A few days ago, I posted the birth story and promised that Carrie’s version would follow. Well, it’s still on it’s way, but she hasn’t had much time to write it in the past week in between feeding Brooklyn and trying to get some sleep. So while we wait for that, I’ve decided to give a one-week update.
Brooklyn was born a little over a week ago and I can’t believe she’s growing up so fast! She’s going to be going away to college and dating guys before we know it. But seriously, she does feel like she has grown a little bit since last Friday (or maybe my arms and chest are just getting more and more tired from holding her). We won’t know for sure until next Sunday, the 27th, when we have our next appointment with the pediatrician.
The past week has been both challenging and rewarding. We left the hospital on Sunday and Brooklyn got her first cab ride (welcome to NYC, where you don’t bring your baby home from the hospital in her car seat in your car; you either strap her car seat into a cab or take her on the subway). Bringing her home was pretty amazing. We both couldn’t believe the hospital actually let us bring this little thing home by ourselves. The first thing she got to do was meet Buddy. I was really interested in seeing how Buddy would react since he’s been used to being the center of attention the past eight months.
I had taken a class at the hospital on dogs and kids, so I learned that the best way to introduce them when you first get home is to have one person go in first, greet the dog, and let him settle down, and then the other person come in with the baby, sit down on the couch and let the dog come up to her on his own. So that’s what we did. Buddy didn’t quite know what was going on or what this little moving thing was, but he started licking her feet and was really curious. The first time she started crying, he didn’t know what to do, so he kept barking.
As the days went on and he learned that she’s here to stay, and that her crying from time to time is normal, he got used to it and is now the protective older “brother.” When we’re holding her on the couch, he loves to come up and lick her feet or hands, and see what she’s doing. When she’s sleeping in her swing in the living room, he lays right at the foot of it. When Carrie is feeding her in the bedroom, he lays at her feet. I’ve been amazed at the way he has handled this change. He gets that something is different and that he’s not the center of attention anymore. I have tried to play with him, take him to the park, and pet him as much as possible to make sure he still feels loved and important, and I think that has really helped as well.
As for Brooklyn, she obviously has no idea who or what he is, but by the time she’s able to crawl and talk, she’ll be used to him since having him around is all she has known.
We took Brooklyn to the pediatrician on Monday for the post-hospital check-up. He’s an old Jewish guy in his 70s named Dr. Gordon and came highly recommended by our doula, Tanya. His office was straight out of the 60s with a big wooden baby scale that uses the little weights to measure instead of digital. But he was very nice and we really liked him. He said he was a physicist before becoming a doctor, so he comes about everything through well thought out reasoning. Carrie described him as very non-alarmist. For every worry we had, he gave us a long reason for why we shouldn’t worry or what it meant. He did all the tests on Brooklyn and basically said everything looks great so far.
Carrie’s mom has been here since Sunday evening and has been a HUGE help. She has cooked us some great meals, helped us keep the apartment clean, helped take out Buddy, and best of all, helped take care of Brooklyn so we could get a little sleep. Since Carrie is breastfeeding, we have been sticking to an every two hours schedule during the day and stretching it to every three hours at night. So that means that Carrie has to wake up every two to three hours and spend 30-45 minutes each time feeding Brooklyn. She definitely has it worse off than I do, so I won’t even try to make my plight sound bad.
I’ve been taking the late night shift with Brooklyn since March Madness games usually go to about midnight. She sleeps on my chest or in my arms as I watch the games, upload the day’s photos or work on stuff on the computer, while Carrie sleeps. Once we get to the after midnight feedings, we put Brooklyn in her crib, or in her swing seat inside her crib, and I try to sleep. Brooklyn doesn’t like sleeping on her back in her crib yet, so that’s why we have improvised by using her swing seat inside the crib, since it vibrates and keeps her a little bit upright. Even so, she stirs a lot throughout the night, so I sleep with one eye and ear open during those hours. By 5 or 6am, Mrs. Barnes wakes up and takes the morning shift while I get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.
She’s going home in a few days, and it will be just Carrie and I, and then I go back to work next Monday, the 28th, so we’ll have to figure out how to manage without her taking the morning shift, but I think we’ll be able to handle it. Carrie has been amazing performing the most important role of all – feeding Brooklyn. She sometimes reflects that life is passing her by while all she does is feeds and sleeps, but this won’t last forever and she’s doing such a good job of it. She’s sustaining our child while all I can do is hold her.
Carrie’s dad came for a one-day visit to meet Brooklyn, so that was fun. I’m glad he got to meet his first granddaughter (he already has three grandsons) this soon. Brooklyn has now gotten to meet Nana and Pappy. I can’t wait until she meets my parents in a few weeks!
Another big highlight of the week was letting Brooklyn make her March Madness picks. I laid her on her back and held up two fists in front of her and said “Duke or Hampton” and whichever hand she touched first was her pick. I did that for every game and she ended up picking Michigan over BYU in the finals. I honestly didn’t cheat or make it up…it just goes to show that she’s a Michigan fan already.
This week flew by, but it has been so amazing to hold and comfort and sustain this little girl. She’s seriously the most beautiful little thing ever and some of the faces she makes are priceless. I wish you could all see them…pictures and videos don’t do her justice. If anyone has Skype and wants to meet her that way, let me know. I’m jpotts424. We already Skyped with Aunt Jenny all the way from Dublin, Ireland, as well as my parents and Aunt Jandi in Ohio.
This past week has been amazing and I’m so thankful for work allowing paternity leave so I can take this time to comfort her and get to know her and welcome her to this world. I look forward to all of you meeting her soon. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.
Well I’m sure many of you are anxious to hear the birth story, so we have decided to give it to you from two perspectives: mine and Carrie’s. While the overall story will be the same, the details will undoubtedly be different. We’ll start with mine, and Carrie’s will follow.
It was Thursday night and we went to bed like any other weekday night, expecting to wake up and go to work in the morning. Although we had pressed some labor inducing pressure points the past couple days, we had no idea that labor was about to begin. Carrie fell asleep first as I worked on an article for my Michigan football/basketball site as is our usual nightly ritual. I finally turned off the computer and went to sleep around 11:30.
What seemed like a few hours later, I was awaken out of a deep sleep by Carrie jumping out of bed, running to the bathroom, and yelling, “J, I think my water broke!!!” I jumped up and ran into the bathroom, stepping in “water” all over the floor along the way. She asked what time it was, and thinking it had to be 3 or 4am, I looked at the clock shocked that it was only 12:30. We decided to call our doula, Tanya, to let her know. Since labor hadn’t actually started yet, she told us to go back to bed, get some rest, and not call the doctor, because they would tell us to come into the hospital right away and we would be on the clock. She told us to call her back at 5:30, or earlier if there was a major change.
We got back in bed hoping to get some sleep and expecting a long road ahead. All I could think of, however, is the Beastie Boys song “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” About a half hour later, labor started. Since we took Bradley classes and prepared for this moment, everything we learned was that if labor starts in the middle of the night, sleep in between contractions because you’ll need to save your energy for later.
Over the course of the next four hours, the contractions got worse and worse to the point where Carrie couldn’t lay down through them anymore. At 5:30, I called Tanya and gave her the update. She asked a bunch of questions and even talked to Carrie and we decided that she would come over around 10:30. We could make it until then, or so we thought.
It became apparent that Carrie needed some items that she had run out of. The drug store, Duane Reade, opened at 7, so I ran out to get those items and some Gatorade right when they opened. This is where I made stupid dad mistakes number one and two. I made the seven block walk, got everything I needed, got to the checkout counter, and realized I had no money. I had forgotten my wallet. So I ran home, grabbed my wallet, ran back, paid, and ran back home sure that Carrie was going to kill me. Mistake number two was that in my hurry to grab everything, I got Gatorade G2, the low calorie kind. Tanya had specifically told Carrie to drink something with calories. But Carrie was fairly out of it by then, and we didn’t even realize until afterward.
At that point, the contractions were getting really bad and the only position that seemed to work was sitting on the toilet. We tried pretty much all the techniques we had learned in Bradley class, but this was all that was working by now.
I talked to Tanya again because Carrie had started throwing up, and she said she would hop in a cab and come over right away. It would take her about an hour to get there. We kept fighting through the contractions and I tried the calming technique that she had told me she really wanted to use: visualizing the beach. Unfortunately, she was having none of it. She even said, “I don’t want to go to the beach; I want this to stop.” I was starting to lose hope (although I would never outwardly show it). I was definitely ready for some reinforcements, and thankfully, Tanya arrived.
The plan had been for me to take Buddy to a house-sitter when Tanya got there, but she quickly decided that Carrie was far enough along that it was time to go to the hospital. Sorry Buddy!
I called the doctor and told her the status, and she said to come in right away. It was 10am at this point. I called for a cab (not telling them that we had a pregnant lady in active labor).
Tanya told us we had to go, but Carrie didn’t think she could make it down the stairs, let alone a 20 minute cab ride. We got her dressed and I frantically grabbed our go-bag and the car seat. We made it outside, after stopping for contractions at the bottom of the stairs and in the building lobby. We climbed into the cab as Carrie was moaning “I can’t do this!” Tanya got in the back with Carrie and I rode shotgun to give the driver directions. When we got in, he wasn’t very happy with what he was seeing and hearing. He barely spoke English and kept saying “ambulancia! ambulancia!” Tanya calmed his nerves by telling him that we were going to make it to the hospital and to just get us there.
Along the way, Carrie was hurting from all the bumps. At one point, she screamed, “I’m going to die!!!!” Tanya was doing a great job of calming her down and reassuring her, while I was reaching my hand back from the front seat and letting her squeeze the life out of it. After we hit a little bit of construction on the West Side Highway, we got to our exit and then hit a road full of pot holes, to which Carrie screamed, “This is the road from hell!!!!” I think the cab driver got a little chuckle out of that, but we were only a couple blocks from the hospital, so he was calling in my credit card number to dispatch. They were taking forever to respond to him, so he was saying (in Spanish), “Run the credit card, this lady is going to give birth in my cab!”
We made it to the hospital and Tanya took Carrie inside while I finished paying. As we got in an elevator, Carrie started another mammoth contraction. Some lady had the gall to get on and press the fourth floor (we were going to 12) and hold the door. Carrie screamed, “shut the door!!!” Then things got interesting.
We got off the elevator and walked into triage waiting room, which was filled, not with people in labor, just with people. We barely made it into the room when another huge contraction started, wailing, moaning, and all, so Tanya and I threw down our bags to support Carrie. A triage nurse had the nerve to say, in mid contraction, “You need to clear the way.” Tanya said we would do it after the contraction, but the nurse snarkily said, “one of you can hold her and one of you can move the bags.” Again, we said we would do it after the contraction, but she said something about it being for safety, to which Carrie yelled, “SERIOUSLY?!?!?”
The contraction ended, we moved the bags, and Carrie sat down in a chair. It took about 15-20 minutes for the nurses to call her in to a bed. Her contractions were almost non-stop at this point. When they called us in, Tanya told me to go in with her. New York has this awesome (as in, not awesome) law where they don’t let the male go in right away. They have to ask the patient questions about domestic violence first. Well, we were prepared (since we had already been there twice for early contractions). I went in with her and when the triage nurse started to say something, Carrie said, “He’s coming with me. There’s no domestic violence. We’ve been here before.” So the nurse then said, “Well if you’ve been here before, then you know how to put the gown on.”
We got to the little room in triage and made it through some more contractions. The doctor came in to check the cervix and our worst fears came true. She was only at 4cm. At that point, I didn’t think I would be able to keep Carrie going any longer. We had prepared for nine months to have a completely natural birth, she had stressed that she really didn’t want an epidural, and in our meeting with the doctor a couple weeks ago, she told her that. But at that moment, hearing that she was only 4cm when she expected to hear 8 or 9, she lost it.
Thankfully, the doctor was awesome. She encouraged Carrie and did just what she said she would do in our meeting: asking Carrie to just go a little longer. She also informed us that Carrie was dehydrated and needed an IV. Even if she got an epidural, she would still have to have the IV because the dehydration was keeping the cervix from relaxing in between contractions, which explained the extreme pain Carrie was in. She wasn’t getting any kind of rest in between.
We were in there for about 20 minutes and the IV really seemed to help, but Carrie was still really hurting and still asking for the epidural. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hold off. This whole time, every chance I got, I had been texting back and forth with Tanya, who was still in the waiting room (they only let one person in at a time in triage). She was giving me encouragement and saying that Carrie wasn’t really 4cm. Everything pointed towards much more than that.
All the sudden, two different nurses came in saying the baby’s heart rate was declining and they needed to check Carrie again. Just as they started to check her, Carrie screamed, “I have to push!!!” The nurse said that she was now 10, plus 2, or in other words, 12cm., so they called for the doctor. The doctor came in and told Carrie it was okay to start pushing and that it was a good thing because the baby was coming, so they were going to wheel us in to labor and delivery.
The triage nurses started wheeling the bed away and I noticed that no one had remembered to grab the IV pole, which was still attached to Carrie’s arm. If I hadn’t yelled at them to stop, they would have ripped it right out, but they stopped and grabbed it and then wheeled her into L&D. I ran into the waiting room to grab Tanya and then went back to the room, which was right across the hall.
She started pushing at about 11:40 and eventually, the doctor told her she had to lay on her side. It all happened so fast that the way she laid, her top half was off the bed and I was completely holding her up. Tanya was on her left side holding her leg up, and a nurse was holding her right leg up, while the doctor was monitoring the pushing.
At first, Carrie was really screaming when she was pushing, but the doctor told her to focus that energy downward instead of outward. She really seemed to respond to that and did a great job of pushing for the next 10-15 minutes (if that). I started to see the baby’s head come out and the doctor had Carrie reach down to touch it so she knew it was almost out. As it came a little farther, the doctor reached in and unwrapped the cord from around her neck (it was only wrapped around once, so it wasn’t a huge worry). Then, Brooklyn came out and it was the greatest feeling in the world.
Carrie was exhausted and incredibly relieved that we had done it. I couldn’t help but tear up as she pushed her out and the doctor sat Brooklyn up and she started crying. I don’t really remember much during those first couple minutes other than hugging Carrie and then standing with Brooklyn underneath the heat lamp while Carrie pushed out the placenta.
If you or your wife is pregnant, or you’re planning to get pregnant down the road, and you want to do a natural birth, I would strongly recommend getting a doula for your birth, especially if it’s your first one. We felt so comfortable with Tanya because she had witnessed so many births and really understood all the signs to look for in the process of labor. Obviously, I had never done it before, so having someone who we both felt comfortable with and trusted was invaluable.
A few days before that, we met with Tanya for a final time to go over any last fears, questions, or requests and she told us a couple of stories about recent births where they didn’t trust her instinct and ended up not getting the birth they wanted. I don’t really remember the details of them, but was right in both instances if she had only trusted her instinct instead of giving in. That told me that I could trust her, and boy am I glad I did. I don’t think we would have made it to the hospital if she hadn’t been there because by the time she got to our apartment, Carrie was a lot farther along than either of us thought. She was still coherent in between contractions, which all of our training told us she wouldn’t be.
I’m so incredibly proud of Carrie. I knew that if any woman in this world was capable of a natural birth, it was her, and even though I almost gave up while she was asking for an epidural, I never doubted that she could do it. The biggest challenge was helping her believe that she could. Thankfully, that worst period, where she was saying she couldn’t, was really the period of self-doubt, which is a the final stage of labor.
The funny thing is that we had wanted so badly to give birth in the birthing center, but didn’t even need it. We had wanted to spend as little time in the hospital as possible, that our hope was to show up, be checked, and be admitted to the birthing center for the birth. But because of how far along she really was when we got there, even though the initial exam didn’t reflect it, we were in the hospital barely an hour before Brooklyn was born. I had gone to bed that night expecting to wake up and go to work, but my daughter was born before lunch time. Carrie obviously won’t say it was easy, but from nothing to born in less than 12 hours, with only about 20 minutes of pushing is not too shabby.
She was born Friday, March 11 at 12pm. 5 lbs. 8 oz. 19 inches
Well, we finally made it to 36 weeks and now we’re ready for you to be born! Mommy is off bed rest, so we spent most of the day out enjoying the perfect weather. It was her first time outside the apartment in five or six weeks (aside from walking out the front door, hopping in a cab, going to a doctors appointment, getting back in a cab and coming home), so we took advantage of it. First, we slept in for what might be the last time (if you’re born before next weekend) and I made some killer blueberry cornmeal pancakes. The recipe is on the new food page on the dropdown menu up above. I can’t wait for mornings with you in a couple years when I can make you pancakes.
After we ate, we went for a nice long walk in Ft. Tryon Park with Buddy, up and around the Cloisters. We came home and relaxed for a couple hours, watched some basketball and golf and then went out to dinner. I surprised mommy by taking her to one of her favorite restaurants, Ivo & Lulu (thanks to Restaurants.com for the awesome $25 off gift certificate). Ivo & Lulu is a great little French Caribbean restaurant down in Tribeca, right near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. I’m talking maybe 20 people can fit in this place, but the food is fantastic. We had an appetizer of a baked avocado stuffed with spinach and mushroom vinaigrette. Mommy (and you) had the roast duck leg confit and I had the boar and sage sausages in blueberry sauce. It’s all amazing.
After dinner, we went to church for the first time in a few weeks. The great thing about our church, Redeemer, is that it has five services every Sunday at three different locations, so if you aren’t able to make it to one, you can catch another one. There, we just so happened to run into a former classmate from Taylor who I didn’t know very well, but had some classes with (small world), and we also ran into the guy who married us three years ago, John Bowen. I lived with him and his wife on Roosevelt Island when I first moved to the city, and he served as a great mentor for us throughout our engagement. He did our marriage counseling and married us, so it was great to see him again.
It was a good day all around, although mommy’s back and legs are pretty sore from all the walking, which she hasn’t done in a few weeks. She’s going back to work tomorrow, though she probably won’t work a full day. We’ll see how it goes because she’s been used to taking naps throughout the day and just taking it easy. Luckily, she’ll just be sitting down doing research, so it’s not like she’ll be walking around in court all day.
We have our next doctor appointment on Thursday afternoon. This will be our sit-down meeting with the doctor to go over our birth plan and ask any remaining questions. We’re pretty much ready to go. I plan to install the car seat tomorrow, and we have our “go-bag” packed and ready for when we have to go to the hospital.
Can’t wait to meet you soon!
The highlight of this week was your Pappy coming to visit. He was a tremendous help, allowing me to go back into the office for work, and just taking care of mommy. The contractions settled down and while she’s still having them, they haven’t been as bad. Tonight is the last day she has to take the meds to slow down the contractions. The doctor said she could stop taking them today so it doesn’t slow them down too much since this is the last week of bed rest.
I must admit, she’s been handling the bed rest really well considering how hard it is to just sit/lay around all day. It helps that the weather hasn’t been great so there’s no real incentive for going outside, but Friday was in the mid-60s. It was an early dose of spring and that was really hard for her to not be outside. We have one week left though and tonight we’re supposed to get 3-5 inches of snow, so she won’t want to go out tomorrow at least.
Pappy was such a great help when he was here this past week. He ran Buddy ragged with a few walks a day so mommy could rest and work from home all day without distractions. It was also great for her to spend some quality time with someone other than me…a rarity in the past few weeks.
Since I was able to go back to work for a few days, I was able to participate in the 8th Annual Marketing Werks Chili Cookoff. It’s one of the best traditions at my company and every year about 25 teams compete. This year was the first year that the New York office participated (since it just opened last March) and I’m proud to say that I won. This year’s theme was superheroes, so my team name was Chili Pepper Potts and now I get my name on a plaque in the office. I can’t wait to introduce you to my famous chili someday.
I also took a quick day trip to Chicago last Wednesday for some training meetings. The training was supposed to last Wednesday through Friday, but because of the “baby situation” as I have dubbed it, I only went for one day. It was good to meet the new people on my team at work and get together with everybody to get ramped up for the rest of this year.
This morning, I went to a Father’s class at the hospital. It’s one of the optional classes that the hospital offers and I found out that it’s the only class for expectant fathers in all of New York City. That’s pretty amazing that in a city with 8 million people, there’s only one class for expectant fathers that meets once a month, and on this Saturday I was one of only five men in the class. That really goes to show that society still views fathers as second-rate parents, which is something the teach of the class harped on. We aren’t the on-call parent; we’re the other parent, he said. We talked about a lot of topics and he said his favorite acronym is:
If you have those three things, you’ll succeed as a father. He wasn’t the greatest teacher in the world (he went off on tangents off of tangents off of tangents), but I definitely got some useful information and it was good being around other soon-to-be dads who had some of the same questions/thoughts I have.
This week is back to working from home, but it’s the last week we have to do that. Next Sunday, mommy will be able to go back to doing pretty much whatever she wants. We have another doctor checkup on Tuesday afternoon, so hopefully everything will check out well.
Stay in there for a couple more weeks and then we can’t wait to meet you!
Well, we’re 34 weeks along and things are really starting to heat up. We had another trip to the hospital last week because you apparently decided to rebel against our grounding you. Late Tuesday night, mommy started feeling more painful and intense contractions. She waited a couple of hours, trying to fall asleep and hoping they would subside, but they didn’t. So around 3:30 a.m. she woke me up out of a dead sleep by saying, “We need to go to the hospital.”
When you’re not ready for it, that’s probably one of the worst ways to wake up. I mean, if it were a few weeks later and we knew you were about to come, then I’d be more ready for it. But at 33 weeks, we had gone to bed just like any other night, expecting to wake up like normal.
We called the doctor and she said to come to the hospital right away. I admit that during those few minutes of calling for a car and throwing a few clothes in a bag, I was thinking, “is this it?”. We got to the hospital and they put her in triage where she’s already been twice before. They performed some tests, hooked her up to the fetal monitor, and gave her a couple of IVs and basically said our doctor would be in between 8 and 9 to let us know where things stood and whether we could go home or whether she would have to be admitted to labor and delivery.
Finally, the doctor came in around 8:30 and said she was about one centimeter dilated and that they would need to admit her for 24-48 hours and give her some medicine to slow the contractions, as well as some steroids for you to help your lungs develop. I guess that disqualifies you from professional sports in the future.
We then had to wait a couple of hours more for a bed to come available, so the doctor told me to go out and get mommy some breakfast since she hadn’t slept all night. I went to Starbucks for coffee and a diner for breakfast and brought it back and we ate in the little room in triage. Finally, a room opened up and we were taken down the hall.
At first, she had her own room, and was able to pick out the bed closest to the window, where she at least had a good view of the Upper West Side.
They put her back on the fetal monitor and she had to take the medicine every six hours. At that time, with mommy in good hands and sleeping, I went home to take care of Buddy and get things taken care of at home for a couple hours. Her contractions weren’t getting better, so they switched the dose to every four hours. I came back and brought dinner and at that time, she had a roommate who was in for a scheduled c-section. It was pretty awkward walking in with food from our favorite Thai restaurant and eating it while this other girl was in early labor awaiting a c-section and unable to eat or drink anything. But it was delicious. I stayed there with her for a few hours until she was ready to go to sleep for the night and then I went home to sleep since I couldn’t sleep there.
The next morning, I got up and went back to the hospital, and shortly after that, we found out that they were letting her go home because the contractions weren’t getting any worse and weren’t causing her to dilate any more. We were very relieved. By that time, the first roommate was gone and there was a second who was on full hospital bed rest and only 23 weeks along. She was pretty young and by herself, so we definitely felt bad for her, but we were ready to go home for a few more weeks.
Mommy is still on bed rest for two more weeks until we reach 36 and you’re considered full term. She still has to take the meds every four hours day and night, and has strict orders to come back to the hospital if things get any worse. We have a little system through the night where she sets her alarm for 2 a.m. and I set mine for 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. so she doesn’t forget to take her pill. It’s pretty annoying that we can’t just sleep through the night, but I guess it’s getting us ready for when you are born and we have to feed and change you at all hours.
In the past couple of days, the contractions seem to have slowed down a little bit, so that’s a good thing. They’re still a little more intense than they used to be though. Mom is getting really bored and restless from being confined to the bed or couch non-stop, and I certainly can’t blame her. I’m trying to do my best to take care of her, cook for her, clean the apartment, and keep her occupied. Yesterday, she was lamenting the fact that she hasn’t even changed out of sweatpants the past three weeks, and I tried to point out that she had in fact changed into a hospital gown for a couple days, but that didn’t seem to help. We just need to make it through the next two weeks and then she can go out and do whatever she wants because if she goes into labor then, you’ll be full term.
We had another doctor appointment today and she checked the cervix and everything looks great. She said to keep taking the meds until next Sunday (week 35), and stay on bed rest until the following Sunday (Feb. 27), which will be week 36, but otherwise, she was very optimistic about you making it to full term! She said you might be a little on the smaller side, but that’s certainly nothing to worry about. You’re healthy and that’s the biggest thing. Last week when they checked, you were about 4 pounds, 11 ounces, so you will probably put on at least another pound before you’re born.
Another thing we have been worried about is not being able to deliver in the birthing center, which is one of the main reasons we switched to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. That has been our hope and goal all along since we’re going natural, but our doula told us that only about 30 percent of people who want to actually end up getting in. We were supposed to take a birthing center class yesterday that’s a prerequisite for getting in, but since mom’s on bed rest, we couldn’t go. She even called the doctor on Saturday to ask if she could make an exception for her bed rest so we could go, but she said absolutely not. But today, our doctor said that if she makes it to 37 weeks (they don’t accept anyone before 37), she will get us in and won’t tell them that we didn’t take the class. So that’s what we’re shooting for now – 37 weeks, which will be March 6, one day after my mom (your grandma)’s birthday.
Mommy’s dad (your pappy) is coming to visit and help out this week from Tuesday to Saturday, so we’re thankful for that. His help and his company will be very much appreciated…she’s probably getting tired of just seeing me and nobody else every day. I’m going to Chicago on Wednesday for some work meetings, but I’m just making it a day trip instead of the three days that it was supposed to be. I’m thankful that my boss is understanding enough to let me participate in the other two days by conference call.
We are trying to remain positive about everything and just pray that God has everything under control. I think today’s appointment really helped for some good news. If anything, this whole situation has really reminded us that it’s not in our control, no matter how good she eats or how much we prepare. Sure, we can do things to prepare ourselves, but your birth is truly a miracle of life that is fully in God’s hands.
The contractions seem to build up and then die down (compared to previously, when they were just sort of uncomfortable). In finding the positive side of it, mommy says this could help when she’s in real labor, since this time has allowed her to practice her breathing techniques and feel what it’s like when the contractions are coming (obviously on a much lighter scale right now).
She’s really doing a great job of handling it all and preparing for motherhood. I think you’re pretty lucky because you get to be born to a great mom who really loves you and has worked really hard to give birth to you fully healthy and fully developed.
Should be only a few more weeks!
Well, you’re 33 weeks now and your immune system should be developed and you have rapid brain growth going on right about now. I can tell that by the way you’ve been kicking. We’ve even started playing a little game where I try to follow your foot or hand as it’s pushing against mommy’s belly. I push down a little bit and then you move somewhere else and I follow…our first game of hide and seek. You’re pretty good at getting away from me and hiding.
Mommy has been on bed rest for two weeks now. She’s about to go crazy and I don’t blame her. She has barely left the house (except to go downstairs to get some fresh air) and all she’s been able to do is sit/lay around all day. My work has been nice enough to let me work from home last week and this week, and it’s nice to be here to keep her company. Thankfully, the contractions aren’t doing anything and we have placed you under strict orders not to come out yet. In other words, you’re grounded for at least three more weeks. I hate to do it to ya since, you know, I haven’t even had the pleasure of meeting you yet, but we need you to be healthy and have fully developed lungs.
On Saturday, we met our doula, Tonya. Mommy had already met her when she hired her, but it was the first time I had. She came over to our apartment to meet with us and talk about our hopes and plans for the birth. She seemed really nice and knows what she’s doing, so she should be a great asset for the birth.
Last night was the Super Bowl. Our last one without you. It was a good game and the Packers beat the Steelers. Your grandparents aren’t happy about it because they’re Steelers fans, but I was rooting for Green Bay because of Charles Woodson. He played for Michigan in the mid-90s and is one of my favorite players. By the time you’re able to realize what football is, he’ll probably be going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Since mommy is on bed rest, I have become a cooking and cleaning machine. For our Super Bowl party (which consisted if just us), I made pulled pork, which brined and slow cooked for 24 hours, as well as bourbon and brown sugar baked beans. It was amazing, and the best part was that the smallest pork shoulder I could find was 8 lbs, so we have leftover pulled pork to eat all week. I also made chocolate chip blondies for dessert. I can’t wait to cook for you!
It’s sad that football season is officially over, but now we can look forward to March Madness. College basketball season is winding down and this will be the last sporting events we get to watch without you.
This Friday, we have another ultrasound to see how everything is progressing and make sure you’re still doing well. Every appointment we’ve had so far has shown that you’re growing and developing perfectly! I can’t wait to get another ultrasound picture of you to see what you look like!
Well, it’s time for me to go to bed, so until next time. Keep growing!
Well you’re 32 weeks along now and what a week it has been. We went to our scheduled doctor’s appointment on Monday and mommy mentioned that she had been feeling some contractions. The doctor checked her out and said that everything seemed okay, but if they continued or got worse by 24 hours later, to come in to Labor & Delivery. I had to fly to Chicago that next day for work, while mom stayed home from work, and sure enough, the contractions continued, so she went in to the hospital on Wednesday.
The doctors put her on an IV and monitored the contractions. She was there all afternoon and they determined that the contractions weren’t actually causing anything to happen, so she was put on three weeks of bed rest and sent home with
instructions that if they got any worse she should come back in right away. Fortunately, her friend Amber was gracious enough to go to the hospital and come stay with her while I was stuck in Chicago for a couple extra days due to anther big NYC snowstorm. And Amber’s fiance Chris was gracious enough to come get Buddy and watch him for a couple of days until I got home.
I got home on Friday and worked from home while helping out mommy. I have now officially become “Mr. Mom” for the next few weeks. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of Buddy…you name it, I’m doing it while she’s on bed rest. The last thing we need is for her to think she’s okay enough to do something and then the contractions get worse and we have to go back to the hospital for pre-term labor or hospital bed rest. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait until you’re born…but I want you to be fully developed when you’re ready to come out. So give it another 4-5 weeks and then you’re free to come out!
On Thursday, when mommy went back in for a check-up, they did an ultrasound and said that you are perfectly healthy and progressing perfectly. You weighed three pounds, 10 ounces, which was right on target, and they also pointed our your hair (the white stuff in the bottom right of the picture). Looks like you’re a blonde!
It has only been about four days of mommy’s bed rest so far and she’s already starting to go crazy from just sitting/laying around all day. Yesterday, I went out and bought a Blu-ray player (because our old DVD player stopped working a few months ago) and we signed up for Netflix (because DirecTV is terrible when it comes to ordering movies on demand). So she’ll have plenty of movies to watch in the coming weeks.
We have another doctor’s appointment tomorrow to get everything checked out again, and my work is letting me work from home for at least the next couple days so I can be here to help out mommy. Next Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday and your grandparents are officially opening a new church in Tipp City (where I grew up). It should be exciting for them.
We’re not expecting your for at least another month, so keep on growing and developing until you’re ready to meet the world!
Well, you’re 31 weeks along now and you weigh about 3 1/2 pounds. Your eyes can now respond to light and you are moving around like crazy. Your kicks are getting a lot stronger and we can see you moving around from the outside of mommy’s belly.
Mom had a baby shower in St. Louis last weekend and everyone was so generous. We are really excited about everything we received for you. While she was there, I spent the weekend moving some of our extra furniture and clutter into storage so we could make room for you. Big shout out to our friend Topper for helping out.
Sorry to disappoint you, but you don’t get your own room yet…it’s half of our bedroom. We completely rearranged the room from they way it’s been since we moved in and set up half the room for you. It’s still not complete yet because mommy’s chair hasn’t come yet and we haven’t set up the crib yet, so I won’t post any pictures until those things happen. But it’s looking great and I’m really excited about it.
This weekend, we went to Babies R Us and got to park in the “For expecting mothers” space, which was fantastic, and we got some more stuff for you. We got a gate to put up around your swing (pictured) in the living room to keep Buddy from jumping on you. We also got your stroller and a lot of clothes, including a Jets outfit. Unfortunately, the Jets just lost in the AFC Championship game, but you’ll be able to wear it next football season when they win the Super Bowl. We also hit up Marshalls and TJ Maxx for some amazing deals on outfits for you. You’ll definitely be the best dressed baby in NYC.
Last week was our last Bradley class. One of the girls in the class who already had her baby brought her to the class. She was so cute and just laid there and nursed a lot. I can’t wait for that to be you in just a few weeks!
We have our next doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon, and then I’m going to Chicago for a couple days this week for work. Hopefully we get some more ultrasound pictures of you tomorrow. Next week, we have our tour of the birthing center, and in a few weeks we’re taking some classes at the birthing center. It will be a busy next few weeks as we count down the weeks until you’re born!
Keep growing and developing!
Well you’re 29 weeks along, which means almost three-fourths of the way here! You’re now the size of a squash and weigh about two-and-a-half pounds! Apparently now your brain is busy developing millions of neurons, which basically means you’re going to be a genius. You’ve also been training for the Olympics in mommy’s tummy. We can actually see you move now, which is all the time. Sometimes it even makes mommy light-headed. You’ve also been getting the hiccups a lot lately and it tickles mommy’s belly.
Over Christmas weekend, New York got hit with a huge snow storm. We were stuck in Chicago for an extra few days, so by the time we got back it wasn’t too bad. Still, we got to take Buddy to the dog park for his first experience with snow. He loved it and kept running full speed and then skidding to a stop right at our feet, as if he were on a snowboard. I can’t wait to introduce you to snow for the first time next winter!
Last week, we had quite an experience at the doctor. I was in Pittsburgh for work and took a really early flight back. I landed at 6:40 a.m. and went straight to mommy’s appointment. The waiting room at this office is pretty much the size of mommy’s womb. There are about 10 seats and nowhere to stand. So we got there and I had a suitcase and backpack and the waiting room was full. Not only was it full, but most of the women were there for their sugar tests. They were drinking these orange and red sugary juice drinks and clearly not happy. So I’m one of only a couple men in this room full of angry, hormonal pregnant women (even mommy agreed…this isn’t just me exaggerating here). We had to stay there for three hours (she had to take a blood test, drink the juice, wait an hour, take another blood test, wait another hour, and take another blood test). Thankfully, I left after the first one and after we met with the doctor because it got even more crowded and tense after I left. Pretty much the most out of place I’ve ever been in my life. I’ll remember this someday when you’re complaining that your parents are embarrassing you. 🙂
Right now, I’m watching the National Championship game and realizing that it’s my last one without you. Tonight could also be the last night without Michigan’s new head coach! Remember a few months ago, you predicted that Rich Rodriguez would be fired. You’ll never get to experience Rich Rod at Michigan, but hopefully you’ll bring us some luck next season with our new coach!
Keep developing those brain neurons!