Monday, June 28, 2010

Week two!

I don't have much time to write these days, so I will just give some of the highlights of this week...

Cloth diapering is going VERY well. Eliot is loving it as much as I am, and we've had NO leaks and no rashes. I love not throwing away money with every diaper change and just washing diapers whenever we need more. We figured out that putting a stay-dry doubler on top of a prefold for the longer "nighttime" stretches helps keep his bum dry and less red. :-) I also love putting diapers on the line to sun out the stains (and it sanitizes too!) allows me to get outside even for 5 minutes a day, which is a nice change of pace.

James's umbilical cord stump fell off yesterday morning! We were so excited (the things we look forward to these days...). He also will be circumcised on Friday, something I'm not looking forward to... it's hard to see your little boy get poked and prodded. :-( He also has an eye infection that turned out to be resistant to the type of antibiotic that we originally had him on. He seems to be responding to the eye drops we are giving him now, though, so that's good.

As for me, I've lost about 30 lbs since birth and feeling a bit more like myself. James sleeps for 4 hour stretches early in the morning right now, which helps me get some sleep and feel less like weeping (which has happened a bit in the last week). I've had a hard time dealing with company being so exhausted, but getting some sleep last night has really helped.

The garden is producing well, lots of raspberries, strawberries, lettuce, and blueberries. Eliot has been doing a great job maintaining the yard, and the house looks absolutely beautiful.

We are really loving being parents and are enjoying even the midnight feedings. I have the best husband in the world who is will out of a deep sleep to just change a diaper for me so I can stay in bed. He's a really great dad and you can tell how much he loves his son just by looking at him.

That's all I have time for at the moment, I need to go eat something before the little guy needs to eat again. But I have posted additional pics in the existing James album in case anyone is dying for some more cute shots!

James Sebastian Grasso

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy one week birthday James!

We love you little James!! You're one week old today!

Mommy and Baby James

The Birth Story

The morning of June 18th at 11am I awoke to a feeling of trickling, like I needed to go to the bathroom. I was almost week overdue at this point, and it took a minute for me to realize that this could be my water breaking (I had given up at this point of ever going into labor naturally). I stood up and quickly grabbed the towel I had put next to my bed “just in case” because my water had indeed broken, and the huge gush that came when I stood up proved it!

I decided to take a shower since I knew I would be going into labor shortly. When I got out (still leaking a TON of fluid), I walked down the hall and told my mom my water broke. Eliot was outside in the yard, so I went out to tell him afterwards. I had an appointment with my doctor’s substitute at 1pm, so I decided not to call the doctor but just go to my appointment.

When we went to the appointment, the doctor confirmed my membranes had ruptured (water had broken) and hooked me up to a NST (Non-Stress Test) to see if I was having contractions and how the baby was handling them. Everything looked great, I had contractions about 5 minutes apart and they weren’t too uncomfortable yet. Mom and Eliot could watch the contraction numbers rising on the machine every time I had a contraction… we also watched Shrek as we were there for about 20 minutes and they had it on the TV for someone’s kid. At this point the doc asked me if I wanted to be admitted or go home to labor… I decided to go home and be comfortable.

So we all went home and I had instructions to come in to L&D when the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and stronger (more painful) OR by 11pm if I wasn’t making progress so they could monitor me for infection. I spent the next few hours eating light foods, rocking on my birth ball, watching Shrek 1, 2, and 3, and doing light things around the house.

By 10:30pm, the contractions were stronger but not close enough together… we decided to just go in to L&D. The doctor I had seen earlier was on call at the hospital that night, and, despite the fact that I told the admitting person that the doctor had told L&D I was coming and my membranes had ruptured, she still stuck me in an exam room instead of admitting me, which I thought was strange. When the nurse came in, she couldn’t figure out why I was there, as someone with ruptured membranes for 12 hours is pretty much an automatic “in.” So I was admitted and put in a room… it was a very large and beautiful room with a jacuzzi tub and flat screen TV.

I was still feeling sociable by this point, so after they checked my vital signs and hooked me up to wireless monitors for both the baby and my contractions, I had a turkey sandwich, watched “Say yes to the dress” and “Whose Line is it Anyway” and breathed through my contractions. The doctor discussed putting me on an extremely low dose of pitocin to enhance my contractions to reduce the risk of infection… I agreed it would be the best thing for the baby, and so I was equipped with an IV line (which became a HUGE pain in the bum when it came time to use the bathroom, especially with the other two monitors falling off me at the same time and the gel they used for them getting all over everything!).

After this point, my memory and sense of time gets kind of fuzzy… I remember the contractions getting extremely intense and finding myself moaning to get through them (something I never thought I would do). Rocking on the ball really helped while staying still was TORTURE. They put me in the Jacuzzi tub and the warm water helped some (I really wanted a natural birth going into all of this), but even the water didn’t really make things tolerable. I remember splashing around because the rhythm helped some, and at one point joking to Eliot that I was like Shamu the whale. I could tell by that point that Eliot and my mom were very worried about me and it was my one joke attempting to lighten the mood in between contractions.

I decided shortly after getting out of the tub that I wanted pain meds as I was exhausted (it was 4am or so at that point), shaking violently (apparently that’s normal in labor, even though I’d never heard about it before), nauseous and in extreme pain. The nurse suggested a narcotic through the IV line to take the edge off before deciding on an epidural, but the doctor said I probably should just skip that and go to an epidural if there is a chance I would want one. She said by that point it wouldn’t slow down labor, so I decided that an epidural was best. My mom and Eliot were both very supportive and helped me not feel like a “natural birth” failure.

After what seemed like an eternity of waiting for the anesthesiologist (everyone was saying “just 10 more minutes” or “just three more contractions”), he finally showed up and put the epidural in place while I, in agony, held still for the procedure through contractions. Soon (but not soon enough!) I felt a little numb in my legs and the contractions started to feel more like pressure than pain. The nurse checked me and I was 8 cm (I was shocked!), and after a few hours (minutes? I had no concept of time) of sleep I was 10cm and complete!

The doctor came in and I got ready to push. The doctor had just come from a c-section and looked totally exhausted. After pushing on my back unsuccessfully for 15 minutes or so, the doc gave up on me and let the nurses teach me how to push. When she left, the baby nurse and my nurse turned me on my side and had my push holding my breath and Eliot counting to 10. After 45 minutes of pushing and intense pressure, our little boy, James Sebastian, was born into the world on June 19, 2010 at 7:05am. 7lbs, 8oz, 20 ¼ inches long. Perfect.

He was placed on my tummy and was crying at first, and then he opened his eyes and just looked at me. It was so sweet… I kept saying “He’s so cute!” and Eliot was tearing up. I think the most amazing moment was watching my husband fall in love with his son. We tried breastfeeding a bit but had a hard time latching (we’re doing better now). I just couldn’t believe that little person looking back at me was the same one who had been kicking me for months from the inside. Amazing.

Eliot says lots of things happened to me that I wasn’t even aware of (delivery of the placenta) and lots of stitching up happened too (I was aware of that unfortunately). I was so exhausted and vaguely remember people asking me what I wanted to eat for breakfast and breakfast arriving while Eliot learned how to give James his first bath. I tried to eat some applesauce but couldn’t stomach anything because I was still shaking and totally exhausted. Mom, after holding the baby for a while, decided to go back to our house and get some rest, and then I got some sleep with Eliot and James snoozing away as well. When James woke up crying, Eliot and I realized it was just us in the room… we were parents, and it was our job to figure out what he needed. It was the first time I really felt like a mom.

We had visits from the pediatrician and a lactation consultant before I attempted a shower and we were transferred over to the Mom/baby side. After some confusion about what room we were going to, we settled into our hospital room. It had a beautiful view of the Mackenzie River and grove of old-growth trees. Mom even got a picture of a rainbow from the window on the day James was born.

The next 24 hours included very little sleep and an endless parade of doctors, nurses, CNAs, etc. We had some lovely people taking care of us and had a great stay, but were ready to go home the next day. So they discharged us on the 20th (Father’s Day!!) and, just as I was receiving my discharge instructions, my dad came to visit, a great surprise! He helped us load up everything and we put James in his froggy going home outfit with a stuffed frog nearby that we bought when we found out we were having a boy. They loaded James and me into a wheelchair and we made our way to the car. After loading up the baby and all our stuff, we headed home… now a family of three.

We love every moment with our new son, and, though I am not getting much sleep, I am so in love and it is so worth it. He is gaining weight and eating well, and we are so incredibly blessed to have him in our lives.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Life between feedings

My life has become a serious of segments between feedings... it's no longer how many hours I've slept, it's how many feedings. And I have to decide how much I can get done from one feeding to the next. It's exhausting, to say the least, but worth it.

Having said that, I still don't have time to write a full birth story, but I will say we are all doing very well and appreciative of all the help and support we've been given the last few days. I posted more pictures in the album (see previous post) for all who are dying to see more baby photos. :-)

Gotta run so I can eat before the next feeding...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Meet James Sebastian

Our baby James Sebastian was born today, June 19, 2010 at 7:05am. He was 7lbs 8oz and 20" (and change) long (I have to ask what it was, I was out of it when he was weighed and measured!). Here are some choice photos from today's events... I am too tired to post much more right now but a birth story will come soon.

Enjoy this photo album of our new son!

James Sebastian Grasso

Friday, June 18, 2010

Here we go!!

My water broke this morning! I think it might have happened while I was sleeping because I could feel something leaking when I woke up. Luckily it wasn't far to the bathroom because, let me tell you, your water breaking is NOT like they show in the movies. It isn't just one big gush and you're done. Nooooo.... there is a TON of it and it keeps coming for hours! I won't elaborate any more for those of you with weak stomachs. :-)

Anyway, that happened around 11am, and I knew I had a doctor's appt at 1pm, so I decided to just take a shower, eat breakfast, and then go see what the doctor says.

Well, at the appointment the doctor confirmed my water being broken and said I am about 2cm and 80% effaced. They set me up for an NST (Non-stress test) where they put two monitors on you to monitor the baby's heartbeat and my contractions at the same time to see how the baby is handling the contractions. Everything looked good and the contractions were about 5 minutes apart, but not terribly strong yet (I was watching Shrek on a tv in the NST room and still able to talk through the contractions... still have a ways to go!). So I decided to go back home and labor there for awhile so I could be comfortable and not feel stressed out or "on the clock" at the hospital. We only live 5 min away, so it's not a big deal to go back when it's time.

So now I am hanging out, watching the rest of Shrek, and having some food and relaxing while having contractions every 5 1/2 min or so. We'll head back to the hospital when the contractions are stronger and closer together, OR around 10pm tonight so that I don't sit around with ruptured membranes for too long (to prevent infection).

I'll update when I can... for now I'm going to go labor and have this baby!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

40 weeks, 4 days preggo....

And I receive a jury summons for July 15th.

Seriously? Uncle Sam sure has great timing... at least I can be excused for being a breast-feeding mother (if not that then I'll have my doctor write me a note because there is NO way I am going to be sitting on a jury a few weeks postpartum with a newborn at home!).

Eliot and I went out for dinner at P.F. Changs tonight to celebrate his being advanced to candidacy for his PhD and our last night alone for awhile (Mom is coming down tomorrow to help us out while the baby is here, and a bit before since I am virtually useless around the house these days! Thanks mom!). It was a lovely time and we were served by one of his former students from his Music in World Cultures class. Small world...

Eliot also got out into the yard today and replanted some flower seeds that died because of the excessive rain. I am hoping for at least a few sunflowers this year! The garden is doing well, though, we've only had one casualty losing a cucumber plant because of the lack of heat. The lettuce is almost ready to harvest and we have a TON of sugar snap peas! I also harvested about 7 blueberries and 3 raspberries... yum! I LOVE my garden and I'm glad I don't have to venture too far from the house to experience nature this summer! :-)

In baby news, well, there is no news. I have a doctor's appointment at 1pm on Friday where we will talk about inducing. The kiddo is still dancing around in there and hiccuping, so I know he is doing fine. He must just be too comfortable to come out. Oh well... I am resigning myself to the possibility of needing an induction, and at this point I don't really mind that it isn't a natural birth, I just want what is best for the baby. So we'll see what happens. I do hope if they induce that it is this weekend before Eliot has to start teaching classes on Monday!

Everyone do your labor dance and say your prayers for this kiddo to be born!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I've decided to just accept that this kid is probably not going to be born any time soon and I'll have to get an induction. It's just easier to put myself in that mindset than to sit around here grumbling about why he's not here yet.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep busy with laundry, easy projects, etc., anything to take my mind off of the fact that I am STILL pregnant.

Other than that, there's nothing new to report.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Waiting.... and waiting... and waiting...

And waiting...

I can't do anything but wait. I'm so so so uncomfortable, and I feel like he is NEVER going to be born. My back aches so bad at night that I have to turn over every 30-45 min, I get up every hour to go to the bathroom, my feet are so swollen I don't recognize them (stupid heat), and I can barely do anything around the house.

I know this kiddo will come in God's timing... but WHY is He waiting? I'm ready! Come on little one!


No contractions, no nothing. I hope something happens in the next few days, or this little one will be evicted at the end of the week (by induction, which I'd rather not do). Oh well, it's completely out of my hands. I can't control when he's born. I guess this is good practice for parenthood...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

40 weeks! Little pumpkin!!

Today is my due date! I am 40 weeks preggo and ready for the end!! Here is what is going on with our LO this week:

It's hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. His skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to overlap a bit if it's a snug fit through the birth canal during labor. This so-called "molding" is the reason your baby's noggin may look a little conehead-ish after birth. Rest assured — it's normal and temporary.

All my tickers have ended and I'm sorry to say those of you who voted for anything before the 10th in the poll have lost (I was rooting for you, believe me!). I am hoping for a weekend birth, especially with the new moon and it being my due date! I read this though on the sidebar of my weekly e-mail from baby center:

You're 14 percent more likely to give birth on a Tuesday than on any other day of the week — and least likely to deliver on the weekend.

That's not very encouraging! Oh well... I am just relaxing and trying not to worry about it. Some people have suggested accupuncture as a means to induce (naturally), and while that is a good suggestion I'm not sure we can afford it at the moment. Soooo... the wait continues! Who knows, maybe he could even come today sometime??

Come one, kiddo, come out and meet us! These braxton hicks are starting to get really uncomfortable!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

40 week doctor's appointment

I had my 40 week appointment today (two days early)... baby is still good (heart rate 155bpm), my blood pressure is still borderline, and I lost 3 lbs! WOOHOO!! The swelling has decreased a ton, and I think that is what caused the weight to drop. Thank goodness for the unseasonably cool weather we've been having...

I am "almost 2" cm dilated and my cervix is soft on the bottom. But no significant progress. SO... I get to wait a week, and then next Friday I will be going in to see where things are at and most likely get an induction if I have not delivered by then (41 weeks). This seems like the best option for both me and the baby, as babies who go too long past their due date have their own set of problems. I really would like to NOT be induced as it would lend to more medical intervention than I would like, but I will do whatever I need to to keep everyone involved healthy!

The sad sad sad news is my wonderful doctor is having surgery next week and won't be able to deliver my baby! :-( She will just be around this weekend through Monday. So we need to have this baby this weekend to have my doctor around. Everyone do a labor dance and say some prayers for us please!!

I also asked the doc how big she thinks the baby is, and she said 7 1/2 to 8lbs. All the more reason to get this kiddo out this weekend!

Regardless, it sounds like this baby is coming by the 18th or 19th. We're all hoping he arrives a lot sooner, but to induce now, according to my doctor, would probably not go well and end up in a c-section (not so good). So we'll continue to wait... and wait...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

3 days to go...

We are down to 3 days, people. 3 days till my due date. I am not so sure he will come on Saturday (at this point I'm not so sure he will come at all!), but it's nice to think about...

So far I have tried eating pineapple and watermelon, walking, and sitting on my exercise ball to try to get this kiddo into the world. No such luck. I have been having some nausea and feeling tired the past few days, but that could just be normal pregnancy stuff...

This storm that is blowing through is giving me hope, but only a little. *sigh* I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and will hopefully see some progress then... if not, we may be discussing induction as she won't let me go longer than a week past my due date. I REALLY don't want to be induced, as I wouldn't get to have a natural birth... but if it is better for both me and the baby to get him out into the world, then the Lord's will be done.

Whenever you're ready, little one, come out and greet us!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This is how I feel...

I've always loved this clip from Friends where Rachel is "still pregnant" and soooo uncomfortable. Now, I can relate...

The one where Rachel is Late
(I can't embed the video, you have to go to the link)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

39 weeks! Little Watermelon!!!

I am 39 weeks today! One week to go until my due date (As if that means that much anyway...). I'm sorry to say that all of you who voted for "before June 5th" are now officially disqualified from the "when will the baby be born" poll (Believe me, I was rooting for you!). Feel free to change your vote, I won't mind. :-)

Anyway, here is what is happening with our little on this week:

Your baby's waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it's likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Our baby's heartbeat

We recorded our baby's heartbeat today at our doctor's appt... enjoy!

Garden Pics and 39 week doctor's appt

Eliot and I have been enjoying our garden immensely the past week... the almost constant rain has made it very green and lush. The rain has also been relaxing to hear through our open doors and windows. Today I ventured out into the yard and took some pics to remind me of this peaceful time in the garden, and I thought I'd share them with you all.

Garden beds on May 20th

Garden beds today



Fuchsia on the front porch

Lupines in the front garden bed

Fuchsias on the back porch

View out our back door

Cherry on the tree in the back yard... almost ripe!

I also had my 39 week doctor's appt today... it was disappointing. I have not progressed at all, still at 1 cm and the baby is high. My blood pressure is borderline and the swelling is getting pretty awful (my hands ache all night and I have a hard time grasping anything, and my feet are so full of fluid it is hard to work). My doctor recommended swimming in a saltwater pool, so Eliot and I did that this evening to take the pressure off my joints for a bit. It was nice, but now I am out of the pool and still a giant marshmallow. :-(

The doctor said next week we will see where things are at (if I make it that long) and go from there. She said they don't let people go past 41 weeks, so the LATEST this baby will be here is the 19th! :-) There is hope I won't be preggo forever! Yay!!

Holy hamburger, Batman!

A month or so ago, Eliot approached me and said he would like to get some donuts for his students on the last day of classes. I looked at him and said, "I can do you one better. How about mini hamburgers made from cupcakes and brownies?" And today we unveiled the results:





Jodi helped me assemble them (thanks Jodi) and they were a HUGE hit! The students loved them, and I luckily did not go into labor while I had 70 unmade cupcakes in my kitchen!
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Here are a few baby-related projects I made recently to pass the time. The first one is a clothespin holder for my retractable diaper clothesline and the other two are shots of the baby sunhat I made during a girl's sewing day with Lindy:


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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's JUNE!

I'm going to have this baby THIS MONTH whether he wants to be born or not! :-D I am so glad it is FINALLY June and all the dairy products I buy now expire AFTER my due date. YAY!!!

I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions pretty consistently over the last week or so... which hopefully is doing something down there, because I am ridiculously uncomfortable. Eliot and I went grocery shopping yesterday and my feet hurt so bad I didn't care what we got by the end of the trip as long as it got me closer to the car. I am supposed to go out and get a few more things today, but I think laundry and mopping the kitchen floor are about all I can handle, so Eliot will probably be making that errand run this evening...

The cat is driving me bananas, trying to eat all the houseplants and jumping up on all the furniture. I think he just wants attention. He also has been meowing like crazy, and, combined with the headache I had earlier, it made me want to throw him outside and let the neighborhood cats have their way with him. Seriously. But I won't, don't worry. He's too much of a cream puff to make it in the real world.

Sleeping has become a serious challenge, as I can't get comfortable for more than 30 minutes without needing to turn over to make my back stop hurting. And I am up every 2 hours for the long slog to the bathroom (my hip joints are all loose so I shuffle more than walk these days). I am also ridiculously swollen in my limbs, so grabbing anything and/or walking has become more difficult.

Needless to say, week 38 isn't so much fun. Lord, please deliver me!