Thursday, November 11, 2010

farewell, blog

After much deliberation, I've decided to leave the baby blog behind and blog exclusively at our family blog: After all, Harper is part of the family now! Come on over! Thanks for following, commenting, voting, and sharing in the journey.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

welcome, baby Harper!

They say to sleep while the baby sleeps, so I really should be sleeping (or cleaning the kitchen!) right now. But it's about time I posted Harper's birth story, so here I am. Feel free to jump to the condensed timeline version of the story at the end of this very long post.

The story really starts back in December, when a crucial detail took place.  We signed up for a supplemental health insurance option that covers hospitalization - basically a guaranteed payout when you have a baby. Several friends and family members clued us in to this insurance and we signed up on the 22 of December.  In order for the payout to occur, however, it had to be active for 10 months before we could claim any money.  No problem.  We were thinking we'd have our first baby around January of 2011.

As the new year rolled around we started getting more and more antsy for kids, so we decided to abandon the birth control at the end of January.  It wasn't until I got pregnant and we figured the due date out that we realized we were cutting it pretty close as far as our insurance was concerned!  We would have to have our baby after October 22. The due date was Nov. 3, so as long as she wasn't more than 12 days early we'd be fine.

When October 22 rolled around we were relieved that we had made it!  We told our baby that she could come at any time - but I honestly figured she'd be late, as many first-timers are.  That evening we went to dinner and a movie with McKay's parents.  McKay and I opted to walk the half-mile from the theater to the restaurant, haf-joking that it might induce labor.  After our fun-filled evening we went back home to finish our Friday night.  All during the movie and dinner I was pretty uncomfortable.  My lower back hurt, my muscles ached and I was burning through tums. But there were no contractions - just uncomfortable end of pregnancy stuff.  At home I fell asleep on the couch while McKay finished up some work stuff.  At 1 am we headed up to bed - our last night as a family of 2!

Around 4 am I was having a dream about giving birth and breastfeeding.  My eyes popped open as I felt two small gushes happening down south.

"What!? Was that my water breaking!?!"

Quickly I checked the time. 4:03.

COAT . . . color, odor, amount, time. I rehearsed the acronym of water breakage stats as I headed to the bathroom.

Sure enough, this was it.

I shook McKay awake.  "I think my water just broke".

He hopped out of bed.
"Okay, what do we do first?" he asked, alert.
"You install the car seat, I'll shower and get my stuff together."

About 40 minutes later we were on our way to the hospital, bags packed, and munching on dry cereal and string cheese.  Excited, nervous, yet calm and comfortable.

We checked in and I climbed aboard the wheelchair bound for labor and delivery.  I stripped down and put on my loose, flowy robe. We checked in right at a shift change so we went through a handful of nurses before our team was set. We had the best experience with our nurse, Katy and our midwife, Claudia and the whole crew at Timpanogos Hospital.

Because I had tested positive for Group B Strep I was hooked up to an antibiotic to make sure Harper didn't get any infections once out of her protective sack!  Because my water broke first, before I was in serious labor, and because I had this strep thing and was being pumped with antibiotics (every 4 hours), time was of the essence.  Claudia suggested we get going on pitocin to move labor along.  I was initially anti-pitocin because I wanted my labor to progress naturally until I was really in labor - at which point I'd get an epidural and finish up medicated.  But, after weighing the pros and cons, and realizing that getting Harper here before a third dose of antibiotics were administered would be ideal for both baby and me, we went for it.

The nurse anesthetist came in and got the epidural in. The pitocin was started and my legs started falling asleep. It was such a funny and weird feeling not being able to move my legs or wiggle my toes!  Especially because my right side was completely numb right away, but my left side had a tiny bit of feeling through most of labor.  I was able to tell when contractions were hitting - on my left side - but it wasn't bad.  In fact, I watched some Office episodes, played Tetris and dozed in and out of sleep until it was time to push!

At about 1:00 Katy came in to check me.  I was only dilated to about a 6, but I was all effaced and Harper was descending into the birth canal a bit more.  Hopefully things would pick up soon!  About 45 minutes later Claudia decided to check me again.  This time?  Dilated to 9 3/4.  Alright!  It would soon be time to push.

Claudia, Katy, McKay and a student nurse helped me push and when Harper started crowning, McKay put gloves on and helped Claudia with the delivery.  As Harper's head and shoulder came out, McKay was right there helping her make her entrance into the world!  When her top half was out, Claudia had me reach down and together McKay and I pulled Harper the rest of the way out and up on to me.  They got her all cleaned up as McKay and I held out new baby girl!  What an incredible moment!

she's healthy and happy

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur of breastfeeding, visitors, various vital sign checkups for both Harper and me, and lots of emotions!

already going for the thumb!

The whole staff were champs and we really had a great experience.  We love our baby girl.  It's difficult to describe the emotions I'm experiencing as a mom, but it really does give me a new perspective on parenting, and life in general.

We are so happy.  More to come!

our sweet girl

Labor & Delivery Timeline
4am- water broke
5am- arrived at hospital
6am- first dose of antibiotics
stats: 80% effaced, dilated to about a 4.
8am- midwife Erica off duty, Claudia on duty
We discuss pitocin, decide to get going with epidural and pitocin
10:00am- second dose of antibiotics
epidural in, pitocin pumping, catheter taking care of business
11:30am- stats: fully effaced, only dilated to about a 5.5
nap, play, text, Office, chat with McKay, as labor progresses
1:00pm- stats: dilated to a 6, fully effaced, baby at station 0
1:45pm- stats: dilated to a 9 3/4!  Baby at station 1.  Time to push in 15 minutes!
2:00pm- McKay, Katy, Claudia and a student nurse help me start pushing.
2:20ish- Harper starts crowning, McKay puts on gloves, gets instructions from Claudia and delivers Harper!
2:32pm- Harper's head and upper half are out, Claudia has me reach down and McKay and I pull Harper the rest of the way out, and right onto me!  They get her cleaned up as I'm holding her.
Our little family of three!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

38 weeks, 3 days, and broken water!!

My water broke at 4 am! I'm sitting in the hospital bed dilated to a 4 and excited/a little scared!!

Sorry I missed the 38 week post. This is more exciting though!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

officially full term

I'm 37 weeks today, which makes me officially "full term".  If I went into labor tonight our baby girl would not be considered pre-mature.  But I think the extra couple weeks will be good for her.  So I guess I'll be patient...

my 37-week belly
I'm almost getting used to my bowling-ball-belly.  I barely even notice it getting bigger these days, although I'm reminded when I try to do things like put socks on, shave my legs, pick anything up that is below knee-level, and one of the hardest tasks: turn over in bed.

Last weekend my sisters-in-law gave me a family baby shower - I'm so spoiled!  It turned out great - good food, and lots of cuddly pink gifts.  Nesting mode is in high-gear and I've been suppressing the urge to go out on a baby shopping spree until after my baby showers.  But that hasn't stopped me from organizing and reorganizing the baby's room!  I have gentle detergent ready to use on my already sorted newborn-3 month clothes and blankets.

It's getting so close now!  But I will say, nine months is a long time to be pregnant.  I'm getting more and more excited to meet our little girl and see what she looks like.  I feel like we're little buddies already!  She seems to wake up and start moving around when McKay and I wake up and start talking in the morning.  It's like she wants to be part of the fun.  She's pretty cool.

Let the 3 week countdown begin!  And don't forget to add your birth day guess to the Baby Thomas Guessing game (top right).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday pop-in

Maybe it's my eyes playing tricks on me, or maybe it's just the sweater I wore yesterday, but the baby seems to be riding a little lower these last couple days...

Is it just me? Could she be working her way down, prepping for that all-important birthday?! Hope so.

I'm absolutely loving this song right now. So precious. Have a great weekend!

My Sweet, My Lovely by Plumb

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

thirty six weeks

I'm getting so large!
Four weeks to go, and I'm getting READY! To Do's: two baby showers these next two weekends - shout-out to Michelle and Julie for putting them together, thank you! - a car seat to install, a dresser/bookshelf to get from Ikea, a hospital bag to pack, some baby clothes to wash/hang dry, rocking chair legs to tighten, and plenty of naps to take!

Although this baby is really starting to crowd my space, I'm loving this last phase. I'm huge, I waddle, I grunt and breathe heavy when I move, but I feel like a million bucks. I even pulled out my sassy fall boots for my errands today. I was magically transformed from a pregnant penguin to a hot and slim lady with places to go. At least that's how I felt as my heels clicked on the rainy parking lot pavement. I don't think passersby got the same vibe...

I'm down to weekly doctor's appointments, and these ones are getting fun. Lots of personal area violation in the next month, culminated by the ultimate privacy annihilation party on delivery day. October is going to be great! See you soon, baby!

Monday, October 4, 2010

one month to go

Yesterday was officially one month before my due date! Worthy of a blog post, I think. Here's proof that you really do keep growing like mad as the end draws near!
1 month to go!

So, it's the final countdown! It seems like a couple weeks ago I was writing the 100 day countdown post. Now, to be 30 days away feels unreal. I've spent some time looking back over some of my first posts to this blog. It's crazy how quickly my due date is approaching, and yet how long ago those early days seem now. It's funny how big I felt like I was getting even six weeks ago. Now my 30 week picture makes me look small! I'll just plan on doubling in size this month - no surprises.

We got our car seat the other day and will soon be driving around with it installed, empty, and ready at any moment!

This past weekend was wonderful. Conference had some great parenting messages, I thought. Particularly Larry Lawrence. Wow! Even though his message was directed to parents of teenagers I ate up every word. Great counsel. Between sessions on Saturday we met up with Monta to pick out the lace she'll be putting on the blessing dress she made for us. I'm allowed to brag about my mother-in-law, right? She's amazing! The dress is beautiful, with smocking around the sleeves, collar, and bottom ruffles. And now she's furiously quilting a baby quilt - when she's not teaching her 9th graders, hiking, or training for marathons. What a woman!

Saturday night my mom and Monta and I went to dinner while our men were at Priesthood session. Over dinner I discovered that all my mom's babies (minus the two boys who were premature) were high 8 pounders, and that Monta had one baby under nine pounds, and two over nine pounds- all of which had huge noggins - and yes, McKay was Monta's biggest baby.

So I'm preparing myself for a giant baby with a giant head! But, I hear big babies are good sleepers, so let's cross our fingers for that! McKay insists that she'll be small - his attempt at keeping me calm, I think! So we decided to start collecting guesses for our baby's arrival day, time, height, and weight. Here's what we've got so far (baby's due date = November 3rd)

McKay's guess: November 1, 3:00pm. 6lbs, 5 oz (refused to give an inches guess, don't ask me why!)
My mom's guess: October 27, 1:15pm. 8lbs, 12 oz // 21 inches
My dad's guess: November 1, 2:14pm. 7lbs, 12 oz // 19.5 inches
My brother, Randy's guess: November 2, 5:30am. 7 lbs // 22 inches
My guess: November 4, 10:17am. 8 lbs, 2 oz // 22 inches

Join in the fun by adding your guesses to the mix! Check out "Baby Thomas Guessing Game" at the top right of this blog.