Friday, May 30, 2014

Welcoming Cooper: Part 1

Shortly after writing my 40 week post I started having contractions. Apparently the squeaky wheel gets the grease! I think I'll write this very similar to Noah's birth story in more of a timeline format:

Monday, May 19, 2014
2:15ish - contractions begin. It actually took me a handful to realize what was really going on as they felt much different than my contractions with Noah (induced and back labor). They were really mild and we were actually out running errands all afternoon as I attempted to time them. I would miss them here and there as I didn't notice them really unless I was sitting down. At this point they were about 12 minutes apart.

Evening - they definitely became more noticeable as the evening went on and I got increasingly more hormonal. I think the reality that Cooper was coming and that Noah wouldn't be my only baby kind of overwhelmed me in that moment. There were tears and a bit of snappiness on my part to my mom and Scott.
It was fun to actually get to time contractions this time! My doctor actually developed an app called "Pregnancy Companion". I highly recommend it as it does so much throughout all of pregnancy.
9pm-ish - Contractions had gotten a bit closer together (7 minutes or so) so we called the on call doctor and asked about hospital protocol. She said we could go in or wait it out until they were consistently 5-6 minutes apart. A trip to labor and delivery seemed premature so we all set off to bed to get absolutely zero rest. We were all on edge and, of course, my contractions also kept me awake. But, as I laid down, they spaced back out to 10-13 minutes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
4:45am - Sleep was over. My contractions were getting much more intense but were still pretty erratic in timing. I had a few that were 5 minutes apart and decided it was time to pack up and head to the hospital.

5:30am - We check into labor and delivery and start getting all hooked up. At this point I am 2cm dilated (same as at the doctor that morning) and contractions are continuing.

7am - Nurse comes back in to check me after being monitored and, as I already knew, told me that my contractions had spaced back out. I was also still only 2cm dilated. She made a comment about sending me home and I lost it (again). Alligator tears. Luckily, she called my doctor and he said to keep me. PHEW!

After a few hours of watching my contractions it was clear that we would need to intervene to get me into true active labor (which was a-ok by me). I really felt like my body was trying to get into labor itself and that Coop was ready to make his debut so we went ahead and hooked me up to some Pitocin.
Just hangin' around...waiting, waiting, waiting.
Labor the second time around was extremely mellow. Aside from a contraction that would make me say, "why would anyone sign up for this without drugs", it was a very uneventful few hours. We played cards, Scott went out to lunch, we FaceTimed with Noah. Knowing the drill made it all much less scary and I was very relaxed about the entire process.
Missed this little guy while we were away!
 1:30pm - Epidural time. While I wasn't in a place where I felt like I truly needed my epidural, the anesthesiologist was available and I didn't want to find myself in a situation where the contractions were getting seriously intense and he wasn't around so we went ahead and cut off feeling to my lower half. Our anesthesiologist was amazing and he make quick work of getting me on my way to happy labor.

From there we spent more time waiting. I was Group B Strep positive so we waited for my two round of antibiotics to be complete before Dr. R came in to break my water. 
Cool. Calm. Collected.

4:15pm - Dr.R broke my water and I was 4.5cm dilated. 

5:45pm - 10cm! 

We decided to let me labor a little longer to get Cooper down a little further before the pushing fun began. Luckily, they asked me about my delivery with Noah and upon hearing I only pushed for 20 minutes with Noah they made sure Dr. R was there when we started pushing. 

6:12pm - Dr. R arrives and makes the decision to give a few test pushes. It was all very casual with him simply sitting at the end of my bed (no stirrups, fancy positioning, etc...). He asked me to give my first push and said, "very nice". Ok, let's do one more. It was about halfway through that push that this occurred:

Dr.R - "STOP. Stop pushing." He then jumps up (this is a man who is cool as a cucumber at every moment...I have never seen him in a rush or even seem remotely flustered) and things get hectic...

Nurse - on the phone - "we need help in 304". She then runs to Dr. R and starts to get him in his delivery wear (gown, gloves, etc).

Scott - "My wife is a beast! She is serious about pushing!"

I laugh...

Dr. R - "Don't laugh. Don't push. Don't cough." 

I half laugh again.

Dr. R - "Seriously, stop laughing."

I took him seriously at this point and tried my best to barely even breathe. People were streaming in the room at this point and all hands were on deck where they should be. (Thankfully our nurse had gone ahead and set up the room for delivery earlier in the day or we would have been in a real pickle!)

Dr. R sat back down about 30 seconds later and said it was ok to give another big I pushed again and he said, "TOO MUCH. TOO MUCH!". So I stopped and with another half push, Cooper arrived. 

Cooper William Retchless
May 20, 2014 @ 6:15pm
8 lbs. 3oz. 19in. 
Coop's first picture!
It was all very dramatic in a very hilarious way. I am so happy that my delivery room "drama" was that Cooper was coming fast. My labor and delivery was seriously a dream experience. I thought it was easy with Noah but Cooper proved me wrong. The entire day was relaxing, and the actual delivery itself could not have gone smoother.
Snuggles. I was so happy they let us have this time before weighing, bathing, etc. With Noah he was only with me for a few minutes before they whisked him off to be assessed. They did everything urgent right on my chest and left the rest for later.

As soon as he was born they put him on my chest and he stayed there for about an hour and half after delivery before they took him to be weighed, etc. He had an impressive set of lungs on him but eventually he settled in and snuggled. The rest is, as they say, history.
Our first family selfie. That goo they put in their eyes is so gross!
Cooper got to meet his cousins when he was only a couple of hours old! They also came bearing a burrito for me (I was ravenous) and champagne for Scott.
Kristina took some wonderful pictures while she was there.
Those lips. That hair. He has already lost a lot of it but I just love that my babies show up with hair!
All we're missing is our Noah!

Up next...Noah's visit and coming home. Can't guarantee when as I am in a delicate balance of blogging and sleeping right now!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pumpkin Retchless: Week 40

Written May 19, 2014
Hello due date! I am skipping the fields this week as there isn't a whole lot of reporting on the state of my uterus that hasn't already been done. That, and I am pretty sure you can guess how I am feeling at this point! But, just in case you thought I was relishing in carrying around a pumpkin and feeling all warm and fuzzy about watching (one of) my due date come and go...I'm not. I'm done. Coop is cooked and I am ready to meet the man of the hour.

With Noah, I was a complete mental case and ended up getting induced the night before my actual due date. I was pretty sure that was where this pregnancy was headed as well. This weekend I had a near mental break down (which was thankfully abated by a double dose of exercise) that culminated in my wonderful doctor squeezing me in for an appointment this morning. Yesterday I was ready to check us into the hospital and get this party started. Today, I felt a little more patient and my appointment helped to solidify that feeling...a bit. I am still ready, but we put together a plan that helps me feel a little more in control of this process and I definitely have options for induction should I choose to exercise them.  For now, we wait.

The happiest news of the past week is that Grandma (i.e.-my mom) arrived. FaceTime is a wonderful thing as Noah recognized her the minute he saw her at the airport and there was little to none on the warming up scale. He has fully embraced having a new playmate around and happily gives out snuggles and kisses as Grandma demands ;-). It has also been a real comfort knowing that when I go into labor our childcare is sitting in the same room and there is zero instruction giving that will need to be handed out. That, and it is just nice to have her here in general! Being a 4.5 hour plane ride away from my parents is not one of my favorite I have well documented on this blog.
Pretty sure he could talk her into just about anything!
In and effort to keep busy we have tackled a number of household projects such as cleaning our a/c heating filters (we have lived here for 3 years and had never done was scary how dirty they were) and power washing our outdoor furniture and flagstone. If Coop doesn't arrive soon I fear what other projects we might take on!

I think that about sums up the past week. A whooooolllllleee lot of waiting. We have tried every old wives tale in the book and had plenty of pep talks with Mr. Cooper but he has yet to get the message that he should come out and play now. In the meantime we will continue to soak up the relaxing moments, full nights of sleep, and quality time with our only child. All of our world's are about to be turned upside down so we are squeezing the life out of these last fleeting moments. 

And, on that note, I might as well nap ;-)! 

40 weeks...a fully cooked baby!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Watermelon Retchless: Week 39

Size of Baby: A "mini" watermelon. I don't really care what adjective is being used to describe a's a WATERMELON!

Workouts: Bar Method, Nana Walks, and the Dish...and yet no baby! I challenged one of our instructors to put me into labor this week and while she did her best to kill me, no baby!


Maternity Clothes: Yes, but I am starting to look longingly at my non-maternity summer clothing selection!

Movement: Yes, especially after "special snack" each night. Last Monday night he was a bit quiet and I casually mentioned that to Dr. R and without a second thought he offered me a double check on Mr. Cooper. Who is going to turn down a chance to have the peace of mind their baby is happy and healthy? So, he hooked me up for a 20 minute, in office, non stress test. Of course, Coop danced his way through the entire test (thereby negating the need for the test in the first place), but it was fun to listen to his heartbeat and get a thumbs up from Dr. R that he is a-ok in there.

Symptoms: "I am having the baby tonight"-itis. My sleep has become much more fitful because I decide about every 2 days that this is the night labor is going to start and sleep like crap in anticipation. Also, I have zero "mother's intuition" about this whole labor thing. I have been convinced on several occasions that Coop's arrival is imminent. Spoiler baby yet.

What I Miss: Energy. I went to Bar Method and a little event at Noah's school and could not keep my eyes open when I got home. I officially wear out super quickly these days.

Girl or BoyBoy!

Belly button In or Out: Out! Like almost embarrassingly out!

Stretch Marks: Nope. 

Cravings: Nothing. In fact, most food makes me nauseous to prepare. I could survive on animal crackers, special snack, and sparkling water until arrival.


Best Moment This Week: non stress test was actually great because I loved the reassurance, hearing that Coop had dropped so at least maybe he is thinking of making an appearance**, and, non pregnancy related, Noah's Mother's Day celebration at school. As much as I wanted Coop to make an appearance this week, I was really hoping he would wait until after this event. It was so special to go to school and get to have a special little snack with my boy! It would have broken my heart not to be there. 

And, of course, Mother's Day! Phew, what a week! My boys made my entire weekend super special. As I told Scott, we didn't necessarily do anything out of the ordinary for us, but it just felt really really special. Rainbows and Unicorns flying around over here for sure! 
I love all the little mirror smudges from my Noah!

**I have decided that the whole due date, dilation, dropping, effacing discussion is nonsense. No one has any clue when these little humans are going to make their arrival and there is seriously no "trick" to making it happen (trust me, I've tried). Due dates should be handed out in much more general terms, such as, "you are due mid to late May". The last few weeks of pregnancy remind me a lot of my half ironman...taxing physically but much more painful from a mental perspective!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Leek Retchless: Week 38

No fields this week! I am going to give a quick rundown of the boy's room instead. But, first, the details of all things growing baby. 

Well, he is still in there! My legs are starting to feel like they weigh 700 pounds but otherwise I feel pretty good. I told Scott I should be a Duggar and have 19 kids. Pregnancy agrees with me. I don't get sick, have good energy, very little aches and pains, etc... That said, I just enjoy non pregnant life too much to throw my hat in the ring for that! Two is good ;-). SO, I guess the main takeaway at 38 weeks is that I feel good, baby is healthy and happy, and we are just anxious to meet this little guy and start our life as a family of 4. 
Forgot to look up! ;-)
And now, on to the room "tour". I should note that we moved every.single.piece of furniture in this room to every.possible.location when we ended up only needing to move the changing table. Apparently our spacial awareness is very poor as it took moving the furniture to realize it didn't work. Please note I am not a room stylist and this just happens to be how it looked at 4pm today (sun/light glares and all!).
Noah's side. Absolutely nothing changed except he lost his bed skirt and got some additional storage. Please note, I just recently put Noah's bumper back in...Coop won't be getting one!
Directly across the room is Coop's crib. Going to add some more pom poms to that corner at some point like Noah's's a little bit of dead space.
Toy & Book storage.
Seriously...I could have at least opened both windows! Love that rocking chair but in my current state it is seriously uncomfortable! Also, you can now see why we can't get a space!
Probably my favorite wall. Unfortunately you can't really see the third blue stripe because of the door but I just love the way it all pulls together with the dresser and mirror.
And there you have it. Our boy's room. We have some serious space constraints so there are toys tucked in every nook and cranny possible but in the end I am really happy with how their shared space turned out. Eventually Noah's crib will convert to a toddler bed and when Coop is ready to make the move we will invest in some bunk beds! Of course, the wheels are already turning on their "big boy room"! For now, we just welcome our little bundle any time!