Sunday, June 23, 2013

The labor Part K

Sorry to keep you waiting for so long but as you know life happens. Well Baby Z has made her appearance and we are so happy that she is finally here. Of course we have so many stories to tell you so without further or due, let's get started.

S had to have her labor induced due to some slight increase in her amniotic fluid. As we were told it was nothing serious but since we were so close to the due date we were assured that everything would be fine and this was completely normal. Before I go any further please know that this is not a blog about some horrible labor experience. All was well, we just had Baby Z sooner than we planned.

We met with the doctor and scheduled the induction for late in the day on May 1. S would have to take Cytotec (a suppository to soften the cervix) since her cervix hadn't softened. However, the week prior to the induction, on our scheduled OB visit, the doctor checked her and S was 2 centimeters dilated with her cervix soft enough for labor to start. So the doctor determined that we would not have to come in on May 1 but early in the morning on May 2.

We had to get to the hospital by 5 am on May 2 so we were up early, which was good since no one got any sleep. The car was already packed and S, E and I were on our way to pick up my father-in-law who was in town for the birth when we got a phone call from the hospital. "It seems that we have a lot of pregnant women coming in today so we will have to push you back since you are an induction. We will call you as soon as we have a room available." Bummer. So we called Dad, gave him the news and headed back home.

While we weren't happy about the delay it gave all of us a chance to catch up on some additional sleep since we weren't sure what the day would bring. That day was filled with a thin film of stress that felt as if it would break with the slightest jump. After a couple of hours of sleep S called the hospital to see if there were any spots available for us. Unfortunately we got a no and S's world came crumbling down. Tired, weak, hungry and ready to get the baby out S broke down in tears wondering when all of this would come to an end and when we would finally be able to see the baby. The only thing that I could do was give words of encouragement and just let her cry. We waited and waited for a call but no call came in. FINALLY we got the call from hospital at 10 pm the night of May 2. "Come now!" the nurse said and we took her advice. Before we could even hang up the phone we left the house, picked up my father-in-law and headed to the hospital.

After admission and the millions of questions from the admitting nurse we were on our way for the long haul. S was monitored to see how her contractions and the baby were doing for about three hours before the nurse gave her Pitocin to speed up her labor and help her uterus contract more. Her water hadn't broken so her spirits were still high and she was able to get some sleep. At some point in the night the nurse came in to tell us that the doctor would come in the morning to break S's water if necessary. The time wasn't established and she would have to see how S was doing as the night progressed to determine when she would come in.

Morning broke and everyone hunkered down for another long day. After we all had breakfast the doctor came in at about 8:45am to tell S that she was going to break her water. Once her water would be broken labor would be progressing a lot faster and if she wanted to have an epidural she would have to let the nurse know sooner than later. Apparently there were a lot of C-sections scheduled that day starting around noon, so if S didn't get the anesthesiologist right away then there was a possibility that she would have to wait or may not get the epidural at all. The doc came, broke her water and within five minutes S was feeling the contractions come on much stronger. She decided to get the epidural at that moment.

More time passed and before we knew it S was feeling pressure and wanted to push. At this point everything became a whirlwind. The doctor came, the nurse was there, instruments were set up, the baby nurse arrived, lights were turned on, monitors were going off... it was mild chaos.

This would be my first time as a coach and not the patient and I was wondering if I would be able to perform under pressure. I had to get my bearings and prepare myself for the work ahead so when the nurse said it was time to push I got my thoughts together and prepared for my job. I held S's legs and prepared to count.. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. When I wasn't counting I told S to focus and imagine the baby coming out. I told her to use her contraction to help push the baby out because as much as she wanted the baby to come out, so did her body and the baby. After the second push I could see a small part of the head. My eyes widened and my heart raced.

So we pushed, pushed and pushed. At some point the doctor came in and was preparing for the baby's arrival. During this short moment of down time I was able to scope the room to see what was going on. The curtain in the room was drawn to about 75% closed with E, my mom (who was there already for three hours) and my father-in-law peeking from behind. The doc was in position, the nurse was on S's right and I was on her left and another nurse was getting the baby's area ready. With each push the baby was getting closer but as soon as S stopped pushing the baby would move back slightly. The nurse kept saying You're doing great, the baby is almost here. Having been in labor before I knew these words all too well. I knew she was saying this to get S's hopes up and help her keep focused on pushing but the baby was not anywhere near coming out.

But before I knew it the baby was there and the head was coming out. Baby Z was having a bit of trouble as she was coming out and we were able to understand why. Baby Z's hand was next to her cheek as if she was day dreaming. As soon as the head came out her body followed and immediately energy filled the room. She was here! Baby Z was being check by the nurse to make sure that she was okay because there was some meconium in the amniotic fluid when S's water was broken. S and I clasped hands and cried as we basked in the newness of our new baby. We did it and we couldn't believe that we we finally here.

Having given birth to E I knew what labor was like and not only was I scared of the process but I was also unsure of my role as the supporter. I hadn't done it before and I wasn't sure that I would be able to be the help that S needed when things got tough. But I held in there and we made it through together and now we have our second daughter to show for it. It's amazing what can come out of a thought and a dream.

*This is how she was born

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The countdown...begins?

Well ladies and gentleman you are reading the post for our second week of anticipation and deception. Deception? Yes! Today S is officially 38 weeks and on her 36 week doctor visit  it was noted that she was 1/2 centimeter dilated, 70% effaced and station 2. The doctor even said "You might not make it to your due date". For those out there that do not know what any of what I just said means, let me break it down. The goal dilation for your cervix is 10 centimeters which is when it's ready for the baby to make his/her way through the birth canal. Effacement is the thinning of your cervix which in conjunction with dilation will help your baby to come out. Goal for effacement is 100%. Station refers to how low the baby is in your pelvic bone. The goal for this parameter is +4.

So given all of this information you could see how excited we were a week before S was full term to learn that she was beginning the labor process. We believed that since she was starting to dilate that she would certainly start labor by the time she was full term. But one week has passed and a second week has passed and there has been no change. While S has been having Braxton hicks contractions (minor contractions that lead up to labor) her water had not broken and she has not been getting the type of contractions that would cause us to go to the hospital. So we are at the same place that we have been for the past couple of weeks.

In the mean time it has helped us get ready for baby Z and we have managed to take FULL advantage of this wonderful prep time. Older sister, E, and I picked up the dresser that my father-in-law purchased and set it up in the room. My mother and step-father purchased the car seat that we have set up in the car. We washed all of the clothes and bedding and set up the crib to have it nice and ready for baby. We vacuumed the carpets, dusted the furniture, cleaned out closets and even scheduled to have our dog groomed on Thursday of this week.To say that we are ready is an understatement. All we are waiting for is baby.

S's family is on pins and needles since they don't live close by. Everyone wants to know what is going on at every minute of every second since timing determines when they will be coming to visit. Out of all of my in-laws I must say that my father-in-law has been so adorable. He's one of the people to be scheduled in the room when S is in labor and his excitement level is amazing. His excitement is shared by the many people he speaks with daily at his job. He's managed to make cheerleaders out of perfect strangers that he speaks to daily (and randomly) in his life. My mother is the other in-law that will be in the room during delivery and she simply can't wait. My mother has been on cloud 99 as she has been prepping for the baby by buying clothes and items but also doing distant Reiki on the baby to make sure that she is cool and calm before she is born. (She's a Reiki master) She shares all of our updates with her friends. I must say that there is nothing like seeing soon-to-be grandparents as they await minor details in the late hour of pregnancy.

During this entire process I am continually amazed at how wonderful my wife is doing. Yes she is gassy and yes she is lethargic but my, my, my how great she is to bring another beautiful child into our family. My love for her goes deep and far beyond any idea that she can conceive. She's amazing.

Now how about some pictures to satisfy your curiosity.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Life's crucial ingredients

Last night I was up making my family's favorite guilty pleasure... banana bread! I hadn't made my famous bread in a long time and I was anxious to make it for many different reasons. The idea of baking again, making something with love and not out of necessity and also because I simply wanted to have some banana bread. The night before that I made another family favorite, spaghetti with homemade pesto sauce. I have a bittersweet attitude toward cooking but this week I was in a sentimental mood and the more I cooked the more I thought about my family.

As a child some of my fondest memories are of me and my mother making chocolate chip cookies just because my mom wanted cookies; or my grandmother making her homemade rolls that my mother, uncle and I would beg her to make on a regular basis. My family wasn't too big on cooking ALL the time but when they did cook it was always beyond amazing and made me feel so much comfort. So as I got older and had a family of my own I realized that my apron and I would become close friends. Now that's not to say that my transition to being the family cook was an easy one. In fact I fumbled quite a bit and did NOT cook on a regular basis. But once I realized that cooking is not only a necessity but a way to show my family how much I love and care for them, the transition became less of a difficult one.

So what's the point of this whole story? When we sit down as a family and eat dinner we are not just the three amigos anymore. There is another person eating with us, enjoying our family time and hearing the stories of our day. I can only imagine what Baby Z will feel when she is physically sitting at the table with us. Maybe this will feel like home to her, maybe she will hear our stories and eat our meals and encounter a sense of comfort and peace knowing deep down inside that she has been a part of our dinner table long before she was born.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Are we there yet?

To say that nothing interesting has been going on would be a lie but hey, life catches up and we found ourselves resting on our down time rather than keeping you all posted on what's been going on. But we are back and we got tons of info for you.

As of today S is 32 weeks and 3 days pregnant (for those that don't like weekly increments, she is 8 months pregnant). The countdown begins! The excitement in the house is beginning to bubble and as we begin to set up the house we keep looking at each other and saying "Wow, we're going to have a baby." While S's belly hasn't grown to astronomical sizes it is certainly obvious that she is pregnant. And if you were to ever doubt or question how pregnant she is, the numerous amounts of gas and heavy moans and sighs can be a sure reminder. At 5'2" she's more like the outer most Matryoshka doll (those are the dolls within dolls) with her wobbles becoming more pronounced. I comment on how her toes look like little Vienna sausages and she promptly pouts her lip and wonders why I would say such a thing. Bear in mind that I like Vienna sausages. Her hands look like little baby hands with noticeable dimples in the knuckles and plumpness around her wrists. Cute would not be the word that I would use to describe her at this point... adorable seems more appropriate.

At 20 weeks we found out the sex of the baby and we were all pleased to find out that we are having another GIRL! While a boy would have been a nice change we certainly feel more prepared for a girl. And no one was more pleased than Baby Z's soon-to-be big sister, E, who already has plans of dressing her up in cute clothes, hats and shoes. As Baby Z has continued to grow she has been letting us know who she is and what we can expect personality wise. She doesn't like to be bothered during her mommy's exam and can be rather uncooperative during the ultrasound. She even kicks the doppler when the nurse is checking her heart rate. She's also been known to turn her back to the ultrasound technician when we wanted to see her face. She loves to dance and makes her happiness known when her big sister plays piano. She even has certain songs that she moves around to more than others.

I am STILL experiencing Couvade syndrome and have been getting heartburn like you would never believe. As S becomes more tired and lethargic, so do I. When she gets dizzy, I get dizzy. Even my gas has been off the chain lately. But all of this only makes me appreciate her and want to take care of her more. Cause if I feel like crap, I'm sure she feels worse. My wife duties have expanded in new ways. I am a crane to help assist S in getting out of the bed and off of the couch. I'm a personal masseuse when her sciatica acts up and a manicurist when her toe nails need cutting. It's truly interesting to see how our roles have changed throughout this whole process.

Well now comes the time when I will share some pictures. Here's a glimpse of the small changes that we've made around the house and some of the clothes that we bought. Tell me what you think!

*I will post pictures of all of the gifts that we got in our upcoming baby shower post.
This is one of the first outfits E and I bought for S when we were still trying to conceive.

 This is one of my favorite pictures that I HAD to post.

We'll keep you posted and share more pictures soon.