Monday, June 29, 2015

Henry's Birth Story

On Thursday, June 4, I was sitting on the yoga ball as I had been the last several days as I wrote and posted my 40 week pregnancy post to the blog. Around 9:30 p.m., just after I has scheduled it to post, I heard two "pop pops!" coinciding with two strong kicks from Baby Moe.

At the time, I thought the sounds were just a product of the kicks, but a few minutes later as I walked around, I noticed clear liquid leaking down my leg. Sure enough, I continued to have leakage and called the midwifery center to let them know.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the hospital we go.

The manfriend and I anxiously finished packing our hospital bags, I called my mom, and we tried to get a little rest before heading to the hospital. Pete was able to sleep, but I started getting contractions almost immediately that were coming every few minutes and I was just feeling anxious for what was to come, so I tried to pass the time and not pace around the house too much. Finally, at 1:00 a.m. I woke up the manfriend and told him I was ready to go. We both had a little cereal before leaving the house. In hindsight, I probably could have eaten more.

When we checked in, they confirmed my water had indeed broken and I was 3 cm dilated. They got us settled in our spacious labor and delivery room and we chatted with our midwife a bit. Shortly after, the contractions started picking up in strength and started coming every few minutes, lasting 45-60 seconds.

The manfriend was great about being supportive and encouraging me to drink water or have a bite of something. While I had packed a variety of snacks I like, I didn't expect to be so nauseous from the contractions + food. It seemed that anytime I tried to have a bite of something I felt like I was going to throw it up. That being said, I would still bring a lot of different snacks if I were to do it again. You never know what you're going to be in the mood for or what might sit well with your stomach.

Things I brought and liked: Trader Joe's just mango slices, sweet potato chips, Annie's goldfish crackers, and trail mix.

We labored through the night and saw the sun come up out our window. Contractions were coming pretty strong and every 1-2 minutes. I was surprised to never really have contractions that were 10 or 5 min apart. I did try laboring in the bathtub a few times, but while the warm water and jets felt good, it didn't allow me to move much, which was no bueno.

Most of the time I labored sitting on a yoga ball while leaning on the bed or the manfriend. And sometimes I would walk around the room too, but I never felt like I wanted to walk the halls. There is something that just feels so personal about going through that kind of unstoppable pain.

By 9:00 a.m., the midwives had changed shifts and it was time to check my progress again. At this point, I was at 5 cm dilated and my midwife estimated it would be another 6-8 hrs of laboring to get fully dilated and another 1-3 hrs of pushing.

Before getting checked, I had already talked to Pete and admitted I didn't have much more energy in me thanks to a lack of food and sleep and that I was really considering an epidural. Mentally, I was having a bit of a breakdown and knew I wouldn't have enough energy left to do any sort of pushing if I did indeed get to 10 cm without pain medication.

Shortly after telling the midwife and nurse I wanted an epidural, the anesthesiologist was in there doing her thing. From there on out I was relegated to lay in the bed, which sucked, but is obviously necessary as you can't feel your legs.

For the next 7-8 hours, I could feel the pressure of the contractions, but much less pain. Throughout that time, they had me positioned on my side because Baby Moe kept going into sleep cycles and they really wanted his or her heart rate to increase along with the contractions. When they started murmuring the possibility of a c-section if he didn't get a bit more active, we busted out all kinds of fun Pandora stations and I rubbed the belly and talked to the baby trying to get him to move. It must have done the trick because he started moving enough to make everyone happy.

At 6:15 p.m. on Friday night, they checked me and I was finally fully dilated! The next midwife on shift came in and we got down to business. She told me I would have 1-3 hours of pushing ahead.

And almost three hours, Henry Thomas Moe was born at 9 lb 3 oz and 22.5 inches long. Thanks to his impressive size (and my apparently strong pelvic floor preventing his exit), labor took such a long time.

After a few hours of skin on skin, the nurse helped me shower while Pete had skin on skin time with the little guy. A bit later we were moved into the mom and baby room to figure out life as a little family of three.

We ended up staying at the hospital Friday night and the following night. It was really nice to be taken care of by the nurses and get help with nursing and such, but the food left something to be desired.

Henry is now three weeks old and we're adjusting to life with a newborn. Pete got to stay home for a week with us, which was really nice. I think we've both been surprised to learn we can function quite well on only four hours of sleep.

I am feeling mostly healed at this point and can't wait to get back to running, but for now I know my body still needs a bit more time. Walks are where it's at right now.

Friday, June 19, 2015

10 New Mom Realizations

Hi, friends! You know what's amazing? Everyone tells you you'll have so much time to do stuff as baby is sleeping, but what they don't always mention is that said things might need to be done with one hand or with a baby laying on your chest. 

Well, typing on a computer is one of those things that can't easily be done with one hand. While I may not be accomplishing a lot, I am keeping this tiny (adorable) human alive, so there's that. 

For your entertainment, here are 10 New Mom Realizations I've had over the past two weeks: 

1. Being the sole food source for your child is exhausting at times. All hours of the day and night, sometimes hunched over, painful at first, in the middle of the night half asleep, no matter how tired or hungry you are, the child doesn't care. He/she just wants to eat. Luckily, they're cute and you know it's worth it in the end.

2. Sleeping when they sleep seems like a good idea in theory except for the fact that they might wake up if you set them down and it's also your only chance to get something done (tidy up, type an email, get some water, go to the bathroom, etc).

3. You will look down at that tiny face and realize that THIS is truly the most important thing you've ever done. Stressing about work, friendships, what you're going to eat for dinner, trying to make others happy... It all pales in comparison to taking care of a life that depends on you.

4. Other than occasional date nights out, it's likely the manfriend and I will never eat at the same time again for the next oh, five years? Little ones don't care that you are hungry or your dinner is ready now.

5. It's amazing how rested you can feel on 4 hours of sleep. But that doesn't mean those 7 hour nights aren't glorious.

Someone found his hand

6. A glass of wine or beer doesn't sound as appealing when you're half asleep and would have to drink it within a short window (hello, nursing) while holding a baby in the other hand.

7. The bouncy chair is my key to getting a shower in every day.

8. I can see why parents have a hard time prioritizing exercise and eating well. Thanks to needing a little recovery time from giving birth to the little guy, I'm forced not to workout, but even if I weren't it would be a challenge to fit in exercise.

9. In the 24 hours of each day, when I'm not sleeping, there may be a total of 1 hour in which I am not holding Henry (i.e. when I'm showering and he's in the bouncy chair, when Pete is holding/taking care of him before or after work, or if he's in the car seat or stroller).

Testing out the crib for a few minutes

10. Going to the grocery store for 1-2 items is no longer worth it. I need to have a list to justify it (little man does not like his car seat).

Okay, this post officially took me all week to get written and published. Ah, new mom life. Happy Friday! And happy two weeks of life to little Henry!

What are you most excited about this weekend?

We are heading to my cousin's wedding tomorrow, so it will be fun to introduce our little guy to family as well as enjoy the celebration.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Baby Snuggles

So just after I scheduled my 40 week post last Thursday, I was sitting on my yoga ball before bed (a trick used to help the cervix open) and I heard a POP! POP!, which I thought at the time were sounds from two strong kicks I'd felt. Well, it turns out, my water had just broke!

And by Friday night, we were having a baby. I'll recap my birth story in a separate post, but I wanted to let you guys know that Baby Moe is finally here.

I pulled our baby BOY on to my chest and life suddenly felt different. Henry Thomas Moe was born Friday, June 5 weighing 9 lb 3 oz and measuring 22.5" long. Now I know why those kicks felt so strong.

He has his dad's long fingers, big feet, and dark hair. 

Within a few minutes of delivery I whispered to Pete "I already love him so much." While we had no idea who our little one would be, we already feel incredibly lucky to have gotten this little guy. 

Baby snuggles are simply the best.

On day 5 of having Henry here, I ventured outside for a family walk down to our little neighborhood park and back. We tested out our Solly Baby wrap, which was perfect for keeping a snuggly little newborn cozy and close to the chest. 

We've had warmer than normal temperatures around here, so it was nice to get out and see the sun after being cooped up inside for several days.

Jonah Bell is doing pretty well with the new addition despite the fact that it means she gets a little less attention these days. We're still keeping up with her daily walks (well, Pete is anyway).

Pete is adjusting really well to fatherhood and quickly fell head over heals for our little guy. While I knew he would be a great dad, it's pretty amazing to watch your spouse and best friend rise to the occasion and take on such an important role and do it so well.

And finally, I am completely in love with Henry. Physically, I'm still healing from the labor and delivery, but things are moving in the right direction. And mentally, I'm so happy, but also find my hormones are all over the map so in the same moment I can be on top of the world and teary over something simple. The lack of sleep probably doesn't help either.

All in all, we're doing really well. It's been an incredible first week.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Third Trimester: 40 weeks

We made it to 40 weeks! Honestly, around 35 weeks I would have told you that I was pretty sure I wasn't going to see 40 weeks, but here I am at 41 weeks today. I guess i just thought the baby had dropped much earlier than it actually did.

Week 40

How I'm feeling: Whew, 40 weeks. I feel like a ticking time bomb. Wherever we go, it's hard not to notice any little movement or Braxton Hicks contraction and think "could this be it?" Sleeping is pretty uncomfortable, so I have often thought I might be on the brink of labor during the night, but no such luck yet.

I am both excited and terrified of labor. I feel like I have no idea of what I'm in for and yet, I'm ready for it at the same time. At this point, I'm pulling out all the stops and trying do anything that has been shown to get labor going - using pressure points on the inside ankle and hands, sitting on my yoga ball, walking, doing plenty of squats, etc.

The baby definitely dropped because I now have to get up 4-5 times per night to pee. This is at least twice as often as before. I have also noticed that I'm a bit more hormonal and have cried a few times for a variety of reasons.

Baby: is the size of a jackfruit (~18.9 to 20.9 inches, 6.2 to 9.2 pounds). I've never had a jackfruit, so it makes me think I should try one. Baby is still making plenty of movements, but seems to maybe have slowed down just a bit.

We went in to the midwifery center for fetal monitoring this week where they hook you up to the machine for ~20 minutes to watch the baby's heart rate and activity levels. Then they did an ultrasound to check on my amniotic fluid levels. Both were good, which was a relief. If there's no baby by Monday, I go back in for another round of monitoring.  Come on Baby Moe!

Weight gained:  30 lb.

Exercise: lots of walking waddling, prenatal yoga, and weights

What I'm wearing: anything and everything stretchy

Baby preparations: adding snacks to our hospital bag and trying not to go crazy ;)

Random: Happy National Doughnut Day! I feel like I might need to partake if there's no baby headed our way today... Plus, I couldn't celebrate National Running Day this week, so I might as well partake in the one holiday I can.

What are you looking forward to most this month? 

Besides meeting Baby Moe, I'm looking forward to my cousin's wedding and exploring this whole parenting thing.

Related posts:
The Third Trimester: Week 39
The Third Trimester: Week 38
The Third Trimester: Week 37

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What To Do When You're Bored Out of Your Mind

This is a tongue in cheek sort of post on things to do when you're bored beyond belief. I know from personal experience as we wait for Baby Moe to arrive (currently 40 weeks + 5 days and still cooking). Keep in mind that if I were able to do some kind of vigorous exercise (running or HIIT) or if I were working full time, boredom likely wouldn't be an issue for me. 

Here are just a few of the things I might recommend to try and pass the time if you're ever say waiting for a tiny human to make his or her grand entrance...

Take a walk outside your neighborhood - See new scenery, do some people watching, and spend some time away from tempting screens

Willamette River from the bike path

Catch up with friends - You finally have the time to catch up, so take advantage of it! I've enjoyed catching up with friends and former coworkers in these last couple months as I know my time will soon be quite occupied.

Get acquainted with Netflix - Sure, we watched Netflix before the pregnancy, but in these last few months, it has become like gold for us as we don't have cable TV. Netflix allows us to watch interesting documentaries (Craigslist Joe) and entertaining shows we haven't seen (Anthony Bourdain's Layover) for only $8 a month.

Walk the aisles of Target - We spent an hour last night walking up and down the aisles despite not needing a single thing. Granted, how much do you actually need from Target?

Clean your house - And then clean it again. Because a clean house makes you feel productive, calm, and happy. I've probably mopped our house more in the last two months than I have in the last year.

See a movie - We rarely go out to the movies because it's a bit spendy and I'd usually prefer to go out to dinner and drinks than watch a flick. But, changing it up can be fun and if you're lucky enough to have a cheap theater in town (we saw The Imitation Game for $2!), I recommend it.

Catch up on projects you've put off - There are a few still on my list and for whatever reason, I've taken a few steps toward them, but haven't stuck with it enough to finish them.

Enjoy pastries and coffee - Yeah, I've done my share of pastry eating during this pregnancy in addition to a decent veggie and fruit intake. I should probably start to clean that up...

But, yum.

Read a book - In addition to a few baby books, I finally read a fun fiction novel. I've also downloaded Amy Poehler's "Yes Please" for the hours upon hours the little one will hopefully be napping.

Go to the mall - Hear me out. On occasion, we head to the mall to do a little people watching, enjoy the AC, and plunk a few $ in the massage chairs and just relax.

Declutter your closet - A few months ago, I ordered a resale bag from ThreadUp and sent away a pile of clothes that I hadn't worn in a long time prior to the pregnancy. In return, I earned a little cash and felt good about getting rid of items I wasn't going to wear again.

Any other activities you would add to the list? 

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Third Trimester: Week 39

Just about there...

I want to try and get these up before Baby Moe comes for my sanity and record keeping, so here we go!

Week 39

How I'm feeling: This week, the pressure on the pelvis seems to have gradually increased. On days I walk a lot, I can really feel extra soreness from the baby pushing down. Overall, I'm sleeping pretty well, but usually wake up by 5 a.m., which is a little exhausting some days.

As the belly continues to grow exponentially, so does my level of anxiousness for the baby to be here.  This week was tough on me in terms of staying relaxed and just waiting out the days.

Baby: is the size of a WATERMELON! (~18.9 to 20.9 inches, 6.2 to 9.2 pounds). The manfriend got to hold the doppler at our midwife appointment, which was cool. Sometimes I think the baby is kicking so hard and often it's trying to say "let me out of here!"

Weight gained:  30 lb.

Exercise: lots of walking waddling, prenatal yoga, and weights

I also made it to the pool for a little aqua jogging one day, which was slower than before, but still nice.

This week I noticed that even some of my weight lifting exercises got more difficult. That being said, I have continued to stick with upper body work (like shoulder press, bent over row, reverse fly, bicep curls, etc.) and squats.

Just for fun, a full-fledged belly shot. It's funny that I would never show you my abs before and now I'm baring the belly. That's what 40 weeks of growing a human will do to you. 

What I'm wearing: With the weather varying so much lately, I've been wearing everything from long sleeves (above) to shorts and short sleeves. Being overheated while preggo really isn't so fun, so I'm thankful there have only been a few hot days around here.

Baby preparations: There's not much left at this point, beyond vacuuming every few days and keeping things generally in order. It did feel nice to wash our sheets and comforter though so they are cozy and fresh. I also wiped down our window sills. #whohastimeforthat #nesting

Craving: the ability to wear all my cute and comfy workout gear, summer tanks, and shorts

Week 39 reminds me of: the last mile of a marathon. You are so close, but agonizingly far. And frankly, in the marathon of pregnancy, you don't know exactly when that finish line is going to arrive!

What was the highlight of your weekend? 

Related posts:
The Third Trimester: Week 38
The Third Trimester: Week 37
Exercise During the Third Trimester