August 28, 2010

31 Weeks

Ah, I'm in that final 10 week countdown to D-day! Nine more weeks until my EDC but likely only 8 more until I'm delivered! Seems crazy! I'll be holding my new son in less than 9 weeks!! Eight weeks isn't really too long! I know from my last 3 pregnancies that these last weeks drag on and on it seems...until it's over, I've delivered and then I wonder how the hell the pregnancy is over already. So far things are going pretty good. Baby boy is still pretty active and I think because this ol' uterus has been stretched that he's able to twist and turn and roll much more than the other 3 kids could. It's fun watching my belly move and change shape...Jacob and Clara think it's hilarious and amazing watching him move. I did have to be monitored and get some terbutaline shots last weekend to stop contractions, and I'm now on oral brethine on an as needed basis. No bedrest, and they didn't check my cervix but I assume it probably didn't change. I see Doc Tuesday and we'll go from there. The brethine seems to help. Night is my worst time and the other night I had a round of contractions that hurt bad enough all I could do was contract, had to breathe with them and they were coming every 3-5 minutes. I did take 5mg of brethine, drank a ton of water and they eventually eased up after a couple hours. So obviously, they really weren't too horrible or the brethine wouldn't have helped, but it freaked me out for awhile. Makes me wonder if I'm just a wimp, but I have labored before, and these hurt, and hurt a lot more than any of the other rounds of contractions I've had. The nursery is set up, I'm starting to get all the stuff I need/want for my hospital bag and maybe one of these days I'll get around to packing it...just to ward off any preterm labor. (You know how superstitious us nurses are! If you're prepared, it won't happen.) But for now, I'm still hanging in there, things are looking pretty good, and most of the time, I'm fairly certain I'll be one of those pretermers who contract and contract and then end up carrying to 42 weeks! And full term is just fine with me!

August 27, 2010

One Year

One year ago today, I miscarried my little angel. You know, it seems strange that it has already been a year. In one way, it seems like just yesterday, but in other ways, it seems like a lifetime ago. A lot has changed in that year and today I have all sorts of emotions/feelings/thoughts that I just can't put into words. If you've ever had a loss, I'm sure you understand. I wish that I hadn't lost that baby...but if I hadn't, I wouldn't be carrying this little boy that is due in 9 weeks. While I'm glad I will get to hold and love this little boy, I'm not glad that I miscarried. See what I mean? It's a bit confusing. Although I only knew that little life for about 11 weeks, it touched me and changed my life in more ways than I ever thought possible. I am grateful I was able to carry it for it's short stay here. I have an understanding now that I didn't have before. And I'm grateful that I am 31 weeks pregnant with this child. I remember the day I woke up bleeding being so angry with God, and not understanding why or what his plan was. But now, I think I do. I won't retype the whole experience but to remember, I have read my old entries...the emotions were so raw. Should you want to walk down memory lane, the entries begin in July 2009 and August 2009. It's amazing how much a miscarriage affects you. Tonight, I will light a candle, to remember.

August 26, 2010

Awesome, and a Bit Unusual Birth

This past weekend, I took care of a mom who said she hoped to deliver without an epidural. With her other kids, she had been induced, water broken early and she said she ended up screaming for her epidural around 6 cm. This time, she came it for some bleeding and an exam revealed she was in fact in active labor...very close to transition. She was surprised. She said she was only a little crampy, but never would have guessed she was in labor. Her bleeding was just bloody show. So I got her admitted, called the midwife and she decided to get up and walk for a bit. Her midwife wanted me to recheck her in an hour - she was now 7-8 cm, still looked more comfortable than any of us nurses! The dad actually asked me if they were going to get sent home because she wasn't feeling contractions! So her midwife comes in, sees how comfortable the patient appeared and I start to wonder about the accuracy of my exam. The patient decides to lay down for awhile. After a bit, the midwife decides to check her. We go in, she's on her side, in the middle of a contraction according to the monitor and she's breathing slowly with her eyes closed. Aw, that looks like she's getting ready. Nope. She was sound asleep. And she was 9.5 cm dilated! I've seen women seemingly labor effortlessly, but I've never seen anyone sleep at almost 10cm! Her midwife had never seen that and a couple of other nurses working who have 30+ years of experience had never seen that! Unless of course they have an epidural and she hadn't had anything, no pain meds, nothing! And no, she wasn't on any drugs or anything like that. Once her water broke, she did get uncomfortable as she delivered her baby. She did fabulous, although since she labored so easily, she was stunned after it was over because she went from sleeping to pushing her baby out without medication in 15 minutes. She didn't really have time to prepare is what she said afterward, but she was glad she finally was able to do it. I'm sure that happens more often than I have seen, but it was a first for me. Amazing!

August 22, 2010

Dr. Seuss for Nursing Moms

Would you nurse him in the park?
Would you nurse him in the dark?
Would you nurse him with a Boppy?
And when your boobs are feeling floppy?

I would nurse him in the park,
I would nurse him in the dark.
I’d nurse with or without a Boppy.
Floppy boobs will never stop me.

Can you nurse with your seat belt on?
Can you nurse from dusk till dawn?
Though he may pinch me, bite me, pull,
I will nurse him `till he’s full!

Can you nurse and make some soup?
Can you nurse and feed the group?
It makes him healthy strong and smart,
Mommy’s milk is the best start!

Would you nurse him at the game?
Would you nurse him in the rain?
In front of those who dare complain?
I would nurse him at the game.
I would nurse him in the rain.

As for those who protest lactation,
I have the perfect explanation.
Mommy’s milk is tailor made
It’s the perfect food, you need no aid.

Some may scoff and some may wriggle,
Avert their eyes or even giggle.
To those who can be cruel and rude,
Remind them breast’s the perfect food!

I would never scoff or giggle,
Roll my eyes or even wiggle!
I would not be so crass or crude,
I KNOW that this milk’s the perfect food!

We make the amount we need
The perfect temp for every feed.
There’s no compare to milk from breast-
The perfect food, above the rest.

Those sweet nursing smiles are oh so sweet,
Mommy’s milk is such a treat.
Human milk just can’t be beat.

I will nurse, in any case,
On the street or in your face.
I will not let my baby cry,
I’ll meet his needs, I’ll always try.
It’s not about what’s good for you,
It’s best for babies, through and through.

I will nurse him in my home,
I will nurse him when I roam.
Leave me be lads and ma’am.
I will nurse him, MOM I AM.

Author unknown

August 19, 2010


Yesterday, Clara and I went to get my weekly/sometimes biweekly van-load of groceries. I always end up with a full cart - so full I have to actually strategically place items in the cart to make sure I have room for everything. We get to the check-out and the lady took one look at my ever-expanding waistline and was almost overly concerned about me lifting my groceries out of my cart. I assured her I would have no problems. They always have someone bagging your groceries for you, which is nice, and most times, they offer to help you out with your groceries. I figured I'd take them up on this offer this time because I had more than normal. Anyway, I pay the un-godly total, turn to grab my cart, notice that bagging lady had disappeared AND that she had filled 2 carts with my groceries. Really? Two carts? How the hell am I supposed to push TWO carts out? And you all know what carts are like - they never steer and pull to one side. I look around, dumbfounded, mutter some profanities to myself and start unloading one cart into the other. Of course, it took me a bit because I had to move all the soft items from the top of cart 1 so I could put the heavy stuff from cart 2 in without smashing things. And the overly concerned check-out lady? Never even turned my direction again. Finally, we head out. I hadn't been able to find my keys to swipe my preferred customer card and I figured I must have left them in the van. I don't usually do that, but the few times I've lost my keys, that's where they are. Clara and I get to the van, I look in the ignition, yep, there they are and I try to pull them out - and I realize I left the van running the entire time. Oh yeah. I'm brilliant. Of course, there is a lady putting groceries in her car right next to my van so it is now obvious that the waddling pregnant lady left her van running for a very long time while she got a cart-load of groceries. I felt like a genius. Thankfully, no one decided to take off with my van. So, pregnancy hormones are making me crazy - October can't get here soon enough!!

August 18, 2010

First day of school / 30 weeks

Today I sent Jacob AND Clara off to school. Clara has been pretty darn excited about finally getting to go to kindergarten. I'm still having a hard time believing that I have a kid in 2nd grade and in kindergarten. It's unreal. I didn't even cry. But you should have seen poor Isaiah. We saw them off on the bus then I drove down to the school to get a couple pics to make sure she got where she needed to be. As they walked into the school and we turned to leave, Isaiah started sniffling and crying these huge tears - it was one of the saddest things I've seen for awhile! He was just so sad leaving without them. I was pretty close to tears as you can imagine. So Isaiah and I went and had breakfast and played at the park. He's just fine now, playing with toys without someone trying to take them away. But he keeps asking if they are home and looking out the window. So it's pretty sweet.

As far as preggo me goes, I'm hanging in there. 30 weeks today! WooHoo! I will admit this weekend was rough. I was more crampy/tight than normal, my lower back hurt, had more pelvic pressure than normal and I started passing bits of mucus plug. All of my complaints were all pretty vague - they could mean nothing or it could be a sign something was happening. So I went in Monday to make sure everything was ok. They checked me for a UTI and I do have one. Never had any symptoms, but sometimes that happens. I will say that it wasn't a clean catch urine. They always have those wipes you're supposed to wipe off with first so you give a clean sample...well, they were out. And like I said, I'd been passing pieces of mucus, although by then they weren't bloody, so I'm not sure how accurate the sample was, but sometimes the WBC count is still high even if it wasn't a good catch. So I'm taking antibiotics, hoping it helps clear up the infection and I'll not be so crampy. Doc did another fFN swab, said my cervix still looked closed and fairly thick but it was pretty irritated. I assume just from being pregnant and working all weekend because I can assure you the last time anything was messing with my cervix was the last time she did the fFN. They called yesterday with the results: positive. Not what I was expecting at all. She didn't change anything so I'm not on bedrest, off work or getting meds at this point. She said only 16% of people with a positive fFN will go on and deliver preterm, but that I needed to be pretty tuned in to what was going on with my body and if I start contracting regular that I need to go in to L&D. Fan-freakin-tastic. The only time I want to be in L&D is as a labor nurse or when I'm having my full-term baby. Part of me keeps telling myself "oh, you'll be fine, it doesn't mean anything, you'll make it to term, no worries". If I was dilating or my cervix was pretty thin, I'd be more concerned. But there's also that part of me that is freaking out. So I'm still working as we figured work is pretty is a pretty safe place to be - my coworkers are like mother hens already, so they'll be keeping an eye on me. I may have to cut down to 8 hour shifts soon like I did with Isaiah, and I might have to not work labor from here on *sniff*. Not that I don't like post-partum, but my love is labor. But I don't need to be doing anything that could stir things up and put me into real preterm labor. Working labor and delivery is a pretty physically challenging job. But for now, we'll see how it goes. I'm hoping that the UTI is the culprit - that the antibiotics will clear the infection that's making me contract and maybe that's what irritated my cervix, got my mucus plug to start to dislodge and give a positive fFN result. Until then, I'm taking it easy, trying to stay sane and relaxed.

August 11, 2010

29 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 18 lbs. *Sigh* So much for being on the lower end of the weight gain spectrum...especially since I started out so well.

Maternity clothes? oh, yeah!

Best moment this week: I guess it's just kinda funny, but I was helping a mom sit up for her epidural Monday a.m., and she was a mom who was really leaning on me to support her during her contractions and the epidural. After it was done, she sat up, looked at my belly and said "Oh, your baby just moved!" Yep, it's noticeable even through my scrubs!

Movement: All the time! Like I said, his bigger movements are quite obvious even to other people.

Food cravings: Still liking the cookies & cream ice cream with cool whip. But, I only have 1 scoop and I don't eat it every day, just because I don't want to get huge. Grapes have been sounding really good too. I really wanted a nice cold beer a couple days ago...oh well, soon enough, and I think it was just the idea of a cold beer on the deck that sounded nice and not the actually beer.

Labor Signs: again, no signs of labor. Still having lots of contractions, having more and more "episodes" of pretty uncomfortable contractions every 2-5 minutes lasting about 1-2 hours, but about the time I decide enough is enough and I need to maybe go have it stopped, they quit. So the ole' uterus is just cranky and letting me know she's unhappy. Oh, and the fun sciatic nerve pain has been fun. Nothing like getting up to pee at night and getting that shooting pain down your leg.

Stretchmarks? nope.

How are you feeling? Tired but not feeling too bad overall. My patience with my 3 kids is waning...I'm really trying to keep my cool. Oh, and it's in the 90's with a heat index in the 100's and has been for a couple days. Thank goodness for the a/c. My 12 hour shifts are really getting difficult. Again, I know pregnancy isn't a comfortable thing, but this pregnancy has been rough. At about 2a.m., my upper and lower back really start hurting, the cranky old girl Ms. Ute starts to get pretty irritable...but I'm managing...I will make it!

What I am looking forward to: hitting 30 weeks, school starts next week for Jacob and Clara so for about 2 months, I'll only have 1 kid at home during the week. We'll be working on potty training Isaiah during that time. I really hope it goes well, he seems to be ready and likes to go on the potty.

What I miss: Sleep, being able to do things I just can't physically do right now.

And now for your viewing pleasure, a couple belly shots:
And now for the comparison I am at 29 weeks pregnant with Isaiah. Yep, I'm gonna be HUGE!!!!!

August 3, 2010

Two More Beautiful Births

A few weekends back, I took care of two first time moms with very similar birth plans. They both wanted a natural labor and birth, didn't want to be tied to bed, wanted to move around, etc., the usual requests we see with a birth plan. They both did fabulous! But there were a few differences. The first mom came in defensive and abrasive - she thought I was going to force her to do everything against her wishes, take her baby away from her right after birth and do horrible mean things and ruin her birth experience. Couldn't have been farther from the truth! She allowed me to monitor the baby while I ran through the ridiculous list of questions I have to go through, assessment and calling the doc. She told me NOT to coach her with contractions or direct/suggest anything in labor or when it was time to push - her body would tell her what to do - she'd let me know if she needed me. I'm perfectly fine with that. We agreed that she'd let me monitor the baby and I'd be there just in case she needed something, but she didn't really want any interference on my part. So we had a deal. I call the doc, he agrees to her requests. I place the saline lock, help her into the tub and go in and check on baby every so often to make sure he was doing well. After awhile, she started to get pretty active and she also started to see that I was there to do everything I could to help her have the birth she wanted. No longer did she see me as the enemy, but as her advocate. We were getting somewhere. Generally, at least where I work, that's the case. Us labor nurses really do want women to have the birth experience they want, whether it's natural in the tub or with an epidural or a c-section. We do have rules the hospital puts in to place and a refusal of some interventions requires that a refusal form be signed to waive the hospital of liability. Anyway, she starts to feel pushy and she decides she wants out of the tub. I'm allowed to check her: nine centimeters. She was in that transition phase where she wanted to be done with the whole thing, felt out of control and that she couldn't do it anymore. I felt she was open to some suggestions so I got her back out of bed, on the ball, standing at the bedside, labor dancing leaning on dad, etc. Soon enough, she was complete and ready to push. She started pushing but not effectively - I could tell she was holding back - the urge was there, but her mind was telling her not to push because it would hurt. After awhile of ineffective pushing and not making progress, she started to look to me for suggestions. I then was able to give her suggestions on how to push, got her to try a few different positions - she actually liked the lithotomy position the best (I'm still astounded by that one!) and she started making progress, pretty fast progress at that. All she needed was just a tiny bit of help and she had it. Finally, we were ready for Doc, he came in, and she delivered a healthy little baby, just as she wanted. She told me afterwards she was so afraid that I was going to be this devil of a woman who would make her lie in bed, have an IV, be tied to the monitor, etc. because of all the stories she's heard about how horrible hospitals are. And I'm sure there are true stories like that, unfortunately. But there are a lot of nurses that want moms to have a safe delivery, a healthy baby and have the birth they dream of. She started off defensive, and realized that she did need someone to help support her (she didn't have a doula and didn't take any classes) and when she realized she could trust me, she was able to ask for help and was able to achieve the birth she so wanted. It really was a beautiful birth. Skin to skin right after delivery, baby latched on to the breast shortly after the cord was cut, and a great delivery.

The other momma had taken Bradley classes and was as prepared as you can get for your first run at labor and delivery. She and her husband were very receptive to any and all suggestions I could offer, and seemed to be reassured by my presence. Most times, Bradley couples have this great connection that they don't want disturbed by the presence of a stranger coming in and interrupting mom's concentration on labor. They had great chemistry but they also wanted that reassurance I could give them by checking on the baby frequently. After laboring for awhile, she decided she needed to do something different than sitting on the ball, so I helped her into the shower while I started filling our labor tub. After awhile, she decided the shower was wonderful and didn't want the labor tub. She progressed quickly and was 8 cm when I had to report off at the end of the shift. She did go on to have a drug-free vaginal delivery, after being complete for 5 hours and pushing for 3-4. I think they were probably starting to wonder if the baby would fit, but no time constraints were enforced as mom and baby were doing fine and in the end, she had a healthy baby in her arms. Another beautiful birth!