Baby Book Expectations

What I said:

  • I need a baby book
    • reasoning – it’ll help me keep track of all of his firsts
  • I love this one; I’ll add it to my registry
  • Yay I have it!
    • I’ll fill it out regularly

What I did:

  • Brings to hospital
    • forgets it exists because baby
  • Pulls out once during unusually quiet moment
    • imagines all the cool things I’ll be able to fill in
  •  Fast forward to present
    • rushes to fill everything in
    • extremely thankful for pictures and videos that have a date 🙂
      • haven’t actually printed any of the pictures to put in book…

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What I learned from this experience:

  • I don’t (didn’t) need a book
  • pictures and videos on cell phones make up for the book
  • I haven’t printed pictures in years so what made me think a book would change that
  • I’ve forgotten lots of stuff so some things only have the month
  • I don’t check it every time he hits a milestone

To all of you first time parents who might be considering a baby/memory book ask yourself these questions before purchasing one or adding it to your registry:

  • Will I remember to fill it out
    • most start off with basic info and hand/ foot prints
  • Am I honestly going to print out accompanying photos
    • do you have a printer at home or will you need to have them printed elsewhere
  • What am I going to do with it later
    • Will I keep it in a box filled with other keepsakes for that child
    • Do I plan on giving it to them when they’re old enough
      • Will they care
      • What will I do with it if they don’t want it

With that said I plan on finishing his entire book and apologizing to future children because I doubt I’ll do this again… I hope this is helpful to someone who is considering adding one to their registry or buying one.

Children – Human & Animal

Lots of things have been happening lately but the most important thing has been an invaluable lesson about the difference between the love I have for my human baby and my fur baby. Before I gave birth to my son (even up until these events) I used to think I’d love my human and animal baby the same. I used to believe I would not make a huge distinction between the two besides the obvious difference of human being the priority in the event of an emergency. Now I understand how naive I was. Here’s how my thinking has been altered…

The Eyeopener:  I went to my house early during the week in order to continue fixing it up. I left my son with my mom and thanked her for watching him. A few hours later I get a call from my sister saying she had something to tell me. She asked if I was sitting down. My heart races, I feel faint and I’m on the verge of a full blown panic attack. In those brief seconds before my mom got on the phone my mind raced about all the things that could be wrong with my son. Did he have an allergic reaction to something? Did they discover he has asthma like I do? Did he all of a sudden have something else horrible happen? But my mom grabbed the phone and simply said Oreo’s eye is swollen. Oreo is my fur baby and not once did he come into my mind as my sister started her conversation. Upon hearing it was him, I was completely relieved. I felt awful because not once did I think about him. And I felt even worse that I was relieved it was my fur baby instead of my human baby. At this point I said to myself “shame on you for being relieved” and I promised myself I’d change that in the future.

The Heart Cracker: Again I was heading to my house for the same reason as before under the same circumstances. This time I didn’t make it. Without going into too many details, I was in an accident. No it wasn’t my fault and yes everyone is alive. I needed to go to the house so I did but I cried while in the bathroom. I eventually got myself together and went back to my mom’s house. I cried off and on the entire way and I freaked out a few times afraid someone would hit me. Upon arriving back at my mom’s I cried again. All I could think about is how much worse it would have been if my son was in the car. I cried to my mom for the pain I was in, the accident that shook me up and the thought of what could have happened. She (my mom) tried her best to reassure me and remind me that he wasn’t in the car and he was perfectly safe. This was the final event that let me know there is a difference.

The Equalizer/ Redemption (sort of): While I know they aren’t the same there are still times when fur baby will win. We’ve discovered human baby can’t be trusted with animals until he understands gentle touches. One night while playing with his daddy (my husband), he sat quietly watching Oreo. He didn’t try to touch him like normal so we let him keep watching his doggie. A few seconds later Oreo gets brave and walks towards this space invader to get a closer look. This is a big deal because ever since the last incident he no longer tries to interact with his human sibling. Right as he gets closer Mr. Fast Hands grabs Oreo’s ear and pulls so hard he yelps and runs. I was angry. I immediately grabbed Oreo and gave him lots of snuggles and love. At the same time, I looked at my son and told him (in a stern voice) we do not treat Oreo (or any animal) that way. I never thought I could be angry with a baby but in that moment he attacked my fur baby. Sure I was mad but that felt like my redemption. I was reminded that no they aren’t the same but like all things in life there are certain reactions for every occasion.

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As much as I wanted to believe I wouldn’t make a difference and I’d try to treat them the same I know differently. I know while I love my fur baby tremendously he’s not the same as my human baby. I realize my human baby will come first in the event of an emergency. However there are still instances when my fur baby will win. It’ll all depend on the circumstances. But for now I walk away from my experiences with a little more knowledge and acceptance than before. I love you son and now I know my love for you isn’t the same as for your fur brother but it doesn’t have to be. The love I have for you, your fur brother, your dad and others is all different and that’s ok.

 

Pregnancy Classes pt 2

Here’s my quick opinion of each class based only on my birthing experience with my first child. It’ll say yes or no along with a brief reason.

Early Pregnancy – Yes* but you can find everything online

Late Pregnancy – YES because the hospital tour really made hubby and I feel more at ease and prepared since we knew what to expect

Infant Safety and CPR (non-certified) – YES but thank goodness we haven’t had to use it

Prepared Childbirth – Yes but I could definitely skip this for any additional children unless it was 4+ years since having my first. I did use a technique from the class which was breathing in/ out slowly and deeply while closing my eyes and focusing on getting through each wave (contraction)

Breastfeeding – Yes* and no. I’m only torn because the class itself was good and told you how to contact a lactation consultant (LC) but I still NEEDED an LC and you could find all of the info online

Newborn Care – Yes (see memes below) unless you’re not a first time parent, are around a lot of babies or if you take care of babies for a living

*if the class is offered for free

Recovery – Emotions pt 2

Ah good ole healing and over estimating…

Wasn't Ready

As I stated in my last post, the emotional toll has been tough and I wasn’t ready. I’ve already gone over breastfeeding now lets dive head first into healing and over estimating my abilities…

It is a necessary evil but it is evil… Let me explain. I thought I prepared for everything. I read a ton, took all the classes, made note of all the advice I received and researched every possible (common) birthing situation. I was ready for the unmedicated vaginal birth that I wanted to try as well as the meds I could ask for and their side effects, c-section, emergency c-section and complete knockout. I felt very fortunate to have the birth I wanted (see LnD for details) but I wasn’t prepared for the disappointment I’d feel when I got home.

I had this beautiful healthy baby boy, my husband by my side, a clean apartment and a clear mind that allowed me to be present and truly soak in the wonderful changes that were ahead of us. We took a seat on the couch and stared at this little human in complete awe that he was finally on the outside. The first full week with the three of us was amazing. It was challenging but great. However everything seemed to change when hubby went back to work. I knew what to expect when he went back but I wasn’t physically or emotionally prepared for the annoyance and random pain/ irritation from my vag stitches.

happiness

WARNING – Things are about to get real…

The first day was weird. I didn’t want to be away from him for a second for fear he’d disappear or I’d return to the horrible reality of SIDS but logically speaking I knew I’d eventually have to put him down. I had to time my bathroom breaks correctly or else I’d be running off the toilet bleeding, sore and waddling w/ my pants around my ankles. My bathroom trips were as follows:

Supplies

  • fill up squeeze bottle w/ warm water (only because cold water sucks)
  • grab Tuck pads ( unnecessary but in my mind this helped prevent hemorrhoids)
  • perineal ice pack (vag ice pack)
  • after swelling went down the ice pack was replaced with pads
    • note to younger generation the new “heavy” pads are so thin compared to the giant pads that we heavy flows once had to use
  • flushable wipes (adult baby wipes)

Process

  • use bathroom as normal
    • good time to note I was terrified to have a bowel movement (BM). the first BM was awful and the blood (from vag) looked like a crime scene. so all BM was accompanied w/ slight fear of seeing the same horror show and feeling like I was being ripped apart down there…
  • use squeeze bottle filled with warm water
  • wipe with wet flushable wipes because regular TP felt like sandpaper
  • open, crack and shake ice pack
  • place Tuck pads on ice pack (later on would be placed on heavy flow pad)
  • use numbing spray as necessary (all the time)
  • waddle out the bathroom like a baby wearing a diaper…

That was my routine for what felt like forever but I eventually adjusted. What I didn’t adjust to was the pain that would radiate from my nether region up through my lower back and sometimes down my leg. It was so persistent that my sciatica came back. Yet more things I didn’t think I’d have to deal with because of the “you’ll be back to normal in no time” lie that was told to me since I had an uncomplicated birth. Plus with that statement rolling around in my head I felt like a failure because I was still sore. I felt I didn’t deserve to take the pain meds prescribed to me since everything went so well during delivery. I was also paranoid about the effects it would have on my little man. I kept piling on the expectations and guilt over not being healed and up and running at full speed. I kept wondering why I was still sore, bleeding and experiencing intense back pain. I told myself if I wasn’t overweight when I got pregnant I wouldn’t still be in pain. If I would have followed a strict healthy lifestyle while pregnant then I wouldn’t still be in pain. If I would have just XYZ then I’d be perfectly fine but I wasn’t. The pain eventually grew so intense that I couldn’t pick him up one day (about 3.5wk pp).

I finished running errands, cleaning up, cooking dinner and was now refilling the mobile diaper station aka the pack n play when it happened. I was picking up my crying heart (my son) when I knew I needed to quickly and carefully put him back down so I didn’t drop him. I lost all control and fell to the side of the pack n play. He started crying louder and I ugly cried in utter pain. I was afraid because I didn’t know why I’d simply collapsed. I had the pain before but this time my body decided it didn’t want to support me. It didn’t want to keep holding me up after continuously pushing it. If I didn’t say it before I’m saying it now. No one put this pressure on me except myself. I wanted to be supermom and I expected myself to do so because I no longer worked, my delivery went great and my son was ideal. I felt I needed to live up to all the expectations I had in my head. But my body couldn’t keep up. I wasn’t sleeping or eating enough (some days only a handful of whatever was close) or taking time out for myself so my body (in a very loud way) said you can’t keep this up. This also coincided with the breastfeeding issues I was having. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that even with a nearly textbook delivery I needed to focus on taking care of myself and my son and doing other things as I felt up to it.

I wish I could say this was my wake up call but it wasn’t. I got worse and so did my need to prove I was fine. It wasn’t until breaking down completely in front of the lactation consultant that I realized I needed to stop before my sadness (over not being supermom) turned into full blown postpartum depression. My husband happened to be off that day and was able to come with me so he was able to reason with me. He reminded me that these were my own requirements driving me insane not my son or anyone else. He held me and reminded me that it hadn’t been that long since I had a child. He also reminded me that if I kept going I would really break down and wouldn’t be able to take care of our son then he lightened the mood by trailing off into something funny involving what he was saying. It helped tremendously. I spent the next day treating my body as I should have from the beginning. I watched movies, took care of my son and allowed myself to relax. I allowed myself to just be… And I felt like I’d DIE!! But that got me to thinking. I needed to relax in order to recharge but a complete stop would drive me insane. Then I realized BALANCE is what I needed.

I had to allow myself to do both. I had to allow myself to let go of the supermom idea. I had to realize pregnancy was very taxing and delivery was the fast version of the whole time I was pregnant. I needed to allow myself to heal the way my body wanted to. Mentally I couldn’t sit around while my apartment became dirty and cluttered but physically I couldn’t keep deep cleaning like I used to. Physically I needed to rest when I could and exist in the new role I was in. Mentally I needed to cope with my new limitations instead of beating myself up for a made up version of motherhood. Sure their might be times I’m supermom but I needed to be okay being normal mom.

stuff

 

To my son: Mommy is trying the best she can while still trying to maintain her own identity. I’m coming to terms with the fact that my life will never be the same but it is a great thing. I’m changing into someone I never thought I could be. I’m doing things that I didn’t think I was capable of. Most importantly I’m finding a new type of strength. I’ve always been able to physically push through things but mentally I’d block out and avoid anything that caused mental pain. Being a mommy is teaching me to deal with mental/emotional pain in the same way I deal w/ physical pain; head on and armed with as much knowledge as possible. My hope for you is that you’ll go through life the same way. With your eyes wide open and armed with as much knowledge as possible coupled with commonsense of course. And if you get married and your wife finds herself in a similar situation do what your dad did for me. Remind her she’s a wonderfully made human and you’ll support her through whatever. Also offer to take your little one so she can have a break knowing her child is close by and in the best hands (next to her own of course 😉

Recovery – Emotions pt 1

Postpartum recovery summary: Gross, painful, frustrating and emotionally draining.

If you’ve researched like I have then you know a lot of the things that go under each feeling I’ve listed. Bodily fluids sums up the gross part. Pain in your privates, back and hips. Frustration at how long it takes to START feeling better physically. What I didn’t focus on was researching the emotionally draining part of postpartum recovery…

After having my little man, I knew I’d have to take care of my son and my stitches. I knew I’d have to take it easy in order to protect my back. I knew breastfeeding and adjusting to a newborn would be hard. I also knew I wouldn’t immediately feel like myself. However I didn’t realize that knowing all of this wouldn’t ease the emotional toll all of this would have on me.

Breastfeeding:

I knew the technical aspects of breastfeeding but the reality was much trickier. I had a vision in my head of this being extremely hard but worthwhile if I just hung in there. I was pleasantly surprised at first… I was exhausted, inspired, sore and determined. As soon as I was able to I breastfeed, he was propped up on pillows in order to bring him closer to my chest comfortably and he latched on beautifully. I was in awe. All this time I was made to believe this would be something hard won and horrible yet here I was watching my son latch on without so much as a bit. Well (SIGH) that was only the first feeding and it was assisted. Things deteriorated from there.

I started a very frustrating cycle of being shown how to latch, getting it right in front of the nurse then crashing and burning when left to try it alone. I must have had every nurse, pediatrician and lactation consultant who came to my room show me how to get him to latch on properly. I should note that I was only there about 36hrs after delivery and the only reason I was there that long is because of how long it took to deliver him after my water broke. By the time we left the hospital I was just happy to be going home. I figured it was the stress of not sleeping due to being woken up often that caused our latching issue. I convinced myself it would get better once we were relaxing at home together and could do it exactly the way everyone showed me. I WAS WRONG. The latch seemed to be getting worse. I didn’t want nor could we afford to give him formula so I knew I had to make this work. At first I kept going over the paperwork I received from the hospital as well as the printouts I had from the breastfeeding class we took. All of my effort seemed to be rewarded one minute and futile the next so I decided to see a lactation consultant.

The lactation consultant was amazing. During my first visit my breasts were sore, one nipple had a chunk taken out of it and emotionally I felt like an idiot. Who was shown something that many times but still couldn’t get it right?! Well for our first appointment we were running horribly late, I was frustrated and my poor hubby was dealing with me and our son. By the time we left I thought I had it nailed but I scheduled a follow up appointment because I’d felt this way before in the hospital. I should mention he was weighed at each appointment to make sure he was eating enough while he was nursing. The second appointment I was a mess. He’d really hurt my nipples, the chunk was still missing from the right and now the left nipple seemed to be heading the same direction. To add insult to injury he hadn’t returned to his birth weight (he’d actually lost a little more) which meant he was in danger of getting a Failure to Thrive note. Failure to Thrive meant I could be encouraged (forced) to give him formula because he wasn’t gaining weight at an acceptable rate. Thankfully my LC saw he was a good eater and noticed that he might simply be going to sleep before he was completely full. She told me it seemed as though he was only eating enough to maintain his weight but not gain any. So she instructed me to use a nipple shield in order to allow the nipple to heal while still making sure my supply didn’t dip, use a breast pump, offer him a bottle (full of breast milk) after he stopped nursing and to make sure I woke him up every 2-3hrs in order to eat. We only lasted one night…

My son and I had the worse night ever. Between waking him up during the day and at night to feed every 2-3hrs both he and I were a hot mess. The nipple shield helped with the stinging pain I was feeling and allowed him to latch on but other than that we were horrible. I was so out of it that I spent most of the day crying. We were both miserable. All of us ended up at my in-laws house where I explained to them why I looked like I was going to die. His mom told me about her similar situation with my hubby when he was a baby and boy did that take the pressure off. She told me that he didn’t actually get to an “acceptable weight” until he was in his teens. This made me go home with a new confidence. I knew I didn’t need to wake us up that frequently in order for him to thrive. This new found confidence along with lots of YouTube videos about breastfeeding and proper latching helped tremendously. By the time I returned for our follow up appointment (only 3 days later) he’d gained enough weight for my LC to schedule a followup appointment with a nurse instead of with her. She also told me to think about getting the nursing pillow I used while in her office. I cried when I was able to get him to latch on comfortably without her help and she acknowledged my improved nipple appearance. She informed me as long as he returns to his birth weight by the next appointment I wouldn’t need any more appointments with her unless I wanted to schedule something. I never thought I’d cry in front of a stranger but you could’ve filled a lake with my tears.

The appointment with the nurse went great; he’d finally returned to his birth weight! I was no longer a sore hot mess. We still had tough days but the days were definitely improving. Here are the main things that (so far) have helped me continue the fight to breastfeed:

  • Nursing Pillow
    • I think that’s actually the brand name…
    • cheaper alternative to the Boppy but be ware it is smaller
  • Nipple Shield (Medela brand)
  • Gel Nipple Pads (Medela?)
    • can be frozen to increase soothing quality
  • My Brest Friend
    • bulky but incredibly helpful esp. if you have a small baby
  • Lactation Consultant
  • Supportive hubby, family and friends (both real life and virtual)

Sorry this post is void of any funny memes but I honestly couldn’t think of any considering I didn’t find anything funny about my struggle. Plus I know there are many other women who wish they had my “trouble” breastfeeding so I didn’t want to make light of such a touchy subject. I’m also not sure how many parts this will have but I am thinking of at least one more.

Thanks for being here to let me vent 🙂

LnD – Labor and Delivery

Done Being Pregnant

Labor begins but NOT how I expected. I’ll give the funny story then the highlights because thankfully my LnD was almost textbook 🙂

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Funny Story:

I’d been sick for about the last 2wks and my cough was lingering so one of my Pin(terest) pals said would’t it be funny if coughing made your water break?! After going to the bathroom for the millionth time because I was pregnant and coughing super hard, I grabbed tea from my Keurig and sat down to watch Netflix since I knew I wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon. Did I mention you basically can’t take anything when you’re pregnant especially if you’re paranoid? Anyways I had just sat down and was allowing my tea to cool when I broke out in a terrible coughing fit. I thought great on top of not sleeping I’ve now wet myself… The only bright side is I knew it’d happen since every pregnant woman I knew told me so thankfully I was wearing a liner. As the second wave of coughing started I knew I should go to the bathroom because this water kept coming. I went to the bathroom and sure enough the liner was soaked. I examined it for everything I was told to look for. I made note of the time, color, smell and amount. After I had all of this firmly in my mind I realized crap you could go into labor any time. I called to hubby from the bathroom letting him know my water broke. He slowly came into the bathroom partially not believing me (I’m sure); he’d just fallen asleep which was one of the funny things we listed would happen. He says why do you think it broke to which I respond “wring this out” referring to my liner. He wrings it out and immediately shakes the drowsiness. He says aren’t we supposed to wait? Are you having any contractions? I responded nope not one but I was told to immediately call/ come in if my water breaks due to increased risk of infection. He asks again if I’m sure so I tell him to call. I let him know he can use my phone since the number is programmed. He calls, they verify what I said then ask about time it broke (3:03am), color (clear), smell (none/ kind of sweet) and amount (filled liner/ still coming). Once they get all of the info they say come on in. The last funny part was my almost obsessive desire to take my dog to my mom’s home so he wouldn’t have to be alone. Needless to say hubby used logic to win that disagreement.

waiting

Labor and Delivery Highlights:

  • Arrive at hospital
    • Finally get to use the cool spot right in front of hospital
  • Check-in completely calm (still no contractions)
    • Nurses even asked why I was there which isn’t how I pictured check-in going
  • Get to the triage room (correct name?)
    • wait there for about an hour while they test to make sure it was amniotic fluid and for general baby monitoring
  • Moving on up
    • 3.5cm and transferred to the delivery floor!!
    • Experienced first really strong conversation stopping contraction
      • After contraction, I mentioned being irritated when people used to simply say “You’ll know” when asked about how to tell real contraction from BH then I agreed that You’ll Know is the best way to say it
  • Meet and Greet
    • Met the nurses on staff, stated birth preferences (forgot birth plan in the car…) and went over what was going to happen
  • Hooked Up
    • IV line in hand, baby monitoring device, fluids prepared, other possible drugs that can be administered were explained to me per my request
  • Waiting and being monitored
    • This is when hubby went to the car to get the nurse gifts which allegedly went quickly because the nurses at my hospital weren’t used to getting nurse gifts
      • I only say allegedly because at that time I’d been there for a while and I wasn’t sure if they actually liked them or if they felt bad for me because I was still there (shrugs shoulders)
  • CONTRACTIONS ARE STRONGER!!!
    • 5 or 6cm
  • Thrill is gone
    • my contractions begin to slow down and almost disappeared
    • fluids were given because I wasn’t getting enough water
    • I was 9cm at this point…
    • TEARS
      • hubby was a rockstar. he calmed me down and kept encouraging me through the entire process
  • The Pit Talk
    • Gave contractions a chance to start back up but nothing and I was exhausted
      • about 19-20hrs at hospital and already more than 24hrs since I last slept (I didn’t go to sleep Saturday night because bad cough caused water break Sunday at 3:03am)
    • Pitocin given at level 1 (correct term?) to help contractions start back up
  • Over It
    • Before this I was progressing nicely, each check showed progress
    • This was turning into the never-ending story
    • I was angry and everything annoyed me to the point of homicide
    • I snapped at hubby but he stayed awesome and never snapped back at me
      • after the 1st few contractions I realized I didn’t want to be touched and needed silence during contractions. hubby tried touching me after a nurse suggested it so I bite his head off because he already knew better
  • Almost Caved
    • I might not have mentioned this in previous posts but I wanted to TRY going pain med free. I wasn’t dogmatic nor did I have any real reason besides wanting to experience everything and to see what my true pain tolerance was
    • I was 9.5cm, -2 station and completely effaced but told not to push because it could cause the cervix to swell (since I wasn’t fully dilated) making vaginal delivery harder or impossible
    • Nurse Jamie saved the day
      • the room was silent I was waiting for the midwife because Nurse Jamie thought I might be able to safely push but wanted to make sure
      • I felt an overwhelming need to push but was fighting hard so I didn’t but I lost it. I was practically screaming when Jamie very sternly said “what do you want me to do”. Well that was all I needed to focus and make it through the last part pain med free
  • Transition is awful
    • Jamie informed me that I was experiencing the transitional phase and was right at the finish line and all I had to do was hold out for the midwife.
  • MIDWIFE
    • She arrived and I’d never been happier to have a complete stranger check my privates!
  • Magic Words
    • Prepare to push
    • Followed pushing instructions
    • Felt baby’s head
    • Received episiotomy
      • didn’t feel it thanks to all the pain and pressure from his head
    • After 7min of pushing baby was on my chest
      • it felt like I pushed way longer than that but Jamie n hubby insisted only 7min (gives both of them side eye)
  • After delivery
    • Delivered the placenta and looked at it!
      • big deal because the placenta has freaked me out since I started researching pregnancy. made me horribly nauseous at the sight of it
    • Received local shots before being stitched up but after multiple shots I gave up and told her to finish. it was uncomfortable/ weird being able to feel the needle and each stitch

When all was said and done:

  • Didn’t care care about receiving pitocin
  • Midwife vs Doctor didn’t matter because only came in once before to introduce herself and at the very end during delivery plus the nurses were the ones that took care of me
  • Support was CRITICAL
    • my hubby as well as all of the nurses were very supportive of my pain med free delivery
    • no one was in the room that didn’t need to be there
      • I considered my mom necessary once labor started because mom can snap you out of it (encourage you) even when hubby can’t because she’s experienced it
    • one of my original nurses even came by to see me the next day and it was her day off 🙂
  • Losing control can happen but it doesn’t have to come in the form of the horrific drama fest they make it out to be on TV
    • when I said I almost lost it I mean wanting to get pain medication and speaking louder than what I planned
  • Find what you feel is comfortable
    • laying in bed, squatting, bouncing on a ball, standing, dancing, swaying, etc whatever safely gets you through it
  • Be informed and ask questions
    • only one nurse rubbed my hubby and I the wrong way but we set her straight by letting her know we’d done our research and were basing our choice on sound info. thankfully that nurse was off duty and we were turned over to someone awesome
    • know your options
      • preferred delivery as well as worse case scenario
    • make sure you can backup your choices with science not just XYZ said/ told me
    • if you don’t understand what’s happening or why, ASK
      • medical profs are there to help you besides most of us don’t have a background in the medical field so somethings we just won’t know
      • also this could help improve the way you feel about your LnD experience
  • Funny thing is your version of delivery and reality of what happened can differ
    • I was sure I was freaking out and yelling but hubby and nurses assured me I was fine and only rose my voice once but it was in general (not directed at someone)

Well if you read all of this thanks! If you only skimmed it thanks! If no one sees this then thanks (to me 😉 ) because this is something my son, myself and hubby can look back on and smile.

39 Weeks – Contractions?

 

Mood: Varies (over being pregnant – impatiently waiting – given up because I’ll be pregnant forever lol)

Energy: Varies (nonexistent – forcing myself to adult/ be responsible)

Appetite: Normal

Baby Movement: Yes

Contractions: I started getting strong contractions in my lower back. It was exciting on Monday when it first happened but considering I’m still pregnant I’m over it and am confused as to whether or not these are considered false labor contractions or Braxton Hicks.

Other: Car Seat Inspection 3/1 and Doctor Appt 3/3

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Car Seat Inspection went very well. Shout out to Officer B at the CHP in my area! I called super early in the morning and she wasn’t in yet but I was able to leave her a message. I missed her call but she let me know she’d be out the rest of the week (which wasn’t too bad because I called Wednesday) and could call Monday to schedule an appointment or give one of the other resources (which she provided info for) a call. Well I procrastinated so I ended up just calling her on Monday which was risky considering I’m due in less than a week… She asked my EDD, car make/model and whether or not I already installed the car seat. I told her I installed it already and wanted to make sure I did it correctly. She then made an appointment for the next day. I went to the appointment with my car seat, base and instructions for both my car seat and car. I arrived early because well she’s a police officer and I figured she might be busy or have more pressing matters to attend to. She came out, had me fill out paper work, explained what we were going to do and off we went.

First she verified I had the manual/ instructions/ directions for both car seat and car. I did. She checked the type of car seat and my car (she was familiar with my make/ model so that was easy). She then proceeded to go over all the things I should look out for as well as how to make the LATCH system tight on the base (there was wiggle room even though up to 1 inch is considered acceptable). She also let me know how to safely put baby in car seat, how to adjust the straps, what’s acceptable for seat position and how to install the base in the event someone else’s vehicle doesn’t have the LATCH system. She answered all of my questions, highlighted the important parts on the copy she gave me, told me I can schedule a separate appointment in order to be shown exactly how to install it in hubby’s car (no LATCH system) and she let me know that everything looked good before she made adjustments. That last part made me smile the most because I read all of the directions before I installed it so it was nice to know I followed the directions correctly even though she was able to tighten it. She said it was perfectly fine the way it was since it had less than an inch wiggle room but that tightening it adds to the safety. All in all it was very quick, helpful and worth the time. If you have any questions at all regarding your car seat installation I would encourage you to look up local places that will do the inspection for free. It is easier to start with Highway Patrol and Fire Stations but be aware that not all of them have a car seat inspector (Officer B is the one who let me know this because it requires classes to get certified).

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A lot has gone down since I started writing this draft. Sorry son mommy won’t be able to tell you what happened during that appointment but know that I love you and the next post will be the important one 🙂 Hopefully you (or your future wife) will enjoy the funny meme I’ve put in place of your appointment update.

38 Weeks – 3rd/ 4th Trip to L and D

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WARNING: Long post but oh so necessary in case I forget after giving birth.

Mood: Excited but anxious

Energy: Varies

Appetite: Normal

Baby Movement: Yes

Contractions: First real contraction; I think… It happened after lunch on 2/23 then I had one more over an hour later. I believe these are considered false labor contractions rather than Braxton Hicks. But only time will be able to confirm this.

Other: Labor and Delivery

We had yet another scare but this time it wasn’t due to lack of movement. The first trip to L n D was due to not getting 10 kicks in 2hrs when our kid (at that time) used to get all of his movements in about 30ish minutes. All turned out well and he started moving the minute they hooked us up to the monitoring device. The second trip we waited longer because we were trying a bunch of different things to get him to move. Once all of our efforts failed we went in. This time he didn’t move until about 30-40 minutes after he was hooked up to the monitoring device and I had consumed 2 cold beverages (apple juice and water). Then we get to 2/22 which was an all too familiar scare…

On Monday February 22nd around 5:20pm, I went to the bathroom before leaving for dinner. I felt slightly strange so I looked at the toilet paper after I wiped and there it was. The tp was completely covered in blood reminiscent of the days when I had a period. It also reminded me of the bleeding scare we had in the beginning except there wasn’t any reason for the bleeding to be triggered because nothing had irritated my cervix. I was completely terrified. It didn’t help that I’d recently read about a lady losing her baby at 38 weeks (stillbirth). I tried to calmly call my hubby but I completely lost it as soon as he came in the bathroom. All I could do was hold out the tissue while crying hysterically. He didn’t even flinch. He immediately grabbed his phone and started looking up the number to L n D. Somehow I managed to direct him to our kick counter card that had the number on it. As I was trying to pull myself together so I could calmly speak, he was on hold with the nurse. I couldn’t seem to stop so he did all of the talking. I answered questions between sobs but wasn’t much use as I wiped a few more times only to see the same horrific sight. I could hear the instructions from the nurse so I got an actual pad to put on. When the whole conversation was done the nurse informed hubby  to proceed to dinner and that if I filled up the pad in an hour to call back or come in immediately. He hung up then relayed the message to me as I stood there dumbfounded that we weren’t instructed to come in… He told me everything she said and reassured me that if it was really bad they’d have said to come in like they did before with the movement. I couldn’t really argue as I knew I was considered full-term and wasn’t having any other signs of losing the baby so we went to dinner.

Upon returning home I couldn’t stand the suspense so I went straight to the bathroom. Imagine my horror when I continued to see red blood. It was true that the amount had greatly decreased but it was still there. I called to hubby again to tell and show him what was there but he reminded me of what the nurse said so I tried to calm myself. I even went over all of the reasons everything was okay. Well none of that stuff worked so I went to the hospital website. Once on the website I searched and searched for something that  would bring me comfort but to no avail. That’s when I did it… I’m not proud of myself but I consulted Dr. Google. Of course I got exactly what you would expect. A whole lot of useless info that ultimately led back to every pregnancy is different and consult your doctor. The only difference is that now hubby was searching equally as hard for an answer so both of us were using Dr. Google. Still unsatisfied I called the one person that I knew would either calm me down or suggest I go in. My mom listened anxiously as I gave her the recap. She said I should listen to my husband but keep an eye on it. She’d gone through the same thing when she was pregnant with my sister and come to find out she was dilated 8cm by the time they went to the hospital after discovering the bleeding. I felt so much better after she said that. I was getting ready to completely relax but I couldn’t shake the paranoid feeling and the what ifs. What if I only have enough time to make it to the hospital before I lose him? What if all I need to do is go in for something simple to stop the bleeding and save him? All those thoughts and more ran through my head.

I finally cracked. I called L n D, explained the situation and was informed that the original nurse that took my hubby’s call was in with a patient so they couldn’t ask her why she made the assessment she did. This nurse went through all the same questions and I told her the bleeding slowed down and was no longer bright red but she said she still wanted to consult the doctor. After what felt like years, she got back on the phone and said the doctor invited us to come in because he wasn’t comfortable with the fact that I had bright red blood without any disturbance to my cervix or any previous issues. The nurse ultimately left the decision to us considering it was no longer red but she did advise we come in. I of course was already getting ready and hubby followed suit. We drove all the way there in complete silence as I was trying to focus on not bleeding or spotting (like I could trick my body into not having an issue). When we finally arrived hubby was stopped at the front and they required him to check in which was new because they usually just let him back and reminded him that he’d need a badge if he decided to leave and come back. So as I walked back there alone I began to cramp. I figured it was due to nerves so I continued on my way. Hubby was finally with me by the time I finished signing paperwork. Once I was checked in I gave the standard sample and was escorted to the room while hubby waited in the lobby. When I was undressed and hooked up to the monitoring devices he was brought to my room. We chatted then turned on the TV as a distraction. When the doctor came to our room quickly I became even more nervous. He asked me questions, verified what the nurses already wrote on my chart and explained to me what he was going to do.

I was a little freaked out that a guy was examining me but I quickly got over this as my back pain was increasing. He brought in a female nurse and started checking everything. He was extremely nice and took the extra step to explain everything as he was doing it so I didn’t get nervous. It truly helped to calm my nerves. He said baby looks fine and there was no active bleeding but he noticed that during my last appointment I was about 2cm. I asked why he noted that and  he said “Oh because you’re about 3cm now and might be why your cervix was irritated”. He continued saying the speed of my dilation along with almost double the amount of blood is probably why I was experiencing the bleeding. He also let me know that I still need to come in any time I see red blood because a diagnosis shouldn’t be given over the phone. Then he and hubby had a quick laugh about how much nicer it’d be if he could examine people remotely without having to come in or get out of his pajamas 🙂 I left the hospital relieved but nervous that it would happen again before delivery. But like always Mr. Incredible (hubby) was calm and comforting. I love this man.

4th L n D trip on 2/26. Long story short we weren’t sure if I were leaking amniotic fluid so we went in. Everything was fine. I was still 3cm with baby in head down position. After this trip I told hubby I am determined to stay away until I believe I am in labor.

Random no picture this week. I took some but they are on someone else’s phone and I’m too lazy to ask them to send it to me. Next week I shall be better. This was just a long crazy week.

37 Weeks – 1st Appt Alone

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Mood: Excited but over being pregnant

Energy: Varies

Appetite: Normal

Baby Movement: Yes

Contractions: Braxton Hicks/ Cramping

Other: Doctor’s Appointment

Dr Appt: This was the first doctor’s appointment I went to alone. Hubby was exhausted (unable to make up time at work) and my mom wasn’t feeling well so I had to go solo. It was very strange for me. I was so used to having someone to laugh and joke with while I waited on the doctor/ nurse practitioner that I was never able to get worried. Well not after the initial scary first appointments. This time however there was nothing but silence so I had the fear of getting bad news and having to process it alone. Granted I had no reason to fear the worse but it is always in the back of my mind because this pregnancy seems too good to be true. Anyways everything was fine.

  • Measuring right on
  • Dilated 2cm
  • Effaced 50%
    • not sure how I went from 90% to 50% but I guess all of this is subjective depending on someone’s hand size/ opinion/ interpretation
  • Next appointment scheduled for 3/3/16 which is 2 days before the hospital’s EDD
    • I say hospital because according to the app I used (Fertility Friend) his EDD is 3/7

Pregnancy Classes pt 1

This post was kind of boring so I figured I’d insert funny memes that go along with the name of the class 🙂

Early Pregnancy

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  • Review of what to expect in the coming months
  • Other classes they recommend taking and when to register for them
  • Nutritional Info
  • Ways to ease “morning sickness”, aches and pain, exhaustion, etc

Late Pregnancy

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  • Handouts
    • preparing for the hospital
    • things to report to doctor
    • signs of preterm labor, pre-eclampsia, infection
    • contractions
      • Braxton Hicks vs True Labor Contractions
      • Timing
  • Review of third trimester symptoms (common, unusual and when to call/ alert care provider)
  • Recommendations for easing certain symptoms such as heartburn, mild swelling, etc
  • Postpartum Care for you and baby
  • Hospital tour
    • Visitors policy
    • Admittance (pregnant belly gets you in but all other guests including father must register at the front desk)
    • Parking
    • Additional details which include but aren’t limited to security procedures, food, duration of hospital stay

Infant Safety & CPR (non-certified)

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  • Handouts with important phone numbers
  • Infant CPR
  • Hazards inside and outside of home
  • Infant and pet safety
    • suggestions for introducing both safely
  • Car seat safety/ proper installation
  • Poison control number
  • Preparing for emergencies

Prepared Childbirth

  • Handout (it was recommended to put this in hospital bag so I don’t remember what’s in it) with good info
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Birthing positions
  • Birthing partner and others who might attend the birth
    • things to think of when/ if you decide to invite others
  • Videos of different types of births
  • Different types of pain medication
  • Difference between Braxton Hicks Contractions and Contractions that prepare cervix for delivery
  • Effacement & Dilation
    • the importance of knowing the difference

Breastfeeding

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  • Handout (details about what is discussed in class as well as helpful resources)
  • Benefits
  • Recommendations for bottle feeding, pacifiers, pumping, milk storage and returning to work while breastfeeding
  • Bottle and nipple options
  • Formula vs Breastfeeding
  • Positions
  • Supplies
  • Helpful resources

Newborn Care

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  • Handout
    • Details on class/ slideshow
    • Colic
    • Circumcision
  •  Class
    • Resources for
      • Postpartum Depression
      • Lactation Help
      • Car seat safety
    • Feeding (breast & bottle)
    • Burping, diapering, SIDS, sleeping, soothing, swaddling, bathing, safety
    • Newborn care (cord care, circumcision & signs of illness)