Category: Melissa's Earlier Blogs
Since I haven't really gotten a good narrative together for my blog, I thought I'd jot down some details before more time goes by...
Thursday night I knew something was up, but my contractions weren't close enough or strong enough to go into the hospital yet again and get sent home. I asked for a blessing and received one before evening, even though I usually wait until I'm in the hospital before I aks for one.
Made a nice cheeseless gluten-free pizza and enjoyed it like I may not be able to eat again for a while. I find it's just as good without cheese as with, just onions, turkey sausage, mushrooms, herbs and nutritional yeast as toppings. I was sick with our Halloween cold, so I kicked up the garlic, onions and herbs.
I slept for a couple hours on the couch, like I always did as a kid when I was sick and I still find comfort in it. I woke up about midnight with some stronger contractions, but still not strong enough to go in. Drank some juice and went to bed. Soon after lying down I felt a big snap inside me, and had just read a birth story that mentioned feeling the membrane rupture, so I was pretty sure what it was. I cried for a couple seconds at the decisiveness of it all, got up, and felt the water trickle. This was 1:30 am.
So, I'd heard a lot about labor starting with water breaking. Most of the stories involve a bit of time and effort to get labor going at that point. So I figured I had time to ramble into the hospital, take a bath, get a foot rub, walk around, etc. We rambled with fairly good time, then my husband enjoyed his license to speed. Soon I wasn't noticing his speed or complaining that he was treating stoplights like stop signs...because the contractions were starting and they were very strong. I figure now that my labor had been slowly going for 24-48 hours, and this was when the transitional contractions were starting. By the time I checked into the hospital, I was already dialated to a 7 and becoming frantic. I'd played with the idea of natural childbirth, but never seriously read the books I bought or enrolled in any classes, so I wasn't prepared for the strength of these contractions. Everything went very fast once they found I was at a 7. The baby was showing signs of stress, with a reduced heartrate during contractions, so I was quickly put on oxygen and IV, and my doctor was speeding on his way to the hospital. He lives about twice as far from the hospital than we do, but was there within 10 minutes, as fast as the anesthesiologist, who I believe was just in another wing of the hospital. By the time I got an epidural, I was already dialated to a 9. At this point I ask, what was the point of getting one...but it wasn't nearly over yet. We had a little stargazer on our hands, so he couldn't just pop right out. I pushed for an hour, but any longer wasn't safe for the baby as his heartrate was still dropping during contractions. At that point, an episiotomy became necessary. I had hoped to avoid that, but was willling for the baby's sake. Not long after that, he was born, looking up at everyone, with a conehead up front, and full of healthy newborn fury.
I was relieved he was safely delivered and a little shocked at the speed of everything. It was 3:50 am. Soon I was able to relax and hold him, nurse him, and relax some more. It took a few hours for the shock to wear off, but then I felt emotionally quite good. I didn't have the same spaceyness that I had after my first was induced. Speed can be a good thing, certainly better than multiple hours of laboring, though I wasn't prepared for it to go that way.
He was immediately quite keen on meeting all his milestones of nursing, filling diapers, sleeping, and nursing some more. He regained his birth weight by 4 days old, and that usually takes 2 weeks. Needless to say, he's a very hungry boy, and a handful when it comes to feeding and diapering. Yet, he does sleep a lot so it's not too hard all in all to care for him.
The bit of excitement and worry we had started about 36 hours after his birth. My doc had ordered a follow-up strep group B test, but the results hadn't come in before my labor. Well, then came in positive. This required 48 hours of close observation and an extra day in the hospital. I was worried and watched closely for the first sign of a problem, a decreased appetite. This never became a problem at all, but I slept easier after the 48 hour mark. At that point we were pretty much out of the woods of the real dangers for newborns. I would have certainly taken the antibiotics if we had known the results in time, it's a dangerous situation without them, but I'm very thankful he did fine without them. (My cold and cough had gone on long enough, that some antibiotics probably would have been nice for me too. I can tell you, you don't want to have a cough with stitches and while nursing...not fun.)
Anyway, I'll stop there for now! The excitement didn't end there, and every day has new and unexpected obstacles...today for instance I took the two boys out in the car for the first time without somebody helping. Turns out our reliable little car isn't so reliable! Thank goodness for roadside assistance and being close to home where we can get picked up and returned to home base. Then my older son started throwing up a few hours after returning home, with a stomach bug that's been going around. All this on the first day home without help! I'm going to bed now :-)
I don't have time to give you all the details yet, but my baby was born at 4:00 AM on Friday morning! Beautiful, healthy little boy, 7 pounds 11 ounces. I was only in the hospital 2 hours when he was born...it went very fast!
I'll write out more details when I get the chance. He still likes to spend the nights doing more nursing and pooing than sleeping. Needless to say, he's growing like a weed, already gained back to his birth weight, and that usually takes 2 weeks.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that the birth happened!
I think it will happen soon. Things are really moving along today and I'll probably go into the hospital in another hour or two if it keeps up. As for now, I'm just watching the clock and doing what I can to be comfortable and ready. I have a lousy sense of timing and knack for irony, so of course I didn't get enough sleep last night and I have a cold we caught during Halloween festivities. Part of my keeping comfortable, was my little neti pot to clean out my sinuses. I don't know how you could do without one during pregnancy or any other time you want to avoid OTC medications. The added conundrum lies in the fact that some meds I could take if needed during pregnancy can dry up the milk, so at this very point there's hardly anything OTC that I could or would take for my cold.
I've read up on home births, albeit a little late in the game to make that leap of faith. I'm so "not there" yet, and my husband would totally wig out if he had to do anything but cheer and hold my hand. I'm afraid I'll always sit on the fence between alternative and conventional medicine, but I am grateful for both. Heck, I wigged out just doing a gallbladder cleanse at home... but the hospital is one of the best for delivering babies and oddly enough, I actually like being there. Guess I've never had a bad hospital experience, the only times I've spent a night in the hospital are when I was born and when my son was born. This one has pretty decent gluten-free food as well, as far as that goes.
Well, still watching the clock here...my body seems to follow the tortoise model, slow and steady wins the race.
Well this was a long day (still no labor yet though!) I went in 4 times for my glaucoma screening tests. Everything looked fine, which isn't a big surprise at my age, but I'm happy to know that all is well nonetheless. It was easier to do before the baby comes, but still an ordeal with a 3 year old. My husband helped each time, so it all worked out. I am now officially no longer worried about the baby coming too early. My doctor's back in town, and everything is set for...whenever! I'm no longer taking it so easy, though I'm not lifting anything, I can now walk around as much as I want and get more done in preparation. The baby feels so big today, much bigger than a week ago, he feels like he's going to want more space to move soon. Thanks to everyone who has written wishing us luck!
I haven't been the best at replying to everyone's comments recently, but I shall, and thanks for reading!
I'm still in constant process of setting goals, and resetting goals. Right now my biggest goal is to eat more vegetables, and a bit more fruit. Leafy greens should be eaten at least daily and at every opportunity...I need to work on that. They provide Vitamin K, which is great for thin-blooded Os, as well as lutein and other nutrients that are good for the eyes, I bet there's something for every organ and system in a green leaf.
After a few weeks of not really being able to do much cooking, I have a lot of catching up to do.
This is now officially my Eye Health Awareness week, after giving it some good contemplation based on my eye doctor's concerns. I've realized that I'm at risk of glaucoma, retina detachment, cataracts, and possibly even Macular Degeneration. Not to mention that my eyesight just isn't great to begin with.
The glaucoma risk is because of thyroid disease. It increases the risk as much as diabetes, though through unknown mechanisms. Of course, it seems all glaucoma is through unknown mechanisms. It's more complicated than increased pressure in the eyes, but encompasses a wide range of mechanisms that can damage the optic nerve. If caught early enough, the damage can be controlled. I thought he had done all the baseline tests we needed last year, but then apparently my field of vision test wasn't up to snuff, so more tests. In the meantime, I'm looking into stress management and nutritional approaches that could decrease my risks.
The Macular Degeneration risk is because of celiac disease. I didn't have time to participate in the study, but they're investigating the link right here in Utah. The results aren't in yet, of course. Now I wish I had signed up. They check bioflavinoid levels and many things that could indicate risks for Macular Degeneration and other eye trouble. Anyhoo, I'll look into my bioflavinoid consumption and possible supplements.
The retinal detachment and cataract risk are from family history. One parent has healthy eyes with few problems, another parent has had lots of trouble but many successful surgeries to treat it. Oh well, at least I got the good teeth from that side as well!
I figure if you don't plan to have a long lifespan, your chances of it are lower, so I plan to live long enough to play with my grandkids and great-grandkids. Is that too much for a non-secretor to ask? Well, it's my goal even if I need to buck the odds...odds are nothing more than a worthy opponent. And I'd like to keep my vision with me as I age.
With BTD, I've overcome some troublesome health problems and quality-of-life issues that could have troubled me in the decades to come (joint trouble, digestive trouble, immune problems, depression/anxiety, and insulin-resistance), I've just never given much thought to the two organs that may actually be my greatest weakness. It's all interrelated, and I'm sure what has benefitted my other systems has also benefitted my eyes, but I need to do more to reach my goals.
Hey, I needed another goal anyhow. It keeps the fire under me to increase my compliance and follow-through.
Weight-loss goals will rear their head again soon as well, I weigh about 20 pounds less than I did when my first son was born, but I'm no featherweight when it comes to pregnancy weight-gain. The babies seem to be the right size though. Tom's article today with the blurb about big babies becoming obese adults made me reflect...I mean, have you seen what most babies eat these days? After a year old, it seems that anything goes...and it's mostly wheat with a little trans-fat thrown in. Corporations and ad agencies seem to determine what our kids eat more than mothers do. If you're a mother, take control back! Where are the vegetables, the meat, the fresh fruit? If you give them healthy foods, they will eat them and enjoy them, especially if you keep the junk out of the house. My son learned how to eat an artichoke and a pomegranate when he was 2 years old, he just wanted what I was eating and didn't have cheese crackers to compete with it. He also loves beans and avocados.
We're 37 weeks along now, officially fully ripe. No labor since Sunday night, and I aim to hold off on that at least a few more days. My refrigerator broke this week too, lousy timing, but I love the new one that arrived today...just wish the old one had held out a bit longer.