Archive for the 'baby' Category

Page 2 of 7

Newborn Must-Haves

I just read a post from Abby of Wife from Scratch about the things she couldn’t survive without during the first 6 weeks of her baby’s life, so I thought I’d follow and do the same with our must have products.

Breastfeeding

Nursing pads. Dude. No one told me that you leak out of one side when you’re nursing on the other. Turns out you experience let-down on both sides regardless of the side you’re nursing on.

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads

A breast pump. I haven’t gotten out of the house too many times without Elliott, but the few times I have, I’ve been able to leave pumped milk for Sean to feed her while I’m away. I also like to take a bottle with me when I’m meeting a friend for lunch just so I don’t have to nurse her in the middle of the restaurant. And, even though my milk production should be pretty regulated, I still get engorged from time to time, so I am so glad I have this.

Medela Pump in Style

Sleeping

Well, this is a work in progress. Elliott is a great night sleeper (and by great I mean only waking up every 3 hours), but during the day it is really hard to get her to stay asleep for her naps. But, these are the items that help keep us sane for her sleeping.

Aden and Anais swaddle blankets. We use these every single night to swaddle her with. She’s at the point where she can usually break her legs out, but her arms stay nice and tight. If we don’t swaddle her, she whips her arms all around and wakes herself up, so these are a must have. We didn’t have any of the fancier swaddle blankets with velcro, but those probably would have been awesome too.

aden + anais Swaddle Blanket

Rocking chair/Glider. We use this all the time. Day and night. We have a recliner in our living room that is also a rocking chair, and then we moved the glider from her nursery in our bedroom where she sleeps right now. I’ve gotten to the point where I can nurse her laying down, but before that, I would get up and feed her in the glider in the middle of the night. And yes, we rock her to sleep every night, so we would die without this.

Misc.

A swing. She goes in and out of liking this. But, it’s the only way that I can get a few minutes to myself to eat, etc. We have this one because it can plug in. Definitely important if your baby loves the swing.

Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle ‘n Swing

A bouncy seat. On the rare occasion that I can actually get her to take naps for more than 15 minutes, I’ll put her in the bouncy seat. It vibrates, and I think it helps to keep her asleep.

Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Bouncer Seat

Bathtub. I know this seems silly, but she LOVES a bath. It is the only time that I know she will be happy. There are other things that usually work, or sometimes work, but the bath always works to make her happy.

PRI EuroBath, Pearl White

iPhone. I am constantly on that thing to find out if what she’s doing is normal, read blogs, pinterest, twitter, etc. I don’t know what I would do without it. In fact, I wish I had an iPad, but for now my phone will have to do.

Kelly Mom. I love this website! It is so helpful and reliable.

A support system. Sean has been such a great dad. I don’t know what I would do without him. Elliott and I went to Dallas for a few days to visit my family last week and he stayed behind to work. I missed him so much!

So, those are the things that are keeping us going. Can you believe our baby girl is 7 weeks now? Wow. I am already dreading the day I have to go back to work and leave her sweet face. At least I still have some time.

And because no post would be complete without a picture of her, I’ll leave you with this one.

20120411-214310.jpg

Birth Story Part II (Final)

Part I

So, when we left off it was 9:30 a.m. and my water had just broken.  I was so excited!  And, if you’re wondering what it feels like to have your water break, basically it’s like you peed yourself, only you can’t stop the flow at all.  At this point, my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and were really regular.  Things seemed like they were right on track.  And, I felt like I would probably have a baby before dinner time. 

My contractions were still really manageable.  I could feel them coming, but I was not at the point where I had to stop myself from talking during one even though I could see that they were pretty strong.  Although I knew I wanted an epidural, I wanted to hold off and get one a little later because I didn’t want anything to slow down my labor.  Over the next few hours, my contractions started to space out a bit.  I’d have some every 2-3 minutes and then some every 5 minutes.  So, we continued to up my Pitocin to try to get them more regular. 

At 11 a.m., I got the nurse, Amber, that would see me through my delivery and I LOVED her.  She was super calm, knowledgable and explained everything to me.  She was in our room just the right amount of time.  Meaning that she wasn’t invasive, but I also felt like we were important to her.  My contractions were starting to pick up now and I had to stop talking whenever I was having one.  I used the breathing exercises I learned at our lamaze class to get me through them, and it was manageable.  At that point, my doctor came by to check on me and see how dilated I was.  She was super excited that my water had broken on its own too, and even more excited that the baby handled it well.  I felt like I had to at least be a 4 by now because it seemed like things were going well.  Well, I was only 3 cm, 50% effaced with the baby at -2 station.  I was kind of bummed, but this was still an improvement since I’d gained a cm, even though the effacement sure wasn’t happening very quickly.

I talked to my doctor about an epidural, and she said that any point I wanted one, I could have one.  So, I told myself that I would go until at least 3 pm.  I don’t know why I picked that time, but I figured that would give my body enough time to make some additional progress.  Around 2 pm they were super intense, and I was wondering if I could make it until 3.  Both Sean and my sister were telling me to quit being stubborn and just get the damn epidural already, but I just wanted to know that I could do it for a little longer.  So, finally when the clock got to 3, my nurse came in and I told her to go ahead and get the anesthesiologist because I was ready for my epidural.  She wheeled in the chest with all their equipment, and told me they were next door but that I was next. 

Both an anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist came in to administer the epidural.  I’d been scared of this all day long, but I knew that in the end I would feel so much better afterwards.  I don’t know if all anesthesiologists are zany or not, but I feel like you usually hear stories about witty banter they have with their patients.  Mine was no different.  The nurse anesthetist was calm, but the anesthesiologist was a fast-talking, tiny dude.  They asked me to scoot all the way to the edge of the bed and arch my back like a cat.  Then, they applied the numbing shot which felt like a bee sting in my back, but it was way less intense than I thought it was going to be.  We had to take a small break during a contraction, but then they put the big needle in, asked if I felt nauseous or if I had a metal taste in my mouth (no).  So, they knew that they’d put it in the right spot.  After that, the pain relief wasn’t instant, but it came pretty soon after.  I could feel my legs starting to numb, but I was still able to move them a little bit.  My left leg was more numb than my right, but they assured me that was normal. 

So, it had been nearly 4 hours since my last check; I was sure that I’d made some progress now.  I mean, my contractions were painful enough to require an epidural, right?  So, Amber checked me and I waited eagerly to find out the results.  Oh, and I was also excited to get checked after my epidural because it meant I wouldn’t feel it anymore.  The checks are super uncomfortable.  So, Amber looked up at me with her sweet eyes and said, “Well, you’re at 3, 50% effaced.”  This meant that in the last 4 hours I’d made zero progress.  None.  Amber increased my pitocin again, and just kept watching my contractions hoping that they would become more regular like they’d been earlier that day.  I knew that my doctor was going to come by in a couple of hours, so I was anxious to hear what she thought. 

At 6:30 p.m. my doctor came by to see what was going on.  She checked me, and told me the bad news.  Again, no progress.  I was mad at myself for getting the epidural, thinking that maybe if I’d held off I would have been able to make more progress.  My doctor told me that if by 8:30 p.m. I’d made no progress, she wanted to throw in the towel and do a c-section.  I nodded because I knew that if I talked I would cry.  This was now so off-course from what I had envisioned.  But, at the same time, I thought if I’ve made even a tiny bit of progress at 8:30, that means my labor will go on and on.  I wasn’t sure which was worse.  I hoped I would either make a lot of progress, or no progress at all.   I was tired; my induction had started 24 hours earlier and I was just ready to meet our baby girl.  I was also ready to eat something. 

So we waited the 2  hours.  I spent some time with my family and tried to prepare myself for whatever the news might be.  Right at 8:30 on the dot, my doctor came back.  I held my breath as she checked me, this time super anxious about what she would say.  Well, again I’d made no progress.  She said it was time to get ready for the c-section.  Again, I nodded, but this time I couldn’t stop the tears from coming.  Amber (my nurse) came over to me, and reassured me.  She’d had 2 c-sections previously and both turned out great.  My sister called, and I talked to her, again crying.  She also reassured me that it would be fine, and just talked to me the way only a sister can.  Amber started getting all my meds ready (one that tasted like sweet tarts gone wrong), gave Sean his outfit, and then 2 anesthesiologists came in.  One was the zany one from before, and the other was a new one.  They changed the medication in my epidural to numb me from my chest down. 

After that it seemed like it took forever for everyone to get together and take me to the operating room.  In reality it was probably about 15 minutes, but it felt much longer.  Finally, we were on our way to the operating room.  Sean had to wait in the hall as they moved me to the operating table, got me all ready and made sure that my medicine had kicked in by pinching my stomach.  Or at least that’s what they told me, I felt nothing.  At this point I could not stop shaking and chattering.  The girl anesthesiologist told me that it was totally normal.  It was an effect of both the medication and the fact that the operating room was really cold.  She set me up with a “bear hug”.  It’s an airbag that goes across your chest and arms.  They pipe in warm air through it.  I felt much better once she put that on, but I still couldn’t stop shaking.  She told me that once I hear my baby cry, she was pretty sure I would stop shaking because everything else would melt away. 

Here’s where things got kind of funny, so I have to share.  I noticed that the girl anesthesiologist had a bad bruise on her nail, so I asked what happened.  She asked me if I’d ever heard of Pinterest.  Ha!  Yes, of course.  So, she told me about a project she’d seen on there that she wanted to do herself, and she ended up accidentally hitting her nail with a hammer.  She even showed me her inspiration and her completed project on her iPhone.  It was such a nice way to calm me down.  So, Pinterest, you have infiltrated the operating room. 

Then, it seemed like they were going to get started, but Sean wasn’t in the room.  I got freaked out and asked where he was.  One of the nurses had already gone to get him, but I didn’t know that.  I saw him walking in and felt relieved.  After that things moved very quickly.  I couldn’t feel anything when they cut me, but I could definitely feel when they pressed down on my chest to move her down and get her out.   It wasn’t painful at all, it was just a lot of pressure.  And then I heard it…her cry.  And I immediately cried with her.  The c-section, the labor, everything didn’t matter anymore.  Our baby girl was here and I was in love with someone I hadn’t even seen yet.  Sean walked over to the table where they examined her, and then he brought her over to me where I got to see her for the first time.

Then she, her dad and the pediatric nurse went to the nursery to check her out. While I stayed behind to get stitched up and then on to recovery.  I was so upset that I wasn’t going to get to bond with her right away, and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to see her for the 2 hours I was in recovery.  Thankfully, about 5 minutes into my recovery stay they called from the nursery to ask if I was ready to try to nurse her.  I excitedly told them yes!! 

When she came back, I kissed her over and over, and started our bonding time as a family.  Sean and I could not take our eyes off of her.  Amber sat in the wings though her shift had ended hours ago.  I was so grateful for her. And, I was so grateful that our little girl had arrived safe and sound even if it didn’t go the way I envisioned.  She was here, and she was perfect and that’s all that mattered. 

Now she’s already almost one month old and we love her more each day.

My Birth Story Part I

My birth story starts a few weeks before I actually went into labor.  See, throughout the whole pregnancy, my doctor kept bringing up the idea of inducing me or scheduling a c-section because of my high risk status.  But, I kept putting it out of my head thinking that our little baby would come when she was good and ready.  Then, 3 weeks before my due date, my doctor said that she wanted to go ahead and schedule the induction because my amniotic fluid was still really high, my belly was measuring 40 cm (though I was only 37 weeks), and it seemed that I was developing  a new ache and pain everyday.  Though, I could deal with that.  So, I left there 1 cm dilated and the knowledge that we would have a baby on February 23rd. 

Over the next few weeks, I closed things out at work, finished buying last-minute things, helped my family plan their trips to meet the baby, lunched with friends and scheduled a pedicure.  I knew our life was about to change.  So, we enjoyed the last few days of life as just the two of us while we talked about how things would be different when the baby got there. 

Then, Wednesday, February 22nd at 5:45 p.m. we were scheduled to check into the hospital to get the induction started.   I was disappointed that we wouldn’t have a crazy, on the way to hospital while in labor story.  Instead, we leisurely drove to the hospital while we disagreed about what to listen to on the radio and talked about what to pick up for dinner.  But, we were just so giddy and in disbelief that it was finally here.  So, we parked in the expectant mother’s parking lot for the last time and headed in. 

We checked in and headed to labor and delivery room #4.  There, we met one of many nurses that would see us through the labor and delivery.   The nurse asked me to put on a hospital gown.  The gown was so huge and I looked ridiculous.  Then, I was fitted with all my bracelets and asked about  my birth plan. I gave it to the nurse; she made copies and made sure that anyone involved in my healthcare knew about it.  However, as my labor progressed things couldn’t have gone more off track from my birth plan.  I knew that I was going to have interventions involved in my labor since I was being induced, but I still had other items that were really important to me.  For instance, allowing the umbilical cord to finishing pulsating before being cut, avoiding eye drops until after the baby had an opportunity to nurse, nursing the baby as soon as possible, limited number of interruptions during my labor, and delaying an IV drip until absolutely necessary.  Then, she asked me a million questions about my health.  I asked her how she’s able to get answers from women who are actively in labor because I can imagine that they’re really not interested in answering.  She said that she runs through them really quickly. 

So, even though we were delaying IV fluids, the nurse told me that as soon as the Pitocin was started, I would need an IV.  So, she put the IV in place and didn’t attach anything to it.  She put the IV needle in my wrist rather than on top of my hand because she said that in that spot, it’s easier for women to grip on the bed/labor bar and push.  To me, that spot actually seemed worse, but I’d never been in labor, so what do I know.  Then, she added a blood pressure cuff that went off every 30 minutes and placed 2 monitors on my belly.  One to track the baby’s heart beat and the other to track my contractions.  As my labor progressed I grew to hate both of these monitors.  Since I had so much fluid, the baby could move around so much, so they were constantly having to readjust the monitors to find the baby’s heart beat.  Since I was being induced, it was so important that they were able to keep track of the baby’s heart rate.  At some point, the monitor started to pick up my heart rate instead of the baby’s so I gained yet another monitor on my finger so they could differentiate between my heart rate and the baby’s.  They said that if they weren’t able to keep track of the baby’s heart rate they would need to do an internal monitor.  I was so opposed to this, so anytime I noticed the monitor wasn’t tracking the baby’s heart rate, I would try to move it myself to find it again. 

Then, at about 7 p.m. a new nurse checked to see how dilated I was.  I was disappointed to hear that I was still just 1 cm dilated.  Then, she started the Cytotec to ripen my cervix.  Cytotec is a little tablet that they place on your cervix to help it soften and efface.  And, wow I felt like she was trying to reach my tonsils while putting it in.  That shit HURT.  After that, Sean and I grabbed our computer and started watching some shows on HBO Go while we waited for the Cytotec to do its job.  The nurse pretty much left us alone unless the baby’s monitor stopped picking up her heart beat, then she would come in and try to adjust it.  Once it was about 10:30, Sean and I both tried to get some rest.  I read for a while, and Sean passed out.  It was hard to fall asleep because my blood pressure cuff was going off all the time, and if I moved at all, the baby’s monitor would need to be readjusted, so I felt like I couldn’t get comfortable at all.  The nurse offered Ambien to help me get some sleep, and I declined a few times. 

Then, at midnight the nurse said that my contractions weren’t really kicking in at all with the Cytotec, so she was going to go ahead and put in Cervidil.  The Cervidil looks similar to a tampon and again, not so fun having them put it in because they really REACH up there.  Around 1:30, my neighbor was either actively pushing, or in terrible labor pains (maybe transition?) because she was SCREAMING.  I felt really bad for her, but I also felt really bad for all the girls (myself included) that were going to be in her position in a few hours because it was terrifying to hear someone screaming bloody murder while engaging in an activity that we were all about to go through.   At that point, I decided to go ahead and take some Ambien because I knew I would need to get some sleep, and I knew that I didn’t want to listen to screaming.  

I fell asleep for a little while.  Then, at 7 a.m.  my doctor came by to check on me.  Again, she checked to see how dilated I was.  At this point I was 2 cm, but barely effaced, and the baby was at -4 station (i.e. not at all in engaged for delivery).  My doctor seemed frustrated about the Cervidil placement too.  She said that it was barely in there, so I don’t think that it did quite what it was supposed to.  To get things moving, my doctor said that she wanted to try to break my water.  However, while she was trying to, she decided to back off and not do it because the baby was so high up there.  She was worried that if she broke it while the baby was so high, the cord might slip down and try to come out before the baby’s head (cord prolapse).  She told the nurse to go ahead and start the Pitocin and to put an internal monitor in to check how intense my contractions were.  The external monitor can only determine that you are having a contraction, but can’t tell how strong they are.  While the internal monitor can determine the intensity.  At that point, I still wasn’t really experiencing any pain at all.  I had some mild cramping, but definitely nothing that made me too uncomfortable. 

Then, at 9:30 a.m. I got up to go to the bathroom.  After I got back up, I felt a few drips down my leg.  I sat back down on the bed and just felt a steady stream of liquid.  I called the nurse to tell her that I thought my water broke.  It definitely wasn’t a big gush, but it was a steady stream that did not stop coming.  Had I been out somewhere, I would have soaked my pants, the floor and whatever I was sitting on.  She came in and changed the towel and protective pad on my bed.  I was so excited that my water broke on its own.  I was sure that meant that my labor was progressing nicely.  Oh, but how wrong I was…

First Week: Breastfeeding

We survived one week!  There were definitely some ups and downs and lots of tears (both mine and the baby’s), but things are definitely getting better.  So what have I learned?  Well, a lot and some of it I hope will be helpful for other people because it wasn’t anything I knew or heard before I experienced it. 

So first, engorgement.  OMG.  Yes, I’d heard of engorgement and I knew that it could be painful, but I had no idea just how terrible it could be.  Elliott is a great nurser.  She came out of the womb ready to eat, and at her first opportunity she ate for over an hour.  Which obviously told my body to produce milk, and fast.  And, it did.  The day I came home from the hospital I didn’t even recognize my body anymore.  My breasts felt like they had rocks in them and they were painful.  But, I could deal with that.  The biggest problem, and something I was not prepared for, was that the baby could no longer latch on. 

So, here I am with tons of milk ready to feed her, and she can’t eat any of it.  I called my sister crying and asked what I should do.  She suggested that I pump to get some of the milk out and allow her to latch again.  So, I did.  But very little milk came out.  Then, I decided to take a hot shower to try and hand express some of the milk.  Again, very little came out.  I think my body hadn’t experienced “let down” yet, so I started massaging the “rocks” to try and work them out.  Meanwhile my baby was screaming and super upset that I couldn’t feed her and I was crying because my first day home from the hospital I was already screwing things up.  At 4 a.m. Sean went to Walgreens to find a nipple shield to help, and we gave her a bottle of pumped milk.  Clearly I did not intend to give our baby a bottle at 3 days old, but I realized that you can’t plan it all out. 

Lesson #1: Have a breast pump at home.  It doesn’t have to be the double electric pump kind, but you just never know when you’ll need it. 

Lesson #2: Have bottles.  I didn’t intend to give her one so early, but I was glad I had them just in case. 

Lesson #3: Have nipple shields.  The hospital might even be able to provide them to you.  Thankfully, our Walgreens is open 24/7 and carried them, otherwise I’m not sure what we would have done. 

The nipple shield helped, but I really wanted her to be able to latch on without it.  And, every time I tried she would scream.  But,  I just kept trying because I didn’t want to have use it for the rest of our time and eventually she got the hang of it.   

As you can imagine after all this attention on my um…nipples, they were feeling really sore.  Thankfully, before I left the hospital, my nurse gave me Soothies.  WAY better than Lanolin in my opinion. 

Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads

Lesson #4: Buy stuff to protect your nipples before you bring baby home, or better yet, get it from the hospital.  They gave me both  Lanonlin and Soothies. 

I wore those all the time.  And now I don’t need them anymore, but they were so helpful in the very beginning.

And the last big thing that I learned was that lactation consultants are awesome.  Do not be afraid to call them.  I relied on Central Texas Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition and found a super helpful lactation consultant who talked me through everything.  She also makes house calls, but after talking to her on the phone, I felt confident enough to try her suggestions on my own first and told her I would call her back if I had more issues.  So what did she recommend to me while I was engorged?   Reverse Pressure Softening.  This technique moves some of the milk away from the nipple to allow the baby to latch on again.  It was SO helpful.  And, it was the only way I was able to get her to eat. 

Lesson # 5: Call a lactation consultant when you need to.

So, we’re surviving and actually getting some sleep at night.  Our baby’s longest stretch between meals is at night, thank you baby.  Obviously I still have lots to learn and we’ll face new issues, but for now this is what’s working for us. 

Welcome, Baby!

Well, she’s here! 

Our sweet little girl, Elliott Paige, was born on Thursday, February 23rd at 9:51 p.m.  She weighed 8 pounds, 2.5 ounces and was 21 inches long.  We’re learning what she likes (and doesn’t) and just spending way too much time staring at her and trying to catch her little smiles on camera. 

I will share my birth story soon, as well as some tips on breastfeeding  a newborn and products that are helping us this first week.  I feel like I already have so much to share! 

But in the mean time, here she is as a newborn:

And, what her crib looks like with her in it:

The Week I’m Going to Have a Baby

Damn.  I’ve been counting down the days, weeks for so long now that I really can’t believe that we are in single digits now.  Even my neighbors are counting down with me.  I’ve remained pretty active, and still take our dogs for a walk everyday, and each day some neighbor will comment about how it’s almost time.  It’s really sweet.  But because I know the date I’ll be induced, I’ve basically thrown out the idea that she could possibly come any earlier than that day.  So far I’ve been right. 

So, this week before she arrives I have a list of things I need to do.  Some of them are things I actually need to do, and others of them are more fun things like get a pedicure and pick up my birthday gift from Sephora…oh yeah, I turned 31 just a few days ago!  So baby girl and I will have a birthday just a few days apart. 

Ok, so if you’re wondering what happens when you get induced, I got the details from my doctor.  Not saying this is the only way it can happen, but this is what the plan is for me.  I’ll go in the night before my induction so that they can start to “ripen my cervix”.   Basically, it’s a softening of the cervix that is done either by placing a tablet on your cervix or taking an oral pill.  My doctor is opting for the tablet on my cervix.  It causes cramping, but studies have shown that if you start with this procedure, then you are able to use less pitocin, so I’m all for that.  Then, at about 4 or 5 a.m. they’ll plan to start the pitocin.  And they’ll just monitor my progress to see how things are going.  My doctor said that if my water has not broken on its own, then she plans to do that anywhere between 10 a.m. and 12.  Of course this is all depends on how my body responds to the pitocin, but this is the loose plan. 

We also talked about epidural.  I know I haven’t talked about my birth plan here at all, but it was always my intent to get an epidural.  I had hoped that I would be able to labor at home for as long as possible and then go into the hospital.   But, since my amniotic fluid has been high all along, that plan was thrown out the window.  So, I had basically already planned on spending longer laboring in the hospital than I would like.  Which, actually makes this induction thing even easier to swallow.  Ok, but back to the epidural…my doctor indicated that they are very generous with them, so I just need to let them know whenever I’m ready to get one.  And, she reminded me that because I will be given pitocin, my contractions will be pretty intense.   I also talked to my sister about all this because she was induced with each of her kids and she recommended that I get an epidural before they break my water because it was pretty painful.  Definitely a good tip to remember. 

I also told my doctor that I was really opposed to the use of forceps or vacuum extraction.  Thankfully, she told me that since my baby is measuring large, she would never think to use them.  She said if she’s not coming out, it means that she is not fitting and the use of either of those items would be extremely dangerous.  We also talked about external vs. internal monitoring.  Again, I said that I wanted to avoid internal monitoring except as a last resort.  She indicated that internal monitoring is last resort for her too, she would only do it if my labor stopped progressing so that they could get more information about what was going on.  I can get on board with that. 

And then I’ll have a baby!!  I’m still in disbelief that it’s almost here.  But I couldn’t be more excited.  I’ve seen her chubby cheeks and pouty lips for so many weeks in the ultrasound pictures; now I’m ready to see all of that for real.  And, I’m dying to share her name with you all.  It’s just a few more days!  Wish us luck. :)

Weeks 36 and 37

Phew!!  I am almost at the end.  I can taste it!!  Which is great because my hips, ribs and inner thigh are really starting to get painful.  And, of course whenever I bring these things up to my doctor, she always says, “Yep, that’s part of pregnancy.”  Awesome.  So, to combat these things I’ve gotten a lot closer with my bathtub.  It seems to be the only thing that helps. 

So, a lot happened over these 2 weeks.  First, my fluid was up.  Again.  I’d gotten used to hearing that it was 25, and as frustrating as that was, at least it was staying consistently high.  Then, I went in and the number started to climb.  At 35 weeks it was 28 and at 36 weeks it was 29.  I was just so sad.  I felt like this close to the end, things should stop getting worse.   My high-risk doctor is in the process of moving to Michigan, so at this appointment I saw his partner.  And, unfortunately I really disliked her.  She treated me like I had gestational diabetes because my fluid is high (yes, that’s one of the symptoms of gestational diabetes, but it’s the only symptom I have).  So, she told me to stop drinking sodas, eating  fatty meats, fried foods, cake, cookies, etc.  Now, I know most of you are my internet friends so you don’t know what my diet is like, but I really do eat pretty healthy.  I’m a vegetarian, I don’t tend to eat junk food, and so I was pissed.  She could have easily asked me what my diet was like and then given me her sage advice, but instead she made assumptions about me.  I tried to tell her that I really don’t eat those things, but she didn’t listen to me. 

So, I walked out of there and I just cried.  I know that’s a stupid reason to cry, but I felt like she was implying that I’m doing something to hurt my baby by making bad choices.  And then my fluid was up.  And, this was an appointment Sean couldn’t go to, so I was just really upset.  Ok, and I’m also really pregnant so maybe it’s a little bit of the hormones too.  Up until this point though, I had not been weepy or emotional at all, so I figured my time would come. 

At my next appointment with my regular doctor, I told her what the high-risk doctor had said.  She assured me that I didn’t have diabetes and that she shouldn’t have treated me that way.  She said that everything was perfect, with the exception of my high fluid.   And, speaking of my high fluid, my belly was now really big.  I’m measuring as if I were 40 weeks.  So, my doctor and I talked about what this means and what complications could be in store for me as my labor nears.  After talking about everything, she said that she really wants me to be induced at 39 weeks.  Now, one of the reasons I chose my doctor is because I know she’s really opposed to inducing people, unless it is medically necessary.  So, I knew if she was telling me that she thought I should be induced, it meant that she truly believed this was the best treatment plan for me.  I had really mixed emotions.  I really wanted to wait until my baby decided she was ready to be born, but if there were some really scary things that could happen if I waited, maybe it was better if I was induced.  So, I decided to go ahead and follow her medical advice.  Which means that now I know the date my baby will be born.  So crazy!   And if you are doing the math, that means that my baby will be here in just under 2 weeks! 

Oh, and I learned just how much they’re estimating that my baby currently weighs.  Any guesses??……. 8 lbs and 2 oz!!!  That’s right at 37 weeks she already weighs 8 lbs and 2 oz.  I asked them if this was all a bunch of B.S. because how could they know??  And, they assured me that this formula is actually really accurate.  So, after learning that, I thought maybe it’s best that she is coming a week early because she is already so big!! 

Lastly, here I am at 37 weeks.  I don’t have a crenshaw melon with me because I don’t even know what one is, and my grocery store doesn’t carry them.

Nursery Reveal

It has been far too long since I created my inspiration board, so I figured it was time to do the big nursery reveal.  In case you forgot the inspiration, here it is:

I was hesitant to post it because I still need a few things, but they’re all really small things (like a changing pad) so I didn’t think it was worth it to hold out on you all any longer…. 

So, let’s get started!  Here’s the crib and the honeycomb wall (that labor of love where we taped off every little honeycomb)

Close ups on the art, pillows, ribbons and mobile:

 

The other side of the room with the dresser, bookcase, rocking moose, rug, poufs and diaper holder: 

Close up on the bookcase and artwork:

View from when you walk in the room where you can actually see the curtains:

A little more of the bookcase and its accessories:

The dresser and diaper  holder:

So…what do you think??

Oh!  And, if you’re wondering where I got everything, I’ve made a list below.  But, I mostly captured the big things.  If you want to know about any of the smaller things, just let me know! 

I am so happy with how everything turned out.  Now our sweet girl just needs to get here!!

Weeks 33-35

Clearly I’m way behind on these updates.  Work has been incredibly busy, and by the time I get home I’m so tired of being on the computer that I don’t get to write the updates.  But, a lot has happened in the last few weeks. 

First, when I was 33 weeks I went to the doctor for my regularly scheduled checkup, and I was having some cramps that day and the day before.  I decided to tell the doctor even though they weren’t that severe and she went ahead and did the preterm labor test because my amniotic fluid levels are higher than normally and I’m already at an increased risk of going into labor early.  Basically it’s really similar to a pap smear, and they’re looking to see if prostaglandin is present.  If it is, then you have an increased chance of going into labor in the next couple of weeks.   So, I left the doctor’s office and she said she’d call me in 2 hours to let me know the results.  If it was positive, I was going to be on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.  If it wasn’t, then I was free to go about my regular schedule.  Over the next 2 hours I was freaking out that I might find out that I was about to sit at home. 

So, I decided to go on walk with Sean and the dogs just in case it was my last one.  Well, on that walk I either got a little overzealous or wasn’t paying attention (likely the latter) and I tripped and fell.  Thankfully my hands and knees broke my fall and I didn’t hit my stomach, but that made me realize that maybe I’m not as limber as I was and that I need to take it easy.  I started crying right away even though it didn’t hurt that much because I realized how easily I could have hurt the baby.  I felt awful.  Well, about an hour later I got the call from my doctor that my results were negative so I could keep going about my normal life.  Phew!!  So relieved! 

Over the next few weeks, I kept visiting my doctors and my belly kept growing.  And, things were growing increasingly more difficult.  Like sleeping.  And, I was/am exhausted.  They always say that you’re so tired in your 3rd trimester and that is definitely true, but I think that part of it is that you don’t sleep well, so you’re always tired.  Also, I was having a lot of pain on my left side on my upper rib cage.  I’ve asked the doctor about it and she said it’s just part of pregnancy.  Awesome.  It feels like a stabbing pain whenever I bend over, and it can be difficult to lay on my left side.  I just wish I knew what causes it, so if you know, please let me know!

And the baby…she’s quite the acrobat.  She keeps flipping between breech and the right position.  Weeks 34 and 35 she was back to being head down, but my amniotic fluid has increased, so that means that she can continue to flip.  For this reason, my doctor wants me to go to the hospital earlier in my labor process then she would typically recommend.  Which is not how I envisioned things, but it allows me to realize that this labor thing can really be beyond my control and I just need to expect that.  

And the baby’s size…well at 34 weeks they said she weighed 5 lbs and 13 oz, which is bigger than what all the books I’ve read said is the average weight.  Her length was in the 92nd percentile and her overall size is in the 67th percentile.  So, I don’t think she’s going to be a little pip squeak.  But, I know these are all best guesses by the doctors, so I’ll be interested to see what she will actually weigh. 

And lastly I had my baby shower!  It was so amazing.  I’ll leave you with a little sneak peek with me and my hosts until I can post about the whole thing:

 

 The shower was so perfect; I can’t wait to share the whole thing!

 

Flip Baby, Flip

I haven’t updated you all about everything during my weekly updates. The one thing I’d been leaving out was baby E’s position. It wasn’t intentional, I just figured it wasn’t that important. But then, at my weekly doctor’s visit, I saw that the ultrasound tech would casually type “breech” on the images. Finally, I decided that I should ask the doctor about this and try to figure out at what point I should start to become concerned that she wouldn’t flip. The doctor told me that typically babies settle into whatever position they’ll stay at during birth at about 35 weeks.

So, at 31 weeks I begin to worry about it a bit, but I wasn’t so concerned yet. I started doing a little research online on my own. Then, at 32 weeks when she still hadn’t flipped, I decided to reach out to my twitter friends. I got a lot of great tips, so thank you all! Caroline from Paloma’s Nest suggested that I look into Spinning Babies. It was there that I first learned about doing a pelvic tilt to get the baby in the right position:

Cleveland Clinic

You are supposed to arch your back like a cat in this position. I started doing it at home. But, it seemed like I wasn’t getting much of an arch of my back since my belly made it pretty difficult. So, I modified it a bit and started doing the downward facing dog position:

Yoga Journal

So, I started with the yoga techniques, but heard about a few other things that I was planning to try if the baby didn’t flip by 35 weeks:

  • Webster Technique performed by a chiropractor- this technique is used to help the pelvis open and the ligaments soften, allowing the baby enough room to assume a good position in the pelvis.
  • Acupuncture- this is done to release qi, prevent it from being blocked or help it move. This is supposed to help the baby find a better position by allowing the mom’s body to move freely and the baby to have the room he/she needs to be well placed in the uterus for birth.
  • Swimming- unfortunately it is winter and even though it was 70 today, there aren’t any pools that I know of that I can swim at. So, this one is out, but I will keep it in mind if I have a summer baby next.
  • Ice and light- Ok, I know this one sounds crazy, but hear me out. You’re supposed to place the ice (or frozen pea bag) near the baby’s head. And, place a light at your lower uterus to encourage the baby to come down there. I’ve also heard that you can use the music in place of the light. Babies don’t like the cold, so they move away from it, but the light/music is comforting to them.
  • Moxibustion- this is a traditional Chinese technique that involves rolling the dried leaves of the mugwort plant into a cigar-shaped stick, which is then burned like a cigar next to your pinky toe. I’m not sure how this one works, but it has received a lot of praise.
  • External Cephalic Version- This is performed by your doctor. Women are typically admitted to the hospital for this technique because it can cause labor. The doctor basically tries to turn the baby from the outside. I wasn’t planning on trying this one, and my doctor told me that she wouldn’t do it on me anyway since I have excess amniotic fluid and it may rupture.
  • Rebozo- This can be used during labor or to correct a malpositioned baby. You wrap a sheet around your belly and your partner grabs the ends and moves them side to side.

So, after doing all the research, I decided to see if I’d made any progress by just doing the pelvic tilt and downward facing dog. Luckily, I had a doctor’s appointment last Friday when I was 33 weeks, so I knew we could see what was going on. Well, the baby had flipped!! She is no longer breech!! But, if she does decide that she wants to flip back, at least I have a lot of techniques to try, and I know that the pelvic tilt seems to work for her.

Have you heard of any of these? Would you be open to trying the natural options for turning your baby?