Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy ’ Category

Meet Mirena, My New BFF

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Well, yesterday I got my IUD! I was a little freaked out about getting it put in, because back when I was in undergrad I tried to get the Paragard and it hurt when they measured my uterus before insertion (my uterus was too small, so I didn’t end up getting it at the time). But my Mirena insertion yesterday went just fine– a little crampy and uncomfortable, but overall not bad at all. I guess once your cervix has been stretched open to the point that a small person can get through it, sticking a little plastic thing through is a piece of cake.

It is such a relief not to have to worry about another unplanned pregnancy for another 5 years. For the first time in my life I feel like I’ve found the perfect birth control option: it’s long-term, minimally hormonal, safe for breastfeeding, low-maintenance, 99.9% effective (this is crucial… haha), and will make my periods lighter and less painful (like 40% of women stop getting their period at all after a few months!)… I’m starting to sound like a commercial here, but I seriously am in love with this little piece of plastic.

In fact, here’s how my insertion appointment went:

My OB (looking at Caroline sleeping in her carseat): She’s so good! Are you sure you don’t want another one like her??

Me: HAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! (deep breath) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! No, seriously, hand that thing over.

Okay, maybe it didn’t go exactly like that…

But honestly I’m not sure I will ever want another child, so the long-term-ness of the IUD really does appeal to me. I love Caroline more than I ever thought I would or could. But the NICU experience was really traumatic, and at my post-partum appointment my OB told me that even with hormone therapy, I’d have a 30% chance of delivering early again. And I’m sure I’d be more likely to have to stop working early once the contractions started up again. But mostly I just feel like my “mommy” urge has been satisfied with Caroline. I guess I would feel badly about not giving her a sibling, but overall I don’t really know if I see another baby in our future. I know that for some moms, the love they feel for their first child makes them want another one that much more… but for me, it has made me feel reluctant to take away any attention from her by having another baby.

I know that Tyler wants at least one more (he’s always said he wanted three; I always used to want two), so we might have some disagreement over this in the future.

But for now it doesn’t really matter because regardless of what happens, we’d want to wait several years. And I realize that I might change my mind down the road when she gets older… and of course I might not have a choice in the matter, just like this time! However. These are my thoughts at the moment.

And it sure does feel good not to have to worry about repeating this whole experience. I wouldn’t trade my Caroline for the world, but I won’t be playing Russian roulette with my birth control again any time soon.

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Birth Story

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

But before I get into that, a quick Caroline update– she’s doing great! She just needs to clear the last hurdle, which is getting rid of her oxygen requirement. A chest x-ray showed that the fluid in her lungs is clearing, so it’s just a matter of time now. We’re hoping just a couple more days…

Here’s our little girl, wide awake and gripping her binky that she stole from the first hospital:

So… I didn’t wake up on the morning of February 4th thinking I was going into labor. But, I was standing in the kitchen talking to Tyler before he left for school, and I felt a gush of… something. Yeah, gross. I started to panic, assuming that it was my water. I called the doctor and they asked me to come in right away because I hadn’t had the Group B strep test yet. Tyler and I went to L&D;, but for some reason we didn’t bring our bags. I guess we had just had too many false alarms at that point, and we didn’t really think we’d be staying.

They tested me for amniotic fluid and the tests all came up negative. They also did an ultrasound to check the fluid levels and they were fine (it also showed that the baby had flipped and was no longer breech!). I felt like an idiot, but I was relieved that it wasn’t my water (I was 35w6d that day). My OB said that I could go home, but since I was contracting quite a bit she wanted to do a quick exam. She checked me, looked surprised, and said “you’re 3cm and 90% effaced. You aren’t going anywhere.” Tyler and I were stunned. The irritable uterus strikes again… I was always afraid of going into labor and not knowing it!

They gave me some terbutaline to try and stop the contractions but warned me that if I was in labor, the terbutaline wouldn’t work. An hour later, the contractions hadn’t stopped and I was 3.5cm and 100% effaced. I was admitted and told that there was a 90% chance that I was in early labor.

Honestly, I wasn’t really feeling a thing at this point. Maybe I had just had contractions for so long that I didn’t notice them anymore. Maybe they just weren’t that bad. Whatever the reason, I stayed at that hospital all day, slowly dilating to 6cm by a little after midnight without even really being in much pain. I am still baffled by this. I have always thought I had a very low tolerance for pain– I’m a huge wimp. I assumed I’d come to the hospital in labor and be screaming for the epidural by 4cm, tops. But instead, I was just bored. I could sometimes tell when I was having a contraction, and sometimes it would be uncomfortable, but not always. Anyway, my OB checked me after midnight and said I was 6cm, -1 station, and would have the baby by morning. And at this point, she broke my water since it hadn’t broken yet and there was no turning back anyway.

This is when I really started to freak out. For some reason, it didn’t seem like a done deal until this. I wanted to have an epidural because that has always been my plan and I am reallllly not interested in finding out what transition is like or feeling myself tear, but after she said that, I actually wasn’t sure what to do. I’d somehow gotten to 6cm without noticing much (let’s all pause and contemplate what may have happened, had I not gone in for the water-breaking false alarm), so I just didn’t know if it was worth it to go through the stress of getting the epidural if I wasn’t even in pain. In the end I got tired of thinking about it and just wanted to get some sleep if I was really having a baby in the morning, so I went for it. Turns out it only worked on my right side, and I still didn’t really care about the pain until I was towards the end of pushing. Very bizarre. So, my conclusion: labor is boring and for some reason, not all that painful.

Before you all hate me, though, let’s discuss what happened when I started pushing. Labor might have been strangely easy, but pushing was absolute hell. I started pushing around 3am and by the time 6am rolled around and I was still pushing, I was in a significant amount of pain and was sobbing and saying that I just couldn’t do it. They’d been telling me for the last 2 hours that I just had to get the baby’s head past the pubic bone, that it was almost there… and finally I snapped and screamed at everyone that I just couldn’t do it because I was getting more tired with every push.

So my doctor decided that my pelvic bones were too close together to get the baby’s head through without help (looking back, it would have been best to decide this somewhere around 4 am rather than 6) and she busted out the vacuum extractor. Now, I have always been very against the vacuum extractor because it can hurt the baby. Let me tell you, though, once you’ve been pushing for 3 hours and you are literally so frustrated that you are crying because you haven’t made any progress for hours and you are terrified of being threatened with a c-section after all that, that little vacuum sounds pretty good. Anyway, I went for it. The episiotomy too, since my doctor informed me that it was necessary. (Was it necessary to extend it all the way into my rectum? Probably not. Did you really need to hear this choice piece of personal information? Probably not.)

Anyway, our little Caroline was born at 6:08 am after several vacuum-assisted pushes. They put her on my belly and I held onto her slippery little body and just felt kind of dazed. I remember saying “hi” over and over again, but it just didn’t seem real that there was suddenly a baby in the room… much less that she was mine. Tyler was crying (do not spread that around or he will kill me) and everyone in the room was beaming at me, despite the fact that minutes before, I had just yelled at them all. They took her over to the warmer and the nurses and pediatric specialist (who was present at the birth, since she was preterm) started doing all sorts of things to her while my OB delivered the placenta and stitched me up. (Side note: I felt so vindicated when they put her on the scale and it said 7 pounds… the entire time I was pushing I kept wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn’t deliver a 5-pound baby!) I remember just staring over at her in the warmer and asking over and over in a weak voice if she was okay. I was desperately afraid that her lungs wouldn’t be mature enough.

It turns out that they really weren’t. We had two things going for us– the fact that I went into labor naturally rather than being induced, and the fact that she was a girl (girls mature faster than boys in utero). Those two things, both of which should have meant she should be mature enough to breathe well on her own, were apparently not enough. They let me hold her for a little while right after delivery (probably the happiest moment of my life), but a little later a nurse came and took her to the NICU for observation because she seemed to be struggling to breathe. They told me it was just for a few hours, but… well, you know the rest!

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It’s a Girl!

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Caroline Anne was born this morning at 6:08am. She was exactly one month early, weighs 7 lbs (big for her age!), measures 18 inches, and shares a birthday with her cousin. We are so happy and proud. I’ll be posting my birth story and pics soon. She is in the special care nursery for a few days due to some breathing problems because she was early. It doesn’t look like she’ll be released when I am, but she should be just fine.

More pics to come soon, and the birth story, I promise! I’m too exhausted to do any of it now.

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I Was Hoping I Wouldn’t Have to See It

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

But I was unlucky. I just (gag, TMI alert, warning!) lost my mucus plug today. I have to admit that I’m a little freaked out, beyond the grossness factor. It was a real, physical sign that one day really soon, I am going to go into labor and there will be no turning back. I’ll have to go to the hospital and birth a child and then come home with it and try not to kill it. Holy. Crap. It also can mean labor is coming really soon, but I’m choosing to subscribe to the “hey, you could still have weeks left!” school of thought. I know I said I was uncomfortable and over it, and I am, but I have a lot of things left to do!

Let’s focus on harmless, happy things! I had my second shower yesterday, it was so much fun. My mom’s friends did an amazing job. It had a bumblebee theme (of course!) and there were gorgeous flowers and delicious food and so many gifts that I was almost embarrassed. This baby and I are so spoiled! There are actually gifts spilling out of the nursery. Everyone has been so generous to us! I think we literally have everything we really need except for the diaper pail and the bottle set. It was such a fun time, so good to see all my old friends and my mom’s friends… overall, just a really great day. My mother-in-law flew out from North Dakota for it and stayed with us. We had a really good visit, I was a little nervous about how grouchy I’d be, but it turned out to be a fun time. (Full disclosure: I may not have been the best hostess at times, since I was preoccupied with the important questions, like “who is sneaking into my room at night and beating me in the crotch with a baseball bat, and how did I miss it”.)

I promise I’ll post shower pics as soon as I get some from the girls, but here’s my 35 week (well, I guess I’m halfway through my 36th week) belly pic, from the day of my shower.

Still growing! (I promise I don’t look that tired in real life…)

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35 Weeks and a New Discovery

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Tyler’s closet!

Maternity clothes are such a pain. I tried to buy pants wayyyy back when I totally thought I was showing, because OMG just LOOK at this 16-week belly, I look soooo pregnant!! (Uh… no.) Anyway, when I bought them, I tried to think ahead and get pants that would last me the whole pregnancy by getting them in size huge. Turns out I am apparently not ever going to reach size huge, and those pants still look like clown pants at 8 months pregnant. So I’ve ended up constantly wearing the one pair from the Gap that I bought “to hold me over” until I got into the bigger sizes, and I’m too cheap to buy any more.

Shirts, on the other hand… I have about 4 shirts left that are long enough to cover my belly. Again, I refuse to buy more shirts with just over a month left until my due date. But Tyler’s closet has tons of shirts that are definitely long enough, if I’m willing to roll up the sleeves and don’t mind looking like I’m wearing a tent (I do not mind. All I do is sit at home anyway). Score!!! Besides, swimming in his clothes makes me feel like a little tiny person again, something I miss very much.

So, 35 weeks. It seems like it’s getting so close now! I had one wonderful baby shower that my friend threw for all the dental girls, and a lot of girls came. Her fiance is an amazing cook so the food was delicious, and everyone was so generous with the gifts. Every single thing we got, we really really needed! It was so good to see everyone too, since I don’t see them at school anymore. I am smiling just thinking about it. I’d post pictures, but I didn’t take any and I haven’t seen any on Facebook yet so I’ll have to hold off on that. Some of my mom’s friends are throwing me another shower this Sunday, so I’m really excited for that. My mother-in-law is even flying out from North Dakota to come to it! She’ll be here tomorrow, I can’t wait to see her. She’s the best… she flew 2000 miles to surprise me at my bridal shower not too long ago, and now she’s doing it again for my baby shower! I’ll definitely make sure to get some pictures from this shower and post them.

After the shower this weekend, it’s go time– time to pick up anything else we need, make sure we have enough little green and yellow onesies and sleepers, and organize the nursery before this baby decides to make its appearance. 35 weeks marks the end of the terbutaline for me, so who knows when that will be?

Oh. I forgot. We might know exactly when that will be, because my doctor thinks the baby is currently breech. I haven’t had an ultrasound to confirm; I will have that at my next appointment if the doctor still thinks the head is up. She said babies can usually flip up to 36 weeks, so I’ve been doing all sorts of crazy pelvic tilts and positions and bouncing on an exercise ball… we’ll see if any of it works (I am skeptical, especially since I can still feel that little head poking up from under my ribcage. Maybe it’s a butt??).

So send me some good baby-flipping vibes, because a c-section realllly is not what I’m after here! I’m not going to do an external version (where they try to flip the baby by manipulating your belly) for various reasons, so if the baby is still breech in a week, I guess we will be scheduling that c-section. Until then, here’s hoping baby figures out which way is down!

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