Monday, August 11, 2014

The First Month

I am sorry that this post comes two weeks late. We went on a little trip and then when I went to finish the post, blogger completely messed up and all my work was deleted! 

I cannot believe that our little girl has been in our lives for a month! It is true what they say about not blinking because they truly grow right before your eyes at warp speed! Here's what been going on for the first month!

Our first week home was relatively easy, but just figuring out her, her needs and our new roles as parents. We came home sleep deprived (who doesn't) and had an interesting first night. D had gone to rest and my M.I.L. was holding Emma. I asked him to set an alarm at midnight just in case I fell asleep so that I could feed her. At 12:15 I woke up in the chair and Emma was asleep with my M.I.L. We said goodnight to her and I went in the room. I asked D to wake up the baby while I went and got some water. He looked at me and said "wake who?" I told him the baby and he replied "what baby?" Pure exhaustion mixed with low blood sugar doesn't work for my hubby. My hormones caused me to break into tears and he woke up and realized what he was saying. Later that same night.....around 4am I finished feeding her and asked D to change her diaper, to which he replied "I just did!" Again half asleep and not realizing that it had been over two hours. Needless to say our first night home was very interesting and comical now. He felt really bad and now when he's a little loopy I tell him to test! We had our first Dr's appointment with an all clear for jaundice, yay!, but we lost 9% of weight from our birth weight. My milk came in the next day and we were able to go back up half of what was lost. Whew! We celebrated Emma's first holiday and first bath all at once on Independence Day. We had an epic mommy and daddy fail. We gave her the bath on the kitchen counter, directly under an a/c vent! Mistake one. Then in the bedroom we dried her off and put lotion on her under a full blast ceiling fan! Mistake two. Needless to say our little girl was cold and really upset! We learned our lesson quickly! But after that she was content and happy on the boob. She's been an alert baby since day one with awesome head control!

Week two was a continuation of the learning curve for mommy, daddy and baby. Figuring out her cues and learning all about breastfeeding. We went up to visit my parents and Papa got to officially meet her! It was a relaxing weekend but we started to have some interesting stools which we cause for some concern and a lot of googling, more on that later. We just soaked her in and enjoyed every minute of her.

Week three. After our check up, the doctor determined that miss Emma may have a dairy intolerance. I was asked to remove all dairy from my diet, which is so hard because milk protein is in everything! After a couple of days things were back to normal, until I made the epic error of eating a chocolate cookie. Back to having the bad poo's. Sigh. Weight gain was not where I would have liked to see it, so we kicked into feeding and eating focus all week. She also had a growth spurt during this week so all she wanted to do was eat anyways. I don't think I showered until someone got home everyday this week. Man is it difficult to try and get a newborn on a schedule. We worked on tummy time, our neck control and started to really love to look at lights. She also started to smile in recognition of things.

Week four was more of the same things. I went shopping and looked through everything in our house to determine what I can and cannot eat. Sandwich bread was the big shocker there, as was salami. We went to the doctor's again and it was determined that she does have a dairy intolerance. She can outgrow it, but it could take anywhere from 4 months to a year to do so. We haven antacid that we give her if her tummy seems upset, but really all that needs to be done is for me to watch my diet. It's pretty strict and difficult, but its not something that I cant do. She is getting so big, and as you can see is starting to hold up her head really well! Our hair also started to fall out! *Tears!* But I know its only temporary and it will grow back.

Monthly Stats:
Weight: 7 lbs 12 oz (14%)
Height: 21 in (per hospital measurement 77%)
Head: 14.25 in (56%)

Eat: We are exclusively breastfeeding and we are doing it on demand. I was told to limit her to 20 minutes on each side, but I didn't feel that was working well for her so I decided to let her go until she is done on one side and offer the other. We had some latching issues at the beginning that caused me some nipple rawness, but I got a nipple shield and it helped to heal her up. Now we don't have any problems and she latches like a champ! I have a breast pump, but I haven't started to use it yet. We feed every two to three hours during the day. Overnight we get one lump that lasts from three to four hours.

Sleep: We haven't set a schedule yet, although I need to start. I think that sleeping in various swings, or in peoples arms either makes her not get a deep sleep, or she is a night owl because without fail every night at 11PM she is wide awake and wanting to look at the lights. Our first couple of weeks was really good, but we seem to be in this cycle. Hopefully I can get her on a nap schedule and try and get those overnight spans to be a little longer. We get a good span from 1AM to about 4AM. We found out quickly that rocking her in the recliner and white noise from either our box fan or the bathroom fan helps to put her to sleep. We also swaddler her to help keep her sleep. We discovered that she hates to have her arms swaddled. I woke up one morning to discover her arm out through the bottom of the swaddle and pushed the blanket up over her face. Thank goodness it was a thin muslin blanket, but we don't swaddle her arms anymore!

Diapers: We are loving on the Huggies little snugglers. We are still using diapers from my baby shower and have only had to buy one package because we didn't bring enough to my parents house....oopsies. We like the snugglers because they do the job without adding a lot of bulk and have only had one "accident" thusfar and it was minimal. We also learned quickly to turn off our ceiling fan while changing her or else we will have more laundry to do. We downloaded the Sprout app for recording input and output, which is also a great way to keep track of how many diapers we have gone through.....a whopping 358 in 6 weeks!

Bringing her home: July 2nd (1 day old)
First Bath: July 4th (3 days old)
First holiday: Independence Day (3 days old)
Held up head: July 11th (1 week old)
Lost belly button: (8 days old)
First Walk: (2 weeks old)
First Smile: (3 weeks old)

Here are some photos from her first month!

Going home!
First Holiday (Independence Day)
First Bath
Looking uncomfortable in her bouncer
First Walk
Sleeping in her custom cradle
Celebrating daddies birthday
Lounging with Uncle Ryan
Lost her belly button
Watching sports with Daddy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Newborn Photoshoot

Most hospitals have a photographer come in and take photo's of the newborns. Many new parent's don't know how to take photo's or have the energy to take decent photos so it's a nice thing to have when the babies are so new. We were the same. Even though we both know how to take photos and consider ourselves amateur status, exhaustion and forgetfulness played a role in which photo's got taken.

Our hospital has a professional photographer come in and take the newborn photos. I was skeptical that the photo's were going to be any good, because I have seen some of the ones that have been done, considering some hospitals have new photographers come in and they don't always look the greatest. I was highly impressed that our photographer came with a basket and a pillow. She used our blankets and the handmade hats that we received also. I am glad I packed some headbows as well! I fell in love with all the photo's that were taken, minus the ones of me because she came in right after my shower, please don't mind our unkempt look! I love all of them and even though Emma was having a fit because she was hungry, the photographer managed to get some really cute and serene shots of her! We will cherish these always! Thanks to Baby Bella Photography for the great shots of our little angel!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6 lbs 8 ozs of Pure Sweetness (Delivery Story)

This is the continuation of the birth story of our little Miss Emma Jean. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

When we last left off our families had gone home to get some rest before I was to start pushing. I had received the epidural and was advised to rest. Due to the fact that my legs were warm and completely numb, resting seemed a little unlikely. D pulled out his bed and lied down to Facebook for a bit. I tried to close my eyes and sleep but many thoughts were running through my mind. About 15 minutes later the nurse came in to do an cervical exam. She said I was between a 4 and a 5 cm dilated. She then left the room, I guess to call my doctor to advise him of my progress. She had come back in and informed me that my doctor wished to start me on Pitocin. I was very uneasy about the Pitocin, considering how much progress I had already made and told her that I would rather wait. She said she would call the doctor back and ask if we could wait an hour and see what happens. When she came back in the room she told me that he was highly advising the pitocin because my contractions were becoming sporadic, from every one minute to every four minutes and back. The medication would keep me on track so that my labor would not stall. After a mini pow wow with D we decided that it was the best course of action to take. She left the room to get the medication, and within 15 minutes I was hooked up to an iv drip of Pitocin and advised to sleep. This was at 11:15PM.

Over the course of the next 30 minutes lots was apparently happening un-benouced to me, remember I am completely numb from the chest down. Side note: I had asked the nurse at what point they turn down the epidural, and she told me that they don't turn it down. Um, yea. I know you do.....every nurse has said that they do! Alarms started to go off on the baby's heart rate monitor. Darin came over to watch it, and it was fluctuating a lot, which had been doing all afternoon and evening. He had a look of concern and stood there for 10 minutes watching it. I eventually looked at him and said, "They are watching the monitors, if there is a cause for concern they will come in here." He agreed and went to lie back down. His head barely hit the pillow before two nurses came in and started looking at the monitors. My L&D nurse checked me and said "I don't feel a cervix." I looked at her wide eyed, then at the clock and said "Are you serious?" I was only halfway less than 30 minutes prior, and now I am completely dilated and it's go time?!?! D jumped from the bed and made phone calls to his mom and my mom to come back to the hospital. He mentioned to the nurse that the pitocin must work fast and she told him that I couldn't have gotten two drops yet. I guess my body was ready for baby to come. She left to call the doctor and prepped me and the bed for pushing. We started "practice pushing" at 12AM.

Even though I couldn't feel anything, I remembered what muscles to use. I still felt like nothing was happening and I kept asking her if I was doing it correctly. She said that I was doing great and D cheered me on, while holding my leg up. At around 1AM my doctor came into the room. There was two L&D nurses as well as a baby nurse, D, and myself. Lots of things were going on around me. All the nurses commented on D's "Dad to Be" shirt and he told them he had a "New Dad" shirt as well. Once everyone was situated we started the real pushing. The monitors were no longer registering my contractions so the nurse had to push on my belly until she felt one coming on and then I would push. At the beginning of pushing I couldn't feel anyone touching my legs, by the time she was crowning I could feel my chest, stomach and legs as well as her head crowning. At one point I remember feeling so tired and I asked the doctor how much longer he thought. He told me thirty minutes and I thought to myself....."oh no, this baby is coming out now!" Three pushes later and she was here, on my stomach purple and screaming. I remember thinking "Oh my god shes here! Wow! She's bigger than I thought she'd be!" The cord was wrapped around her neck one time and being in the birth canal for so long she had a conehead. Her color wasn't returning as fast as they'd like so once D cut the umbilical cord they took her to the warmer to take her measurements and to give her some oxygen. At 2:02AM we welcomed Emma Jean into the world. 6lbs8ozs of pure sweetness, blue eyes and maybe strawberry blonde hair (jury is still out on this one because it changes daily!) Once everything checked out with her, she was placed on my chest for our first skin to skin. Our families came in to meet her and everyone was ecstatic to meet her! So now that I have fully described the entire event, here's little Emma's first photoshoot!

She wasn't very happy with the hat!

Skin to skin, exhausted but elated!

There's the "New Dad" can't read it though! Hehe

Sucking our thumb 30 minutes later.

Dad and Emma skin to skin time!
I am grateful that everything went smoothly. I would have liked the opportunity to go into labor naturally, but this was the easiest induction I have ever heard of! She was ready to meet the world! Thank you so much for all the support over the last 10 months! I will continue to update you all on all things related to baby and of course our lives! Thanks for reading and supporting us!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thirty Nine and Two (Labor Story)

On June 30th I had my 39 week appointment. Our 38 week appointment didn't really go as well as I thought, as you read here, and I was anxious to see if anything had improved. Since my doctor was out of town we pre-scheduled my appointment and membrane sweep to help things along. I had stalled at 1 cm and 50% effaced for three weeks. I went in and gave my urine sample. I moseyed over to get my weight gain and blood pressure. No weight gain, but the blood pressure had jumped up again and was now 157/93. Which is dangerously high. I panicked and knew a trip to labor and delivery was in my future. When my doctor came in he was his normal cheerful self but had a look of concern. I didn't ask if there was protein in my urine because there was some the week before and considering my blood pressure had gotten so high in four days I knew things were not going well. He looked at me and said the only way to make things better is to induce. My blood pressure was not going to improve until I gave birth. I had been feeling this whole time that I would go into labor on the 30th but never did I think I would actually be right. He checked my cervix and stated that I was still 1 cm dilated, but completely soft. Things were there. He explained to me how the afternoon would progress. He wanted me to go home, get our things and then have lunch and go to the hospital. He would give me a small dose of misoprostol or "Cytotec" every four hours until contractions were to begin. After that I would be monitored and given pitocin to keep the contractions steady. He said I probably wouldn't give birth until July 2nd. How fun that sounded to me. I was very glad he ok'd me a meal. Lol. I said ok and he left the room to call the hospital. I looked at my mom with panic and tears in my eyes. She asked "what's wrong?" I said to her that I wasn't ready and I didn't know if I would even be good at this whole mom thing. It was a major emotional moment knowing that we were going to meet our little girl vey soon. We left the doctor and I called the hubby to inform him of the plan. He was working, informed his boss and met us at home. We both took our time prepping to leave for the hospital and mentally preparing. All the parents had been called and he loaded all our packed bags into the car. My mom painted my nails in an effort to get me to relax. We made our bed, straighten up a little and gave our pup a little loving and told her that soon she would be a big sister. We all met my mother in law for lunch before we headed to the hospital.


When we walked up to the nurses station, the nurse said to me "we've been waiting on you!" I looked at her and said "Yea. We needed to mentally prepare!" She brought me into the room and asks me to change into the lovely and confusing hospital gown. Another lady had wheeled a computer in and was getting all my insurance and billing information. Once all that was settled I asked the L&D nurse if D should get our things. She said yes, and we were there for the long haul. She reiterated the fact that this medication works slowly and I would probably be there, in labor, until Wednesday. While D went to get the bags she came back with the medication. She had me take a pill the size of a small nerds candy and hold it under my tongue until it dissolved. My mom and M.I.L. were saying how this baby would be here that night and the nurse kept saying no. This was at 2PM. We then did all the standard question and answer portion of the program. Once all that was done I had a contraction, and it was registering on the monitor with a large arch. The nurse looked at me and asked if I felt it and honestly it felt like a mild menstrual cramp. I guess it lasted for well over two minutes and the nurse was impressed. She left us to get settled in and the grandmas ran an errand and went to get snacks. Thanks. I'm going to be here for three days without food and your over there munching away! While they were gone we watched the contraction monitor and the heart rate monitor, just watching the peaks. The nurse came back in and asked where the grandmas were. We told her they ran an errand and she looked at me and said "They have some good juju. You have been contracting since I gave you that pill!" In between contractions, that we're getting progressively stronger and more painful, I played slots on the television and talked with the hubby. We were still in disbelief that we were having a baby. I looked at him and said "If I win the big jackpot we are having this baby tonight!" My lower back was really starting to hurt and I couldn't get comfortable in the bed. D moved to the other side and rubbed my back for a bit and then the grandmas got back around 5:30PM. They both looked at my contractions and got wide eyed. The nurse came back in and said that she had never seen this medication work so fast, but was adamant that baby was going to stay in until 8AM the next day. Shortly after that I was still playing the slots game and I hit the big jackpot! I couldn't believe it and I knew that the baby was coming soon! Too bad it wasn't real money. We would be up 11k! D's dad came in and there was lighthearted conversation in-between increasingly painful contractions. My F.I.L. left to get himself and D dinner. While he was gone my doctor had called to get a progress check and ok'd me to have jello! It was very hospital tasting but anything was better than nothing.

My contractions were getting progressively more painful, but tolerable. D was rubbing my back and my mom was rubbing my arm. All of a sudden I felt lil miss move, a big pop, and then a gush of water. I looked up and said "Um, yea. My water just broke." Then four contractions hit right on top of one another. The nurse came in and needed to check to see if it was amniotic fluid. Honestly I think I would know if I peed myself. While she was gone everyone had left the room except D and the contractions were right on top of each other and I started to feel sick. I told him I needed a bucket and he went running to find a nurse.The second he left the room I lost it, my lunch and the jello on the floor. How fun. But I felt better, a little. I was breathing through the contractions while they were cleaning up the room. This all happened in a matter of 10 minutes right around 8PM, at shift change and everyone was a little lost. I looked at Darin and asked him if he would be disappointed if I got an epidural? He looked at me and told me no, that if I needed it then to get it. I told the nurse that I wanted the epidural. Originally when I got to the hospital I had asked them to do everything they needed just in case I wanted it. Apparently they forgot and needed to put a bag of fluids in me before I could get the juice. Contraction after contraction, trying to breathe through them and my doctor comes in to check on me. He said to me, "Had I known you were going to progress this fast I would never have let you eat!" After that I had a large contraction and I was breathing through it. Everyone was cheering me one and saying how good I was doing. Someone mentioned that I had asked for the epidural and he looked at the nurse and said "get her the epidural." D's siblings arrived in the mix of this chaos as did a major fire alarm that was going off in the hospital. I mean it was crazy all at once. Then the nurses stated they were moving my room. While breathing through contractions my bed and all my stuff was whisked up the hall to a huge corner room where I would spend the rest of my visit. The whole family settled us in and talked until the anesthesiologist came in to give me the juice. Everyone but D was asked to leave. I wish D could have been the one to comfort me while they were hooking me up but the nurse had me hug a pillow and she supported me. When the dr gave me the numbing shot and inserted the needle he told me to tell him if I felt pain. Lots of pain shot through my right side and he adjusted until I was comfortable two painful contractions later and it was in. Whew. My right side immediately felt warm and numb and my left had nothing. He adjusted everything and said that he was glad that I was very still, even during those contractions. The nurse put in the catheter, ouch, and D watched the whole thing. Finally we got the uneven numbness to subside and the family was allowed back in. They all stayed until about 10:30PM and left us to get some rest. Rest was not in the cards however.

Stay tuned for part two, the delivery tomorrow! :-)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bumpdate 40 Weeks - Welcome Baby Emma

How Far Along? On June 30th at 39 weeks 2 days I had a doctors appointment. We discovered that my blood pressure was on the dangerous high level and my doctor wanted me to go in for an induction. I was so scared to be induced because of all the horror stories I had heard and didn't want to a c-section at all! Well after only 10 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing we brought our little Emma Jean into the world on 7-1-14.

Size of Baby? 6 pounds 8 ounces with a length of 21 inches and a head circumference of 13.5 inches.

Maternity Clothes? Still wearing the bottoms. I am trying to be comfortable considering I had a second degree tear, however most of my pre-pregnancy clothes really aren't suited for breastfeeding. We are back to trying to find things to wear.

Weight Loss? I gained 36 pounds in total over the course of my pregnancy. My unreliable at home scale says that I have lost 15 pounds since, but really I am noticing the weight loss in the mirror. I have a small kangaroo pouch but I notice the belly get smaller each day. I looked in the mirror the other day and got a little emotional to see that I no longer was carrying my little one safely inside my belly. I am ecstatic that she is here, but there was just something about being able to protect her inside me that gave me comfort.

Breastfeeding? Definitely. It's a little bit of a struggle, but we are working out the kinks. She had lost a total on 9.5% of her body weight by Thursday at our doctor's appointment. I may have had a mini panic attack inside and decided to really ramp up on the feedings. One of the doctor's is a breast feeding consultant and she came in to work with us a bit and showed us some good techniques for good latching and she told me that my milk was almost in. By our follow up appointment, Emma had gained back 1/2 of what she'd lost and the doctors were very pleased.

Sleep? Um, yea.....the whole complaining about sleep thing before, pales in comparison to now. We are trying to feed every two hours from finish to start, and while we had some rough seems to be working out ok. The over night 2-4am feed is the worst cause I always feel like I am going to conk out in the middle of the session. We try to nap during the day when she naps, and both love to sleep skin to skin with her. It's just the best.

Food Cravings? Nothing really in particular. I have been trying to keep up the caloric intake so just eating at regular intervals and pumping the fruits, veggies and protein as often as possible. Pounding the water is really hard, but at some points during the day I feel so thirsty that I drink an entire glass in 30 seconds.

Symptoms? Feeling really good. A little emotional at times, but the hubby is right by my side to make me feel better. Cramping wasn't too bad and it seems to have subsided. I was super constipated and that made for a really rough morning a couple of days ago. I know, TMI, but it's part of the process.

Belly Button? Definitely back in......seems deeper to me than it was before but it could just be my imagination.....or the lack of abs muscles that are now underneath it! ;-)

Best Moment of the Week? Had to be holding her in my arms for the first time and doing skin to skin. Oh wow what an emotional moment that was. After 10 months of growing and protecting her in my belly, seeing her cute little face and hearing her cry was the best thing ever. Close second was bringing her home. I love to lay with her, and kiss her little nose and toes. She is my everything.

There you have it. A completed weekly bump date for the pregnancy of Emma Jean. I am glad we stuck through it and have some great memories of this process. I am not going to miss making that chalkboard every week though! :-) Stay tuned for my birth story!