Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hospital Stays can be Interesting


Having a baby Erev Pesach was really interesting. I really tried keeping this baby in me as long as possible. I cut back on biking, took it easy and in many instances asked for help. I don't like to ask people for help but I did because I wanted to make it through Pesach with a baby in my stomach. You know, we don't always get what we want. With the new car tab and tax vote not going through we might have an epidemic of other ladies actually giving birth on the bus. The imagery is so haunting. Metro's new saying will be, we might get you there.

While in the hospital/birthing center/whatever you want to call it I learned a lot about myself and what not to do there:

1. I have the blood pressure of a marathon runner. At some point the anesthesiologist came in my room and told the nurses to not lower my bed for the first 12 hours or else my blood pressure will dip too low. I wonder if all us cargo folk have that kind of blood pressure because we bike at a steady rather than fast pace?

2. I am tolerant to pain. I had a spinal block which was a very interesting experience. Once that wore off I was fed an IV of liquid tylenol, very interesting, When that was done I was given Ibuprofen every 6 hours with the option of percocet. What is that narcotic? It is narcotic of oxycodone and acetaminophen. I took it with the last c-section so I half expected my pain level to be the same. So, I waited for the pain. Day 1 went by and I didn't need anything but ibuprofen. Day 2, same. By the night of day 2 it was almost like the nurses were thinking I was being stoic and not wanting to be on a stronger pain medicine. I felt good. By Day 3 I took a shower, standing up and was able to lift my foot off the ground to wash under. For someone who had surgery and had my insides shoved around that was pretty good. Every nurse winced when they offered me percocet and I refused. Nobody believed me that I didn't need it. If I was in pain I would have taken it. The side effects are horrible and you feel stoned but if you have that much pain it is better to manage that pain, I know that. I felt like the nurses at Swedish were a bit pushy with the narcotic taking. Sometimes I wondered if they wanted me all groggy so they could control me better. I have a WHOLE blog post dedicated to the nightmare nurse who made my last day there hell.

3. I am pretty good at getting along by myself, even the hospital. I managed to deal with issues but only because I was in a clear state of mind. It was almost mind blowing boring to be at Swedish on Yom Tov with nothing to do, so I davened (prayed). I stared out the window a lot.

4. I learned to sleep with the lights on. As much as I tried to explain Yom Tov to everyone, lights were left on and I was even at one point trapped in my bed by the lactation consultant, which leaves me with my funny story of how many people touched my boobs:

1st Happy Nursing Face

Side Story: Keep your hands off my milk machines!
It has been a while since I have nursed a baby but Baby Peyos was pretty good about trying to nurse and latch as soon as he came out. I even have his happy face after we had a successful run. Now the odd thing is that before I knew it, if a nurse was in a room suddenly I would have another hand on my boob trying to fix it. OY! This happened a lot. At some point I was asked if I should have the lactation consultant come help me. Little did I know this would happen.

Lactation Consultant: At around 8:30PM a short gray haired menopausal woman entered my room and explained who she was and if I was doing okay. I told her that I needed help with the right side. I found it difficult with the first kid also. We tried "football" hold and of course she had her hands all over my boobs. Then I gave up and the consultant rearranged furniture. She sat in every chair in the room, close to the bed and demonstrated over her clothes proper nipple pulling out and boob squooshing. It was weird and oddly entertaining. I hadn't done anything but pray at this point and G-d sends me my own reality TV show. I wish it wasn't Yom Tov because I would have TOTALLY taken a picture! Ahh, when she left I was trapped. She pulled every single piece of NON movable furniture up against the bed of a woman who had a c-section and I had no choice but to press the red button for a rescue. My nurse was busy helping a women with a really screaming baby so I did what my cargo legs can do, kick stuff! I kicked the chair over and was able to escape to the bathroom. By the time my 7pm-7am nurse came the drama was over and I gone to the bathroom.

Glow in the dark baby
Which leaves me with other boob touching. I finally escaped Swedish on the Thursday of the same week I had the baby. I was there from Mon-Thur, okay. My friend picked us up and did our get away. Our baby got jaundice and his bilirubin levels were up. Rather than force us back into the hospital a service came with a bed for him to sleep him if he wasn't nursing. He spent his Shalom Zachor Shabbos in this bed while the visiting men sang and dropped Pesach booze all over my floor, hahahaha. One of the chair got really sticky from arak. Mr. Peyos bought cake and cookies imported from L.A. that tasted just like chametz. He kept everything in the boxes so people would be reassured it wasn't.

Every day of his glow baby bed experience a nurse came and I was made to demonstrate my nursing and before I knew it someone's hand was on my boob squooshing it to express milk. Not even in Santa Cruz, CA where I had the first one did ANYONE touch me. Seattle people are so booby touchy feely. So, the nurse drama is over, my doctor checked me and said my incision looks good but I am banned from biking for another 5 weeks because I might give myself a hernia.

Otherwise, I can just stare at my bike and do funny things like put the car seat in it for fun! Don't worry, I ain't baby biking for a while!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Did I bike in Labor?

So, if you follow me on Twitter you might have known I had my baby. I am not a prolific Tweet kind of person but I do occasionally have some interesting discussions with folks. If you are part of the Seattle Family Biking Page you would have seen some of my adventure. So, did I bike in labor?

Let's see my adventure, okay! On Monday 4-14-14 (that date is funny), I woke up at 4am and felt really crampy. I had been having Braxton Hicks and if I changed position I knew that it would change. So, after about an hour of this pain I decided to take a shower. At this point our kid woke up and wanted to cuddle. So we let her and she came in the bed with us and we all fell asleep. I had to wake up around 7am to get myself ready for my weekly appointment at my OBGYN office. By now the pain had stopped so I figured it was not real labor. I go to use the restroom and GUSH! Guess what that was? I wasn't too sure because it wasn't a mabul (flood). Humm, let me smell it. It didn't smell like urine. I am like that, so if you don't want gross details stop reading here because I am about to get more gross!

Bye bye slow 9X

Okay, let me have some Pesach cake I made in ADVANCE because I am lame and made food for Passover starting Sunday. I had a tiny piece and then the first more painful contraction hit me. I sat there thinking, "bike or bus?". The debate went on for a while and the contractions more sporatic. In the end I decided to take the bus. I caught the 9X and it was less than express and their were few places to for the hugely pregnant lady to sit. Okay, I am looking at my watch and realizing that the contractions are getting more even. OY OY OY!! Get me off of this frigging bus! In my head I was thinking, biking would have been faster.

I endured them got out and started walking to my appointment. I had to stop a few times because the contractions were intense. At one point I screamed at a car who didn't let me cross the street safely. I think I might have yelled not nice words, oh well. I get to my OBGYN office and tell the nice lady, "Hi, I think my water broke and......hold on a moment.....(at this point I was making a face and breathing through the contraction).....oh and I am having contractions". Yeah, I scared EVERYONE! Of course, I was prioritized and seen RIGHT AWAY.

My OBGYN doctor and I talked, she checked my cervix and determined that my water did break. I told her that it was the one appointment I didn't bike to. She said it was good I trusted my instinct because had I biked I might have risked the cord wrapping around the baby. From this point I was not allowed to leave the office until my husband arrived to transport me to the birthing center/hospital. Hello, he doesn't drive. Instead he had someone from work come and help him take me. I was ready to walk because it is a couple blocks away. I was even banned from walking to the bus stop.

I was put on a monitor for the baby and my contractions. I had a button I had to press every time I had one and after about of an hour they were more steady and labor was progressing. My husband arrived and we walked to his co-workers car and TADA! Her car breaks down!!! OY OY OY!

We walked to the bus stop and took the bus up the hill. I had contractions on the bus and while walking up to triage. While in the elevator another pregnant woman and her partner were in the elevator and he said something stupid to her, "hahaha, I should spill this water and make it look like your water broke". I was having an intense contraction and wanted to punch him. What an idiot! Both my husband and I glared at him as they got out one floor below us.

Oh, I forgot! This whole time I was scheduled to have a c-section on April 30th. Let's not go in the details but even at the appointment, while having contractions and being WAY better dilated than last time my doctor and I determined that the baby had to come out again c-section. BLAH BLAH BLAH, you know all about MY body and VBAC. I am going to tell you people out there, this was how I decided to have this baby. Don't even ask me why I didn't try labor, this was something my doctor and I carefully discussed at each visit and had to really talk about the last one.

When I got to the check-in I was rushed to a room, made to put on a gown and immediately was being monitored both baby and contractions. They were strong! My husband was later told that they had never seen a lady labor like that with such intense contractions. I kinda closed my eyes, asked Hashem (G-d) for koach  and did some really intense breathing.

The anesthesiologist wanted to get the baby out before life got more complicated. We walked to operation bed and I sat on the bed. This time I got what was called a spinal block. I was a little scared to be honest but I had the care of two anesthesiologist to reassure and take care of me. I sat, bent forward and the worst contraction hit me. I said, "guys, this one HURTS!" Then I was told, "Great! Concentrate on the contraction while we put this huge needle in you" I did and bliss..... My legs started feeling numb the contraction pain was gone and I was being numbed for the c-section. Just because, I felt I had to I described everything I thought was happening. At some point it even tickled a little. Then it felt like a great tummy massage and soon I heard WHAH WHAH WHAH and looked over as someone was carrying a baby with a full set of hair, a big butt and a hairy back. Part of my birthing plan was to see the placenta. So, before they could do more shoving and tickling down there I said, "make sure you show me the placenta". My husband said, "don't worry, we aren't going to eat it". Then the doctor said, "some people do that".

As confusing as this sounds, this was the best birth ever. The first one was traumatizing because of what I had to go through but this was so peaceful and everyone was calm.

Here he is in all his glory! Our own Baby Peyos!

Baby Peyos at home! We love him and his long fingernails. More on the rest of my adventure coming soon..

Sunday, April 13, 2014

#30 Days of Biking: DO IT!

Salmoning on the sidewalk 5th Ave.
I did not sign up for the monthly 30 days of biking challenge just because you know, close to due date April 30th or Rosh Chodesh Iyar. So close, yet so far away! Also, to get a full 30 days I would need to bike after Shabbos and frankly I am not in the mood to go out at night. Without even trying I have managed to bike every day of April except for Shabbos so that's pretty good, my own version of 30 minus Shabbos days of biking.

Depending on how I have felt I have cut down some of my mileage and combined bike with train/bike. On Friday I combine my errands with bus and got to experience the joy of jerks on the bus. I hate smells and suddenly the bus smelled like smoke. I look back and three jerks sprawled across the back were smoking. Does this sound like a familiar scenario? Well, it also happened on the train. A group of jerks smoking on the light rail and a law student gets punched out for trying to defend a family with kids. I grabbed my daughter, made my way to the front of the bus and told the driver about the jerks. Well, this resulted in the driver kicking them off the bus but not before they threatened me and I threatened them with the POLICE. My daughter was terrified. One of the guys looked like he was making his way to the front of the bus and in one hand I had my phone dialing 9-1...and the other hand was pulling out a pair of scissors I had in my backpack for a craft project. Let me just say, these are really sharp scissors. Behind me was my daughter. Before I hit the last 1 the 3 A-holes got off the bus. Sadly, my kid was scared and nothing is worse than being called the "C" and "B" word. The "B" word doesn't bother me but What the Fuzzy! Calling me the "C" word just shows the level of respect of these men have for women.

The Broadway cycle track. Stuff we biked on.
I am convinced they thought they thought they were manly, not siting next to each other, sexually harassing a women who had to change seats and then threatening a pregnant lady with a kid. This was an isolated incident and yes, it makes me think twice about taking the bus but why do I have to be scared. I think what really POed me was the fact that nobody on the bus helped us except the driver. People just looked stupefied. So, I felt like a victim even though nothing happened to us and we were almost alone. Also, I had sharp scissors, please don't mess with me and my craft scissors. So, just to make my daughter feel better I think we will be cutting back on the bus portion and I will be biking more and combining it better with Light Rail or less weirdo bus routes. Although, the 9 has more professional and student riders than any of the other routes. Yes, this happened on the 9.

As you can see we saw some interesting sights. My photographer was kinda busy with helping me prepare for Passover so that means that we didn't take many pictures of our riding around looking kind wacko with the stuff we bought for our very short holiday, more on that to come! Still pregnant and biking, I am pretty surprised I have managed this.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Biking 9 Months Pregnant

The nesting has begun. I went up to shul to help my husband.
This also meant the bike dragged me up the hill with this load.
So, I made it month 9 and am still biking. Remember our trip to the birthing center and the related pain afterwards. So, After that point it seemed as if the baby has decided to slowly descend. I can feel it in the way I breath and the positioning of my stomach. It also means I can can sorta eat. While this is nice it also mean that I started to get swollen feet. Actually I blame myself. On Monday I stayed with my daughter at school and did some volunteer hours in the library. I guess I picked the wrong position to sit and gave myself those tamale feet. I did the only sensible thing and searched on YouTube for swollen pregnancy feet and saw some really swollen feet, worse than mine. That is what YouTube is for, to make you feel much better about your own human condition, hahaha.

I am also getting more tired. Pesach is two weeks away and we have cleaned half the house and have just the downstairs area to do. It shouldn't take a long time to get done but it will be work I am not really excited about. On WAY better news I bought our handmade shmura matza without drama or rain. It seems that every year I buy them something happens or worse, it rains when I buying them. I always feel if we have our matzah we are good. I mean, what else might run out? I don't like last minute.

On Tuesday my life took a turn of events. My morning begins with saying ModeAni, washing negel vasser and then a trip to the facilities. Well, from that trip I noticed something interesting, my mucus plug came out. Why is related to biking? Well, not too long ago this whole discussion of plugs and biking was on Family Biking page for us Seattle Biking Families. Several women expressed that they were told not to bike if they lost the plug. All I could think was how sad I was not to be able to bike. I called the doctor and talked to the triage nurse and she approved my biking without the plug. HORRAY!! Like always, their is a concern of falling or a car hitting me, which could happen regardless if I am on the bike or not. The other day I almost slipped down our stairs because I insisted on cleaning the wall. They were dirty and it was annoying me.
I love it when cars block the crosswalk and don't indicate where they are going!
So, here I am 9 months, biked yesterday and a sitting duck for this baby to make their way in the world. I tried hard to take a picture of us biking home from my OBGYN appointment but the weight of a kid, beer and groceries was a little more than I bargained for. I needed to hands on the bike. Instead you get the lady who decided to block the crosswalk. I love those people.

Bike Escape: Fay Bainbridge Park 2019

I went camping without kids. How did I manage that? (insert shrug) One of the old time pedal parents went with me. Our schedules for this ...