Saturday, August 17, 2013

Before I forget any more of the details surrounding Nolan’s birth, I want to document it because it truly was the most amazing moment of my entire life.

Nolan was due to make his arrival on August 6th, 2013, but as we quickly found this little boy is on his own special schedule. We had a doctors appointment and ultrasound that day and he appeared to be nice and comfy and in no rush to join us, so we went ahead and scheduled an induction for Monday, August 12th in case he decided not to come on his own before then.

Now its important to remember that at this point we still had no idea whether or not our little Squishy was a boy or a girl. Patrick and I had bounced back and forth throughout the entire pregnancy about our thoughts on this matter. We both started out thinking it was a girl, then switched to boy, which Pat stuck with through to the end, but I ended up wavering back to girl at the last minute.

Now something we have quickly learned is that our little baby likes to push the limit. So apparently the setting of an eviction date was all that was needed to get things moving. After our appointment that day (when we were told it was looking like it would still be a while) we came home and napped for a while, relaxed around the house, then headed out for a bit. We went by the county facilities to get our carseat installation checked, then went and got dinner at Coco’s CafĂ© (Pat had the chicken special sandwich and a mint chocolate chip gelato shake, I had a chicken ceasar salad and chocolate chip cookie dough gelato).

When we got back, I noticed I was starting to have some cramping in my lower back, but I didn’t think much of it. We kept the evening low key, and the lower back pain increased enough that I talked to Lisa, Shelly, and my mom about it. When we stopped over at my mother-in-laws next door for a bit, I insisted on sitting on a yoga ball (because it was the only thing that was comfortable).

By the time Pat and I got back to our house, it was around 10 pm, and the contractions were strong enough to start timing, so we started keeping track, just to see. They continued to intensify in strength and frequency, and when a shower didn’t slow them down one bit we knew it was go time. We called my doctor and she told us to come on in to get checked.

We got to Hunterdon Medical Center around 1:30 am and got hooked up to a monitor in triage for roughly the first hour. By 2:30 when the doctor was able to assess me however, the contractions had slowed way down. She checked my cervix and I was only dilated 2 cm so I think between that and the slowing of contractions she was about to send us home for a bit, but while doing my cervical check she accidently broke my water, meaning it was time to get ourselves a room and get that show on the road.

We called our parents to let them know it was show time so they should get a little rest before they became grandparents (haha, what a task we gave them :P). Wendy stopped by shortly after to drop off the “New Daddy Survival Kit” I had made for Pat, then headed home to get some sleep.

After my water broke the contractions intensified immensely. I tried walking and bouncing on a yoga ball to help with the pain, but they were just too much. I requested the epidural but was denied because I was still on 2 cm dilated and I needed to make some progress on my own first. I was devastated. Through all of this, Pat was amazing. Holding my hand, helping me breath, literally holding me up through the worst parts of contractions, and coaching me all the way.

Our nurse suggested that I spend some time in the bathtub to help ease my pain and get me to make some progress on my own. While I initially hated her for making me walk down the hallway to get to the tub, I soon adored her for the relief I felt. The tub is just an oversized bathtub that auto-drains so it can be left running so the water stays warm and the noise provides great background. In the 45 minutes I spent in the tub, I dozed in and out of consciousness between contractions (Pat watched diligently over me to make sure I didn’t drown) and the pain of my contractions was greatly eased. After just that short time in the tub, I had progressed to 4 cm dilated and was ready to get the epidural.

The anesthesiologist came in around 5 am and did a fabulous job and I was soon the nicest, sweetest girl you ever did meet. I did end up with the shakes as a result of the medicine, but they soon subsided and all was wonderful in the world. Pat claims I told my nurse I loved her at this point but I think his memory is skewed. Once I was no longer in pain the goal was to rest up for what was to come. Pat and I attempted to sleep but the excitement of meeting our little one proved to be too much so we mostly just “rested.”

At 8 am it was time for my next cervical check. In just three short hours, I had dilated another 4 cm, brining me to 8 cm total- just two away from go time! Again we tried to “relax” but the adrenaline was just too much. By 10:30 am I had progressed to a full 9.5 cm, and the staff began setting up and preparing to welcome our baby!

At that point however, things got a little tricky. The doctor put me on Pitocin to help get the last half centimeter, then there was a lot of confusion on whether I was truly 9.5 or a full 10 cm dilated, and I was getting mixed signals about whether or not I should start to push. By right around noon I was told it was time to push, and push I did. I pushed for a full two and a half hours before it was determined that I might actually still only be 9.5 cm and that the lack of progress was not promising for a successful vaginal delivery. My doctor looked me straight in the eye and told me she thought things were going to end in a cesarean regardless of how long I pushed, but that she would let me make the call. I asked for all of the nurses and doctors to leave the room so that Pat and I could talk. Before going into labor, a c-section was something I was beyond terrified of, but suddenly the guarantee of having my baby in my arms so soon was ideal. I expressed this to Pat, and he supported my decision. I asked for both my mom and Pat’s mom to come in and see us, and we told them about our decision to have a c-section and they were both supportive (though probably terrified because neither of them had ever had one) so my mind was made up. I trusted my doctor implicitly and had the support of my family so it was finally show time – Baby Kablis was finally going to make its much-awaited arrival.

At that point everything happened very quickly. I was moved to an operating room and nurses and doctors were moving all around me setting up to the cesarean. I felt very calm with my decision at this point and had no regrets about my choice. The worst part was when Pat had to wait outside for a few minutes while they were setting up. Once he was back by my side I was set and ready to have our baby. The one major request that I had made of all of our doctors and nurses was that Pat would be the one to tell me the sex of our baby. I had waited nine months for that moment, and it was worth every second.

Once the process began, we only had about 15 minutes of waiting before the very best moment of my entire life. I felt the tugging and pulling of the operation, but no pain. Suddenly my abdomen felt much lighter, and I heard for the first time the most beautiful sound I have ever heard in my entire life- my baby’s cry. Patrick and I immediately started crying, and a few seconds later the doctor said “Okay dad, tell us what we’ve got!” I watched as Pat stood and peeked over the curtain, and literally had his breath taken away. After another second, with tears in his eyes and the most pride and joy imaginable in his voice, he announced, “We have a baby boy!” They lowered the curtain a little more at this point so I could see him and I was immediately in love. You hear all about how you cannot imagine your capacity to love until that moment, but it is so true. Its like your heart expands a thousand-fold, and all for that tiny human being.

I heard them announce that our boy was born at 3:39 pm and as they were cleaning him up and swaddling him they asked if we still wanted to name him Nolan (they remembered from our talks before about our name choices). Pat and I both exclaimed, “Yes!” and I added “Nolan Patrick.” After what seemed like an eternity they brought him up to my head so I could see him. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and once again I was crying tears of joy. I was overwhelmed with how I could have possibly helped to create something so perfect.

After Nolan and I met for the first time, he was whisked away to the nursery with his Daddy by his side to get all his initial procedures done while the doctors finished up with my surgery, which only took about another 20 minutes. Nolan Patrick ended up weighing in at 7 pounds, 5.3 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long.

It truly was the most amazing day of my life, and although it didn’t really go the way I had planned at all, I have no regrets about the way my son was born and even more so believe the way that his birth played out was a blessing in disguise. Patrick and I love Nolan more than anything in this world, and we are so excited to start our journey as a family of three together.

40 Week Baby Bump (A Little Late!)

Sorry this one is so late! We usually took the picture on Tuesday, then I did the post on Wednesday, but I was a little busy having our baby that day ;)
(don't mind the unedited picture, I'm not at home at the moment...)

How far along? 40 weeks
Maternity clothes? Oh yeah, nothing else covers that bump at this point ;)
Stretch marks? Don't think so!
Sleep: No complaints :)
Best moment this week: Seeing baby's face on a sonogram and enjoying our last few days as a baby-less couple. 
Miss anything? A glass of white wine. 
Movement: Oh yeah. Right up until the end. 
Food cravings: Strawberry ice cream.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nada
Gender guesses: I'll finally admit our last minute guesses: Pat said boy, I said girl... I think we all know at this point who was right :) 
Labor signs: Well labor started Tuesday, August 6th (our due date!) with a lot of lower back pain that progressively got worse. 
Symptoms: Just a few hormones with wanting baby to be here. 
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy, but so ready for little one to arrive!
Looking forward to: Meeting Baby Kablis!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

39 Week Baby Bump

How far along? 39 weeks
Maternity clothes? Yup. Making the most of them because I won't be in them much longer ;) 
Stretch marks? Still none! At least that I can see...
Sleep: Pretty good lately :)
Best moment this week: My mom and Pat conspired and coordinated a lunch date in Philly yesterday to surprise me. It was so awesome. 
Miss anything? Margaritas. Lunch yesterday was at El Vez, an awesome mexican restaurant and I for sure wanted a margarita. Although I will say I had two virgin ones while there and they were quite delish. 
Movement: Yup. I actually am convinced this kid is trying to break out the side of my stomach. 
Food cravings: Waffles. Pineapple. Iced tea. Strawberry ice cream. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender guesses: Random people definitely favor the boy guess. I'm still clueless. 
Labor signs: Not so much. Shockingly this kid is on its own schedule. 
Symptoms: Nothing crazy this week. Which was a pleasant surprise.  
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy but ANXIOUS! 
Looking forward to: This baby being here! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

38 Week Baby Bump

How far along? 38 weeks
Maternity clothes? Yes, only rule at this point is COMFORT. 
Stretch marks? Still think I'm winning in this department. Hope none show up this late in the game!
Sleep: Been staying up late but then I sleep pretty well once we do go to bed :)
Best moment this week: Took a hike with Pat and Daisy yesterday - felt great to get out and get moving. I was a little sore/completely exhausted by the end, but I felt so accomplished!
Miss anything? Mojitos. Made cucumber water with mint last week and ever since I got a whiff of that scent I can't stop thinking about them!
Movement: Oh yes. This kid even usually responds to our touch now. Aka Pat and baby play constantly. 
Food cravings: More of the same... iced tea, strawberry ice cream/shakes, pineapple. OH and waffles this week!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender guesses: Who knows. 
Labor signs: Meh, nada. This kid is clearly on its own schedule :P
Symptoms: Same old. Uncomfortable, some indigestion, being very large. Lol.  
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy. Trying to stay active and distracted!
Looking forward to: Spending these last few days (or weeks) enjoying this time with Pat before we become parents and our world changes FOREVER.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

37 Week Baby Bump

How far along? 37 weeks
Maternity clothes? Kind of. Being that its summer and I don't HAVE to see people often, I tend to lounge around in shorts and a sports bra or a bikini and just let the bump hang out. Pat thinks its hilarious. 
Stretch marks? None still! The doctor actually complimented me on how well I was doing with stretch marks so far. Woohoo!
Sleep: Pretty good. Still up a few times a night to pee but been able to sleep lately which is great. 
Best moment this week: Becoming full term! Although I know advances in medicine have made survival rates for babies born pre-term much better, I'm just happy to reach that milestone and avoid the stigma associated with a "premie."
Miss anything? Being able to move around easily. Adjusting myself while sitting on the couch or laying in bed is hard work these days!
Movement: Yup, our little one still has regular dance parties :) 
Food cravings: Fresh pineapple. Which is great because its said to induce labor, double whammy!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Gender guesses: Still bouncing back and forth. 
Labor signs: Contractions, but none consistently. 
Symptoms: Nothing new. 
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy. And very calm. Maybe I'm oblivious to the perils of labor but at this point I just feel so ready for this babe to be here!
Looking forward to: My doctor's appointment on Monday when I get checked for progress again! Fingers crossed that there will be some signs of labor!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

36 Week Baby Bump

How far along? 36 weeks
Maternity clothes? Oh yes. We're in as comfy as possible mode until little one makes its arrival
Stretch marks? Don't think so. Still being really good about applying my cocoa butter!
Sleep: Been sleeping great lately actually. Mostly because I wear myself out nesting all day and am exhausted by bedtime. 
Best moment this week: Pat's birthday party! It was great to see him celebrating with so many people he loves :)
Miss anything? Being comfortable. I'm so not good at just taking it easy but its so hard to keep up with my normal day-to-day activities. 
Movement: Oh yeah, and this kid is getting stronger by the day. Hoping s/he doesn't break a rib in the next few weeks. 
Food cravings: Iced tea, pancakes. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really. 
Gender guesses: As soon as I start to lean one way, I flip flop and change my mind again :)
Labor signs: Some more contractions, and a whole lot of pressure like this little one is getting ready to break out ;)
Symptoms: Being huge.
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy but definitely getting impatient. 
Looking forward to: Being full term on the 16th! Then this babe needs to get this show on the road!

Friday, July 5, 2013

35 Week Baby Bump

How far along? 35 weeks
Maternity clothes? You bet. Or just stretchy/comfy stuff that rests over or under the bump (i.e. seamless bras, yoga pants, bikinis)
Stretch marks? None yet, but my tummy does look particularly veiny lately. Not a fan. 
Sleep: Eh goes back and forth. I had a few nights of pregnancy insomnia last week. Luckily I have an amazing husband who battled through them with me with middle of the night walks and movie watching. He's a gem. 
Best moment this week: My prenatal massage (a birthday gift from Pat) was AMAZING. I came out feeling so relaxed and refreshed!
Miss anything? Sangria. And mojitos. And pinot grigio. And raspberry wheat beer at Triumph. Its just one of those weeks where a girl could use a drink ;)
Movement: Yup. Less than before because little one is running out of space, but he or she still has regular dance parties :)
Food cravings: Fresh fruit. Strawberry lemonade. Strawberry ice cream.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Little bit of indigestion here and there but nothing in particular thats setting it off. 
Gender guesses: We've started to lean one way but I REFUSE to declare allegiance one way or the other :P
Labor signs: Contractions here and there. Doctor said today that baby's head is engaged. Lets hope it stays that way!
Symptoms: Indigestion, overall feeling of discomfort :/
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy. And ready. There are still a few things I would LIKE to do but all of the things I HAD to do are done. 
Looking forward to: Celebrating Hubby's birthday this weekend! This will be the second anniversary of his 29th birthday! So excited to spoil him a little bit :D