Aloha Friday: Getting Active

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blog land anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Little Baby Blueberry is ten days old today – which means I still have about 4 and a half weeks of recovery ahead of me. I feel leaps and bounds better than a week ago, for sure, but I can still tell it’s going to be a long road. Pain killers are still very much a necessity and it doesn’t take much more than a flight of stairs or a good nursing session to wipe me out. Still, I’m looking forward to getting back into an exercise routine as soon as the good doctor gives me the go ahead. I have already lost at least ten pounds and my husband and grandma tell me that I look really great, which is awesome, but you know I’m just getting started. I’m planning to start simply with walking but if we get a Y membership I might take some classes and of course there is the Wii and workout videos. I know Dan would love it if I’d try running, too. As of this moment the only thing I’ve ever run for is the ice cream truck, but we’ll see…

BB is so lucky – the only exercise she needs to worry about right now is tummy time!

If I could be as skinny as her and only have to do that as an “exercise” – man I’d be one happy woman! Anyway, my Aloha Friday questions for this week are…

  • What is your favorite way to exercise?
  • If your a mother, how long after the birth of your little ones did it take for you to get active again?
  • How long did it take you to “lose the pregnancy weight”? (I’m still losing the pregnancy weight from my first child!)
  • Any recommendations for a good work out class I can take or a DVD to rent?

Baby Blueberry’s Birth Story

I thought I’d attempt writing out Baby Blueberry’s birth story now while it’s still fresh in my memory. I’m only going to write about the actual birth for now because although I have a lot of possible tales to tell, this whole blogging thing takes a much longer time than it used to! If I tried to tell you guys about everything that’s happened in the past week, well, I don’t think I’d ever finish. So for now…

Tuesday morning Dan and I woke up around 5am – we showered, got dressed, he ate breakfast and then we headed to the hospital. Pretty much the only things on my mind were, “I’m tired, I’m hungry and I’m about to have a baby.” But mostly, “I’m hungry.” I wasn’t allowed to eat anything after midnight the night before and my stomach was not pleased with being woken up and then ignored. I tried not to be envious while Dan ate his breakfast.

We arrived at the hospital for 6:30am, found our way to the birth center where we were quickly checked in – I think we were their only appointment that morning and they were all kind of gathered around the nurses station waiting for us. We went in to the first little room where we signed some papers, talked to loads of people and got prepped for surgery. Everything was fairly pleasant until it got around time to put in the catheter. For some reason I didn’t realize it was time for the catheter until it was time for the catheter so I never really got to prep myself for Oh My Goodness. Just so you all know how huge of a baby I am, when they finished inserting it, I basically told Dan I was done having children and at the time I was completely serious. I’d already had an epidural when they gave me one for MM’s birth so I never got to feel that awful feeling, but seriously. It was awful.

Luckily not long after the Catheter instance (or Foley as they began referring to it after insertion, like by calling it another name I might forget what they were talking about or like when you are talking to your spouse about bed time in front of your children and you spell it out “B-E-D T-I-M-E” so as not to cause a premature temper tantrum from your kiddos but then eventually they learn to spell so you have to start calling it by another name like “period of dormancy” or “foley“… Well it didn’t work – I totally remembered what they’d done and I was not likely to forget anytime soon) I got my spinal block and the dreaded Foley was eventually not the most pressing matter of the moment. I’ll admit that after the spinal kicked in, the baby was born, etc. I couldn’t feel the foley at all. But I didn’t forget. Just so we’re clear.

Anyway, back to the birth story. It was very different in the operating room this time around since I hadn’t been in an unnatural overly medicated labor all day –  I had my awesome spinal block to avoid feeling anything but I was still totally present and aware of the situation. I loved that. They also were able to give me a medication to control nausea which I didn’t get when MM was born. Not puking is so much better than puking, I’m just saying. The people in the OR talked me through the whole experience and even managed to find time for small talk, not that we were in there long.

They started the surgery at 8:30am and little BB was born at 8:39am. Now that’s fast! She weighed in at 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 18 inches long – thick, dark blonde hair and eyes so dark that the color was and still is terribly difficult to distinguish – she was everything we expected and nothing we could have guessed – probably like all babies she was immediately perfect for us in a way we hadn’t imagined.

After some stitching and such, we were all wheeled back to the recovery room where I spent a few hours before being moved into the main hospital room (I apologize, I cannot remember the official names for any of these rooms). By lunchtime Dan headed back to the apartment to pick up MM and my grandmother so they could meet little Baby Blueberry and I ordered a light lunch of I can’t even remember. It’s funny, I was starving all morning but by the time I was allowed to eat my appetite was surprisingly small. I couldn’t even finish the celebratory cheesecake Dan bought me that night – seriously.

And that’s how little Baby Blueberry made her entrance into this world and I became a proud mother of two…

*Baby Blueberry Birth Week* Natalie's Birth Story.

As you read this I am likely in some stage of preparing for, enduring or recovering from the birth of our new little baby, Baby Blueberry. I’m so excited to meet my new little one – and to introduce her to all of you – but in the meantime, Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? is back again to share Natalie’s birth story – another “second child” just like Baby Blueberry!

What an eventful week leading up to her birth.

You can read the progression of the “induction” that wasn’t to be here, then here and finally here.

Friday (10/10) night, while at our friends’ house, after all of the drama, I started losing my mucous plug and having contractions. So, I sat down, put my feet up and drank tons of water. The contractions went away. I kept losing more “plug” all weekend.

Saturday (10/11), Matt and David stayed with the kids and watched football while Marty and I went double stroller shopping and made a trip to Ikea. There was a lot of walking involved.

Sunday (10/12), I was dreading going to church. We had told many people about the impending induction, so I knew they were going to be surprised to see us. Everybody asked how much longer, said we looked ready, and everything else. I asked Matt to field all baby related questions. I was D-O-N-E!

Sunday after Isabelle’s nap, we went and walked the neighborhood. And walked and walked and walked. I was determined to get The Sequel out! We came home, had some dinner, and put Isabelle to bed.

I went upstairs and took a long bath. I even lit some candles for myself and just relaxed. Then, I came downstairs to sit with Matt. I was still in just my towel after my bath (I was so hot and uncomfortable in clothes at this point). I was downstairs for about and hour.

I got up and went to the kitchen for something…I’m not sure what, and I felt a trickle run down my leg. I thought I was peeing on myself, but then, it wouldn’t stop. There I was at 9:30pm standing in my kitchen over a puddle of amniotic fluid. My lovely hubby cleaned it up for me.

We then called the doctor’s office to see what to do. I wasn’t having contractions, just the water breaking to indicate I was in labor. The water kept leaking and leaking every time I moved.

Starting at 9:41pm, I started to have contractions that were around 3-7 minutes apart. At 10:00, the nurse called and said I should head to the hospital because I had tested positive for Strep B and needed to make sure I got all of the necessary antibiotics.

We didn’t want to rush in. My platelets at the last test were only 91,000 and I knew if they were still low, I couldn’t get an epidural. And, I also knew that I was likely going to have to have pitocin because my body doesn’t make progress with my contractions. We were both a little nervous about this combination.

So, we took our time, got all of our bags and everything in the car, woke Izzy up and drove her over to the Montes’.

During this time, my contractions weren’t really regular, but I knew they were coming.

We arrived at the hospital at 11:30pm where the nurses proceeded to ask me if I was being induced because I didn’t look like I was in labor.

At 11:49pm we were in a room and ready to be hooked up to the monitor. We answered the myriad of questions and filled out several forms (while having more regular contractions).

Monday (10/13) morning, at 1:00am, my IV was started with antibiotics and fluids. They also drew lab work to check my platelets. They checked me and I wasn’t dilated at all. The nurse even ordered an ultrasound to make sure Natalie was head down (because she said she couldn’t feel it). This was extra surprising because all of the midwives and doctors for the passed two weeks said I was dilated to 1 cm and they could feel her head.

Contractions continue, but they still aren’t regular. I would get into a pattern, and then they would stop, or shorten, or lengthen. Good news, my platelets were 111,000 so we could get an epidural. We had to move quickly or the anesthesiologist would want to check them again.

The midwife says we should start pitocin.

At 3:45am, the ultrasound is performed and Natalie is in fact head down. Nurse Jenny wanted to start the pitocin and I asked very strongly that I get the epidural first. She says she’ll start the pitocin slowly, and I ask again. She says okay (reluctantly) because I’m having regular contractions (whew…that was a close one…Matt was very proud of me)!

At 4:15am, I get my epidural. It was perfect. I didn’t go completely numb. My legs were just heavy and tingly, but I could still move them.

At 4:19am, the pitocin was started and continued to be fine tuned for perfect contractions.

I tried to nap…Matt was out. At 6:30 nurse Jenny came and checked my progress and I was 3cm. I thought, that’s pretty good, maybe we’ll have a baby by dinner time.

Matt woke up around 7:30 am and we both brushed our teeth. He headed out to grab some breakfast. Then he came back because he forgot his wallet.

Then, he was off again. Around this time, I really started feeling pressure. I told the new nurse, Lanese, and she checked me. Sure enough , I was completely dilated at 7:55am. I was shocked. I called Matt and told him he needed to get his breakfast to go.

He came back to the room and they were getting it all set up for me to push. The midwife came in, told me to do a practice push and then said to stop. “We’re going to have a baby very soon.”

It was so fast we didn’t even think to get the camera out. I started pushing at 8:10am. There were three rounds of contractions (during one of which I had to stop because she had her hand up in front of her head) and six minutes later at 8:16am, Natalie Grace arrived.

It certainly was a very different birth than Isabelle and so much easier and faster. We couldn’t believe how fast she came.

Welcome to the world sweet Natalie!
Thank you again to Krystyn for sharing TWO great birth stories! Be sure to check back later today for another great birth story from the infamous McMommy

*Baby Blueberry Birth Week* Isabelle's Birth Story

Our next birth story is from Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? It tells the lengthy story of her first daughter, Isabelle’s birth. Krystyn comments that this story is “quite detailed and not for the faint at heart!” So consider yourself warned. 😉

I went to work on Thursday 10-12, but left early in the afternoon. I knew the contractions were more than Braxton-Hicks. I came home and slept for a bit and tried to eat. I called Matt, and he wanted to time them. I started to lose my mucus plug at about 5:00pm. He got home about 6:30pm and we went for a walk and started timing them. The contractions were 1.5-2 minutes apart and lasted anywhere from 30-45 seconds. Hubby was freaking out a bit, and called the midwife. They said come on in.

We got to the hospital and they admitted me around 8:30pm. They hooked me up to the monitor and started measuring and the contractions were consistent. They came and checked me and I was a dimple!!! What, what are all these contractions doing? They told me to drink lots of fluids, got an IV and started walking around. They wanted to see if it was false labor or not. The contractions continued in intensity, and we walked around and drank a ton. Still at about 1am, I was just a dimple! At this point they gave me a sleeping pill and told me I would wake up at about 3 in active labor.

Well, woke up before then, and still nothing. The midwife came in later that morning, and “made me 1cm” (yeah, thanks for telling me it is going to hurt like crazy, and that you are even going to do it!). Still nothing after that, just a lot of contractions and bloody show.

Cut to new midwife some time in the afternoon. She decides this is too long and we need to start doing something. At about 1:30pm, I get an epidural, followed by pitocin and breaking my water. Isabelle had decided to poo in me, so I had to have fluids going into my uterus to flush things out.

Apparently, I have a finicky uterus because they were constantly tuning the pitocin so my contractions would be most productive and easily spaced.

Finally, at 11pm on Friday, 10-13, I was ready to push. After pushing for almost an hour, the midwife decided that the dreaded episiotomy was in order. At 12:29am on the 14th (just 30 minutes after her due date had passed), Isabelle finally made her appearance! Matt screamed out “It’s a girl” as we had decided to be surprised by her sex.

Unfortunately, because of the meconium, I didn’t get to hold her immediately like I wanted. They had to clean her up and suction her before I really got to see her. Because of the previous flushing, though, she didn’t have any meconium in her lungs, so I was extremely grateful. I did snap some pictures from the bed while they were waiting for the placenta to come out.


I finally got to hold my little girl.
Our happy family of three (me sooo bloated from the IVs for a day and a half.)
Thank you Krystyn for sharing Isabelle’s birth story with me in celebration of Baby Blueberry’s birth tomorrow! Check back tomorrow for her second daughter Natalie’s birth story as the Baby Blueberry Birth Week continues!

*Baby Blueberry Birth Week* Her Big Brother's Birth Story

Tomorrow morning MM will become a big brother. By tomorrow night I will have experienced my second “delivery” and soon I will have two birth stories to share with the world. To celebrate the birth of little Baby Blueberry, or BB, I’ve planned a week’s worth of guest posts for you with a myriad of fabulous guest posters – you’ll see a bunch of great birth stories, a Wordless Wednesday style collage, 13 semi-fabulous tips for mothering more than one and more – there might even be a surprise appearance from my fabulous husband.

Today I’m featuring the birth stories of first borns and I thought I’d kick things off by sharing MM’s birth story, which up until now I’ve only outlined in memeish form – which you can see here. I’m going to try and do him a bit more justice now and write it out as a real post, but we’ll see how that goes…

MM’s Story

MM was one week late when the doctors decided to go for an induction. After experiencing his birth and becoming a bit more well informed, I sometimes wish we’d simply waited another week, but at the time I was tired of being pregnant and trusted my doctor (who I now like to refer to as Dr. Evil or Do Not Let Her Be Your OBGYN EVER) – and when she suggested an induction date of April 7, I couldn’t pass it up – you see four and seven are my lucky numbers – and that had to count for something, right?

So at 6:00 am we arrived to be induced – then after spending about two hours doing paperwork (how is there always more paperwork?) and waiting around, they came in to give me some petocin. I began dilating, though it was a slow process and I never got terribly far in that process… Around 10am they gave me something – maybe more petocin, maybe something else, to be honest I’m not sure but I bet my husband or mother-in-law could tell you – they weren’t drugged up at the time after all. At some point after that I went into what we call “labor” – something resembling serious contractions and my eyes rolling into the back of my head permanently. She (Dr. Evil) broke my water (by force) sometime in the afternoon.

Then I spent the evening being all in labor except not so much, as I never progressed past 2 or 4 cm or something – they gave me pretty much every drug the hospital had in stock that day, trying to move things along, ease the pain of this, and make up for that but by midnight it seemed pretty clear that not much was happening – except of course for MM trying desperately to come out – when his heart rate dropped they immediately called for a c-section – at which point I think I thought, “Hurray” as I simultaneously puked everywhere. Or that might have happened later, I’m not sure. Did I mention the drugs?

MM was delivered 10 minutes before midnight, if he’d waited any longer to drop his heart rate we would have missed the 4/7 Lucky Numbers Birth Date – so that was kind of sweet of him I guess? I remember that the operating room was hotter than hell – hot enough that my husband got light headed shortly after MM was “born” and had to be moved to a wheel chair for a little while – although I like to think that he was making me feel better or trying to share in my pain or something – either way we all got wheeled out of the operating room and into the recovery room, where I stayed for like a week. I can’t remember exactly how many days I was in the hospital but it was somewhere between four and ten probably. Over that course of time I had lots of visitors, far more than I ever expected to show up – never mind the continuous comings and goings of nurses and doctors who helped me and didn’t help me and bugged me and ignored me in turn until were finally allowed to leave.

There were some nurses who were extremely helpful and kind, unfortunately I don’t remember a single thing about them – what I remember is the anti-nursing nazis who seemed to decide, “If she ain’t figured it out yet, she never will – give the kid a bottle.” Thanks nurses.

Learning to breastfeed was a long, arduous adventure made worse by the length of my labor and recovery. I was barely conscious when they delivered MM and I opted to let them give him the first feeding but specifically requested to have the next one. This of course didn’t happen. I don’t think they handed him back to me for a feeding until about 4 or 5 meals in – and being a nursing newbie I had my own sea of troubles, i.e. I had no idea what I was doing and unfortunately neither did MM. It would take months to figure that out. Anyway…

My son had the pointiest head in like history or something for all his efforts which is really too bad because most kids born by cesarean have nice perfect round heads – but MM wanted to try a little bit of everything for his birth so he got the cone head to prove it, minus the movie deal.

And that’s how our little MM was born. Check back later today for the first guest posts of the week from Krystyn @ Really Are You Serious? and Jen @ Our Daily Big Top!

Taking the GOOD with the BAD

It’s been an interesting day – filled with good moments and bad, to the point where I’m not sure how to classify the day as a whole. I figured I’d write it all out and see which column (good or bad) has more in it?

Good: I got a copy of Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris in the mail today for review – if you’ve been following along, you may know that I rather obsessively have been wanting to read this. I’ll be finishing The Funny Thing Is… tonight (I hope) and then moving on to some new vampy goodness!

Bad: Seemingly seconds after getting my new book out of the package it arrived in, I got a call from Dan. His car broke down – something about a hole in the fluid thing. It won’t start. I had to pick him up at a gas station so he could continue on his way back to the office for the rest of the day.

Good: MM has been pretty well behaved today all things considered. His playroom is actually still clean for the most part – I’m thinking my toy purge was a very, very good thing.

Bad: Because of Dan’s car troubles, timing, etc. MM hasn’t napped. So far this hasn’t been troublesome but I’m wary of how he’ll fare tonight – that’s when the fallout from a lack of nap normally happens.

Good: Fresh raspberries have continued to make today’s meals better. They topped my oatmeal this morning and a few minutes ago I squished a couple into some peanut butter slathered graham crackers. The other day I made MM a peanut butter and raspberry sandwich (like instead of jelly) and he loved it. Yesterday I topped my french toast with them instead of putting on syrup – I think they were better than syrup! I’m convinced right now that raspberries make everything taste better and I have yet to be proved wrong. I’d love to make these raspberry cobblers soon, but I’m not sure the motivation will come.

Bad: Have I mentioned that Firefox for some reason decided it hated me and deleted all of my bookmarks, cookies, passwords and settings. Like they are all gone. Dan tried to console me by saying, “Hey this would be a great time to try Google Chrome!” except Google Chrome isn’t actually available for the Mac yet. I played with Opera for a bit but found it way too buggy in Google Reader to bother with. I’ve been trying out Camino for the last few hours and it’s… okay. It’s ugly to be honest and if it weren’t for today’s occurrences, I’d gladly go back to Firefox. Right now I’m just biding my time until Google makes a version of Chrome for the Mac or Dan digs up another browser for me to try…

Good: I got all the cloth diapers for Baby Blueberry washed, dried and “put away” – we are almost ready for newborn bums at chez momma!

Bad: The tote thingy I’m storing the diapers in really isn’t big enough – like they “fit” after a lot of coaxing but it’s not going to work very well long term – which will be a problem at some point since, if we like cloth diapering, we’ll want more diapers. This just means I’ll need to buy something – in addition to a trash bin to put the diaper pail liner in and a spray bottle to put some homemade diaper wipe solution in.

I think that about covers it. I could complain about my back some more and all the aches and pains of being 39 weeks pregnant. But, then again, I could also say how GREAT it is that this pregnancy is almost over, my grandmother is coming tomorrow (with a bit of work I should be able to get the car in time to drive to the airport to pick her up, hopefully without going completely crazy. A bicycle may be involved on Dan’s end) and a fun weekend in store, not counting the hopefully getting Dan’s car fixed. I really hope he can get it fixed (inexpensively) because I’d way rather save for a house than buy some cheap car (we totally can’t afford a non-cheap car) because his is declared dead. I vote for it not being dead and everything being fine, okay?