Little Rabbit Enters the World

Wow. I can hardly believe I am sitting here typing this at 5 days postpartum, with my little 5 day old girl. If reading about this is painful for you at the moment, I completely understand and please skip!

Monday our families drove down/flew in. We had some takeout pizza and then I went into the hospital to sleep with cervidil as planned. Sleep that night was pretty tough- not only because of all the monitoring and frequent adjustments but also because I had the worst heartburn episode of my whole pregnancy! I could not even recline and had to get the nurse to put antacid in my IV. After that, I did drift off a bit.

The next morning things happened swiftly. They started my pitocin around 7:30 am and my doctor broke my water. That was an outrageous experience! I thought it would be like 1 gush and then over- but things were just coming out of me all the time. I started getting contractions pretty much immediately. I asked for an epidural quickly only because I knew it would take a while to actually receive. Indeed, it took about an hour and a half/two hours. The nurse started me on a lot of fluids to try to prevent drops in BP that many people have. The Dr who placed my epidural was excellent- no nonsense and fast. It took effect basically immediately which was great because at that point contractions were getting tough to handle. I just remember the sensation of my whole torso tensing up and I couldn’t speak during those moments.

Unfortunately I did get the massive blood pressure drops they tried to avoid. It scared me because of how dizzy and faint I got but the nurse gave me a drug that helped right away. This was now the ‘boring’ part of labor- I didnt feel much pain but I had nothing to do except lie around and wait. The catheter was in at this point- so I was fully immobile. Mr Upside was running back and forth between the hospital room and the waiting room with our families to give updates. He also spoon-fed me Jello at one point which was really sweet.

I had planned not to let any family in the room but I honestly got bored and told them to come in. They sat and chatted for a bit until I realized I was experiencing a very different sensation- like vaginal contractions instead of uterine ones. I shot my husband a look and he got the family out of there. When the nurse came back to check I was 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced. She was completely shocked and called my OB.

I “labored down” for the next hour and Little Rabbit’s head made her way all the way down and became fully engaged. We got to the point where I was starting to push, but I had another BP drop and started shaking intensely all over my body. Mr Upside got really worried at this point and honestly so did I. I thought I might get sick and heaved into the barf bag but nothing came up. Finally the nurse got me some more meds to elevate the BP and I started being functional again- although the shaking continued. I was worried but apparently whole body shakes are a common side effect of the epidural.

The pushing went really well– too well actually because I was told I had to stop or I’d have her before my OB got there! Once she did, I swear it was only like 15 min of pushing- but the last 5 were UNBELIEVABLY HARD. I thought my whole body would split in two and I kept yelling “I CAN’T!” The last push was so difficult and painful I was about to cry- and didnt even realize I had pushed her out until she was on my chest. I immediately burst into tears.

Holding her on my chest- seconds after the immense pressure/pain- was the single most overwhelming moment of my life. My daughter was here, in the world, and everything had changed forever. I just remember my husband tearing up and holding my hand while Little Rabbit wailed.

Finally, they took her from me and cleaned her up. Her Apgar was 9/10. She was just perfect.

The days/nights that followed were tough. She had blood sugar issues that kept us in the hospital and extra day. My breastfeeding was really challenging and I have now had to stop- at least temporarily- and exclusively pump due to nipple damage. I had a few breakdowns in the hospital that I wouldn’t have gotten through without my husband’s support.

We were able to leave on Friday afternoon and have been home ever since.

Quite frankly, my emotions have been all over the place- crying for a variety of strange reasons, not all sad. I know my hormones are going through the ringer right now, so I am trying to not get ahead of myself and let it play out. She is just the most incredible thing that ever happened.

 

 

32 Weeks and a Baby Shower

I’m currently 32 weeks + 4 days with Little Rabbit. My belly is bigger and bigger by the minute, work is nuts, and I’m starting to feel more fatigue settle in. Getting up once I’ve relaxed on the couch is HARD!

Last weekend we had 2 baby showers. The first was girls-only and was hosted by my mom’s friends. It was really sweet of them- they made some potluck brunch, we played a game, and they were so generous with gifts. Later on that evening, we had our main baby shower- a couple’s one, hosted by our friends. The main pic here is me, swinging at a pi√Īata and everyone else staying far far back ūüôā

Last week we had our 32 week scan- and everything looked good! She is head-down which is great, and about 42nd percentile. My fasting glucose was 12 points lower than the previous reading, which means my GD diet, even when its annoying, is really working. I was so thrilled to hear that!

Things are getting real now- really real. We have the vast majority of our baby gear, we’ve taken an infant safety class, I got my breast pump, I am trying to rapidly finish (or at least make significant progress on) my work projects– and really, the countdown is on. ¬†I still can’t believe I am here and even though I am still anxious sometimes, I could not be more grateful.

Less than 8 weeks to go…

Babymoon and Third Trimester

Hello! I am fresh off our babymoon in San Diego and am still a bit jet lagged. It’s amazing how 2 hours can make a difference. We timed everything pretty amazingly, since I wasn’t technically in my third trimester until today. So we really snuck it in under the wire.

San Diego was absolutely gorgeous. We spent 2 days with a lot of our friends who flew out with us, then 2 1/2 days by ourselves. Being by the ocean is a constant calming force for both Mr Upside and me. The weather was a high of 72 the whole time. Much better than the major heat and humidity we left (and have now come back to).

We did a very minor hike in Torrey Pines– I couldn’t handle much else, honestly, with an extra 20+ lbs on my belly. But honestly getting away for just 4 days made a big difference in my anxiety. It’s such a truly beautiful and calming place to be.

My heartburn is pretty bad right now, but I wonder if a lot of that has to do with my diet. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted since I was on vacation. Restless Leg Syndrome had been a bit better for about a week, but last night it got me GOOD. I have all these leg vibration devices, but for some reason last night my RSL was fighting through them, which hasn’t happened before.

I have my gestational diabetes test on Monday, which I’m NOT looking forward to, but its a necessary evil. The third trimester is going to be tough, but it is all 100000% worth it for my little girl.

26 Weeks

Good afternoon-  I am officially 26 weeks pregnant with my miraculous Little Rabbit. That also means officially 6 1/2 months, though I have been saying that for the past 5 days anyway.

Pregnancy symptoms

  • Sore back: traveling makes this much much worse. I have a pregnancy pillow that has helped a lot but it is SO massive (U-shaped) that I really can’t bring it anywhere- so sleeping at hotels isn’t good for my lower back. Neither is flying! After 10 hours of airplane time in the last 48 hours, I can definitely say that my back is really affected by those uncomfortable sardine seats.
  • Heartburn: My heartburn is pretty frequent, but it’s a minor-to-moderate irritation/annoyance.
  • RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME: This started about 2 weeks ago and it has been the most brutal part of pregnancy thus far. It happens at night, and I have had a terribly hard time with it. You can’t go to sleep, no matter how tired you are, when you feel like your legs are burning/itching/being zapped or electrocuted. It’s the strangest thing. I may have found a possible solution though. I have compression socks that I sometimes used for running, and I have worn them the past 3 nights- they have been a TREMENDOUS help so far, but I worry about jinxing it.

About 3 days ago, one of my best friends gave birth to her son! He came early, though she was already scheduled for an early C-section due to the fact that he was breech. She was miserable and swollen the last few weeks of her pregnancy, and so far, her recovery has been very good. I’m so happy for her and I have the chance to see him next week which is very exciting.

One thing that caught me off guard, though, when she texted about his birth, was jealousy. It was so strange. It’s not because I’m miserably uncomfortable and want to get this show on the road- I’m not (despite the RLS). It’s much different than that. It’s that she already knows. She already knows that her baby was born healthy, is thriving, isn’t preterm, and that her recovery and birth process went well. Although there is no indication that LR won’t be perfectly healthy and full term, anxieties plague me often. I’ve had a challenging time this entire pregnancy fully letting go and acting like a “normal” pregnant person who doesn’t have a care in the world. I still get hesitant about buying baby things, but at this point I also know I need to get her nursery set up! I’m immensely grateful to be where I am right now- tho I know all too well that really anything can happen and nothing is guaranteed. But this is true in ALL of life, not just pregnancy. So I’ve been working on my meditation and just general ability to sit with my feelings and immerse myself in the joy of baby girl’s kicking.

Being so busy has helped as well. My boss sent me on a whirlwind trip to DC this week, complete with multiple layovers and getting home at midnight. I was upset about it at first but it actually ended up being a pretty interesting trip. I am tired, but more functional than I worried I might be- since I had to get up at 4 to catch a flight, have 12 hours of intense meetings, and manage to get home into my bed after midnight the next day. Work is important to me, though. It’s nice to have reminders and experiences that are different or bigger than pregnancy, and I can get out of my own head about it and experience my regular life and contribute in a way I feel good about.

And I have even more travel coming up! Next week I am spending time out of town for work, which I actually get to merge with seeing my brother, who I don’t often get to see. Then, Mr Upside and I are going on a mini babymoon to San Diego! We are staying at his parents’ place right by the beach, and they won’t be there.

Then I have 1 more work trip and presentation at the end of June- and after that I am quitting flying until I have the baby. Looking forward to that.

 

24 Weeks 4 Days: Little Rabbit is “Perfect”

Sometimes speaking up is a great idea.

After my last blog about our ridiculous experience with the nurse after our anatomy scan, I wrote a “review” of our experience that went directly to my OB’s practice (not a public Yelp review). I got a call on Friday from someone named Jacy who is a team lead nurse and left a voicemail– I couldn’t call her back because we were in North Carolina setting up for my best friend’s¬†wedding and I got basically 0 reception at the venue. Anyway, when I returned I called her back- and we had a great conversation! She thanked me so much for providing feedback, apologized profusely, and even laughed at some of my stories. I forget which one of you mentioned Candid Camera or Punk’d, but she basically said the same thing!

Turns out the “nurse” is actually a Medical Assistant not a RN or LPN. She has been there for 2 weeks and came from working in some hospital’s emergency room. She has been placed under direct supervision now until her training is more adequate. And, what’s more, we have a note on our file that we are to be given the other staff nurses, not her. So that avoids future awkward moments.

The best part is she had our file in front of her and confirmed Little Rabbit is “just perfect.” Her 40th percentile is a great place to be, and my cervix, at 40 mm, is perfect and “pretty much rules out very preterm labor.” It was wonderful to hear, from someone competent.

Just goes to show, speaking up and letting people know when your care is subpar, as long as the practice or clinic is otherwise responsible, is a great idea.

23 Weeks 5 Days: All Over the Map

Little Rabbit had her anatomy scan today! It was really hard waiting until about 24 weeks instead of doing it at the regular 20. The sonogram was very long- like 40 minutes of getting close-ups of all her parts, including arteries and placenta blood flow, etc. It’s pretty shocking how much they can see. When I was born I am sure my parents barely saw sonograms of me at all!

Overall, her weight is 40th percentile, which is great. She is estimated to be 1 lb 4 oz. Strangely, though, some of her other measurements are all over the map. Her femur length (measured on one leg) was shown to be in the 5th percentile, which was odd. And yet her¬†occipitofrontal diameter (say that 10x fast)– basically diameter of her head– was in the 90th percentile. Big head, short legs? I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true- but, I think given that these things jump percentiles with every mm, something seems off– I bet she’s not THAT short with THAT big a head.¬†There really are limitations to these sorts of measurements.

The important thing is that her scan was determined to be normal. All her parts are there (including lady parts!) The sonographer remarked “yep, still a girl!”

The second part of our appointment was really disappointing, but I’m trying not to dwell because it isn’t important. But we did not get to see our doctor to go over results– rather, someone who I think was a kind of nurse, but sadly, was not competent. Mr Upside asked a question about what the baby percentile is calculated from– weight? length? She answered “it’s just based on your baby. Like, people get worried, but it just means she’s 40% of your baby.” Um……we just stared at each other and it went downhill. She didnt understand how to take my blood pressure. So after a few attempts she finally stopped. She told me my cervical length was 4 cm (it is- and that is great)- and that it’s going to keep growing to get ready for labor- 10 cm! OK. No. I have no medical training (outside of google) and I know that cervixes shorten before labor, not lengthen. She means dilation. And believe me, I am NOT 4 cm dilated!

It was not a great experience and I had to write a note to the practice. She’s perfectly nice but should not be working there. It was not confidence inspiring. Had this been our first time, we would have run for the hills. But everyone else there has been so great, that it’s okay- just glad to not have our regular care provided by her.

At the end of the day, the thing that matters is that Little Rabbit is growing strong. Over 1 lb! And on Friday I’ll be officially 6 months. She’ll hit her first viability milestone. And I’ll be a bridesmaid in a wedding this weekend so we are off on a big trip tomorrow! Baby’s first wedding.

Back Pain at 22 Weeks + 4

I’m 22w4d as of this morning. That’s 56.4% of the way through pregnancy! I love seeing any number that indicates I’m the majority of the way through, and closer to meeting my daughter. I still struggle with worries on some days, but I am trying to embrace my good fortune.

Two changes have happened in the past 10 days or so:

  1. I. Am. Ravenous. Like, I thought I was hungry before, but NEVER like this. It happened almost overnight, honestly. Like– I eat on a pretty set schedule, and I tend to know when I will be hungry– but last week, things got crazy. I found myself out at a meeting and had my blood sugar crash. I had to go home, eat a bunch of food and lie down to get myself back to normal. I find that I have to eat constantly- small meals- to make sure I feel okay.
  2. Lower back pain. So, I have 2 back issues that have been diagnosed since I was about 11 or 12– scoliosis and kyphosis. I had a back brace in middle school, which was great and fun and cool. Also, I am naturally a very petite person and any additional weight on my belly really strains my lower back. 11 or 12 extra lbs concentrated on my stomach is very noticeable and I am struggling with standing for periods of time. I bought a giant body pillow that has alleviated about 50% of it but not 100%.

ALL of this is worth it for my Little Rabbit. A thousand times worth it!

8 days until our next appointment. I will definitely update after that. It is a really big one.  Send good vibes LR is measuring perfectly and has all her essentials <3.

Hopping Along at 21 + 4 Days

Little Rabbit has been hopping around my uterus for days now. I cannot get enough of feeling her! It’s the most amazing thing to not just know she’s in there, but to feel her. Last Friday, she went really quiet and I really worried. So Saturday morning, as I drove up to Dallas to see my grandmother, I called my OB. The nurse asked me if I had feel her move at all and I said yes, because I had, but she was a lot quieter. Basically the nurse said that was all fine, and that I should not be expecting CONSTANT kicking and moving at 21 weeks- but that some movement was a great sign all was well.

And then by the next day she was kicking like crazy! She is continuing even as I write this. Every day she is bigger and bigger so I expect to continue feeling her for the duration of the pregnancy. It is a blessing .

We have our next check-up in 15 days which sometimes feels like forever- it’s our anatomy scan so its an extremely important one.

In other news, my grandma is officially out of the hospital and on hospice. She is definitely dying, and we are just hoping she is as comfortable as she can be. The great thing about hospice is they are there for palliative care and will not send her to a hospital again once things get bad. We are honoring her wishes.

20 Weeks: Halfway There

It’s amazing to be writing this post at all. When I was 5 weeks pregnant..even 6, 7, 8 9…it seemed totally unbelievable that I would reach 20 weeks one day. Because time was just crawling by. But now look at me! Little Rabbit is halfway cooked in my belly and I could not be happier.

5 months. 5 freaking months completed! I have a really serious belly right now, and although I was a little self-conscious about it at 4 months* I am proudly rocking it wherever I go at 5.

I had my ‘boring’ 20 week appt yesterday morning. This is the one where we don’t even see the OB, just the NP. They take your blood pressure, ask some questions, and move on. BUT I lucked out and got to see the baby anyway!

 

SO, I brought up the spotting I had on Monday and the NP basically didnt seem that concerned. But she DID take a look at my uterus, placenta, cervix, and Little Rabbit. And everything looked good! My cervix is about 4 cm long, which is perfect for 20 weeks. My placenta is NOT on¬†my cervix, but attached somewhere on the left side of my uterus. So, those explanations for spotting are ruled out, which is wonderful news. Little Rabbit’s heart rate was 147 ppm, her head was measuring 1 day ahead (20 wk), and her belly¬†and her legs were measuring right on track. So what’s weird about it though, is that after taking those measurements, the computer calculates her estimated weight and weight percentile- she was 11 oz (great) but in the 38th percentile! Yet everything was on track. I asked if I should be worried because last time we were at 50th percentile. The NP said no, that only if you plummet from like 90th to 15th in 1 month there could be an issue.

And what else is weird, is that the 11 oz estimate is right on track- even larger than most of the weight estimates on the internet I could find for 20 weeks. Like, they all say 10.58 oz. So, idk, but I am not putting too much stock into that percentile. I don’t even understand how they came up with it if everything else is super average.

Baby girl would NOT let us get a picture. She was sleeping and curled up on top of herself in the craziest position. So, that’s too bad, but pretty small potatoes compared to the rest of it.

I am feeling really good in the second trimester- ever since about 15 weeks- so I am trying to keep riding this wave of health, and hope that I don’t get more spotting. But if I do, to remember that it is probably OK.

Next up? Appt in 1 month for our big anatomy scan. I will be 6 months! Which also sounds hard to believe, but we all know how time sometimes flies…

19 Weeks, 3 Days: Kicks and Scares

Happy belated Easter for those who celebrate. We don’t, as we are agnostics and my husband is ethnically Jewish. Still, I loved seeing all the little rabbit and bunny memes, cartoons and kid outfits- it reminded me of MY Little Rabbit!

Everything has been trucking along in 2nd trimester in the best, most boring way possible. I don’t want any ‘excitement’ during this time- just want there to be nothing to report, just smooth sailing. And its been the way! So I was quite surprised when this morning around 9:30 I went to the bathroom and discovered some light red spots on my toilet paper.

UGH. My heart was racing immediately even though I told myself to try to calm down. I wiped a few more times and it faded almost as quickly as I came. 30 minutes later I had some brown dots and now, nothing at all.

The last time I had spotting, I was just about 12 weeks. Now, I am just about 20. I panicked a lot the first time and called my OB, started crying, the whole works. Went in to see the babe and she was doing absolutely fine. My OB said she isn’t worried about very light red at all, that some people’s bodies just spot while others don’t. She told me to expect it again- and only to get worried if the flow is heavy (filling a pad in an hour) and/or I have rhythmic pain.

I remembered those words she told me from last time. I calmed my breathing a bit. Mr Upside told me to keep an eye on it, but not to worry. So, I am trying not to.

LUCKILY….my little girl is helping me out in this area! She started kicking! I felt the first real kicks on my left side, about an hour after this spotting occurred. I can’t even explain how bizarre and truly AMAZING it feels. I like to think she’s letting me know she’s ok.

So, that’s where I am right now. I still have that anxiety in my chest, but its fairly mild at the moment. Every now and then I get a funny little kick or punch from Little Rabbit and I’m filled with delight. We have our 20 week appointment on Thursday morning, and even though we don’t get our anatomy scan then, I am hoping we can still see her and get some pictures her looking happy and lively.