Friday, November 28, 2008

THE Arrival

Brock Thomas O'Laughlin
November 23rd, 2008
8 lbs 12 ozs & 21 in

Matt and I welcomed to the cold, harsh world (as I am sure it is to a newborn) our little boy, Brock, on November 23rd. I would like to bring everyone's attention back to the very first post about this boy, titled "Expecting!", written on June 2nd just after the 1st trimester. My reason for calling this to attention: in this post I predicted Baby O's birthday! Other posts mention that I would like him to be here by the 17th, but this post actually says I know he will be here by the 23rd. Mother's intuition ain't no lie.

The labor story... (feel free to skip, this is a work in progress and I am being very detailed for my own memory.)

Friday, the 21st. I spent the evening studying for a final while Matt went out with friends. So, when I went to bed that night, it was just me and the baby. I took this opportunity to have a heart to heart with Baby O, and let him know all the reasons he should be born this weekend, more specifically, Saturday, the 22nd. These reasons were: One, our doctor was on call that day; two, I did not want to continue to study for my final while in such discomfort; three, that way would be out of the hospital by Thanksgiving; four, everyone coming in town for Thanksgiving would get to meet him; five, I was just plain, flat tired of being pregnant, and really, it was best for my mental health.

Saturday, the 22nd. By golly, Brock did his best to get things going, my water broke that afternoon around 1pm. (I would like to add a sidenote that Matt and I had been shopping all morning, and when we came home I went straight to the restroom to pee and that's when it happened! I came so close to a public water breaking, like in the movies! And, how much more ambiguous can you get? I walked out of the bathroom, and said to Matt, "I'm not sure, but I think my water broke, or I just peed a little more as I stood up to pull up my pants?") So, we put some finishing touches on our hospital bags and headed to St. Luke's.

When I arrived, because I am a Strep B carrier, they needed to get antibiotics on board ASAP. Lucky for us, I had not really begun having contractions. How did my water break without contractions you ask? Who knows how - but it did. I have to say this whole day ranks as one of the strangest days of my life. Was I excited? Nervous? Happy? Scared? Anyway, the antibiotic needed was a Penicillin IV. The nurse laid me on my back in the bed to give me the IV. After lying on my back for a bit I began to get light-headed (which was a common occurance now that I had an 8 lb. plus baby laying on my main blood vessels). I mentioned the dizziness, and informed the nurse of my tendency to faint. She seemed unconcerned, but then it got really bad. She lowered me flatter on my back, at which point I had become a bit panicky, and exclaimed, "This is only going to make it worse!" Sure enough, the tunnel vision, sweats and ear-ringing arrived, and my last words: "I'm out."

I recovered just fine from the fainting spell, and then we lazed around for 4 hours before adding any drugs to get the contractions going. At about 7pm, they gave me the "GEL". Still not quite sure exactly was that is but it did the trick, contractions gradually increased in frequency and pain, until about 1am when reprieve came by way of an epidural!

Sunday, the 23rd.
The epidural. Wow. Don't attempt childbirth without it. At about 1am a 2nd year resident placed my epidural, and he just so happened to have graduated from grade school with Matt - crazy! Though everyone you talk to and everything you read mentions at least one epidural horror story, I did not feel the needle go in, at all! That does not mean I didn't have my typical reaction to anesthetics. I suddenly started vomiting and fainted - again. Matt made it through the entire birth without getting nauseous, but me puking put him over the edge? Men. My BP was hovering around 80/50 making it a bit difficult to remain conscious. When they got my blood pressure under control and once these drugs were on board, I was able to sleep on and off for the rest of the night. I have no desire to EVER have a child "naturally" and do not feel like less of a woman for it. Honestly, there is no way to prevent feeling pain when you are being ripped in half, it just helps with the pain leading up to that moment. For future births (if I can successfully forget the agony of this one) is it possible to request specific anesthesiologists?

Because my water broke so early, and Brock was in no hurry to exit, at 5am they performed an Amnioinfusion. This procedure just places tubes around the baby so that fluid can be put back in as a cushion. Brock's heart rate would decrease significantly during contractions, and this is meant to help prevent such a drastic change. After this procedure, the waiting continued - still no Pitocin.

finally, when the day nurse came back, she decided to get the show on the road and started some Pitocin. By 1:30pm I had not made the progress all had hoped, and we were hitting the 24 hour mark since the breakage of my water, and the baby was on his side. Mention of a possible cesarean started floating around, which is not what I wanted to hear. Apparently, it wasn't what my nurse wanted either. She just so happened to be the mother of a girl I swam with in high school. She said, "if you can make it through 11 years of Pete's workouts, you can push this baby out." So, we started pushing. Two and a half agonizing hours later, at 4:02pm, Brock Thomas arrived - deformed head and all.

I love this boy. Looking at him still brings tears to my eyes. It is so hard to believe that something so perfect and beautiful and alive came from my own body. Amazing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hopefully, the Last.

Today is the date I hoped for, way back when I very first found out we were particular reason, except that I like the 17th. Alas, we are still truckin' without many signs of change. On our last visit, the doctor told us that the earliest estimated due date qualifies as the most accurate (especially since it is now clear that we are expecting a large child), so November 27th/Thanksgiving, it is! This means I techniquely have 10 days left, so I should not be disappointed with every passing day, though the fact that the baby hasn't dropped it a little dis-heartening. (My mom said none of her 5 children dropped before the start of labor, so there is hope. I also have another theory, which is: the baby has indeed dropped, but continues to grow so large that it is not apparent.)
As of yesterday, I have decided that I am going to give Baby O nothing but "postive vibes" from here on out; perhaps the baby senses my frustration, and is thinking, "Hell no, I'm not going out there..." Matt has been great with encouragement, kind words, affection, etc. I am already proving to be one of those parents with high expectations, which I am already forcing upon my UNBORN child! So, these next 10 days, I am going to relax, chill out, and let the baby be its own person. If he/she needs a few extra days of incubation, then so be it, I support any decision. But I really can't wait to meet the little addition!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Sneak Peek...

The Waiting Game

[The Hostess, Mike and Mimi, the soon-to-be grandmother.]
In most "mom-to-be" literature, there is a whole section on how it is normal to be feeling extremely nervous, anxious, scared as well as questioning your parenting abilities. Is it normal to feel none of this? That is not covered. After my 4th and final shower, I realized, I don't feel any of these because of the ridiculous amount of love and support this child already possesses. I have no fears. If I cannot figure something out, or if I am worried about a symptom or behavior, I have more experienced resources at my fingertips than I even knew about before this event. The people who have come through for me have ranged from my own immediate family, to Matt's immediate family, and all of their friends, and all of my friends, and even my classmates.
Even the birth does not scare me, so many women before me have managed, I feel I will be no different. At this point, it is just a waiting game. And if there is one thing I do NOT do well, it is wait. Not that I need instant gratification (though it is nice), as I have mentioned so many times before -I am just extremely impatient! If I fear one thing, it is my lack of patience, I hear children require a lot of it. And the baby residing underneath my left rib cage does not make the waiting any easier!
I guess I would just like to thank everyone who has and is supporting Baby O. My only concern - will the child ever learn to walk? I think it's always going to be in someone's arms for the first year...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Crossing the Threshold

To celebrate my passage into "full term", 37 weeks, my sisters and mother put on a shower (thank you!!!!!!) This shower was a wonderful brunch, themed "Round the Clock". Every guest had been assigned a time: 6am, 12pm, 6pm or 12am - for which they were to select a gift. Very appropriate theme for a shower during Daylights Savings. I could not have been more please with the way it turned out, I enjoyed seeing and talking to everyone in attendance, really, what a pleasant event.
I would like add that I believe I have crossed some kind of threshold in the past 2 weeks. I think this for a few reasons. One, I get stared at - mainly by women - I think I am hitting the point where people look at me, and think, "Man, she is about to pop!" Two, I have now experienced two stranger belly rubs, well, one was more of a tap. Three, while in the grocery store, I had to wait for a toddler to finish throwing his tantrum before I could get to the olive oil, and this older woman points, and says, "See what you have to look forward to...?" (Which, by the way, is my #1 hated pregnancy comment - anyone who doesn't know that a 2 year old can throw a fit like none seen before is stupid. That's right, no dancing around it, I'll say it again, stupid. No one ever points to the cutest, sweetest, most well-behaved child and says that...) Four, the question, "Are you ready to have that baby yet?" Almost as bad as, "How's married life?" What the 'f' do you think? Lastly, almost no one can resist asking me when the baby's due; the cashier, the bagger, the teacher, the girl I am washing my hands next to in the bathroom, the woman in the park walking her dog, the waitress, the teacher, the postal worker, the neighbor collecting canned goods, the grade school children the med students screen, ET CETERA, ET CETERA! So you lose! Good day sir.

I will close with this final photo: GOBAMA!! (The other onesy says: Pacifist)