Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our Glowing Pumpkin

If you ignore the extended imaginary labor episode, our stay in the hospital was actually quite nice. It was wonderful to have someone else bring me food, keep me fully stocked on pain killers, and change the poopy diaper if I didn't want to. Worked out nicely for me. The one major downside, though, was trying to come home yesterday. Not surprisingly, no one was nearly as concerned about getting us done and out as Chris and I were, so things took HOURS longer than we wanted it to. Sigh. But it did work eventually.

I was very excited for the chance to actually get Ben dressed in real clothes. Yay! So cute. It makes him look like a real person. And thank you, Rebecca, for the adorable hat.

I think he missed the memo, though, that going home really is a good thing. He didn't seem to be nearly as excited about it as we were.

Unfortunately, his bilirubin has been quite high and just kept climbing, so we went home with a bili-bed. Cute too, but not the same as plaid shorts and a polo shirt.

The nurses at different times said that he looked like a pumpkin and that he was "just glowing" because his skin was so yellow. Ha.

When they talk about using the lights and explain that you can take him off to eat and change and cuddle for a minute, but then you have to put him back, they don't explain what to do when all he does is scream as soon as you lay him down. So sad! We finally resorted to putting the bed on the couch right next to me so I could do some imaginary cuddling to comfort him without really picking him up. It worked, but I would much rather just hold my baby.

We had to get a little more clever during the night, too. In the end, we put the light on our bed next to me so I could comfort him, then Chris slept on the couch. Certainly not ideal. It gets better, though. We took him in to get the bilirubin levels tested. They have gone down significantly, so chances are, he'll be off the light by tomorrow. Yay!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet the Baby

We're still in the hospital. Everything is going well, we're just biding our time until we've reached the required 72 hour stay after a c-section. We should be headed home tomorrow morning. Yay!!!

The hospital isn't all bad. In fact, it can be quite the exciting new playground...

My mom brought the girls in to meet Ben on Thursday. Ah! So cute!

It was a little surreal, though, to look through all these pictures and realize that I do, in fact, have three kids now. I feel too young to have three kids.

They brought a present to give to Ben. Megan graciously helped him open it.

And wouldn't you know, Ben had presents for Jane and Megan, too! He's so thoughtful like that.

Jane got a new playpen for her babies and Megan got her own doll that's really hers--not Jane's. They had a lot of fun playing then and left Ben alone long enough for him to eat.

We had several other visitors that day, too. Wendi came--with tacos! Yay! (for Wendi and the tacos) I didn't get a picture, though. Thanks for the visit! Tannie drove down all the way from Logan just to see me. (Not to hold the baby or to borrow Stargate...) Dad and Michael came, too.

Ha--next time you guys should smile. :)

Amy and Sarah were the last drop-ins of the day.

Amy even fixed the nail polish on my toe that got messed up while we were in labor and delivery. Thanks! That's what sisters are for.

Jane and Megan came back to visit again this morning. They took their turns holding the baby...

...then they found other things to do.

It's even better when Dad joins in.

Last but not least, Ben was a gentleman and walked the ladies to the door to say goodbye.

It was very nice to have our family all together. I look forward to being home again with all FIVE of us.

P.S. Thank you, Mom, for taking most of these pictures. And for watching my girls while I'm incapacitated. And for giving me orange flowers. And for being my mom while I'm still trying to figure out how to be a mom, too.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bare Bones

WARNING: contains spoilers

My labor and delivery story is looooooong and involved. I know that there are many out there who want all those nitty gritty details--if you are one of them, read the post below this. If you just want the quick bare bones story, read on here.

We came in to the hospital at 10:30 Tuesday morning. The doctor intended to do another version in hopes of getting the baby turned around then induce labor, thus avoiding a c-section. First thing they did was an ultrasound and SURPRISE! he had already flipped on his own. He was head down, so they induced using pitocin.

After three and a half hours, all contractions stopped entirely. A couple hours later, following much discussion of options, we started a new medication to further labor along. Once I had had three doses, they checked me again to see if I was dilating and SURPRISE! he was breech again! He had completely flipped back around, his head back in my ribs (causing some pretty intense back labor, incidentally).

At this point, I was given the option of trying another version and continuing the induction, doing a c-section because he was breech, or going home to see if he'd turn back again and I'd go into labor naturally (or be induced next Tuesday). Since we had already been at this for 16 and a half hours and I no longer had any confidence whatsoever in being induced, I opted for the c-section.

And thus it was that Ben was born the morning of Wednesday the 27th, by c-section, despite all our planning and efforts otherwise.

But he's still way stinkin' cute.

Nitty Gritty

In case you missed my other note, this is the looooooong version of my labor and delivery story, including all the nitty gritty details. If you would prefer the short and sweet rendition, read the post above this instead.

The plan: We had a c-section scheduled for noon on Tuesday, because the baby was transverse. My doctor wanted to try another version to get him to turn around. If the version worked and he flipped, we would induce. If it didn't work, we would proceed with the already planned c-section.

I have to admit, by the time we actually got to the hospital on Tuesday, I had basically decided that I didn't want them to do the version. I had absolutely no confidence that it would work, based on everything else we had tried previously, as well as the complete and utter failure of the first version. My stomach had been massively bruised during that first attempt, and I didn't relish the idea of adding that to the normal postpartum recovery. I also knew that I was only barely dilated to a one and not effaced at all, meaning my body was not at all prepared to go into labor on its own. That did not bode well for an induction--chances were very good that an induction would take a very long time. I wasn't so keen on that idea, either. When it came right down to it, I mostly just wanted the c-section and call it done.

So much for my opinions.

Once I was checked in and settled into my room in labor and delivery, the nurse whipped out the ultrasound machine. SURPRISE!! The baby was already turned head down, no version necessary. New options, 1st Edition: induce labor, or go home and wait to go into labor naturally. The c-section was no longer on the table because there was no medical reason for surgery.

Please, please, please don't send me home.

They started the pitocin drip, and within about twenty minutes contractions started. Things were going pretty well--contractions got up to 1-2 minutes apart, each lasting 30-45 seconds. Decent, right? I had a lot more back pain than I expected, which probably meant I had some back labor going from whatever position Ben was in. I was still feeling pretty good overall though, so I didn't get an epidural yet. Good thing, too. After three and a half hours of laboring, all contractions stopped. Completely.

Ugh. As I had anticipated, my body was not really ready to go into labor at all. Because the baby's head wasn't down in the last few weeks, there was no pressure to move things along. Because of that, my body wasn't really responding much to the pitocin. After almost four hours of contractions, I was in exactly the same position--dilated to a one, only 40% effaced.

New options, 2nd Edition: Go home and wait to go into labor naturally. Try a different medication designed to thin out the cervix, in hopes that it would progress things to the point where the baby would move down more and my body would hopefully respond better to the pit drip.

Insert emotional breakdown here. I wasn't mentally prepared to handle hours and hours of labor when I had geared myself up for a c-section. And the mere thought of going home after all that? Especially considering that if I didn't go into labor on my own, my induction date would be the next Tuesday, August 2. Pregnant for another week?? Just kill me now.

We opted to try the other medication. We knew going in that each dose took three hours, and we likely wouldn't see any results at all from the first dose. My mom went home and Chris and I then settled in for the night, mentally preparing for the idea that we would be going home baby-less early in the morning and waiting another week.

The first dose didn't do anything. I wasn't having any contractions, nothing was progressing. Second dose, there were a few contractions. The nurse tried to check me, but wasn't quite able to tell for sure. I was farther than a one, but she didn't know how much. Third dose, I had some major contractions that were seriously hurting my back. Not fun, but at least enough to suggest that the medicine was working and there was hope yet that the induction would take.

At this point, it was 3:30 in the morning. The nurse came in again to check me in order to determine if we would do a fourth dose or start pitocin. Ummm...that check didn't go well, either. Instead of feeling the baby's head, the nurse's hand got kicked. SURPRISE!! He had flipped back to breech.

Are you kidding me?!?!

New options, 3rd Edition: Do another version, turn him back around, continue the induction. Do a c-section because he's breech. Go home and see if he turns himself again, then I go into labor naturally or come back in a week and play this same game all over again.

C-section. Just get this dang kid out already before he opens his own gymnastics company.

It became the running joke between Chris and I that it didn't matter at all what we wanted or picked, it wasn't going to happen. Even if we picked a c-section, something would come up. That had become the well-established pattern. My mom came back just in time to bid us farewell as we went into the operating room.

Once we were in and getting prepped, my doctor promptly left to deliver someone else's baby.


No worries, though! She finally came back, and we f-i-n-a-l-l-y got to have the baby. He was born at 7:07 am on 7-27-2011. Cool play on numbers, I think. Maybe that's what he was planning all along...

Here is the first thing I saw of our new Benjamin Ryan:

And here is what I did as soon as they took him back to wash up:

Yes, I fell asleep on the operating table while they were stitching me up. What can I say? It had been a rather stressful and exhausting 21 hours, during only five or six of which can we say that I might actually have been in labor.

We made it back to the labor and delivery room, where we hung out for an hour or so. We had been in that room so long that we had gone through quite a few nurses.

We were also the talk of the floor, with none of the medical personnel having seen a baby do a complete 360 in less than 24 hours, breech to vertex to breech.

But look! We had a baby!

And that's the story. Future posts to look forward to: Jane and Megan visiting Ben in the hospital. Ben going home...on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Benjamin Ryan
July 27, 2011
7:07 AM

8 lbs 3 oz
22 inches

Stay tuned for my most obnoxious labor and delivery story to date--and that's saying something if you know anything about when Jane was born.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Week Before THE END

I've kept myself as busy as possible in this last week. We've had several playdates (not all of which involved eating out)...

I made hair bows for my girls to wear to the wedding...

I donated my house for arranging of wedding flowers...

We spent two evenings watching our neighbor's fireworks...

and Chris and I watched Harry Potter.

We watched all seven movies over the last week, and tonight we went on our last baby-free date in the near foreseeable future. First we went to Cafe Rio. Can you guess which plate belonged to Chris and which belonged to nine months pregnant me?

Then we saw the last Harry Potter movie in the theater. Yay! My only issue with the movie was the very, very end...I really wanted them to have a huge


at the beginning of the credits. I mean, it took them, what, 10 years to make them all? Isn't it significant that it's really done now?

Or maybe I was just projecting my pregnancy feelings onto the movie. That could be it.

As Chris has repeatedly pointed out throughout today, we're having a baby tomorrow. Here is my official "end of pregnant" pregnancy picture.

We are going in tomorrow morning for the c-section. Let's hope it goes well. But don't worry, we have extra things to look forward to beyond just that baby. Jane has had quite the list going of things that will happen once the baby gets born. Let's watch and see how many really happen...

When the baby gets born...

Jane will marry Super Why.

Jesus will come.

She will get another birthmark on her other eye.

Megan will learn to talk.

Bill will give her a magic dress.

She and Megan will sleep at Grandma's house until we're done with the baby, then we'll put him back in Mom's tummy and go home.

See how much excitement we have coming?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why I'm Still Pregnant

When the version failed last week, I had the option of scheduling the c-section for Thursday the 21st, Friday the 22nd, or Tuesday the 26th. Why did I pick the 26th? Well, I purposely prolonged this pregnancy by five days for...

Mr. and Mrs. Phillips

Congratulations, Bill and Morgan!

It was a very simple, peaceful wedding. Very tastefully done, and very fitting to the bride and groom.

Things were a little hectic getting ready, of course. Jane was very, very excited for her new purple dress and for getting her hair curled--a rare occurrence in her life thus far.

This was the very first time Megan's hair has ever been put in a ponytail of any kind--yes, she's almost 2. She was very cute in her new dress, too.

...until about ten minutes later when she exploded all through her diaper, tights, and dress. Sigh. Be glad we didn't get a picture of her backside at this moment!

Don't worry, we were able to salvage the dress. And she was probably better off without tights anyway.

We did have some time to kill before the ceremony started, whether that means swinging or napping--to each his own.

And then, let the festivities begin!

Jane and Megan as flower girls, walking with the maid of honor

Enter the bride and her mother

And smile for the happy couple!


Welcome to the family, Morgan!

We can always use another sister.

P.S. It was nine years ago today that Chris and I first started dating in Alaska. My, how time flies.