28 December 2010

A Week Later

Our first Christmas with Lyla was better than I hoped. I didn't have high expectations, what with the lack of sleep and how young she still is. She handled two days of being passed around, poked and prodded pretty well. She did better with one family than another; I'm not telling which one. She gave me her own Christmas gift by sleeping 5 1/2 hours in a row on Christmas morning. I woke up in between there but was able to go right back to sleep- it was amazing. I had some engorgement pain as well as the nipple pain but it was manageable.

It's been a week since the frenotomy and though we still have some kinks to iron out, I have to admit we are doing much better than we were before. Nursing on Christmas Day was much better than it had been the two days before. I've had two appointments with a really great lactation consultant in the past week. These really helped give me a better sense of a good latch and we're improving (slowly but surely). We watched Lyla discover her tongue this week, she's sticking it out and using it to nurse in ways she couldn't before. I think it's a combo of #1- practice, #2- Lyla getting older and better at it, and #3- dedication. (And less pain soon please, that would help).
Plus, I've been to my ob/gyn and turns out I have a yeast infection in my left nipple, which is probably causing more pain than a shallow latch now. Yeast or thrush is pretty common in young babies and nursing moms can pass it back and forth between themselves and baby. Usually the baby gives it to the mother, but I'm the one that has it. Lyla has no symptoms but we're both being treated so it doesn't become an endless cycle. I have a week of antibiotics and she has two; the hardest part is giving hers four times a day. She loves her vitamin D drops, but of course she hates these!
The big news is that Lyla has really started smiling.
On Christmas Day my Mom had her smiling and cooing for quite a while.
Watching that was the very best part of my day. She has continued smiling too, I can coax half and full smiles out of her pretty easily.

Her routine is becoming more defined, this is roughly what our day looks like:

3:00 AM- 1st or 2nd diaper change/feeding, depending on how good of a night it is

6:30 or 7:00AM- another diaper change/feeding. At this point she won't go back to sleep so we are up for the day
7:30-7:45ish- play time on her mat in the living room while I make my breakfast
7:45-9:30AM- breakfast sometimes involves holding Lyla who doesn't want to be put down, a little tummy time and bouncing on the exercise ball. Another diaper change/feeding somewhere in there

9:00-10:00AM- sometime in here she usually takes a little cat nap that gives me just enough time to shower and dress. I heavily encourage this.

10:00-11:30AM- errands or doctor's appointments have been filling this time so far. Two errands in a row is about her limit. We've been to Target, Trader Joe's, and the mall, and the only meltdown occurred in the mall.

between 11:00AM and 12:00PM- diaper change/feeding; a little cuddle time and then a swaddle and into the swing. She'll look around for a little while and then fall asleep
12:00PM-2:30PM- on a smooth day she sleeps and I get to have lunch and work on a few things. Not every day is smooth but she's been doing this more often than not

2:30 or 3:00PM- Lyla wakes up, diaper change/feeding

3:00PM-5:30PM- This is probably her most volatile time, the dreaded evening when an infant is most fussy. Some days she's lovely all the way through, other days she is more inconsolable. She lays on the play mat, sits in the swing, I rock her or bounce on the ball and sing songs

5:00PM-5:30PM- diaper change/feeding

5:30PM-6:00PM- Ray comes home from work and takes Lyla for a bit while I make dinner. Sometimes we are able to eat together and watch some TV, other times she is fussy and one must rock her while the other eats. As she grows we have more of the former than the latter.

Some days she falls asleep in the evening around 6:30PM or 7:00PM and does not wake again to eat until 3:00AM! Others she will eat again around 8:00PM and I go to bed after. Others she will wake up in the 11:00PM-12:00AM range to eat.

Around 3:00AM, we start all over again!

22 December 2010

Tongue Tied

Nursing is one of the hardest things a woman can do- with or without obstacles. We've had our share of those around here lately.


Before Lyla I didn't understand why many women give up on nursing. Sure it's demanding but it's better nutrition for a baby than formula (as well as cheaper, more convenient, etc). Shame on me for feeling this scorn; there are elements to nursing that can easily be too much for a woman. Even I, who have passionately committed myself to nursing my kids, have contemplated giving it up in the last few days. Let me explain~

Every nurse and doctor who has seen Lyla has commented on her tongue. She was born with a congenital anomaly known as ankyloglossia or tongue tie. Basically the membrane connecting the tongue to the bottom of her mouth (called the frenulum) was unusually short and thick- her tongue pretty much tethered down. 2 in every 100 children are born with this. It can stretch itself out in time but also affect speech, oral hygiene, and breastfeeding. Nursing seemed to be going well in the hospital and after, so it seemed reasonable to leave it alone.

Last week I realized something was really wrong. They tell you nursing can hurt at the beginning before your nipples toughen up, so I thought that any pain I was feeling was normal and would go away. But that pain should only occur at the beginning during letdown; I was having pain all the way through, especially on my left side. It was increasing every day to the point where I was wincing, bracing, even crying. Not normal. Last Friday morning I was in so much pain (and no end in sight- I have to feed her) that I was seriously considering quitting and switching to formula.

I scoured books and the internet for information and I was brought back to the tongue tie, the short frenulum. When Lyla opened her mouth you could see how short it was, and she couldn't stick out her tongue at all. The tongue is very important in the nursing process and she couldn't use it. Basically she was biting down, gumming my nipple in order to eat. She was getting food and gaining weight, but was hurting me a lot in the process.

The solution: a frenotomy, an in-office procedure performed by a pediatric ENT to clip the frenulum and allow her tongue proper movement. It's a pretty common procedure; the nurse practitioner who assisted told us they do at least one per week in that office alone. Lyla was given a bit of sugar water and some numbing medicine before the clip and was able to nurse immediately after. Successful procedure, excellent. And I thought things would immediately be perfect- no more pain and she'd know exactly what to do right away. I'll blame this silly notion on sleep deprivation. I have enough nipple damage that it couldn't be pain-free immediately. And my infant has a new muscle in her mouth that she needs to learn to use! We saw a wonderful lactation consultant yesterday to help both of us- some tongue exercises for Lyla to learn how to use it, and help for me to properly position her and also to relax myself.

Today things are a little better. I can tell when she is positioned correctly and sucking as opposed to gumming, and she's becoming more familiar with her tongue and its role in helping her eat. If she doesn't latch properly, I take her off and try again. I'm trying to relax more, and while my left side is still sore its not getting worse each time and its more bareable now that she's not biting me all the time. Hopefully it's healing and will continue to do so.

I've heard there are women with tongue-tied babies who elect not to have a frenotomy and nurse through the pain. I have to say from my perspective that it was totally worth it, for both of us.

18 December 2010

One Month Old!

Lyla is 4 weeks old today. It's hard to imagine it's been a month since she was born. It seems like yesterday- and also a thousand years ago.

She has already changed so much in four short weeks- she's getting plump and a little less of a baby blob. A little less waking time is spent crying, and a little more being quietly alert. Every morning after a diaper change and nursing, she spends a little time on her play mat while I make some breakfast.

Mostly she watches the lights and listens to the music, but she did reach for the rattle one time!

She loves to fall asleep on our chests, especially after eating.

2 weeks ago Lyla HATED having her diaper changed. She hated having her clothes changed even more. Now she doesn't mind; she loves to stare at the black and white photograph hanging over the changing table.

She can even bit a bit of a ham first thing in the morning before her first diaper change.

In the 'morning' (relative term= last wake-up before daytime begins for us):
This face says "Oh hi, you're up too!"

She can even sit in her Bumbo seat! She holds up her head for a few moments before slumping over, but it supports her pretty well.

And just recently we discovered my nursing pillow makes a nice seat for her too.


09 December 2010


The Mad Hatter

They don't tell you how rocky the first month is with an infant. Plenty is said and written about labor and delivery, but info on surviving the first few weeks is painfully slim. I argue strongly that it's much much harder than giving birth, an extremely short period of time in comparison.

The way to survive seems to be to plow through, keep your heads above water and try to see how much has improved in that time.

On this side of two weeks, I still struggle a lot to get through the day. But we have improved on a lot of things since Lyla was born:

1. Nursing is easier. Our start was more difficult from the C-section, but her and my instincts were good and we improved quickly. We'll keep tweaking things for a little while- I've recently started flipping her on her side so she can control the flow better- but we're in a good spot.

2. Lyla's night sleep schedule fluctuates from 2-4 feedings. Last night for example we did 11:00pm, 2:30pm, 5:30pm, and 8:00am. Yesterday she went back to sleep after a 6:00am meal, today she did not. Last week she had two nights in a row of waking just twice and that was awesome. I wish it had stuck, but it should someday.

3. She fusses most first thing in the morning and around dinnertime. Bouncing around and pounding on the back helps. For some reason her immature digestive system gives her more trouble at these times.

4. She still doesn't love tummy time, but she can lift her head 45 degrees which is excellent, what we'd hope she could do by 1 month.

4. Lyla has had some big spit-up/vomit sessions, and while it's normal for babies to spit up this was a little excessive. The symptoms she shows- gulping and sputtering at the beginning of a feeding, coughin while eating, gassy burps- point to an oversupply of milk. I'm not surprised from all the pumping the nurses had me do in the hospital. Changing her position, as I mentioned above, has really helped with this issue.

5. She's starting to show glimmers of social development- holding your gaze, watching toys and her mobile, involuntary smiles, a few coos here and there. These moments are the best.

05 December 2010


Getting 4-5 hours a night right now. Last night I got 7, maybe a bit more. This required going to bed at 7:00pm, but I got it. I could handle most anything if I got that much sleep every night. I think I'll need it every few days to keep my sanity and my cool while Lyla cries inexplicably for long periods of time.

04 December 2010

12 Days Postpartum

You may not believe me but I really don't care how quickly my body goes back to normal. I promise.

However, while I was pregnant I did wonder what it would be like to not be pregnant again- what would change first and how fast, what permanent changes there might be and how I'd feel physically. Well, here I am on Thursday, almost two weeks postpartum:

I'm back in a lot of my regular clothes, although right now just jammie pants and sweats for comfort. High waisted is preferred because of my incision. I won't be wearing jeans for a few more weeks! My tummy still has a gelatinous quality to it but it's shrinking. Nursing assists a lot with that!

Physically the hardest thing is sleep deprivation. I've never been one to go with little sleep so this is tough. But I can sleep on my back again! I've gotten so used to sleeping on my sides that I've continued until last night and it felt so good! I was a tummy sleeper too but I won't try that until I heal more.

I can't resume my regular work out routine for another 4 weeks, so I'll post another picture then to see where I'm at.

02 December 2010

12 Days Old

Lyla sleeps for a good part of the day, rousing to eat every 2-4 hours. Some nights she sleeps more, sometimes less. Two nights ago not much and I was delirious yesterday; last night she slept more and I feel pretty good. With a bit of sleep I feel like I can do anything.
She doesn't love tummy time, but she does try to lift her head well. She also practices when I hold her on my shoulder. Daddy likes to practice in the evening, and I caught this teeny smile yesterday morning.
Lyla doesn't like being changed and almost always cries. Singing to her helps.
She does like her carrier since it keeps her close to my body heat and heart beat. She took a nice nap in the infant insert after I took her out of it the other day.
Lyla had the hiccups a lot when I was pregnant, and still does now. She seems used to it, doesn't mind at all.
For 24 hours, you spit up after each feeding and sometimes in between too. Emergency laundry had to be done, and I couldn't seem to catch it before it soiled her. I wish she could just spit up on me since I don't mind changing like she does. It has subsided and we are working on burping better to help avoid it. All babies spit up but I'm hoping she won't always do it so much.

I've tried nursing lying down (so we could both nap) but it only worked once, on my left side. We will keep trying. I have fed her in the football position we prefer than laid down after. That is nice.
I typed this entire post with one hand- Lyla is swaddled and sleeping in my other.

30 November 2010

Lyla's Birth Story

Friday, November 19th~
The day started normally. The weather was poor so I went to the mall to walk around and complete my Christmas shopping. After lunch I started feeling pretty crummy- almost flu-like, hot and cold. I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions on and off for several weeks and none were stronger that day. I felt like something was off, and I hadn't felt a lot of movement that day. I laid down to do some kick counts, but any movement I felt was small and I couldn't distinguish between what might be her or just intestinal disturbance. I called my doctor to check in; she said to continue counting, drink something sweet and wait a second hour before coming by the hospital for a nonstress test. Monitoring heart rate and movement, they are fairly common and a good way to evaluate a baby's condition at the end of pregnancy.

By evening when Ray came home, I was still not 100% sure but thought I was probably paranoid- she had been very active a few days before so the change was probably worrying me. We ate dinner and were watching TV, but by 7:30 I decided not to ignore my doubts no matter how silly they seemed. I called Labor & Delivery and we drove to the hospital for the nonstress test. I insisted we take our hospital bags and the carseat just in case.
The nurses hooked me up with a monitor for her heart beat and another for my contractions, then left us in the room for the hour the test would take. Partway through they returned and one of them said "you may have just bought yourself a ticket to Sequoia (Hospital).": I was having 5-6 mild contractions in a row, less than a minute apart. Every time I had one of these very mild, early labor contractions, Lyla's heart rate would drop. Normal contractions at the beginning of labor should have a much longer break in between. Because they were so close together, she wasn't getting enough oxygen and the break she needed in between. They'd spoken to Dr. R (my OB) and she wanted to admit me and induce labor so Lyla's condition could be monitored.
Ray and I were really surprised- we figured we'd just make a silly trip to the hospital and be back home that night. Seeing her heart rate drop made it an easy decision to follow my doctor's orders, despite my fears about induction. At 11:30 pm, they checked me in and took me to a labor and delivery room while Ray went home to collect the rest of our things.
I was 3cm dilated and 50% effaced upon entering the hospital. Dr. R knew my wish to have a natural birth and my fear of the drugs, so we started by giving me the lowest dose of pitocin possible. Two nurses put in an IV as well as the external monitors I had been wearing before.

The IV and monitors made movement very difficult, especially going to the bathroom because they were on opposite sides of the bed. I also had to lay in one particular position so her heart beat would register on the monitor.
I wasn't on the pitocin for very long because Lyla didn't react well to it; the contractions were only a little stronger but her heart rate dropped more. They turned off the pitocin for a few hours, put it back on once more in the middle of the night before turning it off for good.


Saturday, November 20th~
At 8:00am Dr. R arrived and first mentioned the possibility of a C-section. I was distressed by the idea, couldn't believe that I was in the position that I'd feared. I wasn't in active labor yet, and Lyla was already showing stress. Dr. R felt that we could try for a vaginal birth a bit longer, but to be prepared that it might not be possible, for Lyla's sake.
Then she broke my water (very little amniotic fluid left, though no sign of meconium which was good) and inserted internal fetal and contraction monitors for better readings. At this time we also decided that I would get an epidural; with the real possibility of C-section, this was the better option. If I didn't get one, I'd receive general anesthesia at the last minute, which is much worse for Lyla. Plus I'd be out and groggy for her first few hours of life. So hands down, give me the epidural!

~Between the breaking of my water and getting the epidural was horrible- it wasn't more than 90 minutes, but the contractions were much stronger and I was chained to the bed in one position, so all I could do was writhe and howl with the pain. I couldn't relax the tension, which only made it feel worse. I felt weak, that I was barely having active labor and couldn't handle the pain. Maybe it would have been better if I could move.~
The anesthesiologist came in at 9:30am and gave the epidural, which wasn't as bad as I expected. The preparation was worse than the shot itself. When it took effect I felt much better, was able to relax and rest for a while after a sleepless night and painful morning. With the epidural comes a catheter, which on the one hand is gross but on the other- no more peeing a million times an hour, woo hoo!
Ray and I watched TV for a while while they continued to monitor us.

At 11:00am Dr. R returned and said she would like to do a C-section now; Lyla wasn't any better and while she wasn't in danger now, I'd be in labor for a vaginal birth at least another 6 hours and we still might need to do a C-section then- and she may not be in such good condition. I felt sad to lose that whole experience, but it wasn't worth the risk and we agreed. My nurse began prepping me for the surgery. She had to shave a bit down there, a cap for me and a full suit for Ray, removing all the monitors I had. A few other things too that I can't remember, I was feeling anxious and trying my best to remain calm.

Suddenly there were 7 or 8 nurses and doctors around me, pulling me in different directions, lifting me on to another gurney and quickly wheeling me down the hall. None of them addressed me, just lots of hurried commands and checks back and forth to each other.
What Ray knew and I didn't was that her heart rate had plummeted suddenly- very low, scary low. Our procedure had become emergency. In the OR, two unknown doctors told me that she was looking good (she recovered from the drop) and would be out shortly. They said this in a reassuring way I noticed but didn't understand since I didn't know what had happened.
I was scared then, being in the OR was pretty scary- I knew I was about to be cut open. And I was alone, Ray had to stay outside until they were ready to let him in. This all happened in probably 6 or 7 minutes. The whole blue curtain thing was set up, with my arms outstretched and the anesthesiologist behind me, and when Ray came in he held my right hand. I remember feeling no pain, just the pulling and stretching of my tummy as they opened me up.

Ray was amazing and outwardly calm and reassuring; I remained fearful until they got her out. He left me to see and cut the cord, and when he came back he was crying and said over and over how beautiful she was. (I've seen him cry once before so it was powerful to see.) They laid her on my chest wrapped in a blanket and we were nose to nose. I've never been so afraid, then had it melt away so completely.

It was such an amazing moment- nothing like what I imagined, but it was our amazing moment and we weren't robbed of that. I was sad when they had to take her away; she and Ray went to the nursery to be checked out while they stitched me up. It seemed to take forever because I was so anxious to see her again and really hold her. When the doctors were done I was taken to a recovery room where I had to stay for an hour for monitoring. There Ray brought Lyla to me, and the previous events no longer mattered. We were together, as a family, and we were all well.


My recovery surprised the nurses throughout our stay. Lyla was brought to me about 45 minutes after birth and I was able to hold her and attempt nursing. We did pretty well our first try, considering how impaired my movement was. We were finally taken to the postpartum room that was our home for the next 4 1/2 days, and my parents and brother Chris were there to see us. Ray's parents came later in the day.
Lyla stayed in the room with us the entire stay, save for getting tests done and an hour or two sleeping in the nursery so I could nap. Nursing was tough at the beginning because I couldn't move well right after the surgery. The first night was really difficult; my mom stayed with me and her knowledge helped so much, but I couldn't get out of bed or get in the proper position to nurse so it was awkward. But we made it through. The rest of the nights Ray stayed with me, and each day and night we got better and better.
Learning to use a breast pump in the hospital helped a lot with my milk production; it came in pretty quickly and thus far I've had no engorgement. It's funny looking back on the first nights when I was desperately trying to pump 10 mL of breastmilk in 20 minutes. Our first night home I pumped 44 mL in less than 10 minutes- what a difference! My body is adapting to being up several times a night too. The first two nights were painful but I'm getting used to it, and a short nap here and there during the day helps.

Recovering from the C-section is a pain, although I'm healing well. The IV and catheter were removed Monday and I was able to eat solid foods midday Sunday. Slowly I moved more and more during my stay. Now, I'm still on one of my pain medications, Motrin. I've stopped taking the narcotic Percocet because it made me incredibly constipated and I don't desperately need it. I am careful getting up and sitting down because I've strained myself a few times. I can't drive for 2 weeks because of the Percocet, as well as the danger of any quick twisting and turning. That's annoying, I need rides to the doctor and won't be going to the grocery store myself until then. I have my first postpartum check-up tomorrow; I'm hoping I might be given the go ahead to drive earlier since I've stopped taking the narcotic, but we'll see.
So that's it, that's our story! I'm very thankful we listened to my intuition and went to the hospital that night. In the end it doesn't matter what your plan is and how you pictured your labor experience. For us, Lyla's plan was very different from mine. The only thing that matters is a healthy baby.

28 November 2010

Lyla is 8 days old today

Ray returns to work tomorrow so we shall be on our own for the first time. I'm excited but a little more terrified! I'm sure we'll be fine, and heworks very close by in case we need anything.
Birth story to come tomorrow I hope!

25 November 2010

She's here, she's finally here!

A quick post to say that our baby girl is finally here with us.

Lyla Grace Carroll arrived on Saturday, November 20th, at 12:05pm. She weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces at birth and measured 18 inches.

She was delivered by emergency C-section due to fetal distress- she didn't tolerate early labor, let alone active, transition, or pushing.
Not the start we were planning on, but she's here safe, sound and doing well.

And she's beautiful. So very beautiful. Tiny and sweet and precious. All the nurses in the hospital adored her, and I can't help some disbelief every now and then that we created such a perfect little human.

We were discharged from the hospital yesterday so this is our first morning at home. I'm snagging a miraculous 10 minutes to post this and will likely be absent for some days as we get to know each other more and some semblance of a routine begins to form. However, when I do return I will share her birth story and more. For now:
  • Nursing is going well despite a rocky start for both of us, due in part to the C-section which impaired my movement in the beginning. We've both learned and improved a lot now and my milk has come in, so she's eating well.

  • I'm adjusting to the lack of sleep- the first night was very difficult but my body is adapting to being awakened throughout the night.

  • We've been home less than 24 hours and already had to do a load of laundry due to a few diaper accidents.

  • 'Getting back in shape' is the 735,875th thing on my mind right now, but I'm amazed at how much my reflection has changed in the past few days- more like my old self than I would have thought. All this nursing is leaching calories out of me and into her.

  • Lactation and L&D nurses are wonderful people, just about everyone we met at Sequoia was extremely kind and helpful.
  • It's really true- this is a kind of love that you've never experienced before, and it's stronger than anything too.
Happy Thanksgiving! See you soon~

18 November 2010

40 Weeks

Posting a day late (although these pictures were taken yesterday). 40 weeks, I'm still here!

Chickpea hasn't budged. More than 50% of first-time moms go past their due date, so while I would have loved to have given birth already, there's nothing wrong or remotely unusual about my current state.

I do have a stinky head cold, maybe she is waiting until I'm better?! The body is so complex, perhaps it is holding off on the green light for labor. Besides my cold I had an excellent doctor check-in yesterday. She has plumped up a bit more, and I have all symptoms heading into labor. Just need the actual labor part.

Enough on that this week~

I'd like to share a few new things that have shown up for baby recently that I really really love.

My mom knits beautiful pieces, and her most recent gift to our baby girl is this sweet bunting. This green is one of my favorite colors (one of our wedding colors actually), and this particular yarn shade is 'bok choy.' Love that! Our weather is turning very cold this weekend so I know she'll be wearing this right away.

My friend and neighbor Jenise gave her a cute fleece jacket with bunny ears on the hood and a little toy bunny in the front pocket. But even cuter- these bunny boots! They are for a bigger foot than a newborn's, for to wear in January-February.
Another neighbor gave her this cute lamb stuffed animal. I think I've mentioned before that I love lambs for babies.
I'm not the knitter my mom is, but I can make a few things. I recently finished her first scarf, using scraps of lavendar and pink yarn left from other projects.
Finally, we just hung this picture over her changing table. It's the first gift Ray gave to me when we were dating in college- two little boys dressed as bees and a little girl in a ballet tutu. It was hanging in the hallway but is much better suited to a baby's room.
I've been making my own flower barrettes for a few years and I made a slew of new ones for baby when she has enough hair to wear them. I don't like the stretchy handbands that are fashionable on babies these days, but I do love barrettes. Hers were all cluttered in a drawer until I hung a piece of ribbon on the wall and clipped them all in a row. I'll be able to reach over and grab the right barrette while I'm dressing her without rooting around in the dresser.

15 November 2010


It's 7:00am and I'm on the couch in my jammies. This is NOT like me.

Every other day of my life I get out of bed, put on my workout clothes and exercise for an hour. That includes the whole time I've been pregnant.

But now, 2 days before my due date, I need to be smart. I went to bed with a sore throat last night that disturbed my sleep and woke this morning to a lot of congestion. Yuck! I feel ok except for congested and tired, so I suspect it's less of a cold and more of a hormone surge causing mucus to build up.

I'm tired, but it's more comfortable to sit up than lay down, so I'm camping on my couch in front of the telly with my laptop and a big glass of water. Sudafed is permitted for congestion so I took two of those. Depending on how I feel this afternoon, I may or may not go for my afternoon walk. My only agenda today is to conserve energy and improve the congestion.

11 November 2010

More Things

Forgot a few very important things that I'm looking forward to in the return to normalcy (such as it will be)

Tying my shoes and putting on socks without great effort and discomfort
Wearing my wedding and engagement rings (huge one- they got too snug about 2 weeks ago)
Rolling over in bed without feeling like a beached whale
Tummy rumblings will return to gas and intestinal distress (as opposed to zero gravity sommersaults and hiccups)
Fitting myself over the sink to do the dishes

10 November 2010

39 Weeks

Not much to report today. My doctor said to 'walk walk walk,' so I need to get back out there after this rest!

I'm 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced, and feeling more cramps and contractions. I've also lost 1 1/2 lbs which is common (less amniotic fluid + loose stools + body getting ready for labor + all this extra walking I'm doing). She and I are hopeful that this baby could be born by the weekend so I'm keeping the calendar open

and walking as much as I can muster. The weather is sunny but brisk, perfect for lots of strolling!

Off I go!