Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Parker's Birth Story

Wow, it's amazing to think about how much my life has changed since I last blogged. That's because I was finally able to cross an item off of my bucket list; I had a baby! Here's how it all started:

Around midnight on Sunday, April 11th I was once again hit with another round of insomnia. So, I got up and got online to see if my sister was on messenger (which she was!) I chatted with her for a bit until I felt I was tired enough to go to sleep. Unfortunately, once I hit the sheets, I was wide awake again. I had taken some cute maternity pictures a few days before so I decided to get up and try to post my favorites on my blog. Blogger had other plans though, and I eventually gave up. I posted them on facebook, instead! By then it was almost time for Greg to wake up, so I went ahead and went down to the kitchen to make his lunch and breakfast (yes, I am that kind of wifey!) Once I was finished I felt that I was finally tired enough to get some shut eye. However, once I hit the sheets, I felt it. A sharp pain in my stomach. I glanced at the clock and saw that it was 5:55 A.M. About ten minutes later I felt it again. When Greg came in the bedroom to tell me good-bye I told him I thought I was having contractions but that he should go to work since I wasn't sure. They didn't exactly feel like what I expected them to feel like. They hurt, but they weren't unbearable. And I also was told that your whole stomach gets hard, which wasn't the case for me. It felt more like a menstrual cramp. As the morning progressed, I continued to get the pains. I began keeping track, but my times were all over the place. Sometimes I would have contractions for 6 minutes then they would spread out to 10 minutes apart.

The funny thing about the whole situation was that the day before we moved our fifth wheel to a piece of property on the side of a busy highway so it could get better exposure since we are trying to sell it. Go figure my cell phone is the number we used on the signs. All morning long I kept getting phone calls. The last thing I wanted to do while I was in labor was talk to people about our camper!

Around 11:00 A.M. I called Greg and told him he needed to come home so we could go to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 12:30 P.M. and they hooked me up to a machine to make sure I was having contractions. Sure enough I was. But I was only dilated to a 3. So they told me to start walking. I'm curious how many miles I put in walking around the hospital that day. The funny thing about it was that one of the girls that was in my birthing classes came in having contractions as well. So we walked the halls together. I'm sure we were a sight to be seen. Her carrying around a barf bag, and myself stopping during each contraction to sway and do the typical "hee, hee, whoooo" breathing technique.

As the day progressed I didn't seem to dilate any more, but I was still having contractions and my blood pressure was rising. So the nurses decided to go ahead and admit me rather than sending me home. As the night dragged on, I did begin to dilate, and I also began feeling quite a bit of pain. At 4 centimeters I opted for IV drugs. By the time I was at a 6 (I think) it was time for the epidural. I was scared to death! I've heard so many horror stories about epidurals that I was shaking like a leaf once the anesthesiologist arrived. Luckily, it was totally painless! Afterwards I'm pretty sure I dosed off because the next thing I knew a nurse informed me I was 7 centimeters. Then what seemed like 2 minutes later I was told I was at a 10.

However, my water still hadn't broke. Which lead the midwife to ask me if it would be okay for her to break it for me. This was another situation that I was scared to death of. So before I could even give her an answer, my impatient husband said, "yes!" And once again I was surprised by how quick and painless the procedure went.

From there it was time to push. I knew from doing a tour of the hospital prior to going into labor that the hospital had a mirror if a mother wanted to watch her delivery. Believe it or not, I requested the mirror! I really wanted to watch Parker being born. Once the mirror was in position, I began pushing. Let me tell ya, it wasn't easy. I had Greg holding one leg and a nurse holding another. Then there were so many do's and don'ts. Don't make grunting sounds because it uses up my energy. Do pull on my knees to help make the push stronger. Don't tense my face up because "What to expect when you're expecting" says you'll get bruises. Do push just using the lower part of my body. And on and on. The only thing encouraging me was seeing Parkers head peeking out. Unfortunately, when it came down to actually delivering him, I had my eyes closed, so I still missed out on his actual birth. I pushed for 1 hour and 5 minutes putting my labor at a total of 21 hours.

It is true when you hear people say that once a baby is born the pain is automatically forgotten. At least that was the case for me. I've always been the type of person who is grossed out by blood or anything gross. So I was a little apprehensive about my blood, and who knows what else, covered baby being laid on my stomach as soon as he was born. However, that flew right out the window. In fact, I didn't think he was bloody and gross at all (the nurses were doing a great job of wiping him down!). Throughout my pregnancy, my sister kept harping on me to smell him as soon as he was born. She was never able to do so with her two kids since she had a C-section with both. She had heard that a newborn baby smells exactly like baby lotion. I kept telling her I didn't think I would want to smell him since I don't even like the smell of baby lotion (and he would be bloody). But, that flew out the window as well, and as I took a long deep whiff of him I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he did smell like baby lotion and that perhaps I had been wrong about the not liking that particular smell all along.

With that being said, we welcomed Parker John (we'll sometimes call him P.J. for short) into this great world at 2:50 A.M. on April 13th, 2010. He weighed 7 lbs. 4 1/2 oz. and was 18 1/2" long. He has tons of hair (thanks to both parents), adorable dimples and long eyelashes (thanks to Daddy) and a cute little button nose (thanks to Mommy).

Life has been pretty different for the past two weeks. First of all, we were in the hospital from Monday until Thursday. Mainly because Parker wouldn't eat very well, and also because of some of my blood work. I still don't understand what was going on with me, but I'm fine now. Parker on the other hand, would like to scream and cry all night, and when I tried to nurse him, he would fall asleep. When we finally left the hospital his weight was down to 6 lbs. 11 oz. It is normal for a baby to loose weight after being born, but they felt this was a little much. The day after I got home I had a lactation consultant stop by the house. She weighed him as well and he was down to 6 lbs. 6 oz. This caused her enough concern that she told me I needed to be nursing him every hour and a half.

My next week was basically spent nursing. As soon as he was finished I would have maybe an hour before I had to feed him again. Luckily we had family that came to visit and they helped me out by keeping the house clean. The following Monday I took him to the doctor and he had gained a little bit of weight back, putting him at 6 lbs. 10 oz. However, they were still concerned and wanted me to come back for a weight check the following week. As the week progressed, Parker did begin to nurse much better. In fact, almost too well. He would literally take an hour to nurse. I knew this had taken a toll on me when several nights in a row I would turn the alarm that I set for myself to wake him up to feed him (he doesn't wake up on his own) off in my sleep. I know my body needed the rest, but it still made me feel guilty. A few days ago I decided to stretch out his feedings to 2 hours. However, I learned that I was timing my feedings wrong. Before I would wait an hour and a half after a feeding. I learned I was supposed to start my count from when I started feeding. So basically even though I'm doing 2 hours, it still adds up to about the same times.

At his weight check this past Monday he was up some more, at that point up to 6 lbs. 14 oz. However, I told the doctor that he was spitting up all the time and that it was always chunky. I told him the feeding schedule he was on and how long he nursed and the doctor said he thought I was over doing it. He wanted me to visit with the lactation consultant the following day. That night I nursed Parker on one side at a time. I had tried doing that a few days before and he threw a hissy fit. But, for some reason, that night it stuck. I've continued doing that since Monday night and he is spitting up less often. I was able to have him weighed again today and am proud to say that he is now up to 7 lbs. 1 oz. He will be weighed again on Friday and hopefully by then he will at least be up to his birth weight.

So there you have it! Life with a baby boy is exhausting and a little stressful, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sesame Chicken, How I Love You So!

For the five of you who regularly read my blog, I figured ya'll might get a kick out of Part Two of my sesame chicken cravings. As you know from the post below, I was left defeated when it came down to crunch time and was unable to satisfy my gnawing hunger pains for the yummy Chinese entree. Well, let me tell ya, things didn't get much better. On April 1st I remembered that the restaurant was finally open for business again! I begged Greg for us to go and he begrudgingly agreed (he likes the other Chinese restaurant much better, but like I said, their sesame chicken is spicy. Gross.) Now, as you know, my husband works as a wind turbine technician. That means the wind blows pretty good here in the little ole' town of Lamar. That day was no exception with wind gusts of up to 80 MPH (yes, this information is relevant to my story. I promise.)

We pulled up to the restaurant and there were surprisingly a lot of cars there for dinner time. We went inside and the one waitress that was working seated us. And then we sat there. For a good ten minutes. She didn't even bother to come take our drink order. Mind you I was trying to be as patient as a starving pregnant lady can be...which wasn't easy. As we were sitting there, the restaurants phone kept ringing. We heard someone yell from the kitchen why the waitress wasn't answering the phone and she yelled back that the wind was messing up the phone lines and if she answered then she would just get a busy signal.

At this point Greg and I were giving our waitress the death stare in hopes that she would remember we were sitting there and would come wait on us as well. This meant I didn't miss a beat when she told the table she was visiting with that the phone problems were probably affecting their credit card machine as well. Go figure. All Greg and I ever carry on us are our debit cards. We were screwed. Not only did our waitress seriously not know how to do her job, we couldn't pay for our meal even if she did. So we got up and walked out. Oh I was so close!

The following Saturday my friend Nelle was in town for the weekend. I called her to see if she wanted to go eat Chinese lunch buffet and she agreed! Yay! As we approached the restaurant I could literally taste the sesame chicken in my mouth! And there was no wind that day so I knew nothing could go wrong! We walked into the first door, only to be greeted with a sign on the second door that said the credit card machine was down. I was back to square one and all Nelle had on her was a credit card. She asked what I wanted to do and I immediately replied, "go to the ATM!" Nothing was going to stop me today! So we loaded back up and drove to my bank. The funny thing about this town is despite the fact that it's so small, my bank happens to have two branches. Luckily one of those branches was just a few blocks away from the Chinese joint. Unlucky for me was discovering they don't have a ATM machine. Are you serious??? What bank does not have an ATM machine? Off to another bank we went. By the time we got back to the restaurant fifteen minutes had passed and if I wasn't 9 months pregnant with huge swollen feet I probably would have literally leaped out of the vehicle and ran to the door.

As we walked in I noticed the sign on the door that said that the credit card machine was not working was removed. I pointed it out to Nelle and the hostess/waitress over heard me and said, "Oh yeah, I saw you guys leave and figured that was why. I forgot to take it down yesterday." I had a quick mental image of me screaming in rage and tackling her to the ground screaming, "why didn't you stop us???!!!" But instead I smiled and said, "No problem", and headed straight to the buffet where I loaded my plate up with a big scoop of sesame chicken.