Tag Archives: Pregnancy

& baby makes 4!

On Thursday April 12, 2012 we awoke knowing that this would be no ordinary day.  My husband and I had dropped off our son at my parents the night before, so the eerie quiet that filled the house was setting the stage for something that will rarely ever happen in our house again (unless no one is home).  I woke up on the couch with our first-child (aka Diesel the 100lb Weimaraner) in my lap.  He was fully aware something was about to change, hence the snuggle fest.

At 40 weeks and 5 days, I was scheduled to be induced.

I was to arrive at the hospital for check in at 7:30 AM.  The hospital had remodeled since I delivered my little man.  This would be the room where I would be getting comfortable until she decided to make her entrance, then we would move to a different room for recovery.  Turns out my doctor had 3 others being induced that day…guess no one was in favor of a Friday the 13th baby 🙂

At 9 AM we started the Pitocin, and waited.  Having been induced with my first child I knew we were in for a few hours of waiting while the contractions got stronger.  We were prepared this time.  We contacted friends and family to see what time everyone thought our daughter would be born, I hunkered down to a crossword puzzle or two, and the husband tried to read Hunger Games to pass the time (but I kept interrupting him to chat).  Shortly after noon, the doctor came in to break my water, hoping to speed things up a bit.  At that point I was formally committed to having the baby and was measuring 3 CM.

While contractions were still tolerable, I knew that my body responded much better after the epidural last time, so I went ahead with it at 3 PM.  At that point I was dilated to 5 CM (halfway there). A sigh of relief. We settled in and turned on the Brewer’s vs. Cubs game and waited (Cubs won).  While the epidural was extremely helpful in getting my body relax, there was a small “window” where the epidural didn’t take.  Meaning while a majority of pain was gone, there was a small spot on my left side where I felt everything.  In that spot, the epidural had taken the edge off, but the pain was quickly growing extremely strong.

At 4:45 PM we still were passing time by texting family with updates and checking out Facebook.  When the nurse (Maureen) came to check on me I shared the growing discomfort on my side. I had already pushed the button to up the meds with no relief.  At that point she checked me and exclaimed, “You’re going to have this baby within an hour.” I was in transitional phase.  She prepped everything to prepare for doctor and baby.  I did one practice push, and was quickly halted, “Okay, no more pushing.  This baby is going to arrive within the next 15 minutes.” The nurse  called my doctor (who is incredibly laid back doctor) and told him he needed to come immediately.  My doctor asked “do I have time to get caught up on some work?” to which she replied, “No, you need to come now, she’ll be done in 1-2 contractions.”  Doctor arrived just in time to gown up and get his gloves on.  I patiently breathed through 3 contractions while the doctor prepped.  1 push- head was out, 2nd push- shoulders were out.  At 5:07 PM we welcomed EllaMae Sandra to the world.

I was very excited to have a friend capture the precious moments immediately after she was born, as both my husband and I were busy and caught up in the moment with the birth of our new daughter (I’ll share those soon).  Being that I wasn’t sick this time, I was able to enjoy skin-to-skin time with our little girl.  She was eager to look around and check things out.  Within 5 minutes she had found her fist, and managed to put her thumb in her mouth.  The nurse came in and was shocked…”Get that thumb out, let’s get a boob in her mouth!” And she hasn’t stopped eating since! After a little snack on her part, there was a nursing shift change (good-bye Maureen; Hello Emily) and both were fabulous to work with!  EllaMae was officially weighed in at 7 lbs 15 oz (just 7 oz. heavier than her brother) and 19.5 inches long (1 inch shorter than brother).  I will say her feet and fingers are SO long!  Literally her foot is slightly shorter than her entire calf, and just longer than my middle finger.

As you can see, she is very fond of her daddy.  I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Around 7 PM my little man arrived with my parents.  While he had been prepped and excited, saying “mommy,” “baby” the entire drive to the hospital, the sight on mommy in the bed and our photographer set him into a panic mode.  He was very scared and left the hospital room with my mom.  Thankfully I had a gift and our photographer had a few suckers to coax him in and comfortable enough to sit next to mom for a while.

It wasn’t until his big cousin, Dakota- a familiar friend, came shortly after he arrived that he really became more relaxed and interested in the baby and mom.

Everyone gathered around as EllaMae got her first bath.  She was NOT happy, until she settled into the warm water and heat lamp. (She gets pissed when she’s cold!) And yes she really was this red.  According to my neice Dakota, she was so red “because she must have been in there too long.”

It wasn’t long after bath time that we transitioned to the other room.  The family went ahead as our Nurse (Emily- who was so amazingly sweet) got me prepped for the move.  She wheeled me down the hall in the wheelchair as my husband drove the cart with all our stuff.  When little man saw me in the wheelchair, he was so upset that he threw himself on the floor with a complete meltdown (when he saw the wheelchair in our last room, he thought he was going to ride with mom).  Without skipping a beat, Nurse Emily told him it was his turn for a ride.  She helped him onto my lap and away we went down the hall for a ride.It was just what my little man needed, and when he returned to the room, everyone cheered and we was back on top of his game ready to take on the big brother role.  We nestled into the double bed where big brother held EllaMae.  He must learn a lot from those girls at daycare because he immediately looked at her and started shushing her like mom!

Around 9 PM the extended family left and it was just our time to cozy up to our little one.  After a few hours of shady internet connection, I finally emailed the news and pictures.  Facebook would have to wait until tomorrow.

At 11 PM EllaMae went to the Nursery for the night and dad and I settled in for some much needed sleep.  Brent kept commenting how tired he was, and that he didn’t do anything all day- but that wasn’t exactly true.  He waited on me hand and foot, he was so supportive and comforting throughout the entire process.  The rush of emotions to meet our little daughter was enough to send us into a deep slumber.  And luckily, EllaMae held up her end of the bargain.  She came in to eat every 3 hours to eat, plus a little snuggle time! Welcome to the world Little Miss Mae, have a good night and dream big!

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Becoming Mom {part 2}

Dearest Beatrice (your womb name),

It has been 40 weeks and 5 days since you’ve become a part of my body, and I can’t believe how fast the time has come.  Tomorrow we’ll be induced and coax you to come out.  Tonight, there are a zillion and seven things going through my mind and even though I’ve been here once before I feel like it’s all new to me.  I don’t know that a woman ever becomes “experienced” at giving birth or becoming a mom.  While I might have learned some things with your older brother, there is so much more I have yet to learn.  And without a doubt, you will mold and shape me in ways I never knew were possible (as I sit here looking at my belly, I guess you could take that sentence literally)!

We have spent weeks preparing for you.  You’re room is in order with a delightful wardrobe awaiting your sweetness.  We’ve been practicing “how to be a big brother” with little man, and anticipating how schedules and routines will be altered with your entrance to the family.  And while this is all so amazingly wonderful and exciting, there is still a little fear and anxiousness.  Round 2 of pregnancy was so different than with your brother, and I have to think about all the unexpected things that we will face together.  Tomorrow is just a piece of the puzzle as we begin our life together.  You have been so kind on the inside, embracing my body with sincerity and empathy as we made our way through trimesters 1 and 2.  With very few curses of pregnancy symptoms, I was able to carry on with life without many nagging reminders.  You made the incubation period seem so seamless that I felt I was able to enjoy more of our nesting time together.  On the flip side, this makes me a little nervous.  Your brother was relentless on the inside, but is very mellow and laid back on the outside.  Will you be laid back on the inside and a little terror on the outside?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see 😉

While I was hoping you’d make your way on your own, I feel prepared and shocked that tomorrow we will finally welcome you into our family.  We know you are a girl and we were able to plan accordingly.  You have an abundant wardrobe waiting for you, complete with accessories and shoe collection that rivals your mom’s.  (Between you and me…We may have an issue with closet space, but don’t worry, we can always invade the boys! Shh, that will be our secret plan).  I even sewed you a little dress…actually  almost 2 dresses.  Thanks to a friend of mine, I was able to get together with her and make your baptismal gown out of my wedding dress, which then sent me into a sewing frenzy that I made a skirt and few other accessories.  I have a feeling there will be a few more coming!  We also chose your name, but are keeping it a surprise.  Even your dad joined in on the fun with making some fun wall art that will be reveled to the rest of the world when you arrive, as we wouldn’t want to give away any hints at your name!  Your dog-brother (Diesel) keeps us company every night as we have taken up sleeping on the couch, and subsequently I’ve been replaced in bed by your older brother.  That’s probably a good thing, since dad needed to be reminded of what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night to help out when needed.  Also your brother needed some daddy bonding time, so that when you and I spend time together he is cool hanging with dad.

I have a sneaking suspicion that you are going to be a daddy’s girl through and through!  Your dad is so cute and giddy.  I’ll have it be known that your dad decided your name.  Choosing a name for your own child is no easy task when your parents are teachers.  He is so excited by your name and talks to you all the time.  Your brother also is so in love with you, giving you kisses and showing me his baby all the time.  The girls at daycare (he’s the only boy) have trained him well, as he crosses his arms and says “Sh-Sh-Shh” as if to be holding and calming his baby sister. We are surrounded by an amazing group of boys (Dad, Diesel and Caleb).  It makes me wonder if you’ll be more of a tomboy or a girly girl?  I might need some help in the girly girl department.

Well little miss Bea, I think this is good night.  I will look forward to meeting you on the other side.  Safe travels and be well my little one 🙂

Love you more,
Mom 🙂

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Ponderings of a Pregnant woman!

Hello- is this thing on.  Phew, let me clean out the cobwebs and dust a bit quickly.  uh-um

As you may have noticed I’ve been living life and not documenting it so much.  Since my last post (was it seriously around Thanksgiving?!?!?) I’ve grown (not so much vertically), we had a few Christmas celebrations (I think one every weekend) and look at that, we are in a whole new year.  Thankfully I have a few months to get my head around the idea that we’ll be 3 + 1 family soon. On the little man front things are happening so fast- everyday is a new adventure.  New Words, New Explorations, New Stories, and new routines.  I’ll dedicate a separate post to the Caleb Times in a bit.

While it may appear that I’ve abandon this blog, or I’m not dedicating the time and energy to my 2nd pregnancy story (My mom reminds me weekly how the second child is going to feel when she- yes she- finds out I didn’t blog the experience for her like I did little man), that’s absolutely not true.  I almost feel as I have done less complaining and more reflecting with round 2.  You see with round 1 I was too distracted by my need to puke, and then the heartburn and insomnia, extremities the size of watermelon’s and my out-of-control weight gain.  Round 2 is a complete opposite, minus the basketball attached to my belly button, I feel great.  There are days I’d like to go to the gym and pretend I have a new years resolution.  I do have self-induced heartburn after a selection of foods, but really most cravings and pregnant tendencies have been under control. 

I also feel more prepared, more organized with this round.  (Here’s where I might need to point out how laid-back I am in comparison to many first-time moms).  You see round 1- we had 1 ultrasound, people were trying to prepare me for many different scenarios, giving me pointers on aids and remedies to progress things along. Well I don’t learn very well by listening or reading…I guess I need to experience it myself to make everything click. So this time around it just seems more organized and yet, even more laid back.

To begin we prepared a fun little announcement by having little man be the bearer of good news (either in person or via picture for those who lived far away) with a home-made shirt.

Then we opted to find out the gender of our little one- which for round one I appreciated the element of surprise.  Again we were a bit festive and decorated a cake (pink on the inside) announcing the news to family….only to come home and realize that the dog had eaten the entire cake.  The back up plan was a pretty entertaining story 😉

We did a family and mini maternity shoot a few weeks ago…literally my husband and I did the photography seeing how I own a photography business and all ;).  Little man decided to keep things true to form. When asked where the baby was, he showed us…

He even offer his little sister a kiss…

Staying true to tradition…here’s the bump at 24 weeks.

Now that the Holidays are over and we don’t have plans to host company for a little while we are giving little man’s room a big boy makeover, and turning the guest room (Also known as the red room) into the new girly nursery.  Fun thing about girls is I can take things I thought were cool during wedding planning and turn it into some inspiration for a girls bedroom….hopefully I’ll have a few pictures to post this weekend (although you might want to keep an eye on my creative blog- Fosteringacreativelife.com for all the details)

I also went Christmas shopping and happened to pick up a few things for the in utero child from her older siblings (Diesel is still our first born- I just didn’t have quite the labor pains with him).  A few bags of girls clothes from some generous friends and the closet is quickly filling….which means I better keep cleaning out my stuff

In just 3 more months-ish we’ll have a daughter to greet you.  Hopefully, I’ll get on the ball and post a few more updates between now and then!

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Lifes turning point

Whew, life with a newborn.  I’ll have you know I started this post at 6 AM, it’s nearly 6 PM and I’m finally getting it finished!

Yesterday at 7 AM Brent and I entered the hospital knowing that when we left we would leave a family of three.  Being induced I thought it might take some of the excitement and surprise out of the anticipated arrival, rather it was a spec of reassurance.  No longer would I need to time each contraction or worry about what my steal-laden cervix was up to.

By 7 :30 we were I had already been stripped, poked, monitored and evaluated.  My cervix was still at a dimple, fingertip or closed 1/2 CM.  Doctor had suggested he would break my water if the opportunity presented itself.  Baby and contractions were being monitored and my new friend IV (pitocin and saline) and I became attached the hip (or wrist).  After lying  in bed hooked up for almost an hour trying to watch TV,  we quickly became bored and were ready to distract ourselves.  We buried our noses in books.  Within minutes the contractions started getting a little stronger pulling my attention from the book.  Brent tried multiple maneuvers to distract me which is where the creatively crafted “Daddy Hospital Bag” created by a friend came in handy.  We pulled out the magic cards and learned a few tricks, then threw the stress ball back and forth.  Before long we recognized that we might be in for a long day.

Around 10 AM we both had enough self-indulged creativity and decided we needed to get up and move around.  I was standing next to the when a startling burst of fluid came rushing down my leg…Hallelujah my water had broken.  I felt relieved and a bit more certain that things were well on their way.  This meant I was committed to having this baby within 24 hours.  The funny comment through all of this… I had just slipped on a pair of new slippers when I got up.  When my water broke I could see the discolored fluid leaking down my leg and all I could say was, “Brent- my slippers! Grab my slippers!”  Having a fancy robe on, I now was allowed to partake in the disposable mesh underwear and mattress sized pads fun.  We walked down the hallway once, and then returned to our room to suffer through 2.5 hours of contractions.  I was re-evaluated at 12:45  and much to my disappointment I had only progressed another 1/2 CM.  Also being on Pitocin I was restricted to a clear fluid diet…which meant Jello, popsicles, water and juice.

Seeing how the contraction were locked, stocked and barreled but apparently without enough ammunition to blast my steel-laden cervix we discussed the idea of having an epidural.  I was on the fence and decided to hold off so that I could remain up and moving around.  In reality the next 2 hours I spend hunched over in multiple positions trying to survive and Brent trying to calm me down.  I was done- I had enough, I needed some type of relief…seeing how I still had 9 CM to go.  By 2:15 PM the Epidural was inserted and within 10 minutes I was in heaven!  I sent Brent out for lunch and I took a nap while the contractions continued on without my knowledge.

The next evaluation came at 4 PM.  I had 2 naps in by then, and Brent was now working on a full belly.  I was dilated to 3 CM which was amazing news to me, although our nurse was hoping for more.  The next 2 hours brought a shift change, new nurse, another chit chat with doctor, and yet another nap.  The downfall of the epidural was I was pumped with quite a bit of juice initially to ease the ongoing labor pains.  This resulted in a heavy, numbing feeling to my legs.  While my right leg had managed to maintain its strength and ability to move under my power….the left leg had not!  It was like a dead log was attached to my hip  with no control over the flailing.  From there on out, things happened in warp speed.  By 6 PM I was nearly 7 CM an hour later I was ready to push.  In fact, I needed to stop pushing to wait for doctor to arrive.  Everything said and done from the first IV drip to the wailing cry of the baby was 13 hours.

I’d like to introduce you to our son: Caleb Ashton
Born on March 1, 2010 at 8:12 PM weighing 7 lbs 8 oz and measuring 20.5 inches long.

It has been the best experience and I am loving every cuddle-fest, every wailing cry, smirk, yawn and expression.  We’ll keep him.  Can’t wait 🙂

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Too Excited to Sleep: Becoming Mom

While I’m perfectly aware that I’ll need every possible moment of sleep, the clock reads 4 AM and I’m already anticipating all the little details of what the next several hours, days, weeks, months and years will bring.  Diesel was curled up in front of me as I painfully tried to find  sleep in through one more relentless night fighting the ever-growing number of pillows which require perfect placement in order to support my many protruding pregnancy positions of sleep- none of which are comfortable.  The husband resided to the guest room for the night to try to claim one night of uninterrupted sleep (Note to guests: now that we have a new Mattress and Box spring he’s finding that bed more appealing, hope you do too).  As I reflect on what this past nine months (who am I kidding) 10.5 months has been like, I recognize there are some things I will miss and others that I am completely ready to be rid of.

When I began this journey, the thought of being an incubator for a living being was such an honor.  While the symptoms to accompany this process have been less than desireable, there is nothing that can replace this experience.  Being the incubator, I can feel the flutters and sudden jerks of movement before anyone else could feel or witness them.  I can sense the sudden urge of pressure bearing down on other bodily organs and the ripe emotions that come with no warning.  I have relished the opportunity to eat 27 times a day, with encouragement from others.  While I am ready to experience real food and a glass of wine again, I also acknowledge my role in developing this embryo from a little egg plastered to the side of my uterus to a fully developed baby. A baby with a heart rate ranging from 120-130 on most occasions.  A baby that keeps manipulating my body with random movements and adding to my ever-growing figure.  And yes a baby who has determined that no one will decide when he/she is ready to come out.  A baby that has kept us guessing and questioning all the decisions parenthood brings- What gender will it be?  What will we name our child?  Will our child sleep through the night?  How will breastfeeding go?  How are we, as parents, going to respond if our child does _____ (insert example here)?  Will our child play Hockey or be a Figure skater (Winter Olympics have an influence this time of year)? Either way things turn out, pregnancy has prepared me for a life of patience- especially these last few weeks.  Recognizing that no matter how much I want something to happen I can not always influence the outcome.  I can hope and pray that my child will be guided in the proper direction, but I can not be there every step of the way to make decisions for my child.  And so as I approach these next few hours, I recognize that while we are embarking on one of the most exciting and enjoyable rides of our life, we also will experience pain, anxiety and all the uncertainties that parenthood brings.

With all that said, pregnancy has also been a little pain (in the lower back mostly).  Beginning in the first 6 weeks, I was plagued with a multitude of undesirable symptoms- morning sickness and the constant nausea, unrelentless heartburn and loss of appetite, fatigue and migraine headaches, the very uncommon pregnancy itch, and sleepless nights.  Going a full 42 weeks, I can honestly say I have lived up to the expression, “put a fork in me, I’m done!”  or as my niece might suggest I am one ripe fruit that’s beginning to rot.  Either way, this baby has outgrown its welcome in there.  So as you can imagine, there are so many things I am ready to kick to the curb and be done with.  The wonderful symptoms above are just the beginning.  I can not wait to go for a run again, and get off the swollen little stumps attached to my hips- like a real sweat producing run, where it’s just me beating the pavement with the cool spring air (oops, I just drooled a little bit).  I can’t wait to put on non-stretchy clothes that don’t require several creative layers to adjust to my variable temperature or the robust belly which likes to sneak a peek to the outside world occasionally.  I’m really hoping the cottage cheese in my thighs, calves and ankles melts as I’m really not so much a fan of the curdled stuff to begin with!  Beyond the physical traits of pregnancy, I am so ready to eat a normal meal and not be concerned with the magnitude of heartburn I’ll need to prepare for.  Or to sit down and have an amazing BOTTLE of wine- yep bottle.  Or to be able to tie my shoes, or better yet to be able to put on my shoes and socks without having to contort into a position designed for an elderly person with aching joints (that’s not meant to insult any elderly person, just and observation).  Or how about to LAY ON MY STOMACH, or even my back- completely flat on the floor.  Oh, or having to swing my leg, or rock front and back to get out of the over-sized couch and chair in our living room.  That alone will bring back so much self-confidence! Oh and the noises that come from this pregnant lady…OMG- You’d think my dad just let out a rip-roaring fart that would shake the house..but nope, just me and my swollen sausage feet.  I’m totally blaming that on baby’s need to acquire all the internal space that the organs are now fighting.  I’m really hoping that disintegrates with the passing of the placenta.

All and all this has been a wonderful adventure and I am so thankful for the amazing support system I have been surrounded with.  From the ladies at work listening to my complaints, to our families.  Our parents- even brothers and sisters, nieces and friends have been calling awaiting the excitement.  It has been so fun and I am grateful for the experience.  But I could not end this post without a special acknowledgement to my husband.  He has labored every step of the way from accommodating my cravings to relieving the pain in my back at all hours of the night.  While we have experienced a little role reversal in this relationship the last few months- I could not have gotten through the ups and downs without him by my side.  I hope I can say the same next week  😉

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12 hours and counting

In less than 12 hours I will be admitted to the hospital to be induced.  These last 12 hours will be the last time I will not be a mom (of a human).  I am currently 42 weeks pregnant…hard to believe that’s over 10 months of a little creature growing inside me.  To date I have gained way too much weight (40lbs) and have swollen in places I didn’t know swelled.  I currently sleep with 7 pillows and am up every 2-3 hours either out of discomfort or from pressure of an unborn child on my bladder. In the last few weeks I have finally picked up a ridiculous cravings for sweets, anything sugary- jelly beans, jello, kool-aid.  I continue to walk 30-45 minute (or longer if we go out in the woods) at least 4 times per week.  Contractions have been happening steadily for the past 3 weeks, with little impact on the labor process.  My thermostat is about 5 degrees higher than normal.  While it’s been helpful on the heating bill, our water bill might see an increase.  I have taken a liking to hot showers and baths at least 2 times per day.  It helps relieve the discomfort…and sometimes an attempt to relax at 4 AM so I can get just a few hours of sleep.  I officially started my maternity leave from work on Wednesday and have the next 6-9 weeks (going back part-time after 6 weeks, full-time after 9 weeks) to enjoy every waking (and sleeping) moment with our new child.  I am grateful to have had the last 3 days off get my little nest ready….I don’t know if our house has been this clean since we moved in!  Diesel has learned the words of gentle and has acquired a sense of smell toward diapers and baby powder.  He often senses my discomfort and will come sit next to me while I try to relax when the contractions are bad.  Petting him does help get my mind of the discomfort, but unfortunately they don’t allow dogs in the birthing room!

Being 2 weeks overdue has also affected my social life.  I am so sick of people asking questions that I have avoided public venues for the last few days in hopes to avoid the frustration.  While I completely understand people’s concern the pregnancy is really wearing on me.  We have been ready for over a month, but tomorrow the long-awaited anticipation finally comes to end when we get to meet our little one. There’s nothing comparable to the excitement I am feeling right now!

See you on the flip side 🙂


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Straight from the mouth of a 5-year-old

My niece Payton is anxiously awaiting the birth of her cousin (although, aren’t we all).  She was convinced that the baby would be born on her birthday, which is today February 24th.

When her dad picked her up from preschool this afternoon, the first words out of her mouth were, “did Heidi have her baby yet?”

To which my brother replied “I haven’t heard anything.”

Without missing a beat, Payton responds, “well it can’t stay in there too much longer or it’s gonna rot!”

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