Tuesday, October 30, 2007

pronunciation guide

say "core align"

say "A-zay", both syllables rhyme with "say" and the z is the z in "zebra", not "azure".
Aiden Xavier is "A-din Zay-vyer". (His Xavier is not pronounced "egg-zay-vyer"). Notice that his nickname is comprised of the first syllables of each name...

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I think Aizay beleives he's posing for a dauguerrotype in 1887, which explains his blank expression.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Wide awake

Cora is wide awake after having slept 5 hours in a row.

In the past two weeks she's gained almost 2 pounds, and managed to clog her right tear duct. Hopefully that will clear up as it does in most babies (it's very common), but infrequently requires surgery.

She's now starting to hold her head up and look from person to person, and gives us the occasional smile. She likes looking at Aizay very much. And I think her hair isn't going to fall out, as it looks like there's just as much as when she was born.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'll post this, but...

...I haven't posted a picture in days, and Annette at work has been bugging me for one.

I don't really like it...too posed and too sentimental, and heavily photoshopped. Not my usual style. Coraline's cute, though, eh?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My only labor and delivery regrets

1. I wish I had brought more chocolates or treats to the hospital.
2. I wish we had known about this website: http://www.contractionmaster.com/

Regarding #2, you don't need to stay connected to the internet to use it. It would have been so helpful.

I am not sure about the epidural. I think it possibly was a good thing I didn't get it because I was asking for it too late. They do a combined spinal/epidural and the spinal would not have worn off in time to push. That could have kept her stuck sideways and/or made pushing much longer...

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's not easy you know.

Being a baby isn't all eating and sleeping, you know. Tummy-time, for instance, is hard work. All those muscles to build up.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Belly Button!

Bonding with my child will now commence now that the rotting umbilical stump has fallen off.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tub over troubled waters

When I took this picture, I didn't realize that not only was I capturing Aizay's image, but the image of a criminal act. Only when I walked in and got my socks wet did I realize what was going on.

What caused this puddle? I'll give you a hint: it was not caused by anything in this picture that isn't human and three years old.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Amnesia setting in...

First, I want to apologize to any future-birthing Audiologists for my previous alarming post. Unlike Camille's case, I was "prepared" for the possibility I would "miss" the epidural because I chose to wait. I knew I wanted to wait as long as possible because I wanted to be able to walk around and not be hooked up to anything (IV, monitors) and the staff were awesome and they made sure I knew what I was (possibly) getting myself into. And in the end, that freedom I bought myself made me very happy.

Ways not to "miss" your epidural: 1. ask for it before you get to transition and 2. Remember that external monitoring sometimes doesn't work (It failed to pick up Camile's contractions and also, many of my contractions during Aizays birth.) Don't let the staff tell you you are not having contractions based on the monitor.

As I suspected might happen, I am having amnesia of the physical pain of delivery. I think it's harder to forget mental pain than it is to forget physical pain. It's still easy to remember panic attacks and anxiety from Aizay's birth and short bursts of panic from Coraline's. Fortunately for me, I was happy during labor and delivery and that really helped. I actually was able to relax between contractions. I couldn't do that during the worst part of Aizay's labor. Another pleasant surprise was that I had substantial breaks between contractions. I was perfectly fine laboring before I got to 7-8cm. In books and childbirth class, they say contractions during the end of labor (transition) can be 90 seconds long with 30 seconds off. This is what I was scared of when I asked for the epidural. But thoughout my labor, I had "long" breaks between contractions-all the way to the end! That really saved me from going insane, I think.

The pain I haven't forgotten yet-the 3 or 4 really bad contractions right before I started pushing. Coraline was faced the wrong way and she was basically aiming straight for my left femur instead of out. I lost the feeling in my leg during the contraction and my hip felt like it was being pried apart. And I was panicked because I was imagining she might not turn and there'd be, at the least, hours of pushing, or more forceps, or the worst nightmare of all: c-section under general anesthesia.

It turns out she turned in about 7 minutes and then got pushed out in another 7 minutes. That made me happy.

I feel very good now physically. I am not really injured and I didn't lose a lot of blood (I lost a lot with Aizay). I am just tired out and my muscles ache like I went on a long hike.

Other details:
-I labored (active labor) for 7.5 hours.
-Coraline came out with the cord wrapped around her neck, which could explain why she had a hard time flipping head down when she was breech.
-My nurses and midwives were so good to me. They worked out a way to not give me pitocin...And I had better nurses than last time (even though they were pretty good with Aizay, too). Maybe there is something to my theory of better nurses being on duty during the weekday shift. Or maybe they just treated me well because I gave them chocolates...
-It was an unusual day/night in labor and delivery the night Coraline was born. There were 4 emergency c-sections transferred into labor and delivery from other hospitals. Plus they had "planned" sections too. There were pre-eclamptics, gestational diabetes patients and a breech c-section. I think the staff were probably happy to have us there for some "normalcy". It was a crazy night and it goes a long way in explaining where all the anesthesiologists were.

Step 1: assemble your materials

Here are the essential materials used for cleaning babies:

  • Chunky clam chowder (the brand you use is unimportant)
  • Empty Haagen-Dazs container.
  • All purpose cleaner with bleach (for the smelly umbilical cord stump).
  • baby

Sunday, October 14, 2007

She's got it backwards

The girl's nights and days are reversed. I hear this is common but Aizay didn't have this problem.

Babys sleep all the time...except at night.

Christine had a rough night last night. Cora kept her up, constantly demanding to be fed. The longest Christine slept was about an hour. At one point, around midnight, I took Cora and tried to get her to sleep, but it was obvious that she just wanted to be fed. She and I struggled for a while, but eventually we all gave in to the inevitable--more feeding. At 6:45 I took over again, and of course Cora fell asleep immediately for me...just in time for Aizay to wake up.

Aizay loves his sister, I think. Although sometimes I think I can see in his eyes a bit of sadness, especially when we have to tell him not to do something because of Cora.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Coraline and Grace

Like her brother, Coraline is not used to sharing the spotlight. "Let them eat cow's milk," she says. But she agreed to make an exception in this case for Grace.

My little girl.

No heat

Dave called. There is no heat at our house and it got to 60 degrees inside the house last night (I enjoy sleeping in that temp but that's not the point). I say even if Davey can't get the furnace fixed, it's a blessing. Our child has been subjected to this body-heat-regulating mass hysteria that has infected the mother-baby unit. If I am comfortable in my room in a hospital gown and underwear, I was told my baby should be comfortable in the same but with "one more layer". I assumed a hospital gown and underwear would be analogous to a diaper and onesie. And apparently "one more layer" equals heavy one-piece pajamas, 2 blankets and a knit hat. This is what she gets when one of the staff dresses her. And when I unwrap her, she feels like she came out of the microwave. Personally, I am going with the one blanket and one hat because I don't want my child to spontaneously combust before I get a chance to bring her home.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Okay I guess she's kinda cool...

Oh so that's what 'baby sister' means

Coraline and daddy are having a quiet moment together.

Following Aizay's visit this morning, during which he got to see his mother interacting with the new baby, I took him to daycare for a few hours. As we neared the end of the ride, Aizay started to cry, saying that he wanted hugs from Mommy. By the time we'd arrived. he'd lost control, sobbing "Mommy, mommy, mommy" ad infinitum. Eventually, after much consoling, I left him there, still sobbing for his mother.

I think he suddenly grasped the finer implications of having a new sibling...and wasn't happy about it.

Still beautiful

I am in the mood to post more pictures because things have slowed down here. However, since our camera is also Dave's phone, he took it with him so I can't. Just so you know, though, Coraline is still very beautiful (and not noisy-she doesn't have the ringwraith cry that Aizay did).

Meeting at last

We're busy!

Many of you are probably looking for an update but you'll have to wait until later. We have big plans for a busy day...We have to fill out birth certificates, subject myself and our child to countless exams and tests, change meconium diapers, nurse, see visitors, etc. For now, I am ravenous, so I am going to eat and shower. And Dave is going any minute to pick up Aizay. We'll be ready for visitors and updating blogs around 10AM-ish (Central).

Baby girl

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Warning to all future-birthing Audiologists

The latest trend at UIHC labor and delivery seems to be Audiologists "missing" their epidurals. (And by the way, Camille, I was not the one to make this observation, Laura the midwife was.)

In my case, the selfish anesthesiology resident decided to respond to two simultaneous emergencies right after I signed my consent. Saving human lives was more important to him than my comfort. Everything worked out wonderfully in the end but I have decided not to talk about my experience until my delivery amnesia starts to kick in.


She's pretty cute, eh?

APGAR: 8-9
height: 20.5 inches
weight: 8 lb 12 oz
born at 7:47 p.m.

I think she's a mellow baby, as she really hasn't done much screaming, even when she came out. Except when rude people keep poking her with their sharp things and generally making her crazy.

Epidural ordered

Christine's going for the epidural...it's getting intense, now.

Okay, now we're talking UPDATED

No official word yet, but I think we're getting a bit more active here. Scientists in their labs have determined that Christine is having contractions about 4 1/2 minutes apart, about 40 seconds each. Now, we don't know about dilation yet. We're still hopeful, however, that she can avoid the Pitosin smackdown.

With regard to the overall pace of our adventure, I realized that this is nothing new for Christine. She also likes to cook omelets very, very slowly, like half-an-hour.

UPDATE: 5 cm, now. It's official!

Baby accoutrements

Kristin, the nurse brought out the baby gear (here's the baby warmer...I don't know who the hell this guy is, he just wandered in). I think she's bored or something because this is a bit early...

Water broke

The midwife broke Christine's "bag of waters" (I really hate that term). So, if this doesn't work, then we're moving on to Pitosin.

Update: Christine is having stronger contractions, now. Ones that actually slow her down a bit. And she feels pressure in her back now during them. So that's nice.

A video message from Dave and Christine

More walking.

We took a walk to Christine's office so they could all marvel at what a pain in the butt her still-internal daughter is.

The baby is still too high, and not putting pressure on the cervix. Paula, the midwife, is talking about trying a technique that involves inflating a foley catheter just inside the uterus. This will press on the cervix which, along with pitosin, should move things along. We'll know more at 11:30.

Coraline Watch: 41 weeks, 2 days

Not yet.

I thought I would revisit the old format...

At 4 am last night, I was very angry at Coraline...and angry at my cervix too. Now, I am more positive and patient. My contractions have gone from a 4 on the pain scale to a 1, not because they are milder but because I have compensated, my pain scale has shifted, and after over 12 hours of sporadic, intermittent, inconsistency, I am yearning for more. In about a half hour from now, I will go out walking (or maybe jumping jacks).

Also, you should all understand that this doesn't count as real labor yet. I am not suffering except from being separated from my home and Aizay. If there weren't meds involved, I would be sent home.

On the road to nowhere

We're awake, although I fully intent to go back to sleep the moment anyone anywhere says anything remotely resembling the word "sleep". Christine's frustrated because her contractions stopped while she was sleeping, though they resumed when she stood up. Horizontal birthing isn't for her, I guess. So she woke me ever so gently by throwing a pillow at me. I was dreaming that me and my friends were preparing for a party by fashioning hundreds of tiki torches.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Contraction UPDATE

Yeah, if by that headline you were thinking that there was big news to be had, well, you are wrong. We slept for an hour and a half before we were woken up by whatever it was that nurses do, so Christine decided to walk around the room. Her contractions are like two-and-a-half minutes apart. (whispering) Confidentially, I think we're not getting to leave this room any time soon.


This may be the most boring liveblogging of a birth you've ever read. Coraline apologizes, I'm sure. Only 2cm dilated, partly effaced. We're going to nap now. You do the same. If you're silly enough to check in at 2 a.m., maybe we'll have something to report, but you might as well check back with us tomorrow. G'night!

Out for a walk

They let Christine out on a one-hour pass, so we're going for a walk. She's begun to have contractions. Just little ones, but enough to cause a bit of discomfort, so that's a signal things are moving along, I guess.

Christine spoke to Aizay earlier, who was excited to be visiting his friends Sam and Claire and playing with all new toys. He was a bit eager to get off the phone. Oh, well, Aziay--you missed your last chance to have Mommy to yourself!

Christine's limbering up for the big event...which at this poiint seems far, far away. Another dose of Cytotec is coming in a half hour.

A bit late but...

Becca and Peter, Christine finally got her Canadian Thanksgiving!


Okay, here we are, in labor and delivery. Now don't get excited, we're in for the long haul, as Christine mentioned. To start this party off, let's talk about the various predictions that have been made today:

  1. It's a girl. I'm guessing they'll be right on this one. I'm no ultrasonographer, but it was pretty clear to me what the gender was.
  2. Coraline will be born at 2 a.m. this morning. Both the midwife and the nurse agree on this one. I'm voting for earlier, because I would like to get some damn sleep.
  3. The induction will be successful (i.e., no c-section necessary). They're starting off with Cytotec (an ulcer pill that when placed near the cervix also happens to thin it out--how they figured that one out, I don't want to know), so this will be a pretty slow process. Four hours from now they'll give another dose, probably, so we're talking 8 hours perhaps until labor begins.
  4. Christine predicted that her baby would be born today. If we go til 2 a.m., she'll be wrong, but we'll see 'bout that.

Coraline Watch

Coraline's amniotic fluid is a little low so I am going to check in and be induced. This could take a long time because we're doing this the slow way and trying to avoid pitocin. She might not be born until tomorrow and there will be many updates for you in the next several hours.

Coraline Watch: 41 weeks, 1 day

Not Yet.

Tune in around noon for the next update.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Coraline Watch: 41 weeks

Not Yet.

I am going back to sleep now but I will be going to work in the PM. Tomorrow, if Coraline doesn't come out in the meantime, I'll be giving updates on my ultrasound,stress-test, etc. around noon.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Coraline Watch: 40 weeks, 6 days

Not Yet.

Dave had a fever and a gastro-intestinal crisis last night. So I am assuming the worst and mentally preparing myself for this horrific scenario: I will catch what he has and end up with simultaneous vomiting, diarrhea and labor, maybe while I am attached to some IV antibiotics in the hospital for fever while Dave is home with Aizay because he is sick too...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

more cow bell!

Aizay and I took a nap together today. As I was drifting off, I heard him say, "I got fever. I got 'scription for cow bell." Apparently, Aizay is a big fan of Christopher Walken.

Coraline Watch: 40 weeks, 5 days

Not Yet.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Coraline Watch: 40 weeks, 3 days

Not Yet

Sorry, the update is late. I decided to sleep late and I am going to work soon...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's true, the photo has nothing to do with the post.

This picture is about 6 weeks old but still, this is one super cutie!

Today, I am 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant. Coraline and I are super healthy! It's surprising. My blood pressure is okay; I have no swelling, no aches. I can move around pretty well. I am capable of getting pretty comfortable: I have a great giant pillow for sleeping and many comfortable chairs in my life...My issues are I can't sleep well because 1. I pee too much, 2. I can't breathe through my nose and 3. Coraline keeps punching and kicking me. Also, I am irritable and forgetful. I realized when I drove away from the gas station this morning that I forgot to buy gas! And yesterday I forgot my debit card's PIN number.

If I don't have the baby by Thursday, I hope she comes Monday or after. I want to be at the hospital during the weekday shift when the highest seniority nurses are working...And don't ask me how long "they" will let me go. Who the hell is "they" anyway? This is my pet peeve. Coraline decides when she is coming and I have some say if I want to overrule her. "I" will let myself go 2 weeks if we both stay this healthy.
Maybe, to save y'all the effort of asking me, I'll post everyday from now until Coraline arrives...