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Monday, August 9, 2010

Audrey's Birth Story

Audrey’s Birth Story – June 6th, 2010

The day Audrey was born was the most amazing day. It did come with a little hard work and some road blocks but it was ALL VERY WORTH IT. On Friday, June 4th, I had a check up my OBGYN’s. She said that Audrey’s heart rate was perfect and then checked for progress. I was 2.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. She said that she would be very surprised if I went through the weekend and was still pregnant. I had a really hard time believing that. I didn’t want to give in to false hope. I really honestly thought I would have to drag my ass in to work on Monday, June 7th- my due date. But, I was determined to do anything I could to meet my little girl on or before that day. So, I became active. Joey and I went for a walk every chance we could. The walks didn’t last for very long as I could not walk for more than 15 minutes without becoming short of breath or having ligament pain.

Saturday, we went to this little fair they have at my old grade school with my dad, Kara, & Gage. We walked around for that a little bit and watched Gage explore the activities. After that we went back to my dads and BBQ’d some hamburgers and chatted at the table for a little bit. At about 5:40pm as we were clearing the table I suddenly felt this little trickle of liquid and I looked down and it was running down my leg. I looked up at my sister and asked, “did I just pee my pants?” and she said no I think your water is breaking. She grabbed my hand and we ran upstairs to try to get to the bathroom toilet. As I was running up the stairs and headed into the bathroom I felt an even bigger gush. I got onto the toilet right on time. Joey ran upstairs behind us and we confirmed that my water broke. He got a big grin on his face and we realized what was finally happening. We kinda had a moment where we just looked at each other with such excitement because we would soon be meeting our little princess. Yes, our moment was when I was still sitting on the toilet waiting for the trickling of water to somewhat slow down. Oh well, it was special to us. Anyway, while I was trying to clean up a bit my sister was in search of another pair of pants for me to wear. Luckily my little brother still lived with my dad at that time so I stole a pair of his basketball shorts. While all of this commotion was going on, Gage started to get really concerned about me and insisted he come into the bathroom to make sure that I was ok. He asked, “Anna, Whatcha doing?” I responded by saying, “I’m havin a baby!!”

So after I was somewhat cleaned up, Joey and I headed home so I could take a quick shower and to add the last minute things to the hospital bag. About a couple minutes into the car ride I felt my first contraction. I believe the words out of my mouth were, “Not bad!” Then about 5 minutes later another one. This time it was a little more intense. I probably had about 3 more on our 20 minute car ride home. By the time we got home my contractions were starting to get painful. I took a really short shower, Joey packed what we could, he fed the cats, and then we were off. We spent probably 10 minutes at home before we were out the door again.

The ride to the hospital was probably the longest car ride of my life. The contractions were coming about every 3 to 4 minutes and were lasting about 45 seconds to a minute. We got on 164th in Mill Creek to head to the I-5 and what do you know…TRAFFIC. Not what I wanted to see. We literally hit every red light and everyone and their mom decided to be on that road at the exact same time. I was not a happy camper. It took a normal 5 minute car ride about 25 minutes to get to the damn freeway. Once we got on I-5 it was smooth sailing until we hit south Everett….TRAFFIC AGAIN! And the contractions were getting sooooooo much more painful. We finally get off the freeway and hit every red light to the hospital. Well, we didn’t really hit red lights, Joey ran through them (safely of course). Oh well, we got there and got checked in. It was about 7pm. Then we waited for the Triage nurse to come get us. We waited for another 10 minutes. I am not exactly sure why we had to wait, it wasn’t busy. I was super annoyed when the nurse finally came and got us. We got into a bed in Triage and the nurse was super slow at getting me hooked up to the monitor. I would have like to skip the whole Triage stage all together but they wanted to confirm my water broke and monitor my contractions. Standard protocol I guess. They monitored me for a bit and confirmed that I had meconium in my water. This just means that when Audrey arrives that she goes straight to the NICU nurses that will be in the room to get her lungs suctioned so she doesn’t inhale any meconium. Anyway, after about 30 minutes (7:30pm) in Triage, I finally got to go my own private room. Once I got there, I ordered my epidural. I was originally going to wait and see how far I could go without it. HAHAHA, yea right. That didn’t work out. I got my epidural at 3 cm and it was heaven.

When the anesthesiologist came in (8pm), he became my best friend. I was so happy to see him. He was very prompt in getting everything set up and within 5 minutes I was going to get drugged. I was so excited. Well, so I thought. When he started to give me the line for my epidural in my back, I started to get a contraction. He said, “We are going to work through this contraction, you are going to need to stay still.” I started balling my eyes out. Not only did the contraction hurt like hell, I think the fact that he was poking me with a needle at the exact same time made everything SOOOO painful. I believe I said, “PAIN!!!! EVVVERRRYYWHERE!!!!!!” And then two minutes later I was in complete heaven. Numb from the waist down. I could still wiggle my toes and kind of move my legs but I could NOT feel my contractions. So, I was able to rest.

I really wanted to take a nap at this point, but I just couldn’t. I was way too excited. From about 8:15pm to about 12am I just rested. No sleep!! But how could I when I new I would meet my daughter very soon. Throughout that time the nurse came in periodically to check my progress. By about 10pm I was 6cm and started to get a fever. It was consistently over 100. They gave me meds for my fever but don’t recall what it was. At 11am, we got a good scare. Audrey’s heart rate was going down. I think it got down to 50 bmp from 150 bmp. I called the nurses station and two of them came rushing in and repositioned me. Audrey’s heart rate returned back to normal. I think I was just lying on the umbilical cord. By 12am, I was fully dilated at 10cm and still had my fever of over a 100. Audrey’s heart rate was still very strong so we decided that I would labor down and start pushing at about 1 am.

So, 1am came very quickly and I started to push. My contractions were coming about every 2-3 minutes and would last for about a minute each. So each contraction I would push for 10 seconds rest for 10 seconds…etc. By about 1:45am I could start to feel the contractions on my left side. With each contraction came more pain and less efficient pushing. So the nurse calls down the anesthesiologist and he determined that I had a one sided epidural. He also stated that the reason why it wasn’t caught earlier was because the narcotic was still in my system from when they gave me the epidural in the first place. So he moved my epidural line by 1cm and we were back in business by about 2:15am. I started pushing again while doing the same rhythm as before. By about 3am I started to get lower stomach pain to the point where I wasn’t pushing efficiently again. So the anesthesiologist came back again and adjusted my medicine. Before he did so he gave me this stupid speech of… “ya know, your mom and grandma did this all naturally.” I believe I yelled “I don’t give a shit about what they did, give me the damn drugs.” So he ignored me and spoke to Joey. At this point I don’t know what he said. I think he was explained to Joey how he was going to adjust my meds. He also said that I could push my medicine button to give me more medicine when I needed it. I told him that it was not working. I guess he was just trying to avoid upping the dosage if he didn’t really have to. But dammit he had to so he did. So by about 3:30am I was back in business and started to push again. The doctor came in at this point to check to see how I was doing. The nurse gave him the progress that I was at +1 station and needed to be at +3 station before we really needed him to come back. I still had a long ways to go and I was starting to get exhausted. By 4:30am I had this side pain and AGAIN it got so painful that I wasn’t pushing efficiently so the anesthesiologist came back. He said that it was defiantly a blind spot with my meds and that he could give me something that would temporally help but it wouldn’t help for long. I was so discouraged at this point. I felt like I was getting no where and Audrey would never arrive. Joey was really great and kept encouraging me the whole time. He was a great coach and I defiantly couldn’t have done this without him.

At 4:45 am I was pushing once more. The doctor came in at 5:30am and said that he would like for me to have this baby by 7am (the end of his shift). He stated that he would come back at 6:15am and that if I wasn’t having the baby any time soon that I would have to discuss c-section, using the vacuum, or the forceps because I have been pushing WAY to long and we need to get this baby out. Even though her heart rate was still strong, I was defiantly running out of steam. But those 3 options scared me and I all the sudden got a second wind. I pushed like a mad women. My dad and sister said they could hear me from the waiting room. I grunted and pushed so hard. At 6am the doctor and the NICU nurses arrived and prepared for birth. 15 minutes later, here came Audrey Kathleen at 6:15am. She came out blue, not breathing and the cord loosely wrapped around her neck. I was soooo scared. I said, “She isn’t breathing!!” The doctor said that it’s a good thing that she isn’t breathing because of the meconium that was in my water when it broke. The NICU nurses immediately took her and started to work their magic. They suctioned out her lungs and got her breathing. Joey was watching them work on her and he too was scared (he didn’t admit this at first) by their procedures. Once she was stabilized and breathing on her own (she of course started screaming), he reached his finger out and she immediately grasped his finger. It was the most breath taking thing to watch. I will never forget that. It was her way of saying, “I’m alright Daddy!” Joey also got to cut the rest of the cord which he really wanted to do all along. After about 45 min of working on her and getting her examinations and me delivering the placenta and getting me all stitched up (I had a 2nd degree tear…not bad) I finally got to hold her and I could not keep my eyes off her. She was (and still is) the most gorgeous little baby I had ever seen.

Audrey Kathleen Amaral- June 6th, 2010 at 6:15am – 7lbs 8oz 19.5 inches long.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

39 Weeks

BUSTED!! Naughty Kitty!!!

Your baby's crown-to-rump length at this time is approximately 14.4 inches and the total length is approximately 21.5 inches. The average baby weighs a little more than 7 pounds now and is preparing for birth. You are probably as big as you are going to get and may be uncomfortable now. Most women gain between 25 and 35 pounds during their pregnancy. Your uterus is about 7-8 inches above your bellybutton now.

Although your baby continues to grow and develop inside of your uterus, there is not much room for her to move about. All of your baby's organ systems are now complete and the lungs were the last to fully mature.

Most of the lanugo on your baby should be gone by now. Your baby still may have some on her shoulders and in the creases of her body. Your baby's toenails have reached the end of her toes. The umbilical cord is about a half inch thick and may be wrapped around her. The umbilical cord still supplies the baby with nutrients that she needs. After delivery, your baby's umbilical cord will be clamped and cut. After it is cut, she will be an independent human being and must perform all of his body functions on his own. Your baby will get antibodies from your body that give his immune system a boost.

39 weeks and I am more uncomfortable as ever. I am trying not to let the uncomfortableness out weight my excitedness to welcome her. I just want her out. I am so ready and Joey is too. And yes people, I am still at work. I have had about 10 "still here?" & "hanging in there?" comments by noon today. I plan on going the distance and will not leave work until my doc will confirm I can't go. That will probably be when Audrey arrives. I have a schedule on how I want to use my Maternity leave and I want to save it ALL for after she comes.

Each and every day I have random strangers try to strike up a converstaion with me even though I try not to make eye contact to avoid said conversation (usually in the bus waiting line). Don't get me wrong, at first it was ok. Now its really starting to get annoying (I am probably more irritable too) because I answer the same questions EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I am seriously thinking about creating business cards with all the answers to thier questions:
"When are you due?", "do you know if it is a boy or a girl", "do you have a name picked out," "are you taking time off work before?", "are you ready," "is this your 1st?"....and the list goes on and on. I just want to be able to pull out the card with the answers to all of their questions, hand it to them, then go about my day. OK, so that may be rude so I won't do it. But latley, I have made sure I have my headphones on (even if I am not listening to any music, seriously) and that has done the trick so far. People don't try to talk to you when they think you are listening to music.

Anyway, I had a doc appt on friday. I am 1.5cm dialated and 70% effaced. The doc said at least its something since last week there was nothing what so ever. BUT, she didn't give me an estimate as to when I could go into labor. She said it still could be a week or two (they will let me go to 41 weeks before getting induced). Lets hope its within the next week. But Audrey is doing good and we are both still healthy.

Audrey, mommy and daddy are waiting anxiously for your arrival and would love to meet you and snuggle with you. You can come now please :-)

How far along?: 39 weeks
Total weight gain: 38 lbs - not to shabby
How much does baby weigh?: 6-7 lbs
Maternity clothes?: yup
Stretch marks?: still have the few on my lower belly- no new ones though
Sleep?: the two hr intervals have gone down to about 1 hr intervals
Best moment this week?: knowing that I am making SOME progress
Movement?: yes, she tries to stretch- not much room though
Food cravings?: root beer - wierd? yea I thought the same thing too.
Labor signs?: a few contractions here and there but nothin to get excited about
Belly button in or out?: In- but I am bugged out about my belly button ring hole. It is sooooooo stretched out, it looks really funny
What I miss: nothing
What I'm looking forward to: meeting our little gem
Milestone: 39 weeks and the fact that we are VERY prepared for her arrival.

Monday, May 24, 2010

38 Weeks

Your baby continues to grow this week and weighs about 6 to 6.8 pounds. Her crown-to-rump length is still about 14 inches and total length is around 20-21 inches. Most women do not grow any larger during the last few weeks of their pregnancy. From the top of your uterus to your bellybutton is about 6.5 to 7 inches. You may be very uncomfortable now-you are almost there!

Just before real labor contractions start, you might notice false labor contractions. These should not be confused with Braxton-Hicks contractions. False labor contractions can be as strong as real labor contractions, but do not get closer and may go away if you get up to walk around. Contractions help dilate the cervix and encourage your water to break. Your baby could be born any day now, but only 5% of mothers deliver on their actual due date!

Over the last few weeks of pregnancy, your baby has been building up waste materials in the intestines. This waste material is known as meconium and is greenish-black in color. Meconium is made up of cells that your baby has shed, lanugo and other substances. Meconium is the first waste that your baby will pass after birth. However, sometimes babies pass meconium before delivery and are delivered with greenish-black waste covering their body. Special care must be taken when a baby passes meconium in the womb.

The baby's skull is not fully solid as the five bony plates, known as fontanels (little fountains), are still separate and can be pushed together. Birth may mold and elongate the fetal head, a safety precaution to reduce the skull's diameter for an easier birth, without damaging the fetal brain. After delivery, the baby's head returns to a rounded shape. Eyes have no tear ducts yet, they appear a few weeks after birth.

38 Weeks and we are totally ready. Car seat is installed, hospital bags are packed and Friday Joey and I went on a shopping spree and got everything we still needed for when Audrey comes. We even bought a video camera. Now its just a waiting game. I have had no labor signs and the doc didn't check for progress on friday because of the fact that I haven't had any contractions. Audrey is content in there so we are patiently waiting for some sort of action. I am really hoping that she decides to come before I hit the 41 week mark. But her parents are two stubborn people so she just might have that characterisitc already and make us wait longer than we want to. We will see.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

37 Weeks = FULL TERM!!!

You are considered full-term now and your baby's final touches are being made. The crown-to-rump length of your baby is now 14 inches and the total length is around 21 inches. Your baby weighs approximately 6.5 pounds. Your uterus may be measuring about the same as it has been and is probably about 6.5 inches from the top of your bellybutton.

This week your baby should engage into your pelvis. If this is not your first pregnancy, it may happen later. When your baby engages, his head drops down into your pelvis and you might feel a slight sensation called `lightening` as the pressure on your ribs eases. As your baby drops into the final position for delivery, you may experience a buzzing feeling and shooting pains in your groin and leg. Normally, you will be able to breathe and eat easier. However, your uterus pushes down harder on your bladder and you will have an increased urge to urinate more frequently. Even if your baby engages now, you still possibly feel his feet in your breastbone around week 40.

Your baby is now fully mature and ready to be born. However, your baby is still growing and developing every day. Fat is still being laid down at a rate of a half ounce a day. If this is your first pregnancy, you can expect to deliver closer to 40 weeks or shortly thereafter. If this is not your first baby, you might go earlier than 40 weeks!

Your doctor may begin doing weekly pelvic exams to evaluate your cervical changes and progression. Your healthcare provider will make sure that you are not leaking amniotic fluid and will also examine your cervix to check for effacement and dilation. Before labor, your cervix is thick and 0% effaced. During labor your cervix thins out and right before delivery it will become very soft and 100% effaced.

Research shows your baby can be affected by stress hormones. Make time to relax, to have fun, and to rest.

Your baby has learned to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing so it can do all three after birth. Babies practice shallow breathing before birth, using amniotic fluid.

At my last two appts the doc said that she is definatly head down which is a plus. On friday I was checked for progress and so far there is none. I am a bit thinned out but that is about it. She is still a mover and a shaker and her heart rate continues to be around 140bmp. I haven't had any real contractions but I can now notice the braxton hicks contractions. Soooo I guess thats a start. I have a feeling she will be in there for a while longer but she will be evicted at 41 weeks and no later. I really hope she decides to come before that. Joey and I are very anxious and we just want her here already. I have told her every day for the last week that she can make her arrival at any time. We will see.

I think we pretty much have everything we need. Joey and I will go make a babies r us run on Friday to get some odds and ends. She will be here sooooo soon. WOW!!

How far along?: 37 weeks
Total weight gain: 35/36 ish
How much does baby weigh?: 6 to 6.5
Maternity clothes?: yes- My maternity jeans are no longer comfortable to wear so they have been retired. I found a cute pair of capris at target on saturday so those are the substitute
Stretch marks?: yes, the few on my lower belly are still there- no new ones though
Sleep?: define sleep............
Best moment this week?: making it to full term- Joey and I are both premies (7 weeks early) so making it to full term and ensuring that she is a good size and has a reduced chance of spending time in the NICU.
Movement?: Yes, sometimes I think she is trying to find a different way out
Food cravings?: I really want a homemade brownie made from scratch- that might just have to be my task for the weekend
Labor signs?: nope
Belly button in or out?: in
What I miss: I would be lying if I didn't say sleep
What I'm looking forward to: For her to be here already!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

36 Weeks

By this week of pregnancy your baby's crown-to-rump length reaches about 13.5 inches and the total length is approximately 20.7 inches. Your baby weighs about 6 pounds now. The top of your uterus has moved further up under your ribs and is about 5.5 inches above your bellybutton. Your uterus has grown a lot in the past few weeks as your baby has gained weight. You may have gained about 30 pounds by now and it is common for your weight to stay about the same from this point onwards.

Because the top of the uterus is high as it will be, breathing may be getting very uncomfortable at times. You might notice jabbing pains from your baby's kicks. However, within the next few weeks, your baby will drop into the birth canal and this will make breathing easier again. Most doctors like to see their patients weekly from now on to check for labor progression.

Your baby's face has filled out significantly and looks smooth and plump. Because your baby has powerful sucking muscles and has had layers of fat forming for quite some time now, the cheeks have filled out like a newborn's. Your baby's skull is firm, but not hard. Every baby's head has the ability to give slightly so that there is room for her to fit down the birth canal during delivery. Some babies are born with cone shaped heads from the pressure of delivery, but this will go away after delivery. The amount of amniotic fluid is at its maximum amount now and your baby may not be moving as much as she had been. As long as you still feel her movements every day, there should be no cause for concern.

I am very tired and sluggish today so I am just gonna go with the survey:

How far along?: 36 Weeks
Total weight gain: 34 pounds
How much does baby weigh?: around 6 lbs
Maternity clothes?: yes
Stretch marks?: I have discovered a few small faint ones on the under belly. and suprisingly I am ok with it.
Sleep?: no comment
Best moment this week?: Joey giving me "Happy Mothers Day to be" flowers
Movement?: yes- all the time
Food cravings?: not really.
Labor signs?: I am starting to feel some braxton hicks contractions so at least my body is practicing
Belly button in or out?: in
What I miss: I would be lying if I didn't say sleep
What I'm looking forward to: For her to actually be here! 4 more weeks seems so close yet so far away
Milestone: making it to 36 weeks without any major complications - knock on wood.

Monday, May 3, 2010

35 Weeks

Your baby now weighs over 5.5 pounds and its crown-to-rump length is approximately 13.2 inches. Your baby's total length is around 20.25 inches at this point.

This week of your pregnancy your baby's fingernails will have definitely reached the tips of his fingers. When your baby is born, his nails may look long and pointy. Your baby is less likely to scratch himself at this point because of the lack of room in the uterus. Fat deposition will still continue and your baby is getting chubbier and rounder. Your baby's shoulders are plump at this point.

The baby begins to develop its own immune system.

Joey and I had a great weekend. We took maternity phones on Friday and they turned out really well. We get them back on Saturday. It will be hard to decide which ones will get framed. They are all really good.

We had our first childbirth prep class on Saturday. It was just ok. I have pretty much read about everything that they covered so I was not surprised by any of it. This Saturday they will go over complications and misc stuff so that might be a little more informational.We'll see.

And Sunday was my baby shower! I had such a great time and it was great to see everyone. We played fun games and Audrey got TONS of stuff. Lots of necessities and lots of clothes. She is going to be one well dressed child. Everyone definatly spoiled her with all of their generous gifts. Joey and I are very greatful. Since I was the one who opened the gifts, Joey went through everything at home and put things away. He was like a little child on christmas with everything he saw. He was very excited. We kinda put things away and started to get the room in order. BUT we still need to find a place for a few things and organize a bit. We also need to get a couple more essentials but all in all we are pretty much ready for Audrey to arrive. Yea!!

Next up is my work baby shower this Wednesday, prenatal appt on friday and childbirth prep class on Saturday and hosptal tour next saturday. And a little more shopping in between. And maybe I'll try to rest...but we will see about that.

Monday, April 26, 2010

34 Weeks

Your baby's crown-to-rump length this week is approximately 12.8 inches and the total length is around 19.8 inches at this time. Your baby now weighs almost 5 pounds.

Braxton-Hicks contractions are going to get stronger and more frequent within the next few weeks. Braxton-Hicks contractions feel like a tightening at the top of your uterus that spreads down and then relaxes. Many women mistake Braxton-Hicks contractions for true labor contractions, but this is rarely the case. Braxton-Hicks contractions will diminish if you get up and walk around and they should not be painful.

Your baby's hair continues to get longer and thicker. Your baby's hair color probably is not going to be the same color from birth onwards, so you should expect it to change in color. Your baby is shedding most of lanugo, but the amount of vernix caseosa is increasing. Your baby is taking calcium from you to lay down lots of bone. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins and drink milk to ensure that you receive enough calcium.

If you were to deliver your baby now, it would probably be called a pre-term infant instead of premature. The only difference is in the maturity, particularly lung maturity. A pre-term baby is less likely to need intensive care because its lungs have developed.

The baby now rests on your uterus and is no longer floating.

Fingernails now reach over the finger tips and the baby can scratch itself.

Upcoming baby events:
Friday- Maternity photos
Saturday - 1st Child birth prep class
Sunday- BABY SHOWER!!!
Next Friday- meet with possible peditrition & a prenatal check up-the start of weekly check ups!!
Next Saturday- 2nd child birth prep class
May 15th - Hospital Tour

In between all that we will be doing some MAJOR shopping to get all the odds and ends that we will need. Almost ready!

How far along?: 34 Weeks
Total weight gain: 32 pounds - not to shabby if I do say so myself
How much does baby weigh?: around 5 pounds
Maternity clothes?: Yes- I caved and bought two more shirts
Stretch marks?: Still none on the tummy- just my boobs
Sleep?: huh?? What???
Best moment this week?: my awesome pedicure as a treat from Erin- felt sooo good
Movement?: yes- yesterday I watched her move from the middle of my belly to the right side and I took a picture. That was the most lop-sided I have ever seen it
Food cravings?: sweets....sweets....and more sweets. Its the only thing that sounds good.
Labor signs?: nope- I still don't know what braxtion hicks contractions feel like
Belly button in or out?: in
What I miss: sleep but its ok. I manage
What I'm looking forward to: Maternity photos & my baby showers!!!
Milestone: 34 weeks is a pretty good one considering that both Joey and I were born 6.5/7 weeks early.