Monday, 15 May 2017

She's Here, She's Here!

On May 9th, Baby Sister made it into this world safely.

I am so lucky.   She's just amazing.

First, the obvious.  Childbirth sucks.

The story, if you're interested:

I was induced at 6pm on Sunday with a cervical foley catheter (balloon).  It dilated me to 3cm by the next morning.   The next day (Monday) , I arrived at the hospital at 8am and began receiving medications for induction.  Things progressed very slowly, but the baby was happy.  I followed my birth plan and took all the drugs.   When they would wear off every once and a while, I was reminded of just how awesome drugs are.

Just after midnight on Tuesday, I had dilated to 9cm and was 90% effaced.  The induction drugs kept flowing through out the night but my cervix didn't want to budge.  At 5am, the doctor gave my pitocin one last crank up to try to make my contractions stronger, and dilate me the last little bit.  At 6am, they told me I could push.

I tried to push for 1.5 hours.  I was exhausted.  I was 22 hours into labour at that point.  My doctor came in, and he said he could still feel a small amount of my cervix.  He said I could try to push for a couple more hours if I wanted because baby was happy, but he thought maybe baby was too big to fit because all of my pushing had not made baby any closer to the exit.   Shortly after, I decided to have a c-section.  I just wanted it to be over and was exhausted and feeling overwhelmed.

At 9:05am our beautiful little girl made it into this world.  She cried right away, and so did I.  I'm crying as I type this.  I still can't believe we got this lucky.  Hubs got brave and even saw her right after she emerged.  I can't believe he looked!

The next few days of recovery were a blur.  The baby is jaundiced, but is recovering well.  We decided to supplement her with formula to help things along.

Breast feeding has been very difficult.  This is a whole other story in itself.  However the nutshell version is that she has a very strong latch, which has resulted in some very sore bleeding breasts.  After a rest from breast feeding we're getting back on track.  We're almost a week in, I think we are turning a corner.   She is currently receiving formula about  50% of the time.   I think some form of supplementation might be the right solution for us going forward, but we'll see.  We're taking it day by day.

She had a slightly abnormal heart rhythm (a long QT which is the contraction phase of the heart rhythm from what I understand), so she had to have some extra tests.  The doctors think it is already resolving on its own.  Because of hubby's history with a minor congenital heart defect, they are being extra careful and following up on this.   This resulted in a lot of extra traffic in our hospital room.   Our hospital is a teaching hospital and there were a ton of people in our room everyday.  We were really glad to get to go home.

Big brother has been amazing.  It melts my heart.  He was sooooo excited to meet her.  We waited until we were home from the hospital, and I'm glad we did that because there were no extra distractions around us.   He held her, and analyzed every little thing about her "look at her little tongue!", "why she no wear socks, Mama?", "look at my trains Baby Sister", and "she has a picky nose" (what he calls it when he has a boogie in his nose).  "I need to be gentle",  were some of the things he said.  He held her patiently and gently for 20 minutes (a record for his 2.5 yr old attention span), while wiggling his feet excitedly the whole time.   It was one of the best moments of my life.   It was beyond adorable.  There weren't a lot of dry eyes around watching.

I'm so, so grateful.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

39 Weeks

It's hard to believe that we're soon going to meet Baby Sister.  It's hard to believe that this is even happening to us at all.  But it is.   It blows my mind.   We're so lucky.

I haven't had any signs of labour.  I want some though ;)

I can't remember if I wrote this or not yet, but my placenta previa resolved itself at 36 weeks.  Doc says we're good to go for a vaginal birth.   I go tomorrow for another check up.

I've researched a few things, and have an idea of how I'd like the birth to go.  But really, I just want Baby Sister to get here safely and in the most friendly way possible for me.  The only item on my birth plan is: 1) Take all the drugs.  

I'm having a bit of anxiety about how we are going to manage two kids in the early evening hours (hubby works from home and needs to work until 8pm), but I'm hoping it will all just come together.  I had a 12 yr old mother's helper come over for the first time yesterday.  She lives four doors down.  I'm hoping she'll be able to lighten the load a bit.

I'm also having anxiety that there could be something wrong with the baby.  I'm not going to write that all out here, because I don't want to give it any more space in my head than it's already taking up. But it's there.

The next time I post, hopefully there will be a baby here!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

32 weeks

This pregnancy is going well.   I'm starting to get large and people are commenting on it.  Got my first "you look like you're ready to pop comment" today.  Didn't feel that great to hear given that this baby is due 8 weeks from now and I've been doing well in the weight gain department. 

Most of my weight gain is in my belly.  So far, I don't have any stretch marks, but I know that this is probably when they are going to start showing up. My sister escaped them until her 40th week of pregnancy.  I don't have a working home scale, but the last time I was at the doctor's office I was on the low range of what was considered normal for weight gain.  I think the only reason this has stayed somewhat in check is because I can no longer eat large portions of anything.  This baby must be sitting right on my stomach.  Eating a large portion doesn't just make me feel too full, it's very uncomfortable.   A lot of foods just don't seem desirable anymore either.  

Anyways, it's funny what ends up on the keyboard, because I had no intentions of sitting here typing about my weight gain.   Blogging and therapy are kind of similar for me.  I get surprised by what comes out sometimes.  

I can feel baby girl moving around a lot.  Last night, there was a very distinct movement of a hand or a foot across the top of my belly.  She just kept it there, and I could feel and see the tiny bump sticking out.  It was like she was trying to stretch out her space.  It is so strange.    

My previa has been resolving.  At my last ultrasound a couple of weeks ago, it had moved to marginal and was 1.4 cm from my cervix.  My doctor says it has to be 2cm away to have a vaginal birth.   I go for another ultrasound tomorrow, and for one every two weeks from here on out.  

Funny thing is that I spent fair bit of time making peace with the c-section.  I was a bit worried about breast feeding after a c-section, recovery with a toddler in the house, and feeling cooped up for 6 weeks with no driving.  Then I started thinking - "Hey! I may not feel any labour pains! And the baby won't be born in the middle of the night! I could have ended up with one anyways.  I can plan when my helpers will arrive a little better.   And sweet - my vagina will be intact!" 

But, then I listened to a podcast (The Longest Shortest Time - Episode 110 "Risky Birth-ness").  The unintentional effects of this for me adding to my positive feelings about a c-section, after hearing about vaginal birth injuries and complications.   Fast forward to now, when a vaginal birth is probably an option and all that information is freaking me out a tad. 

I remind myself that I wanted to experience pregnancy, and childbirth so badly.  Now, I kind of shake my head at the childbirth part of this.   Eeks.  

I stopped taking my happy pills (antidepressant) soon after I found out I was pregnant.  At the time, I was thinking of stopping them anyways, as I had been on them for 1.5 years and was feeling pretty good.    Up until a couple of weeks ago, I'd really been feeling well in this department. 

Anxiety and a bit of depression have been sneaking their way back into my life though.   Anxiety about childbirth, nursing, managing two kids, feeling lonely, and feeling bored (can winter just be over now?!?  This Canadian is tapped out.)   Our son has had 4 viral bugs since Christmas Eve, and it's taking it's toll.  He pukes/gets a cold, we stay home, he pukes in random places, we clean it, we visit doctors and sometimes the ER visit (he has asthma that is complicated by any illnesses).  Plans are canceled and he can't go to his twice weekly babysitter (our sanity), or on any playdates or activities.  He gets bored at home and starts asking to go "somewhere special" before he's well enough to go.   It's draining.   

I really just need more stimulation in my life, but it's a hard thing to achieve at this moment.  I'm thinking about going back on the happy pills because I'm very scared of combining this low-level feeling of malaise with post-partum hormones and sleep deprivation.   

I type this out, all with a nagging sense of guilt reminding myself that we fought so hard to become parents and now have everything that we ever hoped for.  I think that's one of the less commonly talked about after effects of infertility and loss.  It's like there is no space, even within my own thoughts for the challenges of parenting.  Sometimes, even though we have hoped for something so much, it can be really, really difficult in moments, and seasons.   Having gone through infertility to get here doesn't change those.  I need to remind myself of this.  

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Placenta Previa

So, we've hit one little snag in the pregnancy.   I'm hoping it stays little.

I've known for a while that I have placenta previa (aka a low lying placenta).   This week, after a bout with a gastro-bug and some personal stress in my family, I had a bit of bleeding.

It's nothing too major.  Dark brown, not red.  And not a lot, just a heavy spotting.

I'm hoping it was an isolated thing related to my vomiting, but it's complete previa, meaning the placenta covers my entire cervix, so it may not be.

I think the chances of the placenta moving and correcting are getting slimmer by the day.  I'm 25 weeks now.  A c-section is needed in previa cases.  Which stinks, but oh well. Honestly, I'm just so happy to have this baby any way it decides to come into the world.

Hubs' anxiety has been remarkably in check for months.  This has sparked something in him though, and he's a worrying, googling mess asking me what was on the toilet paper every single time I go to the washroom.

I sent my little pumpkin to the babysitter for the full week this week so I could take it easy.  It's like a mini-vacation.  That part of things is kind of awesome, I'm not going to lie. ;)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Checking in

I'm still in disbelief that this is really happening to us.  

My worries have thankfully faded a bit from weeks ago about this pregnancy not continuing.   We've reached the point where this pregnancy could be viable if the baby was born -24 weeks today!   That is astonishing.

I can now regularly feel Baby GIRL (yes - that's right! A GIRL!) kick and move.   Usually after the little guy is in bed I lay in mine, totally exhausted from the day (it doesn't take much), and that's when Baby Girl puts on her acrobatic show.  It's such a lovely feeling that I never in a million years thought I'd get to experience.   Hubby can feel it now too which is neat.

I've started decorating and organizing a nursery.  Seeing that room makes me more excited than anything.

The other day we posted our pregnancy announcement on FB.  I made a video of the little guy saying "I'm going to be a big brother" I'm going to have a baby sister"  I asked him where the baby was, and he pointed to his belly, then quickly realizing it wasn't in there, he pointed to mine and he squealed.   It turned out really cute.  Hearing everyone's surprise and congratulations was also a neat moment.

I'm sure Little Boy doesn't get what's about to happen (he'll be 2.5yrs in May when she's born), but he does say the odd really cute thing about having a new sister.   We play a little game in the car where I ask him "Who's my my hunny bunny?"  He shouts out names "Gamma!" I say noooo (thinking definitely not, haha), then he'll say other people's names, and I say no.  Eventually, he'll say his version of his name or "Daddy" and I say "yes!!!".  I asked him a couple days ago who his hunny bunny was and he said "Baby Sister!" I can't wait to see their relationship develop.

Although, keeping it real - I am also a bit worried about his transition from being the center of our universe.   And for moments like the other day, where he ran across a gym full of toddlers with a thank God,  soft squishy ball,  and yelled "boink the baby on the head" and proceeded to do just that before I could intervene.    The baby was a trooper (she has two older siblings and it didn't even phase her), but oh man! Baby Girl may not have the peaceful infancy that he had!

We've also started to think about Baby Girl names.  I'm pretty stumped.   Heeeelllllp!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

17 weeks

Still pregnant here! 17 weeks! Today I had an ultrasound and everything is "all gold stars" as my OB says. 

The shock has not warn off; but acceptance and excitement are now here too!  

Not much else to report, but just wanted to check in!  Next ultrasound will be Dec 22 for a full anatomy scan. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Still pregnant, huh?

Holy crap. Guess what? I'm still pregnant. Like as of 5 minutes ago when I heard the baby's heartbeat on my home doppler.  Whaaaaa?!?!? 

This is nuts. 

I'm 11 weeks, 5 days.  The time is creeping sloooooowly along. 

The shock has not subsided. Acceptance is not here either. 

I'm kind of living in a weird state of limbo where my brain can't admit that yes, my body is actually still pregnant and boobs have never looked better. 

My tummy is growing, yet I can't quite bring myself to buy many new clothes yet, for fear that If I had to grieve the loss of this pregnancy and get rid of maternity pants, that it would be an added ounce of pain that isn't worth it yet. 

The f*cked up infertile that I thought I had banished to the basement of my emotions for the past couple years is apparently still alive and well. 

I can't stop thinking that I never even dreamt about a natural pregnancy, since I was 28 years old and I heard our infertility diagnoses because our chances were so bleak. We didn't ever have timed intercourse because I felt like it was pointless (and ha! I thought our treatments would work).  

There was never even a thought in my mind in over 10 years that this could happen.  I thought of it as a small blessing in a way, that I didn't have to get my hopes up every single month for nothing. 

I'm still shaking my head that I'm even writing about such a thing- happening to us. 

I really hope this continues.  What an unbelievably awesome ending it would be to everything we've been through.