Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Life Lately

Sitting here getting ready to go to work, and can't believe that Baylor, soundly sleeping in his crib (tucked in a ball on his tummy, the only way he likes to sleep now) is already SEVEN months old!  He's an amazing little dude and I'm so thankful for our little family of three.

His latest milestones...
  • Sitting very solidly all on his own!
  • He rolls himself onto his tummy a lot (thus the sleeping position), but during playtime he gets frustrated with not being able to get very far.  Through reaching really  hard and shifting himself around a little, he can usually grab a toy that's just out of reach, but definitely hasn't figured out the crawling business yet!  Though it's hard to see him get so frustrated, I know several parents have told us to enjoy this time where he "stays where we put him" ;) 
  • He's eating all sorts of baby foods...green beans, squash, carrots, apples, bananas, peaches, pears, oatmeal cereal!  We have yet to find something that he seems to have a distaste for - Baylor Kent loves to eat!  (And along with that, he loves to make a mess!)
  • Bath time is becoming fun!  He now sits up on the reclining infant seat we've had for the tub.  I guess he could just sit in the bath without it, but Mommy still uses it "just in case".  He loves to play with his bath turtles, and seems fascinated when I glide them across the water to him!  He also kicks sometimes and pats his hands down on the water, learning to splash!
  • He's pretty social with other babies at daycare (and at church he likes to grab for his buddy Cade when he's around!) When  he was the littlest one in the infant room, other babies came by and tried to steal his pacifier (but apparently he tried hard to keep it in his mouth!)  Now, I've gotten a couple of reports that he's stolen pacifiers from the littler ones (like his buddy Felix, my coworker Aaron's son!)  So I guess it comes full circle...
  • He's doing pretty well with independent play (especially if he's sitting up - once he gets on his belly he usually starts crying for help pretty quickly).  But he also loves to be held and walked around by Mommy and especially Daddy!  (Rides on Daddy's shoulders are the best!)
  • A little bit of babbling, a lot of just "Ahhhh"s.  I have heard him say dadadada or tatatata.  And I swear he says something that sounds like "Heey" whenever he sees someone for the first time in a while, but of course, he's just 7 months old ;)
  • He sleeps wonderfully through the night (although, we did just have a screaming fit around midnight, but that's going to happen with babies!)  Usually 11 or 12 hours at night, so his naps during the day are pretty short.  
  • His smiles and baby laughs are the best!  Mommy and Daddy like to act crazy to get those laughs...he's also becoming ticklish!
  • He's putting on some pounds...at his checkups he was always in the single-digit percentiles for his weight, but at his 6-month checkup he was up to 39%!  No longer our little "chicken legs" baby :)
  • No teeth yet!  Plenty of drool, but that's been for awhile.  I'm sure that first tooth's arrival will take us completely by surprise!
I know I haven't posted many pictures on here (maybe just from when he was born?), but of course there are hundreds...so I thought I'd post some favorites from each month!

Month One

 When he lost his cord!

 Getting ready for first family outing - a 4th of July party!

  Back when his smiles were probably just toots ;)

Month Two

 Month Three

Month Four

 Meeting a baby bunny, ahhhh so cute.

 One of his first times to hold his own bottle!

Month Five

 He was a bear for Halloween!  (of course!)

 Loooves to make a mess with his solids :)

Month Six
 First hotel room experience, he got a kick out of the mirror!

 Meeting sweet cousin Nora!

 Strike a pose

 We had Christmas at home this year instead of going to Texas...while we missed everyone very much, it was nice to be staying in one place at Christmas time!  Baylor love the wrapping paper the most :)

 Stocking time

Christmas aftermath!

 Month Seven

So much fun to see how he's grown!  

Other tidbits...

My first class
Yesterday I started teaching my first class at work!  The team of (three) statisticians offers up classes such as introductory statistics, design of experiments, intro to JMP software, etc. for the engineers and scientists to gain more statistical knowledge.  The class I'm teaching is Statistical Methods for Reliability (analyzing time-to-event data).  I've taught with Dan before, but this is the first course I'm developing and teaching by myself.  The last time they taught Reliability was around 2007, so it's a bit overdue!  And it shows...I had a full enrollment, and even had to open up the capacity a few times to get in everyone on the waitlist.  Pretty exciting!  I was nervous leading up to it yesterday but I think it went pretty well.  We did a little in-class experiment where we created our own "time-to-event" data by drawing M&Ms from a bag and recording the amount of time until a yellow was drawn.  Kind of a contrived experiment, but I wanted to win them over with food ;)  We'll have five more weeks of the class.  I'm developing the slides as we go, so I'm feeling the pressure a little bit since I also have plenty of other regular statistical consulting work to do!  But it should turn out well.

We're gaining two sisters!

 Toward the end of 2014, my brother Dave, and Brad's brother Jared both got engaged!  Dave and Addie will be married at the beginning of April, and Jared and Kay-Lee will be married in October.  So exciting!  And I couldn't ask for better sisters-in-law.  

I just booked a ticket for Baylor and me, to get down to Texas for Wedding #1.  It will be Baylor's first flight!  I ended up not getting him his own seat, we'll see if I regret that decision...the first leg is just an hour long flight to Jersey, then a 4 hour trip to Austin...whew.  And it will just be me and Baylor, since we don't know Daddy's availability yet - he may have to come just for the wedding weekend.  Because......

Brad got a job!

 He'll be working for the Office of the State Comptroller, and he starts on Thursday!  So so proud of him, and this is definitely answered prayer.  He's been on the job hunt for so long, and this sounds like a great opportunity.  It's 75% travel, as he'll be going around to various towns in upstate NY, in an examiner position where he makes sure they're using their resources efficiently.  So that will mean some adjustments for our family.  He'll be staying overnight sometimes, leaving Mommy and Baylor to do the full nighttime routine!  And that means I'll be doing daycare drop-off and pick-up sometimes, so I had to switch back from the 9/80 schedule to the standard work schedule in order to be able to get back to daycare in time (just can't do it with a 9-hour workday!)  I'm sad to lose all those Fridays off, but last week I started on this schedule and it is nice to be done after 8 hours!  And worth it, for Brad to not have to be fretting over finding a job, and doing something he likes.

It's taken me about a week to get this blog post published (I've been working at it in the early hours while I pump before work!) but I'm finally done, woohoo!  Would like to publish more often with lots of great Baylor updates, but we'll see what I actually have time for ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

4.5 Months!

Started this post, well, about 2 months ago, then baby probably woke up...I'm just going to post it as-is, then on with the new!

Quick update...again during baby's naptime :)

Man, the time has flown by.  Even at this point, I'll look back at his newborn photos and think how much he's grown!  Baylor is a happy, sweet little 4.5-month old.  He's been at daycare for a couple months now, and seems to have fallen into a good routine there.  Sometimes he doesn't nap as much due to every baby being on a different schedule (and it can be hard to sleep when a fellow baby is wailing!).  But in general, he seems to do well, Miss Jaimee usually reports that he's smiley and gets held a lot, and we're very happy with our choice!

At his 4-month checkup, he was 13 lbs 1 oz and 25.5" long!  He's in a low percentile for weight but around 75th percentile for height.  Tall lanky boy :)  But we are seeing some little leg rolls still, which is always fun.

He's had a lot of developments already, of course, but lately...he loves to be walked around, and he keeps one hand on Mommy/Daddy and the other stretched out to see what he can reach for.  If he does grasp something, it almost always comes to the mouth for investigation :)  He's not a huge fan of tummy time but is getting better.  No rolling yet, although now that we're sleeping him in the crib sometimes (!) he'll roll from his back to his side while he's being wiggly (and resisting sleep!)

Two weeks ago we started him on rice cereal, as the doctor suggested sometime between 4-6 months and he seemed ready.  (At daycare, Miss Jaimee reported that he saw Carina eating her carrots and seemed super jealous!)  It's typical for the baby to start off with a reflex of pushing the food out with their tongue, but he took to it very quickly.  Now, it's like we can't feed him fast enough!  Whether I nurse him fully beforehand or leave him a little hungry, he always gets super excited when he's eating - a few cautious bites, then he'll start impatiently kicking his legs, even screaming, as I move the spoon away to scoop up the next bite.  I think this boy will definitely enjoy his foods!

He sleeps very well...since about 2 months I think, he's been going 6-8 hours at night.  We've had him in the Rock 'n' Play by our bed but recently started transitioning to the crib in his own room.  Sometimes his arms and legs go wild when he doesn't have the RNP to 'snuggle' him, but sometimes he's pretty chill and falls asleep nicely.

We've gotten great baby smiles for awhile now, and just recently some baby laughs!  It's always something new and different that Mommy or Daddy do to generate that sweet noise, so we get lots of practice acting totally silly.  He LOVES riding on Daddy's shoulders, and while it terrifies me, I have to just not think about it too much and appreciate that he's having so much fun ;)

Now that the weather's getting colder, I'm starting to worry about keeping him warm enough...I've definitely had those winter days when even fully bundled, I still get so cold just being out clearing off the car.  So I worry - will we be bundling baby enough?  It is nice to have remote start, I'm sure that will come in handy.  Just yesterday I had the first morning routine of being frozen out of my car...it seems like way too soon for that!  I'm basically in denial and have been wearing fleeces when it's really coat weather...it's like when I bust out the heavy coat, it's admitting that winter weather really is here.

Baylor has had lots of adventures already, from meeting all of his grandparents, and other family and friends, to going out to parties/game nights with us...we went to a Harvest Festival when Dad and Lucy were in town, and he had lots of fun looking (but no touching!) at all the animals in the petting zoo.  The piggy was his favorite.  The not-so-fun adventure was when he got a really high fever.  He was around 2.5 months...Mema and Poohbah happened to be in town, and they had left for the night and we were watching the Baylor game.  Baylor had been out of sorts meeting them - fussier than usual, not really able to settle down.  He was finally napping in the RNP in the living room with us, but still seemed unhappy.  I noticed he looked a little flushed - felt him, and he was burning up.  Used our forehead scan thermometer to read 103.5.  Eek!  Called the pediatrician right away.  Since it was after hours, we had to wait for the doctor on call to call back.  He chewed me out for not having a rectal thermometer (okay, sorry, but dude, tell me what to do with my sick child!) and had us go to the ER.

We got to the ER around 10:30 pm...didn't leave until 6:00 am.  What a horrendous night.  They first talked about doing chest xrays in case of pneumonia, etc., a urine test, and blood test.  They did the urine pretty quickly, ruled out UTI.  But drawing the blood...was such an ordeal.  The first nurse tried a hand and a foot, and couldn't get it (meanwhile of course he's upset about being poked).  We had to wait an hour for the other nurse to come try...she did the other hand and foot, and finally got something.  They told us it'd be an hour to run it at the lab to see if his white blood cell counts were good.  An hour later, the second nurse is coming in with the kit...starting to get ready to draw his blood again.  Then she says "Oh, did you hear?  His sample clotted at the lab, we need to get another one."  At this point, I was exhausted, had been nursing him on and off all night and holding him when not nursing just to comfort him, it broke my heart to see him hurting, so I excused myself for this round.  I went in the attached bathroom and just cried...Brad stepped up and held him for that blood draw.

While we waited on this sample, the nurse came and informed us that this part of the ER (I guess the children's part?) closed down at this time, so we needed to move him to a new room.  We walked him down several hallways, past sick adults on cots all over, to a new place.  Of course, the new nurse assigned to him had to get a fresh batch of vitals...meaning a rectal thermometer, just as he was starting to get some sleep.

Finally, finally, the blood sample came back and we were cleared to go.  He still had a fever, but with Tylenol it went down later that day.  We were all exhausted.  Mema and Poohbah met us at the doctor for the follow-up that day, it was really nice to have them there for support!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Baby Boy is Here!

Well, now that we're in September...obviously Baylor Kent has arrived, and he is just the most awesome little guy we could ask for.  He's kept us pretty busy, so that didn't really allow for blogging time :)  Even now, he's starting to stir at the end of a nap, so I'll probably be adding to this post as time allows...

First, let's go back to where I left off!  The ladies at church threw the FOURTH and final baby shower, a week or two after our Lake Placid trip.  Lots of women came and showered us with so much love!  The decorations and cake were super cute, too. 

Awesome diaper cake!

When all was said and done, it was time to wash the plethora of baby clothes (including the ones Hayley gave me from Aevry, going up through 2 years).  

I think it's safe to say that he should never have to go naked.

Last big event before baby's arrival...Brad graduated!  He completed his coursework for the MBA in Accounting back in November, so he wasn't really jazzed about walking in the June ceremony (the only one they do, since it's a small program overall).  But I made him do it, so that I could take pictures for his family :)

 He walked right past me during the processional!  Quite different from a Baylor ceremony.


Family photo.  Wow, it's already weird to look back at my pregnant belly!

Soon after that (the next week?  Who knows, everything pre-baby is kind of a blur), it was time for me to go on maternity leave.  On my last day at work, Sue baked for me (and another guy, who was leaving for Idaho for a summer program) and we had a little celebration.  When I left, I had to turn in my badge, and it felt really weird!  Walking away from my desk I felt like surely I was forgetting something...once I had turned in my badge and was driving away, I realized -- I hadn't left any out-of-office messages.  And turning in the badge was kind of a permanent thing, till coming back from leave.  Oh well.  Everyone figured it out eventually, haha.

The funniest thing that happened on that last day was as I was driving in, though.  I'd been using Brad's truck, since he takes my car on his hour-long commute to work (for the better gas mileage).  So it was already comical enough clamoring in and out of this big F-150 at 38 weeks pregnant, but when I drove to work on that last day I happened to be chosen for random vehicle inspection.  The guy walked up to the window, and said "I'll have to ask you to step out" -- he looked inside, saw me in my "state", and said "Never mind, you can stay right there."  But they have to get into every door, so he came around to the passenger side...which was locked, and Brad's truck doesn't have power locks.  I ended up having to stretch all the way across the cab, with my uncomfortable pregnant self, to open the door from the inside.  Would have been easier to get out after all!  It was really funny that I just happened to get chosen on my very last day before leave.

That weekend, it didn't yet feel like leave since it was just the weekend...then I had Monday, when I started to get things sorted out around our disaster of an apartment.  The rest of the week was to be spent organizing, getting ready, FINALLY packing my hospital bag ;)  but Baylor had other plans!  I went into labor the next day, Tuesday, at 39 weeks.  Perfectly normal, I just was really hoping to have that last week of preparation.  Of course, we're never really fully prepared for a baby!  I've typed out my birth story already (wanted to get it all down to remember the details!) so I'll just paste it here :)  Edited down a bit from the 6-page Word document (wowza!), so if you'd rather skip the details and just see some cute baby pics, scroll to the bottom!

I woke up on Tuesday, June 24 with a couple of back aches.  I was 39 weeks.  I noticed very light spotting too.  After Brad went to work, I had another back ache at some point.  I called the nurse’s line at my doctor’s office and left a message, mostly about the spotting since I had not spotted at all during my pregnancy.  I was texting my mom about the symptoms, and she said I needed to call back right away and insist that they fit me in for an appointment!  My response: “But I was going to make banana bread!”  I had thawed some over-ripe bananas and they were currently looking gross in a bowl in the fridge – I really wanted to get that bread made!  She said “Well go and get checked out, and if you’re fine then you can go home and make your bread.”  She also suggested that I bring my hospital bag, in case they would be sending me directly to the hospital after they checked me out.  I thought surely it’s not time yet, but I pulled my hospital bag together.  It was good that I had this motivation, since the hospital bag was just a few piles around the apartment at that point, and it had been hanging over my head for weeks to actually pack the thing!  

I was able to get an appointment for 10:30, after talking to the nurse who said “you’re probably fine, but if you want to come in for peace of mind we can check you out.”  I loaded the bag into Brad’s truck (he had been using my car for the long commute to work) and drove to the doctor’s office.  My appointment was with a doctor who was new to the practice, so we hadn’t met before.  I noted that I hadn’t been checked at my previous appointments – 37 and 38 weeks, which is typically when doctors like to start checking.  Dr. Daniel had been very “chill” about it, saying “we can check you if you want, but it’s not like we’ll send you to the hospital at 3 cm if you’re not having any pains, so if you’d rather not then that’s fine – it can be uncomfortable”.  So I had declined!  This doctor did the check (which didn’t turn out to be too bad) and said I was 2 cm dilated, 60% effaced.  His head was also far down.  She said I could end up hanging out at that stage for another week (this had happened to my friend Caitlin), or, the baby could be coming today!  I was holding out hope that he’d stick around longer – especially because my mom had booked her flight to come in that Saturday.  The doctor’s hunch was that it would be today or tomorrow – but again, who knows!  She said to head back home, and call if my water broke or if I was having contractions 5 minutes apart.  

So I went back home, and I made that darn banana bread!  And, I worked on organizing a few things around the apartment – since it was my plan for this nice long week of leave, before baby came, to finally get the apartment looking livable.  Sometimes I would notice a contraction, so I started writing down times.  They were all over the place – nothing consistent, usually at least 20 minutes apart.
After 3:00 or so, I noticed my times were getting more regular, and the contractions were getting more ‘noticeable’, so at 4:00 I started using the contraction timer on my phone.  (There’s an app for everything!)  This had the contractions at 9 minutes apart.  At the end of each one, I could rate the pain level.  I rated most of them as “very mild” or “mild”, because I just kept thinking “I know it has to get a lot worse than this!”  

Brad came home around 5:00, and my contractions were still 9 minutes.  Some of them were making their way up to “moderate” pain!  I found that walking around the apartment and using a focal point were the best ways for me to handle them.  Many of them were in my back. 

Brad had a church softball league playoff game that night, starting at 6:15 so he would have to leave soon for it.  I knew that even though my contractions were regular, it could still be a long time before baby, but eventually I said “I think you should call Bob” (who was in charge of getting the team together).  He called Bob and said “my wife is having contractions”.  Bob said “so does that mean she’s asking you to stay home?”  I didn’t want to be the mean wife, but I said “…Kind of?”  So Brad ended up missing the game.  I had also told him, “As I’m checking in with my mom and your mom, if you’re at the game and I tell them that’s where you are, you’ll have to answer to them!”

Time went on, there was more bleeding but my contractions were still 9 minutes apart.  I didn’t want to call the doctor too early, and I didn’t have 5 minute contractions or my water breaking, so I was sticking it out!  Still walking around, sometimes using some yoga poses I had learned in my prenatal yoga class.  Brad pulled together his clothes and toiletries for his part of the hospital bag.  He picked us up Taco Bell for dinner and I put in You’ve Got Mail for our mealtime movie.  My friend Marybeth and I love this movie, especially to watch when either of us is not feeling well.  It’s the ultimate comfort movie.  I even texted her about it…contractions count for “not feeling well”!  At around 9 or so I realized Brad could have gone and played his softball game and come back, so I felt bad!  But it was good to have him there with me.  

My aunt Kim had worked out with my mom that she would drive up to be with me whenever I was going into labor, if in fact the baby did come before my mom got into town.  Kim is in Baltimore so it was a 6 hour drive.  Around 9:00 I texted her my situation and said “not sure if you want to hit the road now, don’t know how long it could hang out at 9 mins?”  She called and determined that she should go ahead and drive up.  Around 9:30 my cousin Hayley texted to check in on me, she knew Kim was coming and asked if I was on the way to the hospital.  I told her I was waiting since there were still 9 minutes apart, but I mentioned the blood and she said “I would call them – just tell them what is going on and they can let you know what to do.”

So I called the doctor, got the answering service and was told the doctor would call soon.  Dr. Daniel called – I was glad she was the one on call, since she had been the doctor I’d seen all along!  I mentioned the blood, then talked about the contractions being 9 minutes apart.  She said “Well you could go ahead to the hospital and get checked if you want, worst case you’re still 2 cm and they’ll send you home…” I said “So the blood is okay?”  and she said “It was just a couple of spots, right?”  I said “No, [I'll spare the details].”  She paused, then said “Yeah, it’d probably be a good idea to go to the hospital.”

So, it was time to step into action!  We grabbed the last few things we wanted from around the apartment, and brought the bag and the carseat down.  We had installed the carseat base the week before but the seat was hanging out in the apartment…once Brad snapped it in place, we realized we needed to pull the front seat forward a lot, and I wasn’t going to fit in it with my pregnant belly and contractions!  So I sat in back behind Brad (on a trashbag and towel in case my water broke along the way – pro tip!) and off we went.  I had a few contractions on the way, which were harder to handle because I had to be seated and not moving around as much.

Brad pulled me up to the front, then went to park.  I checked in with the front desk, then by the time he came in we were ready to go to the labor and delivery floor.  Checked in there, and Mary the nurse came to bring me to triage.  It was a fairly small room, with curtain dividers so that three beds were set up in there.  I know there was a girl in at least one of them (since I heard her talking with her friends later).  While we waited on Mary to come back (it felt like a really long time), Brad sat in the seat crammed back by the bed and I stayed standing mostly, since that felt better when contractions came.  When Mary came in, she had me lie down.  She asked lots of questions (basically to check me in, family history etc.)  As the contractions came, I had to stop and find my focal point, and usually moved a leg or something since I didn’t get to walk around now.  She would stop asking questions and wait for it to end.  I wasn’t making much noise, just deep breathing. 
Once she was finally finished with questions, she said she was going to check me.  She looked at me pointedly and said “You’re at about a 7.”  I was shocked!  I had gone through that whole active labor phase we had learned about in birthing class, while at home and here in triage.  The phase where you would normally already be checked in to your L&D room!  I thought about the contractions and how I would expect them to have been much worse for being in that stage (though there were indeed some painful ones!)  Mary had asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 when I was first there in the triage room, and I think I had given it a 4.  Mary also said I was “paper thin”.  Baby was definitely coming!

So, it was time to put me in a room.  We got in, I laid on the bed and Brad sat in a chair nearby.  Mary told me about the buttons on the bed, and the one I could press to call her in.  She said “You’ll notice that if you jar it much, you might set off an alarm, and you could have like 100 people coming in here…we’ve been meaning to get that fixed.”  Then she asked what I wanted to do about pain management.  Without hesitation I said “I want the epidural.”  She said “Really?  But you’ve been doing so well!”  This was true, I had surprised myself with how I’d handled the pain up to this point, but I was still terrified of pushing without the epidural!  I told her as much, and she said she’d need to do a blood test and get those results back, then they’d call in the anesthesiologist.  She set me up with the IV, etc. then left for a while.  Again, the contractions were difficult because I had to just lay in the bed.  I fixed on a tear in the wallpaper as my focal point, and moved my leg to help me through the contractions.  I think I had only had a couple there in the bed, when my water broke…then I had another contraction, and this one was so much worse!  I just batted at the button that would call Mary, figuring it would set off the alarm she had talked about, and sure enough I heard beeping outside at the nurse’s station.  Thankfully Mary went by and turned it off, before coming in, so it didn’t actually bring on the crowd of people she had warned about.
I was still having the contraction, and said through short breaths “I think…my water…broke!”  She checked and confirmed, then I guess cleaned it away – I was too busy being in pain to know what was going on.  Then she left again.  I had several contractions in this new state – very painful!  I was so ready for the epidural now.  I was making more noise – not so much screaming, but loud breathing noises.  Brad said “What’s wrong?”  like a helpful husband :)  I just said “The contractions…are just… much worse now.”  I was glad I hadn’t been swayed by Mary’s vote of confidence and had already gotten the epidural request underway.  I’m not sure how many contractions I had before the anesthesiologist finally came, but it may have just been a few.

He was a very friendly man, and he and Mary joked back and forth.  I had been nervous about this part since I’m such a needle phobe, but it wasn’t too bad – I think I was more ready for the pain relief than thinking about the length of the needle, etc.  Apparently it took a couple of tries, because the nurses noted later on when I was in recovery that I was bruised in the area.  Once I was all taped up, he had me lay back down.  More contractions came and of course it didn’t kick in right away, but I knew it would get better soon.  At some point I could feel that it was numb, with the exception of one spot.  In birthing class she had mentioned that some women get “hot spots”, where the epidural somehow didn’t numb one little spot and so the pain was felt fully there.  I was scared that this was the case for me, and that I’d feel it there through the delivery.  But then that pain went away, and it was blissful – I couldn’t feel the contractions at all.  I think right after he put in the epidural Mary had said I was at 9 and a half.  I guess I got fully dilated quickly, because soon she was saying “Let me know when you feel the urge to push – in the meantime, you should rest.”  But first, she noticed that the baby’s heart rate had dropped, so she turned me on my right side, and this seemed to help.  She said it was probably because he was so far down, so putting me on my side gave him a better angle I suppose.  

I didn’t feel anything down there – certainly not an urge to push – so I went to sleep.  It was an amazing sleep, I thought of it as “the best I’ve ever had”.  I pretty much forgot that I still had a big job to do!  So Mary at some point said “Okay, let’s try” since I clearly wasn’t initiating the pushing on my own.  She put me back to my back position (positioning was comical since my legs were dead weights) and had me try to push.  It was very weird and I don't think I did much, because after my three pushes she said “Okay, let’s try again later.  Let’s put your leg back down to the side” – and I just let it flop down, since of course I had no control!  Then, I got some more amazing sleep.  Brad apparently wasn’t able to sleep during this time, but I felt great.

At some point it was time to try again – prompted by Mary, because I still wasn’t feeling any urges.  We got positioned again, and I pushed – this time I felt better about it, and Mary was happy too because she said she was now going to call in Dr. Daniel.  We kept pushing during contractions with just the three of us, then eventually Dr. Daniel came in.  We continued on, and it was still hard for me to feel any progress.  But Mary and Dr. Daniel were very encouraging on pretty much every push.  I wondered to myself if they were just encouraging like this as a matter of policy, so that the mom doesn’t give up hope – because I certainly didn’t feel like he was moving at all!

Pushing was taxing, but mostly in my face.  I tried not to strain my face so much and focus more of that energy downward, but it was difficult.  Mary commented on how my contractions had been shorter (finally, less than 9 minutes) but that now they had slowed down again.  She joked that I was making her mad by slowing down my contractions :)  So there was a lot of waiting time in between, and soon Dr. Daniel wanted to speed things up.  She told Mary to ease off the epidural and start Pitocin.  I didn’t really hear what she said, I thought it was a joke since she and Mary had also been joking back and forth, so I kind of laughed.  Mary busied herself with my IVs, then we went back to pushing.  At first I didn’t notice a difference, but I got to the point where I could feel the contraction a little bit – so I would tell everyone I thought one was coming on, since these feelings were coming before they were seeing anything on the monitor.  And we would start pushing based on what I said.
At some point they had me reach down and feel his head – this was pretty amazing!  And encouraging, since all along I still didn’t really believe I was making progress, so this was something tangible.  Dr. Daniel started saying he needed to get his shoulders past my pelvic bone, then it would be easier.  Before I knew it, she was saying “He should come on the next one”.  And sure enough, during the next round of pushes, all of a sudden I felt plenty of movement through me, heard Brad say “Wow!” and heard some very LOUD screams coming from our Baylor Kent!  It felt like just seconds before they put him on my chest, and I was in awe.  He was still wailing up a storm :)  I said, “Oh my God!” (maybe several times?)  and just stared at him, smiling, saying “Hi baby boy, Hi Baylor!”

Those first moments were very surreal – hard to believe I now had my son!  While he was on my chest, they clamped the cord and Dr. Daniel asked Brad if he wanted to cut it.  I vaguely recall seeing it in front of me.  I guess he was gentle at first because she said “Go ahead, you’re not going to hurt him.”  I don’t think I actually watched as it was cut since I don’t really remember that moment!  Brad was such a champ through the whole delivery – it’s a good thing he’s not squeamish about blood like me!  When they put him in the crib to check him and clean him up, etc., I just watched him in amazement.  I remember he would suddenly stick his arms and legs out straight every once in awhile, and they’d be shaking – a nurse later explained that this was his “startling” motion, that his limbs were so used to being in the womb so it was a shock to go far out.  

Dr. Daniel mentioned that Baylor had come out with his arm by his face – not surprising since he always had his hands in his face during the ultrasounds!  And even now, this still holds true – he loves his hands :) Also, the cord had been wrapped around his neck.  She said if not for these two things, the pushing would have been easier!  They told me that overall, pushing lasted about an hour.  We had all wondered about the placenta, because of all the bleeding I’d had (even I wondered, because I had used my trusty Google at home and seen that it could be a placental rupture – it’s probably never good to try to self-diagnose with Google!)  But the placenta was completely intact.  (So they said -- I wasn't about to look at it.)

We had our little blessing, and it was wonderful.  It was neat to watch Brad holding him some time after that, and he agreed that it felt pretty surreal.  Soon they transferred us to the recovery room.  They were able to grab Aunt Kim from the waiting room on our way – since we didn’t have any reception in the delivery room, we wouldn’t have known when she got there!  But it turned out that she had arrived after he was born, so she didn’t end up missing out just due to cell phone service :)
About 12 hours from the time my contractions became regular to the time he was born (4 pm to 3:38 am)…I’m very thankful for a smooth delivery and a relatively short process (especially for a first time mom).  Love our little Baylor Kent Doherty!


Just a few of those pictures from Day One :) Plenty more pictures and updates to come!  He's definitely changed now as a 10-week old (wow!)  But for now, off to feed him since he's been so patient with his extra-long nap :)