Baby girl C’s birth story

Hopefully I can actually finish this post tonight. I want to write it out before I forget more details.

So last we left off was last Wednesday, when my OB checked me at 39+6 weeks and found that I was 70-80% effaced and closed. We had scheduled an NST for Friday, and induction for the following Tuesday. My parents arrived at our house late that night, and within minutes of their arrival around 10pm, I began feeling a lot of lower abdominal and rectal pressure and pain, as if I was constipated, along with some intense lower back pain. I tried going to the bathroom, showering, and it just kept coming back. I started tracking on my phone, they were happening every 5-10 minutes but not in a regular pattern, and maybe just 15-30 seconds each time.

At midnight, I told hubby he’d better get to bed since I felt like we’d be headed to the hospital the next day. I was going to do my best to get some sleep on the couch downstairs, since I didn’t want to wake him with my constant up and down. I took some acetaminophen and found my good old heat pack from progesterone injection days, and wrapped it around my lower back. They helped a little, but I was definitely not sleeping well, and would get up to walk around, drink more water, eat a little, and re-warm the heat pack every 1-2 hours or so.

At 6am, I went to the bathroom, and noticed a little bit of bloody mucusy discharge in my underwear – I’d lost my mucus plug. At 6:30, I was starting to get antsy, because even though the contractions were still only 15-20 seconds or so, they were pretty close together, anywhere from every 2-5 minutes. I didn’t know what to make of it, but decided I wanted to head into L&D to get checked. Texted my OB at 7am, who said he’d see me there later, and woke up hubby to let him know I wanted to get going around 8. However, my parents were still asleep after their long drive, and we didn’t want to just leave the house without letting them know. So I woke them up and explained what was going on, and of course my mother starts getting on my case and we start arguing about who knows what. By the time we’d loaded up the car and I got in the passenger seat, I was stressed and noticed the contractions had spaced themselves apart. Either way, I knew I couldn’t tolerate laboring at home with my mother breathing down my back, so we headed to L&D.

In L&D, everybody kept exclaiming over the peanut ball I’d brought for help with labor progress. Turns out they were talking about buying some to keep on the unit, since regular exercise balls aren’t usable once you get an epidural. The unit was packed to the gills, and they told me there were 3 women in front of me in triage. They settled us into a triage room with the most uncomfortable gurney you could imagine laboring in, and just a hard chair for poor hubby. I was hooked up to the monitor, and baby girl sounded great. The midwife on duty came to check me, and found me to be 2 cm dilated, so I was instructed to come off the monitor so I could walk around and hopefully get things to progress, rather than getting sent home. Hubby and I made multiple rounds of L&D, postpartum, and pediatrics, where I saw a colleague and we stopped to chat. My contractions did pick back up to every 5 minutes, and lasting 30 seconds or so. We ran into my OB and another on-duty OB, both exclaimed at how calm and happy I looked, there was no way I could be in active labor. I was generally pretty quiet with my contractions, either hanging onto hubby, or just quietly moaning when laying down. We could hear the woman next door to us, and she was much more dramatic.

After an hour of walking around, we headed back to our room, and the midwife checked me again around 10am. I was at 3 cm, which was enough to admit me at least. Unfortunately this did not mean an upgrade to a regular labor room since they were still completely full. It did mean an 18-gauge IV in my left wrist (I was frankly shocked the nurse got it in first try given my tiny veins), and anesthesia coming to consent me for an epidural when I chose to have it placed. Since I was still in a triage room, I wasn’t able to get one yet, but I was still comfortable most of the time and didn’t feel the contractions were painful enough to warrant one yet anyways. The anesthesiologist recognized me, and told me the nurse anesthetist working with her was my patient’s dad!

They wanted me on the monitor for a while again, so I was stuck laboring mainly on my left side with my peanut ball between my legs on the gurney. I’d switch between that and half-reclining with the peanut ball, trying to use it to keep my legs mobile and keep progress going. They finally let me off the monitor to go and walk again around noon, and the contractions had definitely increased in strength, duration, and frequency. I was still able to grit through them, though had to stop walking when a particularly strong one hit. After a while, I was starting to get tired just from lack of sleep, so we went back to our room and I tried squatting and rolling around on the peanut ball. However, I was so tired that I was about to pass out, and didn’t want to risk falling, so finally made it back to the gurney to attempt to get a little rest, which was fitful due to the frequent contractions.

Finally, at close to 3pm, a regular labor room opened up and we made our way over. I settled into a much more comfortable labor bed, and hubby finally had padded seating, though the pull-out couch part of it was not so comfortable. Poor guy got less sleep than I did throughout my labor. The midwife checked again, and I was only at 4 cm, after all my efforts ūüė¶ I let the nurse know that as soon as anesthesia was able, I wanted to go ahead and get the epidural, because I knew I really needed to get some sleep after having been up for over 32 hours. The NA came at 4pm, and I had a very easy epidural experience, and it worked beautifully within minutes. Soon after, the midwife came and suggested starting Pitocin to get things moving along, and since I already had the epidural, I agreed. I was finally able to pass out for a few hours.

I woke up around 6-7pm when my OB came to check on me. He asked what time we had in mind for delivery, and my hubby chimed in that he’d love for baby to be born before midnight since it was her actual due date, and he thought her being as punctual as him would be fabulous. LOL. However, when they checked me, I was only 4.5 cm. Argh! He talked about possibly breaking my water to get things moving along, but then disappeared the rest of the night – later I found out with the unit being so busy, he was performing C-section after C-section all night.

I spent the duration of the night sleeping in stretches of 2-3 hours, and waking up to groggily talk with hubby and play around on my phone (many people couldn’t believe I was still on Facebook during labor – lol), and complain about how boring labor was. Ha. The Pitocin drip was slowly increased every few hours to see how I and the baby responded. The only time she gave us a scare was around 2am, when her heartrate came down and took a while to come back up. The nurse came in immediately and had me change from laying on my back to laying on my left side, and I stayed that way for a few hours. Around 4am, I felt a pop down there, and also felt some moisture. I thought for sure my water had broke, but when the nurse came to check me, she said my bag was still intact, but that it may have been the forebag that popped – I’d never even heard of such a thing in med school! I was at 7 cm at this point. I remember not feeling much with the contractions until early morning when I started to feel more downwards pressure again.

Around 9am, the new on-duty OB came in to say hi, and it turned out it was somebody I knew, and had actually considered picking for my OB before I decided to stay within my clinic building for convenience. She¬†talked about how my own OB had made it very clear he wanted to deliver me, but that he was back at our clinic seeing patients. Either way, I was comfortable since I knew both of them. She checked me and lo and behold, I was complete, with baby about halfway down, and at some point since 4am, my water DID finally break on its own. She let my OB know, who texted me with “Uh. You aren’t supposed to be complete already,” Haha.

The new nurse was very experienced, and she had me change positions to basically a reclined bound angle pose for a while to encourage more pelvic opening and to let the baby labor downwards some more. Starting around 11am, she started prepping the room for delivery, pulling out various equipment carts and trays. At noon, she had me put my calves in stirrups, and recline back, and instructed me to push. Basically three 10-second pushes in a row coordinated with contractions. At 12:15pm, my OB appeared, and I continued with the pushing at their instruction. Finally, at 12:30, her head made it all the way through. The rest of her body quickly followed, and they flipped her immediately onto my chest.

This part felt very surreal, as I looked upon my daughter for the first time. She looked great, but I was a little concerned because as a pediatrician who had attended deliveries during training, I always wanted a screaming baby because that meant a healthy baby. Baby girl C was just calm and alert, and only cried after the nurse dried her off while still on my chest. The nurse said she was just taking after her parents – I guess we’d earned a bit of a reputation on the unit as being very chill and laid-back. Hubby was too queasy to cut the cord, so my OB passed the scissors to me and I cut it. She stayed skin-to-skin on my chest for the rest of that golden hour, and at the end was even able to latch onto my left breast for 10 minutes. Afterwards, the nurse took her to the warmer to finish cleaning her and get her measurements – 5 lb 14 oz and 20 inches long! So much for the 7+ lb estimate. Ultimately I ended up with two 2nd-degree tears, but I honestly didn’t feel that much pain with her coming out. So even with 38 hours of labor, I was happy with how everything turned out. The days since then have been tougher even than I expected, but I love this little being so much, I can truly say it’s all worth it.

Yes, she’s here!

Full birth story to come, but yes, she’s here after a long 38 hours of labor, born today at 12:30pm! Thankfully only 30 minutes of pushing. Baby girl C came out healthy and calmly, weighing 5 lbs 14 oz and measuring 20 inches long. We have no idea where she got the length from, check her long feet and toes!

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Trying to get some rest tonight…

But I’m either in very early labor or false labor. About a half hour after my parents walked through our door, I felt the urge to go to the bathroom, as if I was really backed up or had bad gas. So I did, and thought that was it, blaming it on the Docusate I took earlier today for constipation. But the feeling kept returning, and for the last 3 hours, I’ve had what appears to be real contractions that are occurring maybe every 5-10 minutes, but lasting no more than 20-30 seconds. I showered and felt a little better, then tried to lay down and get some rest, but of course they keep waking me up. So here I am, blogging about it, because what else can I do?? Now I’m really kicking myself for not getting a nap in earlier today! I made hubby go to bed since at least one of us should try to get some sleep tonight!

Update after last prenatal visit today

Still no big symptoms other than Braxton-Hicks, which tend to be more frequent in the evening. My OB, his nurse, and just about everybody in clinic was shocked to see me still pregnant today. We finally did a cervix check and I’m 70-80% effaced with no dilation. He was able to feel her head but it was still pretty high up. Baby girl still looks great on ultrasound, estimated weight of 7 lbs, and she remains active as ever. With my due date being tomorrow, and risks of early placental deterioration¬†with gestational diabetes, we talked about scheduling induction, which is tricky since next Friday is also¬†our wedding anniversary. My blood pressure was a bit high today, but I was also talking the whole time and had no protein in my urine. We’ll see how the blood pressure holds up once my parents (specifically my mom) arrive tonight ūüėõ So here is the scheduled plan, which all goes out the window of course if baby girl decides she will come out on her own – which would obviously be preferred!!

  • Have my first non-stress test this Friday morning. If everything still looks good, I get sent home. If not, then start induction immediately afterwards.
  • Scheduled for induction next Tuesday at noon. I would’ve preferred first thing in the morning but they already had 2 others scheduled. I can call and see if anybody ends up delivering before then.

So while I would obviously like to avoid induction if at all possible, it’s a relief to know that we’ll be meeting baby girl by a week from today! We can’t wait!!

Passing the time

Still just getting irregular Braxton-Hicks contractions, so have been trying to while away the time in a somewhat productive manner, without expending too much energy. I think hubby is bored, since he’s been home for 6 days already. He’ll be back to work tomorrow unless this baby decides otherwise…

I finally took many friends’ advice to heart, and started taking naps since my night-time insomnia is screwing me over in terms of total sleep. I figured out I’m getting 2-3 hour spurts before I wake up, which must be my body’s sick way of preparing me for actual baby. It’d been tough getting naps in between the nesting and making sure I’m eating/blood sugar testing at the right times, but yesterday I finally took a nap successfully! And was able to repeat that today. Hurray!

My 7-year-old HP laptop has been trying to die on me for the last year, but I really didn’t want to fork over more money for a new laptop. Fortunately hubby was able to brush the cobwebs off his 5-year-old Macbook a few months ago, and I finally started using it yesterday. I grew up with Macs, but switched to PCs during college, and never looked back. So after more than¬†15 years away from not using a Mac regularly, it was a bit of a learning curve. I finally have it set up where I’m used to it, and it certainly runs a lot faster than my HP!¬†This should make it easier to keep up with family, since most have iPhones or¬†iPads, and we can then use Facetime

Hubby and I watched the Jon Favreau movie “Chef” on Netflix, and we HIGHLY recommend it! Only problem was, I was salivating the whole time, and it just made my carb cravings worse, lol. We also started the series “Chef’s Table” last night, which was interesting, and I’ll definitely continue on with more episodes.

I started gathering addresses for thank you’s and birth announcements last night, and looks like I have everything ready to start working on those! I definitely need to get a move on with thank you’s since it’s been 2 months since the shower… I found a Groupon deal for birth announcement cards through Mixbook (highly recommend searching deal sites for stuff like this, can save you a lot!), and we picked out¬†a template¬†today:

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I filled in as much information as I could, but of course it’s up to baby girl and our newborn photos to fill in the blanks. CAN’T. WAIT!!!

Contractions, expensive day, and some more home decor & organization pictures

I officially started trying to kick start labor yesterday. I saw my acupuncturist, who targeted some stimulating points, and it was crazy, but I could actually feel baby girl dropping lower during and after the session. I followed that up with a 30-minute steep neighborhood walk with the dogs in the evening. Afterwards, I started experiencing some longer, more frequent contractions, but they still didn’t feel like anything more than just tightening and never became regular. I went to bed relatively early, and they went away. It was great to sleep almost 8 hours, even if it was interrupted.

The repairman came out this morning to look at our dryer, which has been burning and melting our stuff off and on over the last few weeks. Unfortunately it needs the drum completely replaced, and on a 30+ year old dryer, that is impossible to find. So we ended up going online to research, and¬†found a reasonably priced, well-rated LG washer/dryer combo – thank goodness for Memorial Day sales! Technically our washer still works, but it doesn’t wash very well, and the new one is a high-efficiency top-loader, so it’ll use less water and detergent, definitely a big plus with the drought nowadays.

Oh yes! Here is our reorganized linen closet, pantry, and kitchen closet. I also attached hooks to the inside of the pantry door to hang my pump accessories and bottle cooler that will be traveling to work with me. It makes me so happy to be able to see where everything is so easily now. If I get a chance, I’ll be adding labels too.

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I decided to use my HomeGoods gift card today to finish up decorating parts of the house. We’ve lived here almost 3 years, but it finally feels more homey, and ready to welcome home our baby girl! ‚̧

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Lactation cookies and master bedroom setup

We had to say goodbye to baby girl’s godmother this morning, but she’ll hopefully have a chance to come back next month to visit after she’s born!

I’d been hunting on Pinterest for good lactation cookie recipes, after seeing ones by Milkboosters selling for over $2 a cookie!! I¬†made two¬†different lactation cookie recipes this morning:

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The top ones are flourless peanut butter honey oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and the bottom ones are chocolate almond no-bake cookies. Both contain milk-boosting ingredients of brewers yeast, oatmeal, almonds, and flaxseed. I like both, the first ones are definitely more of a traditional chewy cookie. The bottom ones are really tasty straight from the freezer, and are almost more like a nougat. In any case, I made plenty and hopefully they do help!

After a thorough dusting and deep cleaning, I set everything up in our bedroom that we’ll need for baby girl’s first couple months. Looks like we’re finally ready for her! Now if only our dryer wasn’t acting up and burning some of our stuff…

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39-week update

How far along:¬†39 weeks ‚Ästnow truly full-term!

Meds: all taken daily ‚Ästprenatal vitamins, vitamin D, DHA, probiotic, Levothyroxine 100 mcg

Gestational diabetes:¬†Blood sugars¬†seem to be back in range. Everybody seems surprised that I managed to stay off insulin, though I will admit sticking to the diet has been tougher lately. I am really missing my carbs ūüė¶

Baby is the size of: a mini watermelon

Belly pictures:¬†She’s definitely dropping some more, though I still don’t feel much pelvic pressure, just a more frequent¬†need to pee.

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Total weight gain: Totally don’t understand my body – down a pound from last week, so just over 14 pounds up from pre-fertility treatment. Granted, my pre-fertility weight was about¬†5 pounds more than my previous steady weight when I exercised quite a bit, but I still feel a little weird looking at that number. Again, baby girl seems to be growing just fine, so I try not to stress about it.

Stretch marks: Nada!

Sleep:¬†I’m able to get back to sleep after the 5am bathroom trip, but it’s fitful and I keep waking up every hour after that. Hoping for better sleep now that I feel like the house is pretty much ready. Hubby and I are also switching our usual sides for the first time tonight, to accommodate the location of the pack & play. Hopefully I settle easily with this!

Symptoms/Feeling:¬†Still with constipation, I went ahead and took¬†a Docusate tonight. And today was the first day where my back and hips bothered me all day without any break. I was extremely productive this week with my continuing education, renewing my professional license, and cleaning around the house, so I’m¬†finally feeling like I’m ready for her to come, whenever she decides that will be! Also noticed some foot swelling today, my usually comfy soft flats were squishing my feet at dinner today. Guess I’m sticking to flip flops from here on out!

Our friends that were due 2 days before us delivered 2 days ago, so I’m now officially the last one standing out of 4 of us that were due this month (the other 2 delivered in April). I really do feel like a ticking bomb now, and have to remember to carry my phone with me even if I’m just walking the dogs¬†near home.

Best moment of this week:¬†Finishing the nursery, for sure! Closely followed by having baby girl’s godmother stay with us – we completed all the big to-do’s I had on my list, and it was so good to see her again. Now if baby girl will arrive in 2 days on her godmother’s birthday, that would¬†thrill all of us!

Miss anything: Good sleep. And still a big hunk of French bread, raw tuna, and I think I finally settled on what I want to eat post-delivery Рa generous slice of chocolate dobash cake from a local bakery!

Movement:¬†Lots of stretching and hiccups, she’s definitely out of room!

Food cravings:¬†See above. It’s been hard eating full meals lately, I get full way too quickly!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not this week!

Labor signs:¬†Just the more frequent Braxton-Hicks, though they definitely correlate more with when I’m physically active with the cleaning and nesting. Otherwise, nothing different so far.

Belly button in or out: Currently flat with a bit of indentation, other times it pops out more.

Wedding rings on or off: They’re on and still pretty loose.

Happy or moody most of the time:¬†Mostly happy, though the moodiness creeps in when I’m due to eat or my back is really bothering me.

Purchases/preparations for baby:¬†I can’t believe people are still sending clothes for her – agggghhhh! Going to be making some returns tomorrow again. Otherwise, it looks like we are finally all set, after I rearranged our bedroom to get the pack & play situated next to me. Pump parts are sterilized or cleaned and ready for use, and I may test it out this weekend to see if I can stimulate labor if I don’t start on my own by then. The house is also de-cluttered and organized for the first time since we moved in almost 3 years ago, with the last bit of craziness restricted to essentially a giant walk-in closet¬†now. We’ll see if I feel like dealing with that tomorrow, in between baking myself lactation cookies. Hubby did finally pack his hospital bag over the weekend as well, so now we just wait…

Looking forward to:¬†MEETING BABY GIRL!!! ūüėÄ

Productive day, or why our baby’s godmother is awesome

We started off the day at the OB’s. I had thought I would be getting a cervical check, but after discussion with my OB about lack of any labor signs, and risks of infection with frequent cervical checks, we both agreed to hold off today. Baby girl continues to look great, though definitely running out of room. He estimated she’s at 7 lbs today, so right on track, though again who really knows.

I’m scheduled to see him again next Wednesday, which is the day before baby girl is due. He did give me a heads up that if I hadn’t delivered by then, at the end of that visit we would be scheduling my induction by 41 weeks. Given the gestational diabetes, I’m totally on board with this. I know the risks of going past that especially if she puts on a lot more weight, and would much rather try to encourage her arrival soon after 40 weeks. I forgot to mention that I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist again starting at 37 weeks, and she will definitely start more aggressive treatments at 39 weeks to encourage the process along, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! I am still sticking to my gut prediction of delivering this coming weekend – we shall see.

After the visit, I drove to the airport to pick up baby girl’s godmother, who generously offered to stay with us this week to help me take care of any loose ends and errands. She accompanied me as I made a return at a store that’s 45 minutes away – where I wouldn’t be willing to drive on my own at this point. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, then made our way home. And all in one afternoon, she helped me with 5 big to-do’s around the house, which freed me up to focus on folding laundry, which I was able to do while also completing some online continuing education.

There’s still quite a few items on my to-do list to tackle, but she¬†definitely gives me hope that we can complete most, if not all of them! Not to mention it’s nice to have the company, and it keeps me more on task as well.¬†Having her here as opposed to my parents is just so much less stressful right now as we wait for baby girl to make her appearance!

Nursery reveal

Stayed up until 2am, yet still woke up at 7am today. Took care of errands, set up the monitor,¬†and cleaned as best as I could. Finally,¬†here is baby girl’s room!

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This doesn’t look terribly different from before, other than the addition of the pennant and¬†position of the picture. My parents will be staying with us for a month after baby girl is born, so keeping the bed was a must. Not to mention it’ll probably be handy¬†for sleep training later.

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The diaper changing area and crib turned out just how I was envisioning them! The hardest part was placement of all the art, and I’m still a bit nervous about having one hang over the crib, but I’ve double-secured it with a screw and Command picture hangers.

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We kept the bookcase from before. I was able to use some of the baby shower decor above the closet and on the memo board. The dog tail hooks from Ikea below the memo board were a huge pain to install securely,¬†so I’m happy I figured out a good solution. Yes, it involved a power drill and drywall anchors.

So that’s it for now! I’m thinking after my afternoon snack, I’m indulging in a nap before I tackle our giant piles of laundry. Let’s hope my nesting energy holds over for the rest of the house, because we really need it!