Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sleep Deprived but Still in Love

It's been a while since I posted, which pretty much sums up my life right now -- it's been a while since I've been able to do anything but feed the baby, rock the baby, change the baby, bounce the baby on the bouncy ball, eat, go to the bathroom, and get what little sleep she allows me to get before we repeat everything again. Completely ordinary new parent stuff but so intense when you are experiencing it for yourself!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by with congrats, it means a lot to me. Being a mom is at once the best thing I've ever done and the absolute hardest...and it feels so good to have people cheering me on, because some days I definitely have felt like I just can't do it right now. These days are always following a day when I've had no naps, so I'm on strict orders from G to take a nap every day no matter what. This morning I got about two hours, hooray! So now I'm more in the zone of happy mommy vs. crazed sleep-deprived mommy.

Ava is amazing, she is changing almost literally in front of our eyes. She's starting to chub out a bit, and seems to be losing a little hair and what's growing back in is a little lighter in color. I'm dying to find out what color her eyes are, but I know that will take a while. She's starting to hold her head up a little more, which is exciting. And we're definitely starting to learn her likes (milk, bouncing on the bouncy ball, hanging out in her papasan chair, listening to water running in the kitchen sink, sleeping right on top of us, lights) and dislikes (waiting for more than 1 second when she's hungry, the swing, being swaddled without her arms free, getting her diaper changed).

Breastfeeding has been SO hard, I really didn't think it would be this hard. We've had an incredibly hard time getting a good latch, which meant hours of pain for me. Nothing like getting woken up in the middle of the night to someone chomping down on one of the most sensitive parts of your body. But it's slowly starting to improve, and I'm hoping for completely pain-free nursing sometime in the near future.

More pics:

"oh, hello!"

chillin' in the papasan:

trying out the moby wrap (hmmm, not sure if I like this or not):

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Looks Like I Spoke Too Soon

Well, a little less than 3 hours after posting my last post...I went into labor!!

Ava Katherine was born on Friday, October 5, at 10:18 AM. She weighed in at 6 lb 5 oz and is 19 inches long, and so far she's the love of our lives!

The birth went so well, although laboring overnight is pretty tiring and suffice it to say we certainly haven't caught up on sleep now that we have a newborn ruling the roost. Honestly, pushing my daughter out into the world was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced and I am so incredibly grateful that she is here and healthy and happy. What a journey...

I'm exhausted, so I can't write much more now, but will be back soon with more updates and more pics.

Some pictures for now:

Weighing In:

First Shampoo (ahhh, spa day):

Mommy & Ava:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

I'm still here. Not much new to report! I am sloooowly making some progress in the dilation and effacement department -- had my 39 week appointment yesterday and I am now between 1 & 2 cm dilated and over 50% effaced (my doc's not much for specific numbers, which actually helps me obsess less, yay!) So it's a good thing that I'm making progress, but still doesn't tell me much about when this baby might be coming out.

Doc said at my next appointment we'll talk about what the next steps might be, how I'm feeling, how she's feeling about how things are going, etc. So I guess this will be the induction talk. I spent some time today doing a bunch of research on induction and talking to folks online who have gone through it and I feel less afraid of it. I think I'm just at the point where I'm ok with whatever needs to happen to get the baby out safely and so she's the most healthy. Not sure yet if that will include inducing, but if it does, so be it.

It's funny because I was really against the idea of induction a few months ago, and now I realize that just like I couldn't exactly plan the "perfect" conception, I can't plan the "perfect" birth. And while the reality of it is that it will be great if I go into labor on my own (still hoping, still have time), there's nothing wrong with a little medical intervention to get the baby into the world either. I figure since we had medical help to get her in there, no shame in having medical help to get her out either!

It just reminds me again though, how much people put moral values on all sorts of things related to parenting, from how you get pregnant to what choices you make during pregnancy to how you choose to go through labor and delivery...and I won't even get into the crazy hotbeds like feeding and sleep training and cloth vs. disposable diapers. There are definitely people out there who are adamant about not inducing, just like there are people who discouraged me from going to the RE and said I should just take herbs and do acupuncture and I'd get pregnant for sure. Ultimately I need to gather all the info I can and then make my own decision.

The truly exciting news is that I will very likely be holding my baby in the next couple of weeks! And I know that none of this stuff will matter then...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

False alarm...aaarrgh!

Monday night we had a bit of a false alarm...frustrating! I woke up at 1:45 AM with a big contraction. Not that unusual, it happens from time to time. I settled back in to try to sleep, when I got another one. "Hmm," I thought, "that was odd. I don't usually get them so close together." Then, another one. "Maybe I should check the clock?"

Another one, 5 minutes later.

Another one, 5 minutes later.

Now I'm wide awake.

They went on like this for 2-1/2 hours, going from 5 minutes apart (Holy crap, is this IT?) to 8 minutes apart (wait, maybe it's not) to 6 minutes apart (wait, maybe it IS). G was a champ, getting out the kitchen timer for more accurate recording of each contraction time and duration, finding "The Birth Partner," our favorite book for how to get through labor and childbirth, and finally, insisting that we take the book's suggestion to only time & record 6 contractions, then wait for a while and start again when the mother notices a change in the contractions.

All I can say is, thank dog for Tivo, because we definitely needed something to take our minds off of what was happening. We watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and by the time that was over, the contractions had slowed down and lessened in intensity.

Final verdict: not IT.

Time awake: 1:45 AM to 4:30 AM.

Emotional state: Exhausted, frustrated, disappointed, and afraid that it will go on like this for weeks.

The good news is two-fold though. 1) While this episode did not result in the birth of our baby, I know that my body is working up towards the main event, and hopefully my next doc appointment tomorrow will confirm that more progress has been made. 2) I got a good 9 hours of sleep last night, interrupted only very briefly by my three bathroom trips, after which I fell asleep promptly each time. So I'm feeling refreshed and also remembering that no matter how frustrating it is to think you're in labor and then turn out not to be, it WILL happen in a matter of hours, days or weeks. Which in the grand scheme of things is barely a blink of an eye.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

37 week appointment update

I am now almost 1 cm dilated! I am so excited. I called my mom and told her and she said "wow, what does that mean?!?" and I realized it pretty much means...that I'm going to have a baby. But I still don't know when.

But you know, that's ok. I was fretting about how I had no idea when the baby would come, and G gently reminded me that in fact we do have SOME idea. It will be sometime in the next month. Which suddenly seems very soon!

Doc also told me to get walkin' -- she said I should walk for at least 30 minutes a day to encourage my cervix to keep dilating and effacing. You can believe that I will be out there trekking around my neighborhood first thing tomorrow.

Lastly, I just want to say how incredibly grateful and amazed I am to have made it to today, 37 weeks and full term. When I realized that I would be dealing with IF, I just felt immediately hopeless and pessimistic and afraid, and that has continued to plague me on and off throughout pregnancy...and now today, I can finally breathe just a little, I can know that at least my fear of not making it this far was not realized.

And so today, I am sending super duper positive vibes out to everyone struggling with IF...may we all become parents of the wonderful kids that were meant for us, however we come by them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

36 weeks 5 days with latest belly pics

I've been feeling more energetic the past couple of days, even restless. The urge to clean, organize, DO things is huge. A sign of impending labor? Please let that be it! I'm so ready to meet this little girl...

Here's the latest belly pics:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

36 weeks...!

Just a quick update...things seem to be progressing towards this baby actually coming out of me in the relatively near future. I can't believe it.

The details:
Over the last few weeks I've felt a few sharp shooting pains in my cervix. I also think at some point the baby dropped, although I'm not sure...but I feel less crunched up in my ribs and more pressure in my pelvic region. In fact, it's uncomfortable to sit without my legs spread wide because my belly is resting so much on my legs.

On Tuesday morning I lost a little bit of my mucus plug, which I know doesn't mean that labor is around the corner exactly, but it is a sign that things are moving in the right direction. I've been having more Braxton Hicks contractions, and on Tuesday evening they were actually fairly painful, and I got six in one hour, the most I've ever had. G and I were a little freaked out, since I wasn't quite 36 weeks yet, but thankfully they didn't follow any pattern and they must have stopped after six because I fell asleep.

Wednesday morning I had a doc appointment scheduled, and after telling her everything that had been happening, she decided to check my cervix...it's still closed, but she said it's 20% effaced! Which means that all those contractions are doing something productive, and also was reassuring. I don't feel afraid that the baby is going to come shooting out in the next day or two. In fact, I feel like if I can just make it one more week, I will be so ready for her to come on out into the world!

I've now moved into the every week doc appointments, so next Thursday I'll find out if there's been any more progress -- and even better, I'll be full term so all of my fears about the baby coming too early will be laid aside. It's really strange to think about being happy and excited about signs that labor is on the way, when I've spent the entire pregnancy worrying about losing the baby or her coming too early...

Mostly, I'm excited and working on resting as much as possible over the next however many weeks it takes. So much easier said than done, I want to madly clean and organize everything (guess the whole nesting thing is real) but I just don't have the energy. On the plus side, I got my mom's housecleaner to come do a one-time clean for me tomorrow, so I will feel much better once the house is really really clean!

But honestly, I don't know when this whole baby thing will start to feel real...it feels like some sort of strange dream. I guess I just need to continue on the ride...