My Birth Story

As related to me by my mother over the phone yesterday.

According to my mother, and why would she fib? Both my brother and I were born almost exactly two weeks early. It’s her premonition that it therefore means that Tucker will likely be born two weeks early. That’s THIS Friday people! I told her that’s not necessarily the case…this new mom was a week late even though HER mother was sure she’d have the baby three days early like she did.

So, here’s the short version:

Wednesday, December 17, 1980: The scheduled doctor’s appoint went fine. After an internal exam, my mom was told that she could have me at anytime: like sometime the following week. My mom mentioned that she’d been experiencing some light cramping, but was reassured that that was normal and just “false labor.” My mom went on her way, thinking I’d be arriving sometime closer to Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 1980: Some time around 6 in the morning, my mother awoke with severe cramping. After a visit to the bathroom, she was actually unsure whether her water had broken–it never seemed to break after this bathroom break. About two hours later, she and my dad finally went to the hospital: Washoe Medical Center in Reno. Now, yesterday she said that my dad wasn’t with her the entire time; I’m not sure where he’d gone to, but he did make it back to see her through my birth. When they arrived at the hospital, my mom was dilated to 4cm. This was around 8/8:30 in the morning. By 9:45 or so she was at 10cm and ready to push. I was born at 10:11am that Thursday; exactly one week before Christmas.

Circa December/January 1980/81

Before we got off the phone, my mother’s wish for me was that regardless of when (either this Friday or two + weeks from Friday) Tucker is born, that I am graced with the super short labor and delivery she had with me and apparently my brother. “Because I’m not going to lie; it REALLY hurts” she said. I’m all for quick and easy.


Flashback_April 2012

Jason and I had our wedding in April. We’re big on memorable (or remember-able) dates, so we had chosen 4.8.12 as our wedding date. We selected this date back in 2011, pretty soon after we were engaged. We were also in Korea at the time, and as such, had no idea that April 8th was Easter.

Of course, this didn’t matter to us because we were planning a non-denominational wedding with a smattering of Jewish influence. What did matter, though, was Easter usually falls smack in the middle of Passover. Passover means matzoh and no leavening. Oops. Our wedding cakes were loaded with leavening. As were the rolls that went with the luncheon. My mother and other Jewish family members were troopers and forewent that bit of tradition for us that day.

But, the day went well and everyone was beautiful. At the end of the day, it was just me and Jason, my hair full of bobby pins, a cart full of wedding gifts, and happy memories.

Bubbles and Kisses
A Toast
Dancin’ With My Momma

We just got our wedding album finished and in our hot little hands on Friday. Yes, it did take that long. I’m not over the moon about it, but it’s nice to have everything (but the credit card) done that relates to the wedding. Yesterday I spent a good 4+ hours uploading them all to our photo site. I also added the retouched album photos to Facebook.

In The Mood

My body has decided, or DID decide, that last night would be a great time to practice having contractions. According to sites like the bump and baby center, I’ve been having practice contractions since about 6 weeks. They go unnoticed for much of pregnancy. In the last few weeks, I had been having what I assumed were Braxton Hicks contractions; I felt a definite stretch along the top of my uterus. The only thing with these, was I couldn’t be 100% that they were even real. They occurred at night, as I was rolling over from one side to the other. I wasn’t sure if I had dreamed them or if I actually felt it. This mainly being due to my ability to fall back to sleep almost instantly upon repositioning. My brain never had the time to really think about it for too long.

When I told my doctor about them two weeks ago, he was amused and said they could be Braxton Hicks, because they were in the right place. But the fact that I wasn’t sure that I actually had had them, made him a little skeptical. After the LOVELY internal exam two weeks ago and my lack of any pre-laboring, we decided an internal wasn’t necessary this past Friday when we saw the doc again.

Friday’s appointment did bring a bit of a pucker moment for Jason when the doctor told us that being as how we’re now beyond 36 weeks, if I go into labor, they won’t stop it. That’s right, from here on out, the Tucker time bomb is just waiting to go off.

This brings me to last night. I spent most of the day doing nothing in particular. I felt good yesterday morning for a change, and went for a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood. Being that I work from home, I took the rest of my morning to catch up on some stuff for work. I did some dishes, and got the laundry together so I could start on that today. But for the most part, I watched a few shows on TV which had been preceded by a nap before dinner. Around midnight-thirty, I had Jason draw a bath and soaked for a while before bed.

We’re hot people. We’ve had the swamp-coolers running since about May, and only recently (like in the last few days) started to turn it off for most, if not all of the day. Needless to say, after my bath I was a bit overheated. I eventually cooled down and we fell asleep soon after.

Fast-forward a few hours. I go to turn over and holy crap. I mean; HOLY CRAP. Now, I know that this was nothing like what I’ll be experiencing when I am actually IN labor, but HOLY CRAP. I was practically paralyzed. I couldn’t move because the pain was so intense. And it wasn’t THAT intense. It’s just not what you anticipate feeling at 2-3 in the morning. Yup, right across the top of my uterus, a pain I’d never ever felt. I’m sitting there, trying to hold my self up on one elbow, breathing deeply through the pain. My other arm flails about, trying to wake up Jason. I don’t know what is going on, but if I’m going into labor, I thought to my self, his butt needs to be awake.

He wakes with a start. And I tell him, quite clearly “I’m having a THING! It hurts!” and then after the pain dulled a little a few moments later “I don’t know if I need to go to the bathroom or throw up.” At which point, I haul myself to the bathroom to 1. make sure my water hadn’t broken, and 2. generally change positions. By the time I get back to bed (no more than 5 minutes later), Jason is back asleep and snoring.

The rest of the night was passed without incident, but I couldn’t help but think back to parts of a conversation Jason and I had had earlier in the day. Pretty much both of us commenting of the doctor’s statement about not stopping labor now, and how we hope like mad we make it to payday (next Thursday) so we can finish preparing for not only having a baby in the house, but having a baby in the hospital.

On that note, I leave you with a montage of our crib-building adventure from late last week.

Preggo Girl’s WIAW #9

Today’s WIAW focuses on Fall… Fall Flavors.

As many of you may know, I have been looking forward to the flavors of fall for about a month. Starbucks brought back their Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Salted Caramel Mochas last week. After last week’s OB appointment, we made a special trip just so I could get a Pumpkin Spice Latte. When we were in Korea, they didn’t even have them, so when we moved back last year, I jumped at almost every opportunity to get one. And I discovered Salted Caramel Mochas last year as well. HOLY COW. So. Good.

Anyhow, this month’s WIAW focus is fall and “falling into good habits.”

So here is my contribution to the fall theme. A warm batch of pumpkin pancakes for brunch today. I found the recipe here, and changed just a few things: I used 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice instead of the allspice + cinnamon + ginger; I used 1% milk instead of buttermilk (although buttermilk is easy to fake with equal parts milk and plain yogurt if you want, I just didn’t have any yogurt), and I ran out of vanilla several baking adventures ago.

The batter is SUPER thick and as such, we have half a batch now sitting in the freezer. And I still have half a can (about 2/3 cup) of the pumpkin puree, so I’m thinking pumpkin scones or pumpkin cookies in the near future.

Isn’t This Just Swell?

When a woman becomes pregnant, there are certain things she expects: morning sickness, swollen feet, growing belly, achy back. Some women “glow” while others are cursed with wretched skin (dry skin becomes oily, or oily skin goes dry, or even worse: dry gets dryer/oily gets oilier) and breakouts. Some women get splotches on their face, and others grow hair where they wish they wouldn’t. These are the unexpected…ailments of pregnancy.

For me, I’ve had some doozies. One that I keep talking about here is the carpal tunnel. Because of the more localized swelling in my right arm, wrist, and hand, there is an increased amount of pressure on my nerves. This has resulted in irritating finger numbness in my thumb (at first) and my second two fingers. I was looking at and comparing my two hands the day before last. My right hand is about 1.5 times bigger than my left. Not that my left hand has escaped any sort of swelling though. I had to take off my rings months ago, and even my husband’s wedding band is now about the right size. Thankfully, it’s not quite so small as to fit me.

And we all expected my feet and ankles to swell, and while I’ve seen and heard of other poor women having exceptionally swollen lower limbs, they seem to be able to alleviate the swelling a whole lot better than I can. My feet have moments of decreased swelling, but days and days where they are puffier than the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  And even when they are less swollen than what has become the norm for me, flexing my feet seems to pull some nerve/ligament on the side of my heel on either foot, and pointing really bothers the nerves/ligaments enveloping my big toe on my left foot.

I got stretch marks mid-second trimester and the lovely, though not as spectacularly pronounced as I’ve seen in pictures, linea nigra around about month 5 (or so… I don’t really recall when, I just know it’s been there a long time).

Probably the weirdest and most unexpected ailment of this pregnancy has been my swollen uvula. You know, that teardrop-shaped bit of skin in the back of your throat. It’s longer and fatter than it’s ever been; even through strep throat and tonsillitis. When I drink, it drags along the back of my mouth where my tongue and throat meet. It’s the oddest sensation. It also makes for heightened gag reflexes.

**Question: What odd, unexpected things did/have/are you experienced/experiencing in your pregnancy(ies)?**

Chuggin’ Along

We are now at that point where visiting the OB is an every week event. After my first internal exam since week 10, I’m actually happy to report that we are not ready at all. Tucker is by no means ready, and apparently, neither is my cervix. While the doc says the Tuckleberry would be just fine if he were born today, a week-long stint in the NICU would be likely. So everyone is just fine with him chillin’ out and continuing to bake. Although I would really like to have the feeling back in my fingers (numbness is not just in the tips anymore, sadly).

After the visit this morning, we stopped by the birthing center’s admission’s desk to early-register. When we’d gone on the hospital tour, we were told we could register early, but I was still in my second trimester and didn’t think we could do so THAT early. Apparently we could have. So as of today, the hospital has all my information, as well as signed medical releases for myself and Tucker.

And in the spirit of being prepared, I called our insurance broker (left a message) so we could get the ball rolling on getting Tucker his own insurance. He will be on the same plan I have for his first 30 days, then we (Tucker and I) will go back onto Jason’s. It’s a big process, but it’s the only way we can get maternity coverage in our state. I know some states have nothing for individual policy holders, and we’re lucky that New Mexico has this program. Barring any complications, delivering a baby the old-fashioned way is about $3K (if I wanted an epidural it goes up $650) and a C-section is about $5K. Extra meds, the necessity of induction, or any complications and we could be looking at well over $30K. With my insurance now, I am about half way to my out-of-pocket limit, at which point they pay 100%. So, for now, we’re sitting pretty with a $670 baby. This is the estimate we got when we registered. I had lab work done today, so that number will be lower by the time we’re actually billed.

The other thing I need to get in order is more of the legal stuff. We don’t have a lawyer, but we do need to figure out guardianship for Tucker should something devastating happen to Jason and me. We haven’t really talked a whole lot about it, but it’s something we’ve touched on. It’s also something we should figure out ASAP. This also means I need to contact our life insurance broker and ask about beneficiaries if both Jason and I pass at the same time. Very morbid to think about, I know, but it’s got to be done.

On a more cheerful note, we get to have a complimentary photo session with the baby once he’s here. So we’ll have his very first professional photos before he’s 48 hours old. This is something our hospital offers which is pretty cool. Way better than one of those t-shirts that says something like: I went through labor for 30 hours and all I got was this t-shirt (and a baby).

34 Weeks–1.5 more months

In less than six weeks (supposedly) our little man will be here.

As you can see, he’s pretty much ready to be here… or I am ready for him to be here.

A little black & white for that retro feel.

And in true geek-chic fashion, I was sporting my Doctor Who shirt. Technically it’s Jason’s, but it makes more sense if I’m wearing it.

Yes, yes I am your mummy.

We just got back from our favorite baby store, an awesome used/consignment clothing and baby gear shop a few blocks down the road from us, and I’m excited to report that we FINALLY got a bassinet! Pictures are yet to come… I want to wash the fabric first. But the plan is to have Tucker in the bassinet in our bedroom with us for a while, especially for the first few months.

Two Ups, Two Downs

Two Ups

1. All the baby furniture has been bought and paid for. Now we’re playing the waiting game for the last piece to come in and everything to be shipped out from Kentucky. Fingers crossed it only takes two weeks.

2. We’ve decided to make the über investment and go the cloth diaper route. We decided on this brand to start with. The starter kit comes with a toilet attachment for easy rinsing. So helpful. Of course, I’ll be breastfeeding and according to the pros, breastfed babies’ cloth diapers don’t necessarily need to be rinsed. Just toss into the machine. We’ll see.

Two Downs

1. Carpal tunnel has taken another finger hostage. Now, my thumb, index finger, and middle finger are all enduring some degree of numbness. The doc says that there’s really nothing to be done… except deliver the baby. I just need to be careful when holding things so I don’t spill hot coffee/tea on myself or drop a plate.

2. I’ve been enjoying the hot hot summer. This means super swollen ankles and feet. Read: sarcasm.