Sunday, February 27, 2011

He's Here!! Our Birth Story

I woke up the morning of my due date feeling hopeful, but not much else. I'd been having some contractions off and on for a few weeks, and I wasn't even feeling those!

I had my weekly OB appointment that morning, and I also had an ultrasound to check on Jackson. Everything looked good on the ultrasound, except that I had a high level of amniotic fluid. Baby was estimated to be 7lbs, 7oz. Oh boy!!

Dr. checked me and I hadn't made much progress - 2cm dilated, 100% effaced. She said it could happen anytime, but wanted to set up an induction date in case it didn't. I left the appointment a bit disappointed, but knew that he would be here soon, one way or another.

I headed to lunch with a friend around noon. We finished up at 2pm, and I started noticing some tightening in my belly that was more than uncomfortable. I chalked it up to more Braxton Hicks contractions and headed over to the supermarket to go shopping. In the store I became more uncomfortable, and noticed that the contractions kept coming. So I did what any normal person would - I kept shopping. I hurried through it, but even added things I wasn't planning on - I started thinking that I wasn't sure when I would make it back to the store!

I got home about 3pm and unloaded the groceries. I was still not feeling great, so I decided to lay down for a nap. That usually made the contractions subside. I never got to fall asleep because once I got in bed the pain got worse. I started timing the contractions and they were coming anywhere from 4 to 12 minutes apart. By 4pm they were consistently 5-7 mins apart, so I called Trevor to tell him to get home. He didn't answer!! I reached him by 4:30 and he got home a bit after 5. By this point I was in a fair amount of pain during each contraction, so I called my OB and they told me to come to the hospital. I had planned on laboring at home for awhile, but I was ready to go at this point. Trevor got the car loaded, and we were on our way. Side note: contractions in the car SUCK!!

We arrived at the hospital at 6pm, and I was given an initial check - NO progression since my appointment that morning!! I was devastated when the nurse said they may be sending us home. I was placed on some monitors and left for a bit. At about 7:30 my OB came in to check up on me. Luckily, I had progressed from 2-4cm and was officially admitted!

I got off the monitors and got into the tub to lessen the pain. It worked pretty well! I labored in the tub until 9pm, when I was checked again by my OB - 5cm. She suggested that we should break my water because of the extra fluid. I was hesitant because I knew it could make my labor more intense, but I also wanted to get the show on the road! I trusted her decision, so I said yes.

Immediately after she broke my water, the pain got crazy! I wasn't able to focus on my breathing as much, and the contractions were coming so close. I lasted for about 20 minutes before I looked at Trevor and said, "epidural. please. now." The one thing I was sure I didn't want became the only thing I could think of!!

The nurse came in to prep me for the epidural at 9:30, and they started to administer it at 10pm. It took about 30 minutes for them to go through the test doses and it finally kicked in at 10:45. I thought I would be in total relief, but I felt this crazy pressure and was sure it wasn't working! I told the nurse and she said, "don't push!!". She checked me and I was a bit over 7cm and at a +1 station. She immediately called my OB to let her know things were speeding up! Between 10:45 and 11:15 I was fully dilated and ready to go! The nurses and my OB were pretty shocked at how quickly this happened. All I could think about was needing to push. It was so intense!

I started pushing and everything is a bit blurry because I was so concentrated on getting the little guy out. Trevor was incredibly great at helping to count and keeping me going. I pushed for about 25 minutes - and that was that! Jackson Benjamin Bartel entered the world at 11:41pm, weighing in at 6lbs, 14oz and 19.75 inches long. He cried immediately and I got to hold him. I fell in love instantly!!

They got the both of us cleaned up, and Trevor got to hold Jack. I wanted to cry when I saw that; they are the two most important people in my life and it was awesome to see Trevor become a dad.

Labor was so quick for me - 9 hours from the time the real labor contractions kicked in to me holding my baby boy!! He was just so ready to join us, and like his mom, he doesn't like to be late! I can hardly believe he arrived on his due date.

He is absolutely perfect!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Let Me Be!

I know that I am so lucky that so many people care enough about me and baby Jackson to call/text and check up on how we are doing. But I know why you're really calling this week, and I have had enough!! I'm starting to field 5-10 calls and texts every day, and they ask the following:

  • Is the baby here yet?
  • Where's the baby?
  • When's the baby coming?
  • You gonna pop anytime soon?
  • That baby still in there?
  • Are you miserable?
  • How uncomfortable are you?
  • Are you dying?
Good grief!! It's getting to the point where I'm considering screening phone calls. Just this morning, my mom called. I couldn't answer her because I wasn't near my phone, so instead of leaving a voicemail, she decides to call back-to-back. I answer and she is freaking out - "Are you okay? How are you feeling? Are you in labor?" She just had a feeling I was. *Sigh*.

Trevor or I (probably Trevor because I will not be in the mood to call) will notify people when the baby is here. Pestering me to check the status of the nugget will only get you bumped down the list.

Now, if you want to call and offer me ice cream or Chick fil A, I might be more inclined to answer your questions in a nicer way. Otherwise, you may get Oscar the Grouch when you call my phone. Or I will let my big doggie Kesler take care of business. He hasn't tasted human flesh for a few years and he's getting antsy :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I can't wait for....

There are many things I can't wait for after my pregnancy is over (besides my baby, of course!!). It's really amazing how much being pregnant changes your daily routine. I have really loved this little guy growing inside me (until now when he is enormous), but I have to admit I'm pretty excited for life to go back to normal.

Here are some things I can't wait for:

  • High Heels - So not doable at this moment, but I can't wait to wear my heels again. It's been months!! I have been living in Uggs and tennis shoes and I am super excited to thrown on some heels and feel taller again!
  • No more acid reflux - I can't wait for the day when I don't have to take special medicine twice a day, and I can sleep without my wedge pillow. I'm pretty over eating 8 Tums per day on top of my medicine!
  • Goodbye preggo side effects - I hope to say sayonara to the lack of bladder control, the constant back pain, my oily hair, and most of all, the teenage acne. I dream of the day I have a clear face again.
  • Spending "quality time" with my husband. If you know what I mean. Hippos aren't supposed to mate with humans. It's just awkward.
  • Wine. Ahhhh.
  • Normal exercise. I'm excited for the day I get to sweat it out again. Can't even wait to maybe take a dance class, and go to hot yoga.
  • Sushi/fish/shrimp - praying that I can have these things again without any kind of reaction - mental or physical.
I know there are more things, but let's get through these first. That might take a while!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

39 Weeks

I'm 8 days away from my due date! Crazy that it's so close, yet it feels like a month. I am definitely not sleeping well at all anymore; I have tons of contractions at night (which hurt!!) and then they go away during the day - except today. I have been feeling regular contractions every 20 minutes or so all day long. They aren't the most painful thing ever, but they do hurt. Just a little window of what's to come!

How far along? 39 weeks

How I'm feeling:
Tired, anxious, sleepy

Blood Pressure:108/70 - way down!!

Dilation: 1 and a half cm. Not much change from last week :(

Effacement: 90% - up 10%

Fetal Station: -1 - last week I was at a -2. This means baby is moving down into my pelvis even more. I can tell!!

What I love this week: Only one more week left!

What I hate: One more week left!

What I can't wait for: The moment where I realize I'm in active labor. And then I will promptly freak out because I'm in active labor.

Moment of last week: Valentine's Day with my wonderful husband. We had a great evening.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

I had a great Valentine's Day with my family. It's so crazy to think that this was the last one with just Trevor and I. We had a lovely evening together. We had a delicious dinner - I made bruschetta, smoked mozzarella ravioli with a mushroom marinara cream sauce, and salad. For dessert, we had chocolate-covered strawberries and angel food cake. Delish!!



So tasty :)

We didn't do big presents this year since we have our new addition to account for, but we exchanged little gifts. I got a puzzle, and Trevor got a few books and some chocolate. We also did a special project this year that was honestly the best gift ever. From February 1-14, we exchanged short notes to one another. We each wrote one a day, with the subject being something we love about the other.

It was such a fun project and I looked forward to reading my cards every day. I was so sad this morning when I came downstairs because it's the 15th, and no more cards!

Collection of cards

Rag Quilt for Jackson

I made this adorable rag quilt for baby Jackson this past weekend. It was definitely a labor of love, but so worth it. I got the tutorial here:

I love the way it turned out and can't wait for the little nugget to use it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday Adventure - Hiking in Eldorado Springs

Trevor & I (& the doggies) went for a nice 1.5 mile hike yesterday in Eldorado Springs State Park. It was lots of fun, but a bit too windy to be out. I was pretty impressed with myself that I made the whole hike at 38 and a half weeks pregnant, but I was definitely tired afterward.

Here are some pictures from our outing:

Doggies having fun

Surviving the Wind


10 Days Left!

I have 10 days left until my due date! What??? At the most, I have 17 days until we meet our baby boy (doc will induce at 41 weeks). It doesn't seem like a lot of time, but every day is dragging on and on. I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable by the second - mainly lots of pressure on my bladder and cervix, and TONS of contractions. They don't feel like Braxton Hicks anymore, so I think I might be in early labor. Don't get all excited and break out the champagne yet - early labor can last for weeks. Blah.

Until the moment where early or pre-labor becomes real labor, I will be enjoying the 2000 piece puzzle my husband got me for Valentine's Day. Ahhh the sexiness of pregnancy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Getting Closer....

I have this weird feeling - like I might be having a baby soon. It's probably still a week or two away, but I can feel my body getting ready for this event. How cool is that?! I am also coming to a place where it calms me to think about bringing my baby home instead of freaking me out. I am having so many dreams about little Jackson, and I can't wait to see what he looks like and what his personality is like.

Last night I had several dreams about Jackson, and every time I woke up I was having a contraction. I was praying that maybe I would go into labor, but no such luck. Today I am just as pregnant as ever! I will say that it's getting annoying to wake up every two hours with painful contractions and the need to pee RIGHT NOW, and then looking over to my beautiful husband who is so peacefully sleeping. It makes me want to stick his hand in warm water to make him pee himself, or clapping pots and pans over him, or making him think spiders are crawling all over him or something. Jerk. Isn't that so terrible of me?

I'm definitely still nesting in the form of shopping, but it's more like stocking up for Y2K (remember that???) instead of just buying random stuff. I have been stocking up on my pantry and cleaning supplies, since I am under the impression that I will never leave my house after baby is here :)

I have also froze a few meals, and I have to say that I really dislike the way frozen meals taste, so I'll be stopping at spaghetti and chili. Trevor will be responsible for getting us food for a few weeks after we come home, and I have a feeling we will be eating a lot of pasta, chicken and rice, and Whole Foods take-out (all of his specialties).

I do have amazing in-laws who will be very close by to help, and my mother-in-law is so sweet to take some time off of work to come over and help out with Jack and cleaning and such. I am so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful second set of parents - and I have to brag that my MIL is nothing like the crazies that so many women post about on our mommy boards. Could you imagine having a mother-in-law who wanted to Skype your delivery to her friends? Or one who comes and camps out at your house for three weeks before and after delivery and expects your husband to go out and entertain her the entire time?? There is another story about one who calls her granddaughter every single day and butts in so much that the little girl calls her mom - and the husband is too much of a pansy to stand up to his mother!

All of those stories make me so thankful that my mother-in-law is who she is. She does crazy things like pampering me - yesterday she took me out to get a pedicure, bought me some delicious body butter that I swoon over every time I go to that particular spa, and then out for a delicious dinner. So sweet!

To keep myself busy in the next few weeks, I will be working on a baby quilt for Jack and also trying to get in my two miles of walking/elliptical every day. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sewing Projects

I have been working on a bunch of sewing projects since I purchased my sewing machine at the end of December. It has been slow coming, but I have been getting better and better. Here are some photos of items I have recently made:

Sewing Machine Cover

Items for Jackson - bibs, burp cloth, and diaper holder
*If you look to the left you can see the tulle flower I made. I tried to take photos, but they turned out terrible!

Tote bag

Inside (2 pockets, one on top of the other)

Other side of the interior


Handbag - pockets on each side

Handbag interior - can't really see the fabric, but it's so cute! Pocket inside matches the pockets outside.

38 Weeks

How far along? 38 weeks

How I'm feeling:
Tired, mixed in with bouts of energy.

Blood Pressure: Remember this statement from last week? This is also important because super high bp indicated pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that would require hospital attention and most likely immediate delivery. Well, today my bp was 132/70. Way higher than it has ever been, so I had to get some blood drawn to test for pre-eclampsia. I will know the results tomorrow and I am trying not to stress about it. I don’t have a lot of swelling (which is another symptom), except in my hands. My fingers look like little sausages. I have also been getting a lot of headaches (yet another symptom), but those could also just be from hormones.

Dilation: 1cm! Dr. says that’s a big deal, and she could feel baby’s head during my exam. Wow!

Effacement: 80%

Fetal Station: -2.

What I love this week: Taking naps whenever I feel sleepy.

What I hate: The uncomfortable sleeping and the incessant need to check how close my due date is. I’m ready for this little guy!

What I can't wait for: Springtime. I had a dream that it was spring last night and it was so pretty and warm!

Moment of last week: Watching my husband help me put together a 1000 piece puzzle. He did very well, despite his claims of hatred toward puzzles. I love them (I know you’re thinking that I must be crazy, or 75, but I really do).

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm in Love

With my massage therapist. She is absolutely incredible. I was having some serious back issues and she saved my life this morning. She is the sweetest lady ever and she is so cheap! I have been seeing her for the past four months and I am officially in love! She even offered to come help me during my labor, and after when I'm at home with Jackson. She even knows infant massage techniques to help baby sleep and relax!

I couldn't have imagined being pregnant and NOT getting prenatal massages. For the past few months I have been going once every other week, and I still feel like I could use more.

If you're in the Denver area and you want a massage, go to Kate Townsend at SpaCrew. She will not let you down!

Friday, February 4, 2011

so. darn. tired.

The last few days a wave of pure exhaustion has hit me. Normally I wake up at 7:30am, have some breakfast, and get stuff done. Sleep at about 11pm.

Lately, I just can't seem to get anything done. I start cleaning and I stop before my checklist is over because I'm tired. I start scrapbooking or other project and I stop after a bit because I'm tired. I go grocery shopping and I only make it to one store because I can't bear the thought of going to them all.

Today I woke up at about 7:45am, hung out and ate and scrapbooked until about 9:30am when I became so tired and a little nauseous. Sent myself back to bed (I channeled Trevor who normally does this for me) and managed to drag myself out at 11:45am. I feel productive because I threw a load of laundry in and emptied the dishwasher.

I feel too tired to watch TV or even read so I will probably spend the afternoon zoning out with my doggies. What a weird feeling!

This will probably be me in two hours or so.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

37 Weeks and being less grumpy!

I’m going to, I better be having a baby this month. I can’t believe that February is actually here, and at the same time, it feels like I have been waiting for this month since I was born. Every day seems to drag by, yet I always find myself saying I don’t have enough time for everything I want to do. I guess what I mean is that I don’t have enough time for all of my projects/house nesting, but I have an abundance of free seconds to think about the precise moment my baby is going to arrive. Nighttime is the worst because I settle down and I feel all the painful twinges and contractions that come my way. Every two hours when I go to the bathroom I check for my mucous plug and secretly hope that maybe my water will break (yeah, right. Like that would happen so cleanly over the toilet).

My husband graciously reminds me that I need to realize he’s coming on his schedule, not ours, and that may even mean he arrives in March (YIKES!!!). So my goal this 37th week of my pregnancy is to enjoy this little life in my body and realize that I only have a short amount of time left to feel him move around and know that I am solely responsible for his well-being and growth. I know that when he comes I will miss having him in my belly, so I’m going to relish these next few weeks as much as possible. And hush my mouth about all the complaining and sighing with my aches and pains.

37 Week Stats are a little different. My doc is focusing on three things these days: dilation, effacement, and fetal station.

Here is what that all means:

Cervical dilation refers to the opening of the cervix. The range is from 0-10cm. 10cm means that you are ready to push!

Effacement is the thinning of the cervix. It ranges from 0-100% and indicates how thin and soft the cervix becomes during labor.

Fetal station refers to the position of baby’s head to the bottom of the pelvis. The range for measurement is -3 to +3. -3 means that the baby is way above the pelvis, while +3 means the baby is basically on its way out.

How far along? 37 weeks
How I'm feeling:
Anxious & excited. And terribly nervous.
Blood Pressure:
96/68. This is also important because super high bp indicated pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that would require hospital attention and most likely immediate delivery.
Dilation: About a fingertip. Nothing huge.

Effacement: 60%. Up from 30% the week before.

Fetal Station: -2.

What I love this week: My Valentine’s project with Trevor. It’s so fun!
What I hate: The bitter cold that keeps my doggies inside. They are getting restless, but I can’t risk falling over in the ice or frostbite to walk them. Poor little guys. My smallest one doesn’t even like to go out to the bathroom in this weather. He’s a bit sensitive like his mommy!

What I can't wait for:
Holding my little guy.
Moment of last week:
Supporting my friend Tali at her bridal luncheon. It was so fun! I managed to get a load of ketchup on my shirt (the belly catches everything), but the burger was well worth it!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pavlov's Bell - Baby Conditioning

Remember that old psychology experiment that we all learned about in school - Pavlov's Bell? Pavlov trained dogs to know that they were getting food by ringing a bell. Eventually they would just salivate at the ringing of a bell with no food in sight.

This happens to me several times per day, except it involves a toilet and the need to go to the bathroom immediately. It used to be that my body would tell me that I needed to go (a million times a day during this pregnancy). Now I am so conditioned by the sight of a toilet that I IMMEDIATELY need to go when I see one. This happens so fast that all I can do is drop my pants as fast as possible and hope that I make it in time.

Lovely. And I hear bladder control remains shady after you deliver as well. Guess you know who will be doing Kegels 24/7!