Monday, February 25, 2008

One Happy Moment

Announcing the birth of my beautiful baby girl, aka "The Fuss"
Monday, February 25th at 4:40PM
8 lbs, 12 oz
21 inches long

Friday, February 22, 2008

Contracting, hospital, shopping - all in a weeks work.

On Wednesday afternoon I started to get regular contractions coming 4-6 minutes apart. Some oh them were pretty strong, while others were more of a “medium”. The ladies at work found out and began pressuring me to go to the hospital. I was resistant, because I’d been through this before – regular, though reasonably mild contractions for an hour and then they stopped dead. But since the midwife had mentioned that she didn’t think I’d make it through the week at Monday’s appointment and I was feeling so crummy, around 3:00 I caved to peer-pressure and called my doctor’s office. My favorite midwife was in the office and suggested I come in to get checked by her before going to the hospital. I left my own office practically with fanfare – nearly everybody currently in the office showed up in the hallway to see me off. Considering at this point, I was nearly expecting to be sent home, I was completely embarrassed.

At her office, they were so sweet, squeezing me in quickly while my friend, Fran, from the office waited in the inner waiting room. Mr. Fuss started the trek southward from his job. (We work on opposite ends of the county and the doctor and hospital are down south by my office.) The midwife checked me and announced no change from my Monday 3cm, 80% effaced, but she felt one of my harder contractions and suggested that I go on to the hospital to get on the monitors for awhile and see what happens. She sounded promising, though saying that if I could hold off until 8am to deliver, she was on call then and she’d be my “catcher”.

To summarize, I spent about 2 hours on the monitors, but didn’t progress as far as dilation goes. However, I must insist that during my time there, I actually began to feel as if I were, in fact, in labor. The pain got pretty intense. My whole body started to react and I could barely move without wincing in pain. The baby was holding up beautifully. I had an impressive 7 minute contraction (the nurses were amazed and equally surprised that that alone didn’t move me along) and did the breathing through it, but was really much more ready to start crying. The frequency of the contractions went more sporadic on me, however, and regardless of the discomfort I was in, they sent me home.

By this time, my mother had shown up and we ended up catching my step-father as he commuted home past my office city and we all went to dinner. (I had only felt up for a very light lunch and was pretty hungry by this time.) I continued to have intense contractions while at the restaurant, though they were sporadic (10 minutes, 3 minutes, 8 minutes, 12 minutes).

I was told at the hospital that I needed more fluids and some rest to relax. Both my mom and Mr. Fuss suggested that I take the next 2 days off of work, even though I had originally planned to work until Friday and only take Monday before the induction. My supervisors at work were very understanding and so, here I am at home. Thursday I felt crummy, somewhat drained and not interested the least bit in food. I got out of the house with my friend K and her 2 boys to walk the mall and by the end of the day (around 4) I was having contractions every 20 minutes for hours. I went to bed at 11, wondering if this meant imminent labor through the night, but alas, they seemed to have stopped or faded. I woke up to 3-5 contractions 5 minutes apart, but they, too seemed to stop pretty quickly. After a morning of feeling blah, I took a nap around 10:20, to be awakened by the phone less than an hour later. However, suddenly I was feeling pretty good and was able to make plans to meet K at Babies R Us for a quick shopping spurt using some coupons that would soon expire. Then I met Mr. Fuss for a mid-afternoon coffee break and headed home. It was a very successful day.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

(Jeopardy Think Music) 18 days

Last night I lost my plug. I had a ton of very frequent contractions off and on all day yesterday (for just over an hour they were 3-5 minutes apart, though mostly very mild, then they stopped for 45 minutes altogether and began again, etc.) I had to stop charting them when I got a really complicated project and since mostly they weren’t real strong I could focus on my work. As I got ready to leave the office (late, thanks to this crazy project that was ticking me off and stressing me out) I ran to the bathroom before I hit the road and there it was – a good-sized glob of goo. (A “gelatinous glob” as described by the “What To Expect” book). I actually got pretty excited until this morning when my mom looked up some stuff on the internet (having last night estimating that she expected my labor to start within 24 hours based on her experience) and informed me that either intercourse or an internal exam can dislodge the plug. Oops. Having had both within 24 hours, who knows what the real cause was?

I had more steady contractions last night as well. Mr. Moose timed them out at 5-6 minutes apart lasting 1.5-2 minutes in length. If they’d been stronger I would have possibly considered it early labor, but I’m having such a hard time with measuring these mild ones.

This morning, I had several contractions pretty early on – 5-6 in a 25-30 minute period – but they seem to have eased off a bit. I have had several bouts of menstrual-like pain – cramping and lower back ache – and I am DEAD tired. (Brushing my hair took all my energy. I considered crying when I parked my car this morning and imagined the walk from my car in the parking garage to the office) and I am HOT, though my office mate is decidedly not. I am also coughing like crazy due to this stupid cold. I desperately want to go home and go to bed, but I think packing up my desk would be more than I could handle right now.

I wish I could ignore it all and just let it happen, but I don’t really seem to be able to do that. I like to know what is going on at all times. I like to be aware. And I really am ready to have this baby.

I’ve been avoiding thinking about the details of L&D. I know that previously, the more I thought about it, the more worried I got that I wouldn’t be able to handle it, so now I think I’ve pushed it pretty far back in my mind so that I don’t focus on the scary. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not.

I finished putting the nursery together last night. All of her clothes are put away, all the items we have purchased or been given thus far are assembled and/or organized into their reasonably proper place (sans one diaper bag that I was given by a friend – it’s an awesome bag, but now I have 3 different diaper bags and I don’t know if I should take the one back or not. The only one I could take back is the one I actually registered for – how’s that for ironic? – but how many diaper bags does one little baby need, really?) I have one of those typical “cutesy” bags with Pooh and Piglet on it. Medium sized with several outside pockets and a coordinating changing pad. It got not so great reviews on sturdiness, so I knew I wanted another. The one my friend gave me is sturdy beyond belief with a ton of inside pockets and compartments and can worn as a shoulder bag or a back pack. It looks like little luggage and even has one hard side. The one I registered for was one of those 5 piece sets with a coordinating bottle cooler, a mini bag, etc. The main bag itself is just like a large tote, but it’s pretty stylish-looking and has a TON of room for all the stuff you carry for a baby. I just don’t know what I’m going to need or want when I’m carting her around all over the place.

Anyway. With only 18 days until my EDD, labor must be imminent, but it’s the “when” that drives me crazy. I’d love to have a clear marker – “this happens and that means 24-48 hours notice” – but I know that isn’t how it works.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Almost labor, contracting, and cute shoes

Last night by 9:30 I was having frequent contractions. I had Mr. Moose start timing them a little before 10 and though they were random in both length and intensity, they continued for HOURS. I went to bed shortly after 11 (go Giants!) with the hope that relaxing into to sleep might relax my uterus as well and stop the contractions. From the time I drifted off to sleep until about 3am every time I moved, I had another contraction. (Rolling over, going to the bathroom, repositioning my arms to avoid the sore shoulders/numb hands, etc.) I had a few more random ones during trips to the bathroom from then until 6:30, but they were much less painful and much more manageable.

I had a couple during a particularly long and boring meeting this AM at work, and then once I was back at my desk by 11, I had a really horrific contraction (at 11:14 to be exact – I started timing) that, I confess made me have the thought “I’m in labor!!!! Who should I call first?” So much for waiting to verify that it was real labor. I know better – I know that one contraction does not equal labor – I know that the doctor and hospital request that you’ve been having said labor pains for an hour and that your contractions be only 5 minutes apart. But I had the thought that I was going to need to call Mr. Moose and my mother and would it be better for my mom to swing by the house and grab my hospital bags or should I ask Mr. Moose to do it? I hadn’t finished training the new girl and could I legitimately ask her to call my dad and best friend to tell them my news or was that a tacky favor to ask of a woman I’ve only known for 4 days? (Our receptionist whom I had been counting on to do this was let go last week.)

I calmed down pretty quickly as it eventually eased off (wow, yeah, we’re getting an epidural, gosh darn it!) and kept my eye on the clock. I had another hard, but manageable contraction about a half hour later and then they tapered off again in both length and intensity. (Mostly, I’ve had them when standing for more than a few minutes at a time).

I am ready to have this baby, but am trying to calmly wait for her to decide when to come. I think she’s anxious if her movements and pushing against my organs and bones are any indication, but has yet to find the exit.

I had a lovely shower thrown by my female co-workers over the weekend. I got some spectacular gifts ranging from the sweet and fun to the totally silly to the practical stuff (ie. Diapers!) I also developed either a cold or a really awful allergy attack that has lasted the last 2 days (I’m afraid it’s a cold, but I don’t know anyone who has been sick… I rarely get allergies, though admittedly the pollen count in this area has been AWFUL for the last several days). Mr. Moose and I were able to clean the house to much closer where we want it (the kitchen is nearly perfect, we even cleaned the hall closet out and neither the dining room nor the living room look like anything has blown up in them recently). We also went shopping for baby supplies that we had not yet received and managed to get all of the necessities with the exception of the diaper pail we were looking for. I’m ready to give up on that and settle for any small garbage can with a tight lid, but that would likely have to get replaced very quickly once we started using it. Mr. Moose promised to stop by the baby store on his way home during the week since we keep missing them on the weekends. (The store is close to his work, fairly out of my way during the week, etc.). I also bought some actual outfits in appropriate size for her to wear providing she is not enormous at birth (and how can she be? I’ve gained about 12 pounds total since getting pregnant – that can’t all be baby, right?) that aren’t sleepers (oddly almost everything I’ve received is a larger size than she’ll need at the beginning, providing that she is an average-sized or smaller baby).

One of the gifts that I received was impractical, but so much fun and a totally appropriate gift from the sender. My friend P at work loves shoes and has a great collection of her own. She has no children, though she is the type of person who is great with them, and despite the warnings from everyone at all the stores, she bought me a boxful of newborn “shoes” (many booties, lots of “crib shoes” just for decoration) that are SO cute. There are some white MaryJane style ones with cute little flowers, white crocheted booties, leather “sandals” and moccasins with giraffes on them, etc. I’m having so much fun just looking at them.