Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two Weeks

Yesterday marked two weeks since Milo arrived in our lives. I've never spent much - or any - time with a newborn baby, so there has really been a learning curve. Due to the c-section and my healing, Chris took on a lot of the baby care early on. He's now the expert swaddler and dresser in our house, but I'm getting better at these tasks every day.

Milo is a wonderful baby, full of cute little faces and lots of cuddles. He's a great sleeper and allows us to get at about 3 hours of sleep in a row at night. Usually he wakes up hungry and needing changed at about 1 a.m. each night and then again around 4:30 a.m. During the day, he loves to sleep in his bouncer. Each day we are getting more and more alert time where he is looking around and observing the people and things around him. We're starting to work on tummy time on a daily basis to strengthen muscles.

Today we went to the pediatrician for the first time. We were happy to learn he has surpassed his birth weight and now weighs a healthy 9 pounds. Our pediatrician is a DO who we really like for her experience and perspective. I wasn't sure how she would react to the c-section and I was surprised to hear that she thought because of Milo's head swelling during labor, that the section was a good outcome. The shape of the head is very important in Osteopathic medicine and she becomes concerned about babies' who have a lot of head trauma during birth. So hearing that from her made me feel better.

In some ways having Milo with us seems so new, but in others it seems like he's always been with us. We're pretty smitten with the little guy and I'm so excited to watch him to continue to grow.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lightening the Mood

First, thank you for all your supportive messages and comments about the last post. Each day is getting better emotionally and physically and I'm very thankful for everyone in my life as I get through the unexpected birth scenario and the first days of being a new mom. Besides you can't be too down when you are looking at this little guy every day.

To lighten the mood a little more, I thought I would share some of our recent funny new parent moments. The first is typical baby boy stuff, but we got a good laugh at Milo's first diaper change at home this past Friday. Chris was changing him and forgot to get a cover on him quickly enough, consequently a very impressive arc of pee went flying a good three feet landing in an impressive puddle on the wood floors. I had heard of this happening, but to see it in real life was quite amusing to us as new parents. We have learned to duck when Milo gets too quiet during a changing.

The other funny thing happened last night as Chris and I were getting three (glorious) hours of sleep around 11 p.m. I woke up a little hazy and wanted to know where the baby was, Chris said right here and indicated Prada who was sleeping between us. I asked if the baby turned into a cat and Chris kind of grunted approval. I was so out of it, I thought huh, he's changed, but whatever and just dragged the poor cat into my lap to start nursing her. Luckily, I didn't get too far into the process because I think that would have been quite painful. Instead Chris snapped to it and said, no that is the cat, the baby is in his crib. Prada was released and no one was the worse for the incident.

Also, if you hadn't noticed, I think this blog will be rather mommy-oriented for a bit. I'll like having the record of Milo's early days and sharing it with any of you who are interested.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Baby Milo is Born

Milo James was born on March 16 at 9:32 p.m. It's taken me a little bit to process his birth and really think about the details. For some of you, this all might be too much information and if it is, that's fine, just skip this post. I'm sharing the story because writing it down will be cathartic for me and I want a record of how Milo came to enter the world.

Last Saturday night I was having contractions through the night which were close together, but not really strong. I was having some spotting so I called the doctor who said I could head to the hospital or wait for the contractions to get stronger. I decided to wait and the contractions eventually spaced out and then disappeared by mid-morning on Sunday. I took a nap to make up for the sleep lost the night before and Chris and I went for a walk. Later that night, we headed to our weekly Sunday night dinner at my parents house. We played a few rounds of boccee because it was a beautiful spring day outside and I thought the walking and bending over to pick up the balls would help get things moving. In fact, I was feeling contractions and they were getting stronger, but they weren't regular. After heading home and going to bed, the contractions did start back up again around 3 a.m. and they were stronger and steadily getting closer together. I spent some time walking around the house and bouncing on the exercise ball. I also spent a fair amount of time cowering in bed. By about 6:30 a.m. I decided it was time to head to the hospital and get checked out.

At the hospital, I was certain I would have progressed from the centimeter I had been dilated at my last appointment, but I wasn't. I was really surprised to hear that, but was told to walk around the hospital for a little bit and report back in an hour. Chris and I started walking the halls of the hospital and wondering if we would meet our little one that day. After reporting back to triage around 9 a.m., I was dilated to 2 cm and was admitted to the hospital. In the words of our nurse - Let's Go Have a Baby.

We were told to keep walking around the maternity area, which we did, stopping every couple of minutes to squat through a contraction. I wasn't having a lot of trouble breathing through the contractions as long I focused and kept moving. We would walk for a half hour and then I would sit on the birthing ball for a half hour. During our half hour activity rotations, they manually broke my water. I kept making progress and it was looking like we would meet our little Olive around 5 or 6 that afternoon.

Around 1 p.m., I was in a resting phase which meant laying on my left side. This was, even though I was exhausted, the most painful of all the phases. By this time I was dilated to a 5. Also at this time they came in to insert an intrauterine contraction monitor. Because the baby was resting right up against my cervix, this was difficult for the midwife to find space to get this in and consequently hurt like hell. All day the nurses had been asking me to rate my pain and this was the first time the pain was unmanageable. I was left shaking and crying on the bed and asking for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came and within minutes I was feeling no pain. At this point I also consented to having an IV of pitocin which I wouldn't allow all morning. The pitocin and a little rest progressed to from 5 cm to 8 cm and then the trouble began.

I stopped making progress at 8 cm. The doctor came by and suggested we do a vaginal bypass. He wouldn't say the words, but I knew he was talking about a Caesarian section and I immediately said no, if the baby and I were still doing okay, let's wait it out. He said he would come back in an hour. That hour passed and since there was no feeling in my legs, my only option was to stay in bed on my side but we did try to use pillows between my legs to lengthen the pelvic floor. No progress was made in that hour. I talked him into another hour of trying to progress on my own and at this point it was getting to be a battle of wills. The nurses were great though and really worked with me to try to and progress. We tried all types of positions in the bed including hands and knees and a couple of others. Still no progress was made and at this point they told me the baby's head was beginning to swell because he was pressing into my cervix. The nurses also let me know that the baby seemed to coming out crooked.

The whole pregnancy the Olive had been hanging out on my right side and it was no different during labor. At one point when the nurse looked, you could clearly see the back of the baby way off to the right of my abdomen. He just wasn't lining up correctly and was getting stuck on my pelvis bone.

At this point, I was scared, tired and couldn't stall any longer when the doctor came back in asking for consent to do a c section. Chris and I talked it over and decided it was the safest option for the baby because of the swelling, but I couldn't stop crying as I was being prepped for surgery. The day was turning out so differently than I had imagined and prepared. I was wheeled into the operating room and Milo James was born at 9:32 p.m. more than 12 hours after we had been declared in active labor.

Although I am very blessed to have a healthy baby and to be a mother, I am having a tough time coming to terms with the surgery. For one I feel like I should have held off longer on the epidural as I think that slowed things down. I also feel like I could have been stronger with the doctor because I really felt pushed into the surgery. It was hard for me to hear my baby cry after the delivery and not be able to do anything for him or even see him.

Throughout my stay at the hospital and I as continue the recovery, I still cry when I think about how Milo came to be born. I can't really pinpoint why I feel so sad about it because I know it isn't how the child comes into the world that makes a mother. I'm also beginning to realize that I probably made the safest and best choice for my baby and myself with the information I had at the time. In spite of those things, I just can't shake the feeling that I failed at my first responsibility of being a mom.

As each day passes, I'm beginning to move past those feelings and enjoy my new role as mom. We're doing well now that we're at home. Breastfeeding is going well and for the most part our little guy is living up to the meaning of his name which in the German translation means peaceful and calm.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Reprieve

I feel like my posting for the last month(s) has centered around descriptions of end-of-pregnancy woes and where is that baby anyway musings. These things are pretty much my life these days, but still it doesn't make for interesting writing (or living, for that matter). I work and I come home, do baby-related tasks and then go to bed.

However, today I tried to have a normal and fun Saturday afternoon; to get out of the house and do something we would have done pre-pregnancy and won't have a chance to do as often post-baby. So we headed to German Village for the afternoon. After actually finding a parking spot and a short walk through the brick streets of the Village, we met my brother for coffee (well I had tea) and hung out at Cup O Joe for a little bit. Then we headed next door to the Book Loft. The Book Loft has always been a favorite stop of mine in Columbus. Loving books as much as I do, it's a little piece of heaven to wander through the rooms and rooms (32 to be exact) of books. After much discussion, we picked out two books for our little Olive. Since we were in a hurry, I didn't have time to look for a new book for myself, but I understand I won't have much time for reading in the next several weeks anyway.

We then walked down the street to Katzinger's for lunch. It's been Dine Originals Restaurant Week and I've been too tired to really partake this week, but I wanted to participate at least a little bit. I also really like Katzinger's which is a great deli and famous sandwich shop, but don't make it there too often. They were running a great special for the Week, and the turkey flight (!) of sandwiches didn't disappoint. It was fun to try three different sandwiches in one basket - my favorite was a grilled one with delicious tangy mustard (#11).

After all the afternoon activity, I have to admit, I headed home to take a nap. I guess you can't take the pregnant girl off the couch for too long.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


The countdown is still happening here and at 38 weeks and a handful of days, it is getting closer with each day. Other than that pesky hospital bag I need to pack, everything is all ready for our little Olive. The nursery is set and ready to go, the clothes are washed, blankets folded and the car seat installed. All we need is the baby.

Most of the adorable baby gear and clothes came from the wonderful baby shower a few weekends back. The shower was held Valentine's Day weekend and had a heart / olive theme. It was so much fun and so nice to share the day surrounded by women who already love our little Olive.

My work family also held a surprise shower for me and the Olive this past Friday. It was another showing of support for which I was so grateful.

Plus both events had cake and this pregnant woman loves cake!

I've said from the beginning that this child will be very loved and that has been so evident. Friends and family have been extremely kind and generous as we've prepared to welcome our little one. It's something I've been telling the Olive a lot lately as I've been trying to convince the little guy or girl to come out. I let the Olive know that there are a lot of people who are so excited to see him and welcome him to our world.

Let's hope she's listening...

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Proverbial Straw

I am officially full term in this pregnancy...at 37 weeks and a couple of days, the Olive would be good to go if he or she made an appearance. It would, of course, be better for him if he stayed put for at least one or two more weeks, but knowing he would be considered full-term has me very excited...and counting the days until we actually meet.

In spite of the litany of pregnancy woes - mainly back pain, being super tired, feeling HUGE and occasional heartburn, I was doing okay and was still quite happy being pregnant until last week. Last week marked the beginning of the swelling where I can no longer identify my ankles as separate from my puffy feet or legs. I also look like an unwed mother most of the time since my rings no longer fit my pudgy hands. Again, although not pleasant, I could totally deal with the swelling until the carpal tunnel started. Due to the swelling, I can no longer feel my hands for a good portion of each morning. I wake up at night with an uncomfortable pins and needles feeling burning through my hands and up my arms. Seriously, pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome was not something I was expecting and I'm not at all fond of it. It is really the symptom that has me being over being pregnant and ready to move on to being a mother.