Monday, February 23, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa Mettler

The other grandparents are visiting us this week. Needless to say, they think Abby is the most beautiful baby ever. I think she thinks they're pretty great too...

What does Abby do all day?

Well, she sleeps (she's airing out a bit of diaper rash here).

She thinks about important things (while she sleeps).

She fusses (sometimes).

She smiles (or passes gas).

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Cute Pictures

In case you're wondering...she does occasionally wake up. It's just hard to catch on film.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All The Gory Details...

For those of you who are curious what the whole "giving birth" thing was like for me, here are the details. If you don't want to read it, in a nutshell, it was hellish, but I'm glad that I did it!

February 13th:
5:00 pm--start noticing that those cramps in my abdomen seem to be coming rather regularly, perhaps every 15 minutes or so.

6:00 pm--after timing a few, am surprised that they are actually coming every 5 minutes.

7:30 pm--contractions are coming every 4 minutes or so. Call Triage to see if they think I should come in. They tell me I can come in or I can hang out at home for a while longer to be sure that I'm really in labor. We decide to stay at home for a while and eat pizza while we watch Three Men and a Little Baby.

10:30 pm--decide to go to Triage.

11:00 pm--admitted to Triage and find out that I'm 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. Good!

11:30 pm--admitted to the hospital and taken to the room I'm destined to spend the next 4 days in. At this point I'm thinking that I'll be giving birth around 6 am on Valentines day. HAH!

February 14th:
3:00 am--progress is checked--5 cm dilated, still 90% effaced. Feeling hopeful.

7:00 am--progress is checked--7 cm dilated, still 90% effaced.

11:00 am--contractions get more painful, but all in all quite manageable. Progress is checked--still 7 cm dilated and 90% effaced. Slightly discouraged. Doctor suggests we rupture my membranes to get things moving.

12:00 pm--membranes ruptured. Feeling hopeful again.

4:00 pm--progress checked again--STILL 7 cm dilated and 90% effaced. Feeling very discouraged. Doctors suggest a pitocin drip to get things progressing more. I agree.

5:00 pm--Everything gets a bit blury around here. Doctors attach an IV and start the pitocin drip. Because of the pitocin, they also start continuous fetal monitoring which requires me to lay in the hospital bed. Unfortunately, the pain of contractions were much worse for me when I was laying down, which is why I hadn't been using the bed up to that point. I grudgingly agree to lay in the bed. Contractions immediately double in intensity and are coming about every two minutes. Every half hour the nurse comes in and amps up the amount of pitocin, which amps up the intensity and duration of each contraction. I remember fighting though the contractions in a composed manner initially, but around 6:00 pm I had to get up and run to the bathroom to vomit after a particularly painful set. I remember vomiting several times after that, correlated to the amount of pain the contraction caused, but I wasn't allowed to get up after the first bathroom run. I remember yelling a lot of cuss words and I remember Alex trying to help me breathe through each contraction. At several points I remember shivering uncontrollably and I remember thinking that I was talking in gibberish but couldn't stop myself. I also remember saying (much to my embarrasment now) that I couldn't do it anymore and to please get me some pain medicine NOW! I remember waking up suddenly several times after either passing out or going to sleep between contractions. I remember the nurse telling me that all the doctors were busy with other births and no one was available to see me and order the pain medicine. She finally relented and did an exam to see how I was progressing--8 cm and still 90% effaced! I don't remember any of the rest, but a doctor finally came in apparently and after discussing it with me and Alex we decided to do an epidural.

9:00 pm--anesthesiologists finally come in to give the epidural. Immediate relief is felt. I fall asleep immediately, onlly waking up briefly for each contraction.

10:00 pm--progress is checked--completely dilated and effaced! Time to push!

10:30 pm--the team is assembled and I am instructed on pushing. In my mind, the pushing would be relatively easy and last only a half hour or so. HAH!

11:00 pm--still pushing and sweating like a pig.

11:45 pm--start to lose hope that I will ever be able to push this baby out.

February 15th:
12:13 am--Abigail FINALLY emerges from the womb! Doctors whisk her away to the crib in the room beause she had passed her first meconium in the womb and they want to make sure she hasn't inhaled any. I am euphoric until I glance over and see them giving the baby oxygen. I ask if she's okay and the doctor says "They're working on her. She's having a hard time breathing." They discuss that she may have inhaled some meconium and they want to take her to the ICU for observation incase she needs antibiotics or anything. So they give her to me to hold for a brief minute and hustle her off to the ICU. Despite being exhausted, it takes several hours to fall asleep.

6:00 am--the nurse comes in and informs us that Abigail is doing fine and will be returned to us within an hour.

7:00 am--we finally have her!

So that's my story. 31 hours of labor. Not so fun, but totally worth it. On a side note, Alex and I had worked out a detailed birth plan several months ago. It was based on the idea that we would be doing things naturally with as few interventions as possible. In the end, the actual birth was pretty much exactly the opposite of the birth plan. We had almost every intervention you can except for a C-section! And it didn't really matter. The only part that mattered was that she finally arrived and is healthy.

Welcome to Abigail Mae Mettlinger

Well, she's finally here. And she's beautiful, objectively speaking. I meant to post earlier, but it's been hard to tear myself away from her.

Name: Abigail Mae Mettlinger
DOB: February 15th, 12:13 am
Weight: 8 lbs 2.3 ounces
Length: 21 inches
Visage: Adorable

This is our first face to face meeting:

This is after she was returned from ICU six hours later (more on that in another post):

This is grandma showing us how it's done:

And this is Alex, trying to emulate grandma (and doing a fine job of it):

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Willing to suspend disbelief

I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about this pregnancy thing. But, it's pretty much all I can think about these days. Hopefully one of these days soon you'll open this blog and be pleasantly surprised to see that I've moved on. But until then....

I've always thought people who believed old wives tales were being silly. Don't they know that everything has to have a logical explanation? Well, let me just say that recently I have made room for some old wives tales in my own life. I've turned my back on years of scientific training and have tried pretty much any folk remedy reputed to induce labor. I've tried:
  • eating spicy food
  • walking 3 miles a day (which, believe me, is a long way when you weigh 40 more pounds than you used to)
  • bouncing up and down on a yoga ball for an hour at a time
  • stepping up and down off of the coffee table
  • taking hot baths
  • eating eggplant parmigiana at The Olive Garden
  • pushing on my belly
  • raspberry tea
None of them appear to work. The only thing I haven't tried is castor oil, but that one sounds a bit too extreme for my liking yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Come out, come out wherever you are...

Actually, I know exactly where she is. Squarely in my midsection constantly pushing on my ribs, my xyphoid process, and my cervix and ocassionally kicking hard for good measure. The official due date is tomorrow. I'm trying not to put to much emphasis on any particular day, but if she could come NOW, that would be great. And I think we're "ready," so that's a plus. We've

--installed the car seat in the van (after a panicky evening when I was having crampy pains and Alex realized he hadn't even looked at it yet--he seriously picked up the manual and started panicking "What do these pictures mean?! Why did they cross this out?! Oh my god this is impossible to understand!" After five minutes of panicking it took him two minutes to actually install the thing.)

--redecorated the living room (I don't know how that's relevant to the baby, but my instincts told me "Get pretty curtains! Buy a new lamp! Put up pictures!")

--cleaned the house thoroughly (of course, I did this two weeks ago, so the house is already covered in hair and dirt again, but at least I got rid of the Jack blood spattering the walls)

--pre-washed the cloth diapers 3 times to enhance their natural absorbency, pre-washed about a million 0-3 month old clothes in hypo-allergenic detergent in case she has sensitive skin, and pre-washed all the guest towels, blankets, and sheets for any visitors.

--read and re-read all the signs and symptoms of labor, just hoping that one of them is "Excessive grumpiness that your baby has not been born yet"

--Started knitting a baby blanket (surely, like most other events in life, they are more likely to happen when you're in the middle of preparing for them rather than finished preparing?)

So, I say, come out, come out!