Tuesday, November 30, 2010

She's HERE!!!

Nov 29th I went to the chiropractor and everything looked good. Baby girl was on the left side in perfect position. After that we headed to the midwife for a checkup. My BP was good and I didn't have swelling or any other pre-e symptoms.......but there was protein in my urine. We sent some blood off to the lab just in case. I was dilated to a 3 but very soft and easily was stretched to a 4, but baby's head was riding so high in all the fluid that we couldn't even strip the membranes. My midwife said we needed some pressure on the cervix and things should get going. We decided to do a half recipe of a high protein castor oil shake to see if we could get enough contractions to get some movement. Her and I both didn't think it would start labor at all, we just hoped for a few good contractions and then would try a full dose the next morning after I'd gotten some sleep. I did the shake at about 4pm and never once had the runs. At about 8 pm I started having contractions with pain down low and then after an hour or so it was also in my lower back. We called the midwife about 10pm for an update and then just kept going. By 11 or 12 we decided to go in the big soaking tub in my mom's room- I never got out! It was the only way the contractions seemed managable so I just stayed in until baby came. The midwife arrived about 3am-ish I think and checked me- at a 7! Bag of waters was still intact and putting a lot of pressure on my cervix, making me feel a little 'pushy'. Everyone left the bathroom and Craig and I just kept rolling with the contractions. We'd been in the tub for about 4 or more hours by that time and usually dozed between contractions and then rolled with the waves as they came- about 55 seconds long every single one. I used low vocalization to deal with the pain and even though I felt a little silly, it was working and I didn't want to stop. Around 3:50am during a contraction I felt like, 'hmmm, if I push right now I know the water will break." I gave a light push and Craig and I heard the sound in the room, 'POP!' I could tell from Craig's expression that there was a major gush of water in the tub. From there it was almost a blur. Within seconds of my water breaking there was a head crowning. I panicked for a second and we yelled and screamed like crazy for everyone to get in the bathroom. I calmed my breathing as best I could and said "Jesus" during the contractions- it hurt! After only two pushes- and not me deciding to do it, my body just did it on it's own and I rolled with it- there was a head and I thought, "well what the heck let's just do this" so I pushed a little more and her body flew out! Granted it hurt and I was loud and wanted it over! She came out so fast that there wasn't even time for Craig to catch her. Labor start to finish was 8 hours, with about 4 hours of actual real pain and 5 minutes or less of pushing.

She is 9lbs 1oz, 21inches and as perfect as can be. I am amazed and proud of myself for delivering a 'big' baby at home and not even tearing. The fact that she came out in 2 pushes is incredible. To have this wet and covered in vernix baby placed on my chest was so special. She breathed right away and gave some small cries, but she was also peaceful and got the much needed time she needed skin-to-skin with mommy. We also let her umbilical cord keep pulsing and that was really cool to see and feel. Within 30 minutes we'd cut the cord and I delivered the placenta. At that point Craig had taken her out of the tub and went in to the cozy living room with a fire so I could deal with the placenta without baby on me.

She was awake and alert for 2 hours after her birth and nursed on each side 2x. She's been sleeping like crazy since then and getting colostrum when I can wake her enough to do so :) I've already cut her fingernails that were super long and laughed at how much more laid back I am this time. I was terrified for a week to cut Eliana's nails!

Alright, this is all for now- wanted to get basic details down now and will be more specific later on when time and brain allow.

I'm seriously SO grateful to God for the birth He gave us. It was an incredible experience and I see so much how our bodies know what they need to do and what they want to do. I can't imagine ever having a baby in a hospital again unless there was a major need. Even how alert and yet peaceful baby is is really incredible.

I'm sort of in shock that I actually got my homebirth and not only that- my waterbirth! Baby's heart tones never had any issues and she literally flew out of me pink and healthy. I feel a million times better than I did after having Eliana.
 Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

40w3d :)

Oh my goodness, I am SO glad to have the power back on! It went out Monday at 6:45pm and came back on Tuesday night at 11:45pm. I was busy reading Breaking Dawn by flashlight.

Mostly I was having tv/internet/radio withdrawls, but no lights and the knowledge that this baby can start labor at any time and there is a blizzard outside, wasn't too comforting.

Yesterday Craig and I went to the hospital for a BioPhysicalProfile for baby girl. Basically an ultrasound where they are looking for specific things. Pretty much baby girl couldn't have possibly scored any better- 8 out of 8 and it was quick to get those numbers. The 2 ultrasound techs were shocked and actually chuckling the whole time about how busy she was. They said they were sort of  dreading doing a BPP on an 'overdue' mama since they usually take a long time to get the right movement counts- but not me! Baby girl made it a cinch. It was little tricky to count her breathing because she wouldn't stop moving. She was literally kicking my placenta and the ultrasound wand and then doing full twirls- all while head down thankfully :) When we saw her profile for a few seconds she had her fist in her mouth and her cheeks were actually chubby! I'm not going to announce her 'estimated weight' because I sort of think those are dumb and can set us up for emotional stress if the baby is 'too big' or 'too small', but I will say she is fat and happy :)

To see the basic scoring for a BPP and how it works, please see: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/405454-overview
 
Seeing baby yesterday made me SO excited to meet her. This time around I feel like I've been pregnant forever since I found at about 3 days pregnant (thanks to charting) and I'm now 3 days 'over' my EDD based on ovulation. With Elly we found out at 5 weeks and then she was taken 3 weeks early- so I'm basically experiencing a 2 month longer pregnancy now- in terms of how long I'm aware of it and how long it's lasting. Seeing her dance and gum her fist and her adorable nose and cheeks melted our hearts and I can't wait to hold and kiss her. I'm also glad that she will probably be stronger and definitely fatter than Elly was. I'm praying she'll be an agressive nurser and come out fighting and pink :)
 
My blood pressure has been pretty good. I didn't take it at all yesterday. I figured with the stress of no power, driving to Silverdale on icy roads and the impending BPP (which turned out fabulous so I shouldn't have worried) my BP wouldn't have been great. Today it's been about 127/77. I need to catch up on water drinking today and it should get even better.

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again- I almost can't believe that God has worked to allow me to be this pregnant. After having Elly at 37 weeks I guess I never thought that I'd be allowed to carry a baby until that baby wanted to come. I figured I'd always be induced or at least under a ton of pressure to induce and that blood pressure issues would haunt me. So being over 40 weeks and having a healthy baby and a healthy me is so great!
 
Today we're doing some Thanksgiving food prep so I'll be occupied. I will add that I did buy some castor oil at Target yesterday since it was $1.50 and I figured I might as well have it just in case- but I don't plan on taking it until I need to, despite Craig joking he will put it in my drink. I'd prefer labor to start laxative free, that's for sure!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

40 weeks!

Today is my actual Estimated Due Date (based on ovulation date, not just LMP, so should be the most accurate). That being said, some babies just need more time or their position holds things up...or who the heck knows! Why babies come when they come is the multi-million dollar question.

I am sort of feeling like I'll be pregnant forever, but not in a bad way. I'm just treating each day like another day and taking it as it comes. Craig is a bit anxious for it to just happen already. His first guess was last Saturday or Sunday and then yesterday he guessed today. Two wrong guesses so far! That's why I'm just not guessing. He is holding out that based on dreams this baby will be super blonde with blue eyes and weigh 8lbs 6oz. Anyone recognize that weight? Um yes, that would be how much the sweet baby Jesus weighed in the prayer on Ricky Bobby The Ballad of Talledega Nights. Lol. Heck if she's only 8lb 6oz I'll be glad :)

Haven't had a biophysical profile yet. If I'm still pregnant by my prenatal on Tuesday I'll check with my midwife when that will happen. I'm also supposed to go to the Chiropractor tomorrow and would really like to go to check my pelvis and back and baby's position- but won't be heading from Poulsbo to Port Orchard at 40 weeks if there truly is a snow storm. We'll see!

I am currently typing this from my sister's laptop on the bed in the guest suite at my parent's house. I have to say- I wish I had a laptop all the time! I know you can find them for a few hundred dollars but that's a few hundred dollars I don't have to spend on a laptop. Someday!

Craig and I went and saw Unstoppable the other night and it was SO good. Very intense and incredible. Denzel is always good for an edge of your seat ride. Unfortunately it didn't start labor, oh well.

Alright, until next time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Home Visit; 39w3d

Had our home visit with the midwife today, we are ready to go for baby's arrival :)

I've had several people ask if I've been 'checked' or anything and basically I'm not totally against being checked, but have seen no reason if it's just to see the progress on dilation. I figured if it was needed for something else then we'd go ahead and do it.

Baby's heartbeat seemed in a weird position today and since I have so much fluid I am the ideal candidate for my baby to turn breech or sideways, which is not ideal! We decided to do an internal check to make sure her head is down. Thank the Lord it is still down! That's not to say she can't or won't switch around in the next few days, but we'll keep praying she doesn't. If she had been breech or sideways we would've gone to my chiropractor to move her around. My midwife says things are getting soft- like lips versus the tip of a nose earlier in pregnancy and I'm about 2cm. That means 8cm to go, which can happen overnight or can also take 2 weeks. You just never know.

My blood pressure has been good (yay!) and any swelling or puffiness is just normal at this point in the pregnancy. My wedding ring still fits on and off which is insane to me. I couldn't wear it for half of my pregnancy with Eliana. Today there was a bit of protein in my urine, but every other week it's always been negative, so we'll see what it is next time and not freak out since BP and swelling are both great. Occasionally there's a fluke reading of protein and then it's fine after that.

We're also ordering a bio-physical profile (fancy ultrasound) to check baby's size, position, and all that. We'll get a clearer picture of just exactly how much fluid there is. AND we can triple check that this actually is a girl! haha

I'm praying for contractions to start asap :) I've had 3 nights of amazing sleep and we are ready to meet her!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

39 Weeks

I am 39 weeks pregnant today and had to buy 2 things I've never had to buy myself in my entire life; TUMS and Sleep Aid. Ugh, heartburn, I almost didn't even know what it was until I told Craig how I was feeling and he said, "yep, heartburn." And as for the Sleep Aid, it's the drowsy ingredient in Benadryl without all the other ingredients. I took it last night and didn't wake up wide awake at midnight like has been happening the last week. Friday night I was honestly awake (like WIDE awake) from midnight til 2 am. I prayed and stared at the wall for an hour, then read half of Supernatural Childbirth and finally fell asleep. So, Saturday night I took a half dose of Sleep Aid and boy did it help! Ps. My midwife said Benadryl is ok to take :)

I will happily be partaking in Sleep Aid again tonight. I sure as heck don't want to start labor exhausted, so I have some catching up on Zzzzz's to do.

Moms and More had our biggest fundraiser of the year on Saturday- our Holiday Bazaar with nearly 40 vendors. Putting on the Bazaar was a ginormous task for myself and the other coordinator. I spent more hours than I can count calling, emailing, and dealing with vendors. The month before the Bazaar it was often 2 or more hours a day just talking to vendors. The week before it was more like 4 hours a day with vendors, and then still emailing and organizing and doing the finances, etc. And of course I still have a sweet 2 year old, a husband and home, the actual Mom's group to co-coordinate, prenatal and chiropractic appointments, and a home birth coming up really soon. It was exhausting.
The Bazaar was very successful and I'm really glad it went so well. We will make some changes for next year and just improve every year, but overall it was very good. That being said, I am sort of glad it's over. My blood pressure was better this morning than it has been in about 2 weeks! Yay for a crapload of stress disappearing overnight :)

My belly is bigger than I ever thought it could be. I'm putting my clothes through a rigorous stress test that's for sure. But who the heck wants to buy a new shirt for one week? Hmmm....what else can I say?

Am I ready to have the baby? Yeah, I guess so and no not really. Am I about to pop? Not exactly, I'm pretty sure my belly button will stay closed. Have I been 'checked'? Nope, no need to get my hopes up or feel disappointed if nothing is happening. Baby will come when she is ready. Am I still pregnant? Yep. Am I SO sick of being pregnant? Not really, but it is very physically taxing. Yes, those are the questions I get on a daily basis and I'm sure as I get even closer to my EDD and perhaps pass it the questions will vary and come to, when are you being induced? Isn't it time to get that baby out? etc etc etc. A few of my friends have had to endure going 'past' (although technically you are NOT past due until you are past 42 weeks, even the ACOG still says that), so I've seen and heard what they've dealt with and I'm not exactly looking forward to that. Nor do I want this baby to be like 10lbs or anything. I am however pretty stoked to see what labor is like when it starts spontaneously. Like, will my water break before or during labor? Will I actually see a mucous plug? Will it start at night or during the day? etc...lots of unknowns and it's exciting- like Christmas. You know that whatever is under the tree is pretty great and you just have to wait to see what it is :)

In the meantime I'll try to remember that people are well meaning and I think slightly uncomfortable around very pregnant women and can't think of anything to say other than, "wow, you're still pregnant???" So, until you see me carrying around a tiny baby, yes, I'm still pregnant :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

13 days til my EDD. As much as I want to get on with things and just have this baby already- I have to admit that every day I'm still pregnant and she has the right to pick her birthday is a small victory I think. Eliana was already 5 days old by this point in my pregnancy. I'd endured 50plus hours of labor in a horrible induction and we'd been home for 3 days by the time I would've been 38 weeks.
This sweet little girl is happy and kicking away and is not ready yet as is obvious by her decision to not start labor yet. What exactly starts labor is up for dispute a bit but there are some interesting studies happening showing the link between the baby's lungs releasing the protein 'surfactant' once they are ready and that starting labor. Makes sense right? Clearly miscommunication can happen when a mother goes into labor at 28 weeks or is still pregnant at 44 weeks....I'll be curious to see what the studies find as the next couple years go on.
That's a big ol' belly! Hello 38 weeks.

Eliana wanted to pose by the door, too :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Silliness :)

Diana to Craig, "did you know some KOA campgrounds have stocked fishing holes?"


Craig, "Yes, those are the KOI campgrounds."

LOL

GET IT???

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

37w3d

18 days. That's now what the ticker says. It'll say 17 days in 30 minutes. But who's counting....um, me! It's a fairly well known fact from this blog that I will avoid induction as much as is humanly possible without harm to myself or the baby. We may do a 'magic milkshake' if I go postdate- that would be castor oil. I'm hoping the usual natural methods will do the job; Raspberry leaf tea, Evening Primrose Oil, and love contractions and prostaglandins....aka- intimacy.
I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks now. They happen every day and usually all throughout the day. Last Sunday I had what I would call 'real' contractions for almost a whole hour. They were about a minute long and 2 minutes apart. And they definitely got Craig's hopes up! I didn't want a baby born on Halloween so I was glad when they fizzled out. I call them 'real' because they were regular, more intense, and just plain felt different. I could sense them coming and then they would radiate all the way up my belly and up the sides and then form this huge muscle ball right in the middle- you could literally see it. Since then it's been back to semi-regular braxton hicks. And I should note that I never had a single braxton hicks with Eliana. I never had a contraction until I was literally in labor. This time around my uterus is getting a lot of practice!
From last Tuesday to last night my placenta has changed some more. Didn't appear to be a whole lot more calcium, but the edges of it look a little frayed now. Apparently this is normal as your placenta prepares to separate :) YAY!
I'm uncomfortable at this point. My belly is so big. I can't reach anything and it's a huge pain in the butt if I drop something and there's no one to help pick it up. Clothes that always fit no matter what, don't fit. I know tons of people who'd probably say, "well at least you can get pregnant!" And to that I would say, "yes, I agree. I feel very blessed to have a 2 year old and this 2nd baby coming soon and I thank Jesus for them every day. That blessing doesn't however take away the pain and uncomfortableness that the female body goes through cramming a 7-9lb baby into the cavity formerly full of organs." What do you think happens to the bladder, stomach, lungs, etc? They get totally and nearly completely squished!  The extra fluid that is distending my uterus is not helping anything. Women with polyhydramnios (extra fluid) can sometimes have babies with issues. My midwife said she feels confident and fine that this baby is healthy because of the 3 ultrasounds I had with my OB and also that I did the quad screen. If there was a spinal issue it would've been found. And I feel confident that Dr. Quimby wouldn't have given me her blessing to transfer to midwifery care at 26 weeks if she had seen anything that would cause concern. So, in my case, it's just a lot of extra fluid. Who the heck knows why. I also read something this week about an anterior placenta making a women's belly bigger. With Elly my placenta (and also her) were posterior- near my spine. This time the placenta and baby are out front.

Baby girl is very active and kicking up a storm. She has her definitely napping times and when she's awake- she's awake! Eliana is so excited and a tad anxious to meet her little sister. She started saying ,"hi sissy!" today to my belly instead of just, "hi baby!" She kisses and hugs my belly and tries to pat the baby's back (not sure how that works). And she asks every day when the baby is coming 'home' or 'back'. She is a total little mommy. She changes her baby doll's diapers and feeds them and pats their back so they can burp. She won't go anywhere without a baby, diaper, and bottle. I have to hide them or have them 'nap' in the car so we won't lose them running errands. She panics when she drops "baby's milk, uh oh! uh oh! OH NO!" in the car....yes, that's literally her reaction and then she starts crying. She is a good little mommy :)
I'm still a little sad that she won't be my only anymore and that I'll have to share my hugs and kisses. I know that as soon as I'm holding this new baby my love will just be multiplied and I'll love this little one more than I could imagine. But right now only having Elly to hug and kiss it's hard to comprehend having enough hours in the day to love two little girls as much as I love Elly. God works it out I know.

Craig and I tried to narrow down the name a few nights ago and I think just made it worse. Instead of going, "oh yeah that's the one", we said, "oh wait, that's a nice one, too and that one and that one!" Oh dear :)
So, we're not being sneaky and secretive, we seriously don't know what we're going to name her. I'm praying God will make it clear the name He wants for her.

Alright, the alarm will come way too early tomorrow morning. It's been one of those days!

Paula Deen's Kahlua Cake and a fabulous 80's party!

Kahlua Cake from Paula Deen's Magazine
INGREDIENTS:

Kahlua Cake

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1 (18 1/4 ounce) German chocolate cake mix

1 (4 ounce) box instant chocolate pudding mix

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup Kahlua (coffee-flavored liqueur)

4 large eggs

Kahlua Topping

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup Kahlua

1/4 cup water
 
DIRECTIONS:

  • 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.




  • 2 Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over bottom of pan; set aside.




  • 3 In large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix.




  • 4 Add water, oil, liqueur and eggs.




  • 5 Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.




  • 6 Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.




  • 7 While cake is baking, prepare Kahlua topping; in a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.




  • 8 Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 2 minutes, stirring often.




  • 9 When cake is done baking, carefully pour hot Kahlua topping over cake.




  • 10 Let stand in pan, for 4 hours.




  • 11 Invert cake onto wire rack.




  • "Grease" and flour means PAM spray and flour in my kitchen:)

    Ok, once floured, in go the nuts. You can definitely omit these, but it's just so darn pretty when it's done.

    Alright, step 3 and 4 here in the bowl.
    I do not have a Kitchenaid or anything of the sort- so this is my mixer and hey, it works!

    So pretty! Blended and in the pan it goes.

    Bake for 45 minutes :)

    Ingredients for the Kahlua sauce. This is what makes the cake super rich and gooey.

    Here comes the 'caramel' sauce!

    Bring sauce to boil for 2 minutes. Smells like caramel-y goodness!

    The chocolate kahlua cake out of the oven....but wait, the next step is where the trick is!

    So, I was going to take a picture of me pouring the caramel in, but that would've become a disaster real quick! So, you slowly pour the caramel sauce over the cake right out of the oven. You have to pour...wait....pour....wait....because it takes a couple minutes for it to soak in and not spill over.

    Mostly soaked in.....and then you let it sit for 4 hours and absorb all the gooeyness.

    TA-DA!!! This is not a cake for the faint of heart. Very rich, very moist and gooey. Goes great with whipped cream.

    I make this cake every year for my Father in Law's birthday and have made it for a Halloween Party the last 2 years :)
    Here's a pic of Craig and me dressed 80's for this year's party:

    Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

    Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

    (I'll find out tomorrow if it tastes good, but it made my house smell awesome and that's usually a pretty good sign!)

    Ingredients


    1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

    2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes

    2 eggs

    3/4 cup white sugar

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

    1 2/3 cups light cream (or sub 1 can evaporated milk)

    3 tablespoons butter, softened

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar

    2/3 cup chopped pecans

    Directions

    1.Bake sweet potatoes until tender, peel and mash. Make sure all lumps are removed, straining if necessary.

    2.Lightly beat eggs. Blend together eggs and sweet potatoes. Stir in sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend in cream. Pour into pie shell.

    3.Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) 45-55 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge of pie comes out clean. Cool completely on rack.

    4.To make Caramelized Pecan Topping: Combine butter or margarine, brown sugar, and pecans. Gently drop by spoonfuls over cooled pie to cover top. Broil 5 inches below heat until mixture begins to bubble, about 3 minutes. Watch carefully, if cooked too long, top will turn syrupy. Cool on rack.


    Out of the oven (test spot from knife will be covered, you'll see!). Used mini cookie cutter to make leaf pattern on edge.


    All done with the pecan topping :) Yum!