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Archive for the ‘preparing for baby’ Category

Coraline Genevieve joined our family on Wednesday 3/13/13 (isn’t that a fun birthday?!) at 11:12 pm (also fun: 11:12 on the 13th).

Monday was my last day working in the office, and I worked from home both Tuesday and Wednesday prior to her arrival. Signs of labor were there, but relatively minimal.

Tuesday, we went to the hospital and were sent home due to “false labor” around 11 pm. Looking back now, it was not false labor, simply early labor! I was having regular contractions that were 5 minutes apart, but they weren’t strong enough. After walking around the hospital for an hour or so, they finally told us to go home and told us to return when my contractions were such that I couldn’t talk through them.

Our instructions from the doctor were simply contractions that were 5 minutes apart, so I was obviously disappointed and upset that there were actually additional requirements to these contractions! I felt ready to have this baby, and anxious for her arrival. Not to mention the mild embarrassment (unwarranted, but there nonetheless) by having to return home and relieve Brian’s parents from watching Jameson.

Overnight, my contractions reduced and were no longer regular. However, another sign of labor occurred on Wednesday that left me feeling that it would be in the next couple days at the latest. So when contractions started up again regular, at 4 minutes apart on Wednesday evening, we still spent quite a bit of time debating about heading back to the hospital.

The contractions were still mild, albeit slightly (just slightly) stronger than they were the day prior. While I was still able to talk and walk through them without any difficulty, we were nervous about making it in time to hospital since it’s 30 minutes away, so we decided it was best to go.

Off we went! We even debated in the car about calling the doctor in advance to let them know we were coming again. However, midway through the ride, with about 15 minutes to go, I felt the strangest sensation that was either the head dropping drastically, or my water breaking.

Immediately after that, my contractions went from mild and barely noticeable to exactly the type the hospital had warned about. They were intense, hard to talk through, and were coming faster and faster very quickly. Brian went ahead and called the doctor’s office and left a message with the answering service.

Within the half hour drive, my contractions went from 4 minutes apart to about 2. Still feeling like there was enough time, though I was in severe pain, Brian parked the car and wheeled me back to labor and delivery himself where we waited precious minutes for the nurse to come out and assess me.

By the time I was wheeled back for assessment prior to even being admitted, I was unable to do much of anything for myself. I barely got into the bed from the wheel chair and couldn’t undress myself. I ended up delivering in the hospital gown, but my shirt lay crunched up behind me.

I have very distinct memories of what I said and did during this time, but it’s funny how quickly the pain memory recedes. I remember asking (nay, pleading) for the epidural several times during assessing, wishing they could give it to me immediately. They told me I was at 5-6 cm dilated, and my thought was that that was impossible because the pain I was feeling should surely put me at a 7 or 8! Little did we know that within 10 minutes, I would be completely dilated.

The pain continued without pause, which must’ve been my transition period. They began wheeling me back to the delivery room, wherein I told them I was hot several times over and over, and then suddenly told them I needed to poop. Yep. I said it a few times, as it seems during delivery your brain goes to its very base instincts. What I meant was: hot = feeling like I might pass out; poop = need to push, right. now.

Another quick assessment had me at complete, and everyone got into position. Brian was very calm (claiming he knew the nurses and attending physician had everything under control). He kept telling me to breathe, and mimicked the nurses requests to me. If I could have, I would’ve rolled my eyes at them all. (No, there was not enough clarity in my mind to even swear). Clearly we were not prepared for natural labor, and I certainly didn’t remember the classes we took from when we had Jameson. Breathing? Whatever. I didn’t pass out. I knew I was about to push this baby out without the epidural and would this pain ever end!?

I never made it into the proper delivery bed with the stirrups. Brian and a nurse held my legs as I pushed through the excruciating pain and it was over in minutes. The 30 hours total labor with Jameson and 3 hours pushing was reduced to a mere hour or two and just minutes of pushing with Coraline.

And there she was! And I felt immediate, blessed relief. And maybe a little bit of shock. I did not hold her right away, though they asked me if I might like to. I needed a moment.

Her apgar scores were 7 and then 9, perfectly made with features that reminded us of Jameson but with darker hair and obviously a little lady. Oh, and she was a little bit bigger and less delicate seeming than he was. And a different, stronger cry.

7 pounds, 1 ounce, 20 and a half inches long.

We have no photos of her in her slimy glory prior to being wiped off. We were just a little less prepared with camera this time, for obvious reasons.

Birth in general can be a little gruesome, but Brian said it was a little odd to see me laying on the bed with the umbilical cord hanging out for a good 15 minutes while they waited for the doctor from my office to arrive before delivering the placenta.

I was going to request a mirror this time, but there was no time for that. I did get a peak at the placenta this time, which was exactly as I might have imagined it. And then, I finally held her, remembering this time to ask for the bed to be raised up slightly so I wasn’t completely flat on my back and straining to see her as I did with Jameson. My mind was again in attendance to the evening.

The recovery this time has been simply amazing, and dare I say it, even easy so far. I was up walking again within an hour or two, prior to being taken to the recovery room. I was not loopy with pain medication or shaking at the end of labor. We were simply in awe of the fact that we had arrived at the hospital just about a half hour before.

As Brian said on the way home when we were released just a day and a half later, we’ve waited for a table at a restaurant for longer than that. Miss Coraline was obviously anxious to meet her family! And we feel so blessed to call her our beautiful baby girl.

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Here we are, approaching the Due Date of March 15, 40 weeks this Friday.

Today forward I have opted to work from home until the baby arrives. I am thankful that this time it is an option, since my previous job didn’t allow us to work from home at all. This will make things more comfortable and less worrisome for all of us, since Brian is just minutes away and the doctor keeps reminding us that things may move much more quickly this time.

I took these photos (self portraits I took myself! with a tripod! and occasionally a button click from Brian) a couple weeks ago, around 37 weeks pregnant. My belly hasn’t grown much since then (in fact, I’m still only measuring 36-37 weeks belly-wise, it’s just shifted down quite a bit!).

The past few weeks they have begun exams for dilation. I have very slowly progressed from 3cm to 3.5cm the past three weeks, and 70% to 80%. The “any time now” message is getting old, since I have been hearing it now for 2-3 weeks already.

Today we had another ultrasound (our third in the past couple months) to check fluid levels again, staying extra safe because of Jameson’s fluid issues. However, we have plenty and are looking good still. Baby is happy and wedged pretty far down.

This week the doctor told me that he doesn’t expect me to make it to next week, though we did schedule an appointment anyway in case. Next week, should I make it to that appointment, I will have a non-stress test (NST) and another ultrasound for fluid levels, since I will be past my due date at that point.

We did opt to -ahem- stir things up a bit? at this visit and are hoping that it works. If we go into next week, we will be looking at induction.

The doctor is of course flexible to our wishes in this, but we are all in agreement that 41 weeks is pushing us to our maximum. Seeing that I have had a successful induction before, even though we are not pleased that it could happen again, we would be willing to opt for one next week.

Hopefully baby doesn’t need much more encouragement to make her appearance! We are all getting anxious for her to arrive.

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We are now in the final stages of waiting for our newest addition. We have a dresser in place, a sleeper sofa, washed all clothing and sheets and blankets, boiled all bottles and parts. I feel totally and completely prepared, except for the actual giving birth part.

All last week, I was certain I wanted to wait to have our little girl until at least after Sunday because of all that we had planned!

We had plans to see Sesame Street Live, which was a lot of fun. Jameson sat solemn and wide eyed through the entire show (I think we could’ve skipped intermission). He got a high five from Zoey, and who is the lady trash monster? Mrs. Oscar? He didn’t really get ansty until the end because he could see a little girl dancing in the aisle.

Jameson’s friend Nathan was at the show too! His dad called us with extra tickets (their daughter got sick) just before we were leaving already, which was funny. We didn’t need the tickets, but we did have lunch with Nathan and Josh at the Winking Lizard after the show. Jameson was like a totally different person, squealing and loud and yelling with Nathan. He may end up being a class clown, because he kept trying to get Nathan to laugh at his antics (hitting his own head and shouting “ow!”)

Saturday afternoon, we headed to a birthday party for his friend Nicholas, where Jameson ran and jumped off of a stage at one end of the party room, over and over again. The life of a two year old.

And did you miss Jameson’s terribly long hair? I thought not; we finally had it cut again on Sunday after church since picture day is today! He did the best yet, sitting completely still and not complaining at all.

But with that finished, I feel like every day at work is my last day this week. I am taking my laptop home every night, and monitoring the contractions though they have no regularity or frequency yet.

At this time with our pregnancy with Jameson, we were heading to the doctor and would shortly find out that he wanted to induce us early. Jameson was born at exactly 39 weeks, which I will be on Friday. But this pregnancy has been totally different: no diabetes, more pain, more contractions, normal size baby… and early dilation. Last week, we were at 3cm. I am both impatient, and totally fine with waiting another week. Waiting…

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One Month to Go

I said one month, but it is more like three weeks!

We’re approaching the end of this, our second and anticipated final pregnancy. I am happy that its nearly over. While I can say it definitely has been nicer this time around to be able to eat whatever I want (within reason), otherwise this pregnancy has been much harder on me than the first.

The Braxton Hicks are painful and frequent though not at all regular. My body is sore and less tolerant this time around. Sometimes baby’s movements make me feel as though I’ve lost some feeling in one leg, I think she is hitting a nerve. Thankfully, in the past two to three weeks, she has grown large enough that she can’t flip all the way around, so her kicks and movements aren’t quite as uncomfortable.

We are one day shy of 37 weeks, which puts us at technically full term. Doctor’s estimated size at 34 weeks was 5 pounds 4 oz, and on time delivery will be an average 7 something pound baby. He did however throw out a few concerns around her being too large to deliver naturally, given that Jameson was so much smaller, though I am confident that won’t be an issue.

So far, her fluid levels are perfectly normal, we measured with an ultrasound both at 34 and 36 weeks since we had that trouble with Jameson, this past Tuesday. With everything going perfectly smooth, excepting my own discomfort, we are hopeful that she’ll at least wait to make her grand entrance after March 2 when we take Jameson to see Sesame Street Live! We’re pretty excited about that. So far, no reason to have another induction which I hope to avoid.

Speaking of Jameson, we are actively talking about baby every day and introduced his “I’m a big brother” book this past weekend. He loves it, and it helps that he has just recently started more imaginary play, including brushing his teddy bear’s teeth, hair, and wrapping him in a blanket like a baby. Grandma started that one! He is finally showing more interest in having a baby around (at least, we are not getting no’s as much anymore when you ask him if he’s going to have a baby sister).

Her new dresser is arriving next week, and all her sheets and first clothes and blankets are washed and ready. My bag is packed with the important thing (clothes) and this weekend I’m preparing the rest of my bag and Jameson, for wherever he’ll stay (probably grandma and Aunt Melissa alternating depending on how quickly it seems she will arrive).

And as for names? Still undetermined. We have two ideas and will decide after she’s born. Soon!

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We’ve had a return of the cold, wintery weather after the first round melted. Saturday as it snowed we went separate ways as I went to a baby shower and Jameson and dad went to Jonathan’s 2nd birthday party.

While I was disappointed that I had to choose one to go to, it was nice to see old friends. I’m looking forward to going on maternity leave the same time as Teresa and having play dates. Or sleep dates, as the case may be for newborns. Our due dates are just days apart!

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Jameson meanwhile loved the party and played nonstop with Jonathan, Vivienne, and Jonathan’s cousin Adela.

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On Sunday, we spent a little time outside after Jameson insisted on going out to “help daddy shovel”.

As usual, he didn’t want to come inside! My sweet boys both love to be outside. Upon trying to get Jameson back in from outdoors, we told him, “Mommy’s cold, she forgot a hat and needs to go inside!” Jameson took his hat off to give to me. It’s not just pregnancy hormones that make me tear up at that. I would at any time. He already seems to have his daddy’s loving and generous personality.

Later, Brian’s parents came over for a visit since they had been away all week on vacation.

We have regular jokes that grandma is going to catch all of Jameson’s colds. It used to be because she couldn’t help kissing baby fingers, and now as a toddler it’s because she keeps playing with the toys like whistles and the harmonica they got him for Christmas. Jameson loved the whistled she brought back from Gatlinburg, as well as a cute “fish truck” which we’ve already run the batteries down on!

She rolled up a little new stuffed black bear for him in his blanket a couple times like a baby as well which we was fascinated with. It won’t be long before we are doing that with a real baby!

We are 34 weeks and had what would typically be a final ultrasound, though we will have one more in a couple weeks to check fluid levels one more time since Jameson had low fluid levels. Out little girl (and I had her check, one more time, just in case) is estimated at 5 pounds, 4 ounces right now which is near half a pound to what Jameson was at birth Right now, our estimate at birth weight is around 7 pounds, which is average sized and makes me happy.

I was a little concerned that the doctor seemed to think that if I got over 2 pounds what Jameson was at birth that we are at risk of c-section, but I am confident that we can have a natural (but epidural-ized) birth for an average sized baby. Jameson was undersized due to my gestational diabetes diet and was a week early.

We are otherwise very healthy and everything looks great! I am having Braxton Hicks contractions which are reasonably painful. A series of 3 just a couple nights ago woke me up, concerned, but they are not with any regularity and typically come on during exertion, so we’re not worried at them, just painful.

5-1/2 more weeks to go!

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A week and a half ago, we celebrated baby’s girl’s impending arrival with a second baby shower!

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law volunteered to throw a shower, and they did a wonderful job! For decorations, they chose to use washcloths to make adorable flower centerpieces and little washcloth babies!

This time, I didn’t need to worry so much over diet! I enjoyed the pasta salad, cheese and crackers, fruit tray and little sandwiches! And of course, the cake!

While we ate, we played a few games, including the baby playdoh competition and baby word unscramble.

It’s good to be the judge! I selected three winners, including a baby that was on it’s belly for tummy time, a baby sitting up, and a baby with full scenery around it! There were a lot of fun playdoh babies, and I think this was my favorite baby shower game ever.

While you might not think to need a second baby shower or consider if frivolous, I think it is always appropriate to celebrate a new baby if there is opportunity!

Plus, there were definitely some items we still needed. Would you believe we made it through Jameson’s entire baby-hood with just 6 bottles total? I washed those every single night!

Here are a few things I found I needed for a second baby, some of which I registered for and some that I’ve purchased:

  • An umbrella stroller (this is really so that Jameson can also sit in a stroller! And is a cheaper option than the limited time use of a double stroller)
  • Newborn nap lounger (they didn’t have these when I had Jameson, but I heard from recent mothers that they are really nice!)
  • New diaper rash cream
  • More diapers and wipes!
  • New diaper bag (one zipper on ours no longer worked)
  • New bottle nipples for the bottles we currently have, in all ages/sizes… as well as extra bottles since we didn’t have enough last time!
  • A few replacement parts for my pump
  • Bottle warmer! (a real wish to have item that we didn’t get last time)
  • Another cool mist humidifier
  • New pacifiers and several sizes
  • A bath and nursery organizer, since some of that storage stuff went to Jameson’s new room
  • I’m a Big Brother book
  • Pink version of the lullaby glow worm that Jameson loves
  • More plug covers
  • Microwave sterilizer

Even though I registered for a lot of new items, for the most part, baby girl got clothes! Which is okay by me! People love to by little girl outfits, and while I have a lot of gender neutral newborn items, it was nice to receive girl clothing for most of the other baby ages.

About 6 weeks out from our due date now, I’ve already washed a lot, though we are still waiting on baby girl’s new dresser to arrive.

Jameson and dad arrived, and Jameson was a little ball of energy and wanted to be a big helper!

He enjoyed his cake, of which he ate most of the icing and little of the cake part, of course.

It was a wonderful shower, and I had a great time. A big thanks to Emma who took all the photos at the shower for me! After the shower, we had a very-mini-reunion with my friends I grew up with including Emma, Jamie and Tara. I only wish I could’ve enjoyed a drink as well!

And a even bigger thanks to my mother and sister in laws who threw such a wonderful shower for our little girl!

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I’m at 32 weeks as of last Friday, and let me tell you, I am feeling every inch of those 32 weeks.

Last week, all of a sudden, everything became exponentially harder, like my body had reached it’s natural limits and everything else now is stretching poor, already worn muscles. Laying on the floor next to the fireplace feels amazing, until I have to get up. Then I have to crawl for a little before finding support to lift myself back to my feet.

Heartburn is back, as is the pillow between my legs keeping my spine a little straighter. New stretchmarks started arriving two days ago. I am constantly sore and often uncomfortable.

And I have two more months to go!

Overall, I do feel healthy. I am happy I don’t have gestational diabetes and can eat what I want. I am happy that means I’ll probably have a larger baby this time around (which hopefully means average sized, rather than undersized!). I’m also pretty happy to know this is my last baby, because I don’t particularly enjoy the discomforts of pregnancy.

(For the record, I am again borderline as I was with Jameson, but just on the opposite side, so they have told me to watch my diet, but honestly speaking, I haven’t done much of that)

Little girl is pretty active, mostly in the evenings and of course, after meals and sugar. I have been overthinking names for her, since the one we had picked out through our last pregnancy with Jameson (since we didn’t find out the gender with him) doesn’t ring as nice to my ears as another I have picked out. Brian is of the wait and see what she looks like mindset, and I have three names in my head and want to use all of them.

In a couple more weeks, we have our potential final ultrasound, though I think I will push for one more closer to the due date for reassurance regarding her fluid levels, since Jameson required induction at 39 weeks due to the low fluid levels around him. Time is flying with this second pregnancy, and we have finally ordered baby girl’s dresser for her room, and I even had a baby shower this past weekend!

While things at work are in major upheaval, and I am trying to focus on this time with Jameson and getting settled at home, it’s harder this time around to focus on the pregnancy and progress and the tiny excitements of baby kicking and flipping. Instead, I’m much more focused on her impending arrival and excited to take photos of a precious newborn again. We can’t wait!

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