***Read at your own risk. Graphic content****

Thursday August 25th- 41 Weeks 6 Days Gestation

Had to be at the hospital to start cervidil induction at 8am. Had cervidil inserted around 9am and it did little more than make me uncomfortable and have mild contractions that did not increase at all. Baby was not engaged and still high in my pelvis. Dr. came back to check me a few times through the day, and not much had happened. We were sent home overnight on a “pass” and told to be back again the next morning at 8am for round 2.

Friday August 26th – 42 Weeks Gestation

Arrived at the hospital on time and had cervidil inserted around 9:30. Almost immediately contractions began, and I was not coping well at all on the monitor I was meant to be hooked up on for 2 hours, to ensure there was no hyper-stimulation. I was coping so badly that they removed me from the monitor after only 20 minutes. I was having bad back pain, and started walking around, using the tub, shower, etc. to try and get things going. At 11am Blair called my Doula and asked her to come. She arrived at 1, and when the Dr. checked me at 2 or so I was at 2cm, still posterior, head not engaged, and cervix was still hard. That was frustrating. Went to the bathroom and cervidil fell out. Things started getting hot and heavy after that, and coping became much easier as my body took over and contractions began coming naturally. Dr. checked me at some point that evening and I was at a 3, and 90% effaced. They were very happy with the progress. Contractions began coming hot and heavy, about 1 and a half minutes long and 2 minutes apart (so only like a 30 second break) sometimes one after another for up to 5 minutes. I began to vomit, but generally speaking was coping well and was confident that the baby would be there soon. After a huuuge long contraction, I made the (what I now believe to be bad) decision to get in the shower. It was about 10pm or so. After that labour slowed down, and I started to get frustrated. Dr. checked me close to midnight, and there was little change, maybe close to 4cm but not much. Finally at 1:30am when contractions had not picked back up they encouraged me to take some morphine so I could sleep, because the next day could be a long day. I kept having some contractions through the night but managed about 4 hours. My AMAZING doula slept in her car.

Saturday August 27th- 42 Weeks 1 Day Gestation

By morning labour had stopped. I was very upset. The dr. came and and talked to me- told me that she was not confident, especially since the baby was still high and thought I would probably be needing a c-section, but if I wanted I could start on Pitocin for a few hours and try. I cried and cried but finally started Pitocin. She did not want to break the bag of waters because of the possibility of cord prolapse. I started around 9:30 or so, and by 10:30 I was in heavy labour again. The nurse was wonderful and did not require me to be attached to the monitor, only to be checked every 15 minutes or so. It was similar to heavy labour the night before, with contractions about 1.5 minutes long and 2 minutes apart. When the dr checked me at noon I was at 5cm, but head was still high (though had dropped slightly). Decided to break the water- and it was meconium stained. After the water was broken I was suddenly 6cm and the head dropped slightly. This is when things got really bad. Coping became impossible, and I could not empty my bladder although it felt like I really really needed to. It was excruciating. I moaned and screamed, tried to shower, and nothing worked. The dr came back around 3pm, and there was no progress, the head was still high and was starting to swell. That was the worst news of my life.  That is when surgery became inevitable, 29 hours after beginning induction #2.

They got me in there quick, and our beautiful girl was born at 4:33pm. Recovery has been long and hard so far, I am still sooo sore. WHEN WILL I FEEL HUMAN AGAIN? I have yet to sleep much- I can only seem to doze and have weird body tremors on occasion that yank me out of sleep. I am afraid I will run out of pain meds before the pain goes away. (there was a lot of pushing on my ribs, lungs, etc to get her out of the small incision, and multiple attempts before the spinal was successful)

First night home , and it two nights ago, it as AWFUL. She had bad gas and cried for hours and hours. Second night was much better.

Breastfeeding going pretty well, she is latching good and milk is in.

More to come later when things settle down.
So, a little while ago I decided that in order to feel fully prepared for the baby, I had to pre-make a number of meals, so that when the baby is here I can focus on the baby.

I was a little bit neurotic about it. I made a list of all the casseroles that I like, and asked others for their suggestions on what to make that will freeze well. This is what I ended up with:
3x Sheppard’s Pie

2x Chinese Noodle Casserole

2x Meatloaf

2x Lasagne

2x American Chop Suey

2x Veggie and Bacon Quiches

2x Chicken Pot Pie

2x Mexican Lasagne

Basmati Chicken

Turkey Soup

1 dozen Banana Chocolate Chip muffins

1 dozen Lemon Poppy Seed muffins

1 dozen Strawberry Banana muffins

4 dozen Hermit cookies

2 dozen Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies

Hmmm… now that I am looking at this all written in front of me I realize why I was soooo darn tired for a week or so there. That also explains my increase in energy in the last couple days: being done all of this!

All that is left to do now is wait for the baby. Come on baby! I don’t want to still be waiting on August 22nd (the farthest the Dr. would like to see me go before they induce me for being overdue.) Come on baby! We are ready for you!
So today I am considered full term, even though my due date is still 3 weeks away.

What exactly is full term?

At 37 weeks, your little one’s body is complete and ready to function outside of the womb. The amount of amniotic fluid begins to decrease during this time of pregnancy and your little one may even begin to slow down the growth process, since it has most of the fat stores it needs in order to survive and regulate its own body temperature once born. So rest assured that if your labour was to begin anytime after your 37th week in pregnancy, it is still considered full term and you can look forward to a new little family member quite soon!

So, that is where I stand.

But what confuses me is that I was given two different due dates- August 12th by the doctor (and that is what remains my official due date) and August 8th by the ultrasound technician (based on the baby’s size at my most recent ultrasound). So if the second date is my true due date, I am really closer to 38 weeks than I am to 37.

I am starting to feel incredibly nervous, and I also have this huge sense of urgency looming over me, whispering in my ear “get things done, and get them done NOW”. I am wondering if this sense of urgency to get things done could be some kind of inborn knowledge, built in for me to know when labour is very close. One can hope, but who knows, I could be sitting here twiddling my thumbs 5 weeks from now, still waiting.

I have been cooking up a storm, and have a few more dishes to prepare over the weekend, and a little bit of baking. Get that done and in the freezer, pack the bags, sweep the floors, and I think I will be feeling a little less stress.

My sense of well-being is also decreasing. In fact, it has decreased dramatically in a matter of only a few days. I am tired, hot,  my back hurts, my feet hurt, my hips hurt, I have to pee all the time, I am having trouble sleeping at night, and my wrists are killing me- particularly in the morning. Research tells me this is pregnancy induced carpal tunnel. I just can't get comfortable. I am irritable and emotional. I cry at the drop of a hat (like today, when my husband rubbed my back the wrong way).

I am so ready to meet our little one, but so not at the same time. Now that it has gotten so close I find myself wishing I was 5 months pregnant again, not 8.5. But there is no turning back now!

Ready or not, here this baby comes!

Things I am Looking Forward To:

  1. Snuggling a warm soft baby.
  2. Being able to sleep on my stomach.
  3. Being able to paint my own toenails.
  4. Watching my baby grow.
  5. Having the ability to wear my shoes again (currently I am only able to wear one pair of sandals, They are  1 size larger than my old shoe size. And they are mostly elastic).
  6. Being able to wear my wedding rings again.
  7. Going to mommy baby play time and making new friends.
  8. Reconnecting with old friends.
  9. Trying the crafts on Play at Home Mom’s website.
  10. Creating a good routine.

Things I Need To Do...ASAP:

  1. Pack hospital bags (the ones I can… like baby’s. Mine can wait.)
  2. Cook a dozen meals that are easily freezable… and some muffins/cookies. I am planning to cocoon myself for 1-2 weeks after baby arrives and not do much more than sleep, nurse and eat. So I am going to try and create a stock pile of food ahead of time.
  3. Write in my diary. I need to document how I am feeling these last couple weeks.
  4. Complete the first parts of the baby book.
  5.  Have one last date with the hubby. Who knows when we might be able to go again.
At the beginning of my pregnancy, I knew  that I wanted a natural birth experience. I tried to get a Calgary Midwife- I was even willing to drive into the city for each and every prenatal appointment, but unfortunately I was placed on a waiting list at every single clinic. (Current statistics for the city state that they turn away 9 out of 10 women who contact them).

So I knew that if I was going to get the birth I desired, I would have to approach it a different way. I started to think about hiring a doula. I did a lot of reading, some research on the cost of having a doula, but that was the end of it. The typical cost for a doula in my area is $400-$700…or $1000 for a doula out of the city. After Blair and I attended natural birth classes through Healthy Birth Choices in Calgary, we decided that we could do it on our own, because the financial burden was just too much for us to swallow.

As my labour approaches and anxiety builds, I am reconsidering this decision. Last night, we met and interviewed a doula, and I could not be happier.  She was everything I imagined she would be, and I loved her philosophy.

What exactly is a doula?

I was watching a design show once, and something the designer said really stuck with me. He said "the nursery is not for the baby... oh no, the nursery is for the parents".

The more I thought about it, the more I thought he was probably right. A baby is not going to remember what colour the walls are, if the bedding matches the lamp shade, or if the rocking chair is an old creaky hand-me-down or a brand new glider. No. The only thing the baby is going to remember (subconciously) is if it got lots of love from it's mommy and daddy. It is the parents who are going to remember the room, and spend a lot of time in there, doing late night feedings, comforting a crying toddler and playing on the floor.

Pretty much as soon as we found out I was pregnant, I started thinking about the unborn baby's room, making list after list of things we would need, things we would want but not really need, and things I wanted to get done around the house before the arrival of our little one. So far, we have gotten quite a few things done, and I wanted to write this blog to share our nursery and baby items so far.