Friday, July 22, 2011

Fashionably Late...

I have to start this entry off with a big Siiiiigggggghhhhhhh of relief! :)  I was NOT prepared to go over my due date with this little girl.  I was convinced since big brothers had come early she would follow one of my friends suggested, "all good princesses make their people wait."  And wait we did.  Yesterday, July 21st I had hit my 41 week mark.  My blood pressure had been a little elevated at last week's appointment and I had some swelling which I had been free from the rest of the pregnancy to cause concern.  I was emotionally drained earlier in the week thinking that surely I would be pregnant for the rest of my life.  Deidre, my dear midwife had called me on Tuesday and gave me just the pep talk and kick in the rear I needed for a good attitude adjustment, and I was finally feeling strangely content yesterday morning.  I had my regularly scheduled appointment with Deidre at 11 a.m. yesterday morning where Deidre, in light of my over-ripeness and concern about blood pressure, was planning to do some membrane stripping (a very pleasant "encouragement of the cervix") to help get things going.  Upon performing the procedure she determined that conditions were extremely favorable and said she had no doubt that labor would ensue.  I left the appointment feeling very optimistic.

I joined my mom and step-dad who had been hanging with the boys while I had been at my appointment and we went off to lunch.  I had multiple, much more serious contractions in the next couple of hours and a little after 2 p.m. I loaded up the boys to head back home for naps.  My mom just couldn't stand being away from my side, just sure that this was the start of the real deal...she decided she really should come home with me, so that she could wrangle the boys if they should wake up prematurely and I could get a refreshing nap in case I needed extra energy for events surely to come.  It was on the drive across town that the contractions began falling into a regular pattern.  They were not hugely intense, but were coming pretty consistently every 5 minutes.  When my mom arrived at my house I attempted to nap...dozing between contractions only for them to rip me from my precious snooze continually.  After nearly an hour, I gave up.  J arrived home from work and I assumed my position on my exercise ball while timing contractions.  My mom (Gigi) alerted my aunt (Nana) that she might want to head over as things were continuing to progress.  I forced myself to eat a little around 6 p.m. as contractions continued to grow in intensity.  Just before 7 p.m. I had a contraction that reminded me what real pain was.  I called  Deidre to alert her to my condition.  She was at the Birth Inn (a facility specifically for the home birth away from home) at the moment and wanted to know whether she should just hang out there or head home for a while.  I was indecisive.  I wanted to labor in the comfort of my own home as long as possible, but she was adamant that the last thing I would want would be for my water to break on the 20 minute drive to the Birth Inn.  We decided together that she would grab a bite to eat, stay put and I would check back in at 8 p.m. to let her know what our plan was.  Minutes after I got off of the phone, J was begging me to just head over after I had multiple contractions on top of each other.  I told him I wanted to take a shower before we left, so he urged me to get that done ASAP.  So...I did. :)  Contractions continued and I got dressed as J loaded up enough luggage to supply us for a week for an event that would probably only carry us to the next morning.  We handed out hugs to Nana, Gigi and our precious little boys who were beside themselves with excitement.  Off we went.  Several minutes into our ride I mentioned to J that I hadn't had a contraction since we had left...feeding my anxiety that this was going to be another false alarm.  A mere seconds later I stated, "nevermind...there it is."  A mere seconds after that I felt a POP sensation and then the classic gush.  Deidre SO called water broke. A contraction or two later I welled with tears as a wave of pain began.  Every pothole jarred my body, but as the pain subsided my tears only increased.  I somehow giggled between sobs that it had suddenly hit me that we were going to have another baby.

Brand spankin' new...
We arrived unscathed (though a little damp) at the Birth Inn at 8:25 p.m...I changed into some dry clothes and J swayed me through contractions.  Deidre filled up the tub so that I could labor there and we filled the spaces between contractions with relaxed conversation.  As soon as that tub was full, I was in it.  Deidre and her assistant, Christy left us to labor quietly in the birth room on our own.  J was my champion coach and talked me from a ledge over and over again as contractions came closely and insanely intense.  At 9:33 p.m. a contraction began and there was such pressure I lost my composure and control and was able to squeak that I needed Deidre.  J called for her and she and Christy were immediately hovering.  She told me to gently bear down if I felt like I needed to and after a couple contractions checked to find I was at 9 cm.  At 9:40 I leaned back in the tub and began pushing with everything I had and after several good pushes (and a lot of horrible, guttural noises) Deidre said, "reach down and grab your baby!"  I grabbed that slimy little body and heaved her onto my chest and her sweet little cries rang through the room...Jilliann Josephine arrived at 9:47 p.m.  It was fast and furious...and beautiful.  The perfect birth.  She was nursing like a champ as soon as I was out of the tub and dried off and tipped the scales at 8 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches long.  Ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes...and blonde!

Already wrapped around her little finger

Perfectly perfect!
Deidre did her exam on Jilly, doted on me to make sure that we both looked good, finished up all of her paperwork and then she and Christy left us around 12:30 a.m. to enjoy a night just the three of us with instructions to lock the door behind us when we left in the morning.  We had very little sleep, but are still on a high.  We left the Birth Inn this morning at 7:00 a.m. and trekked back across town to introduce our new little bundle to our wild little men, Gigi and Nana.  The boys are absolutely enamored.  They have been pleading to hold her all day and as soon as they have had their turn then they are negotiating for their next turn.  At one point J took her to get a little snuggle time in and X-man told him, "Dad...3 more minutes and then it's my turn, OK?" :)  They are fantastic big brothers so far.  Oh...and I think Gigi and Nana are fans as well.

Daddy helping soothe Jilly during her exam
Pinkin' up!

It's a GIRL!
The proud BIG brothers!
 We are one happy little family of five...truly blessed!  Thank you to everyone for all of the well-wishing not only since her birth, but in the last long week or two when our patience was wearing thin.  Love to you all...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

D-Day...Come and Gone

July due date.  Here I sit, still VERY pregnant.  It's about 6:30 p.m. and I'm having no signs of real labor, so I doubt she will pop out on this day marking 40 LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG weeks of pregnancy.  I had a rough day on Monday after 5 days of teasing contractions and sleepless nights filled with even more, stronger contractions only to wake up full of baby on each of those mornings.  It was a woe is me day, but I got past it.  Tuesday was a new day with a new attitude.  I vowed that I was no longer going to read into any of the "signs" and just let her decide when she wants to come.  I have been assured by multiple sources that I cannot be pregnant forever.  It's reassuring, but I still have moments where I don't truly believe them, despite their credentials. :)

Picking up our supplies :)
The upside is that we are nesting and getting things done.  I say "we" because my lovely husband has been a busy bee as well.  Our basement was finished back in January, but we left the floor in the main toy room/family room undone because we weren't sure what we wanted to do with it.  There was a flooring sale at one of the local hardware stores last week, however, so we decided that we should go ahead and purchase what we wanted at 30% savings and then we could install it when it was convenient.  J gets a week of paternity leave after this baby finally decides to emerge from the comfort of her personal belly tub, so we thought that might be the perfect time for such a project to be tackled at a leisurely pace. I should have known better...we got home after making our purchase on Saturday morning and the man was down there clearing the room and removing trim as soon as we walked in the door.

"Honey, I thought you were going to wait on that."

This view from the top of the stairs is so much
more pleasant than the concrete that used to
be there!
"Yeah...I just thought I would clean up a little," he casually responded.

He then announced to me a little later that he would probably start on it in the morning and he thought he could knock it out in one day.  I, being the supportive wifey that I am, nodded and smiled.  I didn't think there was any way that he could finish it by himself in one day.  Once again my beast of a man proved me wrong.  He got up, ate a wholesome breakfast and got to work.  He was completely done by 6:30 pm that evening and it looks GREAT!  Love our "new" space.  It's obviously not finished.  We are planning on moving our entertainment center and TV from upstairs down into this space when we refinish those floors in the future and we do need some action on the walls since they are looking pretty barren.  But for now, it is a wonderful playroom for the boys and we are enjoying it to the fullest.

So...big projects have all been knocked out of the park for the moment, strawberry-banana bread (just another nesting must-do) is in the oven smelling mighty yummy and here we wait!  Patience is a virtue, I hear, and I think I am definitely being tested to the fullest.  Here's to hoping I don't have to test it much longer! :)

And for those of you who were unsure what 40 weeks of pregnancy looks it is in all of it's glory! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Final Countdown

Ding!  This turkey is DONE! :)  Yes, I am beyond ready to evict this kid from her oh-so-comfortable uterine home.  I will, of course, let her decide when the time is right, but I am officially offering firm words of encouragement to get a move on.  As my belly continues to expand my patience unfortunately is slimming.  I never really thought about it before I was pregnant, but when you get to the end it's a really weird moment in life when you know that something HUGE is about to happen, but you have zero clue when it will actually take place.  There's just that magic window between 37ish and 42ish weeks of pregnancy when it is supposed to occur, but that's kind of a big window when you are preparing to add another human being to your life.  And, not just any ordinary human you created and relies on you for everything.  I have to give her a place to feel safe and secure, nourishment and a clean diaper here and there.  A little warning would be nice, but so far her lips are sealed...or I just can't hear her.

So...this is #3, and it's evident.  When #1 was baking I think we had everything prepared FAR in advance.  Hospital bags were packed several months ahead of my due date and items were purchased and waiting for him.  It gets a little harder to not procrastinate with the addition of each child.  I have had mental lists floating around in my head since the puking phase of this pregnancy lessened and I felt human enough to tackle them...however, they have been far from tackled until very recently.  I had several spurts of nesting fury kick in, only for them to cure things that are so far from necessary when it comes to bringing a baby home, but you can't argue with nesting. I found myself at the top of a ladder at 8 months of pregnancy making sure every last speck of dust were sucked and wiped from the tops of the kitchen cabinets and upper reaches of our vaulted living room.  Last week I decided that my world would fall apart if I didn't get my office/craft room organized after it had been sitting in it's perpetual state of confusion since January when we finished the basement.  Why, you ask?  Because my hormones told me it had to be done and I'm not messing with that!  On a more baby-prep front...her tiny clothes have been washed, itty bitty diapers are waiting to embrace her tiny tush, the car seat base has been installed in the truck which will be our getaway vehicle when the time is right and, yes...we FINALLY finished the nursery! :)

I always had big hopes for a precious nursery with the boys, but it never came to fruition.  Mostly because, when we moved in, X-man was already 6 months old and I couldn't ever find the time to make the picture in my head reality.  Gokey came quickly behind him and the room was already put together...we would have had to tear it apart, paint and put it back together again.  It didn't happen.  This time, we had to move both boys into the same room together, so I was able to cowboy-ify their room and make it what I wanted and then was left with an empty nursery to do with as I pleased!  I love it!  I find myself wandering in there in the middle of the day and plopping down in the rocking chair to daydream about snuggling with a newborn again...such a fleeting stage, and so sweet.

So...this is your official invitation, little Jilly Bean.  We are ready and waiting.  Though your Daddy won't admit it, you will have him so wrapped around your little finger...I can't wait to see him hold you for the first time.  And there are two little boys that have gone so unexpectedly baby crazy that we can't walk by an infant in the grocery store without them ooohing and aaahing and telling the world who we are expecting.  And then there's me...your Momma, who can't wait to feel you in my arms after all of these months of feeling you tumble in my belly.  C'mon out baby girl...and be easy on your mother when you make your way! :)