Thursday, October 26, 2006

Our First Week and a Half

Sorry for the lack of posts, but this has been a very busy week and a half! Here are some basic details in no particular order:

  • We came home from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon (10/17)
  • I feel fine, and haven't had many adverse effects from the delivery, other than the general stuff. I am within 2 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight as of this morning, but still have a mushy stomach. Very attractive.
  • Adam went back to work on Wednesday (10/18). Despite his best intentions to get home early, the vortex of corporate America has sucked him back in! I feel bad for him that I get to see Henry all day, and he doesn't get as much time. Luckily the weekend is coming and he will have more time. I am also looking forward to a little break/help.
  • Grandma Karen stayed with us Wednesday - Saturday. As expected, she was a huge help. Adam thinks she should teach baby care classes (isn't he the little suck up).
  • Aunt Heather, Cousins Madeline and Kate came down from Boston on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
  • We have had lots of other visitors from work and from our families.
  • We have received so many wonderful and generous gifts, we are truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that little Henry is receiving! I especially love some of the food gifts that have been arriving from some of Adam's business associates. We got two huge tins of cookies yesterday that I have been munching my way through. I rearrange them after so Adam doesn't see how many I have eaten. He is like the sugar police.
  • Henry is such a good baby. He barely cries, and sleeps pretty well. He loves his Amby Hammock. He sleeps in it for most of his naps and for part of the night. For the other part, he usually sleeps with us. Usually on my chest.
  • Henry likes to eat so much he has a blister on his upper lip. He generally eats every 2 1/2 hours around the clock, for 30 minutes each time. Today, he has been eating almost hourly. The boy is killing me. Enough said.
  • I swear the boy goes through 20 diapers a day. There is nothing wrong with his digestive system, that is for sure.
  • We have seen our new Pediatrician twice, and really like her. He is going back on Wednesday (11/1) for his two week check up.
  • His eyes are oozing some sort of gook, which she thinks is a blocked tear duct. She doesn't have us doing anything other than wiping it with a wet wash cloth. If it isn't gone by his next visit, I will ask her what plan B is.
  • We have been on a few walks and to the doctor, but that has been the extent of our outings. He hates being strapped into anything, and screams whenever I put him in the stroller or car seat. And the sling. And the bouncy seat. He liked the Baby Bjorn for a day or so, but is not all that fond of that now either. He pretty much is either sleeping or I am carrying him. He will sit in the Boppy for a few minutes at a time. I am learning how to do things with one hand. I don't want to get into the habit of laying him on the couch since he can roll from his back to his side already, which I find to be very bizarre.
  • We did four loads (not all of it was Henry's) of laundry yesterday, which was an experience. Either I don't know how to put on a diaper or Pampers Swaddlers hold about a tablespoon of liquid. And he pees 1/4 cup. He wets through his diaper about 4 times per day. I change him before every feeding, and other times during the day, so I can't figure what I am doing wrong. I have had multiple people check my diapering technique, and no one can find anything wrong. We might be moving onto new diapers soon, but I still have a bunch of these left.
  • Henry decided to make his protest about the Baby Bjorn while I was trying to get the clothing out of the dryer. It is not an easy task to get all of this laundry into a bag and then into a cart holding a screaming baby. So, I put a nest of towels in one of the rolling laundry carts and he took a little nap in there while I finished. It was actually very cute. My co-op board is also in possession of a nice video of me breastfeeding in the laundry room. Give them a little skin to look at while looking at boring security videotape.
  • He has about 100 different faces that he makes. Some of his best ones are while he is nursing. My favorite is when he tries to latch on himself and has this very confident/cocky look on his face. He is always about 2 inches from his target, since his vision is still not that great. It is very funny to watch. But, he never loses his confident look. Or, when he swings his head around with his mouth wide open. He looks like Ray Charles does when he is singing.
  • We still look at each other at night and are still in shock that we have a baby. Totally bizarre that he wasn't here one day, and was the next. I am loving sleeping on my back again, and I forgot how comfortable the Tempurpedic was.

That's all there is for now. I need to straighten up the apartment a little bit. Hurricane Henry was quite active today.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Henry's Birth Story

After a few bouts of false labor, I woke on the morning of October 14th just knowing that this day was different. I had some cramping that developed into minor contractions. I showered and we took a walk to the diner for breakfast. Roundtrip, this walk is about a mile and has a big hill at the end. This seemed to get things moving, and I had some contractions all through breakfast and during the walk home that were about 8 minutes apart.

When we got home, Adam whipped himself into a flurry of nesting. He finished packing the bag, cleaned the apartment and took a shower. After this, he collapsed into a long nap, somehow sensing that this would be his last sleep for a while!

I continued to have contractions throughout the day, and was unable to eat much more. After a few bouts of vomiting, I was now convinced that this was indeed the real thing. I was happy at this point that I had stayed home from Janice's shower. When the girls called me during the shower, they were excited to hear I was in labor and called to check my progress and give advice during the day.

At the advice of Aly, we went for another long walk that evening. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart at this point, and 1 minute long. They were not totally painful, but I could no longer talk through them and had to stop walking. Since I had now met the criteria set by my doctor, I called their answering service around 8pm. I spoke with Dr. Kim, who said I should wait until the contractions were an 8 to a 10 on the pain scale before heading to the hospital. I was only 1 cm dialated at my last appointment, so she said I would probably be sent home if I went to Labor and Delivery at that point. She recommended taking a shower and trying to get some rest. She thought I was still in the very early stages of labor.

As the contractions got stronger, I tried the various techniques I had learned to deal with the increasing level of pain. I sat on my exercise ball, did some breathing, listened to my hypnobirthing CD, took a bath and did the swaying and rocking technique while leaning up into Adam and he held the bottom of my stomach. For some reason, that one worked the best.

Around 2am, the contractions were about 2 minutes apart and were positively excruciating. Even though I had doubts about my progress, I knew I could no longer stay at home. Our hospital is about 15 minutes away and I didn't think I could tolerate the car ride there if I waited any longer. I called Dr. Kim again and she said I could go to the hospital for evaluation, but not to surprised if they sent me home. At this point, I had definitely given up on the notion of a drug-free delivery. If I had the equipment, I would have let Adam deliver an epidural at that point!

We got to Labor and Delivery via car service (I think the driver was a little scared to let me in his car) and were forced to fill out some paperwork. Whoever determined that this is an appropriate procedure at this point was clearly a sadist. I was checked in by a nurse who was not very nice. She proceeded with a bloodletting of my arm and strapped me to a fetal monitor and a contraction monitor. Laying on the exam table was very painful. Finally, a resident came into check me and said I was 3cm dialated. She inquired if I wanted pain medication or if I wanted to go home to labor some more. I told her that I definitely wanted the medication and in no way did I want to be sent home. She called Dr. Kim who said that it was OK for them to admit me and give me the epidural. She did a quick ultrasound to confirm that the baby was not breech. The anesthesiologist was sent in for a consult, and I proceeded to dry heave and have contractions between each question. I felt terrible for the people in the adjoining curtained areas, I am sure it made things more scary for them!

Around 4am, they escorted me to a labor room and hooked me up to the IV to admister fluids. Once I had finished the bag I could get the medication. She prepped me during this time and then told me I had to lean over and be completely still while it was being administered. With contractions coming almost every minute, this was no easy feat! Even with the fear of paralysis it was hard to sit still. At one point, she hit some sort of nerve and my right leg felt like I had been electrocuted. My leg shot out past Adam involuntarily, I screamed and then he screamed (like a girl I might add).

The epidural took effect in less than a minute (it was a special combination of a spinal and an epidural) and was a huge relief. Even though my legs were not numbed, I was no longer allowed out of bed. I had to stay on the monitors and IV from that point forward. We were able to get a few hours sleep and woke around 6:30am. Poor Adam had been sleeping in a chair during this period. They checked me again an I was about 5cm. Dr. Kim advised the resident that she could break my water at this point to move things along since I was having regular contractions. Right after that, I started to shiver uncontrollably. The nurse checked me and I had a fever of 101 degrees. They started me on an IV of three different antiobiotics because they were unsure as to what it was. Around 8:30 am, Adam made calls to our families to let them know that I was in the hospital, and that they should head in if they wanted to be there when the baby was born. They checked me again at 10:30 and I was 9 cm. Dr. Kim estimated that I would be able to start pushing in about an hour. At 11:30am, she checked me again and said that I was 10 cm dialated and that it was time!

Since my epidural had worn off a little bit, I was able to feel the contractions and help push. It seems like it would be second nature, but was definitely a difficult concept to grasp. I was pushing for about 15 minutes, and the baby's heart rate started to drop with each contraction. Dr. Kim advised me that she was going to use the vacuum extractor at this point to get the baby out. Between each contraction, she would reach in to "tickle" the baby's head to bring the heart rate back up. The vacuum kept popping off his head and I was beginning to get scared. She was very stern in her directions to me, so I knew the situation was pretty serious. I pushed for a little bit longer and they were able to see the head. Knowing the end was in site was a huge motivator. After the next push the baby's head popped out and things got exciting. She said, "On the next push, you are going to meet your baby." I had my eyes squeezed shut during the push and felt this giant baby pop out. Adam said I screamed very loudly during this part! I looked down and Adam was shouting, "It's a boy!" I was totally stunned and just started bawling. He cut the cord and they took the baby to the warming table for an exam since I had had a fever. After she had me deliver the placenta, she told us that it was the shorted umbilical cord that she had ever seen, which was very scary. She also said that if she had been aware of the positioning of the baby (he was transverse and had his arm up by his face) it would have been an automatic Caesarean section. I will definitely talk to my regular OB about this and find out why this was not determined when I was admitted by the resident.

Luckily, the baby was completely healthy and had Apgar scores of 9 and 9. We spent a few minutes bonding (and me still crying!) and Adam gave me a surprise that he had packed in my bag. It was a beautiful diamond pendant on a platnium chain. Shortly after that, he went out in the hallway and met the family who had just arrived at the hospital. Even his brother and sister in law, and my brother and sister in law and their three girls came, which was a nice surprise. We were very touched that they were so excited to meet Henry.

For those of you who have asked about his name, he is named Henry because we just liked it. It is not too popular, it fits both a little boy and an old man, and wasn't too trendy. His middle name is Richard after his grandfather (my Dad). Adam was open to naming him Richard as a first name, but my Dad really didn't love his name, and wasn't crazy about the idea of Juniors etc. and thought kids should have their own name.

He's Here!

Introducing the star of our show...

Henry Richard Schnell
Born on October 15th at 12:23 pm
2o inches long, 7 lbs 15 oz

Friday, October 13, 2006

Still Here.

Thanks to everyone for checking in. Nothing new to report, I am still pregnant with no contractions. I took a long walk today at lunch up and down a big hill hoping to get things moving, but nada. I will try to do it again tonight when Adam gets home. We did the same walk last night and I think even he was impressed by my brisk pace! Nothing moves like a girl on a mission!

Anyway, I am glad the weekend is here. I will be able to get out a little bit more and finish up our closets. That is all for now!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Welcome to Limbo-ville

Population: 2 1/2

So, we have officially hit the "Due Date," and it seems like it will pass with no actual delivery happening. That is fine, we want to baby to come when he or she is good and ready. But, this waiting around certainly puts a kink in your schedule. I have passed off all of my projects at work, so I have very little to do on that front. Of course, that offends my Puritan work ethic so it really bothers me. It is hard to make plans to do anything, because you are not sure if you will be able to go. I have a shower that I am invited to on Saturday. I would love to go, but can't even RSVP. There is a good chance that I could be in the hospital, and an equally good chance that I could still be sitting home on the couch! Do I want to risk my water breaking on a banquet chair (that would be a little funny) or Adam delivering the baby on the shoulder of the Long Island Expressway?

Now the next interesting thing is do we hope that the baby is born on Friday the 13th because the hospital will be less crowded? Who in their right mind would schedule an induction on that day?

Standing by...

Vanessa, Adam and Baby S

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

40 Week Doctor's Appt

Since I am officially at my "due date" tomorrow, I had to undergo some tests at the doctor's office today. In addition to the usual heart rate, weight, blood pressure and urine analysis, they hooked me up to a monitor to look for contraction activity (none) and monitor the baby's heart rate for accelerations and decelerations. They also did an ultrasound to check the level of amniotic fluid to make sure it wasn't too low. All tests came back great, my blood pressure is 100/70 and the baby has a ton of fluid left. He estimates the baby's weight will be about 7 1/2 pounds. I am still at the same effacement and station, but have dialated to 1 cm. Woo hoo. He did a fairly painful "membrane sweep" which can bring on labor. So far, nothing yet. I go back on Monday.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fancy Baby Jail

Thanks to Kevin and Julie for coming to get the couches that were in our guest room, we could get started assembling the crib. Adam did a great job. We still have more work to do cleaning up the room, since it looks like a garage right now. Since we don't have a garage (or an attic or a basement or a car trunk or a spare closet for that matter) I need to find space to store two car seats, two strollers and other baby paraphernalia. Check out the pictures, I think it came out very cute. I am hoping that the un-ironed bedskirt will bother Grandma Karen enough while she is here that she takes matters into her own hands :) Maybe the valances still in the package (also un-ironed) will be lucky enough to get ironed and hung too!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Positive Affirmations (Also Known as Self-Delusion)

This baby will be born two weeks late and I am perfectly OK with that fact.
This baby will be born two weeks late and I am perfectly OK with that fact.
This baby will be born two weeks late and I am perfectly OK with that fact.
This baby will be born two weeks late and I am perfectly OK with that fact.
This baby will be born two weeks late and I am perfectly OK with that fact.

There, I feel better now. (No, I really don't but I think these things don't take effect right away)

39 Week, 1 Day, Doctor's Appt

Back from the doctor, nothing exciting to report, other than the baby is fine, blood pressure is fine.

No dialation, 70% effaced, -2 station (baby needs to drop 2 more centimeters to be considered "engaged")

He said at my next appt (on Wednesday), they will do an ultrasound to monitor the level of fluid, size of baby, condition of the placenta etc to make sure the baby is not under any distress (not that he suspects that it is, this is standard practice once you pass your due date). After that, he will let me go at least another week before talking induction.

Put your feet up folks, it could be awhile :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

39 Weeks

One more week to go...I hope. Or less. Hopefully not more...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Class has been dismissed!

Well, we are finally finished with our marathon of baby classes. I can honestly say, I feel a lot better (not about the pain part) and more prepared. I think Adam feels the same way. The only disappointment was that the teacher of the 5 week Childbirth Education class was such a loon. She was a nice lady and all, but the entire class could have been condensed way down and we heard entirely too much about her personal opinions. Of course, most of them were based around the fact that our doctors are idiots and want to do nothing more than strap us to a bed and deliver the babies with forceps. But, we did meet a lot of nice couples in the class and had a lot of laughs. I won't easily forget the sight of a middle age woman (the teacher) standing in the middle of a hospital hallway making labor sounds with complete seriousness. For about 2 minutes straight. You couldn't make this type of stuff up, and it always sent me into fits of uncontrollable laughter.

One bit of excitement during the last class is that one of the couples was missing. She was a few weeks before her due date, so we just thought they skipped class. About halfway through the class, her husband came in looking a little sheepish and told us that she had just delivered the baby that day, at 37 weeks. We were all very excited for them, and had lots of questions. Her water broke that morning, and for some reason he decided to go to work anyway and leave her at home to be in labor alone (she also considered going to work.) Can we say DENIAL? Anyway, she took a cab to the hospital by herself at noon, and this knucklehead still doesn't come home. He meets her at the hospital at 2pm, and she had the baby at 2:30pm. I would have killed him! I can't believe he almost missed the birth and that he left her home alone ALL DAY. Anyway, I guess all's well that ends well. They had a boy by the way.

That's about it. Grandma Karen is here tonight, she arrived today to start her "vigil" to await Baby's Schnell's arrival. They are leaving tomorrow for Vermont, so hopefully Baby S decides to stick to the schedule and arrive at some point well she is here over the next few weeks. I tried to tell him/her that it would probably mean a better Christmas gift if I went into labor while she was still here, but so far he isn't cooperating. Not listening to my good advice already!

Monday, October 02, 2006

We need to take the temperature where?

We took our Baby Care class on Saturday, which was a lot of fun. It turns out that a few of the couples from our childbirth education class (which is 5 weeks long) were enrolled in the same course, so that was nice.

The instructor is a NICU nurse, who also does home visits for kids with developmental delays. She was extremely knowledgeable and nice. No question was too weird for her. She didn't even get mad when I asked if the baby would smell bad when it was first delivered. I really wanted to prepare myself in case the answer was yes since the baby hasn't bathed and has been swimming in poop and urine for the last 40 weeks. Not such a strange question when you think of it that way, now is it?

Anyway, we learned how to diaper the baby, give it a sponge bath, take its temperature (Adam will definitely be doing that duty), when to call the doctor, normal baby appearance (cone head, cradle cap etc.) nail care, cord care, dressing the baby appropriately for the weather, burping, feeding and lots of other stuff that I can't remember right now. They gave you anatomically correct dolls to work with which was funny.

The nicest part of the class was too see all of the future dads in action. The mom gets so much attention during the pregnancy, it is easy to forget that there is someone else that is equally excited about the baby's arrival. They were all so sweet and sincere in their desire to learn and be an equal partner in taking care of the baby. It was very cute to see them swaddling and burping their baby dolls, and learning all of the various ways to hold and soothe a crying baby. Adam said something so sweet today. It was something along the lines that I have gotten to take care of the baby for nine months, and that he can't wait for a turn to take care of the baby. So sweet! Anyway, he may change his mind when he realizes that his big job is diapering (and taking rectal temperatures)! Notice an area that he is responsible for?

38 Week Belly

Since you all have an insatiable desire to see skin, here is the picture we took last week