Before we get down to business, a word from our sponsor:

Feel free to ignore these ads if not of interest; if they do interest you, click away. I get paid by the click, so I thought I'd try this out :)

2/4/02 - well - I THINK I AM PREGNANT AGAIN! Yes, that's right. Yesterday, Superbowl Sunday, I had a positive test (CBE). Today, another one (FRER). I've had several days of progressively sorer n*pples, too. Bleah.

2/5/02 - I did another test today, and it was darker than the one from Sunday. I hope this lasts! N*pples still sore, and I'm peeing a lot.

2/6/02 - Today's HPT report (I know, I know, I'm silly but they come in two-packs!): the second FRER was a much darker positive! I'm peeing a lot and occasionally have a metallic taste in my mouth. So, today is officially 4 weeks gestation going by LMP. Since I think ovulation was around day 15 this month but of course can't be 100% sure, that's what I'm going with. It's close enough for government work :). My software gives me an EDD of 10/17/02 with a range of 10/7-10/27. Woo!

2/7/02 - More signs of pregnancy - sleep disturbances and a still greater increase in urination. Hopefully things are going well!!

2/8/02 - Oh, I forgot to mention, also a lot of burping. Bleah. No morning sickness yet, although I've had a couple of vague episodes of dizziness/queasiness. Nothing to really put your finger on, though. I'm *still* quite nervous and worried but also getting more and more excited. Yesterday I did an Answer HPT which is much less sensitive than the others (measures 100 miu hCG, the others measure down to 25 miu) and I did it in the afternoon and it was a strong positive. So that gives me hope that the levels are rising normally. I think we'll call this one our pumpkin - being due in October and all :)

2/9/02 - Last night, I noticed some colostrum. That was a big surprise!

2/10/02 - forgot to mention - I have been having diffculty falling asleep at night and staying asleep in the morning (I wake up very very early and can't fall back asleep). But during the day, I am exhausted. I fell asleep today at 4 pm at my parents' house!

2/12/02 - at work today, Cathy told me that Nina asked her if I am pregnant!! Ack. I guess I must be fat :(. I know I was really depressed last month and I ate a lot. Cathy told Nina "I don't know," which is really all she could say, given the circumstances. Then Nina said "I guess if she were, she'd say something." which makes me feel like a heel. Oh well. So, symptoms: continuing to pee a lot, also have a headache for the past few days...and burping. Otherwise I guess nothing major. Tomorrow will be the 5 week mark, btw. So I'm past the point of the loss I had last time. That's a relief.

2/13/02 - Symptoms: continuing major fatigue/exhaustion. Moodiness. Crying at the drop of a hat. Also, a lot of dizzy spells - sometimes, I feel like I'm going to faint. Creepy. I hope that's normal.

2/17/02 - no real change except increased fatigue. I pretty much slept all weekend. After work Saturday I napped all afternoon! In fact, Friday night I fell asleep at 8:30 after dinner at Lisa and Dan's house. Just the life of the party, that's me. Nothing else to report...

2/19/02 - my BIRTHDAY. I called Dr. Mellen today because of some BAD pain last night. I scheduled a fetal viability u/s for tomorrow. 2/20/02 - looking good! CHECK IT OUT. What a relief!!! We're right on track. And I had some very severe nausea in the car today.

2/22/02 - no news. Things are still the same. No nausea today (yet) although a little bit of dizziness again. WE're getting excited around here, though :)

2/26/02 - We told everyone at my birthday party on 2/23 - the news went over very well. My mom is hoping the baby will be born on her birthday (10/12). I called my brother to let him know and he seemed excited, too - although he seems to think I'm really weird for telling people this early in the game. Oh well. So, I find that I'm getting carsick whenever I am driving. That sucks. Otherwise things are ok. We're going to go shopping for a "big boy bed" for Jacob, so we can repossess the crib by October :)

3/4/02 - well, Alissa, here ya go. We're online as of today! Note to self: gefilte fish and morning sickness are NOT a good mix. Oy vey. I may never be the same.

3/6/02 - I hab a code. What else is new, right? WHY do I have to catch every stupid little bug that goes around? It is SO LAME. sigh. Well, aside from that I'm ok. Extremely hormotional but I guess that is to be expected. I had a meltdown in a store the other day. I was buying underwear and my credit card was declined TWICE. So I called the card people and they said that not only was our account fine, but they showed no attempted charges for that day at all. I told the woman at the store and she said something to the effect of "don't be tellin' me those stories just because you don't be payin' your bills, I don't got time for that." I tried to tell her that the card rep said she should contact her processing center because clearly something was wrong on her end, but she refused. I ended up having to use a different card that I did not want to use and it really upset me and I just left the store and cried and cried. Silly huh? I just don't know where some people get off.
I am feeling very nauseated today which is bad because I was supposed to do laundry but when I walk across the kitchen to the laundry room I start to feel really really gross. Bleah. I'm trying to hang in there and hopefully feel better in time for Gymboree...
Oh, also, last night I was so tired, I fell asleep at like 7:45 or something, on the couch at my in-laws' house. I am SO tired all the time. I really don't remember being THIS tired last time. I always feel ready for a nap (like right now!)

3/7/02 - Today was my official first prenatal visit. We had a u/s to confirm dates - we measured right on at 8 weeks 1 day. There was a heartbeat and everything. Of course, I have pictures! You can see the u/s with or without my helpful hint overlay. Dr. M had a med student with him today that I got to torment, which was fun of course. We asked about prenatal testing and ended up signing up for the new first trimester screening test. This is a brand new thing where they do a nuchal translucency scan, a serum b-HCG, and a serum PAPP-a all at the same time. It's supposed to have greater sensitivity and specificity than the triple screen, plus it is done earlier (mine will be April 2, around 11 weeks), so that's good. I'm still TIRED and queasy, which Dr. M reminded us are excellent signs, if annoying.

3/11/02 - Oy. Jacob has had a cold, and I have caught it from him, and I am miserable. First of all I am still TOTALLY exhausted. Mom came over yesterday and played with Jacob for a few hours and I napped but it didn't really help, I was still tired when I got up. Last night was awful - I had horrible nightmares about aliens taking over and separating me from Jacob and Michael, and then another one about my having another little boy who was not allowed to live with me, and another one I don't even remember. Ugh it was awful. I woke up about every hour and a half, and had to pee really bad at about 1 am and was scared to walk to the bathroom! When Jacob woke up at 5 am I had a horrible sore throat and headache and stuffy nose and felt feverish. This is so unfair. :(. But I'll live I guess. Over the weekend we started our vacation plans - we're going to Toronto this summer!

3/14/02 - Well, Jacob and I are both feeling a lot better. The past two days, though, I have had really achy b**bs and the fatigue hasn't let up to any real extent. Sigh.

3/15/02 - Woke up with a severe, right-sided headache and severe nausea. It was very unpleasant. I stayed in bed as long as possible but had to get up to take Jacob to the pediatrician. I had a long retching episode before we left, so I brought a ziploc bag with me. Before we left I had to do a flying leap out of the car and puke in the yard. Then I puked in the bag until I had to pull over and puke on the side of the road. What a nightmare. The checkup went great, Jacob is doing fabulously of course - and when we got home we BOTH went to sleep. I felt a lot better when I got up but then I decided to eat something. Now I feel gross again :(

3/19/02 - still having vague nausea and a vague headache. I checked my blood pressure to see if it could be the problem - 112/71. So I guess it's just being pregnant. At least I'm not actively puking at this point. I'm finding that if I pee right before bed at about 9 PM, I wake up REALLY having to go by 4 or 5 am at the latest. Sigh.

3/23/02 - The fetal period began yesterday! Woo hoo!! :) I had a good day at work today, in fact, this whole week has gone really well, so that makes me feel better. At least, being so very tired, has not affected my work so terribly. I feel reasonably good as far as the nausea - it's a lot better although I still get some queasy episodes. I guess things are pretty much status quo.

4/2/02 - I haven't been writing much because not much to report. I have been having headaches at night and in the afternoons - really bad ones. Twice they were bad enough that I puked. They are worse when I stand up. I checked my BP, I was worried perhaps it was high, but it was 110/70 just like it normally is, so that's not it. I guess it's hormonal, I don't know. I am going to ask the doc about it today. Yesterday I had my first trimester screening. It was funny - the tech did a full u/s of everything - baby, uterus, ovaries, kidneys, adrenals, the whole nine yards! Then the doc came in and re-did part of it. He said everything looked great and I could go! I asked him "do I have to go to the lab for bloodwork?" and he said "what bloodwork?" and I said "well, the first trimester screen includes b-HCG and PAPP-a, right?" and he said "Oh, you're here for THAT? no one told me!" and so I asked him if he had to take another u/s measurement (I hadn't seen him do a nuchal measurement) and he said "yes" and he did, and it was 1 mm which is normal, phew. Then he got his nurse to take some blood, and that was it. I'm glad I knew what was supposed to happen though! I got some great pictures of the little pumpkin with its hand next to its face.

4/3/04 - [weight: 180.5 lbs] Oh boy. What a morning! I went to my OB appointment and had a somewhat hairy ride into town due to some morons "gaping" at an apparently routine traffic stop on the opposing side of the expressway. Still, I arrived at the PA Hospital area 1/2 hour early and expected to have to sit and wait in the waiting room. Well, it took me about 25 minutes to park in the parking structure due to another moron in front of me driving at about 3 or 4 mph! I finally parked and got into the Dr's office at 10:30, just in time for my 10:30 appointment. Except, after I signed in and sat down, someone came out and told me my appointment wasn't until tomorrow. I knew that was incorrect as I had had a discussion with the person who made the appointments about how Wednesdays weren't good for me and couldn't I come on a Thursday and she'd said absolutely not, it just wouldn't work out this week, blah blah, and I had to make the appt for Wednesday. So, I said I wanted to be seen since I was there, and they said I had to talk to the office manager. I got a bit out of control and was crying and stuff, but I did manage to compose myself enough to express the main points that a) I hadn't made a mistake in the appointment date, b) someone on their end made the mistake, c) I'd had to arrange a special babysitter, d) I'd paid for parking, and e) I couldn't easily reschedule for any time within the month of April. The manager gave me some song and dance about how they were so busy and this visit had a lot of paperwork and blah blah - so I asked if I could start filling it out. She said it was all for the office, nothing for me to do. I said fine. I said I would wait til the Dr could see me, that I didn't mind waiting but I wasn't rescheduling. She said she'd ask him but she didn't think he'd see me. So, I go out and wait again. Then a nurse brings some paperwork to a woman next to me to fill out. I asked if there was anything for ME to fill out and she said sure, she'd bring me the paperwork. So I filled out the paperwork and I went back in and gave it to the receptionist - and the nurse saw me and said "Oh, Hillary, we're reaady for you, come right back to exam room four!" I was like "you've GOT to be kidding!" and she said "what do you mean?" and I said "well, they made it sound like there was no way I'd get seen today" and she said "oh, you know Dr. M will make time for you" and I was in and out of there by 11:15 and we got everything covered that needed to be done so it was great. Now I'm going to relax. Oh, btw he said that the headaches are normal and I should lie down when I get them if it makes me feel better, and that I can take tylenol for them if I want :).

4/9/02 - busy, busy, busy is what we've been around here! Not much to report except that I have been having terrible nightmares and that I have felt some fluttering motion in the region of my bladder which makes me think it might be the baby - even though it's really early for that. We'll see, time will tell :). Also, when I sit up and lean forward, I can feel my uterus in a weird way, as a hard lump down in the depths of my abdomen. Oh, and yesterday morning which was of COURSE a day that Michael was at work and Jennie was out of town, I was really sick. I had to ask my mom to come help me because I kept puking into the kitchen sink and I couldn't chase Jacob around like he wanted me to. Bleah.

4/15/02 - well, last Friday I had another evil headache, and then on my way to work I was puking again. I can't believe it! I thought that would be done by now! We had a great weekend, although we went out for Michael's birthday yesterday and I sat in a very uncomfortable chair and that wasn't the best. My b**bs have been swelling and getting painful, and Jacob has taken a renewed interest in them. I'm on a quest for a new maternity bathing suit since it's like 85 degrees already this week (!!) but so far no luck. Most importantly: I got the results of the first trimester screening and my risk for a baby with Down Syndrome is now officially reduced from the age-related risk of 1:360 to a calculated risk of 1:6100!

4/18/02 - day before yesterday it was 91 F and I overheated - I ended up puking, with a horrible horrible headache, and just feeling terrible. My OB has ordered me to stay cool for the rest of the week, which is unseasonably warm.

4/23/02 - the heat wave is over and I thought the puking was too, because other than during toothbrushing time I hadn't felt at all like puking since 4/18...but no, today on my way to work, it was pukefest 2002. This is starting to piss me off because it seems like it's getting worse instead of better. Oh well. This too shall pass, and otherwise I feel fine. Well, except for the allergies which are annoying of course but nothing I haven't dealt with before :)

5/1/02 - I'm still puking. Yesterday on the way to work, and right now I feel like it but not yet. I'm having some mint tea and candied ginger, I hope it helps. I don't know what is up with this. I never heard of nausea getting WORSE in the second trimester :(.

5/2/02 - OK, just back from my 16 week checkup and all is well! The heartbeat sounds fine, my BP is 110/64, normal urine screen, yada yada yada :). I've only gained 3.5 lbs so far which is a bit less than half of normal weight gain, which is totally fine. Doc says it sucks that I'm having so much nausea at this point. We're scheduled for a level II U/S in three weeks!! If we want to know gender, that is when we'll find out...

5/6/02 - well I haven't been sick since 5/2 so maybe I am finally over the hump! I hope so!! Otherwise everything is fine, no real changes or anything (except majorly sore boobs...).

5/19/02 - well, I was puking again yesterday, sigh. Today David and Lori got married and I just wanted to say that I had the best time at the wedding! Michael and Jacob and I danced and ate and had a lot of fun. We're all so happy for them.

5/21/02 - OK, yesterday totally sucked. I woke up feeling hung over although I know that is impossible, I only had 3 sips of champagne at the wedding! I took a long afternoon nap and felt a little better, but still, it wasn't that great a day at all. Today I feel somewhat better but still not 100%. I don't know if I just overdid over the weekend, or if I maybe am getting a cold, or what. I just don't feel right.

5/23/02 - We had the level II u/s today and saw the baby in so much detail it is unbelievable. Everything measured right on for 19 weeks - the brain, ventricles, head, cerebellum, heart, spine, femurs, kidneys, etc - it all looked perfectly normal too :). We got a few cute pix, hopefully I can scan those in soon. My OB check was also fine, no problems, normal BP etc.

6/6/02- Well so much has changed in the past two days.... Mrs. Ressler's Food had a big big fire and the plant burned down and well - Michael and everyone are working very very hard to save the business. It's stressful. I haven't been feeling so well - I have very emotional responses at very awkward times, and yesterday I had stomach and back aches; Jacob was also very stressed and refused to eat for a day but when Michael came back from dealing with all that stuff, Jacob ate a whole cheese sandwich. Other than that, things have been cruising along nicely. We got Jacob's big-boy furniture so now I have to go through his old stuff, see what to save, and start setting up the room for the new baby!

6/20/02 - Things are going ok. OB appt today and the baby is doing perfectly fine, I gained less than a pound prompting Dr. M to ask me if everything is ok - so I had to tell him the whole sob story. He told me to eat more calcium to help with leg cramps, and just try to eat a healthy diet and not to stress out so much. I am stressing out a lot but it's hard not to. We cancelled our vacation and I'm very bummed out even though I totally understand it's impossible for Michael to get away. Michael felt the baby kick last night!

6/28/02 - I'm recovering from the evil summer cold that laid me low earlier this week. Phew. We've been having a big heat wave - temps 90+, humidity close to 100% - and I've been sick on top of it, so i haven't been out much at all. I guess it's good I didn't go to Toronto if I was going to be so sick. I had wicked leg cramps last night. I've had a few episodes of heartburn. Oh, and sleeping through the night is a thing of the past. Ah, yes, I remember this. :) I feel a lot of kicks, although it is still hard to get Michael's hand there fast enough to feel it.

7/11/02 - Well, the heartburn is an ongoing thing now, bleah. The past couple of days I have had killer lower back pain and sciatica, too. I think this is a lot earlier than I had it last time. Argh. I'm trying to be very careful about lifting things (like Jacob!) and so on, so it doesn't become a "stay in bed for two days" situation as it has in the past. Otherwise, everything is going fine. I've been doing a lot of work n the garden during the early morning and late evening hours, and the roses are all doing well as are the vegetables and herbs. My next appointment is in a week or so, and I have to have the glucose tolerance test then. Bleah.

7/18/02 - The back pain went away, phew. I'm noticing some bruises - I will have to point them out to Dr M at my next visit. Weird. I woke up early this morning due to Jacob waking up at 3:30, and couldn't fall back to sleep because of a lot of fetal movement :). Michael saw some of it from the outside!

7/22/02 - [weight: 197.5 lbs] Had my glucose tolerance test, which was no big deal, and saw Dr M. Everything is going great; he estimates the baby is 2-2.5 lbs at this point (via palpation). No news is good news. :)

8/12/02 - I don't know if I mentioned it, but the past ten days or so I have had the left hip pain/numbness at night really bad - I just have to keep rolling over. Then last night, I was having it even when I was lying on my right side - my left hip would just be all pins and needles! Ack! On the bright side, we tried a new method of sleep training Jacob starting five days ago, and from day one he didn't cry at all, AND spent the entire night in his own room (except for coming to our door once or twice and then going back to his own room, on his own, without bothering us)!!! This really is a lot better than the coming into our room at some point between midnight and 3 am that he had been doing. Phew.

What else...what else...lots of fetal movement, but more rolling and stretching types than with Jacob - Jacob was more a poking/kicking type of fetus. Intermittent disc pain and sciatica. I've been trying to sit on the birthing ball when at the computer, instead of the chair. Maybe it will help some - it does kind of force better posture. Oh, and get this - my mom said something to me at dinner a couple of weeks ago about how the finger edema I was complaining about was probably due to too much salt in my diet - this after the whole explanation she got last time. I couldn't believe it!

The heartburn this time around is nowhere near as bad as last time, so that's good I guess. I also haven't had as many leg cramps. The weather hasn't been cooperating with me that much - it's up near 100 F again with near 100% humidity. Ack. A/C is my best friend. I guess that's about it for now. Ciao.

8/22/02 - [weight: 200 lbs!] Our third anniversary was celebrated in style last night at Toscana in Bryn Mawr with a wonderful meal in a lovely setting :). In other news, this back pain is out of control - really, it is intermittently crippling, and I'm starting physical therapy next week. I saw the OB today and he said everything is doing fine; the baby measured about 3.5 lbs which is apparently only 30th percentile, which seems weird to me, but he wasn't concerned and I know anything between the 10th and 90th percentile is normal so I guess we shouldn't worry. Of course, I will worry anyway but that's just me. Here's hoping the back pain recedes.

9/11/02 - Gosh, it's been a while since I updated. The back pain DID get better but a couple of days ago it started getting worse again and tonight I've had a few of those "I can't move" moments. Sigh. I have physical therapy tomorrow so that's good. We survived Rosh HaShanah intact and had a fabulous party in honor of Jacob's 2nd Birthday on 9/8 (well, his bday was 9/9 of course but the party was 9/8.) I am so lucky that my family cares - I didn't have to lift a finger, everyone brought or helped to prepare food, so even though I had a horrible horrible cold and felt like I'd been hit by a truck, it went great nad Jacob really enjoyed himself.
The sad thing about right now is Jennie left yesterday :(
The good news is Jacob is getting along with the new au pair Maija and is also adjusting well to school, I think.
On the pregnancy front, we met with Roslyn (our doula) today and the meeting went well. I feel pretty reassured about things - it sounds like she will be instrumental in helping me try different things out to deal with pain, so I don't just end up sitting there and then getting an epidural. She is a strong advocate of showering in labor - we'll see how it goes, I guess.

9/20/02 - Had a doc appt yesterday. First I had an ultrasound, which showed normal amniotic fluid index, and confirmed our predicted gender :), and also showed a smallish baby - measuring about 34 weeks instead of 36 weeks, putting it at the 25th percentile. I was assured by the maternal-fetal-medicine guy as well as my regular OB that there is nothing to worry about with respect to size. Interestingly, the weight estimate per u/s is 5.5 pounds. The weight estimate as per palpation is 6.5 lbs. So if the palpation is real then the whole u/s small-baby issue is bogus anyway. And the u/s does have a margin of error which the MFM specialist says is 10%. Anyway, my exam was fine, no dilation or effacement yet, no bp problems, etc. I feel ok, just pretty tired and a lot of pelvic joint pain.

9/23/02 - I was just reading the pregnancy calendar thingy online at, and I found something surprising. According to them, the estimated weight for your average 36 week fetus is - surprise! - 5 lbs, 9 oz. So, if this baby's u/s based estimate of 5.5 lbs is correct, that's really not a huge difference from average at all. So I don't see what the big deal is! And if Dr. Mellen is right, then this kid is a moose already. So whatever. Looks like they are "supposed" to gain about 1/2 lb per week. So if 5.5 was correct at 36 weeks, we'd have a 7.5 pounder at term. Not too shabby, but not as big as her big brother!

10/2/02 - [weight: 207 lbs] So, at my next appt on 9/25, Dr. M. said the baby, via palpation, measured 6 lbs 10 oz. That's only a 2 oz gain. That seems weird. But anyway, I go back today and we'll see what he says. I'm starting to get all stressed out about it because everyone keeps telling me how small I look! Sheesh, just because I didn't gain 60 lbs this time.... Anyway, I'm having really bad pain in the pubic bone when I move from lying down to sitting or standing, and my SI joints are really painful most of the time. I guess my pelvis is really loose. Otherwise things are ok - although for the record, I STILL have occasional morning nausea. How lame is that?

So today, I saw Dr. U. and he estimates the baby is 7 lbs - and he said if anyone else tells me I look "too small," I should pound them. :)
I had an embarrassing experience at the doc's office. Somehow, I forgot to remove my underwear. I had to ask him to leave so I could do it when I suddenly realized at the critical moment that I was still wearing it. Oops. The exam was fine, and I'm a fingertip to 1 cm dilated. Woo hoo. After my appointment I did some window shopping and reading at B&N and then met mom and grandma at Le Bec Fin for lunch. now I'm stuffed to the gills!

10/9/02 - another week, another appointment. I can't believe we're at 39 weeks and we're going to NYC this weekend! Living dangerously... :) but seriously, Dr M said no change from last week's exam - except, I did gain 4 lbs, and am now (gasp) 211.5 lbs strong, but I think it is mostly water because my ankles are pitting again. He estimates the fetal weight at 7.5 lbs today and brushes off any suggestion that this baby is small :). A new formula was published recently for prediction of birthweight with greater accuracy than via ultrasound. Here is the formula: Birth weight (g) = gestational age (days) x (9.38 + 0.264 x fetal sex [1=male, -1=female, 0=unknown] + 0.000233 x maternal height [cm] x maternal weight at 26.0 weeks [kg] + 4.62 x 3rd-trimester maternal weight gain rate [kg/d]] x [number of previous births + 1]); using this formula, I get a predicted weight of 8.2 lbs, so we'll see :). Palpation was uncomfortable this week. Dr M delivered two babies so far today, one of which came during my appointment. He would have delivered three but he mentioned that one of his patients had to stop off at Bryn Mawr Hospital and have the baby there because it was coming too quickly! Ack.

10/14/02 - well, I haven't felt so good today. I was ok this morning at physical therapy, but since then have felt sorta sleepy and I've noticed I really waddle instead of walk, at this point. This evening I started to feel kind of short of breath and noticed a rapid heartbeat, and just generally didn't feel right. I don't know what's up. I don't feel any contractions, though. Just a vague sort of ADR thing. We'll see how it all goes... 10/16/02 - I have Jacob's cold - I was coughing a lot last night and my throat hurts a little, darn it. I had a crazy dream last night that I had the baby at home and it hardly hurt, and I didn't have to push or anything, the baby just kind of slid out! And, it was a BOY! Weird.
Just got back from my app't w/Dr. M - now he says baby is 7.5 lbs (he says that last week he said 7 lbs 5 oz, not 7.5 lbs. Whatever), cervix 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I got my flu shot *yay* but my arm is sore. That's about all the news today! 10/18/02 - OK, I'm 40 wks 1 day and feeling so crappy it isn't funny. The big due date came and went and all that arrived was a terrible cold. I must have gotten it from Jacob. I have a cough and keep coughing up this phlegmy stuff, and my sinuses and all full and my nose is stuffy and I can't breathe or sleep and it SUCKS. Phew. It feels good to get that off my chest. Dr. M. said I could take some Tylenol Sinus and Robitussin DM would be fine too - I did take some earlier today but it didn't help that much. Hopefully I will feel better in the morning, though. I hope.

10/20/02 - THE BIG DAY!!

Written Tuesday, 10/22

Short version: Naomi Rebecca Israeli DOB: 10/20/02 11:50 PM Height: 19 3/4 inches Weight: 7 lbs 6.4 oz Rapid, unmedicated, uncomplicated labor with moderate postpartum bleeding. Long version: On Sunday, October 20th, we got up and went out to breakfast. It seemed like a normal day. In the afternoon, Jacob was napping, and Michael was mowing the lawn. At around 3 pm I started to feel some pains that I thought might be contractions. I had them about every 15 minutes and I notified Michael (via SMS text messaging) at about 4 or 4:30. By 5, Jacob was up and the lawn was mowed and I was ready to take a bath to see if the contractions, which since about 4:30 were coming about every 4-8 minutes, and sometimes as often as every 2-3 minutes, but which were still not really painful, would go away or not. Jacob decided to join me in the bathtub which wasn't really what I wanted but it turned out nice. The water felt great and Jacob played with some toy boats and sat in my "lap" such as it was, while Michael supervised. While I was in the tub we had a big discussion about whether or not we'd get to have dinner. I still was not sure if this was real but I was starting to think it probably was. Michael decided he wanted to have pizza so I sent him out with Jacob to go get one, while I stayed in the bathtub. I called Joy to chat and I remember telling her I still wasn't sure what was going on because I could still talk through contractions - but they were starting to get more ouchy.

The pizza arrived. I got out of the tub at about 6:30, having contractions every 3-5 minutes, and came down and ate some. At 7 PM we called our doula Roslyn to tell her what was going on. She agreed to call us back at around

9 pm if she hadn't heard back from us. Little did she know! :) My notes indicate that at 7:12 I had the most painful contraction so far and I think at that point I knew it was going to progress for sure. We called Kitty and asked her to come to the house to sleep over with Jacob. When she arrived, I went upstairs to relax and see how I felt. How I felt was in pain! By 8:30 we knew we'd be going to the hospital. I did call the doctor but we didn't get a call back so we ended up just going. I think we called my parents from the car and I think I sort of hung up on my mom when a painful contraction started. Oops. My notes (thank you, Contraction Timer software for PalmOS!) show that at 9:23 I was on the phone, in the car, with Dr. Ufberg - I remember that. A very painful contraction hit me, we were almost at the hospital by then - probably around 8th and Market or so - and I couldn't talk. Dr. Ufberg got the point, told me not to try to explain what was going on since I clearly couldn't speak, he apologized for not calling earlier but he'd been in a section, and said he'd meet us there. My last note is at 9:34 so that is probably when we arrived at L&D for triage and put away my handheld. Shortly after that I was hooked up to the monitors - those really bothered me this time. I hated the feeling of elastic around my belly! Roslyn arrived, was kicked out of triage by a nurse, and then let back in by another nurse. It was nice to have her there. She was very calming. A resident checked me and I was "3 to 4 centimeters and about 90% effaced" at that point - I guess around 10 pm. Dr. Ufberg came in and said everything looked great and OK'd the "low risk protocol," saying "women have been giving birth for millenia before we started intervening," and I could just go have at it and let them know when we needed help. So we went to the L&D room.

Labor in L&D was a microcosm of alternative coping techniques. We did a lot in a very short amount of time! The contractions were coming every 2 minutes or so by the time we got in there. When I was focused on the start of one, and able to pay real attention to it from the beginning and during the whole thing, it was MUCH easier to deal with than when one snuck up on me. If it snuck up on me, I was screwed. From the time we entered triage until about 11 pm, what really helped was pretending that I was going uphill during a contraction - walking, not running or anything. If I was able to focus on that imagery it helped a lot. Of course in some way I kept thinking that the imagery and breathing were totally ridiculous and that it hurt so much I should just get some drugs - but more on that later. So, we listened to the CD I made, and that was good. I remember breathing in rhythm with a Barenaked Ladies song at one point. I kept feeling like I had to pee, so I tried that, and did finally - but still felt like I had to of course. I looked at photos of Jacob. At one point, I took a nice hot shower which felt GREAT until a contraction hit and I got angry at the water and had to turn it off right away. One major coping technique was snuggling my forehead into Michael's neck. That was huge - I used that in triage and all the way up until - well, until shortly before things got hairy. Still - generally speaking I felt best in some kind of side-lying position on the bed. I tried the birthing ball and got a really really bad contraction that got away from me. So that was no good for me. As we sort of kept rotating through doing all these various things, the contractions were more and more painful and I started to think I needed drugs for real. I felt very cold and was trembling so they gave me hot blankets - those felt great. I told Roslyn and Michael that I felt like during the contractions, all I could think about was screaming for drugs. They said if I chose them that was ok. I still didn't want them though - until at about 11:25 pm I had a HORRIBLY painful contraction that I couldn't focus through or anything. All I could think of was OH MY GOD - I'm going to feel like this until the baby is born, I can't do it, I can't take it, I don't need to be a martyr, bring me drugs! So I asked for an epidural. I remember Roslyn and Michael saying it was ok, it was my decision. I was glad at that moment that they didn't try to talk me out of it.

We told the nurse I wanted one. SHE tried to talk me out of it. Well, not really, but she looked at me and said "it's ok, don't beat yourself up," and I felt like she was stalling! I remember feeling very annoyed with her, and I wanted her to hurry up and get me my drugs before it was too late. Little did I know. [I don't remember this, but my doula tells me that at this point, the nurse got a resident to check me my progress, and I was six centimeters, so they said it would be ok to get the epidural. I totally do not remember ever hearing that I was six cm. Roslyn (the doula) says she was kind of disappointed to hear that, as she felt I was probably more than that based on how I looked....] She left. I had another very painful contraction and my water broke at the peak of it. That was at 11:36 or 11:40 PM. I remember wondering if it was clear or meconium stained but I didn't ask - I couldn't talk much by then. I think Roslyn told me the water was clear. The nurse came back as the next contraction hit and I was involuntarily pushing with it, although trying not to. I was lying on my left side, leaning into Roslyn, screaming bloody murder, basically - trying to stay in control but totally failing. She told the nurse I wanted to push. I remember thinking "thank heavens someone here is paying attention to what's going on!" I told the nurse "I*NEED*SOME*PAIN*RELIEF*NOW!" I was thinking I could get some kind of IV meds at that point, because it would take too long for an epidural to kick in and clearly I was going to die from the pain if I didn't get some relief. Ha ha. I actually remember thinking maybe I should ask or beg for general anesthesia - but I didn't actually verbalize that. Obviously my higher reasoning centers had shut down by then because no way would I ever allow or expect them to allow IV narcotics so close to delivery! The nurse lifted the sheet to check me to see if I would still be able to get the epidural, or what. Then, Michael says, her face went white and she told him to push the call button. From that moment on, I don't remember things in order very well. I know the resident came in and started gowning up, and said "we need to get Dave in here. Someone get me sterile gloves." I remember I said "don't cut me, don't cut me" and Michael told the resident "she does not want an episiotomy." I was glad he said that. The contractions were coming so fast, they kept saying "don't push, don't push" and I was panting and really NOT pushing - but I could feel my uterus just pushing the baby out on its own. The nurse kept telling me to look at her "Look at me, Hillary, Look at me! Don't push! Breathe! Pant! Look at me!" and I did look at her, but when I looked at her and panted at the same time, her hair puffed away from her head in an annoying way and it was driving me crazy for some reason. I reached down and could feel, and could also see, the baby's head stretching out everything down there, and I knew she was coming really soon regardless of what I did! I remember seeing the bulging of the head with my skin over it and thinking that looked really really weird and scary. I was wishing I could push! I heard voices talking about putting me in position. I felt Michael and Roslyn try to shift me so I wasn't totally falling off the edge of the bed like I had been. I was just sort of writhing, trying to not push. I remember asking "is everything ok?" because I thought maybe they wanted me to not push because the baby had a problem with the stress or something. But no one answered. The next thing I remember is feeling the burning sensation at the outlet move in an upward direction and I thought "uh oh, I'm going to tear up!" and then the next thing I felt was the baby coming out! I remember saying "oh, she's out! she's been born!" and she was crying so that was amazing. I was glad to hear confirmation that she was ok - not like with Jacob, when he took forever to cry. Then Dr. Ufberg strolled in - "well, what's going on here?" he asked! I was like "nice of you to show up. You don't return my calls, you don't deliver my kids, what are you here for anyway?" :). From that point on - I was shaking so hard, I commented that the story they gave me last time about postpartum shakes being from the epidural was clearly not necessarily true! I asked about tearing and found out that my little 7 lb 6 oz girl had not caused any damage at all. I remember feeling a burning sensation in my uterus and asking Dr Ufberg "are you pulling the umbilical cord?" and he said "no, you're delivering the placenta." I remember saying something like "Naomi's here!" and then asking to see her - she was very cyanotic, and it took a minute or two for them to get her all ready to come back to me, but then they did put her on me and she nursed really well. Her time of birth was 11:50 pm - is that amazing or what? 2 hours to go from 3 cm to born, and that was with me trying NOT to push! After all this - well, pretty routine, really. I did have somewhat excessive bleeding and needed two shots of pitocin to get that taken care of, but then everything was fine, and we went to our room, and the rest is history.