We’re all smitten with this little duck.
Dear Primrose: You are the best thing that’s happened to me (besides finding and marrying your daddy). I’m pretty sure I was made to be your mama.
Dear Breastfeeding: It’s like I’ll never be full again. I will eat all the things.
Dear Friends and Neighbors: All of you have been so nice, bringing over food and offering support. We are so lucky to have you in our lives.
Dear KC: Just when I thought I couldn’t love you any more, you became a dad and my whole heart exploded.
Dear Blood Pressure: Umm, ok, it’s been almost 2 weeks now. Feel free to get back to normal anytime you want (ideally sooner rather than later).
Dear Solly Wrap: You are absolutely one of the best baby items for the first weeks so far. (Seriously, how do people lug around the carseat everywhere? It’s so dang heavy! I’d much rather just throw P into the wrap and carry her around that way.)
Dear Friends: Thanks for all your kind words about P’s birth and the little complication that followed. I’m glad that everything worked out ok (though I do suspect I’m going to have to do some convincing to get KC on board for the next baby…)
Dear Beer: I had a dream I drank one of you and was so wasted. Probably pretty accurate at this point.
Dear Sleep: Well, I’d certainly like to be meeting up with you more, but I know this part isn’t forever. I’ll sleep when she’s older. ;)
One of the oddest things about the experience I had following birth was how unconcerned I was for my own well-being. This is probably partly due to how woozy and out of it I was after losing so much blood; but looking back on things now, I realize that the concerns I had mainly centered around Prim, not myself. (It was only after returning from the hospital and learning that postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death that I think I really realized how serious of a situation it was.)
When I was home and bleeding on the couch waiting for the ambulance to arrive, KC and Yvonne were rushing around putting things together to bring to the hospital. I was barely conscious, bleeding like crazy, but was mainly focused on making sure that they knew that there was breastmilk in the fridge from when I’d pumped earlier.
Then in the ambulance on the way to the hospital I had a little more opportunity to think about what was happening. Yvonne came in the ambulance with me while KC drove with Prim in our car behind. I finally asked the question that had been in the back of my mind since I’d heard Yvonne make the panicked call to 911. “Are they going to have to remove my uterus?” Yvonne looked at me and said, “No,” which felt like the biggest relief in the world. (Literally one of the first things I said to KC after giving birth was, “Let’s have 100 more of these.”) Once the OB came in to check me at the ER, Yvonne repeated that I was worried that he would need to remove my uterus. He confirmed, “No no no — you’d have to have waited a lot longer to come in for me to do that.” My response was, “People wait longer than this?”
“People are stupid,” he said.
Once I’d had the procedure to remove the clot and was receiving my first bag of blood, I was able to focus a bit more. I kept asking my nurse for a breast pump because it had been almost four hours since I’d last nursed, and I knew that Prim was in the waiting room just through the double doors. My nurse was absolutely terrible (which was frustrating because all the nurses I’d had prior were great) and kept saying, “Oh… let me go check…” and then returning without news or a breast pump. Finally Yvonne stepped in and asked another nurse for a pump (thank God) and it was brought in.
And though I’d been through this whole terrible ordeal (and unimaginably painful procedure), the most frustrating part of the whole visit was the fact that I’d had to have two IVs put in — one in the crook of each arm. This meant that I couldn’t really hold, much less successfully breastfeed Prim, and even pumping involved some Cirque du Soleil-type skills, as the stupid IV monitors would beep incessantly anytime I bent my arm even a little.
But really, with a little face like this, you can kind of see why not being able to hold her is worse than any of the other crap I had to deal with at the ER. :)
*Please note that this post involves some disturbing medical details and blood (a lot of blood). Be warned.
Despite the euphoria of little Prim’s arrival on May 9th, the whole ordeal has not been without complication. First, we ended up having to be in the hospital for four days post-delivery due to my high blood pressure not cooperating (it still hasn’t gone down — angry face) and little P getting jaundice:
However, after going a little stir-crazy in our little hospital room, we were finally discharged on Wednesday and allowed to go home. We thought we were through the worst of things and tried to settle in to some semblance of a normal routine (y’know, as much as you can with a newborn).
The first night we were home was uneventful. I actually got into a good rhythm overnight with feedings and KC caught up on sleep. We went into Thursday feeling fairly rested and confident. KC’s mom Yvonne came over to help out for the day since she was off work. We even managed to get outside and take a (very short) walk to the corner of the street.
Later that evening Yvonne headed home and KC and I sat down to watch some TV after I nursed (this was around 10:30pm). All of a sudden I realized that I was bleeding heavily and jumped up from the couch. I had bled all over the couch cushion (which KC promptly started stain-treating) and I ran upstairs to deal with the mess. I called Yvonne to tell her that my bleeding had suddenly become very heavy and I wasn’t sure what to do. She told me to call my doctor and lay down. I called the doctor who told me to monitor the bleeding for the next three hours and to call if it continued.
Yvonne ended up coming back over (thank goodness) and checked me out. The bleeding seemed to have stopped so I laid down for a bit. I had to get up shortly for the next feeding, which Yvonne stayed for. I was nursing Prim and I realized I was bleeding heavily again. I stood up in a panic, handed Prim over and headed upstairs to try and clean up. I needed to finish feeding Prim, so I came back downstairs and sat in a kitchen chair and finished nursing her, planning on calling my doctor when I was finished. While I was burping Prim, I suddenly felt very light headed and dizzy. I looked up at Yvonne and said, “You need to take her.”
Yvonne jumped up and grabbed the baby, then shoved my head down onto the table, telling me to breathe. I heard her yell to KC to come downstairs. She sounded panicky. I knew that if Yvonne was nervous, it probably wasn’t a good sign (given that she’s a postpartum nurse). She pressed cold washcloths to my neck and face and kept me talking while telling KC to gather up some things for the baby. KC and Yvonne managed to get me over onto the couch and Yvonne called 911. An ambulance and fire truck arrived shortly after and EMTs and firemen filled the living room. They asked me questions and asked if I could walk to the ambulance. I couldn’t, so they loaded me onto a chair and got me into the back of the ambulance and rushed to the ER.
Once we arrived at the ER I was brought into an exam room and transferred to a bed. I was conscious but out of it, and was aware that I was lying in a pool of my own blood that went from hips to knees, and still continuing to bleed. People were rushing in and out of my room, and each person who came to check me would say something along the lines of, “Woah, that’s a lot of blood.”
Finally, the on-call OB doctor was brought in to examine me, and he informed me that I was having a delayed postpartum hemorrhage most likely due to a large blood clot or retained placenta. He did an ultrasound and determined that a clot was the cause and informed me of the treatment options. He explained that they could book an operating room and put me under anesthesia to clear out the clot, or he could do the procedure there without anesthesia. He explained that they would give me a shot of medicine to make me feel a little loopy and then clear out my uterus by hand. “I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty painful,” he told me. I asked him to rate the pain on a scale of 1 to transition in labor. He said he couldn’t quantify it, but that he did know it was painful — but it was quick, only about 20 seconds. Having had complications with anesthesia in the past, I quickly determined that I would just get the procedure over and done with there. No need to book an OR.
The doctor looked at KC and said, “Are you sure you want to stay for this? I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty disturbing.” KC said he was fine and stationed himself up by my head. I got the shot of medicine, and the doctor started the procedure. Somehow I had failed to compute that having someone reach their entire arm up your birth canal 5 days after giving birth to sweep the inside of your uterus would hurt like nothing has ever hurt in your life. Having been through labor, let me tell you this — this hurt worse than labor. I was literally screaming throughout the procedure (and please note I am not a yeller — I didn’t raise my voice once during labor, even a little). I was attempting to climb the bed to get away from the pain as I screamed over and over “Please be done soon!” (Apparently I’m fairly polite while in unimaginable pain.) After he removed his hand (arm), I felt a rush of blood cover the bed.
The doctor informed me that I’d have to have a blood transfusion, as they estimated I’d probably lost about a quart of blood. I signed the consent form and they started me on the first of two bags of blood. Over the next several hours I was admitted into postpartum and given the second transfusion and an ultrasound which showed that my uterus was clear, so I was eventually discharged.
Not really an ideal way to start off life with a new baby. But the good news is Prim and I are both home and healthy now (thought I suspect KC is a bit scarred by the whole experience.) And lesson learned — next time when they give you the option of anesthesia, take it.
Our little sweet “P” arrived a bit ahead of schedule, two weeks early to be exact, and KC and I are just over the moon about her. Primrose Elizabeth Deatsch was born on May 9, 2015 at 1:13pm, weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 19 inches long. And in case you’re curious, here’s how it all happened (beware, it’s kind of long):
As I’ve mentioned on here before, I experienced quite a bit of swelling late in my pregnancy. Sometime around 34 weeks my feet started to swell and everything kind of followed over the next four weeks. It got to a point where I wondered if maybe I was just packing on weight and really hadn’t been paying attention to what I was eating, or maybe I was just someone who gained a lot of weight during pregnancy (though this hadn’t been the case for the 34 weeks prior). I went in for a routine doctor’s appointment on May 8th, the day before I hit 38 weeks. KC came with me to the appointment (which turned out to be pretty lucky, as he hadn’t been attending the doctor’s appointments for the past few weeks given that they’d become so routine and frequent). We were ushered into the back where the exam rooms are and I was weighed (all I could think was OMG WHAT is happening with my weight. I was gaining like crazy, despite the fact that I was still active, working out, and eating healthy.) and then led to a room.
The assistant took my blood pressure and the nurse practitioner handling the appointment came in shortly after. My doctors had been monitoring my blood pressure for the past few weeks because it had suddenly (and inexplicably) started to rise. It hadn’t gotten into dangerous territory yet, it was just sort of hovering at the low end of high. Anyway, the nurse came in and informed us that while there are a lot of reasons that my blood pressure could be a little high (including white coat syndrome), there wasn’t a good explanation for why protein was suddenly detected in my urine. High blood pressure + protein in urine is a big red flag in pregnancy, because it means you’re suffering from pre-eclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, and it can affect your internal organs and is dangerous to the mother. If you’re earlier in your pregnancy, they generally treat the condition with bed rest and/or sometimes medication, but if you’re farther along (like I was), it’s generally a quick ticket to labor and delivery. It turned out to be just that for us — the nurse said, “I think it’s time to have that baby” and sent us off to the hospital to be evaluated by the on-call doctor.
We were admitted into the hospital (after a few quick phone calls to our moms to let them know that it was looking very likely that our little peanut would be arriving sooner rather than later). I was evaluated by the doctor and it was determined that I would be induced. I was relieved, as I was worried that the doctor would push for an emergency c-section and I wouldn’t get to labor and deliver as I had planned. KC ran home to get the hospital bag I’d packed while the induction process was started. I was so swollen that it took four tries to place an IV (an anesthesiologist was even called in for the placement and it still took him two sticks to find a vein.) Things progressed slowly at first and the contractions were very manageable. Unfortunately, there ended up being an emergency with another woman delivering a few hours in and I had to be taken off pitocin because there wasn’t enough staff to monitor me and deal with whatever was happening in the other room (KC ventured out into the hall at one point and told me it was “crazy” out there — someone was screaming and everyone was running around).
Back in our room we dimmed the lights, turned on the Hozier Pandora station (my current favorite) and I tried to relax and sleep as the contractions continued. The doctor came back to check on me awhile later and told me that they would likely restart the pitocin around 5am so I could get some sleep overnight. My contractions had started to get less intense so I was fine with the decision. My parents came by and we visited. I was still having contractions every few minutes but they weren’t painful (I actually thought they were just Braxton Hicks at the time), and my parents told me that they were planning to head back to their house (about an hour away) since I wouldn’t really be starting things back up until the early morning.
Shortly after my parents left the nurses came in to check me, and determined that I was actually 4 cm already and it appeared that my water was about to break. They spoke to my doctor and it was decided that pitocin needed to be started back up at 11pm, not 5am, due to the fact that I was so dilated. My water broke the next time I went to get out of bed (I thought for a minute I’d peed the bed and was totally mortified) and labor continued.
The doctor came back to check me again and determined my water was ruptured but not fully broken, so she manually broke it before leaving to help things along. Around 2am the contractions started to get more intense. Up to this point I’d mostly labored in bed, trying to sleep as much as possible (knowing I had a long night ahead of me). The contractions became too strong to ignore, so I woke up KC and told him it was time to get up. I paced around the room and tried different positions for the next couple of hours. KC massaged my low back with a tennis ball while I breathed through contractions that were coming just minutes apart. Around 4am things got real. I was having rolling contractions that felt like an iron vise was wrapped around my low back, hips and low belly and being tightened with each contraction. I was in so much pain I couldn’t speak or really even open my eyes. I kind of went into this cocoon of pain where I wasn’t aware of what was even happening around me.
I decided to get into the shower at one point, which helped, but I couldn’t stay in there for any prolonged period of time. I tried every position I could think of — sitting, lying down on my side, leaning over a counter, leaning into KC — everything. Nothing helped ease the pain and I was having more and more trouble breathing and relaxing through it. My contractions were so strong and so regular that they were basically just rolling into each other. KC kept asking me what I needed, but I was in so much pain I couldn’t even respond. Finally, around 6:30am I told KC “I think I need an epidural.” Per a request I’d made before labor, KC responded, “You’re doing great, why don’t you wait 15 more minutes.” I complied and breathed through another 15 minutes of unimaginable pain. All I could think was that if I didn’t get to push soon, I wasn’t going to have any energy left for delivery. I also felt like I was beyond being able to relax at all, which I worried would stall things further if I wasn’t already in transition.
I called in the nurses and asked to be checked again because I thought I might want an epidural if I wasn’t past 7cm. The nurses checked me and I was at 6.5cm. Though I was close to transition, it was unclear how long it would be until I reached 7cm (and obviously no one knew how long it would take to go from 7-10cm). I asked for an epidural and the anesthesiologist was called in. When he arrived I was so unaware of what was going on I couldn’t even look at him. I was lying down (mostly unclothed, but was so out of it I didn’t even care) sputtering out short sentences trying to explain the work I’d had done on my low back. The anesthesiologist got me into position for the epidural and told me to raise my hand when I had a contraction so he could stop (apparently it was very clear that I didn’t have the capacity to really speak during contractions at this point). After a few starts and stops, he placed the epidural and the relief was almost instantaneous.
I was lucky because the epidural was equal on both sides (a lot of people complain that one leg will be completely numb while the other isn’t). I was able to still feel and move my legs, and tell when I was having a contraction, but it took the edge off the pain so I could relax. (I later told KC that the epidural was the best decision I made during delivery.)
I slept for the next couple of hours until the nurse came in to check me in the morning. The nurse informed me that I was fully dilated and the baby was at station 2 (station 4 is ready for delivery). My doctor was notified and I waited for her to become available (she had a couple of emergency c-sections that morning), while KC’s mom and my parents came to visit.
I chatted with everyone, feeling the contractions happen and the baby get lower. Finally I had a contraction and something changed — I said, “Yvonne, is this baby coming?” — Yvonne is KC’s mom, and she actually works postpartum at the hospital where I delivered. Right after I said this, the nurse came rushing in with my doctor and everyone else cleared the room. I was instructed to do a “practice push” to see how long the pushing process might take (the nurse had told me earlier than for first-time moms, the process takes generally 1-2 hours), I assumed the position and pushed and the doctor told me to do a little pelvic tuck and try again. I did as she asked and she said, “Ok Bar Method, stop, I have to put gloves on because that baby is coming fast.” She quickly gloved up and the pushing process officially started. From start to finish the whole process took 6 minutes and 3 1/2 pushes. It was amazing how quickly it all happened. The doctor said afterward that the Bar Method classes really must have paid off because a first-time mom delivering in just 6 minutes was sort of unheard of.
After she came out, the doctor had KC cut the cord and then plopped her down onto my chest while she wailed like a banshee. I cried and held her and kept saying “Oh my God she’s so CUTE.” And fittingly, we realized that Pandora had been playing “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne when little P arrived. And that’s how I became a mama just in time for Mother’s Day. Welcome to our family, Prim. Your daddy and I love you so, so much.
Dear How-old.net: You’re obviously completely inaccurate, but you sure make me feel good about myself. (And I think it’s hilarious that you keep guessing that KC is in his 40’s, but the other day you guessed I was 16.)
Dear Baby: Well, I think we’re about as ready as we’re going to get for your arrival. We’ve got a few more things being delivered from Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, but at this point we’re pretty much ready when you are!
Dear Rain: What a nice surprise this morning. Feel free to come back as often as you’d like (meaning: a lot).
Dear Penny: I love you, but you really need a bath. So stinky.
Dear Belly: I had a dream that I woke up and you were flat again. I thought I’d had the baby and zipped right back into shape, but then there were little feet still poking me in the side…
Dear Shoulders: This whole “sleeping on your side” thing totally sucks. How do people do it?
Dear Feet, Ankles and Legs: I don’t know what to tell you guys. I think if I’m going to get stretch marks at this point, it may be below the belly because y’all are so swollen.
Dear Solly Wrap: I think I’m going to need to watch a few more tutorials before I’ll be able to master you, but I can’t wait to wrap up the peanut once she’s here!
Dear Dinner: I have zero motivation to make you these days, even when I do manage to drag my big belly to the grocery store. I really need a wife.
Dear Cherries: What about how I ate half a pound of you in a single sitting yesterday? So delicious.
I have to admit that I started thinking about nursery design long before KC and I were trying to get pregnant. Much like our wedding, I had been planning it in my mind (and on Pinterest) for quite awhile — because planning a nursery is a lot less of an “OMG this is a huuuuge decision” than having an actual baby is.
I knew that I wanted our nursery to be gender neutral, with a lot of white and pops of bright colors. We already had the two white cabinets and ladder shelf from when the room was KC’s office, so we opted to re-purpose those since there’s no closet in the room (we need all the storage space we can get!) The ladder shelf was originally white, but I wanted to add a little pop of color to the space, so KC was nice enough to paint it a bright pea green. I brought more green into the space by adding green glass knobs to a regular IKEA dresser, which is also doubling as our changing table. Because the space is so small (only 6 feet by 12 feet) and has no built-in storage, we made sure that the furniture we chose was relatively low-profile, while still offering a good amount of storage space.
Rug: Cost Plus World Market
Lamp: Cost Plus World Market (giraffe base + lamp shade)
White Cabinets: IKEA (Billy bookcase + Oxberg panel/glass door)
Ladder Shelf: Amazon (painted Behr Marquee “Basil Chiffonade”)
Gold Star Wall Decals: Etsy
Room Paint Color: Glidden “Silver Birch”
Dresser Knobs: Cost Plus World Market
Wall bar/hooks for hanging clothes: IKEA (bar + hooks)
Crib sheet: Aden + Anais
Crib blanket: Aden + Anais
Changing pad: Naturepedic
Changing pad cover: Aden + Anais
Striped bins: Land of Nod
Animal prints: Sharon Montrose/Animal Print Shop (bird, zebra, deer)
Wood frames: Pottery Barn (8×10 size in rustic wood)
Diaper pail: Ubbi
Hanging clothes: Gap and handmade
Small wood shelf: IKEA
Humidifier: Crane “Drop”
Zebra Storage Bin: 3 Sprouts
Wicker Baby Carriage: vintage (it was mine when I was young)
*Don’t worry, we’ll be removing the blanket and stuffed fox from Baby D’s crib before she uses it.
The third trimester is pretty tough. Your belly seems to grow by the day and all the extra weight (that’s, y’know, concentrated to one single part of your body) starts feeling, well, heavy. I started feeling a lot slower and more tired in the third trimester. Normal tasks get more and more difficult as pregnancy progresses, and you have this near-constant reminder that you’re not able to do all the things you could before you were pregnant. That being said, here are the things I’ve been enjoying in my third (and final!) trimester:
Baths: I’ve never been much of a “bath person.” Part of this is probably due to the fact that I’ve never had a really deep luxurious tub since I’ve been an adult, but I also like to get showering over and done with quickly because I generally have 400 things I’m trying to take care of every night. Being pregnant though, sometimes there’s just nothing better than taking some time to sit and relax in the warm water, lighting some candles and listening to soothing music. I started taking baths when I noticed that my body was feeling especially tired and achey at the end of a long day, and man does it make a difference. My tub is just a regular 1926 standard bathtub too, so don’t think you need some fancy soaking tub to feel the relaxing benefits of a bath!
Prenatal Massage: My birthday was last month, and one of the few things on my wishlist was a prenatal massage. I was finally able to get that massage yesterday (on my first official day of maternity leave!) and let me tell you — it was amazing. There is absolutely nothing like a massage during the third trimester to help ease some of the discomfort. If you can afford to get a massage, or can talk someone into getting you a gift card to a spa that specializes in prenatal massage, DO IT. You won’t regret it!
Pregnancy Tea: I started drinking pregnancy tea in the evenings recently, and while it isn’t exactly life-changing, it’s a nice way to wind down on the couch in the evening. I think it does give me some braxton hicks contractions (though I can’t be sure since I’ve been having them off and on since 22 weeks), but it’s supposed to help ready your body for delivery, so hopefully that’s what it’s doing. I also bought some raspberry leaf tea, but I haven’t been brave enough to drink it yet because I’m kind of nervous that it’s going to send me into labor… (Probably totally illogical, but still.)
Clothing: Nothing new on this front, really. Sticking to the workout wear I mentioned in my last favorites post (and am wearing in the picture above), plus the Old Navy maxi dresses I’ve mentioned 100 times. I also picked up one of the Gap Fit Breathe V-neck Tees, which is really soft and stretchy. I love that you can wear it to workout or with jeans or shorts as a regular top; plus it comes in a lot of colors.
Skin and Beauty: Same old, same old here. Still sticking with the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter (and no stretch marks yet!) I’m really diligent about putting it all over my belly every single night, so I’m hoping I can make it to the end without a mark in sight. (Fingers crossed!)
I can’t really believe that this is the final pregnancy update. Part of me can — the part that’s swollen, uncomfortable, and feels like it’s been pregnant for 100 months; but really, I feel like my pregnancy (aside from the last few weeks) has flown by. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the little lady is going to be here sometime in the next few weeks (any day!) The other day I asked KC, “Isn’t it kind of weird that someone we’ve never met is coming to live with us… forever?” to which he replied, “Yeah… But we know her, so it’s not really weird.” (And yeah, then my heart melted and I was like, “Let’s have 100 more babies together.”)
weeks: 37 1/2
baby’s size: winter melon (whatever the hell that is)
i’m feeling: swollen and uncomfortable. because the wee one has traveled down super low in my belly, she’s apparently getting in the way of some major arteries in my pelvis which regulates blood flow in my legs and feet. as a result, my lower extremities have gotten increasingly more swollen and uncomfortable. there’s nothing i can really do about it at this point, so i’m just trying to keep in mind that this period of pregnancy (the really uncomfortable part) is almost over. (and frankly, it’s kind of good prep for labor — i’m so uncomfortable now that birthing a child really doesn’t seem so scary!)
food love: fruit, especially summer berries, melon and pineapple. put me in front of a fruit salad and i can take it down in like, seconds.
food hate: none. i think i’m officially just about back to normal on this front. i can’t wait to eat oysters, raw fish and soft-cooked eggs soon!
3 pros for may: 1. baby is coming this month! 2. i’m officially on maternity leave now, so i’m focusing on relaxing, keeping my swollen feet up and pampering myself until the little one decides to make her arrival. 3. once the last of our baby registry items are delivered this week, the nursery will be complete (i’ll post pictures soon!)
3 cons for may: 1. sleeping is becoming increasingly more difficult (um, last night i got up to pee nine times. NINE.) 2. the end of pregnancy is just tough — even minor things like getting dressed are kind of exhausting at this point. 3. not knowing when labor is coming is kind of a mind game, especially because i get really intense braxton hicks contractions a lot.
currently living in: pajamas (let’s just be honest, right?) so few things fit now and i’m so uncomfortable most of the time, i kind of just want to be in loose-fitting, soft clothes. when i do have to leave the house, i usually just throw on one of my old navy maternity maxi dresses, or some workout stuff (because who needs to know that i didn’t actually workout before i went grocery shopping?)
looking forward to: meeting our daughter this month (finally!)
dreaming about: having ankles again. and a waist (someday…)