Sunday, August 31, 2014

alex's birth story

well i am hanging out at home with alex, getting accustomed to real life again. the past week has been crazy and today is the start of our new normal. a new normal that involves an infant, almost three year old, two dogs, and two adults that don't know what they're doing with all of these lives in their hands! jk.

when i was in the hospital on thursday i actually pulled open leila's birth story so i could remember how everything went down that day. the basics were that i went in for induction at 2cm, took cytotec for 12 hours and made no progress with it, had my water broken at 1pm, went from 5.5cm to 10cm in an hour, and had my baby girl around 7pm.

alex's story is actually quite similar.

jake and i arrived at the hospital on thursday, august 28th at 6am. i was 2-3cm and 80% effaced at that time. they started giving me pitocin at 7:15am and the contractions didn't start right away. i was a solid 3cm at 9am when my doc came to break my water.

the contractions started coming every 2 min then, but as soon as i'd switch positions, they'd stop. around 10am i started walking around my room and listening to music. that got the contractions going, but at 12pm i was only at 4cm. i got an epidural at 1:30pm and figured i was at least at 5cm based on the strength of the contractions.


my doctor came in at 2pm and i was still 4cm. she was scheduled for an off-site surgery and figured she'd be back at the hospital by 3pm. none of us seemed concerned that i'd go into labor in that timeframe, although we knew it might happen quickly based on leila's delivery.

30 minutes later, i felt a huge loss of blood or amniotic fluid, half of my body was experiencing the worst contractions ever, i felt alex's head straight up ready to exit, and i knew i was ready to have a baby. the nurse came in and said i'd indeed gone from 4cm to 10cm in 30 minutes. buuut my doctor was still in surgery.

the contractions were so strong that it took everything in my power not to push. the nurse turned off the pitocin, the anesthesiologist came back to increase my meds, and the contractions stopped being painful. jake, the nurse, and myself literally sat in the room chatting and joking for the next 90 minutes while we waited for my doctor to return.

on one hand, it was annoying because i could've had my sweet boy even earlier. on the other, it gave me time to relax and be super ready for pushing.

when my doctor came back, we immediately got ready for the pushing. i pushed for 9 minutes and our son arrived! no tearing or stitches, thank goodness. just the easy delivery of a 6.5 pound little boy. it turns out alex wasn't growing very well at the end due to the placenta. it was small and deteriorating.

during the 90 minute wait for my doc we joked about who he'd look like. we wondered if he'd have black hair like leila did or brown like jake and myself. none of us ever suggested what we received- a redhead. that was the biggest surprise of his birth. super red hair. apparently the gene has to be on both sides of the family to get red hair. jake's mother and her siblings are redheads, so that wasn't surprising. i didn't know of any redheads in my family though. turns out it's from my dad's mom's side and one of his sisters had red hair.

well that's the birth story! we are beyond smitten with our little lad and can't wait to begin our journey with alex and his sister.

alexander jacob

Alexander Jacob
August 28, 2014 at 4:04pm
6 lbs, 8 oz
19 1/2 in

baby alex: 39.5 weeks

i started writing this post before giving birth to our little man, so i figured i'd go ahead and finish it before moving on to his birth story.

how far along: 39.5 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a mini-watermelon (20 inches long and weighs over 7 pounds)

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4 lbs and weighed 165.8 pounds at 38 weeks. today, the day before induction, i weigh 166 pounds. i gained 23.6 pounds for this little guy's pregnancy.

symptoms: plenty of contractions, but nothing consistent enough to be labor

cravings / aversions: i'm in solid pumpkin spice latte mode right now

movement: alex's movement has been slowing down, although i think it's supposed to in the final weeks. i had a sono on monday and he hardly moved at all, which was a bit scary. but he came around eventually.

gender: boy

belly button: outie

sleep: finally slept through the night for two straight nights after having bronchitis. what a relief.

what i'm looking forward to: baby alex will be here tomorrow. eeks!

what i miss: being worry-free. after the news that i have intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), i started reading up on it. what a mistake. there is so much information about how underdeveloped babies from IUGR have a more difficult time with labor and there is an increased risk they'll be stillborn. insert panic mode here.

highlights this past week: visiting with my perinatologist and scheduling the induction.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


i can't believe it's almost here. the arrival of alexander jacob. it's been a rough journey; much more difficult than my pregnancy with leila. getting pregnant with leila was harder, but keeping alex and myself healthy has been much more strenuous. from thrombocytopenia to fainting to mastitis to subchorionic hematoma, it's been a wild ride.

but the wild ride should be coming to an end on thursday.

yesterday i went in for a sonogram to check on alex's growth because my belly was measuring a few weeks behind. although i'm 39.5 weeks along, his measurements put him about 36 weeks and under 6 pounds. my doctor wanted to get a second opinion from my perinatologist, so i went there today. their super high tech equipment showed the same thing. his belly, femur, and forearm were all indicative of about 35.5 weeks, but his head was 39 weeks. i guess he'll have a big noggin like his sister! she did say that was a good thing because it means he's keeping up developmentally, just not physically. overall, alex appeared to be in about the 7th percentile for his gestational age, which means he is going to be a little peanut.

i asked the doctor what could've caused alex to stop growing. she said that there are three primary reasons- a chromosomal abnormality, birth defect, or the placenta is no longer working correctly. she said that she is absolutely not concerned that there is a chromosomal or birth defect issue, because they've scanned me so thoroughly in her office since the beginning of the pregnancy and haven't seen any indication. that actually made me very grateful for the monthly sonograms i've managed to have along the way! she said it's more than likely a placenta issue, but they can't know for sure until i deliver. for some people, the placenta just stops functioning as well as it should a little early. for the past few weeks, alex hasn't been getting the nutrients he needs through the placenta.

i asked if there was anything i'd done to cause this and she said no. that made me feel better. it also explains why today i weighed only 166 pounds. i've gained a whopping 2.5 pounds since 34 weeks, which is on par with a baby not growing much.

i'd be lying if i didn't admit i'm a little nervous about inducing on thursday. but boy would i rather be induced in this situation than go into labor on my own! if i went into labor on my own, i'd be terrified that the contractions were too strenuous for him and i couldn't monitor how he was doing with them. they hooked me up to some monitors today to check his heart rate and my contractions. i had a couple of contractions while i was hooked up and his heart rate was great too. because of those things, plus the fact that my cervix is favorable, everyone seems to think alex and i have a good shot at an easy delivery on thursday. i hope that is indeed the case!

in the meantime, i'm soaking up time with jake and my leilybug. i'm going to miss her so much while we are at the hospital! i'm gonna get some rest and prepare for my last day as a mommy of an only child tomorrow. good night!

Friday, August 22, 2014

stupid appointment

last week i had a vision for my 39 week appointment today. we were going to schedule my induction for next week, i was going to show a ridiculous amount of progress thanks to evening primrose oil and red raspberry leaf tea, and i was going to leave with a smile on my face.

then reality set in.

first of all, i have bronchitis. so getting induced on monday is off the table. there shall be no bringing baby into the world with a sick mama. not only do we not want him to get sick, but it'd royally stink to be trying to breathe through labor without being able to actually breathe. i started feeling crappy last friday and yesterday was probably the worst of it. hopefully it'll pass soon, but since we don't know when it will pass, my doc wasn't comfortable even putting me on the induction schedule for next week.

the second thing in the appointment was that we did the typical fundal measurement. i measured 36 weeks and apparently have been since 36 weeks. they ordered a sono for monday to check on alex's growth. he might be growing just fine and has dropped, even though i don't look like i've dropped at all. or it could be that he's very efficiently tucked away in there. or he could have just not grown much in the past 3 weeks due to placenta, fluid, or cord issues. they'll take a look on monday and figure out what to do from there.

i was 2cm and 70% effaced today. so i dilated a bit more, but no improvement on effacement. it's still a bit of progress, but i was hoping for more.

i've always preached that the best "birth plan" on the day you deliver is to not have a plan at all. you should just be open to your doctor's advice and your body's instincts, whether that means vaginal or c-section, epidural or no epidural, etc. but here i am eating my words! i hate not having a plan. i really enjoyed having a date set to deliver leila because it allowed us to get all of our ducks in a row and if she had come early, we were still prepared. this time i don't have that deadline and i'm just waiting.

i'm off for 12 weeks thanks to FMLA, and that 12 weeks started on august 8. everyday that i'm home by myself feels like one less day i'll be with alex later. i don't want to send him to daycare after only 8 or 9 weeks. i want at least 10 like i had with leilybug. :-(

sorry to have such a whiny post today. i was just really looking forward to knowing that by this time next week i would be holding my son. now i don't know if i will. maybe he'll come early on his own, maybe it'll be medically necessary to induce next week, maybe we'll want to hold off because i'm still sick. who knows. not me, that's for sure.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

baby alex: 38 weeks

this might be my last bi-weekly post! there's a solid chance i'll be induced next week prior to a 40 week post, but i'll find out for sure tomorrow.

how far along: 38 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a leek (19.5 inches long and weighs 6.8 pounds)

weight gain / loss: i started at 142.4 lbs and weighed 164.6 at 36 weeks. i weighed 165.8 the day i turned 38 weeks. that's another 1.2 pounds in two weeks. i've gained about 24 pounds so far.

symptoms: the back pain has subsided thanks to all of this maternity leave rest. i get braxton-hicks contractions almost everyday and last week thought i might actually be in active labor. i eventually walked it off so womp womp, no baby. that was also the day i lost my mucus plug.

cravings / aversions: craving sweets and caffeine. probably not in my best interest, but i'm all over those.

movement: alex is pretty active, but he's been getting annoyed with my coughing (i've been sick). sometimes i think i'm going to cough him right out of me, but then he gives me a swift kick in the ribs back to reality.

gender: boy

belly button: outie

sleep: i have felt so rested thanks to early maternity leave! and so not well rested thanks to coughing fits at all hours of the night. i need to kick this cough so that labor and delivery can be healthy.

what i'm looking forward to: meeting our little bambino- hopefully next week!

what i miss: drugs. half kidding. when it's just me and i'm sick, i have no problem taking one claritin a day, mucinex every four hours, tylenol every few hours, cough drops as needed, etc. but right now i'm really struggling with that. i don't want to put all of those medications in my system if i don't have to since alex can be affected too. i'm not taking anything that my doc didn't recommend, but i'm not fond of taking the full dose of everything at once. maybe if i did do full doses i would heal faster. it's a double edged sword.

highlights this past week: the day i had contractions about eight minutes apart and lost my mucus plug was pretty damn exciting. if nothing else, i know that i've made progress since my last cervical check and will be interested to see what they say tomorrow when i'm 39 weeks

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

early maternity leave

i just got home from my 38 week appt (i'm actually 37+4 today) and it went well. i had my first cervical exam of the third trimester and am dilated 1cm and 70% effaced. alex's head was very very low so she had a hard time reaching the cervix. she said i was contracting while laying there, so that seems good. i feel like most of this is standard ops at this stage, and in a good way.

my platelet count is dropping a little, but nothing significant. i went from 263 two weeks ago to 220 last week. those values are both well above the low threshold of 100-150, so i'm not concerned. hopefully today's platelet count stays up in that range and they stop trending downward.

the nurse and doc both commented on how great i look, especially with zero swelling. last wednesday i started sporting cankles and not looking great. then on thursday, while walking to the bathroom at work, i passed out. didn't really feel it coming on, just woke up to lots of people around me and freaking out that something had happened to the baby. i was trying really hard to focus on feeling movement but the whole thing was so overwhelming and scary that i couldn't stop crying, hyperventilating, and actually focus. eventually i felt alex move, but i ended up getting shipped to the ER. jake met my coworker and i there, and they did several tests on me. they could only find that my blood sugar was a bit low and heartrate dropped pretty low at one point. nothing conclusive. then we went to labor and delivery to monitor alex. i loved the doctor there. he said alex's graphs (or whatever they are) were the best he'd seen all day and that except for a few contractions, i looked good too.

the whole thing was enough to put me on early maternity leave though. i have pretty mixed feelings on being out already. on one hand, i feel like this may cut my time with alex short later. but on the other, my body was obviously sending a very clear message- get some rest, mama! less than a week of limited activity later, all swelling has gone away and i feel more energized than i have in months. that feels unreal at almost 38 weeks pregnant! and check it out, i actually have time to blog, lol.

that's all for today. just wanted to make sure last week's craziness made it onto the blog and give an update of the appointment. cheerio!