Thursday, July 30, 2009

put on my engagement ring...

and I can't get it off. My wedding band is slightly smaller because of the different shape so I'm glad I didn't put it on. I've been so impatient about wearing it again that I kept trying it on and since it finally slipped over my knuckle I put it all the way on and now it's not coming off. I'm guessing it's partially due to the heat.

We have a flood of visitors coming today. 10am two of my aunts and my cousins came to meet him for the first time. In about 30 minutes a friend from church who I worked with in the nursery is coming to meet him. We haven't been to church yet since he was born. We'll probably venture to attend a service weekend after this next one. He'll be just over 3 weeks at that point.

At some point my brother-in-law is going to stop by since he's in town and tonight another cousin and her husband are bringing dinner over.

So glad the house is already husband is awesome!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

week 2

Week two of life on the outside for Malakai has been an interesting one for mama and daddy- one we'll probably tell him about when he's older because it was so eventful in the most random ways.

The heat has been the hardest part. We only have a/c in the living room and even though our house is very small it doesn't reach into the bedrooms in the back of the house and sleeping has been difficult even when our little guys is letting us. Mostly I feel bad for him. It's so difficult to figure out if he's uncomfortable in the heat. He's been sportin' the diaper only look pretty much all week. We did escape on Monday to my family's place to enjoy their a/c and swimming pool. (Well, Ben enjoyed the pool anyway). Last night we brought the mattress of our bed and Malakai's bassinet into the living room and parked in front of the a/c. We all slept so much better. My little 12 day old baby slept for almost 6 hours straight!

Sunday afternoon Ben opened the curtains to one of our living room windows. With the summer heat we've been keeping them closed to shut out the sunshine and heat. When he opened the curtains we discovered a blackberry bush that decided it wanted to be a house plant (in Ben's words). It had grown between the panes of the window where the a/c vents and there was a 3 foot vine in our home!

On top of that, when Ben went out to our garage to get the clippers and take care of it I heard him yell really loud. My first thought was that he had hurt himself with the clippers or something. He came back in to tell me he had stepped on a DEAD MOUSE! I wanted to die... gross, gross, gross! Our garage is basically and outdoor shed so we are fairly confident that there aren't mice in our house, but we'll be investing in some mouse traps soon.

Then later that day...we had a spider infestation. Seriously, I swear our house is not dirty like it probably sounds like it is. With being so busy we haven't had a chance to trim the bushes outside the windows and we've been opening windows at night to cool off the house and apparently we invited spiders to have their babies in our house. Hundreds of tiny white spiders on the ceilings and walls. I just about had a melt down, I am SO not a spider person. To give you a picture of how much I hate them, I make Ben check our shower every morning before I get in to make sure there aren't any spiders because that seems to be where they like to hang out when they make their way into our home. So Ben made three or four rounds through our house within two days and finally killed them all. ::shudders::

In terms of Malakai's health, we had still not heard from our doctor about his ultrasound. Ben called on Monday and left two messages for the on-call doc since ours was still out. Apparently she went on vacation without telling us...which is fairly annoying since we figure if we weren't going to be hearing from her about something so important for a whole week that she would tell us. Grr. On top of that, the on-call doc never called back. Usually I love our doctor's office, but oh man...we were getting so frustrated!

Yesterday we had his two week follow up and circumcision. We had scheduled the appointment with another doctor in our pediatrician's group because she doesn't perform circumcisions. The follow up went well- Malakai is up to 8 lbs 12 oz! (he was 7lbs 3oz at birth). Everyone was amazed by his speedy growth and weight a good way! Part of me is sad that he's growing so's already going by too fast!

The circumcision was performed in a procedure room so daddy went with and I waited in the exam room. I cried when he had the PKU done, so there was no way mama was going to be able to handle this procedure. By the time they go to the circumcision though poor sweet Malakai was really hungry so he was crying pretty hard. Without asking the nurse gave him some sugar water through the lid of a bottle. When I found this out I was so irritated! They didn't even ask Ben if it was okay- they just did it! You think that doctors that promote breast feeding would be aware of things that could hinder it, and we did have a hard time the rest of the day getting him to eat. It could have been due to him being irritated by the procedure, but I was still frustrated that they didn't get permission.

His circumcision went well and daddy brought him back to me so I could feed him. He ate a bit and calmed down for a moment, but then stopped eating and cried harder than I'd ever heard. So hard he was trying to catch his breath and I had tears streaming down my face, I felt so bad for our little boy.

Then the weirdest thing happened. We were waiting in the exam room for the nurse to come back and do his second PKU test...we were waiting for about 20 minutes assuming they were with another patient in between. We opened the door to let them know we were ready, but there was literally no sound or movement in the hallways. Ben walked up and down the hall to find the nurse and all the exam rooms were open and empty. He finally found the clinic manager who went to figure out what happened. A different nurse came in and apologized profusely...apparently everyone had gone to lunch and forgotten about us! The clinic manager was pretty upset and I'm assuming that nurse is in a bit of trouble.

We did get news back about our ultrasound from the doc that we saw. She read the notes in his file that said the testicle could not be located. She let us know that normal procedure from here is to wait for his two month check up, consult with the pediatric surgeon and monitor him for a year. If by 12 months old it hadn't descended, then we'd talk surgery. I was so relieved that they weren't planning on doing surgery on my infant son!

Later that afternoon when we got home our pediatrician called and told us that she wanted to consult with the surgeon now and get back to us on what he'd like to do. While I appreciate her being proactive, we then had to worry about surgery all over again. Thankfully she called back today and let us know that the surgeon wants to wait til 6 months to see him and go from there. Thank God!

Thank you all for praying and thinking about us as we worried for our new little boy. We are hoping that things will work themselves out and surgery will not be necessary.

Here's our chunky son's most recent photo taken today.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

new blog name...

so I finally got around to renaming the blog. I never really liked the previous name, I thought it was too cliche...but couldn't think of anything better and eventually forgot about it.
The previous title no longer made sense now that our son has arrived and the contents of my posts are more about him, us learning about parenting, and my husband Ben's recent unemployment. It's all so new so I thought Breaking New Ground seemed appropriate.
We've had a lot thrown at us in the last couple of weeks, but are remaining optimistic and enjoying our son to the fullest.

We're going to call the doc on Monday and basically demand some information. Three whole business days went by with nothing from them about Malakai's ultrasound and we need to know ASAP so we can try to schedule things before our insurance runs out. Although, at this point I don't know if that's possible seeing as it ends on July 31st!

Ben will be calling around tomorrow about alternative coverage. We were told when he was laid off that we wouldn't have the option of COBRA coverage because our current insurance company is church-based making it private and non-profit. That isn't making much sense to us or anyone we've told that to, so Ben will be making some phone calls to dig in deeper and see what our options really are.

Unfortunately, we aren't able to get on the state of Oregon's health insurance because you have to provide income statements for the previous 4 months and with both of us working up until June/July we surely wouldn't qualify.

On Friday we are leaving for a week vacation to the coast. I'm pretty excited to go to the beach since we haven't been yet this summer. We won a time-share through Ben's previous employer and are still able to use it even though he no longer works for them. I was more excited when I thought it was a vacation we found out it's a condo/apartment thing. I'm wondering how sharing walls with neighbors will fare having our newborn son along. So the draw is more about the scenery and the get-away itself than the accommodations and we've decided that no matter what we'll have a good time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Environmentally Friendly Birth Announcement

I created this birth announcement using and a Canon EOS camera I borrowed from my Father-in-law. There's no way we'd be able to afford printed announcements and all that postage so I figured we'd email my creation and let those who need a printed version print it themselves. Unfortunately due to the limitations of blogger you can't really read the writing, but it has his name on the second photo and his birthday on the fourth one.

I'm really happy with how it turned out, considering I spent only about an hour on the entire thing. I had so much fun taking pictures of my boy and really wish I had a fancy camera to play with all day...although I probably wouldn't get a single thing done around the house.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

1 week old

Malakai hit the one week mark yesterday and we got some gifts for him in the mail!

We got the Twilight Turtle, which I've wanted forever but haven't seen in any stores in our city.

And a few different things from another friend that included this adorable outfit.

I put it on him right away and took this photo to send as a thank you to the friend that sent it. I love these little shortie outfits but our stores don't have them in newborn sizes.

We are still waiting to hear from the doc's office about his ultrasound. Ben is probably going to call today to find out if the radiologist and the doctor have even talked about it yet.

I'm headed to motherhood maternity in a bit here to try to find a nursing bra that fits. I tried Target the other day and did get some of their nursing tanks but they don't have any bras even close to my size. According to motherhood's website and my measurements I am a 36E. I don't understand that because I always thought that band size corresponds with the inches and I'm 32 inches...whatever. We'll see what we can do.

After that we're headed out to my parent's place to visit and I'm hoping that Malakai will be alert for just a little bit as he's been sleeping every time they've come to see him. He pretty much sleeps all day, even during feedings, and then decides to be awake and alert right when we are trying to get into bed.

Last night we tried to go to bed early since he was already sleeping. It was 9pm and I put him down in his bassinet and he immediately woke up hungry. So I fed him, then daddy changed him, then he was hungry again, and on and on until 11pm! He wouldn't sleep in his bassinet so I snuggled up with him in our bed.

I have no problem with co-sleeping...I just wasn't planning on doing it every night. I also feel like I don't sleep all that well because I'm subconsciously worried about rolling over on him or something. Sometimes he'll sleep next to me or I'll lay him on my chest. He sleeps for a loooong time this way though, so that's the good thing about it. Right now...he's sleeping in his bassinet- no problem.

His umbilical cord fell off last night. FREAKED ME OUT! Ben was changing him and called out that it came off and I said "no, it's too earlly!" I thought it was supposed to take a few weeks. But he wasn't bleeding and everything looks fine.

I'm off to actually do something with my hair today since we're leaving the house. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Daddy's side of the story

Ben posted his version of our birth story on his blog and I wanted to share it with all of you. I cried when I read it :)

Kai's U/S

We had Malakai's ultrasound appointment this morning. We came away with more questions than answers.
I know u/s techs aren't supposed to say much and aren't allowed to diagnose anything for us but she started out telling us where his right testicle was and pointing out other things. Then she was silent as she searched for the left one and we watched the monitor not knowing what we were seeing. Then she was finished, checked with the radiologist to see if they needed more photos and then came back and said we were done.

So now we're just waiting to hear back from the doctor's office about what they saw or didn't see and what to do next ...if anything.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

our perfect babe...

...turns out he isn't doing as perfectly as we'd like.
When we checked out of the hospital, his pediatrician said everything looked great except she couldn't feel his left testicle. She said that they often descend over time and we'd check again at his follow up appointment. I was too happy about bringing my sweet boy home that I didn't let myself worry over it.

We had our follow up yesterday and she still didn't feel anything. She said it could be in his groin or it could be too high up like in his abdomen. So she ordered an ultrasound to locate it so we could make a plan for what to do next, if anything. She didn't seem too concerned but did talk us through what the possible next steps could be depending on different scenarios.

When she left the room I was buttoning Malakai back up and asked Ben how he was doing. Being the daddy I felt like he may be taking it hard. He said that he was doing fine and that we should just wait to see what the ultrasound shows. He asked me if I was okay and I just nodded, but couldn't look at him. I just kept buttoning Kai's onsie and trying not to cry. I didn't realize I was so upset by the news until that point.

Every parent wants their child to be the perfect picture of health. I know this could be nothing and I'm praying so hard that no interventions are needed, but it's the fear of the unknown (and probably the post-partum hormones) that have me worried.

Our ultrasound is bright and early tomorrow morning at 7am. So if you could pray for us or just send happy & healthy thoughts our way it is much needed and appreciated.

I know things could be much worse and I am beyond thankful for his overall well being and this is what I'm choosing to focus on as much as I possibly can.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Birth Story- Malakai Benson

Here's my version of the events leading to the birth of mister Malakai...Ben is also going to write one from his perspective which I will post once he's finished....

Wednesday July 15th we had the appointment I mentioned before and I was still at 4cm. I was so surprised that all these contractions had not gotten me any further, but I was effacing and there was more bloody show afterwards. We decided to schedule our weekly appointment with another doc since mine would be on vacation next week and we also scheduled a "just in case" induction for her first day back on July 27th. What a crazy feeling that was.

Due to the forecast of more very hot weather, Ben and I decided to go out to my parents' place and spend time by the pool and enjoying the a/c. My parents went to the coast so we were hanging out with my siblings. I was having some of my usual false labor contractions all afternoon. I took a nap around 4pm and took it easy inside the rest of the evening.

I had my first big contraction at 7:30pm and suddenly knew that this could be the real deal. It was such intense pain that I was in tears. Ben sat with me and we found something on tv to distract me from the pain while we timed them. They quickly went from 4 minutes apart to 2-3 minutes apart and I had to change positions frequently to ease the pain. Ben called my OB's office and the on-call doctor told us to go in to Labor & Delivery. This was that "not going until I can barely walk to the car" scenario I was waiting for after two other false alarms.

We got to the hospital around 9pm and checked into triage. I was still at 4cm but this time baby's heart rate was getting really high with my contractions. They monitored him for a while and he finally tolerated them better. They suggested I walk a bit before they checked me again. I was in so much pain that I started talking with Ben about the possibility of medication to get me through. Especially since things were progressing slower than expected. I knew I didn't want an epidural but I wasn't confident that I could handle a long labor after how exhausted I already was.

I couldn't walk any longer and I had to use the restroom terribly. We came back to triage and requested a birthing ball as I didn't want to sit in bed and slow things down but my legs were cramping and shaking so I couldn't walk or stand. They brought me the wrong kind...a really tiny one for laboring in bed so I just sat in the bed. They monitored me again and checked and I had progressed to 5cm. The nurse talked with the on-call doc from our group, Dr. Lee, and he instructed them to admit me.

FINALLY! We were so excited that it was finally time to meet our son. We were admitted into one of the beautiful Labor & Delivery rooms at Sacred Heart Medical Center and as soon as we got all the formalities out of the way I got into the jacuzzi tub for some relief. Ben called our parents and let them know we were there, it was about 11pm at this point. Unfortunately we had to grab all our stuff and move next door after a bit due to the tub in our room leaking!

Ben counted with me through each contraction to help me keep my rhythm. This isn't something that we practiced, in fact we didn't have much of a plan but had gone through the natural birthing class and used what we learned as it became something I needed. He did this counting all night long and I was contracting every 2 minutes and sometimes closer all night.

My mouth and throat got really dry and I was getting really exhausted. I moved back and forth from the birthing ball to the tub. Being in the bed, even sitting up was excruciating on my back. At around 1am I was still only at 7cm so I asked Ben if we could talk to the nurse about pain remedies. I apologized over and over and was so diappointed in myself but I needed some help. I knew I didn't want an epidural and the best option was to administer Stadol by an IV. I hadn't needed an IV at all during labor because our hospital doesn't routinely give them, which I loved. So they put in the IV and gave me a dose of Stadol and also some fluids. It did take the edge off as it was meant to and more importantly it allowed me to actually rest between contractions, which I wasn't able to do at all.

Because I had taken medication they had to monitor Malakai a little more often. He was doing just fine and I HATED having the monitor on during contractions. Especially because he moves so much that the nurse had to push the disc on my belly pretty hard.

At one point I had gotten too warm in the tub and moved to the labor ball...and started to feel nauseated and before I knew it I was vomited and then dry heaving. I asked the nurse if it was normal and she assured me that it was and happens all the time. I proceeded to apologize to her for the mess. She was so sweet and I still need to do something as a thank you for how patient she was with me. At one point I was dry-heaving and contracting at the same time and I swore I had pulled a muscle in my stomach it hurt so badly!

I had another dose of Stadol around 3:30am as the first dose had worn off. Again I was able to rest some but it didn't do more than take the edge off. I was still moaning, groaning, and sometimes yelling through the contractions. Throughout labor I had somehow developed this way of communicating with Ben while keeping my rhythm by either shaking or nodding my head. When I shook my head in disagreement it was either because I was having trouble coping with the pain or whatever Ben was doing wasn't helping (counting, rubbing my back, etc). If I was nodding in agreement I had my rhythm down and was telling myself I could do this thing! It was kind of weird, but it worked.

At one point Ben had developed the hiccups and I kicked him out of the bathroom of the labor room until he could get rid of them because he couldn't count right with me and I was getting increasingly frustrated while feeling bad for him at the same time and I just couldn't deal.

Once I was to 9cm I felt a slight urge to push and much to my surprise the nurse said it was okay to push some through the contractions if it felt good. The best position was sitting on the toilet but I wasn't allowed to push. I asked if they had a birth chair that was similar but they didn't. I was pretty disappointed as I feel like I would have had a lot of success pushing in that position. They broke my water shortly after and the progression to 10 was pretty quick.

I started pushing at 5:20am but things were fairly slow going. Dr. Lee came in to check on me at one point thinking that he'd be staying to deliver the baby but they couldn't even really see baby yet. He asked when I had last emptied my bladder and it had been quite a while. He suggested that they empty it for me with a catheter. I was very hesitant and asked if I could try on my own, but I couldn't. The catheter between contractions was not my favorite experience, but I was able to get back to pushing Malakai down and out.

Pushing was so difficult and kind of scary. One of the hardest parts was catching my breath between each push. I tried a couple positions. I was in the bed but it was set up more like a chair. At one point I kneeled on the lower part at the end to squat but baby wasn't doing well with that position so they made me turn around. I used the squat bar in a couple different ways. I'd either squat my legs on the bed and hold on to the bar with my arms and then lay back on the bed to rest in between. I also had a sheet wrapped around the top and put my feet on the sides of the bar with my rear on the end of the bed. The position I used the most was to hang on to Ben's hand and the bed with my feet up on the bar and hanging off the end of the bed over the lowered part. At the very end they brought up hand bars to give me more leverage and I'm sure Ben was happy about his hand getting a break.

Just before 7am Dr. McCarthy, my OB, came in. She was on call that morning but not until 8am and when she heard that I was in labor she came in early to deliver our boy. I was so glad to see her!

Once they started to get everything ready for Malakai to be born there was a flurry of activity and about 10 different nurses in our room. I asked what was going on and I just happened to be delivering during a shift change!

When it came time to push Malakai out my body was beyond exhausted but I was so motivated by knowing that I was about to meet my son. Ben was so encouraging and I couldn't have done any of it without him. I felt Malakai's head crown and was resting when I couldn't tell if I was contracting anymore. I felt so much pressure everywhere I didn't know when to push. I wasn't on a monitor anymore so a nurse was feeling my belly to tell me when to push him out but I wasn't contracting. My doctor told me that if I felt like I could push that I could try without the contractions since they weren't coming. Three more HARD pushes and his head was out, then another push and his shoulders and then the rest of him slid out.

Feeling him come out was the biggest physical relief I'd ever felt. Suddenly he was on my chest and Ben and I were both crying with joy. Ben kept saying "He's here, he's here!" I honestly can't type it out without tearing up at how wonderful that moment was. There were a million people all around me but I only saw Malakai and Ben, our little family. Ben cut the cord and then moved to my other side so the nurses could do their thing.

I tried to breast-feed immediately and Malakai latched right on but was just looking all around. He had a perfect latch but wasn't suckling yet. I just let him hang out there for a while to get used to things.

We both kept looking him over as they administered pitocin into my IV because my uterus had stopped contracting and I needed to deliver the placenta as well as have my uterus contract and start going back down to size. They were about to have me push to deliver the placenta so Ben took Malakai, but I barely started to push and the placenta was out. They then started working on stitching me up and massaging my uterus. I didn't even feel much with the stitching, all the pressure pretty much numbed things down there. The massage on the other hand was very painful and I couldn't help but groan and moan every time the nurse did it. They were afraid I was bleeding too much at first but thing slowed down and I was fine.

While Ben was holding him he started to suckle his hand so he brought him back to me to try feeding again. He latched and didn't suckle again at first. I switched sides and he immediately started feeding! I of course began to cry with joy, what a beautiful thing!

Everything after that was a bit of a blur. Ben helped the nurse weigh, measure, and bathe Malakai. Ben and Malakai had some skin-to-skin bonding time while I ate breakfast and I fed him again while daddy ate. We were in the labor room til just before 11am. Once I got all showered we were taken to the mother/baby room.

We settled in there and called our immediate families to let them know we were ready for them to visit. We texted the rest of our friends and family and told them they could begin visiting at 4pm. We ended up not really needing that break since I couldn't sleep from all the adrenaline. Ben took quite a few short naps. He was so exhausted he could barely keep his eyes open. I didn't even know how tired he was all night and am so blessed to have had such a great coach through the process.

We had visitors trickling in and out until 10pm that night. Every nurse and CNA we came into contact with was so wonderful. The nurses that ended up changing shifts throughout my delivery even came back to meet him and congratulate us.

I was advised not to sleep with him in my bed if Ben and I were both sleeping, but when I was feeding him I fell asleep a few times. He was perfectly fine and it was the most blissful feeling I've ever had- napping with my new son.

Ben and the nurses would have to help me out of bed and bring Malakai to me as the stitches and swelling made it very difficult for me to move much. I was given percocet for the pain and ibuprofen for the swelling. They made icepacks out of baby diapers by opening the lining, filling them with water and then putting them in the freezer. Those things were heaven sent. If we had an ice machine at home I would have been making some myself!

We decided to be discharged the next day because recovery was going smoothly for me and Malakai was perfectly healthy. We had a few more visitors that morning and took our time getting ready to go home. Malakai LOVES his carseat and fell asleep immediately when we put him in it.

All three of us are home and doing wonderfully. I'm taking the recovery process as slow as possible as I tried to do too much my first day back and had quit a painful spasm in my stomach. I will continue to blog about our day to day experiences and will probably change the name of my blog as soon as I come up with something clever enough :) I've never really liked the title I have but couldn't think of something to replace it.

Thank you all for reading and for all your support. Here are some pictures from the hospital.

My mom holding him for the first time (we somehow didn't get a pic with my dad)

Ben's parents

This face is one that my dad makes!

Me with my little man

His thinking face...

Great Grands

proud mama

the happiest daddy on the planet

being weighed for the first time

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Malakai Benson is HERE!

Our little boy was born at 7:20am on July 16th 2009. He was 7lbs 3oz, and 18 inches. He looks very much like his dad and we are so smitten.
I will post the labor and delivery details very soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

twins? ha!

Today we decided to run some errands. I HATE to grocery shop on the weekends (and in general really) because it's always too crowded so we waited until today.
We started our day by going out to lunch...with a giftcard since we're both newly unemployed. I got this weird tingly/numb feeling on my tongue for the 4th time. I realized that the last couple times I've had mushrooms in my food. I didn't eat mushrooms pre-pregnancy so perhaps I have an allergy I didn't know about? I can't find much by googling it though.
Anyway, afterwards we headed out to a carpet store to see if we could get a custom cut area rug for our living room because we can't find the right size/color for our living room. Unfortunately, we just got a lot of dumb looks from the people at the store so we headed to Target to return some more baby items that we had duplicates of. I didn't realize how easy it actually is to return stuff by just printing of your registry and using it in place of a receipt. We got another $50 of credit! Reason to celebrate when we're unsure of where our income will come from after August 1st.

When I got out of the car to head into Target this disheveled old guy was walking out and yelled to me clear across the parking lot "twins, right?" I looked around at first because he was so far away from us that I wasn't even sure he was talking to me. I would normally ignore crazy people comments but because I was about to walk right by him to get to the store and also because I'm at my wits end being almost 40 weeks pregnant I said "NO! and that's really rude!" He responded with "well I've only been right like 27 times" at this point I had my confirmation that he is nuts and kept walking. He yelled "God bless" after us, like that was supposed to make it better? I wasn't even offended by the comment, because although I'm feeling huge these days my belly is measuring small thankyouverymuch!

After picking up some much needed items and being irritated that Target doesn't have a portable wipes holder for our diaper bag, we headed to the grocery store. It was crazy busy at 3pm on a Monday afternoon! Gr. It wouldn't have been so bad except there were two 13 year old girls (one wearing a bunny rabbit hat?) running up and down the isles and almost taking out people multiple times. Their mother didn't say a thing and I really wanted to take a swing at them with my giant jug of OJ. I'm normally not violent, so I could tell that I have all sorts of late pregnancy hormones racing through me.
Just my luck the crazy-tweens were behind us in the check out line and while I was bagging our groceries the bunny-hatted-one decided it was necessary to push her cart past me and ran into me three times while giggling "excuse me". Ohhhh my goodness, I so wanted to scream at her or her mother but held back and got the heck out of there before I assaulted a child.

I really do not want to leave this house again until it's time to go to the hospital...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

enjoying the wait

Today I settled into patience and decided to enjoy the wait. I've been so anxious to meet our little man and have these daily contractions progress to active labor that I've made myself miserable. I'm not even to my due date, but have been feeling overdue since my doc said I'm most likely give birth early.

I found joy in spending quality time with my husband- even while doing household chores. We also went for a walk in the sunshine and watched a movie. It was a lovely day with a perfect balance of getting things done to keep order in the house and relaxing. Even though I feel like I'll be pregnant forever, it won't be much longer before our days as a twosome are a distant memory. I've decided to tone down the grumbling (even though Ben is beyond understanding of my impatience and discomfort) and trade it in for a grateful attitude.

I've decided to not be such a punk- but I don't know that I'll be appearing solo in many more pictures. I'm really feeling self-conscious even though I know it's normal, I just don't feel like I look like me anymore. Mostly it's that I look more exhausted than I feel- which is pretty bad.
Anyway, here's a photo of us before we went out to dinner on our 2 year anniversary

Oh and we finished the nursery. I still tinker in there just about every day and change things slightly, but here are some photos of the finished product. I'm quite pleased with it and love to just sit in there and look around.
The green walls look truest to their color in the first picture because I didn't use the flash. The rest are a bit washed out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

39 Weeks-no more photos!

There will be no picture to accompany this post or probably any further posts as I LOATHE the way I look and feel right now. I'm retaining so much fluid that I just feel like a giant water balloon. It may be vain to feel this way, but I'm okay with that...

How far along? 39 weeks, cannot believe we have a week until my due date!
Total weight gain/loss: I think it's still hovering around 30-35 lbs.
Maternity clothes? most of them won't cover the bottom of my belly anymore and I just don't care...
Stretch marks?just the tiny ones on my hips and my navel piercing. I'm hoping it stays that way...which would be nothing short of a miracle because my other parts were covered with them in puberty and my whole family has them. My doc is shocked every time she sees my stretchmark free belly.
Sleep: I'm used to this lack of sleep thing but am so tired of my aching hips.
Best moment this week: How excited Ben was when we thought that it was "time"
Movement: all the time, still some pretty big movements and lots of hiccups. I'm waiting for one of these punches to break my water already!
Food cravings: nothing in particular.
Gender: boy
Labor Signs: false labor just about every evening for the past week
Belly Button in or out?slightly out
What I miss: being 35 lbs lighter and more comfortable.
What I am looking forward to: giving birth and meeting our sweet boy!
Weekly Wisdom: start exercising early in pregnancy, even if it's just walking. I've been walking at least a mile a day for the past two weeks and it feels great and helps me sleep a bit better.
Milestones: 39 weeks is a pretty big one since we've been told over and over the baby would be early since I'm sitting here at 4cm at least...but he's being stubborn!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Labor & Delivery: False Labor Part II

So my contractions finally became more consistent for a significant period of time. They were 2-5 minutes apart for almost two hours. Before they were often but would bounce back and forth or taper off and were never consistent for more than an hour.
I called my OB's office and the nurse advised that I go to Labor & Delivery at the hospital. I really was hoping to get to go in to the office and get checked there instead. I had a feeling I'd get sent home even though things were different this time.
Ben came and picked me up and we got to L&D around 4:30pm. Contractions had been consistent since about 2pm and were staying that way whether I was sitting or standing and some were more painful than what I had experienced before so I was pretty hopeful that this was finally it...
I got hooked up to the monitors in the triage room and when the nurse checked my cervix I was between 3 and 4cm. Since I was at that point at my last OB appointment on Monday the on-call doctor for my group suggested having me walk and see if I would progress further and was actually in active labor. Ben and I were hungry so I walked briskly in circles around the L&D hallways while he grabbed us bagels from the cafeteria.
We walked for an hour and a half and the contractions got really intense. Back to the monitors and another check, I was at a 4 at that point but the doctor didn't feel like that was significant enough progress to admit me and I was sent home. While it was quite discouraging, he was right.
I came home and rested as much as I could. I finally fell asleep and woke up with no contractions at all.
This is so maddening.
As I write this I'm having my nightly contractions...I'm not even bothering timing them anymore. I told Ben that the only way I'm going back to the hospital is if my water breaks or if the contractions are so strong I need help getting to the car. I'm fairly serious about this, I'm so irritated and we surely don't have the money for all these trips.
This has been the most surprising thing about pregnancy, I thought I would know if/when I'm in labor.
The upside is that once active labor finally happens I don't have far to go to get to 10cm and baby is very low and ready to be born!
Also- my wonderful husband is now home for the month. His job ended but he's paid through the end of the month through sick leave and his severance agreement. I love having him around...and today he organized and cleaned the garage. I feel like Oprah's clean sweep crew just came through!! He's so awesome :)
And tomorrow we're going to go swimming, I'm no longer stuck in the house waiting for labor. There's only so much nesting one can do in a 900 square foot house!

Monday, July 6, 2009

appointment update and then some

Went into the doc again today. I'm about 4cm dilated but down to 50% effaced. Apparently effacement can go back and forth...I had no idea about this!
We have one more appointment scheduled for July 15th and our due date is July 18th. After that my doc is on vacation. Today she offered the option of inducing labor next week if I don't go into labor naturally since she won't be here after that. She said she doesn't just offer this to everyone but that my cervix is very favorable and an induction would most likely go very well. However, there is a higher instance of emergency c-section with induction and we've been against any medications and interventions from the beginning. So- while it's tempting to set a date and avoid going overdue or seeing a different doc, we are sticking to our plan. I'm most in favor as I don't like the idea of being tied to a pitocin drip or any other needles & tubes during labor. We'll wait for nature to take it's course as long as baby is healthy. My doctor completely understood and I love that about her...I'm really hoping she will be able to deliver this baby.
Took a nap after the appointment since I woke up at 4am again this morning. Walked about a mile this afternoon and have been having some contractions but they are still inconsistent in their timing and intensity. I'm working on patience.
We have a breast-feeding class tonight that we missed last month because we were at L&D for fear of pre-term labor (oh the irony) but we're skipping it. I feel like a bad "student" but I'm so not in the mood to sit around a room at the hospital with a bunch of strangers and learn about breasts. I have books and friends and think that should be the support we'll need. Plus Ben's best friend's bday get-together is tonight and I'd much rather hang out with friends before that becomes a distant memory.
Speaking of...we are the first of just about all of our close friends to have a baby and we're already noticing that lack of invitation to things. But we're making friends with people that have kids and making an effort to initiate contact with those that don't and that don't seem to understand that we're still us and quite capable of hanging out just like before...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Disappointment, Dr. appointment, and the holiday weekend

So I've started to blog about this a couple times now, but didn't really have the energy or the desire to put it in any creative words.
Ben was informed on Tuesday that he is being laid off from his job. Just six days since I left my job at the same place. A small university that we both attended and love. My dad works there, my sister will be attending in the fall, and they just sent me off on my journey as a stay at home with a lovely outdoor goodbye party after 4 years of hard work in a high burnout job.
My feelings are quite mixed. We both are at peace and know that God has a plan to bless us...not only that but to do such awesome things in our lives that we'll look back and be glad for the opportunity. We still love the University and the people...and are disappointed along with the rest of the institution in the decision making of the "higher ups".
Ben wasn't the only casualty. A few others lost their jobs (all in the name of balancing the budget). Even more were cut down to part time and stripped of their benefits. My dad went from 40 hours to 30 and will lose his health insurance. My siblings are still at home 16 and 18 years old. Luckily, they were smart enough to let him keep the tuition benefit that they were already planning on for my sister's schooling next year.
The weirdest part is that Ben still has a job for two more weeks. FMLA was what saved us. He put in for leave with the dates of July 20th-31st, the two weeks after my due date. Since they had already approved the leave, it would be against the law for them to let him go before then. So he is working for the next two weeks and then get paid for the two after that. We'll have health insurance through the end of the month. I feel bad for Ben having to endure work knowing that he's been let go- but he's received a lot of support from those who were spared.

Dr. Appointment
Had our 38 week appointment this morning...before which I walked a mile to meet Ben at work. It's beautiful weather outside and I couldn't resist the opportunity to get some exercise and encourage labor :)
I'm at a "good" 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. My doc asked me if I wanted her to stretch my cervix when she checked-I wasn't exactly sure what that meant but when she said it could encourage labor to begin I opted for yes. It actually didn't really hurt- it was uncomfortable and felt kind of like cramps or a contraction but was over quickly. She said I could go into labor or just experience the same intermittent contractions I'm already going through. We'll just have to wait and see. She predicted I'd go into labor next week, but it really could be any time now.
Baby is so low that she could feel his head when she checked for dilation. The great thing about that is that during labor he won't have very far to go. We were already expecting a quick labor due to family history, but it was nice to have confirmation that things will probably go fairly fast once they get started.

the holiday weekend...
With the Independence Day weekend Ben has tomorrow off of work. My parents, siblings, and a bunch of our extended family are all going camping up the coast. I obviously can't go (it's 3 hours away) nor do I really want to sleep on the ground at 9 months pregnant!
Ben and I are going to house/dog-sit at my parents' place which is in a rural area just outside of the city we live in. They have better a/c in their house and an awesome pool. It will be like a belated baby-moon (we had to cancel ours that was planned for when I was 14 weeks because of unexpected bleeding). It'll also be an alternative to going away for our 2 year anniversary which is on Tuesday July 7th. Although, I think Ben has something small planned for that evening :)

Have a great weekend everyone and if you think of us- pray that Ben gets a job before his time at this one ends!
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