Thursday, July 16, 2009

First Week

I know that I'm a little behind in updating, but I have been very busy! Between caring for a newborn and all the things we've been doing around the house, there is rarely a quiet moment here.

Our first week has gone very well, but hasn't been without challenges. Kayla is an absolute joy of a baby and I feel so lucky to have her. She has been sleeping as long as 4 or even close to 5 hours at a stretch at night, which is unbelievable to me. We had some challenges on the breastfeeding front, but a visit with a lactation consultant at the hospital proved very helpful in that arena.

When we left the hospital on Thursday the 9th, Kayla weighed in at 6 pounds 11 ounces. At her first doctors appointment on the 10th, she was down to 6 pounds 8 ounces. After a stressful weekend that included supplementing with some formula, she was back up to 6 pounds 13 ounces on Monday. At the hospital on Tuesday, she checked in at 6 pounds 15 ounces. Her next appointment is on the 21st, and I'm anxious to see how she did over the last week.

We have been having lots of fun. Since our little one travels so well, we have been able to take her anywhere we need to go. We've even put her in the stroller for a nice walk to Grecco's for ice cream when Nana Kim came to visit on Sunday, and over to Aunt Dena's house on Wednesday. We have quite the little adventurer on our hands.

I am starting to get nervous about Shaun returning to work on Monday; it's going to be difficult not having that second set of hands around just in case. I am looking forward to having time with her and I'm looking forward to Aunt Paula's first visit with us too. It's still a bit unnerving to think about being totally on my own. Here's hoping that it all goes well!


I've been updating my photobucket albums, but never actually posted pics here... So here's a selection, and the rest are found in the birth pictures and first week pictures albums.

In the warmer, just an hour old:

Waiting to go home:

Napping in the pack and play bassinet:

Wide awake and just a week old:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our Birth Story

After a slightly disappointing report at my 39 week appointment, I didn't have very high hopes for a speedy arrival for our little girl. Yet, 3 am on Tuesday found me wide awake having an exceptionally painful contraction. I didn't think much of it at first, until another one started just a few minutes after the first one ended. I grabbed my iPod and started timing the waves of pain; they were still irregular but definitely not getting any easier to breathe through. At about a minute and a half each and 6 to 8 minutes apart, they were much the same as what I had been feeling the day before, just stronger.

I didn't want to get excited, but when my shuffling woke Shaun up, I explained what was going on. Since we figured that this meant she could come any time, he actually got up and went to work around 4 am. I got up and showered with the intention of going in early also. At that point I decided that the pain was too much and I would have been useless at my desk and called in to my boss. After eating a little fruit salad I camped myself out on the couch with a movie on to try to distract myself from the contractions. When that didn't work (I didn't think there was a problem that Robert Pattinson couldn't get me through but I guess I was wrong) I tried a warm bath. That helped a lot, but I found myself falling asleep in the tub and missing the contraction timing. I went back to my movie, and then watched some episodes of "Bringing Home Baby" and "A Baby Story" on TLC. Around 9:30 I decided I couldn't take any more and attempted to reach my nurse at the OB's office. She was on vacation so I spoke with another nurse... I figured I had a long way to go, and really wanted to get some sleep, so I was hoping she could suggest something (ANYTHING) I could take to knock myself out so I could rest. Even though my contractions were still more than 5 minutes apart and I hadn't shown major signs of progressing at all the night before, the nurse decided (after hearing me breathe through one contraction) that I should come in for a labor check. I let Shaun know to come home and got busy gathering all the last minute things we would need for our hospital stay. Even though I was certain we'd be sent home for the time being, I wanted to get everything together in hopes we'd need it all soon.

We got to the doctor’s office a little later than my appointment time, and sat in the waiting room FOREVER. All the while I was noticing that the contractions were getting closer together. By the time we finally got back to see the doctor, they were about 3 to 4 minutes apart and coming on strong. When Dr. Tedeschi checked me, I was amazed to hear that I was 5 centimeters dilated and going to be admitted to labor and delivery!

A little after noon, we were getting settled into our room and waiting for the midwife and anesthesiologist to come in. Marilyn checked and found me to have dilated another centimeter and made the decision to break my water. This was when they discovered that there was meconium in my fluid. Kayla had already had her first bowel movement, and so would need a little special attention upon her arrival. This eliminated the possibility of skin to skin contact right after delivery, which made me sad. I wanted her to be healthy no matter what though.

By 1:00, I was getting my epidural and preparing myself to settle in for delivery. I waited anxiously for the medicine to take effect (after Marilyn broke my water, the contractions quadrupled in intensity. I no longer questioned my decision to get an epidural at that point) and hoped that being able to relax would allow things to continue progressing. Unfortunately, it only slowed things down. My contractions spaced and Kayla's heart rate started to dip regularly. They wouldn't give me Pitocin because they didn't want to stress her out any more than needed until her pulse stabilized. An internal monitor was put in place so they could more accurately watch her heart rate. I lay in bed flipping channels incessantly, although the only thing on EVERY SINGLE CHANNEL was the Michael Jackson memorial service. Hours later there was still no change. I switched sides several times and breathed some oxygen to help her out. At least 3 nurses were in and out, pouring over the printouts of my contractions and Kayla’s heart rate, and discussing what to do. I was starting to feel a really bad headache coming on. I hadn’t eaten anything except a popsicle (which didn’t stay in my stomach long) since that fruit salad at 6:30 am. Initially a nurse said she’d bring me some broth. A few minutes later, she returned saying that they were going to hold off on that. It was then that I started to panic. I was certain they weren’t letting me have anything because a c-section was imminent and I was about to be wheeled to the OR any second.

While the nurses and midwife continued to discuss options, the epidural started to wear off. I began to feel the contractions in my right side again, and I suddenly became aware that I felt like I needed to push. A quick check revealed that I was complete and ready to start pushing. That was the last news I got from Marilyn. The midwives changed shifts and Claire came in to check up on me. A little after 8 pm I started working to bring my little girl into the world.

At 9:10 PM, Kayla Anne was born and quickly tended to by a NICU doctor. They had warned me that she might not cry right away - I held my breath until I heard that wonderful sound; she was alive and well. They cleared her airways, wrapped her in a blanket and then brought her to me. I honestly believe that she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. At 7 pounds 2 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long, she was so tiny and delicate. I was absolutely in love.

Although we still have a long way to go towards establishing our routines and getting her day/night straight, we are so thrilled to have our little angel at home. I don't know how I ever lived without her.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

She's here!!

Kayla Anne entered the world on 7/7/09 at 9:10 pm. She weighs 7 lbs 2
oz and is 19 3/4 inches long. She is absolutely beautiful. I will
update with pics and my full birth story when I am able.

For posterity so I can remove from my sidebar... my pregnancy dates and milestones:

11/09/08 - Is that two pink lines? Does that digital really say "pregnant"?
11/11/08 - Confirmation appointment. EDD of 7/11/09.
12/17/08 - 10W4D. First US, baby looks great; HB 167. Midwife appointment. +8 lbs
1/14/09 - 14W4D. Midwife appointment. +15 lbs. Baby's HB 155.
1/30/2009 - First quickening felt!
2/11/09 - 18W4D. Midwife appointment. +22 lbs. Baby's HB 140's.
2/25/09 - BIG ulrasound! IT'S A GIRL! Baby's HB 145, weight approx. 14 ounces. Appears to be healthy.
3/11/2009 - 22W4D. Midwife appt. +31 pounds. U/S results of a perfectly healthy baby confirmed. Kayla's HB 144.
04/06/09 - 26W2D. Midwife appt + bloodwork. +37 pounds; Kayla's HB 130.
04/27/09 - 29W2D. Midwife appointment. +39 pounds. Kayla's HB 140. All bloodwork normal - I passed my glucose tolerance test!
5/11/09 - 31W2D. CNS Appointment turned midwife appointment. +40 pounds. Kayla's HB 140.
5/27/09 - 33W4D. Midwife appointment. +44 pounds. Kayla's HB 130's.
6/08/09 - 35W2D. Midwife appointment. +46 pounds. Kayla's HB 145. GBS test.
6/15/09 - 36W2D. Midwife appointment. +46 pounds still. Kayla's HB 130's. GBS negative.
6/22/09 - 37W2D. Midwife appointment. +48 pounds. Kayla's HB 144.
6/29/09 - 38W2D. Midwife appointment. +50 pounds. Kayla's HB 124.
7/06/09 - Midwife appointment. +50 pounds. Kayla's HB 130's. 1 cm dilated, 70% effaced.
7/07/09 - Kayla Anne Born at 9:10 PM!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not as much progress as I'd hoped

Well, another good appointment. No weight gain, blood pressure was
high, but they didn't seem too bothered by it, Kayla's heartbeat was
steady at 130.

Unfortunately, despite the contractions I was feeling today, I am only
1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. I'm just hoping for a bit more progress
over the next couple of days. We will see.

Another week down...

Wow. I can not believe the 4th of July has come and gone already. Seriously, I keep staring at the date on my computer and thinking it can't possibly be right. Then I look down at my uneven and lumpy belly and realize that it has to be right. I can't possibly get any bigger. Seriously - I can't. Almost none of my shirts cover the bottom of my stomach any more. It's insane.

We did a lot around the house again this weekend; I think the nesting urges have us both in their grips. After a relaxing day with our friends on Saturday, we spent Sunday cleaning out our bedroom, including the walk in closet. We took three MASSIVE boxes of clothing to the Salvation Army... we also stopped at WalMart and got enough plastic storage bins to organize not only our room, but most of the basement as well. It felt great to get so much accomplished, but my back was absolutely shot after so many trips up and down the stairs and up and down off the floor in whatever room we were working on.

After all of that, Kayla picked last night to give me a little scare. We were laying in bed watching TV when I realized I hadn't felt her move since dinner. Trying to keep the initial wave of panic at bay, I went downstairs and ate a little sugary fruit salad. That seemed to perk her up just enough that I knew she was OK, and then she got the hiccups. *whew* She seems to be much quieter and more still on the whole the last couple of days, but even with that in mind, I still worry when I don't feel anything coming from her.

I'm starting to feel hopeful that this might not last very much longer. I've started to get some more intense and borderline painful contractions now. I can still talk through them and I'm not ready to punch anyone yet, but each one does make me stop and take a few deep breaths. I know that the second I post this entry they'll probably stop completely for the next week or more and I will look like a complete idiot. Oh well. We'll see what the midwife's input is at my appointment tonight. I'm thinking 7/7 would be a good birthday... so any time now Miss Kayla, we're anxiously waiting!

39W 2D

Friday, July 3, 2009

Baking is a nesting urge, right?

Last night I made a delicious coffee cake, so I wanted to send a big thanks to t.bird from the Nest for the recipe! I wish I had taken a pic of it before I started cutting of ginormous hunks of it for Shaun and I to eat, but the picture on her blog gives you the idea. The only change I made was to use half chocolate chips (milk chocolate flavor) and half Hershey's cinnamon flavored chips. Yum! Check out this recipe and some of T's others on her food blog here! (And yes, I did make the maple glaze she suggests, and it's fantastic!)

The imbibing of copious amounts of Raspberry Leaf tea has also commenced. The contractions are starting to get a bit more intense, but they're still really irregular. I'm not holding out hope that she'll arrive early, but I suppose stranger things have happened. She has slowed down quite a bit in the last couple of days... it took a bag of M&M's to get her moving last night. I'm hoping that's a good sign. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

38W 6D

8 days until D Day...