Archives for August 2008

Food!

The best part of not being pregnant anymore? The ability to eat pretty much whatever I want. Sushi. French brie. Smoked salmon. Rare steak. Lunch meat (well, as much as anyone can eat lunch meat these days).

Add that to the marvelous calorie-burning properties of breastfeeding, and I am one happy camper. Not only is the moratorium on many of my favourite foods over, but I can eat more of them.

I’m also terribly grateful to all of the people who have been providing my family and I with meals during this new baby period. Friends from La Leche League, family members, and of course my fabulous husband who has taken over a lot of the cooking. I feel very nourished, and I’m so glad to be part of this community of people who are welcoming my little baby boy and supporting me through the transition. Plus, the food is delicious.

Bon appetit!

The Fog

I am sort of lost in a new baby fog at the moment. It’s hard for me to accomplish much more than nursing the baby, eating something myself, and bathing these days.

The good news is that all of this sitting around and feeding my child seems to be working. On Monday Jacob weighed 8lbs 12oz, a weight gain of 12 ounces in 1 week. Way to grow, Baby!

10 Days In

Our little man is 10 days old now, and it’s been a pretty eventful week and a half. Here are some of the highlights:

– Jacob’s weight at 3 days old was 7lbs 10.5oz, 1/2 ounce over his birth weight!
– At 5 days old the little guy weighed 8lbs even
– At 6 days old, Hannah was playing with her friend in the backyard, and then came in and announced that she’d eaten some mushrooms – baby’s first visit to the ER so that Big Sister could have charcoal
– At 8 days old a piece of ceiling in Jacob’s room fell into the light fixture as we were changing his diaper – luckily the roofer was able to find and fix the problem quickly
– Jacob met, and charmed, a whole bunch of friends and relatives

Hopefully things calm a bit, and we can have a disaster free weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Jacob’s Story, Part III

If you haven’t read Parts I and II you can catch up here and here.

Mack Truck

When Hannah was born I didn’t feel that ‘urge to push’ that people talk about. Maybe because she was smaller, maybe because of the position she was in, maybe because I really didn’t want to be giving birth prematurely. Whatever the reason, when the time came I wasn’t even really feeling contractions, it just hurt all the time and I had to make a conscious effort to push her out.

This time around was much different. I couldn’t not push – it just happened. Like a Mack truck passing through my body, that kid was coming whether I wanted him to or not. I came to understand how it is that women give birth at the side of the road, their body just takes over. Luckily, though, this time around I had a bit of a break between contractions.

After getting out of the tub I stumbled across the room and made it to the bed. Not into the bed, I just made it far enough to lean over on the bed with my hands, but my feet were still on the floor. The midwife checked and confirmed that I was complete, and they listened to the little guy’s heartbeat, which was fine. With my first contraction leaning up against the bed, my water broke with a big gush. Jon later told me he was worried about his shoes, and I told him not to wear his good ones next time. 😉

I wasn’t exactly super-comfortable in this position, but it was hard to move, because my contractions were coming pretty close together. I felt sort of incapacitated, I was uncomfortable and scared, but I didn’t know what to do about it. Eventually I did manage to get my knees up onto the bed so that I was on all fours sideways, but I never managed to get out of that position. I would ask Jon for help changing positions or something and then yell at him because my next contraction was coming. During the contractions it felt best to have Jon’s hands across my lower back. He later told me he could feel the baby moving down through my body.

With each contraction I pushed, but I didn’t really want to. It was all happening very quickly, and I couldn’t really get my head around what was happening. With both labours the pushing scared me, and was also the most uncomfortable part. Not surprising, really, when you consider what’s happening. When I pushed I felt the head come down, but then it would go back up and I told the midwife that I was scared I couldn’t do this, that the pushing wasn’t accomplishing anything. She assured me that this is the way it’s supposed to happen, to give everything time to stretch properly.

It’s hard for me to assess how long this went on, because I was in something of an altered state. Jon tells me it was 20 minutes. Eventually, the head stayed down and this time I managed to control the pushing and Jacob’s head came out and then on the next contraction the rest of his body came, too. They passed him underneath me, and I picked him up and rolled over onto my back and held my baby. And he cried and was healthy and it was great. He was born at 3:11pm, my birth records say I was in active labour for 45 minutes.

They gave me some oxytocin to control bleeding (I didn’t want to risk hemorrhaging again), and I delivered the placenta in one piece. Then they weighed and measured Jacob, and he spent a little time on the warming table, and he started nursing. And he nursed, and nursed, and nursed. And Jon and I were both very relieved to have our little man here, safe and sound.

Afterwards we stayed in the delivery room and got acquainted. Jon and I chatted and ate and got Jacob dressed. They monitored us and at 8:00 they said that we could go home. Jon went to get the car seat from the car, and I got myself ready to go. When Jon showed up in the room again, though, he was empty-handed. It turns out that he had moved the car closer to the entrance, but completely forgotten the carseat. I laughed, because it seemed like such a fitting thing for a new dad to do.

And that was it. We took our baby home, and the next morning my mom brought Hannah back, and now we’re a family of four. Our little girl looked huge, and was delighted with her baby brother, at least initially. And now it’s time to figure out the next phase of our family, with baby Jacob.

Jacob’s Story, Part II

If you haven’t read Part I you can catch up here.

In Transit

The 20-30 minutes or so that it took to get from our house to the hospital were some of the longest of my life. I was very uncomfortable sitting belted in to my seat. I used a few bad words. In between contractions, though, Jon and I joked and I was in generally good spirits. I sincerely thought that I had a ways to go.

When we got to the hospital, though, I was not so happy. I wanted Jon to park and I planned to walk in with him. After all, I was only 3 cm, and I wanted to get things moving. Jon disagreed, feeling that I couldn’t make the trip. So, he drove up to the front entrance to drop me off, but there were cars in all of the available spots. In the end, he just stopped, blocking the roadway. He wanted to come inside and see me to registration before he went back and parked. I was mortified at the idea of Jon blocking traffic, and he said it was his ‘Dad’s prerogative’. In the end he left me and my bag in the entryway and I promised to wait for him.

I paced back and forth and handled the contractions as best I could. It seemed to be taking Jon a very long time to return, and I was uncomfortable and unhappy. I eventually decided to just follow the signs to registration, so I looked through the bag to find my cell phone so that he would know where to find me. I quickly realized that I didn’t have my phone, it was in Jon’s pocket, so I resumed pacing back and forth and silently fuming. I wanted to get up to my room and get into a nice bathtub and drink some water, which at the time I felt sure would help me feel better.

After what I’m sure was only a couple of minutes Jon was back and we headed to the registration area. Both kiosks were occupied, so I paced back and forth, making some low vocalizations. A woman behind the desk looked at me and bugged out her eyes. She quickly dispatched the older gentleman she had been helping and called us over. When she saw our suitcase / hospital bag, she made some joke asking if I was planning on moving in. I was frazzled and having a contraction and started to cry. At that point she suggested that I go up to the ward while Jon checked me in. I assured her there was no rush (my contraction had passed) and she set us up as quickly as she could.

Our midwife was waiting for us as we got off the elevator, and I got my wristband and our nurse met us and directed us to our room. It was around 2:30 or so. Jon snapped a quick photo – my last one as a pregnant woman.

In the room Jon ran the bath and got me some water to drink. The midwife checked my vitals and listened to the baby. I visited the washroom and got settled into the bath. I did, indeed, feel much better. And then something happened. A contraction hit and some sort of switch flipped and my body started pushing. My midwife said if I felt like pushing she’d have to ask me to get out of the bath. I said that I would wait until the next contraction and see what happened. The next one hit, and again my body just pushed.

I got out of the tub – it was time to have a baby.

Jacob’s Story, Part I

Pickles

My friend Kirsten and I have been doing some canning this year. We were aware that we were under the gun with my due date looming, so we did small batches, nothing too complicated. On Sunday August 10 I bought some cucumbers at the farmer’s market. We made plans to can sweet pickles on the next Wednesday, August 13.

The night before the canning I did the prep work – slicing pickles and onions and putting them in brine the fridge. I had a feeling, as I worked, that something was up. I was fantasizing about preserving food, and scrubbing toilets, and organizing my house. I mean, I was really thinking about how great it would be to do all this housework, and how I should really get it done now. I just had a sense that this baby was on the way shortly, but I discounted it as wishful thinking.

The next morning I picked up Kirsten and we made the pickles. I was having contractions, although I didn’t really recognize them as such. Mostly I was just really gung ho to get those pickles done, and we got 12 pints canned in about an hour and a half. By this time it was noon, and my denial was wearing off as I couldn’t sit still through the ‘cramps’. It really hit me though as I was driving Kirsten and her daughter home and a contraction hit full force. I suddenly thought, “I need my husband,” and, “I shouldn’t be driving.”

I dropped my friends off and called Jon on his cell phone from their driveway, saying he should come home. This was at 12:20, and I still wasn’t completely sure that this was the real thing. Jon asked me what the midwives said, and I told him I hadn’t called them, I just needed him with me. So, he told me he would come right home, and I headed there myself. I packed Hannah’s overnight bag, got my own things together, and waited. I also took a photo of ‘Jacob’s pickles’ for posterity.

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Jon came roaring in the door at around 1:00, left his shoes on, and said, “OK, let’s go!” I said that we needed to call the midwives first. I was still putting it off, not wanting to pester them unnecessarily. Jon observed that I was having contractions every 3 minutes, and that I wasn’t talking through them so much. He paged the midwife and loaded up the car, while I waited for her to arrive. Jon also arranged for my mom and Wayne to pick up Hannah from daycare and take her for the evening.

The midwife arrived at around 1:40, took one look at me and asked if I wanted to be checked, or I just wanted to go to the hospital. I asked her to check me, afraid that I would get there and be sent home. She told me that I was 3cm and that we should go to the hospital now, but it wasn’t a terrible rush. So, off we headed to Maple Ridge to have a baby.

The Results

Thanks to everyone who participated in our little baby pool. Now that Jacob is here, we can tally up the results. I used an extremely complicated formula in which everyone started with 10 points for the date, and 10 points for the weight. Then, you lose a point for every day you’re off, and another point for every ounce. I was prepared to award bonus points for hitting either the date or weight exactly, but no one did. Here are the final scores:

Lisa – 17
Amy – 11
Hannah – 10
Ted – 9
Laura, Heather, Christy – 8
Danny – 7
Gretchen – -1
Amber – -2
James – -3
Ludi – -4
Margaret – -5
Laurie – -9
Jon – -15

The grand prize winner is my friend Lisa, who also came closest on the weight. Three cheers for Lisa!

Ted came closest on the date, almost sharing a birthday with his grandson. Happy birthday, Ted!

And the raspberry for worst guess goes to the proud father, Jon. At least he’s a great labour coach, because he’s certainly not psychic.

I’ll share the birth story with you all shortly. In the meantime, here are a few photos of our little man.

Baby Jacob

Happy parents

Teeny tiny little toes

Nan meets Jacob

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