Thursday, November 25, 2010

Flashback to becoming a mother

In case you didn't know, I am trying to record my stages of becoming a mother. For more information... http://skylerrachel.blogspot.com/2010/04/something-to-laugh-about.html

I have documented breastfeeding so far and I was working my way backwards. So, I am going to skip recovery and move right into Part 3: Labor, Delivery, & Initial Recovery.

This is my account:
I remember when my niece Isabel was born; I was sitting in the hospital waiting room with my mom, and Diana’s mom and sister. They laughed because I said that as soon as I got to the hospital, I would ask for and get an epidural. I think that labor is one of those daunting fears that we all know about growing up. My best friend, Amanda’s grandma said that of course it heard because it was like crapping a pumpkin. That definitely added to the vividness of my fears. Though my sisters and sister-in-laws seemed to have positive birth experiences, I continued to have fear. My ultimate fear is that I would rip really bad. This could have been reinforced by friends that had really difficult recoveries due to tearing.

So with all of this anxious energy, I decided that I needed to determine what I wanted to do about my upcoming labor and delivery. I really debated because I was conflicted about getting an epidural and not getting an epidural. I hated the idea of being confined to the bed and not being able to move. It felt so restrictive and people I knew that had had both methods took longer to recover with an epidural. I was nervous about the headaches that you can get after an epidural, and also the needle. A part of me was also irritated that it seemed like everyone thought that I was a weirdo for considering not having an epidural. But to me, just because I could get an epidural, did not mean that I wanted one. I didn’t want it to be a given, it had to be a decision.

On the other side, I was really nervous about the pain. I had no idea how my labor would progress and I didn’t know how to prepare for such an unknown. As I looked into it, it seemed like everyone disagreed. Even my midwives, who I thought would encourage natural delivery, didn’t. Some seemed to like the idea, and others seemed to encourage getting an epidural. I read blogs, talked to people, prayed and finally decided that I would see how it went but that I would try to see how far I could go with out an epidural. I was hoping to go until I progressed til a 5. Then I could see how my labor was and decide if I wanted to go natural for the next baby. I felt good about the decision. I didn’t know what would happen, but was excited to try and see how it went.

After the holidays came and went, I was about 8 months pregnant; I had really abnormal Braxton hicks. I had had my first Braxton hicks really quite early. Well, early in relation to my family members, but my midwives informed me that it wasn’t that abnormal to have them throughout my pregnancy. So, I didn’t worry about it. But I did learn to go sit down when they came. I could avoid a lot of discomfort by relaxing because they would go away a lot quicker. When I went to my check up after my first Braxton hicks, the midwife, Sara suggested that I drink more water because dehydration can increase my Braxton hicks. I had been sick with the flu and decided to try relaxing and increasing my water. It really seemed to work. Once my flu was over, if I drank a lot of water, the Braxton hicks didn’t come back.

So, when I had Braxton hicks while lying in bed in the middle of the night, I was caught off guard. The first time they came, it came on quickly with a lot of pressure in my back which moved to the front and then started to constrict everywhere and didn’t seem to release at all. I think I went into shock because I didn’t know what to do and I started to hyperventilate because my breathing was so irregular. I had no idea how much time elapsed, but Skyler woke up concerned and didn’t know how to help me. But he started to breathe deeply and told me to breathe. Surprisingly it helped a lot. I didn’t know that I needed him to tell me to breath and model it… but I really did. It started to fade and we laid back down, while Skyler rubbed my back. Then it started again, this time we were a little more prepared but it was worse. I found myself just crying and trying to breathe because it hurt so bad and I didn’t know what to do. It felt like forever, but our best guess is that it really last about 3 min. It doesn’t sound long, but it really wore me out. After that, Sky rubbed my back and we went back to sleep. The next morning, I was really discouraged and called my sister, Emily who gave me some tips for dealing with the pressure. She told me that I needed to master my mind and use more positive self-talk. She was right.

The next night, I told Sky that we couldn’t say the word, “pain” so that I could improve my ability to control my thoughts. I practiced throughout the day when I had little Braxton hicks. I would have Skyler feel how hard my stomach got during and after them. It helped me feel a little more legit when he gave me verbal confirmation. So, that night, I was woken up again. It again started in my back, moved forward, then intensified everywhere. I timed it this time and the most intense potion lasted about 5 minutes. It didn’t seem to let up at all but just got more and more intense and then started to gradually go away. The first one was SO much better then before, it was longer but I was better prepared and so was Skyler. I hoped it was done but about 2 minutes later it happened again. But this one was much worse. I started to time it as it climaxed, I prepared myself for about 5 minutes and told myself, that I could do it just like the other one. As I continued to look at the phone as my timer, I felt somewhat validated and it distracted me but I had to stop looking after 5 minutes because it wasn’t stopping, releasing, or becoming less intense. I started to sputter because I was trying so hard to breathe and I couldn’t. Sky was rubbing my back and breathing with me. He was giving me words of encouragement. He previously requested that I use some sort of hand signal so that he had an idea of how it was going. So, a clenched fist meant it was getting more intense and a flat hand meant that it was starting to relax a little. The hand signals also worked much better. But with all of our preparation, I had a hard time keeping it together. After it started to relax, I realized it had been 15 minutes. My mom had said that I should be feeling breaks in a 5 minute contraction. This time, I tried really hard to feel a break, a release of some sort. There wasn’t one. It made me really nervous and I called the midwife on call. It was like 3 am, and she said that if they came regular, go to the hospital. They didn’t come regularly and we went back to bed.

The next day I went to the clinic and was really concerned because they didn’t feel like my other Braxton hicks and they weren’t “normal” contractions. The midwife there didn’t believe me about my contractions. She checked Eliza Lane’s heart rate, which of course was normal by that point. I was 37 weeks and I was hoping that all of that pain was helping me progress towards labor. But the midwife, Heather, said that they don’t normally check until 38 weeks. She said that if they were irregular that it was probably some intense Braxton hicks. I tried to explain that I had timed them and that they didn’t release and that I was concerned. After she thought about it for awhile, she decided that if it ever happened again, that I need to go started to the hospital so that they could check on Eliza Lane’s vitals and they could monitor what was really going on. So, that became the new plan. I hadn’t had my labor class at this point, and I was concerned that I might not ever have it.

After we came home, we continued to try to figure out what could be causing all of this fuss. We had asked Heather if she thought that maybe the decongestant that I was taking could be involved, she didn’t think so. I had had a bad cold, which was NOT abnormal for my pregnancy and decided to take a decongestant. The mild one didn’t seem to do much and we decided to take a stronger one. That one seemed to help a little bit more. But the nights that I had the horrible Braxton hicks were also the nights following a regimented dosage of strong decongestant. We thought that there was a connection, because decongestants can cause dehydration. I asked Heather, but she pinched my skin and said that I wasn’t dehydrated. But after we went home we decided to go completely off the decongestant. And the Braxton hicks didn’t come back.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I looked out the window and what did I see?



So, this is Eliza Lane watching the window this morning. If you can tell she sort of lost interest. Why would that be? Well, cause there really wasn't anything different to see...

If you have a hard time telling which are before and after pictures, I will give you a hint. The fuzzy ones are from last night. The clear ones are from this morning. So, I have officially called it the "Unblizzard of 2010"! Skyler says he has seen a bigger blizzard at Dairy Queen! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010

That is today! I am not being dramatic (well a little bit)... that is what they are calling it! We have gotten tons text messages, emails, etc from BYU, the BYU police, UVU.. ya know. UVU and BYU and Utah County's Department of Health and just about everyone else closed up this afternoon early and won't be open tomorrow because...

A significant winter storm is working its way across northern Utah bringing snow and strong winds. Snow is starting to fall at the airport and visibility has already dropped below 1 mile. Expect snow and wind through tomorrow morning, with accumulations of 3-6 inches in the valleys, 6-12 in the benches, and up to 24 inches in the mountains. Once the blast goes through tonight, temperatures will plummet, with highs only in the teens tomorrow. Kevin Eubank, Live 5 Weather HD 5:21 PM 11.23.10

So we stocked up on formula, and veggies, and we are going to be hanging out INSIDE! We talked over where to park our car because my mom's van is in our garage... and then called everything good.

The saddest part is that I think I forgot my camera at my mom's house. I was sooo looking forward to before and after pictures... and I can't find it. So, I am trying to use Sky's phone's camera... but I don't know how well they are going to work... so stay tuned tomorrow!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The crib...
























































In case you were wondering, Eliza Lane loves loves loves her crib! If she isn't starving,she will just quietly play in her crib and before naps and bedtime she will just walk around, chew on the rail,play withthe window or blinds, or just look at books! She also "watches"the window like a TV.


Skyler and I think she likes it because she can pull herself up and feel in control and also she can sit down from standing and grab things, and it seems like she really enjoys squatting down, grabbing something and then jumping around with it.

Her new favorite is to drop things off the side. Gotta love gravity. It works everytime!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I can't believe Eliza Lane is 8 months and one day old






It is kind of like you can round up to 1 year at this point... not that we would.


But I do think she is seeming a little bit older recently. This week I keep getting Brittany Spear's "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman" song in my head. (in case you were wondering: I actually looked up the lyrics because it has so much potential to be a really great and profound song... and it isn't.)
I think it keep coming in my head because Eliza is seeming less like a baby but not quite a toddler. But sometimes when she is jumping around and standing in her crib she seems almost like a little toddler.
She has been laying around on her back more these days and I think it is because she wears herself out sooo good by jumping and jumping and jumping.
Anyway, time flies.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Babysitting...


So since I returned to work a lot of my students have asked who is taking care of my baby. Depending on where my students from, they have different reactions. Some were surprised that I had a baby half-way through March and started working 6 weeks later. Others don't seem so surprised. Some are surprised that my husband takes care of Eliza Lane as much as I do... and others are not.
Yesterday, I was tutoring a middle-aged student who was recently married and they are trying to figure out how to start their family and both go to school. I said, "Well it is tricky but you can do it!" He seemed encouraged.
Well, then TODAY happened and I was like... well maybe it is doable most days... but not today!
I stayed up late to work on a project, so Skyler put Eliza Lane to bed and then went to bed. I thought I would be able to "sleep-in" but Eliza woke up at 5am and was ready to be awake for the day. I changed her diaper, rocked and fed her, and put her back in. So she woke up. Then I rocked her again and put her to bed with me... and she started to blubber my arm and grab my face. So, I rocked her again and fed her again and put her back in. She finally went back to sleep but it was 6:45am.
So, by the time Skyler got home from work at 8:15am she was happily playing in her crib and waking up and I was trying to wake up... it didn't work. So, at 9:20am Skyler came in and asked when I wanted to go to work. He was incredibly polite because I was supposed to leave at 9:30am. So, we ran around got my breakfast lunch and dinner ready, grabbed Eliza's stuff and they dropped me off at work. Then he put her back to bed, woke her up, ran to school, dropped her off with Shannon and ran to class. Meanwhile at UVU I was tutoring, making copies for students from my textbooks and running to class. I got to class, and then I set up my class with their assignment. Everything seemed fine until I realized that one of my students had already left and I hadn't announced the homework, given handouts for the Tuesday meeting, etc... So, I ran upstairs, grabbed handouts, made a lot of announcements, realized that I had to change arrangments with students, and then leave class early to cover a shift at the tutoring lab.
I began tutoring again and I was supposed to have extra time to get my following class in order, but I feel bad when people need help, so I helped two extra people and then ran to my next class.
Meanwhile, Skyler has been trying to arrange his schedule around Eliza's need for naps, his class, his teacher consultation, and an job interview that he found out about his morning. It wasn't working and I was trying to help figure everything out inbetween my tutoring appointments. So, we talked about 20 times (not exaggerating) on the phone because I would have to get off when my next appointment showed up. So, Skyler was able to change his interview, postpone his consultation and Shannon ended up having to get Eliza dressed so that she could sleep a little bit longer and hopefully be happy during the interview.
So, I ran to class with a freshly printed lesson plan. But I was anxious to find out what happened with Skyler's interview. So, during my breaks or trips to the copy room, I would try to call him. It didn't really work. So, for some reason half my students do their assignment and I couldn't really do what I had palnned for half of the class... so I changed my lesson plan and well... that took a lot longer than I had expected... and then I tried to catch up... and that didn't happen. My short activity ended up confusing my students and so we never got to atleast 45 min of the lesson. So... my class was really not THAT effective and I am now totally behind. Oh well.
Meanwhile, Skyler has been putting Eliza down for her second nap so that they can pick me up so that we can babysit tonight. After class, one of my students papers was missing. No one could find it... well, I had accidently stapled it to another paper... uh... So, Skyler had already called me twice. I thought he might already be at UVU. So, I called him and grabbed my stuff. But he was really calling because Eliza was asleep and he didn't want to wake her up. So, I needed to grade or something. I decided to warm up my lunch and wait patiently.
To be honest, at this point my brain was not wanting to grade... so I decide to talk to Skyler and finish my lunch... at 4:30pm. Well, in the middle of talking to Skyler about his interview, my phone died... So, in order to have Skyler pick me up I had to find an available phone. I would have borrowed a student's cell but they were already in reading class. I would use a campus phone but Skyler's number is long distance... So, I borrowed a campus phone to call Shannon so that she could call Skyler and tell him that I would be waiting in LA 216 until he showed up. Then I realized that no one would have a way to relay information. So, I walked back to the campus phone to call Shannon to see if Skyler thought it would work. Then I went back to the computer lab, ate my bagel sandwich and started to write htis post. It is now 5:15pm they just showed up to pick me up and we need to get home, and babysit four extra kids. It is gonna be a fun night!
The moral: It really is doable! But when our schedule gets off... like going to bed late... I feel like I am playing catch up all day long!! :)
Sometimes I think I need more than 3 hours of babysitting a week. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Before it is too late!


The afternoon started off innocently enough with a couple ponytails...
(Do you think this cute 6-9 month outfit is getting a little too small?)



But somehow two turned into seven ponytails!






















Eliza really doesn't mind if she is able to watch one of her favorite movies...





Then I took four of them out and we headed outside!




















































































The park was definitely a must do because it is getting cold a little quickly. We didn't know when we would get another chance!

Halloween week...





Eliza Lane wasn't feeling good last weekend for Halloween. She had some sort of flu or something. And now I am trying to get over being sick...


Anyway, we didn't do trick or treating. But we decided to count going to Sundance as Eliza Lane being a polar bear.


... And last Friday the ESL program at UVU had a party. We went as an 80s family! Too bad we didn't get a group shot of our outfits...

Can you tell that Eliza Lane is only 2 months older than the little sleeping vampire bat?