Look at our little munchkin!
She is still sleeping like a champ, although mostly in our arms rather than a bed of any sort (we can't help it, she's just too cute and cuddly to put down!)
Mark and I (well, mostly I) decided to get maternity photos taken a few weeks back (remember that one at the beach?). I know we're on a budget and all, but I really wanted some good pictures to remember this pregnancy and what I looked like. I mean I know those ones I take of myself in the bathroom mirror are lovely and all, but not quite what I had in mind. So, I did some research, found a good photographer for a good price, and booked a photo shoot with her. And today, I got the photos back! So I thought I'd share with you, these were taken just after 35 weeks. I know, I know, you don't really care about maternity photos once the BABY is here, so I'll just share a few. Enjoy!
Today we got some newborn photos taken of Riley, so we should be getting those back sometime next week. She was a real trooper for the photo shoot, except for the last 20 minutes or so. She started to get a bit fussy being poked and prodded, so we took a break so that I could feed her really quickly, and then take the last few photos... Well, she ate like a champ, but I knew what was bound to come next... we placed the naked (as in, without diaper) baby on a pillow to finish the photos, and just 30 seconds later, she pooped EVERYWHERE. Literally the milk goes in one end and out the other. Ahhh the joys... Needless to say, we called it a day. I can't wait to see them!
I can't help but watch this and think of all the million times Riley had hiccups while I was pregnant...
Alright, well let me start by saying that Riley's birth went NOTHING like I expected. From my first contraction to being fully dilated took a total of 4 hours! Anyway, it went a little something like this...
Saturday June 26, 2010
I was trying to take a nap because I had woken up at 5am that morning, and as I was laying in bed, I felt a "pop" and it felt like my water had broken. Not a whole lot of fluid came out, so I laid back down, and when I got up again, the same thing happened. I called my midwife, who said she'd call back in a few hours to check in and see if anything had changed.
I tell Mark to go to his soccer game, since it's my first baby, it will likely be a while before anything starts happening. He leaves to play in has game, kicking off at 2:30.
My midwife calls, I tell her I'm 90% sure it was my water that broke. She asks if I'm having any contractions, I say no, and she says she'll come over and confirm if it was in fact my water breaking.
My midwife arrives at our house, and confirms that yes, I was right, my water broke. I was not having any contractions (just some mild cramping, same as the weeks prior), and she said if my labor didn't start naturally by the following morning, we were going to head to the hospital for an induction. So I knew that we would have a baby in the next few days! I started cleaning things up, making sure everything was ready.
I felt my very first contraction. OW. Basically, like a period cramp, but WAY worse. And then I felt another one. And another one. I timed them like my midwife said. She told me to call her when they eventually got to 5 minutes apart, lasting around 1 minute each. Well, immediately my contractions were lasting 45 seconds to 1:15 seconds, and were about 3 minutes apart.
I call my midwife, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't believe me that my contractions really are that close. She says she'll be over in 10 miutes
Midwife comes over and checks to see if I'm dilated... SIX CENTIMETERS. She says, ummm, let's go to the hospital NOW. Oh and p.s. she tells me to bring a towel in case we need to pull over and deliver the baby on the high way... no joke.
We arrive at the hospital, get all checked in, and I ask for an epidural because the pain is just SO BAD and not giving me any breaks. But not before my midwife informs me she thinks the baby is BREECH and I will need a C-section... WHAT?? She had always been head down, why would she flip NOW? So she called in the techs to do an ultrasound to confirm... And just kidding, she was head down... phew! Meanwhile I had to sit still, on my back, to get this ultrasound. SO. MUCH. PAIN. Then the anesthesiologist came pretty much right away, but then it took her forever to find a vein for the IV, so it took a while to actually get the epidural. Meanwhile I was using the nitrous oxide, which did nothing for the pain, but made me feel high as a kite. Needless to say I continued to use it until the epi kicked in. :) I think the problem was that I wasn't using it correctly. You are supposed to breath in the gas at the very beginning of the contraction, but sometimes I'd miss thebeginning, and not start breathing until the middle, and then the "relief" kicked in after the contraction was gone (hence the high as a kite feeling).
Epidural has kicked in, but I'm still in a fair amount of pain. My midwife checks me, and I am fully dilated, and the baby's head is verrrrry low... locked and loaded. :) Time to start pushing!!!!
Pushing a baby out is a learning process... I had to learn the best way to push, and I got better and better with each push. But seriously, I had always heard "oh it's such a relief to push the baby, blah blah blah..." well I disagree. Pushing that baby out was just plain hard. Really really hard. Maybe because it lasted for 2.5 hours for me (obviously not straight pushing, you only push with contractions, and by this point, they had eased off a bit so I got breaks in between pushes. But with each contraction, I maybe had 3 pushes, and the baby made a tiny bit of progress... it seemed like there was no end in sight!! By the end, I was so exhausted, I just wanted that baby OUT! And the worst part is, the very end is when you are supposed to STOP pushing, or "gently" push, so as to avoid tears. Yeah. right.
Riley Katherine Bartlett made her way into the world!! She was gorgeous, in an alien-like, slimy kind of way. :) But seriously, the relief of her being pushed out of me entirely was something I cannot even begin to put into words. Aaahhhh. The next 30 minutes were spent delivering the placenta (ouchie, more cramping), and getting stitched back up (just a few stitches for very minor tears, I was quite lucky).
Riley scored 9 and 10 on her apgars (yay!), but we soon noticed she had a few little quirks.
(1) She grunted non-stop pretty much from the moment she came out. She was breathing fine, but she was just very grunty. This eventually led to a 2 hour stint in the NICU for observation, and of course as soon as we actually got into the NICU, she stopped grunting and didn't grunt again after that! Better safe than sorry, I suppose. :)
(2) Her toes. Apparently she was so squished up inside of me, that her little pinky toes were squished across her other toes! Sadly we didn't get a picture of these, because they have gone back to normal now, but they were pretty funny-looking to begin with!
(3) Her foot. She has one foot that is a little bit funny... Its natural position is a little abnormal, but it's nothing too concerning to the doctors. We might have to get it checked out by a bone doctor at some point just to make sure, but in all likelihood it will fix itself.
Other than that, she was born just perfect!! We spent the next 40 hours in the hospital, recovering, and learning how to breastfeed. The midwives at the hospital were extremely helpful, but I could not wait to leave that place. I got one hour of sleep while I was there, which means I had about an hour of sleep over about 50+ hours. Not pretty. But we finally got to go home, and we could not be happier!!
Now, just a little video to share with you...
Ok well, we are home, and so very happy about that! I will post all about Riley's birth and our hospital stay hopefully later today! Riley is sleeping a TON right now, and I am so thankful, but that means I try and squeeze in a ton of naps while she is sleeping, so I really get nothing done! But I am feeling much more rested today, so I will try and chip away at emails and uploading pictures and the like...
I put these on facebook already, but a few pictures for you to see..
More pictures and stories to come later...
Well, my friends, the time has come. I am in labor! This morning around 11:30am, my water broke. I wasn't 100% convinced it was my water breaking, although I'm not really sure what else it could've been. So I called my midwife, and she told me she'd call back in a few hours and see how I was feeling and if I was still "leaking." 2 hours later she called, I was still thinking my water had broken, so she came over to confirm. And indeed, my water broke! She checked baby's heartbeat, which was nice and strong, and basically wished me luck for the upcoming hours! As far as contractions are concerned, I have no idea what is happening. I had been getting some period-like cramps for a while, and they definitely started to get worse after my water broke. But I wasn't experiencing what I thought a traditional contraction would feel like. And the cramping wasn't so bad initially, but it just didn't go away (you know, like a contraction comes and goes? Well these painful cramps were just here). But now it's 3:45 pm, so 4 hours later, and I AM IN PAAAAAAIN. But still feels like cramping, only way way worse. And now it comes and goes in waves, but it seems like they are coming faster than contractions should come at this point. But hey, what do I know, I've never had a baby before. So I'm trying to manage the pain while Mark is at his soccer game, and then we'll go from there. If they keep up like this for a full hour I'll call the midwife and see what she thinks. But let's just say an epidural is looking more and more appealing right about now...
Wish me luck!
I feel jipped. How do you even spell that? Anyway, I heard of this whole nesting phenomenon that supposedly occurs while pregnant. And my understanding was that at some point, I would be inspired/driven/motivated to clean... a lot. Not so, my friends, not so. I have made a list of things that NEED to be done around the house, and let me tell you, it's long. But just because I made the list, and know that there is a lot of cleaning and organizing to do, does NOT mean that I feel motivated to do it. I mean, I guess I'm motivated in the sense that I get stressed out if it doesn't get done, and I don't like being stressed, so the natural solution is to just stop making lists and DO the things that need to be done. But I don't wanna!! No no no no. Like, seriously, who WANTS to clean the toilets? Mop the floors? Do any sort of dusting at all? Definitely not me. So apparently for me, "nesting" is some kind of internal nagging voice telling me all the things I should be cleaning/organizing, but they forgot to give the actual desire to do it. As I said, I got jipped.
Now after all my complaining, I decided to finally just get to work, and cross some things off my list. And you know what? Once I got going, there was no stopping me. I was like a machine. In just a few short hours, I accomplished the following...
This is apparently a hotly debated topic among pregnant women, so I've discovered. For some women, as soon as they become full term, they try and do everything to encourage baby to come out. Other women think that that is foolish, and that if baby isn't coming out without you doing anything, then clearly the baby is not ready. I lie somewhere in between those two. See, the thing is, due dates are not an exact science. I mean, it's all really a guess. Sometimes, your due date could be off by a week or more, which then means you might think you are "full term," but really, you're not. And some babies grow at different rates than others, so some little ones might still be doing a lot of growing late in the pregnancy, which might make them arrive a bit later. Other babies may be fully cooked at exactly 37 weeks. The way I also figure is, sort of no matter what I do, if the baby is not ready to come out, she won't. All those old wives tales of eating spicy food and walking up stairs sideways are not going to just magically make the baby come if my body is not really ready for her to come out. But I could be wrong...
Anyway, I'm now likely over 38 weeks pregnant (again, the due date is just an approximation), which means I'd be more than happy for her to be born now IF she's ready. I'm willing to give some of those old wives tales/tricks a try and see what happens. In fact, I've started a few of them, although some of them are not really so tricky. For example, I've set out to make sure I am walking and doing things on my feet every day. Walking is really supposed to help get the baby in a good position, and, even if it doesn't start labor, it's good for you. In fact, get this... yesterday, for some reason, I was feeling so antsy and cooped up from being home all day, I went JOGGING (not for long at all, but still, in my mind, it counts). Yes, I ran! 38 weeks pregnant! Now mind you, it was REALLY slow, and only on the flat surfaces (I was not about to go running up the monster hills by my house, thank.you.very.much) but still, I ran! And it felt SOO good. Well, as good as it can feel given my, um, "different" body I'm living in lately. But it made me so inspired and excited to be active again after the baby is born (eventually). But, as you can see, since I'm here typing this, obviously it did not put me into labor. Oh well, at least it felt good.
The other one I am currently trying is drinking red raspberry leaf tea. Now, I'm not a tea drinker, at all. Tea is very popular in NZ, it seems like EVERYONE drinks tea, all the time. I just don't like it. I'd prefer an ice water, or juice. But, raspberry leaf tea was recommended by my midwife once I became full term, because it's supposed to tone your uterus and make labor easier. The goal of it is not necessarily to start labor, but she said it can cause contractions, which can lead to labor, which is why I was told not to drink it before 37 weeks. So I've been drinking 1-2 cups a day for the past couple of days... and to be honest, have noticed no changes. The taste of the tea is average at best, so I just try and convince myself it will make my labor easier. :)
I'll let you know what other fun things I'll try, there's all kinds of crazy ones out there. But for now, I'm happy with my walking and my tea. :) But you better believe I will try EVERYTHING if it turns out my midwife wants to induce me (which wouldn't happen unless we got to like July 20th and still no baby, so I have a while before that becomes an issue).
Oh and guess what... today at my midwife appointment, she said the baby has dropped super low, as in, she couldn't even feel her head anymore because she's THAT low. Maybe these walks are doing something after all
And part 2...
I think all your guesses are anonymous, so no prizes for correct answers (aside from the ability to pat yourself on the back and question whether you actually have psychic abilities). But hey, it seems that if I don't post things on the blog or on facebook semi-regularly, people start thinking I went into labor, so I figure you people need some entertainment and reassurance that I'm still here. :)