Thursday, January 31, 2008


Taking advantage of a good connection today, I am posting a more recent picture of the Bunny Rabbit - isn't she cute? And yes, we finally have a name for her, but I'm not going to use it on the blog; I'll just stick with BR, short for Bunny Rabbit.

I cannot believe that January is pretty much over; where did the time go? BR is going to be 4 weeks old on Monday! She's already so different from the newborn that first arrived here. But still the little angel! I really cannot complain about her:
  • she sleeps lots, and will go 6 hours between feedings at night, giving me a chance to get some much needed uninterrupted sleep.
  • she never cries without a reason; even when it seems like she's just being fussy, it usually that she needs a burp, or having some trouble with gas.
  • she falls asleep on her own in her crib, and has done so from day 1; she doesn't do it every time, sometimes she needs some carrying around first, but most of the time she will eventually go to sleep in the crib without too much hassle.
  • she loves music and singing, and will pretty much always pay attention if you sing to her
  • she is patient and doesn't get frustrated easily, which was put to the test when we were learning the whole breastfeeding thing (still not 100% there, but we're getting much better at it); if we can't get the right latch, she will try again and again and again without any fuss.
warning - the next paragraph contains graphic descriptions not for the faint of heart; if you're squeamish, you may want to skip the rest of this post

There is one thing about BR that she would not want you know (but mean Mommy that I am, I will put it in my blog): she is a prolific, explosive pooper. She can poop long distance: when being changed on the bed, she can launch one right onto Mom's pants, missing the bed completely. She's even managed to shoot poop right into my bra (inside the cup), I still can't get over that one! The books always say to treat an undiapered baby as armed and dangerous, and it's so very true with this one! She has also on occasion managed to create a fountain of pee, but in general the peeing is containable, even without a diaper on (lucky for us she's a girl). So diaper changes are always an interesting time :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Labour story

Ok, so as promised, here's the labour and delivery story.

First of all, let me preface this by explaining my birthing philosophy going in. I wanted the most natural birth possible, which is why I went with midwives. I was hoping to be able to find a good position to handle the contractions, and to not deliver reclined in bed (to prevent tearing). I was determined not to have an epidural, because I wanted to experience the whole thing (plus I also wanted to spare the baby from drugs). Well, that all turned out to be wishful thinking...

So it all started Friday night. I started getting serious contractions, though in no particular pattern. But it got me thinking that labour was coming soon. So on Saturday, we went out to get some spicy food, just to help things along. Well, most of Saturday the contractions were quiet, but overnight they became steady and regular, 10 minutes apart. Needless to say, I didn't get very much sleep that night at all. DH actually slept in the guest bed, because I was tossing and turning so much I was keeping him up (and we thought it would be a good idea if at least one of us got some rest). Again, in the morning the contractions slowed down a little, only to intensify and become more regular and closer together in the afternoon. I called my Mom to let her know that we would most likely be going to the hospital that night. She grabbed her bags and headed to Ottawa.

When we reached the "5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, sustained for 1 hour" mark, we called the midwives. By the time the midwives showed up, my Mom was already here. A quick examination showed that I was 3cm dilated, so we decided to head to the hospital (this was around 8pm).

The delivery room in the hospital was really nice, and it actually felt pretty cozy. My labour progressed nicely, and a few hours later I was at 6cm dilation. Things looked pretty good :) The contractions were gettting harder and harder, though still 5 minutes apart. I was using the birthing ball to get through the contractions, holding on to the bed rail and rolling around. Apparently, even though the brake was on the bed, I managed to move it a bit (and noone was able to move it back). By that time I was pretty tired, so I don't remember all that much detail. But basically, at the next check a few hours later, I hadn't dilated any more, still at 6cms. The midwives were checking me every few hours, and the verdict was always the same: still 6cms. They tried breaking the waters. Still nothing. They gave me some oxytocin to stimulate the contractions. Still nothing. At this point I was definitely exhausted and completely discouraged. The official status at around 5am: stalled labour. The recommended solution: epidural + more oxytocin. Which meant a transfer of care from the midwives to the OBGYN on duty.

And so the anesthesiologist came in and administered the epidural (during a contraction I might add - and he insisted I sit still). I lay down and basically dozed on and off while the nurse played around with the oxytocin dosage trying to get me to have the right amount of contractions for optimal dilation. A few hours later, good news: I was finally fully dilated. So now all I needed to do was push. Ha! Easy enough to say. Because of the epidural, I didn't really feel my contractions, so I had no idea when to push. I had a contraction detector thingy strapped to my belly, but it wasn't working all that well, so we were all guessing at when the contractions were happening. Also, they still needed to play with the oxytocin dosage, because the contractions were not even regular or close together. It was very confusing.

To make matters worse, the baby heartrate monitor was showing that every time I pushed, the baby's heart would slow down to a crawl. I can tell you, through the fog of exhaustion and drugs, that was one thing I was keenly aware of. I kept gulping on oxygen, because I noticed that that would bring the baby's heartrate back up faster.

So here I am, lying on my back, with Mom, midwives, nurse and sometimes the OBGYN, with numerous liquids dripping into my IV, the monitors beeping, baby heartrate dropping... For 2.5 hours I was pushing, all the while expecting to be whisked away for an emergency C-section. Luckily, though, in the end the baby's head emerged, with umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (same thing happened when I was born!). The clamped and cut the cord, baby slipped out, and there was silence. Immediately I froze, not daring think anything. Luckily a few seconds later, the baby let out a strong cry. She was doing so well, that they immediately put her on my chest - and at that point, the whole ordeal seemed so worth it. Who cares I didn't get my dreamed labour and delivery - I got such a precious, beautiful, healthy daughter out of the deal!

And that's when they told me that they would have to put stitches in, because I had a third degree tear. Of course I didn't feel any of it because of the epidural. But it was a bad one. I only know I got "lots and lots" of stitches, no actual count. They're starting to heal now, but they have been a major pain, and the reason for my prescribed bedrest.

So that's the labour/delivery story. Not the hippy, tree-hugging story I was hoping for, but it's certainly an experience I will never forget. I was very lucky to have my Mom there the whole time, she really provided me with lots of support, and having DH at my side for most of it made it even easier to handle. It's hard not to overanalyze and play the "what if" game trying to figure out if I could have avoided any of the interventions. But it is what it is, and I figure it's time to move on. Next challenge: getting breastfeeding right.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Baby pics

I started composing this a few days ago, but it never got posted. Posting it as is :)

Here are the first tiny pictures I have of our little bundle of joy. She's really changing from one day to the next, so I'll have to post something more recent soon.

She's really a sweetheart! Sleeps lots, feeds pretty well and overall seems to have a sunny disposition. Of course, for the last 6 nights, she had her aunts take care of her (carrying, rocking, singing, comforting etc) for the first half of the night, when she seems to be the most cranky/uncomfortable. Now that my family has gone back to Montreal and it's just DH and me, we'll see how I feel about her temperament after tonight :)

Because I've been on bedrest, it's been invaluable help to have my family around for the last few days. They've handled pretty much all of the diaper changes and carrying/rocking duties while I was catching up on sleep whenever possible. My only responsibilities have been the feedings. It's been really good for my recovery, but it's been hard at times not being the one to respond to my baby's cries... Now that it's just DH and me, and I'm feeling better every day, I am looking forward to doing more of the work around here :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's a girl

We had a little baby girl on Monday January 7th, 2008 at 12:30. She weighed 7lb 11oz, and measured 56cms. I'll have to do another post about the labour and delivery, probably once my proscribed bed rest is over (i.e. this weekend). We still haven't come up with a name that we can both agree on (sad I know), although I feel we're getting closer.

Thankfully my Mom and sister are here to help for the rest of the week. I have only changed a handful of diapers so far :) But I am really looking forward to being off bed rest for sure.

Baby crying now, gotta go.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

No news is good news

Still no news here, baby safely tucked inside and not really interested in moving out yet. Well, that may not be completely true. Today I think I've started what they now call early labour, but used to be called false labour. Erratic painful contractions that pop up from time to time, but nothing to get alarmed by. Of course, the great knowledgeable web tells me that this can go on for days, and in first pregnancies even for weeks before the real thing happens. I guess we'll see :)

In the meantime, I thought I'd compile a list of pregnancy things, while I'm still pregnant :)

My favourite things about pregnancy:
  1. Carrying a whole other being inside me - it's been so much fun to be able to see/feel all the different baby parts moving around in there (especially that foot that's been stuck on the left side of my belly, right under the ribs).
  2. Never being truly alone - I always have someone to talk to :)
  3. Feeling healthier than ever - I barely even had a cold the whole 9 months!
  4. Being able to eat whatever I feel like without any worries
  5. Having unusually healthy food preferences: I've been eating more fruits and veggies than I've ever had, and all of it just because that's what I feel like eating - weird but good!
  6. So many cute pregnancy outfits out there these days (though to be honest I've only bought a handful of things for the pregnancy, got a whole batch of clothes from a friend and for the rest I improvised with my existing clothes... but at least I knew there were lots of options out there)
  7. The hormonal shift - after everything I'd read about pregnancy, I was worried about the mood swings and all that stuff - but it turned out that I had in fact less mood swings than normal. No PMS - gotta be a good thing!
  8. People are very nice to pregnant ladies - you get a lot more smiles and offers of help.
  9. And of course the cherry on top of the sundae: the promise of meeting the small bundle of joy at the end of it all.

And now for the things I don't like about pregnancy:
  1. The worrying... I spent the first trimester worrying about miscarriage, and most of the last one worrying about premature birth and wondering about any new symptom that came up. Luckily I managed to keep most of the worrying in check, but it's still no fun...
  2. Having to avoid certain foods and medications - especially when my eczema started flaring up with the arrival of winter, it would have been nice to be able to use a stronger cream to get rid of it or at least calm it down. Red itchy hands are never much fun...
  3. All the questions, comments and advice that you get from people with strong opinions: "You must do this", "You can't do that", "Make sure you never" etc... I find it intimidating sometimes to have so many people interested in what's happening in my life. I can't imagine how draining that could be for someone who's an introvert! Though I have to admit it hasn't been bad at all, I've only had a handful of those overwhelming experiences.
Can't really thing of many more bad things... Of course the nausea, heartburn, back aches etc... are annoying, but overall I've had it really good when it comes to the usual pregnancy ailments, I really cannot complain.

As you can see from the list, the good outweighs the bad by a long shot. I guess it's been a really good pregnancy. My MIL is suggesting I should have 10 kids, since it seems to agree with me... We'll see about that ;) Let's see how I do with labour first...

Next post may have some more news!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year!

So the new year has arrived. And with the new year, the due date for the baby. But apparently, the baby is in no hurry at all to come out and meet us. I went to see the midwife today, and after examining me, she said it doesn't look like I'm going to be giving birth in the next few days... Maybe sometime next week.

I don't really mind, as I am still quite enjoying the whole pregnancy thing, and having the house to myself all day :) But I'd rather not have to have an induction or any other interventions if at all possible. So I guess I will have to start washing floors or something to get the whole show going. I've also been wondering if maybe the baby is waiting to reach a certain weight (still seems pretty small to me, but that's just a gut feel), so I've been eating like a pig trying to get her/him to fatten up ;) Not sure about the validity of my assumptions, but I am enjoying snacking all day on whatever I can find in the fridge. Luckily it's still pretty well stocked with lots of food choices. I still find it pretty unbelievable that with the amount of food I am consuming, I haven't put on more than 2 pounds in the last month. How is that even possible? The baby does seem to be growing, though, making it harder and harder for her/him to move around. The poor thing is pretty much stuck in one position with the left foot almost permanently sticking out on the side of my belly (some find it cute, some find it creepy). I figure soon enough (s)he will have to get tired of being stuck like this, and decide to come out.

In the meantime, I'm just going to keep cleaning around the house and thinking positive thoughts of impending birth. Fingers and toes crossed :)