Monday, July 14, 2008

He's Here!

Drifting Off to Sleep

Henry Michael was born July 8 at 9:59 p.m. He weighed 7 pounds 10.5 ounces and was (and is still) 21.5 inches long.

My water broke Monday night at 11 p.m. But I wasn't having contractions. We called the doctor who said to take our time coming in, so we ordered pizza (carbs! yeah!), packed up all the last minute items and took a nap.

Still no contractions when we got to the hospital at 5 a.m. The midwife and residents immediately mentioned starting me on pitocin to get things going. But I really wanted to go naturally, so I asked to be allowed to walk for a bit first. My awesome doctor said that was fine.

Our doula Dawn arrived and we walked the hall for about two hours. Still no effective contractions and my doctor said it was time to start the pitocin. So my hope of going all natural died then. But, I did want to get things going. I was afraid that if we waited too much longer, I'd end up with a c-section.

The thing with pitocin is you have to be hooked up the fetal monitor at all times. So, I couldn't use the bathtub or shower to relieve contractions, which are also supposed to be more intense on pitocin. I can't compare to non-pitocin contractions, but I'll just say that they were strong enough! And I didn't end up feeling the really big ones. In the beginning, I was able to get off the bed and use a birth ball and rocking chair. The chair was great. I was totally in the zone for a while. Until Henry started going in and out on the monitor. Then they wanted to have me stay on the bed to be in the best position for the monitor. This was late afternoon, I think.

The bed was a bad place for me to labor. The contractions were so much more intense there than on the chair. I just couldn't do it. This sweet young doctor, maybe another resident?, with the best curly hair stopped in and asked how my epidural was. I told her her I didn't have one but asked if I wanted one, would I have to wait long? She looked at me and said I could have it whenever and that I shouldn't feel like a failure or less of a woman for needing it. I wish I could remember her name ... I think it was Dr. Silversteen ... I want to write her a thank you. That little pep talk really helped. I told G that I couldn't do it and he was so supportive, telling me that whatever I needed was fine. And my doula also told me I was making the right decision since my labor was lasting so long.

I knew I made the right decision as soon as the drugs hit me! I zoned out for the rest of the evening. So when the nurses started setting up the room w/ the baby table and the tools, I thought they are being overly optimistic. But the amazing night nurse Rachelle came in a little after 9 and told me I was ready, I didn't believe her. My doctor didn't believe her either, but she examined me and pronounced that I was indeed ready. From there everything went so fast. They got me in position. G and Dawn grabbed my legs and they told me to push. Luckily I didn't have a problem pushing (sometimes the epidural can make it difficult). The baby didn't mind waiting around all day, but in the end he practically flew out! Only about 20 minutes of pushing.

Sigh. And then he was there on my chest and I just kept saying "baby, baby, baby" and kissing him.

It was a good day.

Other things I want to remember about that day: Much earlier G heard the cries of a baby being born and got all choked up. After his car accident six years ago, he didn't think he'd have a normal life and there he was sitting in the hospital waiting for his son to be born. Whenever I think about him saying that and how happy he was looking down at our child, I just bawl.

Ok, that's a start. I'll probably keep thinking of things to add, but I wanted to get this written down before it becomes too fuzzy in my mind.

Now, I've got to get back to that adorable baby, who's been rocking with his dad for the past hour.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wrapping Up

I have been busy, busy at work, trying to get everything in order before I go on maternity leave. And I've been busy at home getting everything set up. The room is done. The house is reasonably clean. We prepared four casseroles on Sunday night! This morning I woke up early feeling the urge to fold all the laundry and clean up the kitchen, so I did that and still had time to knit before starting to work.

And this week, I've felt the urge to get my knits in order too.

But before I go into that, I need to give a big THANK YOU to dear Sarah for this adorable baby quilt. I saw it on her blog a while back and was so surprised when it ended up on my door! Thank you, Sarah. Everyone who has seen it loves it and thinks baby H will be so cozy under the soft fabrics.

special gift

His room is ready. G put together a ton of furniture! We have a rocking chair due today so he'll have one more project this weekend. We made up lists and went shopping and now have all the little baby essentials (I hope! If not is our friend).

I've started packing my bag for the hospital. I've got the essentials like clothes, and also a few extras: Hostess fruit pies for post delivery (I have gestational diabetes so sugary snacks are out for the time being. But post delivery I think I'll be allowed!); some magazines, an iPod full or good songs, some podcasts, maybe an audio book or two; essential oils for calming; and yarn! I decided to pack a ball of fluffy pink eyelash yarn that I got at a stash a year or two ago. It's been destined for my four-year-old niece. She will love it. And it will be a super easy thing to knit--if I feel inclined to knit that is.

I also have a bunch of pictures from my honeymoon and my garden to use as my focal points when the contractions get really bad. When I first read about using focal points during labor, I immediately thought about the incredible blue water at Cape Cod and the gorgeous gardens we saw there. Plus when I was going through all the pictures, I came across one of the blue malabrigo I bought on my honeymoon. I had to have it b/c the blue was the same color as the water. So that picture is coming along too. We'll see if it helps!

Oh and the WIP organization (I need to have this written down so that I can reference in a few months when I look at my projects and go "huh?" where was I at again?):

One pair of DK weight socks: almost to heel of second one.

One pair of Roza's Socks: Almost ready to start heel on first sock. But first I need to go back and remove extra yarn over on last needle. Then I need to do the heel based on my 72 stitches, not the 60 stitches in the pattern.

One Shetland Lace Shawl: almost finished 12 repeat of body (that's more than the 8 called for in the pattern). I may have enough yarn to do one more repeat before the edge. We'll see. (I frogged this last Thursday and started knitting it again on Friday. I needed a bit of time to accept my mistake and let it go. Now it's flying again and I have almost forgotten that it's the second attempt.)

One baby duffel coat: finished knitting. Just need to seem up.

That's it! Oh, well and a few projects that need blocking (and thanks to you two dears who offered to help with my Hemlock Ring blocking issues!)

So, I am feeling pretty ready. I would like to finish the lace shawl if I can. I've been knitting that and the DK basic sock currently. I did take a break to whip up a garterlac dishcloth!

But I alternate between the shawl and the sock. The sock is my doctor appointment project and I also work on it a bit every day while I sit on my birth ball. I can't knit the lace on the ball. But I have been doing about one chart repeat a night, so there is a good chance that I'll get it done. Especially with a long weekend ahead.

I am ready. Though one more three-day weekend just me and G with no chores, no furniture to put together, just three days to relax and be together as we get ready for the next stage of our lives would be wonderful. So listen here, little H, Sunday night works for me. What about you?

Oh, and here's a few pics from my garden. It hasn't been my top priority, but G has been taking care of everything!

garden 2008

garden 2008

garden 2008