Friday, December 7, 2012

Moved site.

babystraighttalk.com is better!
Sorry, we have moved BabyStraightTalk to a hosted Wordpress site.  We have also created the option to login or register (Facebook login too!) on the new BabyStraightTalk site with a Forum for discussion, user ranking system, Blog, Product Reviews, Podcast, as well as many other things.  Please check out the new BabyStraightTalk website by going to babystraighttalk.com !

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dekor Plus Diaper Disposal System


Dekor Plus Diaper Disposal System
(Dave gives it 4.5 Stars!)

In this video Dave demonstrates how to change the diaper bag and does a quick product review of the Dekor Plus Diaper Disposal System. Retail price from $43-$47.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

How I Got my Newborn to Fall Asleep

Baby has been going through a growth spurt for the past couple days and has barely napped at all today. She was well fed, held a lot, had a bath (after a major diaper blowout) and still would not take a break. I rocked her for a while, then put her in her swaddle pod nice and cozy in her crib (arms slightly out) and turned the fan on in her room for some white noise. That lasted for about 5 minutes. decided to give her a pacifier and zipped her up the rest of the way. It worked! :) This is the longest she's slept in her crib!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

BST Podcast Ep1


We thought it might be fun to sit down and record a podcast about our experiences in raising a new baby.  This is the first episode Baby Straight Talk Podcast.  We sat down and recorded this podcast on November 29th 2012 in the living room while watching baby Madeline.  The text at our babystraighttalk.com website is not an exact transcription of the podcast, but a list of discussion points from the podcast recording and include links and a summary of some of the more interesting or useful ideas discussed in the podcast.  Eventually the podcast will be available for download on iTunes or by RSS subscription but for now you can listen to it here.

 

>>Baby Straight Talk Episode 1 - MP3 Download

 Podcast Summary:

  • We talk a little about the story of how we found out Kelly was pregnant. 
  • We mention that we went with a Midwife instead of a Doctor and how awesome our office was.
  • We talk about the baby classes we took and how it was good but how it, "doesn't entirely prepare you for having a baby".
  • We talk about the importance of asking "why" and to "trust your gut and assert yourself".
  • We talk about the lack of sleep during the first month, why it is that you don't get much sleep, and how we are coping.  Kelly has some helpful hints about making your baby more restful during the night.  Part was keeping her well fed at the night, changing the environment to help her distinguish day from night, and swaddling.
  • Kelly talks about the complexities of breastfeeding and pumping and has tips on how to pass the time when feeding the baby.
  • We talk about prioritizing things with the baby and sleep coming first, and shuffling other household duties to the bottom of the list. 

Class Suggestions:

Here is the list of classes we took before Kelly gave birth...
  • Car Seat (Class)
  • Breast Feeding (Class)
  • Childbirth (Class)
  • * CPR (Class)
  • Child Care (Class)

Product Suggestions:

Here is a list of awesome products that we recommend during this podcast...

  • Business of Being Born 1 and 2 (Movie)
  • Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth By Gaskin, Ina May (Google Affiliate Ad) (Book) One of the most respected books in regards to natural childbirth.
  • * Taking Charge of your Fertility (Book)  Kelly loves this one, it's about tracking your cycle and understanding fertility.
  • * What to Expect (App)  Kelly loves this App about being pregnant because there is a great forum with other expecting mothers that are all going through the same things, plus it has handy tips and factoids that follow along with your current situation.  Even after the pregnancy the discussions and usefulness of this app continues.
  • PinkPad (App)  Estimates cycles, great for when you're trying to have a baby... or avoid having one too.
  • TimeCounter (App) Count-down or Time-counter  that Dave uses to know how old the baby is and how many days he has been married.
  • In her Fisher-Price My Little Sweetie Cradle Swing
  • * Fisher-Price My Little Sweetie Cradle Swing (Google Affiliate Ad) (Gear) Not the Snugabunny as mentioned, we have the My Little Sweetie Cradle Swing which is one of the babies favorite places to take a nap.  It's got loads of features and great construction.

 

Product Comparison:

Pampers Swaddlers VS Huggies Snugglers?  Huggies Snuggler diapers are in the lead due to their comfort!  Listen to the podcast to hear a more detailed analysis of why Dave and Kelly prefer Huggies Snugglers instead of the Pampers Swaddlers.



Friday, November 23, 2012

Kelly's Version of Our Birth Story


Our Birth Story – Kelly’s Version

This is my rendition of our baby Madeline’s birth.  We couldn't have asked for a better hospital to have our baby at.  The nurses at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center are absolutely wonderful.  Even more awesome is my midwife Tiffany.  She is such a calm, knowledgeable, and positive person.  I wouldn't want anyone else to deliver my babies.  A couple warnings: I am normally very good at guessing what time it is, how much time has passed but somehow through the miracle of hormones, drugs, and excitement, my perception of time during the labor and delivery was quite amiss.  Half of this was written when I was very sleep deprived.  The week before Madeline was born was crazy busy.  I was feeling so worn down and was still dragging myself around at work trudging along.  My co-worker and boss were out sick for most of the week and it was a very busy week.  By Thursday night I decided I had to take Friday off.  I took a personal day and we worked to get the house ready for Dave’s birthday party that we were to have on Saturday.  The party was great, we had a good time with friends singing karaoke and Sunday turned out to be a recovery day.



Monday rolled around and it was work as usual.  By this time in my pregnancy I was 38 weeks along and I was not sleeping well.  But hey, I had at least two or three weeks to go and I planned on resting as much as possible once this hectic week was over.  I was uncomfortable but I felt like I had to get stuff done before our baby girl arrived.  Monday night was awful.  I think I woke up around 3 and didn’t really get back to sleep.  I just lay there wishing I could sleep.

Tuesday I was so tired and I considered calling in but went in. I still wish I had taken time to rest but that’s something I’ll have to remember for our future baby.  My boss asked me if I thought I’d be able to work much longer.  I guess she could tell I needed a break.  I was showing signs of possible impending labor during work on Tuesday.   I won’t go into the lovely details but I made sure to text Dave all about them at work.  I wasn’t due for two more weeks and I was really planning to relax and “enjoy” those last two weeks!  After work we had dinner with my family then went to get a few groceries and to the Halloween store and oh man was I tired.  I waddled down the aisles with Dave and at some point told him that I was done shopping and we had to leave.  I remember texting a friend that I was going to loan a top to and I jokingly said that I’d see her the next day unless I was in labor. 

Sleep did not come easily on that night.  In fact, I woke up with what I’d guess were practice contractions early that morning.  I half expected them to pick up and when they didn’t and my alarm finally went off, I looked out the window and told Dave about it and then said, “I guess I’m going to work today”.  Walked into the bathroom and low and behold a trickle of water ran down my leg.  I said “oh dear” and walked to wait outside the other bathroom door for Dave to come out.  I told him the news and he called our Midwife’s office.  He got me an appointment to confirm that it really was my water and that I didn’t pee myself as pregnancy has a way of making your bladder control not so controlled.

video
I emailed my boss and told her that I think I might have sprung a leak then I got ready and he packed the car just in case they might send us to the hospital.  At the office it was confirmed that it was my water and that we would be in fact having our baby within about 24 hours.  Wow!  I was stunned.  We also found out that my cervix was totally not ready for the baby’s grand entrance into the world and were advised to go to the hospital.  I had to ask, “How many hours do we have before we need to be at the hospital?”  And the answer was by lunchtime.  My plan was to go home to try to get labor moving on my own.  I was trying to avoid Pitocin and an epidural since I really had my mind set on a natural birth.  We drove home and I got on the treadmill and walked a mile.  I had a few little contractions.  We tried some other natural methods to get things moving and I continued to have minor contractions.  I was so glad.  Dave was eager to get to the hospital although I was not in a rush whatsoever.  I wanted to get myself going with labor before heading out.  We compromised and went around noon after I had some leftover pizza AND spaghetti! 

We arrived at the hospital and checked in.  The contractions had continued all the way to the hospital but when we were checking in they pretty much stopped.  They were going to give me a ride in a wheelchair up to labor and delivery triage but I told them I preferred to walk.  I was getting annoyed that my mini contractions had stopped. 



video

We got up to triage and was promptly handed a lovely huge, no GIANT, blue hospital gown thingy.  When the triage nurse found out that I was a midwife patient and had already had my cervix checked she decided to contact my midwife and go from there.  My wonderful midwife Tiffany showed up shortly and went over our options with us.  We went with the one that she recommended, it sounded safest for the baby and for me.  We went to our labor and delivery room (after I changed back into my own clothes) and settled in.  I was then hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and contraction monitor.  Since I was going to have medication to augment my labor this was going to be necessary.  Not what I wanted but at least I could get up and move around.  I was allowed to eat and drink per my midwife as well as disconnect myself from the monitors to make bathroom trips.  I did have a hep lock which is the part of the IV that is in your arm in case they need to administer fluids or medication.  It kind of felt pinched but I dismissed it. 

I took the first dose of cytotec and my mini contractions started back up after about an hour.  Dave and I entertained ourselves by watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race on his laptop.  It was actually not so bad.  So I thought.
video

 He was timing my contractions on my phone, bringing me water and making sure I had what I needed.  Four hours went by and I was having more contractions with slowly growing intensity.  My midwife decided I should have another dose of cytotec and about a half hour after that, my contractions went from tolerable to holy shit.  I could get through the contractions but it seemed that there was such a tiny break between them I didn’t have time to get my bearings between them.  They really felt like they were starting to pile up on top of one another.  I did the breathing thing.  It sort of worked.  I got on all fours on the bed and kind of rocked through it.  This was a little better.  I had to sit up for some reason and the nurse was talking to me at some point and I wasn’t in the right position for my contraction.  I started to freak out and let the pain take me over.  My body tensed up and I grabbed on to Dave and probably pinched him or clawed him a little.  I’m sure I squealed and when I reacted this way the pain was sooo much worse.  I tried to hang in there as long as I could but I finally gave in and said the magic word to Dave, “cacao” (Portlandia referenceJ).    I needed the epidural.  I was at 4 cm at this point and knew I couldn’t possibly ride these contractions out all night, not the way it was already going.  I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be laboring on my back in bed.  So I signed the paperwork for it and the nurse had to give me IV fluids but the original hep lock turned out to be putting the fluid in my arm and that hurt a lot.  She put one in my other arm and I could barely feel it.  The anesthesiologist administered my epidural probably 30 minutes later and within 5 minutes I was feeling better.  Numb and pretty much helpless and weak but the relentless and ridiculous pain was gone. 


By now, the evening was approaching and the evening went on like this.  Dave constantly checking the baby’s heart rate and my contractions on the monitor and not sleeping.  Me falling asleep only to be woken up by the damn blood pressure cuff every 15 minutes.  Our nurse coming in to do things on the monitor or help me drain my bladder.  Kind of humiliating I suppose but at the time in that situation, it was no biggie.  At some point it was decided that I have Pitocin to help my contractions.  I think the epidural had slowed them.  Also, the baby’s heart rate dropped significantly a few times.  Each time the nurses had to come in and roll me over to get her rate back up.  My midwife showed up sometime in the middle of the night and at that point the baby’s heart rate was just fine and did not drop any more.  She stayed at the hospital to monitor me and baby.  So the night went on and on.

Early in the morning my midwife came in and checked my progress.  She said that we were ready to go!  I was sooo happy!  The moment I’d been waiting for since early this year!  I told her that my right side was getting painful and she said that we could get more epidural meds pushed by the anesthesiologist but we’d have to wait an hour to push.  I decided I’d forget about the pain on my side as soon as I started pushing. I didn’t want to wait!  I couldn’t wait to meet this baby!  So while my midwife had to run out for a bit, the nurse was going to help me practice pushing.  I tried my best and she saw the baby’s head.  She got my midwife and it was go time.  I got her out pretty quickly.  It was tough trying to push when I could barely feel my legs.  They say push like you are pooping and I kept thinking that.  Also, I asked for a mirror so I could see my progress.  That was pretty cool to see, and strange, but mostly cool.  Soon enough, her head popped out and I think at this point my memory is sketchy.  It was such a big moment I don’t think my brain registered it right away.

 I know her head was out; I had to wait a second for the cord to be unwrapped from her neck.  No fuss, Tiffany unwrapped it and we moved on.  One more push and she was out and on my chest.  Nurses wiped her off and I was in such a state of euphoria.  What a cool and surreal and BIG moment.  We already knew each other very well but my squeaky little baby was opening her eyes and seeing me for the first time as I was looking at her for the first time in amazement.  I looked at Dave and he seemed to be in a similar state of awe.  And now there are three of us in our little happy family.  J




Thanksgiving

iBaby Skype Stream
Our first born Madeline is only 28 days old, and today was Thanksgiving.  Naturally, we have a lot to be thankful for.  She is healthy and we'd like to keep her that way, at least for the first couple months while she's a little fragile.  Consequently I put an iPad in her travel system and we used Skype to bring her to the family gatherings.



Was a moderate success, glad we did it.  I'm still not sure what to report to family and friends about our new life.  Honestly, I think I'm still formulating opinions on the matter. It's our first baby, and like all first time parents we're doin the best we can.  It's such a mixture of joy, relief, thanks,  happiness, terror, confusion, and general locked-down-ness that it's hard to formulate it into cohesive sentences.  I usually reply with...  "It's more than I thought it would be."  And gosh, everybody who's a current parent tells me, "it only gets worse", followed by "but it's SOOO WORTH IT".  I'm sure in retrospect everything will make sense, and everyone will be right about everything they've said... but operating in this new environment on very little sleep makes me less than an amiable receptor of fellow parenting information.  

Don't even try to put the long sleeve on Dad.
That being said here's what I've learned this week.  1.) My baby is adorable and I love her.  2.) My baby pisses and shits a lot and the doctors say I should be very happy about this.  Her shit sounds funny.  Sometimes it sounds like a fancy coffee is being made, like a Frappacino.   3.) If your baby vomits it's worth raising an eyebrow, and checking her temp.  Not worth flipping out and Googling it like she's caught the plague   Turns out she just ate too much.  4.)  If I have enough milk, wipes, and diapers, I can handle the baby for a few hours.  I'm not nearly as good with her as my wife is, but I can hold her at bay for a while.  5.) I am completely hopeless at dressing her.  She just screams in terror as I attempt to gently force her little arms into the sleeve holes.  She is quite strong, and I eventually fail my Fort-Save (DnD term) and give up because my heart can't take any more howling.



Mommy can dress me.
Kelly and I have been able to find time to do some other fun things,  we even played video games and I went for a run.  The baby is now sleeping sounder than before which allows us maybe 3 or 4 hour chunks of sleep at night.







Friday, November 16, 2012

A guys guide to the great things about newborns

It has been 19 days since the birth of our daughter Madeline, and I'd like to mention some of the more wonderful things I find about the whole experience.

Madeline's dopey milk smile.
Her big expressions, the subtle reactions, her face in general is adorable. My wife said its probably some kind of defense mechanism that babies are so infectiously cute to their parents, since they also cause such turmoil.





The profound and amazing combination of two people into one brand new sentient being. We were two, now there are three of us. The randomness of various outcomes also astounds me. Two people can have six children and they will each be unique, but genetically connected.  The science of it wows me.

Kelly, Madeline, Dave.

I am glad to be able to provide for baby and wife. I accept my new duties as father with a sense of pride and honor that is gratifying. It's nice to be depended upon, even if its added pressure. With all the added work for my wife, it's nice to help her with cooking and dishes. In the delivery room there's not a lot for the guy to do so its nice to have some concrete tasks to perform.

Awww.  
About the baby smell. Yes it's pleasant. But, people talk about a baby's smell like its the holy grail of odors. Smells like a fresh bag of marshmallows to me. Maybe it's something that needs a few years to sink in. It's nice, but I'm not that into it.

The more time I spend, the more love I feel for this little girl. I contemplate her perspective, and anticipate her discoveries in worldly things that may fascinate her.

Incredibly grateful that she is healthy and that we can provide her with food shelter and all of the 500,000 diapers that she apparently needs.

More soon...






Monday, November 12, 2012

A dude's notes on getting some sleep when newborns are present.

Everyone will tell you that sleep is a huge problem during the first couple months, when your baby is a newborn, but they never really explain the details of WHY.  (Insert obligatory every baby is different phrase.) Today is day 16 for us, and here is what we've experienced in regards to sleep the first couple weeks of our baby's life.

Resting my eyes.  Don't sleep with your baby. Danger.
YES.  Getting decent sleep is not easy.  I mean, I was warned... but I USED to have insomnia and I figured people were exaggerating about the whole lack of sleep thing.  Well the good news is that we do sleep, but it's in small chunks of time.  You see, the baby operates on a high impact NONSTOP 24 hour routine.  The main issue is that every 2-4 hours the baby needs to eat.  That usually includes, eating (30min-1hr) Cleaning poop and pee (10min) Snuggling baby to sleep (15min).  Then there's a bit of cleanup, diapers, bottles, clothes. Before you know it 2 hours has passed and you are into the next cycle of EatPoopCleanSleep.

Consequently one of the better suggestions we got before the baby arrived is to sleep when the baby sleeps.  It's not easy, especially during the day.  And you don't have to sleep EVERY time the baby does.  We find that if we take a nap or two during the day, and sleep whenever possible at night, it's just enough for our brains to continue to function.  (Barely :) )

Here's a couple tips I can think of that helped us out these last couple weeks.

  • Chart their activity and learn their sleep patterns.  Then GAME THE BABY.  We use this document and we put times on everything.   Babies will have a time of day when they are awake and ready to rock your world, usually in very late hours.  We now plan a 1-2 hr nap just BEFORE it's her crazy time.  Cluster feeding is when their bellies become an endless pit, and they need constant tending.
  • Try to sleep when the baby does.  Try not to stay up wondering if they're breathing or not. It's hard to do, we know. 
  • Make sure the baby eats enough. Currently our baby consumes no less than 2 ounces of breast milk. Before we learned that she was never really satisfied and we had MUCH less sleep.
  • Learn to swaddle the baby. It's basically wrapping your baby up like a burrito.  Look it up on YouTube.  Our baby likes her hands free, but her legs covered.
  • If they seem like they're waking up, give it a little bit. Just because they are stirring, it doesn't mean they're waking up. 
  • Probably a good idea to make sure that they are very comfortable, temperature wise, clothing wise. A comfortable, fed, changed, snuggled baby will often sleep or relax.  
  • The first three days were the hardest for us.  It got a little better days 4-14.
  • Have everything you need ready.  A bottle, diapers, wipes, your drink, the remote control, ect. because being more efficient with the routine will get you some more time in the sack.
  • Our baby will be really cranky if we let her sleep too long, as in over 4 hours.  It's tempting to sleep in, and "every baby is different" but currently we will be in a world of hurt if she skips a feeding.
  • Figure out why they are crying, what they need, and what order will put them to sleep best.  Ours current order of operations is...  Always check diaper first > then Diaper Change > Breast Feed > Bottle Feed > Snuggle to contentment > Put in swing or bed-side crib >  Do Chores, Pump Breast Milk, or Take Nap.
  • People often tell me that they switch off with their significant other.  For instance, one will cover while their partner sleeps.  That is another good way to catch some sleep.


So, in summary...  Yes, sleep is a valid concern but if you are clever you will figure out how to get enough to operate.  We are only a couple weeks into the baby-thing, but I hear after the first few months it gets a lot easier.   I may report back and update this document when I learn more.  (And when I sleep more it will also be easier to proof-read.)


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dave's version of our birth story.

If your wife is pregnant, as a guy you will hear A LOT of suggestions, ideas, philosophies, and the occasional crappy comment about child birth...  most of which comes without any details or specifics, so I am here to tell you what we've experienced so far.

First and foremost let me tell you that even at the upper echelons of intelligence in the birthing community you will hear contradictory information.  Consequently, you will be forced to listen to a LOT of ideas. My first bit of advise is to listen to it all, learn all that you can, and then do what YOU THINK IS BEST for your family.  Every baby is different, every situation is different, TRUST YOUR GUT.   You will be overwhelmed with a ton of baby information, and so it's really hard to know what's important to remember, and what is ancillary fluff.

Today is the fourteenth day after our healthy child, Madeline, was born.  We are blessed to have a healthy child.  I would like this blog to be for other men and women out there who haven't had a baby before and would like a straight talkin' perspective on things.  Before I give the straight up tips and ideas, I feel it necessary to detail our 'birth story'.  Partly to just document the day she was born, but others may find it useful as well.



Our Birth Story - A dude's perspective as told by -Dave:

Kelly and Dave

In short, my wife and I have been together for six years, married for a year and we decided it was time to start a family.  I'm an AV Tech for a college and singer/songwriter for a band and she also works for the college and has her Bachelors in Biology in Society.

It's our first baby and I have next to no experience.  Consequently I am NOT an expert in this subject.  My wife helped her sisters and parents out with babies, but this is her first baby too.  We thought it would be a good idea to go to a few baby classes offered by the hospital and around town. Let's see, there was CPR, Birthing, Baby Safety, Car-Seat Installation, Breastfeeding, Baby Care, and we also joined an excellent group at our Doctor/Midwife's office of other couples due around the same time. In retrospect it was worth it, we learned a lot.  It wasn't expensive, and we learned some really important things.  Plus we at least FELT more prepared, which is important when embarking on such a critical mission together.  Still before we get into that I guess I should share our birth story...  The birth story, is different for everyone.  It's not like the movies, when the lady's water breaks, you running around like a chicken with no head, you get to the hospital at Mach 6 speed, and the doctor says PUSH, and the wife punches the husband, then sneezes and a baby emerges.  So here's how it went down for us.

We had drawn up a fantastic little poem of an un-medicated and ideal "birth plan". What's a "birth plan"?  Well, I play music in a band, so immediately I compare a birth plan to a band's "Tech Rider".  You know, that document that bands give to promoters that says, "We need a sound system, lights, the singer needs a blue towel, six gluten free meals, and a bowl of green M&Ms."  Below was our birth plan.  You can find many others online, but our midwife said to keep it fun and simple or they might not read it.  (Funny thing is that a lot of bands do the same thing... Google Slayer's Tech Rider)


David and Kelly Birthing Plan for Mercy Gilbert Hospital 10/7/2012


We understand, if the fit hits the shan we might need an altered plan.

But if we have it our way, unnecessary people should be turned away.
There’s Tiffany the Midwife and daddy Dave,
Kelly’s the mom and the Nurses can stay.
Kelly prefers no IV, we’re shooting for drug free.
She prefers to run wild and roam free, so please monitor intermittently.
Hot tub? birthing ball? dim the lights? and cue the song?
(Dave says “C’mon this sounds like an MTV hip hop song.”)
Kelly might push and Kelly might scream, while Dad’s on camera, calm and serene.
Don’t cut the cord, till the pulsing is over.
When it comes to placenta, we’re bringing a cooler.
We brought a book for her footsies, so ink up those tootsies.
And Kelly’s breasts are like the finest silk, no formula, no pacifier,
baby just gets mom’s milk.


We got through the first line of our birth plan, because the fit did ultimately hit the shan, and most of it didn't work out the way we thought it would...   Kelly and I made a lot of decisions based on the health of the baby during the process.  Here is a play by play as best as I can recall.

4:30 AM 10/24/12 Dave's iPhone begins vibrating madly and dies. (As in dead, can't turn it on, can't reset, phone dead.) Containing hospital instructions, things to remember to bring to the hospital.  It basically had everything I need to do when Kelly starts giving birth to Madeline...  so much for being prepared.

7:30 AM 10/24/12 Kelly's water breaks. (2 weeks early at 38 weeks)  Her water breaks but she is not in labor. Called the Doctor's office.

8:30 AM 10/24/12  Appointment at the Doctor's office.  They say, within a couple hours we should check in at the hospital.  At this point we are hoping that Kelly's labor starts.  The longer her water is broken, the greater the chance for infection.  She has a few mini contractions.  We tried all the tips and tricks, birthing ball, and this and that's.

Nice room.
10:30 AM 10/24/12  We get to the hospital, (and remember to bring everything).   Midwife shows up, we explore all options and decide that unless labor starts soon we need to induce because Kelly's cervix was checked and is still at 1.  My understanding is that to start pushing it needs to be at 10.  For dudes out there who don't know, the cervix has scale of "open-ness" from 1-10 and the scientific way they will check is to poke around in there with their fingers. ( Isn't this 2012? Why don't we have tri-corders like Star Trek yet?) They roll us to the room and we get settled in.  The room is actually really nice and the staff is thrilled to receive our poem birth plan.  Even if we're about to completely throw it out the window.  Let me take this moment to give props to Mercy Gilbert Hospital and the office of Dr Kells.  A+ in service, comfort, staff, and knowledge. Also our midwife Tiffany was super fabulous, smart, funny, cool, had a phenomenal bedside manner, and knew when and how to best step in and offer suggestions.
Weathering early labor.



1:00 PM 10/24/12  1 pill of Cytotec.  Labor starts.  It was early labor so we ended up watching RuPaul's Drag Race on my laptop.  Kelly is weathering early labor very well.

5:00 PM 10/24/12  2nd pill of Cytotec.  Labor goes into overdrive, but it's getting to be too much for Kelly to take.  Cytotec can make labor much more painful.  She endures it for a long while, but eventually decides to get an epidural.  This was one of the hardest times during the birthing process for me.  Kelly was in agony and the contractions were coming at her every couple minutes.  She was hanging on me.  Don't forget to cautiously say nice things to her during this time.  "You're doing great." or "I'm so proud of you".  Don't say anything stupid at this point.   Just as one contraction would let down the next would start.  I was glad she decided to get the Epidural, because she was getting so drained from the contractions and there was a LONG ways to go.

7:30 PM 10/24/12 Kelly's labor had to continue it's course while we waited for the Epidural.  Partly because the midwife wanted her to get to at least a cervix open-ness of 4.  Kelly did great during this whole process, she really gave it her all, and I feel that we made the right decisions along the way.  By the time the epidural arrived my wife was completely drained and enduring a LOT of pain at this point.  After the epidural things got easier, and harder.  I mean, anyone who's had one should know that you have a lot of little tubes and contraptions.  You can't feel your legs, so the nurses have to roll you around every couple hours.  It's pretty crappy, but at least the pain was gone.

8:00 PM 10/24/12 Up to this point the baby was looking fantastic as far as the heart beat and monitors go.  But then the baby's heartbeat slowed down.  Nurses rush in and roll Kelly to re-position the baby.    Since Kelly's lost a lot of water from her water bag, it's possible that there was less water in her and the baby weighed more, and was smushing her life-giving umbilical cord.  At any rate I start to get really scared, but the nurses get it sorted.

8:30 PM? 10/24/12 Not much later it happens again.  The babies heart beat slows really low.  Nurses rush in and re-position.  After her health restores,  I ask what if it happens again. She said we move her again.   She leaves. It happens again. I move Kelly.  (BAD MOVE)  Nurses don't like when you re-position a pregnant mommy that has a million tubes, an epidural in her back, and a baby inside her.  Let them take care of that.   They keep track of babies position, and plus there's a bunch of wires going into Kelly including the one in her back which could get badly messed up if she is moved incorrectly. WHOOPS. I get a firm 'talking to'  At any rate, everything was okay after that. (Cough Cough)  The nurses contact the midwife, who rushes to the hospital to spend the night there!  She slept there to closely monitor the situation. Naturally, after she arrived the baby's heart rate didn't  dip again.  At this point, I can't sleep.  No way, no how.  My eyes and ears are fixed to the monitors.  Another nurse eventually comes in and shows me how they are all monitoring all of the rooms closely and that they have this completely under control.  I still couldn't sleep.
I stared at this thing too much.

9:00 PM 10/24/12 The midwife advises Pitocin to help induce labor.  We agree, and the Pitocin kicks her labor into Phase 2... Kelly sleeps through most of the night.  The nurses slowly increase Pitocin.  I can see a noted difference in the contractions. They get smoother and hilly-er.

6:30 AM 10/24/12 Nurse checks Kelly's Cervix and it's at 10!  The midwife comes by and says it's now or never. Let's have a baby!  She asks the nurse to show Kelly how to do some practice pushes while she makes the rounds.  The nurse casually started making preparations   She then sauntered over to Kelly and asked me to hold one of Kelly's legs, the nurse held the other, and she said push like you're pooping.  That's something they don't always tell you, apparently when they say push it feels like you're pooping.  (And I heard it's normal that some ladies in fact DO poop.  My wife was relieved that she did not, but if you do it's no big deal to the nurses.)  I guess that the fear ladies have of actually pooping sometimes makes the labor go way longer.  So ladies, make like you're pooping and lay caution to the wind.  At any rate on her first PRACTICE PUSH the babies head comes out a little bit!   The nurse hurriedly makes more preparations, but grabs her phone and calls the midwife back.  It really took not longer than 16-20 pushes to get the baby out.  The midwife was fantastic and when the babies head came out, she told Kelly WAIT, and then like a ninja she unwrapped the cord which very quickly had gotten tight around the babies neck. 


6:45 AM 10/24/12 Madeline was born.  The moment she emerged I was completely overwhelmed. Speechless, literally speechless.  Frozen, jaw dropped.    It was surreal to see her little face, arms, legs.  Here's a person, a whole new person.  I remember thinking, "She has a face, I don't know that face, this is so weird."  I am overjoyed.  I am completely beside myself.  I am frozen.  I am completely useless to speak or do anything.  It is such an emotionally over-driven experience that I think I may have had a momentary out-of-body experience.  The nurses and midwife worked with speed and precision during the delivery.  It was like one of those super-fancy restaurants where the work is like a choreographed dance.  Thankfully they were so good because I was completely useless.  Even if I did manage to cut the cord, with excellent direction from the midwife, and after it stopped pulsing.  Dudes, the cord takes a couple snips cause it's kind of rubbery.. or rather like the toughness of cooked Octopus.  Just FYI.  Okay this is all blurry but I think this is how it transpired after that...

Right after she was born they gave Madeline to Kelly, and she rested the little baby on her chest and held her.  They sucked some fluids from Madeline's nose, and whatnot, made sure the baby was breathing.  Madeline was a little choked up too, but crying and breathing fine, so the nurses left the room so that Kelly could have a moment with the baby and try to breast feed her.  Madeline was born with a lot of hair.  She was pink.  They said she might be blue or white or other colors, but she was normal and pink. Not all covered in blood or anything.

A bit later the nurses came back in, and brought the baby to a little heat lamp area in our room.  I went with and observed.  They gave her a thorough inspection, counting fingers and toes.  Weighed her, measured her, and gave her two shots. Vitamin K, and Hepatitis B. Baby cried only for a moment.  She really didn't cry all that much and was calm and alert.  She had a full head of sandy blond or red hair, weighed 6 lbs 8 oz, and measured 21.5 inches from crown to toes.

I thank a higher power that everything worked out so well in the end.   But even more I thank my wife for being both strong and flexible during possibly the longest 24 hrs of our lives.






Friday, October 26, 2012

Madeline Celia Levy

We are happy to report that yesterday morning (October 25th 2012) a healthy Madeline Celia Levy was born to Kelly Levy and David Levy (AKA Dave Strand). She weighed in at 6 1/2 lbs, 20.25 inches, pink flesh and a full head of sandy blonde hair! Both of us are so very thankful to see our little girl enter this world. She is very healthy and we are now at home adjusting to this new life! (ALSO, Dave's iPhone completely died so no calls will come through there. This is so taxing, so we will be checking-out for a while to concentrate and create good times.) For those attending Nightmare on Main Street Kelly encouraged Dave to still play the show, so he is going to be rushed there to perform a set and then rushed on back to the baby! Here's a picture of her at day 1.5 after we got her home. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Natural Birth Funny Birth Plan Poem

David and Kelly Birthing Plan for Mercy Gilbert Hospital 10/7/2012 

We understand, if the fit hits the shan
we might need an altered plan.
But if we have it our way,
unnecessary people should be turned away.
There’s Tiffany the Midwife and daddy Dave,
Kelly’s the mom and the Nurses can stay.
Kelly prefers no IV, we’re shooting for drug free.
She prefers to run wild and roam free,
so please monitor intermittently.
Hot tub? birthing ball? dim the lights? and cue the song?
(Dave says “C’mon this sounds like an MTV hip hop song.”)
Kelly might push and Kelly might scream,
while Dad’s on camera, calm and serene.
Don’t cut the cord, till the pulsing is over.
When it comes to placenta, we’re bringing a cooler.
We brought a book for her footsies, so ink up those tootsies.
And Kelly’s breasts are like the finest silk,
no formula, no pacifier, baby just gets mom’s milk.