Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grayson's Big Day!

What a time the past few days have been! This could get long but I'll start from the beginning... It all began around 11am on Saturday morning when I started feeling mild and relatively inconsistent contractions. They were mild enough that I could get up, walk around and even take a nap but it certainly got frustrating that they weren't getting longer, stronger or closer together like they are supposed to if it is true labor. Saturday night was pretty restful so I didn't hold out much hope that Sunday would bring anything more than the same mild, annoying contractions- boy was I wrong!!!

Around 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon the contractions started coming in a more consistent pattern (every 6-4 minutes) and were getting longer (lasting anywhere from 45 seconds to a minute and a half). Looking back I realize that they weren't getting stronger yet, I was just getting tired and I wasn't dealing with the pain as well. We decided to go walk a few laps around the neighborhood to see if we could get things moving along and just that bit of walking definitely helped. When we got home I called Labor and Delivery to see if they thought it was time we start thinking about heading that way. They suggested that we come in and get things checked out so off we went! The monitors showed that I was having contractions but they weren't coming at regular enough intervals and I wasn't dilated enough to need to be admitted. Mildly disappointed but not surprised we headed over to my mom's for dinner. We had quite a few good laughs about what I call 'my obligatory first time mom false alarm'. More than once I mentioned how much I hoped my water would break so I wouldn't have to worry about heading into the hospital just to get sent home again. At least if your water breaks you know something is about to happen! Well, it turns out I got exactly what I asked for!

Around 7:30pm I looked at Matt and said 'we need to go home now'. We had been laughing about something and I thought 'oh no, not only did I just take us into the hospital for a false alarm but now I'm peeing my pants when I laugh'. A bit embarrassed, I didn't share this with anyone but just said I was getting tired and wanted to head home. On the ride home I had a contraction that was much much stronger than any I had felt up to the point- strong enough that I made Matt pull over and stop the car. This had me secretly hoping that something was starting. Well, by the time we got home it was very obvious that this was not just another embarassing pregnant moment. I told Matt I thought my water had broken but of course neither of us wanted to jump the gun and head back to the hospital if this wasn't the case. I walked around for a few minutes and once I was absolutely certain that something was going on I called L&D again and they said to come back in.

I don't think I've ever been quite so excited and relieved as when the nurse said that my water had definitely broken and she was going to get our admitting papers started. WOOHOO, we were here to stay!!!! Matt called my mom and she headed over and a short time later my sister Caroline arrived. Thankfully, the contractions picked up in intensity and established a regular pattern on their own and I didn't need any Pitocin to help things move along. There was about a thirty minute stretch where the time between contractions lengthened and then BOOM, three incredibly intense contractions came one right after another. This was my breaking point- it was time for some drugs! I decided to get a dose of Fentinol (sp?) which doesn't stop the pain but helps take the edge off. The first dose typically lasts about 45 minutes so I decided to get the first dose and once I felt the need for a second dose to call the anesthesiologist and have him head in and get ready for the epidural. Since it was late Sunday night the anesthesiologist wasn't in house and had to be called in so they told me to plan to have to wait about 30 minutes for him to get there. So, I worked through the first dose, got the second and then called for the epidural.

Once the epidural was in it quickly became obvious that it was only working on my right side- I still felt every little bit of the contractions on my left side. They had me lay on my left side to see if that would help the medicine naturally work down into my left side. Eventually it did but I was still left with that they call a 'window' on my left side where the epidural didn't take effect. A few hours later that also went away and the pain was much, much better.

I got the epidural around 1am and I was dilated to about 5cm and by 5am she said I was 10cm and fully effaced but the baby hadn't yet completely dropped- it was time to call the Dr.! At 6am Dr. Keith called the nurse and told her to have me start doing some practice pushes and he would be there around 6:30. At that point she checked me again and said 'no practice pushes for you, I don't feel like delivering a baby this morning!'. When Dr. Keith got their at 6:30 he was surprised to see that the baby was crowning so hurried off to change into his scrubs and while the nurses quickly got the room and bed ready for delivery apparently all I could think of to ask the nurse was if the baby had hair! At this point she could easily assure me that yes, our baby had a lot of hair! Once everyone and everything was ready, all it took was two and a half contractions to get Grayson out. Later that day the nurse told me that on average, first time moms push for around two and half hours- boy did I get lucky!!!

The three of us just got home this afternoon and have settled in nicely. We are all sleeping and resting much better than we did in the hospital. While our experience was absolutely great, there really is no place like home! The dogs and Grayson are getting along very well and Tate seems to have taken it upon himself to monitor every little sound that comes from Grayson.

Below I've posted some more pictures of our time with our little man so far.

He's started grabbing onto his ear when he sucks his thumb.

Getting ready to go home!

Tate just jumped up and curled around Grayson. I think Tate's in love too!

Home sweet home and loving his swing!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Grayson's Arrival

Grayson Matthew Gallegly was born this morning at 6:45 AM, Feb 22, 2010 at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula in Monterey, CA. He weighed in at 8 lbs and 1 ounce, and measured 21" long. He is as healthy as can be, and a little cranky from his busy morning.

So far we have spent the rest of the day today at the hospital going through the usual post-birth routine tests. Grayson has had his first bath, and his full head of hair is looking quite dapper. He has also had his first couple of tiny meals.

Stefanie began experiencing contractions around midday on Saturday, and the contractions were increasing in frequency throughout the night Saturday and into Sunday. After they were coming every 4 minutes or so, we contacted the birth center at the hospital and they recommended we go ahead and come in to check things out. As was expected, everything was fine and they sent us back home to continue labor for a few more hours or days...

Then, about 7:30 PM on Sunday evening Stefanie got quite a splash when her water broke suddenly. Although only about 15% of women's water will break on its own in such a dramatic fashion, it was a welcome signal that it was in fact time to go the hospital for real.

We arrive at the hospital around 8:00 PM and settled into our room. As the water had broken, contractions started increasing pretty steadily for the next several hours. By 1 AM the anesthesiologist had arrived and administered the epidural, at which time we all got some rest as things continued to progress. After several more hours, the nurses decided it was time to call the doctor at 5 AM. He then arrived at 6:45 AM at which time Stefanie pushed through 2 1/2 contractions and Grayson was born! All in all, labor lasted about 11 hours.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Final Nursery Pictures!

I've finally organized all of Grayson's new stuff and have some final pictures of his room. It doesn't look too different from previous pictures but there are a few additions. At least I know, every time I walk past his room, that it's all organized and ready. I've also, finally, packed our bags! We are officially good to go whenever he decides to make his appearance.

Here is the view from the door.

The closet. Originally, we planned to use the top of the black dresser as the changing table but we've had to rethink that since the only place to hang his clothes is right above.... I don't have much experience changing babies, especially boys, but I know enough to realize that changing a baby underneath his clean clothes might not be the best idea! The changing pad is there for now but I'm sure it will end up moving to wherever we change him most often- if we really even need it.

Some of his new friends hanging out on the shelf.... far, far away from the dogs.

So there it is, hope you like it! I've definitely had a fun time getting it ready and now all we need is our baby!