Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthday Poll Winners

I just realized I never posted the winners of the Lukas Birthday Poll GiveawayIf you remember, the two categories were:  (1) guessing the correct date and the correct hour give or take 1 hour either way and (2) guessing the exact weight and length! So without further ado, the winners...

Lukas was born on November 8th at 2:50pm EST.  The winner is ANA!  She guessed November 8th at 11:36am - BUT, considering she lives in California, I took her time to be 11:36am PACIFIC time, or 2:36pm EST, which is within ONE hour of his birth!  And luckily she is coming to town TODAY for Thanksgiving, so her gift card will be delivered in person!!!

And for category #2.  Lukas was 8 pounds and 20 inches long.  The closest guess was from LAUREN!!  Her guess was 8 lbs 1 oz and 20 inches long.  So she was just over by 1 oz.!  One Starbucks gift card is coming your way Lauren!

Thanks to everyone who participated!  It made the waiting game more fun!  We're off to the pediatrician today for Lukas' two week checkup.  Time to find out if he's beefing up!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

We're alive...

I've sat down to post a few times over the last week and either had writers block or gotten pulled in another direction (usually to change a dirty diaper, soothe a fussy baby or feed said baby).  As we speak I'm currently typing with the laptop on my knees, the boppy in front of the laptop with the baby nursing.  I have redefined my own definition of multitasking.

We're two weeks in to this parenting thing and everyone is still speaking to one another, still madly in love and more sleep deprived than ever.  But we're also all pretty happy.  I'm amazed at how well I can function on little sleep.  I think the key is taking naps whenever possible.  And having a supportive spouse who is actively involved in all aspects of taking care of baby (aside from feeding which is impossible for him to do right now.  And really, it's not his fault that he doesn't have boobs).

It also helps to have wonderful friends and family.  I'm thankful for all the friends who have stopped by to meet Lukas, keep me company and bring us food - we've been better fed the past two weeks than ever before!  I also am very lucky to have my mother close by and to have had my in laws here the first week we were home.  A strong support system is priceless and I have one of the best!

So I could go into more detail about how things are going - nursing, sleeping, post-baby-body, etc.  But I'm not sure what people care about.  So let me know what questions you have and I'm happy to answer them honestly!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week 1

[Note: I started writing this post last night and got "pulled away" part way through to give some hugs to the little man.  So I realize that he is actually a week and one day old today, but let's pretend it's yesterday and he's exactly a week old so that the timing in the post makes sense.  Okay?  Thanks...  Oh, and don't read this if you don't want to know the details of Lukas' birth.  This post contains way too much information, but for posterity, I wanted to write it.  You have been warned.]

Our bundle of joy is one week old today!  And what a week it has been.  So far things are going really well and we're loving figuring out this whole parenting thing.  Some days/nights have been easier than others, but on the whole, I think we have a pretty chill baby.  Except when he is hungry.  He takes after his mother in being ill tempered when there's not enough food around.  Luckily, the milk supply is now in full effect, so as long as momma is around Lukas has access to all the food he can drink.

So how did we get here? Here's the story of Lukas' birth.

Last Sunday (November 7th) Mr. Cob and I spent the day keeping busy.  We walked the mall in the afternoon and had a late lunch at Tavern at Phipps.  And then we went home to continue waiting.  At this point I was convinced we'd be waiting for another few days.  In my mind Lukas wasn't coming until Wednesday, November 10th - for some reason this was the day I believed he'd arrive.  I'm glad he didn't make us wait that long!  So Mr. Cob made spicy beef fajitas for dinner Sunday night and we put in a movie while we ate.  What movie you ask?  Zach and Miri Make a Porno.  Mr. Cob thinks this is hilarious that we were watching this particular movie when my labor began.  I'm just glad it began. 

Around 6pm on Sunday I began noticing the contractions but was convinced it was just Braxton Hicks so I didn't mention them to Mr. Cob.  But an hour later they were still coming on a regular basis, so I thought I should mention it.  We then started timing the contractions and realized they were already 7 minutes apart.  I didn't want to get too excited because I feared this was just a false alarm, but we began getting everything ready for the hospital, "just in case."  We called our folks and put them on notice and just continued with the timing.  They quickly became 5 minutes apart, but I was still comfortable so I decided to take a bath and just relax as the hypnobirthing class had taught me to do.  I didn't want to go to the hospital too early, so I just kept busy picking up the house and what not.  Around 11pm the contractions were about 3 and a half minutes apart.  But I could still talk and walk through them and was excited because I figured this was really it.  We then debated about when to call the doctor.  I told Mr. Cob that we'd call her when they were 3 minutes apart, which happened around midnight.  The on call doctor said to wait another hour and if the contractions were still 3 minutes apart (or closer), then to go ahead and come to the hospital.  At this point Mr. Cob called his parents to let them know it was the real thing and so they jumped in the car and started driving to Atlanta from Chicago.  Mr. Cob tried to sleep and I took a shower to continue staying relaxed.  Finally around 1:15am we packed up the car and headed to the hospital.

I'd read many birth stories talking about how miserable the ride to hospital was, so I was thankful when I was still comfortable in the car.  I had control of the ipod and we sang loudly to silly pop songs.  We were both rather giddy at this point.

I was checked in to the hospital and finally situated around 2am.  When the nurse checked I was 3 cm, so she said I was definitely in labor and would be having this baby in the next day or so!  My parents arrived shortly thereafter and it was nice to see them and let them know I was OK.  They hung out in the waiting room all night long. And were joined by Mr. Cob's parents around 11am after their 11 hour drive from Chicago.

Labor progressed and eventually the contractions became quite strong.  We went through various hypnobirthing exercises and I did my breathing techniques.  Everything was rather intense and I was handling it as best I could. Mr. Cob was a great support and he was so encouraging. Around 6:30am I was exhausted and in extreme pain and having a hard time handling the contractions.  I was clinching Mr. Cob's hand and not able to breathe and relax through the contractions, which was just making them worse.  I asked the nurse to check my progress so I could make a decision about what to do.  I was 6 cm, so there was still a ways to go.  I decided to get the epidural.  And I'm so happy I did.  I don't feel like I failed or that the hypnobirthing didn't work.  I know that it did and helped me remain calm for much longer than I otherwise would have. 

But once I made the decision to get the epidural, I still had to wait.  They had to give me a full bag of fluid through the IV and then we had to wait for the anesthesiologist.  So I didn't actually get the epidural until 7:30am.  So I labored for 13+ hours without any pain medication.  And I should probably tell you now that the main reason for my doing the hypnobirthing is that I have always had this severe fear of the epidural.  I don't know why and I don't know where it comes from, but while I like the idea of an unmedicated birth for my baby, I really was just petrified of having a needle inserted in my back.  Mr. Cob said that the look of fear on my face when the doctor was about to stick me was so intense. I was so scared.  It probably didn't help that I knew nothing about epidurals since we hadn't talked to the doctor about it.  I had no idea that they insert a tube in your back and leave it so that the epidural can be continuously administered.  Well after the intensity of the contractions, the epidural was more or less a breeze.  There was extreme pressure and some pain, but nothing near what I had made it out to be in my mind to be.  And within ten minutes, my entire lower body was numb and I could no longer feel the pain of the contractions.  Sweet relief.

Then within 5 minutes of getting the epidural my water broke.  And there was meconium in the fluid (meaning Lukas pooped), which can be a sign that the baby is stressed and is taken very seriously.  The doctors watched him more closely to check for fetal distress and we were also told that the NICU team would be in the delivery room when I delivered to make sure that they got any fluid out of his lungs ASAP.  This was very scary especially since we could tell that the nurses were acting more nervous.  And on top of this, Lukas' heart rate started jumping all over the board every time I would have a contraction.  Mr. Cob and I were both very worried for the hour after I got the epidural while all this was happening.  Luckily his heart rate worked itself out and we were all finally able to relax.

My OB checked me at 9am and I was not progressing at all, so they decided to start me on a low dose of Pitocin.  At this point, I just wanted the baby to be born and I trusted my doctor so we figured she knew best what I needed.  I was then able to get some sleep and just waited and hoped that the Pitocin would get things moving again.

Around 1:30pm I started feeling more pressure and was relieved when thirty minutes later my OB came back to check me and told us that it was time to start pushing.  The nurses got the room ready and 15 minutes later my OB was back for the big event.  Oh, and around this time, my epidural ran out.  The nurses and my OB talked about whether or not to give me more but decided there wasn't time and that I'd be fine.  I knew that they typically turn the epidural down so you can feel pressure and know when to push, but I wasn't expecting to be able to feel as much as I could!  But in the end, I'm glad I had as much control as I did because I think it helped me to push and get the baby out.  It took 8 contractions and about 35 minutes to finally welcome Lukas Philip into this world!

I was not able to hold him immediately because the NICU team rushed him over to an exam table and shoved tubes down his throat to drain the fluid from his lungs and make sure the meconium didn't harm him.  Mr. Cob was with him during this time and said it was pretty scary, but luckily they said he was looking good and soon we were both able to hold our baby boy and have our bonding time.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and one I would have again in a heartbeat.  I knew that I was going to love this kid, but I honestly had no idea how much. I did not think that I would have such strong feelings of love and attachment so soon.  This last week has been amazing and I think its safe to say that I'm the happiest and most in love (with my husband and now my son) that I've ever been.  Life is very good!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Welcome Lukas!

Lukas Philip "Swan" arrived at 2:50pm on November 8, 2010.  He weighed in at 8 pounds exactly and is 20 inches long.  We are so thrilled that he is here and so madly in love with this little man.  Many more details to come once momma has had some more sleep.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of our little bundle of joy on his birthday!

Hello world!

Three generations of Swan men

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Picture of Lateness

And the picture documentation continues.  2 days "late"...

The daddy to be patiently waits

While the momma-to-be slowly loses her mind...

Patience is a Virtue

I've never been really good with patience.  I get annoyed in heavy traffic and antsy when waiting for something big to happen.  But here we are, day 2 after due date, and I'm trying my best to have patience.

Yesterday, Mr. Cob and I spent a fun day together.  I'm trying to remind myself that every day this little fellow holds off, is one more day I get to spend with the hubby all to myself.  Soon we won't be able to just have the whole day to ourselves.  Soon we won't be able to just take off on a whim and do what we like.  We'll have to consider this new little person who is totally dependent on us.  So, in that sense, I'm glad Lukas has given us this "extra" weekend together.

We had a fun lunch date yesterday at Fellini's pizza and then went to the movies.  We saw Due Date - I had hoped I could laugh the baby out...no such luck.  We then took the dog on a walk around the neighborhood, ate chicken soup for dinner and watched another movie - When in Rome.  Mr. Cob even kept his witty comments to a minimum during the chick flick.  Pregnancy does have its perks.  And we played a game, Dominion, which Mr. Cob won.  Pregnancy did not remove our competitive natures.

And today is a new day.  We don't have anything specific on the agenda.  I may go get another pedicure.  We'll probably try another long walk and heck, I might defrost the rest of the eggplant parmesan for dinner.  It can't hurt to try again, right?!

If he hasn't come by tomorrow morning, we go back to the doctor and we'll have to make some decisions.  As in, picking a date to schedule for an induction.  My goal this entire pregnancy has been to avoid inducing and having to get Pitocin, but it may come to that, and if so, that's ok.  I am prepared to meet whatever turn my birthing may take.  Thanks hypnobirthing affirmations.  My OB said she will let me wait until November 15 (a week from tomorrow) before insisting that we induce.  That seems like a long time away, but if we wait until then maybe my chances of going into labor naturally will increase.  Or the baby will just continue to get even bigger and I could wait and still have to induce anyway.  Let's hope he comes in the next 24 hours so I can avoid making this decision.  Maybe I should try a labor dance, kind of like a rain dance.  Yes, that sounds sane.  Labor dancing, here I come!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

T PLUS one day...

November 6th.  I'm now officially in the group of women who go past their due date.  Yay!

Yesterday day was rather uneventful in the contraction department.  My sweet parents spent the afternoon keeping me entertained while Mr. Cob worked.  The 5 or so hours they were with me, I don't think I had even one contraction.  Then Mr. Cob came home and we went to dinner at a New Orleans-esque restaurant near our house.  I figured some spicy food might get the ball rolling.  Well the minute we sat down at the restaurant, things started happening.  Contraction one.  Lukas then did some acrobatics.  Contraction two.  More acrobatics.  Stomach cramps. More contractions.   At this point, I was worried we'd have to leave before our food came.  But I wasn't really uncomfortable so we just hung around and waited to see what would happen. (I was really looking forward to my gumbo and jambalaya...)  As it would turn out, Lukas is apparently a big fan of jazz music and was simply dancing to the music.  All activity stopped almost immediately upon our departing the restaurant.  And the rest of the evening was quiet.

And now, it's another day.  I couldn't sleep in this morning, so I'm up "early" for a weekend.  My sore throat has gotten better since yesterday, so that's positive.  And the oddest thing about this morning, I feel less anxious for him to arrive.  It's kind of like, oh well, we missed the date, so the pressure is off and the hilarity of waiting to see how much longer I'll remain hugely pregnant has begun.  Mr. Cob commented yesterday that there was no way he could remain on the inside much longer because there's just no where for my belly to grow too much more.  We'll see.  I think Lukas knows its really cold in Georgia and has no desire to leave the warm comfort of the inside for the cold outside world.  I've tried to explain the concept of blankets and onesies with feet in them, but so far it's not working.  At least we know we'll meet him in the next week or so, one way or another.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Big Nursery Reveal

I just realized that I hadn't yet shared pictures of Lukas' nursery!  The only things left to do are affix the knobs to the built ins, hang some more stuff on the walls (we purchased some baseball pennants and are just waiting for the last few to arrive) and find a cute laundry hamper for under the changing table.  But otherwise, it's finished and is just waiting for its occupant to arrive.

Here are some BEFORE pictures - they're from when we first moved into the house and the room is a complete mess, but it's all I could find...

And the AFTER:


Well it's here.  Lukas' due date.  And he's a no show.  I've been stood up.  Well, I suppose I can't really say that for another 14+ hours.  But as of now there's no indication that he's coming today.  Although, I realize this can change at any minute.  For all I know, I could be walking to the mailbox later today and have my water break.  Or November 5 will come and go and I'll still be pregnant.

Right now I'm vacillating on whether or not I hope he comes today.  On the one hand, I'm beyond ready to meet him.  But I've also been battling this scratchy/sore throat for the past few days and I wouldn't mind a few more days to kick this before going into labor.  In an effort to get over this ASAP, I'm working from home today, relaxing, drinking lots of tea and fluids and just trying to will this sickness away.  I don't think I'm actually "sick" - I think it's just a side effect of the change in weather and the resulting dry air.  And aside from the sore throat, I feel perfectly fine. 

So it's really game on at any moment now.  The Lukas' Birthday Poll giveaway is still going on since he hasn't been born yet - so feel free to add your guess by commenting on this post or the Giveaway post!  There's free coffee in it for you!!!!  And you know how I said that I had a date in mind as my guess, well, I still won't share what day it is, but it has not come and gone yet...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

T minus ONE day

When I loaded outlook at work this morning a calendar reminder popped up that said: DUE DATE in 14.5 hours.  Wow. That was really bizarre.  It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the date that I've been looking forward to for the past 9 months.  November 5th.  Lukas' due date.  I wonder if he'll decide that tomorrow is the day.  I hope so, but as I told my mom this morning, this is his journey and I'm just along for the ride.  So I'll continue to wait for him to be ready to greet the world and meet us. 

I didn't say I'd continue to wait "patiently".  But I will continue to wait.  Another friend told me that this is just the first of many times throughout his life where he'll be testing my patience.  I'm sure that is a very true statement.

But in an effort to not go out of my mind (which I started to do last night as I sat on my couch watching TV for the 3rd hour in a row), Mr. Cob and I have decided that I need to keep busy.  So I'm at work today.  And tonight we're going to dinner.  Tomorrow I'm going to go to work again and maybe meet my parents for a late lunch and then have a dinner/movie date with Mr. Cob - we're going to see Due Date which comes out tomorrow - it seems apropos.  Saturday Mr. Cob is going to play soccer in the morning and Wrigley and I will walk around the park while he plays and then we're going to do something outside of the house.  I cannot sit in that house and wait any more.  It's time to switch it up!  I also figure that maybe if I make a ton of plans, then Lukas will suddenly arrive and "ruin" them - kind of like reverse psychology.  It's our first parenting strategy.  Let's hope it works.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Week 40 Pooch Pic

Here is what I had planned on sharing with you for the week 40 pooch pic...

Cute pooch, no?!?!  This is her favorite place to sit lately - with either her paws or head on my belly.  I think she's talking to Lukas and trying to convince him to come out.  Wrigley is really ready to meet her little brother!

But in an effort to continue the documentation of the growing belly, I snapped this picture on my phone.  It's an odd shape today.  Maybe that means he's ready to make his entrance!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Father's Imagination...

Cob here.  This was my conversation with Mrs. Cob before bed last night:

Preggo:  Okay so I am going to take a Tylenol PM tonight.

Me:  Great.

Preggo:  Are you ok with that?

Me:  Yeah, why?  The doctor said you could and you need sleep.

Preggo:  She did.  I just wanted to let you know though... I wanted to make sure you are comfortable with it.  It's probably going to knock me right out.

Me:  I am fine with it.  Although... what if your water breaks? will you even know?

I stayed up a few more hours after that and went to bed much later than Mrs. Cob.  When I got upstairs she was sound asleep.  As I entered the room, this is the scene I imagined in my head.

Me: (thinking) Oh.  She is fast asleep.  Looks like that Tylenol worked.

(Gets into bed and jumps out immediately in shock.  Puts his hands back under the covers.  Eyes bug out)

Me:  Honey.  HONEY!  Wake up.  You water broke!  You slept through it, wake up!

Preggo:  Wha...

Me:  Your water broke!  The bed is soaked!  We gotta go!  Get up!  Let's go!

Preggo:  Calm down.  My water didn't break.


Preggo:  Yeah I had to go, but I didn't feel like getting up again.  Don't worry about it.

(fade to black)

It was at this point I asked myself what would I do next?  Would I get upset?  Would I demand she get out of bed?  Would I change the sheets?  Or... would i just let her go back to sleep and just sleep in the guest room.  I believe I concluded that I would just let her be and sleep downstairs myself.  Awful right?  Well.  Any sleep right now is good sleep, dry or wet.

Waiting & Waddling

Baby Lukas is still comfortable hanging out inside my belly.  I think he's taking this "due date" thing very seriously and literally and doesn't want to arrive early.  If he was anything like his mother though, he'd be early.  I always arrive early for appointments (on time in my book is 10-15 minutes early, if I'm "on time", I'm late) and I get very nervous if I'm going to be late for something.  Mr. Cob isn't as concerned with promptness, so perhaps Lukas is taking after his dad.

We went to the doctor this morning and things are "progressing" but our doctor couldn't really predict when he'll arrive.  She said it could be any day now, or not.  So I have an appointment to go back next Monday, which will be 3 days after my due date.  And at that point we'll talk about options - as in, setting a date to induce, which I really don't want.  She will allow me to wait until the following week before insisting on inducing - so 10 days late would put us at Monday, November 15.  I really hope he arrives on his own before then!

I did ask how big he's looking and she said if she had to guess, she'd say high 7s or low 8 pounds.  But of course, she can only guess.  We'll find out soon enough how big he is and what he looks like!  And until then, I'll just be waiting and waddling...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Eggplant Fail

There is this restaurant called Scalini's in Marietta, GA that makes an eggplant parmesan that supposedly induces labor.  We were all ready to go have dinner at Scalinis last night until I had an emotional and physical breakdown in the afternoon and decided I couldn't get off the couch.  I just felt horrible.  My toes look like little sausages and my fatigue was at an all time low.  I think I really just needed to have a good cry and let it all out.  Luckily Mr. Cob and my mom were both at the house and helped peel me off the floor and decided that if I couldn't go out to Scalini's then they would bring the eggplant parmesan to me.  Luckily, Scalini's posts their recipe online so Mr. Cob went grocery shopping and my mom prepared the recipe.

We ate around 7:30pm and oh my was it delicious!  I had an extra large helping to ensure that I was getting enough eggplant to actually start labor.  About an hour later I started having contractions.  9 minutes later, a second contraction.  10 minutes later, a third.  I even downloaded a contraction counter application for my phone so we could keep track.  And then, NOTHING.  Well, Lukas was bumping around, but the contractions completely stopped.  So I took a long bath and went to sleep, convinced that I would wake up in the middle of the night because my water had broken.  Well I woke up during the middle of the night, but not because I was in labor.  I now haven't had any contractions in 12 hours.  So I think its safe to say that the eggplant didn't work.

But, just in case, I'm eating it again for lunch today.  And maybe even for dinner.  And I think we'll throw a long walk in for good measure.  But I'm still not to the point of wanting to try the castor oil.  I'm not that desperate.  Not yet anyway.