Here is a link to my TTC journal--beware, there are big time gaps!
I am going to start posting here, just in case my paper copy for Savannah is ever damaged or lost.
Written 2 weeks after her birth.
Savannah”s Birth Story
On Monday, January 23rd, I took off work for the week because I was 39 weeks pregnant, huge, and swelling a lot. I piddled around the house all day and felt bored. On Tuesday, January 24th, I cleaned the house and went to the car dealership to have my new car detailed and to pick up some paperwork. I waited for along time and was thinking about getting a manicure on the way home. Everyone at the car dealership said they thought I would have had the baby by then.
On the way home, I decided to skip the manicure because I was hungry. I thought about picking up some lunch, but I also had to go to the bathroom, so I headed right home. Thank goodness, because when I got out of my car, I felt warm, wet stuff running down my legs. At first, I thought that I peed my pants but I realized that I still had to pee so that was unlikely. Then, I quick checked my car to see if I leaked on my brand new seats! Turns out that everything came out when I stood up.
I waddled inside to the bathroom. Every time I stood up from the toilet, a big gush of clear fluid came out. I put on a maxi pad at 1:00 and decided to eat lunch and wait a little. I had some mashed potatoes and a salad. I had to keep changing the pads. I called the doctor at 2:00 and explained what was happening. I was not having contractions, my back just felt sore. The doctor said to call my husband and that he would see me at the hospital.
I called Steve and said, “don’t panic, I just talked to Dr. Boveri and he said my water broke and I need to go to the hospital. It’s no big rush, so be careful.” Steve started yelling to the guy he was working with and said he was on his way. Then, I called my mom and told her the same thing. I was afraid that she would beat us to the hospital. I also called Steve’s mom who called Becky. I was trying to throw some more things in my bag and put food in the freezer, but people kept calling. I took one last pregnant picture in the mirror. I drug everything into the living room. Steve’s mom came down and we talked while we waited for Steve. He took a shower and we headed to St. Joseph’s.
We checked in and I got in trouble for going to the bathroom before getting to labor and delivery. They put me in a wheel chair and this little bitty nurse had to push me around. (That was funny because I had Steve park far away so that we could walk.) The nurse had me change and checked with some paper to see if it was really amniotic fluid. It turned bright blue. She said the OB on call would verify it, but she could tell that I was staying. The OB came in and examined me. He said that I was not dilated even 1 cm yet. The nurse gave me a bunch of paperwork to fill out and went to call Dr. Boveri.
She came back and said that he wanted to treat me “aggressively.” He wanted to put me on pitosin to start my contractions and dilation. She put in an IV in my right arm. She also started the pitosin and put monitors on me, the baby, and my uterus. The first few hours were uneventful. I would get up to go the bathroom and we would have to unplug a bunch of stuff and take a pole with me. Steve, my mom, Steve’s mom, Becky, Chris, and my Grandma all came and talked and stuff. Everyone kept pointing out when I had a contraction. This started bugging me when the contractions got stronger. They kept checking my cervix, but nothing was happening, even as the contractions got stronger.
Everyone went to the waiting room except for Steve and my mom when I started getting really grumpy. Finally around 9:30 or 10:00, the pitosin was really kicking in and I was in a lot of pain. The contractions were coming closer and closer. The nurse examined me again—still only 1 cm. She said she would call the doctor to see what he wanted for me for pain relief. We tried one more position first. After a half hour, I started throwing up. She came in and said, “You were supposed to come get me if it got worse!” She called the doctor and he said I should get an epidural.
The anesthesiologist came in a few minutes later. I was not a fan of his. He went on some story about epidurals and asked me a bunch of questions. He then tells me, “You need to sit up.” He stood there waiting. That was funny because I could not sit up alone! Steve and my mom hoisted me up and turned me. He said, “Only one of you can stay.” So my mom left the room. Steve held my hand and had me leaning over on him. The doctor started off telling me everything he was going to do. I was concentrating hard on holding still, because I was having really strong contractions. Then he stuck me without telling me and I jumped. He yelled, “You can’t do that!” I responded with, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were going to do that!” He finished and put 5 miles of tape on my back. He kept talking to the nurse about another nurse who was nervous about her own delivery. I lay down, and my legs felt all warm and weird. I tried to move my right leg, and it felt tingling and barely moved. I tried to move my left and it was completely dead. I started feeling a lot better.
Another OB came in and had to put in an internal monitor to watch my contractions and see how strong they were. He also put a scalp monitor in to watch Savannah’s heart rate. He said I was barely 1 cm. They said my contractions were pretty strong and only turned up my pitosin one more dose. I felt a lot better. Everyone came back in. Becky and Chris decided to go home. After another hour or so, Grandma and Steve’s mom left too. That was around midnight. Steve lay down on the uncomfortable chair, I tried to sleep and we turned down the lights.
My mom kept getting up to check on things and take care of me. The nurse came in every hour or so to flip me over. Finally, around 3am, I was dilated 3 cm. At about 4am, I started feeling pressure with the contractions. I could not feel them at all before that. The nurse came in around five and I told her what I was feeling. She said that she thought I would say that and went to check me. I was hoping to be 7-8 cms, but she goes, “you’re complete!” I was really surprised and relieved because I was worried that if we made it to the morning, we may need a C-section. She went to call the doctor and she and Steve started moving stuff around and putting stuff up—I was mostly trying to breath through the contractions.
She gets me into stirrups and says, “Let’s see what kind of pusher you are.” So the contraction comes and I push as hard as I can. It felt really good to push—it made the pressure stop. She said, “Wow, you are a really good pusher—I need to call the doctor.” She left and came back and said he was 5 minutes out. She said, “Ok, we will push one more time before he gets here—I told him you are a good pusher, so let’s do a good job.” I took a deep breath to get ready, and said, “I’m gonna peuk!” Steve put a bowl in front of me and I threw up. I kept saying, “I’m sorry!” The nurse said that it was ok because my body did the same thing as it would have if I had been pushing.
Dr. Boveri came in and started putting on his scrubs and stuff and Steve told him, “It’s about time that you showed up!” He joked with him about how he got to sleep in his bed and he should have to sleep on the uncomfortable chair. Another contraction came and the nurse had me push. The Dr. said that I was a good pusher. Both of them kept running their finger around the baby’s head. Her heart rate kept dropping with the contractions, so I was a little worried. The doctor said that he thought the cord was around her neck. I pushed again and the doctor worked down there. Steve kept telling me to push harder and harder. My left leg kept popping out of the stirrup, but I couldn’t control it. Steve had to wrestle it back. The doctor said that he might have to make an incision on the next push.
I pushed and her head came out. He told me not to push and my mom said, “Oh, Julie!” Then he told me to push again and the rest of her came out. He stuck Savannah up on my belly and chest and told Steve and I to dry her off. We were both just staring at her—he said, “You need to dry her off!” We both started wiping her and then the doctor had Steve cut the cord. Then they took her. The nurses were doing a bunch of stuff to her. The doctor delivered the placenta by pushing on my belly and pulling. Then he said he would put in “a few whipping stitches.” It felt weird as he tugged on the stitches. I heard the nurses say something about a first bath, and I also heard that her apgar scores were 8 and 9. She was 20 inches long and weighed 6 lbs 8 ounces.
Steve’s mom came back in at some point, but I am not sure when. The doctor finished up and told me that we were great and congratulations on our new family. He said, “Make sure to send me a picture.” A bunch of people were in and out, moving things around and transforming the room back to normal. I remember seeing the nurse mopping the floor. After a while, they said I needed to breast feed and brought her to me. A nurse pretty much took my breast in one hand and the baby’s face in the other and stuck them together. She nurse for a little while and the lactation lady came and said we were doing wonderful and went over this big list with me. I heard very little of what she said—I was exhausted and out of it. They took Savannah to be examined. A pediatrician came and told us that she had a few angel kisses that would go away. She said that she was very healthy.
The next few days, people came and visited in the evening and Steve and I hung around with Savannah during the day. On the day we left, they told us that she was jaundiced. The first night, she slept a lot because of the jaundice. Steve went to work the next day—he was working overtime—7 ten hour shifts. A nurse had to come to our house over the next few days to check her bilirubin level. We had to put her on a bilibelt.
On Monday, my mom and I took her to the pediatrician and things looked better. We got to send the belt back. I was happy to have that thing gone.
The first week was very hard for me. There was no rhyme or reason to her feeding schedule, I was scared to death that Steve was not going to get enough sleep and would have a problem at work. I also had a hard time learning to breast feed—especially with such a little baby. Things got better as the weekend came.
Saturday morning, my back was killing me and I was getting the chills. My mom came over and told me to take my temperature. I was running fever. I called the doctor and he put me on antibiotics. My mom stayed over and took care of Savannah. She pretty much did everything—she would just hand her to me to eat and then take her back. My temperature went up to 102.5 that evening. My mom was really worried because I don’t usually run fever.
Sunday, I was feeling a lot better and did not run fever all day. We even went to the grocery store. On Monday, my mom and I took Savannah back to the doctor. She had weighed 6 lbs 3 ounces the week before. She now weighed 7 lbs, 3 ounces! We were thrilled. I felt like things were finally coming into place. She was starting to sleep on more of a cycle, her weight was up, and she was beautiful! The pediatrician described her as a “healthy, robust little girl!”
Six month birthday letter
July 25th, 2006
Today is your 6 month birthday. I can’t believe it is here already. I can’t believe how much you have grown and how much you can do now.
You can roll like crazy! You are eating cereal, fruits, and vegetables twice a day. You like everything so far—except for peas! I wonder if that will continue as you get older!
You can push up to get your belly off the floor—I think you will be up on your knees any day now. You reach for everything-I have to be careful about what is within your reach. You are crazy about smiling—you smile at everyone. These days, a regular smile is not enough—you have a huge open mouth grin that you flash at everyone who looks your way. You have been sitting on your own for a month now—and you always want to stand. Your new favorite thing is to go after the dogs and cats!
Unfortunately, I am sad today because you are a bit sick. Just a runny nose and cough, (a real one, not your usual fake one) but I am worried about another ear infection. You have already had 2, and the doctor mentioned the possibility of tubes. If it will help to fend off infections, I am all for it. I feel so bad when you are feeling sick. Especially when you have ear infections, you are just miserable.
I love every minute I spend with you. You outgrew your bassinet, so I had to move you to your crib. Honestly, I hate having you out of the room, and whenever you fuss, I bring you to bed with me. Don’t tell your grandma’s that, they would have a fit. I thought your daddy wouldn’t like having you with us either, but one day he said, “just bring her in here with us.” Boy did he ever open a can of worms, now you start in your crib each night, but almost always end up cuddled in my arms. I sleep better with you near me—I know you are safe and sound and comfy that way.
Next week, I go back to school. I will miss these special days that we have together right now. You are getting to be so much fun! You are fascinated with everything—you want to touch and taste everything! You even like to take your grape Tylenol now! I am amazed at how quickly you are discovering and learning about your world!
Happy birthday baby! I can’t believe we are halfway to a year!
Next week, I go back to work. We have such a short summer break. I have always liked that because I get bored at home, but this year is different. I have loved everday of the last six weeks. When we had a heat wave, I was feeling a little boxed up, but I lived.
Our power was out for a few days last week. That stunk--of course it was the hottest week of the year so far. It is hard for us because we have an electric hot water heater, so we don't even have hot water. We were fortunate and got power within a day and a half. A lot of people are still out now and it has been a week.
The one thing I dislike about being home is that the animals drive me crazy. I love them to death, but they always follow me from room to room. If I get up to get the phone or check on baby girl, they jump up too and I am tripping over them. I have been thinking about letting the cats outside, they get so crazy chasing each other in the house.
We need to go see Grandma George again. She is not doing too well. The cancer has left her legs pretty much dead, she ran over one with the wheelchair and didn't even realize it. She still thinks that she is getting better and is still mad that she is not at home. My mom said that there are areas in her brain that have tumors too--so she doesn't always remember what is going on. It would be hard to hear everyday that you are dying of cancer. I feel bad for her. I wish my aunts were more supportive of her and would quit complaining about her. She isn't going to be here much longer.
Had to stop earlier, Savannah started to cry.
I am so amazed that she will be eating real food soon! I can't believe how fast she is growing.
I have a friend that I lost touch with that had a baby 3 weeks after Savannah. Her name is Maya. She still has not been home from the hospital. I could not even imagine. I feel so bad for her. I don't know the diagnose--but her heart apparently was flowing backward and she was born blue. She had surgery within a day or 2 of being born. I don't know what is going on with her though, because she has a lot of fluid that has been building in her chest cavity. They have a drain in and even tried to put in a shunt surgically, but it didn't work. They finally put in a trach--because she had been on her breathing tube for so long, I guess they figured with a trach she can at least learn to suck. She is so swollen, she has these enormously swollen cheeks. I only have general info, no details. I just feel so bad for her--I freak out when Savannah gets an ear infection, so I can't even imagine how hard it would be to have a baby who has been so sick. She has never even been outside, she has never ate through her mouth, she has never been "tubeless", she has always been hooked up to machines. I pray and pray for her and her family to be strong. At the beginning, they kept talking about how she would be better in a few weeks, then months, now they don't guess anymore. I just hope that they maintain their faith that everything will be ok in the end.
I actually forgot that I titled my TTC journal that way--Everything will be OK in the end, if it's not OK, it's not the end. Maybe I will put it in my signature!
That's all I have time for now.
Went and got 6 month pictures taken today--wow, there were so many good ones. My mom always goes with--and we are bad influences on one another. I can't wait for them to come! She is such a smiley baby!
Her cold seems to be clearing up--no ear infection yet, so I am thrilled about that. I would really like to avoid getting tubes in her ears if possible. Of course I have the cold now--I see why she was rubbing her nose so much.
I think my period is coming--funny thing is, I am sad about it. Savannah is getting to be so fun, but so independent and it is making me miss when she younger. Maybe we will try a little harder for #2--we've been letting things run their course, but I am definately getting big time baby fever. Maybe I'm just hormonal--who knows? Sometimes I wonder though--as hard as it was to conceive Savannah, will she be my only child? I love her to death--she is beautiful and sweet and so much fun. But I would be sad if I couldn't have another. All of this started when I saw some precious pictures at the photo studio of siblings--it made me want a sibling for Savannah. Actually, I know my period has to be coming, because my eyes welled up as I was thinking about it and I'm not usually that emotional!
I go back to work on tuesday--I am hoping daycare goes well for baby girl, it will make me feel better about going back. If we could afford for me to SAH, I would do it in a heartbeat.