Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 22

Wow. We haven't posted in a few days, mostly because Aias is having his 3 week growth spurt so he has basically lived at the boob for a few days.  I'm normally holding him 20 hours a day or so (literally) and I don't love typing with one hand which is normally my only option. My laptop charger is also broken so that adds to how complicated it is.  Anyway, we will try to be more loyal updaters from here on out...

The bub had two awesome sleep nights a few nights ago, then we screwed it up last night by staying up last night by staying up to watch Twin Peaks.  Awesome sleep meaning, he sleeps for 2 hours, eats, sleeps for 2 more hours, eats, etc, etc.  It's amazing how long 2 hours of sleep feels to me now... even an hour nap feels awesome because it's so rare!  Lately he's also been a bit fussy, which we attribute to gas.   He's nonstop farting. It's hilarious unless it looks like he's in pain, then it's really sad.

Yesterday Aias had his first long walk with us in his moby wrap.  It was pretty awesome, although it really showed me how much I need to work on my lower back once I'm ok to exercise.  I think that holding Aias is going to give me very strong arms and a very strong back.  Today Morgan tried the wrap and we were going to walk to the bank together, but it ended up being way too windy to justify bringing the baby out. 

Today he has just been sleeping and sleeping and sleeping.  It's 10:30 now and we are watching South Park.  It honestly doesn't feel like it's that late to us, however, because like I said before... the time of day/date/day of the week are all completely irrelevant to us lately!  I'm sure we will soon regret letting him sleep like this all day...

Tomorrow our goal is to be well rested enough to go to Sears and get our long awaited stroller. Morgan has been researching them for days. 

Ok he needs to eat.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 18

Aias would like to say that it is 9pm, he's been sleeping all day, and now he's wide awake and ready to party. All night long.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 17

Aias is up to 7lbs 6ozs ! Since we weighed him last week, he's been gaining 44 grams per day which is hella grams. The bioconversion from breast milk to Aias tissue must be phenomenal. He's now well above his birth weight and looking pleasantly plump. I stayed up with him all of last night and watched 3 sci-fi movies while he slept on my belly. The films were Repo Man, The Day the Earth Stood Still(remake) and Videodrome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 16

I feel somewhat bad that I've skipped a few days updating, but it's only because we are carrying the baby around 24/7, and when one of us is holding him the other is sleeping.  We definitely haven't developed a true sleeping routine with Aias yet.  However, on the bright side, I have learned that human beings don't actually need sleep to survive. Evidently it's optional.  Who knew?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

14 Days - Two Weeks!!!

Aias is two weeks old today! I can hardly believe how fast the last two weeks have gone by... I think it's the lack of sleep and "baby jet lag" that makes it fly by so fast.  We generally have no idea what day of the week it is, or what the date is, or what time it is. 

Today Auntie Rosie came over and helped us give Aias a bath and clip his nails and all that scary stuff.  We also let her watch him for about 20 minutes while we walked to Starbucks which is about 4 blocks away. That is the furthest I've been from him since he was a teeny egg.  It was only slightly traumatizing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 12

Last night was amazing sleep-wise for the baby... he did the thing all books CLAIM babies do, and he slept for 3 hours, ate/had a new dipe, and then repeated that. We got lots of sleep, Aias slept in his OWN crib, and Morgan and I got to sleep together instead of Morgan and the dog being banished to the couch while Aias and I get our bed. Aias hated his bassinet the first night, and we wanted to sleep in the same room as him, so we brought out mattress downstairs and put it in Aias's room. So I have literally not gone upstairs to my bedroom in like... I don't know, 5 days? And even then it was probably to get a shirt or something (Morgan usually gets my clothes for me now, haha). We have proven that if we had to we could easily share a 1 bedroom apartment with this baby. Hopefully we never have to, though.

Today was exciting because we got three unexpected packages in the mail!

The first was from Auntie Erika/Uncle Shaun/Auntie Jessika/Monny/Papa and had lots of great stuff in it- including a newborn Christmas outfit that I secretly hope WON'T fit him on Christmas, haha. I want to chub this kid up as quickly as possible! It will be a cute December outfit though, and probably one of the only things that actually fits him at the moment since he's such a peanut.

The second was a cute (and I believe, handmade) blankie and sweater combo from Morgan's Great Aunt Hazel. Adorable.

The third was a baby blanket from Morgan's employers. Looks like a great blanket for tummy time!

 Sorry for the sideways pictures.  It us either have a 5 minute nap or rotate them, and nap wins.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 11

Aias is 11 days old today! We went to his check up, and he had put on even more weight than he was required!

At birth he was 2995g (6lbs 9oz).
He went down to 2700g a few days after (5lbs 15oz)
Now 11 days after birth he is 3040g (6lbs 11oz)

Exciting! Apparently the boobs are doing the trick... the goal is to get babies back to their birth weight by 14 days after birth, but Aias is 2oz over his birth weight after 11 days.

We also had to move up the shoulder straps on his carseat because he is getting taller. They didn't check his height, though.

So life is good!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 9

We are pretty certain Aias has had his first mega growth spurt... last night he started eating at 8pm and didn't stop til 4am. No exaggeration. No stretch. He literally ate for 8 hours, with breaks ONLY to change his many, many pee and poo filled diapers. What a work ethic! His one job is to grow and he pulled off an 8 hour shift. I was pretty sure this wasn't normal, and but I researched it last night and called the doctor this morning and lo and behold, it's 100% normal.

Evidently he was cluster feeding because of a growth spurt. Yippee. On the bright side, apparently he will be sleepy for a few days now while his body grows.

I was slightly disappointed when I woke up this morning and my child wasn't 6 feet tall. But I swear, he's bigger!

This morning I woke up and was looking at him and I swear he was thinking "Aww man mom, you have no idea how tired I am. I was eating for like 8 straight hours last night! My life as a baby is such hard work!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

8 Days

Aias's gross little belly button scab thing fell off. It smelled bad, like rotten umbilical cord, but I kind of liked it. I'm glad it's gone though - one less thing to worry about. Aias appears to be afraid of the dark and sleeping alone. Apparently our night light isn't as powerful as the one that shone in Monika's uterus for nine months.

Comments work now! Click on "comments" at the top right of a post, write something and submit. It's fun! There is a moderation step so you probably won't see your comment immediately.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

1 week new - tummy time

It's been a week since Aias made his prompt arrival to the universe and now he's working on his skillz - his workout of choice: tummy time. Enjoy the video:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day Six

It's really hard for me to believe that Aias has already experienced one of each of the days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, etc, etc). Tomorrow he will be one week old! I feel like this one week of his life has gone by very quickly and as though just yesterday he was brand spanking new... yet at the same time, I feel like he has always been in our lives.

Every morning something new comes up, seems really difficult, and by the end of the day, we've figured it out.

Last night was... amazing. I had done some reading on Attachment Parenting and decided to try an experiment. I wanted to see if we could build a good foundation of trust with Aias; I want him to know that even when he is alone, when he feels scared or vulnerable, mommy and daddy will always come for him. Morgan and I held Aias for the vast majority of the day, letting him nap on us instead of just napping in his crib. We paid lots of attention to him, and cuddled him quite a bit. I combined this with long feeding sessions, making sure he ate as much as possible. His sleep, alert time, and input/output seemed to be at the perfect balance throughout the day. I cannot tell you how much better a full baby sleeps than a baby that isn't full... luckily my supply is PERFECT; I even have some milk frozen already for a day when it isn't. Anyway, all of this resulted in us getting TONS of sleep last night. I mean, it's all relative... we went down for 2 hour chunks, woke up for 20-30 minute feeds, and repeat. That means i probably got about 6 hours of sleep last night. Today during the day I even got to take 2 hour long naps. It was a huge relief. Now we just get to see if we can replicate this tonight...

Our friends from the centering pregnancy group, Christy and Becky, brought me over their son's clothes that he has outgrown as well (he's a month older than Aias) and now Aias has a few outfits that are actually small enough to fit him... but not for long!!! He's REALLY growing. We can see it in his face, arms, tummy, and legs. It's adorable. I love knowing that all the time at the boob is worth it!

We updated lots of new pictures to Flickr, if you haven't seen them yet:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aias's Birth Story

WARNING: The birth story is graphic. It talks about bodily functions. I didn't leave details out. It's not for the weak or people who are easily grossed out! Deal with it. Read at your own discretion =)

My new baby is sound asleep in his father's arms on the couch, so I finally have a few minutes to write down his birth story.  It's going to be lots of information (probably a lot of TMI), so just be wary of that.  I want to make sure I don't leave out any details; I doubt something like this could fade from someone's memory, but just in case parenting fries my brain as much as pregnancy did I want to have it all written down!  

So below is the birth story of Aias Jeffrey, born November 8th 2009 at 4:52pm.  He weighed in at 6lbs 9oz, was 20 inches long, and had Apgar scores of 9 and 9.  

A little due date tidbit:
My original due date as based on my LMP was November 8th 2009. My dating ultrasound took it down 2 days, so the mental due date I had in mind was November 6th. At any rate, we all know that due dates essentially mean nothing, but instead just mark a point in a 5 week-ish period where our babies could arrive, but I only take note of this because Aias was actually born on his original due date.  Pretty cool!

More relevant background info:
I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, but it was one with many anxieties because I am a nervous person by nature.  When I found out I was pregnant at 6 weeks, the worry set in and I was worrying on a regular basis about everything from miscarriage to birth defects, stillbirth to SIDS.  I essentially mentally tortured myself from the start. All the time, worrying and worrying, inquiring about EVERYTHING. Anyhow, you'll be somewhat relieved to find out that everything I obsessed about turned out ok in the end. Just don't expect that it will make your worries go away; in my experience, nothing can actually fully bring to a halt the anxiety of a first time mother. 

Even more information:  
- I was a part of the South Community Birth Program in Vancouver, BC, Canada; a centering pregnancy group that combines group care with one-on-one care and uses a team of amazing female doctors, nurses, midwives, and doulas. At present, this program isn't authorized to do home births, but they do focus on low intervention pregnancy and births , and babies in the program are born at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Vancouver.  
- Early in my pregnancy my baby screened positive for Down's Syndrome with a 1/230 chance; very high for someone my age (26).  Because his health looked quite perfect based on ultrasounds, movement, heart rate, etc, we opted AGAINST the amniocentesis and decided to find out at his birth whether or not he had down's.  
- In August of my pregnancy I tested GBS- (Group B Strep Negative), however in both September and October, I tested GBS+ (Group B Strep Positive).  This played a big role in my labour choices, or rather, the nature of choices I had to make.  

Onto the actual birth story:
My pre-labour began at about week 36.  I was getting lots of strong contractions, mostly Braxton Hicks, probably about 5-8 times an hour and for most of the day and night. On the rare occasion, a contraction would be "painful," but for the most part they were painless and very irregular.  There were actually 2 separate occasions when I went to the L&D (Labour and Delivery) because I was quite convinced my waters were leaking but both times it turned out that I had just been having lots of discharge or I had peed myself (typical in pregnancy, not typical for me otherwise haha). I had promised myself at this point that I wasn't going back to that L&D unless I was 100% sure that my labour had begun! I was starting to feel a little bit goofy, and I wanted them to take me seriously there and not think I was this crazy woman who just constantly thought she was in labour.  

Toward week 38, I was getting REALLY antsy and I was fairly concerned that my baby was never coming by his own means.  This terrified me because I really wanted to have as natural a birth as possible.  I think that part of the reason was that I wasn't feeling very uncomfortable, the contractions seemed to be just messing with me, and everyone kept saying how small my tummy looked and how high the baby looked.  I'd been on mat leave since week 36 and the idea of potentially waiting until week 42 made me nuts!  Anyway, I plugged on. I took loooong walks (two of them were 12k with lots of uphill), ate an INSANE amount of spicy food, had sex despite the awkward positioning it required, and I kept drinking my red raspberry leaf tea and taking evening primrose oil orally.  When November 6th came, and my baby didn't, I was very discouraged.  I had convinced myself that since my due date on my dating ultrasound had given me a due date of November 6th, that now my child was "late." 

The two things that kept me feeling less antsy were:  
- Thinking it would be pretty cool if he was born on Friday the 13th, even though that would have been a week past his due date
- Thinking it would be pretty cool if he was born on November 8th, which was his "official" due date according to the doctor's office and according to my last menstrual period  

Saturday November 7th didn't bring a lot of action... I got up early, went downtown, walked around in the bookstore and a few other shops, had breakfast and coffee at Starbucks, and went to an Annual General Meeting for a society I'm a part of.  Then I went home and Morgan had surprised me by doing the final cleaning touches on our bedroom and setting it all up so it would be ready for when the baby arrived.  The baby has his own room, but we REALLY wanted the whole house to be in PERFECT shape before the birth because we knew that if it wasn't clean then... it would never be, haha.  Anyway, it was a super nice surprise and we planned on getting a Zipcar ( the next day to drop off recycling at the depot, drop items we were getting rid of at a charity, and drop trash off at the transfer station.  I figured that then the house would REALLY be in perfect shape for the baby and then the baby would feel like he could come.  

That night we went to bed at around 11pm. 
At around 3:45am I woke up because I had a dream that I broke my pelvis.  I rolled over and my pelvic bone was hurting a bit for a second, and then it stopped.  I poked Morgan and said "I think the baby is getting too heavy for my pelvis!  I think it's breaking!" and then I went back to sleep. What felt like 5 minutes later but was really about 45 minutes later, I felt something warm, poked Morgan and said "I think my water broke!"  He ran to turn on the lights and sure enough, it had! And it wasn't like the other times before when I thought it broke, it was a tidal wave!!! I was laughing and giggling hysterically at this point, partially because I was so shocked and excited, and partially because I was SO RELIEVED that this time I was SURE my water broke.  I ran downstairs and sat on the toilet and sure enough, the water kept gushing out in little bits.  It was AWESOME, haha.  Morgan and I both realized it would probably be a super long day and that we should go back to sleep and give the doctor a call a bit later.  Morgan managed to get a little extra sleep, but I was WAY too excited, so I went downstairs and bummed around until 6am when I finally called the birth program to let them know what was happening.  One of my favorite doctors, Kiran, was on call, so the first thing I asked was how much longer her shift was; and she was only going to be on shift another 2 hours!  I asked who the person was who was on next, and she said Martha, which made me VERY excited because Martha is amazing.  Since I am GBS+, Kiran reminded me that at the hospital I'd have to decide if I wanted an induction if labour didn't really get going on it's own,and if I wanted antibiotics, etc.  We agreed that I would call around 8:30am to give an update and at that point would plan on going to the L&D to meet with Martha.  After talking to Kiran I called our doula, Erin, to let her know what was happening. We said we didn't need her just then but that we would need her later in the day.   

When I got off the phone with Kiran, Morgan and I had a talk just to double check with each other how we felt about the antibiotics and the induction; we wanted to avoid both if possible.  At that time, I was having contractions but they weren't strong or regular.  I knew I was in labour, but just early labour and I could handle it.  We took the dog for a walk and then planned on going out to breakfast.  Morgan booked a Zipcar for 2 days because we didn't know how long it would all take.  We ended up going to Cafe Crepe, and it was really delicious, relaxing, and kind of funny. The whole time I was having these random contractions and every time the baby moved little mini gushes of water would soak into the giant pad I was wearing. I thought it was pretty sneaky and funny that I was in labour and no one in the restaurant knew but us!  I felt so sneaky, haha.  

We called Martha at around 9:20, and she said to meet her at the L&D in 20 minutes or so.  When we got there, Morgan parked the car and we checked in.  Martha arrived shortly after, checked my pad to double confirm it was amniotic fluid, and of course, it was!  She didn't do a pelvic exam to check my progress because of the GBS+ and not wanting to contaminate anything if it wasn't necessary.  Then we once again discussed some of our choices... the first issue to deal with was whether or not I wanted to start the antibiotics... the second issue was induction. Typically in women who are GBS+, if their water breaks before active labour begins, they start antibiotics every 4 hours. If labour doesn't begin until 18 hours, they induce.  She said we could get an induction right then and there if we wanted, or we could plan to come back later in the day. Either way, we really should plan to have one within the next several hours, because the clock was ticking. We wanted to avoid the antibiotics unless further risk factors were present (such as my getting a fever) and we didn't want a pharmaceutical induction (cervadil/pitocin/etc).   We decided to go home and wait it out, and to meet back at the L&D at 5pm to discuss a possible induction at that point.  As a last effort, she offered to give us the midwife "Labour Cocktail" to see if it got things started.  We asked what it was, and she said it was a recipe that you blend together in a smoothie.  The ingredients included 2 tablespoons of castor oil, almond butter, fresh apricot juice, 1 litre of water, and then 5 drops of 100% pure verbena oil (the oil being very expensive, hard to acquire in its purest form, and unavailable in Canada).  We decided we would DEFINITELY want to try this.  She didn't have any of the verbena at the hospital, but said she would drive to the clinic to get some if we followed her.  We followed her, got the oil and the recipe, and then went to Whole Foods for the remaining ingredients (the juice and almond butter and castor oil).  Before we left she let us know that I could go walking or do whatever I wanted after taking it, but to stay close to a bathroom because I could possibly get some pretty bad diarrhea from the cocktail.  She also reminded me to drink LOTS of water to avoid dehydration.   
We tried calling the doula a few times again, and left a few messages, but still hadn't heard anything back from her.
We got home at around noon, and I had Morgan mix the drink.  It smelled disgusting, and I'm really terrible at eating and drinking things that gross me out.  Nevertheless, I didn't want a pharmaceutical induction at all, so I chugged it down, chasing it with handfuls of these Organic Cheddar Bunny Crackers (they are like goldfish crackers basically).  I got through it at pretty much exactly 12:30.

Then... we waited.  We watched a few episodes of the office and it felt like forever.  At about 1:47, we ran out of episodes and I looked at the clock and I remember thinking "this is never gonna happen and I'm gonna end up with the induction."  

Boy was I wrong.   

At 2:10 the contractions really started to hurt. The best way I can describe them is that they felt like REALLY bad REALLY persistent menstrual cramps.   They were all in my lower back, and when they would come my body would just get incredibly tense and tight and I found it very hard to loosen up or breathe through the feeling.  I've always gotten horrible menstrual periods that required me to take tons of midol and to stay home from work or school for a day or 2 just laying in a ball on a heating pad because they are so bad, and that's just exactly what these pains felt like, except that that pain lasted for longer spikes. We tried calling the doula again, but still, no answer.  Around 2:30 I was in actual uncomfortable pain.  Any sense of modesty I had previously maintained was just completely out the window.  I ripped off my t-shirt and sweatpants because I was having hot flashes, I got into my robe, and was just breathing and trying to cope while sitting on our couch.  When a contraction came, I ripped the robe off, when it went away, I covered myself up to keep warm.  More water kept gushing out every few minutes, so I kept my underwear and pad on, but other than that, I was just running around with no clothes.  Morgan had the computer set up to a website that times contractions (you hit start and stop and it keeps a log) and was helping me keep track of how close they were. For about 10 minutes they were about 30 seconds long and 5-8 minute apart.  Then around 2:40, I'm not even kidding, they were 60 to 120 seconds long, and were coming every 3-5 minutes.  Things started to happen fast now... we called the doula yet again, and she still wasn't answering. I was stressed because I had planned on using her TENS machine, and was planning on her being there to support us. Because we had planned on having a doula, we hadn't talked about different support measures we wanted to take. Every time a contraction would come, we would sort of fly by the seat of our pants trying to figure out what to do to get through it.  I fear the impending contractions because I was using all the down time to try and come up with a brilliant coping plan.  I DESPERATELY wanted to get into the bathtub but I couldn't because of being GBS+. so I settled for the shower.  I tried to have as many contractions as I could on the couch with Morgan rubbing my back but they were just too damn painful.  I was getting frustrated with having to say start or stop, and poor Morgan was getting upset because he didn't think he was timing the contractions accurately. The next 45 minutes (from about 2:45 to 3:30) were just a complete gong show. Morgan was trying to keep track of my contractions, but I was completely spacing out.  There was so little break between the contractions and they were so irregular and had such variable lengths.  We called and talked to Martha a few times, and Morgan read his contraction timing averages out,  and she said it didn't sound like we were very frantic but that things were definitely happening and to hang in there. She didn't think it sounded like the contractions were close enough together or regular or strong enough to take it to the hospital just yet.  She asked if we had talked to our doula and we let her know that we weren't able to reach her. She was unhappy with the doula situation as well, and said she would get her work phone number from the system and would give her a call.  At the very least we needed a replacement.   

At around 3:40 (I think) our doula called and said she would send a replacement doula ASAP, and she said to hang in there, keep timing the contractions, and to plan on still meeting back at the L&D at 5pm and we would take it from there. She also gave Morgan some good tips to help me manage the contractions. By 3:45, I was in so much pain I'd HAD it.  I was completely flustered, the contractions were insane, and I was hopping in and out of the shower during them. I had the water on basically boiling, a towel on the ground of the tub so I could get down on all fours, and I was just running all over the place.  Finally Morgan was like "let's try and work through these together on the couch if you can."  We went through 3 contractions with him rubbing and putting pressure on my lower back, and I really don't think I could have gotten through those without him... they were so strong.   Then it occurred to me that I hadn't had any diarrhea at all, nor had I made a bowel movement since the day before.  I suddenly felt as though the contractions were probably so bad because perhaps I was constipated in addition to being in labour.  A minute later I passed gas once, and suddenly decided that the best place for me to go would be onto the toilet.  I decided what felt best was to push out through the contractions.  The thing is, I felt lots of pressure in my lower back and in my "tummy" and bowels, and I really felt like nothing was happening near my uterus or vagina or anything like that.  So essentially I started doing what I thought would make me pass more gas or have a bowel movement, and in turn perhaps make this whole process hurt less: when the contractions would come I would run onto the toilet and push what I THOUGHT was my bowels. I was freaking out and hoping this would help, because I figured that at this point I was in active labour but I knew that transition and pushing were to come, and I couldn't even BELIEVE that transition could be worse than this.
Well... what I didn't know at that time was that transition wouldn't be worse than that, because I was already in transition.  My urges to push had nothing to do with constipation, and everything to do with being fully dilated and my body urging me to bear down and push out the baby.  I didn't know this at all, and didn't describe it to Martha on the phone or to Morgan because I was in so much pain I couldn't speak or really articulate how I was feeling.  Morgan stood next to me as I went through 3-4 contractions on the toilet as I pushed. I was getting really frustrated that I hadn't made a bowel movement, and my dog was staring at me in a seriously annoying way from across the hall, so I asked Morgan to please bring the dog upstairs between the next contraction, so he did.  When he was upstairs with the dog, I put my hand between my legs to check for bleeding and I felt something very weird... I screamed "Oh my GOD I feel something I think it's the cord coming out!" (it wasn't, it was actually the very top of my baby's head or something, but I didn't know that).  
Morgan RAN down the stairs and said "We are leaving now; I don't care what they say... we need to be there now...this is crazy"  

As he grabbed our stuff, I waddled down the stairs, went out the door, and stood sort of bent over outside the Zipcar as I waited.  I had this unusual feeling of relaxation coming over me, that felt different from before... my contractions still hurt, but there was more time between them (maybe 5 minutes now), and they just felt... different.  Morgan unlocked the car and l told him I was going in the backseat because I needed to lay down.  

JUST as he opened the drivers seat door, a cab pulled in front of the house and the replacement doula, Michelle, stepped out.  Morgan got out, yelled to her to get into the car, and she did, then he started driving. When she got in I was annoyed at first because this was seriously too little too late in my opinion (not her fault though!), but Morgan did the talking and just briefed her.  She seemed concerned to me about the description of how I felt... and she told me DO NOT give into the urges to push... those are urges to give birth to the baby! I said "no they aren't I just really need to poo" and she said "NO that's what it feels like!" I couldn't believe how calm and nice she was from the start; I think she's some sort of naturally soothing wizard woman or something.

Uh.... oooopsss...  

Morgan kept driving carefully but quickly, and she started getting gloves on because she was worried we would have to pull over and she would have to catch this baby.  When the next contraction came, it was very different... instead of me feeling the urge to push, my body was just pushing on its own.  I was feeling frantic, telling her I couldn't help but push... it was just happening. She told me to lift my body up, pant, and really try my best not to push.  We got through 3 of these, and I could feel the baby's head desperately wanting to come out.  Just after the third contraction like this, Morgan pulled into the drop off of the L&D.  They were waiting for us with a wheelchair.  MIchelle asked Morgan to park in the 30 minute emergency parking even though we would be there for a while.  I got out of the backseat, and waddled over to the wheelchair. It felt weird to walk or sit because of how low the baby's head was.  They wheeled me into admitting, some talking happened (I don't remember this part very well at all) and then I was wheeled into a delivery room.  Martha and 2 nurses were there, and they asked Martha if they should start an IV for my antibiotics or for pain medication; Martha just looked at them and said "she's about to have the baby, there isn't any need for that."  Morgan appeared (he had been parking the car), I got out of my wheelchair, I ripped off my pants, I threw them at the wall, I climbed onto the bed, I laid down, and I shouted "I need to push can I please push!!!!!!" and Martha said "Yes push if you feel like you want to, for sure!"  

I pushed long and short once, then I pushed long and hard once.  Then they saw the baby's head... I gave one more super long push and out came his head... then out came his shoulders... before I knew it, this little creature was on my stomach staring up at me.   

Morgan's parking ticket said 4:42pm; Aias was born at 4:52pm.   
Seeing him was bizarre.  He had been in my tummy only minutes earlier, and I had thought it would still be hours.  It all happened so incredibly fast, that I barely even noticed it. Now this little person I had been waiting to meet for MONTHS was finally here! He didn't look how I thought he would look; he wasn't slimy or covered in vernix, he just had some of my blood on the top of his head.  He was pink and alert.  The doula and a nurse helped me breast feed him and Morgan stood next to us both.  I had 7 teeny, tiny, 1st degree tears (all skin and blood vessels, no muscle or anything) and the midwife was giving me freezing and stitching me for about 10 minutes afterward. This was very uncomfortable and worse than the labour for me.  It was also gross when they continually were checking my uterus to see if it was going back to the normal size.  It felt really awkward!  The stitching was over quickly though, and they put this pack of ice underneath me. I was worried it would be too cold, but it felt just right!!!  

After his feeding, Morgan stood and helped the nurse do his newborn exam.  He weighed in at 6lbs 9oz, was 20 inches long, and had Apgar scores of 9 and 9.  
And just like that... he belonged to us. We sat in the room for an hour or so just getting to know the baby, nursing him, looking at his little face.  Michelle was there with me and it was so nice to talk to her; I felt totally relaxed. I called my family, Morgan went to grab us food (Michelle reminded him to do that haha), and then home to grab pillows and to give the dog a walk really quickly (it had been hours). I took a shower. My aunt stopped in to see the baby, and then when Morgan came back, we went up to the recovery room. 
The whole thing was surreal.  In the end, I was glad that we didn't take the antibiotics and that we didn't opt for the pharmaceutical induction that was offered to us immediately.  With Aias being born at 4:52, if we had not taken the labour cocktail and had just gone the pharmaceutical induction route, we would have ended up showing up 8 minutes later, just to start an induction.  Who knows what would have happened naturally without the cocktail, but things could have ended up very different.  I was really glad that the first and only needle I had to have during my labor was the needle sewing me up after it was all over.  In all honestly, next time I will have a home birth because I feel like if I had been at that hospital earlier, I'd have been begging for pain relief. At one point when I was at home during transition, Morgan said I told him I wanted a c-section when I got to the hospital because it hurt so badly.  I said I couldn't do it anymore, and that I needed pain relief. Now I know I don't need it.  And now I know what it really feels like for my body to give birth to a baby, and I just think that's so cool. 
Honestly... if you are considering a drug-free labour, go for it! Don't be terrified!  Toward the end of my pregnancy I was SO SCARED and I knew I had talked myself up to everyone saying I wasn't getting pain relief, etc, and I was getting pretty nervous I'd be all talk...  if I can do it, ANYONE can do it!!!  I PROMISE!  

Day Five

Aias is 5 days old today!!! It feels so weird. I can't believe this time last week I was still pregnant. And really fussy about it!

I've been holding Aias all day. He has been feeding about every 45 minutes for between 10-15 minutes, so you can imagine how drained I feel. Literally, ha! I love that pun. We went to our lactation consultant appointment today and it went so well... apparently everything is going perfectly. Awesome. His birth weight was 6lbs90z, he was 6lbs 1oz the next day, and now he's 6lbs 4oz. I love feeding him now because I want to make him a sumo baby. I also love how the breast milk helps his jaundice. I'm giddy when I change a diaper full of bilirubin (sp?)because I know he's working through the jaundice. Boob win! But I'll admit it would be pretty awesome if Morgan had boobs too..

In general life is great. Strangely enough, our lives are easier and less stressful now than they were before the baby. I guess that shows how busy we were before. We just have it really easy now as neither of us us to work. After this weekend Morgan has another 11 weeks off and I am not going back til November. Our #1 job right now is parenting. It's so blissful.

I thought I had way more to say. But now I have to feed my child again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day Four

So far my favorite thing about parenting is how quickly things get WAY easier. No matter how confusing and alien things are to begin with, hours later they have already become a habit. It's like... constantly getting given prizes and repeat positive outcomes on your anxieties. Love it. So far this has been true of diapering and feeding. I'm hoping that soon we figure out the hours between 11pm and 7am...

That being said, last night started off as hell. We've found that during the day, Aias is a charm. He is alert, quiet, likes to be fed, doesn't mind his diaper being changed, likes to snuggle, etc. The second evening comes, he turns into little Mr. Fussypants. He doesn't want his diaper changed, he doesn't want to latch without fussing tons first (or clamping down on the boobs with his gums), he doesn't want to sleep alone, etc, etc. Last night at around 11pm we thought we would get ahead and go to bed. But of course, Aias had to feed, then he wouldn't sleep in his bassinet, he had to be held. Then he had to feed. Then he wouldn't sleep. Then he had to feed. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I think he was nursing every 30 minutes or so, for about 10-15 minutes at a time. This went on for hours. At around 2:30am Morgan said we should let him cry a bit and go downstairs for a few minutes so we could collect ourselves and he could collect himself. I snapped back no, that I wasn't leaving my child for 5 minutes, and Morgan just took the dog downstairs for a little sleep. A few minutes later I was grouchy about it and went downstairs and just told Morgan to get upstairs if he was gonna sleep. He wanted me to come with him but I said NO JUST GO. He felt really badly and even though I was the one who snapped at him, he kept apologizing. Morgan is much more calm than me =)

Once they were upstairs, I sat in the rocker and fed Aias. After a long feed, I put him in his crib. He didn't cry at ALL... just sort of laid there looking cute and milk drunk, and went to sleep. I grabbed a stuffed animal and blanket, and laid on the carpeted floor. I think I actually managed to sleep for almost 2 hours, then woke him, had another feed, went back to sleep. An hour later, he awoke, fed, went back to sleep.

He obviously just hates his bassinet, or hates the bedroom up there, or just prefers the crib and co-sleeping. I don't really blame him. When he's in his bassinet he's alone, and when he's feeding or co-sleeping he's with us. At any rate, for whatever reason, he wants to be down here. Fine. If that's what he wants, that's what we will do. Tonight we will try co-sleeping one more time (because this morning I managed to latch him laying down!) and if that doesn't work, then we are bringing our mattress down here for a while so we can sleep in his room, where he is clearly happier to be.

In other funny news, you wouldn't believe the amount of pee and poo coming out of this tiny person... and the powerful spray I can feel through his layers of diaper and covers when he is pooping while he eats and when my hand is under his butt. Its HILARIOUS.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day Three

Right now Aias is asleep on my chest... that's PRETTY MUCH the only way I will be able to use the internet in the foreseeable future, haha.

I wrote out a birth story but Morgan insists on adding his own bits to it so that it's *perfect* which I think is really adorable. In any case, I will have to post it later.

I can't even tell you how much I love Morgan and Aias. I'm telling you, despite the fact that I've had 6-8 hours of sleep total since Sunday at 4:30am and I can barely keep track of the time of day or day of the week, I am in absolutely heaven. Morgan is the most amazing boyfriend and father. I swear he was born to be a dad. I am so grateful to have him and I know that Aias is too. I've never seen someone so naturally paternal in my life. Without him I would probably have gone insane in the last few days.

Let me try to recap the last few days... I can't believe it's actually Wednesday...

After Aias was born we were put into a nice private room at the Women's and Children's Hospital for the night. We were supposed to leave the next day at 8am, but over night Aias was having trouble maintaining his temperature so they kept wrapping him in heated blankets, taking his temperature every 30 minutes to log it, and he spent about 4 hours in an infant heater. The first time I went and sat with him while Morgan slept, and the second time Morgan went and sat with him while I slept. We pretty much each got 2 hours of sleep that night, probably a little bit less. And that was after the whole labouring fiasco, so it was a bit crazy. The night was also filled with feedings, nurses dropping in, etc. I wanted to go home REALLY badly. The next morning the doctor said she would discharge us at 2pm if Aias could maintain his temperature. He did thank goodness, and we were able to be discharged at 2pm and were probably home by 3:15 or something (it took forever for us to perfect the whole car seat thing, and Morgan drove SO slowly home). Anyway, during the morning hours we just fed and kept Aias warm, and for an hour or so Morgan went home to walk the dog. My aunts and grandparents and cousin came to meet him, and it was a huge relief for me because instead of me holding him, I got to pass him over to someone else while I went to the bathroom and took a shower and all that good stuff. That made the wait to go home MUCH easier. By the time we were able to be discharged, we were SO ready.

That afternoon Aias got to meet one set of his grandparents, Morgan's parents, who are Grandpa and Grandma Dalman. I think they really liked him =)

That first night... oh my God... I knew it would be difficult so before it even began I called my doctor to get a "first night pep talk." I was worried Aias wasn't getting enough milk, I was worried because he was crying, his jaundice was concerning me, we were both worried about maintaining his temperature, we were scared he would be too hot or too cold or would die of SIDS from his bassinet, every time I changed his diaper I was convinced I would clean too hard and his balls or penis would fall off, etc, etc. Not to mention that NONE of his clothes fit him because everyone was saying to get very few 0-3 month clothes and NO newborn clothes. We have LOTS of 0-3 month clothes, and about 4 newborn items, but even the newborn items are too big on him. He only weighs 6lbs 1oz after his initial post-birth weight loss, so he's SOOO small. His smallness was terrifying and Morgan was way too scared to even lift him. The night basically played out with us feeding and changing and burping him constantly, and every time we transitioned from one activity to the next he would just SOB hysterically, shake, turn red, get really upset. It was terrifying! He ended up only being happy if he was skin to skin with me, and we couldn't really sleep that way for fear of suffocating or crushing him, so in the end I had stayed up until about 7am sitting with him while Morgan slept for 1 hour, and at some point that morning I think I got about 30 minutes of sleep for myself.

Night #2 was pretty much like the first, but we had better coping strategies to deal with it all and Morgan now has a lot of confidence in holding the baby. That made it 100x easier! Day 2 (yesterday) was as well... the good thing about last night though was that we had our Centering Pregnancy Group, and 4 people were there with babies! We told birth stories and talked about newborns, and it was just generally nice to be able to socialize. Last night was easier, but I'm still getting less sleep than I want to be.

Morgan is the best help EVER... you know, I can't even say that he "helps" me because it isn't like that... we are both completely splitting this parenting thing down the middle. He's so interested in the baby, he's totally intuitive to my needs and the needs of the baby, he will do anything we need done, and life is just really, really good in general. This morning he biked to Babies R Us because my milk was coming in and I really wanted a breast pump and we both wanted to get the Angelcare Sound and Breathing Monitor so we could sleep with a little more peace. It must have been so bizarre to see a guy coming in by himself and putting down $200 for a breast pump and $150 for a baby monitor, haha. He said everyone kept asking who they were for or if he was going to a baby shower, haha.

My milk came in this morning and I was in SO MUCH PAIN. I can honestly say that I was hoping Breast Feeding would be easier and/or more enjoyable. It was really easy to BF him right after he was born because they are so willing, but that Sunday night at the hospital when I was getting mixed messages from nurses on how to BF and he was wrapped in like 5 blankets at a time really screwed me up. For one feeding this nurse was like MASHING his face into my boobs, and he was tearing up my nipples so that they were raw. His latch is better now but I still have the pains from before. Aias also didn't seem super interested in eating, or very hungry at all. I mean, he would do it, but he would fall asleep so I kept having to blow on him, etc. I wanted to keep the milk coming, so I kept having to hand express, and hand expression sucks. Until this morning Aias wasn't keeping up, and I was getting nervous my milk would never come in or he would starve. I called the doctor for another pep talk, and they assured me it would be ok. A few hours later the milk came in full force!!! Aias was still fairly uninterested, so the milk pump was to be my backup. In a few minutes I'm going to test out my new breast pump and put a bit in the freezer. Of course, as of like 4pm today Aias decided he likes boobs, so who knows how often I will need it at this point *eyeroll*. Oh well, I'm sure it will come in handy in some unforeseen situations.

Morgan's cooking dinner now and Aias is asleep on my chest. I'm hoping to check email and stuff before the tiny crying gnome wakes up again =)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Diaper Hunt

I'm not sure if anyone else on here is participating in this, but I strongly suggest it as a use of your time if you are on maternity leave and running out of things to do.  It's really fun to see all of the cloth diapering options that are out there, to compare products, and to compare prices.  I was honestly spending a lot of time doing this anyway, but having it be part of a virtual scavenger hunt makes it that much more worthwhile. 

I'm really hoping to win something.  I've never really won anything before. Anyway, in case anyone is interested the link is below. I don't get a referral or anything from you signing up; I just wanted to spread the word because it's actually a really cool thing. 

Diaper Decisions

My progress so far:

You have found 116 Diaper Hunt icons.
You have found enough icons to qualify for the EXTREME Second Prize level drawing.
You need to find 7 more icons to qualify for the EXTREME Grand Prize level drawing.
You have found enough icons to qualify for the First Prize level drawing.
You need to find 29 more icons to qualify for the Grand Prize level drawing.

40 Weeks Pregnant Today!

It is surreal that it is November 6th, our due date.  However, we don't have a baby to show for it yet, and I will admit that's a little frustrating to me.

I've never before this had so little responsibility. I'm used to juggling a full time job, several contract jobs, a relationship, friendships, my adorable dog, and a board of directors position, all while making it to the gym everyday and eating healthy. I like to be superwoman. Right now my only responsibility is to get this baby born safely and to stay healthy. This feels alien to me. I need time to adjust to it, and I honestly crave being busy. I have no problem being overwhelmed with activity and responsibility, but I start to crash when I am feeling idle. I'm honestly craving the lack of sleep, the diaper changings, the feedings, the learning curve.

I know the baby is going to come. I know that first pregnancies often run post due. I know that no one stays pregnant forever. I know that he will come when he's ready. I know that I need to be patient. I know that if I relax he will come. I know that he will pick his own birthday. I know due dates mean nothing. I know that this will all feel so much better once I'm holding him. I know I need to "have faith in my body."

It's so funny that I have all these little pregnancy countdown tickers that will now end because I've reached my "final destination." Now it's really the home stretch, and I need to just.... wait.  Tick...tick...tick...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Monsieur's so vain, he's got clowns in his coffee.

3 Days Until Our Due Date...

You are 39 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 37 weeks)
  • The average baby is about 20 inches (51 cm) and weighs about 7.5 pounds (3400 grams).
  • The baby has reached its final birth position.
  • It will be cramped inside your uterus for much movement.
  • Your baby will continue to punch and kick but lower in your abdomen, under your pelvis.
  • The head is about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
  • Most of the baby's downy coating of lanugo has now disappeared.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Some blog updates!

We're working hard at getting all of our stuff onto the blog before Aias is born, so that when he does finally arrive, we can focus our attention on him and not have to worry about setting up the blog =)  Right now I'm uploading lots of pregnancy photos, so check our our Flickr photostream! The link is on the sidebar. This is where we will be uploading all of the pictures of Aias, so make sure you bookmark it!

Some more belly progression shots...

We still haven't had Aias yet!  4 days until he is due.  I want to get some of these pictures up, though, before the baby is here and these pictures become completely obsolete!

First, a series of belly shots...

Then we have 37w5d...

And finally, a family picture. This is from Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend.  I'm not sure why our dog looks so gigantic...