Lucy's Birth Story

We got up crazy early on Tuesday morning and set off for the hospital. Before we left, my sister took this picture: our last moment as a family of three.

Last pic as a family of 3. (Taken before we left for the hospital.)
(Props to Angie for the idea.)

The Boring Part

We got checked into the hospital around 7:30 a.m., did all the medically necessary prep work, got the IV started with Pitocin, and then we waited. And waited.

A few hours later, the contractions started to get really intense, and I was still barely dilated 1 centimeter. I asked for some pain relief, and I was given a drug called Stadol. Which was… well, it made me high as a kite, is what it did. It was actually quite pleasant and it definitely took the edge off of the contractions. I passed out for a while, I’m not sure how long.

At some point the doctor came in to check me, and said that I was dilated to 4 centimeters. She broke my water for me to get things moving, and then they called the anesthesiologist to get my epidural going.

Meanwhile, I realized that it was almost 5:00, and visiting hours ended at 8:00, so basically my whole plan to have Catie come to the hospital to meet her baby sister immediately after she was born? That wasn’t going to happen. And I almost cried. Dave suggested that she could come see me anyway, but I was worried that it would freak her out to see me in pain and lying in a hospital bed with an IV.

Finally, I got my epidural. I don’t remember it hurting very much when I had one with Catie, but this one hurt so bad it almost made me cry. Once it was done, the pain from the contractions went from excruciating to almost non-existent. Oh, and I was flagged as a fall risk, which cracked both me and Dave up. I should probably wear this bracelet all the time.

Post-epidural, I'm a fall risk. (I should really wear this all the time!)

Since I wasn’t in pain anymore, I agreed to Dave’s original idea to bring Catie to the hospital, as long as we prepped her beforehand about what to expect. “Mommy’s in a bed, and there are some tubes and things to give her medicine,” etc. My sister explained it to her on the way to the hospital, and she didn’t seem too freaked out by it.

I just got to see this face. All is right with the world.

Tracy and Catie stayed for a little while, then went home for the night.

At some point, I mentioned to the night nurse that I had a headache, and I suspected it was because it had been over 12 hours since I’d had any caffeine. She told me I could have a Diet Coke. I will love her forever for that.

The Part Where Stuff Started Happening

I started to feel some weird pressure, and I asked the nurse to check me. She started to, then her cell phone rang and she said she had to take it because it was her baby-sitter. While she was out of the room, the pressure got suddenly very intense and I told Dave she better hurry up because I thought I might be fully dilated. She came back a minute later, apologized, and checked to find out that yes, I was indeed at 9 cm and almost fully dilated, the only problem was that the baby was still face up, but once she flipped around, she’d be out in no time.

My OB had left the hospital, so they paged her, and she said she’d be there in 10 minutes. The nurse was worried that the baby might try to come before the doctor could get there, so she had me (with my numbed-up from an epidural legs) flip over on the bed and get up on all fours. No, seriously.

And yes, that was exactly as awkward as it sounds. Especially in a hospital gown, so I was basically mooning the whole room. Very nice.

The nurse also mentioned something about not being able to get a good read on the baby’s heart rate, but I didn’t think much of that at the time.

The Really Freaking Scary Part

My OB got there and had me flip back over on the bed (again, numb from the waist down – VERY. AWKWARD.) and she had me start pushing. As I pushed, she tried to reach in and manually flip the baby around the right way. She’d get Lucy flipped, and on the next push, she’d flip herself back. The problem was that the angle of her head was such that she couldn’t get past my pubic bone with the direction she was facing.

I pushed for something like 45 minutes. Finally the doctor said that she was going to have to do a vacuum extraction to flip the baby over as she came out. Fine by me, I just wanted her out, and it seemed like the safest option for both of us. As soon as the vacuum was attached to the baby’s head, she was out on the next contraction.

What happened next is probably something I’ll have nightmares about for the rest of my life. Lucy was out, and she was covered in blood (as you’d expect). But she was gray. And even though her eyes were open, she wasn’t making any sound. I heard the doctor say that the cord was around her neck.

There was a team of people who swooped her over to an incubator and started working on her. I was sobbing and saying to Dave, “She’s not crying! Why isn’t she crying??” Dave said that he could see her (I couldn’t see much at all from where I was), and he kept telling me that she was ok. That didn’t really help ease my growing sense of panic at all.

Finally, I heard her cry, then I started crying tears of relief.

The Happy Ending

As scary as those few minutes were, as soon as they were over, that was it. She was just… here. And she was perfect.

welcome to the world, Baby 2.0

Mama & Lucy
(Apologies for my lack of make-up. I know the under-eye circles are a bit scary.)

Now it’s five days later, and we’re still getting to know each other. But I think we’re going to get along famously.

2 days old & smiling. Lucy is clearly a genius.

This one is a keeper, y’all.


Internet, meet Lucy.

Lucille Devon Wilkinson was born at 9:36 p.m. on May 31, 2011. She weighs 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and is 19 inches long. She has Dave’s ears, my mouth, a nose that I can only describe as my grandfather’s, eyes we haven’t figured out yet, and a full head of dark hair that I cannot stop kissing.

She is absolute heaven, and I can’t stop staring at her. We’re all totally in love with her.

Last night, Dave took a picture of Lucy (who at that point still had no name) with my cell phone and sent it to my sister. Tracy was at our house with Catie, and she showed her the picture and said, “Do you know who that is?” Catie replied, “That’s my baby!!”

Today they got to meet each other. They seem to dig each other so far.

More details, like the whole birth story and whatnot, when we’re all back home and not poaching the hospital’s wi-fi.

But seriously, y’all, the messages on Twitter and Facebook the last couple of days? I don’t know what to say except thank you so much. It was beyond amazing to feel so incredibly supported and encouraged through all of this, and I cannot wait to share more about this amazing baby girl with all of you.

the old wives' & their tales can go jump off a cliff

I’m getting induced tomorrow. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this baby is not going to evacuate her current premises willingly, so we’re going in after her.

And it’s funny, I’ve been joking for a while about how I have a feeling that this baby is going to be more like me. Mainly because Catie is so much like Dave, but also because this child will be the second girl (just like I am), with a large-ish age gap between herself and her older sister (Catie is almost 4 1/2, my sister and I are 5 1/2 years apart). I don’t know, it’s just a hunch that she’s going to inherit more of my traits than Catie did.

And as it happens, my mom had to be induced when she was pregnant with me, because I had no intention of being born either. So there you have it, commonality from the get-go.

It’s sort of weird, having the induction scheduled and knowing that I’m going to have a baby tomorrow. It’s actually helped calm down my tendency to over-plan. Today we’ve spent doing laundry, getting groceries, setting up the pack ‘n’ play in our bedroom, all of those last-minute preparations.

And I’ve been trying to soak up as much of Catie as I possibly can, enjoying these last few minutes of her as an Only Child. It’s probably weird that I haven’t been emotional about that until just now. Go figure.

And now for a completely unrelated topic!

Ever wondered about some of those old wives’ tales that people swear will make you go into labor? I’d like to tell you right now that they’re all crap.

Here are some of the ones I’ve heard repeatedly, along with my personal experience:

* Acupuncture – While it definitely made the baby “drop” a lot lower, nothing else has happened.
* Sex – No comment. (People in my family read this website, I refuse to say anything else about it.)
* Walking – I’ve been on the treadmill every day for the past two weeks. No luck.
* Other exercises (prenatal yoga, squats) – No luck.
* Castor oil – Relatively unpleasant (not as bad as what I’d heard some people describe, but still not what I’d call a good time), and it didn’t help at all.
* Spicy food – Ok, this is the one I couldn’t really commit to. I ate things spicier than I would normally eat them, which is still way milder than what the old wives’ tale intended. I am a wimp about spicy food, I just can’t handle it at all. It’s physically painful for me. So, eh, whatever.
* Evening primrose oil – I’ve been taking the pills orally and also applying it, um, internally. Nothing.
* Red raspberry leaf tea – Nope. Doesn’t taste bad, though.
* Warm baths – Nice, but totally unhelpful.
* Nipple stimulation – I’ve yanked on my own boobs about a million times, trying to mimic the feeling of a nursing baby or a breast pump, because (allegedly) it’s supposed to make the uterus contract. Let me tell you what I learned: it hurts. A lot. And it didn’t do a damn thing.
* Eggplant Parmesan – It was delicious. But it didn’t do anything.
* Pineapple – I love pineapple. I’ve eaten so much that the inside of my mouth is sore from the acidity. And it didn’t help one whit.


Back to the whole Impending Baby Thing!

So, yeah. Induction starts tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Hopefully we’ll have an announcement before the day is over. Oh, and a name. Because we still don’t have a clue what we’re going to call this poor kid.

But, my sweet little Baby No Name, we can’t wait to meet you. And your mama can’t wait to not have this view every time she looks down.

Current view. See that pointy part sticking out? That's her butt.

You have no idea how much more comfortable we will both be once you’re out here in the world. I promise. We’re gonna have so much fun.

Impending Arrival. Sort of.

Since the incident this past weekend with contractions that went nowhere, Baby 2.0 has shown absolutely no signs of wanting to leave her current abode. Which is frustrating, since we really want her to hurry up and get the heck out of there.

Also, my sister is here this week, so timing-wise, it would be SUPER convenient if this child would go ahead and make an appearance. In-home childcare for Catie, at the ready! Woot! Let’s go, baby!

39 weeks.
39 weeks pregnant. Feeling like Violet freaking Beauregard.
And yes, I took this in the bathroom at my OB’s office. Their mirror is cleaner than mine.

On Wednesday, I had an OB appointment. My doctor walked in, and said, “Wow, look at that face! You look pretty miserable!” Uh, yeah. So I listed my current complaints symptoms:
* Headaches almost every day. (Sometimes every other day, but they’re still pretty ever-present. When I’m not pregnant, I get headaches maybe once a month, if that.)
* Certain, ahem, digestive issues. (No additional comment needed.)
* Sometimes I’ll just get light-headed and dizzy for no reason.

Honestly, the dizzy thing freaks me out the most. You know the sort of head rush feeling you get if you stand up too fast? I’ll get that out of the blue when I’m not doing anything. The other night it happened while I was standing in the kitchen talking to Dave and my sister. Sudden dizziness, double vision, the works. I sat down on the kitchen floor and leaned against the wall, and it took probably 15 minutes for the feeling to pass. It was really bizarre and unsettling.

So, when I mentioned all of this to my OB, she said, “Ok, you convinced me. I’ll call the hospital to see when they can induce you.”

I know a lot of women would do anything to avoid being induced, but I had Pitocin with Catie, so I’m not scared of that. I just desperately want this baby out of me so I can start to recover and feel like myself again. (And yeah, I know that the newborn phase is it’s own special sort of hell, but the difference? Is that I love my babies, but I hate being pregnant.) So, hearing my OB say that she’d induce labor is like my own personal version of the Hallelujah Chorus. There is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Thank God for that.

My OB said that she’d call the hospital at the end of the day, then call me to let me know when I was on the schedule. No biggie, right?

So, fast-forward and cue about a dozen or more phone calls back and forth to her office (where I was told by her nurse, “Sorry, she’s at the hospital delivering a baby and I don’t have any info”) and to the hospital (where I was told, “Uh, we don’t see you on the schedule”). It took a ridiculously long time to find out anything, and obviously I was getting really frustrated because I just want to get this baby out of me.

FINALLY, my doctor called me back and said that she got me on the calendar to be induced… on May 31st. Which is my official due date, yes. But it’s also next Tuesday, and my sister won’t be here by then, and it means more days of feeling sick and miserable.

So, I’m back to trying natural induction methods. One of the few that I’d read about that actually seemed promising was acupuncture. My family is big on acupuncture – my mom uses it to help manage her chronic pain issues, and my dad and sister have both used it to help with various injuries. I managed to get a very fast appointment with a local acupuncturist, and tried it this morning.

It was… weird. The first session involved needles in my hands, ankles, feet, ears, and the top of my head. I was supposed to rest like that for 20 minutes, but after 10 minutes, I got suddenly dizzy and sweaty and had to stop. The second session involved needles in my lower back, and I almost fell asleep during that part. So, part of it kinda sucked, and part of it was totally relaxing and nice. Weird.

I have another appointment with the same clinic tomorrow, assuming that this first one doesn’t send me into labor today (fingers crossed!). I can’t really tell much so far, except that Baby Girl has been going NUTS ever since the acupuncture appointment. I’m not having contractions, but she’s squirming around all over the place, so I hope that means that something is happening in there.

Anyway, worst-case scenario, this baby is coming in 4 days. But I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later. We’ll see!

what the heck was THAT?

Hi there! How’s it going? Allow me to tell you about my action-packed weekend, ok? Ok.

So! Saturday. My awesome cousin offered to pick up Catie and take her to the Got To Be NC Festival because, let’s face it, even though it sounded pretty fun – and, as a bonus, had the promise of copious amounts of fried food – I am in no condition to be hiking all over the NC State Fairgrounds. So I said yes, please, take my kid away from me for a few hours and thank you so much. They set off around 10 a.m., and I promptly went back to bed.

While I was lying down, I started having contractions. I timed them (did you know there’s an app for that? Because of course there is), and found that they were every 20 minutes. Mild but still regularly patterned contractions. That seems promising, no?

I decided to see if I could move things along, so I went downstairs and got on the treadmill. I walked for about 30 minutes, and by then, the contractions were every 10 minutes. Crazy, right? So I told Dave and started making phone calls, and we packed the rest of our stuff, because hey look at that, we might be having a baby today!

Meanwhile, Catie came home, tired and sweaty and happy. (Apparently it was pretty awesome, because she’s been telling me about all of the things she saw and did at the “Festy-buhl” ever since.) We chilled out for a while, and the contractions got a bit stronger and were coming every 7-ish minutes on average. They stayed that way for several hours.

I called my doctor’s after-hours line and talked to the OB on call, and she said not to go to the hospital until my contractions were 3 to 5 minutes apart and I couldn’t walk or talk during them. That sounded… weird to me. I mean, if labor is that intense, shouldn’t I already have my drugs by then? (For the record, no, this isn’t my first baby, but with Catie, my water broke first, so I never had this whole “ooh, is this labor or not?” thing. This is a whole new, unknown world for me.)

Since I was able to be up and about during my contractions, we figured that we still had a long way to go. Dave packed an overnight bag for Catie and we had a back-up plan to get her to my cousin’s house just in case we had to head to the hospital in the middle of the night. Everything was set. So we went to bed.

Or rather, Dave and Catie went to bed. I lay there and couldn’t turn my brain off, and I jumped at every twinge of a contraction. Which I suppose makes sense under the circumstances, but I was beyond exhausted and just needed to sleep. Finally around midnight, I took half of a Xanax (which I’ve really avoided taking since that whole incident back in March, but I’m very thankful that I kept them for emergencies). That finally took the edge off enough that I could go to sleep. I still woke up a lot with the more intense contractions, but I was able to fall right back to sleep.

This morning, contractions were still in the 7-10 minute range, so I tried the treadmill again. I only walked for about 15 minutes before my lower back started to hurt, so I gave up on that. I thought I’d try my prenatal yoga DVD, since that has some good stretches in it, and I thought it might help the baby “drop” more.

So, I did the yoga DVD, and the contractions… stopped. Like, completely. Not even a twinge. Nothing.

What the hell??? How does that even happen?

Did I seriously just experience “false labor” for over 24 hours?

I just… I… WHAT?!?!!

I’m completely and utterly baffled. And kinda pissed. I went through all that pain and discomfort for NOTHING???

I don’t know, y’all. But this baby had better hurry up and make for the exit soon, or she’s going to be in BIG TROUBLE when she finally shows up.


I’m 38 weeks pregnant.

Just to give you some perspective on this, here’s what I looked like at 19 weeks pregnant:

19 weeks pregnant

And wearing the exact same shirt today, at 38 weeks:


I know, right?

I had my 38-week OB appointment today, where I learned that Baby 2.0 is doing just fine and dandy, despite the discomfort she’s causing her mama. I’m apparently only dilated 1 centimeter. I said that was pretty discouraging, but then my OB reminded me that, “Fortunately, it’s not a predictor of anything, so it doesn’t really matter.”

Which I suppose is true, I was only at 2 cm when my water broke with Catie, and she showed up a few hours later. So, fine. I’ll try to be patient.

But I gotta say, I am so ready to:
a) meet this little girl, and
b) not be pregnant anymore.

I feel bad for whining because I know so many women would give anything to have a relatively uneventful full-term pregnancy. But the aches and pains are getting to me, as well as the million other things (not being able to walk upstairs without getting winded, the swollen ankles, the constant heartburn, not being able to sleep more than 2 hours without getting up to use the bathroom, etc.). So, yeah. I’m tired and everything hurts and I’m whiny about it.

It’s also really hard to remember that this is all going to be over soon. I’m now at the point where I’ve been pregnant for so long that it feels like “OMG I’m going to be pregnant foreeeeeever!!!” Maintaining perspective is a challenge. I try to keep reminding myself that I have two weeks left at the most, but it’s difficult.

P.S. I was trying to hold out and not cut my hair because I firmly believe that no major hair decisions should be made during pregnancy. But the split ends were making me insane, so I went and asked for “just a trim.” The lady took off about 2 inches, which is a bit more than I wanted, but I like it. I feel better now. And I can still get it into a ponytail, which is my main requirement for that initial newborn phase.

P.S.S. I’m debating getting my eyebrows waxed too, as long as I’m taking care of self-maintenance stuff, because lord knows they are a mess.

happy lazy Mother's Day

I feel like there’s so much I want to blog about – Catie just said some awesomely hilarious thing, or some weird pregnancy symptom happened that I think I should document – but when it comes time to sit down and write it, it all sort of flies out of my head. I could blame Pregnant Brain for that, I guess. My attention span feels like Dory in “Finding Nemo.” Wait, what was your name again?

So. Mother’s Day.

I woke up on Sunday morning with a killer headache, which is unfortunately really common right now. The best I can tell, it has something to do with weather changes (when it goes from sunny to rainy and back to sunny again in just a few hours); it seems that the rapid barometer shifts give me headaches. And that kind of sun/rain/sun weather happens a lot in the spring in North Carolina.

I took one of my OB-prescribed headache pills and headed back to bed to let it do its work. Soon I had a little companion who wanted to make me feel better.

My headache companion #1

[Side rant:

How is it possible that I need to cut her bangs again already? I swear my mom just cut her hair in late March! Look, I have photographic proof:

Getting a haircut from Mimi is HILARIOUS...

See, she got a haircut! Now it’s barely 6 weeks later, and I find myself constantly pushing her hair off of her face because I want to see her eyes. Is she sneaking my prenatal vitamins when I’m not looking? Is she actually Rapunzel? What’s up with the crazy rapid hair growth, kid??

/end side rant]

Oh, we were also joined in bed by my other headache companion, who was basically useless.

My headache companion #2 (this one is useless).

Beaumont will not leave me the hell alone these days. He did the same thing when I was pregnant with Catie, so I guess I must be giving off some kind of baby pheromones, but he’s driving me bonkers. I do not like being herded around the house by a cat, nor do I like having his giant fur-shedding body up against my face when I’m trying to sleep. A little personal space would be nice, is all I’m saying.

Once I was feeling a little better, we fired up the Gamecube (do they even still make those anymore, or are we officially old school?) and played Legend of Zelda in bed. Or rather, I played while Catie watched and narrated everything I did. (“Get the bad guy, Mommy! Oh look, there’s a treasure chest! Quick, open it! What’s the treasure??”) We managed to waste most of the day doing that, it was pretty fun.

My two Mother’s Day gifts from Catie:
1. Dave took her to the store and let her pick out a card for me. It’s 101 Dalmatians themed, and she wrote her name in it and covered it in flower stickers. I love it.

2. She cleaned up all of her toys without me having to prod her about it. (In fact, when Dave wandered into the family room while she was cleaning up, she told him, “Daddy, you have to get out so I can pick up all my toys like a big girl.” He was about to get offended at being told to get out, but I explained that she wanted to be alone so she could have her big “Wow!” Moment to impress us when she was done. We left her to it, and then made a big, “Look at this room! You did a great job cleaning up! High-five!” fuss over her when she was finished.)

My Mother’s Day gift from Dave was that he finished up all of the last-minute items on my to-do list before Baby 2.0 arrives. That beats flowers any day in my book.

For dinner, since the weather had gotten really nice, we put out some citronella candles and sat on the deck to eat. A little evening picnic was pretty much the perfect way to cap off the day.

Oh, and the best part? I never put on a bra all day. I call that a total win.