Thursday, July 31, 2008

Doctor visit

For once, this was a planned and UNEVENTFUL doctor's visit. Yay!

Lola started off, when she was born, at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 20 inches long. She now weighs a whopping 9 pounds, 2.5 ounces and is 21.5 inches long. She is in the 90th percentile for both weight and length. So our little one is growing, which is fantastic.

More importantly, I suppose, is that she has tested negative for all the possible diseases and conditions that they test newborns for, which is great. She was given a clean bill of health -- and we can even stop using the eye cream since her eye infection has cleared!

So, for the first time in a few weeks, we had a boring visit to the doctor's office, which was a very nice change of pace.

We are now preparing to celebrate Ray's birthday tomorrow, Friday, and getting ready for our big week next week. Ray will be in St. Cloud for job training throughout the week so Lola and I will be spending the week in the Twin Cities. The idea of five days without Ray or any other helpers just seems a bit daunting for me right now... And shopping sounds like fun!

Thanks for checking on us!
- Bethany :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Whew! A long update...

Hello to anyone who is still checking this! Lola turned two weeks old today, which is so hard for us to believe. She has changed so much and while we are still learning, we have certainly come a long way in the last week or so.

Things last week were hectic, to say the least. On Tuesday, I woke up with a fever of 102.5. After a call to the nurse, we went to the clinic for lab work, learned that the doctor wanted to see me and was admitted to the hospital. Surprised? Uh, yeah, me too. Turns out I had somehow contracted a uterine infection and after a few IVs full of antibiotics and a good night's sleep, I was released Wednesday afternoon. I felt better Thursday and was back to myself by Friday.

So, then, as about 20 relatives came to visit fro her baptism on Sunday and party on Saturday, Lola became a bit ill herself Saturday morning. After a call to the nurse, she was taken to the walk-in clinic and subsequently transferred to the emergency room with the possibility of being admitted to the hospital herself. The doctors were worried that my infection had somehow spread to her, which would be incredibly dangerous. So, then, after some lab work and some very loud, angry cries, doctors determined that she had an eye infection and sent us home with some eye cream. Needless to say, she was not a happy baby that morning.

On to happier things, the baptism was wonderful Sunday. She was a perfect angel. Didn't cry and barely even stirred during the service. It was wonderful.

We are so amazed at how much she has changed since she was born. The little baby that originally refused to open to her eyes is now captivated by so many sights. She loves to stare at faces and her gecko tanks, but the actual reptiles have yet to catch her eye too much.

A few lessons we have learned, in no particular order:

- Breastfeeding is hard. Very, very hard. When Mommy is trying to rationalize reasons for waiting to feed the child - "She could make it another 30 minutes or so" - it's time to call the lactation consultant. And buy more lanolin.

- Lola does not like have her clothes changed. Ever.

- Whomever came up with the idea that babies don't smile was wrong. OK, maybe it is gas or whatever, but I choose to believe she really is smiling at me. And is happy. At least momentarily.

I'm sure there are a lot more, but that's what I have now.

Thanks for checking on us,
-Bethany :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Life with Lola

Lola is now five days old. She is the sweetest, most beautiful baby. She loves to snuggle on your chest and hates being on her back -- which makes sleeping rather interesting. She particularly does not like diaper changes or the actual process of being swaddled, although she does like the end result.

We are slowly adjusting to life with Lola, although sometimes it still does not seem real that she is actually ours. As far as sleeping, some nights have been good, others have been rough. We are still working toward getting her to sleep on her own and not needing to sleep in our arms or on our chest. It's a learning process for all of us.

She is growing up fast and changes every day. She lost her umbilical cord yesterday, at four days old!

We have been enjoying every minute with her so far and Ray is not looking forward to going back to work Monday. We're just trying to relax as much as possible and allowing ourselves a lot of time to get to know our daughter.

We're still very much in awe -- and very much clueless about how to calm a screaming infant. But, we're learning!

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lola Elizabeth Wesley

Up until Sunday, my favorite word in the English language had been onomatopoeia. It is now Epidural.

From first contraction to final push, I was in labor for 25 1/2 hours. After 11 hours at home, another 14 in the hospital and several "I don't want to do this anymore" comments, Lola made her long-awaited entrance at 3:45 a.m. Monday, July 14. She weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long. She was, and still is, perfect. She got two 9s for her Apgar scores and came out wanting to eat right away.

It was truly not like anything I imagined or expected. But, despite the pain and stress and labor, I am doing pretty good. I had to keep things somewhat interesting, so after everything was all said and done and they were getting ready to transfer me to another room, I decided to pass out a few times. Three or four, no one is really quite sure. Loss of blood and all that. Makes the birth story just that much more interesting, I guess.

But we have recovered and are now home. Ray is just head over heels. We are adjusting to our new lives and optimistically like to think that she is going to sleep as well here as she did in the hospital.

But for now, we are just cuddling as a family and enjoying our time together.

Thanks for all your support throughout the past nine -- ten -- months. We appreciate it all.

Bethany :)

P.S. Just in case anyone was wondering, onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it represents, such as "boom," "bang," or animal noises such as "oink" or "meow."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A pause in the countdown

Hmm, we might not make it to Tuesday after all.

Stay tuned, but we've been up since 2:30 a.m. and the contractions are still coming pretty darned hard -- not very regular, but called the hospital and based on some other "signs" she said labor might be starting here for us. We're supposed to stay at home for a few hours and see how things go.

We shall see.

- Bethany :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

4 more days...

I really hadn't ever prepared myself for the possibility that I would know the date of Baby's birth before she was really born. I just figured one night (always seems to be at night in my mind), my water would break and we would go to the hospital.

This whole anticipation/countdown thing is not easy. I think I do better "under pressure" when problems and instances just happen. If I have too much time to sit and stew about things, I make them out to be a lot worse than they are. Public speeches. Roller-coasters. School bus rides (long story).

So, I'm developing a list of the advantages of knowing her birth date (most likely, anyways).

1. I can do my hair ahead of time. (I know, I know: My appearance should be the last thing I'm concerned about. But I'm a realist. Besides, my attitude and overall demeanor is much more pleasant when I style my hair and put on makeup.) Plus, I can plan a hospital-friendly outfit ahead of time and shave my legs.

2. I can pack better. (Yes, I have my "bag" all packed and everything, but there are still last-minute items I need to grab such as shampoo, a toothbrush, etc. Knowing when we need to leave will give me plenty of time to get things organized and put together.) Plus I can gather a supply of books or magazines in case I want something to read.

3. Everyone knows ahead of time when we are going in. This is nice because I won't have to call 5-10 people while on the way to the hospital. (And since my dear husband has decided that I can't text message anymore, calling everyone individually would take more time.)

4. I was able to say good-bye to co-workers and friends in town that I usually see on a daily basis.

5. I can clean my house ahead of time. Really, the "plus" was that I didn't make the bed for the first time in three weeks this morning. Every morning, I had been making the bed, doing the dishes and cleaning up "just in case" the baby was coming and relatives would need some place to stay. This morning, though, I instead took a long bath and left Ray's piles of clothing right where he threw them. I even left for work without feeling bad about it -- amazing what a closed bedroom door can block out of sight!

Well, that's really all that comes to mind right away -- let me know if you can think of any more! I'll take what I can get!

Until next time,
- Bethany :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

5 more days...

Well, unless she decides to make an entrance on her own before then, Lola will be here on Tuesday.

The ultrasound yesterday showed a perfect baby -- she was healthy and happy and was sucking her thumb. Doctor today said there was no reason to rush anything as I won't technically be overdue (over 42 weeks) until Monday. So, we go in Monday evening (7 p.m.) to get settled and then start receiving the inducing drugs Tuesday morning.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that we were disappointed -- both Ray and I wanted to get things done this week or weekend. But, the important thing is that the baby is very healthy and isn't suffering or in any distress. In fact, the doctor was really pleased with everything. There was some extra amniotic fluid in there and she said that was a good thing, as most babies that go past their due date start to lose fluid, which is a cause for concern. Our having a bit more than necessary is a good sign, she said.

So, barring any unforeseen disasters or a 30-plus hour labor (which, personally, I would also file under disaster), we should be able to finally meet and hold her on Tuesday. Of course, there is always the chance that she will decide to come on her own, but I'm not holding my breathe.

Also, in case anyone was wondering, she is weighing in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces.

Thanks for reading,
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Eating one's own words

To quote myself: "Would hate for them to check me, laugh and then just send me home."

OK, so I didn't get the laugh, but I certainly got sent home. Ray and I thought we did the whole timing thing right, but apparently we were WAY off!!!

Long story short: We went to the hospital tonight, spent about two hours in Labor and Delivery and learned a whole bunch about contractions -- specifically, how to time them correctly. Apparently what I thought were coming every five minutes -- we had timed them for two-plus hours -- were not coming regularly at all. I was certainly having a whole bunch, but they weren't coming regularly and were not strong enough. So, we were sent home.

Emotionally, we're tired. I'm a bit more embarrassed than anything -- I mean, I thought at the LEAST I would be dilated to 1 cm or something -- but no, I'm just a "fingertip." I guess that's better than being "all closed up," but that's like saying the second year of high school is better than the first; really, they're both terrible.

So I am going to bed now. And I'm hoping that someday I will go into labor -- preferably before Lola's baptism.
- Bethany :)


I'm hesitant to say as much in fear of jinxing myself, but we have some (whisper) hope.

Suffered through some rather painful contractions last night from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. -- they were coming every 15 minutes and lasting about 45 seconds. Ray and I decided that we would call the hospital at midnight, so what happens? They stopped. Completely. The last two or three were pretty real, or so I thought anyway. They even did everything like the books say they would!! But, no, no dice.

Ray and I eventually fell asleep and got on with our lives.

This morning I had a few sporadic contractions. Nothing timeable or painful. Those have kind of progressed a bit since then and they're getting more frequent and starting to be uncomfortable. Right now I'm getting about three an hour. Once I start getting five or six an hour consistently or if they become extremely uncomfortable, I'll probably go in. Would hate for them to check me, laugh and then just send me home.

But then there is always this (very real) hope that they would see me, hear that I'm eight days overdue, take pity on me and let me just stay. I haven't really ever been too much in favor of inducing, but at this point, I just want her out. Ray laughs, but the word "eviction" comes to mind. Often.

Stay tuned.
- Bethany :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Baby steps

Our three-day weekend was a bust. OK, maybe not a complete bust, as we did have fun with family members and got to enjoy the fireworks -- but, c'mon, I was hoping to have a baby by now!!!

Of course, just as Ray and I had accepted the fact that we would go the full 42 weeks and then need to be induced, Mother Nature has decided to tease us a bit more. Without getting into really gross details, let's just say that it looks like things are progressing for me and I am finally starting to dilate (no, I don't know how much, but I know that it at least has started).

As far as contractions go, I'm not really contracting on any kind of regular basis but I am having some contractions. Basically, I can feel my tummy get hard and all that, and occasionally I'll have a small cramp or something, but it's not what I imagine "real" contractions to be like. I've been told that the real ones will literally stop you in your tracks and you can't walk or talk. Mine are nothing like that. Just mild irritations that are not regular in any sense. And completely un-timeable.

So, we have some hopes here. Although (sigh) I'm pretty sure I will make it through the city council meeting tonight.
- Bethany :)

Week 41 and counting...

Hey, just a quickee for now: Yes, I'm still here and very much pregnant.

I will update more later,
- Bethany :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A few theories

I have two theories at this time:
1.) Baby is just like Mommy and likes to work up to the very last possible moment before missing her deadline; or
2.) Baby is just like Daddy and is late. All of the time. No matter what the event or destination.

Either way, the end result is the same: Baby is staying put.

Yep, the doctor today confirmed it: No progress. Well, that's not quite 100 percent true: I have made very miniscule progress, but nothing measurable. I think that was just her nice way of telling me that I'm all closed up. Still.

While anything can still happen and Lola could shock us all at any time, a Fourth of July baby does not look likely. In fact, doctor said she wouldn't be overly surprised if I'm still here for next week's appointments. We have another ultrasound scheduled for Wednesday afternoon and a doctor's appointment Thursday morning.

They say the ultrasound is planned to check fluid levels and make sure everyone is still healthy, but I have another theory. I think they just schedule the ultrasounds now because mommies expect to be holding their darned babies by this point. So, they offer the next-best option: See a picture of the baby you can't yet hold.

But, really, if I have to still be pregnant on July 9, I would love to see the baby on screen. And Ray wasn't able to make it to the first ultrasound, so that is a bonus. He did say today, though, "I'd rather hold her than look at a picture." Then he looked down at my belly and said his latest catchphrase: "Come OUT! I want to meet you."

Don't we all.

- Bethany :)