Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How It All Went Down: Winston Edition

Here are the details of Winston's birth. Warnings. One: This is awfully long. I can barely match my clothes on the amount of sleep I'm getting, let alone write a decent summary, so I didn't summarize. At all. Second: This probably isn't required reading for a few people, say, my dad, Adam or well, any guys. This post may or may not include words like "dilating", "effaced", "cervix" or worse. So all you menfolk just wait for the next post which will be back to sunshine, rainbows and pictures of little people.

So. I made it to 40 weeks with no big problems. I was actually feeling better at 39, 40 weeks than I was at around 36, 37. Back then I was googling "castor oil" and wondering if doctors took bribes. On June 9th, the day before my due date, Eleanor and I picked up my mom from the airport, hoping that my contractions might start on the ride home. Nope. Friday the 10th came and went with no action either. I still naively thought that I would surely have him before my next doctor's appointment the following Tuesday. Well, the weekend was lovely with my mom around, but not so much as a twinge. Maybe a few twinges of guilt when I had to get up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break and a snack, because my poor mother would get excited to hear doors and noises, thinking we were getting ready to head to the hospital. Tuesday's appointment found me barely dilated and not effaced at all. And can I just add for your gross out factor that it was the most painful check I have ever had? Well it was. The NP who I normally love did it and originally I was going to ask her to strip my membranes but chickened out once lobster-hands pronounced me completely unready. I like to think that I am pretty tough with pain, but this one had me in tears and shouting (well, not really shouting, but saying-out-loud which is something I never do at the doctor's) "Ouchouchouchouchouch!" I meekly inquired about their induction policies explaining that my mom was in town and our only babysitter for our daughter. Total fib by the way, I have awesome neighbors and a ward full of friends, but you know, they don't need to know that, and I really wanted my mom to meet the baby before she had to fly home. They told me to come back the following Tuesday, the day my mom flies home. Booo.

So that day I went home and mowed the lawn. What could it hurt, right? Turns out a lot of achy, already loose joints, that's what. And however proud I was of my hard work, it didn't create so much as a single contraction. Well, this story is already getting old. Long story shorter, Thursday morning I was up at 4 AM with Eleanor, she had a bad dream or something. Once she was back down, I couldn't get back to sleep, so the second the doctors office was open I called in to see what could be done. They had me come in for testing, which includes being monitored for about an hour, given a quick ultrasound to see if the amniotic fluid levels are good and then given another physical check. Unluckily for delivering, but lucky for health of the baby, everything was great. He was happy as a clam (huh huh) and had no intentions of leaving anytime soon. The doctor however was awesomely sympathetic and put me on the waiting list at the hospital. I went home to wait for a phone call. Later that day they told me I tentatively had a "spot" on Saturday at 1PM, only I had to call at noon to make sure they weren't full. Not exactly awesome news, but I guess it could be worse.

Saturday I called and as expected (my neighbor Lexie went through this whole rigmarole with her son 9 months earlier) they couldn't take me. So we beat feet for the lake, as it was the sunniest day we had had all week. After the lake we sent Clayton to a matinee while we finished projects and made dinner. Lexie texted me to say I should call the hospital again, even though I was supposed to wait for a call from them. By this point I felt like I was bothering the entire world with my "poor-me" bit. Millions of women have gone way longer than I have and I'm sure grandmothers everywhere have missed births, but did I mention: This was happening to meeeeeee. So against my "don't bother people" mentality I called again around 6 PM, and to my surprise, they said come on down!

Once they got me gowned up and checked our labor and delivery nurse gave me my IV. She had me take off my wedding ring so it wouldn't get dirty, which I thought was odd, I've never had that request before. How "dirty" could it get? Um, pretty freaking dirty. There was blood all over when she was done and it hurt like the dickens. She had to get a second kit and do it over. When I finally got brave enough to look down I saw that the freaking thing was jammed way too far under my skin. It was killing me. She knew it was off, but I think she was afraid of having to do it all over. When she asked how it was, I was afraid of having her start over as well so I asked if she could just pull it out a touch. She did, and while it wasn't perfect, it was better and stopped burning after an hour or so. So far so... well, so far ok. They started the pitocin drip and things started progressing. I hate how they ask you to rate your pain all the time. Um... I don't know, a two? A seven? Worse than a bee sting but better than being eaten by crocodiles?

We turned on the tv and got to waiting, luckily there was a House marathon on tv that I was enjoying. Clayton tried to take a nap on the bizarre lounge chairs that all hospitals have that fold out to an inverted "V" shape. So cozy! Around 2 AM the contractions were coming regularly, every minute or two and within an hour they were pretty painful. My water broke on its own and then within a few minutes they got really really painful really really fast. I inquired about the epidural only to find that the anesthesiologist was helping with a C-section right then and would be a few minutes. Those "few minutes" turned into almost an hour and forty minutes. I was NOT prepared for that level of pain. I had blithely ignored all the hypno-birthing or Lamaze techniques during pregnancy as I was planning on having an awesome epidural. I ended up doing every lame thing I could remember from all the baby shows on TLC and from watching those labor videos that always have those horrible "hippie mammas". Don't get me wrong, I have lots of perfectly normal friends who go natural. I'm talking about the ones who chant through contractions buck naked with their birthing sensei or wizard or what-not while burning incense and summoning helper-spirits through glass beads placed around the room. Seeing as we didn't have any patchouli oil or guardian candles on hand, I did the best I could. In other words, I knew to breath out a bunch and maybe vocalize through each one or something. At one point I made Clayton turn off the tv as it was just too much. How people go natural is beyond me. How much worse can it get? Ugh.

Anyhow, the magical anesthesiologist arrives, Clayton goes off to find something distracting (needles and Clayton are on fighting terms) and I get my happy, happy, happy drugs. Oh, to feel the drugs slowly wash the pain away almost makes it worth going as far as I did. Almost. The contractions were getting easier and easier until I was comfortable enough to try and nap. Whether you ever have a baby or not, everyone should get an epidural at least once. I couldn't shut up about how good it felt. My L&D nurse was probably so sick of me waxing poetic about pain relief, but oh. It was so nice, I let Clayton turn the tv back on. After a short nap they woke me up saying the baby's heart rate was too low and they wanted me to move. They strapped on the oxygen mask and would "tickle" the baby's head. Each time she did his heart rate would go back up. At that point they said I was at a 10 and should try pushing. They got the on-call doctor from my doctor's office in there and I tried to push. They didn't have me push along with the contractions like they did when I had Eleanor, they just had me push and push and push. I hadn't pushed the epidural button, so it wasn't as strong as at first, but after a few minutes they said my pushing wasn't productive and they wanted to wait a half hour for the epidural to wear off a bit more. That is when I threw up. Charming. I was grateful to have only had ice chips in the last couple of hours. I think it was the overly plastic smell from the mask.

So we waited, and my previously numb legs were slowly waking up. Soon I had full sensation in my feet and legs. I could really feel the contractions but they were still blessedly muted. Thankfully after almost an hour Clayton asks the nurse how much longer, they had said 30 minutes after all. I was getting nervous that I was "feeling" way too much. Why get an epidural if you don't get to use it, right? The nurse calls the doctor and they tell her to have me try pushing a few more times to see how well it does before they come back. So I do, and I guess I passed as they got back in there. I should say so! I could completely tell that the baby's head was waaaay down and trying to come out. Oh, and it was hurting like crazy again. Long story short(er) the doctor comes in and I get to push. After a few minutes of burning like the fires of hell, the head made it's way out and everything after that is easy peasy by comparison.

They placed little man on some towels on me and I got to see our son. Love at first sight. There is nothing like that moment when you just get to think: "He's all ours! He's here, he's finally here!" He was also pretty darn cute, although totally covered in vernix- which made him look like a little ghost. He took a few seconds to wail but didn't make too much of a fuss. Then they took him over to the heat lamps for measuring and all of that stuff. I was tempted at that point to push the epidural button, they even told me I could and should at that point, but I didn't want to be completely numb again. I ripped along my previous episiotomy scar and tore kind of all over so they stitched me up. That truly smarted. Ugh, see- no boys should be reading this! But the nice part about not upping the epidural was that I could get up and walk right after. With Eleanor I pushed the button right after I delivered, and I couldn't even get into the wheelchair. It was nice to have my legs working this time.

After a few minutes they left us alone to enjoy our little guy. We had decided by that point that his name was going to be Winston and not the runner up name of Desmond. I had originally planned on Winston Manning or Desmond Thomas Rex. Clayton suggested Thomas Rex for Winston and I was terribly pleased. Thomas is for my father and Rex is his dad. Seeing as Winston was born at 6:30 AM Sunday on Father's Day, it seemed perfect. And we can call him T-Rex if we ever feel like it. That's fun, right? After nearly two hours in that same room (You know you're not in Utah when a delivery room isn't needed soon. With Eleanor they couldn't get us out of there fast enough.) they finally sent us to the recovery room and took him off to be properly washed and immunized. Clayton went home for a nap and I did my best to nap as well before they brought him back.

Clayton came back with my mom and Eleanor. "Oh! A baby." she says. Eleanor was carrying a balloon and she tried to hand it to him saying "Here doo doh." Like it was no big deal. She was more interested in all of the neato things in the room, like the curtain that slides around and the leftovers of my lunch. My mom got to spend the night in the hospital Sunday night so Clayton could be at home with Eleanor and so she could have some time with Winston. Boy was it nice having her there. We chose to check out late Monday evening when Clayton was done with his class. Normally I think people who check out early are nutso, but Clayton had to take my mother to the airport shuttle at 3 AM that morning and we didn't want to harass a neighbor to watch Eleanor for 30 minutes in the middle of the night. Also, checking out bright and early Tuesday morning sounded equally lame. Tuesday happened I suppose, I don't remember much of it except that we had to take W to his first doctor's appointment. Wednesday Kathy, Clayton's mom, came and she was a miracle those first few days. Just as Eleanor would be getting up, baby and I would just be getting back to sleep. E loved the extra attention as well.

I'll be honest, recovery sucked. Ripped stitches and general weepiness are not high on my list. There were a few days where all I wanted was another epidural. I can say that now as I am feeling much better and I haven't used a pain pill or cried once today! Go me! Was this diatribe a bit too long? Yep. Is anyone still reading? Gosh, I hope not. I need another few weeks before the hormones wear off enough to write coherently. Let's all look forward to that! And the moral of the story is that little Win was worth every second of all of it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Winston - Part 2

And here is a whole other batch of photos from our two days in the hospital.
We were so happy that we could get little man here in time for my mom to see him. She even stayed at the hospital overnight instead of Clayton so she could get in a fair amount of cuddling.
Eleanor seemed pretty unfazed by it all. She walked right up to the baby with the balloon she and grandma picked out and said "Here doo doh." (Here you go.) She liked to say "Hi baby!" and pet him... time will tell how well she does in the future. So far so good.
So cute!
Her "holding" him. She'll get the hang of it soon enough.
For the most part, she was more interested in my food. I'm glad somebody was.
I am so excited to see these two grow up together.More of Clayton and Winston.
Our hilarious attempts at a family shot.
This one was possibly the most successful.
Our new center of the universe, give or take one two year old.
So far so good, his fontanelle is still poke-free.
Eleanor really enjoyed the privacy curtain. Twirling.
And many, many rounds of "Peet-tah-dooooo!" (Peek a boo)
He is already a champion cuddler.
I wish this shot was in better focus. He was so alert, lifting his head up and trying to look around.
He is our sweet dream baby!
Hopefully there will be more and more to come! Right now I am a bit of a zombie, so forgive me if my writing is a bit loopy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Winston Thomas Rex Firth - Part 1

Hooray! We finally got to welcome our little man to the world! Winston Thomas Rex Firth was born June 19th at 6:30AM weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces and measuring 19 and 1/2 inches long. Yes, he has two middle names- named after both our fathers.
Check out that dimple!
Nice before and after pictures, huh. He came out covered in a lot of vernix, so he looks a bit alien in his first shots. We could tell he was a cutie, despite the nurse going on and on about it, continually calling him "cheesy." Um, gross, stop saying cheesy. Could you just wipe him down and hand him over?
I'll have to post the "details" post on another day. For now here are some pictures with a few captions.
Clayton and the best Father's Day present he'll ever get. I suppose it's good to max out early, his expectations can never get too high.
Winston looks just like him, only with my nose and his cousin's chin and another cousin's dimple. We'll take it.
Can you see his tiny tongue? He wasn't the licker that Eleanor was right away, but man was he awake and looking around. He can also hold his head up off my shoulder like Eleanor could. Weird, strong-necked kids we produce, eh?
He weighed only an ounce more than his sister, for which I am terribly thankful. I was worried that 9 days late would mean two pounds heavier.
Our sweet angel. So far he's been a dream. Don't get me wrong, he's a newborn and chooses to sleep and wake like one, but he is a content little guy overall.
They had us stay in the labor & delivery room for about three hours before they finally took him to be cleaned and poked and all that jazz. Everything seemed a 180 from how it went with Eleanor's birth. They didn't have Clayton accompany him for his testing and stuff, so we sent him home to go get Grandma Judy and Eleanor. I took a nap.
Here is big sister giving the baby a kiss.
More to come!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Last All Eleanor Post. (Hopefully)

We're both still here! And by we, I mean me and the fetus. We are only 8 days overdue right now, which wouldn't be that big of a deal except that my sweet mom has to fly home Tuesday morning super early. I would rather like for her to meet her newest grandson, since that was kind of the point of her visit. Luckily Clayton's mom will be here after my mom leaves to help with Eleanor. But man, we are cutting it close right now.

So here are a few pictures from this past week. I've really enjoyed Eleanor this week. She's been extra huggy and lovey, maybe she has an idea that things are swiftly (ha ha) about to change. Here she is working on the dishes. What a help she's been.
P.S. Any water we conserve by being careful when we brush our teeth or shower is completely undone with Eleanor at the sink. Sorry environment.
After a bath in her cute Jessie towel. She got it for her birthday, but I don't think I have gotten a picture of it before.
It's either this, or her Elmo towel, and she is a happy camper.
Grandma Judy brought Eleanor her favorite red glasses. She wore them for quite a while the first night here.
Only they are a real prescription, so she has to lift them up to see through. We will be taking the lenses out soon.
While I worked on my green desk, Eleanor helped by "painting" the fence.
And worked on her tan as well. Don't want "paint" on her cute shirt.
She's very thorough.
On another day with no labor in sight, we took my mom out to see the thrift stores here. When I saw what my mom was wearing, I changed Eleanor to match. Because we can.
What a cute pair!
Later that night it got a bit too quiet. When I checked the kitchen, I found E working on a masterpiece on our menu board.
This face just makes me laugh. I love her coloring "style" right now. Basically, how many lines can fill one space. I'm glad one of my projects this month was making a giant chalkboard out of an old table top. I didn't take a picture, because, well, it's a big black board. Whoopee. It will be fun for her though.
We have spent a lot of lovely evenings outdoors too. Here are E and Grant harassing little Wesley Phillips. He is such a lovable baby boy.
And seems to do very well with toddler aggravation. Seriously, he is one of the smiliest babies I've ever known. He is such a doll!
Today I was scheduled to be induced at one in the afternoon, but the hospital was full, so we are on standby. Something we know an awfully lot about, but it doesn't make waiting any easier. As soon as we heard that it wouldn't be right then, we beat feet to the lake for an hour. Eleanor was soooo excited. Right as I mentioned "swimming" she started removing her shirt, and as soon as we said "lake" she headed for the car. We caught up to her and made our way to Lake Lansing.
Clayton opted out of the water, as he was (is right now) headed to a matinee of Green Lantern after. I'm always happy to send him to boy movies alone, and he feels the same way with any period-costume film for me. Win win.Eleanor, meanwhile, was busy announcing 17,000 times that she was in the water. "I INDA WADDER! I INDA WADDER! I INDA LAKE!" Yes, dear, yes you are.It's a really nice temperature, if a bit muddy. Here is a snippet of her enjoying the lake. Nothing much happens, feel free to skip.
Not so fast grandparents.

And we ended our brief jaunt to the shore with sno-cones. Always a good idea. And here it is a few hours later.
I've made brownies and sweet & sour meatballs so far today. I think I'll make a huge batch of cookie dough, just to cover all the bases. I'm all out of projects that interest me enough to move. I finished the bedsheets and bed skirt, painted the peg-board and sorted through a bunch of pictures. Now I either want to have a freaking baby, or play Rummikub and Sequence for the rest of the night whilst eating brownies. Cross your fingers for my mom to meet little guy!
(I a seriously thisclose to going out for castor oil.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

6 Days Overdue and What Have I done?

Well, this morning Eleanor was up at 4, so I was too. I couldn't get back to sleep and was pretty miserable. Not labor miserable, more the lack-of-labor miserable. So I waited til 8:01 AM to call my doctors office and ask about induction. They had me come in at 9:30 for a quick ultrasound, some monitoring and checks. The baby is in great shape, and I'm still not where I want to be for labor, so they weren't super jazzed about starting me. However, they did put a request in to the hospital. Basically, if there is room I get put on a list and can maybe go in. They called the hospital to check and sent me home to wait for a call..

A few hours later they called to tell me that I could try for Saturday at 1:00. If they fill up though, I am out of luck. So I am doubly determined to make this happen before then. My poor mother has to leave Monday night, and I would really love for her to see this sweet baby. After a quick trip to Target and a good nap, I headed outside and made good on my threats to mow the lawn. Here I am in all of my sweaty glory. I know, I really do glow when pregnant. Ha.
It wasn't too bad. Maybe tomorrow I can do the neighbors.
The front lawn is fairly small, but the back yard is enormous. However, once I started, I figured I might as well go for it.
Here I am all done. Hooray! Let's hope that got me dilated to a 7 or something. Ya right.
Eleanor got out the neighbor's toy mower to help with touch ups.
This week I was able to finally paint this old beauty.
Before, before, before.
After, after, after! It's a super bright green with muted silver handles. The color is from the Disney paint line: "Little Mermaid". It looks a bit aqua in the picture, but it's more of a Kelly green in person. I love it!
How are my other projects you ask? Well! Guess how many became crazily unimportant? Many! Let's review. These were things I wrote down about two weeks ago.

- Paint baby dresser. DONE!
- Take in bed sheets and bed skirt. Pinned and taken downstairs, but not sewn. Hmm. Still want to finish this one.
- Turn two Mexicali dresses to shirts. SOOOO not worrying about this one anymore. It can wait a few months at least.
- Cover a few pillows. Eh. Not urgent. Can do after baby. Unless baby takes another week, in which case I could probably do one.
- Other sewing projects. One was covering the swing cover to be unisex versus girly. Done. The other was to make a headrest that matched the baby car seat. Done. My mom finished the hand-sewing for me. So nice! There were some other things I can't even remember now.
- Clean the spare room. Done! My mom coming made this one a bit high on the list. However it is cleaner now a few days after she has been here. you got to love mothers.
- Deep clean the car. Done! This was LOOONG overdue, I was cleaning out toys that I remember putting in the car for the trip to the airport December 1st. Um, gross.
- Paint old bedroom side tables. Done! Horribly done, seriously, worst spray paint job ever, but they aren't keepers, we've had them forever and it is done!
- Steam clean the carpet. Ahhhahahahahhaha.
- Take a hospital tour. Well, I read that I just have to go to the third floor triage, I don't need the tour now, do I? We can find it. I hope.
- Get the brakes done on the car. Whoops. They aren't too bad, but we will still be getting them done soon. Just don't want to lose the car for a day at this point.
- Paint sewing desk. Done! As you can see above!
- Pack hospital bag. This is on every list I've made in the last month (I make a lot of lists) but I don't feel like I can really cross it off until it is all the way packed, which includes toothbrushes, makeup and stuff that I use everyday. So kinda?
- Recipe book. Well, I've waited forever to start it, I figure it can wait another month or so.
- Clayton's dental appointment. Check! He had his initial check up and goes in for his root canal the morning after his mom gets here.
- Eleanor's 2 year pictures. Hey, she's still two. We'll probably do this when we photograph the baby. Soooo, what. In like three more weeks? Ha.
- Sleep. Not much last night, but I have gotten a few awesome naps with my mom being here. Moms rule!

What is new on my list? Since this baby isn't coming anytime soon? I'd like to paint a mirror I got at the thrift store, possibly get a mirror cut for a frame I found at the thrift store a month ago, paint over my old peg-board (it's green, and now with the desk I have a bit too much green), sort through a box of frames and pictures, sort through my ribbon, possibly organize it and other really lame stuff like that. I even made a project for my mom. I had her crotchet me one of those baby cocoons that you see in newborn photography. Done! Go mom!

Alright. I am tired of nesting. I'm ready for the next phase. The cuddling baby phase. Let's hope my activity shakes things up and gets us going before we have to be induced. Thanks for all of the kind words and support!

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