Sunday, December 30, 2007

The birth story - part 3

After actively laboring on a pitocin drip for about 9 hours, Amy, the midwife, returned to check Lucy's cervix around midnight. We had high hopes that Lucy had progressed to 7 or 8 centimeters, and were mightily disappointed when our midwife announced that Lucy was only at 4 cm. Amy said that they would need to increase the dosage more aggressively to speed labor along. Lucy, Emme, Pat and I were all frustrated, but wanted to hold on to our goal of as natural a labor and birth as possible.

The midwife upped the dosage of pitocin, and immediately Lucy's contractions jumped in strength. We quickly elevated our comfort measures to incorporate a warm bath. Moving the remote fetal monitor, IV and pitocin drip to the bathroom, Emme and I worked to comfort Lucy by squeezing towels drenched in warm water over Lucy's abdomen and chest while she soaked. The contractions continued to get stronger and stronger, and Lucy for the first time started to moan loudly.

After a short period, Lucy brought up the prospect of an epidural as she was unsure if she would be able to handle the pain and the intense pressure to push that was accompanying these contractions for several more hours. Emme and I talked to Lucy about the great progress she must be making with these strong contractions. We agreed to page the midwife at 1:30 am to check Lucy again. If she had not progressed significantly, we would consider an epidural at that point.

That hour seemed like an eternity for all involved. When 1:30 came, Lucy was at her wit's end, but was hopeful of progress. Unfortunately, she had only moved a centimeter in that time - normally good progress, but under the painful conditions, not enough to give us confidence that Lucy would have enough energy left to go the next 5 cm, not to mention pushing.

Lucy and I talked, in the 1 minute intervals between contractions, and decided that an epidural was our best option at that point. Our hope was that it would provide enough relief for her to rest for the first time in roughly 24 hours, but provide enough sensation so that she would be able to feel the contractions when it was time to push. The midwife paged the anesthesiologist while Emme and I helped get Lucy out of the bath.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sam's big day out

Getting ready for some errands. Sam is a little dubious about today's adventure.

First stop, Potbelly's Sandwich Works so Mom can get her fix. Then a stop at BabiesRUs for some exchanges and returns (not pictured).

Next up, the long awaited trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond where we did NOT buy the trash can we had on hold.

The last stop was at Target for a quick feeding, a change of diapers (and clothes) and some bulk shopping. Finally, we headed for home, a little tired, but no worse for the wear.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends.
Much love from Chris, Lucy and Sam

Monday, December 24, 2007

The birth story - part 2

We roused ourselves at about 9 am on Sunday and both showered. Lucy's contractions from the night before had subsided so we took our time getting going. We got to the hospital at about 11 am, checked in at admitting and went up to PETU (Pediatric Triage Unit).

After being hooked up to a fetal monitor, our midwife Amy came in to check on mom and the baby. Lucy was 1 cm dilated, 60-70% effaced and the baby was low in a +1 position. Amy wanted to induce labor by putting Lucy on a Pitocin drip because it had been 12 hours since her water broke. Lucy and I talked to the midwife about our desire for a natural child birth and to avoid medications as much as possible. Amy agreed to let us try some natural methods of kick starting labor and moved us to our birthing room.

Once in the room, our nurse Traci hooked Lucy up to a portable fetal monitor (the only one in the ward) so that Lucy could walk around. Lucy and I paced the room for a few hours all the while stimulating Lucy's nipples and watching the fetal monitor for contractions. Pretty soon we began seeing (and feeling) fairly regular contractions and were pretty excited that things were beginning. It was around that time that Lucy's mom, Pat, and our doula, Emme, arrived. We talked about our options and waited for the midwife to check in.

The midwife returned around 3 pm and checked Lucy. She said that while Lucy was experiencing regular contractions and the baby was low, they were not strong enough to be considered active labor. The midwife felt that a Pitocin drip was now needed, but agreed to take things slow to see if Lucy's natural system kicked in on its own. We agreed, and Lucy was hooked up to an IV and Pitocin drip.

Nearly immediately, Lucy's contractions became more frequent and greater in strength. It became more difficult for her to walk through the contractions, and she had to concentrate more and rely on her comfort measures. Emme, Pat and I took turns massaging Lucy, walking with her, and feeding her ice chips. Over the course of the next few hours, Lucy's contractions would continue to get stronger and stronger, while remaining consistently about 1 - 1.5 minutes apart. While painful and exhausting, with little time for rest in between, we were confident we were making good progress.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The birth story - part 1

It was nearly one week ago, last Saturday at midnight to be precise, while I was busy playing an exciting game of Civ IV on the computer, that I heard Lucy exclaim from upstairs, "Honey, I think my bag of waters is leaking."

"Are you sure?" I yelled up the stairs. "Well, I could have peed myself in my sleep, I'm not sure," she responded. Minutes later the first gush gushed and we knew for sure.

We should have known things were about to begin. Earlier that day, while trying to relax - Lucy was still on modified bed rest - she decided that she needed to put together the baby's cosleeper in his bedroom, organize the baby's clothing, sheets, etc, and basically busy herself with picking up the house. That was the first clue - a heightened nesting instinct. That evening, we watched the movie "Elf." Very funny and a little touching, but not one of your more heart wrenching films starring Will Ferrell. Anyway, instead of laughing, Lucy cried during it. Clue #2 - heightened emotions. But in honesty we both missed these clues, so when her water broke, we were both in a bit of shock.

A quick call to the midwife and doula and we set a plan to show up at the hospital the next morning if Lucy was not already in active labor. I proceeded to finish packing the birth bag which was nearly complete, just threw in some toiletries and clementine oranges. I had had a hunch that things were becoming a little imminent so I had already packed most of the clothes for Lucy, Sam and myself as well as snacks and labor relief items.

Lucy was having some contractions that were stronger than the previous week's, and they kept her up for several hours. I knew I would need my rest to be ready for the next day, so I left my wife "laboring" downstairs while I went up to bed. I slept like a log. Lucy's contractions continued for several hours before subsiding around 4 am allowing her to catch a little shut eye as well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Favorite pic of the day

Taken by Auntie Annie on Dec 19, 2007


Of Sam's first day can be found here.

First morning home

Lucy, Sam and I returned from the hospital last night and enjoyed our first night together as a family in our home. Lucy and Sam are getting the hang of feeding, while I am learning the importance of burping. We awoke this morning to a beautiful new dusting of snow outside, and Mommy and Sam had a big feeding and then some quiet bonding time while Daddy dozed. Now it is Lucy's turn for a nap while Sam sleeps. I get to catch up on some chores and ponder the wonders of fatherhood. Who new one's life could change so wonderfully so quickly. I'll post more pictures soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Meet Sam

Samuel Greenwood Jones
Born Dec 17, 2007 at 10:19 am
Weighed 6 lbs 11 oz
20" in length

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Week 34

Week 34 was an exciting week. It began with a new boiler being put into the basement and ended with Lucy 50% effaced and under "house arrest." To put it simply, we had a new boiler installed last Wednesday. That night, because the house was full of soot (another story), Lucy and I stayed over at Pat & Ron's. Lucy got home late and was experiencing some contractions. I drew a bath to relax Lucy only to discover that the bath filled in with hair and gravel residue (not due to an unclean bath, only unused pipes). Anyway, we drew a new bath, but the Rollins' hot water heater could only do so much. Pat and Ron took turns boiling water.

To make a long story longer, the contractions did not let up on Thursday and when Lucy got home we tried another bath, this time at our house. Well, our hot water heater couldn't even handle that so I was the one boiling water this time. Neadless to say, the contractions still didn't let up so we headed to the clinic on Friday morning. Several hours of monitoring later, Lucy was diagnosed with a bacterial infection and given antibiotics.

We went home and had a fine weekend preparing for the baby, a little more confident that we had things under control. That was until the contractions returned late Saturday and all-day Sunday. So, 6am Monday morning we were off to the hospital. 7 more hours of monitoring and the midwives put Lucy on what I call house arrest, essentially bed rest without having to really stay in bed.

Since then, Lucy has spent the days at home, transitioned her work stuff off to others, and basically has developed a case of mild cabin fever. We visited our midwife again today for a pre-scheduled check up and everything seemed well. Lucy is semi-effaced, but her contractions have diminished and the midwife felt fairly confident in the baby sticking it out until full term (2 more weeks!).

Anyway, that was week 34. I wonder what week 35 has in store...

Thanksgiving pics

As I mentioned, Thanksgiving was a blast. Here are some pics.

4 Generations
Grandma Debby

A quite moment alone

New Boiler!



Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pre-turkey belly

The belly continues to grow! Here is a picture from Nov 16th. I'll post a post-turkey belly in a few. BTW - the midwife said yesterday that she estimated baby to be 5 1/2 pounds already!

Bonus pic of Lucy and baby bonding on the couch.

Interesting week

Okay, so an update...
We were in Kansas City for thanksgiving and had a blast. Saw our extended family on Chris' Mom's side... ate lots of turkey, cheered for KU football, got spoiled with baby goodies. When we got home Sunday night a long LONG week began. I had a big presentation that week and 12-13 hour work days... plus a cold I'd caught! Ugh. Then to top it off our boiler was to be swapped out but ended up we had to go without any heat for a day and board at my mom & dad's Wednesday night. I started having mild contractions pretty frequently. We were all up until 1am trying to calm them down and finally I was able to go to sleep. Big presentation on Thursday with brain and body mush! Ugh, what long day... then out for a late business dinner. Contractions started up frequently again middle of the night... Chris and I still working on slowing them and talking with the midwives. Didn't get much sleep needless to say! Friday morning we went into the clinic and they ran tests and such... discovered that I was 50% effaced at only 34 weeks and were not sure why. Then later a test result came back that said I had a bacterial infection causing the contractions... they gave me a mild drug to slow them down and antibiotics to get rid of the infection. When contractions slowed the baby moved higher up and I was less effaced... and midwife said since we found the reason and can stop it that we could well go full term or even past due date. Hurray! So baby is still in my belly and all is well. A few more weeks would do us all well! And let's just say that I'm writing this entry in bed with Chris next to me at 11:00am on Saturday... with no plans to get up and be productive any time soon.