Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Day 17 - Mommy's little angel!

I could seriously spend all day just watching Little Elvis. His expressions and noises are so precious. And he's such a wiggleworm! When I hold him while he is sleeping, he'll squirm and wriggle and I think it's the sweetest, cutest thing in the world.

It's amazing to me how enamored I am with him. I know they say that being a mother changes everything, but I didn't realize how much it would until I saw him for myself.

Actually, I had an idea while I was pregnant. I suddenly became very frustrated with smokers, people who came to work coughing up lungs, and people who wouldn't give me their seats on the Metro. That stuff really didn't bother me before I got pregnant. But I didn't want anyone hurting my baby.

Now that he's out of the womb and I can see he's fine, I'm still over-protective. I'm not taking him outside right now, except for doctor's appointments. It's too cold and keeps snowing here!

Have your feelings changed since having a baby?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Day 16 - Getting used to the bouncy chair

I've written about feeling guilty leaving Little Elvis by himself, and was told that it is ok to leave him by himself to take bathroom breaks.

And Ashley recommended using the bouncy chair. I honestly hadn't used it too much, so I decided to give it a try today.

I put it in the floor of the kitchen, turned it to vibrate and put on the music. This didn't make him happy, so I sang along with the songs and it helped calm him down.

After I finished cutting up carrots, (my big accomplishment for the day other than feeding and changing Little Elvis) we moved to the living room and he even fell asleep in it for a few minutes.

I think it will still take some getting used to, but it's good to have options outside of the bassinet for him.

The sling thing isn't working all that great, but we do have a Snugli. I'm thinking of trying it next. Any other suggestions?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Day 15 - Umbilical cord is gone, but where?

For the past couple of days I had been wondering when Little Elvis' umbilical cord would fall off. We have taken great pains to avoid it when giving him a sponge bath (which he doesn't like), but it seemed to want to stick in there.

This morning, Bob took the baby to change him and then left for work while I was feeding him. I took him for a change shortly after that and realized the cord was gone! I didn't know if it had popped off while I was feeding him or before.

I called Bob extremely excited, but he had noticed it before he left. Although we're both pretty excited about this, we have no idea where the cord actually is. It shouldn't be hard to spot, but I haven't seen it yet this morning.

I keep thinking of a "Sex and the City" episode where Miranda's baby loses his umbilical cord and the cat starts playing with it. I'm convinced one of ours will attempt this. So far I haven't noticed anything...

I'll let you know if and when I find it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Day 14 - Two-hour feedings

Little Elvis is now two weeks old. In celebration of this great event, he has decided that he really likes to take leisurely two-hour feedings. And during the afternoon, he likes to feed every hour.

I'm not fighting him on this, and don't know if that's a bad decision. Should I deny him food when he's hungry? I'm pretty sure I can't do that. He gets so distraught and then I start crying right along with him.

Today he spit up some curdled milk and my mom said that could mean he's eating too much or too fast.

We definitely want him to gain weight and be healthy.

Should I try to curb the two-hour or every hour feedings? If so, how?

Day 13 - Bob is so great

I love Fridays and Saturdays. Those are Bob's days off. He always offers to change Little Elvis in the middle of the night, but I feel guilty during his workweek. I don't feel nearly as guilty on Thursday and Friday evenings.

As soon as he gets home from work, he takes baby duty for a while so I can take a shower and feel clean.

He's been so supportive through our first two weeks with the baby, and I really, truly appreciate it. Especially since my parents have left and we don't have close friends who live near us and can come offer help or support.

I just wanted to write that I'm so thankful for Bob. (This is a link to his blog -- Word to the Ys.)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Day 12 - Weight-y issues

Little Elvis had his third doctor's appointment today.

For his first one he had lost 6 ounces from birth, which meant we needed to go back to the doctor. On the second one he had only gained 2 ounces. So we had to schedule yet another appointment.

It was today. And our little man surpassed his birthweight! He gained 6 ounces! This is great news, and now we don't have to go back to the doctor for 2-3 weeks. (This makes me happy because it's too cold outside right now.)

We are really proud of him. Although part of me hopes it's ok that I'm happy he's growing so fast.

Day 11 - Worries are getting to me

Today was an odd one. I spent most of the day holding Little Elvis. He didn't want to go into his bassinet.

He did let me eat lunch, but made unhappy noises while I scarfed down a reheated piece of pizza.

When I finally got him down in his bassinet, I had to call Bob to make sure that he thought it would be alright to go to the bathroom. I normally don't need permission to go to the bathroom, but I hated to leave Little Elvis sleeping in his bassinet by himself.

He turned out to be just fine for those few seconds, but I fretted the entire time.

We did find out some things I can do while he's in my arms -- brush my teeth and load the dishwasher.

I have one of those sling things and may end up using it around the house.

Any other suggestions to keep the little one happy while I try to do minor household chores?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Day 10 - Little Elvis takes after his "nickname" sake

Little Elvis does not like to be changed -- clothes or diapers. But if we play one of the baby music things we bought before he was born, he quiets down really quickly.

Bob is thrilled that the baby loves music, although he mainly hears classical music and lullabies right now. And, obviously, his preference for music probably comes from his father more than from being nicknamed after the King of Rock n Roll.

Little Elvis doesn't cry a lot, but when he does I try to find ways to calm him quickly. I'm glad the music works for now, but I'm worried that his preference for music will soon change and I'll have to find something else.

The good thing is loud noises don't seem to bother him too much (although he hates the velcro on the My Brest Friend pillow that I use.)

He doesn't like bright lights, but that's understandable.

What are you guys doing to calm your babies? Any advice for when he outgrows his fascination with music?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Day 9 - All by ourselves

My mom went home this afternoon. I cried. This made her cry. I'm so thankful for everything that they've done to help us and a thank you card can't really express our gratefulness. So, I was crying. I'm actually crying while typing this.

Bob has been talking to a co-worker of his that told him that she cried a lot when she was finally alone with her baby. He was actually expecting this. Probably more because he knows me than because of her warning. (I always cry when my parents leave after a visit.)

I'm not sad, though. I just want to cry. I don't know if you can call this the "baby blues" or not. We'll see if I cry more tonight. (Probably will when my mom calls and then again when I attempt to write a thank you note to them.)

The good news is my tears do not seem to affect Little Elvis. He just smiled and cooed while my mom and I cried.

Are you guys crying a lot? I hope this is normal.

Day 8 - My brest and worst friends

Breastfeeding has gotten easier and Little Elvis is starting to eat more. I think a lot of the credit has to go to the My Brest Friend pillow that Bob got me last year. It goes around the waist and is secured with velcro. He sits on it and my hands are freed up to get the burping cloth ready.

That said, I have a new enemy -- the breast pump. We decided to start using a manual pump today. It was not a fun experience. It was a little painful and I didn't accomplish very much. But my breasts are really hurting this evening.

Bob read that we probably shouldn't have started trying until 4-6 weeks after Little Elvis was born. He was attempting to read through the directions while I was getting started (He's the instruction reader in the family. I just try to do what I think I should be doing without actually reading!)

Any of you have items that have made breastfeeding better or worse?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Day 7 -- Picture day!!

It's really cold here, and we can't justify taking Little Elvis out into the awful icy weather to get a professional picture made.

But, we do have three digital cameras (my parents, our digital camera and our digitial camcorder which also takes stills.) We also have both of my parents and lots of soft blankets that we can pose him on. And my mother apparently had my picture made at Olan Mills every month to six weeks when I was a baby. She knows her stuff.

So, we decided to take "professional" pictures of Little Elvis this morning.

He's still a little small for his nicer clothes, but one of my co-workers got him a really cute little velour outfit with a puppy on it that fits fairly well. We dressed him up in that and draped his car seat in a super plush blue blanket that a friend of Bob's gave us.

Then Bob, my dad and I all started snapping. We clicked a lot, and my mom's hands ended up in several of the pictures, but we did end up with a few that are definitely Thank you card and baby announcement worthy.

Now I just have to get to writing those Thank you notes....

By the way, he is the MOST photogenic baby.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Day 6 - Stitches issues

Everything is still going well. Little Elvis is an angel. Even his angry face is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Seriously. We've been trying to catch it for a picture and haven't managed to yet. Just you wait....

Last night, he started crying and I sat up in bed fairly quickly, so I could reach for him. That was a mistake. At the hospital, I had that special bed that would sit up for me. I felt an intense ripping pain on my right side where my stitches had been. I immediately fell back to the bed and Bob had to go change Little Elvis. I took my pain medicine, which I had been putting off and rolled off the bed the next time he started crying.

I called the nurse line at my doctor's office this morning and the nurse thinks I just stretched it when I sat up so quickly. She said to call immediately if I had a fever or chills, because that might mean something else.

Now I'm taking my pills a lot more regularly.

Any of you experienced this? Have any advice?

1st Drs visit -- Clothes encounters of the peeing kind

We had our first visit to the doctor today and it was an adventure!

Let me say again how glad I am that my father is here. There's still a lot of snow on the ground, so there's no way this Mississippi girl would have been tackling that. And I hated for Bob to have to take even more time off of work. So Dad, Little Elvis and I braved the snowy streets together.

Our car ride home from the hospital was fairly uneventful (considering we had a new baby in the car), and this trip was the same. Little Elvis is a great car rider. Although I think it had more to do with his clothes than with the actual car.

He was born just 6 days early and weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces. But he lost some of that weight in the hospital. Bob and I were both big babies, so most of the clothes we bought him were 0-3 month and 3-6 month. I had picked him a 3-6 month outfit to ride home in the hospital from, complete with a 3-6 month snow suit. The poor little guy, his feet just reached the crotch of his snow suit. So we had to adjust everything to get it to fit him better. Normally he hates being dressed, but he loves this snow suit. (He looks like Maggie from the Simpsons when she has on her starshaped snow suit.) I think he just feels completely bundled up and comfy.

The car ride to the doctor's office was just as pleasant. We bundled him in his snowsuit and tucked him into his car seat and he slept comfortably for the trip to the doctor's.

Everything went fairly well at the doctor's office, he didn't seem to mind the weighing and measuring. But when the doctor started inspecting him, she noticed that he'd gone to the bathroom.

I pulled out a diaper to change him and set to work. Now I have been warned repeatedly about little boys and peeing. Well, he started peeing all over himself and his blanket while I was scrubbing his bottom. I quickly covered him while the doctor and my dad laughed and when he finished I went back to his bottom, lesson unlearned. And... he did it again!!! Oh, I was so embarrassed and apologetic to the doctor, but she didn't seem to mind at all, and she helped me wipe his little face.

Do you have any funny doctor stories? I plan on telling this story to his first girlfriend.

Day 5 - Our first day by ourselves (kind of)

I'm so glad to be home. Little Elvis is doing great. I was worried that as soon as we got home he would start crying constantly and not stop. And I wouldn't have the nurse call button there to help me.

Yes he's cried, but so far it's been for things I can handle -- feeding, diaper changing, attention.

I did change his diaper 3 times in 30 minutes. Bob went to pick up my father and I was cuddling the baby. He had gas and I felt the need to change his diaper each time.

He HATES having that diaper changed.

He loves his grandpa though. My dad, who is not that big on technology, went out on Tuesday and bought a 1 gigabyte video stick for his digital camera so he'd be ready to take as many pictures of Little Elvis as he wanted.

He also had him a T-shirt made that says "I love my grandpa."

I know some new parents like to be completely by themselves in the beginning, but I'm so thrilled to have someone here to help me.

And my father is thrilled to finally be able to meet his grandbaby, who by the way is the best looking baby he's ever seen -- even prettier than I was.

Did you guys want to be by yourselves when you got home, or did you welcome the help and companionship?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Day 4 -- Homeward bound

We get to go home today! And my dad is coming to town! And my stitches are coming out! I should also get to take a shower, which is very exciting.

Little Elvis spent the night in the nursery again last night, coming in for his regular feedings. We have determined that the football hold is the best for him. The nurse told us that he did not want to go to sleep when we first took him in last night, but he slept well after about one in the morning.

He's still doing a great job with the whole going to the bathroom thing as well.

We should be discharged today, and we have to take a class on that at 11. It's 10:10 now, so I'm going to try to feed him before we head out for the class.

There will be no pictures of the breastfeeding, but I will have to write in about his funny little feeding routine. It is really, really cute.

Day 3 -- Our breast friend

I feel very dirty, but still no shower for me. The good news is that I can walk. I got to go look at the babies in the nursery this morning and we went and filled up our ice water jug (the ice here is really good!)
We had a very rough night last night. Little Elvis would not sleep and was inconsolable. We finally ended up calling our nurse well after midnight and getting him some formula. My milk hasn't come in and he's starving. I'm not sure our second nurse of the evening agreed with this decision, but he went to the bathroom shortly after he had the formula and was able to sleep.
The nurse said everything should be fine since we breastfed right before trying the formula.
We also ended up sending him to the nursery for the rest of the evening (except for feedings) so we could both get some sleep. We both felt guilty, but we won't have any opportunities for breaks on Wednesday and we are exhausted.

When the nurse brought him in on Tuesday morning, she told us he was a little angel.
We ended up sneaking in the formula during one more feeding, but by this evening my milk had apparently come in. He's feeding for a lot longer and we have a great time just watching him. AND he's going to the bathroom! His bilirubin is still a little high, but he's doing much, much better.

I'm feeling better about being able to successfully breastfeed Little Elvis. A lot of this confidence stems from the lactation consultant who has stopped by each day. I assume most hospitals have such a professional on hand in their maternity ward. Make use of this person's expertise if one is available to you. Our lactation consultant not only helped me with breastfeeding techniques as well as describing the changes going on with my breasts, but her presence seemed to put Little Elvis at ease at feeding time. Perhaps he just likes an audience.

Day 2 - Passed any gas?

I can walk! OK, I wouldn't exactly call it walking. The nurse had to help me to the bathroom and then back to a chair, but I am mobile! I was able to wash my face, although I won't be able to take a shower for a while.

Never in my life have so many people asked me if I've passed gas. The first time I was asked, I thought the nurse was insinuating that I smelled. Apparently passing gas is a sign that I can go off the epidural and get up and move around. Also, they don't really need me to tell them, because it must be obvious one way or another.

While I was scuffling to the bathroom, Little Elvis was getting circumcized. This went well, but his bilirubin level was pretty high. Meaning he needs to eat more and go to the bathroom more.
We are still striking out on the whole breastfeeding thing and Little Elvis is getting really fussy. His whole body turns bright red and he screams and wails when we try to force him to eat.
His pediatrician came by during one of our attempts and offered her advice, which didn't work.
Finally, we called the nurse for help during one of our feedings and she helped us get him to latch on successfully! Being in the chair helped a lot. I'm not sure if it's because I'm still recovering, but I get so tired while feeding Little Elvis. I want to nap as soon as he's finished.

My pain still isn't awful, although I'm now on regular oral medications. And Bob has to do lots of the caring for right now, because of my lack of mobility.

He did go home to take a shower and feed the cats around 9 this evening and all hell broke loose. The baby finally went to the bathroom and cleaned lots of meconium out of his system. (Luckily for me, Bob had found the wet wipes.) Then he was ready for his dinner.

I was rushing around the room cleaning him, washing my hands and preparing to feed him, while at the end of my medicine cycle. I was exhausted and in quite a bit of pain when Bob got back. But the baby did feed for about half an hour. I think Bob was upset that he missed all the excitement.

The 2nd 12 hours

I'm so glad we got to see Little Elvis before my mom left. She just happened to be in town when I went into labor six days early. My father is jealous that he wasn't able to be here. He's flying in on Wednesday since we won't be able to go home before then.

He's spent the morning calling my mom and asking if the baby was in the room yet, why not and when will email those pictures to my uncle. (Dad's not too keen on email.)

Mom got to spend about two hours with us and the baby. She took our first family picture, which Bob posted without my knowledge. I look awful and definitely drugged (which I guess I was.) Bob and the baby look great, though.

Then we all (along with two different nurses) tried to get Little Elvis to feed. I feel so bad that he has an inexperienced mommy. Hopefully I'll get better at breastfeeding soon. One thing I've learned so far is that everyone has a different method that will definitely "work." I guess we'll just have to find our own method.

Mom also got to hold him before he left. They make a great pair. She's a pro at calming him down already.

Bob took her to the airport and I had the baby to myself for around an hour. He was in his bassinet and slept like an angel. This is a good thing, because I literally couldn't get out of bed.
That was the hardest part about hours 12-24 with the baby. I couldn't do anything to help him, because I was helpless. I was numbed where the surgery scars were and the cramping in my stomach kept me in bed.

Bob had to change his first dirty diaper by himself (and he did it without wet wipes because he couldn't find them!) He also had to try to swaddle by himself. And whenever the baby cried, Bob had to get him and console him or bring him to me -- not that I've mastered the art of breastfeeding yet. But I have discovered that Little Elvis likes to be snuggled on my shoulder near my neck.

I cannot wait until the wires are taken out tomorrow and I can move around and actually be of assistance with our new baby.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First 100 days as a Mom - 1st 12 hours

Ok, this is a very lofty goal on my part. One of my friends suggested I do this when I first told her about Pregnantly Plump.

Already I'm behind, but we had legitimate wireless issues and I was exhausted and in pain. I know, I know, excuses, excuses.

I would like to attempt this, though. So bear with me. I may end up handwriting things and putting up three or four posts a day on some days.

The disclaimer is over now.

My first twelve hours as a mom

Delivery was rough. It was a scary ordeal that had a very happy ending. After Little Elvis was born and Bob got to show him to me, they took him to the nursery. I told Bob to follow, because watching our brand new baby would have to be a lot more fun than watching an exhausted mom who couldn't even cough (numbed from the shoulders down.)

The anesthesiologist had to help me convince Bob to join the baby. She had already chided him for forgetting our camera. (I didn't really want a camera in the delivery room anyway.)

He acquiesed and ran to get our new digital camcorder and hang out in the nursery with Little Elvis.

By this point I was nauseous and my neck was killing me. The nurse told me nausea was completely normal and had a little throw up bowl by my head. But since I was numbed from the shoulders down and I physically couldn't wretch anything up. I think I put the crick in my neck when I was craning to see our beautiful baby boy.

I'm not sure how long I was in the OR, but I listened to the doctors count surgical instruments several times (that was kind of disturbing.)

After they got me back to the room, I'm pretty sure I passed out from exhaustion. I was in and out of consciousness, but I did wake up to watch Bob's video of our baby in the nursery. He was so well-behaved! You could hear all the other babies crying and fussing, but he was just looking around quietly.

After this, Bob decided to take a nap as well. My mom was still in the dark about everything at our house. I am thankful for this. I can't imagine how scared she would have been if she'd been stuck in a waiting room by herself. Or if she'd been stuck at our house by herself waiting for Bob to call when I was out of surgery.

We opted to let her sleep until 8 and then Bob would go pick her up and bring her to meet Little Elvis.

The nurse continuously checked my vitals and my feeling slowly came back between each nap. I was woken up around 8 and Bob wasn't there. I assumed he had gone home to get my mom. The nurses had changed shifts and the new nurse told me I was now ready to change rooms. She wheeled my bed down the hall and to my new room.

Somehow I had the presence of mind to call Bob and tell him the new room number. Bob and my mom arrived shortly after I did and she seemed very excited about meeting her new grandbaby.

I still couldn't move (and wasn't supposed to for the rest of the day anyway). But we figured they'd bring the little guy into us.

Not exactly. His temperature wasn't high enough to leave the nursery. He was at 97.7 degrees and they didn't want him to leave the heater until he was 98. Bob could go into the nursery and hold him, but my mom couldn't and neither could I.

We ended up waiting for him to warm up until noon. The more coherant and alert and less paralyzed I became, the more I wanted our baby. It was such a relief when he was finally wheeled into our room all sweet and wriggly and warm.

Little Elvis carves out a space in MySpace

Here's a link to the video of the labor and first moments of Little Elvis' life. While I wish that there were some shots of Bob in the video, he assures me that he is more than thrilled to be just the crew and not the star of this footage.

I am a mother

I am a mother. I'm sitting here attempting to write this blog while lying in a hospital bed staring at the two wonderful men in my life -- Bob and Little Elvis.

Our son was born early Sunday morning. It was one of the most exciting, scariest experiences of my life. Why? We are now the proud parents of a healthy baby boy, but we had to go through an emergency C-section to get him.

I began experiencing contractions early Saturday morning. The first one came around 4:30, but I didn't realize what I was experiencing until about 5. I took a shower to calm myself down and to keep myself from waking up Bob. (That's what our labor and delivery instructor told me to do.) Around 6:30, I decided it was time to wake him up. More out of excitement than anything else. The contractions weren't strong, although at the time they were 5-6 minutes apart.

We decided not to wake up my mother, who just happened to be in town visiting. (Little Elvis wasn't supposed to arrive until next Saturday.) She woke up around 7 and we just kind of hung out while I occasionally shouted out the timing of my contractions.

The contractions continued throughout the morning, but they weren't any stronger. Finally, sometime in the early afternoon (Bob and I are both shaky on the details) we called the doctor to describe my contractions. She suggested I come in, but let me know that I might not be checking in. She was right. Although I had two fairly intense contractions while there, I was only 1 centimeter dilated and my cervix was not ready. I did not enjoy that inspection.

I felt so silly as we headed home. My feelings of dejection must have done something because my contractions began to get much, much more intense. Later that evening they were in a much more regular pattern. We timed them as they got closer and I fussed and whined as they got more and more intense. We tried several different positions to ease the pain, but none were that great. Around 8 in the evening the pain got to me and I called the doctor back before we headed back for the hospital.

A new nurse put monitors on me, timed my contractions, and attempted to check my dilation again. Again, I squealed in pain. Although my contractions were obviously intense (at least to me), I was still stuck at 1 centimeter. The doctor decided to let me stay for 2 hours to see how things progressed.

These have to be among the worst two hours of my life. Every 5-6 minutes, I suffered the most intense pain in my lower gut and back that I have ever experienced in my life. By the end of the two hours, the contractions were up to 3-4 minutes apart and I was literally shaking as I went through them. My mom and Bob tried to comfort me, but I was inconsolable. I felt so stupid for having to go to the hospital twice, and obviously my threshold for pain must be a lot lower than other women's.

But at the end of those hours, I had progressed to three centimeters dilation and almost complete effacement. The nurse who had been taking care of me said that meant my labor had officially begun. It was close to midnight at this point and I was exhausted and miserable.
Which is why we immediately agreed to have an epidural when it was offered. At this point, we had to answer questions about Bob having power of attorney and whether or not we had a living will. To me, this was just a formality.

The epidural went really well and took the edge off my contractions. After an awful ordeal with the catheter insertion -- I seriously cried, squealed and literally pitched a fit about the intense pain. The nurse found this odd since I had been given an epidural.

Bob decided to take my mom home while I dozed through the next stage of labor -- going from 3 centimeters to 10 centimeters. While they were gone, I was able to rest and even slept a bit. But the nurse was acting strange. She had me roll to each side to stabilize the baby's heart and kept checking the printouts on the monitors.

When Bob got back, things seemed to be going well. He took a nap on a pull out couch while I continued to doze. I awoke during a contraction to see the nurse staring at my monitor intently. I told her that it felt like I had to go to the bathroom, like something was pressed against my colon. She wanted to know how long I had felt like this. I told her I honestly didn't know since I had been napping. She left the room and came back with the on-call obstetrician. At some point,
my doctor had been called and they had decided to burst my amniotic sac and attach internal monitors to the baby while my doctor drove in. They also mentioned the words "emergency C-section."

The on-call doc burst the sac and then attempted to put on a monitor. I say attempted because I was crying out in pain and fear as they tried to stick that monitor inside me and into Little Elvis' little head. In those few short minutes, I had progressed from 3 centimeters to 5 or 6. I thought this was a good sign, but the baby's heart rate was really erratic now.

The nurse rolled me onto my left side, then my right side. Then she put me on all fours on the bed. All of this happened very quickly, but it seemed to drag because I didn't really know what was going on and I was so scared. I also knew that it had to be all my fault that my baby (who has been perfect throughout my pregnancy) had heartbeat problems. I figured that it was my decision to get that epidural that had done this to him.

Since none of those attempts to stabilize or measure the baby's heartrate worked, they started unplugging all my monitors to wheel me down to the O.R. This confirmed to me that it was all my fault that my baby was suffering. I was petrified and I could tell poor Bob was just
as scared and worried as I was, and he was left by himself in our room to put scrubs on.

Although I was taken to a room filled with people outfitted in blue surgical scrubs, I can honestly tell you I've never felt more alone and guilty in my life. I know Bob had to have felt just as lonely and powerless as I did at that point.

I laid on the operating table with tears dripping out of my eyes as nurses and doctors bustled all around me. My nurse, who had been with me from the beginning of my second hospital trip, had plugged me into a new monitor during everything and Little Elvis' heart rate was starting to come back up and stabilize.

That made me feel a little better, but I still just wanted my husband to be standing with me and my baby to be alright. At this point, I don't think I would have trusted any computer readout about my baby. I wanted to see for myself that he was alright.

The anesthetist pulled a holder out on each side of the bed and laid my arms on them. Then she pulled up a curtain right over them. And they finally let Bob into the OR. He has always had a soothing effect on me and I was so relieved to see him, even though he was obviously just as shaken as I was. He had talked to the doctor before coming in and she told him that the baby's heartrate had stabilized, but since we'd had so many problems, we would carry on with the C-section.

He sat by my head while I cried and promised me that our Little Elvis would be just fine. I tried to crack a joke about Britney Spears going through 2 C-sections, and that if she could do it, I could do it.

While we were talking and trying to soothe one another, I felt constant pressures all over my stomach. Suddenly we heard a loud, throaty wail. The doctor told us that we had a baby boy. He screamed and we cried. Our baby sounded healthy and angry.

It was one of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard.

Bob stayed right by my side as the doctors and nurses cleaned him up. Everyone was telling us how pretty he was. They brought him over to the weigh station area and Bob got a chance to go meet our baby. I couldn't really see him because I was numb from the armpits down and could only crane my head.

While he was watching the nurses poke and prod our baby, he had to fend off my questions. "Yes, 10 fingers and 10 toes." "He does have hair." After the APGAR tests (which he got an 8 on in the 1 minute and a 9 in the five minute) and being weighed and measured (7 pounds, 7 ounces; 20 3/4 inches) they let Bob hold our baby and bring him over so I could see him. He was indeed as beautiful as everyone said he would be. And he was here.

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Little Elvis" arrives on the scene early

Friends in blog-land,
This is Bob Swanson, Meredith's husband, writing on Meredith's behalf. Suffice it to say that "Little Elvis" has left the belly and entered the building as it were, arriving via emergency c-section at 3:46 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 11. Both baby and Meredith are doing fine, though Mere is still sore from the operation. She is scheduled to be released from the hospital on Wednesday.

If you want the blow-by-blow details of the labor and delivery (at least from my perspective), you can check out this entry from my "Word to the Ys" blog.

Bob Swanson
Husband of Meredith (PregnantlyPlump)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Was it a contraction?

I've heard and read conflicting reports about contractions and what they feel like. I figured maybe they were just one of those indescribable things in life and that it would be completely obvious to me when they started.

Last night I felt an extreme, intense pain in my gut (that's the best location description I can give.) It didn't last more than a couple of seconds, but I was panting when it finally passed. My back also started hurting at that point. And Wally started crying at me (he's not a talkative cat unless he doesn't have his food.)

All of these had me thinking that maybe labor was about to start.

I was also making our bed and felt the intense need to put away the sheets Bob had washed and do some other minor household chores. All of this while waddling around with a sore back.

Bob told me this week that he read or heard that he should be watching me for changes in my behavior, (such as a desire to clean -- trust me that's a big change!) because that could be a sign that labor is about to start.

I think I had us both worried that I was about to go into labor last night.

But other than the back pain, nothing else happened.

That is until 2:30 a.m. when I had to go to the bathroom and couldn't get Wally out of my way. I jostled and kicked and fussed and pushed at him and the pregnancy pillow (honestly that thing does more to trap me sometimes than help me!). We woke up later to Wally getting sick on the floor. I have a feeling my rude jostling made him ill.

At least the back pain was gone when I officially woke up this morning. And I had no real desire to do any cleaning.

I did stop by an expensive baby store on my way to lunch this afternoon, though, and bought Little Elvis a fleece onesie with footballs and helmets all over it (70% off!!). It's a 6 month, so he probably won't even be able to wear it due to the fact that it's pretty warm looking. I've decided to leave the tags on I can just give it as a gift to someone if that's the case. That might be bizarre behavior...

February 17th cannot come soon enough!

Hope you guys are faring well!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Diapering dos and don'ts

Bob and I are both dorks. We went to a diapering seminar at Babies R Us on Tuesday and were both really excited about it.

One of my male co-workers was shocked a.) that I was excited about the class and b.) that Bob had found out which Babies R Us in our area offered the class.

I know that it was sponsored by Pampers and we would be encouraged to buy Pampers at Babies R Us. But it's been a long time since I last changed a diaper and then it wasn't a newborn. And Bob has never changed a diaper.

And we weren't the only ones there!

The class was more us watching a videotape and then the Babies R Us showing us the different diaper options offered by Pampers.

Still, the video had some interesting diapering tips that we hadn't thought of (and one that we both thought was weird.)

I'm not going to go over the basics of diapering because I'm sure most of you know more than we do, but I thought I'd share the two tips I really liked.

1. Hang up one of those closet shoe bags by the changing station and put things like onesies, socks, toys, towels or rags (for boys), etc.

2. Fill a basket with diapering needs for each floor (or in our case - for the living room.)

We also hadn't thought about putting a clothes hamper in Little Elvis' room. This weekend, I've decided to get a cute baby hamper (if it's cheap) a big basket and a closet shoe bag.

I have to add here that we did use a $5 coupon on a huge box of Pampers Swaddlers for 8-14 pounds. It wasn't a coupon given to us at the store though, it was one sent to us by Pampers.

Babies R Us is also having some sort of event this Saturday. My mom will be in town and I told her we'd take her. Let me tell you that although she sounded non-plussed, I just know she's very excited about the possibility of going to some event where they try to make us buy stuff.

Have you guys gone to any classes like this? They have a breastfeeding one on February 20th that I'm sad I'll miss (hopefully Little Elvis will be here by then!)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A song for our son

Last night Bob decided to give me and Little Elvis our Valentine's Day present early.

He loves music and has written a CD of weather songs for children. He also loves to perform and communicate through songs. He proposed to me by performing Old 97's "Question" at a party. He also performed the song during our wedding. (If you haven't heard this song, it's extremely sweet and romantic.) And for Christmas one year he wrote me my own song.

So when he mentioned playing at "Open Mic Night" at a local coffee bar last night, I wondered if something was up. The fact that he brought Little Elvis' soccer ball guitar and our new digital camcorder made his intentions even more obvious.

Performers at the open mic night get to perform two songs. Bob started off playing “For Jack Tymon” by Scott Miller and the Commonwealth, one of his favorite bands. I hadn't heard the song before, but it was written for a baby boy. Tears streamed down my face as I recorded the performance.

Then he performed a song he had written for the baby. He didn't tell me the title, but I assume it's "I'm Gonna be a Dad." This song was much more upbeat and funny, which I (an emotional pregnant woman) really appreciated. Click here to watch a video of the performance. Here is a link to the lyrics of the song.

I can't wait for Little Elvis to hear the song, and my dad is excited about hearing it as well.

It was a great Valentine's Day present, although I feel really guilty about not having gotten anything for him yet!

Got a great pregnant Valentine's Day story? Or a gift suggestion for me?

Band-Aids and Belly Buttons

I feel I've been really lucky with the pregnancy. I'm right where I should be on weight gain according to my doctors (personally, I feel I've gained more than I should, but I'll worry about that after delivery.) And at 38 1/2 weeks, I'm only suffering occasional aches and pains. I'm still working and walking to work, although I go further in on the Metro now and only walk about a block.

My biggest issues these days are my sense of uncomfortableness, tender belly-button and sore groin muscles.

The top part of my belly-button has been poking out for a while now, and I felt nothing. But this weekend it decided to bring on the pain. OK, it doesn't hurt hurt, it smarts. It stings whenever my shirt brushes against it or if my scarf is buttoned under my coat. I've been wearing a band-aid and keeping it moisturized in an effort to quell the stinging.

I'm not sure what to do about the groin muscles though. And I'm really just guessing that it's my groin muscle. I was never very athletic, so I've never experienced a groin pull. Mainly the left one hurts, but yesterday the right one decided to give me a twinge.

Usually, I'll feel like I've pulled my inner thigh out of whack while I'm walking. But sometimes it will ache while I'm just sitting or standing. I can't really lean all of my weight on one foot or the other. I have to stand flat-footed and maybe sway just a little bit to stay comfortable.

So, considering the baby is due in 10 days (hopefully less!) I feel like I'm pretty lucky. But I may be singing a different tune closer to February 17.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Pregnancy is laborious

Well, my Colts won last night (yay!) and I didn't go into labor. Notice I didn't put yay after the second part of that sentence? That's because I wanted to go into labor. We're now at 38 weeks, which means he's safe. And I'm uncomfortable and ready to deliver.


I've gotten to the point where bending over is out of the question. Sitting down is difficult enough, but bending over... well, it's just not going to happen. Before I got pregnant (and even into the pregnancy) I was that person who would bend down to pick up pennies -- even if they were on tails. This morning I saw a nickel and a dime on the ground and just kept on walking. This is big. Anyone who knows me and reads this probably just gasped in astonishment.

While sitting and watching my beloved Colts, I would lean over Wally to get something and the belly would bounce me back to an upright seated position, eliciting a grunt.

I feel really awful for poor Bob because I grunt all the time now. He seems panicked when I do it, but I can't really help it.

I grunt when the baby kicks right behind my belly button -- for some reason, this sensation is very unpleasant and stings. I grunt when I stand up. Grunt when I sit down. Sometimes I'll just grunt while sitting and doing nothing (I think these bother Bob the most. He asks what's wrong and I have no explanation other than I just wanted to grunt.) I grunt when I roll over in bed, and grunt when I get up to go to the bathroom -- everytime.

Needless to say, I am a pest. Last night I took the pestiness a little further, though. Little Elvis waged a war with my bladder or kidneys -- he was seriously pummelling them and it hurt. I wasn't just grunting, I was crying out in pain. Poor Bob has gotten used to the grunts, but the cries are not so common. He's going to be so worn out with worry when I finally do go into labor that he probably won't believe me.

Not only did I grunt and cry out in pain last night, I also stole Bob's pillow from under his head. Actually that was this morning, I'm thinking around 3. I blamed Wally, but still...

Wally has apparently decided that there's not enough room on the pregnancy pillow for him and the belly, so he decided to sleep by my head last night. I didn't really appreciate it, but it did make going to the bathroom easier. When Wally's on the pillow, I have to fight him, the blankets, the pillow and the belly in my attempts to get out of bed.

At some point last night, I turned over to snuggle into Bob's back. This gave Wally his chance to snuggle into my back -- practically pushing Bob off the bed. Since this was common behavior before the pregnancy, Bob slept through it. But he didn't sleep through me yanking his pillow out from under his head.

Why would I do this? Well, I wanted to go back to my side and I decided in my half asleep daze that Wally had pushed my pillow under Bob's. So I thought I was getting my pillow back when I yanked. I realized after I woke poor Bob up that my pillow was actually already on my side and I had been sleeping on his.

Needless to say, I am apparently going nuts and I'm ready to have our baby. (And I'm sure Bob is, too.) Are you guys getting as weird or stir crazy?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Boogie-woogie belly

Do you dance during commercials? I mean the ones with music. I used to... even in front of people who didn't know me very well.

It's not just commercials. I would also wiggle and bop to any decent song on the radio.

It's almost unconcious. If there's a good song playing, then I typically will dance. At least I would.

I don't know when I stopped dancing, but I'm sure it has something to do with my exhaustion from the pregnancy or my stress from work. I just don't have the energy to enjoy music like I used to.

Well, last night I found my rhythm again. We were watching the "My Name is Earl"/"Office" hour on NBC and there was one commercial block that was particularly heavy in songs. Little Elvis had been fairly active, and I just couldn't help myself. I started wiggling the belly to the beat of the songs. He kicked and moved in response and seemed to enjoy himself -- obviously he has rhythm.

Bob thought it was funny and loved watching the different belly movements from us both.

I haven't heard any fun commercial songs yet this evening, but we may turn on the radio so I can dance with Little Elvis again.