Monday

New Year's Resolution

I haven't decided yet what my new year's resolution will be. I have only followed through with one resolution in my life - to stop drinking soda. That was way back when in Jan. 2011. I didn't specifically mention it in that post, but part of my cutting back processed foods was to stop drinking soda. I did not learn how to shoot a gun (still haven't).

For this year, I'm debating between the top two (I'm guessing) of all time resolutions: lose weight and clean up financially.

Obviously, I need to lose some weight - still carrying around 20lbs extra from my pre-baby weight. But I need to make a resolution with something tangible. Like lose 10lbs by March 1. Or no more sweets, but I know that's not something I can live with forever. Heck, I'm constantly pinning cupcake ideas right now for the baby's first birthday party!

The other one is more of a challenge. Our financial situation is about to get ugly when my husband's unemployment benefit runs out. So I'm not sure what my resolution will be. Maybe keep a zero balance on the credit card, no matter what. Or save a certain amount every month. No eating out for lunch - which would probably help both of these initiatives.

What is your resolution?

Thursday

11 months and our dog is a butthead

Whoops! I didn't post in an entire month. What can I say? The holidays and end-of-the-year projects took over my life.



Tomorrow, my little guy will be 11 months old. We are already planning his first birthday party - CRAZY. This year has been insane. I posted it on facebook a while back that this year has been simultaneously the best and worst year of my life. Obviously the best for the blessing of my healthy, happy baby boy. The worst because of my back and all the struggles that have come with a ruptured disc, surgery and slow recovery.

I still haven't fully recovered but found out in early December that I will not be having surgery again soon unless something drastic changes in my situation. I still have some random pains every day, but my neurosurgeon wants to hold off on surgery again unless I'm in constant pain. I see him again at the end of January so hopefully he will give me the freedom to pick up my hunk of a son again. It will have been five months of his 12-month life at that point that I have not been left alone with him.

About him - he's walking like crazy now and starting to almost run. He'll take about 4 or 5 quick steps and then trip. He's getting bumps and bruises like nobody's business. At paw-paw's house he smacked into a large flower pot that gave him a pretty good knot/bruise over Christmas and also had a scratch on his nose - those made for some nice photos. :)

He's still sleeping through the night from about 830pm-7am and takes at least one nap a day. Sometimes two if we are lucky. He pretty much refuses to eat any veggies but does like green beans from a can and still loves any fruit or meat (except pot roast...) including fish. He is transitioning to 18-mo pants and has been wearing 18-mo shirts for a while. His shoes are size 5W, but are not very roomy already.

Today, while my little man was running around the "baby-dome" area of the house, he was chasing the dog. The dog decided to get snippy and semi-growl/snap at the baby's hand. The dog has never shown interest in the baby or even pretend to like being around him, but I was really hoping he would eventually come around to the idea of another person in this house. The idea of the dog biting my son scares the bejeezus out of me and the husband is even more of a worry-wart than me. Tonight was the first time we started talking about getting rid of our 8-year-old pug.


It makes me sad to think of not having General, but at the end of the day, he's just a dog and quite frankly, is replaceable. The baby is not. What if we can't have another child for some reason? Right now, he's the only child we have and we need to protect him.


Wednesday

10 months!

My sweet sweet boy is 10 months old!! I can't believe he's so close to turning one. Then we'll be in years, not months. I booked his one-year photo shoot this morning. I'm loving the photos his photographer is posting on her facebook page, so hopefully we'll get some equally cute ones too.



What is my boy up to these days? Walking. That's what. Walking and trying to get out of what we call the "baby-dome." The baby-dome is the baby-safe area of the house that includes his room, the living room and the front foyer. He cannot get to the kitchen, bathrooms or bedrooms. If he manages to escape the baby-dome, he immediately starts grunting and breathing loudly to let us know his mischievous side is out, and heads straight for the dog's water bowl.

His favorite things to eat are meat products. No surprise there. If we give him chicken he shoves it in by the fist-full and mmmms while he's chewing. We let him try the bratwurst we made last weekend and he LOVED it. He could not get enough of it. Honestly, mom couldn't either. I ate two. :)

At his last pediatrician appointment (9months) he weighed 25lb 4oz, was 30in tall and was at the 90th percentile for those two numbers and his head circumference. BIG boy.

Saturday

Steroid injection

The MRI results showed I do have a tiny bulge exactly in the same spot that I had surgery. BOOO.

That means I still can't pick up anything over 10lbs. That means I still can't be left alone with my child. That means I will probably have to have surgery again.

I'm having a steroid injection on Monday - that wasn't even an option because the disc was so bulged that there was no room to insert any thing in that space. Hopefully that will make the bulge go back in on its own. We wait 6 weeks and see. If it doesn't, I'll most likely have surgery again.

Sunday

Another MRI

At my 6-week post-op check up, my neurosurgeon said I should not be having any pain whatsoever. So, I have another MRI this week to find out what's going on. He said it could just be swollen still from the surgery or I've irritated it somehow. It could also be that the disc has re-herniated = worst case.

He put me on a drug called Lyrica that is supposed to help with nerve pain. I started taking it one week ago today and took half the dose prescribed (1x/day instead of 2) all week. In that time, I was definitely dizzy, exhausted and gained four pounds. The side effects are mostly dizziness, fatigue and weight gain. However, I was pain free and actually felt like myself for the first time in about a year.

I stopped taking it Friday when I stepped on the scale. Right now, I'd rather be in a small amount of pain than gain four lbs every week. We'll see how I feel later this week.

Thursday

9 months

My little man is SOCLOSE to walking. He took several teeny steps (covering about 2 feet of ground) between me and the ottoman tonight.

He's wearing 18-month clothing, and needs to get some shoes since he is so close to walking. The size 1.5 and 2 are waaaay too small. I held up a size 3 at the store and they didn't really look big enough either.

He sleeps through the night again - mostly 9p-7a

He loves apples, green beans, cantaloupe, yogurt, sweet potatoes, turkey, cheese and eating whatever mom is eating.

I moved all the plastic containers to one cabinet on the lower level so he can play in "his cabinet" while I clean the kitchen every night. He loves my large water cup with the plastic straw from the hospital.

Monday

6 weeks post-op

The bad news is I'm still having pain every day. It's mild - some days I don't even take any pain medication. But, it's still there. I called last week to tell the neurosurgeon and talked to the nurse. I gave her the run down and even told her my theory that the disc below where I had surgery is now bulged/herniated and sitting on my sciatic nerve. She didn't think that was the case and said "I'm not really concerned about this pain. It sounds pretty normal." She told me to take it easy, with no lifting, bending or twisting.

How does someone live without lifting, bending or twisting? I can live by the no lifting rule, for the most part. I really am trying not to lift anything, but without my husband constantly at my side, I'm not sure how I would do it. What if I were a single parent? How would the baby get in bed, take a bath or eat in his high chair? I don't even want to think about it. I was just unloading the dishwasher and thinking about how I was currently breaking two of the rules. I was bending and twisting (and lifting if you count a plate as heavy) to get dishes out and put them away.

The really depressing thing is how unbelievably out of shape and inflexible I'm becoming. I feel like such a slug with zero muscle and I am so far gone from the pre-pregnant yoga flexibility I had built up. I mean, I can barely sit Indian-style these days. I can't wait to get the okay to at least stretch/do some pilates. I'm not even allowed to start physical therapy for surgery until after I see the neurosurgeon again - Nov. 1.

Until then, we wait.

Friday

We finally ferber-ed

For probably three months, our son was a great sleeper. He went to bed at 9ish and woke up at 7ish. For the past few weeks, he still goes to bed at 9, but wakes up at least once between 1-3 and gets a bottle. We thought we weren't feeding him enough, so instead of 6oz before bed, we upped it to 8 then 10.

We've been talking about what to do about this for a while now, and tried to let him cry it out a weekends ago, but he cried for a hour or more, and I couldn't take it. He didn't calm down when we went in to comfort (every 15 min) so I thought something else might be wrong. I think it was teeth that night.

So tonight, we attempted it again. He walked around his crib, screaming for about 30 minutes, but then I just sat in there with him and let him hold my hand and he went straight to sleep after maybe 10 minutes of me sitting there. From what I've read online, he's a little older than most babies when they are "ferbered" so we might need to ease into it. I am happy to give him a hand to hold for a few nights if he will quit waking up in the middle of the night expecting a bottle.

Wednesday

4 weeks post-op

This week has not been good as far as my back is concerned. I think it started Saturday morning. I walked around my neighborhood checking out all of the garage sales, and carried around some toys and clothes. Nothing heavy, but I was hurting a bit when I got home. The rest of Saturday and Sunday were pretty standard - house work and baby time. I don't know if I over-did it playing with the baby on Sunday? I woke up Monday morning pretty stiff and having a little bit more pain. It increases as the day goes on so I worked from home Wednesday.

It's feeling better, but I'm still concerned that something might be wrong. If I walk around too much it gets irritated again and I have to lay down for a while. I have a little nerve/leg pain, but most of the pain seems to be on my spine (feels like my tailbone hurts). I go see my surgeon Nov. 1 so I'm trying to wait until then. I know he only has office hours on Thursday anyway, so I might call over there tomorrow to see if he can squeeze me in.

Saturday

8 months

It is crazy to think that this baby has almost been outside the womb as long as he was in it.  He is looking like such a little man these days. We find it's easier to change diapers in shorts and pants now that he moves around like crazy and tries to escape the changing table at all costs. Because he is wearing more adult-looking clothes he looks older. He loves to walk holding on to my hands and is obsessed with a music making toy that I bought for $3 at a garage sale. Best purchase ever.

He is also into crawling on all threes with a foot instead of using two knees. It is pretty funny to watch. We attempted to measure his height this week and it was pretty close to 29 inches. We weighed him about a week ago and he was right under 23 lbs. Four more weeks until I can see the doctor and get permission to lift again. It is killing me that I cannot go anywhere with him alone. I can't even get him out of the stroller after our walks.

Monday

Two weeks post op

Today I went back to work. After being home for two weeks I felt ready. I am not ready to lift any boxes or run around the hospital doing a photo shoot all day, but I can certainly write and coordinate from my seat on the 12th floor.

I still have some ankle pain that is bothering me in the morning and occasionally throughout the day, and my right foot is still numb on the top of my foot running up to the bottom of my knee.

The good news is I have no sciatic pain, which was the purpose of the surgery. By the way, I have zero stitches. They use this superglue-type stuff and about half of that has peeled off.

I have some pain when I try to bend over too quickly but other than that, I feel really good and cannot I wait for Nov. 1 when the surgeon gives me the all-clear to pick up my baby boy again. That is seriously the hardest part of all of this.

Friday

Why AT&T is terrible

About the time I went back to work in April, AT&T was canvassing our neighborhood to try to get us to switch to u-verse. The hubs and I were I interested, but we wanted to compare our current package (with directv) before making a commitment on the front porch with a teenager.

So maybe a week after the kid visited us I called to make the switch. After several phone calls and details that don't matter to this story we finally had some guy out here to install the new system. Not only did this guy do a crappy job drilling a new hole in my wall to the outdoors, he also ran the wire around the house so poorly that it is gaping down in several places, visible under the siding. After being here several hours and attempting to complete the setup, he says he is going outside to check some things. He comes back hours later to tell the hubs he couldn't figure it out and that he would be back the next day. That was mid-May on a Thursday. I called on Friday afternoon. No one knew about our situation and could not answer the question of when he might be back.

Good thing I left our charter Internet and directv turned on.

I called again on Monday and Tuesday. Same answers. Our installation was still pending and they would call us when it was complete. No, they could not tell me an approximate timeline.

Fast-forward to August 30 or so. AT&T starts calling both of our phones. They are ready to complete the install and we need to call to reschedule.

ARE YOU KIDDING?

Three months later with zero communication? You think we were just sitting here waiting? Nope. I've already re-signed contracts with my current providers and you lost me as a customer, most likely for life.

Wednesday

The human body

The human body is such a strange operation. I am noticing some of the amazing things it can do lately. Have you heard tha theory that the body will only let you feel the amount of pain you can bear? (I have only heard of this, and do not have scientific proof.) I truly believe this now.

I have had plantar fasciitis in my left foot since about last November. It started when I had gained 35 lbs, so thats why I said about november. So it has continued to hurt, I am guessing it will go away when I lose the last 20 lbs I am carrying around. However, I have had a nice break from the foot pain since the intense pain in my leg started three weeks ago. I know that pain must be subsiding because yesterday afternoon, the pain in my foot started to sneak back in to my life...

Monday

Sleep issues

The day I went back to work from maternity leave was the day the baby started sleeping throughg the night. It was like magic. From that day forward we have stayed with the same basic routine. I come home from work and play while dad cooks dinner. We eat and then go for an hour walk. By that time it's usually around 8pm and we start getting a bath ready. We do bath time, good night moon and a bottle. He always fell asleep eating the bottle, but it was never an issue because he slept through the night. This was our routine for months.

And then we started teething.

And got a virus.

In the same week.

He was waking up so often throughout the night for about a week straight that I started letting him sleep in our bed if he woke up after 4am. I figured it was just for two hours until my alarm went off and mommy needed to sleep because regardless of what happened overnight, I still had to  work the next day.

He did go back to his normal sleep-through-the-night-self. However, for the last week, he has been waking up in the middle of the night screaming his head off. He does not calm down until we either put him in our bed or feed him. I really don't thing he can be that hungry, but I do think he has no idea how to soothe himself since we have trained him to only fall asleep with a bottle.

But in our defense, this routine has worked so well for us for the past four months that we didn't really have a reason to do anything differently. So now we are trying to train a 7-month-old how to fall asleep on his own...

Friday

Loving life

You know how people always say you don't know what you are missing until it's gone?  Right before the surgery, I realized how many little things I was missing in my life due to the constant pain. I couldn't walk. Your life changes dramatically when you live in a wheelchair. It was an ordeal just to go to the bathroom. I had to rely on my coworkers to wheel me to a meeting, to get coffee, to get to the toilet. It was absolutely terrible and if I tried to walk, more than one person called me "mee-maw." 

I couldn't pick up my child. I couldn't do the dishes, vacuum the house, do laundry or pull weeds in the yard. Because the hubs was tending to the child full time, the house fell apart. Luckily, my mom is retired and was able to move in for a few days after surgery and put the house back together for the most part. 

Even though I'm only four days post-op, I can already tell things are improving. Last night I was flat on my back reading for about 15 minutes before it became uncomfortable. I haven't done that since maybe October 2011. I was pregnant and then the sciatic pain started the day I have birth to my son in January.

Having gone through that, I am so appreciative of the use of my legs. Even if I do have some pain still, I am glad to be able to roll around on the floor with my son and stand up to kiss him goodnight.

Thursday

Home on drugs

I typed up a nice post on my recent use of narcotics but I was using an iPad and the post got lost in the internet somewhere, never to be seen again. Hopefully it works this time.

I am at home, recovering from surgery. The neurosurgeon told us several times in the hospital how pleased he was with the surgery and that the fragment of disc he removed from my sciatic nerve was HUGE! He said I should make a full recovery and after just three days I'm starting to believe him. My sciatic pain is already gone and the numbness is only on the top of my foot and in my toes. The numbness used to go all the way up to my knee.

My incision is certainly still painful but I know that will heal with time. The nerve root and muscles that we're moved during surgery are probably the most painful part right now. They had to peel back the muscles and nerves to get to the inner disc and remove the hunk that was just floating around in there.

Even though I am in pain and I won't be able to lift the baby for six weeks, I am glad I went through with the surgery.

Surgery set for Monday

Today, I met with my neurosurgeon who will be performing a discectomy on Monday. First of all, he came in  to talk within 10 minutes - I love it when a physician office is run efficiently. I HATE waiting.

Anyway, he looked at my MRI from yesterday and that there's definitely a LARGE herniated disc sitting on my sciatic nerve (L4, we knew that) and that there's a smaller herniation on the disc below it (L5). He said that the discs looks to be in the same spot as the MRI I had in June - which seems weird to me because that doesn't explain why I'm in so much pain/numbness the last few weeks, whereas in June, I could tolerate it and still go about my daily life.

He said we could try a steroid injection, but that he wouldn't recommend it (that's what my rehab doctor said also) because the canal is so tight with the huge disc sticking out, and since it has not gone in since January and it's been almost 9 months, that it was unlikely to do so.

He also pointed out that it's possible I could develop cauda equina syndrome and would then need emergency surgery if I lose control of my bowel/bladder. The bulge is dangerously close to hitting those nerves in its current condition, so that alone makes me on the plus side of surgery. I do NOT want to walk around with a bag.

So, we talked it over with him and with his nurse. We decided that for me, surgery is probably the best option to get me back to a normal life. I could wait it out and see what happens, but it is very likely that pain/numbness episodes of this nature will continue. If this were a two-day thing, I'd probably be more likely to hold off on surgery, but two weeks in a wheelchair and not being able to pick up my child, not to mention living on narcotics with unbearable pain, is not something I'd like to repeat. Ever.

I will have to stay home for two weeks (I do plan to work from home some) and no lifting anything more than a milk jug for six weeks. That puts a lot of pressure on the hubs. Even though he's primary caretaker as it is, the never-ending attention an infant requires is definitely taxing on even the most patient person. But we both know that this is for the best and will be worth it when I'm 100 percent again.

Wednesday

7 months

We are still dealing with the pain in my lower back/hip/leg and numbness. I had an MRI this morning and go to see a neurosurgeon tomorrow to see what he says.

While we wait, a few updates on the child:

  • doesn't say any words like baba, dada, mama, but looooves to yell, screech and ggggguh
  • can sit up and play with things in both hands
  • is starting the chew, but still gags on the tiniest stuff - like avocado
  • has two teeth all the way through, and is working on more we think
  • favorite food: carrots and peaches
  • wears mostly size 12-months clothes, but sleeps in 18-month pjs because I can't get the 12-month to zip up past his thigh
  • loves bath time and splashes mom like crazy
  • sleeps from about 9pm-7am pretty consistently
  • had his first virus this month with a fever of 101.7
  • weighs 22 lbs and is 28 in tall

Monday

The most pain since birth

One week ago, I was fine. Completely pain-free, doing whatever I wanted, walking every morning before work, running a bit, and starting to work out more. Last Sunday night, I did about 50 walking lunges while walking the dog. I'm not sure if that's what triggered my sciatic pain to come back, but something was not right.

Monday, the pain got a little worse, but I still walked in the morning without too much trouble. Went to work as normal.

Tuesday, I got up to walk, but the pain was not going away with movement like it normally did, so we only walked 1 mile.

Wednesday, I got up to walk but couldn't do it. I went to physical therapy instead. During the session, the PT thought my back was a little tight, so at the end, he did a little fascia loosening massage. I'm not sure if this made the pain worse, or just combined with the already deteriorating back.

Thursday, went to work in severe pain and toughed through a day-long meeting until 2pm. Went home and took more naproxen, but it was not even touching the pain anymore.

Thursday night is where things went bad. I took several naproxen pills, tried ice, tried every position possible, but could not ever get comfortable or sleep for more than maybe 2 hours total. By this point, I cannot walk, stand up straight, lay down in any position and can barely sit hunched over. This pain had me writhing and moaning on the floor most of the night. At 5am I gave up and went to the ER at work.

They told me to have a percocet (pain killer) and some prednisone (steroids) and sent me on my way. The ruptured disc in my back has stuck it's little turtle head out of its hole again, and is pushing on my sciatic nerve - but this time it's so much worse than before.

Friday night I took all kinds of percocet and advil, and maybe slept for an hour at a time, totaling 5-6 hours. The pain was still VERY real. I still can't walk without being hunched over, and more than 10 or so steps has me in tears. That made it very difficult to even pick up the 21-pound baby, much less carry him or comfort him to sleep.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty much repeats of Friday. Predisone, Percocet, Advil, repeat. Throw in a heating pad and a little bit more sleep.

Today (Monday) I'm finally feeling a little bit of relief (only if I consistently take my pills) and actually slept for 4.5 hours, then 3 hours straight, so that was much better. I am going to get an MRI tomorrow and hopefully get a surgical consult soon after that. While I do NOT want to have surgery (probably microdiscectomy), I feel like that is the only logical next step. This disc could come back out at any time and I do not want to be in a wheelchair every few months.

Sunday

baby food talk

We've been experimenting with more foods. For a while, the babe was eating carrots, peas, peaches and rice cereal for every meal (mostly just dinner). Now, we've added a consistent lunch and introduced green beans, sweet potatoes, zucchini, oatmeal, bananas, applesauce and chicken. I've made everything myself except applesauce (we just happened to have some already). He has tried peas and green beans from the store (Gerber organic) that a friend gave me because her daughter didn't like them. He likes them okay, but only if they are warm instead of room temperature.

At his 6-mo check up, the pediatrician told us to start feeding him whatever we eat, just pureed. We haven't ventured to that yet, but soon. We have stockpiles of frozen still in the freezer. We have been letting him taste a few things though - pasta salad, fro-yo, eggs. It's so much fun to see his face when he tastes something for the first time. I'm loving it!

He didn't do very well the first time we tried chicken - I think it was a little too dry and hard for him to swallow. I'm going to try mixing it with his favorite (carrots) to see if he will do better. He's working on the chewing motion and putting little pieces of food in front of him is 20 minutes of entertainment while he tries to work on a pincer grasp.

Wednesday

Teething = germs = sick.

Since the baby started teething a few weeks ago, he has now brought home our first Family Cold. The poor little guy had a fever of 101 last week, so we took him to the pediatrician. She said it was just a virus and to give him some tylenol. After a few rough days and nights, the baby seems to be feeling better (though still snotty and coughing). The bad news is, I have it and my parents have it, and my neighbors that walk with us every night have had it too. I guess we're all in it together. :)

I stayed home from work today to try to get well enough for the Color Run 5k I'm doing this weekend. When I signed up back in April, I had no idea what the pain was in my leg still and I just assumed that it would go away. Luckily, it did and I'm finally feeling like I can attempt to run. I've ran a few times for 30s at a time just to see if it would hurt. I probably still will not run much on Saturday and just walk instead since I haven't trained at all.

The other funny thing is that it's been SO hot here - we're talking over 100 degrees for days at a time - that I've been planning on the coolest outfit I own. Now, they are predicting the low to be around 55 Saturday morning, so I'm thinking I need a wardrobe adjustment!

Monday

6 months!

My big boy can now sit up on his own and is eating lots of food! Last time I weighed him he was a little over 20lbs. He goes back to the doctor in a couple of weeks, so we'll get an official reading then. We are weighing him at home on a scale that my mom was weighed on when she was a baby to see how much she was eating. That was in the early 1950s. So, who knows how accurate that thing is, but we are using it as an approximate guess to how much he's gaining. He's about to grow out of his 9mo clothes. Last night he slept in a 18mo sleeper that was just a bit big, but really not too bad. The 12mo sleeper we bought wouldn't zip up his thigh.


We went to the Lake of the Ozarks last weekend and had a good time hanging out on the dock. My sister had him giggling like nobody's business.

As for my 6-months postpartum info, I weigh 216 - which is down 30lbs from my highest dr. appt weight of 247. I still have a ways to go though. The good news is, I'm finally pain-free from my ruptured disk and no longer need to go to physical therapy. That means momma can finally start working out. :)

Big night out!

Last weekend was our first time to have a night to ourselves. The baby stayed at my parents' house all night and it was wonderful! We've gone out to dinner several times but this was the first time for him to stay somewhere else for the night. I think everyone involved enjoyed it. My dad already asked when they can keep him again!

We went to a concert (Old Crow Medicine Show), had dinner out and had a few adult beverages before coming home. Then we slept in (only a little) and I went to the farmers' market with my sister and a friend before picking the baby up at 11.

I'm signed up to do the color run in St. Louis in August, so I'm thinking that might be a good time for our next all-nighter.

Sunday

I see a light

A few weeks ago, I joined the online health information website my physicians offer. It lets me see all (most) of my health care in the last four years - depending on which MDs loaded it and are participating in the online program.

I thought it was interesting to see my weigh-ins throughout pregnancy. I always counted what my scale at home said because I wanted to be able to compare apples to apples after the baby was born. The online data said my last weight at the OB's office was 247. From one week after giving birth until I went back to work (three months) I hovered at 226. The last three weeks, I've stayed at 217, but losing .2 or .4 every week (on weight watchers still). So while I'm down 30 lbs from the highest point in my pregnancy, I still have a good 20 lbs to go just to be where I was pre-pregnancy. I'd really like to move past that number and be even more fit than I was a year ago.

The point of all this ramble is that I'm pretty sure my body doesn't have the "typical new mom" hormone set up. My body did produce some milk for my son, but even though we tried our hardest - and I truly believe that - it was not enough. It was ROUGH for the first few weeks and I visited/talked with a lactation specialist almost daily. Despite what we did, I only made enough milk to give him maybe three feedings a day - when he was eating probably 10x a day. Even when I started pumping at work I only had four ounces per pump session. By then he was eating six per feeding.

So combine the small amount of milk production with my inability to work out from my sciatic pain, I'm guessing that's why the weight did not just "fall off" like the books say it should while breastfeeding. I think my body didn't let go of a pound because I was so hungry while bfeeding that I ate more than I should have and couldn't really work out to make up for that.

I'm still not really working out like I need to, but I am walking almost every night and I often take the stairs at work. I finally feel like my body is returning to normal and that makes me happy because I know how to lose weight without all those hormones messing me up!

Monday

Adventures in baby food: carrots and peaches

A week or so ago, I bought a five-pound bag of carrots for maybe $3. Just boil and then puree those things and add a bit of formula (or B-milk if you are so lucky) and boom! Baby food that is made from real food with no additives, and, umm, way cheap. 

I went to a local orchard and got half a peck of white peaches. Give those things a spin and they are good to go in the freezer. 







I only put two peaches in there and that made 8 "cubes" of food - he is eating one cube per "meal" right now. We have been feeding him one cube plus a little rice cereal mixed together with a bit of formula. Then he's getting watermelon in a mesh holder for dessert. He is loving the watermelon.

Sunday

5 months

I cannot believe my son is already five months old. We celebrated fourth of July this week with a couple of pool parties, some BBQ and lots of naps.

We started feeding him carrots and peas two weeks ago and it's going really well. He loves carrots, but didn't hate peas. I think the peas have a different texture which threw him off for a bit, but he seemed to like the taste.

He's almost wearing 12-month clothes. Most of his six-month onesies are too short, and the nine-month sleepers are getting too small.

We finally transitioned from sink-baths to tub-baths. He seems to like it in the tub, but we have been keeping him up too late and he is too tired = crabby. When he's like that, laughing easily transitions to whimpering and then screaming bloody murder.

He wants to crawl and speak so badly, but has not mastered either one yet. He's working on them though, and I know it won't be long before he's all over the place and talking up a storm.

Wednesday

Better, closer, warmer

I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere. I've been almost pain-free for a week or so. I still have it most mornings when I first wake up, but it goes away by the time I get to work (and walk the half mile to my desk) and move around.

In PT, I have a lot of core exercises now that are actually making my abs sore. It's awesome. The numbness in my foot has also significantly decreased, so I think things are definitely improving. I'm still taking it easy on the work out front - only walking about three miles every night and doing my PT ab lab. My therapist said it would probably be alright for me to start doing some wall squats with the ball supporting my spine, so that's my next move to try to lose some of the junk in my trunk.

And on the WW front, I've lost 6 lbs (finally!) and I know if I can stay focused on that, the weight will slowly, but surely come off. I did cave in and buy a pair of pants a size larger than normal so that I can have one pair that buttons. Wearing the belly band when you are not pregnant gets old, fast.

Friday

And we're done, almost.

Breast-feeding that is.

A few weeks ago (18 or 19 weeks old), my son decided he was done nursing. Done as in screaming bloody murder if I tried to get him to latch on. So many people talk about how they have to wean their babies and that the baby loves the comfort, familiarity with mom. Not my child! He decided that milk didn't come out fast enough and is done.

I've been continuing to pump (four, then three, and now I'm trying to get to two times a day), which is not a huge deal, but is annoying to lug the thing back and forth from the office to the house. I find it especially annoying because my supply is so low now that I'm only getting 2 oz per pump session.

My goal all along (even before I knew my milk supply wouldn't be up to par) was the breastfeed for six months. Even though I probably will not make it to that goal, I'm glad for what I have been able to provide for him. And now that I know what I'm doing, maybe I'll be more successful with our next baby.

Monday

Results

I have a herniated disc. It's located between L4-L5 which is low on your back, close to the bottom of the spine. In this picture, its the middle disc - the one black part that's pushing to the right white stuff (into my spinal cord). The one above it is how it should look like. The one below it is another small bulge, but is not the herniated one we are concerned with.

I still have some pain, but not much. I do think the PT is helping with that, but now my issue (and bigger concern) is the numbness in my right foot. My doctor is concerned that I will have permanent nerve damage if I don't have surgery. I'm concerned about having back surgery at age 30 and what that will mean for the rest of my life. I also don't really want to walk around with a numb foot.

So, I'm trying other things first. I'm continuing PT, twice a week now instead of just once, to try to increase my core strength. I didn't know that your ab muscles completely separate when you are pregnant, but mine are still not completely back together yet. We are also working on the muscles that wrap around the spine deep in there. I'm doing a lot of bridge exercises and planks to work on these things.

I'm also going to a chiropractor to try decompression treatment to see if they can literally stretch my spine enough to allow the bulge to come back in its happy home all on its own.

In other news - my little chunk baby has rolled over (at 18 weeks old) and is now constantly rolling onto his stomach and refuses to lay on his back. I'm learning how to dress and change a baby that is in upward dog position. We also started feeding him rice cereal last week (19 weeks old) after the all-clear from his pediatrician. We are thinking carrots will be his first veggie, with peas soon to follow. He just needs to master eating with a spoon first.

Thursday

MRI - bariatric style

Until 2012, I have never been a "patient" at any hospital. I'd never had surgery (still haven't), broken a bone (still haven't), had stitches (check.) or any other sort of procedure. Now that I'm experiencing things as a patient in a hospital that I've worked for is completely eye-opening. I'm experiencing the customer service that I never expected and meeting new people that I might not have worked with.

Today, I went to radiology for my MRI. I talked to the manager last week to find out how realistic their schedule is "on time" in the afternoons. I loathe waiting of any sort, so I know better than to make a 2pm appointment, but that was the "first available" so I took it. The manager moved me up to the 7am - first appointment of the day. I call that a perk of working where I do.

It turned out to be a much better experience than I'd hoped for because they ended up putting me in the bariatric machine. If you've never had an MRI, it's the scan where you lay perfectly still and slide into a tunnel that is usually THISCLOSE to your face. A lot of claustrophobia ensues. In the bariatric machine (for folks weighing 400lbs plus, I think) I had a good 2 feet above my face, so I was perfectly comfortable.

As for the results - we find out more next week when I return to the orthopedic surgeon.

Sunday

Bulge

After complaining to some work friends about my back/hip/leg pain, they got me into an orthopedic surgeon at the spine center that same day. I had an x-ray done and they think I bulged a disc in my spine when pushing and that bulge is pressing on my sciatic nerve. There are several options to try knowing what the problem is, with surgery as a last resort. The surgeon said that the best way to heal is to let the body heal itself. We can try more physical therapy and steroid shots too. He wanted to give me a prescription for nerve relaxing pills or pain pills, but I really don't want either, especially while I'm still b-feeding the baby.

Monday

Determination

I think I need to change my mindset. I've been saying to myself that I'm going to try to lose this baby weight. I'm trying not to eat as much. I'm trying to work out. I've got to quit trying and just do it.

Focus, people. Focus.

Sunday

Bad luck?

Yesterday while I was dusting, I knocked over the cake topper from our wedding and accidentally be-headed my loving husband. Do you think this means he will leave me via guillotine?

Friday

Weight watchers

Let's talk about weight watchers. When I first started losing weight (waaaay back in 2001), I did it on WW. I went to meetings, counted points and eventually started working out. I didn't always count points after I lost the first 40 or so pounds, but I could figure them out in my head pretty easily. I've kept my point slider, but somewhere along the way I lost my book that had the points listed in it. (I think my dad or sister had it at one point and who knows where it ended up)

Three weeks ago, I joined WW online. This is the new plan, PointsPlus. If you are not familiar with WW, my take on it is that they basically changed the way points are calculated and gave you a lot more points per day since a lot of the items are worth more points to eat.

I used to get 24 points per day. When I first joined a few weeks ago, I got 49. 49 per day!! After a week of trying it that way, I realized that's so MANY points. So, I told WW that I was no longer nursing the baby (even though I am) so that my daily allotment of points would go down. Now I have 38 per day and it's still way too much for me. I have lost 0 lbs on this program so far, and usually have extra points every day that I don't use. I don't tap into the "bonus points" at all. I don't add any activity points. The other day we got ice cream after dinner, and I still had 2 points left after my hot fudge sundae.

I'm not sure what the issue is - and maybe is a "it's not them, it's me" situation. I paid for 3 months up front, so I guess I'll continue since I already paid for it, but usually I'd lose weight at the beginning then taper off. Something has to help me get rid of these baby lbs.

Wednesday

PT update

I'm still going to PT and I'm still in pain daily. It's a different sort of pain - almost like it has moved up and in a bit. It now numbs my foot instead of giving me pain and my therapist thinks my pelvis is still tilted. We are going to work on that while I'm also being referred to a DO/orthopedic surgeon.

Four months postpartum and I'm still in pain. This kind of schedule is not looking good for the idea of child #2.

Speaking of that - why is okay to already start talking about that!?!?! I haven't even healed or mastered the idea of one child, much less another one!! Plus, I still have 20+ lbs to lose. I'm thinking it will be a few years before I even consider doing this again.

Monday

one year later

One year ago this weekend, we found out I was pregnant. I thought we would relive the year in pregnant photos.

pretty sure I got pregnant this weekend last year (cinco de mayo)










took this the same week I had the baby.

Mother's Day

Yesterday was my first Mother's Day. I have to admit that even though the hubs (and baby) got me flowers, a pedicure and brunch, the best gift was being able to sleep in! I did wake up to feed the babe at 5am like normal, but when he woke up again at 630, the hubs let me sleep in to 830, which was heaven.

My mom made us the cutest piece of art - footprints from the baby. I'll post a pic soon.

Wednesday

Project Pump

Pumping at work is rather interesting. In my old office building, I would have had access to a hospital-grade pump and just walk down to the room with my half of the supplies and plug into that pump. However, while I was on maternity leave, my office moved to a new building. This building has no provided pump, so I tote my own (borrowed) pump back and forth.

Not only am I carrying my Vera Bradley "pump bag" in and out (along with a smaller bag with an ice pack to keep it cold) but I have to carry it from my desk down three flights and into the pump room. I feel slightly silly doing so, but I guess no one really knows what is in the bag.

In addition to the logistics of being the bag lady, it's also proving a challenge to schedule the time to pump. I'm thinking I'll need to start blocking out 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon to make sure my meeting schedule allows Project Pump to continue. I haven't pumped since early on and I like seeing that I'm much more productive nowadays.

Sunday

Back to the grind

Yikes. Twelve weeks is over.

Tomorrow, I go back to work. Back to a new office, in a new building with several new faces. I'm excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time. I'm excited to start on new projects (I've been keeping semi-close tabs on what's going on in my absence) and to see my work-friends on a regular basis again. I'm excited to work in a brand new building with all new office materials, and to be closer to the main building I have meetings  in (versus the .5 mile walk to most meetings).

I'm nervous because I know my little buddy is going to miss me and I'm going to miss him. I've left him for a few hours, but nothing longer. I'm nervous about how this whole pumping situation will go with my milk supply. I barely make enough for him to get 2 oz as it is, and I think being away and the new environment will deplete it further.

I'm anxious because he's still getting up at least once (usually just once) in the middle of the night. And right now, I still want to be the one to get up with him and feed him. Some of his "friends" that are just a tiny bit older are much faster at going back to sleep. If my buddy wakes up, it's at least 30 minutes, usually an hour to get him back to sleep. If he could get it down to 20, maybe mommy could fall back asleep easier.

I am looking forward to the new routine though. I think a set routine will be good for both of us.

And thank sweet baby Jesus that my mom is willing to move in during the week to take care of the babe. If not, I'd have a lot more anxiety.

Friday

PO'ed at Macys

This post has nothing to do with weight loss or working out. I'm pissed at our sheets from Macys. We bought a king-sized bed maybe six months after we moved into this house.


I bought some really nice sheets (Charter Club brand) from Macy's and used them almost exclusively for two years before getting another set of the same brand/sheet in a different color because we loved them so much. I also have a flannel set for winter, but we don't use those very often.

Yesterday, the hubs and I were talking on the bed (this is a G-rated post, promise) and I was sitting on his side.  I thought I saw something on the sheets, but when I looked closer, I realized it was a hole!! At first, I thought it was the dog's fault, but it clearly looks like it's just worn through.


I thought sheets would last longer than this!

Thursday

PT part 1

I had no idea what to expect from a PT session, so I went wearing comfy clothes and kind of expected to sweat a little. I've been slowly upping my workouts and that day I planned to walk two miles with my neighbor friends, walk again with my sister (who babysat while I went to PT) another 2-3 miles and then run with one of my neighbor friends that night. I wasn't sure how intense the PT would be, but luckily, we just lounged around. Literally.

Basically, she had me stand, sit and lay in different positions. She said it's pretty common with women who just had a baby to have spine issues and not be aligned just right, causing pain. Apparently, your six-pack separates when pregnant and might need some help getting back together. So, I have breathing exercises to work on pushing those abs back together and I have to lay down on my stomach and push my hips one way and my chest the other to straighten out my spine whenever my sciatic nerve starts acting up and shooting pain down my leg. While that's not always realistic, I have noticed some improvements already. I still have a lot of pain in the morning when I first wake up and in the evenings, but I'm doing much better during the day. I go back next week to follow up.

On a side note, I'd probably be closer to pain-free in the evenings if I'd quit trying to dig up stumps from bushes we cut down in the yard all afternoon. Gotta work on that curb appeal.

On another side note, the hubs and I started counting calories this week. I love that we are doing it together. And for total transparency, I weighed 224 yesterday. The goal right now is pre-pregnancy weight of 195 (by August 1), with an ultimate goal of 175.

Saturday

Physical therapy, yo

Remember the slight pain shooting down the back of my leg since birth? I emailed my OB this week to tell her it's getting worse. I am uncomfortable most of the day now. It hurts just to sit unless I'm leaning forward. Sometimes the pain goes from my hip to my heel and makes my foot tingle. So, doc says go to PT. My first appointment is Monday.

Happy Easter!

Thursday

Walking team

Since I gave birth, I've been weighing 226 or 227 every day. (Let's ignore all those comments about how breastfeeding makes you just shed the pounds because apparently that's not true for everyone).

I've made friends in the neighborhood with two ladies who walk every morning. For the past few weeks, we've been walking two miles every morning. One day last week, it was just me and the retiree (she's only 42, so she's not your typical retiree). We decided to run some and mix it up a bit. Keep in mind that the baby is always with me in the non-jogging stroller. The day after we ran, I noticed that I lost a pound -225

Yesterday, our schedules were a bit off, so I walked 1.5 miles with the workin' momma before she went to work, then the retiree joined us as the workin' momma left so I walked another 1.5-2 miles with her. My sister came over last night and we went for a run/walk - another 3 miles. My feet were tired last night, but this morning, down another pound to 224.


I think there's a moral to this story, folks. My butt needs to be running. And since I don't have a jogging stroller,  I'd prefer to do it when I have childcare. I'm already dreaming about when I go back to work and can run on my lunch break or before I come home to make sure I get it done.

Monday

Happy Monday

Yesterday I did what I'll call my first "real" workout. I've been walking almost every day for a few weeks now, and last week I walked an hour (while watching Downton Abbey) and did some crunches/minor arm stuff. But the real workout was walking 1.5 miles outside and then jogging for just a bit (through the sciatic nerve pain mind you) + 3 sets of 20 squats each + stretching. I don't want to call it yoga, because it wasn't true yoga, but I did a few poses. It started raining while I was out walking (hence the jogging back to the house) so I did everything else on the front porch while listening to the rain. It was a great way to end the workout and seemed so much more peaceful now that my house has a lot of crying and barking most days.

Tuesday

Time to move it!

I have the all clear to work out now. I went to my six-week check-up yesterday so I'm free to do whatever exercise I want! My parents gave me a heart rate monitor for Christmas, and I'm excited to start putting it to good use! The doctor did tell me that I need to take it slow at first because my body is still adjusting to not being pregnant and will continue to do so for three months.

The pain in my leg is definitely my sciatic nerve and she said that if it's still bothering me after three months to call her. That seems like a long time to me, but I guess the body is pretty good at healing itself.

My first step (haha) is to start incorporating some jogging into my daily walks. However, I normally walk with the baby in the baby bjorn, so I'll have to modify some jogging into evening walk/runs when the hubs can take care of the baby while mommy works out.

Thursday

One-handed

After a month, I'm finally figuring out how to do things one-handed. I sort of wish I would have bought a sling or a wrap of some sort so I could get things done around the house. However, I'm also glad I didn't because I don't want the boy to be THAT attached to me that he can't handle it when I put him down. I think we have a happy medium right now. I am his major source of food (though we are still supplementing with formula some) and we spend all day together alone so I am not surprised that he's most comfortable around me. He's also very content in his crib, pack-n-play and his papazan chair. He is okay for a while on the floor, but the dog is usually close by to entertain him. I've caught him staring at the dog a lot more lately and I think it's adorable.

We are now in week 5 of his life. Here's an update from week 1:


Reasons why I'm glad he's out:
  • I'm down 16 of the 45-ish pounds I gained (current weight is 226), so that's good news. Still weigh 226. I did go up to 228 at some point, but I'm not really weighing myself every day and honestly I haven't checked in several days. We wake up and eat immediately (him, not me) so I don't even think about the scale. I refuse to weigh myself at any other time of day.
  • I can also bend and breathe at the same time now. I've done yoga a few times during his naps. It's amazing how inflexible I've become.
  • I can properly work out again (after four weeks of walking only). I've been walking every afternoon with him in the baby bjorn - at least a mile, most of the time we go farther. I go for my six-week check up next week. I want to build up to doing "real" workouts soon.
  • I have energy, which is somewhat crazy considering the amount of sleep I'm still not getting. This is the same. I feel like the hubs is more affected by the lack of sleep than me - probably because he's working all day while I lounge around the house.
  • I can eat chicken again without being disgusted. Yay for lean protein! 
  • I can shave my legs properly. Thank the lord!
  • I can give myself a pedicure - which I did yesterday. I don't have the money to get one in the salon unless it's a special occasion. I think I do just as good of a job here at home. It's almost time to do this again!
  • My clothes are already starting to fit. I'm wearing a size L t-shirt today instead of my husband's XL or XXL that I had been living in for the past few months. Not much change here, but I'm not complaining, yet. 
  • My legs are not cramping up at night while I'm just sleeping. I never did understand why that was happening. It's not like I was using the muscle! My side core muscles still do cramp up occasionally when I strain to one side or the other reaching for something. 
Postpartum things I was unprepared for:
  • I'm still bleeding. It has been 9 days. I guess that's normal. I bled for a good three weeks. I'm still not completely back to normal in this department.
  • The skin on my stomach (the widest part that did the most stretching) still hurts. This is gone, but those pesky stretch marks remain.
  • My heel that developed plantar fasciitis still hurts. Definitely still hurts. It's really hard to do yoga with this pain - especially any standing forward bend or down dog.
  • My ring can get back on my finger, but it's still tight, so that means I'm still swollen a little bit. Can wear my ring like normal.
  • The mushiness of my belly. It's a little disturbing how much mush is there. Still mush.
  • The amount of strength my hands and wrists do not have. Every muscle in my hands hurt and my wrists are killing me every time I pick him up. Getting better, but still sore. I notice it when I do other things now - like driving.
  • Breastfeeding is super hard work. I thought the little nugget would just have an instinct on how to do these things and it would just happen. I think we've found a balance of Bmilk and formula that works for us. The pediatrician is pleased with his weight gain, so I guess we are doing okay. I'm still a little disappointed that I'm not solely breastfeeding, but I'm glad that he's getting more than half of his nutrition from me.
  • Our little nugget is very orally-fixated. He must have something in his mouth at all times - whether that's the pacifier, his fingers, his arm, our fingers, the milk truck, whatever. So true.
  • I also have this weird pain down the back of my leg that started right after birth, but I thought I'd just strained it during the labor process somehow. It's actually probably worse than it was those first few days. I'm guessing it's a nerve thing from the epidural because it only shoots down my right leg (bent or straight) when I arch my back. Very odd and I plan on talking to the OB about it next week.

Wednesday

Bills

I've been looking over my hospital bills online today. These are not bills I owe, but what is being billed to insurance first, so I still don't know what my out-of-pocket costs will be. I can't imagine how we'd pay the $7,200 bill if we didn't have insurance.

Speaking of insurance, I just added the babe to my insurance plan at work (which I'm thankful for!) to more than double the amount taken out of every paycheck. Dang, kids are expensive.

Sunday

Three weeks!


I can't believe I've already been off work for three weeks!! April 23 still sounds so far away, but it's really only 9 more weeks of time with my sweet boy.

This week has been the week of visitors. I am glad for the company during the week when the hubs is at work, but I was glad we only had one visitor today so we could have the day just for ourselves. I'm loving our little family and it's hard to imagine our lives without the boy already.

Wednesday

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm a day late, but whatevs.

The hubs and I didn't do much last night. Some of the neighbors came over to meet the babe and we ate frozen pizza for dinner. We are classy like that.

I did take some filets out of the freezer from our half a cow, but we didn't have time to cook them because we had visitors coming. We cooked them tonight instead.

I did get a surprise gift from the hubs though. I'm on lockdown and can't really leave the house, so I didn't get him anything. He bought me a necklace with the baby's birthstone - garnet. I love it because the hubs said "this is for when you miss him when you go back to work, you'll always have something to hold on to." How sweet!! He's so good at romantic gifts and I completely suck. Luckily, he doesn't care about getting romantic gifts so we work out. :)


Friday

Motivation

I really need to find some motivation. Tomorrow makes two weeks of little man being out in the world and I feel like I'm already slacking to get this weight off. He is a very skilled nap-taker, so it's not like I don't have the time. I just love having him take naps in my lap. :) He's so cute when he's sleeping because now he makes faces while he's dreaming. If he's not on my lap, I might miss it!

I also have no excuse because we have a treadmill. It was a life-saver while I was pregnant because I walked on it almost every evening for 20 minutes, or 1 mile - whichever came first. If we didn't, I could just say that it's too cold outside and I can't take the baby with me to go for a walk. (I'm only allowed to walk for another two weeks - doctor's orders.)

Basically I'm just writing this to try to motivate myself to get moving. These 30 extra pounds aren't going anywhere unless I make them.

Monday

One week later

I absolutely love my son, but I also really love not being pregnant. I don't even begin to pretend that I had a terrible pregnancy because I know some women have it really tough, but I just did not like it.

Reasons why I'm glad he's out:

  • I'm down 16 of the 45-ish pounds I gained (current weight is 226), so that's good news. 
  • I can also bend and breathe at the same time now. 
  • I can properly work out again (after four weeks of walking only)
  • I have energy, which is somewhat crazy considering the amount of sleep I'm still not getting.
  • I can eat chicken again without being disgusted.
  • I can shave my legs properly.
  • I can give myself a pedicure - which I did yesterday. I don't have the money to get one in the salon unless it's a special occasion. I think I do just as good of a job here at home. 
  • My clothes are already starting to fit. I'm wearing a size L t-shirt today instead of my husband's XL or XXL that I had been living in for the past few months. 
  • My legs are not cramping up at night while I'm just sleeping. I never did understand why that was happening. It's not like I was using the muscle!
Postpartum things I was unprepared for:
  • I'm still bleeding. It has been 9 days. I guess that's normal.
  • The skin on my stomach (the widest part that did the most stretching) still hurts.
  • My heel that developed plantar fasciitis still hurts.
  • My ring can get back on my finger, but it's still tight, so that means I'm still swollen a little bit. 
  • The mushiness of my belly. It's a little disturbing how much mush is there.
  • The amount of strength my hands and wrists do not have. Every muscle in my hands hurt and my wrists are killing me every time I pick him up. 
  • Breastfeeding is super hard work. I thought the little nugget would just have an instinct on how to do these things and it would just happen.
  • Our little nugget is very orally-fixated. He must have something in his mouth at all times - whether that's the pacifier, his fingers, his arm, our fingers, the milk truck, whatever. 

Thursday

The birth story

Friday night (Jan. 27), we were debating whether or not to go out to dinner or stay in. Of course, I was exhausted and didn't really want to go, but I knew we only had a few weeks left to easily go out. So, we called some friends and met up with them for dinner and drinks. Since I can't drink, I ordered a delicious dessert Scottish cake at a local brewery that ended up being the size of a brick! I secretly think it was the amount of cake that made me go into labor.

We went to bed around midnight that night. I woke up on schedule at 2 a.m. to go to the bathroom. When I sat on the toilet, a ton of liquid gushed out, but I realized I had not started peeing yet. I know what that means, and I was so thankful it happened on the toilet and not in the bed!

So, I jumped in the shower (to shave my legs and wash my hair so I look alright in the pics!) and woke up the hubs. He gets in the shower while I get ready, and I have my first contraction during this time - around 2:20 a.m. We leave the house around 2:40 a.m. and drive the 25 minutes to the hospital while my contractions are 3-4 minutes apart. They were fast, but not so terrible that I couldn't walk in to the hospital on my own.

In triage, the nurse had to verify that my water had indeed broke (broken?) even though I was obviously in a lot of pain. She tried twice to put some of my "wetness" on a slide and look at it to verify. She told me twice that she didn't think my water had actually broken. Nevermind the fact that I'm soaking the bed I'm sitting on. A resident physician came in and took one look at me down there and said she'd page my doctor and get my admission paperwork going. This was around 4:30 a.m. By this point, I'm in so much pain and contractions are so close that I cannot catch my breath or open my eyes, so these times are guesstimates. At this point, she said I was dilated 3-4 cm and was not completely effaced yet.

Now in the labor and delivery room, I'm waiting for anesthesiology to bring me that sweet, sweet relief - my epidural. There were several other births going on at the same time, so it was not my turn until around 6:15 a.m.  They had to give me two doses to feel any relief, and then my blood pressure plummeted. It was pretty tense in the room for a bit while they pushed a ton of fluids into my arm to regulate my BP. Once things calmed down and they left, I felt much better, and even took a tiny nap until my new nurse came in at shift change - around 7:15 a.m.

The new nurse was awesome. She decided since I hadn't been evaluated for a while she'd check to see how dilated I was. I loved the look on her face that said "OMG" when she realized I was 10 cm and ready to push! She went to page my doctor to make sure she was on her way ASAP. Then she said we were going to "practice push" for a bit until the doctor arrived. We practiced twice and she told me to just relax because the head was coming out already. YIKES!!

About 20 minutes later, my OB's partner arrived (my OB was not on-call this weekend) with another resident MD. For the next 45 minutes (7:45-8:32) I pushed. For most of this, the OB was chillin at the end of my bed, one glove on, and watched the head while massaging the area around his head. Then all of a sudden, she stood up and things started happening. She, and the other doc put on a lot of garb, half of the bed came off, and things felt serious in the room. I pushed a few more times and the baby came out! I felt no pain or discomfort even - thanks to that epidural. Once the baby started crying, they passed him to my bare stomach and let me cuddle him while he was wiped down and cleaned up.

After about an hour of bonding, he was weighed, bathed and warmed up before returning to me.






Overall, it was a quick, but intense labor - lasting 6.5 hours total. I have had very little pain/discomfort considering I have three stitches and he weighed 9 lbs. We are still recovering at home and trying to get more sleep.

Wednesday

He's here!!

I'll tell you the entire birth story soon, but for now, he's home and we are all doing well!

Born Saturday Jan. 28, 2012
9lb 1oz
21 inches


Friday

membranes

Went to the doctor this morning. She said I'm dilated "about 3 cm" and that my cervix feels much better this week. I'm translating that to mean "more likely to open all the way and get this dang baby out."

While she was in there, she stripped my membranes. This was a non-enjoyable experience and a little painful. From what I can read online, that basically means she ran her finger around the opening to try to get it to separate. Sometimes it helps progress labor, sometimes not.

Because the baby is so big, she said if I do go into labor and it doesn't progress quickly, we aren't going to try anything crazy like a big push of pitocin or labor for 12 hours.

She also told me to wait until Monday to go in to labor because she's not on call this weekend.

Thursday

38 weeks

Yes. I am in the bathroom at work.
I weighed in at 242 this week. I'm having more and more contractions every day but they are still inconsistent and not painful.

Tuesday

Letters on the wall

At my "friends" shower, everyone was asked to bring a letter to help decorate the nursery. Most of these came from shower guests, whether they made it to the actual shower, or sent the letter before or after. The hubs and I did decorate a few ourselves because we were missing just a couple. We also painted a few because they came plain and we wanted to jazz it up a bit.

I've had them on the dining room table for a few weeks now, debating the best layout. Then I moved them to the floor and taped out the exact area of the wall space I had to work with. To hang them, I started with the E at the top, and worked my way over and down on both sides, then filled in the middle - eyeballing as I went. I'm still waiting for that letter Y (I painted it at the correct size because we just haven't seen that friend to get it yet), but you get the idea.

Here are some shots of the nursery ready and waiting.




Gross.

I was talking to a labor and delivery nurse about how to get ready for labor and she told me to try to eat something before I come to the hospital. Most likely, I will not be able to eat once I get here. Then, she says "but don't eat White Castle, okay? Because we'll know that you did."

Friday

Current stats

My weight: 241
Gestation: 37 2/7
Baby's weight: 8lb 5oz
Average # of hours of sleep at a time: 1.5
Dilated: 2 cm

Wednesday

37 weeks - and now we wait.

My little monster is officially full term. I've been ready for about two weeks now to "no longer be pregnant." I have BBH (BIG Braxton Hicks) contractions all the time now, and they are really starting to be uncomfortable (not painful though). But, I guess it's not really my call. I have an ultrasound scheduled in two days, and hopefully after that I'll know how big he is and if I'll be induced.

I'd really rather not be induced. As much as I don't want to be pregnant, I'd rather wait until my body does it's natural thing and get this baby out on its own. I've heard so many horror stories of long, painful births for moms who are induced. However, if I have a medically necessary c-section, then I'm all for it.

To try to urge him out, I've been walking, cleaning and organizing. I don't really feel the nesting instinct yet though. I've just been doing those things in hopes that he will want to come on out!

Sunday

Craft time!

At my friend shower, part of the plan was to have everyone decorate a onesie. Well, due to the high amount of people and the smallness of my house, combined with fact that we ran out of time, we didn't decorate any onesies. Katie had bought all the supplies already, so today she and her hubs came over for craft time (really, the boys watched football while we crafted). I snapped a shot of each one so you can see the detail.



We basically used fabric with iron-on backing or fabric markers to make our own creations. I'm terrible at sewing, so I might ask my mom to fix those buttons on the supposed-suspenders.