Monthly Archives: January 2011

What We Won’t Do

Hey All!  After the hectic tale of the “c-section that wasn’t to be” I figure you might be interested in an update.  No?  Oh, well…why are you reading this then?  🙂  I’m just kidding around.  Ha.  No pun intended.  Sorry.  I’ll stop.  Maybe.

This week has been busy.  I know, I know, “but you are on bedrest!  How does that work?”  Well, we have had acupuncture appointments at home and the clinic, two OB appointments, another biophysical profile, an appointment to meet the monitrice (which was rescheduled), our fabulous housekeeper came to clean, an appointment for a massage (which was also rescheduled!), visits from friends to keep morale up, errands to run, and lots of food to eat!  There were days this week where I didn’t get to nap until nearly 4pm!  I know!  Crazy!

But my blood pressure has been steady in the high 130’s, low 140’s range and right around 80 which is great!  My calves are killing me from some curb walking I did on Friday night.  It didn’t occur to me that curb walking was akin to doing step aerobics until my thighs were weak with fatigue.

So, what did you do last night for fun?  I drank castor oil.


I’d like to say that what followed was me “losing my $h!#” but I don’t talk or blog that way anymore and since I have already referenced one instance of obscene word choice this week here I shall not do it again.  But yeah.  I took the castor oil in an equal part grape juice (about 1 oz which was half an initial dose based on most induction recipes I saw) and it was okay.  Oily for sure but I’ve swallowed coconut oil floating in apple cider vinegar before so it wasn’t too bad.  Then I decided to take a nap and lay down.  At 6:30pm I woke from my nap (having taken the stuff at 5:30) and went into the bathroom where it was a party on BOTH stages!  Yahoo!  It was working!  I didn’t have to take additional doses!

Then I took a warm shower because after losing it both coming and going I don’t know about you, but, I feel a little less than clean and serene.  I didn’t throw up again which is fantastic but this morning I’m still having evacuations.  Yeah, me and Egypt I guess!  Heh.  I was able to help Mr. T hang the pictures in AU’s room, tour the interwebs, and get 7 1/2 hours of sleep without interference so I really cannot complain.

I did have some really strong contractions but nothing I would identify as “labor” because things were just really irregular.  Ha.  I’m sorry.  I promise I’m not doing it on purpose!

Now, I’m waiting for Mr. T to wake up and decide that we are going to church or to brunch.  Both sound really good to me this morning.  We’ll see what the next few hours bring.  According to what I read 67% of women who do the castor oil thing go into labor within 24 hours.  If I don’t, that’s fine.  If I do, great!


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Birth Story Part I

Friday 1/21/11

Since I’ve been feeling emotional and having a hard time at night, BFF and BabyGirlE spent the night. It was fun, but uneventful. I finally was able to get some good sleep.

Saturday 1/22/11

Woke up early. BFF, BabyGirlE, and I headed to work. I was having strong, steady contractions every 15 minutes or so throughout the day. BabyGirlE was a pleasure as always. My preggo brain was in full effect, though, and I left my cell phone back at work. I didn’t realize it until BFF had me halfway home. Unfortunately, this meant turning around and driving all the way back to get my phone. We decided to have lunch at a local joint we had heard good things about. My amazing phone totally failed us. The GPS directions were inaccurate to say the least. After many days crossing the desert and mountains, we finally reached our destination. Lo, and behold… it was just okay. We were both ravenously hungry and still wouldn’t eat there again. We would, however, like to hunt down the young woman who felt it her place to comment on BabyGirlE’s footwear, or lack thereof as BabyGirlE has a decided preference for bare feet. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the “Get some socks on that baby!” comment that was so appalling, but her use of the F-word in front of an infant. BFF is, of course, the best mother BabyGirlE could ever wish for (or is ever going to get, so being content with her lot in life is important) and hopefully has moved on from the traumatic experience. I’m still pissed, though.

I finally got home from work and lunch around 4pm. Contractions had moved to 10 minutes apart. I tried to take a nap, but the pressure waves made that difficult. After an hour, I got in the bathtub, hoping they would slow down or drop off. They didn’t. Around 6pm, Mr. T phoned the midwife and left a message about my contractions. He did a wonderful job, simultaneously trying to finish up packing for birth and helping me cope. The contractions continued to move closer and closer together until they were about 3 minutes apart. And then we got in the van and drove down to The Farm.

BFF came along as well. It was an uneventful trip other than the fact that the contractions didn’t slow down. Okay, okay, before you get the wrong idea, I’m doing HypnoBabiesTM, so the ride down was very quiet. Totally unlike any movie, television show, dramatic reenactment you’ve ever seen. We arrived at The Farm, and the midwife checked me. I was 50% effaced and 1cm dialated. She suggested we rest and call her if things picked up. Otherwise, she would see us in the morning. Mr. T then spent the next hour unpacking the van he’d just spent an hour and a half packing up. My parents arrived around 2:30am. The contractions quit around 3. I woke up for the day around 7:30.

Sunday 1/23/11

It was clear I wasn’t in labor, and while I was still having contractions, they were few and far between. Mr. T scrounged up some breakfast for me…my usual…a really crisply toasted English muffin.  Around 9:30am the midwife came to check on us.  She didn’t do an internal as there was little point.  She did check my blood pressure though which was a little bit elevated (insert slightly elevated BP here).  She said we needed to go to the hospital to make sure everything was okay.  Thus beginning my epic journey of birth plan derailment.

My blood pressure wasn’t largely different from what it had been, so I was a little confused about the panic, but went with the flow. Mr. T drove us to the hospital; I did hypnosis on the way. We went up to labor and delivery, where my backup OB was on call. Eventually, after many attempts and false starts, we got AU on the heart monitor. The doctor came in, said she wanted to do a biophysical profile, a growth ultrasound, a urine check, bloodwork, and do some monitoring strips. I sent Mr. T to eat some of the breakfast my parents had picked up for him on their way to meet us at the hospital.

(Keep Mr. T’s usual midnight-shift schedule in mind. Normally, he’d have been in the middle of his “night’s” sleep about this time. He’d managed to nap a little when I was sleeping, but that really was just due to low blood sugar since he’d barely had a chance to eat anything since waking up the day before. By this time, he was crashing pretty badly. Shortly, he had to go to the van to get some rest before he passed out in labor and delivery.)

The midwife, BFF, and my Mom talked with me, fed me ice chips, gave me sips of water and Sprite, and kept me in good spirits. Finally, the blood work came back all normal. The urinalysis was negative for protein. AU was a 10/10 on the biophysical profile and “measured” 38 weeks, 3 days and 7 ½ pounds (give or take a pound or so). My blood pressure had come down during monitoring, so the OB came in to give me some choices.

1) Do a 24-hour urine catch for protein. If the results were normal, I could go home (to my house), but during collection I would have to be back at The Farm on bedrest with my blood pressure monitored. (Obviously, a positive protein result would be a game-changer.)

2) She could do an induction that day.

3) We could schedule an induction.

4) We could schedule a c-section.

Obviously, #1 sounded like a good plan to Mr. T and I, and fell in with our desire to have a low-intervention birth. I was released from the hospital with two 3000ml orange jugs, and it was a good thing that BFF insisted on the second one. I filled the first jug by midnight. Oh, you would think jugs meant to carry urine, or other liquid biohazard samples, would be water-tight. Unfortunately, that was so not the case, as I discovered in the bathroom of the O’Charley’s near the hospital. Luckily, the plastic bag I was carrying the jugs in proved to be less prone to leaks.

BFF went back to her house, Mom and Dad went back to their hotel, Mr. T and I returned to The Farm. We talked with the midwife for a little while. The doctor’s comments about my “small pelvis” had started to shake my confidence. While the midwife didn’t exactly give me a locker-room pep talk, I did at least feel that we were in the same camp. I considered calling the backup midwife, who I thought was more of a straight-shooter and asking her opinion, but I didn’t want to make waves. Mr. T and I settled in, and watched The Other Guys which we’d rented from Red Box. It was okay. Mr. T laughed out loud a few times; I wasn’t even really amused. We slept…

Monday, 1/24/11

… and got jolted out of sleep by a knock on the door. It’s the midwife, here to take my blood pressure! Good morning! Not surprisingly, it read a little high ie the 140s/80s it had been reading from time to time.

Mr. T made oatmeal for breakfast and we watched Going the Distance. It was okay. Mr. T was appalled by a scene of casual drug use. I kept having flashbacks to the Drew Barrymore movie where her name is “Josie Grossie.” If I remember correctly, she played a reporter who went back to high school, which was unlike this film only in that she was in graduate school. Mr. T summed it up well: “Formulaic.”

Around 12:30pm, the midwife returned, this time with an entourage: the head midwife and an apprentice. First, she checked my blood pressure, which was lower. Then, they wanted to discuss the situation. The situation, unbeknownst to Mr. T and I, turned out to be that I was to have a scheduled c-section Wednesday morning. We were dumbfounded. Mr. T says I did a good job of asking questions and being calm, which isn’t easy to do when you haven’t had lunch and are trying to defend your position about not wanting unnecessary abdominal surgery while still wearing the pajamas you’ve been in all day. Some fear mongering, labeling of me as eclamptic, and inaccurate references to my nonexistent “blood-clotting problem” later, the plan was for me to contact my allergist in case I had to have a c-section, Mr. T arranging drop-off of the urinalysis, and the midwife phoning the OB to get an exact definition of “bed rest.” I suddenly understood the term “blowing up the phone” as, cell phone in one hand and the cabin’s phone in the other, I nearly melted The Farm’s phone lines with all the incoming and outgoing calls.

Mr. T and I thought we’d handled the situation well, although we still felt betrayed and confused. “Surprised” isn’t a strong enough word to describe what had unfolded and been proposed. Why the rush for a c-section when the 24-hour urine sample hadn’t even been collected yet, let alone analyzed? What had happened overnight, behind the scenes to eliminate the other options the OB had given us? Why had the location we’d chosen specifically for their practice of being low-intervention suddenly seem like scalpel-happy ACOG interns drunk on “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” Kool-Aid? And why did they seem so worried all of a sudden about things they’d known about for months?

Around 2:30, the midwife called and said, “I spoke with [OB], you aren’t going to like what I have to say. She wants you to have a c-section tomorrow morning.” I said, “That’s not going to happen.” I thanked her for her prenatal care for us and tried not to panic while quickly brainstorming options. Midwife asked me what we were going to do. I said we would drop off the urinalysis and, if the hospital would still processes it, we would know how to proceed ones those results were back. Midwife asked if she could come over to talk and I said, “sure.”

She started in on how she felt we were second-guessing the opinions of her, the OB, and the head midwife. Mr. T countered with how risky it would be for me to have a major surgical procedure given my (and possibly the baby’s – she’s got half my crazy DNA) extreme allergy to antibiotics. The impending stand-off was defused by a timely phone call from Mom, illustrating why we still hadn’t gotten in touch with the allergist. We were able to make it clear to our midwife that we had to consult with my allergist before proceeding with a c-section. I got ahold of the allergist’s office and was told I could be seen at 3:50 that afternoon – which was in about an hour, and back in Nashville. Despite the order for bed rest, we convinced the midwife it was imperative that I go (and, heck, the midwife had wanted me to walk outside and get my blood circulating, anyway) and that meant going right away.

Mr. T put the pedal to the metal and we were only 35 minutes late. I cried until I was told the allergist would see me. Despite the stress of the day, my blood pressure was only 126/80. (It was beginning to occur to us that perhaps there was something in the old cabin that I was allergic to, which would raise my blood pressure while I was there.) Though she couldn’t give a recommendation for or against a c-section, she wrote out a protocol for using Benadryl and steroids to counter any antibiotics I would have to have in the event of such a procedure. She also gave us a referral to a high-risk OB, which Midwife & Company were rapidly convincing me I needed to see. BFF met us at the office and brought us darling baby clothes! We decided to regroup and plan over dinner.

During dinner, I called a friend whose wife is an OB to ask her opinion. She agreed to see me the following morning (gosh, too bad that conflicts with my c-section…). Mr. T and I drove back down to drop the pee-pee jugs off at the hospital and collect our things from The Farm. Clearly, if The Farm wasn’t comfortable with me birthing there, I didn’t need to stay. The Midwife brought me a copy of my chart and asked what we were going to do. I explained we were going to get a high-risk consult and we talked a little more. I told her she seemed scared. She said she wasn’t, she was just cautious. I thanked her for the care she had provided for us, then Mr. T and I departed.

We decided to get a hotel near the hospital where our appointment would be the following morning. I took a swim and we slept poorly.

Tuesday, 1/25/11

We dressed, packed up, and went down to the hotel’s complimentary breakfast.  It was alright.  For some reason I just wasn’t hungry.  Not sure what that was about.  Couldn’t have been stress or anxiety, right?

We arrived at the doctor’s office just after they opened and completed the initial paperwork and did some brief hypnosis to help me calm down.  Not too long of a wait later (really!  Despite not having an appointment!) we were taken back and I peed in the cup, weighed, and had my blood pressure taken.  In the exam room I got to stay dressed!  Yahoo!  (I’m not sure interested reader if you’ve ever made a major decision being naked or semi-dressed with someone you’ve known for 5 minutes but it isn’t my idea of a good time!)  The doctor came in and I summarized what here is a rather long story and we reviewed the backup OBs desire for an immediate scheduled c-section and my prenatal history.  We discussed possibilities.  I signed the paperwork to get my chart from the hospital sent to the consulting doctor and was hooked up to another non-stress test.

Once again AU did wonderful!  She stayed on the monitor!  Her heart was reacting just the way it should!  While I was all belly and wires being monitored the results of the 24 hour urine collection were sent over.

Please know that I do not advocate the use of foul language.  Please know I have rewritten these sentences about 15 times to ensure they are inoffensive and pure.  Please know that there are lots of hidden profanities and unbecoming thoughts and feelings associated with the following sentences.

6.  The test measures how much protein in in one’s urine.  Anything under 300 reveals that there is no pre-eclampsia and that everything is just fine.  My level was 6.  6!


So the consulting OB said that there was no need for an hysterical c-section, I don’t have pre-eclampsia, I might have gestational hypertension which as long as AU is doing well just isn’t a big deal.  I cried.

Mr. T and I finally made it home where I spent the rest of the day per doctor’s orders in bed.  Although far from seeming like everything was fine and dandy with the world there did seem to be significant improvement over the previous few days.  Did I mention I avoided unnecessary surgery?!?

AU is kicking around, maturing more, I’m taking it easy trying to make new birth plans.  Hopefully the next installment of “Birth Story” will not be nearly as harrowing, frustrating, or chaotic.


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Losing It. Faith. Proactivity.

Yeah.  So, evidently I’m in the “Oh, nos!” phase of 3rd trimester pregnancy.  Oh, and sleeplessness.  Mr. T might also encourage me to be truly honest and add cranky as well.  But I think that is just a further symptom of the “Oh, nos!” and sleeplessness.


So, I had been taking 80mg of baby aspirin due to my heterozygous MTHFR status and thus far AU has been healthy, happy, and easy to mother.  She hasn’t given me too many frights.  But I saw the backup OB on last Thursday who ordered me off the baby aspirin post haste.  So, I did my due diligence and searched pubmed and google for 3rd trimester/birth baby aspirin research.  The problem with most searches for pregnancy and birth related research is there just isn’t very much because of the risks and ethics with messing with pregnant women.  Trust me.  We do not like to be messed with.  Nor do we want our tiny babies messed with.  So, the little bit of research I could find just wasn’t strongly advocating for one course of action or the other.  Grrrr.  Being the conservative soul that I am, my ultimate decision was that in absence of compelling research to be on the baby aspirin still I would come off it.


And that was okay for Friday, Saturday, Sunday…and then I pretty much lost it.  Yeeaaahhh.  Panic when hours would go by without her moving (which is normal for her!) and thoughts like, “Well, if she is dead then she’ll still be dead tomorrow no need to worry about it now,” flying through my head.  Not so healthy.  By Monday night I had convinced myself that I had developed pre-eclampsia and as a result AU was gone.


Thankfully, we saw our wonderful midwife today who reassured me that 1) AU’s heart was indeed beating 155, 2) the hops tincture was working to pull off the excess water and reduce my swelling, 3) that if I would feel better I could go back on the baby aspirin, 4) that I had no protein in the my urine!  Yeah! 5) that I was fine, AU was fine, and that things were going well.  It is amazing how a little more knowledge (I should seriously invest in some pee strips for ph and protein!) and a lot of reassurance can help.  She also suggested that I have BFF or my Mom stay with me while Mr. T plays superhero saving our city’s citizens.  Yeah, I guess some loneliness may be playing into all this too.  Too much time with the internet and my brain has never served me well.

Mom sent me a wonderful email this morning reminding me that both AU and I are nestled safe in the Father’s hands and no matter what He has a plan and purpose for us. Allowing the corruptor to dissettle me and shake me just plays into the enemies plans. Which honestly, hadn’t really occurred to me in all my self-imposed misery and wallowing of the past few days.  Cause, you know, I can handle myself!  Who needs to rely on Him when you can fall apart all on your own?!?  So, Mom came through in a big way with just the words I needed to hear.  Hopefully, I can fill those shoes some day for AU.


So, armed with the knowledge that everything is fine (despite falling apart for about 30 seconds thinking about Mr. T wrecking his car trying to get to work tonight…he made it safe and even before he left I had pulled myself together) instead of staying in bed aimlessly prowling the interwebs I got up and did some work and made carmel pecan sticky rolls.  I’m feeling quite proud of myself for taking better care of my emotional health despite lack of sleep.  In a minute I’m going to sample a roll with a glass of milk.  Then I’m going to brush my teeth (again), read a Psalm or three, and try to sleep.

Or I might eat, watch the weather channel (I love snow!), and then proceed…

But either way, I’m calm, collected and truly blessed.  Glad to be finding my way back….

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Arts! Crafts!

Mr. T is credited with choosing the applique fabrics and insisting we use the Cricut to cut the letters.  I ironed the binder onto the fabric, ironed the letters onto the gown, and then stitched around each letter.  We love it! 

In news this week our backup OB appointment went well.  I’m now soft and my Mom is betting when the full moon comes next week so will AU.  I’m on the fence.  I don’t want to set myself up to think that that could happen because I could also be pregnant another 3 weeks or so from then.  We’ll see.  (That was a dumb statement.  Of course we will!) 

Mr. T is counting down to his last day of work.  I believe he is at 11 days total but 9 days of actual work.  I think I’d like AU to wait around until he is officially off work.  It would be nice to have a day or two to spend together before we become a family of 3.  But I won’t stand in her way should she assert otherwise!  😀

Goodfriend Em brought over a DELICIOUS meal on Wednesday night.  She brought salad with homemade cranberry vinaigrette, goat cheese, and almonds which was fantastic.  Her crockpot supplied lovely roast beef which she placed on toasted french bread.  Oh, my!  So good!  And for dessert we sampled a bite or two of different flavors of cheesecake.  It was so nice to look forward to not having to cook.  I’ve been freezer cooking for the past few weeks and having time off that was planned was terrific!

Speaking of freezer cooking our freezer is now stashed with:

  • Vegetable beef soup
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Tomato soup (2 kinds)
  • Roast sandwich beef (thanks for the leftovers Em!)
  • Chicken pot pie filling
  • Chili
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Ham
  • Turkey
  • Ground beef
  • Homemade bread
  • Strawberries
  • Lasagna

Hopefully this will get us through.  If not there is always take out, right?  Or cereal.  As long as there is milk there can be cereal.  Or pancakes.  If there is milk there can be pancakes too.  I shouldn’t be hungry because I just ate some leftover chicken pot pie (not from the freezer!) and it was delicious.  But I’ve been ravenous these past few days.  Maybe I’ll go eat some cereal…

Today or tomorrow I will finish up the 40 cups or so of granola–it is going to be amazing!–and get it packaged up.  The granola is: oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, cashews, dried cranberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, pineapple, bananas, apricots, and tons of coconut.  Mmmmm.  Delicious!  (Yes, I’m definitely hungry!)

Meanwhile we’ve packed AU’s going to birth bag and oh!  We brought home our new toy yesterday.  We are the proud owners of a Toyota Sienna!  So sorry that slipped my mind!  It is going to be packed with going to birth stuff and the carseat tonight.  Exciting times, exciting times!

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Oh! What Fun!

Mr. T and I just finished an honest to goodness arts and crafts project for AU.  It is AWESOME.  Stay tuned for pictures.

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So, there are those pregnant women who think it is a horrendous violation to inquire if they are dilated or effaced.  I sort of thought I would fall into that camp.  But, I dodged a bullet!  In fact, we are about to get p.e.r.s.o.n.a.l.


I’m 40% effaced.


I know, I know, it doesn’t mean anything other than I’m going to have a baby before June.  Before Easter.  Before MARCH.  Yep.  Further, it means my body is beginning the work of labor and you know what I’m doing?  I’m living my life and my body and baby are doing what they are supposed to.  That is fantastic!  I love cooperation!

Oh, if you have a family or just like a good time, you should check out the game Castle Panic.  It is easy with a few variations and lots of fun.  Oh, and unlike Pandemic if you lose, the world doesn’t end…the castle is just overrun by monsters.  Not so much pressure.

We had a session with the acupuncturist today where she showed Mr. T acupressure points to use on me during my “easy birthing time”.  It was cool.  Just another tool in our bag of labor tricks.  We received our list of necessary birthing supplies from our midwives on Wednesday.  Good thing too.  We didn’t know we needed to get anything!  But it was fun to get on amazon and look up arnica and gauze pads.

Oh, and evidently I’m growing yeasty beasties due to my milk sort of thinking about fixing to come in.  Fabulous!  The only thing better than the burning is the smell of vinegar emanating from my chest.  I just hope to have it cleared up by the time AU makes her appearance.  Passing thrush back and forth not really my idea of a great time.  (See, you thought the personal bit was over…oh, no!)

I’m thinking in the next 2 weeks or so we will try to do some prenatal pictures.  A lot depends on how the haircut redux goes tomorrow.  I’m sure it will be okay.  Right?  Right?  Just because the last 2 times have been awful doesn’t mean this one will be.  Right?  Right?  I *really* hope not.

Oh, and Gramma joined Facebook this week!  You go!

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 91 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 203 posts. There were 56 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 65mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was February 24th with 102 views. The most popular post that day was Just over 12 hours to departure!!!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were, Google Reader,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for fun with jenne, jenne and kari, petechiae, fire nancy pelosi, and jenne blog fun with jenne.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Just over 12 hours to departure!!! May 2006
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About May 2006


FOUR YEARS! May 2010


Perspective August 2010
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More France, The Winner, and News! June 2010
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