Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dorian's Second Week

Dorian likes to...

Play with Daddy
Feed with Mommy
Go for walks in his stroller
People and bird watch by Lake Merritt
Cuddle with Grandma Darby
Converse with Grandpa Bruno
Sleep with Daddy
And, finally, feed with Mommy some more...can you tell he's an old pro at this now? Look at him propping himself up with his own arm! All we do is feed. Seriously. I feel like a human milk machine at the moment. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007


The past 11 days have flown by. Dorian is going to be off to college before we know it. I can't believe how much he has grown and matured already. I wish it would slow down! I have always been a major planner and have looked to the future my whole life. It is strange how I have started living in the moment and actually want the present to last longer. James and I are both loving every minute of parenthood. I thought I was happy before, but I got to tell you, there is nothing like having a child. I feel this intense love for him all the time and can not stop smiling. He is the most precious thing to ever touch our lives. Okay, enough gushing now!
Dorian had his second official doctor's appointment on Friday and weighed in at 8 pounds, 3.75 ounces. He has put on nearly 11 ounces over his birth weight! That is huge for the first week. Most doctors are happy if the newborn reaches his birth weight by the second appointment (babies tend to lose weight in the first few days following their birth). Dorian has been eating like crazy all week. No breastfeeding issues here! He loves his milk and so far, we have had a very easy time of breastfeeding. My nipples were sore for the first couple days but feel old and experienced now.

Dorian's umbilical cord stump fell off on Tuesday, his one week birthday. This meant that James and I could give Dori his first real bath (only sponge baths were allowed until the cord had dried and fallen off). Dori loved the bath. He became so calm and relaxed the instant he hit the warm water...
But absolutely hated getting out!
Luckily, he is getting really good at finding his hand to suck on. It calms him almost instantly...
James left for a week-end of gigging yesterday. It was so hard for him to say good-bye! He is technically only away for one night (he'll return home late tonight), but anyone would have thought he was leaving forever. Boy, does my husband love his little son. I'm lucky if I get to hold Dori at all when James is around!
Of course, I am exaggerating, I do get some time with him (not to mention all the feedings!). I hadn't realized how tired I looked until I saw this picture!
This was the new mommy fatigued look I was expecting to hit straight away. I don't actually feel that tired, but I know it will catch up with me eventually. Dorian typically sleeps about 1.5-3 hours at a time, with one 4 hour stretch in the afternoon. Today I woke him from that nap, as well as subsequent naps, in the hopes that maybe he'll crash hard tonight. Dorian is such a good baby. He does not cry unless he's hungry. Hopefully, he will remain a fuss-free baby! After each sleep, Dorian feeds (sometimes twice!), has his diaper changed (also sometimes twice!) and then is awake and alert for anywhere from 10-90 minutes. During his alert time, we sing to him, talk to him and walk around the house with him. Next week, we'll start "playing" with him. Anyone have any tips on how to play with a newborn without overstimulating him?

Speaking of awake time, Dorian is starting to stir from his 100th nap of the day, so I'll leave you with yet another picture of our favorite boy (can you tell he's gotten bigger?)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More pictures

Dori loves his Daddy...

Almost as much as he loves sleeping!

Is this not the cutest baby in the world?
Dorian in his new sling (feels just like being back in Mommy's tummy and lets Mommy and Daddy carry him around while doing other things - pure genius!)

Beginning to be more alert and taking in the world around him

Riding in the car

Are you looking at me? (Doesn't it look like he's flipping us off and we sensored it? I love this shot!!!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dorian's First Week

Daddy is about to put Dorian in the carseat before leaving the hospital on Thursday
Mommy holding Dorian at his doctor's appointment Friday morning (also his first outing!)
Dorian learning how to suck his hand
Mommy loves holding Dorian close...
So does Daddy!
Using the amazing calming methods from "The Happiest Baby on the Block" (seriously, they work like magic!)
Sleeping is Dorian's favorite pastime...
Especially when Mommy (or Daddy) lets Dorian sleep on her chest

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Labor & Delivery

Okay, I think I finally have the energy and desire to write about my labor and Dorian’s birth. I have been in a state of bliss since Tuesday night and the last thing I felt like doing was sitting at a computer for an extended period of time. Strange, considering I am usually an internet addict! My baby has changed my life already in so many random ways (in addition to all the stereotypical ones of course). More on this over the next couple days. Back to today’s blog…

This blog is going to be extremely long and probably boring for a lot of you – it is a run down of my entire labor experience. Many of you probably don’t need/want to read this. This blog is for those people who have asked for all the gory details. Be warned: I don’t have the energy to reread it and make it flow more, so please forgive the poor format and possible grammatical errors.

After experiencing early labor symptoms off and on for days, they seemed to increase a bit on Monday night. I wasn’t convinced it was labor yet though, as I had been experiencing “false” symptoms for over a week. Many women experience prodromal labor (“false” labor) before going into real labor. James and I went for a long walk on Monday and by Monday night, I had lost quite a bit more mucus and was experiencing mild (and still very irregular) contractions. These felt more like minor menstrual cramps than anything else. Tuesday morning, James and I went for another long walk. We returned around 12:30pm, had lunch and I lay down for a nap. 5 minutes after lying down, I felt a “pop” in my abdomen. I stood up and immediately felt fluid literally gush out of me! Only 10% of pregnant women have their water break on their own in the early stages of labor, so I was kind of surprised! I was not expecting to be in that 10%. It was an amazing feeling though because I knew that my Dorian would be with me within 24 hours! Chance of infection is much higher once a woman’s water has broken, so even if a woman does not go into labor on her own, doctors will induce labor to get the baby out within 24 hours. Of course, I didn’t need any induction. About 5 minutes after my water had broken at 1:15pm, I experienced a contraction that was much stronger than any I had previously felt and it had an obvious start and stop time with a swell in the middle. 5 minutes later, I had another one. We called my doctor, who told us to head to the hospital. We excitedly took showers, finished packing our bags, made some phone calls, posted a brief blog, and took off!

Upon arriving at the hospital (Alta Bates in Berkeley) around 2:30pm, I was sent to an assessment area where my vital signs were taken and I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and a contraction monitor. Baby’s heart rate was fine, as were my vital signs. The doctor said I needed to stay at the hospital (some women are sent home for the early stages of labor) as I was already in active labor! So off we went to the birthing room. By the time we got to the room, my contractions were already much stronger and I began feeling slightly uncomfortable. It was hard to talk through them and I very much felt like I needed to vomit. There were loads of forms to sign and procedures to go over, and we probably took 4 times as long on them because we had to keep stopping when I had a contraction. My labor progressed much quicker than many women’s labors, especially those of other first time moms. Dorian was ready to see us! Once we completed all the paperwork, I felt a lot more relaxed because I could concentrate on what was happening within my body. Both James and my mother were there to assist me and they were wonderful in keeping me focused on my breathing. My nurse was incredible. She had to keep checking the baby’s heart rate and my vitals, and didn’t flinch when I kept grabbing her arm as a contraction began. Everyone on my birthing team supported me in my desire for a natural childbirth…James helped me with my hypnobirthing techniques and this helped me to relax even more. I was doing fine until about 60-70% of the way through labor. My contractions seemed to be violently coming at me from my back and front and I could barely breathe through them, even with the breathing techniques. The doctor came in and said I needed to be hooked up to an IV and have an oxygen mask on because the contractions were causing the baby’s heart rate to drop. Not dangerously low yet, but enough that they were concerned. Around about this time as well, I shouted out “F*ck my birth plan, give me drugs!” It was pretty intense and because I knew labor would still continue for a few more hours, I knew I needed something. I was given a dose of Fentanol and was assured it would not harm the baby. It did not take the pain away, but it did take the edge off it for about an hour or so. Probably just the right amount to let me relax and breathe properly for an hour before the finale came. As the contractions became stronger and quicker, the medication seemed to wear off and I was so uncomfortable again. At this point, I had been checked over by the doctor and was very close to the finish! They were unable to give me any more painkillers because painkillers given close to the end of labor can affect the baby. I began experiencing an unbearable need to push…it was unreal. I couldn’t have stopped pushing if I tried. The doctor and several more nurses came in and I kept pushing and pushing. The pushing did not hurt so much as the contractions that came with the pushing. I kept breathing and breathing and trying to remain focused on Dorian. I probably broke James’ fingers from gripping them so hard. I lost all sense of time and felt like it was an out of body experience. I know I was making the weirdest noises ever and felt my whole body shaking and going into spasms. At one point, the doctor had me look down and I could see the baby’s head! A few minutes later, I gave one last push and the next thing I knew I had a baby up on my belly. The nurses quickly covered him with heated blankets and a hat and I was free to hold my Dorian for as long as I wanted. He cried for about 15 seconds and then I just heard him breathing heavily.

I remember feeling very out of it and not quite being able to focus on anything. I was in utter amazement that labor was over. It seemed to drag on for hours and yet in some ways, it felt so short. I could not make head or tail of it. The doctor spent quite a long time “down there” after delivery. I had several external tears, which is quite common. Uncommonly, I also had several internal tears. He had to sew each one up very carefully so while I cuddled Dorian, I got stitched up. After this was done, the nurse helped me breastfeed Dorian for the first time. After doing this, I passed him off to James for a cuddle. My dad showed up about this time and cooed over the baby too. I tried using the restroom (I was desperate to pee) but could not go. It was the weirdest sensation. The nurse put a catheter in me and it turns out my bladder was distended – 3 times the normal full bladder size. It made it impossible to urinate. I had sipped water throughout labor and was given fluids through an IV, but had not used the restroom very much during labor. I was assured I would be able to urinate after it was emptied with the catheter. Another nurse came in and bathed the baby with James. She gave the baby his Vitamin K shot and took his weight and measurements. Dorian was 7lb11oz and 21.65in long. The baby was then handed back to me, James packed up our room, and I got situated in a wheelchair with Dorian in my arms. We were taken to our postpartum room, where we spent the next 2 days recovering.

The room was the best room in the hospital I swear – private and with amazing views. Thank you, Mom! (She is a manager at the hospital.) I was checked over again, as was Dorian. I was given ice water and a sandwich and then tried to go to sleep. I was so wired, I barely slept. Dorian and I were also checked by a nurse every 2 hours and I was assisted again with breastfeeding. This routine carried on through Thursday at 5:30pm when we left the hospital. We had my doctor, the pediatrician and various other people (birth certificate rep, lactation consultant, hearing test administrators, nurses, etc) visit us each day. My brother, uncle, grandma and tons of Mom’s nurse friends also visited. So did Lief and Patricia, James’ band mate and his wife (who is also my hypnotherapist). James and I were ready to leave by Thursday evening. I was in a lot of discomfort (and still am today as my stitches heal and vaginal area recovers) but ready to begin our real life with Dorian. We went home and he fell right asleep.

While my labor didn’t go exactly as planned (due to taking painkillers), I could not be happier about the whole experience. I figure, my body and baby obviously needed them. Things change. I am learning this with having a baby – you need to be flexible! I am amazed at how short my labor was (compared to many labors) - 8.5 hours is not too shabby! James was absolutely wonderful throughout the whole labor experience, as well as now with my recovery and being a doting dad. Baby pictures and more updates tomorrow. I need a nap after this long novel!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

First pictures

Just arrived at the hospital
Half way there...
Dorian's first picture
First feeding
Dorian and Dad
One hour old
Dorian with Mum/Mom
Proud grandparents (US)
Time for sleep
12 hours old
View from our room
Four generations
Hair like his dad
Happy family
Bored of all these pictures

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dorian's Birthday!

This will be short and sweet as we are still in the hospital.

Dorian Roy Crocker was born at 9:49pm on Tuesday, October 17th weighing in at 7lb 11oz. He has lots of straight, black hair (even my hairstyle!), a fairly round head and the cutest features. Stay tuned, we have many pictures to follow.

The birth was an incredible experience for both of us (my job was a little easier!) and I'm sure Kelly will write more on it when she gets the time. maybe around 2025.

Raise a glass and welcome little Dorian to the world!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My water broke!!!!

We're off to the hospital now!!!!!!

Next post will be baby news!!!!!!!

I knew he would be early or right on time (tomorrow's his due date!!!!!!)


Sunday, October 14, 2007

More dilating and effacing...

After my emotional waste of a day yesterday, I began experiencing loads of irregular contractions, low back pain, pelvic pressure, tingling "down there," indigestion and menstrual-type cramps again last night. More dilation? I also lost quite a bit more mucus so was probably effacing (cervix thinning out). Dorian was moving like crazy, much more so than usual - my mom said maybe he was staging. These symptoms lasted for a solid 4 hours before I fell asleep. This morning I am still experiencing menstrual-type cramps and low back pain. James will be back in about 16 hours. Let true labor begin! My mom and James have both forbidden me from walking today since walking can promote labor and decrease labor times by 30%. Even if I walk late afternoon, James still may not get back in time. Hopefully, I'll be so lucky as to have such a quick, easy labor!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Forget about natural childbirth...

Bring on the membrane stripping and inductions!!! I don't think I can take much more of this wait. I have never been so bored or antsy in all my life. And I am so emotional it is ridiculous. I can't get the laptop to play DVD's, I have no books to read and my house is so clean you could eat cereal out of the toilet bowls. I am dying to go for a long walk but I can't because I don't want Dorian to arrive before James gets back.

I can totally see how women end up changing their birth plans at the last minute and accepting Pitocin drips, membrane stripping, painkillers, c-sections, etc. I thought I would never, ever, ever in a million years even consider any of this. I got to tell you, if my doctor called me at home today and offered to fit me in for a c-section tonight (leaving James time to get back), I would totally accept.

This sucks. I think I'll go vacuum the rugs and mop the kitchen floor again. Then I can take my second shower of the day. It should be snack time by the time I have finished, and then maybe I'll be ready for a nap. If I'm lucky, I'll sleep through until morning! Tomorrow afternoon I am going for a massively long walk because I figure, even if I do go into labor before James returns, he should still get back in time. Did I mention how much I hate not being active??? Thanks for letting me rant a bit. I do feel better for it!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Have I really only been pregnant for 39 weeks?

I am soooooo bored. I miss working. I miss running. I miss drinking wine. I miss Brie cheese and luncheon meat. I miss my figure. I miss not peeing every 5 minutes. I miss James already (he left three hours ago). I am tired of people fussing over me and telling me not to reach for that or to slow down or should I really be walking 4 miles a day? Everyone has an opinion. I am so ready to have this baby and not be pregnant anymore. I'm tired of waiting. I want the baby already!!! Every woman who has ever been pregnant has said that the last couple of weeks of pregnancy are the worst. I thought they were exaggerating, but no, it is so true! I have loved being pregnant but it's time now. I want Dorian to hang on until Monday, but after that I am going to take 10 walks a day, chug hot sauce like it's beer and I'm back at UCSB, and jump on a trampoline if I have to get this baby out! However, I will not allow my doctor to strip my membranes - I am so glad she couldn't do this yesterday due to James being gone for the week-end. I came home and did some research on what this actually means and it goes against everything I want (for a natural childbirth). No way is she ripping the amniotic sac off my uterine wall!!! Does that sound natural to you???

I am going to go take a nap now - at least the boredom is forcing me to rest. I suppose that's a good thing.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Labor probably not imminent!

I am so relieved!!! James and I just returned from the doctor. She checked my cervix and said I am only 1cm dilated and 60% effaced. Dorian's head is at -2 station. You guys can do the research in finding out what all this means if you're interested. All you really need to know is that it means I probably will not go into labor before next week, and even if I do, it should be a slow progression (leaving James time to return home before Dorian arrives). The doctor agreed I should take it easy for the next few days just to ensure we don't promote labor any more (with the walks, activity, etc). She said normally she would have stripped my membranes a bit today, but held off on doing this since we don't want to go into labor now. My cervix stats are also good news because they are far along enough it means Dorian probably won't arrive too much later than his due date either (although anything is possible). We'll pick up our long walks again on Monday when James returns! I feel so much calmer now. Plus, the doctor wrote James a note essentially giving him permission to speed this week-end if he needs to (he would give this note to the officer if pulled over for speeding). We're set! I feel like I can finally breathe again. I was so worried Dori's Daddy might miss the birth!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The calm before the storm?

All my early labor signs from the past two days seem to have dried up. Is this just the calm before the storm? I hope so. James and I walked 4 miles again today and even picked up the pace quite a bit as well. I have not been very hungry today so didn't fancy any spicy food. I was really tired this afternoon (I guess the walking did affect me!) so no obsessive cleaning, er, nesting I mean (though I did wash all our bedding in fragrance-free, dye-free detergent so there will be no chance of Dorian's skin becoming irritated when cuddling in bed with us).

I think I may have jumped the gun a bit on all those early labor signs this week. Yes, they happened but maybe I read way too much in to them. I have to keep remembering that these symptoms can appear days, if not weeks, before the actual birth. I also have to remember that most first-time mothers deliver AFTER their estimated due date, not before, so there is an extremely good chance he won't arrive until after October 17/19 (remember, I have two due dates!) Here's hoping Dorian doesn't stress his Mama out and chooses to come at an opportune time.

The nursing strike begins at 7am tomorrow and will continue until 7am on Monday (it's a 2 day strike but striking nurses are then "locked out" for an additional 3 days). As a nurse manager, my mom has to work through the week-end, including a night shift. Luckily, she has made sure to "reserve" a couple of Labor & Delivery nurses for me in case I go into labor over the next couple days. And while she will be busy, at least she'll be at the very same hospital 24/7 for the next 5 days. Mom says that all her colleagues are betting I go into labor at 7am tomorrow! She herself is convinced it will be soon. She said it has been such an easy pregnancy, it would make sense if Dori chose to shake it up a bit at the end and arrive at a less opportune time. I don't mind if he arrives tomorrow or Thursday, I just hope it's not this week-end...

James will be in Ventura, CA from Friday early afternoon to late Sunday night/early Monday morning. He will be gigging with his many people have asked me why he can't just skip the gigs. You people forget that James is the lead guitarist and that the band is HIS JOB. He has a commitment to perform at all scheduled gigs. If I go into labor while he is gone, we'll have to see if it will be feasible at that point in the week-end for him to fly back or if he can hang on a day or if he can miss 1 gig or ??? It is unfortunate that this week-end is a 3-day one for him and that the band has not 1, but 2 gigs, down south. You can't predict when babies will arrive though so the band could not put the whole month of October on hold for one of their members' impending arrivals. James has a very bright outlook regarding the possibility of missing the birth - he has accepted that while it would be disappointing, he just may not be able to be there. Fathers never used to be present at their baby's births. The baby won't even be that alert or into bonding for the first couple days. He will want his mom's boobs and his swaddle blanket. He will probably care less about his daddy being there. Even though I am relieved that my husband seems to have accepted the possibility that he may miss the birth, I know that I would be really sad. If Dorian has not arrived by Friday, I plan to stay in bed all week-end with my legs crossed.

I am being really hormonal and emotional right now and probably worrying over nothing. I just hate this not knowing when it will happen! For someone who is such a planner, this has definitely been the hardest thing about pregnancy for me. I do know that in the end, it doesn't matter if Dorian arrives in the middle of a nurse's strike, while his father is gone or in a taxi cab on the freeway. As long as he and I are healthy, that's all that matters.

Monday, October 8, 2007

No news is good news???

Well, I consider it bad news but that is only because I am so eager to meet my little son! Still no baby. In fact, I have only had two contractions all day. However, I am still very cranky, hot and experiencing pelvic pressure and bowel "issues." Maybe tomorrow, eh? I had a very spicy lunch and James and I are going for a 4 mile walk in a few minutes. Will keep you all posted!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Is he coming?

I have been majorly cranky and emotional all day long (poor James!) I am having lower back contractions (though not often enough to time yet). I have had a lot of pelvic pressure, in addition to twinges and tingles "down there." I have been having hot flashes all day long. I currently have diarrhea and felt that nauseated feeling in the back of my throat earlier in the day. I have been cleaning like crazy (this is nothing new though!) All symptoms of early labor. Could tomorrow be the day??? Or is my body simply preparing for what may happen in a week or two? My parents just returned from Nashville this evening - they think Dorian was just waiting for them to come back. Jessica bet that today would be the day, Erika bet on tomorrow. Stay tuned!

And just in case this is my last day of being pregnant, we thought we should post some pictures...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Nurses Strike

Okay, here's hoping Dorian doesn't make his appearance between October 10-12. The nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC) will be on strike then! Obviously, the hospital will bring in other nurses, but I want the infamous amazing ABSMC labor & delivery nurses who actually know the hospital and can help me with the natural labor I so desire. Why do they want to go on strike anyway? Don't they make enough money as it is? It's actually the union that has called the strike, not the individual nurses, of course. And I'm sure I'll probably be grateful for pay raises in my nursing career too. But don't they know there are babies waiting to be born?!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Just checking in

Not much to report, but I thought I should check in so no one would think we had gone into labor or anything! I have been enjoying my time off work, though I have to keep busy or I start to feel antsy. I have been cleaning like crazy, helping James with his projects, filling out nursing applications, sorting out vaccinations for James and I (flu and Tdap), cooking (yes, truly!), napping, walking, catching up with friends, reading infant development and baby care books, stocking up on groceries and frozen food, and of course...peeing. We are so ready for Dori to come now! He feels massive. Not only does my belly seem really heavy all of a sudden, but I can actually distinguish between most of his body parts (and they are rock solid). I am now 38 weeks pregnant. My parents are in Nashville at the moment and made me promise not to go into labor until they return on Sunday, October 7. I am still going to bet Dori makes his appearance some time between October 8-12. I just have a hunch. I was right about him being a boy, so let's see if I'm right about this! Erika bets 10/8/07, Emily bets 10/10/07 and Annie bets 10/20/07...any more bets?