Category Archives: pregnancy

Welcome to the World, Little Bean!

I should have been expecting it.  I had nearly nine months to prepare, yet I somehow had myself convinced that I had all the time in the world before our world changed for good.  Ready or not, though, two weeks before her due date, our little Bean decided she was ready to face the world.

At about 2 am on a Saturday night, I woke up feeling wet and uncomfortable.  I took a trip to the bathroom, where I discovered that my sweatpants were soaked through.  Chalking it up to my shrunken bladder, I climbed back into bed.  I’ll admit, broken water did cross my mind…  I just didn’t want to believe it.  I couldn’t be in labor, particularly since I wasn’t having contractions – just waves of cramping.  (Note for future reference – waves of cramping = contractions.)

After a few minutes of tossing and turning and several more bathroom breaks, Paul asked, “What’s going on right now?”  I explained my “situation,” and we made a phone call to the hospital.  The on call doctor told us to come into the hospital.  “Right now?” I asked.  I thought we’d be laboring at home for a while, but instead we were racing around, gathering our bags and shooting off e-mails to work.  By about 3:30 in the morning, we were on our way to the hospital.

After checking in, we were ushered up to the BirthPlace.  I changed into a gown, and a few minutes later a young doctor walked in.  He took one look at us, and I saw a spark of recognition.  Not what I wanted to see.  “Hey, Paul!,” he cheerily quipped.  Paul responded, “It’s Zach, right?”  Apparently it was time for a college reunion.  The doctor had gone to school with us and was now a resident at the hospital.  I had never met him (luckily!), but I knew his wife.  It was the end of his shift, so he only took care of us for about an hour before another doctor took over.  After my initial annoyance, I figured a doctor’s a doctor, and was just glad that he would only see me in early labor.  He confirmed that my water had broken.  So much for our guess that Bean would be born after her due date!  She was on her way.

Zach told us Ruth was at a -3 station, meaning she hadn’t “dropped.”  He said that if my labor didn’t progress quickly, they’d put me on Pitocin.  I did not like that idea one bit (I’d only been in labor for two hours!), but didn’t say anything – I figured we’d cross that bridge when we came to it.  We never had to, though, as Bean was in a hurry to come out and meet us.

Around 7:30 or 8:00, my contractions were painful but manageable.  I was using the breathing methods they had taught us in our child birth class, but didn’t feel like I needed to use the birthing ball or whirlpool tub yet.  I told Paul to go get some breakfast and make a few phone calls to family and work.  The last thing I wanted was for him to be famished when push came to shove.  He reluctantly agreed and told me he’d hurry back.

Immediately after Paul left, Bean decided to really start moving and my labor went into full gear.  The contractions started getting much, much worse.  The labor and delivery nurse chose that time try to put an IV into the back of my arm.  It was as though she waited for Paul to leave and then swooped in with her torture device.  As I was having a really difficult contraction, she dug the needle into my right arm and searched for a vein – with no luck.  I swear, that the needle hurt as much as my contraction did!  She then moved over to the left arm (again, she thoughtfully timed it to coincide with a contraction) and started searching with the needle.  After a painfully long minute, she gave up.  At that point, the doctor came in.  I told him I didn’t want the IV, and he simply said, “OK, not a problem.”  Saved!

After a VERY long 20 minutes, Paul returned to a moaning and groaning wife.  I felt as though I could finally relax (relax being a relative term) and that I could concentrate on my labor, which was intensifying by the minute.  At that point they said it was too late to use the birthing ball or tub, but I was able to move over to the shower for a while, then back to the bed – where it was time to push!

At this point, I was thinking twice about my decision against an epidural.  All in all, I’m very glad we held firm and didn’t have it, but at the time, I was REALLY wishing for a little relief!  I wanted to go home, I wanted the baby to stay in, and I wanted to sleep.  No rest for the weary, though – Bean was coming, and she was coming fast!

After pushing for maybe half an hour (we were too busy to watch the clock), our little Bean made her debut into the world at 9:58 am, eight hours after labor had started.  The doctors let me hold her right away, and we marveled over how perfect she was.

After snuggling her for a few minutes, the nurses weighed, measured, and bundled her up.  Her official stats were 5 pounds 12 ounces, 19 inches long, and she scored a 9 out of 10 on her Apgar test.  What a peanut!  We are absolutely thrilled to welcome our little Bean into the family.

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I’m Back!

After a long break from blogging, I’m back in the game!  A lot has changed in my life since I last posted… our sweet little Bean made her way into the world!  She was born toward the end of October, two full weeks before her due date, leaving her Mommy and Daddy a bit in shock and a bunch in love.

I’m currently on maternity leave until February 1st (yay!), and I’ll be making an effort to squeeze some posts in between diaper changes.  I have a whole new world of writing material, and I’m afraid if I don’t document it, it’ll fly right out of my sleep-deprived brain!

Up next?  The story of Bean’s birth, and eventually some pictures as well.  Stay tuned!

How to Flip a Transverse Baby!

I’m at 36 weeks, and I just found out that the baby is transverse.  Well, I first officially found out – I could have told you that a while ago.  We had an ultrasound that confirmed that 1) we have the cutest baby ever, and 2) her head is jammed into my right rib.  Let’s get that baby flipping!  Four weeks to go!

Here are some techniques I’ll be trying.  Some I’m sure are just hype, but I figure they’re worth a shot.  Why not, right?  I’ve checked out many a website, but the most helpful have been Birthing Naturally and Spinning Babies.  All pictures below are credited to Spinning Babies.

  1. Pelvic tilts
  2. Hands and knees/laying over a birthing ball
  3. Side-lying release
  4. Sitting on a birthing ball
  5. Inversion
  6. Knee-chest position or an exaggerated version
  7. Sway hips (figure eights)
  8. Lunges
  9. Hold ice near the baby’s head
  10. Shine a flashlight near the pelvis
  11. Play music or have someone talk near the pelvis
And, from the message boards (so absolutely old wives tales, I’m sure, so take them with an extra grain of salt).
  1. Place pillows  under bottom when laying down
  2. Rock back and forth on knees
  3. Tailor sitting (pretzel legs leaning forward)

Hopefully one of these (or some sort of combo) will work.  I don’t even think that all of them are technically “cures” for a transverse baby, but like I said – I’ll try anything rather than get a C section!  And who knows – maybe all it’ll take is a little time.  That’s my doctor’s theory, anyway.  (And if it doesn’t take only time, he said he can flip the baby manually.  I’m sure there’s a fancier name… but that’s the gist!)

The best pregnancy books for first time moms

I’ve plowed through dozens of books about pregnancy and childbirth.  Most were informative, many were interesting, some were opinionated, some were decidedly NOT opinionated.  When push comes to shove, though, you’ve got to have your go-to books, those you value above all the rest and turn to whenever you have a question.  These are mine.

Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth by Sandy Jones and Marcie Jones.

This is the best of the best, for this reason: it breaks down your pregnancy week by week.  Each of these sections includes the following topics:

  • the baby’s size
  • the baby’s development
  • what’s happening to you physically
  • your emotions
  • what you can do this week

I get an e-mail every week from BabyCenter with week by week info, but sometimes it’s nice to have it on the nightstand or in the car with me.  This book is factual and has opinions “where it counts” (i.e. breastfeeding and exercise), but doesn’t go over the top telling you what to do our what not to do.  It explains risks and benefits instead.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 4th Edition by Heidi Murkof and Sharon Mazel

I’ve used both the third and fourth editions of What to Expect, and I would highly recommend the fourth edition.  While it doesn’t have quite the same weekly detail as Great Expectations, this edition does give a weekly breakdown of your baby’s development.  In my opinion, the best part about this book is the monthly (and extremely timely) question and answers.  The index is also fantastic, so if you do have a question that the book hasn’t addressed in your current month, you can easily look it up.

Updated pregnancy timeline

I must admit… my posting (quality and quantity) has definitely taken a hit over the past few months.  I’ve been so busy in the real world that my blogs have taken a backseat.  I suppose it is what it is.  I’ve never used this blog as a source of revenue, or had a large base of subscribers, so this blog really has been for myself.  I suppose that now that I’m pregnant, I will just use and enjoy it – without stressing about the amount I post!  That being said… I do hope I post more, as I always enjoy looking back and seeing what was going on at any given moment in time.

Here’s the latest on the pregnancy (from the beginning!):

1/27/11 – first day of last period

2/12/11 – possible conception date

2/27/11 – started to get a bit suspicious that I was pregnant

3/6/11 – positive pregnancy test!!


3/17/11 – very slight spotting; went in for bloodwork

3/18/11 – bloodwork came back normal – about 66,000 HCG at 6.5 weeks

3/21/11 – ultrasound – saw heartbeat (145 bpm) and our grain-of-rice baby!  also saw a second sac (irregularly shaped and completely empty)

3/25/11 – told my parents by putting a bun in the oven and asking my mom to check on something I had in the oven — I’ve never heard her scream so loud!

3/27/11 – told Paul’s parents by sending an e-mail with the ultrasound picture and calling to ask them for input on some “doctor’s results”

4/14/11 – doctor’s appointment – heard heartbeat (about 11 weeks along)

4/15/11 – told everyone at work the good news

mid- to late April – the tiniest baby bump has appeared (though I can’t rule out bloating…)

4/30/11 – made it through the first trimester!

5/8/11 – my first mother’s day

5/12/11 – quick and painless doctor’s appointment – heard heartbeat again (phew!)

6/3/11 – felt first kick (around 18 weeks)

6/9/11 – ultrasound confirms that IT’S A GIRL!  (I had a slight inclination toward this, and the Chinese Gender Calculator predicted it too – we conceived in January when I was 27)

6/11/11 – we announced that it’s a girl to our families (via pink cake!)

week of 6/12 – I’ve turned the corner from looking chubby to looking pregnant

Other notes:

  • I still get physically sick from either salad or raw carrots (or both, I’m not sure) – even at almost 20 weeks now.  I’ve thrown up less than five times during this pregnancy, and all times were after eating salad/carrots.  You’d think I’d learn my lesson!
  • I’ve had very few cravings.  The first trimester I devoured cheese in any way, shape or form.  Cream cheese, sliced cheese, shredded cheese, melted cheese, cottage cheese… you name it, I ate it.  Last night was the first night we went out specially for one of my cravings – though now I’ve switched away from cheese.  At this particular moment the craving was for Zanzibar chocolate ice cream (I settled for regular chocolate ice cream and Chips Ahoy cookies).
  • I’ve definitely gotten the “nesting” bug.  We’re turning the office into a nursery and redecorating the bedroom.  I’ve also started an organization/cleaning system for our home (which I’ve actually stuck with for over a month!).  I’ll post about this soon… but in case I don’t, it’s based on the methods of flylady.net.

Updated Pregnancy Timeline and Milestones

Here’s an updated version of my pregnancy milestones and timeline, since I haven’t updated in about a month.  Not too much has changed – which is a good thing!  People keep asking me how I’m feeling, am I having a difficult time, and the like.  I always tell them so far so good… though I hear it gets a bit harder at the end!!

1/27/11 – first day of last period

2/12/11 – possible conception date

2/27/11 – started to get a bit suspicious that I was pregnant

3/6/11 – positive pregnancy test!!


3/17/11 – very slight spotting; went in for bloodwork

3/18/11 – bloodwork came back normal – about 66,000 HCG at 6.5 weeks

3/21/11 – ultrasound – saw heartbeat (145 bpm) and our grain-of-rice baby!  also saw a second sac (irregularly shaped and completely empty)

3/25/11 – told my parents by putting a bun in the oven and asking my mom to check on something I had in the oven — I’ve never heard her scream so loud!

3/27/11 – told Paul’s parents by sending an e-mail with the ultrasound picture and calling to ask them for input on some “doctor’s results”

4/14/11 – doctor’s appointment – heard heartbeat

4/15/11 – told everyone at work the good news

mid- to late April – the tiniest baby bump has appeared (though I can’t rule out bloating…)

4/30/11 – made it through the first trimester!

5/12/11 – next doctor’s appointment

First Trimester Notes

Now that I’m officially in my second trimester, I feel a bit more confident about this whole thing being “real.”  I do waver – whenever I see a blog post about a miscarriage, or hear a friend’s story about a pregnancy that ended too soon, I begin to worry.  My next appointment is on Thursday, and I must say I’ll heave a big sigh of relief after the doctor can find that heartbeat again.

First Trimester Notes

  • I’ve craved very few things (aside from my typical attitude of “I want a cookie”).  The one thing I have wanted pretty much constantly is cheese – any form, any where, any time – particularly sliced and with crackers.  The only other thing I’ve wanted so badly is a ham and cheese sub from Cousin’s Subs… unfortunately it’s on the list of foods not to eat – darn listeriosis.  That will be my first post-delivery request.
  • For a good month, I went to bed before 9 pm (sometimes before 8) and woke up after 6 am every day.  That means I was getting 9-10 hours (sometimes more) per night.  And I was still tired.
  • I had a completely different personality for a while.  I felt depressed for about three days – I’m glad that was a passing phase.  At other times I’d burst out crying for the tiniest reasons.
  • Starting at around month two, I began to get a lot of headaches – something new for me.  They’re still continuing.
  • Around the two month  mark, I also started getting heartburn any time I sat down to watch television in the evening.  I haven’t had it in a while… but I also haven’t stopped to watched evening tv in a while.
  • I’ve been keeping track of my “to-do’s” on thebump.com.  I used theknot.com for wedding planning.  I must say, so far planning for a baby is a lot easier than planning for a wedding.  Though it evens out, I suppose, as (as far as I can tell) delivering the baby will be a bit more difficult than our wedding day.