Because the rumor mill tends to exaggerate most things, I want to be sure that everyone knows what's going on with me and the baby.
IF YOU DON'T READ IT HERE OR HEAR IT FROM MRS. REYNOSA, IT'S PROBABLY NOT TRUE!
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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 2000
My water broke at 11:15 Friday night. Per instructions, we headed straight for the hospital, stopping only to drop the boys off with friends. We were expecting a fast labor, even though contractions weren't very strong, since water broke well into labor with the first two, and I'd been having all those contractions during the past two weeks.
The nurse checked me just before midnight, and I was at 3 cm and 50% effaced...lots of work left to do! The contractions were still pretty mild and 5-8 minutes apart. The night got later, and neither Robert or I could sleep. At 7:00 Maureen (my midwife, who had been at the hospital with us since 1:30 a.m.) checked and I was STILL at 3 cm and 50% effaced. Eight hours, and NOTHING. I was really disappointed. She told us to start talking about pitocin, the hormone that is used to induce labor, as a boost. At 8:00 she said we really did need to do somthing to protect James from possible infections, so they started an IV with pitocin...just 8 drops an hour. The contractions did start to get stronger.
At 9:00, she increased the dose to 16 drops per hour, and at 10:00 she increased it to 32 drops an hour. By 11:00 I was both very tired, very cranky and very frustrated. Maureen backed the pitocin off to 16 drops per hour and checked me. I was now 4 centimeters and completely effaced. By 11:30 I was so tired and frustrated I wanted to simply curl up and die. Nearly 13 hours at the hospital, no sleep since Thursday, and only 1 centimeter of progress to show for it.
I needed to use the toilet, so in between contractions, Maureen and Robert helped me out of bed to the restroom. On the way I asked if she would let me get in the shower for awhile. I was hot and sweaty, along with being generally miserable. So after draining my bladder (for about the 8th time since we got there), I waddled into a nice warm shower. That's where I stayed until 1:00.
The hot water helped greatly, until the last 15 minutes or so. There was a nice padded bench in the shower, which I used to sit on and lean on in every imaginable position. It was kind of L-shaped. I found (finally) a semi-comfortable position for contractions with 1 knee on the bench, the other foot on the floor, leaning over, with my back curled. That position let James' head slide down low enough that I felt like pushing. Two easy pushes confirmed it, then I told Maureen I needed to push for real. I used the handicapped rail for balance, squatted, and leaned back against the bench. Perfect setup. Three serious pushes, James came out head first, Maureen (who was barefoot and in the shower with me by now) caught him. I have never gone from feeling so terrible to feeling so good so fast. I took the baby, Robert helped me up with one hand, and I carried James back to bed where I then pushed out the placenta.
James and I stayed the night so we could get some more rest. The staff was great...no one bothered us from 9:00 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. We came home yesterday afternoon, and so far, James has been very easy to deal with. He loves to nurse, is happy most of the time when he's awake, but doesn't like having his diaper changed.
I'll be doing very little for the next several days, other than holding and feeding this little guy. He weighs 7 pounds, 6 ounces, is 19.5 inches long, has lots of golden brown hair and dark blue eyes.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 28
See? Dreams don't tell you anything. We're still waiting and I am officially going nuts from boredom. Have I mentioned that I've organized all the kid's clothes by size, season and function and put them in labelled boxes and the extra dresser drawer in order of need?
SPECIAL MESSAGE TO JOSH KESSLER: The Renaissance magazine is HOMEWORK. You should be working on it every night for 15 minutes or so. (Someone please relay this to him for me. Thank you.)
THURSDAY, JANUARY 27
Last night I dreamed that James would be born today. However, since when I was pregnant with Richard (more than 5 years ago) I dreamed that I gave birth to a cat instead of a child, I don't trust dreams very much.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26
Well, I kind of thought that James might show up today, since this would have been my grandmother's 85th birthday. He didn't.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 25
This was the first morning I can remember in the last 6 months that I DIDN'T wake up with a backache. I had a good night's sleep, and am hopeful this means my body is storing energy for labor. I've had 2 whole contractions today, which doesn't bode well for labor starting any time soon.
MONDAY, JANUARY 24
More nothing. Sorry!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 23
Had 12 contractions during church this morning and kept hoping my water wouldn't break during the sermon. It didn't. Then we came home, I took a nap, and nothing new has happened.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 22
I went to Madera to move some furniture (ok, I just said, "Honey, we're taking that and that!") from my grandmother's house into my house, and was glad that I didn't go into active labor. (Madera is about 2.25 hours away from Stockton.) When we got home, I had 40-80 second contractions about 5 minutes apart from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. I decided to try and sleep, so the contractions quit. What's this? You say the suspense is killing you? Hey...at least it's not your uterus crying wolf every night!!
FRIDAY, JANUARY 21
I've had several more contractions today, but nothing like yesterday. Some people call these "false labor" or Braxton-Hicks contractions. The thing to remember, though, when you (or your wife) is having a baby is that these contractions really are getting your body ready to have the baby, and even though they don't hurt or take lots of energy like "real" labor contractions, they are softening things up to make it easier for the baby to come out. James favorite thing to do today is shove his head farther down into my pelvis (the bone that attaches my spine to my legs) and twist. This hurts. I wish he'd stop.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20
Today was exciting. I had contractions all day long. It made me glad that I was here at home and not at school. At 3:00 they started coming in regular intervals of 5 to 10 minutes and lasting 40 to 80 seconds. At 11:00 I decided I should go to bed and try to sleep so I would have some energy for the hard-working part of labor. I woke up at 3:30, and the contractions had stopped for the night. Oh, well...no baby yet, but his chest of drawers is all set up with his clothes ready.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19
Nothing new on the baby front. But some of you did see me when I sneaked onto campus today to finish your quarter 2 grades. They should be posted now, and include EVERYTHING from the quarter. Really, I AM resting...not teaching all of you is quite relaxing! ;-P Tomorrow I'm going through all the baby clothes and getting James' chest of drawers organized. YOU should be working on your Renaissance Magazines. So quit reading now, go to Ask Jeeves and get to work!!
TUESDAY, JANUARY 18
Sorry, nothing new to report. Just more of those "false labor" contractions.
MONDAY, JANUARY 17
Had an appointment with my midwife who said everything is fine with me and the baby, but I need to stay home. I have an appointment to go back February 1, but Maureen (midwife) says she thinks the baby will be born before then. We'll see.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 16
Nothing new to report...sorry!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 15
My mucus plug came out this morning (if you don't know what that is, be happy), and I've had several mild contractions today. Nothing really exciting, but I did pack the baby's diaper bag and my hospital suitcase, just to be safe.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 14
Thursday night about 8:10 I started having mild contractions (gentle squeezes in my abdomen that usually mean labor is about to start). These contractions are common during late pregnancy, so I wasn't really concerned. But after having 7 of them in 90 minutes, I decided I should call Maureen, my midwife (a nurse who delivers babies), who insisted I go to the hospital so she could check and see what was going on.
When I got to the hospital, a nurse put me on a machine that checks the baby's heartbeat and keeps track of contractions. James is just fine, but I had 3 more contractions in 30 minutes, and Maureen found out that I had started to dilate (open up for the baby to come out).
Since James isn't due for another 4 weeks, she gave me a shot to make the contractions stop, which they did. Maureen also said that I needed to stop working NOW, and not stay at school until the beginning of February like I'd planned.
I am very sorry that I didn't have a chance to say good by to you before leaving. I also wanted to have your second quarter grades all prepared and posted. I will do my best to have that done by Tuesday or Wednesday, so there will be no "surprises" on your report cards.