Saturday, December 30

Our Beth is here!

Our Bethany Grace is here! She was born on December 27 at 6:13 pm. She weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz and was 21 inches long and is absolutely, amazingly beautiful!!!

Here's the full story. Around 11:30 pm on Christmas night, after a wild game of Texas Hold Em with some family members (Ryan won!), we got home and my contractions started. They were very consistant until about 4 am, when they slowed and finally stopped. We were up most of the night- I slept from about 4-7 am and woke up when a few more contactions started. They were like that all day long- off and on. I'd have maybe 4 or 6 contractions, about 8 minutes apart, then they'd stop for a few hours.

Tuesday came and went and that night, around 11:30 again the contractions became regular and a bit more painful. I thought it'd be another false alarm but we started timing their regularity and once we realized we had an hour of contractions about 4-7 minutes apart we decided it was time to head to the hospital. It was so exciting! We arrived and I was examined- 5 cm dialted, 80% effaced and 0 station. Wohoo! They showed us to our room and we called our parents and let them know the good news!

I hopped in the hydrotherapy tub once we got to our room (soooo nice) and spent about an hour in there until I had to be examined again. I had dialated another 1 cm so I was up to a 6. An hour later I was still a 6... I really felt like I was handling the pain of the contractions very well, but I was so exhausted because I had only gotten several hours of sleep in the past 30 something hours. I was worried that I wasn't dialating fast enough for the amount of sleepy that I was, so I opted to have an epidural. Wow. It was so nice. This happened around 5:30 or 6 am so I was able to catch a few hours of sleep, until my OB came in at 8 am to check on me. I was still a 6-7 so he broke my water- I didn't even realize he'd broken it because the epidural was so strong. They hoped that would speed things along. When he came back around noon, I had only dialated to a 7-8 so they started me on a pitocin drop. I was okay with that since I already had the epidural- if I hadn't of had the epidural I honestly would have been very scared of the pitocin since it makes contractions very hard and very strong.

There were a couple of difficult times when the epidural ran out- first the battery died on the drip so I stopped receiving the medicine...Gosh that was so very painful. Then the second time I don't know what happened but again, I stopped receiving the medicine so I felt the contractions again (this is when I was in transition)and that was also very difficult on me. But each time when the anesthesiologist came in to fix it, afterward I fell asleep so I was able to get some more rest.

My OB came in around 5 to check on me again- he and the two nurses agreed I was ready to start pushing. I was so incredibly numb- I couldn't move my legs- that DH and the nurse had to hold my legs up for me the first 10 or 15 minutes until I was able to do it myself. Then I got all of the feeling back... I won't go into details here but I will say that I pushed for a bit over an hour and that was the hardest hour of my entire life. But she finally came out and she was amazing. They cleaned her up and brought her straight to me to nurse and she was a pro at that! I found out later that this was one of the nurses first delivery! She did a good job- I couldn't even tell it was her first time! One thing that got me through my pushing stage was that I was sooooo thirsty the entire time- it was seriously like running a marathon and not being able to have water. I begged my OB to let me have ice chips in between contractions (the nurses were worried about me throwing up so they wouldn't let me) and he agreed. So I'd push and then Ryan would feed me one or two pieces of ice, depending on how long I was able to rest. That had to have been the best ice of my entire life. Thoughts of ice and water, as silly or sad as it sounds, got me through that stage!

We stayed in the hospital for a good 48 hours after my angel was born and we arrived home last night (Friday night) at around 9 pm. We're adjusting very well, I think!

She's such a good baby. She's very mellow- I think she's cried only 2 or 3 times and once was because a nurse had to prick her heel to draw blood. Mostly her routine is sleep, wake up and look around for a few minutes, get a diaper change, nurse, then sleep again. Just in the past 3 days she's plumped out quite a bit and her face is slowly changing into a cute little baby face instead of a newborn face. Although I must admit, when she was born, she was the best looking newborn in the hospital!

DH and I are so in love with her. I'm sure all new parents play the "Let's watch baby" game and we're definitely in that category. We'll just sit there and watch her eat, sleep, make faces- it doesn't matter what she's doing!

I will most likely start a new blog to update it with pictures of her and other milestones. I haven't really thought too much about it- she's having a marathon sleep right now which is why I'm able to type up this much! We'll try to keep updating with photos!

Tuesday, December 26

Today is my due date!

And I have realized I am in prodromal labor. I was hesitiant to tell anyone that I was in labor because I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but right now I'm pretty positive this is what's happening to me. This link explains it really well, just scroll down a bit. Basically it still could be a few days from now, but it started last night around 11 pm.

Please don't worry! DH plans on calling people when we're admitted to the hospital, and updating the blog after we get home. Hopefully it will be within the next day or two but there's really no way to know. We're going to go to my OB tomorrow and have him check me out to make sure Bethany and I are both okay!

DH is doing a wonderful job of taking care of me. I seriously couldn't ask for anything more.

So keep us in your prayers and know that we're both feeling good about what's going on right now, it's just hard because things are moving so slow. I'll give an update when there's something to update, but please don't be offended if you call and we don't answer- we're both sleeping at very odd hours or I could be in the middle of a contraction! We'll let you know!!!

Saturday, December 23

Still waiting...

Yesterday and today have been slow, in terms of the baby watch. DH and I have accomplished a lot around the house, actually he built a dog run for our mutt Vegas. It looks GREAT and I'll post a picture when I get a good one. It's her designated "potty" area so we don't have to watch where we step in our huge backyard!

I made fudge yesterday. It didn't come out so great- really grainy but it tasted goood. I planned to try again today but the weather was turning rainy by the time I was ready to start to hopefully tomorrow will be dry and I can try again.

I learned today that DH can moonwalk. Pretty well, actually. I had no idea!

On a baby-related note, I'm starting to think there's a religious lesson to be learned here. I mean, we've been in a period of waiting for Christ to be born in a few days, only we know what day we're waiting for (the 25th). I am waiting for my child to be born. I guess it's helped me realize the anticipation Mary went through while waiting for her babe to born, and all these Christmas songs I'm hearing are helping me prepare, in a way, for Bethany's birth. I'm having a hard time putting this to "paper" but I guess what I'm trying to say is that being 9 months pregnant right now has helped me to focus on what Christmas is about- Christ- and less on the secular side of things. Which is a good lesson for me. :-)

Thursday, December 21

39 week and 2 day appointment

This morning I had an OB appointment that basically was a repeat of last week's appointment. :-( I had planned on asking him to strip my membranes if it was possible, but since I'm still posterior he couldn't do it without a lot of pain. Soooo... I'm still posterior and about 1 cm dialated. No "progress" but as I'm learning from reading and from other women, babies can engage and mothers can dialate all within several hours of birth, so I'm not really worried that this means I'll be pregnant forever. Some women sit at 3 or 4 centimeters for several weeks before birth, so at least I don't have false hope!

I finished some Christmas shopping today, well technically there's one more person to buy for but DH is going to take care of that tomorrow probably. I am sooo worn out because I was gone today from 9:30 to 3:30, I was brave and took on THE MALL as well as Target. Both were madhouses, as you can guess. And of course, everyone and I mean EVERYONE has to comment on how huge I am. It really doesn't bother me, but most conversations go like this:

Them: "Awww! When are you due?"
Me: "December 26- just a few days!"
Them: "Oh how nice! A Christmas baby! You look like you're carrying a boy."
Me: "No, it's a girl!"
THem: "But you're carrying so far out!"
Me: "Yup..."
Them: "Do you have a name picked out?"
Me: "Yes, Bethany Grace"
Them: "Oh that's so pretty"

Seriously. 95% of my conversations with strangers go EXACTLY like this. Then it will continue about how big I am for a few more seconds, or they offer advice or say something like "She'll come when she's ready" or "Hang in there!" It's so predicitable it's hilarious.

Wednesday, December 20

Funny Picture


This is sort of gross... But it's so bizzare I wanted to share it! I don't know WHAT she's doing in there!

More nothing.

Last night I was up every couple of hours with cramps and contractions, but nothing that was painful enough to make me think I was in real labor. Just enough to take my breath away and make me uncomfortable. Still, I thought this might be it so I told DH to call in this morning so he stayed home until lunch time when I realized NOTHING ELSE was happening. I've been doing laundry all morning and I finally finished packing our hospital bag, I plan to go rake some leaves in a little bit...Cook dinner... I don't plan on leaving the house today! Tomorrow, however, pending no baby, I have an OB appointment at 9:45 am and then I plan to finish up Christmas shopping. I just have 2 or 3 more people to buy for then I'm done. Beth's room is basically finished except I don't have anything up on the walls yet, but our entire house has nothing on the walls since we have a hard time commiting to where things should go. Should we wait a few months till we get our real furniture or should we just put stuff up in empty spaces now? I'm leaning towards putting stuff up now since we can always move it later, plus parts of our house still echo since there's nothing up! Wow I got off topic. Ok I'll update after the appointment and shopping tomorrow. Hopefully there will be good news...

Tuesday, December 19

Nothing

Today I went out to run errands. I walked quickly when I was out just to try to get things moving but nothing to report. I'm a little crampy but I've been that way for days...

All of the baby's laundry is done. As DH said, if we have a boy we're in trouble because there's a whooooole lotta pink in that room!

Monday, December 18

Stay at home wife

I am officially a stay at home wife. Well, hopefully very soon I'll be a stay at home mommy. So far I've been productive, I haven't been sitting around eating bon bons all day. :-) Today I got up at 8:45 and the washer and dryer I ordered last Thursday arrive around 9:00- woooooohoooooo! So then I sorted laundry and started our very first load, I know it's boring to the rest of the world but you have no idea how exciting this is for me. I can finally do laundry in my own house- this has *never* been done. I've not had a washer/dryer since I lived at home. So after this first "test" load of whites I'm throwing baby stuff in there so that she's got something to wear on her way home from the hospital.

Last night DH and I tried to install the carseat. Boy I had no idea how difficult that would be to get it in there securely. I think we got it right, but I plan on bringing it by a fire station or baby store or somewhere to have it checked out by a car seat safety tech. Hopefully someone at our fire station is certified since it's right at the enterance of our neighborhood and I wouldn't have to drive far!

Today I'm going to take it easy, beyond the constant laundry (oh my is there a lot to do!). We had a total of 10 people over this weekend, some visitors and some houseguests, and two more coming tonight for dinner, and I am exhausted beyond all belief. I hope I'll be able to nap. DH is betting tomorrow is the day for Bethany to arrive but I'm kind of hoping she'll wait at least until Wednesday so I have a chance to get a few more chores done. The reality is though, she'll probably go past her due date, I know I know. I can hope though!

Thursday, December 14

Pictures



We have internet at our house now! Wohoo! Here are my latest belly shots, actually taken last week so somewhere around 37 weeks, a day or two apart.

Wednesday, December 13

Movements

I'm still exhausted but luckily today is my last day of work. Tomorrow I plan on Christmas shopping and picking out/buying a washer and dryer so I probably won't get too much rest. I'm not over my cold yet- I've been sick since Thanksgiving- so I know I need to take it easy on Friday and just sleep. Well, after my doctor appointment I have that morning. But I need to remind myself to not overwork myself- seriously, I'm about to have a baby for crying out loud, and I'm barely sleeping and feeling bad. *sigh* At least I won't be commuting 2 hours a day anymore.

Tuesday, December 12

No News

I've decided that I was off- I used to use Wednesday as my "new week" day but I've recently discovered my due date is on a Tuesday so I'm switching to Tuesdays. That means today I'm 38 weeks pregnant. This is very much full term.

We took a tour of the hospital last night (they're optional but highly recommended) just to learn about checking-in procedures as well as room amenities and hospital policies. I'm so glad this hospital is very pro-mother/baby bonding, they encourage breastfeeding ASAP after the birth and only run a nursery from 11 PM -7 AM, so rooming in with the baby during the day is pretty much mandatory. The rooms are nice and big and they have very lenient policies on visitors and visiting hours, which is also nice. It made everything just a little more real, since we were there yesterday thinking, "Wow, we're going to be here doing this very soon."

I can tell my body is gearing up for labor in several ways, some too personal to mention on an online blog. :-) But my hormones are changing (acne!) and my back is definitely loosening up- it feels like those bones are barely connected anymore. And I can't do too much walking without having to pause and catch my breath. Being active brings on contractions, that's for sure. I'm not ready to go into labor yet so I'm trying to take it easy. This, however, will make Christmas shopping on Thursday a little difficult!

We are setting up internet at our house on Thursday, so I'll be able to post some updated photos of the baby room and my belly then!

Monday, December 11

Big weekend!

So we had quite an eventful weekend! Saturday we were pretty active- we went to pick out and cut down a Christmas tree at a farm and ran some other errands to several stores... The key here is I was very active. Well I counted at least 6 braxton hicks contractions during the course of the day, along with some low pressure and lower back pain. And I've been exhausted lately. I think this is progress! Sunday I had at least 4 braxton hicks contractions, and the same pressure and back pain. They haven't been painful, but I am definitely aware of them and that they sort of take my breath away. But I'm not hurling over in pain! Hopefully this just means I'm progressing naturally and that we'll have a baby within a couple of weeks!

Also, something else happened. Something traumatic for me. Saturday evening, I noticed my very.first.stretch.marks. 6 actually, on my left hip. I'm not positive they're stretch marks but I'm pretty sure. They're red and kind of look like spider veins, but different. I guess I should feel happy that I made it this far without any marks, but part of me is sad. Another part of me is very proud of them, I guess only because they're so small and in a not-noticable place. I'm wondering though- why 6? And why only on my left?

Saturday we picked up some last-minute items for Bethany at Walmart- since I was feeling so unprepared I solicited the advice of my recently-pregnant friends on items we'll need and got some things like diapers, more newborn-sized clothing, baby nail clippers, diaper cream and some other things. Saturday evening I plopped myself down on the floor in her bedroom and took her clothes/washcloths/blankets out of the packages and sorted through hand-me-downs, organized the laundry and put her room together a bit more. Tomorrow night I am doing laundry (I'm picking out machines on Thursday- sooooooo excited!) and hopefully packing my hospital bag. I really feel a lot better now although I still have quite a bit to do. I'm not worried that I'll go into labor within the next couple of days because I feel like I haven't had any of the other labor signs yet. But every woman is different, so we'll see!

Friday, December 8

Sooooo not ready

I was talking to a friend and I realized I am soooo not ready yet. I have so many things left to do! I've been so focused on unpacking boxes and organizing the house- which are yes, very important tasks- but I haven't even begun preparing for baby. Or, rather, I'm preparing for labor but not for the fact that I actually have to bring home a child after labor and delievery, you know? Pregnancy so far has been all about me- about taking care of myself and doing things for me that are good for the baby. Pretty soon it's not going to be about me at ALL, instead, it'll all be about her! It's just a hard concept to grasp, a completely different frame of mind. DH has set up her crib and dresser (that's doubling as a changing table) and we have a rocking chair in her room. That's IT. I haven't washed a single onesie or washcloth, I don't even have baby soap to wash off her precious bottom with, I have no clean receiving blankets or crib sheets, I have only *one* package of diapers and that's it. What else do I need? I don't even know! I don't even have my hospital bag packed yet! I need to do that... That's pretty important. I know really all she'll need are clothe, burp rags, blankets, socks and diapers but I feel unprepared, I guess since nothing is washed yet. Her crib isn't even 100% set up since it turns out we're missing 3 screws that we'll probably have to order from the manufacturer since Lowes doens't have them. Luckily I am only 37 weeks and not really showing any signs of labor yet, so hopefully I'll have a couple or more weekends before she decides she's ready. So I'm pushing back my desired due date to December 18. Long enough before Christmas, but still early.

The commute to work really hasn't been too bad, it takes me about 50 minutes to get to work and 65 to get home. It's by no means fun, but it's just not as painful as I thought it would be. My back gets a little sore but it's my rear end that hurts the most! Today, Friday, is our last company lunch- it's a Christmas lunch/my going away lunch. If you don't know about my company lunches, they are goooooood. There are 4 people in my office, all women, and we do it right- fancy boutique resturant, appetizers and entrees and dessert, maybe a bottle of wine or two (before I became pregnant it was definitely two bottles). I'm not talking about Chilis or even a Papas resturant, but somewhere where out bill is at least $200, minimum. Man I'm going to miss that. Next Wednesday, the 13th, is my last day at work. Then I will sleep for a few days and do all that other stuff I have to do to get ready for Beth!

I can't decide if I want to decorate for Christmas because decorating just means I'll have to take it all down after the Epiphany, which means more work for a new mom. So... we might just stick with a live tree (which we're cutting down tomorrow morning!) and a nativity scene and advent wreath. I don't think I'll do too much more just because of the effort part. I might change my mind though, especially if I get that sudden burst of energy that happens right before labor!

Sorry for the novel! Since we have no home internet, I'll update again on Monday!

Wednesday, December 6

I'm sick!

No fun! We both picked something up over the Thanksgiving break and have both been sick since then. Mine has been a persistant cough along with other head cold symptoms and DH has had a scratchy, sore throat. I've missed work for 3.5 days because of this, and we don't have internet at our new house yet, which is why I haven't updated my blog or returned emails lately! DH and I visited a doctor on Monday and both were prescribed some drugs so we're both on the recovering end of it all. It hasn't been pleasant- not only can I not sleep because I'm fat and uncomfortable but I can't sleep because of coughing fits. Last night was my first "good" night (only up twice) since before Thanksgiving. I need to get over this quick so I can spend some time preparing for baby!

Since we've been sick, we haven't been able or up to doing too much with our house. We bought a dresser/changing table for Beth's room but it hasn't been assembled yet because we don't want to go in there all coughing and sneezing and being gross on everything. That and I still need to wash her newborn clothes and receiving blankets, buy some diapers and probably a couple of other things for her... Gosh I should probably figure out what I'm going to need for a newborn, huh?

I'm 37 weeks today, yesterday's OB appointment showed no new progress- soft cervix but still posterior. I'm actually a little relieved though since I'm totally not ready yet to have her, even just writing all of this has made me realize how much more I have to do!

My last day of work is a week from today- the 13th. It was supposed to be the 15th but we've hired a new employee and there's really not room in my office for all 5 of us so I'm leaving a couple of days earlier. I'm actually becoming a little sad that this part of my life is coming to a close, but then I think about what's about to happen and really, I'm more than excited to start this next chapter of life!

I'm officially full term as of today, and only 3 more weeks until my due date!
 
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