Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time Flies...

When you're changing lots of poopy diapers!

Today is our last day before returning to work tomorrow. Some women get up to 12+ weeks of maternity leave, but the job of a nanny means just about 3 weeks off:o) And I'm okay with that! The kiddos I take care of spent a fun two weeks with their Grandmom and then one week in Disney! While I'm sure their weeks have been fun-filled and very exciting, it means we have a lot of catching up to do when I return...a lot of readjustment back to the "normal" schedule...and all of it being done with the new excitement of Autumn tagging along at work! I will have my hands full, but I miss the kids and it will be all sorts of new fun taking care of THREE kids every day instead of just two. (Did I REALLY just say that?! I must be nuts!)

Today I think we have been the laziest people around...meaning Autumn and I. Daddy's actually done quite a lot today! But not Autumn and I. We lounged in bed til almost 10. She's been napping like a champ today. And I FINALLY am catching up on my DVRed television shows that I could have been doing this whole time. But nope, I wait til last minute. I've done nothing constructive - CORRECTION - I DID make sure the diaper bag was packed and ready to go tomorrow, especially being fully stocked for diapers from approx 12pm-6pm for tomorrow! I still need to clean the car out and just organize it all for tomorrow, but I also have tomorrow morning to do that.

I could be doing some laundry, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, writing a few thank you cards, etc. But I'm not. I'm being lazy. And I'm loving it! And I think it's really funny that Autumn is being lazy, too. Yesterday she was a feeding FIEND! She seems to be going through a growth spurt and decided she was going to cluster feed all day yesterday - it drove me up a wall! And then she slept great throughout the night and all day today she's been pretty chill. I guess all that eating yesterday wore her out:o) I have other posts I want to write that I've been thinking about, but they probably won't happen today either. It was effort just to hop on and write this. Is this what people meant by relaxing? It's so strange to me. I really need to do this every once in awhile for myself!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Birth Story (very loooong!)

Got your popcorn & soda? Good! Because this is going to be a pretty long story!

6:30pm Monday (2/8) - I had JUST left work. Rob (boss-man) had come home that night since Ann had something work related to be at. He had given me "permission" to go ahead and have the baby "whenever!" because the grandparents were on their way back to the state, the mom's comferences were now over and some sense of normalcy was returning to the home where my need to be there was not urgent. So, I'm a few blocks away from the house and all of a sudden I felt three significant GUSHES of fluid. I'd been having leakage, which is normal, but this was entirely different! And I thought, "If this isn't my water breaking, I don't know what else it could be!" I had a feeling we'd be having a baby very soon. I called Rob to tell him that my daughter apparently listened to our coversation and decided she wanted to come out within the next day - I was likely not going to be at work the following day (and THAT is what you get for telling a pregnant woman she can go into labor!). I called Shawn, who was down the street from our house. He said he'd meet me at home. I called Boo who was just as ecstatic as I was. AND I called the birth center. Sarah was on-call. She instructed us to eat a decent dinner and call back by 8pm, about an hour later, and we'd make up a "plan."

We eat spaghetti. We went for a walk around the block - it was COLD! Shawn showered. Meanwhile I had had a few more significant gushes. My fluid was clear. None of my contractions were timeable and felt nothing more than my usual Braxton Hicks.

We called Sarah back at 8. We made a plan to meet at the birth center at 930 to be monitored. Shawn drove. On the way there I had maybe 3 contractions I could time at about 10 minutes apart, which is still very early in labor. We arrive and I get a dose of anti-biotics for my Group B Strep. That took about 20 minutes. They monitored Autumn to see if she would do some "tricks" - basically, that her heart rate would go up by about 10-15 beats per minute during my contractions. It took her awhile and she was kind of lazy about it, but she finally did enough that Sarah was happy. Because I was Strep B positive, she said she would NOT do an internal check because of risk for infection. Also, they generally like to see me in ACTIVE labor within 12 hours and have the baby within 24 hours. She sent us away with a shopping list: 4oz of castor oil, ice cream, & peanut butter cups. And rest! If I was not in active labor by 4am, I was to miz 2 oz of castor oil with 1 cup of ice cream and chase it with a peanut butter cup. And we were to arrive back at the birth center between 6-7am.

Not much had been happening in regards to contractions. Oh, and while at the birth center they had checked my undies - which I hadn't leaked in awhile - to test for amniotic fluid and it came up negative. So on the way home I was like, "Did my water really break? Or am I stupid and this is a total bust and I'm wasting everyone's time?" I was second-guessing myself completely. Then we got to Walgreens, picked up our shopping list, and while we were there ANOTHER 2 gushes came and went. I was SURE that this was a sign I was having a baby. We checked out, ran to Cookout for food because Shawn was hungry, and got home about 1145pm. Sarah called just as we walked in the door and now SHE was second-guessing that my water broke because she had looked at my chart and saw that I had questions about leaking the week before. But I told her that this was definitely a different feeling and that it had just happened again while we were at the store. She said that she believed me, she was okay with everything and we were to follow the plan.

I went to bed at 12am and woke up at 3:30am. No sign of active labor. I drank the castor oil milkshake - was it yummy? Absolutely not. Was it awful? Not really. I thought of it as a really gross protein shake for dieting that I just had to drink once and get it over with...and then I chased it with the peanut butter cup to get rid of the texture in my mouth.

Nothing happened. Well...about 20 minutes later I had some tummy rumbles and hit the bathroom, but it wasn't explosive or anything and afterwards I felt fine. Not even hard line contractions. I woke Shawn up at 5am CRYING because I thought everything was a waste of time and I was stupid and I was going to feel so embarrassed walking back into the birth center where they'd tell me I was NOT in labor:o( Shawn reassured me that I knew my body, my water HAD broken, and we were having a baby soon. He was exhausted and that's not a good combination with driving, so because I felt absolutely nothing going on with me, I drove.

Yes, I drove.

And about half way there I started getting some significant menstrual like cramping going on. While driving. Surprisingly, though, I felt very much in control. And it wasn't until we hit the birth center that the cramping was so bad Shawn had to help me out of the car! We got there at 630am. I spent the first 30 minutes in the bathroom trying to get rid of cramping that was a result of the castor oil. And then...

POP! Holy Niagra Falls!!!! I gushed fluid for almost a straight 20 minutes! My water had officially ruptured! When I felt a little better I got into the bed. I received another dose of antibiotics. Autumn's heart rate was high - PROBLEM ONE. So they gave me more IV fluid, too, to hydrate me. After another 30 mins I really needed to pee, so I asked Shawn to help me up from the bed and as he did I felt this flowing water from below me that I couldn't stop. I FREAKED OUT! me up! Get me to the bathroom!

I was soaked! You know the movie Coneheads when her water breaks and floods the place? That was me! Somewhat embarrassed, but laughing hysterically at what had just happened. It was all clear, so that was a good sign. And they checked her heartrate afterwards and it was back down to normal - apparently she just wanted some more room, so the absence of all that fluid made her happy. I showered afterwards because I felt gross. By this time the menstrual cramps from the castor oil had subsided and the result - which is expected from the castor oil treatment - was the start of regular contractions.

After the shower things were just chill. I'd have contractions. Her heartrate went a little high again. Sarah went off duty and Leigh-Ann came on duty, this was around 730-8am. During contractions I enjoyed squatting a lot and leaning up against the bed. Shawn remembered from birth class that he could come behind me and squat with me and then pull my belly up during contractions and this helped a lot! At one point I was getting through contractions by rocking in a rocking chair. Leigh-Ann said she wanted me to go upstairs, if I could, to have the baby be monitored on the machines. I said, "Ok, I'm just enjoying rocking right now, it's really helping, give me a minute." So what did they do? I get upstairs and they had set up a rocking chair with the machine in the LIBRARY! Which also happened to the be there small staff room where they all get their morning coffee and breakfast. And here I am with a towel around my waist and robe around my top and nekid everywhere else...and did I care?! Nope! I had no modesty!!!! It went out the window when contraction hit, people! If they didn't care - I didn't care.

Good news was that PROBLEM ONE (high heartrate) was normal. Now we had PROBLEM TWO - she wasn't doing the "trick" where her heartrate was jumping during a contraction. She was sleeping through my contractions - lazy child! They tried to wake her up by honking this bicycle horn at my belly and it did nothing. So what did we do?

Me: "Shawn...don't you have your IPOD?"
Shawn: "Yea...what do you want me to do? Play her some Slayer?"
Me: "YES!"
Leigh-Ann: "It's worth a shot!"

So, yea...we played heavy metal into my belly via IPOD headphones and it WORKED! Within 5-10 minutes Leigh-Ann said her heartrate had done the jumping she wanted done. PROBLEM TWO was solved! Also, Leigh-Ann finally wanted to do an internal check - I was 3cm and +2 station (she was already pretty darn low!). This was around, maybe 10-11am. With all the issues solved we went back downstairs to labor, Leigh-Ann was sure we could have the baby at the birth center, everything was OK!

We got back downstairs and I hit the bathroom again. I was int hebathroom I'd say 80-90% of the time I had contractions. It helped pass a lot more fluid and I was just comfy there. All of a sudden I noticed some "green show" on my pads. Merconium. DAMMIT! Leigh-Ann said that "tipped the scales" and after a talk with Maureen, another midwife, the decision was to go to the hospital for better monitoring. They just needed to make sure the baby was okay and honestly, I didn't care where I birthed - I just wanted my baby to be ok.

We left between 11a-12p (I think). The car ride was the worst.five.minute.ride.ever.

Jessie was our nurse - she also happens to be the daughter of a woman who works at the birth center - so that was comforting that she knew how we hoped our birth would go and she wouldn't be a pushy hospital person. We were only in the room a short while before I hopped into the shower. I took a LONG HOT HOT HOT shower - for at least an hour. I would stand during my contractions. squat as they faded and sit while they were gone. I was just starting to think to myself, "How much more can I take? Will I ask for pain meds? Can I finish this out?" I hopped out of the shower and it was just Leigh-Ann and I in the room. She asked me, "If you ask for meds, what do you want me to tell you? Do you want me to say 'no' or try to talk you out of it? Or do you want me to give them to you?" I asked what my options were: 1) epi - to which I said NO! and 2) Stadol (sp?) which would take the edge off, but I'd still feel it all. I asked to be checked first, before giving an answer, to see where were at. It had only been a couple of hours since I was 3cm, so we weren't expecting a huge change, BUT Leigh-Ann did say, "If you are at 8cm, I'm not giving you anything!"

I was 9cm +3 station! HA! So much for even the idea of drugs. Not happening. Also, since I was far enough along and the baby was so low she gave me permission to start bearing down if it felt better to do so. And I did. I began pushing a little after 1:30pm!

Position 1 - I was flat on my back. It worked for awhile.

Position 2 - Leigh-Ann raised the head of teh bed so I was in a more squat-like position. It worked a little better.

You really do have trouble figuring out how to push. Leigh-Ann would actually stick a few fingers "down there" and tell me to push her fingers out, which helped A LOT! It was as if X marked the spot! Also, I had a tendency to give out high pitched yelling screams, which weren't helping. Leigh-Ann said I either had to hold my breath and bear down or do low grunting screams. I can't grunt for my life, so holdin my breath and bearing down worked best. My contrations were at least 3, sometimes 4, right on top of one another before getting a break. This was very exhausting. Sometime during this a student knocked on the door and asked if she could come in to help/watch. I yelled "NO!" Generally I'm all for students. Education is awesome! However, I was already too far into pushing and I was comfortable with my birth team that I didn't want anyone else in the room or any other help. So we stuck with my three amigos - Shawn, Leigh-Ann, and Jessie.

Position 3 - Somehow I found the strength to turn around and get on my hands and knees up against the back of the bed. This position was probably the first in which I could feel I was moving her down. I was really starting to understand a GOOD PUSH and there were a few times that pushing did not, I repeat DID NOT hurt, but felt good. It was like a relief to get her moving down. I did not have many of those pushes, but when they did happen I thought to myself, "That really felt pretty good! I want to do one of those again!"

Position 4 - Leigh-Ann asked for the squat bar to be put across the bottom of the bed. I was SO tired and I hurt so much I told her I couldn't do it. I couldn't move myself to the edge of the bed, I couldn't pull myself up, and I certainly could hold myself up while bearing down. What happened? I did it all. It didn't work for long. We were having trouble getting her under my pelvic bone.

Position 5 - The head of the bed was still raised and we played tug-of-war! This was the BEST THING EVER! Leigh-Ann took a shoot and knotted both sides. Shawn & Jessie each took a leg to push back when I had a contraction. During the contraction I would hold my breath, bear down, and pull as hard as I could on the blanket while Leigh-Ann pulled the other side. This is when we were finally able to start seeing the head crown. They asked if I wanted the mirror and I said no. I really thought it would freak me out. Also, because my contractions were on top of one another and I only got a short, MAYBE 45sec-1min break, I was actually falling asleep in about 10 secs and then waking up again with the contractions.

I kept telling Shawn, "I'm so tired," "I want her to come out," "I can't do this," etc. But everyone kept reassuring me and in the back of my head I kept telling myself, "Just get her head out and you'll be done. The sooner her head it out it will all be easy after that. Push hard or this is going to take even longer!"

Position 6 - Things were progressing with every push, but we could not get her under my pelvic bone fast enough. They laid the bed almost all the way down again. I know they say this is the worst position to be in because it doesn't open up your pelvis enough, but it actually worked best for me. However, the last 20 minutes I do distinctly remember hearing a POP and asking "What was that?" but no one had heard it. More on that later...

The more I pushed, the more her head crowned. The finally told me I needed to see it and brought out the mirror. It did not freak me out. It really helped. Of course, when we got the point where her head was just sitting there stretching my vagina and it HURT, it was very hard to relax when I wasn't having a contraction. Seeing her head there I just wanted to keep pushing until she was out!

Due to the merconium at the birth center, NICU had been placed on-call. Leigh-Ann had been debating having them come in or not - she did not want other people in the room if it was unnecessary. Throughout 99% of my pushing I had had nothing but clear fluid, which was great. But near the end I had some more color and Leigh-Ann said she'd scold herself if she didn't bring NICU in the room - after all, the baby's safety was the whole reason we'd come to the hospital.

NICU arrive maybe the last 5-10 mins of my pushing. I was told that as long as the baby came out pink and crying and okay that I would get her immediately and NICU would leave asap. The women with NICU were very supportive - I could see them all in the room and made eye contact with each and every one of them, but it didn't bother me at all.

Then, finally, at 3:30pm she was born. Autumn was fine and came straight to my belly. She had had her hand up near her face & the cord was wrapped around her hand/face combo once - I really believe that her hand being between her face and the cord quite possibly saved us from any real emergency! Shawn said they threw her like a fish on top of me! She was making noises, but not screaming, so they wiped her down and sunctioned her while she was on my chest until they were happy with a single good cry. I delivered the placenta very quickly after that. I was a hysterical mess. I had never missed my Mom so much before. I told Autumn that her Grandma would have thought she was absolutely beautiful. Shawn was a crying mess, too. He was absolutely wonderful and supportive the entire labor. I could not imagine having to go through it without him. He was so strong and provided me with all the emotional support I needed.

After all was said and done NICU had to take her across the room for just a hot second - I guess it's protocol that if they're called in they have to do a few small checks on her. That's when we found out her weight was 9 lbs 4 oz. I had a small tear - not even my perinium. It was actually off to the side and Leigh-Ann gave me a local and stitched me up. Shawn said I should be thankful I didn't see what she was doing because the needle was HUGE and she was really sticking me hard, but all I could feel was pinches. I guess it doesn't really matter after you've just pushed out a 9lb baby! I do believe I received some pitocin to help with bleeding, but they were very please with my uterus getting firm and contracting right away, so it wasn't a major concern. The viatmin K shot was held off until I was breastfeeding her a little while later. We declined the Hep B & the eye goop.

Afterwards, well - phone calls, visitors, checkups from the nurses and doctors, etc. Our midwife, Sarah, came back in the morning to check in on us. She said she would fill out the paperwork to discharge us and we were leaving the hospital noon the next day.

Official stats: Autumn Dawn was born 3:30pm, Tuesday February 9, 2010. 9 lbs 4 oz, 21.25 in long, 13.5 in head cir. She passed her hearing! She breastfeeds like a champ! She sleeps awesome! And she's absolutely perfect<3

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I've had the adrenaline rush. To be expected. I've also had the cute moments that make me tear up and the frustrating moments that make me want to cry (though these have been few and far between). Also to be expected. What did I not expect?

Anxiety attack:o/ Today was our first planned trip out of the house.

You's me finally admitting something...I'm still in school (eek!). I KNOW - I wasn't going to do this semester. Just SHUSH for a moment. I'm taking two online science classes. I don't necessarily NEED them, but I didn't want to load myself with heavy history courses, but I DID want to stay in school. Pregnancy, birth, recovery be damned...I can do it. I knew I could before, but a lot of people tried to talk me out of it. However, I didn't want having a child to become an excuse over and over again not to go back. If I took the semester off I can see myself saying, "Well, not in the summer b/c now I want to take her to visit relatives" and "Not in the fall with the holidays and traveling with a baby" and in between it all, all the growth she'll go through that would make me want to say "not right now." So, instead, I stayed in school to keep the ball rolling! Seriously...I suck at science classes, but these two are ONLINE and practically second grade science - if I don't pass, please take away from high school diploma, thanks!

Not a lot of people know that I'm in school. Mainly because I didn't want to get talked out of it again. And then afterwards, I didn't want any fuss being made about "How's school going?" everytime I cared to have a conversation with someone who was concerned about me being a full-time mom, a part-time nanny, and a part-time student. I have complete faith in myself and I have a wonderful support system who helps me manage. that that is out of the way...I was due to take a test last Thursday for one of my online classes. The exams are the only time I have to go to campus. But, due to a recent birth, I was unable to attend. My professor is really awesome and told me I could take it in his office at a later date, so to get it out of the way we set up a meeting for Monday afternoon. Shawn would drive me, I'd take the test, we'd come home.

About 11 am I start to get VERY anxious. You know when your mind says there is NOTHING to be freaking out about, but your horomones are haywire and it makes your tummy flip and you feel on edge? That was me. I think it happened for 2 main reasons:

1) It's the first time out of the house with my baby since we came home from the hospital. I knew everything was fine and I didn't want someone to come over and watch her while Shawn and I ran out...that would've made my anxiety worse b/c I wanted my baby with ME. However, the event of getting her into a warm cozy outfit, making sure her diaper bag was ready to go, thinking about taking her to the campus. It really was NOT a big deal and I KNEW this, but my body still was saying FREAK OUT!!!!

2) The test. Let me tell you that I KNEW this test would be easy. 71 questions of true/false and multiple choice. It doesn't get much easier! I had watched the short videos, which were pretty elementary, and I reviewed the print out study guides he prepared for us. I knew I would pass and more than that, do well. However, something about taking a test made me really nervous and anxious.

I found myself breathing deeply to calm down and I tried to eat something. It wasn't until I popped a piece of gum and we were on our way that I started to chill out. And afterwards, the feeling went away completely. Shawn said that it sounds like anxiety might be one of my main post-partum characteristics and he's probably right. I tended to suffer them during my periods, too. It's just something I'll have to keep an eye on.

Oh...and by the way...I got back my test grades, one for each class since I also had to hand in an exam via e-mail for my other class by midnight on Sunday

Environment Science (e-mail exam) 100%
Insects & People (campus exam) 87.5%

Yea...I'm pretty darn happy about that!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jaundice Update

We still aren't liking her color. We waited all day & finally at 4:30 I put a call in to the birth center. I talked with one of the nurses. Good news: her "output" sounds awesome to them...and the fact that a few hours later she had a MASSIVE explosion just adds to the "output" happiness. Also, when jaundice happens it starts at the top and goes down....but when it is fading it works its way from the her face and eyes would be the last to fade. It started to sound like they weren't going to want to see her, which was somewhat distressing because I would just FEEL better if a professional could look at her and say "ok" or "not ok." However, the response I got over the phone was, "This doesn't sound like we need to see her this evening as an emergency, but she should come in." First off, I had told the receptionist I just wanted to see if we could get her in the next day, so I'm relieved that out situation did not sound "emergency" - then I would have been upset.

They want to see her because she isn't/wasn't cluster-feeding. She was doing short feedings...maybe only 5-10 minutes, MAYBE 15, and then going right back to sleep. I actually had to ask Shawn to keep her awake for awhile because she had JUST taken a 3 hour nap and did not need to be passing out after a 10 minute feeding. Lethargy is a definite sign of jaundice and so this concerned me. As well as the midwife apparently...her short feedings would be nothing to worry about IF she was feeding every 1-2 hours & waking herself up for them. But she's not. She's having a short feeding and then sleeping 3-4 hours....generally waking herself up, but not all the time. This is not okay.

So, we set up for a visit tomorrow morning.

Now, of course, since I called the birth center, my child overheard my conversation and has decided to change up her schedule. She ate for 10 mins on each breast...she slept for 45 minutes...we had visitors and she got extremely fussy - had the MASSIVE poop - and then proceeded to scream until they left (very bad host, I'll tell ya!)...because she was HUNGRY! yes, after 45 minutes my baby decided she wanted to cluster-feed...finally.

So, she fed on each breast again for 10 she's napping. And we'll see what happens next. I'm supposed to make sure she is awake and feeding every 3 hours if she doesn't wake herself & somehow I'm supposed to time her feedings so that she goes to the center hungry, so we can feed there. And I get to show off my breast-feeding about pressure!

Doing What's Best For You! (long entry!)

In the past few days we've had some awesome up moments and a few down moments. And I learned a valuable lesson, which I actually already contemplated, but decided to put into practice...

Don't worry about what all the experts say...follow your intuition and do what works best for you (and your family).

Autumn was an awesome pooper Days 1 & 2. And okay pooper on Day 3. And then it just stopped. Damn. I mean nothing but a squirt was coming out. But we could definitely tell that she was trying REALLY hard and her stomach was bothering her. It's almost like she pooped so much those first few days that her body needed to rest, but her belly was crying, "Let it out!" It was awful. And to make matters worse, I was told to try to feed more often to stimulate her insides, but that was extremely difficult to do because anytime we'd try to feed she would scream bloody murder. I was pretty frustrated at these moments because I knew she needed to eat - she was hungry & it was going to help her, but I couldn't force her to eat, either. And then I found the solution!

See, I'd only be shown three positions for feeding: cradle - which put her on her side against me, football - which put her on her back, and lying down - which I have yet to try because we don't bring her to bed, we've been on the couch.

No one told me about SITTING UP! Does this really not exist? I cannot be the only woman to discover the MIRACLE of this position. Autumn screamed when she was in the cradle or back position because it upset her tummy. When she screamed I'd bring her back to my chest in an upright position to calm her down. And then a lightbulb went off - from her upright position I just scooted her down and she finally began to eat! TA-DA!

I don't know why this position isn't in the books. There's actually two ways we do it, depending on her sleepiness:

1) full awake...I can sit back reclined a little, she lays against my belly upright with thigh supporting her bottom and she eats while I cradle her head with one hand to make sure she doesn't shift off the boob

2) sleepy...I sit up straight and place her against my belly supported by my thigh again, but this time we're both more straight up and it keeps her awake more


~LATCH - she was a good latcher from the beginning, BUT this has made it awesome. I suffered a few cracks in my nipples the first day or two from when she had a rough feeding session, but since we started this new position she has NOT ONCE hurt me or caused for damage and also my previous wounds have healed 100%

~COMFORT - she doesn't scream! Her tummy still bothered her for the first few sessions, but she could still feed comfortably. Also, it's more comfortable for me because my arms do not get tired from trying to hold her in a certain position & I enjoy reclining a little bit. We relax together now with her feedings and we both enjoy it more.

~BURP - she burps herself. I still burp after a feeding to get anything remaining out, but during a feeding because she is already upright, she'll just stop & let out a big burp and then continue feeding...sometimes without every losing her latch

~MORE FOOD - she's definitely getting more food. I can hear her swallowing, which I was having a hard time doing with the other positions. She's getting more food, for sure, and that makes us all happier!

~DISCREET - not that I'm one for modesty, but it does seem to be more discreet. Shawn has had friends over and I've been nursing without a cover because it doesn't even look like I'm nursing. It really looks like I'm just holding her upright and snuggling with her. I know others nurse in public discreetly with the other positions, but sometimes you can still tell their feeding - even if they're 100% covered. I feel like once I really get the hang of this I'll be able to sit and feed her wherever without a soul knowing I'm doing it - maybe even walk and feed her, too! (too much even for a multi-tasker? we'll see!)

~POOPING - this position, having her upright, has definitely proven useful in pushing stuff down & out. She's finally given us like half a dozen MASSIVE poops, which I'm so happy because we were getting worried about her jaundice. After talking with the midwife this evening, she said "It sounded like she was getting it, but she's turned a corner." Basically, we might have been to the point where we needed to be seen (& it still might happen), but since she's giving us consistent pee diapers and now she's had several poop diapers we have turned a corner in which her color should slowly fade back to normal...the midwife says the coloring takes longer to "catch up" after the body rids itself of the biliruben. So we'll keep an eye on it and hope for some results in the coming day or two.

So...if there's a downside, I don't see one. If there is a medical study that shows this is a bad idea...I'll check it out, for sure. And if I do create a habit with this position that needs to get broken later down the road...I'll handle it...later down the road;o)

ALSO....this one actually falls under the category of "follow your instinct" pacis or bottles for at least a month, if you're breastfeeding, right?

Both those rules lasted less than a week! She's a sucker...literally. We knew it in the hospital. So on the rare occassion, like her screaming fits with an upset belly, in which she wouldn't feed to soothe her, a paci has come in very handy. She does NOT get it all the time. She gets it at only her fussiest moments. Occassionally she goes to take a nap with one in her mouth, but it usually falls out and she continues to sleep. For 99% of the time she goes to sleep without it. I'm okay with this. I fear no bad habits and if so, again...we'll fix it down the road. People worry about nipple confusion...I did too...but she has loved my boob since Day 1 and thus far she's shown no sign of having trouble feeding because she has had another nipple-like thing in her mouth.

Bottle rule went out the window tonight. I pumped a whole 2 oz yesterday! I was SO HAPPY! Go Mommy! My milk had really started to come in, but some of her feedings were a little shorter than others, so I tried to pump. Shawn's really been wanting to feed her 1) because he wants to help like a good Daddy and 2) because he absolutely HATES that I have to wake to feed. So this evening after Autumn started a nap, I went to sleep and got some rest in, while Shawn stayed up. Unfortunately, my body woke me up anyway at the same time as Autumn & I thought more time had passed than it really had. So instead of going back to sleep I woke up to feed and realized it hadn't even been time for her first feeding with Shawn. So, Shawn gave her a bottle, which she took - I don't have a fussy bottle baby - and I decided to pump again. (NOTE: This time I pumped both sides at once and got 4 oz!!!!!!)

So we have a bottle for tomorrow, which might get used when I have some little visitors who want to help feed her;o) My milk supply is awesome, so I am not worried about not having enough for a freezer stash, or even just an immediate stash for me to run out while Shawn keeps the baby...or I can go to work with bottles and not worry about having to sit and feed while I'm hanging out with the kiddos. Oh, and as for nipple confusion....after her 2 oz bottle she was still hungry a little later on, so she breastfed AWESOME for another 10 mins. She's not an easily confused baby!

And that is my take on all that! Do I think there are good reasons and enough examples for people to hold off on bottles and pacis? Sure. For some people they become more of a hinderance than a help. But I think it's pushed way too much - like these things are almost evil - and it made me so nervous and almost guilty for trying them out. But what's really important? 1) My baby eating. 2) My baby is comfortable and happy about eating. 3) Mommy and Daddy are not only less worried about feeding time, but we're enjoying it SO MUCH MORE!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blogging at 6am.

This is what you get:

HAWT!!! Don't I know it! Enjoy.

So, let's talk about my battle with STRETCHIES! They are sneaky little monsters! Can I tell you how many times Shawn said to me, "Cocoa butter. Cocoa butter! COCOA BUTTER! Or you're going to get stretchies..." and my response each and every single time "I don't want to. If you don't want me to have stretchies then YOU come in and cocoa butter my belly." He didn't. I didn't. The result - I have stretchies. BUT I SWEAR I DIDNT SEE IT COMING! Why?

I am one to thoroughly inspect my belly. Belly inspecting was like looking at a windshield after a rock has put a gouge in it and you make sure each and every single day that new cracks haven't stemmed from that gouge. I would triple check my scars from surgery, my belly button, and my side stretchies that already existed from normal teenage growth. NOTHING new had arisen. Then I finally woke up and realized the sad truth. They.had.been.hiding.

Shawn said, "They're all right there!" WHERE? Under my belly? NO! That's just the ridges from my pants and stuff. But I checked anyway, when he wasn't looking, and he was right:o( There are definitely impressions from the pants I wear, but there are other markings too. One that show wear and tear on a body. PICTURE TIME:

First, DICLAIMER - this is very much zoomed in! This is not my entire belly! This is the small pelvic corner on my left side, which is my worse side. I think it's worse than the right side because this is the side that her head was "stuck" on during most of the pregnancy. You can clearly note the ridge at the bottom from my pj pants and sleeping on my side all night. But those little pink/purple squigglies going up my belly are clearly stretchies.

I could blame Shawn for not doing his husbandly duties and coming in to cocoa butter my belly. But I won't. Because I can honestly say that I was just lazy and half-ass about the care of my belly and therefore it's my own fault. Even now, to try to prevent worse occurrences, I still only cocoa butter or Vitamin E oil once in a while. I'm lucky that my body handles scarring really well and I might be able to fix some it with a LOT of time and care.

But if not...I won't stress. Nope. Won't even let it bother me come bathing suit season. They are scars, but they are battle scars. The battle of pregnancy and ultimately I'm going to win! Stretchies can do their damage, but I still get the prize, so a few scars to show that aren't going to bother me in the least:o)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Frustration...

So I think pregnancy horomones are definitely kicking in this last week. Today was pretty wonderful, up until about 30 minutes ago:o/

Mucus plug = signs of progress. Maybe not immediate progress, but SOMETHING. Then I had an awesome massage, felt some body changes, had good chat with Cheryl and left feeling very relaxed and encouraged. I had an awesome Subway lunch and took a lovely 1-1.5 hr nap. Then I sat in the rocking chair while reading all the baby books I've been collecting.

Around 5-530 I got up to pee and noticed a rather not-so-small wet spot on my jeans. Fluid leakage has never progressed past my panties, so this caught me off guard. However, I didn't want to see like the crazy first time preggo - I mean, IF it was my water breaking, wouldn't I have noticed when it happened?! How did I miss this?! So I changed. I had been sitting a lot and thought a walk might help me determine if anything was going on, so I walked around the block. Nothing major occurred. Shawn left for a Superbowl get together. I soon followed after I finished packing "the bag" in case we decided we needed to leave the Superbowl festivities for the birth center.

At the Superbowl GTG nothing major happened. I was still leaking fluid, but not massively and it wasn't all clear, which amniotic fluid is supposed to be - unless it's pink = cervix change or green/black = merconium. So I'm thinking still just regular discharge. I was not having contractions that could be timed or seemed significant, but of course there were pangs here and there and pushes/nudges closer to the pelvic area than usual. So the whole time I'm think....hmm...we'll see. THEN I start getting legs cramps. Granted, I'm not walking or sitting anymore than usual. All night I did some sitting while eating or watching the game and then would get up and walk around to talk to people. So this cramping was weird. It's from the back of my thighs down to my knee and occasionally I can feel it all the way to my feet....more on my right side than my left. Now I'm more like...HMMM...what do we do?

First, called the bff and got her opinion, which said to be safe than sorry and call the birth center. Also, e-mailed the birth teacher who is also a doula to get her opinion. Never got to her response before I decided to just go ahead and give the birth center a call. I didn't want to call. Really I didn't because I had a feeling I'd be told "No, you're fine, stay home" but I also feared "Sure, come in, we'll check" and THEN get told, "nothing, go home" and I would feel like I wasted everyone's time on a Sunday night. But I CALLED! And who do I get?! "K!" DAMMIT MAN!

Immediately I'm not thrilled. Go back to the other posts about "K" and you'll be reminded that she's my least favorite midwife. (SIDE NOTE: For as prepared as I am my cell phone was just about DEAD so in the middle of a phone conversation as I'm driving home I kept losing her and had to wait to get home to call her about wanting to smack yourself in the head!) So her opinion: it doesn't sound like your water breaking, but your body is probably reviing up for birth but it's REALLY early, watch for color changes in your discharge, get some rest. I have a problem with NONE of this advice - it's what I called her for right? Her professional opinion?


1) she just saw me on WED and I could tell she had NO CLUE who she was talking to. I understand a lot of patients come in and out of the office, but they only take so many per month to try to make sure they don't have an overwhleming number of births going on at once, SO...don't you think if you're on duty you should have an idea of who might be nearing the 40 week mark since you're likely to hear from them more often than your other patients?!

2) she has one of those tones of voice that is SO NICE, but you feel she's being condescending, but you can't call her out on it because she's being so nice. DAMMIT!

3) Everyone has personalities that clash with others. I'm sure "K" does a great job at births. I'm sure I'd survive if she was my midwife. After all, we don't get a choice to see who is on call, so whatever happens will happen. BUT, she's not my favorite. She's my least favorite. And I feel somewhat bad about that, but I can't help it. She has more professional, clinicalness to her than bedside manner and that is not what I want in my birth. So, I respect her opinions and I certainly do TRUST them - by no means do I think she should have said something different. But, AGAIN, after talking with her I don't feel great. I feel discouraged and frustrated and I really wish I had gotten to talk to someone else.

I've now showered. And I'm going to lay down. And go to bed. And we'll just keep an eye on things. And tomorrow I will feel better and things are going to work out the way they are supposed to and I won't have to feel "lost" anymore during this pregnancy.


I dare say that I do believe I lost my mucus plug this morning! Now let's all be adults about this and not get grossed's a natural part of the birthing process! I's not like I'm posting a picture or anything! (but other people HAVE and Google Images was very helpful in determining that yes, indeed, THAT did indeed resemble a mucus plug) haha

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Naturally Inducing...

Oh, for shits and giggles I've been experimenting (safely) with getting the baby out. Obviously, she's still in me, so nothing has worked yet. But let's keep a running record...shall we?

~Full moon (Jan 30) - NADA

~Low pressure weather system - NOPE (and we've had two the past 1-2 weeks)

~Eggplant Parm - supposedly this isn't supposed to take long to work and since I had it around 2pm this afternoon and it's not 730, I'm going to consider this a FAIL

~Rasberry Leaf Tea - tasty, but a no-go (DISCLAIMER: I didn't get tea that was strictly red rasberry leaf only, so this might have something to do with it. I got "Rasberry Zinger" from Celestial Tea that has several other natural ingredients, but includes rasberry leaves)

I do believe some things have helped make some progress. Ever since I found out her position wasn't the greatest I've worked on some exercises that I feel have positioned her better and helped her move down. This includes hands & knees positioning in which I've done pelvic rocking, hip swivels, and other weird lower abdominal movement that would probably be highly amusing to watch. I've also been doing serious squats - I strattle a door and hang onto the door handles and then bend down and get a really great stretch in the pelvic area. It works a lot better than regular squats because I can hold myself up and get a deeper stretch. I've also been doing butterfly stretches to help stretch out my inner thighs and pelvis, which I'm hoping will help during labor.

I also started Evening Primrose Oil. This is not to induce labor, but it softens the cervix. I take two daily (one morning, one night) and then I use "there" at night. It's a gel capsule that disintegrates. Needless to say the first night I used it I woke up and thought my water broke because there was more fluid leakage than normal, but I've come to realize that that is just what happens.

Pressure Points! They certainly make her move! When I saw Cheryl last Tuesday it was fun to notice Autumn move when Cheryl hit certain pressure points. The most effective one is HOKU, which is the pressure point on your hand between your thumb & index finger. It didn't start labor last Tuesday, but I tried it on myself tonight and sure enough she started moving! We'll see if this progresses into anything. Also, there's the Spleen32 (?) I think it's called, but it's on your back, so I can't do it myself. There's also an ankle go four fingers' width from the ankle bone (on the inside of the leg) and rub that pressure point. I can't really figure that one out.

No worries though. I'm seeing Cheryl tomorrow morning @ 1030 and she will be sure to hit all those points thoroughly and help Autumn come out!!! I'm so excited!

I've also been walking. I went to the mall today to get a book and did about half a lap around the mall before heading out AND I was parked in East Bumblef*$% so I'm sure that helped.

What else? Oh, the spicy food rumor! I haven't tried it. Most recently I was told the "Bang Bang Shrimp" from Bonefish Grill does the trick. If nothing happens this week I think I'll be trying it out. Generally, I do not like spicy food, so it's kinda last on my list.

I'll keep updating with new ideas and experiments until she comes along:o)

Bad Night

You're going to have to pardon my behavior for just a moment:


::eh hem::

Sorry about that. No, really, I am sorry. I currently feel the need to scream, cry, and freak out all at the same time. And that makes me feel very guilty, too. A part of me feels like a very bad pregnant mother. I have LOVED my pregnancy. I have had a great pregnancy. And so a part of me feels like if I have waited this long to really have issues with it, that's pretty damn good! If I feel the need to vent now and be "done" then at least I waited til the very end and wasn't like this my whole pregnancy! But then you get, "She'll come out when she's ready...she's on her own schedule...just wait til she comes out!" and that makes me feel like wanting her out NOW is selfish of me and I'm not thinking about her like I should be. And what about after she comes out? Am I to start believing that because I'm sick of being pregnant that I won't be able to handle motherhood?! Really?! Who says things like that and makes a woman who has been physically carrying around a human being for almost 10 months believe that things will only get worse if she can't handle it right now?

I think a lot of pregnant women reach a breaking point. For those that don't, congrats! Really! You're amazing! For those that do, but don't say it aloud and only your significant others and sweet pets in the house know your pain...I'm making it OK, right now, for you to let it out! Because this behavior and thought process is so unlike me. I am so torn between trying my best to be patient, praying for strength and some relief until she does decide to make her entrance in the world...and then screaming because I am so miserable right now.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Daddy's Love!

Shawn has been simply amazing the past few weeks. He's been amazing the whole pregnancy, but the last few weeks have been tough on me and he's been so supportive. First off, let me rave again about how proud I am when others tell me, "Yea...Shawn was talking about that..." He tells EVERYONE about the birth center, our birth classes, cloth diapers, the birthing process, etc. He is so well educated and takes so much pride in what he has learned and what we are about to embark on together and it is so amazing to hear other people tell me about him. He is more than a husband who simple agrees to go along with the plan; him and I have made decisions 100% together and when we make decisions he works so hard to be a part of the process. I have by no means gone through this pregnancy alone - he has been there with me for every pain, every baby decision and every pregnancy decision. I just cannot fathom doing any of it without him!

More recently he's only been more supportive. I know I've been more whiny - I've been pregnant for almost 10 months and that is my perogative! However, as I've mentioned the night has been the worst. When he comes in late at night it's usually my "pee" time and he kindly helps me up to get out of bed. He was very encouraging when it came to me moving to the couch over the weekend because it was for my comfort and he wants me to get as much rest as possible. And the nights that I suffer horrible discomfort he rubs my back and tells me, "You've done so good, honey, and you're almost there" in the kindest voice. He doesn't pretend to know what I'm going through, but he has sympathy. And he certainly doesn't brush it off as me just complaining. He shows real support.

Today I called him after my birth center appointment. I know I already wrote a post about that, but in all seriousness the discouragement was enough that I wanted to cry. It wasn't about hearing "hey, you'll probably have her tonight!" that I wanted. A regular, "Everything seems great!" would have been fine with me. But walking out of there with such unpleasant feelings and new worries was not what I wanted to hear a week before my due date. It happens. It's probably not the biggest deal. But still. And Shawn could tell how crappy I felt. He told me not to get discouraged and we'll work on getting her in the right position and do whatever we need to do. And he's 100% telling the truth when he says WE. Sure...I may be the one on my hands and knees, but just being able to talk with him about it and his interest in what I have to do makes him very much a part of the process.

And then...I came home to an awesome smell! Well, two smells actually. The carport is located next to the kitchen and I smelled yummy food! Then I got closer to the door and I smelled dryer sheets! Sure enough an amazing dinner (spaghetti w/ venison sauce, garlic bread, and salad) and some laundry was being done. We sat together and ate at the table - which rarely happens. We talked about the appointment, we laughed about some odds and ends, and it was so wonderfully relaxing. I could have cried I was so happy.

Now I'm well fed. I'm showered. I did some pelvic rocking and squats to move Autumn around. And it's almost my bedtime. I've had such an amazing night and it's all because of my wonderful, sweet, loving husband!

Feeling Frustrated - 39 week appt

SO our appt went okay, but not great. Wake County schools were closed AGAIN, so in order to make sure my awesome bosses didn't have to take more time off in the mornings I took the two kiddos to the appt with me. Not a big deal, really, but making sure a 4 year doesn't take out every.single.toy in the play area and make it a "tripping zone" for other preggos does make one a little crazy.

I got there early since they've been extra busy it seems. Sure enough today was busy, too, so I was actually seen downstairs by "K" in the green room.

I'm up another 1.5 lbs, just like last week, so that's a total of 171 l bs, up 39 total.

My blood pressure was higher than normal the first time is was taken. "K" didn't like that, so by the end of the visit she took it again and it was back to normal.

"K" took forever finding the heartbeat. Knowing that my child was a little sluggish this morning and then her taking awhile to find the heartbeat made me very nervous. Normally if they can't find it right away on one side they move the dopplar around to find it elsewhere. No. She didn't. She stayed in ONE spot and when she finally found it, it was awfully quiet sounding - like very far away sounding. She probably would have gotten a stronger "thump-thump" if she had moved the other side of my belly, but no.

Also, she said the baby's head is a little "cock-eyed" over my pelvis instead of being lined up straight-on. This is why the baby isn't dropping. She gave me some suggestions on how to get her to move, which I'll be trying adamently in the next week. This make me very nervous. I have one week to change her position and get her to drop. After full term I think I have only two weeks before they send me to the hospital - and really the extra bills that I'm pretty sure come along with that are not something I'm looking forward to.

Also, I can still go into labor at anytime. Which is what I've wanted. But now I'm worried about her being in the right position. I'm sure if I went into labor the midwives would do everything and anything possible to help her move into a good position for laboring naturally, but if they don't think she's going to come out the way she is now and they can't get her to move - I'm not looking forward to dealing with that.

I'm sure it doesn't help that "K" isn't my favorite midwife. I know - we don't get to pick and choose, but still. Shawn said it perfect, she a little "cold and clinical." I think I would have felt more warm and fuzzy and somewhat less discouraged if I'd had someone else.

I'm off to go e-mail my massage therapist and my Bradley teacher to see if they have more suggestions to get her into position. Let's hope she moves soon and drops down.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's Tuesday!

Which explains my child's hatefulness for me at 3,4,5 am in the morning. I've really never known a child to hate ONE specific day so much. I wonder if this will continue throughout her whole life?

Eh. PG massage this morning might make her a little happier if she gets to come out - I know she's running out of room. I know it's DEF going to make mommy happier:o)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Joke for ya...

Why did the chicken cross the playground?

To get to the other SLIDE! haha

That's from an awesome 4 year old I know!

Over the weekend I've slowly transitioned myself to sleeping on the couch. It started with naps. Then last night it became my bed. I tried to sleep in the bedroom, but I just cannot do it. Our bed is not pregnancy-friendly...especially with really bad heartburn. I can't prop myself up well enough, I can't lay on my side with a pillow comfortably enough, and getting in/out just sucks and is very painful. I LOVE our couch. I do! The comfiest couch I've ever sat on. But I miss my husband & my dogs. Shawn's so supportive. I know he misses me, but like he told me tonight "It's temporary, it's not a big deal." And he's right - I guess we're lucky this has only started when I've got 9 days left til my due date when it could have started months ago.

Braxton Hicks are intense tonight. But that's nothing spectacularly new.

Tomorrow I go for a massage! With Cheryl - the specialist who came to our child birth class! I'm SO excited!!!!! I'm hoping she can help things move along - she's good like that!

Wednesday is the 39 week birth center appointment.

Friday is the day that Shawn & Will (7 yrs old) both say Autumn will arrive - they said this on separate occasions not knowing the other one suggested it. Kinda freaky.

Sunday is the Superbowl. And the day Aunt Becky said her "niece" will arrive.

Oh...who knows.

It's February...

...just sayin;o)