Friday, October 24, 2008


Upon being admitted to the hospital for my induction, I was hooked up to an IV. At first I was just receiving fluids (preparing me for possible dehydration during labor). Around midnight (after my last bite of food and sip of water), I called my nurse to get some assistance getting to the bathroom (I was also hooked up to a heart rate monitor). My nurse, Stacy, arrived and took one look at my swollen right hand and decided I didn't need fluids throughout the night. She disconnected me from the IV bag, which gave me the freedom to get up and move around as I pleased and also saved me from additional swelling.

I was put back on fluids as well as pitocin early the next morning. And I swelled. My slightly puffy feet and ankles got puffier (I wasn't sure this was possible). My face swelled; my hands swelled; my wrists swelled - so much so that I had to remove my watch. It took nearly a week for my body to rid itself of all the excess fluids. About a week ago, I was able to put my watch back on and my wedding ring once again fits comfortably. My ankles are once again visible and my puffy face has de-puffed. I think I'm looking pretty much back to normal.

In addition to all the fluids I received while in the hospital, I also received A LOT of drugs. Everything from pain killers to stool hardeners, stool softeners, antacids, antibiotics, and labor inducing drugs. When it was obvious that the second epidural was not taking, I was pumped full of lidocain. The doctors were very generous giving this pain killer to me intravenously. Had I been more coherent, I probably would have asked him to slow down; I'm not a huge fan of taking so many drugs. In total, I believe I took more drugs during the my induction than I have during my entire lifetime.

The one drug I am EXTREMELY grateful for is the antacid, which I was given right before my c-section. One of the doctors who was prepping me handed me a little shot glass sided container, told me it was an antacid, and told me to swallow it in one gulp. I wasn't sure why I needed an antacid, but I took my shot without question... anything to bring me closer to pain relief. It wasn't until I got into the surgery that I was told that my blood pressure might drop after the delivery and this might cause me to puke. Taking the antacid suddenly made sense. And when I did start to puke, I was grateful (as grateful as one can be while throwing up) that the antacid worked.

The last IV drugs I received were a quick dose of antibiotics and a pain killer. I had to keep my IV in for an additional 24 hours - in the event there were complications. When it was finally removed from my arm, I was relieved. And ready to detox and de-puff. My head started to clear a couple of days after returning home.

Drugs are a blessing and a curse. They do provide necessary relief and health, but they also can leave you feeling loopy and unlike yourself. I'm glad to be back to normal now - only taking my daily vitamin.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


It's been two and a half weeks since I became a mom... It's been busy. There's been nights when an hour of continuous sleep is a blessing; minutes when silence is cherished; and moments I don't want to ever forget. My goal over the next week and a half is to capture in writing all the moments leading up to and including my journey into motherhood. And so, we begin with labor...

I had a scheduled induction nearly two and a half weeks ago. We arrived at the hospital, got checked in, and quickly were given the first round of medication. I wasn't allowed to eat for the first two hours after beginning the medication. After the two hours had past, as long as I wasn't in active labor, I was encouraged to eat and drink until midnight. David went out and got me empanadas and pretzels. We also snacked on homemade chocolate chip cookies. Around midnight, with David soundly asleep on the pull-out couch beside me, I started to have my first contractions. They were uncomfortable and not the type of pain I expected. Basically they kept me up ALL NIGHT long. Around 7am, my nurse came in and encouraged me to shower. The shower felt great, but the contractions were so uncomfortable I had to take a sitting down shower. About half an hour later, the chief resident came in to examine me and found me to be 4 cm. Way to go me!

Around 8:30am we started pitocin and I got what would end up being my first of two epidurals. I watched on the monitor as the contractions came and went and I was pleasantly surprised to feel no pain. Unfortunately, the tides were about to turn. Around 11am, I was examined again - 7 cm. I was entering the labor phase known as "transition". And all of a sudden the epidural wore off. No pain relief and I was having contractions ever two minutes. This sucked. I screamed at David for accidentally bumping my bed, and when a friend walked in the room to be with me I greeted her with a stern, "don't talk or touch me." Lovely...

I went for about 3 hours like this - gripping the bed, crying, breathing deeply. It sucked. In addition to the contraction pains, I also was experiencing extreme pain on my left side, from my catheter to my left hip. My nurse reinserted my catheter. That didn't help. I begged her to just take it out; she wouldn't. I thought I was dying. The chief anesthesiologist came back to see me. He, the wonderful man that he is, sat with me through another epidural and the administration of a ton of pain medication. His patience was tested by me - I was somewhat grouchy and incoherent - but he said with me to help me through the pain. Around 3pm, my OB stopped by to see how I was doing. Obviously I was not doing well. The first time I saw her she was in her street clothes. She returned ten minutes later in scrubs. She asked if she could examine me and through the tears I said no. Although I was 10 cm, the baby had not dropped. I kept yelling that I was pushing during a contraction, but nothing was happening because the baby was so high inside of me.

After what seemed like FOREVER, I was finally prepped to go to the operating room. The spinal tap I received there was the BEST THING EVER. David joined me about ten minutes later. He was able to see my parents and say a quick prayer with them. As the surgery began, David and I agreed one last time on our boy and girl name. When it was announced we had a girl, we both cried.

As David went to be with her, my blood pressure dropped and I began to throw up. Lovely... lying on your back unable to move and puking. I was a sight to behold. Moments later, David left to share our good news with my parents. I was made presentable again and was able to hold my daughter for the first time. Unfortunately, because of all the drugs and the puking, I don't remember holding her or the fact that I carried her back to my hospital room to meet her dad and grandparents. I was also too sick to care for her the first night. She spent it in the nursery without David or me. We, however, did get a good night of sleep.

Recovery from a c-section is no laughing matter. Everything that requires stomach muscles - coughing, laughing, standing up, shifting in bed - is difficult. But the pain is temporary. And I don't remember much of it now. Everything changed when they wheeled our little baby into my room the morning after her birth. She was so small and so cute - looks just like her daddy. I was in love and love is a great healer.

I spent the next three days in the hospital recovering. The care I received was incredible. Everyone - from the doctors to medical students, nurses to techs - were fantastic. I was cared for so well. When it was time to leave the hospital, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was wheeled out to our car through the main hospital entrance carrying a "beautiful baby girl" balloon. I felt like everyone was looking at me and celebrating this moment with me. I teared up... grateful to be going home and delighted to have a healthy, beautiful baby girl with me.

Monday, October 6, 2008


My body is still showing no signs of going into labor naturally. So it is induction time. I'm leaving for the hospital in an hour and a half. Surprisingly, I'm not anxious. I'm really not feeling a whole lot right now - kinda' just numb. No excitement, anticipation, fear, concern, anticipation. NOTHING. Guess I'm just saving it all up. That or my body - physically and emotionally - has no idea what it is in for and therefore is just trying to ignore reality. We'll see...

I still need to pack my hospital bag, put clean sheets on the bed, vacuum, move the car so it doesn't get ticketed tomorrow morning, and do a load of laundry (unlike Jill, I am not fighting FEMCHA today). I also need to write some directions and other instructions for my parents, who arriving 24 hours ahead of schedule.

All the excitement at the hospital kicks off at 5pm. My doctor has guaranteed me a baby by dinnertime tomorrow. I'm aiming for noon. And, for the record, David and I both think we're having a boy.


Things I think are important to have at the hospital: deodorant, season 1 of ALIAS, lollipops, toothbrush and toothpaste, and cute socks (to go with my glamorous hospital gown).

Things I'm not taking: my own pillow (don't want it to become infected with hospital germs).

What Baby D will be wearing home from the hospital: his/her Steelers onesie!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I've never been a huge fan of Saturday Night Live. Probably because it is on SO late. Even in high school I rarely stayed up past midnight. However, my interest in SNL was peaked last month when Michael Phelps was selected to host the season premiere. Who would have thought a swimmer would be given such an honor?!?

Since we don't have a TV and I'm rarely up past 11pm, I was eager to see what the critics had to say about Phelps' hosting... so the morning after his SNL appearance, I got on the internet before church to find some clips from and reviews of the show. I found very little about Michael Phelps; everything was about Tina Fey's impression of Sarah Palin.

The skit from the season premiere with "Sarah Palin" and "Hillary Clinton" was so funny. I watched it several times; laughing out loud each time.

For the past couple of weeks, I have gotten up a little early each Sunday morning so that I have time to watch Sarah Palin clips from SNL. Last night's skit on the VP debate was so funny. If you didn't catch it live or haven't seen it online, please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, spend ten minutes and watch it!

Other great clips can be found at


Hulu: for those of you who are looking for yet another way to waste time during the day or evening, check out You can view FULL movies and TV shows - free and legally. I've been watching the first season of Chicago Hope this weekend (have watched four episodes) and am loving it. You can also watch The A-Team and the movie Weird Science. Enjoy...

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Last night I took the metro home after celebrating a friend's birthday on Capitol Hill. The timing of my trip home happened to coincide with the end of the National's baseball game so all of the trains were crowded. I boarded a train, realized no seats were available, and quickly moved to the center of the car to optimize my grip and stabilize myself for the trip home.

As the train was departing from the station, a woman approached me from the other end of the car. She stopped about a foot away from my belly (two feet from my face) and pronounced:

"Would someone please get up and give this woman your seat. She is obviously pregnant and needs to be sitting down."

I was mortified.

How dare she pity me in front of others? And treat me like I was incapable of taking care of myself? Had I needed to sit down, I would have politely asked someone if I could have his/her seat.

And how dare she shame an entire train-full of people? It would have been a completely different story if I had asked for a seat and the train-full of people had denied my request. But those passengers did not need to be shamed my a woman pitying me for being NINE months pregnant. HOW DARE SHE!?!?!?

So about a dozen different people who heard this woman's request (on my behalf) turned to gawk at me. The nice man to my right began apologizing to me; he hadn't noticed that I was pregnant. He offered me his seat. I thanked him kindly, but told him it wasn't necessary; I was fine standing for my short trip.

I then glared at the woman who made a spectacle out of me and snidely thanked her for her concern.

I stood the rest of the way home (even as the train began to empty out and seats became available) out of spite. Probably not the wittiest or original response, but I'm tired and hormonal these days. It was all I could think of at the time.


Stating the obvious: I'm still pregnant. About a week overdue.

Today: went to the doctor. Baby's heart rate is strong, fluid levels are "outstanding", and my blood pressure is a little high but normal. I haven't felt any contractions and I'm still at 2cm dilated (have been for more than two weeks now).

Big news: my induction is scheduled for Monday at 5pm, which means Baby D should be here sometime on the 7th. Stay tuned...