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the space between

blog,conception,photos,pregnancy,trying to conceive 28 October 2010 | Comments Off

Tonight I imported the entries from 2007 when we were trying to conceive. There weren’t many, and there is a huge gap between them and my pregnancy. The process was nerve racking to blog about, and felt too personal at the time. We tried for about six months and it wasn’t happening. I had never paid much attention to my cycles before and I was frustrated at how long and irregular they were.

Then after about five months, I got a bacterial infection on my leg (be careful where you get a pedicure!) and the doctor gave me antibiotics that weren’t safe for pregnancy. I would take them for nearly six months! When I finally stopped them and we started trying again I was sure it would take another six months or more, or that it would just never happen.

Impatient already that my first cycle was taking too long, I planned to call my midwife (who was my ob gyn) the following day to make an appointment to see what’s wrong. I thought, well of course she is going to ask if I’m pregnant so I’d better take a test to show her that I’m not. I took the test as I was getting ready for work, a day when I had an early meeting. My husband slept while I peed on a stick, my solid belief that the outcome was going to be the same as it always was before: Sorry, please try again. When I saw the results–Pregnant–I gasped loudly and my husband woke up. “It says… It’s… It’s…” I stammered, in utter disbelief. “You’re pregnant,” he said plainly. Me: “Yeah! Why aren’t you surprised?!” Him: “I knew it.” Well, that made one of us. I had to take another test but there was no time. I could barely process the results before I was out the door to my meeting. I don’t even remember how the meeting went, but I’m quite certain I smiled a lot. I’d planned to go home during lunch to take another test, but I couldn’t wait. As soon as my meeting was over I returned home and got the same beautiful results.

baby foo’s arrival – revisited

baby,birth,doula,midwife,photos 24 October 2010 | 1 Comment

Birth Date – January 12, 2009
Time – 11:59 pm
Weight – 8 lb 8 oz
Height – 21 inches

Finally completing this post with my birth story!

I’d so wanted to go into labor on my own and remain at home as long as possible, but I’d accepted that my labor would be induced. I’d had mild preeclampsia in the last trimester of my pregnancy and at 38 weeks my doctor finally recommended induction. That was on Monday. I begged her to let me have another week: We haven’t washed the crib bedding! We don’t have baby nail trimmers! My baby shower is on Sunday! My doctor was unmoved.

We checked in to the hospital on Thursday night, and they tried Cervidil (cervix ripener) to get things started. It wasn’t effective, by morning I was still only 1 cm, and they sent us home for the weekend. Disappointed, but I welcomed the precious extra days at home to prepare for the baby. (I got the nail trimmers!)

We checked into the hospital again on Sunday 7 pm and they gave me Cytotec to ripen my cervix. I was only about 1-2 cm dilated still, and still not having strong or regular contractions. My doula met us at the hospital and stayed to make sure I was okay with the Cytotec, which if I recall correctly, isn’t really a labor drug at all. It’s an anti-ulcer medication and its use in labor is somewhat controversial. But evidently, it works.

Monday 6 am, cervix ripened, they started the Pitocin drip and then I started having regular contractions. I was still very comfortable though. When my midwife showed up around 1 pm, I was about 3 cm. Then she broke my water which was the WORST of all labor interventions that I experienced. Not only was it uncomfortable and took for-EVER, but it triggered an intense emotional outpour that I hadn’t anticipated. I was suddenly so upset that my labor was all interventions so far, and my body hadn’t done anything on its own. My midwife was a great comfort to me then.

About 45 minutes after my water was broken, those contractions hit me like a freight train! An evil, violent freight train was running through my uterus! The contractions were long, constant and unrelenting. They adjusted the pitocin drip to slow them down, but too late as far as I was concerned. Can you call the anesthesiologist? Can I have my epidural? Have you called the anesthesiologist? Is he coming? How long will he be?

After the epidural (hearts, rainbows singing angels, etc) I was able to rest more and visit with my mom and aunt. My doula was also there now and I felt very supported by everyone. Contractions were still coming hard but I was most blissfully unaware. My midwife came back to check on me at 6 pm, and WHA–?? I was NINE CM!!! She said, I was easily 10 cm actually but she wanted to give me more time since the baby’s head wasn’t very low. So we agreed she would come back at 9 pm.

Around 7 or 8 pm, this is where it starts to get blurry for me, I started to feel–not pain–but a lot of pressure. The baby was definitely lower and wanted OUT. NOW. Somebody call my midwife! To hell with her dinner! Tell her I’m having a baby! I think she was there pretty quickly, but I was pretty withdrawn at this point, just concentrating on breathing. A very primal display–breathing, moaning, sighing. It really does help! And those classes seemed so silly…

So again, blurriness. But I started pushing at 9 pm. I quickly concluded that this was much harder than I had ever imagined it would be. My earlier pleas to my midwife for no more interventions gave way to some very matter-of-fact statements: Oh! I am not going to be able to do this! Someone’s going to need to help me! I’ve never done anything this hard! I should have gone to the gym more! My midwife met this with complete confidence and truth: You can do this. You’re the only one who can do this.

Labor and Delivery nurses, I love you and all of your bags of tricks. They don’t know you but they know what works. They just throw everything at you during labor and see what sticks. Here’s one they tried on me that night: (must be read aloud in an adorable Texas accent) Ok! Now, I want you to get mad! Think about something that makes you sooo mad, and push! Think about somebody that you just haaayte and get mad! But I am generally pretty easy going!

Blur blur etc. I pushed and pushed and pushed. Baby kept making his way out, and back in. Out, and in. Out… and in. He was later confirmed to be posterior, aka sunny side up which sounds much more cheerful than it is. It means he wasn’t ideally positioned for getting through the birth canal so I had to work harder to push. I felt like I was pushing for days, quite literally. When he was born (relief! more hearts, rainbows, angels) and I heard them say the time–23:59–I was shocked: You mean it’s still Monday!?

They put him on my belly and he was warm and lovely. Thank you for coming out of there! After a quick greeting, the pediatric nurses took him and I got a brief glimpse of his eyes and saw my hubby’s looking back at me. He has your eyes! I love him! I love you! I suddenly had a lot of love for everyone in that room. I was shivering and really thirsty. When my nurse offered me a cocktail, I wanted to kiss her. (But really too bad she meant a fruit juice cocktail.)

Time passed. I got a juice and a warm blanket. I watched from my bed as my husband held our baby boy in his arms. People were still doing things to me (placenta, stitches, blah blah blah) but I didn’t pay much attention to them. I asked my doula to go get my mom and aunt who were waiting in the lobby. My aunt shared his birthday, if only by one minute. Love, hugs, nursing, pictures. More juice.

I write this entry regrettably late–nearly two years after the momentous occasion–but with the added benefit of knowing everything that’s followed: breastfeeding challenges and successes, all of his developmental milestones, his first boo boo, his first ‘I love you, mama.’ All of it puts this first day in perspective: I worked hard to get you here. I will never stop working hard for you.

long time no blog

blog,photos 21 October 2010 | Comments Off

Ok, so my brilliant supermama friend @ babeandthebeast inspired me to nurture the mama blogger in me. Now I find myself up too late, shiny new theme installed, wondering what on earth I’m getting myself into. Perhaps I should start by setting your expectations.

  1. I am way less tech-savvy (that’s still a thing, right?) than I was pre-mamahood. I don’t know the difference between a tag and a category, a trackback and a tumblog, a plugin and a widget. I just want to write stuff and have it look nice, ok?
  2. I am a terrible writer. It takes me much longer than it should to craft the briefest of emails before hitting “Send” and don’t even get me started on the meticulous tweets I’ve never twittered. Accept that I’ll have bouts of blogger’s block.
  3. Let’s be honest: I will mostly just rave about my tot. If this interests you, then people get ready, there’s a train a comin’.

we have an egg!

conception,photos,pregnancy,trying to conceive 1 July 2007 | Comments Off

peak fertility

We’ve been using the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor to determine our peak fertility. It’s so exciting to see when we have an egg.

The hardest part about trying to get pregnant is not being able to talk to everyone about it. It’s pretty much the most important decision of your life, and a time when you have so many emotions and questions swirling around it would be nice to share them. That’s why I started baby foo.

A lazy Sunday seems like the perfect time to conceive… stay tuned!