day-to-day pregnancy

[ Friday, December 31, 2004 ]

I finally put Kate's stroller together this morning. The temperature rose to mid 50's and we decided to enjoy our first walk. She seemed to enjoy the ride and didn't complain even when the stroller had to be pushed up and down our front steps.

[ Sunday, December 26, 2004 ]

Kate had her second visit to the pediatrician a few days ago. She has already grown 2 inches and gained over 1 lb!

[ Wednesday, December 22, 2004 ]

And here is the first official photo of Kate to hit the web:

We had quite an eventful week. Renovation on the house is finally finished and we could move Kate upstairs to the nursery. As a compromise to keep "breastfeeding" while not going insane with pain, we started pumping and feeding breastmilk to Kate in bottles. That has been working very well, and we started alternating formula as she is getting bigger and hungrier. It was the best decision we could have made, because now David or the grandparents get to feed her while I take a break and catch up on sleep. This week she also had her first bath (the cord fell off a few days ago) and reacted pretty much like I used to as a baby - crying to get in, enjoying the tub, then crying because she didn't want to get out.

[ Thursday, December 16, 2004 ]

It is funny how much false advertising goes along with a pregnancy - for good and bad. Everyone seems to tell you what an enormous pain you will have to endure while in labor. Of course, people feel pain in different ways, but I found it perfectly tolerable with the epidural. You are told that strong pain is just part of the process and you need to accept it, but in reality you CAN have an early epidural and choose not to suffer excruciating pain (at least not for more than a few minutes). On the flip side, there is the wonderful experience of breastfeeding your baby, which no one bothers to tell you hurts like hell. I find the first few seconds of each breastfeeding session to be infinitely worse than any contraction. If the baby is fussy, one attempt to latch on translates into 4 or 5, each of them more painful than the last. Since I had not heard that part of the fairy tale, I asked a lactaction consultant and some friends. Then I heard the stories of bleeding nipples, stitches, mothers biting on towels or like me, just plain crying. They do tell me it gets better (a week or two is the estimate) but boy, don't I wish I had advance notice for this one!

[ Saturday, December 11, 2004 ]

About labor and delivery - after the water broke, we called the doctor and spoke with a midwife. When I mentioned that the fluid was greenish-yellow, she sent us straight to the hospital. As it turns out, Kate couldn't wait to poop until she was born, so meconium was mixed in with amniotic fluid. There was some concern that she would end up breathing that stuff, so instead of waiting for my contractions to begin, they started an IV and gave me pitocin to induce labor. Apparently they gave me too much because the contractions came too intense and too close together. All of a sudden the doctor and three nurses ran into the room where we were resting and scared the heck out of us. They placed an oxygen mask over my nose and only then explained that Kate's heartbeat had dropped. She did NOT like pitocin. After that scare, two other little incidents happened during the night: my blood pressure dropped as a result of the epidural, and Kate's heartbeat slowed down one more time. Finally, after about 14 hours, I had enough dilation to start pushing, but at that point I was too tired/groggy/numb to do a very good job. A cesarian was considered but I wanted to keep trying. I told David she would be born at 2:40; he guessed 3:00pm. I was exactly right - after another round of pushing, Kate came out at 2:40pm. They had to clean her lungs to make sure she hadn't breathed in any meconium, but then she was fine and we could touch her for the first time.

[ Thursday, December 09, 2004 ]

We are home! Kate and David are both asleep, exhausted. There is so much to tell, and so little time to do it. We will post bits and pieces at a time and hope nothing is forgotten. Starting with the statistics - Kate was born Tuesday, December 7 at 2:40pm after almost 16 hours of labor. She weighed 5 lbs 13 oz and was 18 inches long.

[ Monday, December 06, 2004 ]

My water just broke. No contractions yet.

From WebMD, about the 39th week: Your baby is about 21.5 inches long from head to toe and weighs a little more than 7 pounds. Toenails and fingernails have grown to tips of toes and fingers. Muscles of your baby's arms and legs are strong, and he's practicing lung movements. Baby's head has dropped into the mother's pelvis if he's head-down, which allows you to breathe a little easier. You're probably feeling quite large and uncomfortable. Your uterus has filled your pelvis and most of your abdomen, pushing everything else out of the way. Your center of gravity has shifted, so you may be clumsier than usual.

At my weekly appointment on Wednesday, the midwife found everything "normal", which is to say they still can't tell how close I am to delivering. The past three days have been hellish with lots of aches and pains, including some very weird abdominal cramps that are not at all like contractions (on top of more and more Braxton-Hicks).

[ Wednesday, December 01, 2004 ]

Contractions woke me up at 5am this morning. I waited another hour before waking David up, and together we timed them for about half an hour. It turned out to be false alarm, also known as Braxton-Hicks. Just in case, I finally finished packing.