Life: Christmas Tree Edition

Every year since I’ve been with Jesse, I’ve shared our newest Christmas ornaments. This year is no different! Just because I have a baby doesn’t mean I’m going to shirk my annual blogging traditions. We added 8 new ornaments to our tree this year — and like last year I was only allowed to use our Disney ornaments (cruel husband). Next year when I decide to purchase a larger Christmas tree he’ll have no choice but to allow non-Disney ornaments on the tree.

New Disney Ornaments 2014 Christmas Tree

Trees of Years Past:




Pregnancy: Labor & Delivery Edition

On Friday, November 21st at 12:15 AM my water broke.

That entire Thursday we kept telling ourselves to go to bed early because we were scheduled for our second round of gel inductions at 7:30 AM, which means we needed to call the hospital at 6:30 AM to see if there was a room available for us. If there was no room, we’d be placed on hold until there was one. Our first round of gel inductions had proven useless. After roughly 12 hours at the hospital on November 16th, I was sent home with no baby but maybe no mucous plug, too. We were supposed to go back on the 18th, but I was far too discouraged after that wasted Sunday.

Let me back-up a little… My blood pressure kept reading high for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Part of the reason I started my maternity leave a few days before my due date was because of severe (and painful) swelling in my legs and feet (so bad I couldn’t drive). On Friday, November 14th I got a headache that didn’t go away and when I woke up on Saturday my face was a bit swollen. So to the hospital we went. My blood pressure was consistently high while we were there on Saturday so the doctor wanted to start induction early (I was already scheduled for Friday, November 21st). Again, 12 hours later…nothing. I went from 1 cm dilated to maybe 1.5 cm and still only 50-60% effaced.

At our Wednesday, November 19th appointment, we had an ultrasound and everything looked great with the baby. While my blood pressure was still high when they took it the first time that day, by the end of the appointment it had gone down. So no worries.

Week 41So back to Thursday, November 20th when we were supposed to go to sleep early. We didn’t really do anything that day…just sat around, watched TV, took a Week 41 bump photo, paid bills, watched more TV, looked at our Christmas tree (we put that up on Wednesday). Yeah…nothing spectacular. The one thing I regret — I didn’t take a nap that day. So when my water broke at 12:15 AM, my head had just hit the pillow at 12:00 AM after watching some Parks & Rec (Ben and Leslie had kissed! They were going to get back together!). When I went to rollover after what  I thought was hours of sleep, I noticed a trickle of fluid. I thought, “Crap…I’ve peed myself.” As I continued my 5-point turn, there was a gush. As I ran to the bathroom, I yelled at Jesse to get up because we were finally having a baby!

To the hospital we went! This time they couldn’t send me home without a baby.

By around 3:00 AM we are finally in a room. I still wasn’t dilated much beyond the 1.5 cm and only 60% effaced. So still not a lot of progress other than my water breaking so they started me on Cytotec (yes, that’s right, the “abortion pill” — it has more uses than I knew). The contractions weren’t awful — I wasn’t even sure I was having them — and they didn’t seem to be too regular after the first pill. BUT I was progressing! I took two Cytotecs that morning and then opted to not take a third to see if I kept progressing.

(This is where things start to get foggy for me…)

My sister showed up around 11:00 AM. At some point in there, they checked and I was at 4 cm. My cousin got there around 5:00 PM — I remember her mentioning traffic. Somewhere during the time after Vanessa arrived and before Beej got there my blood pressure started to go up. A lot. Nurses are really good at keeping calm and not letting the patient know what’s going on. Jesse and Vanessa are, too. I had no idea how serious the situation was, but Jesse overheard my doctor and nurse talking about stopping everything and just doing a C-section. This he told me later. Again, I had no idea how bad it was. I just knew I was hot and had a headache. They gave me Labetalol and my blood pressure started to go down. Yay! No C-section necessary.

After that situation, I requested an epidural. It was around 2:00 or 3:00 PM and I was exhausted. I hadn’t slept for more than a few minutes in over 24 hours by the time I requested it and the contractions were getting more intense. I had pretty much lost my will to breathe through them because I just wanted to sleep. Of course, I paid for that epidural because it ended up being a wet tap — I’ll get to the repercussions and remedy for that later.

Despite it being a wet tap, it was great! I could feel my legs and toes — I could even move them — but no more pain! I was able to sleep! For like an hour or more at a time!

At one point baby’s heart rate dropped significantly and lots of nurses rushed in. That was scary. I had NO idea what was going on.

And then later I spiked a fever so I had to be given antibiotics. I’m still not sure what Chorio is, but I got it.

Meet Genevieve LouiseFinally, after ALL of that, at 1:08 AM on Saturday, November 22nd, I was able to start pushing. By 2:11 AM on 11/22/14, Genevieve Louise was finally here.

So here’s the deal…birth plans are pointless. As our childbirth instructor kept telling us, they should be called birth “preferences”. Even then, it doesn’t matter. I wanted the cord to finish pulsing before it was clamped, well, the cord was wrapped around my baby’s neck so the doctor did what she needed to do so that it wasn’t. I didn’t want an episiotomy, but from what I saw in the mirror (yes, I looked) before I made them get rid of it was this: that head wasn’t fitting out of that hole. It wasn’t happening. In fact, I made them move it because I didn’t want to see what was going to happen when it tried to fit. So I had an episiotomy. I wanted to do all of it without an epidural, but I was flat out EXHAUSTED and knew there was no way I was going to be able to push a baby out after all those hours of labor (which ended up being 26 hours total…whoa, right?). Other women might be able to, but it wasn’t happening for me…so I had an epidural.

We were finally able to go home on the afternoon of Monday, November 24th. Jesse had to go to work the next day so I was home alone with Evie and it was tough. Because of the wet tap I had a crazy headache every time I did anything other than being completely flat on my back. To “cure” a wet tap you’re supposed to drink lots of fluids, including caffeine, and take pain meds. That seemed to work while in the hospital…not so much when I went home. By Tuesday night, the headache was fierce. The other “cure” is basically to get another epidural…aka a blood patch. When I went to the doctor on  Wednesday she (again) recommended I get the blood patch. I didn’t get it while in the hospital because…well, it’s another epidural. I was poked more than once in the spine for the first epidural, it wasn’t something I was looking forward to. But we headed to the ER anyway.

The headache was so bad I was in tears. We get to the ER, there’s no bed. I have to sit. A nurse tells me, “You should take the baby home, there are a lot of germs here.” No shit, Sherlock. She’s FOUR days old, what the hell am I supposed to do?! It was a TERRIBLE experience. Instead of just giving me the blood patch, the ER does what the ER does — you know, save lives. So they start focusing on my blood pressure…which is high. Again. At one point they come back and tell me they need to do an in and out catheter and I LOST IT. I just had a freakin’ baby and they want to do WHAT? There is no quick and easy in and out down there at the moment. I flat out told them I would just go home and have a headache for the rest of my life.

They didn’t take that well…they started talking about signing a waiver because this was against medical advice. Finally, my blood work came back OK and I got the blood patch. They never did get a urine sample, but the ER doctor did tell my OB that they had…and partly because of that information we spent Thanksgiving in the hospital. The nurses on the Telemetry floor were really friendly and very excited to have a baby on the floor. They tried to keep me there until Friday, but my doctor compromised with us and they let me leave.

SnugglesMy hands and arms were covered in bruises for DAYS from the IVs, blood draws, and the blood patch (of course they need blood for that, too!). I was on blood pressure medication until yesterday. I still haven’t slept for more than 3 hours at a time (I know, I know, I won’t sleep well again for the next 18 years). BUT I’m home and I get to snuggle my baby.

November Recap

The most obvious thing to happen in November — we had a baby! Finally! I’ll share all the details on that wonderful news in my last “Pregnancy Post”.

Honestly, everything else has been pretty well overshadowed by the having a baby business. She made her debut 9 days after we expected her, but that just means me and Jesse had lots of quality time together prior to her arrival. But that also means that the first day home from the hospital was just me and the baby.

I also read a couple of books while waiting for Baby G’s arrival. One on modern parenting — All Joy & No Fun — and the other was Amy Poehler‘s memoir — Yes Please. I have started many books and NOT finished them…maybe I’ll get to them before the end of the year…HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If anything I might listen to a few books…I find it quite nice to listen to something while I nurse in the middle of the night. It’s not nearly as lonely that way.

Happy December!

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Pregnancy: Nursery Edition

Because our baby still isn’t here (today is my “estimated due date” which is crap anyway because now they’re recommending changing how they estimate due dates AND at our first ultrasound my due date was estimated to be yesterday instead of today!), Jesse and I have had the chance to spend some quality time together. He’s on vacation, I started maternity leave on Monday (best decision I’ve EVER made). Quality time means that I tell him to do things and he does them. It’s been wonderful. One of the things on my list was to finally finish up the nursery…or the room I probably won’t use for a while but it makes me feel better to have all kinds of stuff in there.

Original colors...
Isn’t that a nice blue?! Now I need a new project for it.

I love how it’s turned out — it’s not themed, it’s totally random, and it’s colorful. All things I wanted. I KNEW I did not want a pink room, so we went with gray. Gender neutral FTW! We had a dresser that didn’t work in our room in the house we are renting, so I convinced Jesse to take on a DIY project. He did an absolutely fantastic job and it looks amazing (I showed off his handiwork in July, too)! We originally chose blue for the dresser, but the gray paint on the walls turned out TOO blue-gray. So we found a fabulous sunshine yellow.

Sunshine yellow dresser <3
Don’t let practice baby scare you.

My sister had a spare bookshelf (she has a few spare bookshelves for some reason) that Jesse painted orange — we already need a bigger one. I’ve only loaded it with board books for now, the other books are on a shelf in the closet (which I will not show you because it’s much messier than I want it to be). My sister also supplied most of the artwork and the awesome unicorn from Pockets With Posies on Etsy.

Paper Rosettes Wall
I love these rosettes.

We had paper rosettes left from our wedding so we incorporated those and I made a few new ones to fill the wall over the crib. (We also have pinwheels from our wedding that are still sitting in the dresser drawer — I quickly realized we had too much to put ON the walls in the tiny room).

The Chair Into Rocker
Mustaches and birds and chevrons and art made at our baby shower!

I also knew I wasn’t going to spend $350-$1000 on a chair (despite how much I maybe wanted one of those super comfy overpriced chairs). So I turned to the interwebz and discovered that you can make any a chair a rocking chair or glider. Then I had to convince Jesse to take on another DIY project: turning one of our IKEA TULLSTA chairs into a rocking chair. Success again! We didn’t require any additional plywood, we just bought this swivel rocker base via Amazon and Jesse did some handyman magic — it probably involved tools and screws. So yay for saving money (and the little ottoman was only $14 at Target!).

So that’s Baby G’s room. Her dresser is filled with clothes, her toy box is filled with blankets, and her crib has a protective mesh liner. Now we just need a baby.

Pregnancy: Waiting Edition

I had convinced myself that my giant baby would come early. I just KNEW she wanted to be a Halloween baby.

Let me back up a bit…

At our second ultrasound, Baby G was measuring a little larger than average. At our 34 week check-up, the doctor guesstimated that our little beluga was already about 5.5 lbs and she would be around 8 lbs if we go to 40 weeks. Two weeks later, a different doctor said she thought G weighed around 6.5 lbs. Which only confirmed what the first doctor said because around this time it’s expected that a baby is gaining around .5 lb per week. So…yeah, giant baby. I recognize that this is a perfectly acceptable weight for a newborn, but it sounds HUGE when my sister and cousin had babies under 8 lbs right around 40 weeks.

So I knew  my giant baby wanted to come early because she was already the size of some babies that are full-term! Well…she didn’t come on Halloween. As you can see in the photo below, I am like a beached whale.

Pregnant Peacock Fairy Costume...or Beached Whale.
Pregnant Peacock Fairy “Costume”…or Beached Whale.

I keep coming up with things to spend money on though while I wait for her impending arrival. We need a cool mist humidifier, I plan to buy a ridiculously expensive playard, we’ve ordered new iPhones that will get here AFTER the baby, we ordered an ottoman for the living room, I’m working on another photo book (I love Shutterfly, it reminds me of working on the yearbook in middle school), I need another place to store things in her room because her dresser is full, and I plan to get a Sakura Bloom sling.  So I’m clearly busy.

New ottoman to replace the glass-topped coffee table

Now I keep thinking…”as soon as I finish insert-some-random-task-here she’ll come”. So I have a list of things to get through at work this week, a stack of books to return, thank you cards to write, and the above things to buy…then she’ll be here. As soon as I’m done, she’ll be here. Right?!

Doubtful…my eldest sister went nearly two weeks over her due date with her first baby (who was around 9 lbs). Funny enough, her due date with her first was Nov 19 — her birthday — and 6 days after my due date (Nov 13).  Valentine’s Day, ya’ll. It’ll getcha every time. So while neither of her November babies were born on her birthday, my little nugget could be.

I know she’ll come when she wants, but I wish she’d work with me a bit. Jesse has vacation scheduled starting the day before my due date — it would be AWESOME if she came just before that starts so he’s home the first week. (I know, I know, she’s still got growing to do…but I am so tired of being THIS pregnant). I intend to do everything I can this week to convince her to come by the weekend: lots of walking, sex, spicy foods, red raspberry tea (huh? do raspberries come in other colors?), evening primrose oil (I swear, people just make this stuff up), castor oil (ew)….

Everyone keeps asking me how I’m feeling — I’m feeling pregnant. They ask if I’m ready — I’m ready to not be pregnant (not so sure about the other side of that though…am I ready to be a mother?).

The practice we go to doesn’t do inductions early (and I don’t want them to), but they will also let me go over my due date by at least a week (maybe more). I cannot wait that long. My feet can’t handle it. My legs swell from the thigh down, my ankles hardly resemble ankles. My feet hurt from how swollen they get. And the ITCHING. And the sweating. Oh my goodness.

OK. Enough complaining. My little girl will get here when she feels the desire to not live inside my body anymore.

I can do this.

"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." – Mark Twain