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Alistaire’s Story

I sit here and realize it has been over a week. A week already! Since I had Alistaire. Time goes way too fast, just a blur of feedings and sleep – for all of us.

I had a feeling on Tuesday the 7th as I went to my OB appointment (I was doing 2 a week visits) that we were getting to the end. My blood pressure sealed that deal. It was pretty bad, having raised even more from Friday’s appointment. I got put on the NST machine and had a great strip – the baby was doing just fine, it was me with health issues. After I got done my OB and I had “the talk” – which was “you need to go to the birth center as soon as you can today, you have been booked for an induction”. I saw no reason to argue….for I had carried the baby longer than any of my children (38 weeks and 3 days). I knew he was ready to come. She did a last-minute ultrasound to check if he was still head down and how his fluid levels were. All looked well, so I took a huge pile of medical records with me (which was good I did as the hospitals faxing crashed!!) and headed home to Kirk. Ford was at school, I called him and told him to not worry, just let himself in. We got my bag, Kirk signed off from work (that he works from home is a huge plus) and we headed to the hospital – with Walker along. My brother was coming down but he he had to take a ferry over first. Finally we got to the hospital around 11 am and I was admitted. And I found myself in the same wing as two years before, just a couple of rooms away. Felt like home or something. Then I went through a long set of assessments. Kirk entertained Walker as best he could and finally my brother showed up. Kirk drove him and Walker back to the house and then headed back again. My poor husband drove a lot that day.

So out of it all the decision was to start labor with Cytotec – something which many do not agree with. I am on the fence with it, it worked for Walker’s birth and knowing it worked was a good reason to use it again. But first they played with my blood pressure and got it stabilized and then started the Cytotec. I had been having 4 to 5 minute contractions for months so the first dose kicked up my contractions. Then they had to hold off and wait for them to slow down before doing dose two. It can take awhile, I know that! Inductions before 40 weeks can take 24 hours to get into labor so I had patience. Everyone was safe, I knew I just had to focus on me. That evening my friend Dani drove over after work to keep us company, a long drive for her. It was so appreciated! She left when they decided to do dose number two, around 11 pm. Due to my blood pressure I was told no walking, which honestly I was OK with. I was tired. I got woken up every hour or so for testing of my BP and was let off the monitors every couple of hours for 2 hours and was allowed a shower at least – it felt great around 1 am. Kirk slept at least – even if I had that last fitful sleep I have with each baby. So over the night I spent many hours as they tweaked my contractions with watching my blood pressure (which was doing just fine if I stayed in bed). Come morning my nurse said to me “eat a good breakfast” so I did and then I relaxed a bit. After checking on me and seeing I was to a 3, they started Pitocion. Waiting is always hard and especially when one is just sitting and having contractions, over and over. I met with the OB on call, a lovely lady, who works out of another clinic of the OB I see. I felt lucky in getting her by chance. We discussed things – and she asked me how open I was to an epidural (which I was) due to its abilities to lower blood pressure. As I have talked before – I have done natural childbirth and I have used an epidural. I had little to prove with this baby besides having him be safe. No 15 page birth plan for me. Just get him out. I held off on getting the epidural figuring I had time and it wasn’t bad. But slowly I noticed the contractions were getting stronger and I figured might as well get it before it got sucky. So Kirk called the nurse and she was calling up the anesthesiologist/getting stuff ready for him when I felt a “kick/pop” sensation and crap, my water had broken. And just like with Walker my contractions went from “I can handle this” to “owwwwwww”.  I went to a 4. Then the worlds slowest anesthesiologist showed up (OK, I kid, I kid…he wasn’t slow but it sure felt like it!) He stood there reading me all this paperwork and I wanted to scream “Just give me the shot, we’ll talk after!!” Hehheh. I had pre-filled out my paperwork for the epidural and suddenly no one knew where it was (how do you lose paperwork from hours before?). But soon enough he started it, between contractions that were maybe 3 minutes or less. I was starting to wonder though because my labor pains felt different. I had pressure in my lower back/rear and I started thinking. My first son was Posterior (sunny side up) and had felt the same way. The epidural slowly filled my back and the contractions went away but what I felt instead was the need to bear down. Oops. My nurse was 1 on 1 with me, a wonderful lady, Marsha. She was just what I had always wanted for a childbirth. A relaxed mom-like nurse who was more like a midwife. She checked me and I had gone to 10 cm in minutes. She paged the OB because I was really feeling the need to push. Her hope was I’d push a couple of times and be done. But with quick checking and realizing I was going to deliver Posterior, I ended up pushing for an hour. The hardest part was getting him to clear my pelvic bone. But he was doing well, his heart rate was great. The epidural was low and I was able to move around, even get on all 4’s and try as many positions as I could to get him out. It helped a lot that I could move. I was using just enough to numb the pain/lower my blood pressure. It was what I wanted – just me, the nurse and Kirk. No one else, just quiet to do what I needed. Unlike my birth of Walker where I had a room full of people due to his erratic heart rate this was as close as I was ever going to get to a perfect birth, the birth I had wanted. And I wasn’t numb, I could feel him moving along. And the epidural was useless as he crowned due to him being posterior. But it was good, even if painful. The only new faces in the room was the OB and two nurses helping with the final delivery. I felt in control, I was relaxed and it was amazing when I saw Alistaire for the first time. He was big. The ladies looked at me and said “This isn’t a 9 lb baby”. When he was weighed he was 10 lbs 6.8 ounces and 22″ long. No wonder my belly was so big. My OB had said to me on Tuesday morning at out last appointment as she sent me off “I’d expect a 8 1/2 to 9 lb baby” – I was supposed to have another ultrasound that week to get a size idea, so his being that big was a bit unexpected. I sat there and relaxed as they checked him over and got him warmed and then they handed him to me but I ended up handing the baby to Kirk as I felt pretty tired from my anemia and the pushing. I didn’t trust myself holding him.

He got a pretty smooshed head being born but within the hour his little head smoothed out! It was amazing to see how much Alistaire looked like Walker. The same nose and chin!

Then I was told I needed to be put on a 24 hour magnesium drip to make sure my blood pressure didn’t affect me. Ugh. Really? So it meant I couldn’t get out of bed for the entire time, preferably to be on my side. So not long after he was born (just after 3 pm), I got put on the drip. It was a long night and Kirk had to take care of Alistaire for me the entire time. Our nurse that night had lots of empathy for us though and she took the baby to the nurses station for an hour or so, just so Kirk could relax. In the morning Kirk went and got Ford and Walker to come meet their brother and then home – he drove a lot once again. It was a long day for me. I was told to not pick the baby up if alone, Mag can leave you very loopy but overall I handled it well enough. Finally at 3 pm on Thursday they took me off it and said I could get up. And then I did feel it, gravity 10X hit me. I ended up sitting down on the couch in my room and drank a huge bottle of juice and rested. Finally after an hour or so I felt OK enough to attempt showering. And then I was happy to go back to bed.

The head scratcher was the OB who visited me on Thursday morning. I was sitting there attached to the Mag drip and he blithely blurts out “You wanna go home today??” and the nurse looks at him and says “She is on a Mag IV!” Can I say I was glad he wasn’t the one on call for delivering Alistaire.

Spent an ancy Thursday evening just ready to go home but had to be woken up every hour or so to check my blood pressure. We had the same nurse that night as well and she took Alistaire for about three hours so we could sleep. It was very good but sleep was fitful for me. The carpal tunnel syndrome I had developed the last couple of weeks made sleep very hard, my hands would go numb within minutes. Morning came and I waited the rounds of doctors. The pediatrician came and was fine with Alistaire leaving and then my OB showed up (thankfully she was on call on Friday at the hospital). With my history she let me out and told me to show up on Monday for a blood pressure check. My blood pressure takes awhile to stabilize after each baby and losing the water weight from the IV’s is very important. I was pretty puffed up.

A week out I have lost 29 lbs – so yes, that is a lot of water that was in me. My carpal tunnel has nearly disappeared (thank you!) and maybe soon I can put my wedding rings back on! My feet still swell up a bit by night but are looking better each day. I’ll have to watch my blood pressure for a while, I am taking it easy and getting use to moving about again – but I have a healthy baby and that is plenty for me!

It is an odd feeling being done. Health wise I feel better but at the same time I miss the feeling of his kicks and punches but still I am glad he is here and safe. And now part of our family ♥

~Sarah

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Our “little” Alistaire

It has been a few days since I posted (Tuesday!) and I finally feel like I might be able to breathe again. A short note about everything – the baby is here ♥ Alistair Robert Kirkconnell was born on Wednesday afternoon after I was induced at 38 weeks and 3 days. I went to my Tuesday morning NST appointment and was told to go home and get my bag and head to the birth center as my OB was not happy with my blood pressure (it was not good, 170 over 92). Alistaire’s birth was good though, I will write more when Kirk has time to do his photos (he took quite a few!). And….he is as big as he he appears. He was 10 lbs and 6.8 ounces at birth!

A photo I took yesterday of the new one:

We took Alistaire and Walker out for a walk yesterday and I realized something – I had both of them on Wednesdays, released on Friday and first walk on a Saturday! Suddenly Walker seems so big! Hard to believe he is 22 months old now!

Finding my rhythm slowly. We have Dr appointments this coming week for both Alistaire and me, it will keep me busy! I promise though photos and a birth story soon 🙂

~Sarah

38 Weeks and Counting!

38 weeks yesterday and I have carried this baby longer than I did with my two children!

How big is my belly going to get??

~Sarah

37 Weeks

Wow! 37 weeks. For a pregnancy that seemed to slowly go by the first half it has gone by so fast the past 9 or 10 weeks.

Side view:

Awesome feeling being to full term…now the weeks can go by as fast as they want till the little man is here ♥

~Sarah

Storms, Messes, Cleanup and No Inter-Webbies

I am happy to have my beloved internetties back on – I can live without TV just fine and even handle power outages but hoo, do I get crabby without my internet. Well, I suppose that is a First World Problem and I should be happy that was my only real issue of the storms we had – and I did have my Blackberry the whole time :p But no thanks on using that tiny screen to write on! So I apologize for being out of action for a couple of days.

The snow did come that was promised but was worse on Thursday of last week than on Wednesday, when the storm was supposed to hit. We live out towards Mt. Rainier, against the foothills of the Cascade Mountains so our weather is often much worse than Seattle gets it – and neither do we have open water to warm things up!

But it wasn’t the snow that did it, rather it was the ice storm that happened Wed. afternoon through early Thursday. It coated everything with a freezing rain, then it snowed on Thursday on top of that. We had trees bending bad. The fatality was in the back yard when the majority of the tree flopped over the fence and snapped in two parts. The remaining part was bending towards our roof. About the time it started going onto the roof Kirk got outside and started cutting limbs off all the trees. He hacked the tree to release the pressure (it wasn’t saveable) and removed a number of very heavy Evergreen branches that were threatening my Blueberry plantation.

Walker watching Daddy:

Happy being inside all warm while Daddy was outside – and getting to watch him work:

My appointment got canceled on Friday morning for my next NST due to the clinic having no power. Almost no traffic lights were working, power was out everywhere still and everywhere you went, trees littered. The freeze did a lot of damage and the wind that came in after on Friday didn’t help either. Overall, getting power back on out here isn’t easy. It was a mess. We didn’t lose power though, but lost our internet on Thursday afternoon which meant Kirk had to drive into work this week. We only got it back this afternoon, which is wonderful as that means no commuting for him!

Kirk took this shot of me entering my 36th week:

Walker ventured out into the snow with me this weekend –

He still isn’t quite sure of snow….

By Sunday most of the snow had melted (although we still have a lot in our yard!). My friend Dani came up to visit, we went out to lunch and then coffee and had a girls afternoon out 🙂 When I was pregnant with Walker she had taken a photo of me in this Starbucks at 38 weeks so she had to repeat it 😉

I am feeling it!

I had my NST test on Monday to make up for Friday. And I have another one coming up – I have a feeling I could be on 2 a week for them for now.I layed on my side during the NST and caught up on my email and posted a blog yesterday while using the clinics internet 😉

The snow is at least mostly gone, the yard is mostly picked up (there will be a lot of yard waste in the bins for the next month!) and I found out I can barely fit behind the steering wheel now in Kirk’s truck. No more driving of his truck till the baby comes, it just scares me too much to have the wheel that close to my belly. At least in the van I can tilt the wheel. But honestly I have little desire to drive at this point. I have reached that point….hah!

Just happy to have reached and passed 36 weeks. It is a milestone I do appreciate a lot. I had Ford at that point and big babies born full term are my goal.

PS: The one thing I did do was cook and bake! I wrote up a bunch of blog posts for the coming weeks as well 🙂

~Sarah

Of Snow and Babies

After a dry, dry fall and early winter we finally got snow this week, just in time for my weekly visit to the OB yesterday. The roads were still frozen so Kirk drove me to my appointment (it was still dark as well…ugh). My OB wasn’t happy with the babies heart rate, it was slightly elevated, so I go told “I want you to go to the Birth Center for observation after the appointment”. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear but thankfully Kirk was with me. The babies heart rate did settle down by the end of my NST (non stress test) and who knows if it was related to me feeling super dehydrated, but when I was there I drank a ton of water.

Kirk drove me to the hospital, which is a good 30 minutes away when there is snow (20 in low traffic/clear roads) and I checked in. The baby looked good on the monitor and my blood pressure is OK for now (lets say that my BP is good for me, although for most women it would be “higher”). I passed all my bloodwork (my OB is keeping a tight eye on my kidney and liver levels). They also did an ultrasound to check on the placenta and on the baby as well. And at 35 weeks the baby is 98% percentile, weighing an estimated 7 lbs 12 ounces. Considering that Walker was 9 lbs when he was born at 38 weeks, it will probably be pretty accurate for this one’s weight. When I had my oldest son Ford at 36 weeks he weighed just over 5 lbs. It is scary to think how much bigger this baby is! Not having Pre-eclampsia for many weeks helps one get a bigger baby to say the least….The nurses were all so helpful. I have found the hospital we use is a good one and most everyone goes out of their way to be nice. Although I did get to listen to the nurse and US tech look at me and say “You won’t go 40 weeks”. I can only imagine how big this baby will be if I do, 10? 11 lbs?

After a couple of hours I did get released – and which drove home in my mind to get my hospital bag packed (I did it this morning!). Over the weekend Kirk and I found all the baby stuff in storage as well – and I ordered the new crib which should be here early next week. So I at least have that done! Kirk got me a late lunch and we headed home, stopping at the store to get a few things before the snow came again (and I swear everyone else was there as well!).

Woke up to snow falling this morning. Walker was up early and wanted to go out so badly, he still isn’t quite sure what snow is 😀 Hah!

Ford got him to come out though –

He did have fun running aorund but within a little while he was ready to come in 😉

~Sarah

Preggo Ramblings

Boy was I in a black mood yesterday. I’ll be honest – while I love BEING pregnant and growing a baby I truthfully do not enjoy the final weeks. But are there many women who do? Maybe. They can stuff it though 😀 The past week or two I had noticed that I was getting Carpal Tunnel back in my left hand. I have gotten it in the 8th month with every pregnancy (and had it when I worked for the Thai importer, due to how I lifted granite mortar and pestle sets…oops). My fingers had gone numb while driving, typing and at night. Then I woke up on Tuesday morning and I could barely move my right arm or even make a grip. My fingers were all swelled. After about 5 hours I could grip again and it came back to mostly normal. I called my OB and she said to start wearing a splint again. Only thing is….I couldn’t find mine. I think they are in storage or I got rid of them 😦 I went shopping and found a style I hadn’t used before – much more flexible than the traditional ones with the massive Velcro closures and metal splint – Imak Smart Glove Medium. Instant relief. Only I only bought one. Oops. I went out last night and buy a second one so I can wear them all at once. With them on, Birkenstocks on my feet and maternity pants…waddling around? Yeah, I am so sexy. Hah!

And then my favorite maternity pants, these from Motherhood Maternity, the stretchy belly part suddenly lost its stretch. Freaky! The whole knit part is suddenly a wide swath of non-stretchy fabric, the pants are useless to wear, they don’t stay up. Even through 3 babies I have never seen a pair of maternity pants do this. This happen to anyone else? And weirder is they were only 2 or so months old. I cursed them and asked “Why couldn’t you just last oh, another month??” 😀 But still it was weird. They were fine, I washed them and they came out all warped.

But weirder has been the belly rubbers. I used to nearly gloat how people never touched me in my other pregnancies. But this pregnancy? I have multiple people come up and plant hands on me. I just shrug it off and don’t put a lot into it – maybe it is how big I am measuring? I was still measuring 2½ weeks ahead at my appointment yesterday. My belly is so big! I have even started to get to the twin and triplet comments (yeah, original comedy lines there folks 😛 ) But hey, soon it will be over, so I just smile and roll my eyes internally – hah!

On the positive side I got a goodie package from Enfamil this morning in the mail. Nice! Unlike so many “mommy bloggers” I have no qualms with being pro-formula. I know where I stand on breastfeeding. Many can do it and that is great. For me, formula is my choice – and I am OK with it (I got rid of the guilt that is beaten into women a long time ago). I am sure we will end up using Costco’s Kirkland formula again, but for those first weeks if I have premium freebies I won’t say no! Now to see if I can go round-up some of the ready to drink formula in the 2 ounce bottles – those are simply amazing for the first week (both Enfamil and Similac make them).

And I have to get down to the storage room and get the baby items out. And order the new crib. I feel overwhelmed many days. Worst nightmare is I keep putting it off and I go into labor and Kirk has to dig through all the boxes to find the car seat 😀 (The storage room comes from all our remodeling – we put a ton of stuff into storage so we could have working room). Well, hey, I have diapers and a coming home outfit. Oops. Maybe I need more? 😀 And we desperately need to finish the kids room so Walker can move into it.

Methinks I am not the only procrastinating mama-to-be out there though!

Had my visit with my OB yesterday, still on my weekly visits for now. My weight has stayed about the same for the past 3 weeks (not a bad thing!) but my weekly NST (non stress test) took an hour (little one was moving and they like a long strip of his movements) – Walker was good for it but was pretty bored once we got that done and had to do our appointment with the doctor. I think 1½ hour appointments are just too long for hm, although he tried so hard to be good. My blood pressure isn’t great but neither is it worse. Third Tri is hardest for me with keeping it down. She is watching me for any signs of Pre-clampsia or HELLP Syndrome, so it seems I may be facing weekly blood-work till the baby comes. That is going to suck $$. Insurance does cover most but it adds up. And I have another ultrasound coming up as well, to check on the babies size and his placenta. My OB hasn’t given a week yet but I would guess that I will be induced again. How soon depends on where my BP stays and how my blood-work turns out each week. But I figure….each week gets me closer and a week bigger for him to grow.

~Sarah

34 Weeks

6 weeks. It is hard to suddenly wrap around that number, of being that close! But I also wonder a lot about when I will have the baby. I am 2 weeks from when I had Ford (36 weeks) and 4 from when I had Walker (38 weeks). We shall see when my OB decides it is time for him to come. I am still having weekly visits (I have for the past 6 weeks) and know they will go up in pace soon. Walker has done well going with me. My OB has a TV and movies in the NST room (non stress test) so he watches Winnie The Pooh while Mommy drifts off for a nap on the bed (NST tests put me to sleep like nothing else!). I take his breakfast with us and he sits in his little stroller usually quite happy. That and the nurses always give him a can of apple juice…hah! (Which he doesn’t get at home – for either of them, so it is a special treat coming with me!)

Some visits it is 20 minutes, others it has been an hour. If the little one is too active and keeps flipping, he goes off the monitor. It is a fine line of how much orange juice to drink to wake him up!

And a photo of the belly –

I have a lot of braxton hick contractions and real contractions every day, the baby is big. But I figure before I know it another 4 weeks will have slipped by. Some days it feels like time is barely moving and then I look and realize just how much has flown by.

And I have Walker to keep me busy…..his last fun toy was my garbage can and the joys of getting in it 😉

The best part of pregnancy though (this is sarcasm mind you) was the 32 week “I need new shoes” moment. I gave up socks long ago (I swear they feel like 2 snakes choking my feet) and I was stuck wearing Chaco sandals that left marks every night in my feet (due to all the straps). After Walker, Kirk “encouraged” me to finally throw away my nasty 12 + year old Birkenstocks that had made it through 2 pregnancies. All I could think of was “I need a new pair. Now.” So I went looking and settled on:

I found them on Amazon for $90 via Prime Shipping (bought directly from Amazon) – Birkenstock Basel Clog. Two or so days of wearing and they were broken in. It is all I wear now. Totally unsexy shoes and I am OK with that. Comfort rules in pregnancy!

~Sarah

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