Thursday, July 30, 2009
Like a wrestler, Cecelia's been packing on the pounds with a very specific goal in mind. Babies typically lose up to 10 % of their birth weight by the time they leave the hospital and are expected to regain that lost weight (i.e. get back to birth weight) within 2-3 weeks. And we are smack dab in the middle of 2-3 weeks right now. We went for our third doctor's appointment/weight check today. Cecelia's been making steady progress. She was 7 lb. 10 oz. at birth, 7 lb. 1 oz. upon leaving the hospital, 6 lb. 13 1/2 oz. the day after leaving the hospital when the visiting nurse came, 7 lb. 3 oz. at our first doctor's appointment, 7 lb. 5 oz. at our second doctor's appointment and...7 lb. 13 oz. today! Our little chunker exceeded her birth weight and without a second to spare. I'm so proud!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Well, it was bound to happen sometime. Yesterday I had a case of baby blues. Why? Is there a good reason? Sleep deprivation, spitty-uppy baby, eating (not me) around the clock...out of whack horomones...regardless of the reason, I was feeling sad, nothing more than that, just sad. Fortunately, this seems to have passed, but I don't anticipate that's the only time I'll feel sad or overwhelmed and that's ok because that's normal. Most women experience some sort of baby blues whether it's fleeting like mine or a more serious depression. As in my pregnancy when I felt like I had a taste for different symptoms to have the "complete" experience, I feel the same with this. On a positive note, baby had her best night's sleep last night - she must have known that I needed it :)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
While we were at Abington, we were visited by a photographer. I was familiar with this as I had friends who had just recently had babies at Abington and were perusing their proofs when I was in to visit the new arrivals. The pictures get posted on the hospital's web nursery and are available for purchase. When I read the brochure, I was under the impression that we could get the photos taken, have them posted on the web nursery for free and then decide later if we wanted to purchase any of the photos or packages. After the photographer finished, however, she informed me that no, we'd have to decide right then and there and if we didn't purchase a package the photos would not be posted on the website and they would not be available for purchase at a later time. I'm not one to be bullied and so, we did not purchase any of the photos. The least expensive package was 29.99 and included wallets of 1 pose. The prices went all the way up to close to $300! And, if you've clicked on the link, you may have noticed that yes - the proofs are on the website and yes - they are available for purchase. What kind of marketers would make it that you couldn't buy them later? So, a word to the wise - don't be bullied in the throes of new baby love to buy professionally taken photographs. Plus, before she started, I asked if we could also take photos while she was working and in the age of digital photography, we got many of the same poses. As you can see above, Cecelia was not having it.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Cecelia went for her first walk last weekend. Jeff and I set up the "travel system" (a car seat that locks into a stroller) for a nice stroll in the shade. Unfortunately we underestimated Cecelia's appetite and no sooner was she strapped in then she decided she was much too hungry for these shenanigans. Rather than have a wailing child outside our condo (inside is fine, but outside's a bit embarassing), she was quickly whisked up into my arms for a different kind of walk. So, we walked, and dad pushed the empty stroller and we went back into our air conditioned bubble.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Last Thursday, we came home from the hospital. The day before, the hospital had given me a menu to select from for the whole day. I had been advised that discharge could take quite some time, so I ordered all three meals because, well, why not? After all the doctors had checked both Cecelia and I out thoroughly, I got my first shower of my hospital stay (tmi?) and felt like a "real" person. Cecelia and I got changed into "street" clothes instead of the hospital pj's we'd both been sporting for the past 2 days. And just then, lunch was delivered. I am not one to waste, so I sat down to eat. Jeff delivered bags to the car and brought it around to the Wunderle Lobby where I met him in a wheelchair (dramatic, much?). After a slow and safe trip, we arrived home to find a beautiful wreath that Jeff's mom, i.e. Nana, made to welcome Cecelia home. Jeff gave Cecelia the grand tour and we began to settle in at home. More on those adventures coming soon!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Hello Everyone! My name is Cecelia and I am 1 week old today! I wanted to tell you a little bit about my first week of life. Well, it was full of firsts: my first day of life, my first diaper change, my first and second, and third baths, my first trip home, my first walk, my first outing, and my first doctor's appointment. Over the next few days, my mom (she's a much faster typist than I) will tell you all about me and what I've been up to, but each week I'll check in to let you see how I'm growing with my friend, Fred the monkey. So, that's it for now - see you next week!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Week 39 turned out to be THE MOST AMAZING week of our lives! And, here's the end product. Cecelia Ann Zschunke (stats - 7 lb 10 oz, 20 in) shot (dad's description) into the world on Tuesday morning, July 14th, at 10:47 after a very precipitate natural labor and delivery. While anyone who's been keeping up here knows that we were scheduled for induction on Tuesday morning anyway, Cecelia had plans of her own. Fortunately, they were very much in line with the plans I hoped she had! I woke up on Tuesday morning around 5:00 with labor pains, but I convinced myself that they were probably false labor pains. I mean, really - what are the chances? During the last few days before the induction, everyone and their mothers (literally) were telling me of someone they knew that had a scheduled date and baby came prior or on that date on their own instead. The contractions were already 5 minutes apart, so I did all the things that you're supposed to do to check if it's "really real." I got up, I moved around, I drank water, and I ate a hearty (this will be important later) breakfast, and I kept track of the start times of each contraction. I called the scheduler at the hospital at 6:30 as I'd been directed to do. She informed me that there were a lot of women in the night before and they weren't ready for me and to call back at 9:00. She also told me I could eat a "light" breakfast - now keep in mind, I had already eaten, so I didn't deliberately dismiss this information. "OK," I said, "but also...I might be in labor." She told me that if the contractions got more intense I should call my doctor to see how to proceed and if a room opened up in the meantime, they'd call me back before 9. So, I went about some household items - put away laundry, put away dishes, made mental notes - throw the sheets in the washer, run the dishwasher before we leave. Fortunately for us, since everything was scheduled, all the bags were by the door and ready to go. I had even thought about putting them in the car the night before, but regardless - we were ready. Jeff woke up shortly after 6:30 and I informed him that I was having contractions and...since he was up, could we put the sheets in the washer now? The contractions grew closer and closer together and still, I just wasn't sure. When they were 1-2 minutes apart and I was down on the floor in the fetal position to get through them, I was a little more certain. Jeff called the doctor who asked to speak with me. After asking, "Can you stand through contractions?" No. And, "Can you talk through contractions?" Not really. We were instructed to go to triage, a part of the maternity's labor and delivery unit where they check to see if you're really in labor or just faking it. And away we go (Good movie by the way). After joking (Jeff) about stopping in at Cosi for a coffee, we arrived at the hospital. Jeff asked if we should go through valet/emergency or to the parking garage. "Garage," I said, valet would just be a pain because he'd have to come back down to the car to move it later. Once in the garage (our garage ticket indicates this was at 8:28 AM), we only had to take one contraction pit stop where I sat down and hunched over in the parking garage before making a "run" for it to get a wheelchair. We took our wheelchair up to 4 Toll and straight to reception. After copying my license and insurance, I asked the receptionist if there was anything I might throw up in, and on that note, she said, "You go right through that door quickly." We got to triage, and similar to Monopoly we "passed go." The nurses gave me something just in case and told me they'd been expecting me since I was scheduled - in fact they already had a room for me, but...it was being cleaned. Which was fine with me. I was just happy to be in the hospital. I felt very safe, and I knew that if the flood gates opened (i.e. my water broke), they'd have to clean it up. After observing me for a few moments, the nurses decided that perhaps they shouldn't wait for room 7 and instead directed me to room right across from where I was - #5. From here on out, things get a bit blurry for me, but I'll do my best. Nurse B hooked me up to all sorts of monitors, an IV, and a blood pressure cuff. While she was performing these tasks, I followed through on my earlier intuition, and breakfast came back for a quick visit. Fortunately Jeff (PS - the best labor coach EVER) was prepared with the aformentioned container. Dr. P arrived at 9:40 to check me out and as she was doing so, the nurse asked her to wait to rupture my membranes (i.e. break the water) until she put many towels down around me due to the high fluid, to which Dr. P replied, uh - too late (she didn't do it on purpose though) and she pulled the sheet up to catch everything. That woman must be a magician because I don't think a drop hit the floor, though I didn't investigate that further. She reported that I was 5 cm dilated, 100% effaced and baby was in 0 station (which just means she's where she's supposed to be and we're halfway there as far as cm goes). In my mind, this also meant that we could still be here all day. But, approximately 20 minutes later, I felt the urge to bear down and communicated this to the best labor coach EVER who quickly communicated it to anyone else who would listen. Dr. P checked and she indicated that we were now 10 cm and ready to rumble (she didn't use those words exactly...sometimes I improve the visual with such references). Just prior to this I started to question (in my mind only) my natural birth plan (no pitocin, no epidural, no nubain) as the pains were intense, but as it turns out this was transition...which is intense and indicates that in those moments of self doubt I was between 8-10 cm and past the point where I could have changed my mind anyway. After 47 minutes of pushing (during which I was evidently awfully polite to those around me, thanking everyone who encouraged me and apologizing if I didn't breathe right) our daughter came storming into the world as a friend so kindly put it (fitting and all on Bastille Day). There had been meconium (baby poo) in the amniotic fluid so the doctor had already called the NICU doctors prior to her arrival to suction her immediately and check that vitals were good. They were, daddy cut the cord, and she was placed right on me for some family bonding time. Amazing. That's all. Amazing.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Tomorrow's the big day! We call the scheduler at 6:30 in the morning and are then assigned a time to come to the hospital for an induction. Think of it like the timed passes at Disney, only this will be a very different kind of roller coaster. Many people have expressed curiosity as to why we're being induced. It's common for women to be induced once they go past their due date, especially if they are approaching 42 weeks, but in our case we're being induced 5 days prior to baby's estimated due date during the 39th week. Also, there's been some confusion that we're scheduled for a c-section. Inducing involves an iv drip (I think - I'll be more of an expert on this topic tomorrow) of pitocin, an artificial form of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the naturally occurring hormone that sets off contractions during labor and is also released during breastfeeding to continue to contract the uterus to expel the placenta and start to shrink the uterus back down to size. Pitocin causes many women to skip over early labor and head right into some heavy hitting contractions. So again, why now? Due to the high level of fluid, there is concern that if I start to labor naturally at home and my water breaks, there is a higher likelihood of a complication called "cord prolapse." If the cord prolapses, this means that when the water breaks, the cord comes out with it since it's such a gush with a larger amount of fluid and the velocity of that fluid. The danger is that the cord comes out before the baby and the gets pinched (think of a hose with a kink in it) thus preventing baby from getting what she needs. By inducing labor in the hospital, when the water breaks, it can all be monitored very closely and if the cord did prolapse, action could be taken immediately to prevent any damage to the baby. So, long story short - that's why we're headed in tomorrow. And, to clarify, unless there are further complications, she should be coming out the good ole' fashioned way. I'll keep ya'all posted as to our progress.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Well, this marks the end...or the beginning. End of the belly, beginning of the baby. Tuesday's D day...or Monday afternoon IF they get through all 8 and any "walk ins" ... or Wednesday depending on how long this whole process takes. As for me, I'm going swimming.
Here are some pictures of baby's furnished and decorated digs. Many thanks to our "decorators": Jeff, Nana, and Aunt Sarah. Many thanks also to our quilters: Missy and Debbie. Debbie also makes handbags - if you are interested in checking out the selection, visit here: Handbags by Debbie and Stephanie.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Today's appointment told us more of the same - still 2 cm, still 50% effaced, still a non-stressed baby, still scheduled for Tuesday. It happened that 8 people were already scheduled for induction for Monday (I told you it was a popular scheduling day what with being right after the weekend), so that's why we got moved to Tuesday. I was told by the scheduler however, that, if by chance, all 8 women deliver speedily, I may just get a call on Monday afternoon to come on over. Doubtful.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
We got bumped to Tuesday for the scheduled induction. I think Monday is a very popular scheduling day. That just gives me more time to walk, walk, walk. This morning I walked to the library to pick up some items on hold (not by myself, don't worry!). Tonight I'm walking a different neighborhood before diving practice/team party. Tomorrow, I'm going to try to walk to Giant to pick up some milk. Where to on Saturday?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Cecelia really stepped it up today. The AFI (amniotic fluid indicator) tech measured 44 centimeters of fluid. To clarify, our first measurement of this type found 21 centimeters, a second and third measurement found 30 centimeters and at our follow up consult the perinatologist indicated that 30 was high but not too high. He told us at that appointment (about two weeks ago) that a number above 40 was really high and that's when we should worry. So you can imagine my reaction when the tech told me 44. Uh oh. The tech indicated that that was the most fluid she had EVER seen. I'm totally checking into the Guinness Book about this. I want credit if it's really THAT much. So after a waiting game to talk to my doctor this afternoon/evening, she's decided to schedule an induction for Monday. Which could mean Monday and it could mean Tuesday, but now (since I'd really prefer to avoid the whole pitocin issue) I'm going to start going for long long walks and doing just about anything else suggested in order to get things moving prior to Monday. Suggestions?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
At today's appointment, we had a non-stress test and got the results from the glucose tolerance test repeat as well as the blood work for CMV, Parvovirus, and Toxoplasmosis and the good news is we're in the clear. Phew! Now that I definitely don't have gestational diabetes I'm eating what I want for the next two weeks. Who am I kidding? I already do, well - I still try to eat healthy, but I should say I'm not giving it a second thought whereas before I would really try to avoid any unhealthy sugars the day before an appointment. And as for the other blood work, it is definitely reassuring because I went to my good friend the search engine and scared myself plenty, so now I can breathe easy. Tomorrow, I'll head to the fetal diagnostic center for the AFI (which I found out I can get just as easily in the office - I knew it!). So, I'll be canceling that last appointment and rescheduling to consolidate trips to the doctor. I'll update on fluid levels tomorrow. Today, I also asked about which body parts were sticking out where and found out that the large bump right in the middle isn't a body part at all, but a big ole lump o fluid. She's curved all around it - how accommodating.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Jeff and I had a date night the night that we found out I was 2 cm dilated, just in case. Since then, we've been "getting in" other date nights here and there, just in case. I feel like each moment is a stolen one that we need to treasure before it's all gone. That's not to say that we won't spend time together once the baby's here, but it will be different. So, since our movie night (now two weekends ago!) we've been out to dinner, yesterday we went to the carnival and today we're going to the movies during the day and mini-golfing in the evening. We've also been eating dinner together at home as often as possible and enjoying DVDs from the library. I feel like soon we'll be so consumed by the baby but it's also important to both of us not to lose touch with each other. Jeff's also looking forward to our "hospital vacation." It may be our last vacation for a while.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Week 38 marks the start of the AFI measurements. AFI stands for Amniotic Fluid Indicator, so on Wednesday, we'll see how many fathoms, eh I mean centimeters, deep the fluid is these days. Even though she could come at any time, keep in mind that we're still 2 weeks away from our due date. We are prepared, but patient. Baby will get here when she gets here. People sure do like to tell me how ready to go I look. Thanks :)
Saturday, July 4, 2009
4th of July is one of my favorite holidays - probably because it falls right in the middle of my favorite season, summer. This summer will give us all new reasons to celebrate soon enough. Some summer with baby activities I'm looking forward to: long walks, dips in the pool, trips to the shore, trips to the zoo, and day trips in general. I have big plans for being out and about with this baby and, as a realistic person, I also realize that none of them may happen - so, to be on the safe side, I also look forward to holing up in our home with our baby and being quite content there too. Either way, I feel very fortunate for the relatively temperate weather we've had so far this summer and look forward to floating a few more days weightlessly in the pool before baby arrives. Did I mention that I love the summer?
Friday, July 3, 2009
I don't think I followed up on this before, but the week after school let out, I had a mission. I made a list of the items we most often purchase at the store. We've been most recently going consistently to Whole Foods to do our shopping. Everyone always commented that Whole Foods was always more expensive, and I wasn't so sure. So, with the time available, I wanted to find out. Also, a new natural foods store will be opening right up the road (next to the new Toys R Us/Babies R Us superstore) and I wanted to have a basis for comparison when we check that out. The biggest drawback I've felt about Whole Foods is the distance and therefore gas we need to use to get there on a weekly basis. On the other hand, I want to support organic practices whenever possible. So, with those things in mind, I compared the prices of products at Wegmans, Giant, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's. I was trying for apples to apples whenever possible, so I wasn't looking at the cost of conventional items, only organic or the same brands we've come to know and love whenever possible. So, I started at Wegman's and recorded unit prices, then did the same at Giant. When I arrived at Whole Foods, I quickly realized that the units were different - ugh! I also went to Trader Joe's in between and they didn't have unit prices at all, just total cost listed - double ugh! After getting the total prices at Whole Foods, I went back to Wegmans and Giant to check on the items that would be less expensive there to double check. Overall, there were still items available for the lowest cost at Whole Foods - surprise! I created a list of which items we'll (ideally, anyway) get at each place and a comprehensive list of the prices found at each store so that when the new store opens up we can compare there too. Jeff was so pleased (note the sarcasm) when he asked, "So which store do we go to?" "All 3!" Wegmans is on the way home from work for Jeff so we'll consolidate trips that way, and any trips to Whole Foods will be more to stock up in bulk on items so that we don't have to go there once a week as we were before and Giant...well, that's within walking distance, so no biggie. If you're interested in the prices I found, just let me know and I'll forward the list your way. Now - this is specific to us, and does not include every item in the store. If you're wondering about how much you spend on groceries, I highly suggest this as a way to find the lowest cost without sacrificing the quality of your food.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
We had our non-stress test/pre-natal app. combo today before the holiday weekend. The non-stress showed a VERY non-stressed baby for close to an hour and then she kicked it up a notch for a "textbook" print out. The exam showed that I am measuring "about the same." I'm guessing that actually means 2 1/2 cm., but to be fair, the same would be 2 cm., 50% effaced, so to err on the side of the caution that's where we are. We can anticipate our repeat glucose results, and lab results for CMV, Toxoplasmosis, and Fifth's Disease back in 1-2 weeks (we'll see) and we tested negative (a good thing) for Group B Strep. I did get the AFI (fluid level check) scheduled for next Wednesday and the following week (again...we'll see). So next week, there will be three days of doctors. Overall, I'm still feeling very comfortable and able to move around and do all sorts of things.
On a different note, Jeff has had a bad case of insomnia. (I've been sleeping just fine!). He commented this morning that once she comes, he thinks he'll be able to sleep - haha. Little does he know what's about to happen here.
On a different note, Jeff has had a bad case of insomnia. (I've been sleeping just fine!). He commented this morning that once she comes, he thinks he'll be able to sleep - haha. Little does he know what's about to happen here.