Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Quest for the Perfect Diaper Bag

I researched and researched diaper bags while I was pregnant, and was very excited with the one I picked out. Now that I've been using it for almost 6 months, I realize it doesn't work as well as I had hoped. Not at all.

Out of all the baby gear, I think the diaper bag is one of the most important to get right. If you get a good one that works for you, you can use it for years and for future babies. Plus, you use it almost every single day. I throw all my personal stuff in there so it doubles as a purse for me, too. (Who wants to carry around two bags all day?)

I've done a lot of researching and have played with other diaper bags in my moms group, and I'm afraid to jinx it - but I think I have found my perfect diaper bag (to be revealed soon). Can you guess what it is?

Do you have any buyer's remorse for baby gear?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Free $10 Living Social Credit

I'm not sure how long this one will last! Here's what you need to do for the $10 credit:

  • If you haven't already, sign up for Living Social.
  • Once you're logged in, click here
  • Type in "Molly Cooper" (without quotes)
  • You should see the following message at the top of the page, "Thank you for participation. If you are among the first 20,000 people to correctly name the code words, you will receive 10 deal bucks credited to your livingsocial account within 14 days."
Thanks to Alligator Lane and Carolina Couponer for sharing!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Have you read Notes From a Dragon Mom? Well, you should.

It's an article from a Mom whose son has Tay-Sachs Disease, which means he'll be dead before his third birthday. Third birthday. This Mom will watch her baby slowly enter a vegetative state until he dies.

She writes about how what most parents do is, by nature, forward-looking. Education, financial planning, eating healthy foods. Those things don't matter as much when your baby's future is so short. So what do you do? You focus on the right now.

The problems I face - and complain about - absurdly pale in comparison to what this woman faces.

Every parent could benefit from focusing a little more on the right now. How will you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Birth Story: Part III

[Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to get the full story].

After a very rough day and a half in antepartum unit, I was ready for labor and delivery. Finally! Typically when you think of a woman having a baby, you think of labor and delivery. But I actually spent very little time there compared to antepartum and recovery. Here's how it went down.

The morning of May 5th, I was finishing up in antepartum with a little relaxation and breakfast. My contractions had calmed down from the previous night and I was pumped to get to labor and delivery. We got to labor and delivery sometime near 10:00 a.m., and my room was much bigger than the one we saw in the hospital tour (I was thankful for this). We did the usual checking-in type stuff and met our new nurse Mindy. I remember liking her a lot. The L&D nurses get lighter workloads so they spend a lot of time with their patients - understandably.

There is a whiteboard in the room, and I remember my nurse filling it out with the lowdown on me (first baby, Strep B positive, etc). At the bottom, she wrote, "Happy Birthday, Friglet!" I will always remember seeing that and thinking, "OK, he's definitely coming today!" It was all pretty surreal.

I was two centimeters dilated when I was checked in the morning in antepartum. I was disappointed that it had taken me so long to progress so little, like there was something wrong with me. After I started Pitocin, a doctor, Dr. Doro, from my OB group came in. I didn't know this doctor and I was a little bummed that my usual doctor, Dr. Bartfield, was now off duty (he was there for two days and we all thought he would deliver me, but I took too long). It all worked out, because I ended up liking her - she was very matter-of-fact which works well for labor and delivery.

She broke my water and said I was "3+." I barely remember the process of breaking my water. I do remember seeing the hook but I don't think it was very painful. She put it up there and I felt the gush of warm water like I had a big pee. It was relaxing in an odd way. We had a chat about my progression, that I was only 3cm and if I wasn't progressing, she wasn't going to let me labor all day and we may need to go the C-section route. I appreciated that she was up front about it so I could prepare myself mentally for whatever needed to happen. But I really wanted to go vaginal, especially with all the work I had already put into labor!

Every 15 minutes, the nurse increased my Pitocin by one level. I remember watching the numbers on the monitor but certainly can't remember what they were now. I want to say the max was 15, and I was around 7. I learned about "the hat," which is a plastic tub that sits in the toilet so you can measure your pee output. It's a little like potty training. You make a pee, then save it to show your nurse. Only there are no gold stars or M&Ms, which is a damn shame considering all that hoopla over your pee. I suppose a baby is a good prize. But still...M&Ms would help the whole labor process, I'm telling you.

The drug did its job pretty effectively and quickly. I got on the birthing ball because the contractions were coming again and they were strong. The nurse put a giant pad over the ball to catch all the leaking and oozing coming out of me (there's no point in wearing underwear). I kicked my parents out around this time. Things were getting intense and I didn't want to deal with extra people or wear my second gown to cover my butt. I was quickly reaching the point where you lose all sense of modesty. And I didn't want a lot of background noise. I remember it was around lunch time, because I asked them to get some lunch for John. I wasn't allowed to eat but I wasn't hungry; it's like the body is too busy doing other stuff to realize it's been a while since you've had anything to eat.

I stayed on the birthing ball, continuing my pyramid breathing through the contractions, and asked John to play my birth music. I'm glad we had it, it was very relaxing and helped me to stay calm through the pain. The doctor came in to check me again, and said I was at 5 centimeters. I was thrilled to be making progress! She said there was still fluid there, so she broke my water yet again. Another big gush of warm fluid. Birth is quite the messy process.

Dr. Doro said this gush of liquid had meconium in it, which is the baby's first poop. It born can sometimes happen before they are born. '"Crap," I said out loud. John was confused, but I knew what that meant. It's common especially with full-term babies, but it means there is a chance of infection if the baby ingests any through the mouth or nose. And you do not want a newborn to get an infection. The doctor explained that this means they wouldn't be able to plop him on top of me right after he was born; instead, they would whisk him to the baby area to suction him, hopefully before he takes his first breath and can suck in any meconium. I was a little bummed, but knew everything would be ok. When I envisioned my baby being born, I always thought he would be plopped on top of my chest and belly and I would get to touch him right away. But I quickly got over it and just wanted to see him so badly.

My doctor and nurse said they could tell I had taken a childbirth class and that I was doing a great job managing the pain. I felt like a complete mess, so I have no idea if they were being genuine or just nice. Everything changed after she broke my water for the second time. The contractions were coming at me fast now, with hardly any time in between. I remembered from my childbirth class that it's best not to wait too long for an epidural, mostly because you need to be able to sit still for it. I knew I was reaching that point where I wouldn't be able to sit up straight for much longer so I asked for the epidural, and my nurse agreed that was a good idea. It probably didn't take long for anesthesia to come, but it felt like an hour. Things were happening very fast all of the sudden, and I was getting seconds in between contractions. It was insane. I was on the birthing ball, trying to use my pyramid breathing. My nurse told me to calm down, that I was going to hyperventilate. She heard me do the 5 fast breaths and didn't realize I was using a method, and that it would be followed me a slow breath, then 4 fast breaths, etc. I couldn't get enough time in between contractions to explain it and it frustrated me. The nurse decreased my amount of Pitocin back down and stopped with the interval increases. The baby was tolerating the contractions well, but it was more intense than they aim for.

Anesthesia came in on a glowing beam of rainbows and sunshine, and I got into position. I decided to try the walking epidural first, which administers pain medication but doesn't numb you fully. I wanted to be able to pee on my own and walk around. Plus, if I changed my mind, all they had to do was change the IV. I sat on the edge of the bed with my legs dangling. They raised the bed very high so that my back was right in front of the anesthesiologist. John was sitting in front of me and I leaned forward and held on to him for support. The anesthesiologist prepped my back and we tried to time inserting the catheter between contractions but there was just no time in between them so I sat as still as I could through the contractions and he did his magic. People freak out about epidurals, but compared to everything else you're going through, it's laughable. I just felt a little prick, like I was getting a normal shot. I never saw the size of the needle, though.

The epidural took effect, and I realized that the walking epidural was NOT enough pain management. Screw  peeing on my own, just give me the full epidural and I'll take my catheter, thankyouverymuch. Anesthesia came back in (a different person this time), and adjusted my meds. Why would anyone not get an epidural? Seriously.

Once I was settled with the epidural, the doctor checked me again. 9 centimeters. Are you kidding me? I was just 5 cm last time you checked me, and was just 3 cm the time before that. Well that explains my crazy contractions, I thought. She said the baby was progressing down the birth canal like he should, so we were going to give it a try for a vaginal delivery, though she was still worried he may be too big for me. How was everything happening so fast? I was expecting a long day and it had only been a couple of hours. And my epidural had just now finally kicked in, and it was almost time to push? I guess the extra prep ripening my cervix in antepartum paid off. My nurse put in my catheter, and I couldn't believe I had worried about it. With my epidural in, I couldn't feel a thing.

My room began buzzing with activity. Baby nurses came in and got the baby area all prepped for delivery. There were a couple extra people in the room because of the meconium, just in case.

Now that my pain was under control, I had nervous energy and excitement that this baby was going to be here in the very near future. We waited a little bit, then my doctor and nurse checked me. My nurse asked me to push, and I realized I didn't know how. I had done Kegel exercises my entire pregnancy because I knew they help with labor, so I tried to do a backward Kegel. My nurse proceeded to laugh at me. She explained that I should push just like I was trying to poop. I don't remember covering this in birth class, I thought.

So I pushed like I was at home in the bathroom taking a poop. I thought this was just a practice run, that they were checking if I was ready. No, this was the real deal. Why wasn't there a big announcement? It's time to push! There should have been. Instead, they propped up these handle bars on each side of the bed and told me to hold on to those to help with leverage. My nurse grabbed my right leg, and John my left while my doctor was in the catching position. They told me I was a good pusher, and my doctor said, "Ok, I think you can push this baby out" (meaning he's not too big). I said, "Oh, I am going to push this baby out!" Adrenaline had kicked in and I was super excited - this was the finale I'd been building up to for 9 and a half months!

Dr. Doro explained that we were going to push twice for each contraction. Another contraction was coming, so I took a big breath in and pushed out while holding on to the bars and trying not to push too much with my legs (it feels natural to push your legs with all your might, but you have to redirect it). They all counted to ten, then I took a breath and we did it again. I saw John eyes get wide and he was getting excited. I asked for a mirror - I wanted to see what they were seeing. It was quite an odd sight. At first, I couldn't understand what I was seeing...then I realized I was watching myself poop. How lovely. Didn't even know that was happening. Beyond the poop, I realized I was looking at my baby's head! That was the motivation I needed. Next contraction, I pushed with all my might.

Dr. Doro told me to hold on and massaged me to try to prevent tearing. I asked her to try to do her best to prevent tearing and she was 100% on board with that. If I needed an episiotomy, so be it but let's try to avoid it all together. She explained that when he starts coming out, she was going to tell me to keep going and not take a break like every other time. I was ready.

I'm not sure how many contractions I pushed through, but it wasn't many at all and less than twenty minutes overall. On my last contraction, she told me, "Ok, now, go go go keep going" and I used all my energy to push push push. I felt him plop out in one giant, quick movement. The feeling was very similar to passing a bowel movement, only different. I think he was screaming before he was completely out of me. I loved hearing that sound, but had hoped he would wait to cry until he could be suctioned. I heard someone say "Sixteen forty-nine." (I later realized this was a nurse announcing his time of birth). The doctor held Caleb (now we could tell the world his name!) low between my legs and John cut the umbilical cord. I was glad they still let him cut it, since he had to be rushed for suctioning. I still hadn't seen him yet but heard him as he was carried over to the baby area. He had a strong,vigorous cry that was very reassuring.

I didn't have the strong emotional reaction I expected or envisioned, maybe because I didn't see him right away. It all felt completely surreal, I think I was in a daze. I just listened to him cry as I laid there for an uneventful afterbirth and then getting stitches (I did tear, and I don't recommend it. I will always remember the visual of my doctor bringing a needle up in the air like she was sewing a giant quilt between my legs *shiver*). Quiet tears ran down my cheeks and I took it all in. He was suctioned and looked over, and he was perfect. John carried Caleb over to me, and I took off my gown so I could put him against my bare chest. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

7 Reasons Why You Need a Mommy Group

I'm lucky enough to be part of a wonderful local mommy group called All Around Awesome Moms (Triple A-Em). I've met some wonderful ladies (and babies!) and love the new friendships we are all forming. It evolved naturally from the Mommy-Baby Tea and Talk that Winnie Palmer Hospital offers to new moms, and it has become my lifeline!

[Image designed by Chinh Van]
Here's how my mommy group helps me, and how one can benefit you:

  • It gets you out of the house. In the newborn phase, it is damn-near-impossible to even get a shower, let alone pack everything you need and coordinate getting baby to the car and somewhere else. But you have to eventually, and it gets easier with time. Meet with other Moms, take advantage of any breastfeeding support/teas/lunches your hospital offers - whatever you can do! Even beyond the newborn phase, you need to regularly get out of the house. Otherwise, you'll live in your nursing tanks and PJs.
  • Much needed social time. Mommy meetups are the best. Being a Mom, especially a new one, is socially isolating. Frankly, you need some  adult conversation or you'll go insane.
  • Social interaction for the babies! Don't forget that your baby benefits from social gatherings, too! Whether it's sharing a game of stackable cups or just practicing tummy time together, your baby will probably enjoy playing with new friends. Plus, it's so damn cute to put them all together and take a picture. [See above - Caleb is the one screaming with his feet up in the air, of course].
  • Stimulation and new environments for babies. Our meetups are usually at a mall, library or park - places that are full of new sights and rich sounds for babies to take in. I wonder if babies like people watching too?
  • You can relate to other Moms about everything you're going through - they get it! Whether it's face-to-face contact or online, you need reassurance that you're not crazy. (Is it weird that I keep picking my baby's boogers? How long is a bottle of formula really good for? Why am I so emotional about stopping breastfeeding?)
  • Swap tips and product suggestions. I've learned so much from other Moms about which toys and  babygear are worth it and which aren't. I like to think it will prevent me from buying useless crap and saves me money in the long run. A couple Moms even convinced me to try (gasp) cloth diapering.
  • Connect online for support, venting, suggestions - any time of day. We have a Facebook group that is in constant use day and night. Mommies use it to vent ("Today is one of those days where I locked myself in the bathroom and cried" kind of venting. And that's ok, because we've been there too), ask how-to questions ("How do I schedule solids around bottles?") or ask the been-there-done-that Moms for advice on sticky situations ("My daughter keeps feeding her lunch to the dog. How can I stop it?"). And occasionally, some comic relief ("So, I think my vagina is broken...").
If you're not part of a mommy group, check out for a local group. Or, start one of your own! Story time at your local library is an easy way to find other Moms.

Please tell me how you benefit from your mommy group! What am I missing? 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Failed Attempt at Extreme Couponing

I don't go crazy with the couponing. But I'm only working part-time right now and babies are expensive, so I'm trying to maximize coupons and savings where I can. I follow a lot of couponers on Twitter and Facebook, hoping that they'll do the legwork for me and I can save more than I would usually.

In my social media scanning, I came across a good Right Guard deal. John uses Right Guard deodorant, so I perked up when I saw this. There was a printable $1 coupon, plus Walgreens was having a BOGO deal. I was so excited! I printed out the $1 coupon twice from and was ready to stock up. With my coupons printed and cut, I made my way to Walgreens. I felt like quite the frugal couponer.

I get to the deodorant section of the store and don't see any signs about the BOGO deal. I go to the front of the store to double check the store ad. Doh! Turns out only Right Guard body wash is BOGO. My $1 coupons applied to both deodorant and body wash, but Walgreens only had the body wash on sale. I felt so defeated.

Lesson learned: Read the fine print.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Is my baby weird?

Every new parent comes across situations with their babies where they think, "Is this normal?" Let's be honest, babies do some weird stuff so you can't blame us. And each baby is so different; as their little personalities develop, they may laugh at surprising things or show interest in things you think are boring and lame. But that's what make this whole parenting process fun!

Anyway, I've reached another point where I'm wondering if I have a weirdo baby. For the past month or so, Caleb has been doing this thing with me where he grabs my face with both his hands (often while scratching my eyeballs, ouch!) and he brings his open, slobbery mouth to my face. I actually find it sweet. Maybe he is mimicking my behavior; I mean, this isn't far from what I do with him when I grab him and kiss him all over.

But now he's doing it to other people. Yesterday, he decided to do this to his friends at our mommy-baby group. He was like a baby godzilla trying to eat all his friends. His poor buddy Ethan, one of our favorite playtime friends, tasted so yummy to Caleb. It was hysterical, and I laughed and laughed (while also trying to keep him from scratching the other babies). I keep wondering what this behavior means - is he just showing a form of affection? Is it an extreme form of teething and putting everything in his mouth, including his friends? Is this pre-bullying behavior? Is he going to be a cannibal?

Truth be told, I'm not obsessing over this. I actually think it's quite amusing.  And I'm ok if he's a weirdo. Because I am, too!

Making a meal of Ethan's head

Friday, October 7, 2011

Free Diaper Sample from Huggies

I love free diaper samples! Here's a new one from Sam's Choice and Huggies - just click here and wait (or click through) for the panel that says, "Crawl dry, little guy." There is a button at the bottom for a free sample of Huggies Snug & Dry diapers.

Note that a Sam's membership number is not required to request a sample. I just ordered mine!

Thanks to A Frugal Friend for sharing!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Birth Story: Part II

(Read Part I for the backstory).

We got to the hospital for our 3:00 p.m. appointment on Tuesday, May 3rd and did all the paperwork and checking in to get the induction process started. It was quite uneventful in the beginning. I got a room in the antepartum unit and one of those sexy hospital robes. (Why didn't I bring my own? Remember this if there is a Marshall baby #2). Medical history, blood drawn, yadda yadda.

In case you didn't know, there are multiples stages of the induction process. Some people can go to the hospital and start on Pitocin (the synthetic version of Oxytocin) right away. I was not one of those people, and I knew that going in. My cervix wasn't ready enough to start on the Pitocin (and if I had started Pitocin from the get-go, I would have almost surely had a C-section). So phase one involved getting Cerividil, a vaginal suppository to help ripen my cervix in preparation for labor. One dose is twelve hours. It was uncomfortable when they shoved the thing way up there and I had to be very careful every time I peed, but other than that, it wasn't that bad. Those first twelve hours were pretty low-key. I got hooked up to the contraction monitor and the fetal heartbeat monitor (two bulky devices strapped to my big belly). I liked hearing the baby's heartbeat all the time. I could feel some contractions but it was completely manageable and I was my normal self for the most part. We kept checking the contraction monitor to watch the little "mounds" on the screen and compare it to what I was feeling. I didn't sleep much that night. Between the constant visits from nurses and techs and a visit from the anesthesiologist for consent forms, we were always getting interrupted. I had to stay in awkward positions so the monitors could get a good read. I couldn't get comfortable to sleep and I couldn't sit up to get on the computer. But that was ok. My baby was coming! I had high hopes that I would only need one dose and would be on my way to labor and delivery soon.

Boy was I wrong!

Before I was too miserable to lay in bed :)
I don't know if nurses are supposed to be overly positive, but I wish they wouldn't have gotten my hopes up. I learned that day about the Bishop Score, a rating of how ready I am for labor and delivery. They said I needed to be a 7 and I was currently a 6. They were optimistic about me only needing 1 dose. I also had my bloody show that night and took it as a positive sign of progress. But when I was checked after the 12 hours were up (early morning on May 4th), I was first told that I had made no change. I was disappointed but accepted that I would need another dose. Then a different nurse checked me and said I was 70-80% effaced  with a bishop score of 7 to 8. Even though I hit the right Bishop Score number, the nurses said I still wasn't ready for labor and delivery. Another dose would maximize my chances of vaginal delivery, I told myself. My nurse let me get unhooked from everything and take a shower, which was a wonderful gift and helped me to feel a little refreshed.

We started a second dose of cervadil Wednesday morning (May 4th). This (12 hour) dose was more eventful than the first. My contractions were getting stronger and my blood pressure shot up. I was afraid this would lead to an emergency C-section, which probably stressed me out even more and kept it high. Extra blood work was done to look for other signs of Pre-eclampsia, and thankfully everything came back normal. I started using the birthing ball and it was getting difficult to talk through contractions; breathing through them was taking my full focus. I was physically miserable but partly excited that the real labor was starting. I can handle this, I told myself. (You know that, "I am woman, hear me roar" crap). I was getting tired of the restrictions of being hooked up to everything. It was especially hard to go to the bathroom; I had to unstrap myself from the toco (devices that monitor contractions and fetal heartbeat) and bring my IV holder in with me. I walked around the floor some, hoping to help things move along.

I was feeling it by dinnertime; the contractions were three minutes apart and intense and I really felt like a woman in labor. Contractions didn't feel like I thought they would. I imagined they would be lightning bolts of sharp pains, but the pain was more spread out and very "wave-like." Similar to cramps, yet different. It really is hard to explain! I spent a lot of time on the birthing ball. John would sit on the edge of the bed and I would lean against him while sitting on the ball and squeeze his hands and breathe through the pain. The only thing I could remember from childbirth class was pyramid breathing (combining fast and short breaths, counting from 1 to 5, then 5 back to 1 again) so I used that. It did actually help because it gave me something to concentrate on rather than the pain. I remember my nurse commenting that she didn't expect it to be much longer, based on how I was acting. We all thought so.

When it was time to get checked that night, the nurse couldn't find the cervidil. The search party in the form of my nurse's hand was not a fun time and we just concluded it had come out during a recent bathroom trip. (I swear, I can lose anything). We got past that and I was confident that I would hear good news. But I was wrong again. Not only had I not progressed, this nurse told me I was still only 1 cm while the last nurse who checked me said I was 1.5 cm. Was I going backwards? It was such a huge blow for me. I had been in so much pain for hours - and I was handling it - but only because I thought I was making progress. I felt like I was losing my mind. I was exhausted, still in pain, and thought I would be in labor and pregnant forever. If the pain was this bad, and I was only 1 cm, how would I ever get to 10 cm? I toyed with the idea of just asking for a c-section because I had almost lost all hope for a vaginal delivery by this point. Maybe my body was just not capable of doing this. Nonetheless, we started a third dose of cervidil.

From what I'm told now, it was clear I was struggling. But it wasn't the crazy thrashing and screaming you see on TV. I was breathing through the pain and I remember making a low moaning noise when I breathed out, but overall I was pretty calm and quiet. On the outside, anyway. So my nurse, my parents and John all recommended I get some kind of pain medicine. When you think of pain medicine and childbirth, you think of epidurals but there are more options. It was way too early for an epidural, so we discussed narcotics - particularly Stadol. I remembered learning about narcotics during childbirth class, and the big takeaway was not to take it too close to delivery because it can make baby drowsy. Unfortunately, I knew that was not an issue I had to worry about so I agreed and I got the drugs through my IV. They took effect almost immediately and I was so thankful. I felt very high and sleepy, and couldn't walk on my own to the bathroom. It didn't completely take away the pain at first, but it dulled it enough to where I could finally sleep. I woke up sometime that night and needed more meds. I remember the nurse explaining that I could only take X amount of Stadol in a 24-hour period, and was I sure I wanted more so soon? Hell yes I did.

I survived the night and actually rested some, which my poor body needed so desperately. My doctor checked me in the morning (May 5th), and hallelujah, I was ready to move to labor and delivery. A little more time and a good night's sleep is just what I needed to finally get out of my antepartum room...

Bye bye, antepartum unit!

Continue reading My Birth Story, Part III

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Baby's first picnic

Just testing out the blogger droid app! We are on our way to baby's first park and picnic :)

An Ordinary Day

This morning, after our breakfast/pumping routine (which takes at least an hour, but that's a-whole-nother blog post), Caleb was playing in his exercauser, John was getting ready to mow the lawn and I was loading the dishwasher.

There were probably a million other people doing the same thing on Sunday morning. Just an ordinary day. But I have been waiting for this "ordinary day" of a family of three for so long. There was a time when I never thought I would get to experience this. It's these simple things that give me perspective and remind me of how grateful I am for everything I have. I know I sound like a damn greeting card, but I need those moments to get me through everything else - you know, the not-so-great stuff - that comes with this new life.

To make the day even that much better, the weather outside is beautiful; finally, fall weather is coming to Central Florida!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Birth Story: Part I

I might as well start at the beginning.

My due date was May 1, 2011. I was hoping to go into labor on my own, but that wasn't in the cards. On May 2, I tried a little castor oil mixed with orange juice. Man that stuff is NASTY. I don't think I took enough to induce labor, though I've heard it worked great for other people as a way to get things moving. But I wasn't having it. And I still wasn't sure I was ready for him to come anyway ;)

I had a doctor appointment the morning of May 3 for an ultrasound and a non-stress test (NST). Once you go past your due date, you have to make sure baby is doing ok and that there is still plenty of fluid. That morning, I didn't feel the baby move. This baby (still known to the world as Friglet then) moved ALL THE TIME my whole pregnancy so I was starting to get concerned. With each minute, I was starting to panic. I've known too many people who have had stillborns and am well aware of the risk, and my mind was going to horrible places. On the drive to the doctor's office, I felt him move and was so relieved. At that point, I was ready to get him out of me. The fear of losing him made me want to see him in the flesh to make sure he was ok.

The ultrasound was uneventful, and the non-stress test isn't what I expected. You get hooked up to a machine on a belly monitor and click a button when you feel movement. Like the rest of my pregnancy, everything was fine. We met with my doctor and talked about getting induced. There was no rush, he said, and it was still healthy for me and baby to stay pregnant but he would need to come out sometime soon. Not today or tomorrow,  but we needed to get an induction date scheduled at the hospital in case I don't go into labor on my own. He couldn't give us a date then because it really came down to scheduling at the hospital - you can't just pick any time. They'd call us and let us know. Perfect, I thought. I was still working up to the day before but was too ginormous and exhausted to do anymore, so I figured I could stop working and have a day or two to rest and do any last minute preparations before heading to the hospital.

We were driving home when I got the call. "We can schedule you for 11:00 a.m. today." WHAT?! Apparently the scheduling worked out for us to get induced that day. Even though I wanted more time to go into labor on my own (I wanted to avoid a C-section if at all possible), I wasn't going to fight it after my no movement scare that morning. We were able to push it to 3:00 p.m. later that day to give us a little time. I called my parents to tell them the news and called work to announce the beginning of my maternity leave. I'll never forget that drive home...John and I were in such shock. "Is this really happening? Are we ready? This is happening...TODAY?" We had 9 months to prepare but suddenly we felt we weren't ready.

We headed home, had lunch and took one final "Rachel is pregnant" pic. I cleaned our bathroom counter - I don't know if this was nesting or what, but I just HAD to get that bathroom clean. My parents came over and we all headed for the hospital...

Continue reading: My Birth Story, Part II