Ok - so I lied

This writing coherent thoughts while taking care of a newborn, recovering from a c-section and healing my back thing isn't quite working like I thought it would. Of course, I didn't count on sciatica complicating things. I'm still working on the birth story and will have it up soon.

Yes, my back is still bothering me. I've visited my chiropractor twice now since leaving the hospital a week and a half ago and while my back is 100% better, it's still not better. Meaning that while I can mostly walk around the house and do a couple of things here and there like take care of the baby without sobbing (something I couldn't do the first couple of days we were home), I'm still pretty much housebound and will remain this way for at least a few more days.

What I should have done was visit my chiropractor the day before Phoebe was born. I had an appointment scheduled for that morning. But, I talked myself out of it because I thought all my problems were because of the baby resting on the nerve. But unbeknownst to me, my hip was out too and that really caused a massive amount of inflammation.

So, two chiro visits later, a little rest, some well placed ice packs and massive amounts of Advil and Vicodin and I'm at 75%. This is a huge improvement over when I first got home. Then, I would say I was at 25% - maybe lower. Add in a healthy dose of baby blues and you have one unhappy new momma.

Now, for my friends who know my history of depression, I know what you're thinking. The difference here is how I feel. When I've been depressed, there was a certain amount of hopelessness - that feeling that things would never improve but would just stay miserable forever. This is different. I know that things will improve, but I am frustrated and impatient and want said improvement NOW!!

Also, I am crying a lot. I don't cry when I'm depressed. I rave. I rant. I pull into myself and don't talk. This is like PMS on acid. I get weepy over commercials and lyrics from songs. I'm also crying a lot in frustration - see above.

During depressive episode, I also have a tendency to want to stick close to the house. This time? I'm itching to get out. It's only my back and the fact that I have a 13 day old infant that keeps me at home.

Yes, I said a 13 day old infant. How incredible is that?

What should have never happened - did. What miracle and a joy she is! She is without a doubt the happiest baby I've seen. You may call her smiles gas, but I'm going to say she's happy. She is quite content with herself and seems to just take joy in being alive.

Something we can all learn from...

There's more coming tomorrow.. I PROMISE!!

Now that we've been home for a few days and I'm feeling a little better, I wanted to take a chance to thank everyone for their good wishes. It was great to check e-mail on my cell phone and see so many good thoughts coming our way.

In keeping with my tendency towards full disclosure here, I am writing a really long post about our birth story. Look for it to be online tomorrow - Saturday at the latest.

Here's a pic to tide you over...

First pic of Spider Monkey

From: John Saye <gaariel@yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 2:53 PM
To: Amanda Saye <hyppychick@yahoo.com>
Subject: Phoebe

Sent from my iPhone

She's here! Phoebe Elizabeth joined the world at 9:18 this morning. She weighs 8 pounds and 15 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long.

She's here! Phoebe Elizabeth joined the world at 9:18 this morning. She weighs 8 pounds and 15 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long.

This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

Tomorrow is the DAY!!

We're scheduled for a c-section tomorrow at 9:30 AM.

I am excited, scared, ready.

As soon as I or Moo can operate the cell phone, I'll send some photos to the blog. Meanwhile, my brain is too busy to put together a serious entry.

Her lungs are now mature and we're ready to rock and roll!!!

Third time is the charm and my ass hurts!!

Ok, so Friday was the second amnio to check Spider Monkey's lung maturity. I first had an appointment at House O'Babies with nice midwife Lois and then it was next door to the perinatologist's office for the amnio.

Lois assured me that the pelvic girdle pain I've been feeling is totally normal and that besides a belly belt, there's not a lot we can do. Sigh..

Next it was down the hall to Dr P's office. As I've said before, I really like my perinatologist, but by the end of this last visit, I'd be glad never to see him again.

It took THREE attempts to get the fluid sample. The first one didn't "feel" right. The second one was thwarted by baby's leg - which he tried to move by jostling my belly while the NEEDLE WAS IN MY STOMACH. But it was the last attempt that made me almost jump off the table. The first syringe he drew up was full of blood - not a good sample. He changed out the syringe while the needle was still in my belly and can I say GOOD GRIEF THAT HURTS YOU B!$T!RD?!?!

I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I didn't make a noise through the first two attempts. I just kept my breathing slow and easy and my eyes focused on the ceiling. By the end of the third attempt, I was whimpering and telling him this had better be the last attempt.

I realized as I walked to the car afterwards that the first amnio back on July 1 was a walk in the park compared to this. After that first one, I didn't really have any cramping, just soreness at the injection site. This time, I had painful cramps and thought I'd vomit from the pain.

For the rest of the evening, I lounged on the couch. I had some severe contractions, but they would go away if I changed position or drank something.

Of course, looking back, there was funny moment. I was walking out of Dr P's office after the procedure. You have to walk through the waiting room to exit. As I walked through, I said to myself but loud enough for anyone to hear, "That hurt like a son of a bitch!" I saw more than one preggo look at me in fear and surprise, like what kind of ultrasound did she have?!?! I know a little sick and twisted of me, but you take your kicks where you can when you've been stuck in the belly with a giant needle 3 times!!!

Next appointment is tomorrow (Tuesday) with both another MD at House O'Babies and Dr P to find out results of the amnio.

Saturday, I was feeling a lot better, so Moo and I decided we'd go do something nice and easy. So we went to see Hellboy II - very good, I highly recommend it.

While we were in the theater, I felt SM shift and I think she dropped or lightened or whatever folks call it now. I went into the theater with pelvic girdle pain and left with sciatica. By yesterday morning, I was finding it difficult to walk.

This morning, I'm ok, but the sciatica is incredible. I can stand up with no pain and sit with no pain which is new. With the pelvic girdle issue, both of these were an issue. Now it's moving one foot in front of the other that makes me wince.

My co-workers are amused when I suddenly yell out, "My ASS HURTS!".. Really, these people have no idea of how to deal with me.


I am at a complete loss of what to write here. So many things are happening and not happening all at the same time.

Last time I posted, I told you guys about having an amniocentesis to check Spider Monkey's lung maturity.

On Thursday, I went back to House O'Babies. They had the initial report from the perinatologist stating that the tests suggest immaturity and suggesting a repeat amnio in 10 days. I discussed this with midwife Michael and said that another amnio 10 days later would put us squarely at the end of week 37 and that I had been told that House O'Babies would want to induce/section me the very next week (week 38) according to their protocols so I wasn't sure what the purpose of another amnio was. Michael agreed with me, but said that we needed to discuss further with Dr Potter (the perinatologist).

Spider Monkey was in a funny position on Thursday and it was difficult to get her heartbeat so Michael wanted me to come back on Monday both to consult about the amnio again and to get the NST. Michael also checked my cervix - still no effacement (thinning of the cervical lip) or dilation (opening of the cervical opening).

So I had the whole holiday weekend to decide that I did not want another amnio. I was pretty adament about this.

Monday afternoon found me back at House O'Babies. This time, my appointment was with midwife Stephanie. She took my blood pressure (122/72) and monitored my urine for glucose and protein (still no glucose in the urine - good sign and still a trace of protein - which they aren't worried about right now). Then she strapped me into the NST. We got Spider Monkey's heart beat immediately and got the results we needed pretty quickly. Then, we went on to discuss the situation with the amnio. Stephanie said that she had consulted with one of the OB/GYN's and they wanted Dr Potter to reevaluate the size of the baby and go over the amnio results with me before we decided what to do. Stephanie called Dr Potter's nurse who also thought that we might go ahead and repeat the amnio on my next appointment and wanted to see fresh biophysical profile information.

So Monday night/Tuesday morning, knowing that this appointment was pretty important, I did what I do when in an uncertain situation. I woke up at 2 in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep. As always, my mind was racing. After about 30 minutes, I decided that I'd get up and take a bath.

Should I admit to you how scared I was and am? Should I admit to crying hysterically in the bath tub? Should I admit to all the fears of trouble during delivery I have?

These are real fears. I realize too that these fears are normal for a woman in the 37th week of pregnancy. I also realize that women in the third trimester can be weepy.

I am just so miserable at this point that I will do anything to speed this up. Walking is a joke - my pelvic bones feel like they are grinding when I walk. Sitting doesn't help at all. In fact, sitting for longer than a couple of minutes makes walking even more painful for a few minutes. Lying down barely helps. Like sitting, when I first get up to walk after lying down, it's agony.

So when I got in the tub at 2:30 in the morning, I spent a lot of time crying about the pain I felt, about the fears I have about delivery. I finally got back to sleep about 4:30. So, when the clock went off at 5AM, there was no way in hell I was going to work. Moo was in the tub by then and said he thought I should stay home and that he should take me to my doctor's appointment that afternoon.

So yesterday afternoon, we went in for a full biophysical profile, ultrasound and consultation with Dr Potter.

The baby still looks great. Her growth slowed down a little which is great and means that I'm successfully managing the gestational diabetes. She's gained less than half a pound since the last profile and is now an estimated 8 pounds 4 ounces.

However, Dr Potter told me that the amnio was "terrible". Her lung maturity at 36 weeks 2 days was that of a baby that was 26 weeks. It's too late for steroid injections which would help speed up the maturity and only time will help now. He also recommended another amnio on July 11.

So it's back on Friday for another amnio and I was back in the tub last night hysterical again. This time, I was't worried about delivery. I was crying for my little girl.

The lungs are the last system to mature in babies. Gestational diabetes aggravates this and causes a slow down in the maturation. SM's lungs are nowhere near ready to work on their own and delivery now would probably mean a stay in NICU. I have no idea what any of this means long term. Dr Potter said that her lungs will eventually mature, but whether it's in utero or out is now the question.

I realized this morning on the way to work that I need to think about this another way... my body knows that SM isn't ready to come out. It's not uncommon to begin dialating weeks prior to delivery. But I'm not effacing or dialating, so my body is still holding on to her, still waiting for the perfect time to deliver and I have to have faith in this.

But I still need a miracle. My little girl needs a miracle.

You think you brain so big*

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

Well, let's see.

  • Look at the list and bold those you have read.
  • Italicize those you intend to read.
  • Underline the books you LOVE or if you can't put a note at the end (I can't underline on Blogger for some reason).
  • Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them
  1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - LOVE IT
  2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - LOVE IT
  4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - LOVE IT
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - LOVE IT
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
  18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - LOVE IT
  22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
  34. Emma - Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
  45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - LOVE IT
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  52. Dune - Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - LOVE IT
  58. A Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - LOVE IT
  66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
  73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses - James Joyce
  76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
  77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal - Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession - AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection
  91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I've read 44!!! My father insisted that I read a number of "classics" while growing up so I suppose I should be grateful to him. I am disappointed that there's no Mark Twain on this list. Tom Sawyer and Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court are two of my favorites.

*Sorry, the title is an obscure reference to a line from Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace

Phoebe's Room

For all those folks who wanted to see the kid's room, here's the grand tour...

Here's the view of the crib from the door:

Next, we have a view of the changer/dresser from the door. You can also see the closet with the diaper stacker and the wall art that coordinates with our bedding.

Here's our dresser/changer combo. The baskets underneath hold onesies, grooming supplies (like baby lotion and baby shampoo) and wipes. There are also two drawers under this that contain clothes, blankets and bibs.

Next up, another view of the crib. This time, you can also see the doll cradle. This cradle was given to Moo's sister by a favorite aunt. It was then passed to my niece and now it's being passed to Spider Monkey.

Here's another shot of the cradle. You can see puppets and stuffed animals here.

Another view of the crib - here you can also see the baby's name on the wall. I covered wood letters with decorative paper and used Mod Podge with sparkles to seal the letters.

A closer view of the letter H shows the sparkles better.

Inside the crib: No, the bumper pad is not tied in yet. I'm wavering between removing it altogether and going ahead and tying it in. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends removing bumper pads. Additionally, it's gonna be hard to change the sheets with this thing in there. But it's so gosh darn cute!!!

Lastly, a view of the dragon art over the diaper changer.

Here's a Grandpa dragon reading to a baby dragon.

And a fairy reading to a dragon - yes, dragons are our theme. I got these two pieces of art from the Etsy shop of Lisa Victoria - you can visit her shop here.

Last, but not least, here's my favorite piece of art from artist L A Williams:

You want to stick a needle where?

I had an amniocentesis yesterday. For those of you who don't know, an amniocentesis is a procedure whereby a needle is inserted into the uterus through the stomach to withdraw amniotic fluid for evaluation and diagnosis (In this case, we're evaluating Spider Monkey's lung function to see if she's ready to come out). The nickname for the procedure is amnio.

My amnio was performed by my perinatologist - a doctor specialising in maternal fetal medicine - who I adore. Dr P is in his mid to late 60's and has a razor sharp wit. He's also a smart ass - something I highly appreciate.

Before he began, I expressed my anxiety about the process and he looked earnestly into my eyes and said "I've done probably 20,000 of these procedures and I can honestly say that I've never been hurt by one yet."

Like I said, he's a smart ass.

The procedure itself was simple. Before he began, he told me exactly what he was going to do and how he would do it. He would determine the best spot to tap with ultrasound, swab my belly with betadyne, place a drape over the area to be affected, spray a topical anesthetic on the spot and immediately insert the needle. I would feel some pressure while he withdrew the fluid and then it would be over.

Despite the anesthetic, I did feel the needle enter my skin, but it was the pressure that was incredible. I stared at the ceiling and breathed in thru my nose and out thru my mouth in the way they have you learn breathing techniques in childbirth. I felt the doctor change out one syringe for another as he drew off the fluid, but didn't look at the procedure at all. I get nauseous watching someone draw my blood, so I can only imagine what it would be like to look down and see a giant syringe with a 4 inch long needle attached stuck in my belly would do to me.

After he was done, the nurse told me I'd been very brave. I didn't feel very brave. I felt relieved it was over.

Then, Dr P said "Once again, I didn't get hurt one bit."

Smart ass.

I spent the evening sacked out on the couch. I felt a few contractions, but nothing significant and there was no real rhythm to them and today I feel fine but a little sore at the injection site.

They should get the results today. Dr P's office will inform my House o' Babies and we'll go from there.