We are at a point where I can count the number of days left until we meet Parker on one hand! He will (barring any unforeseen complications) be here on Friday, March 12th. The best part b about this news is that Napa and Papa will arrive the day before and therefore will be able to be a part of his arrival! I am SO excited about that! In fact, that news is what has kept me from being disappointed at Parker not making his grand entrance last Friday.
In order to bring my journal up to date, let me recount the events of the last couple of weeks.
(Warning: This post may have more information that some of you want to read. I will not be offended if you quit now. I’ll never even know!)
25 Feb I went to my 37 week appointment with my OB and she estimated Parker’s weight at 7.5 lbs. Later that day I went to the hospital where I am going to have Parker to meet with the Chief Doctor who schedules inductions. After looking at my blood sugar numbers, Parker’s weight and the size discrepancy between his head and belly, and my swelling, she wanted me to stay that day for a stress test and to possibly be induced. She did give me the option to wait one week. I chose that because I needed a chance to get my boys taken care of. By that evening two friends had stepped up and were willing to take care of the boys for the weekend. It took a few hours for me to get over the disappointment of Parker not arriving on Bailey’s birthday, or even after my parents were to arrive. But eventually the excitement of having him in my arms took over and I began to accept what was to be.
4 March I went back to my OB and gave her the report. After my exam she concluded that Parker was close to 4000 g. (which translates into 8 bs 13 oz) still 2 full weeks before my due date. She was fully in support of my being induced the next day, which is a big deal as German doctors do not typically favor induction at all, especially prior to one’s due date. As far as natural progress toward labor, there was not much. I was not dilated at all and his head was still VERY high up, but I was softening . In fact, if my water were to break I was instructed to call the ambulance to get me to the hospital as there is concern about him plugging his umbilical cord as he descends. Last bit of good news was that he was in perfect position to begin labor and delivery. He had been sunny-side-up for a few weeks, then turned 180 degrees, which was better, but still not quite right. As of the 4th he was perfectly positioned.
After such a good visit and with the very real probability that this was my last day as a pregnant lady, I had many thoughts running through my mind. The first of which was that tomorrow could be the day I get to STOP testing my blood sugar. You may wonder why in the world this was among my first thoughts and my explanation is simple: we pass by a great bakery on the way to and from my doctor’s office. We pass by this bakery on foot because there is no parking within a mile of her office. If the boys have been great in the waiting room we stop by on the way home for a treat. Our favorite treat is a small bag of what I can only describe as “donut holes.” Only they’re not quite the same as what you’re probably thinking. Not nearly as sweet and covered with a mild sugar crystal. I want to enjoy one of these one day without concern for my blood sugar. (I usually only allow myself one, if any at all.) On this particular day, however, we opted for fresh pretzels as a reward…okay, THEY got pretzels, I got nothing. ONE MORE DAY…ONE MORE DAY… that’s what was going through my mind.
We met Daddy for dinner and really just had a great time celebrating our last night together as a family of five. I had gotten SO much accomplished and was ready for Parker to arrive. (Boys’ hair cut; a few more meals frozen; boys doled out; floors cleaned. And let me say, that last one, was a BIGGIE! For some reason it was a big deal to me that I head for the hospital with my floors clean. Thanks to Matt for vacuuming so I could dust, then mop… I was ready. Oh, and not to mention that I found a freezer in the Stars and Stripes that was perfect for us. Matt literally picked it up after we had our “last family of 5 meal” and stored it in our basement… the sellers lived in the neighborhood right next to ours! HOW PERFECT?!?)
5 March I woke up early and got my shower. I also woke the boys up earlier than they normally get up so that we could get on the road. We had a LOT to pack up because we had to take a load of stuff to the Evans’ house for the boys’ overnight stay and then we also had to pack the car with all the stuff we would need for an extended stay in the hospital. And here one must pack her own towels, washcloths, and snacks. (That was a tip I received from Heather, and let me say, it was invaluable. The food there was AWFUL!) If we had not had the food I packed I would have starved (and my blood sugar would have been really screwy!).
So, after dropping my boys off at the Evans’ and seeing their surprise that Wyatt was not at school after all but was taking a day off of school, Matt and I headed to the hospital. But not before Elizabeth presented me with Parker’s hand-made baby blanket that just so happens to match the color scheme of his room! It’s beautiful and I will be sure to have pictures taken of him snuggled in it!
We arrived at the hospital on time and headed up to the Kreißsaal (L&D). The midwives began my exam with fetal monitoring and inserting the IV into my wrist that was to be used for the pitocin. After the monitoring they did a check which revealed that overnight I had dilated to 1 cm! This was encouraging as I really thought that the pitocin would take over and finish things up. During the monitoring I had a single contraction even before having any meds administered! Another sign of good things to come!
Because my mom and friends are so far away I was happy to update my Facebook status via iPhone throughout the day. I was so thankful for the entertainment my iPhone provided me!
After my initial exam I was sent downstairs to be admitted and then when I came back upstairs, they put me in a room with 2 other beds. I was hooked up to the monitor which revealed another all-by-myself contraction and given 3o minutes to get the baseline established. Then they came in every now and then and upped my pitocin by 10 units. (No idea how much that is in what length of time, but it started at 10 units at 10 am, and by 3 it was at 90 units.)
At this point I was a bit discouraged because my contractions had an hour to go from Braxton Hicks-like to SERIOUS STUFF or they were going to send me home. After getting all that stuff packed and loaded, including the boys, I didn’t want to go home without Parker. Being perfectly honest, this was the most disheartening part of the whole day… all the work it took to get to that point for nothing. Not that I wasn’t ready to meet my sweet new addition, but waiting a week would allow my parents to get here! That’s GREAT news! But I had gone through A LOT to get many bags packed, snacks purchased, boys scheduled out not to mention the family who was taking care of them for 24+ hours! Needless to say, my contractions barely worsened when they bumped me up to 100. After a while at this level a doctor came in (one I hadn’t seen before but would be responsible for my labor and delivery) with an ultrasound machine. He checked the size of the baby and got a smaller size than the two previous doctors (whose measurements had matched perfectly). He really felt it was best that I just go home and wait a week. And after an exam that revealed that six hours of pitocin had left me at 1 cm and Parker still very high, I had to agree. (And I have to say, when I had pitocin with Hayden it left me doubled over in pain within an hour. I asked the dr if having two prior experiences with pitocin would leave me less sensitive to the drug and he said, “Oh No!! It would make you MORE sensitive to it.” In conclusion, Parker was not ready to come.)
I was told to walk the hospital for an hour and then they were going to do one last fetal monitoring. During this hour we enjoyed a snack in the cafe and I made plans for the evening: Pick up the boys, go shopping for a friends’ birthday present, and had decided that the next morning we were going to try to make it Orrin’s birthday party a couple of hours away. Imagine my surprise when they hooked me back up and told me I was staying overnight!! I was still having regular contractions that matched those while I was on pitocin, due to the meds still being in my system.
The hospital staff showed me to my room on the new-moms-floor and I was left to enjoy a private room for the night. Matt ran to get some dinner and Tums (which I had forgotten to pack… I wouldn’t have needed them if I had had Parker!).
When he returned we watched a movie on his laptop and he headed home. No sense in paying 50 Euros for him to sleep in an uncomfortable bed when there’s no baby to help me with.
6 March I got up around 6:30 the next morning to a beautiful, snowy view. I got as ready as I could for the day (having an IV in my wrist put a kink in my “shower” plans…). I went back down to L&D and they monitored me for 30 minutes seeing no contractions at all. Matt arrived during this time and within an hour I was released.
We got our sweet boys who had had a BLAST with Wyatt, and headed home. A quick lunch and we were all off for a 3 hour nap! I had to wake Hayden at 4!! The boys played in the snow for a while and when they came home, I had a plan. After 2 days of being cooped up I needed to get out so we piled in the car and drove along the Rhine River and saw at least 10 castles! I can’t wait to find information about these castles and take my parents there! This was a sweet time with our boys, added time as a family of 5, which is kind of hard to explain. We’re ready to met Parker but treasuring these last few days which are “life as we know it.”
Before he went to bed Hayden told me his head hurt. He had a low-grade fever, sore throat, and headache. I worried about strep throat and Matt made a decision I fully agreed with. Since he already had tomorrow’s church service covered and we needed to rest, we were going to stay home. We rarely do that, but it was a good thing.
7 March Hayden still had a slight fever this morning but his throat only hurt when he coughed, which was not often. He BEGGED all day to go outside so I can tell he’s feeling okay. I’d say it is probably a little cold that will be better tomorrow and we’re praying no one else gets it. We cancelled a play date all three boys had today in order to not share it. (I spent the entire day putting together a “build-a-mummy” thing I had bought for Carson’s birthday… SO glad I was able to get that done before Parker arrived!) I also made the lesson plans for M-W. We will welcome Nana and Papa to Germany on Thursday and most likely Parker into the world on Friday! It’s a big week!!!
Now, I’m off to bed. I must say I’m so thankful for the many prayers people were praying for our health on Friday. I can honestly say I believe they were answered. If pitocin is pushed too hard before the baby is ready, it can lead to c-section. If that can be avoided, I’d like to. We’ll try again this week and will pray for more progress…. like, say, DELIVERY! 🙂