A Baby IS Coming

I decided to get my butt in gear this week and start actually preparing for this baby to come. After all, prepared or not she IS going to come. The carseat I ordered came on Monday. I sifted through baby clothes and blankets, burp cloths and swaddles. I put away what I knew I didn’t want or wouldn’t use. I organized her room and even put on the whopping two lampshades I purchased just for her. I actually spent almost an entire morning organizing and preparing for this baby. It’s probably the most I’ve done for her aside from obligatory doctors visits in the last 8 months. That sounds awful doesn’t it?

And still none of this seems real. Clearly, I know there is a baby in there. My stomach is huge and she kicks me all the time. I’ve seen the ultrasounds. We talk about names and what this summer will be like with her here. Everything we have planned is planned with her in mind. She is clearly going to arrive and be part of our family. We are going to have three kids. But it still doesn’t feel real.

Going through our baby girl clothes was really strange. I found it hard to imagine someone other than Maddie or Ellorie wearing them. It was almost as if I was weeding through them in order to lend them to a friend for their baby girl.

I remember not having much time to think about Ellorie while I was pregnant with her. I had Maddie to take care of and she consumed my life. It was hard to imagine loving any other child as much as I loved the one I already had. How could there be enough for two? And yet, when she arrived it was love at first sight. It was as if she had always been a part of our family and I couldn’t imagine life without her.

I’m sure that it will be that way for this baby, too. She is going to arrive at some point and we won’t be able to imagine life without her as part of our family. This is just all so strange to me right now. I don’t remember feeling like Ellorie wasn’t real, maybe I did. And Maddie was definitely very real being my first baby. Everything was about her and maybe that’s my problem. Everything is still about her (and Ellorie, too). It’s very difficult to picture a child as part of your family that you’ve never laid eyes on. It’s also nearly impossible to carve out time to devote to just the baby you’re carrying when you have two other kids right in front of you who need your time and attention. So maybe that’s just how it is until she arrives? Because she’s clearly going to arrive whether it feels real to me or not.

Did you feel like this with your second, third, etc? Am I totally crazy?

31 Weeks

I realized today that I haven’t blogged about this pregnancy (or anything else for that matter) except for to let you know she exists. Poor kid is already getting that “I’m the 3rd kid” treatment and she hasn’t even made her arrival yet!

I’m 31 weeks pregnant today so of course I should take a self portrait in the guest bathroom mirror, right? This makes for a whopping 3 photos of my belly this go ’round.

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It’s getting BIG and it’s definitely impeding daily activities such as leaning forward and tying ones shoes. Guess I should’ve taught the girls how to do that so they could tie them for me? Whoops! I’m more of a buy shoes I don’t have to assist them with (such as velcro and slip ons) kind of Mom anyways. I don’t see that changing any time soon!

The baby moves like crazy, especially at night. I’m guessing that’s just a sign of fun things to come our way. Clearly the time to party is when Mom & Dad are trying to sleep. She’s super strong and I don’t remember either of the girls moving like she does. She’s taken my breath away quite a few times with some of her jabs and kicks. Last night she shook my entire body which shook our entire bed. It wasn’t the first time she’d done that but it was the first time Andy could feel it from his side of the bed. She’s something else!

I’ve also entered the super fun phase where I am starving but I can only eat half of what I would normally eat. Guess that will be good for minimizing third trimester weight gain! Heartburn has returned as well, although I think that may be due to the Diet Dr. Pepper I’ve been drinking lately. I’m pretty sure that’s the culprit, which makes me sad because it was my guilty pleasure. Even my one per day seems to be too much. I can deal, it’s only 9 more weeks. Only 9 more weeks (yikes!).

And speaking of 9 more weeks, I guess I should start actually preparing for this baby to arrive. It’s so funny how things change from kid to kid. With Maddie I had her nursery painted and set up and everything washed and ready to go months (maybe 3 or 4?) in advance. The carseat was purchased at least 4 months ahead and was installed 4-5 weeks prior to her delivery. I remember feeling so prepared for her to come any day. Of course she arrived on her due date and not a minute earlier. And no amount of washing or organizing prepared us for being first time parents.

With Ellorie we didn’t need a new carseat since we still had Maddie’s and the house was under major construction so there was really no actual room to prepare for her. We at least set up the pack n play in our bedroom and washed her clothes, put the carseat in, etc. well in advance of her arrival. We had a plan for who would care for Maddie while we were in the hospital and it all went pretty smoothly. A huge difference from our first experience.

This poor baby has gotten none of that. I’ve bought a few things for her room (lampshade, changing pad cover) and I finally ordered a new carseat this weekend. That’s about it, though. I doubt we’ll install the carseat until the very last minute as we’ll be enjoying the extra room in the car. She doesn’t have a crib since Ellorie has refused to give that up, which I’m fine with. She sleeps really well and a confined 2 year old is far easier to deal with at bedtime than one who has free reign of the house. The baby can sleep in a pack n play for a while and if Ellorie still doesn’t want to give up the crib we can buy another one. Who knows, maybe I’ll break down and buy a new one before she comes or maybe the crib fairy will bring us one? She exists right?

I’ve been way more focused on all of the non-baby things that need to be accomplished prior to this baby’s arrival. Maybe because I know I’ll be able to do nothing aside from feed her and entertain my two older girls once she’s here? Mama needs to not be a crazy person so that’s probably a good plan. So we are doing our best to knock out as much of our to-do list as possible before she comes.

I redecorated the living room, dining room and our bedroom. I basically rearranged all of our furniture because that’s what you’re supposed to do while pregnant, right? And I didn’t bother to take pictures or to tell you. I’ll get on that soon, though, I promise!

We still haven’t tiled the backsplash in the kitchen, built our open shelves or put up our light but we are a little closer to accomplishing that goal. I found this tile at Home Depot in Richmond while shopping with Mrs. 5C and it was love at first site. AND it was a $1 cheaper per square foot than Lowes. Woot woot!

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We had planned to drive over to Waynesboro to pick some up this afternoon but they didn’t have enough in stock so we’re just going to order online. I plan to order extra in the event that some arrive broken and we’ll just return what we don’t use. I still can’t believe it was so cheap. I can’t wait for it to arrive and to get it up on the wall! My Ballard light is still in the box in our closet (going on two years now) and I can’t wait to put that up as well. And by “I can’t wait to put that up” I mean I can’t wait for Andy to put that up because clearly I am not climbing a ladder and installing a light fixture and tile at 31 weeks pregnant 😉 I learned my lesson after rearranging all of our furniture and having to sit down for two days with all sorts of ligament pain and contractions. I will behave. I will behave.

We have also begun the process of building our garage with the removal of the two huge trees to the left of our house. Luckily, it was completed prior to this huge snow storm and we didn’t have to worry around the large dead branches dropping on our house under the weight of the heavy wet snow. Next up the gas tank needs to be moved as well as some utility lines and then they can pour the foundation. All in the plan for the next few weeks hopefully.

We’ve got lots more to do and lots more on our list so hopefully we can knock out at least the most important things in the 9 weeks before she arrives and turns our world upside down. Wishful thinking, maybe. Crossing my fingers!

Newborn Essentials

So months ago, Mrs. 5C asked her bloggy friends to post about the items they felt were the most important to have on hand in raising babies. I was a slacker and ended up emailing a mini list and then sharing most of my information while reviewing her registry over leftovers from our FABULOUS afternoon tea at The Jefferson. We ate WAY too much and ended up talking about baby stuff until her poor eyes were glazed over and she was half asleep on the couch (so was I!).

So this post is WAY late but I felt it was an important one to share with the rest of the world. I should also note that this is solely my opinion and what got my family through raising two wonderful baby (not-so-baby anymore!) girls and what helped us the most.

Newborn Essentials:

1. iPhone: I used this in the middle of the night mostly, while nursing Ellorie. In the first few weeks/months you will be up at night and severely sleep deprived trying to feed your newborn baby. It doesn’t matter if you’re nursing or bottle feeding, you’re sleep deprived either way. So in order to stay awake and not drop the baby (don’t drop the baby!) I used my iPhone to keep me awake. I checked my email, read parenting books about my 2 year old, updated my Facebook status, etc. You get it: stay awake, don’t drop the baby.

2. Swaddles: in the first few weeks I highly recommend the velcro closure swaddles in cotton. They’re light-weight, which is good for any season and over any type of jammies. They are super easy to use and they stay closed with velcro. Houdini baby is NOT getting out and you will get some sleep (not that I said SOME). I am a HUGE advocate of swaddling babies and I will tell anyone who wants to listen. Unswaddled babies make me itchy. There are a ton of studies and books to read that will tell you about how swaddling is wonderful but I will tell you from my experience that newborn babies sleep FAR better when swaddled than not. And in the beginning you will do anything for sleep. Start with swaddling!

3. Bjorn: I really like the Baby Bjorn for the first few months before the baby really weighs enough to hurt your back. It’s super easy to just throw them in and keep on doing whatever it is that you need to be doing. This is also a great carrier for Dads in that it is super simple to put on and take off. This carrier really doesn’t have great back support though, so I moved on to my Beco Carrier or the Ergo Carrier pretty quickly once I could put my babies on my back as they provided way more back support. I did many walks around my house and lots of swaying back and forth during the first few months with a baby in a Bjorn. It’s quite helpful when your arms are so tired and you’re so tired and you just need the baby to sleep so that you can get an hour of sleep. Not sure I would buy one though. We were very lucky to have my awesome sister let us use hers so we never had to buy one. Sarah, you’re welcome to ours as well. Maybe I already gave it to you? If I didn’t, let me know 🙂

4. Good snacks for nursing Mom: I nursed both of my babies for at least one year and it is one of the things that I am most proud of. It’s really hard work but it is so worth it. I also feel, though, that if you aren’t able to or don’t want to there is nothing wrong with that. I can’t stand the judgment women place on one another when it comes to nursing or not nursing. I have many friends who nursed and many who chose not to or simply were not able to. I respect them all as mothers regardless of whether they nursed their babies or not. (Ok, done with my rant.) If you are nursing you will need tons of energy  in order to make it through each day, especially during the early months. You need to remember to feed yourself, as well as the baby. I know that sounds silly now but you just wait until you’re delirious and can’t function because you’ve had absolutely no sleep. I really loved Luna Bars (chocolate peppermint is awesome) and fruit and cheese. Mini bagels are great too. It’s helpful if you have your hubby in charge of remembering to make sure you eat. Or a friend, whoever really. Just make sure you eat. And don’t forget to drink LOTS of water, at least a glass every time you nurse. For that matter, just keep a water bottle on your night stand and that will help you remember. You will be super thirsty!

5. Good nursing bras: These are crazy important. Nursing a baby takes your body through some crazy changes and your boobs will never be as sore and huge as they are when you’re nursing. You need comfortable and supportive nursing bras and nursing tanks. I wore Bravado nursing bras and tanks on the recommendation of my sister-in-law (who has nursed 4 babies) and loved them. I got the ones with no underwire and wore them like crazy for the first year with Maddie and the first 6 months with Ellorie. I switched to regular bras, just in a bigger size with Ellorie because my boobs decided to be saggy and sad looking at 6 months in. I needed a lift! They were crazy huge and perky with Maddie, not sure what happened with Ellorie. Your comfort is KEY. Sleep bras are also the greatest thing on Earth. Get them while you’re pregnant and wear them every night and through all of your nursing. You won’t regret it!

6. Medela nursing pads & Medela lanolin: The first go ’round I used Playtex nursing pads and they were cotton. When I took them off of my crazy sore nipples I literally had to peel them off. It hurt like crazy to peel them off of my already sore and cracked open/bleeding nipples. I didn’t know any better and it was my first time so I listened to everyone else. When I had Ellorie I tried Medela nursing pads and I was amazed. They were not plain cotton and they didn’t stick to my nipples at all. So they protected me without giving me major pain when I took them off, score! And I also discovered Medela Lanolin. It is smooth and creamy and goes on really easily. It isn’t thick at all (like other brands) and it just glides right on. I put it in my new nursing pad and I put it on my nipple after each time I nursed Ellorie. It made the biggest difference in the world. With Maddie my nipples were crazy sore for over 6 weeks and with Ellorie it was less than 2. It also helps to shower every day but really, who gets to do that in the beginning?

7. Pampers Sensitive Thick Care Wipes: I loved these wipes and again, I didn’t discover them until I had Ellorie. I guess you learn a lot once you do it all over again? They were super soft and gentle yet thick enough so I didn’t have to use a million of them and I wasn’t getting my hand super messy. I don’t like their containers though because they have absolutely no seal at the top so they dry out instantly if you accidentally leave them open. And you will leave them open many times since you’ll be delirious and sleep deprived for months on end. I really prefer the Huggies containers but I’m not a fan of their wipes. I ended up buying the containers with wipes in them and using the wipes to clean up messy hands and faces until we were rid of them and then replacing them with Pampers. I thought it was a great idea at the time and it has really served us well. If you accidentally leave the container open (which we do daily and we’re totally not sleep deprived anymore so we really have no excuse) they only ruin half of a wipe instead of the entire container. Someone was really thinking when they created that container. Fist pump to Huggies!

8. Bouncey seat or Papasan: You’ll need one that actually bounces or can be bounced with your foot if you have colicky babies like we did and are sleep deprived like we were and don’t have endless amounts of energy or patience like we didn’t. We realized that we could put our babies (swaddled) in the bouncy seat and sit down on the couch and bounce it with our foot and achieve the same happy outcome as bouncing them all over the house in our arms. When you have been bouncing all over the house for hours or you really just want to sit down and watch the program you DVR’d a month ago this really comes in handy. Again Sarah, I’m pretty sure we have one that you can borrow if we haven’t already given it to you.

9. Heartbeat sound machine & lots of batteries: We got ours out of the Slumber Bear that we registered for. Then we got a second one as a hand-me-down. It is FABULOUS. It makes a sound like Mom’s heartbeat, which the baby is already really used to hearing from being inside the womb. We took the machine out of the Slumber Bear and just sat it in the bouncy seat or in the pack n play with our girls and it really helped them settle down and fall asleep. It uses batteries super fast though so be prepared! Definitely make a last minute run to the battery store before you deliver like we did, it’s well worth it!

10. Graco carseat: This is yet another lesson we learned the hard way. Consumer reports told us that when we were pregnant with Maddie the Chicco Keyfit was the safest way to go. While that could be close to accurate, the Graco Snugride is just as safe and far more convenient than the Chicco Keyfit. For starters, it actually fits in the top of your grocery cart of the supermarket because it has an big slit in the back. Trust me, this IS important and you will find it crazy annoying when you’re having to hold your Chicco carseat in place as you walk around the grocery store or Target. Also, the Graco carseat works with almost every stroller on the market.  The Chicco is coming up in the world but the Graco really has them beat. Basically, I was wrong on this one. Get the Graco and your baby will be super safe and you will be super happy.

11. Snap & Go Stroller: This is another area in which I blindly took advice on and was proven very wrong. DON’T FALL VICTIM TO THE TRAVEL SYSTEM. Don’t do it. Get the cheaper Snap & Go Stroller (I have one you can borrow Sarah) and then get a stroller with bike tires when your baby has outgrown their infant carseat. The travel system is so cheap and so funky and the wheels are crappy plastic. It’s super expensive and really not worth the money. We have two strollers now, the Sit & Stand (basically a 2 kid version of the Snap & Go) and a Bob Duallie (again, 2 kid version of the stroller with bike tires). You can get the Bob stroller new or on Craigslist (sometimes you can get a great deal but you will also be able to sell yours for a pretty penny so it’s a worthwhile investment). I love ours but I know there are others out there that are equally wonderful. The bike tires are really where it’s at.

12. Boppy Pillow: You will need several of them all over your house because you will always end up sitting down to nurse in a room where there isn’t one. I suggest borrowing from friends who aren’t currently using them and then sharing when they have another baby and need yours. They also make great pillows to prop your not-yet-rolling babies up on as well as a great place to put a baby while you’re bottle feeding. Love the Boppy!

13. Cloth diapers as burp cloths: They are super absorbent and thick so most of the time they won’t leak through to your shoulder when your baby pukes up all of the breast milk you just worked so hard to make all over you (fun, right? It will happen…). I love these and I will tell you to buy like 20 of them. I promise you will need them! You can use them as cleaning rags or pass them on to someone else when you’re done. Well worth it! I like the ones that are the same thickness throughout (some are thicker in the middle and super thin on the edges) so I suggest opening the package in the store and making sure that’s what you’re getting.

14. BabyWise: I realize that I’m probably going to get tons of hate mail/comments for including this but I’m going to do it anyways. I should tell you first that I am a huge proponent of using common sense and doing what you think is best for you and for your family. If you think something doesn’t sound right then you should use that common sense and not do it. BabyWise was suggested to me by all of the Moms in Maddie’s preschool class when I was pregnant with Ellorie. They all said that their babies were sleeping through the night super early and it sounded so great. I had never heard of this and we had quite a bit of trouble getting Maddie to sleep in the first few months. I read the book and it seemed pretty simple to me so I decided to try it. It.changed.my.life. No lie, it was the single most helpful advice anyone had ever given me as a parent. So I am passing it on to you in hopes that you will read the book and use the advice the way that I did. Don’t Google BabyWise because you are sure to find that there were older versions that were apparently very controversial. I learned this when I took Ellorie to her 3 month appointment and was really surprised. My doctor told me that people just weren’t using common sense and were getting themselves into trouble. Luckily, I didn’t have that problem and I have had great success with this book.

Eat, play, sleep is their motto. Basically, you start your day at the same time each day and you wake your baby up every 3 hours (if nursing) and feed them. They are awake for a total of 30-45 minutes in the beginning and this will include their feeding and diaper change. Swaddle them back up and lay them down and let them fall back asleep on their own. Voila. That’s it. Really, how could you screw that up? You are basically teaching your baby that during the day we are up and we eat our meals and then how to fall asleep on their own. Ellorie was a normal baby who ate really well and was not at all underweight so this worked really well for us and by the time she was 3 weeks old she was sleeping 10-7 each night. By the time she was 6 weeks old she was sleeping 7-7. I have never had to let her cry it out, not once. She is still to this day a great sleeper. We lay her down and she goes to sleep, every night. It was fabulous and it totally saved me. I did the reverse with Maddie, nursed her and then put her to sleep and she definitely didn’t come close to sleeping as well. I could not recommend this book more highly. I read it a few times and have referenced it over and over.

So those are the things that I found the most useful in raising my babies in the first few months. I hope that you find this list remotely helpful in preparing for and raising your babies 🙂

 

Labor…Delivery…..a few months late!

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First of all, I’d like to apologize for being a crappy blogger. Having a baby causes your brain to go through this process of liquification and I’ve still not quite come back from that…. so the last time I blogged (is that a word???) I was still pregnant so I probably ought to tell you that I had the baby (shock, I know……no I am not pregnant for an additional 5 months, ha!). Here’s the story:

I was due on Sunday January 11 and by that day was still very much pregnant and ready to be done. It’s funny how everyone tells you that “you’ll know” what a contraction is as if you’re going to have this made for TV moment where you are doubled over, hand on stomach and yelling “Honey, it’s time!” (think Susan on Desperate Housewives with MJ…. along with every other pregnant woman on TV). Well, I’ll tell you that had my friend, Tonya, not told me that all she ever felt was something similar to period cramps I would not have “known.” There was no moment where clutching my rotund belly I told my hubby it was “time.” I was just up from like midnight on with cramps here and there wishing that I had not eaten crab cakes for dinner because I was sure I’d be seeing them again soon. I was exhausted and uncomfortable and so over being pregnant. To top it off, that day our youngest puppy, Daisy, had gastroenteritis and we had to take her into the vet for IV fluids. Let me tell you, our vet (who we were so lucky would come in on a Sunday for us) was not too thrilled that I was in labor in his office but that’s a whole other story. I spent the entire day having cramps/contractions but they were spaced out pretty far so I was thinking I was just being tortured and probably wasn’t in real labor. After all, I’d been 1 cm and 50% effaced for 4 weeks now…. as if that wasn’t torture enough, right? 
Well, after a long day and being totally exhausted from not sleeping the night before we go to bed hoping to get some sleep. No such luck because my cramps turned into full blown contractions and by 3am we were on our way to the hospital. I was hurting but I was so excited and so ready to be done being pregnant. We get to the hospital and they offer me a wheel chair but I opt to walk thinking it will help move things along. After all, that’s what they tell you to do right? The nurse hooks me up to all of these machines and checks my cervix to find that I’m 2 cm dilated. Not quite the 4 cm I thought I would be after having contractions every 5 minutes for the last few hours (this is what they tell you in class people!) but it’s progress and I’ll take it! Yay! Things are definitely moving along and she says that I’ll need to stay so they can monitor my progression. They tell me to get some sleep (seriously, are they kidding????) and that they’ll have my doctor check me when she comes in in the morning. Well, if you’ve ever stayed in a hospital you know that it’s impossible to sleep with all of the commotion and beeping and constant checking so by the time the doc came to check me that morning I was going on 2 nights with no sleep and was exhausted. She checked me and I was still 2 cm……what????!!! She said I was in prodromal labor where your body just stresses out and isn’t progressing. At this point my contractions had slowed down and by noon when she checked me again and I was still 2 cm she sent me home. I was bummed but at least we got to stop by Spudnuts on the way home. I was not only exhausted but starving since they don’t let you eat much while in labor. I spent the rest of the day (now Monday) eating donuts and watching recorded trashy TV with my hubby & brother (long story) and trying to breathe through my contractions. 
By that evening my contractions were much more painful (and by much I mean I definitely could not talk through them, I could barely breathe!) and getting closer together and longer. I tried getting in the bathtub (twice actually) and having my hubby rub my back, all of the positions and breathing (I just can’t do the hee hee hee hoo thing, it annoyed me). Nothing was working and they were getting stronger and stronger. By this point my husband is on the phone with the OB asking when we should come back in and what he can do for me. She told us just to wait it out and come in if we absolutely couldn’t stand it or if my water broke. He ended up calling a few more times and finally just decided that we were going back. My contractions were back to 4-5 minutes apart and I was dying. It was awful. Once we got in the car they were more like 3 minutes apart and we still had to drop our dogs off at the kennel in town. While waiting in the car for my hubby to take the dogs in (mind you it’s 2 am, oh and he owns the kennel which is why that’s ok) my contractions jump to every minute and are so intense I’m sure he’ll be delivering this baby in the car. We race to the hospital and this time I’m ready to accept the wheelchair however no one offers (lovely huh?) and I waddle up the the maternity floor stopping every minute to grip my hubby’s arm and breathe. It was a long walk/elevator ride. They get me into the bed and check my cervix to find that I’m….. still 2 cm! You have GOT to be kidding me! I was dying in pain and I told them they were going to have to do something for me or I wasn’t going to make it. At this point I haven’t slept in 3 days and I’m having contractions every minute. I’m not going to make it if I have to go back home. There is no way. They ended up giving me a shot of morphine which basically slowed my contractions a bit and allowed  me to crash and sleep in between in hopes of getting my body to finally relax so that I could progress past 2 cm. 
The OB came in to check me at 10:00 the next morning (now Tuesday) and I was fully prepared to tell him where to put it if he tried to send me home. All of my morphine has worn off and I’m back to dying in pain and am not someone you want to be messing with this morning. But I play nice while he’s checking me and low and behold I’m 4 cm!!! Oh thank goodness I think and when he asks me if I’d like him to break my water all of the sudden all of my big and badness disappears and I’m scared. I’ve been so ready for this and now it’s here and I’m just so worried that my contractions are going to be so much worse and I’m worried about how long it will be until I can get my epidural. The poor man is standing there waiting for me to answer him with his hand on my bag of water ready to go and was obviously expecting me to say yes since I was so big and bad just moments earlier. I say yea, go ahead and all of the sudden am now sitting in a puddle of fluids. Fun, yes, but even more fun… you get to keep leaking! I thought it was just one set of fluids and then  you were done, oh no, you keep leaking amniotic fluid until the baby is out. Let’s just say it was an interesting trip to the bathroom after that one…
After that (around noonish) they hooked me up to an IV and called in the anesthesiologist to prepare my epidural. I know, I’m a wimp… but I had already felt enough pain and there was no way I was going any further without some pain meds. While I was talking to the anesthesiologist the nurse gave me a shot of fentynal and let me tell you it was GREAT. She said it was going to feel like a martini and I’m telling you it felt like 3. I was a little embarrassed when the anesthesiologist got a little blurry but whatever, I felt SO much better and at this point I didn’t really care what she was going to do to me so long as it took away the pain I was in. Note, if someone offers you a shot of fentynal, take it! I was honestly more nervous about getting the epidural than I was about the actual childbirth but it really wasn’t that bad. She had me sit on the bed and bend over (as far as a pregnant girl really can). She numbed my back and then put in the epidural. I never really felt anything more than a pinch and a little pressure and who can’t deal with that for a painless childbirth, right? I even got to sleep for a few hours after that in between being checked every so often. 
By about 4:00 I wasn’t progressing as quickly as they’d like so they gave me some pitocin and that really sped things up. I dilated 3 cm in an hour and then my epidural started to wear off on the side I wasn’t laying on. So I kept switching side to side to relieve the pain. It was awful and I ended up hovering over a bedpan for about an hour totally nauseous from the pain. I went another 3 cm in the next hour. My hubby was running back and forth to the waiting room to give our family the news and by a little after 7:00 I was ready to push. The nurse assured me that pushing would relieve the pain I was feeling and I thought is she crazy? Does she really think that I am going to believe that pushing a small child out of my hoohaa is going to feel BETTER than this pain? Like she really knows what she’s talking about as if she does this for a living (ha, I know but I was in pain and irrational). It did actually feel better to push but I’m a see it to believe it kind of gal. My doctor was awesome and she was such a great cheerleader. She was very motivating and made the experience really great. Plus, she looked just like my friend Sarah with her scrubs on and that helped calm me down. She had me push once to see what we were up against and could immediately see the baby’s head. She said we’d be having a baby within the next hour and went off to get her stuff together. I kept pushing with the nurse and my hubby with each contraction. The nurse even let me watch with a mirror but I got so distracted that I couldn’t push. No more mirror for me. The doctor came back in and it all went so quickly they almost didn’t have time to get a baby nurse in our room. I pushed for about 30 minutes and she was out!  I swear it felt like an eternity before she cried but when she did it was the best sound in the world. They put her on my chest and she looked up at me, she was so perfect and so tiny! I actually asked where the rest of her was, ha!
Madison Grace Dofflemyer was born on January 13, 2009 at 7:48pm. She weighed 5 lbs 12 oz and was 18 in long with a full head of brown hair! She looks just like her daddy and she’s absolutely perfect. We are so in love!
No longer pregnant!!!

We’re getting closer!

>I’m still feeling lots of pressure “down there” so I called the OB again today to ask just how normal this all is. It feels like a really bad period where everything down there is just swollen and uncomfy and honestly what I would imagine feeling like after pushing out a baby, not prior to. It freaks me out a little bit so I felt my call was warranted. The last time I went to the OB they told me that she had dropped down and would continue to push down and that was just my round ligaments that were hurting.  Well, unless I have round ligaments in my cervix, I’m thinking it’s more than round ligaments and me being sensitive. 

We went to the OB today and saw one of my favorite doctors who is just fabulous. Turns out I’m between 0 and -1 and 50% effaced. Woohoo!
35 weeks pregnant

I feel like she might fall out…

>So hopefully not really but I did freak out a little last week. The girls at work threw me a baby shower on Friday 11/21 and that’s when it all started. I felt terrible and was feeling a lot of pressure like she was pushing down between my legs. I went home that afternoon and just took it easy and felt much better on Saturday during the day. Saturday night it came back and then I was fine all day Sunday. I went to work on Monday morning thinking all was fine and I had just had a crummy weekend, right? Not quite…I walk a mile uphill to work every day (haha, that makes me sound like my Grandpa except minus the 3 feet of snow, haha!).  Anyways, I was walking to work and it started again but it really felt like she was down between my legs. This really freaked me out because I’m thinking it’s probably not a good thing to be feeling lots of pressure where the baby is supposed to be coming out, right? I got to work and asked around and pretty much everyone told me that they felt like that in the end of their pregnancy and it sounded normal. I called the doctor and talked to a nurse hoping she would tell me the same thing, that all was fine and normal and I’d just be uncomfortable for a few more weeks until I deliver. Wouldn’t that have been nice, but no….I had to go in to be “checked” out.  Mind you, I was not preparing to be “checked” down there until 36 weeks and that area is not one I’ve seen in a few months so obviously I’m not too thrilled to be baring all before I had a chance to get it under control and presentable if you get what I mean…

Being that this is the week of Thanksgiving, my husband is now working crazy hours and cannot come with me to the appointment since it wasn’t planned. My Mom comes to the rescue and picks me up and accompanies me to my appointment. I was definitely freaked out and didn’t want to go alone, plus walking was making me even more uncomfortable so I certainly didn’t want to walk all the way back to the car (downhill this time, but still a mile).  We see the doctor and he asked me a million questions, pokes & prods (ouch!), then checks my belly measurements and listens to her heartbeat. All looks good and he takes a look at my cervix, which let me tell you hurt like crazy! Turns out her head is just down in my pelvis and she’s getting bigger faster than my ligaments are willing to stretch out which is causing my pain/pressure. Gotta love those round ligaments! He did a fetal fibronectin test as well just to make sure I wasn’t in early labor and that all turned out OK as well. So basically, my baby is engaged and ready to go and I just get to suffer until she decides to come out. Good news though, is that I only have 3 more weeks until I’m full term!
34 weeks pregnant