Thursday, December 13, 2012

Leia at 4 months

It's so much fun watching our girl's personality emerge. She's super smiley and cheerful for the few of us she knows and loves, but very serious for strangers. She's always studying the world and taking everything in.
Size: 13 pounds, 8 ounces (33rd percentile) and 2 feet long (37th percentile). Clothing size 3-6 months.
Favorite things: Hearing interesting sounds like running water and plastic bags crinkling (a nice crunchy chip bag is her fave), standing up, putting her hands (and everything else she can get her hands on) in her mouth. Baby yoga, which a friend taught me to do with her and we do it every day. Going new places. Looking out the window. Blowing raspberries. She's liking tummy time a lot more too. She loves sitting in the Bumbo chair. Favorite people include Mommy, Daddy, Grandma and Aunt Rose.

Least favorite things: The lint roller! Poor baby - it makes a high pitched squeaky noise that seems to terrify her. I also made a "rattle" by putting dry rice in an empty water bottle, and that's a little scary too (it's really loud). She hates driving about half the time.

Milestones: Leia officially knows how to use her hands - she started reaching for toys just before 16 weeks old. She's been sucking on her hands basically since birth, but it seems like she's now more aware of what her hands can do.

She's on her way to sitting up - she mostly falls over a second after we let go, but we're getting there.
We're working on napping alone. She's always nursed to sleep and then stayed on mommy for her nap. The minute I put her down, she wakes up. It's tough. I've been nursing her to sleep in bed, then slipping away. I can sometimes get a half hour of alone time this way.

Cutest habits: Smiling, laughing and squealing. Big observant eyes. Baby talking. Leia usually smiles when I kiss her... I don't know if it tickles, it's a funny sound or if she knows it's mommy saying "I love you," but oh do I love it!

Firsts: First election, Thanksgiving, Tacky Holiday Sweater Party, first attempts at sitting up.

Leia and her friend Velen in their tacky sweaters
Talents: Assisted standing, tummy time, blowing raspberries and spit bubbles, being a great, well-behaved baby out in public.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dear Secret Santa,

Here's some more info to explain what this lady might like for Christmas...
1. Necklace with Leia's name on it... something like this. So cool right? :) Can be ordered here.
2. 2 or 3-tiered fruit basket. I see these at Ross all the time.
3. Maybe some Tom's shoes, in (I think!) size 11. Can be purchased at lots of shoe stores, department stores or online.
Just some suggestions... thank you, SS!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The truth about having a newborn

I'm already starting to forget about this, so I better get it out now before it fades into mom-nesia and I remember those first weeks as blissful and relaxing. I want to share how freaking hard it is to have a newborn because I think most new parents feel it but are afraid to share.
I didn't love having a newborn. It was exhausting and monotonous and anxiety-inducing. I loved my daughter - and was so thankful for her - but caring for her took every ounce of effort I had! Feed the baby, feed the baby, change the baby. That's about all I did.
Feeding her. I've already shared about our breastfeeding challenges (but that post was super boring so I don't blame you if you didn't read it), but even after I was producing enough milk it was just so time consuming! I knew that newborn babies eat a lot, but it just didn't sink in just how much time I'd spend nursing. For a long, long time (at least the first 2 months) Leia was eating every hour. Sometimes multiple hours at a time. It's so hard to have to pee or eat or take a shower, but not being able to.
Leaving the house. Until about 10 weeks, the idea of taking her anywhere in public (especially the grocery store) gave me so much anxiety. What if she starts crying right there and I can't calm her?! For the first 2 months I often couldn't calm her without my boob, and you can't exactly nurse in the middle of a store. And just driving with her was hard with all those postpartum hormones and her crying - once she was screaming on a 5-10 minute drive and I was convinced that she thought I had abandoned her. Those hormones, man!
Taking care of myself. When you're feeding your child constantly, it's so freaking hard to pee or vacuum or cook dinner! Everyone tells you not to worry about anything but taking care of the baby, but you can't help but want to do these things. Plus you really have to feed yourself and take a bathroom break once in a while.
What helped?
Accepting it. I had to change my mindset from "It's so hard feeding her every hour! WHY??" to "I just have to feed her every hour for a while. This is my life and I have to embrace it." I accepted that I can't cook dinner until James is home from work - if at all (more often than not I do not cook dinner). And I can't do any housework except on Tuesdays when my mom comes over to play with the baby and give me a break (thank you Mom!!). When I just accepted that this is how it is, it was easier to deal with!
Spending time with other new moms. Leia and I go to a Mommy and Me group almost every Wednesday. It's specifically for Kaiser members, but there are lots of others. We've made lots of friends through that group, and almost every week we also have a play date or some kind of activity with mom and baby friends who I can relate to. Something changes in you when you become a parent, and you need to talk with people who are going through the same thing.
Time. As baby grew, it just got easier. We got used to each other and I got used to my new schedule (or lack thereof). Now at 3 and a half months old, Leia is nursing every 1.5 to 2.5 hours, rather than every hour like for the first 2 months of her life. She'll let me go on walks for up to an hour with her. And while at a month old, the thought of taking her in public terrified me, I have now started to realize that she enjoys going new places and is usually really well behaved. I just feed her right before we leave and carry her in the Ergo whenever we go out - she loves looking around!

I remember driving with Leia when she was 6 weeks old, and having a moment where I realized "Wow, this is getting easier! I can handle it!" Then again at 12 weeks I had that moment where it got easier yet.

New moms of the world: Hang in there! It gets better. Don't let anyone (including yourself) let you feel guilty for not enjoying every moment. That baby is adorable, but caring for him or her is hard. You'll get used to it and love the parenting process so much more soon!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Leia at 3 months

I can't believe how big my baby is getting!! It's hard for me to remember what it was like when she was a teeny tiny newborn. Everyone who meets her comments on her beautiful big blue eyes and long eyelashes. Leia is so alert and wide-eyed - when she's awake she is awake and taking in every detail of the world!

This shot is the runner-up, just because it's a classic "Leia concentrating on having fun" face:

Size: She weighs 12 lbs., 7 oz.and is wearing 0-3 month size clothing.
Favorite things: Chewing on her hands, drooling (perhaps the early stages of teething?), looking in the mirror, nursing, standing, being outside, going for walks (first half in the stroller, then the Ergo - she won't tolerate either too long), diaper changes, mornings (she always wakes up happy!), watching us do things like put away laundry and rake. She seems interested in our feet too.

Least favorite things: Mommy doing chores and not focusing on her, driving (sometimes). For 2 or 3 weeks she went through a phase where she cried almost every time Daddy held her :( It was hard on all of us - Mommy needed a break, Leia threw a fit whenever Mommy needed a break, and Daddy's feelings were hurt! She seems to be over it now though ::knock on wood::
Milestones: She laughs!! The first was at 9.5 weeks old. I was playing with her at my parents' house. She laughed, and my sister and I turned to each other and screamed. Haha. It happens just once in a while now - tiny chuckles. She seems to think me sighing is hilarious!

We had a play date at 10 weeks old, and she smiled at another baby for the first time. I thought it had to be coming since she loves smiling at the baby in the mirror so much.

Leia has really great head control and can sit in the Bumbo now. She can lift her shoulders during tummy time. She's turned toward my voice and loud noises just a few times and recognizes Mom and Dad.

She's consistently eating about every 1.5-2 hours, instead of 1-1.5 like she had been for the longest time. Hooray!! That's during the day - at night she routinely sleeps 5-6 hours at a time.

She's fallen asleep a few times without nursing. Usually just a short nap, but last weekend James got her to fall asleep, then put her in bed without waking, and she slept for 4 hours!
Cutest habits: Smiling (it especially melts my heart when she first wakes up, and it seems like she's happy to see me :), laughing, talking/cooing, mirror playing, when she's in a good mood and laying on her back she kicks like crazy. Also when laying on her back, she stretches out and something about that is just adorable (especially when she does it naked on the changing table).
Firsts: First Giants World Series! First laugh, first trip to the Elk Grove Pumpkin Festival.

First holiday - Halloween. We went to Mommy and Me group, and then to a baby Halloween party with new friends!

This month she met her great-grandparents from Texas and Aunt Kristell/Uncle Eric.

We took her to her first sporting event - a basketball game to watch "Auntie Sondra" (Aunt Rose's roommate) coach against Sac State. She loved it! She would follow the players with her eyes when they ran to the other side of the court. She did so great, I was really surprised at how calm she was throughout.

Talents: Blowing spit bubbles, standing up (with us supporting her), first thing in the morning she'll play alone for 30 minutes while Mommy eats breakfast.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Leia at 2 months

Runner-up shots:

Size: 10 pounds, 13 ounces (48th percentile) and 24 inches long (91st percentile - she's a tall one!). Clothing size 0-3 months.

Favorite things: Her play mat (Fisher Price Piano Gym), having her diaper changed, nursing, being held, sleeping on someone or with Mommy in bed, watching Mommy put away laundry, playing with Daddy and watching him make funny faces, listening to us read books, going outside. Grandma also comes and hangs out with us once or twice a week and she likes that!
Least favorite things: Sleeping while not being held (Or should I say when we try to make that happen - she opens here eyes immediately once we put her down!), being put in the Ergo/K'Tan while too awake or not quite awake enough, eating from a bottle. She punches and scratches me to show her disapproval when my milk comes out too slowly (common in the evenings).

Milestones: She's getting more independent and this mama sure appreciates that! By independent, I mean that she'll play happily on her play mat for 15-20 minutes, and sit in her swing for 30 minutes (a few times she's even fallen asleep for a little while!). I can't believe that I now consider 15 minutes to do the dishes a "break!"

Leia is sleeping through the night often too! She sleeps from 10 p.m. to either 3 or 5 a.m. I'd say the 7-hour stretch nights are a full night's sleep, right?

We've had some colic episodes a handful of times. She screams for about a half hour and just cannot be soothed :( Eventually my tricks from Happiest Baby on the Block do the trick... eventually.

She's not laughing yet, but she'll sometimes make an "ahh" noise when smiling that makes it seem like she's on her way there!

She can follow objects/people with her eyes, but she doesn't always do it. Just when she feels like it.
Cutest habits: Playing on her play mat - she kicks her legs, flails her arms, concentrates on the toys and smiles in the mirror... too adorable. Smiling in general. Watching us and following us with her eyes around the room. Talking (Usually "gooo").
Firsts: She's more active - when laying down she likes to kick her legs much more. She started kicking the piano on her play mat for the first time.

We're officially in cloth diapers now that she's big enough for the one-size diapers we have.

We went on our first family walk to the neighborhood park, but before that Leia went to another park for the first time for a play date.

She also went to her first party, where she nursed/slept most of the time but had some cute time to show off to our friends too.
Talents:  Play gym playing, looking in the mirror, nursing, sleeping (at night only!).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Leia at 1 month

This bunny blanket was mine as a baby :)

Runner up photos for month 1:


Size: 9 pounds, 8 ounces. She's wearing newborn size clothes, but they're getting tight. Some of the smaller 0-3 month size clothing fits better now.

Favorite things: Nursing, being held, sleeping next to Mommy in bed, looking around, Daddy.
Least favorite things: Being hungry, sleeping while not in someone's arms, being put in the car seat awake, pacifiers (unless someone holds it in her mouth for her).
Milestones: She lifted her head the night she was born. Finally got back to birth weight at 3 weeks old. At least once, she's now rolled from her back to her side, and from side to tummy (not both at once - different days).

Grandma, Leia and Mommy
Cutest habits: Smiling, which happens often while getting her diaper changed. When she's having a really good sleep, she stretches and makes the cutest little squeaky sound. Looking around curiously and wide-eyed.

Firsts: Everything! Hospital stay (Other than when she was born :( And all those bad things like first IV, etc.), met 4 of 5 grandparents and all aunts and uncles on mommy's side (Still have to meet the aunts on daddy's side), first bottle feeding, bath, car ride, grocery trip, Mommy and Me group, walk around the neighborhood... first smile around 4 weeks old (We think! It sure seems real!) :)
Leia's first bath
Talents: Lifting her head and shoulders like a champ during tummy time, falling asleep in the car, making lots of varied facial expressions.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Feeding Leia

Before I had my baby, I knew that breastfeeding would be hard. I knew that it would take blood, sweat, tears, dedication and frustration. I knew that it would hurt. It's getting better, but I sure didn't expect all the roadblocks we've had so far!

2 days old: When home from the hospital, Leia was eating around the clock. Like, almost constantly and sleeping very little. I didn't know if this was normal or not - I figured she was working hard to make my milk come in so I nursed her most of the time. And it really hurt to breastfeed!

3 days old: We had a routine doctor checkup. Normal weight loss is 10%, and she had lost 10.5% of her body weight (down to 7 lbs., 10 oz.). The doctor and we weren't too concerned, but he had us come back the following day to see if she was any better.

4 days old: Back at the doctor after nursing constantly for 24 hours, she had lost 2 more ounces. And she had a fever - which is a big concern in a baby this young. It can be a sign of infection, and when you're that small an infection can spread very quickly.

This was probably the worst day of my life. We were admitted to the hospital so that she could receive antibiotics via IV in case she had an infection. They gave her:
  1. A urinary catheter to take a pee sample and check for bladder infection
  2. A spinal tap to take a sample of spinal fluid and check for infection there
  3. And they took a blood sample to check for blood infection
It was horrible! My poor baby was so brave, but it was just awful to watch her cry and not be able to comfort her:(

They gave us a hospital room and she was given fluids and antibiotics through an IV. If she had an infection, they couldn't wait the 2 days for results because it had to be taken care of immediately.

My milk was coming in at this time, finally.

5 days old: Baby girl got up to 8 pounds - but mostly due to the IV fluids they were giving her. James and I stayed in the hospital with her and I nursed her, as well as used a hospital pump to supplement with bottles after feeding.

In the hospital :(
6 days old: Leia got up to 8 lbs., 3 oz. and we were released from the hospital. The test results revealed no infection, and it was decided that her fever was due to dehydration because she was getting little to no milk from me yet.

7-9 days old: We rented a hospital grade pump so that I could continue to supplement at home (all along I'd been pumping more than she was eating). Unfortunately, she decided that she hates bottles and pretty much refused to take them. We were able to get very little additional milk into her body.

It finally stopped hurting to breastfeed, so that's the one bright side.

10 days old: We went to our doctor's office for a weight check up - 8 lbs., 1 oz. Our doctor wasn't too worried because her 8 lbs., 3 oz. weight from a few days earlier was not necessarily accurate (again - the IV fluids).

12 days old: Weight check at the Lactation Center: 8 lbs. So disappointing and frustrating! I broke down and cried right there. They gave us a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) to use, which did work to get food into her. We were able to supplement more than ever before with that thing, though it's a pain in the ass to use and took literally an hour to get her to eat an ounce.

15 days old: Weight check again: 8 lbs. WTF!! We were told to up supplementation of breastmilk to 2 oz. per feeding - before they just said to give her whatever we can. I wish they'd given us an amount before.

Sadly, I had to give her formula on this day :( I hate it - it's one of the top things I never wanted to do as a parent - but I had to decide that it was more important that she eats something, than that she doesn't eat formula. In this case, I had to admit that formula was medically necessary (and I'm not one to say that! I never would have thought I'd do this a month ago).

My milk production was just a little behind her consumption, so I had to give 2 ounces of formula a day for about a week (even though I pumped 8 times a day trying to increase my supply). Other than that week, she gets all breastmilk.

17 days old: 8 lbs, 2 oz. :) She started to hate the bottle less so it got easier. But please note... it did not get easy. All I did day and night was nurse, bottle feed, pump. When baby was sleeping, I had to pump. Then get a few minutes a break, then start the cycle again. Can you say exhausting?!

18 days old: 8 lbs., 4 oz. Finally, this is working. I picked up a prescription for Reglan, which is a drug that increases milk supply. I never thought I'd have to go to these lengths, but I'm so glad it's an option!

22 days old: 8 lbs., 10 oz. The LC I'd been seeing multiple times a week thought that my milk supply was finally up to a sufficient level, with the help of Reglan and my all-day-every-day pumping. She said that for the next 24 hours, I could breastfeed only (as long as Leia seemed satisfied) to see if she gained at least an ounce that way.

23 days old: 8 lbs., 12 oz.! It's so great to just be a "normal" mom - all I have to do is nurse my baby. Sooo much easier!

24 days old: We went to our first Mommy and Me group, where she weighed in at 8 lbs., 14 oz. Now I don't have to go to the Lactation Center or Pediatrician multiple times a week, I'll just go to Mommy and Me weekly-ish and can weigh her there. I'm finally confident that my body is feeding her and it's fabulous. I'm so thankful that I can breastfeed my baby!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Leia's birth story

This post might be TMI... I liked reading positive (and detailed) natural birth stories when I was pregnant, so I wanted to put mine out there too.

Sunday, August 5, 2012 - 10 days past my due date.

11 a.m.
I noticed contractions that seemed more strong and regular than I'd had previously (I'd had Braxton Hicks for the past month).

12 p.m.
I started casually timing them - just looking at the clock when I felt a contraction while watching TV. They were 3 minutes apart, which is really close.

1:30 p.m.
I decided that this is probably labor, and I laid down in bed to do my Bradley Method relaxation techniques to lessen the pain. While I did that, James cleaned the house and finished packing everything for the hospital.

3 p.m.
Contractions were strong enough that I started moaning through them - deep noises seemed to help. James came in to help me mentally relax, rub my back and give me drinks between contractions. My lower back was hurting during contractions as well. He put a heating pad on some of the time too.

4:30 p.m.
I threw up. It was getting increasingly hard. I got really hot, so James helped me by putting cold washcloths on my forehead and lower back.

One of the hardest parts of labor was when I had to pee. I was trying to drink a lot of iced tea and water throughout labor so that baby and I would both be healthy and hydrated, and because I wanted to avoid needing an IV in the hospital. 

Drinking so much meant that I tried to empty my bladder often, since I'd learned that a full bladder can push on the uterus and make the pain worse. But something about the way baby was laying made it so hard to pee. And sitting upright was really uncomfortable, so that was one of the worst parts.

5:20 p.m.
We thought about going to the hospital, but weren't sure. Our goal was to labor at home as long as we could. I started standing during contractions and rocking my hips. It was the only thing I could think of that might help (but it didn't really!). I threw up again.

6 p.m.
James called the hospital and told them we'd be coming soon-ish. The nurse he spoke with actually recommended delaying a little longer since we wanted to go natural.

6:40 p.m.
We left for the hospital. James was starting to feel overwhelmed with being the only one taking care of me, and felt bad when he had to leave me to take care of anything (like loading the car).

At no point in my labor did I think "I want an epidural," which honestly surprises me. I think I somehow forgot that it was an option. However, while walking out to the car, I do remember thinking "If I'm not at least 5 or 6 cm I'm going to die!"

On the ride there, contractions hurt a lot and I didn't like being in a seated position. But I somehow fell asleep between them (I don't understand it either)!  Maybe it was the movement of the car. Not sure, but my eyes were closed the whole drive. I opened them maybe 2 or 3 times on the ride.

7 p.m.
We arrived at the hospital. James left the car with all our stuff at the main entrance, and we walked up to Labor and Delivery (which is pretty darn far!). I tried to stop during contractions a few times, but he hurried me along - I think he really wanted some more support people around.

By the time we got there, I was pretty loud. I started labor making low, controlled noises like I learned in Bradley classes. Now I'd lost that control and was yelling "owww!"

In Triage, they made me do 20 minutes of fetal monitoring before seeing how dilated I was. That was another of the hardest parts - I had to sit still in a chair with wires hooked up to my belly and couldn't do much about my extreme discomfort.

When the nurse finally checked me, she said I was 8 cm! I yelled, "Thank God! I can actually do this!"

8 p.m.
We walked down the hall to my delivery room. I didn't give a crap about anything - I heard a nurse tell James to close my gown in the back and he was like "It's fine." I could not have cared less and he knew it!

They had a tub set up for me, as James had requested, and I got right in. While I was in the tub, my water broke. I didn't realize it at the time - I thought I was peeing, but later when they were asking for their records I realized that must have been it.

With me in the tub, James had to run downstairs to re-park our car and bring up our bags. I was also asked if I wanted a hep lock or IV, and I asked if I could just decline altogether since I was so close - they obliged.

I started to realize that it felt better if I pushed during a contraction. The nurse told me not to because they didn't know if I was fully dilated. I still did a little - bad me.

8:15 p.m.
James got back from parking the car. Nurse had me sit on my hands and knees for a little bit, because she said it would help baby get into a better position to come out. I did it even though it was way uncomfortable.

8:40 p.m.
I got out of the tub and into the bed. I don't know if it's a labor thing, or just getting out of a warm tub into air conditioning, but I was freezing! I couldn't stop shaking and chattering my teeth. A nurse covered me with tons of blankets and it eventually stopped.

I was checked and told I was at 10 cm! They said I could push whenever I wanted. Nobody coached me or counted, they just let me decide how to do it. Though, they did tell me not to yell so much while pushing because it took away my power. I still did, but not as much.

During pushing, time kind of slowed down for me. It was so strange. All the sudden I was calm and had the presence of mind to do things like turn to James and say "I can't believe this is happening!" and I even asked that they use a warm compress to prevent tearing (it didn't work). I'm so surprised I thought to say that and was so calm/normal.

8:45 p.m.
At first I pushed hard, but then I realized that I should "labor down" a little - just light pushing and letting my body do the work. Just a few minutes later, we could see the head with dark hair! They set up a mirror for me to see everything - that was certainly not a flattering way to see myself, but amazing to watch at the same time.

I didn't feel the "ring of fire" that other women describe when baby is crowning. I felt stretching, but contractions were way worse than that. I also didn't feel when I tore at all.

8:58 p.m.
Leia was born!! They put her on my belly (I think the cord was too short to reach my chest) and she cried after a few seconds. James said "It's a girl!" and I was so surprised! I said "It's a girl! Oh my God! Are you sure?!" I cried, though James and I were both surprised that we didn't cry more - we agree that it was just so overwhelming and surreal that it was too much to even comprehend!

9:10 p.m.
We got a few minutes of skin-to-skin time, but unfortunately not the whole hour that's normally standard at our hospital.

Because I pushed for such a short time, baby girl had some fluid in her lungs that they had to suction out. Normally going through the birth canal pushes the gunk out of you, but she went through so fast that it didn't quite happen!

They took her to the nursery to make sure her breathing was fine, and daddy went with her. They were gone for about 30 minutes - James brought me back some pictures soon, which was so awesome of him.

9:15 p.m.
Meanwhile, the midwife told me that I was bleeding more than normal and they needed to give me a shot of Pitocin in the leg to stop it. They would have put it in an IV if I'd had one.

The shot didn't work, and all the sudden the room was filled with 8-10 doctors, nurses and an anesthesiologist hooking up an IV. They were all doing different things... they gave me more Pitocin, Cytotec and an antibiotic through the IV, and the midwife and a doctor were using all sorts of tools to clean out my uterus. There was even mention of needing a blood transfusion (though to be less dramatic, they said that I probably wouldn't need one).

I really don't know why I wasn't more scared - I guess I just knew that Leia was okay since I had heard her cry, so I was fine with whatever was happening.

9:30 p.m.
Finally, things calmed down. My baby girl was brought back to me and we got to have some alone time as a family of 3. Later that night, James called our family members and our moms and my sister came to meet her around midnight.

Minus the part that happened after she was born, Leia's birth was exactly how we planned. I'm so proud that I was able to do it naturally! I couldn't have done it without my amazingly supportive husband, who was there every step of the way, working hard to help me reach my goal.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's a girl!!

Leia Juliana
August 5, 2012
8:58 p.m. * 8 lbs., 9 oz. * 20.5" long

I gave birth to this beautiful little girl last Sunday! We're in love!! Her birth was perfect and exactly what we planned. Since then, we've had some complications that were no fun - but we're all healthy now. I'll blog about everything soon, when I get a free minute!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

41 weeks!

Here I am - it's August and my July baby is still in my belly. James is on paternity leave and we're just waiting for a special little someone to make his or her appearance! I waited until the last minute to write this post, hoping it wouldn't be needed. Boo.

I had a midwife appointment on Monday. I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. She stripped my membranes. I had some testing done today and had a whole day-long debacle that almost ended in induction. That sucked.

Size of baby: Still a jackfruit. It's not going to get bigger than this. It's time to come out!
Sleep: I'm not sleeping very soundly, most nights I seem to wake up at least every hour or two.

Movement: We've had some very busy days lately. I already know my kid's schedule - active early and late (especially 7-11 p.m.) and sleepy midday.

Feeling: Ready! Well, as ready as I'll ever be. Hubs is so cute and anxious, and always asking me about any symptoms. Anyone else asking so much would irritate me, but I like it when he does it. He's going to be such a great dad!

I also feel bored because I haven't been planning anything, other than taking care of my newborn. My calendar is literally empty and James and I have just been hanging out all week.

Physically it's more of the same - overall fine but it's hard to get up/roll over; feet a little swollen; peeing every 15 minutes.

What I miss: I've seen a few cocktail recipes on Pinterest that I'm really wanting to try out.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting our baby.

Best moment this week: Having our Bradley Method classmates over last week was so much fun!

Worst moment this week: Our induction scare (see previous post).

Milestones: Baby's getting fatter and growing longer hair and nails.

Cravings: Nothing. Though I did make this and it was goood!

Food aversions: Veggies.

Induction scare

What a day, what a day! We were almost convinced to induce labor today, which is one of the last things I want. I really want a natural birth, and induction makes it so much harder! So here's how it went down...

I'm exactly 41 weeks today, and that late in the game you have to go into the office to get a non-stress test (NST). They hook up monitors to your belly for 30 minutes, and make sure that the baby moves enough and has a good heart rate. The second part of it is that they perform an ultrasound and make sure that you still have enough amniotic fluid around baby.

I passed the NST, but baby didn't perform wonderfully. He/she was sleeping so didn't move much. When she did the ultrasound to check my fluid, she said they like to see levels of at least 10, and under 5 is cause for concern. She found 6.

So she called in whatever doctor was available, who was a woman I saw 3 years ago for an annual exam and hated. She's so condescending. Anyway, she came in and immediately told us that we needed to induce, threatening me with my baby dying! This actually has the opposite affect on me when doctors threaten horrible consequences - I know they're trying to scare me into cooperating, but instead I see it as BS and don't trust what they're saying.

To be clear, we absolutely want to do what's best for our baby! We wouldn't do anything to put it in danger, but we want to be educated and know all our options, and likely outcomes from each option.

I asked her to do another ultrasound to check the fluid, and she reluctantly agreed. She said the level was 1. I mentioned that the nurse had previously found 6 and the nurse denied it! But she totally told us the level was at 6 - James and I both agree.

Another doctor came in to talk to us, and after considering all the information we decided to go ahead and go to the hospital. If it's that dangerous to have low fluid, we had to do what's best for our baby, even though that went against our plan.

But when we got to the hospital, I insisted that they do another NST. I'm certainly not pumping myself full of drugs before my body is ready without another opinion.

Guess what? The monitoring of baby's heart rate? Peanut did great!! There was plenty of movement, a fabulous heart rate, and no cause for concern. Then came the ultrasound. The midwife found a fluid level of 10.5! Over 10 is what they want and I'm doing just fine.

So here I am, at home, a week overdue, drug free and not in labor. I absolutely want to be in labor right now, but I want it to happen naturally. I'm so happy that I asked questions and made them double check their information, rather than just allow that b!tch doctor to do whatever she wants with me. And I'm most of all happy that I have a healthy baby!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Looking forward to...

  • Seeing what and who our baby looks like
  • Seeing my husband as a father
  • Seeing my parents and in-laws as grandparents, and siblings as aunts and uncles
  • Nursing our child
  • Finding out whether we have a son or a daughter
  • Making my baby laugh
  • Knowing that I'm mommy and nobody can take my place
  • Showing off baby to our friends
  • Seeing my hubby teach our child
  • Teaching our child myself
  • Snuggling with my baby
  • Bringing our child to music in the park, the pumpkin festival, etc.
  • Babywearing
  • Baby bathing and swimming
  • Baby's first Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas...
  • Seeing our child's personality emerge
  • Taking our child on family walks
  • Sleeping on my stomach
  • Drinking a glass of champagne (or 3)
  • Shaving my legs and cutting my toenails without a great deal of effort

Thursday, July 26, 2012

40 weeks!

Today is my due date!! I think I'm ready to meet this child! The anticipation of not knowing when it will happen is so exciting but it's messing with my head! When I roll over at night I often get round ligament pain, but now I'm thinking "Oh! Was that a real contraction??"

Also, yesterday James' coworkers threw him a surprise baby shower - so sweet!! They gave us an awesome assortment of baby goods. So cool of them.

Tonight the 4 other couples in our Bradley Method class (and their 4 babies!) are coming over to our house. We're the only ones left without a baby yet - I'm looking forward to seeing them and hearing about their birth and parenting experiences.

Size of baby: The size of a jackfruit (??)
Sleep: I'm trying to get as much sleep as I want now, because I know I won't have the luxury very soon. A few nights I've been waking up really hot and sweaty - of course the first time I thought I might be in labor, but nope.

Movement: You know what feels really weird? For the past month or so, baby has been hitting me in the hip bone - from the outside of my hip. My pregnant belly has extended so far outside of my pelvis, that baby's head-butting the outside of my left hip and it is the strangest sensation!

Feeling: A few days ago I was feeling irritated with everyone in the world... except James, luckily. I feel selfish because all I care about and want to be around is my little family - the three of us.

Still have contractions every day - and they may be getting stronger even - but are not consistent. Remembering how much my feet were swelling a few months ago, I'm kind of amazed at how little they're swollen now!

What I miss: Nothing. I want to savor the last few days of being pregnant. It's awesome and amazing and miraculous. I seriously love it.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting our baby!!

Best moment this week: The last special moments with hubby before we become a family of 3.

Worst moment this week: Being emotional and irritable.

Milestones: We're ready to be born! Baby's hair and nails are growing, and lungs continue to develop that last little bit.

Cravings: Nothing and I do not want to cook anything. Cooking is the worst right now.

Food aversions: I'm trying to make myself eat more eggs and leafy greens - neither sound good, but both are very good for me and baby.

I've forgotten to mention possibly the most unexpected and awesome symptom of pregnancy, and I need to address it since this might be my last pregnancy update post. My leg hair growth slowed way down. Day 6 of hair growth looks like yesteryear's day 2. So cool! I didn't realize this until a few months ago when I read that this happens to some pregnant women, and then I became aware of this fabulous side effect. I hope it sticks around!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Maternity pictures

I wasn't planning to have maternity pictures taken, but my sister offered and it was way fun. Thanks Sam!!!! I love them so much. It will be great to have these memories so I can always remember how much I loved gestating our little peanut :) These photos were taken at McKinley Park in East Sacramento when I was 34 weeks pregnant.