Friday, February 12, 2016

Promotion: Effective Tuesday

Alex is working (in town - thank goodness) all weekend, so I had every intention of putting together Quick Takes tonight, but by the way the afternoon went, that's just not going to happen.  Instead, announcement time............. (Warning:  This post is super long.)

Baby will be here...on Tuesday (if not before)!

How do we know this?  Well, it's a little thing called a scheduled cesarean.  Yeah, definitely not what I want or planned, but it's probably best and well at this point it's done.

Let me back up a little...Doctor has been warning us for a while, baby has measured big as far back as what was supposed to be our last ultrasound in late December.  At the time, it measured in the 78th percentile and predicted to be at least 8 pounds.  I'm a short person (5 ft even), so there isn't a lot of space inside for baby to grow and/or deliver naturally.

As a result of this estimate, doctor encouraged us to do another growth ultrasound at 37 weeks to see how things were looking.  She said, though, that nothing could or would be scheduled intervention-wise before the 39th week unless it were to be an emergency.  At that scan (9 days ago), the ultrasound tech confirmed that we were still looking at a baby that could be upwards of 9 pounds (now measuring at the 85th percentile), but this time noticed the head was positioned sideways, basically as though it would deliver ear-first if it were to come in its current state.  Obviously, ear-first doesn't work for delivery, soooooooo doctor encouraged us to do another ultrasound (seventh total!) at 39 weeks - that's today.

For today's scan, I tried stay calm and kept hoping we'd get good news about the head moving into a better position, because I long ago gave up on size being a non-issue at this point.  At first, the tech seemed to think the head had moved, but she took her time and very thoroughly looked from all angles, changing my position and trying to see as much as possible.  Unfortunately, baby is now measuring 8.5 pounds (giver or take half a pound) and above the 90th percentile for size.  The head is also in the same position as before, and even more concerning today was the presence of the umbilical cord that is either near or around the neck (I can't remember exactly how she said it).  It's her opinion that the cord may be what's interfering with baby positioning itself properly, and with the combination of the two, a) probably will not change before birth, and b) could result in some serious distress if I were to go into labor naturally.

After a couple of stressful hours going back and forth with the ultrasound tech, a nurse, and then finally speaking with the doctor, a decision was made to schedule the cesarean for Tuesday at Noon. It was all very confusing because the tech was very confident in her findings and prepared us for that conversation, but the nurse instead was incredibly vague and said she couldn't recommend any decision over another, that it was totally up to us but I needed to decide today or there wouldn't be a spot on the schedule for the following week.  For a time, I felt very (anxiously) unprepared to be making such a big decision without fresh input from the doctor, and I was thiiiis close to declining a scheduled intervention with the understanding that I'd see doctor on Monday and talk about it in person with her then.

But then.  Doctor called.  I can't tell you how relieved I felt just to hear her voice on the other end of the line.  I knew I'd get real input and hoped I'd feel more confident in whatever decision after our conversation.  And in the end, all of the above.  Doctor repeated the information the ultrasound tech had shared, consistent in facts and opinions of the situation.  She said there's no viable way to deliver with the head in its current position and given the other factors it seems incredibly unlikely that this would change.  She said she always goes into decisions thinking about what she would recommend for her sister or for herself and in this situation she predicted a 99% chance that even if I tried to labor it would result in a cesarean.  She didn't recommend the risk of attempting induction or natural labor for the 1% chance it would have positive results.

A big concern for me is extended recovery time (remember, I wanted to be independent postpartum), and negative effects for future pregnancies.  There's not much anyone can do about the recovery, but doctor reassured me that she is very willing to do VBACs (though upfront, wanted me to be aware that those cannot be induced whatsoever, only another c-section can be used if in an emergency situation) and she has experience doing cesareans for women who have had as many as eight children.  She told me it wouldn't limit the number of future children I could have (huuuge concern given the contraceptive society we live in), and that she didn't see any reason it would be a problem down the road.  Can we say HUGE weight lifted off my mind???

So then the issue of what to share with my family (who, remember, wants to be present ASAP) given my desire to have a very private birth experience.  I was finally able to put into words exactly what made me anxious about all of that - a) having people in my space while laboring, thinking I'd feel claustrophobic and just plain over stimulated by the presence of others, and b) feeling pressure to speed things along knowing there are others "waiting" on me.  ...But the thing about a cesarean is that a) only one other person is allowed to be present (YAY HUSBAND) and b) it's a 20 minute deal, so the waiting part is pretty much nonexistent. Realizing my fears about having others around wouldn't be so much of an issue with a cesarean, we decided to be honest about the situation and share the plans with my family.

Although I'm not certain my father won't be awake at 4 a.m. trying to drag my mother out the house, I spent a great deal of time telling my mother NOT to get on the road any earlier than necessary and to take.their.time. getting here.  My father, on the other hand, asked to come on Monday which I quickly corrected him about traveling the following morning, ha. I still really don't want people waiting around, especially knowing I want that magic hour of just the three of us together after baby is born and the thought of having people in the waiting room at that point still stresses me out.  And then of course, it will be my grandmother in addition to my parents, and possibly my brother too.  AHH, people!

The plan is for family to arrive sometime around midday on Tuesday and leave Thursdayish, since my daddy will go on call Thursday evening.  (Of course, my daddy is talking about switching his call and not leaving on Thursday as he would have to...EEK, Father!!!)  I'm *hoping* things go well enough to be discharged on Friday and have our family of three home together for the weekend and following week.  My mother/grandmother want to come back and stay when Alex goes back to work, but I'm not agreeing to anything just yet.   Then, Alex's mom will be flying in Saturday, March 5th and leaving on Friday, March 11th.  We'll see what I think about that in about two weeks...yikes.

And...all of these details could totally derail if baby decides it wants to arrive before the 16th.  So, we'll see!

As always, prayers greatly appreciated.


P.S.  Someone I know had her baby today, and gave it the same name we picked out (yes I'm being intentionally vague in case someone puts two and two together)!!  Now I have this complex that she'll think I stole her baby's name, even though neither of us talked names AT ALL beforehand.  ...I sent her an email that surely sounds like crazy talk about how I'm so sorry we picked the same name.  Go ahead, deserve it after sticking around through this post!

P.P.S.  I know for some this type of post can be uncomfortable, difficult, or just plain painful.  Please know that we recognize this and pray for those of you who may struggle with infertility (any variation thereof) and/or infant loss.  Our hearts go out to families affected by these struggles each and every day. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hello, Gorgeous!

Stephanie may still be on maternity leave, but I'm having a hard time keeping up with her!  As I said before, she's still churning out good stuff, so head over to visit her at Captive the Heart.  I'm totally not a beauty blogger, but there is something I'd swear by for all brides to be.  To find out more, and learn what others are saying about tried-and-tested beauty tips on your wedding day, go check out her post.

Photo credit:  Katie Hoffpauir Photography
Check back regularly to visit with Stephanie, as she will be sharing more from "Brides Who've Been There" during this Wedding Q & A series!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

On my mind.

Alex is out at a Superbowl gathering with coworkers tonight, and I've been home doing laundry while catching up on the DVR.  There are tons of thoughts running through my mind, and while I really don't want my blog to turn in to all baby, all the time, I really just want to get some of it off my mind.  And, maybe some of you experienced ladies out there will have some wisdom to share, as well.

-This pregnancy has flown by, and for that I am grateful!  However, it's also really weird knowing that your life is about to change in huuuuge ways, but the "when" part is totally unknown.  This could be my last full week of work, or I may not even make it there tomorrow morning (very unlikely).  There's just no way to know and that's difficult to wrap my mind around!

Custom crib bedding from Etsy arrived this week!
It's not the fanciest, but I love it! 
-Baby is still measuring very much ahead of schedule size-wise, and now doctor is worried its head is positioned in a way that isn't conducive to vaginal delivery.  She's been preparing us for a while that we may end up in a induction/cesearan situation, but that's becoming more real with each passing week.  We'll have a check-up and seventh (!!!) ultrasound this coming Friday, and a decision may be made then about scheduling either one of those options (as early as 2/15...EEK!).  I really want my body to do this on its own so maybe if you feel so inclined to send up a few prayers for us....that would be great.

-So speaking of scheduling... Maybe I'm weird but I really want this birthing experience to be sacred between Alex and I.  I don't want family or friends to be hanging around the hospital or even there to meet baby immediately.  I don't want to feel rushed to progress any faster than my body and baby are ready, and I want to cherish those initial moments with our little family and no one else.  My mom has pressured me to let her in the delivery (to which I responded with a big fat NO), and while I think she has finally accepted my decision, everyone still expects to be notified as soon as I see the first signs of labor. I have no interest in alerting the masses and would really rather just tell people after it's all said and done.  Everyone (except Alex) is making me feel guilty about it but I feel super strongly about I awful for feeling this way?

Jan. 28 - 36w6d
-On a related note, I also don't want people coming to visit and stay with us immediately either.  Again, maybe I'm naive, but there is one baby and two adults it really necessary to have another (or more) adult around to care for one stinking infant?  I feel like that's ridiculous overkill and I realllyyyy don't understand why my mom and grandmother (Alex's mom too) are all eager-beaver about wanting to come stay with us.  It's especially weird to me as far as my mom is concerned because she is NOT a domestic person and I feel like it's totally pointless for her to plan on staying with us since she doesn't enjoy housework whatsoever.  And I won't even get started on the idea of a mother-in-law staying with us for any length of time either.  But again........maybe I'm a terrible person for feeling this way.  (Side note:  I have talked to Alex about employing Fiske's theory on How to Postpartum Like a Boss; I still don't think it requires extra adults in our house, especially since we don't have any other children to care for at the moment.)

-And if I hope for my body to bring things on naturally, then I'm open for (pleasant) suggestions on making that happen.  I keep saying I'm going to walk this thing out of me if I have to!  :)  Doc says I  made progress in one week that takes some several, so that's promising.  So walking and raspberry leaf tea (which, I know is only going to strengthen uterus and not actually bring on labor) are my mantras right now.  Yesterday, we walked 3 miles (of hills, thank you very much!) at a local park and let C.J. run around at the dog park while we were there. I was totally worn out afterwards, but no pain, no gain, they say!

I am IN LOVE with this onsie...even if baby comes after Feb. 9. 
-So if labor happens this week, we're looking at the possibility of being in the hospital for Ash Wednesday - how does that even work?  Thankfully, we're laboring at a Catholic hospital, but fasting is obviously out regardless, but can I still receive ashes?  Same for laboring over the weekend (re: communion).  And what about if it happens on a Friday (re: abstinence)?  Then there's postpartum too... I figure I can still manage meatless, but what about other Lenten observances?  Is it strange of me to even be thinking about these things?  Talk about bizarre brain functions over here....

Mmm...okay, I think that's enough for now.  There are probably several other "issues" running through my mind but I think I've unloaded enough for now.  Here's to hoping for a productive and peaceful week, on all accounts!


P.S.  I know for some this type of post can be uncomfortable, difficult, or just plain painful.  Please know that we recognize this and pray for those of you who may struggle with infertility (any variation thereof) and/or infant loss.  Our hearts go out to families affected by these struggles each and every day. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

All the things.

After going a month without writing, at a time when there's lots to say, how does one begin?  It's been such a whirlwind since returning from our two-weeks on the road at Christmas/New Years.  For remembering sake, I am going to write what we've been up to, and hope not to bore you along the way.

Enjoying a delicious dinner at Prejean's exactly 3 years after hosting our rehearsal dinner there. 
In the notable department, we briefly celebrated our 3-anniversary with a trip to the restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner, had maternity pictures taken, and was treated to a shower by family and friends.  Alex came with me for an overnight work trip to Camp the second weekend in January, and each weekend since has been spent kicking ass (aka working like crazy) as we great ready for the little one to arrive.  We've accomplished so much, I want to include a list for memory's sake:

  • cleaned out and organized all our closets and storage areas
  • donated items to Goodwill, dropped several boxes worth of paper stuff in the recycling bins
  • bought 20 baby items (0-12 months) for $25 at Goodwill
  • sold items to Amazon, Declutter, and SellBackYourBook
  • had furniture moved in all rooms of our house
  • sorted shower gifts and set up basics for baby room/our room
  • ordered bedding (via Etsy) for the crib we have on loan
  • brewed a fresh batch of homemade laundry detergent
  • prepared 12 gallons of freezer meals (pretty sure this one almost sent me into labor at 36 weeks)
  • ordered/installed two car seat bases and (assembled) the coordinating stroller, had installation checked by a local Trooper
  • had carpets/wood floors professionally cleaned
  • vacuumed/dusted/cleaned the house...more than once
  • renewed Sam's Club membership
  • made an errand trip or two (Walmart, Dollar General, Babies r Us, Ulta, Lowe's, etc)
  • attended breastfeeding (2 hours on a Tuesday night) and childbirth class (2.5 hours on a Thursday night), and the first ever local Theology on Tap (!)
  • toured the hospital where we will deliver
  • researched and selected a pediatrician

...that's all in the last three weeks and in addition to keeping up with the weekly grocery shopping and dishes/laundry piles, while trying to get out and walk around the neighborhood at least a few times a week (weather, depending, of course).  And as home ownership goes, we also had to replace our toilet seat, as well as the fill pump on our toilet, and discovered we need a new roof ASAP thanks to an obvious leak stain on the ceiling in our living room.  I'm just exhausted thinking about this list!

Anybody wanna buy some Jodi Picoult books?  Facebook is apparently uninterested, lol.  
At least we shouldn't go hungry.
It's a start. 
At work, I've been preparing what feels like three months worth of lesson plans (if I were a school teacher, that is).  A college student will be filling in for me part time while I'm out, so I have assembled a month by month list of everything that needs to be done, including deadlines and checklists, with as much details as I can possibly anticipate with memory on overload at this point.  There are reports to be submitted and just some things that she cannot do, so I am ferociously working to have those ready before I'm out, while training her on where things are located and how things work in the 10-15ish hours a week she is working now.  Not to mention, this girl works two other jobs (one of which is actually with Alex as her boss on campus, lol), so coordinating with a full time class schedule and three jobs can be just a wee big complicated!

So if you've been wondering why I'm absent, maybe now you understand... :)

I guess now that the big things are checked off, my mind is still working in overdrive but my body can't keep up (and thankfully there isn't much essential left to handle).  We do still need to pack our hospital bags (MUST happen this weekend!), attend a newborn basics class this week, and I never have gotten around to researching day care options in the area...oops.  (Consciously/subconsciously I'm hoping I won't need to make that decision and thus it keeps getting put off.)

In any case, I really miss this here blog and I hope I can get back to posting more regularly.  At some point, I want to share our maternity photos and talk a little about the shower too.  Stephanie encouraged me to prepare a lineup of guest posts for when baby comes, but it has yet to be seen whether I'll manage to be that put-together before the little one arrives. I mean, technically, he or she could arrive any day now... AH!

If we make it to Mardi Gras without a baby...I will need more of this...and Blue Bell ice cream.
This is really happening, isn't it?

P.S.  I know for some this type of post can be uncomfortable, difficult, or just plain painful.  Please know that we recognize this and pray for those of you who may struggle with infertility (any variation thereof) and/or infant loss.  Our hearts go out to families affected by these struggles each and every day.