Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rose-coloured Glasses

Every couple of weeks, I take out my digital camera and save a plethora of random pics that I have taken of Lily. They are all always so very cute. And then after I save them onto the computer an 'old' picture of Lily will catch my eye, and then I will spend about ten to thirty minutes looking at 'old' pictures of my baby. ('Old' as in from four months ago!)
When Lily was first born, I remember everyone saying that she was so beautiful. I admittedly remember thinking the same thing. Our friends (not biased at all....) often said 'Man, there are a lot of strange looking babies out there, but Lily really truly is beautiful.' Again- I remember agreeing with them. Vehemently at times. Especially when I saw other people's newborns. But now, looking at Lily's newborn pictures- I gotta admit- she's a little bit weird-looking. And for every stage past newborn, I always thought we had the most beautiful looking girl in the whole wide world- slightly jaundiced skin, and dandruff face and all (Yes. She really did have dandruff on her face for a while. A little selsun Blue cleared it right up.) So what does this all mean? I have just discovered how delusional I am. But not just me- all those around me as well. But I guess that is just one of the joys of parenthood.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Advice for the Expecting #2- Gravity is thy friend

I have heard many a horrifying labour/birth stories. I actually felt like I had to leave my church in Toronto because pretty much every woman had at least one, if not two very scary birth stories. One woman was in labour for 48 hours- they had to use the vaccuum, forecepts, the whole nine yards. Another woman's bladder, vaginal wall, uterus- all ripped. Yikes.

So basically, I mentally prepared myself for the worst. One of my bigger fears was that Chris would actually miss the birth. Or that I would at least go into labour while he was on duty. We prepared for this scenario so much so that we brought Chris' brother, Robert, with us to the hospital tour and everything, just so he would be ready to step in if he was needed.

I went in to my weekly doctor's appointment on the Monday before Lily was born (2 weeks before she was due). The doctor checked me out and told me I was 4 cm dialated and 60% effaced. Pretty good numbers if you ask me. The doctor couldn't say anything for certain, but she kept alluding to the fact that she would see me 'Soon'. Probably at the hospital. We shook hands and I left feeling great. I was definitely going to have this baby this week! And the days went by. And nothing happened. I work in a tax office for my father in law, and being March- we were pretty busy. So I went to work as usual. No just sitting around for me. And plus I felt like if I stood more, then the baby would come out sooner.

I acutally was pretty active during most of my pregnancy. The last time I played 18 holes of golf was two weeks before Lily was born. And my last day of work was on Friday, and Lily was born on the Monday after. As I waited and waited for a contraction- nothing happened. I was SO CERTAIN that I was going to have the baby on Friday. And so was Chris- which is why he didn't go to work (his Sgt actually gave him the weekend off cause Chris was so on edge about me going into labour without him being around. He's so sweet. The Sgt and Chris.) But nothing happened. We actually had sex that night because I thought that might kick start something- anything. But alas, nothing. The next day we went to the zoo with some of our friends. We walked around for three hours. Nothing. We were tired and smelled kinda bad, but I insisted that we go to the mall to buy Chris some new basketball shoes that he had been needing. I really just felt like I still needed to be walking. So we went to the mall, got some expensive basketball shoes, and nothing else happened. The rest of the week was spent vaccuuming, shampooing the carpets, walking up and down stairs- and all for 'nothing'...

I made it back to my weekly doctor's appointment much to the surprise of my doctor, and to myself in fact. Got checked out again- 6 cm and 80% effaced. The doctor asked me if we wanted to have the baby that day and we said "YES". So she called the hospital to make sure they had room for us, and they did. She told us to go home, get some rest, eat some lunch, and then to check in to the hospital at 1pm. So we did just that. We went home, played some cards, made sure we had everything we needed in our hospital bag, then we went to have some pasta for lunch- so that I could get some carbs going on. And cause Chris had made me watch all 3 Godfather movies for the past week, and everytime they ate pasta- I wanted pasta.

So, we ate, drove to the hospital in all calmness, and we just had to praise Jesus for how awesome the whole journey to birth was for us! We got settled into our room, and then the doctor who would be delivering Lily came in to talk with us. He looked at my chart and looked fairly concerned that we were coming in early to have the baby. He said it was risky to do that in general, and Chris and I were very surprised because no one talked to us about any risks for having our baby early. Something about how it could actually take a lot longer than if we just waited this thing out, blahblahblah. Then he checked me out and was surprised to find that I was already as dialated and effaced as I was. So he told me to forget everything he had just said about risks, and that I was going to have the baby TODAY! He broke my water right there and then with a white stick that he seemed to magically pull out from under him. I felt one contraction before they gave me my epidural, and the rest was history. It was about 3pm when they broke my water, I went into hard labour at 8, and LIly was born at 9:02. Not bad at all!

Anyway, so even though all the walking and standing and stuff didn't make me go into labour early- or even at all. It did make a lot of the 'hard work'- the dialating and effacing- very easy. So women, I just want to encourage you to get out there and walk walk walk! And just cause some of your friends may have had horrifying birth stories- it does not mean that you inevitably will too.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Advice for the Expecting #1- Birth Plans

At the beginning of my last trimester, I had doctor's appointments every other week. At one of those appointments, my doctor asked me if I had my Birth Plan ready. I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought maybe it was insurance-related. But it's not. If you ask people who had babies about five years ago what their Birth Plans were- they will probably not know what you are talking about. But five years ago, they also didn't have a check up two weeks after the birth of their child to simply check on post-partum depression.
Anyhoo, so this is a fairly new thing. And it's just a piece of paper (or two) that tells the doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers what all you would like to have happen from the minute you get to the hospital, to the time you have the baby, to the time you basically leave the hospital. If you look up 'Birth Plan' on Google, you will get a bunch of sites that have smaple Birth Plans that you can simply fill in the blanks. For example, they will want to know who you want to have in the room with you when you are actually in labour. They also want to know if you want to have an enema, or a mirror to be able to see the head crowning, if you want drugs, whether you will be breast-feeding the baby, if you want the baby to have a pacifier or not when it's sleeping, etc etc etc. Some of it is a bit overwhelming, but that's why it helps to make it out earlier, rather than later in your lsat trimester so that you can go over it with your doctor. The doctor and other hospital workers are supposed to read your birth plan before they do anything to you and your baby.
To be completely honest- I made one, my doctor told me to bring it in so that we could go over it together, but I kept forgetting to bring it to my appointments. And when I was at the hospital, it sat in my bag the whole time. No one asked me about it or anything. But nothing went wrong with my labour, so I was able to tell the doctors what I wanted and needed the whole time. During the labour process, they even just asked me questions that were on the Birth Plan, like if I wanted a mirror to see the baby's head crowning, but I declined because I was just trying to focus on one thing at a time- which was pushing my giant baby out of my body.
So then what's the point of the Birth Plan? Well, it's just another thing that'll help you and your partner to mentally prepare for the whole birthing process. And most importantly, I talked about my Birth Plan with my husband, which was probably more important than talking about it with my doctor- 1) because Chris was at the birth of our baby, and if something went wrong, or if I couldn't talk, he knew what I wanted to have happen ahead of time. And 2)- the doctor that I kept seeing for my appointments wasn't the doctor who was on call the day I had my baby anyway.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Night Showers

I used to hate taking showers at night. I have really thin hair that doesn't take too long to dry, but I always manage to fall asleep before my hair is completely dry, and then I wake up with poofy hair on one side of my head, and hair that is basically modled to my scalp on the other side. Not pretty. But Lily has come to the point where she does not like being left alone for 15 minutes in her pack-n-play in the morning anymore. So we are back to night showers. And since I cut my hair short over a month ago, my hair is usually in a ponytail so you can't even tell which side is matted or poofy anyway.
It's been quite a while since I last wrote. The Holidays happened. Thanksgiving was great. Ate a bunch of good food. Lily got her first two teeth- right on the bottom. SO CUTE. My nephew who is three months younger than Lily also got his first two teeth, in the exact same spot, at just about the exact same time. Fun stuff. Then Christmas came around. Had my mother-in-law and her hubby in town. We love seeing them. And my sister and her hubby and my nephew also were in town which was also great. So lots of family stuff, lots more good food, good presents, good times.
Now we are in serious baby mode. Chris' brother and wife are expecting their first baby in abour four to six weeks. Then we are due about eight weeks after that. And then one of my closest girlfriends is expecting her first two weeks after that. Then another girlfriend is expecting her first a few days after that. And then one of my other closest girlfriends is expecting her first three months after that. We all went golfing together on New Years day. Fortunately we only played nine holes, otherwise that golf course woulda gotten some serious requests to put a port-a-potty at every hole. If not every other hole. Anyway, this is definitely a very exciting time to be pregnant- cause everyone around me is pregnant too. There is no shortage of people to go out and eat with. And it's nice for the husbands to have each other as a support system for when their wives inevitably get a little spaztic and hormonal.
Anyway, being the 'resident expert' on babies (cause I just had one! and now I'm doing it again!), I have decided to try to use this blog for some random, yet hopefully helpful advice for all my expectant friends.
First piece of advice- be ready for night showers. And a good haircut. Now I know why most moms have short hair. Although I don't know if there is a real excuse for the 'Mama Pama' that 95% of Korean mothers sport from the minute they have a child to the time they pass on to the next life. Once my kids are old enough to not scream while I am in the shower and risk waking up their dad who just got home from work- I WILL SHOWER WHEN I WANT. be it morning, noon or night. But until then, I will let Lily dictate when I shower and for how long.