Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mom Jeans

Seriously, whose body is this and when do I get mine back?! This is the question that keeps running through my mind. Every time I pass a mirror and see my little belly poking through my maternity tanks (yes I'm still wearing them, don't judge!), or my new found muffin top squeezing over the top of my pants, or my suddenly wider/fuller hips, or even the new found boobage. Whose body is this and how/when can I get mine back?

I don't want to misrepresent myself by implying that I am in some way enormous or somehow misshapen. I am sure there are plenty of women out there who would love to be my size. In fact I once was one of them. In my adult years I have run the gamut when it comes to clothing sizes. I've been a size two, a size twelve, and every size in between. So where did I fall prior to getting pregnant? After three years of working off about twenty pounds I was down to a very respectable size six. I was happy with my size, felt I could have stood to be a bit more fit/toned, but otherwise was happy. Then I got a job that required a lot of physical activity and suddenly I found myself in a size four. I was in that size for about eight months prior to getting pregnant. I was small. Not too small, but definitely small.

I understood when I saw those two lines on that little stick that I might never slip those size fours on again and I was ok with that. I don't need to be a size four. I'd rather not be a size twelve again, but I definitely don't need to be a size four. Fast forward eleven months and I've lost twenty of the thirty-two pounds I gained during my pregnancy. Pretty good right? Yeah, I think so too, except it seems to have stalled out there. No more weight loss. I've tried to increase my activity level and eat as healthy as I can, and nothing. In fact I think I gained a pound back. *sigh* This lack of weight loss has left me with quite the quandary. Do I continue to wear maternity clothes (almost three months out) or do I break down and buy some clothes that actually fit? Ultimately, the latter seemed like the least depressing option. So off to the store I went.

***I could create a whole post on what it's like to go clothes shopping with a baby so let's just say that it sucks. Lots of screaming, stress and anxiety. Imagine a red faced two month old, crammed into a tiny dressing room, protesting so loudly that his screams echo off the dressing room walls. All the while you are dealing with the horror that is dressing room mirrors and lighting. Good times.***

The process of finding pants that fit has been a long and arduous one. I have made several trips to the store only to be stymied by baby G, or the lack of selection (I live in a small town), or the sad realization that my body is just not the same. I will admit that I was somewhat sad to be trying on size eights, but really the size is not what makes me the most sad. Ultimately I'm fine with the number, it's the way clothes fit me now. Although I never had a very toned physique this is a whole new level of squishy. My body has turned into some sort of fleshy form of bread dough. There are lumps in places that used to be relatively smooth. My stomach looks like it did in my first trimester and the love handles, ugh don't even get me started. In order to find pants that don't squish said fat out the top like a muffin I am forced to try on size tens, but then the rest of the pants don't fit, they sag in the butt and thighs. Not attractive. So what do I do? Saggy butt or muffin top? *sigh*

After five shopping trips, eight stores, and countless pairs of jeans I finally figured it out. The "mom jeans." The women on What Not To Wear always talk about their comfort. They just want to be comfortable. But I don't think that's really it. It's their bodies. They have changed and they no longer know how to dress their new shape. They gave up. Why not just put on a pair of pants that fit around the waist and are comfortable. Who wants to deal with their fat being squished while they run after their little ones? Not me. Standing in the dressing room, G's screams ringing in my ears, and a pile of rejected clothes that would have once looked good on me, I suddenly understood. I wanted to give up. That's it, I'm throwing in the towel. Where can I find myself a good pair of mom jeans? *sigh*

You'll be glad to know I didn't actually find myself a pair of mom jeans, but I certainly thought about it. Instead I chose the pants with the least offensive muffin top and a few flowy tops that cover the unpleasant lumps and maximize the desirable ones (eh hem). At this point I'm not ready to give up. perhaps someday, after a few more children I will, but this one little baby isn't going to change everything. Once upon a time I loved fashion. I had subscriptions to In Style and Vogue. I knew how to put an outfit together. Somehow over the last year I've lost that ability and with my new found body the task is even more challenging. Yes I spend much of my day in sweats, but I have resolved to try to look good if I leave the house. Yes I may have spit up on me, but by God the clothes are going to look good!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things I've Learned

First and foremost, I suppose I've learned that maintaining a blog with an infant is difficult. This was much easier when he was gestating. Come to think of it, most things were easier... but blogging certainly was something that I had more time for, what with all that bed rest and whatnot. Oh well, my devoted readers will just have to bear with me. Maybe some day I'll get the hang of this.

Since G is taking a nap I figured I would do a quick blog listing the things I've learned over the last two months (that's right, G is over two months old!).

1. Soap Operas - I enjoy them. I used to watch Days of Our Lives when I was a kid and here and there as a teen and young adult. Steven Nichols (Patch) even had his picture in our fish tank as a child. Yep you read that right, in our fish tank. Well really it was taped to the back so you could see it through the front, but still. Now, with a baby that likes to eat all.the.freaking.time., I find myself stuck to the couch (again!) with nothing to do but watch t.v. and play on the computer. Suddenly I find myself wrapped up in the intricate lives of Sami, EJ and Rafe, and the crew from General Hospital. While I realize that these shows may make my brain rot out of my head, they're really quite perfect for my sleep deprived state of mind.

2. The Baby Bjorn - An excellent way to carry the baby through crowded spaces. Also an excellent way to ensure the spitup goes directly down your shirt into your bra.

3. Strollers - People are assholes. They think you're the asshole for daring to push your baby in a stroller, but really they're the assholes. (I'm talking to you, stupid woman who wouldn't help me open the door at Starbucks and then cut in front of me. YOU are an asshole.)

4. Vaccinations - Two month shots suck. I'm pretty sure the four month shots suck too, but we're not there yet. G did not like them, therefore I don't like them. That said, I am very glad we got them. Thank God for modern medicine and its ability to prevent/eradicate terrible diseases.

5. Spitup - It's gross. Especially when your baby has acid reflux and there are excess amounts of it. It smells. It looks like cottage cheese. Gross. That said, if I'm on my way out the door and he spits up all over me, I am not above simply grabbing a wipe, doing a quick once over and heading out the door. Sorry if I smell like sour milk. I have stuff to do! If I showered/changed every time he spit up on me I would never leave the house. Not to mention the laundry.

6. Laundry - Holy crap there's a lot of it!

7. Traveling - Be prepared to pack your entire house.

8. Smiles/Coos/Giggles - The best freaking things in the whole world!!

9. Bath time - Wonderful for everyone. G loves his bath time. We love giving him baths. Nothing like a giggly naked baby. Also Husband and I both enjoy our own respective bath times. Nothing like time alone to wash off the sour milk smell. You better believe I take the longest showers known to man. Curse at me for wasting the water if you want, but that is the only alone time I get.

10. Baby Whisperer/E.A.S.Y./CIO/etc. - WHATEVER! I'm sick of all your theories on how to best raise MY child! If I want to pick up my baby when he cries and nurse him to sleep then that's my choice. Everyone's so afraid that if you nurse your baby to sleep they will always need to be nursed to sleep. Well I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I don't need to be nursed to sleep anymore! I did in fact grow out of it, as will my child. It's what works for us. It's what makes him a happy and well-adjusted baby. If putting your baby down, letting them cry, or whatever you choose to do works for you that's great, but seeing as how my baby is not a clone of yours, perhaps something different works for him.

I'm sure I've learned more than ten things, but that's about all I can come up with at this point. G-Man hasn't been sleeping well the last few nights, therefore neither have I. This makes it difficult to think. Hopefully by brain will restore itself soon and my blog will return to its former glory. Until then, I apologize for the lack of posts and entertainment.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Witching Hour

I've been sucked in. For the last seven weeks I've been living in some sort of newborn abyss and although I don't think I'm anywhere near coming out of it I may have made some progress. For the last two nights in a row my little G-Man "slept through the night." Why the quotes? Get this, "sleeping through the night" according to the experts, means five consecutive hours of sleep. Hahahahaha! When I initially heard this theory in my breastfeeding class back in June, I will admit I was a bit scared. In what world is five hours of sleep enough?? Now, after seven weeks of waking up every one to three hours, five whole hours sounds glorious, like sleeping on a fluffy cloud in heaven. The first night it happened, he fell asleep and I actually woke up to nurse him at the three hour mark, but he was still asleep. Shocked, I checked to make sure he was still breathing (yes, I'm paranoid) and went back to sleep. A couple of hours later he finally woke up. Sadly, after that he woke up every hour until it was time to get up. But last night, last night was a much needed miracle.

Every evening around 6:00pm, my little guy turns into a bit of a fuss-pants. Other than being nursed and/or bounced around the house vigorously, not much else works to console him. This fussy period, also known as "the witching hour" in the baby world, lasts until 9:00 or 10:00 (sometimes 11:00 on a bad night) until he finally passes out and I am allowed to crawl into bed next to the already sleeping Husband. Last night was one of our bad nights. It started off ok. Husband came home and quickly ate his dinner (he stood in the kitchen and inhaled it) before heading off to his monthly Deacon's meeting at church. G-Man was surprisingly calm after a quick evening walk and fell asleep in my arms. Thinking that I perhaps lucked out and we would be skipping our witching hour, I put him down in his swing, turned on a movie, and poured myself a (small) glass of chilled white wine. Ahhh, time to relax!

*Grunt* Uh oh, the monster is stirring, if I don't move maybe it will go back to sleep. *Grunt Grunt* Shhhhhh! *Ehhhhhhh!!* No! This can't be happening! You're ok, you're sleeping, just keep sleeping!! *WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!* Crap. I knew it was too good to be true. Quickly I retrieved the screaming maniac from his swing and attempted to console him. All attempts were futile, he wants knows what he wants and he won't stop until he gets it. Having just finished the worlds smallest glass of wine, I know that I should wait to feed him. What can I do to distract him? Bouncy chair? Nope. Swing? No! Tummy time? EPIC FAIL! Bath? Yes! The warm water calmed the insane crying for all of two seconds and then it was back. Hysterical screaming and flailing around. I am clearly the worst mommy in the world. If he could nominate someone, at that point in time, I am positive it would be me. After an hour of torture (for both of us) I finally gave in and gave him what he wanted, the boob. Sadly, at that point he was so worked up he couldn't fully enjoy his meal. I gently placed him on the Boppy (breastfeeding pillow for those that don't know baby lingo) and got ready to feed him. This action alone normally soothes his hysteria. Not this time. He was so intent on screaming that he didn't even notice the meal right in front of him. At seven weeks my little guy is quite the professional breasfeeder. I don't usually have to help him latch on anymore, he just does it himself. This time, I was forced to grab his little head and guide his mouth toward me. He continued to scream, but also started making his hungry piggy noises. He began rooting around so frantically that he couldn't find the target. Instead he got a good poke in the eye with my nipple. Good thing it's soft.

Eventually we made contact and his latch was secure. Slowly my body started to release the tension and I began to think all was well. Ha! Moments later, G-Man inexplicably pulled off and began screaming again, he proceeded to spit up all over himself and me. We're talking soaked. After a quick cleanup we started the latching process all over again. Success, he was back on. Then disaster struck. I felt a small tickle in my nose. It gradually built and built until I couldn't contain it anymore. AAAHHHHCHOOOOO! Now, I've sneezed while breastfeeding before and G hasn't really minded, so I didn't think this time would be any different. This time, however, you would have thought I slammed his hand in the door or something. Directly after the sneeze his little body completely froze, then, as if in slow motion, he pulled his head away and looked at me in shock, as if he couldn't believe I would do something like that. Clearly I had startled him on purpose! Then his whole face just melted. Tears welled up in his eyes and the sobbing began. Again, worst mommy ever.

After some more time and effort, my little monster was calmed down and he went back to nursing. That's when the cluster feeding started. We nursed for thirty minutes, burped, cuddled, nursed again for thirty more minutes, burped, more nursing for forty-five minutes, more burping, then more nursing until finally at 11:30 he was asleep. After swaddling G and placing him into the co-sleeper, I dragged my half-dead body into bed, pulled up the covers and prayed for at least two hours of consecutive sleep. We didn't wake up until 4:30. That's right! Five whole hours of sleep!! We slept through the night!! Still sleepy, I resigned myself to waking up every hour after that like the night before. I nursed him and we fell asleep in the bed together. Before I knew it, it was 8:00am. What? How can this be? He only woke up once to feed. It's like a miracle! After the night we had, that was just what we both needed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Goodbye Dr. M.

*Note: This is being typed one-handed, please forgive the typos. I don't have much time these days to edit.

Today is an oddly sad day. I had my six week check-up with Dr. M. (one week early). Why would an appointment with my OBGYN be sad? Did something go wrong? Not at all. In fact, for once I had an uneventful appointment. After unsuccessfully trying to get G to sleep before leaving the house, I decided to leave a bit early to spend some time driving around downtown. Usually the gentle rocking of the car helps him drift off. After about twenty minutes I reluctantly pulled into the parking lot and gently took the car seat out of the car. G's eyes flickered open. Damn. Into the office we went. Usually if G is awake in his car seat and it isn't moving he protests, but this time he remained quiet as we sat and waited to be called back.

Eventually the little Russian nurse called me back to take my vitals. My weight is down, but not as much as I would like and my blood pressure is still all wonky (115/91). G slept through the vitals and we were ushered back to exam room number two. After asking a few question and being given a paper "gown" the little Russian nurse left G and me alone. I quickly disrobed from the waist down and sat on the exam table to wait. As if he could sense my vulnerable state G began to fuss. Quite the dilemma. Stay seated and possibly let G work himself into a hysterical fit or attempt to keep the nether regions covered while soothing the fussing baby. Obviously I went with option two. As carefully as possible I hopped off the table and bent down to rock G's seat and give him his pacifier. I carefully positioned myself so that the "gown" strategically covered the important parts.

Just as G started to calm down Dr. M. popped her head in. I'm sure it was quite the sight, a half naked woman covered in a paper sheet, squatting down on the floor and shooshing a baby. Oh well. G seemed quiet enough so I (discretely) hopped back on the exam table. For maybe the first time in three years I was able to tell Dr. M. that everything was fine. She did her exam and my stitches have all healed up. We discussed the dreaded birth control topic. She actually laughed and said "what do you think... should we try the mini-pill again?"

**For those that don't know, the last five years or so have been birth control hell. Because I have migraines with auras and occasionally high blood pressure I'm not allowed to take birth control with estrogen. That left me taking the mini-pill (progestin only) and because of my Endometriosis I had a lot of other issues (breakthrough bleeding, heavy and long periods, pain, blah blah blah).**

Ultimately we decided that would be the best way to go. She wrote me a prescription and told me congratulations and then that was it. We were done. I don't have to go back for another year. I have been seeing Dr M. for three years. For most women that would mean once a year plus the once a month appointments during pregnancy. I am not normal, we've established that right? Due to endometriosiis, a fibroid tumor and ovarian cysts I have spent a great deal of time with Dr. M over the last three years. I probably saw her every three months at least. Then with all my pregnancy complications I was seeing her almost every week. Now it's over. It's like a breakup with a good friend. Really, she's like a doctor version of Jennifer Garner. Friendly and funny, girl next door. everyone wants to be friends with her. What will I do with myself now that I'm normal?? Guess I'll just have to have another baby! ;)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Letter (Or A Day In The Life)

Dear G,

This morning (7:55am to be exact) was very different from the same time five weeks ago. Five weeks ago, with glaring overhead lights blazing down on us and nurses all around I held you in my arms for the first time. This morning, on your five week birthday, as you started making your morning grunting noises, I picked you up out of your co-sleeper and slipped you into bed with me. Husband (or Daddy as you like to call him) had already kissed us goodbye, the lights were off and we were both warm and sleepy. With your eyes still closed you suggested a morning snack and I complied. Together we drifted off on my new, soft, king size mattress. It was heavenly.

Sadly, I have a bit of a cold on your five week birthday. Last week your "Grammy from Miami" visited us and brought some airplane germs with her. Since I don't sleep anymore I suspect my immune system was lowered and now I have the sniffles. Don't worry though, we're not letting that get us down, at least not too much. After we woke up at 9:00am, I gave you a much needed diaper change and then you graciously let me go to the bathroom, eat cereal and make coffee (sometimes you have a hard time being away from Mama long enough to let her do those things). While I took care of my business you swung happily in your Little Lamb swing and gazed out the window. Just as my coffee finished brewing you began to fuss and like that we were back together again.

After your breakfast you decided to take a little nap in my arms. Sometimes I like to just hold you and feel you breathing. You are so small and soft. Sometimes when you sleep you smile and let out a little laugh. I wonder about your dreams... happily breastfeeding, maybe that silly glow worm we both love so much, or maybe it's Daddy making silly faces. While I love to watch you smile, sometime you frown and occasionally you even cry. Your little lower lip starts to pout and quiver, your face turns red and tears squeeze out of the corner of your eyes. Heartbreaking. My five week old having nightmares. Then there are the silent moments, you softly breathing in and out as I sit and take it all in. Sweetness.

After your milk induced nap, I decided to change your diaper. I carried you into your room and placed you on the changing table. Daddy forgot to put a new cover on the changing pad so the cold vinyl made your sleepy eyes pop wide open. Your diaper was oddly clean, but as I was changing you you spit up all over your outfit. In that moment, I turned my head away, leaving you diaper free, to search through the dresser drawers for a new outfit. It was a cold day so I wanted to make sure to get you something warm and cozy. Just as I turned my head back I saw it. A tall stream of pee. Like a fountain shooting up to the sky. With lightning speed my hand shot out, shielding your precious face from the downpour. You continued to stare up at me with your wide innocent eyes, completely unphased by the puddle of pee now underneath you. Bath time.

I stripped you down and brought you into the bathroom. Quickly, before we could have anymore accidents, I filled your little baby tub and plopped you into the warm water. You sat, content, as I soaped you up and scrubbed the pee out of your hair. After you were nice and clean I picked your little slippery self out of the tub and wrapped you up in your favorite duck towel. It has a little hood with a duck face on it. Adorable. Carrying you back to your room, once again I placed you on the (cleaned off) changing table. I quickly got you a new diaper and helped you into a warm little jumpsuit. We were ready for our midmorning snack.

You spent the rest of the day alternating between snacking and napping. Normally you wake up for at least an hour hear and there. We play with your rattle or we roll around on the floor while you practice lifting your head (it's hard work!). Today you seemed kind of tired though. Several times I held you in my arms and you just sat there with your eyes struggling to stay open. I hope you're not getting my cold. :( At one point you did start to get a little fussy so I carried you into your room. We sat on that comfy glider and as we rocked I sang you songs. Not full songs, just bits and pieces of whatever random song popped into my head. Fever, Summertime, I Want To Break Free, Capri, Kokomo. I really need to learns some lullabys. You didn't seem to mind though, you drifted off with a little smile on your face.

Now here we are. It's night time again. You are making little grunting noises as you sleep over in your swing. Daddy is finally home, but is doing work and I'm considering sneaking a shower in before you decide to have a late night snack. Tonight we will cuddle together, you will drift off to sleep and I will gently place your little swaddled self back in to the co-sleeper. We will do it all again tomorrow. I love you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Deep Fried

That's me, not just fried, but deep fried. I can't even begin to describe the exhaustion. Luckily many of my readers are already mothers so I don't have to. Let's just say that every night G sleeps about 3-4 hours (nice right?) and then won't go back to sleep for about 2 hours. Nothing works. He doesn't cry. He fusses here and there, but mostly he's just awake. Eyes wide open and curious about the world around him. I always start with a good nursing session. If I'm lucky he drifts off. I attempt to put him down, but immediately he starts the dreaded grunting. That's the sign that sleep attempt number one has failed. The grunting turns into wiggling and then into crying. If I'm super lucky he also spits up, a-la The Exorcist. It shoots out his mouth and his nose with tremendous force. Understandably, G does not enjoy this, thus upsetting him further.

We transition into sleep attempt number two - the chest-to-chest cuddle. This frequently works during the day, but for some reason at night he thinks it's an invitation to nurse more. He roots around like a little piggy, snorting and crying when he doesn't get what he wants. Finally we transition into sleep attempt number three - the walk of shame - up and down the hallway we go, usually with a little bounce in my step. He loves to bounce! Sometimes we will also attempt to relax on the glider in the nursery or we'll try the swing. It depends on how much he resists the sleep. eventually he succumbs, his droopy red eyes closing tight, his breathing slows, and his body grows heavy. Down he goes and down I go. Wouldn't it be nice if I could say he sleeps for another 3-4 hours? It sure would! Does that happen? Nope! From then on he wakes up every hour until I finally give up and we get out of bed. Good times.

So how do I function during the day? No really, how do I do it?? I don't know. I think I spend most of my days in a bit of a haze. If I'm lucky the dishes might get done or maybe a load or two of laundry. I didn't go off on my own until this week. G and I made our first big trip to Target. G had a little meltdown in the bra section so I walked him vigorously up and down the aisles until he conked out. After that I was so exhausted I could hardly see straight so I probably ended up spending more than I had intended to. Whoops! Don't tell Husband! Then today I went to a new mom's group. I was so fried I just sat there. Most of the women there had older babies and seemed stunned that I was there at all. I don't know if I'll go back. Maybe once I come out of this newborn coma I seem to be in.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Pee Monster Strikes Back

Ever wonder what it's like to hold a screaming naked baby while having your picture taken? It's wet. Warm and wet. How do I know? Husband and I got the brilliant idea to do newborn photos at a local professional studio. The latest trend in newborn photography? Nudes. Not us, you dirty people!! The baby. Think sweet angelic sleeping baby, naked and cradled in his loving parents arms. So beautiful! Think Anne Geddes...

But what does it take to get those beautiful shots? What happens when you take a baby's clothes off? In a less than warm room? Never mind the waterworks coming out of his face. We're talking full on waterworks in the nether regions. And where does that pee go? Not just all over the floor, but all over one smiling Mama. Why smiling? Because I'm a professional. With a camera pointed at my face, I remain determined to get a good shot. Somehow I manage to shoosh the baby, calm his tears, get peed (and pooped) on, and still get a good picture. Interestingly enough every time Husband held the little Pee Monster he managed to get away dry. I was not so fortunate. I ended up driving home with my shirt soaked in urine and streaked with yellow poo. But at least we got the shot, right?

*A side note - G had his two week weight check with Dr. R. (the pediatrician) today. In ten days G has gained as many ounces. He has now passed his birth weight and weighs in at a whopping 8lbs 5oz. He's a champion eater!

Also, I went to see the nurse practitioner at Dr. M.'s office yesterday due to some intense pain I was having (it never stops right?). Turns out I have a lovely UTI. Yay me! So now I'm on antibiotics and hopefully this will be the end of my health issues. Hahahahahahaha!! Yeah right!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Quick Update

While G sleeps for a bit I figured I would post a quick update.

After fasting for 19 hours (it was only supposed to be 10-12) I had my ultrasound done at the hospital. Dr. M. was pretty good about getting back to me and thankfully everything looked fine. Apparently I have some sort of cluster of blood vessels in my liver, but not to worry, that's most likely benign. (Really I could have done without knowing that information.) She decided it would be best to repeat the blood work just to check my liver enzymes again.

I went back to the hospital today for a final round of blood work where they tried to take the blood from G (back away from the baby!). Then they couldn't find my lab order and tried to tell me that I already had my blood work done on the 14th. Um, yes... I did indeed have blood work on the 14th and now I'm having blood work done again! Imagine that!! Once they pulled their heads out of the patooties and found my lab slip they stabbed me again and sent me on my way.

At 12:00pm I called Dr. M., as instructed, to get the results. The nurses there spent some time pulling their heads out of their patooties and finally got back to me at 3:30. My liver enzymes have mostly gone down to normal except for one and it has gone down considerably. So what do I do? Take Mylanta and hope it goes away! I kid you not. That's what she said. Cool, huh?

So... that's it. Hope I feel better soon! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here We Go Again

Ha! You thought because the baby was here my health problems were over... FOOLED YOU!! Just because the baby comes out doesn't mean your body gets better apparently. The day after giving birth to G the problems began. I had several episodes of near fainting and extreme nausea. At first they thought it was a reaction to the vicoden, then when it didn't go away at home we thought maybe I had a virus, but then it just kept on. Now, 8 days later we are seeking answers. So, here we go again...

Today I woke up with the usual nausea and fatigue, feeling like all my limbs were made of jello, and decided to put in a call to Dr. M. Haha, she thought she was done with me! Not so fast Dr. M.! You can't get rid of me that easily. After consulting with the nurse I was squeezed in for an appointment at 11:15. This was a bit of a problem since G had a pediatrician appointment at 11:45, but I figured my health was pretty important too so off we went. G got all packed up into his car seat carrier and my mom and I were off.

After arriving at Dr. M.'s office I was taken back to be weighed and have my blood pressure taken. Not good. In 8 days I have lost 21lbs and my blood pressure was in the 130's/90's. Great. Back to the exam room. As we sat waiting I got weaker and weaker, eventually succumbing to my lack of energy I had to lie down on the exam table. We waited and waited. Baby G slept. Mom held him. Eventually it was clear that we were not going to make our pediatrician interview and after a not so quick search for his phone number on my mom's iphone, we were able to reschedule (with a $25 cancellation fee). Finally Dr. M. arrived and after a quick exam ordered a huge list of lab work. Great.

Turns out the hospital thought they were getting rid of me too. Fooled them also. We ran over to the hospital right after the appointment where they took several vials of my blood and sent me home with "tools" to collect other "samples." Good times. After coming home ( we also went to Rite Aid for a prescription of nausea meds) G and I both conked out. Oh to have my energy back. finally around dinner time Dr. M. called. It's never good when the doctor calls. Never. Dr. M. started off with the good news. This test was fine. That test was fine. Blah Blah Blah. Cut to the chase Dr. M.! finally the bad news. Two of my liver enzymes were elevated, plus something else, I forgot what that was. So what does it mean? Possibly gall stones or residual pre-eclampsia. So... tonight I fast and tomorrow I go for an ultrasound. Great.

Any positive thoughts you can spare... I really would rather not have to have surgery for gall stones and would love to be feeling myself again so I can really enjoy my beautiful little boy who is perfect by the way!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Post-Partum Survey

How far along were you when you had your baby? 38 Weeks 3 Days
How long was labor? Around 14 hours - induced at 6:00pm and delivered at 7:55am
Total weight gain: 32lbs
Total weight loss since: according to the scale at home, around 20lbs
Did you get stretch marks? nope, thank goodness!
Did you deliver vaginally or by c-section? vaginally
Best moment this week: Giving birth and meeting our little boy!!
What I miss about being pregnant: Feeling him move around inside of me.
Thing I'm happy to have back: Not peeing every hour on the hour, coffee (in moderation) and walking without pain.
How big is baby: When he was born he weighed 8lbs 2oz. At our first pediatrician's visit he was down to 7lbs 11oz
Baby's temperament: He's very quiet. He sleeps all the time and even when he is awake he is very calm. he hardly cries at all.
What I am looking forward to: The next trip to the pediatrician and just watching our little guy grow.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Welcome to the World

Baby G entered the world six days ago on July 6, 2010 at 7:55am (although some say 8:00). He weighed 8lbs 2oz and was 21 inches. This is the story of his birth. As most of my disclaimers go, if you don't like stories with a little blood and bodily fluids, this story might not be for you. Having a baby is a messy ordeal. It's also a long one.

As previously mentioned, the Thursday before I went into the hospital, I had my membranes stripped. Although that produced contractions, cramping and spotting it didn't seem to really get anything going. That Saturday I lost my mucus plug. Again, nothing. On Sunday I woke up feeling a bit off. Although they say you can't feel high blood pressure I'm pretty sure "they" are wrong. I started using my home blood pressure monitor that morning and was slightly concerned to see numbers like 140/94. When I stayed reclined it went down to 134/84 so I decided to just wait it out. Sunday came and went and on Monday I continued to feel off with a slight headache. Uh oh... Out came the blood pressure monitor. The numbers continued to be worrisome so I put in a call to the OB. No answer. I called again. No answer. In between calls I continued to monitor myself. At one point my blood pressure spiked to 160/99 then to 150/102. Panic started to set in. It was then that it dawned on me that the office might be closed (thanks a lot 4th of July weekend!). Immediately I put in a call to the after hours answering service. Sure enough the office was closed and I would have to wait for Dr. M. to give me a call back. After an hour of waiting and worrying, Dr. M. finally called. She wanted me to head to L&D for another NST, but said we should bring our bags just in case she decided to keep us. Husband and I calmly began the process of gathering our belongings. Although there was an air of excitement we managed to keep it together. We had been here before, ready for an induction only to be sent home. We were both hoping this time would be different.

Upon arriving at the hospital at 4:15, we were led back to a room where the nurse immediately said that she was ready to begin the process of admitting us. Wait, what? We're being admitted right away? What about the NST? Apparently after speaking with me on the phone Dr. M. decided she wanted to just go ahead and keep us there as my blood pressure was just too dangerous. At that point the excitement turned into a small bubble of panic. This was it. An induction was happening. We weren't going home. We were going to have a baby, soon! As soon as the word induction was spoken a flurry of activity began around me. I was ushered into the bathroom to change into their beautiful hospital attire and then was sent straight to the bed. Out came the monitors, wires, needles and tubes. It was like a fascinating science experiment as we listened to the beeping of the monitors and woosh woosh woosh of little G-man's heart. I was checked by the nurse to find that I was still 3cm dilated but now 80% effaced. Immediately an IV was placed and fluids were being pushed into my system. They started the Pitocin (a drug used to intensify and regularize contractions) at 6:00pm on the lowest dose possible. I have heard horror stories about this drug so I was a bit worried about trying it myself, but obviously at this point I had no choice. At some point around then my parent arrived to offer their support. By 6:45 my contractions were becoming somewhat crampy, but not unbearable by any means. The excitement in the air was palpable.

By 8:00pm I was still feeling in good spirits and was more concerned with whether or not ABC would be broadcasting The Bachelorette as usual (the channel hadn't been working for over an hour) and if we would get to see the great Jake and Vienna showdown. Apparently the nurses in that hospital don't like to see laboring women in good spirits though because at 8:00pm, after a cervical check revealing I was 4cm dilated, they decided to increase my Pitocin. As they increased it they explained that Dr. M. would be coming at 9:00 (after she put her kids to bed) to break my water and they wanted to offer me an epidural as a sort of preemptive strike. Dr. M. has repeatedly said that she suspected that I would have more pain during labor than others because of my history with endometriosis. Although both Husband and the nurse seemed to think this was a good idea I declined the epidural and decided to try it on my own. As I watched the nurse increase my Pitocin my resolve weakened, but at that point it was too late, the decision had been made.

Luckily ABC pulled through and The Bachelorette came on. Unfortunately, I only remember about the first 20 minutes of the show. The increased dose of Pitocin immediately started to take effect. The pain from the contractions increased to something I find difficult to describe. Like the worst cramps you can imagine combined with a 300lb man standing on your lower back. Husband was amazing. He rubbed my back and told me to breathe. He held me when I cried and advocated for me when I couldn't do it myself. The pain increased and I began to writhe around in the hospital bed. At this point my memory gets a little hazy. I remember nurses coming in and out, my parents were there and then left to go to the waiting room. At one point I begged the nurse to let me out of the bed even though my blood pressure was still high. They finally acquiesced and I was allowed to stand at the side of my bed. Husband held me and swayed back and forth through the contractions. Eventually the pain, and my blood pressure, got out of control and I was forced back into the bed.

At 9:00pm Dr. M. arrived to break my water. After inserting a long yellow crochet hook (not really, but it looked like one) a hot gush of fluid came pouring out. Interesting sensation. Dr. M left and I started waiting. Almost immediately the contractions intensified. The nurses were fond of asking me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10. At that point my pain went from a 6 or a 7 to a 9 or 10. I felt like I couldn't breathe the pain was so intense. Desperate to relieve the pain, I tried to get up again. As I stood up, hot fluid started running down my leg and puddled on the floor around me. In a contraction haze I was sure I was peeing on myself. "Oh my God!!! I'm peeing!!! Oh my God! I'm actually peeing on myself!!" I looked at Husband in horror. I was somewhere in the middle of laughing and crying. Forgetting that I would still be leaking amniotic fluid, we paged the nurse to help clean up the pee. "Um, we seem to be having some sort of urine problem..." Husband said over the intercom. I can only imagine the giggles at the nurses station. A urine problem.

Eventually the pain became so unbearable that I gave in and requested the epidural. In the meantime they gave me narcotic called Fentinol to help ease the pain. I swear, as soon as the needle hit the IV I was gone. Staring up at the ceiling I felt like I was being pushed down the hall watching the lights pass over me. My brain was a thick foggy mess of pea soup, but my pain had subsided. At one point my mom came to the side of the bed and asked me how I was feeling. I told her about the drugs and she said, "So, are you feeling... special?" Special was just the right word. I've never felt so special.

Sadly that "special" feeling wasn't meant to last. Within twenty minutes the medication started to wear off and I was feeling the full force of the contractions again. Fortunately, Dr. S., the beloved anesthesiologist appeared at my door soon after. In he walked with his cart o' magic. I was forced to sit up (excruciating) but as he numbed my back I didn't care. In fact he could have given me the epidural without the numbing medication and I would have been happy. He and the nurse started chatting away, completely ignoring me as I writhed in pain. Presumably they were actually doing things to prepare but to me, the woman with a baby coming out of her, all I heard was their discussions of their vacations and his hurt foot. I wanted to yell at them to shut the f@$# up, but controlled myself. Finally Dr. S. got his S--- together and started the procedure. Husband stood in front of me as Dr. S poked a catheter into the epidural space of my spine. Sharp twinge. Where did you feel the pain? The left side. Another sharp twinge. OK, where did you feel the pain this time. The right side. Hmmmm. Hmmmmmm?? What does, "hmmmm" mean?? No "hmmmms" please, just do your job! Take my pain away! Later he told me he had only had one other woman ever tell him they could feel the twinge on both sides. I still don't know what that means.

After the epidural was finally in place, Dr. S. and the nurse sat back and continued to chat. I continued to writhe in pain. With each contraction Dr. S. asked me to rate my contraction. It's a nine! OK, great. Back to chatting up the nurse. Mooooaaaaan. How about that one? Still a nine! Great, and this one? A NINE!!! A big fat freaking NINE!!!!!!! Hmmmm. I wanted to yell at him to quit "hmmming" and do his job, but again I restrained myself. Eventually he got up from his chair and went over to his cart of magic. He pulled out a clear vial of liquid and injected it into the catheter. Relief, oh sweet relief. It started with a numbness in my right foot and then slowly moved all over my lower half. I felt completely numb from the waist down. I'm pretty sure I will never forget the sensation of seeing nurses move my legs and not being able to feel them moving.

With the relief of the epidural, Husband and I decided it was time to try to get some sleep. My parents decided they would also go out to their car and try to get some rest of their own. Throughout the night I was checked on by the nurses, but mostly Husband and I just slept. At one point I began to feel a sharp pain in my right side. I told the nurse and she decided to turn me to the other side as the epidural often works with gravity and most of the medicine was being delivered to my left side. Eventually the pain disappeared and I drifted off to sleep. At around 6:00am my nurse returned to check me. Husband stood up to hold my hand as she did the look of shock on the nurses face said it all. She informed me that I was 10cm and I was ready. She said that the baby's head was "right there," as in she could see his hair. As she went off to call Dr. M., Husband ran off to inform my parents we were almost ready. Unfortunately the nurse returned and said that because I was still so numb (it felt like my legs were dead) the doctor wanted me to "labor down." Basically I was forced to sit up so that the epidural would ease off and I would be able to feel my contractions. Boy did I feel them! I remember I kept thinking "Why are they doing this to me? Why are they making me hurt again??" As I labored down, the room began to buzz around me. Huge overhead lights were turned on, the bed was dismantled, stirrups were attached and large drop cloths were draped everywhere.

That's when the panic began to set in. This was it. I was going to have to do this. The baby was going to come out and I had to get it out. Overwhelmed I started to cry. Normally when I cry Husband melts and tries to comfort me. This time he was strong. He held me firmly and told me to "get a grip!" Stunned, all I could do was laugh. His words shocked me out of hysteria and into laughter. Although I was still feeling a bit panicked I knew we could do it. Dr. M. finally arrived at 7:30 and as they scrubbed me down they told me that his head was practically coming out on its own. With each contraction he moved down a little on his own. They told me that on my next contraction they wanted me to take a deep cleansing breath and then breathe in and push as hard as I could. Of course it was then that the contractions seemed to stop. We all sat in silence, wait, wait, wait.

Finally the first contraction hit. I pushed with all of my might. It was only then that my pain stopped and I could feel a burst of energy. I don't know where it came from, but I just knew how to push. Everyone around me coached me and encouraged me. Husband counted for me and told me to "pushpushpush!" The nurses breathed with me and the doctor told me I could do it. After three more contractions they grabbed an oxygen mask and through the fatigue I heard another nurse tell me that I had been doing a great job, but that on the next contraction they needed me to push as hard as I could. I needed to get the baby out (later I would find out the the baby's heart rate had dropped dramatically), Dr. M. said that she might do a "little episiotomy" if I didn't get the baby out on the next contraction. Not wanting to be cut open I felt inspired. With the next contraction I pushed four times and out my beautiful baby came. I heard a small cry come from down by the doctor and for the first time saw my son. They handed him over to me, placing his wet little body on my chest. The emotions were overwhelming. Husband and I kissed and cried over the joy of our little boy. He was here. After fourteen weeks of bed rest, stress and fear our beautiful boy was safe in our arms.

As we soaked in the love and joy, the doctor continued to deliver my afterbirth (not really fun), sew me up (hello 3rd degree tear!) and discovered little G-man had managed to tie a true knot in his umbilical cord. A phenomenon that happens in less than 1% of pregnancies and could have potentially been fatal. Our miracle truly was a miracle. He had survived preterm labor, high blood pressure, a dropped heart rate and a true knot in his cord. He was healthy and strong and he now he is ours.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hospital FAIL

At my last OB appointment, after stripping my membranes, Dr. M. said, "If you haven't gone on your own by your NST on Saturday, I may want to just keep you at the hospital and break your water. Dr. L. will be on call but she'll be in contact with me." Soooo, what would that make you think? That if you don't go into labor by Saturday that you will probably be induced? Because that's kind of what I thought. Yet here I sit, Saturday night, at home with a baby still snuggled up inside my uterus.

It all started this morning around 3:00am. After one of my many trips to the bathroom (hello Pee Monster!) I gracefully climbed back into bed (imagine the dancing hippos from Fantasia) and wrapped myself up in my Snoogle, ready to doze off before my next hourly trip to the bathroom. My uterus had other plans however, as it suddenly and aggressively started to contract. So what, you ask? You've been having contractions for 12+ weeks. Yes, but not contractions that also felt like my worst days with Endometriosis. Like there was a large fishhook inside of me trying to pull my insides out. As I continued to lie there waiting for the misery to pass it occurred to me that we are going to have a baby. No really, like a real live baby! One we have to take care of. This thought and a few more painful contractions kept me up until about 6:00 when I finally drifted off.

Knowing that I had to call the Family Birth Center at the hospital at 9:00 to confirm my 10:00am appointment, I magically woke up at 8:30. I was ready to get the show on the road. Once again someone/something had other plans. They were full and after a couple more rounds of "when can I come in?" it was finally determined that I could have an appointment at 1:00pm. Husband and I decided to take that opportunity to have breakfast then run a few errands to take our minds off of what was ahead of us and also to try to jump start labor by walking all over creation. Just before we hopped in the car I made one last stop at the bathroom. *****TMI ALERT***** Imagine my surprise when I wiped and there, staring me in the face was a giant blob of blobbyness. Hello elephant snot!!! Although thoroughly grossed out I was also excited. My mucus plug had finally decided to depart. Maybe I would go into labor on my own!! Woohoo!!!

As Husband and I ran our errand my contractions started to pick up (woo!!). We went to Costco, the bank, the book store and to get lunch. By the time we were finished I ached all over and was ready to be checked in. We ran home, grabbed our bags (just in case the induction went forward) and we were off. At this point we were nervous but excited and ready to meet our little guy. Meanwhile, about an hour and a half away, my wonderful parents decided it would be best to start making their way down here. We all knew it was a possibility they would send me home, but with the contractions, the mucus plug, the cervical changes and the high blood pressure it seemed like a good possibility they might keep me.

Finally we arrived for our third NST. I informed the nurse that I was having contractions and of what I had found on my toilet paper that morning. Once again she strapped me in. Husband and I spent the next hour watching youtube videos of the weird guy from The Bachelorette who sounded like Kermit the Frog (hey, he just wanted to guard and protect her heart!) and reading from our respective books. Finally the friendly nurse from the last NST returned. Apparently she had a personality transplant between Wednesday and today because the "friendly" part was completely gone and in her place was an irritable nurse. She quickly informed me that I was fine, baby was fine and after speaking with Dr. L, the OB on call, I could go home. Wait! What? Go home? But our bags are packed. My contractions! My yucky plug! She didn't care. Finally I told her that DR. M. had mentioned wanting to induce and she quickly dismissed me by saying they don't do inductions on weekends.

As we gathered our belongings (don't worry we left our luggage in the car) Husband decided to ask a few questions. Would it be ok to walk to try to speed up labor. Irritable nurse snapped at him, "The important thing here is her blood pressure, not getting labor started! She needs to stay on the couch!" Um ok, that's not what Dr. M told me on Thursday, but whatever. Next question from Husband, since the blood pressure is such a big issue (as she just stated) "should we monitor her blood pressure at home?" Blank stare from irritable nurse. Speaking slowly as if we are morons "Her blood pressure is fine, I just showed you on the monitor, I don't see any need for that." Wait. So my blood pressure is serious enough that I have to stay on bed rest, but it is fine and I don't need to monitor it? Where did you get your nursing degree?? Do you even know what you are talking about? Ugh!

So here we are, sent back home to wait it out. Although I am grateful not to be induced I am also disappointed. We were both so ready to be spending the day in the hospital, ready to go through labor and delivery, and ready to meet our beautiful baby boy. Instead I'm sitting here, on the couch, eating Trader Joe's mac and cheese while Husband fights off a killer migraine in the bedroom. Poor guy, he looks as white as a ghost! At least he's not having to go through labor with me at the same time. Plus I guess it was a good trial run. Hopefully baby blue is coming soon.

38 Week Survey

*Looks like I've made it to another post. Come on baby!!!

How far along: 38 weeks

Total weight gain/loss:
Supposedly I'm up 32 lbs, but I saw it and the nurse rounded up. WTF is up with that??

Maternity clothes:
Yes, definitely. The belly just keeps getting bigger.

Stretch marks: Still no stretch marks.

Still bad, but Benadryl helps a little.

Best moment this week: Finding out I'm 3cm and 60% effaced.

He still moves a lot, but the feeling has changed. I don't get the quick sharp jabs anymore. Now it's more like full body movements.

Food cravings: Nothing really.

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs:
Ever since she stripped my membranes I've been having a lot of cramping and contractions but they still don't seem to be regular.

Belly Button in or out: Still mostly in, but it's definitely a very shallow hole.

What I miss: Coffee and sleep.

What I am looking forward to: Having a baby.

Other Updates: I have an NST later today and they may decide to induce me. I was really hoping I would go into labor on my own. :(

Thursday, July 1, 2010


*A quick update*

I went to the OB this morning where my blood pressure was still high. Dr. M informed me that she doesn't want me going past 39 weeks at this point. She told me that if things looked favorable in there she would go ahead and strip my membranes. She proceeded to "check" my cervix (felt like she was ripping it out) and judging from the excruciating pain I felt after she checked it I'm guessing things were favorable. Once she was done torturing me she popped her head back up and with a little glimmer in her eye told me that I was already 3cm dilated, 60% effaced and soft. Basically that means the baby is coming soon. Add the fact that my membranes have now been stripped and that means he's probably coming very soon.

So here I am, back at home, waiting for something to happen. I'm having more intense contractions, although they don't feel any more regular and very painful cramping. Like a bad period.

Here's hoping this is my last post before our little one arrives!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Non-Stress Test, Hold The Non

*somehow this entry was posted without any text, let's try that again...

Well it's back to bed rest land for me. It was nice while it lasted (1.5 weeks) but it's all over. Oh well, the couch has missed me I'm sure.

So what happened, you ask? What did I do to land myself such a prize? It's because I'm a winner really. A winner of the "everything that can go wrong, will" pregnancy award. (Of course I realize things could be far far worse). After another high blood pressure reading at my last OB appointment, Dr. M. ordered non-stress tests (twice a week) at the hospital. The first one went fairly well. Husband was able to come with me since it was on a Saturday. There was a moment there where the less than forthcoming nurse failed to find Little Man's heart beat, but eventually she got her crap together and there it was. Other than having to sit there for an hour listening to the sound of drills and hammers as they remodeled the staff office, it wasn't that terrible of an experience. Thankfully my blood pressure was normal and our little one was doing just fine.

So today as I prepared for my second non-stress test (NST) I expected a similar experience, hopefully minus the heart beat scare and the hammering. No such luck. As I waddled through the L&D wing (no really the waddle is bad, it hurts to walk) I prepped myself for an hour of boredom. As soon as I checked in they led me back to my own personal room. No hammering. Whew! I got all hooked up to the monitors, woosh woosh woosh went baby's heart and I was happy. All ready to settle in. Then she took my blood pressure. Instead of telling me what it was she smiled and said we would just keep the cuff on and take it again a little later. Uh oh. Not what happened last time. My blood pressure had been perfect so they took the cuff off right away. Fabulous.

A half hour later the friendly nurse returned and checked me once again. Still high. I was also contracting pretty regularly and the baby wasn't being terribly active. Unfortunately that's what they are looking for, an active baby. In an effort to get him moving they brought me a gallon of ice water to drink and turned me on my left side. It was like magic. Within minutes my blood pressure dropped considerably and the bug began hopping around. What a good little boy! The friendly nurse decided she could go ahead and contact Dr. M. Before she left she asked how I was feeling. At which point I was forced to admit that I had a slight headache and upon further questioning revealed that I had had a headache on Monday as well. Not a good sign in the pregnancy world, but not unusual in my world. Off she went to update Dr. M. and I sat, still connected to the monitors.

Eventually the nurse returned. I was all set to be released (I had been there about an hour at that point) when I noticed something that looked oddly like a hospital bracelet. What is it for? Another patient I'm sure. I'm sooo out of here! "We're going to go ahead and run a blood panel and urinalysis before we release you. Let's just get this little bracelet on..." She then asked if I felt like I needed "to go." Um, lady, you just made me drink a gallon of ice water and I'm almost 38 weeks pregnant. What do you think?? Rather than fully removing the fetal monitors from my belly, she decided to leave them on and disconnect the wires from the machine. So there I am, waddling off to the bathroom to pee in a cup with big monitors attached to my belly and the long cords draped around my neck with the nurse waiting patiently by the bed. Let me tell you, peeing in to a cup with a huge belly, monitors and wires wrapped around me like octopus tentacles, is not an easy thing to do. If you think I got away with not getting pee on my hand you are sadly mistaken. Oh joy! Pregnancy is such a glamorous thing.

Once I return to the bed (hands thoroughly washed!) I find a vampire waiting for me. Or a lab technician. Whatever, same difference. Before sucking my blood she uses a hand held scanner to scan the barcode on my bracelet. I resist the urge to ask her how much I cost. She takes her two vials and my cup-o-pee and baby blue and I are left to enjoy my book and another gallon of ice water. One thing I've learned about L&D, they really like to force the water on you. After about forty-five minutes my bladder reached maximum capacity and I was forced to buzz the nurse to let her know I needed to be disconnected once again. Instead of my friendly nurse, Glenda the Good Witch came in and perkily removed the monitors for me. Yay, no octopus tentacles! After relieving the intense pressure I returned to the bed and Glenda gasped "Oh my! Are you feeling all these contractions??" Why yes Glenda, I am! She batted her big eyes at me and with an eerie grin proceeded to tuck me in to bed. "Why don't you just lie down and take a little rest?" Actually, I'm... "It will be so nice. Here we'll just recline the bed." But my book... "And here, we can turn out the light." Click. There go the lights. She covers me in a blanket and then tells my friendly nurse that I'm going to have a little rest. The friendly nurse proceeds to tell me that they are still waiting on my urinalysis, but that my blood work looks good. Then they leave me there, all tucked in and ready for a nap.

As I lie there trying to rest it suddenly occurs to me that I am not tired. I do not want a "little rest," I want the light on and I want to read! How the heck did Glenda the Good Witch get me to do that? Defiantly I click the light back on and find my book. I'm pretty sure at 28 years old I don't need to be put to bed. Something about a perky nurse telling you that you need to makes it seem like you have no choice.

After another hour my friendly nurse returned and told me the baby is doing beautifully, that my blood work and urine were fine and I am free to go. The catch? Dr. M. is concerned about the elevated blood pressure combined with the headaches and I am now back on modified bed rest until further notice. She also briefly mentioned my white blood cell count was slightly elevated which could be an indication of a UTI but honestly at this point that is the least of my concerns. So, until my appointment tomorrow I am here on the couch. Back in bed rest land.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

37 Week Survey

How far along: 37 weeks!! I'm officially full term.

Total weight gain/loss: I'm up 31 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely. The belly just keeps getting bigger.

Stretch marks:
Still no stretch marks.

Sleep: Still bad, but Benadryl helps a little.

Best moment this week: Getting the baby's room all set up.

Movement: He still moves a lot, but the feeling has changed. I don't get the quick sharp jabs anymore. Now it's more like full body movements.

Food cravings:
Nothing really.

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs:
Still having contractions and now I'm having a lot of cramping to go along with that.

Belly Button in or out: Still mostly in, but it's definitely a very shallow hole.

What I miss:

What I am looking forward to:
Baby shower tomorrow!

Other Updates:
I went to my 36/37 week appointment and still have high blood pressure so now I have to go over to the hospital twice a week for non-stress tests. I start today.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Evolution of a Nursery

We're almost there! After my ten week stint on the couch, I have finally been able to make progress on the nursery. The ideas in my head have slowly started to become a reality. Although there's still work to be done, I am ready to share some of our progress.

It all started with the crib. A beautiful Jenny Lind crib that I slept in as did my niece. From early on I somehow got it in my head that I wanted a yellow crib and once I get something in my head that's it, it has to be done. Don't bother arguing with me. Luckily we were offered the use of my old crib. Perfect for touching up with some yellow paint! Although I did encounter some resistance from the men in my life - Dad: "It's going to be too hard. It's going to drip everywhere!" Husband: "Are you sure you don't just want to leave it the way it is??" Hello?! My whole design for the room hinges on this yellow crib. I'm sure. There was no way out of it. The crib was destined to be yellow.

This is what we started with - unfortunately I don't have a great before picture, at this point Husband had already treated it with TSP to try to get the glossy finish off.

Then the painting process began. When it comes to many things in life Husband and I tend to differ in our approaches. While I tend to be fairly meticulous, seeking near perfection, Husband takes more of a do it as quickly as possible approach and deal with the results later. This makes things in our life interesting to say the least. So when it came to this painting process, I was determined to do it my way. I didn't care if it took me a week longer to do it, I wanted it done "right." Unfortunately, Husband is still not quite trusting of my release from bed rest and inserted himself into the project. In some ways I was appreciative of the fact that I didn't have to crawl around on the floor at 8.5 months pregnant, but my comfort came at a cost. Drips. Many drips. I found myself wrestling with the same problem I frequently find myself in. Do I praise Husband for his hard work and effort and pretend I don't mind the drips or do I give in to my perfectionism and point them out? Tough decision. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I gave in. As gently as I could I pointed out some of the drips and requested he put lighter coats on all the while praising his efforts. Knowing my fragile state he just smiled and told me he would try his best. Drips. More drips.

Then, finally after some swearing we got the crib assembled. Too bad it was assembled outside... After some more swearing the crib was taken down and reassembled in the nursery. While the nursery isn't quite done (still have a wall decal to put up and a few DIY art pieces to put up) we are almost there. So here is your sneak-peek! (In case you wanted a reminder of the "before" go ahead and check out this blog post).

An adorable lamp we got at Target.

The changing table area.

His drawers all organized.

His closet.

I am so excited about all the progress that has been made. With just a few details left we are almost done. The last big piece is to get the bedding in. The bedding is inspired by this fabric:

And it is being made by my wonderful Mom. :) I can't wait to see it all together!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where To Go From Here

Celebrating the end of my bed rest has been exhausting to say the least. Ten weeks of sitting around doing nothing hasn't exactly been great for my muscles. So while the mind and heart are ready to go, the body has been giving UC Berkeley students a run for their money when it comes to staging protests. Still, so much has been accomplished over the last few days and slowly the tension that has been building has started to fade away. Ahhh, nothing like finishing a few projects to ease my mind.

Still the question remains, what should become of this blog? If I'm off bed rest, what happens to the great bed rest blog? Do I continue to prattle on about my daily mishaps with the end of pregnancy and then parenting? Do I give the blog a face lift and rename it? Or do I just scrap it all together? No idea. Will it be interesting to read about a crib restoration complete with swearing and dripping paint? Will you want to know about my labor and delivery (I promise not to make it too graphic)? I really don't know. Feel free to leave your suggestion in the comments. Unless of course you plan on telling me I suck, in which case you can just keep that to yourself.

Where do we go from here? To be continued....

Possibly the worst song/musical ever, but funny nonetheless. Especially for my fellow Buffy fans.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

36 Week Survey

How far along: 36 weeks!! Less than a month to go and one more week until I am full term!

Total weight gain/loss: Ugh, supposedly I'm up 31 lbs. I'm pretty sure I'm going to stop taking note of my weight since it is seriously stressing me out and who needs extra stress?

Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely. Although I just got a nice dress from Marshall's that was non-maternity.

Stretch marks: Still no stretch marks. Shocking.

Sleep: Still TERRIBLE!! I feel as though I might as well not sleep at all.

Best moment this week: Being told I am officially released from bed rest. Woohoo!

Movement: He still moves a lot, but the feeling has changed. I don't get the quick sharp jabs anymore. Now it's more like full body movements.

Food cravings: It's all good.

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs: In addition to having contractions my cervix is now soft/effaced.

Belly Button in or out: Still mostly in, but it's definitely a very shallow hole.

What I miss: Sleep, especially sleeping on my back and stomach.

What I am looking forward to: Hospital tour today, baby shower # 2, finishing the crib and then hopefully bringing a beautiful healthy baby home.

Other Updates:I'm off bed rest and I don't have preeclampsia!!!!!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let Freedom Ring!

Ten weeks and 1 day later I have officially been released from bed rest. Ten weeks of sitting on the couch watching tv and coming up with ridiculous things to Google. Ten weeks of Husband being responsible for all the chores and unpacking. Ten weeks of sitting and staring at the mess and not being able to do anything about it. It's all over!!! I can move. I can get off the couch and jump up and down. I can frolic in a field or run down the sandy beach. I can do anything I want and I won't have to endure the disaproving glare of Husband or Dr. M. Oh how I wish I could tell you I was having a dance party to celebrate... sadly, it turns out that at (nearly) 36 weeks all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch tv. How's that for ironic?

I will admit that for the last couple of days I have been cheating. Yesterday I went to Home Depot, Marshalls and Petco. Gasp! I know, how horrible of me. I may have felt a slight amount of guilt, but I honestly knew this moment of freedom was upon me. I didn't think it would make too big of a difference if I started just a tad early. Plus, I NEEDED to get paint brushes to paint the crib (I'll post pictures of the progress later), and I NEEDED to get a fabulous dress for my shower next week, and I NEEDED to get Nature's Miracle to try for the thousandth time to get the cat pee smell out of my recliner. No really, I did need to do that. The smell of cat pee is completely nauseating.

Oh, and also all my blood work came back normal, so I do not have Preeclampsia. Woohoo! To celebrate Baby Blue and I are are doing a little dance. Since I have major round ligament pain it's more like a funny pregnant lady wiggle around my living room. Feel free to join us.

It's a fun song. Don't judge.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Is Preeclampsia?

I am now taking requests for blog topics! Well, not really, but my lovely friend did ask what preeclampsia is and requested I address it in my blog, so here it goes... Preeclampsia: in short it is a form of pregnancy induced hypertension or high blood pressure and is dangerous for both mom and baby. Severe forms of preeclampsia most often lead to early induction or c-section. As my Dad so cleverly pointed out, preeclampsia is the thing that comes before eclampsia. :) Eclampsia involves seizures/strokes during pregnancy. Exciting stuff huh? Please keep in mind when reading what comes next that I am in no way a doctor and anything and everything I say is exactly what it appears to be, thoughts from someone who was given small bits of information from an OB and is also good at consulting with Dr. Google.

Preeclampsia is a disorder that happens only during pregnancy, so if you're not pregnant yay you! You're not at risk. Although it does occasionally show up right after birth as well. It usually doesn't happen until after the 20th week in the pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Additional symptoms include chronic headaches, swelling, pain in the chest, blurred vision and nausea. It is also possible to have no symptoms other than the high blood pressure and protein which is why most OB's routinely check your blood pressure and ask for urine samples. So if you're planning on getting pregnant get ready for the joy of peeing in a cup regularly for nine months.

If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia one of several things could happen. If you just have a mild case it is possible your OB will put you on some medications and confine you to bed rest woohoo!). With more moderate to severe cases, you will either be induced immediately or undergo an emergency c-section. I believe these cases usually come with a blood pressure reading in the 200's and several of the other symptoms. Either way, prior to treatment, whether it be with medication or delivery, you will undergo a Non-Stress Test (NST) to evaluate the health of the baby. As the name implies, this is a pretty simple, non-stressful test. For about an hour, you and baby are monitored via blood pressure cuffs and fetal monitors. If the baby seems to be in distress from the Preeclampsia you will most likely deliver.

In order to be diagnosed with Preeclampsia you must undergo a series of tests. In addition to monitoring your blood pressure and checking for protein in your urine, you will also be given blood tests. How can a blood test help, you ask? Well, if you indeed do have preeclampsia, the high blood pressure will begin to affect other internal organs like your liver and kidneys. By taking a sample of your blood they will be able to tell if those organs have been damaged. If those results come back positive you will then be given some sort of 24-hour urine test. I'm not entirely sure what is involved in that, but I imagine it has something to do with taking several urine samples over a 24 hour period. Lovely!

Why is Dr. M. concerened that I have preeclampsia? Good question. I honestly just think she is being extra cautious, but that's what I like about her. I would much rather have my arm stabbed with a needle than risk having a stroke or any other number of awful things that could happen. Plus, like she said,, "If anything is going to happen, it's going to happen to you." As awful as that might sound, it is so true. Just ask my mom. My whole life has been a string of random health problems that no one would ever guess I had. Why just last summer, after much convincing on my part, the good DR. M. finally agreed to do a laparoscopy to look for Endometriosis. She seemed reluctant to do so and told me on numerous occasions that the chances were small. What did she find? Endometriosis! AND... a fibroid tumor as well as some ovarian cysts just for good measure. After that, the whole failing the 1-hour glucose test debacle, and pre-term labor scare, she's apparently learned that my body does the unexpected. So, when I came in three times in a row with borerline high blood pressure she figured she better test me. Smart lady. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bed Rest With A Side Of Preeclampsia?

I went in to the OB today for my regular check up and to get the Group B Strep test. Sitting in the waiting room I ran into quite the character. A little old lady in a royal blue velour track suit with sparkles on the jacket. Her deep brunette hair was clipped up on her head making a kind of fan of hair. As I sat down next to her she peeked out at me over her cat-eye glasses with her false eyelashes flapping away. "When is your baby due?" I tell her next month. "Oh, because you're really big." Gee thanks. "I mean for being such a small person." Mmmhmmm. "Is your husband big?" Yep, huge! I laugh, tell her more about the baby and then she is called back to the office. Back to my flipping through my magazines.

FInally after waiting a good half hour, I get called back. I am weighed (ugh!) and my blood pressure is taken (135/95) and then back to the room I go. As usual, I slip out of my pants and under a lovely paper sheet. Wait. Wait. Wait. Slowly I feel the room begin to heat up. My fingers start swelling, my cheeks start getting flushed, I am sweating (I hate sweating!). As I sit there, nearly naked and sweating like a pig, I finally decide I can't take it anymore and resort to running a paper towel under the cold water. I can hear Dr. M. chatting away with velour track suit lady in the room next to me. Actually, the woman was doing most of the talking. Finally after a good hour of waiting (waiting room time included), Dr. M. graces me with her presence.

After some discussion of my monster contractions (some of them last up to two minutes) and a very painful/crampy cervical check, she starts in on my blood pressure. Am I having headaches? No. Am I swelling? Only when I'm hot. Any pain in my chest? Nope. "Well I'm going to go ahead and send you for blood work to check for preeclampsia because if anything is going to happen it's going to happen to you." LOL! Always good to have a doctor with a sense of humor. :) She followed up by saying that she was sure if she tested me for it then that would prevent me from actually having it. Oh how I love Dr. M.

So now I have a new thing to worry about. Tomorrow I go in for my blood work and then I see the doctor again next week. Let's all hope the high blood pressure (it's been high the last three visits) is just a fluke. I'm not sure that I really want to deal with another issue with this pregnancy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

35 Week Survey

How far along: 35 weeks 1 day - oops, I'm a day late. Yesterday was 35/35 - 35 weeks with 35 days to go!

Total weight gain/loss: +28lbs at my last appointment although my scale at home says 24lbs. I think I like my scale at home better.

Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely. I live in Target maternity tank tops although they are starting to get a little too short.

Stretch marks: Still holding strong on the stretch mark front. I have lots of veins showing through though.

Sleep: Still TERRIBLE!! In addition to the excessive peeing it is now too hot for me to sleep and I wake up with heartburn. Tums is my new best friend.

Best moment this week: Being told I would be released from bed rest around 36 weeks. Woohoo!

Movement: Yes, and lots of it. Sometime my stomach looks like it's having an earthquake.

Food cravings: It's all good.

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs: In addition to having contractions my cervix is now soft/effaced.

Belly Button in or out: It changes depending on my position. If I'm sitting it is completely in, but sometimes when I stand the top part pokes out a little

What I miss: Sleep, sitting without being in pain, wine, and turkey and avocado sandwiches.

What I am looking forward to: Hospital tour next weekend, baby shower # 2 the weekend after that, then hopefully bringing a beautiful healthy baby home.

Other Updates: I went to L&D on Monday and it turns out my cervix is now soft. The doctor will be releasing me from bed rest any time now. We attended childbirth classes this weekend. All we need to do is finish getting the crib set up and his room cleaned out and then we'll be as ready as we ever will be!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Breastfeeding and Dead Batteries

At my last appointment the OB gave me the go ahead to increase my activity level slightly. Woohoo! AND!! I will hopefully be taken off of bed rest completely by week 36. PARRRRTAAAYYYY!!! Woop woop! My Bo Derek moment is just on the horizon. Unbelievable.

Sadly, I'm still only 34 weeks (34 weeks 6 days to be exact) so the restrictions haven't been completely lifted just yet. You can imagine my excitement though when I got the ok to attend a breastfeeding class at our local hospital. Not only does that mean I am getting closer to the Pee Monster actually being here, but I get to get dressed, in real clothes! Then I get to drive myself somewhere like a real grown-up! So exciting!

At 9:40 this morning, after a proper amount of primping, I headed out to the car, invigorated by my big outing. As I held out my clicker to unlock my brand new CRV (hello "mom" car!) the wind in my sails was lost. Click. Nothing. CLICK! Nope, still nothing. Maybe if I push on the unlock button really hard.... nope. So maybe the clicker is dead. I unlock the door manually (imagine that!) and insert the key into the ignition. Nothing. Complete and utter silence. Sh!t. The car is dead. Completely dead.

In a bit of a panic (my freedom was on the line here!) I called Husband at work to ask him what to do. In between shouting over the leaf blower the gardener decided to turn on literally right outside my car door (seriously, he saw I was on the phone, walked over and started blowing leaves, maybe he hates me) I was ultimately able to communicate to Husband what the situation was. Ever the knight in shining armor, he came home and drove me to my breastfeeding class. Not quite the picture of freedom I had imagined, but definitely close enough. Plus I didn't have to lose out on the $25 class fee since the next available class isn't until August - just a little too late.

I arrived at the hospital a few minutes late, but luckily the class hadn't quite started yet. I awkwardly entered the room to four other pregnant ladies and one poor husband. Of course the only available seats are the ones furthest from the door. I slowly waddled my way across the room and took my seat, apologizing for being late. Shortly thereafter introductions were made and the class began. We learned about all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding your baby as well as the different techniques. We also got an incredibly graphic, color poster of baby poop (to go on our refrigerators!) and got to practice nursing baby dolls - man are those things creepy! The one and only dad there made it through quite well, despite the nurse best efforts to embarrass him and we all left feeling more enlightened/more confused about breastfeeding. Overall it was a success!

I have since returned home, back to my bed rest throne. After getting a jump for the battery the car seems to be ok and we will take it to the dealership to be checked out tomorrow since there is no apparent reason for a dead battery. We will also be going to our childbirth classes this weekend. Exciting stuff!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hospital Adventures

**WARNING! WARNING!** Danger Will Robinson!! Graphic details involving words like "cervix" and "mucus" ahead. Turn around now if you are at all prone to queasiness.

Lately I've been imagining my freedom from bed rest. Sometimes I picture myself bursting out of the doctor's office singing Queen's "I Want To Break Free" all the way to my car. Other times I am running in slow motion down the beach a la Bo Derek in "10," only instead of the weird braids and perfect body, my big ol' belly bounces joyously (and probably painfully) in front of me. At 34+ weeks I can almost taste my own freedom. Oh the places I'll go, the things I'll do. So many possibilities...

SCREEEEEEEEEEECCCCHHHHHH!!!! What was that? Oh, that? That was the sound of my freedom coming to a screeching halt. Time of death? About 9:30 this morning. After a sleepless night I woke up and stumbled out to the couch (sadly my normal bed rest throne, the recliner, has cat pee on it - thanks a lot Mr. Chatner!) and sat down to eat my breakfast. It was a normal morning, I signed on to instant messenger to chat with Husband and even enjoyed my daily bowl of Special K with vanilla almonds (mmmm!). After breakfast I reclined and began to enjoy my morning television routine. Suddenly (here it comes - TMI!!) a felt a small gush of liquid coming out of the nether regions. Ummm, what the heck was that? Do I call the doctor? Was it pee? Did the little Pee Monster just live up to his name and cause the ultimate pee accident? Nope there it is again. Definitely not coming from my urethra. Definitely coming out of the vaginal opening. Shit! Time to call the doctor.

After a quick discussion with the on-call nurse it was determined that I needed to head in to Labor & Delivery (L&D). Feeling a bit panicked I put in a call to Husband and Mom to let them know what was happening. Of course, as soon I got on the highway, the normally empty roads were completely backed up. Now they choose to do road work? Now! Seriously?? I may be leaking amniotic fluid and in labor with a 34 week baby and now is the time you choose to beautify our roads?? Thanks a lot crappy state government! Just what I needed!

A good twenty minutes later I pulled into the hospital parking garage and as calmly as possible dragged my big ol' self, along with several books and a lap top to the L&D wing. Don't laugh, last time I was there I was stuck for six hours with nothing to watch expect for Judge Judy and Primir Impacto, I think a few forms of entertainment were called for. After waiting with all the other pregnant ladies and their families I was finally taken back to my own room. Once again I dressed in their beautiful hospital gown with broken ties and the weird tube top like garment used to hold the fetal monitors in place and I was set. Ready for round four at our beautiful L&D.

Once all hooked up to the monitors the incredibly astute nurse asked if I was feeling nervous. Evidently my blood pressure was a bit high. Shocking right? I mean why in the world would my blood pressure be high? It's not like I was going through anything serious/stressful. No, I was just preparing to potentially give birth to my little baby boy six weeks early. No biggie!!! After several discussions with my OB over the phone it was determined that they would do a test similar to the fetal fibronectin test that would determine if my membranes had ruptured (i.e. check to see if my water broke), then if my contractions continued they would check my cervix. After the membrane test was performed (not too bad, just a super long q-tip swabbing my cervix for one full minute) they decided to go ahead and manually check my cervix. Not fun. Not fun at all!

At this point in pregnancy most women's cervixes are posterior, meaning the opening is facing more toward the back. I believe the ideal position for labor is for it to be anterior (front-facing). Because my cervix is posterior it is more difficult and more painful to check. Again, not fun. Propping my hips up on my own fists, the gentle nurse oh so delicately jammed several fingers up in to my cervix. Really, I suppose it could have been one finger, but it certainly felt like ten. Several "sorry's" later the nurse finished up as she told me that my cervix still felt long and thick, but that it was soft. Because I was posterior she had a hard time checking for dilation, but she "didn't think" I was dilated. Then the kicker... I'm not terribly squeamish when it comes to my own body, but I swear my Special K almost came up with what she said/did next. "You do have a little bit of extra discharge but that can be normal, see all of this... normal." Waving her purple surgical glove in my face I saw her hand for the first time. Let me tell you... it was like an elephant blew its nose on her. OMG OMG OMG!! Take it away!!!!!!! Gag reflex is kicking in... HURK!!!

After the great mucus debacle all Husband (who at this point had joined me) and I could do was wait. Thankfully, after a ten minute wait the membrane test came back negative. Hallelujah. Sooo, that kind of begs the question, what was it? The nurse explained that it was either extra discharge (hello elephant snot?!?!) or I peed my pants. I'm going with the elephant snot theory. I understand that many women have mistaken pee for amniotic fluid, but I am about 90% sure that this was not pee. If I thought it was pee I would definitely say so. I'm not embarrassed, it makes sense that the little Pee Monster, who is squishing up nicely to my bladder, might help me squeeze some urine out unexpectedly. This was not pee.

After some debate about how to treat my contractions I've fortunately since been released back to bed rest at home. So here I sit, dreams of freedom all but lost, updating you all on my latest adventures and fantasizing about my future away from the couch.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

34 Week Survey

How far along: 34 weeks!! 6 weeks to go until the due date!

Total weight gain/loss: +24lbs at my last appointment, we'll see on Tuesday what kind of damage has been done in the last two weeks.

Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely. I live in Target maternity tank tops. Lately I've added a non-maternity bikini to my wardrobe for my days of floating in the pool. I'm looking pretty ridiculous.

Stretch marks: Still holding strong on the stretch mark front. Here's hoping I can make it 6 more weeks.

Sleep: Still TERRIBLE!! In addition to the excessive peeing it is now too hot for me to sleep.

Best moment this week: It was a busy (as busy as bed rest can get) week. I chose a pediatrician so that's good. :) Also, I had a heavenly prenatal massage. I wish I could get one every day.

Movement: Yes, and lots of it. He's getting more active at night.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular this week, although I would still love to have a hot dog!

Gender: Boy

Labor Signs: Still having a lot of contractions, but they aren't really doing much other than annoying me.

Belly Button in or out: It changes depending on my position. If I'm sitting it is completely in, but sometimes when I stand the top part pokes out a little

What I miss: Sleep. I think it would be a miracle if I could sleep through the night. Or even if I could just go back to getting up once or twice.

What I am looking forward to: The hospital's breastfeeding class is this week, plus I get to see my parents. :)

Other Updates: Nothin' much.

Friday, June 4, 2010

And The Winner Is...

After two days of pediatrician interviews the Husband and I have chosen our pediatrician. Let me tell you, it's a difficult process to go through. Having had some health issues growing up I want to make sure that I find a doctor who is going to be proactive when it comes to my little Pee Monster's health care.

Pediatrician #1: I was scheduled to come in at 12:00pm (or so I thought) and of course got lost. The office in located in a place we'll call "The Ranch." It's an endless maze of office buildings where all the roads are named the same thing and every building is "Building 2." No matter how many times I go there I get lost. This is immediately a strike against the practice. I hate The Ranch! I finally make it to my destination only to find that the parking lot is packed (strike). After waddling my way through the maze of halls and up the elevator I arrive at my destination. Above the main entrance are the words "Turn Back Now!" Hmm, interesting sense of humor (kudos). Ignoring the sign I enter to a world of sick babies separated from the well, nurses and doctors rushing around, children climbing in and out of a playhouse, phones ringing, basically complete chaos. Welcome to my new life. I try to check in only to have them tell me my appointment is really for 12:30 (strike - this will later be canceled when I return home only to realize that I actually put the wrong time into my phone, whoops!).

A half-hour later, rejuvenated by an iced decaf caramel macchiato, I return for my actual visit. The doctor is running late (strike). However the nurse came out to personally tell me he was running late and apologized (kudos!). I am taken back to the room where I wait maybe ten more minutes with a folder of new parent information as well as information about the practice (kudos). Finally the doctor comes in; he's older, seems friendly and he's wearing a whinnie-the-pooh tie (kudos). Plus he is also a neonatologist (kudos) so should I go into preterm labor he would be the one to take care of our little man. Once he sat down he immediately started in with information about the practice; their hours, how they always try to get a sick child in that same day, they take kids after hours as well as on the weekends depending on the circumstances (kudos). Then without my asking he began to discuss the many issues from my interview sheet. He is pro-breastfeeding (kudos) and willing to do a delayed vaccination schedule to a certain extent. He spent at least ten minutes with me explaining the practice's vaccination schedule which is already somewhat delayed (kudos). We both agree that the idiot who published the article linking the MMR vaccination to autism should be in jail (kudos). Overall it was a very informative meeting. On the negative side, he gave me a bit of an eye-roll when I asked about his thoughts on attachment parenting which then made me too uncomfortable to ask about his thoughts on holistic medicine (strike). Overall it was a good experience and he as well as the practice rated highly. Thankfully I was able to find my way out of the maze and made it home relatively quickly which turned out to be a good thing because my lovely contractions started to pick up soon after and I spent the rest of the evening on the couch. :(

Pediatrician #2: Originally scheduled for 11:30 and rescheduled the day before for 1:00pm. The office is located less than five minutes from our home (kudos) but the parking is TERRIBLE (strike). Because it is lunch time I was now allowed to enter through the main doors, but instead had to go in through a side entrance. In the side office there are no chairs so I was forced to stand and fill out paper work while they attempted to sort out the woman in front of me (strike). The woman in front of me did not speak English and was apparently over an hour late for her appointment. Just looking at the woman, you could tell she was scared. She was standing there holding her sick infant begging to be seen. As it turned out, she was there to see the same doctor I was. I immediately told the staff I would be willing to let her have my appointment and reschedule mine, but they declined and sent her away (strike).

Once I was done with the paper work I was immediately taken to a room (kudos) and offered water by the very friendly nurse (kudos!). Five minutes later the doctor was in the room and our discussion was off (kudos). She seemed very friendly, more so than doctor #1, and was willing to address all my questions (kudos). She is pro-breastfeeding, but interestingly enough does not do circumcisions (we are undecided on this issue still so... kudos/strike??). When I asked her about availability she got a little strange and said that someone would be available, but that this isn't a walk-in clinic and the woman before me was over an hour late (strike!). She continued to be a bit snippy/defensive about their hours all the while trying to assure me that someone would be available. What about late night hours? Yes, someone will be there, but more often than not the questions that are asked at 2:00am really should have been asked at 9:00pm. Huh? (strike)

The last issue to come up was vaccinations. She is against a delayed schedule. I explain to her my thoughts on the Hep B vaccination which then prompts her to launch in to an incredibly long and inarticulate explanation of how contagious Hep B is and kids can get it on the playground. Having explained to her that I was considering delaying until two years old, I am still unclear how this is relevant. My newborn does not need a Hep B vaccination, he's already going to be shot full of a million other things. Again she insists that it is important because most parents forget to keep up with vaccinations once they delay (strike). I realize a lot of people are idiots, but don't treat me like one until I give you reason to. Finally the interview is through and she takes me on a tour through the actual waiting room. It is really nice and includes a huge salt water fish tank and huge separate area for sick and well patients (kudos). Then we run in to the nurses at the front desk who tell me I am the cutest pregnant lady they've seen (KUDOS!).

The Final Results: After all of that the decision has been made. Honestly, it wasn't really a difficult one to make. While I loved the office and staff at practice number two, pediatrician number one was overall more knowledgeable and proactive, he listened to all my questions and seemed more willing to work with me. I think the fact that he took so much time to sit there and discuss each vaccination on the schedule, what it was for and how important it was (which ones he would be willing to delay vs. which ones he felt were incredibly important) really sealed the deal for me. So it looks like I'll be making a lot of future visits to The Ranch. Hopefully I'll get the maze figured out relatively quickly.