Friday, June 25, 2010

Week 1

As I write this, Baby Whit is officially 11 days old.  Closer to 2 weeks than one.  But for those of you that have had an infant, I think I'm doing alright to get this out so soon!

Some of the events of week one have already been shared.  Most notably, Whit's birth on the evening of  Monday June 14th.  We were discharged from the hospital the following Wednesday afternoon.  While at the hospital, Whit managed to gain a dominant place in the hearts of both his parents and grandparents.  With such a cute little face, could you see it happening any other way?

Our first few days at home are now a bit of a blur to me.  After giving birth vaginally to a 9 1/2 lb baby, I was on some pretty strong pain killers heading home. I do know that Whit quite enjoyed his first car ride even if it took his parents a good 15 minutes to figure out how to adjust the straps on his car seat.  Thank goodness we did this in the hospital and not in the car in the heat!

Grams Hylton and Nana Renegar were on hand for the first few days home and I cannot imagine making it without them.  There aren't enough thank yous for them.  As first time parents, Kirk and I spent much of the first 48 hours at home just making sure the baby was breathing! But for some reason, we were able to relax and sleep if he was in the care of our mothers.

Friday was Whit's first Doctor's appointment which started out with high expectations.  As it was his first official outing, we had him dressed to the nines and ready to party.  After having some trouble locating the office, we walked into the office just 2 minutes before appointment time.  Luckily, we know the doctor well and he was not phased by the following events.  For Whit's first weigh-in, they stripped him down naked.  Of course, he had a wet diaper and the office didn't have newborn sizes so he ended up in a diaper that was too big.  Once back in the exam room, he promptly filled up his diaper!  Concerned that it would 'come out the sides' Daddy wanted to change him.  For those of you who have met Whit, you know that he despises having his clothing taken on or off unless he's been well-fed first. The same goes for diaper changes, especially in strange environments.  Re-diapered and screaming, the nurse comes in for the heel stick to test his bilirubin levels. The doctor suggests that I nurse him to calm him down during the procedure which can take 10 minutes of squeezing blood out of the heel.  However, my milk had just come in and without getting into too much detail, that task was easier said than done. So onward we battled!  Just as the nurse finished with the heel stick, Whit filled his diaper again - this time the biggest blow-out we've seen yet.  And the poop had finally changed from dark meconium to nice juicy breast milk poop.  He had it everywhere! Mom and Dad struggled to get a second diaper change taken care of with a screaming baby without getting covered in the mess from the diaper. But we got the job done and decided to drive home to feed Whit instead of waiting for the bilirubin test results.  No sooner had we gotten home, fed the baby, and grabbed some lunch ourselves than we got the call to head to Children's hospital to be evaluated for high bilirubin levels and to sign up for home photo-therapy (see 'Under the Lights').  All in all, a very tiring day for baby and parents, especially the parents that have now slept about 6 hours in the last 6 days.

Whit wrapped up week one with a nice, calm Sunday visiting with the Grandparents Renegar and then Aunt Kristin and Uncle Josh who I think were also blown away by his cuteness.  And if you managed to get through all of this, your reward is below - pictures!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Under the Lights

I thought the first time I saw my little guy under lights they would be the lights of a baseball field.  Imagine my surprise when at 4 days old he was diagnosed with jaundice severe enough to be treated with photo-therapy.  Of course, we knew that he was a little 'tan' but I was not concerned that it was severe.  This entire experience resulted in our first ever ER trip (since we would be getting the lights after normal business hours).  I was worried about a number of things, including how he would fair under lights for 24 hours, but he seemed to handle it much better than I did! The next day therapy was discontinued as his levels had dropped below the level of concern. A few more days of laying in his Moses Basket in the sunshine should just about do it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Birth Story

For months people have been saying 'Congratulations on the baby! It will change your life.'

Having a child has not changed my life, it has changed the entire anchor of my existence.  The center of my universe is now this tiny little life that I have been chosen to protect and nurture. And here's the story of how he made his arrival.

Friday, June 11th, 2010  
  • 6:00 - 12:00 pm - I am experiencing what I believe are continued Braxton Hicks contractions, the same as I have had for the last few weeks.  However, these are slightly different in their feel and rhythm and I am hoping that the time is close at hand.
Saturday, June 12th, 2010
  • 12:30 am - I wake up with contractions.  They are not as strong as I had expected, very manageable.  I try my typical routine to get rid of Braxton Hicks - snack, walk around, drink a large glass of water and try to go back to sleep. 
  • 1:30 am - I am still unable to sleep due to the regular occurrence of the contractions. I take this time to re-pack the hospital bag for my impending departure.
  • 5:00 am - We arrive at the hospital because contractions are again less than 4 minutes apart for nearly 3 hours.  I am 1 cm dilated and choose to be sent home to continue what the nurse says is likely 'early labor'
  • 7:00 am -  I am able to rest somewhat as the contractions have spaced back out to every 10 minutes. 
  • 11:00 pm - Contractions have been irregular all day, but begin building again just as I try to go to sleep.
Sunday June 13th 2010
  • 5:00 am - We arrive at the hospital because contractions are again less than 4 minutes apart for nearly 3 hours.  I am 1 cm dilated and choose to be sent home to continue 'early labor' 
  • 12:00 pm - Contractions continue in an irregular pattern going through cycles of every 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 7 minutes, 4 minutes. I am able to rest briefly between contractions. 
  • 6:00 pm - Contractions really pick up and finally enter the textbook 'Getting closer together and more intense.'  Kirk really stepped it up here as a labor coach following all of the techniques we learned in class operating on almost as little sleep as myself. 
  • 10:00 pm - Contractions are ranging between 3 and 5 minutes apart, extremely intense, and we are considering going to the hospital again.  I am terrified that I've labored for 24 hours and I will still only be 1 cm dilated.
Monday June 14th 2010
  • 12:15 am - Kirk and I arrive at the hospital for the 3rd time. 
  • 1:00 am - We are admitted to the hospital so that I can receive a low-grade pain killer to see if I can sleep (we are now nearly 48 hours without true 'sleep') and IV fluids for slight dehydration - I am 2.5 cm dilated.
  • 6:00 am - I wake up from my slightly restful sleep to find out that my contractions have slowed considerably due to the IV fluids and Kirk and I now have the difficult task of getting everything going again. 
  • 12:00 pm - I request the Epidural on the advice of my OB and after long consideration. Kirk was an amazing coach throughout this process, but he really impressed me here with how he made sure that I was informed and comfortable with all of the decisions about to be made.
  • 12:30pm - My wonderful doctor arrives on her lunch hour to break my water - I am 3 cm dilated.  
  • 1:00 pm - I am finally able to sleep after more than 48 hours of continual contractions - the Epidural was not part of the original birth plan, but I am deeply grateful for it. 
  • 4:00 pm - I wake up after my first good sleep in 3 days and I am 8 1/2 cm dilated - I guess all it took was a little relaxation.
  • 4:50 pm - Nearly time - almost fully dilated
  • 5:20 pm - I am evaluated 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced, ready to push 
  • 5: 35 pm - I make my first official 'push' and the epidural is stopped so that I can deliver more naturally
  • 7:20 pm - We are making progress, but the doctor is concerned that the baby is very big and is having difficulty passing below the pelvic bone. With every push we can see him coming, but he is still retreating. 
  • 7:35 pm - After discussion with a labor & delivery nurse (scary when it's held in hushed tones at the foot of your bed while you push), the doctor asks if it is ok for her to use a vacumn to help get the baby out.  He has still not managed to pass the pelvic bone and they are noticing some signs of fetal stress on the monitors. The L&D nurse would like to go for an emergency Cesarean, but the doctor seems to have confidence that he can be born vaginally. 
  • 7:47 pm - After 3 strong efforts with the vacuum assistance, Whitfield Ian Renegar is officially born weighing 9 lbs 5 oz and measuring 21 inches long.
  • 7:49 pm - Whit lets out his first cry and my universe re-aligned.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baby Whit

Welcome to the World

Welcome Whitfield Ian Renegar born at 7:50 pm June 14th 2010 9lbs 5 ozs 21.5 inches long after 62 hours of labor (not a typo!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

40 Weeks

The 'big day' is supposed to be tomorrow - the doctor doesn't really expect that to happen.  But, I'm in good company. Did you know that at least 50% of babies are not born by their due date?  The percentage is even higher for first time moms.  And technically, you aren't considered 'over-due' until about 42 weeks as a 40 week pregnancy is really just an average.  Some babies just take longer to cook! (clearly mine will be one of those unless he decides to arrive in the next 36 hours.)

Grams Hylton came into town on Sunday night on a mission.  The mission?  Operation Grandchild. (of course!) It's great to have some company and some help around the house as the due date comes (and hopefully doesn't go by).  We are walking everyday and I'm spending a lot of time on the birthing ball trying to get the baby to move just a little further down.  Let's hope that this kid doesn't take after his father and show up just before it's time for the grandparents to head home and back to work.

Congrats to the Wade family on the addition of their little girl Katie who was born this Tuesday morning - 6lbs 7oz. No, we are not going to play matchmaker, but we assume (and hope) that the two kids will be very good friends. 

Mom and Dad 
Mom and Dad are still 'ready to go' at any time. We are on high alert as we know that the number of days separating us from meeting our little boy are dwindling down quickly.  Or slowly depending on which side of the fence you land on.  But seriously, we are ready to go whenever that alarm bell rings. 

Again, nothing new with the baby this week. The average size of a baby at birth is 7.5 lbs and 20 inches long.  Of course, we know that our big boy was more than 6 lbs a month ago, so I expect him to be between 8 and 9 lbs now.  We will have an ultrasound next Friday the 18th if the big day still has not come yet. He is still getting stronger and bigger (maybe not so much bigger now as many babies do not put on any additional weight after about 39 weeks).  But the time spent inside is beneficial, and as babies come only when they are ready, I suppose we will be patient a little longer!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

39 weeks

39 weeks.  Yes, I still have 1 more week until my due date.  No, I have not gone into labor, had the baby, gone to the hospital, etc.  No, you aren't getting any more details than that! I have the same feeling about it as I did about posting the 'it's a boy' ultrasound pictures and random people touching my belly (thank goodness I've avoided that by shooting nasty looks at anyone who has come close). Some things are better left a mystery and in my opinion, how a woman's body is changing before childbirth is one of them.  Now don't worry, we will be sure to let everyone know when the big day comes - but please be patient, it could still be another 3 weeks away.

Friends and Family
 A big shout out to Uncle Josh for graduating from high school this weekend! We are so proud of him!! And the baby had better plan to make it up to both of us that we had to miss the big event.  For some reason doctors don't like you to travel 4+ hours so close to your due date... but I'm not sure why!

Dad is anxious to meet his son!  That might be all that needs to be said. He has finished up with school and has now started in on summer baseball.  He's also been reviewing everything that we have learned in childbirth classes so that when the big day comes, he will be ready.

Unfortunately, I am becoming more uncomfortable as the days go on.  I've still managed to make it out to buy the very last of the baby things and I'm making it to work everyday, but long gone are the breezy days of the late 2nd and early 3rd trimester.  Bottom line, I'm ready.  And I'm starting to understand why women would choose to be induced, even if I don't think it's the best scenario.  It's tough being pregnant, especially weeks 38-whenever you deliver!  But as we are opting for natural, med-free childbirth, induction is no where in the plan unless I get to blog 'Week 42'.   I'd like to give all of those who ask a date for when they can expect the baby, but clearly his birthday is a secret that's between him and God and I have no say in the matter. When he's ready, he'll come - I just hope that I can handle all of the 'when are you due?'  and 'you haven't had the baby yet?' questions without hurting anyone. (You have been warned!)

Baby continues to love his current lodgings and seems to have no plan to change location anytime soon.  He's  getting bigger and stronger as each day goes by and more ready to enter the world. I have been instructed to keep up with his movements every day by 'counting kicks' (or rolls, turns, anything really). Although I've noticed he has begun sleeping for longer stretches - one to two hours instead of 30 minutes at a time, nothing else has really changed. There is a foot that likes to kick just below my ribs on the right side and sometimes if I'm lucky I can get a hand on it and push back.  I've also noticed some personality coming out already.  The baby loves music.  Me singing, the radio, Kirk singing - anything will get him kicking as long as he's not in one of his 'deep sleep' periods.  And sometimes if we can get the music really loud he'll even wake up and join the party.
He's getting a lot more attention and conversation from both Mom and Dad as we tend to spend about an hour a day negotiating with him to be born.  As I'm sure will be the story for years to come, he's calling all the shots now.  And, since his due date is still one week away, I guess we will allow him to chill a little longer although we are both looking forward to meeting this little guy!