Thursday, March 25, 2010

1:25 am on Monday morning, 3/22/2010...

She's here! We're home, and running on the expected total lack of sleep, but sometimes "love is all you need."

Charlotte Joan


7lbs 5oz

19-inches tall

"Labor" began at 8:05 PM with my water breaking, and ended with Charlotte's appearance at 1:25 AM. It was quick, but far from painless. I'll write her birth story soon. Thank you for all the good wishes!! I can hardly believe she's here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Here we go!

At about 8:00, I was cooking dinner and had to wipe a drip off the floor. Then all of a sudden, *gush* my water broke! I've been having mild contractions all day (oh, my, now I am having one that feels all sorts of different), but not with any pattern of force behind them, so I thought it was just more BH. So, I took a shower and will eat a little dinner, then head off to the hospital. The fluid was possibly greenish at first, but then tapered off to clear and then slightly pink-tinged. The greenish has them concerned, so the nurses want to see exactly what's going on (I called).

Looks like we're going to have a baby!

Another day

Today, I am so confident that Ishkabibble will NOT be making an appearance that I sent C (actually, he wanted to go and I did nothing to discourage him) to watch his nephews race dirtbikes for the day, in a town a couple of hours from home. Of course, he has a fully-charged phone on him and he took a separate vehicle so he can dash back if he needs to. But all remains quiet on Ishka-watch, so I'll spend the day cleaning without having to worry about a spouse messing things up in my wake.

Friday, March 19, 2010

still waiting

Bloody show & mucus... because of Wednesday's internal exam or is something happening? There were only three notable contractions during last night's NST, and none so far this morning. Ishkabibble continues to dance and roll in her cramped quarters. I know he's low- I can feel her head pressing against my pubic bone. Yard work and lots of walking are on the agenda for tomorrow. Maybe that will start something. Or maybe the raspberry leaf tea will do the trick.

Come on, little Ishka! We want you to come out all on your own, so please please please get moving soon. Wouldn't you love to be born on the first day of Spring?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

nothing happening, but...

2cm and 70% effaced.

As best I can tell from Dr. Google, this doesn't mean anything will or will not happen soon, but it's comforting to know that something has changed in the last two weeks. And I truly believe that Dr. Male was simply rough. Today, my appointment was with Dr. Favorite, whom I'd only seen once before. She was wonderful and gentle, and I didn't feel thoroughly beat up when the internal exam was over... at least not any more so than I already did, with Ishka's head resting about as low as it can go. (I honestly feel like my crotch has been in a fist fight- all bruised and achey for the last few weeks.)

I was the last patient of the day, so the doc had plenty of time to sit and chat with me about GD (she had it too) and all sorts of supposed ways to get labor to start. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and picked up some organic raspberry leaf tea at her suggestion- not bad, actually, so I downed two mugs of it today and will continue with 3 or 4 tomorrow. Aside from that, she recommended romance and walking. Prostaglandins and gravity are scientifically proven to contribute to labor progress, while everything else is sheer desperation.

We discussed induction too, unfortunately. My age alone puts us at higher than normal risk for stillbirth- my odds at 40 weeks equal a 27 year-old's at 42 weeks. So Ishka will be entering this world by my due date of 3/25, with or without medical prompting. My next appointment, on Tuesday, will involve a discussion of the specific drugs and techniques we'll pursue. I'm still hoping I won't need that next appointment. I also hope I won't need tomorrow morning's BPP, or tomorrow afternoon's NST.

It's getting so close now. I can hardly believe we're here!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

twiddling my thumbs

Nothing happening yet. We tried (spicy) Chinese food and romance last night. It was enjoyable, and somewhat laughable (my belly is HUGE), but totally ineffective. As they say, the baby will come when the baby is ready. I have my 39-week appointment with one of the doctors in the practice tomorrow. Ishka was estimated at 6 pounds 12 ounces last Thursday, so we're likely just over 7 pounds now- I have no worries about an "oversized" baby, so even though I am eager and anxious to get this baby out, I'm not going into tomorrow's appointment to ask for inducton. Nature has been good to us this pregnancy (once we got pregnant, that is), and I'm not going to rock the boat now.

That said, I soooo want to meet Ishkabibble NOW! I am utterly useless at work, and just about everything I usually do has been farmed out so there's not much to do anyhow. I feel like I am wasting my time here in my office (yes, blogging at work... bad employee, I am) when I could be washing the kitchen floor or vacuuming the baby's room.

Waiting for Ishkabibble... that's the focus of my life for the time-being.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

the waiting game

It's kind of funny, all this waiting and not knowing when or how it will end. We're all taught early on (I think) that the responsible thing to do is to plan for big events. Spontaneity is all well and good when it comes to spur-of-the-moment weekend getaways or a last-second decision to skydive when the clear blue sky makes it irresistable. But we're supposed to plan the big things- college, buying a house, weddings, etc. And we all know that children aren't supposed to be the decision-makers in the family. They need adult guidance and sensibility or else they'd all be out playing in the street and eating ice cream for dinner every night. But here we are, waiting for a not-yet-newborn to decide when it's time to come out. Is that responsible parenting?

Still nothing happening. I even had fewer than the usual BH contractions today. I did go on a cleaning spree, which C wasn't fond of because I guilted him into helping me while his beloved hockey game was on TV (he got to watch the whole thing anyhow thanks to the miracle of DVR). But now our floors are beyond spotless (until the cats' next game of tag, which ends in a wrestling match and a pile of shed cat hair), the laundry is all caught up, and the refrigerator is organized. The crib finally has sheets and a dust ruffle (I'm not normally a dust ruffle-y gal, but it came with the bedding we registered for). The bumper doesn't fit, but I guess bumpers are considered passe and unsafe now anyhow, so I left it off. The tent we have turns out to fit only on a play-yard, so I think we'll need to buy one for the crib to keep the cats out. I still need to clip the cats' claws and apply the SoftPaws that arrived in Thursday's mail (thanks for the suggestion, Kate!). Sure, there are still a few odds and ends to be done, but we are SOOOOO ready. Did you hear me Ishkabibble? We're READY! This is your mother speaking, and I would like to meet you now. Please come on out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

38weeks exactly

All is quiet and well on the Ishkabibble front. BPP this morning was combined with an estimate of fetal weight, and we're up to 6 pounds 12 ounces now, the 53rd percentile. Fluid levels, fetal movement and all other BPP criteria look great. Ishka was making sucking motions with his jaw this morning, and she's turned to look backwards past my right hip now. The u/s tech thinks Ishka is a bit lower in my pelvis than last week. I think I agree, since I've felt some crampiness and weight very low in the last few days. At the same time, the office receptionist thought my belly looked higher today than it did yesterday. There's a foot strategically positioned below each side of my rib cage, as though Ishka is preparing to push off for a hasty exit.

Mexican food and a 75 minute walk didn't do a thing for starting labor last night. I was too tired for romance by the time I got home, so maybe we'll take that approach this evening.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

almost 38 weeks- stretchy

The stretch mark fairy paid me a visit last night and painted my belly while Ishka and I slept. I went from one little mark below my belly button to the whole underside of my belly being "marked." Oh, well... I am not a belly-baring sort of person, so it really doesn't matter. I find it amusing that I made it to one day shy of 38 weeks before accumulating many marks. This is not a complaint. I'm perfectly happy to have them.

I had my 38w (actually 37w6d) check-up this morning- there was no internal exam involved (hurray!), although I am now purposely avoiding Dr. Male after last week's somewhat bruising encounter. My weight is holding fairly steady at 35.5 pounds over my starting weight (which included about 10 TTC pounds), and my blood pressure is consistently in the one-teens over upper sixties. All is well, but the doc (not my MW) dropped hints that we may need to induce if things don't start on their own by my due date. She said that because of my age and the GD, we won't go much past the 25th. I have no problem with getting Ishka into the world earlier rather than later, but I'm not a fan of induction. Induction --> constant monitoring --> restricted movement while in labor --> trouble dealing with pain --> need for medication --> further unknown complications & interventions = YUCK!

Ishka and I will have a chat while we go for a long walk after dinner tonight. We made it to March, which is what I initially requested, so now we'll negoatiate a birth date. Something before the 25th. Maybe something in the teens. For good measure, we're going out for Mexican food tonight (someone mentioned that spicy food might spark something). Maybe a little romance later, after the walk. I'd love for one of the pleasant wives tales to work. Even castor oil would be preferable to induction.

Monday, March 8, 2010


The phone calls have begun. Folks we normally speak to 3 or 4 times each month are calling a couple of times each week now to ask if we have any news. We're ready. We'd love to have some news to share, but Ishkabibble continues to cook happily away in utero. The weather has taken a turn toward spring this week, so I'm planning to do a lot of walking. I'm ready to meet this baby, and based on the u/s calculations, Ishka's around 7 pounds now. We're considered full term and beyond the reach of preemie complications, so I have no qualms about trying a few old wives' tales to see if we can get things going. No castor oil yet (yuck!), but the more pleasant tricks are certainly appealing now. I'll certainly let y'all know if anything "works."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

36w6d... chugging right along

Nothing happening on the birthing front here. I had an appointment with the one male in the OB practice, and wouldn't you know it, it was the appointment involving a swab for group B strep and a manual cervical check to see if anything was going on. I don't know if it was him or me or the fact that I'm nearly 8 1/2 months pregnant, but that cervical check felt a bit rough. I will ask for no more internal checks of any kind until I feel like pushing. I wonder if I can get away with that?

The more I think about it, the more I want to stay home until I feel the urge to push. I'm sure I won't have that kind of willpower, and am more likely to rush off to the hospital at the first sign of labor just for confirmation that something has begun. But I've been told again and again that they're happy to send me home if I haven't reached "active" labor yet.

Anyhow, absolutely nothing is going on. Ishka continues to grow (latest estimated fetal weight, at 36 weeks, was 5 pounds 14 ounces; 58th percentile). I found my first stretch mark on Saturday, just when I thought I was getting through this unscarred. My ankles have reappeared most mornings, ever so slightly inflated but very nearly their pre-pregnancy size. I count myself lucky if I manage more than 3 hours of sleep at one stretch. That, plus the 32 extra pounds that I lug around all day, has made me very tired and cranky.

At work, I've been teaching my more complicated responsibilities to asorted co-workers so they can develop some familiarity with what needs to be done before I actually leave. This takes about 3-times as long as doing things myself, which has added to the tiredness. The less complicated stuff that I do will also be delegated to a number of people, and I'm just hoping they find it to be as simple as they believe it will be because they haven't stepped up to start trying the roles on for size yet.

The nursery is almost completed. The crib and dresser/changing table are assembled and in place. Dresser drawers are full of freshly-washed baby clothes, blankets, towels, etc. The bassinette is home, but not set up because we worry the cats will make it theirs. We have no crib mattress, but several hand-me-down mattresses have been offered and we just need to decide which to accept. The rocking chair is still in a box- maybe I'll put that together tonight, although I worry about the cats again... will they shred it? Maybe I should get the cats declawed (I've always been very opposed to declawing, but with an infant soon to be in the house, I'm reconsidering). Actually, only one of them probably needs declawing... he doesn't seem to recognize that he has claws, and draws blood from either C or me on a near-daily basis. Trimming them only lasts a few days, and then they're sharp as needles again. Once everything is in place, I'll take some pictures of the nursery and share them here.

So, we're ready, more or less. The bags aren't packed yet, but everythign that will go in them has been assembled and cleaned. I'll post a list at some point and ask for feedback from you folks- let me know if I neglected something that I'll truly need/want, or if I included something completely superfluous. Ishka has the green light from all parties involved. And so we wait.