the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Epidural = Best Invention EVER

i'm sure you've all been anxiously awaiting a post about me and max, but i've been so completely consumed by him for the past 9 days that i haven't found any time until now (he's napping in his bouncer and probably won't wake up until around 11:30). isn't he cute? i love that he still likes his hands up by his face, just like in all the ultrasounds.

first off, i highly recommend getting an epidural to anyone who gives birth. i spent about an hour and a half feeling the pain get worse before asking for it. well, that's not really true. my nurse told me they could give me something through my IV before the pain got really bad, then we could call the anesthesiologist for my epidural. well, i took the pain meds through the IV, and all it did was make me sleepy - and the contractions still hurt way too bad for me to sleep through them. which sucked. really, i think the pain would have been more bearable if the contractions were more than 2 minutes apart right from the start. as soon as dr. g. broke my water, things started moving FAST. so anyway, i asked for the epidural, which i got around 9:45, and i felt absolutely no pain after that. i got a walking epidural instead of the regular variety (basically just a lower dose of the drugs), so i could still feel and move my legs, though my left one was a little tingly. by the time i got the epidural my contractions were coming every minute. this was probably because of the pitocin that was used to induce my labor, which they ended up cutting off completely after about another hour (it was making the contractions too intense). so basically, all the pitocin did was get things moving. it was started at about 6:30 a.m., dr. g. broke my water at 7:30 a.m., and max arrived in the world screaming his bloody head off at 1:32 p.m. after exactly 3 contractions worth of pushing (about 5-10 minutes).

chad was really freaked out by how fast things went. dr. g. came in to check my progress about 1:15, then all of a sudden they were moving in a delivery table and taking apart my bed to prep for max's arrival. then we were pushing (but not for very long), and i didn't feel a thing. and suddenly we had a baby. i'm pretty sure chad was in shock. he said he needed a little more warning. i mean, we were fully expecting not to have a baby until late into the night, but things just went so quickly. then dr. g. stitched me up and took care of me while chad went over to the other side of the room where they were cleaning max up and weighing and measuring him (7 lbs, 7 oz, 20.5 inches). then the baby nurse handed max over to his daddy, who held him while dr. g. was finishing up with me. then chad handed max over to me once my bed was all in order, and we had a nice little family moment. we spent about an hour, just the three of us, learning how to breast feed, and just marveling at this little person we made. then chad started making phone calls and we let his parents come in to meet their grandson. deva and vanessa were also there to greet max on his first day in the world. then they whisked max off to the nursery for an hour or so for tests. but they brought him back right away. both days we were in the hospital, max was pretty much chillin' in my room, which i loved. every time they took him off to the nursery for something, they brought him right back.

my mom, sister, aunt, and brother arrived later on that afternoon (my sis had a CAT scan that day in preparation for her tonsilectomy) to spend some time with us. then we brought max home last wednesday. i'm not gonna lie, it hasn't been easy, what with having to feed him every 2-3 hours and figure out to sleep somehow at the same time. the past few nights, chad and i have been doing shift sleeping. i've been pumping bottles for chad to feed max while i sleep for a few hours, then i stay up with max and chad goes to sleep. max refuses to sleep in his crib. he does pretty well in his bouncer, though, so i think we're just going to try letting him sleep in the bouncer in our room. this shift sleeping thing isn't going to work for us next week when chad has to go back to work. we're trying to gradually get max used to sleeping in his crib, but so far he's only lasted about half an hour at a time in there. hopefully moving the bouncer into our room and letting him sleep there will work out for us.

ok, the little guy is waking up now, and he needs a diaper. i have so much more to say about him, and hopefully i'll find some time soon.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This Is So Not Right

dudes (and dudettes), i live in the south. the extremely deep south. which means that once in a blue moon in january we will have low temperatures in the 20's and highs in the 40's (as opposed to our usual lows in the 40's and highs in the upper 50's to low 60's or warmer). but we should NEVER experience a high temperature of 39 degrees. if i wanted to live in a climate with high temperatures barely above freezing, i would move up north (to like, tennessee or virginia). but i LIKE it warm. and i don't like the fact that is currently 37 degrees and raining, and it's not getting any warmer today. blah.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The End Is Near

so i just got back from the doctor (well, i made a few phone calls before i logged on here), and max's birthday is all set to be monday (martin luther king day)! yay! i'm so stoked about it, in case you can't tell. i am so ready to have him be on the outside, it's not even funny.

today's ultrasound looked really good. max decided to let us have a look at his cute little baby cheeks today instead of just his cute little baby back, and he looks suitably plump and cute, even on a fuzzy ultrasound. he weighs approximately 7 pounds 12 ounces, though the sonographer did say that ultrasounds tend to overestimate the weight a wee bit. but dr. g. says that 7 lbs 12 oz is just about perfect. sounds ok to me. i would be worried if he were over 8.5 lbs, but 7.5 to 8 lbs is fine with me. he's still measuring a few days behind where i actually am in my pregnancy (he measured 38 weeks 4 days today, but i am actually 39 weeks 0 days), but he's a good weight, he moves a lot, and he appears to be just fine. and he's going to be born on monday! unless i go into labor before then, which dr. g. says is definitely a possibility.

as it stands, i have to go to the hospital sunday night at 7:30, when they will give me something to help dilate my cervix and possibly start some contractions, though i am assured that any contractions at that point will be very mild, and i should be able to sleep through them. then first thing monday morning (6 a.m.), a nurse will wake me up, and i can get up and shower and stuff (thank god, because not showering makes me feel really icky). then around 8:00 a.m. dr. g. will come in and check on me and probably go ahead and break my water and start me on oxytocin to get the contractions going. so we will have a baby sometime on monday. once again, yay!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Stupid Blood Pressure...

as you may know, i went back to dr. g. yesterday so she could check on my progress with this whole baby thing. the news was pretty much the same - 1 cm dilated, but this time i'm about 50% effaced (i.e., my cervix is halfway thinned out), so i am making some progress, however slow it may be. my blood pressure was 158/90, which is bad, and i'm getting headaches pretty frequently (a symptom of high blood pressure - up until the last few days, i haven't had any symptoms). i'm also swelling up a lot, especially when i go to the lab.

so, taking all of that into account, dr. g. doesn't want to let me go the usual two weeks past my due date before they induce labor. she wants to see me in her office again on friday, and she wants me to have another ultrasound to get a biophysical profile of the baby. then we're going to schedule a day to induce next week. when i left her office yesterday, dr. g. and one of her nurses were checking her calendar for a day for me to deliver next week. we will schedule it on friday.

dr. g. actually said that if i'd been 2 or 3 cm dilated, she would have brought me back in yesterday, and we would most likely have had a baby by now. but alas, i was not. dr. g. definitely wants me to deliver soon (so do i, duh), and neither of us wants me to have a c-section (the very thought scares the crap out of me). since i'm still not very dilated (the first 3 cm of dilation can take two to three weeks and go largely unnoticed except by a doctor or midwife), dr. g. also decided to strip the membranes on my cervix to try to speed things along. i must say, that was a little painful (though i'm sure it's nothing compared to actual labor), and so far nothing has happened. i don't think dr. g. expected me to go into labor between yesterday and friday, though. i think she mainly stripped the membranes to try to get me dilated a little more before we induce next week. the point is, no matter what, max will arrive before his due date (which is next friday).

chad's a little bit concerned about this scheduled induction thing, mostly because of my strong desire for privacy. he's sure that as soon as we tell his parents when we're scheduled to induce, they'll rush right over to the hospital, never mind that they will most likely be sitting there in the waiting room for anywhere from 8-24 hours or more. and of course, they'll want to see me. i absolutely refuse to have anyone in the delivery room except chad, and i'm not exactly thrilled with the idea of visitors while i'm in the middle of painful contractions... or while i'm drowsy from the epidural and just want to nap. i've had this discussion with my mom, and she is not surprised by my desire for privacy (she's had 25 years to figure me out, after all). i want to have our families there shortly after the baby arrives, but i don't want them rushing in right after the baby's born. i'd like to have at least a few minutes with max before a flock of family members rushes in and snatches him away. and it's basically going to be up to chad to make sure i get what i want in this situation. he thinks it would be much easier to keep people out of the room if he could just call them when we get to the hospital (at which time, i would theoretically be a few hours into labor, and it would take 1.5 to 2 hours for our people to make it to the hospital). and he's probably right. but i don't know why we can't just tell them what time we're scheduled to induce and then have them come to the hospital 6-8 hours later. we can always keep them updated with phone calls. so i'm not sure how this is going to work. i guess if they're ok with potentially spending the night in a hospital waiting room, i'm ok with it too, as long as i don't have to keep being bitchy and kicking people out of the room. i guess some people want a whole herd of supporters around while they're in labor, but i am SO NOT one of those people. just so you know. i want my family and friends to be there to see our baby, but i really DO NOT want them around for the messy and uncomfortable parts.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dear Max...

dear max,

please come a little earlier than your EDD (that's estimated date of delivery in pregnancy-speak). you see, you really need to be here before january 28 because that's going to be a pretty hectic week in the family. your lovely aunt sammi (your mom's baby sister) is having surgery that day. see, she's been staying really sick lately, and the specialist is not willing to wait until her spring break to take her tonsils out. so your nana will be a little preoccupied that week feeding sammi ice cream and popsicles.

also, your grandpa has to go for jury duty on january 28, and i know he really wants to be here to greet you after you come into the world.

so, do your relatives (and your parents) a favor, and arrive ASAP, ok?

your mom

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Waiting Game

and i'm so not good at waiting. at my doctor's appointment last week, i was informed that at this point we're pretty much just waiting for me to go into labor. max has reached full term (though my due date is still 2.5 weeks away) and would be perfectly healthy if he were born right this minute. he probably weighs about 7-7.5 pounds right now (he was 6 lbs. 12 oz. at my ultrasound last week), and i am SO READY for him to come out of my uterus and into the world. however, dr. g. was not so encouraging as far as telling us that max will arrive any minute. her exact words were "you still have a lot of work to do on your cervix." she used those same words at my appointment yesterday, though she did say that i'm 1 cm dilated. which is pretty much nothing, but it's better than last week. she also gave me copies of my medical history sheets to give to the labor and delivery nurse when we finally do have to go to the hospital.

i'm considering cutting back my hours at work a little sooner than i'd planned. i had originally planned to work my 20 hours per week at DISL and still do HPLC on my own stuff two days per week right up until max is born. however, i am now thinking that might not be such a good idea. my blood pressure is staying pretty high these days, and my feet and ankles are now pretty much swollen all the time - but the swelling somehow manages to get even worse when i go to the lab, despite my sitting around with my feet up on a stool while i pick samples and stare into a microscope. sounds like a pretty low-key job, right? you'd think so, but i am the queen of finding ways to injure myself, and yesterday was a doozy in that department. i pretty much tried to cut off a finger or two when capping a little teeny glass sample vial. that takes a special kind of talent, right?

here's what happened - i spent all day picking the little critters out of a sample of benthic material from the delta and sorting them into vials of alcohol. i labeled all the vials and was putting caps on them when one decided that instead of getting a lid put on it, it wanted to shatter into zillions of pieces right as i was pressing the cap down on it. so, picture my fingers holding a little plastic cap about a centimeter in diameter and pressing down onto a little glass vial as it shatters. then picture shards of glass slicing into the side of my right hand ring finger to the left of the fingernail and gouging out a chunk of skin while a different shard of glass slices up my thumb. now imagine all my lab mates freaking out a tad as a i drip blood down the hall on the way to the bathroom to rinse the cuts out (can't have little pieces of glass stuck in there, you know). in their defense, i was bleeding pretty profusely, so some of their freaking out was justified. so katy and susan came into the bathroom to check on me, and i sent katy off for neosporin, gauze, and medical tape (believe me, band-aids just wouldn't suffice at that point) while susan volunteered to clean up the blood i'd dripped down the hall. i wrapped my cut and bleeding fingers in paper towels, and charlie went for ice. then katy came back and bandaged up my finger and thumb with neosporin-covered gauze, and i propped my arm up on the counter with my hand pointing up and tried to simultaneously keep ice and pressure on the bleeding wounds. a fair amount of blood managed to soak through the gauze on my finger, and katy changed the bandage for me before i left work for my doctor's appointment. i sat there with ice and pressure on the cuts for about 40 minutes before i had to leave for the doctor's office, and i was still bleeding when we changed the bandages before i left. it was pretty gross. the bleeding had stopped by the time i got home from my doctor's appointment and exchanged the gauze for regular band-aids. i did make my finger bleed again last night when i cleaned it out with peroxide before changing the band-aids again. and now it hurts pretty bad. and i'm sure it will for a long time. i think i'll have to go out later to by more band-aids, since i'm almost down to the really tiny and oddly-shaped ones in my variety box.

on a less bloody and gruesome subject, chad and i finished the nursery last week. i would have posted pictures then, but as you are aware, my internet was not working. so you can look at them now and get all those bloody images out of your head.

standing in the doorway of the nursery

the crib/changing table with the sweet wall decorations

the crib bedding and mobile

the corner behind the changing table with the diaper stacker, bookshelf, diaper champ, and laundry basket (it's full of new clothes that need to be washed before max wears them)

the changing table has convenient drawers and shelves for storing clothes, burp cloths, and extra diapers and wipes

the corner with my sweet rocking chair

the nursery is all ready to go. now we just need the baby to put in it. you hear that, max?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Philadelphia goaltender stops 54 shots in victory

so, why doesn't antero niittymaki get more starts in net for the flyers when he has games like this? i'm sure you all know how i feel about this guy (i pretty much love him), but for some reason martin biron has been getting all the love this season, even after playing rather poorly in several consecutive games at times. with the two absolutely phenomenal games niitty has played in his last two starts, i'm wondering if he'll be playing in atlanta on tuesday. after all, his career stats against the thrashers are leaps and bounds better than biron's, and he's playing amazing hockey these days. i guess we shall see.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

AT&T Sucks

first things first, i will wish everyone a happy new year (belatedly) and vanessa a happy birthday (it was yesterday). i would have done this much sooner, but at&t conspired against me. bastards. see, our phone (and thus our dsl) went out monday night (new year's eve) and was just repaired this morning. i also had issues with it last friday, if you recall, but they fixed it when i called that time. but when i reported the problem on new year's day, nothing was done and my report was ignored. i didn't really expect it to get fixed on new year's day, but i thought that surely someone would check it out on wednesday. however, i was mistaken. despite my leaving contact information, no one ever called to let me know what was wrong with our phone line or tell me if and when someone would come to our house to check it out. so on thursday i called AGAIN to see what was up - and those bastards told me the problem was with our equipment (not true, btw) not their system. which means that they just don't do anything? that's nuts. especially since the automated reporting system just tells you that if they send a technician out and the problem is with your system only they'll charge you $85 to fix it. they also ask for contact information just in case this is true so that the technician can get in touch with you. so i was expecting a phone call at the very least but got nothing.

anyway, we unplugged absolutely everything in our house from the phone lines and then chad disconnected our house from the line outside. and we called our phone number. and got a busy signal. on a line that was not in any way connected to anything in our house. obviously, the problem was NOT with our equipment. so chad called them back this time and told them that they'd better send someone over to fix it ASAP and credit our bill for the 5 days of service they didn't deliver or they'd be losing a customer. so they told him they would send someone out this morning. we never saw or talked to anyone (which we should have only had to do if they had to come inside the house), but our phone line and dsl are working once again. but at&t and their shitty customer service still suck.