Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And Baby Makes Three: The Birth of Evelyn Rose

As I've previously written, around 28 weeks my blood pressure skyrocketed. As a person who usually has a normal BP, this was alarming. I was put on Procardia three times daily, and began weekly NST's and Biophysical profiles (a detailed sonogram).

There are all kinds of risks associated with PIH- namely, that it will developed into Preeclampsia, organs in mom will shut down and baby will need to be delivered quickly. Thankfully, in my case, it never developed. There were a few times when there was concern that the high bp was restricting blood flow to baby- but it ended up being just that- concern. Basically things just went from week to week, I knew that at any given appointment or at any given time, baby could need to be delivered. NOT the easiest most relaxing way to spend the last part of a pregnancy :) Especially for someone who had such high aspirations for a normal, natural birth. At some point during the last part in my pregnancy, it became apparent that induction was a very real possibility- as was a c-section. This disappointed me, but I knew that the goal was healthy mom, healthy baby.

Added to the stress was the realization that my midwife might not be the one to deliver the baby. She had personal family circumstances arise that kept her out of the office for big chunks of time. Thankfully, both she and my ob wanted to keep me pregnant as long as possible - so it was 5 bazillion office visits for me! I began to know the whole staff on a first name basis. I worked up until about 2 weeks before I had her- this is when the water weight began piling on. I went from a net gain/loss of 0 lbs, to gaining 20 lbs in the matter of a week or two. 10 of those lbs were in 3 days. At this point, the midwife put me on bed rest. I went home with my gigantically swollen ankles ( who am I kidding? my gigantically swollen EVERYTHING) and tried not to do much. I truly feel for women who end up on long term bedrest- it drives you crazy!

On Friday, July 31st I went in for another NST. At this point I was barely dilated at all, baby had not dropped and my due date was still over a week away. I saw the OB who wanted to go through the weekend, and if nothing had happened by Monday, have one more sono/NST and then induce on the following Monday. I was really bummed- it didn't seem like baby wanted to come out, and induction would follow.

After the weekend I went back in- had a sono and the sonographer noticed that my amniotic fluid was low. As we left to go to the NST room, she made a comment that I didn't really notice then- she said ' see you later today, little one'. A normal NST followed, and then the exam. I went in defeated because as of that morning, I knew baby hadn't done anything new. To my surprise and shock, his words after the exam were 'well, you're dilated to 2, baby is engaged, and have you noticed any leaking fluid?' to which I replied ' umm no, nothing really'. Apparently I somehow missed that my water was breaking..but very slowly. He then called over to L&D and got a room set up for me..I called hubby- my mom and sister were in the waiting room so I called them and told them what was happening. The OB had an intern walk me over, which was silly ( I work in the hospital and know it up from down, but I digress) we chatted and I tried to get over my nervousness.

You see, I didn't feel crampy. By standing I did see that the baby indeed had dropped- but I really felt the same. I feared a long, pitocin induced labor that didn't progress, resulting in a c-section for lenth of labor ( since my water was breaking I was on the 24 hr clock)..or stress in the baby resulting in an emergency c-section. We knew the cord was wrapped around her neck twice, so any dip in her HR would mean immediate action. In other words, I was a crazy ridiculous ball of nerves.

I got my iv, got settled..was put on the external monitors, and to my surprise, I was contracting regularly on my own! In a short amount of time the contractions intensified and kept coming..I was going into labor without any help! Then the OB and intern came back in, broke what little was left of my water..and I was put on an internal monitor for contractions. This didn't thrill me, as I was then stuck to the bed or just next to it. I had made peace with the pitocin, as long as it was increased very slowly, to just what was working an no excess. Even though my PIH risked me out for a water birth, I still desired the best experience possible. At this point it was about 2 in the afternoon, and I was still fairly comfortable. My husband went home and got my suitcase, my mom and sister ran to get me last minute things I needed.

A friend came to visit, my in laws stopped by. This began the influx of well-meaning family and friends who were part of the day. I began to get uncomfortable, but my BP was doing okay and baby's HR was stable. By 5pm, I had been progressing at about 1 cm/hr and it became increasingly difficult to talk to the people in my room. When I realized pitocin was going to be in the equation, and I found out that Epidurals generally lower blood pressure, I decided I would have one. I figured heck..if I'm stuck to the bed anyway, can't try different positions, and can't have a water birth..and if it can keep my BP lower thus reducing my chances of a c-section, why not? But I wanted to wait as long as possible, to make sure I was progressing since Epidurals can slow down labor.

The nurses were respectful of my wishes, and even supportive- one nurse told me she thought I was doing the right thing instead of getting it as soon as I possibly could ( which according to my OB is as soon as you're in labor..blah...but moving on). By 7pm I was starting to ask where those lovely anesthesiologists might be..and one was located, and could be called whenever I wanted. By this point I was about 7cm and decided it was time. I firmly believe that labor would have been much more manageable had I been free to move about the room. The epidural was put in, and that was one of the most uncomfortable parts of the whole experience. I was contracting like CRAZY and had to sit still while it felt like aliens were crawling up my spine. Once it was in, my right side numbed up but my left did not. The anesthesiologist came back in, adjusted things..and it seemed to get better. After a few hours, more family came and went, and the nurses had a shift change.

The new nurse came in, kicked all of the family out except for the 3 person limit..and I thought I'd ended up with nurse Ratchett. Despite being the only nurse to enforce the visitor limit- she was wonderful. After 7cm I stalled out, and she worked hard to keep rotating me and helping me get in positions where the baby could move. Baby seemed to get stuck but she was so encouraging, telling me I could do it, lets try this or that, etc. I got a little sleep..and by this time the only people waiting were my mom, mil and sister..and hubby of course. One spot never truly numbed and that was an odd feeling- intense pain in one spot but nowhere else. Despite the turning, different positions, etc..I was not progressing. I began to get worried. I fell into a fitful sleep around midnight, just waking for the nurse to check me. I don't remember much here - just pain, and small periods of awareness. After what seemed like an eternity, I felt a new sensation. It felt like tons of pressure all of a sudden. I called the nurse, who checked me and found I was at 10cm!

I started feeling really pushy, and pukey. Not a good combo. My mom came in, with hubby, and my sister and mil waited in the waiting room. ( My sister is autistic and while being super excited, wasn't sure she could handle seeing the baby born) This was about 3am. I'd accepted that probably the OB would deliver the baby, but to my surprise my nurse told me that when my midwife heard I was in labor, said she'd do the delivery even though she wasn't on call. I was so happy with this, but then I wondered..WHERE is she? I knew she lived close by and I needed to push, or puke, or both- RIGHT NOW. The room became a flurry of activity as as scale was brought in, light set up, and things were prepared. I couldn't believe it was time!

Finally, when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, my midwife came running in the room, apologizing profusely. She'd been pulled over for speeding, and while the cop let her go, it slowed her down quite a bit. She gowned up and I pushed once, twice, three times..and on the fourth, we had a baby! I was really out of it and still feeling sick, and hubby was dumbfounded, so my mom finally asked if we had a boy or girl. To all of our surprise, we had a baby girl! As we thought, the cord was indeed wrapped around her neck twice. My husband said the first few moments were scary because she was so purple- but the midwife expertly unwrapped the cord quickly and all was well! She started crying, I was crying, my mom was was a teary event! She was immediately set on my chest, and after some IV zofran I was feeling great much less pukey. She was born at 3:16 AM, at 7 lbs 14 oz, and 19 1/2 inches long.

After some stitches ( I almost didn't tear, but her darn shoulders changed that!) and some initial nursing, we were left alone to soak in being a new family. My sister and MIL got to meet Evelyn, and soon Evie and hubby were passed out. Around 5am we were moved to our new room- amidst a gigantic thunderstorm..and I was too excited to fall asleep. My blood pressure was still high for a while, but otherwise I felt fantastic. Looking back on it all now, I'm just so thankful. Her birth, despite the complications, really couldn't have gone better. While I hoped for a natural birth, I know that medical intervention is there for situations where its needed..and in our case, it was. PIH and Preeclampsia can have dire consequences if left unchecked. In addition, my midwife was sweet enough to deliver her despite being not on call and really off work for the week b/c of family circumstances.Also, I'm forever thankful for the experienced, kind, overnight nurse I had who encouraged me the whole way and worked tirelessly to help me avoid a c-section. But here's the BEST part :

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Changes Six Months Can Bring!

I had every intention of blogging leading up to, and after the birth of our baby..but yeah...didn't happen. Just now am I feeling like my life is settled down enough that I can begin to put my thoughts down again! After a long and crazy 9 months, we had a beautiful little girl (! totally thought we were having a boy) and have been getting adjusted to life with a little one. In the next few days, I plan on putting up some pictures, typing up her birth story, and reading the heck out of all of the blogs I've missed. Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

love it

8 Days To Go

...until my favorite festival of the year, that is. Next week we'll be packing up and heading to Cornerstone Music Festival, from Tuesday- Saturday. I'll be reuniting with good friends from across the country and from Canada, sitting in on interesting discussions and seminars, and of course listening to lots of great music.

This event has kind of become how my husband and I recharge and get inspired for the year to come..its rather hard to explain. There are some folks we've become friends with, some from Minnesota, some from Philadelphia and some from Canada..all of them are wonderful, passionate people who are more or less part of the 'simple church' mindset. It's so nice to be able to spend a few days discussing challenges, sharing stories and imagining how to do things differently. Plus, its a great big conglomeration of people, and lots from the fringes of Christian society. Phyllis Tickle will be there doing a seminar and a big rountable discussion, Derek Webb ( along with 300+ other bands/musicians) is playing Wednesday still my heart.

This year however, poses a few more challenges. I'm not officially on bedrest but I might as well be. It's pretty obvious that we will have our baby early, at least a week or two, possibly more if my blood pressure doesn't cooperate. So we've rented a dorm room at a nearby college so I've got a place to go with showers, a/c and a real bed- instead of the usual camping situation. I might end up back in the room much of the time, but I'm hoping to be able to catch the seminars and music I want. I've puffed up like a balloon, and I'm learning the true meaning of cankles ( yuck). But all of that's fine with me as long as this little one is still on the inside and growing. To be honest, I'm terrified at the prospect of an early baby. As of this morning's NST and appointment with my CNM, we're looking at possibly from 2-3 weeks if my bp/labs/etc go crazy, and 4-5 weeks if things stay fairly stable. So in the meantime, we need to finish up the nursery, move our furniture in ( because the new carpet finally came, yay)...and just get ready in general.

I'm going to try to cut down as many hours as I can at work, and stay at home laying low. A Phyllis Tickle book on fixed hour prayer is on its way, as well as a new Frank Viola book about actually practicing 'simple church' , so I've got some good thought provoking/inspirational material.

A few weeks ago, I had my first experience with buying bulk herbs online. I purchased a pound of red raspberry leaf and a pound of spearmint from, and both have been great. I'd been wanting to try RRL tea but the price was steep at the local health food store. I've been using my infuser and brewing a pot each day, some to drink hot but mostly to drink cold since it's so hot outside. Anyone else drink RRL when they were pregnant? I've got a baby sling on the way as well, one I ordered from Etsy- love that website. Isn't it cute?Oh yeah, I bought a nursing cover too. Hmm..maybe me being at home a lot with access to a computer/online shopping is a bad thing?

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Little Nervous

A few weeks ago I went for my normal check with the midwife, and everything looked fine..except my bp. Normally, it's fine so for it to shoot up was abnormal. They asked me to watch it, and have it taken again before I left work at the hospital that day, and call them with the numbers. Unfortunately, by that afternoon it had only risen even more.

I'm now on Procardia three times a day in hopes of a. keeping the bp down and b. preventing preterm labor that the high bp might cause. I'm also going weekly for a non stress test, bp check and to make sure I'm not spilling protein. So technically at this point I don't have preeclampsia, but it could develop. My midwife and doctor have told me that if I go into labor on my own after 34 weeks, they will not stop it. At 34 weeks the baby could probably just stay at our regional hospital, and not have to go to the nearest NICU, 45 minutes away. Of course I hope I go longer, though...

So now begins the discussions of worst case scenarios; if my bp doesn't stay under control I'll probably be induced, if bed rest doesn't help. I'm not on bed rest at this point but have been told I will be if I don't take it easy ( not so easy when we're moving, painting, packing etc). As of last week's check up, my bp was much better and still no protein. Last week's NST showed I wasn't contracting much and the baby's heart rate was good. If things keep going this way they'll let me go as long as I need to. And as long as I'm not hooked up to pit with an induction, I can still use the labor tub,etc.

But I won't lie, all of this has me scared. It's getting warmer here and I've started to swell, but every day I check my face in the mirror a bazillion times to see if it's gotten puffy- I'm so worried I'll develop preeclampsia. Mainly I just feel really out of control, like things were a-okay up until recently and now it's a big crapshoot. Obviously, the most important thing is the safety of both baby and I, but my recent high risk status has me creeped out. Trying to move and set up a new house while not over-exerting myself is about impossible, and I feel totally unprepared should the baby make an unexpected early arrival.

So much for a routine, complication free pregnancy/delivery...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Input needed

For those of you who use baby slings..which ones are your favorites? The place we're registering doesn't really carry them, so I'll probably be buying one or two on my own.

So, maya, moby, mei tai, hot slings, etc..which worked for you and which didn't?

Also, if you cloth diaper..where do you buy yours? I don't mind investing some money in them but want to get a good deal. So far I've only really looked at Green Mountain Diapers. I'm a bit clueless as to how much/what sizes to order. The baby will be in disposables some of the time, when he/she goes to grandparents or to my sil's a day or two a week while I work. But at home, we're going to try to stick with cd-ing.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Disconnected from civilization..

...or so it feels. My just-barely-a-year-old laptop decided to die, right after the warranty ran out. A good friend is being kind enough to build us a new computer, but in the meantime..ack! I did okay for the first week and a half but I'm going through major internet/blog withdrawl! I'm sure its probably a good thing, because I've read about 6 books, done research, and hit some killer garage sales for baby gear..but still!

So I've now got officially less than 3 months until baby is supposed to arrive. Part of me is really excited, the other part is scared to death. But in good news, we are selling our place that we live now! Woohoo! The paperwork has been finalized and as of June 1st we will no longer own the little ( 576 sq ft to be exact) beaten down, extremely vintage ( ie 1972) mobile home that we started out in. So, where are we going to move?

Well..that's a story in and of itself. We've been house hunting for a good 6 months now, and have a very nice down payment saved up. However, our credit scores are still recovering from less than prudent financial decisions of our younger days, so we decided to wait another year or so before buying to give our scores some time to go up.

So...we're moving....4 doors down. An older lady with Alzheimers passed away recently, and her daughter was looking to sell her mobile home. We happened to stop by when they had an estate sale, and got to talking with her. The home is a 1992, so compared to our was downright luxurious. It has been maintained very well, is larger than where we've been, has two nice size bedrooms, a garden tub, lots of closet space, a huge kitchen, washer and dryer, a huge carport and nice shed with a workbench, electricity,etc. The best part? She asked more than we were willing to spend, but liked us enough to ask what we had..and accepted that! So not only will we get to stay close to hubby's work, my work, school ( for both of us)..but we'll pay absolutely nothing more a month than we do now. The little park we live in is in a great neighborhood, and is comprised of mostly elderly people. So as much as I wanted to be in our own house with our own garden right now..this will be much better in the end. We can save more, our credit scores can improve, and I can work less after the baby comes because our living expenses won't go up at all. When the perfect house comes along, we'll be able to say we want it- and be able to afford it.

I'm just so thankful that all 3 of us will have a nice, safe place that suits our needs, and allows us to be better prepared for the things we want down the road. So now its moving time, again- and I'll finally be able to open up and use our wedding gifts! We need to paint, but otherwise everything is move-in ready. The best part- I can finally start putting together a nursery :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Been 'blah' about blogging

I'm not really sure what has taken over me, but for the last few months I just haven't had the desire to blog. I love reading them, but have felt at a loss of what to write about.

A little update on the happenings around my house- we are actually looking for a house. Its been quite the emotional rollercoaster, but I know we will find one that is perfect for us in the end. My husband is looking into getting back into school full-time, which would be wonderful. It is just a matter of finding the right program and the right hours to fit around his work schedule.

On the baby front, things are going quite well, I will be 24 weeks on Friday. For the past 2-ish weeks I've finally felt some movement, which is weird. I won't lie, it feels like I've got an alien inside of me. But...a cute little alien :-) I'm still trying to watch what I eat, because of worries about gestational diabetes. In a few weeks I'll do the glucose screening, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We are getting closer and closer to being debt free!! Its taken a few months of living on a shoestring budget, but I can't believe how much debt we've been able to pay down in such a short amount of time. Now it will be a matter of keeping the wise spending going, as well as using the money we're not spending on paying off debt- to save.

With the baby coming in early August, financial planning has been a big issue for us. I will be taking the full 12 weeks off of work, and will have enough PTO saved up to pay for about 1- 1 1/2 months of it, which is great. But the rest of the time we will be hurting, so we're putting away money in savings to cover things like health insurance, gas, food, etc. I will unfortunately need to go back to work a few days a week in order to pay for our insurance, and to supplement our income. Once Adam finishes his degree, I won't need to do this but in the meantime it is our reality.( so YAY for him going back to school!)

Now I'm starting to make lists of what baby items I want to register for, and what items I think I can find at garage sales this summer. Also I'm signing up for a local breastfeeding class, so hopefully that will be informative. Any of you natural birth advocates have resources ( books etc) you recommend for coping methods? Lamaze, bradley method, etc. Also..what worked for you? August seems to be coming sooner and sooner, and despite my desire to go drug-free, I know that I'll be nervous and need to plan ahead. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

I think I've rambled enough...until next time!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Little Bit of Summer on a Wintry Day

As I've stated previously, this winter has been particularly freezing (!) and dark and depressing for me. Spring and Summer cannot come soon enough, and I've ordered multiple seed catalogs in the mail so I can sit and drool over all of the lovely things I'll be growing when it warms up. But in the meantime, while it's still in single digits ( on a good day) and dark by 4:30 pm every day, I needed some kind of pick me up. So, with our dinner the other night, I made this recipe that is always refreshing on a hot afternoon. Sure, its not as good as veggies straight from the garden, especially those wonderful late July/ August tomatoes..but it'll do in a pinch.

Simple Italian Tomato-Cucumber Salad

5 Roma Tomatoes
2 Cucumbers
2 Sprigs Fresh Basil
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cut tomatoes into wedges. Cut Cucumbers into 1/2 inch pieces ( or smaller if you like). Tear small pieces of fresh basil, and mince garlic clove. Add rest of ingredients, mix well. I think chilling for a few hours results in the best flavor, but can be served immediately as well.

At times I've experimented with what I've had on hand- anything from Italian dressing, to Balsamic vinigarette- but the original recipe so far has tasted the best.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Well, this came a bit sooner than expected (!) but yes, we are expecting. Hopefully we will have a sweet little boy or girl in early August. As of right now my husband and I are both committed to not finding out if we need to buy pink or blue, but I'm sure the temptation will be tough to resist as time goes on. The last month or so I've been pretty ill, with all day sickness and then a bug we both came down with, on top of that. As I'm nearing the close of the first trimester, I'm starting to feel more human again and have a little more energy. So here goes a wild ride, I'm sure..I'm quit excited, and thankful..and nervous!

Despite being a bit shocked with the news at first...we are both very grateful, because it has come to light that getting pregnant could have been very difficult. During a routine ultrasound last week, it was discovered that both of my ovaries are covered in cysts, and that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. For a lot of women who have this, ovulation happens rarely and conception is difficult. ( Think Jon & Kate Plus 8- Kate has this disease and that's why they went to fertility treatment) I'm a bit apprehensive to see what this will bring in the future, because PCOS raises one's risk of diabetes, heart disease and other ailments..and also increases chances of gestational diabetes. So, right now I'm trying to eat as heathily as I can, and stay very active. So despite maybe feeling a little unprepared as we've only been married 4 months..I know we're very blessed.

It's Been A While

Hello, everyone ! I think I've finally decided to re-enter the world of blogging after a much needed hiatus. The Christmas season came and went in a flurry, and now we're locked into the dead of winter. This morning when I woke up, it was -17 degrees. Normally I really like winter, but this year- I'm over it. Spring can't come soon enough.

Both of us have come down with various bugs and I think we're finally on the other side of it. I can't wait to jump back into reading the many lovely blogs out there and hopefully putting some good thoughts down.