Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Labor Story!

Well here I am, the mother to a beautiful healthy 1 month old :) I figured it's about time to update on the details of my labor and delivery!

I saw Dr. Deprez on 12/14, the day before my due date. I was 3cm dilated and still not really effaced. Everything was still looking good with the baby and me. I stopped working on my due date (12/15), I just felt that I couldn't concentrate on much else and I am not in a profession where I should be distracted. I did continue taking "call" from home. I traditionally help my mom out a lot with Christmas shopping and other preparations so because I was still feeling well I decided that I was going to help her shop. Also, I figured the walking would be good to bring on labor. We went out Wednesday 12/15 for a few hours, I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions but when I went to bed that night all my signs of labor went away. When I woke up Thursday 12/16 I had a tremendous amount of energy (in restrospect I was definitely nesting!). I scrubbed the kitchen sink, cleaned the house and then called my mom and told her I wanted to get out and shop with her again. We shopped from 11am-8pm and I didn't have a single contraction all day. As mom said, it was the "calm before the storm." When I got home that night I was watching TV with Paul. Around 9:30 I started having some mild contractions so I started timing them. They were about 10-15 minutes apart. I took a warm bath (on the advice of my friend Sue)- I really think this moved things along! I tried to go to bed figuring if this was real labor I wouldn't be able to sleep. Sure enough, I couldn't sleep. I got up around 11:30 and timed my contractions some more. Around midnight I decided that this was real labor and I should probably take a shower now before the contractions were too bad. Paul woke up when he heard the shower running and finished packing our bags and the car. I was also having some pretty bad gastrointestinal cramps which made it difficult to definitively time my contractions. Around 3am I called Dr. Deprez after my contractions were 5minutes apart for an hour. He told us to head to the hospital. Right before we left I had an overwhelming sense of urgency to get to the hospital. During the ride my contractions increased to 2-3 minutes apart and were pretty intense. We arrived to the hospital and like something out of a movie Paul parked in the ambulance bay. The ER staff yelled at him that he couldn't park there and he responded by yelling his wife was in labor and he needed a wheelchair....it's kind of funny looking back. In fact, he was never able to move the car. Right before Madelyn was born we sent my sister out to at least get our camera and move the car to the parking garage.

We got up to the labor and delivery unit and I checked in. In triage the nurses joked with me that all the other mother's who were 3cm on their last OB appointment got sent home for not being far enough along. Something inside me told me that wasn't going to happen to me. They checked me and I was 5cm dilated. They also checked an ultrasound and saw that the baby was face up, " sunny side up" as they put it. The nurse asked if my back was hurting and I responded "yes!" She told me that this presentation was the cause for "back labor" and that I could expect a long, hard labor (she was right about the hard part, not so much the long). At that point I told the nurse I wanted an epidural, they called anesthesiology and started an IV. Within a few minutes of my exam I started having even more intense contractions. I also started shaking uncontrollably, I knew in the back of my mind that this could mean I was going through the "transition" stage of labor and could be progressing to 7-8 cm. My mom arrived right around that time and I heard her say to Paul "there is no way she is only 5cm!" Sure enough they checked my and I had dilated to 8cm from 5cm in a matter of 10-15 minutes. At that point they rushed me into the delivery room. Because of the speed of my progression the baby's heartbeat started to slow down. Several nurses rushed into the room, I was told to get on my left side and they put an oxygen mask on me. Simultaneously they broke my water and put an internal fetal monitor on the baby's scalp. Her heart rate recovered quickly but it sure was scary! Within a half and hour of getting into the delivery room I was fully dilated and having urges to push. My OB had not even arrived at the hospital and the staff were continuously paging him to tell him to get there urgently, nobody (including my OB) expected that I would progress so quickly. It soon became apparent that I wouldn't be able to get an epidural. The nurses told me I had to be able to sit up and "not push"--neither of those things were a reality for me. I was begging for pain relief but my nurse got in my face and told me I could do it and that she had delivered 3 children naturally (I forgot to ask her if she had back labor though, ha!) Just in the nick of time my OB arrived and was very surprised to hear the staff urgently telling him to get in his scrubs. Because the baby was face up I had to push a little longer than I would have normally. After an hour of pushing and some other unpleasant details that I don't need to share, Madelyn Jane was born.

Paul saw her first so the look on his face is something I will never forget-pure love and joy. Tears welled and he exclaimed, "there she is!" I said "give me my baby, give me my baby!" and they put her up on my chest. Seeing our baby for the first time was by far the single most wonderful moment of my life. My mother who was quietly in the room with us the whole time called our family members in the waiting room and the whole room was able to hear Madelyn's first cries. She came out pink and screaming, Apgars were 9 & 9. She was born at 7:07am, weighing 7 lbs 5 oz, 20 inches long.

So here we are a month later and Madelyn is doing great. She is happy and healthy and is truly a good baby. The journey to motherhood was a blessed time for us but I am sure that motherhood has more joy than I can even imagine in store for me!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tick, tock....

39 weeks today and hanging in there. I am still working which is proving to be not so much fun. I am trying to stick with it as long as possible because the more I work now the more time Ill have with the baby afterward. There hasn't been too much progress on my weekly OB visits. I'm now a whopping "1.5cm" dilated and 10% effaced, Im beginning to think Dr. Deprez made these numbers up just to make me feel better. On a positive note everything seems to be fine with the baby and my health, I am thankful for that of course!

I asked my doctor the million dollar question during my appointment this week. I told him that I would just love to have a baby home for Christmas and wondered what he might be able to do about that. Since I am due 12/15 he said he would consider inducing me as early as 12/20 or 12/21. I'm hoping it doesn't come to this because I have heard that labor is harder when you are induced but at least it's a possibility.

Symptom-wise I am having lots of strong Braxton-Hicks contractions but nothing regular or painful indicating true labor. I am very tired, achey, distracted and feel just plain HUGE. I guess at least I'm still standing!

Maybe the next time I update it will be about having our baby girl!?!?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Full Term!

We made it! 37 weeks (tomorrow) which is considered full term :) My weekly OB appointments have been going well. I am still measuring on exactly on target, the baby is head down and as of today I am 1cm dilated (not that exciting but something)! My blood pressure, urine testing and weight are all within a good range. I have been getting more tired and having more swelling of my feet and ankles at end of the day. I am definitely more cranky at times, not sure if its hormones, not feeling well or stress....likely it's just a combination of all of the above. I am feeling more braxton-hicks contractions and overall more crampy in general. I think I may have "dropped," at least a little bit. I am feeling more pressure lower, feel less pressure in my ribs and lungs and other people have been commenting that I appear to be carrying lower. I can say at this point that the end-of-pregnancy symptoms are really not that fun but I am very thankful that I haven't had any complications or overly troublesome symptoms.

Paul and I continue to cross some final things off of our to-do lists but the major tasks have been completed. Now we just need to finish our Christmas shopping and we will be really ahead of the game. Paul celebrated his 30th birthday this week. He received a new video camera and DSLR camera- he is now all set to go with his daddy technical gear! I had another surprise shower thrown last Friday by the staff at one of my nursing homes. I was so overwhelmed at the number of people who celebrated with me and sent well wishes, it was totally unexpected and beautiful!

The anticipation is growing as we wait to meet our precious little girl!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

We've finally made it to the final stretch! I will be 36 weeks, 9 months this week. My extensive to-do list has shrunk quite a bit in the last few weeks (much thanks to Paul for all his help and support-Best. Husband. Ever.). The nursery is done, room has been made in the rest of the house and everything "baby " is in it's place, hospital bags are packed...now we just need a baby (well, maybe not quuuite yet).

I had an appointment with Dr. Deprez on 11/9 and now I will start seeing him weekly. At my check up things were still looking good. He told me I was measuring exactly on target so Madelyn will likely be an "average" size baby, not too big, not too small....just right! I am still feeling pretty good. I definitely get tired and can't be on my feet quite as much as before but I think I'm still getting around pretty well. I have one spot in my back that bothers me but Paul gives good back rubs and foot rubs :) He also tries to keep me in check and not let me overdo it-which I have a tendency to do.

On 11/10 I got together with Amy, Annmarie and Karen to celebrate babies and good friendship :)
On Friday 11/12 my co-workers threw me a surprise baby shower at our meeting. We had pizza, cake and I got some great things. I feel blessed to work with such a wonderful groups of NP's. It also was leaked that the staff at one of the nursing homes I go to are planning a shower for me this upcoming Friday- I am just overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and well wishes!

We had our "babymoon" this past weekend, we were also celebrating Paul's 30th birthday. We spent a night at the Boston Fairmont Copley Hotel-it was wonderful. We did some Christmas shopping, walked around on Newbury Street and had a lovely dinner. Of course the dinner was not without some drama. The restaurant Paul had researched and picked ended up being closed for a private party. We had to resort to plan A, B, C then D-but we finally did eat! The next morning Paul treated me to a glorious pedicure which I desperately needed. We had a great brunch at an old friend's restaurant and then did some more Christmas shopping. It was nice to spoil ourselves a bit because we realize that Maddie will be the spoiled one for the next several years!

On the to-do list for the next couple of weeks: Get the car seat installed/inspected (we had an appointment today but the police officer wasn't available) and finish Christmas shopping!

Nursery Pics!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby Shower! (Etc.)

Well, to say the least I've been incredibly busy the past few weeks so I haven't had a chance to sit down a blog!
To recap:
I entered my 8th month last week, Ill be 33 weeks tomorrow and I just can't believe how the time is flying!

On 10/17/10, my mother hosted a beautiful baby shower for me at the The Old Mill Restaurant in Westminister, MA. It was a beautiful fall day in the ultimate fall setting and everything was planned so wonderfully. I was joined with just over 60 of my family and friends. I have to also thank my mother-in-law who also had a part in the planning along with my best friend Lindsay who picked and sent out the adorable invitations. My awesome friends from highschool (Mindy, Sue and Britta) were in charge of the favors (fall themed chocolates made by Mindy) and the games ("Name that nursery rhyme" and "Baby shower Bingo"). Last but not least, close friends Robyn, Ashley, Tracy and my lovely little sister Carolyn all helped out with the huge task that was opening the gifts.

The food was great and we had my favorite-Corn Fritters! Definitely a must when you go to The Old Mill. I was then faced with the huge task of opening all the wonderful gifts. I was so overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. We got so many great and necessary (not to mention adorable) things!! There was so much I don't think my brain could quite process everything so needless to say I had just as much fun going through everything in the following days.

The nursery furniture had literally just arrived the day before my shower and fate must have been on our side because we were able to orchestrate picking up the furniture that afternoon and by 9pm it was all set up!! Huge thanks for Paul and my brother Andrew. I couldn't have imagined that the whole process would be so painLESS. It was great! The crib took at the most 1 hour to set up. The dresser (which we are also using as a changing table) came in one piece and required no assembly which we certainly did not expect. The glider and ottoman took maybe 15 minutes to put together. Honestly the biggest part of it all was breaking down the boxes that everything came in. I took the Monday after my shower off to start my "nesting." I was pretty successful in unpacking everything and getting things into place (for the most part.) The most overwhelming part of it all was the tremendous amount of clothes I received. I had to put off the clothes for another day and thankfully was able to avoid any major breakdowns.

Adding some drama for me because it was way too easy (note Andrew with Paul's inhaler in the background)

Being goofy

In case you needed a visual on the clothes

 In the last week or so I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed in general. I think the reality of our little babies upcoming arrival really hit me after the shower. My to-do list grew quite a bit in the last few weeks and it's my nature to want everything done...yesterday! As the days have gone on I've gotten a lot done which makes me feel better. I am also working extra hard at work to plan for my maternity leave which adds to the stress. Hopefully our hard work this month will pay off next month when I need to concentrate on preparing for the big day...Maddie's birthday!

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Deprez on 10/19 for my 32 week visit. Things are still looking good. I was a little concerned that the baby was too small (mostly due in part to constant comments about "not being big at all for 8 months"....which you would think would be a good thing.) My fundus was measuring at 33cm which is just about perfect so I feel much better. I will start seeing my doctor every 2 weeks now for 1 month and then weekly! In general I am still feeling well. I feel like I am getting so big and it is getting harder to bend and move as well as I used to. Thankfully I am still sleeping well at night which I am grateful for.

Other notables since the last time I posted:
-We interviewed a peditrician and I love him! I am very confident in our choice and am so relieved that I feel so strongly about it.
-I "graduated" for physical therapy. My SI joint has been behaving so I no longer have to go back to therapy unless I need to. Yay!

Pictures of the completed nursery are to follow!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Childbirth Class

We had our "marathon" childbirth class on Saturday (Oct 2) at Memorial Hospital in Worcester from 8:30am-4:30pm. Overall, I was quite impressed. There were many other couples there and it was kind of fun to be around so many pregnant women. We had 2 teachers, both experienced maternity nurses, and I appreciated having two different teaching styles, personalities and points of view.

Basically we reviewed some basic anatomy and physiology, stages of labor, signs and symptoms of labor, when to call the doctor and how to time contractions. There were really no surprises there and I felt that most of it we already knew but I guess it was good to hear it all again. Later in the day we reviewed and practices some breathing techniques, potential positions to use during labor and pushing and massage/supportive measures for the partners to use. For some comic relief the instructors asked all the partners to get on the floor and assume the traditional "pushing" position, I'm still not sure that this was really a true learning opportunity but it certainly made us mommies laugh!

We watched some minimally traumatizing videos showing labor, natural delivery, cesearean delivery and basic newborn care. We also were able to get some very practical information about the hospital in general including policies and procedures, visiting hours, where to go, what to expect on the unit. We took a tour of the maternity ward and got to see both a labor and delivery room along with a postpartum room. I was impressed to see that the OR was literally in the center of the maternity ward, Im sure many hospitals are like this but it made me feel better knowing it's so close...just in case! I thought the floor was very nice and cozy.

Any questions I had going into the class were answered so all and all I think it was a success!