Miles’ Birth Story

It would be such an understatement to say that by the time I went on maternity leave I was over being pregnant.  I spent two days cleaning the apartment and then I started impatiently walking around while googling “How to induce labor naturally.”

Thursday afternoon I had my first contractions.  They weren’t super painful but they were 2-3 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital (because I had never had a baby before and really had no idea what labor was supposed to feel like).  We spent three hours in observation (watching High School Musical, obvs) only to be sent home at 1:30am and 3.5 cm dilated.  Baby was coming soon, just not right then.

Mr. A got a sub for Friday and we slept in and went out to our favorite breakfast place.   I knew that this would definitely be the last time we would be there without our baby in tow.  I spent the afternoon walking around the mall with my mom.  Did I mention that when I called my mom the night before to tell her we were headed to the hospital but to wait for us to get admitted to make the two hour drive to us my mom basically got immediately into her car and drove to the hospital?  <insert daughter-sigh-eye-roll here><Mom, I love how excited you were.  Honestly.  I love you.>

At 6am Saturday morning I was woken up by my first real contractions.  How did I know they were real contractions you ask?  Well, they made Thursdays contractions laughable.  These HURT!  I woke Mr. A up and told him that I was pretty sure we were going to have a baby today.   I hopped in the shower, not wanting to go to quickly to the hospital to be sent home again.  While I was in the shower the contractions got more intense and I found myself bracing myself on the wall during contractions.  I quickly did my hair and called my mom to tell her that she should not plan on driving home that day; it was baby time.

By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were so painful I couldn’t talk through them. We hung out in the monitoring rooms for a couple of hours again before the doctor came to check my progress.  5.5 centimeters!  It was happening.  We would not be leaving the hospital without our son.  I was so excited.

We had “planned” for a natural labor.  We took eight weeks of Bradley Method classes learning how to work through contractions with relaxation techniques…. by the time we got settled into our birthing suite I had absolutely zero interest in having a natural childbirth.  I was nervous that Mr. A would be disappointed if I opted for the medication, but he assured me that it was totally up to me and that he would be 100% okay either way.  My decision to get an epidural was solidified when I found out that my blood pressure was high (because of the pain) which would mean that the nurses wouldn’t let me out of my hospital bed… laboring on while being restricted to my bed sounded awful.

After my epidural in was a waiting game.  They broke my bag of waters (which felt bizarre) and we settled in and waited.  My mom was there with us while we watched a ton of DVD’s.  I tried to nap while I could, but my body was definitely still working hard even if I couldn’t feel the contractions; I was shaking and couldn’t keep anything (popsicles or jello) down.  Every time the doctor came in to check my progress I would be further along, then she would cheerfully say she would check back in another 2-3 hours.

As the day dragged on I started getting more and more uncomfortable.  I felt painful “pressure” during contractions and had developed a fever.   I was shaking pretty consistently and I just wanted to be able to hold Mr. A’s hand.  At 10:45pm we got the go ahead to start “practice pushing”.  It felt so good to be able to DO something productive.  It was nothing like the movies, I was completely silent most of the time, all of my energy was dedicated to pushing.

After an hour of pushing things suddenly went into over-drive.  The doctor was called back in and had to quickly put on her gloves to deliver Miles.  I didn’t even want to take breaks from pushing.  Everything hurt so much, I just wanted it over and I wanted my baby.

After he had crowned, and Mr. A broke all the rules and looked while they suctioned Miles’ mouth, I knew I only had a couple more pushed to go… so I pushed harder and with more energy than I thought I had and suddenly I had a warm and wet baby on my chest.

I was completely overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with the pain I had just felt.  Overwhelmed with exhaustion.  Overwhelmed by finally seeing my little boy’s face.  I was holding my son and Mr. A had tears streaming down his face and we just stared at his little face.  His face was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  His nose and lips were the most perfect things.  We couldn’t process that we had made him.  From the very beginning he already felt so much bigger and better than me or us.  Miles was beautiful and perfect and ours.


 

State of the Household

He’s 5 days old.

I think I have one billion photos of him on my phone thus far.  (Can you blame me?)

Having Miles home has been intense.  I don’t think I was prepared for how much recovery would be involved in birthing a baby…there is no way I could have done it alone.  At first I was in so much pain, the only thing I was really good for was trying to feed him and holding him while he slept.  Mr. A was a rockstar and dove head first into the world of diapering and swaddling and doing everything to get both Miles and me anything we needed.  Miles and I sure lucked out with him.

Miles and I focused on learning how to breast feed, and it seemed to be going really well until Tuesday night when my milk came in.  Miles became fussy and couldn’t latch.  He was visibly frustrated and I didn’t know how to help him.  I kept telling myself that breastfeeding was supposed to be hard, but we would figure it out.  He would scream until he would fall into an exhausted sleep, only to wake again more unhappy.  By morning I was anxious and defeated.  We headed to our well-baby check in and by the time we got there I was crying uncontrollably.  When they weighed him, he had lost the max 10% of his body weight they will allow; and I cried some more.

The lactation consultant checked out his mouth and found that the roof of his mouth has a super high arch,  he couldn’t tell he had anything in his mouth because nothing was reaching the roof of his mouth to activate his suck-reflex.  We left the hospital with a new feeding routine: I pump for a minute or two and try to get him to latch.  If it works, great.  If it doesn’t work than I pump for a full 15 minutes and then hand it over to Mr. A.  Mr. A uses a syringe with a tube taped to his finger to feed Miles.  When Miles sucks correctly, Mr. A helps to train his little tongue to fully extend while giving him a little bit of milk.  We spent all of Wednesday into Thursday morning with our new routine and Miles changed back to the easy happy baby he is.  The best part: by morning Miles and I were breastfeeding without any help.  Victory.

One down, seventy-billion to go.

Food Coma.

 

Meet Miles

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11/6/11
8lbs 3oz
21 1/2 inches long

He is such a mellow little dude. We’ve spent the past couple of days learning how to breastfeed and Miles will happily spend hours sleeping in the sling with Daddy.

We’re so in love with him.

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November.

Man did I pick the best time ever to be on maternity leave, Halloween through New Years?  I win.

I love that Miles is going to be an autumn baby.  One more thing to add to my list of reasons I love this time of year.

The weather here has been super warm still, in the high 70’s.  That’s set to change on Thursday.  It looks like Fall is coming Thursday with some rain and then highs in the low 60’s for the foreseeable future (what you didn’t know this blog is now a weather blog?)  I told Mr. A that I bet Miles comes with Fall.  A nice rainy day would be a great time to come into the world.

I had a doctors appointment today and I’m 2 cm dilated, which means good things and nothing at all, really.  It means he’s coming soon.  It doesn’t mean that we have a real time frame to speak of…. he’ll come when he comes.  Blah blah blah.

Until then I’ll be bouncing up and down on this exercise ball and repeating the phrase “Have this baby.  Have this baby.”

Baby Bump Friday: 36 Weeks

I let my hair out of it's bun on Fridays. Just for this picture.

Man.  I am really uncomfortable.  My stomach is hard all the time.  Nothing is comfortable.  I just want to snuggle on the couch with Mr. A.

I have been going by the doctor’s guess-timation of due date they gave me at my 20 week ultrasound, but I think it’s wrong.  I know exactly when Miles was conceived and his due date would actually be a few days earlier.  Not that it matters in the grand scheme of baby-birthing because he could still be early or late by a lot…. but I am definitely heading into the “he could come at any time” point of this pregnancy.  So much so that this morning I told Mr. A that we need to pack up the hospital bag and make sure it’s in the car at all times… If I go into labor at work I won’t have time to run home for my carefully planned bag.

The goal is to have his nursery all finished this weekend so I can share it with you all before he gets here.  It’s looking amazing.  I find myself wandering into his room a lot lately just to sit in the big chair and imagine him being here.

Size of baby: On average, a 36 week old babe weighs around 6 lbs and is about the size of three pomegranates… or as I like to say, he is about the size of a baby: a real-could-live-just-fine-outside-of-me baby.

Total Weight Gain: I stepped on a scale last night and I am getting near 40lbs.  Yikes.  This fact along with my swollen feet might have led to my needing to repeatedly ask Mr. A if he still loves me even though I’m a huge-chubby-whale.  (He says he still loves me and I’m not a whale.)  (I’ll keep him.)

Maternity Clothes: True story: Some of my maternity clothes don’t fit.  Basically if it wasn’t for this long target maternity tank I wear under everything my belly would be sneaking out of most everything.
Gender: Little Man Baby
Movement: Still wiggling.
Sleep: Ugh.  Sleep has been hard this week.  Between pressure and pain in my joints, heart burn, having to pee all the time, AND waking up with leg cramps… I’m basically a zombie by about 2pm every day.
What I miss: I miss sleep.
Cravings:  All I want is milk.  I drink glasses upon glasses of non-fat organic milk all day.
Symptoms: After an entire pregnancy of feeling like I was mostly skipping the tough symptoms, I now feel like I have ALL of the symptoms.  I have the heartburn, the intense pelvic pressure, cramping, swollen feet, difficulty sleeping, complete fatigue, hormonal crying spells…. I gotz them all.
What I’m looking forward to: A quiet, unplanned weekend with Mr. A.  We don’t have very many of them left!

And now? We wait.

This weekend we hosted my BFF from Grad School.  Jimmie is such an amazing guy and we spent the weekend eating good food and watching hours of Real Housewives on Bravo while giggling a ton.

Love. Him.

Now that Jimmie is headed back to LA, the air mattress can be tucked away and we can quietly move into the last weeks before Miles’ arrival.  The to-do list is getting shorter.  The social commitments are dropping off.  Life is quietly winding down in preparation for everything to change.

I talked to my mom this morning and asked her if my brother was early or on time because the women in my office have been saying there’s no way I am making it to 11/11/11 because I’m already dropping.  She said that she was perfectly on time because she knew exactly when my brother was conceived.  Apparently the doctors told her she was around Christmas, but she knew he would be sooner– December 16th.  Similarly, I know exactly when Miles was made and I think he’ll be here closer to 11/5.  (I kind of love that my mom and I both knew when our sons were conceived.)

This means Mr. A and I have three weekends left of sleeping in and being a two-some before we become a family of three.

Three more weekends and then life starts.

Cannot wait.

Baby Bump Friday: 35 Weeks

Look How Happy My Fave Looks! I'm So Tired!

This week was all about the emotion “Holy Hell I’m Going to Have a Baby Really Soon.”  I had such an amazing baby shower, but I also cried almost every night this past weekend being overwhelmed with all there is to do still.  Onesies to buy!  We need a bathtub!  We don’t possess a single diaper!  Since then, lists have been made and shopping trips have happened and I am feeling infinitely more prepared now.

Wednesday night was our last birth class, which is so sad!  We’ve been taking Bradley classes for the past 8 weeks, and I remember signing up for them and thinking October 5th was so far away… and now it’s passed and we’re supposed to have a baby with all that knowledge we gone done learned in those classes.  I definitely recommend taking some sort of birth class if you’re able too, it has been a huge relief to my brain to feel like I understand the possibilities of labor.

This weekend I have my BFF from Grad School (Jimmie) coming in for the weekend.  His trip is literally the last thing of note until Mr. A and I just kind of hibernate and wait for Miles to get here.  So incredible how fast it’s all gone and how I also feel like I’ve been pregnant for-ev-er.

Size of baby: 18 inches.  Honeydew melon.

Total Weight Gain: Somewhere in the 30+ lbs range.  Probably.  Maybe.  Who cares.

Maternity Clothes: I am super thankful I am not going to be pregnant in Winter because now that it’s getting cold it’s become apparent that none of my sweater/jackets fit.  I wore an oversized fleece Wednesday morning and it didn’t even kind of cover my belly.  Tank tops are cheaper than coats.  #science
Gender: Little Man Baby
Movement: He is now so big that when he moves while I’m walking it can hurt!  He’s definitely very wiggly and Monday he wiggled into the head-down position (Yay to him being the correct way, Boo to his feet being in my ribs.)
Sleep: A little toss-and-turny but the cold weather has been helping.  I get all cuddly in my blankets and feel very happy.  I am exhausted by 8pm too, it’s like 1st trimester exhaustion all over again.
What I miss: Laying on my belly!  I miss it so so much right now.  I am OVER sleeping on my side.
Cravings: Chocolate milk!  It conquers pregnant heartburn!
Symptoms: Now that he’s turned he is back on my sciatic nerve, which hurt SO bad last night I was almost in tears.  Thank God for Mr. A who ran around getting ice packs and heating pads to make everything better.  That guy is a keeper.
What I’m looking forward to: A relaxing weekend with a great friend full of naps, movies, and brunches.

Showered and Ready for Baby?

This weekend was amazing.

My Bestie did such an incredible job planning my baby shower, especially from San Diego.  She flew here with an entire suitcase full of party supplies.  The theme was “Cirque du Bebe”, french circus.  Blues and oranges with tons of animal prints and painted elephants around the room.

It was perfect and very “me”, which was so nice.  We even had a bubbles bar, champagne and sparking cider options available.

Showers always make me feel big things.  You get to sit in a room surrounded by the tribe you’ve created.  Miles is going to be so surrounded by a ton of Aunties who are just going to love him to pieces.  I have always known how lucky I am to have all these women in my life, but at my shower I was overwhelmed with how lucky Miles is going to be to have them.  He is going to grow up with so much love.  (Now I’m crying again.)

I think I cried every night this weekend when I went to bed and talked to Mr. A about everything.  I am both so very excited and so very overwhelmed right now.  I simultaneously cannot wait for him to get here AND cannot wrap my brain around all the things that I still need to do before he gets here.  I am feeling ALL THE EMOTIONS ALL THE TIME.

I am full term in 18 days.  I am due in 39 days.

That’s completely insane.

Time to kick my to-do list into gear.

Baby Bump Friday: 30 Weeks.

Ugh.

Holy Moly.  30 weeks.  Last night I came down with a severe case of body dysmorphic disorder.  I was tired, cranky, and feeling really uncomfortable…. and then I noticed what I thought were new stretch marks on my sides…..  I then proceeded to basically roll into a ball and sob.  I am a real treat.  Through my tears, as Mr. A was trying to comfort me, I confessed that while I love what’s in my belly and I like my baby bump, I absolutely cannot handle the stretch marks on my stomach.  “I feel gross,” I said.

This morning I realized that if you were to have asked me to pick my belly out of a line-up last night, I wouldn’t have been correct.  I definitely have stretch marks on my stomach, but they’re not as bad as they were in my head last night.  While this is comforting this morning, the fact remains that my body just isn’t mine anymore and it’s probably completely normal to have some sort of sadness about that reality.  Today I am just over looking like a fertility goddess… I want to feel normal again.

Size of baby: 15.7 inches.  A cabbage.  (The normal kind)

 

 


A Name for Baby A.

Miles.  From the very beginning it was the only real contender for a boy name.  When we went into our ultrasound appointment at 20 weeks we knew that we were going to find out more than just if Baby was a boy or a girl, we were going to find out if we were having a Miles or a Maggie.

I love that he has had a name for so long.  Mr. A talks to him and we refer to his room and his stuff and it all seems so very real.  He is so very real.  Miles moves and kicks and has a personality all his own, already.

I’m not sure where Miles came from exactly… the name  was just there, ready and waiting for him to come I guess.  His middle name is Spencer, which is my grandpa’s middle name.  I hope he is like his great-grandpa; smart, loving, and good.   I always wanted a son have that middle name and Miles Spencer just seemed to work.

Do not fear mistakes. There are none. -Miles Davis

I like to think that Miles is a little like Miles Davis; teaching us how to improv and accept life as it comes.  No mistakes just new songs.  No plans, you just play what you feel and go with it.  Sometimes you don’t know what song you’re playing until your finished and can look back.  This song is going to be called Miles.