We are so in love with our daughter. There are so many things to love!

We love her adorable face, with daddy’s head shape and eyes and my nose and lips, with skin more like daddy’s and hair a mix of the blond he had at birth and the strawberry brown that I had, with this adorable round torso and my long strong legs.

We love her smell and the sounds she makes when she is sleeping or making an effort to get to something (usually food).

We love the way she looks around quietly when she is awake, sharing at the lights or the window or the edge of the dark curtains on the white wall.

We love taking care of her, learning more every day about how to meet her needs and make her comfortable, watching her grow and change even in these early days which are all about sleep time, feeding, and just a little bit of alert time.

We love the way she smiles already, not only in her sleep but also sometimes with her eyes open, signaling she is feeling content and well.

In short, we love her and everything she brings to our very lucky family.

Our daughter is here!

Our daughter was born on Jan 9 at 3:21 am. She weighed 6 lbs 12 oz and was 20 inches long.

The labor was eventful and I’ll post a full labor story when I have time. The short version begins with me being in early labor before the induction which started at noon on Wednesday. I was given 2 doses of cytotec to get me ready for pitocin, and then I was well into active labor by the end of the 2nd (4 hour) dose. Though I was only 3 cm, labor was progressing so well we never used the pitocin! By 1 am Thursday I was fully dilated. I pushed from 2 am and she was born vaginally with vacuum assistance at 3:21 am.

She’s now 9 days old and the time has flown by! Some days have been calm and others more stressful, but w are thankful for each one of them!

I’ll post more pics once I download the ones from the camera. For now, here’s one at about a week old.

I will meet my baby in a day or two!

After my appointment on Monday Hubby and I did some more research on Gestational Hypertension (GH), trying to find out more about the risks for mother and baby and the reasons why doctors would deliver you early because of it. It was easy to find that it is definitely standard practice, but most of the time was not accompanied with much in the way of compelling details as to why this would be better than regular monitoring and induction only if things got worse, which seemed to us to be a logical approach for mild hypertension.

But then we found a thorough study out of the Netherlands called the Hypistat study, which compared induction vs expectant monitoring for mild GH and pre-eclampsia. Surprisingly, it showed that those who got induced not only had lower rates of maternal complications, but also had lower rates of c-sections! Apparently if you have even mild GH and it has time to progress, your body may not be able to handle labor as well, so you are more likely to need an emergency c-section than if you get induced before the GH gets worse or develops into pre-eclampsia. Since fear that it would end in c-section was probably our biggest reason for reluctance to induce, finding this info really called me down.

So on Friday I went in for an ultrasound and everything checked out fine – baby’s fluid levels and movement were normal. Then I went in to the doctor for another check up. My BP was as high as the high ones the week before. I was a little bummed as I guess I’d been going against reason that it would just drop on its own. But the doctor said it was good that it hadn’t risen further.

Then they checked my cervix to see if I was progressing at all on my own. I should mention that while I’ve been uncomfortable for weeks, with cramps and Braxton Hicks contractions, lower back pain, and lots of pressure on my pelvis from baby, I had noticed on Friday a distinct increase in the pressure and the sensation that there really was a baby’s head in my pelvis!

So I was glad to hear that the discomfort had been productive – I was dilated 1/2 cm, 50% effaced, and baby was at -2 station.

I talked through more of the induction process with the doctor. We are scheduled to be at the hospital at 8 am tomorrow, and he said it usually takes about 24 hours from admittance so the baby will most likely be delivered on Thursday, when he is in.

That night Hubby and I talked through it further, and decided that we agree that it is best to go forward with the induction. Since then we have been relaxing and doing final preparation. Today we are so excited, it’s like being a kid the day before Christmas! We will meet our little girl by the end of the week!

38 weeks & gestational hypertension

So at my second appt last week my BP was high again at about 140/80, and the doctor diagnosed gestational hypertension. The basic urine tests were coming back normal but because of the hypertension they requested a 24 test to rule out pre-eclampsia. The results came back as normal – Phew.

That appointment Thursday wasn’t with my regular doctor, so I had a follow up Monday with my OB. We knew that since the results from the prior Thursday confirmed hypertension, he would want to induce before my due date.

Since we have been preparing and hoping for a natural birth, we aren’t taking the decision to induce lightly. Induction usually means constant monitoring instead of intermittent, which means less ability to move around and use some of the natural pain management techniques that we practiced. It also means they give you pitocin, which is a synthetic form of oxytocin and can cause contractions to be stronger and more frequent.

Hubby was working so he joined us on speakerphone to talk through the risks and benefits. The Dr said that gestational hypertension often gets worse and can change quickly, which is why they recommend induction. The primary concern for the baby is related to the placenta and cord providing nourishment properly with the increased pressure on the blood vessels.

At the appointment Monday my bp was slightly better, so the doctor agreed to push the induction/delivery from Sat (today!) to the following Thursday, which is the day before my LMP-based due date of Jan 10 (I’ve been going by my ovulation-based due date of Jan 13 for my posts here).

So I left the appointment on Monday with another appt and an ultrasound scheduled for Friday, still feeling a little unsure, but glad that we’d gotten a bit more time before an induction.

Next post I’ll tell you how the Friday appointments went. Right now, this pregnant mama needs a nap!