Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Jack spent two nights with his Great Aunt Julie and cousins. And from what I hear he had a blast! Aunt Julie journaled all about his visit for me, which I LOVED! I heard about the fun they had outside, going on walks, shopping for Jude and all the good food he ate. And of course he loved playing with Maggie the dog. From what I hear he only required one time-out, although I'm sure he kept everyone very busy! ;)
Jon and I were really missing Jack during our stay in the hospital. Right after Jude was born I looked at the clock and realized Jack was probably up and eating breakfast. Later that day I had a salad for lunch. I looked at the cherry tomatoes on my plate, safe from little hands trying to steal them. Later on I was flipping through the TV channels and "Jack's Big Music Show" (his favorite!) was on. One of the main reasons I wanted to get released earlier was to see him again. But Jon and I both knew he was in great hands and probably having the time of his life! We decided not to have him come visit the hospital. One look around the room and we realized there was way too much for him to get in to. Plus I think it would have been too hard to say goodbye again. So he came home the same day we did.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Between 6:30 and 7 there was a shift change, I told the new nurse I wanted the oxygen mask off. She’s like, “Sure, Baby looks fine, I’m not sure why you’re wearing that anyway.” Soon after that I started feeling the urge to push with each contraction. And they were quickly becoming unbearable. The nurse offered to check me again and within one hour I had reached 8 centimeters. Not complete, but getting close. I knew transition wasn’t very far off and braced myself for what was to come. Seconds after the nurse and doctor left my left hand started going numb, just like it did with Jack. Then my right, and eventually my whole chest was buzzing with numbness. My body started pushing with each contraction and I couldn’t make it stop. The nurse had just left and I was afraid to call her in again. A few contractions later and my hands locked up, just like they had with Jack.
I was afraid they would make me start pushing before my body was actually ready and I really wanted to avoid that and just let things progress on their own. That theory last about 10 minutes. By then, I was moaning enough with each contraction that she came back to tell me, yet again, how good I was doing and to see if she could do anything. I told her I was trying not to push but I couldn’t help it. And so, less than 20 minutes after she told me I was 8 centimeters, she checked me again and lo and behold I was complete, Baby was ready to arrive!
Within seconds the end of my bed was removed, the stirrups brought out and at least 10 people gathered around the room, mostly residents and interns curious to see the girl “going natural”. The doctor told me to start pushing while Jon and the nurse each grabbed a leg. I didn’t really take her seriously, I thought she wanted me to do a few practice pushes. I didn’t want to force the baby out and risk tearing, on top of that I’m still reeling from each contraction, trying to focus on what’s going on, but everything was happening very fast. Someone was trying to set the mirror up but wasn’t getting it right, so while contracting and half-heartedly pushing I’m trying to explain that I can’t see. Finally (and by finally I mean within a second or two since this whole phase only lasted maybe a minute), they got it right and I quickly realized that Baby’s head was RIGHT THERE. I pushed twice, his head was out, one more push and Jude was on my chest taking his first breath. It literally happened so fast that I feel like I almost missed out on the experience.
I could tell immediately that Jude was significantly smaller than Jack. He also didn’t look anything like him. It sounds horrible, but I looked at him and thought, “This isn’t my baby.” Then he cried and I fell in love all over again. He had the most perfect head of hair and was more adorable than even I had imagined. I got to hold him and cuddle him and then start nursing right there. Jon cut the cord. The nurse said he was incredibly handsome and had great color. His APGARs were 9/10. I don’t normally give that scale much credit, but when your son scores a 10 you just gotta mention it. :)
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Finally a different doctor said it was time to “check me.” I was really getting nervous. I was hardly having any contractions, they didn’t really hurt too bad, and it felt like I hadn’t made any progress. So both Jon and I were incredibly relieved to hear that I was 4 centimeters and 80% effaced. Now that’s not much, and usually not enough to get you admitted under typical circumstances, but since I was only 50% effaced and not dilated at all 4 days earlier, we felt pretty good! The nurse mentioned starting some Pitocin to get things moving, and that’s when we explained that we were really hoping to have a natural birth, with no pain meds or Pit. She gave us “the look”, the “Yeah, okay I’ll believe when I see it" look. Which we got a couple of times that night. But I’m very happy to say that the doctors and nurses honored ALL of our wishes and, except for the fact that it occurred in the middle of the night, we got the exactly the kind of birth I was hoping for. So rather than putting me in a room with an IV bag of the evil Pit, they let us go walk the floors of the hospital for an hour or so, mainly to make sure I really was progressing on my own. So Jon and I hit the halls. Okay, so I hit the halls, Jon meandered around studying the photography, and would catch up whenever I had a contraction and had to stop.
At 6am, (had it only been 2 hours since we got into the room??), the nurse came in to tell me how well I was doing (aren’t they the sweetest!) and the doctor wanted to check me again. I was 6 centimeters, +2 station, Baby’s head was engaged and my water sac was bulging (sorry if this is TMI for some of my readers but the details are VERY IMPORTANT!). The doctor wanted to break my water. I was a little unsure since this is another form of augmentation, albeit a more natural option, and can cause some more complications. But based on her recommendation we went ahead. So she ruptured my membranes, confirmed the fluid was clear and then left the room after reminding me that contractions would likely intensify at this point. That was an understatement!
Friday, April 23, 2010
Monday started out just like every other day lately. Things have been very routine without anything exciting on the calendar. I woke up to another beautiful morning, thought to myself, “Still pregnant for another day!” and went to get my cutie pie out of bed. Jack and I had a great day. I got lots of work done, Jack took an excellent nap, and we had lots of fun together. I also missed a phone call from the window man, I always miss his phone calls. And he always leaves the same message, “You’re probably in the hospital having your baby right now …” and I always call him back and leave the same message, “Still here, no baby yet …” And so we made plans for him to stop by the next day to install our new screens.
We were so busy that day that Jack and I didn’t get our daily walk in. So Daddy joined us after work and we went out to pound the pavement together as a family. Jon’s Aunt Julie called while we were on our walk to check-in. They’d been prepped for Jack’s visit for over a week now and were anxious to hang out with our Tank. I let her know we were ready too and we worked out the final details of “the exchange.” She happened to mention that if I went into labor during the night that either she or Cousin Holly would just come spend the night at our house and then take Jack back in the morning. We all agreed this was an excellent plan, although I was really hoping not to have a middle of the night labor again! Our walk continued and I kept telling Jon we needed to go faster, harder. “We’re trying to get the baby out, not put him to sleep!” We got a good two miles done before Jack started getting hungry and Mommy had to take a potty break. It didn’t seem like enough to me and I secretly made plans to hit the beach during sunset after Jack had gone to bed.
Well Jack was wound up after an extra long nap and not ready for bed at his usual time. So we played for a while, read some books over and over. I had asked Jon to get me a pineapple while he was out running errands because rumor is fresh pineapple can put you into labor. I didn’t feel like sharing so I was waiting for the Little Guy to go to bed before cutting it. He was having too much fun throwing it around the living room anyway.
While reading books to Jack I felt my first real contraction. I’ve been having false labor for at least 3 weeks now. Lots of contractions while I’m walking or standing, and nothing while I’m resting. But this was different. And it kinda hurt. I felt like such a first time mom throughout this whole labor because I never experienced a traditional “going into labor” with Jack. I never had good contractions until they started Pitocin, 12 hours after my water had broke. So I spent most of the night wondering if this was the real thing or just another teaser. I took Jack up to bed, prayed with him and laid him down for the night. Never thinking that I wouldn’t be there to greet him in the morning.
Just for fun I logged onto www.contractionmaster.com and sure enough, contractions were coming regularly at 7 minutes apart. While semi-watching “Dancing With the Stars” they started edging closer to 6 minutes, then 5 minutes apart. But they were only 30-40 seconds long. So I wasn’t quite sure what to think. At this point I told Jon that tonight just may be the night. So … he put in a movie.
I did some things for work while bouncing on the Pilates ball and timing contractions. I finally admitted to myself that they weren’t going away and announced that I was going to take a long, hot shower to see if things slowed down. Jon asked if he should start packing his bag. “Yeah, that might be a good idea.” By the time I got out of the shower contractions were 4 minutes apart. Which is “head to hospital” range. But still only about 30-40 seconds long. And I was still able to walk and talk through them. I called Labor and Delivery and they said since they were that close I should come in regardless, especially since it’s my second baby. Both Jon and I knew that since I was almost a week overdue, if we went into the hospital we’d be having the baby by the next day. It was a tough decision, especially since I didn’t know what to expect over the next few hours and the last thing I wanted was an induction. But I was feeling more confident that this labor was the real thing and that we could still get the natural delivery we’d been praying for. So after talking it over we went ahead and called Aunt Julie, who lives an hour away, and let her know it was time to come get Jack, we were going in!
Jon and I packed bags, tidied the house, wrote notes … I kept sneaking into Jack’s room to get one more peek. Aunt Julie arrived at midnight and by then contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and hurt enough that I preferred to stop walking and didn’t want to talk unless I had to. But in between them I felt perfectly normal. She took one last picture of us before we loaded into the car. The drive to the hospital went fast. There’s not a whole lot of cars on the highway at midnight. Jon and I would talk and then things would go quiet for 40 seconds and then we’d pick up where we left off again.
We arrived at an eerily empty hospital and headed to the triage. The receptionist asked how she could help us. I felt a little silly, “Um, I think I’m in labor??” So we checked in and headed to the examination room hoping for some good news!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Thanks for volunteering to take care of our lil' Tank while his Dad and I are having a baby. We know this is no small task. Here are a few notes to help get you through...
Jack loves to brush his own teeth. We usually do this together in the mornings, which is why he may start humming while brushing. He wants his toothbrush to sound just like Mommy's electric one.
He needs two binkies to fall asleep. One to suck on and the other to twirl in his hand while he unwinds. He's also not allowed to bring these out of the crib, ergo expect a ceremonially throwing of binkies, one at a time, when he gets up from his nap.
If you're reading I Love You Through and Through he'll probably open his mouth and stick out his tongue when you get to the page that says, "I love your inside ... and your outside." I taught him that one!
If you're reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, he turns the pages so fast you'll probably only have time to say the color and name of the animal.
And if you're reading The Belly Button Book he'll probably make sure you're aware that he, too, has a bee-bo.
He gets very excited about turning on the TV, but will probably only watch about 5 minutes. Unless it's Jack's Big Music Show. It's a personal favorite.
He likes to jump down the stairs. Usually while holding your hand, although he's been known to attempt this unassisted ... with undesirable consequences.
He almost always poops before 10am. If he doesn't poop in the morning, chances are he'll wake up early from his nap with a stinky surprise.
The longer you ignore him, the higher his voice gets.
He tends to take his shoes off as soon as he gets in the car.
He has an affinity for toilet plungers, trash cans and toiletries you thought were hidden in drawers and cupboards.
If he stands up in bed, he's ready to get out. If he cries while he's still laying down, he almost always falls back to sleep. He usually does this around 6/6:30am.
He's afraid of vacuum cleaners.
He refuses to talk on the phone.
He thinks it's funny to fake sneeze.
Although most animals are referred to as "dog" (aka gog or gah), he generally calls a cow "boo" *insert flying spit*.
He's been known to hide objects in the couch cushions and air vents.
If you notice his hands down by his side when he's eating ... he's probably hiding food.
He'll probably wave "bye-bye" when it's time for bed or a nap. Don't take it personally, he's just a kid that appreciates his quiet time.
Most traumatic situations are easily remedied with a hug and some cherry tomatoes.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Although I'm getting more used to it, I do find plain yogurt a bit tart. I usually add a little honey or vanilla to mine. I love it with homemade granola and bananas in the morning. Or I'll mix it into my chocolate milkshake at night. :) I even used some in place of buttermilk in our regular whole wheat pancakes recipe and it was delicious! And the best part is, I'm not the only one in this family who is a fan of yogurt. Check out who decided it was high-time he started feeding himself!
Clearly this recipe is Jack-approved!
Monday, April 12, 2010
So what is 18-month old Jack like? He's still my little lover-boy. He hands out random hugs, still gives kisses, still squeezes my neck like he'll never let go. He's also my rough and tumble boy. He's discovered that the cushions come off the couch and make great summo wrestler pads. He likes to get a running start and attack me when I'm not paying attention.
He is obsessed with dogs. He points them out on anything and everything - the TV, the refrigerator magnet, every book or magazine, when we're outside. He also calls things which are not dogs, dogs. We're working on that, studying up on our farm animals in books. And then practicing their names with the Little People Barn we got him for his birthday. I'd love to take him to a real farm this summer, or some sort of petting zoo. But for now all the dogs on the beach are enough to satisfy his curiosity.
He's still a fantastic eater. Sure we have our moments. Sometimes nothing I give him is good enough. But I try not to hold back. There are so many foods I didn't like as a kid, simply because they were weird or unfamiliar. I figure I'll give Jack the opportunity now and we'll see where things go. I'm quite certain his most favorite food in the whole world are cherry tomatoes. He sneaks them out of the fridge when my back is turned, pulls them out of the grocery bags when we're putting things away, and will steal them right off your plate if you're not watching. Most fruits and veggies are an easy sell. Whole wheat breads are also a list-topper. Beans tend to go over well, but for some reason he's just not into meats. And like his Dad he is very much a cheese-lover!
So he's a good eater, but also very messy one. We are working on not throwing or dropping food. But in spite of that he's just plain sloppy. He gets sauce stuck in all his chubby crevices, peas down his pants, and peanut butter behind his ears.
Thankfully, he likes to "help" clean up. In fact, he's really into helping Mommy and Daddy these days. He holds the dustpan when we're sweeping. He bring me books and balls when we're picking up toys. He picks up laundry I'm folding (that he threw on the floor in the first place). And he gets the groceries out of the bags. The other day I was bringing bags up from the car and there he was, lining up all the jars and cans in a row on the floor. Of course, there was also a carton of eggs lying there, with yolks oozing out of the corner. Oops.
Sleeping is going well again. We're back to full 12 hour nights, and no more early wake-ups. Which is a HUGE relief to me! He's really good about "telling" us when he's tired if we happen to keep him up too long. Either he crawls on our lap and puts his head down, points to his bed if we're in his room, or is extremely emotional and in meltdown mode. He goes down easily, but doesn't necessarily fall asleep right away, as I learned after we got our video monitor. Sometimes he runs laps in his crib, other times he does bicycle kicks, and he always twirls his free pacifier (he takes two to bed) in one hand. Watching him fall asleep has been a great source of entertainment!
He's really starting to exercise his independence lately. Running halfway down the beach by himself, walking up the stairs without holding Mommy's hands, giving me a hearty bye-bye wave when I drop him off at the church nursery, and entertaining himself in the Pack 'n Play while Mommy gets a shower every morning. This has been the greatest development these past few months. He actually enjoys going into his PnP, and usually asks me to put him in before I get a chance. He sits in there with a few books and some toys and then I have a chance to get ready for the day without worrying about what he's into now! It's been very nice, now I just have to figure out what to do when Baby arrives and needs a place to sleep.
We've been reading to Jack every since he was a little guy, but just recently he's been showing a keen interest in books. He constantly wants me to read to him. While I'm cooking dinner, while I'm doing work, even while I'm trying to go to the bathroom! He still turns the pages a little faster than I can read, but he's definitely paying attention. He really, really loves books. And I love that he loves books. But I don't love reading the same books, over and over, every. single. day. I don't even have to look at the words anymore, which is helpful when Jack begs me to read while I'm doing something else. If I'm washing dishes I can even turn the pages with my toes. This probably isn't the best way to spend time with my son, but believe me, we spend plenty of time snuggled up on the couch reading through a large stack. Jon says we have too many books. Clearly, he is not the one doing the majority of reading in this house, otherwise he'd be ready for some new ones too! I think Jack's due for his 18 month well-baby appointment, but I didn't think it'd be a good idea to schedule it with a baby arriving any day now. Which reminds me of one other thing, at 18 months Jack is one healthy dude. Other than the occasional cold and current allergies, we haven't had to deal with any kind of illness or infection since his arrival. Which is something I'm very thankful for! Now, bumps and bruises, scrapes and splinters are another story ... but I can't be held responsible for his every action can I?
So that's our Tank. It's not hard to believe that he's 18 months already, but it is hard to believe that he's only been a part of our lives for 18 months. I really can't imagine our life without him!
P.S. I've added another poll to the blog, just for kicks. Feel free to take a gander at when you think #2 will arrive. I've been having some decent contractions the past few days, but nothing I can't walk or talk though, and nothing consistent. The anticipation is killing me! And today, for the first time in 9 months, I'm actually ready to have this baby!! So humor me and take a guess!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Recently two different friends of ours delivered their babies while their husbands sent out regular updates on their progress via text message. Another person I know kept us all informed on her delivery by updating her Twitter account. And yet another friend managed to update her Facebook status throughout her entire labor, posting cell phone pictures of the baby at the end. And then there's another couple we know that failed to inform of us of their baby's arrival until we heard it from someone else 5 days later. After our recent experiences with keeping tabs on friends' deliveries, I was kinda surprised that such news could be withheld for so long! And I have to admit, as a big social networking fan, I'm very grateful that I live in this current age. I go crazy when I know I'm missing out on something! I can't imagine living 100 years ago and having to find out about new babies via snail mail!
The more I think about how we keep friends and family apprised of our pregnancies and babies, the more I want to start planning out our strategy for #2! In fact, I feel kinda bad about our lousy updates when Jack was being born. But then again, most of the action took place late at night. As a silly, giddy new mom I sent out a text message at 3am announcing his arrival. And was promptly surprised at how many congratulatory messages I received back at that hour. 18 months later, I apologize for waking up our friends that night. I promise I'll hold off until a more decent hour this time around.
And so, in addition to the fancy new phone I got a few months ago with a keyboard, I've also figured out how to update Facebook via text message (I know, I know, I'm a little slow with technology!) The email announcement is created and ready to be sent - pending Jon and the hospital's Food Court Internet capabilities. And we have our contact list ready. Unfortunately, a lot of that is work-related. I have to call my boss when labor starts so he knows I'm no longer working. I have to email a few of my co-workers to hand off whatever is left to be done. And of course, we have to get someone to watch Jack. Here's hoping we get a clear start to true labor ... but not too fast! It should be interesting to see how it all works out. Stay tuned!
Friday, April 9, 2010
The truth is, I feel really great! I'm still able to wrestle on the floor with my wild guy, give airplane rides on my shins, crawl under furniture to retrieve toys, and carry two toddlers with sandy, bare feet back from the beach. I've been sleeping fairly well at night, although I'm constantly dreaming about my water breaking, contractions and all those fun things. I'm awake early in the morning, ready to greet my happy guy when he gets up for the day. And I'm still making meals, going to work, doing laundry and cleaning. Haha, just kidding about the cleaning! Please don't drop by my house this week. Cleaning is the one thing I'm suddenly no longer able to keep up with. Jack can litter the entire house in 5 seconds with books, balls and plastic Easter eggs. And there's a nasty layer of yellow pollen on all the furniture. I see the mess, I really WANT to take care of it, and then I sit down for a few seconds and decide I'd rather not get back up for a while.
For the most part, I feel good. Better than I think I should at this point. And for that I am so thankful. I don't know how else I'd keep up with Tank. On the other hand, I have noticed a big change since Easter. Remember how I said everyone's been telling me I look bigger? Well I FEEL bigger. Most of my maternity shirts don't cover my belly anymore, so I have that great underdraft thing going on.
My belly is literally "all baby" at this point. You can't put your hand on it without touching some baby body part. And he is all up in my grill. Squeezing my lungs, crushing my ribs, and pushing down on my hips. I feel like a science experiment. He has most definitely grown! My doctor noticed too. At today's appointment she said she could tell, just by feeling my belly, that the baby had filled out. She was pretty happy with his new chub. And I am too, even if it makes my walk a bit more of a waddle.
Speaking of walks, they've gotten a bit shorter lately. First, I can't get too far without having to go to the bathroom. Second, the way Baby is laying must be causing me to favor my right side because that foot starts to hurt after a few blocks. And finally, I'm afraid if I walk too hard I might put myself into labor, and that's just not the goal right now. But we're keeping them up because Jack and I both need the fresh air (less pollen of course) and it's fun to point out all the neighborhood "gogs."
So here were are today at 39 weeks, 2 days and that, my friends, is a personal record!! My water broke with Jack the night I was 39 weeks, and he was born at 2:30am the next day. I'm feeling strangely accomplished for making it this far. But I have to say, I don't remember "the end" being this stressful before. Not stressful as in Mama's cranky and on edge all the time, but stressful as in the anxiety of just not knowing. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and out of control, and I'm just not used to that. But the good news is that Baby is healthy and that for him anytime now, whether or not it is convenient for his parents, is a good time to arrive.
So these are my last thoughts on being pregnant, maybe. I figured I should get them out now in case I don't make it until tomorrow. When my water broke with Jack I had three blog drafts waiting to be edited and posted, after he was born they were kinda out of place. So I'm trying to say everything I want to while I still can.
I'm excited, really excited. I can't wait to go into labor again and give birth. I can't wait to hold my second born for the very first time. To tell him how much I love him, to smell that sweet, sweet scent of a newborn. I'm looking forward to nursing, to taking it easy for a few weeks, to lots of down time. I can't wait to see Jack step it up as a big brother, to watch him love on this baby. To take advantage of his new desire to be a "big helper" to Mommy and Daddy.
But I will certainly miss being pregnant. Feeling those strong kicks, watching my belly move up and down while the Baby practices "breathing." Getting those annoying hiccups. Seeing people look at you and smile because you're carrying a baby. And feeling that sense of honor that I'm doing what is possibly the most important job on earth - growing and preparing a new little life. So yes, I'm one of those girls that loves being pregnant. I know not everyone does, that not everyone has good experiences. I know that I'm super-blessed to have had two great pregnancies. Two baby-carrying experiences that, instead of sucking the life out of me and making me miserable, have only caused me to feel more alive and so, so happy. And I also feel a little bad that not every woman feels like this, which makes me even more appreciative of these last few days I have left. Sometimes I feel whiny, sometimes I get tired of carrying my 33 pound toddler around. Sometimes I don't want to get off the couch all night because I'm afraid my hips are going to split town. But it usually doesn't last long. All it takes is a hug from my son when he rests his head on my belly. Or my husband telling me I'm meant for this, I was made to have babies! Or the doctor saying I look really good, did I get some sun this weekend? "Why yes I did, when I stopped thinking about my aching back and dirty house, and hauled my little guy and all our stuff out to the beach for a spontaneous romp in the sand." Sometimes it just takes a little reminder that yes, it doesn't always feel good, but it is so worth it.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
In addition to our soon-to-be-born son, we also shared Easter with my in-laws and Jon's grandparents, who were driving up from Florida. I was so excited to have guests in for Easter since we knew we couldn't make any travel plans ourselves. We didn't know if any of our family would want to come see us if they knew they'd be returning soon to meet the new guy, but I'm so glad they did because this weekend was an excellent distraction in the "waiting game." We had a blast!
We hung out on the beach, took a trip to the local botanical gardens, had dinner on the bay, noticed how much Jack has grown since his last ride in the bike seat (I wasn't able to join that excursion, but I did manage to take advantage of an hour by myself and gave the flower bed a desperately needed weeding), and just spent time together catching up the past few months. Thanks to the abundance of good food and fellowship, I also managed to put on a whole pound over the weekend, and everyone agrees I'm looking a bit larger these days.
It's also been nice to pull out a few of my summer maternity clothes again. One thing I've noticed about being pregnant over the winter is that a lot of people just can't tell there's a baby growing under all those layers. I waved hello to my neighbor across the street today while we were both weeding and she said, "Janine, are you pregnant?!" (I tell myself she only asked to be polite, not because she couldn't tell.) And I thought to myself, "For heaven's sake, if I hadn't happened to walk out my door this afternoon wouldn't Wendy have been surprised to see me carrying around a newborn this summer!" It is good to be out of hibernation! And so, although I'm still partial to Fall babies, I'm really enjoying these last few weeks of anticipation, along with the rest of the world, as we watch nature come into bloom and new life arrive on a daily basis. Happy Easter!