Tuesday, November 29, 2005

So THAT’S why they call it LABOR…

What an insane experience. Contrary to what everyone (even my friends) was told, I was not induced. I was threatened with induction. Here’s what happened: Monday morning I went to the doctor. I knew that I was in for good news, because I was seeing the doctor that I really like. Sure enough, she came into the room promising to fix things for me. She asked if Tuesday worked for me for induction, and I said, "how about today?" She called the hospital to see if I could come up. The hospital was extremely busy on Monday, 7 babies were delivered that day alone. So they told her I could come in to start cervadil (stuff that helps your cervix dilate) on Tuesday night, and then picotin on Wednesday morning. The good/bad news was that my blood pressure was high enough for her to be concerned (probably something to do with being 11 days overdue) and there was protein in my pee, so she wanted me to go to the hospital to be monitored right then.

So we made the trip next door to the hospital. I was kind of disappointed to think that I would have to wait until the next day to actually start the induction process. They got me into a birthing suite and monitored my blood pressure and drew blood. This all started around noon on Monday. By 1:30 the midwife that I usually see came in and checked my cervix. I was still stuck at 2 centimeters and about 70 % effaced, so she stripped my membranes. The nurses assured me that I would probably start having contractions later in the evening. But they started right then and there, little teeny cramps that came and went every 3 to 5 minutes. The nurse that was with me continued to monitor me, the baby, and my contractions, and it all stayed pretty consistent, so she went to call my doctor. When she came back she said, "Good news. We’re going to keep you." I was thrilled.

Ryan called my parents and they came up to the hospital around 4:30. The nurse still wanted me on cervadil since my cervix refused to budge even with my little contractions. They put that in around 5:00. Until about 8 or 9 o’clock, my contractions were pretty manageable. Then gradually they started getting more and more uncomfortable. At 11:00 I was begging for something for pain. The night nurse gave me a shot of stadol, which gave me a nice buzzed feeling. Considering I hadn’t felt buzzed in a while. At any rate, that let me rest a little, but unfortunately it wore off pretty quick. Sometime throughout the night I got another shot of it. At around 1:00 my cervix had finally made the move to 3, so they took the cervadil out.

I was so glad my parents were there with me. My mom helped me to the bathroom numerous times. She would push my IV and my dad would get the bathroom door while Ryan tried to sleep a little. My dad sat up in a chair all night and watched TV while I writhed around in pain. Around 6:30 in the morning, Ryan was trying to help me breathe through contractions, which felt like they were right on top of each other, non-stop. I moved my leg just a little and felt a weird popping sensation. My water had broken. What a horrible feeling that was. I knew at that point my contractions were only going to get much worse, and I was right. Around 8 the nurse from the day before came in to check on me and I had finally made it to 4 centimeters, so she asked if I wanted an epidural. I practically begged for it. After what seemed like FOREVER the anesthesiologist came in and started with the epidural. I was nervous about it but I only felt the sting of the novacaine and then a weird sensation in my back as he put the catheter in. Finally we were all set. I waited. Nothing seemed to be easing the pain. I waited some more. Nothing. The nurse continued to monitor my pain level. It was getting worse. She called the anesthesiologist back and he put more stuff in my IV. It didn’t help. She called him back yet again. Finally, after 3 hours of this back and forth bullshit they re-did the epidural. As soon as he started taping my back I felt relief. I was able to smile. I was able to relax. I felt better than I had in hours. It was then that they put some picotin in my IV to help keep my contractions going.

By that time, I was already dilated to 7 or 8, so I didn’t have much time left to wait. My midwife came in what seemed like minutes later and said that I was complete. My nurse told me to start pushing with each contraction and I could labor down for a little while before we got the show on the road. This would help the baby get lower and lower. The more I pushed the more pressure I felt. Thinking about it now, I doubt that I should have felt as much pressure as I did with the epidural. I think that I just got a shitty epidural.

After that the real pushing began with my nurse. I have to say, my nurse was awesome. She stuck with me the whole time and kept encouraging me. I was beyond exhausted at this point. I started pushing at 2:30, so I’d been in the hospital for over 24 hours with very little rest. The nurse told me that I’d been pushing for an hour and I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like 5 minutes yet an eternity. I knew that it would all be over soon, and that’s what kept me going. The nurse said I’d deliver by 4:15 and went to call the midwife.

I don’t know what was more excruciating, the contractions or the pushing. I’m not going to lie, both parts were pure torture. I’m a wimp. I’ve heard women say that giving birth was the most glorious thing they’ve ever done, and how much they loved it and how it didn’t hurt and how it was such a miracle. Well, the miracle part I’ll agree with. The rest is bullshit. Giving birth was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, hands down. Even writing my thesis was easier. I’m proud of myself for accomplishing it, and doing it with class. There were so many times that I could have totally lost it from the pain, but I kept my head the entire time. I used what I learned in Lamaze and breathed through the pain. And Ryan was outstanding. I never, ever could have done it without him. I know that he was worried sick about me. I know that if I were to witness him going through that much pain and not be able to help him with it I would have gone crazy. But he remained composed and kept telling me how good I was doing, feeding me ice chips with every push, rubbing my back and holding my leg. He was a trooper.

So at any rate, my midwife got there at roughly 4. The nurse told me they were going to use the vacuum to get the baby out, because she was almost there, she just kept sliding back a little whenever I’d get done pushing. The vacuum was intense, and really scary. As soon as the midwife got it in there, I felt insane pressure and pulling. My midwife was awesome, She is such a little tiny lady with a soft voice, but when she was delivering my baby she was all business. She yelled, "PUSH! PUSH! YOU CAN DO IT!" which surprised the hell out of me since I didn’t know she had an outside voice. I couldn’t help but push with all my might then. I felt the head come out. It was crazy. It took 2 more good pushes and her shoulders came out. I felt like I was going to pass out when she was finally pulled out of my body. They put her on my stomach and I saw her girl parts and smiled. I knew she was a girl. I just knew it. However, since I have the tendency to doubt myself, I didn’t want to admit it much. I told Ryan that I thought she was a girl, so at least he knew.

I just stared at her. I was so exhausted and I felt dazed. Birth had not gone they way I imagined it would. It was everything but. Every single thing I worried about had happened. I was late, I had to have help dilating, my epidural didn’t work, I pooped while pushing (seriously… I was in labor for 24 hours and they fed me hospital food the night before… Ryan loved that) AND I felt everything. Even the stitches. It felt like I got about a million of them. The vacuum must have ripped me up pretty bad. Lyric didn’t cry right away. They had to pinch her to get her to cry. But she was so bright eyed when she came out. Her scores were perfect. And she was (and IS) absolutely beautiful.

I know it sounds scary, but I wouldn’t trade it for a minute. What I feel for her is amazing. I knew that love like this existed, I’ve just never felt it before. She’s perfect, even though she keeps me up at night and poops right after I change her diaper and falls asleep every time she’s eating. I love watching Ryan with her. Watching him be a daddy to our daughter makes me love him so much more.

I’m always on now. My senses are heightened. I listen to every peep she makes. When she cries it breaks my heart. I wake up at night in a frenzy to make sure she’s okay.

I’m a mom.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Baby Girl Formerly Known as Fuzzball

Lyric and Mommy
Lyric Alexandra
7 pounds, 8 ounces
Born November 22 at 4:14 pm
Lyric and Daddy
Monkey Girl
I’m so cute!
What’s Happening?

More to come soon... bear with me... I have this whole new scary and exciting life facing me at the moment.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And waiting...

I had to laugh at Celti's comment from yesterday never to tell blogland if she gets pregnant. It's not just blogland. In fact, that's the least of it. I have to deal with constant phone calls from people saying "you didn't have that kid yet?" as if I have ANYTHING to do with when it comes out. Believe me, if I could press a button and go into labor, I would. I welcome the pain. It would be a relief. Bring it, I say. Anything to take my mind off of things.

Fuzzball is doing well, with lots of fluid surrounding him/her. We could have found out the sex at our ultrasound today, but we figured what's the point? We've waited this long, we might as well be suprised when he/she finally decides to come out. I do know that I have a VERY big baby in there. The ultrasound tech said 8 pounds 7 ounces. All I have to say is PLEASE COME OUT SOON OR MY VAGINA WILL NEVER BE THE SAME (that is if it can even come out of there at this point).

All of the people who guessed my due date were wrong, and I think all of the people that guessed the weight were wrong too. Fuzz likes to keep everyone on their toes.

My doctor said that nothing is happening with my cervix, so chances are I'll be induced next week. I'll get to schedule that on Monday. Until then, I'll cry 20 times a day, grind my teeth until my jaw is sore, and try not to scratch. That seems to be my daily routine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

In case you were wondering, I’m still pregnant. Now shut up.

I’m very cranky, very emotional, and VERY itchy. In the past few days I’ve developed a weird ass skin condition known as PUPPP, or the less pronounceable Pruritic Uticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. It’s like a really hivey outbreak. They say that it’s caused by an allergic reaction to the placenta. It usually occurs in late pregnancy and is pretty rare. So leave it to me to get it. It should clear up as soon as I give birth, WHENEVER THAT WILL BE. At any rate, my itchiness is increasing my bitchiness. It’s not nice to have a giant bumpy rash getting worse daily all over my body. Thankfully it’s not dangerous to me or the Fuzz, it’s just really motherfucking uncomfortable. So much so that all I want to do is tear my skin off. Now I can really sympathize with Ryan for dealing with eczema his whole life. Unfortunately, the only thing I can do about it is put on hydrocortisone. And try not to scratch. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Seriously.

I’m the most miserable creature on the face of the earth at the moment. How do women forget these days and continue to have multiple children? How is it even possible?

I told Ryan that when our baby is crying non-stop and I'm on the brink of insanity, to look at me and say, "at least you're not itchy!"

Friday, November 11, 2005

When the Due Date Comes and Goes *updated*

It really isn’t fair that they give you a specific date. I’m a very prompt person, so not having this done and over with by the date that they gave me is killing me. I'm always on time! Although, back when I first went and got my pregnancy test done at Family Planning, in the days when I didn’t have insurance quite yet and was insufferably poor from working at Target, they told me that my estimated due date was November 16th. The 16th of this month is the full moon, and that’s when my father in law is convinced that I’ll go into labor. I’m hoping he’s wrong and that I’ll be in the birthing suite tonight. I go to the doctor today so I’ll see what’s going on.

I have been having mild contractions. When I say mild, I mean sometimes they aren’t terribly noticeable but sometimes they take my breath away. I still have my cold, which thankfully is just a very stuffy nose at the moment. The sore throat has gone away for the most part, so I’m hoping that it might just be allergies. It’s annoying not being able to breathe, especially when that’s a major part of my pain relief. It’s difficult to breathe through a contraction with a stuffy left nostril.

Ryan has taken the last couple days off, and it’s been so fun spending our last bit of alone time together. We haven’t done much other than visit his parents and grocery shop, but it’s been nice to have someone to spend my day with. I hate being alone. He went to work today so I’ll have to deal with the alone time.

At this point, I have to learn to trust my body. It’s apparently not ready to deliver a baby yet. I don’t really want to be induced either. I am, however, sick of people calling my house every five minutes to check and see if I’ve had a baby yet. Nobody warned me how old that was going to get.

The doctor was extremely depressing. Nothing is happening. I have 2 non stress tests scheduled for next week, and another ultrasound on Thursday to check fluid levels and stuff. Fuzz is super hyped up today and moving like mad, and it's really uncomfortable. Imagine an 8 pound being rearranging your organs. Not fun.

What is fun though, is googling the word "failure." Try it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Drugging the kid...

Yes. I know. It’s the 9th. I’m still pregnant. I did, however, spend the last couple of days at the hospital, but not because of me. Ryan’s dad went in Monday morning because of gallstones. Yesterday he had surgery to get his gallbladder out. Needless to say, I’ve been squeezing my legs shut, because I know Ryan wants his parents to be able to be at the hospital when Fuzzball is born. Unfortunately, his dad is at a different hospital at the moment, which is pretty inconvenient, but I guess I’ll have to forgive him.

I honestly didn’t think I’d last this long. Every day gets more and more uncomfortable. On top of all of my pregnancy discomfort, I’ve also developed a cold, which sucks. I’ve fretted this whole entire time about what I would do if I got a cold, because I almost always get a really bad cold in the summer that just never goes away. I’ll cough and cough for weeks. Luckily, that never happened, so I attributed it to all the vitamins I’ve been taking. But now, suddenly since I’m not working or even in contact with the public, I’m all stuffy and have a sore throat. I broke down and took a Benadryl this morning, since that’s one of the drugs I’m actually allowed to take. I feel bad even taking a Tylenol, because I hate to drug Fuzzball, so that was a big step for me. Needless to say I slept for 5 more hours and woke up in a puddle of drool.

Ryan’s dad is supposed to go home today. Tomorrow is my due date. With any luck, we’ll see some action soon. If not, I’ll find out Friday what the doctor has to say. Until then, send me healthy vibes.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Now let me totally depress you on a Monday…

I'm still here... Fuzzball shows no signs of wanting to get out. At all. People keep calling my parents to ask if I've had a baby yet. It's starting to annoy me, like I have any control over it. Gah. Anyway, here's what I was going to post Friday but decided not to.

I’ve been thinking lately of significant people in my past, both positive and negative forces in my life. I’ve had so many people come and go that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of them all. But there are a few that really stand out, and one of the ones that does isn’t even human.

You all know about Rosie and Peanut, my family’s Yorkies. I can’t even tell you how much joy these dogs give me. Every single time I go to my mom’s house it’s like I have my own personal cheering squad, because these dogs greet me with such blinding enthusiasm that I can’t even comprehend it. It's unconditional love at it's finest. Rosie wasn’t the first Yorkie that we had though. Honey was.

Honey was the sweetest little dog. She was full of sass and spunk, and she weighed in at a whopping full grown 3 pounds. She was tiny and fragile but had the personality of a Labrador. She thought she was much bigger than she actually was. Needless to say, she was an easy dog to love, and much like Rosie, everyone that met her fell in love with her.

I was always terribly worried about her size and the fact that she was so little and fragile. It scared me to ever think that anything could happen to her. So when she was accidentally killed when a heavy oak chair fell on her, my heart felt like it was literally ripped out of my chest. It was the most freak thing to ever happen in my presence, and the only time in my life so far that I’ve ever experienced such a painful and traumatic loss.

I know my sister blames herself for Honey’s death, because it was my 2 year old nephew who was playing in the chair that fell on her. He tipped it over, and although we all knew it was a complete accident, I know she was horrified.

It was gut wrenching to see my mom grab her little dog off the floor screaming. Honey's tiny little neck was broken, and even as my mom ran to get my dad, I knew there was nothing that could be done to save her. My parents ran to the car and started towards the vets office as I freaked out. Ryan tried to calm me down the whole time. My sister took my nephew and left, and I felt horrible that she blamed herself. Silently I was blaming myself, I had been holding her minutes before it happened, then I put her on the floor. If I had only held on to her for a few more minutes…

My parents came back within a few moments, and my dad drove the car into the yard. Both of my parents were a wreck. This dog was their baby. I ran to meet them and my mom had Honey in her lap. Seeing her broken body yet again was a moment that I’ll never forget. The moments that followed were somewhat of a blur, but I can remember thinking that I wasn’t planning on spending the evening burying my dog.

My parents buried her in the backyard. They even got a little memorial stone to put at her grave. I painted a purple flower on it, because I have a really cute picture of her sticking her nose in a big purple flower.

Like I said, this has been the most traumatic moment of my life to date. Every once in a while I would relive the moment. After a while that faded away, but lately it’s come back, full force, and I know that my anxiety levels and depression are building up again. It’s inevitable, because again I’m faced with a tiny and fragile life, a life that is totally in my hands. I never talk about my anxiety, but I know I have some form of an anxiety disorder which leads to depression. It's never been properly diagnosed, but I have an irrational fear of bad things happening, mostly to the people that I care about the most. The last time I was at my doctor she asked me if I wanted anything for depression, knowing that it runs in my family. I declined, because I’ve always been able to fight it off. I’m hoping to remain as strong in the future, but with so much more on the line I know it will be hard. So right now I’m preparing myself and Ryan for a bad couple of weeks. Since I’m prone to depression, I’m afraid that the “baby blues” will be full blown post partum depression, and I’m not sure if I’m prepared to deal with that. Ryan is prone to depression too, so I know it will affect him if I’m depressed.

Not only that, but thinking about Honey and how heartbroken I was (and still am) about a little creature who was in my life for such a short amount of time scares me. And that’s the problem with love. Once you take that leap of faith into loving someone, there’s always that fear. And it’s inescapable. So when I look at my husband, or when I see my baby for the first time, I know that if anything ever happened to either of them, it would crush me. I don’t know if I’d be able to live.

But that’s what makes LIFE so meaningful.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Update on Week 39...

I had a horribly depressing post prepared for today, but I decided not to post it. Today is just too nice to make people depressed. And I'm in a good mood.

The doctor I saw today informed me that I'm "almost" dilated to 2 cm. She was AWFUL. I waited for over an hour to be seen and then she COULDN'T FIND MY CERVIX. How? Why? I thought she was going to have to stick her whole arm up there just to find it. Meanwhile, she's apologizing and telling me how high up it is, and I'm sweating and trying NOT to scream my face off. I thought my head was going to explode.

Funnily enough, the doctor that I saw last week had no problem finding my cervix, and it didn't hurt ONE BIT.

Thankfully I made it through that, but I know that I'm definitely going to need that epidural when the time comes. I'm a total wuss.

And that's all for today. Stay tuned for another episode of "Find My Cervix."

And Happy Birthday to Pup!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Still here...

Sorry guys. I know you all got excited when I wasn’t around yesterday, but Fuzzball is still happily residing within me. I worked for a half day, went to the chiropractor, went shopping, had a hot flash (I didn’t know those were common in late pregnancy, but I found out as I was waiting in line in the grocery store), then went home and took a nap.

Sorry. No Fuzz yet. But SOOOOOOON. I don't plan on working anymore after today, so I'll be scarce for a while. Tomorrow I’ll find out how much I’ve progressed in the past week. In other happy news, I get a full week of vacation pay for next week, so while I’m pushing the Fuzz out I’ll be getting paid for it. Now that’s labor.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Settling In

People at work have resorted to saying “are you STILL here?” whenever they see me. It’s very disconcerting. It makes me feel like I shouldn’t still be here. And maybe I shouldn’t. But I’m seriously not in any hurry to give birth. For a while there I thought I was, but now I’m feeling like I could wait for another week or so. My due date isn’t until next Thursday. No rush. Really. And I don’t think Fuzz is in much of a hurry either. He/she is probably pretty comfy in there.

Ryan is done with all of his shows and practice and all that fun crap. He’s devoting all of his free time to me, which is nice, because I can boss him around. I literally don’t have to get up unless I have to go to the bathroom, which is really quite frequent, so typically I get up and do stuff for myself anyway. Last night he was like, “why don’t you just SIT?” and I realized that I couldn’t. I just can’t sit still for too long. I’ve never really been very good at relaxing, unless it’s bedtime.

At any rate we had what I consider to be a relaxing evening at home. We did our annual pumpkin carving for Halloween, roasted the seeds, and watched football. We were asleep before the game was over. I woke up around the time the news was on and found out that the Steelers won. I knew they couldn’t lose on Myron Cope night.

All in all yesterday was a pretty good day.

So now it’s just waiting, waiting, waiting. And waiting. And hoping that my water doesn’t break at work. And waiting.