Duncan’s birth story (pt. 1)

36-week pregnancy photo

Baby Duncan has been home for a bit over a month now, so I’m finally getting around to writing up his birth story. As I was getting close to my due date, I read a lot of birth stories on my favourite blogs so that I’d be able to recognize the signs of labour. Turns out I didn’t need any of that insight, but I’ll get into that in a bit.

On the Wednesday exactly 2 weeks before my April 5th due date, I was busy wrapping things up at work, since I was set to start my maternity leave at the end of the week. I was 38 weeks and the physical exhaustion had really hit me, so I was intending to work from home on Thursday and Friday. I kept telling everyone that I hoped baby would let me enjoy my week off before his due date, since I really just needed to sleep.

38-week pregnancy photo

I spent some time tying up loose ends and getting my cubicle cleaned up, stuffing my personal items in plastic bags to bring home at the end of the day.

Mid-morning, I left my office to head to my weekly prenatal appointment. My OB did the usual blood pressure check,and then checked it again. And then went looking for another blood pressure cuff to check again. I’d been experiencing several symptoms of pre-eclampsia for weeks with massively swollen feet, occasional blurry vision and upper-right quadrant abdominal pain, but my blood pressure, blood work and urine tests were always fine. I’d been warned that my blood pressure might shoot up at any time, and if that were to happen, the only treatment would be delivery. After my doctor asked me to lie down for a while before she checked my BP again, it started sinking in that maybe that’s what was happening. She confirmed that my BP was quite high and when she checked me, she found that I was 3 cm dilated. She told me I’d be having this baby sooner rather than later, and I agreed to a membrane sweep to encourage labour. My doctor then laid out a few options.

She could send me over to triage and they could decide if they’d send me to labour and delivery for an induction, or I could go home and wait and see, and if I hadn’t gone into labour in a couple days, or if my BP went up or other symptoms got worse, I’d have to get induced then. I was a bit overwhelmed and didn’t know which option to choose, so she called ahead to triage to find out how busy things were over there. They weren’t busy at all, so we decided that I’d go over there and see what they thought. Before I left, I picked up paperwork from the receptionist and made an appointment for Friday for if I hadn’t had the baby by then. I asked her if I needed to go straight to triage or if I had time to go back to my office. She told me I could take my time, so as I walked back to my office, I called Mike. I gave him the update, and asked him to come meet me before going to the hospital. I told him that it might happen but it might not, but he should bring the hospital bags just in case. I’d mostly finished packing the bags the prior weekend, but I asked Mike to add a few items, including my makeup, blow dryer and flat iron. I don’t know. I thought I was going to be Kate Middleton glam. I was not. I was worried about making sure Mike grabbed the right blush brush, while he was stressing over the fact that we hadn’t installed the car seat yet. I kept reassuring him (and myself) that it maybe/probably wouldn’t happen. They’d maybe/probably just send us home.

At my office, I responded to a couple emails and then went and let me boss know. “So, um, I might be having this baby soon.” I grabbed my things, which I’d fortunately gotten all packed up, and went to the lobby to wait for Mike. At the hospital, we decided to grab lunch before heading to triage, since I wasn’t sure what would happen and when we’d have a chance to eat.

At triage, the nurse had me change into a gown, and put me in a room to wait for someone to come examine me. After waiting a while, another nurse came in and asked if I wanted to go ahead and get induced. “Now?” I’d expected someone would come check my BP again, do an exam, give me more medical information to base a decision on. I turned to Mike and asked, “Should we do this? Since we’re already here?” Might as well, we decided. I figured that this way we were here, everything was nice and controlled. If we went home, we risked a middle of the night, or worse, a middle of rush hour labour, or we’d just end up in the same place in a couple days anyway.

With the decision made, we walked over to the labour & delivery room. We were going to be meeting our little one soon!

(To be continued)

My 5 favorite newborn baby items

sleepbelt

We’ve been home with baby Duncan for just over a week now and we’re trying to soak up this sweet and sleepy newborn time. I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that I don’t need to get up and leave for work, and I can tell already that it’s going to be really important for me to find ways to make sure that my life doesn’t solely revolve around changing diapers and fixing bottles. As a new mom easing into this new role, there are a few products that have gone a long way in making the transition easier.

My top 5 favorite newborn baby items:

1. SleepBelt for worry-free cuddles

favorite products for newborn baby: sleepbelt

The SleepBelt straps your sleeping baby to your chest so you don’t need to worry about him rolling off. Especially at the hospital and in the early days at home, when Mike and me were still getting the hang of maneuvering this delicate, squirmy creature, it was so reassuring to have baby Duncan comfortably secured in place. Tucked into the SleepBelt, he sleeps like a baby 🙂 Plus it gives me a chance to use my hands and get caught up on sharing adorable photos on Instagram.

2. Mess-free ink pad for tiny hand and footprints

clean touch ink pad

There is nothing cuter than tiny baby hands and feet, but babies are messy enough without adding blank ink to the mix. This “clean-touch” ink pad allowed us to get Duncan’s prints for his baby book without the mess. Although they market that it’s good for two uses, we’ve gotten 4 good prints out of it and it hasn’t run dry yet.

3. Swaddles with velcro for easy bedtimes

Favorite newborn baby products: velcro swaddles

Baby Duncan falls asleep immediately when swaddled. Although we became swaddling pros under the guidance of the nurses at the hospital, once we got home and tried swaddling with different sized blankets, our little bundle didn’t seem quite as secure. With these easy swaddles with velcro, we’re able to rest easy at night without worrying that blankets will come untucked, posing a suffocation hazard. Having a few is great for when they go in the wash (choose the good smelling laundry detergent).

4. The Splat Mat for diaper changes anywhere

chevron splat mat

We live in a small apartment and a change tables was not something I wanted to crowd our space. I figured that I’d just change the baby on whatever surface was available: the floor, the bed, the couch. So far, that has worked just fine. The Splat Mat gives me a nice big waterproof surface, and prevents leaks and stains, but I can easily pack it up and tuck it out of the way. It’s machine washable, but I’ve just been giving it a rinse in the shower when needed. It quickly dries in time for the next diaper change. Bonus, when baby is older it can be used to catch messes under the high chair, or to protect the table during craft time.

5. The ‘fridet’ for mom

Fridababy fridet momwasher

This one isn’t a newborn baby product, but it’s a must-have for mom. I received the Fridet Momwasher at my baby shower, and it is so much better than the one I was given at the hospital. It went a long way in keeping me clean and comfortable after giving birth.

He’s here! Birth Announcement

Birth announcement

 

I’m so happy to announce the arrival of our baby boy, Duncan Henry. He arrived last Thursday, which officially makes him 1 week old today. He’s already growing up too fast. Slow down, baby! We’re so in love with him and soaking up every moment with this little peanut.

30-week pregnancy update

30 weeks pregnant

Wow! Can’t believe we’ve hit the 30 week mark. When we were going through our pregnancy complications earlier on, I was told I’d likely be on bed rest until week 20, and that seemed sooo far off. Hitting that 27-week viability mark seemed far beyond the horizon. But here we are, in the home stretch.

At our most recent ultrasound, everything was looking great. Baby is on the larger side, sitting in the 80th percentile. Since one of our big concerns was growth restriction, that’s certainly the better alternative.

23-week ultrasound

Also making things more real has been making some of those big purchases. Our nursery is mostly set up. We now have a stroller, crib and car seat. I’ve also started giving more thought to some of those birth plan issues. Epidural? Delayed cord cutting? Cord blood banking? And I’m compiling a list of the things we still need. Like clothes and diapers, and since we’ll be bottle feeding due to my prophylactic mastectomy, we’ll definitely be needing plenty of bottles for the baby, and a bottle sterilizer to make things easy.

25 weeks prenant

A few weeks ago, Mike and I started our prenatal classes, so at least there’s some forced education happening. There are only 4 other couples in the class, but we’re all due around the same time, so it’s fun to be around other people who are in the same stage of pregnancy as us. Last week we had a tour at the hospital where we’ll be delivering. It’s comforting to now be able to visualize where it’ll all be going down.

26-week ultrasound

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve noticed that my energy has been decreasing a little bit. During the second trimester, I couldn’t have felt better (after I got off bed rest, at least). I had a lot of energy and felt great.

28-weeks pregnant

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