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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finally an update

Ohmigosh, I am so so sorry I have not posted an update yet. All is well.

I had the babies about 3:30 this morning. It took until 7:30 to get to the postpartum room, and it has been a whirlwind of activity since then. Left all our stuff in the Labor and Delivery room. (Well, not delivery for us, since we delivered in the OR)

Finally got computer back and now am posting an update.

So, first of all, babies are wonderful. They were a little smaller than what the last ultrasound would have led us to believe. Our boy was 4 pounds 9 ounces, and our little girl was 5 pounds 12 ounces.

She came out first after about 30-45 minutes of pushing. About half was in the Labor room, and then half was in the OR. He turned head down, and I pushed him out in about 15 minutes. Actually his heart rate dropped, and so we had to get him out quick, so my pushing was augmented with a vacuum delivery. More on that in the birth story that I will try to write while here in the hospital.

Anyway, it's just been a whirlwind since then, learning to breastfeed, trying to find time to eat, a few visitors, trying to "void" (I finally did after a catheter!), meeting with the post-partum nurse - it seems like every time I want to stop and do something, someone else comes to the door.

Ok, more later, I just wanted to update you all that they are here. My lunch just came and I gotta eat. oh, and my little girl just woke up, and she's gotta eat, too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The latest news........
Last exam shows 8 cm. Baby A (little girl) is +2 station, meaning that the baby is very low now. Moving along nicely. Gabby is resting well. Dr wants her to sleep but I think she is way to excited.
Ok, so I was wrong about the time. Babies won't be born before 11:00.
Until Later.
My name is Lynette and I am here at the hospital with Gabby and Carlos awaiting the birth of their Twins. I am their birth consultant and midwife.
Gabby is resting now. She labored well through intense contractions until about 6 cms when the decision was made to get the epidural. In my opinion, when you have pitocin, even a little pit, it is wise to have some pain control.
Babies are doing well and now is the time to rest a little because there is much excitement coming our way. My guess is that the babies will be born by about 11 pm. Stay tuned for the next update. Don't hold me to the time. I have been wrong a few times in the past :)

Just had my first contraction

Not too bad. My husband and my doula are sleeping. Maybe I will try
to rest, too.

Sent from my mobile device

Starting Small dose of pitocin

No contractions yet, at least not any I can feel.

Monitor says I'm having a few, but nothing I can feel.

So.. we're going to get this thing started. The doc came in and we just had a long talk about pitocin. She answered all my questions, and she suggested we start with a very low dose, the lowest possible dose, which is one milliunit.

Basically my body is not doing this naturally, and if I want to meet these babies and have energy to get through labor, it's better to get started now.

I love that she was not pressuring at all. In fact, she said, I want you to feel comfortable with this. I want you to meditate on this and welcome the pitocin. If you feel that way and can get to that place, then when you're ready, we can start it. Otherwise, we can wait a while. Whatever you want.

And when she said it, it reminded me of Dr. Low Dog, this amazing naturopath that I met at a Executive Education Conference. I had asked her about my labeatalol and told her I was trying to get pregnant, and does she recommend any natural methods of lowering blood pressure rather than the medication. She was such an advocate for vitamins and herbs, I was curious to see what she would recommend.

I will never forget her response. She said, "You take that labetalol every morning, and you take a moment to be grateful for it. Be grateful that it's helping your body to regulate and it's going to sustain your pregnancy and keep your babies and you healthy. Take it each day with gratitude, and be thankful the medicine exists to help you." She completely changed my outlook.

And Dr. S reminded me of her when she told me to take some time to decide and welcome the pitocin.

So, thank you pitocin for helping to get my labor started. I am confident my body will kick in with its share of oxytocin and we'll start the process to meet our son and daughter.

More updates to come.

Thank you so much for following. It means the world to me to see your comments.

morning update

ok, so we got here about 7:00. I think we were supposed to be here at 6:30, but oh well.

So, we got registered and that took a while. The "advantage" of arriving at the hospital when you are not in labor is you get to go to the registrar's office and fill out a bunch of paperwork. It was actually all electronic paperwork, so that was cool.

Dr. S. (BD) came in and broke my water about 8:40 am this morning. It wasn't the most pleasant experience, but I guess it was okay. At that time I was 2 cms, 85% effaced and -2 station. I was expecting a gush of water, but I didn't really get that.

Actually my hep lock is actually the most annoying thing. But i think it's gotten better finally. I am actually typing on my Mac, so that's why you are getting an actual update, rather than words. I think at some point, i will have to text from the phone, we'll see.

Anyway, Doc says I'm not supposed to be a "watched pot," watching my uterus and hoping it starts contracting. So, i'm trying not to think about it.

I'm on continuous fetal monitoring, which is clearly also a bit annoying, but Doc wants it, so thats cool.

My blood pressure has been high every time. I was pretty stressed and anxious at the beginning, so I think that's the reason for the early high readings. I'm doing pretty well now.

It's great to have my labor support here. We just are chatting, watching TV. Carlos is on his Mac, so he is happy, and Debra just went to get a snack.

Dr. S will probably come back around lunch and see how things are going. Maybe we'll have some action before then.

I have two nurses, one is in training. They have no other patients but me, so that can be good I guess.

I LOVE your comment. They are seriously going to keep me going, I know it. Once things start going.

Today is the Day!

Wow - I can't believe it's here..

So, I am just getting ready. I called my doula/midwife.. Glad I did, I'm pretty sure I woke her up. Her hello was cheery, but she gave herself away when she asked what time is was. It's 5:50. We are supposed to be there at 6:30.

I just told Carlos that I don't want to stress about getting there on time. I just want to enjoy these last moments before we leave for the hospital. he was so sweet and i think he will honor my wishes. This is our day, and they can't start without us, so we will get there when we get there. Like most men, he likes to be on time, so I appreciate the sacrifice he is making while I piddle around and update the blog. :)

Please think happy birthing thoughts for us!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Plan for communication

I'd like to record things as they are happening as much as possible during labor and delivery, and I've decided the best place to do that is on this blog.

So, lucky readers, if you have any interest, you may get a play by play of What.Happens.Tomorrow. I say may, because as a woman, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.

I ask that if you know me in Real Life, that you don't post anything on Facebook or anywhere else, until after you see the birth announcement made there. I think I *might* post, "Heading to the hospital" there in the morning, but I'll post throughout the day (hopefully) here.

Then we'll call text/special friends and family, then email an extended list after that. Then Facebook.

So, you will know here, before, and more than my mom. Please don't tell my mom! :)

I do this, partly because I have blog-stalked several of you when I knew or thought you were in labor. I have also really enjoyed hearing play-by-play of what happens in labor from others, and that has helped to educate me.

But I'll admit the biggest reason is that I may really need your support. Maybe I'll reactivate my AdventuresinGlass twitter sidebar and post twitter updates to the blog. Would that be easier?

Not sure, either way, check back tomorrow for the latest (if you care!) and I'd love to hear from you!!

Posting test

I am testing to see if I can post from the hospital while in labor.

Sent from my mobile device

Ok, so decision!

Ok, so Friday I talked to my doula/midwife, and we talked through everything.

i decided to plan to go in on Tuesday and just follow the plan as laid out by my favorite doctor.

So, here's why...

1. I picked this doc for a reason. I trust her. SHe knows what's best. Even though I can be a "boat rocker" when appropriate, she is someone i trust, and it's best to go with the advice she has given.

2. the babies are big, they are in good shape, keeping them in a few more days wont' change THAT much.

3. If I were to go into labor naturally the next day, I might not get to deliver with BD. Although I was not that worried about delivering with OD (I hear she is fantastic at that.) I was really just more worried about being induced by her.

4. i just had to make a decision, and be done with it. It was agonizing. And the non-decision of sticking with the current plan was easier. Seriously, laziness set in. Heck, cut me some slack, I'm measuring 12 and a half-months pregnant.

Ok, so there you are. We are going in tomorrow morning.

I agreed to have my water broken in the morning, going against my original plan. I am hoping contractions start on their own, nice and slow and manageable. If not, I'll have my husband, doula/midwife, and my favorite doctor there and we'll decide what to do.

I'm going to meet my babies very soon. I can't believe it.

37 week update and confusion

So, this post is actually a little old.. I wrote it to sort through my feelings when I was confused about what to do... You probably read the story of the First Doctor's recommendations.. and then the Second (Better) Doctor's Recommendations.

Then, on Tuesday, I went to see the MFM/perinatologist, who is the high-risk doc that I see because of my age, twin status, and high blood pressure history.

Here's the note I wrote to my doula/private midwife after THAT appointment. The next post will have our decision..

Ok, so you were up to date before I went to see Better Doctor (BD) on Monday. The
appointment went well, as I predicted. She is just so different from Other Doc. First she confirmed that Tuesday is her day at the hospital, so she would be there during my labor and delivery, which is great. She checked and said I was 2 centimeters dilated and 80 percent effaced. I
really don't know much about those numbers, but she thought it was good. based on that, she suggested we change my appointment at the hospital to Tuesday morning and that I come in and we just break my water first thing Tuesday morning. I had had an appointment scheduled for this monday and BD told me to cancel since I would be coming in at 7 am tuesday.

She didn't say that we would do pitocin at the same time, like OD did. She said that she would recommend waiting about 4 hours and see what happens. Maybe my body will start contractions on its own after the membranes rupture.

I liked hearing that. However, I am still concerned that being "on the clock" will stress me out a little, as I really don't want pitocin. The reason I don't want it, I think, is because I don't think that I will be able to handle the contractions with out epidural and I also have heard about
increased c-section rate and increased fetal distress with pitocin. And the other big reason is that I want the babies to decide when they are ready and labor at home and just have that birth experience.. you know?

She did support natural methods of induction, but I haven't done anything about that yet. Honestly, we haven't really been anxious for them to come yet, so I haven't been motivated to do those.. And, especially after the Tuesday appointment with MFM. So, here's the details of that appointment.

ok, then i went to see MFM, the next day. Babies are measuring 6 pounds 5 ounces (girl) and 5 pounds 11 ounces (boy) - so exciting ! Carlos and I placed bets on the way over, but we both bet low. (Good thing we are not setting too high expectations for our babies already!)

Then we started talking about the induction. MFM saw no reason to induce before 38 weeks. She advised that I share with BD that I want to wait until Friday. I told her that Tuesday is induction day because of doctor's on call schedule - she said, ok, then wait until the next tuesday.

She said, now, barring any other risks, i am fine with you going to 38 weeks, or 38 weeks 4 days. MFM does want to make sure i do NSTs weekly - and she mentioned NST A (maybe including checking water level?) and of course, I had already cancelled my monday appointment.. based on the Tuesday induction plan.

She made it clear that if i wanted to go to 39 - which i don't - that she would want to talk more about that. but that she supports
not inducing on tuesday. she advised that i talk to BD and tell her what i'm thinking. She said that she would write in her report to BD abt our conversation and share that its ultimately up to OB, but that she doesn't see a need for induction on tuesday, based on history of high blood pressure or twin delivery status.

i told sheppard about one of the reasons I want to keep them in as long as
possible was what my doula midwife told me about their growth and neurological development, and she very much agreed and supported that.

ok THEN.. i shared with her about the pitocin/epidural thing, and she said "i actually advise my twin moms to get an epidural" - and we had that conversation. She mentioned also about Baby B's potential for breech extraction (he's transverse right now, not sure which way he'll go) and that being extremely painful and she said that even with hypnobirthing and relaxation and all
that, i might not be able to relax my pelvis and the doctor will need that in order to get the boy out.

She also mentioned if a c-section is needed that it would be better of course, to have had the epidural already. (i knew that.) Otherwise, it's "Michael Jackson knock out."

She also said that other medication that they might have to give me for pain (i guess she means like stadol? or maybe narcotics) WOULD get to the baby, so that's not good.

ok, so know i'm confused. and i know I need to do whatever i am going to do today. if i want to change my tuesday appointment, I need to call the office today and talk about that.

or, i don't know.

and the epidural decision, i guess i don't have to make
that decision right this second, but I do want to talk with you about it and get your thoughts. MFM said, maybe don't get it right away, but wait until you are further along...

So, that's the note I wrote early Friday morning. I talked through all this and prayed about it and tried not to think about, and finally decided. And then I've questioned my decision a hundred times since then. The decision is in the next post.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Perspective from the other (better) Doctor

So Carlos and I went to the doc today for an appointment with the other doctor (the more experienced, more natural one)

I feel so much better about everything after talking with her.

She does agree that she doesn't want me to go past 38 weeks. The main reason being the risk of the placenta giving out, which happens in twins moms when they go to late, complicated by the fact that I have a *history* of high blood pressure. I was a little bothered by the fact that my history before I was pregnant affects this pregnancy, but I do understand the risk. I have never had high blood pressure since retrieval day in May of 2009. However, it's normal for women on labeatolol to deliver early, often 38 weeks for singletons and 36 for twins. ANd they are "letting me" go unitl 37 weeks 4 days.

She had a much better manner about presenting the options, and I really appreciated. First of all, she presented OPTIONS... not just here's what we are going to do.

She checked my cervix and i'm 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. She thinks breaking my water may be all that is needed in order for contractions to start on thier own. So she proposed if I don't go into labor naturally before then, that I'll come in Tuesday morning (rather than Monday afternoon), she'll break my water, and we'll just wait for contractions to start naturally. She offered that we may want to consider a low dose of pitocin if labor doesn't start naturally after several hours, but oferred that as a conversation we'll have if we need to. I love this woman.

Anyway, the non-stress test went well. I tell the babies they shoudl come this weekend, and they will never have to do a non stress test again. I know they don't appreciate it very much. (And frankly, it's kind of annoying for me, too.)

So, the one thing I found intersting is discussing delivery of the placenta. My doctor said that sometimes we need to give pitocin after delivery of the placenta in order to get the iterus to contract in order to have have mom hemorraging. This often hapens in twin moms because of the stress of the uterus from twin birth. I'm thinking contractions AFTER i've given birth to TWO BABIES?? I ask her, "How long do these contractions last?" I'm thinking she is going to give me a number between 1 and 30... and minutes... and she says..

You'll have contractions for about a month.

WHAT? Ok, my friends with babies... you didn't tell me about this! Tell me more, please. This is the first I've heard of that!

Anyway, thanks for reading the latest in the saga... I am so blessed and happy to still be pregnant. Everyone looks at me and says, you must be so ready.. Funny, I'm really not. Still have a to-do list and some work to finish up before they come! But of course, it will all be fine whenever they come!

Friday, April 16, 2010

36 week update - induction scheduled :(


Well, today marks 36 weeks... I am thrilled, and it's starting to get very real that these babies will be here soon!

At no time was it more real than when last Monday the doctor told me she wanted to schedule induction for Monday the 26th. It was not a happy conversation AT ALL. Background is that there are two doctors at my practice, there is the one I LOVE, and then there is this doctor that I saw last Monday that started this conversation.

I handled myself very well, but I was not happy at all with the conversation.

She walked through the process. I would come in at 9 pm the night before, she would use a cervical ripening agent (either cervidil, cytotec or a follie bulb) and then allow me to sleep and then I would wake up and get pitocin the next morning.

Side note - google cytotec if you want to know why I'm against that. Even the manufacturer of the drug says "do not use on pregnant women!"

This whole thing goes completely against my birth plan. My plan of laboring at home, not being hooked up to machines, trying different positions during labor.. etc.

I am completely comfortable with changes to my birth plan.. I just wasn't really prepared for a change to my birth plan 3 weeks in advance. when I am zero centimeters dilated with a long cervix and I haven't even had a single contraction -- not even Braxton Hicks!

So, I wasn't really prepared.

And I don't think the doc handled the whole thing very well.

For one thing, she told me that contractions induced by pitocin are no different than contractions which come on naturally. Which is like completely false. Like it's not even a statement of opinion. It's a fact that it's false. Oh by the way, this woman has NEVER been pregnant. So, she really doesn't know.

I talked to my doula (who is actually a midwife) and she was very very supportive. We will try to start labor naturally this coming week with acupuncture, sex, whatever, hypnotherapy, prayer, anything.

I completely realize that people have epidurals and that is their choice, and i completely respect that. And everything is completely fine with their births. It's just not my choice. I read and studied and learned and decided this is what i wanted to do.. barring any health problems. ANd the babies are not in any danger. My blood pressure is still perfect, the non stress test results are perfect. Everything is fine.

Ok, seriously I am so happy and blessed to be pregnant, to have made it to 36 weeks, to have this incredible opportunity. I do realize I sound like i may be complaining. I'm sort of just venting. I'm so thankful.

Whatever happens will happen and I will embrace it as the birth that I was supposed to have. And as long as the babies are okay, I'm thrilled.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, April 5, 2010

my Great Deal at Babies R Us

I promised to tell you about my deal at Babies R Us.

I haven't really written that much on here about my deal-finding obsession. It truly is an obsession. It's actually more like an affliction, really, if I were to be honest. We usually get "the best" stuff. But, I never, ever pay full price for anything. I always use coupons. I seek out ways to get a good deal, and I get a deal on EVERYTHING.

I'm not kidding, it borders on obnoxious quite frequently.

So, when I got an email for 20 percent off one nursery item at Babies R Us, and knew that we needed mattresses, I told Carlos that we had to go that day. It was a Wednesday and it was a one day only sale for Rewards R Us members.

He obliges me in my quest for deals quite frequently, and actually I've trained him quite well. He uses the credit cards with the best rewards, He always asks if we have gift cards for stores before he goes, and always remembers to give the loyalty number when he shops, even when the loyalty card is registered in my (former) last name and not his. For the sake of my deal-making happiness, he endures being called Mr. Gabby. No, you can't have him. He's mine.

So, I print two coupons, thinking we will each use one in a separate transaction. And trust me, they won't even try to say we can't use two coupons with the same Rewards number. I'll be ready.

So, we go there and after we find the mattresses we want and have them sent to the front of the store, we decide to look at car seats. I'm thinking at this point, "How am I going to get the multiples discount, if I have to do two different transactions?" My wheels are turning. But I digress..

My mom had already told us she wanted to buy us car seats, so I just wanted to make sure they would definitely be in stock. We planned to come the morning of the shower, (three days later) and she wanted to be able to take them to the shower. So, we go to the car seat section and start looking around. So, just to be clear, my deal-making attitude does not mean i always buy the cheapest, no, almost never. Carlos and I (and really, especially Carlos) like to have the best. So, yeah, we were getting the Chicco KeyKit 30. I just like to get it cheaper than everyone else.

So, we're looking at the car seats, and of course, since we are buying two, I ask about the multiples discount. All of a sudden, this salesclerk transforms herself into a version of me right before my very eyes, and we go sit down together to try to figure out how to get the BEST.DEAL.EVER on these carseats. This is also the point where Carlos dismisses himself to go to Williams-Sonoma, the other errand on our list. He can tell this isn't going to be quick. Yes, Williams-Sonoma. My husband is a gourmet cook. With no brothers.

I'll skip all the ensuing back and forth where I get so excited at the thought of stacking all these discounts, and just share what we did.

So, of course, we leave the mattresses there that night, and plan to buy them when we come back. What a rookie i was to think that a one-day coupon at BRU had any value whatsoever.

So, here's what we do.

We use ALL of the following discounts on every item:

1. 15 percent off registry completion discount off all transactions for an entire day. She says, i'll let you use your registry completion discount as long as your due date is within one month. We check. I had put May 14th, which is my official 40-week due date. She says immediately, ok, well just change this to APril 15th. Cool. You can always change it back. I am loving this woman.

2. Then we talk about the credit card. I'm opening one for sure. 15 percent off everything. All transactions for an entire day. At toys r us and babies r us.

3. Then I mention that I heard that you can use competitor coupons there. I confirm with her, and decide right then and there that I will never again go to BRU without a 20 percent off Bed Bath and Beyond coupon. Yes, those count.

4. Oh yeah, multiples discount. 10 percent off when you buy two of the same thing in gear, furniture, etc (basically big ticket items) I'm having twins and need two. But this discount on a big ticket item could make me find another mom that needs the same thing I need and go in together. (I told you it was an obsession.)

Ok, so anyway... my receipt... shoot, can't find it right now, but my total was like 370 something, and at the bottom is says, You saved 280 something. Score!

So, I decide right then and there that we are getting everything left on our registry in another shopping trip, when I apply for a credit card for Carlos and have a coupon for each item again.

Seriously, this is my passion. If you have any questions about how to get stuff cheaper - anything, doesn't have to be baby stuff (really I'm pretty new at the baby stuff - let me know.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

decision - cord blood banking

Ok, if you decided to do cord blood banking, you might want to skip this update.

I am so excited that we have finally made the decision not to do it.

Carlos had been in charge of cord blood banking and figuring out which company to go with. he did all the research, but when it was time to make a decision, I suggested negotiating and trying to get a deal with whatever company we decided on. Carlos of course, reminded me that negotiating and deal-making was my territory, not his. It's one of those things that he loves and appreciates about me, but really doesn't want to watch. (I've got to post an update about our recent trip to Babies R Us.)

So, anyway, got all the information.. And was about to make the calls when I had posted a random update to my "pregnancy-after-infertility" support group, just listing the list of things we'd left to do.

One of the women responded basically by saying: My opinion: Don't waste your money.

She posted a link to the American Academy of Pediatrics statement. I'll paste it here, too, at the bottom.

Honestly, we would do anything for our babies, but I admit that i was looking for a reason NOT to spend the money. It's A LOT of money, especially with twins. So, done, got my answer, and i just feel better about not having that as one more thing to do.

And Carlos says we can use the money for some help once the babies get here. I'm thinking post partum doula or night nanny at least a night or two a week for a few weeks. I think that would help A LOT.

So, if you are also looking for a reason not to do it, hope that helped. Of course, there are lots of reasons to do it, this is just our decision. And lots of people I very much respect are doing it - including my OB and many friends.

Below is text from the statement.
Cord blood stem cell banks can provide an invaluable service to those
afflicted with leukemia and immune disorders. The American Academy of
Pediatrics (AAP) encourages families to donate their newborn’s cord
blood, which is normally discarded at birth, to cord blood banks (if
accessible in their area) for use by other individuals in need.
Storing cord blood at private banks for later personal or family use
as a general “insurance policy” is discouraged.

According to the revised AAP policy statement, “Cord Blood Banking for
Potential Future Transplantation,” the chances of a child needing his
or her own cord blood stem cells in the future are estimated to range
from one in 1,000 to one in 200,000. Private cord blood banks target
parents at an emotionally vulnerable time when the reality is most
conditions that might be helped by cord blood stem cells already exist
in the infant’s cord blood. However, the AAP does recommend private
cord blood banking for parents who have an older child with a
condition that could potentially benefit from transplantation, such as
a genetic immunodeficiency.