Monday, July 31, 2006

Big Sister

Everyone always want to know how Morgan is adjusting to her new little brother. It really hasn't been that bad, but its definitely effected her in a number of areas.

Sleep - Morgan has always slept best when she gets to bed (for nap or nighttime) right on time. We haven't been able to be as punctual since we have to get Zach situated before we can start Morgan's (extensive) bedtime rituals. So she's been fighting naps and waking up a couple of times overnight.

Tantrums - Whether its the introduction of baby brother, the lack of sleep or just being 2-and-a-half, Morgan has kicked her temper-tantrums up a notch. She screams, shrieks, yells, kicks, hits - the works.

Potty - Thankfully, Morgan has not regressed in her potty training at all. In fact we're even "weaning" her from the potty chair and its going well. She still, however, requires someone (usually Mommy) to go with her to the bathroom. And she needs this done every single time I sit down to feed the baby.

Hit Baby! - Morgan has made good only a couple of times on her promise to hit the baby. No damage was done - Zachary didn't even react - and time outs were served and apologies issued. Actually, of Morgan's agression is taken out on Jon & I rather than the baby. She occasionally hits or pushes us away from the baby when she wants the attention. "Put the baby down!" or "Don't feed the baby!" or "Hold me with this hand!" (the one that his holding the baby, of course) are commonly heard phrases around here.

Love Baby! - But we also hear "I love you, Baby Zach." and "He's sooo tiiiiiny!" and "Baby Brother wants to sit next to me!". Morgan can make Zachary stop crying by singing to him and she loves to help during diaper changes. And she likes to play the silly faces game where we stick out our tongues or make other funny faces and see if he will imitate them.

Overall, Morgan is a very proud big sister - and quite loving and helpful. We hope that lasts!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Hope you have a great birthday, Grandma!
And happy birthday to all of our other relatives with birthdays today!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Zachary's Birth Story - Part 3

Birth!

The next 2-3 hours were mostly uneventful. I managed to get unhooked from my monitors for quite a while when I had to use the restroom and no one came in to hook me back up. Walking around really makes painful contractions more tolerable. And by this time they were VERY painful. But I was able to do some visualization to get through them. I also got to spend some time on a birthing ball which our nurse very kindly found for us.

Unfortunately, that was about the time that our nurse (I can't remember her name) had to leave for a ceasarian section on her other patient. She was replaced with Nurse Jeanne who told me I had to either get back in bed or get an internal fetal monitor put in because I kept dislodging my external monitor. Since the internal monitor requires breaking the water (not to mention screwing an electrode into the baby's scalp) I agreed to sit still for a while.

One of the worst things about being in the hospital is that they won't let you eat or drink. I had been sneaking sips of water since the staff was mostly leaving us alone. But now that we had Nurse Jeanne's full attention, I had to resort to ice chips. Now, ice chips are awesome (on my hosptial tour the previous week several people had to stop at the ice machine just for fun) but what they should really have is flavored syrup to make shave ice! THAT would make labor much happier!

At about 3:30 they asked if I wanted them to check my cervix again. It was nice that they gave me the option since one of the things I didn't like last time was having a different person all up in my business every hour. But since I knew things were progressing quickly, I let them check. The nurse did the exam first and thought I was complete - 10cm. She called in a doctor to double-check, though, and she said I was only 9. And the baby was only at 0 station.

At this point they offered to break my water. I knew that this is meant to speed up labor, but I also knew (from experience) that it would make contractions much more painful. With Morgan, they broke my water when I was about 5cm. I still had 10 hours of labor afterward and the pain was too much for me to handle. But this time I thought it might be better. After all, I was so much further along. And I was already in more discomfort than I had been in when I requested the epidural last time. How much worse could it get?

I started to explain all of this to the nurse who started to look impatient. "You don't really care about my reasons, do you?" I said. She shook her head. "Then just do it", I told her. Once she ruputred the membranes the baby's head came down so fast that not a whole lot of fluid came out. And remember when I asked "How much worse could it get?". Much much much worse. The very next contraction was incredibly intense. I was screaming. I also felt the need to push to which the nurse said "Don't push! You're not ready!" Like hell. I spent about the next three contractions "trying" not to push when they finally gave in and I heard the very sweet words over the intercom: Doctor to room 4 for delivery.

The next couple of minutes were a whirlwind of activity as the labor room transformed into a delivery room. The bed broke down, lights decended from the ceiling, instrument trays appeared and the (many) staff members who had entered the room suited up in protective gear.

For some reason, I had a two-doctor team (two very young residents) handling the delivery. There was also a supervising doctor who was sitting in the corner and a couple of pediatric corpsmen for the baby. I think there was an extra nurse floating around too. It was pretty crowded in the room. And very loud because everyone felt the need to instruct me on how to push. It was a chorus of "Push! Don't push! Harder! Don't stop! Deep breath! Don't breathe out! Don't make noise!" If I had been able to think straight, I would have been annoyed, but the pain was too great for me to think of anything else.

I cannot even find the words to describe how badly birth hurts. In fact, I am even having a hard time remembering any specifics. There was a lot of burning. And the feeling of having my body torn to shreds. But that doesn't really do the pain justice. I guess its something you have to experience to really understand. And I hope it is something you do not ever experience. At the time, the pushing phase seemed to take forever. I really thought for a while that I could not do it. I could, everyone assured me. I had to.

I actually only pushed for 10-15 minutes. Just when I really thought I could not go on, the nurse asked Jon "Is the camera ready?" That gave me the motivation I needed. One more push for the head and another for the shoulders, and Zachary was here.

The first thing anyone said about him was "He's big!". The whole night they had been asking me to guess how big he would be. "Would you say he's bigger or smaller than your first baby?" they asked. I said that I guessed he would be a little bigger - maybe on the upper half of 7 lbs. Part of my reasoning was that my ob nurse estimated that he would be another small baby. Despite the fact that I had gained much more weight and had a much bigger belly this time around. I was glad that I was wrong. I knew once he started coming out that that was no small baby!

Jon said that this birth was much more "gruesome" than Morgan's. There was a lot of amniotic fluid gushing out with the baby and blood from my 2nd degree laceration. Also, something they did with the umbilical cord cause blood to spray all over the room. It was spattered on the doctors and nurses, the floor, the sheets and the sides of the bed. Yuck.

They took the baby to the warmer after he was born. I had asked to have him put on my chest right after birth, but that didn't happen for some reason. His Apgar scores were 9 and 9 - a very healthy baby.




Coming soon: Part 4 - NOW I want an epidural!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Zachary's Birth Story - Part Two

At The Hosptial

Since our hospital is almost 40 minutes away and you have to cross a drawbridge and go through a long tunnel to get there, we were hoping that we wouldn't have to go to the hospital at rush hour. The previous week I went to a orientation class down there at 6pm and it took me almost an hour and a half to get there. We were relieved that it was going to be an easy drive so late at night....NOT! There was construction in the tunnel. Or, more accurately, construction workers standing around doing NOTHING in the tunnel. Another hour and a half later we got to the hospital.

It didn't look too crowded - just two other ladies in the waiting room. I filled out my triage questionnaire and was told that they would call me "in a few minutes". They have a very loose definition of "few". The contractions were getting stronger and stronger. I had stopped timing them - I had no doubt that this was for real. Jon and I walked up and down the hallway until we were called back after midnight.We were taken to a triage room to be hooked up to a fetal monitor and for a cervix check.

The nurses seemed very skeptical about me being in labor. I told them that contractions had been about 4 minutes apart since around 8. I told them that I had been 3 cm dilated the previous Friday. And they still seemed very surprised that I was dilated to 8 cm! "Well, it looks like we're keeping you", the nurse said. Darn right! They were so sure that they were sending me home that they had never even given me a hospital gown. It wasn't until after I'd been hooked up to monitors and an IV that they gave me one. And its very hard to undress with all of the wires and tubes!

We finally got moved into our waiting room after 1am. They unhooked my IV at my request after giving me some fluids. I talked to the anesthesiologist and told him that I planned to do with out pain medication. We met our nurse and gave her our birth plan. She seemed agreeable to it. Then she told us that her other patient was having a hard time and that she would probably be with her a lot of the time. That was fine with us. The fewer interruptions the better.
Then we waited.

Coming soon...Part 3: Birth!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Zachary's Birth Story - Part 1

Early Labor

I started having contractions Tuesday morning around 10 - just after Morgan & I took a walk to the park in the ridiculous heat and humidity. You know its hot when Morgan wanders around the park for about 45 seconds and then asks to get back in her stroller. We decided to go home and then hit the mall playground and then take a better walk in the air conditioning. I was determined to walk the baby out soon!

By the time we got to the mall, I felt like I probably didn't need that walk after all. Contractions were coming stronger and more frequently than anytime previously though there was still no regular pattern. Morgan played and then we went home for lunch and Morgan's nap.
While she was sleeping, I started timing the contractions - they were anywhere from 6 to 16 minutes apart! I called Jon at work just to give him the heads up. Then I packed a bag for the hospital and called my sister to tell her not to miss her flight. She was due in at 5:45 that afternoon and I had a feeling that she would be here just in time!

Morgan and I went to pick Tess up from the airport while Jon made his famous tacos for dinner. By this time my contractions were coming consistantly every 7-8 minutes. I really started to think this was for real. We had dinner, got Morgan in bed and I took a shower. By now it was 9 o'clock, and contractions were very strong and about 4-5 minutes apart so we decided to head down to the hospital.

Coming soon...Part Two: At the Hospital

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Zach Attack!

Zachary Michael arrived at 4:05am on Wednesday, July 12.
He's a big boy weighing 8lbs 9oz and is 21.25 inches long!
So far he really likes to sleep. We don't expect that to last.
More details to come.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Maybe

I have been having contractions off and on since mid-morning. They are stronger than any previous ones (though not too painful) and have been coming somewhat regularly over the last few hours - anywhere from 6 to 16 minutes apart. They won't take me in the hospital until they have been 4 minutes apart for at least an hour so even if this isn't a false alarm it looks like he will stay inside at least until Aunt Tess arrives to babysit this evening. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Baby Update - 38 weeks, 4 days

More than you ever wanted to know about parts of me you never wanted to know about.

I am soooooooo ready to have this baby. The good news is, that my OB agrees with me. 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. I think I blew her mind when - after complaining about how miserable I have been over the last week - I turned down her offer to strip my membranes. It was awfully tempting. With Morgan I went from 1cm to 4 overnight after having my membranes stripped. The nurse said she was 90% sure that stripping my membranes would start labor in the next day or so. The problem is, of course, that Jon has a final exam this weekend, DUTY on Monday, and I don't have a babysitter flying in until Tuesday evening. (Tess - don't miss your flight and make sure your cell phone is charged!) I'll let her do it next week -- if there is a next week, which she seemed to think was a big IF. I hope she wasn't just trying to cheer me up! So....my mission today is to make sure we have an emergency babysitter lined up and Jon's is to find a just-in-case backup for his duty day. And then we wait.

Name Game

For anyone who hasn't figured out the name yet (either through your awesome deductive powers, your awesome coercive powers, or a slip-up from Jon or I) here is what will hopefully be the last clue:

First name does not start with an A, B, K, M, R, or W. The middle name does start with one of those letters.

Remember: You can't win, if you don't play!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tell Me A Story

Discovery Health channel is my guilty pleasure. Even though I am incredibly squimish about medical procedures in real life (just ask the lab tech at my ob clinic!) I am fascinated by them on TV. I think I've passed this on to Morgan. She has just figured out that Mommy & Daddy can tell her stories that aren't in books. We like to tell her stories such as "When Morgan Was In Mommy's Tummy" and "Morgan's First Bath" and "Mommy Went to Preschool", but what she wants to hear most of all are the blood & guts stories! "Tell me story when Mommy fell down got scar!" or "Tell me story Daddy hurt his chin!" or "Tell me story I fell down got boo-boo!" Strange girl.