Friday, August 28, 2009
Born Thursday, August 27, 2009
at 7:43 p.m.
weighing 6 lbs 15 oz
She's just perfect. And hubby and I are elated.
Thank you all for your well wishes. More to come later.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Yeah, I had to suck it up and deal with it after all that I've done to avoid it, but unfortunately it was completely unavoidable in this case. So here's the scoop for all of you who've been checking in, either here, facebook, e-mail, or what not. And may I say right off from the start, thank you for doing that, for thinking of us, for your prayers and well wishes. Please don't stop now; we're not quite done but we are, finally, well on our way.
When we got to the hospital Wednesday morning, we were admitted pretty much immediately after they finished filling out details on my chart. They didn't even bother to check me any further before taking me in because they already knew that my membranes had ruptured the previous night and so that means that I needed to be admitted to make sure everything was still good and there was no infection, etc. (All keeping in mind of course that I'm GBS positive so that's a primary motivator in my case.)
So I got admitted, and found a gown that wasn't going to cut off circulation (!) and got settled in for the long haul. While overnight I'd been contracting every 6 to 9 minutes, albeit very lightly, the contractions virtually stopped when I was in my room. Very disappointing. Petit was continuing to be active and all, but no contractions, no real progress meant that no one was happy with how it was going.
And thus the cascade began.
First up, an OB I didn't know and hadn't ever had the opportunity to speak to. He comes in my room, shakes my hand, introduces himself and says, "All right then. Let's get you hooked up to some oxytocin to get this going!" virtually rubbing his hands together gleefully. Um... how about no? Not yet? How about even bothering to check my monitor or determine if my cervix had dilated any further since last night? ANYTHING? Needless to say, neither hubby nor I was impressed and by the time he left our room, he was none too thrilled with us. But that isn't the first time I'd pissed off a doctor. C'est la vie. Next thing I know, I was asked to sign a "refusal of treatment" form for the IV to augment labour and to administer IV penicillin for the GBS. I promptly signed it. Ass...
Next up, a visit from a social worker. "Odd" I thought to myself, and then I learned that she was there at the doctor's request. She started asking about my needle phobia and why I would refuse treatment, things like that. And she too went the route of trying to convince me that I could possibly be doing some irreversable damage to the baby. Not cool. I informed her that I understood the ramifications of my choices and I knew the alternatives. I also explained to her that I had a great network of people (both real life and here online) that are wonderful!
Third in line was the anaesthesiologist. She came up to let me know the risks and issues of not following the doctor's recommendations and going right for the oxytocin and the epidural. Cause didn't you know, "There won't be a crash c-section, there'll be an awake intubation, which will be really difficult given that it takes about 45 minutes to get someone up here. And add to that the fact that you are overweight. It might not even be possible to intubate you. As well, in our line of work, moms are the priority. If baby dies, baby dies. But we have to make that call when no epidural line or spinal is in place. You need to know that and be aware of what your decision means." Nice way to scare a person on the verge of tears and who's gone through what I have to get to this point huh? Again, not cool in my books.
Fuck me. By that point I was on the verge of spitting nickels and I was angry with every single person who dared cross the threshhold of my room! Honest to Christ! I doubted not just myself, and my own knowledge and research, but also my decision to even come to this freakin hospital. What a nightmare! I was in tears. And of course, still no damn contractions to help get things moving on their own anyway.
Fourth in their arsenal over the course of the day was the NICU nurse from the other freakin' building. She comes in and starts talking about how she can't tell us what to do, but here's the situation if your baby gets GBS or another infection and what treatment is or isn't available and how ready. Cause you know, they've all seen some sick babies and this particular infection is serious, dontcha know?! Not only that, but this woman alludes to the fact that because I was putting them in such an impossible position, there was talk of their contacting The Children's Aid Society to have someone from there come in to talk with me about the issues. SERIOUSLY?? WTF?? Brazen as brass... I couldn't believe it.
When she left the room, I broke down. For the first time.
Anyway, the day progressed but my labour definitely did not. And that made me second guess myself all the more and then wonder yet again, what was wrong with my body. I guess it just doesn't get it huh?
Eventually, late on Wednesday evening (around 6 p.m.) I decided that enough was enough... I needed to know that something could and would happen. I was starting to fear for Petit and the loss of amniotic fluid although the heartrate was fine and he/she was still kicking and all that. But we were coming up on 20 hours with no progress at all. I cried as I told hubby I was going to give in to the IV and the oxytocin. He held me as I wept and when the doctor came in to check on me again, we told him.
They got me into a nice warm shower to bring out my veins, and I wrapped my hands in warm compresses as hubby and I watched Slumdog Millionaire to take my mind off things until the anaesthesiologist came up to do his job. I gotta say, between him, hubby and my ever-so-freakin-amazing nurse Elaine (a true Godsend this woman, from Jamaica and she had all the faith in the world in me), the IV went in pretty smoothly. Oxytocin was started around 6 p.m. on Wednesday night at the lowest dose.
And true to form, that did nothing either. *sigh*
All night the oxytocin did its thing and the nurses continued to check me and to bump up the levels every 30 mins or so. Only by about 3 a.m. did I start to actually FEEL anything. And I began to breathe through the contractions. Hubby didn't even hear me as I dealt with them and by 4 a.m. on Thursday, they were strong, strong, strong. But I was still only 1-2 cm dilated!! DAMMIT!
That frustrated me to no end. Combined with an overnight nurse who had the personality of a wet dishrag and made me upset and angry, I began to cry. I threw tissues. I sat up so abruptly that the monitors lost the baby's heartbeat and said nurse barged in wondering what the heck was going on with me. I told her I was pissed and upset and I was ready to just rip everything off and head the hell outta dodge. Only hubby calmed me down. Thank God for him. He truly is my rock you know.
I finally settled down again after a fashion and tried to rest. Or maybe I just tried to relax a little. I mean, that was going on 30 hours already and I'd just had enough, you know?
By 5 a.m., knowing the strength of the contractions and my level of discomfort, I agreed to nubain (an IM narcotic) which really took the edge off the pain for about 3-4 hours. But that came with a ton of drowsiness and some nausea (remedied by gravol in my IV) and I dozed a bit and breathed a bit. All was good til the nubain wore off and by 9:30 a.m. I was in pain again. A second injection of nubain and I hoped it would do what the first one did. No dice. The contractions had picked up so much that I couldn't even breathe through them anymore. I was doing every possible trick in the book but nothing could distract me. Talk about intense! Mother of baby Jesus... I couldn't even speak.
Hubby had stepped out to run home, as he had now and then to shower, change, touch base with my family, etc. and when he got back, I told him (God knows how in heaven he was able to comprehend me through the panting, tears, and shaking) I had pretty much agreed to the epidural to relieve the pain and maybe, just maybe, get my cervix to dilate and cooperate. Again, we pulled Elaine into the room to tell her. She agreed to talk to the doctor and get the anesthesiologist again... different guy this time. But just as competent.
All this time, I had managed to get out of bed and get back and forth to the washroom and this would be my last shot at that; once the epi went in, I'd be stuck. But enough was enough. So I agreed. That was noon today.
The epi went in on the third try; it was really tough between severe contractions, and my anaesthesiologist preferred to do them with the patient lying down. Anyway, that done, I started to feel the numbness pretty much immediately but the pressure was still there. That's the goal anyway, so I can actually feel pressure to help push Petit out when the time comes.
So okay, at noon today, I was still 3 cms and about 35% effaced. By 2 p.m., They checked me again. Blow me down folks... 9 cms (just a bit of anterior lip) and 95% effaced. Elaine could feel the baby's head and little bits of hair! Petit is now at a +1 station!! WOOT! All that in just two hours. I guess I needed to relax huh?
It is almost 3 p.m. here. I'm due for another check, and likely, very likely, I'll get to start pushing. With some luck, Petit will be here within a few short hours. You'll get the scoop right after family and immediate friends. I guarantee it. Either hubby or I will post. It might be short, but there you go.
I'm excited and so eager to meet this little one. Just like Vee and Max have welcomed little Leo Alexandre into their lives, so too might I get to introduce to you Petit, and his or her name.
Sending love to you all. And thank you for your wishes. I have been needing them. Every single one.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Last night, as I sat at my desk around 10:15 p.m., just as I was finishing clearing the SD card for the camera, and copying down some music to my mp3 player for the hospital, my water broke. It was unmistakable and by 11 p.m. we were on our way to the hospital to get checked.
Petit is doing fine. I'm doing fine and after a few checks and monitorings of Petit's heartrate, we were sent home to try to get some rest until this morning and told to return to see how things are progressing.
Overnight, contractions hit the 6 minute mark (or thereabouts), however, I did manage to squeeze in 3 or 4 hours of semi decent rest. I know I'm "on the clock" now to deliver within about 24 hours of last night's time marker so we'll just hope that the contractions and pressure I'm feeling are productive today.
Promise to keep you all posted. Wish us luck!
Monday, August 24, 2009
We're still waiting for something, anything, to develop. I guess Petit needs a little more time to "cook" so to speak. All day yesterday and last night I had a lot of back pain and aches through my hips. Mom figured that I might end up going to the hospital overnight last night but alas, no go. C'est la vie.
I promise to keep you all updated. You've stuck by me this far and you'll know when Petit makes his or her appearance! Bless you all for hanging in there with us. As always.
In the meantime, I'm keeping a SUPER close eye on Vee and Max as they prepare to head out tomorrow for some sort of induction... likely cervadil or whatnot to move things along. Like me, Vee is due tomorrow (August 25) and I hope for her that it works out perfectly and Max is able to be right there by Vee's side when Doudou arrives. Go give them some love and wishes for a wonderful couple of days as they welcome their baby too!
Friday, August 21, 2009
And according to yesterday's OB appointment, all is still fine with Petit. Heartrate in the 140s, head still down against my cervix and lo and behold, a check revealed that the cervix is far forward and I'm dilated "a fingertip's worth." So it looks like I'll be able to go to my 40w2d appointment next Thursday. And Petit will be hanging in there til Mom and Aunt B arrive tomorrow night.
They also booked me for an ultrasound at the 40w6d mark to check things like placental functioning, baby's growth, level of amniotic fluid and all that good stuff. That appointment is for August 31, so in reality, Petit might be a September baby!
I'll be honest though; I'm really hoping I don't get that far. I really want to meet our little one before then!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Can I just say how much pressure I felt while walking around the mall?! Holy heaven! Honestly, it felt like Petit was going to drop right then and there!
Add to that all the BH contractions I'm feeling and hubby doesn't think I'm going to make it to next Tuesday's due date. I have to say though, if I don't make it to at least Saturday, Petit is going to suffer the wrath of grandma and a great aunt!!!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
It occurred to me as I was writing back and forth via e-mail to Vee this weekend that I haven't spoken much about Petit's extended family or Petit's place within that family. So let me fill you in a bit.
On hubby's side, he is the eldest of four children. Hubby and his siblings have a combined six children between them.
Hubby: two children (one girl, one boy)
Hubby's younger brother: three children (all girls, the eldest is 16)
Hubby's younger sister: no children
Hubby's younger sister: one baby boy, born December 2008
Thus on hubby's side of the family, Petit will be grandchild number 7 and there are already cousins and a large extended family, with Hubby's aunts and uncles and all their children and grandchildren.
On my side of the family though, things are very, very different.
I am the eldest of two girls and as of yet, my sister doesn't have children. So Petit is the first grandchild for my parents. My parents are in their late 60s and have watched their friends welcome a virtual baseball team of grandchildren into their lives. Case in point: one of my girlfriends back at home just had her fourth baby a month ago! But as of yet, my folks haven't been able to join the game; they've just been watching it from the sidelines, quietly hoping that one day, they might be able to show off photos of their own grandchild. Petit will be their opportunity to get in the game.
But not only is Petit going to be the first grandchild for my parents, indeed, Petit will be the first child on my side of the family in at least 27 years! So it's a big deal! Can you say "spoiled?" I knew you could!
Let me explain the logistics...
Dad: an only child, thus no nephews, nieces or other family besides me and my sis to carry on the surname.
Mom: one of five siblings, she has me and my sis and I'm working on giving them their first grandchild.
Aunt B: mom's older sister, widowed, no children
Aunt L: mom's younger sister, recently married but no children
Aunt L: mom's other younger sister, who has one son (my cousin) and he is 30 years old. He isn't married and doesn't have any children.
Uncle M: mom's older brother, who has three children (my cousins) ranging in age from mid 40s to mid-50s. Between these three cousins of mine, there is one son who is now at least 27 years old. He isn't married and has no children.
Although my family lives 3-4 hours by plane from me on the extreme east coast, I am very tight with them all. I call Mom and Dad at least once per week, and during the pregnancy, the phone calls have become more frequent. (I suspect they're checking on Petit rather than me though!) I expect that when Petit comes into their lives, the frequency of contact will be increased yet again; they'll want to keep in close touch, I know.
Additionally, my sister and I are extremely close to our aunts. I consider them to be surrogate moms in a way. They lived close to us as we were growing up and we saw them many times per week, just like with my mom's parents before they passed away. In fact, it's my eldest aunt (mid 70s) who is coming next week with Mom to stay with us for a month or so until we get ourselves organized and into some sort of routine with Petit. The other two sisters will be coming to visit in September to meet Petit and honestly, I have a confession:
I cannot wait to get a picture of Mom, her three sisters and Petit together. That is a photo I will cherish forevermore. And I know so will they.
As for Petit's name, hubby and I thought long and hard about what to do. But here's what we've decided:
Petit will take my last name (Wood) rather than hubby's (a French last name). Why you ask? Well, here's our reasoning. Hubby's two children carry his last name already. So his family line is already ensured. However, with just me and my sister, the Wood surname is about to come to an end. My sis and I both kept the Wood name when we got married but that, dear reader, is the end of the line. Without children to carry it on in some form, it's done. Fini. So hubby was quite amenable to giving Petit my surname. If Petit is a girl of course, there's no guarantees that she would keep that name if/when she got married or makes the choices that I've made in order to carry on the name but at least for the next little while, the name will continue.
However, I was not willing to leave Hubby out entirely! Petit will still carry hubby's last name, but in the form of a middle name. Whether Petit is a boy or a girl, here's what we have:
-- a unique first name
-- a family middle name (taken from my side of the family)
-- Hubby's surname as a middle name
-- my surname as a last name (Wood)
In the coming weeks, we'll reveal the names. Promise. So for all those who have been bugging me and waiting, you don't have much longer to wait! Hang in there!
We're down to single digits on the pregnancy ticker! I can't believe it. I am excited, nervous, eager and anxious, all rolled into one. We're marking off the days, knowing that Petit can make his or her entrance at any time now. And we're ready and waiting to welcome this little one into our family, surrounded by so much love and anticipation.
Friday, August 14, 2009
This week's OB appointment went well. All continues to be really good and there's nothing new to report per se. Other than the fact that my doctor is content to prescribe me oral penicillin for the Group B strep and for that I'm truly grateful. I'll take a probiotic with it to counteract the possibility of thrush or yeast infections. Hopefully that will not be a problem. Of course, Petit will be checked for any sign of infection and we'll know to keep an eye out for possible issues. Something to deal with if/when we have to.
The best part of the week: today was my last day at work before my maternity leave. I packed up my office (my team will be moving to another location while I'm gone and to make it easier for them and for me next year when I go back, I offered to pack all my stuff), the team ordered in pizza for lunch and I said my goodbyes this afternoon before I strolled out the door. I will be away from the office until August 2010, though I know it won't be a vacation, now will it?!
Hubby started school this week (my God, that sounds weird!) and he's enjoying it so far. I hope that continues. He's looking forward to having a career and not just a "job." He is motivated too by the impending arrival of his third child and he's looking forward to being a Dad this time around.
Next week, while I'm off, I have a bunch of appointments and errands to run. We're getting a new furnace and hot water system installed on Tuesday. The deck should be finished before the end of the week. Wednesday I'm supposed to take the car in for servicing. Thursday is my OB appointment and Friday I've booked a pedicure; heavens knows THAT'S sorely needed! And next Saturday, August 22, my mom and aunt arrive to help us out for awhile as (hopefully!) Petit makes his/her début. We're eager to meet this little one and I'm hopeful that I might actually get to be a mom.
Friday, August 07, 2009
(c) Donna Ramsay
I met my husband online, through a singles website (oh-so-shocking, I know!) in 2000 and I knew right away that he was the man for me. We didn't connect for months, but when we finally did meet up, it was love at first sight. We just knew.
At the time, he was separated from his (now ex-)wife, living in a one-bedroom apartment across the river in the province of Quebec, and his children were just 4 and 6 years old.
(c) Donna Ramsay
But we knew. We just knew it would all work out. And regardless of what comes into our life, it will all work out. I love you honey. Happy Anniversary.
(c) Donna Ramsay
Edited to add:
Just got a phone call from hubby. He's been accepted to start a second career program (as offered by the government to selected individuals) and he'll be going back to school as of Monday, to pursue a career as a practical nurse! Congratulations sweetie!!!
Yesterday I had an ultrasound and another OB appointment. Petit is doing marvelously and hubby and I got a wonderful profile pic.
Petit's heartrate is normal (150s) and weight estimates put him/her at 5 lbs 14 oz; the low range of normal at the moment. The placenta is far from the baby's neck (something I always worry about) and is still functioning really well. And Petit is still head down, and starting to engage. I feel like the baby is going to drop out when I walk! Luckily, I only have one more week at work and then I'll be able to put my feet up a little bit. I hope!
No protein or glucose in my urine, and my blood pressure is great at 130/86. I've gone down 2 lbs, for a total weight gain of 5 lbs over the pregnancy. I've no idea how I did that; the only thing I can think of is that the baby is drawing what is needed from my stores. God knows, there's plenty of THAT to go around!
But I did get bad news: my Group B strep is positive. So I'm frantically researching alternatives to requiring an IV during labour and delivery. If you have suggestions (not about how to handle the IV, but about what other treatments are available), please LET ME KNOW. I'm desperate.
Loribeth and her husband at The Road Less Travelled, who are marking 11 years since the stillbirth of their daughter, Katie. Stop by and let her know that they're in your thoughts.
And Mo and Will at Life and Love in the Petri Dish. Their baby passed away in utero sometime during the last week and I am so terribly, terribly sorry to hear their sad news. Go over and give them a hug; they need all the love in the world around them right now and if they were closer, I'd hug them in person. Blessings to you both as you travel this impossible road.
Monday, August 03, 2009
The Crib: We decided on a DaVinci Kalani crib. It's convertible to a toddler bed and eventually a double bed, as long as it isn't totally wrecked by that time! :)
For those who are curious, the Japanese Kanji in the frames above the bed are "love" (also tattooed on my right ankle), and my name as written by a wonderful woman I knew when I lived in Japan years ago.
This is to show off the gorgeous curtains that my aunt made for the bedroom. I'm so pleased with them! She did a fabulous job! They help to darken the room nicely for afternoon naps.
The furniture and all kinds of gifts, goodies and things we'll need in the coming weeks! The change table is a removable piece that will be unscrewed as Petit grows and no longer needs it. And then it'll be a lovely dresser.
And the quilt that my aunt embroidered. It's far too lovely to mess up, so I decided to hang it instead.
I reach full term tomorrow at 37 weeks. I'm excited, nervous and dare I say, hopeful. And never in my wildest dreams did I believe we'd get this far.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Much like Vee's recent post though, I love it. I love these moments when Petit and I are alone. No one else gets to experience this and I cherish that immensely. I get to lay my hands on my belly and feel Petit's legs rolling back and forth. I poke back when I feel a knee jab at me and I smile to myself. I rub underneath my ribs when Petit's toes dig in and I enjoy the knowledge that Petit is growing well and that I'm doing everything I possibly can to bring a healthy baby into this world. In a few short weeks, with luck, we'll get to meet Petit in person and I'll get to touch those legs, knees and toes. I'll get to feel Petit's fingers grasp mine. I'll get to kiss Petit's little face and I know I'll shed tears for days on end. I realize how blessed we are to get this far, and how lucky I am to get to feel the things that I am feeling right now. Make no mistake about it. There are only a few more weeks to go and I intend to continue to enjoy every single moment.
At last week's appointment, everything went perfectly. Petit's heartrate was 140. I'm measuring right on track. My BP was 136/80, no glucose or protein in my urine, and I've gained a few more pounds for a total increase of 7 pounds so far. Hopefully that will plateau soon! The doctor did the Group B Step swab and I'll get the results at next week's appointment. I HAVE to hope that it's negative; that would ease my mind terribly. Also at next week's appointment, I get to have another ultrasound! The OB indicated that because of my age, they'd like to get another look at Petit and the placenta to ensure that everything is going well. Given that I'll be 37 weeks and 2 days at my next appointment, thus full term, if there are any issues (and we hope that there aren't), we could move forward with whatever we need to in order to deliver Petit safely. One day at a time, one hurdle at a time, one issue at a time. That is how I continue to approach this entire experience and while I do not want to have any sort of induction or, heaven forbid, a scheduled c-section, if the placenta is aging too rapidly and not providing Petit with what the baby needs, then Petit would be safer on the outside. I'll cross that bridge when, and if, I come to it.
On Wednesday evening, hubby and I had an appointment to ensure that our car seat is properly installed. We spent a few hours at Saje's house in the south end of the city and I must say, we learned a LOT from her! She recognizes that she is a bona fide "car seat diva" as with a few kids of her own, she's gone through at least 26 different car seats through the years! She definitely knows her stuff! I'm keeping her phone number because after the baby hits the 22 lb mark, we'll need to upgrade our seat and she'll be able to advise us about what's available at the time and what would be best given baby's height and weight and all of that.
We talked to Saje about a variety of topics. Along the way, we shared some of our story with her and spoke of our experiences at McGill in Montreal. Interestingly enough, she's considered being an egg donor through McGill; I do so hope for her that it works out. It's so wonderful to know that there are loving, giving people out there in this world who would give of themselves (literally!) to help people have a family. I will continue to cross my fingers that it all goes smoothly for her.
I also shared my concerns with Saje about the issues I foresee when breastfeeding. Given that I have both hypothyroidism and PCOS (which are both linked to supply problems; great huh?!), I am doing everything that I can right now to ensure that milk supply is not an issue when Petit arrives. For those who may not know the details, by continuing to take the metformin for the PCOS and by continuing to check and adjust my synthroid for the hypothyroidism, I am doing the right things to make sure that I have enough milk for Petit after the baby is born. That said, Saje gave me the name of a lactation consultant. I need to give her a call in the next day or two to see if she will be available around Petit's due date. I know too there are supposedly consultants on staff at the hospital but getting an appointment isn't always the easiest task, apparently. That only happens with referral from a nurse in the maternity ward. So I'll play it safe and see if I can book something on my own if I can.
This weekend is a long weekend in Ontario so Monday is a holiday. I opted to take Friday off as well and I am so glad that I did. It's been lovely to have a few days to relax. Okay, okay, so I don't do much relaxing; hubby and I spent Friday running a few errands and repainting Petit's room. I love the new colour! We picked one of the new Behr colours (paint and primer in one); it's called Caribbean Sunrise and it really makes Petit's room look like a baby's room now. I can't wait to hang the curtains in there later today and fix it all up again. I'll post pics when it's all done. Promise.
Two things to note among my friends in the blogging world this week:
Mick and his wife (Wanna Be Dad) welcomed little Zofia on July 31! She is just gorgeous; go peek at his blog for photos.
And after trying IVM last year, Journey (who blogs elsewhere) and her husband E got a positive Beta last week with their first IVF through McGill. They're going on holiday down east so her ultrasound will be pushed to August 21. I have a wonderful feeling about this and I'm grinning from ear to ear for them both!