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Thursday, January 20, 2011

2010 in Review

Since I haven't been very good at keeping up with my blog, I wanted to segue into writing again with a little review of the past year.  I found this list on one of my favorite blogs http://erinkristine.blogspot.com/ and thought it would be fun to fill out... enjoy!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before? I had a child... I grew him in my body, gave birth to him, and have kept him safe and happy.  I have become a mother to my son in more ways than just having a child.  I have never experienced such an incredible miracle as my son who is now almost nine months old...

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did not make resolutions last year, I made a list and it is as follows:
1.Have a baby - this is a given, but it will be monumental to me so it is number one. CHECK!
2.Love the crap out of my husband - show him how much I love him and not ever take him for granted CHECK!
3.Make a dentist appointment CHECK!
4.Finish Conner's nursery CHECK!
5.Take down the Christmas tree before February CHECK!  day AFTER Christmas this year to be exact
6.Feel pretty at least once every day - needs improvement!
7.Organize the basement CHECK!
8.Finish one more semester of school CHECK!
9.Beat Mario Brothers on the Wii  - requires time that I just don't have
10.Make a cork board from my wine cork collection - again, requires time that I just don't have

3. Did anyone close to you have a child? Yes, two of my good friends that I have known for years both had their babies within a month of Conner.  We try to get them all together at least once a month.  My sister in law is pregnant due in July 2011, and my good friend Kelly is due Valentine's day.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Jessica Binder, a woman of many talents, beauty, grace, and kindness passed away too young this year.  Jessica, you are missed

5. Where did you travel?  I went to St. Paul a few times to visit my mom and we took a family weekend to Watertown for our annual Thanksgiving celebration with Dave's side of the family.  Conner made it out both times!

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?  A social life.  I feel I have neglected many of my good friends due to my life changing so drastically.  I am looking for balance in 2011.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory? May 4-6, especially the 6th.  The day my son was born.  Also, July 20th the day I returned to work after having the longest break ever since joining the workforce. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? My son.  He is happy and healthy - thriving actually - and is growing and learning so fast that I can't help but hope that I had something to do with it all.

9. What was your biggest failure? I wouldn't really consider this a failure, more of a disappointment, but I received my first "C" grade for a language class I took last semester.  I was still learning how to manage my time.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I had major surgery, a cesarian section.  Even though I followed all the lists and rules and mantras, I still ended up exacty where I didn't want to be.  Regardless, my son was perfect and I healed very quickly.

11. What was the best thing you bought? The best thing I bought would have been my elyptical.  I gained 50+ pounds pregnant with Conner and after having him I needed to feel normal again.  I worked really hard and was able to lose all but three pounds.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Pretty sure I have the best husband on the planet.  He is patient and kind and thoughtful and he knows me better than I know myself.  He was my biggest support during my pregnancy, after Conner was born, through my bouts of anxiety and anger, and losing my job.  He is a wonderful man who has been the most wonderful husband.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Oh, there are a few people that I feel sad for but aren't important enough to me to take the time to complain about...

14. Where did most of your money go? Honestly, our savings account.  We made sure to make our house a home before our son came so we spnd a lot of time at home together as a family.  Otherwise, the obvious - morgage, heating bills, car, gas, groceries, baby clothers, diapers, baby clothes, baby clothes...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?  A few things - my first glass of wine afte my son was born.  That was a pretty big deal even though I fell asleep with it in my hands.  But even more so than that, I was SO excited for Conner and I wake up every morning looking forward to my time with him because I am witnessing him develop and grow and learn right before my eyes.  There is nothing like having your child look up at you with his big blue eyes, smile, and say, "mama!". 

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?   Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Home.  Everytime I hear this, I just want to bbear hug my guys

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder?b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?  a) happier!  I am not pregnant, I have my kid and he's awesome, and I really have no complaints... none at all.  b)  I wouldn't say thinner or fatter, but maybe just different.  After you have a baby - you may weigh the same as you did before you bacame pregnant but let's just say things jsut aren't the same :) I will go with curvier and with stronger arms c) richer, definately richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? weeeeeeeeeell, there are a few things that come to mind.  I think one in particular would be writing on this blog.  Otherwise, I had a pretty full year.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Cleaning, laundry, daily boring stuff that doesn't matter at the end of the day and only takes away from time with Conner.  I worried a lot this year too.  I have been trying to teach myself to relax and roll with the punches, but I worry all the time.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?  I spent Christmas this year at home with Dave and Conner and the puppies.  We had my side over and it was chaotic and crazy and a lot of fun.  It was Conner's first Christmas, so we absolutely made the most of it for his sake.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?  more and more and more every single day.  I love you Conner...

22. What was your favorite TV program?  Breaking Bad for sure.. and Dexter.  I am going to admit this only once, I also really get into the Bachelor

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Hate is such a strong word.  I think there are definately people that I have chosen to omit from my life for personal reasons, but I wouldn't say I hate anyone.

24. What was the best book you read? Caring for Your Baby and Young Child - Great read, really

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?  The Black Keys, Edward Sharpe, Florence and the Machine

26. What did you want and get? A perfect baby boy, a new job, a Kitchen Aid Mixer who I refer to as Oliver.
27. What did you want and not get? Darn it, that "C" grade is hunting me again...

28. What was your favorite film of this year? If any good movies came out this year, I didn't see any

 29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? What DID I do on my birthday?  I know I turned 29, so that was just great.  I am pretty sure my husband did something awesome for me...

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?  I would have taken more time away from work after Conner was born.  I realized when I went back that the three months we had together was spent just getting to know each other and I would have loved to take more time to really enjoy my little guy.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?  This question cracks me up... anyone that knows me knows that I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl and the only reason I look somewhat stylish when I leave the house is only thanks to my extensive scarf collection.

33. What kept you sane? Conner sleeping through the night, taking long walks in the fall with Conner in the stroller, grocery shopping, loud music, and hugs.  Lots and lots of hugs.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I have to say I jumped right on the Lohan hate wagon... otherwise, not really worth my time.  I did however enjoy many episodes of the Real Housewives, especially the New Jersey reunion show.  I think I actually got drunk that night

35. What political issue stirred you the most? the story that shook me to my core was an article I read about mandatory female sterilization.  That a country could do such a thing is beyond disturbing.
http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/this-woman-was-forced-to-be-sterilized-what-would-you-do-2413398/

36. Who did you miss?  I miss some of my good friends who have drifted away after too many unanswered phone calls or cancelled plans.  I miss you Leah and Liz and Jackie and Katie and Heidi and Kelly... to all my friends that have probably given up on me.  I am not a lost cause yet... there was most likely a crying baby and an absent mind when you rang.

37. Who was the best new person you met? Well, Conner obviously!  I can't forget Zooey and Isaac either.  I also met a new friend in my lamaze who had her daughter, Addison, the same day Conner was born.  I haen't me Addison yet, but hope to soon. 

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.  Life truly is what you make of it. I have really learned that I am responsible for my own happiness.  I have learned that things happen for a reason and not everything will go as planned and that is OK.  I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was and that I can indeed carry around a 23 pound baby while feeding him his bottle, loading the dishwaher, checking the stove to make sure dinner is not boiling over, and singing all about it the enire time...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Conner's Birth Story Part 2

So I left off explaining how Conner was taken within our first hour together for some additional testing. We were just getting settled into our new room, Conner was in my arms, and I was just staring at him. He had his eyes closed and was pressed up against my bare skin. He was breathing so fast. He didn't appear to be any pain, just very tired. I remember thinking that he has to be fine; he just has to be... there is no other option. I was just so exhausted and relieved that nothing else mattered except for that moment between me and my new son.

Within 30 minutes, there was a knock on my door and a nurse walked in. She took Conner out of my arms, put him in his bassinet, and wheeled him away. I watched my son leave the room without knowing when I would be able to hold him again. We had no idea what was going on and if he was in any trouble. We were so worried. I just remember talking to Dave and trying to make sense of Conner's breathing. I tried to get some sleep as Dave assured me that everything was going to be fine and Conner would be back soon. I fell asleep for a few hours and woke up to another nurse wanting to come in to talk to me about Conner and check my incision. She basically explained that they took some x-rays and blood tests, and that he would be held in the Special Care nursery overnight. The pediatrician that was present at his delivery would come and talk to us as soon as the x-rays had been read. We were told we could go and see him and we were warned that he would be covered in monitors and wires, and that his head would be under an oxygen mask. We were warned that it may be a little scary seeing him like that and to prepare ourselves.

We arrived at the nursery only to see our son exactly as described. He was in a bassinet under a warming light with wires stuck all over him monitoring his heart rate, O2 absorption, and breathing rate. He was receiving fluids through an IV and his head was under an oxygen mask. I was so sad... that is the only word. I was so worried and sad and felt an indescribable pull towards him that I could not satisfy. He was sound asleep and so little.

The doctor that was present at his birth was reading the x-ray and came to talk to us shortly after we went into visit Conner. He informed us that Conner was diagnosed with a pneumothorax. When he took his first breath, it was so strong that it punctured a small hole into his lung causing an air pocket to form in between his lung and the tissue outside his lung restricting his breathing capacity. They had additional concerns also. They were worried that because of the condition, he was not absorbing enough oxygen, that he would not be able to breastfeed as he would not be able to master the breathe suck swallow instinct as he was struggling to breathe, and that he may develop an infection. We were shocked and had so many questions. We were told that the doctor could go in with a special needle and clear the air that had accumulated and that would help improve his oxygen intake and breathing capacity. It would be up to Conner to regulate his breathing and up to the antibiotics to fight any infection. We approved the procedure as we were so anxious to have him healthy and back into our arms.

Conner made it through the procedure and was held in the NICU overnight. He would receive new blood tests and x-rays in the morning and we were told to get some sleep. I have never felt so guilty and torn when I left him behind. They told me that for him to stay strong I had to stay strong and that I had more work to do by producing colostrum and milk for him to regain his strength. I needed to rest and eat. We went back to the room where I was taught how to use the breast pump and took my next round of medication. My mother in law stopped by with food for Dave and I just couldn't face her. I was so sad and so worried and so confused by the day in general that I just didn't have any energy for anyone. She left behind a photo album that she had made of the pictures she took moments after Conner's birth and when I looked at them I broke down. I completely lost it and cried harder than I ever have in my entire life. I truly thought that I could not handle what had been handed to me. I doubted my strength and my ability to deal with the situation. Dave just held me and let me cry and told me that we would get through it and that Conner was going to be fine. I really don't remember the rest of the night. The nurses gave me a sleeping aid and I was out until the next morning.

The next day was especially hard for me. I woke up with this sense of urgency that I could feel in my bones but I was in so much pain that I was moving slower than I ever had in my entire life. All I wanted to do was spend time with Conner so I made it out of bed, ate my breakfast, pumped, and bee lined for the nursery. When I got there I felt instant relief. Conner was sleeping peacefully on his tummy and the room was dark and quiet. I just sat there staring at him. Dave was off spending time with his dad who had made a four hour trip to visit us. He was trying to keep visitors at bay so I could focus on Conner. I sat there for about an hour just staring and staring. A nurse came by shortly after to check his vitals and asked me if I would like to hold him. I instantly lit up and of course was thrilled. I sat there for two hours straight with him stroking his head, talking in his ear telling him of all the things we have to look forward together and kissing his cheek. The nurses gave me my privacy and only checked on us when necessary. It was a wonderful moment for us... we got a chance to bond a little and he was able to hear my voice and know I was there for him. I left him to sleep that night knowing that things were going to get better. The doctor came in and informed me that his pneumothorax had disappeared completely, his x-rays showed increased lung function, his O2 absorption was improving and his blood tests looked great. They decided to put him on antibiotics as a proactive measure to fend off any infection that may creep up. They said their biggest worry was pneumonia as fluid could have collected in his lung as a result of the puncture. We were not out of the woods yet. Conner was still on an IV, not breastfeeding, under an oxygen mask and hooked up to the monitors. He would stay in the nursery for at least two more days.

When I got back to my room Friday night I was feeling better. I had taken the doctor's update as good news and as improvement so I was feeling optimistic and excited. I remember spending a lot of time on the phone with my mother in law updating her on the situation and just hearing myself say all the improvements out loud really made it less scary. I slept well again knowing I had a long day ahead of me tomorrow. Dave's brother and sisters were coming to visit and I would be able to feed Conner.

Saturday was great. I woke up feeling better. I was able to take a shower and walk around with a little more strength. I could get in and out of bed easier and was feeling less pain. My appetite had come back and I even put on a little make up. I ate, pumped, and went down to see Conner. He was wide awake this time and he was hungry. The nurses said that he was ready to start eating but they were still worried that he was breathing too fast and he still would not be able to master the suck swallow breathe reflex. He would need to breastfeed and they were considering a feeding tube. The tube would be inserted into his nose and the food would be delivered via syringe. This for me was especially hard because I was aching to feed him myself and I knew the breast milk would benefit him immensely. I complied because it was what was best for Conner. We left him for a bit to allow the doctor to insert the tube and came back to a hungry baby. I was allowed to feed him myself and sat with him in my arms slowly delivering his nourishment through a tube. It was tough and he was not connecting the hunger to the food in his belly so it took awhile for him to realize he was full. It all worked out for the best though and in no time he was sleeping in my arms like an angel. Dave's family came into town to see Conner, so they all stopped down later to take a peek. I really didn't want to pass him around to everyone yet so I held him while everyone stood around me and got a chance to see him. It was a good day. I went to bed that night sad still but with hope in my heart.



Sunday was my favorite day. I woke up very early excited that it was my first mothers day and I was told that the antibiotics were being discontinued and the feeding tube was coming out. I would be able to breastfeed him. I wanted to make this day especially memorable so I called my mother in law and my mother and asked them if they could make time to come to the hospital. As my mother's day gift to them, I wanted them to each be able to hold Conner. After I breastfed him for the first time that day, Dave's mom finally got to hold him. She was so thrilled that she was able to do that it really made her feel like a real grandma. She had really been looking forward to that moment. My mom and sister were able to come and hold him too. It was a great day because I was able to see Conner in a healthy light and I was able to spend time with the two moms that I love. The rest of the day is a blur, but I just remember sitting there with him in my arms feeding on exactly what he needed to gain his strength and I finally felt that crazy loving bond that only a mom can feel for her child.



Monday was our last day. Conner had fully recovered in record time and we were told it would be our last day. I went through all the discharge information as soon as I could to get myself all straightened out so I could focus on getting Conner home. The day was nuts. I was back and forth with getting ready to go home, breastfeeding, and talking to the nurses and doctors about what needed to get done before we could leave. We were thankful for all the hospital staff's work, but we were so anxious to just be home. The pediatrician on call that day came in to update us on our son and told us he had one last hurdle to jump then he would be in the clear. We had opted to have Conner circumcised and if he made it through the procedure he would be given the green light to go home. Turns out my little man is a champ and made it through with flying colors. We were able to take him back to our room for the first time since he had been born and we all just took a nap together. Later, we went back to the nursery for pictures, a bath, and some last minute advice. I mostly just remember the feeling I had of pure elation and excitement that I was finally able to bring my son home.

At about 4pm we loaded up the car strapped Conner in and made our way home. We made our way into our house as a new family one member bigger and a hell of a lot stronger. It was a long road home but we made it safe and sound.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Love Him...

Conner's Birth Story

Conner has been in this world for four weeks and six days. I am finally giving myself the opportunity to sit down and write the story of how he made his miraculous entrance. It was a rough ride, so readers beware...I do not want to scare anyone.

It was Monday, May 3rd. Dave and I went in for our 42 week ultrasound very anxious and hopeful that we would receive good news and things would start happening. He and I had been trying everything the past two weeks to get the ball rolling. I was becoming very uncomfortable, Conner was taking up a lot of space, I was retaining so much water I could not even make a fist, and I was exhausted. I was just looking forward to my son. We tried walking every night, moving around on an exercise ball, nipple stimulation, sex, raspberry tea, lunges, up and down the stairs - you name it we tried it. I was feeling what I thought at the time were contractions, but they were always mostly random, mostly painless, and would drop off by the time I woke up. So at that 42 week appointment, Dave and I were asked when we wanted to start induction as I was full term and had to be induced no later than the 6th. We were advised that it can be a slow process that can last a few days so we decided to make our admission into the hospital for the next day. We were in shock. Not only had we wanted to avoid induction at all costs, but we were actually making plans to walk into the hospital to have our son. So we went home. We packed our bags, cleaned the house, and picked fresh flowers so the house would smell good. I did all the laundry and made sure everything was ready for the arrival home of Conner. Really, we were both on such edge that if we didn't have these things to do we would have gone insane.

Tuesday came - we had our scheduled time to arrive at the hospital at 8am. We called, as requested, two hours in advance to make sure there was a birthing room available. Turned out there was not. We were devastated. We had worked up so much anticipation and were so let down. We were told to come in ten hours later at 6pm. So we waited... I slept and watched Bones on Netflix, and Dave went upstairs for a nap. Finally 4:30 rolled around and we decided to get ready, go grab a bite to eat, and make our way to the hospital. We sat down at Boston's for some pizza and talked about what we thought would happen. Went through our birth plan and discussed what was on our minds. Finally the time came to get to the hospital so off we went.

We arrived and were greeted with a huge birthing room equipped with a tub, an exercise ball, special bed, and all the equipment that goes along with having a baby. I remember staring at the bassinet that they place the baby in after he is born and thinking to myself, "my son will be in there". I was so happy. Once we were admitted, had the paperwork filled out and had met our nurse, we started the induction process. The midwife came in and checked my cervix which at this point had dilated to about a fingertip and I had not effaced at all. She gave me a vaginal suppository that was supposed to help along the process and I was told I could not get up for about a half hour. It was about 9pm at this point. Six hours went by - Dave and I talked, watched TV, and tried to stay positive as much as possible. We were both pretty awake as it is so hard to sleep in a hospital. Every hour you have nurses coming in and checking your BP, the baby's heart rate, my contractions, so I was up all night. At 3am the midwife came back to check my cervix again. No movement. We opted for another dose. I was so disappointed. I was not feeling anything, I was not contracting, and I was getting frustrated.

Another six hours went by and the midwives had a shift change. The new midwife came in at 10am and we decided to try a different vaginal suppository that was known to be a bit stronger. She checked my cervix and again nothing had changed. I felt like I was doing something wrong, that my body was failing me - and I started to get down on myself. I feared the worst and was beginning to lose sight of the goal. I was unable to move around a lot. I was strapped to the monitors, which was something I wanted to avoid from the beginning, but they had to keep an eye on Conner's heart rate, so I complied. I was able to wear my own clothes though, so that helped. It was a very busy day in the maternity ward at the hospital I was in. All the birthing rooms were filled and my midwife was assisting in another induction and another birth. Because I was not progressing into labor, I barely was attended to by her - not her fault at all, she was just busy. Finally after one more dose at about 2pm on Wednesday May fifth, my water broke. I was laying in bed trying to sleep and I felt a painful pop and a small gush. I remember thinking that I had never felt that feeling before and I realized what had happened. Dave was sleeping on a cot next to me and I woke him up whispering loudly, "My water broke! My water broke!” It took a few minutes for it to register for him because at this point he was a bit sleep deprived, but we started to get excited. I called in the nurse, she verified it, and I was immediately put into a gown, strapped back in, and told that things should start moving pretty soon.

I remember the next 24 hours so clearly that I almost don't want to write it down.

My contractions started almost immediately after my water broke. Dave was so ready and excited that I was in labor; he was on top of everything. Asking what I needed, being there to support me. The first two hours were so amazing. I was finally feeling pain and contracting almost every two minutes for about a minute straight. The contractions became increasingly more painful. I remember a strong feeling of intense pressure on my pelvic floor and there was no relief. The best I could do was to hang my arms on Dave's shoulders and rock back and forth with my knees bent, like we were slow dancing. After about two hours I tried different positions. I was on the bed on my knees, I sat on the ball with my chest on the bed, I even tried sitting on the toilet to see if that would provide any relief - it did not. My mother in law came to check on me and was there for about an hour of my contractions. She was a great help as well, and held my hand through some bad ones. Finally I called my sister, who I needed to have there, and she came when things started to really get intense. By this time I had been contracting about every minute and a half for as long as two minutes and was having a really hard time with the pain. I was crying and groaning - I could not find anything to relieve the pain.

Six hours of this had gone by and I decided that I wanted to try the birthing tub. I remember that I could not get comfortable and the pain was so intense while sitting down that the water was not helping at all like I thought it would. My senses would not let it in as my entire body was focusing on the pain. I continued to breathe through and relax my body as much as I could. I remember feeling like I was being torn in two and at the same time trying to let my body be calm and work through the contractions. Every time one would hit I pictured my baby coming down, my cervix dilating, my son being born, and these things inspired me and helped me work through it. I remember I had a picture of my backyard taken a few years ago that I used as my focus point for the pain. Finally, I broke. I looked at my husband and cried that I could not do it anymore. I wanted something to take the edge off. I opted for an IV narcotic. My birth plan was so disrupted by this point and I was in so much pain, I felt I had no choice.

Once the medication hit, I was not feeling any comfort. The only thing it allowed me to do was pass out between contractions. They were still coming about every minute to a minute and a half and were lasting some as long as three minutes. Dave and my sister told me that I would snore while I was passed out and talk in my sleep - my body was so exhausted that it had no choice but to shut down whenever it could. I went through this pattern for another two hours - sleep, contraction, sleep, contraction. I was in the bed the entire time and when they would hit it was so painful that I could not breathe or move. Every muscle in my body tensed up and I was inconsolable. I finally decided that I needed to use the bathroom and took advantage of the time between contractions to do so. I had one while trying to get up, one on the way to the bathroom, and three while I was in there. When I finally made it back into the room, I looked at my husband and told him that I wanted to be checked for dilation. The midwife quickly checked and told me that I had effaced 100% but was still only a fingertip dilated. I was broken at this point. I could not believe that after ten hours of full on labor that my body was still not cooperating. That was when I decided that I just could not handle the pain any longer and asked for the epidural.

Within a half hour of my request the anesthesiologist was in the room prepping me for the medication. I remember being so relieved that I just broke down and sobbed when she came in the room. I knew relief was coming and that I had made the best choice for myself. Within ten minutes of receiving the meds, I was laying down comfortably, feeling only pressure when I had a contraction, and smiling at my husband. I felt like I had fought a war. I was not going to let myself think about the decision I had just made at that point. I had said all along through my pregnancy that an epidural was not what I wanted, but where I was at that moment, nothing mattered except for the rest I was about to allow myself. Everyone was relieved. My mom and mother in law had waited out the entire evening in the waiting room and were so happy to hear that I was OK. My sister and husband who had battled the past ten hours with me finally had a chance to process what they had just witnessed, get some air, some food, and some rest. It was about midnight at this point and my room was full of hope and expectation. I was able to get some rest and I slept for about three hours while the nurse kept a close watch on my contractions and Conner's heart rate. The midwife came in at about 4am to check my cervix again. At this point I had actually dilated 4cm and had bleeding which I was thrilled about. I started to think about the next step and became so excited that I was going to start pushing, that Conner would soon be here, and that this would all be over.

Then, BAM... stall. At 6am I had not dilated anymore than I had at 3am and my contractions were causing a concern as they were very long and close together and Conner's heart rate was dropping during each one. The midwife kept a close eye and was very hesitant to introduce Pitocin as the contractions may become a danger to Conner. For about two more hours, my monitor was watched closely as the contractions came and went. With each one, the room became silent and the looks on the faces of the medical staff became worried. My sister was watching the monitor like a hawk and making sure that I was OK, and that I was not worrying myself. Dave was talking every one through with the nurse and the concern mounted. Again, there was shift change with the midwives and once the new midwife was briefed with my situation she swooped in and took over.

Once she looked over all the details of my induction and labor, took in the results of the monitor and the state we were in, things moved very fast. She told me that the contractions were causing distress for Conner and with each one his heart rate was dropping. Her prediction was that he was not descending at all and was causing my labor to stall, he could be too big for a vaginal delivery, he was in distress, and that I was in labor for too long. She checked my cervix and found that Conner was still very high up and I had not dilated any more. She offered the option of Pitocin but stressed that it would cause unknown harm to the baby. She looked me right in the eye and suggested that a cesarean section was the safest way to deliver my son.

I looked at Dave and began to cry realizing that not only was my worst fear coming true, but that I had to make the best decision for Conner and for myself. We decided to go ahead with the surgery. Within minutes, my birthing room was flooded with nurses, doctors, and information given to me at warp speed. I was told they were going to treat the procedure as routine and not as an emergency. I was given a number of drugs to help with the pain, my hair was tied back, my husband was given a pair of scrubs and I was wheeled away within minutes to the surgical room. In the room I was then transferred to the "table" as they call it. I was completely numb from the neck down and could feel nothing. They strapped my arms down so I looked as if I was placed on a cross and the procedure began. I was terrified through the entire thing. Dave was right there with me, holding my hand and talking to me about all the wonderful times we were going to have with our new son. He kept me focused on something other than the fear and gave me a safe place to go in my mind. In the meantime, I could feel lots of pressure. I was told that the incision would be made right above my pubic bone, Conner's head would be delivered first and then his body would be pushed out from my chest down. I could feel the doctors pushing down on me to deliver his body. The pressure was painful but lasted only about three minutes... then I heard it.

Conner's first cry was so loud that my family heard him from in the hall. Dave said to me that my son had been born and to listen to that cry. We both started to cry and I felt a sense of peace rush over me. He was alive, crying, and HUGE! Everyone in the room was immediately commenting on his size... 9 pounds 2 ounces. He just looked big! He was wailing and I could not have been happier. After they cleaned him up they handed him to me and I was able to hold my son for the first time. I just remember closing my eyes and saying a prayer thanking God. Conner was screaming in my ear and letting me know that he was there to stay.  Turns out that the reason that he was not descending and that his heart rate was dropping was the cord was around his neck twice.  With each contraction, the cord became too entangled stopping blood flow from reaching him - thus the drop.  He also had an enormous head (thanks to my side of the family) and it would have been an almost impossible feat to have him vaginally.  Luckily though, he was a big boy and his size and strengh helped him survive against the difficult birth that he had to endure.  Conner was born at 10:16 am May 6th at 9 pounds 2 ounces at a length of 22 inches.  He has his father's eyes, hands, and feet and my nose.  He was a perfect baby...

They took him back shortly after that and I was stitched up and moved back to the birthing room. The entire procedure lasted about 30 minutes and I was able to sit up in bed and have visitors right away. First my mother in law came in with tears in her eyes telling me my son was perfect. Then my father, mother, sister and brother visited, and finally my husband and son. I was able to breastfeed right away and Conner latched on with no problems. This was the moment I had been envisioning in my mind for months. That first skin to skin contact with my little man. He was hungry and I was so relieved to have him safely in my arms. Nothing in my life will ever compare to that moment.

It was over. I was in recovery, my son was born and healthy, and we were being moved into an overnight room to spend time together, Dave and I, getting to know our little boy. Things were right in the world... Dave had mentioned to me that the pediatrician was having a few concerns that Conner's breathing was a little fast and that we were supposed to keep an eye on him. I remember sitting up in my hospital bed, proudly holding my son while my husband slept, and watching him breathe in and out and in and out... not knowing that the entire time he was struggling. Within the first hour of my son's life and our first crucial moments together to bond, I was told that he required additional medical attention and was whisked away in his bassinet for blood tests and x-rays.

I will tell the rest of the story in my next blog post... Conner is upstairs and he is hungry.

Peace,
Pinner

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Preggo Update - Week 42

Conner:

Size - Conner is about 21 inches long and weighs a little over 8 pounds at 42 weeks!

Activity – We had our 41 week non stress test Friday and things were fine. Conner is still very active and heart rate is healthy. He is very active at night and responds right away to my touch. I can feel him practicing breathing he is a lot lower even this week than last.

Labor signs – My contractions are really consistent and strong every night starting at about 6pm until I fall asleep. Dave and I have been timing them and they have been pretty regular. Thursday night we were convinced that we were in labor. We had steady contractions for four hours, nine minutes apart. We decided to get some sleep as it was about 3:30 am and when we woke up the contractions had ended. It has been that way every night for the past four or five days. The contractions are getting a little stronger each night but taper off as I get ready for bed. I have faith that every contraction is doing some good and will make my eventual labor easier.

Me:
Size – I measured 42 cm when I was last in to see the midwives. I am proudly boasting the belly of a 42 week pregnancy. I have been fortunate to have enough energy to stay in pretty decent shape. I don’t look like Giselle or anything, but I have faith that it will come off easily after Conner is born.

What I am wearing – whatever… clothes. I am so unconcerned with this topic. I just want to start wearing my dresses again.

Strange stuff – Nothing really strange to report this week. I have been pretending that I am not nine days overdue and that I am just going on with everyday life. I am trying really hard to keep the house as perfect as possible so that when I do leave and come home from the hospital I can come home to a clean house and clean laundry and everything all set for a new baby and as little stress as possible. I am a clean freak and a bit of a perfectionist, so if I can make my life easier by being proactive, that benefits all of us.

Food cravings – water, water, water… I am always so thirsty!

Status of belly button – a outie

What I miss – it is beautiful outside and I really miss sitting outside at night with some candles, a good book, and a glass of wine. I cannot wait for the day I can do that.

In General:
Best movement this week – He is moving a lot, so that is really all I can hope for!

Most looking forward to – Having my son in my arms. I am so anxious I can barely stand it.

Words to live by – Keep an open mind. I started this pregnancy thinking that no matter what I was going to fight for exactly what I wanted as far as the birth goes and that was that. Now that I am so overdue and so unsure of how things are going to work out I have had to make decisions about and have had to consider things that at the beginning I never would have considered. Obviously keeping Conner’s best interest in mind, I have had to rethink things such as natural and medical induction, medications, pain therapy, and ultrasounds. I originally thought that I would give a great natural birth at 4o weeks without any pain medication and without any medical intervention. Now that I have exactly six days to have this baby before they dose me with Pitocin I have had to reconsider some things. Nothing goes exactly the way you think it will and it is naive to think otherwise; that I have learned. Now I am looking at having my membranes stripped, taking hormones to jumpstart contractions and am on my fourth ultrasound since my second trimester. I cannot say that I am thrilled about it and I know I still have a choice in everything I do, but I am trying to do things the best way possible to make things as easy as possible for both Conner and I.

Milestones – Well, no matter what, I will have Conner in my arms in no more than five days. Wish me luck…

Peace,
Pinner

Monday, April 26, 2010

Preggo Update - Week 41

Conner:

Size - Conner is about 21 inches long and weighs apx. 7.5 to 8 pounds at 41 weeks!

Activity – Conner has taken semi permanent residence on top of my bladder and is causing some serious pressure that I am not used to feeling. All these new things are good though, they mean we are closer…

Labor signs – Well my hypersensitivity is driving me nuts. I have been on the verge of tears for the past few days and am trying with all my might to not focus on being in labor (or wishing I was). Last night every move I made caused a contraction and I got about 3 hours of sleep. They are not really painful though, which is frustrating because I was under the impression that they should be? My contractions feel like I am being squeezed and it literally takes my breath away. It is mostly in the front and does not feel like some women describe as cramps or back pain. I feel like I am being squeezed by a boa constrictor.

Oh come on little man! You are all done… we are just patiently, or not so much, waiting for your arrival. You are confusing us and making us a little crabby. We just really want to meet you!

Me:
Size – I am the same. I have been getting these ridiculous e-mails from random websites that I signed up for weekly updates on that I feel I need to rant about. A few came the day after my due date that gave me immediate advice on “How to lose the pregnancy weight and get into that two piece by July! “. Ew. I was pretty annoyed by that. So, I am supposed to carry a baby for 10+ months, deliver that baby, recover from delivering that baby while breast feeding and consuming an extra 300+ calories a day, exercise, diet, and have a bikini goal by July? Wow… if only I had known that motherhood would be so difficult! I am not a Kardashian nor am I an ex playboy bunny in desperate need of attention, so much so that I need to fit into a size 6 within a ridiculous, not to mention unhealthy, amount of time. I will not be appearing on the cover of a tabloid in said bikini so I do not appreciate the pressure. I will feel foreign enough in my postpartum body, I do not need my e-mail service to inform me of my upcoming challenges… thank you very much!

What I am wearing – now that I am feeling more and more comfortable in my PJ’s I have actually begun to mix and match them, as fashionably as possible, with each other. I spent a whopping sixteen dollars on a new pair of yoga pants that I really like and they actually are acceptable to wear in public and match some of my maternity tops and jewelry… yay for comfort!

Strange stuff – At this point everything is strange and new to me. I feel new sensations all the time and am learning things that I am grateful to hear. My sister has been so wonderful in keeping it real for me. She had her son almost a year ago (a year already! WOW…) and she has been a godsend with advice and honest sisterly tips that no one else may be comfortable telling me. She keeps it real and makes sure I know what I am in for. She calls me all the time reminding me to do this and to prepare for that and I love it because without her I would be so lost. Love you Kate!!!

Food cravings – lemon ice from Culvers with fresh raspberries. Enough said!

Status of belly button – a outie

What I miss – things are so close now that I am really not missing anything, I am focusing on looking forward to things and seeing how my life will change with Conner and not being pregnant.

In General:
Best movement this week - Well, from about 6pm pretty much through the night Conner is up and at ‘em and is super active. He definitely has his days and nights mixed up so that’s going to be a challenge for us once he arrives.

Most looking forward to – Do I even need to write anything here? Obviously I am looking forward to meeting my Conner and going into labor and not having to get up at 6am every day for work even though I could sleep all day… I cannot wait for the next part of my life to begin… enough of this waiting!

Words to live by – Stay busy! Try as hard as you can to not focus on the fact that you are late and have not given birth and that you feel like you are about to explode from baby and emotion and frustration. I have chosen literature as my escape from reality – even though it seems that every book I pick up has something to do with pregnancy and babies. I have read an entire paper bag full of books… I know they all fit into a paper bag because it is sitting by my front door waiting to be donated. It equals about 40 books in total from the past 4 months. That is an average of 1 book every three days. So I have been trying really hard to keep my mind off of things. I also work every day, take walks with Dave and the dogs, help Dave with dinner, keep the house clean, laundry, hang out with my sister and my nephew, garden as much as I can, and go to my doctor’s appointments. I am doing OK, I could be doing more, but that would require actually getting dressed and putting on makeup so that is out of the question.

Milestones - I have not gone completely insane yet… so I think that is an accomplishment. I haven’t started to cry too much and I can keep my mind on task most of the time. I am to the point now where I understand that my son will be a late arrival and I just have to deal with it. I also understand that I have every right to complain and whine about once in awhile because I can and it makes me feel better… soon I will have my son… soon.

Peace,
Pinner

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Preggo Update - Week 40

Conner:

Size - Conner is about 21 inches long and weighs apx. 7.5 to 8 pounds at 40 weeks!

Activity – I think Conner has finally dropped a little and is still active as ever. He is really quiet in the mornings and early afternoons and starts moving around in there a lot in the late afternoons and evenings. At night, after dinner and our daily walk, he is so active – more active than he ever has been… he must like the activity.

Labor signs – As far as this goes, it has been hit or miss, mostly miss. I have been having contractions every night, all night, for about a week. I get them during the day too, but they are much stronger and longer in the evenings. On Sunday night, I had a few in a row that made me think that that was it, but they stopped. It felt awesome… as I am so anxious. It felt like a tightening that wrapped around my belly into my back. I had three in fifteen minutes, they painful ones stopped, and that was it for the night. I was a little disappointed.

As far as Conner goes he is ready to go! These last few days are mostly him soaking up as many nutrients as he can to continue to be healthy outside of the womb, growing a little more, and developing that genius brain that he inherited from his parents. He is the son now that he will be when I hold him in my arms… soon.

Me:
Size – Same size for me. I measured at 40cm last week at my midwife appointment, which is right on task for my due date. I was lucky to not get too enormous and I stayed on track size wise throughout my pregnancy. Now I look back and realize how much I have changed physically and it is a little daunting knowing it will be an equally difficult journey to get back to the woman that I was before my pregnancy. I am looking forward mostly to losing the water weight that I have been carrying around. I really miss my hands and feet and ankles and face. I know that may sound strange, but these things are unrecognizable to me and I liked what I looked like, and I miss it. Soon… very soon…

What I am wearing – I have pretty much been sticking to whatever isn’t too tight on me at this point. I have not actually purchased anything new in weeks, knowing that it would be pointless and silly to buy for a body I won’t be in soon. I did have a bit of a break today though and browsed through the sundresses on a few of my favorite websites. It felt great to not have to specify “maternity” in my search. I really am looking forward to summer dresses… they are my favorite thing. You can wear them with confidence knowing that they will do their best to cover anything up that you may be nervous about. I currently own about ten sundresses from mini to maxi, and cannot wait to buy more. I am just excited to be comfortable again!

Strange stuff – I have nothing really to repot here except that I am feeling strange all the time and am still hypersensitive to anything going on that I haven’t felt before. I am so anxious for labor to begin that I think about constantly. I know that I need to occupy my mind with other things, and I try, but it has been a challenge. Everyone keeps telling me that once I stop worrying and thinking about it so much, it will just happen… but that leads me to thinking about not thinking about it and then I am right back to where I started. It has been kind of funny too, because I purposefully stopped reading baby books and watching birth videos on YouTube… but it seems I cannot get away. I have been averaging about 2-3 novels a week – in an attempt to distract myself – and it seems that no matter what book I choose, pregnancy and babies seem to weave their way into the story. Oh well… it will happen when it happens. There is not a whole lot I can do about all of that I suppose. I will just keep doing what I am doing and Conner will come when he feels ready.

Food cravings – water… water… water. I have this unquenchable thirst and all I want is to drink water!

Status of belly button – a outie!

What I miss –sitting with my legs crossed, summer dresses, espadrilles, painted toenails, being able to work in the garden for more than fifteen minutes at a time, and wine

In General:
Best movement this week – Conner is playing banjo with the long ligaments that have stretched to accommodate my growing body. It kills! He doesn’t mean to do it, but every time he knocks up against one it leaves me bending over in pain. It is not labor pain, it is more like a sharp stabbing pain that takes a minute to go away. It is awful and happens about twice a day. Little stinker…

Most looking forward to – LABOR! You know, at this point I am so ready. I thought for so many weeks that this week would never come and I would be pregnant forever and that I would have a hard time envisioning myself actually going thought the motions. Nope. I am so ready, and as I said last week – BRING IT ON! I remember thinking to myself – “OK, now I am going to want to wear this outfit when I go into the hospital, I want this bra, and my hair done this certain way. I am going to want to make sure to shave and whiten my teeth. I need to remember my camera, and my boppy, and blah blah blah blah blah… “. Yeah, no. I don’t even care anymore. I will be in labor and having my baby and that is really all I want at this point. All of those extra things would be nice to have, but they are not necessary. I just want to get through the hard part and come home with my Conner.

Words to live by – People will bug the crap out of you the last few days before and I am sure after your due date. You will get phone calls, you will receive e-mails and text messages and more phone calls… your face book page will be full of inquiries about whether or not you have had your baby. Take it in stride. Know that the people that are asking you are so excited for you, they mean well, and they have no idea that fifty other people are asking you the same thing. I spoke with my mom last night and she was saying how she didn’t want to bug me because she knew that everyone else was, and I told her that was silly and I missed our almost daily phone calls and it was sweet that she was thinking of me. Really, everyone has been awesome and so thoughtful and really if they have had babies of their own may not remember how hard those last few days can be before he comes. Don’t let it stress you out and try to take each inquiry in stride and remember the person asking and know that they care and are looking out for you. That and sometimes asking is required as some need to make travel arrangements… 

Milestones – I have reached my mark. 4o weeks is a LONG ASS TIME to be pregnant and I did it! I am pretty proud of myself if I don’t say so myself. I am not going to sit here and say it was easy nor am I going to say it was the hardest thing I have ever done. It was tough at times, but mostly it just became a part of me that I embraced and made a part of my life. Pregnancy has changed me though, I will say that. I have been able to do so many things that I never thought I could do. Things from quitting smoking and drinking, learning how to be a better spouse, taking each day at a time, slowing down and not putting so much pressure on myself, learning that being the prettiest girl in the room is not that important, and knowing that I grew a child from two cells into an entire living breathing healthy little person… these are things that I did not know I was completely capable of. There are more, but I will keep those to myself as they are private and require a little more practice.

Peace,
Pinner

Monday, April 12, 2010

Preggo Update - Week 39


Conner:
Size - Conner is about 21 inches long and weighs apx. 7.5 to 8 pounds at 39 weeks!

Activity – Conner is still an active little man, at least as much as he can be at this point. There isn’t a whole lot of room in there for him, but his movements are really noticeable. His favorite position is laying on his right side and moving his arm up and down my belly. He licks once in awhile, but mostly when he is startled.

Labor signs – I had been seriously thinking I was in labor all weekend… but I was not. I was having contractions all day Friday Saturday and Sunday and thought Sunday night was it. My back was really sore, I was feeling a lot of pressure, contractions every ten minutes, and a slight crampy feeling but woke up this morning feeling great. So false alarm and glad I stayed home and slept instead of up all night worrying.

Conner is really just hanging around waiting for things to start happening. He is all set and ready to go and pretty much just plumping up a little more and probably just getting cuter and cuter as each day goes by.

Me:
Size – I am huge… I feel like my legs resemble tree trunks, I refuse to wear cropped anything because I am now officially a person with cankles, my face is not my own, and when I wake up in the morning my hands hurt so bad I can barely make a fist. Oh yeah, and totally pissed – I got my first stretch mark on my belly this week. I went for so long and was so close. I can’t believe it. OK… so I am complaining a little. I think I have been good enough that I can do that at this point. I hate to complain – I have even written about it, but I can’t help it. I feel like a stranger of sorts in this body. I know that the end is near, and that is really helping my self esteem… that and I just don’t leave the house. My husband tells me I am beautiful and I am just going to ride that until I have this baby.

What I am wearing – thinking about what to write here makes me kinda laugh a little. I go through my closet and see nothing that looks comfortable. I tried a sarong yesterday and that lasted about an hour as the darn thing would not stay closed and it was windy outside. I have even ventured out into public in my PJ pants (something that up until this point in my pregnancy and most of my adult life have considered a “fashion crime”). But who cares… it is just the grocery store, right?! Anyway, I have kind of given up on looking good. I am looking forward to losing the water weight and maybe then I will start thinking about my outward appearance more. For now, I am focusing on the inside and staying positive and healthy.

Strange stuff – I am super sensitive to any pain I feel… thinking that every little feeling could be me going into labor, and I have become very good at disappointing myself. I feel at this point like screaming “BRING IT ON!”… I am so ready for whatever this labor brings me. I just want to be done. I am almost hoping for the pain, hoping for something to happen that means things are progressing into something more.

Food cravings – Donuts, fruit, water, and anything that will help me go into labor.

Status of belly button – a visible outie!

What I miss –being able to garden, bending over, wine, clothes that do not leave indents on my skin, energy, my friends, painless nights, ankles, and tank tops that do not make me look like an egg. (I think I look like humpy dumpty)

In General:
Best movement this week – Conner is a lot lower this week so everything has shifted. I can feel his head now – something I never have been able to – and I can breathe a little easier.

Most looking forward to - Telling my husband that I am in labor for sure… or trying to figure out if I am together. I think he is as anxious as I am and really wants things to start happening too, so it will be quite the moment for us.

Words to live by – Talk talk talk talk talk to someone about everything you are feeling. Don’t let your pride or embarrassment or whatever get in the way of venting. My most embarrassing moment was a midwife appointment that I had two weeks ago. I was sitting in the doctor’s office with Dave and was having one of those – my clothes don’t fit, my skin looks like crap, my hair sucks, and I am crabby – days and I was just down in the dumps. I was trying to pretend everything was fine and dandy when it wasn’t. Dave finally asked me if I was OK and I lost it, right there in the doctor’s office. It was just he and I at this point and when the midwife came in I was a blubbering mess. Crying and embarrassed I lied about why I was crying and told her I stubbed my toe… sitting down. Yeah, she saw through that one pretty quick. I told her I was just so frustrated and tired and missed my old self. It helped to talk about it a little and they were both very sympathetic and understanding. I later talked to Dave about it and he told me to stop holding it all in – I am not perfect - and that if I need to complain or vent or whatever, that’s why he is there. So take my advice and don’t hold it in. Find someone who will be real with you and listen to you. Needless to say, I got ice cream that day for my “breakthrough”. Told you I was a lucky duck!

Milestones – I can see my due date on the ten date weather forecast. That is really weird. That and I can say that I am due in ten days. I remember filling out my little day planner and writing in my due date and thinking how far away it felt. Now we are in the month my son will be born and it is all real and really happening and I will be a mom and my husband a dad and we will have this kid and our lives will change forever and we will be OK. Phew… it is a lot to think about and I am scared as hell and excited and nervous and confident too. It may not make sense that I am all of these things, but I am. I am just so consumed by all of these feelings that my brain doesn’t have room to go anywhere else. The one thing I know for sure though is that it will all happen a certain way for a certain reason and everything will be alright.

Peace,

Pinner

Friday, April 2, 2010

Preggo Update - Week 37 and 38

Conner:

Size - Conner is about 20 inches long and weighs apx. 7 pounds at the beginning of 37 weeks!

Activity – Things are becoming a bit cramped in there for the little man. He is still very active but has limited movement.

Labor signs – Lots of contractions the last few days. Nothing patterned but they are getting stronger and longer. Last week the doc said Conner was a lot lower and I was softening, so the contractions are doing their job. No dilation as of yet, but I go in again Monday, so we’ll see. I keep hoping that the next time I go in, they make me stay!

As far as Conner is concerned, he is just enjoying the last few weeks of his comfy little home and waiting for the big day. He is about a pound less now than he will be at birth and he is fully developed and 100% viable. He is the baby he will be when we meet for the first time.

Me:
Size – I pretty much feel like a house. I haven’t gained a lot of weight the past few weeks, but between my belly expanding, the swelling in my hands face and ankles, and Conner getting bigger, I feel like a whale. I am sure that it will all be better soon, but man it has been a rough few weeks.

What I am wearing – This really doesn’t matter anymore at all… honestly, if I could walk around naked all day I would be really comfortable – but no one wants to see that so I pretty much stick to PJ’s and comfortable clothes that aren’t too tight and that I can move around in easily.

Strange stuff – Nothing too weird this week except for feeling like I have been hit by a Mack truck and I am so tired that I feel I could sleep for days. I have been really emotional and cry at the dumbest things. I am trying to hang in there and stay positive and patient, but with the due date being so close I am having a bit of a hard time.

Food cravings – Ice cream, pineapple, anything juicy, water

Status of belly button – a visible outie now!

What I miss – not being pregnant…. Not that I can remember what that feels like!

In General:Best movement this week – He sticks his whole butt out and moves from side to side. It kinda hurts a little, but reminds me of how big he is and how close we are to meeting.

Most looking forward to – knowing I am in labor for sure. I have had contractions on and off the for the last couple of weeks and am really looking forward to knowing that things are starting.

Words to live by – Let people help you. People want to help you. You will appreciate it. The more you do the worse you will feel. I have a hard time letting go, but I have been pleasantly surprised letting Dave take the reigns and he has done so much to make me comfortable and keep me calm. My sister and brother, moms and dad – they have all chipped in to make my life easier knowing that I have a hard time doing things by myself. I could not be more grateful.

Milestones – Less than 20 days… I don’t even know what to say. It has been an interesting ride these past 10 months, and I am eagerly awaiting the end now that it is in sight. Oh yeah and Stretch marks ZERO Jenny ONE! My belly is fully intact without any blemishes or stripes… whoop whoop!!!

All I can really say at this point is COME ON BABY! I am so ready to be done and I do not feel bad about saying that. I have been the model pregnant girl for 10 months and I want to meet my son and get back to normal. There are a lot of things that I miss and there are a lot of things coming up that I cannot wait for so I am ready as I will ever be…

Peace,
Pinner

Monday, March 22, 2010

Preggo Update - Weeks 35 and 36

Conner:

Size - Conner is about 18 inches long and weighs apx. 6 pounds at the beginning of 36 weeks!

Activity – Conner is continuing to move around quite a bit and is really making waves for mommy. I can feel his feet, knees, spine, and neck.

Labor signs - A few contractions. I will get 2 intense ones right next to each other and then won’t feel another one for about an hour. I can feel that they are definitely getting stronger and longer. They are not patterned at all, so real labor has yet to begin.

Conner is getting bigger by the moment (and so is mommy!). He gains about ½ pound a week and is right on track. He is fully viable now so he is welcome to come at any time. At 37 weeks, he is considered to be full term and can stay in there from 37 weeks to 42 weeks… so a big eye roll to all those who think that 9 months is a full pregnancy. It is much more like 10 to 10.5 months –so there. Otherwise Conner is healthy and I have no worries about his ability to come into this world as a perfectly formed human.

Me:
Size – OK – it should be pretty obvious now that I am ready to be done. Not to say that I am not happy and loving being pregnant with my little dude, but I am getting to the point where I just want to meet him and feel normal again – not that I really remember what that even means. I am getting pretty big… most people, when they see me, make comments to my belly stating that I am “ready to pop”. That pretty much sums up how I feel. I feel like I am physically and mentally ready for Conner to come and my body agrees.

What I am wearing –Not that it really matters at this point, but I am still trying to wear all my maternity clothes. I spent a lot of time acquiring this maternity wardrobe and feel the need to wear as much of it as I can until I won’t need it anymore. I am aware that I will most likely be wearing some of it after Conner comes, but I am not going to lie – I am looking forward to zippers and buttons.

Strange stuff – Well… besides my face looking so puffy I barely recognize myself, my hands and feet swollen to the point of no return, and my boobs resembling a National Geographic photo I am really doing OK. I am having a little trouble staying asleep and am pretty much married to the bathroom – but these are all boring normal things that every pregnant woman goes through. The only things now that I think about are all the baby dreams that I have been having. For a long time I was never pregnant in my dreams. I seem to have skipped my pregnancy altogether and gone straight to motherhood.

Food cravings – Girl scout cookies! Water, pineapple, peanut butter, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Dave’s grilling

Status of belly button – a visible outie now!

What I miss – Green, lilacs, sleeping through the night, wine, seeing my feet, being able to move without thinking about it first, and my friends.

In General:
Best movement this week – I love feeling his little feet move across my belly. It kind of tickles from the inside and I look forward to it. I can really get him to respond to my touch and can predict exactly when he will be awake and sleeping. He seems to like the early evening and mornings for sleepy time… maybe I will luck out!

Most looking forward to – Meeting my son and watching Dave hold him for the first time. I am tearing up even writing this now. I cannot wait to be a mommy and I know Dave is excited too. He even made a pancake shaped like a teddy bear today in practice for a little one.

Words to live by –Stay busy. I have learned that my pregnancy has flown by because I have been able to occupy my time fairly well. I have especially tried to do that for the last month knowing that I don’t want to sit too idle just waiting. I have tried to stay active, make lists at home of things I can do and take full advantage of my nesting impulses. I have tried to make contact with as many friends as possible, made lots of time to be with Dave, taken classes, and worked on getting organized for my time off. All of these things make me focus on the task at hand and not the weeks to come that can seem a bit daunting.

Milestones – I am in my last month. Today is exactly one month away from my due date and to me that is so crazy. I never thought that I would get here… it never seemed real. I felt like I would be pregnant forever! I knew the whole time my pregnancy was going to be great and that Conner and I would make it though strong and healthy, but 10 months is a long time. You start to forget what it feels like to not be pregnant. Really, by the time my leave is up – I will have been out of commission for an entire year. I am happy and excited though. I am not groaning that I am so ready to be done, but I am looking forward to the finish line; I am OK waiting a few more weeks too. Whatever is best for Conner and I…

Homestretch! My to-do list from last week has pretty much been completed. I have registered at the hospital, mailed all my thank you cards from the shower, washed and put away all of Conner’s things, packed my hospital bag, and am now focusing on last minute details. I just have to put a few things away in the nursery, clean a few rooms, have the car seat checked, and just relax. It is so nice to have everything ready to go!

Dave is convinced that Conner will come on the 14th. I looked at the weather for that day and noticed that it is a full moon – the only one in April, so he may just be right. I was originally set at the 16th for a due date – we will just have to see. That means only 22 more days!

Peace,
Pinner

Monday, March 15, 2010

Preggo Update - Week 34

Conner:
Size - Conner is about 18 inches long and weighs apx. 4.7 pounds!

Activity – Conner is getting a little cramped in there I think. He isn’t moving around quite as much, I am feeling more general movements than kicks and rolls. When he does decide to roll over, my entire belly moves. He is definitely getting larger!

Labor signs – A few contractions here and there. Mostly when I am active after relaxing for awhile or when I am walking. Nothing that is turning into a pattern, but they are getting stronger.

Conner is pretty much gaining weight at this point. He is very close to being fully developed and if he were to be born between now and my due date, there would be minimal risk. His lungs are developed, he move his eyes, mouth and nose, his nervous system is developed and his bones are strong. He is just kicking back right now and waiting for the big day! We had our 34 week ultrasound last week and all is great with Conner. He received an 8/8 health score for fetal movement, amount of fluid, muscle tone, and heart rate. He is measuring right where he should be for a 34 week gestation but his head is a little big – 80th percentile. So mama might have a little harder time with him on “labor day” but I am not too worried. I am tough. Otherwise we received all great news about Conner and we even got the chance to see his face via 3D technology. He is beautiful.

Me:
Size – At this point, my belly is so big I feel that everything else is getting smaller. I am wearing a ½ size larger shoe size and my wedding ring has taken permanent residence on a chain around my neck. I am looking really pregnant – like REALLY pregnant.

What I am wearing Well, I am trying not to leave the house unless I absolutely have to, so my outfits mostly consist of a ponytail and sweats. If I absolutely have to step out, I try. I do try. I am still wearing all the same stuff. Luckily it is starting to warm up here a little, so I don’t have to bundle up quite as much. I light scarf and a cardigan has kept me warm the past few weeks. I even sported a pair of flip flops and capris yesterday!

Strange stuff – I am never hungry. Instead of normal hunger pains, I feel nausea. When that happens I realize that I need to eat. Granted, I rarely get to that point as I try to eat every couple of hours and I drink a ridiculous amount of water – and I am thinking the water may have something to do with my lack of tummy grumbles. (Great tip to remember for after breastfeeding and wanting to lose some weight!) I have been getting wicked heartburn if I eat greasy food, so that is working to my advantage as well. As long as I stick to healthy whole foods, I don’t have too many problems.

Food cravings – the entire bakery at the grocery store, pineapple, water, and pizza hut breadsticks

Status of belly button – a visible outie now!

What I miss – working in the yard, being able to lift and move things, a clean house, skinny thighs, cheekbones, my hammock, and a poop free backyard (it really does accumulate over an entire winter)

In General:
Best movement this week – Like I said, Conner is beginning to become a little quieter. I can definitely still feel him moving around, but nothing too crazy. I do love feeling his little tiny leg bones and feet move across my tummy…

Most looking forward to – New baby smell… I used some of his J&J shampoo for my bubble bath last night and it was the best smell in the world. I just adore that scent and it reminds me of everything tiny, precious, and warm.

Words to live by –Take some advice with a grain of salt and allow yourself your own experience. A lot of people have been feeling the freedom to explain in gruesome detail exactly how my pregnancy and birth and first 6 weeks will go. I appreciate the advice if it is asked for, but for total strangers coming up to you in the grocery store or in line at the pharmacy – the details are not welcome. I also think that a new golden rule should be established for all - if I don’t talk to you about my pregnancy, birth, etc… I don’t want to hear about yours (or your daughter’s, or your granddaughter’s) you get the idea. Sometimes, just because you communicate with someone- boundaries need to be respected. Just because I am pregnant does not give you full reign to comment on the status of my health, my size, personal choices, or my child’s health. Sorry, this is a huge soapbox issue for me. I can’t stand nosy and overly opinionated women. Just be happy for me and keep it to yourself… thanks!

Milestones – I just have so much to say about this. I am feeling like a totally new, or maybe redesigned, woman. I think it has sunk in that I am going to be a mommy and there will be a baby in our house. I feel my patience has been strengthened, my need for perfection has loosened, and my desire to be home with my family has increased. I feel less focused on myself and more focused on the big picture. My imaginary happy place has shifted from me alone sipping a beer in my backyard in the dead of summer to me working in the yard with Conner in his stroller and daddy coming home and giving us both a big kiss – still summertime. I go there a lot… it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Mostly because it will come true.

Remember my entry titled “Lucky Duck”… well, I am still in awe of Dave. I won’t go into too much detail as he prefers I tell him to his face and not through my blog, but he is amazing. I picked the perfect person to start a family with. I am completely convinced of that. I have never known a man to be so supportive, kind, understanding, and accommodating. Not only is he an amazing husband, but he will be an incredible father. I have no doubt in my mind.

So now we wait. All I have left to do is pack my hospital bag, wash Conner’s clothes and bedding, pre-register at the hospital, and have the car seat inspected. I have 2 Lamaze classes left to attend (one of which is tonight), an infant survival class, and a breastfeeding class. I only have 5 doctor appointments scheduled until my due date. I cannot believe that I am getting so close. I cannot believe it!

Peace,
Pinner

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Preggo Update - Week 33

I have to apologize for not updating last week. Things have been a little crazy around here and I have been trying to keep up with it all, but here is the best I can do :)

Conner:

Size - Conner is about 17 inches long and weighs apx. 4.5 pounds!

Activity – Conner is definitely growing into a big strong boy. He moves most after I eat and when I lay down, but even when he is sleeping I can feel his little movements. He gets the hiccups all the time and I can feel him all the way up to my rib cage. He love s it when I am around people talking… he jumps around in there like a little bean listening in on all the juicy conversation. He also kicks when I laugh.

Labor signs – I have been keeping a fierce eye on anything out of the ordinary and as of now everything is AOK. A few contractions here and there, but just practice ones, so nothing to worry about.

There is no doubt there is a baby in there! Conner is so big now that I can feel all his little body parts and sometimes I just sit and rub his back. His brain is growing so quickly that the size of his head has grown by 15% this month alone. His skeleton is hardening and he is gaining weight every day. He gains about ½ pound every week from now until delivery.

Me:
Size – Well, I have gained weight – a pretty normal amount, and otherwise feel awesome. I am getting used to my body and am enjoying my belly.

What I am wearing – I am on a never ending hunt for comfort. I feel super uncomfortable in jeans – as all the waistbands fall down and they are just too restricting. I am looking around for yoga pants and sweats, but my pride still has me in jeans. I have never been one to wear my PJ’s out of the house, but I may soon have to change my opinion on that one.

Strange stuff - Peeing has become my number one priority. If there is not a bathroom within close walking distance, then I will not be there. As weird as that sounds, it is the truth! It is like every fifteen minutes… I do drink about 140 ounces of water a day, so that may be the main contributor, but peeing has become my life. Seriously.

Food cravings – water, grapefruit, cupcakes, fruit, cheese, pasta, and chips.

Status of belly button – a visible outie now!

What I miss – jeans that stay put, my previous shoe size (my feet resemble Shrek’s minus the green), being able to see my feet, wine, my cheekbones, energy, and the ability to bend over without grunting.

In General:
Best movement this week - what I heard to be called “crotch lightning. When Conner decides to move his arm or hand quickly and because he is heads down, the arm is punching me in the you know where… it hurts and usually catches me by surprise. I just thought the name for it was hilarious... because it's true.

Most looking forward to – Ok, now I can say it… BABY! Conner will be here in 6-8 weeks and I have everything ready for him that I can possibly think of. He has a room, stroller, car seat, bouncers, enough diapers for an entire nation of pooping babies, wipes, toys, clothes, bathtub, he even has a pretty impressive book collection. All the things that have been marking my time have come and gone – setting up his nursery, the shower – now I am ready to relax and enjoy being pregnant and wait for my little man to come out and say hello!

Words to live by – Stop yourself from missing your “old self” before it is too late! I literally spent 45 minutes the other day looking through my Facebook pictures comparing recent ones of my big pregnant self to pictures of my much thinner tanner self from last summer. This is not healthy. I ended up thinking I went from a cute young looking girl to looking like the woman who has had so much plastic surgery she looks like a cat. I have since realized this and try to make a point of not only looking in the mirror and seeing how great I look, but also stopping myself from pouring over old pics of me that will be me again in a few months. It IS only temporary and I cannot start complaining now, so I deal with it and I will work hard when Conner gets here to feel sexy again!

Milestones – Like I mentioned earlier, Conner’s nursery is complete and his things are all ready to be used and abused. I feel like I need to make a few last minute purchases and maybe a to do list but for the most part I am feeling prepared. The shower was beautiful. That was the time of my life. I felt like a princess and everyone that came and spent some time were people that I genuinely wanted to see and talk to. The gifts were overwhelming and the generosity was more than I could have ever imagined. Conner is a lucky boy! Great grandma made him an embroidered pillow, a burp cloth and a handmade bib. Grandma knit him a hat and a beautiful wool blanket and Aunt Dana… well only a picture (which I will post soon) can describe the work that went into her gift. She cross stitched an entire quilt for Conner. It is so beautiful – he will have that forever. Everyone was thinking of Conner and I when they bought and gave their gifts and the love was awesome. It was so nice to be surrounded by all these women that I adore and trust. It was a wonderful day.

Now we are on the last leg of my pregnancy and I am starting to feel so many different things. I am feeling a little blue that I will not be pregnant for too much longer, excited to meet Conner, scared that I am not prepared or that something could go wrong, nervous and anxious about labor, and calm when I think about coming home with my son in my arms. I have started to sit in his room and read to him while listening to music – in an attempt to start some sort of sleep schedule and to let him know I am here. The rest of my little family – Dave, Dot, and Daisy are all excited and the dogs can feel it in the air, although they have been so amazingly good and well behaved the past nine months. Like they know I am a little more fragile these days and I need more puppy love. Dave is so excited as well, although he is the strong one – he is keeping me grounded and focused on the things that matter and not on the what-if’s. His practicality is one of his strongest qualities and is really helping me right now. My mother has also been great  – she and I always have the best talks about whatever comes to mind and she has been able to whittle some of my fears of the unknown down to almost nothing. My sister is helping me keep things light and airy and fun. She makes me smile and reminds me that you can laugh at anything. I am so fortunate to have such a strong support system that has been able to help me through everything that I have come across in the past months. Perhaps that is why this pregnancy has been so easy for me… I love you ALL!

Peace,
Pinner

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nursery Pictures

The nursery is almost complete.  I have finished the paintings, crib and changing table are in place, I have ordered my nursing chair, and my roomba has deemed the room CLEAN!  So I would like to thank IKEA, Target, and Michels for making this room possible - along with my genius talent of course :)

Peace,
Pinner


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