Sunday, May 31, 2009


We are the proud parents of a four day old (almost) baby girl. She was born at 41 weeks and 2 days, emergency induction followed by emergency c-section. It was hard but in the end we have a healthy baby girl. 7 1bs 3 oz, 20.5 inches. We just got home from the hospital today and we are exhausted and not looking forward to another sleepless night, this time without nurses to relieve us to let us sleep for a few hours. But we can't complain too much when we look into the eyes of our beautiful baby, currently sleeping on K's chest in the rocking chair while K sings My Darling Clementine softly.

More info to come. Now I must go pump, breastfeed, and try to nap for an hour or so until I do it all again, if the baby lets me. Good night everyone.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oh, and I forgot the best part

I also have a yeast infection. I need to start taking Monostat today. Otherwise the baby will be given thrush during birth.

From Dr. Google:

What is thrush?
Thrush is a yeast infection that causes white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. Thrush is most common in babies and older adults, but it can occur at any age.

Doesn't sound fun for the baby. I certainly don't want my baby born with this.

40 week midwife appointment

Today we are forty weeks. We went to the midwife this morning. The baby is still healthy, everything seems fine. I have dropped a lot. Last week, when I was at -2 station, my uterus was measuring 37.5 cm. Today it measured 35 cm, the first time it has shrunk, an indication of how much the baby has dropped. But she didn't give an estimate of the station. This midwife is much less quantitative than the other. She also said the cervix was soft, but didn't give a percentage effaced. I'm guessing fully? But the cervix is closed up tight - no dilation. So no baby yet.

Last week the baby was slightly to my right side. So I've been doing the yoga positions cat/cow and child's pose all week to try to move the baby to the center. Today the baby was completely to my right side, in a worse position than last week. Basically we are headed for back labor. She said to spend more time on my hands and knees, but I feel like I've been doing that all week and not only have gone nowhere with it, but have gone backwards. This in particular was very disappointing to me.

We made a plan for the next two weeks which we hopefully won't need. Next appointment in 1 week on the 26th at 41 weeks. At that appointment we will do a Non Stress Test. Then on the 28th we go in for a Biophysical profile. Then back on the 29th for another Non Stress Test. Then induced on June 1, just 1 day shy of 42 weeks. So by June 1st or 2nd we will have a baby.

I asked what induction means. I will check into the hospital on June 1. If there is no dilation, they will apply something to my cervix (I don't remember what it's called) and let it sit overnight. Then the next day start Pitocin. If there is some dilation, they will just start me on Pitocin.

This means that we may get this Memorial Day weekend to celebrate before the baby is born. This is the good. We're trying to think of some low key and local ways to celebrate together.

This also means that K's mom may be here for the birth. This is the bad. This thought stresses me out more than any other. She's trying when I'm in my best of moods.

This also means possibly weeks of coworkers coming by daily to see if I'm still here. Yes, I'm still here. Today is my due date. Half of all births occur after the due date, so it's not shocking that I'm still here. No, I'm not going to stay home for the next few weeks. That sounds excruciating and there is no medical reason to do so. Yes, I'm excited. Yes, I'm nervous. Yes, I'm tired. They all mean well, but one after another is a lot. The women are pushy, the men are tentative. The women say things like "I can't believe you are still here!" The men tip toe into my office and say softly, like I'm sick in bed, "How are you feeling?" Two women stopped by today and I finally said to them, "Hey, you've both given birth. You know what it's like. Don't pressure me." I'm sure I've been the annoying coworker, but I vow, never again!

Here's my google research:

About dropping/lightening: It cannot be directly linked to indicating that labor will start within a certain window but it usually occurs up to two weeks before labor in 65% of first-time moms. Although it can't pinpoint the beginning of labor, it is a sign that things are headed in the right direction.Read more: "Lightening During Pregnancy as an Early Sign of Labor" -

So if I dropped sometime before last Monday, I should have the baby sometime before next Monday (if I'm like 65% of other first time moms) or sometime later (if I'm like 35% of first-time moms).

About the Fetal non-Stress test: The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes. If the baby does not move, it does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem; the baby could just be asleep. A nurse may use a small “buzzer” to wake the baby for the remainder of the test. The test can indicate if the baby is not receiving enough oxygen because of placental or umbilical cord problems; it can also indicate other types of fetal distress.

About the Biophysical Profile: A biophysical profile (BPP) test measures the health of your baby (fetus) during pregnancy. The BPP measures your baby's heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. Special ultrasound methods are used to keep track of movement, increases in heart rate with movement (nonstress test), muscle tone, breathing rate, and the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby. If these five areas are within a normal range, your baby is considered to be in good health.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Shifting due date

When we first got pregnant, we were told by the RE that the due date was May 16. That's the one we've been counting on and telling everyone. That's the one that came and went on Saturday. We did everything we could on Saturday to encourage this baby to come, but it didn't. We walked, got pedicures, swung on the swing set in the park, at spicy food, ate tropical fruit. Our friend A was in town from NC visiting. She and L were there for conception and it would be awesome if they were both there for birth. But then she had to go home. I cried on Sunday. I really believed it would have happened by then. I've been thinking about about May 16 since the middle of September.

But somewhere along the way the midwives changed the due date to May 19. That's tomorrow. In the last month I've been telling everyone my due date was May 19 because I figured it would feel better to have a later date in case I was late. I was right. Being late doesn't feel good. But then I remind myself that I'm not late. I'm not due until tomorrow.

But then I talked to my mom yesterday. She said she was 5 days late with my sister, her first, and 1 day late with me. Five days from the new due date would be Sunday, May 23. I think I'm going to start considering May 23 my due date in my head so that I don't feel like I've missed something.

Tomorrow is our midwife appointment. We were hoping not to have to attend this one, but chances are we will. At our last appointment she said that at our next appointment we would discuss a plan for if this baby is late. Looks like we're going to need that plan.

K's mom is coming on May 27. That's 8 days past the due date. We really wanted her to come after the baby is born because she would drive both K and I crazy during delivery. She has a lot of opinions and a lot of advice, and we disagree with all of it. But now, 8 days late, that doesn't seem so unreasonable. She may be here for the birth and if she is, we really can't shut her out. She's grandma and she flew in from FL. I've got my fingers crossed that the baby comes before then.

She called on Saturday to check in and told me that she is sending vibes for us not to have this baby for at least another week. She thinks it needs to cook more. Get nice and large. It was already 6 lbs 9 oz three weeks ago. I think that the baby is plenty big. I said that I don't want to wait that long and I don't want to give birth to a large baby because it will just be hard and have complications. She said 'No, you'll just have an episiotomy and it will come right out.' Ugh, I would like to avoid an episiotomy please. I finally convinced her (I think) to send positive thoughts for a baby any day. This was just one crazy part of a crazy conversation with a crazy old lady.

Now I'm at work and everyone keeps stopping by to see if I'm still here. I am. And I'll likely be here all week. Please stop reminding me that it sucks, okay?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One week

I am one week from my due date. I've answered that question a million times today, and a million times yesterday. Coworkers, friends, complete strangers. I'm thinking of getting a countdown sign and wearing it on my chest. Today it says 7, tomorrow 6, etc. Then I won't have to answer. Of course, I'll still get the follow-up questions - are you excited? are you nervous? are you uncomfortable? are you tired? are you ready? yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Of course my favorite is from coworkers - oh, you're still here, I was wondering if you would be here today. I'm thinking - yes, I was wondering too, I wonder every day, but I'm still here, so let's work.

Dressing is getting harder and harder. Today I'm wearing an outfit I really don't like. It's not professional at all. I would never wear this to work, especially not on a Tuesday. A pink t-shirt, black capris, and black flip flops. But the pants fit, and few do, and the t-shirt covers my belly, which few do anymore, and is kind of thin, so I won't get too hot. And flip flops are all I'm wearing right now because of my swollen feet. So this is my outfit today. This is the first day I've had to just wear something, whatever, and not care. As I was getting dressed this morning, I thought, I'm 39 weeks pregnant - everyone will understand. I hope that's true.

I'm pretty much finished with my work. I have a report to work on that I really was hoping to push off until after maternity leave, but I think I may have to start on it now since I may be here for a few more weeks and can't just sit around and I seem to have finished all of my other tasks. But first I think I'll clean my office - put that work off for a little longer. And maybe I'll go into labor tonight and none of this will matter.

Monday, May 11, 2009

39 week midwife appointment

Tomorrow we are officially 39 weeks. Today we had our midwife appointment. All looks good. She said the baby is at -2 station, so it's moving into position but not there yet. She hasn't done a vaginal exam since 36 weeks, so we don't know what kind of progress is being made down there. My uterus is measuring between 37 and 38 weeks and I've lost a pound. Slow growth, which she said is normal at this point, and good because we don't want the baby to get too big. I concur.

I've been taking oil of evening primrose to soften my cervix for 2 weeks now. She advised me to also start drinking red raspberry leaf tea as well. Ugh, I hate tea. I tried drinking tea to increase my fertility but gagged on it every time. Still, I went to Whole Foods this morning and bought some. I'll try anything to get this baby out.

The baby is laying on my right side, not the ideal position but not the worst. She said I should start doing cat/cows and always lean forward when I'm sitting. I know this, and I've been trying since I got to 36 weeks, but sitting forward takes a lot of energy when I just want to lay back. And cat/cows usually make me nauseous. But like I said, I'll try because I want this to go easy.

Last night I had the strongest contractions yet for about an hour. They felt like a really bad period cramp, the kind that makes you lay in bed, but the pain came and went, unlike a period which gives you no release. We were hoping it meant that it was time, but then they went away. I probably have a lot more of those episodes to look forward to before the real thing comes.

During the contractions the baby was super active, like way more than normal and for the entire hour. The midwife and the Internet said this was normal. It must be exhausting for the baby to go through labor if that's how the baby reacts to contractions. Also, it's pretty exhausting for me because the baby is kicking up a storm during and between contractions so even though the contractions came and went, the baby just kept going.

A coworker in another department is 34 weeks pregnant. Her department throws baby showers before the baby is born, mine throws them afterwards. So today I attended her baby shower even though I haven't attended mine yet. I felt bad upstaging her because I'm due in a week and she's due in 7 weeks. But she got the big gift card, so in the end, I'm sure she's happy.

The AC in my office is broken. Four people have come by to say how much that must suck for me. I've been offered two offices. Tomorrow I may take them up on it. I'm sweating like crazy and I stink.

An Indian tradition is that all babies wear gold bracelets. K was going to hand hers down, but found out it's broken. We asked her crazy mother to buy one for us in India on her recent trip but instead she bought a Buddha charm and said to tie it around the baby's wrist. K pointed out that this is a major choking hazard - crazy lady. So yesterday we went shopping. We started at the Indian jeweler, who sells them for $450. Ouch, that's a little steep. After shopping around a lot of places, we bought one at a little jewelry kiosk in the mall for $50. Much better.

So now we really are ready to bring this baby home. Nothing left to do but wait. Oh, and K still needs to clean the kitchen and the car. I'd offer to help but I'm pretty useless. I do plan to do some laundry tonight though. I need to wash the few pairs of pants I have left that fit so I have something to wear to work.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So this is what life without medicine is like...

I've been taking allergy medicine like pretty much my whole life. I got pregnant in the fall. I was sniffly, sneezy, congested but not too bad. Then winter came and I felt pretty good. I'd still have trouble around cats or particularly dusty places, but since these were rare, in general I felt good. I thought maybe my allergies had gone away like they sometimes do for lucky pregnant women. My mom lost all of her allergies when pregnant with me and they never came back.

But then spring arrived. And bam, I am sick. I am so congested I have trouble sleeping, my throat is constantly sore, I'm tired and light headed, I'm coughing, I have a head ache. Is this what I'd have been like for years if I hadn't been taking my medicine? I think it's my allergies. Everyone is complaining about allergies. But maybe it's a cold. Who knows? How would I know and what would I do differently anyway?

The good news - it was just pointed out to me that the ticker has reached the single digits.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

38 week midwife appointment

Yesterday we were officially 38 weeks and we had our midwife appointment. All looks good. The results of my ultrasound and blood work came back normal, so the pain that I'm in is 'just one of those things'. About the back pain, she basically said 'just hang in there'. I asked 'when's this baby gonna be born?' She laughed and said 'probably not when you want it to.' I've gained 23 pounds so far and measure 37 cm. I measured 37 last week too, but she says that's typical in the last few weeks - baby doesn't grow as quickly and settles in lower into your pelvis. So all is good and I'm 'just hanging in there.'

I went out for Mexican with some co-workers for lunch to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Since I wanted to eat healthy, and I was really tired and thought I could use a protein boost, I ordered the Mexican cheese omelet, which came with beans, rice, salsa, and guacamole. Nice and healthy, nothing too special. Then back at the office I snacked on an apple, a pineapple cup, and some peanuts and headed out of work around 5pm feeling fine.

However, as soon as I got in my car and started driving (in the rain for my 30 min commute), I started feeling horrible. Halfway home, in the rain, I pulled over in the emergency lane of the interstate, and puked. A big, horrible, probably gall stone related puke. All my peanuts, all my Mexican food, everything I'd had all day. I haven't had this issue since I went to the hospital, back in February. And there I was on the side of the road trying to figure out how to get home. I waited a few minutes, then decided to keep on trucking. I drove home sucking ginger candy and tums and blasting the AC, driving in the rain and feeling horrible. I was very thankful that the rain didn't cause a long commute home like it normally does. At home, K took care of me. I layed down all night and today I feel okay. Hopefully I can make it home without puking today. That's my goal.

And again I say it. Let's just have this baby already.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Happiest Baby on the Block

A & C loaned us this DVD and we finally got around to watching it on Sunday. It spells a a technique for calming your baby. It looked really amazingly helpful. We couldn't practice the techniques yet of course so I can't say definitely that it works, but the babies on the DVD seemed to calm down right away. We wrote a post-it note of the five steps so that we could remember them in the throws of a crying fit. The five S's:

1. Swaddle
2. Put them on their side
3. Shush loudly in their ear
4. Swing or jiggle them
5. Give them something to suck on

If it doesn't work, keep trying. Sounds good to me. I'll try anything to stop a crying baby. On Thursday we babysat for A&C for only about 2 hours, but K screamed for .5 an hour. We couldn't figure out how to make him stop. He's a year and much too old for this technique, so I still don't know what would have calmed him. But the experience was enough to remind me that a screaming baby can drive you mad very quickly.

Unrelated - while babysitting, we had to change his diaper. We removed a BumGenius and replaced it with a Fuzzi Buns. Fuzzi Buns was more confusing than the BumGenius and we weren't sure how to put it on. Turns out we put it on backwards. Between this and the screaming, we've got a lot to learn about babies!

New babies

Two babies were born this weekend. I hope that I'm the next to go, and I hope that it's soon. The first we know through friends of friends in real life. They were 1 week late and make me nervous about being late. Also they had a rough birthing experience which I haven't heard about yet but also makes me nervous. I want it all to happen soon and with smooth sailing.(

Which brings me to the other birth. I only know this couple from their blog. Their due date was one day after our adjusted due date (the midwives are now saying it's probably May 19 instead of May 16 - this couple was due May 20). They went into labor over 2 weeks early and it sounds like it went smooth and easy. This couple give me hope. (

My boss

I just saw my boss, the head VP, in the hall. He asked how I was doing and I said "Tired, and I have a back ache that won't quit. I'm ready for this to be over." He asked how much longer and I told him two more weeks until my due date, but really it could be anytime in the next four weeks. Then he said "I've been meaning to ask you - what happens if you go into labor at work? Do we have a plan?" I told him that D and I have both volunteered to take me to the hospital and they have all of the details on doctors and stuff, and that my secretary E knows to find them if I need them. And he said "Good, I wanted to make sure we had some kind of plan." It's good to know my boss is thinking about this and worrying about me. And now that he knows the plan he can help find D and I if needed as well.

Emotional and in pain

Since Friday I have been full of raging hormones. I cry over everything. This weekend I cried because we don't know the name of our son if we have one, K wanted to get rid of a bowl she gave me when I started my job 6 years ago, my back hurt, I couldn't do much to help around the house, K takes such good care of me, and many tears that I couldn't even define (K asking "why are you crying?" my response "I don't know"). It's like the first trimester all over again, maybe worse. K is very supportive, which I cried about (a blubbery mess sobbing "you're so good to me, you take such good care of me").

For about two weeks I've been suffering from a back ache. I've done what I can to correct it (no more heels, sitting on a pillow in the car, sitting in only hard chairs or on the floor, no more sofas). All of this was helping for a while but starting Friday it just won't go away. I wake up okay but by midday I am in pain. On Friday we were at Borders buying a 'teach your baby French' CD and I couldn't take it. I was leaning on everything and I was grumpy. We came home and I burst in tears saying that I've put up with a lot in the last few months but this back ache is too much. Then Saturday we were cleaning the house and the back ache started again. I was lying on the floor crying about the pain. Laying down on my left side is the only thing that seems to relieve it. K basically told me not to do anything else and just to rest while she spring cleaned the bathroom (she hates to clean the bathroom so this was a really big deal). We were having our friend L over for dinner Saturday night and I was going to cook, but we decided to go out instead. Sunday all I did was rest, lying down, and the back ache was pretty minimal, though the emotions were strong, and I cried a lot, I think because I didn't do anything all day. Wow, I can't imagine what forced bed rest must do to you.

Now I'm back to work and already the back ache has begun. I just popped some Tylenol and I hope that gives me relief. I can't just lie down here like I've been doing at home all weekend. Maybe tomorrow I'll bring my heating pad.

On other notes, we did get our car seat installation and inspection done Saturday. Now we really are ready to have this baby. I'll be 38 weeks tomorrow. I'm in pain and crying constantly so sooner is better than later. Let's do this thing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

37 week midwife appointment

Our 37 week midwife appointment was Wednesday. Again we reviewed the plans if we go into labor - when to call, what to do. I've gained 21 pounds so far, and no weight gain since last week, so all is good. Measuring 37 cm just like I should.

I was complaining about a pain in my back for about week and a new pain in my abdomen, both on my left side. The midwife said this could be my kidney and wanted to check it out. So Thursday I had an ultrasound and today blood tests. The ultrasound on the kidney showed no issues and if the blood work comes back okay, then this is just one of those pregnancy things.

But the fun thing was that while we were there anyway, we got to do an OB sonogram as well, so we got to see the baby for the first time since the 20 week ultrasound. The baby is much bigger and more fully formed. I thought the images might be clearer than the first time but they really weren't. The tech said the baby was measuring 6 lbs 9 ozs. We agreed that this is plenty big so we don't want the baby to grow any larger. K has been telling the baby that 6.5 lbs is plenty big.

Today at the lab getting my blood drawn the tech told me that she gave birth 5 weeks ago. I said 'Five weeks? What are you doing here?' and she said she came back after 2 weeks! She said 'the economy is bad and we need the money'. I thought, 'wow, I'm a lucky person.'

So now our hospital bag is packed and I bring it to work with me every day. I just sent coworkers details on what to do if I go into labor at work. Tomorrow we get our car seat inspection. We are ready to have this baby - let's do it! My coworker said that Cinco de Mayo is a good day and that's Tuesday, so that works for me. K is shooting for Mother's Day, next Sunday. That's okay too. I could also do tomorrow. I don't need to wait around any longer.