Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Birthday!

After a long night of labor and a long morning of pushing, Nicole gave birth at 11:15am here in Chicago. We have a healthy, beautiful, 8lb 150z baby girl (who is a shade of purple and has a cone head, but cute nonetheless). Welcome to the world Evangeline Marie Gustafson Kennedy!

We're exhausted right now, but sometime soon we'll post pictures here and at her own website: Evie is my new favorite baby, Nicole is my new favorite super hero.
Progress continues on pace. Nicole is now 8cm, and her "water" may have broken. She is doing an excellent job at breathing through the pain and then taking advantage of the brief breaks to relax and recoup. I am so impressed with how well she is taking care of herself.
This whole thing is so unpredictable. We’ve now made some good progress dialating to almost 6cm. Nicole is still uncomfortable, but managed to get a minute here and a minute there of near sleep. So far she has not taken any pain meds.

One of the remaining challenges is that the nurses have enough concern that they want to keep the heart rate monitor on the baby, so Nicole is bound to the bed right now. She thinks she might prefer to walk around, but that is not an option at this point.
We are admitted to the hospital. So far the experience has not gone very well. Nicole's contractions are extremely uncomfortable. She has not dialated very much at all (just 2cm), so we have a long labor ahead. Its been a difficult night. It doesn't help that we she is already exhausted. Far from ideal.

Priority number one has been and always will be the safety and health of the baby, but it is hard not to be concerned for Nicole's comfort. I don't doubt the staff here is doing their best for the baby, but bedside manner for mothers here at SCH is lacking...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Is this it?

We're about to head out. The nurses have now advised us to come in to the hospital. Nicole is experiencing some more significant pain and is not really able to talk through her contractions now. If we are admitted, I'll do my best to keep everyone posted via the blog (depending on my ability to access the internet).

Everyone's thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated.
We spent most of our day just hanging around the house (a 2-minute drive from the hospital) and we had contractions all over the map from 7 to 18 minutes apart. Tonight when we went out for errands and dinner, we found ourselves bogged down in traffic and it was only then we ended up with some contractions as close as five minutes. We speculated some cruel fate was taunting us by waiting till we got away from the hospital before they picked up, but they slowed down again to back around 8-12 minutes.

Well, for the last hour we're consistently back at five minutes apart. Our tenative plan is to see if it remains this way for another hour or two (unless they get 3-4 minutes regular). If this keeps up, when 11pm rolls around we'll start thinking seriously about heading over to L&D. We're staying very conservative right now since we got burned last time, but things are looking pretty good.
Quick update, so no one assumes we're in the hospital yet. I'm still having the contractions, and they are kind of strong, but unpredictable in their timing. I'm having them anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes apart.
We went out for some errands and to grab dinner. We tried Pollo Campero and it was awesome.
OK, we've been holding steady at around 7 minutes apart for over 3 hours. I'm ready for things to pick up if they're going to! Matt's here with me and we're going to go out for a walk to Starbucks for treats. Maybe by going for a walk, gravity will work in my favor! Even if not, I'll enjoy having a muffin!

Here we go again?

I was up all night with contractions again, but I am not yet getting my hopes up. As of right now they are about 7 minutes apart consistently, which sounds promising, but then again that's where I was Monday night! I'll post later when I know more about whether this is the real thing or another fake...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To be continued...

It looks like we've been tricked! I think it's possible that what I've been experiencing is "false labor." We're going to hold off on the blogging until we're more sure that it is the real deal. Thanks to everyone who was curious and cared enough to check up on us! Hopefully we'll have some more exciting news sometime in the near future.
The latest news is...still no news! I still have contractions, but they're not getting closer together or more intense. So, sorry this update is lame, but I just wanted to make sure no one thinks we're in the hospital.

Right now Matt is giving my belly a "pep talk" and telling the baby to come out. I'm no doctor, but I don't think it will work!

I'm gonna take a nap for a little while. Believe me, we'll let you know if something happens.
So yesterday the doctor said she would expect to see us back at the hospital in 12-24 hours, and we're now coming up on 24 without any signs that its time. At this point, its becoming difficult not to be frustrated. Contractions remain far apart but are slightly more pronounced. Since there is little identifiable patern to this whole thing we've kind of given up on making predictions. It now becomes a test of patience. There is no predicting whether it'll happen in an hour or if it'll take another 24. The greatest challenge is to simply remain content without letting excitement or despondency dictate our attitude.

As always, we'll let you know if anything happens.
I can't ever remember waking up in the morning and saying, "dang it! We didn't end up in the hospital last night!" Yet, here I am thinking that exact thought. No news to report through the night. Nicole did seem to get some sleep (and she's still sleeping now).

I have to admit, yesterday when we went to the Dr. we packed up our hospital bag convinced we'd have the baby by now. Maybe the anticipation got the better of us. Oh well, rookie mistake.

Monday, November 12, 2007

It looks like November 12th will come to a close without us going to the hospital.I'm going to head to bed to try to get some rest soon. Maybe the morning will bring some more interesting developments! Thanks to everyone for the encouraging comments!
Now more like 12 minutes rather than 7... argh. Sorry to keep jerking everyone around, but if you're bored--imagine how we feel!
Our friend Devyn is here helping us pass the time with a game of Scrabble. I had a 68 point word that secured the win ("Quart" with a double letter under the 'Q' and a double word score)!

Nicole's contractions are ranging from 7-12 minutes apart. Not significantly progressed from a couple hours ago. She's doing very well.
A glimmer of hope! But just a glimmer--I'm not going to get my hopes up just yet. The contractions started up again and they're starting to be consistent at 7 minutes apart. But, I'm sure we still have a while to wait...

The sun is setting here in Chicago and there is little new to report. Contractions are remaining far apart and underwhelming. It feels a little like we’re being “teased”. Last night we had a hard time sleeping with the anticipation. For me, I have to confess that I was pretty nervous last night, but all day today we’ve been surprised at how we haven’t been nervous, only excited. These last few hours without much progress have not disheartened us, but it has been frustrating. We remain anxious.

It’s been an unseasonably warm day, highs near 65 degrees. I’m fortunate that church has given me the next two Sundays off and I’ve been able to work ahead on some of my schoolwork, thus this week is mostly free from obligation outside of the baby. For as “big” of this day is to be, it has been relaxing. We’ve taken this “free” afternoon to rest up and finish a few chores. The task of the evening will likely be to continue to relax, as we don’t know what this night will bring.

Well, I had really hoped this blog would be more "action packed" with lots of updates of things moving along very quickly! But, unfortunately for me, they aren't. I'm still at home napping on and off and having contractions far apart. I'm going to make some cookies to pass the time. I wish the proverbial bun was coming out of the proverbial oven, but I guess the cookies will have to do for now.

Back Home

Contractions are still steady, coming at about every 10-15 minutes (not enough to keep me at the hospital). No big news from the doc--she thinks I'll probably be ready to head back in about 12-24 hours. For now, I'm just chillin' at home on my own couch or in my own bed! Oh, and I had an amazing lunch at Charcoal Delight on my way home from Swedish Covenant Hospital. A Delight indeed!
We're about to head out the door for Nicole's appointment. Stay tuned for the Docs assessment! Here is Nicole and her belly as of this morning...
Nicole already had an appointment with her Doctor scheduled for 11am, so we plan to go in for that. It may be that if they determine this is the real thing, she'll be admitted. So we're just sitting tight for now. Contractions are still coming...
Nicole (maybe) felt her first contraction Sunday night. About 5am this morning they started happening with more regularity. We're still at home just waiting things out, seeing how quickly they'll move along. We're anticipating this to be it. Nicole is calling her doctor right now to give her an update.