Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stuff and things

Maternity leave+napping = too much time online shopping. So far I have done really well at just leaving things in my cart and not checking out.

Except for the three pairs of TOMS I ordered.

And some baby stuff from zulily. Like these pants.
Light Yellow Tree Owl Leggings - Infant

I cannot stop eating sweet stuff. Lemon flavored things (cake, bars, oreos) and smores have been a particular weakness. But I guess those are "summer" flavors so now I need to eat all the pumpkin.

I haven't been reading much...or like at all. Boo on me.

Have you seen the trailers for the Gone Girl movie? If I play my cards right, I may get to go see this. But who am I kidding, I'll get it from red box.

I've missed blogging. I've been reading blogs on my phone (usually in the middle of the night) but actually getting on my laptop is tough. I'd like to get back on it, but my life is pretty consumed by one thing right now (it's a cute thing though)

Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grace's Birth Story: Part 3 AKA Not in anyone's birth plan

People tell me I had a quick labor. I suppose I did. After we were admitted into our mother baby room, Craig and I did what most people do, we stared a lot at our pretty little girl.

Besides for staring, Craig and I had to figure out how to do parent stuff. Grace got her first bath, her feet printed, and had some other tests ran all the normal stuff they do. Grace also had to figure out how to do baby stuff. We all had a very big day.
The next morning Craig decided to run home to get a couple things (he did not have a well packed hospital bag!) and a nurse practitioner came around to give Grace her first real check up. She started looking over our perfect little bug. She looked at me and said, "It sounds like she is having some congestion. I think I am going to have one of our NICU doctors come up and take a listen just in case." I had heard that same noise and the nurses said it was just fluid from birth. I figured she was just being cautious.

The doctor came up to our room a couple hours later. He looked and listened and decided to send neonatal respiratory therapist to our room to do some suctioning. He said she had a small nose and it was probably just congestion that the bulb syringe couldn't get. The RT came up and after making Grace cry tried suctioning out her nose, but not much came up. After he conferred with the doctor, the decision was made to admit Grace into the NICU to monitor her breathing and oxygen levels. 
See her small nose?
Grace was taken down to the 3rd floor NICU and hooked up to monitors for observation. Her space included a couch and a recliner chair so Craig and I could be with her. At this point we could hear and see her struggling to breath. We could also see her oxygen levels were between 60-80, and should have been above 90. The nurse practicioner switched out the regular hospital bassinet for an infant hospital bed and put her on forced air. They explained to us that newborns have to breath out of their nose. Her lungs were fine, but because she had such a small nose and there was probably some swelling she wasn't getting enough oxygen when she breathed. 

Because I was still a patient, I had to go back to the mother baby floor every few hours for my post partum checks and to get medication. Just before 9:00 pm, the nurses and Craig convinced me to go back to my room and try to get some sleep. I was going to come back down to Grace's room at midnight to nurse her and to let Craig take a nap. I went to my room and told my nurse about the plan. She took my vitals, gave me my medication and I tried to get some sleep. Sometime around 11:15, the charge nurse came into my room and woke me up. She explained that there were"a lot of deliveries" and they were out of mother baby rooms. Because I "didn't have a baby" I was one of the few women they could move to a room in the neighboring pediatric unit. I tried to explain that I was going back down at midnight and asked if it could wait that long. She said that was fine and left. Of course, in my hormonal state, that sent me into a fit of crying and tears. I finally rang my nurses button and said something like "how do I move rooms. What do you want me to do?" After all of that got figured out, my stuff was taken into a pediatric room, and I headed back down to the NICU to see Grace.

The next day (Wednesday) I was discharged as a patient and Grace was taken off the forced air. The NICU nurses got us moved into one of the two family rooms in the unit, so we could have a private bathroom/shower, and a little more space. Unfortunately the room that was open was the one without windows, so we were basically in a closet. From there we just waited. Plenty of Craig's family came and met our new bundle of joy. On Friday morning we got moved to the room with windows. (That is room #6 if you are keeping track.) The NICU doctors ordered a few more tests including two ultrasounds, but thankfully all came back normal. They also talked with the doctors at the children's hospital in Portland and got Grace started on some nose drops to help shrink the swelling in her nose, but mostly we were just waiting and wanting to go home.

Eventually on Sunday June 15, Father's Day, we got the good news that we were going home. The doctors were pleased with how the drops were helping, and were pretty sure that as she got bigger, she would grow out of this issue. We were to make some follow up appointments with a pediatric ear nose and throat specialist once we met with our pediatrician. I am so happy to say that Grace is doing so much better now. She breaths normally through her nose now and has no trouble nursing or with a pacifier. 

While we were in the hospital, I tried to look at the positives. We had a team of professionals that we could ask any question we wanted. At one point (after her ultrasounds) we wanted to give her a bath. A nurse helped us bathe her and gave us some tips as we did it. I had at least one visit a day with a lactation consultant (I truly believe this is why we have done so well nursing.) Nurses would bring us ice water whenever we needed/wanted it. Even though I was no longer a patient, the nurses also made sure I was comfortable, and even brought me ice diapers to help with the soreness from delivery. They also helped Grace make her first craft:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grace's birth story, Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Craig jumps out of bed and frantically starts asking what I need and what to do. I asked him to give me a minute... and a towel. I waddled into the bathroom and did what anybody would do in this situation- I looked up what to do in my What to Expect book, because really I had no idea. Our birthing class had said most women don't have their water break spontaneously and just focused on timing contractions. The book pretty much said the same thing, but added a line that said your doctor will have provided you a set of instructions on what to do if your water breaks. Apparently my doctor didn't see that line in the book because he had not given me those instructions. I had Craig bring me my phone and my insurance card (I was still in the bathroom) and I called Kaiser. The on call nurse said, "Congratulations, you're having a baby today! We'll see you at the hospital pretty soon! You probably have time to take a shower if you want to."

I had taken a shower the night before so Craig jumped in the shower and he started throwing clothes in a bag. I then remembered the big bowl of fresh berries in the fridge. I knew they would go bad before we got home from the hospital, so I prepared and froze them all. I also packed a lunch bag with snacks in it for Craig. Then I went and requested a substitute for my classes, and sent my principal this email:
"I put in for my sub for today, but I don't think I will be back for the rest of the year. My water broke tonight!"

I grabbed my hospital bag (I had packed it after spending an evening being monitored for contractions a few weeks earlier) and we were off!

After checking in and being triaged in the labor and delivery unit, I was admitted. My contractions were fairly regular, although not really painful yet. My "plan" for labor was to go as long as possible with out an epidural.  During our birthing classes I also had grand ideas about what I would be doing during labor. I wanted to walk, use the ball and go in the tub. We did walk one lap around the floor and grabbed a ball but that was about it. When it came down to it, I had no interest in the tub or using the ball. I was most comfortable laying on my side. We tried to watch some TV. Craig did eat some of the snacks, including the worst smelling Cheeze-Its. Then I just got tired. I tried to nap, but the contractions kept waking me up.

At some point, while "watching" the Today show, I asked the nurse to get my epidural. I just really wanted a nap! The anesthesiologist came in shortly after and after making me get into the most uncomfortable position ever, it was in. All throughout my pregnancy women had told me that once they got the epidural put in, they couldn't feel anything and nurses would tell them when they were having a contraction. Let me tell you what, I didn't need any one telling me when the contractions were happening, I felt every single one. And they hurt. I have no idea what it would feel like without the epidural, but I was in pain for each one.

I labored for a bit longer until the nurses got the doctor and he said it was time to push. I have no idea how long it took. Craig has reminded me that I said "owie, owie, owie" and "I can't do this." But I did, and finally at 1:29 pm we got to meet our baby girl.

It was exhausting and energizing at the same time. Grace was a perfect 7 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches long. Eventually we settled into our mother baby room and had a relatively uneventful first night, until the next morning.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Grace's Birth Story, Part 1

Before I left for work June 6, 2014. 37 weeks pregnant
Friday June 6. This date had been written on the board for weeks. I told my students that all work was due that day. They had another week of school, but just in case the baby chose an early birthday, all their work needed to be turned in by then in order to be graded. My due date wasn't until June 27, but I wanted to avoid getting a million assignments the day before school was out when I just wanted to be home. At the end of each class on Friday I said "Get your work to me by 3:00! Have a great weekend! See you Monday." I did have a few kids come in after school to finish their final projects and drop stuff off. I stayed until 4:30 grading and entering things.

Saturday morning (June 7) I went and walked through the neighborhood garage sale at the airpark with my friend and her family. I found no treasures but enjoyed a good hour+ long walk. After coming home, Craig and I headed over to his Uncle's strawberry fields to pick. Well, Craig picked berries and I drank some ice water watching the two buckets fill up. When we got home I was pretty worn out so the berries waited a day. Well, we ate a bunch of fresh berries and strawberry shortcake :)

Sunday (June 8) I made a ton of strawberry jam, and prepared and froze over 25 cups of berries for smoothies etc. I kept one big bowl of fresh ones for snacking. And more shortcake. I went to bed pretty early that night. As the activities coordinator, the last week of school is a big one and I needed all the sleep I could get.

However I woke up several times during the night. Each time I woke up I felt something, but I would go to the bathroom and everything was normal so I just went back to sleep. At 4:28 (I looked at the clock!) I was woken up with what felt like Grace giving me a big punch and then a gush. I grabbed Craig's arm. "I think my water just broke."