Sunday, January 27, 2013

one week

i cannot believe it's been over a week since daxon came into our lives.  looking at pictures, i already feel like he's changed so much.  we are getting to know each other, and i may not always be loving it, but i sure as heck can't stay mad at that sweet little face.

here are a few things we know so far:

-daxon hates being undressed.  whether it's for a clothing change, a diaper change, or a bath, he is not happy about it.  as soon as you get him all put together again, he's totally fine.

-daxon does not like the bath.  he screamed blood murder the entire time we bathed him.

-when he's awake, he's very alert.  not that he can see a great deal, but he looks around constantly, taking everything in.  a friend of mine once told me that alert newborns tend to grow up to be very smart.  

-he likes motion.  we discovered this the day we brought him home.  he was in a full scream fit until i sat down in the wheelchair with him on my lap in his car seat.  as soon as the wheelchair started to move...silence.  he likes the swing, and the car, too.

-he likes white noise.  at our first appointment with his pediatrician, we were very nervous, cuz we had no idea how he would do.  he was a champ, even though he had to be stripped down to his skivvies for the entire appointment.  well the office has loud white noise piping through its sound system, like muzak for babies.  we need to get him a white noise machine for his room.

-he has mixed feelings about pacifiers, which is fine, cuz so does mommy.  

-we seem to be very lucky in the sleep department (knock on wood).  he gets his last feeding at 8pm, which means he usually goes down for bed between 8:30-9, depending on how long he nurses.  i try to keep him up and eating as long as possible so he gets a really full belly.  the past 4 nights, he's then slept until 1or 2am, then gets up every 2-3 hours after that.  i'm hoping this continues, and that the additional feedings continue to stretch out.  our first few nights at home, we were up every 1.5-2 hours, so this is an enormous improvement.  

-he breastfeeds like an old pro.  his latch was perfect the very first time in the hospital, and continues to be spot on 95% of the time.  i have to readjust him a few times, but for the most part, he does awesome.  i am so grateful for this.

-i am a little worried that he may have reflux.  after he eats, he often gags, though he rarely burps or spits up.  he gets the hiccups a lot, and occasionally when he's really wailing, he arches his back and today it even seemed like he was kind of grabbing at his throat, but i may be imagining this.  i am going to keep an eye on it and possibly call the pediatrician.  

-i'm not going to lie and say i feel great.  i am still very sore, and am actually kind of concerned that one of my sutures has opened.  i think i am still bleeding more than i should be.  i am trying to take it easy, but that is really hard for me - i have never been good at relinquishing responsibility.  my mom was with me last week after matt went back to work, and even though she offered to clean and cook, i still ended up doing a lot of things myself, and i shouldn't have.  today, i have done much better and let matt do pretty much everything.  it is hard, and i feel like a lazy poop and keep apologizing and thanking matt, but i know i need to do it in order to be able to give daxon the care that he needs.  

-i have had a few total meltdowns and felt like i couldn't hack it as a mom, but for the most part, i feel like i'm doing pretty well.  being a mama is an amazing thing.  i am learning so much from daxon everyday.  already he is making me a better person.  he's a happy little boy (unless he's naked), and i could just sit and stare at him for hours.  i never knew my heart could be so full. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

our birth story

our birth story ended up being pretty different than what i'd anticipated and/or wanted, but it's ours and that makes it perfect.  i took notes throughout the day, so i'm just basically going to relay them to you as i wrote them.  i'll throw in any afterthoughts in italics.

-wednesday morning, i lost my mucus plug.  and wednesday afternoon, i started having irregular contractions.  right around 7pm, they had become more regular - about 7 minutes apart.
-called l&d triage at 9pm, as instructed.  was told an rn would call me back.  rn called back around 9:30 and told us to come to triage at 10:30.  we laid around the house a bit more, enjoying our last few minutes together, then packed up the car and headed over to the hospital.
-check in at 10:45 (nurse patty)
-placed on monitors and cervical check - still 1cm, 50% effaced.  baby's heart rate is "beautiful."
-got iv for fluids.  took 3 tries (ended up in left hand)
-11:30pm - baby's heart rate dropped.  i got o2.  4rns and the ob came in.  had me flip side to side, then on all 4s.  baby's heart rate finally came back to baseline (120s).
-12am - transferred to l&d.  checked in with new rn (rosie)
tried to sleep - too nervous, too many contractions, too much noise, what have you
-1:30am - ob (dr. piccone) explained that i am contracting quite a bit already, and with the baby's heart rate drop earlier, they decided to skip the cytotec and go straight to low dose pitocin.
-2am - started on low dose pitocin to ripen cervix.  told it will be 1mg for an hour, then 2mg for hour, then up to 4mg, where it'll stay for a while.  definitely feeling contractions but they aren't painful.  just tightening of belly and down in groin.
-4:30am - 4mg pitocin.  cervical check - still 1cm, 50%, -1 station.  contractions are stronger and becoming painful.  when lying on back, hurts in ribcage.
-7am - new rns (sandi and katrina)
-11:30am - contractions about 2-2 1/2 minutes apart.  matt and i start talking about getting an epidural.  i was managing the pain fine, but was so tired and felt i needed to rest in order to have the strength to push when the time came.  we decided that if i haven't dilated, i will probably get one just so that i can rest.
-12pm - cervical check - 2cm, 90%, -1 station.  discussed options - break water and hope to move things along, or epidural.  chose the epidural.
-12:30pm - epidural placed.  can't feel contractions (yay!).  bp issues - flipped sides, increased iv fluids, placed on o2.
-1-3pm - slept!  once they regulated my blood pressure, i could hardly keep my eyes open.  the nurse was talking to me and i could barely pay attention.
-3:30pm - straight cath
-4:30pm - discussed possibility of foley bulb to dilate.  cervical check - 2-3cm, 90%, -1 station.  foley bulb would not be appropriate - it falls out at 3cm.  o2 off.
-5:30pm - felt a lot of wetness.  thought maybe water broke.  more bp issues - flipped sides, iv fluids, placed on o2. 
-7:15pm - straight cath.  new rn (laura).
somewhere around this time is when i noticed that my epidural catheter at fallen out.  i notified the nurse.  she went to talk to her supervisor, then came back and said they were going to call anesthesia to come back to check because they'd never seen this happen.  of course!  anesthesia came up and replaced the catheter, but it did not seem to take.  i pushed the button several times but nothing really happened.  was feeling pretty much everything at this point.
-8:15pm - dr. klemens checked.  4cm, 90%, -1 station.  manually broke water bag.
-9pm - 7cm.  feeling intense pressure and need to push.  started to push.
-11:46pm - delivery!  dr. klemens used the vacuum to assist.  he got stuck in between contractions (i thought i was going to split open - it was so painful.  i wanted to keep pushing but dr. klemens told me to wait - continuing to push would have been useless and just made me too exhausted and potentially cause a really bad tear).  one more contraction, and he was out.  he wasn't breathing when he came out.  treated in the in-suite nicu setup by nicu team.  given o2 and started breathing on his own after about a minute.  once i was stitched up and he was stabilized, they brought him over for a brief snuggle before taking him to the nursery to monitor for 4 hours.
-2am - transferred to maternity.  daxon stayed in nursery overnight until about 6am.

Friday, January 18, 2013


daxon michael was born at 11:46pm last night (thursday, jan 17).  i'll post his whole birth story soon, but it was 27 hours of labor, and 3 hours of pushing.  i did get an epidural, which i really struggled with (ie, i bawled) but i'm pretty sure if i hadn't, it would have ended in a cesarean.  it was long and brutal, but so worth it.  he is doing great, and i am tired and sore but so happy.  more to come!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

am i ready...

it's 12:27am on wednesday morning.  tonight we check into the hospital to begin the induction process.  i tried to sleep but couldn't, so i'm back downstairs, watching a documentary about the great barrier reef and drinking warm milk.  i am at once excited and absolutely.fucking.terrified.

matt and i laid down in bed tonight and held each other, trying to relish our last few minutes of just us, the 2 of us, where it all started.  and i had to go and ruin the moment by starting to cry.  matt just held my hand and wiped my tears until i could finally verbalize..."all of a sudden, i'm really scared."  and that's when the real waterworks started.  he tried to reassure me, "you'll do great tomorrow."  but it's not just labor and delivery that i'm afraid of.  what if the nurses hand me the baby and i don't feel anything?  what if i just sit there and look at him and my only thought is, "i have no idea what the hell i'm doing here?"  what if i mess it all up?  what if i'm a terrible mother?  suddenly i feel completely inadequate and unprepared. 

sure, i've readied the nursery.  we have all the necessary stuff for bringing a baby home.  but do i have what it takes to raise a child?  do i have the perseverance to deal with breastfeeding issues?  will i be able to breastfeed at all?  will i ever truly understand what his cries mean and how to meet his needs?  will i be loving and responsive enough that he feels secure, but not overly smothering so that he never gains independence or learns to self-soothe?  will i be able to nurture his development?  will i be fun?  will i be able to help him with his homework? 

being a mom is a serious undertaking, and so many times i've questioned whether or not i'm ready.  i guess i don't have a choice, at this point.  he'll be here sometime within the next 48 hours (god willing!), and he'll be mine.  mine and matt's.  he'll be ours.  we'll be a family.  our own tiny little family. 

wow.  it's all so overwhelming....

40 weeks

due date: jan 10
how many weeks down/days left/days of work left: 40 weeks/0 days/done
baby is the size of: a small pumpkin
sleep: sleep is elusive.  i wake up several times per night, either to pee or to just roll over or just because i'm uncomfortable.
best moment this week: last day of work!
what are you looking forward to: meeting our little boy!  definitely happening this week (see below)
what do you miss: sleep. pain-free movement.
symptoms: pain in my pelvis (baby's dropping).  painful and swollen hands.  big old belly. 
weight gain: 33 pounds.
movement: he's still moving, but not as much. 
gender: baby boy!
belly button: it sticks out a little bit, but i definitely wouldn't call it a "popped" belly button.
rings: all off.

we had an appointment on tuesday night with the ob.  still only 1cm dilated, which i've been now since 36 weeks, and about 50% effaced.  my practice does not let you go more than a week late, so we talked about induction.  if baby doesn't come on his own before then, we'll be induced on thursday morning.  we'll go into the hospital wednesday night for cytotec, which is a cervical ripening agent.  the goal there is to help my cervix dilate and shorten, and then help to kickstart labor without having to actually induce with pitocin. 

still really hoping to avoid having to do any kind of medical induction, but i feel better with starting with cytotec than going straight to pitocin.  in the meantime, i'm trying all kinds of diy-induction techniques.  now that i am officially out on maternity leave, i'm taking walks (thank you, weirdly warm january weather).  bouncing on my birthing ball.  eating pineapple and dates and spicy foods.  picked up some raspberry leaf tea.   and then there's the old stand-by - sex.  sex has been terribly uncomfortable for me for most of this pregnancy, but i may just suck it up and give it a shot.  dr. tara also reminded me about castor oil, but....that's a last resort, i think.  it just sounds too risky to me!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

a tip

when you're past your due date and feeling like you might lose your mind, go.get.a pedicure.  i just got back from one and after spending the past 3 days in a terrible head space, i feel like a new person.  i sat down, read a magazine, turned on the massage chair, and just shut down.  for a full hour i didn't think once about the fact that this baby is obviously going to be as stubborn as his mama, or the fact that i am so uncomfortable i want to cry every time i move.

seriously.  if you heed no other advice i've given you, heed this.  a pedicure will change your life at 40+ weeks.

Monday, January 7, 2013

reasons why i love my chiropractor

i started seeing a chiropractor in november or december (i honestly don't remember when my first appointment was).  it was recommended to me by a couple of friends who i'd complained about my back pain to, and also several of the bees on hellobee were singing the praises of their chiropractors.  so even though i'd always been skeptical of chiros, i thought i'd give it a chance.  i knew i wanted to find someone who specialized in prenatal chiropractics because i know that we preggos have special needs and circumstances, and that our bodies may not be able to handle the rigors of "normal" chiropractics.  so i googled "prenatal chiropractor, abington, pa."  that brought up a list of a few in the area, but in perusing their websites i realized they weren't exactly what i was looking for.  well, one was, but when i read that they don't bill insurance, they were out.  i modified my search from abington to philadelphia, and about the 5th hit down i found the icpa website (international chiropractic pediatric association).  the first name on the list for the philadelphia search was the same one i'd already found who didn't take insurance.  the second name was dr. tara at hatboro family wellness.  as i looked over her website, i felt like i had found what i was looking for.  it seemed like she practiced from a holistic approach, treating not only the body but also the body's connection to the mind and overall wellness.  so i called and scheduled my intake assessment.

she spent 1 1/2 hours with me at  my initial appointment.  we went over everything - my medical history, my family history, my social history, my emotional was incredibly comprehensive.  and then, after all that, she did the actual exam.  she discovered that i have a mild scoliosis.  she also discovered (as had my neurologist) that i have a slight head tilt to the left, and therefore my right muscles work extra hard to correct that.  and i have a leg-length discrepancy, in that my right leg is longer than my left (my right hip sits lower). anyway, given my assessment, and the fact that i was in excruciating pain on a near-daily basis, i was excited to get my treatment started.

i see dr. tara anywhere from 1-3 times a week, depending on my schedule and how i'm feeling (there have been a couple of times that i've cancelled my appointment because i've just been too freaking tired to make the drive - it's 15-20 minutes).  at each session, i start face-up and she does some neck adjustments.  then i flip to my stomach (using a special pillow with a hole in it for my belly) and she does some more adjustments to my back, and during the past few sessions she's also started focusing a lot on my sacrum and pubic bone, which feels awesome.  then i sit up and she gently massages my neck and back.  i don't always notice a difference right away, but definitely the next day i feel looser, less painful, and like i have a little bit more energy.

but that's not the only reason i like her.  at every session, she asks me a question regarding my overall wellness.  a few times it was just to tell her one thing that made me feel good that day.  given that it was the end of the year, she asked me once what accomplishment i was most proud of.  with the new year, she asked me what my resolutions are (but totally understood that resolutions hadn't even crossed my mind, what-with all the baby thoughts taking up space in my brain).  we've talked a lot about labor and delivery, too.  given that she's from this holistic point of view, she's very crunchy - more crunchy than i am.  she had her 2 babies at home with no medications - not even an option for medication.  i'm pretty sure she doesn't believe in vaccinations, though i've avoided that topic with her because i am such a strong proponent for vaccines.

last night, she asked me what is the central theme to my thoughts regarding labor and delivery.  my answer was that i really hope i can do it without medication.  i really mean all medication, but we focused mostly on pain medication last night.  she asked me why i have such a concern about it, and if i was getting pressure from anyone to use medication.  i'm not, though it is discouraging to have my friends look at me like i have 85 heads when i tell them that i hope to go med-free.  matt fully supports my decision to go without, and my doctors seem to be willing to go along with whatever i want, though i do need to discuss this more in-depth with them at our next appointment.  i'm more afraid that my body or more specifically that i won't be able to handle it.  so she reminded me that one of the biggest weapons that women have to manage labor is relaxation techniques, and asked me what thoughts i had about relaxation.  i told her that i think one of the biggest things for me will be music - music has always been a huge part of my life, and i can use music to transport me away from situations, to ease my mind, to pump me up - whatever i need, music has always been there for me.  i told her that i've been working on creating a labor and delivery playlist with calming, soothing music to help me turn inward and focus on myself.  i also am creating another playlist with just instrumental, relaxing music (mostly movie soundtrack music) - that is what helped me fall asleep during hurricane tomas on our honeymoon - i plugged in my earbuds and turned on the harry potter soundtrack to drown out the wind.  i've thought about making a more upbeat, motivational list for when it comes time to push, too, but i don't really want baby to enter the world the sounds of something like "sexyback," by justin timberlake.  i think creating a push playlist would take a lot more creativity and thought than my relaxing playlist, and i just don't have the energy for that.  maybe when i'm home on maternity leave (if baby doesn't come before i start) i'll work on it. 

she said that music worked really well for her, and at one point during her labor she actually had her husband take her ipod of the dock and just hand her her earbuds so she could fully drown out the noise around her.  i don't think i would hesitate to do that, honestly.  i know what music does for me, and i know that would probably help me a lot. 

then we started talking about other relaxation techniques.  she asked me if there was any position that i'd practiced or found that helped, and i told her that in our childbirth class we'd learned several, and i had found that the most effective one for me was to sit facing matt, with my head on his chest, while he rubs my neck, back, and arms.  another one that worked was when we stood facing each other, and i put my arms around his neck and just kind of hung there while we rocked back and forth and he rubbed my back.  she also reminded me about gentle touch, and that oftentimes women find that very soothing.  one of my favorite things is when matt lightly strokes the inside of my arm, so i will definitely have to keep that in mind.

i am so glad she brought that topic up and we talked about it.  it made me feel a zillion times more confident, realizing that i do have several effective relaxation techniques in my arsenal.

now i just have to get over - or better yet face - my fear of induction...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

39 weeks

due date: jan 10
how many weeks down/days left/days of work left: 39 weeks/5 days/3 days
baby is the size of: a mini watermelon
sleep: rough.  waking up at least once to pee.  sweating like crazy.  and rolling over is excruciatingly painful.
best moment this week: new year's day - another lazy day in our pjs at home.  perfection.
what are you looking forward to: fingers crossed, baby boy will make his appearance this week!
what do you miss: sleep. pain-free movement.
symptoms: big belly.  swollen and painful hands and feet.  back and pelvic pain.  contractions on and off since new year's eve.
weight gain: 31 pounds.
movement: still moving quite a bit.  but it's definitely different. 
gender: baby boy!
belly button: i definitely dropped this week, which I think puts less stress on my belly, so my belly button is actually back to flat rather than kind of popping out.
rings: all off.

Friday, January 4, 2013

the nursery...details

so i posted the pictures of the nursery the other day, but as i thought about it this morning, i realized i probably should have posted some details and information about where i got things.

the crib and dresser are from babies r us.  we wanted something versatile that would grow with baby.  we initially liked white wood, but decided that for a boy, and since the crib will convert all the way up to a full-size bed, the dark wood would probably be better.  they are both from the baby cache essentials collection - we ended up with the curved lifetime crib and the double dresser. 

the glider is also from babies r us.  we really struggled with which glider to get.  we actually attempted to purchase 2 other ones that had been discontinued before settling on this one - the newco rosie glider.  i'm a little disappointed in the color (we chose seal - we thought it would a nice dark grey, but it's more green than we thought), but i love the fabric and it is insanely comfortable.

the bench is actually the expedit bookshelf from ikea.  i saw the idea on pinterest, and thought it would work out great.  storage is limited in our house, and we didn't want a big bulky toy chest taking up room.  this will work as storage and a place for him to sit and read or whatever.  my mom is making the cushion for the bench using this fabric.  she's also making a matching blanket. oh, and we got the baskets in the bench from ikea, too (the lekman box).

the music and movie quotes i designed myself (using picmonkey) and printed through snapfish.  they're not the best quality, but they work.  the only one i got elsewhere was the coldplay quote, which i downloaded from the sprik space blog.

on the gallery wall (left to right):

  • i designed the "where there is great love..." quote on picmonkey and printed through snapfish. 
  • the little hulk and little superman are from mint parcel on etsy.  we had a hard time choosing which superheroes to use - they are all so adorable!
  • the he-man print was something i downloaded from deviant art and printed using snapfish.
  • the wookie the chew print is from james hance, and might be my favorite piece in the room. 
  • my sister ordered the up thumbprint guest book from bleu de toi on etsy.  ok, no, this is my favorite piece in the room.
the lamp on the dresser is from home goods.  was wandering through on a random sunday and found it.  it fits in perfectly with the room.

i made the paper lantern mobile using paper lanterns i purchased from the paper lantern store.  it was an enormous pain in the ass, but totally worth it, because i love the way it turned out.

the rockstar print on the door is from it's personal prints on etsy.

the paint colors are both valspar, purchased at lowe's (valspar ultra - zero voc, low odor) - the blue is called ghost ship, and the orange is tangerine.

the shelves on the wall next to the crib are from target.  all the frames are from michaels, a.c. moore, or home goods.

the r2d2 toy chest and star wars trash can were both matt's when he was a kid.

so that's it!  that's where we got everything and how we decorated our nursery.  i mostly have pinterest to thank/blame for these ideas.