All posts by Andi

Welcome To The World Lucas!

I haven’t blogged at all being pregnant but I wanted to make a blog telling my birth experience. It didn’t go any way like I had planned or imagined but I feel lucky that we are all doing well.

I went in for my 39 week appointment on Tuesday October 29th. During my previous few appointments my blood pressure had been borderline high but every time they did a retake it was lower. Unfortunately, today my blood pressure was up and not lowering so the doctor said she wanted me to be induced today! She was worried I was developing preeclampsia.

I had been keeping my hospital bag in our car for the past 2 appointments just in case. I’m glad I did that. I went over to labor and delivery triage at 11 am. There they monitored my blood pressure, sent labs, and did an ultrasound to make sure there was enough amniotic fluid. My blood pressure was becoming more normal and my labs were ok so I thought they would send me home. Then I was told the doctor wanted to play it safe and just follow through with the induction. I was nervous and really bummed I wasn’t able to go home at all.

Don made his way from work pretty quickly. Once we realized we were staying he went home and took care of Lina and got his bag. He also picked up Subway since once they started induction I wouldn’t be able to eat for 12 hours.

Once there was a room ready in labor and delivery I was transferred there. Around 4:30 pm the induction was started with Cervidil. It’s basically a drug that is inserted next to the cervix to help soften and dilate it. Once this was started I couldn’t eat solids but I could have clear liquids, broth, and jello.

I had really great nurses. We tried to get some rest that night but it is hard to sleep in a hospital. I don’t remember how much we got. My parents made it up that night and stayed at our place.

At 4:30 am the Cervidil was removed and they started a Pitocin drip to move along dilation. Fortunately, before the Pitocin was started I could have food. I had some yogurt and a breakfast bar. I was dilated 1 cm. At this time I was told I might have to have a balloon dilation to help move it along. I nervous about the balloon because I had heard it was super painful, so I was hoping they would not do it. But like 15 minutes later I was told they would do the balloon soon.

Basically the balloon dilation is a foley catheter inserted into your cervix and then they fill the balloon with water. Once the cervix is dilated to 3 cm the balloon falls out. This was crazy painful, especially because it took the OB resident a few times to get the balloon in the correct position. It was awful. The balloon fell out after a couple of hours.

Around 9 am the nurse came in to help me walk around and I felt a huge gush. I thought I was peeing but my water broke! It was a crazy feeling! And it was a lot! Some people say it’s just a trickle or theirs doesn’t break at all, but this was like a pee you couldn’t control or stop. I walked around a bit and the contractions got stronger and stronger.

My parents arrived around 11 and around then I felt like I couldn’t lay down because of the contractions. So at this point I decided I wanted an epidural. The epidural wasn’t bad itself but for some reason it did not cover my left hip area. Every time I had a contraction is was excruciating in my left hip. It felt like someone was twisting my hip out of its socket. The nurse kept putting me on my side and putting this giant ball between my legs to help open me up. It was terrible and so uncomfortable.

The anesthesia resident adjusted the epidural but it still didn’t work. I guess this happens to some people….something you are never told before getting an epidural! It only worked when they gave me a bolus of who knows what. When I was given the bolus it was amazing.

I was 5-6 cm dilated by 5 pm and my contractions were so bad on my left side. I tried to rest and watch the world series game. It was game 7 between the Nationals and the Astros. The Nationals ending up winning for the first time!

Around 9 or 10 pm I was dilated enough to start pushing. Pushing was not like I had seen on TV. I wasn’t in stirrups; I was on my back and the nurse would hold up my left leg and Don held up my right while the doctor was down there seeing what was happening. Nothing was happening because the baby wasn’t moving down and the doctor said there was an edge of my cervix still not opened up. So she had me sit upright for an hour to try to get it to open. This also was awful. After this hour I pushed a few more times, between pushing my mom noticed there was no urine in my catheter. The nurse tried to adjust and said it was probably the baby’s head pushing on it. The doctor and the nurse tried to reposition it but no urine was coming out. Next they sent labs to check if my kidneys were working. It seemed my preeclampsia was worsening and the baby was not moving down fast enough. The doctor contemplated waiting on the labs before doing a c-section but then she just decided to do it.

I was going to have surgery and I was so nervous. Working in surgery, you know everything that could go wrong. I had never had major surgery before, but I had assisted with many c-sections. I didn’t want one, but I also didn’t want to keep pushing.

It was so weird being a surgical patient, especially being awake and hearing everything. The OR is usually a comfortable place for me, but being on the other side of it is a different story. The bed is freaken small and it sucks. I was so worried I would feel the surgery because the epidural was not working on my left side. The anesthesiologist assured me they would give me stuff so I would not. I remember talking with the anesthesiologist about how I was a surgical tech and where I worked and how I had done c-sections so this was so weird. I felt the q-tip from the chloroprep go in my belly button and that was uncomfortable! So I started freaking out a bit. The resident used a hypo to poke me to see what I felt. I was apprehensive I wouldn’t feel anything.

Then the surgical drapes went over me and I felt them attach the bovie holster near my chest. I didn’t feel the surgery; once in awhile I felt a small pain in my left side or more pressure. It was hard to describe. I started puking during the surgery. I felt so out of it. Don was by my side. Then I heard Lucas cry. It was a strong cry. They quickly took him to assess him. I was so out of it they didn’t even bring him to me. Don left the room with him eventually. Lucas was born 10/31 at 1:49 am. He was 7 lbs 3 oz and 19 and 3/4 long.

I didn’t really hear anything about Lucas other than he was ok. I had a burning in my chest that the anesthesia said was from being anxious. Now I was getting Zofran and starting to feel less nauseous, but I felt so out of it. I was in a haze when I felt them remove the bovie pad from my thigh. Then I was being cleaned up and getting ready to move over off the OR bed. It was scary when they used the roller to move me. It really felt like I was going to fall off the bed!

When I came out of surgery I was back to making urine, so my kidneys were working again. My nurse, Phoebe, admitted she was worried about me. My Creatine levels were really high. Once my parents saw I was ok they went to our apartment to get some rest. I started doing skin to skin and learning how to breastfeed.

We got moved to our room in Mother Baby probably a couple hours after surgery. I was so tired. When they moved me over to my new bed they saw my dressing was really bloody. No one was really saying anything but I could sense they were nervous. I was nervous I was bleeding and would have to go back to surgery. They put a pressure dressing on my wound and had the doctor assess it. This dressing would later rip my skin off very badly when it was taken off.

I don’t remember much else from that day in Mother Baby. I was able to get up around noon and start walking. My nurse’s name was Laura and she was awesome. Every so often a lactation consultant would come in and help me breastfeed. My parents came to visit and we ordered Clark Dog.

During our stay at the hospital people were constantly coming in to do tests on either me or Lucas. It was impossible to get rest, especially because Lucas roomed with us. There wasn’t a nursery. I felt super pressured to breastfeed every minute even though I hadn’t slept since Tuesday and it was now Friday. I was also supposed to pump every 3 hours. It felt impossible. I was exhausted. Don was doing all the diaper changes and learning things while I recovered in bed. Luckily we had an awesome nurse, Sonya, who took Lucas for about 3-4 hours in the middle of the night both Thursday and Friday. If I had to do it again I wouldn’t want to not have a nursery.

We were discharged on Saturday (my original due date). My discharge was dependent upon my hemogloblin level, which had dropped to 7. I lost a lot of blood during the c-section. Luckily it leveled out at 7, but I was worried I would have to be transfused and stay another night. My parents met us at our apartment. My mom had made some food for us. That first night was grueling. We were both so exhausted. I think Don had gotten some rest in the hospital but not much. Don kept waking me up to breastfeed and it was like every 30 minutes to an hour. It felt like he was getting nothing to eat. We decided that night to supplement with formula from the hospital. He had already had some formula in the hospital. I continued to try to breastfeed and pump. I wasn’t getting much. Eventually we decided to just do formula. It was a hard decision but it felt like the best one. I still tried to pump every so often but I didn’t even feel like my boobs were getting full ever.

Lucas is now 6 weeks old as I am finally finishing this blog. It has been a challenge; the hardest thing we both have ever done. We are learning a lot and he is growing! I’m excited to see what the future brings us on the journey of parenthood!

France last day: heading back to paris

Today we woke up early to pack and get ready to leave. Damien had hooked us up with a shuttle to pick us around noon. The shuttle was going to take us to our connecting train in Lisieux, this avoided us having to get the train in Deauville and would be faster. Even better though when the driver got to us he asked if we wanted him to just take us straight to Paris for the same price! He had to go to Paris anyway so it wouldn’t be out of the way. This was so awesome!

Found this weird candy bar at a rest stop. It was good!

We made it to Paris around 3 pm and got on the train to head out to the airport. It was pouring rain. There was a weird incident on the train where it seemed we were almost mugged. A guy apparently tried to put his hand on Don’s bag and Laura said something to him. He had guys around him that were obviously with him but unfortunately he got caught. After they had some words they left us alone.

We got to the Hilton near the airport and checked in. I was super hungry and had a headache. It was still early and our last night in Paris so we decided to take the train back to the city. This did not seem super fun considering all of the travel we had been doing and I was tired but when in Rome….? Just Don and I went and we found a restaurant called Flams. Basically Flams makes a pizza that has no sauce; it’s like a flatbread with cheese and other toppings. You can pick a package and just keep ordering different pizzas. They are like crackers so two people could easily finish 3 or 4.

We walked across the river to get a view of the Eiffel tower. It was a long walk but fun. We watched some kids skateboarding and we saw a group of people doing some weird juggling.

After finding a good spot to view the Eiffel Tower we got some waters and sat down. When the sun sets the tower does a light show and it was very cool.

On the way back we walked through a museum of modern art and saw people dancing. We took an Uber back to the train station so we could go back out to the airport Hilton. We got back around midnight. Tomorrow we leave Paris around 11 am. It has been a good trip.

Not much happened on our departure day. The breakfast buffet at the Hilton was pretty good. It was so hot in the Paris airport and not a lot of restaurants where we were. One thing to note, you need your passport to make purchases like food! I left my passport with Don and waited in line at a convenient store and couldn’t buy food!! So weird!!

France day 10: Monet’s house

We had to wake up pretty early today because the bus was picking us up at 9. We went to the town of Giverny where the famous artist Claude Monet lived out his last years. Greg had gotten us tickets earlier to see his house and gardens. Everything was very beautiful and it was a nice day.  

When we got to the line somehow Don and I became separated from the rest of the group. We also had group tickets which allowed us to go to a shorter line. We only had a little under 2 hours so we decided to look around a bit then leave to get food. The gardens in front of his house were very beautiful.

We stopped at a cafeteria style restaurant. Don had roasted veal and ratatouille. I had a sausage and fries. It was pretty good! We sat outside and some chickens came over to us. They almost got into a fight under my feet, but they were so cute!!

We decided to go back in and try to go through Monet’s house. We had time to spare and last time we were in there the lines were just so long. We also found where the pond was and everything was very beautiful. The house was cool too. It was crowded though.

We stopped for an ice cream cone on our way out. There were a lot of Porshes in the parking lot because they were all heading to Deauville for the convention.

Next we stopped in the town of Rouen. There was a very beautiful church and many markets.

We mailed our postcards from this town, which was kind of an ordeal but the postal worker was very nice and helpful. We saw where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. There was a church there for her and that was very pretty, with beautiful stained glass.

We made our way back to the hotel where we were supposed to meet up and had a croissant. When we got back to the house we relaxed and took a walk to the beach. It would have been cool to swim but it was too cold. It was warm in the sun though. There were Porsches everywhere because they were having a Porsche convention thing in Deauville. This made Jim very happy because he loves the car. We walked around and looked at the cars a bit, very cool.

We came back and had some sandwiches and salads. Then Don and I went out again to eat at the pizza place we went to a few nights ago. I really was craving pizza.

france day 9: cheese & Cider

This morning we got on the bus around 10 and made our way to a cheese factory in Normandy. We were able to see the process of cheese being made and it was super smelly. All of the cheese was unpasteurized so I did not partake; however, it smelled like death so I didn’t care! The tour was fun.

After the cheese factory we stopped in a small town for a Normandy picnic. A Normandy picnic consists of bread that is buttered, jams, cider, or apple juice in my circumstance. We had also brought some meat to add to the bread but I didn’t risk eating the meat because it was pretty warm even though I thought it was in a cooler? The picnic was nice; it did seem though that it was Damien’s idea and it was infringing on Greg’s schedule. So it felt a bit rushed but we did get to look around the little town a bit. It was very quiet.

After lunch we went to a family owned cidery. We got a tour to see how the cider was made and then we got to try some ciders. I will admit, I had a few sips.

When we got back it was around 4:30 and we went for a walk before dinner. I wanted food, mostly pizza, so bad. Lunch hadn’t been very big and I was hungry! Unfortunately, most places close for the afternoon so it was a struggle to find anything serving food. It started to rain and got colder and I got hungrier and grumpier. We stopped in Trouville for some espresso and we ordered a ham and egg gallette. It was pretty good.

We walked around some more then we met at the El Central for dinner. I had steak and mashed potatoes, a tomato mozzarella salad, and chocolate mousse for dessert. Don had escargot and a crazy seafood plate!

The walk home was fun, with a good view.

France Day 8: Mont Saint Michel

Today we woke up around 7:30 and had breakfast at the house. Then Don and I went to the store to get snacks for the bus. The bus picked us up at 10 am and we had a different driver named Damien. He was very nice and spoke very good English. He also was more of tour guide and told us a lot of information about everywhere we went. He was very good.

We stopped at a rest stop that put all USA rest stops to shame. It was like a palace—there was a restaurant with roasted pork shoulder, amazing looking sandwiches, a very nice gift shop, and of course a Starbucks.

When we got back on the road Damien asked if we wanted a surprise and we all did. So he stopped off a road that had a view of Mont Saint Michel in the far background. In the forefront were pastures with sheep everywhere. It was very beautiful, like a postcard; in fact I’m pretty sure you can get this exact view on a postcard. We took a lot of pictures here and Mont Saint Michel just looked like a castle.

Before coming to France I did not know much about Mont Saint Michel. I had really only seen pictures, and funny enough, one time when we were playing GeoGuessers it dropped us at Mont Saint Michel. Basically Mont Saint Michel is a commune that sits on an island off the mainland of France. The tides around the island are also interesting because it made it accessible but also stranded enemies. The low tides protected the island and it was never conquered. We took some pictures of people walking on the sandvery far from the island during low tide.

When we made it to Mont Saint Michel we had about a 20 minute walk to get there. It was a beautiful walk and we took a lot of pictures. Damien guided us up to the top of Mont Saint Michel and told us a lot of history on the way. It was a very good tour.

Once we made it to the top we walked back down to the town for free time before we had to head back. I think we had almost an hour of free time and of course I was hungry. We found a sandwich shop and got a sandwich. We walked around the town a bit but what we saw of it was so crowded and touristy so we decided to stop at a place with a view and get a drink (wine).

After an hour we all met up for the trek back to the bus. We wanted to take the shuttle back to the parking lot but it was so crowded and we waited 20 minutes and still were not able to get on the shuttle. So we started to walk back. The walk felt long and it actually got hot!

It was a long but fun day. On the way home we stopped and picked up some sandwiches because we would be getting home late. When we got home we all just relaxed, ate, and talked. Around 11 pm I got some news about work from a coworker and it was pretty exciting so I went to see if Julie was still awake to talk about it! She was!