Learning to Love the New Me

It’s amazing how much a body can change after having one or two babies. A few things that have changed:

1). My hair is now curly. It’s always had wavy bits here and there, but never enough to wear it curly. I was forced to blow dry it straight every day or it didn’t look right. I love the new curly hair! It’s still straight on top, which I guess is weird, but I can live with it. It’s fun for now!

2). I didn’t lose all the weight with either pregnancy. With Phoebe I gained around 45 lbs. and lost all but about 10-15 of that. With Sophie I gained around 25 lbs. and lost all but about the last 10. So I’m 20-25 lbs. heavier than I was before pregnancy. When I was between pregnancies, I didn’t worry too much about the weight because I knew I would be having another one. Now that I’m not pregnant and not planning on ever being pregnant again, I feel that I should do something about it. Not only that, but I’m more self conscious of it. I definitely have the belly pouch that everyone warned me about before I had kids. I’m still trying to accept that it might never go away, no matter how much I may work at it. A few weeks ago I squeezed myself into all sorts of body shapers at Kohl’s to see if I could hide the belly. I ultimately decided that the discomfort was not enough for the level of concealment. I also decided that maybe I don’t look that bad. So I’m coming to terms with it. I also now know why there is such a thing as “mom jeans.” 😉

That being said, I do plan on focusing on my own health some more. I have high cholesterol, thanks to a family history. I want to try to get it under control with diet and exercise before going straight to medication. We have tried this route before we decided to start a family. My cholesterol went down beautifully when we were devoting 1.5 hours to the gym daily and I was on medication. We decided to try keeping it down with no medication, but at about the same time I stopped going to the gym. Naturally, my numbers went back up. But at that point we had decided to have a family. My doctor couldn’t medicate me at that point and told me to come back to him when we were done having our family. Now I’m still reluctant to go back on meds, but I know that I have to get the numbers down. I don’t know what those numbers are right now, but I’m sure it’s up there. I also realize that even if I watch my diet and exercise, I may still have to be medicated. I have to prepare myself for that outcome, as it is entirely likely.

I also realize that even if I lose all of the baby weight (my initial goal will be 10 lbs, with the ultimate maybe being 20), my body will probably never be the same shape again. I am actually ok with that too. I’m even ok with not losing all of the weight as long as I’m healthy. It’d be great to just tone up and gain some muscle. I’m actually ok with my new size as far as clothes go, but I’d love for them to fit a little bit better. The belly is probably my biggest body image sticking point right now, and I may have to face that it will always be with me. But we will see. Again, I have to try and see what I can do.

So today, I am tired (Sophie got up at 2:30 this morning) and a little head-achy, but I still plan to go to the gym this afternoon. I need to get on the road to a better, healthier me. I need to keep the excuses to a minimum. It won’t be easy, but hopefully the results will be more than worth it. Wish me luck!

Phoebe’s Birth

It’s not that bad, really. 🙂

I started having contractions on the 5th, at about 12:30 am. They weren’t always regular though, so I wasn’t sure if they were “real” contractions. By wakeup time, they were coming about every 7-8 minutes. While I showered and got ready for work, they were every 3 minutes. But when I sat back down, they were back to every 7-8 minutes. I went onto work, but called the doctors office. They called back and said not to go in until the contractions were every 5 minutes. I wrote down the intervals all… day… long.. Sometimes they’d be as close as every 2-3 minutes, but then the next interval would be 15 or 20 minutes. It just wasn’t that regular. I went home after work and kept writing down these intervals. We went to bed, and I kept an eye on the clock while I tried to get some sleep. Around 10:15-10:30 or so, I got strangled and started coughing in bed. During one of the coughs, I felt something.. pop almost. Then a trickle of fluid. My water had broke. I jumped up, turned my lamp on, and told Rick that I though my water broke. I went to the bathroom and started getting dressed enough to go to the hospital, and my dear husband was still asleep. 😉 I patted him on the arm and told him again that my water broke. Up he got and started getting ready to go to the hospital. I called my parents on the way out the door.

The ride to the hospital was looong. I felt like my contractions were closer together, but I was no longer timing them. I figured my water had broken, so one way or the other this baby was on her way! Also, the Governor’s Drive construction is an evil thing. Luckily, I don’t think we hit any bumps in the middle of a contraction. I was too busy breathing to tell Rick to take it easy, though he wasn’t doing too bad a job.

Once at the hospital, I was rushed from the pediatric ER (you have to enter through there after hours, otherwise we would have gone in the entrance) to Labor and Delivery, while Rick parked the car. By the time he made it back up, I had checked in and was waiting on a nurse to take me to a room. Once in a labor and delivery room, things went very quickly. I changed into a lovely hospital gown, and was hooked up to outside monitors. The nurse checked me, and confirmed that my water had broken, but she was also pretty sure it was not a head she felt when she checked. An ultrasound machine was wheeled in, and it was confirmed that the baby was breech. This was a bit perplexing, since she had been head down just a few days earlier at my appointment. Shortly afterwards, the doctor on call came in. He also looked at the ultrasound, and confirmed again that she was breech. It was explained to me the risk associated with C-sections vs. a vaginal birth with a breech baby, and I quickly consented to the C-section. It was not the birth we planned, but we both felt it was the safest option at that point.

After that, I was given a shot of Terbutaline to stop my contractions. I had to receive a shot, since the first IV try was blown and a new one had to be run. Fortunately, the second IV took pretty easily. Shortly after my contractions stopped, and the new IV was successful, I was wheeled to the OR. The first thing done was the spinal. Getting a spinal allowed me to be awake throughout the surgery, without feeling a thing they were doing to me. Rick was not allowed in the room while I was getting this. The terbutaline made me shake uncontrollably. I did not like this and kept pointing out to the medical staff that I was shaking. I’m sure they got tired of me pointing it out, but I was was nervous about getting a needle in my back while I shook so much. It turned out just fine though. The spinal took, and I had no feeling below about my chest down.

Once the curtain was up and they started, Rick was allowed into the room. Within what seemed like a few minutes, I heard a baby crying, and nearly started crying myself. It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. She certainly had healthy lungs. They weighed her, and I was quite surprised to find she weighed 8 lbs. 4 oz! Her estimated weight at my last prenatal appointment was 6 lbs. 5 oz! I couldn’t believe my baby was so much larger!

Phoebe Grace King was born at 1:21 am on October 6th, weighing in at 8 lbs. 4 oz and was 20.5 inches long.

After she was weighed and measured, Rick went with her. Things start to get fuzzy for me at this point, and he will have to fill in what happened afterwards. Once I was done in the OR, I was wheeled to recovery. My parents arrived around 2:00 am while I was still in recovery. They did allow my parents and my brother to come into the recovery room as well, which was nice.

I didn’t mention that through all of this, my blood pressure was high, and there was some protein in my urine. I was slightly pre-eclamptic. Because of this, I had been put on a magnesium drip, and I needed to stay in Labor and Delivery until the magnesium was removed. I spent much of Saturday in labor and delivery because of this. I also had a pain pump on Saturday and used it often. So Saturday is very fuzzy to me. My memory is spotty of the whole day. I know that my family from MS came to see us, and stayed for a while. But I have no idea what all was said. 😉

We had a string of visitors on Sunday, and I was finally allowed to go home Monday evening. I was very thankful to come home. I’m immensely thankful that I got to come home with a beautiful little girl. 🙂

38 weeks

Today’s doctor update: still 1 cm 50% effaced. The baby is estimated to be around 6.5 pounds, so still not very big (yay), but healthy. Her heartbeat was 143. I was also told that they do not want me to go more than one week overdue. So the end is definitely in sight! I’ll hit 41 weeks on the 24th.

New health complaint of the week: My left hip is bothering me. Enough to the point I can barely walk. Rick seems to think I may fall apart before this baby is born. 😉 It is definitely God’s way to make me not want to be pregnant anymore. I can deal with it when I feel fine.

Oh, also overheard on the same day by three different people:
“I would have guessed you to be due another month out. You look great!”
“Are you sure there’s just one?”
“You look like you’re about to pop!”

37 weeks

Today’s update:
1 cm dilated (a little bit of progress over last week’s fingertip).
50% effaced
5 lbs. gained – somewhere around 40 lbs. total, I think
I didn’t get the baby’s station this week, so not sure. My dr. also offered to schedule an inducement on the 11th. I’ve turned that down for now. I’d really like to see how this thing goes on its own. I may have a different story in another week or two. 😉

Lately I’ve also been having a lot of pain around my left kidney. It’s been bad enough it keeps me up at night, depriving me of any last few days of sleep I can possibly get. They took a sample, and it did show blood and white blood cells in my urine. They have to send it off to get cultured, but they decided to go on ahead and treat me with an infection. I went straight to the pharmacy to get my antibiotic. I hope it starts helping soon! But for those of you worried I might be in early labor, no, it really is just an infection right now. 🙂