Some Better Days

Some Better Days

9.17.2017

10:30pm and Brooke is sleeping on me in the rocking chair. I love when she sleeps on me so peacefully. S is watching football and doing some work next to me. I’m playing on my phone and looking up whatever comes to mind. In theory, I could have tried to put Brooke in her crib already, but we don’t have a door between the bedroom and living room yet, so it’s not conducive to her bedtime (as if she has one). I’ve yet to figure out how to get Brooke to sleep in her crib, unless it’s nighttime and dark. Oh well. I still miss going to bed at the same time as S; hopefully we figure it out. 
It’s been a better week since I wrote last. I’d say it feels like a turning point, but I assume it’s just another up on the baby roller coaster.
Wednesday was a very successful day. S had to do field work, so I had to bring Brooke to her doctor’s appointment all by myself. It was a challenge because I am not allowed to carry the car seat with her in it yet, and because the car was parked on the next block. I ended up carrying Brooke in the baby bjorn carrier (“papoose” as we call it) and carrying the car seat. Then I transferred her to the car seat. She cried the entire mile to the doctor, as expected. She prefers the interstate. Brooke was up to 11lbs (5 weeks)! 
After that, we went to visit A and her new baby. We sat on the porch and it was so lovely to catch up. And finally, in the evening I brought Brooke to my alumni board meeting. She slept the entire time, of course. I felt like a normal human being again – like I’ll be able to function with baby in tow. I needed that! 
Thursday we had a family outing to a meeting for our field. Brooke was relatively well behaved, though she did need to eat. I’ve nursed her at various doctor appointments and friends’ houses, but never in public. It is was a challenge (I need more hands) and Brooke is a noisy eater, but I managed. We did leave early and went for coffee at one of favorite places. All in all, a good outing other than Brooke’s frantic cry for the last few miles. Poor thing. She has quite the cry. 
Friday night was our first night away as a family. We stayed a friend’s cottage, which is adorable. Brooke slept 5 hours in the travel crib and then 4 hours on me. So snuggly. I propped myself up so I wouldn’t be able to move and Brooke would be safe. She likes to sleep on my chest, still in newborn frog pose. She sleeps late in the day! I was exhausted, so I didn’t care to attempt moving her to the crib. And, Saturday night we went to a work social function for my firm. It was nice to see everyone. Brooke slept the whole time! Saturday night she slept 7 hours straight in the crib!
And finally, we had our first picnic this evening. Brooke likes the fresh air. It’s been so hot (about 80 degrees F) that we wait until the end of the day to take her outside. Currently she prefers the papoose to the stroller, and we both get really warm! 
This week, I might start pumping. And I’d like to get up early one morning for a walk and a doughnut. We’ll see if we can drag ourselves out of bed/rocking chair early. And my sister is coming to visit again! Maybe she’ll come shopping with me. I don’t really have any good nursing tops that are appropriate outside of the house. And I need a pair of jeans that fit. I still have about 10lbs to lose (of 40, so not too bad, but it will require smart eating and more exercise). Also, where are my abs?! So sad!

What helps a lot is getting Brooke to sleep before 1am, getting 6+ hours of sleep, and learning to do things while baby wearing. All in all, things are going well. Now to get more time alone with S. It’s so hard to find with a clingy/cuddly baby. 

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Up & Down (or Down & Up)

Up & Down (or Down & Up)

Because my hormones are hitting me later than expected. 

9.11.2017

I feel like a failure as a mother. I can’t get Brooke to sleep. She has weird hours. She only wants me for food and even then she sometimes gets mad and hits me. I don’t know what to do with her during the day. I’m afraid I’m not doing enough. I feel ashamed for not feeling the undying love for her yet. I don’t know what people are talking about. I wish I could be more like my mom, who seems perfect. I’m ashamed that I wanted this baby girl my entire life and now that she’s real, I have all of these feelings. Sometimes when she’s crying, I cry, and I don’t want to pick her up because I don’t know what to do. When does it get better? I’m afraid that I’m not cut out to be a mom. I don’t love this newborn stage or breastfeeding. 

9.12.2017

Yesterday was a rough evening. I was crying (oh, hormones). I wanted to talk to my mom, but I didn’t want to cry on the phone. Once I calmed down, I called and we talked for a while and I felt better. Still, I wish I could be more like my mom! 
Today was a better day, though I was /am tired. We got up at 7am and Brooke would not let me sleep since then. S and I are both exhausted. He’s at a meeting right now. I’m on the couch with Brooke sleeping on me. She’s having a rough evening and doesn’t want to sleep elsewhere, even though she’s exhausted. I was going to bake something, but she seems to need me, so I’m just watching Gilmore Girls while she sleeps. It’s okay. I feel bad because earlier this evening we were getting ready to for a walk. I changed her outfit and it really upset her. She cried really hard, but calmed down once I picked her up and she fell asleep almost immediately in my arms. Poor thing. Maybe it’s a good sign she loves me for more than food. 
I still want to come up with a routine, but I’m giving myself a break. Tomorrow Brooke has a doctor appointment and I have to bring her myself. If she liked her stroller, we could walk. And tomorrow evening I have an alumni meeting and I’m going to bring Brooke. Thursday we have are going on a family preservation outing to a meeting. We’re nerds. Hopefully Brooke behaves. Good thing her cute new clothes arrived today and S did all of the laundry. I was going to fold, but someone threw a fit. 

Playing Catch Up

Playing Catch Up

I’ve been writing in my notes app, so I’ll just transfer here. It’s not everything, and leaves out good days like when my sister was visiting. But sometimes I just need to vent!!

9.1.2017

Brooke is sort of sleeping on me now as I rock in the rocking chair. She’s been fighting sleep all afternoon, and then gets overtired and just cries. Since she’s 3 weeks old, she assumes the answer is always food. But then she gets mad at my boobs because that’s not what she wants. So she cries as I sway or rock and make a shushing noise. Eventually it works, but it can take a long time. All I’ve done today is hold the baby, feed the baby, rock the baby, and repeat. She gave me 10 minutes to make coffee and eat, thank goodness. I attribute this clinginess to her being so young. Still, it’s impossible to get anything done around here yet. She refused the baby bjorn carrier earlier. Oh well, I tried. She can nap on me. When S gets home, hopefully she’ll nap on him or in the swing so I can shower. That’s all I ask! 

Being a mother is hard, particularly when your baby is fussy. I cry sometimes when Brooke cries. It’s also hard to get nothing done other than baby holding all day, even though that is the most important job right now. I’m glad I have money saved so I still have “income” for things like the mortgage. Keeps me feeling balanced. 

I don’t think I’ll be cleared for exercise soon, but I’m not concerned yet. We go for walks and I don’t want to do anything too soon anyway. I remind myself that my body went through major surgery in addition to labor! 

It’s so helpful that S can often work from home; otherwise, it would be really hard every day. I find the hardest days are when S’s working elsewhere all day long (doing fieldwork, for example). But that’s not often, thankfully. 
9.8.2017

Being a new mom is hard, and I find it really really hard when I’ve only had 3-4 hours of sleep and Brooke is crabby. I shouldn’t get annoyed at her, but I do. Like don’t eat if you’re not hungry! Or, my boob is literally in front of your face. Or, just go to sleep – I know you’re tired. She scratches me and hits me and just plays with my boobs sometimes. It’s super annoying at 3am. I tend to not like her at those times, even though I love her. I feel bad saying so. Last night was rough. Her days and nights are a bit mixed up. (I say she keeps the hours of a partying college kid, which makes it easier to deal with; adding some humor into the situation.) I get tired of sitting in the rocking chair for so long and tired of smelling like breastmilk. 

I feel like I’m doing something wrong. Why can’t I find some kind of schedule and get something done? Why is it so hard to shower or eat or get out of the house? Sigh. I’d really like a schedule. But, my mom friends tell me it’s not really possible now. So, at least I’m not alone. 

Good things: she’s pretty cute and I love her expressions when she’s calm and/or falling asleep. She’s getting more interactive. I like a sleeping baby on me, usually. This morning she was comforted by just laying on me, which was a nice feeling. It helps with bonding. I have a good support network, which is comforting. I’m grateful for it, especially as most of my mom friends are on baby 2 or have a toddler. 

People tell me it gets easier after 6 weeks and then 3 months. That’s why I’m so glad to have a longer maternity leave. I’d like some fun time with my baby when it’s a more predictable day. 

Two Weeks: Crying All Day

Two Weeks: Crying All Day

8.24.2017
All I’ve wanted to do today is bake a pie for S’s birthday, and I haven’t managed to do it. Only the flour and the salt are on the counter. Why? My two week old baby will not let me put her down. She is so fussy today that she needs to be eating or lightly sleeping on me. No solo naps today, unlike the epic 4 hour naps of most other days. I did have about 20 minutes to shower, which was much needed and appreciated. But, nothing else. I’ve barely eaten anything because she’s been like this since 11am. At least we slept that long. I’ve been crying much of today. Hormones, I suppose, even though I haven’t cried these past two weeks. 

It’s so hard. I feel bad crying. I’ve wanted a baby for so long, and now I’m complaining that she wants to be held? That doesn’t make sense. But I just wanted to do something for S’s birthday (today). Yesterday she took a 4 hour nap. Today, nothing. I don’t know why. And she screams like crazy when I change her diaper. I know she’s only two weeks old, so I should relax. But today I’m crying, too. I’m glad S had fieldwork and volleyball today. At least he’ll get to go out with his team for a drink. I don’t even have a card for him.

I feel ashamed to say that I haven’t yet felt that immediate intense love for my baby that everyone said I would. Both my mom and aunt describe it as not knowing you could love someone so much. I don’t have that. Of course, I love her and she’s my baby and I’ll care for her and protect her. But that’s not what they meant. I have friends who say it comes with time. I hope so, because right now I feel like I’m doing something wrong. 

I miss our usual summers: biking, kayaking, sailing, long runs, drinking beer together. I miss always going to bed at the same time. I miss being able to sleep naked (leaking boobs & postpartum bleeding do not allow it). I’m scared of a baby changing our good relationship into something not good. I’m scared of losing what we have. 

I know that these feelings are normal and hormones are out of whack right now. And on days when she’s fussy and clingy, it’s really hard. I know it’s temporary and everything will be okay. But, I can’t stop crying today. I just want to make a pie and have some time with my husband. 

The Long Labor (or, Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Spend Time Developing a “Birth Plan”)

The Long Labor (or, Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Spend Time Developing a “Birth Plan”)

An extremely long version is ahead, which I’ve written for posterity. If you’re like me and up in the middle of the night nursing a baby, maybe you want to read it. If not, I’ll give you the short version first. Pardon the typos. I’m considering this draft form, as I’d like it be something that my baby might like to read some day when she has her own babies. 

SHORT VERSION

We went to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon for a non-stress test and monitoring. Since I was 3cm dilated already, they didn’t need to give me anything to start labor. It seemed my body was going to get started after all. Labor started on Tuesday August 8 around 10pm with contractions 10 minutes apart all night long. I slept in 5 minute increments. Wednesday August 9, we went to the hospital in the morning to get things going. By 11am, I was 5cm dilated. They broke my waters, which only made contractions more painful, but did not speed up labor. That afternoon, early evening, was incredibly painful. Contraction after contraction. By 6pm, I was not progressing much at all and the doctor was concerned that I would be too tired to push once I got to 10cm. They gave me pitocin and I decided on an epidural, which ended up being magical. I could sleep through all of the contractions! Thursday August 10, morning, I hadn’t progressed much in dilation. Somehow by 9:30, however, I was at 10cm and it was time to push. I pushed for two hours to no avail. Baby would not budge at all. So, it came down to a c-section. An unplanned c-section! I just wanted a healthy baby and healthy me, so it was okay by me at that point. The delivery portion was fine. The putting me back together was so incredibly painful that they gave me anesthesia to knock me out. Thank god. Finally at 12:44pm on Thursday August 10, baby Brooke was born at 8lbs, 12oz and 21 1/2 inches long!

LONG VERSION

Saturday August 5, 2017 marked 41 weeks and baby girl offered no signs of planning to arrive anytime soon. I could feel my belly growing and growing as I wondered how could there be any room left in there? I wanted baby girl to arrive so I knew everything was okay, and she was healthy and alive. We had made it this far and yet the end seemed so far away.  We were waiting, as usual. This weekend was the Festival of Fools, which was a collection of street performers. I felt mostly fine on Saturday, just the usual random pains and tiredness and heaviness.

Sunday August 6, 2017: We decided to go out for brunch at Monarch & Milkweed, since we knew it would be a while before we had a chance to do so again. It’s such a cute little café, only block away. We like to sit at the marble bar and sip our coffee and chat with the servers. I had one of my favorite brunch items in town: grilled cheese & tomato soup. It sounds boring, but it’s the best I’ve ever had! Afterwards we strolled down to the waterfront to catch some of the Dragon Boat Festival. Five years ago we competed in the festival for work. Ah, memories. My, how far we’ve come! While walking I had some sort of pain – perhaps contractions here and there? But I couldn’t be sure. We watched a performance in the park at 2pm and another one at 6pm. One of our favorite things about where we live is the ability to see something in the park or on Church Street and then go home (since it’s only one block away) and then go out again.

Monday August 7, 2017: I decided to work at home, having felt some contractions and just not feeling comfortable enough to be at my desk all day. That was a good decision. I could rest, work, rest, work, etc.

Tuesday August 8, 2017: Again, I worked from home for just a few hours. I was not feeling great nor up for the task of sitting at my desk. And, I had finished all of my work anyway. At 1pm, we went to the hospital for a non-stress test and so they could determine what method of induction they would choose for Wednesday. We were there for a few hours as they monitored baby & me. As it turns out, I was already 3cm dilated by the time they checked. The doctors thought that was quite favorable, and meant they didn’t need to give me any meds for induction. Hooray! One of the nurses told me my job was to go into labor that night. Hahaha. And if I didn’t the hospital would call Wednesday morning to tell us when to come in.

Tuesday night around 10pm is when things seemed to start. I couldn’t sleep in bed because I didn’t want to wake S with all of my shifting and getting out of bed. Contractions started and they were 10 minutes apart ALL night long. As you can imagine, that means I was only able to sleep in about 5 minute increments. They weren’t unbearable, but they were definitely contractions and painful. And most of the contractions made me have to pee. I rolled on the exercise ball through most of the contractions, which was at least a distraction.

Wednesday August 9, 2017: Continuing from Tuesday, I continued the contraction spaced 10 minutes apart. I took a shower at 5am and swayed back and forth through the contractions. Around 6:30am, the hospital called and said to eat breakfast and come in at 8am. It is true that contractions are more noticeable over bumps in the road. Ouch! We easily found a parking spot in the garage and I was able to walk the long way to Labor & Delivery (7th floor, but we took elevators).

Upon arriving, the nursing staff was congregated around the nursing station for their morning meeting. An older woman, Gwen, greeted us and said, “alright, you’re stuck with me.” That did not give me the best first impression, but I warmed up to her once we were getting settled in Room 8. She turned out to be pretty funny in a sarcastic way. I got hooked up to a fetal monitor and a contraction monitor. Once in a hospital gown, we were free to roam the halls. Contractions weren’t really much yet, and I was only dilated to 4cm (?? I don’t remember). We strolled the halls and watched the construction going on. The 7th floor of the hospital has fabulous views over Burlington, as did our L&D room. We talked to the anesthesiologist, too, just because it was an easier thing to do at that point in labor than later. I had said that I would like to avoid an epidural, but I wasn’t opposed to it necessarily. I just wanted a healthy baby and a healthy me.

By 11am, I was at 5cm, which is considered active labor. At some point they broke my waters, hoping that labor would progress faster. I had been wondering what that would feel like – warm gush of fluid, just as they say. It didn’t speed up dilation, but it certainly made contractions more painful.

For the rest of the afternoon/early evening, contractions were terrible. Some seemed minutes long that just wouldn’t go away. I couldn’t find a comfortable position. I didn’t care if I was naked. I didn’t know what to do. And I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give me a break! My back hurt and my pelvis felt like it was being crushed, and my left hip flexor was killing me. For about an hour I leaned facing the head of the bed with pillows under my belly, just moaning. Pure misery.

And, I wasn’t progressing. I tried the tub twice, which gave some relief, but not really. Then I would get too hot. I did enjoy the popsicles, however. The nurses were great, keeping me company. Dr. Jenny was here at this time, telling me I was doing great, too. It didn’t feel that way, though. I felt awful!

By 6pm, I was exhausted after long, painful contractions and no signs of progressions. Dr. Jenny wanted to give me pitocin to hopefully speed up labor. And she suggested I consider an epidural because she wanted me to get some sleep, fearing I would be too tired when it came time to push. Being in so much pain at that point and knowing how slow everything was going, I decided that I wanted an epidural. I was nervous, however.

After that, so many doctors came in, I don’t even recall who was who. But they got me prepped for the epidural. I remember that the nurses had me say my name and what I was requesting. I was shaking at that time (normal labor side effect) and nervous and having contractions. It didn’t hurt. Though, at that point, nothing hurt like a contraction, so it’s all relative. And then, I felt relief. I was able to sleep. And I couldn’t feel contractions. It was crazy. At this point, I was bed bound, but didn’t care. I felt better. S was able to sleep (sort of) in the reclining chair in the room. And he was able to order my meals for him (I couldn’t eat)! But he was there checking on me, keeping my parents & sisters updated and entertaining me when possible. He also enjoyed watching the contraction monitor.

We’d been there long enough for nurse shift changes. A traveling nurse named Amanda was the night nurse. She checked on me every hour. S said he saw at the monitor watching the contractions and checking vitals all night long. She was really nice and I liked talking to her a bit. I had to lie on my side all night long, which hurt my hip flexor a bit. Every hour Amanda had me switch sides.

Thursday August 10, 2017: Turns out, baby girl did not want her birthday to be on August 9. And unfortunately, I still hadn’t dilated as much as they hoped. But by 9:30am, they told me it was time to push. Being on an epidural, I had no idea what to expect as I couldn’t feel anything. But, sure, I was just going to follow the nurse’s instructions. And pushing was strange. I couldn’t seem to get a deep enough breath lying down. Squatting was better. For pushing, S was on my left at my head and the nurse was on my right or in front of me. It is true what they say: modesty goes out the window. You really don’t care. And you do poop a bit during pushing. It can’t be helped. That was one of things I was very concerned about, but I stopped caring. Really, the nurse cleans it up and it’s the last thing on your mind.

After one hour of pushing, Dr. Julie talked to us. She suggested that the baby might be too big for my pelvis and might not come out, since baby wasn’t dropping. She didn’t want me to push more than 2 hours in case it made the baby harder to get out. S and I had been wondering when someone would mention c-section to us.

Because I had said all along that I just wanted a healthy baby and healthy me, I knew I would go with the flow and recommendations of the doctors. And suddenly they started to prep me for a c-section. Another consultation with the anesthetist, more nurses, more explanations. It starts to be a blur here. I was scared (I read too many / heard too many scary stories on the internet or on the radio).

They got me all set up in the operating room, and then S was able to come in. He sat with me behind the blue curtain and held my hand. The anesthesiologists (two) were with us, too, monitoring me, asking me how I felt, getting very close to my face. They were both very nice.

The first part of the c-section – delivery of the baby – did not hurt. I didn’t really feel much, though I felt a bit nauseous. I was holding S’s hand, I think. He could see more of what was going on. Once they got baby out, he said there were about 6 doctors working on her for a few minutes. She didn’t cry right away because they had to remove fluid and such things. But, then we could here her. I recall smiling and holding S’s hand.

Then they started to put me back together, so to speak. This is what hurt most of all. It was awful. So much pressure and it hurt. I guess the epidural was wearing off? I’m not sure. But I was moaning and rolling my head side to side. Finally they gave me full anesthesia and knocked me out. When I woke up, I was thinking, “I hope they’re done.” We were still in the operating room at that point.

It remains a blur for me, getting from the operating room back to our room and being handed our new baby whom we named Brooke. Sense of time is lost on me for a while. But she was so cute, and so big! Born at 12:44pm on August 10, 2017, Brooke weighed in at 8lbs, 12oz, 21 ½ inches long! She had a large head, taking after her father. That was one reason she wasn’t coming out!

We did skin to skin in the L&D room, and after a few hours of monitoring we were taken to the mother baby unit. This part is all still a blur for me. The rooms were very nice, however. We had a private room with a Murphy bed so S had a place to sleep. And we could keep Brooke with us all the time, if we liked.

For the first two days or so, I was not hungry. My stomach was still hard and it hurt. Laying in bed all day was fine by me, with a short walk around the halls. S and I watched Bloodline on his laptop and spent our days (between vital checks of Brooke and me) resting and feeding Brooke and changing her diaper. Nights were harder because that brought on sleep deprivation. The good thing about the hospital was the nursery. The nurses would take Brooke to the nursery from about 12am-3am each morning, when I could get a good stretch of sleep.

Our biggest struggle was swaddling. She could break out of any of our swaddles, and preferred to keep her hands to her face. Finally, I ordered a Halo Sleep Sack/Swaddle from Amazon. That was a lifesaver as she couldn’t break out of it.

Friday August 11, 2017: We had our first visitor: M! She came to meet her baby sister! We also had brief visits from M & D and A & J. In other news, the doctors told me that I needed a blood transfusion because my hematocrit levels were low – I started at 37, and they were down to 19 (and then 17). I never liked the idea of getting a blood transfusion (someone else’s blood?!), and I felt fine. I didn’t show any symptoms (no high blood pressure or fast pulse; I wasn’t dizzy or lightheaded). But when they didn’t improve, S suggested I get the blood. Really, I took it so I wouldn’t affect milk supply for Brooke. It turned out fine. Maybe I had a bit more energy afterwards, but overall, I felt the same, and my number had gone up to 23, which they were pleased with.

I had an IV line in my right arm for days, which was put in poorly (apparently) as my arm was (and is) purple with blood. I think the first nurse put it in wrong. My arm doesn’t hurt, but people comment that it looks like a sleeve tattoo!

Also, over the course of these days in the hospital, the lactation consultant (Patrice) and various nurses helped with breastfeeding. Fortunately, Brooke took to my boobs quite easily, and voraciously. It hurt (how does it feel like babies have teeth?), but not horribly, and was not the horrifying experience I feared all along. But the LC and nurses taught me a few tricks and holds. I prefer the cradle or cross cradle, not the football hold.

By the time the end of the weekend rolled around, I was ready to go home. I was tired of having nurses wake me or Brooke up all of the time. Hospital beds are not comfortable and I was beginning to forget that it was summer outside. The advantages were the room service food, the pudding from the fridge on the floor, and nurses taking Brooke for a few hours each night. It is funny how your stay in the hospital can revolve around meals. S and I thoroughly enjoyed the Asian Noodle Bowl and the guacamole and chips, and the breakfast wrap.

We did have a few more visitors: Ann (on Sunday, I think) Elise and Jen (on Monday). Elise brought Brooke a pink stuffed toy, and Jen brought ice cream for us. But, I wanted to go home. Finally, we were sprung from the hospital at 5pm on Monday August 14. Six days, five nights in the hospital. That is not what we had been expecting!

What a crazy (almost) week it was. By my calculations, labor started at 10pm on Tuesday August 8 and Brooke was not born until Thursday August 10 at 12:44pm. That is almost 39 hours of labor! I’m glad I was not so set on one birth plan, because it would not have been anything that actually happened (except maybe popsicles and a bathtub). And I certainly would not have chosen to be so overdue. Baby Brooke is here and healthy and I’m on my long road to recovery. C-sections are no joke. We say that Brooke is a modern medical marvel: from IVF to an epidural to a c-section to a blood transfusion – thank god for modern medicine.

Next up: My thoughts on becoming a mother and being a new mom and c-section recovery (so far).

41 weeks, 2 days

41 weeks, 2 days

Still here, still pregnant. That seems to be my familiar refrain these days. However, I have a slight hope that my body might actually put itself into labor before Wednesday. I have a few “signs” – if you’re into that sort of thing. Some brown-ish discharge or red (indicative of the so-called “bloody show). And last night I suddenly started feeling nauseous and not well. And contractions started. They lasted for a little while. Nothing super painful, but uncomfortable. They seemed different to me than any other contractions so far (which have only been Braxton Hicks). I have no idea what these were. I woke up this morning at 5am with more contractions and stayed up because I couldn’t get comfortable. Again, nothing super painful – just new and different and uncomfortable. Coupled with the other signs, I’m assuming labor could be on its way. For that reason, I’m working from home today. I would hate to be in the office if my water breaks! I feel okay, not superb, and contractions seems to come here and there. It’s good to be home. This would be very uncomfortable otherwise.

Now, I just have to wrap up this report before day’s end. Who knows what today or tomorrow will bring.

41 weeks, 1 day. Just when you thought the belly couldn’t get any bigger! 

A lovely weekend, however. Sleeping in (while we can), wandering around town. Some work, ice cream, lots of relaxing, watching street performers, Friday night dinner with friends. And, of course, waiting and wondering. Oh, we did install the car seat yesterday, too! We figured it was about time. And ordered the remaining baby items like a mirror for the car so we can see baby and an extra waterproof crib mattress protector.

 

41 weeks, 0 days

41 weeks, 0 days

41 weeks, 0 days. August 5, 2017.

Officially one week overdue, baby girl. I’m still shocked, as I just assumed IVF would have more accurate dates. Oh well.

Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment for the non-stress test. The nurse straps my belly to measure the baby’s heartbeat in one spot and contractions in another. The monitor records how baby reacts to everything. The test lasts about 20-25 minutes. Good news, baby’s heartbeat was just fine and she responds well to contractions. Apparently I was having contractions 5-7 minutes apart, but not the type that are labor contractions. I couldn’t feel any of them. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Afterwards, I had an ultrasound. Everything looks good – amniotic fluid, head size, and all that. However, the doctor predicts baby to be about 8 1/2 lbs! yikes! I knew she’d be big. Hopefully she’s closer to 8lbs, so she fits in her newborn clothes for more than one day! Perhaps that’s why I’ve gained about 40 lbs. Or maybe I should blame it on all of the ice cream I ate? Oh well. Too late now! Though I will be sad if she cannot fit in her adorable newborn clothes. My mom said I’ll just have to change her outfit every time I change her diaper, so she can wear all of them. Probably! Clearly, the generation of small babies (my sisters & me) skipped over me.

Then we talked to the doctor about how to proceed. She asked if we were comfortable going to 42 weeks. No, we are not. It gets too risky at 42 weeks. The doctor seemed good with that answer. She said we can schedule an induction for in between 41-42 weeks, and she discussed the induction options with us. Those are more of a game-day decision depending on how everything looks. Currently, an induction is schedule for Wednesday August 9. We could have picked an earlier day, but Wednesday seems fine to me. Tuesday, I’ll go in for another non-stress test and then in the evening, we’ll go to the hospital to get some initial medication for induction and they’ll monitor me for a few hours. Then Wednesday we’ll go in for the induction. While induction is not what I imagined, I’d rather get baby out (as she’s fully developed now) than wait for too long. It’s nice to have an end date, too. It still feels surreal, of course. Next time this week we’ll have a baby home with us. Crazy! I guess we’ll be home Friday from the hospital. Typically insurance covers 2 nights in the hospital, unless there is medical reason for more.

Or maybe baby will come on her own before that. Hahahaha. I doubt it. This kid is comfortable. I don’t see how – she’s clearly out of room!

Saturdays are always interesting days. I think every Saturday is a lazy day for this girl. Seriously. She never moves as much as she does on other days, and it makes me nervous every single Saturday. Today she’s not moving much, so I’m paying close attention. And not much can convince her to move – she’s always been unaffected by my food and drink choices. At least the hospital is only 5 minutes away if I decided she needs to be checked.

I went to acupuncture again yesterday, which was good. The treatment was supposed to help get labor started, but no luck so far. She’s always nice to talk to, and helps me change perspective when I need. For example, while our bodies know what to do, sometimes they just need a little help. She was telling me how her water didn’t break, so the doctors had to break it. And if my body needs help getting labor started, that’s okay, too. Also, she said that an 8 1/2 lb baby would be less stressful for breastfeeding because when tiny babies lose weight it can be dangerous and scary. But when an 8 1/2 lb baby looses 1/2 lb, it’s not such a big deal. Good point. So, acupuncture is always a good thing for me.

And now, we continue to wait. I have a few reports to finish up (of course I got some work to do at the end of this week), so I’m working some this weekend and I’ll wrap it up on Monday, probably making Monday my last day before maternity leave. Maybe Tuesday morning, if I’m needed. Though I’d like to have Tuesday off. We’ll see. I also want to make sure this work gets completed. I’ll keep you posted!