Monday, May 30, 2005

Alexander's Birth Day Story

It's taken me awhile to get to this, but here goes. Just so no one is caught unawares, this is a detailed version of a real live birth :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

4am: Woke up, had to pee, felt like I had a very crampy belly, went back to sleep

9am: Woke up, had to pee, felt nauseaus and crampy, almost cried, went back to sleep

10am - 5pm: Awake now. My stomach still felt funny. I was expecting contractions to start at the top of my belly (like the Braxton Hicks ones do) and feel very strong. This feeling wasn't anything like that. I called the midwives in the morning to schedule my next appt and when I had her on the phone I told her about my achy belly. She said that it sounds like contractions may be starting. She said that often early contractions feel like bad menstral cramps. Very good comparison!

So, we went about our day. We got some lunch and headed over to Grandpa's house. Him and Grandma were flying out to CA that afternoon so we wanted to say goodbye. They left around 2pm and we came back to our house (my mom came with us). On the way back to the house I told mom that I may be having early contractions. They still weren't slowing me down much, but definitely noticable.

Got back to the house and Alan headed out for a meeting. Mom did her homework and I did some puttering around the house (got the car seat put together, etc.) By this time the contractions were getting worse (I couldn't really talk through them, I kept forgetting what I was doing, etc.) and they were coming more frequently. I never timed them very well, but they seemed to be every few minutes.

We were planning on going out to dinner and to see Star Wars. Mom kept using that as a gauge of my pain. "Do you think you can sit through a movie?" she'd say. "Sure," I'd say. Twenty minutes later she says, "Do you think you can sit through a movie?" I say, "Sure, but I'd like to sit at the end of the aisle so I can move around if I need to." Twenty minutes later, same question. This time I can't even get a response out between belly pain and loss of brain power.

At this point I have to give my mom and Alan a lot of credit for getting me out the door. Alan was back from his meeting and he and mom had decided that we need to go to the hospital to at least get checked out. I called the midwives to let them know we were coming. The midwife on call said to come in at 5:15, but be prepared to head home again since I wasn't dialited at all the day before. She also asked a ton of questions (many of which I think she knew the answers to). This drove me crazy at the time, but looking back I realize she was just trying to keep me talking so she could "hear" the contractions and how well I was handling them. At our childbirth class the instructor said this would happen - although it was the last thing on my mind at the time. Anyway, between my mom and Alan they got our stuff together (mom followed me around as I packed the final items into our bags. I kept forgetting what I was doing and she had to remind me every step of the way).

5pm - : We arrived at the hospital just after 5:15. I must have obviously been in labor because I got several comments as we made it inside and up the elevators. At the Birthing Pavillion (baby part of the hosptial) we met Ellen, the midwife, and she brought me into a triage room for an initial exam. I made it as far as the bathroom and threw up. (I'll try to keep things not *too* detailed and gory here ;) ) Once that was done Ellen examined me and said "6-7 centimeters. She's a keeper!" I was thrilled. I would have been so upset if they sent me home again. Typically if you're less than 4cm they send you home. I went from 0cm to 7cm in under 24 hours :)

At this point they officially admitted me (gave me a room). I had a great nurse named Sue who worked with Ellen, Alan, and my mom to take care of me. Alan and I learned all sort of techniques for labor at our childbirth class, but I was so brain dead that I wasn't even aware of what was going on. Sue suggested I use the jacuzzi tub for awhile. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it worked well I guess. I stayed there for awhile (no concept of time at this point) until I had to throw up again. This time I got some in a garbage can, but unfortunately some in the tub as well. Yuck! Sue suggested that I get out and go back to the room while she ran a new tub. She said to stand in the shower for 15 minutes and then I could get back in the jacuzzi. On the way back to the room I told Alan that there is no way I can stand for 15 minutes. I didn't make it one step further than the bed.

The midwife came to check me shortly after that (I think she was in and out the whole time, but I don't really know.) I know I wasn't on the bed long before I started pushing (Alan just said I started pushing on the first or second contraction on the bed). Everyone told me ahead of time that the pushing phase just happens and your body tells you when its time. Even though I mentally knew that, it was an odd feeling when I suddenly felt such strong urges to push. I remember my mom was so excited. Once I started pushing I finally broke the water bag and they saw some meconium in it (meconium is just baby poop and non uncommon when the baby is late). Because meconium can be dangerous if the baby ingests it, the midwife brought a team of pediatric people in the room, just in case. She also attached a weird wire thing to the baby's head because they lost his heartbeat (through the whole labor they were having trouble monitoring his heartbeat externally - I'm not sure if he kept moving, or they just couldn't find it, or what, but they spent a lot of time trying to get the belly band monitor thing just right so they could hear his heartbeat). The next day we asked about the wire and a nurse pulled out a new one to show us. It literally had a little wire cork screw thing on it that they attached to his head. Very weird, but I guess it did the job. Anyway, where was I...

Oh yes, lying in the hospital, pushing, with a room full of people waiting on this baby to be born. I wasn't doing a very good job of breathing either, so they gave me an oxygen mask to put on between pushing. Something about both me and the baby needing oxgen to make this whole event a success :) Alan said later that I was *very* white and the oxygen made a big difference.

So after pushing for a bit (Alan says maybe 5 or 6 contractions with 3 or 4 pushes each) baby zig's head popped out. I thought it would never happen! I kept saying "I can't do this...," but no one believed me. I guess they all knew better :) Once his head came out she said to stop pushing, but I couldn't stop and his body popped out on the next contraction. The doctor wisked him over to the table to try to asparate (sp??) his mouth and lungs before he had any deep cries and inhaled much meconium. I'm not sure how well that plan worked though, because he started crying really quickly.

For the first minute or two we still had no idea if zig was a boy or girl. I guess in this day and age everyone knows ahead of time what they are having, so the process of holding it up and saying "We have a boy!" must be outdated. Alan was trying to see as he came out, but couldn't. Then when they brought him over to the table, my mom says, "What it is? Can we get a verdict here??" and one of the pediactric people said, "Oh yeah, it's a boy!". Yay!!!

Baby Lex Once they were happy that he was ok they brought him back and put him on me. He was (and still is!) so tiny and cute. I couldn't believe that I actually did it. I ended up needing a few stiches so we all admired the baby while Ellen took care of that. Oddly enough after all of that I barely noticed someone putting stiches down there. I was just so happy to have a baby. He took right to breastfeeding (he's better at it than I am) and was very content to lay there and be admired :)

Alexander William Johnson was officially born on May 25th, 2005 at 7:41pm. He weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 19" long. He did great on all of his baby tests (apgar, hearing, pku, etc.) and is a very happy, sleepy, content baby. We're having a blast with him.

The new family!My family and Alan's came up to see him. Alan's family made it to the hospital the first day and mine the second. My mom spent the first night at the hosptial with us, holding on to Lex while we got some rest. It was great. The whole experience was incredible.

Ok, so this has taken me many days to write (in between sleeping, feeding, changing, etc.) I could probably keep going with updates from the past few days (my boy is working on his 6th day of life now!), but I'm sure most of you are bored already with this extra long story. Also, if I try to keep going this thing may never get posted. So... that's all for now folks!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

41 wk update

Didn't think I'd be writing this one, but alas, I am. We went to the doctor today for another ultrasound (got a great picture I'll try to post tomorrow), a non-stress test (very stressful!!) and a quick exam (no progress, no dialation). However, the good news is that baby is doing very well and seems quite content inside :) I have to schedule another appointment for Friday for another non-stress test. It will be easier this time since I know what to do :) I was worried that zig and I were gonna fail our first test. I don't think the poor baby even knew it was being tested!!

Monday, May 23, 2005


Full moon *and* a low pressure system - still no baby. Bah!

I'm going to a board meeting this afternoon (why not, right?). Maybe that's what I need to get this labor started :)

On the plus side, I do get an ultrasound tomorrow if baby doesn't come by then, so at least we can peak in and see how things are going :) Make sure baby is still in there!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Happy day

No baby yet, but my mommy is here for an entire week!! That makes me very happy. Hopefully baby appreciates the effort and decides to come out and meet her soon. Silly baby. Alan and I have been talking to zig every day encouring the kid to c'mon out for a visit :) Don't think we're being heard though. Oh well. I'll enjoy my time with my mom in the meantime.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

More photos

Instead of having a baby, I figured I'd post a few photos at our regular photos web site I put up side by side photos of the belly growth (always feels bigger than it looks :/) and nursery pictures. That's all for tonight. I'm off to watch a movie now.

Little zig's nursery

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

For those keeping score...

no baby yet. However, an aquaintenace of ours said that when him and his wife were having babies they always told people the due date was 2 weeks later than what the doctors told them. That way everyone was happy when the baby came "early". I thought that was a fun idea.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Full term belly




It just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.... :) My mom and sister said that I hide the belly well under a shirt. From these photos I'd tend to agree with them. I know it's been awhile since I posted belly shots. I've taken them once or twice, but never got around to posting them. Figured a due date shot would be good to document :)

Baby? No baby.

Yup, for those of you keeping track, today is the big day. I think someone forgot to tell zig though. We went in for the 40wk appt today and all is fine, but no dialation or anything (which, the midwives keep reminding us, doesn't really mean much of anything). She scheduled me for a 41wk appointment next Tuesday at which they will do an ultrasound to check the fluid levels inside (make sure things are still ok). Hopefully we'll be cancelling that one :)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Nothing doing

Today is my first offical vacation day. I think I get to call it vacation until baby, then it's called maternity. But, no baby yet, so I'll keep calling it vacation.

I've been told I need to keep this blog a little more up-to-date as the final days draw near. I'm glad to see so many people care enough to call and chat though :) I'm actually a bit bored already (yeah, lame, I know) so I always like the calls.

We basically are ready to go. The nursery room is done (except a few things we need to hang), the car seat is in the car (still need to get it checked though), and the suitcase is mostly packed. So, like I said, we're basically ready to go :) Now its just a matter of baby being ready to go....

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Making progress

I think we're making some progress here. I think baby has started to drop a bit. My belly is definitely lower today than it was yesterday. Yay!


Can you imagine carrying triplets?? I can't. Lauren posted a link to a blog about triplets. I also wonder how they keep the babies straight in utero? The woman talks about tracking the development of each baby (Baby A, B, and C). I wonder how the doctor knows which is which. What happens if babies A and B swap sides one day? It's not like they are wearing little name tags in there or something.

And how do you put 3 car seats in your car??? We installed the car seat in the Saturn today and it's snug in there. I realize the Saturn isn't exactly a mini-van... so I guess that's what you need for triplets.

Zig takes up enough space in me without adding any more. I'll take my babies one at a time, thank you very much :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Enquiring minds want to know...

I've had several people ask about my 39wk appt, which means I guess I've been a slacker for not posting sooner :)

The 39wk appointment on Monday was another SMA (group appt), so they measured weight, belly size, and baby's heartbeat. All very good. No internal exam (lovely) so no update on dialation or anything.

I did learn something interesting though. Apparently the story about more deliveries on full moons isn't fully accurate. My midwife said that there is a high correlation to deliveries around storms (due to the low pressure systems that cause storms) AND storms often occur around full moons. Soo... my theory about the 23rd being *the* day may be flawed (well, more flawed than it already was). So keep an eye on the weather and lets see if a low pressure system comes by shortly after the 17th. You can also keep an eye on Intellicast's "official" Labor/Birth Index. I have no idea how scientific this is, but it's interesting nonetheless.

I worked from home yesterday and it was so nice and relaxing (the fact that it was a beautiful day didn't hurt either!). I decided that I'm going to officially start vacation time on May 16th - assuming zig doesn't come before then. Once I made up my mind on that decision I've felt very relaxed and happy with it :)

Alan and I now have a little nursery in the house with a crib, changing table, and dresser. Sometime soon we are going to hang the pictures we got from the babyshower and the quilt that Alan's mom made (with embroidery help for others). Once that's done I'm going to take a few pictures and put them up. I also am way overdue for a belly shot. My mom and sister both said this weekend that I hide the belly well. I pulled up my shirt and mom said "wow!". :) Hehehe... good belly! I'll post new pics sometime soon. I'm at work now and don't have any handy.

But anyway, I'm glad to see at least a few people read my ramblings. They aren't very artsy or poetic or anything, just plain ramblings :)

T minus 6 days and counting!! (or maybe it's B minus.... hmm....)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Lotto update

For those already engaged in the story, here's the lowdown... I got nothing!!

For those not engaged - Mom bought us a $5 lotto ticket as an anniversary gift (well, as a very small part of the anniversary gift). I scratched if off and won $5. Yay! So I traded it in for another $5 ticket - which won me $10! Sadly, the next store we stopped at didn't have $5 or $10 tickets, so I got 5 $2 tickets (in hindsight, I think this was my downfall). Scratched them and won $2 :) Almost forgot to trade it in before we left NY, so we stopped at the last gas station on the border. Traded it in for another $2 ticket and won nothing :( Very sad. But it was a good adventure for the weekend :)

Relaxing in Franklin

I think it's been awhile since I've posted an update. We went down to Franklin for the weekend and had a very nice time. Joyce just got home from college (I think she wanted to see the big belly!). We ended up getting a sweet hotel room too :) And I finished knitting my first ever sweater!!! Yay! I've tried grownup sized ones and never finished, but the baby sized one went much quicker :) I've even started a second baby sized one.

We are now officially 9 days from the big day. I met an old friend this weekend who said she had both of her babies on their due dates! I told her that's just amazing. Statitics show that only 5% (I think) of women deliver on their due dates - and she did twice! I thought that was pretty cool. We went to a child fair sponsored by the hospital down there this weekend. Got lots of free samples and met people I know. Crazy.

Anyway, I'm tired now and I have a long day tomorrow, including my 39wk appointment. I'll post more later.