Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome Virginia "Nia" Adanna Agbai

Our newest Love Bird joined us on Thursday, August 12 at 2:23p.m. After 20+ hours induction followed by an intense labor, she made her entrance quite peacefully weighing 7 lbs 9 oz and 19" long. 

 Here she is with her eyes open:

Right now I'm focused on healing up, but I thank my husband for his support during labor and for helping me stick to my birth plan of a vaginal delivery. We had to really push for this but there will be more to follow in my birth story (I kept details on my BlackBerry throughout so I could remember as much as possible).

I'm preparing for a major presentation which I mentioned briefly before but hope to fully disclose soon. It's due next Thursday so I may be a bit MIA until then but will try to have the birth story up if possible.

And of course Mr. Love Bird and I will be busy loving on Baby Nia!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bring on Baby Agbai

I really didn't want our blog to turn into a full-fledged baby blog, but given I'm in the midst of trying to get Baby Agbai out and into the world the majority of the posts lately are about my pregnancy and her impending arrival.

With that in mind, I just wanted to provide an update in the event I go right into induction tomorrow morning after my 9:30a.m. progress appointment.

Today my mom, Lauren, Uka and I all went for an hour walk around the neighborhood. It was HOT, but it felt good to walk. We first went to the library where I picked up The No-Cry Sleep Solution and Kaffir Boy (recommended by my sister). Not sure out I feel about the Pantley method offered in The No-Cry Sleep Solution vs. CIO, but fellow blogger BeingMrsJones had some interesting Twitter commentary about CIO yesterday which my mom totally agreed with.

For those of you who don't know CIO is "cry it out" method for allowing infants to cry when laid down for rest and eventually find a way to self-soothe themselves and fall asleep. My mom used it for all four of me and my siblings, and we all turned out fine without brain damage, feelings of resentment or neglect which opponents say can happen. Essentially, my mom explained that a mother's sanity and well-being is very important for raising healthy children. If a mother is ragged from having little-to-no sleep at night she will not be able to be the best mother she can be. I want to be the best mom I can be so I will be trying this method, but am open to the Pantley method which is why I decided to pick up that book as well.

In the end I know I have to do what works best for me and my family as with anything else.

So back to the dr. appointment tomorrow:

In the event my dr. says all systems go for induction, I am hoping to go immediately to the hospital from her office to get started, especially because my mom and sister Lauren leave on Thursday morning and who knows how long induction will take.

I took a page from BabyMakinMachine and created my birth wishes. I know people say, "Oh that all goes out the window," but it's an easy blueprint to help Uka and I communicate to the nurses what we'd like to happen at the hospital. You can take a look at BabyMakinMachine's birth wishes here. She even packed a goodie basket for the nurses! I'm not that ambitious, but I like the thought.

So for now I'm just reading up on a few more baby topics, things I want to remember and doing a few organizational things around the apartment like making sure there are batteries in Baby Agbai's gadgets that require them. It's a slow quiet time, but I know it's about to get busy.

I'm ready.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fathers Be Good To Your Daughters

I'm not much of a fan of John Mayer. I must admit, he's a talented musician. He even gets props for the skit he did with Dave Chappelle on the Chappelle Show.

But he lost it all when he made a dumb comment in Playboy. In the magazine’s Q&A published online, Mayer said he was recently asked, "What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?" He went on, "It's sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a n----r pass." Being that I hear so many young black men in Harlem overusing the term, I wasn't personally offended. Don't get me wrong, I don't condone John Mayer, or anyone for that matter, throwing N-Bombs. But, truth is the N-Word is so engraved in popular culture thanks to rappers, comedians and regular street folk. Being "black" is the in thing to be, so naturally other races are looking for their "hood" passes. I guess being black means your hood. Or is it being hood means your black?

THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT JOHN MAYER BEING RACIST. It just started that way. It is actually about a song of his that I actually like, especially now that we are having a daughter. "Daughters" by John Mayer used to be song that I thought was catchy and put college white girls in a hypnotic trance. Recently, I heard the song and it has new meaning for me. The chorus goes:

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Our children are reflections of ourselves. They unconsciously mimic our speech and mannerisms. They are like mini-mes. I am not naive to believe that my baby girl will be a baby girl forever. The way I treat women, especially her mother, is how she will want to be treated when she becomes a woman. How I love Q and how I show my love is how baby girl will want to be loved by her spouse someday. Baby girl will love how Q and I love. Children are like sponges and assimilate to their environments. I vow to show my daughter love, teach her to respect herself and make sure she knows a woman's worth.

Here's John Mayer's Daughters:
(notice the girl in the video is in a Mayer Trance)

My other inspirations. Enjoy:


Saturday, August 7, 2010

41 Weeks Pregnant Dilemma

I'm sitting in my bathroom at 4a.m. as I type this trying not to wake my sleeping hubby, mom and sisters in the apartment. I have a lot on my mind . . .

My mom and I saw my dr. yesterday, and we discussed what to do now that I'm 41 weeks pregnant. I feel like I have pressure to deliver this baby due to the family schedule, although my mom reassured me as I mentioned before that I should do what is best for me. To be honest I am disappointed not to have had the baby yet and even other women out and about are surprised when I tell them I'm a week past my due date. They think I'm only 8 months pregnant! Should I take that as a compliment?

Yesterday I noticed newborn babies everywhere - even my mom noticed this. It was as though I was being deliberately tortured. Of course it was in my mind, but seriously, these weren't ordinary babies; they were SUPER cute, chunky babies, just like the one I want to have. Remember my Baby Agbai prototype?:

So about this dilemma, I received major news this week that I'll publicly reveal the results of later this fall when the dust settles, but part of this news is that I have a major, life-changing presentation on August 26 that I am VERY excited about. I have less than three weeks to prepare for it and my postpartum recovery definitely plays a part in it.

As a result, my goal at this stage of my pregnancy is to reduce the odds that I will have a C-section. Prior to knowing about the presentation I didn't want to have a C-section anyway, but now, it's even more imperative that I don't have a C-section. I am very confident in body's ability to labor naturally and recover quickly based on experiences I've had in the past. I know pregnancy is different but I truly feel God has granted me peace in this area of my life. Already the fact that when I went in on Wednesday and my fetal monitoring and vitals came back fine let me know that things are continuing on the path that I prayed for. I know God will carry me the entire way.

But this still leaves me at the dilemma of pressure to bring forth baby before my family leaves for Ohio Sunday night (I guess I can officially say tomorrow night - UGHHH). The thing is, if I end up going into the hospital this a.m., which I 'm scheduled for, and I have a high enough Bishop score, I don't think I'd mind getting induced. Especially because by Tuesday, my dr. said we have to make an induction plan anyway. Based on how I'm not progressing I don't know how much change I can expect between today and Tuesday morning when I next see my dr. At that point if I have to induce it's no different than me inducing today, after the next round of fetal monitoring, which I'm scheduled for.

So here's what I'm going to do: take it one step at a time.

I'm going in at 8a.m. for the fetal monitoring without my hospital bag. If things are favorable, and I've progressed enough to have a high Bishop Score (I haven't had contractions overnight, but I did have my membranes swept again yesterday and experience subsequent bleeding which I didn't before), I will have a conversation with Uka about getting induced. There's the issue of using Cerdivil vs. Cytotec too. My hospital uses the latter which I've read is the worst of the two. From there I most likely will have Pitocin which can cause super hard contractions that lead to an epidural which can slow things down and lead to a C-section. Drugs are indeed a slippery slope, and if I'm trying to ultimately reduce the odds of a C-section especially knowing my presentation is coming up, this is where I get very nervous.

One other thing, my dr. checked the hospital schedule for attending dr.'s and while she's on duty now, another dr. is coming in today and then her sister on Sunday. She knows I'm against a C-section and assured me she and the other two dr.'s this weekend aren't knife happy, but the other dr. who attends, who might be there next week, is knife happy. UGHHHH.  My dr. had told me she was hoping I'd go in last night for induction so she could deliver the baby, but honestly I didn't feel right yet. Also, I know an induction isn't a quick process. It can take 10+ hours even.

Anyway, after seeing the dr. I went out and walked - A LOT! I went grocery shopping with Uka and my mom, went to the Hilton to meet fellow blogger Jenn from BabyMakinMachine at the BlogHer conference (btw, she's SO sweet and offered  helpful advice on my pregnancy dilemma), then I met my mom and sister across the street from the Hilton at the MoMa for Target Free Friday. I walked around there for an hour then we headed home. Hopefully, this has progressed me a bit . . .

So, again, I'm just going to take it one step at a time.

For now, I'm just focusing on the results of the fetal monitoring at 8a.m.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where Are You Baby Agbai? (and Date w/ Hubby!)

Just a quick update that Uka and I went to the dr. yesterday for the NST and an ultrasound. Baby girl is snug and tight - very healthy and fluid levels are normal. Tomorrow at 10a.m. we'll go to the dr. again to see if my cervix is more favorable for induction. If not not I'll just keep waiting. If it is I'll go to the hospital tomorrow night for an induction.

Because the fetal monitoring took so long we weren't able to catch a matinee of Inception so we're off to see it now!

Yay for a date with hubby =)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

40 Weeks (and 3 days) - Baby Agbai Report

Today was my 40 weeks dr. appointment and my mom was able to come with me! My appointment was at 10a.m., but the dr.'s office was closed due to a staff meeting until 1p.m. Not sure why they wouldn't have called me to reschedule, but I called at 1p.m. and they told me to come back so we went at 2p.m.

The dr. stripped my membranes which I spoke to her about last week. For those who don't know, stripping the membranes is the separating of the amniotic sac from the cervix which can release hormones to induce labor. I had heard it can get things going, but I didn't want them to move too fast last week since my mom and sister Lauren were just arriving this past Friday. I had read about stripping the membranes and the general consensus sounded like it wasn't going to hurt too bad, well, IT DID! It was one of the most painful experiences I've had yet. At least it took less than five minutes, but it felt like a deep, intense pulling as though an organ was being detached from me. OUCH.

The pain was so intense I had to squeeze my mom's hand, and I could hardly breathe. I asked the dr. if that was what labor felt like, and she assured me it didn't. Baby Agbai was completely still during the procedure, but after she started moving around a bit making her usual angular protrusions similar to this:

Beyond the stripping of the membranes the dr. explained that for the baby there really isn't a benefit to going to 42 weeks and would recommend inducing at 41 weeks. The issue is I have an "unfavorable cervix" (I wish there was another term for that!) that is not quite ready for labor. If I were to be induced prematurely, say last week, it increases the chances of a C-section, which I am adamantly against unless mine or my baby's life is in danger. 

Since I will be 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant as of next Tuesday which would have been my next prenatal appointment, she didn't see any reason to let me wait past this Friday for an induction. Honestly for me, having my mom and sister here with the expected arrival of my dad on Friday is an incentive to get things rolling. The family is on a tight schedule with my sister Lauren returning to college on August 10 and my brother Michael starting college the following week. Despite this, my mom has been very clear in that I shouldn't rush to induce because of the family schedule. I would hate for an induction to result in a C-section and even worse to get to 42 weeks and have to induce and end in a C-section anyway. So many possibilities, but I do know getting closer to 42 weeks will increase the chances that my cervix will ripen on its own.

The good news is my baby is healthy and her heartbeat is nice and strong. Tomorrow morning Uka and I will go to the hospital for the NST (non stress test) which will include fetal monitoring and an ultrasound. If her fluid is low, I will be admitted immediately for an induction. If not the dr. said she'd release me and probably schedule an induction for Friday anyway because next week I'd be 41 weeks+ and as mentioned above there isn't an added benefit on getting to 42 weeks. Well to me, the added benefit is letting my cervix ripen naturally!

I'll post another update tomorrow pending being admitted to the hospital, but honestly, I've made my wishes known in prayer, and I believe God will allow me not to go under the knife. I trust God, and I've seen Him come through for me time and time again so I'm not scared!

Now on to the traditional Baby Agbai Report:

How far along: 40 weeks and 3 days

How big is baby: (from Congrats! That bun in your oven is fully baked! That's the good news. The possibly not so stellar news: Actually giving birth on your due date is hard to do—even for overachievers. In fact, many first-time moms go up to 2 weeks past their due date (sorry!). Hopefully now that baby is cooked to perfection, he'll come bouncing out any day now. Other last-minute progress:

Because some of your hormones are passed into your baby's system, your baby's genitals (scrotum in boys and labia in girls), and even his or her breasts, may appear enlarged at birth. It can be alarming, but rest assured it's perfectly normal.

At birth your baby has a total of 300 bones. Some of the bones will fuse together later, which is why an adult has only 206 bones. Fascinating, no?

Babies vary in size at this point, but the average full-term baby weighs around 7 to 8 pounds and hovers around 19 or 20 inches. That's about the size of a ... BABY! Of course, tell that to the mother who just delivered a 9-pound baby vaginally!

Stretch Marks: More under my belly, but Uka's become obsessed with keeping me moisturized. I swear he thinks I'm a turkey to be basted!

Sleep: I get up so often to use the bathroom and change positions. It's SO hard to roll over now from side-to-side, and I've started being awaken by strong contractions, however they're sporadic and not worth measuring.

Best Moment This Week: Well there are a few! My mom and sister Lauren arriving from Ohio, getting to go to the Agbai family reunion (it was Saturday and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it with the impending due date) and my other sister Ariane getting to move into her own E. Harlem apartment.

Movement: Still in karate mode and making angular protrusions

Sex of the Baby: Girl - the 3rd ultrasound wasn't able to reconfirm but perhaps tomorrow's will

Food Craving: Mexican

Belly button In or Out: Still popped at the top

What I Miss: My summer body

What I'm Looking Forward To: Meeting my lil' chubbzy in person! Also, if I'm not admitted to the hospital tomorrow I'm looking forward to seeing a matinee of "Inception" with Uka after my NST. It'll be our last date before baby!

Milestone: Membranes stripped so hoping things will get moving


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