Friday, June 25, 2010

Let's open some doors

Jacob is changing and learning new things every day. I still need to do a post about him turning one and list all of the things he is doing these days. It seems like he does something new every day!

His newest talent for today: OPENING DOORS!

He has been reaching up for the door knob for some time now, but up until today, he hasn't been able to actually open the door. I have been trying to get a picture of him reaching up and just a few minutes ago, when I pulled out the camera, he not only reached up, but actually opened the door to the laundry room.

Reach up...
Pull down the handle...
Open the door...

Voila! Who knew it would be that easy!? And, right after he got into the laundry room, he went over to the door to the garage and tried to open that! Needless to say, doors are going to be staying locked around here. I don't need my little escape artist to get outside, that's for sure!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jacob's Birth Story - Part III

Here is Part III of Jacob's Birth Story. To view Part I & Part II, click HERE and HERE.

Around 2:30am, Dr. Montgomery came in to do another internal exam. I remember hoping and praying that I had miraculously gotten to 7 or 8 cm. Unfortunately, I was not even close! I was 5 cm and Dr. Montgomery told me that I really should be progressing faster than that by now. He said that pitocin does make a woman’s body dilate slower, but not usually this slow!! He was also concerned because Jacob wasn’t really moving down into the birth canal like he should be. At this point, he was still pretty high up (I think he was at -1 station for a long time!).

Dr. Montgomery said that he would come back in one hour and see if I was progressing. Well, at 3:30am, I was still at 5cm! I remember feeling a bit frustrated that I wasn't dilating more and wondering what was going to happen. Dr. Montgomery told me that he could feel Jacob’s head and that he was worried about him becoming too “coneish”. This would happen if the contractions continued to push him down into the birth canal but my cervix wasn’t open wide enough for him to come out. We talked about our options and Dr. Montgomery said that a c-section was an option that we could pursue. We talked about the pros and cons and even though he had an opinion, he never once pushed me to do anything that I wasn’t comfortable doing. We agreed that we would give my body one more hour and then we would make a decision.

At 4:30 am, Dr. Montgomery came back in and checked me again – still 5 cm!! It seems as though my body just stalled!! At this point, I didn’t care what happened to me, I was just concerned about Jacob and I wanted to be sure that he was going to be OK. Dr. Montgomery said that since my water had been broken for somewhere around 36 hours and the fact that Jacob was being pushed into a space that wasn’t really “ready” for him, he felt that a c-section would be the best option at that point. I must admit I was a bit scared and I didn’t really want a c-section, but I was excited to finally get to meet our baby and at that point, I was so tired, I was glad that it was almost over!

Before they took me down to the operating room, I had to sign some paperwork and I got a nice little shave from Liz (let me tell you, once you have a baby all modesty is out the window!!). Keith was given scrubs, shoe booties, a hair net and a mask to put on. They told him to wait in the room and they would come get him once they had me all set in the OR.

Here I am...all ready to go!

I remember thinking that the OR was a lot smaller than I had pictured it. Thankfully, though, I had paid attention in my childbirth class when our wonderful instructor talked about c-sections. I remember her saying “No one goes into labor thinking they are going to have a c-section. But, you never know. So, there are a few things you should be prepared for.” (I actually thanked her in the hospital – she was working there the day after Jake was born. I told her that having a c-section wasn’t super scary because of all of the information she had given me. I felt like I was really prepared!)

When they wheeled me into the operating room, Dr. Montgomery was standing there waiting. He said to me, “So, are you ready?” And I said, “I think so. Are you?” He laughed and I said, “You have done this before, haven’t you?” He laughed again and said, “No, but I've read a lot of books about it and I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night!” I laughed so hard and was glad that he was being comical because I knew that we were all really tired (he was on call all weekend and I think Jacob was like the third or fourth baby he had delivered in 24 hours!) The nurses were really nice too and they were chatting with me to whole time I was being prepped.

Once I was on the table and completely naked (again….no modesty!!), they put the blue sheet up that separates my head from the rest of my body. Dr. Weaver (the anesthesiologist) was above my head giving me a play-by-play of what they were going to do. He told me to look up and there was a big shiny metal circle surrounding one of the lights on the ceiling. I remember him saying, “If you want to be able to see what they are doing during the procedure, you can just look at the shiny metal because it kind of works like a mirror.” I quickly said, “No thanks” and he moved the blue sheet up a little bit so I couldn’t see the light anymore. Keith was brought it and Dr. Montgomery said that they were going to begin.

I remember being really scared at that point and worried that I was going to be able to feel them cutting me. I think I even said, “Ouch, I can feel that” when really all I could feel was a little tugging. Dr. Weaver was awesome throughout the entire procedure and he, Dr. Montgomery and the nurses talked me through everything they were doing. They kept me calm and not anxious and in no time, Jacob Michael Weimer was born! He was born at exactly 5:30am. Keith stood up just in time to see him being moved from my belly to the bassinet where they were going to clean him up. I wanted him to go over and make sure he was OK and he took some great pictures of his first few minutes of life.

After they checked him out and cleaned him up a bit Keith got to cut the cord (they left a good amount hanging on so Keith could get an opportunity to cut it).

Then they wrapped him up and brought him to me. I remember being so happy at that very moment. Keith and I were both crying and we were so overjoyed to finally get to meet our little boy!

I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him, but while they sewed and cleaned me up, Keith was able to go to the nursery with him. He got to see them weigh and measure him (7 lbs, 4 oz and 20 inches long) and they did his foot prints. I remember wishing that I was able to be there while they did all of that stuff, but I was glad that Keith was able to stay with him.

They moved me out of the OR and into the recovery room. It was a small room that really only had room for one or two beds. I remember feeling shaky and cold but I wasn't in any pain because the anesthesia hadn't worn off yet. And, I was very itchy on my face and neck, which Liz told me is a side effect of the epidural. Thankfully, she was still with me and she said that we would be in recovery for about an hour. After about 30 minutes, while she was doing all the post-surgical stuff (like making me cough…which REALLY hurt!) the phone in the recovery room rang. Apparently, there was another woman who was having a c-section right after me and they were wondering if I was going to be out of the recovery room soon! Liz said I was doing so well that she felt like I was OK enough to be “let out”. Unfortunately, there was “no room at the inn” and I had to go back to my labor and delivery room for a little while until a room on the post-partum unit opened up.

Originally, they were going to bring Jacob to the recovery room so that I could try to nurse him, but since I didn’t spend very much time in there, I was able to see him in the L&D room. I remember the moment they wheeled his bassinet up next to my bed. I was in love!! I wanted to try to nurse him soon since I had read a lot about the bonding that happens between a baby and a mother in those first few hours. I really had no idea what I was doing, but the nurses were great and they tried to help me. I am not sure there was much success with latching on the first try, but over time it got better!

I had quite a lot of visitors that day, both in the L&D room and once I was taken down to the post-partum room. Unfortunately, I was not able to get up and walk around and was still catheterized. I also had to have these awful compression leg massager things on both of my legs. They were similar to blood pressure cuffs (except much larger) and they would blow up and then deflate every minute or so. I understood that I needed to keep them on so I didn’t develop blood clots in my legs, but boy were they hot and uncomfortable! It was very frustrating not being able to get up and move around and the next morning, I was VERY thankful to be able to get up and take a shower!!

My recovery from the c-section was a lot better than I had expected it to be. I was able to get up and move around pretty well in the days after Jacob’s birth. It was really nice to have Keith there pretty much the entire time! We were very fortunate because the post-partum rooms at the hospital have two beds in them (in case they have to double up when they are really busy). When they aren’t busy, they allow the husband (or whoever you want to stay with you) to use the other bed. Therefore, Keith was able to spend the night with me and pretty much be at the hospital the entire time I was there. We really took advantage of the bonding time with Jacob and we tried to learn as much as we could from the nurses. This whole parenting thing was new to us and we needed all the help we could get!!

Here is Jacob - only two days old - sleeping on my hospital bed
(from day one, he liked sleeping on his side or his tummy!)

On Wednesday, three days after he was born, we brought Jacob home with us. It was so awesome to have our little family all together in our house and since then we have been thanking God every day for bringing such a wonderful blessing into our lives!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baby steps

Jacob has been taking small steps here and there over the past few weeks. These steps have mostly been when he is standing right in front of something, like the couch or a cupboard door, but he can't quite reach it. He would take one step forward and then kinda just fall into whatever it was he was trying to get to.

Over the weekend, we saw him looking more and more like he was going to be taking some "real" independent steps. Today, when he started to walk towards me (because he wanted the phone I was holding!), I grabbed the video camera. I'm so proud of him!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jacob's Birth Story - Part II

Here is Part II of Jacob's Birth Story. To view Part I, click HERE.

My sister, Katie, had arrived to visit me around 8pm and she was a good distraction between my contractions. Unfortunately for her, she was there to witness me vomiting around 9pm. I remember it like it was yesterday – Katie and Keith were talking to each other on the left side of my bed while I was trying to concentrate on breathing and not on the intense pain I was having. All of a sudden, I felt like I was going to throw up and I made a comment to Keith about it. He moved faster than I have ever seen him move to grab the puke bucket from the right side of my bed and shove it in front of me before anything came out of my mouth. It was awesome (not the puking, but Keith’s actions!). He was so kind and gentle and understanding. I felt really bad that he and Katie had to witness that, but I guess those are the kind of things that happen during labor!

Around 9:30pm, Liz came in and asked how I was doing. I remember holding on to the bed rails so hard while my contractions were coming. She would tell me that I needed to relax and not tense up during them, but all I could was squeeze my hands around those rails really hard & grit my teeth – I felt like it made the pain from the contractions just a little better. She asked me what my feeling was on having an epidural and I said, “Yes!” I remember part of me thinking that I was being a wuss and that I should keep going pain-med free, but the other part of me was not having it! Liz said that the anesthesiologist, Dr. Weaver, was in surgery at that moment (there were a lot of c-sections that weekend!), but that as soon as he got out, she would send him in.

Around 10pm, Dr. Weaver came in (I remember thinking he was never going to come!). He gave me the spiel about the procedure, but I have to admit I really didn’t hear most of it. I remember thinking, “OK already, whatever….just do what you need to do so that this pain will go away.” He told Keith to stand by the side of the bed so that I could lean my head against his chest while I was bent over and he was sticking the needle in my back. Let me say, I never really imagined how hard it would be to sit still with your feet hanging over the side of the bed while you are having very painful contractions! I also felt like Keith wasn’t standing very sturdy and I was going to fall off the bed. [Note: this is the one time that I yelled at Keith because I looked up and he was watching the TV that was on behind me. I didn’t think he was paying enough attention to what was going on with me and a big needle being put into my back! And, I felt like I was going to fall off the bed!!] Anyways, after the procedure was done, they laid me back down onto the bed and I remember thinking, “OK, anytime now. The pain is going to go away anytime now!”

Within a few minutes of administering the medicine, Dr. Weaver asked me how I was feeling and I told him I was feeling the same. No relief from the pain whatsoever. So, he turned the medicine up a bit. Still no relief. He turned it up some more and did some tests on me where he would stick me with the sharp end of a paperclip and ask me if I could feel it. Yes! I could feel everything! At this point, I remember seeing Liz & Dr. Weaver talking quietly near the door. I started to worry that something was wrong. Dr. Weaver came back to me a few minutes later and explained that sometimes the epidural doesn’t take and informed me that they would have to do it again. Are you kidding me??? I remember wondering why God was making me do this TWICE!!

Thankfully, after another very painful experience (the contractions, not the needle!) the second epidural worked! Although, as soon as I knew it was working (because the pain started to go away and I started to feel numbness in my lower extremities), I also felt like a huge elephant was sitting on my chest. It was like the numbness was taking over my diaphragm and I couldn’t breathe. I remember starting to panic, but Dr. Weaver moved fast to turn the medicine down and soon, I was able to breath a bit better. And, now I was finally feeling some relief from the contractions too! Thank God!

Keith was such a trooper through it all and he even got a “bird’s eye view” of something he probably didn’t want to see! After they administered the epidural, Liz asked him to help her by holding one of my legs while she put the catheter in. You see, since I was numb from the waist down, I had no movement in my legs and therefore couldn’t keep them spread open so she could do what she needed to do. Well, Keith went along with what she asked him to do, but I think his eyes were still on the TV in the room while the procedure was going on!

Unfortunately, my poor sister was stuck out in the waiting room the entire time they were administering both of the epidurals. She had no idea what was taking so long and she even came to the door at one point and asked if everything was OK. After the second epidural, she came back in and I was much more of an enjoyable person to be around! By this time, it was around 11:30pm and Dr. Montgomery came back in to do another internal exam. He said that I was at 4 cm (if you are counting, that’s only one cm in almost three hours!!). He said that he was glad that I was progressing, albeit slooooowly. He suggested we try to get some rest since it was late and I was almost pain-free [Note: I always thought once you got an epidural the pain would go away 100%. This is not completely true. I still had some discomfort, but it wasn’t nearly the kind of pain I was feeling before the epidural!]

So, Katie left to go home…not before taking this picture:

Don't we look a little sleepy?

They turned down the lights in the room and we tried to get some rest. Keith was able to sleep in a reclining chair but I was so anxious (not to mention that Liz would come in every 30 minutes to check my vitals and re-position me), that I wasn’t able to get any sleep. I think I was a bit nervous too, wondering how this was all going to progress.

To be continued…

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Retrospective - Jacob's Birth Story...Part I

Since I never posted Jacob's birth story...correction, since I never WROTE Jacob's birth story when he was first born, I decided to do it now - one year later.

And, because it is going to be very long, I am breaking it up into several posts. Here's part one...

It was the afternoon of Friday, June 5th and the UVA baseball team was playing in the NCAA Super Regionals. Even though there was plenty of work to be done, a few of my coworkers and I decided to spend the latter part of the afternoon sitting in our staff lounge watching the game on TV. As we were watching the game, I remember my supervisor saying, “We have a lot to go over before you go on maternity leave. We should really do it this afternoon, but you are going to be here next week, right?” Of course, since Jacob wasn’t due for three more weeks (and I had just been to my 36 week appointment on Wednesday and was only 50% effaced and not dilated at all!), I replied, “Of course I am!” Little did I know that Jacob had other plans...

Earlier that afternoon, I remember feeling a little “wetness” in my nether region. I even remember going to the bathroom to check and wondering if maybe I had just peed myself a bit (that happened at times later in my pregnancy whenever I would sneeze, cough, or laugh). Anyways, since it was just a little bit of wetness, I just assumed it was nothing and went on with my day. That evening, once I got home, I continued to have some “dribble” but didn’t really think it was anything to be worried about. I remember putting a maxi pad on just to be more comfortable.

By this time in my pregnancy, I was sleeping in the guest room due to many factors – I was very uncomfortable and moving around a lot (which was keeping Keith awake), I was snoring really loudly when I was able to fall asleep (which was keeping Keith awake) and my full body pregnancy pillow was taking up most of the bed (which was keeping Keith awake). All in all, neither of us was getting much rest, so I started sleeping in the guest room around 36 weeks. I remember waking up numerous times that night to pee, which was nothing new. The odd part was that the maxi pad that I had on had become really wet throughout the night, so I put a new one on. When I woke up around 6:30am to pee again and my pad was really wet & I even had to change my underwear, I knew something was not normal. [Honestly, I probably knew something was up around 3am but I was so tired, I just wanted to sleep and deal with it in the morning!]

I woke Keith up around 7am and told him I thought my water had maybe broken, but I wasn’t positive since it was like a “slow leak” instead of a “ big rush” like I had always pictured it would be. I was hesitant to call the doctor’s office for fear that I was jumping the gun, but I finally called around 7:30am. The on-call doctor, Dr. Montgomery, told me that I should come to the hospital if I thought something was going on. I remember saying, “If my water has indeed broken, I am going to be there for the long haul, right?” His reply, “Yes, you will be here until you return home with a baby. So, bring everything you will need.” I asked him if we had time to take showers and pack our things [I was going to be packing my hospital bag and finishing up organizing the nursery that weekend!]. He said that we could take our time, but should get to the hospital in a few hours. Needless to say, I was very anxious and a bit overwhelmed. I felt very unprepared and my mind seemed to go blank as to what I needed to bring with me. One of the funny things (that I can look back and laugh about now!) is that Keith took the carseat straight out of the box and put it in the car. We had just had three showers in the two weeks preceding and we hadn’t opened a lot of things! We really thought we had more time!

We got to the hospital around 10:15am and went straight to the Labor & Delivery floor. I remember thinking that this was very different than I had pictured it in my mind. I was feeling fine - no contractions, no heavy breathing, no “real” labor – I guess I pictured myself arriving in a different fashion! Once we checked in, the nurse took me to a labor & delivery room and started asking me a lot of questions. She asked me to change into a hospital gown and asked if I was still “leaking”. I said that I was but that I didn’t know if it was really my water that had broke or something else that was going on. When she looked at the soaked maxi pad (sorry for the gross details!) that I had just put on an hour before, she said “Oh yes, I am pretty sure that your water has broken. But we can test it to see if it is indeed amniotic fluid.” Well, you guessed it – the test came back positive. The nurse said, “Yes, your water has broken and chances are good that you will be having a baby sometime today.” I remember thinking OH MY GOSH! I am SO not ready for this!!

Dr. Montgomery came in and did an internal exam. He said that unfortunately I was not dilated at all and was only about 50% effaced. He then explained to me the protocol for the next few hours and what they were going to do. Since I was having no contractions or pain, it was clear that my body was going to need some help progressing into labor. They hooked me up to a fetal monitor to keep track of Jacob’s heartbeat and they also put a monitor on me to measure my contractions. They started me on a pitocin drip around 11am and said that they would be increasing it as the day went on. I remember the nurses would come in throughout the day and ask “Are you feeling any contractions or pain?” and when I would say “No”, they seemed a little disappointed. Once the pain did start, they seemed more pleased. I guess there is no such thing as a painless labor!

Around 2:30pm, my friends Dee & Lisa came to visit me. I was not aware that they were coming from Richmond to visit, but I was glad to have a distraction and really enjoyed their company. While they were there, I wasn’t really feeling any pain and was able to sit up in a chair. I was continuously "leaking" though so I had to have a rolled up towel stuffed between my legs - fun! Dr. Montgomery came in around 5:30pm and did another internal exam. He said that I was about 1 ½ cm dilated and said that was good. I remember being really disappointed and was hoping for more, but he said that it was good progression. I still wasn’t feeling much pain at that point (which was both good and bad) but around 6:15pm, when Dee and Lisa left, I started to feel some discomfort.

The contractions started coming and feeling stronger around 7pm. It was at this point that an angel walked into my room. Her name was Liz and she was going to be my nurse from 7pm-7am. She was the sweetest, most kind and caring person that I think I have ever met. She was also very funny and personable and we hit it off from the very beginning. I was so glad to have a wonderful nurse by my side and I remember thanking God that He had given me Liz to help me through this journey. Unfortunately for her, about the time she arrived was the time that I started experiencing some pretty bad pain, so she never got to see me “at my best”.

Knowing that I was in a bit of discomfort, Liz asked me what my birth plan was – did I want a pain-medicine free experience? Was I going to have an epidural as soon as I could? Or was I just going to go with the flow and see what I could handle? I told her that I was not by any means going to go pain-med free! [I know there are women out there that do it – my two sisters included! – but I was not interested in trying that!] I told her I wasn’t ruling out an epidural, but I did want to see how long I could go without it. She suggested that I get a dose of fentanyl, which is a narcotic that is used to “take the edge off”. Liz explained that I could get a “full” dose of fentanyl (which would take away most of my pain but I would only be able to get it every hour and it would wear off before the hour was up) or I could get a “half” dose every 30 minutes. I opted, at first, for the half dose to see how it helped me manage the pain I was feeling. I remember feeling some relief for a short time, but the pain seemed to come back pretty quickly. That 30 minutes until the next dose seemed like forever!! At 7:30pm I got the second "half" dose and then at 8:30pm, Liz administered a “full” dose of the fentanyl and that seemed to help a little longer, but then the pain returned. At 8:45pm, Dr. Montgomery came in to do an internal exam and he said I was progressing nicely but I was only at 3 cm! I remember him saying that he thought it might be a long night!

To be continued…

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Today is Jacob's 1st birthday! Unfortunately, we were in the car for most of it, as we were traveling home from a weekend trip to visit Keith's family. Jake did remarkably well and even enjoyed playing some fun games and laughing with Daddy while Mommy was driving!

We had a joint birthday party yesterday for Jacob and his Grandma Marge (her birthday is tomorrow). Jacob had a great time and was spoiled rotten with a ton of presents! I will do a separate post telling all about it, but til I get to that, here is a picture of the beautiful birthday boy. He was loving everyone singing Happy Birthday to him!

Jacob, you are such a beautiful baby, um, I mean little boy. I am so proud of you and so blessed to be your Mommy. Happy Birthday sweet boy!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Eleven Months Old

Since tomorrow is Jacob's first birthday, I guess it would be good if I got this post out! We have been so busy lately and actually right now I am finishing this post on Keith's iPhone while we are in PA visiting his family. I started this post about a month ago and have been adding notes as they come to mind. I was hoping to actually write out some things but since I am short on time, these cute pictures and bullet points will have to do. I guess it is better than not doing it at all.

Jacob really likes eating with a spoon and a fork now.
He isn't anywhere near being able to do it himself, but he likes to try!

Jake still LOVES bathtime!

He loves to pull up and look out the window!
Of course, of all the toys he has, he really just wants to play
with pots & pans and kitchen utensils!

He likes to "help" us take the dishes out of the dishwasher.

And, one day, he even decided to climb up and sit on it.
I think I am going to have a "monkey" on my hands!

A few other things Jake enjoys right now:

-He loves to pick out books off of his bookshelf. Some of his favorites right now are "Tails", "Freight Train", "Goodnight Moon" and the Touch-and-Feel books

-He is becoming more vocal. Most of it is unrecognizable, but I think he is going to be saying some "real" words soon.

-We have tried some signing, but I haven't been very diligent with it. I believe Jake understands what I am saying when I sign "More", "Milk" and "Eat".

-He is still standing on his own, even in the middle of the room, but he hasn't taken any steps on his own yet.

-His favorite thing to play with is still shoes! Some of his other favorite things are remote controls and food (or anything else) that he can pull out of cupboards or drawers.

-He really enjoys helping me "fold" clothes - this really means he just pulls everything out of the laundry basket!

-He seems to find string or fuzz anywhere! He find pieces of it in his crib or on the floor almost everyday!

-He currently has five teeth (three on top and two on the bottom) although he is constantly drooling so I am sure there are more that are coming in!

- He is still an excellent sleeper (on most days). He still takes two naps. He usually wakes up between 7-7:30am, goes back down for his first nap around 9:30-10am, sleeps 1-2 hours, eats lunch, goes back down for his second nap around 2:30-3pm, usually sleeps around 2 hours, eats a snack and then dinner and then goes to bed between 7:30 & 8pm.

-He is pretty much eating everything that we eat! These days his breakfast consists of oatmeal and sometimes applesauce. He still also loves yogurt and goldfish!

-He is learning to throw and has started throwing everything he can.

-He still sucks the last two fingers on his left hand when he is tired or to comfort himself.

-He enjoys closing & opening doors. He has already gotten his fingers caught a few times but that doesn't seem to deter him from doing it over and over again.

-On a somewhat sad note, I stopped nursing on May 24th. At that time, Jake was only nursing once per day (in the morning) and he sometimes would only do it for a few minutes. He was easily distracted and didn't seem super interested in it a lot of the time. I decided to try giving him whole milk and he took to it pretty quickly. Right now, I give him a cup of milk in the morning when he wakes up and then in the afternoon when he gets up from his nap. Sometimes he drinks the entire cup right away and then sometimes it takes him an hour or so to drink it. He doesn't seem to miss nursing and I must say that even though I was sad at first, it's nice not to have to worry about it especially now that we have been traveling so much lately.

-He is a super happy baby and fusses infrequently. Lots of people comment about how happy he is and how is smiling all the time. He especially smiles when a camera is set in front of his face. He is a real ham!!