Friday, November 1, 2013

Xander's Birth Story: Part 2

For part 1, go here.

When last we spoke, we had just decided to head to the hospital. I called ahead of time to let them know we were on our way and when we arrived the floor was pretty much dead. There was no running in the door with Paul screaming "my wife is in labor!" and someone whisking me away in a wheelchair.  There was no commotion. It was just Paul, my mom, and I getting buzzed onto into labor and delivery and a bored looking nurse taking us to a room and telling me to change into a robe and wait for someone to come back. I answered a lot of questions and explained how frequent my contractions were happening, told them that my pain was probably a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10, and was hooked up to monitors. No one seemed terribly impressed by my labor and they seemed even less impressed when they hooked me up to monitors that couldn't pick up my contractions. I'm sure the nurses thought I was crazy, but believe me, contractions were totally happening. 

Over the next few hours Paul and I alternately walked the halls and sat in my room with our moms. Finally at around 11 PM the nurse came in and told me that I was going to be admitted because my blood pressure was still somewhat elevated. Little did they know that I was going to be admitted either way because I was not about to go home in the amount of pain I was experiencing. So they gave me some morphine, Paul went home to attend to Ginny, and my mom settled in on the couch for the night. 

The next morning I was woken up by my new nurse at about 6 AM. Why so early, I'm not sure. She told me that I might feel better if I took a shower. I didn't. She then told me not to wear a sports bra when I got dressed again. I didn't and still don't understand why. 
 At 7:30 AM the doctor came in and I had progressed from 3 cm to 4 cm dilated. The doctor asked if I wanted to be induced and, having said for months that I wouldn't be induced unless it was an emergency, I asked what my other option was and she said to go home. Well that was still not an option so I think I said, "let's do this thing." I was started on pitocin and the doctor broke my water. I expected one big gush and nothing else. But mine continued all day long so I constantly thought I was peeing myself.

Despite my intentions to go pain med-free, I finally broke down and got the epidural at 9:30 AM. I didn't know how long I would be in labor and I knew that if I was in that much pain all day I would be too exhausted to actually deliver a baby. 

Over the next 8 hours I continued to progress, albeit slowly, and rested as much as I could. My epidural wore off a couple times and the anesthesiologist quickly saved the day each time. 

At around 5 or 5:30 PM I developed a fever and had only dilated 6 cm. At about 6 the doctor said that she was going to perform a c section. She said that she would be back in about an hour minutes and if I had progressed more, good, but if I hadn't we would need to talk about a c section. So I had a little meltdown because that wasn't part of my plan, but I moved on. 

When the doctor returned my fever had not subsided and I hadn't dilate anymore, so she told me that we needed to perform a c section because I had been in labor 24 hours and Xander was cooking in my fevered self. So I had a second meltdown ( because this was not part of the plan!) and we got ready for surgery. What no one told me was that Xander's heart rate, which had been normal all day, had gone up. A lot. 

Next: Drama in the O.R. 

Xander's Birth Story: Part 1

Throughout my pregnancy I swore that I didn't have a birth plan. I said I was really laid back and go-with-the-flow. I just wanted to have a vaginal birth with delayed cord clamping and I wanted My husband to cut the cord. And I didn't want pitocin or an epidural or to have my water broken by the doctor. Yep. Totally laid back.

The reality of Xander's birth was much different from my non-plan. 

I started to have true contractions in the middle of the night on Wednesday. At first I didn't realize that's what they were. They felt like the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been having, but with some added stabbiness. Regardless, I got up that morning and went to work where I was practically screamed at to leave by several people. I figured there was no reason to leave since they were still 6-8 minutes apart and I really wasn't that uncomfortable. So I stayed. And then I made the mistake of telling my husband I was in labor. He wanted me to come home and then go to the hospital immediately and I just didn't think it was necessary. I did finally concede to call my doctor's OB nurse. She told me that if I wanted to come in to be checked I could do so at 1. 

It's possible I was channeling my inner Pam Halpert and was so scared of having the baby that I was in denial about being in labor. Maybe.

Over the next few hours my contractions became more frequent, but not more intense. I went to the doctor and had indeed progressed from the previous day, but I wasn't ready to be admitted because I was able to speak full sentences and I wasn't grimacing. So I went home with orders to eat something light and rest. So that's what I did. 

And then around 3 pm things got more painful. And there  was some gritting of my teeth and grimacing and maybe some tears. 

And then around 5 the doctor called to say my blood pressure was elevated and if I didn't come to the hospital that night I'd need to come to the office in the morning. So I called my mom and told her to come on down so that when I did leave for the hospital, she could follow us. 

And then at about 6:30 my mom showed up and my contractions were between 3 and 5 minutes apart so we left for the hospital.

Next: How I spent the next 24+ hours

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Xander's Birth Story: Part 3

This is part 3. See my previous two posts for parts 1 and 2. 

As soon as I got to the OR I knew something wasn't quite right. At first I chalked it up to nerves. My hands were shaking, I was really cold, my vision was blurry, and I was incredibly sleepy. It's a miracle I said something, but it's a good thing I did because my blood pressure had dropped drastically. I didn't know until I picked up my medical records to send to the company paying me during maternity leave that it was 70s/30s. Scary! But they gave me oxygen and I felt better. 

Next Paul came in and sat beside my head and the doctor got started. And it hurt! A lot. But Paul was holding my hand and stroking my hair and telling me how much he loved me and my boy was on the way so I was able to squeeze Paul's hand and work through the pain. 

I left my room at 8 PM and Xander was born at 8:16 PM. I had this image in my head of him coming into this world kicking and screaming and the doctor holding him up over the curtain, but that didn't happen.  When he came out he wasn't breathing well. He was placed on oxygen for 5 minutes and We could only see him from across the room. We kept asking if he was ok and it took a good three minutes before the anesthesiologist said he was fine. Soon the pediatrician ce running up with the baby, let me take a quick look at him, and then rushed out of the room with Paul on his heels. No, that wasn't terrifying at all. 

So now the baby has been rushed out of the room after being given oxygen and Paul is gone too. And while I was in pain before, now, without anything to squeeze or hold onto, the pain is excruciating. I could feel everything and it was terrible. They boosted up my epidural twice before it became apparent that it was helping, so they put me under entirely. The last thing I remember before waking up in recovery was someone saying, "she's going to need general." 

When I woke up they pretty much immediately took me to my room. As they were wheeling me up the hall I saw my doctor and apologized for screaming at her. Luckily, she was pretty great about it and said, "you didn't scream at me. You might have screamed, but it wasn't at me." Everyone was waiting for me outside the nursery, which was a little overwhelming, and that's when I got my first good look at Xander's beautiful little face. If I had it to do again it would have just been me and Paul and everyone else could come in when I got to my room so that I could just concentrate on Paul and the baby in that moment. 

So it turns out his initial Apgar was 4 and it increased to 7 at the 5 minute mark and now he's just perfect. Thanks to a UTI at 5 weeks we found out he has vesicouretal reflux, but it's likely going to be easily treated and we were told its nothing to worry about. 

So that's the story of how my beautiful, squirmy, cuddly, grinning little boy cme into our lives. It wasn't how I planned, but it was how it was supposed to happen.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Paul Xander Yopp

Last Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 8:16 in the evening, my and my and Paul's lives changed forever. We welcomed our perfect little boy, Paul Xander Yopp to the world.

Minutes old and meeting daddy. 

12 hours old

Our first family picture, taken just  minutes before he turned a day old.

1 day old. He liked the paci, but wanted to old it in place. 

2 days old, wondering if this "daddy" guy is the same guy he's been hearing for the past few months

3 days old and getting read to go home...and improperly strapped in his seat. We fixed that about 2 seconds later. 
First night at home. Ginny is already a great big sister. 

4 days old. He loves his swing and soft fabric like his changing pad cover and this blanket
Stay tuned for baby boy's birth story and, of course, more photos.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Themed Nursery Reveal

After thinking about it for the past 8 months and actually working on it for the past 3 months, Xander's nursery is finally nearly complete. 

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to create a book-themed nursery. I didn't want Winnie the Pooh, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, or Peter Pan. I wanted all of them. I mean, how am I supposed to choose favorites? So, without further ado...

The bouncy chair will be going to the living room as soon as Xander arrives. The blanket on the side of the crib is handmade by Xander's Aunt Malia. The bumper pads have the alphabet and circus animals on them. And for the record, the bumper pads are coming out before Xander sleeps in there. 


The baskets are Winnie the Pooh. I covered a white X with argyle scrapbook paper. The bunny at the top left was Paul's when he was little. 

I made the Cat in the Hat hanging with a wood plaque, a page from an old copy of the book, and some mod podge.
All the other prints are from Etsy:
Hunger Games print from TheBellaPrintShop
Beatrix Potter Alphabet print from CloudsandWaters
Peter Pan print from SmartyPantsStudio.  
For This Child...print from MakingMemoriesOfUs
Winnie the Pooh print from SaturdayDesigns

The glider used to be my granny's and the fabric looked like something that belonged to someone's granny. I found this Dr. Seuss fabric (it's from The Lorax) here. I knew it was just the burst of color I needed in what had otherwise turned into a pretty pastel room. 

I saw pretty much this exact thing online and loved it, but it was crazy expensive. So I took to Pic Monkey and made my own. 

Okay, to be perfectly honest, the nursery is still not as done as I want it to be. We still need to hang a Very Hungry Caterpillar mobile over the crib, which thankfully will put a little color in that corner. I didn't want to hang pictures or anything else above the crib because I was afraid they would fall and vinyl decals won't stick to our textured walls, so i figured a bright mobile as just the ticket to pull in some color. I have the hook for the ceiling and the mobile is together and hanging on the door. I just need Paul to break out the drill. 

I had planned to replace the blinds with ones with wider slats and I had planned to hang curtains, but that hasn't happened yet. If it does, I'll be sure to post updated pictures. 

Finally, I'm waiting on a light switch cover from Deeply Dapper on Etsy that says, "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." Because Dumbledore, am I right? 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Very Bookish Baby Shower

At the end of July, two of my best friends from college and my mom threw me the most adorable baby shower I could ever have wished for. The shower was children's literature-themed, which is appropriate since I was in grad school to be a children's librarian (I have since graduated...holla!) and Xander's nursery is literature-themed.   Guests were asked to bring a book with a message for Xander in lieu of a card. My favorite part of the shower was seeing which books people brought and reading their messages. Most people brought their favorite childhood book and some of my friend's husbands sent books as well. Everyone really seemed to get into it and had fun picking out their books. 

All the food was based on a different book and two of the games were based on books. One was a children's literature quiz and the other was based on "Guess How Much I Love You" and had shower guests guessing how many Hersheys Hugs and Kisses were in a bowl. The guests also wrote messages on diapers that I was told are reserved for middle-of-the-night changings. I wasn't allowed to read them, but knowing my friends they are highly inappropriate. 

The whole spread

"Green Eggs and Ham" ham sandwiches and dyed deviled eggs

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" made from fruit.

"Peter Pan" cupcakes
"Little Blue Truck" Little Blue Punch

"Horton Hears a Who" cotton candy pops

Peter Rabbit's carrots from Mr. McGregor's garden

After eating and game playing it was time to open gifts. I started off looking normal, and then a group of ladies who shall remain nameless insisted I should wear the Dr. Seuss hat which was provided for decoration. So here are some shots of me looking like a wacko. 

Laughing like a crazy person over a mustache pacifier from my sister-in-law.

The two lovely hosts, Stacey and Beth. Click on their names to visit their blogs.

Xander's proud Grammy, also known as my mom.

Paul made an appearance at the end (someone had to load the car).

All the lovely ladies and one tiny gentleman (minus Nola and Titus) who came to celebrate Xander with me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What I've Been Up To

I know, I know, I've been away for...forever. But I have a good reason. I swear I do!

You see, I've been really hard at work on a few of the items on my 30 Before 30 List.  And okay, there's a couple that I completed quite a while ago and I just forgot to update.

Go to a Drive-In Movie

On Halloween I went to my first drive-in movie.  Paul and I grabbed Ginny, hopped in the car, and took off 30 minutes down the road. Our first stop was Cook Out in Radford for greasy burgers and delicious milkshakes, then we doubled back to Christiansburg for Starlite Drive-In Theater to see a truly awful '80s horror movie. I think it was Friday the 13th Part 78, or something like that. We got lost on the way because we took a right when we should have taken a left, so we didn't have the 3D glasses that we needed, but it was still fun and we liked watching how confused Ginny was that we drove somewhere just to sit in the car.

Get Paul a Gift That He Really Enjoys

I've always prided myself on being a decent gift-giver. And then I met Paul. My gifts to him always seemed to fall flat. He likes accessories for his guns and I don't understand any of that stuff  and would inevitably get the wrong thing. So I vowed that this past Christmas would be different. I got him a Play Station 3 because he said he wanted it and a couple games that screamed his name. But it still didn't seem right. I didn't have to put much thought into it and it didn't seem very personal. But one day I was walking in downtown Roanoke and I spied with my little eye this gem through a shop window.

Paul was in a fraternity in college and the song Country Roads by John Denver was a big thing for them, so I knew I had to get it for him. I was most excited about this gift, so when we opened our gifts at 12:01 AM on Christmas Eve (per Paul, "what, you didn't say we had to wait until Christmas Eve night), his reaction was exactly what I was looking at. He looked shocked and happy and a little emotional. It was a winner for sure.

And that's it for the items on my list that I've been able to mark off. Like I said, I've been hard at work on a couple others.

I'm in my final semester of grad school and in August I'll graduate from Florida State with my master's of library and information science. Then I'll be able to apply for my license to be a librarian and hopefully soon after I'll find a position in a library.

Just before Christmas I really buckled down and started working on my goal to fit back into my wedding dress. I was doing a great job of exercising daily, eating right, and generally creating a healthier lifestyle. I was tracking my progress using My Fitness Pal and lost 10 pounds pretty quickly. But in the first week of January I had to pump the breaks.

Because the last and most important thing I've been working on is...

That's right, becoming a mom!  Please ignore that typo of 2012.  I blame pregnancy brain, which I have come to learn is TOTALLY A THING! I have been the flightiest thing ever over the past 7 months.

On January 5 I got a positive pregnancy test, but of course I didn't believe it. I have polycystic ovary syndrome and I was under the impression this was going to be a really difficult journey because that's what I've been told since I was diagnosed when I was 19. I started taking Clomid, a drug that helps the body ovulate, and using ovulation predictor kits in September. And the Clomid didn't work. So they bumped the dosage and I took it again in November and again it didn't work. They bumped the dosage up again in December and also told me that this was the last increase they would make before sending me to a specialist. Needless to say, I didn't have a lot of faith in the progress. But this time something different happened. The ovulation predictor kid told me that I ovulated. And of course I didn't believe it.

So imagine my complete shock when I saw the plus sign in January. I started to cry, walked into the guest room where Paul was talking to his dad on the phone (and promptly hung up with a "uh...I have to call you back"  when he saw my face and what I was holding), and I said something along the lines of, "how did this happen?" Like I hadn't been conducting a science experiment with my reproductive system for the past few months.

But I still didn't believe it until I went to the doctor the next week for a yearly exam.  The following conversation took place:

Doc: Is there anything new with your health?
Me: Well, I think I might be pregnant?
Doc: Did you take a test?
Me: Yes.
Doc: Was it positive?
Me: Yes.
Doc: Well then you're pregnant.
Me: I'd still like professional proof.
Doc: The test we do is no different from the one you took.
Me: I'd still like professional proof.
Doc: Okay...

The first trimester was smooth sailing until around 8 weeks. That's when I started getting morning nausea. I'm hesitant to call it morning sickness because I never threw up. I just felt like I was going to every day until I got a good, filling breakfast in me. And that, by the way, is hard to do when you feel like you're going to vomit.

When I moved onto the second trimester the nausea went away and was replaced by numbness and tingling in my hands at night. It turns out I developed pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel which I didn't even know existed. The good thing is that it doesn't bother me during the day and I only have to wear a brace at night to keep the pain manageable while I sleep. It was in my second trimester that I was really ambitious and decided I was going to document my pregnancy in a really cute way. I was going to do the thing where you take a picture with the fruit or veggie that is the same size as the baby.  This is 15 weeks when Baby Yopp was the size of a naval orange.

And this is as far as that little project went. The next week I bought an avacado. The picture was never taken. Something tells me that won't hurt the baby's feelings too much because...

At 20 weeks we had our first really detailed ultrasound and found out that we're having a boy!  And do boys ever care about things like that? Say hello to Paul Xander Yopp, but he'd prefer if you call him Xander.
I'm going to be honest.  Seeing his tiny profile was the first time that I really felt pregnant. At this point I still wasn't showing at all. My hips got a little wider so I had to move up to maternity pants around week 15, but the outside observer would have had no idea I was pregnant. I didn't really notice any changes until around 25 weeks and I got really excited about it.  And that's when my husband asked me when I'm actually going to look pregnant.  As you can imagine, that didn't go well for me and my hormones.  Since then I've been gradually filling out a little more  and now I look a little more pregnant.

The first day of week 28

Now we're at week 30.  Every Sunday night before bed Paul and I read about the week ahead in What To Expect When You're Expecting and this week Xander is about 17 inches long (!!!) and about 3 pounds.  He's moving around pretty regularly, but mostly when I'm really hungry, about half an hour after I eat, and when I lay down at night. And last week Paul felt him kick for the first time, which was exciting. 

Overall, my pregnancy has been easy so far. Yes, I had some nausea and I have some carpal tunnel, but I've gained very little weight and my blood pressure is awesome.  Xander is due September 8 and we still have 10more weeks until then. I'm hoping they're smooth sailing like the first 30 have been.