Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

Filed Under (Baby) by catharine on 25-04-2007

So, obviously, I am not currently 50 weeks pregnant.  Samuel arrived on March 10th shortly after my 41-week appointment.  We went in knowing birth was imminent, but assuming I’d either go into labor within a few days or we’d be induced that Friday.  Actually, I was assuming I would be induced that Friday, but had my hopes briefly raised at my appointment that I was actually going into labor and had a chance at a natural delivery.  All was looking well until they strapped on the monitors and Samuel’s heart rate dropped into the 80’s.  We were rushed off to the hospital, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not eat lunch, in particular, which became my inane focus for the next several hours during which Samuel was born.  The conversation leaving the doctor’s office went something like this:

Doctor: You’re having a baby today!

Me: –silence–

Doctor: Are you okay?

Me: But, I was going to have lunch….

My doctor reiterated that I was not to eat but to go straight to the ER, and my husband insisted we follow these directions while in the car on the way there I pointed out each and every drive-through and he called our family telling them what was going on.  We were met in the ER and rushed up to a labor and delivery room where they hooked me up to IV’s, belly monitors, pitocin, you name it, and I was attached to it, and all was going well until Samuel’s heart rate dropped again.  The very kind nurse who had been helping me turned into the mean, mean nurse who tossed me around like a flap jack and “stimulated” Samuel’s head, which is sort of like being skewered like a shishkabob.  Notice the allusions to food.  It was then about 5:30 pm and I had not had lunch–for those of  you who know me well, this is all you need to know.  For the rest of you, picture cookie monster, picture a whirling dirvish, picture me watching my husband eat a burger and fries in the delivery room–and this was all my mind could really grasp onto when my doctor arrived to assess the situation and explained that the latent decelerations of Samuel’s heart rate after each contraction were not reassuring and required a c-section to prevent any long term restriction of oxygen to his brain.  The conversation went something like this:

Doctor: The baby is not tolerating labor well. 

Me: Are you sure?

Doctor: Yes-you need a c-section.  (Actually, she said a bunch more than that, but this was the gyst of it)

Me:  What does the research show about—

Doctor: Catharine, we’re not going to have an academic debate about this, you are having a c-section.

Me: –long pause — But, I haven’t had lunch.

To which everyone in the room responded with blank stares, not seeing the connection.  My husband, however, was able to speak reason to me:

Cliff: Baby, we need to do the c-section, then I’ll give you my hamburger.

Off we went.  Now, before you mistakenly think that I thought a burger was more important than my baby’s wellfare, be reasured, I was just in shock and only Cliff understood my knee jerk stress/food reaction. But, being reassured that he would see that I was fed before too long, I complied and off we went. 

First of all let me just add that I do not like c-sections.  I do not wish ever again to be awake during major abdominal surgery, and it is major surgery.  They lay you open and then pull out your organs and lay them around you OUTSIDE of your body.  I know this is true because I made Cliff take the pictures to prove it and I brought them to my postpartum visit to confirm that, yes, indeed, that is my uterus laying there on the table.  I knew it, too–it was no good.  I don’t advise it.  It’s very distracting from the main event, which is…

Samuel Clifford, born at 6:36 pm on March 10th, weighing in at a respectible 8 lbs 7.8 ounces, and measuring 20.5 inches long!  He gave a lusty cry and then wimpered in what I now recognize as his “I’m not convinced I’m okay here, people!” way.  It was beautiful, and if I had not been paralyzed from my chest down I would have enjoyed it a lot more, I’m pretty sure.  Isn’t he beautiful!

Filed Under (Baby) by catharine on 25-04-2007

That’s right folks–we continue to thumb our noses at Darwin.  Survival of the fitest has tried to throw us out of the reproductive game, but thanks to modern medicine, we’re still in it.  This is the reason I wasn’t conscious for the conception, and it’s looking more and more like I may not be for the delivery, either.  A lot of women take this pretty hard–the idea that they will miss the experience of a natural delivery–but more and more, I’m feeling a smug sense of accomplishment that says, “that’s right Darwin, I’m throwing my genes into the pool, if you like it or not.”

It seems, you see, that our child fears change and does not wish to exit the womb.  You saw the “kickin’ it in the womb” photo, so maybe should have been able to predict this.  Maybe our kid is just that laid back.  But, considering his genetic composition, we’re in disbelief.  There’s no Punitt square using our genes that could possibly result in that.  There’s always the possibility of a mutation–but still.  No, we think it’s far more likely that this little guy simply fears change.  Either that, or we’ve conceived of a small genius with a huge head that simply can’t descend.  This is what the doctors have suggested–that we have a kid with a big brain and I have tiny hips–all very flattering, but in a practical sense it means I’m lucky to live in this century and not 60 years ago–it means that at just about any other time in the milinia of human history I would have been thrown out of the gene pool at this point even if I’d somehow managed to conceive on my own, which is doubtful.  In any case, the little dude is still swimming around somewhere under my esophagus happily free floating and apparently at this point in the game, that’s cause for some concern; most babies have descended to some degree by 40 weeks.

So, we wait.  We go back in another week and see if anything has sorted itseld out, and if both the baby and my body are still uncooperative by Friday the 13th (yes, indeed!), we have chosen this propitious day to bring our little guy into the world, ready or not.

Filed Under (Baby) by catharine on 25-04-2007
I thought you all would be amused, and my mother horrified, to see that every item of baby gear has been submitted to the strict review of our in-house quality control committee.  Plumb Bob approved the car seat for napping…
and the bassinett…
and the Baby Bjorn.
The bassinett has won hands down, however. It seems to be everyone’s favorite.

Yeah, yeah, I know–we have a lot of cats.

Filed Under (Baby) by catharine on 25-04-2007

So, I’ve summed up nearly 40 weeks of fetal development in one post–now for the pregnancy itself.  For me, discovering I was pregnant was a little like discovering my own mortality.  Maybe this happens a little sooner for others–I was always a late bloomer–but for me, this was delayed.  Do you remember this feeling–this realization that someday you are going to have a tomb stone–the point when driving long distances at night starts to take on some of the ominous qualities your grandmother always tried to impress upon you?  The reason it was a shock is that I just never thought it would happen to me–other people died, of course, but it never really occurred to me that I would too.  And, maybe this is where infertility stepped into play.  After three years of trying to get pregnant, pregnancy in general just seemed ethereal, like becoming President someday or discovering that I was actually the long lost heiress to a great fortune.  Both good for a movie plot line, but not likely.

So, when I actually was pregnant, I found I didn’t really think certain things would happen to me, like, oh, gaining weight.  These things happened to other people, sure, but somehow I suffered under the misapprehension that they would not happen to me.  Imagine my shock the first time I saw a swollen ankle?  My husband continues to laugh at the perplexed expressions on my face when I ponder aloud how my jeans could possibly be tighter in the legs, how my shoes could feel a little snug, and quite frankly, how in the world my stomach got so huge!  “What did you think was going to happen?”  he’ll say.  I continue to look at him perplexed and a little annoyed, actually, because while I have gained 35 pounds (actually, more, but I just say 35 because that’s the upper acceptable limit and I am not in the habit of being honest with myself), he has lost at least 15.

At first, I thought it was just an optical illusion causing him to look thinner and thinner when standing next to my burgeoning belly, but then his pants started looking loose in the waist band, and then he started tugging on said waist bands and chuckling at the gapes, himself perplexed, because he “wasn’t trying to lose weight.  Where is it all going?”  It’s like the curious case of Benjamin Button–he looks younger and more handsome, while I can no longer tie my own shoes and roll in and out of bed like an old man with a bear belly.

So, here I am at 18 weeks–if you didn’t know me you couldn’t tell I was pregnant, but I wasn’t wearing any of my normal clothes at that point.
Just a few weeks later, 20 weeks, I was looking a little more bonafied.
So, skip ahead to 35 weeks since there are almost no pictures of me without Natasha that I can actually post.  Obviously, the baby bump got a little bigger.  Here I am at a baby shower with the Inbody women in my family.
And finally, this is the current condition my condition is in.  Did I mention no longer having much use of my abdominal muscles?  It seems they can only become so convex before they just give up.  My husband finds this amusing.  He likes to laugh while he watches me roll around trying to get up out of bed and off the couch.

So, that’s where we are now. The baby is showing no signs of wanting to leave–he’s apparently quite content and finds his digs perfectly acceptable.  We’re hoping he’ll change his mind before my doctor decides to evict him.

Filed Under (Baby) by catharine on 25-04-2007

6 weeks 3 daysLet me end my long silence on the other significant event in our life, the long-awaited baby.  I had composed a post that was going to have been named “which came first, the chicken or the egg,” but I will have to recap the past 32 weeks more briefly, instead.  So, in July, we got our first peak at baby Corder, and our hopes were nearly dashed when they told us “he” (please bear with my sexist default) was measuring a week behind with a slow heartbeat.  Here he was then, at 6 weeks and 3 days, but measuring 5 weeks.

7 weeks 3 daysWe went back a week later, and our hopes were renewed.  He still measured a week behind (6 weeks rather than the 7 weeks 3 days we knew him to be) but he’d done a week’s worth of growing in the previous seven days and his heartbeat was strong.  We were told that we were out of the woods and as likely as anyone else just 7 weeks pregnant to carry to term.  We were also told that our baby, evolutionarily speaking, was still a chicken.  Here’s our little chick:

8 weeksSo, knowing all was well, Grandma GeeGee came with me for the long trip back to Houston just days later for the official 8-week ultrasound that was required by the study protocol, and we were treated to a little arm and leg bud wiggle.  Grandma claimed to have seen the little guy wag his tail as well.  Everyone, including the RE, pronounced themselves astounded at his accomplishments at just 8 weeks.  We were also told he’d left the chicken stage of life and entered the pig, evolutionarily speaking.  You can imagine our pride upon hearing this.  He still wasn’t a primate, but we were proud none the less.  For those of you who can’t tell even though it’s totally obvious, that dark circle at the top is the little guys ultra-developed brain, and that’s his tail curling around on the bottom.  Here, we’re treated to a profile shot.

So, then we had to cool our heels for four whole week sans ultrasound, but finally, in August, we got to see him not just in primate form, but decidedly human, although somewhat skeletor-ish.  He had caught up to 11 weeks and 5 days by this point, so we were back on track with development.  We also assessed that this guy was laid back.  The first picture shows his hands behind his head.

This one — his legs with ankles crossed–he’s kickin’ back, enjoying all that free floating space–this guys was ready for a nice relaxing gestation and totally unaware of all the angst surrounding his developmental progress.

The last peek we had at him was at 20 weeks when most folks find out the sex, but despite my calling the baby “him” all the time, we didn’t find out.  He could be a she.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  You can feel free to examine above “kickin’ it in the womb” pose if you’d like, but that’s the umbilical cord in the way, so his business end is well concealed.  So, here’s baby Corder 19 weeks ago when he was half-way done.

 And looking right at his little face–yes, that’s his eyeball!


This is his foot…

 and a shot we like to call “the Joker.”  We actually saw this yawn, and it was very cute live, but the picture just looks, well, a little creepy. So, that brings us to date with the baby, until he decides to show up in person.