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Archive for January, 2009

Emmett’s Birth Story (And Then Some)

January 28, 2009 4 comments
Moments After Emmett's Arrival

Moments After Emmett's Arrival

This is the story of the 11 hours and 17 minutes before Emmett came to be.  That’s right – it only took 12 hours from start to finish, which is apparently a pretty speedy labor/delivery considering he is my first baby.

It all started at 12:30 a.m. on January 16.  James and I had been watching our usual episode of Nip/Tuck on DVD in bed before we fell asleep when I started to notice what felt like more substantial Braxton-Hicks contractions.  This continued for another hour and a half before I could fall back asleep.  I think we were both excited at the possibility of  real labor contractions but were still skeptical about it being the real thing.

When I woke up at 3:30 to a slightly more intense contraction, I think we both knew we’d get to meet Baby Lump later that day.  We decided to get out of bed to see if a change of position would ease the pain a little bit, which was still only causing me minor discomfort.  We hung out in the living room and watched some TV as I bounced on the “birthing ball ” (AKA a fitness ball).   This was definitely an improvement.  In fact, I felt so much better that we even questioned whether the whole thing was a false alarm, which brought light to another dilemma …

We were already scheduled to be at the hospital at 8:30 that morning for Baby Lump’s non-stress test.  Now the question was if we should call our friend Michelle (who had so graciously offered to drive us to the hospital when the time came) so we could bring our hospital bags just in case my labor progressed and they asked me to stay at the hospital.  Surely, a T ride to our doctor appointment while I was having contractions would have been less than ideal, especially if we made it to the hospital and ended up needing our bags.  (Ironically, we never even opened our bags until we made it to the post-partum room after delivery.  So much for all those comforting supplies I’d packed for labor like Jolly Ranchers, massage lotion and iPod speakers to make for a soothing labor atmosphere.)

Anyway, it was around 5 a.m., and we decided the best course of action was to call the hospital and ask the advice of the doctor on call.  Lucky for us, our doctor was the doctor on call that night!  The next several minutes were kind of a funny sequence of events, and they went something like this:

5:30 a.m. – I call Dr. Stagg, who says it sounds like I am in early labor and confirms that, yes, we should probably bring our bags to our 8:30 appointment, just in case.

5:35 a.m. – I call Michelle, who sleepily yet excitedly agrees to pick us up at 7:45 for our 8:30 appointment.

5:40 a.m. – I hang up the phone with Michelle, get out of bed to use the bathroom, and (ick!) my water breaks!  After several “ew” noises, I announce to James I’m going to take a shower and that he should call the dr. again.

5:41 a.m. – James calls back Dr. Stagg, who advises us to head on over to the hospital!

5:43 a.m. – James calls back Michelle and asks her to pick us up sooner rather than later.

6:30 a.m. – Michelle picks us up and we head to the hospital with our bags, very excited and pretty calm.

As soon as James and I arrived at the hospital, it was as if someone immediately flipped a switch to the intensity of my contractions.  I remember being in the elevator on the way up to the delivery floor and grabbing onto James so I wouldn’t cause a small scene.  We arrived at the triage room at around 7 a.m., and a midwife determined I was already 5-6 cm dilated!  This time, they knew I was definitely supposed to be there.

The nurses seemed pretty excited at my desire to attempt natural childbirth, and we were admitted to the only room on the floor with a working jacuzzi tub, plus an amazing view of the Charles River.  The contractions started coming with little downtime in between, and the only way I was comfortable was to stand and grip (poor) James’ upper arms.  I had absolutely no desire to be in a sitting or lying down position, so when my nurse, Stephanie, first suggested I try sitting in the tub, I rejected it immediately.  I’m glad she and James were finally able to convince me, because I don’t think I would’ve made it through the whole labor/delivery naturally if I hadn’t been in that tub for most of the active part of labor.  (Keep that in mind if you ever decide on a natural childbirth.)  The buoyancy and warmth of the water worked wonders in relieving the pressure from the contractions.

Emmett Face

Emmett Face

Yes, there were a couple of times when I begged James to let me give up and take the epidural, but he and Stephanie did a great job at assuring me I could do it.  It was also a big help that at 10 a.m. when the doctor checked my progress, I was already 8 cm dilated.  It only took another hour in the tub before I was fully dilated (10 cm) and ready to push at 11 a.m.  Forty-seven minutes of pushing later, Baby Lump was born and James announced that we had a little boy on our hands!

It was absolutely amazing.  I’ll never forget the moment the doctor placed his slimy little purple alien body on my chest – he was beautiful (and even moreso after they wiped him off and he turned pink).  I was expecting the doctors to sweep him away shortly afterward to count his fingers and toes, but they let me keep him there for as long as I wanted.  It was all pretty surreal.  I got exactly the childbirth I wanted (natural and no induction!), I was officially a mom, James and I were officially parents, and best of all, Emmett was perfectly healthy.

Of course, a lot has happened since Emmett was born (it’s just that a certain little man has been keeping me pretty occupied and preventing me from blogging as frequently as I’d like).  Here’s a quick summary:

  • We chose the name Emmett while we were still in the delivery room, but it took us a while to announce it because of a slight name-spelling discrepency between James and me.
  • We had a little bit of a jaundice scare and almost had to leave Emmett in the hospital for a few extra days (Luckily, the doctors deemed him good to go and we were discharged as scheduled on January 18 – Emmett was able to experience his first snow!).
  • My mom stayed with us for the first week and was a huge help with the transition.
  • Emmett has already had his first doctor visit (plus a follow-up!), which included his first trip on the T.  Interesting fact: Emmett only lost two ounces in the hospital, but gained 6 oz. back by his first doctor visit 2 days later!  (Doctors prepare you to expect them to lose 1 lb. within the first week – what a piggy!)  As of his second doctor appointment last Thursday, Emmett already weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz.!
  • We gave him his first sponge bath at home the other day – I think he was a fan.
  • He lost his umbilical cord stump on the 26th, revealing quite a cute little outie belly button.

Last but not least –  a huge thank you to everyone who has sent me and James congratulatory messages over the past couple weeks via text, facebook, twitter, etc.  I wish I had the time to thank each of you individually!

Age Timer: 12 days old

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Say Hello To Baby Lump – AKA Emmett James Vaughan

January 18, 2009 17 comments

As I’m sure many of you have heard by now, Baby Lump is no longer a man of mystery.  First of all, yes, he’s a (little) man (or “eo” man, as my dad would say).  Although I definitely plan on posting a more detailed story about his birth once we all get a little more settled in, I figured I’d write up a quick little summary of the highlights of the past two days, mainly using pictures:

First, the cold, hard facts:

Full Name: Emmett James Vaughan

Birth date/time: Friday, January 16, 2009 – 11:47 a.m.

Weight: 7 lbs. 15 oz.

Length: 22 inches (long and lanky)

Length of Labor: 12 hours (7 at home, 5 at the hospital)

Apgar Scores: 8 and (then) 9

Now, some highlights:

  • I survived without succumbing to the mercy of meds/epidural!  (Although I will admit there were a couple of times when I almost caved.)
  • James was an amazing coach and the main reason I was able to pull off childbirth naturally.
  • I popped out the muffin in the best room on the labor/delivery floor (jacuzzi tub, view of the Charles River, LARGE).
  • Emmett pooped all over me right after we met, much to my delight (I’m guessing he was determined not to hit that 8 lb. mark).
  • Emmett was born on the coldest day of the year (thus far), and experienced his first snowstorm during his third day of life.
  • The nurses and doctors who took care of Emmett and me at MGH were fantastic.
  • Emmett handled the circumcision like a total champion.
  • Overall it was a very smooth and quick delivery/recovery!

And now, the pictures you all probably scrolled down to the bottom first to see:

Emmett's Apgar test moments after birth.

Emmett's Apgar Test Moments after Birth

Mom, Dad & Baby Lump Emmett

Mom, Dad & Baby Lump Emmett

Grandma Lucy

Grandma Lucy

Grandpa Mac

Grandpa Mac

Father and Son

Father and Son

Old Man Emmett / Emmett the Worm

Old Man Emmett / Emmett the Worm

Mom & Her Little Man

Mom & Her Little Man

A Perfectly Wrapped Baby Burrito

A Perfectly Wrapped Baby Burrito

Mom, Dad & Baby

Mom, Dad & Baby

Emmett on the Go

Emmett on the Go

Grandma Kathy

Nana

Aaaaaah ... Home Sweet Home

Aaaaaah ... Home Sweet Home

Grandio & Nana

Grandio & Nana

Oliver Investigating the New Hooman

Oliver Investigating the New Hooman

Oven Timer: Off

Maximum Days Until We Meet Baby Lump: -2

A Birds Date Poem from Dad

January 14, 2009 4 comments

So my family does this cute little thing where we call one’s birthday his or her “birds date.”  Today I received this lovely little poem in my inbox from my father dearest:

baby-cupcake

awesome cupcake baby

Happy Birthday to my youngest daughter,

Who waits in Boston for the breaking of her water.

Will Lil Lump choose this day to make her a mama?

Or is he/she waiting for the inaugural of Obama?

Regardless, today you’re three and twenty.

So I hope you enjoy your day aplenty.

You’ve officially made it to U-24!

Is it cold up in Boston?  I blame Al Gore.

Thanks, Dad!

I’ve been overwhelmed will all of the birthday wishes today.  Thank you to everyone who has wished me a happy birds date on facebook, twitter and via text message or phone call (I can’t believe how many of you there have been, and the day is only half over!), and thanks in advance to those who will do so later today.  I feel so special because of you!

As for sharing a birthday with Baby Lump, it doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case at this point.  Even if I went into labor right now … Wait a minute … No … That was just a swift baby kick to the rib … Anyway, even if I went into labor right now, I doubt my labor would be speedy enough to enable me to pop out a baby by midnight.  And though, yes Lauren, it would’ve been “totally cosmic” to share a birthday with my baby, I agree with my mother that Baby Lump should have his/her own day to celebrate.  Besides, that will totally mean I get to chow down on two separate birthday cakes within the span of one week for the rest of my life!  Not too shabby …

Oven Timer: 40 weeks, 2 days (OVERDUE!)

Maximum Days Until We Meet Baby Lump: 8

It’s (A Different Kind of) D Day

January 12, 2009 2 comments

oven-timerNo, I’m not talking about the invasion of Normandy during World War II.  I’m talking about my due date (Maybe it should be DD Day?).  Well, it looks as though I won’t be one of those few women who has her baby on her due date.  (Less than 10 percent actually do!)  My oven timer must have broken.  I’m also still pretty suspicious of Baby Lump’s scheming plot to steal my birthday.

Maybe not though.  According to my doctor’s visit today, I haven’t really progressed at all since last week.  Although the baby’s head is low and I feel like I’ve been having a lot more Braxton Hicks contractions, I’m still only two centimeters dilated, so my status is pretty much the same as it was during my last visit.  I guess my little tenant just finds me a much too comfortable mom motel to check out of.  I prefer to think of myself as a five star hotel actually.

I do, however, have an appointment for my induction.  It was originally scheduled for next Tuesday (January 20), but I was able to reschedule it for a few days later to give myself more time to go into labor naturally.  It looks as though the launch of Baby Lump will be initiated on the morning of January 23 at the latest, which means he/she could possibly share a birthday with (Boston’s beloved) John Hancock and, – even better – Tiffani-Amber Thiessen!  I guess you could say that on January 23, I’ll be saved by the bell.  Ha.  Ha.  (cricket, cricket)

The countdown begins – either way, there are only (at max) ten more days left of a pregnant me!

Oven Timer: 40 weeks!!!

(Maximum) Days Until We Meet Baby Lump: 10

Yup. Still Pregnant.

January 8, 2009 5 comments

cartoon36Okay, okay, I know I haven’t exactly made it to my “due date” yet (Monday), but I’m not going to lie – I’m getting pretty anxious.  After all, your due date is really only the date that falls in the middle of when you’re expected to deliver (between 37 and 42 weeks), so technically “any day now” has been going on for 18 days already.  Less than 10 percent of mothers actually deliver on their due dates.  I think I’m allowed to be anxious.  I’ve been adding the disclaimer “if I haven’t had Baby Lump by then” to everything I say for the past two and a half weeks.

Everyone keeps saying I’ll go into labor when I least expect it, but honestly, I’m ready and expecting it all the time, so I hope that doesn’t mean I won’t go into labor on my own.  I even have the Contraction Master bookmarked on my browser just in case James and I are incapable of doing simple calculations in the chaos of the moment.  I’ve speculated that Baby Lump may just be trying to steal my birthday (next Wednesday, January 14) – what a little thief!

Anyway, if by Monday I haven’t had Baby Lump, my doctor wants me to schedule my induction to occur between weeks 41 and 42  (January 19-26), which gives me mixed feelings.  For one thing, labor that is induced is much more intense and difficult to deal with, which doesn’t exactly support my plan for an unmedicated birth.  On the other hand, it does mean there is an end in sight – I’ll get to choose which day I’ll meet Baby Lump, and hey, I won’t be pregnant anymore!  (Although it does kind of mess with the unbiased nature of the birth stats guesses, date-wise.)

In any event, James and I are ready and raring to go.  My bags are packed, we’re stocked up with supplies (thanks for all the gifts, everyone!) and mentally, we’re both prepared to be parents (as much as we’re going to be anyway).  We still haven’t decided on a boy’s name, but we’ve got a few top ones picked out and pretty much agreed to decide when we meet him, if that’s his flavor.

Any day now! (crossing fingers)

Oven Timer: 39 weeks, 3 days

Meet Baby Lump-Routan

January 2, 2009 5 comments

I can’t believe I missed this when I wrote the post about Volkswagen’s awesome Routan, “have a baby for love, not German engineering” campaign. Maybe they hadn’t come out with the RoutanBabymaker3000 at that point, but yesterday I came across it on this really awesome dad blog I occasionally read called “Noodad.” Basically, the RoutanBabymaker3000 allows you to “make a baby without actually ‘making’ a baby.”

Have a Routan baby with a loved one or a person you hardly even know.  Just find the right mate, and make a baby so adorable you just can’t help but love.

I took the liberty of making a Routan baby with James to determine what Baby Lump might look like.  It should be interesting to see if our real baby bears a resemblance to his/her Routan baby counterpart, which looks to be a boy.  (And I’m hoping we’ll find out fairly soon …)

Click the picture to check out a more animated version of Baby Lump-Routan.

Click the picture to check out a more animated version of Baby Lump-Routan.

Oven Timer: 38 weeks, 4 days

New Year, No (Real) Baby

January 1, 2009 3 comments

Happy New Year, everyone!  We had our fingers crossed that I’d give birth before midnight last night so we’d get a tax deduction for 2008, but alas, Baby Lump apparently wasn’t ready.  Instead, James and I spent our New Year’s Eve evening out on a nice little dinner-and-a-movie date.  We opted for some Italian fare at Papa Razzi in Boston’s Back Bay – where we caught a bit of the First Night parade – and then saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (a long one, but we liked it!) at the theater near Fenway.  We were even back at the apartment in time to watch the ball drop.  I hope everyone else’s New Year’s plans weren’t ruined by the Boston snowstorm – I modified my New Year’s outfit by wearing a dress with tights and my bright red galoshes (picture) because of the snow.  It was quite a fashion statement :o)

James and me before our dinner-and-a-movie date.

James and me before our New Year's dinner-and-a-movie date.

We may not have had a real baby to join us in celebrating the New Year, but we did have a baby to hang out with on Christmas day.  I mentioned before that my oldest sister, Adrienne is also pregnant.  Well, since we didn’t want our unpregnant sister, Lauren to feel left out, Adrienne bought her an instant infant (“cute as a friggin’ button, with all the fun and practically none of the poop”) this Christmas.  Needless to say, Instant Infant got a little curious as he was checking out the apartment on Christmas day …

Instant Infant wants a diaper change & helps with dirty dishes.

Instant Infant welcomes diaper changes and even helps with the dirty dishes!

Instant Infant hangs out in the bathroom, likes sports, & apparently is not afraid of heights.

Instant Infant enjoys hanging out in the bathroom, likes sports & apparently is not afraid of heights.

Instant Infant already comes Web-savvy!

Instant Infant already comes Web-savvy!

Oven Timer: 38 weeks, 3 days

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