Sunday, January 30, 2011


As I sit here next to my husband who is holding our son I realize that certain aspects of Gideon's birth are already fading from memory. So now I am taking time out from a busy new mommy schedule of feeding and snuggling to get all of the story out of my head. Some of it I hope will serve as a warning for if I ever do this again, and some of it I never want to forget.

Saturday the 29th wasn't an especially eventful day. I take that back, at 5:30 in the morning there was blood in the toilet when I made my 100th trip of the night. The night before I had been miserably ill with an upset stomach and cramps so it was hard to work up any enthusiasm, but I was cautiously optimistic about it because I had heard about "bloody show" and how it was different from simply losing your mucous plug but I was also a little fearful that it was something bad. I told Mac about it and we looked it up online and decided to wait and see what would happen next. My next few bathroom trips proved to continue the trend but even if it was bloody show that still meant I had a few days before labor would begin, afterall, I am a first timer. Around noon my sister, Mac and I all went out to lunch and I decided to get the all you can eat lunch at my favorite Mexican Restaurant (Gideon has always been partial to Herrera's). After lunch Bethany came over to help me with baby stuff, then later my mom came over. I was having some cramping very low in my uterus but the baby still had not dropped so I thought nothing of it. In fact I told my mom that I thought maybe these cramps meant the baby would drop soon.

Around 7pm I got a cramp that made me say "ow" out loud (I had to ask Mac about this, because I couldn't remember how it had all started). We didn't think much of it, Mac clipped the dog's nails, I sat on my exercise ball and watched TV. By 10:30pm I was screaming and crying and asked Mac to call the doctor. We had looked it up online (we are such nerds) and knew that this wasn't real labor due to how low the cramps were. Mac had been timing them and they were somewhat erratic coming between 3 and 5 mins apart and lasting anywhere from over a minute to just 30 seconds. I assumed that I was dehydrated and hoped the doctor would have a solution. He heard me telling Mac that I wanted to be knocked out and he told us to go to Labor and Delivery to get checked out. The hospital is only 15-20 minutes from out house but the trip was intense with the cramps now coming every 3 or so minutes. When we got to L&D the nurse gave me a gown and hooked me up to the machines. I asked her if they were real contractions and she said they were but in the wrong place. I told her I was afraid of real labor because I was in so much pain and asked if the intensity of the contractions was normal. She said every woman is different. They checked me and I was still the same 1 cm dilated that I had been on Monday at my weekly appointment and I hoped that at this point they would give me IV fluids and something for the pain. They did not. Instead they left me alone hooked up to machines. Since it was night time I immediately had to pee. WE called the nurse back and they unhooked me (thank god) and let me go to the bathroom. For some reason there was a urine catching thing in the toilet so I asked if they needed to take it out and they said it didn't matter. Unfortunately this meant that everytime I went to the bathroom that night I would have to look at it. Great. 30 minutes or so later a nurse came back and we asked what the plan was since I was still having painful contractions fairly regularly (according to their machines). The nurse informed us that they were waiting an hour to see if my cervix would change and suggested I walk around the room. It was at this point that I told her that I have high fluid which was keeping my baby from dropping and engaging my cervix. I also told her that my family has a history of water that doesn't break on its own. She said I should walk around. So we walked around the room. Mac followed me faithfully, allowing me to lean on him for support during each contraction as I squeezed his neck and grasped at this shirt. The pain was immense and found myself saying over and over that I didn't know if I could handle real labor if this was false or early labor. Finally after the hour was up they checked me again and said I was still only 1 cm. I started to panic thinking they would send me home in agony and would spend the next few hours, days, weeks, slowly losing my mind. Another nurse came in, I think she was some sort of upper level nurse because she bossed the other nurse around and was generally unpleasant. She told me I needed to calm down, apparently they could hear me outside the room. I told her my contractions were stacking on top of each other and I would get three or four in a row with no relief. I was starting to panic thinking that A. real labor was going to be much worse, B. these women obviously did not want to deal with me, and C. all of this pain was for nothing. I had always said that at least I could focus during labor on the fact that every contraction would bring me closer to my baby; this was just bringing me closer and closer to my breaking point. At this point both nurses left saying they were going to call my doctor. I was left there in agony for another hour with no communication from the nurses, still scared I was going to have to brave a car ride home. Finally the first nurse returned and said that my doctor had authorized them to give me Stadol so that I could sleep and relax and the contractions would stop (thus I could go home). I thanked her profusely and she left to get the drug. An hour later she came back. An hour later. Yes, an hour. The whole time she was gone I cried and asked Mac why they would promise relief and never come back, was this some cruel joke? The nurse finally came back, checked me (still 1cm)and gave me the drug in an IV. Once the Stadol was administered I did in fact fall asleep and it was wonderful, until I started dreaming of contractions and awoke already moaning in pain. I had been asleep for 20 minutes and the contractions had become loooong and even closer together. I was done, a goner, everything was pain. Mac called the nurses back, and one came in to ask what was wrong. Mac went out to the nurses station and told them I was in pain and needed more medication and was told that they had given me a lot of Stadol and couldn't give me anything else. After hearing this I lost it. I was hooked up to an IV and machines, trapped in the bed, making no progress, and being ripped apart. I screamed, I moaned, I writhed, it was awful and honestly I can't hold the memory in my head without getting upset. Both nurses came back and the unpleasant nurse lowered the bed to flat and checked me again (1 and 1/2 cm) and started to tell me that I was hurting my baby and had to be quiet. I told her it hurt and I couldn't help it, I apologized as another contraction hit and I started crying, apologizing and begging god to help me. Unpleasant nurse did not like this, she wanted me to be quiet. She kept telling me I was hurting my baby because I was so tense (BTW, the monitor said they baby was fine, Mac checked) and then the nurses left the room. I told Mac to call my mom and ask her to come. I knew this wasn't the real thing but I needed someone who had experienced false labor before to validate my pain (of course Mac always believed me but he had no way of really knowing what it was like). I continued to scream and cry and they eventually came back and said my doctor had told them to give me an epidural. This frightened me because I knew I would have to be still through my contractions that were coming 1-2 minutes apart and lasting for over 2 minutes. The anesthesiologist came in and Mac hugged me and helped me to breathe through the pain. After the epidural was in I laid back and continued to feel pain the the medication took some time to set up in my system. At this time unpleasant nurse decided to check me (she couldn't have waited til the epi kicked in?) and said to the other nurse "you won't believe this." I was tired and didn't understand what they were saying. Once the drug kicked in the nurses both left the room. I fell asleep and Mac went downstairs to meet my mom who was a little lost. An hour or so later I woke up and remembered that unpleasant nurse had seemed surprised when they checked earlier while the epidural was setting up. I told mom and Mac that I thought maybe I was 100% effaced or something. When first nurse came back I asked what my status was and she said I was 100% effaced and 9 cm dilated. That's right, I went from 1 and 1/2 to 9 cm in less than an hour, flat on my back, hooked up to machines, being berated by a very unpleasant woman who told me I was not in labor and was hurting my baby (lie). Looking back I could easily have been in transition as I told Mac that I was going to lose my mind and the room started to spin. At this point I started to think that maybe this was all going to work out okay. My doctor was coming, I was checked again and was found to be 9 and 1/2. The nurses no longer made comments about how "some women just can't tolerate pain." Luckily there was soon a shift change. I was at 10 cm when they finally decided to break my water. It was crazy how much there was. It soaked the bed and gushed onto the floor. For over 2 minutes it just kept coming in waves. There had been so much fluid that Gideon was pushed way up in my abdomen, stretching the muscles and skin thin and not allowing my full uterus to contract. My cervix had ripped itself open without that assistance of the baby's head.

Soon it was time to push and I was excited. I felt the pressure even with the epidural and I was ready to meet my little man. The new nurse said she was going to give me a "whiff" of pitocin. My contraction had started to lessen in intensity with the breaking of my water (that would have been nice a lot earlier) and they wanted some good strong ones for pushing. They were very strong, btw, and the urge to push was intense. I kept asking people when we could push because I needed to. NEEDED. Finally the doctor came in and it was time! With each contraction I pushed with all my might, they even pulled out rails on the side of the bed which I grabbed as leverage and caused me to slide down to the end of the bed. With each contraction I got closer to the edge and finally the doctor caught me and had to push me back on! Unfortunately the baby wasn't moving and unbeknowst to me his heart rate was not only slowing with contractions but it wasn't going back up in between. My doctor was prying me open trying to widen the gap to no avail. He finally got out the vacuum and tried to pull him out that way but no good, Gideon wasn't even close. When the baby's heart rate got down in the 80s my doctor said it was time for a c-section. Everything happened so fast. I was terrified and wanted to run. I cleared my mind and just went blank, otherwise I knew I would panic and that was the last thing my baby needed. They took Mac away as we were rolled down the hall. The OR was cold and sterile, everyone worked so fast and I was dizzy and cold. I wanted Mac back but he still wasn't there. I kept asking when I was supposed to be numb because I still felt everything. I told them I wanted Mac, they said he wasn't allowed to be there until they were all set up but he would be there for the birth. I asked if he could have a chair because he doesn't do well with blood. Finally Mac was there and I was worried for him and me and the baby. I was jostled and felt intense pressure and mild pain, they kept digging around and it felt like I would be thrown off the table. Suddenly they told Mac to look over the curtain, I tried to tell him not to lol. I heard the baby cry and I saw them hand him to a nurse. I told Mac to go with him, that I wold be fine and I watched as they cleaned him up and got his measurements. Mac came over and he was crying and told me to meet our son. Now I am crying. It was beautiful, he was perfect. Suddenly we were a family. They took the baby and Mac went with him and it was okay because I felt awesome!

Okay time to go, the baby needs changing and feeding. More about my fantastic son later!


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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am still pregnant. It is true. And I solemnly swear that I will not have this baby in secret and hide him until his first birthday.

It's funny because with 13 days until my due date, I am supposed to still be pregnant. Also I am not dilated or effaced and the baby is still REALLY high. Until he drops and engages this show is not going to be getting on the road. Poor Mac is incredibly anxious and wants the baby to be born NOW. It doesn't help that he will be taking 3 weeks off of work once the baby gets here. It is a lot to look forward too. As he described it, it's like waiting to go to Disneyland. Luckily things are moving along in other areas of preparation. The nursery is nearly done (I promise to post pics soon) with the dresser refinished and full of clean baby clothes and the art framed and hung. It was so cool (and strange) to drive to my weekly doc appointment with the carseat installed! I still need to get the hospital bag ready and do some cleaning but overall I think we will be alright if Gideon decided to come early.

Tonite the husbandit and I are going to the movies together and I am so excited. With all of the baby prep, most of our together time has consisted of baby shopping, nursery decorating, and doctor's appointments. I really like Mac and can't wait to spend some time with him that is not baby related.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Deep thoughts...

Well it is all starting to come together quickly; the nursery is full of stuff that is mostly organized, the car seat is ready to install, we are now seeing the doctor weekly, and at 37 weeks I am considered to be "term." In two days Mac and I took 10 hours of "training classes" learning about everything from epidurals to nursing bras and more. While there is still much to do, even Mac has admitted that he is ready for Gideon to be here already (or as he pointed out, now that ultrasounds are over, birth is the only way we will even get to see Gideon).

I am ready too, because I am sick of heartburn, and being swollen and because I want to hold my little baby in my arms. Like most pregnant women I am frequently awake at night which gives me a lot of time to think (and occasionally panic). There are some big changes coming. Mac and I will no longer get to be so selfish, selfish about how we focus on ourselves and each other. For 9 years it's been the two of us, first as individuals figuring out what it was like to share our lives with each other and now as a team, unable to live without one another. This journey has brought us even closer together and I am so proud that this is the man who will raise my son.

I am also going to have to learn how to be Mom and not Kristin. It's funny, I struggled sooo much with slowly losing my ability to physically and mentally contribute to my life (cooking, doing dishes, walking up the stairs) and now that I have finally wrapped my head around it and started letting other people help me, it is all about to turn upside down...again. Soon I will be the biggest contributor to Gideon's life, breastfeeding in the middle of the night, comforting him during the day while Mac is at work, and generally hovering like any other first time mother bear. I have a feeling no one is going to be taking care of me any more. That is how it should be but I will miss it. I will also miss being pregnant. With all of the discomfort and limitations I will miss having Gideon with me and knowing that I am providing him with the best and safest place to grow. The world is scary! I am so glad that I have been able to be shelter him from weather, diseases, and toxins by a body that would sacrifice itself for him before I even consciously knew I would do that same. I remember when I fell in the park it felt like slow motion as I twisted in mid-air to avoid landing on my baby, it was just automatic.

So those are the things I have been thinking about during the quiet, dark hours. I can't wait to look back in a few months and compare these thoughts to those that are to come once Gideon is here and he and I have our late nights together. I am sure there will be good, bad, ugly, and funny and I welcome it all with open arms.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Our ultrasound yesterday was a bit of a shock. Gideon has been measuring big in ultrasounds for this entire pregnancy and so have I (fundal height). I also have high fluid, which runs in my family, so I am kind of huge. In fact opening gifts at my baby shower left me totally breathless from sitting in a chair with a baby up in my lungs. Anyway, this last ultrasound showed that Gideon's limbs measure right on at 35/36 wks but his head, belly, and weight all measure at 38wks. That's right folks, my baby weighs 7 pounds, 15 ounces at 36 weeks. My doctor said that this particular machine (which he has lots of experience with) can measure up to a half pound over but he also said that my high fluid makes it easier to get accurate measurements so the nearly 8 pound measurement is probably pretty close. Wow, no wonder my back hurts. Because Gideon technically measures ahead for his age my doctor had to bring up the possibility of alternate delivery routes, i.e. c-section. Luckily he wasn't trying to push anything on me and said we would take this week by week. Regardless, the appointment stressed me out. I am feeling much better now but in the moment I was a little anxious to say the least. We are now on a weekly appointment schedule and next week he will be checking my cervix for the first time and we will revisit the c-section topic. Right now the goal is a healthy baby and we believe that the best way to reach that goal is a vaginal birth. I need to be flexible and accepting of medically necessary alternatives but Mac and I both need to be keeping ourselves informed. SO yeah, I will be doing some research this week.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Wow! Yesterday was quite the day! Mac and I got up early Saturday morning (after a sleepless night on my part) to finish cleaning house. Around noon I really started to crash; I was totally exhausted and needed a nap but there was no time. I slowly dressed and drove over to the library for my baby shower and was immediately refreshed as I walked in the door. The room was decorated with streamers, lanterns, and even fresh flowers on every table! The food was fantastic (thank god cause I had forgotten to eat lunch and only had cookies for breakfast) with fruit, veggies, dip, cheesecake ball, meatballs, and cake balls (sensing a theme?).

Many people came which really touched me, lots of family and great friends!

After everyone had a chance to chat and eat Melissa and Emily (the fantastic shower hostesses) explained this really neat project to all of the guests. On a table were a bunch of colorfully patterned fabric pieces that each guest could use to create an owl, Sally and Emily would then put all of the pieces together to create a quilt for Gideon. Such a fantastic idea! I was really impressed.

After everyone had assembled their owls (they were all so unique and adorable) it was time to open presents. There were so many, I was overwhelmed and many were completely unexpected (more gifts from mom, Bethany, John, and Carol who have all already given us so much? That's crazy talk!). Melissa was great and totally kept track of all of the presents for me and Michelle went above and beyond, picking up torn paper and organizing all of the gifts. I am so lucky to have such great friends who made the party so perfect and tailored to my personality.
Here are the rest of the shower pics for those who are curious.

After the shower Mac's family came over to see teh nursery and have dinner. Originally MAc had planned to cook but in the end we had Chicken Express (mmmmm.....) and all sat around talking and laughing. This morning Mac and I got up early to meet Mac's Aunt Karon and Cousin Kriston Ikea for breakfast. Can you believe that Kriston had never been to Ikea? That is crazy talk. While there were got the chair for the nursery, which is really starting to come together.

While we were in Ikea it started to SNOW! it wasn't cold enough for it to be icy or dangerous out so the effect was really just beautiful and made it a perfect day to lay around in bed, which is what I did.

On top of providing us with much needed baby supplies the party was also a reminder that this baby is coming soon. There were many people in attendance that I will not see again until after Gideon is born (what?). Another important party side effect was the cleaning of our house; our Christmas tree is even packed away! Before the cleaning I told Mac that we could not bring a baby home to this dirty house so I guess we just could not have a baby. Now we are cleared for homecoming. Speaking of which we have an ultrasound Monday! I love ultrasounds so I am very excited.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

High on a good deal

Mac and I found an artist we love through's deals right before Christmas. It was a fantastic deal (as usual with Zulilly), $19.99 for 11x14 prints from Children Inspired Design. We are always looked for a good deal and I realized that if Mac signed up for his own Zulilly account through my referral link then I would get a $15 credit, making one of the prints almost free! Woo! So Mac signed up and purchased a print and then I waited...and waited....and waited. Turns out you don't get the credit until the order has shipped and this particular order was going to take a while. Finally I decided to give up on the discount and just buy the prints already. And that is when it happened. I went back to the site and the prints were all sold out!!!! what?! So I went to the artist's site and found that my $19.99 prints were now going to cost me $30. Ouch! Mac and I are terrible money procrastinators and the increase in price led to serious art avoidance. Every time one of up brought up the prints the other would suddenly become very busy. Finally this morning I decided the time had come to make a decision. I went to the online store and added the prints to my shopping cart. Before checking out I noticed that I could apply a coupon code so I did a quick google search for a discount. This is when the gods of nursery art smiled upon me because I found the artist's Etsy store!!!!! Not only do they have the same prints for $24 instead of $30, they are currently having a sale, buy 2 prints get 1 free! Long story short if I had bought 4 prints from the artist's site it would have cost us $130+, had I bought the 6 prints we ultimately chose from the Zulilly sale it would have been around $126 but I got 6 prints with shipping for $104.75! Now I am totally high off of the experience.

Here are the prints we chose:

(those two are going to go over the crib)



This is the one we purchased from Zulilly. It is 12x18 and was only $19.99!