Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy 2 Years to Us!!

Just a quick entry. Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary. What a difference two years can make. Our family has definitely changed from a family of 2 to a family of 3. We love our little guy with all our heart and couldn't dream of a better anniversary gift to each other!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

....the rest of the story.............

In the words of Paul Harvey ~ most of you know how the story ends, but did you get the details in the middle?!? Get comfy!

Thursday, July 10th

40weeks and 3days pregnant.......heading to the hospital!

My doctor called us early Thursday and said she wanted to get me in to the hospital before the re-scheduled 7pm. She wanted to do two rounds of Cervidil thinking that would help speed up my induction the next day. We were anxious to get anything started in the right direction, so we agreed. We got to the hospital around 1pm. We were officially admitted and in our labor room by 1:30. I had all my bloodwork and IV stuff done.....pretty standard stuff. The first round of Cervidil (to help me dilate and prepare for labor) began at 3pm. It would continue until 11pm. Not much to report really. It made me a little crampy but other than that ~ I felt normal.....anxious but normal. Charlie's Mom and brother brought us dinner at around 6pm. This was my last meal for a while!

At 11pm, my nurse came in and checked me. Still no progress so she started my second round of Cervidil. This dose was supposed to run from 11pm - 6am. She said at 6am, she would wake me up and I could take a shower/brush my teeth/etc before they started the Pitocin at 7am. She gave me two Ambien to try and sleep and we settled in for the night. Apparently my body does not like Ambien!! I don't remember much about the following event....but I'll tell you what I know. As Charlie was climbing into his cot for the night, I started crying. I have no idea why! I asked him to get me a tissue from the bathroom. When he stood up to walk to the bathroom, I started crying even more. He asked me what was wrong and I told him he had a lot of eyes and I couldn't tell which ones were his. Seriously...that's why I was crying! As he came closer to give me my tissues, his face became even more contorted and blurry. There were at least 3 sets of eyes/glasses/ears/etc and it seriously freaked me out. That's all I remember. I'm pretty sure I passed out after that.

My 6am shower was never to be! My water broke on it's own at 3:30am. My nurse came in and verified that it was in fact my water (at first I was pretty sure I had peed myself!) and got my IV ready for the Pitocin - this is the medicine that would begin my contractions. My Pitocin was started at 4am and by 5:45am I was VERY uncomfortable. The thing about having your labor induced is that you don't get that natural progression of contractions. You don't start off having them 10 or so minutes apart. Mine started almost right away at 5 minutes apart. Every hour they would crank up my meds and the contractions would come a little more frequently. At 6am (when I should have been showering) I was asking for my epidural.

The epidural scared me the most going into this whole process. I mean, a needle in the can that NOT scare you?!?? But it really wasn't anywhere near as bad as I had imagined. And even better yet, I had near immediate relief after it was done. I was able to get a little bit of sleep on/off after the epidural. I'm not sure if Charlie was able to sleep at all after I woke him up in a panic at 3:30.

Friday, July 11th

My labor was progressing pretty quickly after the epidural and everyone was pretty sure we would have a baby by mid-afternoon. I had to have my epidural re-dosed a few times during labor when my contractions became stronger and closer together.

At around 1pm I was at 8cm. All the nurses and even my doctor kept saying that this baby was coming very soon. Not so.......... I got stuck at 8cm for about 2 hours. I finally got to 9cm by 3pm and then got stuck again. In an effort to get our little one moving along, I had to flip from one side to the other about every 15-30 mins. That was an interesting feat I can promise you! Remember, I have absolutely no feeling below my belly button!! So between Charlie and my nurse, they just sortof grabbed me and flipped me like a pancake every so often. It wasn't comfortable but I was VERY ready to meet this little one and was willing to do whatever was needed to get him out!!

By about 5:30pm I had finally reached 10cm and we could start pushing. We did some practice pushes to see if baby would make his way down. Not much moving on his part, but a little each time so we kept at it. By 6:30 when he was not moving at all, they called in the doctor to check on me. One contraction and one push later and the doctor said "This baby is not moving. It is no longer safe for you or the baby to continue to labor. We need to just go in and get him out."

It is safe to say I was devastated. :o( I had worked so hard all day only to be told that I was going to end up with a c-section anyway. But after hearing the words "not safe for baby" there was no decision needed. Off we go to the OR to finally meet this little critter that had been kicking me in the ribs for months and months!

I wont lie. The c-section was very scary and very uncomfortable. I was numbed from my toes all the way up to my fingertips. Even my chin was a bit tingly. The lights in the OR, together with the meds, made me sick to my stomach so they ended up putting a cold, wet washcloth over my eyes. But every moment was worth it when they pulled out our baby and told Charlie and I we had a son!! Even with no feeling in any part of my body, there was an amazing feeling right then that words can't even describe. He was here, and he was healthy, and he was ours! Our son!!

Happy Birthday Ethan Thomas!! 7lbs, 13oz 18inches 7:57pm

Big feet!!

Safe and comfy in Daddy's arms!!

Meeting Mommy for the first time!

Charlie went off with Ethan while the doctors put me back together again. I remember hearing him talking to Ethan and I remember hearing Ethan crying. The nurses were really good about telling me what was happening with my baby since my eyes were still covered and closed. After they weighed him and stamped his big ol' baby feet, they wrapped him up and gave him to Charlie to bring to me! Poor little guy. He looked like he had been in a horrible bar fight. The doctor and nurses said that his little head was wedged sideways in my pelvic bone. He had a knot on the top of his head and his eye was really puffy and purple. His first black eye and he was only minutes old.

We got to our room around 11:30pm and needless to say were EXHAUSTED. Sleep was very interrupted all through the night as I had to be checked every 2 hours since I was considered a post-op patient and not just a maternity patient.

Saturday, July 12th

The day started off normal enough. Ethan has slept pretty good during the night. He was a good little eater every few hours and we were so excited to have him with us! A few friends came by to visit, and we just enjoyed our little guy.

Until about noonish.........Ethan quite eating all together and started spitting up mucus. We were told this was very normal for c-section babies because they don't have the trip through the birth canal to help them clean out their tummy. They took him to the nursery and emptied out his belly of a LOT of mucus. We were told this would help him feel better. By 3pm, when our next round of visitors arrived, Ethan still wasn't eating very good at all. The nurse was really good about helping me try and coax him into eating but he was not having any part of that food. She tested his blood sugar and it was only 27, very very low. She said she needed to take him to the well-baby nursery and try to get him to eat some formula and then retest his sugars until they came back up to a safer level - around 50ish. We were told he would be back in about 30 minutes.

An hour later, we still hadn't seen our baby. I was still completely numb from the waist down and stuck in bed. In a panic, I sent Charlie to find out what was going on. He later admitted to me that as he left the room he ran into our nurse and she told him what was happening. He did not tell me when he got back to the room. He only said that the nurse was coming in to update us. And then we got the news no parent wants. Ethan spit up all his formula and his sugars were still way too low. An IV had been started and he was admitted to the NICU. He wasn't in any danger at this point, but as soon as an IV is started on a baby they become NICU patients for monitoring. They promised to get me in a wheelchair very soon and down to see my baby.

Saturday, July 12th (pm) - Wednesday, July 16th

I'm lumping all of these days together because they all ended up being an absolute blur. We got to the NICU on Saturday night to visit Ethan. It was so very hard to look at him all hooked up to the tubes and in the warmer. He looked so helpless and it just broke my heart. But the good news is that the IV was working. His fluid levels were coming back up and his sugars were getting more stable. We were able to hold him and feed him.

Cuddle time in the NICU

We spent the next days going back and forth to the NICU every 3 hours for his feedings. He was put on formula to make sure that his blood sugar stayed in a safe range. Charlie went to visit him as much as possible and I was there as often as I could drag myself down the hallway. Walking was a serious challenge, but I had quite a bit of motivation! We were told that if everything continued to go well, he would probably be released with me on Monday. That didn't happen.

By Sunday night, his sugars were doing good but his body temperature wouldn't stay up on its own. He would not be released on Monday. Fortunately, my insurance would allow me to stay another night because of the c-section so we didn't have to leave Ethan at the hospital. We were hopeful that he would be ready to go home with us on Tuesday. He needed to be able to maintain his own temperature in an open-air crib for 24 hours.

Staying warm

Daddy read to Ethan almost every day

Monday went very well and we were almost sure he would be coming home. Then Monday afternoon, his body temp took another nose dive and we had to start the 24-hour time frame all over again. I had no choice but to be discharged on Tuesday. My insurance would not allow me to stay. Fortunately for us, the hospital has a program where as long as they have an available room, they will allow you to "board" at the hospital. Basically, I was no longer a patient but they would give us a room to sleep in so we didn't have to leave our baby at the hospital. We would have to wait until late in the evening to find out if this would be possible.

At around 10pm, I was officially discharged and they moved us to a room over on the labor side. Ethan had been doing well all day with his temps and at midnight he was allowed to come and stay in our room with us. His NICU nurse came by every 2 - 3 hours to check his temps and his vitals. If his temp fell below 98, he would have to go back to his isolette and we started all over again. But he did a great job!!! His temp was perfect all night long.

Daddy feeding Ethan in the hospital room

Ethan's pediatrician came by around 7:30 Wednesday morning to see him. She said he was doing fantastic and would be discharged that day! Finally we would be home, all together!! They took him off to the nursery for his circumcision and then to the NICU to be checked over one last time. We started getting things together and in the car to go home.

Ready to go home!!

Ethan was discharged at noon on Wednesday, July 16th and we got to come home! It has been a rough couple of days (and nights!!) as we all get used to each other and work on some kind of schedule. But we wouldn't trade the lack of sleep for anything in the world. We are so in love with our little guy!!

Napping with his new baby gnome!!!

A little grin while sleeping in his boppy pillow

Thursday, July 10, 2008

a NON update..........

Short and (not so) sweet..........We are home. ;o(

We got to the hospital at 8pm last night. After 30 mins of waiting, a nurse came to tell us that it was a very crazy night there and they didn't have a nurse for us yet. She sent us home to call her at 10pm. We came back home, killed a bunch of time and called at 10. We were told, "Nope. Sorry. We'll call you soon."

We got a call from the same nurse around 11. She said they still had nowhere for us and my doctor would call us in the morning. She tells us "Try to get a good night's sleep."......Yeah right!

Phone call came at 7am this morning. We go back and try again at 7pm tonight. :o( 7/10 baby for us. I'm beyond bummed. Only because I am just soooo ready and now this. I spend another day waiting and nervous and anxious and excited ~ all tied up in this one body......that I still have to share.

I'm pretty sure Charlie and I are just going to turn off all the phones and computers in the house and try to relax today. Don't be offended if you can't reach us.

Baby news tomorrow.........we hope!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy due date to me.........'s due date has come and nothing......absolutely positively NOTHING!!!

The ultrasound was great. Baby is healthy and thriving. My fluids are getting lower, but that is to be expected since baby is taking up much more space. They are still in the completely normal range and nowhere near a level where we should worry. We had to wake up little critter to get some movement. Brat! The tech said s/he is definitely bigger this week than last week - but didn't say how much. Maybe she didn't want to scare me!

As for me ~ +2 more lbs. Still just under 2cm dialated and 80% effaced. The baby is head down but not really really low. Dr. K talked to us quite a bit about what to expect and I'm really thankful she did. Basically, I have to go in on Wednesday night for the cervidil because my body just isn't dialating and effacing on its own. Baby's head pushing on the cervix causes these things to happen. Because the baby dropped about 4 weeks ago, I started making progress. Because I have not made ANY progress at all in the past 3 weeks, this shows that the baby really hasn't dropped anymore at all.

This could be because my kid is a brat and is too comfortable!! Or it could be because I'm too small and baby is too big. No, baby isn't ginormous but I'm seriously not a large person (apparently fat doesn't count!!) There really isn't any way to tell which of these is happening without just inducing me and seeing if my body will pick up and figure this whole labor thing out! So I go in Wednesday and we hope that the cervidil opens things up and baby finds a path to the birth canal that s/he likes. Dr. K will come and check me early Thursday morning and see how I'm doing and start the pitocin, maybe break my water depending on any progress made.

We'll play the sit and wait game while the pitocin does its thing. If after cervidil, pitocin, water breaking and epidural I'm still not making progress to her liking - she said we will talk c-section. She isn't quick to jump to c-section (she isn't even a huge fan of induction) but she also said she isn't going to let me labor forever and not make any progress because if the baby is too big ~ it doesn't matter how long I labor, I'm not gonna be pushing it out.

So, yes ~ I'm bummed that I'm officially overdue, but at least I know that there is a clear end in sight. I'm on orders to put my feet up as much as possible over the next 48 hours because they are swelling like gigantic marshmallows!!!

And unless some magic fairy falls from the sky and makes me dialate and efface and breaks my water................our baby will be arriving exactly one year to the day of our loss. Maybe that was in God's plan all along.

All our love,
Charlie, Beth, and Baby!

P.S. ~ I dont have a 40w picture right now because I'm too lazy to go and take one! I promise I'll take one before I go to bed and I'll try to remember to post it tomorrow. I'm sure I'm bigger now than I was last week ~ and no, I'm not a glowing pregnant lady....I'm sweating!! It's really hot here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

39 weeks........

I am officially 39 weeks pregnant and officially feel like I'm going to explode!! I dont know how this child can possibly grow anymore!

I had my weekly doctor's appt yesterday and she ordered an ultrasound to check on baby's size.....because as she continues to remind me, "Let's face it, you just aren't very tall!!" So the good news is that baby looks good. No gigantic head, measuring on time and just over 7lbs. An ultrasound can be off by up to a pound so it could be closer to 8. My dr says to expect mid 7ish. The leg (femur) measurement was on the small side. This could be for 2 reasons. 1) baby just got my height....entirely possible or 2) measurement is a little off because the tech did have a bit of a tough time getting some measurements. Everything above my belly button is a mush of baby and s/he would NOT sit still for 2 seconds!!! I guess we both enjoyed that peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch!! Neither of these are concerns and dr is not at all worried about that small measurement. Again, not an exact science - we are both just glad to have a normal sized baby hiding in there. Heartbeat was 147.

As for me........sigh. I am +3lbs.......29 total. My doctor is VERY pleased with my overall weight gain and if I step back and remember that I am pregnant afterall, that 29 sounds great!! But anyone who gains 30 lbs in approx. 6 months gets to be depressed by that!! ugh!

No new labor progress. I am making a little bit of progress on my own, but really not a whole lot. I set up my 40w appt for next Monday. If I make it that far, I have to have a biophysical profile done. Basically an ultrasound with just a little more indepth measuring to make sure that baby's fluid levels are still good, placenta is still good, etc. No reason to believe they wont be but it's something she does routinely starting at 40w when you are officially considered "postdate"

She said she is not comfortable with me going too far past my due date, again b/c of my size. This is not a surprise to Charlie and I. She has said that a few times. Even though baby is doing fine at this point we certainly dont need him/her growing too large! So the official eviction is set for 7/10 if I dont go into labor on my own. I would go in 7/9, late in the evening for cervidil to help get things going and then the pitocin would begin 7/10 in the morning.

I'm pretty torn on how I feel about all of this. I really wanted to avoid induction but I understand the need if I dont go into labor on my own. And we are both VERY VERY ready to meet this little critter!! I'm sure things will work out just exactly the way they are supposed to!!

Thanks for any and all happy thoughts, and good labor thoughts between now and next Thursday! And for your amusement...........some pics of a very round Beth!!

Yes, that is my belly button!!

Love to everyone,
Charlie, Beth, and Baby!!