The Laughing Otter- because life’s just too short

Archive for November 2008

As I write this, my son is exactly one day old. Officially 24 hours.

Happy First Day of Life:
112108-josh-roughly-2-hours-old

Born Nov. 21, 2008 at 9:27pm.
Weight: 8lbs 13oz
Length: 21 1/2 inches

So my last post, I left off waiting for the second dose of prostaglandins. I got those at 12:30pm, and that’s when the contractions really started to hit. I had my first real contraction, with the beginning, peak, and end, at just after 1pm. (I made notes. Thank Heaven for text messaging to my email! I’d never remember all this.)

At first, the contractions were difficult but I could breathe through them. I did, too. I was worried, at first, because after that first set of good contractions, they started to slow down that afternoon. By four or five I was thinking “I may need that third dose of prostaglandins to keep things moving” but a good walk around kick started them. For the rest of the evening, through the night, and into the next morning I was contracting regularly between three and five minutes apart, with contractions strong enough to need to breathe through. (By ‘breathe through’ I mean take concentrated breaths and do the ‘pant pant bloooow’ sort of breathing.) I spent the night in the bathtub. Quite literally, actually. I got into the tub to help ease the contraction pains, and never got out. I spent the night, catching three to five minute naps between contractions, dozing off with my head propped in the corner.

It was really frustrating, actually… I was examined three times, and in an entire day of strong contractions I hadn’t dilated. At all. They were calling it a ‘fingertip dilation’ because I had softened but not opened at all in the cervix, and so I was technically at… oh, call it .5 dilation.

At 4:10 in the morning, I had a positive sign though- I lost the mucous plug that plugs up the end of the cervix, a pretty sure sign of dilation, although by no means a sign of imminent birth. The rest of my night was spent in the tub, breathing and dozing.

At 8am the next morning (The 21st) the midwife and nurses visited me with news I dreaded and news I loved- I had, at some point in the night, dilated to five centimeters. That’s three fingerwidths, for those of you who care. I was delighted with the progress I had made, and that made the next announcement all the more bitter- it was time for an IV. I needed to have at least the saline lock, just in case. I had fought it the entire day before, but since I was officially in active labor now, I needed it just in case.

I dread needles. I used to get hysterical and throw up at the thought of giving blood (and this was just under a year ago, not back when I was a kid). But I consented, because they insisted it was policy and neccessary… and because my mom acknowledged that it was time. I would fight ‘policy’ and even whether or not my version of ‘neccessary’ is the same as the hospitals… but my mom knows. She knows what I feel about needles, and she knows policy, and I trust her to balance the scales, so to speak. So, my first event of the day was an IV at 8:40am, put in by IV Therapy (those wonderful people who specialize in intravenous therapies.)

It turned out to be a godsend.

In an effort to stimulate natural contractions to strengthen, they broke my water at 11:30am. By noon, I was contracting a little more but not quite enough. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean little contractions. They were nauseating, and intense enough to require serious concentration to breathe through each time. At around 12:30p or just after, I decided to try medication to relax. I was exhausted… I couldn’t breathe for the pain, and in order to dilate you really do need to be able to relax between each contraction and let your body do it’s thing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any rest. We used the IV for fluids, since I was a bit dehydrated, and then to put in the Fentynal. That’s a narcotic designed to take the edge off of pain without dulling the sensation of contractions.

It worked for about ten minutes.

They called an anesthesiologist to come in around 2pm, and discussed the options.

We discussed the narcotics, which didn’t work, and then we discussed epidurals. For the first time, someone could actually sit down and show me pieces of the epidural kit, tell me exactly what was going to happen, when, and where, and so on. And at 3:00pm, I chose to get the relief that it was offering. By then, my contractions had increased more, so that they were incredibly intense and overlapping. They had, by this point, inserted an internal contraction monitor, which registers an accurate scale for contractions. It was registering that the contractions were not only overwhelmingly intense, but were not breaking in between- that means that before one finished, the next one started. The epidural took ten minutes to kick in, and it was the longest ten minutes of my life- I couldn’t even breathe for the pain.

That lasted for about a half hour before the ‘light’ epidural wore off. They were trying to not overwhelm my sensation with medication, but I needed another dose of a much stronger anesthetic (the sort where you can’t move your own legs) and then an extra dose of it, plus my mom made liberal use of the little ‘more please’ button.

And I still felt every contraction. Fortunately, I didn’t feel the contractions in my back or my front (my uterus) but I did feel them in my butt. Nobody tells you about butt labor! It did mean, though, that I could relax enough that by 7:40 when I had my last exam, I was fully dilated and allowed to start pushing. It also meant that I could feel when to push, so I could choose to push with the need instead of having to rely on the monitor or the midwife to tell me when to push.

I have to admit, I was bored the first half of pushing. I could barely feel anything, and nothing was happening. That boredom went away when I could feel him… and really went away during the last half, when the pain made boredom totally impossible. It took twenty seven pushes to get my baby, and an episiotomy.

In the end, though, I have a beautiful baby boy. He’s not fussy and he’s not high-needs- he only cries when he needs something, and usually that’s very simple to figure out. A diaper, a breast, a hug, or a burp… and when he’s naked. Not fond of naked, that’s for certain!

Now. Having finally finished my birth story and his birthday story, it is the 30th of the month… and he is officially nine days old. XD I think that posting might be a little slow, what do you think?

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Good morning!

It’s just after eleven, and I’ve been here (at Skagit Hospital) since 7:30am. That’s just too early to get up, in my opinion. ^_^ But it’s for a good cause- I began the induction process this morning around 8:30a with a 5mg dose of prostaglandins. Since then, things have been happening. Not huge things, but things nonetheless! There are more crampy type feelings, more pressure that they tell me is small contractions, and some serious achy feelings. Every hour or so they monitor me for ten or fifteen minutes (or forty-five in this last instance, I think she might have forgotten that I’m still hooked up- not that I mind, I’m actually quite comfortable!) and the rest of the time I’m free to wander the halls or what have you.

So I kill time with browsing online, writing thank you notes to people who’ve given gifts to the baby and I, reviewing stuff I’ve written. It’s all just a waiting game, now. We’ll see!

The next dose will be around 12:20p this afternoon.

Hospital breakfast is ickie, that’s true too… eggs and hashbrowns in a quiche sort of thing, with odd sausages I didn’t eat. I took one bite of the muffin, it’s a carrot spice… bran… thing. Bitter cold coffee too, but with enough creamer and sugar I made a cheap iced latte! Mm, delicious latte. There was milk and orange juice and Rice Krispies too, though, and those were nice. Drinks are free up here right now, which is lovely since I’m thirsty like a greyhound. I have my own snacks too, so if things are particularly ickie, I can always eat those. Also, we ordered pizza. Cold pizza is delicious, too, so it’ll be nice.

Orion gets off at noon and will head this direction then, while Ennosuke and the others are taking care of the dogs at home. One less thing for me to worry about today.

I made hospital bento, but it’s really not cute, and so there’s no pictures of it. It’s mostly grilled chicken picked apart to take out the gross stuff, and white rice. And the bottom of the second bento is full of spice drops, because I like spice drops! Also, I ran out of things to put in the bento boxes.

The cheap store down the road that carries stuff rejected from the stores had a huge supply of Take Five bars, which are my favorite snack right now. They were 5/$1, and I got six bucks worth. I think I have a good supply of them laid by for the next few weeks. I think… between those and the Goldfish, and my lunches, I’m not going to starve no matter how bad the food here is!

Meanwhile, I’m just waiting. I may update later today, we’ll have to see!

Take care, have a great day!

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Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday, dear Dragonsama…

Happy Birthday to you!


Three shades of blue balloons

Three shades of blue balloons

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday... steak? ^_^ Not grilled just yet!

Birthday... steak? ^_^ Not grilled just yet!


Technically, as of Monday the 10th, I am ‘in labor’. However, it’s only pre-labor, the achy, crampy feeling that helps soften and dialate the cervix, so don’t anyone go all “OMG!” on me, because I get enough of that at the moment as it is! My mom is here to help out, so it’s just the waiting game now.

We had an ultrasound done, because the uterus measurements they take each week were measuring a little small. Worried, they ordered the ultrasound to see if he was growing properly.

The machine’s official size: Roughly ten pounds.

Yeah, I think he’s growing well, don’t you?

So we’re doing the waiting game, although when the midwives call me back I’m hoping to make it not be a waiting game. I don’t want to induce labor just yet, but I also don’t want an eleven pound baby. (Or rather, I don’t mind having the baby. It’s the part where I have to get the baby -out- that I don’t want to do.)

As I understand it, there’s a few things we can do here at home, as well as some non-Pitocin things at the doctor’s office. I want to talk to a midwife and discuss my options, and see if this ultrasound will have any effect on our game plan.

In the meantime, I do have some new pictures, but I’m not sure if I can post them just yet. I’m not on my own computer, for reasons made obvious by the new pictures! so if I can find a way to upload them to the site without saving them to this lovely loaner computer, I can give you new stuff.


In the meantime, we pulled up the carpet in the ‘baby’s room’, which is really sort of the halfway between the kitchen and the living room room, revealing that at some point, the carpets got really wet and a lot of gross stuff got spilled on them, leaving the pad covering the floor. Once we got the pad up, we found a layer of mold. Fortunately, it wasn’t the black killer mold, just the normal “Sweet small mercies why?” sort. Between my mom and I, an ENTIRE bottle of Comet cleanser, and three scrubbie sponges and a scrub brush, we successfully went from nasty to actually very pretty. There’s a few discolored places that will never be quite right, but it’s still FAR better than what was in there. No wonder we were getting sick! The house smells better already just for having gotten it up.

That black stuff is mold. Lots of mold.

That black stuff is mold. Lots of mold.

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Mid-scrub...

Mid-scrub...

11-16-08-dirty-floor-5

All scrubbed and clean, and waxed three times!

All scrubbed and clean, and waxed three times!

11-18-08-clean-floor-2

With some torn newspaper from the puppy

With some torn newspaper from the puppy

Also, I got tired of having a long-haired Chihuameranian, and so Koda got a haircut. It’s not groomer quality at all, because I don’t have clippers, so instead he got a lopsided, lumpy-bumpy haircut with scissors, but now he can go to the bathroom without getting his fur dirty, he can go to the dog park and get muddy without gluing himself to the rug when he dries.

Before

Before

On the other hand, he looks ridiculous. Ennosuke holds that he looks like a cat- mom says more like a fox. I say he looks like a sad little shaved rat-cat thing. But it certainly does make his baths a lot easier. Five minutes, tops, and he’s been in, scrubbed, rinsed, and dried. I can do that myself, easily, which means he can get out more at the park because getting muddy or grubby isn’t a forty minute ordeal to clean up anymore.

After!

After!

4lb Licorice bucket full of his shaved hair

4lb Licorice bucket full of his shaved hair

I haven’t done bento since the last time I posted one, so you’re not missing anything there. I just haven’t had the time or the inclination to cook. It’s been so busy getting the house cleaned and stuff, that I just don’t feel like making the effort. We have dinner, we have lunch, we never have leftovers, and I don’t want to make seperate meals for bento.

Cut me some slack. I’m uncomfortable!

Other than that, I don’t think there’s anything left to say. It’s just been waiting, and organizing, and… more waiting.

I’ll edit this post to include pictures to go with the above information, rather than put it in a seperate post. See you later!

Edit: Added pictures 11/18

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He looks stoned. ^^;;

He looks stoned. ^^;;

This is what happens when Ennosuke and Dragonsama get bored.

This is what happens when Ennosuke and Dragonsama get bored.

We found the cutest bib to match the raccoon stuff from my aunt!

We found the cutest bib to match the raccoon stuff from my aunt!

The ornament I want to get for my son this Christmas!

The ornament I want to get for my son this Christmas!

"I can has cuddles?"
“I can has cuddles? No? Please?”

No berries, all season. Then it frosts three times and freezes hard twice, and look!

No berries, all season. Then it frosts three times and freezes hard twice, and look!

Baby- the ferret.

Baby- the ferret.



So, okay. I have a lot of pictures for you, but you just get to wait, because I’m lazy and exhausted.

Halloween came and went with no trick-or-treaters, so we went to pizza… which was nice but slow and so we had to leave early so Ennosuke could get to work.

Cocoa has what we think may be mange, but the vet gave her a shot of ivermectin and some antibiotics, and a special shampoo, and she’s getting better.

Abby is still Abby and cute as ever.

We think we found a good house in Spokane for $1300 a month, which is only $600 each for four people. (Orion and I count as one. Married and all, you know.)

I’ve started having little pre-labor contractions (Braxton-Hicks, not real ones) and it’s.. interesting.

Our hot water heater exploded, the bottom burst out and it flooded the back half of the basement. We got the gas and water shut off and I told the landlord, who will come out tomorrow with someone to replace and install a new one.

My mom is planning on coming out around the 12th or the 14th, so I need to find a place for her to sleep.

*thinks* What else?

I think that’s everything I can think of now… I’ll upload pictures… later.