The Journey to a Little One to Call Our Own

One gal's experiences dealing with IF, pregnancy, the birth of our first son, parenthood, and doing it all over again with our second son... here is our journey.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Couple Pictures...

Mr. D and Max are snuggled, sleeping skin-to-skin on the couch, so I thought I would take the opportunity to post a couple pictures...

Here is Max when he was about 12 hours old. I love this hat!

Max, asleep on my arm, at 4 days old - about 2 hours after we got home from the hospital.

Things are going REALLY well... we love Max to pieces and are loving our new roles as parents. It certainly is challenging, though - one of us is constantly doing something baby-related... feeding, changing, burping, cuddling, making bottles, doing another load of his laundry (holy cow - I was totally unprepared for how much laundry a baby goes through! We are averaging 2-3 loads a day). I seriously have NO idea how single parents or teenage mothers do it... Mr. D and I are loving it, but even as well-prepared as we were to have this little guy join us, it's a ton of work. It's so incredibly worth it :)

Max had his newborn pictures done today by a family friend and amazingly talented, well-known baby photographer in the Twin Cities. I will post some once we get access to the online gallery - should be a week or so.

Mrs. D

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Revised Plan... He's Here :)

Well, let's just say that I didn't make it to induction date (which was supposed to be Sunday)... Baby D had other plans in store :) It was my first lesson as a mother that, indeed, this baby has a mind of his own!

I will post so much more later, but it is with amazement, joy, excitement, and all the love in the world that I introduce:

Maxwell (Max) Brian

Born on August 17, 2011 at 10:12 p.m. (sorry I didn't post this earlier - my iPhone would not allow me to post with Blogger, so I had to wait until we got home)

8 pounds, 5 ounces
21.6 inches
Spitting image of his Daddy, with a few features of his Mommy :)

I will post his birth story in the next week or so (I really want to hold myself accountable to this so that I remember all of the details!), but here's the summary:

- Contractions started at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, August 16 - they were consistently 1 minute long and 5 minutes apart. I was in pain.
- I labored at home until 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 17. I called my Doctor's office, they told me to get to the hospital. We packed, got ready, and made it to the hospital at about 3:15 a.m.
- I was only dilated to a ZERO (go figure), but the nurses could see that I was, indeed in labor. They needed to see me progress to a three to technically be able to admit me. The time between 3:15 a.m. and 6 a.m. was NOT a fun time... they made me walk around the hospital as I was in major pain, contracting constantly. I thought I was going to die. I lost my mucous plug as we were walking around labor and delivery.
- At 6:00 a.m., I was checked by the Doctor on call, and I was a 1.5 (seriously, a 1.5?!?! I was so angry with my body). They decided to admit me - at this point, I was due to be induced on Sunday, anyway, so they figured my labor would progress throughout the day and we'd be in business.

Here's where my summary will stop, as I owe this birth story all of the details. Long story made short, I was in labor for a total of 26 hours before he was born, the Doctors still don't know the reason why, but my cervix ended up doing the opposite of what it is supposed to do during labor... mine got harder, thicker, and swelled up. Besides the fact that my cervix was not cooperating and by 9:00 p.m. and I had only progressed to five centimeters, Max's head was turned and there would have needed to be significant effort by the Doctor to turn him, which wasn't guaranteed to happen. So, at 9:50 p.m., the decision was made that Max needed to come out via C-section.

Max was born at 10:12 p.m., and the moment he was pulled out of me, he started to cry and scream. And I lost it... right there on the operating table. ALL I could think about is how much we waited for him, how difficult it was to get to this point, and it was official... he was alive, I was a Mom, and I loved him more than anything in the entire world. I remember the anesthesiologist saying something to the effect of, "Tears of joy!" and it just made me cry harder. Yes, tears of joy, but also tears of every other emotion possible. It was overwhelming. They brought Max over to me, and from the moment I laid eyes on him, it was love at first sight. And he looked at me as if to say, "Hi, Mom, I am finally here."

Thank you to everyone for their prayers, e-mails, support, and love... it was and is the most incredible experience imaginable.

Birth story and PICTURES to follow soon... :)

Mrs. D

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Plan

I am still here, 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant! Officially overdue, and officially so, so, so excited to meet this little guy.

Had a Dr. appointment this morning, and guess what? Dilated to ZERO... still. It's a bit frustrating, knowing that we've planned our lives around this grand finale that was supposed to culminate no later than this past Saturday, but alas, that hasn't happened. I have gone through many emotions of being angry, pissed, sad, happy, and now, just content. I can't control this, and it's out of my hands... totally up to God to decide for us.

But - as for the good news. There is now a plan. Assuming we see no action (hard contractions, water breaking, etc.) in the next 48 hours, we go back for another appointment on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. We receive an ultrasound, which Mr. D and I are kind of excited for... we haven't seen our little guy since 20 weeks. They are going to measure amniotic fluid and size of the baby. Then, another exam right afterwards to see if I am dilating yet.

Then on Sunday, if I haven't gone into labor, we are being induced. We need to go in to the hospital at 4 p.m. and start up the process. My Dr. is working Monday and said if we do induce on Sunday, we'd likely have the baby on Monday, August 22. I have mixed feelings about all of this, but at least it's a plan, and I am happy about finally knowing when this is all going to go down. Even if I go into labor in the next 4 days, I am cool with it... as long as I know there was a plan in place to execute.

If we do need to be induced on Sunday, here is what I am sad about:
  • Not experiencing the, "holy cow, honey, I think it's time to go to the hospital" moment - although this would freak me out and not be easy to manage, there's something about spontaneously knowing "it's time" that seems like kind of a thrill
  • Not allowing my body to naturally go into labor. However, I have learned that my body is not cooperating at this point, and we need to jump-start it. For someone well-versed in the trenches of infertility - I am not surprised that my body won't do what it's supposed to.
  • The elongated, painful experience of being induced. Just sounds like a long, tiring, exhausting, painful process... wish my body could get us a little ways there (ie: dilating just a bit) before needing medical attention.
  • Increased chance of C-section. I am praying and hoping that I do not need a C-section, but of course, whatever it takes for our little guy to be born healthy and alive is most important. My Dr. said that, on average, there's a 25% chance of C-section with inductions, and about a 20% chance of C-section on non-induced labors. So, although chances are increased... it's not increased that much. I'm going to try my hardest to deliver naturally.
And here's what I am happy about:

  • It will be kind of nice to wake up on Sunday, have breakfast, get everything loaded in the car, take a nice, long shower, get ready, and peacefully drive to the hospital to start the process.
  • Starting labor over the weekend qualifies Mr. D for another full-week of paid paternity leave, so that would be nice. He will take two weeks, and then the next Monday after is Labor Day... no work. So, we could maximize his time off. If baby is born before the weekend, Mr. D would lose out on some vacation time we are saving for later in the year when I go back to work.
  • Mr. D was born on October 22, and his favorite number of all-time is 22. He considers it is lucky number, and he wore it on all of his sports jerseys. When Dr. told us that if I am induced on Sunday, that means chances are very likely that he would be born on August 22, you should have seen Mr. D's eyes light up. So cute :)
So, that's the plan. I feel good that we finally have something outlined to show us how this is all going to happen. Of course, the plan may not work out and baby might be born before then, but it gives me a sense of calm that there is, indeed, a plan.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

40 Weeks!

Absolutely unbelievable. We made it! 40 weeks of pregnancy. This journey is far from over... there's still labor and delivery of a healthy baby that we are anxious to have happen any time now, but one miracle is that I got pregnant, remained pregnant, and am now officially due to have a child. Wow. Last year at this time, it wouldn't have seemed possible.

But here we are, on our due date. Mr. D took me out for breakfast, we took a walk, played around in the baby's room, and I am looking forward to a spicy Asian dinner tonight at a local joint this evening. I am so ready to have this kid, but really trying to enjoy the last day(s) - hopefully - of this wonderful pregnancy.

And, with no further ado... here is the grand finale (although no baby yet): my 40 week update:

Best Moment of the Week: Hitting 40 weeks. Although I would have loved to deliver already, the other side of me is so incredibly thankful that our little guy has had 40 weeks to develop inside of me. So many concerns are avoided by hitting this point of pregnancy (he likely will have lower risk of jaundice, more fully-developed lungs, better sense of sleeping and eating, etc.). It is all a blessing.

Entertaining Question/Comment of the Week: "WHEN IS THAT BABY COMING OUT?" Asked by: everyone, including me. If anyone has the answer - not guess - so I can plan this whole labor thing, let me know and I will seriously pay you a lovely cash prize.

Obsessions: Wondering when this show is going to go down. Will my water break? Will I start having hard contractions? Will I end up being induced? Who knows...

What I am Most Looking Forward to This Week: Giving birth. I have a Doctor appointment on Tuesday morning, and if he's not here yet, my Doctor said we will likely have an ultrasound to ensure everything still looks good (right amount of fluid, baby is reacting to certain senses appropriately, etc.), and she will likely schedule an induction for later in the week. So, I am assuming that we will have a baby by this time next week - even with induction - but maybe the induction won't be scheduled until next Sunday? Not sure. Either way, I am looking forward to learning more and *hopefully* welcoming this little guy to our family this week.

What I Miss the Most: Nothing really... I am sleeping better this week (although a night sleeping on my stomach sounds like absolute heaven).

Symptoms: Contractions here and there, but nothing in a pattern. Foot/ankle swelling. Anxiousness, nervousness, excitement... all of the emotions you can think of (if those count as symptoms) :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

It totally clicked when my Doctor got done with my cervical exam yesterday, took off her gloves, and said, "Well, you're still not dilated."

Key the "ah-ha" moment (imagine a lightbulb going on in my head): Little Man isn't even born yet, and I already know... this kid is totally like his father.

Although I haven't passed my due date yet, after this true ah-ha moment, I now am pretty sure I will go over.

How do I know this?

Have I shared that my lovely Mr. D was 2.5 hours late to our first date? Oh, yeah, 2.5 hours. Long story made short, we met one another, talked on the phone for a few days, and decided to go out on a date. He was to pick me up at my apartment Friday night at 6:30.

Imagine me... dressed to the 9's, ready for the big date. I was ready by 6:15, the latest. At 6:30, I tried to appear that I was still busy - just in case he came to the door right then - by washing the countertops, writing out bills, watching TV, and hanging out and messing with my hair in the bathroom. 6:45, 7:00 passes... no Mr. D. 7:15, 7:30. I am now a bit ticked, but mostly worried. Did he get into a car accident? Get cold feet and not want to see me? Forget about our plans all together? I called his phone, and he answered. "I'm on my way!" he told me. Okay, no big deal... he's just running late. I tried my hardest to be patient as I watched TV.

8:00, 8:15, and 8:30 now pass. And I am ticked. It is TWO HOURS after he was supposed to pick me up - where the HELL is he? I called him again and got some lame excuse about leaving the house late, had to stop and get gas, there was traffic, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. It was at 8:45 that I finally decided I was going to put on my PJs and call it a night. So, I did. And no more than 5 minutes after I put on my PJs, who showed up at my door? Mr. D and all of his handsomeness (with flowers, thank goodness). To this day, I can't believe how his charm, smile, and apologies completely faded the past 2.5 hours away. Within 10 minutes, I was back in my going-out clothes and we were out the door to dinner.

Seven years ago, when this happened, I should have taken this as a sign. The boy was late. Not just a few minutes, but HOURS late. And what did I learn from this experience? Not just Mr. D, but his ENTIRE family, are ALWAYS LATE. Not 2.5 hours late, like he was for our first date, but just straight-up LATE to everything they go to.
For years, it drove me nuts. I used to get so mad every time he was late, or WE were late because of something or another... church, parties, dinner reservations, movies, you name it. It's almost like it's in his family's blood. My family is always on time (or early), so this was quite the change. But over time, guess what happened? Mr. D made ME late so many times that I now consider it EARLY if we actually make it somewhere on time. I've gotten to be really sly about what time I tell Mr. D to show up at things - for example, doctor appointments. My appointment yesterday was at 3:50. What time did I tell Mr. D to arrive? 3:30 - actually, I told him 3:25, because I reminded him that we need to be there 5 minutes early. We drove separate, and guess what time he got there? 3:50. Right on time, due to my meticulous planning :)

I am now 2 days from my due date, and it finally struck me like a bolt of lightening...

What am I waiting for? Do I actually think anything is going to happen before Saturday? Heck no... not anymore.

Like father, like son... this kid's gonna be late.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Let's Get This Party Started

It's probably weird to WANT labor to start, but I am officially there. Bring it on. I've had on-and-off contractions all week, and I just want them to finally be in a pattern.

I have a Doctor appointment today at 3:45, and I am praying that this little guy is getting close. Last week, I was effaced, but not yet dilated... hoping that I've progressed and dilated since then.

Come on, Little Man, it's time for you to come out and meet your Mom and Dad. We've been dreaming about and waiting for you longer than you can imagine.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

38 & 39 Weeks!... And, I am Ready...

I am 39 weeks, 1 day pregnant, and I can officially say that as of this past Friday, I am ready. I want this little guy to be born. Selfishly, it's starting to get harder and harder. I have had the easiest, most blessed pregnancy up to this point, and I am just starting now to slow down. It's impossible to sleep. My hands, joints, back, legs, ankles... they all ache. And I think the baby is thinking the same thing... time to blow this Popsicle stand. He can barely get comfortable himself... every movement is a significant adjustment, and I am sure he is thinking, "okay, there is clearly NOT enough room in here anymore."

I was done working as of Friday. I work for the best company in the world, and my boss is cool with me working from home until the baby is born. So, although I'll be logging in and calling into meetings, my production level will be cut at least in half, and nobody seems to care.

So, now it's just a waiting game. Will he be born today? Will I go into labor tomorrow? Or surpass my due date? Who knows, but I just told Mr. D last night that I am officially ready for him to come out. Mr. D agreed. It's time. After planning and waiting this long, it's time to get the show on the road :)

I pray that everything is going well for my blog friends... now that I'll have more time on my hands this week (assuming Little Man decides to stay put), I'll have some time to check up on you ladies and leave some comments :)

I missed last week, so here are my two weekly updates:

Best Moment of the Weeks: We had a baby shower at my work that Mr. D came in to attend. It was so much fun... 30 people at least, and everyone was excited for us. That was a fun day. Also, getting everything - and I mean everything - situated. We've been planning, and organizing, and situating for months now, and we're FINALLY all done. Feels so good. Now we just need Little Man to be here.

Entertaining Question/Comment of the Week: Because I am officially trying to get this kid out, Mr. D and I started BD'ing (not that we had stopped, but it's a different experience 9 months pregnant). I don't remember the exact comment, but he said something to the effect that he was having back spasms... the positions you have to try at this stage in the game are interesting, to say the least!

Obsessions: Whatever it takes.... let's just get this show on the road.

What I am Most Looking Forward to This Week: Not physically going back to work until mid-November - whoo-hoo! - and going to my Wednesday Dr. appointment. Curious to see if anything has progressed from last Wednesday...

What I Miss the Most: This week, I miss sleeping. It's impossible to sleep well right now.

Symptoms: Contractions here and there, but nothing in a pattern. Foot/ankle swelling. All exciting, lovely stuff :)