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!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Little Details Before Her Arrival

Since Miss Emma will be rooming with us and we wont be doing a nursery tour, I thought that I would share some details of how we incorporated her into our little space. We brought a bookcase into our room and dedicated that all to her. The hubby condensed a drawer of his and we brought in her co-sleeper. She's not going to take up much room and we did all we could do to have as much of her items accessible.

We brought in the blocks my mom made with her name on them and displayed them on top of the bookcase with a photo of my dad that my stepmom had brought.

One shelf is dedicated to her diapers, wipes and necessary grooming items. Her changing pad is on another dresser, out of sight until we need it.

Health items, small baby brushes and grooming supplies! So little and adorable. The larger bottles are in another cabinet until they are needed!

She has two shelves dedicated to all the books she got. For the baby shower we asked that people bring a book instead of a card and sign it so she knows who gave it to her. We were lucky to not get very many duplicates and lots of great books!

This shelf was just a staged shelf until we figure out what to do with it. One frame says "look what we made" and will house a photo of the hubby and I holding her. The other photo is her 18 week ultrasound. We did eventually hang this up. And I just love the little tiny board books.

All that needs to be said!

All of her newborn and 0-3 month clothing, plus washcloths, hats, socks and headbands fit nicely into one drawer. It's so cute to open that drawer and see all of the tiny items. Seriously can't wait to see her wear some of these!

Here is where she is going to rest her little head. The co-sleeper fits nicely on my side of the bed and will assist in nightly feedings. I love the pink polka dot sheets and of course all the elephants! Hopefully she doesn't get sick of them!

She has all the necessary items that she needs right in our room. It's crazy to think that the time is almost here and she will be in our arms soon! Not pictured.....the million handmade blankets and all the rest of her clothes and items store away in our closet! She will not be naked or cold ever! Hehe. I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of Emma's things.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Bumpdate - 39 Weeks Full TERM!

What's baby up to this week? She is the size of a mini watermelon (yummmmmm), measuring about 20" long and weighs a bit over 7 pounds. Since we are full term there isn't much in the way of information from my app except that she continues to build fat to help control her body temperature after birth and the outer layers of skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath. At my doctors appointment he said she was at a -1 station and her head is engaged which I guess means shorter labor for me. Her heartrate was in the 120s which he said was normal for this stage in the pregnancy, but it was still concerning to this momma!

What's been going on with mom? Pretty much same ole same ole. Sleep sucks, heartburn. Not much new on this end. We are just sitting and waiting for her arrival. We really stepped up the walking which is becoming increasingly difficult due to the heat rising. I had a scare at my doctor's appointment. I of course don't sleep well the night before and go in to get my blood pressure checked and all the other things. My pressure is usually in the 125-130 range and it was 148/89! I had a mini panic attack on the inside. When we got in the room we had the discussion with the doctor. He said scary range was 160/100 and so long as I don't have bad headaches and major swelling I should be ok. I also had a little protein in my urine. I thought I was headed to Labor and Delivery for monitoring for sure. He had me lie down and we checked my pressure again and it was significantly lower so he said everything was normal. He did a cervical exam and I am the same as last week, 1cm and 50% effaced. No improvement whatsoever! GAH! He said to take it easy. Take naps and try going for several short walks, to try and efface a little more. Because of all this stress I decided that I needed to start my maternity leave a little early. I went to work, finished up some things and then said all my pre-baby goodbyes. I can't believe I am officially on maternity leave! o.O

Drooling, exhaustion, heartburn, acne, hip cramps, mild braxton hicks.

Not really craving anything. I am hungry all the time, but nothing sounds good at all.

Maternity and now that I am on maternity leave.....pjs and maxi dresses!

Still rolling around in there. I know she must be cramped! I feel her headbutting down there and and rolling around on my bladder is oh so fun. It's still crazy to watch the belly dance around.

Belly Button In/Out:
It's ALMOST flat, but it still indents a little

Wedding Rings On/Off: 
Off and on a chain around my neck.

Best Moment this Week:
Being able to nap. Lame I know, but catching up on sleep is something I desperately needed!

Looking forward to:
Meeting our girl!

Only 1 more chalkboards left to do.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Top 10 Maternity Must Haves

Since we are approaching the end of this pregnancy I wanted to write a little post of the items that has gotten me through. I didn't do a post per trimester, but pretty much everything on this list has carried me through the last two trimesters. My first trimester was super easy so there wasn't much I needed, besides a nap. So here we go. My top ten essential items for the 2nd and 3rd Trimester.

1. A double walled re-useable water bottle. Trying to keep up with the amount of water intake you need for your pregnancy is hard. I like my water cold and these tumblers insulate and keep your water colder for longer. I have several of them and I refill them many times a day.
2. The Baby Center App. This helped to keep me on track and gave me a little insight into what was in my near future. It also has lots of tips and tricks and information that you will need. It's a good one to get if you have a smart phone.
3. Maxi Dresses. Once you hit a certain point in your pregnancy you just want to be comfortable. I have several maxi's that make their rotation throughout each week. They are just as comfortable as sweats, but look better.
4. Body by Victoria Bra. I have never been a huge fan of VS bras, but once the bust line started to increase I knew I needed something comfortable that would cover them. These bra's are so comfy! I can't believe I lived without them for so long. I know they will have to retire soon and make way for nursing bras, but these were a major pregnancy staple!
5. Spearmint Tums. Heartburn has been one major complaint. It doesn't matter what I eat, anything can bring on the heartburn. These have been my best friend! I keep them in my purse or on my nightstand! I tried the smoothies, but I wasn't a fan.
6. Desk Fan. I started to run hot, and instead of being mean and cranking the ac and freezing out the office, I just got a fan that plugged into my computer. It's such a relief to have some air circulation.
7. Comfortable shoes. I prefer my Reef leather sandals, but feel free to use whatever you like. We started to walk a lot, in an effort to stay relatively in shape and to hold off the weight.
8. Juicy fruits. I guess this was my main craving. Fruits with lots of water content. Don't get me wrong. I had lots of unhealthy choices, but this is what I have wanted the most!
9. Pregnancy Pillow. While it hasn't worked unbelievably good, it still has helped me sleep. I was having major hip cramping, so this helped a lot while supporting my growing belly and head. I recommend getting something to help support your changing body!
10. Mabelline's Fit Me concealer. Guys, not only have I broken out like mad during this pregnancy, the lack of sleep also takes its toll on your under eye area. I love this concealer for my under eye area. It's not the greatest at covering blemishes, but it helps you to look awake and really that's important to me!

Well there you have it folks. The items that have gotten me through this pregnancy. I of course have an honorable mention of my pre-natal vitamins. Those are essential to any woman's pregnancy! What has gotten you through your pregnancy?