Archive | June, 2017

And then there was a Beetle

29 Jun

So here I was at exactly 40 weeks pregnant and no baby ! We knew baby had been low for a while  and there was a period during week 36-37 with daily contractions and pelvic pressure when I felt I would be in labor any day and was pleasantly surprised each day  to wake up  still pregnant. After week 38, once I had faith that baby was growing fine and that mom was now here to help with Bandar, I  had  increased my activity levels significantly with daily 4 mile walks , still doing 4 floors at work several times a day and clocking  roughly 10k steps both days of the weekend.  My coworkers took bets on when I would be in labor , but Beetle clearly was staying put. My contractions were not at a frequency that would warrant going to the hospital and I stopped timing them with the app. 

Anyway , I started my maternity leave on my due date and spent the day cleaning out two closets at home with mom, getting a little more organized for baby and playing with Bandar once she was home from school. I also took her and mom to the park and really enjoyed my last few days as a mom of one. The next day , I had a doctor’s appointment and it revealed that I was 3 cm dilated , a cm more than the week before. Though that seemed exciting , I knew dilation wasn’t a true indicator of when labor would start. We had set my induction date to later in the week and though induction in itself didn’t perturb me as I had been induced with Bandar, I was not excited about the actual induction date itself as it was not a number I considered lucky for me. I know, this sounds silly and superstitious but this planned induction date was causing me a lot of angst.  Anyway after my doctor’s appointment that week, I made terms with the induction date as it seemed highly unlikely that a baby was going to magically show up with less than 48 hours left for the induction. I spent the rest of the day at home , even giving up on my daily walk as I figured I might as well save some energy for induction day. Bandar was home from school that day and I had fun playing board games with her and reading to her. In the evening, the husbadoo suggested we go to Olive Garden for dinner and we all readily complied. After a hearty dinner, we stopped by the shops for some errands and got home. In all it was a perfect day and little did I know it would be our last one as a family of three!

The next day , I lay in bed for a little while reminding myself of all the things that had to get done in the next 24 hours prior to induction. I then hopped out of bed at around 7:30 am and started to help Mom with Bandar’s lunch and breakfast. Bandar was all set to go to school at 8:15 and as I raced up and down stairs , I noticed my pyjamas were slightly wet. I wondered if I had peed myself but it seemed highly unlikely. I also knew I hadn’t felt my water break – no popping and no gush. Anyway on the husbadoo’s insistence I decided to call the doctor . Meanwhile he went to drop Bandar off at school , Bandar had been looking at the three adults in bewilderment at the water versus pee conversation and it seemed appropriate to get her out of the scene soon. As I waited for the nurse to call me back, I walked around the house aimlessly and didn’t even have the minor contractions I had had the whole week! I spoke to my aunt over the phone at some point and mentioned casually that I was waiting for the nurse to call me back. My aunt who is a doctor immediately told me that it was highly likely to be amniotic at this stage and that one can sprout a leak without having a full gush and that I really should get myself checked out.

The nurse finally called me back. She instructed me to lie down for 20 mins and then walk around for another 20 mins. That way we were giving the fluid a chance to pool up and come out. I was to report back to her in about 45 mins. So that’s exactly what I did. The husband lay next to me and I told him to go to work as he had a few important meetings that day and  I was so convinced that it wasn’t my water. Anyway I am so glad he didn’t take off at that point! When I started walking around , I called my sister to pass the time and after about a 10 min conversation I had to hurry to get off the call as I felt a  small trickle come out if me. Still not significant enough to seem like water breaking . I spoke to the nurse again and she suggested I come in to the clinic to get checked out anyway and bring my hospital bag with me for good measure. So I showered and so did the husband and my mom and we all set off to the clinic. I remember eating a granola bar on the way as I was a tad hungry and knew lunch would probably be delayed till we finished the doctor’s visit. My poor mom and husband didn’t eat a morsel though ! 

Anyway it was almost 11:30 am by the time we were finally at the doctor’s . The husband and I clicked silly selfies as we waited to be seen. My doc came in and I actually apologized for maybe coming in with a silly  false alarm. She told me I had  done the right thing coming in even though it was barely 24 hrs to my induction and that if it was my water we had to get the baby out that day. She also told me that the whole test for fluid with a speculum was going to be quite painful and boy ,was she right ! Anyway, within minutes , she had tested that I did indeed have a leak. So the next stop should be the hospital ! She explained that my lower water bag would probably still have to be broken and that they would probably put me on pitocin to move things along.

I walked out of the clinic with a broad smile on my face, knowing that we were hours from meeting our baby. We decided the best course of action would be for Bandar to stay at school till 6 pm.My mom desperately wanted to be in the room for the birth and I wanted her to be part of   the experience if we could. We got to the hospital and they didn’t check us in till almost 1:45 pm. After the standard nasty IV was started, contractions and heart rate monitoring were set up and the paperwork was done, the doctor on duty stopped by at 2:30 pm . She told me that the first course of action would be to break the rest of the water bag manually to see if that made my contractions any stronger. At that point, the machine was picking up a few weak contractions. We joked around saying  that we wanted the baby out by 6 pm, so that my mom could witness the birth and at that point none of us – doctor,  nurses or family even  thought that it would be reality ! My water was broken and I think I lost 3 lbs with the never ending gush! The doctor mentioned I was about 4 cm dilated too and suggested I get my epidural that I wanted in the next 30 minutes as the anaesthelogist would be between C-sections then and available. I was really conflicted just then – with Bandar I had my epidural at 6 cms dilation and I really didn’t want an epidural when I wasn’t in pain yet and I worried if it would slow down labor. The doctor mentioned again that I would probably get really uncomfortable in 20 minutes and I nodded in disbelief and just asked to have the anaesthelogist check in with me when she was available . 

The doctor went out of the room and as she said in barely 20 minutes my contractions picked up intensity and frequency. There was no need for pitocin at all! My contractions were 5 mins apart and very painful by 3 pm and I was crying and breathing through them as best as I could. I remember thinking I was awfully lucky to be at the hospital at this stage of both my deliveries  instead of laboring at home like they recommend. I really cannot imagine anyone driving over when they are in this much pain at this frequency. Anyway ,the time had come for the epidural and I asked for it , but the anaesthelogist had not finished the C-section she was in yet . So I really had no choice but to breathe through the contractions . I had no doubt in my head by that point that natural labor without an epidural was not for me! I remember asking my mom between tears  at some point how she had delivered two kids all natural . I held the husband ‘s hand and my mom’s in alternation each time I rode the wave of contraction through and cried big loud wimpy  tears. The husband commented that I really had to cut my nails after a particularly nasty claw crushing clutch I bestowed upon him !  At 3:20 pm , the nurse asked if I wanted a dose of pain medication through the IV to take the edge off and my first reaction was to refuse as I expected only two or three more contractions before the epidural would be administered. But the contractions were about 3 minutes or so apart at that point and  the next painful contraction led me to beg for pain meds through the IV. The nurse put it in in about 5 minutes and we continued to wait for the anaesthelogist. The medication barely helped, for me the exhaustion was mainly from them being so close together and not really having any recovery between them.I was also worried as now with them being 3 minutes apart, I also had a very strong urge to push. The pleasant, friendly anaesthelogist finally made it in at 3:40 pm. So in all I really had labored in intense pain for maybe only 1 hour though it seemed like eternity! When the anaesthelogist asked me how I was doing I cheerily  exclaimed  I was more than ready for it ! I worried about sitting still for the epidural in the pain but somehow managed to . The  epidural was administered skillfully and like last time the anticipation of sweet relief was enough to make me not worry about the pain of it’s actual administration. Also it seemed much less painful thsn my memory of it from almost 5 years ago . I asked when it would take effect and they told me it would be about 20 minutes. The anaesthelogist left the room and I worked through a few more contractions in tears waiting for the epidural to kick in. I found my right side get numb in about 15 minutes but my left side of my abdomen and body could feel every contraction. The contractions were much stronger at this point and I worried if for some reason the epidural wasn’t going to work on my left side at all. The sensation to push was still strong as well and the nurse checked my dilation at 4:10 pm to exclaim that I was completely dilated to 10 cm and that she could feel the head. She figured that it was a combination of the time the epidural taking to act and  my fast dilation that still led me to be in so much pain. Now more than pain, I was on full blown panic mode. I told everyone in the room that there was no way that I had the mental or physical strength to push out a baby feeling all this pain. I wanted the relatively pain free experience as I had had with Bandar. I cried that I was already at a 10 and begged for the anaesthelogist to be brought in again. The nurse comforted me saying thet would not let me push until I was comfortable and that most women would kill to be in my position and dilate so quickly. She also said they my pushing itself was going to be quick .

The anaesthelogist was brought in again at 4:30 pm and I was finally given a stronger dose. My left side got numb in about 15 mins but I could feel enough of a sensation to push. This was the perfect  state I  had been to push Bandar out and I was now confident that I could do the same this time around . At 4:45 pm , the husbadoo  rang up a friend to go pick up Bandar and made arrangements with Bandar’s  school for the pick up. I was now relieved  as it meant Bandar  would be picked  up and brought to the hospital and would  be able to hopefully  see  her sibling in the next few hours. It also meant my mom could be by my side for the grand finale . I finally relaxed and through those first and  last few minutes of epidural bliss , I pictured Bandar’s face and excitement and motivated myself to get through the pushing bit.

The doctor came in at around 5:00 pm and she and the nurse walked me through pushing. I had forgotten the technique having not taken any classes this time and I found myself puffing up my cheeks unnecessarily each time. After 2-3 attempts I got much better and efficient with my pushes. The doctor kept stepping in and out while I pushed a little with the nurse. My contractions slowed down every time the doc was in the room and she joked that it was best she stay out . I was convinced that at this rate , the baby would probably take a good while to come out . With each push I looked over at the hubsadoo ‘s face as  he stood on my right hand side and it  somehow gave me the strength to power through. At 5:20pm, after maybe 3-4 pushes , the nurse said she could see the head and my mom peeked and saw it too! They offered me a mirror to view the progress and motivate myself  but I really did not want to see or know what exactly was happening  in my nether regions. The doc stepped in at 5:25 pm and saw me push again , a little more head was visible – about the size of a quarter they told me. The doctor turned around to get her gloves on and then turned to face me again and gave almost a leap to catch the baby  and she calmly said that the shoulders and arms were out! I was shocked. I had not even pushed at that point. The baby was literally shooting out of me by itself! In a microsecond the doctor was holding up a baby for us to see!

As  we had  agreed that the husbadoo would announce the gender, we all had our eyes on him  and in the excitement he really couldn’t make out what it was. So for the next few seconds I heard a doubtful  “boy” from him,a definite  “girl” from mom , a quizziical “girl” from the doc  and then finally a confirmatory  ” it’s a girl! ” from the husbadoo before I knew for sure what we had ! Our precious baby girl was placed on my chest and the husband cut the cord . Beetle gave a few cries that reminded me of a little kitten for some reason. I marvelled at her features and full head of hair. She looked different from Bandar in more ways than one that first day and this surprised me as I somehow had expected both my girls to look very alike. As the doctor started the long process of sewing me up, I enquired about the damage and found out I had a third degree tear – Beetle catapulting out of me at that speed had resulted in this . Though I knew this made for an awful recovery in the days and weeks to come , at that point I barely cared . I had my parenting years  ahead of me  with the love of my life and best friend rolled into one and we had our  two wonderful girlies and life really seemed to be one sweet song at that moment . It was just past 5:30 pm at that point and I longed for Bandar to get to the hospital!Beetle was weighed and measured and we started some skin to skin. Our friend gsve us a call at 6:10 pm  and let us know Bandar had arrived. My mom went down to pick her up and told the delighted girl that she had a baby sister ! Bandar’s face was absolutely glowing at that point. She didn’t say much when she finally  saw the Beetle but she just stood proudly by Beetle’s side and gazed at her with a huge beaming smile  on her face. She got a picture or two holding Better on her lap with supervision and was reluctant to hand her over. We spent some more time in the Labor room before heading to postpartum to spend the next day and a half. And that my friends, is how life with our little Beetle began for us !


Week 1 with Beetle

29 Jun

Bringing a second child into this world really just makes your heart expand with this additional capacity to love that you never knew you had . And then there’s the added joy of seeing your children interact as siblings and knowing that it’s only the beginning of a beautiful relationship you are going to be able to see grow over the years.

Week 1 with Beetle was hard, painful , joyful and fun,chaotic  all at once ! To start with, I clearly underestimated how hard it would be to add a baby to  our life and go from one kid to two. I always knew Bandar was mature beyond her years and longed for a sibling and assumed the path would smooth once Beetle was home.While Bandar did pretty well with the change , given it’s magnitude , there were a few things we had to work through on Beetle’s first two days home. But we got through it with a game plan and soon had our own sweet Bandar back . 

First, we used Bandar’s reward jar which is essentially a mason jar in which we put in a colored ball for good behavior and remove balls for bad behavior. Once full she gets to choose her treat which is usually some accessory from Target.

 The other is basically me spending one on one time with Bandar everyday, even if just  for 15 mins, on anything of her choosing. This is usually imaginary play that she loves . I try to hand  over Beetle to my mom when I engage Bandar.

I am not naive to think we won’t have any other issues , but I do think we now know how to handle them a bit better than we did on our first day home with Beetle.

Week 1 this time around has been a tad easier with the husbadoo being home the entire week and focusing entirely on the new family unit ,day and night. The last time around with Bandar’s birth , my mom in fact took over all night duties , stationing herself in my bedroom , as it was a busy time in the husbadoo ‘s career and he slept in the guest room and went into work right from the day we got home from the hospital.  I honestly think it led to him and I being disconnected through those first few weeks, mounting tension in the house and flaring tempers. This time around we politely refused my mom’s offer to sleep with Beetle and me and instead urged my mom to sleep for most of the night. As mom is pulling kitchen duty in the daytime, I think this set up let’s her get some rest and also allows the husband and I to be a strong joint force together for most of the night as we deal with the many feedings and other trials.There is a great comfort in just finishing a long exhausting feeding, placing a sleepy baby in the bassinet and fall asleep for a few hours holding hands with your spouse who has weathered the long day with you. 

Having him around has done wonders for  my mood and emotional recovery . I am happy to say that tempers have been in check this week and I actually feel closer to the husband than ever before. Something of course to do with seeing the love of your life transform into a wonderful father for the second time around . At our first pediatrician appointment this week, I looked up between filling forms , and instead of this charming boy who I had fallen in love with at 19 , I saw an attractive man who still gives me the butterflies , especially now that he is sprouting a good mix of grey in his mop of hair ,  holding an infant car seat in one hand and engaging our 4 year old. This scene is one I will keep going back to in my head in the years to come and it undoubtedly reinforces my believe that I choose well and that the last 12 years have been s wonderful journey to get us to this point.

Postpartum recovery is a bitch. There are no two ways about it. I am having a harder time this around and it’s simply because of the nature of the tearing and wounds this time around ( don’t read if this stuff makes you squeamish). I have shed many tears of self pity through this week and have finally decided to just give it time. I  look forward to simple things like sitting up without painkillers and a waffle pillow, going down stairs , a poop without fear and many other things of the same nature. From what I have read , 2 weeks seems to be the magic number and I am being as patient as I can with my recovery. At the end of week 1, I am finally seeing a very slight improvement and have a glimpse at some light at the end of the tunnel. 

Breastfeeding – the gift that keeps giving! I had forgotten how excrutiatingly painful it is to me physically . Undoubtedly we have some latching issues that I will probably have to get some help with soon. And then there is cluster feeding which I am trying to be a champ about this time around but my enthusiasm to provide what I can for my child at 3 am is very different than at 3 pm! 

Beetle herself is a joy to hold and cuddle. I had forgotten the wonderful skin to skin time and how having a newborn on your chest feels like and this time around I am cherishing and holding on to all of it . Ah and the wonderful baby smell , soft skin , newborn reflexes and confused stares . It all seems more precious and fleeting this time around. 

Having my mom here has been a comfort in more ways than one. She is more than ready to help in anything baby related and between her and the husbadoo ,I am yet to even change a single diaper myself ! She is also the one person in the world who cares about me more than the kids and everything she wants me to eat or follow for this postpartum period is purely with my interest in mind. So I am playing along and letting her pamper me in the way that she knows.I will miss her immensely when she leaves in a few weeks .

So that was our week 1 !

Introducing Beetle!

29 Jun

I am excited to announce that our baby girl , Beetle made her appearance about a week ago ! She didn’t wait till her scheduled eviction date from the womb and choose instead to come on her own terms a day prior. I will write up her birth story this week for the blog as a separate post. Meanwhile, we are basking in this new blissful world as parents of two wonderful little girls  , despite the painful postpartum recovery and sleep deprivation. More to come soon!

Around here 

16 Jun

I am less than a week away from my due date and here is a glimpse of life around here. This is going to be such a jumbled post, hopefully one day the baby can read it and get a feel for how we were feeling and how we were doing a few days prior to his/her birth.

My mom arrived a few weeks ago and brought with her a huge wave of relief for both the husband and I. Leading up to the last week prior to her arrival, I was doing less and less around the house and the husband more and more . it was pure relief to have an adult around to take on some of his load. Also just knowing we no longer had to make that 4 am call to anyone to drop Bandar off added to the calm.

With mom here, I have been eating and eating and eating. All my food aversions seemed to have disappeared out of the window at this point and there is a certain comfort that only your mom’s cooking can provide. So I have been packing on the pounds these last few weeks. I am so glad I was eating healthy and exercising regularly until I got to this point though. I am actually probably going to end this pregnancy a good 10 lbs lower than I was with Bandar and I for one am happy.

Bandar has been getting some quality time with her Grandmom. We shortened Bandar’s preschool day by half and she now is home with my mom in the afternoons. I am glad she is getting this 1×1 time with my mom that is super rare when they usually meet for 2 weeks of the year. With an another adult in the mix with their own way of doing things, and Bandar being at an age where her peers influence her behavior so much, I have noticed an extra oodle of sass in a lot of her interactions at home, especially with my mom. I have been trying my best to nip it in the bud and am thankful she still shows remorse and makes a genuine effort to control her temper and tongue as best she can for her 4.5 years old. Rudeness from a child, however young she may be especially towards an adult, is unacceptable in my book.

I had a baby sprinkle at work and for the umpteenth time felt blessed to work with a bunch of fun and fabulous women. I also had a sprinkle with some close friends outside of work and it was small, cozy and perfect in every way.  I have to thank my mom for this as it was purely on her insistence to celebrate the new life. Considering I am terribly judgmental of baby showers/sprinkles for second born babies, this took some convincing for me to agree to, but in the end I am glad she pushed me to do it.

We have got most of the baby and mommy essentials done at this point . Atleast to see us through the first few weeks. Of course, I am sure we have forgotten something or another and will need a quick shop run, but on the whole, I feel way more organized this time around and am ready to face the hurricane that is going to hit us in a few short weeks.

On the Bandar front, she has brand new Big Sister Scrubs to wear to the hospital to see baby, I have a gift for her from baby packed and ready and she is ready to welcome her little sibling. She is currently super thrilled that baby is now finally the size of a watermelon and ready to come out. We giggle together as we bite into juicy watermelon ourselves and patiently wait.

The husbadoo has been working around the clock to get a load of office work done before baby arrives. However with my mom here, we have been able to get some walks together and a movie and overall unexpected couple time. This was very much needed though we didn’t realize it at this point .It somehow relaxes us both and makes us feel closer prior to our lives changing for the better in a few days.

My last day at work is this Friday, and through this last week I have been treating every day like it may be my last. I thought I would have a hard time disconnecting from work but I am surprisingly ready for it and well confident of the transition plan I have laid out.

Baby puts us through a fine dance every night with random contractions. Though off late they have had a frequency and can’t really be classified as random any more. But still not at the frequency and intensity that would warrant going to the hospital. Before I make the 30 minute drive there, I want to be sure it is the real deal. So we end up waiting it out and going back to sleep a tad disappointed that it means one more day without baby.

I am keeping our weekends and precious Bandar time packed with activity in the meanwhile. We went to the county fair which is an event Bandar looks forward to every year and the safari park last weekend and I ended up walking close to 10k steps and 8k steps on both days respectively. But of course, those didn’t move baby. It seems comfy, happy and secure and though I am eager to finally meet it, at this point I am okay with it growing a little more.