The story so far...

So our humble couple has found out that they're pregnant. What entails is a series of thoughts, memories and pictures as they get closer to becoming a family...

Monday, June 13, 2011

40 Weeks- Violet's 2 Weeks old (belated post)

Violets' one month old now and I'm just now publishing this post, and you'll see we never quite finished writing it. With new baby, priorities have changed and projects get postponed sometimes. I wanted to get this thing online before it became ridiculously out of date.  I'm hoping, of course, to take some one month pictures and get them online too.  We'll see how long that takes me.

From Marcy:

Spencer and I have had the joy of being able to love on our baby girl two weeks early. It's hard to believe Violet wasn't suppose to arrive until this week. It's even harder to believe all of her fit inside my belly! The whole pregnancy experience was truly amazing. Before becoming pregnant, the thought of having another creature moving about inside me made me cringe. Once I actually was pregnant, it didn't seem strange at all, but the thought of having to deliver Violet terrified me. Then once we were actually in the hospital and I was in labor, I surprisingly didn't stress about it.

Life, now with Violet, has changed so much.  The transition was smooth but abrupt.  Once we came home from the hospital, it was strange at first to be home during the weekday. I missed being at work a little bit. I quickly realized how hard it was to mark things off my to do lists.  I barely get anything else in my day done besides change diapers and feed her. The time goes by so fast.  Before Violet, going to the grocery store was a despised chore, now it's something to get excited about because I get out of the house. It's easier to see why some women become depressed after giving birth.  I have the most boring life out of anyone you know right now, but you know what, I don't mind at all. The most exciting thing is just sitting and watching Violet. I can do it for hours. She's the cutest thing on this planet, even when she smells funny and I'm wiping poo off her butt.

From Spencer:

It's true that having a baby changes everything.  It's been unreal having this new life around the house and it's become pretty much the center of our universe.  First of all, any bit of scheduling goes out the window.  Violet gets hungry, needs changing, or just wants to be picked up and held and everything else gets put on hold.  We have gotten into a pretty good rhythm of two to four hour spaces where Marcy can sleep, we can eat, or everyone (cat and dog included) can hang out on the couch.

I'll try and go through the series of events as best I can.  Marcy's already given the birth story, though I can tell you that watching everything I.....(Marcy-must have been speechless.)

This is where the post ended. It's too bad, because I'd like to know his thoughts about the birth, you know, get the guys perspective.  I'll be honest, we had a tough time finding the words to explain how our lives have changed, and it still is.  Maybe next post we'll be able to share more with you all.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Birth Story

WARNING: I go into not too specific details about my laboring and delivery, so if you don't want to read anything about dilations and such, just go ahead and skip this blog entry. I thought I'd share with those who are interested like moms who want to compare their stories with mine or other moms-to-be who are curious to read what they might soon experience for themselves. I promise it's not very graphic, but some would rather not read anything about any of it, so I'm just giving those people a heads up. So here we go.

Friday May 6th- At my appointment with the High Risk doctor, my amniotic fluid levels were lower than they had been and marked a concern with the technician and doctor.  He concluded I should be induced into labor on my 38th week of pregnancy because there would be no benefit to Violet to stay in utero. My response to that statement was "That's next week." The doctor's response was "yep."  He said he would submit the report to my OB and we would determine what day would be best.  I left that appointment with a feeling of excitement and fear.  I was excited to know I would be having my baby sometime the following week, but anxious about being in actual labor.  It was imminent.

Monday May 9th- I went to work as usual. I already had an appointment set up for Tuesday with my OB, but wanted to try to find out, if possible, what day she wanted to induce. You know, to be as prepared as possible.  The doctor wasn't at the office that Monday, so I couldn't get an answer, but spoke to her nurse. She said to come to my scheduled appointment, but be prepared to stay.  Oh boy! So that night, Spencer and I spent the evening vacuuming and cleaning and double checking packed bags. We had his mom and Bill come out to the house to pick up Jezebel. We were ready, you know, just in case.

Tuesday May 10th- Spencer and I left for the appointment in the morning with the thought that we had done everything on our part to go ahead and have the induction that day. Of course my anxiety was making me wish I wouldn't, like I needed one more day. When we got to the hospital, my mood quickly started to change. What set my excitement off was our amazing parking space in the parking deck.  We landed the absolute best space possible. Right in front of the walkway into the Women's Center. I said to Spencer that we just had to stay and have the baby so we could keep that parking space for a few more days. I took a picture of it before we walked in toward the doctor's office.

My appointment started like usual by peeing in a cup, and getting hooked up to the monitor, but shortly after I was told by the doctor, like we suspected all weekend, that she wanted me to go ahead and get admitted downstairs in Labor & Delivery.  A rush of excitement went though us. We were gonna have a baby today, we thought.
 After grabbing our bags from the car at our amazing parking space, we walked over to Labor & Delivery and got settled into room 5 at about 10ish.

The nurse started me off with a fairly heavy dose of Pitocin. The OB had difficulty gauging my level of cervical dilation for weeks, and that day was no exception.  So she ordered the Pitocin to hopefully kick start my laboring and help get my cervix into a position the doctor could "read" so to speak.  I was feeling fine for a little while. When I told the nurse this, she must have increased the juice because very quickly after, I was contracting every minute pretty heavily and I had to be given oxygen for a bit. Luckily my OB came in to examine me again and said the nurse could back off the Pitocin so I wasn't contracting so much. She still couldn't reach my cervix though.  This all happened about 12:30ish. A few more hours go by (somewhere in there we watched a little bit of Rocky 3 on the TV) and they stop giving me the Pitocin because I was still contracting so quickly. I requested some pain relief at about this time and regretted it once it went into affect. The Nubain they injected into my IV made me flush, dizzy, and groggy.  Sure it helped with the pain of the contractions, but I did not like how it made me feel like I was going to pass out, and the pain relief only lasted a few short hours.  At the same time I thought I was going to die from an overdose of narcotics, Spencer's dad and step mom came to visit. I must have been a sight at that point with my head rolling about. I can't remember much about the visit to be honest. I think there was a cold rag on my head at one point and that seemed to help a bit.
When My OB came back again in the early evening, to see how things were going, my laboring had not resulted in much progress.  The doctor decided at this point to keep me off the Pitocin for the rest of the night and instead insert a balloon catheter into my cervix to start dilation. It would do the work that the Pitocin failed to do. Since my cervix was difficult to reach, there was a chance this catheter might not work either. Spencer and I could tell from our conversation with the OB at this point that if the catheter didn't get me dilating, I would be facing a C-Section. I tried not to think about that possibility. It looked like we were not going to be meeting our precious Violet that night. At that point they allowed me to eat something for dinner.  Oh, I failed to mention that I had not eaten or drank anything since the night before at about 9pm. It was left over spaghetti and Blue Bell rocky road ice cream. All I had through the day was ice cubes, and given the circumstances, they were amazingly yummy. But I digress.  So the insertion of the balloon catheter was the most painful part of the whole laboring/ birthing process, and the contractions following it were worse than the contractions from the Pitocin.  The narcotic from earlier had already worn off, and I had decided I didn't want that again. As a result, my night in the hospital consisted of trying to eat something in between contractions. Take a bite of fruit, stop for contraction, take a bite of PB and J, stop for contraction. Poor Spencer didn't know what to do with himself that night. He hated seeing me in pain, but there was nothing he could do. At one point he was trying to feed me my dinner, but I quickly shooed him away.  I wasn't paralyzed, I thought, I could feed myself. Our choice of TV programing throughout dinner and pain, The Wrestler.  The intensity of the contractions let up as the night went on.  I was given Ambien to sleep and stayed up with Spencer to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Lights were out at 11pm and I was able to sleep the whole night through until 4am when Spencer got up to use the restroom and the nurse came in to wake us shortly there after. Spencer's sleep that night was more uncomfortable than mine. He had to sleep in that awful chair. I can't help but think the choice of having such uncomfortable chairs in the delivery room are intentional. If the mother-to-be has to be so uncomfortable, it only seems fair the father-to-be has to as well.

Wednesday May 11th- We woke at 4am and I was feeling a whole lot better than the evening before.  I couldn't even tell if I was contracting still or not. We showered and dressed like any other day.  I wanted to look as nice as I could because I knew I would be having my picture taken throughout the day.  The nurse removed the balloon catheter and when the doctor came in at 7:30, I was told I was dialated to 4 cm.  She proceeded to break my waters and the nurse started me back on Pitocin to get me laboring again.  A C-section was less likely now and I was ectatic.   At 9:00 I had moved to 5 cm and I was given my epidural. It was not really painful to be inserted into my spine especially compared to the pain I had endured the afternoon before. Shortly after, I was numb from my waist down. I could barely move my legs and didn't feel any pain what so ever. It was fabulous. At 10:00 I was at 6cm and the doctor wanted to insert an internal monitor to more closely gauge the contractions. It also would replace a bit of fluid in the uterus to help avoid the umbilical cord from getting constricted. At this point in the laboring the grandparents started getting antsy.  They were wanting to start making their way to the hospital and I was afraid they would end up having to wait a long while before Violet would get here.  Spencer was trying to let them know to wait a bit longer.  The nurse had told us that typically for a first time delivery it would take about an hour to dilate one cm.  I had four more to go.
11am started to come and go. The doctor wasn't going to check back until after lunch, but the internal monitor was giving weak signals and so the nurse wanted to check to make sure it was still in it's proper place. When she said she would check to see if it had moved, I said "yeah, maybe, because I could feel something different down below." I think that statement got her even more curious.  When she checked me out, sure enough, I had dilated all the way to ten. I went from 6 cm at 10am to 10 cm at 11:15 am.  The nurse announced I was ready to push. Holy crap, I though. Spencer and I proceeded to call all the folks and let them know we were about to start pushing.  Spencer's dad and Phyllis show up outside the door right when I'm already in position and the nurse asks me if I want them to come into the room. I would like to have seen the look I gave her when she asked me that. I told her of course not, not in the position I was in. They would have to wait in the waiting area until after we were done.  So I started pushing at 11:30am and at 12:21pm Violet had arrived.
Spencer cut the cord like a brave new father and she was placed on my chest for just a few minutes until they took her to get wiped off, weighed, and measured, and such.

She was brought back over and placed on my bare chest for about 45 minutes where Spencer and I loved on her and she attempted to nurse. This whole time either Spencer or the nurses were taking pictures, and I was even taking video at one point. Suddenly it was after 1pm and it was time to go up to our recovery room where I would be staying for the next few days and our friends and relatives would come to visit.

Looking back on the whole experience, I couldn't have asked for a better delivery. It started with the best parking spot, followed by an awesome RN, having a successful epidural, then being able to have a vaginal delivery, all the while being monitored by my OB doctor, not another that I only briefly met from the same practice. The absolute best part was seeing Violet for the first time,  hearing how much she weighed and how long, and seeing she was 100% healthy. I was overwhelmed with joy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

38 Weeks-The Finale

Can you say uncomfortable?

Well, That was a short countdown. It's looking like we will be saying hello to Violet very soon.  The high risk doctor says her amniotic fluid levels are low and thinks we should go ahead and induce labor. I've got my regular OB appointment tomorrow morning to find out what day.  It could be sometime this week or possibly even tomorrow after the appointment.

On that note, I went ahead and got one more picture of me before the big day and thought it would be cool to wear the same clothes from the first photo we took of the pregnancy. Let's do a comparison:

It's pretty obvious the differences here. The one thing I find very interesting is that I look older. There is a level of maturity there that I feel is missing in the my earlier photograph.  I'll be very curious to see how my body changes once again after the baby.

Before we move onto sharing the birth story and beyond, I want to share with you some photos of the baby shower my lovely co-workers gave for Violet. I had such a nice time, and everything was so absolutely pretty.  The food was fabulous, and the company was great, even when the weather was posing a threat to our festivities.  I'm so grateful to have such caring and supportive co-workers.

So now I must reflect back on my pregnancy. The beginning was bad, the middle was great, the end was exhausting. All in all, it could have been so much worse and for that I'm grateful it wasn't. In the beginning, I hated the nausea and not being able to tell people how bad I felt and why.  Later, I loved getting my appetite back and eating everything in site and it all tasting amazing. Now, I can't stand my lack of mobility, the back pain, the waking up in the middle of the night, the swollen feet, and the heartburn. I know this sounds so stereotypical of a pregnancy, BUT IT'S SO TRUE!

The next time I'll be sharing anything will be Violet with the world. As much as I've disliked the crazy uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy, it's been lovely to have her to myself all this time. But I think she's ready to meet all of you and I'm sure everyone is more than ready to meet her, too.

Friday, May 6, 2011

37 weeks- And the Countdown Begins

So I posed for my mandatory "holding the stuffed animal" portrait. Do you like it?  Sweet Bunny looks like he's giving my tummy a hug, aaawwww!   Ok, so enough of that.  Let's talk about all the stuff we've been doing this past month and how crazy I feel.

This month has just flown by with activities. My co-workers hosted a baby shower for Violet, Spencer and I posed for some professional maternity photos, and every minute of our weekends have been crammed with nursery and home improvement projects.

I'm proud to say the nursery is complete, YEAY!  We're very happy with the end result.  I love the wall color, the decals went up with little or no headaches, the colors all coordinate, and the bamboo shades I ordered for the window went up without a hitch and block the daylight better than I expected.  And without further ado, here are my photos:

The two diaper wreaths you see were made by my wonderful sister for Violet's first baby shower, but I missed getting any pictures of them during the party. They were so cute and well made I had to document them before I tore them apart. (I'm using those diapers, by golly!) The paper lanterns hanging in the corners of the room were from our wedding.  They were hanging in the arbor behind us during the ceremony.  And the smocked gown and name banner were made by Spencer's Aunt Sandra.  Plus, all the stuffed animals and dolls you see in the room were given by our friends and family.  I think all these great things add a lot of personal touches to the room.

We are so excited to have had our maternity pictures taken by my good friend and co-worker Kamin Williams.  We took a drive out to her neck of the woods in Vincent, Al to have the pictures taken, with fabulous results.  Here are some of our favorites she posted on her own blog:

If you want to see all of the photos from the shoot and order prints you can go here.

 Besides getting the nursery decorated and having our pictures taken we've also been washing Violet's clothes, bottles, and pacifiers. We've installed the car seats and packed the hospital bags (except those last minute things) and made those last few purchases for baby. I'd say we are just about ready to have Violet here with us.  Of course, there are still a million things I could try to do around the house like clean out the office closet and garage, and paint the garage door, and repair our doorbells, but let's be honest, they have nothing to do with Violet and aren't mandatory chores before she gets here. At this point, having that last bit of "just the two of us" time is moving to the top of our list. I'm not sure what we're gonna do though, it's been so long since we've tried to do anything "fun" I'm not sure if I remember how to have it, and a few things we used to do in the past are out of the question right now like bowling, bars, and hiking. Lifting heavy objects and drinking alcohol are big no no's and I can barely walk around the grocery store these days let alone through the woods . Hhhmmm.

Violet has been monitored constantly this past month.  She's had a consistently healthy heartbeat, her blood flow is active, and she has a decent amount of fluid to cushion her tiny little body.  At 36 weeks she was estimated to weigh about 5.5 lbs. So things are going smoothly right now. She dropped into position a while back though and I'm already dilating a little, so we are curious if she's wanting to come a bit early.  Having said that,  let me mention my nervousness this week.

I was nervous this week that I was going to go into labor early. The factors that led me to think this way:
1. Monday marked the beginning of my 37th week. Technically, that made Violet full term. So she could be delivered at any time unlikely to have any health issues. 
2. I also saw my OB on Monday, and at the end of my visit she just happen to mention that she was "on call" on Thursday. Didn't think much of the comment when I was there, but later wondered if she was suggesting that I might not make it through the week.
3. So then Monday night Spencer and I had dinner plans with his dad and step-mom and I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions, which is nothing new, but my stomach hurt at the same time. I could not concentrate on anything else during dinner except what my body was doing. Of course, the pain eventually subsided, but I was seriously close to stopping off at the hospital when we finished dinner out.
4. After Monday's events, I couldn't help but get nervous when Spencer had to be out of town on Wednesday night.  I really tried to take it easy and drink plenty of water to avoid as many Braxton-Hicks as possible, but I about had a breakdown after work and almost guilted Spencer in driving all the way back that evening so he wouldn't be gone the whole night.

Now that Spencer's back home and we're pretty much just working on cleaning around the house, I feel better about her coming whenever now. But when I  REALLY think about Violet being born, it seems so unbelievable. To even think we would have a child together, in our home, growing up and eventually going to school.  That's just crazy to me. It's hard to think that in a very short time our lives are going to change dramatically.  Our day to day will be completely different. We are going to hate it and love it more than anything else in this world.  NOW, I'm getting excited!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

32 Weeks

Spencer and I had a fun weekend recently celebrating our niece and nephew's birthday at our house.  There was lots of yummy pizza, cake and ice cream, and lots and lots of presents to play with.  The next day was Violet's first baby shower.  My mom (Jeneane), sister (Robyn), and sister-in-law (Haylee) hosted the shower with lots of help from Mary (haylee's mom) and Joanne (long time family friend). I was so impressed with all they had done to make the baby shower so beautiful and perfectly executed.  I had such a good time seeing and talking with everyone as well as unwrapping all the wonderful gifts that Violet will get to wear and use.  here are a few highlights from the shower.

Violet has one more shower in a couple of weeks hosted by my coworkers. I'm really looking forward to this one too.  They are all extremely talented artists, stylists, and chefs so I know it will be fabulous.  Still, it doesn't take much to get me excited. Give me some chicken salad and a Publix cupcake anytime. Yum, I'm getting hungry.

Spencer and I are STILL working on Violet's room putting up decals. It took all of Saturday to place the alphabet decals above the changing table. A lot of math and measuring was involved in order to get them placed just right.  I was half tempted to get Chris Bisset on the scene to take over knowing he would get this precisely placed, but between our two brains, I think Spencer and I had pretty good luck.  Sunday started the next phase of decal placement: the forest scene. No math was involved, just alot of eyeballing things (well, maybe a bit of measuring). Unfortunately, I was not able to finish by the end of the weekend, so it's not quite done.  After all the decals are in place, all we have to do is get some picture frames hung on the wall, get a mattress for the bedding so it can be set, and get the last of our gifts washed and placed in the closet and drawers.  Here are some pictures of the room as it was Sunday afternoon.

The pregnancy is going pretty smoothly considering how far along I am now.  I get up multiple times in the night to go to the bathroom and switch positions in the bed to get comfortable.  Back pains rear their ugly head pretty often now, even sitting down can sometimes be uncomfortable.  My boss has even given me the pillow that he had been using as back support after breaking his neck and having surgery last year. And i can't even tell you how many Tums I eat everyday. Violet is so long now she nestles here feet in my ribs sometimes, and at my last doctor's appointment it was confirmed she had already descended her head down into my pelvis. That's right ladies and gents, we just might have an early delivery.