false alarm.

it’s like a million bricks just fell off my shoulders. and I want a nap.

muffin’s okay. he’s measuring a few days behind, but nothing we’re allowed to panic over. and his pool’s still full… the fluid index is just fine. phew! the pit in my stomach last night let me know that I am not ready to deliver a baby yet, mentally. and physically, I want him (and me) to grow some more.
ok.
no more posts for at least 24 hours from me. off to take a nap ūüôā

Advertisements

mom pictures

my mom is a creative woman. she has an “eye” for stuff. i didn’t really get those genes.
while we were home mom busted out the camera and captured some maternity pictures. and they turned out pretty dang awesome.
i don’t know squat about “editing” photos, so these are all the raw (is that the correct term??) images.

IMG_2705 IMG_2709 IMG_2710 IMG_2714 IMG_2715 IMG_2716 IMG_2726

IMG_2737 IMG_2740 IMG_2741 IMG_2744 IMG_2747 IMG_2754 IMG_2758 IMG_2761 IMG_2769

i thought they were really good. and glad she’s around to take lots of pictures of the baby ūüôā

now, i’m off to the ultrasound. hoping for good news…

bump in the road.

I had a routine appointment today. Unfortunately, I’ve only gained a half a pound in 4 weeks. We weren’t worried about that, right? Because I was still measuring okay, right? At my last appointment, my 32 week appointment, my fundal height was 32 cms. Today, at the 34 week appointment, I measured 30 cms. Crap.
We have am ultrasound tomorrow to check measurements and fluid levels. All prayers welcome. Muffin’s not fully baked yet, I want him to stay in the oven. I’m trying not to be too scared, but it’s hard to not think of bad things. I’ll update you tomorrow when I know what’s going on.
-a.

epidurals

ah, the great divide. the epidural.

As I am quickly approaching my estimated date of confinement, my due date, I thought I would share some thoughts on pain management during childbirth.

An epidural is simply analgesia that is continuously injected into the epidural space, near your spinal cord, via a very small, flexible tube.¬† This medication, when placed correctly into the epidural space, numbs the area of injection and down, working mostly on a gravity basis, and can be stopped and pulled out at basically any time. This definition is mine, not a book’s, not a website’s, but how I know an epidural works.epidural

In my experience as a nurse, the “best” epidurals leave you with the pressure sensation (the medication CANNOT take that away people, no matter how many times you press that button), will numb the pain, and will still allow you some ability to move your lower half independently.¬† There are, of course, MANY variations to the outcome of a successful¬†epidural – from great lower half movement, to complete “dead weight,” from still feeling pain, to absolutely no idea you even have legs because they are so numb.¬†Sometimes the recipient of the epidural (or their significant others and family), doesn’t understand that an epidural is not a super-duper scientific thing – that the biggest factor is typically the patient’s anatomy and physiological¬†response to the medication, NOT how the anesthesiologist put it in there.¬† While there is some room for adjustment or the option of replacement, typically, what you get is what you get – in my humble experience, of course. I am not an anesthesiologist. Or CRNA. Just a lowly nurse.

 

Anyway. What you are all dying to know. Am I planning on getting an epidural? Let’s explore that question.

I am not planning on not getting an epidural. Which means I am undecided. Which means, I will probably get an epidural. Here’s why:

  1. I am NOT afraid of getting an epidural. I am much more afraid of a cesarean.¬† Or hemorrhaging.¬† Or my baby coming early. An epidural, like any medical procedure, is generally safe. There are risks with everything, including an epidural. But childbirth is risky despite the epidural factor. Walking across the street is risky, too. That’s life. (Thank you Dr.VanRatface who drilled that into my head). Sometimes modern medicine is awesome. Epidurals are proof.
  2. I am not my grandmother.¬† My cousin, among many women, was quoted saying, “my grandma had babies without an epidural, and so can I.” And she was right, and she did it. YAY. Same baby, either way.¬† Here’s the thing… I’m pretty certain my grandfather has also had teeth pulled without anesthetic. Because he was a poor kid. And that’s just how they did it. Not because he was “tough” or really wanted to experience pain, or because rotten teeth are a “natural experience.” No, it was¬†because it was pull it or become septic from a bad tooth.¬† Almost anything can be done without analgesia, but WHY in the world would you choose pain? Same baby, people, you get the same baby. They are not cuter or smarter based on your level of pain. Also, I’m pretty sure my grandmother delivered more than one baby in a state of twilight sleep. Which is analgesia, and much more dangerous that an epidural. Just sayin’
  3. This is my first baby. Let’s just say, this little boy will be plowing a new path. Those tissues are inexperienced to childbirth, they aren’t going to like it.¬† And a perineal repair, while it can be numbed by lidocaine, has appeared to me to be much less devastating if you have an epidural infusion running, numbing those tissues, and preventing the extra swelling that happens when you have to shoot those tissues up with lido… it’s not cute. I’ve seen women scramble towards the head of the bead, away from the doctor, with the lido injection¬†after delivering a baby without pain medication.¬† That should tell you something about how much fun it is to get needles in your va-jay-jay after delivering a baby.
  4. Plus, the first labor is typically the longest. While I can endure pain in the short-term okay (I choose running for a hobby for goodness sake), I will wimp out after a few hours. I just will. I know and accept this about myself. Not to mention, for the sake of my husband, I don’t want to be a b*tch for a million hours. I want to look back and say, “yep, it hurt. yep, I got an epidural. yep, life was MUCH better after that.”
  5. IV pain meds are dangerous. Ok, maybe not dangerous, but much more touchy and much less effective.¬†AND for those of you who choose to not get an epidural because “I don’t want my baby to get the medicine.” HAHA I say. Epidural medication does not go into the mother’s blood stream, so it sure as hell doesn’t go into the baby’s. Ask a doctor. They’ll tell you the same thing.¬† However, when you ask for IV pain meds, which are narcotics, they do go to you AND¬†your baby. And stay in your body for a while. And make women (and the¬†baby)¬†feel sleepy or nauseous or dizzy. Not necessarily a perk in labor. Epidurals don’t do that. And you may need more than one dose of IV meds. And an epidural only targets the lower half of the body, you know, the part that hurts.¬† Perks!
  6. Just in case we need a C-section:¬† If we need to do a STAT, emergency¬†cesarean, and I already have an epidural in place, there is a better chance they can “dose up” my epidural with stronger medicine and I won’t need general anesthesia. So I’ll get to be awake and hear the first cry. Of course, no guarantees, but it does help my chances of being awake in that extenuating circumstance. Let’s hope this reason doesn’t matter though.
  7. Breastfeeding might go better: because there is a good chance I can nap a little with an epidural before I need to push, so I’ll be (a little)¬†less exhausted, and more focused on breastfeeding. It’s going to be clumsy and awkward not matter what,¬†but¬†epidurals don’t ¬†make breastfeeding worse.
  8. I could do it, but I doubt I want to. Can I have a baby without an epidural?¬†Yep! Do I want to? I doubt it.¬† Maybe I’ll surprise myself and handle things well. Maybe I’ll be dilated to 6 cms when I arrive at the hospital and know that I can gut out the last 4. And pushing. And a perineal repair (I’m obviously counting on one of those, whether by tearing or an epis).¬† BUT, because I am on the fence, I’ll probably ask for an epidural. Almost EVERY wishy-washy patient I cared for eventually asked for an epidural.¬† If you are planning on not getting one, and delivering in a place where they are available, DO NOT BE WISHY-WASHY. You have to be convinced 100% you don’t want it. And be concrete.¬† The nurses don’t like watching you hurt.¬† Your hubby does not like watching you hurt. And believe it or not, the doctors don’t typically care either way, but they DO seem to hate coming into a room of psychotic screaming to deliver a baby.¬† So, if you adamantly don’t want an epidural, GOOD FOR YOU, but prepare yourself. The moment you cave a little, everyone is going to willingly put you out of your misery and let you get an epidural.

This whole post is my opinion, based on my experiences.¬† Everyone is allowed to have¬† their own opinions, make their own choices. If you don’t want an epidural, for whatever (crazy) reason, it’s absolutely okay. And cool with me. I was always super-duper impressed and inspired by those women who delivered without an epidural on purpose¬†(I would come out of those rooms and be all, “YEAH! I don’t need an epidural!!”). But realistically, I’ll probably get one.¬† And that’s okay, too.¬† I won’t be any less of a woman. My baby won’t change from the little guy he is meant to be.¬† Life is made of choices, risks, and all sorts of stuff we can’t control.¬† That’s how it is. My whole life path will doubtfully be changed based on getting an epidural or not for this delivery.¬† So, I’m not going to worry about it (very much).

baby shower, hometown style

Jesse and I are¬†exhausted.¬† The baby, however, is still fist pumping and boogie-woogie-ing about our awesome weekend.¬† Our AWESOME weekend…

972… the number of diapers that were gifted to us. holy poop. and pee-pee.

our wall of diapers.

my sister-in-law, mother, and brother’s girlfriend threw us a perfect, heartfelt, chevron-y, polka-dott-y, navy and orange baby shower.¬† I don’t use the whole pound sign thing very often, but I threw around #bestbabyshowerever more than once on facebook in the last 36 hours. so here are a few pics to summarize the awesomeness that was graciously given us.

I've got my dad beat in the belly department :)
I’ve got my dad beat in the belly department ūüôā
the spread
the spread
IMG_2680
the little girls loved “helping” open gifts. it was hard to keep up!
chillin'
chillin’
the "fuzzy, glowing thingy"
the “fuzzy, glowing thingy”
"bay-beeeee"
“bay-beeeee”

IMG_2666

almost 4 generation picture... the 33rd great-grandchild! all because 2 people fell in love!
almost 4 generation picture… the 33rd great-grandchild! all because 2 people fell in love!
my hostesses... kate, mom, and darcie
my hostesses… kate, mom, and darcie
my bro's
my bro’s

It was a great day! My husband spent the day doing “man stuff,” and that was perfectly okay with me… and my brothers were not at the shower, these pics were afterwards when everyone was relaxing on the deck.

We received SO many wonderful things, many diapers, and SO MUCH bath soap! We will have the cleanest kid ever! (unless he’s allergic to Johnson & Johnson, then we’re in trouble!).¬† We were able to cross some important things off of our “need” list, received some great stuff off of our registry, and even came home to Amazon boxes on the porch – thank you Jessie VP!

I should have taken a picture of the Tahoe and how skillfully we packed it, because it was FULL! We feel so blessed and grateful. THANK YOU to those who could come, and we missed everyone who could not, I felt that I didn’t get enough time with any one¬†guest, I wanted to sit and catch up with everyone!

oh, and Nella stayed home with some friends who have many dogs… she was in doggy heaven! and SO tired when we got home… she must have missed Jesse, she crawled right up on top of him and fell asleep. Adorable.¬† Even more adorable? The way Jesse snuck our from under her so she would stay asleep. He’s going to be a great daddy ūüôā

nella nappin

33 weeks

50 days until mr. muffin is due. FIFTY DAYS! I go back and forth between being so excited I can hardly stand it, and so nervous that I would be willing to go backwards about 4 weeks so we have a little more time to prepare.¬† I’ve definitely noticed in the last week or two that work is getting difficult, 12 hour shifts are getting long, and sleeping is less and less enjoyable.¬† Our dog, Nella, tried to sleep in the bed with us the other night, and there’s just not enough room any more, so back to the couch she went. Poor girl, she has no idea what’s going to happen in her world in the next¬†2 months.

Otherwise, just getting through the summer days, doing things here and there at home when I have the energy, trying to spend some time with our friends.¬† I’m very excited for this weekend, we’re heading home Friday for our baby shower with my side of the family.¬† I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and hopefully getting a few things to help us prepare for the baby.

Still no nanny set in stone, but have a few leads. Praying a lot about the situation, and trying, for the sake of everyone, to stay calm.

33wks

IMG_3592

 

IMG_3582

I swear Jesse is not drunk in this picture, he just has a special talent for looking like it in pictures.

 

 

cranky pants

I’m feeling cranky this week, and sadly I can’t really identify why.¬†EXCEPT that my nanny lady backed out on me, and I’m having a hellava time finding someone else. This is causing me to have a miniature mental freak out EVERY SINGLE DAY for at least 15 minutes per day… then I have to let it go, or my head might explode. I’m trying to find someone else, but I am scared that I won’t, and then I am royally screwed.

I have to go back to school 3 weeks after my due date in order to get my clinical hours in by the end of the semester, which,¬†in the most ideal of nannying situations,¬†is already making me freak out and worry I will lose my shit (sorry for all of the swearing, I warned you it’s a cranky pants week).¬† I beginning to toy with the idea of taking a year off, which is a BAD idea if at all avoidable, because I would only be postponing the inevitable, which is finishing my degree at all costs. No one goes through 4.5 years of their 5.5 year-long NP program and quits. My husband and family will kill me. Figuratively. My student loans, however, would literally choke me to death.

I am prepared to feel like my hair is on fire for the next 12 months, to feel like I’m not giving enough time to my child,¬† husband, family, friends, job, or my self.¬† I am prepared to live on minimally sleep. To pump my boobies in awkward places, like driving down the interstate. To feel like crying daily. To even get a B in a class. I am not prepared to give up. I am not prepared to be in school until 2015. I am not prepared to move home because I don’t have anyone to care for my baby for 3 months (as of January 1st, I have a day care spot for him). ugh, I just want to cry thinking about all of it.

Unfortunately, while I am getting lots stuff done in preparation for this child… no painted walls or completed sewing projects can meet the need we, as a family, have… childcare.

No daycare will take a 3 week old. OR no mother (me) in her right mind would take her new born baby to a daycare and feel ok about it. He will be defenseless at 3 weeks, minus a probable REALLY loud squawk. I just want the transition to be easy for one of us (him), as I anticipate to be a hormonal, boarder-line psychotic person at 3 weeks post-partum.

SO, please, please, pretty please, say a little prayer that a different retired, responsible nurse or ANY responsible person who will keep my baby clean, fed, and alive every day,  sees one of my MILLION classifieds (including facebook, craigslist, the church bulletin and the news paper) and responds. soon. before I develop pre-partum depression.

in other news, the nursery is painted.  by an 8-month-pregnant lady.

IMG_3574

 

and Nella loves picture day.

IMG_3532

and we have 8 weeks until Muffin arrives. (he-he-whoooooo…. we will find a nanny. we will.)

32wks

promise i’ll try for a happier post next week.

 

 

31 weeks … single digit countdown …

Holy Moses…. 31 weeks. It’s hitting me HARD that we will soon have a new little man in our life, and like so many others around this gestation have recently expressed via blogging, it makes me tearful and nostalgic. excited. scared. anxious. nervous. all rolled into one. oh, and happy. most of all I am happy to be here, in this place in this journey with my husband.

speaking of him, I’m not sure what prompted such a sweet turning of a leaf, but it doesn’t matter, I love it. I love when he reaches for my belly, talking to “little man,” telling both of us good night… it’s awesome.

31wks

The belly keeps growing, and it’s beginning to get heavy. 12 hour shifts are getting harder, and my run/walks with Nella are becoming more walk and less run… but still some run ūüôā Muffin is a strong little dude in there. I’m so curious to know what he’ll look like, and how big he will be! Still waiting on stretch marks, keeping my fingers crossed, but I know the biggest 9 weeks are yet to come, and I will probably not escape unscathed.¬† Oh, and my belly button hurts half of the time… weird, huh? Is that happening to anyone else?? It’s pretty stretched out and looks so weird with its scars… maybe the scar tissue stretching is what makes it ache? Hopefully it all holds out until after next Monday, we’re doing maternity pics that day, and would like a couple bare belly ones if possible, especially since I never thought I’d make it this far without stretch marks!

Last night my dad came to visit us and spend the night… he was out our way for business and couldn’t stay long, but it was SO nice to see him and show off our new home a little. I wish he could have stayed later, and of course, cried a little after he left… he’s going to be the best grandpa ūüôā I just wish all of our family could visit more. Luckily, they are hosting a baby shower for us at the end of July, and I’m already so excited to see everyone! Hopefully my baby brother will be engaged by then… I have a feeling¬†he might pop the question to his cute little girl friend soon! ¬†Plus, Mom is going to take a few more maternity pics for us… despite the fact I will probably be ginormicon by then! It will be a quick trip, but with Jesse to drive for this time, hopefully it won’t be quite so uncomfortable spending 6 hours each way in the vehicle.

OH, and I had today off from work (my only day off this week… yuck!). It was a million (104)¬†degrees outside, so I stayed in and completed the mobile for the nursery. I am so proud of my handi-work! I’ll try to¬†do a little post about it tonight too!

Hope everyone is surviving the summer without too much swelling!

nella snuggling with grandpa roger watching a movie... so cute!

nella snuggling with grandpa roger watching a movie… so cute!