Wednesday, May 28, 2008

First trip out

Yesterday we left the house for the first time since we came home! And by we I mean Kalena and I because Brian has gone several places since we came home. We had our first visit with our pediatrician. Kalena's weight is 7 lbs 3 oz, up from 7 lbs when we left the hospital. He said her lungs sound good which is reassuring, and everything else seems normal. He also checked her for retina damage and didn't see any. Being on such a high rate of oxygen for so long can cause retina damage, but it's typically seen in premies, not full term babies. So yea for everything looking good!

Things are going well, and Brian is the best help ever. If he weren't home with me I'm pretty sure I'd be having a breakdown right about now. Luckily he is home which means we both get a reasonable amount of sleep and neither of us get overwhelmed with having to do too much baby stuff. Plus it's so nice to have someone else here since I'm still moving pretty slow while I'm recovering. For all you ladies who had c-sections and did everything by yourself, I'm amazed by you. I really don't think I could handle it. Anyway, that's all for now. Here's a picture of Kalena and I ready to leave for the pediatrician.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Birth Story

I can't really pinpoint when labor started, but as Brian said in his post, by 2:30 am Sunday morning my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart. It wasn't too bad at that point, but after 6 hours worth we figured we should go to the hospital to see what was going on. We got there and checked in figuring we were probably there to stay, but when the nurse checked me she informed me that I was still stuck at 2 1/2 cm, same as I'd been for 2 weeks. Ugh. My doctor happened to be the doctor on call and was doing rounds so he came in to talk to us. Apparently I was showing some indications that I might be developing preeclampsia-- a couple high blood pressure readings and a little protein in my urine. My doctor said we could stay and they would break my water or start me on pitocin, or we could go home. He said he'd prefer that we stay, but if we wanted to go home we should just come in to his office in the morning for a UA and a blood pressure check. I knew that if we stayed I wouldn't be able to eat or take anything to help me sleep, so I opted for coming home.

Once we got home (around 11 am) I took a couple of benadryl and had some toast and went to bed. I slept for a few hours but woke up feeling uneasy. It was about 4:30 pm and I started asking Brian if he thought we were doing the right thing by waiting for the morning to go in. He felt uneasy about it as well, so we prayed about it and decided we should go back to the hospital and, if I hadn't progressed any further, go ahead and have them break my water at that point. I had some cereal since I knew that was my last chance to eat and Brian rounded up stuff so we were ready to go. I didn't think I'd progressed any further since my contractions hadn't gotten any more intense, but when I went to the bathroom right before we left my water broke. It was full of meconium, a bad sign as it means the baby is in distress. If we hadn't been on the way to the hospital at that point, we would have been then.

This time at the hospital, things got a little crazy. The nurse checked me and then started an IV (after thoroughly bruising my hand trying) then my doctor came in and checked me. As soon as he was done he came around to the side of the bed and said, "Elsha, you need a c-section. Now." The baby's heart rate was dropping into the 30s and he couldn't get it to stabilize even for 45 seconds. Normally my doctor is all about options and choices, pros and cons and all of that. So when he said I needed a c-section I knew he didn't come to that decision lightly. He told me that even if I were going to deliver the baby in an hour he would do a c-section now and since it was my first baby I would probably be in labor for another 12-14 hours at that point. He didn't even let the lab technician finish drawing blood before they wheeled me into the operating room. We also found out after the fact that the PA didn't even make it to the operation, my doctor just did it with nurses assisting. Less than an hour after we checked in Kalena was born.

After the operation was over everyone kept asking Brian and I what made us decide to come back in because it was such a good thing we came in when we did. Even the doctor told us if we'd waited until Monday morning to come in we might have had a very different outcome.

They put me to sleep during the post-op so Brian went with the baby and told me later what happened. Sometime after my water broke, Kalena aspirated meconium. Aspirating meconium can cause chemical pneumonia in newborns, so immediately following the delivery they took x-rays and started her on IV antibiotics. The x-rays showed that she had developed pockets of air between her lungs and her chest wall. They put her on 100% oxygen to try to correct it and said they'd take periodic x-rays to check the progress. All this meant that we couldn't even hold her until she was off oxygen. I got wheeled into the nursery to see Kalena once I was out of post-op, but we couldn't even really touch her because too much stimulation would make her breathe harder which could make her condition worse. After that they wheeled me into my room where I was tethered to an IV and a catheter until Monday afternoon.

X-rays taken Monday morning showed that the air pockets had actually gotten worse overnight, but since Kalena still looked so good (most newborns with this condition have blue fingers and toes and are blue around the mouth, Kalena was still pink all over) the pediatrician decided just to leave her on the oxygen. An indication of how bad she was is that while the average newborn breathes 40 times a minute, Kalena was breathing 80-90 times a minute since her lungs were almost totally collapsed. The other option besides oxygen would be to put tubes in each side of her chest to get the air out. They actually had an emergency table set up next to her in the nursery so they could do that instantly if she got bad enough. Monday afternoon x-rays showed the air pockets starting to resolve so the pediatrician was optimistic that oxygen was all she would need. She ended up being on 100% oxygen until Monday evening when they lowered it to 30%. She was taken off oxygen altogether on Tuesday morning but they kept a monitor on her to watch her oxygen saturation levels. So Tuesday morning was the first time we actually go to hold her and I got to feed her for the first time. While she was on oxygen she got glucose solution in her IV. Luckily since she never got a bottle she still took to nursing fairly easily.

She had to wear the oxygen saturation monitor until Wednesday morning and they took out her IV Wednesday afternoon when blood cultures came back showing no indication of infection. Wednesday night we got to keep her in our room overnight and the pediatrician discharged her Thursday morning after checking her out once more. They actually discharged me Wednesday afternoon, but the hospital lets moms stay if the baby hasn't been discharged yet. So Thursday morning we finally got to come home! And that's how it all happened.

We have an appointment with the pediatrician tomorrow so hopefully everything will still look good. She is eating well and sleeping well and seems to be an easy-going baby. Hopefully that is an indication of temperament and not just that she's getting some of my prescription painkillers through my breast milk :) From what our parents tell us, both Brian and I were easy babies so we're hoping that's the case here too. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Here she is with her oxygen bubble on, along with an IV and the oxygen saturation monitor (on her foot).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Quick note

Hey all. I just wanted to let everyone know that Brian and I will be going to Colorado for most of June and are leaving probably the 2nd or so. Soooooo...for anyone who would like to meet miss Kalena before we go, give me a call next week sometime next week, we'll just be hanging out.

P.S. My hands smell like baby:)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finally home!

Here she is!

Kalena Elizabeth
born 7:16 pm Sunday May 18th 2008
7 lbs 4 oz
20 inches long

I will tell the whole dramatic story soon. (For those of you who haven't already heard it.) For now, here is a picture of the little one!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It has begun

So this morning, around 2:30 Elsha started actual labor. Not these worthless, whimpy contractions she has been have for the last week and a half, but real monster ones (well at least from what I can tell). It's about 7:00 now and she's been averaging about 3 minutes between for the last few hours now, so I am guessing we will be heading to the hospital soon. I will start sending out calls as soon as the deed is done. Just wanted to give a little "shout out" to all of you who were awaiting some news.

If you want to be sure you get a phone call leave a message here and I will make sure you get one. Thank you all for all of your support, hope to talk to you soon!!  

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Totally irrelevant

Since I'm in such a fantastic mood these days, and by fantastic I mean exhausted and irritable, I thought I'd post about something that annoys me-- inappropriate word usage. Now, I'm really more of a math/science person so it may surprise some of you that this bothers me, but it does. I attribute this to reading too many classic books and taking too many honors and advanced placement English/Literature classes in high school. (Because trust me, I didn't get any of this from college.)

I'm not talking about common easy to make mistakes like when to use good vs. well, or mixing up your and you're, or they're, there, and their. That stuff does bother me, but considering what a superb job the American school system does, those mistakes don't surprise me. What I'm talking about is blatant misuse of words and everyday use of "words" that don't exist. Here's what I mean:

"nother" as in: "that's a whole nother issue." That isn't a word. I'm not sure why people think that breaking up the word "another" and sticking "whole" in the middle of it is ok, but it drives me crazy. This is mostly just something people say, but I have on more than one occasion seen it in print in a newspaper which pretty much makes me want to cry.

"alot" That's not a word, that's TWO words! What really makes me wonder about this one is why people only want to combine "a lot" into one word. Nobody makes this mistake with "a little." It boggles my mind.

Using "we" to describe something that is really only happening to one person. I mostly see this with people who say "we're pregnant!" Unless it's two women announcing at the same time that they're both pregnant, this is wrong. "We're having a baby" is fine, "we're expecting" is true, but "we" are not pregnant.

Sticking "engineer" into a job title just so it sounds better. Let me just tell you, unless you spent college getting a B.S. in engineering you're NOT an engineer. Janitors are not "sanitation engineers," sales people aren't "sales engineers," and people who stock shelves aren't "warehouse engineers." It's ridiculously frustrating to have to explain to people that I'm an engineer because I have an engineering degree and not because someone stuck it in my job title.

Calling any large purchase an "investment." An investment is something where you expect more money back than you started with. That means that anything that only depreciates cannot be considered an investment. Cars, computers, entertainment systems, etc. are not investments. Just because something is expensive does not make it an "investment."

Anyway, I'm done rambling about this. I told Brian he needs to write some more posts because I don't think I'll have anything amusing to say until after this baby is born. And hopefully that's soon so I don't have to write any more posts about stuff that annoys me. Even though I'm sure you all thoroughly enjoyed this one:)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nothing good

Well, the doctors appointment yesterday indicated no change. Nothing. It was rather discouraging to hear. So for now I have an appointment set up for next Tuesday. If I make it to that appointment then we'll schedule an induction for the end of next week. Ugh. I really don't want to have to be induced. Anyway, I REALLY wish I had something more exciting to post about, but that's all for now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


So, I'm about ready to be done here. And I REALLY don't want to go to work tomorrow, because as much as it sucks to sit at home and watch TV while timing contractions, it's even worse to sit in an office working on spreadsheet formulas while timing contractions. Not that it's ever that much fun to sit in an office and work on spreadsheet formulas... Anyway, I'm pretty sure that whining is not a good way to induce labor, so I'm going to quit. And don't worry, I'll post an update when I actually go into labor. Or have Brian post. Either way, I'm hoping it's soon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pregnancy update

First of all, I'm taking the lack of comments on that last post as an indication that I do indeed look that big in real life but no one wants to say so. I'm not really worried about it, Brian tells me I definitely look that big. It's just strange because I don't feel like I'm that big-- don't get me wrong, I feel big, just not THAT big. It doesn't really matter, I still feel fine and I'd rather look huge and feel fine than look great and feel terrible.

My doctors appointment yesterday indicated that I'm dilated to 2.5 cm and 85% effaced. The appointment also led to sporadic contractions all day long, but nothing serious. I have a tentative appointment scheduled for next Tuesday, but I'm hoping I won't need it. We'll see soon enough.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Too bad

Well kids, I almost made it. For 39 weeks no stretch marks on my belly, but sadly they showed up today. :( Oh well. Anyway, here's pictures: 38 weeks and 39 weeks. Do I look this big in real life?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Those of you paying attention to my pregnancy counter thing may have noticed that I am 38 weeks 5 days pregnant today. (Incidentally, I have a picture of me at 38 weeks, but I keep forgetting to take it off the camera and put it on the computer. I'm sure I'll post it sometime.) This means there are only 9 days left until my due date. That's in the single digits people! And that's a little startling. Not that I didn't know it was coming, obviously, just startling in the same way that waking up the morning of a big test is startling. Like-- oh man that's today? I should have studied more! Oh well.

I'm not really sure where I'm at with all this. Part of me is totally ready, all set to go; the other part of me is saying-- we're having a baby? When did this happen?! But you know, nothing I can do about it now. Anyway, still not dilated, only having a very few contractions, but I'm 80% effaced so I'm sure my body will get in gear sooner or later. Crazy.