Week 38. Just Kidding! It’s a Birth Story!

First of all, I realize this post is waaaaay overdue. The last time you heard from me I was 37 weeks pregnant and patiently awaiting Liam’s arrival. And now he’s here! I didn’t mean to leave you hanging, I just totally overestimated how much free time I’d have. When I’m not staring at the cutest face I’ve ever seen I’m dozing off in my nursing chair, doing loads of tiny laundry or washing/sterilizing my pumping equipment. And when the rare occasion to write Liam’s birth story does arise, I struggle. After all, writing about the single most important day of your life is no small task. BUT, I promised myself I’d get this update published by Liam’s one month and well, that was a month ago (oops) so here goes nothing…

Thursday, September 4th marked week 38 of my pregnancy. My plans for the day included a Target run and a pedicure. But Target and my toes would have to wait because Liam had other plans. That morning at about 6am I rolled over in bed and felt a TINY “pop” followed by a little trickle. I made a mad dash to the restroom and when the liquid didn’t stop, I knew that this was the real deal. I called for Asaf and he was up in a flash, tossing last minute items into our hospital bag and pulling phone chargers from the wall faster than I could say “Holy crap! My water just broke!”. He didn’t even ask if I was sure this wasn’t just a side effect from last night’s $5 pizza! Looking back, this was a smart move. If he had questioned me, I might have started to doubt myself…orrrr I might have punched him in the nose. Maybe both.

So anyway at about 7am I started to have contractions. They felt like really bad menstrual cramps. Asaf started timing them and they were about 5 minutes apart, lasting about 30 seconds. I decided to eat. I knew that there was a 99% chance that I’d be having a c-section and that you aren’t supposed to eat 12 hours before surgery but, I was hungry and I’m a stress eater! Anyway, I had an apple and a granola bar, a glass of water and finally a mug of Earth Mama tea. And then I called my Doctor.

She didn’t answer so I left a message and then (TMI!) I had the really strong urge to use the restroom (by the way, I found out later that this is a sign of early labor…funny how no one mentioned that in our birth class). So, while I was indisposed the Doctor called back and I heard Asaf giving her the details of the morning — including the fact that I had eaten. Whew! Better him than me. She said no more food and to get down to the hospital ASAP. By the time we left the house it was about 8:30am – perfect timing for the morning rush hour. We took a chance by jumping on the freeway and managed to make it to the hospital by 9.

Once we were admitted things moved pretty fast. By 10 I was in a hospital gown and my contractions were 3 minutes apart lasting 1 minute each. My blood was drawn and I had already gone through one IV bag. Asaf kept me distracted from my contractions by putting the skills he learned in childbirth class to good use. He read my contractions on the chart machine, letting me know when each had peaked and assuring me that Liam’s heart rate was holding steady. Meanwhile, there was a lot of action going on just outside my curtain. I overheard the nurses saying they had 6 back-to-back c-sections that morning! Soon, Asaf was putting on his scrubs and after a quick kiss, I was rolled down a long hallway.

It was freeeeezing in the O.R. but my nurse, Lucy, brought me a warm blanket and I held my breathe while I lay on my side, trying to stay still as my spinal tap was administered. Almost immediately, my feet felt very warm and before I knew it, I was entirely numb from the waist down. I didn’t see my Doctor arrive and once I realized she was there, they were already making the incision. Asaf arrived – recognizable to me only by his glasses – with camera in hand. When my anesthesiologist came to check on me I told him that I wanted to watch. “The whole thing or just the baby part?”, he asked. “Just the baby part.” I replied. He quickly wheeled a mirror over me and seconds later, at 11:20am, Liam was born.

It was love at first sight.

Although I’d been anticipating this very moment for months, maybe even years, nothing could prepare me for such a surreal experience. In an instant my heart grew a trillion times over and I was filled with an abundance of love. I stared in awe, unable to take my eyes off this tiny, perfect being while he was weighed and examined. As I watched Asaf cut the umbilical cord, doctors removed my placenta and worked on closing me up. Then, Asaf and Liam returned to me and a nurse offered to take our first family photo. Our family. 38 weeks in the making and worth every single minute.

We made a baby. And he’s finally here!

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Week 33 – Mucus & Maternity Photos

I’m going to be honest with you, this week has been a little rough. I started feeling really stressed out Thursday and Saturday I began having some rather intense Braxton Hicks contractions. Also, (WARNING: this might be is definitely TMI) I’m pretty sure I’m in the process of losing my mucus plug. (I’ll spare you the details. Ew). Aside from THAT, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to sit, stand, breathe and/or sleep for any prolonged amount of time… And yet, I still feel like a major turd for complaining because the fact of the matter is, I’m so damn happy we’ve made it this far. 33 weeks down! 6 weeks to go!

Did you notice I said 6? Today I had a visit with my OB and she confirmed what I pretty much already knew, this stubborn baby of ours didn’t turn! And at this point, there’s a good chance he won’t. So we’re scheduled for a C-Section on September 12th at noon. They’ll slice me open and pull a baby out! How bizarre!

Anyways, I’m not all gruesome news today. I’ve got some nice stuff to share too. Maternity photos by the lovely Carissa Woo!

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They say Liam is about the length of a pineapple now (17-19 inches) and weighs nearly 5 lbs this week. Highlights include building his own immune system and learning to differentiate between light and dark/night and day. Let’s hope he’s working extra hard at that last one! 😉

My 33 week update:

Total weight gain so far: 23 pounds

Cravings: Fruit. Is it just me or is the fruit this summer especially good? Also, juice and occasionally an Oreo cookie.

What I’m excited about: Asaf’s Mom booked her plane ticket! She’ll arrive a few weeks after Liam comes home and will stay almost a month. I am looking forward to her help and also her cooking!

What I’m nervous about: Aside from the c-section news, my OB said I need to work on taking it easy and staying hydrated. If I push myself too much I risk going into early labor. 😦 I am considering taking my maternity leave one week earlier than I originally planned.

New this week: Braxton Hicks contractions. They’re no joke!

Note to Baby: You spend a lot of time tucked under my diaphragm and today you were hiding behind my belly button. I can’t wait to see what kind of mischief you’ll be up to once you’re out!

Let’s talk about C-Sections Baby – 30 weeks

Friday we had an appointment with my OB. She confirmed that the ultrasound we did on Tuesday showed no abnormalities (yay!) and (as reported in last week’s update) that Baby is a little on the large side. Even so, she didn’t want to change my due date.  We discussed Baby’s position (still breech) and she recommended that we schedule a C-Section for September 12th if he doesn’t turn in the next 4-6 weeks. Given his size (and mine – which I hadn’t realized might be an issue), she didn’t seem very hopeful but did suggest some methods that might encourage him to move. Here’s what I’ve tried so far:

  • Walking around on all fours – I think this is confusing the heck out of our Dog and it’s not too easy on my old lady knees since our whole place is hardwood.
  • Taking a lukewarm bath – this is supposed to relax my pelvic muscles.
  • Lying down on an incline w/ and w/o the assistance of frozen food placed near Baby’s head. (see below)IMG_20140713_115312
  • Playing music and using light on the underside of my belly to “draw him down”.

Let me be clear, a C-Section delivery isn’t/ wasn’t part of my original birth plan but it’s definitely a path I’m preparing myself to take should it be in the best interests of both me and Baby. After all, not everything in life goes according to plan. My main goal is to bring this kid into the world – happy and healthy. And C-Sections aren’t all bad. Here is a list of my top 5 pros for C-Section deliveries:

  1. No risk of pooping on the delivery table. Sorry for the TMI but I assure you this is a legitimate concern.
  2. I’m a planner by nature (I hate surprises!) so I think I might find some satisfaction from being able to schedule/ “control” my delivery. Knowing my delivery date and time would also make it easier to plan Klevster’s care while I am in the hospital.
  3. No potential water breakage mess to clean up.
  4. 9/12 is a Friday which will make it convenient for those who wish to visit us over the weekend (including my Mom who lives nearly 2 hours away).
  5. Recovery time is longer but actual delivery time is MUCH shorter. The whole surgery takes less than 30 minutes! Potentially we could meet our baby days or weeks sooner than we originally expected.

He’s the size of a cucumber now which strikes me as a little odd since last week’s vegetable was a butternut squash. In my opinion, those are typically much larger than a cucumber!  In any case, Baby is about 3 ½ pounds now. Development milestones include bone marrow production, which will help him to thrive once he’s born and shedding of the lanugo (soft hair covering his body) which is no longer needed now that his brain and fat cells are regulating his body temperature.

30 week update:

Total weight gain so far: 19 lbs. Doctor says I’m right on track but that I might gain a bit more due to fluid retention which is super common, especially for women who are pregnant during the summer months.

Cravings: Still suffering from a decreased appetite this week. Highlight: I had a Krispy Kreme donut last night –fresh from the conveyor belt thingy! What a treat! (I know what you’re thinking…I didn’t eat these all by myself!…But I could have!)

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What I’m excited about: Asaf and I had a really good coupon day on Saturday! We were able to stock up on diapers, wipes and toilet paper at Target using multiple discounts and ended up saving over $60! Say whaaaa?! Also, we finally picked out a color to paint the nursery. (Behr Simply Blue)

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What I’m nervous about: See breech/C-Section rant above.

New this week: I seemed to be extra clumsy this week. I dropped a box of slivered almonds AND the pepper grinder. Both times I made a big mess in the kitchen. 😦 Also, I have a scratch on my knee and absolutely no idea how it got there.

Note to Baby: It would be nice if you decided to turn but if you don’t, it’ll be OK. No pressure. Really. If there’s one thing I’d like you to know about this family, it’s that we make the best out of whatever comes our way. And you know what? So far it’s turned out pretty great.