Sunday, November 30, 2014

Welcome to the World, Franklin Dexter!




We welcomed another beautiful boy, Franklin Dexter, into the world on Monday November 24th at 10:25 pm. Frankie, as customary throughout my whole pregnancy with him, chose to surprise us, because I was so sure I'd go overdue with him. 

I started having contractions a few nights prior, and it only lasted half hour. Then the same thing happened on early Monday morning around 3 am, and the contractions lasted for quite some time. I managed to sleep through most of it, and was surprised to see that it did not go away when we got up for the day. I informed Stu that he should keep phone close to him when he went to work...just in case. The contractions did stop, and didn't start up again. I shrugged, and brushed it off as my body going into pre-game mode. Forrest had his lunch, and napped. I relaxed and started sewing. The contractions started again. They were inconsistent. Stu checked on me throughout the day. Around 3 pm, the contractions were getting more crampy, and stronger. Of course, mother nature had to throw a wrench in our plans by dumping a snow storm, promising 5 to 7 inches of snow that night, and Stu worried a bit about me having contractions. After all, our hospital was 35 minutes away. Stu called Dr. Mbah, and Dr. Mbah said not to come in until my contractions are 10 minutes apart, or if my water breaks. I assured Stu it was not the night we were going to have our baby.

It was mainly because with Forrest, I had labored the whole time in a hospital, and the contractions I had with piction was very painful. I kept expecting to be in that kind of pain in order for me to go into labor. As it was my goal to labor naturally, I had no idea what to expect, and what I was experiencing was not very painful compared to piction contractions. Despite having to walk through my contractions, I was feeling great during the breaks, and continued to wait for that "OMG I'm going to die" contractions to start. 

At 5 pm, the contractions were getting stronger, and frequent. I decided to start timing them very closely. Stu went outside to snow blow the sidewalk, and driveway. I fed Forrest dinner, and started walking through my contractions, because they were not pleasant enough for me to sit it out. By 6 pm, I continued to walk through my contractions, and saw that they were getting closer together by 15 minutes. Stu, and I decided to wait until 7 pm, then leave to the hospital just to be monitored. I contacted C, my interpreter, for the birth, and informed her. I packed Stu's bag and finished my hospital bag. C cautioned us about the road condition being poor. Stu bathed Forrest, and got him ready for bed, then we waited for his brother's fiancee to come to watch Forrest. By 7 pm, my contractions were 10 minutes apart. It was time to go. Spencer came over quickly to watch Forrest. I kissed Forrest good bye, told him I loved him, and shed a few tears over the fact that he was not going to be my only baby anymore. That was a bit hard on me emotionally to leave Forrest, even though he was in a very good hands with Spencer, and Wally. 

Wally came in when we were about to leave, and we were on our way. Stu had to drive carefully on HWY 29, because the snow was coming down hard, and the road visibility was bad. I cried a bit over leaving Forrest, and knowing our lives were going to change. I continued to time my contractions. They were now 7 minutes apart. I found it was a bit trickier to sit through my contractions, because I had been walking through them earlier. My pelvis was hurting bad, which was worse than my contractions, and once a contraction was over, I felt fine. I felt good. It took us an hour, and ten minutes at most to finally arrive at the hospital! By that point, my contractions were 5 minutes apart. 

Stu pulled up in the front of the hospital in the valet parking section. I got out of the car, and got hit by a painful contraction. There were a bunch of people waiting in the lobby entrance for their cars to be brought back from the parking lot by valet guys, and they had their eyes on me. It was probably obvious to them that I was having a baby soon! The valet came up to us, and grabbed a wheelchair for me. I sat in it, and the guy literally ran to the elevator with me in the wheelchair! It was funny.  I was surprised at how I found humor while laboring! We went to the maternity floor, and got checked in, then met with C. We were brought to the triage room to be monitored. I was changed into an ugly poorly made gown. Poor Stu had a hard time figuring out how to button it up on me! Then I was strapped with contraction monitor, and put on the bed. 

The nurse we had was really sweet, and her name was Lara. She saw that I was having consistent contractions, and checked me. To our shock, I was 6 CM, almost 100 percent effaced, plus 2 station (plus 4 meant pushing time), and the water bag was about to be ruptured. It was GO time, based on the history of fast labor, and delivery I had with Forrest. Lara paged the nurses to let them know to set up my room immediately. I was going to have a baby SOON. Lara also paged doctors on the call, and Dr. Temp responded (my doctor, Mbah was not on call that night). She wanted to break my water if my body had not broken it before then. I opted out for an epidural, knowing that my body was going to deliver this baby fast, and went completely unmedicated. 

By 9:00 pm or 9:10 pm at latest, Dr. Temp came in, and broke my water. We all waited for Jellybean to make debut. We were laughing, joking around, and having jolly good time between my contractions. Lara said that I was making labor seem so easy, and that I was made for birthing many babies! C asked us what we thought we were going to have. Matter of fact, he had to use farm analogy (can't get rid of inner farm boy inside of him) by saying I was going to have a heifer, meaning a girl. I said a boy. 


It was not until last few contractions that I got really serious. I had a game face on. It started to really hurt all over. My pelvis was what killed me the most. I held--okay, I destroyed--Stu's hand, and griped on the bar with my other hand throughout those contractions. The last contraction I had lasted for good 5 minutes without stopping. C went to get Lara to see if that was normal to have a contraction that long. Lara came in to check on me, and waited for me to finish that contraction. I finally got a brief break, and told Stu that the baby was ready to come. Unlike Forrest's birth, there was time to prep my bed into delivery bed, to prop me up, and have Dr. Temp come in without rushing. It was pushing time! 

Pushing was very different this time. Franklin was born face up instead of face down with his hand on his face. They didn't call it "labor" for nothing. It was a work! Someone suggested a mirror to watch the baby to be born. I said yes, sure, and hoping it would motivate me to push harder. It did! It really helped to see that I was bringing a baby into the world, and that I was doing something incredible. Later, I was really happy I did. Dr. Temp coached me through it all by counting to ten for each push. Suddenly,  Jellybean was born into the world. As soon as Dr. Temp lifted Jellybean up, I saw that he was a boy! My mommy intuition was right! He was placed on my chest right away, and everything else was taken care of (I don't need to go into details here, and gross people out about after birth procedure)! After that was taken care of, Franklin was weighed, measured, and looked over. Frankie was announced to be between 7-8 for APGAR score, which was pretty good, for a little baby like him. 


Franklin Dexter weighed 7 pounds even, 20 inches long, and perfect in every literal sense. He was beautiful, and looked just exactly like his big brother, Forrest, at the birth! We were amazed by how alike they looked like!! On top of my amazement at how beautiful Frankie was, I was also proud of myself for getting through my labor like a champ, and to get a natural birth I have had always wanted. I was up, and walking around shortly after giving birth. I surprised myself by being able to do this, because I had a harder recovery with Forrest, and expected the same with Frankie. However, it was not the case at all. 


Franklin was born into the world very calm. He was tested to be at risk of Jaundice, and had trouble with nursing since he was so sleepy.  I had to coax Franklin quite often to latch on, and nurse. He continued to improve, despite his trouble, and I was quite glad that this was not my first rodeo with nursing. Otherwise, I would have been overwhelmed. However, I had nursed before, and it gave me a lot of patience with Franklin. This was when our amazing lactation nurse came in, and taught me how to get Frankie to nurse. For that, I was grateful to gain more knowledge how to feed Frankie, and allow my body to nourish him (a very hippie statement, I know, ha ha). 


Upon asking by a few people, absolutely no, I am not disappointed that I did not have a girl. I had an inkling I was going to have another boy, and I've always wanted two boys. Franklin is an awesome gift that I am so blessed to be bestowed with, and it is not just me, but our family as well.  We are pretty content with family of 4, even though we yet to feel completed as a family, and in a few years, we may be welcoming another little boy, or girl.  As for right now, let the craziness begin!! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

WEEK 39



How Far Along: 39 weeks, & 3 days. With Forrest, I had him a week later via induction. However, with JB, we are waiting it out with him/her. I have a feeling that JB will arrive in early December, but who knows, Jellybean has been full of surprises with this pregnancy. 

I am Feeling: Pretty good for being 39 weeks pregnant. I may have to start wearing some of Stu's shirts, or same few shirts over, and over again, because my belly is getting low, which means I no longer fit well in my regular maternity shirts. I look like I have a beer belly with my regular maternity shirts! I don't feel like constantly pulling down my shirts, or wanting to buy new bigger maternity shirts, because I'm almost done with this pregnancy. I'll just grin, and bear it until the baby is evicted! 


Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a watermelon. Jellybean's fingernails may extend past his/her fingernails, and continues to practice breathing. 

Movements: JB hiccups a lot, and the whole body vibrates. It's a funny feeling, and I remember it very well from Forrest. JB has a very distinctive time now of sleeping, and waking. Jellybean tends to sleep all morning into the day with an occasional movement, then hiccup like crazy around dinner time, and sleep, then start hiccuping when I am in bed until 10 pm or so. I think JB is a night owl like me. 

Gender Prediction: Some people are guessing a girl, and some others are guessing a boy. We will find out soon enough, won't we?

Symptoms: Tired, feeling very pregnant, sore hips, sore lower back especially if I am overdoing it or on my feet quite a lot, and feeling anxious about oncoming labor.

Labor Signs: I was awoken by contractions at 2:30 in the morning a few nights ago. It lasted for a half hour in intervals before stopping. So it was not the show time for Jellybean to make his/her debut. Then last night, I was awoken up by contractions, and they lasted between 20 to 40 minutes from 3 am until 6:45 am. We will see if it gets closer together as the day goes on. Otherwise, it's just my body warming up! 

Best Moments of the Week: Finishing up two baby quilts, and I am absolutely excited to be giving a quilt to a wonderful friend of mine at her baby shower in the spring. I started on a lot of hand-made Christmas gifts for my side of the family. I decided it would be a good idea to get that started, and keep myself busy until JB is born! 

Update: I chose not to be checked for dilation at my last appointment. So I have no clue! I'll find out at the next appointment if there is any change.

Next Appointment: Tuesday November 25 at 1:45 pm.


Monday, November 17, 2014

WEEK 38





How Far Along: 38 weeks & 3 days. We are gunning down to D-Day (Due day). Only 12 more days! Again, I'm determined to keep this baby in for as long as possible until JB is ready to come out, even if that means carrying him/her until 42 weeks (let's hope it won't come to that point because I'd be SO SICK of being pregnant by then).


I am Feeling: Excited, tired, and anxious. I'm tired, because I've been getting up frequently at the night to pee. I'm both excited, and anxious about the birth, especially now with things finally falling into its place for a natural birth I wanted all along. I have no idea what to expect seeing that I had been induced with Forrest. I'm not eager about the pain aspect of the birth, but am really excited to meet JB. I'm also bored, because I forgot how HARD it is to wait in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and I have literally everything done. So, I don't know what I should do in the next couple weeks. I'm a bit sad, because I have to take my wedding ring off! I never had to do that with Forrest, and I weighed more with him than I do with this baby. I learned that it is more common in colder months to need take rings off than it is in the summer months. Kind of weird, because you'd think it would be more likely in summer, not winter! Anyway, I've been sans without my wedding ring, and it feels weird. 


Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a pumpkin. His/her head is also as big as his/her abdomen. Jellybean's skin is now smooth, and fattened up. At this point, there is not much Jellybean is doing developmentally wise. The biggest job Jellybean has now is to gain weight. 

Movements: Jellybean is not moving as much. That poor kid just has no room to move. It's usually fingers palpating, or wiggling into more comfortable spot. 

Gender Prediction: People still are saying a girl, and I had a dream that JB was a girl. I'm open to possibility of having another boy, and even so, I think having a girl would be fun as well. It's the best part of being surprised...finding out who Jellybean is! 

Symptoms: Our latest bout with stomach virus triggered me to go into an overdrive to ensure that everything.was.clean! So things did end up being very clean, and disinfected, which made me feel tons better. I had a full day of intense nesting. In the days that followed my intense episode of nesting, I made a bunch of freezer meals, stocked up on snacks, and bought a small turkey breast for Thanksgiving.  I also started packing my hospital bag, and figured I would add more later when it's a go time. People claimed that nesting meant the baby was on its way soon. 

Labor Signs: I have been having more contractions inconsistently. I had been checked once again at my recent appointment, and no change. I did expect that, and decided I would rather not to be checked again until 40-41 weeks--no reason to, really! 

Best Moments of the Week: Seeing JB on the big screen. Getting the house clean, and prepared for JB's arrival. Spending time with Forrest, and Stu. Made a bunch of delicious snacks, and stocked up for when the baby gets here. 

Looking Forward To: Meeting JB in a few weeks! 

Update: Jellybean was still in the head down position. The fluid level went up from 7 to 13.1!! So all the drinking water, and Gatorade helped! I loved this shot so much--JB's first duckface!



Next Appointment: Thursday November 20th for a regular check up. No ultrasound from this point on since everything checked out great. 


Monday, November 10, 2014

WEEK 37

This was taken right before a stomach bug hit all of us! 


How Far Along: Week 37 & 3 days.

I Am Feeling: Very pregnant. I'm ready to have this baby, but I'm really determine to keep the baby inside for as long as possible. It is easier to take care of the baby when the baby is inside, ha ha. I also want an early DEC. baby. I think that would be cool, but JB will come when JB comes either for a medical reason, or natural. I'm anxious to find out about the fluid level is at the next appointment, and to meet JB soon! We are also battling an awful stomach virus that is making its round in our household. Thankfully, I'm feeling a lot better, and hydrated so I can take care of Stu, and Forrest.

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a winter melon (looks like an overgrown cucumber). Jellybean is now considered full-term! The baby is starting to pack on 1/2 pound per week, which means I am also gaining weight! Jellybean is now very restricted with the movements, and if Jellybean is uncomfortable with the position I am laying or sitting in, Jellybean will will jab, or poke at me until I move, and Jellybean can settle into a comfortable spot. Interesting fact: Laungo, fine hair that has been covering Jellybean for almost the whole pregnancy is now absorbed into the guts, and it will end up in the baby's waste at birth. The white greasy substance covering Jellybean is also absorbed into the skin! Crazy, huh? 

Movements: Jellybean is not moving as much these days. When JB does move, it is to stretch out, and palpate around. 

Gender Prediction: Most people are claiming that JB is a girl. 

Symptoms: My hips are starting to bother me at the night. I often toss, and turn to try be comfortable. My lower back aches when I get up to walk around. Yoga ball is my saving grace for my hips, and back.  I've been feeling a bit nauseous again; not sure if it's related to indigestion seeing that I ran out of Prevacid recently, or it's related to last few weeks of pregnancy thing. 

Labor Signs: I had a few contractions here, and there that really took my breath away.  Those were real contractions since they were painful, and made me stop in my track from whatever I was doing at that moment. However, they were inconsistent, and did nothing pretty much. I was found to be 50% effaced; this is the membrane that thins out to allow dilation to happen, and dilation is to open the cervix for the baby to pass through the birth canal. I was only at 1 CM. While all this was exciting to hear, I also realized that I may be sitting on that exact same numbers until either induction, or when the baby is ready to come out. 

Best Moments of the Week: Installing the carseat in my Jeep for JB with the help from my Aunt Ro. It is becoming more real that JB will be home soon! Getting my new purse that I got from 31-Bag party. Mom, and aunts visit was really lovely, and I enjoyed having them here. Buying Forrest a present; we got him a counting beads thing, and he loved it. Cold Stone Birthday cake ice cream--yummy!!! As early as it was, I had Stu help me set up Christmas tree, and some decorations, because I wanted to make sure that it got done before the baby came. Seeing JB on the big screen; he/she looked so precious!!



Looking Forward To: Seeing JB once again on the big screen. I loved seeing that kid! I think the baby looked somewhat like Forrest. 

Update: The ultrasound appointment turned out a lot better than we anticipated. Jellybean was found to be in a head-down position, and to be 6 pounds even. Everything looked great with the baby's heart, and head. However, of course, there was a but, the amniotic fluid was found to be on the lower side of a normal range. The lowest was allowed to be acceptable was 7, and I was at that. Mbah wanted to be through with the prenatal care, so she ordered yet another ultrasound for the 14th. If the fluid level dropped to 5-5.5, then induction was most likely going to happen over the weekend, or the following week. I was ordered to drink, drink, and drink a lot of fluid (around 6-8 pints a day) to see if that was going to help with the fluid level. If that did the trick, then everything was going to be cleared to let the baby come on his/her own. I also had my blood taken, and to my great surprise, my platelet level went up from 109 to 130! Mbah decided she was not going to have me give blood from now on since I was most likely not going to drop below 100. Yay! I also had Group Strep B swab done--that was not a fun part of the appointment.

Next Appointment: November 14th for an ultrasound appointment to determine fluid level. 


Monday, November 3, 2014

WEEK 36




How Far Along: 36 weeks & 3 days. We are now in 9th month of my pregnancy! It is also less than 30 days until my due date! The baby can come earlier, or later during this month...or even go overdue.  


I am Feeling: I am holding up alright. I'm still doing plank exercise to help the baby to turn since that did work the last time (despite Jellybean flipping back up). The peppermint oil made my stomach break out so I'm careful with it now. I'm nervous with what our ultrasound appointment will show. While I am excited to see Jellybean this late in my pregnancy, I also don't like the reason behind needing the ultrasound, and yet, I am also anxious to get answers. Then I can better prepare myself for what kind of birth experience we will end up with Jellybean. Ideally, I would love to go natural, but I am surrendering to the bigger plans to roll with the punches instead of sticking with one ideal plan, and end up with a disappointment. I'm also kind of freaking out, because I'm 26 days away from my due date...the baby could come earlier or later, and it is hitting me that I will be a mom of 2!! 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a Honeydew Cantaloupe! Jellybean's liver, circulation system, immune system, and kidneys are in working order. The skin is now smooth, and gums are rigid. Jellybean's lungs are preparing for Jellybean to start breathing once Jellybean is delivered into the world. In other words, Jellybean is almost done baking! 


Movements: Jellybean is definitely moving less. I can tell that the space inside is running out for my little one. Jellybean has been hiccuping a lot these days. I remember that with Forrest. Jellybean is most active between 7 to 11 pm. 


Gender Prediction: We are thinking a girl. However, we will be as blessed if we end up with another boy! The anticipation of finding out at birth is mounding up, and I am beginning to feel that it is worth the wait! 

Symptoms: It is starting to get uncomfortable to sleep at the night with my big belly in the way. I find it helpful to use a pillow underneath my belly to support the weight. I find that I am out of breath quite often, and the fatigue feeling from 1st trimester is slowly creeping back in. Nonetheless. I find that I still have a lot of energy. 


Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks is pretty common. Sometimes, it starts up on its own, or Jellybean causes it to happen by moving around. 


Best Moments of the Week: I felt so much to have my  Jeep cleaned, and prepped for Jellybean to come home in. Trick N Treating, dressing up, and being festive for Halloween was fun! 

Looking Forward To: Seeing Jellybean on the big screen. It's a bit exciting to see our baby this late in our pregnancy, because I never got to with Forrest (I had 2 ultrasounds in first trimester, then one big ultrasound in 2nd trimester with Forrest, then that was it). It will be interesting to see how big Jellybean is, and get a rough idea of what he/she may look like.


Updates/Next Appointment: Friday November 7th is our big ultrasound to determine the position where Jellybean is lying in, the position of the placenta, and check on Jellybean's growth. Three outcomes can come out of this: One, everything is set to go, and nothing to worry about. That one I am hoping to get. Two: If Jellybean is in unfavorable position, but placenta is in a good spot, then we will discuss about manually flipping Jellybean into the head down position, the risks that comes with this procedure, and be prepared for Jellybean coming out that week with emergency c-section. Three: Both Jellybean, and placenta both are in unfavorable position, or the manually flipping procedure fails, then we will have a c-section. Now that one, I don't really want. So send us a lot of positive thoughts, good vibes, and prayers.