Laboring for Jacob

It is a rainy, cozy day so I figured it would be the perfect day to snuggle in bed with Jacob and write the story of his birth before I forget the details.

Two days before I went into labor which was a Friday, I was feeling a little different.  The day before, on Thursday, I had my doctors appointment where they confirmed that I was 3 cm dilated.  All that time I had felt my pregnancy “normal” until Friday.  It is hard to explain how I felt but I was feeling a lot of pressure and I felt like a balloon ready to pop.  I even put towels down in bed before going to sleep Friday night, I was sure it was going to happen that night.  We went to bed and I woke up Saturday morning feeling great.  We were very productive that day, we picked up around the house, ran errands, vacuumed, watered the plants, paid bills and did laundry.  I figured maybe I just had an off day.  Saturday night we met up with a group of friends and hung out with them for a while.  On our way home we stopped at Trader Joe’s to do a late grocery shop and stock up on food.  While I was pushing the cart around all I could think about was what if my water breaks here…We went home put away the groceries and went to bed.  Really exciting Saturday night, I know…

Somewhere in one of my pregnancy books I had read that only 10-15% of pregnant women have their water break outside of the hospital, and among those 10-15% it is only a trickle or a small stream of water not a huge dramatic gush that Hollywood likes to portray in the movies.  Well, about 30 minutes after we fell asleep which was 11:14 pm my water broke.  And it was exactly like a balloon popping, it was not a trickle or a stream, it was like Niagara Falls, just like Hollywood likes to portray.  It jolted me awake and I sprinted to the bathroom while yelling at Justin to wake up.  He is a heavy sleeper and my shouts from the bathroom didn’t do much for him.  After wrapping myself in towels I go back to the bed and start shaking Justin awake and he kept nodding his head and pulling the covers up over him trying to convince me to give him a few more minutes to sleep.  Finally, it registered with him and he sat up wide eyed and I said “it’s time, my water broke, we have to go to the hospital.”  We fumbled around getting dressed and grabbing a few things, Justin took the dog out really quick to relive himself and we were on our way to the hospital.  We called our parents and texted our friends who were going to take care of our dog to let them know.  We pulled into the parking structure of the hospital at 11:44 pm and made our way to triage.  All this time I still have water gushing out of me.  When we checked in I told the nurse that I needed to use the restroom since I was still leaking water, she told me to wait because they would need a urine sample.  So we stood in the hallway in a huge puddle of amniotic fluid growing by the second.  After a few minutes Justin said something to the nurse more urgently and she took us back to get me checked in.  I was able to use the restroom and get myself cleaned up, they hooked me up to a monitor and checked me and determined that I was 5 cm dilated.  It was then I really started to feel my contractions and they were coming fast and hard.  They wheeled me into labor and delivery and got my IV hooked up and everything else ready to go.  They asked me if I was planing on an epidural and I said yes, they suggested that I get it sooner than later since it was a busy night in labor and delivery with several emergency cesareans, they had to call a second anesthesiologist to help with the patient load and if I waited too long then they may get tied up and not be able to get to me in time.  So I got the epidural and the anesthesiologist gave me a button to push if I needed more, I only pushed it once the entire time during my labor.  Then my mom showed up and we were going to settle down and rest for a while until it was time to push.  It was hard to rest since I had the shakes so bad which is a side effect from the epidural.  Shortly after Justin’s parents showed up and while we were all visiting the nurses kept coming in and checking the monitor placement on my belly, I finally asked them if everything was okay and they said that they kept loosing the baby’s heartbeat because he was moving around so much.  Because of all the activity the nurse decided to check me again and determined that I was 10 cm dilated.  I had gone from 5 cm to 10 cm in an hour!  It was time to start pushing…so much for a little bit of rest.  Every time I felt a contraction coming on Justin and my mom would support my legs and count for me as I pushed.  I was surprised at how much I could feel with the epidural, I always thought I would not be able to move my legs which was partly true, my right leg was completely numb and it kept falling off the bed, Justin had to keep putting it back up and hold it.  That bothered me more than anything else, I hated the feeling of not being in control of a part of my body, I imagine it must be similar to what people feel when they loose a limb, the phantom limb sensation, ugh so frustrating!  Otherwise I could still feel things and move around, which was good in my opinion, it helped to know when to push and I felt like I was in some kind of control, it just took the edge off.

I pushed and pushed and pushed…every time I pushed the nurse could see Jacob’s head, but he didn’t stay there he would go back up.  So I kept pushing…I pushed for 4 hours.  It was tiring, even Justin started sitting on the couch to rest in-between contractions, in fact, one time he dozed off and missed a round of my pushing, it’s okay, I forgive him 🙂  Every time I pushed the amniotic fluid kept coming, the nurse even moved out of the way a few times to avoid getting wet!  She kept marveling at how much fluid I had.  During the 4 hours my doctor came in twice to check on me and both times she said I am going to do a C-Section then I’ll be back to check on you, I remember thinking there’s no way this is going to last that long, this baby is coming before she’ll be done with the C-Section.

At one point the nurse asked me if I wanted a mirror and I said no, I had my eyes closed as I was pushing and I didn’t think a mirror was going to make any difference.  During the 4 hours, I had 3 different nurses take over and finally the 3rd one said to me, do you mind if we try something different, my way?  I said yes!  I’ll try anything different, so we changed positions and that finally got the ball rolling.  She also gently encouraged me to try the mirror, so I said sure, I was up for trying anything. Especially since I heard one of the nurses discreetly mention the possibility of a C-Section in passing, she didn’t actually say it but I knew what she was getting at since I had been pushing for so long they thought I might be too tired to continue.  I remember saying “I am going to do this!” to be sure to let them know that I was not giving up and a C-Section was not an option.  I have to say that using the mirror did help, it showed me that all the work I was doing was making progress and gave me renewed strength.

Finally Jacob was in the birth canal, my doctor showed up and it only took a few more pushes to get him out.  Another thing that really sticks out in my mind was while I was pushing I was focusing on Justin’s voice while he was counting for me and it was so encouraging hearing the difference in his tone when it got closer and closer and hearing his excitement when Jacob arrived. Then everything was such a blur, they flipped him on top of me and one thing I remember was he picked up his head and turned to look at the other side of the room, I was amazed at how strong he already was.  They left him on me while they checked him out and toweled him off.  Justin cut the umbilical cord and Jacob immediately latched on and started eating.  After about an hour they took him to the warmer to do some more tests, weigh him and then gave him right back to me, I loved that the hospital policy is as much skin to skin, mother and child time as possible.  Justin’s parents came back and we all marveled at our precious boy.  We stayed in labor and delivery for about 3 hours while we visited, had breakfast, took pictures, sent out texts, facebook notifications and made phone calls to the masses.
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IMG_6721Proud daddy!
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By the way if you are like me with straight hair that does not hold curl and longs for that little bit of body and volume to your hairstyle, I finally found out how to get it!  4 hours of labor works wonders for your hairstyle!
IMG_6727Then they took us up to our room.  The nurse and my mom gave Jacob a bath, we got settled in and decided it was time to finally rest.  My mom went home to our house and cleaned up the hurricane mess we left the night before and took a nap, while we rested at the hospital.  That afternoon, my best childhood friend Stacey showed up to visit, later that evening my mom came back with my dad to visit.  After dinner we decided to try and get some sleep.  Justin attempted to get comfortable on the couch and I was reluctant to give up Jacob to the bassinet, but I knew it wasn’t safe for him to sleep in my arms.
IMG_0167After the nurse helped get him swaddled up we positioned the bassinet in between us and slept (sort of).  Jacob actually slept great, it is hard to sleep when you have nurses coming in every few hours to check Jacob’s temperature and my blood pressure and re-swaddle Jacob after I fed him, etc…The next day the nurses told me I had the option of going home that day or staying one more night.  We decided to go home, we knew we would be much more comfortable at home with less interruptions from nurses, food delivery, technicians, etc…If we didn’t have my mom there to help, we probably would have stayed one more night, but grandma came to the rescue!  There were a number of things that needed to get done before we could go home, so it all started with a visit from the pediatrician.  Then we had the discharge class, that taught us the basics on how to care for your baby and what to expect after leaving the hospital.  Jacob needed another heel prick blood draw since there was a risk for him being jaundiced because my blood type is O- and he is O+ (like his daddy).  My OB came to check on me, I had a visit from a lactation specialist to get a few tips, and Jacob had his hearing test.  I have to admit I was a bit anxious for this test, when the technician came in and started doing the test I was silently praying and trying to hold in my tears.  Just like the perfect little guy he is he passed with flying colors!  Amen!
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And during all this we had a visit from the Hardy family.  It was a fast paced, busy day!  Then it was finally time to go home.  Jacob did great in the car and slept pretty much the entire time.  It felt so good to be in the comforts of home.

I have to say that in all my experiences from previous surgeries to labor and delivery at Sharp Mary Birch, I absolutely love this hospital!  The nurses are so wonderful, everything is clean, the staff is very friendly and you can always find someone to help you or answer your questions.  All these things help to make the whole process a pleasant one.  Here’s a picture Justin snapped while going out to the car to get our overnight bags, Jacob was born on a rainy day. I love rainy days!!
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It’s a Boy!

Check out this cool gift from Papa and Nonie
IMG_6979It’s a neat cigar box filled with cigars that say “It’s a Boy!” on them
IMG_6983This is definitely a keepsake box
IMG_6992Justin has been having fun handing them out to the guys
IMG_6997It has all of Jacob’s birth details on it, who needs a birth certificate when you can have a cool cigar box like this!
IMG_6974Thanks Papa and Nonie!

And here’s our smiling milk drunk little man himself!
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Snoozing

Look at what Jacob found last night…
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His thumb!  He was sucking away with all his might.

We spent the morning at church and actually made it on time!  We high fived each other in the car on the way because this was our first outing that required us to be somewhere by a certain time (besides doctors appointments) and I didn’t think we would make it.  Granted it took us 3 hours to get everyone ready and fed, but we did it!  After our big morning we came home and took our 2 week picture
IMG_6971Now we are snoozing with daddy watching football…
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Happy Sunday!!

Jacob Carl Frisco

Thanks to Facebook, phone calls, emails, texts and word of mouth…I’m sure you have all heard the news that he has arrived!  Jacob Carl Frisco was born January 6, 2013 at 9:04 am, he was 7 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches long.  He’s perfect!  We are so in love! I will save the story about my labor and delivery for another post, but all in all everything went well.
IMG_6750These last 2 weeks have flown by in such a blur, so much has happened and I want to write it all down before I forget, so here goes…

Jacob was born on Sunday, January 6th and we came home from the hospital on Monday, January 7th.  Sharp Mary Birch is a fantastic hospital, but it felt so good to come home!
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We’ve visited our pediatrician 3 times, whose office is literally right down the street.  So we have already put our stroller to use.  We absolutely love him!  He is such a nice man and I  trust him completely.  As you may know it is normal for babies to loose weight after birth until the mother’s milk comes in.  So at his first appointment (at 3 days old) he went from his birth weight of 7 lbs 8 oz to 6 lbs 14 oz.  Two days later (at 5 days old) we saw him again and he was almost back up to his birth weight weighing in at 7 lbs 5 oz.  Our pediatrician was surprised at how fast he regained his weight and actually weighed him twice at two different scales to make sure it was accurate!  Since then Jacob has been labeled an overachiever!  His weight gain didn’t surprise me that much since I know first hand how demanding he is when it comes to eating, ow!! The 3rd visit was at 11 days old for his circumcision, that day he weighed in at 8 lbs 4 oz.  He handled it like a pro and didn’t seem to be in any pain afterwards, I didn’t have to give him any medicine and he never cried.
IMG_0183Speaking of crying…he rarely does.  We truly have been blessed with a very content, good baby!  He loves to snuggle and be held, but he is also okay with being put down in his crib/bouncer/swing/car seat.  Occasionally he’ll let out a brief wail to let us know something but then stops.  We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and all of a sudden he will be crying non stop, but that hasn’t happened.  Like I said, he’s perfect!

We gave him his first bath.
IMG_6778IMG_0181We’ve had visits from friends and family.  Grandpa Lance, Auntie Stacey and the Hardy family came to meet Jacob while we were in the hospital.  I was a little out of it and didn’t get any pictures of them.  The Ford family came after we got home and Jacob got to meet one of his girlfriends who is 3 weeks older than him.
IMG_6769Aunt Heidi came for dinner one night
IMG_6786Auntie Dana brought us lunch and snuggled with Jacob for the afternoon.
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Papa, Noni and GiGi (Justin’s parents and grandmother) came for the day and brought us lunch.
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The Haigis family came one afternoon and Jacob met his other girlfriend…two girlfriends in less than 2 weeks, we are going to have to keep an eye on this guy 🙂
IMG_6842Our good friends took Apollo to dog sit the first week while we got settled in at home, so they brought him home and the two brothers finally met.  The first few days Apollo wasn’t quite sure what to do about Jacob.  Every time Jacob made a noise or cried, Apollo would cry.  He was really curious.  With every passing day he is less and less curious and is starting to get used to the new noises and smells.  I’m sure they will be good friends in no time!
IMG_6851IMG_0208Grandpa brought Oma and Opa (Michelle’s dad and grandparents) to visit for a day.
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IMG_6905 We took a picture of the 4 generations
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IMG_6925IMG_6932I am planing on taking a picture every week with his giraffe and elephant to watch his growth.  Very ambitious of me, I know, we’ll see if it actually gets done every week…but here’s week 1.
IMG_6879We had a photographer come and do his newborn photos, I can’t wait to see them and share with you!
IMG_0246And then it was time for me to give my mom back to my dad.  My mom has been with us since I went into labor and she has been a huge help with meals and cleaning and of course spoiling Jacob with love and affection.  Grandmas are amazing and it was so reassuring for me to have her around to ask “is this normal?” or “what do I do now?” and I could take a real nap knowing that Jacob was in good hands.  We are so thankful for all her help and it was a sad day when she left.  Can’t wait for her to come back and visit!
IMG_6947It has been a busy, busy 2 weeks!!  Now it has been fun settling into our new “normal” and figuring out our new family dynamics.  Thank you for all your notes, texts, emails and calls, keep them coming, it helps to have something to read while I am trying to stay awake during the 2:00 am feeding 🙂

 

Almost 3…

Yes, I know I am on a blogging roll!  So much to share these days!  We had our follow up appointment today and I am now almost 3 cm dilated!  I am still having a few mini contractions a day, but they are random and nothing to really keep track of.  Everything else looks great, he is in position still and she guessed him to be about 7 to 7.5 lbs.  She basically told me it could be any day. So we wait…There are things that I heard about pregnancy and always thought they would never been an issue with me, now that I am 38 weeks, I can say that I was wrong.  Here are the things that surprised me the most.

Tying my shoes…
Pssshh…I’ll always be able to tie my shoes, or bend over to pick something up…yeah right.  For the most part during my pregnancy, I wore flip-flops or slip-ons which made taking my shoes on and off so easy, I never thought twice about the difficulty of this simple task. Now that it has been so cold (yes I know I am in Southern California, but it has been really cold by Southern California’s standards) I’ve been breaking out my uggs, boots and tennis shoes and the simple task of putting on my shoes has now been transferred over to my husband.  I just can’t do it anymore.

Preggo brain…
Throughout the years while all my friends were pregnant, I kept hearing them talk about “preggo brain” and I never really thought much about it or took it seriously.  If you know me well you know that I have a pretty good memory and am able to recall things with specific detail.  I am the one that my friends turn to to when they can’t remember something. I can remember things like street names, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, I am great with directions, recalling what someone was wearing, what year something happened, etc… you get the point.  On the day I took my pregnancy test, I had blood work done at my doctors office in the morning, my mom was in town and after my appointment we went to breakfast, did some shopping and ran some errands while we waited for the phone call with the results.  That day I can’t tell you how many wrong turns I took, forgetting to go somewhere we needed to go, I almost felt like a stranger driving in my own town, I didn’t know where I was going, and that is really unusual for me, Justin would be the first to tell you that I am a backseat driver and am constantly telling him where to go. I figured I was distracted since I was waiting for my test results, besides at 4 weeks pregnant, preggo brain is not really that much of a problem, right?

One morning earlier in my pregnancy, Justin and I were getting ready for work and I said something about him taking the dog out for a walk before he left, he looked at me and said “I have my morning meeting today, remember” meaning it was my turn to walk the dog.  I said “No, it’s Tuesday, you have your meetings on Wednesday, you always walk the dog on Tuesday mornings”, again he looked at me and this time had kind of a funny look on his face and said “No my meetings have been on Tuesday mornings, for a long time” and I was so adamant that he was wrong and his meeting was on Wednesday, that I actually made him second guess himself and he reached for his iPhone to check his calendar, of course he had his meeting on Tuesday AM.  He kissed me good bye and I took the dog for a walk.  While I was walking the Apollo I was still mulling things over in my head and feeling really confused, but it eventually did hit me that his meetings really were on Tuesdays (in my defense, about 2 years ago they used to be on Wednesdays, so I guess I was traveling back in time?)  It doesn’t end there…after walking & feeding the dog I finished getting ready for work and left for the day.  When I was halfway to my office I was thinking about something I saw on the news while I was getting ready (don’t ask me what, I don’t remember!) and I was thinking about the TV and couldn’t remember if I had turned it off before I left.  But I was not too worried, leaving the TV on would at least provide Apollo with some kind of entertainment.  But then I started wondering what else I didn’t do before I left and remembered that I had curled my hair, so I started wondering if I unplugged the curling iron and for the life of me could not remember if I did. In fear or burning down my house, I texted a friend at work and told her I would be late, and turned around.  Sure enough, I got home the TV was blaring, curling iron plugged in and to top it off I had left the downstairs window open, which is like an invitation for someone to remove the screen and come into our house (although Apollo would probably bite their leg off).  After I turned off the TV, unplugged the curling iron & closed the window, I started my drive back to work laughing at myself and realized that this was truly my first official preggo brain day.  So to all my friends, I believe you now, preggo brain is a legitimate thing.

And I am sorry I don’t have a 38 week belly shot to show you.  I just simply don’t have the energy right now to put something on that I don’t mind being photographed in and then downloading it to my computer to post on the blog, it’s the little things these days. But here’s a picture of my first baby, he’s absorbing all the love he can get before the little one comes.
My first baby

Thanks for checking in and will keep you posted 🙂

Showers of love

We always talk about how blessed we are to have such an amazing support group of family and friends.  We both come from big families that truly enjoy being together and celebrating together.  We have some fantastic friends from college and church who have become our San Diego family.  We both also work with some pretty awesome people which is great since we spend all day with them during the week.  Plus our childhood friends, clients turned friends and others who we have created friendships with along the way.  When we announced that we were pregnant I knew there would be plenty of people who would be so happy for us, but I never imagined the outpouring of love that came from everyone or all the people who wanted to celebrate with us.  It has really been special.  These people came together and gave baby Frisco 4 baby showers, they’ve sent gifts from all over and they can’t wait to meet him and welcome him into our circle of family and friends.  I intended to get a group photo at each of my showers and take lots of pictures along the way…but that didn’t really happen.  I’ve learned there are times when I am in the photography mode and want to document everything, but there are also times when I just want to kick back and enjoy it all.  Thankfully there were others who took on the job of photographer so I do have a few pictures to share.

First up was Justin’s office.  It is not very common that an office that consists of mostly men would get together for a baby shower, but with the wonderful planning of the (female) office administrative assistant they gave us a fun shower!  We played baby Pictionary, where everyone agreed that hopefully baby Frisco will not inherit our drawing skills, although I have to say that Justin does have a pretty good artistic side to him, but he wasn’t showing it off that day.  We had lots of snacks and yummy cupcakes.  We opened gifts and received lots of well wishes and a personalized poem for baby Frisco. pics2Then it was time for family.  My aunt hosted both sides of our family at her house.  Most of our family lives in Southern California so almost everyone was able to come.  We played some games, including one where we all had the name of some famous baby, group of kids, real or cartoon on our backs and we had to ask people yes or no questions to try and figure out who we were.  It was a great way to get the party started.  Lunch and lots of yummy treats were served.  While opening gifts we had the person whose gift I was opening tell a funny story about Justin or I when we were a baby, which brought on some laughs!  Everyone brought books along with their gifts to build a library for baby Frisco and I had them all write a note to him on the inside of the books so we can think of them as we read along.  I am so excited about the library he has now!  Since it was November and we are having a little man, we had a moustache theme in honor of Movember.
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Next we celebrated with my girlfriends.  One of my San Diego girlfriends paired up with my best childhood friend and threw us another shower.  I love all these women and the fact that they are all currently moms to one or two little ones makes for a wonderful resource/support group.  This is the group where I soak up the stories and advice and am so thankful that I have them to turn to and lean on when needed. The day was filled with lots of personal touches and crafty Pinterest ideas.  The girls who threw the shower are some pretty serious San Diego Charger fans and they did have a little bit of Charger touches here and there…but as hard as it was for them, they did respect Justin’s team and decorated with the Pittsburg Steelers in mind.
IMG_6599This was the one shower that I did get a group shot

IMG_6591And remember these girls…they now have their little girls cradled in their arms!
IMG_6594 Last but not least was my office.  Opposite of Justin my office consists of mostly women, and with women a baby is definitely a cause for celebration! Two of the girls got together and threw a shower filled with lots of yummy food and champagne cocktails (virgin for me of course)!  It is so great to work with people who enjoy being together even after we have worked together all day long.  Almost everyone in the office was able to come and baby Frisco got so many fantastic gifts.  Sadly we didn’t take any pictures at that shower, but we did get a picture of the adorable Little Prince cake!

Little Prince Cake

Outside of the showers, we’ve had friends take us out to dinner or brunch to celebrate, we get phone calls, emails and texts from people asking if there is anything we need and we are getting gifts from our parents friends. It really has been overwhelming how awesome people are.  The bottom line is, it’s really not about the parties and gifts but all the love that everyone has for this little boy.  Who knew he would be so popular before he was even born, he is a pretty lucky guy!

Thank you everyone for all your support, we can’t wait for you to meet our little boy!