Thursday Thoughts #5

Thursday ThoughtsToday my perfect baby boy is one week old!

As I’ve posted a Thursday Thoughts about my pre-term labor scare, I thought it’d only be fair to share my true labor story.

On July third I was scheduled for inducement. That’s right, after multiple pre-term labor scares and one month on bedrest my little one was 5 days late! We joke that he follows “Stuart time” – my husband’s definition of “a couple minutes” is at least 15 and “soon” could mean anywhere from 10-60+ minutes.

I was so nervous about having a holiday baby. Because I tend to obsess over holiday parties and themes I knew that I would struggle with having to share a birthday and holiday. Especially one of my favorite holidays! With my arrival time at the hospital of 4am I had 20 hours. (Of course, I knew that whatever day I finally became a mom wouldn’t matter. It’s definitely my new favorite day of the year!)

Here is the story of how Wesley entered the world:

At 3:15am I was eating a homemade waffle. And I had a cinnamon donut from Dunkin in the car on the way. At 4:00 we were checking in to the hospital. I absolutely loved my nursing staff and an IV was placed effortlessly. Hundreds of forms were signed and my food allergies recorded.

Around 5:30am they started the Pitocin drip at a rate of 2 miliunits/minute. After an hour that rate was increased to 4 and at 7:30 a resident came in to break my water. It was now at this point when I could feel the contractions.

I allowed the majority of my fluids to leak before changing tactics. I left the bed and bounced on the birthing ball. My mom rubbed my back through almost every contraction and I couldn’t be more grateful. As I was most definitely experiencing back labor, her efforts did not go unnoticed.

My biggest desire for “D-day” was to labor in water. In discussing this wish with my doctor earlier in the pregnancy I was informed that I could labor in the tub, but that I couldn’t deliver there. After a quick cervical check, my nurse informed me that if I wanted an epidural now would probably be the time. (I declined.) Additionally, if I wanted to get in the tub I’d have to do it now and have only 30 minutes before being asked to get out. This moment might be my favorite of the labor process – I was elated at my progress and knew that my chances of needing a c-section were slim-to-none.

After the bath my Pitocin drip was decreased from 6 back to 4. My contractions were back to back and the hospital team didn’t want to “over heat” my uterus! I returned to the birthing ball and also tried a few different positions in bed. The Pitocin was yet again reduced to 2 miliunits/minute before being cut off entirely.

I went quickly from 8 to 10 centimeters dilated and it was time to push at 1:00pm. The Pitocin drip was restarted to provide my contractions that extra oomph to help me push.

Pushing was such a frustrating and rewarding experience. It took at least 30-40 minutes for me to learn the technique. But two hours later, at 3:07pm it was all worth it.

The doctors lifted my baby up towards my husband and had him discover and declare, “It’s a boy!” My son was then placed skin-to-skin on my chest and Stuart cut the umbilical cord. I had to ask for my glasses back just so I could see this tiny person we created! As elated and proud as I was, I could only imagine what that moment was like for the newest dad!

Induced, Natural Delivery

Ginger Molasses Cookies

There are a lot of theories about foods to induce labor and while I don’t believe in any of them I’ve still used them as a nice excuse to indulge in hot wings.

And cookies.

A google search led me to a recipe for “labor inducing cookies” which are really gingersnaps with some cayenne. Except that I forgot to add the cayenne. I mean, really!? But, now I have a post perfect for National Gingersnap Day.

Quick question: Why is gingersnap day in July? Are we trying to go with the “Christmas in July” feel? The batter smelled like Thanksgiving to me!

These cookies are rich with molasses and spicy with ginger. (If you want to try to put someone into labor add the 1/2 tsp of cayenne I forgot about.)

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 C sugar, plus extra for rolling cookies
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/3 C molasses
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugars. When combined add the molasses. Add the egg whites.
  3. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the butter and molasses mixture in two installments.
  5. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Roll balls in sugar. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.justmommies.com/pregnancy/labor-and-childbirth/labor-inducing-cookie-recipe*

Ginger Molasses Cookies

P.S. – They didn’t work. Neither did spicy foods. Or pineapple.

 

Thursday Thoughts #4

Thursday Thoughts

I’ve uncovered a flaw in my Thursday Thoughts. … They have to be posted on Thursday! So typically I’ll write my post ahead of time, and just have to wait for the next open Thursday on the blog schedule. Therefore, this post, once scheduled, could be so out of date it’s ridiculous! (but I do re-read them for updates and edits the night before they go live) I expect the Thursday Thoughts posts to become more regular once I’m in full swing mom mode. 🙂

I’ve been back at work now that I’m in the “safe zone” of pregnancy. This is the tough stretch. I am thankful that I’m not overly uncomfortable and that I’m not huge all over. Although, my ankles and feet swell pretty badly by the time my eight hours of work are up. I know I should be patient, my due date isn’t until the 28th. (Keep in mind I started writing this post on the 17th.) But after being on bed rest for 6-7 weeks and having 4 scares of pre-term labor in all, now that baby is full term and it would be acceptable for him/her to arrive each day is torturous. Really, is it too much to ask for my little one to send me a meeting invite so i can put it on my calendar? 😉 It seems I had 8 1/2 months of contractions and now nothing.

Cinnamon Buttermilk MuffinFor my first week back at work I decided to make these muffins. One of my #bundtbaker blogger pals (Stacy) starts every week with #MuffinMonday. When this post arrived in my inbox I knew I had to make them. I even had buttermilk in the fridge just begging to be used. I’m not going to lie, I made these the same day I made cupcakes and had some leftover cream cheese icing. I definitely ate one with icing… which negates the muffin-ness. But oh so good. They’re good without the icing too and were perfect to get me through my daily 9am snack time.

photo 2Have you been watching the World Cup? Stuart is a big soccer fan (weekend mornings are always a battle between Food Network and Soccer) and had us play along with ESPN’s World Cup Pick Em and World Cup Bracket. I’m not gonna lie – I’m kicking his butt! As of Wednesday night, I am currently ranked 14,557 with an 87.7% while he is laying “low” at 62,864 with a 46.9%. We should’ve bet on it! It makes watching the matches more enjoyable having a team to root for. Unfortunately Spain’s poor performance is really going to mess with my bracket when that portion of the tournament starts. I have them in the final match! But, I’m sure my bracket won’t be the only one that’s SOL. I wish I were clever and creative enough to make these World Cupcakes. There’s nothing saying I can’t make them… but I just won’t feel as awesome as if I’d thought of them myself. Maybe my creative juices will flow better when I’m finally a mom?… probably not… unless sleep deprivation sparks genius.

Stuart’s siblings got us the super awesome Ninja Blender system for Christmas. And we’ve gone through phases with smoothie making. Stuart will always try to make a smoothie with protein powder in it when he comes home from the gym. So we try to keep a stocked freezer full of fruits. After a few days in a row of unhealthy eating I really wanted something light and refreshing for dinner. Stuart brought up the idea of smoothies and it was perfect! My new favorite is Raspberry Lemonade (frozen raspberries, lemonade, yogurt)! It’s actually been a nice addition to my breakfast too. Also delicious is Blueberry Pineapple (frozen blueberries, frozen pineapple, yogurt, milk). We like to take them with us on our evening walks.

Thursday Thoughts #2

Thursday Thoughts

This installment of Thursday Thoughts documents my latest (and first) escapade with hospitalization.

Some of my astute readers may have picked up on the fact that I am pregnant. If you haven’t, you’ve been caught as a “skip to recipe” blog reader! 😉 But that’s okay, I forgive you. This post is mostly written as a diary entry for me to remember this experience, and to more easily share with family.

On Tuesday April 29th (wk 31) I went to a standard doctor’s appointment. I was placed on a Non Stress Test (NST) to monitor baby’s heart rate and movement, along with my own uterine activity. It was determined that I had been experiencing contractions every 4 minutes. But this isn’t the first time. About a month ago (wk 26/27) I was having the same 4 minute contractions. But I don’t feel them, and have never been afraid that I was going into labor – I’ve heard labor hurts.

Last time I was sent to Labor & Delivery to be given an IV and some medications to prevent preterm labor. After an hour and a half my contractions stopped and I was released. Other than a strong reaction to one of the medications, it wasn’t too bad a visit. Except for the being poked by multiple needles part.

So, Tuesday I was being returned to L&D. Stuart was on a business trip. Really, I was expecting a repeat of my previous experience. I was mentally prepared for the IV. Unfortunately a test came back positive for a hormone that indicates preterm labor. And my contractions (which I still didn’t feel) weren’t stopping.

I got to the hospital at 445pm. By 8pm I’d been told I’d be there overnight – so my mom threw some things in the car and started driving on up (she stopped halfway to sleep around 1am). One of my best friends from Auburn, who also lives in the area, came by and hung out with me until 11pm. I’m so lucky to have friends who love me enough to drive to the hospital at 8pm just to keep me company.

In the morning I was informed that I needed to be transferred to a hospital with a NICU – just in case. But there was one problem. You may have heard about it on the news. The FL panhandle was hit by a storm that flooded Pensacola and parts of Destin – shutting down bridges and roads. And helicopters were grounded. My doctor was pretty calm when she told me that there was a chance my baby could be coming in the next day or two. I’d been given a steroid to advance lung development. But if my baby were to arrive and I hadn’t been able to be transferred then my newborn would have to be transferred without me! I wasn’t afraid of potential labor, I wasn’t afraid that my child wouldn’t survive, I was afraid that my baby would be lost! Maybe a slightly irrational fear, maybe not, but that’s what was going through my head.

before mag 1My mom made it, through the weather, by 11am. And Stuart was able to coordinate a flight path back to the panhandle. I couldn’t know where to send him (I had no way of knowing if I could make it out to Pensacola!) but he was put on a flight to Panama City, arriving at 8pm, where he rented a car to get to wherever I might be by that point.

In the early evening I was transferred to another local hospital with a NICU. This was my first time on a stretcher and in an ambulance. The EMT guys were great and I was still all smiles.

And then I was provided the treatment from hell. Magnesium Sulfate. In keeping friends and family posted on my situation, everyone said, “I’m sorry.” And after being hooked up to the “mag”, I know why! I was told I’d be receiving mag through my IV for 24 hours. I was warned that side effects were pretty bad. The side effects were also pretty instant. My poor husband arrived after about 5 hours on the mag, so he did not receive a very happy “welcome home.”

The only benefit (other than the obvious good it was doing to prevent preterm labor) of the side effects was the amount of drowsiness I was experiencing. It’s the only thing that awarded me a little bit of sleep through the night. I had a blood pressure cuff on my right arm, an IV in my left hand, the NST around my abdomen, these strange things on my legs to prevent blood clots, and a catheter. I don’t know how I would have been able to get any sleep with so many tubes and wires if I weren’t so completely weak and drowsy.

on mag 1The second day on the mag was even worse than the first. The weakness and drowsiness only amplified. By the 20 hour mark I was ready to figure out how to unhook myself! I could barely talk and couldn’t move. I was so weak that I couldn’t even straighten my leg without help from my mom and Stuart. Additionally, the mag makes you very hot. According to my visitors the hospital room was freezing, and I was still trying to throw blankets off of me! (If you know me but at all, you know I’m always cold. That’s enough to tell you I was “off.”) But the worst side effect that I experienced was a change in my vision. I already have horrendous eye sight, but on the mag it was even worse. It was as if I had been given the wrong glasses prescription. I couldn’t focus much on the the TV without serious squinting and concentration. And I couldn’t see my phone up close unless it were practically touching my nose.

Thankfully the medication worked enough that the doctor removed me from the mag an hour and a half early! It was a miracle moment. And within minutes I was able to talk again. Temperature regulation, eye sight, and strength took longer to return. But I was happily removed from all tubes and wires. It was a few hours before I felt strong enough walk to the restroom without help.

after mag 1Another overnight stay at the hospital and an observational stint on the NST and I was discharged!

So I am now on bed rest and my mother is very generously doing the cooking and cleaning for me.

I created a schedule for May blog posts a couple weeks ago, and with my Mom’s help I’m able to stick to it pretty well. However, the prescription I was given to take daily to prevent contractions has the caveat to not eat or drink grapefruit or grapefruit juice so even though I have a wonderful idea for this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge (grapefruit + wasabi), I’ll have to sit it out. The most important dishes (Secret Recipe Club, Cinco de Mayo, and my #BundtBakers cake) are being accomplished though!