I've been waiting for the mood to strike me (and for some quiet time to myself) to tell the story of George's birth. Every mommy enjoys telling their birth story and I'm no different. Here goes...
George was due October 28 (40 weeks). I went for my 40 week check up only to find out that I had only dilated "maybe one tiny centimeter," to quote my doctor. He also told me that I was only 20% effaced. He said I was not a candidate for induction since I had not progressed. So I went back to work another week. David had not been able to go to any of my doctor's visits since the summer. For our 41 week check up (on a Wednesday), his class let out early and he was able to make it! This was a HUGE blessing as we were asked to make some difficult decisions. Dr. Casanova said that he didn't want me to go past 42 weeks, but that I could wait until the 42 week mark to be induced if I wanted to. He mentioned that he would be going out of town for the weekend, but we could induce the next day (Thursday) if we wanted to be sure to have him as our doctor. After ruminating, we decided to go ahead and induce the next day since I didn't want to risk having another doctor in the practice if I went into labor over the weekend. David and I cleaned the house, loaded our things, and went out for a fancy dinner that night.
We checked in to the hospital around 6 am on that Thursday morning. They did not start the pitocin (to induce contractions) until 9 am. David and I were very excited that this day had finally come! My mom arrived shortly after we checked in--I was so glad she made it!
This photo was taken after we checked in to the hospital. I was so pumped!
I was not allowed to eat or drink while on pitocin. After the medicine was started at 9 am, I did not feel any painful contractions until around 5 pm. They gradually increased the pitocin every half hour. Since I was hoping to have a pain med free birth, I did not have any pain meds during these contractions. My doula, Cara, was by my side during my entire stay coaching me through the contractions and giving me massages. After being "checked" several times, we learned that I had only progressed to 3 cm by 6:30 pm that evening. Things were taking much longer than we had anticipated and I was on the maximum dose of pitocin. My doctor suggested breaking my water, but I told him I wasn't ready for that since it would force me into a c-section if I has not progressed within 24 hours. He gave me the option of staying on the pitocin through the night or taking a break. At 10 pm, I opted for the break. I needed to eat and rest.
At 5 am the next morning (Friday) they restarted the pitocin. I was rested and ready to tackle another round of contractions. Soon the contractions hit faster and were more intense. I was very encouraged to feel like things were moving along. Around noon, my doctor stopped by to say goodbye since he was leaving town. He checked me only to find that I had not progressed at all--I was still 3 cm. At this point, I asked him to break my water in hopes that it would speed things along. After he broke my water, he handed me over to another doctor, Dr. Farooqi. I had only heard great things about her.
The contractions were certainly more painful and intense after my water was broken. The doula had me changing positions often and was helping me relax. The contractions were so painful that I was crying during and in between each one. The contractions were very intense and only a minute or two apart. Around 6 pm, Dr. Farooqi wanted to see how much I had progressed. I was still 3 cm. She asked the nurse if my water had been broken (it had). She then asked the nurse for a "hook". The next few minutes would be the most painful and traumatic of my life. With this hook she scraped around the inside of my uterus to pull out the remains of the bag of waters and membranes. It felt like she was scraping my insides with a melon baller (graphic, I know). I was bucking on the table and sobbing uncontrollably. It was much worse than any of the horrible contractions and, to top it off, I was having contractions during this lovely procedure. I am now very grateful that she did this since it ended up speeding things along and probably prevented a c-section. She said that part of my bag of waters was still intact and blocking things from moving.
It was at this point that I decided that the pain was just too much and I asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist was in the room almost immediately and I was numb from the waist down within the hour. I fell asleep then watched tv--quite a contrast from the pain, moaning, and crying I had experienced the previous 12 hours. The doctor checked me at 11 pm and said that I had already progressed to 7 cm (out of 10 cm). Then the nurses started prepping the room for a baby! This was so exciting to see--I was going to meet George soon!
Dr. Farooqi examined me and told me she could feel the baby's head. She told me that I would need to start pushing. I was completely oblivious of everything that was happening from the waist down since I was numb. Around midnight I started pushing with David counting for me. I did not feel any pain. I pushed for about 45 minutes and FINALLY I got to see baby George.
Fresh out of the womb!
Our first glimpse of one another.
Daddy cutting the cord
He was screaming from the second he drew his first breath. The doctor placed him on my chest immediately--he was perfect. Then he was whisked away to be examined and cleaned. David was able to give him his first sponge bath and hold his hand through everything.
Holding Daddy's hand
George was born on November 6, 2010 at 12:53 am.
He weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 inches long!
His gestational age was 41 weeks and 2 days.
We are so proud to be George's parents and we praise God for His provision.
Well, today I am 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I have to admit that this pregnancy thing is getting a little old. We are so eager to meet our son. I never thought he'd be a November baby.
Tomorrow I will go to the dr. to see if I have progressed. Last Wednesday I had only dilated 1 cm and was only 20% effaced. He prescribed lots of walking, which I've been doing. If my cervix is not conducive to induction, we will likely schedule a c-section this week (assuming George doesn't come on his own). Neither induction nor a c-section are ideal, but I want him to be healthy and not too over-cooked. :) The dr. doesn't seem to believe that George is too big and his heart rate indicates that he is still happy/healthy in there. Please pray for us as we face all of the unknowns this week. Hopefully my next post will feature pictures of our little man!
Today marks 38 weeks of pregnancy! The end is in sight!
Good news! George is no longer breech and our c-section has been canceled! We are so grateful to God for answering our prayers. Now George will arrive when he's ready. Right now, I haven't dialated and I'm only 25% effaced. The doctor will induce at 41-42 weeks if George doesn't arrive before then. I've been having contractions every night for the past 4 nights which has been very exciting. Last night they were especially painful. It's totally worth it and it's fun to feel my body gear up for labor.
As promised, I've attached a few nursery photos.
Walking into the room...
David's Mom painted the walls!
Lovely nursery art courtesy of Melissa Hayden.
Refinished dresser courtesy of Lauri and Aaron. We want to get a changing pad and lamp eventually to place on the dresser. They also picked up this glider for us from Dallas... isn't it perfect?
Super cute elephant art courtesy of David's sister, Julie.
Sweetest little hand-knit sweater and hat made by my dear friend, Wendy.
At our ultrasound on Friday, we were so excited to get to see his sweet face again! However, he is SO cramped in there now that we could not see his face because his knees, arms, and hands were in the way! The ultrasound technician tried to get him to move, but he refused. We've been joking that he was wanting to keep his appearance a surprise until he's ready for his debut! In the pictures above, you can see his ear, hand (in front of his face as if saying "no pictures, please"), and a non-3D profile of him. As of Friday he was approx. 5lbs. 13oz. Babies at this age gain about an ounce a day. He's right on target, if not a little small. He is still a boy, too! His head is currently in the 50th percentile and his body is in the 38th percentile. David's been joking that he'll be a Charlie Brown look alike with a disproportionate head. Of course, we're just kidding and we know that he will be just right. I'm so glad his head isn't bigger in case I do get to give birth naturally.
George is still breech. Through the ultrasound they found that he is "complete breech" (see graphic below).
This is one of the easier positions for him to flip and we learned that there is plenty of amniotic fluid for him to flip in as well, which is a concern this late in the game. I'm going to the chiropractor today let him try his luck at getting George to flip.
Can you believe it is already October? Yesterday marked 36 weeks of pregnancy. Babies are considered full term after 37 weeks--crazy!!! We are so excited to welcome George into the world this month. Everything is really coming together and I promise to show nursery pictures soon!
We've been seeing Dr. Casanova every Wednesday and this past Wednesday learned that George is still breech, feet first. If he stays this way, we will schedule a c-section for 39 weeks. Breech vaginal deliveries are only an option if the baby is bottom first. Dr. Casanova has recommended several interventions to try to get the baby to flip head-down. Most of them are quite funny and even acrobatic, including doing somersaults underwater, laying head-down on a slant board, playing music in my lap, etc. I'm going to try them all this weekend. We have an appointment with a chiropractor this Monday. He apparently has had lots of success turning breech babies. Please pray for George to flip in the next week or so!
Dr. Casanova also wanted to see how big the baby is and precisely what his positioning is so he scheduled an ultrasound for TODAY! We didn't think we were going to have another ultrasound before the baby arrives. We haven't seen his sweet face since the beginning of June. I'm sure he's changed a lot in the past 17 weeks.
We certainly covet your prayers as we prepare for the new addition to our little family.
Today marks 33 weeks and 2 days of being George's momma. Our life has been terribly hectic since my last post. David started classes in late August. He is taking 15 hours AND teaching 2 courses this fall. Absolutely crazy. He will be finished with coursework for his PhD this spring though!
David's parents visited over Labor Day weekend to help with the nursery and to celebrate David's 28th birthday on Sept. 4. It was the 10th birthday that I have celebrated with him. Here is a very old photo from his 18th birthday. I made cheesecake and bought him some Hemingway that day.
David's parents were so generous. They bought us a stroller and carseat, fixed our garage doors, took us out to eat, cleaned, and painted George's nursery (among other generous gestures). We are truly blessed to have such loving parents/in-laws. I will post nursery pictures soon once I tidy the room a little better. We decided against the wainscoting because it was going to be too expensive. It sure would have been nice, but just not practical since we're planning to move in a few years (or less).
David and I also celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary on August 23!
Our family dog, Ebbie (a Lhasa Apso), had to be put down on Sept. 4. She was very sick and lived a very long life--18 years! I miss her and will always remember her fondly. She was such a sweet girl. Here is my Ebbie girl:
George is developing very well so far. We will start going to the doctor once a week starting Sept. 20. At his appointment this past week, we found out that he is in the breech position, but will likely turn head-down (the ideal position) by the time he's 37 weeks old. Right now he's about 19" long and weighs about 5 lbs. It definitely feels that way too. He continues to be very active. I love the way it feels for his leg or arm to sweep across my belly. Have I mentioned that I highly recommend pregnancy? It is such a miracle to experience new life in such a unique way.
Some of my Lubbock friends threw a shower for us today. We are blessed with many generous and lovely friends here. Enjoy a few photos from the circus themed shower:
So, in case you can't tell... I'M HUGE! (In my defense, I had just eaten supper when this photo was taken.) Today marks 27 weeks and the beginning of the final trimester. We went for our monthly check-up yesterday. Everything is progressing well and I took a routine glucose test, which I passed! I will now start seeing the doctor every 2 weeks until the final month when I have weekly visits. We have chosen a pediatrician and will meet with him in a few weeks to establish care. The reality is really starting to set in--we're actually having a baby!
Lately, George has been kicking up a storm! It seems like he's kicking more than he's not. Also, I've finally found the right configuartion of pillows to keep me comfortable at night. There were a few weeks when I really struggled to fall/stay asleep.
I've also been reading up on natural childbirth, particularly the Bradley Method. My dear college friend, Bethany, is pregnant and is doing Bradley too. In this model, the husband plays a huge coaching role and medication-free approaches to pain relief are practiced. I'm going to do it, assuming there are no complications. The reason I'm interested in this is because I want to be able to move freely during labor and I want to feel everything my body is doing. I figure women have been doing it for ages and I can tolerate extreme pain for a little while. Let's hope it's only for a little while... :) We'll also have a doula helping coach me through the various stages of labor.
In the month of August, we will be attending a ton of classes on childbirth, breastfeeding, safety, CPR/first aid, and relaxation. We're cramming all of our classes into one month since David goes back to school on August 26. He will be taking 5 courses and teaching 2 this fall!
We also bought a crib and mattress on Craigslist a few weeks ago! It was once a $900 Pottery Barn solid wood crib that we bought for $100! (Actually, my mom bought it for us--thanks, Mom!) The woman is going to sell us a matching dresser/changing table once she gets it out of storage. She only used the crib with one baby so it's still in great condition. Here is the crib as it was originally advertised:
Here is OUR crib (forgive the iphone photo quality):
Our nursery is pretty bare. We still need to paint, wainscot, pick out art and window dressings. Any ideas on those areas would be appreciated!
This past Sunday evening was the Mad Men season 4 premiere so we hosted a little party! We made Old Fashioneds and Manhattans a la Don Draper. I made some pretty awesome bacon-wrapped meatloaf, too. Here is the recipe: Mad Men Meatloaf
I've come to rely on the Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen for most of my recipes. I love her step-by-step photos and shortcuts. Since I want to start sharing more recipes on this blog, I thought I would share my very favorite salsa recipe. I make this salsa several times a month. You may be turned off by the canned tomatoes, but give them a try--you will not be disappointed. Pioneer Woman says that canned tomatoes are best for salsa and fresh tomatoes are best for pico de gallo. Here is the link to the recipe on her website with all of the fancy pictures: Restaurant Style Salsa
Restaurant Style Salsa
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
¼ cups Chopped Onion
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
¼ teaspoons Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
½ whole Lime Juice
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.
Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips.
Since many of my recipes come from the internet and magazines, I've created a notebook with clear page protectors to keep my tried-and-true recipes safe and organized. One of these recipes is Homemade Manicotti from a Rachael Ray magazine. My favorite part of this recipe is that you don't stuff shells, instead you make a type of crepe and fill them. It is very easy and always a hit in the Clark house. Enjoy!
(from Everyday with Rachael Ray)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated romano cheese
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp milk
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups store-bought meat sauce (I used jarred tomato sauce and add browned ground beef since all meals in our house MUST contain meat)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup romano, the parsley and milk.
2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 cup water. Whisk in the flour.
3. Heat a greased 8″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. Ladle 3 tbsp batter into the skillet, swirling to cover the surface of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, flip and cook for 1 minute more. Repeat with the remaining batter, greasing the skillet after each crepe. Stack the crepes on a plate.
4. Spread half of the meat sauce into a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Spoon the cheese mixture down the center of each crepe. Roll closed; arrange in the baking dish. Top with the remaining meat sauce and cheese, Bake for 25 minutes.