Monday, December 25, 2006

Our First Family Christmas

What a nice Christmas I just had! First, everything I set out to do for the holiday was completed. I was successful at buying gifts (although we ordered some late so they will be arriving after the holiday), decorating my house, sending out holiday cards, and cooking a special meal.

Reaching my daily goals is a big deal for me lately because Nicky has kept me quite busy, and there are days I feel like I have accomplished nothing outside of taking care of him. I know that is a big and important accomplishment in and of itself, but really I would like to get some other things done in my life. It is looking like that might be becoming more possible lately as Nicky has been changing quite a bit as of late. I don't know what kind of magic thing happened when he turned 6 weeks old this past Thursday, but he is a new and improved baby! He is sleeping better, his gassiness and hence his fussiness has gone down tremendously, and best of all, he is so happy! He is cooing and smiling and interacting a ton. Scott & I enjoy it tremendously. I love my son, but these first 6 weeks have not been easy. Nicky has been quite cranky because of the digestive issues he's had, poor baby. He always wanted to be held, he had trouble sleeping, and he was in quite a bit of discomfort from his digestive issues. This kid would wake up and cry if I set him down for a second. He would riggle in pain if he couldn't get out a burp or a fart. It was no fun, and I felt bad that I couldn't seem to fix the problems. But, I perservered, and as Nicky has matured, he seems to be doing better. Thank God!

So, Christmas was quite enjoyable for us. Yesterday we went to 6:30pm mass. Nicky seems to like church with all the noise and music. Then we came home and watched a movie - Talladega Nights with Will Farrell. We think its funny that the main character's name, Ricky Bobby, is close to Nicky's name if you turn both his first and middle names into nicknames: Nicky Bobby. While Scott & I stayed up late, Nicky stayed on a pretty regular schedule, so he woke us up at 8am this morning. Maybe he wanted to open presents?! We played, I fed him, and then he and I ended up taking a nap, so presents and the holiday meal had to wait. I ended up making Christmas supper instead of dinner, but the special menu of roast duck, cinnamon cranberry stuffing, asparagus, rosemary garlic mashed potatoes, orange cranberry relish, and raspberry jello salad turned out quite well. We still have yet to sample the gingersnap cheescake I also made. I love cooking and have missed it greatly these past few weeks. It was so nice to get back to it!

Happy Holidays to you and yours! May we all continue to be blessed in the coming year as we have been this year. Take care.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My Gift Wishlist

My brother-in-law, Byron, and I were talking recently about how buying Christmas gifts can get really lame and lose its meaning at times. I buy you something that you told me to buy for X dollars and I buy you something for the same amount that you told me to buy. There is no suprise. The even bigger trouble is that most of the time people can't even think of what they want, anyway. I mean, there are pleanty of silly things I would like but would never buy myself, but when it comes to thinking of them when put on the spot, I usually can't. If it gets really bad, we often resort to buying giftcards or giving money. These are just fine, but it takes the fun out of it when its out of desperation or when the suprise is taken out of it. For that reason, Scott & I have talked about keeping a list of gift ideas for eachother, since after 11 years of being together, we are out of creative ideas and tend to repeat them. After talking to Byron, I thought, why not keep a list on my blog so Scott and maybe my family can draw from it. Its probably too late for this Christmas, but that's okay. Now he will have ideas for my birthday:)

1. Clothes - nothing fits since I had the baby
2. Graco iMonitor baby monitor
3. Hotsling baby sling, size 3
4. Bodyshop Almond Collection namely the body butter, body scrub, and lotion
5. Books, namely childrearing books from Dr. Sears
My Wish List
6. Land's End Do-All diaper bag in red with Huizenga embroidered on it
7. Jewelry armoire or box with space to hang my necklaces
8. Lemonade maker
9. Attachments for my Kitchenaid mixer
10. Ice cream maker

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Xmas Shopping - Why Do We Always Wait?

Scott & I struggled just to get our Christmas shopping done for our loved ones in time to get the packages shipped in time. We relied mostly on online shopping for that reason. But, here it was, 5 days before Christmas and we still didn't have any presents for each other and practically nothing for Nicky, so we decided to go to the mall last night. Our reasoning was that the mall would be less crowded on a weekday evening than it would be this weekend. While we were likely right, it was still quite busy there and we did not get home until almost midnight. First we stopped at Sears to pick up Nicky's portraits and a few presents for him. Then we went to JCPenney where we basically took care of Scott & me.

Scott took the opportunity to re-up our Verizon contract at the Verizon kiosk while I nursed Nicky in Penney's, so now I am the proud owner of a pink Razor phone. How trendy is that? This way Scott & I don't have the exact same phone again (his is silver) which can get confusing. It might take me forever to learn how to use this thing. The function I am most excited about is its MP3 player as I don't have a separate one at all. Now I can save my music on my phone. I will have earbuds where I can listen to music and then switch to phone and talk if a call comes in, all on the same headset. Very cool and not too expensive.

While waiting to for the Verizon rep to transfer my numbers from my old phone to my new one, I went to Motherhood and got some new nursing shirts. Now I just need more than 2 pairs of pants that fit. I am happy to say that I have lost all but less than 10 pounds of the overall 35 pounds that I gained during the pregnancy. However, I am left with all this extra skin around my waist. On top of that, my hips spread during pregnancy, so none of my pre-pregnancy pants fit. I don't mind the idea of actually having hips now since I had a curveless boy-shape before, but I must mourn most of my former wardrobe. I will miss some of those clothes. And while occasional shopping is fun, I am not enthused about the idea of replacing my entire wardrobe. Well, most of my shirts should still work, although right now I am only wearing the ones that don't emphasize my tummy. Oh, the woes of the post-pregnancy body. I know, I just need to give it time and try to get into a regular exercise pattern in the coming weeks. Fun (note my sarcasm).

Nicky did great during all of this shopping and either hung out or slept in his stroller without a peep except to tell us when he was hungry. I am happy to say I am quite content with the Chicco stroller we purchased. It was a bit more expensive than the other travel systems but its suspension gives it a great ride and it is not too wide which helps in crowded malls. Nicky also slept while we finally ate at TGI Fridays after we finally got out of the mall. Talk about a late supper. We all crashed when we got home. And now we will actually have Christmas presents under the tree.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And Nicky Sleeps

Just a quick note for today, especially after that gargantuan post yesterday. Actually, it took me the whole last month to write that thing so... Check out the cool comment to that post from a doula in Canada. Its so neat to think that my random thoughts are being read by people around the world, and some might actually be doing some good.

Anyway, Nicky and I had a good day today; this after a busy, tiring day yesterday. Yesterday we went to the chiropractor, ran errands around town, and then went to Sears with Scott for Nicky's first portraits (can I please say that I can't take a picture myself to save my life - I am not photogenic). It was exhausting. Especially since Nicky had had a bad night the night before and kept me up. So, today, Nicky and I slept in. It was great. Then I swaddled him this afternoon when he kept waking himself up when he flailed his limbs due to his gassiness issues. I forgot how well swaddling worked. He has been sleeping for almost too long now so I hope he wakes up soon. Or else we might have a repeat of the night before last.

Here are some pics of both alert and asleep Nicky.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Finally, My Labor Story (The Longest Post Ever)

Note: The following is a very detailed, forthright description of my labor and delivery. Its probably more for the women but if you are an interested male who doesn't mind the yuckiness of all of it, then read on. For those who want to stay innocent or who have issues with medical/physical stuff, you might want to skip this.

6pm Wed. - started natural induction methods
11:30pm Wed. - labor was going on its own
2am Thurs. - Doula arrived
9:30am - Water broke
11am - Arrived at hospital, 5cm dilated and fully effaced, -1 station
11:30-12:30 - Labored in the jacuzzi tub
12:40pm - 8 cm, 100%, +3 station
12:50 - began pushing
1:31pm - Nicky was born! 8lbs. 3oz., 20 inches

14 hours of labor, 40 minutes of pushing

Techniques I used to go medication free: simple deep breathing (no he, he, ha, ha - it makes me feel like I'm hyperventilating), massage, relaxation, walking, bouncing on exercise ball, visualization, aromatherapy, water (tub), music, sleeping/dozing



As you might have read on my husband's email birth announcement, I went medication free for the length of my labor and the delivery of my son. This is exactly the way I wanted it, and I feel blessed that this was able to happen. I was fully prepared to accept an epidural or other pain medication if I needed it or if it became medically necessary, like in the case of a C-section, but there were a number of reasons I tried to avoid this. Before I go on, please let me reiterate that there is nothing wrong with epidurals, spinals, or other pain medication given during labor, but like most medical interventions, they have risks and side effects. Same goes for interventions like using forceps or vacuum extraction or having a C-section: when done appropriately, they are very helpful and can save lives. I look at birth as normally a natural event, not a medical one. I wanted to have this natural event be natural, but take advantage of modern medicine if so needed. I have a deep respect for medicine and have chosen to practice my therapeutic skills by counseling mainly medical patients. I also feel for obstetricians and other medical professionals dealing with childbirth because their malpractice insurance rates are so high due to lots of people suing them if anything goes wrong, even if it isn't the doctor's or hospital's fault. This then causes these doctors and the nurses and hospitals to be, in my opinion, overly cautious at times and perform unneeded inventions just to be careful or to try to prevent something that is an extremely remote possibility. I definitely did not want a C-section (kudos to those of you who've had one - recovering from surgery on top of taking care of a newborn is very admirable). And I did not want medication because of a few reasons. These medications can slow labor down (who wants that?!) which can just make it longer or, if it causes labor to take too long, can lead doctors to suggest a c-section. Also, in slowing the labor and relaxing the muscles in the vaginal passage, the baby doesn't always get turned the way it is supposed as it descends; this leads to the need for forceps or vacuum or sometimes C-section. They can also lower a mom's blood pressure and screw with the baby's heart rate sometimes which freaks everyone out and can again lead to C-section. Given all this information, I still understand why many women opt for pain meds. Labor can be very long and extremely painful. However, what upsets me is that most women and their partners are not informed of all of this. There is no informed consent. People deserve to know this stuff.

So, those are the reasons I wanted to go meds free. I had a decent amount of confidence in my ability to do this because: 1) my mom did for all 3 of her deliveries and I hoped to have her strength and fairly easy and short labors, 2) I have training in relaxation and pain management through my psychology studies, 3) Scott & I took a class on natural childbirth methods and I read many books on it too so I had a whole arsenal of methods to practice and try, 4) I thought I had a pretty good pain tolerance (but wondered if this applied to childbirth since I had never done it before:), 5) Scott & I had decided to hire a doula (a birth assistant) to help us with this whole process. So, I was as prepared as I could be. I discussed my plans and desires with my midwife, and she agreed to these as well as the overall birth plan I wrote. I was very optimistic and looking forward to the birth experience as the days leading to my due date ticked by.


Then my due date came...and went... My midwife expressed that medical professionals get more nervous as due dates pass because rates of birth complications and stillbirth increase. I did my research and found that this is true, they do increase, but the rates are still extremely small. Also, normal lengths of gestation range between 38-42 weeks, so going 2 weeks past the estimated due date is completely normal and is not indicative of problems in and of itself. In a small amount of cases, some babies go overdue because they get too big and can't fit through the pelvis or there can be problem with the umbilical cord or placenta as they get old and can't function as well as they used to. All of these are rare, but still very scary. So, now I had this battle going on in my head: I want to do this naturally, trust my body and baby to know when the right time is, and not induce this labor unless a definite problem is identified. But what if the problem isn't caught and something does go wrong - I will feel like its my fault for not airing on the side of caution like the midwife and doctors had suggested. Uhhhh! It was mentally draining and confusing. And I just wanted to meet my baby already. Being overdue sucked. I talked with my midwife, doula, and lots of my great friends who all offered me a ton of support.

When I was a week overdue, my midwife had me do a non-stress test where they hooked me up to a monitor that recorded baby's heart rate and any contractions or activity in my uterine muscles. Baby did fine and passed the test. My midwife wanted me to come back in 3 days for a biophysical profile test which is a detailed ultrasound where they check the baby's vitals as well as the placenta. I researched this like I had the non-stress test and found out that both are not that accurate and can give false positives where a problem is indicated when there really isn't a problem. This then leads to an induction or an emergency C-section. Scary! So, I really wanted to avoid that and was praying that labor would be begin before the Thursday of the test. My spirits were low that Wednesday. I called my brother Dusty and he cheered me up a bit. Then my doula, Stefanie, called and I admitted to her what was on my mind. We discussed natural induction methods, and I told her I had tried many of them but they not had worked for more than an hour or so. She probed deeper into how I was using them and told me that I needed use them in a more consistent pattern. She told me how to use nipple stimulation every 5 minutes to bring on contractions. The idea was to do this for an hour or two to bring on a rhythm of contractions that were 5 minutes apart and then see if my body could pick up the pattern on its own. She suggested I pair this with the use of castor oil. It is a tasteless oil that you mix with juice or other liquid and drink. Its a natural diuretic so it gives you diarrhea. The idea is the intestinal cramps it causes bring on uterine contractions as well since they are in the same area of the body and use some of the same muscles. I know, it doesn't sound pleasant. This was something that has worked for many people, but I can't imagine doing it other than as a last resort.

I was so ready to be done with being pregnant that I was up for trying both methods. I did not want a medical induction because there was still a decent chance that if it did not work and I did not go into labor with the medication's help, I would need a C-section. Also, pitocin, the medication they give you during induction can cause super mega horrible contractions that are very hard to deal with without pain medication, they can also distress the baby leading to c-section, and you need to be on a monitor continuously so I could not use the jacuzzi tub or get up and move around to help deal with my labor. Basically, my chances at going for a natural delivery were greatly decreased if I had to be medically induced. My only dilemma was if I tried the natural induction methods that night or waited until the next day. I considered waiting because I knew my midwife would be in the next town at the medical practice's other office that day and might not make it back in time for the delivery if I did go into labor during business hours. But I couldn't take it anymore! At 6pm when Scott came home I told him the plan and then started implementing it. I began the nipple stimulation at 6. Then at 8pm, I took the first dose of castor oil. It was like drinking vinaigrette dressing - the oil was yucky in texture but it didn't have any flavor so I didn't mind it that much. I took the second dose of castor oil at 10pm. By this time, my body had picked up the 5 minute contractions but I did occasional nipple stimulation to keep them going because I had had false labor before with contraction only 4 minutes apart so I knew they could still stop.


By midnight, my contractions were still going regularly and a bit more intensely. I allowed my myself to get only a bit excited because of the false labor experiences I'd had, but I did call my doula to let her know what was happening. She instructed me to take a relaxing shower and see if that changed the contractions or not. If the contractions went away after the shower, if was false labor again. But they didn't! So I called Stefanie again, and she asked if I wanted her to come to the house. I said sure, because although my contractions had been 5 minutes apart for a few hours now on their own, they were pretty mild and I knew I was a long way from delivery. Being completely inexperienced (and Scott being so as well), I wanted her input on how things were progressing so I knew when would be the right time to go to the hospital. Stefanie arrived a 2am and we three talked and watched some late night television while monitoring my contractions. She suggested I try to rest and maybe take a nice bath. I said I could try to dose in the bath and did so for a good half an hour. Then I got out and took a little nap on the bed. At 5:15am I woke up and Scott was napping while Stefanie dozed in the living room. Stefanie asked how my contractions were feeling. They were still 3-5 minutes apart but not too intense, so she suggested we go for a walk at about 7:15am. We walked around my neighborhood for a good half an hour. It was a beautiful fall morning with bright blue skies and fairly mild weather. The walk did help to make the contractions stronger and by the end of it, I was not able to talk (or walk) through the contractions, but I was still dealing with them very well. Stefanie helped my massaging my back during the hard contractions.

When we got home, Scott was awake. I ate a little bit of breakfast (a yogurt smoothie) and talked with Scott & Stefanie on if I should keep my chiropractor appointment that morning at 10am. We figured that if my contractions were still this mild then I could go. The chiropractor's office agreed when I called and told them of the situation. Stefanie then suggested I take another shower and do some more nipple stimulation to see if I could get into active labor. It seemed to work, and my contractions were getting stronger. My midwife appt. was at 10:30, right after the chiropractor, so we decided to pack up the car just in case they decided to send me to the hospital from there for some reason. I bounced on the exercise ball during contractions to help cope with the pain which now took some concentration to deal with. Stefanie and Scott continued to use massage to help as well. Just as we were gathering our belonging, I felt a big gush of fluid and announced that my water had broken. It was 9:30am at this point. I was rushing around trying to put on a pad to catch the fluid, but really, I could have used an adult diaper because it kept coming in gushes. Stefanie suggested I use a baby diaper to catch it. I called the chiropractor and canceled my appointment, then called the midwife and they said to go to the hospital.


After my water broke, my contractions reached a whole new level and became extremely intense. Bouncing on the exercise ball continued to help me stay in control and ride out the contractions. I decided to try to eat some peanut butter toast since I might not eat for a while in the hospital. We finished gathering our things and headed to the hospital. Scott put down a garbage bag and then a towel on the car seat:) I still had my baby diaper as well. The car ride was none too fun, let me tell you! When we got there, I even agreed to have Scott park the car and walk through the parking lot and into the hospital instead of being dropped off at the front entrance, the idea being that walking was good for me. Am I crazy or what! Try walking through a parking lot, through the hospital, and then going up the elevator, trying to act normal the whole way as you are soaking wet like you just peed yourself, having massive and painful contractions the whole time! It was about 11am at this point. I told Scott & Stefanie I had better be 5 centimeters dilated when the nurse checked me or I would be disappointed (remember, I had already been 3cm for 5 weeks beforehand). When I checked in and the nurse took me to my labor room and checked me, I was indeed 5 cm. Thank God! I tried to answer some medical history questions as the nurse hooked me up to the monitor for the first 20 minutes. The contractions were still very intense, but I could breathe through them.

I was lucky enough to get a room with a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom as I had requested. After I was done with the monitoring, Stefanie drew me a bath and put rose oil in it, my favorite. Before I got in the tub, I was nauseas and threw up - boy did I feel better after that! For an hour, I laid in the tub, breathing through contractions and using visualization to imagine each of them as waves that I was riding like I was surfing. I also visualized my uterus contracting and my cervix opening like a rose blooming. I listed to music on Scott's IRiver MP3 player and even dozed in between contractions. Scott thought it was crazy that I could sleep between contractions, but honestly, it was my escape and I was so concentrated inward that I could drift off when the pain wasn't present. But let me tell you, the last 15 minutes in the tub, the contractions grew to such a height that I was just about at my limit. They were now so intense a quarter of the way through that knowing that the peak was still yet to come and I still had 3/4 of the contraction to go, made it hard to stay so centered. Before this, I was able to stay still and relaxed in the water through each contraction. Now, I had to riggle a bit as the pain surged at its highest for each contraction. My labor nurse and doula were nice enough to give me privacy while I labored in the tub, so only Scott was in there with me. I admitted to him that the contractions were becoming way more unbearable and I could see why women asked for meds at this point. He was so supportive and calm through the whole thing. He never once got freaked out when I started to feel like the contractions were kicking my butt. No one ever asked me if I wanted medication, just as I had requested.

I wondered if I was nearing complete dilation and the transition phase as its called. My nurse said that she would need to check me in about 10 minutes. When it was time for her to check me (around 12:30pm), I had to get out of the tub again, and I told Scott I hoped I was 8 cm now. Guess what? I was, and I was fully effaced! Being able to predict how dilated I was made me more sure that I really was in tune with my body and exactly what it was doing. Anyway, after the nurse checked me, I had to go on the monitor for another 15 minutes again. Let me tell you, the water and the tub really did help and take the edge off the contractions, so now without that, I was even in more pain. I think I surprised the nurse by how quickly I had progressed. If she thought that was impressive, she must have been blown away by the speed of the next phase.


Only 10 minutes after being checked, I suddenly felt a wave come over my body and my muscles instinctively started to bear down and push. That was kind of creepy because no one told me that that could happen. I thought you got a "feeling" that you needed to push, and then you consciously had to go about doing so. I didn't think your body could just take over like that! Anyway, my doula alerted the nurse who asked me to stop until she could get the midwife. Yeah right! I wasn't even trying to do this! My doula made me feel better by telling me it was okay and this was normal. She instructed me to just go with it and give little pushes. Once I accepted that this was normal, I was able to trust my body and let it do its job.

The midwife on call (my regular midwife was still in the next town:( ) arrived quickly and checked me again. I was now complete and the baby was in the birth canal so birth was imminent. I had been on my side while on the monitor because laying on my back was just not comfortable. The midwife allowed me to stay on my side as I pushed. I pushed along with the natural pushes my body was giving. Scott continued to be invaluable. He stayed up at the head of the bed and talked to me, whispering supportive things and being a total sweety the whole time. My doula, Stefanie, kept feeding me supportive and instructive comments while supporting my one leg for me during the pushes. The nurse and midwife also gave me encouragement, but supported my wish not to count out my pushes (as in 1 to 10) or cheer me loudly. I wanted things to be calm and somewhat quiet. Instead of counting, I pushed instinctively, giving about 3 pushes per contraction, each lasting about 6 seconds or so.

The midwife massaged my pereneal area and used warm wash clothes to support stretching in that area. I continued to rest in between contractions by closing my eyes. Let me tell you, I found the pushing stage to be a relief - it felt so much better than the crazy contractions of the transition phase. Plus, knowing that completion was close was very motivating. I did not scream at all, but I did quietly groan some, especially with those first unexpected, instinctual contractions. Stefanie asked for a mirror to be brought in so I could see the progress I was making. I was then able to see baby's head and all his dark hair and my midwife had me feel his head as it was crowning. I think I said "Wow" or something like that. As my midwife pushed back on the back of my pereneal area, it hurt but reminded me exactly where I needed to push. I pushed for about 40 minutes until Nicky emerged at 1:31pm. I had no idea that despite all the pereneal massage and the fact that pushing on your side takes pressure off the pereneum, I still was destined to tear. However, I did not tear my pereneum as most women do but instead tore one of my labia. The midwife later explained that I have a long pereneal area which helps me not tear back there, but with there only being so much room, I had to tear somewhere. Also, Nicky came out a little sideways so I don't know if that contributed to it. Anyway, my midwife put a few shots of Lodicain in the area and stitched it up. However, the stitches did not hold because they would have had to be super small plastic surgery type ones to stay and that would have taken too long and caused me too much pain since I wasn't medicated at the time. So, for now, I am deformed:( but I can have plastic surgery in the future if I want it fixed. Luckily, my midwife assured me that future labors and other activities would not tear it more. Honestly, this was the hardest part of the whole process for me because my body is forever changed.

Back to the delivery: Nicky came out very alert but also very pissed off! He screamed as he was placed on my belly. I cut the chord (not Scott's thing - too yucky). Nicky checked us out and calmed a bit as I held him but then continued to scream some. I think he was ticked off that I kicked him out of the uterus. The midwife and nurse commented that he had a lot of the white vernix stuff on his skin which usually decreases as babies approach term so they wondered if he wasn't a bit early, which would mean that my due date was wrong again and all this worrying and induction stuff was unneeded! Anyway, Nicky wasn't interested in nursing right away. He got sleepy and only latched on for a few seconds each time. I did not force him and after a half hour, I let the nurse take him to bathe him and do weigh him and stuff. Then he was ready to nurse and be cuddled.

My midwife kept saying I should be on a birth video because I did so well at staying calm and controlled and the birth went so smoothly. She also said I had amazing pain tolerance and probably could have my arm cut off and do okay! I don't that I'm anything that special. Seriously. I credit my preparation, the people around me supporting me the whole time, and my ability to trust my body to do its thing and then go along with it for this outcome. I totally see where fear and tensing up can add to pain and slow or stop the process. The key is staying as calm and relaxed as possible, not fighting it, and keeping confidence in yourself. That said, I am proud of myself for this accomplishment.


It felt so normal and just right when Nicky was born. It wasn't surreal or overwhelming or anything like it is sometimes described by others. It just felt comfortable and natural, I guess. Scott says he had the same feelings. Things were how they were supposed to be. I was most surprised by Nicky's dark hair and how much of it there was. That was totally unexpected, and I still love that. I also don't recall any wave of major relief or awe or love coming over me. I guess I was too relaxed or something! Everything came in stride.


While nursing came pretty naturally for Nicky and me, I was not prepared for the recovery down under, so to speak. It hurt to sit much of the time, and I had to be careful how I shifted pressure around as I moved. I stayed in bed most of the time in the 2 days in the hospital, and I'm glad I did! Once we got home, I was still very tired. My midwife had instructed me to rest, stay off my feet, and no stairs until she saw me in a week. I followed that until the night before the one week mark when I went downstairs to finish a load of laundry while Scott was upstairs holding Nicky. I though it was no problem because I was feeling so much better, but as soon as I walked through the cold garage and went down the stairs to the basement, I got a huge chill over all my body, felt really weak, and thought I was going to pass out! I quickly got back upstairs. I felt like crap the rest of the night with continuing chills and faintness. I even wondered at one point if I needed to go to the hospital. Luckily, by the next morning it had passed, and my midwife confirmed that I had just overdone it and needed to back off. Since then, I have felt more and more like myself but still feel like I am recovering. I am not sure that my energy is completely back and I know my muscles in certain places are weak. I think recovery was harder than the labor!

As if this wasn't long and detailed enough, if anyone wants to know anything else, please just email or call me. Like Jenny McCarthy said, people don't talk about this stuff and there is so much that many women don't know about labor and delivery beforehand. I really enjoyed my pregnancy and delivery, and I think it helped me to read and share stories with my friend and family who'd been through it before. Thanks everyone! I hope this will help pay it forward.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nicky's Baptism

Here are a few pictures of Nicky's baptism from yesterday. Nicky will give you his account of the happenings on his blog tomorrow.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Too cute!

Scott beat me to it on this one and published this photo on his blog yesterday, but I just had to post it too for my friends who don't read his blog. We took Nicky to church yesterday and dressed him in his first outfit. Doesn't he look dashing? Thanks to my cousin Tyla - this outfit was part of her shower gift to me in June. Posted by Picasa

My First Day Alone With Nicky

Scott went back to work today. I hope he got enough sleep to make it through the day... But, Nicky and I did pretty well together, I think. He sure stayed awake and alert a lot today, so I hope that means he will sleep a bunch tonight. A girl can dream. Last night he did his usual "Its 4am but I think its the middle of the day" routine and got daddy to get up and play with him at 5am. Scott figured he might as well get up since he was going to get up in an hour anyway. This way he could get to work early. Nicky and I took a nap from 7-9:30am which helped me catch up on sleep. Then, when he slept again over noon hour, I actually got to eat lunch and take a shower! Now I just need to get all this laundry done... Well, at least I have it sorted into piles already. I revel in small accomplishments.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving! Nicky is 2 Weeks Old

Sorry for the delay between posts. My parents and brothers have been visiting since Sunday. Daren left tonight and my parents and Dusty leave bright and early tomorrow morning. We will miss them. We've had a good time visiting so I haven't had much computer time. But here is a quick recap of what's happened since last Friday:

  • Nicky had his first pediatrician visit on Monday. He is now 8 lbs. 10 oz. and 21.5 inches long. That means he gained back the ounces he lost in the hospital plus 7 more ounces in just a week and a half! I'm not suprised because the boy can eat. He also stretched out 1.5 inches from his first length measurement in the hospital. He still likes to curl up and tuck his legs under himself like a little frog when he lies on people's bellies, though.
  • Scott took his first turn at babysitting while Mom was away. I went for a haircut and highlight on Saturday and was gone for 2 hours. Nicky was a sweety and slept the whole time I was away. I was thankful because I really needed that - my hair grew a bunch in the last weeks of pregnancy and I swear it got darker after I gave birth.
  • Grandma and Grandpa Laub and Uncle Dusty arrived Sunday afternoon. Grandma Kathy chatted Nicky up, and Grandpa Alfred had the touch for calming Nicky down and burping him. Uncle Daren arrived Monday evening. Both uncles enjoyed holding Nicky.
  • The house across the street and one house down from ours got robbed on Monday morning (in broad daylight) while we were at home. I guess the burglar broke the window in the front door and walked on in. We felt bad because we had the shades drawn and did not hear a thing. Crime is rare in our neighborhood, but its not cool to have it so close.
  • Grandpa Alfred cooked the Thanksgiving turkey with assistance from Grandma Kathy and myself on the side dishes. It was a yummy meal. Scott & Daren attended the Chiefs football game later that evening and joined in the roar of the crowd as the Chiefs beat the Broncos.
  • Uncle Daren missed his 6:45am flight this morning (was just a few minutes late getting to the airport), but was rebooked on the 7pm flight and made that one:)
  • Nicky was visited by David Mitchell and Beth Allin today, friends of ours who just recently moved to Chicago.

That's about it. Enjoy a few photos:

The whole Laub clan

David & Beth with Nicky
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Nicky is One Week Old!

Well, I should have written this yesterday when Nicky was officially one week old, but we had a busy day yesterday. First, we had our first outing since Nicky was born as Mommy had her one week check-up at the doctor's office. Everything went well, and I have to go back in 5 weeks for my 6 week post-partum check-up. Nicky slept through the whole trip in his carseat.

Nicky has his first pediatrician visit on Monday. Nicky seems to be healthy but he has had a few normal newborn problems for the last few days. First, his eye gunk, which I have termed eye boogies, has gotten a bit out of control. This causes his poor little eyelids to get stuck together until we open them with a warm washcloth. This occurs because newborns don't have tears yet and their tear ducts can become clogged like Nicky's did. The nurse who works with his pediatrician instructed us on how to massage his tear ducts to clear them out. They seem to already be getting better and his eyes are no longer glued shut when he wakes up. Thank goodness because it was really making me feel like a bad mommy! Nicky has also been quite gassy and burpy for the last few nights which makes him very uncomfortable and fussy. Scott & I have not figured out the trick of how to best burp him or otherwise prevent this problem. We have used Mylicon gas drops today and I think it has helped. He has slept much better, but we will see how tonight goes. Since he still has his days and nights turned around, he has more trouble getting back to sleep during the early morning hours of 1am-7am. The only things that seem to help are walking and bouncing him, and even this can take awhile to calm or put him to sleep. We are thinking that his little digestive system might not be fully mature yet, and we are hoping that this is just a stage that will soon be over.

Overall, though Nicky is a pretty calm, happy baby. He does not cry unless he truly needs something, and he really doesn't cry loudly unless his needs are being ignored. He is becoming more alert and spends his awake time staring at Mom and Dad or random things around him. He melted my heart today when he held his head back and stared into my eyes with a content look on his face while I rocked him this afternoon. It was truly a bonding moment. I can't wait for more of those.

We are also eagerly anticipating visits from our family in the coming weeks. My mom, dad, and brothers will be coming on Sunday for about a week. Then, Scott's parents and brother and sister-in-law as well as my great friend Tiffanni Wax and her husband, Scott, will arrive for Nicky's baptism the week after that.

I could go on and on, but Nicky is hungry and needs to be fed.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New Pictures of Nicky

Nicky in his carseat

Nicky likes to eat his hands
Sleeping peacefully

Mom enjoys this peaceful time

Another sleeping pic

An alert time

Cheesing for the camera

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Nicky is a Web Baby

Nick's pictures have just been posted to our hospital's Web Baby website. Here is the link:

Also, notice that the link to Overland Park Regional Hospital's full Web Baby website is listed under my links in case you want to check out the other babies born there and confirm that Nicky is indeed the cutest of them all:)

Rough Night

As those of you who read Scott's blog might already know, we had our first marathon session night last night. Nicky was up all night demanding to be fed over and over again, or at least that's what it seemed like he was asking for. He would only briefly fall asleep after eating, only to wake up fussing and crying and asking for more. Burping and snuggling him didn't seem to help. His feedings were shorter but not "snack size" as the nurses at the hospital described them (10 minutes or less). I don't know if he was gassy or if something I ate was not agreeing with him or what. Anyway, but 4:30am, I was running totally on fumes and at a loss. Scott took Nicky so I could try to sleep, which I finally managed to do a half hour later I think. Scott had to walk and rock and bounce him for an hour before he finally settled down. I awoke at about 9am to find them sleeping on the couch together. It was cute but mainly I was just relieved. Nicky woke shortly after and had a good long feeding but was fussy again afterward. So, I put him in a fabric sling carrier and after some protesting and walking around, he was finally lulled back to sleep. My only worry now is that he will sleep too long and will be up all night again. I'll have to wake him up soon here to feed him so he doesn't go too long between feedings. I hope the baby Gremlin does not not return this evening. Please pray for us on that! Luckily, Scott and I are staying calm thus far.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our First Full Day at Home as a Family

Gosh how time flies when you are having fun - and are sleep deprived and busy and recovering physically. I so wanted to get on here and share all my thoughts (and pictures!) with you all sooner but baby Nicky and sleep and dozens of other things kept me away until now. This post will have to be shorter than I'd like, too, as I'm sure Nicky will call for a feeding sooner rather than later. I feel like such a milk machine, but I don't mind. I love spending time with him. I am feeling pretty good but am trying to take it easy so my body can recover from labor, carrying around that heavy baby, and the trauma to my bottom but we won't go into that fun stuff now. I'll just say that I am healing and feeling pretty good especially since Nicky gave us some extended hours of sleep this morning between feedings, and I took a nice nap with him this afternoon. Motherhood and life as a family is just great, and Scott, Nick, and I are all adjusting pretty well I think. The hospital and its staff were very nice, but it is nice to be home. Scott is being a wonderful house husband - he cooked supper last night, made a Walgreens run this morning, and did laundry today. I really haven't had to do anything but baby care (which he helps with as much as possible), sleep, and eat. However with half hour to hour long feedings and only a few hours if that between feedings, I am kept pretty busy anyway. Scott keeps encouraging me to do whatever else I want to by taking Nicky when he is sleeping or not needing to eat. Nick is a good baby who only cries when he needs something and even then it is not very loud. We are happily surprised by that because he was quite the fuss pants when he first was delivered. I think he was mad about being kicked out of his warm water home (remember, I induced him using natural methods so I could avoid a medical induction of labor). But, he has nicely mellowed since then. Speaking of inducing him because he was "late," he actually showed physical evidence of being a little early and not late at all. The midwife and nurses think maybe his due date was still wrong and he still had a week to go or something. However, I don't feel too bad about making him come sooner as his weight and head size were plenty just as they were! I will post another more detailed entry about labor and such another day for those who are interested. Anyway, Nicky loves to sleep and eat but also has neat periods of alertness where he stares in awe at anything and everything but mostly the ceiling since he really can't see anything but shades of black and white and gradations of light at this point. I fall in love with him more every day. I especially love his spiky dark hair. I wasn't expecting its color and amount at all and now it is one of my favorite things about him. Please enjoy a few more pictures below. I will try to organize more online photo albums in coming days and weeks that you can access via this blog, but please be patient with me. Coming sooner will be pictures of Nicky taken at the hospital and posted on their website. We had hoped his pic would be up today but no luck. Likely, it will be tomorrow. The link is to the right under Links and listed as Overland Park Hospital. But I will post a direct link to Nicky when I get notice that it is up. Also, thank you to everyone who sent email well wishes to us after we announced Nicky's birth. I love sharing our pride and joy with you especially since we are so far away from many of you. We wish you could be here with us.

Nicholas being weighed in the hospital

Rockstar Nicky as our nurse nicknamed him - his spiky dark hair has natural blonde highlights

Nicky and me upon arriving at home Saturday afternoon

How can you not love this little guy?!
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Finally, Nicholas Robert Arrives

Scott is posting this blog for me as I am currently in the hospital along with our new son. The hospital doesn’t have internet access, so Scott made a trip to Starbucks to do these posts. (Associate editor's note: I tried to post this from Starbucks, but the greedy corporate mega-conglomerates of T-Mobile and Starbucks wanted me to pay for Internet Acess.) I’d love to go on and on about our new son, but I have to keep this short. Please see Scott’s blog for a more detailed account of the labor and delivery process. Nicholas Robert arrived at 1:31pm weighing in at 8 pounds 3 ounces and measuring 20 inches. Nicky is quite cute, if I do say so myself! Surprisingly, he has dark hair, but I did too when I was born and it fell out and turned blonde when I was 8 months old so we’ll see if he keeps his! My labor went just as I had hoped and I was able to go medication free the whole way. I’ll post more details about the labor when I get home on Saturday. For now, please enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Trying to Induce Gizmo Naturally

I just wanted to post an entry so no one assumed Gizmo had arrived. I am working on trying to induce Gizmo naturally based on methods recommended by my doula. So far so good but it might take a while. I'll keep you posted. I am hoping for a long evening complete with regular contractions that eventually come spontaneously. If we can get this to work, maybe I won't have to go to my doctor appointment tomorrow. Its worth the old college try, I believe.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Gizmo Passed Its Test

Well, looks like Gizmo does not want to be an election baby. That suprised me because I thought it would be like its dad and be all into the politics. Also, I had another bout of false labor early this morning and was hoping that as the day progressed, it would develop into true active labor. But no luck there. My contractions were 7 minutes apart again from 5am-6am this morning, but once I got up, they dwindled off. So, Scott & I went and voted, then went and ate breakfast, and then went to my doctor's appointment. My midwife checked me and everything is the same and still fine with me and Gizmo. Then, because I am now past the 41 week mark, she had me do a non-stress test. Its a pretty simple thing where they hook you up to the monitor just like they do at the hospital with the two elastic belts with two electrodes that monitor uternine activity and the baby's heartbeat. They are looking to see if baby's hearrate goes up (called "positive accelerations") when it moves or you have a contraction. I knew Gizmo would pass because it is always moving when it is awake. It did indeed pass with flying colors. My midwife also commented that that my uterus was "irritable" as shown on the monitors. I could have told you that. I've had a bunch of contractions and lots of general tighting and soreness. Now, I have to go back again on Thursday if Gizmo doesn't show up tomorrow and have a biophysical profile test. That is basically a detailed ultrasound where they look at a number of things to make sure baby is healthy and safe including: baby's heartrate, baby's breathing, baby's size, the amount of amniotic fluid, and the functioning of the placenta. I don't think I will get any pictures out of it, but I will let you all know what the results are. If anything looks problematic, my midwife will probably choose to induce me on Friday. If all looks good, I can keep going until next Tuesday (which would be 42 weeks). After that, the medical staff gets pretty nervous about the risks of still birth and other complications, because even though they are still low, they don't want to risk the higher possibilities that come with truly overdue babies. So, I am thinking that if I am not induced on Friday, I might be induced next Tuesday. This is all contingent, of course, on if Gizmo wants to finally get going and make the decisions for us. That would be nice.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Gizmo's Room Now Has Blinds

Tonight Scott & I put up some white wood blinds in Gizmo's room. As I stated before, the blinds I previously bought were too deep - they were 2" blinds and the window could only accomodate 1" blinds. I had to order these so it took a bit to get them in. Now, there is privacy in Gizmo's room. However, there are still no curtains because Scott keeps procrastinating (just like Gizmo) on putting up the curtain rod. I bought that thing like 2 months ago. Oh well, its not "vital" so it can wait, and wait... Maybe we'll get it done tomorrow night. Its really not that big of a deal, but still, I find it amusing!

Also, due to my amazing reading and analytical skills (I'm making fun of myself here), I finally figured out that the mower bag we had was, in fact, the wrong model after going through the owner's manual with a fine-toothed comb and finding the model number of the bag that would work. The one we need is not available right now on, and the one we had bought was only off by 2 model number digits. I did call the Parts department for Sears, and they were able to order one for us. It will arrive next week, hopefully after Gizmo arrives!

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Poor Scott - Mower Hell

Today Scott attempted to pick up the leaves on our lawn as well as give the lawn its last cutting of the season, the key word here being attempted. This summer when we bought the mower, he had decided he did not need the bagger because he usually just mulches the clippings and leaves them on the lawn. He forgot, though, that in the fall a bagger is useful in picking up all the darn leaves we have. So, last week he ordered a universal bagger attachment from Sears. Since the bagger is from Craftsman and so is the mower, it should fit, right? Well, either we are not smart enough to figure it out, or the bagger is not so universal! After hours of searching for owner's manuals, both of us staring at it and tinkering with it, and much cussing on Scott's part, it still isn't attached. This week is leaf and brush pick-up for our city so I guess we'll miss that. Oh well. I just hope we can eventually figure out how the bagger attaches to the mower.

Obviously, Gizmo is still not here. However, I have had many more contractions and some other signs that things might be moving along. I would go into more detail, but it might be TMI (too much information) for some people. But who knows. These things are hard to predict. I am just uplifted by the possibility that it could be days now instead of weeks away.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another Mellow Day

Scott & I had a lazy Saturday. We stayed up late last night watching the movie Click on DVD (great movie!), then slept in this morning. In the afternoon, we went to our local deli for lunch, and Scott got a haircut at the barbershop. Then, we watched another movie, Clerks - we are finally taking advantage of our Netflix subscription again. We've enjoyed our lackadaisical day.

I had hoped Gizmo might come today for a few reasons. First of all, it is our friend Rob Miller's birthday today. Happy Birthday Rob!! He and his wife, Trish, welcomed their daughter, Olivia, into the world on September 9th which is my dad's birthday, so I thought if Gizmo was born on Rob's birthday that would be a neat coincidence. Also, Nov. 4th of 1995 is when Scott & I first started dating, so today marks the 11th anniversary of our relationship. But, once again, Gizmo is in no hurry.

When Gizmo does arrive, you will all receive an announcement email. We already have the email address list drafted, and Scott will send it out on his Blackberry phone soon after the birth. Details will also be posted on our blogs once we get home from the hospital. So we have our plans, but Gizmo follows no plan.

Friday, November 03, 2006

As Requested, Week 40 Belly Pictures

My brother-in-law requested 40 week belly pictures today, and I am having a good hair day, so I thought I would oblige. I don't know what you all think but honestly, I think Gizmo and my belly are still growing while I am actually getting smaller in some other places. Who knows. I guess that can happen in late pregnancy. My weight has stayed the same for the last 2 weekly doctor appointments. In other events, though nothing happened with Gizmo today, I had a good day anyway. I slept in, then ran errands, and had a really good supper with Scott. This afternoon I went to Sears and picked up a lawnmower bag for Scott, went to JCPenney and picked up some white wood blinds for Gizmo's room (the last ones I got did not fit), and went to the post office. Then, this evening, Scott & I went to a Thai restaurant and had a really great meal. I had been craving Thai food, and supposedly, spicy food can bring on contractions. No luck there; Gizmo likes spicy food. So, a good day, and Gizmo is still content.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Love My Chiropractor

Hi everyone. No baby so far today. I did have another visit to my chiropractor who I've been seeing regularly since July. She has kept me from re-experiencing the terrible sciatica and hip pain that I had earlier in pregnancy. I really think my weekly adjustments have kept me feeling as well as I have. After the chiropractor, I went to the mall to window shop and walk. Walking is supposed to bring on labor. Other than scaring the hell out of a few store workers who worried that I would go into labor in their store after I told them when my due date was, I did get some contractions but nothing intense. I then went home and proceeded to do laundry and some more cleaning. I have had great energy all day. I hope this is the energy burst they say happens before labor. I have continued to have some contractions all day, but I think that is because I have been so active. Right now, I am sitting down so they've trailed off a bit. I am no stranger to false labor. Last Saturday I woke up from a nap with a backache and contractions that lasted a few hours. Tuesday night, my due date, I had contractions that were about 7 minutes apart for a hour and a half before dropping off. I don't know what to think anymore. But I'm assuming that once actual labor begins, I will eventually figure out that it is the real thing.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Doctor Appointment Update

I had another doctor appointment again today, and nothing has really changed. Baby is still in the same position. My blood pressure, the baby's heartrate, etc. all continue to be good. My midwife is making me do nonstress tests (test where they monitor the baby's heartrate or 20 minutes) twice a week starting next week. I think this is being overly cautious but if it makes her feel better then fine. Risks for overdue babies do go up, but as I have stated before, I know from my research that babies really should not even be called overdue until 42 weeks, and as long as all my and the babies' vital signs look good, those risks don't really apply. But in the litigious atmosphere that health care professionals practice in now a days, they worry about the small percentage of complications that could possibly exist, even if that percentage is super small. The problem is that this attitude doesn't really help a pregnant women, or any patient for that matter, avoid anxiety and worry. I am not going to worry about Gizmo until I have a reason to. It has no clue what a due date is. I trust that my baby and my body will know when the time is right. I also trust that if anything does go wrong, my midwife will catch this and then we can deal with it when it happens. So the waiting and anticipation continues.

In other thoughts, for those people who have only or mostly seen me pregnant via the belly pictures I have been posting, I have heard comments of suprise over how big I am getting. However, I really haven't gained an extreme amount of weight. In fact, I have stayed within the 25-35 pound recommended weight gain for pregnant women. So, here's another point of reference for you. Below is a picture of me without showing my belly. See, I look pretty normal and not huge. Geeze people, I just have a belly with a full-term infant in it. The rest of me is still in pretty good shape. There, I'm done being defensive.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween! Still No Gizmo

Happy Halloween everyone! And a big Happy Birthday to my brother, Daren, who is 27 today. Today is Gizmo's due date, but unfortunately, it looks like s/he does not want to be a goblin baby. It still seems content in my belly. I guess it has just under 10 hours to change its mind, but if so, it had better hurry up! Or else, Gizmo will be a November baby.

In anticipating that my baby could be born before or on Halloween, I did not know what to do about dressing it up if it did arrive by this date. So, I bought a Halloween sleeper at a rummage sale just in case figuring it was not a big waste if Gizmo could not wear it in time. So, we will all just have to use our imaginations instead, as Gizmo will not be sporting the cute sleeper. Instead, I guess we can imagine Gizmo as it was in the Gremlins movie, dressed up as Rambo. If nothing else, it makes me laugh. Please, Gizmo, come soon.

Gizmo as Rambo

Gizmo's unused Halloween sleeper

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Still No Gizmo

Gizmo seems to be content hanging out in my belly. Not much new to report here. I have continued to have contractions, but they never last for more than an hour or so. Yesterday I woke from a nap with cramping and a back ache, but that, too, passed in a few hours. So I am waiting... We'll see if Gizmo comes by its due date (Tuesday) or is overdue like most first time babies.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Washer is Fixed!!

Last night Scott took a look at the broken washer while I googled some info. on what might be wrong with it. If you read my previous post, you know that it suddenly would not drain or spin. There were a few options, none of which we were really qualified to diagnose or fix. So, this morning I called a repairman. I made a good choice and called a family-owned local business with a very nice repairman who was the grandson of the original founder. The washer had a broken lid switch. Since the washer won't drain or spin when it thinks the lid is open, it was stuck in the middle of the cycle. So $100 later, our washer works again! Yeh (the fixed part, not the money part)!!

Please learn from our situation - if your washer is on a very uneven surface and is highly out of balance, this could happen to you. The cement pad our washer sits on was torn up right before we moved into our house by workers who were installing some metal foundation braces on the walls of our basement. Instead of truly fixing the cement pad, they just threw a sheet of plywood over it - not really a stable nor level surface for a washer. This likely caused or at least contributed to our broken lid switch. So, there you have it. Thank goodness we will have a washer for when Gizmo arrives!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

39 Weeks and Still Pregnant

Yes, I am still pregnant. Please believe me, I will let you know if something happens. I am starting to get the "Are you still pregnant?" emails and phone calls. I hope people realize that if I am, in fact, otherwise indisposed by labor or early baby bonding, I won't be answering my emails or phone calls anyway! But, I can't blame people because I am just as anxious if not more than they are.

I am also grumpy today. First off, I'm still pregnant. Second, don't ever try to grocery shop at 11:30am on a weekday. No offense to people who are on in years, but everyone at the store was moving at the pace of molasses running uphill in January, as my dad would say. They were completely unaware that they were blocking the aisles and they were everywhere. I think I was the only person there under the age of 70. It was frustrating, and I was tired and hungry. I had just gotten done with my midwife appointment where I had found out that although I am more effaced (80%), I am still at 3cm and -1 station. This lack of progress and the fact that my midwife is taking the next few days off and may or may not be available if I do finally go into labor (she wants to be there but can't promise anything - she's going to a freakin' black tie Halloween party on Friday and her husband may be layed up) add up to my fourth point of annoyance. Well, I was hoping a little nap would take away my grumpies, but now I am pretty sure that our washing machine isn't working. Great!! So there you have it. I am now 5 days away from my due date and I have 5 things that have pissed me off today. Maybe a good meal (Scott & I are cooking Chicken Fettucini Alfredo together for supper) will make me feel better. Anyone know anything about washing machines that don't drain?

Monday, October 23, 2006

In My Defense...

For those of you who read Scott's blog, yes, I admit that I did clean my bathroom at 1am on Saturday night. However, it was not because I had an urge or an instinct or a burst of energy. I had had some contractions that night and I was worried that if Gizmo were to arrive that evening and I wanted to take a shower or bath before going to the hospital, I would feel guilty doing so in my dirty bathroom. Guilt was my motivator and still is. Right now I am doing laundry and trying to clean the kitchen. I do not want to do this. I am dawdling a lot. But, guilt that I will have to bring my child home to a dirty house finally has trumped my procrastination. Plus, all other baby arrangements are made so I have nothing else to do first as an excuse. At this point, its clean or bust.

A Note of Positivity

My friend Becca recently emailed me and told me that my previous post on the downfalls of pregnancy sleep may have just cured her baby fever for now. Becca is such a positive person (right, Fluff Cloud:) that I felt guilty leaving her with such an unbalanced view of pregnancy. I do feel that most people don't tell you all of what pregnancy really is like, but there is no point focusing on all of the negatives to the exclusion of the positives, either. I feel as though my pregnancy has gone quite well, and there is much about it that I have really enjoyed. So, in the interests of education, here are some of the many positives of pregnancy:

  • Food tastes amazing. I am talking just about every food-type item here. Even cafeteria canned veggies like peas taste fresh picked and yummy, especially when I'm super hungry. I will miss this greatly.
  • Nausea is not a given. I haven't had any nausea this whole pregnancy, and both I and the baby have been perfectly healthy, nonetheless.
  • Overall, my energy has been pretty good. Yes, I have had a few day spurts here and there of fatigue, and I enjoy a nap if the previous night's sleep was sub-par, but overall I have felt really good and pretty much normal energy-wise.
  • Mood swings are not an automatic, either. I think I have had less mood swings during this pregnancy than caused in my past by hormone-related changes in my body. Thanks, baby, for keeping Mommy's hormones nice and balanced and mellow. I really like myself and how I have handled all the changes that have come with pregnancy.
  • Although bizarre, all the changes to your body can actually be quite cool. Like I just said, I am proud of myself right now, and that includes pride that my body has been able to nurture and grow this child so nicely. I think my belly is kind of neat looking, especially when a little hand or foot presses out. And although the rest of my body has changed in lots of ways, it still is and feels like me.
  • Buying baby stuff is fun! I hate to sound like the stereotypical woman who is shopping obsessed, but baby stuff is so darn cute. I would much rather shop for a baby than for myself.
  • Most people, including strangers, are really nice to you. They smile at you, ask about the baby, offer to help you, and most don't touch your stomach without asking. People have been very polite yet quite enthusiastic.
  • It has brought Scott & me even closer. It is a great bonding time for us, and I just love having him to share it with. I love seeing his excitement, wonder, and awe, even his denial and anxiety over Gizmo. He has kept the humor present for the whole experience, which is helpful for keeping things normal around here. I can't wait to see him as a father! I know he will be great.
  • I have enjoyed being able to focus on and take care of myself a bit. I am cherishing this special time and am really trying to enjoy it. I have not read so much (outside of school) in years, and it is so nice. Granted, most of the these have been pregnancy and baby books, but I still consider it pleasure reading.
  • The bonding experience with my baby, this new and growing human being who I have not even been able to meet face to face yet, is life-changing. It is hard to imagine how you can love someone you can only partially feel but can not see, hear, or touch yet, but it happens. And now as Gizmo's birth draws near, I eagerly anticipate bonding with baby on every other level as well.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

When Will Gizmo Arrive?

Gizmo may come soon, or s/he may not. But, I did get an interesting update on my status from my midwife at my appointment yesterday. She checked me because I told her I was pretty sure I was dialating further and the baby was getting even lower. She confirmed this. Baby is at -1 station, and I am 3cm dialated and 75% effaced! I am excited because that is work that my body has completed with little discomfort, and I am that much closer to delivery. My body and the baby have slowly been making movements. I don't know if things will continue to progress slowly or if the regular strong contractions of Second Stage Labor will start soon. I have had many contractions already and they have gotten a bit stronger, but they are not regular nor close together yet. I still experience them as mainly pressure or tightness in my abdomen. I feel lucky that the process has been gentle so far. Some women experience a lot of pain just getting to 3cm. Also, because of my progress, if I had to have my labor induced for some reason at this point it would likely work, so my chances of needing a C-section due to failure to progress are highly diminished. So, please pray for me that the remainder of my labor and birth will be as comfortable, smooth, and complication-free as possible.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Completed Nursery!

Here is a link to my online photo album depicting the transformation of Scott's office into Gizmo's nursery (please note that viewing this album will give away the baby's gender):

Week 38 and I am Ready to Be Done!

Hi everyone. Yes, I am ready to be done with this pregnancy, but I am trying not to be impatient. Its not good for me, and it won't help Gizmo come any sooner. I keep saying the baby will come in a week (about a week sooner than the due date), but Scott says it will be 3 weeks (a week past the due date)! I sure hope not, but it is quite possible since normal pregnancy can be anywhere from 38-42 weeks, and most first time moms go over their due dates. I wish I was like my dear friend Trish who had her baby Olivia a month ago now on the first day of her 38th week. But I am already past that since today is the 2nd day of my 38th week. It is amazing to think Gizmo could come any time now but I won't know when until it happens. I have finished reading all my pregnancy books, and I have packed my hospital bags. However, I have not cleaned my house yet, nor do I have any impulses to do so, even though it really does need it! People tell me that when you get a rush of energy and can't stop cleaning your house, your baby is coming. Looks like Gizmo is content for now.

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