Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Grandparent visit (or, How my mom tried to kill my dog)

So, after a pretty calm and uneventful June in which one day was pretty much running into the next, July has been an absolute whirlwind.  My parents arrived for a two week visit in the early part of the month, and although my mom had been here shortly after Q's birth it marked the first time my dad was meeting his only grandson.  In addition to lots of baby play time (and mommy rest time!) we were out and about quite a bit.  If anyone is interested, I can now give quite a fulsome review of nursing rooms in a number of malls throughout the greater Toronto area.  We even took Q to the Pan Am Games to see some beach volleyball!

Why don't you look like that in a bikini, Mommy?

Despite being dragged from one end of the city to the other, Q was a good sport and only really got upset when we were dumb and pushed his limits a bit by staying out or keeping him in his stroller too long.  Otherwise, he rewarded his east coast grandparents with tons of smiles and seemed to love having someone besides me around to dote on him all day.

Probably the most eventful part of the trip came a day before my folks were scheduled to leave, when M's parents came to town and we all went out for dinner together.  My mother had bought some chocolates as a gift for my sister, and had been warned by me to keep them out of reach of Buddy the beagle's inquiring nose.  She kept them zipped up in her suitcase for the better part of a week, but the night we went out for dinner just happened to be the one night she forgot to zip it up.  We came home to a completely destroyed cardboard box on the living room floor, with one lone chocolate undevoured.  I'm not quite sure what made him leave that single chocolate, but if you've ever eaten a Purdy's Chocolate Hedgehog you will understand how hard it was for me to pick it up and toss it in the garbage and not eat it myself anyway!  They're milk chocolate filled with a delectable chocolate hazelnut filling; basically, it's like Nutella inside a chocolate shell.  Fucking amazing, is what they are.  And I had to take my dog to the vet and watch him be forced to puke it all up in a melty chocolate puddle that (very grotesquely) still smelled really good coming out.  Buddy seemed to think so too, since he made a go at the puke basin on the floor even after being forced to choke down a charcoal solution to stop the chocolate toxin from absorbing into his stomach.  Yes, Purdy's, I think we've got a new advertising campaign for you right here.  "So good you'll want to eat it again the second time around!!"  All joking aside, my mom felt like absolute crap about the whole thing.  I tried to reassure her it was just an accident, and didn't have the heart to tell her that between the emergency Saturday visit, the shot to make Buddy vomit and the charcoal treatment, the entire ordeal ended up costing us almost $400 at the vet.

This story gives me the sads.

In addition to my folks, we've also had a couple of other friends in town that we've managed to get together with for dinner, and there's been some happy news.  I met up with my friend Dee, who since last year has been going through some fertility struggles of her own.  After TTC for about 6 months with no success, she and her husband went to an RE and found out that she had a blocked tube.  She had a procedure to open it, and got pregnant right away the month after.  Sadly, at her 6 week ultrasound she found out the pregnancy wasn't viable, and she miscarried not one but two babies at 9 weeks.  A few more months of no success and more testing revealed her ovarian reserve was on the low end (although nothing as dramatic as full-blown Diminished Ovarian Reserve).  Her RE recommended considering IUI or IVF, but didn't really tell her which he preferred (just that IUI was cheaper but that IVF had better success rates).  She texted me in confusion, and I was able to offer my 2 cents that as long as her ovarian reserve was OK it probably wouldn't nosedive in the few months it would take to try a round or two of IUI before leaping to IVF.  That's what she ended up doing, and last week she took a test which came out positive!  I'm so incredibly happy for her and I love that there is some small benefit to what I went through in that I could give her some advice that helped.  I am hoping so hard that this one sticks for her.  On top of Dee's great news, last night M and I hosted another couple of friends for dinner.  They were so supportive of us when we were going through our DE cycle, so we were shattered when they told us last year that they had gotten pregnant but ended up with no heartbeat at their 12 week ultrasound.  But things have worked out for them too and they are expecting their first little girl in just a few weeks.  All in all, this past week has been the most excited I've been to NOT drink wine with friends outside of my own pregnancy!

Enough about you, I can hear you guys saying.  What about baby Q??  Well, he's hit a few milestones like rolling from tummy to back (mostly accidental) and back to tummy (definitely accidental).  He's also started giggling, which is just too fucking cute I cannot even.  Unfortunately that's mostly something that Daddy gets, because although Mommy is smile-funny she's apparently not ha-ha-funny.  According to his pediatrician he's ahead of the game with his neck and head strength, and she expects us to be chasing him around in no time because this kid WANTS.  TO.  MOVE.  During tummy time he grabs the blanket he's lying on and tries to pull himself forward while doing this little dolphin kick for propulsion, and the rest of the time he just wants to be standing up.  His arms and legs are constantly in motion, which should theoretically be tiring him out but sleep is still a bit of a moving target.  He's still up at least twice during the night to feed, and naps are hit and miss.  Trying to soothe him to sleep when he doesn't want to is like hugging a bag of writhing snakes.  I fully expect it to get worse before it gets better, since the four month sleep regression is looming and we have a family beach vacation coming up where I'm sure his schedule will get screwed despite my best intentions.

Oh well.  Kid's lucky he's cute.

How YOU doin'?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

All I wanted

I think infertility blogging is a lot like songwriting or poetry.  The best content comes from a place of heartbreak, when you're so unhappy you just need to write to get everything out.  But once you make it through the dark times, it's damn hard to write from a place of happiness.  You're not dissecting your life in exquisite, agonizingly artistic detail anymore.  You're just enjoying being happy!

That's kind of what it's like around here lately.  I don't really have anything to bitch about, so this blog has been pretty quiet.  Cue inevitable "whither my infertility blog now?" discussion.  Even when I was still in the trenches, I liked it when my bloggy friends who had made it to the other side posted every once in a while with updates on their life with baby.  I mean, I didn't want to know about every sleepless night or dirty diaper, but it was nice to read they were doing well and I liked seeing/hearing about their babies from time to time.  I kind of figure this is what I'm going to do myself.  I'm just going to post updates whenever I have the time or desire, and if you're into that I'm glad.  If it's too hard for you at times, or you're in a bad place, then I get it.  I didn't want to read any complaining about baby's first tooth when I was fresh off a negative pee stick either.  It's cool.

So yeah...things around here are going pretty great!  Q is charming the virtual pants off of everyone he meets, and is continuing to keep things pretty chill at home.  Last week we ventured out to our first ever mom-and-baby activity, a free afternoon infant program at a local province-run centre.  He was one of the younger babies there, but I think he got a huge kick out of looking at all the other babies and he definitely enjoyed the song circle time, while mama was quite happy to engage in some adult conversation!  We'll be going back for sure.

Development-wise, Q is starting to get a lot more interactive which is fun.  We have full-on cooing conversations now, and just this week he started trying to grasp and bat at some toys which is a whole lot better than me sitting there just shaking them at him.  He absolutely loves standing up, and basically can fully support his own weight as long as you're holding him to stop him from toppling to the side.  This was really cute at first (especially given the look of pride he wears on his face while he's doing it) but it's also really fucking hard on the arms after a while.  Guess I'll just have to suck it up and get me some awesome biceps.

The one area that is starting to be a bit more challenging is sleep.  Q has always been a pretty good sleeper, and back around 6 or 7 weeks old had gotten to the point where he was only waking once a night to feed.  He even teased us with a blissful few nights where he slept about 10 or 12 hours, straight through from 8pm to about 6am.  It was awesome.

Then we had one weekend where we had tons of family visiting, and he hardly napped at all due to the overstimulation.  This totally threw him off, and we still haven't gotten back to where we were.  Right now he's waking twice, once around 3am and again around 5:30am.  The 3 o'clock feed isn't so bad since he's all business and back to sleep, but the 5:30 one is a bitch because it's starting to get light outside and he's like, "IT'S MORNING!" and hence he's almost impossible to put back down at that point.  Daytime naps are also proving to be a bit of a challenge.  He used to just kind of nap wherever/whenever, but I've been trying to start more of a routine by swaddling him and taking him upstairs to his crib.  He'll usually settle eventually, but crib naps seem to be capped at about 30 minutes right now whereas swing/stroller/carseat naps can last upwards of two hours, so you can guess which ones are more appealing to me.  I know it's still early days but I really don't want to get into the habit of needing to rock or nurse him to sleep.  I'd also like to get a bit of consistency going, since some days he'll have a couple of big long naps but other days he takes four or five short ones and I never know which day will be which, so it makes things a bit difficult to plan.  Can I do some dinner prep or will he be awake in 10 minutes?  It's a mystery!

So yeah...I'm happy which makes me boring blog-wise.  A couple of times over the past few weeks I've had random moments where it's hit me all over again that we made it through to the other side of infertility.  Like, we'll be walking to the dog park with Buddy on his leash and Q in his stroller, and it's sunny and the smell of lilac is in the air and we stop and buy iced tea from some kids on the street and I just think, "Yes.  This is it.  This is all I wanted.  Was it really so much to ask for?"  It seems so simple, and it should be so simple for everyone.  Yet it wasn't, and isn't.  But I wish it was.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Groundhog days

I have a confession to make.  I have no idea what to do with my two month old baby.

I mean, I know how to take care of him, obviously.  Feed, burp, bathe, change, swaddle...I've got the hang of those.  But over the past couple of weeks, my teeny tiny baby who could barely rouse himself from sleep long enough to suck on a boob has turned into a slightly less tiny baby who is now awake and alert a lot of the time.  It's awesome, of course, and there's absolutely nothing to compare to the gummy grins that I'm now getting on a regular basis.  Along with that, however, comes the need to actually do something to entertain the little guy in order to elicit said grins, or to keep him otherwise occupied and stimulated.  It's kind of making me wish that my prenatal class had included a section on children's songs and nursery rhymes, as it has become apparent that my knowledge in this area is sadly limited.  Once we've sung Old MacDonald, The Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Wheels on the Bus, I'm fresh out of ideas.  Lucky for me there's this YouTube channel that has turned 80s hair metal (among other things) into lullabies.  Now those I know!

Nothing like the dulcet tones of Axl Rose to put a baby to sleep.

Otherwise, right now my days are kind of blending into each other.  The most mentally challenging aspect is trying to figure out what order we should do things in.  Do we want to do tummy time, then walk the dog, then sing songs?  Or sing songs, tummy time, and dog walk?  Oh the variety!

I'm looking forward to taking advantage of some mom-and-baby activities in my area soon, but right now Q is still a little young for a lot of them.  I'm also sort of waiting for next week when Q has his two-month checkup and will get his first set of vaccinations before I venture out anywhere that has a ton of germy toddlers.  One cool thing I discovered is that there's a kiddie play centre within walking distance that has drop-in play during the weekdays.  Did I mention it's free for kids under 1 year?  The infant area is pretty small, since the place is mostly geared towards kids aged 2 to 6, but I'm hoping that I might meet some other moms there who are hanging out with their infants while they let their toddlers run amok.   I need to find me some local mom friends!

In the meantime, it's kind of ridiculous the sorts of things that I've been looking forward to doing since they get us out of the house.  Case in point: no one should ever, ever be as excited as I was to go to the passport office last week.  I wanted to get Q's done sooner rather than later so I wouldn't be rushing in advance of our semi-annual beach trip to Maine in July, so now he'll have a 6-week old baby photo on his passport for the next five years.  Luckily he napped like a tiny drunk so I didn't have to whip out a boob in front of everyone, although part of me was sort of looking forward to horrifying/offending a whole bunch of strangers.  Oh well.  Next time.

In other news, I got the go-ahead from my OB to resume normal activity at my post-natal checkup (which happened at 4 weeks instead of 6 for some reason) and have been using Q's nap time to squeeze in some workouts.  At first progress seemed agonizingly slow, and I was getting really frustrated and down on myself about it.  The first night that I put on my workout clothes to go to dance class I ended up in tears because of all the bulges that weren't there before, as well as the fact that the "baggy" shirt I tried to wear as camouflage turned out not to be baggy at all.  I was actually writing a whole big blog post about it in my head, but in the end I never put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?) because I was afraid it would just come off as too whiny and ungrateful given the fact that all that really matters is that Q is finally here.  Now that a month has passed I've gradually started to see some of the remaining baby weight come off, and was pretty stoked to fit into a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans earlier this week.  Granted, they were my stretchiest pair, but still.  Which made it all the more tragic when I discovered this only a day or two later:

Inner thigh hole!!  AGAIN!!

The universe giveth and the universe taketh away, I guess.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Everyone loves a good poop story, Vol. II

Everyone knows that one of the main reasons I wanted to become a parent was so that I'd have lots of poop stories to tell.*  Fortunately, little Q has been living up to expectations.  As I've slowly gotten to know our baby over the past 7 weeks, I've begun to figure out a thing or two about his patterns and his likes/dislikes.  One thing I've learned is that this kid has a digestive system like a grown-ass man with a case of Norwalk virus from an ill-fated Carnival ship poop cruise.

I learned pretty early on that no matter what you hear going on in Q's diaper, you gotta wait it out.  Like, at least 10 minutes from first gurgle to final shart.  Otherwise, you risk bathing in a fountain of breastfed baby poop, which is not unlike butternut squash soup in both colour and consistency.  I found out the hard way one morning.  I had just fed him and had heard a couple of juicy toots, so I decided to be a good parent and not let my son pickle in his own shit for too long.  As I pulled off his diaper, he let fly with a couple of good shots which (because I had him by the ankles with his ass in the air) arced like a poop-rainbow clear across the end of the dresser that acts as our change table.  I'm talking a good 3 feet.  It was impressive and disgusting at the same time.

The next time I heard those familiar sounds, I thought I had it figured out.  I waited.  I gave it five minutes at least, and thought I was in the clear.  Just to be sure, I held the old diaper up like a shield as I was wiping, and was glad I did as a new jet of poop flew into it.  I caught it, triumphantly, like a turdy baseball into a goopy catcher's mitt.  Smug in my awesomeness, I took the old diaper away so I could put on the new one...which was promptly shat upon again by my prolifically-pooping baby.  This time he managed to not only get the whole change table, but he actually got poop IN the diaper cream jar like some kind of gastrointestinal Michael Jordan.

I finally learned, like I said, that I had to wait about 10 minutes from start to finish in order to completely avoid any accidental projectile pooping.  Since it was mostly happening in the morning (just as M was usually heading to work, lucky me!) I neglected to tell my husband about this discovery.  So early one Saturday morning, after I had finished feeding the baby, M helpfully took Q in for a diaper change.  There had been some telltale rumblings, and I thought about telling M to wait it out a bit...but I was sleepy and also a bit of an asshole who figured he could learn the same way I had.  Q did not disappoint.  Within minutes M was shouting "Oh my God!  Oh holy shit!" as he was being bathed in a fountain of poop.  I smirked just a little.  Then I went in to help clean up.

*sarcasm, in case it's not obvious

Monday, 18 May 2015

Beagle versus Baby*

It has been 6 weeks since my humans brought home the hairless puppy.  I have a feeling it's here to stay.  In hindsight, I should have known something like this was coming.  It certainly explains all those new stuffies that my humans brought home over the past few months that I wasn't allowed to play with (despite my best efforts).  Although the hairless puppy hasn't played with them either, so I don't really see what the big deal would be if I took borrowed them for a while.

As far as puppies go, this one is pretty useless.  It must be the runt of the litter or something.  In addition to being hairless, it can't even bark.  Most of the time it doesn't make any noise at all, and when it does it mostly just mews like a kitten.  Once in a while I've heard it let out an attempt at a howl, but it's really quite pathetic.  I've tried several times to teach it what to do by demonstrating some proper howls and barks, but it seems disinterested.  It also can't walk, but has to be wheeled around in some sort of cart.  Perhaps it is defective.

Actually, that would explain a lot, particularly the amount of time my humans seem to devote to it.  Ever since its arrival, the hairless puppy has taken up the bulk of my humans' attention.  I myself have only given it a few sniffs, and prefer not to be too close to it due to the fact that it appears to have no control over its flailing limbs.  Yes, yes, the more I think about it, the more I am certain that it is defective.

Ah well.  I suppose I must be content with my humans' reassurances that the hairless puppy will eventually be mobile and have access to food which it will certainly drop.  I await this day with anticipation.  In the meantime, I shall content myself with finding new uses for the hairless puppy's many accoutrements.  This contraption is actually quite comfortable, if I do say so myself.

Nursing pillows...not just for nursing anymore!

* this post authored by Buddy the dog

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

3 weeks in

Holy shit.  I've had a baby for three weeks.  They let me take him home from the hospital and no one's realized they've made a terrible mistake and called or sent someone to take him back.  How is that even possible?  I know I'm almost 40 years old, but a lot of the time I barely feel like a grown up myself and now I'm in charge of a whole other person?  That's screwed up.

So, you ask, how's it been going?  Remarkably well, would be my reply.  Q is proving to be a ridiculously easy baby.  I'm not trying to brag; both M and I are genuinely befuddled at how we got so lucky.  For the first couple of weeks Q was basically just asleep most of the time, to the point that we were setting alarms to wake us up at night to make sure he fed every three hours.  Once he regained his birth weight, our pediatrician gave us the OK to drop that back to every four hours, although since then we've found that he generally wakes himself every 3 and a half hours or so.  All of this means that we've been getting long-ish stretches of uninterrupted sleep at night, which everyone told us we wouldn't.  I feel like I'm jinxing us by even telling you about it, but there it is!

Can't you see I'm sleeping?  NO PHOTOS!

We've also had the added bonus of having family around to help out with stuff around the house.  M's mom spent the first few days home from the hospital with us, and then my mom arrived for two weeks.  It's been awesome not having to worry about dusting or laundry or getting dinner, or conversely having someone look after Q while I sneak away to take care of some chores.  Not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous about how I'm going to handle things once we're finally left on our own after my mom leaves this week!

Breastfeeding has also been going pretty smoothly, apart from the to-be-expected initial nipple soreness.  So far I've managed to stick exclusively to breastfeeding, and my supply seems to be decent enough that Q is gaining weight like he should.  I've read more than enough blogs to know that I'm extremely lucky to be able to do this at all, so here's a huge shout out to my ta-tas for doing their thang.  I am however wondering when the magical fat-melting part of breastfeeding starts.  While I lost about 22 pounds pretty quickly after birth, it seems like I've plateaued now with 10 more to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight.  Add to that the fact that my FUPA has now been replaced with a full-on c-section scar belly overhang, and there's a lot of work to do once I get the go-ahead to start working out again.

Of course things haven't been all rainbows and unicorn farts, and I don't want to pretend like it is.  Q does get fussy at times, and I get frustrated because I have no idea what he wants.  I also had a major crazy hormonal breakdown about a week postpartum where I essentially lost it at M because he is a hoarder packrat collector and I was sick of looking at piles of his stuff now that we also have baby clutter to deal with.  Then I bawled because I felt bad for getting mad at him, since he'd basically been my man-servant for days while I parked myself on the couch with a baby on my boob.  Yay for violent mood swings!

All in all, though, I'm mostly just amazed and overwhelmed by how lucky I feel right now.  And I say that despite being projectile-pooped on at 3am this morning.  Because...this face!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

My douchebag cervix: A birth story

Good thing I never bothered to write that birth plan.  Then again, if I had, it would have looked something like this:
  1. Push baby out of vagina.
  2. Failing #1, get baby out safely by whatever means necessary.
  3. Oh yeah, and try to make sure mom is OK too.
In the immortal words of Meatloaf, two out of three ain't bad.

The day before Easter I was 8 days overdue.  Since my OB didn't want me going more than 10 days over, and some inductions can take up to 48 hours from start to finish, at 8:30am on Saturday we headed to the hospital to get this show on the road.

Unfortunately, while I was basically 100% effaced I still hadn't started dilating at all, so I received an application of prostaglandin gel on my cervix in the hopes that we could get something going. I was monitored for an hour during which baby Q remained happy and I had two minor contractions, about half an hour apart.  The doctors seemed pleased that things were getting started, so M and I were sent home and told to come back in 6 hours for another dose of gel unless I went into true labour before then.

Of course, as soon as we left the hospital it felt like everything stopped.  Despite going for a long walk, I didn't have any more contractions and was pretty dejected as we headed back to the hospital at 5:00pm.  When I was hooked up to the monitors again, however, it appeared that I was in fact having fairly regular, very minor contractions that I was just barely starting to feel.  I was still only about 1cm dilated, but given the contractions I was having the OB felt that another application of gel would be risking over-stimulation of my uterus.  She put in a dose of Cervadil instead, which is basically like a medicated tampon that she explained they could pull out at any time if things got too intense.  They told us we wouldn't be going home again before baby arrived, so we settled in for the long haul and I was hooked up for another couple of hours of monitoring.

By about 10pm things had really kicked into gear, with the contractions becoming more frequent and painful.  At one point I was bouncing on a birthing ball as M was laughing at Saturday Night Live, and I distinctly remember feeling very resentful that he seemed to be having so much fun while I clearly was not.  My contractions were getting pretty painful and were coming every 2 minutes and lasting about a minute each, so it felt like things were going in the right direction, but I had no idea if I'd actually dilated any further.  I felt like if I had progressed at least a few centimetres, I could gut it out a bit longer before I got an epidural.  But if I still hadn't dilated at all, then I had a long way to go and I would definitely need an epi so that I could get some sleep.

Well, I've previously referred to my uterus as an asshole.  Turns out I should have been directing more venom towards my cervix, which was proving to be a complete and utter douchebag.  I was still at 1cm.  I believe my exact response was to shout "Oh for fuck's sake!!"

While doing the internal exam, the OB asked me if I'd ever had any procedures done on my cervix.  I replied that yes, I'd previously had a number of colposcopies and a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) to remove some precancerous cells a few years ago.  Since this type of procedure can cause some scar tissue which is tougher than regular cervical tissue, the OB recommended trying to sweep my membranes to see if that would help.  If you recall, this is the same procedure my regular OB had declined to do the previous Monday since I wasn't dilated enough and she thought it would be extremely painful for me.  Turns out, she hadn't lied.  The sweep sucked.  But it worked to a degree, and in the space of 5 minutes I had dilated to 3cm.  They took out the Cervadil, and I decided to hold off on an epidural a little longer in the hopes that I could remain mobile and dilate some more.

Bad idea.  The membrane sweep just made my contractions much more intense.  I tried to focus on breathing, but within half an hour I had vomited from the pain and had decided that an epidural was the way to go from here on out.  I have to admit that I was disappointed, not because I was trying to be any kind of hero and go completely unmedicated, but because I really thought my pain threshold was higher than 3cm dilation.  I had hoped to hold out longer, but agreed with the nurse when she said it was probably time to call for the anesthesiologist.

This is the part where things kind of started to go off the rails.  The anesthesiologist numbed my back, and inserted the epidural painlessly.  However, before he even had a chance to begin the medication I started to feel woozy.  I told the nurse I was feeling lightheaded.  The next thing I knew, both the nurse and M were snapping their fingers in front of my face and calling my name.  My blood pressure had apparently plummeted and I had passed out for a few moments.  As I came to, I puked again.  My bed was quickly reclined and I was given a dose of ephedrine through my IV to get my blood pressure back up.  I also got a squirt of oral nitroglycerin under my tongue and an oxygen mask over my face.  I somewhat nervously noticed that there were now something like 8 medical personnel in the room, whereas before there had been only two.

Once the epidural kicked in I started feeling a lot better, despite the fact that the monitors showed me as having had 6 contractions in less than 9 minutes.  The problem at this point now became Q, whose heart rate (which had been in the happy 150s all afternoon) had leapt up into the 180 to 200 range (probably in response to the meds they gave me for my low blood pressure, I later learned).  The OB told me that I was now almost 6cm dilated, and recommended breaking my water.  It came out stained with meconium, which they said was not surprising given that a) Q was overdue and b) he'd just gone through a period of minor distress.  But wait...all of a sudden I was only 3cm dilated again!  The OB said that the amniotic sac had probably been pressing against my cervix and that, once the pressure was released, my "LEEP cervix" (as it was now being called with some disdain by the doctors and nurses) had sprung back in like a rubber band.  Like I said, my cervix was being a total d-bag.

It was looking like it was going to be a long time before I dilated enough to make any attempt at pushing, and in the meantime Q's heart rate continued to stay elevated.  While it wasn't dangerously high, the OB advised that it was essentially like he was running a marathon in my womb; the longer his heart rate stayed high, the more stressed he would become.  The doctors decided they wanted to do a procedure that would take a small prick of blood from Q's scalp to see how much lactate was building up in his system.  If it was normal, I could continue to labour but if not, they would recommend "another way to meet the baby".  They studiously avoided using the word "c-section", but unless my hospital had figured out a way to transport babies from the womb a la Star Trek, we all knew what that meant.

Unfortunately, my douchebag cervix wasn't about to start being cooperative now.  After about 10 minutes of shoving a little tube up my vajayjay in a futile attempt to isolate my cervix, the OB waved the white flag and admitted defeat.  My cervix was still far too high and apparently tilted to the left to allow them to do the procedure.  Since Q's heart rate had been elevated for a long time and they had no way of accurately determining how stressed he was, they recommended a c-section.  At that point I had been staring at the fetal heart monitor for over an hour, silently but unsuccessfully willing Q's heart rate to slow down to normal, and I just needed to know that he was going to come out of me OK.  M and I agreed to proceed with the c-section.  

I'll admit that this is the part where I cried a little, partially because I had been hoping for the quicker recovery time of a vaginal birth but more so because I felt responsible for causing all of this stress on poor little Q's heart.  Everything had started to go downhill when I had requested the epidural.  If only I'd been tougher, if I'd been able to hold out against the pain, none of this would be happening...but it was, and I was soon on my way to the operating room.

There was no immediate urgency to my c-section, so everyone was pretty chill and calm while getting ready.  The c-section itself was weird because I could feel all the pulling and tugging they were doing (some of which felt pretty rough, since Q hadn't descended at all and it felt like they had to yank him out of my ribcage), but there was no actual pain and M helped by keeping me focused on him throughout.  At 4:30am they pulled Q out to a chorus of "oh, that's a big baby!" (8 pounds 11 ounces) and showed him to us briefly before whisking him away to the warming table to be checked.  I let out a few huge sobs when I heard him cry, and then urged M to go be with him while they stitched me up.

Since Q had been swimming in meconium, he had inhaled a little of it and needed some suction and oxygen to clear his lungs.  The hospital had a video camera over the warming table so that I could watch what was happening on a screen over the surgical table, which was awesome but also stressful since I could only see what they were doing but couldn't hear why or how he was responding.  M came back to give me updates, and told me that though Q was doing well they'd be taking him to the resuscitation room for a quick check before he could come with us.  On the way out the nurses brought Q to me for a quick look and cuddle, and then he and M were gone and it was just me, shivering uncontrollably on the surgical table while the doctors put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

When they were done, I was wheeled to the recovery ward where I tried to stay awake while waiting for my husband and baby.  They arrived around 7am, and I was finally able to hold Q skin to skin and put him to my breast, which he took like a champ.  Just about 24 hours after the whole thing started, at 8:30am on Easter Sunday my new little family was brought up from recovery and installed in our room in the post-natal ward.  To call it the most emotional, terrifying, amazing day of my life would be a hell of an understatement. 

Oh yeah, and those of you who told me that all my donor egg fears would disappear the second I held this little guy in my arms?  You were absolutely right.