Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Introducing SuperBaby!

Andrew wants to thank his cousin, Amber, for the SuperBaby bib. She was so sweet to think of him!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Andrew's First Month pictures.

One Week Old:

Two Weeks Old:

Three Weeks Old:

Four Weeks Old:

Andrew's first bath!

Okay, maybe the correct title should be "Andrew's first TUB bath."

Because believe me, he's been bathed since we got home. We just had to give him sponge baths until his belly button healed completely.

He loved his bath! He fussed just a second when we put him in but then it was like a day at the spa. He was quite happy and content. Hopefully bath time stays fun.

Thank you, Bonnie for his little blue tub and the teddy bear sponge. We're putting those both to use. And thank you to Grandma Pericht for the towel set.

Birth Announcement

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful

I'm thankful for God allowing me the blessing of being a mother to a wonderful little boy that I love beyond words. I'm thankful for his health and mine.
I'm thankful for my husband who is my strength and the love of my life. I can think of nothing greater than the joy of being partnered with this man and the life we created together.

I'm thankful for our familes both near and far. I thank God that my grandma and grandpa are both cancer free after battling it this year.

I'm thankful for all my friends, both IRL and those online. ((hugs))

Monday, November 17, 2008

Andrew's Birth Story

At my appointment on Wednesday, November 29 my OB ordered a growth ultrasound because my fundal height was measuring large for 40 weeks and 1 day. At the ultrasound the baby was measured 8 pounds and 5 ounces. They expect a baby to gain approximately one ounce per day. Since this was making for a large baby, my doctor wanted to induce labor on Monday, November 3. I would be 40 weeks and 6 days.

The baby was monitored closely every 2-3 days with ultrasounds and Non Stress Tests. Everything looked good and there was no medical reason to induce, so we decided to wait. We used tools from the Bradley class to communicate our desire for a natural birth. My OB gave us until Wednesday night, November 5th for labor to start naturally. At that time I would be 9 days over due. That seemed like a reasonable amount of time considering many doctors like to induce between 40-41.

If I hadn't gone into labor by that time, the hospital would call when they had a room available for the induction. Since I had a low Bishop's Score at my last appointment, the plan was to start ripening my cervix with cervidil and then to start pitocin the following morning.

I really wanted to avoid an induction because of the challenges it would pose to having a pain medication free birth. Plus I wanted my baby to pick his own birth-day!

So we had our homework to do. We used acupuncture, pressure points, evening primrose oil and relaxation along with visualization in an effort to get labor started naturally. My husband and I started walking 2-4 miles every day. And we went with the old adage, "What gets the baby in there, gets the baby out."

Contractions started Wednesday evening at 7 pm. They weren't very strong but they were coming pretty regular at 10-15 minutes apart. Christopher and I went walking to see if the contractions would get stronger. After about 2.5 hours I called my doula to see what she advised us to do. Since the contractions hadn't gotten much stronger, she told me to eat something and try to get some sleep to prepare for a long labor.

At 11:00 pm the hospital called. They had a room ready for us. I finished packing, called the doula, and took a shower. Just after midnight, we left for the hospital. It was almost 1:00 am Thursday, when I got into the L&D room. My doula met us at the hospital to help get us settled. They drew blood and got my IV antibiotics started for the GBS.

The contractions slowed down a little which I know is common from the Bradley class. Being in a strange environment will often do that in early labor.

My nurse checked me and I was 4 cm already! Those contractions had been doing something! Since that drastically improved my Bishop's Score, cervidil was no longer needed to ripen my cervix.

The nurse said they would start the pitocin at 5 am. My doula left for a few hours to get some sleep at home. Christopher managed to nap a little on the fold out couch while I watched the clock.

At 4:50 am, I was dilated to 5 cm and they started the pitocin. The plan was to increase the pitocin every 20 minutes until the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.

Because of the pitocin, they had to keep me on constant monitoring except for trips to the bathroom. My doula and Christopher were a big help though. The nurse let me walk around the bed, sit on the birthing ball, and sway with Christopher as long as the cords reached.

At one point, I got up out of bed to use the restroom. I guess when I got up, I had passed a large clot. My doula and the nurse were very concerned and asked about the amount of bleeding that I'd been having. Ever since the initial cervix check at 1 am, I had been bleeding some what heavily. Thankfully the bleeding slowed back down. But that was an excellent example of why you should wear a hospital gown to labor in.

At 9 am, my OB checked on me. I was 7 cm so he broke my water. There was light meconium staining. My OB said that was common when the baby is over due. My doula asked if I would still be to have the baby skin to skin immediately after delivery. My doctor said it would depend on the baby, but thankfully he didn't rule it out completely.

Labor wasn't that difficult for the next couple of hours. I spent a lot of time out of the hospital bed, swaying with Christopher. The doula would whisper into my ear just what I needed to hear and would massage my back. She kept reminding me to stay on top of the contractions by relaxing as soon I started to feel the pain start in my back.

The bed was pure evil. The contractions hurt so much worse when I was flat on my back. I didn't want to go there unless the nurse was going to check me.

At 11:00 am, I was 8 cm. Transition had officially started. The next two hours were rough. This is when time stopped for me. I would look at the clock and only five minutes had passed. I knew transition would be the most difficult time but also it's supposed to be the shortest period.

The contractions wouldn't go away completely during transition because of the pitocin. My doula said they would peak or double peak but never disappear like normal contractions during transition.

At 12:00 pm, I was dilated to 9 cm during a contraction. I was feeling more and more pressure. During this period, I kept wanting to go into the bathroom. Most of the time I didn't have to pee. I just had to get away. I felt like it was good to keep my bladder empty as possible though because of my Bradley training.

Chris was in charge of my IV pole and cords. It was a clumsy dance as we maneuvered around into the bathroom. My doula kept telling me not to push while I was in there. I knew she wanted to make sure that I didn't make my cervix swell by pushing before it was time. Whenever we would come out, they would ask if I had any contractions while in there. I would tell them how many that I'd had. Sitting on the toilet actually helped them not to be so painful.

Afterwards, my doula said she and the nurse talked about me going into the bathroom. The nurse was okay with it as long as I continued to have contractions and wasn't off monitor for too long. They knew that sometimes women need to go away where it's quiet and private to labor.

Around 1:00 pm, I was dilated to 10 cm with a small lip of cervix left.

Things get hazy at this point. I started to push and the baby's heart rate dropped down in the 90's for 3 minutes. They put me on oxygen and kept moving me around in different positions to get the heart beat up. The pitocin was stopped at this point and I labored with my own contractions. I wasn't allowed to push for 45 minutes. This was so difficult because with the contractions, my body wanted to push desperately. I would feel my muscles contract and it would take everything in me to relax. All I could do was try to breath deeply and listen to the doula's instructions. I had to give my baby oxygen.

I would go away in between contractions, almost falling asleep. I knew this was common from the Bradley classes. I just kept breathing deeply without panting. The oxygen mask made me feel like I was going to hyperventilate.

The nurses actually started prepping me for a c-section but no operating rooms were available. My OB was in surgery and couldn't get there for about 45 minutes.

When my doctor got there, they let me start pushing again. They told me to show the doctor what I could do, encouraging me to push with everything that I had. My OB said I had mad pushing skills. LOL I just wanted the baby out and safe!

Suddenly the room was transformed and nurses were every where. Later I found out that because we were expecting a big baby, the nurses came in to help get him out. My doula said if he was stuck they would have put their forearms on my stomach to push down.

With every contraction, I was pushing 2-3 times. Down and out. Please, baby be okay. Down and out. Breathe deeply, give the baby oxygen. Come on, contraction, let's go, give me another so I can push. Down and out. Breathe deeply, give the baby oxygen.

I felt the ring of fire that everyone talks about. It hurt but it didn't last very long. I didn't care, the baby needed to come out!

Christopher watched as his head came out and the doctor suctioned his mouth.
When the rest of his body came out, the cord was across his body with his hand on top of that. So every contraction was putting extra pressure on the cord which was the cause of his heart rate dropping.

He was born 11/06 at 3:11 PM, weighing 7 lbs and 15.51 ounces and 20 inches long. He scored 9's on both APGARS.

They put him on my chest immediately. That was what I had been waiting for! I didn't even notice his little cone head. I thought he was the most beautiful sight ever. Christopher, the proud poppa, cut the cord.

The baby nurse tried to snatch him from us but my doula said, "No, she's going to breast feed him." Pam, my doula, rocks!

Pam is also a lactation consultant so she was right there with us for the first breast feeding. She actually latched him on every time for me. All I had to do was hold him. She said it was great that I actually had colostrum for him already.

My right nipple was inverted so Pam met the hospital LC and got a nipple shield for me. I breast fed him for a little over an hour while the OB finished repairing my tears. At that point the nurse came back for Andrew and I let her give him his first bath and do his exam. Christopher watched over him like a hawk.

My doula put on gloves and helped me get cleaned up. It was nice to have a familiar person doing it instead of a strange nurse. She put me in a fresh gown and helped me to use the rest room.

The nurse made the comment that it didn't seem like I had only known Pam for two months. It seemed like we were long time friends instead. Pam said that was her goal, to be a friend. She was a crucial part of my support system. Christopher and I were so glad she was there for us.

We had a beautiful and happy ending to a year and a half long journey to become a family. We are completely and totally in love with out little boy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Andrew has arrived!

Andrew was born on Nov 6, 2008 at 3:11 pm, weighing 8 lbs and measuring 20 inches long. He has classic blue newborn eyes which is darker blue than Christopher and I have. He has a full head of blondish brown hair. It seems like the hair color keeps getting lighter and lighter.

I'll update the complete birth story soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Something going on here....

The hospital hasn't called yet to bring me in for my induction even though I'm supposed to be on the schedule tonight. I'm hoping this is the real thing so we can avoid the induction and go on our own!

I've had contractions for the past 2.5 hours. When I started timing them they were 5-6 minutes apart but only 30 seconds long. They are still about 5 minutes apart and now close to 60 seconds long. I also have a backache that keeps coming and going.
We've been walking that entire time. They aren't really super painful yet as I can continue to walk through them.

I just called my doula and she suggested that I lay down to see if the contractions continue. If I fall asleep, that's good so I can get some rest. If this is real labor, I probably still have a long way to go yet. Most first time labors average 15-16 hours long.

I'd appreciate any spare prayers and good thoughts! Hopefully Patches will be born tomorrow!

On Stand By

I don't like flying on stand by and I certainly don't like having a baby on stand by.

We're scheduled for an induction starting tonight but it's not a firm induction date. I'm not expecting a phone call until this evening if even then. The office manager at my OB's said they could call at 1 am if that's the soonest they have room for us. It all depends on how busy the Labor & Delivery floor is.

There's even a chance they won't call us until Thursday.

So we wait. And we're hoping and praying Patches decides to get started on his own before we get the phone call from the hospital. If I show up in labor, then someone else will get bumped to a later induction.

We'll update when we know something.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

41 Weeks, 7 Days Over Due

Apparently Patches has no calendar in there. He's late, he's late, for a very important date!

The baby is doing great according to the tests on Monday. He's just too comfortable and cozy in there to come out on his own.

We're trying everything we can to encourage him to come on out. But nothing is working.

I'm not really miserable either. I feel huge and getting in and out of bed is difficult. But I'm not overly anxious to be induced. I'd rather Patches pick his own birthday so it's easier on all of us. But we'll have to deal with what we're given.

We're still on standby for an induction starting Wednesday night. The hospital will call when they have room for us. And then we'll make our phone calls, texts, and emails.

If you have any spare prayers or good thoughts, we would appreciate them.
Patches has two days to make his appearance on his own.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sorry for no update on Friday

I never updated from my Friday appointment. I was kind of tired of thinking and worrying about it.

NST and ultrasound was great. I didn't have an internal exam but the ultrasound tech said the baby had dropped quite a bit and was glad she didn't have to measure his head because it was so low in my pelvis.

We got them to actually schedule an induction on Wednesday night, Novemember 5. We have to wait for a phone call from Labor and Delivery until the hospital has room for us. It can be any time of the day or night. And if they are too busy it will be Thursday. But at least I don't have to lie about something being wrong with Patches to get in and we have a few more days to go naturally.

I have another NST scheduled for Monday am.

I've been having some lower cramping today but nothing regular. We'll continue doing our two mile walks every day and see what happens. Christopher has been feeding me lots of spicy foods trying to get something going.

So come on out, Mr. Patches!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My "scheduled" induction

I had my Non Stress Test today. They put two monitors on my belly. One is for the fetal heartbeat and the other measures uterine contractions. I was instructed to push a button every time I felt the baby move. This is printed out on a paper strip for the doctor to look at.

I don't think Patches liked the monitor very much. He moved and rolled around A LOT! His heart beat would accelerate every time he started his gymnastic moves.

The OB said it was a great strip and the baby is looking fantastic.

The ultrasound estimates Patches at 8 lbs and 9 oz (just a little above normal) with a head circumference of 14 inches(average for a newborn.) He's definitely put on some weight since the last ultrasound. Probably all that halloween candy.

They wanted to schedule me to be admitted Sunday night for an induction for Monday but the hospital says they aren't accepting any more on their schedule until next Thursday. My OB doesn't want me to go that long over due.

So the office manager told me to go to the hospital Sunday night and tell them I'm over due and haven't felt the baby move for a while.

They'll run a NST and tell me everything is okay and then call my OB. At that point he's supposed to tell them to keep me and start an induction.

We're both really uncomfortable with lying to the nurses in labor and delivery.

One, I've lost two babies. I don't like saying something is wrong with this one! Two, if I lie, it's going to be pretty apparent if the baby has a great NST like today's. Then the nurse is going to know something fishy is going on. I'm sure this is a common practice that OB's use to get their patients in the hospital door.

I may call tomorrow and talk to the office manager about this some more.

I really hope Patches shows up sooner than Sunday night so this isn't a problem!

I have another NST on Friday with a quick ultrasound.

Pray Patches gets moving out!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baby Eviction Notice


Date: October 26, 2008
To: Mr. Patches

To the above tenant in possession of below described premises:

I am issuing a 3 day notice for EVICTION. You will have 3 days in which you can either gather your belongings and promptly vacate the premises, or wait until the final day. After which, you will be physically removed from the property.
You are being evicted due to breech of contract and destruction of property. Expansions only to the FRONT of the house, within reasonable limits, were discussed. Not only have these limits been exceeded, but additions to the back of the house were also made!
Remodeling and gutting of the home was never approved, nor was changing the initial layout and base structure. And due to property damage, there are now leaks in both the upper AND lower levels of the home. On top of which, the landlord has received numerous complaints about nightly disturbances.
After 3 days from this day that you don't comply with the notice will result in immediate and forceful removal at my discretion.

Thank you for your cooperation

Thursday, October 23, 2008

39 Weeks And Running Out of Time!

I'm 2 cm dilated now and the baby has dropped a little to -2 station. I've been having a few cramps. So that's good news, a little more progress.

I have to go back to the doctor on Monday and we'll talk induction. Tuesday is my due date.

I really don't want the induction but the doctor keeps saying the baby is big and wants to induce before he gets even bigger. All he's doing is measuring the fundal height (tape measure to the belly). He's not feeling the baby or looking at the ultrasounds. I've gained 22 lbs.

The ultrasounds keep showing the baby in the 50% percentile, not big at all, just average. I'm a little frustrated because the fundal height could be bigger in part because I have a lot of amniotic fluid (high normal) according to the ultrasound.

The OB said that the ultrasounds could be up to 30% off so that doesn't mean anything. Well, the baby has measured on time or slightly behind at every single scan starting at 7 weeks. He's always been in the 50% range and that's been 5 different sonogram machines and 5 different techs.

The last scan Patches measured two days behind his Estimated Due Date and only 6 lbs 5 oz. That's only 7.5 to 8 lbs by my due date.

When I asked if we could do an Non Stress Test before we scheduled the induction, the OB said he wouldn't be the pregnancy police. But at the same time I think he's going to pressure us to schedule the induction. I understand not wanting to wait until I'm a week late but I want a few more days to get this baby out.

I have an appointment on Monday afternoon for acupuncture. I've been working the exercise ball and we went walking this afternoon at the mall. Maybe that will get something going!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

38 Weeks

Christopher was able to go to this appointment since he just happened to be off work that day.

When we got there, I noticed the lights in my doctor's exam rooms were all off. That's a bad sign, meaning he's not there.

When I came back out from giving the standard urine sample, (gotta love peeing in a cup 9 months pregnant but that's another story) the receptionist told me that my OB was in surgery and would not be back that morning.

We ended up waiting about an hour and a half when the ultrasound tech called us back instead of a nurse. I was surprised since we just had a scan the week before. The ultrasound tech told us that since the midwife was running so far behind, that she would do a scan to get the baby's heart rate. Who could turn down a free ultrasound?

She got a healthy heart rate of 133 bpm. She confirmed that the baby was still head down and showed us a the baby's face. She showed us his abdomen was moving in and out which is how he was practicing his breathing.

Then she moved the wand up by my ribs and found his little foot. It was so cute on the screen. That's what has been kicking me in the ribs! He also had his hand down there too like he'd been grabbing his foot.

The first picture is a profile of his foot, toes pointing to the right.

The second picture is the bottom of his foot, you can see all 5 toes.

We finally got to see the midwife a little later. She confirmed that I was still at 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. The baby is still at -3 station. She said that's a great place to be at 38 weeks.

So we wait for Patches to pick his birthday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

OB said, "Wow!" 37 week appointment

I had a couple of minor scares today at the OB. First he had trouble finding the HB. I figured the baby was just in a weird spot because I felt him do a funny roll on the way to the appointment. He felt like he was up in my stomach all morning.

And then it's never a good thing if your doctor says, "Wow" during an internal exam. And that's all he said! I'm sure my eyes got huge because the nurse patted my arm.

Finally he said that he couldn't tell the baby's position. The doctor couldn't tell if he was feeling Patches' head or his bottom. And then he said that the baby was measuring BIG!

I was pretty much speechless, trying to process the possible change. The nurse was great at reassuring me. She remembers the previous miscarriages and knows all the worries that are automatically built in with this pregnancy.

I had to wait 30 minutes for an ultrasound. I tried to read in the waiting room but who can concentrate when you might be scheduling a c-section next. The tech put the wand on my lower belly and said, "IT'S A HEAD!" The baby is thankfully head down but he's all stretched out and floating up high. I guess that's why the doctor said he was big with just the fundal measurement on my belly.

I also have a lot of amniotic fluid, supposedly high normal. I'm not going to go down that google path since it can mean there's a problem. I don't want to know all the negatives at this point. I'll just go with what the u/s tech said, more is better than too little and it was just on the high end of normal.

He's measuring two days behind my EDD so he's not really big at all. She estimated his weight at 6 lbs 5 oz which is in the 50% percentile. Normal, Dr. S! Normal! Since the baby is supposed to gain a 1/2 lb a week, she guessed he would be 7.5 to 8 pounds at birth.

She printed out a picture for us. The baby kept yawning over and over. You could see his little mouth open and close. I guess we were disturbing his sleep with all the commotion. He also has a full head of hair. According to the tech, it's a lot of hair! Daddy might be jealous. ;)

She did kind of goof up by asking me what my other babies weighed at birth. I guess she saw this was my 3rd pregnancy but didn't catch the miscarriage part of my chart.

It's still hard to believe we could have a real baby here soon. And he's head down and measuring normally! Now if he'd just engage and give mom a chance to breathe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

36 week: 1 Down, 9 To Go!

I had my weekly appointment today. While I was getting prepped (BP and weight check) the nurse said she felt sorry for me because I was getting my first internal check. She made it sound awful! LOL

The midwife took off her ring before putting on her gloves. I knew she was serious about this! She warned me that I would feel the pressure of the back of her hand and then she would turn her hand to check the dilation.

She coached me into postion, no more stirrups. I had to put my feet flat on the table extension. She said this is how I'll be checked during labor.

That first part wasn't really bad at all. The only thing that was uncomfortable was when she started pushing on Patches to determine what station he was at. I swear she pushed on his bottom and shoved him towards the exit like she was trying to get him out today!

I'm offically 1 cm dilated. Woo-hoo.

*Only* 9 cm more to go! That's how I'm looking at it. At least it was some progress.

My cervix is 50% effaced and posterior. The baby hasn't really dropped yet into my pelvis. He's at -3 station so that's pretty high up there.

The internal wasn't painful but I did start bleeding immediately. She said I handled the internal exam very well. It's all about relaxing and breathing. Even when it feels like she's reaching up to touch my lungs.

I'm glad my OB and midwife have small hands. ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

35 week appointment

Christopher just happened to be off work today because work was slow so he was able to go with me. It was nice because he hasn't been able to go with me since May.

They tried to get me to see the midwife because my OB was running behind. We decided to stick it out since I'm getting closer to delivering. I had just found out last month that the midwife no longer delivers babies!

I found out that I'm GBS positive so I'll definitely be toting an IV pole around with me during labor. My OB said they like for patients to recieve two doses of the antibiotics prior to delivery. He didn't think that would be a problem since I'm a first time mom.

But I still don't want to head for the hospital too early.

I've been so worried that the baby was going to breech or transverse since that's how he preferred to hang out. He'd settled down a little bit though. I've been trying to figure out what the movements mean and what the hard places are in my belly. I've been doing all these pelvic rocks and yoga poses that are supposed to help the baby get in the best postion. I've even been playing lullaby music on my ipod speakers down by my pelvic to draw him down. Last week, when I played the music for him for the first time, I felt a huge movement/roll as he moved toward the sound.

Today the doctor felt my belly very quickly, like just in two places after measuring and using the doppler. I asked him if he could feel the baby's position.

"Oh, yeah. He's head down, with his back along your left. Here's an arm and here's a leg."

I was so relieved! I think the music helped.
Hopefully Patches stays pointed towards the exit.

My BP and urine were okay which is always good news. I'm up 17 lbs for the pregnancy. I now go for weekly appointments. My first internal exam is next week.

At least the OB warned me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Car Seat Inspection

We got our car seat inspected over the weekend. The hospital does it monthly by appointment, free of charge.

We were supposed to show up to the inspection with it installed and the car seat direction book. So last minute, Christopher and I tried putting it in the night before.

We couldn't use the latch system in the middle because the anchor points were too far apart according to the directions. We read that AFTER trying for several minutes to get it tightened up enough.

The next option was to use the seat belt to latch the base in. However we couldn't find the locking bar necessary to use with our seat belt. It was supposed to be included with the car seat.

So Chris got it installed on the passenger side back seat. He did an awesome job getting it tight enough. We really wanted it to be in the center for safety but didn't know how to over come the seat belt problem.

When we got to the hospital, the women doing the inspection congratulated Christopher for getting the car seat installed correctly! Yay, we passed.

She then asked us if we wanted to try it installed in the center. We told her the problem with the anchor latches and that we couldn't find the latch bar to work with the seat belt. She quickly flipped the seat over and showed us where the manufacter's had hid the latch bar. Viola!

So she and Christopher got it secured in the middle with the seat belt locking it in tight. This pretty much requires two people to do it since our seat belt doesn't lock in place on its own. Chris said that base isn't getting moved for a long time!

Here we tested it out.

It's kind of strange to see the car seat whenever I turn around to back up. I can't wait until our little guy is here to get his first ride home.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Baby Care, Paper T Shirts, and BF in the OR!

We had our baby care class today. The first part we watched a video and slide presentation. The video showed the parents right after delivery with baby being held skin to skin and being breast fed. I had to hold back tears! Darn pregnancy hormones.

Then she showed slide pics of an actual circumsion which was a little painful to see. My hospital doesn't use any local anesthesia for circs! They only give the babies 2 teaspoons of sugar water to help cope with the pain. WTH?

Then we played with some baby dolls, washing and diapering them! That part was fun in a weird way. We got lucky and scored a boy baby doll so we could practice cleaning him up correctly.

Our practice baby!

We got to see the paper t shirts that they give the babies to wear in my hospital. I kept picturing the thin white paper like what they use to line examination tables. This was actually heavier paper, kind of like the stuff they use for expensive paper napkins. It had a small piece of velcro to hold it closed.

Christopher holding the baby doll. The paper t shirt is blue and pink.

The nurse said that they want parents to bring in their own clothing for the baby so he will get used to what you'll be putting him in at home. That kind of makes sense. The paper shirt they provide is for immediately after birth when the umbilicial cord stump has iodine on it. I guess it's triple staining or something.

She was also a lactation consultant and told us that if we had her as a nurse for a c-section delivery, then she would do everything possible to get the baby skin to skin with you while in the OR and even attempt some breast feeding there. I was very shocked at that!

Without saying it, she let us know that not all others nurses would try it. But it's still pretty amazing that it's even a possiblity. Of course you might be so out of it after the c-section that it's impossible.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Baby Shower...

for us! It's hard to believe it's really time for our own baby shower. A special day to celebrate this baby boy.

Today when we woke up, Patches was kicking me like normal. I usually tell Christopher about it so he can get a quick feel while we're both right together.
Chris put his hand on my belly and shook it just a little saying hello. Then right as he placed his hand flat on the sweet spot, Patches gave one of his power kicks! (We're talking the kind that can move the remote control or whatever is resting on my tummy.) Chris pulls his hand back in surprise, saying "Wow, what do those feel like on the inside?!"

They feel awesome.

It was like Patches was telling us to come on, get up already! It's his big day, pre-birthday. We have things to do! It's baby shower time.

My sister in law, Caroline has been so supportive of us during the past year. She hosted the baby shower at her house. It was beautifully decorated and everything I could have dreamed for.

Christopher, Tracy, and Patches

Some of the party ballons.

This cute little guy was one of the ballon weights.

Some of the favors around the cake.

This cake was beautifully decorated as a baby carriage. It was a vanilla cake with a creme layer. The two wheels were chocolate cupcakes. "A Baby Is A Precious Gift"

Sister in law, Caroline with the beautiful cake. Her mom, Mrs. Ernst is looking on in the background.

We played some really fun games. The guys even enjoyed participating.

We were shown this tray for one minute. Then we had to write down all the items that we could remember. My friend, Bonnie won this one easily!

Then we played a baby word scramble game. Again Bonnie put most of us to shame. I think her youth helped her. My pregnancy induced attention deficient disorder gave me serious trouble! Who knew "rodeomothh" was motherhood and "unserry hemry" was nursery rhyme?

Bonnie, again a winner. This time of "Guess How Big the Momma To Be's Belly Is." The object was to cut a piece of yarn just long enough to wrap around my stomach at the biggest point. I dreaded this game a little since it basically makes fun of how big I am! But it turned out fun to play. Christopher (thank you, honey!) and the twin 6 year olds, Amber and Zachary were the closest after Bonnie. Everyone else had miles of extra yarn! Apparently I do look THAT big. :)

Christopher helping the twins, Amber and Zachary measuring and cutting their yarn.

Debbie, the official winner of the "Find The Baby Pin Game." There were 80 baby pins inside the bowl covered with uncooked rice. The object was to find as many pins as possible during one minute. It was a lot harder than what it looked like because the rice was bigger than the small pins. Debbie shifted through and found four. I found NONE!

Mrs. Ernst who finished second place after a tie breaker.

My mother in law, Margaret, playing the game.

My other sister in law, Alice.

Brother in law Steve who thought he had a plan to win.

Christopher finding two pins and managing to spill rice all over the floor!

Chef Christopher with his yummy lasagne! I know he won't let us starve after the baby is born.

We had lots of good food and good times. It was the perfect baby shower! I'm going to blame it on pregnancy hormones, but when I think back over the evening I start to cry. We enjoyed ourselves so much.

Thank you, Caroline for hosting it. And thank you to all those that came and for all the gifts we received. Patches is one lucky boy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Enter to win free BG diapers!

Follow the link to enter to win 12 Bum Genius Diapers

Baby Cheap Skate Giveaway 12 BG 3.0

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Scrapbook Page

How I'm announcing the sex to some family members!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My baby weighs over one pound!

I had my 22 week follow up Level II ultrasound with the perinatologist today. Chris couldn't make the appointment because of work. I thought it would be fun for my friend, Bonnie, to come to the appointment.

We had to wait forever to get in to see the doctor. The waiting room was full which is unlike this doctor's office. I soon realized why it was so crowded. One girl brought her entire family and friends to the ultrasound. There were 4 other people with her!

Patches was kicking before the appointment started but he settled quietly in for the scan. I guess the sugar rush from the orange juice wore off! He's measuring a little ahead at 22 w 6 days instead of 22 w 1 day. His heart rate was 160 (maybe from the OJ?) so that again doesn't follow the old wives tale about high heart rates indicating girls.

They estimated the fetal weight to be 1 pound and 2 ounces. I was concerned that weight might be a little high from what I've read in the baby books but the doctor reassured me that it was completely normal. In fact Patches appears completely normal and healthy! Thank God.

Now for the pictures!

We got our first 3D picture of Patches. The tech couldn't get a real good view of him but you can see one of his arms up by his face and his nose and mouth pretty clearly. She told me that in 6-8 weeks the 3D would be closer to how he'd really look when he's born. Right now he doesn't have enough fat to fill out his skin so he's a little alien looking. But still cute in my opinion! :)

Here's a profile of Patches. His head is on the left and his little legs and feet are sticking up in the air. Probably getting ready to kick on mommy.

And just because Patches is an October baby, here's another face on shot where he looks like Skeletor. Tilt your head side ways. The top of his head is on the left and his eye sockets are above the bright spot which is his nose. His mouth is the black opening below that.

When we were looking at this angle, he opened his mouth really wide and then closed it like a yawn. It was super cute.
After the appointment, Bonnie and I went out to lunch before she had to get back to work. I cut one of the ultrasound pictures off the strip so she could take it with her. She usually sees Chris several times during the day so I knew she could give him the photo. I wanted him to get a surprise after a hard day's work and he'd have an excuse to show off his son! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm officially a midwife patient

I've been seeing an OB but he has two certified nurse mid wives in his practice. They can deliver babies too, just no c-sections.

I love my OB. He was great during my miscarriages and when I had cysts and abnormal pap smear scares. I'll probably still see him from time to time. He's very reassuring and doesn't really rush too much.

Donna (the midwife) can take a lot more time for the appointments and doesn't brush me off if I have concerns. My OB loves to quote statistics which I appreciate with my google MD (ha ha) but we all know that stats don't really mean what will happen to us as individuals. If it was so easy to be on the majority side, we'd never had one miscarriage let alone more. And we wouldn't have infertility problems etc. Some stats are comforting but some just aren't.

The first time I saw Donna for this pregnancy, she practically read my chart from front to back. I have a huge chart as you probably do too. My OB always says my chart looks beat up and the nurse just this week mentioned that I have a big chart. Anyway Donna caught things in my history that I didn't even know and things that I'm sure my OB would have missed.

One example was that I'm GBS positive. It was found in my last pregnancy during a urine analysis. They can assume that from time to time I'll have that bacteria again. It's not a big deal and is pretty common but will require an IV of antibiotics before delivery. They normally do a swab once or twice during pregnancy to check for the bacteria. The swab is pretty invasive. Some girls report that they swab not just vaginally but rectally too! Eww.

So Donna noticed that I already tested positive and told me to remind them so I wouldn't have to be swabbed for this pregnancy. They will just assume that I'm positive. Anyone that looks for a way to save me a poke and prod is my kind of person. ;)

I have no problem with a male doctor. Not at all. Again, I love my OB and Chris does too. But there's something comforting when talking to Donna. She has a little better edge. She's had three pregnancies. She has all the female parts that my male OB can only quote stats about.

I may try to go without an epidural for delivery. Donna will be more supportive of that and allow me more time to do my thing. I may end up with an epidural. I may end up with a c-section by my doctor. Who knows. But I'd like to see what happens.

Donna asked me several questions regarding my vitamins, breastfeeding, circumsion, and birthing classes. She gave me a run down of my coming up appointments. I go back in 4 weeks (week 25 of pregnancy) and then another 4 weeks (week 29) will be my glucose test. After that I will go to appointments every two weeks starting at week 31.

So I've officially switched from my OB to a midwife. I'm borderline crunchy. :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

This is XP from SAL so you may have read it already.

What a freaking day.

Our new bedroom furniture got delivered this afternoon. DH and I spent the entire morning taking down the old furniture and moving. I ended up helping lift a headboard bookcase that he couldn't handle alone.
Around 11 am I started getting sharp cramps. I worked a little longer and then gave up to rest on couch. I drank 2 bottles of water and started working on my a third.
Around 4 pm, DH told me to call my OB since the cramps weren't letting up. My own doctor wasn't on call so I spoke to another. That doctor said if it was bad enough that I called him, then I needed to go to the ER. I really wasn't expecting that. I thought my OB would just reassure me and give me some guidelines to follow if it got worse or didn't improve. I don't run to the doctor over every little thing and going to the ER was the last thing I wanted to do!
During the 30 minute drive I had 5 of the really sharp cramps. I had a couple more while we went through security and check in. I ended up being sent to L&D. That totally freaked me out. It felt so strange to walk through those doors into L&D triage. This isn't supposed to be happening until October! I felt like an imposter on that floor.
They had me drink 32 more ounces of water. The nurse had a hard time finding the heart beat with the fetal monitor because the baby is so small. She finally had to get the doppler out to locate him. Then she strapped me up to the fetal heart monitor and did a NST. They can't do a ffn test to see if preterm labor is likely to start soon until after 24 weeks. By that time I wasn't having any more intense cramps. They were just minor twinges. The NST strip just showed one contraction and some uterine irritability. My urine analysis came back okay as did the other tests.
They sent me home with the elastic strips that they use to hold the monitors on my belly. Whenever I come back (whether for another check or for the birth), I'm supposed to bring them along! They also gave me a sheet on preterm labor which basically said to do what I did. You're supposed to lay down on your side, drink 2-3 glasses of water, and call if you don't feel better in an hour. Well, I had waited 5 hours at home but I didn't rest the entire time. She told me not to feel bad for coming in, that it's better safe than sorry. I still feel kind of bad. If I had just waited another hour, the cramps would have gone away.
So, I'm supposed to take it easy, stay hydrated, and only supervise any more work on our bedroom. I follow up with the perinatologist on Wednesday. I want them to measure my cervix because they did not do that today at the hospital.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pineapple Stuffed Jerk Chicken

I used MS Every Day Food's recipe for Pineapple Stuffed Jerk Chicken .

I used fresh pineapple instead of canned and I cut the recipe in half since it's just the two of us. I kind of wish I'd made a full batch and froze half! Also I cut the jerk seasoning in half and probably could have quartered it as I didn't use it all. I didn't want to make it too spicy since I wasn't familar with it.

Serves 8
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (20 ounces each) pineapple chunks in juice, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 scallions, thinly sliced
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
Cooked rice, for serving

In a small bowl, combine thyme, allspice, cayenne, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set spice mixture aside. In a medium bowl, stir together pineapple, lime juice, scallions, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Season stuffing with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Lay chicken flat on a work surface. With a paring knife, cut a 2-inch-long slit in the thick side of each breast; insert knife, and pivot inside chicken without enlarging opening, carefully forming a deep pocket (make sure not to pierce the opposite side). Dividing evenly, tightly pack each breast with stuffing; rub exterior with oil, and sprinkle with spice mixture.
Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; arrange chicken on sheet. Broil until chicken is opaque throughout and an instant-read thermometer inserted into stuffing reads 165, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve stuffed chicken with rice.

Helpful Hint
To freeze: Arrange on a baking sheet (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Wrap each in plastic, and place in a resealable freezer bag; freeze up to 2 months. To broil from frozen: Unwrap chicken and proceed with step 3, broiling about 40 minutes, turning chicken over halfway through.

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops with Fried Rice

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture last night so all I have to show you are leftovers. We ate up all the good veggies (snowpeas and baby corn).

based on a recipe from

2.5 lbs pork chops
1 large onion diced
approx 1/2 of a fresh pineapple cut into chunks, reserve the core (orginal recipe said to us 20 oz of canned pineapple)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water

1/2 green bell pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

In a dutch oven or large skillet, brown the pork chops. Add onions, juice from the pineapple and core, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, salt and pepper.
Cover pan and simmer for 1 hour or until pork chops are tender.
Set pork chops aside. Discard the core.
Combine cornstarch and water, then stir into pan; add bell pepper, and chunks of pineapple. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce has thickened to desired consistency. Add pork chops and cook until heated through.

Serve over white rice, pasta, or noodles.

Fried Rice
Adapted from a Martha Stewart Every Day Food recipe

Serves 4

2 bags of Uncle Ben's long grain rice boil in a bag (original said to use 1 cup long-grain white rice)

some of the above pork cut into small pieces. (The original recipe called for 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 12 ounces total)

Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup diced red or green bell pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock

1 small bag of frozen veggies such as snow peas, baby corn, carrots, green peas

Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.

If using chicken: Pound breasts with a mallet until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into strips (each 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide). Season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook chicken until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

If using cooked pork skip above and cook the egg first.

Reduce heat to medium; add one tablespoon oil. Add eggs; just as whites begin to set, stir to scramble. Add scallions and ginger; cook 1 minute. Add reserved rice and bell pepper; cook 2 minutes. Stir together soy sauce, sugar, and stock; add to skillet. Add reserved chicken or pork; cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Toss with cooked veggies.

Patches has stuff!

The first thing I received (and the only thing I got for Mother's Day!) was from Stephanie. It was very special that she sent me something. And I appreciate it even more so because of what she was going through herself. She sent me a cute Mother To Be card and a great story book for our baby. That was the first book we read out loud to Patches at bed time. Hey, the baby book said baby could hear by then!

At our big ultrasound at 18 weeks, we found out we were having a boy. So right after the doctor's appointment, we went shopping to celebrate. JCP had Carter's onsies on sale for $3 a piece. Here's a picture of the four that we bought that day. Patches has clothes! It's official, we're expecting to have a baby boy in October!

My new friend Jeanette,sent me some cute little things for Patches and a ton of maternity clothes. She said that she had one outfit and ended up sending two jackets, three shirts, two dresses, and a jean skirt! WOW! I was overwhelmed.

Jeanette sent a nice card, a Just Add Milk onsie, a cow finger puppet, a waterproof pad, and What To Expect The First Year. Everything was so cute perfect!

I'm very thankful of those things that have been sent to us. And most importantly for this little baby growing inside me.

Hopefully a preview of what's to come in October...

This is Christopher holding his not even two month old nephew, Zachary, back in 2002. Isn't it cute? A big guy with a little baby. Zack looks comfortable but Chris is questionable. Actually he's doing pretty good holding a newborn. Babies are pretty scary after all. :)

I'm sure when it's our own son, Chris will get the confidence and be holding him like a pro in no time. He's already being a great daddy to our little one. He loves to talk to Patches and even read to him his first bed time story.

Just to flash forward from the first picture, here are the twins Zachary and Amber playing on Mother's Day 2008. Zachary is so tall that he looks like an 8 year old! Until he talks, and then you know he's all 5 year old. ;)

Mother's Day is when we told Christopher's entire family. We were at the Sea Watch restaurant which is right off the intercoastal. The restaurant is has wonderful sea food and the views of the water are awesome.

Here's some pictures from that day.

The family enjoying the ocean air behind the restaurant after lunch.

The view from the front of the Sea Watch.

Some of the seating is open but you still get great views from the enclosed areas plus air conditioning! Chris is here holding my purse. What a guy. He wouldn't do that 5 years ago.