Kara’s Grand Entrance

It’s hard to know exactly where to start when relaying Kara’s birth story. Do I start with the 36.5-week appointment when my doctor told me to expect the baby within a week or two, or my 37.5-week appointment when she basically told me to expect her any minute?

We could start at 9 pm on Friday night when I started contracting every 15 minutes or the next morning when they got even closer and we took a dry run to the hospital.

But I think the best place to start is at 9:15 on Saturday morning when my water broke as I was walking out to the living room. Given our disappointment from the day before, it was fairly easy to stay calm as we grabbed our hospital bags (which were already packed). I even asked Steve to stop by Hardee’s on the way to the hospital. Hey, if I was going to be laboring for however long, I wanted to start off with as big of a meal as I could manage.

We got to the hospital at about 9:45. The nurse who came down to wheel me to L&D finally managed to find the room and get us up there at about 10:15 and the nurse came in to do a test to make sure my water had indeed broken. By the time the test came back half an hour later, the real pain of labor had begun. I asked for the epidural and they hooked me up to IV fluids and said the anesthesiologist would come by when the bag was half gone.

Within about 20 minutes of being hooked up to the IV, my contractions were incredibly intense and a minute or less apart. And the anesthesiologist was stuck in the OR. By the time he got to me at 12:30, I was fully dilated. That’s right—I did pretty much the entire thing without drugs. I couldn’t have done it without my husband, who stayed at my side every second. I have to say that nature is kind, though—while I know that it was definitely the most intense pain I could ever imagine feeling, I already can’t remember exactly what it felt like.

But on with the story. Since an epidural was pretty much useless by the time the anesthesiologist got to me, I opted for a saddle block so I could rest and have time to actually anticipate the birth before it was time to push. I got to talk to my parents and gather my strength.

Just as the saddle block started wearing off, it was time to push. I pushed three times—and it only took that many because the doctor advised me to do small pushes the first two times so I wouldn’t tear so badly—and Kara Alice made an incredibly smooth entrance from life in utero to life in the wide world.

The doctor finished taking care of me and then left Steve and me alone with Kara for a good long while. She nursed like a natural and stared quietly around for a good long time. The hospital took excellent care of all of us, and Kara even let us sleep for a 5-hour stretch that first night.

We were discharged from the hospital at 4:00 on Sunday and have spent the week being spoiled and pampered by both sets of Kara’s grandparents. Kara’s had her first visit with the pediatrician and everything looks great!


If One More Person…

… tells me to just relax and enjoy this last bit of pregnancy, there will be dire consequences for that unfortunate soul.

Technically, I still have 18 days until my due date. However, I’m already full term. And my doctor is expecting Baby to be born any day now. When I share this wonderful news, often I get words of caution that doctors can’t know for sure and the admonition to enjoy the last of the pregnancy.

Let me explain something. I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy. I very much enjoyed the first 36 weeks of said pregnancy. Sure, there were some discomforts, but the joys outweighed them. These last few days/weeks, however, are what makes labor worth it if you can only get your body back.

If you’d like, you can try to enjoy strapping a 20-lb bowling ball to your stomach and then rigging it so that it jumps and bounces—generally either directly on your bladder and/or the nerve that runs down your right leg and causes uncontrollable twinging. Try sleeping with the bowling ball strapped around you. Or breathing. Or having a normal bowel movement. Then, about every hour and a half, let’s stimulate every muscle in your back and abdomen so that it cramps worse than anything you’ve ever felt. And add the constant fear (minimal, but still there) of the embarrassment that at any moment your water is going to break in a public place. But don’t be anxious to get rid of that bowling ball!

No, really. Enjoy it.

In Case You’re Curious

This is a blog about grammar and proper word usage. However, for a change, it is not a rant. Just a post for you to read in case you’re as curious as I was. About what, you ask?

The difference between nauseous and nauseated.

You see, I’ve always known there was a difference, but I never really knew what that difference is. They’re used interchangeably, for the most part. And even once you know the difference, it won’t do you much good, because if you use them properly, people will assume you’re wrong since they’re so often used improperly.

Is the suspense killing you yet? No? Oh well.

The difference is this: nauseous means nausea-inducing. As in, That was a nauseous ride. Or, That color combination is nauseous. Nauseated means to feel nausea. So, a nauseous ride makes you nauseated. Often, so does pregnancy, which is what drove me to look up the difference between the two words.

And now, even though you know the difference between nauseous and nauseated, I bet after reading it so many times, nausea in all its forms has ceased to have any meaning at all.

Nesting Is Exhausting–or–I Need a Magic Wand

Yesterday was quite an eventful day at work. Not in a good way. Normally, that would be enough to convince me (not that much convincing is ever needed) to come straight home and nap. However, the first thing I noticed when I walked in the door is that our floors are in desperate need of cleaning. With the help of my brand-new Swiffer (and a traditional broom and dustpan), I swept and mopped all the hardwood.

Then I decided that the dirty dishes were out of control.

Aside: I would like to take this opportunity to point out that, though the dishes are normally Steve’s chore, he has not been slacking in this department. I just dirtied an inordinate amount of dishes the night before and he hadn’t had a chance to wash them yet.

Rather than waiting for Steve to get home, I decided it had to be done right now. I finished loading the dishwasher and there was still a rather large pile, so I washed a pretty full sink the old-fashioned way.

Then I noticed the basket of dirty towels/rags was overflowing. We can’t have that! I got a load of laundry started—then, of course, remembered that the dryer was still full of clothes I had washed that morning before I’d gone to work. So those had to be folded.

By this time, I was absolutely exhausted, but I still couldn’t let up. I decided that, with little over a month to go, it was finally time to stop procrastinating on buying baby room furniture. After hours of browsing craigslist, amazon, and a million other sites, I finally ordered a set from Wal-Mart. (Hurray for free site-to-store shipping!) And a mattress, of course. I was so close to being done—I decided to browse baby bedding. But that just turned out to be a little too frustrating for me, so I finally, finally decided to call it quits.

This morning, all I’ve done is put away the clothes I’ve folded last night, clean the toilet, and put away the dishes I washed last night…

A Birthday, a Wedding, and Welcome and Unwelcome Guests

This weekend was definitely an eventful one. And by “eventful,” I mean in the Chinese curse “May your life be interesting” kind of way. In a roller coaster of good and bad kind of way, even though it was mostly good.

Friday was my birthday—I am now 26 and older than my husband. We don’t normally make a big deal of birthdays, which is a good thing, because we spent it driving to a wedding rehearsal for Steve’s sister and her fiance. And, of course, we reached downtown Atlanta at 4 pm. Our luck held when our GPS took us to a location about 45 minutes away from the church where we were actually supposed be. Have I mentioned how well I deal with being lost? In short: not very.

The good news was that, even though we only got to the rehearsal at the very end, that made us just in time for the rehearsal dinner, which was lovely. As was seeing all the family and such. Staying at a hotel was kind of nice too—it meant that, for the first time in weeks, I could turn the air as cold as I wanted it without having to worry about spending $1000 in the energy bill. Which meant actually sleeping under a blanket, which I’ve missed.

The wedding was lovely, of course (have you ever been to one that wasn’t, really?). There’s not really anything I can say about it that isn’t horribly cliche, so I’ll refrain. And, again, we spent lots of time with family we don’t get to see nearly often enough.

But the fun continued when we headed back home!

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