Two years ago today…

…was my last day of work as a non-mom. I was 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

It’s funny, I remember so very little about that day. I know we went in for our final NST that day. I know I had been having contractions off and on that entire week and had been hoping, hoping, hoping that I would just go into labor. I was tired of being ordered off my feet by the doctor, tired of being in pain, and just tired in general. (I was never one of those pregnant ladies who couldn’t sleep…I could have slept all day, every day!) I know we went out for dinner that night. I ate spicy food and seafood. Ahh, old wives tales. We walked around Target. (Against doctor’s wishes!) We bought Miss A’s laundry basket that day. The cashier asked when I was due. Then asked if I was having triplets. (Yep, she bypassed the twins and went right to triplets. THANKS LADY!)

I didn’t go into full blown labor. I woke up on the 28th, the day of my scheduled induction, having more regular contractions. I had been at 2 CM after the NST the day before so I was SURE things were about to get going.

Admitted that night at 6pm for the induction. Still at 2 CM. Rats.

Miss A was born on the 29th.

It’s surreal to think that I’m now coming up on that two year mark. That little baby I lugged around in my belly for nine months…which feels like it was just yesterday…is no longer a little baby. She’s a little girl. A smart little girl who makes me proud every day.

I am such a sucker for nostalgia. ๐Ÿ™‚

Top 10 Reasons Why Real Life Deliveries Are Nothing Like A Baby Story

From my own personal experience – yours may be different, comment and share yours!

    1. Your whole pregnancy, labor, delivery and hospital discharge are not condensed into one neatly edited hour.


    1. Despite your best efforts, your labor and delivery will not go exactly like you planned and described in your birth plan.


    1. Makeup and jewelry? Who wears makeup and jewelry when they’re in labor?


    1. Not all labor and delivery nurses are super nice. Some are actually quite snarky.


    1. Your well-intentioned husband/significant other will say/do something boneheaded.


    1. Forget modesty. Hospital gowns? No thank you!


    1. Doctors/nurses don’t always explain what they’re doing. Also: if you ask, they will look at you like you’re a crazy lady for asking.


    1. You don’t ask for an epidural and get it immediately. It may only take 20 minutes for the anesthesiologist to arrive, but it will feel like two hours years.


    1. If you have a c-section, your doctor won’t be explaining each step of the procedure. (Mine was too busy discussing his seven year old’s grades with his assistant.)


    1. Last, but certainly not least: After going home, nobody looks that good with a three day/week old baby.

Bonus: Word of caution to the wise, c-section mamas – they do put up that blue screen so you can’t see what’s going on, but if you don’t want to see the gore, be sure the nurse standing next to you doesn’t have glasses.

Miss A is here, born May 29, 2008 at 7:31 p.m.!

We’re still in the hospital (being discharged tomorrow) but while I have a tiny bit of downtime, I thought I’d post a quick update! I’ll post the full birth story after we get home and settle in – these are just some details I remember at the moment. I documented a little bit of the experience as it happened in a notebook which will help me figure it all out later.

Miss A was born May 29 (on her due date!) via c-section after 24 hours of labor. I went in at 7 p.m on May 28th, got the cervadil at around 10:30 p.m. and the pitocin around 4 a.m. Doc came in and checked me around 8 a.m. and I was only 2 cm… and in terrible, terrible pain. The baby was also having decels throughout the contractions, but not bad enough to warrant jumping the gun at that point.

I toughed it out the labor for awhile, but once the second dose of stadol wore off I started throwing up from the intensity of the contractions (about 1 1/2 mins each, every 30 seconds…yikes! ) So I caved in and got the epidural (best decision ever, by the way – though I had my heart set on a med-free delivery, I knew that by being as tense as I was, there was no way that labor was going to progress). My water broke once I sat up for the epidural, and there was meconium in it. It wasn’t thick, and by then she wasn’t having decels anymore, so they all agreed to let the induction continue. This was somewhere around 10 or 11 am.

By 4 pm I was almost completely dilated, with just a lip of a cervix left, so the L&D nurse had me start pushing on my own a little bit with each contraction (which I could still sort of feel, but they were just pressure) to try to move her down. So I tried. And I tried. And I tried.

At around 5:45pm my L&D nurse came in and said that my doctor was on the way and he was thinking c-section, but she didn’t think it was necessary so she had me start pushing even more, got me in position and everything. Then she reached in and found out that the baby’s head was in an awkward position and was having bad decels every time I had a contraction and every time I pushed. So she stopped me.

My doctor showed up a little after 6 pm and said “I think it’s time we have a baby!” He checked me, and all the pushing we did actually made the cervix start to swell back up, and I was back down to 8 cm. Not good. I panicked and asked if we could wait an hour, if we could try something different, if there was anything we could do, and when he said no to everything (and explained all the risks to me) I asked him if he could give me a minute to talk to DH and the L&D nurse about it. He said sure, and walked out. Both DH & the L&D nurse said he was probably right at this point and I knew it in my heart too…I was just terrified of having the c-section, it was probably my worst fear throughout the whole pregnancy. (I also was a bit put off by the fact that I really felt like my doctor was treating me like a whiny 7 year old instead of someone who just wanted to be involved and informed…he seemed really pissed at me that I was questioning him.) After I consented to the c-section they took my temperature, and I had spiked a fever, so they pretty much had no choice then – meconium + baby not coming down + cervix swelling shut + fever/infection = not a good combo for the baby trying to enter the world!

So, they prepped me and then wheeled me into the OR around 7 p.m., and Miss A was born at 7:31 p.m. She’s 7 pounds, 13 oz and 19 1/2 inches long, every bit of her perfect. She came out screaming like a banshee and had no complications from the long labor or the meconium staining. I was so worried that she’d have lung problems or something worse as a result of that. When I heard her first little whimper, and then I heard her cry, I burst into tears on the operating table, both relieved that she was okay (between the long labor and the complications I had during pregnancy), and overwhelmed that she was here and mine. The longest 10 minutes of my life was waiting to see her after she came (they were doing tests and getting her apgars – which were 8 and 9!) My first thought after I heard her cry though was – this was the best thing that has ever happened to me and there’s absolutely nothing I wouldn’t do for this little girl.

She’s still doing perfectly…having a little trouble with breastfeeding, and has a little bit of jaundice that the pediatrician is watching her for (it’s why we’re still here – the doctor was ready to discharge me today, but the pediatrician wasn’t.) But otherwise, she’s great. She’s a fairly quiet baby, and everyone who sees her raves about how adorable she is!

Honestly – recovery from this has not been too bad. The epidural block wore off within about an hour of surgery (maybe longer…I kind of lost track of time after awhile) and I was glad for it – I’m pretty sensitive to anesthesia, and the epidural itself made me a bit shaky, so the block made it ten times worse…between that and the nerves, I was shaking so bad I made my neck sore. The surgery itself was a breeze otherwise…I felt literally nothing. They said I’d feel a lot of pressure at times but I didn’t really. They also said that some women can feel weird and disconnected from their bodies, like a floating head, but I didn’t get that either. Despite the ansethesia I still felt very connected to the procedure.

After it was all over, as it turns out, it would have been dangerous for me to try to push the baby out. She was trying to come out face-first and wound up with a pretty awful bruise on her head as a result. So the c-section was the best move for all of us.

As far as recovery, it’s been pretty good so far. The best piece of advice that I got was to get up and walk the second they let you, and so I did (it was about 18 hours after surgery). It was kind of painful to get up for the first time, but after I got up and walked around a bit I felt incredible. I had my first shower last night, and I’ve been up and down from bed all day today. They give me a good amount of medication for the pain, which I’m sure helps (at one point, it wore off yesterday and I started shaking uncontrollably again, though I didn’t really feel like I was in pain because the incision site is numb, I guess my body was picking up on the pain anyway). As far as the pain itself goes…it’s not awful. It kind of feels like I did a million sit-ups and my stomach is tight and overworked. Occasionally it will sting a little bit around where I have the staples (those come out tomorrow as well). They give me percoset and motrin for pain, which makes me very sleepy, but the last dose is wearing off as we speak so I may be asking for more shortly.

From this experience, here are some “take-aways” that I would tell anyone reaching the end of their pregnancy and being unsure of what to expect.

1. Have your ideal birthing experience in mind, but keep your mind open. I wasn’t going to use any pain medication, I felt so strongly against it, but it wound up being the best thing for me.

2. C-sections are not awful. They’re not great, but they’re not awful, and certainly nothing to be afraid of (at least not as afraid as I was!)

3. The second you see your child for the first time is an experience you just can’t put words to. For me, it’s like she’s always been here and I’ve always been her mother.

4. If you have a somewhat bitchy L&D nurse, worship her. The last one that I have was kind of sarcastic and not at all what I needed while I was in as much pain as I was, but she wound up being (next to Mr. Dad) my strongest advocate and the best support I could have asked for.

5. Being not pregnant after 9 months of being pregnant is a very weird feeling. You still kind of look pregnant but you don’t feel anything moving around anymore.

6. The post pregnancy hormones kick in pretty quickly. I’m not religious at all, but when the hospital chaplain came by today to drop off info about their services, as she left she said “God bless you and your baby” and for some reason, I burst into tears after she left. I don’t go to church, I don’t have any religious affiliation whatsoever, but I was seriously that touched. I read the card she left for us a little while later and cried again.

7. After the baby comes, be patient – with everything. Breastfeeding has been a battle, one that we’re working on so very diligently, and it has turned me into a raving lunatic at times because I just want her to latch on and eat and she can’t/won’t right now. (The lactation consultants have been amazing, though!) Also, add about 3 hours to everything you plan to do. For example, yesterday I planned to eat breakfast when the people brought it in around 8:30. I think I probably finally got to eat around 11, between taking care of the baby and having nurses/doctors/baby needing my attention.

That’s all for now – I’ll add pictures and such once we get home!

39w6d – 1d to go! The LAST pre-baby blog post!

We’re headed in to be induced tonight! I have high expectations for the process. We had our last NST yesterday and the baby looked good (though we caught her at sleepy time…had to wake her up with a big glass of cold lemonade) and we also discovered that the moderate pain/cramping I had been having was contractions…much bigger contractions than the last time the NST picked up on it. And wow did I feel them!

I also asked Diane to do an internal, which she thought was kind of silly since we’re just headed in to be induced today anyway, but I know that if you’ve made “progress”, the induction is less likely to fail and result in c-section, and I needed to know for my own peace of mind. So, she did it and we were both pleasantly surprised…I was a fingertip dilated and 80% effaced. So that means that the contractions were doing their job!

Unfortunately I came home and took a nap and they stopped. Boo for that, I was hoping to wind up in labor!

But, at least I got a good amount of rest last night…slept great between the nap and my regular night’s sleep. I feel totally refreshed right now. Scott reassembled the pack n’ play and set up the basinette part of it last night, so it’s all set for us to bring Angelica home (she’s rooming in with us for at least the first few weeks).

Wish us luck! Next time you hear from me, we’ll be parents!

39w4d – 3 days to go

In good news, Julianna Nichole Marino has entered the world, to proud parents Michelle and Nick Marino, and proud big sister Adrianna! Congrats to my fellow pregnant friend – I will forgive you for giving birth before me even though you were due after me!

In bad news, I’m still pregnant, with no sign of labor. There’s more to this story, but Dr. Wilson bumped up my induction date to May 28th, going in at 7 p.m. to start the induction, so Angelica should be here on her due date. On the one hand, I am so happy because at this point I don’t care HOW she comes out, I just care that she comes out and is healthy. On the other hand, I feel that if I make it that far, I’ll feel cheated out of the whole element of surprise that I’ve been so looking forward to.

Either way, she’ll be here by May 29th and I can’t complain about that. I’m so ready for her.

About two weeks ago, the last of the pregnancy pains kicked in. I now have carpal tunnel syndrome in the same wrist that I had that weird tendinitis back in the 2nd trimester. As I type, my right hand is completely numb, aside from the pins and needles in my fingertips. “They” say it goes away after pregnancy, so here’s hoping.

I broke free of the “bed rest” today to go walk around Waterford Lakes and shake a baby loose, but it was all in vain. She’s still hanging in there, stong and steadfast. Scott & I at least got a good lunch out of it, and we went to Old Navy and Carter’s…exchanged a duplicate thing we got at Carter’s and got a couple more adorable outfits for the kiddo, and then got some new outfits for Scott at Old Navy.

Crossing my fingers for a baby in the next few days. I’ll be really sad if I go to work on Tuesday instead of going to the hospital to have a baby…I always predicted she’d come over the long Memorial Day weekend.

38w5d – 1w2d to go (12 days to induction) – Part 2

Just got back from the doctor.

Sadly, no news to report. The NST went very well…Angelica cooperated better this time than last time (guess she was sleepier last week). Ultrasound looked GREAT again, in fact, AFI was up to almost 9 (it was still around 6-7 last week).

Dr. Wilson scheduled me for another appointment for next Tuesday…crossing my fingers that we won’t make it that far! Also, he’s having me call and officially schedule the induction for June 2nd tomorrow. Hopefully that won’t be necessary either.

That’s really all…I’m gonna go finish up some work now so that I can rest. I’ve had the worst heartburn today, and I’m getting over (yet another) cold. Boo.

38w5d – 1w2d to go (12 days to induction)

I’m taking my wise mother-in-law’s advice, given in the last post, and only counting the days to June 2nd – because otherwise I’ll be agonizing over that due date. So, 12 days to go (and you’re so right, too – girls have such a mind of their own!!)

I have an appointment at 1:30 today, so I don’t have any news just yet. I just wanted to share a sad and touching story coming from the earthquake in China that was posted in one of the pregnancy message boards I go to – I’ve always heard my whole life about the power of a mother’s love, but now that I’m actually a mom (well – almost anyway) I truly understand how something like this could happen.

It was the third day after the quake already.

The rescue workers were still looking for survivors. They knew with each minute passing by, the chance to find someone alive gets slimmer. They were overworked. Since the quake, many of them had been working constantly, without having any good sleep. The roads to these mountainous towns and villages were destroyed by the quake-induced mudslides. They did not have machinery to work with. All they had were shovels and their bare hands.

But they were still looking for survivors.

“Come here, come here! There is a body! ” Shouted a rescue worker. His fellow workers rushed to the spot. Under a big chunk of roof was a woman. She was lying with a strange pose – she kneeled on the ground with her upper body stretch forward. Her head was on the ground as well. As if she was praying for her survival.

The nurse in the rescue team struggled to reach her through the debris. It was difficult. There was no space. The woman was not responsive to any call. However, just to make sure, the nurse still tried to test her breath, to see if she was still breathing.

Not really. She was breathless, and her body was cold. She was dead. Praying or not, it did not help. The team moved on. There were other people buried. They could not afford to spend time in retrieving a dead body.

When the team reached the next collapsed building, the captain suddenly ran back to the woman, as if he realized something. When he reached the spot, he lay down, put his head next to the roof, and stretched his arm to touch the space under her abdomen. Once, twice. His forehead was locked, just like he was solving a mystery.

“There is a baby! And he is alive!!!” He cried out to his team members.

It was a newly-born. He was neatly wrapped in a red blanket decorated by yellow flowers. Miraculously, he did not even have a scratch in his body. When he was taken out from the rubble, he was sleeping, peacefully sleeping.

The nurse took the baby from the rescue worker and started doing routine exams. When she unwrapped the blanket, she found a cell phone tucked between the baby and his diaper. It had a text message written on the screen, read

“My dear baby, if you can survive, please remember mom loves you.”

37w6d – 2w1d to go!

The NST went fine today. The nurse commented that it picked up a few contractions. YAY. I am still feeling them. In fact, I’m feeling one right now, and I’m starting to feel them in my back as well (could be my uncomfortable chair, could be labor!) so now I at least know I’m NOT imagining these contractions.

The amnio check also went well – I didn’t ask numbers, but Dr. Cascio said that it looked better this time than the last time and she could tell I was following orders. Thank goodness for that. She also said that Dr. Fuentes strongly recommended inducing me between 38-39 weeks, but she was still not convinced it was the right thing to do. So we scheduled an induction date – after my due date (June 2nd), with the caveat that if the amniotic fluid levels drop to 5 again, that’s the day we’ll be inducing. So anyone who prays, pray for the level to stay the same!

She was really happy to hear that I was having contractions, because she knows how badly I want to go into labor on my own, and she wants me to also.

Some notes about the NST. Not really much to worry about. They strap a monitor to you and have you lay there and listen to the baby’s heart for 20 minutes. The worst part about it was that they had me lay flat on my back, which is something I haven’t done in about 6 months, nor have I had a desire to, because the baby puts too much weight on my back and it hurts. The only other bad thing about it was when a contraction hit and I couldn’t move into a comfortable position. Otherwise, it was kind of nice…just laying there, feeling the baby move around, hearing her heartbeat.

Also, this was REALLY cool during the ultrasound…Dr. Cascio homed in on her chest, and you could totally see her chest expanding and contracting. She’s practicing breathing!!

Alright, that’s enough of an update. Everyone cross your fingers that these contractions turn into something REAL! And soon! If I’m still having these little annoying contractions in three more weeks, I am gonna be one unhappy mama (they’re already making me even more cranky than I was before!)

37w5d – 2w2d to go!

Nothing major to report, other than the fact that I have been having annoyingly irregular contractions since this morning. Nothing to call L&D about yet, but they sure are annoying.

Trying not to get my hopes up, but hoping for excitement tomorrow afternoon at the doctor’s office.

Man, I need a nap.

37w4d – 2w3d to go! (17 days!)

Mother’s Day has come and gone, and I have no baby yet.

I had an appointment with Dr. Cascio today – Angelica is apparently way down now. She did an internal exam (which, by the way, was nowhere NEAR as pleasant as last week’s – this one actually HURT) and she could feel the her little head! So no wonder I feel like someone kicked me in the crotch really hard. I feel so bruised! But at least I know that, in spite of the fact that there is no dilation yet (boo) that she is still moving toward the exit.

Dr. Fuentes sent over his evaluation of last week’s final growth ultrasound, along with the recommendation to induce labor between 38 and 39 weeks (next week!), but imagine my relief when Dr. Cascio said she wasn’t sure if that was the best idea. I told her I agreed with her, and about my desire for a med-free birth, and she said she would prefer if I go naturally as well. She said she wanted to talk things over with Dr. Wilson and see if he thought I should be induced, and they would get in touch with me.

So, I got a call a little bit ago from their receptionist. They want to hold off on the induction, and scheduled me for another ultrasound to check the fluid, and for a non-stress test – both taking place on Wednesday. They also went ahead and scheduled me for a second amnio check and NST for NEXT Tuesday. I was so concerned about these doctors wanting to push me into an induction or c-section after some things they said at my last couple of visits, so I am really relieved that they are taking this course of action. (Of course, if the ultrasound or the NST give poor results, they’ll do what’s necessary, and I’m completely okay with that – if there is a risk to the baby, I will gladly sacrifice the natural, med-free birth if it means induction or c-section will result in a healthy baby).

I somehow don’t forsee making it to next Tuesday’s appointment though. If the amount of pressure I’ve been feeling is any indication of how soon I’ll go into labor, it’ll be sometime this week. I’ve been feeling a few times like she is just trying to push her way out now, but can’t because everything is still closed up. But we’ll see.

Alright, back to work now!