Monthly Archives: July 2014

Kai’s first 48

Our two days/nights in the hospital after Kai was born were sort of a whirlwind. The day he was born, he got to meet a lot of his relatives. Grandma was the first to arrive.

Grandpa arrived a short while later.

Then a lot of other family members were in and out throughout the day.

As I mentioned in Kai’s birth story, I really couldn’t get out of bed on my own for 7-8 hours because of the epidural/fentinyl cocktail I was on. My legs were totally wobbly and I had to be helped to the bathroom during that time. Sometime in the early afternoon I finally felt steady enough to take a shower, and it felt so good to finally get cleaned up. Kai also got his first sponge bath and hated it. He actually liked having his hair washed and his head run under the faucet, but he screamed bloody murder during the entire rest of the process. Once the horribleness was over, he loved laying under the warmer and talking to his daddy.

By the time all of our visitors left on Tuesday night we were pretty well exhausted. In fact, I really can’t remember anything that happened between that time and late Tuesday night when the nurses came to take the little man to get weighed in the nursery. I guess we were just relaxing/resting and hanging out with our little man. He was weighed and checked over at midnight, and when the nurse brought him back she said it was common for babies to already have lost up to 4% of their birthweight by that time. Mr. Kai had only lost .2% because he was such a good eater from the beginning. I declined having him stay in the nursery that night because I wanted him right next to me, and he was pretty good about only waking up to eat and letting us get some rest. Steve slept on the pull out couch in the room (which was apparently hard as a rock and left him with a sore back).

Wednesday was a lot more relaxed, which was nice. Of course we still had some visitors, but they were spread throughout the day and we got to have a lot of quiet time as well. Our pediatrician came around 7:30am to check him over and declared him a perfect little baby before taking him to be circumcised. When he returned from the procedure he was understandably out of sorts and very fussy. It seemed like every time we would get him calmed down, someone Ā else would come in and need to do something to him. He had a fair amount of jaundice, so he needed a heel stick to test his bilirubin. After we got him calmed down from that, a nurse came in to do his first diaper change and check on his man parts. Ugh, rough morning for the little guy.

After a while, he entered what the nurses referred to as the newborn slumber, and he slept for much of the rest of the day. We had to wake him a few times to eat, but other than that he was out. Wednesday night was nice and quiet. Steve’s parents visited for a while, and then it was just the three of us. When the nurse came to take Kai to be weighed just before midnight on Wednesday, I sent along a cute little outfit for him to have his pictures taken, and I told the nurse to keep him in the nursery until he was hungry. I slept until 2:30am when she brought him back. He ate and fell promptly back to sleep so we were all able to get some more rest.

Thursday morning our pediatrician stopped by for another visit, and he got another heel stick to check his biliruben. His levels were a bit high, but not high enough to require any further action like the bili-blanket. He would be tested again on Friday morning at his pediatrician visit, and as it turned out, we had to take him to get tested one more time on Saturday morning. His levels were stable, which was a good sign. The doc said as long as he kept eating and pooping a lot he should be good to go (spoiler alert: he did just that :-))

We hung out in our room throughout Thursday morning. I ordered breakfast, took a shower, and got all of our things packed up. Just before 1pm, it was time to load up and head for home.

That cute little newborn sized outfit barely fit him in length, but we made it work.

I was wheeled out in a wheelchair with Kai in his carseat on my lap while Steve carried the rest of our stuff and went to pull up the car. And with that, we left the hospital as a family of three šŸ™‚

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Kai Lawrence

Kai Lawrence was born on 7/15/14 at 5:29am.

He was 8 lbs 1 oz, and 20 3/4 inches long.

Here is his birth story:

On Monday, 7/14, I went to the OB’s office where I saw yet another new OB. I had been having contractions for weeks, as I have mentioned, and my blood pressure was elevated the previous Wednesday at my appointment. I figured if it was high again on Monday, I would listen to what the doc recommended, but I would also ask about being induced on Tuesday or Wednesday if he didn’t come on his own before then. Well, my bp was still elevated on Monday, and I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced at the appointment. Based on that news, the OB recommended I head to the hospital for labs and that I would likely stay to be induced that evening. He told me to take my time, go home and get my stuff ready, and head over. He said that he didn’t really think I had pre-eclampsia, but I did have pregnancy induced hypertension, which is also not good. He said that since I was already dilated 3cm and was 39 weeks 6 days, he saw no reason not to get the baby out sooner rather than later. I called Steve after the appointment around 3pm and told him to leave work and meet me at home because we were going to go and have a baby. We took our time at home getting everything together and got to the hospital around 4:30pm. I was under the impression that I would be sent to triage to be monitored and have labs drawn, but when we got there they already had a room ready to admit me. Alrighty then, I guess this is really happening.

We got settled into the room and the nurse had me change into a hospital gown. Someone from the lab came in to draw blood, and the nurse informed me that that the on call doc would likely order pitocin to start shortly. I think I somewhat didn’t believe that this was actually going to happen, so I asked if I should start making calls to my parents, etc to let them know that it was go time. She said yes, it was probably a safe bet. At 6:30pm, pitocin was started, and a few minutes later the on call doc came in to talk to me. I ended up really liking her, which was great. She came in, checked me (still 3 cm at this point) and proceeded to say, “ok, I’m going to break your water.” Um, ok then. She used the crochet hook thingy to do that and told me that whenever I wanted my epidural I could have it, and that she was very liberal with her drugs. Good to hear. Shortly after starting pitocin and breaking my water, I started having more regular contractions. They still weren’t too painful, and I was able to order some items from the clear foods menu. Juice, jello, slushy, etc. I ordered some extra things to keep in the fridge in the room like the nurse suggested. At 7pm, the night nurse Pam took over and told me that she would be with me all night, 7pm-7am. She told me that she had been doing this for 30 years, and let me tell you, she was amazing. Loved her.

Things progressed slowly, about 1cm per hour, and sometime a little after 8am the contractions started getting painful. I asked how long it would take to get the epidural once I said I wanted it, and the nurse told me she would find out if the anesthesiologist was in the hospital or if he would have to be called from home. Turns out he was in the OR, and could be relieved at any time to come up to my room. I debated holding off for a while, but as Pam said, the contractions are just going to get worse from here, so if I was going to get the epidural eventually either way, I might as well get it sooner rather than later. So I told her I wanted it, and the doc gave her ok. Around 8:30pm the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural. By the time he got there, I was having very painful contractions, so the timing ended up being good. Once the epidural started, it was sweet, sweet relief. It was an odd sensation having my legs numb but still able to move, but I was so grateful to no longer be in pain. I could barely even tell when I was having a contraction, it was great. I told Steve that I didn’t know how anyone could do this without drugs. Obviously there are women that do it every day and holy cats do I give them props. Not for me. I think I can normally manage pain pretty well, multiple Ironmans, marathons, and ultra-marathons will teach you how to do that, but this was a whole different ballgame.

Shortly after I had my epidural my dad stopped by to visit. I told him it could still be quite a while before the baby came, it was hard to say. He headed home around 10:30pm and shortly after that my mom stopped by. She visited for a while, and then I was getting tired, so she went to the family waiting area so Steve and I could try to get some rest. I told her I would call her with an update. Around 1:30, I was checked again and was 6cm. I called my mom and told her she should probably head home and get some sleep, because things were still progressing slowly.

A few minutes after making that call, I started to feel quite a bit of pain again. I asked the nurse to press the self-administer button on the epidural, which she did. That seemed to help a little bit for a short while. Then it was as if the epidural just stopped working completely. The contractions were so painful. We pushed the button two more times and nothing. The anesthesiology nurse was called in and gave me another injection of the epidural straight into the port. It did nothing. Pam decided to check me again and I was 8cm and almost completely effaced. Each contraction was super intense and it felt like they were coming one right on top of the next (in reality, they were still 2-3 mins apart). Finally the anesthesia nurse offered fentinyl and I said yes. She injected it straight into the epidural port and with the next contraction, I could feel that the edge was taken off. Two contractions later I felt nothing. It was great. At this point I could still feel that my legs were numb but I couldn’t move them at all on my own. I tried to doze off for a while now that I was no longer in pain, and Steve and I both managed a bit of a nap.

Around 3:30am I was checked and was fully dilated. The OB came in and determined there was just a tiny bit of cervix left on two sides and told me we were going to try a push. They coached me through it since I couldn’t feel the contractions, and with one push I was complete. It was go time. I was told that for first time moms, it could take 1-3 hours of pushing, which was a little bit intimidating. I started pushing at 3:40am, and was making great progress in the beginning. The doc was very encouraging when she told me that I was doing great and there was no way this was going to take 1-3 hours. I started to get the hang of pushing, especially since now I could feel the contractions again. Steve was on my left holding my foot and Pam was on my right doing the same. There was a resident there as well, who kept telling me she could see his head, and to “curl around the baby” with each push. To be honest, she was really annoying me and I wanted to tell her to shove it. She kept making me think that the end was just around the corner when in reality I still had a long way to go. I pushed and pushed for nearly two hours, and was completely exhausted. Turns out Mister Man was stuck on my pubic bone, and no matter how hard I pushed, his head just couldn’t get through. It got to the point where his heart rate would drop after each contraction, meaning he was getting stressed. They put an oxygen mask on me and the OB came in to assess the situation. She said we couldn’t keep going like this because the baby was under too much stress. She called for a vacuum cart and quickly explained to me that she was going to try to suck him out with the vacuum, but if it didn’t work quickly, she would have to do a c-secion. I remember being so scared and looking at Steve with tears running down my cheeks. He looked kind of scared too and I told myself to hold it together and be strong. Before I knew what was happening, the doc had the suction attached to his head, and when the next contraction came I pushed as hard as I could. I heard her say great job and he was almost out, and with the next contraction I pushed again and out came his head. One more push and he was out and I immediately heard him screaming and crying. They plopped him down on my chest right away and I started bawling. Partially tears of joy, but I think mostly tears of relief that he was out and ok and it was over.

After a few minutes the nurses took him over to the warmer to get his measurements and Apgar scores (8 and 9). Then they handed him to Steve, who held him while I got stitched up.

I ended up having a 3rd degree tear from pulling him out so fast, and it seemed to take forever for the doc to stitch me up. In reality, I have no clue how long it was. Once that was done, he was placed on my chest again skin to skin, and he latched on to nurse almost immediately. The nurse was super impressed, and said that this is rare, especially for first time moms. That’s my little over achiever.

Around 6am Steve called all of our parents with the news, and my mom headed right over. Thus began a crazy day full of visitors, which was both great and so exhausting. At 7am Pam came in to say goodbye and tell me that I did a great job, and that she was so happy that he made it out before her shift was over. I gave her a big hug and thanked her for being awesome all night and told her that I was glad that she got to see the baby born before she left.

It took forever for my epidural to wear off, probably because of the amount they had to give me along with the fentinyl. My first trip to the bathroom was in a wheelchair, and I couldn’t stand or walk on my own for at least 6 or 7 hours. It’s still hard to believe sometimes that he is here and he is ours, yet at the same time it seems like he’s been with us for longer than just five days.



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Bathroom Remodel – Before & After

Since I have no cute squishy baby to show you as of yet, how about some pictures of our newly remodeled bathroom instead? The main bath was the last room in our house that needed to be redone, and when we found out we were expecting, we knew we really wanted to tackle the project before the baby’s arrival. Let me start by showing you some before pics of the monstrosity that was the bathroom.

Super narrow entrance, tiled walls, and don’t get me started on that floor tile. Believe it or not, when we moved in, this floor tile was probably the nicest flooring in the house. Scary, no?

The shower/tub. Disgusting. No amount of cleaning products or scrubbing could remove the nasty grime in there.Ā 

The vanity/medicine cabinet. Not the most awful part of the bathroom, but significantly ugly none the less.

The toilet. Looks innocent enough. The truth is, this thing was horrible. It did not flush properly, often requiring multiple tries. It also had a huge crack on one side which was always a little disconcerting.

And lastly, the view out to the rest of the house. You can see here how narrow the entry was.

Since we were on a tight budget, Steve did all of the work himself with the exception of demolition weekend when he had help from a friend. We asked for Menards gift cards for Christmas, and thanks to some very generous family members, the gift cards covered a lot of the big purchases we had to make. The plan was a complete gutting of the old bathroom. We purchased a new tub, shower fixtures, vanity, toilet, light fixture, mirror cabinet, and tile. So everything. The one structural change that was made was widening the entry by about six inches. The wall you see above on the right is the back wall to the closet in the nursery. Said closet was unusually deep (and unnecessarily so), so we decided to widen the bathroom and cut into the closet a bit. Steve kept wondering if all the extra work was worth it for six inches, but as you will see it did make a big difference.

Obviously the first step in the actual process was demolishing the old bathroom. Steve started on a Saturday morning, and by early afternoon it looked like this.

The tub was gone (smashed to pieces), and the walls were coming off. Behind all of that wall tile in the shower was mold. So gross. Steve’s goal for that first weekend was to get the old tub out, and the new tub in and plumbed so that we could take showers, as this is our only full bath. I admit I was skeptical that this would get done in one weekend, but after many hours of work and at least five trips back to Menards, that part was finished. Steve hung a huge sheet of plastic around the shower so we wouldn’t get the walls wet, and this is how we showered for several weeks.

Dexter anyone? It was annoying, yes, but it worked and it was nice to be able to shower at home instead of having to go to the gym every day. God forbid I exercise any more than necessary. Also, Steve is not a morning person and was extra motivated to get the shower done quickly so he would not have to go to the gym in the morning. From this point forward, Steve worked on the bathroom pretty much every single day after work and on the weekends, in addition to his marathon and ironman training. Poor guy. He would take the plastic down to do whatever step was next in the shower (tiling, grouting, caulking, etc.), then put the plastic back up so we could shower. He wanted to get the shower completely finished before tackling the rest of the bathroom. We do have another half bath, so we had another toilet and sink to use while the rest of the main bath was under construction. After a few more weeks, the shower looked like this:

We chose white tile with a grey marbled look, and navy blue glass accent tiles for the strip towards the top. We also tiled in the corner shelves, two in each corner, and added glass sliding doors because of our mutual distaste for shower curtains. Once the shower was done, it was on to demolishing the rest of the bathroom.

Gutted. You can see the widened entry here with the new green board on the left. The next step was the floor tile and fixing up the walls with several coats of mud where the hideous wall tiles were.

We chose a darker grey tile for the floor, which I love. We decided to paint the walls grey as well with leftover paint from the nursery. No need to buy more paint when we already had some left. After the process of tiling, grouting, sealing, etc, it was time to put in the new toilet and vanity, along with the new mirror cabinet and light fixture. The new toilet gave Steve plenty of problems, as it wouldn’t stop leaking at first. There were a couple of times that it came dangerously close to ending up in the dumpster, but he luckily got it figured out. He also had to cut off the bottom of the vanity by an inch or two, since the new mirror cabinet was bigger than the old one and the faucet was actually too tall for the cabinet to open. It was either cur the vanity or buy a whole new faucet. Alright, lets jumpĀ to the before and afters, shall we?

Looking into the bathroom. Look how much wider it is! The one and only thing I did was to paint the woodwork around the window white to match the rest of the woodwork in the house, which you can’t even really see because of the window shade. I also picked out the shade, valance, and rug.

The tub/shower. I can’t even tell you how nice it is to have a clean tub and shower to use. There is so much space on the corner shelves and it is so nice and bright. We also got a shower head that can be used as a hose. Thinking ahead for bath time for the little man.

A toilet that does it’s job in one flush. Hooray!

New vanity and mirror cabinet, so much more modern. Love it!

The new light fixture and mirror. I am actually sorry I don’t have a picture of the old light fixture. It was of the large vanity bulb variety, super tacky.

And one more angle looking out so you can see how much wider the space is. We are so happy with how everything turned out, and I am so impressed with Steve’s skills in home improvement. He worked so so hard on this bathroom for many many hours and it shows in the final product. Now you can see why I put together the crib by myself, because Steve was busy in the bathroom. The nursery was my project, and the bathroom was his. I am so thankful that he is handy with these things, because I can’t imagine what this bathroom would have cost us if we had to hire out. We wouldn’t have been able to do it, that’s for sure. Now it feels so good that the big house projects are all complete (of course there are always someĀ other little projects to do), but the big stuff is done. Phew!

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39 weeks

Baby is the size of…. let’s go with a baby. Like a full sized, could come out at any time but is apparently very comfy and cozy on the inside and might be in there forever baby.

Ok, I know I am still a week from my due date. But damn, I never expected that the last couple of weeks would be such a mind game. I’m not sure why I allowed myself to get it in my head that he would come early. Maybe it was all of the comments about how he “dropped” so much a few weeks ago, or others predicting an early arrival, or the fact that I’ve been having contractions for weeks, or me just being done done done. In any case, I am still pregnant, the days are moving very slowly, and I am very uncomfortable most of theĀ time. Patience has never been my strong suit, and though I have gotten a little better with it over the years, I can feel it wearing thin. Wah. Ok, thanks for letting me whine whine whine for a minute.

How I am feeling: see above. Really, I should not complain. Yes I am uncomfortable, but that is to be expected at this point, no? I can’t bend forward or roll over in bed or get up off the couch without gargantuan effort. I feel little feet in my ribs and poking out my sides. I am exhausted from not sleeping well. But, I know that compared to some other women at this point I don’t have it bad at all. I was able to go swimming at the pool yesterday, and it felt good to float around (I don’t know if I can call it actual swimming anymore) for 30 mins. I am still having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and over the weekend and on Monday I had a few that were slightly more intense and a little painful. Of course I got my hopes up, but now I am back to nada. Last week Wednesday at the doc I was 2 cm dilated and she estimated that the little guy was already 7.5+ lbs. Of course that is just an estimate she did by feeling him through my belly, but she has been at this for many years and has felt a lot of bellies. If she is correct, and I do make it to my due date next week, I fear that the kid will be huge. I can’t wait to see what she says at my appointment tomorrow. She also commented that I haven’t really been gaining any weight for the past few weeks, and I told her I was eating as much as I could but I just get full so fast. I would say my appetite has picked up a little over the past week though, so I won’t be surprised to find that I gained a pound or two. As of last week I was up 31 lbs, so right on track I guess.

Another reason it would be really great if baby boy decides to come out this week: my new OB will be on vacation next week, and my old OB will not return from maternity leave until the following week. So the week of my actual due date, I will have to see a brand new doctor that I don’t know and that doesn’t know me. Not ideal. I don’t care so much for the actual delivery, but what if I go past my due date and we need to make a decision on how to proceed? I would feel a lot better having a doc that I have seen before, but oh well. I am going to discuss this with my current doc tomorrow and see what she says.

The upside to not having a 4th of July baby was that we got to enjoy a fabulous holiday weekend with friends and family. I got my toes done for the occasion.

It started with brunch at a friends house on the morning of the 4th. Then in the evening, my mother in law, sister in law, and niece Aiva came over to grill out.

Those eyes! After dinner we headed over to the Sussex fireworks and met up with my cousins and their families. We were wondering how Aiva would like her first fireworks (she will turn one on my due date 7/15).

The answer? She LOVED them. She sat on Uncle Steve’s lap the whole time and was mesmerized. She would even get a little upset when there was a pause in the action, waving her arms until they started back up. I have never seen a kid that young love the fireworks so much instead of being scared by the noise. It was so cute and hilarious.

On Saturday we went to a party at our friends lake house complete with a pontoon boat ride.

And of course dessert!

No, I did not eat all of that by myself, it was a shared dessert plate. I swear.

Party ladies! Please excuse the fact that my eyes are closed and I look like I could take someone out with that belly. Sheesh!

Sunday was less eventful since Steve was out on a 5 hour bike ride and I was back at the house. I spent my day making banana bread, doing a little cleaning, and reading a book. I cannot even tell you how many books I have read over the past few months. Let’s just say I am getting lots of use out of my Kindle, the Amazon store, and library books. Then on Sunday night we went to tour the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital where I will deliver. I was secretly hoping that my water would break or something while we were on the tour. How convenient would that have been? Alas, no such luck.

So there you have it. 39 weeks, still pregnant, unbelievably bored and just waiting for the little man to arrive. Luckily I have a busy day scheduled tomorrow with clients and my OB appointment, and though the house is pretty clean at this point, I suppose there is always more organizing that can be done. If you’ve made it this far through my rambling, congratulations. Please cross your fingers for me that this is the week!




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38 weeks

Baby is the size of a pumpkin, his head is about the same circumference as his abdomen, and he may have up to an inch of hair already.

Yup, still pregnant over here. Let’s see, last time I wore this shirt for a weekly photo was all the way back at week 25. What a difference three months makes.

How I am feeling: welp, now that it is July I am pretty much ready to be done at any time. Yesterday was my last day of work at the clinic, so from here on out I will just be seeing clients at my private practice. This past Friday night I had to call in sick to work for the first time ever. I was scheduled to start at 3pm, so around 1-1:30 I hopped lumbered clumsily into the shower to get ready before having some lunch and heading to work. By the time I got out of the shower, I was very nauseous and slightly dizzy. I sat down on the couch and felt like my pulse was racing, so I took it and sure enough it was hanging out at 83 bpm. I took my blood pressure and it was 134/84, so I decided to call the doc. While I was waiting for a call back from the nurse, I made some eggs thinking maybe I would feel better if I ate something. I realized I hadn’t really eaten since my breakfast bagel. By now it was after 2pm, and I decided to make the call into work. I didn’t feel like I could massage anyone, though I felt terrible having to cancel on my clients so late. By the time the nurse called back my bp was down to 120/82, a little better. She seemed to think it was a case of low blood sugar and advised eating something, resting and pushing fluids. After eating the eggs and toast with some lemonade I did start to feel better, and after a short nap I felt just fine. Then I felt super guilty for calling into work, but what am I gonna do? Oh well. Lesson learned: eat more often, even though I don’t always feel too hungry these days.

Last week I participated in my one and only “race” while pregnant. At some point several months ago (likely when I was still running and feeling good about it), I thought it would be a fun idea to sign up for a one mile race while 37 weeks pregnant. Yes, fun. It was only $10 to sign up at the time, so I figured even if I didn’t end up doing it it would be no big loss. So last Tuesday Steve and I headed downtown for the Shlitz Park Mile. Luckily it was not too hot out that night thanks to heavy fog rolling in and out off the lake. I ended up having a walking buddy since my friend Rick was injured and not planning to run.

Isn’t it funny how I barely look pregnant in this pic? We ended up finishing in 17:49, and I’m pretty sure I was having a contraction for 16 of those minutes. The best part was 4 minutes into the race when we were passing by the finish area on our way to loop around the neighborhood. All of a sudden we heard through a megaphone “WALKERS, PLEASE STAY TO YOUR LEFT. THE WINNERS ARE COMING THROUGH!” So yes, we got lapped by the winner who finished in 4:29. Ha! Overall it was fun and now I can say I “raced” while 37 weeks pregnant, but I can’t wait to actually run the race next year and see what I can do for a mile. Speaking of running, I had a dream last night that I ran the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee in 2:58:16 while pregnant. I think I may have even won it. Clearly I am losing my mind and need to start running again asap.

This past Saturday some friends from Masters Swim got together after our swim for a baby shower breakfast, which was so nice.

We sat outside and enjoyed some delicious food and great company before it got too hot out. I am lucky to have met so many great people through swimming, running, triathlons, etc over the years.

Let’s end with my current prediction. As much as it would be my dream come true to have a little firecracker 4th of July baby, I don’t think I will be giving birth this week. I am still having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, but overall I am not feeling any different than I was last week. I forgot to mention that last Wednesday at the OB I was 1.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced, so it will be interesting to see where I am at tomorrow’s appointment. The doc still tells me that these numbers have nothing to do with how soon I will go into labor, but that the “riper” the cervix is when I do go into labor (sorry that sounds really gross), the faster labor should go, so there’s that.

I guess that’s it for this week. Just sitting here in the air conditioning, biding my time, counting the days. Incidentally, after flying by at warp speed all year, time has now seemed to slow to a crawl. I am told that once I start deep cleaning and organizing random things in the house it will be time. I cleaned out and organized the pantry last week, but apparently that wasn’t enough. Come on baby boy, we want to meet you!

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