All I can say if you have a new baby, is make sure he/she can take a pacificer! I couldn’t comfort Em with breastfeeding or bouncing her around, and she couldn’t self-soothe because her arms were restrained (to keep her away from the feeding tube), so the paci was our saving grace. I think she might have cried for 5 straight days if she didn’t have it for comfort. Oh, and stay home if you’re sick! The pediatric floor was full of babies with the same virus.
Before RSV hit us, we had a great long weekend in Dallas. The weather was perfect on NYE, so we went for a walk/run (trading off who pushed the stroller), and then got breakfast tacos and a bloody to split at the Katy Trail Ice House.
The eve itself was super low key – I actually loved that I had an excuse not to party too hard this year, although it still felt like I partied when I stayed up too late.
We walked to our local pub for a round of Belgian beers, and then came home to snack on olives + cheese + Malbec while we prepared two pizzas.
One was zucchini, pistachios, dates, and ricotta, and the other was fontina, mushrooms, kale, and sausage.
Dessert was a huge piece of my birthday cake from the freezer while we watched the ball drop. I’m excited for 2017!!
The rest of last week was spent just enjoying time with Em, and getting her ready for daycare (and getting me ready for work). I was supposed to go back on Monday, but obviously that didn’t happen since we were in the hospital. I’ll be working in the office three days a week, and from home one day, and Emerson will be going to my school’s nursery. I feel pretty lucky to have this setup, and I’m actually looking forward to being back on campus. The only thing I’m dreading is getting up and getting there. We’ve been sleeping in a lot, and I’ll no longer be able to go back to sleep after that 6am feeding. Getting out of the house also takes twice as long as you moms know. I’m sure I’ll figure it out with time. For now, I’m going to sleep as much as possible during this long weekend. See ya.]]>
We took Matt’s sister, Chelsea, out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants – HG Supply. We always enjoy the bowls there, and I had my first cocktail since giving birth! Emmie loves to sleep in the Solly wrap, and it has been so nice to go out to dinner when we have family in town.
My mom arrived on Wednesday, and I was able to go get a haircut for the holidays. It’s funny how just getting a shampoo feels like the most luxurious experience now. We went to the mall, and finished up all of the Christmas shopping. Although we wanted to try to see Santa, the line was crazy. Maybe next year.
We also enjoyed an awesome dinner at the new pizza place down the street, Pie Tap. We’re getting a Mellow Mushroom one block over, so soon there will be three pizza places with awesome gluten-free crust within three blocks! Good thing we love pizza.
Saturday night was Matt’s holiday party, so we went out for the first time without baby! The night was a little rushed, as we tried to fit a pre-party, the main party, and a friend’s party into a five hour block of time! I really wish we had more time to spend at the main event because it was hosted by the Perot Museum. All the exhibits were open and it was such an awesome venue! We visited the gems exhibit and the birds of paradise exhibit before moving on. It was so nice to have a date night with Matt, although I was pretty excited to see baby girl when we got home. I went to bed a lot later than usual and was oh so sleepy on Sunday morning. Thanks to my mom for babysitting.
We’re heading to a lake house near Austin for Christmas with our families. I’m a little overwhelmed with my to do list this week, because it takes me twice as long to get anything done! Hopefully I’ll be able to relax once I get there. It’s also crazy to think that after the holidays, I go back to work. I’m ready and not ready at the same time!
-We were lucky to have two great date nights last week – feels like our pre-baby life! Our friend works for the Mav’s and gave us tickets to a box suite which was totally empty, and then we had a great dinner at a new restaurant called Sugarbacon. Both times, Emerson passed out in the Solly wrap and didn’t wake up until we were back home!
Sweet and sticky pork belly, the sugarbacon
-I had this cutting board and I loved it. But when the handle broke, and they didn’t have any more in store, I got this one, and I love it even more. It’s a perfect cheese board too. Matt makes us a little sampler each night before dinner, and it’s become our end-of-day ritual.
When does the poop slow down? It’s still coming after every feeding.
Em loved her first Thanksgiving, although she pooped in her turkey onesie and slept through the meal.
The food was delish and came together in no time with the help of Matt’s mom.
We ordered a carrot cake from Unrefined – their cakes are a bit more savory, so it was a nice substitute for pumpkin pie. Matt’s dad, who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, ate a piece for breakfast:) I’m hoarding 3 more pieces in the freezer!
The rest of the visit was a nice mix of relaxing with baby and talking walks in the sunshine. We had great weather! It’s this time of year that I fall in love with Texas.
We also had dinner at Mudhen Meat & Greens one night and LUCK another night,
and met up with friends at Lakewood Brewery.
It was such a fun staycation, and now it’s back to just Emerson and me (and Matt after 5:))
Christmas is sooo close though, and I’m excited to see everyone again!
-I can’t believe how quickly Emerson is changing. We’ve seen a few smiles this week and her eye contact is soo much better. She’s much more content when she’s awake and even falls asleep when she’s not in our arms (but doesn’t really stay asleep). One month checkup today!
-Have you guys watched Transparent on Amazon? Matt and I are just finishing season 3, and it’s one of the best shows I’ve watched in a while. I took a class on human sexuality in grad school, and always found the topic fascinating.
-People always talk about increasing milk supply, but why does no one ever talk about over-supply? I had no idea that this was a thing, until I finally had a lactation consultant tell me that’s what’s going on. I thought Em was crying during some feedings because her tongue still hurt (she had a tongue tie procedure), but it turns out she was just getting way too much milk and had big burps!
-I never splurge on house decor or kitchen stuff, but I impulse purchased this candle after reading Kath’s post. I’m definitely getting more into online shopping now that leaving the house is more difficult. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime in those first few weeks.
-I love my AG maternity jeans so much that I don’t think I’ll ever stop wearing them.]]>
And so began the worst hour of my life. Good thing this story ends with the best moment of my life! I actually don’t remember much of this part of the story, either because the body is designed to forget the pain or because it was almost an out-of-body experience. The contractions were coming every 2 minutes or so and lasting 60-90 seconds, giving me very little time to recover in between. The best position for me was sitting up, on the edge of a chair, so I spent this hardest stage of labor in a rolling desk chair that just happened to be in our room. It certainly wasn’t what I had imagined, but it was the only thing that seemed to work. I am so, so grateful for my doula – I can’t even imagine what I would have done without her! She continued to apply counter pressure, model breathing for me, and massage me in between contractions. It was hard to focus, but I do think the low, moaning/breathing helped me get through each round. Matt said I was basically screaming until the doula would help me return to the deep moan.
Finally, pain free and smiling!
I remember turning around when someone walked into the room, and I knew by the blue scrubs, that it was the anesthesiologist! I took a huge sigh of relief, and he said, “Hi, ma’am, I’m here to empty your trash:)” I think I kind of smiled, and just remember thinking how wonderful this man was and that I wanted to send him Christmas cookies every year for the rest of my life! The hard work wasn’t over yet, though, because I had to get back over to the bed and deal with the contractions without my rolling desk chair. The anesthesiologist was so quick though! As soon as I was sitting on the bed, he gave me the local shot (which, if you’re wondering is one one-thousandth the amount of pain as the contractions), and then let me know he’d be placing the big needle (which was painless). Almost immediately, he said I’d feel a tingling in my toes. I only felt the tingling on my right side, so he had to re-position the needle, but I could already start to feel relief on my right. The nurse asked me to lay down, and I begged to stay seated for the next contraction (because laying down was so painful). I’m not really sure what happened at this point, but all-of-a-sudden they were all forcing me down and giving me oxygen. I started to hyperventilate, not having any idea what was going on. My doula helped me get my breathing back under control, and explained that they want you to lay down immediately because you lose the ability to move your body. The oxygen was because baby’s heart rate was starting to drop. Luckily, her heart rate recovered with the oxygen, and remained strong for the rest of labor and delivery. And then, I felt nothing! I couldn’t believe the contractions were still coming, hard and strong, and I couldn’t feel a thing! I AM SO THANKFUL EPIDURALS EXIST!!! I just kept thinking about the millions of women who had to give birth before modern medicine.
I was able to relax around 6:45am, and just as I was going to try to nap, my doctor came in to visit. She checked me at 7am, and I was 10cm and fully effaced!!! Baby had also moved from station -3 to +2. My doctor was shocked! Just an hour prior, I had been at 4cm, so I guess that means I experienced much of the transition phase of labor without pain relief. Baby’s fast decent down the canal also explains the excruciating pain I had been feeling on my pelvic and tail bones. I was sooo relieved, especially when she said the worst was over! Because I was no longer in pain, my doctor wanted to let the contractions do their thing for a couple of hours, to get baby in a better position for pushing. She told me to rest in preparation, and asked the nurse and doula to move me into different positions every 30 minutes or so. I started to get the shakes, so I wasn’t able to fall asleep, but I rested for 2 hours, face-timed with my sister, and listened to my doula as she explained more about the pushing phase. After being up all night, I started to get really worried about having enough energy to push. I wasn’t really allowed to eat, and was starting to feel weak. Luckily, my doctor said I could take a few small bites of something, so I ate an energy ball, and some Gatorade sports gel, and started to feel a bit better.
At 10:30, the nurse told me it was go-time. Matt held one leg, and my doula held the other, and I started pushing! The nurse and doula watched my contractions on the monitor, and I pushed in 3 10-second bursts during each contraction. Even though I felt nothing, everyone told me I was making good progress. About 45 minutes in, my doctor arrived, and I started to get so excited! It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically, but Matt fed me Gatorade sports beans, and my wonderful support team kept me entertained in between pushes. I started to really lose steam about an hour and a half in, but the nurse brought the mirror over, and my doctor announced that there was a full head of dark hair!! When I could see baby’s head, I gave it my all and finished out the last 30 minutes.
At 12:41, after 2 hours of pushing, Emerson Grace was born! My doctor joked that she was jumping rope with her cord, which was wrapped around her neck twice and her body once! I’ve never been more overwhelmed with joy and relief! Knowing that she was healthy and safe lifted a huge, 9-month weight off my shoulders. We spent the rest of the day gazing into her eyes and cuddling with her. Oh, and eating burgers, fries, and milkshakes:)
And that, my friends is my birth story.
At my 40 week appointment, my doctor decided to go ahead and get me on the schedule for an induction at 42 weeks. Unfortunately, there were already people scheduled and there was also a waiting list, so my only option was Wednesday, 10/12, which was exactly 41.5 weeks. I would’ve loved just one or two more days, because by induction day, I knew I was on the verge of labor! Seriously – Right on the edge (more on that later).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the induction process, you usually go into the hospital the night prior to starting Pitocin to get a cervical ripening agent (Cervidil) that sits on the cervix for about eight hours while you sleep. I wanted to do everything in my power (wives tale or not) to avoid the induction – I had an acupuncture treatment on Monday (10/10), and then again on the morning before I went to the hospital – side note: the practitioner really felt like my water was going to break that day! I also did the typical eat spicy food, foot massage, etc. Alas, nothing really did the trick.
On induction day, Matt and I packed up the car and then had a nice date at True Food Kitchen before heading to the hospital for our 8 PM intake appointment. After getting situated, around 9 PM, the resident came in and administered the Cervidil. Matt and I talked for a while and got ready for bed, and then read our books until about 10:30. We finally turned out the lights and just as I could feel myself drifting off to sleep, I felt liquid gushing out of me!! I couldn’t believe how much water was pouring out, and it just kept coming! I was actually glad that this happened in the hospital because it would’ve been really, really gross at home! I woke up Matt, and called the nurse in, and asked what we should do. I was really excited because I thought this was a sign my body was going into labor naturally and maybe they would let me labor on my own for a while. That said, I knew at that point they probably wouldn’t let me go home.
Unfortunately, because I was already in the hospital, and they were concerned about infection, they wanted to start Pitocin immediately:( My doctor felt like a biggish baby combined with a tight pelvic floor in a first time mom meant I was in for a long labor, and so she wanted to get things going. I was really frustrated that I couldn’t have more time to see if contractions would start on their own. I consulted my doula, and she suggested asking if I could just have a couple of hours to walk around and wait things out. The doctor only agreed to 2 hours, so of course not much happened. I walked the halls and did lunges and squats almost the whole time. I felt contractions about every 30 minutes, but nothing significant. The nurse came back around 2am to let me know that she would be starting Pitocin at 2:30am. She said they’d start with a dose of 2 and increase by 2 every 30 minutes. They also informed me that it usually takes first time moms a while to develop a strong contraction pattern. My doula said it might be 2 to 3 hours before I would really be in labor and let me know that I should call her as soon as I started having regular contractions. I was really nervous, but also getting excited because I knew a baby was coming at some point!!
I let Matt go back to sleep, but ended up waking him up not long after (maybe an hour?) to tell him that I could feel contractions and that they already hurt. By 4:30am, I was really having trouble getting through the contractions and thinking seriously about waking up my doula. By 5am, I was begging Matt to call the doula, and telling him that I’d probably be asking for an epidural before she could get there. At this point, the contractions were coming every 2 to 3 minutes, and I had to beg the nurse to let me out of the bed (I had continuous fetal monitoring and the IV made it hard to move around). While the different positions helped the tiniest bit in dealing with the contractions, the tightening pain in my uterus was excruciating. I also had so much pain in my tailbone – like boulders grinding up against my bones. I was trying to use the breathing techniques the doula reviewed with us, but it just wasn’t enough, and I could tell Matt was at a loss as to how to help.
By 5:45am, I rang for the nurse, and told her I needed the epidural immediately. She said they would check my progress first (they were limiting checks to decrease the chance of infection), but that I would have to get back in bed. Luckily, my doula arrived at that moment, and took over immediately, massaging me and putting counter pressure in just the right places. She helped me get my breathing under control, and get back into bed for the cervical check. Laying in the bed for the 5 minutes it took to check me was one of the worst parts of labor, because the contractions felt ten times worse in that position. I was still only 4cm. I was disappointed, but felt I was close enough to my 5cm epidural goal, and I didn’t really care about anything but pain relief at that time. However, the nurse came back in the room and broke the news that both of the anesthesiologists were in emergency C sections…
To be continued!]]>
As you can imagine, there’s been a lot to adjust to in the past two weeks. I was surprised by how long the recovery took – I wasn’t expecting the nausea and intense pelvic pain. But, at the two week mark, I’m finally starting to feel like myself. We were beginning to get into a routine. However, Emerson had to have a procedure done for a tongue tie and a lip tie, so that’s set us back a bit this week. I can’t stand to see her in pain! She’s super snuggly and becoming more alert every day.
My parents were in town last week and they were such a big help, letting Matt and me sleep from 6 to 9 AM each morning, keeping our house clean, and feeding us! We are on our own now, but my sister will be here next week when Matt goes back to work.
I intend to post Emerson’s birth story here at some point. I hope all is well with you guys!]]>
I’m turning 31 today, and she’s by far the best birthday gift I could have received. We’re celebrating with grandma and grandpa with a trip to the pediatrician, takeout and cake, and hopefully a waddle around the block.
I have to give a shout out to Matt, who has been AMAZING this past week! We love little Emerson so much already!]]>