Friday, August 29, 2008

Birth Story

Saturday, August 16th, (a day after my dehydration stay in the hospital) was pretty contractions. The night before we had friends over and I was able to eat decently despite the day full of naseau, that's why I think I was able to stand the next day. It was the Hindu holiday of Rakhi, so I tied G's rakhi on his wrist and G did the same for me (in his household it's customary for the brother's wife to get a rakhi as well). Afterwards, G and I went to the North Bend mall to do some cloth shopping for G. We also stopped to do some farmer's market shopping and grocery. Below is a pic of me right as we are leaving to go shopping. I was enormous. Probably around 188 to 191 lbs. The weather that day was wonderfully sunny. We had a flat tire along the way back home so our plans for an evening movie were canceled.

Sunday, August 17th was normal enough, Mom had arrived the night before from Minnesota. She cooked lunch (yay desi okra) and then in the afternoon we decided to take Mom to the Cascade mountain range, about 5 hours from where we currently live. In the morning I started feeling light contractions, but I knew that this was just random practice labor and decided to be risky and drive far off where there is no cell phone reception a day before my due date. :-) Of course we didn't tell Mom how I was feeling, if she had known she would never have agreed to such a long drive. Below is a pic of us at a pass in the Cascades.

By the end of the day, I had to really pace myself because I was having contractions every 30 minutes, and my whole lower region was achy feeling and I walked at a snail's pace. I was also really craving liquids, especially gas station slushies. :-) We came back at night and I barely ate dinner (I think I put on more of a "show" that I was eating dinner just to satisfy G and keep him from getting on me about not eating). Everyone went to bed, and I began having more painful contractions every 20 minutes or so. They were still bearable, but I was unable to sleep the entire night. I kept a log of the contractions while G slept peacefully besides me (halfway through the night I started moaning and of course woke up G with each contraction).
By 4 am, Monday the 18th, I woke G and told him we definetly need to go to the hospital, I didn't care if we didn't match the 5-1-1 (5 minutes apart, lasting a minute, for an hour) rule, they were getting too painful. So we woke up Mom and all 3 of us headed to Overlake. They checked me into a room, and the most annoying nurse came into help me. She checked my cervix and I started crying out of pain, she took WAY too long to measure the cervix (most people pop their fingers in and out, she took her sweet time). G and Mom were holding my hands the whole time. The annoying nurse told me I was 3 cm dialated and could have the baby now if my OBGYN popped the bag. Luckily my OBGYN was at the hospital at the time (I love the docs at this hospital, they show up for everything!) so he dropped by and discussed my options. I told him I wanted a chance for the bag to break on it's own, so Mom and I dropped G off at work and then Mom drove me back home. I was VERY much in pain by then, so Mom had to deal with a very moody and crabby daughter giving her directions back home. Back at home I took a LONG hot shower and beared through 4 hours of intense contractions. I tried reading, watching TV, anything to get my mind off the pain. G actually had the balls to ask me if I could take the car to the autoshop to get the spare tire changed (from our flat tire on Sunday) while I was writhing in pain at home. Obviously, that didn't happen. :-)

At 1pm Mom and I left for my afternoon appointment (I had originally had a 40 week checkup with the OBGYN scheduled). G was supposed to meet me there after he had lunch with a friend. G was 15 minutes late and I was pretty mad, but in so much pain that I really didn't care to bitch about it. The doctor was also late. The doctor said I was a whopping 7 cm dialated by then, so it meant baby was ready to come that day. The nurses in the clinic were excited and we all said goodbye and headed to the hospital. In the labor room a super nice nurse, Corey, helped me get ready for the epidural. I wanted an epidural more for rest...I had been contracting strongly the whole day and night before so had very little patience and strenght left in me. I changed into my own gown, and then the anesthesiologist had me curl up in a c shape and did the needle work. The oddest popping feeling followed. A student from a tech school came in to assist Corey, her name was Danita and she was also sweet and even cried at the end of the labor when Om was born.

So basically I had done 75% of the labor at home. The epidural was GREAT...God bless the person who invented it. I could still feel sensations in my legs and the urges to push. I still needed a catheter to use the bathroom, however, and getting that put in HURT. (I figured out I'm a big baby when it comes to anything below my waist...I would rather get 10 IV's put in my arm than go through an internal exam or catheter inserted).

Om kept playing with the umbilical cord while inside me, so his heart rate kept jumping up and down which concerned the nurses and had me turning sides to get his heart rate back up. Eventually I was a full 10 centimeters dialated and my OBGYN showed up to do the delivery. I pushed for 20 to 30 minutes, and then Om was born. He had a 3 feet umbilical cord (really long) wrapped around his neck, and he was covered with a film of meconium of greenish color. Apparently he had a bowel movement about a month back, hence the film. Due to that the doctor didn't put Om on my stomach, instead he was whisked off for some checking. I heard Om cry and saw him through my legs briefly. I was in a weird state of mind at that time, and was focused on the pain from the OBGYN stitching me up, so I really didn't mind anyway.

G was holding one leg of mine up the whole time, and the OBGYN was holding the other leg up while attending to the labor. My mom and the two nurses were near my head and giving me encouragement for pushing. G had a very close view of the labor, which I really didn't want to happen, I wanted him to be near my head giving me encouragment, but in the heat of the moment the doctor told him to hold my leg up and things started moving so fast that there was no time to adjust people's positions. But the good thing is that G knows how many breaths Om took before crying, how he looked right as he emerged. That is really special and I'm glad someone saw all that, despite how dirty it can be down there during labor. The nurses mentioned that the labor was really dramatic...I'm not sure how, but I guess all the people around me and how fast things went made the scene dramatic.

The OBGYN had to use an internal monitor on Om during the pushing phase to keep track of his heartbeat. He also used a vacuum to turn Om's head a bit. Om now has a slight bump at the back of his head, hopefully that'll go away soon!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baby Om

Born August 18th, 2008, at 8:13pm (his due date). :-) He's as sweet as can be, and cute as all heck. Mom must keep from eating him.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

40 Weeks

After 3 days of zero appetite, vomiting, naseau, and loose stools (gross I know), I finally had to drag myself to the birthing ward in the hospital to get some sugar running through my veins. Friday morning I woke up and felt extremely guilty about baby not eating anything, so I talked to baby and told him that this morning we are going to eat toast with peanut butter and jelly with milk on the side. I went back upstairs to eat in bed, and took one bite and immediately my gag reflex kicked in. I rushed to the bathroom and did a repeat of the past few days.

Frustrated and concerned (and not feeling hungry at all, which was really weird), I called up the OBGYN nurse and she arranged to have me go to the birthing ward. After cleaning the house a bit (I was worried I may end up in labor) I left. The nurse in the birthing ward was super nice, and she kept me company while I was hooked up to an IV for 3 liters of dextrose and whatever other chemicals. I was put in a room similar to what I'll be in for actual labor, so I got a little experience of utilizing the bed. I felt much better after 4 hours of the fluid (although my hands hurt from the IV) and the other nice part was that my OBGYN was performing a c-section at the same time so he dropped by to say Hi to me and check how my blood tests etc were going. So far I'm really happy with Overlake Hospital nurses and doctors. They call you back very soon, depending on the severity of the situation (in dehydration they called me back within 10 minutes, otherwise they take a couple hours). The doctor is very hands on as well, instead of referring everything to nurses. But let's wait and see how the actual delivery goes and if my doctor shows up.

Friday night I was able to eat some food, and today went relatively smoothly with food etc. Looks like my body needed that round of IVs. In other news my hands and feet are incredibly swollen, and I'm having constant Braxton Hicks contractions. Walking is becoming harder and harder, and I feel like I'm on my period 24/7 (the cramping etc). Tonight we pick up Mom for her visit for 2 weeks.

And I'm craving slushies. From the gas station. Go fig.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Almost there!

Yesterday, Aug 13:

8:15 am - Awesome pre-natal massage from a deep tissue therapist.

12:30 pm - Weekly checkup with OBGYN. NST goes normal after nurse freaks out from seeing baby not moving for 30 minutes, then proceeds to feed me to get the heart rate up. Nurse is thoroughly relieved and I am thoroughly annoyed by her freakout session. I am also very naseous all of a sudden. OBGYN does the internal exam and says I am 1.5 cm dilated. (HATED internal exam BTW).

2:00 pm - Rush home, leave keys in the door in my absent minded nausea, and hug the porcelain bowl for a while. After vomiting, lay in bed and try to read. Contractions begin in my lower abdomen, feels like a bad stomach ache, and occur every 30 to 40 minutes.

5:00 pm - Try to get mind off of contractions, call up a friend and chit chat for a bit. G calls saying he is coming home early (thank goodness!)

6:00 pm - G comes home and makes the chicken curry I was orignally planning to make. I load dishwasher. Try to eat chicken, take one bite and rush to the bathroom and empty my stomach of any further solid items.

8:00 pm - Go on walk with G around neighborhood. Still having random contractions that are just irritating, but not excruciating. Keep trying to contact Mom but she's working late.

10:00pm - Feeling really crappy by now. Take a shower, notice that mucous plug has started to leak out of me. G and I research online as to what that means. Call up G's sister in India, she contacts some doctors she knows and basically tells us to go to the hospital. I am SO not up for random visit to the hospital that will end up taking 3 hours of our night, only to be sent back home. I call the hospital nurse line and explain to them my symptoms, and as I had guessed the nurse said this is early labor and that I can totally wait this out at home to see if it gets worse.

11:00pm - Vomit again, contractions continue. Go to sleep, toss and turn all night with extreme itch, keep waking up.

4:30 am - Contractions subside and I wake up still not feeling hungry (and not have eaten anything all day before) but decide to try to eat for sake of baby. I hope today is not a repeat of yesterday. If I have contractions I want to go into the hospital and have this baby, not just feel like crap all day with no delivery!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bad Idea

Looking at somewhat old pics of yourself during undergrad and law school...before pregnancy heaviness and leper like skin.
BAH! 2000 - poofy baby cheeks but I could fit into those jeans!

2001 - Hanging around in the dorm, before the winter ball.

2003 - India visit

2005 - Shopping in St. Paul

2006 - Barrister's Ball, Law School

Pregnancy PUPPPS

For all the pregnant ladies out there suffering from Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP) like I am, here are some things I've tried and tested:

1. Baby Oil - Doesn't work for the itch, but is nice way to moisturize after the shower.

2. Cocoa Butter - This is the hugest myth out there in my opinion. Not only did the constant applying on my abdomen NOT prevent stretch marks from appearing, the cocoa butter makes itching and sensitive skin WORSE with all the ingrediants and fragrances in the cream. It also leaves an oily residue anywhere you apply it and feels greasy.

3. Cortaid (Hydrocortisone) cream - Doesn't really make a difference to itchy skin. Waste of money

4. Doctor prescribed steroid creams - Works better than over the counter stuff, but is not 100%. I would say it works to decrease the itch about 10%. Plus you have to make sure your hands are free of the stuff after you apply it, don't want to get it in your eyes.

5. Zyrtec Antihistamine - This worked for the first couple weeks, then I think the hormones increased in my system and now the Zyrtec doesn't work as well as it used to. I still routinely take it though, because even if I get an hour or so of reliefe I feel like it's worth it.

6. Benadryl - Does nothing for the itch, but great for getting to sleep at night when you constantly find yourself waking up and scratching the skin off of your legs. It increases my sleep from 3 hours to at least 8 hours.

7. Calamine lotion (or Aveeno) - Works like the doctor prescribed steroid cream (see above).

8. Burt's Bees Mama Bees oil - Doesn't do anything for the itch, but is I apply it to my stomach in lieu of the nasty Cocoa Butter lotion. It contains lemon juice, vitamin E, and other nutrients. I figure the lemon oil may work to fade the various marks on my skin (while growing up I always saw Mom applying lemon to her dark spots to fade them). It also isn't greasy and smells good.

At this point (39 weeks) there is no good way to fix the itchy skin, but I think trying a combination of things lessens the stress a teensy bit, especially before you sleep.

1. First, take a long hot (not too hot for baby) shower or soak in the tub for 20 minutes.

2. Then come out and pat dry the skin. Smooth calamine lotion or Aveeno lotion anywhere you can reach.

3. Also apply a thin layer of the prescribed steroid cream on the most itchy areas (like the stomach).

4. Take Benadryl about 30 minutes before you go to sleep. The lotion mixture helps to numb the skin for a little while the benadryl makes you drowsy enough to sleep before you start scratching.

Note: I also take Zyrtec every other day, spaced apart from the Benadryl.

Other things to try that I've researched online but haven't had a chance to test out yet (and I'm due next week so hopefully won't have to):
- Pine Tar Soap
- Baking Soda in the bath

Friday, August 8, 2008

Oh Baby!

39 Weeks and no contractions. Please baby make it to the 16th when my Mom arrives! By then the house and garage will be clean, most of the random errands done.

New reading list

Books I want to read:

Chasing Harry Winston - Lauren Weisberger

Everyone worth Knowing - Lauren Weisberger

Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

Marrying Anita - Anita Jain

Recent Reads

Despite being incredibly itchy and scratching my skin off nightly (makes me feel so sexy), I've been managing to keep up with my reading lists. When I can't sleep at night due to the rash, reading is what really helps get my mind off it.

Vine of Desire - Chitra Divakaruni
Unaccostomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri

Lilah - Marek Halter

The boy I loved before - Jenny Colgan

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

38 Week Appointment

Today went for the 38 week follow up appointment. I didn't see my usual OBGYN since he was at a family reunion (thankfully now rather than 2 weeks later!) so was seen by Dr. Lacy. First I went through the NST again and this time I made sure to have sugar and water running through my system before reaching the clinic. I think it helped because this time they didn't force me to eat during the procedure. The nurse did mention that I was a bit dehydrated. The problem is that water during my pregnancy tastes HORRIBLE. I used to drink 8 glasses of water daily before getting knocked up, but that was during work where I sat in front of the computer all day so could just hook a straw to my mouth, and I used to infuse the water with green tea bags and splenda. Green tea is not good for baby, so during pregnancy I've been doped up on gatorade and all other liquids (besides diet coke, which I drink occasionally just to tide me over...I used to LOVE diet coke). Now someone told me that gatorade isn't good for the final trimester, so I have dropped that in favor of Kool Aid, Gingerale, water (when I don't gag, which is usually during the nite) and of course milk and all it's varieties (smoothies, indian lassi).

Anyway I the NST went fine and the substitute OBGYN measured my belly and asked a billion questions, which is good but very different than my usual OBGYN, who pretty much just decides things for me. Normally I would be worried, but I've found that my normal OBGYN is usually right on point and so far I have no reason to doubt his experience (which I think is more than most). I mentioned to the sub OBGYN about my HORRENDOUS itching problem that just keeps getting worse, and that the Zyrtec and steroid creams aren't really cutting it anymore. She said she can't really prescribe anything else at this point, and that other ladies at 38 weeks are coming in for appointments all bloodied from scratching themselves as well (I draw blood on my legs at least once a day, but I guess she didn't notice the scratches). I basically have to just wait until baby comes out to get rid of the rash, and continue the antihistamines. She ruled out any liver problems when I said that it all started on my belly and then spread. Apparently if it begins near the stretch marks on the belly it is more likely to be PUPPS, or a typical pregnancy rash that reveals small bumps all over the body. If it begins elsewhere it could be liver issues but of course that also requires blood work to make certain. Everything else was normal, and she asked if I could feel any pressure down near the crease between my belly and thighs. I don't, I still feel all pressure near my lungs. Guess baby isn't coming out anytime soon.

In other news I also got my first prenatal Mom to be massage. It was AWESOME and I would recommend it to anyone in their final stages. The only thing is that they are really gentle so for folks who like hard core massages this is probably not their thing. But for me, who just loves being touched period (I fall asleep at anyone even caressing my head, I love when G gently massages my shoulders) I'm the type of person who would be perfectly happy being paid in massages, they are that wonderful for me. Anyway back to the prenatal massage ... I got it done at InSpa in the Redmond Whole Foods shopping center. I had a gift card from last year (thanks Sabrina/Sachin) for my birthday/Sangeet/bachelorette part so added some more dough and got the 60 minute massage. The maseuse was very gentle and I caught myself snoring halfway through. They don't have preggo ladies lie on their stomach of course, you lie on your side and have your leg draped over a pillow.

I'm so loving the whole pregnancy massage thing that I'm going to try a massage therapist referred to by my chiropracter as well just to compare with the InSpa therapist. Why didn't I get these massages done earlier? (Of course I'm dropping money into this but hey I figure it's for making me feel good, and anything at this point that makes me forget my itchy skin and pain in the hips is worth it).

Friday, August 1, 2008

Remembering Minnesota Bridge Collapse

I can't believe it's already been a year, a year ago when I was still living in MN...I feel like I just sat down with Mom and Dad in the living room to see the TV news coverage and remarking how Dad had just driven over the bridge an hour before its collapse (Dad was on a company field trip in a school bus, which drove over the bridge at 5pm and the collapse was subsequently at 6:05pm).