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Archive for May, 2010

Today, Julian and I actually left the house alone … without daddy to help us.  Surprisingly, the drive to my mom’s was uneventful.  Julian spent most of the drive just looking around, while I fretted the whole way.  All I kept thinking was, what happens if he starts to cry?  What if he spits up like he did the last time?  What do I do then?  Fortunately, I didn’t have to pull over because he was good the whole way.  The first trip out just the two of us felt like some kind of test for me.  The drive was only 30 minutes or so, but I still felt a great relief once we’d made it to our destination.  (I still have to make my way back home at some point, but for now I’m content enough).  I was even able to put Julian and the stroller in the car myself!  Who needs to get back to the gym?!

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So Julian has been home now for almost three weeks.  He’ll be three weeks old tomorrow.   I can’t believe it.  These past few weeks have been a whirlwind…a whirlwind of tasks and emotions, that is.  I’ve even told a number of people that I still can’t believe that he’s here, even considering that I still remember the contractions being super painful and I vividly remember pushing him out and seeing him emerge from my body, with his eyes and arms wide open, ready to embrace the world.  And in spite of this, I still can’t fathom where he came from – does that even make any sense?

On the one hand, I’m obviously still in awe of the past few weeks and nine months to boot.  On the other hand, the necessity of having to care for this human being has certainly become very, very real, very, very fast.  (Minus the hours in the early morning when he is wailing to be fed and my head feels likes it’s in a fog and my limbs feel like they’re moving through water).  The funny thing is that there will be hours at I time where I feel utterly overwhelmed and yet I feel like I have nothing to show for those hours.  But let’s take stock of what I’ve accomplished in those two to three hour stretches – Julian has been changed, breast-fed, formula fed, burped several times, and swaddled and cuddled.  There’s perhaps an hour (if I’m lucky) to three hours at most in between these power stretches, where he’s asleep (shhhhh!)  In these much needed, very critical breaks, I don’t know what to do with myself!!! Only after some time do I realize that this is my chance (perhaps only chance) to go to the washroom, and maybe even eat something.  But these are also the moments when I need to wash his bottles, put his formula away, and sometimes I have to pump too.  Never mind showering, or washing my face or brushing my teeth – those luxuries have been replaced by things like taking the pee-soaked blankets and onesies to the laundry room to soak. 

So after only three weeks, I have to ask, how do mothers do it?  Heck, how do mothers go on to have more than one child?

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My pregnancy was relatively uncomplicated except for a couple of scares in the early weeks (thanks to the medical profession).  In any event, I enjoyed being pregnant and loved seeing and feeling Julian grow inside me over the course of the nine months.  Some day I may forget the details of his birth, and I have forgotten some already, so I wanted to document the details of that day so that I look back at this down the road.

Here’s how it went:

I went in for my 40 week check up (May 6) and discovered that the sweeping of the membranes from the week before hadn’t really made a difference.  My OB said that I was still 1-2 cm dilated and my cervix was still very long.  So she swept my membranes again and instructed me to schedule a post date induction.  She said that if I wasn’t induced till the following week, that I would need another ultrasound and she also reported that she estimated I was having an 8-pound baby.  With that in mind, I scheduled the induction for the following day (May 7) for 2 p.m.  Boy, was I a nervous wreck!   At 2p.m. Mike and I set off for the hospital and we were taken into a birthing room.  The baby and I were monitored for a half hour and then my OB came in to do the first gel.  We were monitored for an hour afterward and then instructed to go home and return 6 hours later for the next gel.  At this point, I was still feeling okay.  The contractions didn’t seem to be getting any stronger just yet, but they were becoming a little more regular.  At home I was able to continue trying to labour on the exercise ball without much difficulty and I kept up the pelvic tilts (that would supposedly help Julian come down lower into the pelvis).  As the 6 hours progressed, the contractions were becoming painful and closer together (about 4-5 minutes apart, and some 7-10 minutes apart).  At 9 p.m. we were back at the hospital and I was pretty uncomfortable.  This time we were ushered to the assessment room (really only the size of a closet) and mommy and baby were hooked up again for monitoring.  An hour went by and my OB still hadn’t arrived.  Apparently she was tied up in the OR.  While waiting for her, I suddenly felt myself pee (or so I thought).  It turned out that my water had broken.  Who knew that when your water breaks, it doesn’t all happen at once.  Instead, it feels like you’re constantly peeing yourself every time you shift or move. In any event, now that my water had broken, I could no longer receive the second gel.  Instead I was told to either labour at home, or stick around at the hospital and try to labour by walking around, etc.  Thinking that I would be more comfortable at home, Mike and I left.  The drive home was very difficult as every bump in the ride seemed to intensify the contractions.  At home things only got worse.  Nothing felt comfortable – not the exercise ball, the couch, all fours, nor the bed.  The contractions started becoming so intense that Mike and I were both convinced that labour must have progressed and that we should head back to the hospital.  Again, the drive there was brutal.  At the hospital I was reassessed by the nurse, the same nurse that had assessed me the other 2 times.  (I’m sure she was thinking “Oh, no, not her again!”)  Despite all the pain I was in I was only dilated 2-3 cm.  Not much of a change in other words.  I told her that I needed something for the pain, but she said it was too early for the epidural – instead, all I could get would be morphine.  Having no interest in morphine given that we were told it would potentially lead to the baby being “dopey” at birth, we were forced to leave the hospital once again.  Having no interest in driving, not to mention driving all the way back home, we decided to stick around the hospital.  In fact, we ended up driving around for the next 5 hours or so….on the 407!!! Why the 407 you ask?  Well, because it was the smoothest ride.  The smooth ride allowed me to relax (a little), at least between contractions.  By 6 a.m. we were back in the hospital parking lot and we sat there for another hour, until I could no longer stand the contractions.  So, we headed right back to the hospital and were FINALLY admitted!  After being examined it was determined that I was almost 4 cm dilated (hallelujah!) and therefore finally eligible for the epidural.  The only problem was that the anesthesiologist was not yet availabe (as it was before 8 a.m.) and he was scheduled to be at a C-section at 8.  My nurse (an angel) promised to try and get him to visit me before his c-section.  In the meantime, I was still really struggling with the contractions, so I finally gave in and accepted the morphine.  Big mistake!  Not only did it make me nauseous, but the morphine also did absolutely nothing for my pain.  Somehow I ended up surviving until the anesthesiologist came in and after the receiving the epidural, everything was a WHOLE lot easier.  Within minutes it felt like the lower half of my body was relaxing on a beach.  Shortly thereafter, the baby’s hear trate plummeted and suddenly there were several nurses and a doctor in the room.  Once the baby’s heart rate was back under control, the nurse started the oxytocin to try to get the contractions moving along and get me fully dialated faster.  With the oxytocin I began to rapidly dialate and by 1:30 I was the full 10 cm dialated.  It was time to get my game face on and see how much I remembered about pushing from my lamaze class.  Somehow the next hour and 50 minutes blew by despite how thoroughly exhausted I was and by 3:22 p.m. my little boy was born!  After that, I was on a high!

The whole experience (pregnancy, labour and delivery) went well thankfully.  Mike and I have a lot to be very grateful for and I know it!

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