Saturday, September 8, 2012

These are the Moments

There are certainly days when having a baby is trying. Days when I start to wonder what the heck we were thinking when Dan and I decided it would be a good idea to produce offspring. You know those days - you only slept for (what feels like) a total of 30 mins spread out over the last five days, your baby is fussing screaming for no apparent reason, your home looks like an episode of Hoarders because nothing is put away, you can't remember that last time you showered or brushed your teeth, and your patience is spread thinner than the very last bit of peanut butter over a piece of toast.

But, then something happens that is so endearing it makes you want 10 more sweet, cuddly babies in your life.

This morning, after getting out of (a much needed) shower, I saw possibly the most adorable, heart-warming site I could ever wish for:

Dan was sitting on the floor in the living room, staring down at Linus, who was sound asleep. And he was quietly humming You Are My Sunshine. It was beautiful; almost dream-like. I swear I saw it with slightly muted colors and blurred edges, and of course, with the sun rays streaming perfectly through the windows. It was just what I needed. My heart exploded with glee and suddenly, the rough days we had earlier this week didn't seem so bad.

These are the moments that you live for as a parent. The moments that remind you how dear family is and, more importantly, the moments bring you back to earth and keep you sane.

And now, just because I love them, a few gratuitous photos of my husband and my baby:

Ah... my blog is already woefully behind. The reason? We are seriously lacking in sleep in the Welding household (in case you couldn't tell by that first paragraph). Hopefully, I'll be more awake and back to a regular posting schedule soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

They See Me Rollin'

Linus has been thisclose to rolling over a good month. Each day during tummy time, we waited with baited breath as he rocked, wobbled, and Super Man-ed about, holding up that giant baby head of his.

He is full of surprises, though.

Instead of that belly to back nonsense that we were sure was just about to happen, Linus decided it would be more fun to whip out some baby gymnastics (practically out of nowhere) and go from back to belly first.

We're still waiting on him to go in reverse. Tummy time is still full of anticipation. I'll report back on that soon.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Giraffes vs. Elephants

I've been inadvertantenly setting Linus up to be unsure about the difference between giraffes and elephants. Apparently, I can't seem to keep these two mammals straight these days! Or, perhaps I think giraffes are elephants in disguise? Either way, I keep catching myself referring to all of his giraffe toys as elephants. Oddly, I haven't had the opposite issue. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

Whatever it is, I can't seem to stop, even when I am actively putting all my brain power into remembering the proper name for those long-necked, brown and yellow animals every time I reach for Sophie. And, sometimes, it still comes out as "elephant".

Hopefully, I'll do better at teaching him the rest of the animals!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This Time Last Year

This time last year I was giddy, anxious, excited, overwhelmed, overjoyed, fatigued, nauseous, exhilerated, and so many other things.

This time last year I was newly pregnant. I knew, Dan knew, a random Physician's Assistant who stitched Dan's finger knew, my sister may have known by this point, but that was all. It was a fun (and difficult!) a secret to keep. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.

This time last year, we were just beginning the adventure of a lifetime. We felt wholly prepared for this moment, and wholly unprepared at the same time. There was abundant joy at knowing that there was life growing inside of me. But, I was also a nervous wreck. Life as we knew it was about to change forever. Were we really ready? Is anyone ever really ready to become a parent?

This time last year, our pregnancy was underwraps for nine long weeks until after my first pre-natal appointment. After that, we slowly let the joy overflow, first letting our parents in on the secret (with hilariously endearing reactions from all of them), then our siblings, then close friends, and more then distant friends and acquaintances.

This time last year, we didn't even know Linus yet. It seems almost unbelievable that there was a time when he wasn't in our lives. We didn't know if we would become parents to a little boy or a little girl. We didn't know anything about our baby's personality. But, even with so many unknowns, we were already falling in love.

This time last year, everything was so new. I started to look at the world differently, knowing everything was about to change. I feel like I have changed so much in the past year. I believe that there is no way to go through pregnancy and childbirth without being reborn yourself, in some ways. Those first weeks of excitement and uncertainity seem like ages ago.

This time last year, I became a mom.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baby's First Camping Trip

The beautiful scenery that awaited us in NY. 

Vacations have been few and far between for Dan and I over the past couple of years, so we are extremely thankful for any time we're able to get away. This past weekend, we were able to take a couple days off to do some camping in upstate New York. Not only were we glad to get a few days away from work, but we were especially excited to take Linus on his a first trip to a place that holds a lot of memories for us.

On the way up to Gouverneur! Linus slept for most of the 6 hour trip, but spent part of the ride absolutely mesmerized by the Warning label on his car seat. Must be all the black and white. It cracked me up that he would suddenly be drawn to it and then practically go cross-eyed trying to look at it.

Having some tummy time outside on the deck shortly after arriving

Dan grew up camping in Gouverneur, NY. His family owns land there, complete with a small trailer and a lean-to with a fire place. It's absolutely lovely and a huge part of his life. I first went up to Gouverneur with his family in 2005. It was on that trip that Dan first told me that he loved me, so, of course, it's quite dear to my heart as well.

Getting a kiss from his cousin, Violet. (fun fact: they were caught by the same midwife!)

We definitely got a lot of use out of our Ergo on this trip!

We joined most of our ever-growing family on Dan's side, including his mom, his two older sisters, and their husbands and children. Since the space in the trailer is at a premium (especially with the addition of three little ones in less than a year), we brought up our tent to camp outside.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting the chance to dry Linus's diapers outside in the sun! 

Linus's cousin, Ellie, posing for me before lunchtime 

We were a little nervous about how Linus would fare sleeping in the tent, but he did great! Our set up was pretty basic, since we co-sleep at home anyway. We laid our sleeping bags out and brought the mattress from Linus's co-sleeper to lay next to them. He was basically still in his own bed, just without the sides. It worked out pretty perfectly, and we didn't need to haul up his entire co-sleeper (which wouldn't really have fit in our tent anyway) or buy anything new.

This little lady, Evelyn, is older than Linus by a mere 4 weeks! It's been such a treat to watch them grow up together 

"Hello, my name is Linus, and I am the cutest baby ever." ;)

Most of the vacation was spent hanging out around the trailer. We took a few short walks, played with the kids, juggled all the napping schedules as best we could, and got some reading in. Our only "excursion" was on Friday. We all drove into town for the St. Lawrence County Fair where we ate way too many french fries and saw lots of farm animals.

Posing (accidentally) with the sheep's bum!

Dan's Fried Dough! 'Nuff said

The fair done tuckered him out! 

Overall, it was a pretty perfect first vacation for Linus. My only regret is that it wasn't longer!

Family photo before leaving for home. I think Linus has the "over the shoulder" look down!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Birth Story Part 3: Triumphant

This is the final installment of my birth story. You check out part one here, and part two here.

It was determined that I needed an internal monitor (and I thought the external ones were uncomfortable!), although at this point, I can‘t quite remember why. When Ann went to insert it (my second internal examine), I was six centimeters dilated. She also noticed that, despite all the leaking, my caul was still mostly intact. Thinking it might help the process along, Ann broke my bag of waters with an amniohook.

I was shocked that there was still so much amniotic fluid in there! I felt a warm rush from between my legs, soaking the bed. The sheets were quickly and quietly switched out.

I’m not sure what time it was at this point. Maybe 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.? But, it wasn’t too long before things really started to pick up (finally!).

I began to feel the contractions. I was actually pretty excited, at first. After each one I would look at Dan and exclaim “I had a contraction!”. We exchanged a few high fives and hugs. We would be meeting our baby soon!

Next thing I knew, I was in active labor. In what seemed like no time, my contractions went from fairly mild and well spaced, to one right on top the other. I tired to remember the wisdom of the doula that taught our birth class and to focus on the time in between the contractions so that I wasn’t focusing on the pain. I breathed deeply and made low, groaning sounds as I exhaled, which was immensely helpful compared to the times when I lost my focus and let out high-pitched screams.

As the contractions grew in intensity, I was out of that bed like a shot. It was so uncomfortable, and at that point, there was no way anyone would be forcing me to lay down or stay put, beeping monitors be damned! I think I ripped off that ridiculous finger monitor at one point, too. And, at some point, I also ripped off my hospital gown. Partly in rebellion, and partly because I couldn’t take the feeling of it on my skin. When Ann returned, with a new nurse in tow, I was standing I the room stark naked.

Ann brought in a birth ball and we placed it on the bed. I stood, draped over it, swaying back and forth, moaning (sometimes screaming), and doing my best to focus. The intensity of the contractions had come on so quickly (ironic, after the hours of nothing) that I started to worry I might not be able to do it. But, be it stubbornness, or sheer determination, I was not willing to even entertain the idea of drugs. This was a major part of my birth plan. I was going to do this as naturally as I could at this point and no one was going to take that away from me.

Around 10:00 or 11:00, I was kind of in a haze, but heard Daniel chatting with Ann, trying to decide when he should call my parents so that my mom could be present for the birth. He asked how much longer it would be, and of course, Ann replied that there was no way to know. The part that scared me was hearing her say that I might not even be ready to start pushing until 6:00 the next morning or later. I tried not to think about that for too long, lest I lose my focus. Dan made the call to get in touch my parents anyway. Even if it would be a while, my mom would want to know that things were getting close. It ended up being a good thing that he did.

I started getting irritated and quite loud. I remember remarking (yelling) that I was not expecting the contractions to get so painful and so close together so quickly. I felt like I hardly had a break. At one point, I remember shoving the birth ball off the bed in frustration. I wasn’t sure how to get comfortable. Anytime Dan, bless his heart, tried to massage my back or rub my head, it just made things worse. Someone kept wiping my forehead with cool, damp washcloths, though, and that felt lovely. I was sweating like a loon! My body had never worked so hard. Looking back, I must have been in transition at this point. I started to feel like I needed to pee or poop, but trying to sit on the toilet made things worse.

This was around 12:30 Wednesday morning, and Ann decided to check my cervix. To everyone’s surprise, I was already at 10 centimeters, and to my relief, I was ready to start pushing. Now the feeling of needing to use the toilet made sense. I was feeling the urge to push! It was about this time that my mom arrived.

Pushing was such an interesting experience. It’s so hard to describe what it felt like! But, I was glad to actually feel like I was more actively doing something. I was working with my contractions and it would not be long before the little person who had been growing in my uterus for the past 35 weeks would be earthside!

I was standing during my first few pushes and ended up peeing all over the floor. Comfort-wise, the position was not really working for me either. Ironically, despite my earlier protest, I got back in bed. Ann suggested getting on my hands and knees, but it’s not what my body wanted. I turned onto my left side with my right leg in the air (supported by my mother). I’m not sure how or when they got there, but sometime during pushing, a team from the NICU assembled ready to look over my premie when he or she was born. Funny how all your modesty flies out the window when you’re in labor! I can’t even tell you how many people saw me naked that night.

I pushed for about an hour and started feeling my baby’s head move down the birth canal. My mom kept remarking how much hair he or she had. I was able to touch the head at point and was overwhelmed by how soft it was. Dan kept telling me how amazing I was doing and I could hear the emotion in his voice every time our baby’s head made and appearance. I felt a bit of pain around my vagina and perineum, but the “ring of fire” was not nearly as painful as I expected. Ann rubbed oil into my perineum and helped support it as my baby’s head made it bulge.

I kept trying to think of Ina May Gaskin’s “sphincter law” as I pushed and tried to keep my mouth soft in order to keep my vagina soft, but I think I had a clenched jaw more often than not. Pushing made me feel powerful, though. I was very inwardly focused at this point, and everything around me felt completely surreal. The pain, the presence of my family, all the other hospital noise. Cheesy as it may sound, in my head, I kept repeating “open, down, out” and tried to envision Shelia Kitzinger‘s description of the labia opening like the petals of a flower.

Soon, the head was out, and after one or two more pushes, I felt the rest of the body come sliding through. There is absolutely nothing that can top that moment for me. The feeling of my baby’s body coming out of me made me feel triumphant. It made the rest of the experience more than worth it. I felt the wiggly, slippery newborn body on my stomach. I was in love.

I think I heard Dan first exclaim that it was a boy. A boy! My boy. Linus Emery Welding, born at 1:42 a.m., Wednesday morning, March 14, 2012, pink, screaming, and perfect.

Since I was still laying down and without my glasses, I barely got to look at him before the cord stopped pulsing and was cut. He was then whisked over to be examined by the nurses from the NICU. Ann kept saying that he looked great and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. After a quick check, I was able to try breastfeeding before he needed to go to the NICU for further precautionary testing (as per hospital protocol). Because I have flat nipples, we had some trouble getting him to latch, but with the help of a nipple shield and guidance from Ann, Linus got his first taste of colostrum, that wonderful liquid gold!

Shortly thereafter, in just one or two pushes, I delivered the placenta. Ann held it up for me to see. It was beautiful. The tree of life that sustained Linus for 35 weeks.

My dad came in to meet Linus before Ann set to work repairing my second degree tear. I remember being incredibly cold and shaking uncontrollably, after affects of all the adrenaline. Ann hugged me when all was said done, congratulated me on a job well done, and told me I was a rock star. I really did feel like one!

There was a quiet stillness after that. Linus was to be in the NICU for several hours, and my arms ached to snuggle him. Dan fell asleep, a nurse brought me a turkey sandwich, and everyone else was gone. I felt strong and content, but couldn’t wait until my baby boy was back in my arms and at my breast.

We moved to the maternity wing after a time and Linus, perfect as he was, was released from the NICU early and brought back to us. During our stay in the hospital, I found myself falling more deeply in love with him by the minute. Dan and I were both completely smitten. I couldn’t stop looking at him or cuddling him, this miraculous new little person. I know I’ve already said this, but it was all completely surreal, and in some ways, it still is.

Although my birth was not what I dreamed it to be, it still ended up being beautiful and Linus continues to endear me and steal my heart each day. We are so overjoyed to have him in our lives. In our new little family of three.

Trying to make the best of being in the hospital, and thoroughly enjoying my baby boy (oh, and notice that Starbucks iced coffee to the right! I cut my coffee intake quite a lot during my pregnancy, so I remember that tasting SO GOOD!). This is one of our early nusring sessions. Nursing is still his favorite pastime :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Birth Story Part 2: Waiting...

This is a continuation of my birth story. You can read part one here.

I'm not sure if Dan arrived before or after Cheyenne inserted the Cervadil, which I believe, was around 11:00, but that’s when our waiting game began. The plan was to leave the Cervadil in for 12 hours and hope that it would be enough to kick things off. After that, there would be talk of Pitocin. I was also hooked up to an IV for fluids and to receive precautionary antibiotics for Group B Strep since I hadn’t been tested for this yet (I was supposed to be tested at my next prenatal appointment, the following day).

My mom and dad arrived sometime after Daniel, even though I tried to talk them into waiting a bit, since I knew they would be doing more sitting around waiting for something to happen than anything else. They came anyway, anxious to make sure I was okay to meet their new grandson or granddaughter. It was good to have them there for support, even if there wasn’t much they could do.

Another ridiculous photo... changed out of my work clothes. Just hanging out, waiting for some contractions to happen

The Cervadil, unfortunately, proved to be of little help. Another (grrr) monitor was wrapped around my belly by the hospital staff to track my contractions (or, lack thereof). I started to feel crampy and miserable, and had some awful back pain that came and went, but that was about it. Several meals were brought and eaten, Dan drove to the apartment to straighten up, feed the cats, and bring one of our cars home. He also had the task of installing the car seat base, since we still hadn’t taken care of that yet and we would definitely be needing it on our return trip.

Despite the monitors and IV, I was thankfully able to move around the room a bit (although, everything had to be unhooked whenever I had to use the bathroom - which was frequently). Because of the persistent cramping, I had a hard time getting comfortable, but I wasn’t necessarily in pain yet. I was in bed, out of bed, in the rocking chair, standing; rinse, repeat. I’m sure I tried to nap, but with all the anxiousness and excitement, I regrettably, didn’t get much sleep.

Nurses were in and out with a fair amount of frequency. I saw Cheyenne several times as well, although she did need to head to TBC at one point for back up because, apparently, it was “busting at the seams”. That week was a busy one for births! Everyone who came in seemed to have the same comment when reviewing the stats from the heart rate monitor. Whoever my baby was, they were “happy”, with perfect decelerations, and moving all around. I kept thinking “If my baby is so happy, why don’t we let he or she stay put a while longer?” I was very glad to know, however, that there was very likely nothing wrong with my baby. At 35 weeks, he or she was still considered a premie, and I was worried that there could be complications for my baby, too.

Trying to keep a sense of humor. Look at my monitors!

As the afternoon turned into evening, and evening into night, it was looking less and less likely that we’d be meeting our baby on the 12th. Dan kept saying that he was hoping the baby’s debut would be on the 13th so that next year’s birthday would fall on 3/13/13.

At some point, shortly before the 12 hours were up, my Cervadil fell out on one of my many bathroom trips and around 11:00 p.m., it was time to re-evaluate. Since I would not be able to eat once the Pitocin was started, we decided to wait a little while before getting things going. I had a few snacks and took a wonderful shower - the warm water felt amazing on my back. I soaked it up as long as I could since I was disappointed I wouldn’t be getting a long soak in one of the tubs at TBC during the height of my contractions, which I had so been looking forward to. Then, monitor free and IV free, Dan and I took time to walk the halls.

Sometime in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, it was time for the big, bad, Pitocin…

I was hooked up to a bunch of crap again (eloquently stated, I know… can you tell I hated all those wires and beeping machines?), and the Pitocin began. The plan was to start slowly and increase the dosage in intervals every half an hour until things got going. Based on what I’ve read about Pitocin, I was anticipating horrid contractions to start almost immediately, but, I was absolutely under whelmed (not that I’m complaining).

After getting a shower. Feeling pretty good and hoping something is going to happen soon!

According to the monitors, I did start contracting. But, I still only continued to feel crampy. Maybe a little more intensely than before, but definitely not what I was expecting. I kept thinking that if this was as bad as it got, that this whole “pain during childbirth” thing was blown completely out of proportion. Little did I know what was ahead…

Things are really blurry now. I was on round one of Pitocin for 12 hours. 12 hours. And almost nothing happened. Tuesday morning, around  7:00 or 8:00, it was time for the TBC midwives to switch shifts again. I said goodbye to Cheyenne and met Ann, the midwife who ended up catching Linus (interesting side note, she also caught my sister-in-law’s daughter, the previous August). I continued to feel miserable, but was trying to stay positive. As the hours drug on with nothing happening, Dan and I began to worry that if nothing continued to happen, I would be headed for a c-section. Ann reassured us that, at this point, there was no rush. She was so calm and positive and we both felt wonderfully comfortable with her.

I continued my unsettled dance, pacing the hospital room. In the bed, out of the bed. In the chair, out of the chair. In a new chair, and out of that one. Back and forth to the bathroom. At one point, I finally settled in the rocker and felt surprisingly comfortable dozing on and off, rocking gently, trying to enjoy the last moments of holding my baby inside of me, and trying to focus on breathing and staying calm. Suddenly, the baby moved or the heart monitor shifted and the sound of heartbeat was lost (this had happened several times, sending the nurses into a tizzy, as they ran in to reposition the monitor). I was unfazed, but a new nurse came charging into the room, barely introducing herself, before demanding that I get back into bed and stay there, lest the monitor move again.

As soon as she left, I lost it. I had been doing so well holding it together despite the circumstances. But, my exhaustion and frustration came to fruition at that point. I had a good cry in Dan’s arm, lamenting that the last thing I wanted to do was to be stuck in bed. It was one of the last pieces of my longed-for birth that I was still holding on to - to be free to move and work with my body, and laying flat at the point was hugely uncomfortable to boot. I felt like part of my power had been taken from me.

Later that evening, after another visit from my parents, more waiting, and a whole lot more of nearly nothing contraction-wise, Ann made the decision to give me, my baby, and my uterus a break from the Pitocin. I was able to eat dinner and take some time to move around before starting a second round. The first round lasted close to 12 hours with almost no results. Exactly the opposite of what I expected!

When we began round two, things were very different.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birth Story Part 1: 35 Weeks

I wrote my birth story almost a month ago now with the intention of it being one of my first posts when I re-started my blog. It ended up being much longer than I anticipated! Even though it took me almost 4 months to finally write it, I surprisingly still remembered it with quite a bit of detail. All that to say, I decided to break it into 3 parts the post isn't super massive. Here is part one. Hope you enjoy!

My favorite photo from my pregnancy. Taken just 11 days before Linus was born!

I think I should begin by saying that I have been longing to be pregnant and to have a baby for many years. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I was destined for motherhood. And, when I started learning more about natural birth and the absolute power of a woman’s body, that cemented it. I could not read/watch/absorb enough information about pregnancy and birth. I had my birth planned for a few years before Daniel and I even began TTC. I would have a midwife deliver my baby at the The Birth Center (TBC) in Bryn Mawr, PA. No interventions. No monitoring. No drugs. No internal checks. Just me, my baby, all that lovely oxytocin, and the power of my uterus and womanly, maternal instincts. In my mind it was beautiful and uncomplicated, pain with a purpose. After the final push, I would be rewarded with a brand new little person placed on my stomach for our first skin-to-skin interaction, ready do the breast crawl for their first taste of colostrum.

Although I still believe that a birth like this is in my future, Linus’s entrance into this world, though still beautiful and miraculous, was not be so dream-like.

My estimated due date (based on the rigorous charting of my cycle), was penned in my charts for April 16th.  I fully expected, this being my first, that I would pass that date, easily, and although I was a huge, uncomfortable, swollen mess by the end of my pregnancy, I was looking forward to languishing in those last couple weeks, looking forward with eager anticipation, to the arrival of labor. Although, in retrospect,  I always did have a nagging feeling that I was going to go early. But, anytime someone would mention that they thought the same, I would write it off and joke that I just needed to make it to 36 weeks so that I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital (at TBC, if you go into labor before 36 weeks, their policy is that you have to deliver in the hospital). If I could make it week 36, I would be golden.

Not sure how far along I was exactly in this photo, but getting close to the end!

Right around the 34 week mark in early March, I went to the bathroom at work and felt something slide out. Understandably startled, I took a look and saw what looked to me to be a rather large, albeit clear, piece of my mucous plug. This might sound weird to some, but it made me excited! Of course, it’s not unusual to lose your plug in bits of pieces over the last few weeks of your pregnancy; it was cool to know that something was happening. My body was gearing up.

Later that night, after our birth class at TBC, I mentioned this event to the amazing doula who was facilitating the class (unfortunately, I can’t remember her name now, but Dan and I both loved her!) to see what she thought. She did indeed agree that it was likely part of my plug, and shared in my excitement. She gave me a bit of a knowing and look when Dan and I left and said something along the lines of “See you next week… maybe!” I laughed it off again. No way we’d be having a baby the next week. For one thing, we still had one more week of birth class and our breastfeeding class to attend. For another, I still hadn’t had my shower nor had I finished the nursery or even frozen any meals yet! Plus, it would still be before 36 weeks.

The next day, I woke up feeling an excess of discharge. In the back of my mind, I knew it was likely a surge of lukeria as I was nearing the end of my pregnancy. But since part of my plug was missing as well, I decided to play it safe and gave TBC a call on the off chance I was leaking amniotic fluid. They had me come in right away. The midwife on call, Jamesina, was one that I hadn’t had an appointment with yet, but she was great. She tested the fluid and assured me it was normal discharge and there were no signs of infection. I was a bit embarrassed for being paranoid over nothing, but relieved nonetheless. 

The next few days continued uneventfully until Monday morning, March 12. I was exactly 35 weeks.
I woke up to use the bathroom (as I had been doing, about three times a night since entering the third trimester) around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. Again, I felt a small gush and found some red-tinged discharge. I tried not to worry, put on a pad, and went back to bed. I would reassess in the morning. 

I got out of bed around 6:00, and sure enough, continued to leak, more so than the week before. I kept calm, tentatively told Daniel that I was going to call TBC again, and emailed my co-workers to let them know I would be to work late, but not too worry. I was sure that I was worried over nothing again, but wanted to be safe. Just in case.

See? I wasn't exaggerating about being a swollen mess... my giant feet and ankles about a week and a half before being induced (at least my toenails look pretty)

When Julie, the midwife on call (who I incidentally saw early on in my pregnancy when I had a scare after a short bleeding episode), got back to me, she said there was no rush, but to come in and get checked. She also told me to make sure I had something to eat (I happily obliged and had a bowl of raisin bran). Unfortunately, she happened to be at Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) after being called over near the end of her shift, so I needed to meet her there. She seemed confident however, that everything would be fine. 

I had not been to DCMH at all yet. In fact, I was planning on setting up a tour later that week so I would be familiar with it  in case I needed to be transferred while in labor at TBC. I left my apartment with nothing but my purse and dressed in my work clothes. Thankfully, it was a short drive to DCMH, but as soon as I parked, I felt anxious. The hospital was the last place I wanted to be.

Eventually, after getting lost a couple of times, I found my way up to the labor delivery ward and met Julie. She was just about end her shift, but took me to a room and got me settled.

I remember a nurse coming in, taking my blood pressure, and wrapping one of those obnoxious heart rate monitors around my belly. I then had to wait for the next midwife to begin her shift. I was in the room alone for maybe 10 minutes and had an emotional moment thinking (hoping) that I was so glad that I wouldn’t be giving birth in the hospital. I composed myself and remembered there was no need to worry. I was, most likely, overreacting again. The new midwife would probably tell me the same thing I was told previously. It was good that I was being cautious, but the fluid was nothing more than increased lukeria. 

Eventually, I met the midwife, Cheyenne, another new one to me, but I feel like there’s an instant familiarity with the TBC midwives (they‘re all amazing), and I felt more comfortable in that foreign place knowing she was there.  After exchanging introductions, she went about the business of testing my fluid. 

Several minutes later, she returned to give me the news: this time, I hadn’t worried for nothing. I was leaking amniotic fluid (the irony of this is that - despite what is depicted in the media - there is really only a small percentage of women whose water breaks before they go into labor - 10%, I believe? However, most of the mamas that I‘m closest with began at least one of their labors with their water breaking, including my sister and two of my sisters-in-law). 

Looking rather uncertain... but, thumbs up for meeting my baby!!

Based on this, the gestation of my baby, the excellent readings from the heart rate monitor, and the fact that I was (surprisingly to me) three centimeters dilated, the recommended course of action was induction. I felt my beautiful, longed-for, complication free birth crumbling away. We discussed options, and decided to start with Cervadil, a prostaglandin insert designed to ripen to cervix, in an effort to try and avoid Pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, designed to stimulate contractions (which are much worse than natural contractions). To be honest, I was/am terrified of Pitocin and was praying the Cervadil would do the trick.

Before I could even call Daniel, the nurse returned to admit me. Suddenly, everything felt like a dream, like I was watching the scenario play out from a distance. Everything was happening too quickly, and surely, this wasn’t my birth…?

When she left, I called Daniel, who was at work, and told him we were about to become parents. I finally let some tears go, partly sad, partly anxious, partly excited! His excited reaction comforted me, but I’m sure his nerves shot through the roof. Before he could come to DCMH, I charged him with going to the apartment to pack our bags and pick up the snacks I had bought that weekend to save for TBC. I called my mom shortly thereafter and shocked the heck out of her, too. She was in the final days of planning my shower, which was to be held that Saturday, March 17th. Several other calls followed.

Spreading the news...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Meet Linus!

I figured before I got too much further into posting, I should probably introduce you to the star of the show - the sweet, silly, apple of my eye: my son, Linus Emery (aka Bug)!

He has been stealing my heart since March 14 (Pi Day!) when he entered this world 5 weeks early (but, more on that come in my birth story).

Since I'm sure I could go on for hours about the minutiae of his life, like any proud parent, I will stop myself before I even get started and let the photos do the talking. There will be many a post devoted to this little guy, so if you stop by enough, I'm sure you'll get to know him pretty well.

He's pretty cute, huh?

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Friday, July 27, 2012

The Scatterbrained Mama

It's has been nearly two years since I've updated my poor, forlorn, little blog. Two years! It was not a concious decision to give it up necessarily, life just happened and I got out of the habit of posting, I suppose.

But, I've been realizing how much I miss it. And how disappointed I am to not have the last year, especially, chronicled because... what a year it's been!

I've been wanting to get this blog of mine back up and running for about a good month now (and may have been getting some nudging from a few people...). My brain is overflowing with posts!

I've been dragging my feet partly because my blog is in need of a new title and will then, of course, need a new look to go along with it. No longer am I Little Miss Scatterbrained... I am now The Scatterbrained Mama! Yup, I'm re-entering the blogosphere as a "mommy blogger" (more on that in a future post, of course!).

I'm not so good with the whole blog revamping thing, so it might take some time and look a bit funky for a bit (plus, I do love my current layout, so it will be missed!). But, I can't wait forever until it all looks perfect, and really, content is key, right? Just bear with me a while I work on the aesthetics.

Anyway, here's to my first blog post as a mom! I'm excited to be back :)