Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1 year

I find it incredibly hard to believe that my baby girl is a year old today.  I have mixed emotions about her turning one.  She has turned into a little person who is growing to be more independent each day.  It is hard for me to start thinking of her not as a baby, but as a toddler.  She hit a lot of her milestones early, while exciting, means that her status as baby would be short lived.

I am actually longing for the days where I just fed, burped, diapered and rocked her.  Not that I want all the other not so glamorous parts to return along with those baby days.  Don't get me wrong, the first year was hard for me.  The sleep deprivation kept me in zombie mode most of the year.  The crying jags in the car after dropping Holly off at daycare at 3.5 months old.  Short term memory loss, the long nights of teething tears and screams.  Trying to keep up with a job, baby, husband and make time to get myself healthy again. All hard, but totally worth it.  I just miss being able to hold her little butt in the palm of my hand with room to spare.

I get asked all the time, when is #2 coming?  I am really loving #1 right now and  have no plans for #2.  I will have to see where the next two years takes us.  Maybe i will be ready then, maybe not.  All I know is, I am going to enjoy every minute I have with her.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recovery - Part 1 - FINALLY!!!

I think there is a mommy group out there that tells all the new mommies not to tell anyone the perils of recovering after giving birth because I never knew about any of these obstacles until I actually experienced them. Of course, looking back on it three months later, it wasn’t that bad and didn’t last that long. But still – YIKES! This is not to scare anyone, but just to give you an idea of what to expect. I had no clue what was going to happen and was a little blindsided by the events that took place. I think I would have handled it better or planned better had I known.

Around 7:30pm, the transporter came and took me from LDR suite to my new maternity ward room. I had to slide my butt onto a new gurney/bed which was difficult, but I was able to do. It was hard because my entire body was sore from the pushing; I was still shaking like a leaf and had zero energy. The epidural was wearing off, so I was able to use my legs to help scoot.

Once I got into the room, I was met by my evening nurses. I got the rundown of the room and what would be happening to me. The first thing they did was take my vitals AGAIN and let me eat. They had two sandwich boxes, fruit, chips, juice for both of us to eat. I was so grateful. I had in my head I was going to send Daniel out for the mother of all Subway subs, but he didn’t have to. Eating helped settle my body shakes, but I think my body was going into another form of shock. I wasn’t shaking anymore, but I was overwhelmed with exhaustion, nerves, emotions, etc.

One of the first things the nurse and I talked about was my preferred meds. Again, I am naive when it comes to pills of any kind. I have never taken anything stronger than an aspirin or antibiotics. The nurse had to give me the “what is your pain right now on a level of 1-10” spiel and what was the max tolerance I could stand. I was sore from head to toe and for the first time noticed the pain in my lower regions where I was stitched up. Not pain that made me want to cry, but uncomfortable pain. I told her I was at an 8, and if I had meds, I really wanted to be no higher than a 2. The nurse said the Dr had an order for all kinds of meds, what did I feel like taking? I explained my lack of knowledge and wanted to be able to function when I had the baby back in the room. We agreed to try the Motrin at 600mg. It was a huge help and I probably didn’t need anything stronger. I think at this point, my biggest pain was just the muscle soreness and the swelling in the nether regions. I didn’t think it was Vicodin type of pain. Again, if I had an advocate or someone there to guide me on this would have been helpful. This is another area I wish I was more informed about. Looking back, this would have been a great question to discuss with the doctor in the office during my last visit or one of his appearances at the birth. The other regular med they gave me was a stool softener. This was routine. I wasn’t expected to have a bowel movement for a few days, but they wanted it to be as easy as possible when it came.

The next thing the nurse and I tacked was the bathroom. I was worried about being steady enough on my feet after being in bed for 12+hours straight and coming off an epidural. I wasn’t numb in the legs anymore and getting up and out of that hospital bed was difficult. I needed her to guide me up and help me get steady on the feet. I felt like a baby giraffe with the wobbly legs. Once I was standing, I was okay.

I hobbled to the bathroom where the nurse presented me with the splendid mesh panties. They were an XL and didn’t fit me at all. We managed to get them up past my thighs and up enough to hold the monster pad they wanted me to use, but they would not go up and over my butt at all. I hated these panties!! The monster pad was another doozey. I haven’t used a pad since junior high school and to have one as big as an airplane runway wasn’t pleasant either. She also had to explain to me how I had to pee, and clean myself. I would use a plastic bottle of warm water to clean myself and my stitches, and I would use a spray to numb the crotch area as well. This was to help me be comfortable when sitting. I asked her for an ice pack to help the swelling as well. I did hear about that at one of my classes and sure enough, it was a big help! Now, I know this doesn’t sound too bad, but it literally took me 20 minutes each time I went to the bathroom to get of this done. I had to change the panties, the pad, rinse and spray. The hospital provided you with all the panties, pads, Dermoplast spray, etc. I had to get up about once an hour to do the bathroom thing and like I said, from start to finish from getting out of bed, to getting back into bed it was a good 20 minutes. The thing that would frustrate me the most was the bathroom didn’t have a sink and I would always forget my bottle of warm water. The hubby had to fill me up on a number of occasions and bring it to me. (The sink was in the middle of the hospital room) That little water bath and the spray were helpful and did make me feel better. It was just a hassle to have to do all this. It got easier and faster each passing day, as my muscled loosened up again and I was able to get through this routine a little easier. Now cleaning up after myself was challenging, but not as much as the actual act of peeing.

Initially, I couldn’t pee. The nurse was ordered to measure my urine. If I didn’t urinate so much within a specific amount of time they would have to do the catheter again. I sat, and sat and sat waiting to tinkle. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t feel my bladder and I didn’t have that sensation to push the urine out like you normally do. I assumed my bladder was empty. We would occasionally hear trickling sounds, thinking it was the blood. She had me get up to check the toilet to see if I had peed. She did notice urine mixed in with the blood. It was dripping out without my knowledge because I couldn’t feel it. She also noticed urine on my pad. This made us believe that my bladder was full and in desperate need of emptying. I was so baffled that I would have a completely full bladder and not even feel it. Normally, this is very evident to a person. Nope, not to me. It was as if my bladder was numb.

This started the fun of learning how to pee again. First of all, this chick was watching me pee, which was weird, but hey, I was not modest anymore. She gave me some tricks to try like blowing bubbles into water, drinking water, etc. NOTHING. We would continue this exercise throughout the night. Finally, a few hours later, I relaxed enough and was able to push out enough urine to pass my test. She didn’t have to monitor my bathroom activities anymore after that. Peeing for the next two weeks would continue to be a big challenge for me. The numb bladder issue was still going on and even when I felt I had to pee, trying to push/pass the urine, was difficult. It got painful after a while if I wasn’t successful at releasing. This is dangerous and can cause bladder infections, etc. Around week 3, the pain disappeared, but I noticed that I was still not aware that I had to pee. Hours would go by during the day and I had to stop to think if I had tinkled yet that day. I was lucky and didn’t have any infections as a result, but it was one of the most difficult things I experienced in recovery. Today, 3 months later I am much better and almost 100% back to normal.

Also, it was uncomfortable to sit on the toilet. I was aware of my stitches and the skin felt like it was stretching. The urine would sting as well. I tried to get in and out as quickly as possible and would be in some interesting balancing positions so I could be a little more comfortable when sitting.

During all of this, I was missing my baby. The nurse said the nursery was taking care of the baby; they fed her, bathed her and were now observing her. I wouldn’t have her for a few more hours. I took that opportunity to take my first shower. The hot water felt like heaven. Again, things that were second nature to you and easy, like showering and dressing were 1,000 times more difficult now. I made it through the shower and felt like a new human being afterward. Because of the bloody mess, I stayed in the provided hospital gowns and mesh panties. They had to change my bed linens several times the first night because I was leaking from all the blood. The nurse said this was normal. The bleeding was heavy the first two days in the hospital. After that, it slowed to a more normal heavy/medium flow for a week or so, and then slowed down to medium/light and finally ended for me after 4 weeks. Other than being messy and forcing the whole bathroom routine to make sure I was keeping myself clean and the stitches were clean and free from danger of infection, the bleeding wasn’t too bad to deal with. To me it was just like having an extended period. I did continue to use the hospital pads even at home because A.) They were free and gave me a crap load to take home and B.) They didn’t rub against my stitches and kept additional wet pads, ice packs, etc in place and kept my panties dry. Week 2-3 I started wearing normal pads.

Part 2 - Following this post.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

I know I still owe you all the Recovery story, but I had to share with you my little Valentine!  She reached her 2 month old birthday yesterday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Starting new tomorrow!

Hi Friends, I am going to continue with my recovery story this weekend, but wanted to let you know I am starting a new blog for my weightloss efforts.  It is 135by2012  I hope you can join me on my new journey of weightloss, health and life in general. :)

Take Care,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Birth Story 3- The Delivery!

Birth Story – Part 3 – Delivery

(I remember clearly the events up until about 4pm. From there on out, I had to rely on nurses and the husbands recollection because it is a little foggy.)

I woke up from my nap around 3pm. The nurse came in and did my cervix check. At this point, I was 6cm, so the hubby decided to go grab his lunch and make the update phone calls. Side note, I was so tired from not sleeping all night and so anxious about delivery that I was not remotely interested in talking to anyone on the phone, let alone hosting anyone in my room. Hubby was in charge of all phone calls and conversations.  I will talk more about this at the end of the story.

After the hubby left for lunch, the nurse was doing the routine hourly check on me and asked me to change positions and lay on my side. I forgot to mention that earlier in the morning the nurse said that if there were any issues with any of my readings they would ask me to lay on my side, and not to panic. This was just a way of them to naturally manage any poor blood pressure or baby heartbeat readings. She explained this earlier in the day so I would know that if a position change was required I would do it without a fight. Lying on my side was super painful for me the entire pregnancy, so she was able to prop me on my side with some pillows.

Around 3:30pm, I started feeling some major pressure down below. It was uncomfortable and a little painful. I thought that the epi was wearing off so I mentioned it to the nurse. She looked curious and did another cervical check and was amazed I had jumped from 6cm to 8.5cm in 30 minutes!! Holy Smokes! My husband walks in the door right after the nurse picked her jaw up from the floor and I got to tell him the news. He couldn’t believe it. He just called everyone and told them we would still be several hours away and here I was at 8.5cm! The nurse thought it would be another hour or two before we could start pushing. Immediately, my hubby called the grandmas-to-be and told them to spread the word, we would be parents very shortly.

At 4pm, the nurse started prepping the room for delivery. They brought in another nurse who assisted with this process. Turns out the second nurse would be there for delivery as well, since she is the baby nurse. Once I delivered, she is the one who takes the baby, cleans her up, weighs, measures and does the apgar scoring. She was super nice and just had a baby a few months earlier herself. We were talking and I mentioned how I couldn’t believe an hour ago I was sleeping and now I am close to delivering. I was on a high, scared, excited and anxious all at the same time.

Also around this time, I started talking to the nurse about my epidural. The pressure I was experiencing was getting stronger and closer together. This was very different from the labor contraction pains, but it was very intense and uncomfortable. She said that if I got a booster to the epidural, that the pressure feeling wouldn’t go away. That pressure comes and really tells us when it is time to push, etc. I wasn’t feeling any other pain but this pressure, still not feeling the contraction pain, so I declined the booster to the epidural. THIS WAS A HUGE MISTAKE! DON’T DO THIS, IF YOU ARE USING THE EPI TO MANAGE LABOR AND DELIVERY PAIN. I was so focused on the current pain, I didn’t think about the future delivery pain of pushing the baby and possible episiotomy, or tearing, etc. I was so turned upside down by the prospect of becoming a mother shortly, that I couldn’t think ahead. You seem to only focus on the now, one step at a time. This is when I needed someone there to tell me to get it. Someone who was focused for me and thinking ahead of the game. More on this later….

As for the pressure, the nurses told me to breathe through them, like I was blowing out birthday candles. This helped, along with squeezing the hubby’s hand. The nurse had called the doctor and let him know that I was progressing quickly. He was in his office, which was just across the street and said he would be there shortly.

By 4:30pm, I couldn’t take it anymore and asked the nurse to check me again. I was at 10cm. HELLO??!! 10cm!!?? I was just at 6 an hour and a half ago! What the hell happened to make everything kick into gear suddenly? The nurse jumped on the phone again and called the Dr. office to tell him I was ready to start pushing. She was trying to stall until he arrived, but agreed to let me start practice my pushes. I couldn’t take it anymore and really needed to start. It is amazing how your body tells you what to do and when in this situation.

So, pushing started. I did my first push and it was okay. They slowly counted to 10, 3 times and had me push while blowing out simultaneously. The nurse corrected my form after the first push, having me hold my legs up and pushed against my chest. This was hard for a 350lb woman, but I managed to do it. She also told me how to push, which was as if I was having a bowel movement. Uh oh, the dreaded poopy on the table idea occurred to me, but quickly left my mind as I was experiencing an over whelming urge to push again!

This continued on until about 5pm. The doctor still hadn’t shown up and I was still pushing like a mad woman. The nurse was doing what she could to stall, having me only push every other time I wanted to, but that was no longer working for me. The urge to push grew more intense with every passing minute. At this point, I had a terrible sense of timing and felt like the urge to push was every 30 seconds or so. The nurse said it was more like 1-2 minutes, but certainly as I got closer the urge to push came closer together. In between pushes the nurse kept calling the doctor’s office. She kept getting the routine, he will be there in 5 minutes speech, but 5 turned into 10, turned into 15, turned into 20, turned into 25 minutes. Still no doctor and I was ready for full on delivery.

They gave me oxygen during this pushing phase, because I wasn’t breathing properly or enough and it was bad for the baby. They were very concerned with my breathing. They did say this was common, for moms to wear the oxygen masks. My husband said with each push, I looked like I was going to turn into the incredible hulk. I was bright red, sweaty, eyes bugging out of my head, out of breath, and exhausted.

So here I was pushing 45 minutes later, no doctor to deliver my baby, and I noticed that I did poop very little on the table, twice. At this point, I didn’t care; I just wanted this baby out!! PS – The nurse was right there to catch the poop and clean me up immediately. It was so little; I didn’t really even know for sure that I was pooping. I had to confirm this with the hubby afterward. Also, it felt like at this point I had been pushing for 2 hours, but the nurse reassured me it has only been 45 minutes. LOL! This was the longest process of my life!

I could feel myself stretching and could feel the head making its way out. It was at this point, I realized the epi wore off and I could feel everything! WTF!!!??? Why was I so stupid and didn’t get the epi booster??!! Lesson learned, ladies. Lesson learned!

What was weird was, I would push, and the head would come out a bit, but then retreat back inside. I couldn’t see what was happening, but it felt like I was doing all this work and not making any progress. My husband reassured me I was making progress and with each push, you could see more and more of the head. Basically, since we were waiting for the doctor, her head was crowning, and the nurse was growing more agitated the doctor wasn’t there yet. She was doing what she could to get me to pause and hold off on pushing, but Holly had other thoughts. I was full on pushing and I couldn’t control my body enough to stop. So, more pushing I did.

The next thing I know, I pushed her head completely out, and on the next push, her entire body slid out, like she was on a quick water slide ride. It was amazing. I could have sworn she just swooshed out and would have flown across the room if the nurse wasn’t there to catch her. That is how easy it was to pass her body out. 10 seconds after she slid out the doctor walked in the door. He missed the entire thing! My super awesome labor and delivery nurse delivered my baby! She was fantastic and I never would have made it without her!!! I couldn’t believe it was over. I was crying, and felt my body completely flooded with emotions.

The doctor cut the cord, and the baby nurse took the baby. I immediately went into shock and started shaking. I think the lack of food and energy it took to labor really took its toll on me. I wanted to know if I tore and the doctor couldn’t see yet, he was focusing on delivering the placenta. At the same time I heard her cry, the hubby went right to her and watched her get cleaned up, weighed, etc. He was taking pictures, I was breathing heavily, like I just ran a marathon. A full marathon, not one of those crack half marathons. Maybe even a triathlon! It was that taxing! At the same time, I kept talking and asking questions, does she have all her fingers and toes? How did she score on the Apgar? (She scored a 9), etc.

I delivered the placenta, all intact and the doctor went to work on collecting the cord blood. I was still shaking like mad. By this time, I was finally able to see her. She was such a vision.

They handed her to me and all I could think was how beautiful she was. She was breathtaking and amazing. He name is Holly Noelle; she was born 12/14/09, 5:35pm, 7lbs, 3oz and was 18 and 3/4 inches in height.

The nurses offered to take some family pics too.  PS - I was so hot and sweaty and in my mind I was cursing my mom for convincing me to wear make up all day long. 

Shortly after, they took the baby to the nursery for her bath and observation period. At this point, I was in a daze and starving!

It took the doctor forever to collect the cord blood. I asked him if I tore again, and he said yes, but doesn’t know how bad it was since he was collecting the cord blood and haven’t cleaned me up yet. He did notice how jumpy I was each time he touched me and asked if I could feel anything he was doing. The nurse told him yes, that my epi wore off. He ordered for the anesthesiologist to come back and give me the booster because he was going to have to sew me up. I did tear, and it was going to take some stitches to sew me back up.

The Anesthesiologist came in shortly and gave me more epi. I didn’t have to move for this, it was put into the existing line. The doctors both joked back and forth and then the anesthesiologist left. I told the doc that I was feeling the epi kick in, as I got that familiar warm tingling. He checked me and once I confirmed I was numb he started to tend to my tear. He broke the news to me that I tore pretty badly, a 3rd degree tear. He was going to have to put in a number of stitches. Again, at this point, I was in a daze. I was exhausted. I just wanted the whole business to end.

The best part, during this time period, the nurse removed that damn blood pressure monitor! Victory was mine! I was free!!! Woo Hoo! The doctor took a while to sew me up, which made me nervous. He was either being very careful, cautious and thorough because he was that kind of doctor, he was making up time for missing the birth or it was a REALLY BAD tear and he had a lot to do to get me cleaned up. It turns out it was a combination of all those reasons. Once he finished, he said it was pretty bad, but he got me stitched up well and they should dissolve in a week or two. He kept saying how sewing me up was the hardest part, so he was at least there for that part. What a pal!! LOL! He would be in tomorrow morning to check on me and left for the evening.

After all was said and done, It took about an hour after I delivered the baby for me to deliver the placenta, collect the cord blood and get my tear stitched up. I had to be in recovery for another 45 minutes before they could transport me to my maternity room.

More on recovery to come…. Recovery was a doozey of a time!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Birth Story Part 2 - The Induction

Birth Story Part 2 – The Induction

I just wanted to start by saying sorry for including so many details in the story below. I am one person that really enjoys the details people include in their stories, as it helps me to compare and contrast against my experiences or helps me when I am researching for my future experiences. So just read the parts you want to and please be patient with me. :)

As expected, I did not sleep a wink the night before the induction. I was excited, nervous and anxious all at once. I kept packing, unpacking and then re-packing my hospital bags (will list what I packed and what I actually used later) all night, watched tv, watched my husband sleep, and read a little. 5am finally rolled around, so I jumped in the shower, did my hair and put on make-up. I figured I would be taking pictures so I wanted to make sure I looked suitable. Plus, I wanted Holly to see her mommy pretty for the first time.

My husband and I left for the hospital at 10 minutes till 6am. We live across the street from the hospital, so traffic and travel time would not be an issue for us at all. Here is a picture of us leaving for the hospital:

We arrived to the labor and delivery wing and was buzzed in immediately. I had pre-registered at the hospital, but they still needed to do some paperwork and create my chart. I was arriving an hour before the shift change, so the employees were a bit tired, but still nice, and in a rush to get things done before the next shift started. 6:10am, after signing a billion forms, I was lead to my LDR (Labor, delivery and recovery) suite by my temporary nurse. My heart was jumping out of my chest by now, I was going to be a mom soon. While I was terrified, I was still very positive. I couldn’t stop smiling, joking with the nurse, my husband, and being as pleasant as I can be. I am always super nice to those who have to stick me with needles. LOL!

The nurse gave me my gown, and lead me to the restroom to change. The gown fit, but didn’t reach all the way around the back to tie closed. Luckily, at 9 months pregnant I had lost any shred of modesty I may have had left. I did put on my new slippers, and was given the go ahead to jump in bed. The nurse went over yet more paperwork, asking about allergies, if I opposed blood transfusions, etc. This nurse was awesome. She was positive, nice, and very helpful. She explained everything as she went along, gave me opportunities to ask questions, tried her best to get me to relax and was just super nice. I was disappointed she wouldn’t be my nurse for the whole day.

The only negative person I encountered wasn’t super negative, but she was preachy and I felt I was being judged for my size. Another nurse came in and was entering me into the computer and asking more questions but focused on my weight and nutrition. This one was asking when I last took my prenatal vitamin. I told her 2 weeks ago and got a lecture about how important it was to take them every day, even post delivery. Little did she know, my doctor didn’t really care if I took them or not because he believed I got all the nutrition I needed from my diet. So I just agreed and nodded. Then she asked me when I last ate. I told her 3pm the day before, and she and the other nurse were surprised. I explained to them that I was told by the Dr. office not to eat after midnight and they said that was wrong. I should have eaten because I would be expending a ton of energy and needed the fuel to keep up my strength that day. Then she was upset I hadn’t eaten past 3pm. Now, I didn’t offer up the truthful explaination of this because it was my stupid paranoia: I was paranoid about pooping during delivery. Even though I lost my modesty, I wasn’t about to have a bowel movement during one of the most important days of my life in front of a room full of people! So I told her it was because I wasn’t hungry after 3pm and have been like that the past few weeks. Total lie!!! I ate all the time. Then she asked me what I ate at 3pm and told her we went to Hooter’s and I had a buffalo chicken sandwich. She was pissy about that too and gave me the lecture again about nutrition. I was eating spicy to see if I could jump start the pregnancy, but that was lost on her. Luckily, she left after this and I didn’t see her again. That was the last negative person I would have to endure during this whole process. After all this discussion, the nice nurse told me It was too late for me to eat now and all I would be allowed to have during this process would be clear liquids, ice chips or jello. I was cool with this, because again, I was thinking no way I was pooping and I was too excited to eat anyway.

Ok, so negative nurse left and they were ready to prep me and start the iv’s. The first thing they did was hook me up to a blood pressure cuff that was automatic. It would proceed to take my blood pressure every 30 minutes. This thing was the bain of my existance during the entire labor process. It pinched like hell when it was expanded. It was the most annoying thing I had to deal with that day, which if you think about it is pretty good. They took my temperature, drew my blood for the maternal blood draw required for the cord blood registry kit and set up my iv’s. They stuck me in the hand, and had me hooked up to the iv in no time. At 6:50am, I was officially hooked up to the Pitocin drip! The other tubes I was hooked up to were some fluids to pump in me to prevent dehydration. She also attached the fetal monitor.  Because I was so round, they had to use two of them and do some playing to anchor them down so they can catch the heartbeat.  This proved to be an annoyance for the nurse the entire day, who was constantly moving the monitor and adjusting it because the baby kept moving or if I moved and needed to change positions. 
At 7am, I met my new nurse and she again was super nice and awesome. She was quiet, but helpful and very attentive. The doctor came in shortly afterward to see how I was doing. They checked my cervix and I was at 1.5 cm. The doctor said he would be back later to see how I was progressing and break my water. They told me to get some rest and relax. By this time, the excitement was pretty much over and I was ready to finally relax. My hubby ran out to get breakfast and I watched some tv, waiting for the contractions to start. I was bed bound, but could get up to use the restroom if needed. I just had to page the nurse so she could detatch me from all the monitors, bp cuff and travel with the iv's. I only did this twice before the epidural.

The nurse checked on me constantly. She was in the room every 15 -20 minutes reading the monitors, checking my blood pressure results, seeing if I was contracting etc. I wasn’t contracting so every hour they kept upping my Pitocin dosage. By 10am, I hadn’t had any contractions. The doctor came back in and checked on me. I was dilated to 2cm. They decided to break my water, up the dosage of the Pit and see how I progressed.

Well, I started feeling the contractions about 10 minutes later. They started off slow, the pain not unbearable. It was like stomach cramps, but totally okay. About an hour later, they were intense and by 11:30am I was in major pain! They were coming every couple of minutes and were so tight, intense, and painful. I was squeezing my husband’s hand by this point and was sweating a bit. The nurse did my cervical check and I was at 2.5cm. I told her I was ready for the epidural now. I was in extreme pain. She put in the order and about 20 minutes later the doctor arrived. By this point, the pain was crippling and I was crying. Big fat tears streaming down my face. They asked my husband to leave and the Anesthesiologist proceeded to do his thing. They had me sit on the bed, with my legs dangling off the side, had me hug a pillow and bend forward to expose my back to the doctor. The nurse held my shoulders while I hugged the pillow. They told me to be as still as possible and then they started. The Anesthesiologist talked through the whole procedure, but I can’t remember what he said. It was over in no time. I didn’t really feel it. I think it was because the contraction pain was so terrible that anything else in comparison was nothing! A few minutes later, I felt a warm tingling feeling in my lower half.  I never lost feeling in my legs or feet but was certainly numb to any pain.  From that point on, I felt nothing.  No contractions.  I was in heaven.  I fell asleep and napped for the next three hours.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Birth Story Part 1

Birth Story Part 1 – Last 4 weeks of pregnancy

Week 36 –

Up to this point, I have been lucky enough to have a complication free pregnancy. For the past week, I was experiencing more Braxton Hicks contractions, and they were getting stronger. My weight was up to 348, and the doctor hadn’t harassed me about it at all. At this visit, we did my last ultrasound, confirmed it was a girl; she was measuring well, with the exception of her legs. They were measuring in the 4th percentile, but he was never able to get great pictures of her because of my belly fat. I wasn’t overly concerned about this, but yes, the thought did run through my head that I was growing her wrong… LOL! The hubby was there to calm me down and talk me through it. Her weight was estimated at 7lbs, 2oz and the doctor thought she would weigh close to 8lbs at delivery.

After the ultrasound, I had my first cervical check and YIKES did that hurt! I can handle my annual pap exams with no problems, but this was unbearably uncomfortable. Maybe because she was sitting on my bladder so much or I was swollen but I was extremely sensitive for this check. I actually screamed in the doctor’s office and nearly jumped off the table. He checked my dilation and did the Strep B swabbing. I spotted and was feeling raw for a few days afterward. On the plus side, I was dilated to 1cm, the baby’s head was down and we were looking good for delivery.

The doctor said my cervix was ripe and we could induce if I wanted. Medically, he was concerned because women of my size typically have a more narrow cervix and birth canal which makes vaginal deliveries more complicated. I guess the excess weight makes those uterine walls cave in. Also, judging from my reaction at being checked for dilation, large baby 8 lbs or more would be very difficult for me. For the non-medical reasons, he would be out of town on my due date, and he knew I had family coming in for Christmas, and induction would be more convenient for both of us. I jumped at the opportunity to have her earlier. I was so over being pregnant and really wanted to have her when my family arrived. We settled on December 14th as the induction date. I would be at 39 weeks at this point and my mom would be flying in on December 17th. I would be home from the hospital by then. He told me to do lots of walking and have lots of sex to see if I can start labor naturally before then. I would see him two weeks later.

Week 37 -
Went to JCPenny Portrait Studios to have my maternity pictures taken.  My husband is awful with the camera and I wanted some nice belly shots.  They did a great job.  I had an 8x10 collage done of our shots, had them converted to black and white and framed them in her room.  Here are a couple of the pictures:

Week 38 –

I was working 12 – 14 days at this point since I was being induced a week early. Other than the usual fatigue, baby on bladder, going to the bathroom every 5 minutes, I was doing well. The baby was feeling heavier, and having a lot of contractions, but they were still infrequent and not close enough together. I was convinced I was going to have her before my induction date. I was still very hungry and was eating everything in sight. At this visit, I hit over 350lbs, but we don’t know by how much, because the doctor scale only went up to 350. He didn’t mention anything about my weight gain at this visit either. According to their records, I gained 32 lbs for the entire pregnancy. At my first visit, I was 318 and now hit at least 350. At this visit, he checked the heartbeat and offered to do another cervical check. I was feeling like the baby was going to arrive any day now, and was curious to see if I dilated anymore. So only caving to curiosity did I agree to the cervical check and it still hurt like a muther! Surprisingly I was still only at 1cm, but still good to go for my induction, 5 days later.

That was my last doctor visit pre-delivery. I was told to show up at the hospital’s labor and delivery area at 6am for induction. The nurse told me not to eat after midnight the eve of the induction. The doctor didn’t mention anything to me about this, but I listened and did as I was told.

Tomorrow – Birth Story Part 2 – The Induction

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Had the baby!

Hello Blogger World!  Sorry I have been MIA for so long.  That last month of pregnancy was crazy busy, and the delivery and post partum have been overwhelming, but in a good way.  I will be back and posting my birth story shortly.  Thanks to those who have sent me emails and well wishes. 

Holly Noelle was born 12/14/09 at 5:35pm, 7lbs.3oz, and 18 3/4 inches long.   More details to follow....