Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Birth Story

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My contractions (ha! had I REALLY known then what contractions were I would call these more like teeny weeny cramps) started at about 9:30 am. They were pretty tolerable, but I had been contracting off and on since Thursday...both Thursday and Friday's contraction patterns ended abruptly after a couple of hours, so the fact that they started up again on Saturday didn't really mean much to me. But these did feel a little different. They started in my back and wrapped around to the front of my abdomen. So I decided to keep track just in case. And since Tim was standing up in his best friend's wedding that day, I wanted to make sure I didn't cry wolf and make him leave the wedding for no good reason (oooooh FORESHADOWING).

So, this particular weekend was already completely insane what with the bride's sister in law going into labor Thursday and having her baby Saturday early morning (day of wedding mind you in which she was a bridesmaid and her husband, the brother, a groomsman...the bride was totally calm and collected bless her heart). Anyhow, I decided to visit the new mama and baby to take up some time before the wedding and to leave the boys to prep at our house. I grabbed my friend A (another groomsman's wife) and we headed out to the hospital. On the way there I noticed my contractions were getting slightly stronger and closer together, about 15 minutes on average. Again, I just kept an eye out for them and took note just in case. "Just in case" should have been my nickname that day. We had a short but sweet visit at the hospital with M and the new baby and oohed and aahed over his tiny fingers and sweet baby-ness. Next up was going home to get ready for the ceremony...I was determined to be there for that part regardless of the fact that the church was not air-conditioned and regardless of my contractions. Tim was under strict orders from me to be at the ceremony and do his groomsman duties no matter what.

OK, so let's break the rest of the day out for you:

1:00 pm At home, showering, dressing, makeup-ing, etc. I can tell the contractions are getting a little worse and a little closer together and strong enough to make me take notice of them. But I still wasn't feeling like it was "time" yet.

2:30 pm A and I head to the wedding together, where I make her promise to sit with me near the back in case we have to make a hasty exit.

3:00 pm Ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt. I contracted my way through it and didn't feel like fainting once. I am super pregnant woman!

4:30 pm A and I decided to grab a snack before the the restaurant my contractions picked up again and I decided to stop at home to make a call to the doctor. I know I'm not supposed to call before the contractions are 5 minutes apart for an hour, but they were getting worse and coming about 7 minutes apart. And I am an idiot who refuses to follow instructions. Tim is on the wedding trolley taking pictures and having a grand old time.

6:00 pm The reception begins but A and I are at home waiting on a call back from the doctor. She calls and we talk about my know the ones I have been having all day that are hurting and ooooh, there's one and she's all "can you talk through one?" and I say "yep, having one right now" and she says "you're in early labor most likely, and not quite ready to come in to the hospital, why don't you stay at home and see what happens" and I'm all "ummm, NO, I'm not crazy, I would like to go to the hospital where they have pain meds thankyouverymuch" and she says "ok, you can go, but they may send you home" and I'm all "chick, please, I KNOW what contractions are, and these are them, I'm on my way to the hospital" (again, am stupid).

6:15 pm A and I throw the bags in the car and off we go to pick up Tim and drop off A at the reception.

6:45 pm Tim jumps in the car where he asks if I brought him a change of clothes (yes) and shoes (oh, no). So, guess he's staying in his tux. At least it's a true celebratory occasion that could possibly call for a tux, yes? I give the bride and groom big hugs and lots of apologies for missing their big, special day.

7:00 pm We arrive at the hospital and they check me into triage to determine if I can be admitted to labor and delivery. My contractions begin to subside the minute they hook me up to the monitors and I get super pissy. Like the little devil just KNEW they were looking for him. They monitored my contractions and the baby's heart rate for about an hour and half to see if anything started to happen again.

8:30 pm The nurse decides to do an internal exam to see how much progress I had made over the course of the day. Well, golly, wouldn't you know it but there was NO CHANGE FROM MY DOCTOR'S VISIT ON WEDNESDAY. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Still 1 cm and 90% effaced. I think I may have started to wimper a little. So she spoke with the doctor, who was probably like "told you so you silly first timer", and they decided to send me home. She gave me a pain killer and told me that it would mask the pain of these early contractions and once the real contractions started, they would break through that pain barrier and then I would really know I was in active labor. And then she followed that gem by saying that I could go into active labor that night or next week, no one really knew for sure. Sweet. Not only did I pull Tim out of the wedding for a false alarm, which was exactly what I didn't want to happen, but now I had to continue waiting for this elusive active labor to begin.

10:30 pm We're back at home, having just eaten a very late dinner, and are in bed. I'm extremely frustrated and feeling nothing, no contractions, no cramping.

11:30 pm Holy shit, THAT was a contraction. The first one was so bad I literally leapt out of bed and started running up and down the hall. And then I promptly threw up my entire dinner and began to cry. There is no way to prepare yourself for the sheer amount of pain one contraction can do to your body.

Sunday, July 20, 2008:

12:00 am Contractions are coming strong and fast, approximately every 5 minutes or so. I am in the bathroom, trying to breathe through the pain, though my eyes begin to roll back in my this point I yell for Tim because this has GOT to be it. He's now in charge of timing the contractions and rubbing my back.

12:30 am I am hunched over the toilet in the bathroom, sweating like I had just run a marathon. Every contraction makes me feel like I am going to die. Tim begins to wander from the bathroom to the bedroom and I have to scream for him every time he leaves and a contraction begins. I threaten to divorce him if he does not stay in the room with me. He calls me Sybil. And then begins referencing the movie The Exorcist.

1:15 am I demand the phone so I can call the doctor. Tim hestitates because we were under strict instructions to not call until the contractions were 5 minutes apart for at least an hour. Apparently, he was really set on making it those last 15 minutes but I was really set on not having the baby in the car so I won. The doctor told us to get to the hospital stat.

1:30 am The minute we walk out the door, a thunderstorm hits. Our drive consisted of me screaming at Tim to blow the red lights and Tim weighing the fact that it's 1) pouring rain, 2) a Saturday evening in which there may be some slightly inebriated people on the road, and 3) his insane pregnant wife screaming obscenities in his ear...thankfully he got us to the hospital safely. My water breaks, in the car, just as we're getting on Lake Shore Drive. Seriously, it felt like we were in some movie.

1:45 am We arrive at the hospital, get checked in after an eternity, and look at that, same nurse we had at 7 pm. She nonchalantly says she expected us back, and yay, look it's time for a baby. I wanted to tell her to F off but thought that might impede me getting my epidural as soon as possible. I get hooked back up to the monitors and continue contracting though it now felt like one continuous contraction with no break in between. She did an internal and declared that I was a lovely 5.5 cm dilated and completely effaced and ready to go upstairs to labor and delivery just as soon as your bed is la la.

2:05 am Still in triage, I begin to feel the urge to push. I couldn't stop it; my body literally took over and began to bear down. I screamed for the nurse because all I knew is that I was only 5.5 cm and it doesn't take a genius to know that no baby is coming out a hole that is only 5.5 cm wide. The nurse came back in the room and again told me to just breathe through the contraction. I sweetly informed her that there was no way in hell I could stop pushing. She checked me again and I think she may have sworn under her breath when she found out I was 9 + cm. In 20 minutes I went from 5.5 cm to 9+ kidding I felt the need to push. She threw the sides of the bed up and unlocked the brakes and we were off and running to labor and delivery. All I could think was "damn it! now I don't get my epidural!"

2:15 am I'm admitted to labor and delivery, room 888. I was begging for the epidural through my tears and not 10 seconds later the most wonderful man entered my room...Dr. Trevor with the funny sideburns and his needle full of happy juice. He administered the epidural quickly and painlessly...I seriously felt nothing. Or it could have been that after the contractions, the pain of the needle and catheter were a welcome distraction. Tim came back in the room and later told me that it was like I had sunshine shooting out of my ass, that's how different I was from the person who walked into that hospital. The doctor arrived sometime after that and checked me again. Less than half a cm to go before I could start pushing.

3:30 am I've been cleared to push. I couldn't feel much except pressure so I waited for the doctor to tell me when to push and when to rest. This was probably the best part of the labor and delivery experience for me. It was the middle of the night, completely quiet, and very peaceful. Just me, Tim, the doctor and the nurse.

4:00 am The doctor tells me the baby's heartrate keeps falling at every push so she decides to do an episiotomy to help the baby out faster. I didn't really have the chance to say no.

4:03 am Noah is born. 8 lbs, 6 oz of baby born with Apgar scores of 9 and 9 (perfect according to the nurse). He had the cord wrapped around his neck once which was the reason his heartrate kept falling...every push caused the cord to compress and reduce his oxygen. I got one good look at him before they took him to the warmer and started measuring and cleaning him up. All I could tell was that he was absolutely perfect. I was in love.

So there you have it. A super duper long birth story. With a happy ending of course!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Be happy you are not me, or my husband

Here is a lesson for you:

Do NOT, under any circumstance, even try to put on your wedding rings a week after giving birth and expect them to fit. Rather, you will get them on, barely, and then you will realize they are like a tourniquet and start turning your finger blue. At which point you will panic and try to remove them using dishwash soap, petroleum jelly, spray oil, and windex and figure out that not only are they stuck, but your finger is swelling to massive proportions. And then you will have to leave your hungry baby with your husband while you rush yourself to the ER to have your gorgeous, beautiful platinum rings CUT OFF by a tiny little Filipino man who giggles the entire time. And upon returning home, with your rings in 5 parts, you will have to endure your husband's stony silence and disappointment in your lack of judgment.

*sigh* Such is my life as new mother.

Monday, July 28, 2008

One week

I'm working hard on the birth story and it is taking me forever. But I will get it on here as soon as possible. In the meantime, enjoy some photos.

Things we have accomplished this past week:
Sleeping when the baby sleeps
Nursing in a semi-conscious state
Trying stomach sleeping (SIDS awareness folks, do NOT make me feel bad about this)
Baby's first photo shoot trying for the perfect announcement photo...still working on it
Meeting many relatives and friends
Not neglecting Lily or the cat...kind of
Peeing and pooping like a champ...Noah, not Tim, though Tim is also an excellent contender
Basically keeping the baby alive and well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Daddy and Noah.

Monkey toes. (Yes, he has huge feet).

After our first diaper change at home.

My heart bursts into a million pieces every time I look at him. I get it now.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our boy...

...has arrived. He is positively perfect in every way.

Noah Burton Smith. Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 4:03 am. 8 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches.

Birth story and details to follow. For now we're enjoying his squeaks and coos and falling madly in love.

Friday, July 18, 2008

3 days until due date

You know what is so completely awesome? Four hours of regular contractions that END when you go to sleep (yesterday). And you know what is even better than that? SIX hours of contractions that end when you get up and go pick up the tux with your husband for tomorrow's wedding (today). I swear I don't know what I am going to do when "real" labor starts because this starting and stopping is driving me insane. I am entirely confused by this process. From what I can tell, I am in the latent phase of labor which can take anywhere from hours to a few days before the active phase of labor begins. Supposedly, this elusive active phase of labor is when the contractions get seriously painful and don't stop at all. I would like to get to that point, please.

If I get another day of contractions like this I am going to call my doctor and see about getting checked for further dilation. For some reason I am terrified that I am mis-reading labor signs and possibly hurting the baby. Which is such a minute possibility and logically I know it. But logic goes out the window when you're talking about birthing a baby...right?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

4 days until due date

La la la la...bored out of my mind so I went and bought Tori Spelling's biography. I figured I could use a little fluff to keep me busy while I sit on the couch and wait. It's a pretty good read; I also adore her new show and relate to her since it was filmed during her second pregnancy. WAIT. Did I just say I identify with Tori Spelling? Oh good lord. Send help.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

5 days until due date

Update from the doctor's office:

Just over 1 cm dilated, so not too much change from last week there. But I am almost 100% effaced. For you pregnancy novices, that means my cervix is paper thin...the doc described it as a deep dish pizza thickness last week and this week it's less than Neapolitan pizza crust thickness. That is excellent progress.

To help things along, the doc stripped my membranes which means she separated the membranes that contain the amniotic sac away from the cervix. Supposedly this assists in the release of prostaglandins which begin labor. She gave us a very rough estimate of 48 hours until labor can begin, but of course that can mean nothing and I can still go overdue. From what I've read, stripping the membranes can help but it is by no means a guarantee.

Keep checking in for updates!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Week 39

Hi Baby,

So, how's it going in there? Good? I hear it's good. But you know what would be better? Meeting you OUT HERE! It's a beautiful, sunny summer day and your daddy and I would love it if you decided to come out very soon. Not that I don't want you to take full advantage of your 40 week stay and grow big and strong, but from what I've read, you are officially cooked and now you're just hanging out. We're ready to meet you so whenever you're ready (now?) feel free to let me know and I'll get you out asap.

Your nursery is all set, and your daddy spent a good part of Sunday putting together a very plastic, very "musical" mobile for your crib. I had bought you a lovely handmade mobile to hang above your crib but it doesn't have MUSIC! and COLORS! and MONKEYS! So your daddy felt it was necessary to find you a new one that has all of those stimulating and exciting things. Oh, this one has a remote so he can control it from the doorway and not disturb you. I really think this is his way of not letting me "decorate" your room any further. Apparently, boys need plastic toys. I guarantee he will buy you every single noise-making truck or plane or train and then he'll run off to work cackling while I clutch my head in despair.

Your car seat is properly installed in the car, your stroller is fully assembled (it comes with shocks for our bumpy city sidewalks...your daddy picked it out...bells and whistles, you know), our hospital bags are mostly packed, and your diaper bag is full of baby goodies. We're ready for you. Now you just need to be ready to meet us. I have never been a particularly patient person so this waiting game is hard on me. I want to wiggle your little toes that have been poking me in the sides for the past months. I want to feel you curl your tiny fingers around mine and hold on tight. I want to meet you and realize I have known you forever.

This past weekend we attended a small dinner party hosted by our close friends who have just announced that they are giving you a playmate in February...wait, I mean, they are expecting their own perfect bundle of joy...we are so selfish to think it's all about us :) (CONGRATS A & M!!!! You KNOW I am so excited for you). Anyhow, your daddy and I spent the majority of the evening chatting with friends who are already parents; Jill has a 20 month old daughter and John has a 10 month old son. Watching them both talk about their respective children and to see the light in their eyes when they did was inspiring. I can't wait until we are those parents, those parents who cannot stop exclaiming over every moment with their child no matter how insignificant. "It goes by so fast" was what we heard over and over...I can't wait for you to be here so I know what that means.

You're my baby, my love. If we're lucky, we'll get to meet each other soon. Until then, I'll try and be patient. But now would be, now would be GREAT. I love you little one.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Now you've gone and done it

Fine. Don't guess. I know you are out there reading this, I can see you, but if you don't want to leave me nice comments then bah on you. And no, emailing me personally does not count. And I even have good news...should I share it with you ungrateful readers of mine? I SHOULD but maybe I won't. Maybe I'll keep it all to myself and not let you know that the very first sign of labor has begun. Crap. I just told you. So as not to be totally disgusting I am not going to be as descriptive as I would like, but when the cervix starts to dilate further there is a plug of mucus that begins to dissolve and exit the mother's body. Today was that day for me. Labor can begin within 24 hours, 2 weeks from now, or anytime in between. So it's not a perfect predictor of when labor is going to begin but it's a definite guarantee that things are moving along. We have activity so I'm pleased.

As of Wednesday, I was 1 full cm dilated and 50% effaced. The doctor, who I swear put her entire arm up in my lady parts, actually touched the baby's was simultaneously awesome and totally creepy. I have another appointment this coming Wednesday but how great would it be if the boy showed up before then? F'ING FANTASTIC.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Two week wait

Except this two week wait is at the opposite end of the baby-making game. My initial guess for the date of delivery was July 9th...but I am afraid to tell you that is not looking very promising. I fear my little brother, the only one who picked a date AFTER my due date, may win the family baby pool. Do you think I could ask him for the cash, under the guise of depositing it into the baby's college fund, but really spending it on a new pair of shoes for mama?

It almost seems brash and arrogant of me to assume that the baby will be early. Like I am better than all those other women out there who give birth late, which we obviously know is NOT THE CASE. It's a proven statistic that first babies tend to be on the later side. Not all, but the majority. I have no more knowledge of when this baby is going to come than you do. If you care to wager, feel free to leave your birth date guess in a comment. I won't even make you give me any money, though charitable donations are always graciously accepted and may be tax deductible (please consult your tax advisor). Keep in mind that my doctor won't let me go past July 28th...she'll induce by that date. Also keep in mind that if you guess something like July 28th, I won't be friends with you anymore. Because you're mean and cruel.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Crystal ball

I just got the "Honey, do you mind if I go out for some beers with some colleagues?" call from my husband. It's not so much that I mind that he is going's more that I WANT SOME BEERS TOO and I can't have any. Bah. Does he not understand that I have been talking to a dog all day long and would kill for some adult conversation? Oh crap. Lightbulb. This is going to be my entire life soon...just substitute squawking baby for dog.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Just another day's drama at the doctor's office

Computers and programming may pay our mortgage but sometimes I think technology can kiss my ass. Today I had my 37 week appointment where my doctor did a cervical check (fingertip dilated=1 cm! yay! the head is down low in my pelvis! yay!) and we started chatting about my aforementioned issues with food lately. She was concerned since I haven't been gaining weight (duh. I'm not eating enough.) so she wanted to do an ultrasound just to check "and make sure he's growing even though you're not gaining weight." I went through this a few weeks ago and everything was just fine so I really wasn't concerned. Hell, I've met my insurance deductible for the year so party on!

The ultrasound tech did the exam, took measurements of the baby's head circumference and femur length (standard procedure for estimating size), and input all the numbers into the computer for the report. Well, the report came back and said that he was only measuring in the 10th percentile at 4 lbs 5 oz, which is actually 34-35 weeks, rather than 37 weeks. Ummmm, hello? 'Tis a problem, no? Then she scurried out of the room yelling over her shoulder that she would be right back, just have to make a call, talk to the doctor, blah blah. Thank you Ultrasound Technician for leaving me alone in a dark room with the information that my preshus bebe is way too tiny. But I totally didn't freak out...I was distracted by the new US Weekly. Priorities you see.

So, 15 minutes later she comes back in and says the doc in the labor ward at the hospital wants to see a report showing the blood transfer through the umbilical cord. He wanted to make sure the cord was transmitting blood back and forth efficiently and properly. Ok, fine, lube my belly back up and do your thing lady. So she does and off she goes again to talk to the doctor. Ten minutes later she's back and tells me they are all perplexed because the cord report is perfect and the measurements show on the screen that the baby is measuring at 37 weeks and 6 lbs 15 oz...but the report that the computer spits out is telling us very differently. Scratching of heads ensues and I continue reading my magazine. The tech decides to start all over and re-measure the baby and send the info for a second time to the report generating computer. However, this time, she actually goes and WATCHES the report being generated. At that moment she realized that it was the COMPUTER that was f-ing up the results and that MY BABY is just fine. I think she started swearing under her breath but I can't be sure because my rising blood pressure was making my head pound.

End result: my boy is excellent, 65th percentile, 6 lbs 15 oz, 20 inches-ish long. And I got a hug from the nurse because "that must have been very stressful for you, oh my, tsk tsk". I prefer to think it was celebrity gossip that got me through it. God Bless US Weekly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's July FYI

In case you didn't know, my kid will be making his appearance sometime this month. Not next month, THIS month. And you know how you always look back and say "why, I can't believe it's already July and halfway to Christmas, aw shucks!"? Yeah, well, I'm looking forward and thinking that I cannot believe how long this has taken to get here. Maybe it's just the last few weeks that seem to drone on forever and ever. Yesterday I took it upon myself to paint the front porch and stairs (not done yet so you don't get a picture), and I seriously think I was subconsciously trying to start labor. What sane, 37+ weeks pregnant woman starts a project like that? That is taking the nesting thing way too far. Tim took away my paintbrush and roller so I can't finish the you think he'll lock up the mulch we got for the backyard too? I was so going to do that tomorrow.

I'm getting progressively more grouchy and cranky as the days wear on. I cannot ever decide what to eat...actually, I don't feel like eating at all which pisses off my doctors. I KNOW I have to eat, but if it's not made for me or readily available, I'm not interested. Every night Tim comes home from work and asks what I want for dinner (ok, wait, one would think that if one is not working then one could make dinner for her tired, stressed husband...however, I am not that person) and every night the answer is the same: I don't know. And I really don't. Two months ago I could have told you down to the dessert exactly what I wanted to eat. Now I have to force myself to find something that looks appetizing. I have never had this issue with food and I am so hoping this is a fleeting, pregnancy related problem. I need my food love back.

Picture of the day:

Do you think they'll make room for the baby in there? I hear that's the best way to contain your child.