End of the Tunnel

**Editor’s note: I wrote this on the 10th and 11th, before going into labor and having my son.**

No pun intended… but we can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re just hoping baby Tucker sees it soon, too!

I wanted to post one final belly pic, on account of my  not having posted one in about 5 weeks! Oops! It’s just been too dang hot that by the time we get home from the weekly OB appointments, I’m only halfway down the hall before I am peeling off the “leaving the house clothes” and getting back into my PJs. Working from home has some serious perks, let me tell ya.

I’ll post a side-by-side of the last two belly picks. It’s insane how much of a difference 5 weeks makes! When I was posting every other week, I really had a hard time seeing a big difference. And I definitely didn’t feel like I was growing; even though I could SEE it when I looked down and the OB would measure my fundus at a centimeter ahead of my week for nearly all our visits.

35 Weeks
40 Weeks

In those five weeks, we’ve been busy busy. I already shared our crib-building adventure. But afterward, Jason proceeded to paint the baby room. We’d decided on the color scheme months ago. We wanted a two-tone room. It would also be the very first room to be painted in our “new” house. Yes, we’ve been here eleven months and have only just painted a single room. But we had good reason: wedding, pregnancy…

We found all our paint and supplies at the Home Depot. Our colors: Millstream & Minted Lemon. The furniture was purchased with the help of many of our friends and family via my in-law’s store. We chose the Annabelle collection in espresso. The only pieces that weren’t bought from their store were the rocking chair (a yard sale find) and the freshly painted (in Minted Lemon) armoire we brought back from Seoul.

When Jason was in college, he worked for a time as an assistant painter. This, combined with the fact that we’re both a little OCD, made him an amazing baby-room painter. His precision with the paint brush allowed us to save on unnecessary painting tools like edgers. He did it all by eye.

The room was finished a week or so ago, and this past weekend we moved on to the final item for the baby room. The armoire. I was excited because I really felt I could help… help by painting the knobs and feet. But, in the end, I was wiping off green paint and watching Jason do a much better job. Maybe he’ll let me paint larger things like the walls with a paint roller when we get to our multi-tonal living room sometime early next year.

The rug, Radio Flyer rocket, and wooden educational toy were all purchased second-hand. The rug and rocket were bought from this local organization and the wood toy was bought (after a bit of haggling) at a yard sale. The baby bouncer was a gift from my cousin and his wife (don’t you love how it works with the color scheme?). Our bedding is from Babies R Us and was given to us by my aunt and uncle and their family at the baby shower (it was a registry item). We used a 15% off coupon from Babies R Us to get a few other things off the registry: the lamp and changing pad cover that matches the bedding, as well as the Twilight Turtle and a cute pack of swaddling blankets (to be showcased on the baby in our next post!

The only thing we had left to do in the room was stock the drawers with all the fun clothes we’ve been given and have bought over the last several months. The longer dresser is diaper central, and contains things like wipes and diapers, receiving and swaddling blankets, as well as toys and pacifiers the baby won’t get to use for a while. Since the closet is chock full of stuffed animals, the armoire is home to all the little button down shirts and overalls we’ve collected. It will probably function as storage for off season clothing.

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Sweet Tuckleberry

I had planned on posting a nice long blog about the DIY project that was the baby room. However, before I could insert the many pictures, guess what happened?

Water broke!

So on Thursday afternoon, Jason and I headed to our doc and subsequent to that were admitted to the Labor & Delivery department of the hospital.

Mere moments after feeling the water break, I discovered a greenish tinge to it, so the emergency call to the doc was made and within the hour I was having 30-40 second contractions every 2.5-3 minutes!

At 4:30 my doc checked me out at 3cm.

By the time I had the on call OB in the hospital check me, about an hour later, I was 5-6 cm. I labored in the bed and in the tub. After vomiting and a series of coughing fits which resulted in more vomiting, it had been nearly 12 hours and still no baby.

At the 12 hour mark, I was fully dilated, but at 0 station. Baby wasn’t going to be traveling through the normal route to get to us. With each attempted push, his heart rate declined, and so we all agreed that a c-section would be the way to go.

I’m not that upset about needing to go that route. I had wanted a regular, vaginal delivery, but my baby getting delivered safely was more important.

After the whole thing (which I was awake for), our OB said that he was actually positioned in such a precarious way, that vaginal delivery was pretty much off the table anyway. We had made the right choice.

Tucker’s 1st day

Unfortunately, with that green tinge to my broken water, came the reality that Tucker had already had his first poo, and as a result, inadvertently ingested some of it. This meant that he wouldn’t be spending his first nights in my room, but in the NICU.

Tucker’s 2nd day

 

It has been a big trial for us. I’ve been working on using a breast pump the last two days (they all kind of merge together here). I am happy to report that we were able to get a good latch this afternoon. All of his wires had been taken away over the course of the evening, and this morning, his doctor said I could try nursing him. He latched for a solid 4-5 minutes. Formula was given after that so he could eat some real food since my milk hasn’t come in yet.

Tucker’s 3rd day

So, today he’s off the O2, IV, and antibiotics. We’re just waiting to get the OK from his doc that we can take him home with us tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Week 38 = Bi-annual McDonalds Visit

So, ever since Micky D’s brought back their monopoly game and shows their evil chicken nuggets on my 55 inch television, I’ve been hankering for some.

Jason and I had an impromptu OB visit this afternoon, after which we headed back to our neck of the woods and the MacDo that is to be found there. The last time we even went to McDonald’s was probably just after I learned I was preggers, back in February. So, it was time. Of course now I’m kicking myself, but sometimes you just have to give into those cravings. Even at 38 weeks when you’re not supposed to have cravings anymore.

For fun; A list of things I craved while pregnant:

Grape flavored anything (especially bubble yum)

Chicken nuggets

MEXICAN FOOD (including but not limited to gallons of salsa)

Super sharp cheddar

Rice crackers

Soy nuts

Coconut water

 

And for that holy moly moment:

 

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.

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.

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).