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The day before I went into labor I went to the zoo with a girlfriend (walking is supposed to help these things along) There is a snow leopard in the background.

The day before I went into labor I went to the zoo with a girlfriend (walking is supposed to help these things along) There is a snow leopard in the background.

My last bath for a while.  The morning of to help relax me through contractions.

My last bath for a while. The morning of to help relax me through contractions.

All settled into my delivery room.

All settled into my delivery room.

Almost two weeks later I still have a sore spot from this.  I felt like bionic woman.

Almost two weeks later I still have a sore spot from this. I felt like bionic woman.

epiduraled and in bed

epiduraled and in bed

Our first family pictures.  Poor swollen baby.

Our first family pictures. Poor swollen baby.

Grandparents checking out their newest family member.

Grandparents checking out their newest family member.

Swollen swollen baby.

Swollen swollen baby.

7lbs 7oz.

7lbs 7oz.

mama and baby

mama and baby

Not so swollen.  My little love.

Not so swollen. My little love.

This is the special drink board at my work.  It brough a tear to my eye.  I guess people kept trying to order the drink.  They didn't get that it wasn't actually a drink.

This is the special drink board at my work. It brough a tear to my eye. I guess people kept trying to order the drink. They didn’t get that it wasn’t actually a drink.

Love

Love

You're never too young for a babushka.

You’re never too young for a babushka.

Woody

Woody

burrito!

burrito!

IMG_2884

Check out those fangs!

Check out those fangs!

Baby facetiming with his great grandparents.

Baby facetiming with his great grandparents.

Food coma

Food coma

If it were comfortable and safe, I would sleep like this all the time.

If it were comfortable and safe, I would sleep like this all the time.

He hugged me.

He hugged me.

Midnight feeding photoshoot.  Love that wrinkly forehead.

Midnight feeding photoshoot. Love that wrinkly forehead.

a smiling burrito

a smiling burrito

how cute is he!?!?!

how cute is he!?!?!

My guys.

My guys.

I opened my computer 4 or 5 days after Gus made his arrival to find the beginnings of a post that I was writing while we were in the hospital.  I was writing it to keep myself distracted from the pain of contractions.  Here’s what I had:

“Since we last spoke…

I took myself up on the bath. Ryan got it ready for me and I did my best to relax in there for about an hour. Ryan got some things cleaned up and showered then we went up to Mesa Cafe to get some breakfast before we came to the hospital. We had packed all out our stuff and took it with us so that we could go straight to the hospital.

So here we are now, in the hospital and all hooked up. When we got here this morning there was no one else here so we got the “best room” and all kinds of love.

I was feeling more discomfort than I was interested in so I asked for an epidural. That was easier than I thought it would be and honestly, the worst part about it is the catheter. But that just got placed so I’m hoping it will calm down.

My contractions had been coming every 4 minutes before the epidural and have since slowed down to about every eight minutes, but my doc said she’d swing by around lunchtime (any time now) and break my water. Hopefully that will do the trick to get the pace picked back up.

For now we are just hanging out and waiting. More waiting. It does look like my parents will be here in plenty of time for the big show.

I’m getting nervous about pushing. Glad I got the epidural.”

 

Well once I got the epidural the contractions all but stopped.  My doc came and broke my water and after an hour of still nothing much happening, my doc requested I be hooked up to pitocin.  Well my nurse didn’t think I’d need much so she started me on the lowest dose.  After a bit she upped it then went on a break.  The other nurse came in after a while and found that the clamp on the pitocin drip hadn’t been unlocked so I hadn’t been getting any pitocin.  She unlocked it and it finally reached me about the time my regular nurse came back to check me.  I was fully dilated.  She encouraged me to allow my body to just labor for a while and do its thing to work baby down rather than wear me out by having me push.

This worked okay for a while, but there was a window in my abdomen where the epidural hadn’t reached.  After enduring it for a while (as it continued to get worse) I asked if we could ask the anesthesiologist to try to adjust it.  She was great and came really quickly but was unable to get the drugs to hit that spot, so I was stuck dealing with the pain.  May I just say, power to the women who do it completely naturally.  That was an uncomfort I just had no interest in.  Our nurse came in and checked on me and when she saw that the adjustment in my epidural hadn’t made a difference, she had me try a practice push to see if it was worth having me start pushing or whether it was better to let my body do it’s thing and just suffer the pain.  She told me I was a great pusher and after 15 minutes or so of pushing through contractions she called my doc and had her come on down.

I pushed for a total of a little over an hour.  Once he got down far enough that it was just a matter of getting his head out my doc massaged and I pushed and we tried really hard to get him out.  Ultimately my doc gave me a tiny little snip which was just the ticket to get his head out on the next push.  Ryan was there with gloves on to play catcher.  He helped turn the baby’s head and tilt him this way and that (as per the doctors instructions) and pull him out.  Once his shoulders were out I was invited to reach down and help pull him out and up to me as well.

Once out they look for a nice big screech to indicate he got a nice big breath.  He did not oblige so once they got the cord cut they took him to the baby workshop station thing on the other side of the room to help him along.  It turned out he swallowed all kinds of amniotic fluid on the way out and his stomach was so full that his little lungs didn’t have space to fill up.  They suctioned out his stomach and nose and lungs and after lots of rubbing and stimulation (and after he peed all over the nurse) they finally got him squawking at which point they gave him back to me.

He was swollen, smelly (amniotic fluid smells weird) and really red but he was mine and snuggly and he seemed to like me, so we decided to keep him.

Looking back (and even in the moment) the whole thing was really mellow.  It was damn near the ideal situation.  My parents made it.  Both parents had cameras out and got some amazing pictures and video.  Ryan was so much fun to watch.  I kept finding myself looking at him while I pushed and trying not to laugh at his facial expressions.  He just looked so silly happy and amazed.  He was cute.  It was really special to have everyone there.  They were great company and support.

He weighed in at 7lbs 7oz, was 20.75inches long.  When we left the hospital he had only lost 6oz.

He has gotten cuter and cuter every day since.

More to come.

 

Will our baby Gus be sharing his birthday with the man responsible for his parents being a happy couple?
I was jolted awake at about 5:19am with serious pain in my lower parts. I breathed through it and immediately thought to myself ” yeah right I’m doing this all natural. Fuck that!”
Since then the pain has been coming. 8-9 minutes apart. It’s now 6:14am and another just ended. Mom and dad have been warned. Ryan has been called off from work. Hopefully this is the real deal, otherwise my body and baby Gus have shaken up some days. Perhaps I shall embrace a hot bath.
Please! If you are reading this and know me for real, no posts on Facebook please. I’d prefer not to be bombarded. Thanks!

Well almost 24 hours later and still no baby. No real labor yet either.
I have been experiencing lots of period like cramping off and on. So far nothing I can’t handle and nothing regular still. I tossed and turned a little more than normal last night, but I still got a pretty solid amount of sleep.
They (whoever they are) do say that early contractions feel just like period like cramping, so perhaps this is the beginning. I’m not packing my bags yet though as I have had all kinda of pain like this off and on for months now.
I’ll try to stay posted here with any progress if any happens. For now though, if this is the beginning of labor, keep your fingers crossed that the real show doesn’t start until later in the day. Daddy is out to work today (therefore pretty difficult to reach).

Doctors appointment this morning and we had a non stress test. They put me in a comfy lazy boy recliner and hooked me up to two monitors. One was to chart his heartbeat, the other was to chart my contractions. Things apparently looked good there. Here’s a picture:

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The first picture is of me hooked up to the monitors. The second is the printout of what was being monitored. His heart rate is the line on the left, my contractions (or lack thereof) are the line on the right. His real time heart rate is the number showed on the monitor.
After about twenty minutes they unhooked us and we went off to get a cervical check. I made it all the way to a solid three centimeters and 80% effaced. Progress!
They won’t let Gus stay in there any longer than 42 weeks. This means that we have scheduled an induction for late Sunday night. We are hoping (obviously) to get things moving on our own before then. In this vein we had our doc strip my membranes when she was all done with her cervical check. This results in labor within 48hours in 40% of cases. For some, it can be done multiple times and result in nothing. For us it made sense to give this a go before we are forced into a medicinal induction.
So there we are. We shall see.