telerib: (Default)
...because Ben is sleeping but should be woken up to eat soon but I am checking comics and emails for the first time since Thursday and damn it's nice.

We were in Labor and Delivery by 5:30pm, and I was already 6cm dilated and 90% effaced. Our doula Katya met us there - by dumb luck, my assigned student nurses were home for Thanksgiving, so I got the first-year nursing student who was also a professional doula and lactation consultant with four years' experience. Score!

Moe learned to dance me through contractions (think bad junior high slow dancing, not the rhumba). Transition sucked and I asked Katya to remind me again why I wasn't having an epidural. Her spot-on answer was that I could, but I'd probably have to have Pitocin. Not that I'd feel it, but I didn't like the Pitcoin last time at all, and that was enough to convince me to keep on. (Also, it had to be near pushing time, right?)

Right. First they wanted me to push on hands and knees but that felt too weird, so it was side-lying. This is where the screw-up came. For some reason, I could not handle keeping one leg in the air, but relaxed, and curling around my stomach. I kept tensing my legs and trying to curl sideways. I wanted to be on my back (that's how we did it last time) and Katya silently thought the same, but no one wanted to contradict the midwife. She never asked me if I wanted a different position, and since the baby was in distress (cord around the neck again), I assumed there was a Medical Reason for this position. I was pushing hard enough to break capillaries in my face and chest, but the baby wasn't moving much, because I was pulling back just as much.

I freaked out well and truly once, when I was hearing a lot of noise and the word "vacuum" along with the refrain "The baby needs to come out" and Katya was urging me to push when the urge had passed. The midwife had been harping that I should only push when I felt the urge, so being told to push when I didn't feel like it contradicted that prior order and I panicked. Why the change? What was wrong? (The contraction was just really, really short, only one push instead of three; not unreasonable for Katya to have misjudged.) Katya was very good at getting me to unfreak. (Kind of funny, actually: she'd do this thing where she pressed right between my eyes and ordered me to "look up, that is your focus point." So I, of course, looked up at the ceiling - not at her hand. "Up" in a gravity-based reference frame, not my own body-centered one.)

The midwife. Maybe she works well for other women. But something about her tone made me mad as hell. The second or third time she told me to only push when I felt the urge, I actually said, "Do you think I'm doing this for the heck of it?" It continually had the undertone of "Why don't you listen to me and do this right?" instead of just being guidance. That was probably the worst part of the labor (aside from the pain and panic) and that's not too bad.

In the end, no vacuum was needed so the delivery did not literally suck. I got to hold Ben instead of just seeing him before he was whisked off to NICU (as happened with Spud). He's been great with learning to breastfeed; Sunday was miserable, and he needs to learn to nurse longer, but we've got this latching thing down and he eats.

Okay, Moe and Spud are home and Ben is overdue for his lunch so... that's it for now.

Belaboured

Nov. 26th, 2009 03:15 pm
telerib: (spud)
I've been having contractions since 7:00 this morning. They were clocking in fairly regularly every 6 minutes for 45 seconds; around 11:00, they got noticeably stronger. From noon til 2:30 or so, they started spacing farther apart, but now they seem to be back. And be stronger. And... owie... longer.

...oookay, after that one, I think it's time to start counting seconds again, because I have a feeling we'll be heading to L&D shortly.

We did have a lovely Thanksgiving luncheon. I still hedged my bets and made sure I had my pie for breakfast this morning. :) My other Cunning Plan is to pack a Tupperware of leftovers to stash in the hospital kitchenette for post-delivery meal, rather than have to eat hospital food.
telerib: (Default)
Very exciting hour or so this morning (5:30-6:30) when I thought I was starting labor. And by "exciting," I mean vaguely queasy, uncomfortable, anxious and slightly painful. Still, somewhat disappointing when it turned out to be a false alarm.

On the other hand, I do feel like I'm sitting on a bowling ball now. Yesterday, the baby was "not well-applied" (which I later mistranslated as "not well-seated," e.g., as a valve is seated); I wonder if he's dropped down a bit? Also, I'm still a bit queasy.

I hate to jump to conclusions and then be disappointed again, but I do wonder if the 'blackberry cure' is working. :)
telerib: (spud)
Last night, I put the frozen blackberries (for Thanksgiving pie) into the fridge to defrost. That ought to do it, right?
telerib: (Default)
Yeah, I'm very, very glad this "soooo pregnant" thing only hit a week or so ago.

Ben, I know it's cold out here and the whole "eating and breathing on your own" thing sounds mighty inconvenient, but son, it is time. You can't stay in there forever, so you might as well get it over with.
telerib: (Default)
I did not get many unsolicited belly pats. There was my hairdresser, who does the "girly girl" thing (complete with vaguely Valley Girl accent and squeals of delight) and from whom it seemed weirdly appropriate. There were a few folks at the last Storvik business meeting, who all but radiated hesitation and unasked "Can we pat it?" before, upon seeing that I was not bristling, indeed patted. I was okay with that because, if I were not okay, I would have said something. The nonverbal communication was sufficient (for me).

Then there was Target the other day. The entire encounter brought to mind an Internet discussion I read about the proper response to unwanted attention on the bus, and what if the person being obnoxious was "not neurotypical," and exactly how the sensitive-but-put-upon recipient of this obnoxiousness was supposed to be able to tell garden-variety asshole from legitimate Asperger's Syndrome.

"Congratulations! When are you due?" asked the gentleman.

"Thursday," I said.

He consulted his watch. "The nineteenth!" he proclaimed.

This was my first indication that this was not, perhaps, a "neurotypical" individual. Most people, in my experience, respond with something like "That soon?" or "Wow!" or "So you're about to pop!" or just "Good luck!" The calendar date corresponding to Thursday was unexpected.

He followed me as I continued to look for night lights, asking if it was a boy or a girl, if it was my first, and if my first was a boy or a girl. I continued to answer amicably, although I thought this was getting rather intrusive, because I was in a busy store and he hadn't asked for any really personal data like my name or the kids' names.

And then he reached for the belly. I just dropped my elbow to block his hand. To his credit, he stopped and started apologizing profusely.

I told him, repeatedly, that it was "okay," which really it wasn't, but I also wasn't particularly angry. I guess I was trying to say that "I am not angry with you but please don't do that," and it got summarized as "It's okay." My impression that he wasn't trying to be a jerk seemed to have been correct - rather than get angry or shouty at me, he just kept apologizing, offered blessings on my family, wished me Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving and retreated.

I was still a bit sweaty and shaky afterwards, I guess because he could have gotten all angry and shouty. Still, in the middle of a Target with three sales associates nearby?

Anyway. That's got to be the weirdest pregnancy experience to date.
telerib: (spud)
Today is my due date. His Imperial Majesty, Benjamin the First, has not yet deigned to give us a sign of his impending arrival.

In the last three days, I think I've gotten to the traditional "ZOMG so! pregnant!" place. There is pressure in places where there usually isn't, odd strains and tensions in other places, and general discomfort if I'm doing much besides sitting still. I sway like an old-time lumbering movie zombie when I walk. Getting off the sofa is a procedure in and of itself.

So, on my Thanksgiving list, is "Thankful that this didn't happen to me four weeks ago." I know some women say their entire ninth month is terribly uncomfortable, and I apparently lucked out.
telerib: (spud18)
On an impulse, I bought two monogrammed Christmas stockings at Target. One had an "M," the other, a "B." I showed them to the Dear Spouse.

"Who's the 'B' for?" he asked.

"Ben!" I replied indignantly. (Ben being the actual to-be-bestowed name for Mr. Due On Thursday.)

The Dear Spouse apologized profusely. He assumed the "M" stocking was for him and couldn't figure out how I was a "B".



...okay, I have to admit that I was looking for the "S" stockings when I saw the "M" and remembered that my first child's name is not really Spud.
telerib: (uhh)
Nana caught a cold when she came down earlier in the month, and it's passed to all of us. Not a real big deal, honestly - typical runny nose and ache sort of thing, not one of the species of the hideous Creeping Crud that's going around. My two guys are both snoozing in the living room at the moment. Poor Spud has been avoiding his naps and just conked out on the floor. I'm afraid if I try to move him to his bed, he'll wake up.

I appreciate Ben's efforts to contribute to his Mama's well-being with internal deep tissue massage, but it's honestly getting kind of weird-feeling.

My standard self-treatment for most colds is regular Sudafed (the good old stuff, approved by my midwives) and lots of water. Lots of water overnight + 8 lbish baby on bladder = not much sleep. I should see about getting a nap in myself...
telerib: (Default)
I'll be 38 weeks on Thursday. Tireder, crankier, more forgetful. Starting to feel awkward and lumbering. I might take off work early after all.

Very cranky today. After a minor "I see spots" moment (all of 30 seconds), like a good patient I call my midwives. I am hoping to get a nurse to confirm that, without swelling or headache, this is no big deal. Well, the nurses are "in a meeting" (later amended to "at lunch") but an OB thought I should come in for a BP check. Well, that's an hour ride and I'm in the middle of mandatory training at work. How about I get it checked at the on-base clinic? Should be fine, says the receptionist. Call back with the numbers.

So our on-base clinic was closed; Bolling's would only take me if I was enrolled there; but there was a screening machine in the gym. First reading: 127/82, and that's when I'm so frustrated after 45 minutes of driving around Navy installations and standing in lines that I'm fit to cry or scream. Some deep breaths and relaxation, and it's down to a perfectly respectable 118/78.

I call back the office. The BP numbers are fine, but now a nurse is telling the receptionist I need to come in anyway. Frustrated, I go.

I get there. I am expecting... something. More than the usual regular check-up. Because they asked me to come in for something more than the BP reading I already got, right?

No. The midwife has no idea why I am there. My BP is fine (and now down to 112/74). There are no additional tests. Which nurse said I had to come in? I don't know.

So. On the plus side, still healthy! On the minus side, this was a colossal waste of everyone's time.

Full term!

Oct. 30th, 2009 12:47 pm
telerib: (spud)
I'm at 37 weeks pregnant and officially full term. Yay!
telerib: (spud)
I had an ultrasound this morning to check the baby's position (head down, hurray!), and he is very much a boy. He's weighing in at 7.25 lbs (+/- 1 lb) and measuring 37.5 weeks - a week older than expected. But late-term ultrasound estimates of due date aren't so reliable (because babies come in an assortment of sizes and shapes), so I'm not going to pencil in Nov 12 as a new due date.

I meet the Labor Companions on Wednesday - they're nursing students with some doula training who provide free doula services out of Johns Hopkins. Our doula from last time does not do the doula thing anymore, and the other one we contacted cost twice as much. (And I can't guarantee my dad will happen to be in town this time! Seriously, he was an awesome doula.) Then Thursday is another midwife appointment.

Nana arrives on Thursday and is staying til Tuesday, mostly to give the Dear Spouse a break. I'm doing okay taking care of myself, but there's a bunch of stuff I can't do around the house anymore and it's all falling on him. Add to that Spud's sudden need to always be on Dad's lap and he's feeling frazzled. Nana plans to come back down a week before my due date to help around labor and delivery time, too.

Cross fingers and knock on wood that it all goes at least somewhat closer to according to plan this time!
telerib: (Default)
Got my H1N1 shot today. My OB's practice had a shipment and reserved it just for their pregnant patients. Clinic was 9-12; I got there right at 9 and the line was folded in four, up and down the hall.

It was hot - not only were all us pregnant people there, but there were a good number of kids (unavoidable) and support folks (mom and husband-looking types, mostly). On the one hand, those of us who came solo were wishing the guys would all go downstairs so we had more air. On the other hand, when the woman in front of me fainted (!), I'm glad her guy was there to catch her.

I was getting nervous when I got near the front of the line - they'd previously been letting people in 10-20 at a time, and now it was more like 5-8. Sure enough - I was second from the front when they announced that they had 30 doses left. Whew!

(I checked - the lady ahead of me who fainted, who was seen promptly by nurses, did get her shot.)
telerib: (spud)
Tomorrow, I'll be 36 weeks pregnant. This is almost exactly the time I gave birth to Spud.

However, then my blood pressure was something like 140/90. My feet were swollen and I saw spots randomly. As of yesterday, my blood pressure was still 116/70, which is about where it's been the whole pregnancy. No swelling, no spots. Heck, I even have less heartburn this time around.

The midwife declared that I have a "two-headed baby," by which you should infer that the baby's butt is as hard as its head and she couldn't tell which was uppermost, not that the ultrasound tech made some critical error. So I'm to go for another ultrasound on Monday to determine if the baby is breech or not.

My coworkers keep asking me when I'm leaving. Like I know. Um, when I go into labor or get too uncomfortable to come to work, whichever comes first? The baby has so far refused to pencil in a date on my calendar for our kickoff meeting.

Spud wants "Up!" a lot more and has taken up repeating "bay-bee" at random intervals. I finally asked him if he was the baby. "Yes!" (Not that this is a definite indication of an actual functioning question/answer pair.) We're telling him he's our boy, our big boy, and that the new baby is coming soon, and that we love him and we'll love the baby. It's gonna be a rough time for the poor guy regardless.
telerib: (uhh)
I used to try to hit the road by a quarter til 6am, so that I'd be at the office by 6:30. Then I got pregnant, and my body insisted on a bit more sleep, and my departures were delayed. I get in now between 7 and 7:30 with correspondingly later departure times.

I'm usually tending, in fact, more towards the 7:30 than the 7, and the half-hour makes all the difference. Traffic crawls through the ICC construction on I-95, crawls through the 295/Beltway merge, crawls past the 295/50 split, crawls from Burroughs Ave to Pennsylvania Ave.

So I was very happy to actually get out the door at 6:20 today. Okay, it took a few minutes to scrape off the unexpected frost, but still. Nice and early, should totally get in by 7.

Accident on 95-S blocking the right hand lane. Dammit.

Blargh.

Aug. 25th, 2009 05:57 pm
telerib: (uhh)
Yesterday, my coworker had something for lunch that smelled like stew. It smelled awesome. My appetite has been vanished for most of this week, so this was great! Stew! Something I wanted to eat! I bought stew meat and stock and carrots.

Made stew tonight.

Stew. Eh.

Curse you, pregnancy-induced fickle appetite!
telerib: (Default)
It's been a lovely, uneventful pregnancy so far. Hence the lack of to-do over it. Most noticeable symptom is shortness of breath, especially when going up stairs. Moe's been a sport about carrying laundry for me. My blood pressure is a little low (for me) but well within normal.

But I will share that I think I felt the first kick Saturday night! Good to know you're in there, TBD!

News update

Apr. 7th, 2009 09:03 am
telerib: (Default)
I kind of hate to do this via LJ, but the news is getting out and I'd rather have y'all hear it first-hand but virtually rather than second-hand, in case it finds you before I do.

We're expecting!

...yes, a baby. Yeesh.

The major talking points:

- Due date is mid-November.

- Morning sickness is not nearly as bad as with Spud. I'm very tired, but not exhausted; occasionally queasy, but not eternally nauseous.

- First midwife appointment on Monday

- No, I have not come up with a nickname yet

I know common wisdom is to wait until after the first trimester to make such announcements, and that was the plan. But I wanted to tell close family (because if there was a miscarriage, I'd be telling them about that for support anyway). And then Moe told a close friend or two. And then, and then and then... here we are with an LJ post a month early. :)
telerib: (Default)
183: Weight in pounds, pre-pregnancy.

173: Current weight in pounds.

116/68: Blood pressure reading yesterday.

They've put me on a blood pressure medicine, and it's working! I can do stuff again!

It should be temporary. After my six week postpartum checkup, they'll start to wean me off of it and we'll see what the BP does. Since this was all pregnancy-induced, it should be clearing up by then. Yay!

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