Category Archives: Pregnancy

37 Weeks and 5 Days

I went to the doctor this morning for our weekly check-up. I’m still only dilated to 2 cm (same as the past month) and stretchable to 3 cm. Baby girl is still growing and has plenty of good fluid around her. However, the doctor estimates (from his little ultrasound and feeling my belly) that she’s inching up to 8 pounds already and wants me to schedule an induction soon. I’ve had two children, Jeremy was 8 lb 13 oz at birth, Jesse was quite a bit larger at 9 lb 9 oz. The doctor is concerned that since this little girl is already measuring big that she’ll follow suit and be bigger than her brothers.

Big babies are great, nice and healthy with lots of fat to help them control their temperature. However, big huge babies can be really hard to deliver and I want this one to be natural. I had a horrid epidural experience with Jeremy and had to be assisted with a vacuum. We had a little help from a dose of Nubain when we had Jesse, just to let me sleep between contractions since we went to the hospital at 3 am and had had no sleep beforehand. Unfortunately when you receive any meds you have to be hooked up to an IV for fluids and therefore chained to a bed. I really really want to deliver this little girl without any meds at all and not have to be hooked up to an IV so that I can be free to walk around and change positions.

Our due date is May 30th, but earlier in the pregnancy it was calculated at June 4th. We’ve been going with May 30th all this time, but now that we’re being asked to consider induction I am looking at the other date and wondering “What if that one was correct and we induce too early?” I put the doctor off a week and told him I’d think about it and we’d talk more about our options at my appointment next Monday.

What I’m thinking right now is that I’d still like to wait until our due date of May 30th. I understand she’ll likely be humongous by then, but I don’t want to rush her just in case she wasn’t planning on being ready til June 4th. It’s weird because you just never know. Due dates are just guesses after all. Technically she’s full term now regardless of which date we use and could come at any time and be totally fine. Sure, I’m uncomfortable and pretty much feel *done* with this pregnancy, but I really don’t want to hurry the baby along just for my own comfort. It’s hard to decide though because I so much don’t want to have any interventions during the labor and delivery if possible.

Advertisements

Baby #3 Coming in June

I announced a couple of weeks ago on my personal Facebook page, we are expecting our third child on June 4th. We’re so very very excited and are very much looking forward to adding to our family.

We learned the news just a couple of days before we flew out to California a little over 2 weeks ago for our friends’ wedding. At that point all we’d seen is a pregnancy test, but since it was still really early on we didn’t want to announce until we’d at least seen a sonogram or heard the heartbeat. Also, a wedding is no place to announce a pregnancy, stealing the spotlight from our friends would have been pretty darn rude on a day that’s supposed to be all about them. So, we kept it to ourselves the whole trip and then once we got home went to see my doctor. He confirmed everything for us again and we got to have an ultrasound to check the due date and make sure everything looked as it was supposed to.

At this point we’re just 8 weeks into the pregnancy making our due date June 4th. Looking back at my other two pregnancies, Jason and I are amending our expectations to the last week or so of May. Jeremy arrived 10 days before his due date and Jesse joined the family exactly 7 days early. Also, our babies have gotten bigger each time. Jeremy was 8 lbs 13 oz and Jesse was 9 lbs 9 oz, my second baby was 12 oz larger after staying in for 3 days longer. During our discussion with my doctor at our first prenatal appointment this time around, he mentioned that if this baby appears to be following suit and gets really big toward the end of the pregnancy, he would like to entertain the idea of inducing when the baby’s size indicates to ensure a better chance of having as great and “easy” of a labor as we did last time. I don’t particularly like that idea, at least not until I’m more than a week past due and the baby isn’t moving as much due to lack of space and reduced amniotic fluid. I really don’t think that will be a problem, but I’m glad to know now where my doctor stands on that issue. I prefer to go into labor naturally when the baby decides she or he is ready.

To the fun stuff… We’re hoping for a little girl this time, but like we’ve told everyone already, if we are blessed with another boy we will be just as thrilled. We love our boys and whether a little girl comes along or a third brother to add to our pack, we will thank God for His blessings on our family.

As to how I’m feeling these days… I felt pretty great during our California trip, nauseous when I’d turn around in the car to talk to the boys, but that’s it. Once we got home “the sickness” set it for real. So far I haven’t actually thrown up at all, but for about two weeks I’ve felt constantly nauseous from the time my eyes open to the time I fall asleep. The last few days have been better, but I’m still not doing much. I feel bad for the family because I’ve only cooked about 3 meals over the last week and my live-in mother-in-law has been doing all the dishes. Jason’s been very helpful in lots of ways and extremely understanding, but Jesse doesn’t get it.

Ever since Jesse quit nursing (his own choice and it went well a couple of months ago) one of his favorite things has been to push up my shirt to expose my belly and snuggle his face there. It’s sweet and probably the closest feeling he can get to the way nursing felt. I’ve indulged him because when he wakes up in the middle of the night and comes into our room, snuggling my stomach gets him to fall back to sleep in moments. But lately he’s been doing more playing at it, flipping his face from one side to the other, blowing raspberries, and pushing his face inward. None of those things feel good to me with my nausea and I wind up rolling him off. After a couple of minutes he falls asleep just fine in the middle of the bed, but for the rest of the night he pokes and shoves at Jason and I. By the time morning rolls around I’m rather sleep deprived and most days I don’t get up until at least 8:30 or even 9:00.

I don’t know how Jason can get up at 6 and get to work by 7:30 every day. It would be totally impossible for me at this point. Many days it’s all I can do to keep the laundry mostly under control and keep Jesse entertained in the play room or let him follow me around to whatever I’m up to. I’m dealing with lots of food aversions right now, so cooking is just not something I have been able to consider most days. When the nausea lightens though, I pull something out of my hat that’s homemade so the family will know I’m still trying and that I love them. Other than that, I’m doing great! Our next appointment is on Veteran’s Day and I look forward to updating again after that.

Positive Breastfeeding Relationship

Breastfeeding is back! A resurgence in popularity has been mounting for the past few years and I’ve boarded the train. Jeremy was formula fed. I had intended to breastfeed him when he was born 3 1/2 years ago but due to a few circumstances he was given formula in the hospital and, though we tried, we weren’t able to overcome the nipple confusion in order to breastfeed.

Angry Baby Jeremy!

No, I will not wait for the breast! I want formula now!

Lesson Learned #1: Make sure you are not so heavily medicated during or after childbirth that you are not aware of what’s going on with your baby. I had such a strong epidural (which slipped in my back and turned into a full spinal block like they do for c-sections) and I was completely numb from the chest down for the entire birth and for six hours following. They gave me some medicine to help me sleep off the exhaustion and medication.

Lesson Learned #2: Inform the nurses that you want to breastfeed your baby immediately following birth and that they should give him no bottles at all. While I was sleeping off my overly-strong epidural the pediatric nurses gave Jeremy bottle after bottle of formula. They said that he needed to eat because he was slightly jaundiced. Absolutely, of course I want my son to eat when he’s hungry, but I wanted to give him mother’s milk. “Well, you were sleeping and we didn’t want to wake you.” To me, that is not a good enough excuse. They could have woken me up. Also, they wouldn’t let me have him room-in with me until I was un-numb. By the time I got my baby out of the nursery he had had 4-5 bottles of formula and was completely confused by my nipple and the fact that he’d have to work a little and exercise some patience for breastmilk. He had already become accustomed to instant gratification of the readily-available formula and wouldn’t stay at the breast long enough for my milk to let down.

Lesson Learned #3: Don’t give up on your *girls* too early. Since breastfeeding wasn’t working out I just gave up altogether. My milk finally came in fully a couple of days after I brought Jeremy home from the hospital, we were already resigned to our bottled formula and I let the milk build up in me. Both sides became severely engorged and developed into mastitis. That was an incredibly painful stretch of days while I tried every home remedy I could find. Finally the cabbage leaf trick worked and my milk went away. Had I not become so discouraged in the beginning I might have realized that I could have pumped my breastmilk and given it to him in bottles. Nipple confusion and impatience are not the end of the world. Bottles are fine, just change what you put in them!

Lesson Learned #4: Make sure your partner is aware of and supportive of your plan to breastfeed. Jeremy’s dad went home while I was asleep and Jeremy was in the nursery, so he wasn’t able to stick up for my breastfeeding plans on my behalf. This time Jason was not only aware of my plan to give breastfeeding another shot but he was very supportive of my plan and has continued to be. In the hospital he read the brochures with tips so that he could help Jesse and I with our setbacks. At home he’s been great about keeping Jeremy entertained while Jesse and I take our time with breastfeeding so that we don’t have to rush. While it is a natural instinct, it takes a lot of practice for both mom and baby to get the hang of breasfeeding – you need time to work on it.

Happy sleepy breast-fed baby Jesse.

Happy sleepy breast-fed baby Jesse.

This time around, I had a really fantastic online community of lactation consultants and seasoned breastfeeders (including a few exclusive pumpers). They have been an incredible wealth of knowledge. I read everything they had before I even brought our Jesse home so I was prepared for any problem we could encounter. In our first two weeks we overcame the excruciating cracked nipple, painful shallow latch, low production of one side (due to little use while the crack healed), and over supply of the other side due to exclusive use while the crack healed on the other side. Without the experience and support of that group Jesse might be downing Similac just like his big brother did and suffering the extreme reflux, ear infections, horrible gas, and stomach aches that poor Jeremy had to endure.

What am I celebrating as a Finer Thing in Life this week? An extremely positive breastfeeding relationship! Link up your thoughts over at Amy’s Finer Things.

Disclaimer: Jeremy grew up just fine on formula. He is a very smart and strong 3 1/2-year old who is quite large for his age (the size of an average 5-year old). While I strongly support breastfeeding for a bunch of reasons, I do not at all look down on formula-feeding. How to feed your kids is a very personal choice and everyone is entitled to that without prejudice. This post is about my two experiences.

Jesse Alan has arrived!

Well, as I reported in my last pregnancy update post I was getting rather impatient for the arrival of our little guy. We made it through April Fools’ Day without incident (although we really wanted to trick our friends on Facebook by reporting a surprise little girl had been born). At 1:40 am the morning of Good Friday, about an hour after the little dude finally stopped squirming and let me fall asleep, my water broke. I called my husband home from work, took a quick shower, and we rolled in to the hospital at about 3 am. The contractions I was having were really mild and I had only progressed from 2 cm to 3 in an hour but the Labor & Delivery staff was nice and gave me a few hours to rest before starting the pitocin at 6 am.

Barely started labor.

See? This doesn't hurt a bit!

Woowee! Almost immediately after starting the meds I was having some really hard contractions and my cervix started opening right up. In three hours we went from a snug 3 cm to 9 and the contractions were getting to the point that I had to grip the bed rail and concentrate through them. I refused drugs because I was intent on doing it on my own for as long as I could. Right about the time I was thinking about having the epidural, my nurse told me that it looked like it would only be another 10 minutes. Yay! I can do this whole thing without meds!

Okay, hurts a little.

Okay, hurts a little.

Nurse Wanda smiling there in the photo was so incredibly wonderful. She was there from the very start of the morning and stayed with us through it all. She offered pain relief a couple of times to keep me comfortable but sweetly respected our desire to try it without medication. She was a real advocate for me and when labor got tough she was there holding me up along with Jason pushing with and encouraging me. I could not have dreamed for a better labor & delivery nurse.

My OB wasn’t on call but a very nice replacement from the same practice came over and we got to pushing. Those last 10 minutes wound up taking 30. They had me start pushing when I had gotten to 10 cm but the baby was so big that there was still a little cervix left. The OB kept stretching it around his head as I pushed. She had to give me an episiotomy about an inch long (ouch!), but we finally got my big 9 lb. 9 oz, 22.5 inch baby boy out at 10:06 am.

Finally out.

He's finally out, I'm so relieved.

I just have to say, going au natural was a much better experience for me than the epidural-turned-spinal experience that I had giving birth to Jeremy. I am so glad that I pushed through the pain and leaned on my husband for support. The labor was blessedly short (6 hours from admittance and only 4 hours from onset of pitocin contractions) and I felt absolutely fabulous afterward. I got right up out of bed and was moving immediately after the birth. With my first baby I was numb for six hours following and asleep for most of that.

Proud daddy.

Have you ever seen such a happy first-time daddy?

We started breastfeeding right away and it’s going pretty well despite a couple of mishaps. The nurses were very supportive of breastfeeding and didn’t give him any bottles. On one of our first attempts Jesse cracked one of my nipples. That took a few days to heal leading to a super-engorged breast. However, we’re back to using both sides now and I’m quite relieved. After going through a bout of double mastitis when Jeremy and I couldn’t get the hang of breastfeeding, I was worried that it would happen this time too while the left side was out of commission. I learned real quick how to express efficiently just enough to keep the breast functional while it healed.

Mama and baby.

Snuggling my new little man.

I’m so excited to finally have our little guy with us and that our whole experience went well. We all came home on Easter morning and couldn’t have had a better day.

Happy for our new addition!

Happy for our new addition!

Happy birthday little one. Your daddy and brother will never let you forget that you were born on National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day.

Sweetest face ever.

Such a sweet little baby.

39 Weeks & Snuggled In

I’ve been having really good stop-me-in-my-tracks cramping and some decent contractions all week just about every evening and especially after that extremely long walk on Sunday afternoon. I was hoping for a lot more progress at today’s check-up with my obstetrician.

Last week we were measuring a “loose 1 centimeter” and 50% effaced. This week we were still at the same loose 1 cm / possibly 2 cm but much more effaced. Really? That’s it? All that cramping and contracting after long walks, tons of household chores, running around after Jeremy and hardly any progress? The baby’s heartbeat is still very strong and I’m still good and healthy so I’m glad for that, but I was really hoping for a baby soon.

Good grief! Look at how huge I am!

We decided that this little one gets one more week in-utero and then we’re kicking him out. Our next appointment is the morning of our due date (next Thursday). Jason’s still hoping for an Easter baby and I’d be happy for him to come anytime between now and Thursday (though Sunday would be pretty nice).

On the way home from the check-up we decided that this baby is most definitely taking after his father already. Jason LOVES to sleep more than just about anyone I know and will often stay in bed until being physically shoved from his comfy burrow. This little dude is doing the very same thing. He’s getting heavier so he’s definitely dropping lower and causing the effacement, but it’s pretty clear that he’s not giving up his warm watery cozy bed anytime before he’s done snoozing. If next Thursday rolls around and I’m still pregnant, we’re inducing Friday. Hopefully we will have achieved more dilation so induction will be a simple matter of breaking my water to get true labor contractions going. I’d really hate to have to get the pitocin drip because you’re almost certain to need an epidural to deal with pitocin-induced contractions and I really want to try to do this birth without drugs.

At this point there is no hope of getting to use any newborn-sized outfits. Last week the doctor was sure that the baby was easily measuring 7 pounds. He didn’t mention this week how big he though the baby was, but all my reading says that they generally gain an ounce a day during the third trimester. The newborn-sized diapers will probably still fit for a while because they go up to 10 pounds, but the newborn clothes are all just to 8 pounds.

Perhaps I should just resign myself to the fact that I’ll be pregnant forever and the baby will then decide to come out because staying in just to spite me won’t be any fun for him anymore. Think that’ll work?

_____________

Edited for the sake of funny: Jesse was born just two days after I wrote this post. I knew it had to be soon! 😀

Still Waiting

Waiting for this baby to make his appearance is frustrating.

Jason and I went Easter shopping tonight after dinner and I was having stop-me-in-my-tracks contractions the whole time we were walking through Wal-Mart. They continued after we got home so I started timing them. Sure enough, as soon as I start timing they stop altogether for over an hour. Then they come back really strong but sporadic. This has happened over and over for the last several days.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to bother trying to time any of these anymore. Every time I do, they go away. I’m rather tired of that, I’d like my baby now please. So I’m just going to take notice when they start getting really close together, hang out at home as long as I can, and then head to the hospital (10 minutes away) when I feel like it’s time. I do NOT want to be sent home from the hospital for coming in too early like I was when I was in labor with Jeremy.

Hopefully paying just a scarce amount of attention to the contractions will make them stick around longer. Obviously I’m not supposed to keep track of them at all.
.
.
.
Edited To Add: Aside from all this, I am in DESPERATE need of a pedicure. The last time I was capable of touching my toes was almost two months ago for the Mardi Gras Ball and I’m still sporting the same chipped toenail polish I put on that day. Furthermore, my tootsies haven’t seen professional help since my wedding nine months ago and it is QUITE apparent.

As much as I would love for my darling second son to make an appearance as soon as possible, I suppose waiting just ONE more day would be okay so that Mommy can get herself a nice soothing pedicure before checking in to the hospital. (See, now that I said that, he’ll see fit to come on out tomorrow.)

38 weeks… & Still Pregnant

Our visit to the doctor this morning brought us good news. As I shared on Facebook yesterday, after a nice long day of playgroup and the park with Jeremy I was getting some decent contractions in the evening. They lasted less than 30 seconds each and were irregular, but they definitely felt like they were working. All night I was hoping that all those would add up to some real progress at the doctor today.

Well, last week we were only dilated a single centimeter and almost no measurable effacement. This week we are a “loose 1 centimeter” and 50% effaced. Also, instead of -4 station, we’re at -2 now. If you’re not up on your obstetrical terminology, that means that the baby is moving further down which is thinning out and opening up my cervix. All good stuff! Looking at our current progress, since this is our second baby the doctor said that there’s a good chance that we could very well have a baby next week! That’d be awesome. 🙂

When I was pregnant with Jeremy, I went in for my 37 week appointment and was a “snug” 1 cm dilated (like last week). At my 38 week appointment I was 3 cm dilated, that was a Friday. I went into labor on Sunday night and had Jeremy Monday afternoon (at 38 1/2 weeks). Everything I’ve read says that once dilation and effacement begins, second babies come quicker than firsts. With any luck, the baby will decide to grace us with an appearance sometime next week.

In preparation, I’ve got the “0-3 month” baby clothes and a few newborn-sized outfits coming out of the dryer soon and I’ll be packing our hospital bag and Jeremy’s overnight bag tonight. I’m also going to keep up the regular outings with Jeremy. Chasing him around the park and going to our playdates have kept me active and that exercise is definitely good to keep this baby on the right track.