Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Sunday, November 29, 2009
(BTW, I don't know why are feet look spastic in this picture. We actually have very cute feet! Must've been because we were trying to hold on the flip flops or something...)
After getting beautified, we went to Megan's friend Cora's house to see some puppies! Her golden retriever had just had 10 new adorable babies! The were actually 8 weeks old so most of them were slated to go with their new owners within the next few days. It's good we got there when we did so we were able to see all of them in action!
Monday, November 23, 2009
It bled for quite awhile. I ended up with blood all over my white tank top (which Jacob said I shouldn't wash as a remembrance to what I did to our child). I tried to bandage it but then I was worried he was going to eat the band-aid so I was watching him like a hawk. He didn't eat it but it did end up falling off. And by this point it had pretty much stopped bleeding so I left it.
After "the incident," I put Grey on his back and we started to play. Well, he is now learning to roll from his back to his tummy and he was obsessed with that today! That is all he wanted to do! I would put him on his back and he would roll to his tummy. And then...he was trying to crawl! He kept doing it! I'm thinking that he was trying to get the heck away from me after I almost chopped off his finger! And he was really mad when he was figuring out that it wasn't working. I don't even think babies have the muscle control to crawl at this age so I'm thinking he's going to be mad for awhile... and that I'd better start childproofing.
Despite my praise for The Baby Whisperer in my last post, I decided to heed my own advice and do what works for us. While he had been taking more naps-ish during the day, his nighttime sleep was not as great. When I would feed him on-demand rather than scheduled, he would sleep at least 9 hours before needing to be fed again. When I followed the E.A.S.Y. schedule it was more like 6. This was making me exhausted! We are still working on the napping but I just put him down we he starts to yawn and rub his eyes and he goes down pretty good. Sometimes I still feed him to sleep but we all have our vices. At least I know he doesn't NEED the boob to go to sleep. Sometimes it's just an easy soothe.
On Greyson's 3-month birthday, we also had a celebration with friends. Our friend Matt was working as a contractor for Microsoft and just got a full time gig there. The interview process was like 6 hours long and halfway through they gave him a bathroom break. As luck would have it, his zipper broke so he had his fly open for the second half of the interview. Despite that, he still managed to get the job! I told him that they must've liked what they saw :).
This last pic is Greyson asleep under a Java Programming book. I think it's kind of ironic since Jake would love it if Greyson wrote code like his dad. Instead, this looks like what I would be doing if I were to read this book...I wonder if he'd wake up if we gave him an Entertainment Weekly :)!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
(If you've read the email I sent out when Greyson was born, it's the same thing so you can read it again if you'd like or skip it :) ).
If you don't already know, Jacob and I had been seeing midwives at Puget Sound Birth Center and had been planning a natural, no-intervention childbirth. Our experience with them was wonderful! All of our appointments were very informative and super low-key and we were really excited to deliver with them. I had a really easy pregnancy and with no abnormalities so we were exactly the type of patients that would be perfect for an out-of-hospital delivery. The most "abnormal" thing that happened during the pregnancy was that I turned out to be Group B Strep positive. Group B Strep is a bacterial infection that is present in about 40% of pregnant women. It is a normal bacteria that is found in healthy, adult women. The only concern is that it can be passed to the baby during delivery and could make the baby become ill so if you test positive you are required to be on antibiotics during delivery. For the majority of people, this is no big deal.
On Monday August 10th, my water broke at 3:00 in the afternoon. Jake and I were really excited as we figured that we'd be having a baby within the next day or two. We immediately called our midwives and let them know. They were thrilled and asked when my contractions had started and how far apart they were. Um, contractions? I wasn't really having any. So, they told me that I was in the minority of women (between 1 and 10%) whose water breaks before actual labor begins. They weren't worried and expected my labor to begin shortly. However, because Greyson was no longer in a sterile environment, I would have to start my IV antibiotics and continue to take them every 8 hours until I delivered. I went in for my first dose at 1:00 a.m.
They of course asked about my contractions again and I told them that they were pretty much slim to none. I was having some but they weren't very strong and they weren't in a pattern, 10 minutes apart at the closest. They suggested that we try to induce labor naturally. The best results they'd had for doing this was drinking castor oil. I had to take two 4oz. doses, one at 5 a.m. and then the next at 7 a.m.. I figured that it couldn't be that bad and I wanted to meet my little guy so of course I said no problem! The first dose went down and it wasn't that horrible. Not something I'd choose to do again, but I choked it down. Well, about 45 minutes later it hit me...and not labor. Nausea and un-relenting diarrhea...gross. I felt like I had the stomach flu. Guess that makes up for me not having morning sickness :P! I knew I had to do a second dose at 7 and had no idea how I was going to get it down.... Well, somehow I managed. I gagged and some came back up but I swallowed it again and miraculously did not vomit. Then I waited for labor to kick in....
My midwife came to my house at 9 that morning to give me my second dose of antibiotics. She asked about the castor oil. I told her it was awful. However, she was very positive and felt really good that it would set things in motion. We had to go back for another dose of antibiotics at 5:00 that night and said that we'd talk then but she was hopeful that things would be in full swing by then. Well, they weren't. When we went in at 5, I was still in the same boat...contractions that weren't very strong, very far apart, and not getting any stronger or closer. So, they decided to check my dilation and effacement. They also asked if they could do a strip and stretch of my membranes to try and move things along. Basically, they wanted to feel the sides of my uterus and see if there was any "water" that hadn't broken. If there was, they wanted to break it manually to help labor along. Since the castor oil hadn't worked, I figured why not...anything to move this thing along. Surprisingly, they found out that I was dilated to 3cm, effacement was at 1.5cm, and my uterus was soft enough that they could actually stretch me to 5cm. They also did find a small bag of water that hadn't broken so they used a plastic hook to break that. And if you're curious, none of this was fun or comfortable :(. But I champed through it.
We set up my next antibiotic appt for 3:00 a.m. that morning. They were hopeful that they would see me before then. Jake and I went home and I was like a mad women. I wanted to do anything to get this show on the road! We took the dogs for a walk and I was like a woman on a mission. I walked and walked (we probably did about 3 miles) and I said I was content walking until this baby came out! I could feel that I was having contractions and they were getting closer (about 5 minutes apart) but they didn't even slow me down. Hey! I was happy I was having them though and thought things were headed in the right direction. We came home and I bounced on our birthing ball for awhile while we watched Entourage and I tried to keep the contractions going. We went to bed at about 10 and set our alarm for our 3a.m. appt. I could feel that I was having contractions so I got myself so worked up trying to count them that I couldn't sleep. Until suddenly the alarm was going off...and I had been sleeping. And of course, the contractions were gone :(.
So we went to the appt. I got my fourth round of antibiotics and the midwife suggested all other forms of natural induction that she could think of: she gave me herbs to take, taught us how to use accupressure to parts of my body to stimulate labor, told us about nipple stimulation (yea! fun! :)), and lastly thought that we should try the castor oil one more time. I wanted to kill myself. Since it hadn't worked the first time, the idea of doing it again made me want to hurl! I was really not excited. She suggested we sleep a bit and then start the process at 7a.m. Our next appt with them was at 11 and we could discuss how things were going then. She also let us know that if stuff had not moved forward, there was a strong likelihood that I would have to go to the hospital. My water would've been broken 44 hours at that point and the risk of infection was too high to let me go any further. We left feeling pretty dissuaded.
I tried to sleep when we got home but all I could think about was taking that damn castor oil! I did not want to do it. Jake and I tried all of the other natural induction techniques. We could get all of them (minus the herbs) to create contractions, but they wouldn't stay. So, Jake encouraged me to try and get some sleep.Yeah, right. I layed there and stressed about taking the castor oil. Then I thought about whether I wanted to do that or get pitocin at the hospital. My desire to stay natural won out. I really didn't want the pitocin because I knew it would lead me down a road that I did not want to take. So, at 4:45 am I got up and did the last shot of castor oil. Then I waited some more.... Again, nothing came but upset stomach and diarrhea so we went to our appt at 11.
We did our last round of antibiotics and then looked to see if I had progressed any further. Maybe I was just one of those people who didn't feel labor? Well, I had dilated to 4cm but that was it. They let me know that I was going to have to go to the hospital. Since the midwives didn't have hospital privileges, they couldn't deliver at the hospital and if I wanted them to go with me I would've had to take them as a birth coach and pay out of pocket for their service. Jake and I opted to go alone but one of the student midwives volunteered to come along (they have to attend so many births for class credit and come for free :)). We said that of course we would love to have her.
Because we weren't planning on birthing in a hospital, our midwives had to call around and find out who had open beds. Basically, I had to go where there was room for me. It ended up that they had room at UW Medical Center so at about 2:00 on the 12th we headed over there. I had forewarned Jake on the way over there that I was seriously considering the epidural. I had slept about 4-5 hours in the past 2 days and was exhausted. I honestly wanted the pitocin less then I wanted the epidural and I had no idea what having the pitocin would do to my contractions, etc. I did say that I would try to tough it out as long as I could.
We got to UW and got all checked in by about 3. They hooked me up to all of the machines and I think that I was pretty much set up by about 3:30. I think they started the pitocin about 4:00. They give it to you slowly. They start out at a level 1 and then increase the levels by 1 or 2 every half hour depending on how your body is reacting to it (are your contractions doing what they're supposed to be doing and dilating you, etc.) Well, of course mine weren't. They got me to a level 5 and were still confused about my contractions. They weren't peaking as high as they should have been and weren't receding back to 0. Basically, with contractions they should start out at a pain level of 0 go up for 30 seconds to the highest pain level and then come back down to 0 over the next 30 seconds (in theory). Mine sat somewhere in the middle. The would go up and down but never as high as they should have been and rarely would go down to pain level 0. When they amped up the pitocin to a 7, I said give me the epidural.
Of course, the anesthesiologist was in doing a c-section so they told me I would have to wait about an hour. Fun. I made it through the next hour but not happily. (A note about the strength of the pitocin and levels. Kristin had it for the birth of Carter and the highest they ever gave her was a 4.) Well, an hour passed and my nurse came in to tell me that unfortunately they had to skip my epidural because they were doing another c-section :(. So, I would have to wait another 2 hours before I got it. I was dying! I wanted the epidural so bad! I was pretty much having non-stop contractions and needless to say it sucked. The nurse said she could give me 2 doses of fentinol (a narcotic) and each would last about an hour. Jake was very sweet asking how it would affect the baby etc. She said that it was very fast in and out of your system (barely lasting the hour) and would not harm the baby. I will admit, at the point I was at I didn't care. I was like GIVE ME THE DRUGS!!! So, I took both doses. It was kind of a weird drug. Didn't really take away the pain but made me kind of unaware of it...basically really heady like I didn't know what was going on. But it got me through the next 2 hours.
Then a different nurse came in and said that they were done with the c-section but there was someone ahead of me for an epidural so I would have to wait at least another 45 minutes. WTF?!!! Who are these people? God Bless my nurse! She went in and told the other lady no. She said that I had taken my 2 doses of my narcotic and there was nothing else for me so I got my epidural first. She basically told the other lady that she needed to do the fentinol first or not complain about me getting my epidural first. So, they skipped the other woman and came to see me first!! I could've kissed the nurse!! She was freaking awesome is all I have to say. I got the epidural and Jake said he was impressed because while they were sticking the needle in I was having a massive contraction (he could tell because they were monitoring them on a computer screen in front of him). But I stayed perfectly still! I told him there is a lot you can suffer through when you know pain relief is on the horizon :D!
The epi kicked in pretty much immediately and I felt amazing!! I was thanking God for the person that invented the epidural. I was able to sleep for a few hours while the nurses ramped up the pitocin. The most excitement we had during this time was that the doctors came in a few times to try and gauge the position of Greyson's head. He had a 4cm "cap" on the top of his head from being down so far and so long that they were having trouble feeling what position his actual head was in. And the position they thought it was in wasn't a great one.
Finally, at about 2:00a.m. I was fully dilated to 10cm. However, the doctors still couldn't tell how he was positioned so they wanted him to descend a bit further. They thought that his head was turned sideways. But, for as low as he was into the birth canal his head should've been positioned front to back. Otherwise, he wasn't going to come out. So they tried to feel and turn him (FYI the turning was a big ouch even with the epidural and lady doctors are a lot rougher than man doctors :( ). Since they couldn't tell, they said they'd give me another hour to see if he'd come down further.
At 3:00 they came back to check and give me the news...and it wasn't good. They did think his head was still sideways at which point there was no way I would be able to get him out unless he decided to turn his head. Also, my temperature was increasing steadily so while I didn't have a fever I was getting close. Because of my water breaking and having group B strep, this meant that I could possibly be getting an infection and giving it to Greyson. So, the doctor gave me 2 choices:1. Push for an hour and see what happened. There was a strong possibility that I would fever and if I did, Greyson would have to go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They would have to do a bunch of tests on him and most likely give him a spinal tap.2. C-section.Seriously? What choice did I really have? There was no way I wanted to put my baby in the NICU and I wasn't the least bit confident that my "pushing" would do anything. I was exhausted and the contractions weren't really pushing him down so what made me think I could do any better. I was sure I couldn't so I said c-section please!
The actual procedure was very fast. They prepped me, brought me into the room and strengthened my epidural so I was literally numb from the waist down. When I was ready they brought Jake into the room. They said I'd feel tugging and that I may feel a lot of pressure when they pushed my tummy to push him out but really I didn't feel much. I did feel them jostling around but to be honest I didn't even know they had started the procedure. Then they were saying that he was almost out and I was thinking...they started cutting already? Meanwhile, Jake is trying to watch and I'm telling him to sit down so he doesn't pass out. He still looked...and didn't pass out :D.
Once they started cutting, Greyson was out in less than 5 minutes! It was kind of phenomenal. They cut the cord and brought him over for the pediatricians to look at him. Jake went along and both of them were in my line of sight. Greyson came out screaming (which is a good thing). The peds let Jake "trim" the cord so he did get to do some cord cutting. When they were done checking Greyson out, Jake brought him over to me and layed him by my face (since I couldn't hold him or try to breastfeed). Meanwhile, they sewed me up. This was the "long" part. This took about 30-45 minutes. While they were sewing me up I was beginning to get nauseous (lovely side affect of the drugs). I was also shaking like a leaf (another side affect I have from drugs). So, that was fun.
Well, when they finished they said that I should hold Greyson on the way out of the operating room. Umm...I was really freaked out. The epidural had gone up into my arms and they were partially numb and shaking. And they wanted me to hold my baby? So, I said I'm numb and shaking! And they said that I HAD to hold him. Which made me feel awful because it wasn't that I didn't want to, I just didn't feel safe. So, they propped up my arms with pillows and I managed to hold him while we left the operating room. When we got into our room, I told Jake that I needed him to take Greyson (which he happily did) and then I proceeded to throw up 5 times. Classy.
Then Jake wanted to try and start Greyson breastfeeding. Well, I was still out of it so Jake just comes over and starts manhandling my boob. And yes, my mother was in the room. Super fun! Well, neither Greyson nor I was super into it. I told Jake that we should try again in an hour and then crashed hard into a deep sleep. I woke up about 45 minutes later feeling a bit more with it. We tried the breastfeeding again and were still really awkward but we managed to get the deed done (btw, it takes a few days to figure it out but the breastfeeding is going swimmingly now!).
So, that is my birth story and it was exactly the opposite of what we had "planned" but still resulted in the cutest and sweetest baby boy! I had a really great support team. Jake, my mom, and one of our student midwives were in the room with me the entire time (except during surgery) and all were a HUGE help!