Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Baby Charlie Has Arrived!!!

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been busy with the newest member of our family!

Charlie decided he was going to make us force him to come out as he was definitely too cozy. So, January 19th was our scheduled induction date. Believe it or not, I actually did sleep the night before, probably because I skipped my nap on the 18th in the hopes I'd be able to sleep some that night. I got up at 4:45am, and we were due at the hospital by 6:30. We left our house at 5:45am, and arrived at L&D at 6:15. We were ready to go! To be honest, I didn't expect them to really do much besides a set of vitals and put in an IV before shift change at 7am, but they were working on us right through shift change, it was awesome! They started my IV, did a set of vitals, put me on my side (thanks to the high blood pressure in any position but on my side), rechecked my stats, and hooked me up to the monitor.

Charlie's heartrate was fine, but was only riding in the low 100's-110's. This had me slightly curious given the fact that his norm was 140's. I thought maybe he was sleeping until it continued. They were ok with it, and kept telling each nurse and doc that came in that it was his baseline. I don't know about that, but I do know that any heart rate greater than 100 is normal, so I wasn't too concerned. One of the nurse practitioners checked me and I was 3cm and still about 50% effaced. On the monitor they saw that I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart, so they said they couldn't start me on pitocin yet. It's funny, I thought they were braxton hicks, I mean, they're not any different than what I'd been feeling the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and they didn't hurt. They were talking about maybe breaking my water, but they didn't want to do it until they spoke with my doctor because with the polyhydramnios, sometimes the docs wanted to be there in case there was a problem. At 7:15am, they broke my water. I was a little concerned because it was really bloody, but evidently if they rupture your membranes for you, that's normal. It did eventually turn clear. By this point my contractions had spaced out so they started me on Pitocin.

Evidently, I respond really well to pitocin. They started it, and then they had to back it down because the contractions were coming closer than they'd like. Then they'd slow down and they'd have to kick the pitocin back up, and we went back and forth like this all day. In the meantime, Charlie was deciding to drop his heartrate at times, lower than my heart rate, during contractions. This bothered me as it seemed like FOREVER before he'd come back up, and the nurse would stand there at times, holding her breath. No one really liked that he was doing this, and the thought was that his cord was wrapped around something and during contractions it was being compressed. They continued to watch me closely. He'd drop his heartrate and they'd come in and have me change positions. This happened frequently and I spent most of my time on my left side. By 11:30am I was 6cm and 90% effaced, had my epidural in, and by 1:30pm when they next checked me I was 7cm. I was worried we were slowing down since I'd had that big jump between 7:30 and 11:30 and then two hours later had only changed by 1cm, but at least I was progressing. The poor lady in the room next to me had also been an induction and they were preparing to send her home because it wasn't progressing. I felt awful for her, at least I knew I was having that baby soon.

They checked me next around 3:10pm and I was 9cm during a contraction, so a little less when I wasn't contracting. Charlie continued to elude the monitor and have drops in his heart rate so they put in a scalp electrode to monitor his heart rate. At 4pm, I asked when they were going to check me again. I was told I'd be checked when my doc finished her office hours and came over. I was comfortable with the epidural, so this was fine. My doc came over around 5 and checked me and told me it was time to have this baby! Yes!!! We kicked my father-in-law and Jack out. My mom got the job of holding my one leg, and Archie the other. My mother-in-law was up by my head behind my husband, but after a couple of pushes, and me feeling like I was going to pass out and throw up all at once, she got the job of fanning me with magazines and a barf bucket. I'm sure she was just praying I wouldn't throw up on her.

I pushed for about 10 minutes and my doctor told me that two more pushes, he'd be out. I gave it all I had for one more push, and Charlie dropped his heart rate to the 60's and wasn't coming back up. At that point, my doctor made the decision to use the vacuum to get him out. This is something I wasn't entirely comfortable with until the night before my induction. I had told my nurse that if it came down to him needing to be assisted out, I would prefer the vacuum over forceps delivery. I gave him one more push while the doc applied the vacuum, and at 5:16pm, Charlie was born! He weighed 8 pounds 0.4 ounces. He is not chubby at all, as a matter of fact, he's rather scrawny looking-probably because he's also a long boy, measuring in at 21.75 inches!!! He has a full head of hair, and looks JUST LIKE JACK did as a baby. Which basically means he looks like Archie, LOL. I was told for the first year of Jack's life that I obviously had nothing to do with his conception since he looked nothing like me!

I am so in love with this little guy. My little family feels complete. Jack absolutely loves him. He always wants to kiss him, hug him, and touch him. I've included a few pictures for you guys.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

38w4d and OB Appointment

Hello all! Well, we are definitely in the home stretch. It's been an eventful week thus far, let me tell you about it. Last week, I had to scheduled my appointment with a growth scan for this week. I originally scheduled it for 10:15am, however, once I told one of my friends/coworkers that was when my appointment was, I found out that 11am was the scheduled time for a shower being thrown for me and Charlie. She said they knew I'd screw it up either with an appointment or having the baby early. Hahaha, it might sound mean that she said that, but seriously, I have a black cloud, and it translates between work and my personal life-it's just how my luck is. So I called the next morning begging for another appointment as this was the only time the majority of the people I work with could make it. The only day the ultrasound tech was going to be in was Thursday, but they could fit me in at 8:30am for the growth scan and then I'd see my doc afterwards. I took that appointment.

I woke up early Saturday morning (3am) and felt something that felt like a squirt (gross I know, but that is what it felt like), but it didn't feel like I had peed myself. It was clear fluid. I thought I might be leaking amniotic fluid. Archie was at work and would be home around 6am. I decided to wait since I wasn't having any contractions, and to be honest, it seemed like a repeat of what happened the morning I went into labor with Jack. I figured if I gave it some time maybe contractions would start up. So about 8am I called the on call doc. Of course, I was told to go in and be checked. I went in and while I wasn't any further dilated, the nurse practitioner thought I was about 70% effaced and still 2 cm. They checked what I had, and didn't think it was amniotic fluid, but said that it could be that the most significant amount was at 3am, and unless I had more it wasn't going to show up positive for amniotic fluid. My blood pressure when I went in was 157/101. I told them I'd been high in the office for my OB appointments lately, but it was usually mid-high 80's for the diastolic, not over 100 for sure. I told them that what my OB does is have me lay down on my side for 5 minutes and then they recheck it and usually it's gone back down. Sure enough this was the case that morning as well, but because I'd had that one really high BP, they wanted to run labs to make sure I was pre-eclamptic. So I sat around and waited for the labs to come back and was monitored during that time. Charlie's heartrate looked great on the strip, and we caught one contraction but that was it. I was sent home and told to keep an eye on the fluid.

I worked Monday night and Tuesday night. I came home yesterday morning and did what I always need to do the second I walk through the door-ran to the bathroom to tinkle. I sat down and my nose was running so I blew it while I was still on the toilet since that seems to be a problem lately (I can't sneeze, blow my nose or cough without dribbles-darn stress incontinence!). Well, after I blew my nose I saw a black thing which I thought was a spider on the wall in front of me, until I realized that then I saw about 20 of them swirling around and it wasn't a spider-it was black spots. Great. I'd been dizzy most of the night, and would sit down to take care of my patients when I started feeling like that (we take care of babies, not adults, so I knew my coworkers wouldn't appreciate it if I passed out on them!), but I can't lay down at work, so that was the best I could do. I knew the spots I was seeing was probably because of my blood pressure. I didn't call the doc then, but told myself if after I laid down for a bit this happened again, I'd have to. I wasn't having any other symptoms like a headache, so I figured this was probably ok.

My OB appointment was this morning. I was scheduled for a growth scan beforehand. The ultrasound tech started asking me questions like, "Has anyone told you before that he might be big?" "Do you have gestational diabetes or regular diabetes?" "What was he measuring at your last ultrasound?" I told her yes, they said at his 34 week scan that he was already about 5 pounds 11 ounces, so we know he's on the bigger side. Nope, no diabetes of any kind. It's never a good thing when you see that his femur alone is measuring 41w1d and you're only 38w4d. Long baby. Then she's telling you and pointing out all of his fat rolls. She's telling you that he has no room in there, and his head is all the way down so she can't tell you if he has hair because she can't the probe in there to check since there isn't any amniotic fluid around the top of his head. Lovely. He's huge. Then she looks at you with a cringe type look on her face and says, "I don't want to tell you how big he is measuring." Ha, well you don't have a choice and I don't have a choice either, so just tell me. Yup, Charlie is a big boy at 8 pounds 9 ounces. Big boy wasn't the word I used to describe him after that, I think what came out of my mouth was, "He's a beast!" And let's be honest, he is.

I gained 1 pound in the last week, for a total weight gain of 8 pounds. My initial blood pressure this morning was 142/92. My doc doesn't like the diastolic number above 90 or even getting close. So my nurse made me lay on my left side and then wanted me to sit up to recheck it. It was 134/90. I told her that L&D just has me stay laying down when they recheck it and it's always back to normal-high 70's low 80's. She said Dr. A likes the patients sitting up since it's more reflective of what you're like at home since you most likely aren't just laying around all the time. Ok. Lay down and recheck again in 5 minutes. Sit up, recheck 132/90. Can you see where this is going? Next thing I know, my OB is asking me when I work again. I told her tomorrow night. She said well, I might be done then because she is sending me to L&D for pre-eclampsia labs and if they come back off, I'll be induced today. That sounded great, except that my shower was being held 45 minutes away in about an hour's time. It would take at least an hour for my labs to come back once I got over to L&D. Which meant no Cheesecake Factory (yum yum) for me, and it also meant no celebration! I had to go to L&D, I couldn't just say, "Um, yeah, so could I come back for that in a couple of hours after I've had a great meal and good fun?" Ugh. I called my girlfriend and told her I wouldn't be able to make it. And I thought to myself, as much as I hope I'm not pre-eclamptic, I'd better have slightly off labs and be having this baby today darn it! Finally at 12:15pm I was getting antsy. My labs should have been back, I had to pee (but couldn't get up as I had the BP cuff on and was hooked up to the fetal monitor), and I was starving and all I could think about was what I could have been eating but wasn't! Archie couldn't come into the triage room with me because we had Jack and only one person is allowed in the triage room with you, and so poor Jack had been sitting around waiting since essentially 8:30am! To say I was getting irritable would be putting it lightly.

I heard someone say in the hall that the labs were ok, they were just waiting for Dr. A to come talk to me. I waited another 20 minutes and then was done. I hit the call light to ask to go to the bathroom which then at least got me disconnected from everything and I thought would maybe speed up the process. It didn't speed anything up. Finally the nurse practitioner came in and told me that my doctor had come over for a delivery, they'd hoped she'd be able to stop in and see me before I left and discuss a plan, but now she was dealing with an emergency, so they were going to let me go and just have me call the office when I got home. FINE! We went to Cheesecake Factory because if I was missing my shower, and I was not going to have a baby today, I needed something to put a smile on my face. I called and left a message that I needed to talk to Dr. A. She called me back at about 4:30 today, and she is on call next Thursday and I am scheduled for my induction at 6:30am that day. I'm not real happy that it couldn't be done earlier in the week, but I am happy that we have a plan.

And now that we have a plan, I'd be willing to bet that I go into labor on my own Wednesday night, LOL.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

37w5d and 37 Week OB Appointment

I'm in the home stretch for sure-yay! I saw my OB on Tuesday and was 2 cm, 30% effaced, and my cervix wasn't ready for her to be able to strip my membranes, so we're waiting. I've had some bad swelling lately with my feet, ankles, and calves, and I swear to you I even noticed some in my thighs after work the other morning. Luckily I only have 3 shifts left to work next week.

I continue to have periods of regular contractions, but they never last long enough to deliver a baby. He's comfy and that's ok. I've informed him that if he hasn't moved out by January 15th we will be coming in to get him. My next OB appointment is scheduled for next Thursday morning with an ultrasound prior to seeing my doctor. She wants to make sure he isn't too big before we decide on an induction at 39 weeks. I guess if she thinks he is, I'll be preparing myself for a c-section. To be honest, either one is ok with me, I'm not one of those people who goes in with a rigid birth plan and is dead set against a section. I want my baby out healthy and safely, and if that means that unfortunately I get all the way to 10 cm, and something isn't right, he isn't tolerating labor, or we never make it to 10 cm because I fail to progress, then section me. I'd hate to have to go through all of the work of labor only to have a c-section, but I'd rather he be ok, and me be miserable with recovery for a bit longer. My appointment was scheduled for Friday originally, but because of the ultrasound tech only being in on Thursday my appointment had to be changed. I scheduled it for 10:15am, and had gotten an email from two friends that they wanted to do lunch that day, so I figured I'd be good to meet up with them by noon. I texted the one friend after my appointment the other day and told her when my OB appointment was, only to find out that by changing it, I screwed up plans for some friends from work to have a little shower for me at Cheesecake Factory (one of my favorite restaurants). They were planning it for 11am about a half hour from my doctor's office. Go figure. They said they knew I'd screw it up, either by having the baby early or by making an appointment. It was the one day they could all get together, so now I've changed my appointment. They were able to fit me in at 8:30am. It's going to be an early day, and challenging if Archie doesn't get there before my OB sees me so he can take Jack out of the room (he's coming from about an hour away straight from work). I just don't want Jack in there for the cervix check (he's distractable, but rather nosy), and if I am ready for my membranes to be stripped, I've heard that can be painful and I definitely don't want him in there for that. I'm excited to meet up with everyone for lunch afterwards though! With any luck, that will be my last meal before Charlie gets here, and it will no doubt be delicious!

I read a blog I've followed religiously for a while, and was downright irritated by a comment the blogger made about her tour of a NICU and her feeling that anyone who wanted their baby to be born before 39 or 40 weeks is just plain selfish. I can see where she, someone who hasn't made it to term due to complicated pregnancies could feel that way. I could also see how someone who doesn't realize that babies are considered "term" at 37 weeks would think that. I would agree with her that the mother who at 34 weeks jumps out of a pick up truck repeatedly to try and go into labor is selfish. I would agree that a mom who does drugs or drinks excessively during her pregnancy is selfish. I would see where a mom who tries to abort her baby-on her own-at 30-something weeks gestation (or any gestation for that matter) is selfish. But I don't see where a mom who is ready for her baby to be out at 37 or 38 weeks, knowing what the chances of a NICU stay are (pretty minimal at that point as usually between 36 and 37 weeks the lungs are fully mature), who is dealing with the lovely things that things that can make you miserable towards the end of a term pregnancy (let me assure you that whatever you're feeling at 28, 32 or 34 weeks is not the same as what you'll probably be feeling like at almost 38 weeks or even 40 weeks) can be considered selfish for doing things (with her doctor's permission and knowledge) to help things along. To say I was livid after reading that, would be putting it mildly. I've tried to be supportive to this blogger, but I may have to just stop reading her blog until my hormones have stabilized and I don't feel half nutso anymore.

And yes, I am doing things to try to help things along. I asked my doc at my last appointment if she minded me taking evening primrose oil, or pumping, and she gave me permission after this past Sunday. I'm taking evening primrose oil, but not how I read it was recommended online or by one of my friends. I've read and heard you can take up to 1500mg 3x/day. That seems like a lot to me. I'm taking 1000mg once a day. I also read that in addition to the 1500 mg 3x/day, that once you reach 37 weeks you can begin to take it as a suppository (pessary) 1000mg once a day. That I am doing most days/nights except for nights like last night where I'm contracting regularly when I go to bed, and don't want to have someone give me a strange look because yellow capsules are being delivered in addition to a baby. At the advice of a coworker/lactation consultant, I'm also pumping. Not alot, just enough to get some colostrum set aside for the baby because of food allergy issues. Jack has food allergies which became apparent at 5 weeks, but weren't diagnosed officially (despite my nagging, my lactation consultant's nagging, etc) until he was 4 months old. His allergist's recommendation is to supplement with either breastmilk I've pumped, or a hypoallergenic formula. Jack had a high bilirubin in the hospital and they threatened to keep him if I didn't supplement, and since my milk wasn't in yet, he got formula. We had no idea he'd have food allergies so we used the run of the mill formula which has cow's milk protein in it. He didn't have a milk allergy, but they would still prefer us to use a hypoallergenic formula if we have to use it at all. So to prep, the LC told me I could start pumping at 37 weeks, realizing that it may put me into labor, so definitely not to start prior to 37 weeks. I started on Sunday and got a little set aside for Charlie. It did make me have contractions, but only while I was pumping. You can pump according to some sites to put yourself into labor, but I'm going to need these nipples to be intact for nursing, and they said it can take an hour of pumping to get contractions really going, and you shouldn't stop until they are 5 minutes apart and regular. Well, I'm not doing that. I pumped once today, and will pump again at bedtime, and the LC told me I could do it up to 4 times a day. I'm hoping he'll be here before I work myself up to that, but we'll see. I have only about 7 ml of colostrum set aside for him between two pumpings I've done and not leaked it out of the thing by mistake. It's still better than nothing.

Tomorrow I get to use my Christmas gift from my mom. She planned a "Girls' Day" for us. It will start with a prenantal massage for me, then lunch and a movie. I'm so excited! I'm hoping the massage therapist will know some good pressure points to maybe get things going. We shall see.

One of my friends/coworkers dabbles in photography, and at 34 weeks we had her do maternity pictures for us. Here is the link. Enjoy!