Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Father and Son....

The greatest moments of satisfaction as a wife and mother and the biggest feelings of love and adoration I feel for my husband come when I watch him with our son.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Maxim Rheal Todd

Our baby BOY arrived 2 weeks early!! Here is the birth story and some pics!!

After 58 hours of start and stop induced labor, Maxim Rheal Todd was born via vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery on Tuesday May 11th at 5:29pm. He weighed 6 lbs, 9 ounces and is 19 inches long.

Long Story

On Saturday May 8th, it was my birthday. I requested that my DH clean the bathrooms and vaccuum the floors for me before heading to the spa. I went to the spa for 4 hours and had a pedicure and facial...a total and complete heaven of relaxation. After, we headed to dinner at an Italian restaurant with 6 friends who all came over to our house after dinner for the ufc pay-per-view fight.

On Sunday morning at 7:30am, I was waking up and felt a slight pop. I figured it was just some extra mucuous so off to the washroom to go. After I went, I kept leaking so I changed my undies thinking my bladder was just still full and leaking. Then I leaked some more but it wasnt gushing. Finally I got out of bed around 8:00am, had breakfast and let DH sleep. Everytime I stood, I leaked. Then I knew it was likely fluid. So I got DH up around 9:00am and said, we need to get ready this morning because we may need to go to L and D to get checked out. I started tearing up as I was making the bed, realizing it was probably the last time we would wake up alone without a baby.

After puttering around the house, we left for L and D and got there at 12:30. They put me in triage for assessment and at 1:30, I saw my first OB, Dr W(1) (he was my real OB too) who said he was admitting me because it was definitely fluid. They checked me out and I was fingertip dilated and 20% effaced. So he said that they would let me be and see if labor would start on its own. I had until the next morning before any interventions would take place. I was placed on intermittent monitoring and encouraged to walk the ward, move and distract myself.

So DH and I watched a movie, he went to get Subway for dinner and we just waited. And waited. No contractions, nothing. The night nurse encouraged me to get as much rest as possible because Monday was going to be a long day once they started induction. So I tried. I slept for 2 hours total on Sunday night. I just couldnt relax or make my mind stop. Plus the bed was soooo uncomfortable despite my best efforts. At 5am, I was sitting in the rocking chair in the room, listening to my IPOD, watching the sunrise over the lake and my DH sleep. I started to cry, thinking of our lives together, reflecting on so much. I felt the little one move inside me and I knew I would be meeting he or she soon so I was savoring every little kick. It was beautiful and surreal.

Monday morning, Dr W(2) (two doc with W's) was on call and came to check me. I was "tighter than tight" and he started discussing the induction and how difficult it would be since I had made no progress. He mentioned all the risks of induction and said that a C-Section was very likely on Tuesday if my body did not progress. The plan was to keep me on the drip until 12am and the re-assess. I hadnt planned to call anybody during labor but I called my mom...I really needed the support. So updated her but asked her to not tell anybody else. So at 11:00am, I went on the Pitocin drip and waited. Contrax started 2 hours later and were ok and tolerable. I did lots of rocking in the rocking chair and deep breathing to cope. Around 5pm, the contrax were coming every 1-2 minutes and lasting a minute. At that point, I couldnt handle the contrax and my fatigue...I had been awake for so long without good rest. They checked me at I was only 1CM and barely soft. I asked for some Nubane which they also give with Gravol. At that point, I got super loopy and DH and I managed to get some rest. Around 7:30, the meds were wearing off and the contrax were getting painful again. I was in tears. The night nurse came on and asked me about an epi. I said, and epi was a last resort. I labored for another hour. In the next room, a woman was having her baby. I could hear her screaming and her team cheering her on and eventually that little baby started wailing. I lost my mind. I told DH I couldnt do this....I wanted MY BABY...that woman came AFTER me and was having hers. I could hear babies all across the floor...and some people had been discharged in the time I had been there. It was my breaking point. The night nurse knew this and called the doc. Doc agreed to take me off the drip for the night and be given more Nubane/Gravol to sleep. I went off the drip at 9:00pm, took a shower thru contrax and the contrax stopped 45 minutes later. I was so discouraged...all that work and time for literally nothing. The Nubane and Gravol knocked me right out and I managed to sleep about 6-7 hours that night. I had NO further contrax and very minor cramping.

At 5:40am on Tuesday I was wide awake and they put me on the drip. The anesthetist was called at 7:30 and they said they would try to get my epi before they started in OR for the day. I contracted and labored. By 9:00am I was losing my mind because the doc still hadnt showed up. I was in tears and losing it, I did not want to go through another day of hard labor. Dr K the on call OB came and said he was giving me 6 hours to labor and then it would be off for a c-section. The risk for infection was so high. Finally at 10:00am, the epi doc showed up. I have a lower back sensitivity from a fall in college and it took him several attempts to get the epi in. The epi administration was so intense...the pain was awful. I was screaming from the epi attempts and then screaming during contrax. I heard the door open and close and figured my DH just left the room which was fine. About 5 minutes later, the floor clerk comes in and says Mrs B, your husband is going to ER (which is in a separate hospital a block away)...they found him two floors down ready to pass out. The epi doc was right PISSED! He said no way...bring him back up here, put him in a room with some juice and food...he's just reacting to his wife being in pain. The epi doc was AWESOME! He said to me, dont worry about him...big, healthy strong men have this reaction all the time. Its perfectly normal. So finally after 30 minutes, the 20 minutes the epi was in and 10 minutes later I was basically numb. My DH came back to the room with some juice and crackers. He appeared a little embarrassed at first but I reassured him that I loved him and it was ok. He found it funny and said it would be a story he would share. He said he only thought he was going to vomit and didnt want to vomit with me in the room so he tried to get outside for some fresh air...but he only made it to the 2nd floor when someone came on the elevator and saw him almost pass out. Afer the Epi, I was checked again....only 1-2 CM and discouraging.

After the epi, I was stuck in bed and my right side was very heavy. My left side never really got the full effect at first and my legs felt like they weighed 200 lbs each. My left hip was killing me and I could not get comfortable. I could still feel the contrax but they werent nearly as intense which was the plan...they wanted me to be able to push on my own. Around 2:00pm I broke down again and said "I'm so done". I knew a C-section was imminent and I felt so drained and resigned thinking about it. Around 3:30, I started feeling pressure in my bum which the nurse said was good...that meant the baby was moving down. Around 4:00pm, I asked her if I was going to get checked again...she said well, no because of the infection risk. I said well I'm feeling like the baby is really low. So I got checked...

Finally....I was fully dilated, 100% effaced. The two nurses were like "you're ready to have a baby, the head is RIGHT there." So relieved a C-section was going to be averted, I started crying. The nurses were so excited for me...they knew how hard and long this was for us and happy we managed to avoid the big C. The room changed immediately and they started getting ready for delivery. They encouraged me to bear down spontaneously and push when I felt the need. At 4:15, I started pushing. I pushed and pushed. I could feel the baby move and the pressure in my bum during contrax was getting more intense. The doc came in at 5:15 and said the baby's HB was deceling and needed to be assisted out. I was not happy but they said it was for the best. The vac went in, I pushed and pushed, thought in my head “out baby, out…down and out…out out out baby, you’re almost here” and out he came at 5:29pm with the biggest wail ever. It was instant relief. My DH watched the entire birth, held my legs...was awesome. He said "its a boy!" with the biggest grin on his face. They got him wiped off and put me skin to skin...I was crying tears of relief and joy. DH was so so proud. I had a shower later that evening after my legs came back and felt like a new woman. We slept very good that night getting up every few hours to pump and feed Maxim. DH has been by my side the whole time, even while feeding to help me out.

After all that, 58 hours from water breaking to birth, I have a second degree tear and a little boy with a red mark on his head. But he's healthy and happy and I'm healthy and happy. We are so so relieved that it didnt become a C-section because it was totally looking that way for awhile. He was a bit lazy at nursing at first but he's really coming along. BFing may be a challenge for us because I have flat nipples but so far with the shield, its working out. We went home on Wednesday evening 24 hours after the birth. DH got emotional in the car leaving the hospital....he said those 9 nurses and 3 docs over the course of 3 days took such good care of me and our baby making sure we were was very sweet. It was so nice to finally bring little Maxim home.

Some things I learned:

1) There is dignity found when you give your dignity up. Labor and delivery definitely does this in many many ways.

2) I have more strength that I have ever given myself credit for and cant believe all the work I did to bring Maxim into this world. From the PG to birth, I have so far done the hardest thing ever. And I made it. Now motherhood brings on new challenges which will undoubtedly be even harder. I was really unsure about becoming a mother in the weeks leading up to the birth which is normal...but now I know I can do it even if there are bumps along the way.

3) My DH is an awesome partner and father. I am so truly blessed. He came through for me when I had given up on myself. He kept my spirits up, made me laugh, distracted me, encouraged me...loved me. He is a natural dad and doing so much for me and Maxim already.

4) I did not get the birth I wanted and I'm 100% ok with it now. I wanted to start labor on my own, go natural and try to be med-free but remain open minded. Maxim had other ideas. I never once had a natural contraction and clearly had all the medical intervention necessary. Also, its not necessarily a good thing to be early. Clearly my baby was ready but my body was NOT ready at all. This made it so much harder. I know people get uncomfortable at the end of the PG but its honestly the very best thing if your body can get ready even if it means going a bit "late." Of course some women never go into labor on their own and have to be induced after going late...but I dont know if I'll ever wish to be early in my future PG's...its not all its cracked up to be if your body isnt ready.
Research every aspect of birth even if you have the ideal birth in mind. The ideal may not come true. If you ask the right questions and keep an open mind, the ideal doesnt matter anymore. Also, hospitals are uncomfortable and some aspects are not fun but they truly are NOT the end of the world if it means a happy healthy baby.

5) Savor every moment of TTC, PG and the early days. It goes so so fast but it is all so so precious.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Of Ass Gaskets and Gasoline Cans....

The Ass Gasket

The Gasoline Can

Warning: Humorous tongue in cheek melodrama ahead...

These two lovely devices created trauma for me yesterday.

First I had an ultrasound on Tuesday morning to check the baby's growth and be sure all the necessary working parts are still...well working properly. In the 3T you are either blessed with constipation or loose bowel movements that come at very inopportune times. I have not had any constipation the whole pregnancy so I get the other end of the spectrum. My breakfast moved things along exactly 15 minutes before my ultrasound and thus I was unable to maintain a full bladder. I tried my damndest to fill it up with water again but it didnt work.

Oh and the tech gave me shit for having "a non-existant bladder." I tried nicely to explain that I unfortunately had to go before the ultrasound to which she replied that I could have pinched it then I had to explain that a bowel movement doesnt necessarily allow for a pinched off urine stream...and THEN she was sympathetic and said well you're right....

So she literally uses a whole bottle of ultrasound gel on my gut...she said she liked using a lot but holy shit....I was swimming in it. Gross! And the ultrasound was very uncomfortable due to my "non-existant bladder." Anyway, so that whole experience made me crabby. The good news is baby is perfectly fine in there and everything is working just wonderfully.

But then I went shopping, did some errands and went to lunch with a girlfriend. I was ok.

My OB appointment was on Tuesday afternoon. It was pouring friggin rain, and I had to park across a very busy street with no readily available sidewalk except the street light which was 2 blocks away. Thats a long ways to walk with a bowling ball between your legs and a full bladder. So after I waddled my PG behind across the street in the rain, trying to dodge traffic, I was already slightly crabby.

Blood pressure was good, baby is still all good but he was still concerned about the protein issue in my urine.

He then uses the words "24 hour collection." Le sigh...

So off to the hospital lab to get the tools I need for this collection. I have no idea what this entails other than the OB nurse sniggering at me saying I would need to "keep it cool."


It's pouring rain AGAIN and really windy and I'm not happy about slugging a twonie into the parking meter for an hour of time for which will amount to 10 minutes in line at the hospital lab. I'm a cheap ass when it comes to parking...and off to waddle some more in the rain. I'm crabby again.

The lab tech gives me what is officially called a urine collection kit which involves a medical urine hat and collection container. With instructions on how to use these items and the tech imploring me to NOT bring the medical urine hat back to the lab, I'm sent on my way.

After viewing these items, I affectionately and sarcastically re-named them the ass-gasket and gasoline can.

So it started yesterday morning at 8am...24 hours of collecting my pee. I have to also store the gasoline can in my refrigerator. I put it in the very bottom slot in the door but it still skeeves me out to have my urine near my potatoes and oranges. Also it smells every time the can is opened to add more. The whole process is quite gag-worthy. Oh and I'm also pissed because now that I'm full term, I really wanted to do the deed with DH to get labor started. But cant have his mess mussing up my sample thats been delayed again...and its been delayed enough, let me tell you.

Let me say that at this point, I was glad to not be doing a poo collection...I've heard that is sometimes necessary for medical reasons....even MORE gross....but still...this urine collection thing was plenty traumatizing.

Last night I get some serious round ligament pain and can barely move. I'm not looking forward to the middle of the night collections. At 1 am, I get up to go and because I feel like I'm gonna fall off the toilet with the ass-gasket on there and spill my pee all over my bathroom, I dont get to empty out completely. So after I stand up, I promptly empty the rest of my bladder down my legs and in my undies. I'm pissed, bumbling around with this stupid gasoline can, round ligament pain, a towel between my legs, trying to get new undies, I grunted around and said enough....there is enough damn urine in this can to test I am NOT doing this again in the middle of the night and changing my underwear again!

I finished this morning and took it back to the hospital because its super important to get this into the lab as soon as possible. Nevermind my need to sleep in but I was relieved to get it out of my fridge away from my potatoes and oranges. Slugged a twonie for 15 minutes of time and dropped the gas can at the lab. Results had better be good.

I hope to never, ever, ever do that again.

Monday, May 3, 2010

37 Weeks

Its been awhile but I've been super busy too!

37 Weeks today = a full term baby! Woot! Thus far I've gained 16 lbs...had a huge 9 lb gain after 35 weeks and then it tapered off is putting on weight now! In not good news, my blood pressure has become a concern in the last 2 weeks so I've left work 1 week early to stay home so they can monitor it more closely with a home care nurse stopping in. I'm praying it will normalize so they dont have to induce me. Nightmare scenario is that I see my doc and he's like "Labor and Delivery right now. Go now, do not pass go, not collect $200 or your hospital bag" Aaaack! If you're gonna induce me, give me a day or two to get ready. Of course, I'll do whatever it takes to have a healthy baby and healthy me....but its still a bit nerve-wracking to think about it.

Our bags are packed, carseat base is in the car, baby gear is set-up and nursery is ready. House is relatively clean and the one big room I needed to clean is much much better thanks to a Saturday of determination and a helpful DH. Still have some things I would like to get organized but I'll live if it doesn't happen.

We had our baby shower a few weeks ago and had a ton of fun. We had a co-ed party with about 50 people and it was wonderful. We got tons of beautiful gifts and felt a lot of love for our little one and support for us that day. My DH had fun too and people were happy he was included. I think he should be included in all of it...I may be the one carrying our baby but both of us are becoming parents and everything is happening to both of us.

A swirl of thoughts at being full term and in my expected birth month have been going around. Wondering if we're ready, what will change, cherishing every moment with my DH. It can be overwhelming. And with all the pre-planning one does before TTC and even through the pregnancy, the enormity of parenthood and this new life entering ours really has not been so real until these last weeks. Even then, we're still in the dark. And thats ok. Scary at times, thrilling at other times...but we'll be ok.

A few annoyances in the last weeks, mostly the very public aspect of pregnancy has really started for me now:

People commenting on my bump...

1) oh wow you really got big (this is true and I lurrrvve my bump but can be annoying from certain people, others its ok)

2) oh oh its dropped (no it hasnt but thanks for playing...her legs are still firmly up my rib cage and I feel zero pressure on my hoo-ha),

3) you must be getting excited (yes yes we are),

4)enjoy these last days before parenthood, you'll never get them back (honestly, what do you think I'm doing? And it makes me weepy to think of never being just 2 again so stop it)

5) sleep when you can now (sleep is not as easy as it seem to have forgotten when you were carrying a LO and had chronic hip pain, and it took 10 minutes and all of the air in your lungs to turn over every hour)

6) ready to have that baby yet? (only if I can reach in and pull it out with my bare hands....oh my god, this started at 8 months...seriously people, I have a ways to go yet.)

7) you arent complaining yet? (no I am enjoying my pregnancy and still have a ways to go...and for the record, I only complain about stupid comments like that!!)

8) you're waddling (yes I am...because my back hurts and its stiff as a board...its not an attractive walk I know and you're making me adjust in an uncomfortable way just so you wont comment on it!)

LOL....there should be a book written of things to NOT say to a pregnant woman. People just dont make a bit of sense.

DH and I are going to attempt a photo shoot tonight in the nursery. We have a timer on the worked a few weeks back so hopefully we'll get some nice pics tonight.

The countdown is on!!!