September 26, 2012

Better Late Than Never - My Birth Story

Yes, the baby finally came!  She (that's right, we had a girl!!) is about a month old now and this is the first time I've been able to do a blog post...

Cora was born on August 29th at 11:58 am.  She was 6 days past her due date at that point and still wanted to stay in!  She weighed in at a petite 6 pounds 9.5 ounces and was 18.25 inches long.  I was in labor with her for 30 freakin' hours.   Pictures coming soon!


At around 5:30 am on the 28th, I started having contractions, again.  They were light and around 10 minutes apart until about 2 in the afternoon, when they stopped.  Bean got home from work around 5 pm and it was like a flip switched - contractions started again and they were much stronger and only 7 minutes apart.  This went on until about 8:30 pm and then they became way more intense and slightly closer together.  By 9:30, we were out the door and on the way to the hospital at my midwife's request.  We were admitted to the hospital at around 10:30 that night.  Because I desperately wanted to have a natural birth, I chose not to do an epidural and tried to power through it.  At around 4 am on the 29th, my contractions were strong but still 5 minutes apart and I wasn't dilated enough - I was going to have to have my water broken and be induced.  I was, of course, heartbroken but also excited because this baby was coming without a doubt. 

The pain was really amping up around 3 am, which made me try the whirlpool tub for some relief - didn't work for me, unfortunately.  The midwife broke the news that we needed to break my water soon because she was worried that the baby would be in distress if we waited too much longer.  After a half hour of intense deliberation and tears with Bean, we decided to go ahead and do the epidural and have her break my water.  At this point, I had been in labor for just shy of 24 hours and was physically wiped out.  The pain med guy appeared and he put in the needle/catheter.  I am absolutely terrified of needles so you can imagine the sheer panic racing through my mind at this point... Thankfully, the worst part was the numbing shots and it was over relatively quickly.  Soon after my epidural started to kick in and I was finally able to sleep for a few hours.  At around 6:30 am, we started the Petocin drip to get the baby coming.  The contractions started coming faster, lasting longer, and hurting much worse, even through the epidural haze.  My mother, who I asked to be in the room when I delivered, arrived at the hospital at around 9 am and at that point I was in a lot of pain and I just wanted it over with.  The nurses and midwife had been monitoring my and baby's heartbeats all night and had noticed that when I had a contraction, her heart rate dropped more than it should have... there was a chance that either her cord was around her neck or that she would not be able to fit through my pevis.  My midwife told me that unless we were able to go into labor before noon, I would need a C-section.  I bawled... like uncontrollable style.  That is the very last thing I wanted and in my heart/mind, nothing about this delivery was going according to plan.

Thankfully, one of the most experienced (and sweetest) nurses tried a technique to get my pelvis to open up - she rolled me to my side and put one leg up on the little bedside table/trays for an hour.  This TOTALLY worked like a charm - I was 100% effaced and 9 cm dilated within the hour.  At approximately 11:15, I started to feel a lot of pressure not only in my bottom, but now in the front as well.  I asked my husband to get the midwife because I felt like pushing... she walked into the room to check me and found that the baby was already half way down the chute, as it were.  I pushed along with my contractions and by 11:58 am, I had my beautiful daughter!  Bean even got to announce the gender, which was the most amazing thing ever!  I, of course, bawled my eyes out right away and my mom was in a state of mild hysterics - she had thought the baby was a girl from day one and was right!

Immediately, they slapped her on my chest and Bean cut the cord.  From the very first minute I laid eyes on her, I was absolutely in love.  Bean was beside himself with joy, it was a beautiful moment.  Later, I found out that yes, her cord was wrapped around her neck but my midwife handled it like a pro - she took it off the moment that it was physically possible and with a speed not normally seen.

She is a perfect, healthy baby and brings us an unending supply of joy and love (and some stress too).  It's funny how life before her seems so long ago now but it's only been a month.  Cora really completes our little family and we couldn't be happier.

Much love to all of you!

August 27, 2012

Officially Overdue.

Like that favorite library book that I keep forgetting to return, this baby is now 4 days overdue.  These have been four of the longest and most agonizing days of my entire life.  Not only am I questioning every single little twitch or twinge of pain that comes from... down there... but I'm wondering if there is something wrong with me because Baby hasn't come yet.

Yes, I'm overly dramatic but damn it, this was not supposed to go this way.  Add a severe case of "Why ME"s to the equation and you have one very emotional and erratic Nicole to deal with... lucky Bean. 

Yesterday was just the most awful day I've had in a loooong time.  First, I was up since about 3 am because of severe acid reflux that just wouldn't go away.  At about 8 am, I was able to fall back asleep for a few hours until 10.  I wanted to take a quick shower and head out to the pharmacy to get some Zantac and lo-and-behold, the water main outside of our house broke.  I got soaped up and partially rinsed, but no hair washing in sight... I had to finish my "refreshing" shower with baby wipes... yay.  Then we left for the pharmacy, finally everything would be okay.  We were in the store for roughly 5 minutes and when we came out, our fairly new and nice car would not start.  Like nothing at all was happening.  Bean popped the hood and found that the battery casing had a big crack in it and had leaked all of the acid/water out... we had no power to do anything.  If you would have seen me in the parking lot of that store, you would have made a point not to make eye contact... here is a car with the hood up and a very pregnant woman sitting inside bawling.  Thankfully, my sister and her fiance lived pretty close so they were able to drive us home to get Bean's car so we could buy a battery.  Then off to Sam's Club, where we ran into Bean's parents and they teased me about my watermelon belly.  Everybody laughed but me because I was still right in the middle of my pity parade. 

Fast forward to us getting the new battery in the car, which is working perfectly now.  The afternoon was fine, we ended up making a special dinner together that was really really good.  3-Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Orange-Butter Broccoli.  Seriously, it was heavenly after a long and painful day.  At about 8pm that night, I started to feel menstrual like cramps, and I was praying that they were real contractions this time.  Coming pretty regularly, my tummy was tightening like it should... everything was finally falling into place.  Move to about 10:30 when Bean and I decided to go to bed.  Contractions still coming, everything was great.  I fell asleep pretty quickly and I woke up a few times in the night to pee, contractions were still there.  Woke up this morning and NOTHING.  No pains or tightening of any kind, just the baby wiggling about occasionally.  I woke up blaming myself that this all had stopped, like if I had just stayed awake we could have a baby today...  I am still pretty upset about the whole situation but honestly, what can I do?  If the baby isn't ready to come yet, it just isn't ready.

Here is hoping that today is better...

August 19, 2012

4 Days Away...

And still no baby to show for it.  Yep, my official due date is August 23rd, the day after my 24th birthday, and this baby isn't showing any signs of wanting to leave the womb.  I've been trying walking, drinking raspberry leaf tea, even some other methods that I'm not going to get into.  Still nothing...

Basically, I want this baby OUT but Baby is not interested in leaving.  Still getting lots of movements, wiggles, and stretches from the baby, so that is good.  For the past couple days I have been getting a lot of ligament stretching down my left side, especially at night, and Braxton Hicks contractions pretty much non-stop.  I am hoping that this is my body trying to tell Baby that it's time to get this show on the road, but I can't decide if that is just wishful thinking on my part. Haven't lost the mucus plug yet and the water has (obviously) not broken... I am about ready to sacrifice a (roasting) chicken to my heathen gods in order to get this movin'...

Bean wants me & little B to wait at least one more day so he can get some time sensitive, important stuff done for work... I couldn't help but laugh in his face.  I have been the one carrying around this squirming little human being for 9 months, letting it destroy my body the whole time... he doesn't have the right to ask me to wait, even if it was physically possible.  I'm sure he is 85% joking, but it's that 15% that makes me want to punch him in the nose...  He means well, surely.

Here is hoping that in the next week, I'll be able to give you guys my birthing story and Baby J's stats...  Any mamas with good natural-induction techniques should comment. I need all the help I can get.

August 13, 2012

Baby Baby BABY

So I went and did it again, I neglected my poor, sweet blog. 

I've been doing lots of other stuff in the mean time though, really.  Like trying to wish this baby out of me.  We have about a week and a half until our due date at this point and I would LOVE Baby to come prior to that.  Like now.

Besides wishing, I've been working on crochet stuff for a local photographer, CNicholl Photography.  She did my maternity shots and is just fab.  Seriously. 

Recognize the belly band?

Anyway, she has commissioned a hand full of crochet prop hats from me over the past two weeks so I've been busy crocheting.  And she manged to peer pressure me into making a new Etsy shop, miniolives, which is for all my baby stuff.  It's kind of nice to be able to do things other than jewelry, as everyone and their cousin can make a bracelet...

 I also did a bunch of diaper pail liners, which are selling like crazy at the new Etsy - who would have guessed?!

 Oh and a puffy star origami mobile for Baby J's room... it's so damn cute.

Anyway, go check out the new Etsy and a say a quick prayer for a quick labor and delivery for Baby J and I.  And maybe one in the next week, that'd be pretty great.

July 24, 2012

The beginning of our journey into cloth diapering...

We made the decision as soon as this baby was conceived that we'd be cloth diapering.  For the first 6 months of the pregnancy, I'd do a teeny bit of research every now and again but generally, I just figured I'd wait until the baby got a little closer.  I should have started early!  Not that it's a big deal now, but budgeting for this would be easier spread out over the entire pregnancy...  And now the majority of my day is spent researching cloth diapering stuff, as well as pinning good tutorials for stuff on Pinterest.  (Follow me HERE!)

That being said, we decided to do a combination of traditional cloth diapers with PUL covers and pocket diapers.  I went out to our local cloth diaper/organic baby rearing store, Little Padded Seats, and bought two white soft IMSE VIMSE diaper covers in small.  These are very soft and have nice gusseted leg holes for baby, which could accommodate both chunky thighs and chicken legs.  Since I didn't want to have to buy these every time the baby grew, I also bought two Rump-a-Roos covers that are one size fits all.  I got a cute little celery color and a stormy sort of gray.  To go under these, I bought two 10 packs of premium prefold diapers from Gerber, which I will eventually end up buying more.  These are nice because not only can I use them solo with a cover, but I can also use them to stuff my pocket diapers - SCORE.  For closure when going solo, I plan to use Snappis, which are pretty awesome because I can't poke baby with sharp pins in the middle of the night.

Now on to the pocket diapers.  For these, we are going to try two different brands, FLIP by bumGenius and gDiapers.  Both of these are a pocket diaper/cover combo, meaning that the diaper itself is a PUL shell with two pocket flaps on the front and back of the inside to hold inserts or cloth diapers.  So far, we have only bought the FLIP diapers but I am diggin' them already.  The shells are pretty easy to adjust, they are a one size with plastic snaps, and the stay-dry inserts that come in the daypacks are pretty thick.  They are in the wash now but I will test absorbancy soon and get back to you...  I got two Day Packs in Noodle and Butternut, which come with 2 shells and 6 stay-dry inserts each for $50 a box.  Considering that I will be able to use the inserts or the cloth diapers, these were a pretty good investment.  In the long run, I think we'll have at least 6 of the shells, possibly up to 10 because we'll be able to use them for the whole diapering experience up to potty training, and potentially for the next kid.

The gDiapers that we are going to try are SO FREAKING CUTE.  Seriously, those little things are precious even though the kid will poop in them.  We are going to end up trying four of the gDiapers in Small to start and see how it goes from there.  gDiapers are sized, which will probably make it a better fit for growing baby but we'll have to buy more as baby thickens up... Unfortunately, the gDiapers don't come with inserts, you have to buy them separately and they run $30 for a 6 pack, which ends up being $5 an insert!  YIKES.  I am already planning to make my own inserts for at least the gDiapers, probably the FLIP ones as well.  Tutorial in the future, possibly? 

Anyway, that is the beginning of my diaper stash, more to come I am sure.  I will calculate up my costs eventually as well, so that I can see how much we are saving versus disposable diapers.

Any of my cloth diaper mamas that want to comment with advice would be MUCH appreciated!  We need all the help we can get...