Sunday, November 25, 2007

Womb Sounds Bear and other joys

Ahh, Womb Sounds Bear, I will never mock you again.

For those who do not know what I'm talking about, Womb Sounds Bear was a gift from my mom. She came to my five-month ultrasound appointment with me and met me with a gift - this fuzzy bear with a knob on his back, and when you turn him on, he makes noises that are supposed to sound like what the baby heard inside the womb - hence, it's calming to a newborn baby because it is familiar to them.

Well, I mocked my mom quite a bit for this odd gift. I also left it at work for the remainder of my pregnancy (mostly because I was just too lazy to bring it home) and would occasionally turn it on in an attempt to freak out my co-workers.

I most humbly and sincerely do apologize to my mom and to the makers of Womb Sounds Bear. We started using it two nights ago, and I'm not kidding - it works like magic. I mean, it won't soothe her to sleep if she's wide awake, but sometimes she'll be sound asleep, and we'll lay her down in the bassinet as gently as possible, and within five minutes she's awake and crying, but with Womb Sounds Bear, once she's asleep - she stays that way. For at least a couple of hours. Now Womb Sounds Bear shuts off on its own after about 30 minutes, but it does the trick. So thank you, mom, and thank you Womb Sounds Bear. You are amazing.

In other news, Romelie lost her umbilical cord this morning. Gross. We had absolutely zero intention of saving this yucky piece of flesh, but I felt like I had to do something to commemorate the event, so I took a picture. Which I will now share with all of you. So you can revel in the ick.

And finally, we dressed Romelie in her Sunday hat today in honor of the Vikings. Mom also tortured the poor kid by dressing her in her Sunday sweater as well (which might fit her next season but is definitely too big this year - it's from when my brother Paul and I were kids...), but we took that off after the photo op. Since Romelie was born, the Vikings are 2-0. Chason says if the Vikings win the rest of the games for the season, she'll have been their good luck charm, and we'll have to change her middle name to Vikings. I told him it could be a nickname. That he uses. In his head.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy one week old birthday!

As Romelie gets older and I get more adjusted to the mom thing, I will certainly try to update this blog more often...but for now, I will do my best to let you know what has been happening in the Dancer household for the last five days.

First let's talk about breastfeeding. I remember after our friends Joe and Jess had their baby, Sophia, I still had to stifle a little grin everytime either of them said the word breast. Yes, I am that immature. Now, I talk about boobs more than I ever thought possible...I pretty much don't care who sees them (provided, of course, it's in some relation to feeding and not just, you know, someone peeking in on me in the shower or anything), and so here comes some candid boobie talk for you all. Sometime on Monday, mom's milk came in, which was interesting. Now I get to wear pads to keep from leaking all over the place. Very odd. I was struggling with the feeding in the first couple of days - I thought I was doing it right because Romelie wasn't having any problems with it - but each subsequent feeding got more and more painful, so apparently I was doing something wrong. Sunday night I read the important parts of my stepsister-in-law's breastfeeding book Angel brought to me, and I was able to self correct a bit so it was less painful. So Tuesday morning, we went to see a lactation nurse at the hospital. She was great. Walked me through a feeding, showed me exactly what to do, gave some helpful hints, and gave me something to help my nipples (which were a bit traumatized from the first two days) some gel packs to help them heal. Now, on Friday, I'm not exactly pain-free, but I'm definitely at an acceptable and possibly even "normal" amount of pain (initial latch sometimes hurts for about 10-15 seconds, but then we're good to go). So yay.

Wednesday...not a good day. I got up for Romelie's 3:00 am feeding, put her down around 4:00, went back to bed...and couldn't sleep. I was freezing, which isn't unusual - sometimes our room is a bit cold - but even after piling on layers and turning up the heat, I was still shaking and couldn't sleep. Finally woke Chason up around 6:30. He brought me some Tylenol and water, but after taking my temperature we found out it was 100.6 degrees. We called into the clinic but it was before hours, so we had to wait for the on-call doctor to call back...meanwhile I'm starting to panic because I don't know if I can feed Romelie and technically she's "overdue" on her feedings (we're not on that strict of a schedule, but I'm trying not to go more than 4 hours tops, and we were going on 4-1/2 at this point). Then she woke up, so I was even more panicked because I didn't know what to do for her. So at about 7:40, on-call doctor says it's fine to feed her (pretty much always, no matter what's wrong with mom with a few unlikely exceptions), and we can get into the clinic to see Dr. Mitchell (my pregnancy and birthing doctor) that morning. By this time, my temp is down and my aching / chills are subsiding, so we went around 10:30. Turns out I did NOT have any sort of obvious bacterial infection, which is good, but that means it's viral which can't really be treated which is not as good. So I just needed to take Tylenol to keep the fever down. Which sounded good, except the Tylenol was only lasting for about 4 hours and I could only take it every 6 hours. So around noon my temp spiked up to 101.7, and at 6:00 pm it was back up to 101.4...which left me exhausted, unable to sleep, and a bit desperate. Hence, emotional breakdown number two for new mom (number one was Sunday night - painful nips + no sleep = sobbing fit). Called into clinic for the third time that day and were told to alternate Tylenol and Advil every three hours. Started doing that - fever went down and hasn't returned. Whew. Long story long, huh?

Also Wednesday we had a home visit from Nurse Mary, who was awesome, and found out that baby is - get this - 8 lb 14 oz. Okay, so...she was born 8lb 8oz, her discharge weight was 8lb 4oz, which would mean she's gained 10 OUNCES in THREE DAYS. The nurse acknowledged that the scales can vary a bit from one to the next, so it may not be 100% accurate, but there's no doubt that she's regained weight and then some. Which is amazing. Good eater.

Yesterday was baby's first Thanksgiving! We went to my dad's, and she got to meet the great uncles and second cousins and second cousins once removed...geneology is fun. So it was a good time, but it messed with her schedule I think, because she did not want to go to sleep at ALL yesterday. Normally she naps most of the day away and is up for a couple hours early afternoon and a couple of hours in the late evening - yesterday her last nap ended around 2:00 pm and she didn't sleep more than 15 consecutive minutes after that until 12:30 or 1:00 am. Luckily Gramma Diane stayed up with her so Chason and I could get some sleep and then I took over with the middle-of-the-night feedings. And she did manage to still sleep through the night (except, of course, during boob time).

Last update to the longest blog yet (this is why I need to find time to write more often!). This morning we went to an orthopedic specialist (so many doctor's visits! It's the only time I leave the house...) to have her hips checked out. Apparently they make a little clicking noise when you manipulate them a certain way, so the doctors wanted it checked out to make sure she didn't have hip displasia. She got the A-OK. Dr. Hebert manipulated both legs for a while and only felt one little click in the left side (the one that the doctors in the hospital noticed first - only one doctor even said he felt a click in the right hip), and it wasn't out of joint or anything more serious than that. He expects it'll work itself out on its own relatively soon. So no worries there. And when our appointment was done, we came out into the hall and there were three nurses waiting there to see Romelie - apparently they'd heard from our first nurse how cute she was, and they all wanted to see her for themselves. No kidding - Chason and I left feeling pretty proud of our little cutie pie.

So now we're just enjoying the rest of our day at home. Romelie had a visit from Joe (Sophia's dad) and from Kevin and Nicole (though she slept through their visit, so we'll have to try that one again!), and Dr. Mitchell will be stopping by in an hour or so to see her and check on her himself. Park Nicollet and Methodist are awesome, by the way.

Oh! And I just heard her stir so I'm headed down to feed her. Will post pictures later. Bye!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Introducing Romelie Ann Dancer

She's here :)

She's here.

This will be a short blog because, well, she's downstairs and I'm upstairs and that's just too much distance between us right now. But I'll update you all with stats and some details.

Romelie Ann was born on Friday, November 16 at 9:45 pm. She weighed 8 lbs 8 oz and was 23 inches long. She scored a 9 on the Apgar scale and seems very healthy. Her only thing is that her hips click a bit when you move them around, so we're bringing to to see the orthopedist on Friday to check it out. Otherwise, baby is very healthy and so far not too fussy. Very gassy, though. We got ourselves a bit of a stinker. Takes after her parents :)

As for the parents, we checked into the hospital at 9:30 Friday morning and they started inducing at 10:30. Everything progressed really quickly from there. I was at 1 cm when I came in, and by 2:30 I was at 3 cm and my contractions were every two minutes and extremely intense. They gave me some sort of drug, and that (plus a bath and some vomiting) got me through to about 4:30 and 4 cm...and then I just couldn't take it anymore. Very intense contractions, no break from them. I had the epidural in by 5:15 or so, and was much much better for the next few hours...water broke around 7:00 or so...and by about 8:45 they said it was time to push. That was tough, lasted about an hour, and suddenly - there she was.

We had a few worries - baby's heart started dipping pretty low on contractions once the epidural was in, and dipped VERY low during the pushing stage - but the doctors and nurses were great and were very impressed (and surprised) by how quickly everything progressed. And they told me that they'd never seen a first-time mom push so hard before, which is why they think her heart rate was dropping so much, because it was so intense. I did have some tearing, but we avoided the episiotomy and the c-section which were both goals, so even though I'm pretty sore and swollen - it could be worse. And then Grandma Carol and Grandpa Dan and Uncle Paul and honorary Auntie Crystal got to come in around 11:00 pm and see baby.

We checked out yesterday around 12:30 or 1:00 pm and are much happier now that we're at home. Baby is doing great, the parents finally managed to get some sleep thanks to help from grandmommies (I needed it - I'd slept maybe 8 hours total since Thursday), and now we're just relaxing at home.

And with that (more details than perhaps some folks were looking for, but hey...), I must get back to my darling girl. I haven't taken the time yet to get pictures online, but we did have her picture taken at the hospital, so you can check them out here at http://www.our365.com/webnursery/webnursery/Baby/BabyPageDirect.aspx?CID=0017921270 to see what she looks like. I'll try to get some of our own pictures up soon.

Much love and appreciation to all, and let the baby blogging begin!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

No room at the inn

Sad Danni. I did everything within my power to prepare for tonight. I washed all dirty laundry, changed sheets on the beds, and cleaned the kitchen thoroughly. I ate pasta last night (gotta carb up, you know!), and lots of bland, easy-to-digest foods today like soup and toast and clear juice. And I slept from about 1:00 - 3:30 this afternoon to get my body as ready as possible.

I called at 4:00 to find out when I might be coming in, and they said they would call back at 5:00, but if I was going to come in, it would probably be around 7:30. Well, a very nice nurse called me back at 5:30...and said they're busting at the seams and they just don't have the beds or the staff to accommodate me tonight.

Sad Danni.

So I will call tomorrow at 5:30 am to find out if/when they would have me come in tomorrow.

And in the meantime, I guess I've gotten pretty good at waiting...so I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm good at.

BTW, I had Chason take this picture of me right after my nap...it was going to be my "last day being pregnant" picture, but apparently we'll be taking another one tomorrow...

Sorry I'm a bit down this post...I'm just disappointed.

Monday, November 12, 2007

So this is what they mean by karma

It figures. I've always been pretty terrible about procrastinating, and apparently all those papers I turned in late in school are finally getting their karmic revenge on me by giving me a late baby.

I figured out the real problem - I read all the books on pregnancy, childbirth, and baby's first year...I attended the classes...I looked through the websites...I set up the nursery...I did everything to prepare myself for the arrival of this kid. But oops! Somehow I forgot to pass the information on to her, so she doesn't know how to get out. She's made many valiant efforts to get out throught the side of my belly - usually foot-first - but to no avail. Apparently, baby is super comfortable where she is, and she apparently has no intention of going anywhere.

So we start a new countdown - three more days until induction. This countdown isn't as much fun as the due date countdown, unfortunately. It feels more like a "running out of time" countdown - baby has only 3 days and about 7 hours to get here on her own before the doctors step in and force her to come. So each passing day is a bit more, well, desperate. But the important thing to focus on is that in 4 days or so, baby will be here. And it'll be great.

Much love to everyone reading, and I'll try my best to keep you posted soon.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wait...did I forget to do something yesterday?

Oh yeah...I was supposed to have a baby!

Whoops.

So here's the update for everyone: I had doctor's appointment this morning and found out that I'm about 1 cm dialated, my uterus is tipped further forward than it was, and I'm slightly more effaced - which means my cervix is more thinned out than it was. But I'm definitely not in labor or anything. In fact, I'm at work - which is kind of a bummer since I'm supposed to be on maternity leave at this very moment!

The important news that you'll want to know is that they scheduled me for an induction. I'll have my final doctor's appointment on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in the morning, and he'll check to see if I'm any further along...try stripping the membranes again...and if it doesn't happen naturally, I'll be induced on Thursday evening, Nov. 15.

Now, this is still not certain. Besides the fact that I may still go into labor before then naturally (and I certainly hope I do!), the induction could always be postponed. I'm supposed to call the hospital around 4:00 on that day and they'll tell me what time I should come in (probably around 6:00 or 7:00 pm), but if there are a ton of women already at the hospital giving birth, then my induction would be postponed because natural childbirth wins over "elective procedures." But it sounds like it would MOST likely only be postponed to, say, Friday morning and not 4 days later or anything.

So IN THEORY...I will be in labor one way or another within the next week or so. And then there'll be a baby. I suppose I can wait 7 more days...I just hope I won't have to!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Nursery: Ready. Baby: Undecided.

I finally have pictures of the nursery to share! So for those who haven't seen it yet - here you go!

Here’s a picture of the bassinet where baby will be sleeping for at least the first 6 weeks or so. It’s on wheels, so this isn’t its permanent spot – most likely, baby will be sleeping in a room with mom and dad to make those nighttime feedings a bit easier. After that, she'll hopefully start sleeping in her crib so mom and dad have a little privacy. We'll see how things go, I guess.

I had taken a picture of the crib (left of the bassinet), but unfortunately it didn’t turn out for some reason, so you’ll have to wait until a later date to see it.



Here’s the changing area / dresser. Isn’t this awesome? Doesn’t it look comfortable and warm and inviting? If you were a baby, wouldn’t you look forward to having your clothes or diapers changed here? And therefore, wouldn’t that excitement prevent you from crying or being fussy during this time? Well, let’s hope the baby shares your beliefs.



This is my favorite part of the nursery – the reading / feeding nook. Note the comfy glider where mom can sit with her baby and her boppy (boppy not pictured - in the wash with new boppy cover from Aunt Karen!) and relax during feedings – if the breastfeeding gods are kind to her. And of course, please take note of the plethora of fabulous children’s books – because we want baby to grow up to be a big nerd. Just like her mom.



And finally – the hospi-tal bag and car seat. Sitting by the door. Waiting. Mocking me. The funny thing is, I didn’t pack the bag until about a week ago, and I was afraid I was pushing it too late. Before then, I was getting more and more nervous that I was going to be caught without it. But now that I’m ready – she’s going to be late. I’m convinced.

She’s still got two days to prove me wrong, though.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ready to say goodbye to this belly?

These oh-so-attractive pictures are from The Bakken's halloween event, The Big Boo, held last Friday night. I am supposedly dressed up as some sort of rag doll. Others suggested I looked more like a rodeo clown, Ma Kettle, or a white trash prostitute. Thanks, co-workers.




This lovely bit of imagery on the right is me teaching the Monster Mash to some not very well behaved children in front of their even-less-well-behaved parents. I was very excited to get out of there that evening.



Supposedly five days to go...but my doctor's appointment this morning showed I haven't progressed much since my last appointment 8 days ago. I know I have enough patience left for the next five days, but I make no guarantees after that...


**Added 11/6/07: Just as a frame of reference - here's a picture of me working a different event at The Bakken Museum on 3/17/07. I'm already a month pregnant in this picture - but here, I'm 50 pounds lighter. And not dressed like a doofus. I seriously can't wait to wear normal blue jeans again. Or any pants with a button and zipper.