Monday, January 30, 2006
Lovely Lactation Consultant
I am not affraid to admit that I am in love with a machine. We went to see the Lactation Consultant (LC) this morning. I started telling her my problems and was fighting back tears (stupid hormones). I rarely cry, but emotions are making me insane lately (another post). Anyway, she was so helpful and kind. She helped fit me with a bra that is actually comfortable & functional. Can you believe I am a 36D? What happened to my cute little 34B? Plus, the LC did the best thing ever - brought out the milk machine for me to rent. She said it might take a couple of times for it to work, but she was wrong. With all the leaking I have been doing, I could have probably filled up gallons. I had 2.5 oz the first time & 2 oz last time. More important though - RELIEF! I guess I should mention that Lexi is getting mother's milk too. Wasn't that the point of this? With all the pain, I forgot.
During the birthing story, I mentioned that Lexi latched on very well right after birth. Unfortunately, nursing has not gone well since then. I can't pinpoint one problem. It could be my numerous cysts in my breasts, incorrect latching, voracious sucking powers from hunger, and extra sensitive nipples. I have a feeling that they are all fighting to make this not work. On top of all of that, Miss Lexi lost more weight than normal. She weighed in at 7 lbs 5 oz (lost about 8 oz) on Saturday. Although, she was doing fine in the diaper department. Perhaps all of this could have been remedied or at least addressed, but the lactation consultant at the hospital is also a regular nurse and had way too many patients to stop in and see me. The nurses helped with the latching on, but the pain was just too overwhelming.
I continued to try nursing until Friday night. Even Steve was begging me to feed her formula. My poor little baby was starving, so I did. She sucked down the first bottle so quickly that I didn't know whether to feel good that she was finally getting food or bad because I waited so long. By the second feeding, I could see that she had relaxed with the sucking. I fed her half an ounce and then tried nursing. It turned out to be me squeezing and her mostly licking. That lasts about 5 - 10 minutes and then I fed her the rest of the bottle. That has basically become our routine since Friday night. However, sometimes she does latch on and suck for those 5 -10 minutes.
As mothers, most of you realize that this strategy wouldn't work for long. Yesterday, I became so engorged that I look like Pamela Anderson. Also, my milk has come in and is leaking up a storm. This would happen on a weekend right? I turned over feeding duties to Steve (thank GOD for him) and have been placing very hot towels on my breasts to try and let as much leak out as possible. I even got to the point last night where I actually put Icy Hot on my breasts (not nipples of course). This did offer enough relief (distraction) that I could get to sleep. Today, my mission is to rent a breast pump and see a real lactation consultant. I have called and left a message. Now, I am impatiently waiting for her life changing call. Please, please, please help it go away! ...and no I will not be mentioning the Icy Hot thing to her.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Our Ouchy, but Good Birth Story
**If you are against induction and epidurals, don't read my story. I have learned to appreciate both more than I ever thought imaginable.
Thursday morning, we got up to go to the hospital. I had only slept 4 good hours and perhaps 1 more if you add up all the cat naps. I was just too excited. Steve seemed like he was taking forever. I made a breakfast burrito for him and packed our bags in his truck to speed things up as much as possible. He even wanted to stop at Starbucks to get himself a cup of coffee, but I told him I was just too insane right now for that. I was trying my best to act calm, but inside I was nuts. He was getting excited too, but was calm and wanted to live in the moment. I had tried to warn him the night before that I would be like this. Even if it had taken a total 1 minute to get there, I would have been crazy. I know how impatient/neurotic I can be about some things.
As soon as we got into the administrative office to sign papers, I was completely relaxed (which is how my crazy impatient-ness always goes). There was another couple in there and the wife was sitting in a wheel chair. She was already suffering from contractions and doing some of the breathing techniques. They started talking to us. I whispered to Steve not to tell her how dilated I was because she might be jealous that I am not in pain. They signed their papers and were sent to their room. We signed ours and were told to go to room 5, which was a mistake because that was their room. We were switched to 3 and the process began.
I changed into the gown (sounds so elegant). My doctor checked and found out that I was 5.5 cm dilated and everyone was amazed that I felt so good. My doc said that she was happy that I was being induced because without the pain, I could end up having the baby at home or in traffic on the way to the hospital. I was just happy that I had progressed to that level with virtually no pain. I started thinking about my grandma, Lorena (the one Lexi is named after), and about all the stories of her great tolerance for pain. I hoped that this would carry me throughout the birth, but knew better than to believe in it. It only took a few minutes for me to realize that was not going to be the case. Having my water break proved that. It was quick but agonizing. Plus, that was Steve's first ick moment. He handled it well.
The nurses hooked me up to the monitors, took blood, inserted the IV into my hand and started the pitocin drip. I started feeling the contractions right away and the pain gradually increased over the next few hours. Steve plugged in our CD player with a Sarah McLachlan CD to set a nice atmosphere. I have to admit that the contractions never got unbearable. When the nurse told me that I was dilated to 7 cm, I still said that I was ready for the epidural. I wanted to be able to relax before the pushing came. For some reason, I had a feeling that would be difficult. The anesthesiologist came in and sent Steve out. While they prepared and did the epidural, the anesthesiologist and nurse talked about how amazed they were that I didn't ever complain and was so calm. They decided that I just handle pain well and they wanted to clone me. I sat there not saying much and just kept thinking that things had been fine, but that this wasn't over yet.
I had the typical epidural story. Having the IV put in my hand hurt worse than the epidural or the catheter. Once it was in, Steve and I talked and joked for the next hour and a half. He told me that he wanted to run to his truck to get a Tums. I said that I was feeling something weird down there like I have to poop. He said he would be quick.
Right after he left (seconds), the doctor came in and said that I was dilated to 10 cm. They started setting up the room and I was anxiously waiting for Steve to return. He still wasn't back when they wanted me to start pushing. My doctor (Deborah Siman) and nurse (Stephanie) told me to grab my legs and they started cheering me on. We did the typical 3 sets of 10 seconds of pushing during contractions. We went through this twice before Steve got back. When he walked into the room, he looked a little frustrated and nervous about what he had missed. Apparently, he had been out in the hall trying to convince the security guard that his wife was in room 3 and not in room 5. It wasn't long before the next contraction started and he had to quickly join in by grabbing a leg and coaching on my right side.
The pushing went on for about 30 - 45 minutes with the doctor going to check on the woman in room 5. Then, the doctor came in and apologized because she had to perform an emergency C-Section. She told us that she called Dr. Jimenez from her office to come and take over and that he would be here shortly. We all were listening, but as she turned around to walk out, Steve asked where she was going. I said to do the C-Section and he let out a big sigh of relief. He told us that he thought she was going to do an emergency C-Section on me. That explains why he suddenly looked so startled and nervous.
Anyway, the pushing continued and Dr. Jimenez showed up. Lexi actually moved down and crowned quickly, but then made little or no progress after that. He decided that they needed to turn off the epidural because he wanted me to push harder. He told me that it would take about an hour to wear off, but that I would get stronger & stronger as it did. That began what I consider as the next stage of pushing. The doctor pushed on my perineum to try to move delivery along. After several contractions, he told me that he needed to make a little more room for the baby to come out. I think that was a nice way of saying that I was getting an episiotomy. Unfortunately, I knew exactly what he was going to do.
We continued with the endless pushing and Dr. Siman came back to take over. She joked that the baby was waiting for her. By then, I was getting really tired and the epidural had disappeared. What could we do, but continue on? Everyone else in the room was getting excited. Steve had touched Lexi's head and was really into his role as coach. It didn't take long for the doc to say that I was pushing very well and she was surprised that I hadn't delivered already. She said that the cord must be wrapped around the baby's arm or leg. She pulled out the scissors and made even more room. By then, I was in so much pain that tears were rolling down my face. The nurse grabbed my hand and had me feel the top of Lexi's head. Even with that, I wasn't sure I could take any more of it, but I kept my mouth closed and pressed on. They all coached like crazy and her head finally popped out.
Although that was amazing progress, it didn't get any easier. I was fully bawling from the pain and each new step including delivering her shoulders and the rest of her body was excruciating. They plopped her on me and I barely had the awareness to care. The doctor announced that the delivery was so difficult because Lexi's umbilical cord was too short. She also said it was a good thing that Lexi wasn't born next week because the extra weight would have made an emergency C-Section probably the only option. Thank goodness, they induced me.
Next, I saw Steve cut the umbilical cord and he looked so happy. Unfortunately, I still had to deliver the placenta, which was fast, but horrible. Steve was torn between comforting me and wanting to look at Lexi, so I told him to go hold her. I was in agony as the Dr stitched me up. She took about 20 minutes. Steve looked down to see what was taking her so long. He held up his fingers to let me know that the cut was about 2". I asked the Dr how many stitches I was getting. She thoughtfully avoided the question and said it was several layers. Right then, I knew recovery was going to be hard.
I finally got to hold Lexi when the stitching was done. I removed the night gown and she latched on to my breasts fairly quickly. It was nice to be at that stage. I had her with me for about 30 minutes and then they took her to the nursery to be cleaned up and checked. I sent Steve with her. For 2 hours, I sat in the room trying to comprehend it all. My friend (Amanda), who was in the waiting room, came to talk to me. That was nice to have her there. We talked about all that happened, which I think was emotionally healthy for me.
Steve came back and we were transferred to one of the little rooms. Apparently, all the suites were full for the night. While lying in that room, I suddenly realized the extent of the pain of the stitches. I couldn't focus on anything, but the pain. I am not usually one to ask for things or complain, but I was at my wits' end. I called for the nurse to bring something to take the edge off. They called the pharmacy and got Motrin. They also gave me witch hazel pads and cream. It took a while to kick in, but the second I was able to think I suddenly became very sad that Lexi wasn't with us. I got up and made Steve walk me to the nursery to get her. They wheeled her to us and we headed back to our room. As I gingerly sat on the bed and held her, I felt a love that I never thought imaginable. My heart swelled and hasn't been the same since. That is when Steve took the picture of me that I posted yesterday.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Announcing Alexis Lorena
Lexi was born January 26th at 3:05 pm. She was 21" tall and weighed 7 lbs 13.8 oz. I'll keep this short, sweet, and full of pictures because we just got home from the hospital. Ouchy details will come later. For now, we are all much happier than we ever imagined. ...By the way, I HATE STICHES!!!
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Last Day of Pregnancy!!!
My appointment went VERY WELL. I am 60% effaced and almost 5 cm dilated. They couldn't believe my progress or the fact that I am still walking around normal (pregnancy normal). When the doctor asked if I wanted to be induced, you know exactly what I said. YES! Steve and I have to be at the hospital at 7:30 am tomorrow, assuming that birth doesn't happen naturally between now and then. I am going to take the rest of the day fairly easy just in case.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Ready, Ready, Ready, Already
I am about as ready to give birth as I can imagine is possible. See the picture of my gigantic belly??? Plus, everything has been prepared. Well, almost everything, Steve still hasn't packed, but that doesn't bother me. He can wear the same thing at the hospital for 3+ days in a row if he doesn't get around to it. That is the least of my worries. Actually, he is planning to pack tonight. It will only take him a few minutes.
Today was my second day working at home. I have to admit that I didn't do much work, which was not all my fault. I went to the park this morning and walked about 2 miles. I also went to the mall to get Steve's watch fixed. Then, I went to get my hair cut because I know I will not be interested in doing that for a while, especially since I tend to avoid salons anyway. I did stop by the office though. I copied a bunch of stuff on CD and my memory stick. My firewall still isn't working and I can't access my files. My boss said he is going to come by later, but between work and his personal life right now, I am better off preparing the back-up plan. Besides, I am still keeping my fingers crossed that the doctor tells me that they want to induce. Tomorrow is the big appointment.
Monday, January 23, 2006
New Days = New Look
I started working from home today (YEAH!). Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the firewall working so I can't plug into main the servers. Since that blocks out most of what I was going to work on, I decided to start on one of my goals for the work-at-home maternity leave thing. That goal is to re-fresh and update my design skills, including web software. What better way to do that then to create a new look for my blog? I just goofed around with the main features of Dreamweaver & put this together. I think it fits my personality much more than the last one. I guess I should admit that I wasn't really into pink until I got pregnant with a girl. Perhaps, I will really get into blog designs and create an even better one. On the other hand, I think I'll be quite busy doing other things. Plus, I still have some bugs to work out.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Last Day of Work at Work
Yippee! Today (although it doesn't feel like it) is my last work day at work. Steve is going to come by this evening to pick up my computer & other things. I will set up my stuff this weekend and be ready to go next week. Monday, I'll be walking into the guest bedroom/office instead of fighting traffic. Sounds great right? I hope it is half as good as I am imagining it will be.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
I went to the doctor this morning and found out that I am 1/2 cm dilated. She said that if I am up to 2 cm next week, they will induce me. I am crossing my fingers for that. Oh, I also lost 1 lbs. I believe it is just water though. My hands were a little puffier last week, so I have been trying to sit with my feet elevated & lay down more.
My brother called last night and mentioned that his new baby is constipated. That means that she must take after my mom's side of the family. Poor girl. I guess my sister-in-law is going to have to tweak her diet to include more fiber.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Yesterday, I had another ultrasound. Lexi is weighing in at 7 lbs 10 oz. With a little less than 3 weeks to go, that is kind of scary. I am really not looking forward to birthing a very large baby, mostly because of all the stitches. I am still crossing my fingers that I can be induced early, but we will see.
On the other hand, we are getting more & more excited about having the baby. Our last Lamaze class was last night. The teacher had all the daddies practice diapering and swaddling dolls. They were doing a relay, so they were trying too hard to go fast. Steve ended up rolling the baby in the blanket. Most of the pregnant mom's seemed nervous about their husband's methods, but it was pretty funny.
Monday, January 16, 2006
What a Weekend
I didn't get to lounge nearly as much as I would have liked to over the weekend. I guess, as usual, the hardest part of having guests come is preparing for them. We cleaned the house and went grocery shopping Friday night and Saturday morning. When they arrived, Steve and his friend got to work on our electrical upgrades (which turned out well). The friend's girlfriend and I sat on the couch, talked, and watched football. Of course, the guys came in and out for football updates. Another one of my friends came over and we prepped the food for the bbq. Steve cooked it up and we all watched the second football game. We talked for a while after the game, then my friend left & I headed to bed. I think Steve and his friends stayed up until 3am talking. They all slept in the next morning. As soon as they woke up, they headed for home. Basically, it was not too difficult for all of the dreading I did on Friday.
Sunday wasn't as pleasant though. Steve went to the office to pick up some work, while I did a little laundry and tried to relax. I was washing a set of sheets when I heard a loud thumping noise coming from the washing machine. I lifted the lid to find that the drum had come loose and was bouncing around. To be honest, this was really only a matter of time because our washer & dryer set is quite old. The dryer even takes about 2 or 3 cycles to dry clothes. I gave Steve the bad news when he got home & we headed to the store. Neither of us was excited about spending money on a new set, but it will be nice to have one. I can't figure out if this was bad timing or great timing. I am sure that I will enjoy having the new set when Lexi is here.
Sunday night, also ended with a bang. About 7 pm, the neighbors directly behind us started setting up a party in their backyard. Unfortunately, they are very loud family so we were not thrilled. At 9pm, a DJ showed up with lights and huge sound equipment. I decided that it would be better for us to sleep in the guest bedroom at the front of the house, so I made the bed for us. The music was so loud that we could barely talk to each other in that room. Around 10 pm, another neighbor came to see if it was bothering us too. He said he went and politely asked them to turn it down, but they refused. He called the police. We did too, mostly because they are always the annoying neighbors and we wanted to go to sleep. They turned it down around 11 o'clock when the police showed up. It was still loud, but we managed. -So much for my dreams of a restful weekend. I am back at work for another fun filled week of being sore and just plain uncomfortable.
Friday, January 13, 2006
As my belly grows bigger and my body aches more, I am losing interest in socializing and many other things in life. Steve has been great about many things. In fact, he is really "nesting." He has been working on the house and cleaning up. He has taken over dinner responsibilities and doesn't let me do a whole lot. I have to brag about him before I complain about something...
My beloved husband has invited an old friend & his girlfriend down for the weekend. The old friend is an electrician that will be helping us replace a few light fixtures, plugs, and switches. This is greatly appreciated, but not at this time. I understand that Steve wants these things taken care of and he would like a somewhat fun weekend, but I am not in the mood. I am running out of clothes that fit. Plus, I would rather not have guests. I feel more like going on an afternoon walk, moping around the house, and going to bed early, which are all signs that I probably will not be the best host. Ok, I am probably complaining for nothing. They are very nice. Given the fact that they are all huge football fans, I know they will be watching the games Saturday & Sunday. Complaint - that means I can't sprawl out on the couch. I don't even have to worry about feeding everyone. They are coming midmorning on Saturday and leaving Sunday afternoon. We can get deli meat & other fixings. Steve has planned a barbeque for Saturday night, so that doesn't involve me too much. Obviously, I feel like being selfish. I griped a little, but not much because when I really want something I don't want to hear no either. Plus, he has been spoiling me.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Baby Shower & Hospital Tour
Our company threw a baby shower for us yesterday. I was expecting something quite small and more like a luncheon, but it was a full fledged baby shower with decorations and gifts. There were no games of course. This is a male dominated industry, so that would have been strange. Anyway, as you can see, the cake was beautiful. The food was great & there is enough left over for lunch today & tomorrow. We got a lot of practical gifts like diapers, wipes, onesies, and clothes. What a fun way to start off the week.
Last night, our Lamaze class took a tour of the hospital. We were very impressed by the Labor suites. Not only are they huge, but the wood floors and decor are nice. After labor is over, we'll have a choice between their standard "small" rooms or a recovery suite, which is about $75 a night. We had planned on going with the "small" room until we saw it. Unfortunately, they meant shoe box. On top of that, the place for Steve to sleep is a very small chair that pulls out. hahaha... he will never fit. In contrast, the suite has a pull out couch for the spouse. I guess we'll be forking over more money, but it will be worth it for us to have Steve half way comfortable.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Photo of Niece Eden
Packing the Granny Panties
We still have a few things to do before Lexi's arrival. Before next week, I am hoping to pack our bags for the hospital, install the car seats, and finally pick a pediatrician. I don't know how far in advance a pregnant woman should do these things, but I guess now is as good of time as any.
Speaking of packing.... In our last Lamaze class, we were given a list of items that we should make sure we bring. For the most part, the list was like any other on the internet or the one they give you at Babies R Us, but there was one item that I hadn't seen listed anywhere. Not only was it on the list, but the teacher made a point to explain that 6 pairs of cotton Granny Panties are important for the hospital. She said they are much more comfortable, especially if a c-section is necessary. The sexy little panties most women in Miami wear (all g-strings) tend to cut right across the c-section wounds. This kind of makes me laugh thinking about women, who have just given birth, wearing sexy underwear. It is probably one of the last situations that I would think about trying to be sexy. Now, I admit that I had to buy a pack of Granny Panties, but I have plenty of pairs of briefs that would probably be just fine. One thing is for sure, I'll save my sexy underwear for better occasions.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I have been waiting to see if I can get a photo to announce this, but my brother hasn't gotten around to it. ... so the big news - Monday night, my newest niece was born to my brother, Alma, and his wife, Ruth. They named her Eden. She weighed 8 lbs & 3 oz and is 20.5" tall. My sister-in-law was induced the day before her due date because her blood pressure had started rising. From what I've heard, it sounded like a wonderful delivery. She was in labor for a total of about 5 hours. When it got a quite painful, she had an epidural and was fine after that. With her first experience of childbirth going so well, who knows how many kids they'll have? We should all be so lucky. I think I'm going to be jealous.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Latest on MIL
Steve called his mother last night and got an update on her latest tests. Apparently, it isn't the cancer that has been causing the excruciating pain in her back. She has a deteriorating disk, which although very painful is much better than gigantic cancer tumors. Both her and my father-in-law were ecstatic. Unfortunately, the cancer has grown, but that is probably due to the fact she has had very few full chemo treatments lately. Needless to say, she is anxious to get back to them.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Every year, I make 2 sets of resolutions. The big overall goals or things I really want to happen that year and then a list of things that I would like to work on. I never beat myself up if the resolutions don't happen, which probably explains why some of them fall through the cracks. Oh well, I still intend to make resolutions/a wish list for 2006.
1. Birth this Baby (sooner the better)
2. Work on getting my figure back
3. Get our house in tip top shape
1. Enjoy every minute of maternity leave
2. Get into the groove of motherhood
3. Get ahead in work before the baby is born
4. Find the best possible daycare solution for August
5. Continue working on photo books
How do these compare to last year (2005)?
Big Goals/Dreams (which I wasn't sure if either were even possible):
1. Buy a house - checked off in March
2. Get some good news about a stork visiting us in the future - checked off in June
**gold stars for me on these - like it was all me - ha
Now for the Personal Plans/Improvements:
1. Go Jogging at least 4 mornings a week - good through March
2. Cut out refined sugar & white flour from my diet - better at it until I became pregnant
3. Get a pedicure once a month - happened once in January
4. Scan all of our photos - mostly done
5. Create photo albums similar to scrapbooks - great start
In light of my non-progress last year, I am keeping this year all about the important things in life (mostly Lexi), which is how it should be anyway.