Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's Official

Chillin' with his papa.

I'm a mommy. Dear God it is a scary thought.
On Friday I had my last scheduled Dr's appointment and she decided that I needed to be induced right then because my fluid looked too low in the ultrasound. It was only two days earlier than scheduled but it threw us for a loop because we had other plans and last minute things were were going to do.
We headed home and got the dogs to doggy daycare for boarding and stopped by McDonalds for my last meal. :) I figured I wouldn't be allowed to eat anything once we got there and I was right - I got some jello and graham crackers around midnight / Saturday morning and that was it until Saturday after the delivery.
We checked into the hospital at 5:50 on Friday. I was barely diallated but they put me on the drip for inducing and hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor. It was a very uncomfortable night - every hour I had to get up and go to the bathroom. Not uncommon these last few weeks but a lot harder to do all hooked up to IV's and machines. I couldn't do it without the nurse's help. So humiliating.
The doctor came in Saturday morning and checked my progress (barely over 3 cm...just the process of checking me made me cry!). She said that I could have an epi when I was over 4 cm which finally arrived early that afternoon.
The guy came in and gave me the epi and while I was on the bed.....WHOOSH...all of a sudden I'm freaking out because I was leaking. ROFL The nurse probably thought I was a lunatic, but it totally freaked me out. I couldn't control it at all and it kept going. And I kept saying - the bed is all wet. hahahaha
I'm glad it broke though because that way the doctor didn't have to do it for me. I hate the look of the tool they use.
So by around 1 p.m. or so I was in labor and progressed super fast from there. When I was at 9 cm the nurse had me start pushing a bit. They don't tell you how frickin' hard it is.
I thought my head was going to explode.

Marshal Lawrence Casto was born 9/26 at 5:50 p.m. He was 7 pounds 3 ounces and 19.75 inches long. Thank GOD he wasn't the 10 pound baby we were expecting. I don't think I would have survived.

In NICU getting an IV.

There were some complications, because with this pregnancy nothing could go smoothly, even at the end. But he's healthy and home now. The gory details can be found below. :)

*** Warning - what follows can be considered TMI... read at your own risk. ***

My placenta didn't come out all the way - a piece with the tumor stayed in and the doctor had to retrieve it...and by retrieve it I mean reach up and RIP the damn thing out of me. Epidural be damned, it hurt like hell. Hubby took a photo but I won't share that...it's disgusting!

I lost a lot of blood. A few hours after delivery they tried having me sit on the side of the bed to move rooms and I nearly fainted. My blood pressure was super low when they checked and I wasn't ever able to get out of the bed that night - I couldn't even sit up!

Not only that, I wasn't able to pee and they had to put the damn cath back in, which took 30 minutes!!! The epi had worn off by that point and I was thoroughly pissed. They finally got us into our recovery room and Marshal's blood sugar started to drop. By midnight it was too low to allow him to stay in the room with me and he had to go to the NICU. :(

Thankfully I was so wiped out I barely cared. Daddy went with him and stayed the night. Marshal had to go on an IV because his sugar level was dangerously low. Even after feeding.

Then they told me that he had to have formula, which I never wanted to do. But because of his low sugars we had no choice. He needed nutrients and I couldn't give it to him yet (and still can't though we're still trying). No bottles though...we're using a syringe with a tube and finger feeding. A pain, but I really want him to be able to breast feed when I have milk and getting used to a bottle now can make that a lot harder.

He finally was taken off the IV drip and allowed back in our room on Sunday evening...after a LOT of poking and prodding. His poor little heals have needle marks all over them from all the blood tests.

We came home Monday and I can't believe it's only been a day since we arrived home. I'm absolutely exhausted and overwhelmed. Hubby is amazing though. I knew he'd be a good papa but he's surprised me still.

I'm severely anemic and very weak still - the doctor said I would need at least 6 weeks just to recover the blood I lost! And I keep forgetting to eat or drink. Which doesn't help the milk situation.

We also had a slight situation with Trooper Bear and Timber...I was ready to send them both to their Aunt's house for good but hubby talked me down. The dogs aren't allowed in the bedroom right now and they slept in the living room by themselves for the first time ever. Sad, but I would never sleep if the dogs were in there with us and the baby.

I feel like crying at everything...especially looking at the photos from the hospital. But I think it's a little late to change my mind now. =)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Counting Down the Days

It's getting closer and closer to the big day. My doctors have set a date to induce me if I haven't already given birth...September 27. They apparently don't let women with gestational diabetes go past 39 weeks. But of course if I have no progression and the baby seems fine they'll wait a couple more days.

All I know is that I'm exhausted and it doesn't take much of anything to wear me out. Just folding the laundry wore me today. Then again we did run errands all morning. So I was already tired.

Monday is my last day "at" work and then I'll be working from home until the day arrives. It's amazing how tired I get just getting read for work...showering, dressing, driving...it completely wipes me out and by the time I get to the office I'm barely functioning.

I'll have to force myself to take showers though. :) Getting up and heading straight to the computer is an easy routine to fall into. Although I'm sure hubby will tell me if I start to stink too badly.

When the little guy arrives I'll be sure to share photos...though probably not right away as I'm sure you can understand. He's moving tons and hubby got to feel him moving like crazy this afternoon. It's like having a little alien in my belly and the two of them were cracking me up...baby moves and hubby makes a face of amazement. Totally adorable.

I probably won't blog a ton the next couple of weeks as I have bunches of work to get caught up on before I go on leave. Not to mention stuff to finish around the house. The crib is put together but we don't have a mattress yet. Hubby put the bassinet / playpen thingy together last week and it's in the bedroom ready to go. We've got some diapers in various sizes, plenty of wipes, and lots of clothing. Everything else will probably just have to wait.

If I haven't already mentioned it...I'm completely terrified and freaked out. :) I keep reminding myself that people do it ALL the time and have been doing it for thousands of years. But that doesn't always make me feel better.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bullies Don't Scare Me

Washington State is super liberal (at least on the Western side of the state) and I'm used to it, having lived here my entire life. I was raised to believe that liberals were supposed to be the tolerant ones ... the ones who wanted open communication, discussions, and everyone's views to be heard - and every vote to be counted.

But that clearly is only the case if they agree with your cause and I've seen it first hand in my own family as my own views turned more and more to the right in the last decade.

There is a referendum process in Washington State and anyone can petition to have a law voted on if they go through the proper steps and get the right amount of signatures (not really sure the exact specifics on how referendums vs initiatives work here).

One of those referendums is R-71...they're calling it the "Protect Marriage in Washington" referendum. The opponents were fighting it even getting on the ballot - through the courts of course - trying to say that there were illigitimate signatures.

Yes, I SIGNED the petition at Walmart one day (kind of a funny store on its own...but that's not the point here)!!! I hope my signature was validated. Since the court said that yes, the referendum qualifies, the liberal bullies who hate anyone who disagree with them are now trying a new tactic - threatening to post all the names of anyone who signed in support of the ref.

A political group called WhoSigned.Org has said it will publish online the names of people who signed petitions to get the referendum on the ballot. The petition-listing effort is not supported by the official campaign that had tried to keep R-71 off the ballot.

A federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order to bar the release of signatures on R-71 petitions, and a hearing on that case will be held in Tacoma on Thursday.

I say ... a big ol' F&CK YOU! (And I hate the F word...but it fits here.) That just makes my support for the referendum stronger. I will not be bullied with scare tactics. I don't care who knows that I signed it...go ahead and release my name. I don't believe gay "marriage" is something that should be accepted in society.

I don't care if people want to have domestic partnerships...doesn't bother me. But don't try to call two women in a relationship a marriage. It is NOT. Words matter. Definitions matter. Marriage is one man and one woman. I don't consider polygamists marriages legitimate either. ONE man and ONE woman.

I harbor no ill feelings toward Gay/Lesbian friends and family (and coworkers)...in fact one of my hubby's coworkers is the most awesome lady - as is her partner - who came to my baby shower (she was his boss at one point but she's been promoted and moved out of the area, which we are sad about). But I don't support them getting "married." And it has very very little to do with my religious beliefs.

Our Senator is a complete moron...

State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, who has spearheaded domestic partnership efforts in the state, called it a "tragic day for the state, where we will put the rights of a group of our citizens up for a vote."

Yes, what a tragedy that the CITIZENS of the state are allowed to VOTE on an issue. Heaven forbid we live in any sort of democracy (I know...we're a republic...whatever) where the government does what the PEOPLE want. She's such a moron.

And if it doesn't pass...okay. I won't bitch and moan or sue anyone (unless there was clear and obvious fraud...which, in this state, isn't beyond the realm of possibilities). I'll be disappointed. But life will go on.

As for the attempted strong arm tactics of the left - screw them. I hope it backfires and makes people see them for the bullies and truly intolerant asshats that they are.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Disagree with the Company, but not the Decision

Facebook is an amazing thing...I really do learn things there. :) Aside from how to build a fun farm and being totally addicted to the games.

So anyway...someone posted an article about a woman who was fired from her job at Totes/Isotoner for taking breaks to pump breast milk.

Allen admitted she took unauthorized breaks, and that's a firing offense. If she can't prove that someone said, "Ha! Now's our chance to get rid of her for being a woman!" then apparently, she can't prove discrimination.

This is a subject that is becoming more and more relevant to me as my delivery time approaches because I will need to pump at work.

The woman, LaNisa Allen, was fired for taking unauthorized breaks. I completely get the so called "logic" of the company for firing her but still think they are totally in the wrong and the bad publicity isn't worth their action.

I do agree with the court for upholding the company's actions, though perhaps not their reasoning. A private company should be allowed to fire people for pretty much any reason and I think most of the restrictions put on companies by the government suck.

Allen gave birth over five months prior to her termination from [Isotoner]. Pregnant [women] who give birth and choose not to breastfeed or pump their breasts do not continue to lactate for five months. Thus, Allen's condition of lactating was not a condition relating to pregnancy but rather a condition related to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding discrimination does not constitute gender discrimination.

Uh...right. She was just pumping for the sheer pleasure of it...got it.

So, it's a slippery slope. I don't think women deserve special treatment just for being women and giving birth. Men certainly don't get the same treatment when their wives give birth. I get the reasoning, but it's still discrimination in the strictest reading of the law.

If she took unauthorized breaks then she broke her employment contract and they can fire her. I don't get why she had to take unauthorized breaks. In our state it is required to receive two 15 minute breaks and at least 30 minutes for lunch in an 8 hour shift. Not sure why that's not enough time (just took a breast feeding class last night and they said with a double pump you can be done in 10 minutes).

Regardless of the court's decision...I think that Isotoner made a mistake. If they wanted to fire her for being a sucky employee they should have waited until she was done pumping and come up with another reason. If they really did fire her just for taking breaks to pump then they are lame and who would want to work for them anyway? I wouldn't.

And nor am I likely to make any purchases from them in the near future. I don't think the courts need to intervene - I think the markets will do a fine job of punishing the company for their decision. You know how uppity those breast feeding women can get. :) I smell a boycott.

While I think more women should breast feed, and that company's should support that, I still don't think Isotoner was *legally* wrong in what they did...morally and strategically wrong, yes.

I'll definitely want to share my experience from the breast feeding class last night but I'll save it for another post.