The Blackest of Fridays

Wow, that post title sounds depressing. And all I’m trying to do is stimulate the economy like a good little consumer. Does anyone else think we should just retire “Black Friday” to “Black Weekend” or even “Black Week”?

Anyway, this has kind of been my world lately, as you may have guessed:

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Sweet little smooshy face.

Mercedes has been doing fantastic. This is definitely easier the second time around! She is a great eater, and only lost about 5% of her body weight at her 3-day checkup, with no sign of jaundice which is fantastic. Infants normally lose about 8% of their birth weight the first few days, due to water loss and all of the digestive systems firing up, and sometimes develop jaundice since they’re not eating enough to flush it all out. I know Squish dropped to 10% loss and we really had to watch him, so his little sis is well ahead of the weight gain curve. Makes momma proud.

She’s also doing a great job of sleeping at night. Last night she was up at 1:00, 4:00, and then I woke her at 8:00 for a feeding. This will all change in a couple weeks I’m sure, but for now I’m loving what we call the “coma baby” stage!

Squish is adjusting to his new role as big brother. It helps that my mom is here to help out and give him a distraction.

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Proud Gramma! Bribery with toy trains works, too.

Anyway, it’s time to stuff our faces and nap, as soon as we’re done staring down this bunny. Eat and sleep: it’s not just for Thanksgiving thing anymore!

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Make it a great day!

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The Baby Story Post

I can’t believe our little miss is almost two months old already! These last few weeks have been such a blur of holiday festivities, showing off baby to family and friends, and lots of night feedings. Oh, the night feedings.

Anyway, before my baby brain forgets all of the details, I figure I’d better get the baby story out of the way.

On my last doctor’s appointment, I was three days overdue. My doctor was concerned that since this baby was larger, she didn’t want me to go much past one week overdue. And I was very, very done with being pregnant (if you haven’t been able to tell from my lack of positive posting as of late) so an induction sounded fantastic. I was a little nervous about it because I would have preferred to go into labor naturally, but since it was my second baby and things have been going well, I was relatively low-risk for complications. So I planned on heading to the hospital Saturday for an induction.

I was a bit of a train wreck come Saturday morning. First of all, I was super “frexcited” (frightened + excited) so I had a difficult time sleeping on my last baby-free night of sleep. Then my doctor gave me some specific instructions on how to go about arriving at the hospital for the induction. Because mothers in active labor are given precedence over inductions for beds, I was told that if Saturday morning ended up to be a busy morning and if I didn’t get a bed by 7:00 am to not bother coming in at all, but wait until Monday. I was to call the hospital at 5:00 a.m. to confirm bed availability and show up by 6:00 so I can get in right away. Well, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on my last baby-free night of sleep so I could down a hearty breakfast and call the hospital. They told me to come in at 8:00. In my anxious, tired, sleep-deprived state I couldn’t figure out what exactly that meant compared to my doctor’s instructions. Does it mean they have beds available but want me to come in later, even though my doctor told me to be there at 6:00? Or does that mean if I go in I won’t get a bed by 7:00 and I should just wait until Monday? I was so confused and totally overly emotional (which bodes well for the sleep-deprived near future where I have a small human dependent on my sanity). So Hulk had to step in and make an executive decision to just go in at 6:00 as planned and see what the deal is.

I also slept horribly because I was unusually achy all night. Normally I would go to bed achy, but after a couple hours of sleep I would feel normal again. Not this night; my back and hips were just as achy in the morning as when I went to bed. And on the way to the hospital, I was noticing some slight cramping. So I have a feeling that if I wasn’t on my way to an induction that I may have gone into labor sometime that weekend anyway.

We got to the hospital, and it turns out that it was a slow night on the labor and delivery floor and I was the only planned induction there, so I was shown to a bed right away. Score, and all my anxiety and panic was, as usual, unnecessary.

Waiting room selfie!

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I was in a room by 6:30, and strapped to an I.V. by 7:00. At 7:15, they broke my waters and started the Pitocin. And good times were had by all.

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I told the nurse that I wanted a pain med free labor. Yup, I was going to rock this au naturale like I did with Squish. Because I’m nuts. The nurse was great and brought in a rocking chair, and a birthing ball and helped arrange the fetal monitor and IV so I could move a bit more freely about the room. At first the contractions were pretty manageable and I just chilled out in the bed and breathed through them while Hulk made a Starbucks run.

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The nurse brought me some chicken broth, crackers, and juice to snack on but after a few bites I quickly realized things were getting very real very fast and I was worried about keeping everything down. Around 9:30 I was in full-blown labor. Hulk was a champ at keeping me moving as much as possible. I started out in the rocking chair, and every other contraction or so would stand and sway through the contraction as Hulk supported me, or leaned on the bed. That worked pretty well for a while and when they checked me I was at 4 cm. My contractions were starting to come too close together, so they reduced my Pitocin.

By 10:15 I was really starting to cave. The pain was getting really intense and my mind kept screaming at me through every contraction, “Ask for drugs, you idiot! We don’t have to do it this way!” Holy hell was that tough. I ended up on my hands and knees on the floor for the contractions, then back in the rocking chair to recover for the next one, sweating like crazy. But in the end I didn’t request drugs because I was worried about it being too late for drugs, and didn’t want to ask only to be turned down. That would suck. So I kept on plowing through, focusing on each contraction as it came, talking positive talk out loud about how productive and good this contraction is, and trying not to think about how much longer this was gonna be.

At some point the nurse suggested I labor in bed on my side, since that may help put the baby in the right position. Laying down sounded awesome at the time because I was exhausted, so I climbed in bed and tried it. This was around 10:30, I think, and I was starting the transition phase, which is the toughest phase of labor. It was so, so hard. I was on my side for a couple of transactions and then would flip on my hands and knees and moan into a pillow. The intensity was unreal, I was doing everything I could to keep calm and relaxed. The nurse kept asking if I felt “pushy,” and soon I felt the urge to push. She checked me and I was at 9 cm, so, so close. All I could think about is what I could do to make each contraction more effective, which really translates to me as what can make them suck more. So I alternated between laying on my side (sucked) to hands and knees (still sucked) to laying on my back so the nurse could check me (sucky suck). The whole time I was trying to be calm and work with the the contractions and not thrash around, and Hulk was still by my side like a rock star, squeezing my hand and rubbing my shoulders.

Here’s a super TMI part, so feel free to skip ahead if you’re already squeamish and another dose of childbirth crazy will send you over the edge. Let’s just catalogue this next experience as “things you would never, ever be comfortable with unless you’re in the final stages of labor.” Yes, this is the Poop Story part. Anyway, I hadn’t pooped yet that morning, and I guess I was, um, full. So the nurse told me to try and poop, since it would make more space for baby to come out and be easier. So here I am, sitting on a toilet moaning loudly through contractions with the bathroom door wide open to a room full of nurses and hospital staff prepping for the delivery. Besides the complete and total lack of privacy, do you have any idea how hard it is to poop when you’re 9 cm dialated and are already feeling urges to push? You have to figure out really quick what’s a baby push and what is a poop push. I really didn’t want the experience of delivering a baby in a toilet. Anyway, I successfully figured it out and she wasn’t delivered in a toilet.

Then it was time to push for real! I was so ready for this to be over and to finally have my baby, I was in full-on “warrior mode.” As I felt the contractions come, I started pushing with everything I had left. Then the doctor said, “stop pushing” right in the middle of a big one. Then everyone started telling me, “Stop pushing, stop pushing!” Let me tell you, to not push when everything in your body is telling you otherwise is slightly less than impossible. Apparently the cord was wrapped tight around the baby’s neck, and the doctor needed some slack so she could cut it off. Once I figured out what was happening I completely put the breaks on as much as I could, I was so worried I would screw this up. Quickly the cord was slipped from her neck. I gave one last push and suddenly, I had a baby in my arms.

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Other than her face being a little purple and mottled from the cord, she was absolutely perfect. The doctor delivered the placenta, checked me out, and declared I didn’t have any tearing whatsoever! That was very unexpected and fantastic news. Yay, less pain!

This was such a great birth experience. It was just over four hours from when they induced me to when she was born, and I still can’t believe how perfectly everything went down. Mercedes is my “magic baby,” with the perfect combination of being a great eater, sleeper, and cuddler. I couldn’t have imagined anything better than this.

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And I have no idea why I wore makeup. I must have forgot I was having a baby and not going to work or something.

Welcome to the world, baby girl!

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Meet Mercedes!

“What did you do this weekend, Emily?”

“Oh, not much. Sat around, watched some TV, had a baby.”

WOO-HOO! She’s finally here! Baby v2.0 made her appearance Saturday morning, meet little Mercedes Catherine:

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I’ll post more pictures when I get them off of Hulk’s phone. He was our main social media coordinator/photographer throughout the event.

Anyway, Sadie was born at 11:18 A.M. on Saturday, November 22. She clocked in at 20 inches and 6 lbs, 15 oz of pure squashy baby fury.

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Proud papa!

Labor and postpartum at the hospital were everything and nothing like I remembered it with Squish. I’ll post the birth story later, but in a nutshell it really couldn’t have gone any better and I feel fantastic (considering I just squeezed out a baby I now have to breast feed around the clock, of course)!

Go make it a wonderful day! I know mine will be, we are bringing our little burrito baby home today 🙂

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The Induction

On Thursday I met with my doctor, and we decided that I should go in for an induction today. So I am now sitting in the OB reception lobby waiting for a nurse to fetch me and get this show started. As my paperwork is being passed around the nurses, they were saying, “the Induction is here.” So now Hulk is referring to me as The Induction.

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I’m not really sure what to expect yet. I was having crampy-like contractions on and off all night, so who knows? Maybe I’ll go into natural labor while waiting for the Induction Show to get started. Either way, we’re having a baby today.

All right, we need a palate cleanser after all this baby talk. Check out my Ghiradelli sundae from the other night:

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We went out for Indian. Spicy food doesn’t seem to work on me as far as inducing labor goes, but it’s delicious anyway. And afterwords we decided to stop at Ghiradelli for one last no-baby sundae.

And that’s it for me. The next post should be full of exciting baby news! Woot!

“Food Box” and Other Food

First of all, still pregnant! And my pregnancy brain is getting more and more out of control. The other day I wanted Hulk to grab me something from the fridge. But I couldn’t remember the word for “fridge”. So I called it a “food box.” That happened.

At least I’m still enjoying semi-nutritious meals from the Food Box. Like frozen Costco spring rolls and mixed veggies.

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At least I’m still hitting up the gym. It’s a different experience lifting heavy things over a belly.

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And there’s not many things better post workout than a coconut chocolate almond yogurt. I love these Chobani flips.

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Time to get ready to go out for Indian with the family. Go make it a great day!

Bacon, SF Fog, and Hanging In There

First off, I’m still pregnant. For those of you keeping score at home, my due date was yesterday. The little miss is certainly going to be fashionably late.

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Yesterday I climbed 25 flights of stairs. Not sure if that’s really going to do anything to usher baby to the outside world, but it is a really good sweat when you only want to do things for 10 minutes at a time. It’s been my go-to lately for when I feel like I need to move, particularly when I’m getting those fake contractions and the only thing that provides relief is moving around for a bit.

I’m doing my best to stay upbeat about now being overdue. Since Squish was almost 3 weeks early, we were 100% convinced that Baby v2.0 would be early, too. How the gods laugh at the plans of man. But, there are some perks. Despite my massiveness, I’ve been getting really good sleep lately. And as a precautionary measure, we sent Squish off to stay with some friends for the week, in case I go into labor in the middle of the night and we can’t scramble to find someone to watch him while we go to the hospital, so I’m kid-free for the time being. And I’ve been working from home, so I gain back the 3 hours of daily commuting. Basically, I have all this free time on my hands now to sit and ponder what I can do to make baby arrive and not have all this free time anymore. Not sure if this is First World Problems or your garden-variety of irony.

Anyway, the perks of working from home include home-cooked breakfast, usually bacon and eggs.

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Mmm, bacon. With a view.

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Rain and fog have apparently returned to SF! Normally I was digging the warmer weather, but since I’m carrying around my own personal space heater these days and our apartment faces South, I was miserably hot all the time. Our big windows acted like a greenhouse and as soon as the sun hit them in the morning it would just cook, even if we drew all the blinds. That for sure is a First World Problem right there. “Boo, my 30-some story apartment with amazing views gets too hot when the weather is nice. FML.” So I’m pretty pleased with the fog and dreariness at this moment. Ask me again in two months, and I’ll be whining that isn’t California supposed to be warm and sunny? If I’m not too sleep-deprived from baby to realize what the weather is like.

That’s it for me. Go make it a great day!

Favorites for Friday

So, I’ve been a bit of a Debbie Downer lately. I guess it’s mostly expected and forgiven, but it’s still annoying to be around someone that’s all Eeyore-like in life views for any extended amount of time. So I’m kicking myself in my maternity pants-clad butt and am finding some happy things to be happy about. So why not do a Friday Favorites post? Yay, favorite things! Here’s what’s putting a smile on my face lately:

1. Massive bags of frozen veggie blends from Costco. Seriously, why do I keep on forgetting that this is the easiest snack/part of dinner possible? Dump some veggies in a bowl, throw on some butter, salt, and pepper, then nuke until hot. So cheap, easy, and guilt-free.

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2. Speaking of butter, this Buddah butter dish. Hulk just recently complained how long it’s taking to spread butter on veggies and stuff. And by “stuff” I mean all of the muffins I’ve been banking. So, we need to get a butter dish, since I don’t like having the butter sit on a plate on the counter. I just drop stuff in the unprotected butter all the time, like pans and elbows.  Anyway, this butter dish is awesome, especially when you say, “Buddah butter” out loud repeatedly and giggle.

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Buddah buttah!

3. Freaking people out by doing very un-pregnant lady things. Last night I was feeling a bit pluckier than usual, so we went out to a bar. It’s very amusing to be seen at a bar nearly 10 months pregnant, dancing to dub step and sneaking sips of your husband’s Bud Light. I’m sure the management was thrilled at how I really brought to fruition their dreams of the hip, trendy bar they’ve always dreamed of managing. And while I was there I heard a remix of The Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World.” No joke. Then today I went to the gym to lift some heavy things to see if that would induce labor. It didn’t, but people were giving me cautious looks. After the gym I went to Target to pick up some groceries and the lady checking me out was six months along herself. She asked me when I was due and I said, “Tuesday.”

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That cheered me up so much. Good lord, people. I’m pregnant, not helpless, or dead.

Stair Runs and Bake All the Things

Every time I’ve sat down to write a post, an overwhelming “ugh!” Hits me. Not because I don’t want to write, but because I feel like I have nothing to write about, besides, “still pregnant!” I don’t like only blogging about babies and stuff; that’s not really what I want this blog to be about. But I do want this blog to be about my life, and 39 weeks pregnant is my life right now.

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Anyway, I’m still pregnant. I generally feel pretty great during the day, then usually get whacked upside the head by the Preggo Symptom Fairy around 6pm where suddenly my energy tanks and I get super achy and crampy. Which sucks because when I feel great during the day I make all sorts of plans for the evening, only to wallow with my snoogle and a heat pack in bed by 7:30.

I’ve also been trying to increase my activity level in hopes of instigation any sort of action that will lead to some sort of active labor. I’ve been walking to the train and back from my apartment, about a mile each way, and in the evening I run (okay, slowly walk) stairs in my building. Not all of them, just about 26 floors worth. It takes me about 10 minutes and gives me a pretty good sweat and energy burst. And then I hit the couch with my snoogle.

The other night we walked out to one of the piers on the Embarcadero. Pre-pregnancy we used to walk out there a lot as a family in the evening, but I haven’t been there since maybe March. It’s been a beautiful autumn in SF.

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Besides All the Walking and Stairs, I’ve been bitten by a major baking bug. Cupcakes, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins have all made an appearance out of my oven as of late. Hulk also perfected a homemade pumpkin spice latte recently, but he doesn’t tell me how he does it, and I’m fine with that as long as he produces one on demand when I request it. Why bother learning how to do something when someone else can do it better, and upon request?

Hopefully some day one of these posts will be introducing you to the little miss and be filled with complaints about newborn care as opposed to pregnancy symptoms. And my progress on the Couch-to-5k I plan on initiating as soon as I’m cleared for activity again. That will be refreshing.

Until then, make it a great day!

Still Pregnant, Working Mom Life, and Other Randoms

I sent this to Hulk the other day.

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He said, “Yeah, because that’s my job!” Or maybe I said that for him. I can’t remember. Pregnancy brain FTW.

I had an early work call this morning, and I stupidly decided to take it in the living room because Hulk was still asleep. This is stupid because Squish was most definitely up at that hour. I thought the iPad would be distraction enough to keep him quiet while I was on the call, but I forget the magic excitement of “Mom’s home!!!” trumps all electronic playthings.

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Because if Mom’s home, that must mean she’s 100% available to play! She doesn’t do anything else, anyway.

I’m 0 for 3 in getting to my doctor’s appointments on time in the last 3 weeks. There are three buses I can take, and I always seem to pick the one that either has issues or gets delayed. At least it’s still cheaper than driving to the clinic, with gas and parking charges and all.

Speaking of muni, sometimes you find wisdom on the 38 line.

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Saw that sticker on a door rail. It’s my new mantra as of late.

Still hanging in there. Go make it a great day!