Saturday, August 29, 2009

Birth Story


Nathaniel Louis

August 25th, 2009 @ 9:47pm

7lbs, 15oz

20.5 inches


Birth Story Below: WARNING, medical/"labor" info you may not care to read ;-)


He's here! I was induced on August 25th which was also my EDD.

We had to call L&D that morning to find out when we were supposed to come in. We finally got the all clear to come in around 10:30am CST but when we got there we still had to wait until 11am to get our room.

Once in there it took a while to get my IV in, they had to try twice before getting it so the pitocin wasn't started until 11:30ish that morning.

They checked my cervix around noon and it was 2 and 1/2 cm, very effaced but very posterior. BTW, I thought I'd had my cervix checked before but OMG this was the most painful thing I'd ever experienced. Nathan's head was in the way and to get around it I think the doctor ripped me in half. I couldn't believe how bad the pain was!

After the evil cervix doctor left, my contractions started going and were getting very close together but they were painless for quite a while. They upped my dosage to 8 around 3pm right after they broke my water (I'd advanced to 4cm by that time) and that was when I finally started to feel something. After about a half hour of that I went ahead and asked for the epidural. It took another hour or so for the guy to get there, so that was placed around 5pm. The contractions were a lot stronger but I could still talk through them.

My epidural was easy -- very painless to get, I HIGHLY recommend it! Once I got the epidural they upped my pitocin to 10 but when they checked me an hour later I was still only 4cm dilated.

The same evil cervix doctor decided to place a monitor inside to check the strength of the contractions. An hour later my nurse wasn't sure how well it was working or if it had been placed correctly so she found another doctor to redo it. The doctor then found that I was 9cm! 4 to 9 in an hour! I couldn't believe it. I'd been worried I was going to stall at 4cm.

After that they went ahead and let my doctor know (she was on call but not at the hospital) and then decided to let me labor down for a while. It took forever for my doctor to get there so when she finally did around 9pm we were given the all clear to start to push.

The nurse and my mom held my legs while Caleb held my head. I couldn't believe how hard it was to keep from using your face! He just provided some pressure on my forehead which really seemed to help, but I still ended up with a rash from it the next day. It went away pretty quickly though. I started pushing from 9:15ish and by the time 9:30 (I think, I wasn’t paying too much attention to the time) rolled around the nurse was calling for the doctor who had disappeared again! I guess she figured, first baby, I’d be pushing for at least an hour. At one point the nurse called for ANY doctor otherwise she’d be delivering the baby herself!

My doctor did show up just in time and at 9:47pm Nathaniel Louis was born! I was able to have him placed right on my chest for a few minutes before they took him to clean him up and give him the vitamin k shot. We did get to wait an hour before we put the eye drops in and they also did the cord blood collection for donation.

Overall I think it went well. I didn’t have a huge idea on birth plan, I just figured I’d get the epidural and as long as the baby was healthy, I’d be happy. I knew I wanted to donate the cord blood as well as wait for the eye drops until after the initial bonding time, but other than that I didn’t have a set plan.

I did tear a little bit, but I haven’t had too much pain with the healing process. One of my tears caused me to have the catheter in place until morning. It was nice not having to get up!

Anyway, that was my experience … again, I love epidurals! ;-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

God moments ...Blessed Be His Name!

God moments. They never cease to amaze me. I'm so thankful that I've been blessed enough to experience them because they really restore my faith at times when I'm either suffering or just flat out, falling out of my walk with God. Not because I don't think He exists, but because I let life get in the way. My every day routine stops focusing on Him and I pray less and leave Him behind despite His attempts to be with me.

Today at church, I had one of these God moments.

To begin, I have to start back in August of last year. It was this week last year that I found out I was pregnant with our first baby. We weren't trying to get pregnant (I know, I can you not be trying? Trust me, it happens) but I was very excited and the idea soon began to grow on Caleb as well. We were due April 21st.

I set my first appointment with my OB/GYN and couldn't wait to go. Until the day of that is. It was on my way to that appointment that I became irrationally nervous. Something was wrong. I didn't feel right, I know it doesn't make sense ... call it intuition, but, whatever. I knew. That early on, I knew.

We found out that day that I wasn't as far along as we'd thought. I should have been about 8 weeks along but the ultrasound said I was more like 5. That couldn't be right. I was distraught but the doctor said it was no big deal, I'd just ovulated late. So she sent us in for a better quality ultrasound. We found a sac and a heartbeat. I was 6 weeks along. Okay, that MIGHT be right I thought. Yet, as the next two weeks progressed I couldn't shake that feeling.

Sure enough, on October 8th I started to spot and an ultrasound confirmed it. We'd lost the baby. It had passed away about a week prior. I miscarried naturally on Sunday October 12th, 2008. I'll always remember that date. I got through it the best I could. I took time off work just for the physical healing and spent my spare time on the emotional. I clung to God, in a situation that many might turn from Him, I didn't ... mainly because I didn't know what else to do. I'm certainly not special for doing so, I just had nothing else. Almost like I knew if I didn't, I would drown. I give the earthly credit for this to a song. A song you ask? Yes. It has become the song I will always go to in times of need from now on:

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be your name


Anyway, I have had a few God moments involving this song. I would say just hearing the song in the first place would be one. The second, the largest and biggest for me, occurred one Saturday in October, only a few weeks after my miscarriage. I was on my way to my 9am class. As I was driving I started to ask "why" again. I mean who WOULDN'T ask God why? As I rounded a bend in the road the song came on and as I looked up into the sky (don't worry I was still paying attention to the road) I saw something I will never forget. A Rainbow. My rainbow. It meant everything and the world. God sent Noah a rainbow as a promise to never again flood the earth. I truly believe God sent me that rainbow as a promise that I will never again have another miscarriage. That moment will rank up there in God moments for me. I only have one other one that would come close ... but that's another story for another day.

So, finally, back to my God moment from today. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm being induced on Tuesday. A full year from finding out about our first pregnancy, I'm going to give birth to our son. Today at church, can you guess what song we sang - that we've NEVER sung any other Sunday in the year and a half we've attended? You guessed it. Blessed Be Your Name.

Thank you Lord, thank you so very very much.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The end is near...

Well I had my appointment today and we are set to be induced on Tuesday! Yes, THIS in four days from now! I (again) can't believe it. The true countdown has begun because now I know for sure I'll have him here in less than a week, opposed to just my wishful thinking that he'd come on his own before his due date.

Tuesday works out well too because it is my year mark at work, meaning I qualify for FMLA and will get 9 weeks instead of just 6. Hopefully, he'll hang on until then.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

5 days

5 days! Wow...again, let's see if I can say this enough: I can't believe I'm going to have a baby in a week.

My NST is tomorrow so I'll find out then if I'll be induced early next week or not. I'm hoping if I don't get induced Monday or Tuesday and if the baby doesn't come on his own before Friday, that they'll induce me anyway. I don't want to waste any of my maternity leave still pregnant. I want as much time as possible with the baby.

Apparently they only let you go to 41 weeks at this practice. So we shall have a baby VERY soon either way! Soooo weird!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

still here...

We're still here, no little guy yet. Sarah's wedding was beautiful (I'll post a few pictures below) and I'm glad we were able to make it. On our way we even found a Sonic, which was like an oasis in the desert for us Chicagoans.

That's right, for those of you who don't know the area, there are NO Sonics near the Chicago city limits. This creates major withdrawal for us former Oklahomans who are used to Sonics on every corner (Stillwater actually had 3 Sonics - two within a mile of each other, one of which was the ORIGINAL Sonic) So can tell I'm obsessed, right? This year they finally started moving them into the Chicago suburbs but none of the close ones. Meaning they're still all over an hour away. We keep hoping they'll move closer into the city.

In baby news we have had a few things happen, but no labor yet. On Sunday he wasn't moving as much so I went into Labor & Delivery to have him monitored. Of course, everything was just fine and his heartbeat was "perfect" they said. They were wonderful though and told me it is always better to be safe than sorry.

My last doctor's appointment was yesterday morning and his head was so low it was blocking my cervix so I didn't get any news on the dilation/effacement front. She did say it was very effaced however and that he was very low and in a good place for a first baby. Hopefully this means my labor wont take too long once it finally starts.

If you recall we had an ultrasound back at 37 weeks for a fluid check and to determine his size. Well apparently his abdomen was a little small so my doctor decided to send me in for another fluid check and then she wants me to come in again on Friday for another NST (non-stress test..which is the monitoring I had on Sunday) to make sure all is well. Caleb and I went to the ultrasound yesterday afternoon and the fluid is lower than it was a few weeks ago, but still a normal amount.

If I go in on Friday and he passes the NST I think I'll be hanging out and then getting another ultrasound fluid check. Basically I got the impression she wanted me monitored until he arrives. There could be a chance though that we will be induced early next week she said. That's why I'm coming in on Friday so we can schedule the induction for next week if it is needed. Induction doesn't really scare me like it does for a lot of people. My mom had two inductions (my sister and brother) and both went well for her. Considering I'm already well effaced and he's so low, I think induction would work for me. But, who knows.

Caleb and I also were joking around about when we thought he'd make his appearance...I said the 19th (which is tomorrow) I'm sure I'm wrong, but if I'm's on the record ;)

Okay, I'll leave you with some pictures from the wedding:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

weddings and babies

Good morning everyone! Today will be an eventful day for us here in Chicago. One of my best friends is getting married! Her wedding is out near her parent's house in Rockford which is about two hours+ away from Caleb and I. It's a long drive, but I can't wait! It's going to be gorgeous today (which is good since it's outside) and the reception sounds like it'll be yummy...I got to order salmon =) -----------> Sarah and I at my wedding!

We weren't sure if I was going to make it to today. After that update about my dilation...well, hehe, that dilation check sent me into a false labor of sorts. The rest of that day and into Thursday I was having a lot of cramping and contractions (not too painful, but they were every 15 mins) and other "symptoms" of pre-labor. I was excited, but worried I'd miss Sarah's wedding. We knew we'd be pushing it, going 10 days before my due date (that's right...only TEN MORE DAYS!!) but it wasn't until Wednesday night that I started to really wonder if I'd make it.

The symptoms have subsided however and I have been given the all clear by my doctors to go as long as I'm not having contractions (real ones) beforehand. If they start while we're there, we just have to leave early. I'll have my suitcase packed and everything set in case we do have to leave and head straight for the hospital. Hopefully that wont happen. I told Sarah if it did though, that she will have to give him grief for the rest of his life over making us miss their wedding.

Anyway, right now I'm just enjoying the morning. We'll have to leave around 12:45/1pm to make sure we get there in time. Right now Caleb is at Sam's Club getting my tire fixed. I had a flat a few weeks ago and have been driving around on the spare (full size) ever since. We figured we'd better get that taken care of before we drive all way to Rockford. Last thing we need is another flat with no spare!

Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Just a quick update. I had my 38 week appointment today and they FINALLY checked me for dilation.

I am currently 1 & 1/2 cm dilated and 60-70% effaced! I'm a bit surprised to be so effaced already and a little excited too.

Hopefully that means it wont take me too long to get moving once I go into labor. Who knows though, I could hang out at this for the next three weeks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

38 weeks..

I can absolutely not believe we are only two weeks away from my due date. How is that possible? It still seems surreal and that it isn't only two weeks away. Two months is more like it.

In the last week or so I've started feeling different. Not necessarily bad but definitely different. In the last few days my stomach seems to have gotten a lot heavier. I feel like suddenly he's gained a ton of weight or something. Almost like I have a bowling ball in there. It has gotten a lot harder to turn over in bed. I understand that this makes sense considering I'm almost due, but for it to suddenly come on in the last three days? I find that a little strange.

I've also become a labor hypochondriac. Every twinge has me wondering if this could be the beginning of labor. It never is but I still keep taking mental notes. Backache, cramps, Braxton Hicks contractions. Heck, I've even made note of the fact that my face broke out like crazy last week. I wish I could just sit back and let it happen but I always want to know when stuff is going to happen. I'm such a planner -- it's driving me nuts!

I have my weekly appointment tomorrow and I'm hoping I can get them to finally check me for dilation. Sarah's wedding is on Saturday and it is 2 hours away from the hospital. I've been given the all clear to go as long as I have no labor symptoms ... but considering I have no clue what I'm looking for in that area other than the obvious (my water breaking or extreme pain) I would like to know if I'm dilated at all beforehand.

Anyway, I need to finish up here. I've got my last assignment due tomorrow and I've barely started on it. Add to that a 1:45 trip to the vet this afternoon and I've got a full day. The emergency vet told us to take him into the regular vet after he finished his UTI meds. Our regular vet recommended it but said she understood if we didn't. I wasn't going to if I was happy with his behavior after the medication was finished, but I'm still not 100% satisfied with his behavior. He doesn't seem to be in pain anymore, but he still is making fairly frequent trips to the litter box. So something might be wrong still ... ugh I hate how much pets can cost you!

Friday, August 7, 2009

to hell in a handbasket

Wow I suddenly don't feel quite as safe in our neighborhood as I did 20 mins ago. Thanks to which I stumbled upon as I was googling residential truck permits for our ward (Caleb just got a ticket for a permit we've never heard of) I have now been informed of violent activity that the Chicago news channels apparently don't like to cover.

Now we don't watch the news every night but we do watch it more than once a week and all shootings tend to be out on the West side or the South side of the city. Every once in a while there is something going on up here on the North side but it is usually pretty rare and consists mainly of robbery, not shootings.

I already knew that our neighborhood is considered a "pocket" neighborhood. Meaning that the safety of the area can really vary from block to block and that a few blocks north of here it starts to get a little iffy. However, I've felt pretty good about our block and the few surrounding it (except after dark...I've never really liked walking from my car at night). And now none of those stories mentioned on that blog are from our block, but a few are just down the street. Not an area I walk through, but it is an area I drive through daily to get to work, the store, the doctor's office, etc.

I dunno, I guess I'm still not very "afraid" of where we live. It's more that I'm confused. If there was a shooting that close, how could I not have heard it? But perhaps it really isn't as close as I think it is. Probably 5-6 blocks away, it just seems close since I usually drive. Also I'm angry that this isn't covered on the nightly news! I would like to know if my neighboorhood is going to hell in a handbasket people! Especially since I'm about to bring a child into the picture. What, the news is only going to cover the shootings on the South side because that's what we expect? No one wants to know about the danger on the North side. That ticks me off.

Thank goodness we have a security system in this place and that the tenants are good about keeping all the gates and outter doors shut tight. Our last apartment was in a better area yet I was still nervous. Things happen, I mean it is Chicago and our last building's outter doors and gates were hardly ever shut properly. So I guess we are safer here.

I just wish I knew about these things earlier than this. I shouldn't have to randomly find this out. The news should be covering it! grrr...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Updated belly pics and then some...

Today was going to be a lazy day. I've been out of the house all week (class and then doctor's appointments) so I was looking forward to sitting on the couch and doing nothing today. Well, I was bit by the nesting bug this morning and haven't spent too much time being lazy. I've made pancakes, done the laundry and dishes, made cookies AND I boiled what few bottles and plastic toys I have for this little guy. I've gotten a lot done and I'm still feeling good.

Caleb is at the Chicago Comic Con this evening so I've got the place to myself and as soon as I'm done wasting time online, I'm going to get some homework done. I am also listening to The Scarlet Pimpernel. I haven't listened to this is ages! It is by far my favorite Broadway musical but I haven't taken the time to sit and enjoy my favorite music in a VERY VERY long time. It is so good for the soul =)

Anywho, below are my most recent "belly" pictures. Recently I think my weight has hit that "end of pregnancy plateau" ... meaning, I haven't gained any weight in the last week and a half and it will probably stay that way. I've officially gained 38lbs. I'm glad it tapered off, according to the books I was only supposed to gain 35, so I feel pretty good about 38lbs, I just want to make sure it doesn't keep skyrocketing like it was. I gained 3lbs one week when you're supposed to only really gain 1 a week. So, I'm just hoping it wont be too hard to lose again, but we'll see! I'll mainly be glad to get rid of the water retention weight. My face is getting a little puffy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

20 days left..

I had my 37 week appointment on Monday. Still no check on dilation but the doctor did try to determine the baby's position. When she couldn't make a 100% prediction by just feeling my stomach she decided to break out the office ultrasound machine. Mind you, this is not a high quality machine and as the doctor attempted to find my son's head her reaction became more and more amusing. She couldn't find it for the life of her. I kept trying to "hint" as non-I know everything even though I've never been to medical school as I could that it was deep down in my pelvis but she wanted to see it for herself.

She then proceeded to tell me that this has never happened (not being able to find the head) and that she was going to send me to Fetal Diagnostics this week for a better ultrasound which would also determine fluid volume and the baby's size. I'm really not worried at this point because I know the kid has a head. As you can see from the above picture, he had one at 20 weeks and heads don't just disappear right?

Anyway, so I got to schedule another ultrasound which I was pretty excited's fun to see your baby even though it is incredibly difficult to tell what is what on the ultrasound machine.

I scheduled it for Tuesday at 1:30 but my issue soon became this: the only office that had an opening this week was the same place I went the day I had some spotting back in October and found out we'd lost the baby. I wasn't too thrilled to go back there even though I knew this baby is just fine. I mean worst case scenario, my fluid is low and we have to have the baby this week. However, it was hard not to let my fear creep back in. I did actually break down at one point but I really wanted to see my baby again so I went ahead and scheduled it. The worst part was that Caleb couldn't come with me again (he hadn't been able to get off work the day we found out either since it was all so last minute) and I didn't want to go alone.

Thank goodness my friend Cathy happened to be off work and was able to go with me. I don't know if she knows it, but having her there kept my mind off it almost completely. We were just chatting away the entire time there and in the waiting area. I didn't have the chance to worry about it and that was wonderful.

Our little guy was just fine, his head was exactly where I kept trying to tell the doctor: deep in my pelvis. I was pretty proud of myself too because for the last two months I've been trying really hard to determine what body part is what when I feel him stretch out and I've managed to guess correctly. We didn't get any great pictures this time, just a good shot of his foot (you can see his little bitty toes!) but the actual ultrasound was great. Poor Cathy couldn't tell what was what but I've found after you've had four ultrasounds you start to recognize what everything is. I could tell where his feet and hands were. And when she focused on his face we could see him yawning and his whole face moving. It was definitely the coolest thing I've ever seen.

She did also check to make sure (for the third time) that he is a boy. Lately I've been hearing stories of people being wrong and getting the opposite sex and I was starting to worry. Not that having a girl would be bad (although I know I've written on here about my fear of having a girl -- two words: Middle School) but we've been calling him by his name since April 10th not to mention the fact that 95% of his clothes are for a boy.

The fluid was great too (I know I shouldn't have been hoping it was low...but I'm getting impatient to meet him!) and they "think" he'll be about 7lbs at birth. That doesn't mean too much though, since the weight prediction is the most inaccurate the tech said. And I've read online that it can be a 2lb difference either way! What the heck is the point then? Whatever. I predict 8lbs but we'll just have to see.

Well that was my eventful last few days baby-wise. Maybe next week they'll actually check for dilation.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


So last night we got about as much sleep as the night before. This time it was thanks to our sweet cat Osiris who we noticed (at midnight) had blood in his urine.

We knew he'd been acting weird as far as the bathroom is concerned all day. He kept going in there over and over again and I thought he was just being finicky because we were out of our regular litter and had to downscale on the number of litter boxes we had available. We were going to get litter today after church.

Well, we didn't get to church this morning because we were at the Emergency Vet until 1:30 last night and didn't get to sleep until after 2am. Add the most annoying cat in the world (our female, Isis) and we had another long night. She just sits outside our door in the morning and meows - as I think I mentioned in the previous post. I guess since her brother was at the vet all night she felt the need to continually ask us where he was. ALL freaking night. We do have three cats and Anubis, our other male, didn't seem to matter to Isis: In fact, I was this close to having another cat to take to the Emergency Vet, only this time I was going to be the reason she needed to go.

I'm seriously about to give her away (okay not really..but I'm very very tired of her). All my pregnancy hormones get directed at this obnoxious cat. I actually got out of bed at 4am and chased her around the apartment trying to catch her so I could put her in the kennel for the rest of the night. If you will, imagine a half naked, 9 month pregnant woman run-walking after a fat little tabby with a small head at 4 in the morning. I'm sure it was a sight. Needless to say I couldn't catch her and I gave up. Eventually we were able to block her out until about 7 when I threw a pillow at our closed door in hopes she'd get the message. She did, and then promptly came back at 9.

Anyway, back to the sweet, sick cat. We're going to pick him up here pretty soon. He had crystals in his system and it is a urinary tract infection. Apparently crystals can cause what is called "blockage" in male cats and can be life-threatening. Luckily we caught it early ... sadly we caught it on Saturday night and got to charge a ridiculous amount of money onto our credit card.

Ahh...Maybe tonight we'll get some sleep?

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I've been awake for over an hour. I have heard of pregnant women not being able to sleep but so far I've been pretty blessed. While I usually wake up at least once during the night to go the bathroom, I'm able to fall right back to sleep. Tonight I was not so lucky.

I woke a little earlier than usual for my standard bathroom break. Usually it's 5 something, this morning it was 4:30ish. Sadly when I returned to bed my mind was racing and despite my best efforts to calm it, using all of my usual tactics, I had no luck. Poor Caleb was wide awake too, I probably woke him up when I got up.

Anyway, I tried for about 45 mins to get back to sleep and decided to go ahead and get up once my stomach started growling. There is absolutely no way I'll be getting back to sleep once I'm hungry. Usually I have a stash of saltines by the bed for situations such as this, but I was out and just decided to get up.

So now it's almost 6am on a Saturday morning...I've got my coffee, I've had my bagel. Now what? Guess I'll be hanging out on the computer again. I'm on here way too much these days. But, at least I know that (as well as any hope of getting extra sleep) will be coming to a quick end in a few weeks. I guess I'm just making up for all the time I'll be MIA once the baby arrives.