Sunday, August 31, 2008

One Week Old

It's truly hard to believe that Ace has been here a week+ He already is learning so many things and (as most parents say) he is ahead of the curve. He is already grabbing and pulling at things, mimicking his daddy who sticks his tongue out at him, and very alert. Two nights in a row we've managed to get decent sleep with him waking up twice to feed. He sleeps in the bed with us, so it's really easy to lean over give him what he wants and fall back asleep for a while as he enjoys his 3am and 6am snacks. He wakes up around 9am and stays mostly awake with some short snoozes until late afternoon and then sleeps soundly for about 3 hours. Then repeat short snoozes and awakeness until bedtime.

He had his first outing on Wednesday which was a trip back to the hospital for a mommy and baby check up. He passed with flying colors and mommy was deemed to be on the road to recovery. After the trip to the doctor he was tuckered out and so while sleeping he ventured to BabiesRUs with Loving Husband and I, who picked up a few more items to add to our supplies for baby Ace. Then it was back to the house. J

Friday was Ace's first doctor's appointment. He was one ounce away from being back at birth weight and had grown another quarter of an inch. He's in the 88th percentile for height! Perhaps he'll be like Uncle Derek, because he certainly isn't getting the height from myself or Loving Husband. He also received his first Hep B shot and took it like a trooper. I think taking the bandaid off was more traumatic than the shot itself, poor little skin. After the trip to the doctor we headed home after getting mommy and daddy some Jamba Juice, yum! Later that day we headed to Target for more diapers and a few other essentials that we needed around the house. Another trip to BRU to get more diapers was also necessary since Target didn't have any. Friday night this week was a far more pleasant evening at home, as I was not in labor and could just enjoy the company of Loving Husband and my little boy. We watched a little Olympics and started to watch a movie in bed until Ace fell asleep and we followed in suit.

Saturday was a nice day we slept until about 9am and then spent the day entertaining and snuggling with Ace. Then we took him for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a nice day with sun breaks off and on, so it wasn't too hot or too cold. Ace was bounced around in his stroller some, but he didn't seem to mind. He got to meet the neighbors who have all been on baby watch for a while now. We drafted a thank you for the nice neighbors that brought over bread on the day we brought Ace home (yummy bread too!) and delivered that to them and then we were back inside for the rest of the day. Well at least I was.

Ace decided to cause quite the havoc though after his walk. Which really was mommy's own fault, but still I was trying to help the little guy out. After our walk we stopped at our neighbor T's house (two doors down from us) introduced him to Ace and then Ace and I went home, leaving Loving Husband to talk to T about our garage door predicament (springs are broken). I took Ace upstairs to change him and to nurse and when I changed him his little bum was a tad red, so I figured I'd let him air dry for a bit, we've done it plenty of times with no issue. I cupped a washcloth around him to be safe (ha!) and started to feed him. I was feeding him on my right side, when all of the sudden my left leg felt wet, my left breast was safely tucked away and so it couldn't have been milk... nope I look down and my little man had pooed quite liquidly into the washcloth, onto my pants, the pillow he was on, down onto the wood of the chair and onto the floor… and Loving Husband was outside with T. Crap! (literally) Luckily Loving Husband came up to grab something for T and I said take him, he attempted to argue that T was waiting, and I explained that a biohazard took precedent. So he took Ace and I stripped out of the soiled attire and washed my leg and then went to mop up the chair. The pillow itself had been spared it was only the pillow case that had gotten it, so that was good. Loving Husband merely put a new diaper on him and put him in his crib and ran back to work with T, but I had to get the stuff cleaned up… so an unhappy Ace was crying away in his crib. All in all not so terrible – got it cleaned up and went back to nursing. The rest of Saturday was relatively uneventful, some more Olympics watching and bath time for Ace, then off to bed between 11-12am.

Sunday, August 31, 2008 – Ace has been in this world for a week now. It just doesn't seem possible that this much time has gone by. Today we will be introducing him to Grandma Carol and Aunt A, along with Troy and Jackie and Brad and Angie. Celeste and Dan from community group will be bringing us dinner tonight, which we are very thankful for and looking forward to introducing them to Ace as well. It's a busy day with many visitors. Happy One Week, Ace!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ace's Arrival

The story of Ace's arrival into the world begins with my final trip to my doctor on my due date, August 22nd. Dr. C was hopeful that he'd arrive on his own and that induction would not be required, and so when I was at my appointment she messed with my cervix to begin the process of prodding him along. Remember when I left my appointment I was 75% effaced and 1.5cm dilated. My appointment was at 3pm and for the rest of the evening I was generally uncomfortable with some cramps and light bleeding from her messing with my cervix. I spent the majority of the evening in bed, messing with pictures and drafting the blog of being due. Around 10pm I started to have contractions. I didn't have high hopes that they'd lead to much of anything since I had previously had some in similar strength. They started to come in intervals of 25 minutes, the next would come 10 minutes later, then back to 25… and were lasting close to a minute each. I was chatting with Carrie off and on – she headed onto bed and wished me the best (aka that the contractions would stop and start promptly at 9am after a nice night of sleep.) :)

Around midnight – 1am the contractions were relatively consistent and coming about every 10 minutes and lasting the 45-60 seconds in duration. Both Loving Husband and I (night owls that we are anyway) continued to go about what we had been planning for our Friday evenings. I enjoyed myself some Law and Order on netflix and Loving Husband continued to enjoy playing WoW, he continued to check on me as the hours continued to press on. The contractions around 3-4am started to get closer together and were around 6 minutes apart. One joyous addition to these contractions is that I had to pee literally after every one of the contractions. I must have peed close to 300 times by the time we finally went into the hospital. Around 4am Loving Husband laid down to get some sleep, and I having lost the attention span for Law and Ordered laid down and tried to doze myself between the contractions. I had some minimal success. Between 5-6:30 they were consistently 5 minutes apart and occasionally only 3 minutes apart. Finally, around 6:15am on Saturday, August 23rd, I had Loving Husband call the hospital and they were able to assess that it would be fine for us to come in and get checked out.

The ride into the hospital wasn't too bad and I was hopeful that they'd tell me that I had progressed considerably and that Ace was well on his way. We arrived and checked in and I was on monitors by 7:06am, right at shift change. J We met our nurse Cecy and she started monitoring everything and finally checked me out. I was 80% effaced and 1.5cms dilated!!! You've GOT to be KIDDING ME?! I had been laboring for 9 hours at this point and I had "progressed" 5% on effacement?! Needless to say I was beyond discouraged. Cecy called the doctor, who didn't even need to see me to know to send me home to continue to labor some more at home. I was experiencing non progressive labor.

We head home and I try to eat some watermelon to help me stay hydrated and get something into my stomach. Mind you my contractions are still 5 minutes apart, lasting now from 60-90 seconds each. I try different positions to help the baby align as suggested by Cecy, mostly before then I had been contracting while laying on my side. So I tried my knees, standing and even sitting in the tub for a while. At some point I threw up a half dozen times, and finally after being in labor now at home for an additional 5.5 hours, I told LH to call because I was getting to my ropes end in being able to handle the contraction and the vomiting and the unknowing feeling that I wasn't progressing. LH called the hospital and actually the doctor called us back with a few options: meds to stop the labor, narcotics to dull the pain, etc… but to come on back in and we'd assess where we were.

At 2pm we were back at the doctor, Cecy checked us back in and hooked me up to all the monitors again. Ace was a happy baby in utero and his heartbeat was a steady 150 as usual. I had progressed to 90% effacement and 3cm after 16 hours of labor. I saw the doctor and she said they'd keep me. They also ran through my options of drugs. Both LH and I were opposed to any narcotics and so I asked if it would be too early to get the epidural. It had been my goal to get to 5cms before requesting it… but I also had planned that my labor be less than 16 hours total. Things just weren't working out as I had foreseen them. As we were walking to my room, my water started to leak. Excellent!

We got set up in the room, you are assigned one nurse during labor and delivery, so you have constant round the clock care. So for the remainder of the shift (7:30am-7:30pm), Cecy was our nurse. She got me all hooked up and ready to go for the epidural, rushing because the anesthesiologist was going into an emergency c-section and that would have delayed my epidural. Needless to say, I had to wait five more hours for my epidural. I finally got it put in place at 7pm. Between 2pm and 7pm I'm not sure what all went on truly. I know that we did some initial check in questions, LH ate dinner – I was in no shape and had no desire to eat. I basically was in and out of consciousness. Sadly NOT unconscious for the contractions which were quite strong and still 3-5minutes apart lasting 60-90 seconds. The only good thing is that the having to pee after every one had subsided earlier that afternoon.

At 7:30pm epidural in place, I felt great! I finally was awake and couldn't feel a thing. I was pretty wired up to monitors by then due to potential complications that come with epidurals, but luckily I was not affected by any of those. We were nearing 20 hours of labor and shift change. We said goodbye to Cecy who said she'd stop in the next day to meet our little guy and were introduced to Molly. She was very nice, she checked my cervix and I was nearly completely effaced and 4cm. 20 hours and 4cms…. But I didn't really care anymore – I couldn't feel anything. I took some time to rest and sleep a little, but not much. I saw Dr. Whitman again (the doctor on call for the weekend, Dr. Chein would not be delivering our baby) and she recommended some pitocin to get my contractions to moving closer together, so they started that drip.

1am rolled around and Molly went to check my cervix and she was like oh wow, I wasn't expecting that… and to be honest after all that I had gone through, I was guessing I'd be at 6cms or something equally discouraging, but she said that I was 9.5. She had another nurse come in to verify and she was in agreement, so they had me lay on one side to get that to help that specific target area and away we went. Now between 7pm and 1am the epidural had been completely numbing me and at others times I was starting to feel the discomfort of the contractions again, but I had a button to push for more! They checked me out and I was fully dilated. Time for pushing. Molly had gone to take her lunch and so another nurse got us started on the pushing. I pushed for 20 minutes and then Molly returned it was about 2:30am and I could feel a lot more than I should have and the button wasn't helping, so the anesthesiologist came back and gave me another dose. I requested a breather until 3am to just enjoy the numbness and doze off for a tiny bit. At 3am we started to push again, I had major hip pain in addition to the contractions that I could still feel to about a level 5 pain scale. Around 3:30 Ace's heart rate went way up to 190, and so it became more urgent to get him out. At 4am Dr. Whitman came in and they agreed they needed to use the vacuum to get him out. They only had so many tries with the vacuum otherwise they would have had to take him by cesarean, but I was able to push him out and only have a slight tear at the perineum.

Ace arrived into the world at 4:15am on Sunday, August 24th, to a room full of nurses urging me through my pushes and a very faithful, attentive and loving LH. Due to Ace's elevated heart rate, we had the labor and delivery nurses in the room as well as the NICU nurses to check him out immediately after he made his debut. Loving Husband was not able to cut the cord because the doctor wanted to get Ace checked out ASAP, she plopped him onto my stomach for a moment, he was so warm and beautiful and then quickly out of my arms. He was quite gurgly, but other than that he was perfect. Everyone said they were amazed at how big he was and how strong he was. Scored an 8/9 on the apgar test and passed all the other tests with flying colors and then I was able to hold him again. After 30 hours and 15 minutes of labor Ace was here and very much loved in my arms.

Thank you for all your support, love and encouragement through this whole pregnancy. It has been such a blessing to have everyone so interested and eager for his arrival. Every day is a new experience and LH and I are enjoying every minute of it. Continue to pray as my body heals and Ace continues to grow. He's such a good baby! New pictures will be posted at our website as our little one continues to grow and get more and more handsome (we're not biased, much :))

Saturday, August 23, 2008

DUE!

40 weeks, I am officially 10 months pregnant! Now entering into the elephant phase of pregnancy, Ace is holding strong to the inside of my uterus. I had my latest doctor's appointment today and I am 75% effaced and 1.5 cm dilated. The doctor poked and prodded for a while to help things along… and while extremely uncomfortable, if it causes him to get a move on – all the better. He's fully dropped down and ready to come. The doctor believes that he's between 7 and 7.5lbs at the moment. She expects to see me at my appointment on Tuesday (aka unlikely for him to arrive before then) so it's quite possible he'll be a hardy 8lbs upon delivery.

The weather around here has been considerably more tolerable than recent weeks, and therefore the last few days have been manageable and I haven't been beating my head against the wall screaming "get out!" as everyone is aware, we had hoped he'd arrive around 38 weeks. There was hope at my appointment early that week when I was 50% effaced, it could have happened… but no dice and certainly no Ace. J

To recap cravings throughout pregnancy, I didn't really have many. In fact the only things that I craved with a strong desire were: cupcakes in the first trimester, where I HAD to make them at 11pm, which required Loving Husband to leave the house to get oil… Watermelon has been delicious more so than I recall in previous seasons, but I wouldn't say I've craved it… and finally I had a specific craving for oatmeal cookies and green grapes a week or so ago. That was a very satisfying craving fulfilled. Besides that I haven't had a hankering for anything weird or strange. I couldn't stand the smell or taste of butter in the first trimester and eventually that slowly tapered off and I was able to enjoy it again.

Loving Husband and I enjoyed our last (hopefully) baby-free date night for a while on Wednesday, plus an early birthday dinner at PF Changs. Our waiter was really nice and of course (as most people who ask out of the blue "when are you due?") he got quite wide eyed when we said Friday. He brought us three fortunes one for each of us and we enjoyed opening them up. LHs wasn't anything to speak of and so we moved onto mine and then Ace's. My fortune: Everything will now come your way. Ace's fortune: Good news will be coming your way; it will be here any day. We're still holding to the idea that he will be here any day!

I continue to contract and await those contractions to start lasting longer in duration. I think it's the only time in someone's life they are seeking to be in pain. A strange phenomenon. As I continue to wait I am keeping busy with reading. I am currently read three different baby books and breezing through the October book club pick. I also have been contemplating more and more what he looks like… such as hair color, does he have hair, eye color, are his earlobes attached or detached, will he have his daddy or mommy's nose…

Many people are eager for his arrival, and we both appreciate it, but no one is more eager than I am to have him here in my arms. We certainly will let you all know as soon as he is here. Until then, continue to pray for Ace's health, our sanity, and the impending labor that is nearly and FINALLY almost upon us.