Posts Tagged ‘ labor ’

We Have A Name!

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Fia With Her Baby Brother

Well, even though “Baby Boy No Name” sounds like that of a great Sioux Warrior (as my cousin pointed out), we decided he needed a real name. So with less than 12 hours to go before we got kicked out of the hospital, we got one! And it’s not even close to any of the options I blogged about, or the ones Paula blogged about. We scrapped the whole list and started over once we met him.


  • Redmond was Phil’s beloved Grandfather’s name. Emmett we thought described his already elfish-mischievous-seeming personality. He even has one ear that is pointy…like a leprechaun. Lots of nickname opportunities: from Mr. E, to Emm, to Red and beyond.
  • Emmett also means hard working and strong, so I’m hoping he’ll help me vacuum by the time he’s 6 months (since I have major cleaning obsessions).
  • Emmett was born in the Year of the Dragon, which is the luckiest year of the Chinese Zodiac. And he’s an Aquarius, so he has a shot at growing up to be a humanitarian (a known trait of that sign).

All is great here. Heading home in a few hours. Thanks for all your well wishes. – Jill and family

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I’m Ready To Meet My Boy

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I’m officially ready to have the baby. I got my haircut. I’ve had my wax. A girlfriend took me to get my toes and nails done. And fellow blogger Berit will be glad to know I finally packed my hospital bag. Whew. All in the nick of time, since each day it feels like he gets lower and lower.

Today I feel him in my thighs. Tomorrow it will probably be my knees. A far different experience from Fia who was up in my neck until the very end. Never dropped through 24 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing.

What is weird this time around though, is having a scheduled C. Especially when my daily encounters with complete strangers go like this:

“Wow, you are ready to pop! Must be any day now, huh?” Or “You must be having twins. When is the due date?”

To which I say, “Wednesday the baby is coming.”

They look at me slightly confused like, is that your due date? How do you know the baby is coming on Wednesday? Are you psychic?

Me, being the over-explainer that I am, then feel the need to elaborate. Lest I be judged.

“I’m having a scheduled C-section,” I say. (After that sentence, I assume they are judging and I babble on). “My first was a horrible labor followed by a C-section, so we’re just going straight for it.” And on I go. Sometimes I even explain the epidural falling out, the doctors hands trying to reach up and turn her, etc. This, to people I will never see again. TMI.

I’m not sure why I feel the need to justify the way I’m giving birth. In the UK they have a saying for their celebrities who schedule their C-sections. “Too posh to push.” (I’m sure Posh Spice had nothing to do with that…). Maybe I don’t want people to make the assumption that that is my situation. Because it’s not. Though I will say, I have enjoyed having a plan in place. And I guess if I’m being honest, there is a part of me that is relieved to not be pushing a baby out down there. And I’m happy for the excuse to go straight for the knife. It’s never been a primal need of mine–especially after last week’s final OB visit, when the ultrasound tech said I’m on track for at least an 8-pound baby. (She also remarked on how low his head is…)

But it is still weird to think I’ll be meeting the little dude on Wednesday at the latest.

I’ve tried to really savor these last few days with just me and Fi. We went to the zoo, went and rode trains, we have lots of “cozy” time on the couch or post nap… Phil too. It’s so surreal to think we’ll be a family of 4 soon (5 if you include Wayne Sanchez). And yet, at the same time, so natural. Unlike my birth, but as long as he comes out healthy I don’t care.

It’s time to meet you little man. We’re all waiting!

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Should I Watch My C-Section??

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

To Watch? Or Not?

Help. Need advice. I am tempted to watch my C-section happen. I mean, women use the big mirror to watch themselves giving birth, right? There is a part of me that wants to see how the hell they make such a tiny incision and pull a baby out.

I mean, I watch House. That’s practically like being a doctor myself, right?

My doctor said that at the hospital I’m delivering, there is a mirror on the ceiling in at least one of the rooms. I’m not going to push for that room, but if I get it, should I look?  Would that be a karmic sign that I was meant to watch?

I keep thinking I’m probably more prepared to see my own C-section than my vag pushing out a baby. That freaks me out even more (and during my labor with Fia they had to bring me the mirror so I could see what I was doing. Not pretty. And sadly, my pushing was for naught.)

He warned me it’s kind of gruesome. But as he was explaining the cutting and peeling back layers of skin, the part that got me the most was this: he says once they get to the uterus, they pull it out, and someone pushes down on your stomach to force the baby to pop out. I picture a 200-pound man with a giant elbow shoving down on my abdomen. Yes, it’s a bit of a horrifying thought.

Yet, I also wonder since I’ll be numbed and drugged if maybe I could look at this as an out of body experience…until of course my boy, my son, comes out healthy and kicking. Then I’ll be snapped back to reality–and a blessed one at that (knock on wood that everything is perfect with him).

I am going under the knife on Wednesday. Anyone out there have any thoughts on this for me? My husband is freaking out telling me not to. That’s because he’ll pass out if he sees anything and somehow he’s projecting his freakout onto me. Plus, he doesn’t watch House. So there.


Surgery picture via Shutterstock

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Hospital Bag Envy

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Got my sunscreen. Got my hat. Ready for vacation!

I have hospital bag envy. My fellow blogger Berit, who shares my same due date (though mine is moved up due to a scheduled C-section) has posted about what she is taking to the hospital. Good god is she organized. All I have packed so far are earplugs so I can sleep.

I think one of the reasons I’m blowing it off a bit is because I keep thinking of Cedars-Sinai as a spa. Like Bliss. They’ll have all the beautiful toiletries and lavender wraps I need.

When I delivered with Fia at Columbia-Presbyterian in New York, we had these beautiful birthing rooms. Sadly, I never birthed in mine, though I did get 24 hours in it, looking out to Yankee Stadium while doctors shoved hands up me trying to turn her (she was head down, but sunny-side up). I was wheeled into the OR for the C-section, then taken to my room. In my case, we were allotted 4 nights. Let me tell you: it was like going from the Taj Mahal to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The rooms were tiny. And painted a dingy yellow. The floor tiles were stained with rust. Or was it blood? You couldn’t drink the water–or even brush your teeth with it. Apparently a few years ago they discovered bacteria in the pipes and have yet to remedy the problem. This is one of the top hospitals in the country, but even if we hadn’t moved to LA, and even though I loved my doctor, it would have been hard to want to birth there again.

There was one dingy light above our bed. Fluorescent. It made a buzzing noise.

It was so dark and dismal, that on day 2 the nurse held Fia up to the window to see if she had jaundice. She said she could never tell in the rooms because the paint is yellow, so she relies on the natural light coming in the small window. Fia did have jaundice. Thank you window light.

I could have brought a steamer trunk of supplies and I still would have felt dirty. We were right by the main door, so the security buzzer went off constantly, 24/7. We left after 3 nights, thinking even with the C-section and my swollen legs and traumatized vag, we’d be better off at home. And we were. (Not for birthing though. Still not a fan of homebirth!).

So now, even though I didn’t visit Cedars (just did a virtual online tour) I keep thinking I’m going to the Four Seasons. People say it’s really nice and they aren’t even coming from my third world experience.  I picture fluffy pillows and soft blankets. Sometimes when I’m daydreaming I picture a massage. I’m sure I’m up for a rude awakening–as it is still a hospital–and I will still be cut open. But this time I plan to stay the entire time if it’s even half as good as Columbia-Presbyterian. Plus, my father in law will be at our house and he has developed a constant humming habit. So I’d have to wear earplugs regardless of where I was.

I need to use Berit’s list to get my own bag packed. Time is running out to get ready for my spa week….err, the birth of my baby I mean.

Suitcase pic via Shutterstock

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Naming Baby–Fia’s Story and More

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Ack. I’m in the same boat as fellow blogger Berit. We are both due in 2 weeks and trying to come up with names for our babies.We have enlisted the help of yet another Parents Blogger who specializes in names. Here is what she wrote recently for my name dilemma.

With Fia, Phil and I were in the hospital for 2+ days before we decided on a name. They urged us to decide on something before we left, because it can be a real pain to go through the courts afterwards in getting a “legal” name on the books. I felt pressured. And oh-so-exhausted from a rough labor/C-Section. I didn’t want to rush into anything as important–or permanent–as a name.

I remember my father in law calling, “Have you come up with a name yet?” “No!” we said. “Well, when?” The pressure to decide on something of this magnitude irked me. I wished we had a system more like they do in Iceland: you take the baby home and a few weeks or even a month later, you decide on a name. You have a “baby naming” party and everyone comes. By that time, you’ve really had the chance to get to know your infant a little more. And potentially rest a bit. Or at least be more rational than you those first few days.

When Phil and I went to the hospital, we were armed with a list of 200 names. He printed out the top 100 girl names for the past 10 years, and then another set of the top 100 girl names from the turn of the century. Talk about some funny ones: Bertha, Mamie, and my favorite: Freda.

As I labored–and even after Fia came–we went through the list with a highlighter, eliminating most of them. Then we made another list of our favorites and started combining potential first and middle names.

I kept coming back to Fia Lily. I had come across the name Fia on a search when I was about 5 months pregnant. It meant “fiery one” in Italian, as a derivative of Fiama. In Scandanavia, it means perky. And in Portugese, Fia means daughter.

I loved Lily, but a) knew it was too popular to be a first name. b) can’t have another “ill” name, ie: Phil, Jill, Lil. Too cute. But together, I felt like Fia Lily sounded so pretty, almost lyrical.

We also wanted something with a good nickname, and we liked “Fi” (Fee). Wee Mee Fee, we’d say during my pregnancy.

So in the end, we decided on Fia. Or Fi, for short. Fia Lily Johnston is her full name. Unfortunately we didn’t do anything with Lily. I think in order for a middle name to be effective, you have to start using it right away. Am thinking we try this strategy with Baby #2.

So what to name #2? I like Liam, Luke and Lucas…but now Baby Center has Liam as #4, Lucas as #9. Bleh. I want something short, but that also lends itself to a nickname. Unless we made the middle name the nickname. That’s one way to utilize it I guess.

I like Simon a lot. And Callum…but to a lesser extent.

His middle name will probably be MacNeil, which was Phil’s grandmother’s maiden name. And I think Simon MacNeil or Liam MacNeil (Johnston) sounds cool. The middle name could serve as the nickname, ie: Mac.

Can’t do MacNeil as a first name. MacNeil Johnston. Say it outloud. Sound like a pharmaceutical company.

Thoughts anyone?

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