Oct 22, 2012

Baby Avery Helen Hammond

I am a mom!!  Todd is a dad!! 
Avery just chillin'

We welcomed our baby girl, Avery Helen Hammond on October 9th at 9:58 a.m. She weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long.  She was five days overdue and oh boy were we excited to meet her!

Here's the birth story:
On October 8th I woke up at 11:30 p.m. with a painful contraction.  An hour later, October 9th at 12:30 a.m. I woke up with another painful contraction, and had one every three minutes from that point on.  They brought me to my knees with pain but I felt OK between them.  Todd and I packed up and went to the hospital at 1:30 a.m.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in.  Half way through checking in another contraction hit and I was on the floor trying to survive it when they asked if I wanted a wheelchair.  I responded that I wanted an epidural!  After it finally ended we walked to the birthing room and got settled.  I was 100% effaced and dilated to a four, which meant we probably had six more hours of labor before we would actually have a baby.  At this point I was really hurting and asked again for the epidural.
I was then told that before I could have the epidural they had to draw my blood, send it to the lab, get the results, call the doctor, wait for him to finish other patients, then begin the 20 minute epidural process!!!!!!!!!  And then wait 20 minutes before the epidural actually did anything!!!!

The contractions were still coming every three minutes.  They were just awful and getting worse- I scrunched myself into a ball in the hospital bed and held on to the bed rails for dear life when they came. All the meditation/ relaxation crap I'd learned and practiced didn't do a darn thing so I threw that out the window and tried to just embrace the pain rather than distract myself from it. That helped a little, but man did they hurt! They seemed to last forever, and toward the end of each one I got clammy, nauseated, and faint and felt like I was going to barf, pass out, or poop. It was not fun.

Finally, FINALLY, the anesthesiologist came in and numbed up my back (ouch that lidocaine hurt like hell too) before placing the epidural.  And finally FINALLY the pain started easing... 

Oh the blissful absence of pain!!!  It is beyond me why anyone with the option would choose to have 10+ hours of excruciating labor pain.  The three hours I'd just gone through were more than enough for me!  My hat goes off to women strong enough to do it naturally, but if you ask me I take Novocaine when having my teeth drilled at the dentist, so why not take an epidural when squeezing a seven pound human out of a ten centimeter hole?!  You naturalists out there have my respect.

Todd and I watched the monitor over the hours and saw the contractions get so strong they were off the chart and I'd sit comfortably and wonder out loud how anyone could do this without pain meds.

And for six hours after the epidural we drifted in and out of sleep while we awaited the inevitable.  It was so peaceful and calm.

Finally around 8 a.m. my doctor came in to break my water, but it broke on it's own with pressure from her fingers checking me.  I was almost fully dilated and so excited!  Just after 9 a.m. we were told it was time to start pushing.  Baby Hammond was ready! 

With Todd and nurse Wendy coaching me, I pushed for about 40 minutes (which was no easy task because I felt like my face was going to explode with the pressure) and finally at 9:58 a.m. baby Hammond's head came out, then the rest of her, and she was placed right on a blanket on my chest to hold and see. 

It was so surreal.  I have never experienced anything like it.  I had just met for the first time a little human that had been growing inside me for 41 weeks.  A human who made me a mother and Todd a father.  A human who was my own child.  A human who had already changed my life forever.

After being cleaned off, weighed, and inspected, the staff handed my baby to me and everyone left the room.  Todd and I and our teeny baby were just sitting alone in this huge room wondering what would happen next.  We just kind of stared at her and tried to take everything in. 
We had a lot of visitors the next couple days.  It was great to have people come in to meet Avery for the first time.

Our little family:

Oct 8, 2012

Still Pregnant...

I am four days overdue to have this baby and not surprised at all.  Most of my sisters and my mom have delivered their first baby late so I've been preparing myself for this all along.

I've been working full time up till last Friday, and nearly killing myself doing so with long hours and crazy schedules. So at my doctor's recommendation I've started my maternity leave early.  I didn't go in to work today!  This is so unlike me that I hardly know what to do with myself.  With few exceptions, I have spent the last 15 years employed full time (or worked part time and been in school full time.)  I think I'll really enjoy taking the time off!

Back to baby business, I had a talented photographer (and a good friend of mine) take some maternity pictures of me and Todd, and I love how they turned out.  Check out her other stuff at:


Here are my favorite photos:











Oct 4, 2012

Happy Due Date!

I've been hoping to celebrate my new baby's birthday this day for the last nine months...  But it looks like I'll have to wait.
Once I hit 37 weeks my Doc said, "OK you made it!  You are officially full term, so you can have her any time now..."

SO, for the last three weeks I have been waiting impatiently for something to happen.  I have a lot of long lasting mild stomach cramps that I time religiously-- just in case-- to no avail.  I am definitely not in labor.

Regardless, everything seems to be OK as far as health concerns, so I can only be happy and grateful to be in this position.  And I am.  :)

Here is the last half of my pregnancy: