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9 Days

16 Aug

I had good intentions to post before this but things get away from you.  Everything here is going really well. My parents leave today to return home after a long stay and they will be sorely missed by all of us.

Ben has turned out to be a pretty delightful little guy. I am happy to say that my hospital experience this time around was really wonderful. We changed hospitals for this delivery since neither of us were happy where we were before and it was a great decision. Physically, my recovery has been ahundred times easier and that’s with a preschooler!  I think a lot of it was that (1) the hospital got us in/out quickly–we checked in at 7 AM Wednesday morning and we were home by 4 PM the next day.

And now it’s five days later.  Time gets away from you!  In any case, the labor was great.  And when I say great, I mean GREAT.  Since I didn’t have a long stay prior to Ben’s delivery, I wasn’t exhausted to start as I was last time.  Also, the “been there done that”-ednness of the situation helped quite a lot, I’m sure.  I think the MAIN thing that helped with this experience over last time really boils down to one BIG thing that I realized with this labor and delivery and here it is:


I never realized that.  I knew it took the edge off the contractions but I could still feel a lot.  The staff this time kept remarking I must have a high pain tolerance (I don’t think I do) but the epidural this time vs. last time were like night and day.  Or like work and didn’t work.  Judging by this one, I would say the one with Eli wore off about an hour before I delivered him.  I wasn’t stoic about being in pain either–I pretty much sobbed and begged for help throughout the last hour or two with Eli because I hurt so much.  Although things progressed very quickly with Ben (I went from a 3 to an 8 in about 45 minutes and was pushing within an hour and a half), nothing ever hurt.  The contractions prior to the epidural hurt as much as I remember.  But the pushing part and the actual delivery?  Totally pain free!  I remember when they said that they could see his head and he’s almost here and I just looked at Andy, totally shocked about what was happening because I felt stinking great!  Then he was here and I was on cloud nine–although I was trying not to think about it too much, I had a little corner of my mind that was really dreading L&D this whole time and now it was over!

If I think about it too much, I get pretty mad at the staff of the previous hospital for never asking me about my pain level or checking things out with me once it was pretty clear that I was in a lot of pain.  Maybe they couldn’t have redone my epidural but even the knowledge that it wasn’t working would have been helpful to me since I kind of thought after that that I must be pretty wimpy to have lost it like that during delivery since I never really hear of other people just completely breaking down like that.  In any case, it’s all over and done so no point in dwelling on it.

We’re giving breastfeeding a go again and although it’s going better than it did with Eli, it’s not going great.  There were supply issues and concern over Ben’s 1 week weight gain that have been resolved by pretty much 24/7 constant nursing, then pumping, then bottle feeding.  During that period there have also been blisters, searing latch pain, and now the main problem is that my supply is fine but his latch is bad so he’s not actually transferring any milk, even after nursing for an hour or so.  We’ve had one lactation consultant come to the house, four follow up phone calls with her, and now I’m going to a group tomorrow where another consultant is supposed to help me fix his latch.  If they can’t fix it during group, we have to have the first consultant come back to the house for an individual meeting.  During all of this I have to nurse on demand, then once Ben’s done feeding I have to pump and then give him a bottle since he’s always hungry after he nurses.

Needless to say, I’m pretty pooped.  I’m getting plenty of sleep thanks to Andy and he’s been as great as ever about taking his fair share (and then some) of baby duty to allow me rest so even though it’s been hard, I feel pretty good about things.  We had a long talk and agreed I will give this a go until we get to a month and then if things aren’t going better with nursing (mostly meaning I’m not hurting all the time AND having to pump constantly) then I will decide whether or not to quit.  I think if I give things a month then I will feel like I gave it a fair shot and will be making an educated decision.  I would like for it to work out but I’m also ready to just enjoy my baby already and all of this kind of interferes with that!  It’ll work out one way or another, I have one awesome kid who was formula fed as proof of that.

Eli is adjusting pretty well.  The first day home was rough but now he mostly seems back to normal.  At least it seems that way–3 1/2 is such a rough age behavior-wise as it is, it’s hard to say if any acting out is baby related or just general 3 1/2 related stuff.  He certainly doesn’t ever seem to have a problem with Ben and usually will ask to hold him or he’ll come give him a kiss.  He likes helping me out when I’m nursing (mostly–every once in a while I get an “I’m busy!” when I ask him to grab something for me but they don’t happen too often) and he takes great pride in being a champion back patter for burping Ben.  He likes tickling Ben’s toes and stroking his cheek and thinks it’s pretty darn cool that now he is a big brother just like Bubba.

Will got home from his OC summer tour a few days ago and seems about the same although much tanner and thin.  We’re working on fattening him back up a little.  He plans to go to the community college to enroll in their 2 yr UW transfer program and go back to work PT at the lab as soon as he can.  That’s about all I know about Will, you’ll have to check with Andy for the details.  It seems like he had a really great time on tour–we took him to Azteca his first night back and let him stuff himself silly and I think that was appreciated.

I did put up new pictures last week.  I am going to try to get better about those.  Andy is home with me until Friday then he works 4 days through the weekend so I’ll have my first dose of Eli and Ben from Saturday-Monday  (I’m picking up the extra Friday at Berry Patch because I’m scared!) and then he’s off with us through Labor Day when Eli starts Small Faces.  I’m so thankful he’s been able to be home with me, it has made a HUGE HUGE difference in how well I have been able to adjust to this both mentally and physically.

I’ll be happy once we are out of the newborn stage.  Ben is super cute and a sweetie but man, I do not ever miss the whole “will he or won’t he and if he does, how long?” stage of newborn sleep.  He’s been great so far, a decent enough fellow to take mostly longish naps of 2-4 hours in duration with some curveball one hour naps here and there for interest.  We’re working on transitioning him out of his nocturnal nature into a day creature like the rest of us and we’ll get there eventually.  Again, having been through this once makes it all easier to bear since I know eventually he will sleep longer and the rest of my life won’t revolve around sleep deprivation and feedings.  I remind myself frequently that this will pass all too quickly and since Ben is it for us, I try to enjoy all the newborn things since I’ll never have one again.  Still won’t miss the sleep stuff, though 🙂

Only three more weeks until I can start running!  So excited!


And so it begins!

1 Aug

We checked into the hospital at 7:10 AM this morning.  Although we were fully prepared for a small room, we managed to get the biggest room in the place!  It’s the same size or larger than the one we had at the last hospital, if that’s even possible!  The first thing I asked is if we might be asked to move at some point because I was going to go ahead and ask for a smaller room to avoid that but they said under no circumstances do they move people so we were here until discharge.  Sweet!  This room has a full sized couch that converts to a bed, a small dining table, a wall of cabinets.  It’s pretty nice. 

They started me on an IV and pitocin a little while ago.  A week ago I was at 1 cm, 60% effaced.  Today I was at 2 cm, 60% effaced so although it makes me “favorable” for induction, I wasn’t really going anywhere on my own.  Now I’ve been on pitocin for about an hour and a half and the contractions are a little stronger but that’s about it.  They are definitely coming more regularly, probably every 10 minutes or so but they don’t hurt.  The nurse keeps commenting that I must have a very high pain threshold which is a nice complement, I suppose.

The nurses seem to think he will be here by the time they have shift change which is at 7 PM tonight.  I seem to be responding better to the pitocin than I did last time, I remember there was no change at all this early in the game and the contractions now are coming pretty regularly and often.  Mostly at this point I am just hoping for a discharge tomorrow and that he doesn’t get too pokey today.  I imagine they will break my water around lunch or sometime soon after to get things moving along a little better.

We’ll keep things updated as we can.

41 weeks

30 Jul

It seems like I’ve been here before.  Sorry for the lack of updating but I got another new keyboard for my iPad and hopefully this will improve my ability to update without having to locate the keyboard since this one doubles as a cover for the iPad.  

As things now stand, Zap is a week overdue.  Since scheduling an induction was pretty much unavoidable at this point, we asked for it to be scheduled the 1st instead of the 8th since my parents’ time here is limited and I wanted to get as much time with help as possible.  Although I tend not to make any “birth plans” because that just seems like inviting disappointment, I was hoping this time I would go into labor on my own since I never did with Eli.  I regretted not getting to do the whole timing of contractions, the “is this it?” bit with Andy, etc so I sort of assumed that this time things would work correctly.  I think regret is a pretty strong word here since it’s not something I ever lost sleep over, I just thought it’d be a neat experience.  For some reason I figured last time was a fluke and with the second things would go differently.  I guess I just don’t know how to go into labor without help because here I am again–41 weeks with minimal progress on my own and no real signs that I will go into labor on my own anytime soon.  Oh well.  If this is the worst problem I have with pregnancy and delivery, I am doing pretty good!  

We check into the hospital at 7 AM Wednesday morning.  Eli’s as prepped for it as we can get and he will go to Berry Patch that day but stay home on Thursday.  He will come visit Wednesday night and then Thursday my parents will bring him to the hospital when it’s time to come home so we can all ride home together, the four of us, for the first time.  He seems to be handling all of this fairly well.  He’s a little more hyper than usual, he’s had two accidents in the last two days which is very unusual for him but it’s along the lines of what I expected so we’re not making a big deal of it.  His schedule’s been a bit off the last week and I suspect despite our best attempts to keep it close to normal it will still go through some changes while we get used to having Zap so we’ll just do the best we can.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the next few days and how Eli will do with all of it.  I remind myself that I always think Eli will take things much worse than he ever actually has and that it’s MY anxiety I’m putting on to him rather than anything he ever seems to express.  So I’ll just keep reminding myself of that and roll with whatever happens.  He’s a good kid and very excited about being a big brother.

Tonight Andy’s brother Tim, his girlfriend Jocelyn, and little Erin were in town on their way to Long Beach, WA so they came over for dinner.  Erin and Eli had a fabulous time as always and Eli put Erin to work by making her read endless books to him (she also brought him a box of her old puzzles and books which was very well received).  They curled up in his bed and she read him his nighttime stories and it was pretty stinking cute.  Tim and I snuck in there while she was reading to get pictures of them but they pretended not to notice us–sometimes I feel almost like paparazzi with Eli–he’s so used to me taking pictures of him that half the time now he just ignores me.  

Hopefully I will get decent sleep the next two nights.  Tomorrow is mostly a lazy day, we will be getting some last minute house stuff done, a pedicure, I’m going to enjoy my last few meals that I can eat at a leisurely pace–and I plan to do a fair amount of lying around and not moving since I know good and well it’s going to be a while before I can do that again.  I’ll be taking my iPad and new little keyboard case to the hospital with me so I do plan to update as the day goes on as I am able or if I am out of commission, I plan to have Andy update.  I’m sure we will also send out texts and pictures but this is more of a permanent record for me so I want to try to update it as much as I did with Eli so I can remember.

Almost there!  Wish us luck!

Presenting Elliott Anderson Smith

29 Oct
Chillin in the warmer, lookin out the window

Chillin in the warmer, lookin' out the window

Born @ 12:45 PM Pacific Standard Time, Wednesday, October 29, 2008 weighing 8 lbs, 1 oz at 21 inches length. Mother and child are doing great. Looks like we got a downy bit of red hair.

Pitocin – bad. Epidural – good… very, very good.

29 Oct
A little bag of miracles

A little bag of miracles

I’ll post under my own login this time.

Well, this induction thing is for the birds, egg-laying birds who surely have an easier time of it than us mammals. As of 9:30 last night, things had just gotten too intense: contractions were getting too intense and too frequent to bear. A couple of slugs of Fentanyl at 9:45 and 11:30 gave a nice little break from that intensity. At midnight we got a visit from our dear friend whom we’d never met before, Eric, the anesthetist. By 12:20, the pain of the contractions was a nasty, fading memory and sleep once again became an option. Admittedly, it was more an option for me than for Erin who managed about 10 minutes total between the automated blood pressure monitor every 15 minutes and nurses coming in to adjust the external contraction and fetal heart rate monitors.

At 3:30 the OB, who’s having a busy night herself with three other patients also in labor here, arrived and told us we’re 5cm dilated. “Progress” has become our cheer. Pitocin has been stepped up considerably. The BP monitor has been reset to check only every 30 minutes, and we’re going to try to sleep a bit more.

Erin told me to thank everyone who’s keeping up at home. Your comments are forwarding to her mobile and the encouragement has been great.


28 Oct

5:15 and the doc is coming back in a while to discuss where to go from here. They’ve upped the pitocin twice since my last post. No change. She offered to send me home and have me come back tomorrow so I could at least get some rest tonight. She’s coming back around 6 and we’ll discuss our options with her then.

Does anyone know how to do c-sections? I would take one of those right now, really. I have a new nurse (until 11:30 unless I ditch this place) and I’m not crazy about her. She isn’t very conversational and if someone is going to be sticking their fingers where the sun doesn’t shine then I at least prefer a little schmoozing first.

Beautiful flowers from Jason and Emily and Mike & Meg. Thanks, everyone! I feel bad that they might be going home as our parting gift and not a baby but at least I won’t be leaving empty handed 🙂

And nothing’s happening!

28 Oct

It’s 2:43 and Andy just left to go find himself some lunch and stop by the apartment to pick up a few things and see if Will has gotten home. I’ve been back on the pitocin a good two hours now and they’ve got me on a 3 ml/hr dose. So far, there really isn’t anything exciting to report. I dozed in bed for an hour or so, Andy’s been posting pictures to Flickr and working on his laptop and that’s about it. I started to get a nasty headache and I felt generally pretty run down. I attributed it to the pitocin (why not blame the med being pumped into your arm?) until Andy mentioned that I only had had half a cup of coffee today. I don’t usually go crazy with caffeine but I drink a good bit more than half a cup. We ordered some tea since it is on the diet I’m allowed (clear liquids) and wow, what a difference. I don’t feel 100% but I do feel considerably better. I also just had a nutritious lunch of red jello and gummy bears. I really could go for actual food about now.

Some contractions here and there, nothing to write home about. I believe this child is going to interfere with my sushi plan for tonight because I just fail to believe he is EVER GOING TO COME OUT. I guess I’ll have to look forward to sushi tomorrow night. There are two other people on the unit (9 rooms total) and we can hear their babies cry from time to time. We tell Eli that he needs to come out so he can be loud like them (be careful what you wish for) but he’s not having it.

I just wanted to update. Hopefully soon I will have something more than the same old update as the last two weeks but I wouldn’t hold my breath!