Archive for June, 2006

3 Weeks Old

Three weeks have gone by! Despite the compounding tiredness I feel from not getting solid sleep, the days have gone by so quickly! Or perhaps because of the little sleep, the days have gone by quickly. I go to bed early and sleep late–as early and as late as Daniel will let me, that is. A few days ago, I didn’t actually get up for the day until 1pm, then I went to bed at 9pm.

Friends and family have been great. We’ve been given meals, people have gone grocery shopping for us, and Dan’s parents have been coming over nearly every day to let me take a nap or to do my dishes or to finish a load of laundry. I didn’t realize how absolutely down and out I’d be. I thought I’d put the baby in the sling, and we’d go about our business. But he’s too floppy to be in the sling without a lot of support, and because of all my stitches, I’ve been unable to really be up and doing things anyway.

I haven’t slept for more than 2 1/2 hours at a time for over 3 weeks, now. I feel like I did when I was in college trying to finish up papers and study for finals and working 3 or 4 part-time jobs, except that now I sit around the house all day with people doing my housework while my baby sucks on my breast.

Today I got out of the house, which felt great. I went to the bank and spent a large part of the day at my in-laws’ house. I wrote most of my thank-you cards, and am now getting ready to go to bed (it’s only 8:15, but the baby’s asleep). I am looking forward to the next few weeks as we get more into a rhythm.

People tell me to cherish this time while the baby is small, but I am really looking forward to him being able to interact with us and sleep on a more predictable schedule. The longer this newborn stage lasts, the fewer the children we’ll probably end up having. This part is really hard. Really, it all comes back to sleep, though. If I was getting more sleep, I’d be able to handle shut-in status a bit more easily.

This baby isn’t a very calm sleeper, either. The couple of hours he actually is asleep, he’s grunting and wiggling. It seems like he’s always trying to pass something–gas, burps, poop, spitup. And when he’s not passing something, he’s eating (more like desperately slurping). After every few long drags at the breast, he lets out a satisfying coo–very cute unless it’s 2am and you’re my husband, trying to sleep so you can get up and go to work in the morning. This afternoon, the baby slept for about 3 hours before waking up to eat. If only he’d do that at night!

Soon enough, he’ll have grown into the next stage, and I’ll forget about how hard this was (I’ve already gotten over the labor part–I’m feeling pretty confident I could do that again). I’ll experience different difficulties and will be wishing for the next stage. And then he’ll be grown, we’ll look back and say how wonderful it all was and wish it hadn’t gone by so fast.

For now, I just want some sleep!

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Not Pregnant Anymore!

Welcome to the world, Daniel Lee Hanson, III!

Daniel was born on Friday, June 2 at 11:43pm. I went into labor at 6:40 in the morning. I knew immediately, from the strength of the contractions, that I was in labor. I started timing them–6-7 minutes apart, about 1 minute long, and strong. I spent most of the day just relaxing–storing up strength for when labor started to get difficult.

My mom and brother and sister drove up from San Diego and were at my house before lunch. My mom brought in lunch for us all and we ate together. I sent her to the grocery store for me while I took a warm bath and layed down to nap. I was able to get a couple of winks, but laying down made the contractions even stronger.

By about 5pm, my contractions shifted from every 6-7 minutes to every 2-3 minutes, and we knew it was getting close. I was still handling the contractions well and could almost still chat right through them–though concentrating on my breathing and relaxing was much easier–they certainly were hurting by then.

I called the midwives to let them know I was ready to go to Dan’s parents’ house, so they said they’d come over, too. When they checked me, I was dialated to 6.5! We didn’t expect that much progress to have been made since the contractions were fairly sporadic all day and also because the baby wasn’t in the optimal position. If he’d been looking straight back to my spine, he’d probably have already been born by then. Instead he was looking toward my left hip–almost looking back, but turned just enough that his head wouldn’t fit right in my pelvis.

By then, the contractions were really getting to me, so we were trying everything we could think of to get the baby to turn. I layed in various positions, I walked around swinging my hips back and forth trying to jiggle him around. I rocked on my hands and knees. Finally, when they checked me again around 9:30 or 10, I was dialated to 9 cm and he had finally turned.

At that point, I was so relieved because I knew the next centimeter would go quickly–but the pain was so intense, I was vomiting and feeling like I couldn’t go on. But everyone was so supportive and helped me through it.

I got in the bathtub to try to soothe some of the pain–I can’t say that I noticed any difference, but it felt good to be in the water, nonetheless. In less than 30 minutes, I felt like pushing.

I pushed lightly for a little while, just to get the hang of it. Once I really started to bear down, he came down really quickly. I was able to feel his head descending. My water didn’t break until his head was about 2 inches from coming out. I pushed for a little while longer in the tub, but the position I was in was awkward and I was getting tired. The midwives had me get out so I could lay on the bed and rest between the contractions. Getting out of the tub at that point was so wierd. I could literally feel his head between my legs and I had to walk from the bathroom to the bed… then climb into the bed! Once I was there, though, I was glad.

I pushed and pushed, but he refused to crown (crowning is when the biggest part of the baby’s head doesn’t retract after a contraction). My perineum just wouldn’t stretch and was about to tear in a very bad place that would have been extremely difficult to heal, so they gave me an episiotomy and the baby was out with the next push.

I needed lots of stitches due to lots of tears and the final cut, but I was able to hold baby Daniel and nurse him through the whole process. He didn’t cry for the first hour of his life outside the womb–he just cooed and sighed. He only started crying when they took him away from me to weigh and measured him (8 lbs., 2 oz., 20.5 in long).

After it was all over, we all made our way downstairs and fell asleep.

I’m now at home adjusting gleefully to parenthood.

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40 Weeks Pregnant

I’m STILL pregnant! It wouldn’t be such a bummer if I wasn’t having so much pre-labor (what they used to call “false” labor–but it’s anything but false).

Today, at our appointment with the midwives, we found that I am now dialated to 3cm, but still only 50% effaced. Nkem stripped my membranes which just means that she massaged my cervix a little and pulled it away from my bag of water ever so slightly. The result so far has been very uncomfortable contractions. They’ve not reached pain status yet, for which I am grateful, but I can tell they’re doing more now than they were. I think the baby may really be here within the next few days!

I intended on doing a lot of walking and housework and the like, but the midwives told me to rest and take it easy for now so I don’t expend too much energy. If I’ve just gone for a 3 mile walk and come back in labor, I won’t have that energy for the labor. Instead, I’m to take a couple of shorter walks, and just do light work for now in between periods of rest. Rest is easy. I can do rest.

My stretch marks are certainly a reality now–though they’re only around my belly button. It looks like I’ve got the imprint of a tree coming out of it–which is kind of fun. I can tell that once my belly regains its normal shape, the marks will be difficult to notice–if only they don’t continue spreading!

Bring on the labor!

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