Monday, July 24, 2006

Introducing Eleanor Grace

I don't have a lot of time to write, but I wanted to thank you all for your good wishes - and most of all for the support you've all given me through this journey. Nora is 11 days old and things are going well. I had a touch of the baby blues over the last few days because I felt so overwhelmed and trapped in the house, even though Andy was being wonderful. Then my mom arrived last night, and today she forced me to get up and shower and leave the house like a normal person, so I feel much better.

At the breastfeeding clinic we went to today, we learned that Nora has gained almost one full pound in the last week - she's now 7 lbs 7 oz, 15 oz higher than the weight she left the hospital at and 8 oz up from her birthweight. We've had a few hurdles with the breastfeeding, but it's getting better all the time, and I guess I'm doing something right!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Birth Day (or, Torture by Bacon)

It's finally here - I can't believe it. In the last 24 hours I've finally let myself think a little bit about how this is going to feel. I imagine myself crying when they give me the baby - crying with joy for her, but also with sadness for her brother. I can imagine the incredible gratitude I'll feel toward Dr. Riley if everything goes well. That's about as far as I've gotten with imagining the baby actually being here. I can picture all the rest of it - the hospital room and my family gathering around and the operation itself - because I've been there before. But not the baby part.

My in-laws arrived yesterday afternoon, and my dad and his wife got to Boston last night and checked into their hotel. My parents are on their way and will be meeting us at the hospital. We have to be there at 11:30 for the 1:30 procedure. I slept a little bit more than I thought I would, but still not much - I was relieved when it got to be 5:30 am, so I could legitimately get up.

I wasn't allowed to eat after midnight last night, so I had some hot cocoa last thing before bed, about 11:30. Right now, though, my husband is cooking breakfast for his parents, and the smell of bacon is about to drive me insane. I'm not even allowed to drink water. UNTIL 1:30. Well, really until tomorrow, but I guess the IV will keep me from being hungry once I get it. I hope so, anyway.

Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes. I can't wait to share the news. I just hope it's good news.

Now I have to go upstairs where I can't smell the bacon anymore.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I went in for my last nonstress test this morning. It seemed fine to me - unlike several other times, the nurse didn't need to wake the baby up with the buzzer, and she seemed to move as much or more than normal. So when the nurse got back from bringing the printout to the doctor, I was unprepared to be told that the test was "nonreactive" and that they wanted me back in 90 minutes for an ultrasound.

I know it's fairly normal to have a nonreactive NST once in a while, but I panicked, of course. I called Andy, and thanked God his office is right across the bridge from the hospital. He came over and we forced ourselves to go eat lunch before my ultrasound appointment. When we got back to the office, we had to wait about an extra 45 minutes - which actually sort of made me feel better. I figured that if they'd seen something truly dire, they'd have rushed me in for the ultrasound right away.

As it turns out, the Pad is fine. The technician pointed everything out - the different parts of her heart, her stomach and kidneys, and her labia (it's definite - she's a girl). We got to watch her practice breathing, and we got some astonishingly clear shots of her face, even though it wasn't a 3D ultrasound. She has fat little cheeks and a squishy little mouth.

I am home now and collapsed on the couch with rubber-legged relief. Kid, don't ever scare me like that again, OK?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Single digits!

We're down to 9 days and counting! I saw the doctor for the last time yesterday and had one of the few NST's I've had so far where the Pad did not move either too much or too little. One more NST on Monday, and that's it!

I've been convinced for the last few weeks that I'm about to go into labor any second, and keep changing my mind. I've had a bunch of what could be taken as signs of imminent labor (upset stomach, crampy feelings that come and go, more Braxton-Hicks, mrandom bursts of energy) but they always go away and leave me sure I'm NOT going into labor. Either way it would be OK at this point. Aside from the occasional random bursts of energy, I am ready to be done with pregnancy for now. No matter how early I stop taking in liquids, I'm still up 5-6 times a night to pee. Also, the period around 10-11 pm is apparently Party Time in my uterus; unfortunately it's also the time I'm trying to fall asleep. I love feeling her move, but she's so low now that it can really hurt. (I have to say, though, it is so cool to feel her different parts. For the last few weeks I'm able to feel definite feet over on my right side, and a little baby bottom keeps poking out just to the left of my navel. Poking WAY out - when she arches her back, that side of my belly will stick out at least a few inches farther than the other side.) Luckily for my sleep-deprived self, Friday is my last day of work. I was originally going to work up to Tuesday the 11th, but last week as I dragged myself in after another night of crappy sleep, I realized that I didn't need to be such a hero. I'm ahead on everything and have planned well for my leave; two more days isn't going to make a difference, and I'd rather have the 5 free days this will now give me to catch up on sleep...before I found out what sleep deprivation really means.

I did the hospital tour last week; it makes the day seem so much more real now that I can picture where I will be. I'm getting sort of nervous - not even so much about the baby, but I've been so focused just on getting to D-Day that I haven't really thought about what that actually means. I hadn't really focused on the "major surgery" part of it until recently, and it's freaking me out a bit. I know it's something that is done every day and very few people have major complications, and I know what to expect from it in may ways, but still - major surgery! I still haven't let myself think much about the actual BABY part of the equation - still self-preserevation, I guess - but I'm starting to think about that a little more. I'm nervous for her, but I'm also nervous for me - I'm starting to get a bit of that "Am I ready for this? What's going to happen? Will I ever sleep again?" freakout that I got before Joseph. I know we're ready, I just don't know exactly what to expect.

Finally, I got a call from my brother last week. He has to be in Chicago for a bachelor party the weekend I have the Pad, so he and my sister in law and Emma weren't going to come visit until a few weeks after the birth. Last week he called and said that he decided that he wouldn't be able to go away without seeing us and making sure everything was OK, so he wanted to come up on Thursday night to see us in the hospital, and was that OK with me? I was touched - things have been a lot better between us, but that did surprise me. Of course I said yes, and then he told me that one of my stepbrothers and his wife also wanted to come that night. So in addition to six parents (Andy's parents, my mom and stepdad, and my dad and his wife), we'll also have two brothers and their wives (and two babies, although they won't be allowed in to see me). I have no idea how I'll be on Thursday night - probably kind of drugged up - but I'm glad they'll be there, and the brothers will be leaving Friday morning to go to Chicago, so it won't be too many people for too long a time. (I did let my local friends know that, while I'd love for them to visit me in the hospital, they should probably not come Thursday night.)

Sorry for the rambling...just a lot going on in my head today.