Who's Tater? And why are you waiting on them?

"Tater" is Deena & Mikel's affectionate name for their baby (expected arrival: August 2010).  Mikel's daddy called him "Tater Bug" as a child, and Mikel has always wanted a "Tater Bug" of his own.  So, while we are waiting to find out if the baby's a boy or a girl, we have chosen to call them the ever-so-gender-neutral "Tater."

This blog was created to keep friends, family, and anyone who's interested update on what's going on with Tater, our preparations for Tater, and our general musings about Tater.  I'll update this as often as I can (and see if I can convince Mikel to write a post or two as well...). 

Thanks for stopping by and checking in on Tater!

The Countdown is On!

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Tater’s Here!

Miss Arabella Marie Riley has made her appearance in this world!  For those interested, here’s her birth story… I’m writing this all out while I have a shot at remembering the details.  So, what I’m saying, this post is mainly for me – ha!  Sorry to those of you who just want to know she’s here.  This may be TMI for some you (Kara)  Anywho… here we go!

At about 10:30 AM on Friday, August 6, I was running around the house getting a few things done – putting away my laundry, doing a couple of loads of Miss A’s laundry, etc.  I was running around the house and felt… moisture… you get the idea.  It wasn’t anything like the water breaking experiences you see in the movies, so I decided to send a text to Mikel, who was at work, to let him know that shenanigans may have been afoot and monitor the situation.

I had plans to have lunch with various members of my family and needed to leave the house at 11:00.  By the time I left the house, I still couldn’t tell if we were “game on” yet, so off I went.  I called my OB’s office, which was on the way to lunch, to see if they had a way of telling my water broke at the office, and they advised me just to go to labor & deliver (hereafter referred to as “L&D”) if I suspected that my water had broken.  Wanting to avoid a “false alarm,” which we had a week before, I decided to just keep going to lunch.

I got to the restaurant, met my Mom and my Nana, and promptly excused myself to the restroom to check on things.  It was then I realized that, yes, my water had mostly likely broken.  I went back out and told them what I suspected.  My mom drove me to the hospital, which was just down the road while I called Mikel and told him that he may want to start heading towards the hospital.  We got there about noon.

Let me note, at this point I had not eaten all day.  I slept a little late that day and decided to just wait to eat until I had lunch.  I hadn’t eaten anything since the evening before (a Prin Pub-type shake for those of you curious)… those of you who have had a baby know where I’m going with this…

We made it to the hospital and I was taken to a L&D room so they could determine if my water had actually broken for sure.  They were able to do a test on some of the fluid, and indeed, my water had broken!  Baby time!

Mikel arrived not too terribly long after they had gotten me settled into “labor mode.”   They put an IV in my hand (it took them 3 tries) and had started me on Pitocin as I was not really contracting on my own.  Mikel and I indulged in at little Food Network action, even though I was officially not allowed to eat anything until Miss A was here (please reference the paragraph 2 before this one to gauge my hunger…).

At about 4:30, I went ahead and asked for my epidural and by about 5:00, Keith, the magic man, had arrived and gotten me set up.  I was told I had a great epidural – I was nice and numb (Mikel was impressed at the strength of the contractions I couldn’t feel), but I still had “excellent” mobility according to the nurses.

My progress was slow – I arrived at the hospital dilated to 3 cm, but had only made it to about a 4 at this point.  My doc arrived around 6:00 to check things out, and realized that my water had never completely broken.  She took care of that issue and labor began to progress much more quickly.

By about 8:00 or so, Miss A’s heart started slowing down with each contraction.  My doc determined that her umbilical cord was probably being compressed in some way with each contraction and ordered an amnio-infusion – in other words, she decided to put water back in to me to try to float the cord into a better position.  Yeah.  Fun.  She also had me in a position called a “go fast” – basically twisting one leg over the other and putting it into the opposite stirrup while lying on my side.  It was fairly uncomfortable as it was, and I couldn’t imagine being in this spot without the epidural.  Luckily, it seemed to help the whole cord situation because Miss A stopped having decelerations.

I made it to about 8 cm and stalled out again.  At about 11:45, Keith came back in because I was starting to feel more things (so I thought) and boosted my epidural.  I later realized that there was more to this…

At midnight, things got interesting.  The epidural boost had made me very drowsy and I had been cat napping for a few minutes.  While I was dozing, I heard some alarm going off, but was too conked to be able to ask Mikel what was going on.  My doc came in and said that I was going to be having this baby a different way and that the operating room was prepped for my c-section.  She said that normally she didn’t mind too much if the baby was having heart decelerations with contractions as long as the mom was progressing towards delivery, but she wasn’t pleased with my lack of progress and it was time to go to another route.  I must have made quite the face (probably a horrified face) because she offered to check me one last time before taking me back for the c-section.  She checked and said something like “I think there’s been a little change here…” and told me with the next contraction she wanted me to push.  So, I pushed and I’m pretty sure she manually stretched me to a 10 with that contraction.

She decided to let me have a go at a natural labor and told me it was going to involve forceps.  Yikes.  She also told me that I was going to have to be pretty successful with this route fairly quickly or else we were going right back to the c-section.  So, I wasn’t going to argue with the forceps.

The “Pit Crew” came in – a bunch of L&D nurses for me and Nursery nurses for Miss A had the room set up for delivery in about 5 minutes.  I was incredibly numb – we later realized that boost of epidural “for my comfort” was actually a boost big enough to get me through the c-section I hadn’t been told I was having yet.  Once everything was set up, I was told to push with all my might with the next contraction (forceps were engaged at this point).  I did the best I could considering that I couldn’t feel a dang thing.  My eyes were closed in concentration but Mikel told me that I was making progress.  I pushed 4 times with the first contraction and everyone in the room was telling me I was almost there, including Mikel.  I took a break between contractions, and then we were off again.  While I was in the midst of pushing through this second contraction, I was told to open my eyes – she was here!  Mikel said he was impressed with my fortitude to get her out.  Ha!

She was born at 12:33 AM on August 7.  She weighed in at 7 lbs 5 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long.  We’re both doing great.  I had relatively little damaged considering how quick her delivery went.  We’re both at home now and “real” photos are in the offing!  I’ll be sharing those soon!

Nesting vs. Exhaustion vs. The Cat

Sorry this blog has been so lax on newsy posts this summer.  It has truly been a whirlwind of a time.  We’ve completely redone 3 rooms in the house (old office is now the photography studio, old guest room is now the office, old junk room is now the nursery), ripped out the carpet in 75% of our house and stained the concrete (well, my Mom and one of her best friends did the actual staining, while Mikel did the finish work), had multiple baby classes, baby showers (including a spur of the moment one thrown by my mother-in-law), miscellaneous errands to run, and on top of all of this, my family suffered the very sudden loss of my Uncle which threw us all for a loop.  So needless to say, while there has been a lot to say and things to share, blogging was put in the background for the time being.

So, this morning, I decided to regale you with a little peek into my life.  In the past few weeks, the famous “nesting” instinct has kicked in.  I have washed baby clothes, cleaned rooms in the house (as much as Mikel will let me help), gotten bags packed for the hospital, gotten meals made and frozen for our first few weeks at home, and generally try to get as many things organized and prepared as possible.

With this instinct comes a hint of exhaustion.  You see, my brain is like a police scanner (a trait I apparently inherited from my mom) – I think of one thing to do, make a mental note, and then my brain goes on to the next thought.  Usually, this isn’t a problem – I’m good at handling it because I’ve been this way my entire life.  The women in my family are great multi-taskers because of it.  With the nesting phase, however, this police scanner tendency keeps me up late into the night and wakes me up early in the morning.  Combine that with how difficult it is to get comfortable at night, and we’re looking at only a couple of hours of sleep.  I hear this practice sleep deprivation will come in handy once she gets here, but for now, it’s just a little annoying.

So, I’m nesting.  I’m exhausted.  But, I’m coping and amusing myself in the process.  Here’s where the Cat comes into play…

This morning, I woke up as usual – mind already going a million miles a minute with things that could get done today “You want to update the photography website… work on the Christmas card samples for later this year… get a load or 2 of laundry done… edit those last couple of sessions…” – you get the gist.  Then the exhaustion sets in… “eh.  The sheets are clean enough.  I don’t need to do a load of laundry right now…”.  Literally a thought I had.  Then I sat down for a minute to read another new mommy’s blog and ponder what I *might* do in a few minutes.  While I was reading the first paragraph of the new post by this mommy, the Cat, our dear beloved Spud – our first born, our furry son, the light of our lives – puked all over my side of the bed.  Luckily, I hadn’t made the bed yet, so he only got the sheets and not the dry clean only comforter.  But, EW!

So, I guess the Cat (and Nesting) wins out over Exhaustion.  Sheets are in the laundry now.  Thanks, Spud, for giving Mommy a little motivation.

What’s Cookin’ :: Weeks 37-Delivery (Month 9)

We’ve made it!

Your Baby: Month 9

At week 37, your pregnancy is considered full term, meaning baby is likely to thrive after birth. Baby spends these last weeks in preparation for the outside world… meaning careful refinement of the blink, suck, inhale and exhale. Meconium, which you’ll probably find in the first diaper, is accumulating in the intestines. If (okay, as) you worry about giving birth, consider what it’s like for the little one. During the journey out of your womb, baby will produce more stress hormones than any other time in life.

In case you haven’t been checking my photo blog, a little tour of her nursery can be found here:-)

What’s Cookin’ :: Weeks 33-36 (Month 8)

Your Baby: Month 8

Baby’s senses are continuing to improve — when light peeks in through your (extremely) stretched belly, those tiny eyelids and irises blink and dilate. And, baby can now recognize and react to simple songs… time to start practicing your lullabies! Growth (at least inside your womb) is starting to slow, and you may notice baby descend into your pelvis at the end of this month.

Updates, fun questionnaire style!

So, I’m woefully behind here. I have 2 showers now to blog about, all kinds of happenings happening around here in regards to the baby room, etc. I’ll get to them in the next week or so (right?! Right.). But for now, I’ll give you an update on all things Arabella in a fun questionnaire I found somewhere in the blogger-verse. :-)

How far along? 31 Weeks, 1 Day

Total weight gain/loss: 4 Pounds. Yes. 4. I finally got the guts up to ask the nurse at my bi-weekly check in this week to see my weight chart, and was SHOCKED to see that it was only 4 pounds. I’m kinda proud really. Don’t worry though – this is a net weight gain situation. I dropped a lot of weight in the first trimester due to nausea, etc. So, I’ve technically gained all of that weight back plus 4 pounds. But, I think saying “Yes, I’ve only gained 4 pounds this pregnancy” sounds way more impressive. Hehe!

Maternity clothes? Oh yes. Some things are already retired (die, maternity jeans, die), but I’m definitely in full force maternity clothes.

Stretch marks? I’ll spare you the details, but yes. Oy.

Sleep: Not too bad. Able to sleep pretty well. I usually get up once or twice a night to go to the bathroom, but that’s not too bad. Last night was rough – I really started overheating and had to take a break from the bed and sit in the recliner in our room to let me side of the bed cool off some.

Best moment this week: Finding out I have only gained 4 pounds, getting a call from my 3D ultrasound place offering me a free session so they can train a new tech. We’ll go in this week!

Movement: So much that we’ve dubbed her “Native American Name” to be Sackaweasels.

Food cravings: Nothing on a consistent basis. When something sounds good, it sounds GOOD and must be had though.

Gender: Very much a girl. No concerns there that they’re wrong.

Labor Signs: None. At all.

Belly Button in or out? In. For now.

What I miss: Being able to walk around for more than 30 minutes without feeling completely spent. I was at the mall this past week for a relatively short time, and I practically had to take a nap when I got home.

What I am looking forward to: Getting our house put back together – we’re staining concrete this week and the house is a wreck. Can’t wait to clean out the baby’s room (AGAIN – it had to be used as storage for the concrete staining process) and to start getting things organized!

Weekly Wisdom: Me? Wisdom? Hmm… Lay off restaurant food if you want to reduce swelling. I had some MAJOR ankle swelling episodes a couple of weeks ago that are all but gone thanks to us eating at home more.

Milestone: Did I mention that my doc set our induction date at our appointment this week? No? Well, mark your calendars… if she doesn’t come on her own before then, I will be induced on August 10! Eeek! Less than 2 months to go!

What’s Cookin’ :: Weeks 29-32 (Month 7)

Yikes!  Long time, no post!  I know I’m waaaay behind – we’ve had baby shower #1 at my school and a super cool 3-D ultrasound to share!  I will do that soon (after all… there are only 4 days of school left!)

Baby’s energy is surging, thanks to the formation of white fat deposits beneath the skin. (Have those kicks and jabs to the ribs tipped you off yet?) Baby is also settling into sleep and waking cycles, though — as you’ve also probably noticed — they don’t necessarily coincide with your own. Also this month, all five senses are finally functional, and the brain and nervous system are going through major developments.

(P.S. – New post category – Third Trimester!!!)

What’s Cookin’ :: Weeks 25-28 (Month 6)

Your Baby: Month 6

Let your spouse put an ear to your belly — he might be able to pick up baby’s heartbeat (no stethoscope required). Inside the womb, the formation of tiny capillaries is giving baby a healthy pink glow. Baby’s also soaking up your antibodies, getting the immune system ready for life outside the womb. Eyes are forming, and baby will soon perfect the blink — perfect for batting those freshly grown lashes.

Still here!

We’re all still here, I promise!  It’s been a busy couple of weeks… lots of photo shoots, editing, educating youth, etc.  Not a whole heck of a lot has been going on besides Bella’s regular kicking and flipping and turning – it’s always reassuring to feel her do her tricks.  I’m also starting to look “pregnant” – people I don’t know are coming up and asking me when she’s due.  We’ve been working a little on her room.  Most everything has been sorted, tossed, or put in the garage sale pile.  We’re working slowly but surely.  I’m betting that most of the work on her room will be completed during the first couple of weeks of summer vacation.  We finally got her registries organized… it was a bit of a race to get them done because my fab coworkers offered to throw us a baby shower on May 12!  I can’t believe that her first shower is only a couple of weeks away.

I have my regular check up with the OB on Thursday.  This one should be an in-and-out kind of thing.  No big deal.  The next one is the biggie – my 28 week appointment.  Glucose tolerance test, rhogam shots (I’m Rh Negative)… oh joy!  And not long after that we’ll go to check ups every 2 weeks.  I can’t believe that we’re already rounding that corner towards her big arrival.

I’ve also chosen the photog who will be doing her family photos once she arrives!  I’m so excited!  Of course, I’ll be taking about a billion pictures of her on my own, but I sorta want to have pictures where, you know, I’m with her!  Ha!

In other news, I’ll be turning 27 this week… yikes!  It’s quite the significant day… I’ll be 27 on the 27th and there will only be 27 days of school left that day!  Hehehe

What’s Cookin’ :: Weeks 22-24 (Month 5)

Ok, Mama… can you guess the fruit?!

Your Baby: Month 5

Watch what you say — baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby’s starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out when — just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.