This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

August 28, 2009

The Birth Day

So, it’s been 10 days since the birth day, and it has taken that long to complete this post- between the baby, recovery and catching up on sleep, it’s actually been a very short week. And just a note: I’ve tried to refrain from “too much information,” but this is a realistic story about my labor so don’t say you weren’t warned! ( :

Our long awaited special delivery arrived with great fanfare, drama, and of course much earlier than expected…. Even after having this time to reflect on it, it seems so surreal and I wish that there would have been something to record each second of the special day (night).

On Sunday (the 16th), I had a mad case of “nesting” going on…. I totally cleaned and scrubbed the refrigerator, vacuumed my bedroom with our new Dyson Animal (I think I might have vacuumed up a small animal in the process), laundry; AND then Mom and I went to the Bay Area for a Toby Keith and Trace Adkins concert. I know.. I know… I’m nine months pregnant… but they were THIRD ROW seats and so worth it! ( :

So waking up on Monday after only five hours of sleep and being grumpy and feeling like poo was more attributed to a late night at the concert than what might have been early signs of impending labor. It was my first day of Maternity Leave so since I had time on my hands, Mom and I went and got mani/pedi’s (thank goodness for pretty toes during labor!) and then lunch and shopping at Old Navy for a nice girls afternoon out! I also had a regularly scheduled 37week pre-natal appointment later that afternoon and Jason took off early to take me.

For some reason, I had a feeling that this would be my last appointment! The Nurse Practioner- whom I love- said that my cervix was 100% effaced (thinned), but not dilated, and that she was at 0 Station (situated low in the pelvis- the right position for delivery) and was measuring between 38 and 40 weeks; heartbeat was strong and that she could literally come anytime. HA HA- little did we know. During this exam they also took labs in preparation for delivery- more about this later. Jason was reading in the little newsletter that they give us that the exams could possible cause labor, so I thought it would be fun to walk down all of the stairs on the way to the car.

After every appointment, we have, er, had a ritual to go to RiteAid and get ice cream cones…(mad cravings for Chocolate malted crunch for the last 6 weeks!) well this particular store was going out of business and although the ice cream counter was closed, everything in the store was marked 50% off. Believe it or not, I was not in the ‘shopping mood’ so we left and went to the grocery. That is when my contractions started… but they felt like the ‘regular’ Braxton- Hicks contractions that I’ve had for weeks and weeks. They didn’t hurt, and were irregularly spaced so I thought it was another practice trial. Here’s where things start getting weird: at the grocery store, I decided that I wanted to have BLT’s for dinner- remember this is coming from the preggers chick that hasn’t really ate meat for months and months- at least I went for the turkey bacon! So Mom made dinner and I ate a whole sandwich and corn on the cob- a very big dinner for me in my present state (perhaps a subconscious note to self to consume fuel for labor??). After dinner, Jason and I went for a walk with the dogs and my contractions became pretty regular- about 6 minutes apart- but not much stronger than before. And Cynnamin- our chow/ Sheppard mix dog- who usually is a very excited walker, stayed by my side the whole time. When we got home I had a pretty brutal contraction; I decided to go and sit on the balance ball in the shower. The hot water felt really good on my back and also on my stomach when I did have a contraction. At this point I am still thinking that it might be Braxton-Hicks and I was looking forward to laying down for some rest. Right before I shut the water off, I told Jason that he might not be going to work in the morning…. HA! So, I stand up and shut to water off and I feel a pop down 'there' and then a trickle of hot water down my leg…. Was it from the shower? “Um, Jason, I think that my water just broke.” This was about 11:55 p.m. And then the next contraction nearly brought me to my knees it hurt so bad- and then I started crying. The reality set in - my water broke, and I was going to have a baby- soon. Jason helped me to the bed and then he called Kaiser Labor & Delivery for me- I couldn’t talk through contractions. Even though my contractions were irregular, they told us to come in if my water had broken and they would check me. I called Leah, my back-up labor coach, and then it was time to go to the hospital. Although I had had all of my stuff ready to go for the hospital in one area, with the exception of the car seat installed, so Mom and Jason got it all ready and loaded into the car- meanwhile, I managed to get dressed while having about 4 more contractions.

The ride to the hospital seemed like it took forever- between nasty speed bumps that seemed the size of mountains near our house, to a seat belt that felt like a vice when each contraction hit and trying to find some ‘zen’ music on the XM… I also noticed the little clock on the satellite receiver and my contractions were nearing five minutes apart. Thank god for no traffic at midnight and a relatively quick trip. I was whisked into the Triage area of the hospital (green light line pass through security- wahoo!) and asked to sign here, print here and produce a urine sample. Holy Mother of Bambi, these contractions hurt like hell… I have no idea how much actually made it in the cup….
Room One was going to be my domain for awhile. I put on the customary arse-baring gown as well as an ace-bandage like band around my stomach to hold the monitors and tried to get comfy in the bed. When I get settled, I see the clock says 12:50 a.m., and then if, big, if, my water didn’t break at home, it certainly just did…. About 15 minutes later, Jason and my Mom make it in to the room, which is getting smaller and smaller with each contraction and practioner that walks in. I’m hooked up to four different monitors, and a faulty blood pressure cuff that keeps getting stuck on constrict when it goes off every 15 minutes- which is about every third contraction.

Jason kept himself busy watching the monitor for the baby’s heartbeat and the contractions- he mentioned how different that they registered from our Week34 test run…yeah, they felt a whole lot different too! The pain and discomfort was starting to become unbearable at this time, but my mind was pretty numb and I didn’t think to ask what was going on (much of this I only know from Jason recounting to me). I do remember at one point telling him to not touch me… this was actually the only time that the evil labor fairy made me nasty- mostly because I was on sensory overload and was feeling claustrophobic in the little room.

They monitored me in the Triage room until about 2, and once the midwife was able to assess me and claimed that I was dilated 2.5 centimeters, they decided to admit me. Jason then asked her about how long would “this” last so that he could make some calls to the rest of the family. She said that under ‘normal’ circumstances, once you get to 4 cm, it would take about an hour per cm to get to 10, which would mean that I would probably deliver between 8 and 10 in the morning- so we were going to call the family around 6 to let them know I was in labor. He did call Leah to let her know- “She’s a 2.5?” (She was a 5 when she GOT to the hospital with her son last year!!)-- since she couldn’t sleep she decided to come to the hospital.

I had to use the restroom prior to getting wheeled down the hall to our private Delivery Suite- it was not an easy feat with that gown and in between contractions… but none the less, success! The Delivery Suite at Kaiser is huge- enough room for a small party (I’ve heard that some people have their entire families in the room… not modest little moi) and all of the medical staff. This is the part where I don’t remember very much- especially after Nurse Ratchet screwed up on my IV- ugh. At this point my contractions were very, very, very close together and extremely strong… it was scaring Jason- he asked one of the nurses if that was how it was going to be for the duration of my labor- perhaps another 5- 6 hours, and thinkin’ where the heck the epidural was.

Although Jason was a great coach, and as comforting as could be in that situation, I took great relief in using the bed rails to brace myself during every contraction. Finally around 3 a.m., the gave me some Fentanyl to ‘take the edge off’ until the epidural fairy arrived. I’m thinking that there is no way in hell that I would be able to stay still enough for five minutes for even the swiftest anesthesiologist to poke a big ol’ needle in my spine…. Bring on the IV drugs. This worked for a total of 3 contractions- and Leah arrived around that same time. At this point, I had to pee in the worst way… due to the IV and the intensity of my labor they wouldn’t let me get up to go to the bathroom nor did I have a catheter… they told me to just go on the pad… so I did, and proceeded to tell the entire room… thank you Fentanyl!

Jason managed to find a focus point for me- a pair of the Baby’s shoes that had rabbits and flowers on them… "rabbits and flowers, rabbits and flowers"- that was my mantra during the contractions…. And then another level of pain struck me… in my lower back. As they were leaning me over to try to put my epidural in, and Jason was trying to support me, I had the worst contraction yet- I had to resist the urge to bite Jason and let out a primal blood curdling scream… “I have to push…”

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to give her the epidural…”

“No shit… we waited a bit long..”
They situated me back on the bed amidst another contraction.
Another scream (my throat was raw by the end of this…)

“Did you take the classes, Carol- remember what you learned in the classes.”

“Yes, I took the classes, but that’s all out the window now!” I have to push…

“You can’t push- you aren’t ready.”

“It hurts, it hurts, I have to push.”

As I’m screaming through a contraction, they are telling me to breathe and pant…. I have to push… Leah is trying to help me pant.

“Pant, how the hell can I pant?”

Another blood curdling scream brings Nurse Midwife Marcy running in to check my progress… “I have to check her NOW.”

Nurse #1: “I just checked her about 10 minutes ago and she was a 5…”

She leans down and immediately announces- “She’s a 10!”

Jason’s eyes pop open as big as saucers… which I didn’t see although I was looking up at him. He was shocked that I progressed 5cm in less than 20 minutes… let alone the FIVE HOURS that they had guessed.

“Okay, Carol, you’re ready to have this baby- we can give you the epidural or you can have the baby.”

“Baby. Baby.”

“Okay. Baby it is.”

During my entire pregnancy, I’ve been scared to death of labor and the pain associated with it, but at this point I didn’t give a second thought to not having an epidural now… I just thought that getting one would be more so and also that once I actually had the baby, the pain would go away.
There was a blur of people doing stuff- Leah grabbed a leg, Jason was rubbing my head and holding my hand, someone was pushing my back up and the midwife was giving a play by play. I barely had the strength to do anything on my own, and I was honestly scared to death.

Two contractions and she was crowning…

“Okay, Carol, one more good push now- she’s almost out.”

Liar! ( : It actually took four pushes….

Before my very last contraction, I had this Zen, Yoda-like moment. Those bunnies and flowers… well they were running through a meadow in my mind at this point. I just felt really peaceful and not very much pain. Honestly. But the rest before this was a bitch- I actually had what I consider an out-of-body experience to deal with everything that was happening. I figure that zoned out and removed myself from the moment up until the last contraction. When somebody compares something to childbirth- well, I get it…

I turned to Jason and said, “Let’s do this.”

One last push and Kiera Mckenzie Waggoner was born at 3:49 a.m. on August 18, 2009 in Roseville, California three weeks early and after only 3 hours and 54 minutes of intense labor. Nurse Marcy lightly toweled her off and set her on my chest, Kiera was crying… I’m crying… Leah is crying… Jason is crying…. all tears of joy, of course- but there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!

After a few minutes Jason cut her umbilical cord.

“I don’t know what to do with her- what am I supposed to do?”

“Nothing, just hold her like you are doing.”

“You did it, babe, our little girl is here. You’re my hero.”

“She’s here, Carol, you’re a rockstar!” (Leah also knew how petrified I was of labor.) Oh, and you didn’t poop on the table!”

That elicited a hearty laugh out of both Jason and I---- if you only knew that that I was mortified of that and actually told the class that during our Childbirth class!
My placenta came out quickly and was the talk of the room- Midwife Marcy remarked that I had a beautiful placenta (um, thank you?)… and Jason said it was larger than Kiera… eww…

After a few minutes they took Kiera to the warmer to give her a little bath and do the procedures and testing…she scored a 9 on the Apgars. At this point they told me that due to the short labor and lack of test results, we would be staying in the hospital for 48 hours…. And this was my first time in the hospital!
Weighing in at a dainty 5 pounds, 13 ounces and measuring 19.5” inches long… a skinny little thing!
Jason went over to go see her and talk to her…. She actually turned her head at the sound of his voice calling her name. (He talked to her in my tummy all throughout my pregnancy!)

Meanwhile, they spent the next 30-40 minutes carefully stitching me up…. Due to the pace of the delivery, I unfortunately tore and required about 20 stitches. You can’t feel it while it’s happening, but I did feel the repairs, and it was a bit uncomfortable… both the sewing and the close proximity of the midwife to my hoo-hoo for that long- but all the modesty was out the window along with the childbirth classes and breathing practice!

Shortly after 4 a.m., Jason called my mom to tell her that she was a Grandma! She was about as shocked as we were that Kiera made her arrival so quickly! Leah went home to grab some much needed sleep to go to work (she’s a rockstar!) and we got moved to our private Recovery Room #317- Kiera bundled in my arms and Jason trailing along with all our bags- one for labor, one for Kiera, one for recovery and five pillows! I think he had to make a few trips- I’ve never been one to pack lightly.

A note about our “labor” bag- most of the stuff we never used during labor- with the exception of the balance ball at home and the pillows, the chapstick, and my iPod (I listened to one of my favorite bands, Train, during delivery as I forgot to update my iPod before coming to the hospital with the Baby Kiera’s Arrival playlist!) that was about it- there were another 30 or so items in the ‘little’ bag though!

Once we got moved into our room, we made a few calls, sent out our announcement text message and spent some quality time with our precious little girl. It was only hours, but she was amazing so far!

At 6:45 a.m., Baby Kiera got her first visitor- Grandma Karen! Followed by Auntie Erika, Grandpa Don & Grandma Linda, Grandma Helen… Auntie Nanette… and the trail went on! Her fan club grew over the next few hours… and is still growing! I am completely biased- but how can you not love her! ( :

After 40 hours of being awake, I finally got some sleep on Wednesday morning- nearly 24 hours after Kiera was born…. Ahhh…. But that whole time I had an ear-to-ear grin plastered on my face- it was literally the BEST day of my life.

The entire labor and delivery experience was nothing like I thought it was going to be- it wasn’t completely horrible, but it was very intense and fast. It was extremely painful, but short lived (the recovery has been another matter and is a separate post) and Kiera is worth it- despite what they say, I have not forgotten about the pain. I feel blessed to have had such an easy pregnancy and short labor free from any major complications, and as a result, a perfectly healthy baby girl. Will I have another baby? Probably not at this point, but Jason and I said we would revisit that in a year. For right now, I just want to concentrate on enjoying every single second of Baby Kiera’s life!

August 20, 2009

Hello World- Nice to Meet You....

My name is Kiera Mckenzie and I'm so excited to be here!
I waited for as long as I could, but after 37 weeks baking in Mommy, I decided to make a grand entrance on Tuesday morning, August 18th, at 3:49 a.m.
The hospital peeps said that I was 5 lbs and 13 oz and 19.5" long.... they also said I was in a huge hurry and Mommy was only in labor for a little over four hours.

We actually just got home from the hospital today and we're settling in... Mommy told me to tell everyone that a more detailed story would come as soon as possible.... she has some beauty rest to catch up on! ( :
In the meantime, please enjoy a few of my first photos courtesy of my fan club!

August 9, 2009

BabyW.... Your Nursery is Waiting for You!

Finally! It's finished! After months and months of preparation... in (baby) steps.... of course- the Nursery is done. I guess that you can say that it's on schedule as BabyW isn't here (yet- I'm hoping soon!)... but we did have a bit of a 'episode' during the final evening of work.

This room was the 4th bedroom in our house which happened to be the 'catch-all' room and my pseudo-walk-in closet. Needless to say, just to get it cleaned out and ready took massive motivation and work. Thank goodness that there was 36+ weeks to do it in- LOL- I wish that I would've taken 'before' pictures.
First, the inspiration: finding a crib set that wasn't completely 'cutesy' or smothered in pink- I have a strong aversion to pink when it comes to decor (not the clothes tho.. such cute baby clothes!) and finding something that I liked and wasn't really expensive was difficult. And it started even before we 'officially' found out BabyW was a girl. The one that I wanted was completely discontinued so we ended up with one called: LuLu by Sweet Potato.... and now I am fascinated by the green and purple combo! ( :

Speaking of discontinued.... that seems to be a recurring theme with baby things that I like: the car seat; and the crib and changing table. And for some reason, there weren't many other (reasonably priced) options in a natural wood finish.... but we found something finally!

I think the best thing about the nursery is that it was a labor of love (literally)! GrandmaK bought the furniture: crib and changing table from Penney's, bookshelf from Ikea, and dresser from Craigslist; and GrandpaJ was the skillful carpenter in putting it all together (we're mostly all thumbs with that stuff!). GrandpaD spent a week painstakingly painting the walls and installing the ceiling fan; and then Jason and I spent the last few days hand painting the flowers and decorating.

I think that in addition to it being a family project, the other part of the fun of putting this room together for the baby was the thrill of the deal! Between Craigslist, yard sales and Ikea- the room was completed with a very reasonable budget in mind! The glider we scored for $30 off of Craigslist- despite having to drive to Vacaville for it, the price couldn't be beat! (GrandmaH gave us $175 for one, so she also bought BabyW an activity jumper too!) The glider is in great shape- I just cleaned and sanitized it; washed the cushions and now we're (AuntyNanette- cuz I don't know how to sew!) just recovering them to match the room with fabric (also!) purchased on sale.

And the dresser- well, the dresser. It's called a tower combo and has an optional hutch that goes with it. From BabiesRUs, it was $349- ouch! So we bought one for $260 from JCP- and it was a piece of junk- very disappointing especially with the quality of the changing table and crib from there! So, knowing that they had 'natural finish' wood, I was just going to settle and get a dresser from Ikea, but still had my heart set on the combo. Well, lucky me- another craigslist search found the one in the picture for sale at a nearby yard sale so I went over there first thing and grabbed it for $100! (Have I said how much I HEART craigslist???) (Might I add: the dresser is already pretty much filled with the cutest baby clothes ever!

The Winnie the Pooh pictures (except the solo Eeyore one) were from yard sales and the polka-dots decals were found on clearance at Ross. One of the flower lights was also a yard sale find and the other from Ikea (I also HEART Ikea!) and the Eeyore lamp was from GrandmaK that we painted to match the scheme. Now, the Eeyore picture? That was a Christmas present from Jason years ago- when I opened it he said it was for our future baby's room... how cute!

Everything was painted to match the colors and... viola...... maybe!

Remember the little mishap that I mentioned earlier in the blog post???

Weeeelll... last Tuesday after our National Night Out Block Party we were going to finish the room- put together the bookcase, and maybe another hours' worth of work. Jason skillfully Ikea'd the bookcase- in record time no less- while watching Shark Week and then my big preggers belly goes and bumped the dresser. That knocked over the glass with the dirty paint water from soaking the paintbrushes.... into the dresser and on the carpet. So, I tossed the already washed baby clothes into the washer; and while cleaning up the little puddles, a quart of nice green paint slipped out of my hand and half of it spilled on the carpet, the closet door, the wall and the side of the dresser. It was already getting late, and I did the only thing an overly hormonal nearly-9 month pregnant lady does: CRY! and cry.... ugh.

It took almost 2-hours of Hoover Steam Cleaner (bless this machine) action to see white carpet again. (And now we can't tell if it's still a bit stained, or it's just super duper clean and the rest of the carpet is dirty!) It was not fun. And to make matters worse, I had my first episode of Cabbage Patch Doll feet and had to sit in a cold bath at 1 a.m. to alleviate the swelling.... not really the way I wanted to end the evening, but, alas... an end... and our little princess' room is (im)patiently awaiting her arrival.

The cat came optional with the changing table....

August 7, 2009

Hello, Feet... It's Me Carol....

As difficult as it was to get pregnant with BabyW, I've been 'blessed' with a rather easy pregnancy. Not free from the random and usual symptoms, but pretty easy none the less. I'm sure that there's some good breeding stock somewhere up the genetic line, but tell that to my progesterone-lacking ovaries.....

Sure, I had the morning, I mean, noon, make that ,10-week sickness during the first trimester that was icky (if I would have known that it meant losing nearly 30 pounds, I would have found a way to bottle it to be the next Jenny Craig empire!!). And I was lucky enough to NOT look totally pregnant until about 6 weeks ago, but this just sucks:

I have .....




Yes, I can still see my feet.... and my pedicure looks great! ..... but I almost wish I couldn't! They look like I have marshmallows stuffed under my skin.....and I was wondering what the ER doc said when she told me, "You still have ankles!" Nuh-uh. I have


Not cankles cuz there is still some definition between by legs and feet......

So, it's normal? It's edema.... excess fluid collecting in my tissue (of course- I'm drinking gallons of water a day- what do you expect!) and I'm retaining more water due to my growing uterus.... can this baby belly get ANY bigger? (Yes, every day my profile gains an 1/8 of an inch.... LOL)

It's worse in the 3rd trimester and during the summer.... well, check, third trimester, but it's barely been 85 here lately!

After discovering the enlarged appendages last night, and the fact that my thumb indent was visible minutes later, I simultaneously laughed and cried all the way to go get ice cream. I'm, cancel that, was- rather fond of my feet.... but OMG I really wish I COULDN'T see them now!

And the skin kind of hurts, too! Once I got home, I went to bed at 9 (!) and propped them up as high as I could pile the pillows and covered them with a cool compress... Phew- this morning they looked better..... well, that was this morning- the tankles are back! Please tell me that this will go away soon!?!?!

Says my dear husband.... "I still love you...." Tanks, I mean Thanks....

By the way, BabyW has dropped.... we're getting closer! ( :

August 6, 2009

We'll Miss You Chinney!

Five months to the day that we lost our BooBoo kitty, we’ve lost another one of our furkids- our little chinchilla, Ramsey, died this morning. We’re not quite sure what happened- he was fine earlier this week; didn’t look very well yesterday morning but when we took him out to play with him after work he was acting normal.

We adopted Chinney (his nickname!) from a local breeder in the area- Chins 2 Go (if you ever go to the Furs & Feathers exhibit at the State Fair, she is the one that is always there with her chins)- three years ago. This is the second chinchilla that I’ve had; they are pretty easy pets to take care of, but purchasing them can be a bit expensive. They are good cage pets because they have a longer life span than most rodents and are extremely social, easy to take care of, clean and even trainable. The only downfall, if you can call it that, is that you have to take great care to ensure that they don’t get too warm in the summer- they have very dense fur that will cause them to overheat above 90◦. The dense- but super soft- fur is also the reason that they have to have regular ‘dust’ baths.

Because he was a rescue, we got a good deal on him and all of his supplies. Best of all, he was a great pet- a rodent with personality! ( : He was very social and loved his raisins and dust baths! If he felt like he was being ‘ignored’ (we kept him in our home office) he would chirp to tell you to come visit him.

Pets of any type add a special ‘something’ to our lives. I’ve always been a pet lover and have had my share of animals since I was a little girl. A chinchilla isn’t like a cat or dog where you can get super-attached to them, but losing a pet is still sad. Unfortunately, that is part of being a pet owner- knowing that one day you’ll have to say goodbye. Chiney, like the rest of our animals, was spoiled rotten! Someday we will get another chinchilla- probably when BabyW is older and we’re comfortable with parenthood- that’s another journey all on it’s own.

Rest in peace little Chinney dude!