Sunday, October 23, 2011

I have a 2 month old

I have a two month old, which is I guess why I am writing a blog post at 6am.
Up until now little miss would ONLY sleep on me, in her wrap or in the bed
next to me. That makes it very hard to write a blog post or do anything at all
really, but right now she is asleep in her swing and I have two hands free.
She slept yesterday in her stroller while on a walk AND when I was eating so
I ate with both hands too!

I actually despise the fact that I am one of those bloggers now, the ones that
use their baby as an excuse for not writing. I hated it when I was TTC and I
hate it about myself now. The truth is that this blog and all the blogs I follow
were really one of the only things that got me passed the last 3 years and
I will always want to write and read what is happening in blog world.

I am constantly thinking of posts to write but by the time I actually get to
write them I forget what it was or I think no one cares to hear it. I am really
not sure what to write about now, I don't want to talk about my new struggles
as I know that anyone who is TTC would gladly trade my hardships for theirs.

That being said (I hate that term) I will probably continue to write about my
parenting struggles as this is where I am right now, please know that I
understand that these struggles pale in comparison to the struggles of TTC.
As hard as these early days are, I would not go back, I am just happy I know
enough to not say `enjoy sleeping in while you can´. I used to HATE when
people said that to me and I use those hurtful words to remind myself to
be grateful when I am up this early.

The struggles I speak of right now are definitely lack of sleep, lack of
Independence and lack of support. Needless to say I am lacking in many
areas, but these are of most concern. I am NOT getting enough sleep, she is
what my midwife calls as ``snacker`` which means she eats a little, naps,
eats some more, naps, ext. This cycle continues all day and all night which
means she is looking for my boob every 30 min. Not much time in there to
sleep, or do anything really which is where the lack of Independence comes

The lack of support has only to do with the breastfeeding. It seems like
no one trusts that I can feed this baby, no one has confidence in me. At
every turn I am being told to supplement by some ``well meaning``
member of my family. I have no problems with supplementing but at
this point it has not been needed. She is growing steadily, the doctors is
ok with her growth (although she is small) and she is quite happy. I
know I shouldn't be concerning myself with their comments, but when
your this tired and there is an army of people telling you your starving
your child its hard not to worry.

I wish they would shut the hell up!

Ok, thats enough complaining, I`m going to go catch up on the blogs!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Birth Story Part 2 (Typed with both hands)

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, deciding if I should stay home and try for the
natural home birth I wanted, or head to the hospital and likely receive and
epidural. So I'm betting that from my previous posts pushing home birth you
think I decided to stay, but guess what....your wrong. Before the midwives
finished saying"I think we should head to the hospital" I was already getting
my crocks on and heading for the door. I wasn't even wearing a shirt but off
I went to the elevator. Of course my good hubby was there to make sure I put
all me clothes on, he even asked if I was sure this is what I wanted, to which
I replied "Caterpillar, Caterpillar, Caterpillar!" our code word.

I was the first one at the elevator waiting for everyone else to pack up and figure 
out how to get to the hospital. In the end my doula drove while I had contractions 
in the front seat and my husband rubbed my shoulders from the back seat. At this 
point all I wanted was the epidural, each contraction made my body push, and each
contraction everyone would say "don't push" and I was forced to pant instead. When 
we arrived at the hospital the nursing staff joined the "don't push" chorus and I
started to feel completely alone. In fact I started to feel like everyone was out to
get me, I may have even accused them of "trying to kill me"....a bit dramatic!

I wanted to be checked before requesting the epidural just in case I miraculously
dilated 3 cm while in the car. The OB was called in to check my progress but
unfortunately my pushing did start to swell the cervix and I was now 6cm. That
was it for me, I wanted the epidural and I wanted it "NOW!". It took nearly 1
hour for the anesthetist to arrive and wile I waited I yelled continually at the
staff to go find him. Things I may have said:

"Where the *#@! is he? Why arn't you getting him?"

"I need this to be over, someone go find him"

and again "Your all trying to kill me!!!"

As soon as I decided on the epidural I threw all my breathing and coping
techniques out the window......not a good Idea. That last hour was honestly
the worst and lowest point of this whole event, I can look back and laugh
now but it really was not a shinning moment for me! 

Once the anesthetist arrived and worked his magic all was well and I 
immediately felt relief........and guilt. I felt as if I gave up on my baby and left her 
to labour alone, I had worked so hard to have her and when things got hard I 
tapped out, but I NEEDED the break. I also knew the epidural was going to slow 
labour down and pitocin was eventually going to be introduced, I really did not
want the baby exposed to pitocin. 

After about 45min. you could see on the monitor that the contractions (that had 
once been 2 min a part lasting 1.5min for hours) had completely stopped. My doula 
and I used a breast pump to try and increase oxytocin (which I am sure got a few 
laughs from the nurses) and it worked a little bit. We got the contractions back 
up to 5 min apart but it wasn't enough, pitocin would have to be used.

We spent the rest of the day resting, eating and chatting. Staff was in and out
to check on me but really we were left alone most of the time. My nurse was amazing 
and encouraging as well as the OB who was confident his baby would rotate and make
her way out eventually. This was refreshing to hear because in my experience swollen 
cervix = cesarean. I really can't say enough about the hospital stay, I was really very 
lucky that day.

At around 4 or 5pm I was checked again and was ecstatic to hear that I was 10cm 
dilated, they recommended I have more rest and get ready to push soon. The epidural 
had been given at around 9am, and I avoided pressing the nice red button (the one 
that boosts the medication) so by this time I was feeling the contractions again. 
Actually for much of the day I knew when contractions were coming so was able to
continue my breathing and visualizations.

By 6pm I was feeling that urge to push again but this time I was able to work with it. 
There was still some intensity but it was a relief to finally push. When the midwife 
checked me the baby's head was "right there" and had turned back to the proper 
position. I turned to my side to push while hubby held my hand watched the birth. 
I could hear everyone encouraging me as I pushed until I heard the midwife say 
"Here is the head". I felt very much in control at this point so I waited for the next 
contraction and pushed with all I had.

Then, suddenly there was a little tiny face staring up at me, I know there was
lots of commotion going on around but all I could see was this little baby on my 
chest. Hubby announced that we had a little girl and before long the 3 of us were
able to enjoy our first few moments together. Sotiria (Sadie) Lorraine was born 
Friday Aug 12th at 6:30pm to a packed room of doctors, midwives, nurses, doulas 
and the waiting arms of her loving parents.

I wish I could say that this was the way it was supposed to be and it was perfect but 
the truth is I wish I had been stronger for her. All I wanted was to start her life off in 
a calm and gentle way and I feel like I let her down. Of course when I am thinking 
logically I know I did the best I could and that I am proud of the decisions I made. 
In the end our birth story is "ours" and I had an amazing day filled with love,
amazing support and happiness, and that is the way it's supposed to be.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Birth Story Part 1 (typed with one hand)

I often tell expectant mothers that they may not get the baby they ordered. The baby
I ordered slept at night and sometimes during the day, the baby I got only sleeps when
I'm holding her. Do I care? not at all, cause she is so much more then I asked for, but I
just wanted to explain why this took so long and why I'm typing with one hand. Well,
here goes......Sadie's birth story!

I actually started feeling contractions quite regularly for about a week before the birth,
they would start at night and peter out by the morning. 2 days before she was born I
thought my water broke but it was just a little hind leak, looking back I now realize how
little this leak actually was compared to the real thing! Of course after a week of these
false alarms I was getting tired both physically and mentally, I just wanted to have her
(I did not know baby was a her yet) safe in my arms.

I talked a bit with my sister about how I was feeling. She asked if I was feeling overly
emotional, ya know the kind of emotional where you cry over everything. Of course
my answer was no as I tend to keep everything held in, all I really remember feeling
was impatient. Well, on babe's due date the movie 'The Help' came out, which is one
of my favorite books and I was secretly hoping to go overdue so I would get to see
it. Hubby and I went to the lunchtime screening, the movie was awesome but when
the tear jerking ending came around I tried my best not to cry. Instead what came out
of my mouth was a high pitched, inhuman noise, followed by laughter and 15 minutes
of sobbing.

I guess I needed a good cry because contractions started on the walk home and did
not stop. By 5pm the contractions were steady at 3 min apart lasting 1 min but they
were not very intense, I could get through by closing my eyes and breathing. As time
passed they did get much stronger and I felt that I needed to be standing up through
them, the shower helped too. When 9pm came around and the contractions were
still going strong my hubby called the midwife even, though I told him not to because
I didn't want to disturb her so late for "no reason".

Good thing he called because when she got here I was 4cm and fully effaced, she
decided that because the contractions had such a good pattern that she would stay.
At this point it started to sink in that this was really it, almost immediately the
contractions became more intense. I called the doula to come over, strapped on
the TENS machine and Hubby started to set up the birth pool.

When the doula arrived I was half naked and moaning through the contractions
(quite the sight I am sure) each time I had one I would boost the TENS machine
and lean over whatever was in front of me (a chair, TV, garbage pail or a human).
Between the contractions I would walk around, talk and joke feeling nothing much
at all.

By midnight the contractions were 2.5min apart and lasting 1.5min, I was starting
to feel pushy so I asked the midwife to check me. I was 7cm dilated, which was great
progress, but not far enough along to surrender to that urge to push.We decided it
was time to get into the birth pool, I have to say it felt amazing in there but I
have to admit that over the next few hours I was surprised by how intense the
contractions became. My husband stayed very close to me and was incredibly
encouraging while the doula massaged my back between contractions. I remember
This part of the birth very well, I was so loved and supported through this, but inside
my head I was starting to doubt myself. Here is a list some of the things I was saying:

"Why did I choose to do this?"

"Why would anyone do this"

"I will never do this again"

I even threw out a few "I cant's" an "I wont's" in there, which were always followed
by "you can's" and "you will's"by my support team who apparently thought I was doing
a good job. At around 3am the urge to push had become much stronger and I could no
longer ignore it, each contraction made my body bear down without any way to stop
it. Normally this is a sign that it is time to push so I asked the midwife to check me.

"7cm" was definitely NOT what I wanted to hear, I had made NO progress in 3 hours
and the urge to push was just getting stronger. The midwife suggested she break my
water as the bulging amniotic sac may be causing that urge. My hubby did exactly
what he learned in childbirth ed. class and asked for time to talk about it. After a
very VERY brief discussion I decided to do it because I wanted that urge to be gone.
I think hubby became worried at this point because he knew how much I wanted
to avoid intervention, but he was very supportive in the decision.By the way, it
did not work, all I got was soaking wet and the urge to push stayed!

Disappointed, I went back into the pool where my husband and doula worked to
repair the damage of hearing "7cm" had done, and to try and stop me from pushing.
The problem is that if you push on a not yet dilated cervix you can cause swelling so
I had to be very careful. My doula had me panting though contractions so I wouldn't
bear down and my hubby continued to let me know I was doing good and that
everything would be ok. By this point I was feeling like I couldn't go on, up until
then the intensity felt manageable, the failure to progress did not.

At 6:30am I was checked again and again I was 7cm, but this time the midwife let
me know that the baby had turned completely posterior (not good), which could be
why I was feeling pushy. By this point I was pushing through contractions involuntarily
and the midwife was concerned my cervix was going to start swelling. She suggested
we go to the hospital for an epidural, this would take away the urge and lower the
risk of swelling.

So, now we had a decision to make, go to the hospital leaving my homebirth dream
behind or stay at home and see if I will progress over the next few hours. Not an easy
decision and I'm still not sure I made the right one. All that I can say is that at the time
I knew exactly what I had to do.

Part 2 will come soon (it took me a few sittings to write this!)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Baby Girl is Here!

I know it took a little long for me to write this (just over 2 weeks) but I want to 
let everyone know that I had a baby girl. Her name is Sotiria (So-ti-rea-a) 
Lorraine Katopodis. That is her official (greek) name but were just calling her 
Sadie to make it easier on everyone. She was born on August 12th at around 6:30pm, 
I will have birth details on the next post when I have a little more time. My parents
are in town so I am busy taking care of baby and them at the same time :) I really
want to spend some time writing down the birth story as it was 'different' then I 
had expected and I kinda need time to process it. All that matters though is she 
is here and she is perfect and healthy. I added a little pic for you to see, I 
think she is cute as a button! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Estimated Due Date!

Yup, it's my 'due date' which I know means very little as far as actually having the baby
in my arms, but I was hoping to be one of the lucky ones! It has actually been quite an 
exciting few days (exciting or frustrating, whatever you wanna call it) as every night I am 
up with contractions. Everyday once the sun comes up they dwindle and eventually disappear
leaving me wondering what to do for the rest of the day. I feel kinda like a ticking time
bomb, especially since my husband wont let me out of his sight, he's even started nesting (keeping one eye on me, while the other cooks and cleans)

So thats the story, starting saturday night I have been having contractions all through the 
night and try my best to recover sleep during the day. Monday night my 'water broke' or so 
I thought, but it turns out it was a hind leak. This means a piece of the bag broke but the 
baby's head has blocked the leak so it will either repair itself or leak every once and a 
while when the baby moves its head. My body has chosen the later of the two, leaving me
quite 'uncomfortable' a few times a day. 

I hope I have better more exciting news for everyone over the next few days, but until then
I am trying my best to remain patient and well rested. I have decided I will see a movie
everyday until baby comes (there is a cheep theater by my house) so that I have something 
to look forward to. Yesterday was 'Crazy Sexy Love' today will be 'The Help'. Hopefully 
tomorrow I will be swimming in my birth pool, but if not it might be a 'Smurfs' day! 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

38 weeks

It's hard to believe I am at 38 weeks, It is shocking to me how fast and slow this whole
pregnancy has been. I feel like I have been pregnant forever, but at the same time I feel like
it has gone too fast. I am not so sure if I am ready to let little babe out into the real world
just yet. I know that sounds really strange as all of us have the goal to be mama's to our 
little ones, but I am really enjoying this time with him or her.  I know when the babe is most
active (when I'm sleeping), when it sleeps (when I'm active) and when it's going to get 
the hiccups, I can even play with him or her when it kicks and I push back. All in all 
its a pretty good relationship, no tears, no screaming, just a big bump and a happy baby
(I hope). 

I have to admit though, as I get closer to the 'due date' I start to worry more and more
about the birth. Like I said before, I am not sure I am ready to let go of this stage, right 
now I know little one is safe with me but once the birth begins It is all out of my control. 
I want more then anything to hold this baby in my arms while hubby and I decide who 
he or she looks like, but this image seem so abstract, so distant. I just want everything to 
go well, I want to finally write a birth announcement on this page. 

I know as a doula I should feel much more confident in the birth process and in reality
I have nothing but confidence in this process. I have been so blessed in my work and 
have been the witness of many beautiful birth experiences, but for some reason I can not
seem to believe this is possible for me. I know that I am in perfect health and so is the 
babe, I know that statistically and even realistically everything should work out perfectly
but I can not seem to shake these fears and anxieties. 

As you all know my plan is for a home birth. I have the pool ready, the house ready, just 
about everything is set up. The midwife has given us the thumbs up to go ahead with our 
plan and so there is no reason at this point to think that a home birth is not possible for us. 
So why do I worry? I can't seem to shake the feeling that if something was to go wrong 
I would be blamed because I chose to be at home. If I choose to go to the hospital then 
people could at least say 'well, you did everything you could' but If I'm at home they can 
say 'well, you should have been at the hospital'. The truth of the matter is, the midwives
are prepared to deal with emergency situations at home, so I'm not sure why I'm feeling 
this way. 

All this negative thought is really starting to weigh on me, I honestly truly believe that
being at home is the safest place for a healthy pregnancy, but the 'crazy pants' part of my
brain is starting to take over. I actually think I may know where it comes from, but I'm not
so sure. A few months ago when I told my mother of my plans she had a slight melt down 
and said 'well if something goes wrong then its YOU that will have to live with it'. That statement has stuck with me for months, even though it has nothing to do with my beliefs. 
I do not blame my mom for this statement, she herself has had to deal with a stillbirth 
and she is just trying to protect me from this hurt. 

Ok, well I just wanted to get all that off my chest. In reality I know that my midwives are
there to look out for mine and my baby's safety and if there were ever a time I needed to 
be in the hospital for a medical reason they would see to it that I was there, and I am even 
ok to choose to be there if my anxieties get the better of me. I trust in the process and trust that the birth will take place where it should and I am happy with either possibility. I just 
need to work on my confidence over the next few days or weeks, I just want baby to be 
safe and happy when he or she arrives, all of my decisions are based on that. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Post About My Shower - And Not Sleeping

It's 5:30 am and of course I am not sleeping. This insomnia is really the biggest thing
I would complain about if I was to complain at all. I figure I should use this time to be
productive so I'm going to write a little about my sweet, sweet shower. 

First of all (and I hope they are reading) I have to THANK my lucky stars and the 
organizers of my shower for such a wonderful night. It certainly lived up to my 
expectations and I am, and will be forever grateful for such good friends. They really 
put a lot of thought into my big night and really REALLY understood the significance 
of the event for me. 

The night itself was pretty traditionally a baby shower, with the silly games, balloons, 
a decorated throne (for me, yeah!), and TONS of food, but where it differed was in the presentation. They actually added elements of a "blessing way" into the night, which is 
really more of a way to honor the mother or mother to be. Needless to say I cried and 
cried while they talked about how happy they were for me and read little "blessings" for 
the time I will spend as a new mother. 

What surprised me the most was how much this pregnancy seemed to mean for my friends, 
in all my angst I forgot to notice that my friends wanted this for me nearly as badly as I 
wanted it for myself. There was a point in the night just before opening gifts when one of
the fabulous organizers explained to the guests how long she has waited for this. She told
everyone how the three of us dreamed of spending maternity leave together nearly 5 years
ago. She told them of how as the years passed and they had one maternity leave after 
another while I was left to sit and wait for my turn. She even talked about how proud she 
was of me for continuing to hope and pray despite the odds against me, in fact (and I hadn't noticed until then) they had decorated the room with candles that said "Hope", "Faith", 
and "Believe". TEARS! 

Overall it was an amazing shower. In time I will be able to thank them for all they have 
done for me, and of course their continued patience with me over the last few years. Until 
then I have tons of baby loot that I need to organize and set up for baby's arrival, I know 
this little one is already spoiled as can be, but I wouldn't have it any other way! 

Oh, and they had a photographer there to take pictures of the night, I will be getting them
(as well as a scrapbook with words of wisdom) sometime soon!! I will post 'em when 
I get 'em :)