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Henry Lawrence Martin

6 AM: Check in at Miz-Mam Clinic (raining and cool this morning). Blood pressure check, fetal monitoring for 30 minutes.
6:50: The nurse declares that my "uterus is closed" and inserts the Propess gel. I have to lie down for at least 30 minutes. Another 30 minutes of fetal monitoring. The gel starts things moving pretty soon but I've got a long way to go and I am disappointed that I'm starting out at 0cm.
8:00: Walk the halls (the clinic is pretty small so this gets boring fast but we get to peek at the nursery twice each lap).
9:15: Dr. Lee wants me to come down to check Baby weight, etc. on the ultrasound. Baby Boy is measuring big still (4.4kg) and Dr. Lee says they recommend c-section over 9lbs in Korea. This is when I said, "I"m American, I can get him out."
10:00: Dr. Lee calls for Craig, sends him back up with a textbook marked at the shoulder dysplacia to try to convince me to go for the c-section. I am a little annoyed with Dr. Lee even though I can see where he's coming from. I am too stubborn to get too discouraged.
12:00 PM: 3 cm, oxytocin started. I got really nauseous at first and thought I would pass out but as quickly as that all came on it was over. Harder contractions start.
1:00 PM: oxytocin level increased. Baby is in a funny position with his bum way off to the right and is causing quite a bit of back pain with the contractions. I switch my position and change his. Contractions stop altogether giving me a nice break.
2:15: 4 cm, break water (without warning, I might add!) The contractions are coming like crazy and are really hard to get through.
3:00: 7 cm, I want oxytocin OFF, nurses aren't listening, finally get Dr. Lee to come up. It is going too fast for me to handle. Dr. Lee reluctantly turns off the oxytocin, predicts another hour or more before I'm ready to push. I start thinking about epidurals and c-sections and I realize I must be in transition to be having thoughts like this! Shortly after Dr. Lee leaves I let them know I am ready to push and I think the nurses are surprised since Dr. Lee had just left! I push a few times in the labor room and then walk across the hall to the delivery table. This was something I was dreading but actually wasn't a big deal at all. Maybe just knowing it was all almost over made the walk totally do-able.

Henry Lawrence arrived at 3:24 PM on Friday, July 24, 2009. He weighed 4.2kg and was 50cm long (but it should be noted that the measuring tape only went to 50cm so this is probably not correct). He has blonde hair and super chubby cheeks! To be more specific: he is ADORABLE!

I want to note that I was really nervous about having Henry in Korea based on a few stories I had heard. I think I had a really positive experience at this clinic because I knew what I wanted and didn't want and then had someone (Craig's fantastic secretary!) translate my list of preferences into Korean for the nurses. The nurses basically left us alone (other than the fetal monitoring, etc.) and respected our wishes. In this way I had a much better experience than in Qatar even though Al Ahli Hospital felt more "modern" or "advanced." I think my stubbornness also paid off in not getting a c-section. I could tell that I was frustrating Dr. Lee from the time I was reluctant to schedule the induction. To be honest, Dr. Lee was frustrating me with all of his c-section talk! In the end I'm glad I was induced at 38 weeks because it was hard enough getting Henry out at this size!

38 Weeks 1 Day Pregnant

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Tomorrow is the day!

This past week I have had hip pain, major heartburn, nausea, insomnia, and extreme fatigue. I think I've been noticing all of the "bad" things about being pregnant this week to help get myself mentally "OK" with being induced. I'm ready. Baby Boy's stuff is ready. Let's hope it all goes well! We check in at 6 AM tomorrow morning.

I'm sad to be finished being pregnant forever but am also very ready to meet our son! I'm worried about family dynamics for the first little bit but grateful to my mom and Craig's mom for coming out to help out during the first few rough weeks where I need to devote a lot of my attention and energy on Baby Boy. I am really curious to know if he'll have blonde or red hair (Anna is sure he'll have blue hair—maybe he'll be a muppet?)...

37 Weeks & 2 Days Pregnant

[will insert u/s picture later, sorry!]

We took the whole gang with us to the doctor this morning since I was anticipating setting an induction date with Dr. Lee. The girls & I got there first and I had to go take a non-stress test (I didn't know in advance) so it was lucky that Craig was on his way to entertain the kids while I had to lie down for 30 minutes. Baby Boy is not stressed.

I was able to successfully slow down our weight gains but Dr. Lee still wants to induce next week. We are to arrive on Friday, July 24 at 6 AM. I gave Dr. Lee my list of demands/"preferences" and he balked at the line where I said "no bottle or pacifier: breastfeeding ONLY." He said, "we give a bottle of water in the nursery." I said, pointing to Anna & Sarah, "No. Breastfeeding only. No problems." We had Craig's secretary translate our preferences since the nurses don't speak much, if any, English... I think I'm actually more worried about dealing with the nurses than with getting induced earlier than I would prefer.

One week until Baby Boy!!

36 Weeks and 2 Days Pregnant

[will insert ultrasound picture here]

Last night I went to my 36 week appointment and my doctor finally said what I had predicted he would say so many weeks ago: he wants to induce me. He seems very worried about the size of Baby Boy and wants to induce at 38 weeks. I am still wrapping my mind around it. I would rather wait until 39 weeks if possible and he said only if I can "slow down" my weight gain and Baby Boy's weight gain. I'm not sure how one would actually go about this since Baby Boy is supposed to be gaining an ounce per day from here on out! He was measuring 3.8kg (Sarah was 3.7kg when she was born) which is 4-5 weeks ahead of where he should be. Of course, the measurements can be off by 500 grams either way and I did talk about that with Dr. Lee. My mother has changed her tickets to come out a week and two days earlier so she will be here if we end up inducing at 38 weeks. I go back to the doctor on Friday next week and I assume we'll generate a plan at that point (unless somehow both Baby & I miraculously stop gaining weight!).

Last night and tonight I walked for an hour (Dr. Lee wants me to walk an hour in the morning and an hour at night but that's not in the scheduling-cards yet). I've also been drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea and eating pineapple. These are all things that I hope will make me more favorable for induction (I'm not actually hoping, nor do I believe, that these things will induce me "naturally.).

I now have a list of must-do things to prepare for Baby if he's really coming in two weeks and I'm a little stressed out about all! Hopefully once I cross a few things off of the list I will feel better about it all.

34 Weeks 1 Day Pregnant

Baby Boy was sleeping and had an arm or a hand over his face so I didn't get a picture from tonight's ultrasound. He is measuring 3 weeks big and Dr. Lee seemed concerned about this. He also thought that Anna and Sarah were "big" babies (Anna was 7lbs 15oz and Sarah was 8lbs 5oz). I don't know what size is "normal" for Koreans but I always considered my girls to be "average" size (with Sarah on the higher end of that). Either way, I don't remember either girl ever measuring more than one week big. Dr. Lee also prescribed an iron supplement since my iron levels are low. (Perhaps that is why I'm so tired? or maybe I'm so tired because I just cannot sleep!) I really get the feeling that he's going to start talking about induction although he hasn't actually said this to me yet. We'll see what happens at my next appointment (in two weeks).

I have gained 29.5 pounds so far this pregnancy (I gained 34.5 pounds total with Sarah and 38.5 pounds total with Anna. I started off this pregnancy about 5 pounds heavier than I did with Sarah and about 10 pounds heavier than with Anna.) I guess Baby Boy and I are just going to be BIG! And two weeks ago a complete stranger basically told me I was wrong about how far along I was because I am "too big." I just told her that I will get huge and I had 8-9 more weeks to go! I guess it's good I don't feel sensitive about my (and Baby's) weight or that could have sent me over the edge!

32 Weeks & 1 Day Pregnant

(need to insert u/s picture here--it wasn't anything interesting this time; I think Dr. Lee was a little rushed tonight.)

Anna has been jealous that Sarah has gone to most of my OB appointments and she hasn't been to any so tonight I took just her along with me. Baby Boy looks good and is measuring about 1 week ahead. He has been head-down and with his hips & bum up at my right ribs the last several visits. So, I'm hoping this means he is more compliant than Sarah is (she was flipping around until the bitter end!).

Dr. Lee asked if we took a tour of the labor & delivery rooms last time and I said we did but the nurse didn't speak any English so we didn't see all that we wanted to see. So, he took me and Anna up again. What we saw last time were just the recovery rooms. There are three labor rooms and directly across the hall from those are the delivery room. I asked if you push in the delivery room and he said, "no" so I take that to mean that you have to walk across the hall at the last possible minute and don't spend a lot of time in the delivery room (there is only one delivery table there). The emergency operating table is three or four feet in front of the delivery table. Some people I described this to thought that that was reassuring but it just made me feel scared! I'll be staring at that c-section table when I'm giving birth and I hope it doesn't make me nervous! I think I'm just going through some pre-labor jitters and I know I'll be fine. I'm still hoping I can just show up and deliver Baby Boy without a lot of hassle and without a lot of time spent actually laboring at the clinic. Dr. Lee stressed again that it is two hours in the nursery for Baby Boy after birth. The more I think about it the more annoyed I get so I'll try to not think about it too much right now and deal with it at the time.

There is a baby pool to vote in on the right-hand side of the blog so place your bets!

31 Weeks Pregnant

Baby Boy is very active and strong! I'd still say this pregnancy has been relatively easy but it's definitely harder having two other children to take care of which doesn't give me enough time to really rest. As a result my back hurts frequently (but if I really back off when I notice it and lay down during the day it will go away the next day). My hips are starting to hurt and I'm not sure if it's from the super hard bed we have or just the stage I'm at. I am considering moving myself to the air mattress soon to see if it is any more comfortable. Sometimes the couch is slightly softer but it's not quite long enough to achieve true comfort. I'm not sleeping well regardless!

I still have a list of things I'd really like to get done before Baby Boy arrives but the I don't typically have the energy to work on anything at night after the girls go to bed so I'm not sure what will actually get finished before he gets here in 9-10 weeks. (The list of things itself isn't long but the things on them are very involved projects...)

30 Weeks 2 Days Pregnant


Baby Boy's face with a finger in his mouth?


Both images are his feet.


Baby Boy's face again but with a hand or a foot near his head (his right).

Baby boy looks good again this week! I gained ZERO kg from my last visit two weeks ago which surprised me since I haven't done anything different from previous weeks. Sarah was an absolute dream during the appointment which I was really nervous about since she was so difficult last time (she was probably just tired of being at doctor's offices last time since we had just gone to two appointments for her the day before). Baby Boy is head down with his bum near my right ribcage which is where he was last time, too.

We went on a little tour upstairs where Baby Boy will actually be born. The place looks nice and clean (it is only two years old) but the nurse who gave us the tour spoke very little English which reinforced to me that I truly will need my requests written out in Hangul and have Mijung on call when we go in! There was a row of the cutest little Korean newborns in the nursery and they were all sleeping (so cute but how did they achieve that?).

I got a few more questions answered from Dr. Lee today since Sarah was cooperating:

  • Yes, I can nurse Baby Boy before he goes for his 2-hour "observation" period in the nursery—and now we've seen the nursery and Craig will be able to watch everything they're doing during that time.
  • I think I can talk Dr. Lee out of an episiotomy and shaving but he doesn't want to budge on an enema.
  • If Baby Boy or I have an emergency we would be taken to the hospital in Jinju which is 90 minutes away by ambulance.

30 Weeks Pregnant

I'm starting to get some serious kicks now. Baby Boy is really jabbing into my ribs several times per day. He is getting stronger and running out of room in there! My back is really not doing so well though and I'm wondering how I am going to survive another 10-11 weeks? I think it's mostly from dealing with short people and short household appliances but it's also because I've got all of this weight hanging off of my front! I really hope that the back pain is just instantly gone the minute Baby Boy arrives!

Grandma-Chain

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We're counting down the days until Grandma gets here (and I'm mentally tacking on another 7-14 links in the chain until Baby Boy arrives!).

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