!  I'm sure I've mentioned before but my doctor will not induce labor since I'm attempting a VBAC, which means labor has to start naturally/spontaneously.  This leads me to my next point:

I've been looking into natural methods of induction.  Of course there's castor oil, evening primrose oil, blue cohosh, etc. but whenever I get my hopes up I end up reading about a negative side effect that causes me to backtrack.  I actually bought some evening primrose oil capsules tonight with the intention of taking some to 'prep my cervix' but then I read that it can act as a blood thinner.  In the event that I might have another c-section, I don't want to risk bleeding or hemorrhaging.  I also read that it (as well as blue cohosh) can increase chances of uterine rupture... and castor oil just scares me, mainly because I don't want the baby to poop before she comes out.  So I keep going back to my original decision to just wait it out and pray that baby comes :).  Please cooperate, baby Elise!

Not much new is going on this week other than her being lower and causing more pelvic discomfort.  Sometimes when I walk around, I feel fine... other times I feel like she's about to fall out and it causes a very painful waddle.  I'm sure I'm quite the sight to behold :).  Everyone at work has been very sweet and supportive, even though I can tell they feel bad that I'm still there.  My boss keeps commenting that he's happy I'm there and he wants me to hold out as long as possible (as if I have a say in the matter) and I finally had to tell him to stop because he was getting on my nerves ;).  I have moments where I feel extremely emotional and think I'm going to have a breakdown but I've been able to 'keep my cool' pretty well so far.

Here are some updates for this week:
*Braxton Hicks contractions - I get them a LOT so I think my uterus has been thoroughly prepped ;).
*Carpal tunnel - my right index and middle fingers are almost permanently numb as well as the tip of my thumb.  My wrist brace only helps slightly.  My left hand is starting to do the same thing, but not nearly as often.
*My heartburn has gotten worse this week... how, I have no idea, but it's really hitting me hard.
*Exhaustion - pretty self-explanatory
*Swelling - Feet, ankles, arms, hands, belly, and I think I'm starting to get "prego nose"

In spite of all the above, I'm actually doing ok.  Just trying to take one day at a time and I know that by this time next week we'll have this sweet baby girl in our arms :).

Also, on the bright side, cankles make it nearly impossible to cut my ankle area while shaving my legs... that is, providing I can actually reach my legs to shave them ;).

That's all for now, folks.  Prayers for labor are very appreciated!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

40 Weeks +3

I know it's mid-week but I just feel like blogging something.  I'm usually asleep by 10pm (whether I'm on the couch or in bed, it doesn't seem to matter) but it's 11:30 and I'm still wide awake.  Maybe it's because there are Psych reruns on tv (woo!) or maybe there's something else going on?  I'm hopeful but just waiting for a clear sign that labor has started (nothing yet).

Jason laughed at me last night because I told him every time I woke up to go to the bathroom, I wondered "did my water break yet?" and every time the answer was no.  I keep expecting to wake up with a wet bed, in pain, etc. but it hasn't happened.  I'm still working full-time which has been challenging but it has given me something to do with my time.  I'd probably be pretty bored if I just stayed at home all day, even though it would be nice to get some things taken care of around here. 

Most of our Christmas shopping is done but I do still need to make a couple of things to send to Oregon.  I guess I should make that a priority tomorrow, if I'm still home :).  I've been getting more pelvic and lower back pain today and was thinking maybe labor was starting but then it died down to nothing.  I'm still getting plenty of Braxton Hicks contractions and I think she has dropped down into the "prime" position :).  Earlier in the week I don't think she was quite low enough because when I drove over speed bumps, they didn't bother me much.  Now when I drive over any bumps, I feel like I need to be sitting on a donut pillow thing.  Yikes, they hurt.

Baby is still active and apparently very happy where she is.  I hope she decides to move out soon, though.  Jason and I got most of the decals up on the walls of her bedroom and they look soooo good.  I love all the little birds and the colors came together really nicely.  The decor is pretty understated but classic and something she can grow into.  I really like it :).  I'm excited to move the crib and rocking chair in there but won't be able to do that until we buy a big boy bed for Logan (soon).  I will post pictures or a short tour video when it's all put together :).

Welp... almost midnight and my heartburn is still hitting me pretty hard.  Ugh, I'm looking forward to not dealing with heartburn anymore.  It has been pretty bad lately.

Geesh, I feel knees, feet, and a butt squirming around in my belly.  I'm kinda surprised that she can still move around so well.  If labor doesn't start by Monday morning, I'll get to see her again on Monday afternoon during the biophysical profile (ultrasound). 

Anyway, I think it's time for bed.  Prayers for contractions are appreciated :).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

40 Weeks!

This week's Alpha Mom update is probably my favorite one ever.  It goes like this:

Your Baby:
  • get out get out get out.
  • get out get out get out get out.
  • get out get out get out get out get out.
  • get out! get out get out get out.
  • and for real: GET OUT.
So first, the bad news. Less than 10% of babies actually show up on their due date. While the word “overdue” pretty much feels on par with the f-word during the final weeks of pregnancy, the sad truth is that many of us will end up there.
You may continue to trudge to work everyday, silently fuming about how this was SO NOT WHAT YOU MEANT by your plan to “work up until your due date.” You may start working from home, blaming an inability to fit into your shoes or keep the bottom few inches of your belly covered...

There's more to it but that's the basic gist :).

Appointment update:  I had my 40 week appointment today and the first thing the doctor asked when he walked in the room was "so how long do you want to keep this going?"  My response was "as long as I can" and he basically said ok.  The female doctor I saw last week seemed to be more of the opinion that I needed to schedule a c-section asap and that I wasn't allowed to go over 41 weeks.  My regular OB doctor said he'll let me go over 41 but they like to monitor the baby fairly closely.  Here's the gameplan going forward:  my next appointment is scheduled for next Monday and they will do a 'biophysical profile' which is basically an ultrasound to make sure the baby's muscle tone, breathing function, heart rate, amniotic fluid, and my placenta are all looking healthy.  As long as that's still good, I'll return on Friday (if I'm still pregnant) and they will hook me up to a fetal monitor for about 30 minutes to make sure her heart rate is good.  If all is still well, he'll let me go through the following weekend but if I'm still pregnant around Monday the 23rd he said we will have to make a decision about what to do.  So there's a chance she could be a Christmas Eve baby but I'm still hoping she will come sooner since my doctor won't induce for a VBAC.

Anyway... currently I'm about 1cm dilated and 30% effaced & softened.  Fun times.  He said he could've done a membrane sweep (I need to do some research on this) but I wasn't dilated enough.  I've heard that it isn't as effective until after 41 weeks anyway, but I need to look into it.

As far as my carpal tunnel issues, he sent me to the pharmacy to get a wrist splint.  I've been wearing it all afternoon and the numbness has mostly been replaced with tingling, so I guess that's progress.  I had to take it off to type this, though, because my hand is close to worthless while it's on :).

On the homefront, our Christmas tree is up, lights are on the house, and stockings are hung.  I finished most of my Christmas shopping this week, just in case baby Elise decides to make an appearance.  I've been getting some more painful contractions but they're very random.  I was getting back pains during church on Sunday and was hopeful that it could mean impending labor but they stopped right after church, boo.  If it wasn't raining constantly this week, I'd be taking walks outside to try and get labor started.  I went shopping/walking at Target last night and it felt pretty good.  I'm thinking about walking around the plant at work whenever I get a chance but it would be nice to get outside.  Today was the first day without rain in weeks, so I'm going to recruit a couple of coworkers to go on a stroll outside with me tomorrow.

My due date is tomorrow (Wednesday the 11th) but I just wanted to touch on the topic of due dates briefly.  When I was pregnant with Logan, the doctor tried to give me a little heart-to-heart as I was approaching my due date.  She said the due date isn't an exact science and that some doctors had been talking about changing it from a due date to a due week.  While that might help most pregnant women to not lose their !@^#*$! minds at the end of their pregnancies, I don't see it happening anytime soon.  And even though women know that the due date doesn't mean a baby is going to be born "on time", it's still really hard to get close or pass the due date without getting upset/emotional/anxious, etc.  I tried explaining it to my boss today... when you first find out you're pregnant, you're given a date.  During the 9 or so months of pregnancy, you look forward to that date with expectation and an eagerness that really can't be explained.  Then you reach that date.  You pass that date.  Nothing happens.  I have to say that I'm pretty easy to deal with when I'm pregnant... I try not to make a fuss or call more attention to myself but when I passed my due date with Logan, I was extremely upset, hormonal, emotional, etc.  It's just really hard to be patient when that's what you've been doing for 9+ months straight :).  I'm trying to stay calm this time while still remaining hopeful that labor will start on its own very soon.  At this point in both pregnancies, I leaned on a specific scripture:

Philippians 4:6-8
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Meditating on this has helped a little but there's still a small part of me that's anxious.  Lord, please help me to get through this week if she doesn't come out!!! I will say, though, that I'm feeling much more at peace with everything since my appointment this morning.  It helps to know that as long as Elise is healthy and strong in the womb, they will let me continue carrying her without worrying about a c-section.  I'm not under quite as much pressure now :).

Elise has been very active this week.  I've been sitting on the couch tonight watching her poke her rear, knees, and feet out of my belly.  I think I even felt some toes, which was kinda cute :).  I'm still getting random contractions that make it look like I'm smuggling a bowling ball.  She is pretty low at this point... if she gets much lower I think she'll start to crown (I hope).  

That's about it for now.  I think I covered more than everything :).  Will update next week or sooner if things start to happen!  Prayers are appreciated ;).

Monday, December 9, 2013

39 Weeks

Even though I'm almost 40 weeks, here's my 39 week update.  The Alpha Mom update for this week says this about baby:

Your Baby:
  • Is full-term, almost done, probably about a medium-well on the Burger Scale.
  • Is about 20 inches long and over seven pounds, maybe, depends, who knows.
I had my checkup on Monday with a doctor I've only seen one other time and the first thing she said was "has anyone told you that you have a big baby?"  I told her no but she wanted me to come back on Tuesday for an ultrasound just to make sure the baby isn't getting "too big".  I returned on Tuesday and the ultrasound only took about 15 minutes.  The nurse took some quick measurements of the baby's head, abdomen, leg, etc. and told me her estimated weight is 8lbs 2oz.  I asked what the variant was and she said 1 lb, so she's anywhere from 7 lbs 2 oz to 9 lbs 2 oz (Lord, help me).  I think she's probably in the 7s or 8s but we'll find out soon enough :).  The nurse said the baby is measuring perfectly for how far along I am.  She tried getting a good view of baby's face but things were pretty squished.  The nurse did tell me that Elise has chubby cheeks and I laughed.  When I told Jason his response was "shocking".  I guess she's going to have the Kowing cheeks too.  Lucky her! ;)

Not much new has happened this week.  I'm still bulbous, uncomfortable, and having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions.  I've never looked forward to being in excruciating pain so much in my life ;).  I'm still having issues with pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel in both hands, especially my right.  My right thumb (tip), middle and index fingers are numb because my hands are so swollen.  It's really annoying.  And my left hand is starting to randomly go numb too, especially when I try to grasp things.  When I talked to the doctor about it, she said she could refer me to an orthopedic practice to get a steroid shot in my wrist but when I called them to schedule an appointment (last Tuesday), they didn't have anything available until this Friday.  I didn't think it was worth it at the time, but maybe I should've just scheduled the appointment, just in case.  If/when I go into labor, I'm a little concerned about how I'm going to grasp anything to bear down when it's time to push. 

I'm still working full-time and everybody at work seems to be pretty understanding.  My boss especially knows not to mess with me (too much) because I can be a bit touchy at times.  I try to be as pleasant as I can but I still have my moments :). 

There are more things I can post but they would probably run into my week 40 update, so I guess I'll leave them out for now.  I did go eat the eggplant parmigiana at Scalini's Italian restaurant last night... there are over 300 women who have gone into labor within 48 hours of eating that so I figured I would give it a shot.  When I was pregnant with Logan, I made the recipe myself (they have it posted on their website) and it didn't work but people told me "you have to GO there!" so we're putting them to the test.  It has been about 26 hours, so there are only about 22 left... although I did eat leftovers for dinner tonight so does that extend the time out another 24 hours?  Hmmm... we'll see :).

Here are my weekly updates:
Contractions: I've been feeling them multiple times each day but nothing close together or consistent.
Cravings: Not craving anything.
Weight:  My total is up to 34 lbs
Swelling:  Hands, feet, ankles, etc.  The carpal tunnel is really aggravating and uncomfortable. 
Things to do: Install the infant car seat, put decals on baby room wall
Heartburn:  Zantac 2x daily
Stretching: Nothing new :)

My 40 week checkup is tomorrow and I'm sure the doctor will actually "check" me (up to his elbow, yikes).  I'm hoping I'm at least a little bit dilated & effaced but we'll see.  Will update soon with my 40 week post, just in case something happens :).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

38 Weeks

I'm in the home stretch (pun not intended).  It has been a pretty good and productive week.  My birthday was on Monday (happy 31!) and Thanksgiving was on Thursday so I got to pig out about as much as my stomach allowed me to.  I'm still working full-time so the Thanksgiving break was much needed and I got a chance to relax at home quite a bit.  I'm still really tired but I feel like I got a lot accomplished.  The dresser for the baby's room arrived and Jason quickly put it together.  I took advantage of the long weekend (including Black Friday) to get some of the decorations up and I also sewed two pillow covers (for small throw pillows) and started sewing the last baby blanket.  I did a bunch of laundry and put most of the baby clothes away.  The decals arrived yesterday but we haven't put them on the walls yet.  I'm excited to get them up but need to prep the walls first.

I packed my bag for the hospital as much as I possibly could (still need to throw in phone chargers and other everyday items when the time comes).  I also bought Logan a backpack from a consignment store so that he has his very own bag that's ready for when mommy goes to the hospital.  He loves his backpack and stuffed it full of fruit snacks and juice boxes as soon as I told him what it was for.  Too cute :).  The gift that I ordered for Logan (from baby Elise) arrived in the mail yesterday too and I just need to wrap it and put it in my hospital bag... it's a book that he reads at daycare that he absolutely loves so I think he'll be impressed that Elise knew about it ;).

Jason and I got to go out a couple times this week on "dates" which was nice.  I'm sure it will be a while until we'll get to do that again.  We went to Red Robin for my free birthday burger and then went back again on Black Friday night before going to see Catching Fire.  I enjoyed it :).

Contractions: I've been feeling them multiple times each day but nothing close together or consistent.
Cravings: Not really craving anything but eating a bowl of cereal just about every night.
Weight:  My total is up to 31 lbs
Swelling:  Hands, feet, ankles, etc.  The carpal tunnel is really aggravating and uncomfortable. 
Things to do: Install the infant car seat
Heartburn:  Zantac 2x daily
Stretching: Minimal stretching beyond what I have from Logan.

I go back to the doctor tomorrow (Monday) because my appointment this past Wednesday was canceled.  The doctor had two c-sections scheduled at the last minute but I'm feeling fine so I'm not worried about missing that appointment.

I had to buy some men's slippers this afternoon because I couldn't find any women's in the right size for my poor puffy feet.  I fully plan on wearing them to work and I'm sure nobody will have anything to say about it ;).

I'm closing the baby pool tonight (I forgot to do it earlier this week), so good luck to everyone who has entered a guess :).  The winner will be posted as soon as I can after she's born.  I'm not entering a guess (don't want to mess up the game) but my guess is December 7th (a day that will live in infamy) at 8:15pm, 7lbs 5oz and 20.5" long :).

I will try to post pictures of the nursery when we have more completed (decals on the wall, etc.).  It's going to be adorable! :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

37 Weeks

Once again, I'm posting a few days late so I have more than usual to talk about.  Last weekend I made 2 casseroles plus a lasagna and they're in the freezer waiting for the baby to arrive.  Since that is off of my list, I've been working on knocking out some of the other items.  I ordered a dresser for her room today and I'm excited for it to arrive so that we can get the room in order.  I also ordered some wall decals from Etsy and am waiting for those to arrive as well.  Etsy says it should be shipped by tomorrow... I hope they're right!  Here's a little preview of what it will look like (with a different name, of course).

I think I posted a while back that her room will be pink and teal/turquoise with chevron accents and birds, so this decal fit everything perfectly.  The colors will be slightly different (and I ordered another one to go along with it) but it's pretty close to this.  I'm excited to put them up!

I still have a blanket and a few pillow covers to sew for her as well as another boppy cover but I should be able to finish them within the next week, especially since I get Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving.

I actually made notes of what to blog about this week, so bear with me... this might be a long one :).

For the past month or so, I haven't worn any flowy tops.  They've all pretty much been fitted because my belly is so big that the flowy ones make me look like a circus tent.  Thanks to my hernia surgery last year, I don't have an outie belly button this time, so I'm not quite so self-conscious about wearing the fitted shirts.  I'm hoping I can also avoid some of the turkey comments this Thanksgiving since my belly button isn't popping out ;).

I received my Group B Strep result and it was positive this time, grrr.  That just means I'll have to get an IV antibiotic while I'm in labor, which is a bummer because I want to be up and moving around as much as possible.  I guess I'll just have to deal with an IV pole following me around everywhere.

Baby is sitting very very low now.  Saturday seems to be the magic 'drop day' because I keep waking up on Sunday with her feeling even lower.  People at work have been making comments about how low she's sitting.  While it does help me to breathe a bit easier, it makes walking up stairs harder and it means my wardrobe has been cut in half because my shirts don't go down low enough to cover my entire belly.  It has made things a bit more interesting :).

And now for the normal weekly updates:

Contractions: I've been feeling them multiple times each day but nothing close together or consistent.
Cravings: After thinking about this a bit, I realized the one thing I've been drinking a lot of this pregnancy is tea mixed with lemonade... also known as an Arnold Palmer.  I don't drink them daily but close enough.  I guess that has been my craving :).
Weight:  My total is up to 31 lbs
Swelling:  My feet are puffy all the time and my right hand (moreso than the left) has been swollen.  I've actually contracted what's referred to as "pregnancy induced carpal tunnel" so my right hand/forearm goes numb randomly.  My hand went numb while putting my makeup on the other day and sometimes it's numb when I wake up. 
Things to do: Buy a couple of final items from my registry (Target), pack the hospital bag, pack a small bag for Logan, reinstall the infant car seat, etc....
Heartburn:  It is under control but only because of my friend Zantac.
Stretching: Minimal stretching beyond what I have from Logan.

That pretty much covers things for the week.  The baby should be around 7 lbs and 20" long but it can vary from here on.  She's still very active and enjoys sticking her behind out near my ribs, just like Logan did.  The doctor said I will probably be pregnant for a couple more weeks, but we'll see!  Logan seems to really enjoy using my belly as a pillow so I'm sure he'll miss it when it's gone ;). 

I'll end this post with a couple more pictures from the week.  Enjoy and don't forget to enter your guess in my baby pool!  I was going to close it tomorrow (my birthday, yay!) but think I'll wait until I hit 38 weeks on Wednesday.  Just use the link in the upper right area of the blog :).

Thursday, November 14, 2013

36 Weeks

I'm sooooooo tiiiiiiired.  Right now it's 9:55pm and I can hardly keep my eyes open.  Working full-time, helping to take care of Logan, and all the other things I do (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) is starting to wear on me.  I've been having trouble getting comfortable in bed at night too, which has kept me from sleeping very well. 

*I just fell asleep on the couch*

Back to my post... I had my 36 week checkup today and it went well.  My blood pressure was great, I only gained another pound, and he was happy with everything.  Baby is head-down and her heart sounded good.  He had to do the Group B Strep swab, which was anything but pleasant but it's over with now and I'm just waiting for the results.

Contractions: I've been feeling some little ones throughout the week.  Nothing consistent, though.
Cravings: Nothing this week.
Weight:  My total is up to 28 lbs
Swelling:  My feet are still puffy, especially in the evening.
Things to do: Buy furniture and other items from my registry (Target), pre-make meals, pack the hospital bag, pack a small bag for Logan, reinstall the infant car seat, etc....
Heartburn:  It is under control but only because of my friend Zantac.
Stretching: The top of my stretch marks (from Logan) are stretching a bit, but nothing other than that.  I'm just trying to figure what to put on the rest of my super dry skin.  It hurts :(.

Baby has been very active, as usual, and now I know that it's really her butt and feet sticking out the side of my belly ;).

*I just fell asleep on the couch again*

This is out of control :).  Anyway, I might only have a couple weeks left before she arrives so I'm feeling more of a sense of urgency.  With that being said, I'll be closing my ExpectNet baby pool on my birthday, November 25th.  If you still want to enter a guess, you'll have until then... so guess!

Well, I've fallen asleep about 5 times (or more) in the 30 minutes I've been trying to write this post.  I think that's a clear sign that I need to go to bed.  Well played, baby.

Doctor appointments are now weekly, so I'll update after my appointment next week.

Monday, November 11, 2013

35 Weeks

Once again, I'm posting a bit late.  The main thing I've noticed this week is that I'm exhausted, almost to the same level as I was in the first trimester.  At night I have been trying to put my feet up to alleviate some of the swelling and if I don't go upstairs by 10:00, I usually fall asleep on the couch.  It makes sense, though... the baby is getting bigger and my body is preparing for a pretty big job :).

To answer a few questions I've been asked this week:  No, I'm not due sooner.  No, it's only 1 baby.  Yes, I'm ready for her to be born ;).  Baby is about 18" long right now and somewhere around 6lbs.  Her main job for the duration of the pregnancy is to put on weight and let her lungs develop a bit more.  She has been having hiccups quite a bit lately so I think she's in the loop on the lung development thing.

Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, I noticed that she had dropped again.  She seems to be settling into my pelvis now, which hopefully means she is head-down.  I told Jason it feels like she's a gopher trying to burrow her way out.  Even though she has dropped, I'm still not able to breathe very well.  This is due to a combination of her feet being in my lungs and me fighting a chest cold.  Hopefully the latter will pass soon, though.  She seems to be more comfortable because she has been moving around even more than usual the past couple days.  I've been seeing/feeling her poking her feet, knees, and butt out in different spots of my belly.  She appears to be taking after her big brother by sticking her behind out on the right side of my belly.  That was one of Logan's favorite things to do.

Here's the weekly summary:

Contractions: I've been feeling some little ones throughout the week.  Nothing consistent, though.
Cravings: Nothing this week.
Weight:  My total is up to 27 lbs - we'll see how that has changed on Thursday
Swelling:  My feet are still puffy, especially in the evening.
Things to do: Buy furniture and other items from my registry (Target), pre-make meals, pack the hospital bag, pack a small bag for Logan, reinstall the infant car seat, etc....
Heartburn:  It is under control but only because of my friend Zantac.
Stretching: I haven't noticed too much more stretching, but the itching is another story.  Yowza.

My next appointment is on Thursday and I have to be checked for Group B Strep (wahoo).  I'll leave out the details but those of you who have been through it before will know what that means.

If you read this, please keep us in your prayers.  Even though I'm covered by 2 insurances, the medical bills keep rolling in and it doesn't look like I'm going to be eligible for Short Term Disability through my work until January, so I might be without a paycheck at all for a few weeks, depending on when she makes her appearance.  I know everything will work out but it has added a bit of stress that we could really do without :).

Thanks and don't forget to enter your guess in our birth pool.  Time is running out!

Friday, November 1, 2013

34 Weeks

I just read my 34 Week post from when I was pregnant with Logan and had to smile... that week was when I received my job offer for the company I'm still working for.  I still can't believe how that all happened but am so thankful that God blessed me with a great job, even when I was 8.5 months pregnant :).  Some interesting things have been happening at work this week, some that I won't go into detail about but I will talk about my benefits briefly.  When we completed our open enrollment for insurance last year, I could swear I elected to receive short term disability coverage, just on the small chance that I would get pregnant ;).  This week I started getting my paperwork together to file for it and was told that I'm not currently covered.  Oh, the thoughts that ran through my head ;).  And what makes it even more difficult is that the HR Manager resigned his position and moved out of state a couple weeks ago.  The interim HR Manager has been trying to help me but can't find my original signed copy of benefit elections anywhere (what are the chances?).  So, I've been trying not to stress about what's going to happen when the baby gets here.  I'm just praying that something will work out so that we don't have to rely solely on Jason's salary.  Everything will be fine, though...

I had my 34 week checkup this afternoon and it went fairly well.  I told the doctor about my slip last weekend, which is still causing me a LOT of pain and he sympathized but said it's going to hurt because of where the muscle/ligament strain is and where the baby is positioned.  I imagine it will take a while to heal so I'm just trying to manage as best I can.  The doctor seemed completely unaware that I was sent to Labor & Delivery on Monday so I had to explain things to him, including the part about the nurse saying the baby was either breech or transverse (sideways).  He decided to do an impromptu ultrasound (with the same prehistoric u/s machine he used to confirm my pregnancy).  He said the baby is head-down but slightly transverse, so kinda diagonal, I guess?  He's not concerned about it at this point but wants to check again at my next appointment too.

The doctor read over my birth plan and said everything looks fine, yay!  I've read a few articles/blogs this week that have touched on birth plans and they seem to be very anti-BP, which is fine but I just want to comment quickly on that.  I know that labor and delivery can be a very unpredictable experience and many different things can happen, however.... that's why I titled mine "birth preferences".  It's a plan but as I experienced with Logan, it can change very quickly.  There are some things that I'm pretty adamant about (skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, delayed cord clamping, etc.) and I have good reason to want those things.  For example, when Logan was born, I got to see him briefly but then he was whisked away to the NICU and I was taken to my room.  I wasn't able to get out of bed for 12 hours, which meant I couldn't see him, hold him, feed him, talk to him for 12 hours.  It was a very difficult day for me filled with a lot of longing, guilt, anger, etc.  If I can avoid that from happening again, I will make every effort to, including drafting up an 'annoying' birth plan ;).  I'm not knocking anyone who chooses not to have one... that's fine and dandy, but I want to have one in place.  If anything, it will be something that Jason and I can look at throughout the labor & delivery process to help keep me focused.  That's my little spiel ;).

My blood pressure is still 120/80 (normal) but I have gained a total of 27 lbs, ack!  I'm guessing the fact that I haven't been able to walk this week has played a part in that gain but the doctor didn't seem concerned about it. 

I started getting a sore throat last night and it has been even worse today along with some ear pain and pressure.  I had the doctor check it for an ear infection but he said it isn't infected at this point.  I'm taking some Sudafed to clear up the small amount of fluid that was in my ear and hoping the pain will go away quickly.

Ok, here is the weekly summary:

Contractions: Haven't really noticed any this week.
Cravings: Nothing this week.
Weight:  My total is up to 27 lbs
Swelling:  The swelling is back with a vengeance.  I'll blame it on the 70+ degree weather that returned this week ;).
Things to do: Still need to buy furniture and other items from my registry (Target), pre-make meals, pack the hospital bag, pack a small bag for Logan, reinstall the infant car seat, etc....
Heartburn:  It is under control but only because of my friend Zantac.
Stretching: Stretching and more stretching.  I take it as a sign that she's growing :).

Baby's current size is about 18" long and 5.5 lbs, whew!  Only 6-ish weeks to go :).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Birth Plan

Since I'm 34 weeks along and this pregnancy has been anything but dull, I've decided to revamp the birth plan I had when I was pregnant with Logan.  I have taken a lot of the same pieces from that plan but edited it based on my experience with him.  The main difference is the addition of the Cesarean "section" (hehe, get it?).  With Logan, there were a lot of things that I wish I could've changed concerning his delivery and the care that followed (for both of us).  I plan on taking this to my doctor on Friday to go over it with him.  I'll report back with any concerns or objections he may have.

Without further ado, here ya go:


The person present for the birth will be Alexis’s husband, Jason Snooks.  My ultimate goal is to successfully achieve a VBAC.  I understand that compromises may need to be made, however the following are my preferences.

  • Please do not offer pain medication – I plan on using alternative pain relief options.  I will ask for pain medication if I need it.
    • In the event that I do request pain relief, I would like information about any medication before receiving it, including the purpose, potential side effects on me and/or the baby, and options on timing.
  • I would like to be out of bed as much as possible during labor (walking, etc.).
  • I would like to be able to drink clear liquids as well as a protein supplement, if possible.
  • If continuous fetal monitoring is required, I wish to be upright and mobile while connected to the monitor.
  • I would like the option to be in a position other than lying on my back when I give birth (squatting, lying on my side, etc.).
  • I prefer to tear rather than having an episiotomy. If an episiotomy becomes necessary, please discuss with me beforehand.
  • As long as the baby and I are healthy, I prefer to push instinctively and to have no time limits on pushing.
 After Delivery
  • I would like my baby placed immediately skin-to-skin after delivery.
  • The umbilical cord shall not be clamped or cut until the baby is breathing and pink, and until all pulsation in the cord has ceased.
  • If the baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, Jason will accompany her.
  • I would like to breastfeed as soon as possible (within the first hour)
  • I would like to meet with a Lactation Consultant as soon as possible after delivery.
  • I want all procedures that are done and all medications that are given to my baby explained to me before they are carried out by the medical staff.  If I disagree with the administration of an immunization or medication, I am willing to sign a formal waiver.
  • I would like to have the baby evaluated and bathed in my presence.
  • Prior to our discharge, I wish for my baby to be placed on pulse oximetry to rule out any obvious heart conditions present at that time.

·         Please ensure all medications administered are suitable for breastfeeding.
·         I would like to have warm blankets during the surgery.
·         Please inform my husband when the baby is being delivered.
·         In the event that a cesarean is necessary, we would still like to delay the cord clamping until pulsation has ceased.
·         I would like to have skin-to-skin contact with the baby as soon as it is possible in the delivery room.
·         I would like to nurse the baby as soon as possible after surgery (within the first hour).
·         If the baby is doing well medically, please bring her to me as soon as she is suctioned, weighed, and measured. Please do not worry about cleaning her up much before bringing her to me.
·         I do not wish to be separated from the baby after her delivery.  I would like for her to remain with me and my husband, even while I am in recovery.
·         I do not want any medications following surgery that will make me drowsy or that may interfere with my ability to remain aware and conscious.
·         I would like to be weaned off of the spinal/epidural as soon as possible after surgery and given an alternate form of pain relief (Percocet, etc.).
·         I would like to have my catheter and IV removed ASAP after my recovery period.
·         I would like to eat and be free to stand up and walk around as soon as possible after surgery.

      Sorry for the formatting at the end... it doesn't seem to be copying it correctly from Word.  Anyway, as with the plan I posted for Logan, advice and suggestions are welcome as long as they are given in love ;).