Evelyn had her first doctor's appointment today. I was required by my insurance to take her to my general practitioner until the end of this month, however after tomorrow I'll be able to put her into her own medical group and get her to see a pediatrician.
Her first checkup was all great news! She's "recovered" her weight from birth (babies generally lose a pound) and now weights 8 lbs 14 oz. She's grown in length too - if I remember correctly she was 19 in at birth and she's 24 in. The doctor said her skin looked good, her ears looked good, her eyes looked good, she didn't have any "clicky" hips and she has a strong cry!
I asked questions in regards to her skin peeling so much in some places (and just being flaky in others), but she assured me it was normal and would heal itself. She said it was a sign of a full term baby, that babies in the womb longer have more peeling. Who would have thought? I also asked about the fact that she makes a lot of noise in regards to bowel movements, but she said that as long as she has bowel movements (oh yeah, she's a champion pooper - at least two dirty diapers before she's done nursing after a nap) there was nothing to worry about.
So all in all - Evy is doing wonderfully so far!
Other great news: She lost her umbilical cord tonight! I'm excited to be able to give her a tub bath and also not to have to worry about folding down her diaper in the front to make room for the stub.
The clean version of Evy's birth story will be first - for those of you not interested in messy details like hemorrhaging and catheters :P
After our doctor's appointment on Thursday, where my doctor told me I still hadn't made any progress since the week before, I was a little disappointed. We made an appointment for a stress test the following Thursday and I was trying to stay positive that she was only two days beyond her medical due date and in fact only 40 weeks on Thursday so in my opinion she wasn't even late yet. Friday night I spotted a bit of blood after going to the bathroom and I was pretty sure I'd passed my cervical mucus plug, a good sign that my body was beginning to dilate. Saturday morning I woke up and wasn't feeling very well. I began to have what felt like menstrual cramps, however I kept my plans of going to see my sister for most the day. I didn't want to be at home alone (Paul had to put in a few hours at work) anyhow, and my sister was my best pregnancy resource and I knew she'd make me feel calm and reassured that everything was okay. I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling, so I was keeping everything light with Paul as I knew he'd be on edge and anxious if he thought I was having "contractions". While at my sister's she confirmed my suspicions that they were contractions, but we were both convinced that I'd likely be having contractions for a day or so before anything happened. The contractions were slightly consistent if I moved around - spaced about fifteen minutes apart, however when I relaxed they spaced out to about a half hour apart.
I left my sister's at around two and on the way home my contractions began to get stronger. Still convinced that we'd be at it for awhile, Paul & I stopped and picked up lunch and even hit up some frozen yogurt :D Once home though, I really began to feel the contractions and we began to time them. From about 3pm to 8pm the contractions remained consistent at about 7 to 10 minutes apart. I'd called my doctor and confirmed that I need to call him and go to the hospital when they were five minutes apart for a least two hours. At about 8pm I began to get really frustrated with my contractions because they were not consistent at all and seemed fueled by my trying to lie down. I remember from my Bradley Classes, and also on the advice of my sister, that I should be trying to get as much rest between contractions as I could considering that once they really began to pick up I'd be working really hard. But every time I leaned back or tried to lay down a strong one would hit.
From 9pm to 10pm the contractions grew stronger, yet no more consistent. It was about 10pm as I was working through one of my contractions - a really hard one that made me think, "Oh I hope I can do this!!!" that my bag of waters broke! It was such a surprise as I was expecting to have it ruptured at the hospital. With my bag of waters broken, Paul & I had some decisions to make. We called our doctor who, of course said, go straight to the hospital. There is a slight chance of infection now that the bag of waters was broken and they don't take chances. I also called my Bradley instructor who told me that I needed to really consider before going to the hospital. She said most of her couples will labor for much longer after the bag of waters has broken, waiting until the contractions are consistent and they are sure it is time. She just advised to not take a bath - and of course not to have sex (I know, duh - but I guess it's happened). My sister warned me too, saying that once I get to the hospital I'd be on a time table and would probably be restricted from walking and continuing to labor as I needed to. Paul & I talked about it and decided that since this was our first and since I felt like everything was moving along that we'd take a chance and go to the hospital.
On the way to the hospital I was timing the contractions and they began to become consistent and only FOUR minutes apart. In fact, as I was getting out of the car one came on and I had to grip onto a pole to push through it. A hospital attendant saw me and rushed to get me a wheelchair and helped us get our paperwork going so I could go into L&D. During this time contractions were still four minutes apart and very consistent - and they wheeled me into L&D and let me change while Paul filled out all the necessary paperwork. Our nurse was named Kiley and she was WONDERFUL. She'd heard of the Bradley Method and was very understanding when I admitted that I'd forgotten our birth plan (I know, can you BELIEVE IT?!) but would do everything she could that we asked of her. We got a saline lock placed - so I wasn't hooked up to an IV - and she understood about not using Pictocin or any pain medications.
The next few hours are kind of a blur - everything happened so fast. When we got to the hospital I was measured at 5.5 centimeters and the contractions remained consistent. My sister got there and at first tried to get the staff to allow me to get up and walk around and asked about a birthing ball. But I think she soon understood how fast everything was going and realized I was probably bed ridden from then on. From when we got there, which was about 11pm until 1pm, I worked through each contraction with the help of my sister and the encouragement and support of Paul. They made a great team together, my sister making sure I was relaxing as much as I could during the contractions and Paul constantly giving me encouragement - which I really needed. I needed to know that I was doing good - I really needed that.
Soon I began to shake during the contractions. We learned in our Bradley classes that it could mean I was hitting Transition. Its during this time that most women ask for pain medications because it's the peak of contractions before women are ready to push. Its when women begin to think, "I can't do this - it's too hard" and its normal and common and we needed to just push through it. My sister suggested that I get checked again, and our nurse - Kiley - she was so on top of things and even reminded me that I'd asked for minimal vaginal exams. But I told her I was ready for one - I needed to know what kind of progress I was making. 6.5 centimeters! I wasn't very thrilled about that - but my sister assured me that it was really good progress and we continued to labor.
Surprisingly, soon after that I began to feel the urge to push! I was excited to feel it because I'd heard from everyone that the pain of contractions goes away when you're pushing. She checked me again and I was 9.5 centimeters (I think) and so we got into the position :) But just as suddenly as I was in the position my contractions slowed down and it was strange to just be lying there waiting for something to happen. So we changed my position back to lying on my right side and again the contractions began. It felt really strange to try and push a baby out on my right side, but I was having the sensation to push and it did feel good when I did push. After a few pushes in that position we tried my back again - I was definitely making progress.
I pushed hard from 1am until she was born at about 2am - the doctor was there for I believe the last half hour. He wasn't pushy or anything - but he was very... condescending about the mechanics of labor. What I mean is, as I was pushing he was trying to explain to me what I was doing wrong and how pushing worked. Um, duh - I know how this all works. I'm not doing anything wrong by breathing which I have to do. If the baby goes back in when I breath then so be it. She's just taking her time. Between pushing, I tried to relax. According to my sister, I relaxed between contractions very well, concentrating on my breathing and feeling the baby moving down the birth canal.
I hear that pushing for an hour isn't that bad - even if it felt like an eternity. But, after an hour she was born!!!
Now for the gory details - I may have had a quick delivery but I didn't have the best "after birth".
First, the doctor refused to wait to cut the umbilical cord and also refused to let anyone else cut it. I was really disappointed by that, especially because it shouldn't have been his choice - but mine. Second, he pressured me to pass the placenta immediately and its something that happens naturally after a few minutes - not straight away. Once I'd passed the placenta he immediately began to apply stitches to my tear. Third, and this isn't really anyone's fault I guess - but I began to lose a lot of blood and so they administered something to stop my bleeding - so I didn't get a 100% drug-free birth. Fourth, the nurse thought Evy was "really blue" and so quickly took her from me - but eventually brought her back after my sister had a few words with her while Paul was taking care of me.
All of this happened when all I wanted to do was have Evy on my chest and bask in the fact that I'd done it and she was finally here and the next stage could start. It was all very distracting, not to mention painful, and I wish they could have just let us have a moment before that all began. I know that it had to be taken care of - I just remember my sister's L&D at the birth center. After Eli was born everyone was able to just be silent and in wonder for a few minutes. I wanted that.
But those are the only things that I was disappointed with when it came to the L&D. The loss of blood I had caused me to have some problems with recovery - I was forced to use a catheter & then a bed pan all day Sunday & all of Sunday night because I passed out when I tried to walk. I don't think I've ever passed out before - it was strange. One second I was sitting up in bed and then the next minute I was lying back with a parade of nurses hovering over me. But Monday morning I woke up and felt a lot better and they discharged me when I was able to walk around easily. I was told to take iron tablets and continue with my prenatal vitamins and though I had a few days of bad headaches I feel much better now.
Anyhow - so that was that. I'm a mom now, can you believe it?!
We've been discharged from the hospital & are home! Looking forward to getting some sleep - hospitals are the hardest places to sleep! Evy's happy & doing well :P
Born @ 1:55am - April 19th. 8 lbs 11 ounces, 18 inches long, 14 cm around head - strawberry blonde hair :) So. Tired. Water broke @ home @ around 10pm - pushed for about an hour. No drugs - until Pictocin afterward because of the bleeding.
As I said, so tired! Pictures to follow soon - I promise :)
Well, its been a week since my last appointment and no baby. I guess that means that whatever he did it must not have been enough to force my body to do anything it wasn't already planning on doing.
As of today - she's two days passed her medical due date - but I'm not worrying. For one thing, today marks the actual 40 week mark and for another I know there was only a 1 out of 20 chance that she'd be born on her due date. Also, as I might have said in a previous post - the average time a woman naturally carries a baby is really 41 weeks and one day so I was expecting more of an April 24th due date. If that happens - then my newest nephew Elijah and Evelyn will be born exactly one month apart :) I am, however, happy to know that she didn't come yesterday as it was Tax Day and also my father-in-law's birthday. He didn't seem to care if it was stolen - but I did.
I've been feeling... fine. I've gotten some energy - though more mental than physical. I packed my bag on Monday and we also got the car seat into Paul's Jeep. The base seems to move A LOT, left & right, but it doesn't lift at all and the carrier locks firmly into the base. My sister told me that if Paul's Jeep had the LATCH system then it wouldn't move at all. My car has the LATCH system - but not Paul's Jeep. Still undecided if we're going to buy a second base - seeing as how she might grow out of her infant car seat very quickly. We'll just wait and see.
One good thing about being at work longer than expected, I'm building more vacation/sick time so I wont be as low once I return :)
I went to my 39 week OB appointment yesterday. Again I waited an hour and half - yuck.
I'm really hoping that is going to be my last appointment because I absolutely HATE having internal exams. Never in my life have I been okay with internal exams - hell I didn't even see my first "girly doctor" until I was 23 years old and that was because I was engaged and I wanted to get birth control and they refused to give me a prescription until I had a pap exam.
This one was no different from the rest. I'm not quite sure what he was trying to accomplish but by the time he stopped I was voicing how much it hurt, begging him to stop and trying to crawl backwards away from his hand. Rebekah said that he might have been trying - or succeeding - in stripping my membranes in order to induce some dilation in my cervix, but I'm really not sure. Online, people say that stripping of the membranes gives some severe cramps and has a feeling like peeing on yourself. I didn't have either of those so I think he was just being very forceful. I understand I'm going to go through a lot of pain in regards to labor so I should just stop balking at every pain right now - but these kinds of exams just seem unnecessary.
SOME good news from the torturous experience was that he said I'm dilated a half a centimeter. He followed that by saying if I'd let him continue his exam he would have gotten me a full centimeter.
No thank you.
I've been feeling really crappy these past two weeks. Symptoms include being very tired, having my strong heartburn return, hot flashes and nausea. Luckily - I haven't actually gotten sick as that is just terrible. I'm not sure if this is common, towards the end of pregnancy, to fee like this - but I do.
Today I have another doctor's appointment and I'm dreading having to sit there for an hour and half and then wait a half hour without any knickers on in his office. Why can't they just be on time?! No use complaining though, doesn't fix anything. Hopefully this'll be my last appointment before Evy's born.
This week, despite feeling crappy, has gone by pretty fast which is a nice change. Hopefully next week will go by just as quickly because I know that if Evy doesn't arrive next week the two weeks after will be sheer torture. Do you think anyone at my work would be offended if I just wore a sign around my neck that says, "Don't ask?" Working this long into my pregnancy has been both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it's keeping me busy and really I need that. A curse because I can't just hide out from everyone's constant questioning. I know that everyone means well, hell I'm sure to do the same thing in the future.
There's so many things I want to do differently when I get pregnant again. For one thing, I hope not to work. Having Evy to take care of will keep me busy enough and I know she wont be asking me every two minutes, "How much longer?" and "Are you supposed to put on that much weight?" Second, I hope to stay much more active for a longer period of time - having been active BEFORE pregnancy will also help. Third, I hope I don't get as sick - but that's not really something I have a lot of control over.
Anyhow, this is a depressing entry into my soon-ending pregnancy log - so I'm going to end it here.
This morning, as every morning, I was stopped and asked "how much longer" and it shocked me to look down at my watch and realize that I technically only had a week left until her medical due date. ONE WEEK! Now I'm guessing she's going to be late - certainly not early - so I'm trying not to let the whole "ONE WEEK" statement freak me out.
I'm excited though, and despite the fact that I still don't have my bag packed entirely, I'm ready! The hospital is going to give me everything I really need anyhow...
I've been having a lot of dreams about going into labor recently. A few days back I had a dream where my water broke, it was exciting and I felt like I was finally able to do something about this whole process as the last nine months have just been preparation and waiting.
Last night I dreamt that I'd been forgotten in a hospital (meaning, I had an appointment and they left me waiting so long they eventually forgot about me) over night and began to dilate. I don't think I was actually in labor - but by the time I brought to their attention that I'd been waiting all night they checked me and said I was one centimeter dilated. I'm guessing the dream was brought on by all my recent trouble with the wait times at my appointments - and my frustration with feeling forgotten until the last minute.
I'm ready though. I can't say that enough. I'm so uncomfortable most the time and I'm sick of feeling like this and getting everyone's sympathetic looks and comments about how uncomfortable I look and feel. I just want to feel the baby glow again.
My sister gave me a DVD awhile back that was given to her by her hospital when she gave birth to Ezekiel. It explains everything you need to know for the first few months that you're at home with your newborn. I kept meaning to watch it - and finally I did on Monday.
It was a good DVD, even if it was a bit dated. There's something about actually seeing everything people have been talking about that made it all very real to me. In a good way :) It got me very excited for Evy to be born and it also made me feel better about my capability of handling this new bundle of joy. Another great thing about seeing everything I'd heard about, is that I now know exactly what everyone is talking about. I mean, I can read every book in the library about the difference between breastfed baby stool and formula fed baby stool but you can never really know until you see it. Now I wont be second guessing everything - hopefully. I was shocked to see what meconium looked like, and how much to expect in the diapers, as I was expecting something like normal baby poop - just a bit stranger - and in smaller quantities. Good DVD - wonder how many other hospitals give something like that out?
The DVD shocked me a bit though, because they did this whole segment on Shaken Baby Syndrome. It seems ludicrous to me that someone would shake their baby, but I guess it's enough of an issue that they actually feel they need to address it. The segment just basically explained, "Don't get frustrated with your baby - no matter what - and if you do take them to the emergency room RIGHT AWAY." How sad :(