Feeling Pinspired!

This was originally posted on my personal blog earlier this year; I’ve added a few notes about some of these projects as I’ve moved the post over.  And I’m not at the job that held me hostage anymore – which is good – but that means less of an excuse to stay home and get some things done around the house.  My craft room has slipped back into another unfortunate state of mess…  Continue reading

DIY Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow Cover Tutorial

This post was the reason I started thinking about making my personal blog private and setting up a new blog to share my creative adventures with the world. It was my first attempt at making a tutorial for a DIY, which I did because I couldn’t find any step-by-steps on the web that told me how to create a new cover for my Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow, so I figured that documenting my attempt would probably be helpful to others. And I think it was! Continue reading

So I had a baby.

It’s been about a month since I posted and that’s because I’ve been a little busy… Because I had a baby!

This past month has been a whirlwind. I’ve been incredibly busy getting to know my little man. Oh yeah – it’s a boy! Maxwell Keene was born on the 10th of January at 9:30pm. I went in to the hospital as planned on the 9th for my induction. When we pulled into the parking lot that night, we realized that there seems to be some truth to the idea that women go into labor when there’s a full moon! The parking lot was packed and the labor and delivery unit was hopping. We were settled into our L&D suite and I was hooked up by an IV by 7pm after registering and answering a million intake questions. I expected to be started on the Cervidil right away, but they were so busy that it didn’t get done until around midnight! Unfortunately, that meant that by 8am the next morning when they expected to be starting the Pitocin, my cervix hadn’t made much progress.

My doctor came in around 9am to do an exam and decided that since I had dilated a centimeter and my cervix had softened a bit, he’d go ahead and break my water. Let me tell you, that internal exam was painful. The Pitocin was started, my water was broke, and we were on our way to having a baby!

Or so we thought. Unfortunately, my little guy was pretty comfy cozy where he was. He wasn’t descending into position and my cervix was making very little progress. As a result, they kept increasing the Pitocin, which was making my contractions incredibly strong. Getting through a contraction was doable, but not when they were coming right on top of each other. They were coming at a pace that you’d have at the end of labor when it’s almost time to push, but the baby and my cervix were nowhere near ready. So I gave in and asked for an epidural. I was so thankful when the epidural kicked in. I did get itchy from it, but the pain relief was so worth it. Unfortunately, they kept increasing my Pitocin and I eventually started to feel the contractions through the epidural – so they increased my epidural. Then the baby’s heart rate started to drop during contractions. It was like the scenarios in “The Business of Being Born” coming to life. After the nurse put me on oxygen and left the room to talk to my doctor, I said, “They’re going to tell me I should get a C-Section.” Sure enough, when the doc came in the room he advised us that he’d suggest a cesarean at that point.

Alex and I talked about it and decided to go for the c-section. We felt that it was better to just go ahead with the section while the doctor was there and ready to do the surgery, rather than try and wait it out and then end up needing it in an emergent way. Once we gave the go ahead for the surgery, things moved incredibly quickly. The anesthesiologist came in to increase my epidural to the level needed for surgery. I asked him if the itchiness would go away. “Ohh… You’re itchy?” he said. “Unfortunately, that will probably only get worse.” That was not what I wanted to hear. By the time they wheeled me into the overly bright and white operating room, I was feeling pretty low. I felt like everything was out of my control and I felt really removed from the whole experience.

Alex came in and was sat by my head. He held my hand and told me that I was beautiful and he was proud of me and assured me that everything would be fine. He told me that I was going to be a great mommy and it really helped to have him give me that pep talk. It helped to bring me back to the moment – as much as I could through the haze of drugs they’d given me. The itchiness hadn’t gone away, but now it was trumped by uncontrollable shaking. They’d told me to expect that, but I didn’t expect to feel so out of it. Every c-section I’d seen on TV seemed like the moms were still pretty alert, so I wasn’t prepared for feeling like I was seeing things through a heavy fog.

Not long after we got into the room, we heard the first cries of our little baby! The doctors and nurses knew that we didn’t know the gender, so the anesthesiologist asked my doctor, “Well, doctor, what is it?” “Hold on a minute…” he replied. They told me where to look, “Look up here – in a few seconds you’re going to see your baby!” And then we heard my doctor say, “Oops he peed on me! Well, I guess I gave the sex away…” and then I saw my little boy for the first time – screaming, legs and arms splayed and generally looking pretty pissed off to be evicted from his warm little home.

I turned my head to Alex, “It’s a boy! We had a boy! We have a son!” He kissed me while I laid there smiling and staring at him. They brought our son over to us and gave him to Alex. I stared at them. The anesthesiologist grabbed my hand and moved it to my baby’s head, “You can touch him…” he said. It didn’t occur to me that I could move. I was elated but just so out of it. After a few minutes, they wheeled Alex and our son to the recovery room while they finished putting me back together. I stared at the ceiling. It didn’t seem to take all that long, but Alex said he thought it was about 45 minutes before I was wheeled into the recovery room to join them. That’s when Alex handed me our baby and I really got to meet him for the first time.

I stared at our little man – it was an incredible and overwhelming moment. He was exactly what I imagined. A familiar little stranger.

And now it’s almost a month later. I can’t believe how quickly time has passed! Max has grown and changed so much already. He’s gone from a teeny tiny squishy little newborn to an adorable and alert little one month old baby. He’s the center of our universe and we’re loving every minute of getting to know our boy!

So I’m Having a Baby Tomorrow.

I went to my doctor appointment last Tuesday and they had me do another Non-Stress Test.  The NP told me that things were looking good and then said, “So, do you have a date scheduled for an induction yet?”  I was like, “ummmmnooo….” She went on to explain that since they were monitoring me so closely for my blood pressure, that they would schedule me to be induced because they never let ladies with high blood pressure go to their due dates.  Then she said, “I’ll go check with the doctor who’s here today – I’ll be right back.”  I sat there waiting for her thinking about how whenever they’d talked induction previously, I’d always thought that they meant that if my blood pressure went super high again then they’d pull the trigger on it.  I didn’t realize that it was something that they’d do as a matter of course.

The NP came back in the room a few minutes later and said, “OK, you’re going to come back on Friday for your scheduled ultrasound.  Then on Monday, you’ll check in to Bellevue at 6:30pm.  We’ll give you a cervix softener and then the next morning you’ll get pitocin.  Then the doctor will be by to deliver your baby – probably sometime in the afternoon.”  I was so taken off guard that all I could do was say, “OK!”

So now it’s almost 5pm on Monday and my bags are packed and I’m ready to go.  This all seems so very surreal.  It was nice to have a bit of warning last week so that I could finish things up at work and make sure that everything would be covered while I’m out.  I also got to spend some time with Alex last week and this weekend just enjoying being together.  We went out Saturday nigh for dinner a Aperetivo, which is probably my favorite restaurant.  We also got a lot of things done that had been lingering.  Alex put together some baby gear and hung a big shelf in the nursery while I put the finishing touches in there.  I am so happy with the way it turned out!

The Nursery

To view a flickr slideshow of photos of the entire room, click here: http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=109615

I’ve been alternately excited and nervous today.  I’m sure that everything will go well tonight/tomorrow – and if things don’t go according to plan and I end up with a c-section, it will all be fine in the end.  I can’t believe that by this time tomorrow I will likely have a baby in my arms!!  Wish me luck!

Endings and New Beginnings

I hit 38 weeks yesterday and I can’t begin to explain how surreal it feels to have less than 2 weeks left until my due date. I think that I still fully haven’t realized that very soon there will be a whole other little person living here. We are in for such a huge change so soon!

It’s interesting to be so close to the end of my pregnancy over New Years, since this is a time when I’m traditionally pretty introspective. Last year at this time I was thinking of how 2010 was finally being put behind us and trying to focus on the positive things that I could do during a really uncertain time health wise for me. I was awaiting a thyroid biopsy to determine if the large cyst in my throat that I’d recently discovered was cancerous or not. (And after three biopsies early last year, we still don’t have a conclusive answer.) I was also being told by my OB/Gyn that it was probably time to start doing some infertility testing, since it had been almost a year since the miscarriage and we were not having any luck getting pregnant again. So the year started off with me in a very uncertain place. Happily, by mid-year I’d been medicated for my thyroid, undergone testing for infertility and actually started to consult an infertility clinic, only to find out that we’d finally gotten pregnant. And the year only got better from there!

So now 2011 is coming to a close, as is our pre-parenthood life. I’m so thankful for all of the great things that have come our way this year and so excited to embark on this new journey. But unlike most other nine months pregnant girls I know, I’m not super anxious to get this kid out of me. Of course I’m excited to meet Baby K and find out if I’m the proud mother of a daughter or a son, but I’m also just fine if Baby wants to continue baking for a little while longer. It’s not because there’s so much that I want to get done before then, because, while there are a few things that are left on the to-do list, there’s nothing critical that can’t get done after Baby is here. It’s because I’m trying to enjoy the heck out of every last moment we have before it’s not all about us anymore. So we’ve been going out to dinner and enjoying quiet nights on the sofa, both just relaxing and playing with our iPads. Today I’m spending a huge chunk of the day doing absolutely nothing (and loving it). Right now I’m ensconced in bed, propped up by five pillows and my Snoogle. I’m allowing myself to just be lazy and read or surf the web and not worry for now about the laundry that should be done, the clothing to put away, the last finishing touches I want to do in the nursery, or the dishes in the sink.

It sounds so selfish and lazy, but I figure this is my last chance to indulge in myself for a long time. Being a mother will require me to put Baby first, and I know that I’ll happily do that when the time comes, but for now it’s nice to just focus on me. It seems especially fitting to be able to do that today, on the last day of 2011. So as this year, and this part of my life comes to a close, it’s awesome to be able to relax and recognize how happy I feel and lucky I am, and to be able to enter into this New Year and next part of my life content, excited, and ready to embrace all of the wonderful (and challenging) changes to come!

Happy New Year!!

37 Weeks – Baby’s Full Term Now!

I woke up at 4:15 this morning so excited that you’d think it was Christmas morning.  OK, well, really I woke up at 4:15am because I had to pee (of course) but after climbing back into bed I realized that I was not getting back to sleep today.  All I could think about was, “Wow, I’m 37 weeks along today – Baby is full term!”  As everyone keeps telling me, and all the my pregnancy iPhone apps, books, and websites keep telling me, baby could come at any time now!

In fact, I got a little preview of the Labor and Delivery unit at Bellevue yesterday.  I went to my regularly scheduled doctor appointment yesterday morning and had another ultrasound.  Baby is looking good – all measurements are where they should be and they estimate that baby is about 7 lbs now, which is a little bigger than average at the 63rd percentile.  While I was having the ultrasound done, I realized that I just wasn’t feeling right.  “Great,” I thought, “my blood pressure is going to be high…”  I’ve been having lots of extra monitoring since mid-November since my blood pressure has been on the elevated end of the scale at almost every appointment.  Since 31 weeks I’ve been going in for weekly and sometimes bi-weekly appointments where I’ve had to have Non Stress Tests (where they hook you up to a monitor and measure baby’s heart rate while you click a button to count movements) and ultrasounds.  At my last two appointments before yesterday’s, though, my blood pressure had been great!  I knew that was a streak that was not going to last.

And it didn’t.  When the nurse sat me down for my post-ultrasound regular appointment and took my blood pressure, she gave me the “uh oh” look and said, “your blood pressure is high…” “I knew it was going to be,” I responded, “how high is it?”  “150/94,” she said, as she walked out of the room to find the doctor.  That was my highest reading yet.  The doc came in and told me that she wanted to start me on blood pressure medication and had me come with her to her office where she reviewed my chart.  I let her know that my husband could check my blood pressure for me at home and that usually when he did it’s always normal.  She requested that he take it every morning for me and gave me guidelines for when to call them related to the results.  She then asked the nurse to take my blood pressure again and it was 147/100.  She looked at me sternly and said, “Well, you’re 37 weeks tomorrow so if your blood pressure doesn’t improve, we’ll induce you.”  Then she picked up the phone and called Bellevue and said, “I need to admit a patient…”

I was instructed to go to Bellevue where I’d get a Non Stress Test and blood work done.  I knew that my condition wasn’t emergent, otherwise I wouldn’t be driving myself there, but it was definitely pretty surreal driving myself to go get checked in at the hospital.  I called Alex and the Wham to give them both a heads up – I figured that I’d be monitored and let go, but since there was a slim possibility that they might make me go on bedrest or keep me and make me have a baby (lol), I figured they should have some warning.  When I got to the hospital, the admission process went super quick and smoothly and the woman who helped me out was incredibly nice.  We joked around about a coworker who popped in to give a Christmas gift that she was giving to “all of the old timers”.  “She just called you an old timer!” I exclaimed as her coworker walked away and we both cracked up.  After my paperwork was complete and I was ID braceleted, I was sent down to the Labor & Delivery unit.

For some reason, I wasn’t expecting to be going to that unit.  So that was pretty surreal walking alone into the unit where pretty shortly I’ll be returning to deliver a baby.  I passed excited grandmothers in the waiting area and a scared-shitless-looking scrub clad dad waiting to be let into the OR for his wife’s C-Section.  I was led into one of the birthing suites by a nurse and and aide who were both super nice.  I got hooked up to the monitor and cozied into bed and given juice and the TV remote.  Now, having had about half a dozen Non Stress Tests at this point at my doctor’s office, I have to say, getting monitored at L&D is definitely the way to go.  At my doctor’s office, they don’t have a recliner or anything comfy to sit/lie in for the test, so you’re crammed onto a hard exam table, fighting with the stupid paper cover and the flat pillow and the too short table.  Not comfortable.  Oh, and the monitor at the doctor’s office is strapped on and sometimes I would have to hold the monitor against me to get a good reading of the baby’s heart rate.  At L&D, I had a big comfy bed, a table to place my juice and my iPhone, a TV to watch, and the monitor was slipped underneath a “belly tube sock” that kept it secure against me handsfree.  I got to lounge there and sip juice and talk to Baby to try and get him/her to move – it felt like heaven!

I had labs drawn and serial blood pressure monitoring and after I was there for an hour and a half was told that everything looked perfectly normal – yay!  They couldn’t get the doc on the line right away, though, so I’d have to hang out there until they could get a hold of her for discharge instructions – yay!  Actually, I was pretty OK with that part.  I got to hang out there for almost another hour just lounging in the bed and watching TV.  I told Alex later that it was pretty sad, but the highlight of my day was laying in that bed in L&D, LOL!  Since I have to save all of my vacation time for maternity leave, my only time off is weekends and since it’s December, my time off has been quickly eaten up by Christmas and Baby prep.  So unfortunately, that has not left me much time for lounging in solitude – something that I will not be able to do for a very long time once Baby arrives.  Ah well.

Speaking of Christmas and Baby prep – there’s still stuff to do in both areas.  I still have some Christmas sewing and then wrapping to get done – I guess that will get finished up tonight and tomorrow morning.  Then, after Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to focus on wrapping up Baby prep.  There are still some things that need to be bought, but I’ve been holding off on any more Baby related purchases until after Christmas since the Grandmothers have indicated that Baby K might be getting some things from Santa already!  I’ve been hoarding my gift cards and coupons and intend on doing some heavy duty shopping next week.  I also need to pick up some basic non-fun-labor-and-delivery-related supplies and pack my hospital bag.  Since “the baby can come at any time now!”, I better get moving on that.  Decorating in the nursery is almost done – and ohmygosh I’m in love with it!  I’m hoping to finalize some things in there over the next week and post pictures by next weekend.  I’m so happy with the way it’s turned out!

So now that I’ve been sitting here typing for about an hour (and written a book of a post), I guess it’s about time I get moving and start getting ready for work.  Should be a fun/easy day today (knock on wood!).  I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve already!  Oh, and here’s a message for my little baby-who-could-come-at-any-time-now: go ahead and hang out in there for a bit.  You don’t want your birthday to be so close to Christmas.  But consider coming around the end of this next week – Mommy and Daddy could use the 2011 tax deduction!

A month to go!

Today is December 13th, which means that we’re a month away from Baby’s due date. I need to check with my practice tomorrow to find out how long they let you go past your due date if Baby doesn’t come on their own. If they let me go up to two weeks past, that means we’re at most 45 days away from having a baby as of today. Holy crap!

Surprisingly, I’m not feeling too crazed about baby preparations. There are still things to buy and things to do, but I’m sure whatever needs to get done will get done, and anything else will come in time. It’s kind of nice to have Christmas fall right in the middle of this 9th month. It gives me something else to focus on and prepare for and I think that’s what’s helping me not get too torqued up over Baby prep. We’ve had the house decorated for a good two weeks already and our Christmas cards are already in the mail (which has to be a record for me). Shopping is about 75% complete at this point and there are some sewing projects still to be done, but they should all come together quickly. I’m actually hoping to get the bulk of my sewing done tomorrow after work and to finalize my shopping on Saturday.

It’s a good thing that I’m not feeling compelled to do any major shopping or projects right now because I’m so tired at night that I pass out not long after dinner and really don’t have time to get anything done in the evening before I’m asleep for the night! Like, right now it’s only 8:30 and I’m really struggling to stay awake. People tell me to enjoy the sleep while I can get it now, but I’d also like to be able to enjoy doing whatever I want right now before I’ll have a little needy baby to attend to! I also feel bad that all of my quality time with Alex is spent with me snoring next to him on the couch. He doesn’t seem to mind, though – he’s getting a lot of video game time in lol!