November 20, 2009

7 Weeks Post-partum

Well it has been seven weeks since our little mancub entered the world. He has been such a joy, and it's so unbelievable how quickly he's growing. He has gained almost six pounds since birth and is already wearing 6 mo. and 6-9 mo. clothing.

The first few weeks post-partum were a little rough. On the third day after giving birth, I came down with a bit of a fever. It wouldn't have been so bad, yet it was exacerbated by a seven-hour emergency room wait. I was finally readmitted with a temperature of 103, by this time freaking out with worry and feeling awful. Thankfully, after two days of IV broad-spectrum antibiotics for some mystery infection I likely got during delievery (they insisted on checking how dialated I was an absurd number of times due to their own impatience) I was released to go home. We were fortunate that Sebastian was able to stay with me at the hospital so his feeding wasn't interrupted.

Life at home was difficult at first, as I had a lot of pain . Just lifting a big baby so often and getting so little sleep seemed to slow my recovery. Unfortunately, around three weeks, I came down with another fever. This time, it was mastitis, which thankfully I caught quickly. After a few days of antibiotics, AGAIN, I was feeling fine. And thankfully I have ever since. This is the first week where I can really say I feel back to normal. I had my six week checkup and my doctor seemed to think I was healing quite well considering all of my complications and stitches.

Through it all, Andy has been awesome. He makes dinner, helps with most of the diaper changes when he's home, and he is always willing to hold, bottle-feed, and entertain Sebastian.

Right now, the little guy's day is made up primarily of sleeping, eating, and diaper changes, but I make sure and read, sing, and dance with him when he shows signs of alertness. He always gets some tummy time in after diaper changes too. My favorite part of the day is his smily time. A few times a day he will start "talking" and sending smiles and laughs our way. It's soooo precious!

Well, that's about all for now..I could go on forever about all the blessings of motherhood. But I should probably sleep while little one does.

Enjoy the new pics:





































October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Sebastian!!!

Our Beautiful Baby Boy Has Arrived!
Sebastian Lawrence Schwartz was born at 2303 (11:03pm) on October 1st (so punctual of him to arrive on his due date) at Naval Medical Portsmouth. He weighed in at a healthy 8lbs and 130z. and was 21 inches long. Exactly the same as his Uncle Josh was 29 years ago.

Birth Story:

The day before, I started feeling contractions that were pretty mild and were very sporadic, I'm assuming these were the Braxton-Hicks contractions that most women feel for a while during their last trimesters. Around 0300 on Oct. 1st, however, I awoke to contractions that were a bit stronger. I could tell they were different, although they were still somewhat mild. So, I went and grabbed the laptop and put it on my endtable so I could chart how far apart the contractions were and in the case that they were actual labor contractions get some more sleep before the big event.

By morning, it was obvious that the contractions were not going to go away as those the previous day had done. They were still pretty abnormal for the better part of the day however. Andy stayed home from school and plugged all the contractions into an excel spreadsheet to try and see if there was a pattern...I can show this to anyone who is curious as to how sporadic true labor contractions can actually be...

Well, I spent the day breathing through the contractions, and making sure I had enough to eat and drink to keep myself fueled up. With the contractions falling anywhere from 5 to 13 minutes apart, I figured I was in for a long wait. However, around 1530 (3:30pm) the contractions all of a sudden started coming consistently 4 to 5 and a couple of times fewer than 4 minutes apart. Not wanting to risk it, we quickly loaded the remaining things we needed into the truck, and headed out to the hospital.

When we checked into the hospital, the staff were pretty skeptical about my being ready for admission because I was able to talk through my contractions. I'm not sure if all the exercises I did to prepare for the big day turned me into an atypical case, but for whatever reason, I was able to accomplish this feat of talking through contractions. They were all as surprised as I was to find out that I was dialated to 7cm and 80% effaced.

We earned ourselves a room! Yay! So, after first getting stabbed several times without getting a successful IV, I had to wait for an actual doctor to do it right before getting into our room. Once there we were visited by all sorts of people making us listen to all sorts of disclaimers and sign release forms or try and talk us into all manner of things from epidurals to pitocin, etc. etc....I still don't understand why they thought I needed pitocin with the way my contractions were coming. In any case, my room became the focus of a lot of attention, as I was choosing an all natural birth. Suddenly every resident, intern and nurse had to make an appearance and get in on the scoop...I didn't realize how rare natural birth is anymore.

After a few minutes on the birthing ball, my water broke. I was disappointed to see that there was meconium in the water, because this meant I wouldn't be allowed the instant bonding time after delivery I wanted, but Sebastian's health is more important, and we will have plenty of time to bond. Shortly after my water broke the contractions picked up their punch, and thankfully my mother arrived to help Andy encourage me through the nightmare of transition labor. I had a fever that was making things kind of awful. At this point my deep breathing wasn't enough to keep me fully focused and relaxed, and their relaxation techniques were what got me through it.

After what seemed like hours of transition...I finally was fully dialated and effaced enough to push. Thank the Lord! And then....cue the entire hospital training staff! It was insane how many people showed up to get front row seats to the natural birth. Right next door I could hear someone else in the same state screaming just as loud as me...it was pretty unreal. I somehow managed to rip my IV out during this process.  A pity since it was my last vein that the nurses hadn't bruised and exploded. But soon enough it was over and I could see my gorgeous Sebastian being welcomed by his Grandma Harper and his dad.

Happy Birthday Sebastian!

After what seemed like an eternity of delivering the placenta, getting stitches...not so easy when you don't have an epidural...I finally got to hold him and welcome him. We even got a chance to breastfeed a bit before he was given a bath and placed out of reach in the warmer. The experience was amazing and I wouldn't have had it any other way! All the doctors were amazed at how alert Sebastian was (he came out of the womb crying). His apgar was a 9 and he looked just perfect! We're so proud of him!

Now, after a day and a half in the hospital, we are finally home. Ready to relax and settle in to our new life as a family of three. We are so blessed!



On the way to Labor and Delivery!



Sitting on the Birthing Ball...








Love!

September 29, 2009

Week 38












~~Amanda

End of Week 38 Status:
Weight: 189 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: A Mini Watermelon

Well, this is it! We are on the final stretch of pregnancy. With week 38 behind us, today marks 39 weeks and 5 days. Sebastian is due to arrive in two days and can basically show up at any point now.

I had an appointment today that was highly unpleasant. The doctor was not very gentle, and the procedure involved checking the effacement and dilation of my cervix. If it was any indication of what labor will feel like, I'm in for some serious pain! It will help having Andy there for support, however. They keep scheduling my appointments on days when he can't attend due to school, yet the doc thinks it will be my last appointment.

For whatever its worth, AND I'm NOT sure it is NOT just a bunch of useless information...I am 3cm dilated and 50% effaced. The doctor seemed to think this meant that Sebastian would likely show up before they threaten to induce me. I seriously abhor the idea of being induced, so when they told me they scheduled me for this unnatural and potentially harmful procedure for the 8th, I was understandably caught off guard. I hope the doctor is right, and that Sebastian starts things up on his own, so neither one of us must endure the horrors of Pitocin or a C-section. I can see myself begging for an epidural if I have to go through Pitocin...God and Andy help me!

My contractions are much more frequent now, although they are still quite sporadic. Here's hoping this is the last pregnant post I will write, and the next time you hear from me will be by way of birth announcement, phone call, or follow-up blogs in the future.

What an amazing journey it has been!

September 21, 2009

Week 37












~~Amanda

End of Week 37 Status:
Weight: 186 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: A Leek

We are at 38 weeks and counting. As of today Sebastian has ten more days to hang out before his expected due date. I can't help but hope he decides to make an early entrance. Andy is just as impatient as I am, and I feel sorry for him because he doesn't get to have the closeness I share with him until he is born. I guess it's all fair since I'm the one that has to go through labor, ha!

We continue to receive cute gifts and clothes for Sebastian. This week his Granny Schwartz sent the cutest blanket that says "Granny Loves Sebastian" embroidered onto it, as well as sending some adorable outfits. It's going to be hard not to play dress-up with him and take tons of pictures. Speaking of blankies, I finished crochetting the blanket I was making for little Tin-tin this week. I had a hard time with it, and had to restart things over and over. I know a made a few rookie mistakes with it as well which may cause issues later (just knotting and cutting ends at first instead of sewing them in) but I have lots of extra yarn to fix it whenever such mishaps might occur.

No more contractions this week, but tomorrow I am going to see the doc, so we'll hopefully get an update on how things are moving along. Who knows? This could be the last blog I post pregnant!

Well, that's it for now. Here's a pic of the baby blanket I crochetted as promised:


September 15, 2009

Week 36













~~Amanda

End of Week 36 Status:
Weight: 186 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Like a Stalk of Swiss Chard

Sebastian is 37 weeks this week, which means he has reached his final milestone before birth: He's full-term! Along with this accomplishment I experienced my first Braxton-Hicks contractions which were actually quite painful. Apparently I've been having them all along and have not been able to feel them. However, the other night I think I got a few especially strong ones which caused me to tense up in reaction to the pain. The good thing is, they are a sign that things are getting closer. As of today, Sebastian has 16 days left to cook before he's due.

Everyday I do a little more to prepare, organize things, clean, etc...yet I don't think I'll ever accomplish everything I want to have done before he shows up. To pass the anxious waiting time, I also started crocheting him a baby blanket this past week--SO HARD! I really hope it turns out halfway decent. It took me several do-overs to get to the point I am now. In any case, I don't expect it to be perfect. Homemade things are usually more charming when they aren't.

Family and friends have been such a blessing to us lately, as we have recieved countless items, from homemade hats and baby carriers to lots of clothes and books, and items they found useful when pregnant that I know will be an enormous aid for me over the next few months. We finally did the last of our shopping for baby items and once everything arrives next week we will have absolutely everything we wanted. Thank you to everyone for making that a reality for us!

Well, I'm going to go do some more crocheting, I will post a picture of the finished product when I am done.

September 8, 2009

Week 35













~~Amanda

End of Week 35 Status:
Weight: 182 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Crenshaw Melon

'Tis 36 weeks this week. Week 35 was fun. Andy and I had a short trip to Jamestown, where he picked up some books he'd been wanting and explored the exhibitions. Also, our friends moved up from South Carolina so we hung out with them some. Other than that, I have been busy putting the finishing touches on Sebastian's room, and assembling things like the swing, the monitor and the baby sound machine....it's making me very impatient.

Well, I'm going to keep this short and sweet, because I want to do some more laundry and there's nothing much new going on. No point in carrying on when my mind is stuck in one mode...I want to greet my baby:)

September 1, 2009

Week 34













~~Amanda

End of Week 34 Status:
Weight: 180 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Honeydew Melon

Well it's 35 weeks this week. Week 34 was filled with fun, as Sarah came down to visit from Philly, and we spent some quality time at the ocean and Back Bay Wildlife Refuge and making some delicious dishes to eat. We also had our baby shower this weekend and our friends all pitched in to give us the must-haves for Sebastian's arrival. We received many diapers (Emilie made one of her famous diaper cakes!) wipes, burp cloths, blankets, money, Fran bought the bedding set we wanted, and we also were given a few cute outfits. I'm so grateful for our friends, a lot of people get very impractical items at their showers, I feel very blessed that we probably won't have to buy a diaper for the first few months. The next day we went shopping for the things we put on the registry/shopping list and aside from a few unneeded things we have everything purchased that we will need for Tin-tin's coming.

I am having to adjust to Andy going back to school this week, but I dare not complain seeing as he will still get four-day weekends and it's only two days a week. How many parents can spend that much time together and at home? Not many, that's for sure. It will be a little more difficult in January when I go back two days a week and Andy goes back for the other three. We will be swapping Sebastian's care every other day, so we won't get to see as much of each other, nor have as much time as we are accustomed to for doing homework. I know we can make it work, however, and it is better than having to pay for and put Sebastian through Daycare.

Well, that's pretty much it for this week, lots of fun. Nothing exciting is happening for the next few weeks, so I might not write much....now it's time to sit and wait anxiously. Oh, and nest...I will be doing lots of nesting...

August 26, 2009

Week 33











~~Amanda

End of Week 33 Status:
Weight: 178 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Average Cantaloupe

It has been week 34 for almost a week now, so it's about time I get around to describing week 33. We had an awesome time on our vacation. Our last big hoorah as childless adults. It started off on Saturday with a relaxing slow-paced drive through the Outer Banks, or as locals call it "The OBX." We stayed in Buxton, NC for the first night, where we swam in the hotel pool and the ocean, which was only a short walk away. The beach was surprisingly uncrowded for the middle of August, and it was so refreshing to just relax the day away. We had breakfast at a charming Bed and Breakfast the next morning and headed off to explore the rest of the OBX--taking pictures in front of every lighthouse along the way.

That evening, after riding on several ferries and exploring the charming small-town offerings of Ocracoke, we arrived in Jacksonville, NC, at the McSherry's house. There, we got to meet their four-month-old son Aiden, their lovable cat Oscar, and just catch up with some pizza and TV commentary. The next day Rob let us play with Aiden, watch how to change a diaper, and learn how to hold him....an invaluable experience for both of us.
The next morning we were off to Charleston, SC. The drive wasn't as interesting this day, but we still managed to find a few winning locations along the way. I can't wait to rent a beach house some day at one of the spots we visited, Caswell Beach. We arrived in Charleston pretty late, and were lucky enough to find an Indian restaurant still open. So, we ran out to grab our food, and stayed in the rest of the night watching "Operacion Repo" on TruTV, ha!

Tuesday we spent the morning exploring Charleston, and it was HOT and HUMID! I was downing bottle after bottle of water to make sure Sebastian didn't feel any of the ill effects. The old buildings were beautiful and the waterfront walk was quite enjoyable. However, we both were looking forward to the highlight of our trip, arriving in Swannanoa, NC at my parents' new house. After a quick drive up to the mountains of NC, we finally arrived, and spent the rest of our trip being pampered and relaxing with my folks in their beautiful new home. Well, I was relaxing and being pampered...Andy enjoyed some "man time" with my dad assembling and moving all manner of things to get the house more comfortable for everyone. Mom and I picked out Sebastian's high chair as well, so that was an added bonus gift on top of the many things they gave us from their move.

All in all, the trip was amazing. I'm glad we got to explore some more before Sebastian arrived, we are big road trip lovers and with school starting up again and Sebastian being young, we probably won't get around to another one for at least a year.

Well, week 35 starts tomorrow, but I'll wait until after the baby shower on Saturday to fill you in on all the details of the past week. Here are a few select photos from the trip:

video

August 10, 2009

Week 32











~~Amanda

End of Week 32 Status:
Weight: 175 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Pineapple Doctor-measured Baby Size: 5lbs. 2 oz.

I accidentally deleted Week 31...oops! I didnt' write much anyways. I was at 174lbs. and I was too tired to write, so I wrote about a paragraph telling about what was coming up this past week. So without further adieu...

Week 33 is here and we have some great news! We went to our ultrasound appointment this morning and were told that the placenta has moved all the way out of the way. It needed to be at least 2 cm away from the opening of the cervix, and it is a whole 5 cm. Way to go Sebastian! (We are convinced he's been playing tug-of-war with his umbilical cord to aid in the placental movement.) We also got a few pictures back but he was being very uncooperative with the u/s tech, putting hands, knees, and all manner of body parts in front of his face, so they aren't good enought to really tell what you are looking at.

Thankfully, I did not get jokes from the doctor this time about having a 15-pound baby. He said Sebastian is right on track to be around 7-8 lbs. While the babycenter.com estimate for this week is "a little over four pounds," Sebastian's doc said he was about five pounds and two ounces. It's always a good day when we get to see the little guy, but today was even better. To celebrate the placenta moving, and partly for my birthday which is this Sunday, Andy bought us a new 40" flat screen TV. We got a really great deal. For someone with eyes like mine, this was cause for celebration. I can see the TV now!

Well, I have to finish the laundry, make some brownies, and pack for the trip tomorrow. Yay vacation!!! We'll be heading out to the Outer Banks tomorrow, and then to Jacksonville, Charleston, and Swannanoa, NC to my parents' new house. I'll tell you all about it next week.

August 3, 2009

Week 30













~~Amanda

End of Week 30 Status:
Weight: 173lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Four Navel Oranges

It is week 31. I have been busy wrapping up my summer semester at school, and Andy has been busy planning our trip, being Mr. Fix-it and playing Chef. We just had a taco night last night that was DElicious! In Sebastian news, we have lovingly ascribed to him the name Lumpy. This is because of the charming little lump shapes he likes to make on my belly. He's becoming more and more active every day (and especially every night).

Not much else has been going on this week, it has thankfully been slow, except for the weather being crazy with what seems like a scary thunderstorm complete with tornado warning each afternoon. We came home to a neighbor's tree strewn across our driveway one day this week; we were blessed that the truck was not parked there at the time. After growing up in trailer homes in Minnesota and Iowa, where air-raid drills sounded at the sight of tornadoes, I am terrified of them. So...I have to force myself to remain calm and just pray every time we get a warning.

Sebastian got a package of gifties from his Granny Schwartz today. Among them was the softest teddy bear I've ever felt, and it has lavender inside its tummy to help babies sleep, it's soooo sweet. He also got a rattle and I got a mommy sack with music stuff on. I will post pictures of the tree and the bear from Granny below.

That's about it for this week; I hope the next few are this easy. We have our Childbirth Prep Class on Saturday so you'll hear all about that next week. Toodaloo!

July 27, 2009

Week 29












~~Amanda

End of Week 29 Status:

Weight: 170 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Head of Cabbage

It has been week 30 for a few days now, but I wanted to finish my research paper before devoting time to the blog this week. It's finally done! I forgot to mention last week, but we once again got some great news from Josh and Shelly....they're expecting again and their little one is due in March. Yay! I'm glad Sebastian gets to have a cousin the same age as him.

I am finally in the home stretch of this summer semester, which has officially worn me out with the mega research paper in my upper-level Modern Architecture class, and the packing of three months worth of French and the history of Asia into one month. It feels good to make up for some of the credits I will be missing out on to have the baby this fall though.

We started mapping out our mini-vacation for the 14th to the 21st of August. So far we have the possibility of hitting the Outer Banks, Charleston, Savannah and the NC mountains. Not sure what order as of yet though. We also plan on taking my baby belly to the Asheboro Zoo for one of the days on the way back (or there if we got to the mountains first). Seeing as it's hurricane season, weather will have a lot to do with it.

I think the pregnancy heat wave has officially rolled in. Despite the fact that my hair is at this very moment soaking wet, and our house is a comfortable (to Andy anyways) 73 degrees, it feels like a Sauna in here to me. Welcome back the endless water bottles, frequent naps and trips to the head. I still feel very energetic, healthy, and mobile for now though. No swelling or severe back aches. I'm definitely glad I've been putting myself through a prenatal exercise regimen this whole time.

I'm kind of excited because I get to meet a midwife for my next appointment, and hopefully if I like her, I can keep her the rest of the time. I hate having a different doctor everytime I go to the hospital, it's annoying! The last guy I saw didn't speak English well at all, and I had to really try not to laugh at his pronunciation of words like "placenta" and "cervix" which sounded more like pkhlacyentia and syervishka.

Hmm...what else? Oh yea, we finished the last room of the house- the study...crown moulding was not a fun idea, but it looks nice. I'll post a picture below. Well, that's it for now, see y'all next week.

July 19, 2009

Week 28












~~Amanda

End of Week 28 Status:
Weight: 169 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Chinese Cabbage

Well, week 29 has arrived, and 28 was a week filled with work. We finished repainting the living room, steam cleaned the carpets in the whole house, and picked up some furniture from consignment shops so we have a place to relax now. It's sooo nice having a comfy space again. The house will be a work in progress for another year probably, but finishing the living room makes the rest of it seem like less of a chore. The last big project is repainting the study, which we'll probably start sometime this week.

Other than housework, I've been trying to maintain my French homework load and write this 20-page research paper on the Roman Art Museum in Merida, Spain. I am just taking things in stride so I don't freak out. I don't know what I'll do with myself in August when I no longer have all these projects going on. At the moment we have plans to make a trip to the Outer Banks and then to my parents new house in Swannanoa, NC. I have all of my parenting and birthing classes scattered on weekends throughout August so we're only going to have about a week to travel, but I am looking forward to it.

Well, I suppose I'll post some pictures of the living room progress. I don't have very many before pictures, but all you really need to see is the color change and fixed baseboards/door trims to see what we did. I'm so glad I don't have to look at poo brown on my walls anymore, haha.

Before Pictures:

After Pictures - We still have lots of family pictures to hang:

Like the one on top of the TV...it needs to be hung and it needs company:

And the ones on the fireplace...look at our pretty new tablecloth!
Pet picture Coasters! Aerwyn, Harley, Ivan and Tito:

July 11, 2009

Week 27












~~Amanda

End of Week 27 Status:
Weight: 166 lbs.
Estimated Baby Size: Chinese Cabbage 15.5 inches long, 3 pounds(official hospital measurement)

WOOHOO! It's the THIRD TRIMESTER this week, and week 27 was pretty blah. I've mostly been involved with schoolwork the whole week, and there haven't been many exciting happenings.

We did have an appointment yesterday to see if my marginal previa had improved at all, so we got to see little Sebastian snoozing. Good news is the placenta did move about a centimeter and is now looking as though it will be out of the way by the time for delivery. However, to make sure, we have to go back again on August 14th. The doctor also told us that we were on track to have a 15-pound baby, hahaha...he, of course, was joking. But Sebastian is larger than the average baby boy at this point by about 3/4lbs. This is not all that surprising, since Andy was close to 11 lbs, and I was close to 9. I'd rather not think about it honestly...haha.

Anyhoo, here is the ultrasound photo from yesterday as well as the pictures I promised of the baby things we purchased and the curtains and what not we put up: