Thursday, September 16, 2010

If Ryan could talk

If Ryan could talk he would probably say that 1,524 kisses a day is enough.

I disagree.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quick update: Road to recovery

It has been an interesting two weeks. Baby Ryan is perfect. He's an absolute doll. He eats well, sleeps well, smiles when mommy says, "I bet I can make you smile," (he also smiles when he's sleeping and when he's pooping...basically, he smiles often :) ) and he's just perfect.

Mommy, on the other hand, has been less than perfect. We were released from the hospital on Sat, July 31 and that following Tuesday, I began getting sick. Once or twice a day, I would get sick. I had a terrible nagging pain in my upper stomach that would not go away. It was worse immediately after nursing Ryan. Although it would subside at times (rare times), it never completely went away.

It is the same pain that I've had for years (going back to college). It had been pretty manageable during recent years- only flaring up once or twice a year and even during those times the pain was manageable.

During pregnancy, I never experienced the pain. It was wonderful!

But just after Ryan was born, the pain returned and with a vengeance. The pain was so constant and miserable that it began making me physically ill. I also had zero appetite (just ask Jill, she and Denny were to bring us Thai food for dinner Sunday night and I canceled on them. I NEVER cancel Thai food!). After several days of vomiting, I broke down and saw the doctor on Sunday. She put me on antispasmotic (?) medication, thinking it was a spastic biliary duct (which is a good thought since that's one of the conditions the surgeon mentioned to me several years ago when he was treating me for the same pain). The medication is a category 3 lactation medication so I was able to still nurse (they actually used to give the medication directly to infants with Colic, but stopped using it for that purpose when other, better medications hit the market I guess).

Even on the maximum dose, that medication didn't seem to help much. The pain remained constant and I continued getting sick once or twice a day. I also wasn't eating (which isn't good for a breast feeding mom).

Yesterday was my breaking point. It was the second day in a row that I woke up and immediately got sick. I didn't even get out of bed before I was vomiting everywhere. Miserable.

Even though I didn't want to involve yet another physician, I had to call Dr T since I was still under his care for a few more weeks (until my 6 weeks post partum check up). He immediately referred me to GI and within an hour I was sitting in Dr. A's office (I personally know Dr. A and he's wonderful!). A STAT CT scan, two IVs, 2 medications, and a EGD (scope down the throat into the stomach) later I was diagnosed with a very significant duodenal ulcer.

They filled me up with fluids since I was so dehydrated, gave me medication for the ulcer and I left the hospital at 7:30pm last night. It was the first night since coming home from the hospital after delivery that I felt like ME.

I'm carrying a huge amount of guilt right now because I haven't been 100% for Ryan and Hubs. The pain knocked me down and I hate that it took two weeks to get some resolution. But, I'm feeling much better this morning (fingers crossed it keeps up!) and I cannot wait to be the mom that Ryan deserves all of the time.

We're getting his newborn pictures taken today and I'm so excited because I know how much everyone is dying to see more pics of my baby :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

15 days ago....

I weighed 246 lbs (yauzers).

Today I weigh 214 lbs...

The ONLY benefit of all of that fluid...quick weight loss!

I'm only 12 lbs heavier than I was when we got pregnant.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maximum swelling

Just for fun, here is a video Craig took just before I got my epidural. If you listen carefully, you can hear the lisp I acquired due to maximum swelling when I say the word "ass." It sounded more like "ath."

Here is a pic of me on Tuesday evening (24 hours before delivery). The fluids hadn't started yet, so this was how minimally swollen I was...

And, here is a pic of me 3 days post partum. See how swollen I still was after 3 days?

It doesn't matter, though. I'd do it all again if it means I get another Ryan Jamison to love on :)

Part III

From the time we agreed upon the c-section until birth was almost 2 hours. Honestly, it could have been another 24 hours and I could have cared less. I was so relieved to finally be able to focus on the baby that I was on cloud nine.

Earlier in the evening, a good friend of mine from work, Debbie, came to the hospital. Debbie works part time in Labor & Delivery @ Memorial and having her there meant the world to me. She's very knowledgeable and a calming presence. She was my patient advocate, especially when it came to remember to ask for the ASP in my epi :)

Things really began to pick up once the c-section decision was final. Hubs was handed a pair of scrubs to change into and nurses and other staff were going over what was about to happen. I would be prepped in my l&d room and then wheeled into the nearby operating room. Hubs would stay behind in the l&d room until I was just about ready for the section, then he would be escorted into the room to be by my side during the birth.

I wasn't the least bit nervous. I was excited. I was ecstatic. I was elated.

Our family was sent to the lobby to anxiously await the news that we have a baby!

It took a little longer than anticipated to finally get back into the OR because there was some minor confusion over which anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist would assist during the procedure. Apparently there was a cool surgical case about to happen and I honestly think they were flipping coins to see who got to attend the cool case and who got to sit in on my boring ol' c-section.

Once anesthesia was set to go, we were gravy.

The OR was much smaller than I had anticipated and it was chuck full of people. Everyone introduced themselves to me as I was wheeled in on the bed. Everyone was smiling and very friendly. For the procedure, I had to be transferred from my bed onto the OR table. I laid my arms across my chest, they rolled my entire body onto my left side, slid a board under me, then lifted me off the bed and onto the table.

Anesthesia began giving me the more heavy doses of drugs through the epi b/c I was still able to move my toes (and that made me a little nervous). After a few minutes, I was completely numb from the chest down. I couldn't feel anything.

Dr. T told me that he was going to do a "cut test" to ensure I couldn't feel anything and then the procedure would begin. I remember thinking, "where's Craig?!" I guess I passed the cut test b/c next thing I remember they were announcing the time to begin the procedure.

Finally Craig walked through the door and came to my side. I don't remember too much of what we talked about. What I do remember is the singing. I was so stinking excited and mood in the OR was so fun that I started singing "(You're) Having My Baby." I think Craig almost died from embarrassment :)...."I'm having your baby, what a lovely way of saying how much I love you."

My teeth chattered and my body was shaking uncontrollably, both from excitement as well as the anesthesia. Singing took my mind off of what was happening below the hanging gown.

Within a few minutes of Craig arriving, it was time to have this baby.

A few seconds of silence was broken by the all important question, "Daddy, do you want to announce the sex?" Craig's face lit up with excitement. He looked down at me and smiled. And with that, he stood up off the stool, leaned over the drape, waited a few seconds, then looked down at me and so proudly announced,

"It's a BOY!"

A BOY! "It's a boy! We have a boy!"

Craig leaned over and kissed me and then the tears began.

We have a boy. A precious baby boy.

Dr. T lifted Ryan over the drape so I could lay eyes on our beautiful baby.

My body stopped shaking and my BP immediately normalized. My heart was so content at that very moment. We have a boy.

Then Dr. T asked, "time of birth?" and the nurse replied, "9:56pm."

The next few minutes, while exciting and memorable, were also slightly anxious. The baby cried (yeah!) but he was described as "floppy" and "gray/blue" so he was immediately put on oxygen in the OR. He was briefly checked over and they decided he needed to be closely monitored in the nursery. The staff was very good about explaining everything to us. They said although he's breathing OK, he needs a little extra attention and they would be taking him away for a little while. Dr. T was especially great at this time. He calls me his "worry wort" and knows that constant communication helps relieve my anxiety. He assured me that the baby was going to be fine and once I'm done in the OR, I'll get to see him and love on him.

Before they whisked away the baby, they wrapped him up and brought him over to me. I got to kiss my baby for the first time at 10:09 pm on July 28, 2010. I'll never, ever forget that moment.

Tears streamed down my face as my baby and my husband left the OR and headed towards the nursery.

Dr T finished up with me in about 45 minutes. I was then transferred from the OR table back into my bed and wheeled into my l&d room. I laid there in the bed taking it all in and wondering how the baby was doing. Was he OK? When could I see him? There were numerous staff members shuffling in and out of the room, taking my vitals, checking my stats. But where was my baby?

It would be almost 3 hours before I got to hold my son for the first time.

In the meantime, Craig returned to my l&d room, sans the baby who was still being tended to in the nursery. We hugged and cried. "We have a baby!" We shared a few intimate moments before the grandparents joined us in the room.

My parents and Craig's parents walked in, looking around the room for the baby. It was difficult to explain that everything is OK, but the baby is in the nursery getting some extra attention. Obviously, everyone was expecting to see and hold the baby.

But then the moment everyone had been waiting for-- is it a boy or a girl??

It's a boy!

I loved announcing, "It's a boy!" It was so exciting and totally worth the wait!!

Then, the next best moment....the name revelation:

I could not wait to FINALLY announce the baby's name! It's a special name because my mom and my grandfather's middle name is Jami(e)son. We've known since day 1 that the baby's middle name would be Jamison and we quickly picked out Ryan for the boy. So for nine long months, I waited for this moment to share with my mom the baby's name.

There is a story behind the spelling of Jamison, but I'll leave that for another day :)

After the hugs and tears subsided, the family made their way to the nursery to see baby Ryan.

After several minutes, they returned and I bombarded them with questions: Is he OK? Who does he look like? Does he have hair? What color are his eyes? When can I hold him?

Remember, I hadn't really seen my baby yet.

The next set of visitors, Jennie, Matt, and Katie, came into the room, again, expecting to see a baby. We explained the situation, announced the sex and the name to them, and they took off towards the nursery.

Craig got to be with Ryan in the nursery, making sure he was in good hands.

As the hours went by, everyone eventually called it a night and left the hospital. The long-awaited-much-anticipated birth of baby Ryan had come and gone.

And then....around 12:30am, they brought me my baby for the first time. Just Craig and I and baby Ryan were in the room. After nearly 9 months, I finally got to hold and love on Ryan from the outside :)

To be continued...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Part II

We arrived at the hospital at 6pm and got settled into the labor and delivery room. I was immediately hooked up the BP machine, which was set to check my BP every 15 minutes. The first few readings were high (no big surprises there), but the longer I laid there after getting settled, the BP came down a little bit.

They hooked me up to external monitors and we were all *VERY* surprised to see that I was apparently having regular contractions every 5 minutes. No one was more surprised than me. I could feel my stomach getting hard, but it wasn't really painful, just uncomfortable.

Within a few minutes, Kelly, the night nurse, came in to start my IV. (P.S. LOVE KELLY!) This is where the fun really began. I was so swollen that Kelly couldn't find a vein to place the IV. She tried my left hand, my left arm, my right hand, my right arm...she placed and replaced the turnicate, tying it tighter in an attempt to raise a few veins. No such luck. After 15-20 minutes, she finally placed the IV in my right arm, in the elbow crease where they normally draw blood. She commented that that is basically the worst place to put an IV, but there were no other options. She told me that subsequent nurses would come in and question the placement site, but she said to tell them to try and find another suitable place and when they can't find one, they'll agree that she had no other choice.

Sure enough, almost every nurse after her that came and went over the next 3 days questioned why I had the IV in that location. I politely told them that Kelly did her best and if they wanted to try and find a better place, they could feel free to do so. Nearly all of them tried, and each one of them failed :) Turns out Kelly knew what she was doing afterall ;)

The problem with this placement is that once they started the pitocin, I couldn't bend my arm. At. All. When I did, the pit drip would stop and an alarm on the IV machine would sound. This happened every 20 minutes or so for over 24 hours. It drove me crazy. It drove hubs crazy. It drove the nurses crazy. But there wasn't anything we could do about it. I would be asleep during the night and the alarm would sound. It eventually got to the point where I would let the alarm sound for 10 mins or so before I summoned the nurse to fix it. She would have to come in and reset the drip. I felt badly that this happened so frequently, so I became accustomed to the noise in an attempt to not disturb the nurses very often.

If you saw me in the days leading up to the delivery, you knew how awful swollen I was, despite having been on strict bed rest. Now imagine me in the hospital hooked up to IV fluids. My skin was so tight that just moving around in the bed was a challenge. My legs were giant nubs. I had no knees, no ankles, and my feet were swallowing my toes. My arms and hands swelled, as did my face, nose, cheeks, lips, and tongue. It was ridiculous. (6 days after delivery I went back to T's office to have my staples removed and Angela said to me, "Oh my God! You're so skinny!" It had been so long since I hadn't swollen that people who didn't know me very well never realized just how swollen I had become. I was so swollen that when I lost the fluid and was back down to a size 16/18, she thought I was skinny!)

I had my IV set and I was resting pretty comfortably when Dr T came in to start the induction about 8pm. I opted for the balloon induction because it seemed more "natural" (if there is such a thing as a natural induction) and it is more effective than the traditional cervadil route. With a balloon induction, a woman can grow to 5 cm dilated within 4-5 hours. The way the induction works is this: a foley cath is strung through the cervix. A balloon is placed on the inside of the cervix and filled with saline so the balloon grows to about 5 cm. A second balloon sits on the outside of the cervix and is also inflated with saline. The idea is that the two balloons apply pressure to the cervix, eventually thinning it out and dialating it to 5cm. Once this happens, the internal cervical balloon falls out b/c the cervical opening is bigger than the balloon. Like I said, this normally happens within just a few hours.

During the placement of the balloons, my bed was raised very high, as Dr. T was standing when he placed the cath. I was very, very nervous b/c every time I had been checked thus far, my cervix was very high and "under the baby." I had my doubts that even Dr. T could find it in order to place the balloon. Between the speculum and his skill, Dr T was able to place the balloons. During the actual process, I was blasting Melissa Ethridge's "I Run for Life" on the stereo. It was my fight song as I called it. I needed something to distract me from the discomfort and nerves and what better song to distract you than one about fighting for life? I figured if women could go through more pain than I was enduring in order to fight for their lives, I could handle a balloon catheder when the end result was going to be a beautiful baby. Dr T and the nurses probably thought I was crazy, but I just laid there and sang, sang, sang. Within a few minutes, everything was in place and Dr T commented on how awesome I did :)

Now the waiting game began. We had a few visitors that night and then around midnight, Hubs and I called it a night.

About 2 am, I awakened because the contractions were becoming much stronger. (Even though I mentioned the pitocin drip above, that hadn't actually been started yet.) At this point, I knew I had a long journey still ahead of me. I knew that Bubs was still sitting "high" and if I didn't get rest, then delivery would be impossible. I asked for some medication to help with the pain and got IV Stadol. It took the edge off enough that I could sleep, although I could still feel each contraction.

Wednesday morning, Dr T made his rounds and of course that included checking in on his favorite patient. He seemed surprised to learn that the balloon hadn't fallen out during the night. I knew what this meant- he needed to check me (with the balloons still in place). OUCH. He went in, over the first balloon, felt the second one which was still inside the cervix. He tugged on it, pulling it about 3/4 of the way through the cervix, then decided I still wasn't dilated enough and he shoved it back in. (I'm sure he didn't actually *shove* it back in, but thats what it felt like anyway). At this point, he ordered the pitocin drip to get things moving along.

They also did some labs and poked around my body more. Turns out that I was hyperreflexive. Not a big deal (I thought) but come to find out, neurological symptoms such as hyperrflexia are indicative of eclampsia and can quickly lead to serious, serious problems. The hyperrflexia combined with my headache from a few days before were enough to really worry the good doctor and he immediately ordered a mag sulfate via IV. I could have cared less about the mag sulfate IV except that it meant I also needed to have a urine cath placed. I DID NOT WANT A URINE CATHEDER!

This is where things began to sour. I didn't realize it at the time, but the mag sulfate really altered my mood. I became very irritable and teary all of the time. In addition, the placement of the urine cath HURT and it continued to hurt for several hours. I had a constant burning senstation in my bladder and it was incredibly uncomfortable. I HATED it. I quickly grew to hate the idea of this mag sulfate.

The next several hours were a blur to me. I remember being very aggitated and upset (due to the cath). Every time a nurse walked in and asked if I needed anything, I would always reply something to the effect of , "yes, please take this stupid cath out of me." I'm pretty sure I was making everyone around me just as miseable as I had been. I didn't mean to do this- I blame the mag sulfate. I was also upset because I felt that the good doctor was just being overly cautious and ordered the mag sulfate as a precaution. I honestly didn't feel as though I needed it. But I had it and that was that.

Over the next few hours, I asked for the epidural a number of times. It wasn't because of the contractions. I needed it b/c the discomfort from the urine cath was driving me absolutely crazy and I wasn't enjoying this birth experience at all. I felt I had been very patient and understanding of all of the medical intervention I had endured thus far and I didn't feel that asking for the epi was asking for too much. The nurse on duty, though, kept stating that epis are reserved for when the contractions were closer together (like 3 mins apart). I don't care! I didn't want the epi for the contractions; I needed it to keep me from pulling this stupid, stupid cath out of my body!! Remember, by this point, I had THREE balloons "down there" all taking up space and (in my mind) keeping the baby from dropping b/c there was NO MORE ROOM DOWN THERE!

But then things started to turn around. MONA walked through my door! Mona is a good family friend and a labor and delivery nurse. I had written a letter to the hospital asking that she be allowed to be my labor nurse when the time came (assuming she wasn't already working). She was given special permission to do this, however because I was induced and this baby was coming on a Wednesday, Mona wouldn't be able to attend the birth until after 6pm b/c she teaches nursing school in St. Louis on Wednesdays. I was incredibly disappointed that she wouldn't be there. But then, around noon, Mona came walking through the door! I about jumped out of the bed, balloons and catheders be damned!! A HUGE sense of relief came over me. Mona was able to finagle her way out of her afternoon duties at the nursing school (her students apparently loved me for cutting their day short!) and she raced to the hospital. Thank God for Mona.

Mona got the ball rolling on the epidural. I can't recall what time I got it, but that (of course) is a story too :) The nurse anesthetist that gave me the epi placed it without incident. I was actually pretty calm, leaning over towards Hubs, tapping out a song with my fingers on his back. Once it was placed, she told me that she was going to do a test injection and that if I heard ringing in my ears or got blurry vision that I needed to let her know. But, before she could inject me, I suddenly got tunnel hearing and I started seeing black spots. I told her about this and then the last thing I remember was telling Craig I couldn't hear very well...then I passed out. Apparently my BP bottomed out once the epi was placed and my body didn't like that very much.

I just wasn't winning the battle of the BP :) It was either too high or too low :)

The weirdest part of that whole situation was that I was only passed out for about 5 seconds, but when I came to, it felt like I had been asleep for 3 hours. In fact, I distinctly remember having an entire dream during that time. The first words I said were, "I just had the weirdest dream." The the nurse told me I had only been out a few seconds and I could have sworn I was out for longer. Then I asked the all important question, "but you got the epidural placed, right?!" OH yes, that was in place and working well.

For the next several hours, I felt great. Now that the pain and discomfort from the cath was gone, I felt like me again. I was laughing, joking, smiling...I was finally able to start enjoying the fact that within a few short hours, we would be meeting our baby for the first time!!

About 5pm, Dr T came in and removed the balloon cath. I still hadn't dilated much past 4 but fortuantely b/c I had the epidural, when he removed the balloon cath and it "popped," I didn't feel anything. Unfortunately I had begun to start running a fever, so they started IV antibiotics (if you're keeping track, that makes FOUR bags running through my IV...saline, pitocin, mag sulfate, and now an antibiotic). Can you imagine my swelling now?!! After he removed the induction cath, he broke my water (another "don't do" item marked off my birth plan :) ) and placed internal monitors since my BP was still running high, I started with a fever and I was still experiencing neurological symptoms (internal monitoring...another "don't do" item marked off my birth plan).

The plan was to wait a few more hours now that my water had been broken to see how much farther I would dilate. We also needed the baby to drop since Bubs was no where near the birth canal. At this point, I saw the writing on the c-section wall. At 36 weeks, Bubs was not ready to make his/her Earthly appearance. Of course Bubs hadn't dropped any. Bubs didn't want to come out. My heart, on the other hand, couldn't handle the pressure too much longer.

Within an hour or so of the water breaking, I started feeling badly. The BOLA injection from the epi was wearing off and I could feel the cath again. Mona checked me and I still wasn't dialating much so she upped the pitocin. I had a total emotional breakdown at that point. It had been over 24 hours since we started the induction and although I hadn't even pushed once, the cards were heavily stacked against me for a vaginal delivery. Between the excessive fluid, the high BP, the increasing fever, the stupid mag sulfate and accompanying cath, and the fact that the baby wasn't dropping, I hit a low.

I began to accept the inevitability of the c-section. And I was quicly becoming OK with that.

What focused me the most was that during this entire process, I hadn't been able to get excited about having a baby. Instead, I was focusing on making one decision after another when medical issues popped up. For 24 hours straight, we were focused on ME and I didn't want that. I wanted to focus on Bubs. I knew that if we just decided to do the c-section, I could spend the last hour or so before delivery getting excited about welcoming our baby into this world.

So then I started campaigning.

Every person that walked in the room was given explicit instructions by me to please let Dr. T know that I wanted a c-section. Every person. Mr. Janitor? Yes, please tell T of my wishes. Dietary lady wondering what I want for breakfast tomorrow? Yes, I'll take a bagel with cream cheese. Oh and please mention to Dr. T that I would like that c-section I've been avoiding for 36 weeks now. Thanks.

Mona checked me routinely and felt that I was "kinda" starting to dialte more. NO! Please Mona, don't tell that to Dr. T. Tell him I'm stuck and that I want a c-section. PLEASE!

I honestly didn't know how with my BP problems, anyone would want me to endure a physical labor and delivery process. There is NO WAY my heart would handle that well.

About 8pm, T returned. He came walking into the room, checked me and then it was done. I was to have an immediate c-section. THANK GOD!

During the next hour, every weight of the world was off my shoulders. Every pain, discomfort, negative thought..everything was gone. I was SO EXCITED about focusing on Bubs that nothing else mattered. I could finally direct my attention where I wanted it to be this entire time: on our baby. And it felt wonderful.

To be continued...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

You get what you need, Part I

As the Rolling Stones once sang, “You can't always get what you want, But if you try sometimes well you just might find, You get what you need.”

The birth story. It’s a much different story that I thought I’d be telling, but you know what? I’m so OK with that.

Part I...

It all started on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. I had been checking my blood pressure several times a day at work because it seemed to be creeping up in recent days. Throughout the entire pregnancy, my BP had been PERFECT. In fact, my BP during pregnancy was better than my pre-pregnancy BP. Starting the week of the 19th, though, that all changed. And it changed quickly.

Tuesday morning, the nurse checking my BP was getting readings of 160+/90+. She took readings several times throughout the morning and it wasn’t coming down. She encouraged me to call Dr. T’s office. Although I was hesitant (you know me and doctors), I knew I what I had to do so I gave them a call.

Angela, his medical assistant, answered the phone. I gave her my BP readings and she said that he’s going to want to see me and that he’s probably going to put me on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. This drew a HUGE laugh from me. Me on bed rest for the next 5 weeks? Seriously? My laugh was quickly silenced by a concerned tone in Angela’s voice when she said, “sweetie, I’m not kidding.”

They told me to be in his office in 2 hours.

During the visit, T did in fact put me on bed rest. I asked for modified bed rest where I could work in the AM then head home after lunch and put my feet up in the PM. This was a no-go for the good doctor. He explained that between my quickly elevating BP and the increase in my swelling (if you can even imagine that), my heart was stressing and it needed a break. Badly. He went onto describe more serious complications of continued elevated BP, including seizures, internal organ failure, etc. Don’t you love it when doctors immediately jump to the worse case scenarios?? My heart was working a little overtime, but seizures and liver failure? I wasn’t buying it.

But, trusting Dr. T with everything I have, I immediately went home and started my bed rest. I was really upset. It’s not so much that I resisted the bed rest, it’s just that I never imagined I would have to make such drastic changes so early on. At this point, Bubs was still 5 weeks away from being born. Five weeks is a long time for a pregnant woman. I didn’t want to holed up in our house, confined to a couch or a bed for the next 5 weeks. How is any of that conducive to preparing for labor?

Until that point, I had been faithful at preparing my body for the inevitable labor and delivery. Each night I would spend 30-60 mins on the birthing ball, rocking back and forth, moving left to right doing exercises to open up my pelvis and stretch my hips. And those exercises worked too. I could tell a difference “down there” within just a few days after starting the exercise routine.

With that in mind, it was quite a blow to hear that I would now be confined to a semi-reclining position, which is in no way conducive to labor. I became frustrated that what I had imagined in a birth was being taken away from me.

The good news was that with bed rest, my chances for a vaginal delivery were good. If I could lose some of the excessive fluid and keep my BP in check, I could still have the delivery I planned. And the best rest seemed to be working. From Tues evening until Thurs morning, I lost 4.5 lbs of fluid. My BPs became more normal and I had ankles again! Things were definitely looking up.

I remained on faithful bed rest through the rest of the week and into the weekend. Then on Saturday afternoon, I got a terrible headache that I couldn’t shake. I increased my water intake and took a nap hoping that would help. I woke up with an even stronger headache than before. I took Tylenol and within 45 mins still had no relief. The BP readings on my home machine were elevated (despite having been on bed rest for 4 days) and I wasn’t feel well at all. I called my dad who came over and took my BP which had elevated to 160/100. I called Dr. T’s answering service and Dr H, as the on call physician, returned my call. He said it’s difficult to tell if the headache is pregnancy related or not, but said to give it another 30 mins and if the Tylenol didn’t help it go away then I needed to proceed to labor & delivery at the hospital to be monitored.

Headache worsened so we made our way to the hospital. I was admitted for monitoring and my first BP reading was 176/108. That is crazy high. They took my BP every 15 minus for the next few hours and it remained high. I kept telling the nurse that if she just gave me medication to make the headache go away then I’m sure my BP would drop. I think the pain from the headache was causing my BP to elevate. She said they couldn’t give me anything for the headache until my BP was better controlled b/c with uncontrolled BP, they were limited in which headache meds I could receive. It was a vicious cycle!

They gave me oral medication to bring down my BP and a few hours later, it had normalized. Then they were able to give me oral medication for the headache and my blood work came back “as they would expect” for someone in my condition. I was just about to walk about of there without any further poking and prodding but then Holly, the nurse, came in and said that Dr. H wanted me to be checked “just to make sure” everything was OK. My birth plan is described in more detail below, but one of the conditions I had was to NOT be checked until it became medically necessary (no routine checks starting at 36 weeks for me…I have better things to do with my time!). I guess this time counted as “medically necessary.” Holly checked me and WAUZERS! It was NOT comfortable. She rooted around, dug up and down…eventually almost getting up onto the bed with me in an attempt to find my cervix. Apparently my cervix was amidst a game of Where’s Waldo and was no where to be found. Holly ‘thinks’ she felt it very high up and under the baby. She could barely reach it and in her estimation, I was not dilated at all. After that lovely exam was complete, I was sent on my way. Although I still had a dull headache by the time we left (the physical exam brought back much of the headache intensity…way to go!), I was feeling MUCH better than I had hours before. I left with a RX for BP medication (the second strongest dose a pregnant woman can take) and orders for STRICT bed rest.

Monday afternoon around 4:30pm, Dr. T’s nurse called me. She said that Dr. T just learned that I had been in the hospital over the weekend and he wanted to see me first thing Tuesday morning. I reminded her that I already had an appt scheduled with him for Wed and she said he’s insisting on seeing me Tuesday. *sigh*

Hubby cancelled his patients for Tuesday morning and we went in for our visit. We reviewed the visit to the hospital and then Dr. T started reviewing our options. Ultimately our options were to be induced that night or to wait until Friday to be induced.

Side note: I realize I never posted the actual details of my birth plan, but here were the highlights:
1) Get this baby out of me healthy and happy
2) I do NOT want to be induced
3) I do NOT want a C-Section
4) The end.

That was it (well, there may have something in there about not wanting to be checked routinely starting at 36 weeks, not wanting to have an episiotomy, not wanting to have internal monitoring, and a few other things, but those are the highlights).

Obviously, T’s recommendation of being induced was not a welcome thought for me. Hubby and I talked with him to find out if there any other options. Could I be admitted and closely monitored for my BP? He said that I was already on the second highest dose of BP medication and my in office BPs that morning were still running in the 160/90s. Not good. I had also started collecting more fluid (again) despite being on strict bed rest. By this point, in addition to my ankles, feet, knees and legs swelling, my face, tongue, and lips were swollen too. I now spoke with a lisp. My cheeks were puffy and you could really tell I was retaining crazy fluid.

With my elevated BP despite the medication plus my insane edema, T really started to lay things out for us. He detailed the complications that arise from consistently elevated BPs and swelling. This time, he wasn’t speaking in hypotheticals. He was talking about patients that have my same conditions and their inevitable fate. He expressed he knew I had done everything I could to control my BP, but at this point, it was out of my control. And I knew it, too. The only known way to reduce the pressure on my heart was to deliver the baby.

I love Dr. T. He really had worked with us to get the delivery we wanted and I suspect he even let us go father than he was medically comfortable with (to an extent). He commented that had he been on call Sat night when I went into the hospital, I could have had the baby then.

So, induction it was. We spent the afternoon running around preparing for the baby’s arrival. Remember, I had just turned 36 weeks. I barely had anything ready for the labor and delivery. Sure, the nursery was done. But that was about it. The house was a wreck. We didn’t have our hospital bags packed. I hadn’t off loaded ANY of my duties at work. I wasn’t at all prepared to have this baby. But, as I’m slowly learning, as a parent, things rarely play out the way you thought they would and you don’t always have time to prepare for them.

To be continued…

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Coming soon to a blog near you...

We're home! What an unexpected adventure these past few days have been. Truly amazing in many ways, obviously culminating in the birth of our precious, precious son Ryan Jamison.

I hope to have time over the next few days to post the birth story and what a story it was- it may not have been the birth I planned, but it was exactly what I needed. In the end, my one and only birth plan was realized, "get this baby out of me happy and healthy."

And now, we are so complete. Our family is perfect.

More to come. Until then, I'm spending time with our son. And Loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!

We are so pleased to announce the birth of our son, Ryan Jamison, at 9:56 PM.

Ryan weighs 6 lbs 9 oz and measures 18 1/2 inches long!

Both mom and baby are doing great. Can't wait to share pictures sometime tomorrow morning!

Thanks again to everyone for the love and support!


Mommy and Daddy!

E-P-I-D-U-R-A-L Spells RELIEF!!!!

Holy cow. What a difference an epidural can make. After waiting SO long for something to happen, it feels like there is so much to report since the last post. Mona, our amazing labor nurse, was able to cut teaching her classes short for today so that she could rush over here to the hospital and take over Jess's care. Since that time, she has cracked the whip and made things happen.

Jess FINALLY got her epidural and OMG!!!!! Talk about an IMMEDIATE difference. Almost instantaneously, Jessica began laughing and, dare I say, enjoying the labor process again for the first time since the insertion of the catheter this morning. According to Jess, it is extremely important for me to let everyone know that she has always been able to handle the discomfort of the contractions. In her eyes, the epidural was primarily needed to help lower blood pressure and ease the discomfort of the catheter!

No less than 10 minutes after the epidural was started, Dr. T made his afternoon arrival. Upon checking her, he noted that she is dilated to approximately 5 cm and therefore he was able to remove the balloons that were used to start the induction process. Unbeknownst to Jessica at the time, he also broke her water while he was "down there." Because of the epidural, she didn't feel a thing :-) According to Dr. T, we still have quite a ways to go before delivery. He is estimating a 9:00 pm delivery AT THE EARLIEST and more likely closer to midnight or even 2:00 AM.

At this time, Jessica is feeling better than she has ALL day. She is able to laugh and joke with everyone which has made such a HUGE difference for me and the grandparents who are all keeping close vigil over her.

Thanks again for everyone's care and concern. We are so blessed to have such great family and friends. More updates to come as things continue to progress!

Epidurals: Myth or Reality???

At this point, we were hoping that we would have more information to share. Jess continues to do extremely well weathering the increased contractions. The biggest complaint at this time is discomfort with the catheter. According to Jess, "I would be sitting up smiling if I wasn't so ticked off with this stupid catheter." Still waiting for Dr. T to make an afternoon appearance and give us some more direction on the next step in this process.

In other news, Jess is STILL waiting to get an epidural. At this point, the contractions are consistently about 3 minutes apart and she is beginning to question whether or not this supposedly mythical epidural truly exists. Keep your fingers crossed that our nurses can work their magic and make an epidural appear in the very near future. Otherwise, turn on your local news station and sit back to watch the fireworks that have taken place at Memorial Hospital when a maniac pregnant woman runs rampant around the Labor and Delivery ward in search of drugs, Drugs, and more DRUGS!!!!

Hurry Up...And Wait

Got done meeting with Dr. T this morning. He checked Jess and found that the induction has been working, but not as quickly as he had hoped. He estimates that she is currently about 3 - 4 cm dilated. As such, he is going to give her pitocin to hopefully help speed up the process. He is also starting her on Magnesium Sulfate to help with her blood pressure. Fingers crossed that this works.

As anyone who knows Jess or has talked to her about the pregnancy should be well aware, she is anxiously awaiting the seemingly elusive epidural. Not sure when this will take place, but I can promise that anyone within a 10-mile radius of the hospital will know from the screams of joy emanating from this luxurious hospital room when it has happened.

Food just arrived so our princess is at least getting to eat before the long day ahead of her. I am sure that Buttered Toast and Frosted Flakes has never tasted so good!

Thanks for the continued thoughts and prayers. Jess says "Hi" to everyone and is eagerly looking forward to introducing our precious little one as soon as she can.

Sleeping Beauty

Unmedicated Contractions

It's A...

After many many months of waiting, we are so proud to announce that...WE MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRST NIGHT OF LABOR AND CONTRACTIONS :-)

Sorry for the lack of updates since last night. Honestly, not much has happened since the last post. As expected, Jessica's true desire to move to East St. Louis has come out in full force as she has become quite adept at finding any and all drugs that are available to her at this time. With the assistance of Ambien, Jess was able to get some pretty good sleep throughout the night. The contractions have continued to be regular and increase in intensity. Some of them are strong enough to take her breathe away but thankfully those seem to still be relatively few and far between. In addition, two doses of Stadol (around 3 and 5 AM) helped to keep the pain of the contractions manageable. Jess is beginning to feel them more which makes her somewhat excited because the next step in pain management appears to be the long-awaited, much anticipated EPIDURAL!!!!

We cannot believe that TODAY is going to be the day that our child is born. What a blessing! Jess continues to be in great spirits and has been so strong throughout the process. Everyone would be SO proud of her if only they had the opportunity to see this side of Jessica that I am lucky enough to see.

Still waiting for the doctor to come in this morning and give us the game plan for today. As soon as we know something, we'll let you know!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hotel De Memorial

Push...Push...Breathe! Push...Push...Breathe! I think that's how it's supposed to go...or at least something like that. I think I am getting much better at this whole SUPPORT PERSON role!

What a day this has been. We arrived at our vacation spot around 6:15 PM and quickly got acquainted with all of the ammenities and lavish living quarters that we will be enjoying for the next several days (aka Hotel De Memorial). Jessica has been such a trooper throughout this whole process. From the moments that she was first hooked up to the monitors, Jessica has been experiencing regular contractions. She didn't even realize she had been having them for some time. They were less than 5 mins apart when she arrived.

Dr. T came in and started the induction process about 2 hours ago (9pm CST). Jess elected the balloon induction method (versus cervadil). Although induction was not necessarily part of her birth plan, her high blood pressure took precedence over her Type A personality.

Since that time, the contractions have steadily increased in frequency and intensity (no pit has been used- contractions are all natural). Jessica continues to be in great spirits and is motivated by the outpouring of love and support from all of our great family and friends. Please continue to share your love and prayers throughout this process as we know it will only get more and more difficult over the next hours.

At this time, we are not expecting Bubs to walk the red carpet until at least sometime tomorrow. If Jess has any say in this, though, Bubs will be moonwalking his/her way to the nursery ASAP!

That's all for now! Stay tuned for future updates as the contractions and pushing and breathing and screaming commence.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Nursery

Here are the long-awaited-much-anticipated pics of the completed nursery! Here is the video along with a few pics that give more detail.

My family is AWESOME!

Bed rest this past week was actually tolerable b/c I have the best family and friends! Not a day went by that we weren't made dinner, that someone didn't stop by and spend HOURS talking with me as I was laid up on the couch, and we even got GIFTS!

Seriously, those visits made all the difference in how I felt about being confined to a couch.

I'm over the anger of bed rest, now it's more guilt. Unless I'm on vacation, I generally don't like being at home while everyone else is at work. Makes me feel like such a slacker. If bed rest included doing laundry or dishes, I could handle that. At least I would be contributing something to society if that were the case.

I stopped by the office for a few hours yesterday morning to sign checks and offload some tasks onto Jill. I honestly planned on staying for an hour MAX. Two and a half hours later, I walked out the door. My feet began to swell while I was in my office and they hadn't returned to normal by the end of the day. That little episode made me realize that there is something to this bed rest that is good for me.

I have several books I plan on reading, including 2 baby books, 1 political book (Newt Gingrich's To Save America), and also The Blind Side. I really enjoy reading political books, but to be honest, I'll have to see if my BP can handle it. I take politics and the direction of our country very seriously. If I start getting too wound up over things, I'll have to put the book aside for another day. I already avoid the news right now b/c the stupidity and arrogance that is running rampant in DC is at all time high and intolerable levels. Totally unbelievable what is being done under the guise of securing votes "helping people."

See, my BP is up from having typed that. Ugh.

Anyway, my mom has been a life saver this past week. She made dinner TWICE and also went to the grocery store to pick up items I had emailed her. Although this helps me, it actually helps out Hubs more b/c he would have to do these things if she didn't do them for us. And, she just does them. You don't ask, you don't wish, she just does 'em. LOVE HER!

Not sure what the plan for this weekend is, although I hope to get some swimming time in. Dr T said spending time in the pool is great for reducing swelling, especially if I walk around in the pool and keep the circulation going.

The rest of the time, you know where Bubs and I will be.

Until then, my friends, XOXO...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Update on the Update

Lab work came back perfect. Dr T said the only abnormal was a titer he drew which showed a high level of wild'n'craziness (see why I love this guy??). I told him that's our little secret ;) You know, HIPAA and all.

BP yesterday was good.

Swelling is almost gone! I have ankle bones, you can see veins...I'm no longer mistaking my toes for baby sausages. And, as always, I FEEL GOOD.

BP this morning, not so good (144/88). BP at T's office today, not so good.

Verdict: Bed rest indefinitely.

I tried to get him to agree to a modified bed rest (work in the morning, rest in the afternoon). His response, "I'm not playing around with this."

I'm really trying to just accept this and make the most of it. I'm still able to do SOME work from home (thank God I have wonderful coworkers who pick up right where I left off) and I feel as though I'm about to go crazy making lists. We all know how I feel about lists. Even if I won't be able to accomplish anything on said lists, I can still make 'em!

To sit lay around and pout about the situation isn't helpful (and probably does more harm to my BP). Instead, I'm going to do what I can with work, and then spend time continuing to prepare for Bubs. I do have several baby books I need to read/re-read, so I guess that's a start.

T said I need to use this time to learn how to relax and accept that which is out of my control. He said these new found skills will come in handy post-delivery. Something tells me that, as always, he's right.

Until then, XOXO...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


You won't find this update on Facebook because...well because I didn't want to post it there.

I feel good. Sure, I have the usual aches and pains that accompany being nearly 36 weeks pregnant, but in general, I feel good.

My heart, on the other hand, isn't handling the excess fluid very well. Over the past week or so, my swelling has been maximized which has lead to a sudden increase in my blood pressure. Until about 2 weeks ago, my BP was averaging 120/70...PERFECT! Totally perfect. Even though I had been dealing with swelling in some form or fashion since the 18th week, my BP remained excellent until just recently. Average BP yesterday was 150/102. Thats really high. And, was a big increase over my BP during my OB visit just a few days earlier.

The bottom number of a BP is the pressure your heart exerts when it's between beats... that number should be lower (70-80) the fact that my heart isn't really resting between beats is a slight problem.

I called my BP readings into Dr. T and he said I needed to come in for a visit. His Medical Assistant also told me over the phone that he would be putting me on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. This drew a huge laugh from me, which quickly subsided when Angela informed me that she wasn't kidding.



Of course, I started crying (for only the 3rd time during pregnancy).

Looking back, the tears weren't really about being on bed rest. I'll do whatever I have to do to ensure Bub's safety and health.

As much as I hate to admit it, the tears were about control. I know how I want this delivery to happen and after hearing that bed rest is my likely future for the next month, my mind immediately jumped to induction and then c-section...two things I DO NOT want. Every night for weeks, I've been sitting on the yoga ball to open up my hips and begin the cervical dilation. I rock and roll on the ball, patiently swaying to and fro, mentally picturing things "opening up" down there.

Five weeks of bed rest will ruin the progress I've made up to this point. Lying down, abdomen wide open allowing the baby to shift into whatever position it wants to (instead of being encouraged to stay in the head down, face down position)'s counterproductive to what I know needs to happen for labor and delivery.

I wasn't too concerned that our hospital bag isn't packed yet. I didn't think twice about the fact that our house could use a good cleaning. I hadn't offloaded anything to anyone at work.

Those are minor things, though. I wasn't too upset about those. I was getting disappointed thinking that this isn't AT ALL how I wanted things to go at this point. Of course I wasn't delusional enough to think I could honestly control every aspect of the labor and delivery; I just didn't expect to have to be thinking about things this early (five weeks seems like a ways off to me still).

Needless to say, I'm doing WHATEVER I can to get a handle on this swelling. I'm drinking enough water to practically fill an olympic sized pool. I'm lying on my Left side, even though it's uncomfortable on my hips :) I'm eating salad, salad and more salad (no sodium!). I'm visualizing the fluid filtering through my kidneys and leaving my body. Like I said, WHATEVER I can to get this fluid out of body.

Assuming I "passed" the lab tests they drew yesterday and I can control the swelling, I should be able to make it several more weeks and then get back on track for the delivery I want.

Baby is doing great. Strong heartbeat (144 at the office yesterday), moving TONS....sticking it's little bootie out at us numerous times/day...Bubs is doing wonderfully.

I'll have my BP read this afternoon and have a follow up appt with T tomorrow. I'll keep you updated. In the meantime, would you please say a prayer that Bubs continues to do well and that my body gets its act in gear? :)

Until then, XOXO...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Any suggestions?

Any suggestions for places (either brick and mortar or online) to get birth announcements made?

I know what I want it to say and I envision two pics of Bubs on the announcement.

I recently got a Shutterfly announcement in the mail, but the text was blurry. Maybe it was just one out of the 100's they probably ordered, but I was surprised it wasn't clear print. Is Shutterfly pretty reliable?

The online place I wanted to use (where we've had our Christmas cards made the past 4 years) closed up shop :(

I also already know what I want it to say (including the date *wink wink* wishful thinking). I also wonder how "6 lbs 4 oz" looks using Lucida Handwriting font #prayingforasmallbaby

I promise

I promise we're having a baby for more reasons than "Jessica gets to perpetually organize and reorganize everything."

But, I have to admit, this planning for baby is right up my alley.

Within the next week or so Before the baby arrives, I'm going to video the nursery so you can see it and also so you can look at some of the thought I put into the organization of it. I realize that no matter what I plan out now, everything is subject to change after Bubs arrives. But in the meantime, I like to think that everything will stay nice and organized in there ;)

Other things we've done to organize and plan for after the baby:

- Updated our contact list with family and friends current addresses

- Purchased clear labels to print out for when we get the birth announcements done (I'll probably print the labels before Bubs arrives, just have a few more addresses to confirm before I do that)

- Cleaned out a cabinet in the kitchen in anticipation of Bubs nursing/bottle needs

- Set up the pack'n'play in the living room

- Purchased a large basket to keep in the living room that will store diapers, cream, wipes, etc since we will be spending a good amount of time on the main floor (baby's room is 14 stairs, so I don't plan on hiking it upstairs to nurse and change Bubs)

- Organized thank you cards and stationary to send out to everyone that will inevitably offer us TONS of help us in the first few weeks

- Laundered every piece of clothing (new and used) we've already received (which is surprisingly a lot considering we don't know if Bubs is a boy or a girl)

- Laundered every piece of bedding, every blanket, and every sock/mitten we've received (well, I haven't washed the adorable Halloween knit had that Susie gave us nor have I washed the pumpkin hat that Sarah knitted for us as a shower gift- both are stinking adorable)

- Purchased a trash bin that we're using as a laundry hamper to eventually store clothes that no longer fit (it's currently labeled as 0-3 months, so whenever Bubs outgrows a certain piece of clothing, we'll just throw it into the hamper in the closet and be done with it)

Still left to do:

- Purchase stamps for announcements and thank you cards/notes of appreciation (I want to stockpile so I have them when I need them and don't have to delay getting them done b/c I ran out)

- Put together the A B C's that Lauren (my sister-in-love) made for us for our baby shower (which match our crib bedding set)

- Label (inside, of course), the drawers in the changing table with which sizes are which (we've received so many clothes that we already having sleepers/onesies up to size 9 months)

I'll also take a video of our baby notebook where we keep our to-do list, ideas, magazine cut outs, resources/pamphlets, gift receipts, etc. Connie and Crystal (Pink Lucy) will especially like that video tour :) Both are big list makers and binder gals like yours truly ;)

Until then, XOXO...

We're here :)

It has been a very busy time for us! Again, I have about 10 different posts in mind, so I hope to get them written today so I update everyone on what we've been up to and also get some answers to a few a questions I have.

Since the 3D U/S, Bubs has been VERY active! Not so much of the kicking or punching, but more actual full body movements (rolling, repositioning, etc). I imagine it's the "alien like" movements that people have told me to expect. It's really, really cool and I don't mind it at all. I've tried capturing it on video a few times, but like all babies, once the photographic evidence capturer appears, the movement stops!

Baby is active during the day and moves a little when I lay down at night, but movements don't keep me awake. I think baby has the same sleep cycle as mommy :) Let's hope that keeps up!

I feel good, although it's definitely getting more challenging to keep on my feet and get stuff done. The swelling in my feet and ankles is permanent. It used to go completely away at night, but now it just gets less (it's still present, though). I only have one pair of shoes that fit (tennis shoes that are a size 10 or 10.5).

And, I'm just going to throw it out there- I have NOT been exercising. At all. I can definitely tell a difference now that I've been so sedentary for too long. In real life, I'm not a small gal (size 14 in general), but now that I'm heavier, I can't imagine being this weight all of the time. I realize I'm developing another life inside me, but the weight is wearing on me and it's very tiring.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she just ran several miles and I actually got jealous of her!

Just before we got pregnant, I trained for and ran my first 5K ever. Although I can't say I ever ENJOYED the actual running, I did come to look forward to the runs. I would imagine the cold air coming into my body, nourishing my cells with oxygen and providing me with the energy I needed to get through the day. Early morning runs were the best. And I'm actually missing that.

Speaking of imagery, I'm preparing more for the actual labor and delivery. One method I'm working on is mentally preparing for the big event. We have a birth plan and part of that plan is to labor at home as safely as I can prior to being admitted to the hospital. I know this will involve so much patience and mental strength. The biggest part of this strategy is praying. Praying brings me much comfort and each night I'm praying for the patience to not be induced and also for patience during the early laboring. I also pray for strength and guidance for Hubs. He's my rock and I'll depend on him for every last ounce of strength during that time.

The other part of my strategy to help do this is to picture a happy place. MY happy place. My favorite place in the entire world is on the deck of a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean. I'm laying out under the sun, surrounded by beautiful, clean water. I'm breathing in the fresh Caribbean air. Usually there is a band playing quietly in the background. The warmth of the sun calms my mind and relaxes my body. Every so often, one of the crew members walks by and sprays me down with a cool mist of water, which is generally followed by an ice cold pina colada (complete with a paper umbrella and pineapple slice). The air is crisp, not humid. There is a breeze. I can hear the water splashing against the ship as we sail towards nothing.

It's wonderful.

No cell phones. No internet. No work. No drama. No pressure. No responsibility.

I've lived those moments many times in real life, and I've shared them with some of my favorite people in the world.

THAT is my happy place. I spend time every day or two picturing this place in great detail. Thinking about how wonderful it feels and how much I love being in that moment. My hope is that during labor, I'll be able to relive those moments to help work through contractions and pain.

When we approach delivery, I'm 100% thinking about the baby.

And thinking about the time when I'll no longer rub my belly and ask, on a daily basis, "what are you little one? Are you a boy or a girl?"

Until then, XOXO...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bubs in 3D

Had a great time- I'll post details later, but wanted to share the pics now. Bubs was all smiles!

(the last pic is hard to make out, but it's Bubs sucking its thumb)

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Pregnancy card

I totally just played the pregnancy card for the first time ever.

During a brunch I hosted at our house yesterday, our A/C decided to go out. By the time everyone left our house, it was 84 degrees. YUCK!

Last night Hubs and I slept in the basement it was SO MISERABLE up stairs last night.

I called a local company first thing this AM (one that has worked on our AC/furnace before) and they couldn't get us in until "sometime" tomorrow.

Well, we also had a plumber here this AM to fix vibrating pipes and he, of course, had to work in the heat (inside). I asked if his company did heating/cooling and he said they did. He also took a look at the unit and has a few ideas of whats wrong. Anyway, he left and I waited about 5 mins to call his company to schedule the appt.

I called and at first the gal said they had nothing for today and asked about tomorrow. I told her I guess that was fine, but that it was 87 degrees in the house and I wasn't sure I could take it much longer. She said, "did you say 87 degrees?" "yes ma'am. It's 87 degrees in our house."

And then I said it, "and being in my third trimester of pregnancy, this is REALLY not fun."

"Um, how about between 10-noon."


"Yes, today. We can be there in a few hours."

"I'll take it!"

I immediately got onto Facebook and liked their company page :)

I'm now sitting in the basement of our house typing this and my wrists are sticking to the laptop as I type.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Updated: Birth Plan

Laughing gas.

Apparently no one liked my last birth plan which involved passing out during the birth. Supposedly you are to be awake during the big event.

So, laughing gas it is!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Hubs has a pair of men's scrub pants that he rarely wears because they're pretty big on him and b/c they're drawstring, they fall down easily ;)

Today after work, we were changing into work out clothes and I asked if he had bottoms I could wear (the Adidas pants I had been wearing are getting too tight). He offered me the scrub pants with the warning, "remember, they're HUGE [so they may not fit]."

0.2 seconds later, those scrub pants were hugging my ass. They kinda, barely fit if I can hold my breath for 25 minutes during the workout.

It was hilarious!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My birth plan

Hyperventilate until I pass out. Baby comes out during that period of unconsciousness.


A few extra minutes

Hubs and I laid in bed just a few extra minutes the other morning. I woke up and Bubs was pretty active, which is unusual. I scooted over closer to Hubs, who was still sleeping, took his hand and placed it on my lower belly. We laid there for a few minutes then Hubs, who had been lying there with his eyes closed (I wasn't sure if he was asleep or not), turned his head towards me with one eye open and asked, "was that the baby?!"

Yes, sweets, that's your baby.

Although he had felt the baby move a few weeks ago, it was only once or twice and he hadn't been able to feel it move since then.

That morning Bubs put on a show just for daddy.

Week 26

Again, my apologies for the lack of blogging! I told ya'll before, it's all or nothing with me :) Now that I'm here, I have at least 1,000,000 things to say.

Today marks the 26th week. I feel really good. Last week I started working out on the elliptical machine (walking outside or using the treadmill is rough on the joints, so the elliptical is perfect). I also started doing light weight training with my arms. Since I'm convinced we're cooking a 13 lb baby, I thought I had better start preparing my arms for the postpartum baby holding. I'm working closely with one of the providers at my office to do exercises that specifically target the arm muscles I want to develop. I use 3 & 5 lb dumbbells for 3 sets of 8 reps 3-4 times/week.

I also bought a workout ball (the big ones that you sit on). Debbie told me that sitting on those help develop the pelvic muscles which will aid in delivery. Gotta be careful on that, though. My balance isn't what it used to be ;)

Bubs is making his/her presence known more often these days. It is still only a handful of times a day that it moves/punches/kicks, which is fine with me. We had some severe thunderstorms roll through town last week and while laying awake that night, Bubs rolled or flipped or something strong. It made me queasy just for a second. Then it felt kinda cool. I bet Bubs moves more while I'm sleeping, I'm just so passed out that it doesn't bother me.

We don't have too much to do around the house to get ready for the baby. The nursery is set up, but not decorated. There is a very specific type of wall shelf that I'd like to hang, assuming we can find it in stores. My BIL and SIL have one hanging in Searcy's room, but apparently it came with the house. It's a large white single shelf that hangs on the wall and has several pegs. It's similar to this, but the one I'd like is BIG (not the smaller ones you find in Target, etc):

If we can't find it in stores, my plan is to go to Doug's house and permanently borrow it out from Searcy's room. They're moving out the house soon; the owner won't miss it, will they :)

We don't currently have any decorations planned for the room. I've looked into those wall decals that you just rub-on, found some cute ones, but Hubs doesn't seem too hip on them. We'll see.

Two weeks ago we had a second U/S since the tech couldn't see the baby's face during the 20 week U/S. Dr T wanted us to come back for a second look to make sure everything on the face was growing as it should. Although this U/S wasn't as in depth as the 20 week, we saw the best pics of Bubs during this one. Bubs didn't cooperate at first, it was face down and didn't appear to have any intention of moving so we could see it's precious face. That was fine b/c the tech just played around, taking other measurements, such as the head. It was at that point where she said, "oh, OH. Wow. You sure cook babies with big heads."

Oh dear Lord. Really? Hubs grabbed my arm and then nicely said to the tech, "please don't tell her that." Even though I was already lying down, I'm pretty sure I still passed out.

Here is Bubs in all of it's baby beauty:

Everything looks great!

She also told us that Bubs was measuring 11 days head of schedule. Dr. T, based on the usual 40 weeks from your LMP, says I'm due Aug 26th. Because I know exactly when I ovulated, my own due date is Aug 22nd. The U/S is dating the baby at being due Aug 15th. So, who knows! A few days difference doesn't seem like a big deal, but an 11 day difference? I'm not sure I can handle that. Hopefully as we get closer, Dr T will adjust my due date.

I have my birth plan, which I'll save for another post. I'm hesitant to post my birth plan because people have such STRONG opinions about birth. My feeling is this: just as each pregnancy is different, so are births. However, to be honest, my birth plan is very straight forward. Stay tuned for that post.

Until then, XOXO...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Week 23

Tomorrow, we'll be 23 weeks! I can't even believe it.

I feel great! Although I could use some more energy, I'm not complaining. After all, there are two of us dependent on this one body for life. I still think it's pretty amazing that right now, there's a small baby doll growing inside this belly. The baby books and websites have stopped comparing Bubs to food items (finally!) they liken Bubs to the size of a small baby doll. Since I have no desire to eat small baby dolls, that works just fine for me.

I spent a few minutes in the nursery today. The gifts have kept on coming- which is crazy amazing.

Our good friends Amy and Jon gave us TONS of baby gear- all of which is gender neutral. Among such items were:

Did you see that? It's an entire Graco travel system!

Not pictured were 3 papason-type floor seats/rockers, a bumbo w/ tray, a beautiful nursing cover/hooter hider, an exersaucer, the two bases for the bucket seat, changing pad w/ removable cover, a large activity mat, and a Boppy brand tummy time mat with mini boppy. Unbelievable! We are SO thankful for having received these items! They're in great shape and if you didn't know any better, you'd walk into our house and think we had 2 babies already :) We are so blessed to have amazing family and friends that are giving us stuff!

My mom has also stepped in and well, 'nough said:

(Speaking of which, while we're not sharing baby names that are in serious consideration, I'm more than happy to share names that Hubs immediately ruled out...mainly Peyton, Indy, or Colt. He's no fun, is he? And, for the record, I would seriously name a boy any of those.)

Janette, a gal I work with, and her husband Ryan gave us this Eddie Bauer BRAND NEW bucket seat w/ base (her son used it a handful of times and you can't even tell):

Robin M practically took me shopping in their basement two weekends ago and I walked away with quite a bit of loot- including a Boppy for me and several baby girl items to pass onto my BFF (who found out that she's having a GIRL!).

Finally, one of my best friends at work, Susie, gave me a bag full of adorable baby clothes. If they weren't drying in the dryer right now, I'd post pics of those too. Also included in the bag were still-in-the-package medicine droppers/spoons, still-in-the-package rattle slippers, and a few other baby items.

I don't intend for all of my posts to be about material items, but it is SO overwhelming (in the best way possible) to feel the love that our family and friends have for our unborn child. You KNOW you have good friends, but when they're just as excited about your baby as you are, then it makes an already amazing experience even more so.

Tomorrow is 23 weeks. This means that tonight, just after Hubs and I have crawled into bed and settled in nicely under the covers, he'll reach for the baby book and read about the 23rd week. We'll laugh about the symptoms I still haven't experienced (larger boobs), take comfort in those I have (headaches and gagging), and learn about what Bubs will be up to over the next few days. Then, Hubs will turn off the lamp next to his side of the bed, scoot over to my side of the bed (dodging both body pillows), kiss my forehead and say, "night momma, night Bubs."

Then I'll fall asleep and have my 6th dream that Bubs is a [insert gender here].

(And Hubs will comment under his breath about how he'd better fall asleep before me lest my snoring keeps him up.)

Until then, XOXO...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

July 25, 2007

This date may not mean anything to you, but it's a night I'll never forget.

I flew to Omaha the next day to pick up Craig from Internship. It was the last night alone of our very long journey.

Reprinted from Lackadaisical Motivation, July 25, 2007:

Well, this is it.


Our final night apart.

My last night going to sleep alone.

My last morning waking up alone.

My last night of late night phone calls.

No more tearful airport goodbyes.

Tomorrow starts the rest of my life.


It’s here.

Words cannot express how I feel.

Years of sacrifice are behind us.

My heavy heart is getting lighter.

“I love yous” will be accompanied by hugs and kisses now.

I can’t believe it’s almost over.

The tears streaming down my cheeks are of joy and relief.

Thank you, God.

Thank you, God.

Bubs is real

On April 13th, I felt Bubs really move for the first time! Hubs and I were sitting in his office, talking about a new service he's going to offer, and Bubs kicked/punched and I nearly jumped out of my seat! It happened again just a few seconds later. It almost took my breath away (literally and figuratively).

It was unmistakeably Bubs. Since then, Bubs makes his/her presence known throughout the day. It's not excessive at this point. Usually at night after a few Fla-vor-ices Bubs is really active.

Feeling the baby move is nothing like I expected. I thought it would be more "just under the skin." Instead, it's really, really deep inside me. Mostly it tickles and I smile, but every once in a while, it's a raw jab. I think once it happens more frequently, I'll stop jumping every time I can feel him/her. I have a terrible startle response and unexpected moves from inside rank high on the list of things that set it off :)

During the 20 week Ultrasound, it was weird for me to see Bubs moving around inside, but not be able to feel it. We would see the arm move above the head, and then back down again, but I felt nothing. Now, 2 weeks later, I'm putting the U/S movements in my mind together with the movements I feel. It's wonderful.

Bubs 20 week U/S is on the fridge and nearly every time I grab something to eat or drink, I linger a little longer. I wonder what Bubs is thinking. I wonder what kind of things Bubs will like to do, what his/her favorite color will be, and if Bubs will inherit Hubs singing talent. Will Bubs be always on the go and chatty like me or laid back and more reserved like daddy?

Almost every day I imagine the moment of birth. How special will that be? Bubs is much more than a 9 month baby-in-the-making to us. I'm very used to getting what I want when I want it. Trying to get pregnant certainly challenged that behavior. Having something so important to us be so out of my control kept me more than grounded. Looking back, I'm certain the faith and patience I further developed prior to pregnancy was all part of the plan. I NEEDED that to be a better mom.

I also plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Being uncertain of Bubs gender has me altering that behavior, too. I absolutely love NOT being able to plan every single detail for Bubs. It's almost a mental relief for me. If I knew the gender, I would probably be in hyper-planning mode and I would be more focused on insignificant details than on the baby. With an uncertain gender, I'm planning what I can, but I'm much more focused on the baby and enjoying the pregnancy than I may have been otherwise. It's a blessing that I'm so thankful to be experiencing.

Don't get me wrong, I especially can't wait to hear the phrase, "it's a ____!" I'm just really enjoying the time between now and then.

Until then, XOXO....