Sunday, May 24, 2009

And Then There Were Four

I've always had this (potentially very annoying) habit of complaining about things that in reality make me very happy. For example, I was feeling pretty run down by the end of my pregnancy - like REALLY run down. My doctor was all "stop working - you have the diagnosis for it - I will give you whatever paperwork you need. So just stop". I was all "No! I must work until the last minute - how wussy and horrible of me to stop early." Eventually I "gave in". Of course deep down I was so happy to stop working - to have some time to just chill before we became a family of four. I made lists of things I would get done while Lily was in day care and started thinking up activities for Lily and I to do together in our last remaining days of "just the two of us."

On Thursday May 7th I wrapped up things at the office. Gave my final flight readiness review presentation, got the HR paperwork in order, said my goodbyes and turned in my badge. I didn't even cry when I got home this time. That evening we celebrated a friend's birthday and I bemoaned the fact that I couldn't eat the Carvel ice cream cake. Friday morning I woke up ready to celebrate my first day of freedom from work. I made my way to the bathroom and seconds before sitting down - SPLASH. Huh - I thought - that was pretty weird. Have I become totally incontinent now? Then I sort of woke up and realized that it was more likely that my water had just broken. At this point, however, I was still hoping for the "really forceful pee" explanation. I called Gordon in and my mind started racing. I had no bag packed, there wasn't a newborn diaper in the house, I WAS NOT READY!

I slowly pulled myself together and got in the shower. When I went into labor with Lily I didn't eat breakfast or take a shower before going to the hospital. I was not going to make that mistake twice. I even tested my fasting blood sugar and ate my usual GD-safe breakfast (I'm such a nerd). We called Mimi, Lily's day care provider, and confirmed that she could spend the day there with her. I called my doctor - I considered not bothering since I had an appointment at 10AM anyway - ha ha. And finally called my upstairs neighbor and my Mom to make sure that Lily had a ride home from day care and that someone would be waiting here for her. Oh and I threw some stuff in bag. Taking care to be sure that I had clothes for myself to wear home, so I wouldn't have to beg for hospital scrubs like last time! I also put about 6 outfits in there for baby - you know, in case I was actually carrying sextuplets or something.

The whole "water breaking" experience was pretty new to me. I had a little puncture with Lily that leaked a bit, but NOTHING that compared. I naively thought the first SPLASH would be the end of it. Umm.. no. You just sort of keep SPLASHing every time the baby moves or something. So I sort of hobbled around the apartment getting ready, yelping each time more water appeared. We finally got in the car and drove Lily to Mimi's. Oh I should mention that I wasn't yet contracting at all - at least not in any real way that I could feel.

Dropping Lily off at Mimi's was hard. I cried when I got back in the car. I felt sort of cheated of any chance to savor those last moments of life as we knew it - before everything changed again. Not that I wasn't excited about the upcoming change.. but still... We had a good thing going in our little family of three and heading to the hospital, leaking more and more with each bump, I couldn't help but feel a little sadness and apprehension.

By the time we got to the hospital my pants were soaked through and I was thoroughly mortified. I hurried in and grudgingly sat through the registration process in a wheelchair. Then I insisted on walking up to labor & delivery instead of being pushed in said wheelchair. At this point I had pretty much given up all hope of being sent back home - there was no way that my water was not broken. However, I was a bit concerned that I wasn't really feeling contractions. Visions of pitocin and C-sections began dancing in my head.

My doctor (whom I love so much I think about having more babies just so I can hang out with her for another 9 months) wasn't in yet that morning so I was seen by another OB. She suggested that we get started on pitocin, but I was reluctant. To be honest I was somewhat frightened of induction due to some other labor stories I'd heard. I also didn't want to sit around all day just to end up needing to be induced in the evening and then be up all night in labor. So with the support of the L&D nurse (who rocked) we decided to just wait it out a bit until Dr. Bayer arrived.

So for the next couple of hours Gordon and I kind of hung out. I was contracting a bit, but still nothing regular. We watched some anime and chatted with our L&D nurse. At some point I was examined and found out I was 50% effaced and only 2 centimeters dilated. I figured we had a while to go. Dr. Bayer arrived sometime between noon and 1PM. She recommended induction with an oral medication called "meso". I had never heard of it, but decided to trust her instincts and go ahead with it. I took the pills and sat back to await the results.

Soon after the room was filled with people. Apparently I had a number of strong contractions back to back and the baby had a little deceleration. Now, reading about meso a bit online, I wonder if I was experiencing uterine hyper-stimulation. Thankfully everything stabilized quickly - both my contractions and the baby's heart rate. So it was back to business as usual. The contractions started coming regularly and gaining in strength. By about 2:15 I was at the pain threshold that prompted me to get the epidural with Lily. I was hesitant to do it - I'm always afraid of the actual "epidural insertion" process - but decided to go ahead and ask for it when an exam revealed that I was only 4 centimeters. I thought I had a while to go still.

So anesthesia came in and I wussily sat through the epidural procedure. In the middle of that my neurologist stopped by and wanted to do a quick muscle exam. It's really fun trying to follow directions like "squeeze my hand" and "follow my finger with your eyes" while contracting and getting a large needle shoved in your back at the same time. The epidural was in by 2:45. I got some relief with it, but not as much as with Lily. It seemed that my left side went completely numb, but my right was still feeling things. So the contractions were dulled somewhat, but not entirely.

At this point, things really sped up and I frankly am not sure what happened when. I know that sometime after the epidural was administered I was examined again and was suddenly 7 centimeters. By 3:20ish I was fully dilated and Dr. Bayer was calmly sitting by me telling me the baby would be here "any minute now". It really happened very fast. With Lily the room was full of people - residents, NICU, etc. This time around it was just me, Gordon, Dr. Bayer and our L&D nurse. The whole atmosphere was pretty chill. She told me to let her know when I felt like pushing and within a few minutes I was ready to do just that.

Four pushes and about 8 minutes later, Quinn was born. Just like that. Dr. Bayer says it was only three pushes - that I "wasn't really trying" on the first one. I pushed for an hour with Lily - so wow, what a difference. The only one that hurt was the last one. Quinn emerged with two loops of umbilical cord around his neck. That really freaked me out, but he was totally fine. We had chosen not to find out the gender, so when he arrived and started crying I immediately asked "is she okay?". Turns out "she" was perfectly fine and of course is actually a he.

And that's it. Six hours after arriving at the hospital a sopping mess, but not contracting, I was holding my baby boy. It all happened so fast - and so much earlier than I expected! But nothing is quite like the first time you get to hold your baby. All that waiting and wondering and then suddenly there he is - perfect little fingers and toes, munchable cheeks, adorable little hungry cry. Although you may have wondered while pregnant how you could possibly find more room in your heart to love another child as much as you love your first, you feel your heart swelling so you can do just that. And now - there are four - and it feels just perfect.

I know, this picture is only three of us - but Lily wasn't there yet :(


(If you're still reading - ummm thanks and I'm sorry!) So that's it - Quinn's birth story. Just a few more bits to relate. I had a little tear and needed a few stitches - I really hate that part. But it was minor and no big deal. Although Dr. Bayer remarked that she remembered having to "chase me up the bed" last time too. Earlier that day there had been a big sheet cake to celebrate the birthday of one of the doctor's. My L&D nurse snagged a piece and saved it for me. Let me tell you that was a really really yummy piece of mediocre cake! Gordon went home at some point to fetch Grammy and Lily and we did have the whole family together that evening. Lily was proudly sporting her new "I'm a Big Sister" T-shirt. Also.. ummm I need a new name for this blog for real now... help?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Drum Roll Please!

OK OK so I had about 3-4 posts neatly lined up in my head all planned for those wonderful days that I would be off work waiting for Baby Koi to arrive and Lily was off at Mimi's house preserving her day care schedule. These posts were just one item among a whole list of "stuff to do with my new found free time before we have two children". Well I had my last day of work on Thursday, May 7th and woke up Friday May 8th ready to go and....


Baby Koi decided he had his OWN list and opinions on what was going to get done when. And yup, we can drop the s/he business now, cuz it turns out Baby Koi is a BOY!. So without further ado:

We are all very excited to announce the birth of our new baby boy:

Quinton Daniel Man-Hong Wong
And since that's kind of a mouthful, you can call him Quinn :)

Quinn arrived 2 weeks early (the day after Becky's last day of work!) on Friday May 8th at 3:36PM at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton. He was 6 lbs 8 oz and 19 1/2 inches long - just slightly smaller than his sister. For those interested, his birth story will be available here, eventually - well as soon as we figure out how to pay attention to a toddler and meet the needs of a newborn at the same time.

In the meantime - we've put some more pictures here:

Quinn's name has all sorts of connections/meaning behind it. Quinton was picked out by Lily - when given 3 choices she picked Quinton every time. It is also the middle name of Becky's paternal Grandfather. Quinn is also named after Becky's maternal grandfather, Daniel. Man-Hong was chosen by Gordon's parents and is Quinn's Chinese name. He shares the "Man" syllable with Lily and their two cousins. "Hong" means prosperous and reflects the hopes/blessings of his paternal grandparents for him to have a life rich in love and happiness.

Becky and Quinn are both doing well. Lily is trying to figure out what's going on and Gordon is home for a couple of weeks to help us keep it all together!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Full Term

Well folks today is 37 weeks - that means that Baby Koi is officially full term and is hereby invited to vacate the premises ANYTIME. I'm pretty much done at this point - and here's how I know:

  • my feet are so swollen that walking has become difficult. I sort of hop/limp my way up and down the hallway at work to get to/from the bathroom.
  • when Lily runs to me saying "Mommy I have to poop!" and then commences to do just that quite easily on the potty I no longer feel pride that she is totally potty trained (in this area). Instead the emotion I experience is a deep, deep envy.
  • I can no longer stand the sight of peanut-butter crackers, cheese, and cashews. Just the thought of ice cream or cake or anything yummy sends me over the edge
  • I am quickly running out of clothes to wear. All of my warm-weather maternity stuff was worn during the 2nd trimester with Lily. Most of it is not so much working out now.
  • I am down to one pair of shoes
  • I can barely remember my own name lately. I have locked myself out more than once in the past 2 weeks, left my wallet in the car while grocery shopping and gone to the doctors with a sweater on inside out.

It's been awhile since I gave a pregnancy update here - five weeks I think - and a lot has happened. There was a period of time there during which I was a little down on the whole pregnancy/health thing - so I just refrained from writing/talking about it. But I don't want to let this stuff go undocumented, and I'm feeling better lately - so here goes.

The first update is on the gestational diabetes. I went through some frustrating periods with that - when it seemed like no matter what I ate I'd still have sugar numbers slightly above what they wanted me to have. Finally things settled down and I was able to control it well on diet alone. Then around 35-36 weeks my fasting numbers started creeping up and there was little I could do about that. So as of this past Monday I am now injecting myself once/day with insulin. I had to skip the blood sugar medication and go straight to injections because of a sulfa allergy. But honestly, I don't mind the injections all that much. I mean I'd rather NOT be doing it - but it's a really small amount (only 4 units) and only once/day (so far). Being the crazy perfectionist that I am I would get all upset when my numbers were high, so I'm happier waking up to a nice fasting number in the 80's now.

The good news on the GD front is that Baby Koi seems to be doing just fine. We had an growth ultrasound around 32 weeks and s/he was 40th percentile - so no worries. We just had another ultrasound this past week and are still on the same curve - yay. So my slightly elevated sugar hasn't yet resulted in a "big baby". It helps having that feedback to make me feel like all the effort controlling this stuff has been worth it. At the recent ultrasound they guesstimated that Baby Koi is at 5 lbs 13oz, putting him/her on a similar size track as Lily. The OB won't let me stay pregnant too much longer because of the GD, so we are targeting an induction on May 22nd (less than 3 weeks now!) if nothing happens unassisted before then. So everyone send me good labor vibes.

The fly in the ointment in the past month was a strange pain I suddenly had below my belly, but above my thigh, just after my return from Houston in late March. It started right after the GD was diagnosed (totally coincidence). The first week it hurt so much I could hardly walk. Oh and there was a little lump under my skin there too. My doctor was away on vacation at the time so another OB looked at it. At first I was told it was an ingrown hair. Then, the following week, she looked again and told me "oh, I don't know WHAT that is". Hmmmm helpful. By that time it wasn't nearly as painful and only hurt when touched or when Baby Koi moved around in that area. My doctor finally returned the next week and after checking it out told me I had a femoral hernia. Don't google it - it's not fun.

I, of course, came home immediately and googled like a fiend. Then got really freaked out. My OB also said I'd need surgery to repair the hernia after the baby was born. At this point I had very little information, so my mind took over and filled in all the blanks - darkly. I was immediately convinced that I would need a C-section now for sure, that I would be back in the hospital right after birth getting more surgery AND that I would do something horrible to the hernia before baby came and would require emergency hernia surgery that would lead to an early birth.

Of course - none of that happened. If fact, the "hernia" hardly hurts at all now. I went to see the surgeon last Friday and she and her term checked it out and told me: "huh, that's not really in the right spot to be a hernia". They used terms like "cyst", "hematoma" and other medical-sounding things that I can't remember, but no one in the room seemed too concerned about. In the end I was told that they had a "very low suspicion of hernia". I went home, my mood much improved, promising to return a few weeks about Baby Koi's arrival to have an MRI. Secretly, my hopes are pinned on "weird pregnancy thing #5,416 that will just disappear when no longer pregnant". So yet another reason for Baby Koi to hurry up out.

So, here I am, still pregnant, but pretty ready to meet Baby Koi. We even managed to get a bunch of our baby stuff back last night AND I went to a used clothing sale and stocked up on some summer-appropriate onesies! Look at me go!