Friday, August 30, 2013

7/31/2013- 39 weeks 1 day- Ella arrives!

On 7/30/2013 I saw Dr. Deprez for my 39 week check up. Everything was looking good, I had actually lost 2 pounds (strange considering all the ice cream I was eating) and my blood pressure was still good. My cervix was 3cm dilated and I was 50% effaced. This excited me because this was exactly what I was 2 days prior to having Maddie. Dr. Deprez surprised me by starting to talk about inducing me, even as soon as the end of that week. He didn't seem particularly concerned about anything but I think he figured it might be better to get me into labor under more controlled circumstances given how quickly I progressed with my first experience. The talk of induction caught me completely off guard and I felt really hesitant to commit to it. I didn't even expect to talk about it until I was 40 weeks. At the end of the appointment he had me agreeing to having him call to see if there was any availability for planned induction on the following Monday, he said if I was really opposed to it that I could call him by Friday and he could cancel it.

I had left work a bit early that day to make my appointment. When I got home I was still feeling anxious thinking about a possible induction and excited knowing my cervix was changing. I got an overwhelming feeling that I better finish the long progress note I was working before I left work. Turns out it was a good thing I did!

Around 8:30pm (the same day, 7/30/13) I started timing some contractions. I had been having somewhat regular contractions for several nights in a row but this time they were truly regular, coming every 7 minutes apart. They also felt a little more painful than regular braxton hicks contractions. Once I saw the contractions were around 7 minutes apart for an hour I suspected that I was really might be starting labor. I sent Paul up to take a shower while I finished my sign outs for work and sent my final emails. I then finished packing my bags, took a shower and we called Nana to come and stay with Maddie. I knew I wanted to get to the hospital in plenty of time because I was having visions of having the baby on the kitchen floor, even if this meant risking being sent home if I wasn't dilated enough. Around 11:00pm I called Dr. Deprez, at that time my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, I seemed to skip over 5 minutes apart and went right from 7 min to 3-4 min quickly. The contractions were not overly painful but felt "real," I was still in good spirits. Dr. Deprez told me to go ahead into the hospital for a labor check.

By the time I was checked into the hospital it was around midnight. The resident came in to check me and to my chagrin I was still 3cm (acutally she said 2-3cm!) and 50% effaced, no change from earlier in the day. The doctors and nurse had reviewed my records from Maddie and agreed that since I had progressed so quickly the first time, it was probably best if I stuck around for a bit to see if I made any progress. The ironic thing was that Grammy had agreed to work overtime which meant coming into work at 3am that morning.  She was even assigned to draw blood on the maternity ward that day. She was able to work for a couple of hours while checking in on me and was there for the delivery as planned!

My nurse suggested that we walk around for an hour to see if that might help my cervix dilate. We did just that, around and around we went. After about an hour to an hour and a half the resident came back to check me again. To my surprise I was still only 3cm and not much more effaced. She said she was going to call Dr. Deprez to let him know but she thought, based on her previous conversation with him, that he would have me go home if I was "comfortable enough." The nurse was surprised that they would send me home considering my history and thought maybe they would wait  a little longer and check my cervix again.

I decided to close my eyes for a few minutes so I turned on my side and started to rest. All of the sudden I heard a monitor alarm in the distance and suddenly the curtains were whipped open and about 8 nurses and doctors came running in. I heard the nurse say "that was real, I heard it" as she adjusted the monitor on my stomach. It turns out that Ella had 2 hear rate decelerations, one right after the other. One they let you "get away with" one but two in a row is cause for alarm. Thankfully after I changed my position her heart rate recovered quickly. They told me it was probably because she was positioned on the cord and that this probably happens a lot but you're not on the monitor to see it! The head doctor said, "well the good news is you just bought yourself a bed!" We all joked that baby Ella wasn't going to let those mean doctors send her mother home! She had to cause some excitement.

We moved over to the delivery room where I met my nurse, Moira. She was FANTASTIC. Dr. Deprez arrived around 5am and checked me, my cervix had dilated to 6cm, hooray! He decided to break my water to "get things going" even more. The baby's head was still at +2 station (high up) so he also said if the head didn't start coming down he would give me a small amount of pitocin to help strengthen the contractions. At that point my contractions were moderately painful but tolerable. I was breathing through them and able to relax for a few moments in between.  For some reason I was more comfortable on my back even though I was having lower back pain with each contraction. Moira was very supportive and reassuring. She taught Paul how to rub my back and she even rubbed my feet/legs with lotion to help distract the pain. The best thing was she brought me an orange popsicle. It honestly tasted like a million bucks! We talked about pain management. Since I was considering an epidural she suggested I have anesthesiology come and consent me just in case I decided I wanted and epidural. I was feeling conflicted about it because I knew I could do it without it because I had last time. She offered her opinion that she thought I could do it as well. She felt I was tolerating the pain well to begin with plus she suspected I would progress quickly again and push for less time then with Maddie. Soon after Dr. Deprez came in she did suggest that now might be the time for the epidural if I wanted it but I wasn't really feeling like I needed it at that moment (should have listened to her!) After about an hour Dr. Deprez came in to check on me again, my cervix was about 7cm dilated. Around 6am he started the pitocin at the lowest rate possible. I can't say I felt a whole lot of difference in the contractions until all of sudden, I did. I started shaking and the contractions started becoming unbearable (maybe around 7am?) I knew in my head I was probably going through the transition stage. I threw in the towel and told Moira I wanted the epidural. In retrospect I think I panicked because all the memories of the pain involved with Maddie's delivery came rushing back to me. Moira quickly checked my cervix to be sure "there was some cervix left," she said I was still 7-8cm dilated. She called anesthesiology immediately and when they hadn't arrived after about 10 minutes she went to hunt them down, as she did they walked in the door. As I sat up to get positioned for the epidural I started getting severe pressure and urges to push. Once again it seemed I was progressing from 6-7cm to 10cm in lightening speed. I was torture trying to sit and stay still through the contractions and pressure! Things got a bit tense because it was apparent baby Ella wasn't waiting for the epidural to be put in. Moira started calmly walking Paul through calling Dr. Deprez at various numbers while she helped me stay in position for the epidural. It turns out the reason he didn't answer  the phone was that he was on his way to my room. The anesthesiologist got the catheter in my spinal canal, I heard her say she hit a blood vessel but then seemed to think that she was able to move it into the correct position. It was becoming more and more apparent that there was no time for them to set up the medication pump, I had to start pushing, there was no denying it even though I was trying to. She did give me a "bolus" of medication, unfortunately I did not feel one iota of effect from it, not even a tingle of a foot. It was almost worse to be so close to pain relief with the epidural catheter in my back, it didn't seem fair. I now know it was my fault for waiting to long, oh well, once again I survived. I had a few moments of panic when Moira was trying to get me to lay down, I was feeling like I couldn't do it but she was so calm and direct, she was able to get me to listen to her and do what she was saying. Dr. Deprez was certainly hustling to prep his tray and equipment. I saw him repeatedly raising his eyes to check me, no doubt to be sure he wasn't going to miss the baby popping out! After maybe 2 pushes I could feel the baby crown, after that contraction was over I felt the head go back in. I said something to the effect of "what just happened, did she just go back in?" Dr. Deprez responded in his usual fashion "yes, but only temporarily." I think even I laughed a little....well maybe not, but I did afterwards thinking about it. Once I started pushing it only took about 5 minutes (4-5 pushes) for my beautiful baby to be born! After a little suctioning she started crying immediately and was put up on my chest. She looked so little to me, I couldn't believe it when they said she weighed 7 lbs 5.8oz. Almost exactly Maddie's weight, actually 0.8oz more! She was 20.75inches, 0.75inches longer than her sister. Apgar scores were 8 and 9. Nobody could say for sure who Ella looked liked so we kept saying she just looks like Ella! As the days went on she started to have moments where she would look a little like one of us or Maddie. Everyone agreed she was a content and happy little baby. Those were the most popular adjectives used to describe her in those first days, even by the pediatrician.  The first thing daddy said was "she is so beautiful!" I agreed and we were both in love, it is amazing how your heart doubles in size once you have another child to love.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

36-38 weeks

Here's a little recap of my visits the last few weeks: At 36 weeks I started seeing Dr. Deprez weekly. At 36 & 37 weeks I was 1 cm dilated with no effacement. At 38 weeks I was 1.5cm with minimal effacement. I have been gaining 1-2 pounds a week. Urine testing has been normal and for the most part my BP has been stable too. At 37 weeks we are in a terrible heat wave with temps in the high 90's and high humidity. It was awful!! During that visit my BP was 126/86 which was a little higher than my norm but still ok.

The heat this summer and especially in the last few weeks has been killer but I am surviving. I've spent a lot of time in the pool which has been great. I've had much more swelling in my ankles and feet than I did with Maddie, no doubt because of the weather. Just prior to 38 weeks I started having a LOT of lower pelvic and groin pain and pressure. It is making it difficult (or at least painful) to even walk at times.

Everything is ready for baby Ella to join us. Bags are packed. House has had a thorough cleaning by Aunt Linda. Pedicure is done. The crib has finally arrived, after waiting 17 long weeks for it! The wall decal is up and the room looks great! We worried about moving the glider into the baby's room and also about Maddie's reaction to seeing Ella's crib and furniture. Just like just about everything else we worry about, Maddie surprised us. We decided to transition Maddie to the toddler bed around the time Ella's crib and room were coming together. We also let her pick out a new bean bag and somehow we made it seem like her idea to move the glider so the beanbag could fit- genius! Maddie is very excited about Ella's room. She loves to go play in there and of course gets into everything, headbands, stuffed animals, socks etc. She likes to show the room to everyone who comes over. This morning the first thing Maddie asked me when she woke up is "is baby Ella here yet?" Then she proceeded to ask if "Ella's mommy" would feed her baby milk from a bottle. Thankfully later in the evening when Grammy asked Maddie who Ella's mommy is Maddie pointed to me and said "mama!" Thank goodness.

As I type this (7/24/13), I am timing some contractions that feel more like Braxton Hicks than real contractions. At the very least, it seems things are moving along! We hope to meet baby Ella very soon!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

35 Weeks

My 34 week appointment went well, starting next week I will see Dr. Deprez weekly. At my last appointment my blood pressure and urine were good. Weight was up 2 lbs since the last visit and my fundus was still measuring on target.

The summer heat is getting to me, my biggest complaint is that my feet and ankles are swelling on these hot and humid days....more than they did with Maddie. I get uncharacteristically hot at night but thank God for A.C. One night I woke up Paul because I was still hot despite the A.C being on, he turned up the cool setting. In the morning I asked him if he thought it was as hot as I did and he said he was comfortable, in fact he was a bit cold after we turned up the A.C. This is most definitely the opposite of how things usually go when it comes to our perception of temperature! Heartburn continues to rear its ugly head, not every day but it's pretty unpleasant when it comes. I've been noticing my appetite is quite what it used to be either, I get full quickly. I tend to get mentally exhausted during the work week but, the weekends seem to be harder on my body. I usually end up quite sore, tired and swollen. I am sure that it's because I am trying to do too much between our usual "chores," running errands, playing with Maddie and recently doing more work in Ella's room. Now that Paul is out of school the painting has been completed. We are still awaiting the crb, changing table and wall decorations but just about everything else is organized and ready to go. Ella's coming home outfit has been purchased along with a matching outfit for big sister Maddie, of course. Nana bought Maddie new bedding too as we plan on switching her to a toddler bed in the near future. We figure it will be a good time to do it before the baby comes and we can emphasize the fact that Maddie is getting something new for her room too. I hope it goes as smoothly.

The reality that a new baby will be joining us is starting to hit me. Although I am well aware of pains of labor and delivery that await me, the anticipation of the sheer joy and love we will feel when we meet Ella surpasses everything else.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

32 Weeks

Wow- 8 months pregnant already! I really don't know where the time has gone.

I had my 32 week visit with Dr. Deprez on 6/11/13. I didn't have a great start to the day. From the moment I woke up I was nauseous and really felt pretty poorly. I started to get a little nervous as it didn't get any better. One of the nurses at the nursing home took my BP and it was a bit high for me. I moved up my appointment with Dr. Deprez from 4pm to 2pm. I wasn't feeling any better once I got there but thankfully my BP was back down to normal at 108/60. I had trace protein in my urine which he assured me was normal. The baby's heartbeat sounded great and I measured exactly 32 weeks. My weight popped up 6lbs this time around, probably making up for the 2 lbs last month. After asking me several questions, Dr. Deprez' impression was that there was no need for concern. He couldn't explain the nausea but did ask me to call him if it wasn't better. After lots of rest when I got home and a good nights sleep I woke up feeling better.

Some days I feel so great and have lots of energy and other days I feel like I can barely move. "Baby Godzilla" as I affectionately call her, is moving so much and really feels huge sometimes. Today I was quite uncomfortable with lots of pressure and jabs in the rib and the bladder simultaneously. Other than the typical discomforts of pregnancy I am doing well.

I have purchased most of the things I determined I needed. Now we are just waiting for the furniture to be delivered in the next couple of weeks but more importantly I am waiting for dada to finish school so the room can really be completed!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

29 Weeks

I had my 28 week check up with Dr. Deprez on 5/14/2013. The weeks leading up to this appointment were a bit stressful and I didn't feel I was getting enough rest or sleep. Thankfully any worries that I had about this affecting myself or the baby were relieved. I only had gained 2 lbs since the last visit which I was pleased about. My BP was 116/70, urine test was perfect and the baby's heart rate sounded great. My fundus measured exactly 28 cm, right on target. I have 1 more monthly visit to go and then we start every 2 weeks X2 and then every week-that's hard to believe.

I am feeling more and more uncomfortable these days with my growing belly. I continue to feel so much larger than I did when pregnant with Maddie and other people seem to like to point this out too!  Occasional insomnia is starting to plague me which doesn't help my energy level through out the day. Some days I feel some of energy and great and other days not, I guess I should just be happy with those good days! Baby Ella still moves quite a bit day and night and apparently is getting much bigger because I can now feel her at the extremes of my uterus simultaneously...and she is strong!!

As far as Ella's room, operation install new closet is now complete. I have started going through boxes of baby stuff and making a list of things I need or need to replace. The clothes have been washed and put away and I'm trying to figure out what I will now need for my summer newborn-this is going to be very different! I think the paint color for the nursery has been decided, "Pink Innocence" by Benjamin Moore. The crib bedding set has been picked out and already purchased by Auntie Lindsay! Slowly but surely we are making progress, with each thing I'm able to check off my list my anxiety goes down a little bit more.

On a funny note, with my growing belly Maddie has started calling me her "chubby little Mama." We are pretty sure she doesn't know what chubby means but it's pretty hilarious that she came out with this in such a timely manner! One of the books we read is "My little cupcake" which I sing to the tune of "You are my Sunshine." In the book there is a part that says "my chubby little pumpkin" so we are assuming this is where she got it. "You are my mama, my mushy little sweet pea, my chubby little mama, please don't take my mama away." Good thing she is so darn cute!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

26 Weeks

Life has been pretty hectic lately, hence the lack of updates. The stress of the last few weeks (months?) has started to take it's toll. I have been feeling pretty exhausted lately. Even though I have plenty of reason to be tired, it is a little disconcerting at times. I had my 24 week check up with Dr. Deprez on 4/18/13. My 1 hour glucose test went well, my glucose level was 88. My H/H were a bit low 11.2/32.7 so I am now taking iron, I am hoping this will help give me some energy too! Everything else looked good on my checkup, my weight did jump a bit but I am pretty convinced our trip to NYC the same week as my appointment did not help. We ate like kings and queens! Other than feeling tired, I really can't complain because I've had a healthy pregnancy. I sometimes feel like I'm moving through molasses though. My belly is certainly growing and I still feel so much bigger than I did with Maddie. The comment of the week (26 weeks) has been, "wow, you REALLY look pregnant now!" In the past week my right SI joint started acting up a bit. I am able to pinpoint how it happened after I assisted with a patient at work during an emergency. Since that day I have been having some mild pain but still nothing like it was with Maddie. OMT and PT are still helping. One thing is for sure, this baby moves A LOT! She is a very active little girl in there. Her movement in my belly has been visible to the eye for a few weeks now. Now that it is May it is really feeling like this little girl will be here soon. We have to get moving on preparing her room and closet. Thankfully Paul is well aware of how my brain operates. We are hoping to clear out the room and put in the closet system this weekend, of course with Uncle "Rog's"help.

Friday, April 12, 2013

23 Weeks

Last week I finally had a chance to go through all of Maddie's baby clothes and figure out what will work and what is needed. I washed everything and put the clothes away, organized by size, in the dresser and closet. It was quite a task but I'm relieved to have that checked off the list. Next will be installing a new closet system and cleaning out the furniture and setting it up in the new "guest" bedroom. I overdid it a bit with all that work and felt the effects physically for a few days. After some stretching and rest I do feel better. I also had a cold last week which made me feel pretty miserable, especially without many options for remedies safe in pregnancy.

I am apprehensive about weighing in at Dr. Deprez' next week. I feel like I'm really getting big fast and hope the scale doesn't jump like it did last time around this time. At my next visit I was also having the glucose tolerance test.

Maddie has been so cute when we talk about her baby sister. I told her that her baby sister's name is going to be Ella. She said in the cutest voice "Her name is El-la?" She has loved looking at all the little baby clothes and even shows her affection but hugging them. Today she lifted my shirt to "show" her baby sister a new outfit grammy bought. She ended the conversation with a little kiss to the belly. Grammy asked her if she was excited to be a big sister and she said "yes, but we have to wait for her to come out."