Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Baby Kate

Posted on Aug 11, 2019 in It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

Baby Kate 0

Hello, Friends!

So, I had another kid. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here so if you’ve lost track, that’s number three. Baby Kate made her appearance earlier this month, and I figured I better pop in and document her birth story. After all, I did with my first two and I don’t want her to be that third kid who always complains that her parents don’t love her as much or whatever. (I’m an oldest child – can you tell?)  In case she ever does feel that way, I’d like to state for the record that I’ve already forgotten most details of both Elisabeth and James’ births, as well as their major milestones; I’m equally neglectful toward all my children.*

Anyway! After an interminable pregnancy that felt SO MUCH HARDER than the first two on account of I’m old now, I was induced at 39 weeks + 1 day to put me out of my misery.

I kid, I kid. Here’s the backstory:

Damon is currently in the middle of work-ups. Basically that means that he’s not deployed, but he’s gone all the time training for deployment. If you were a reader five years ago, you may remember that Damon missed James’ birth by a couple of days due to deployment. I was very against a non-medical induction at the time, and so Damon Skyped into the delivery room from Japan. Not ideal, but this is how it goes in the Navy sometimes.

This time we knew Damon would be gone on my due date again, and after talking to my OB we planned on a scheduled induction so he could arrange to be home for the birth. The practice was very understanding and accommodating – serving a military community, they deal with these situations all the time.

I’ll be honest – this was a stressful process. I won’t go into all the boring details but trying to plan Damon getting off the aircraft carrier and then across the country to perfectly time with my induction was a challenge. Not a good challenge. Several factors outside our control could have thwarted Damon’s travel plans, not to mention the baby could have come early.

I was scheduled to go into the hospital on Monday evening for “cervical ripening,” to be followed by the actual induction on Tuesday morning. In a rare display of good judgment, I did not Google, “cervical ripening.”

The stars aligned and Damon arrived Monday morning after a redeye. (As an aside, I would not recommend taking a redeye the day before you are going to have a baby.) Then, at my Monday morning checkup, the NP said that I didn’t actually need to go in for the mysterious cervical ripening.  I was 2cm dilated and my cervix was already… ripe? As this was my third baby, the Pitocin would be enough. Good news! I would get one more night of terrible, uncomfortable sleep in my own instead of the hospital bed!

Tuesday morning Damon and I went to the hospital. A little after 9am, my nurse hooked me up to a Pitocin drip, Damon settled in with the owner’s manual to our new Honda Odyssey, and I… waited.  I had no idea what to expect with an induction, and the nurse explained that it’s different for everyone.  Some people deliver quickly, some take all day. My contractions came on slow, and I feared I would be in the latter camp. A little after 11am my OB checked in. As I had only progressed to 3cm, she broke my water to speed things along. My contractions became stronger and more frequent. Meanwhile, Damon was making great progress with the Honda owner’s manual.  

My nurse had offered to get me an epidural whenever I wanted it. Even though I was 100% going to get an epidural, I felt like I had to wait until I was in legit pain. Like I had to earn it. I don’t know why. That was stupid. Sometime after 12:00pm – after my contractions had reached Extremely Uncomfortable but weren’t quite Unbearable, I stopped being stupid and requested the epidural. What was I trying to prove?

A little while later the nurse anesthetist strolled in… with his student, Jesse, who would be doing the procedure. Did I mind? Um, did I mind that a newbie would be sticking a very large needle in my spine? Yes, yes I did mind, but I tried to be magnanimous. “Jesse, I have to ask. How many of these have you done?” “300,” he replied. That seemed like a high enough number that he probably wouldn’t paralyze me, so I allowed it. As far as I know, nothing disastrous happened while he administered the epidural – though it did seem to take longer than I remembered from before.

As sweet, sweet numbness overcame my lower half, I prepared to settle in for a nap until it was go time. Except my pesky heart rate monitor kept going off. What the heck? The nurse checked in on me and assured me all was well – I have a low resting heart rate to begin with, so the occasional dip was nothing of concern. Except it kept happening, and my chest felt a bit constricted. The doc came by around 2:30/2:45 to check on my progress. At that point I was about 5cm dilated, and I figured I had a few more hours to go. By that point, I was feeling really off. I told the nurse about my shortness of breath and general wooziness. She gave me oxygen, watched my heart rate for a couple minutes, and decided to call for an EKG.

Um, what? I’ve blocked out most of my past labor and delivery experiences but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to need an EKG.   

About 20 minutes later the doctor came back with the EKG – but wait! There was no time for it because baby was ready to be delivered. Like, immediately. Well that was unexpected! Four minutes of pushing later, Kate was born at 3:19pm. (And thankfully, my heart rate immediately returned to normal and all my weird symptoms disappeared.)

It all happened so fast that frankly, I was caught a little off guard. I certainly didn’t anticipate going from 5cm to having a baby in a half-hour. (Luckily, Damon had finished the owner’s manual by then. Phew!) My sweet nurse stayed on past her shift change for the delivery, which I deeply appreciated. Unfortunately, my brain is shot and I can’t remember her name. But she, and her replacement who walked in right as I was about to deliver, were both great. I’ve been very fortunate to have wonderful nurses for all three of my deliveries.

So yeah, it happened super fast and Kate was definitely my most squished and purple-y baby. I was a tad alarmed at first, but the doctor and nurses assured me it was normal. Apparently when a baby comes out that fast they don’t have time to get all the gunk squeezed out of them so Kate had to cry quite a bit to clear her lungs. But you know what – she hasn’t really cried since. She is an incredibly sweet, chill baby (knock on wood – it’s only been 2 weeks).

She’s also my littlest! At 7lbs, 1oz (rounded up!), she was a full pound lighter than Elisabeth’s birth weight. That pound is a big difference on a newborn! She’s gaining weight well but she still looks and feels tiny to me.

We stayed in the hospital two nights, returning home Thursday afternoon. Damon had to leave that Saturday morning at 4am, which of course was too soon, but he’ll be back in a few weeks. My mom has been here the entire time holding down the fort and managing the big kids.

Speaking of the big kids– they are adjusting fairly well. They are both smitten with Kate, but not so smitten with all the attention she is receiving from me. Nothing unexpected there. The first few days we were home, sweet James would only whisper around her and gently pat her head. That has passed. He is back to being a loud, rambunctious 5-year-old boy with no regard for sleeping baby (or sleeping mother.)  Elisabeth, who was initially a little disinterested in the baby, now loves to hold and sing to her, but has a hard time with boundaries. Thus far, miraculously, Kate has survived both older siblings unscathed. 

*This post was written four weeks before I published it. As of today, I have already forgotten most of the details of Kate’s birth, and only remembered them after re-reading this. Sleep deprivation is a bitch.

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So This is 30

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

So This is 30 0

Last month I turned the big 3-0. Trying to distract me from my impending physical and mental decline, my husband invited several of my oldest and dearest friends to town to “celebrate.” Here’s how the weekend went. Kim arrived first, having driven from Pennsylvania. Soon after she arrived, we had to go pick Jess and Molly at the airport. I could not remove my kids’ car seats from our Highlander, so we drove Kim’s minivan to the airport. Car seats and minivans. PARTY ON, PEOPLE! After our last guest Megan arrived, Damon passed out champagne and we got ready to hit the town. Lesson: drinking champagne while bottle-feeding your baby will elicit judgment from the babysitter. Damon dropped us girls off at a restaurant where we met another friend, Brett. Once seated we immediately complained about the noise level and squinted to read the menus. Then we played a little game called, Guess Your Server’s Age. Do not play this game if you want to keep your ego intact. You’ll think she’s your age only to discover you could be her… significantly older cousin or former babysitter. As it was not only my thirtieth, but also Megan’s and Brett’s, our barely-legal server brought us out three free desserts. I think she felt sorry for us, but no matter. Three free desserts was about the most exciting thing to happen to any of us, and also slightly dangerous. After all, our metabolisms aren’t what they used to be. In some misguided attempt to recapture our youth, we went to the bar across the street after dinner. The bartender gave us birthday shots, which were essentially sugar-water. We were all secretly thankful, because no way we can handle shots without a wicked hangover anymore. We had a spirited conversation about Beyoncé and Taylor Swift (We’re young! We know pop culture!), and then admitted we were all exhausted from kids/work/travel and needed to sleep ASAP. The next day we went downtown for brunch and massages. While discussing whether or not to order mimosas, one friend said, “Oh, I can’t. I’ll have to...

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Sleeping in Pee: The Joys of Being a New Mom

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Babies, anyone?  Engagements, weddings, babies – they seem to happen in seasons.  And if ever there was a baby season, it is now.  I know of at least 20 (probably more) women that have recently had babies or are due in the next few months.  As I’ve been a mom for almost three whole years and now have TWO children, I’m obviously an expert on all things motherhood.  But that didn’t stop me from absolutely panicking right after James was born.  There he was, this tiny baby, entirely dependent on me.  And there I was, struggling to get him to nurse, exhausted (and he was only a few hours old!) and convinced that I would not be able to do this newborn stage again – the sleepless nights, the non-stop nursing, the unexplainable crying.  Nope, couldn’t do it. That moment passed, thankfully, but I think it’s a pretty common feeling among the mommy set.  In case anyone needed a reminder, being a new mom is hard.  And scary. So I want to share a few things I’ve learned with these new moms and moms-to-be, whether they’re having their first child or third. 1)   Step away from The Google.  Seriously.  Everything you read will convince you that you’re failing as a mother or your child is dying.  Probably neither is true.  Admittedly, I need to heed my own advice here.  I recently convinced myself that my daughter was dry drowning and that my newborn son would be developmentally stunted from lack of sleep.  Get this – dry drowning is extremely rare, though the interwebs would lead you to believe otherwise.  My daughter was fine.  As for my son? Maybe he will be stunted due to lack of sleep. But I don’t need Google reminding me of that.  Neither do you.  So back away. 2)   You may only wash your hair about once a week.  Accept this and move on. 3)   Same goes for shaving your legs.  Not a problem if your baby is born in November.  But if you have a spring or summer baby, invest in maxi dresses. 4)  ...

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My Sweet Baby James

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 in It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

My Sweet Baby James 0

Labor. People say you forget about the pain of labor, or else you wouldn’t ever have more than one child. BS. I certainly didn’t forget.  Maybe I didn’t remember the exact type of pain, but I sure remembered that it hurt. A lot. And not just during labor, but after. For some reason, none of the books or blogs or classes I read or took during my first pregnancy mentioned anything about postpartum recovery. Perhaps they reasoned ignorance is bliss.  Expectant mothers: You’re in for a surprise! But I won’t ruin it for you… Anyway, armed with the knowledge of just how much pain was coming my way, I started to freak out a bit.  Especially because I know many women who are really into natural childbirth, and therefore I felt like I should be really into natural childbirth. Hey – I’m just as badass as they are! If they can do childbirth without pain medication, so can I!  But the prospect was still scary. As I approached my due date, my doctor insisted I would deliver early.*  She was wrong, but at the time her predictions forced me to face reality. Labor was coming. Pain was coming. So I psyched myself up.  I’m active! I’m strong! I do yoga and know how to breathe! I can do this! (Plus, I have no choice.)  I even got kind of zen about the whole thing. Childbirth has nothing on me! And then labor actually happened.  If you read my last blog post, you know that I spent the 36 hours before labor running around Orange County visiting various doctors, and went into labor late Thursday night. It was a restless two days, followed by a restless night of contractions.  Point is, when I did go into labor I was tired.  And a little stressed out.  All of a sudden I wasn’t so badass. At first, I just kept moving through the contractions.   Hey, this isn’t so bad! I thought to myself.  I can totally handle this.  And then the contractions started coming faster.  Like, a lot faster. Wait, hold up. I...

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The Full-Term Fall

Posted on Jun 19, 2014 in My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

The Full-Term Fall 1

Hello! I’m back! (For today at least.) Why the blogging hiatus? I had a baby.  And get this – newborns are tiring.  My newborn pretty much eats all the time, and when he’s not eating, I have a toddler that I need to pay attention to so she remembers that I love her, too.  Anyway, here’s the cutie at 5 days old:     And of course, with his adoring sister:   Now, I know a lot of pregnant women right now.  Seriously, a lot.  This blog post is for them.  I want to offer my personal experience as a guide for what not to do when you’re pregnant. Particularly at the very end of your pregnancy.  Say, the day before your due date.  Pretend you are due on a Thursday.  This guide begins Wednesday morning.  Read and learn and watch your step. 1)  Wednesday morning:  Roll your ankle and fall – hard – on your butt while you’re carrying your 34-lb toddler. 2)   Wednesday afternoon: Go to the hospital for an ultrasound and fetal monitoring.  (Note: Besides a throbbing ankle, I felt totally fine. I wasn’t even going to call my doctor and tell her about the fall, but then I got scared she would scold me the next day at my 40-week check up for not calling.  Just be aware, if you are super pregnant and you fall down, they will always make you go to the hospital for testing.) 3)   Three hours later (yup, 3 hours for me!) you will be released from the hospital.  Everything is fine.  (But hey, in that 3 hours you might get to grab a nap! Upside!) 4)   Thursday morning (the due date): Go to one of your doctor’s office locations for MORE testing. Just in case.  Everything is still fine. 5)   Thursday afternoon: Go to your doctor’s second office location for your 40-week check up. Pretend not to be bitter when the doctor says pleasantly, “I’m surprised to see you here!” This doctor will, after all, have been predicting your early delivery for the past five weeks.  LIAR! I mean…...

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Night Stalker Loses the Pacifier

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 in My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Night Stalker Loses the Pacifier 5

I had a list of things I was going to accomplish with Elisabeth once we moved back to California and before the baby came: 1)   Potty Train 2)   Transition to Toddler Bed 3)   Wean from Pacifier Then we actually got to California and I realized I was too pregnant and tired to deal with any of those things.  Sure, we put Elisabeth in the Big Girl Bed, but it has been two months and she still gets out of it unattended, and I still occasionally put her back in the crib on nights she is particularly uncooperative, or nights I am particularly exhausted and can’t handle lying with her for an hour.  I know.  My inconsistency if probably not helping the situation. And sure, Elisabeth uses the potty sometimes.  We were on a roll when I introduced itty-bitty cookies as an incentive, but then Elisabeth got over the “potty cookies” and opted to go back to the diaper.  The girl is smart – I upped my game and started using M&Ms. The “emma-emmas” were a big hit at first.  She was back on the potty.  But then one M&M per pee wasn’t enough.  “Two emma-emmas?” she would try to negotiate.  That’s when I threw in the towel.  Stay in diapers till you’re 12, for all I care!* As for getting rid of the pacifier – yeah, right.  My half-assed attempts at potty training and establishing a bedtime routine were far too draining to even think about pacifier weaning. Then I hit 34 weeks.  And I panicked.  Six weeks!  Only six weeks till baby arrived and I had accomplished nothing with Elisabeth! I had squandered a precious seven weeks and the time to buckle down was NOW. I made a plan of attack: Get rid of the pacifier first.  I was already staying with Elisabeth until she fell asleep every night, so I could provide her with whatever comfort she needed in the wake of her loss.  And it would be a great, great loss.  Once she had adjusted to sleeping without her pacifier, I would work on getting her...

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