You’d think it was a Saturday in the fall…

I’m not sure what prompted me to dress my child in PSU clothes on the same day that her daddy was sporting the Nittany Lion logo, but I thought we should go with it and get a picture.  Especially for the crazy, I mean, faithful Penn State fans in our lives.  You know who you are. 

PS.  When I see this picture, I can’t help but be a little sad that my baby is in a sweatshirt, my husband in a long-sleeved t-shirt and I’m in tights & heels.

Buzzers, Cheerleaders & Bouncing Balls, Oh My!

Being married to a high school coach and athletic director, much of my adult life has been spent going to high school sporting events.  Seriously, I didn’t attend as many high school sporting events when I was IN high school as I did when the two of us started dating.  Now that I’ve birthed a child, I have a good excuse not to go.  This fall I traded in cold wet football games for the warmth of my house and a cuddly (and sometimes screaming) newborn and now I catch up on DVR instead of going to long, sometimes boring basketball games.  However, I sort of miss the socialization.  Because, let’s not lie.  I have a three-month old and unless it’s going to earn a paycheck, I don’t get out of the house very often. 

So, I decided it was time to give our munchkin a preview of what the rest of her life will be like and took her to a girls basketball game tonight.  We lasted 4:42 seconds …into the FIRST quarter before her father sent us home because she held her ears when the buzzer went off.  She’s such a sheltered child, most days the loudest noise she hears is someone sneezing – and that’s been known to send her into a crying fit.  Guess we’ll try again some other time. 

On another note, I paid a little more attention to teenage girls at this game.  And, Oh.My.God.  I do not want my baby girl to grow up to be a teenager.

Movin’ On Up

Last night was our first attempt at trying to establish a “night time routine”.  Baby Girl got her bath at 8:00, was being fed at 8:30 and gently placed in her crib at 9:00 …  at 9:04 Craig looked at me with heartbreak in his eyes and said “Why do we have to move her to the crib again?”  

I explained that if we move her now she’ll never know any differently and it’ll be easier on her, but he didn’t seem to buy it. I also think that she’s getting too big for the bassinette.  When she stretches, she hits the side of it with her arm and wakes herself up.  And we make entirely too much noise and have too many lights on in the evenings for her to sleep soundly in the living room while we’re up or in our bedroom when we go to bed.  She was out until almost 5AM, so I have to think that she’s ready for the move, but is it too soon?

My Labor Story

Before I forget the details, I wanted to get my labor story documented…
First of all anyone who knows me knows that I did not want to be induced. Remember the post where I laid out my labor plan… To go into labor on my own – on or before the 23rd of September; go without an epidural and not have a c-section. Well one out of four isn’t bad, I guess.
At our 40-week and 1 day appointment, the doctor scheduled an induction for September 30th, which would have made me one full week over due. I never thought I would actually be that late or need that appointment, but apparently the baby had another opinion. So at 7:45 on September 30th, Craig and a very pregnant me walked into the hospital and knew we would be leaving for a baby. On the way to the hospital Craig talked to the baby about putting me into labor right-this-very-second and I joked that I would be OK with it if they checked things out and discovered that I was in the early stages of labor and sent us home with instructions to come back later. Neither of those two things happened and at 8:30 I was still barely 1cm dilated, not effaced enough to break my water and hooked up to pitocin to start contractions.
For the first hour or so, the contractions weren’t that bad. They just felt like good old fashioned cramps. Then they started getting a little stronger and were a little harder to breathe through. I asked for some pain medicine around 10:00 and before the nurse gave it to me she checked to see how I was progressing. I was 2cm. Barely 2 cm. She gave me some pain medicine to take the edge off, which it absolutely did not, and increased the pitocin. A little while later, the contractions were really, really painful. Craig tried to help by telling me to breathe deeper – (thanks honey!) and I realized there was no way I was getting through labor without the epidural. When the nurse came back in to tell me the woman in the room next to me was getting an epidural, I told her to send the doctor to me when he was done with her.

They put the epidural in around 11:00. That was probably the most uncomfortable and awkward part of labor. Trying to hold still, sort of curled up in a ball, with a nurse standing between my legs holding onto me to make sure I didn’t move while having contractions that felt like like the baby was having her own version of ultimate kickboxing. I was surprised at how long it took to put the epidural in and that it didn’t take effect right away. After they finally got it all in and I laid back down on the bed, I did start feeling some relief… on my right side. On my left side, however, I was still feeling each contraction. They had me lay on my side for a while and that helped the numbness work its way over.
At 12:30 the doctor came back to check my progress, break my water and (after making fun of me for having the epidural when I had said for weeks that I didn’t want it) announced that I was fully dilated. I politely asked her if the drugs they gave me went to my head or hers. I didn’t quite believe her. This wasn’t the way I thought it was going to go. It was early afternoon, not late at night or mid-morning. I remember thinking that I wasn’t quite ready for this yet. She told me that I could start pushing when I was ready.
A nurse came in and turned the warming lights on for the baby and said that we could start pushing. Because I was still so numb from the epidural, she had to brace one leg and Craig took the other – breaking the strict “stay shoulders up and don’t look down there” orders. I tried pushing for about half an hour but it wasn’t really working. I couldn’t feel anything and was almost falling asleep between contractions and pushes. The nurse turned the epidural down and told me to relax for a while. I fell asleep for about an hour.

When I woke up, I started pushing again – this time with a roomful of doctors and nurses. Besides my OB, there were two nurses helping me push (Craig was on camera & phone duty), a nurse for the baby and a doctor from the neonatal ICU to make sure the baby was OK because there was meconium in the water when they broke it and they were afraid she had swallowed some. So, with the team of medical professionals talking me through the pushes – I could feel pressure but not pain – I pushed for about 20 minutes and at 3:33, my baby girl was born.

She cried her little head off while they wiped her off and laid her on my belly. Craig cut the umbilical cord and then they took her, cleaned her off and pronounced her healthy. When they wrapped her up and handed her to Craig to hold, I thought my heart would break from happiness. I will never forget the moment of seeing him fall in love with his baby girl.

All in all, I really couldn’t have asked for a better labor experience. I had a doctor that I trusted completely and who acted like a real person, a nurse who was comforting and walked us through the whole process, and a husband that didn’t do or say anything stupid. That being said, I have discovered that the reason the pain of labor is quickly forgotten has less to do with the love for your child and more to do with the fact that it’s replaced by the pain of recovering from labor – sore boobs, a crotch that feels like someone took a baseball bat to it and cramps from a shrinking uterus that are worse than any PMS I ever had. As I type this and look at my now 2-week old little girl who I love more than I ever thought possible I can say with conviction that it’s all worth it. Maybe someday, I’ll even think about doing it again!