Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Under Construction

I am going to be putzing with my blog a bit over the next couple weeks-  bear with me!

Pumped Up Kicks

It's been a big year for me and shoes. . . first boots and now sneaks!  To match my prior excitement, we will be using caps. . . SNEAKS!

I am the proud owner of new running shoes.   I haven't updated my shoes in over three years (granted I haven't been running as much and didn't feel like I needed to until now.  woo hoo! 

I recently read Born to Run which is about the barefoot running movement and had given some thought to trying it out.  I had a great conversation with the woman at the store-- who was a spectator at the Leadville 100 when the Tarahumara won the race.  She had quite to say about the body composition and styling of the runners as to why the minimal shoe worked for them.  She was super knowledgeable and I really trusted her.  I picked out the Cortana shoe which comes in three colors.  See below my awesome new kicks!


Matt isn't super keen on me running yet but I am starting to feel like it's time!  I have dropped 20 lbs since the birth of Deirdre with another 5-10 to go. . . Having all that weight gone has given me so much more energy and a real desire to move.    A month ago I picked my shoes based on what required the least amount of energy and now I am back listening to my old girls. . . Christina, Britney, Rihanna.   Who wants to go dancing?

I think there is a step class in my near future.  ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Birth Story Part 2- I Dilate Like James Counts*

So where did I leave off?   That's right. . . it's midnight and I am in my new room with my somewhat cranky nurse, Cindy.    Should have been named Olga.

Given the fact that I hadn't shown any progression since my last visit, I was told that I could either start pitocin or try walking to bring on the contractions.  I was induced with James and really wanted to have a more natural birth experience.  Please note-- I am saying MORE natural not TOTALLY natural. . .  This is important later in the story. . .    My birth "plan" if you remember was to start naturally and play it by ear.. . .but that ear would probably (definitely) involve an epidural.

So we begin walking laps.  I am still laughing a lot at this point and my husband is channeling his inner stand up comic.  We walk for about an hour or so and I am having contractions that make me stop and breathe.  We were timing them at this point and they were about two minutes apart.

After a while, I decided to try the bathtub which was near miraculous. I could still feel the contractions but they were so much more mellow.  All the time that we are doing this- Joan my MIL is hanging out in our room reading our collection of trashy magazines and giving us her viewpoint on the Seal/ Heidi break up from the other room. It's a lot like a slumber party except nobody painted my nails.  Next time.

Everyone is feeling pretty good about life until I got out of the bath and realize the contractions are much more painful than they were before the bath.  Olga checks and I have advanced half a centimeter to four.  The slumber party is now less fun and it looks like this baby isn't coming in the near future.  At this point I am tearing up with the contractions and think, "life experience-- check."  An epidural is a good idea.

We call the epidural people and are told that they have another woman to do first.  boo friggen hoo.  The epidural lady eventually shows up at 2:45 and this was a very long 45 minutes to wait.  Very long.   She is wrapped up at 3:30 and I am more comfortable.  The slumber party continues!

I put on my headphones and cuddle up with Downton Abbey.  Joan and Matt both make their 'beds' and we decide to nap for a bit.  Olga says she is going to let the epidural set in for a bit before inserting a catheter since it is 'uncomfortable'.  We have a brief discussion about how hospital uncomfortable is really code for 'painful'.   Olga says she will return in a bit.   I am not entirely pain free at this point, legs are still able to move but the edge is taken off.

A mere 15 minutes later,  I had just closed my eyes and suddenly was in a great deal of pain again.  My belly was REALLY upset and I am pretty sure I started yelling-- which isn't a pleasant way to wake up from a cat nap.   I couldn't describe the pain well other than I thought that maybe the veggie lasagna from earlier in the evening was now causing issues or some other trouble was brewing but Olga suddenly became pretty concerned about my screaming.

Olga checked me and said something about being "complete" as she ran out of the room.  I didn't process that right away since I was too busy yelling "ow ow ow ow ow."  Matt seemed to catch the word "complete" a little faster and was up.  Olga came back into the room and we clarified that in the last hour or so I had gone from 4 to 10 and the baby was crowning.   Awesome. . . except as the rest of us were very much awake, my OB remained blissfully asleep in his bed at home.

I started panicking at this point and was instructed to lay on my side with my legs closed.  It's 4 am  and I am starting to have some frank conversations with Olga about pain management.  Why is this epidural not working??  Turns out that the epidural gets stronger over time and my fresh epidural wasn't up to the task at hand yet.  This didn't seem like a valid excuse and I start bargaining and naming other potential options for pain.   (This is between contractions.  During contractions I go back to yelling.)

Another nurse comes in and they start whipping out the dental instruments and readying the room.  Joan and Matt put their beds away and we wait for the doctor to commute in for the morning.   I am calculating his drive time at this point and hoping that he didn't stop for coffee first.  I am also feeling caught between a rock and a hard place. I am petrified of pushing and feeling any sort of ripping but I clearly didn't think that remaining pregnant the rest of my life was a good option either.

He runs in at 4:15 or so, shoes untied and I am thankful that he understood the urgency I was feeling.   At this point they let me sit up and get me in position to push.  Naturally the minute I sit up, the contractions stopped.  This gave me a moment to ask for local which my doctor had no problem giving.  Likely, the local probably hadn't set in by the time I pushed but I felt worlds better knowing that there was a back up system after the faulty epidural.

I pushed through the next contraction and one after that and she was born at 4:23 am.  All in all, she was very healthy at delivery and like James earned an APGAR of 10.  She was just determined to get herself into this world!

Closing reflections on birth planning:  I have rarely heard of a birth plan being followed to the letter so I didn't have one.  The next day we were talking about the dynamic hour that marked the birth of our daughter and Matt reflected on how my 'non' birth plan really was a birth plan after all which is probably why I felt some degree of panic and fear at not being prepared for a more natural experience-- hence my repeat comments to Olga about still being able to move my legs!  I have a lot of admiration for those that pursue natural child births but I think this is something that I would have prepared for in a more deliberate way: aka;  doula, classes and possibly the Rocky theme song.
My birth plan was to have a lot of options and some time for me to exercise those options.   I am slightly embarrassed at how much I lost it in the last hour of the delivery but I was really caught off guard by the suddenness of the situation and wasn't prepared mentally (no Rocky) for an urgent situation.   Fear does funny things to people.

Closing reflections on child delivery:   If you want an epidural, get it early.  (*Just in case you skip a bunch of numbers.)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bedtime Apparel

It's important to sport all your hobbies when hitting the hay.

Stationery card

Plainly Perfect Black Birth Announcement
Create beautiful birth announcements with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Coming soon to a mailbox near you! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'll Take The Ruby Rae and the Check Please (Birth Story Part 1)

So, we have a baby!  A baby!!  And she's two weeks early!  (not that I am complaining, we are thrilled to have her here!)

So, how did this all go down? Did I follow my easy breezy birth plan?  Did I like candles, listen to Enya and sip on herbal tea as Deirdre made her way into the world with Zen like style?  um. no.

So, I was at dinner with a friend (At Pizza Luce in Uptown) and after dinner I suddenly felt little bubbles in my undies region and suddenly my legs were soaked.  Now, as I am in my third trimester, I wasn't entirely sure if I hadn't just totally lost function of my bladder or if indeed my water had broken. Luckily, this friend is a very good, old friend who was quick to toss me my coat and walk behind me through the crowded restaurant sparing my dignity.

I went to the restroom, still wasn't sure about the pee vs amniotic fluid situation. This was a situation I didn't expect to encounter, umm ever.  As we walked to the car, I continued to leak. . . which made me pretty convinced that we were in more of the water breaking situation. Thankfully.

After a quick departure from the restaurant around 9:30, I decided to drive home and see if I started to have any contractions.  I made calls to my OB and to Matt and all agreed that it was time to go in. 

By the time I got home, I still wasn't having contractions so I decided to send an email to my boss and take a shower since I knew it could be a while until I would be able to shower again.  Matty hopped in a taxi so that he could baby sit and Joan showed up and made the startling, but all too true comment that it didn't appear that we were ready for this. We did some last minute packing and headed to the hospital.

We arrived at 11:30 or so and by the time we got there I was starting to have some light contractions similar to menstrual cramps and they confirmed that my water did break.  I was admitted to the hospital and reached my room at midnight or so.  At that point, I hadn't dilate past the 3.5 that I was two weeks ago. . . . so

Next Up: Birth Story Part 2-  I dilate like James counts. . . .

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Early Arrival

Deirdre Joan Fitzpatrick Born 2-10-12, 4:23am 7lbs 5 oz, 21 inches

I believe my fortune said "Rest. . ." ?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rounding Home

38 Weeks!  I have had two nights where I have waken up due to contractions and because I didn't go "into" labor with James I am not entirely sure what I am looking for.  Both times, I timed the contractions at 4-5 minutes apart for an hour or so. . . and then they magically went away.  No baby yet.   When I woke Matt up both times he was a bit groggy (umm, read that as cranky).     Matt has promised to fake enthusiasm when I actually go into labor.  Regardless of the time of day.

So no news yet. . . still waiting to see.   I have been feeling really hormonal lately and pretty sappy.  We have re-thought our name and so we don't really have one which I feel is a little more stressful than it should be.  . I am feeling really sentimental about my friends and family right now and have been trying to avoid hallmark commercials and any article about violence on CNN. . . .    I am normally not a crier but feel like the other shoe can drop pretty easily these days.

Always good to see this measurement. . . (Actually it is a bit!)  With James, I was above the 50 mark!  

Friday, February 3, 2012

Due Date

So, we have rounded 37 weeks!  At the doctor yesterday we found that I had "progressed" from 3 to 3.5 cm and am now 50% effaced.  I have been having a LOT of contractions but none are painful.  The good doctor tells me that contractions are much more common with each pregnancy so I am trying to keep my expectations in check.

With both pregnancies I was 3cm dilated at 35 weeks and past experience tells me that it means nothing.  With James, I didn't really understand what it meant and was half afraid that something would fall out.  like a baby. False.  It doesn't work that way.

It also doesn't mean that this baby is coming soon.  sad pants.   It does mean that when I do go into labor I need to get my ass to the hospital quickly as I am going to be at a 4 at the starting gate!

Do I have a birth plan?

Nope.  It helps that I have a lot of confidence in my husband who I know can be pretty vocal about advocating for my needs.  The bigger reason though is that I don't want to be disappointed.  Most friends I know who have had rigid birth plans were disappointed in how things turned out one way or the other.  

Here is what I am communicating:

  • Headphones and Ipod, you know. . . for my happy place
  • Whatever means it takes to allow this child to be born healthy (c-section, natural etc.  I am fine if it means a good outcome for my little one) 
  • Matt is on the head team (as in MY head) He has seen enough birth-y stuff to not have see my stuff.  
  • If I opt for a natural birth, I would like to be numbed if there are any stitches.  I know this is graphic for all you gentlemen readers. . . but let's think through this-- would you have stitches on your arm with out numbing it first?  Hell no.  Now let's think about the amount of nerves involved. . .  exactly. 
  • I would like to go into labor this time (was induced with James) and have some natural contractions. . .  but no promises after that. 
  • My mother in law is invited. . . but I would "prefer" her on the head team as well.  She was really excited about a mirror last time we talked and I feel pretty confident about not wanting a mirror.   I saw the videos. . . I am assuming that my stuff looks the same.  If she wants a peek, I can deal. . . for preservation of our intimate life, Matt is still on the head team. 
I think that's all.   We are getting pretty excited over here.  We are having a daughter!! :) 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We've Got a Two Year Old Wheezer*

So in the last three days we have had a lot of medical updates for little man. . . . we have new hearing results. . .  we have an official allergy diagnosis (tree nuts) and we have newly diagnosed asthma (which we have suspected for a while)
Food allergies, eczema and asthma-- we are officially the trifecta of the atopic child:  

Kids who get eczema often have family members with hay fever,asthma, or other allergies. Some experts think these kids may be genetically predisposed to get eczema, which means characteristics have been passed on from parents through genes that make a child more likely to get it.

About half of the kids who get eczema will also someday develop hay fever or asthma themselves. Eczema is not an allergy itself, but allergies can trigger eczema. Some environmental factors (such as excessive heat or emotional stress) can also trigger the condition.  -Kidshealth.org

Poor guy has a wicked family history of these things-- on both sides.  I am asthmatic, he has uncles on both sides with asthma or eczema and cousins all over the place with the same issues.  Not totally surprising results.
Matthew and I were reminiscing, if you will, last night during the waiting.  We have spent a lot of time with doctors appointments over the last two years. I am not sure what it would be if we averaged it out, but it is at least two-three trips per month**.  A lot had to do with our early CMV diagnosis and the treatment course that we took which required weekly check ins and lab work for four months and then the ear tune-ups and maintenance. . . .  but still. . . it's not as if we are just scheduling well child checks. 
That said, we have friends who have faced serious medical complications with their children and every time we head into an appointment I think of them and the challenges they go through for their children.    
I am also reminded of the power of community.  I put a note on FB yesterday and was sent a note from a friend asking how the week was going and if she could do anything.  Man oh man, I have awesome friends. . . and awesome friends who care deeply for my child.  That is the best feeling in the world and one that I really hope that I can re-pay to folks when they are in crummy situations.
Sincerely though, we are doing well.  We didn't get any cleaning done last night but that was the only real downside of our night out.  We had a fun little adventure to the hospital, ate some animal crackers, drank some juice etc.  It is our third trip in so many months so I am hoping with the exception of the baby due in three weeks that we can avoid the place for a while after that. 
Since the wheezing isn't entirely new, we had already scheduled a visit with our primary for Friday for James to get a prescription for albuterol.  So hopefully we will be better prepared to handle it at home going forward! 

*Quote by the triage nurse upon our arrival at the ER.  Methodist is a pretty decent place-- we have always been able to get in within minutes of arrival-- and yesterday they had him on nebs within 5 minutes of us getting there.  Nice!   (They also have awesome stickers, balloons, crayons. . . .and a tv with a basketball station)

**Three this week alone!