Thursday we went walking in Tryon Creek State Park where we put Megan to the backpack test because it is getting tough to carry her in the front pack. Megan looked ridiculously small in the pack, but it actually worked great while she was awake. But the ride soon lulled her to sleep and that's when things got problematic. In her slack state her head would actually slip below the crossbar in the front which made her quite grumpy (Mac had to carry her back up the hill in his arms).
Friday we tried again after adjusting the seat to the smallest setting (something we failed to notice on Thursday). This time we were foiled by rain so didn't get to see how Megan held up over the long run.
On the three month anniversary of Megan's birth, I figured I put the story down in writing.
All through January, I had been pretty impatient to get the baby OUT, so when my OB said I could have membrane stripping after 38 weeks, I jumped at the chance and had this done Friday the 21st. Though I had been warned this could be quite painful, I found it no worse than a getting a Pap smear. By lunch that day I felt a little qeasy, but I hadn't had any contractions. Still, I was so certain I was going to go into labor that weekend, I left sticky notes with directions and information all over my desk and sent e-mails to everyone at work about what needed to be covered "just in case."
To live up to this blog's billing of "better than a Mexican soap opera," (thanks Staci!) I'll also mention that Mac and I employed a recommended (by the OB, no less!) labor inducing technique I like to call "hair of the dog." (wink, wink) I had my first contraction around 10 pm.
We decided it would be a good idea to try and get some sleep, but I found this quite impossible as my contractions came just close enough together to wake me right as I was nodding off. Around 11:00 we decided to watch a movie - Along Came Polly. I had a tough time concentrating even though the movie required very little thought. By 1:30, I was pacing the hall and at 2:00, I made my first call to the hospital. My contractions weren't regular at all - one three minutes apart, the next twelve and they only lasted around 30 seconds. Because I didn't fit into the five-minutes-apart-lasting-60-seconds category, the nurse advised me to take a hot bath and drink lots of water to see if my labor was really progressing.
I filled the bath and layed in it for an hour. At first my contractions died down, but then they were back with a vengeance. I tried re-filling the bath with hot water, but the contractions were still coming strong. I went and laid in bed for a while, but when I thought I couldn't take it any longer, I called the hospital. It took us a long time to get there since I was moving so slowly and we had to be admitted through the ER. I finally made it up to L&D at 5:05 Saturday morning.
On my first check I was five centimeters dilated. I remember thinking this was perfect as I wanted to stay home as long as possible and be able to get an epidural as soon as I arrived, which usually requires 4 cm dilation. Everything was going according to plan!
But the nurses figured I still had a long time to go, so they dallied getting in an IV, running some fluids and calling the anesthesiologist. 40 minutes later the anesthesiology resident was finally explaining the procedure to me, but I was already at 8 cm! He came back a few minutes later to say the staff anesthesiologist was busy - it'd take him 15-20 minutes to get there. I immediately said the resident could do it without the staff present - just get it in fast!
The OB resident came in to check me again as he was setting up for the epidural. "You're fully dilated and you are starting to have a bit more bleeding. I think you should get this baby out now." I calmly explained how I'd be more than happy to comply once the epidural was in. She then explained that it would take 20 minutes to get the epidural in and another 20 minutes for it to take effect. She thought I best start pushing immediately without the epidural. That's when I had a mental lapse:
"I need an epidural! I'm not strong enough to do this! I hate pain!"
That's when Mac and the OB team ganged up on me and told me I needed to suck it up and get the delivery over with (ok not really, everyone was really great, especially Mac, but the consensus was no epidural). But with the next contraction I really felt like I needed to push and so the anesthesilogy resident started packing up the unused supplies. The OB resident tried to be encouraging,"this baby is really low; I think you can get her out with three pushes." She was wrong; I needed four. At 6:16, less than 10 minutes after the start of pushing and only 70 minutes after getting to the hospital, Megan Elizabeth was born.
Surprisingly, the delivery wasn't that bad (or at least my memory of it isn't that bad). Don't get me wrong, I don't plan to go natural again, but I managed. The miserable part was the aftermath. Unfortunately, since Megan came so fast her head didn't really have time to undergo "molding." The upside to that is Megan had a beautiful head; on the downside I needed a lot of stitches. And since I wasn't numb, this meant a lot of lidocaine injections. This was not fun and took at least another 70 minutes for them to finish up, but at least I had a beautiful baby to hold while they were doing it (next time I hope to have a beautiful baby and an epidural!).
We then hung out in the delivery room till 10 o'clock or so before heading up to our room. We originally had to share a room, but by 4:00 we got moved into a private room. We had the option of going home Sunday or Monday but we chose to stay around until Monday - one more day we didn't have to cook for ourselves. We got home Monday morning to start learning how to live as parents - so far we think we are doing ok!
Sunday night Megan had her first laugh while we were at the Gingeriches. Interestingly, my friend's daughter Lily had her first laugh at our house. It seems that even babies can appreciate good company!
Oddly, I am awake yet Megan is still sleeping. I think this is the first time this has happened in 11 weeks.
Last evening, due to poor napping, Megan was exhausted much earlier than we like her to go to bed. So from 6 - 7:30 she napped! Of course, this kind of threw off the 7:30 bedtime. So at 8:30 while I was nursing Megan I made a deal with her. "Megan, I love you very much, but I don't need to see you until 3 am and then you can go back to sleep till 7:30." I had her grab my thumb and we shook on the deal. Mac laughed. I lost a bet to him last week about what time Megan would wake up in the night; it was way earlier than I had bet. I got to empty the Diaper Genie for my loss. Anyway, Megan's command of the English language appears to be progressing quite rapidly. She slept from 8:30 - 8:30 with only a 3:30 feeding. Even the chickens crowing and the monster tractor rally behind our house (there are 11 houses going up a block away) couldn't rouse her. In fact, I had to check her twice to make sure she was still breathing.
To be fair, I should say that Mac also got almost 7 hours of straight sleep (11-6). He can sometimes get a little cranky and overly tired in the evenings so we are trying to get him on a better sleep routine, too.
In other big news, Megan is almost completely out of her 0-3 month outfits. She really doesn't fill them out, but they are all too short, so I've started dressing her in the next size up.
Sleep is a wonderful thing. It is amazing how good you feel after spending many hours unconscious. The last two nights Megan has slept almost eight hours straight - from 7:30-3:00 on Sunday and 7:00-2:40 last night. The first night we didn't take advantage, instead staying up late (1 am - that was late even when we weren't parents!) to play games, but last night we capitalized big time. I slept from 9-7 with only one interuption. Oh sweet sleep! (daylight savings was such a blessing: Megan now sleeps till 7 or 7:30 instead of 5 or 5:30. Please no one tell her that daylight savings really should only change things by an hour). We are hoping that Megan becomes a Good Sleeper permanently.
Meanwhile, Megan continues to be a Bad Napper. The only time she naps more than an hour is if we hold her; in her bed she usually does only 30 minutes at a time for a nap, barely enough to get a cup of tea. But I'll trade nap sleep for night sleep any day.
I tried to take a picture of Megan sleeping because I thought she looked like such an angel. By the time I got my camera, she had opened her mouth and was a little more old man than angel. So here's a bonus awake shot:
Wednesday night Mac's aunt Sharon came over to babysit while Mac and I had a nice dinner at the Tuscany Grill. As we were preparing to leave we told Sharon to help herself to anything she wanted to eat.
As a teenager I did a lot of babysitting and parents always gave me permission to help myself to food in the kitchen; however, I still felt like I needed to sneak my snacks, as if parents would not re-hire me if they knew I had consumed large numbers of calories from their cupboards. But since my own home offered a miserable junk food selection, babysitting was my chance to indulge and I had my own little set of "rules" for doing so:
*I only snacked after the children were asleep. Kids are tattletales; I didn't want my charges ratting me out. But as soon as they were unconscious, I was in the kitchen.
*I tried to eat only as much of a particular item as I thought would go unnoticed.
*I always placed the items back in their exact positions.
*I hid any wrappers below other items in the wastebasket so as not to be detected.
So as we left Sharon with instructions to help herself to anything, it struck me as very funny. First, we don't have anything in the house worth sneaking. Second, Sharon is a grown woman with the ways and means to get her own junk food; she doesn't need to snitch it from us! And last, I really wouldn't have cared if she ate everything in our house, and I am sure my employers didn't either, so why did I spend years engaging in such ridiculous behaviour? I don't think i ever could have eaten more than $1.50 in food - a very small price to pay for a night out without the kids! I never would have guessed parents were really being sincere with their food generosity!
(Cathy F. - if you still read this, please forgive me for ransacking your cupboards!)
Yesterday I found several random stickers as I was cleaning out a pile of junk, so I took them down to Emma that night to see if she might like them. She began by decorating the Kleenex box, and then her shirt, and then she ran off into the living room, apparently in search of another sticker target. When I went out there a few minutes later, the April fools joke was on me (and Megan, too!)!