Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving at Kenneth's parent's home at Walnut Mountain (BEAUTIFUL views from their cabin!) with a big dinner with family and then a relaxing afternoon/evening. We spent the night, enjoyed breakfast with everyone and headed back home mid-day on Friday. I ate way too much good food, but we all definitely enjoyed ourselves! :)

Today we're pretty much just taking it easy and Kenneth's working on homework and I am packing for my trip to Washington! I can't believe I fly out tomorrow AM! Time is flying by - already half way through leave! I know its going to be wet and cold while I'm visiting, so I need to pack lots of good layers - I'm sure the nice coat Kenneth got me from REI will be put to very good use while I'm there as well!

Not too much to update on - just continuing to stay busy and enjoy my time with my boys and I am so excited for my trip back to WA! Can't wait to see everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 days Post Partum!

I am feeling great!! I've been running lots of errands and I visited with a very good friend of mine on Monday. Kenneth and I started P90X on Monday evening and oh good gravy am I sore already!! We did Plyometrics last night and even though I did low impact, my legs are KILLING me today and my arms are still sore from Monday! Oh the joys!! It feels good to be working out again!

Kenneth has asked dinners to be high protein and low carb since he's trying to drop a few pounds quickly so I've been trying to be creative with meals - lots of different meat as the entrees and using a lot of the steam packs of veggies as sides. Those are such a great invention - I love using them! Quick, easy and very tasty! We got to enjoy some fresh green beans last night, since I finally had the chance to go pick up another Farmer's Market Basket! I'd been getting them about twice a month but missed the last couple pickups with delivery and then forgetting!! :) My fruit and veggie drawers are now nicely stocked and I get to coordinate some meals around all the new goodies!

I think we're going to have shredded BBQ chicken tonight with corn on the cob and maybe some peas or broccoli too. I need to get the chicken in the crock pot and figure out what I'm making for lunch! Kenneth is coming home on his break soon! It's been so good to get to see him throughout the day when he comes home for lunch during the week.

The days sure are passing quickly though, Kent's party is this weekend then we get to get ready for Thanksgiving!! There's a lot to get done though, so I know the time will continue to just fly by so I'm just enjoying it as much as I can and am thankful for the time I have to be  home!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

4 days Post Partum

Today would be 39 weeks and here I sit at my kitchen table, looking out at a beautiful, crisp fall day and trying to decide whether to go put my audio book on, or maybe a show while I lounge for a little while. I am really enjoying the break!

I am feeling good physically, I have constant little reminders that I do need to try to take it easy and allow some healing to take place without pushing myself too much - little aches or pains and the bleeding seems to pick up at times but its been pretty light overall.

I have been able to get so much done the last couple days, it just blows my mind what you can do when you really have the TIME to do it! I was telling Kenneth last night it was amazing to make a list and actually be able to check 95% of it off before the day was over! That never happens!!

I've squeezed in some "me" time too - getting my toenails painted on Tuesday and I went and got my hair trimmed and my eyebrows waxed yesterday. It was nice to do something just to relax a little! Although, I am not loving the haircut I got - too short and a little too choppy for my taste - but thank goodness its just hair and it will grow out!

I watched "The Backup Plan" yesterday and a few episodes of Cake Boss through Netflix to make sure I had at least some down time where I rested on the couch and put my feet up. Even though I am feeling good most of the time and could keep going (especially as I look around and realize just how much there is to be done that I've ignored for so long!!) I am trying to make sure at least a couple hours out of the day are really just down time. I am sure after this first week where it seems like there is so much to do and I'm so excited to have the time to do it, I will settle down a little - maybe! :) The coming weeks are busy and full of get togethers and travel and appointments, so I just know its going to really fly by!

I have a chiro/massage appointment in Atlanta in the morning tomorrow and need to take the recycling with me to get that dropped off, and then Saturday afternoon I will drop Kent off at his grandmother's and head to Atlanta again for the Marine Corps Ball which is Saturday evening! I cannot wait!! I can wear one of my dresses I already have, which is nice, though part of me wants to just use the excuse to go and find a new one anyway... retail therapy is fun! :D

I am down about 15 pounds from delivery and have about 15 more to go to hit my pre-pregnacy weight, though I'd like to loose another 10 after that. I am not having any issues so far with it, since I'm able to be up and active and honestly have had very little appetite and a lot of the junk food I've had such a taste for during the pregnancy no longer looks appealing and I've had to make a point to eat at the appropriate times. But not being hungry and not having cravings is allowing me to be a lot more choosey about what I put in my mouth so I'm doing really well staying in my calorie goal range. I've also been drinking LOTS of liquid which is great - I make sure to drink about 24 ounces of water every time I pump. I haven't pumped quite as much as I'd originally planned, but my supply is once again pretty small so far and last time I went overboard trying to up my production and put TONS of effort into it with little results. This time, I'm just going to take it easy, pump when I can and not stress about it. It's beneficial to me and whatever I am able to produce will hopefully be beneficial to someone else as well! I do hope I can get enough to make a shipment worthwhile. That's my "goal" I guess!

I don't have anything big on my to-do list today since I got so much done the last couple days, so I'm hoping to maybe get out and take a walk and enjoy this gorgeous weather!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

38w3d - ZERO Days To Go! :)

Miss Samantha arrived on Sunday morning, 11/7/10 at 5:52am weighing 7lbs 5.6 oz and measuring 19 inches long. She had a head full of dark hair, is beautiful and healthy!!

On Saturday (38w2d) Kenneth and I went to Atlanta for his chiro appointment and I walked for about 45 minutes and got a few good contractions, but nothing that continued once I stopped walking. I really didn't have that many contractions most the rest of the day, just a few off and on. When we got home from the chiro appointment Kenneth took a quick nap while I made some pasta salad and then we all loaded up in the car with our Basset Hound, Max, and headed out to the 2010 Basset Bash! (http://www.bhrg.org/bash.htm) It was a beautiful, though chilly, day for it and we had a good time. Ate lots of yummy potluck food, and walked around and saw lots of adorable Basset Hounds. We even saw one of our former fosters, Pebbles, and she recognized Max and was so cute hopping around and being excited to see him! The costume contest was hilarious, there were some very adorably dressed Hound dogs! We stayed a couple hours then headed back home.

We had a pretty quiet evening and went to bed at our usual time. I was feeling somewhat grumpy and a little restless before we went to bed, and didn't know if something was actually different or if it was just the tension of feeling like I'd been in labor since Tuesday with no real end in sight especially after such a "quiet" day in terms of contractions/activity. I had a couple middle of the night contractions, but at 2:00 am when I woke up to a painful contraction I felt moisture between my legs. I got out of the bed and there was a wet spot on the upper and lower sheet as well. I'm still not 100% sure if my water actually leaked, but I am pretty sure that's what it was. I went to the bathroom and cleaned up to see if anymore would leak and didn't have any more liquid, but started getting some painful contractions. They were a little all over, between 3-6 minutes apart but I was pretty sure at that point this was actually labor and now it was a matter of how long to wait before calling my IPs and heading to the hospital. I didn't want to spend hours in a hospital bed and wanted to labor some at home, and make sure it would happen relatively quickly once we did get there, but I knew we had a 20-30 minute drive too and didn't want to put it off too long. I got up and got some last minute things together, put my camera in the hospital bag, sterilized the breast pump parts and then it was close to 3:00am and we needed to go. The contractions were really painful, and staying around 3-5 minutes apart. We got Kent up and called my IPs and we headed out.

The time between getting in the car and my actual delivery is somewhat of a blur. I remember getting there and parking in the 30 minute parking spot and going in, checking in at the front between contractions and then heading up to the 2nd floor for labor. We went into triage, and after using the restroom again they started getting me checked in. I'm guessing it was around 3:30 am at that point. They hooked me up to the contraction and fetal heartrate monitors and did an internal and I was at a 7-8 already. They were all saying it wouldn't be much longer at that point. I started getting really nauseated when the contractions would hit and almost vomitted, but right after that they got my IV going (YAY for a great IV tech who got it in, first try, and really didn't hurt me at all!!) they gave me a dose of nubain/phenegran and I felt a little woozy and then the nausea was gone and I felt a little better between contractions which was nice and I think Kenneth was thrilled I let them give me something - he would have bypassed me and had them do the epidural if he could have - he hated seeing me hurting and I could see how tense he was, but he was there, next to me the whole time and I am SO thankful for that!! While they were finishing up getting me checked in at triage they let us know my IPs had arrived and they'd taken L to the room already. They pushed me to the room soon after the IV was put in and somewhere in there Kenneth got the car moved and then came back to the room. This part is really a blur, lots of contractions, lots of hurting, Kenneth trying to rub my arm and leg and I remember at one point I had to tell him "please don't touch me!!!" I tried to be nice when I said it, hopefully it didn't come out too mean...! :) My IM was there in the room the whole time, and Kent waited out in the waiting room with my IF I believe. Probably around 5:00 am I was checked again and told I was at a 9 and it wouldn't be much longer. The pressure was getting pretty strong at this point and I was already wanting to push some. Kenneth stepped out for about 15 minutes to get some coffee and get a little break and talk to my IF for a few minutes. While he was out I felt Samantha starting to crown and knew it was about time. I told my IM and then paged the nurse to come back. She came in shortly after and checked me and then I heard her say "Get Dr. Chang, she's going to have the baby." I remember them asking if I wanted someone to find Kenneth but I said it was ok, if he came back in time good but I was so out of it at that point it honestly didn't matter to me who was there!! Next thing I knew, the bed was broken down, the doctor was there and they were telling me to hold my leg and then to push, push, push!! Kenneth had come back right on time and came to stand by my head. They got my IM a gown and got her ready for baby to be put in her arms. I gave a few good pushes but it didn't feel right because I wasn't having a contraction to help me and I asked if I could wait for a contraction and took a little breather. When the next contraction hit I bore down and pushed hard but oh my GOOD LORD it hurt when I felt that "ring of fire" and I backed off from pushing. The nurse was saying don't stop keep going and I remember thinking I needed to suck it up and get this part over with, I just had to get through it and then it would be over!! So I did, I grabbed my leg again, tucked my chin and PUSHED and next thing I knew her head was out and they were saying slow down so you don't tear! I stopped and rested a minute while they made sure everything looked ok to keep going and then when they said push again I gave another big push and she was out! I think I said "Oh thank God!!" outloud at that point and felt SUCH a huge relief!! I just sort of melted back on the bed and laid there while my IM got to cut the cord and they took Samantha to the warmer to be cleaned up. Kenneth got some great pictures of her first few minutes for me! After they got her wrapped up, my IM brought her over to me to hold for a minute which was super sweet! I really enjoyed that moment!!

My placenta was being slow to deliver and there was a decent amount of bleeding going on and I could tell the doctor was getting a little nervous. She would tug (gently!!) on the umbilical cord every so often and then wait and watch. Eventually the placenta delivered on its own, thankfully, but they did give me some cytotec to get my uterus to contract down and get the bleeding to stop. That was all they had to do though, after that point everything was fine thankfully! I think pushing lasted maybe 15 minutes and within an hour or so of delivery they got us relocated to our post-partum room on the 4th floor and we all got settled in. I ordered some breakfast and was told I had to pee 3 times before I could get my heplock wrapped and take a shower. I was REALLY thirsty, my throat was sore and my mouth was dry for awhile and I drank a ton of water those first few hours so I had no problem fulfilling the pee requirement not long after getting settled!! I got some food in my stomach (the blueberry muffin I ordered tasted so good !) and got a shower and felt fantastic! I was pretty wiped out, but I really felt good, and it was great to change into my own clothes and get out of the hospital gown too. Kenneth had popped out to take Kent over to his great-grandmother's after we got settled in our post partum room and then he came back for a couple hours before heading home around lunch time, to get Kent and go home to take care of the puppies. I enjoyed a yummy club sandwich and bowl of chicken noodle soup for lunch.

My IPs had some family come by in the early afternoon and their daughter was brought over to meet her baby sister - that was really sweet to get to see; the smile on "A's" face was HUGE when she met Samantha!! It was so cute!!

The day passed pretty quickly and quietly, lots of checking on me and the baby. Samantha was having a little bit of trouble regulating her temperature at first, so they took her to the warmer's for a little while. But we discovered one of the windows in our room wasn't shut and once we got that fixed and turned the heat up a little everyone was more comfortable and Samantha's temp was fine after that which was good.

In the early evening my IF went home and IM and I spent a quiet night with Miss Samantha in our room, getting a little sleep but not too much. Seems like everytime we'd actually fall asleep we'd get woken up for one thing or another. I got up around 6 in the morning after the nurse woke us up for something and went and got some cocoa from the vending machine. It was nice to get up and walk around a little after spending so much time in the bed! After breakfast, I showered and got dressed in my "going home clothes" and got my things together.

They began the long process of getting us checked out and right around noon is when I was discharged, gave hugs and said goodbyes and was wheeled out to get picked up by Kenneth's grandmother who was very sweet to come and give me a ride home (Kenneth was at school).

My cramps were pretty painful on Sunday and uncomfortable yesterday, but by today I am not noticing them very often at all. My upper abdomen is still just a little tender if pushed on, but otherwise physically I feel REALLY good. I am wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans today and really can't complain at all! It feels completely surreal to think I just delivered 2 days ago!

I am so glad everything went well, that Miss S arrived healthy and is now with her parent's where she belongs. I know they are so happy to have her home! I feel so proud, and truly, truly blessed to have been a part of another beautiful miracle baby. Surrogacy is incredible, and I feel really lucky!

I have now had my first full day home and am loving it! I already did some dishes and laundry, went grocery shopping and got my toenails painted, have pumped a few times and got to see Kenneth for 30 minutes when he came home for lunch between classes! We're getting ready for the Marine Corps Ball this weekend and I am SO looking forward to that!! I have a massage scheduled for Friday and I know my time off is going to absolutely fly by, so I'm going to really make a point to try to enjoy each and every day!! :)

Here was my last belly picture, taken 38w2d, Saturday mid-day, about 14 hours before I went into labor!!

Friday, November 05, 2010

38w1d Update!

Yesterday was another long day of pre-labor for me, with lots of off and on contractions, some that were pretty painful, but they just wouldn't get into a pattern still. Lots of gas and bloody mucous all day, and I started feeling pretty queasy by the afternoon. I had very little appetite all day.

The OB appointment went well, BP is good at 110/60, a little more weight gain, no protein in my urine. They still hadn't tracked down my lab results from 2 weeks ago, so hopefully the Group B Beta Strep was negative!

I am dilated to about a 3-4 now and still 50% effaced, he said my cervix is very soft. So, everything looks very favorable, its just a matter of getting some good contractions that will get into a pattern and continue instead of fizzling out like they have been! He wasn't keen on the idea of doing a membrane stripping as he said he'd just spent all day at the hospital with a woman who had her membranes stripped, her water broke but contractions wouldn't start so she had to be on pitocin all day... so fine, we wait out mother nature and see what she has in mind for us!!

I finished the eggplant parmesan at dinner last night and actually got a decent night of sleep - didn't get woken up much from contractions or discomfort. I am still really tired this AM and would love a nap. I think I will probably go home after lunch most likely - if I can get everything else finished up.

I have no appetite again this morning, am still feeling fairly queasy. I'm trying to at least drink my water to stay hydrated. Contractions have been coming somewhat regularly so far this morning, but they aren't lasting very long and haven't been all that painful. They'll be about 10 minutes apart for awhile then I'll get a 30 minute or more break. I have had a little bit more bloody mucous today, actually just had a large "blob" of mucous (sorry, TMI, I know!!) but it lasted all day yesterday so I guess its not surprising if I'm not having as much today - we'll see how the rest of the afternoon goes! Baby S was pretty active this morning, and I just felt her again, but she seems to be resting again now for the most part. Hopefully getting ready for some serious activity later today!!

I've been on my feet working on a copying job in the production room, and when I'm at my desk I'm sitting/bouncing on my balance ball and just hoping for some good contractions to start up soon! We'll see how much longer this lasts...!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Your pregnancy: 38 weeks

How your baby's growing:


Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If she's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)
We made it to 38 weeks! I am dying to know how much longer we have to go - every indication is that labor is really and truly not far off at all, but who knows when it will really start! I didn't have many contractions yesterday morning, but by early afternoon they were back at about the 30 minute apart range picking up a little towards evening. I stopped at Scalini's and picked up dinner, deciding to try their "famous" eggplant parmigiana which they say has put many women into labor within 48 hours of eating (http://www.scalinis.com/Bambino.htm). It was delicious, if nothing else, and I have leftovers for tonight! :) I got on my treadmill around 8:00 and while Kenneth played some video games I walked for about an hour and a half again and got some intense and painful contractions that were all pretty much exactly 10 minutes apart the entire time.

We went to bed and I was woken up several times with painful contractions, but from 1:30-3:30 I was really thinking maybe the "real thing" was starting when they were were very painful and consistent, going from 12 minutes to about 9-10 minutes apart while I was awake and paying attention. Eventually they faded though and I fell back asleep for a little while.

This morning I found a little bit of blood tinged mucous for the first time, so I guess that's "new" and progress of some sort! I've had a fair amount of mucous this past week, but this is the first time I've had any bloody show. It was just a little, and darker blood, but still new so exciting! Last delivery I didn't have any bloody show until I was at the hospital, dilated to a 5 or more and within hours of delivering Fiona! We have our OB appointment this afternoon at 3:40 and I'm hopeful for some cervical progress and finding out if they will strip my membranes if everything looks good.

I am so tired after another long and restless night! I'm debating on whether or not to grab a quick nap sometime this morning.

I have a few more things to wrap up at work, so I'm glad I have at least one more day here to finish things up, but overall I am ready and feel like my body is just about ready too!!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

37w6d - thought we were on our way yesterday!

I really thought maybe I'd be in the hospital meeting Miss S in person by this morning after the day I had yesterday!! I stayed home with Kent because he had the day off from school (which turned out to be a huge blessing because I was able to sleep in a little after staying up pretty late the night before helping Kenneth type up his math homework - blech!!) I woke up and started noticing contractions coming and going, but they were often enough I started writing down the times. They were never less than 30 minutes apart but never got more than 10 minutes apart and it lasted ALL day long! I was also in "nesting mode" I think - Kent and I cleaned and scrubbed and did lots of laundry, washed the dog beds, vaccumed, took out trash, I made 2 loaves of banana bread, we ran errands and got groceries and made a nice dinner too... it was a super busy day and I wanted to get EVERYTHING done!! The only things on my list I didn't get to were cleaning out the fridge and washing the sheets. I guess those will have to wait a little longer!

I finally sent my IM a note last night and gave her a head's up, and she was getting excited too, but even after an hour and a half on the treadmill (where the contractions stayed very consistently 10 minutes apart) nothing ever really progressed. We went to bed I think around 9:30 and I got woken up by a few painful contractions and would stay awake long enough to time the next one or two (some as close as 8 minutes apart, but by the end of the night they were back in the 30 minute range or I'd fall asleep before I felt the next one). I had a few moments of nausea and a lot of cervical mucous yesterday too, and by the evening my back was absolutely KILLING me... it felt a little better when I would walk at least, but the contractions were really putting pressure on my back - but those were the only other "signs/symptoms" of the day.

Miss S was pretty quiet most of the day too - when I would have a little bit of a longer "lull" between contractions I'd feel her move some, and I've felt her moving around a little this morning too. She seems to be handling it all ok, which is good - I know its not any more comfortable for her than it is for me!

So, it was a long day of warm-up and nothing yet so far today! I'm sitting on my balance ball at work and bouncing a little and hoping they pick back up this morning!! I am just ready to have them actually turn into something - a whole day of contractions for what seems like nothing so far is a little annoying, but hopefully at least my cervix opened a little more... we'll find out at our OB appointment tomorrow I guess!!

Monday, November 01, 2010

37w4d - 17 Days 'til Due Date!

Another day has come - actually we're about half way through already! I'm excited to reach our 38 week mark and be that much closer to meeting Miss S! I'm feeling pretty good today; we went trick or treating last night so it was a late night for me and I'm a little tired because of it, but other than that overall feeling pretty good.

I can't believe it's really and truly NOVEMBER now though! I knew October would go fast, but it flew! And really, this month is truly going to be a blur as well, and so much to be figured out once we know when Miss S will be arriving! I have something planned for every weekend and am anxious to find out which events I'll still be pregnant for and which ones I'll be newly recovering from delivery! :)

I am hoping to hear there has been some cervical progress by our appointment on Thursday, but we'll just have to wait and see!

Today is going quickly, and I feel like there is a lot more to get done - I keep trying to wrap up any "loose ends" at work each day before I go "just in case" I don't end up coming back the next day - though I'm pretty sure I'll be here for the rest of this week at least - it helps me feel a little less worried when I know if I didn't show up the next day everything would essentially be in order. And honestly, I know they'll be FINE without me, but I just want to make it as easy on them all as possible! :)

I almost bought my airline ticket for WA this weekend, but I'm looking at November 27 - December 5 and the realization that I COULD still be pregnant or just being released from the hospital at that point made me second guess myself and not click the final button... I really want to get that locked into place, but I'm worried if I do I'll end up having to change plans last minute... so I guess that's one more thing that I won't be able to finalize until we know when Miss S will make her appearance!

If for some reason "S" decides to arrive at the same gestation as Fiona was, that would be on the day of the Marine Corps Ball!! Ack! Sigh, I know there's no point in thinking about it/worrying about it at this point, she'll come whenever she comes and we'll figure everything else around it! I don't think I've ever had so much going on in a month I was supposed to deliver before though, so I guess that's why I can't stop trying to think through the "what ifs" - its that planner in me!

Ok, back to it, time to get a few more things checked off my list! :)