Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby pictures

It's a girl!

Here's the birth story in its un-edited, rambly state. Just want to let everyone know that we are doing great! I'll post some pictures soon. They are all on C's camera, and he's been way too busy to get that taken care of!
Thanks everyone for all your well-wishes.

Birth of baby M

I woke up Tuesday morning to some bloody liquid. I wasn't sure if it was mucus or water leaking. I called my mw and she said to keep an eye on things, take my temp and treat it like broken water and we'd re-evaluate later that day.
I took the boys to the libary, and we went about our usual day. I had a couple of mild contractions, and even told M that if I said we needed to leave the library, I meant NOW. Just so he was a little prepared. I didn't want to tell them what was going on though, since it could be that night, or 2 weeks or more!
By evening, I could tell it was mucus plug and that ctxs were picking up. I called my mw back in the evening and she said to time a couple of the ctxs. They were around 10-20 minutes apart, very irregular. I tried to go to bed, even though I felt kind of antsy. I wanted to do laundry and pick up but I knew I NEEDED sleep. I laid down and got hit with a couple of ctxs--still 20 minutes then 15 minutes apart. Then suddenly, I had 4 that were 3 minutes apart and were lasting longer, with a real peak. I got up to tell C. Apparently there was some sort of change on my face b/c as I came down the stairs, he looked up at me and said, "in labor?"
I called my mw back. Even though I didn't fit the 411 or 311 rule (4 minutes apart, 1 minute duration, lasting for an hour +). She told me to call right away since my labor with M was only 5 hours and her assistants were in Vancouver and Portland. She had already called them aparently, figuring that it was my night so they could get the birth kit stuff from the birth center and to her house.
They were here in about 30/45 minutes. They set up in my bathroom, and then we hung out in the living room and chatted as I contracted. The ctx were around 6 minutes apart now, and still quite bearable, but took a little concentration. I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood, so C and I did that. It was a beatiful night and very peaceful to walk on our little street. Whenever I would stop, he would turn and hold me while I swayed.
We went home after awhile and I think I went upstairs. Ctxs were getting stronger, and I got in the tub after trying different positions around the bed and such. The water felt great, but I was still having a rough time with some of the ctx. Just as I was getting in the tub, I got hit with 3 hard ones right on top of each other. Everyone thought I was hitting transition. But, after several hours in tub, I was getting discouraged, and asked to be checked. 6cm! Man was I peeved. I had already sailed past the 5 hour mark, and was only 6 cm. I got out and went to bed. C and I slept for about an hour, which I think helped a lot. I woke up to another really rough set of ctx. The whole labor I never really had regular ctx. They would come in fits and starts. Then I'd have some milder ones, a break, then really unbearable ones.
I labored around my room and walked through the hall for awhile. I found that if I really danced and swayed deep, that it helped a lot. But after a while I wanted back in the tub. I was really vocalizing (loud!) though them now. It was really hard for me to handle them. I'm not sure if it was because I was so tired or what, but I just had a really tough time letting the each ctx go. I felt such an urge to resist them. I started chanting through them, things like open, down, out, oh baby. That helped a lot. Near the end I had a bunch of them that I was yelling at. Stop, no more, that kind of positive stuff. LOL. C was amazing! Just awesome. He held me through each one, made sure i was staying hydrated, and talked me through every single contraction. Told me I was doing it, talked about the baby and how we would soon meet our baby. I totally would have given up if it wasn't for hiim. I was ready a couple of times to throw in the towel and ask for a transfer. But I reminded myself I would get more than just a pain reliever at the hospital. Most of my birth plan and newborn care requests would be thrown out the window. So I stuck it out.
I started to feel the ctx most intensely in my hips. Then started to feel my body bearing down. I didn't want to push with them though, as I had no idea how dialated I was and didn't want to make things harder for myself if I wasn't dialated. I labored like that for awhile longer, but then I distinctly felt her head coming down. I think I said "head" or something like that, and I was vaguely aware of some movement in the room, but I think mw and her assistants were already there. I was really fuzzy about anything outside a certain radius of me. I do remember C saying something about getting M, and I saw M standing there. I was laying kind of on my side in the water and was checking baby's progress. I suddenly started pushing and felt the head. It was the most incredible sensation! I kept my hand there and had this overwhelming internal conflict over my body pushing, the baby pushing, and my mental struggles over it wanting to just be over, but wanting to go slow so it didn't hurt! The shift from regular ctx to pushing was a complete and total about-face. It was a physical as well as mental shift. I can see that women were meant to be able to deliver with minimal assistance. I know that I was aware enough to have been able to handle quite a bit if I needed to. Though it was nice to have professionals around too!
Anyway, as I felt her head coming down, I could really feel the ring of fire. I didn't get that with M, since the doc cut a huge old episiotomy. Though, I was even tempted to ask for that cuz it burned so bad! Not, really, and I never did, but I the thought crossed my mind! I also felt the bulge of the bag of waters. So when I would push and she would descend more, I could feel her head, but when I would rest, I could feel the water. Very cool. When her head was completely in the birth canal, I finally got a rest and that was nice. But then it started up again. It was a huge relief to have her head out. Then I was able to feel her slowly do her little turning dance as she got her shoulders situated. Another truly weird sensation! Anouther couple of pushes and she was all out! I reached down with my other hand and pulled her up to my chest where Jennifer, my mw and I both reached for the sack at the same time to pull it off her face. As soon as Jennifer saw what I was doing, I think she pulled back and let me.
I just held her for awhile, in awe that my baby was now on my chest! So overwhelmed. It took me awhile to pull her up and check gender. A girl! I think I nearly lost it at that point. I was shaking, but not sobbing--which is a little unusual for me! LOL She was just beautiful. Perfect color, tone, whimpers, grimaces, everything. And completely covered in the thickest vernix! A very cheesy baby. With a perfect head. I was thinking that she was farther down in my hips for longer, but I guess not.
I delivered the placenta just a few minutes later, and it was in great shape--and big. C cut the cord after the placenta had been checked and I was ready to get out of the tub. Oh, I was also vaguely aware just after delivery that my SIL brought in G and E so they could see the baby too. So everyone got to meet her right away, which is just what I wanted. I got out, dried off a bit and layed down on the bed. I took baby back from C, who was holding her so I could get out of the tub, and she latched right on. She is a great nurser. She always wants to nurse, but we are just now starting to have a bit of a challenge with her not wanting to open her mouth wider and get that tongue out. After I nursed her, the mw checked me and her. Everything looked great. Baby M was 6lb, 4oz (daddy weighed her :P) and 19.5 inches long. I have some skid marks up top, but nothing too bad. No stitches! Yay! Oh, and thanks to being able to eat and drink, and no drugs to mess with my system, my blood pressure was 108/80. Just grand compared to the 40/30 it tanked at with M!
I did have some dizzyness and fainted later that day when I tried to get up for the first time without help. Not so smart of me, but I'm much better now. Staying in bed and, resting, and feeding my little girl! I still can't believe I actually have a daughter. It's funny too that if I'm not paying attention and I refer to her, I'll say "him" sometimes. Just so used to having boys. I can't wait to dress her in some of the girl clothes a friend gave us. She is still so tiny she just swims in everything I have, so I'll wait a bit.
Baby M is so peaceful. She is a little perturbed by gas bubbles, but settles down pretty quick. She is also super alert. She opens both eyes wide and just looooks around. Soo sweet. Big brother M (gotta figure out how I'm gonna differentiate the 2 on the blog!) says she looks old. She is a bit of an old soul it seems. The boys are all completely smitten with their sister. E even touches her softly. He just says "baby" over and over. G and M can't stop looking at her and talking about her. C and I are tired, but good. We are blessed to have lots of help from friends and family.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The baby

There's no babe in my arms yet, still pregnant, but wanted to update on that. I see so many bloggers give a week-by-week update. If you want that, sorry. Didn't happen.
I am now 37 weeks and 5 days. That is full term. Yay! For someone who stated this journey in complete and udder shock, expecting this to not last, this is a trremendous milestone. There have been lots of milestones, really. First time hearing the heartbeat, feeling the first movement, making to 28 weeks, all that. It's been quite a ride. I haven't focused as much on the pregnancy as much as I always thought I would. We were too caught up in the house. Then there are the 3 other kids to raise. Somehow that takes a bit of energy!
It has been a pretty healthy pregnancy, like I've said before. I have had aches and pains, and I can always find something to complain about--just ask C! LOL For the most part though, it's been a dream pregnancy.
I can already tell that tthis babe is lots different from M. M was a kicker. And big. This one rolls and stretches like crazy, but no kicking. As for size, this one is definitely smaller. There is actually a bit of concern on that front. For those of you not familiar with pregnancy, the dr/midwife measures the "fundal height" at each appt. From the 20th week of pregnancy on, the measurement from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus should be 1 cm per week of gestation, roughly. Obviously, there is variation. However, I seem to be measuring a bit too far behind. My midwife estimates the babe to be about 5.5-6 pounds at this point. BUT, my fundal height was only 31-32 cm at 37 weeks. Anything more than 4 cm behind is a flag for IUGR, or Intrauterine Growth Restriction.
Now, if I were getting care from an ob or similarly medically minded birth professional, I would be subjected to a battery of tests from here on out. Ending in either an induction or a c-section. It would start with weekly ultrasounds to measure baby's head and abdomen, as well as amniotic fluid levels. Then there would be the NSTs or non-stress tests--some of the most innacurate tests out there, not that ultrasound has any validity for determining size at this point! There would also probably be bedrest, more dr's appts and a possible referral to a perinatologist. I love having a midwife who is a direct entry midwife. She told me to do my own research. Offered me her library if I want, but I mostly looked online at the medical resources. I'lll get to HER prescription in a minute.
She offered me an ultrasound which I have declined. I need to finish up my letter outlining my refusal and understanding of the risks. What I learned is that I am not really at huge risk. By definition, 10% of pregnancies can be classified as IUGR, sinice it is defined as a baby who is in the bottom 10th percentile for growth for gestational age. Risk factors/causes include drug use, smoking, malnutrition, infection, and chromosomal abnormalities. I don't fit any of the former, and the latter would result in growth delays early on. At 20-25 weeks I was measuring right on, so I'm not worried. Most likely, this baby is just small. In may favor are the following--I have no protein in my urine, I have low blood pressure, and no swelling. The baby's heart rate is maintaining at 140-ish and is always moving. So I don't have really ANY flags for worry. Which is why I am declining further testing. An ultrasound would not give an accurate weight on baby, and all the testing would just contribute to stress which I totally do NOT need right now.
So, my midwife gave a very simple prescription. One that I will never again have in my LIFE! She said to eat. Eat like I may never eat again. Ice cream especially. Fatten up the baby. From now until birth, I have to consume massive amounts of calories.
Now, to be honest, when she called I was gleeful. Who woudn''t want such a prescription. I was smiling like a goob all through the grocery store, stocking up on carbs and sugar. Ice cream, ravioli, bread, cream puffs, pizza, juice (water makes me feel full with no calorie benefit).
2 days into it though, it started to get a little old. I have to give my mom credit. She did a great job letting us learn our body cues regarding hunger and satiety. Turns out I am really good at that. I have a terrible time eating when I'm not hungry. I seriously just want to eat a nice light salad and STOP. 4 days into this, I'm getting a little better. I am learning what I can eat without noticing as much (toast and chips) and what makes me feel full really fast (ice cream). Trouble is, ice cream is supposed to be so great for fattening babies. I'll keep trying!

The house, part the next

I am such a bad blogger lately. I figured I'd better post about the house though, because it's just too darn cool!
So, we listed the house 3 weeks ago. It went up mid-day on that Friday. Friday afternoon, our agent had a call from another agent that her clients wanted to see the house. Yeah, it was a nice weekend. It turns out they really, really like the house! They had been looking at another one up the hill. The wife took a look on the computer before going back out to look at it. They saw ours and decided to check it out. Saturday, they spent 1 1/2 hours at our house. Sunday, they came back and took pictures. Then, we got the call about their offer! It was only a few thousand less than our asking price.
We have everything hammered out, and our half of the paperwork is all turned in. Well, as far as I know it is. As soon as their loan is finished and they sign their paperwork, we are back to being single home owners again. What a relief!! It actually looks like it's possible that we'll be rid of the house before baby gets here. Baby is the subject of the next post, I promise! :-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The henna session

These pictures are in reverse order, so if you want chronological, start at the end and work your way up. I had a great time, Melanie was awesome.She is the owner of Blue Lotus Henna. She works at the Saturday Market as well as doing private appointments in her home or parties where she will come to you. She does a lot of blessingways and such. I highly recommend her. She is an amazing artist and is very sweet. Wouldn't it be fun to have a girl's henna night? Hmmm, I might have to do that sometime! When I have time, y'know.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Double the fun

You can't get the full effect of library computers with just one mouse apparently. He was having the most fun he'd apparently had all week to hear him squeal!
Sorry about the image quality-cell phone was all I had with me.
Okay, I tried something different. Hopefully it shows up now?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Random baby sewing

I have managed to get some sewing done. Some of it even baby sewing!

Here's two outfits I made from Ottobre Patterns. They still need snaps. Which are in a box in the garage. Somewhere. I'm pretty sure...

My version of a Binsi skirt. Since I never spend that much on clothes, and it's just a skirt, I figured I could do that! Plus I got to pick out the fabric I loved. Isn't sewing great. I didn't do a drawstring. I think they are a pain to put in, and I didn't want one dangling around anyway. If I decide I want a different fit later, I can always take in the elastic.

This one isn't for me, but I have another one cut out and ready to go. Different fabric, but same color scheme. This is for a woman who is due with her first (a boy!) just after me. So I made this mei tai for her shower gift. There are a few little things that I wish I had done better, but not enough to go back and fix them. I'm getting lazy!
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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I wanna win!

The MDC Etsy street team is having a giveaway. Man, it looks like fun stuff. The deal is if you go their blog and comment and then blog about the giveaway, you get 3 chances to win. Buying stuff gets you one ticket per $ spent. So I'm gonna have to do that.
The only hard part is deciding what to buy. Good thing I have a little paypal stash.
Here's the link to the blog that tells you all about it!
You can also search Etsy for MDCSPRINGFLING for a list of all the shops that are participating. There are some amazingly creative mamas out there!