Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I have been sort of dreading going back to work, for no good reason. I actually really like my job, and I get to work on cool projects with people I really like. There really isn't anything to worry about, but I was worrying anyway. So I went in for a lunch meeting, and everyone was really nice, and it reminded me of why I like my job. So, I am much less apprehensive about going back. Although I am still worried about lumpiness and spontanesous shirt soaking lactation. Subject for another day.
Second thing for the day was the garage contractor. One of the problems with our very non-new construction house is its lack of a playroom/tv room/hangout space. Right now the tv is in the living room (not cool) and there is no good space for the tiny dictator to spread out his toys and play (also not cool). Not that he does that yet, but its on his 5 year plan. The idea has been to build a garage in back, where our cruddy old carport is, along with a shop/storage area. Then we could move the workbench and tools, and all the yard stuff - lawnmower, rakes, shovels, what have you - out of the basement, so we could finish the basement. So that has been the plan. Enter the contractor bidding process. We called 5 design build contractors, and ended up having 3 come out and bid the project. Yikes! Bids from 70k - 90k pretty much killed the garage plan. We definitely don't need 90k worth of woodshop.
Sooo, enter the revised plan, as of today. The new idea is to finish 75% of the basement as man land/ BAM land, and leave 25% of it as storage/shop. Then purchase a prefab Home Depot shed to store yard tools etc on it. Which runs about 88 thousand dollars less than the garage. Seems like a better plan. So, first step we will embark on is to start the great basement cleanout. We will be craigslisting a ton of stuff this weekend, and dissasembling the drum kit. Its a very exciting step! You all know how I love to get rid of stuff. I like it almost as much as I like getting new stuff. So if you are interested in weightbench, outdoor equipment or piles of wood, please let me know, as it will be leaving shortly. Yay!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
- new construction house
- large greenbelt lot with sunny fenced yard
- quiet street with playground
- nice neighbors offering free daycare
- proximity to hiking, general outdoorsyness
- lower house payment
- good public schools
On the downside we have some equally compelling arguements. Most notably commute time, and my generally snobby attitude that Seattle is superior to the east side. This is really agonizing for me, since I would really love to be neighbors with my big sis, and have a house that needed no improvements, no projecting, and had a sunny back yard. And raise the boy with his cousins, and his grandparents, who would inevitably move there if we did. But I also love my neighborhood, my easy commute, my proximity to tons of cool stuff. So I don't know what to do. For the moment the answer is to do nothing, especially since the house in question seems to have sold. But I do like to day dream about it.
In other news, we toured the Wallingford Child Care Center this morning. I don't know why I bother. The places are all the same. Seem very nice, teacher ratios, emergent play curriculum, peanut free, blah blah blah, 1-2 year waiting lists. But its in the neighborhood, and we are on the list. Made for an outing anyway.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Donuts, Little Debbies, Cookie Dough, Ice Cream, Eggos and Cream Puffs, or What happens when you go to the grocery store with 2 pregnant women
Well it has been a whirlwind few days since my last post. One thing that I do want to mention, before I forget, is that Benjamin discovered his mobile this week. Before he didn't even notice it, and now he will lay on his back and stare at it, and he fusses when the little animal parade stops going around, and playing its little song. He is getting all grown up! The neck control thing is getting better, but I tried him out in the Johnnie Jump up and he just slumped over and started crying. Apparently not ready for that one yet. He is still laughing once or twice a day, and he is really starting to chat with us more and more this week.
So as the follow up to the nanny chronicles, Sara emailed me after the trial run on Thursday, and Sam is allergic to Bailey, so she won't be able to nanny after all. Grrrr. So we had the second Marnie interview this afternoon, which was fine, so she is going to watch Benjamin on Thursday for a few hours as a test drive.
In other news, Hillary came to stay this weekend. Yay! The big excitement is that after much trying and many trials and tribulations (see http://www.hillaryshope.blogspot.com/ for more details), she is pregnant. Wahoo! I have known about this for several weeks, and have had a heck of a time keeping it quiet so that she could tell people about it in person. In a fabulous and happy coincidence, Maija is also pregnant, and due within a couple of days of Hillary. I got to see them tell each other, and it was a classic moment that I will always remember. Those two and Judith came over on Friday night, and we went to Rositas for cheese enchiladas and strawberry margaritas (some virgin). Afterwards we went to the grocery store and purchased more desserts than I have ever purchased at once (see title), and ate them while we watched What Not to Wear. Hillary fell asleep on the couch, and Judith had to go back to Issaquah earliesh, but sadly, thats always been about our speed for night life. We can't all be crazy party people.
On Saturday Hillary and I went to Bellevue for Hillary's first ever scrap booking experience, and then spent the day shopping for maternity clothes. We had take out Thai and Maija came over, and I made them watch me try on all my work clothes and see what fit. It was like our own what not to wear. Lots of commentary about structured jackets and camies to hide a bit of a tummy. They laid in bed and tried to stay awake, I finished the cream puffs. Yum. Hillary had to go to Redmond to hang out with Traci this morning, but I have high hopes that Mickey will get a job here (interview February 2! Cross your fingers!)
Friday, January 25, 2008
At one point late in the pregnancy, Loren and I run into Jan and Allen at Home Depot. They have lived across the street from Loren's parents for 30 years, and are great. Jan is a substitute teacher, and mentions that she wants to be a "granny nanny" for an infant. I could hardly contain myself. She would be perfect. Beyond perfect! At that point I was looking for someone 4 days a week, since my mom was going to watch him Wednesdays. Then we devised a plan to have my dad drive Jammy to Issaquah on Friday mornings, so Auntie Cookie could watch him. We would pick him up Friday afternoons, and hang out for dinner, or trade babysitting with the Fernies so that we could each go on date night sometimes. So we needed someone for 3 days a week. Long story short, Jan could only do 2 days, and I spent months trying to figure out how to make that work. But there is just no way. I'm still hoping she will call and say she can do 3 days. Anyway, we keep on with the search.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I planned to sleep in on Saturday, knowing this could be one of my last opportunities for lounging in bed. Loren got up at 7, or some other time that is too early to be reasonable on the weekend. I woke up and looked at the clock at 8, and felt what I thought might be a contraction. It didn’t hurt, and it didn’t have a very noticeable start and stop, it just felt like a little bit of pressure in my lower belly. I laid in bed until about 9, and had 2 more “is that a contraction?” contractions. Our plan for the morning was to go to the dog park, so I thought we should stick with that, since I wasn’t sure these were real contractions. I had been pretty convinced the baby would be late, and this was 10 days pre-due date.
So, we headed for bakery for a cinnamon roll and a latte, and then the dog park, and I had a few more sporadic contractions. They didn’t really have a clear cut beginning and end, and they didn’t hurt any, so I still wasn’t sure it was anything. After I had had enough that I thought they might be something, I did tell Loren. (I hadn’t wanted to mention it if they weren’t the real thing.) Maisy had a nice swim, and then it got a little cold and crowded so we headed home. I called Judith on the way home, and was going to ask her about the contractions, but she was on her way out, and I figured it was probably nothing, and I shouldn’t bug her with it. The other thing we wanted to do that day was get our new camera at Costco, so we decided to do that, since I still wasn’t really sure I was in labor, and we knew early labor would take a long time anyway, so it was a good project if I was in labor.
We got to Costco and found out they didn’t carry the camera in the store, only online, which was frustrating. Since we don’t get there very often anymore, and Costco is always fun to shop, we decided to wander for a while and see if they had anything we couldn’t live without. At some point during our wanderings, I realized this was the real thing, and even though the contractions didn’t really hurt yet, I definitely noticed them more. I started to get antsy and impatient, and decided we needed to go home. It was getting close to lunch time, so I got some frozen yogurt and Loren had a hotdog. I wasn’t very hungry and couldn’t eat much, which is weird for me, especially what with the frozen dairy and all. Loren seemed to be taking forever to eat his hotdog, and I really wanted to go, but I didn’t want to get in the car with the hotdog smell. Yech. (Impatience will start to be a little bit of a theme here.) He finally finished and we left.
When we got home, I thought I should lay down and rest, so I would have some energy for later. Loren installed the car seat in the car, which was one of our last necessary pre-baby tasks. I layed down for around 15 minutes, and my contractions, which had seemed like they were about 5 minutes apart, stopped. I didn’t like that, so I decided to get up and move around, and they started again. I did some straightening up – folding laundry and cleaning up, while Loren finished some of the last remaining door hardware install. At this point I was pretty sure it was real, so I called Maija, not home, Judith, still not home, and my Mom, not home. Hillary was home, and I told her I thought I was in labor. She was of course very excited. Loren was timing my contractions now, so as we wandered around projecting, I would say “contraction!” and then “done”, when it was over, and he jotted them down in a little notebook. Incidentally, he had put on a watch that morning, even though he never wears one. Coincidence? Psychic husband? Hard to say.
At this point I started pacing through the contractions, and breathing through them, although they still weren’t too painful. Around 2:00 the contractions had been regularly about 40 seconds, every 4-5 minutes for an hour, and they were starting to be every 3-4 minutes. Then I threw up the yogurt I had eaten at lunch. I decided it was time to call the doctor. Loren called, and the answering service said the doctor would call back within 20 minutes. I was pretty ready to leave at that point. I started doing the final packing, bringing the bags downstairs, making sure the lights were turned off, heat turned off, doors locked, ready to go. We hadn’t heard back by 2:25, and I just wanted to leave anyway. The contractions were getting more serious, and I wasn’t able to concentrate on much else. Loren still wasn’t convinced we needed to go, so I agreed to wait 5 or so more minutes and see if the doctor called. No call, and I just wanted to leave. I was upstairs getting the last bag, and I the door bell rang. I could hear him answer, and start to listen to a kid give a fundraising speech. I was mid contraction, and so frustrated I just wanted to yell at the kid to leave, and Loren to get in the car already. He bought some receeses from the little fund raiser and brought them upstairs to me, very pleased and thinking I would be excited. Very thoughtful, and well intentioned, but by then I just wanted to go!
We did get in the car at that point, at ten to three, in spite of not having heard from the doctor. We pulled onto the freeway, and traffic was backed up the on ramp, with the light metering merging traffic. The phone rang then, and Loren talked to someone who was in the room with Dr. Bridges, who was mid c-section at the time. He explained that contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, for an hour or so, and that they had slowed down when we got in the car and I stopped moving around. (At this point they were more like 3-4 minutes apart, and had been going an hour and a half, but that’s just the impatient and short fused laboring woman in me talking). Dr Bridges said we probably didn’t need to leave for the hospital yet. Loren relayed this to me when he got off the phone, but there was no way I was turning around then.
The contractions did slow down when we got in the car, but the ones that I had were a lot worse. Sitting down made them much more intense, and I was really uncomfortable. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car. I took my seat belt off and laid my seat all the way down, but I still couldn’t get into a position that felt good. We arrived at the hospital, and we weren’t sure which entrance to go in, or which garage to park at. We pulled up to emergency, and stopped a security guard who was walking by to ask him. He looked at me leaned back in my seat and hugely pregnant, and told Loren to drop me at emergency and then park. I didn’t want to, I just wanted to get the car parked and walk. We started for the garage and Loren stalled in the street to ask me what I wanted to do. Impatience and frustration again here, I told him as nicely as I could to just park the car already. We did get parked and I was much happier when I got to stand up. Walking across the street to the hospital, I had another pretty bad contraction, and had to lean over and grab a fire hydrant for support, to breathe through it. Apparently people were staring at me as they went by, but I was oblivious. We walked into the ER entrance, and they pointed us to labor and delivery.
We arrived at triage at 3:20, and I walked up to the desk and told the nurse that I thought I was in labor. She said “you have that serious look about you”, and admitted us to a triage room. It was about 1,000 degrees in there, and I was so hot and sweaty it was ridiculous. They took my blood pressure, asked how I was, all that, and I was getting so impatient to have them check me already, and tell me how far I was. I got undressed, but I couldn’t sit down, so I stood there in my t-shirt with Loren holding a hospital sheet around me. I called everyone again at this point, and left messages for Judith, mom and Maija. Again, I got a hold of Hillary, told her I was at the hospital, passed the phone to Loren during a contraction, and told her I had to go. They checked my blood pressure (fine) and baby’s heart rate (fine). Finally Darcy. the resident on duty got there and checked me. She was young and pretty and said I was 7-8 centimeters dialated, so I liked her immediately. Woo-hoo! I couldn’t believe how far along I was! Then the other doctor checked and downgraded it to 5-6 centimeters. Hmpf. They asked me what I wanted to do about pain, and I asked if I could just wait and see for a bit. They were fine with that, which surprised me a little, since I was sort of expecting to have to talk them into not getting the epidural right away. I think I was still in pretty good spirits, and being chipper and friendly in between contractions then.
5-6 centimeters was still pretty good, and they checked us into a room at that point, at 3:55. We had only been in triage for about a half an hour, and we had heard 3-4 hours in triage was average, so I was pretty pleased about that. I walked down the hall to the room in my t shirt and sheet, although I think I did put slippers on. Our room was Suite 543, and it was nice and big, much better than the one we saw on the tour. I was pleased with this at first, and then didn’t notice it again until about 1:00 in the morning.
The first thing I did after we met the nurse, Gina, was to change into a hospital gown. Ahhhh, so much cooler. The room was also not nearly as hot as triage, so that was good too. It becomes a little bit of one big long contractiony blur for me at this point. I remember the nurse asked me if I wanted to take a bath (no! Way too hot!), and I did still get to drink my water, which was nice. We were donating the cord blood to Puget Sound Blood Center, and they needed 6 vials of blood for that. She raised the bed way up and I leaned over it, so she could draw the blood and put the IV hep lock in my arm.
At this point I wasn’t so much having separate distinct contractions as one big long contraction that had peaks of worse contraction in it. By then I was definitely not just breathing but moaning through the contractions. They were so bad that I was pretty unaware of the nurse taking my blood, which is a lot for me, since I hate having my blood taken. Loren was really great, and doing everything he could to help. He would touch my arm or back trying to be supportive, and all I could say was “too hot! Don’t touch me!”. I tried to say it as nicely as possible, but it was all I could do to talk.
Somewhere around then I said I was starting to think about the epidural and she said “don’t give up yet!”. I tried to (nicely) explain that I wasn’t committed to having the baby without drugs, and I didn’t see it as giving up, but I’m not sure how it came out. After the blood taking was done and I could move around again, I tried a couple of different positions – on all fours, squatting with Loren supporting me. That really didn’t help at all. I was very impatient to get checked again and see if I was making any progress. I decided that if I was 8 or more centimeters, I might try without the drugs, but otherwise I wanted the epidural. They checked again at 4:40, and I was 7 centimeters. I said I wanted the epidural. The nurse called the anesthesiologist, who takes about 20 minutes to get there, and wanted to get me all set up and ready for when she arrived. She hooked me up to an IV, but didn’t give me a catheter, so I was happy about that. While I appreciated the thought of being all ready when the drugs got there, it meant laying down, which was awful. It was about an hour from when I said I wanted the drugs to when they kicked in, and I think that was the hardest part of labor.
The anesthesiologist arrived at 5:15 (thank god!). Getting the epidural is not the most straightforward procedure. It takes a few minutes, and required me to be completely still, through several poking needles, which is tricky while having really painful contractions. I had heard that it could take up to half an hour for the drugs to kick in, which seemed like forever at that point, so I was really happy when they started working basically as soon as the anesthesiologist was done, at 5:30. From then on, the whole thing was actually pretty fun. The huskies were playing, so we turned the game on, although not the sound. Jake Locker, star quarterback extraodinaire got carted off the field via ambulance, with a possible neck injury. Scary stuff.
Pat and Lee came at 6, and I told Loren it was fine if they came in to see me, since I was feeling so good at that point. They stayed for about 10 minutes, and then Dr. Bridges came back to check me. She said I was at 8 centimeters, and asked if my water had broken. I said I didn’t think so, but I wasn’t totally sure, as I couldn’t feel a whole lot. She then said “oops”, had broken it accidentally while checking. She predicted that I would beat the other women who were there that had gotten to the hospital before me. Whee!
Judith and my mom came by, and Pat and Lee came back and we all hung out at chatted for a while, took some photos, and it was all very fun. At 10 to 8 the doctor came back again and said I was at 9 cm, with a little bit of cervix left on the left side. The nurse also gave me a catheter at that point, which I had been dreading, but couldn’t feel, and actually was much more comfortable, as I had really had to pee for quite a while, but wasn’t allowed to get out of bed (the effect of the epidural is too make your legs feel like they are asleep, so you can’t really walk).
At 9, Dr Bridges came back again, and said I was at 10 centimeters, with no cervix left. She wanted me to “labor down” for an hour, which basically means let the contractions keep pushing the baby down further, without expending any of my energy on pushing. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to go right away, but the idea of laboring down seemed smart. I was basically in a race at this point with another woman in labor, and my big worry was that we would have to push at the same time, and the doctor wouldn’t be able to be there. Dr. Bridges said she would be back in about an hour, and to call her if I felt like I had to push.
Its going to get a little fuzzier at this point, as I took a hiatus from writing this, and am picking up again in mid-January. I never felt like I HAD to push, so we just waited for Dr. Bridges, who was longer than an hour. I think she came back around 10:30, and said we were ready to go. Yikes! Talk about giddy-nervous-disbelief. She set up a mirror so that I could watch. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, it seemed kind of weird, but I went with it, and it ended up being ok. I pushed for about a half hour before he was born. At one point she had me touch his head, which you could just barely see. It was wrinkly, and you could see a little bit of hair, and it was all very surreal. I think it took 2 or 3 more pushes, before his head came out. Now this was weird too, because she had me stop pushing, and they suctioned out his little nose etc., to make sure he could breathe before the cord was cut. The next push he was all the way out, and they put him on my chest. How unbelievable. I was in total awe and shock. Loren was standing next to me, holding his tiny feet. I don’t remember a few things that happened next. Apparently Loren cut the cord, I got a couple of stitches, and did the whole placenta thing. I was too entranced by the tiny boy on my chest to really be aware of any of that. I do remember that Dr. Bridges asked if we wanted to see the placenta, and I said no, and then, ok why not. It was pretty gross. I don’t remember the order that all this happened in, but here are a few more things that went on: Everyone came in from the waiting room to meet him. He got cleaned up, weighed, measured and foot printed. He got anklets and I got a bracelet so that we were all matched up for security. I got to order food (cheerios and a banana) from the hospital menu, and I tried to feed him.
After all the people were gone, and the baby stuff taken care of, the nurse helped me up (my legs were very wobbly) and to the bathroom, and I think changed my glamorous hospital gown to a cleaner and equally glamorous hospital gown. Then I got loaded into a wheel chair, and we moved rooms to the new baby wing, as opposed to the labor and delivery wing. There was a fold out couch for Loren, and the boy went into a little glass bassinette thing. We got a new nurse, and people kept coming in to check things, so we really didn’t get any sleep. Around 2:30, Maija came to visit. She had fallen asleep next to the phone, and didn’t hear it when Judith called to say the boy had been born. So when she woke up and checked the message she rushed down to see us, which was great. It reminded me of the 2:30 am trip Maija and I took to see Henry in the hospital when he was born. The nurses let her in the room, which was a little surprising, as it was no where near visitor’s hours or anything like that. I think that when she left we eventually did get a little sleep.
On Sunday morning, Dr, Bridges came in to check on us. The boy still hadn’t had a wet diaper, so he couldn’t be circumcised yet, which Dr. Bridges would have done that day otherwise. We did decide on his name that morning as well, Benjamin Adams. Just after we decided on Adams, the clouds cleared and we got a great view of Mt. Rainier from the room. That seemed to confirm that naming him after a mountain was the right thing to do. We had a little parade of visitors all day long: my dad, who had been at a tennis tournament in Oregon the previous night, the other grandparents, all the aunts, uncles and cousins, Maija and Colin and Tess, (who brought Kid Valley! Yay!) Cedric, Aunt Dale and Aunt Nadine, and probably some other people as well. Hillary and Mickey sent a gift basket, which was very sweet. Grandma Pat bought out the husky gear section of the gift shop. Sunday night the pediatrician on call from Dr. Brown’s office came to check him out as well, and pronounced him perfect (duh).
On Monday morning, we had a new nurse, who crazy enough, was Sun Hee, from my half marathon training group! She was awesome. We met with the lactacian specialist as well. By this time we were pretty ready to be done with the hospital. It still took us until the afternoon to get out of there. Driving home was definitely scary. When we got home, my mom had been there, and turned the heat on, and left Bagel Oasis for lunch. Yay! Getting home was a big “now what?” moment. It was hard to believe that they had let us leave the hospital with a baby, since clearly we were vastly under qualified for the whole thing. Yikes! I guess that concludes the whole birth saga. If you made it this far, let me know and I will buy you a latte. Thanks for reading!