Thursday, July 31, 2014

Virginia's birth Story: Wednesday (4/6)

I know, this saga is getting long... but I wanted to remember it and so should you.

Part 1, 2, and 3... gosh that does make it seem long!

Thrilled, She is...

OK, we left off with the warm and fuzzy feelings that V shouldn't need to be there for more than 48 hours. Perfect, just a little longer of a visit than we'd expected.

Charlie's parents had said they would come visit and keep us company in the morning.

When they came, we had a little small talk and made our way over to V's new home, the Special Care Nursery, for which I had made myself VERY familiar.

Charlie's mom and I walked in on the Neonatologist doing rounds. She said that she was still waiting on the C-Reactive Protein  (CRP) lab to come back, but her White Blood Cells were on the decline which was great (from 39 to 35... not the ideal but getting better) and that her temp was regulating and her breathing were better so baring something else "off" she should be good to go home the next day.

We had a great visit from both Charlie's mom and dad. Then my mom came to visit after dropping MM off at a friend's house. She was sitting with me while I was nursing V when the Nurse Practitioner came by and told me bad news. Her CRP was high and that they would need to keep her an additional day and if the CRP was still high they would need to do a Lumbar Puncture to rule out Meningitis.

Again,

I. Was. Devastated

Charlie came back to a semi-hysterical wife and a very unhappy mother-in-law. He was given the second-hand story we'd just heard. After I nursed V and let her get back to napping we went back to our room. I lost it, like unable to breath, saying every prayer I could find, and (per my usual) my mind was going to THE worst possible place. It always jumps to the worst, call me a pessimist, I know it's the truth.

We pulled ourselves together and after lunch went to see her again.  The same neonatologist stopped by to really give us the deal. If her White Blood Cell count came back lower and her CRP was down they wouldn't need to do the lumbar puncture. But, if things still looked like they weren't progressing and the CRP was still high (it was 9 before and if it was at least a 5 we wouldn't need the puncture) she explained that she was getting grey hair from the fact that V looked perfect, but these levels were still high. And if we did have to do the puncture and there was no meningitis she would have to keep her there for much longer. She was really thorough in her explanations and it really did make sense as to why they were keeping her and giving her these tests. Charlie, of course, missed this conversation too so he tracked down the Dr. to get the 411 from her.

I believe we didn't leave until about 4 or something. Our dear friends came to visit and Charlie went to get him and I dinner (they were serving us hospital meatloaf, does anything sound less appetizing?) we were back and forth for nursing and putting V down for naps.

I had many a pep-talks with V about getting those levels down so she could skip that minor horrible test that she would be promised.

Thus ends Wednesday.

Also, the meatloaf was the last meal I was given there before I was discharged. But, luckily for me and V they allow nursing moms who have babies in the Special Care Nursery to stay in their room (fo free) they just don't get meals or meds. Praise God.. because those rooms are surprisingly expensive and insurance doesn't seem to like to pay for rooms for "no good reason"


OK, we're getting close.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Virginia's Birth Story: Tuesday (3/6)

Half way there guys!!



Here are parts 1 and 2 if you need a refresher.

So I'm going to jump ahead to Tuesday.

We had informed our postpartum nurse that we'd like to be discharged on Tuesday night if we could (in retrospect... ALL THE LAUGHS at ourselves). So she went ahead and did V's hearing test and scheduled her bath for the early bird time of 5:00 AM.

Through the night, V would wake up like she was hungry, but all she wanted was to be held and then we right back to sleep. Thanks, I see we're getting to know each other really well.

5:00 AM rolled around to lots of sweet hateful cries from V as she was being tortured (read: Give a Bath) we then tried to get a little more sleep before she was up for the day, or as much of the day as a 2 day old allows.

We waited until we assumed everyone was up at the house, and scheduled visits from both Charlie's parents, my Parents and MM, and other friends.

When it was MM and my families time to visit, there was lots of excitement from MM. Really only about Nana being there (although she came with her) and the fact that there were hallways to run down. She would come in, eat some crackers, drink some water, get semi close to V and then want to leave again to run through the halls.

We did sneak this one picture of the two girls. MM is thrilled.



Around 2:00 the rounding pediatrician came to see us. She talked about V's skin tag (she has a relatively large one on her cheek), and there was a little something in passing about her breathing a little fast and labored, and something else about her elevated temperature.

She mentioned that the baby nurse would keep an eye on it and we might need to stay overnight for some more observation, so we might not get out that night as hoped, (again... ALL THE LAUGHS).

Around 4:00 PM the baby nurse came and did her exam, she told us that since the temp was still high, and her breathing was still labored she would need to go ahead and talk to the pediatrician about what needed to be done.

Not long after that the phlebotomist came by, before the nurse could even make it round to tell us that they were going to take labs. She did some blood draws and the nurse said that the results would be back in about 30 minutes.

5:30 PM, the nurse came back with the bad news. Her White Blood Cell would was really high and we would need to have her put in the Special Care Nursery where they would have to give her IV antibiotics, observe her AND (kicker) keep her there for at least 48 hours, like, not in our room AWAY FROM ME.

I. Was. Devastated

I started nursing her while they got her spot ready (really just trying to keep her around me longer, thinking they couldn't take her while she was nursing, right?)

The tears started as we were walking with the nurse as she wheeled her down to the nursery. They didn't stop until I believe we went back around 9:00 PM to nurse her again. I cried through her check in, through when they started the IV line, those poor nurses had to try and determine what my answers were through the hysterics that were going on.

My dear friend had dropped off some dinner while I was de-hydrating myself via the eyes. So we had a good meal while V was sleeping, and I had made it VERY VERY EXCEEDINGLY clear that I was going to nurse her everytime she needed it, and/or she was crying.

I believe it was the 12:?? AM nursing session when I was talking to the nurse and she mentioned that she had never seen one of these things last longer than 48 hours and that they rarely turn into anything. That was exactly what we needed to hear (bless her) and we were able to sleep a little that night, with plans for both sets of grandparents to come visit in the morning.

That's all I'm giving for now, but there is more excitement coming on the next post


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Virginia's Birth Story: Monday Aftermoon/Evening (2/6)

To catch up on where we are: Part 1



OK, so when we left off it was about 11:45 am on Monday.

We left feeling excited/nervous and a little in disbelief that this was really happenings (at least I was) and made our way over for some lunch at Whole Foods.

Let me tell you, walking around Whole Foods while having contractions., not the ideal place to be laboring, but as I'm sure you know, Whole Foods is pretty liberal in their "laboring in store" policy, so we went with it. I made a salad from the hot/cold bar area while the non-laboring family member got pizza and a soda, which I stole at least a 1/4 of, because... well I could.

Side note: As we are walking out the door that morning, Charlie said I have a 24 hour grace period to say/do/react however I pleased... and stealing food, although not an uncommon occurrence, was going to be one of those things.

OK, made it through lunch while timing contractions and under the complete delusion that the whole store was looking at me, knowing I:

1) looked like a hot mess with only maternity leggings and a ribbed tank on;
2) must be in labor because I keeps stopping, putting her hands over my eyes and doing deep breathing.

Post-lunch we went over to our very dear and understanding friend's house to labor/drink-eat their food/prevent them from packing (they are moving on July 29th). We, coincidentally, watched a few episodes of The Duggars who know a thing or 20 about birthing babies. The contractions were coming about every 4 minutes and lasting a little over 45-50 seconds at that point, and weren't unmanageable but getting obviously stronger and I wasn't able to speak when they were happening. Once I made my way up the stairs to see their little jewel I had one contraction that told me (who then gave a very telling look to Charlie) that it was time to make our way to the hospital.

We called ahead, as instructed, to make sure there was a room with a tub. They told us to come on up and there was one at the moment but to make it snappy because it might not be there in a little. As we were making the < 1/4-mile journey to the floor I had no less than four contractions that made me stop walking.

Once we got into the room, the made me get on the monitors, answer questions, sign things, etc. All the while I was stopping every now and again to have a contraction.

Note: For those of you that come screaming into the hospital at 9.5 cm.. HOW.. HOW are you getting all this mess done? You must do it after you deliver because there is NO WAY.

4:45 - 5:00-ish: Ok, so we're set and our wonderful back-up doula, Andrea, is there (why the main doula wasn't there is for another time, but we knew it was a possibility) and we were kinda standing around talking between contractions. I tried sitting on the exercise ball, but the contractions weren't nearly as effective (translation: painful) on the ball so we started walking the halls.  Things start really getting "effective" at that point. Lots of breathing through contractions and back massage... ohh yea, I had back labor... AGAIN. We did this routine for around 1.5 hours before I was asking for the tub. Last time, the tub was MY. JAM. and I was back and forth from the tub to the bed for massage for 5 hours. This time I was trying to hold out for the tub, until I knew I couldn't handle it without water.

I get into the tub, lights off, electric candles going. Andrea has the beyond brilliant idea to pour water for my belly. Not only is this taking some of the pain away, but also inducing contractions because I'm so relaxed. Double Edged sword if you will. So for the next 2.5 hours that is what we do. Charlie and Andrea take turns pouring water over my stomach and re-filling the tub with hot water. I was able to, surprisingly keep up a decent conversation with both of them between contractions which is quite the change from last time where I was in MONSTER status for all of the labor.

Around 8:25, things change. I had just had a contraction that had double peaks (normal contractions have a ramping up, then a peak, then a downward slope, this one ramped up went down a little, then right back up) and I knew things were about to get real.

At one point I new I needed to change the sounds I was making to be more effective. Instead of a sound like you're blowing out candles really hard, it was more moan/screaming and the contractions were less than 15 second apart. That is when it HAD gotten real. About 3 to 5 of those later Andrea had gotten the Midwife and I was ready to be checked. (I hadn't been checked since 11:00 AM because she knew I "wasn't ready to push" when I got to the hospital, so it would have been just a numbers game had she checked me when I'd gotten there).

I made my way to the bed, kneeling, with the back raised. The second she went to check, my water broke and V's head was in the birth canal and it felt like I needed to push.

I knew I couldn't stay with her head there for much longer because every contraction I felt like I was going to push her out without even really trying.

Here is how the conversation went from there:

Midwife: Well, I can't tell if there is any cervix left.

Me: WHAT NUMBER AM I??

Doula Andrea: You're doing great!

MW: I'm going to say an 8.5

Me: COME ON!?!?!?!

MW: I'll need you to turn over on your back to get a full check.

Me: ::Silence::

DA: You're doing awesome!

Charlie: You need to turn over.

Me: I want to puuuuuuush!!! (crying/complaining)

MW: I could put my hand up there and hold back the cervix if you wanted.

DA: You're doing great!

Me: WHATEVER, I'M GOING TO PUSH. Can I push?????

Midwife: OK, do you want to push in this position?

Me: YES!!!!!!!!

Midwife: OK, go ahead

From there it took 3 maybe 4 pushes and she was out.

8:45 PM: Virginia Mae McCants makes her entrance/exit.

Me upon pushing her out: THANK THE LORD!!

Her cries sounded just like MM's and they were able to hand her to me through my legs. Apparently she was a tad stunned when she came out so the midwife had to do some quick cleaning to make sure things were good so she wasn't quite as gooey as I'd liked, but whatever.

From here the story gets a little more roller-coaster-y



Part 3 coming soon!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Virginia's Birth Story: Monday Morning (Part 1/6)

Announcing little Virginia Mae McCants is here!

A large 8 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches. Large and In-Charge!



This is going to not only be a multi-part, but a multi-day birth story.

Luckily for everyone, it didn't take multiple days to get her out, but it did take multiple days to get her home.

Let's begin.

The Morning of July 21 around 4 AM, my dreams were being interrupted by weird painful things --an event which isn't that odd, only because the last 2 months I'd been waking up in pain to rush to the bathroom. So I did all those things and went back to bed. Also, Mom and I had made the famous Eggplant Parmesan the Friday before, hoping it would put me into labor.  After multiple servings, nothing but lots and lots of gas, so I assumed that aforementioned pains were gas pains and tried to get back to sleep.

When I finally acknowledged that they were kinda like crampy pains, I thought I might want to give them a little credit and start timing them. But even then they weren't anything consistent and were lasting about 45 seconds and random lengths apart.

Fast forward a few hours, after telling Charlie I was having pains that I was tracking, he then said "Ok" and went back to sleep. Good thing he was keeping real easy-going. I got on the exercise ball and checked e-mail, got on Facebook, etc. They kept coming but still, nothing too serious. Washed some dishes, coming a little quicker but nothing I couldn't handle.

About 7:00 I called the midwife on duty at the hospital and told her I thought I was having some contractions and asked what should I do. She said I could go into the midwives' Women's Clinic for a "Labor Check"so I called the office at 8:30 to get them to fit me in.

Not long after that, MM got up and wanted breakfast, so Charlie made me some eggs, cheese, and avocado on toast. At this time, I couldn't eat while having these pains, so I thought that it could mean something for real was happening (a common barometer? No?)

Called the midwives' office whose earliest appointment was 11:00 am, which was still a few hours away. I had always thought second pregnancies were so super fast you might not even make it to he hospital. Didn't seem like this was going to be one of those cases. So we dropped MM off at Charlie's parent's house and made laps around their neighborhood tracking these suspected contractions. They weren't anything I couldn't handle, but not the most comfortable either.

At 11:00, we made it to the midwives' office, and after checking in (side note, I'd somehow gained like 4 pounds in a week, swell...), was told we (I) was a little more than 4 cm dilated with a "bulging" bag --now please let that imagine sink in.

We did a little time on the monitor to make sure my girl was handling these contractions well, which of course she was. The midwife told us to go get some lunch. Also, she would call the midwife at the hospital to tell her we were "in the wings" and to expect us sometime that afternoon.

Part 2 coming soon!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

39 long centuries of being pregnant

Right, SO.

We've flown right through the one week out from our “Due Date” with Ms. V. She was really putting up some good work this weekend which was getting everyone excited. But ended up leading to nothing.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking these girls are going to look similar

Supermoon didn’t help us out. Lame, superlame…

What do you do when you’re this close to having a toddler climb her way out of you?

Groan, complain, boss your husband around,  apologize for NOTHING, and bake.

In the last three days, I’ve baked three things. And they have all been good (don’t you dare tell me otherwise).

Here is a weekend wrap up, because I apparently have nothing better to talk about:

Saturday:
Charlie’s grandfather came over to see his wee-bairn’s bairn’s, bairn (got all that? It means the little lady with curls) and have lunch.
Since Charlie had made it is decision to make lunch his game, and if Shrimp and Grits continue to be his game I will always support – wait, who am I kidding I always support him cooking, I took MM to the little park up the street while he did all the house-work of cleaning and making lunch.
Honestly, I’d had coffee with breakfast, and not much else in the fluid department, so when I got back I was feeling real crampy and hot. I didn’t have enough time for a shower (sorry CB) and just washed my face and put some more presentable clothes on. All through lunch I was having what seemed like painful braxton hicks. After CB left we got MM down for a tiny nap before she woke up (1.5 hours later… come on MM). We needed to get to going anyway because we had a birthday party and I wanted to get to Target to give myself something to do, oh and after my little nap, all painful stuff had subsided. boo

Walking around Target things started getting a little more serious again. I sent Charlie for water and sat down on the display furniture in the home goods section (I’m sure they love that). I was texting my doula that all of this was happening. She said she was about a 2 hours away with family, but would be home by 7:30 that night. We left target and headed for the birthday party. Once we got there, I sat down and was chugging water so I could try and rule out Irritable Uterus. But things were still coming. After some fantastic pulled pork, baked beans, slaw, mac and cheese… need I go on?.... I was still feeling pretty long consistent pains, and after several potty trips I told Charlie we may not be at this shin-dig long. 

That shirt say "I 'heart' BBQ". I shamelessly stole this off the dad's Facebook, hope you don't mind.

BUT

After a little gas passing, and the food got all settled things got better. Pain eased off… as we were leaving, around 2 hours later, I started feeling pain on one side, and sweet doula told me to work on #2 from the Miles Circuit, which would be getting babes in a better position. Ohh and to go home and take a bath to see if it made things better.

Just for a good measure I asked Charlie to stop and get some red wine. If V was going to be coming, I was going to do a tiny bit of self-medication if I could. Upon getting home things really cranked down and I was back to normal, and a little buzzed  :)

Cue bedtime, and un-happy, but still sleep.

Ohh right, at one point during the day, I made Black Bean brownies. That was what we were talking about.

Sunday:
Get up, text with all those I’d alerted about the previous day’s contractions, telling them it was nothing. Started having weird belly button pain, which apparently  = nothing.

Went to Durham to see this sweet one get baptized and have a rousing lunch at Whole Foods.


What a sweet little one. And the outfit wasn't too shabby either.

Came home for a little nap for MM (I was trying to walk inside to get the contractions back, per doula’s instructions) and avoiding taking my own nap because mama nap = fighting sleep at 10 pm. I also baked cookies which were slightly undercooked, but eaten by all anyway. Then we watched a little of the World Cup finals on the Roku and woke her highness up for our trip Wake Forest for dinner and house-terrorizing at Charlie’s co-worker’s house. There were a few little ‘pains’ creeping up, but nothing to write (text) home about. We left for dinner, which was great but uneventful other than the exceeding Bee Bo pain, which again, I believe means nothing.

We make a quick bedtime, where MM doesn’t fall asleep until at least 10 pm ::eye rolls::, Charlie and I make a “labor playlist” which I never used last time, because Charlie was all hands on deck in the pain relief dept, but I have a strong feeling we will get it use it this time. And then off to bed where I sleep like a huge swollen log. Only for MM to wake up and cheerily try to insert her paci into my Bee Bo and give it to V. Such sweetness hidden in those curls.

This one is such the ham. Nana being at the house doesn't hurt.

Monday:

Went to work, blah. Everyone was "surprised" that I came in this week. Not that I told them otherwise, but I think they are all being a little overly optimistic.

I'm sure I was drinking enough water and everything because I didn't have any contractions.

The real highlight of the day was making Peach Cobbler with my good friend Meredith and, best part, neither of us had to spend any money on ingredients. You know you're really winning at life when that is the best part of the day. 

This same friend who pointed me to this comic that I modified for the obvious.



And then there is this.


Hi, I wear heels and a bracelet. Also, we own THE oldest dishwasher on the planet.

All of the prayers that this girl comes out this weekend. ALL of them.



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Beginning of the very long end


Welp, We are almost exactly 2 weeks from due date, and what that really means is that we are at the beginning of the longest month of pregnancy.

See here, what they really mean by "Due Date" is "hey, sometime 2 weeks before and two weeks after your due date, you should have a baby". Last time, We induced 10 days after MM's Due Date. Mostly because I was impatient and was tired of hearing everyone ask how I was doing, feeling, dilating, etc. Also I was just really stupid and impatient.

This weekend was one of THE Best, and I'll be happy to tell you why.

I was able to work from home on Thursday and we had Friday off. Since we had a little tiny dose of Hurricane Arthur coming there was some really cool mornings and temperate days which made well to cleaning out the back storage room, pulling out the camping chairs and doing some work on the back deck, lots of coffee, 1/2 naked babies (not "babes) running around, and an intro into yoga provided by yours truly.

Potentially the best, and worst picture ever. Happy, you've been pregnant for 37 years, Laura. So gross. But look how cute she is. I die.

On Friday I had the pleasure of hosting some very good friends who make very good food and drink over for Iggy Azalea singing. We watched soccer, ate our weight in guac and burgers, and had a little beergarita, and chased a baby (she is STILL a baby).

All of these pictures are compliments of Aunt Cookie. Scroll until you get to Callie.


#Merica
Except none of these things remotely screams it. Guac, beergarita, and chili lime chips = not america (tex-mex is the closest) and the World Cup which is played in Brazil and the US was booted out of the day before. Just our style.

Yes, these pants are a real thing.


Unlike every other picture of me these days, this one isn't completely the worst. See above for actual worst.


And this one was stolen and not even given the courtesy of a #regram, Sorry Hallie

We also had everything in the works for our new couch to be delivered on Saturday. There is an organization call The Green Chair Project that takes "gently used" furniture. BUT you only have between 10 am and 1pm to drop off. Little did we know that the new couch wouldn't be delivered until between 5 and 9 pm that night. So we made the best of it and did a little indoor camping of our own.

Side story, I went to start on V's baby blanket Wednesday night (MM's was started when I was 3 month pregnant, NOT 3 weeks until due) but I went into the craft store and thought that yarn on the coffee table above was more periwinkle... it walked out looking reallll baby blue. Hope V is already expecting to get the shaft when it comes to things like this for the rest of her life...

Eventually, our first new family member arrived. When we first sat on it, I think we were both in shock about how stiff it was. I believe we've come to the conclusion that neither of us had sat on a brand new couch. Our last one was bought for us by Charlie's parents from a family friend who had recovered it and found it not in their taste. Before that we found a love seat in a furniture consignment that we used in our apartment and was our main seating before the recently departed one.

Ok, I think I've discussed our furniture enough.

After all that excitement, Sunday has been a little more of a slower pace, which for some reason has allowed some weird feelings (not THOSE feelings) to bubble. I've been super emotional for no real reason. Which included almost crying all day, and then acutally crying when MM was in the bath and said "I see you daddy". Why did that get me, no one will ever know.

Also, I'm a little confused at how I can unable to breathe and feel like a baby is going to fall out of me all in the same instance. Aside from the consistent need to use the facilities and the inability to comfortably sleep, sit or eat. I'm feeling just great.


One of MM's favorite things to do is ask me to "turn the page" which means, lift your shirt MOM, so I can see the belly. Fingers crossed she loves her new baby as much as she loves kissing the belly.


Ok I'm done. Get back to the many more constructive things you were doing with your time.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Last Hurrah


We were living on the edge. In our terms.

It's a tough day when you admit that driving with a toddler that isn't going to nap at all, scares you. We have been those parents until this weekend.

When I arrived home from work on Friday afternoon, Charlie asked my thoughts on leaving before dinnertime (note: this is UNHEARD of in our house. We are bedtime drivers from the get-go). We agreed that this would really make us a traveling family if we could pull this off.

Before we even got halfway into the measly 3 hour trip we had to stop for dinner. This may have been my need more than MM. I mentioned on Instagram and Facebook that there was a teeny escape attempt as I was paying for dinner, MM pushed the door open to this particular Subway and ran her little legs into the parking lot.



My pregnant heart that is filled with double the amount of blood almost had a heart attack and had a little PTSD as we were eating.

Once we got past that and a MUCH needed poop diaper, MM was the little peach that we knew she could be.

Immediately upon reaching the beach,  we all relaxed and bit and had a few drinks.






Perfect size? No?

Also, she went pant-less for 80% of the time. We are a wild and crazy bunch we are.

When we got to the actual beach MM was NOT a fan of the sand and/or the water.

But things go much better when Nana is involved.


I hope MM had as good of a time as we did with all of the grandparents around because this is about the last time she is going to be the center of all their attention.

We are 1 month our from the "due date" (what a loose loose term) and that means MM is something around 1 month away from being a sister.

We have begun putting our babies to bed and also giving them a bath these days, so I'm really hoping that is a good sign.

Also, it has officially started at work. They have hired someone new, and will be putting her in my seat once I'm gone. The REAL fun begins when I get over-due, I get angry especially when everyone is asking if I'm feeling anything. "Are you having any contractions?" "Are you dilated?" it goes on and on.

But who wouldn't want to know when another one of these will be coming out?


We have matching bellies and I am a primo beach photographer.