Ramblings by Rach - Ramblings by Rach
 
***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.
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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

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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!
 
My heart is hurting. I am not sure if it is from all of the hormones floating around in my body or not, but I just can't stop thinking about the poor cat next door.

About a month ago (on the Canada Day long weekend) it seemed as though there were people moving into the old house next to us (and when I say old, I mean OLD). There has been a steady string of questionable people in and out of that house over the past 3 years, but I liked the look of this couple. They appeared to have a few small children, and I thought it would be perfect to have kids next door for our little one to play with.

But after that day, I have not seen a single soul there. There are some children's toys in the back yard, a BBQ, and through the back window you can see furniture stacked up. The last people who rented this house used it only for storage (again, it is old) so we have come to think that maybe this is what the young couple is doing.

However, over the course of the past month we have been hearing a cat crying. A pitiful meowing that would last for a while and then stop. We could never really figure out where it was coming from, and quite frankly I did not think much of it. Until just this past weekend, when Blair and I were both outside and realized that the meowing was coming from the screen door at the back of the neighbors house.
 
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Late last week my mother in law stopped by with a large bucket of fresh strawberries that she had picked up.

Since I am on a jam kick these days, I decided to try my hand at making my own. Plus I had a ton of strawberries and didn't want them to go bad!

So I searched online for a simple recipe for strawberry jam. Because I was lazy and didn't want to go to the store for pectin, and since I didn't have any on hand, I narrowed down my search by looking for pectin free jams.

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com.

 
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!
 
This is probably going to seem like the dorkiest post ever, but what can I say- I love getting a deal! And I want to inspire YOU to be frugal, and show you how EASY it is to save money!

Here are the best deals I got this week, by combining coupons with sales.

Deal #1: Toothpaste

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The toothpaste was on clearance at Walmart for $.50 each (regular price $1.29). In addition to the money I saved by buying clearance items, I had a $.75 cent coupon for any Crest paste from Brandsaver.

Regular price = 4 x $1.29 = $5.16

My price = 4 x $.50 = $2.00 - $.75 (coupon) = $1.25

Savings = $3.91

Deal #2: Axe Body Wash

 

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.
 
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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?

 
They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. I am not really sure who "they" are, or what kind of expertise "they" have on the subject, but if that little tidbit of information is true, well then I am pretty stoked for the rest of our lives together!

Don't get me wrong- it has not been without it's ups and downs, disappointments and disagreements. But the point is that we worked through them, and what seemed like a big deal at the time is nothing but a faded memory today.
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One year ago I said "I do." Today I am saying "I always will."
 
This sweet, no stress sauce tastes like it simmered all day! It was a fresh alternative to normal tomato sauce and was super easy and quick to make.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 pound ground beef (I used elk as it was what we had on hand)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup red wine or additional beef broth
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary (I had to use dry)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 package refrigerated ravioli