Monday, August 31, 2009

Gabriel Scott Baker

It is amazing to me how quickly life can change. I have said this before on my blog, but it more true today than EVER before. And hopefully, most of you know why I say this.

Friday August 28th started like any other day. I got up and headed to work. After work I was scheduled to head over to the hospital to have my weekly NST and AFI test. Since I have had pregnancy induced hypertension my doctor has been checking the baby and I weekly. When I got to the hospital for test Friday, however, the results were concerning. My fluid levels weren’t great and consequently my doctor had me go down to labor and delivery. Dr. Yamashiro then headed over to meet me and tell me that he wanted to induced my labor now, rather than wait until Ryan could be here on September 4th.

At first I was devastated. I didn’t want to think about Ryan not being by my side. But then I realized that even more important was that the little baby patiently waiting inside me. So I took a deep breath and prepared for the biggest moment of my life.

The whole process started about 6 p.m. and just kept going. I won’t go into a lot of the details because, lets face it, they are nasty. I will say that I waited until 1 a.m. until I got my epidural, which I consider pretty good. I held out as long as I could before getting the drugs. I was scared to get the epidural but I am very glad that I did. Once I was able to handle (Or simply not feel.) the pain, I was able to relax and focus on the baby.

Things still did not go as we had hoped however. My cervix would not dilate past a 4 and it needs to be at a 10 for the baby to be delivered “the regular way” and the medication that they were using to try and force my labor was beginning to cause the baby some stress. And so finally, after 16 hours of labor, the decision was made to send me in for a C-Section. It was by far, the scary news I had received so far.

I called Ryan to let him know and all I can say is that talking to him helped me so much. He told me how much he loves me and how he knew this was what was best for all of us. Just hearing his voice in those last few minutes was a huge comfort. I was also EXTREMELY lucky to have my wonderful family there with me for the whole process. My Dad, Mom, sister Becca, and brother Byron had all been there with me through the night and were there to be with me for the next part. (Mom and Becca even got to come into the O.R. with me as I had my C-Section.)

Let me tell you one thing about a C-section-it is the weirdest thing you will ever feel. Although the sensation of pain was gone, I could feel the pressure of everything. It was nuts! I just kept thinking, “Behind this curtain, I am being cut wide open…weird.”

After just a few minutes, my doctor says, “Okay Rachel, lots of pressure here.” And I could feel it. My lungs felt like they were suddenly under tons of pressure and then it was over. My Mom and sister both gasped and cried I see the head. And then it was informed that I had a baby boy…a BIG baby boy. So big that the anesthesiologist said loudly, “Whoa! Big boy!” I was anxious to see him for myself. The nurse carried him around the curtain so that I could take a quick look before he was sent to the nurses to get cleaned up and checked.

His lungs were gunky with fluid and that took some time to get cleaned out. He went to the NICU for about 30 minutes as I was patched up and wheeled back to my room. They got him taken care of and then he was brought in to my room.

It is amazing how much I love my “little” guy. Gabriel Scott was born August 29 at 11:35 am. He is 8 lbs 12 oz and 21 & ½ inches long at birth. He eats well and is doing everything a newborn should be doing. I am also doing really well. Yes, I hurt (especially when I sneeze, cough, or laugh!) but that is only to be expected. No fevers or vomiting. And I have even been able to get and walk quite a bit and…TAKE A SHOWER! YAY! There is nothing like taking a shower after being sweaty and tired for 24 hours.

I want to thank my family for being there for Gabe and I during this whole process. It was not easy for me to do this without Ryan by my side and I cannot thank my parents and siblings enough for all the time they have spent with me the last few days. And thanks to my Mom and sister for going to my house and doing some extra cleaning for me yesterday.

And thanks to Linda and Scott. Although you guys couldn’t be here when Gabe was born, I know that your hearts and prayers were with us both. It means so much to me to know that this baby has another loving set of grandparents. And I cannot wait for you guys to meet him. I think he looks so much like your son!

I want to also thank my cousin Nicole and my Grandma for coming to the hospital and being there for me after my surgery. I know that they love me because they are there in a snap when I need them. And I see how much they already love my baby and that means a lot too.

I want to thank Sera for coming over and seeing Gabe last night. She is going to be the best big sister that any little kid could ask for. She did nothing but stare at him, hold him, kiss him, talk all about him, and inform me all the things that she is going to do for him. She is such an amazing kid and I know that she is going to be a BIG help to me.

I also need to thank my husband. Ryan, although you haven’t been able to physically be by my side, I felt your spirit. I know that your whole heart has been here with us this whole time. And just hearing your voice makes me feel so much better about everything that has happened. This process hasn’t been easy for either of us, but I am here to tell you, Gabe is completely worth it. He is the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen and I can already see so much of you in him. I am afraid that as much I have tried to force him into being a tree-hugging liberal, your genetics are too strong and this kid is going to end up a gun-toting conservative. I love you so much more today Ryan than I did the day I married you. Thank you for giving me the gift of our son. Thank you more then you can ever really know.

And lastly, thank you Gabe. Gabe, though you may not realize this now, (because all you care about is eating and sleeping!) you have changed me forever. It is true when they say that the love you feel for your child is instant and powerfully so. You have made me a better person in just the short time I have known you. Your entrance into this world may not have been easy, but it was and always will be worth. You are the best thing to have ever happened to me and I can only hope that someday, you will understand just how special you are.

Please know Gabe that your Daddy and I both love you UNCONDITIONALLY! You are my special angel and I am so very blessed to be your Mom. You are handsome and sweet. And your skin always smell so good which is more than can be said of your Mommy right now. I am excited to see how you change and grow over time. I hope that I can be someone you look up to. I love you with all my heart my sweet Gabe-zilla.
Thanks again to everyone who sent their love and prayers my way over the past few days. Gabe, Ryan, and I are all great and we look forward to the future. I will keep the pictures coming. Love to you all!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ready or not...

HOLY CRAP! I’m officially scheduled for my induction! ON SEPTEMBER 4TH! YYYAAAAYYY! Words cannot express my joy. When my doctor looked at me and said, “Well you are dilated at a one.” I about peed on his exam table. (Of course that might have something to do with the giant baby lying on my bladder.)

Now we pray that I hold out until September 4th. It is such a fine line I walk. My doctor wanted me to induce on Monday and I looked at him like, “Really? You expect me to be ready by then?” And then I quickly said “No. I want to be induced on September 4th.” It was then his turn to respond with surprise. Normally when he tells pregnant women, “Let’s get that baby out of you.” They jump at the chance. And here I am telling him, “Thanks but…can I be pregnant for just a few more days please?” I then reminded him of my reasons and he was okay with waiting.

The only downside? My wonderful and amazing doctor will not be there. He goes out of town the morning on September 4th and so it will be one of his partners that will deliver my baby. But honestly, I trust everyone at that clinic and I know I will be in good hands. And it is so important to me to have Ryan there. There is no one else I really want there. And I know that my family understands that.

And, of for some reason, this baby decides he/she cannot wait until September 4th, at least Ryan will be home and will be able to see his baby and hold them. My worry was that Ryan would fly home on September 3rd and leave on the 7th without getting to meet his new spawn.

Naturally I will keep my fingers (And legs!) crossed for September 4th. I am asking all my family and friends to keep me, Ryan, and Peanut in their prayers. Please pray that we can all be together when Peanut is welcomed into this world. And should Peanut decide not wait, please pray for a safe and healthy delivery. I am sure all of you have been anyways, but I still feel like I should ask again.

As for being ready for next week, I am not. But this kid is coming no matter what so that is just the way it is. My floor needs some serious vacuuming and my house needs an over-all clean. My sister said she might be able to help me out this weekend in getting a few things done. And I cannot say how grateful I am for her in that aspect since I was told to REST REST REST in order to better my chances for next Friday.

Thanks again for everyone’s concern and prayers. Please keep them coming! And of course, I’ll be sure to keep you updated if things should change. MUCH LOVE!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hakuna Matata

I was lucky enough to spend my weekend with my step-daughter Sera. She is always so much fun to hang out with and she is always full of funny stories. My sister practically begged me (on her knees) to post this little gem of a story so I will.

Saturday morning Becca came to pick up Sera and I to go do a little shopping for the baby. Turns out, you need to have the binkies and bottles BEFORE the baby arrives-who knew? Anyway, we head to Babies’R’Us (Or as I like to call it “Mecca”) and as we walk into the front door, there is the corner, glistening in all it’s 50 cent glory, is a Pumba ride. You know Pumba, the pig...err…I mean, warthog from The Lion King.

Well Sera runs over to it and gently caresses its piggy head and says “Look at this fun ride! And it is only 50 cents.” Becca and I try to pretend we didn’t hear her comment and ask her if we should use a blue cart or a purple cart. She repeats her statement about the ride a couple more times until we acknowledge her. She looks at us disheartened when we simply said, “Cool. Come on Sera-let’s go look at bottles.”

As we walk through the store she keeps bringing up that darn ride. I know that I don’t have any quarters in my purse so I try to distract her. Becca, on the other hands has some change and bargains with her. The deal? If Sera is good the rest of the time we are in the store, she can ride the Pumba ride.

So we quickly finish and Sera races out to the entrance area and hops on Pumba. She is kicking her feet and holding tight to the handles. Her smile expresses nothing but pure joy and anticipation. Becca inserts the two quarters and we both watch as the ride starts.

It is slow. Very slow. The pig must have had knee replacements recently or is suffering from a groin pull because he isn’t going fast. We watch as the huge smile slips from Sera’s face. She now looks confused. I can almost read her mind from the look on her face. “I behaved for THIS?” She doesn’t misbehave as it is, but she was extra good in the store and now, for the fruits of her labor, all she gets is a 60 second ride on a warthog that moves like an obese arthritic person.

Her feet have quit swinging and now hang lifelessly at the sides. She isn’t even holding on anymore. She folded her arms and is resting her head on top of Pumba’s head. She gives us a very unenthusiastic “Yee haw.” Becca and I are trying as best we can to contain our laughter but it is really hard.

I ask her if she wants to get down and she heaves a sigh and says “No. That’s okay.” Once the ride is over, she slides off and turns around to stare at Pumba. She frowns a little but then turns and walks out with us. We ask her if the ride was fun and she hesitates but then says “Yes.”

Maybe you had to be there to see her face. But any of you that know Sera, can picture the face she was making. It was so funny! She always makes me laugh and I am so glad that she is back in Utah. Her absence has left a HUGE hole in Ryan’s and my life for the last 2 years and would cannot begin to express how glad we are that she is back home.

And also, on a side note, I am officially just over 37 weeks pregnant and now considered a “full term” pregnancy. If I were to go into labor now, I could go straight to the hospital and they wouldn’t stop the baby from coming. YAY! Except that, we do not want to induce until September 4th. So everyone, keep praying for that date and I will let you know as things unfold. Love to everyone!

Friday, August 21, 2009

37 weeks and counting...

I am almost there. Mongo Peanut and I are now at 37 weeks. And it is weird to me to think about how fast time has really gone. I thought I would be miserable and that time would move at a glacial pace but instead it has gone by quite quickly. And now, we are hoping to induce labor 2 weeks from today. It makes me excited and TERRIFIED at the same time. Sure I can play it cool but that thought that sooner (MUCH SOONER) than I am probably ready for, I will be a full time mother of an infant-a tiny human who is 100% dependant on me. That’s a lot a pressure. My dog will get into the garbage or eat a sock if she gets hungry and I am not around. Hell, she’ll drink from the toilet even if her dish has water. She can survive!

But I am all this new little person will have. This kid might be in big trouble. I wish I could say I was confident that I won’t screw this poor kid up but let’s be honest…if it comes out NOT spewing sarcasm or the word “Damn” we will all be surprised. It probably has a very warped view of the world just from hearing me rant about the right-winged ass hats in Washington and will also already have a strong opinion on both recycling as well as using organic products when available. SEE RYAN! This is what you get for going to Mississippi…your conservative opinions have not been heard! Your child will come out of the womb flashing a peace sign. HAHAHAHA!

It is also weird to think about my baby being 37 weeks old in womb. When it is 37 weeks old out of the womb, which is what, 8 and ½ months? CRAZY! Peanut is 37 weeks now and still dependant on my body for life. At 37 weeks on the outside, Peanut will be eating food and could possibly be crawling! (Another educational fact: 50% of babies crawl at 7 months.)

As for my doctor’s appointment this week, not much has changed. I thought I would get more news than I did, honestly. I left a little discouraged. The closer I get to having this baby, the more I realize I NEED RYAN THERE! I know that I can make it without him, but I don’t want to. I want the father of my baby there to hold my hand and our baby in Peanut’s first few moments of life. I desperately need Ryan to be there. And after my appointment on Tuesday, I was hoping my OBGYN would give me more hope that we can induce on September 4th. But he didn’t promise me anything and just told me not to worry about what my cervix is doing and to focus on resting and staying healthy. Easier said than done for this Mama.

So as much as I wish I could update everyone with some new and exciting news, I can’t. And I never thought I would have to say this EVER in my life but, let’s all pray my cervix is doing something by my appointment this next Tuesday. Time is getting closer and I need this to happen. I’ve already had a chat with Peanut about getting ready to go, but I am not sure “he” is listening.

Thanks to everyone for asking and being concerned about the baby and I. I assure you that we are both doing well and I promise to keep you update on any new developments. Love to you all!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Update...On Mongo

The Baby is HUGE! There is no other appropriate way to start this blog. Did you hear that Internet? HUGE BABY! So huge, Ryan has nick-named the baby Mongo. I warned Ryan that if he keeps up the name calling, our giant baby is coming to come out of uterus and kick his ass.

Last week during my OBGYN visit, my doctor noted that my fundal height (A measure of the size of the uterus used to assess fetal growth and development. It is measured from the top of the uterus to the top of the pubic bone in centimeters. MY BLOG IS EDUCATIONAL NOW!) was larger than it should be. This measurement, including a gain of 5 pounds, encouraged him to order a fetal stress test, test for the amount of amniotic fluid, and another ultra sound to determine my estimated fetal weight.

I was nervous about these tests because my high fundal height could mean many things. I could have been retaining amniotic fluid which would have resulted in me having to have amniocentesis, which is where they stick a BIG needle in my abdomen to drain out some of the fluid. Too much fluid can drown the baby. And the other option was that my due date was miscalculated and I am farther along then we thought. Or…I have produced a large child. It is normal for women who have gestational diabetes to have big babies, but I tested negative for that.

So last Friday I had the testing done. Stress test was normal…GREAT! Amniotic fluid test was normal…FABULOUS! Ultrasound….this is where we hit the speed bump.

Allow me quickly to educate you further. Below is chart to show you estimated fetal weights per week. Please look down at week 35 and notice the weight is pounds/ounces.

8 weeks
0.63 inch 0.04 ounce
9 weeks 0.90 inch 0.07 ounce
10 weeks 1.22 inch 0.14 ounce
11 weeks 1.61 inch 0.25 ounce
12 weeks 2.13 inches 0.49 ounce
13 weeks 2.91 inches 0.81 ounce
14 weeks 3.42 inches 1.52 ounce
15 weeks 3.98 inches 2.47 ounces
16 weeks 4.57 inches 3.53 ounces
17 weeks 5.12 inches 4.94 ounces
18 weeks 5.59 inches 6.70 ounces
19 weeks 6.02 inches 8.47 ounces
20 weeks 6.46 inches 10.58 ounces
21 weeks 10.51 inches 12.70 ounces
22 weeks 10.94 inches 15.17 ounces
23 weeks 11.38 inches 1.10 pound
24 weeks 11.81 inches 1.32 pound
25 weeks 13.62 inches 1.46 pound
26 weeks 14.02 inches 1.68 pound
27 weeks 14.41 inches 1.93 pound
28 weeks 14.80 inches 2.22 pounds
29 weeks 15.2 inches 2.54 pounds
30 weeks 15.71 inches 2.91 pounds
31 weeks 16.18 inches 3.31 pounds
32 weeks 16.69 inches 3.75 pounds
33 weeks 17.20 inches 4.23 pounds
34 weeks 17.72 inches 4.73 pounds
35 weeks 18.19 inches 5.25 pounds
36 weeks 18.66 inches 5.78 pounds
37 weeks 19.13 inches 6.30 pounds
38 weeks 19.61 inches 6.80 pounds
39 weeks 19.96 inches 7.25 pounds
40 weeks 20.16 inches 7.63 pounds
41 weeks 20.35 inches 7.93 pounds
42 weeks 20.28 inches 8.12 pounds
43 weeks 20.20 inches 8.19 pounds

At 35 weeks the average baby weighs 5.25 pounds. What is Mongo currently clocking in at you ask? 7 lbs and 3 ounces! Almost 2 extra pounds! HOLY CRAP! So either my due date is off, which is always possible or….GIANT BABY AHOY!

Now it is up to my doctor as to which direction I go. I doubt I will be going all the way to September 11th now because the baby is expected to gain 0.5 to 1 pound a week from here on out. You do the math…that would be over 10 pounds! No thanks! My lady parts don’t want to suffer through that. (I apologize to any reader who may be offended by the mentioning of my lady parts but it is my blog.)

Ryan can be home the night of September 3rd and will fly back September 7th so we are still hoping to induce that weekend. But now, instead of inducing early, we may be praying that the baby doesn’t come before then. AHHHH! Peanut is giving me heartburn and now, anxiety!

Also I would like to thank those of you who were able to attend my baby shower. It was a lot of fun and I got lots of cute things for Peanut. And a special thanks to Linda for the presents for the baby shower and from Las Vegas! I am sorry that you couldn’t be there but I know, in spirit, you always are. J

That is going to sum it up for now. I will update all of you as I get more info on the expected date of delivery. Much love from Ryan, Rachel, AND MONGO!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I bet she'll taste great with some A-1 steak sauce!

I love my dog. Now please go back and re-read that last sentence one more time. Do you understand? Okay good. BECAUSE I AM GOING TO BARBEQUE HER!

For example, I was watching a show last night on A&E about people who O.C.D. (obsessive compulsive disorder) and there was this woman who obsesses over dogs being tortured and killed. Well they took this woman to a local pound and America got to watch her have an emotional melt down over all the fuzzy faces in cages. I am the kind of woman who cries at the IAMS dog food commercial so being pregnant and seeing this, I started to weep and proceeded to hug my dog until she couldn’t take it anymore due to lack of oxygen. Do you really understand how much I love my dog? I hope so…because taking away all her squeaky toys and leaving her with nothing to play with really going to breaks my heart.

Every morning my dog and I have a routine. I get up, shower, go downstairs, put her on her leash, let her out my front door so she can “relieve herself” on my lawn, go inside, feed her, feed myself, go back upstairs, and get ready for work. This pattern was interrupted when Sera came to town. She wanted to walk Freya across the road every morning and let her use the bathroom on the big lawn. I agreed because it was Sera and it wasn’t a big deal. But 2 weeks of walking across the road to let Freya urinate on the large patch of grass spoiled my dog. And now that Sera has gone, Freya can’t get back into our normal routine.

I let her out the front door and she just sits there…staring at me. It has become a battle of wills which I lose because I don’t want to bring her back in and have her pee on my floor. I have ended up caving in and walking her across the road to let her go to the bathroom. But not today! I wasn’t going to let that happen today. Nope, this morning she was going to pee in my front lawn no matter what.

So after my shower I go to get dressed and realized all my clothes are downstairs on the dryer. But that is okay because I am not walking outside today. My dog is going to pee on my lawn and I was only going to have to stand at my front door. So I wrapped a towel around me, threw my robe over that for a little extra modesty, and headed down stairs.

I got to my front door and clipped on Freya’s leash and let her out. Sure enough, she sat on the front step and waited. But I wasn’t going to give in. I closed my screen door and attached her leash handle to the knob so she couldn’t get away. She was going to sit out there and do her business. So I walked into my kitchen and got her breakfast ready. I peeked at the front door and could tell she was still sitting there so I went on my way. I got myself a bowl of cereal and some juice and headed to the table. …that’s when I heard it.


I whip around to see Freya’s leash handle lying on the floor. I run to the front door and look out my screen. She is across the road peeing on the lawn. Her leash is older and it broke months ago so Ryan tied a big knot in it to hold it together. Apparently this did not go unnoticed by my dog. And from the looks of it, she chewed the knot lose and ran free across the road.

Now I panic. My dog is a runner and if she gets lose, she takes off. So without thinking I dart out the front door after her. She sees me coming and knows she is in trouble. So mid-pee she starts running. I catch up to her only to get dog pee on my foot. Gross! I grab the little bit of leash still attached to her collar and began to drag her back to my front door when I feel something…slipping.

Then it hits me, I am still in my bathrobe with a towel wrapped around me. And that slipping, well that’s the towel. So now I am hunched over hanging onto my dog with one hand and trying to keep my robe closed tight with my other and trying not to let me towel fall completely off. I get back across the road and to my front door, but right as I am about to enter, the towel slips to the ground.

I shove my dog inside and try to close the screen door but it’s still open a crack. I bend down to pick up my towel while checking to see if any of my neighbors are dying from laughter in their front room windows, when through the crack in the door my dog licks my face. I glare at her and she cocks her head to one side and wags her tail as if to say, “I win. Let’s play again.” Tomorrow we will play by her rules.