Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My intervention day

One great thing about a c section, aside from the fact that an episiotomy is off the table, is that you get waaaay more time in the hospital. Side note - if you don't have kids and want your significant other to lose his mind, explain to him what an episiotomy is.

More hospital time isn't for everyone, but for clueless first time parents like us, being surrounded by trained professionals who actually know how to care for babies was pretty sweet. They offered to let us leave after 3 days, but insurance covers four, so we were like.... nah. Plus they bring the baby to the nursery to sleep, and bring him in every time he needs to eat. Sounds heartless, but it gave me great peace of mind to have nurses watching him while I slept. Although we've been home two nights now, and I've only frantically jumped out of bed once to make sure he was breathing. Much lower than the expected count.

It didn't hurt that our hospital was staffed by amazing people who were constantly willing to help you and patiently answer what I'm sure were the dumbest questions. We also had a huge room with a nice long bed for Eric to be comfortable. I didn't hate having food brought to me and the dirty dishes picked up on demand either.

A long labor plus a c section isn't exactly the ideal scenario. Once I got to the recovery room around midnight on Wednesday, I hadn't slept since Sunday and hadn't eaten since dinner Monday (I couldn't even eat dessert, that's how awful labor was). After surgery, you apparently can't do either of those things, and I wasn't even allowed to have water.

I had the ultimate compression sleeves on - they were hooked up to some machine and constantly inflating and deflating.

Eric, on the other hand, was feeling great as a new dad.

Awwww so sweet!

He was really excited that he got to see my insides.
 I was in recovery until about 2am, but it actually flew by, as things tend to do when you are fascinated by your new baby.

About as close as I could get with my body uncontrollably shaking.
His first gift - a stuffed llama from grandma and grandpa! He doesn't seem to love them like I do (yet).
 They rolled me to my room about 2:30 am. I thought I could finally get some sleep, but the nurses had to check a million things, and go over a million things about what to do in the hospital. Finally, at 3:30am, Dalton went to the nursery and we got a little sleep. Not much though, because people were coming in constantly to check me, Dalton needed to eat, and then the pediatrician was there to meet with me at 7:30 am.

These sound like complaints, but I swear they aren't, I'm grateful everyone was keeping us healthy and that Dalton was eating good! I just needed to set the stage for Wednesday, which my family referred to as my intervention day. Meaning I looked like a before version of the drug addicts on the show intervention. Essentially two days of no food or sleep, plus morphine, will do that to you. Plus, it turns out that after a c section you're only allowed to "eat" clear liquids until you pass gas. Jello and broth really weren't doing it for me.

To illustrate, here's us filling out the birth certificate. Why they let me fill out important paperwork in that state is beyond me, although really Eric did the whole thing and I just sat there in my zombie state pretending to help.

You are beautiful.

Oh yeah, I also kept falling asleep mid sentence. And every time I nursed Dalton, I would look down and see two babies. All around I was nailing this parent thing. And human thing.

I still had the epidural in and was attached to the IV wheelie thingie, plus a bunch of other stuff, so walking to the bathroom was basically like competing in the Olympics at that point. It was this whole ordeal to get out of bed and unplug everything and then have someone walk me there at a pace of a 78 minute mile while the room would be spinning. I've heard with vaginal deliveries you can basically return to being a person once the baby is out? Please weigh in. That was not my experience.

Too much negativity. Cute baby picture interlude.

Moments after birth. Can't get over the cuteness.

Finally I was allowed to eat around dinnertime, and the hospital meatball sub was the best thing I ever remembered tasting.

Eric celebrated with me.
Hospital chocolate cake.
 Thursday was a whole different ballgame. We actually got some sleep in between feedings the night before. I got the epidural and IV out, was no longer hooked to machines, and got to shower. Most importantly, Eric made a Starbucks run. Between being sick and giving birth, I hadn't had coffee in a week.

So happy because it's all in my body and not the cup. Full caffeine too!
Now that I knew my own name, could stay awake for more than five minutes, wasn't seeing double, and was able to use the bathroom unassisted, life was great.

Getting ready for my first diaper change - since I couldn't get out of bed until then, Eric had been on his own!

This was the first day I felt like I could fully appreciate the fact that I had a son and he was the most perfect creature I'd ever laid eyes on.











Monday, September 29, 2014

Dalton's birth story

Dalton Clark Lindsey was born on September 23, 2014 at 11:16pm. 6 pounds, 14 ounces, 20.5 inches, and perfect in every way.

It took a long time, so this will be long. Feel free to read the Cliff’s notes at the beginning and then skip down to the warning for when the story gets exciting. I've also highlighted the important parts in blue if you want the gist but don't want to read over 3,000 words.

Let’s review my birth plan:

1.       Healthy baby

2.       Healthy mother

3.       Epidural asap

The important two goals were met. The optional third one was at 50% success. I got the epidural, but it sure as hell wasn’t asap. I fulfilled my promise not to blog TMI details about my lady garden prior to this, and as such I reserve the right to include them now (it will just be how many cm dilated, nothing gross, and only because it’s relevant to the story). It may seem overly dramatic especially to anyone who had a natural birth, but I have been upfront from the beginning that I am a baby who hates pain and needles.

Super, super early labor

Monday morning, September 22, the day before my due date, I got up at 5 and did a 20 minute walk on the treadmill. We had these huge super important visitors coming to observe my school, and everyone had been stressed about it since before the year even began. I got to work at 7, and just felt terrible right off the bat. My sinus infection was lingering, walking didn’t feel good, and I was having contractions unlike the many, many Braxton Hicks I’d had throughout my pregnancy. These were mildly painful, but the main difference was that there was a clear beginning and end that I could feel. I’d felt good at work every single day up until that point, and this was just a complete 180. I couldn’t even eat my breakfast or drink my coffee.

I tried timing them, (my first timed contractions – I was foolish enough to be excited about this) but they were inconsistent, and so was I, because I was busy getting ready for the visit, and then teaching and actually getting observed.

As I’ve mentioned, my coworkers are amazing. They rallied to help me, coming down to walk my class wherever they needed to go, providing me sympathy (a huge help in my opinion), and finally just taking over so I could go home around 1:30.

I laid down for a few hours until it was time for my final prenatal appointment. I was dilated 2cm. I told the doctor about the morning contractions, which seemed to have “fizzled out”, in her words. I made an appointment for the following week, and we discussed dates for an induction in the 41st week if necessary. She wrote me a note to stay home from work to get over my sinus infection, and having that in my hand felt like pure bliss. I was still super paranoid about delivering while sick, and I was dreading another miserable work day.

I went straight from the office back to work for about an hour to get sub plans ready. The contractions started again. I went back to timing at 6pm, and they started getting somewhat consistent (or I really paid attention) when I got home at 7pm. I quickly heated up leftover chicken enchilada soup for dinner, just in case it was the real thing and I couldn’t eat later on. Probably the smartest move I’ve ever made.

Contractions 5-10 minutes apart

I was maybe 80% sure I was really having contractions. Everyone says when you are, you know, and that’s certainly true later on, but I maintain it’s still unclear when it’s early. It just felt like bad cramps. Knowing that early labor can last days or be false all together, neither of us got too worked up at that point. I got in the bath at around 9, and while it felt great, it slowed down the contractions like crazy (down to 20-25 minutes apart).

We hung out and watched TV until 1am. I was pretty sure something was happening by that point, since the contractions were still 5-10 minutes apart and getting more painful. I had heard people say they felt pretty normal in between, but that was not the case for me. I had intense pressure in my hips, and sitting or standing felt horrible the whole time. I mainly paced around the living room, sitting down for a minute here or there until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Right at midnight, I switched the board over and took this picture – I wasn’t sure how much time I would have on his due date! Spoiler alert – lots.

Still smiling at midnight (at least for the picture)
At 1am, I insisted Eric go to bed, so at least one of us could be rested. At 2:30am, the contractions had been five minutes apart for at least 2 hours, so I called my doctor. She said if I wanted to deliver as natural as possible, to wait at home as long as I could. I’m not sure what I ever did to give her that impression, but I asked her what to do if I wanted an epidural as soon as possible. She said to still hold out at home as long as I could, because there was no point in showing up at the hospital 2cm dilated.

I couldn’t imagine waiting even another hour, so I got back in the bath. It was the only thing that seemed to help at all. I couldn’t do any of the labor breathing we learned in class except In-2-3-4 Out-2-3-4. The rest all required my nose, which was still completely plugged. An all night Friends marathon was entertaining, but it was losing its luster.

The bath relaxed me enough to lay down, so from 3-6am I could at least lay on the couch and sort of doze in between contractions here and there. At 6, Eric got up and then I started alternating between laying in bed, and getting in and out of the bath. I somehow made it until 9:30 am, when I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and Eric packed the car and we left for the hospital.

The hospital

This is my "I've been up all night with contractions" face.

Eric did the “wow, it’s the last time leaving here as a twosome!” sentimental moment, and I didn’t really go for it, because I had a feeling we might be returning as a twosome. I should have listened to that instinct. The labor and delivery triage nurses were SO nice, but they tricked me by giving me a hospital bracelet. I thought that meant I was staying. I also thought the test was a 30 second cervical check. I was wrong on both counts.

It turns out they have you sit in a bed with a fetal and contraction monitor for 45 minutes and you get checked before and after. All of these things are horribly painful, because sitting still is the worst position for contractions. Anyway, I was 2-3 cm both before and after, which was upsetting. First of all, it meant I had to just go back home, and second of all, it meant that after 15 hours of labor, I’d progressed maybe a centimeter, although the baby had moved down one station. They told me to wait until contractions were more like 4-5 minutes apart (in the hospital they were 6). My doctor said to take a Tylenol PM to help me sleep and relax and said she would see me that night.

We left at 11am, and saw a couple leaving the hospital with their new baby on the way out. I hated them so much, and was positive I would never be on the other side like them. I was in so much pain, and it was a real downer to be told to just keep dealing with it for an indefinite amount of time with no evidence that it would actually get the baby out anytime soon.

Home – contractions 5 minutes apart

Back home, once again my instincts said Tylenol PM would do nothing but make me even more tired. Once again I ignored them, and regretted it. The contractions ramped up pretty much as soon as we arrived, except now, I was able to fall asleep just to wake up with gripping pain every few minutes. They were averaging at least 2 minutes long, getting way more intense (the bath no longer helped), but they weren’t getting any closer together. So basically I was screwed. I laid in bed and “watched” Arrested Development and The Office, and moaned and groaned and hated everything. I can't imagine my life without my siblings, and I always wanted to give my own children that joy, but around this time I was like "sorry kid, you'll have to be satisfied with a family of 3".

In hindsight, I feel really bad for Eric here. He went to all the childbirth classes, and took notes, and tried really hard to help me deal. The problem is that they don’t mention in the classes is that when things get real, NOTHING helps and positive affirmations or suggestions from your labor coach are just going to piss you off.  I pretty much just told him over and over to be quiet and not to talk to me while he desperately reviewed the class handouts and tried to find something that would work.

After another four or five hours of that, the contractions were still close to five minutes apart, but I was desperate enough to risk getting sent home again. I told Eric to call the doctor back, and we were told to go right to the hospital. The car ride there really highlighted the difference – the first time, I’d been able to talk to Eric and act like a human. The second time, I was about three seconds away from just doing a tuck and roll into traffic.

The hospital – part 2

Around 4:30pn we were back in labor and delivery triage, they got me into the gown and on the monitor again. Before they checked me, they said my doctor had instructed them to admit me in this time, which was really convenient because it meant I wouldn’t have to resort to my plan of sobbing and begging if they tried to send me home again. I was at 4cm this time, so I had finally made some sloooow progress. Sadly, it turns out that they don’t instantly administer epidurals upon entry.

First you have to get assigned a delivery room, get an IV, answer a billion questions, and wait for the anesthesiologist. I was lying on the bed doing my best to answer questions about my entire life history through contractions while they put the IV in. Let’s review the fact here that I am petrified of needles and have been scared about the medical side of this whole thing pretty much since my childbearing years began. Guess how many tries it took for them to get an IV in.

FIVE. And two nurses. While I was having contractions and trying to remember the names of every medication I’ve ever taken and mentally panicking. It was torturous. Somewhere around there my mom arrived and I just remember telling her I couldn’t talk when she walked in mid-contraction.

My many battle wounds

After that, things started looking up. They told me the anesthesiologist was in surgery and it would be a while for the epidural, but he walked in not even a minute later (at 6pm, so after nearly a full day of labor). Pretty much since Eric and I first got serious, I’ve been telling him to just throw a brick at my head in labor, because I was scared of the pain, but more scared of a giant needle/catheter in my back. In our childbirth class, they tried to tell us that sometimes they make the husbands leave, and I had a total panic attack and demanded they explain how I get around this rule.

Well, when it was all going down, the anesthesiologist said that the room had to be cleared, and I was like GET OUT. Eric was trying to ask me if I was sure on his way out the door and I was pretty much like “LET THE MAN DO HIS JOB GOODBYE” and clearly my face convinced him because he peaced out right away. Putting the epidural in was completely painless and at that point was the happiest moment of my life.

The magical world of epidural land

With that in, I could finally relax. Free from focusing all my energy on dealing with the pain, I finally started to get super excited about finally meeting our baby. Everyone was telling me I should sleep, and I knew I should since I’d hadn’t the previous night, but I was way too eager and worked up by then.

So much data
The baby’s heart rate dropped momentarily with the epidural, so they had me wearing an oxygen mask and internal monitor from that point on. Eric and I were just hanging out with my mom and stepfather and waiting for things to get going.



At 6:30 they broke my water, and it had meconium (baby poop) in it. They explained that meant that we couldn’t hold the baby after birth, and we wouldn’t hear him cry. Instead, the NICU nurse would have to take him to make sure he didn’t aspirate any meconium. They said it would only take around 20 minutes, so I wasn’t too worried or upset about it, since it was just a precaution.

At 8:15 they started on Pitocin to help me progress. The nurse was turning me every 20 minutes to make sure the baby’s heart rate stayed consistent (you can’t move your legs with the epidural). I got to 6cm somewhere in the 10pm hour, so it was looking like it would be well into the next morning before the baby arrived. I was a little nervous about getting the energy to push, since that would be two full days without sleep and nearly that long without eating, but I was still in pain free bliss so I figured I’d pull it out at the last minute.

This is where the story gets exciting and those skimming should start reading.

A little after 11, the nurse came in to roll me over. She called another nurse, and they were suddenly rolling me into all different positions, gradually getting slightly more frantic about it. A few more people came in, and they started yelling to hit the button on the wall (and then “no not that button! The other one!”) and to call my doctor. People were yanking out all the plugs from the many machines I was hooked up to and wheeling my bed out the door (and when it wouldn’t quite fit, they just lifted it out and rushed down the hall). At some point during this, someone quickly told me that the baby’s heart rate had dropped, they were taking me to the OR for an emergency c-section, and that there was no time to wait for my doctor so this other random guy over here would be slicing me open. That last part made have been phrased slightly differently, but that’s how I remember it.

In no time I was naked and strapped to an operating table, not knowing if the baby was ok, or if Eric was coming, or really anything except I was about to have a major surgery performed by total strangers. A new anesthesiologist was working, and he told me that he would try to ramp up my epidural in time, but if he couldn’t, they would have to put me to sleep. I knew I didn’t want to miss the whole birth, so I was hoping they could crank the epidural. Apparently the way they check for that is to put an ice cube on various parts of my body, and ask if it felt cold. It didn’t feel cold on my belly, but I wasn’t exactly convinced that meant that we were good to go with slicing me open with a scalpel and yanking my organs in and out, but I had to just go with it.

(Please note that was written tongue in cheek. I am indescribably thankful for all the medical personnel that put 110% effort to make sure my baby got out safely, and that the last thing on anyone's mind was calming down my petty fears.)

At that point Eric came in (he was delayed waiting for and changing in to scrubs).

Luckily, there's pictures.
I had no idea this whole time if he would be allowed in at all, so seeing him was a huge relief.

Eric taking his seat in the OR. If you look closely you can see my hand.

Barely two minutes later, Eric told me the baby was out, but I couldn’t see or hear him. By this time, the conversation about the meconium and the NICU nurse was long forgotten. Luckily Eric is on top of these things and could see the baby. He talked me through it until we did finally hear his cry. It felt like forever until I could see him, but Eric got to go meet him and then they brought him over to me.

Moments after birth! Look how white those hands are from the womb!

 I couldn’t move anything but my head, so they laid him next to me for a second and I was able to give him a kiss. Eric got to hold him while they put me back together and stitched me up, and I just laid there jealously and stared at him.
This was later, but you get the idea.

If someone had told me ahead of time this was how it would happen, I would have been absolutely terrified. I was scared in the OR, but it all happened so fast that I barely had time to process it. It was past 11 when they first noticed his heart rate dropping, 11:13pm when they made the first incision, and his time of birth was 11:16pm. It still blows my mind how quickly they were able to move, and I’m eternally grateful for it. Somehow I had the presence of mind not to look at the monitor while they kept flipping me, thank goodness. My mom said his heart rate dropped from 150 to 60, which makes me want to vomit even now that I know everything was fine. She’s a pro now, since she was there when the same exact thing happened to my sister (I remembered this too, which gave me a little more confidence that things would be ok). It worked out because she told Eric to bring his camera into the OR, so we got those first pictures of his life! That’s really good since I was so drugged I barely remember it. I was disappointed I had to wait several hours to hold him, but I couldn’t feel my hands and was shaking uncontrollably, so it’s not like I could have anyway.

I got to stare at him at least.
In the recovery room - FINALLY getting to hold him!
He kept us on our toes while he made his arrival into the world, but the cliché is true, it was all worth it a million times over. The past six days have been the happiest of my whole life. I could barely write this post because it’s so hard to stop cuddling and kissing him (but I had to give dad and the grandparents some cuddle time too).


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Well, that was fun

This week I may have become the only pregnant woman praying to go to/past her due date, although feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I'd like the record to show that I officially retract my previous blog post about natural remedies for illness, and am 150% back on the REAL MEDICINE THE KIND DOCTORS DISPENSE train. Local honey, you are BS.

Warning - I'm really whiny when I'm sick, so this will be a really whiny post.

So I left off Wednesday just at the brink of coming down with something and trying to avoid medication. Well, after a night where I could only "sleep" sitting up, I was ready to see what marvels modern medicine would allow me. I was pretty sure I had a sinus infection, and the fun part about that is the infection generally teams up with my asthma to pretty much prevent me from breathing.

I called both my regular doctor as they opened on Thursday. Since my regular doctor has always been the one to deal with my asthma, I thought she could maybe continue to do so. I mean, I get that I'm pregnant, but it's not like that's some obscure medical marvel that no doctor has ever dealt with - in fact, she herself was pregnant, quite recently in fact.

I explained the situation (about to pop out a baby any minute now, sinus infection, asthma, can't breathe) and was told they could see me for an appointment on October 30th. Clearly they weren't quite picking up what I was laying down. Why would that even be given as an option - it's a sinus infection, I'll either be healed or dead by that point. I told the secretary my doctor usually gets me in for anything respiratory and they promised to call back.

In the meantime, on the other end of the spectrum, my OB had already called in a prescription for antibiotics, and I wanted to kiss her. Unfortunately, I was at work and had a good ten more hours before I could leave and go pick them up.

From there, things just continued to decline and I felt worse by the hour. My boss took one look at me and told me not to come in the next day. Thank god for that because I'd been considering it, but I woke up Friday gasping like I was at the 3 mile mark of a 5k. One that I was attempting to PR, not like one I was running with friends for charity. My inhaler did nothing (turns out, it was expired) so I took a hot shower, which still didn't really help.

My doctor was still ignoring me, even though I called back again when they opened. Obviously the antibiotics were awesome, but those take awhile to work and I needed something to help me breathe like, immediately. I started getting really freaked out because the baby was barely moving, and usually he's active 24/7. I was afraid that I wasn't getting enough oxygen and therefore he wasn't, or the meds were affecting him, or something terrible was happening.

Once again my OB came through and sent me to the hospital for a non-stress test. They hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor for about 40 minutes, then did a sonogram to check the amniotic fluid levels. Everything was fine, which was a huge relief, clearly. Now I just had to worry about going in to labor in this pathetic state.

My doctor's office finally called me back around 2pm (remember, I originally called at 9am the previous day) to tell me they were prescribing a medicine that I had been on before, which helped manage asthma in the long term. They had just called my name for the sonogram, so I was just like "ok fine whatever, refill my regular inhaler too while you're at it". I went to the pharmacy to pick it up, but it had never been called in. I had 25 minutes on hold with the doctor's office to check (during which they told me prescriptions sometimes take 24-48 hours to get to the pharmacy? Um, no, not how prescriptions work), so I started to think it through. When I finally got to talk to someone, I questioned them on why I would take a medicine only designed to manage long term problems when I was in "crisis" mode now. They agreed that wouldn't be helpful, and also that neither prescription had actually been called in (NO KIDDING I'm at the pharmacy right now and they've never heard of me).

I was kind of panicking at this point because it was past 3pm on a Friday, and I really needed at least my regular inhaler to manage my breathing for the weekend. The prospect of feeling like you are breathing through a coffee stirrer for the next 72+ hours while potentially delivering a baby in that time will do that to a person. I called the pharmacy back at 4, and they STILL hadn't received anything from the doctor. I finally got them to put in the prescription about 10 minutes before they closed and they were saved from plan B, which was Eric called and going "angry black man" on them.

Long story short: It took my doctor two full business days to call me back just to prescribe a useless medication that even I could figure out wouldn't work, except they didn't even bother to actually call in the prescription.

The inhaler was a big relief, because even on it, I spent Friday night coughing so hard that I was gagging and in extreme instances, vomiting. Sorry, gross, but without all the facts you won't properly appreciate my story and pity me. We had originally planned one "last" date night, but obviously I was disgusting and couldn't be in public. We tried to at least watch the Biggest Loser to somewhat salvage things. Unfortunately, we had to turn it off because my coughing was too loud. Good times.

Luckily on Saturday I downgraded my state from "pure unadulterated hell" to "regular sick". The baby was back to moving like normal. I spent most of the day sleeping (laying down sleeping!) and hoped the extreme exhaustion was due to my body fighting off the infection. 

Today, I'm feeling even more improved, so let's all hope the trend continues, or at least those of us who managed to read an entire whiny, tale of woe to the bottom. The only picture I have is from when I woke up Saturday morning to the trash can next to my bed completely filled with tissues, and the majority of the floor. If I were a real blogger, I probably should have had Eric take a picture of me looking pathetic on the couch, or maybe me checking in to the hospital. Sorry!

Share a time you were sick and pathetic. Especially if, like me, you aren't really one to man up and deal with it, and more of a "lay in bed and cry and complain" type.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The final countdown

Here we go. The final week. I debated using that title, because I could still be counting down at this time next week, but I'll just use it again because it's not like anyone is really keeping track.

Hear that baby? 0 weeks left!
 I can't believe how relatively good I feel. I wouldn't live the rest of my life 9 months pregnant, if given the option, but it's pretty far from the misery I've been expecting. I can still move pretty normally, my energy is decent, and I'm sleeping ok (I probably just jinxed myself there, let the record show I knocked on wood though). FYI - the baby has officially not dropped. According to my doctor and the current rib kicks I'm feeling. I'm just impatient and dying to meet this baby!

I finally went swimming! Twice actually - once last week and then this past Monday! And even sort of enjoyed it? What usually puts me off swimming is the lap counting, and trying to constantly correct my horrible form. To get myself out of bed and in the pool by 5:30am (the YMCA swimmers are no joke, they take over those lanes early), I decided to ignore both of these. I just did half an hour and didn't count anything, and I let my form be as horrendous as it wanted. My goal for exercise now is basically to get my heart rate higher than it would be laying in bed, and wake myself up for the day, so those can be accomplished while I'm flailing like a drunken college freshmen all over the pool.

Drunken college freshmen is actually redundant. At least in my experience.

Swimming has the added bonus of not having to cram my feet into increasingly smaller sneakers, and it's no impact. Really a win all around, except that I can't watch TV simultaneously. Other fitness accomplishment other than the usual elliptical and whatnot include a spin class last week, and a teeny tiny bit of running. I'm mostly using the treadmill for incline walking, but on Friday I cranked the speed way up to almost 5.0 and both feet left the belt simultaneously. For a few 2-4 minute intervals.

This morning I did a circuit training weights class, and I think it was my last time. It's crazy how high my heart rate gets just from light movement, and I had to do so much modifying that it was annoying, especially since the instructor isn't great about offering options.

I've been lucky enough to avoid illness for so long now, but it got me. One of the hourly times I woke up in the middle of the night, I was barely able to swallow. Anytime I've ever been sick with anything - swine flu, cold, strep, bronchitis, that's always how it starts. Then I follow a predictable pattern of denial (I'll be fine once I get moving and have some coffee!) and attempted ignoring while it gradually gets worse all day.

I'm not a big proponent of natural remedies, I'm more of a straight for the drugs type. (Also see: my birth plan.) I googled what you can take for a cold/sore throat while pregnant. Spoiler alert: nothing. You can gargle with salt water.

I was forced to go the natural route. Anything for the child.

Probably cheaper than Sudafed, and I didn't have to show my ID.

Just what I wanted when it's 80 degrees.
Color me ignorant because I had a spoonful of the honey right when I got home from work and the tea is almost gone and I actually do feel better. Not cured or anything, but I can breathe through my nose now.

Luckily I have nothing on the agenda this weekend, other than The Maze Runner and possibly having a baby, so I can spend some time resting up and hopefully recovering before delivery.

Are you a drugs person or a local honey type? I'm now a honey convert so maybe I'm less skeptical, but I will never, ever attempt acupuncture.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Part wild animal, part pregnancy stereotype

This weekend, I experienced some things I haven't experienced in quite some time.

First, I did what all women do a week and a half before their due date.

Eric couldn't go and my wedding ring doesn't fit, so naturally wild times ensued.

The bartender is an old friend of ours from when Eric used to work here. Don't ever crush a young girl's dreams telling her she can't meet her Prince Charming/future baby daddy late Friday night at a bar. The bartender made me that fancy Shirley Temple so I could act like I was playing in the big leagues. I thought maybe I'd get some side eye, but it turns out everyone was busy drinking and hanging out with their own friends and didn't care to waste their Saturday night concerning themselves with what random strangers were up to. I could have been out on the town, boozing it up this whole time.

I didn't just hit up the bar in a failed attempt to incite a mommy police riot. Actually, it was my running buddy's boyfriend's birthday.

Remember when I used to spend time outside just running?
 The second big new change was that I felt cold. So cold I had to make hot coffee instead of iced.

I also wore pants for the first time in months.
I'm someone who routinely wears sweatshirts in August and if money was no object I would keep the heat at 80* all winter. Pregnancy hormones or an 72 extra pounds or both kept me super toasty all summer and I honestly don't even remember the last time I felt even slightly chilly, or wore pants or long sleeves. It was wonderful. I'm usually sad to see summer go, but I've never been so happy to say goodbye and greet fall.

Unlike the bar, the rest of the weekend's activities screamed: "I'm super pregnant!".

I organized/put away a ton of diapers and wipes. And enjoyed it.

This will stay organized for approximately 1.5 hours after the baby joins us.

This picture doesn't really do justice. The wipes are stacked more than half my height.

There's still more in the closet, but I felt I'd taken enough pictures.
I had a near meltdown when Wegmans didn't have any mellowcream pumpkins in the bulk section. So I was forced to pick through this assortment to find them all.

This was post search and rescue.

I intended to take a better picture of my pumpkins when I got home but I ate a lot of them.
I also got no side eye while I patiently retrieved all my pumpkins. I was wearing gloves, I'm not an animal.
We got our car seats checked.

Definitely still so far from used to that new title.

You get to practice strapping a baby doll in and everything. It definitely helped my confidence.
I started boiling a pot of quinoa for lunch this week (I do try to eat healthy occasionally, especially for boring meals) then immediately forgot about it and left with my friend to walk to the bagel shop, without my phone. Luckily I remembered before it turned in to a 12 alarm fire (I don't know how many alarms fires go up to).
I'm really ready to be done with this pregnancy brain. It's becoming a danger to society.
I'm trying to patiently wait for the baby to decide to arrive, and being moderately successful. My strategy is to try to focus on fun stuff we're doing in the meantime. It's kind of a challenge, since 5 days a week are filled with work. But if we remain a family of two this weekend, we are going to see the Maze Runner! Totally just as good as bringing new life into the world. No, for real, it's cool though, it's not like I'm overdue so I feel I don't have the right to actually get impatient before that happens.
9 days until the due date. For those less math inclined, that's a single digit number. When people ask, I don't even have to give a date anymore, I can just say a week from Tuesday. It's so close, I can reference it directly.
What public behavior always causes you to give someone the side eye? I would say probably taking a selfie. Even better, multiple tries for a selfie. Also, paying for groceries with a check. It's 2014, get a debit card.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I avoided giving birth on the news

Less than two weeks till the due date! In case anyone forgot. I sure didn't.

Supposedly the baby is still growing at the same rate, but based on my hunger levels I can only assume he's quickly morphing into a giant before delivery.

This is my life lately.

Except actually not, because teachers have set lunch times and we don't get snack time in fifth grade. I just try to cram it all in with three gigantic meals a day and then feel miserable. It's a good plan. My lunch time this year is 1pm, which I guess is a normal lunch time, but last year it was noon. I don't know if it's the baby or just that I've been trained to eat at 12pm like one of Pavlov's dogs, but that last hour is killer. I finally brought in some pretzels that I can eat if things really get desperate. First world pain, it fills my life.

I'm still far from miserable, especially since this week isn't 105 degrees in my classroom every day. I probably would be quite miserable if my coworkers weren't so awesome. To start with, they constantly cover me so I can take my round the clock hourly bathroom break. Then, I was supposed to go on a field trip yesterday.

The Cliff's notes version was that we were going somewhere (Fort McHenry, the birthplace of our national anthem, if you care) that would require an entire day of standing and walking outside. I wasn't too concerned about that, not ideal, but I could handle it. But the trip was estimated to have over 7,000 people going to a tiny piece of land surrounded on three sides by water, which meant a major bottle neck effect to get in or out. That was the part that concerned me a bit.

I planned to just have Eric take the hospital bag in his car, and worst case scenario, he would come get me. Not ideal, since he's also a teacher and can't just peace out from work at a moment's notice. Furthermore, I have this thing called Strep B which is no big deal, it just means if your water breaks, you need to get to the hospital asap for antibiotics. That's actually all I know because for once I made wise choices and just took my doctor at her word and didn't follow up with a WebMD induced panic attack. For me, it also means that everywhere I go other than work, I have a mental contingency plan for how to quickly get to the hospital, which I probably would have done anyway.

Anyway, one of my amazing coworkers stepped up and went with my class in my place. I didn't even have to endure a single nightmare about ending up with my birth story on the six o'clock news. I can't even describe just how far my anxiety went down.

Today I went to what was billed as a faculty meeting, and it turned out to be a surprise baby shower! Eric was even invited and had rushed over after his school dismissed to surprise me. Once again, he fulfilled his duty of entertaining and took on the monumental task of making things less awkward when I'm the center of attention.

Co-ed showers are the way to go.
I was so shocked I couldn't even process that he was there. I mean, it should have been obvious since it's so close to the end, and we never have faculty meetings on Wednesdays, and my teammates made me late cornering me in my room asking me random questions, but I've never been known for my all star connecting the dots skills. The same wonderful person who took over my field trip knew from my blog that we were in pretty solid shape as far as baby stuff goes, so she arranged that we mainly got diapers, wipes, and books. It was just so perfect.

I'm really way too excited about that basket and don't know what I should fill it with.
Since I'm overflowing with rare loving, happy hormones, share the best part of your job today!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Eric vs. compression socks

Another wild Friday night in the Lindsey household.

I had ankles again Saturday morning, so it was totally worth it.
In addition to doing the hard lifting on compression socks, Eric brought us pit beef from Chaps. Doesn't look like much, but it's kind of a big deal. It's been on Man vs. Food and Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. I've lived here way too long to have never tried it.
It was well worth the wait.
The good food continued when I found this on Saturday.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'll report back.

On my way in to the store, a random man wished me happy mother's day and said "I wish it were mine". I'm assuming that's some creepy way to hit on me? It's been a while since I've been hit on, so I'm not 100% sure.  At any rate, that line was a first for me. Then he was in every aisle I was in. So not awkward at all.

Saturday night was a girl's night to watch Sex and the City, the movie. We both pretty much have the movie memorized, but I'll never get tired of seeing it. It was a little more of a girls night + one husband. Has anyone else ever noticed that men tend to mock SATC but then when it's on, they are suddenly watching and cracking up? Eric does this all the time.

Sunday was a sad start to the football season for the Ravens. Eric got me this necklace last fall and I ended up never wearing it because the Ravens season ended. It's like he magically knew I'd be heavily pregnant the next year and unable to fit into any of my purple t-shirts.

I'm doing my best to keep it moving at 37 weeks along. I feel like at any point the switch will flip and I'll be in that pure misery phase and exercise will be done for me. Someone at work told me she thought the baby had dropped, but he's still kicking my ribs so unless he has crazy long legs, I'm guessing not. Not one person I've talked to has actually known when the drop happens though (FYI it's when the baby's head starts to descend). Is it a quick movement like the ball at midnight on New Year's Eve, or is it more like a slow elevator?

Anyway, I did some workouts this week and I'd like to document them. At this point, every last little thing where I'm not horizontal counts. Like being on my feet the majority of the workday.

Monday: Superbody boot camp DVD (I found this pretty challenging even pre-pregnancy)
Tuesday: 45 min incline walk with just the teensiest bit of running thrown in
Wednesday: 45 min circuit training class
Thursday: 30 min elliptical
Friday: 30 min elliptical
Saturday: 45 min walk/run
Sunday: I was going to do something but after weekly food prep/cleaning/laundry my back was killing me so I decided those things were sufficient.

Plus a 35 minute stroller walk while babysitting this guy.

Being pregnant walking in crazy humidity and hills can really tire a person out.
I felt like the people I passed were wondering what sort of crazy Irish twin situation I had gotten myself into.

What movie can you watch a million times and never get tired of? One of mine just came on TV. Forrest Gump. Apparently it was in theaters TWENTY YEARS AGO this weekend. Frightening.