NetFlix at 4AM

I’ve been awake at some odd hours of the night recently.  Unlike my blog pal, whatigotsofar, it’s not due to insomnia but the whacked out sleep schedule of a four week old.  Sometimes it’s 1AM, other times we’ve sat on the couch and watched the sun come up around 5:30.  I know I’m in trouble when I hear the birds start chirping.

As many of you know, we discontinued our cable a few weeks ago to save money and recapture some time that was wasted watching crap on TV.  However, we discovered the ‘on demand’ section of NetFlix where we can download tv series or movies to our Xbox 360 and watch them at our leisure.  Lately, my ‘leisure’ has been during the middle of the night feedings as background noise.

I rediscovered one of my favorite British TV shows – MI5.  It’s an awesome show based on the British Secret Service and the terrorism threats they deal with.  I fell in love with Tom Quinn, Danny, and Zoe all over again.  I’d only caught through part of Season 2 and missed where they all left the show and were replaced by Adam Carter, his wife Fiona (seriously, can you have a more British name than that??), Zaf, and a few other miscellaneous characters.  Today, Fiona got whacked and Adam lost his mind so I’m interested to see where the show goes from there.

The best part about it is that the episodes are 52 minutes long with ZERO commercials – no late night infomercials for me!  I can squeeze in at least 1/2 an episode during her late night feedings and can finish it up during her first feeding of the day.  It comes in handy the most when she’s falling asleep as she finishes her bottle.  I don’t like to move her to her crib right away because she’ll become instantly alert but let her get settled in to sleep before transferring her.

I finished up the latest season of NCIS the first week we were home and have since blown through Seasons 1 and 2 of MI5.  I’m only a few episodes away from wrapping up Season 3.  Unfortunately, Criminal Minds is only available on the physical CDs and it’s hard to start / stop them at certain points.  The on-demand feature allows me to stop the episode and then resume it where I left off, even if the console has been turned off.  It’s *awesome.*

Anyways, if there was a tv show you could revisit and watch on demand, what would it be?

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Mallory’s Birth Story – Part 1

This has been rattling around in my head for the last week and I finally carved out a little ‘me time’ to get it written.  It’s more for me to remember and have a record than for anyone else to read, but you’re welcome to read it.

April 30th:

3:00PM – Ben gets kicked out of work early and surprises me at home.  I’m sitting on my butt reading and eating a bowl of Ben’s white cheddar popcorn.  Busted.

5:00 PM – Ben and I are all packed and ready to head to the hospital, but first we have some errands to run.  Stopped at 1/2 Price Books to get the 3rd book in a series I was reading, and then went to Tai’s Asian Bistro for dinner.  I settled on Orange Chicken (no spicy! – their words, not mine) and we had our last uninterrupted meal out for a long long while.

6:30PM – Made a quick run to Tim Horton’s for a half decaf triple triple before I entered NPO-land.  I knew that once I hit the hospital doors that I wouldn’t be allowed to eat anything until I had her.  Dumb move on my part to eat Chinese; I should have known that it fills you up for a while but then leaves you starving just an hour later.  Oh well.  Headed over to Jamie’s (my sister) to hang out for a while and kill some time before heading to the hospital.

8:00PM – Get all registered and shown to our room.  Apparently, lots of women decided to have their babies on April 30th – it must have been an end of the month quota thing.  The room we’re shown to is small and doesn’t have a couch for Ben to sleep on, just a chair.  We got assigned our nurse, Connie, who immediately looked at the fact that we were a 2 stage induction, and moved us to a bigger room with a place for Ben to sleep.  She started my IV of Pitocin and got us all settled with the fetal monitors.  Mallory didn’t want to be found at first so they had to do a quick ultrasound.  The rest of the night she played hide and seek with Connie and the monitors; every time I shifted positions in the bed they would have to find her again.   

 Ben popped The 13th Warrior, one of our favorite movies, into the room’s DVD player and we started the waiting game.  They examined me and found out that I had dilated to 2-3 cms on my own, eliminating one part of the 2 stage induction.  We started taking bets on when Mallory would be born – my Mom was optimistic and said 2:30AM.  

Friday, May 1st

I’m a bit hazy on times after this, but remember the series of events pretty well.  Started getting pretty strong contractions thanks to the Pitocin and figured it was time to talk to the doc who would be doing my epidural.  He did the consult, got the necessary paperwork signed, and let me know that there were 2 women ahead of me and he would be with me as soon as he could.  No big deal – I got all that out of the way ahead of time so that I’d still have plenty of time for him to get it inserted before the major pain started.  I’m one smart cookie.

Around this time, my blood pressure started going a little bit crazy.  It would be normal, then spike up to something like 146 over 90.  When the doctor came back to to put in my epidural it REALLY went crazy.  The attending doctor consulted with my doctor about whether to start me on a medicine called Magnesium Sulfate to keep me from  going into convulsions from the high blood pressure.  At the time, they decided against it thinking that the high readings could be due to the stress of getting the epidural inserted.

I noticed that my epidural wasn’t kicking in – no warmth or numbness in my feet.  Called the doc back and he realized that something had gone wrong and would have to redo it.  My initial thought was, “Are you KIDDING me?”  Up until this point I was able to get up and move around to go to the bathroom if I needed to, but they wouldn’t let me after the first epidural was administered since it was a fall risk.  I had two options – get my catheter inserted without the luxury of being numbed or use a bedpan.  I fought tooth and nail to be able to get up and go to the bathroom on my own but had to swallow my pride and use the bedpan.  

Luckily, the second epidural hurt *much* less than the first one and I felt the effects almost immediately – whew!  My mom stayed with me and let me break her fingers through both epidurals while Ben waited for me out in the hall.  The poor guy!   After the second epidural was inserted, they realized that my high blood pressure spikes weren’t going away on their own and started me on the Magnesium Sulfate (referred to as ‘Mag’ after this).  I also started receiving beta blockers to bring my blood pressure down and help with the pre-ecclampsia.  My feet, hands, face, and any other body part that could swell started to get bigger as I retained more and more fluid.  They inserted a catheter and put those fun inflatable pressure cuffs on my legs to prevent blood clots.  They also started taking my blood pressure every 15 minutes to keep an eye on it.  At one point I wanted to throw the automatic blood pressure machine out the window because it was pissing me off so badly.  The worst blood pressure reading came in the early hours of the morning – 200+ over 119… while I was asleep.  My daytime nurses actually put pads and sheets over the hard parts of my bed just in case I did go into convulsions.  Around this time they also took off the external fetal monitoring and attached a sensor to her head to track her heartbeat as well as another sensor internally to monitor my contractions. 

I dilated to 5cms around 11PM or midnight and we thought things were going well.  Little did we know that I would be stuck at 5cms for the next FIFTEEN HOURS.  Luckily, the Mag made me sleepy, a little delirious, and warm so I slept fairly well.  My poor Mom and Ben – they barely got any sleep.  They slipped away around 4AM to get a bagel and some coffee in the hospital cafeteria.  At this point I had roughly 5 bags of IV fluid hooked up in addition to the epidural.  Fun!  They broke my water around 4:30AM to try to get my labor kickstarted.  It wasn’t too bad.

From about 5AM to noon is mostly a blur of all the same things – wanting to smash the blood pressure machine, talking with Mom and Ben, and waiting for something – ANYTHING – to happen.  Jamie got to the hospital around 10AM and brought a fun game – MindTrap – with her so that we had something to keep us occupied.  It’s a fun thinking game:  A farmer has a pear tree in his back yard.  If there are 15 branches and each branch yields 20 pears and there are 40 pears in a bushel,  how many bushels of plums will he be able to take to market?  Answer: 0 plums – it’s a pear tree.  That kept us entertained for about an hour or so until I started getting some back labor mixed in with the rest of the contractions.  Turns out no one showed me the fun button on the epidural pump for breakthrough pain.  Dr. Goist was able to help me out with that one 🙂

Around 11AM Dr. Goist examined me again (I was REALLY getting tired of it by this time) and also looked at my contraction history.  Turns out that my contractions weren’t getting stronger even though they were 1-3 minutes apart.  As a result, they weren’t dilating my cervix either.  She made the determination that we’d talk options if I didn’t significantly dilate from 5 cms at my 1PM check.  Those 2 hours passed by sooooo slowly.  Jamie took Ben to the cafeteria to grab a quick bite of lunch and Mom stayed with me.  I think Dad came to the hospital around that time, too.  Dr. Goist came back a little early and wouldn’t you know, I was still at 5cms.

We discussed the pros/cons and complications of a C-section delivery as well as the risks to the baby and me of continuing to try to deliver vaginally with my blood pressure being sky high.  When Ben got back from lunch we made the decision that we’d have the C-section.

To be continued…

Some thoughts from the hospital…

So we’re almost ready to be discharged – just waiting to see how my last few feedings go and if my milk comes in before we head home.  The past 4 days have gone by in an absolute BLUR.  I can’t believe we walked into the hospital on Thursday around 7:30PM and are just now getting to leave.  Of course, we didn’t plan on having a c-section after 18 hours but life rarely works out how we expect it to, right?

I’m up and moving about here in my room.  Ben ‘kidnapped’ me yesterday and took me downstairs to the cafeteria for lunch.  That got me out of my room for a bit, let me take some time away from the baby (they kept her in the nursery for the 45 minutes we were gone), and allowed me to just be a normal person again.  I tell you, that husband of mine has some good ideas sometimes 🙂

My incision doesn’t look too bad – or so people say.  I guess I have 12 staples holding everything in and right now they don’t hurt too badly.  The staff is doing an *awesome* job of pain management.  I have a whiteboard in my room with their phone numbers on it and they make sure to put what time I had my last pain medicine and when I’m due for it again so I don’t go nuts.  It’s funny how one staff person can make or break your stay.  There are several people who will be receiving ‘Bravos’ for the level of care that they’ve provided me.

Ok, Ben is back from Wendy’s and it’s close to Mallory’s 3PM feeding time.  Back to being a mom 🙂