Thursday, September 8, 2011

Brooke's birth

I know this is so late, but it's been a busy week.  Last Thursday September 1, I was induced.  They started the pitocin at 12:45pm and Brooke made her appearance at 9:54pm weighing 6 lbs 5 oz and 19 3/8" long.  Thankfully the labor wasn't too long and only the last hour of it was the worst because I decided to do a natural birth without pain meds, but it was all worth it!  She is absolutely precious and we are loving the time with her so much!  Today she is already a week old and has gained back a lot of the weight she lost after birth, so that is really good. She resembles her daddy mostly, but we think we see a little of me in her :)

She has Paul's face and head shape, eyes, and cheeks.  She has my fingers and toes and possibly my body type, but it's hard to tell at this point.  She might have my nose, but that's also hard to tell until she gets older.  We're unsure about her mouth and chin; although, she doesn't have the chin dimple ("butt chin") that I have.  I love being a mom so much already and I'm really looking forward to the next 11 weeks I have with her.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Great appointment!!

This morning I had my weekly midwife appt and it went really well!!!  I actually progressed since last week, thank goodness!  I was really pessimistic that I hadn't progressed at all, so I was so happily surprised to hear that I have.  I am now 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced and she said my cervix is really soft and ready to go :)  She also said it's anterior, which means it's moved from the back to the front in preparation for delivery.  And Brooke is still at -1 station, so she is engaged and ready to go too.

At first she thought Brooke was looking to the side, which is typical at this point, but then she felt her head a little more and thinks she might be turned a little facing up, which is not a good position because that would mean the back of her skull, which is the bigger and harder part of her head of course, is faced to the back.  When that happens, it's harder for them to get out because their skull is pushing against the spine, and that would also cause me a lot of back pain, which I heard is horrible.  So she told me to crawl around on the floor today to help force Brooke's head to start facing down instead of up, so that the back of her skull is up. She said that crawling around will help the back of her head, which is the heavier part, to want to fall down towards the ground because of gravity.  Very interesting, so I need to crawl around some more :)

Because of my progress, I don't have to go into the hospital on Wednesday night to get my cervix ripened!  YAY!!  She was also able to sweep my membranes to see if that will help me go into labor on my own, so say a little prayer for us that she decides to come out on her own before Thursday.  My blood pressure was a little high today at my appointment, but I think that was mainly because I was a little anxious about it.  So far, my bp has been pretty stable when I take it at home, so that's good.  Since my bp has remained stable, I wonder if I really need to be induced early, but my bp could spike quickly at any time, so I'd rather be safe and get induced than go further and risk having it spike.  Plus, I'm so ready for her to be out, so I'm fine with having her come a little early :)

I'm really hoping that if she doesn't decide to come on her own before Thursday, my body will respond really quickly to a low dose of pitocin so that I don't have to get a whole bunch of it.  I'm hoping that since I've experienced so many episodes of "false labor" contractions, my body will understand what to do very quickly after getting the initial dose of pitocin.  But we'll see!

I had my last non-stress test after my appt, and that went well too.  Brooke was very active, so they were able to track her heart rate fluctuations very easily and she did very well.  They also measured my amniotic fluid with an ultrasound machine.  It was lower than last week, so I might be leaking fluid some, but it wasn't so low that it was at the point of concern, so that's good.  Since I'm being induced in 2 days, there shouldn't be a problem if I lose a little more.  I haven't noticed any fluid, so it must be a really slow leak.

I'm in much better spirits today after getting a good night sleep (well, as good as I can get right now :)) and having such a great appointment.  I'm feeling much less anxious about everything today, which is really nice.  I'm much more positive and confident today than I was yesterday.  I have a feeling yesterday's emotions were a result of physical exhaustion.  I'm going to try to crawl and walk around a good amount today to try to get labor going, but otherwise I'll take it easy.  And tomorrow I'll do the same.

2 more days to go!!!  I can't wait!

Monday, August 29, 2011

3 days to go

Wow, 3 more days until we get to meet Brooke.  It's very exciting but also very scary at the same time.  I feel prepared but totally unprepared at the same time.  It's such a weird mix of emotions.  I know we will be able to handle the labor and birth and becoming parents because I know how strong we are together and I feel like we can handle anything.  But at the same time, the anticipation of all of it brings on a lot of anxiety.  I'm also really exhausted and sore today, so I have a feeling that's causing some of these emotions to take over.  I'm trying my best to just chill out and remain calm, but sometimes they get the best of me.

This weekend was really great.  On Saturday I was really uncomfortable and tired the first half of the day, but after taking a nap, Paul and I played some games and watched some tv, and then he went out and picked up food and we watched a couple of movies.  I knew I was just too uncomfortable to try to go out to eat and go to a movie, so this was perfect.  We had a great day together just the 2 of us.  On Sunday we did some chores around the house and some errands and then we had friends over to hang out in the pool.  The weekend was a perfect mix of alone time and socializing time, so it was a perfect last weekend of freedom for us :)

The next few days are going to be tough.  Today is just a waiting game, and with how tired I am, it's going to be an emotional day as well, so that will make it difficult to get through.  Hopefully I can take a nap and take it a little easy.  I'm still working, so that sometimes helps to take my mind off of things, but it also makes it difficult to muster up the energy to be productive.  I'm really interested to see how my progression has been at tomorrow morning's appointment.  They will check me to see if I've effaced and dilated any more.  If not, I'll have to go into the hospital on Wednesday night for ripening before the induction Thursday morning.  If I have made some progress, hopefully I won't need any ripening and hopefully they'll be able to sweep my membranes to try to get labor going naturally.  So I feel like tomorrow's appointment is a big one because it will really help me have a better understanding for how the labor process will go.  I'll keep you all posted.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

38 weeks

Today I am 38 weeks!  Wow!  I can't believe I'm finally at this point.  This is the week at which I wanted to get before Brooke came out, so now she is really welcome to come :)  I know I'm scheduled for an induction next Thursday but I really want her to come out on her own.  Of course, it's not up to me, so we will just have to wait and see.

Last night I had even more trouble sleeping.  I woke up every 1-1.5 hours like I have the past couple of days, but I also had trouble getting back to sleep a couple of times.  I was also feeling more congested today, so I decided to go to the doctor and get antibiotics since this cold doesn't seem to be going away and might be getting worse.  So I started the z-pak today and I'm hoping I start to feel a lot better in a couple of days.  I really want to be in top shape when Brooke is born because I know it will be hard enough without being sick on top of it.

The past couple of days Brooke has been SUPER active!  She is moving around her arms and legs like crazy and with a lot of force.  Sometimes it's really uncomfortable.  She also moves her head around in my pelvis sometimes, which is a really strange feeling and is usually quite painful!  A lot of times she hits some nerves pretty hard and a sharp pain shoots into my hip flexor and upper leg.  That is super painful and hard to get away from.

I've been thinking more and more about what a big life changing event this is going to be.  It's just been Paul and me for so long that it's going to be such a change to our lives.  But at the same time, we are so ready for such a big change, and I know that we will just slip right into it and totally fall in love with her as soon as she enters this world.  We already love her, but I know that will increase exponentially once she is out.  I really cannot wait for the birth experience.  After watching A Baby Story several times, I can see how amazing this process is going to be.  I'm a little nervous about the pain and how long labor will all take and the possibility of things not going well and having to get a c-section, but that stuff doesn't really cross my mind too much.  I feel pretty confident that I will be able to handle the pain and Paul will be able to provide me with the support I need, and I know the midwives and doctors will be able to handle any situation that occurs.

At this point it's just a waiting game for the next week.  And I'm hoping it goes by quickly!!

Most recent bump picture:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Holy crap, it's getting surreal!

Ok, so now that we have about a week left until I give birth, it's been starting to sink in that we are about to have a baby!  This is going to be the biggest change we have ever gone through!  It's kind of crazy to know the date instead of wondering when I will go into labor.  I'm still a little focused on how uncomfortable I am, especially when trying to sleep at night, which has gotten much more difficult the past few days since I am waking up more often and am more uncomfortable.  But now I'm also thinking about bringing Brooke home and actually having a baby!  It's just such a crazy concept to me.  Of course I am still so super excited, but when I really think about giving birth and bringing her home, it just hits me how big this is going to be.  Wow!  Life sure is amazing.  Ok, that's all I have for now. :)  1 more week!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Midwife Appointment

Today I had my weekly midwife appointment.  I asked her to check my progress since I had contractions on and off from Thursday - Sunday last week, so she relented and checked me and NO PROGRESS!!!  I just knew it.  So all of that annoying discomfort and pain for nothing.  And she even said that the 90% effaced number that the previous midwife told me was generous and she thought I was really just 75%.  Oh well, at least I now know not to get my hopes up that Brooke will decide to come early.  I'm just going to stick with the expectation that she won't be here until I'm induced.  That will help me manage my emotional and mental state better because those contractions were really messing with my head!  This process is not only physically taxing, it's also mentally and emotionally exhausting!

I had another non-stress test after my midwife appointment.  Brooke's heart rate and amniotic fluid are both good, so that's great news.  And my blood pressure has been doing pretty well.  Sometimes it's a little high, but once I rest lying down, it goes down.  It's now pretty regularly in the 130s/80s.  Hopefully it continues to stay low so I won't need additional medication during labor.

On Friday I will have another non-stress test.  Next Tuesday I will have my last midwife appointment and non-stress test.  At the midwife appointment they will check my progress again.  If I'm still only 1 cm dilated, I will have to go into the hospital Wednesday night to get something to help my cervix ripen before they give me Pitocin on Thursday, which is what they use for induction.  I'm not sure if I will have to spend the night Wednesday night.  I hope not, but I have a feeling I might have to so that they can keep an eye on my progress.  I will ask the midwife at Tuesday's appointment to find out for sure.

So, unless you hear from me, just assume that things are going well and Brooke isn't coming until next Thursday :)  Wish me luck that this next week will go by quickly!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Contractions galore! And I'm officially sick :(

On Thursday afternoon, I started feeling contractions that were stronger than the typical Braxton Hicks contractions.  They started in my back and migrated to my front, which indicates real labor pains.  However, they were coming very sporadically, so I knew they weren't real labor.  They were just like the contractions I've had twice already.  They were a little uncomfortable, but not too bad.  On Thursday night they began coming more frequently and a little more painfully, but they still weren't regular.  At one point, I was sitting in bed and Brooke did something with her head to send super strong shooting pains into my pelvis.  It was so startling and painful that I jumped and had to clench my fists on the pillow and breathe through it!  I've had sharp pains down there earlier in the pregnancy, but this was REALLY painful!  It's so weird to feel her moving around all the way down there.  It's just such a strange feeling.  Sometimes I feel like she is trying to ram her head up against my cervix to get out :)  She ended up doing that 3-4 times, but thankfully she stopped.  And thankfully the contractions calmed down enough that I was able to sleep.

Yesterday, the contractions started up again in the morning and got harder and more frequent as the day went on.  At some points, it was pretty uncomfortable and a little painful.  Even when I was floating in the pool they were uncomfortable and painful.  It was exciting to get the contractions because the past 2 times I had contractions like this, my cervix made progress, but it was also getting to be a little much and I was hoping for a reprieve.  Luckily, the contractions calmed down again last night and I was able to sleep.  At this point, I think I'm getting up 3-5 times per night to pee :)  So "sleeping all night" means I'm able to get back to sleep pretty easily after getting up to pee.

Last night I also started to feel more sinus pressure and my throat started hurting.  I was also more congested throughout the night and woke up with an even more sore throat and congestion.  So it looks like I'm officially sick :(  It's definitely a blessing that we got sick before Brooke was born, but I'm not happy about it being so close to when I give birth.  So I'm praying that we both get over it very quickly so that we aren't sick when I go into labor.  I'm interested to see how much the contractions progressed me.  I'm going to ask the midwife to check me at my appointment on Tuesday and I'm really hoping that these 2 days of contractions made some kind of significant progress, because if they didn't, that will worry me that once labor starts, it will be a long process.  We shall see...

I really hope I don't get contractions today, at least not the ones I had yesterday that were so uncomfortable and painful, because I really would like to get some rest.  Wish me luck!