Saturday, May 28, 2011

Drew's Birth Story

I am not sure really where to start with this story, and I keep typing a start and deciding that isn't "right".  So, I think I will just jump in and fill in details as needed.  I hope it makes sense because I am not running on very much sleep, but Drew is sleeping and I want to get this started before I start forgetting things.  I will warn you, it might be a little TMI or graphic, but not intentionally gross.

Wednesday 5/18/11 - I finally went to bed at about 3 AM, which had turned into my bedtime.  I woke up at 4 AM with some mild cramping and just an odd feeling.  I went to the bathroom and noticed that I was starting to have some mucous happening.  I thought about it, but went back to bed.  AJ's alarm went off at 5:15 AM. I got up and went potty again (this was a fairly normal pattern, sadly).  The mucous had gone bloody and was still very heavy.  I went back to bed and told AJ that I thought he should stay home for the day.  Things just felt a little different and I didn't want him to leave me.  He agreed and so we went back to bed.

I was having a hard time sleeping because I couldn't get comfy.  My SI joints and other bones were really starting to bother me.  I fought with it until about 7:45 AM.  I had been listening to my Hypnobabies tracks on the playlist I had made. It was helping, but I wasn't able to shut off completely.  Then we decided we should at least go get checked out because the mucous was really bloody and still really heavy.  I think I joked at that point that we weren't having a human baby, but an octopus.  So, we headed to the hospital.

We got there about 8:30 AM.  They sent us to triage, and that wasn't a very nice experience.  All the normal triage rooms were full and being used as delivery rooms, so we were put in the official "triage" room - basically the size of a closet that was cold and with a grumpy nurse.  She wouldn't let AJ take the wheelchair into the triage room because it wouldn't fit.  It was miserably painful trying to do everything she wanted with my SI joints totally gone and bone pain starting in my pelvis and femurs.

She hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor and the contraction monitor.  Drew's heart beat was fine, but she couldn't see anything happening on my end, even though I could feel the tightening.  She checked me and decided I was still at 1 cm.  She said since I couldn't walk around to see if that would make the contractions stronger that they were sending me home.  Hmph! So, we headed home.

I spent the rest of the day rotating between my recliner and the shower.  I couldn't get comfy!  I wish I could say it was the contractions, but it wasn't.  I couldn't lay down for most of the day and kept finding positions that took the pressure off my back.  I put my TENS unit on after AJ helped me take a bath in our big tub.  Things were starting to get a little more intense, but not bad.  I spent the next 3 hours curled up in my recliner, trying to use the "Relax" cue from Hypnobabies.  It worked really well.  I still couldn't "Turn off" the way I was supposed to, but the "relax" cue was working.

Around 8:30 PM I called AJ into the bedroom and told him we needed to start timing the contractions again.  Instead of him using the nifty online app I had found for doing that, he had to write his own program for it, that would graph everything for him.  He can't help being a nerd even during labor.  We timed them for about an hour and a half.  We found out that the contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting about 2 minutes each.  Which honestly surprised me. I knew they were lasting longer, but not that long.   

We decided to call the OB on call line.  The doctor on call wasn't our OB, but the second OB in our practice.  We had seen him on the floor when we had gone into triage, so we weren't surprised, but we really wanted our OB.  He said go ahead and head in, but he wasn't officially convinced this was it since he had seen us that morning.  It took us a little while to get moving towards the hospital.  My bones were really painful at this point and the contractions were taking some energy to "relax" through with deep breathing.  We finally left the house around 10:30 PM, and started the 45 minute trek to the hospital.

On the way there I figured out why things were starting to hurt so bad... the batteries in my TENS unit were dying/ almost dead.  We stopped at Walgreen's and bought some more.  I am very thankful we did.  That made a huge difference!  AJ got me to the hospital and we headed back to L&D.  This time it was a much better experience.

The nurses we had were the same ones we had a couple of weeks before when I was having some swelling problems.  They remembered us and all my funky conditions.  We had made them and information packet about EDS this time, and they were so appreciative.  They took it and punched it and put it in my file.  Which was GREAT because everyone who came in was flipping through our information and actually paying attention to what we were telling them. I am so glad I took the time to do that.

This time they put me in an actual room and got me hooked to the monitors.  Again, they couldn't see any contractions on the monitors, but they could see I was having them in person.  Drew's heartbeat was also on the slower side, which was a new one for him.  They were a little concerned, but nothing to bad.  They did a internal exam and I was at 4 cm at 12:30 AM.  They also couldn't feel my water bag.  They asked when my water had broken.  I didn't know that it had.  I had felt a plop at one point, but I was going potty and I thought it was more goop because I didn't keep leaking like everyone said I would.

After this they struggled to get an IV into me.  I didn't want one, but honestly I really needed it.  I was becoming really dehydrated from vomiting all day (my body was purging everything it could to get ready for this baby).  Luckily, Cathy (our main nurse) was wonderful.  She believed me on how bad my veins are, and really took her time trying to find a good one.  She would stop looking for a vein when I was having a contraction and that was a big help.  It did take her 3 sticks to finally get one in, but that was better than expected.  I am really thankful we had also downloaded the "Needles are OK" track from Hypnobabies.  The "OK" cue they taught really helped.  I didn't freak out and I managed to survive something that normally induces sheer panic and a complete shut down on my part.  They did have to come back and draw blood because the anesthesiologist was really curious about something about my clotting.  When the nurses saw how fast I bruised from a simple butterfly blood draw they mildly freaked out.  I warned them!

About 1:30 AM the anesthesiologist came in to talk to us.  He was flipping through the EDS paperwork when he came in.  He knew we thought I couldn't have an epidural, but he wanted to talk to us.  After talking to me and the paperwork he was in total agreement that I couldn't have one.  He was prepping that if they had to do a C-section that I would have to go under general anesthesia.  We agreed to that.  He was actually surprised that I wasn't considered a high-risk and being sent to another hospital that had a better set up in case something went wrong.  We did agree to let him take blood for some clotting factor studies, we were curious if everything was ok on that front.  It was, and I am glad to know I clot ok.

I did start asking for a narcotic in the IV after we talked to the anesthesiologist.  He had been ok with me having one for the bone pain (even though I knew it wouldn't help much or for very long).  Though the nurses told me I couldn't have any.  Drew's heart rate being low made them decided it was a bad idea, which I thought was weird because I had been on codeine for the last two weeks.  I asked them to call the OB, they said they would, but I am not sure that happened.  Needless to say, I never got any.

Cathy came back in at 2:00 AM to check me again.  I was at 8 cm.  This surprised her.  Up until this point I had been ok to be up walking around and using the potty.  Cathy told me I couldn't use the potty anymore because she was really scared this baby was going to be born there.  I was still allowed to move around and I did walk and stand some in the room. I remember telling AJ that I thought I was starting transition, though there was no shaking, sweating, or other normal symptoms.  I was still in a lot of pain in the bones.  We also had to change the contact pads on the TENS.  Every time we took off the monitors it made the pads come off and they were already low on adhesive, but thankfully we had a back up set.  A side note on the TENS - I was really thankful that no one made me take it off.  Everyone asked what it was for and we kept saying my back and SI pain.  The nurses and the doctors had no problem with that.  Yay!

For some reason Cathy decided to check me again at 3:15 AM.  I was at 10 cm.  Again, she was shocked that it had moved that quickly, and I wasn't really showing it externally.  She was really supportive and kept telling me I was doing a good job and was really impressed by my control of it all.  She told us to let her know if I started feeling "pushy".  15 minutes later, I was really starting to feel pushy.  She called the OB, and came into the the room and said, "I have to tell you not to push."  What?  I asked if I had to follow that order, she said she was just required to tell me not to push until the doctor got there, but she couldn't physically make me not push.

The OB showed up at 3:45 AM.  This is when things got frustrating.  This OB didn't know about the joint problems and wanted me to birth in the laying flat position.  Not really a good option.  He threatened a C-section at this point, and I looked at AJ and said, "OK."  I physically could not get into the exact position he wanted.  This was actually the first time I screamed at all, or anything other than "deep breath in, mutter relax, and deep breath out".  It wasn't an in pain scream, I was totally frustrated at this doctor.  I wanted my OB!  Luckily, the nurses helped me find a compromise.  The position still hurt, but it was better than what the OB wanted.  Then the OB said we were in for a lot of pushing because Drew was still really high up in my belly.  They also lost his heartbeat and "had" to put in an cranial monitor.  It didn't work.  They spent the next few minutes looking for a different cable to make it work (what a waste of time).  It also frustrated the OB that the contraction monitor wasn't working.  That actually worked in my favor because he couldn't tell me when to push and I got to dictate when I was pushing. 

Drew was born at 3:54 AM.  Needless to say, we weren't in for a long pushing time.  I did get a second degree tear, but I really think I did that to myself.  The OB said to stop pushing at one point, but I was in the middle of a contraction and a push.  I couldn't turn it off in the middle.  Drew also had a head bleed from the stupid cranial monitor.  Luckily, the nurse taking care of him got it to stop really quickly.  Drew did pee on the OB when he was first born.  I think he was getting him back for sticking that probe in his head (at least that is my take on it, and it would totally fit his in utero personality).

They got both of us cleaned up, checked out fairly quickly, and me stitched up.  Drew took to nursing fairly easily in the recovery room.  That made me very happy.  The other thing that made me happy was that all the nurses kept telling me I did a good job.  Later, Cathy came back in and told me that she was totally amazed with my birthing time.  She was really impressed with my complete control and lack of screaming.  She said the lady next to me had an epidural and was screaming up a storm.  I felt bad for the lady next door.

They took us over to the Mother-Infant side of things and we got settled.  We made it through Thursday being poked and prodded every couple of hours.  Though, I finally got food and that was very nice.  They kept bringing me lots of fruit (which I was craving).  AJ's mom came to visit us around 10 AM, and stayed for a couple of hours.  Unfortunately, his dad had a major cold and couldn't come.  My parents came into town around 3 PM.  They stayed at the hospital for a little bit and then headed to our house.

About 2:30 AM on Friday I finally got a shower, and that helped me to feel better.  I snuggled with Drew all the rest of the night.  I couldn't handle the thought of him sleeping in the plastic bin on his first night.  It broke my heart to see him in there, so I stayed awake all night snuggling.  Though, whenever I tried to sleep the nurses or staff kept coming into the room.  They did my blood work at 4:00 AM and then came back to do Drew's heel stick at 5:00 AM.  It was easier to just give up on sleep than to actually try to get any.  The nurse did say later that day, that the second day they actually try to leave mom and baby alone.

We never got to experience them leaving us alone.  We got discharged at about 3:30 and headed home.  All total, we were in the hospital less than 48 hours which is what we were aiming for.  I don't like hospitals and I was very happy to get out of there.  Though, we did leave a lot faster than the nurses were expecting.  They were rushing around to get our discharge paperwork ready and the birth certificate information.  Luckily, we didn't have anything holding either of those up, especially the fact that we already had a name picked out (apparently, that is a major problem that holds up birth certificate).

Drew slept all the way home.  Then he got lots of grandma snuggles once we were home.  I was very happy to spend his second night at our home.  I think things went a lot smoother being home. It was much more comfortable to learn to nurse in our own home than to have to worry about all the random people walking into our room in the hospital. I was also happy to be back in my bed and take a nice hot shower in our shower (the hospital shower was luke warm and really really tiny).  It was nice to have real food with flavor, too. 

There are somethings that didn't go the way I wanted them to during the birth like not having my OB, the IV, and the tear, but overall it went so much better than I could have ever hoped.  I am so thankful for that.  I am thankful I didn't have back labor, Drew was in the right position (from week 20 on), and that even if I couldn't turn my switch completely off the "relax" cue worked great.  I am thankful that most of my labor took place at home, and that we did make it to the hospital in time for him to be born there.  I am thankful for such wonderful L&D nurses.  They were so encouraging and helpful, which I needed.  I am thankful that my body accomplished something I was scared it wouldn't be able to do.  I am thankful that I didn't have to have an induction.  I am thankful for everyone who was praying for us.  

I am very thankful for the healthy happy baby that came out of all this!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Enjoying the Moment

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
For babies grow up, I've learned, to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.
(-Ruth Hulburt Hamilton)

My mom had this as a cross-stitch in my room as a baby.  I remember seeing it, but not exactly understanding it.  I think I get it now.  I am enjoying every moment I can with this baby boy, because I know he is going to grow up faster than I would ever want.  He has already started to change in this first week, and I am determined to savor every moment of this stage and every other stage of his life.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Welcome Drew!

Introducing Andrew Edward the III.  He was born on May 19th at 3:54 AM.  He was 6lbs 6oz and 18 inches long.  He and I are doing really well, with the normal side effects of a new baby - trying to sleep, learn to nurse, and just getting used to life with him outside instead of inside.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Baby Prep - Bulk Cooking

Bulk Cooking Day 1 - The Supplies

After reading my friend Lauren's post about food prepping for baby Eloise, I remembered that I never posted an update on how filling the freezer was going.  The process went really well and a lot smoother than I thought it would.  There were a couple of bumps, but nothing too horrible.  It went faster than I thought it would, and I feel like food-wise we are fairly ready for this little boy to come.

 Bulk Cooking Day 2 - The Supplies

I did most of the cooking in two days.  The first day I tackled everything on my own, but the second day AJ really stepped in and helped between his own projects.  It probably shouldn't have taken two whole days, but we had to wait a month in between because of our budget.  The first shopping trip cost about $90 for everything in February.  The second trip cost about $110 in March.  Both trips were about half a month's grocery budget for us, thus the reason we split it over two months.  The only down side to having them a month apart was that I was a month further along, and starting to really feel the exhaustion of spending a whole day in the kitchen.  Sadly, I only got a picture of day 2 supplies in the cart.  We were so busy cooking I forgot to take pictures.

I used an edited version of Once A Month Mom's recipes from all over last year.  Her site is WONDERFUL!!! It has the recipes, shopping list, labels for the bags/ food, and cooking instructions all for FREE!  She has even expanded to have GF, Whole Foods, Vegetarian, Diet, and Baby Food menus.  I am totally in love with her site and plan on using it even after Bug arrives, even if we don't do the huge quantities that we are doing now (she has half menus, too).  I did edit her things somewhat. I saved the excel files she puts out, and then cut the meals that we won't eat or can't eat and then combined the shopping list with menus from other months.  That took a bit of work, but it made the shopping so much easier.  I knew if I needed 4lbs of chicken that I would be using 4lbs of chicken.

Pizza Casserole, Pumpkin Pancakes, and Blueberry Vanilla Muffins

Here is a breakdown of what we have ready to be either thawed and eaten, thawed and cooked (on these all the prep work is done, but some of the items don't freeze well once cooked), or cooked frozen:

Breakfast/ Snack Items:
  • Baked Oatmeal - 2 meals/ 12 servings
  • Apple Cinnamon Pancakes - 3 meals/ 12 servings
  • Pumpkin Pancakes - 4 meals/ 16 servings
  • Raspberry Lemon Muffins - 4 bags of 15 muffins
  • Blueberry Vanilla Muffins - 2 bags of 15 muffins
  • Banana Bread Muffins - 3 bags of 15 muffins

Grand Total Number of Meals: 17

    Dinner Items (all meals are designed to serve at least 4):

    • Bacon and Bleu Cheese Burgers - 3 meals
    • Flounder with Spinach and Tomatoes - 4 meals
    • Stuffed Shells - 5 meals
    • Pizza Casserole - 4 meals
    • Apple Pie Pork Chops - 4 meals
    • Lemon Chicken - 3 meals
    • Chicken Pomodoro - 4 meals
    • Shepard's Pie - 2 meals

    Grand Total Number of Meals: 29
    Grand Total Number of Servings: 116

      We have a few other things in the freezer that can be turned into meals fairly easily, but most of those items are things we keep in the freezer all the time - hamburger meat, spaghetti sauce with meat, frozen broccoli, assorted frozen veggies, bacon, hot dogs, and stew meat.  There is also a good selection of chopped up fruit for smoothies - bananas, strawberries, and some medley mixes we picked up at Sam's Club.  We also have a fairly well stocked pantry with the supplies on hand to make taco soup, black beans and rice, tacos, and a lot of the other staples in our world. 

      The Upright Baby Prep Freezer - Fully Stocked

      There are a couple of things that I wish I had been able to stock up on, and depending on energy levels this week and what Bug decides to do about emerging I might still try to do some of them.  They are things like French Toast, more Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips (I have eaten all the ones I made before), and Lactation Cookies.  I really thought there was more I wanted to pre-cook, but looking back at my list I made it seems like I got most of it done, or the things that are left are easy things that we can throw together - Taco Soup, Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potatoes, Spaghetti or Ziti, or any number of beef or pork roast with veggies, or BBQ.

      We did have a couple of missteps in this process.  I didn't use some chicken as fast as I should have (at least for my personal preference), but I still used it in a meal called Cranberry Chicken and Rice. It sounded like a good idea, but when I got it all put together it really was yucky looking.  We still put it in the freezer, but about two weeks later I decided I didn't want to chance it with the meat and it was just too gross looking and I wouldn't eat it even if it was ok.  Well, we pulled them out of the freezer, but then got distracted in the garage and forgot to put them in the trash.  About three days later I went in the garage and it was starting to smell like something had crawled in and died.  Luckily, I saw the bags of food laying on the shelf above the chest freezer and threw them out.  I was very glad they were bagged up in Ziplocks because I can't imagine the mess (or the smell) had they just been wrapped in foil.  The other missteps haven't been nearly as gross.  Most of them consist of eating all of something before I should have (the banana muffins) or choosing not to cook one of the recipes and use the meat for something else.  We did have a few of the veggies go bad before I could cook with them like a butternut squash.  I learned they don't like being in the fridge for a week. 

      All in all I am very happy with this process and the amount of food we have gotten for the amount of money and time spent.  I am happy to know we won't starve (not that we were going to anyways) or just be eating junk for the first few weeks.  It also makes me very happy to walk out in the garage and know that we have a whole freezer of food ready to go.  There are a few things that will still have to be bought when the time comes like buns and fries and other side dishes, but those are a lot easier to tackle or send AJ to deal with when we need them.

      Tuesday, May 3, 2011

      Baby Prep - Outfits for the Bug

      When we found out we were having a little boy I was a tiny bit sad because it seemed at the time that all the cute clothes were for little girls (I have since gotten over this sadness). Which, made me go on a crazy hunt for some fun and cute baby boy things.  I finally found some and I am totally in love with all the cute little boy onesies out there with ties on them. 

      Isn't that just cute and fairly nerdy?  When I showed it to AJ he fell in love.  Then I showed him how much people were charging for said cuteness on etsy.  That caused some grumbling all around.  Which meant it was time to figure out how to make them, that way we could have a steady supply as Bug grows out of previous sizes.

      I found a good tutorial on Crap I've Made's blog.  I had to do some tweaking from the pattern she has up because it was too big to fit onto a newborn onesie.  So away I went at hacking it down to size and then followed the rest of her tutorial.  The best part was she showed how to sew the tie on so that there was no double stitching over any of the parts.

      Here is what I came up with:

      It came out really cute and really tiny.  Then I decided to get a little more creative and try the onesies I had seen with the suspenders on them (because I love boys wearing suspenders - AJ included).

      I am really happy with this one!  I am tempted to try to make a little pair of pants to go with it, but I don't trust my skills at such a project yet.  I figure I can put him in the little newborn jeans we have and it will be adorable.  I think this one might be our coming home outfit, but that depends on if I get one of my last sewing projects done...