Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The First Week

Thank you everyone for all of your kind words and prayers, we really appreciated it and Miss Mary Margaret is doing great!

She is one week old today, and it has obviously been a whirlwind for everyone involved, including my circadian rhythm

Here are her accomplishments for the last week
1) She was born
2) She is lifting her head up a little, so if you put her on her stomach she isn't going to suffocate immediately
3) She rolled over from stomach to back during her VERY FIRST (obviously puppy supervised) tummy time
More than anything she's just sucking on her arm, which some may believe means she's hungry

4) She helped me watch two whole episodes of Revenge and one episode of Modern Family
5) She slept 3.5 hours (7:30 pm  - 11:00 pm)
6) Met her big brother (see supervisor above)
7) WoWed the pediatrician and 2 lactation consultants with fantastic weight gain (like mother like daughter)
8) Learned to love her lamb swing
9) Went to vote
She doesn't seem excited about a career in politics

10) Modeled for her first photo shoot (photos to come)

Here are MY accomplishments for the last week
1) Birthed a whole person
2) Drank at least 5 alcoholic drinks
3) Visited the pediatrician twice
4) Only cried four times (and only once from frustration)
5) Left the house no more than 4 times, and once just the two of us!
6) Had a major headache on the whole first day I was alone with Mary Margaret
7) Have done little-to-no chores
8) Received many delicious meals from caring friends
9) Went to sleep at 7:30 pm and 7:30 am within the same 24 hours
10) Nursed a sweet little girl until my nipples almost fell off

So speaking to #4 (Crying of frustration), people always say that it gets better after 3 months.
3 Months is a REALLY long time from now, is it really going to be that long before she starts sleeping through the night and not having to nurse her at least 12 times a day? Because that is going to get old REAL quick. Plus I'm really not that good a burping yet, so there has been a large amount of spit up going on, but I'm trying

We have given her the name "Chicken Wing" recently because the Lactation Consultant told us that she will be done nursing when her arm resembles a limb chicken wing, which makes perfect sense.

Ok, it's about 7:30 meaning Mary Margaret and I are about to turn back into pumpkins.

Thanks again everyone!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Finally!! Birth Story Part 2

[Click here to read the first chapter of Mary Margaret's birth story]

Here is a picture of her this morning; she's so happy after feedings... it really makes getting little to less-than-no sleep at night more worth it.

6:00 am
We are moved to "the big room" (LDR 2) where they have a tub. It was the most amazing tub I have ever been in. Looking at it wouldn't do it justice, but it was a game changer. I waddled my way to the room as Katie was drawing me a fancy bath in the amaze-a-pool. I immediately disrobed with just the heart rate monitor hanging on me, and let me tell you something: if you're going to have a natural birth, find a tub, with jets. Now I don't have experience with non-back labor, but if those jets were not in there I would not have been able to do it. Since "lying down" wasn't an option through the entire ordeal, just having some hot water would not have cut the mustard.

6:01 am - 9:00am
We had determined the "secret" to dealing with the back pain in a mix between Charlie vigorously rubbing my lower back and sitting in the tub with jets. I went from tub to leaning over the back of the bed with Charlie rubbing my back for 3 hours. At this point we had called our doula Kandace and she said she was on her way to help the cause.

** I should mention Charlie should be knighted for his effort the entire time. I was apparently a COMPLETELY different person; I was even bossy, so that even when Charlie was trying to be sweet and sing to me ("Fly Me to the Moon," by Frank Sinatra), I told him to shut it and just rub my back... again.**

9:00 am
Charlie went to find Jualeah because I wanted to be checked to see if I'd dilated. Last time i'd been checked I was 3-cm, so I thought... maybe 5 if I was lucky. She reported I was a whole 7-cm and that she didn't think it would be much longer, (which in retrospect, she should have told me if I was 4-cm...) but it was the push I needed to keep going. I did ask her in very cryptic language something to the effect of "at what point could I get the thing I'm not supposed to talk about?" (Read: Epidural) She told me I could get it at any point before pushing. In my mind that meant I had time to think about it. So I held off.

Right after Jualeah left, I told Charlie I thought I was going to throw up, but before he could find anything to catch it, I threw up ALL over the left side of the room. And what was the only thing I had had in my stomach? Red Jello. Perfect. We just left it there too, since there were more important things going on. (Jualeah later told me, as she was cleaning the mess up, that it was part of transition. Makes sense)

10:15 am
Our doula Kandace showed up JUST in the nick of time. Charlie was spent, his poor hands and wrists had been working over time. And she had all sorts of tricks and tools to help: a warming thing that Charlie stuck in the microwave which she laid on my back and her real value, her training in massage therapy, etc. So she worked on my back for about 30 mins before I told her I needed to use the bathroom. Apparently I didn't need to but sitting on the toilet with her weaving herself around the wall to be able to still work on my back. She had me moan LOUD and deep through the next 4 or 5 contractions that all came right after another.

11:00 am
Jualeah came back in and checked me out, informing me that I hadn't broken my water yet, and that my cervix was "paper thin"... which really meant nothing to me (I only speak in dilated and centimeters terms). She asks me if I'd like her to break my water which I, of course, say I do. Once that is done there is a some water but not a flood like you'd think, BUT it was dark and tinged. That means sweet little angel has taken her first poop on the inside of me. Thrilling. All this really means is that she has to be checked by the peds group before I can hold her. I wanted to have her on my chest first thing, but whatever... that was not going to be an issue right now (and looking back it would have been REALLY gross).

I'm going to be honest here and say that the "urge to push" wasn't as obvious as I would have liked. It might have been because of the never-faltering back pain, but I was really just thinking, I want this crap to end, so I'm going to start pushing, OK?

I pushed for what seemed like 15-20 minutes, but apparent was more like 45. Here comes some truth. I was grunting and what-not for the last hour, but when she came out of my lady parts, it was more than a "ring of fire" that some women talk about. It was excruciating! I made sounds that I know I've never made before and probably won't make again until spawn #2 comes around. But... that part was so minute compared to the whole thing, that it shouldn't scare... although leading up to labor I was terrified of it.

11:45 am (on the dot)
Mary Margaret McCants made her grand entrance!!! And almost as important, the pain is GONE! All of it. Charlie will attest that like a Disney movie, I turned from the monster that was yelling and screaming back into his sweet wife in a instant. It was such a relief in every sense of the word, and all I could think, other than thank God the pain in gone... was "Shit... I did it, with no drugs! No way! That was insane!"

After Charlie cut the chord and stumbled around light-headed for a few seconds he went to see her with the peds people while I was being (as he said) "patched up." To put it frankly, I had a second degree tear, which isn't that bad, but did need some "patching" so Jualeah came in with her surgical light and fish-hook looking thing (And lidocaine... I didn't wanna feel the needle, as I was DONE with self inflicted pain-feeling for the  day) and cleaned everything up down there. Apparently I wasn't as mauled as it seemed.

Less than 5 minutes later I was holding my sweet girl (this is the REAL post-labor picture... not the one with my hair blow-dried and what-not)

That hair is something to be admired and yes, I'm still naked

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finally! Birth Story Part 1

She is finally here!!

Gran holding sweet Mary Margaret

I can't believe that we did it. I say WE because it was a huge team effort.

This is how I looked after a shower and blow drying my hair. Not directly after giving birth

Ok, so this is going to be the birth story and I'm not going to hold anything back. I'm going to tell you all about the mistakes and successes through the whole thing. If you think that may be TMI for you... I would stop reading now. Otherwise, enjoy :)

Let us begin.

We had planned to pry her out on Thursday October 25th (that's right... today). But I then had a Non-Stress Test (NST) on Monday morning and we made the game-time decision to have my membranes swept (look it up if you really wanna know what that is, lets just say it can start labor). Then if that wasn't enough straying from the plan, we pushed the original induction up to Monday night. We had spoken to one of our midwives, Jualeah, told us that she prefers to use a drug called Cytotec... look that one up too. There are some potential issues that we understood, but trusted our midwife team on their decision and went ahead with it. Mistake #1

We called into work and school and instead went home after the appointment. I used the breast pump for about two hours total to emcourage contractions, went to a great lunch at the Flying Biscuit, and picked up some last minute items from Babies-R-Us. We then went home, collected Buckley (the beast) and took him to his grandparent's house where he remains until this weekend possibly. And we had a final meal at Jersey Mikes in Durham before heading to the hospital.

Not what you normal see when people are headed to the have a baby...

We arrived at Durham Regional and although they didn't have a real room ready for us, they put us in a nice-looking coat closet where we got checked in and spoke to Leigh Ann, our midwife on the floor at the time, about my options and to confirm everything that was going to happen.

We decided to proceed with the Cytotec plan and got everything going before we tried to sleep for a while.  Watch some cable since we don't have it at home (How exciting, I know)... and let things take their course.

Leigh Ann checked my lady parts and said that there wasn't a ton of progress, maybe 3-cm dilation. So she was going to put in another piece of Cytotec (it was a pill cut into 4 pieces) and some more Ambien for sleeping.

1:30 am
Charlie and I were checked by the nurse Katie and I was shivering, MM's heart-rate is really low (like in the 80 bpm, as opposed to 130-140s) and the contractions are coming way quick. Leigh Ann and Katie rush around getting the oxygen mask on me, take the Cytotec out of my lady parts, hook me up to an IV to flush the Cytotec out of my system, and gave me a shot to slow the contractions down. In passing Leigh Ann mentions the possibility of having to have a c-section, which of course I would have done, if necessary... but I had still planned on having a natural childbirth.

3:00 am
I was feeling "better" and labor had started, but also had back pain. Note: I'm going to have back labor the entire labor. It was excursiating and horrible. This was when real labor began...

Here is a preview of the next post

Welcome to the photogenic McCants family Mary Margaret

Here is Part 2

Monday, October 15, 2012

41 Weeks

Happy Monday...
(I hope you read that with as much sarcasm as was intended)

Yes... I am still carrying a (hopefully still) small child in my abdomen.

Why... Is this post called 41 weeks?
Because that is the new predicted date that she will be born. This Friday... not last Thursday or Friday like originally suggested.

But???? Ohh, please contact my irritable uterus (thirty uterus) and/or posterior facing cervix for with any questions.
TMI? Maybe... Do I care? Certainly not.

Well Laura... What is the plan now??

Tomorrow I have a Not Stress Test... This is where they hook you up to a machine and little to the beeps and boops of her little heart to make sure she's still rockin and rollin in there ok. Doesn't hurt... I think it takes like an hour or something. I'll need to make sure to bring a book or something because all of the magazines in the office are lame.

Friday (please pray to whoever you believe in that I don't make it to that) I have another ultrasound... again... to make sure my baby fluids are still high.

THEN... and here comes the best part.... We wait some more.

THIS GETS EVEN BETTER, as icing on the frustrating cake... I have FINALLY gotten stretch marks (Hurray....) My ever-cooperating body thought it would add insult to injury and grant me some beautiful stretchmarks right...after...my due date. Thanks.

This weekend was actually not the worst thing ever.

I did only 1 of the 3 things I was planning on...

Friday after an emotional breakdown at work, a visit to the Midwives - where the temp in the office was only a scoach up from Hades (I stripped almost completely naked for a quick lady parts exam). I had 2, plus a little more (please, feel free to use your judgey eyes... I could care less) of wine while Charlie made me a Salmon dinner with asparagus. Then, Marina and I went to Target so she could get snackies for the Cumbies and the nurses at UNC Children's Hospital... we also got Cook Out... I made the very strong choice of getting a reese's milkshake in place of the Peanut Butter Fudge (three cheers for self-control).

Saturday, My Saint of a Mother came made the 1.75 hours trip each way to visit and keep me company on Saturday. We went to the State Fair... had a Frozen Banana with chocolate and nuts.. Mexican Food (Naturally, not at the fair)... Went to Target... For the second time... then went to Whole Foods for dinner, bought some bangin cookies... and watched a chick flick. It was wonderful

Sunday, We had waffles (just the frozen to toaster ones, who are we Barefoot Contessa?) then had 1.5 naps before going to meet badass Callie at Moe's (3rd time for Mex or Tex Mex this week...) I then went home, watched Shark Tank... freaking awesome show... then went to get pumpkins with Charlie...This one is waiting to be put outside...

Sweet little punkin...

Then we went on a walk (yes people, I am walking... I hadn't heard it's supposed to help bring about labor.. thanks.) then went to Jersey Mikes where I had a 1/2 of a GIANT sub.. that is the name and the description. AND... Mistake ahead... 2 servings of the nectar of the gods... Diet Mountain Dew. Which only kept me away until 12:45 am. Joy.

Because I don't have any pictures of the love child yet... this angry beast will have to subdue you.

Just Warming up my spot.

Also, If you didn't notice... The Eggplant Parm didn't work, Nor does eating spicy food, Nor does walking... Hanky Panky... Acupressure... or thinking about going into labor REALLY REALLY Hard...

I'm guessing that anything less than planning and paying for a non-refundable trip to an exotic island this weekend would bring her along.

P.S.S... I have already versed the lecture she is going to get once she's out. Hope she comes out ready to apologize.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The day has come...

But she has not.

And I'm at work. You know how much I'm enjoying being with co-workers when I'm this close to due date. I work with a BUNCH of ladies, that... although they are all literate and can read this:

Technically, she isn't late yet.

There has been a pool going at work to see when she's going to come. So mean and cruel people have me going to October 19th and then a little beyond that. Gross. Why would you ever wish that upon someone? Rude.

In preparation for a very long and anti-climatic weekend. Here are the possible plans in zero particular order (other than the actual time of the event).

Cooke Street Carnival - We obviously didn't think we were going to make it this year. We have been to... every one they've had so far. So we might as well go this time. We thought we would be holding a sweet babe by then so, needless to say, we didn't make any plans. This is on Saturday so.. that's when we'll be going. An added plus for Charlie. They have food trucks and beer vendors, which is really want we need now, more food and booze.

North Carolina State Fair - Yes, I understand it is the best and worst of this amazing state. And the thought (and sound) of the State Fair seems kitchy...and there are a lot of rednecks and Nascar Racing game... and other hokey stuff. But. It only comes once a year. I like the frozen bananananas (with chocolate and nuts), and Charlie likes the Barbecue... not that it's hard to find around here. I will say that one year I saw a tractor pull... and as bubba as that sounds... it was really cool. There way a lot of fire coming out of tractor engines. No, I'm really not a redneck. I've never lived on a farm. And there is way more to North Carolina that this.

Note* the "Theme" for this year's fair is Bumper Crop of Fun. What the HooHaa does that mean? Welcome to North Carolina.


Friend's Birthday Party - There isn't really a "link" for this, other than a Facebook invite... which I'm not going to take upon myself to put on here. Well, because it's not my party. But it's on Saturday evening, and there has been serious hinting that s'mores might be involved... so I should probably check it out.

Any other suggestions are welcomed.

There has been one suggestion that I have a Bloody Mary tonight... Which sounds like a great idea. There is one brand of Bloody Mary mix that is AWESOME!! It's called Hot Mary by Freshies. It is amazingly spicy and I have only found that Whole Foods carries it, but it's chock-full of real ingredients that you can see. A zillion times better than ZING ZANG or whatever swill you've been mixing your vodka with. SO good!
I may need to send Charlie to the ABC Store for some Airplane bottles of Vodka (tells you hold often we drink clear liquor at our house... unless you count Moonshine... jk)

We have been eating on the Eggplant Parmesan (it took me 3 times to get that word spelled right) recipe that Charlie made on Wednesday night. It has been awesome.

It is supposed to have some magical (not like a magician) powers that will make you go into labor within 48 hours of eating it. We have had it for almost every meal for the last 1.5 days.

The only possible reason it may not work is because Charlie took some "creative liberties" with the spices...some that included... Cayenne seasoning because he didn't know we had a strategically hidden baggie (that sounds like drugs!) of red pepper flakes in the very tip top/back of the spice cabinet and other things he will admit to me in about a week.

Anyway you sprinkle the 1.5 pounds of mozzarella(?!)... this is a good recipe (Cayenne and all).

I may have just eaten some at 9:30am.

Please Please Please everyone "wish" Mary Margaret out of me soon. It's not that I'm in agony or anything... I'm just really anxious to meet her, and for her to make me feed her like a cow every 3 hours..
And other fun stuff like that.

This is what I just got on my e-mail....
and it is very upsetting/ depressing

Monday, October 8, 2012

Still Here

Yes everyone, I'm still with child...

I got to the point last week at work that I was going to just write out "I'm Here" on my whiteboard at my office, so everyone wouldn't feel the urge to find me and confirm that I am yes, still in the office, and still not in labor.

I tried my darnedest to fill this weekend with lots of events to make the time "fly".

Aside from forcing Charlie to help me clean house on Friday after work. We went to the Player's Retreat

I know, this picture is really creative...

The best part about this place... other than the really cheap PBR,  is that Charlie's parents went on their first date there, and also Charlie's dad went there for a beer RIGHT after Charlie was born (with Mom's permission of course). So there are many big events that happened in that bar. 

It would have been very appropriate for my water to break or something while I was there. But alas, no... still pregnant.

Saturday I slept in late (yay!) and had a hair appointment at Blo with the very trendy and gold-toothed Arielle (yes, like the Disney princess) she chopped my hair a wittle bit longer than I'd liked.. but it's still workable. And if needed I can just pull the mop up into a pony until I'm done working and no one will see the mess until it's grown out again.

I then had lunch and giggles with soon to be Aunt Callie. She is a freaking amazingly inspiring person... mostly because she's a badass...and she makes me giggle until I can't breath sometimes :) 

Then we went to Target where her purchases were the following:

New bra (on sale)
Cube-O-Wine (Costs more than the bra)
Cherry and Mixed Fruit Gummies (the initial reason we went)

Can you tell why I like her so much?

I then went home and forced Charlie to clean more. Specifically the cars and the dog.

We went to dinner/drinks with some good friends Hannah and Tanner downtown.
Note: Charlie hates Magicians... 

Of course in their freaky weird way of approaching people that don't like them, we were pegged to be "entertained" by the not completely lame magician at Sushi Blues... But we caught most of his tricks... so it wasn't that impressive and Charlie was able to get on with his night.

I will admit to having REAL sushi (real raw fish) and almost a whole Guinness while I was out. It was awesome. I felt like a rebel.

* Only a little more of this boredom... thanks for sticking around*

Sunday the temp had dropped ohhhhh... like 40 degrees and the rain/thunderstorms had set in so it was the perfect morning for the open air Mass that we were expected to attend.

Lucky for everyone the rain had subsided as did my water breaking hopes (a girl can dream) and it went swimmingly, aside from the NC State football training ground that was BLARING techno music right about the time the scripture was being read. Kids started dancing... it was an uplifting experience.

Once we finished the free lunch we'd gotten, we headed home were Soon to be Aunt Allison, also wonderful and has been there for me siiiiiince about 2nd grade. Which is a freaking long time to know someone. She also lives about 70 steps from my front door, so we're close.

We went to get our nails-did at a local nail place where we happened to wait a little longer than preferred for our pampering. But it was pretty good.

She then FORCED me to get a milkshake from Cook-Out... where I reverted back to my Fat-kid days and got a amazingly healthy Peanut Butter Fudge milkshake. It was fantastic.

So to sum up the weekend... I treated myself most of the time, did some house work. Spent money we naturally don't have and tried to keep myself preoccupied. 

Charlie and I have been using this montra when we (really just I) spend money that we shouldn't...

I love Parks and Rec. 
Stolen from YouTube... Natch.

Monday, October 1, 2012


The time has come.

We have reached the Due Month for Mary Margaret.

Note: This post is going to be COMPLETELY random in almost every way.

I keep trying not to be excited and dream that each weekend will be the last without meeting our sweet girl.

This is what I did this past weekend:

1) Slept until 8:00 at most everyday. It was wonderful, and something I don't think I've realized will be taken away forever.

2) Had a mini shower thing/ Coffee date with some old work friends. They were so sweet and when asked the date they thought I was going to deliver... they all went over my due date. Thanks ladies.

here are a few shots of our time together. It was the first time I've gotten a fancy coffee with little drawings on the top. My fancy drink drawings usually come from drinking Guinness...

2) Worked on my "Nesting" lists... Now, tell me, if I have to FORCE myself to complete the items, is it still considered "Nesting"? or more of just a good plan of things?

3) Part of the "nesting" list was paining the missed spots in the bathroom. This bathroom was inadvertently painted 1 shade too dark, and now feels like you are using the bathroom in a large square vat of sherbet. But it's my sherbet vat... and I'm trying to embrace it

4) MAY have felt a contraction. Ok, I'm not going into detail about what I felt (message me if you REALLY wanna know) but it was weird and happened when I was walking on the treadmill at the Y. Obviously gets me somewhat excited because I don't think I've felt one before. I've been telling everyone I've seen since :)

5) Hoped the Full Moon would do it's job, and put me into labor. I ate spicy foods the whole weekend, walked... did.... other things to help the cause (Charlie was thrilled). Nothing.
Read #4 for the big excitement.

All this being said, I'm officially done in believing Old Wive's Tales... well.

I may be having Charlie make this for me sometime in the next 10 days... It's a recipe for this Eggplant Parmesan from a Georgia Italian restaurant that apparently 300 or so women have eaten and gone into labor within a few days. No harm in trying right?

Here is a picture that everyone says really sums up Charlie and I well... I think it's the face I'm giving him... or the fact that little girls are helping him unwrap a present. I'm not sure any of that made sense.

Man... look at that belly... hm.

We had some very sweet friends drop by on Sunday and let us borrow some baby soothing items that we are too cheap to buy. Like a swing, and a baby bouncer/ loungie thing. The sweet wife is also pregnant and she looked WAY cuter than me (note she is about 17 weeks along... not the point) she was wearing cute little jeans, a really nice stop and animal print heels... she looked more put together than I do non-pregnant and she 1) is pregnant and 2) has an almost 2 year old... Her name is Danielle at Speaking of the Speights and this is a picture of her son Hudson thinking he was getting ANOTHER glass of plain juice (but it was a smoothie with KALE in it)!!!

I think my favorite part is that it looks like he has a very thin mustache... and that makes me giggle.

I've been trying to tell Mary Margaret that it's time to start packing up her things, grabbing her dolls and hair bows and making her way out of my body... She's had enough time in there. But I think I felt her having some imaginary tea with some stuffed animals or something, so she might be there for a little longer.

Stubborn  just like her mom.

I did have a dream last night that briefly included a High School youth adviser dressing up like Buddy the Elf... and that really makes me excited for Christmas...

So that's something.