Monday, October 1, 2007

It's a Cyber Baby Shower!!

Today is the big day! It's the Cyber Baby Shower over at 5 Minutes for Mom, hosted by Pamela from Happy Panda! Head on over to check out all of the wonderful baby gifts that Susan and Janice have received and to enter the contests for a chance to win some great prizes.

Susan and Janice have asked everyone to participate in our own blogs and play shower games for a chance to share about our own pregnancies and births and to possibly win some great prizes as well. This is a long post (sorry!), so be prepared for a lot of baby photos and fun!

Ok, so the first 'game' is to post a picture of yourself during or just after labor. The most sympathy-inspiring photo will win top pick of all the prizes. Well, I tend to not let anyone with a camera near me while I'm in labor. In fact there are only one or two photos of me pre-baby in the hospital any of the 3 times I was there. I dug through them though and found one to share. Now keep in mind that I really, really wanted to post the one where I looked the most 'normal' or at least somewhat together. But since the idea is to gain sympathy, I'll go along this time. So enjoy, because you won't ever see this photo posted again! LOL This is during labor with Becca in January of 2006.

Phew! So onto the next game! We're supposed to find and post our best 'baby bump' photo! This one is more fun. And harder to pick just one since I have 3 pregnancies and lots of belly shots to choose from! So to be fair and since it's fun to compare how I looked each time, here's one from when I was pregnant with each of my 3 girls. And if I can only enter one into the shower game, let's use the very last one. :)

Ok, so I can't get to my Abby belly shots right now, so I'll have to post that one later...

Here's 33 weeks pregnant with Hannah:

And a close-up of the belly - wow, look at all those stretch marks... And Hannah was my smallest baby even!

And here's me while pregnant with Becca - this was the night before she was born. (I just noticed that I'm wearing the same shirt as in the previous photo, too funny!)

So the third game is to tell one of our baby delivery stories. I was saving these for each of their birthdays, but will share a (somewhat condensed) version of Abby's here - my first and the longest and most difficult of my three.

With a due date of April Fool's Day, I was just happy to make it to and past that day with no baby arrival. I could imagine the responses we would've gotten if we'd had to call our family and friends to announce the baby's arrival if she'd come on April 1st and I'm sure you can too. April 2nd arrived with no baby and was my first day off of work - the first day of my maternity leave. At my weekly doctor's appointment I was 4cm dilated and told that the bag of water was bulging so much that she thought it would break either that day or the next. So I went home and tried to get as much done as I could in preparation. I had a cold so slept on the couch that night to keep my head propped up - with a towel underneath, just in case. And that was a good thing because I woke up around 3am to use the restroom and about 10 minutes after I laid back down, gush! I headed up the stairs to tell Ron - he came awake immediately and asked if it was time. So we headed to the hospital at 3:30am.

And then... nothing. Walking the hallways didn't help. Standing or sitting in different positions didn't help. By the time Ron's parents go there around 8am, labor was going nowhere. They probably would have sent me home if my water hadn't already broken. So I got pitocin to help things along. By mid-morning I was exhausted from having been up most of the night and in quite a bit of pain. I asked for medication and was given an IV drug to see if that would help before trying an epidural. Ahhh... I was able to doze a bit until the afternoon.

When I woke up though, I felt completely out of it and dazed. The pain was worse but a 2nd dose of the drug didn't help any. I had hit transition and was told it was too late for an epidural. When it came time to push, I couldn't figure out how to do it right and wasn't getting anywhere after a couple of hours. I was tired, in pain and kept begging just for a break, but the contractions were worse if I didn't push. The doctor and resident kept telling me if I couldn't push effectively I'd end up with a c-section and at that point, I really didn't care. It was getting pretty close to that point, I think but I managed to get her down far enough that they decided to try the vacuum thing first to see if they could get her out that way. I also got an episiotomy - there was no choice, I was told.

I remember the pain of pushing and the huge sense of relief when she finally came out and they put her on my chest - at 4:16pm. Ron videotaped her being cleaned up, weighed and measured - while I got many stitches for the 4th degree tear that had happened on top of the episiotomy cut. For the rest of my hospital stay, the student nurses kept coming in to see "the 4th degree tear" when I was being checked - I felt a bit like a sideshow attraction.

So 13 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing and one beautiful baby girl later - well worth it! It's not the worst labor and delivery story by far, I know (my sister-in-law gave birth to a 10 pound 3 ounce baby, vaginally, and lost half of her blood supply in the process) but it was my hardest for sure. Abby weighed 9 pounds 2 ounces and had a 38 cm head circumference, which amazed the nurses. And yes, she still has a big head!

Here is Abby, right after she was born:

And all 3 of us later that day:

Wow, now I'm all emotional, just remembering how sweet and special that precious baby girl was. Hard to believe she's a big first grader now!

Here are some more fun questions and then I promise I'll wrap up this mega baby shower post!
  1. Pick a few of the gifts described below and tell your readers about them. For example, you could choose three gifts you’d never seen before. Or select three gifts that you wish you had received at your shower. I love the doll slings! What a great way to let older siblings carry their baby dolls just as Mommy carries the new baby. I also wish I'd had a Cushie Pushie pillow to help with breastfeeding support. And the Big Sister/Little Sister shirts are adorable - I made a couple for Abby and Hannah when Hannah was born, but never had a chance to make or buy any when Becca was born.

  2. Tell us your favorite baby name for a boy and a girl. (We’ve already named Olivia and Sophia, but it’s always fun to hear favorite names.) Well, we've already used our 3 favorite girls' names - I have absolutely no idea what we'd name a 4th girl if we ever needed to. As for boys' names - Abby would have been 'Noah' if she'd been a boy, Hannah would have been 'Jonah' or 'Joshua', and Becca would have been 'Eli' or 'Elijah'.

  3. Post a photo of yourself as a newborn or as a child.

  4. Post photos of your children as newborns.
  5. You can see Abby above and here are Hannah and Becca...

  6. Tell us your favorite nursery rhyme and/or children’s book. I love the "Going to Bed Book" by Sandra Boynton - well any of her books really.

  7. What was the best/worst baby shower gift you received? When people know that you're having a baby girl, you get so many pink outfits, blankets and stuffed animals. I would've loved some things that were more useful - we didn't get much off of our registry at all.

  8. What did you like the most/least about being pregnant? My favorite part was feeling the babies move and kick and wondering what they would look and be like once they were born. My least favorite parts were being big and awkward and the back/hip pain I had all 3 times during the 3rd trimester. Plus the stomach aches and nausea during the first trimester - I never threw up much, but spent 3 months feeling like I had to.
So that's it for my massive baby shower post! Congratulations again to Janice and baby Olivia - and I can't wait to hear about Susan's baby Sophia when she makes her arrival in the next few weeks! Check out more of the fun at 5 Minutes for Mom!

Vote for my post on Mom Blog Network add to sk*rt

14 wonderful people said...:

Jean said...

I've gotta think about what I'm going to post for the shower later. My oldest loves that his birthday is April 1! :) Hubs was really mad that I started labor Midnight April 1st so there was a slim chance of him not being born on the 1st.

Amanda said...

0k, reading all these birth stories, and seeing photos makes me want another baby!!!!

Summer said...

Hey, you and I had a very similar first baby birthing experience. You can read about it on my blog. Loved the pics!

Wendy said...

Loved all the pictures and the sweet story:)

(here from 5MFM)

Guy Davis said...

Congratulations! I think both Noah and Abby are great names.

Check out their popularity over time and around the world for Noah and Abby

striving... said...

You know with my oldest I was due on March 31, and she was a day late, born on April Fools Day. Yes when we called our friends they thought we were joking. It took a lot of covincing.

Christine said...

LOL! I did the same thing with Katelyn and Lindsay, wearing the same maternity outfits.

Loved your girls' beautiful baby photos. Mine will be up sometime tommorrow.

casual friday everyday said...

I am loving all the pictures and stories!

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

What fantastic photos!!! Thanks so much for sharing such a great collection.

I love the look on your face in your delivery one. It looks like you're concentrating on a contraction.

And what great baby bump pictures!

That picture of you as a baby is sooo amazing!!!! I love it!

Jen (One Moms World) said...

What a great all around post. I love looking at all the baby bumps hehe.

Anonymous said...

This was GREAT!!! So wonderful to see you, your belly and all the pictures and stories related to the births. You and your girls are so BEAUTIFUL!!! What a wonderful, happy post.

Sallie said...

I love the pics!

I am keeping the baby theme going all week so stop by and see the daily posts if you get a chance..

God bless,

Jen said...

Hi just cyber parting

love the photos and your maternity top

Auntie Em said...

I love the pictures. You have a beautiful family.