Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Flying High


The epidural was inserted and Karen was catnapping within 10 minutes. Can I have an epidural too? The day is sliding by but she's making great progress and everything is going smoothly.

Of course, now the prospect of caring for a new life is much closer than it seemed yesterday. I can't say I know what to expect, but I am strangely unconcerned about what lies ahead. I don't have any real experience to draw from, but how hard can it really be when you want so earnestly to succeed and enjoy the ride?

The day is shaping up wonderfully and we might get a peak at Baby Ferg within the next few hours.

Status: 8 cm dilated, +1 position, contractions ~ 3 minutes apart

All Systems a Go on this Juicy Adventure

(karen) Good morning! We've had quite an exciting time since yesterday. Monday was my first day of maternity leave and I spent the time being productive: taking Molly to the vet, taking Child/Infant CPR courses online, buying ingredients for lasagna to stick in the freezer. I was feeling just a touch "funny" and wondered if something might happen soon, but as the day went on everything seemed normal again. I had my non-stress test at 2:30 and Steve came with me for the enthralling 30 minute monitoring session. One monitor tracked fetal heart rate and the other monitored my contractions to see how she responded to the squeezing (she didn't even notice). The doc complained that she was sleeping so I started poking and prodding Baby Ferg a bit, and then the mongoose came to life! There were nice healthy heart rates all over the monitor and everyone was pleased. At the end of the appt I asked about getting my membranes swept as a more natural way to help things along, rather than perhaps waiting for a full-on induction at the end of the week. I'd heard it was a painful procedure but I barely noticed it and it was over in about 6 seconds. With that we were wished luck and sent on our way back home.

I decided I wanted to take advantage of some free movie tickets we've been hanging on to so I told Steve I was taking him to see Toy Story 3 that night. We got our movie candy and head to the theater in the car that doesn't have the car seat or hospital bags, because we were in a fate-tempting mood and this seemed the most appropriate irresponsible short-term decision. During the movie I was squeezing Steve's should every time I felt a minor contraction, and he told me they were consistently about 8 min apart. I wasn't too worried because I've been having these Braxton Hicks for weeks now. I thought if anything we were practicing how to do the timing for when the real ones come. I gave a little throat clearing cough and instantly I felt a gush of warm fluid. I stared at Steve for a couple of seconds before announcing in a theater whisper , "My water just broke!" The docs say this only happens about 10% of the time so I guess I'm one of the dramatic few that likes to make a scene. It was a loooong walk back to the car, pants stuffed with paper towels but still actively leaking in view of the couples and families we passed on the way to the parking lot.

We called the doc in the car and were asked to gather our things and come into the hospital when we were ready. Since it was nearly 10:00 pm we had to use the Emergency Entrance and let me tell you people, I left a dripping trail the whole way. In the movies the lead lady gets a gush and says "Oh, my water broke!" then cut to screaming contractions and then cuddling an 8-month old covered in goo. My experience has been more like an unstoppable gush of amniotic fluid. Followed 10 min later by another unstoppable gush (thanks goodness Steve put two towels and a trash bag in the front seat). Just when you think you can't possibly have any more fluid, gush again and make an absolute mess of your hospital bed. Then for good measure leak a little more every time you have a contraction. (Sorry, TMI?) The benefit of this experience is I got to skip the whole triage step and go straight into the labor/delivery room. I guess they figured I wasn't faking it.

I wasn't really feeling painful contractions up to the point so they encouraged me to get some sleep overnight. I got an IV access placed in my wrist and was given a couple of sleeping pills t0 help mask the back labor I'd begun to feel. I was nervous about taking the pills but they worked beautifully and I slept soundly from 2:00-6:30am. It's about 9:00 now and I've been on a pitocin drip to help speed things along. The contractions are certainly more painful but so far manageable. I'm up to about 4 cm dilated and 80-90% effaced. Sorry about the long post, but writing it has been a welcome distraction from these labor pains. We'll update again soon when we have more news.

Ugh, they just uped my pitocin another couple of clicks. Again. This aught to be fun.

Here we go


Two Ambien pills later and all the sudden it's almost 7 am. Karen was able to sleep for a good 4 hours last night. Even got rolled over and didn't notice a thing. During that time the contractions slowed down some, but a little Pitocin goes a long way.

When we arrived last night, the ER desk asked if Karen's water had broken. I asked if they wanted me to get the soaked towel out of the car. While filling out papers another woman arrived and said "my water broke." I guess it's contagious after all.

Once we were wheeled up to the delivery floor our nurse informed us that they would be switching the computer monitoring system this morning. So we get hand checks every 15-20 minutes. At least they are bringing in more nurses and delayed all the scheduled inducements for today.

Status: haven't checked since we originally arrived, but one very ruptured sac, one strong baby heart beat, one somewhat rested Momma, and about 11 hours down. Contractions are back to every ~ 3-4 minutes.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Who knew date night could be so eventful


So we went to a movie this evening. Toy Story 3. We even went to the trouble to sneak in some movie candy. Guess the little monkey didn't want to see it, cause half way through, Karen leaned over and said, "I think my water just broke." We crept out of the theater grinning sheepishly. I would not recommend sitting in theater nine for a few days.

Two hours later we're in the labor room, Karen's hooked up to a fetal monitor and she's started working her way up the dilation scale. Looks like we're here for the haul, so sit back and enjoy the ride. At least she got a good nights sleep last night.

Status: 3 cm dilated, 80% effaced, contractions ~ 6 minutes apart.

Friday, June 25, 2010

T-2 Days


We had an interesting doctor appt this morning, our last scheduled one before our due date on the 27th. I've heard that first babies are typically late but the doctor and nurses were making it seem like it was amazing that I've gone as long as I have.

"Wow, you're still going?"
"Do we need to have a talk?"
"She's got a hold of your hip bones with both hands and is holding on for dear life!"

I got my exam and have progressed to 3cm dilated, up from 2cm the week before, up from 1 cm the week before that, so at least I know things are moving in the right direction. I have a "favorable cervix", go me! My doctor asked what I wanted to do at this point, and when I told her I didn't really understand the question, she explained she meant did I want to go straight for an induction. (To which I'm thinking, aren't I still technically 2 DAYS EARLY??) I declined again to do anything today and to instead see how it goes over the weekend. She did say that she does not recommend going past a week since it can start to get unsafe, meaning a bigger baby and great chance of needing a C-section. Another interesting bit of info is that both she and the other doctor I've been seeing are going to be out of town next weekend for the 4th of July so that pretty much means that if this kid doesn't start the great journey toward the light on her own we'll be inducing by next Friday, July 2. Steve and I then shared an "OFMG this just got all kinds of real" moment.

I made an appointment for next Monday to have a non-stress test performed which is where they'll monitor contractions and the baby's heart rate to see how well she handles the squishing. From there, who know? My doc said feel free to call any time this weekend and say "I'm done! I've had enough! Let's get this kid out!". I'm not really feeling that way though, and it seems too strange to just walk in and say "Ok I'd like to give birth now." I'm going to at least wait things out a few more days and then reevaluate on Monday. So there internet, you are all caught up.

What else has been going on? Let me bulletize:
  • I had my last day of work!! I'm going to miss everyone but honestly this leave came at the best possible moment. I won't go into the gory details, suffice it to say that my extended maternity leave should in some small way help the program budget woes.
  • I feel like I'm in school again and I just started summer vacation. What confuses me is that everyone else has to go back in on Monday. How lame is that?
  • It's like walking on the flipping surface of the sun these days. But it's a dry heat, right?
  • Before the thermostat got cranked up to a billion degrees we had a rockin' storm that spawned egg sized hail and multiple funnel clouds over Denver. Not for the Fergs, though, we got some pretty pictures and a bunch of wind. Darned North Denver gets all the fun.

  • I'm practically healthy again! I can breathe thru my nose!! This is tres exciting, folks. It almost makes me feel like nesting...but I'll leave that to the pros:

  • Steve and I went on a 4 mile walk this afternoon to help things out if at all possible. I was also directed to order the spicy sauce with my lunch, so you can't say I ain't trying. Until then we wait. And maybe turn on the AC, because dear god people it's hot out there.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lyons Outdoor Games

Before you start asking questions, yes I'm still pregnant. T-7 days until D-Day, but my money says this little stinker is going to be late. Would you like to hear about something else for a while? How about the Lyons Outdoor games! This is a yearly event in a little town called Lyons, north of Boulder and about halfway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It's a 3 day event but we were only able to catch the last day. I think that was probably a good thing because we had a strange bout of very cold, wet rainy weather all weekend and Fri/Sat sounded pretty miserable for spectators.

We were invited by our friends Amanda and Steve to come watch the action and I'm so glad we went! It was a long but very fun day watching the folks on the river. Below are some pics of our friends showing off their moves.

Steve lining himself up for the next gate:

Alex doing a wonderful advertisement for his kayaking gear:

The beautiful Hella watches the action upstream after finishing her run:

Scott tears thru his run and humbles the field:

One of the more entertaining competitions for the day was the Canine Cannonball, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Pooches big and small are judged for their style and distance for leaping recklessly into a pond after all manners of balls and toys. It was pretty amazing how crazed these dogs were to jump in the water again and again:


Back to the human based competitions, we spent quite a lot of time enjoying the free-style kayak competitions. This is a competition where kayakers in playboats do insane tricks in a standing feature on the river. I learned about fun moves like the "space godzilla", "phonics monkey", and "McNasty". Please don't ask me what they look like; all I know is these dudes do all manner of cartwheel-ish acrobatics in the water and I am perfectly content to stay on the shore and watch:


All in all, it was a great day! Many thanks to our friends for including us landlubbers in the festivities.


(click on any photo to access more pics in my online album)

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Two Week Wait

I don’t think I’ve quite wrapped my head around the fact OMFG in two weeks there’s going to be an new human being we’re going to take home and have to take care of and pretend like we know what the heck to do with it. Seriously, I can almost see what the weather forecast will be on my due date. We’re buying dairy product with expiration dates well past 6/27. It’s that close. I’m trying to take solace in that this *seems* like a pretty standard reaction for a first time parent, and somehow all those little babies out there stay alive and grow up to be decent human beings, so…yeah. There’s hope for us. Still, in my free time I’ve been playing in my garden and reading sci-fi novels and generally cruising along under the assumption that because we have a box of huggies in the nursery that means we’re “ready”. Then I get mini-panic attacks that I should be using this time more wisely, either by living every remaining baby-free moment to the fullest, or by scouring the internet to do last minute research on cloth diapering or infant CPR. (I really do need to do that last one). It doesn’t help though that I’ve had a really nasty chest cold for the last 2 weeks, and the second I started to recover I came down with a brand new cold. In other words, forget nesting: my motivation and energy level is about right for sitting on the couch and watching the last season of Mad Men on Netflix

So what’s new with the bump? Still having frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions but no real ones yet. At my last appt. I was 1-2 cm dilated, up very slightly from last week. They offered to do a procedure called “stripping the membranes” which separates the lower part of the amniotic sac from the uterine wall to help things along, but I declined at this point. I figured there’s no rush just yet and we’d let nature do her thing for a while longer. Beyond that, just the usual insomnia and discomfort of late stage pregnancy. It’s going to be strange to no longer have this mysterious alien in my belly thrashing all around and poking out her elbows and feet; I think I’m going to miss it. I love this pregnant belly far more than I thought I would. By now I’ve totally forgotten what my body used to look like, though I am excited to wear my normal clothes again! So on with the 2 week wait. I should really try to muster up some energy to remain a productive(ish) employee during this time.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Return to Blogging, and Baby Ferg's Nursery

(3 weeks to D-Day)

It's been well over a year since my last post but with Baby Ferg's arrival predicted by the end of the month, we thought it would be a good idea to dust off our little blog and get back out in the ether. As those of you who would ever bother reading this already know, Steve and I are expecting our bundle of squirming joy somewhere around June 27th, although technically I believe as of today I am full-term. People keep asking if we're ready, and I wonder how we'd ever know if we really are. We've bought or been given all the major necessities so materially we're prepared; we picked out a pediatrician, we have our hospital paperwork all filled out and our little bags packed, so yeah, I guess we're "ready". Not much to do now but wait and start second guessing all those little twinges.

Baby Ferg's Nursery

We've had a great time putting together our nursery for Baby Ferg and I wanted to share some pictures of the finished product. For those of you who have visited us before, this is the old "Madeline Room". Not that the old decorations weren't wonderful and all, but I think we did a pretty good job in making the nursery our own.

Baby Ferg's Nursery

The glider was our major splurge but I think we spent our money in the right place. We actually refinished the changing table from an old computer table we found in my mother's garage, as well as the dresser which was Steve's from when he was a kid. We painted them the same color white and voila! A matching furniture set.

Baby Ferg's Nursery My homemade mobile

The mobile may look a little squinky but I made it with love. I used some of the cards from our baby shower to make the dangly decorations so we'll think of our friends and family when we see it.

Baby Ferg's Nursery

The sheets are washed and the toys are ready. All we need now is to add a baby! I'll be sure to post periodic updates before and of course after her arrival to stay in touch as best as I electronically can. And now, the Happy Marshmallow Dance (i.e. how she treats me after I eat more than my fair share of leftover marshmallows. This kid is going to have a sweet tooth just like her mama):