Archive for May, 2009

5 Days Old

Poop.

Baby Reid poops so much. I can probably count on one hand–okay, maybe two–the number of diapers I’ve changed that didn’t have poop in them. During the day, this is not so bad, but in the middle of the night, when he’s sleeping peacefully and I hear a poop blast, it is so bad. I know changing him will wake him up, but I just can’t justify letting my beautiful little boy sit in his waste. And so, I change his diaper, which wakes him up. I nurse him back to sleep, and, often, he poops again–sometimes while he’s still at the breast. I know this won’t last forever, but I’ve gotten so little sleep the last few nights, it’s starting to get to me.

It seems he wants to nurse every 40 minutes to an hour (sometimes because of the poop/wake cycle, sometimes not) until about 2 am at which point he switches to nursing every 2-3 hours–much more manageable. Last night we went to bed a little after 10, and I we slept for about an hour and half before the nursing/pooping marathon began. Then it lasted until after 3 am.

I’m hoping that EC will remedy the poop business somewhat. When he poops in his diaper, he generally only expels a little bit. But the two times I’ve been able to catch his poops in the sink, he lets out much more–most likely because the classic EC position mimics a squat which is helpful for facilitating the passage of waste.

Reid had his first check-up today. He’s gained 8 ounces since he was born just five days ago! The doctor exclaimed, “That’s unheard of!” Often babies have dropped a few ounces at this point. Not our little Reid. It is possible–even likely–that the little portable scale used to determine his weight at birth was not entirely accurate, but even so, Reid’s rapid weight gain is surprising. Daniel also gained weight quickly. I remember his doctor exclaiming something similar when he was first weighed by them. I think I just have power milk.

Besides our night battles, Reid has been a most lovely addition to our family. He is so easily soothed, and doesn’t mind being put down too much. We are still attachment parenting, but just due to the elder boy in our family, we can’t hold Reid as much without compromising Daniel’s needs. So far, we’ve done a good job managing the two, but when Dan goes back to work, and we can’t tag-team during the day, I think some jealousy issues might emerge. Once I’ve fully recovered from the birth and can be on my feet more, I’ll be able to hold Reid in the Moby Wrap and be hands-free to play with Daniel.

We’re going to try to make it to the park for our EC meeting/play group tomorrow to let Daniel get some running around time. I’ll be able to introduce Reid to some of our friends and sit in the shade outside. I’m really looking forward to it.

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24 Hours Old

Baby Reid Cameron Hanson was born just over 24 hours ago. He weighed 7 pounds exactly (after a big poo) and was 21 inches long. He’s quite skinny! Most of the newborns in my life up to now have been at least 8 pounds–including Daniel. It’s surprising how much of a difference one pound makes.

Reid’s head was smaller than Daniel’s, too. I don’t remember the exact measurements, but I’ll ask Margo when she comes to check on me tomorrow.

The night before Reid was born, my waves started getting stronger and more regular when I listened to one of the Hypnobabies scripts. I had set up a pillow nest in such a way that I could lay face down–my belly in a pit. I think it was the combination of being relaxed from the hypnosis and that position that jump-started things. The waves were about 10-15 minutes apart and I timed them for about an hour. It was after midnight and I was pretty sure I could sleep.

Though I woke up a few times to a strong wave and to go to the bathroom, there was no indication that “this was it”. But when I woke up in the morning around 7:30, the waves were still strong and continued to be about 10 minutes apart. They fluctuated from 15 minutes to 7 minutes apart all day and continued to get stronger and occasionally longer. I still wasn’t sure I had officially entered my birthing time because they weren’t regulating themselves and I’d heard that second babies can produce several false starts.

Sue came over and picked up Daniel so I could relax, just in case. I ate lightly all day, as well, just to be on the safe side. I had several soft BMs which did give me some indication that this was really it. After lunch, I took a little walk to the Paseo and actually ducked into some of the shops–not something I ever get to do with Daniel in tow. By the time I got back, I lost my mucous plug and was by then pretty confident that I would meet baby that day.

By the time I did my second Hibiclens rinse around 3, I gave myself an internal exam and discovered the bag of water was bulging and I was dilated to 5 or 6. I wasn’t really sure, since I didn’t have a lot of experience with measuring cervices.

I sent text messages to all my support people updating them with the news and Dan and I decided to head over to his parents’ house before things got too intense. I really didn’t like the car ride when I was birthing Daniel and wanted to avoid that.

When we got there, I sat on the birthing ball and waited for people to start showing up. By then, things had slowed down and I was only having waves every 15 minutes or so, though they were very strong by then. When Margo arrived around 6, she checked me and I was already at 7–even though things had never regulated or gotten closer together. Micaela was here by then, too, and I got in the tub and just chatted with her between waves. Except that the waves were strong and mostly in my back (and yes, they did hurt), in general, I was very comfortable and relaxed.

Besides practicing deep relaxation, I didn’t really use my Hypnobabies until the end. I probably should have tried using it sooner if I wanted more pain management, but I was really enjoying my very social birthing time and didn’t want to disrupt something that was so enjoyable.

My support people all ended up making it to the birth before I hit transition (something we were all worried wouldn’t happen due to Memorial Day traffic–they were coming from San Diego). At one point, I turned around in the tub so my back was facing everyone to allow someone to press on my back through my waves since all the pain was localized there. I was able to relax the pain away in my abdomen, but it was just too intense in my back for me to melt it away.

I decided I probably needed to use the Hypnobabies now, since there was not much socialization I could do at that point. Less than 30 minutes after putting my headphones in, I got an enormous wave that lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I was very vocal through that wave, and by the end of it, I was unintentionally pushing. Everyone knew exactly what that loud moan had meant, and I could tell there was a flurry of activity behind me. I pushed one more time in the tub and Margo felt to see if baby’s head was coming, and found baby ready to come out! My water burst on her finger and she told me if I didn’t want to have baby in the water, I needed to get out now because baby was coming out.

I remember saying that I didn’t care, but the water was too cool for him to be born in the water and the faucet wasn’t heating up fast enough. So I hobbled to the bed, and within 5 minutes, Reid was born! I really felt the ring of fire this time, which was not so pleasant, but I also felt baby’s head coming out bit by bit with every push, so I was very motivated to push through it. I could really feel my skin blipping over each of Reid’s features, his forehead, nose, chin–it was surreal. And then I felt his body slip out and I was so relieved. It was so different from Daniel’s birth where the episiotomy caused him to just blast right out of me.

I only tore a little bit with Reid, and although I’m sore today, it can’t even compare to how uncomfortable I was after Daniel.

Reid is nursing well, pooing a lot, and is so far an agreeable little guy. He does cry more than Daniel, but he’s fairly easy to sooth. I’m about to go to bed now. I’m hopeful for more than 4 hours of sleep tonight.

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39 Weeks, 4 Days Pregnant

I’ve been having pressure waves all morning. They started last night, actually, but after timing them for a while (they were 10-15 minutes apart, but very long–about 90 seconds each) I finally was able to relax enough to sleep. I woke up a few times in the night with strong waves, but that’s been happening for the last several nights, so it didn’t surprise me.

This morning, though, they’ve been about 8-10 minutes apart and strong for the last several hours. They fluctuate in intensity, duration and frequency, though. I do think baby will come today (or tomorrow), but it doesn’t feel like I’m really in my birthing time yet.

If it weren’t for all the people who have to be on alert, I probably wouldn’t even be timing my waves right now. But both my mom and Enrique are in San Diego and will need at least 2-3 hours warning to get up here. Micaela is a school teacher and would need to find a sub. Everyone else is pretty flexible.

Dan just left for work, and Daniel went to grandma’s house. Being home alone is nice–being home alone with no expectations or anything to do is even nicer. I kind of hope things stay slow and steady most of the day so I can take advantage of this last bit of solo time. A long slow dilation would be most comfortable, anyway.

I haven’t tried using my hypnosis yet. I do have to focus and relax through the waves–they do hurt a bit already. I may start trying out the hypnosis soon–maybe when they get a little closer together.

I ate a light breakfast (just yogurt). And I’m having some nuts and an apple now with a cup of tea. I ate too much when I was birthing Daniel and I ended up feeling very nauseous at the end. I’m going to take it easy on the food today, even though I’m feeling pretty hungry. I already told Dan I’ll probably ask him to bring me some soup from Corner Bakery for lunch.

Dan is stressed out already. He’s not good at this. That’s why I need my women around me when things start to get intense. He won’t be much of a comfort to me at that point. Before I married Dan, I imagined I’d birth my children right into the eager and waiting hands of my husband. But I’ve had to readjust my expectations, and thankfully, it didn’t take much effort. The idea of birthing being a genuinely female experience is so beautiful to me. I love the idea of having my closest women close to me while I bring this child into the world–I even prefer it to my original idea of birth. I’m sure Dan is grateful for that.

Depending on how things progress, I may be able post an update before baby comes. If not, I’ll see you on the other side.

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39 Weeks, 2 Days Pregnant

I’m patient. I am. I am, I am, I am.

In many respects, this is true. I am also impatient. Waiting for baby to come is really hard. For many moms, it’s the discomfort at the end of pregnancy that causes the impatience. For me, it’s just that I’m not good at waiting. I’m actually quite comfortable–more comfortable now than I’ve been in a while. My pelvis does still hurt/sting a bit when I roll over in bed, but it’s nothing compared to the fire I’ve felt off and on for the last couple months. I do have to pee every 30 minutes or so, and could probably go more often, if I tried. But that’s a minor inconvenience most of the time.

I’m not even to my guess date yet, so I shouldn’t be too impatient. I’m trying not to be. This entire pregnancy has been about learning to be patient. At the beginning, I had some spotting which was very troubling to me since I’d miscarried just a few months before. I had to exercise every bit of patience I could muster to make it through until the ultrasound that showed a strong, beating heart. I begged God to show me how to make it through–to give me the patience I needed to relax, to sleep. Impatience and worry caused me nearly a week of insomnia. I did feel relief at some point before the ultrasound. Now I need to revisit that prayer before my impatience gets out of control again. So far, I’m hanging in there, and just trying to keep looking forward to the next fun thing on the calendar that I don’t have to miss.

Today, I had my house cleaned by two cleaning ladies. My house looks great. They were not the most efficient cleaning people–the woman who came before (it was her sister and daughter that came today) did a better job and did it by herself in the same amount of time it took these two.  But my house is MUCH cleaner than it was before they came. When my house is clean, I am more motivated to keep it clean. Every time I’ve had my house cleaned before, I’ve gotten better at housekeeping in general. I’m hoping to continue that pattern. In fact, before they came, I’d already tidied and cleaned Daniel’s room. As it turns out, he’s more motivated to keep his room clean when it’s already clean and he’s only 3 (almost). He always puts his shoes away neatly now, when he used to just throw them under the bed.

Next on the agenda, is family dinner tomorrow (Thursday). After that, is the Holistic Moms Network playgroup on Friday morning. Then, the long weekend–with two barbeques to go to. After that comes my guess date. And then the real patience will be required.

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39 Weeks Pregnant

So I did some more research on GBS, and found out that I was wrong about the European protocol of using an antibacterial wash in labor. Perhaps this is standard in some European countries, but not across the board, as I was led to believe by some other blogs. In any case, I’m still going with that protocol–wherever it is standard. I did find out that in the UK, women are not even tested for GBS and their infant infection rate is nearly identical to ours in the US, even though here AT LEAST 30% of women receive intravenous antibiotics during labor.

Today was the day I predicted I would start my birthing time. So far, I’m still pregnant! I have had a few minor indications that birthing will begin sooner rather than later, but nothing really significant.

Yesterday and the evening before, I experienced some intense pelvic pain. I’ve had some pelvic pain that’s varied from discomfort to outright pain for the last couple of months, but yesterday it was the worst it’s been. When it has flared up in the past, it is usually due to my doing a lot of walking, and I believe that was the case this time, too. However, when I felt for baby’s position–which I always do when I wake up–I discovered his head was kind of sitting right on top of my pubic bone. I believe that was putting extra strain on my pubis symphysis (the cartilage that holds the two front halves of the pelvis together). I spent a lot of time with my rear in the air–to get some relief from the pressure. I was so afraid that baby would stay in that position until birth. Thankfully, he had settled into my pelvis by the time I went to bed last night. Today I was MUCH more comfortable.

Margo discovered that baby’s head is flexed (chin to chest) and nicely sitting in my pelvis now. A flexed head is ideal for birthing as it means the smallest part of the head is the presenting part. The only thing that concerns me about this is that it took a few minutes of feeling around to come to that conclusion because it seemed like his head was simultaneously in my pelvis and not in my pelvis–meaning he may have a large/round forehead. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I’m imagining all kinds of strange head-shapes now. I kind of feel like Margo would have recognized his head position more easily if his head were shaped more normally.

With Daniel, the ultrasound technition made a comment about how big his feet were, and I worried that maybe he had abnormally sized feet. It turns out they were just fine. I’m sure this baby will be just fine, too.

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38 Weeks Pregnant

My due date is on a Monday, but I see my midwife on Saturdays. So I’ve been motivated to write just a couple days before I actually get to the next week marker. But it’s close enough, yeah?

Last night I started having some pressure waves that were about a minute long and about 8 minutes apart. They continued that way for a couple hours before I went to bed. Some of them were fairly strong. I didn’t have the “this is it” feeling, but I contacted all my labor support people just to be on the safe side. I had a few more during the night, but nothing regular or consistent. By this morning, they were back to just two or three an hour. I’m still hoping baby waits another week or so.

Margo commented today that baby’s head felt small. Hallelujah if that is true! Daniel’s head was NOT small. It was extremely big, actually. And it tore me up. I was not then and am not now very dutiful in my kegel routine, which is supposed to help to keep one from tearing… but I’m still hoping this little one lets me stay intact.

I tested positive for GBS at my last appointment. Standard protocol in the US is to give intraveinous antibiotics in labor every four hours for mothers who are GBS positive. I’ve declined that treatment. Instead, I’ll use the European protocol which is to wash with an antibacterial wash during labor. I’m also trying to reduce my colonization by taking a megadose of probiotics daily to try to heal my gut (where the GBS bacteria grow), and megadoses of vitamin C and echinacea to boost my immune system and response. I’ve also been using the sliced garlic clove suppositories vaginally. Since these measures take one to two weeks to be effective, I’m really hoping baby stays where he is for the next week. Margo retested me today, but the results probably won’t come back until Wednesday. All I’m hoping for is at least some reduction in the amount of GBS found. If I make it to the next appointment, maybe then I’ll hope that I was able to wipe it out completely.

Daniel has been sleeping the whole night in his own bed the last few nights. Usually he comes to our bed sometime in the night or early morning–which we are glad to let him continue doing if he wants to. But when he stays in his own bed, he doesn’t get woken up by our alarms, and usually sleeps for 30 minutes to an hour longer than he would in our bed. That gives me a peaceful morning. I was actually able to take a shower this morning AND shave my legs! What bliss! And I was able to get dressed, blow dry my hair and make breakfast–all before Daniel woke up. The solo time almost makes me want to wake up even earlier… I get some solo time at night, but I don’t feel like doing anything by then. In the AM is when I have the most energy to tidy up, cook, bake, pay bills, whatever.

I don’t really know what I’m saying. With the addition of little Reid, these blissful mornings will have to wait another couple years to resurface. I guess I should really take advantage and enjoy them while I can!

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37 Weeks Pregnant

I’m two days shy of 37 weeks!

I had my midwifery appointment today. As soon as she saw me, she commented on how baby has dropped. He certainly has! The upside to that is that I can breathe more easily and eat more food. The downsides include pelvic pressure, having to pee constantly, and almost losing my pants as they ride so low.

I’m feeling fairly patient right now waiting for baby to come. I still feel like I have at least another week, if not two, to go before he decides to come. I have been having a lot of pressure waves and they have been getting stronger and more frequent. They are completely welcome as I know they are already dilating me and getting me ready for the big event.

I’ve gotten a lot of things accomplished, but not nearly enough. This week will be a major work week for me getting everything set up and ready for baby. We’ve got all the necessities ready to go–I’m just trying to get all the little stuff taken care of that I know I won’t be able to do very easily after he gets here–I need to catch up on the laundry, change all the sheets, vacuum (which includes getting all the junk off the floors), mop, and deep clean the shower.

I’m so unmotivated to do any of that when I’m tired… and lately I’ve been tired. I’ve been staying up way too late. My midwife slapped me on the wrist for that today. I’m not allowed to let myself get so tired anymore. She says I need to always feel rested since I could begin my birthing time any day now. She told me she doesn’t think I’ll make it to my due date. I’m hoping she’s right. For some reason I keep thinking the 16th will be the day. We’ll see.

Daniel has been a dream lately. He still has his moments where I have to remind myself to be calm and patient, but the tantrums have ceased and he’s becoming more and more independent. He’s also clinging to Dan a lot more lately–which makes me so pleased. I’ve actually been able to go out a few times and stay out as late as I want! Until just a couple months ago, Dan had a hard time getting Daniel to go to bed without me around. But it seems that he’s gotten over that.

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks and months.

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