Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beck: 3 Months Old

Watch out everyone! Beck's 3 months old, and he's lettin' us know he's growin up! All within about a week's time of turning 3 months, he learned to laugh, sleep without his swaddler, suck his thumb, sleep through the night (8+ hours), and play with toys.

He had been trying to suck his thumb ever since he was born, but in the last few weeks he began trying even harder. He would wake up in the middle of a nap and get frustrated because he didn't have a pacifier and couldn't figure out how to get his thumb into his mouth.

He also loved being swaddled. So ever since he came home from the hospital he has been in a swaddler to sleep. Slowly he kept breaking free in the middle of sleep, until this week I tried a nap without it and it was successful! He is quite mobile without his swaddler though! So I had to put his bumper on the crib.

Ever since 8 weeks he has been sleeping 6.5 hrs- from midnight until 6:30 am. Finally this week, after shortening his naps by 1/2 hour each, he slept 8+ hours through the night.

So put it all together and this morning I woke to my 8 am alarm for the first time in months!! It all came together last night! He ate for the last time at 11 pm, I had to wake him at 8:30 am, and when I went to wake him he was swaddler-free and sucking his thumb! The cutest sight I have ever seen!!! (I'm partial, I was a thumb-sucker!)

Naps have been so cute today. I can hear him from the hallway sucking as hard as he can trying to remember how to get his thumb back into his mouth. He has eventually figured it out each time. I feel such a relief now, knowing he can soothe himself.

Although I'd taken him to the pool many times before, he only dipped his feet in the water. Finally he was submerged up to his neck this week. The smallest size swimmer diapers they make are for 16 lbs. As you can see from the pic, they're a bit big! But they worked!!! He loved being in the water!

He also had his first photo shoot this week. Our friends, Jeff and Amanda Seymore of Epic Photography have shot our engagement, wedding, maternity, & Beck pics. (Amanda was also my doula.) Check out Beck's 3 month pics at http://photos.epicphotodesign.com/p693179583 Password: bdruelinger1

It has been so exciting watching Beck grow through each phase. I can't wait for the next thing he'll surprise us with!

Beck's Growth:
Birth- 6.4 lbs 19.5 in
8 days- 6.8 lbs
6 wks- 10.9 lbs
12 wks- 14.3 lbs 24.5 in

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Father's Day: twenty ten

While I meticulously planned the details of Jamie's first Father's Day with Beck, little did I know that Beck had something of his own up his sleeve... Beck laughed for the first time on Father's Day!! What a wonderful sound we'd anxiously been waiting for, and to come on such a memorable day. Beck wore his "I Love Dad" onesie, while Daddy read his new book about dads to him. We fixed him a breakfast pie too. For all Daddy's hard work, we decided he needed a day to chill with the fellas, so we planned a surprise Poker Night for him. (That was interesting! I thought poker was a quiet game... 9 men yelling and laughing while on the other side of the wall a baby tries to sleep! Glad to say Beck slept through it all, and Daddy had lots of fun with his friends!) While we were celebrating Father's Day at Mimi's house, Grandma Janet got a hold of Beck for some fun and that's when we heard his first laugh! Hilarious! We'll remember it forever.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mother's Day/Baby Dedication

Sunday, May 9th
At our church they have a baby dedication once a year on Mother's Day. We chose to participate, stating that we dedicate Beck to the Lord. We will bring him up to know and serve Jesus! It was wonderful, and long awaited, to finally celebrate Mother's Day as a mom! Mom and Jeff joined us at the dedication service.
Funny... the church made a slideshow of all the babies being dedicated. The pastor came over to us before the service started and said "in the earlier service Beck's pic got quite a roar from the crowd." And so the same happened in the second service. It's the hair!

On the 8th Day...

We chose not to have Beck circumcised at the hospital. We waited until he was 8 days old. Sound familiar? It's from the Bible. God commanded for the Jews to be circumcised on the 8th day to show they were His people. But why the 8th day? On the 8th day there is a surplus of Vitamin K. It is the day when a baby has the highest amount of Vitamin K it will ever have. Vitamin K makes blood coagulate, or clot, so that a person won't bleed out. This vitamin is necessary if surgery, such as a circumcision, is to be performed; therefore it made sense to us to wait until the 8th day to perform circumcision and forgo the "mandatory" Vitamin K shot that the hospital deems necessary. I'm so amazed at God's design! If you can't see God as the Creator through a birth, you're not looking!

So on Thursday, April 1st Beck was circumcised by Dr. Blanke. In the days leading up to it I was incredibly nervous and sick to my stomach thinking about the pain he would endure. I'd asked all my friends about their boy's circumcision experiences and had heard all kinds of stories, good and bad. However it turned out that I worried waaay too much! He did great. He pooped and peed on Blanke as he performed the surgery, but as far as pain, Blanke said "his cry didn't change from the time I strapped him down to when I started the procedure." He came back sleeping and nursed as if nothing had happened.
He was also weighed at that appointment. He was 6 lb 4 oz at birth, 5 lb 11 oz at discharge, and weighed a whopping 6 lb 8 oz a week after he was born! Go Beck!! I think we have an eater!

Meeting the Fam

We came home from the hospital on Friday, March 26th. Shortly after we got home Jamie's sister, Carolyn, and her daughter, China, came to visit. On Saturday Dad, Josh, Carly, & Laine came to visit from Indy. Grandpa Gregor brought him his first Disney outfit- as we were huge Disney fans growing up! Saturday night Mom, Jeff, Scott, & Janet joined us for dinner. Mom and Janet brought us a wonderful meal!
Coming home had been really hard for me emotionally. I listened to several nurses warn me of postpartum blues when I got home, but I thought that was only for crazy people. Well I must be crazy! I wasn't scared of being competent to take care of my new baby, I knew I could do it, but my emotions were not my own! I was being driven by hormones out of my control. I needed my momma! I couldn't wait for her to get there Saturday night. It made me so thankful for a loving and nurturing mom that I could depend on, and then I thought of how one day Beck would look to me that way. So all in one swoop Mom came in and helped Beck and I get some rest. She helped me get Beck on the right schedule. He had been up most of the night on Friday night, so she kept him awake for a few hours on Saturday while I napped.
The next weekend after Beck was born, Sunday, April 4th, was Easter. So we headed to Indy to celebrate Jesus and let the rest of the fam check out our sweet baby Beck. Mamaw loooved him! No one knew what to do with a boy! He was the first boy in 10 years! She has 8 other grand or great grand kids that have come along, that are all girls. Yay for Beck!! It was so fun to have him around for the Easter Egg Hunt... while he didn't find the Golden Egg (cousin Lainey found it!), he did find his first egg- with a little help from Mom and Dad! And of course we had to get a pic of all the girls with Beck!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Birth Plan

Birth Plan - Cassandra Elaine Druelinger

Due Date: 03/29/2010
Patient of Dr. Blanke
Scheduled to deliver at Deaconess Women's Hospital

To all who are a part of my delivery,

This is my first baby. I’m very excited and have done a lot to prepare for labor. I have taken pre-natal yoga classes weekly throughout my entire pregnancy and learned the Bradley Method. I bring with me my husband and doula as my primary coaches. I thank you in advance for your patience and support as I learn the process of labor. I have written a birth plan that I have carefully and thoroughly thought through. While I hope to stick to it as best as I’m able, I also know the unexpected can. Thank you for reading through my plan and helping me implement it as best we can.

Cassie Druelinger

• I would like to be free to walk around during labor.
• I wish to be able to move around and change position at will throughout labor.
• I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.
• I will be bringing my own music to play during labor.
• I would like the environment to be kept as quiet as possible.
• I would like the lights in the room to be kept low during my labor.
• I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.
• I do not want an IV unless I become dehydrated. I will allow a Hep lock to be inserted for emergencies.
• I would like to wear contact lenses or glasses at all times when conscious.
• I do not wish to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of my baby.
• I do not want an internal monitor unless my baby has shown some sign of distress.
Labor Augmentation/Induction
• I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of fetal distress require internal monitoring.
• I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and other natural methods (walking, nipple stimulation) before Pitocin is administered.
Anesthesia/Pain Medication
• I realize that many pain medications exist. I'll ask for them if I need them.
• Unless absolutely necessary, I would like to avoid a Cesarean.
• I would like my husband present at all times if my baby requires a Cesarean delivery.
• If my baby is not in distress, my baby should be given to my husband immediately after birth.
• I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for my baby's safety.
• I am hoping to protect the perineum. I am practicing ahead of time by squatting, doing Kegel exercises and perineal massage.
• I would appreciate guidance in when to push and when to stop pushing so the perineum can stretch.
• If possible, I would like to use perineal massage to help avoid the need for an episiotomy.
• I would like to be allowed to choose the position in which I give birth, including squatting or laying on my side.
• I would like my husband and/or nurses to support me and my legs as necessary during the pushing stage.
• Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming my baby is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.
• I would appreciate having the room lights turned low for the actual delivery.
• I would like to have my baby placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.
Immediately After Delivery
• I would like to have my husband cut the cord.
• I would prefer that the umbilical cord stop pulsating before it is cut.
• I would like to hold my baby while I deliver the placenta and any tissue repairs are made.
• I would like to hold my baby for at least 15 minutes before (he/she) is photographed, examined, etc.
• I would like to have my baby evaluated and bathed in my presence.
• I plan to keep my baby near me following birth and would appreciate if the evaluation of my baby can be done with my baby on my abdomen, with both of us covered by a warm blanket, unless there is an unusual situation.
• If my baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband or some other person I designate will accompany my baby at all times.
• I would prefer to hold my baby rather than have (him/her) placed under heat lamps.
• I do not want a routine injection of Pitocin after the delivery to aid in expelling the placenta.
• I would like to delay the eye medication for my baby until a couple hours after birth.
• I do not wish to have the Hepatitis Vaccine administered.
• I do not want the Vitamin K administered.
• Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
• I would like to have my baby "room in" and be with me at all times.
• I plan to breastfeed my baby and would like to begin nursing very shortly after birth.
• Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to my baby (including glucose water or plain water).
• I would like to meet with a lactation consultant.
• I would like to try to breastfeed immediately after the baby is born, before he is examined.
• I do not wish to have the circumcision performed in the hospital. I would like for it to be performed on the 8th day.
• I would like to take still photographs during labor and the birth.
• I would like to make a videorecording of labor and/or the birth.
• My support persons are my husband and my doula and I would like them to be present during labor and/or delivery.
• I would prefer that no students, interns, residents or non-essential personnel be present during my labor or the birth.

Beck Preston Druelinger: Birth Story

Leading up to the birth, I had decided to go "natural" which does NOT mean vaginal birth- it means that, but it primarily means no meds. Natural. I prepared myself physically and mentally for 9 months. I took prenatal yoga classes to stretch and strengthen labor muscles and learn breathing techniques, discussed weekly with my doula and "natural" friends everything I could think of about going natural, and read the Bradley Method book with Jamie. I never let myself think "well if it gets too hard, I'll just get an epideral" because I knew if I did, I'd be tempted in my moment of weakness. I specifically remember my yoga instructor asking me about my labor intentions one day "now you're going to try to go natural right?" I said "no, I am going natural!"

On March 23rd at 3pm I went in for my weekly dr appointment with Dr. Blanke. I was 39 weeks. My due date was March 29th. It was the Tuesday of Spring Break and when school let out on Friday for Spring Break I knew I wasn't coming back- I'd have Beck. While the nurse was checking me in, she asked if I'd been having any contractions. I told her I didn't think so. She misunderstood I guess b/c Blanke ended up checking me, which he only did if a woman reported contractions. Well it was a good thing for the confusion b/c I was 3 cm! I'd never had a contraction! I couldn't believe it! But the news that would follow was very hard to hear and changed my excitement. Since I was 3 cm Blanke discussed with me what we'd do if I went into labor. With it being Spring Break I had previously asked him if he'd be out of town and he happened to be staying in town for SB this year. That was a relief... or so I thought! He had an unexpected (and totally legit) emergency that had come up that week. So he was going to be out of town for the weekend, which was exactly when I could imagine I was going to go into labor if I was at 3 cm on a Tuesday. At first I stayed calm on the outside while he let it sink in and calmly tried to talk me through the "what if's". I wasn't hearing anything he was saying, I just kept thinking "what am I gonna do?" Finally I lost it. I had put EVERYTHING into him being my dr for delivery. I immediately lost all my self-confidence in going natural when he told me he may not be there and discussed other doctors who could take his place. He knew all my wishes and desires of labor! How could someone else possibly fill his role w/o knowing anything about me! He could tell it was very hard for me to hear that he may not make it, so we started discussing how to speed up the process to try to have the baby before he left for the weekend. He recommended walking and sex. Get this! Semen is a natural inducer if left in the cervix. The hormones it contains bring on labor. Fantastic! Isn't it amazing all the details God thinks of!!! The last thing Blanke said to me was "please just trust me Cassie." He quoted some scripture and assured me God would take care of the timing.

That day I went to the mall and walked, then I went home and walked. Then at midnight we had sex. Immediately after I went to bed. I don't remember if I ever even fell asleep, but at 12:20 I was certain I was having my first contraction. I tried to wake Jamie up but he wasn't responding much. Then 3 minutes later, another. I finally got up and went to the bathroom b/c it was a very strange feeling and I couldn't figure out what was happening. I still wasn't sure if the feeling was a contraction. Then Jamie finally got the point that they weren't going away and I was seriously in some pain. I started freaking out. They hurt way worse than I was mentally prepared for. Everything I'd trained for in yoga and Bradley for 9 months went out the door. It hurt!! So we started timing them and they were lasting about 30 sec and 3-4 mins apart consistently. I waited until 1:30 to call Amanda, my doula. We had previously discussed that I would labor at home for several hours until the contractions were obviously close. Well, they were obviously close and it was only the first hour. With it being my first baby and not knowing how fast my body moved, she decided we should head to the hospital. So I took a shower (very glad I did that, although uncomfortable!) then we headed to the hospital at 2:30 am.

I remember when I got there and the girl was checking me in, she asked "so what are you here for?" as I was barely able to focus and was wrenching my face in pain, oh and the big belly in front of me!!! I said "uh, I'm having a baby!" Apparently that wasn't obvious! I apologized when I realized she was serious and not joking.

They checked us into triage where you have to get checked. If I was at a point where they felt it was time to call my dr they would, if not I had to labor there until I progressed enough to call him, or if I didn't I'd go home. When she checked me she said I was at 4 cm! That was great news, but not enough to call Blanke or get a room. So I chose to walk and see if I could progress on my own. We walked for 2 hrs. When she checked me at 5am... nothing. NO progress! Still 4 cm and still consistent and strong, but no progress. I was sooo disappointed. So we kept walking! Checked again at 6:30... finally! 5 cm! So they checked me into a room and called Blanke. Blanke sent me a message via the nurse. He said "thanks for trusting me Cassie." Those words brought tears to my eyes and reminded me God was in control. It was 12 hours ago that I was thinking "this is all going to fall apart" and now it was working out perfectly!

After I got in my room I didn't want to be checked until Blanke got there. Basically getting checked hurts and it can mess with you mentally if you haven't progressed much. We were told he'd be there after his morning patients, assuming around 9. I was basically doing whatever my doula told me to do. Once we got a room they hooked me up to all the monitors to see if the baby and I were ok- we were. So Amanda said "we're walking." I was hoping the walking was done. Not a chance. By this point I hadn't slept since Monday night. It was now Wednesday morning. I kept on walking and contractions remained the same.

At 11:30am I'd been walking since 2:30am- yep, 9 hours. I was a bit tired, but the adrenaline kept me going. I knew the more I walked, the faster he'd come. Every time we'd pass the nurses they'd look at us like "you're still walking!?" Very unheard of. (We asked the nurse how many natural births they see a month- 1-2!! And 15 babies were born on the day I gave birth!! She said almost all women come in saying "I'm going to try to go natural" but they don't make it) The nurse would make me get in bed and hook up to the monitors every once in a while. When she checked this time there was a drop in the baby's heart rate. We believe it to be a fluke, maybe the monitor moved or something, but the nurse insisted I get hooked up to the IV for fluids. Which we thought was annoying b/c while fluids aren't a bad idea, why couldn't I just drink. Oh well, it wasn't worth the fight. The good part was I got to lay in bed for an hour and sleep. The bad part was my contractions went away almost completely. Proof of how much walking helps!

At 12:30 Blanke finally arrived! I hadn't been checked since 6:50 am, and I'd been walking for 9 hours. We just knew I'd be at least 7 cm. He said I was 4.5-5 cm so I wasn't even as far along, according to him, as the nurse had told me earlier that morning! In 6 hours, no progress. So he discussed my options. He said he may have to break my water in a few hours if I don't progress. He recommended I sleep for another hour and continue the fluids during that time, then I could get up and walk again. He left and said he'd check back around 2pm.

At 12:45, 5 minutes after Blanke left, my water broke! Scared the crap out of me. I was laying in bed and all the sudden felt what felt like a water balloon popping inside my stomach. Then contractions got really intense. They were coming every 3 minutes and lasting 60 seconds. The nurse checked me and I was at a 6! They hoped they'd catch Blanke before he got out of the parking lot, but he was already on the road.

With one swift move, or break of the water, my labor became something very different. I had actually gotten very used to the contractions I'd been having all morning and b/c of that I feared if they got worse I'd freak out again like I did when they first came on. I was hoping for a gradual increase in pain that my mind and body could slowly get used to. No such luck. This was intense and I wasn't prepared (I thought). I had become a pro at breathing and focusing while walking. It got very hard to focus and breathe through these contractions. I definitely thought "I can't do this." Thankfully Amanda told me I was in transition. Because I had done my research, I knew transition phase was the hardest part and came just before pushing (the end!). So that gave me an idea of how much longer I needed to mentally prepare for, and I did. I readjusted my focus and pulled it together, not without a lot of moaning and cries for help though! This is the time a doula made all the difference. The difference beetween asking for an epideral and not. I needed to know someone else knew what I was going through and could coach me through it, and Amanda did.

Amanda stayed in my face (mostly b/c I demanded that she do so!) while Jamie and Mom massaged and encouraged from the sides. Once the hard contractions started at 12:45 I didn't open my eyes until it was all over, which was 2 hours later. I had "yoga" music playing in the background and the lights low. This was all very helpful. I had to be reminded on every contraction how to breathe and focus. It became very hard to keep those under control. I remember one time, out of what seemed like 100 contractions, I mastered it completely.

After about 10 of those, I remember the contractions started to feel very different. It was as if everything in my body was pushing down and I felt like I was fighting my body, so the nurse checked me. At 1:50 pm I was 9 cm and she called Blanke. I had gone from 6-9 cm in 30 mins!!!

At 2 pm I was 10 cm and really wanted to push. I'd had several contractions now that felt like I was holding everything back. The nurse didn't want me pushing for fear my body wasn't ready. We later realized that if Blanke had gotten there sooner, I could've pushed 20 mins before I actually did.

At 2:18 Blanke finally arrived! I got to start pushing. On the first push I gave it all I had, vocally too! That was a big no, no, and if I wasn't in labor I could have told you that. But during that time I forgot everything I had learned. So the next two contractions I held my breath and pushed. Pushing was SWEET relief, compared to contractions. I pushed for 3 contractions.

Beck was born at 2:35 pm on Wednesday, March 24th. He was 6 lbs 4 oz and 19.5 in long with a FULL head of hair! We waited until the cord stopped pulsating before Jamie cut it. The cord was too short to put him on my chest so Blanke had to hold him until it was cut. Immediately after it was cut he put Beck on my chest and he started breastfeeding. He latched on immediately and ate for 30 mins on each side! All my fears of him not breastfeeding well were relieved! Huge relief!!

I'll never forget how I felt that day. While the joy of meeting your first child is expected, I was very surprised by the overwhelming sense of joy that I felt from having my friend as my doula. I was lucky enough to have sat through 3 years of weekly pregnancy and delivery conversations with Amanda and my friends, leading up to my labor. I felt very loved and nurtured by the time it was my turn- since I was the last by a long shot! I coudln't imagine doing it any other way.