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!

Sophie’s Birth

Since I wrote about Phoebe’s birth, I thought that I should also write about Sophie’s. While good for us, but not good for storytelling, Sophie’s birth is not nearly as dramatic as Phoebe’s, being scheduled and all. There was no labor at work all day or surprise surgeries. But I still felt the day was worth documenting. We also have lots of pictures to document that day!

We awoke at 4:00 am. I had to be at the hospital by 5:00, and I wanted time to shower before we left. Since I knew that we were having the baby that day, I made sure to get a belly shot before we left. This is as big as it got! My belly was pretty far out there.

We got to the hospital right at 5:00. Shortly after checking in, I was taken to a triage room where I changed into a gown and answered about 100 questions regarding my medical history. I do not remember answering all those questions with Phoebe. So that was either a new requirement, or they short-circuited that step since I was already in labor. They also ran an iv in the triage room and hooked me up to monitors. We waited here pretty much until they were ready to take me to the OR. I did speak with my nurse, OB, and anesthesiologists while waiting in this room.

Once in the OR, I got a spinal block so that I didn’t feel anything from the chest down. Pretty much immediately I started feeling nauseous. Nothing like feeling like you’re about to throw up when you can’t feel anything and you know they’re about to start cutting on you. I did let them know and they gave me zofran through my iv and placed a wet cloth on my forehead. Fortunately I started feeling better. I was really curious how in the world I was going to make it into the pan beside my head if I did get sick!

Very soon after I heard Sophie crying. Just like when Phoebe was born, I’ve never heard a more beautiful sound.
Sophie Claire King was born at 7:06 am on April 14, 2009. She weighed 9 lb. 8 oz, and was 21 inches long.

Then I got to meet her.

They showed me that she had all her fingers and toes.

I got my family photo.

Then they took her off to get warm and get her first bath. Rick went with her, and I obviously stayed behind in the OR while they closed me back up.

At this point I was offered something to help me relax and sedate me. I didn’t feel that I was all that anxious and I really didn’t want to be groggy, so I declined. While they were finishing up with me, my OB informed me that I had very little scar tissue from my first C-section. This was very good news! After they were done in the OR, I was wheeled to recovery. While in recovery, the nurse asked what kind of job I had. I told her that I was an engineer. The reason she asked is because I kept looking at her monitor (it had my blood pressure and heartrate and such on it), so she figured I was either an engineer or someone in the medical profession. That observation kind of surprised me, but I guess it shouldn’t. I was really interested in my blood pressure readings since it was so high when I had Phoebe. This time, it mostly seemed to stay normal, which is good.

I finally was taken to a Mother/Baby room. We got to go by the nursery on the way to my room, so I got to see Sophie through the window on my way. I started feeling nauseous again after getting to the room, and did actually get sick. Because of that, I was given something to help with the nausea. This new med made me sleepy, so I ended up being groggy afterall for the bulk of the day that she was born. I was also really, really itchy from the morphine that had been placed in my spinal block. I even had a sore near my mouth from all of the scratching I did to my face that day.

Later that afternoon, Phoebe got to come by and meet her sister. She was immediately fascinated with the “baby.” She was tired and cranky though, and did not stay for long.

I was surprised that I would receive IV fluids for a full 24 hours after the surgery. Last time, I know I didn’t have my IV that long, so I was kind of disappointed. I knew that getting up and moving around would help me recover easier, so I was eager to move around by the evening. I was very puffy from all of the fluids, as can be seen in the last photo of me above. I was so glad to get that IV out the next day.

The rest of the hospital stay was pretty uneventful. We had a string of visitors, which is always nice. I also had a great mother/baby nurse two of my three days there (thanks Rebekah)! Otherwise we took it easy. I was pretty ready to go by Friday morning though. As soon as I got the word that I would be discharged, I got showered, dressed, and waited until they would wheel me down. Here I am waiting:

Finally at home!

Overall, this was a very good birth experience. I agonized over whether I should schedule a repeat C-section or to attempt a VBAC. Knowing now how big Sophie was, I’m so glad that I scheduled this one. I’m also glad that since I was more relaxed this time, I didn’t feel the need to take more drugs. Because of that, I was lucid for more of the day than I was with Phoebe, even if I did have a period grogginess in the middle of the day. It was very nice to have a drama-free birth story as well.

Easter

The rest of our Easter photos can now be found in our album. Another sample:

From April 2009

Phoebe really liked the bubble maker that the Easter bunny brought. Of course, it’s a dog. She loves her some dogs. 🙂 She also got a ladybug car and lots of candy! Sophie got a basket too with a bunny rattle and even more candy! I guess we know who’ll be eating that. 😉

We had a great Easter that started with church. The dress I wore really showed off my giant belly, so I got lots of questions. I didn’t mind though. Soon it will be all over!

Tomorrow is the big day! I’ll plan on doing one final belly shot before we leave the house. We have to get up bright and early to make it to the hospital by 5:00 am. We do have plans of keeping everyone updated on what happens when.

Busy weekend and 38 weeks

From April 2009

We had a very busy weekend! Saturday started with the MS Walk at UAH’s campus. I let Rick and Phoebe walk, while I sat in a camp chair and read for a bit. 🙂 Since I’m having a scheduled C-section, I saw no reason to try to encourage labor by walking a mile or more… Our camera’s batteries were both dead, so I only had my iPhone to snap a few photos. The best of the three I got were of Rick and Phoebe starting the walk.

After the walk was naptime! After naptime, we went to the Granades’ house for a shower! Geof captured some great photos of the shower, and has them up in his flickr account. I love the family shot he got of the 4 of us! The shower was great and Phoebe had a great time playing with other people’s toys! She loved it when Eli bounced her on the trampoline. She giggled and squealed and just had a great time on that trampoline.

Tomorrow marks 38 weeks of this pregnancy, which is the last week! The C-section is scheduled for one week from today. I had my last prenatal appointment this morning. There is not much to report, as they did not check my cervix since I’m scheduled. I’ve gained 2 more lbs., putting me at +25 lbs. overall. Compared to the 45+ I gained last time, that’s great! Fundal height was 38.5 cm, so measuring pretty close to perfect. My diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure was a little high, but the doctor thought that was likely from all the sudafed I took last week to fight the sinus crud (which is mostly gone now, and I’m down to just taking claritin daily again). The baby was estimated to be 6 lb. 5 oz, which is exactly the same size Phoebe was estimated to be just before she was born (for reference, she really weighed 8 lb. 4 oz, at birth, so I do not trust these estimates much). I would be surprised if this new little one really is that small, but we’ll see in a week!

That was about it for my appt. I have to be at the hospital at 5:00 am next Tuesday for a 7:00 surgery. My parents are coming into town and will take Phoebe to daycare that day. I can hardly believe that this pregnancy is almost over!

And just for completeness, I have a 38 week belly shot to offer this week:

From April 2009

The belly… it is HUGE! I’m sure we’ll do one final shot next week either Monday night, or maybe at the hospital before the surgery.

37 weeks

The end is near. We now have less than two weeks to the scheduled C-section! I can hardly believe it’s almost time! Seriously, where did the time go in this pregnancy?

Yesterday I woke with a splitting headache and sinus drainage. Yay. I told Rick that I don’t have time to get sick right now. I took mucinex and tylenol. I had my weekly appointment, so while there I asked to take Sudafed as well and I’ve been given permission to take it for a few days. If I’m not better by Friday, they’ll prescribe an antibiotic. The goal is to get rid of this crud before the baby gets here. I hope we can make that goal since the crud normally likes to stick with me for long periods of time.

The rest of the appt. went well. I’m now dilated to 1 cm, and still not very effaced (not given a number). Chances are good that we’ll make the scheduled date (we’ll keep our fingers crossed). My blood pressure was fine and the baby’s heartrate was in the 150s. I gained 5 lbs. in the past week, putting me to +23 overall for this pregnancy. Not bad at all!

Since I have no belly shot, I’ll leave you with a scene from yesterday. Yesterday, I walked out of our office to find a bunch of guys from our office waiting at the elevators. One of them had pushed the button as I walked out. Another proclaimed, “You’re still here!” when I walked out. I told him, “Yep, I’ve got two more weeks.” At that moment the elevator doors opened and I stepped in, and no one else did. I asked if they were still waiting on someone, and the answer was, “Yeah I think so.” So hopefully that was true and they weren’t just afraid to get on the elevator with the very pregnant woman. 🙂 It certainly gave me a good laugh on my way to lunch at the very least!