Saturday, January 30, 2010
For those who haven't heard Olivia Marie entered the world Monday, January 25th at 9:03 pm, weighing 9 lbs. 3 oz., 22 inches long.
She is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and my heart bursts everytime I look at her. My love for her is already indescribable.
My birth story (sans epidural) is actually a pretty great one and I look forward to having the chance to share it with you. Unfortunately, there isn't much that can pull me away from my daughter at this point, but I promise it's coming.
We're getting settled in at home, and doing our best to savor every minute of a time in life that I know will pass much too quickly. God has given us life's greatest gift and I thank him everday for my beautiful daughter.
And, to all of you out there thinking of us and wishing us well, your virtual support means the world to me, so thank you :).
Friday, January 22, 2010
Same old, same old - aside from the fact that little one can feel free to join the rest of us on the outside whenever she chooses. I get there and they weigh me (I lost a pound), do a urine check (no protein) and then they take my blood pressure (normally about 120/80). Hmmm... Unfortunately my blood pressure is high this time - 140-something over 80-ish (I can't remember exact numbers). I am feeling a bit jittery (maybe I should have eaten more than toast and a banana) and nervous about what progress I am or am not making, but still... They check it a second time and it's still a bit high.
So, they tell me to wait for the doctor and I of course started freaking out, although Josh is continually telling me things will be fine. I'm well aware that they're going to now be worried about preeclampsia and the dreaded I-word is going to be discussed sooner than I'd like. Don't get me wrong, if this baby is in any type of distress, you go ahead and take her right now by any means necessary. But, for a woman hoping for an intervention free birth, induction is like a death sentence, and I just wanted to make sure that we weren't jumping the gun on anything.
So, my wonderfully kind doctor comes in the room and sees the distress on my face. She immediately tells me that we're not going to induce today, but we need to run some extra tests. First off though, she proceeds with my internal exam. My cervix is softer than last week, but still no dialation or effacement -ugh! I try not to get discouraged. We then discuss our plan of action...
Because I have no protein in my urine, I've lost a pound (not exactly a sign of retaining extra fluid), and other than my ankles I don't appear to be swollen (she said most women with preeclampsia have a clearly swollen face and nose) she really doesn't think I'm preeclamptic. However, she is sending me over to Labor and Delivery to be monitored. They'll continue to monitor my blood pressure, check the baby's activity to make sure she's not in distress, do another urine sample and test my blood. If everything looks good, I can go home until Monday. Oh, and she also told me working and working out are dunzo. And, lastly, to rule out toxemia I'm going to have to collect my urine for a straight 24 hours. Awesome!
At this point, Josh and I head over to Labor and Delivery. I pee in a cup (again), get hooked up to all the monitors, someone comes to draw blood, etc. Basically, everything looks fantastic. My blood pressure is back to normal, the baby is moving around like crazy (the nurse even commented "I wish they all looked this good"), and all of the tests are coming back fine. And, it turns out I'm actually having contractions the whole time - anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes apart. Hmmm...
Once we're finished with everything, it's been about 2 1/2 hours. The nurse comes in and asks me if I'm interested in being checked again since I've been having some decent contractions, and she can even initiate some massage/membrane stripping if I'm hoping to get things moving. At this point, I don't think this baby ever wants to come out so I take her up on her offer. Wouldn't you know it, I'm now 1 cm dialated and 70% effaced. Hail Mary, some progress...
Olivia is still up kind of high and needs to descend into the pelvis (what else is new), so we discussed some positioning (hands and knees, sit on the ball, lay on my left side) to do at home and I'm sent on my merry way. Of course, I'm doing all of these things already, but hopefully the contractions will help her to move down.
Josh and I head home, eat a little dinner, relax on the couch and wouldn't you know it...I'm still having contractions!! Totally bearable and sometimes barely noticeable, but they're definitely there. While only a few woke me up throughout the night, I'm assuming they continued as I was still having them upon waking this morning. So as of right now contractions are still present, although I'm not really timing them as most are pretty mild. I just hope that my body is doing its thing. To be honest, I'm afraid to even say the words contraction or early labor because I'm afraid that it will all suddenly stop!
If I make it until Monday, we have a growth ultrasound scheduled and then another doctor's appointment. If my blood pressure is elevated again, I'm not sure if she'll let me go much longer. But, in the hope that it's not, I have another appointment and non-stress test schedule for next Thursday. I certainly hope I'm still not pregnant then, but it's not really something I can control. Time will tell...
In the meantime, if anyone has some baby dust to throw out there, I'd sure love to meet my daughter sooner rather than later :).
Friday, January 15, 2010
And, some more current ones at 39 weeks. I apologize for the poor image quality - I still take these with my point and shoot.
At this point, I'm pretty uncomfortable. Not, "get her out now" uncomfortable, but I'd rather wear lounge pants and a t-shirt than just about anything else, getting dressed (let's not even talk about shoes and socks) is a ridculously long process, and movement in general is strained.
Sometimes, she'll be stretching out in the middle of the night and I'll wake up from feeling like my organs are being shifted around. Then, it's even weirder when I'll go to roll over, and her protuding feet (on my left side) hit the pillow and nudge her butt over (on my right side). She's running out of room in there for sure.
As far as doctor's visits and progress... At my 38 week appointment, I left feeling a bit bummed when the doctor informed me that this little lady hadn't descended into my pelvis AT ALL and I tested postive for Group B Strep. Now, I'm not going to link to any internet information on GBS because I've been there, done that and all of those worst case scenario stories are simply frightful. Basically, 25% to 40% of women carry the GBS bacteria in their bodies, and while it isn't harmful to me, it could be harmful to the baby.
Therefore, I need to be at the hospital at least 5 hours prior to delivery in order to get 2 doses of IV antibiotics into my bloodstream, 4 hours apart. Those antibiotics then have time to pass to little Olivia, and she will be protected while passing through the birth canal. If for some reason I don't get to the hospital in time to get both doses of antibiotics?? Then, they'll have to give them to Olivia after delivery. Although, this being my first baby and being prepared for a somewhat lengthy labor, I'm not necessarily anticpating an issue with time.
I was a bit freaked out about the whole thing at first, but after talking with my doctor at length (in all her years of practice she's only had one baby that didn't do well with the GBS and there were already problems in utero due to it) and many friends who tested positive and had wonderful births, I'm feeling informed and ready to go. But, how will the positive GBS diagnosis affect my birth plan?
For one, I'll definitely have to be hooked up to a Hep-Lock IV. This isn't a big deal because while I didn't want the continuous IV throughout labor, I was fine with them running the line in case of an emergency. Two, I hope the constant worry of the time constraint doesn't mess with my mind too much in early labor. Meaning, I want to labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. Now, that I have that 5 hour window hanging over my head will I end up at the hospital too early? Time will tell... In the meantime, there are more important obstacles to overcome like this baby not going too far past her due date so I can avoid induction. Which brings me to my 39 week doctor's appointment...
Thankfully, Olivia has started to descend lower into my pelvis. She isn't yet fully engaged, but the doctor was happy that she's moving in the right direction and definitely doesn't anticipate her flipping feet first or anything. No dialation or effacement to speak of, but that isn't too surprising at this stage of the game. My blood pressure is perfect, weight gain is great (just over 35 pounds - eek!) no protein in my urine, I'm measuring exactly on track, etc. I have started to notice some constant swelling in my legs and ankles, but I'm 39 weeks pregnant. What do you expect? :)
If I make it to my due date, next Friday, she is going to want to do a growth ultrasound to try and gauge how big this little one is getting. Based on my measurement, there is no reason to assume she is larger than average (about 7 to 7 1/2 pounds) but due to a family history of larger babies on both sides she wants to double check as she allows me to go to 41 weeks. Obviously we've had that discussion, and as long as everything is still looking good at 40 weeks, she is fine with letting me go to 41. Let's not forget that the majority of first time moms don't go before 41 weeks anyway. After 41 weeks, well... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, and of course induction will become a very real possiblity. Sigh...
Other than that, I'm just trying to enjoy as much sleep and relaxation as I can this next week or two. I'm still working (and plan to up until Olivia's arrival), but I sit on my birthing ball behind the desk for most of the day and I'm still exercising 3 days a week - usually 1 day of weights and two days of about an hour on the elliptical. Bags are packed, baby clothes are washed and put away, and necessary gadgets are assembled.
For now, we're on Olivia's schedule and I trust that she knows better than than the rest of us, as we await her entrance into the world.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
No, I haven't had this baby yet. But, at almost 39 weeks I am honestly flabbergasted at the thought that I'm 9 days from my due date. So surreal...