Sunday, August 22, 2010

3 1/2 Months Old!

Our girl is getting so big!

She now basically has full control of her head, can lift her head and chest off the floor (and sometimes will kind of roll over to her side), grabs toys and brings them to her mouth, and as of last week...drumroll please...she is NAPPING in her CRIB!

I'm pretty sure it was my fault that napping had been such an issue, but I just didn't realize that I would have to insist on napping with a tiny baby. Our new plan is that when I can tell she's sleepy, we go to her nursery, draw the blinds, swaddle her up. turn on her white noise, and rock until she falls asleep. When I started this nap crusade, she would scream for about 10 minutes before giving in to her sleepiness, and we are down to about 3 minutes of screaming and a few more minutes of quiet complaining now. I hate that she gets so upset going down for a nap, but she wakes up so cheerful and ready to play. The big smiles and happy moods tell me that this is good for her.

It is so much fun to watch her grow and learn. I feel like she has major changes every week now as she becomes more coordinated and aware of her surroundings.

We are getting ready to leave for a vacation at the beach for a week. When we return, I hope to blog more often now that Lydie is napping on her own...

Malia and Lydia
Mike, Lydia, Piper and Paige at our Birth Class Reunion

Poppy and our little Koala Bear

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

8 Weeks Old!

Last week we had some gorgeous weather so we took advantage of it! Lydie isn't really into her car seat these days (hates it!) so we went for lots of walks with her in the Bjorn. This carrier is great for walking because she can face outwards and take in her world. I am amazed every day by how much more she seems to be able to process.
She pretty much always returns home in this state...

I'm bummed that it's so hot again because it's basically impossible to take her out in this kind of heat. I cannot wait for fall!

Anyway, we've also been able to spend some time with Pops and Squirty lately. One afternoon we just sat around on their back porch for hours. They're only in town sometimes so we have to see them lots when they're here!

Lydie's biggest change recently has been her level of interaction. She smiles and coos all the time and is so much fun to play with. She loves her bouncy seat for short periods of time and gets excited when her toys come out. She even has favorites! (as interpreted by how much she smiles and flails her arms when shown each one.)

And some things never change... she always smiles and makes funny faces when Daddy is around!

She still gets up several times a night. Sometimes twice, sometimes 3 or 4 times, but it does seem like we are moving in the right direction overall. I'm hoping that it will become even better now that her finger issue is resolved...
For those that don't know the story, here's what happened in a nutshell...
Lydia was born with a little skin tag on her right pinkie finger. Her pediatrician tied it off with a suture about a month ago, it turned black and shriveled up, but it never fell off. Then last week it started looking red and swollen at the base. After a round of antibiotics failed to improve the situation, it was decided that her body was rejecting the suture and that we would see an orthopaedic surgeon to have the whole thing removed. We went yesterday, and after worrying that it would hurt the baby and fretting all morning, the surgeon walked in and pulled the suture and the dead skin off in the first two minutes of being in the room and told us to wash it with soap and water several times a day. Seriously!? I was really happy that it was so easy, but it seemed like a big production for something we could have done at home. In any case, her finger already looks way better and it doesn't seem to be as sensitive as it was before. So glad to have the whole ordeal behind us!

Other than that, we've gone to several parties, visited with lots of family and friends, and Mike and I are starting to get a little bit of Mommy and Daddy time after Lydie goes to bed at night. She's usually down around 8 and we sit on the back porch and unwind until our bedtime at 9 or 10. It's a lot of work, this baby, but she is a true joy and a light.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Controversial Thought

I'm not sure if Lydia's Birth Day was the best day of my life.

When I try to pinpoint that day, certain events come to mind, like kickin it on the beach in Maui with my family on a great vacation when I was about 12; the day I married my amazing husband, we ate and lounged all day and then spent the evening in a giant bubble bath; one particularly great camping trip on the Parkway where we discovered a magical waterfall that was surrounded by tiny lavender butterflies...

Vomiting. Retching. Groaning. Sobbing. Bleeding. Pushing. Best day ever? I don't know.

My mother in law came to visit today and we ate lunch on a shady patio at one of our favorite restaurants. We had a delicious meal, enjoyed the cool, breezy afternoon, and I sipped iced tea leisurely while I watched my tiny daughter sleep in her Grandma's arms. It was a pretty fine afternoon.

Lydia has made my life so much more real, and it helps me appreciate the great moments that come and go so quickly that true gratitude is often forgotten.

And on an equally real level, the hard moments at 3 a.m. with no sleep and a diaper blowout can be painfully raw and miserable. The third hour of rocking a cranky baby is kind of soul sucking.

But then, out of no where, a little smile spreads across her face and WHAM!... the love is so potent that it knocks me to my knees. My heart explodes. Fireworks of pride and happiness go off inside me. I am her, and she is me, and we are one.

This love is a really important tool that the universe gives parents. It's what gives me the strength to pop out of bed and go to her nursery when I hear her cries boom through the monitor... even when she wants to eat every two hours, like last night. (We're having some sleep issues this week, if you can't tell.) It's what makes labor and delivery worth it and the only reason I will ever consider getting pregnant again.

And this love, like the love I have for her Daddy, builds with every day that passes. It deepens each minute I hold her and it changes me. Makes me tougher to fight the challenges of parenthood. Softens me so that I can attend to her every need quicker and better than the day before. And it skews reality just enough so that I will always adore her no matter what she needs or how hard the journey feels.

This slightly skewed reality compounded with the burning love and the hours of hard work I've put in as her Mommy, do make her birthday, the beginning of this crazy adventure, feel extremely special. I really cannot even imagine my life without her now. And feeling her warm body in my arms and seeing her squished, little face for the first time was certainly one of the best MOMENTS of my life.

But probably not the best day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Great Grandparents!

Lydie got to meet more of her great grandparents this morning! Yay!

Daddy's Girl

From the very beginning...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Family Shots

Hanging in the Salon with Aunt Kelly

Meeting Eli (who wasn't so sure what to think)

Snoozing with Lolly on the front porch

Indigo and Uncle Keith make me smile!

My cousin Riley (us girls are going to have to stick together with all of our boy cousins!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Childbearing is Glamorous, Week 43

I have 30 pounds to lose, stretch marks still STARTING to appear on my hips, and hemorrhoids. Also, I don't fit correctly into any of my maternity clothes... or regular clothes.

Just had to get that off my chest...


Monday, June 7, 2010

Four Weeks Old!

It's really hard for me to believe that Lydie is almost a month old! What a whirlwind! In these first weeks, we have gotten to know a little bit about our girl.

First of all, she is a cuddle bug. She wants to be held every moment that she is awake, and really she prefers to be held while she sleeps, too. Thankfully, however, she is doing a pretty great job at sleeping in her crib at night and will usually take one nap a day in there too. She also loves to sleep in her Ergo baby carrier. It has become our fail safe if Lydie is having trouble falling asleep or gets cranky while we are out... just pop her in and she's content.

Lydie LOVES tummy time! She starts out lifting her little head to look at me while she practices her "crawling" and after she is worn out will just lay around for a few minutes. She always releases a lot of gas during tummy time, so I think it actually makes her feel better too!

She does not like to have her hands confined. This means that we have to swaddle her right below her arms so that she can flail them around while she sleeps (hilarious).

She has been a great eater from day 1. We tried to nurse within 15 minutes of her arrival, she latched right on and away we went...

...this means that she is also a great pooper. We have at least one diaper blow out a day. Last night she was wearing a onesie and Mike was holding her in the kitchen when it happened. I was pumping in the living room when I heard it. There was a long pause and Mike started laughing hysterically and yelling, "Oh My God, Oh My God..." It got all over Lydia, Mike's shirt, pants, and shoes, and all over the floor. Thank goodness they weren't standing over the white carpet!

Unfortunately, my baby has reflux! We had two nights that she hardly slept and she just wailed around the clock. She would scream while she was eating and would make this weird gagging/swallowing noise. We took her to her pediatrician and now she is on some medicine for it. We also had to prop her crib up on one side so that her head can be slightly elevated while she sleeps. Since her first dose, she has returned to sleeping well at night and happily eats!

So, Lydie has A LOT of hair for a baby which prompted me to get out the blow dryer one evening when she was chilly. She went from crying and shivering to happily laying around and waving her arms and legs the minute I turned it on. So, now she gets her entire body blow dried after every bath. I just turn on the low, warm setting and I can get all her little hard to dry spots like her fanny and her neck.

Just this week we have started to give Lydie a bottle. The first attempt was a total bust and made her really mad, but last night she drank an entire bottle from her Daddy! YES! Freedom! Don't get me wrong, I'm not anxious to leave her for very long, but the idea of being able to go out to dinner with my hubby is very appealing.

I'll leave you with a few more pictures from our first month together. It has been the best and the hardest four weeks of my life. :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lydia's Birth Day

Also known as the day that Mother Nature knocked me to my knees and humbled me.

On Monday, May 10th, at 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant, I woke up around 5:30 a.m. at the peak of a contraction. I remember thinking to myself that this was different than other contractions I had been having over the previous weeks; that it felt a little more intense. A few minutes later, I had another one so I began timing them just in case this was the real deal. I realized that they were coming every 6 or 7 minutes and woke Mike up to discuss what was happening. By this point, it was around 6:30 a.m. and we decided to send Mike's mom a text to give his parents a heads up that I might be in labor. We still weren't 100% sure that it was go-time, but since they would be coming from out of town, we wanted them to know.

We decided then to get up and move into the living room, make some breakfast, and start listening to my Hypnobabies CD. Within half an hour, I was in a lot of pain, the contractions were coming every 4 or 5 minutes, and I was positive that I was in labor. Mike had made egg and cheese bagels for breakfast and the smell of them was making me sick. Rosey was running around, probably feeding off of our nervous energy, and I asked that she be put upstairs. And, most notably to me, I was becoming irate with the Hypnobabies scripts. Each time I heard the words,"easy, comfortable, beautiful childbirth," I kept thinking that I was in big trouble. That was NOT the experience I was having and it really freaked me out that this was our birth plan. We had practiced everyday. We had done the work. Why was I in so much pain? Why the hell couldn't I pull it together for the big event?

I realized very quickly that I would be left to my own devices. An epidural was already sounding pretty damn good. I remember looking at Mike and saying, "it's time to call the Birth Center but what I really want to do is go straight to the hospital." But, we decided to call over to Women's Birth and Wellness and page the midwife on duty around 7:45. Leigh Ann called us back a few minutes later and Mike told her what was going on. She asked to speak to me, at which time she told me to just keep doing what we were doing and to call them back around lunch time.


I think this was the moment that our original birth plan officially went flying out the window. I knew that we didn't have that much time. I needed antibiotics for group B Strep and this baby was on her way and fast! Lunch time? I started freaking out.

During the next 45 minutes, things continued to pick up. I started throwing some last minute things into my bag and Mike started packing up the car. The contractions were literally bringing me to my knees and they were coming every 3 or 4 minutes. Mike called the Birth Center back around 8:45 and told them we were on our way for a labor check.

As we planned for our birthing time, I pictured us calmly packing things up, feeling very sentimental about leaving Rosey to go have a baby, calling our in-town friends and family on the car ride and arriving with a huge smile on my face. In reality, we threw things into the car, I was hyperventilating and doubled over on the stairs until I basically ran to the car, I had forgotten that we had a dog or that there was anyone else in the universe, let alone anyone that I needed to CALL at that moment. Labor had come on fast and furiously for me and it was so much stronger than I had given it credit for.

We arrived at the Birth Center around 9 a.m. and I all but crawled into a Birthing Room where Alison checked me for the first time. I was 4 cm dilated so she suggested I take a walk until I was 5 cm and could officially check-in. This was another moment I remember freaking out because there was no way in hell I was going for a walk in my condition. This labor did not need to be expedited. I knew it was moving along just fine by itself, thankyouverymuch. Because there were several empty rooms, Alison let us stay, thank goodness, after I told her that I couldn't possibly move. Debbie had arrived by this point and I was relieved that she was there to support us, but all I wanted was to go to the hospital and get an epidural. It was all I could think about.

At 10 or 10:30, Alison rechecked me and I was a stretchy 5 cm. Yep, things were moving fast! I told her that I definitely wanted to go to the hospital and she tried to talk me into staying at the Birth Center a little longer and suggested I get into the tub. I agreed, she started running the bath water and walked out of the room to get something. Mike looked at me and said, God bless him, “if you want to go, we can just go. You don’t have to get into the tub if you don’t want to.” That was all I needed to hear…

So Mike went to tell Alison that I wanted to go to the hospital immediately. She said that she would have to call over and that we could leave in about 20 or 30 minutes. When he came back into the room with that report I was already mentally at the hospital and I replied, “I am leaving RIGHT NOW and if she can’t come with us, that’s her problem.” I got off the bed and walked out into the reception area. I had to sign some piece of paper before we left (I had no idea what it said and couldn’t have cared less if I was selling my soul at that moment) so I grabbed the clipboard, drew a straight line across the signature line and walked right out the door into the parking lot where I promptly threw up. A lot.

Mike, Deb and I got into one car and headed to the hospital. I was groaning through contractions by this point and was sincerely pissed off that Mike wouldn’t run red lights.

We arrived around 11 a.m. and it took forever to get a wheelchair for some reason. Finally, we got one and Mike wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery. Again, I signed a bunch of papers without a clue of what they said and finally made it into my room. I remember sitting on the bed and thinking it was WAY softer than the bed at the Birth Center.

Because I had thrown up, I was very dehydrated at this point and it took 45 minutes, at least 5 pokes and 2 nurses to get a good IV line in me. Eventually, fluids were started, my antibiotics were going and Anesthesia was paged to come to my room. For someone who didn’t think that they originally wanted any kind of intervention, I sure was begging for them to hurry up.

And FINALLY they arrived and I was hooked up by noonish. The way an epidural works, I learned, is that you are given a dose of medicine into your spine that numbs you fast and lasts about 45 minutes until the epidural begins to fully kick in. I felt great, totally relaxed, remembered everyone else that I had intended to call hours earlier and got on the horn. I was in great spirits, SO happy I was at the hospital. And just for the record, I never even felt the epidural go in. (I’ve had several people ask me if it hurt…)

My people started arriving and I was having a jolly time greeting everyone and starting to celebrate that we were about to meet our baby. For the first time all day, it occurred to me that the BABY was coming. I hadn’t even really thought about that! HOORAY!

Well, that 45 minutes was really, really nice.

Then the original dose of medicine wore off and it became obvious very quickly that the epidural wasn’t working. At All.

Oh shit.

I went from having to breathe through contractions again to thrashing around in the bed screaming obscenities within a twenty minute time span. I was again begging for Anesthesia to come back and HELP ME.

Around this time, Alison checked me to see how far along I was: 8 cm and transitioning. I kept thinking I was going to throw up, which I never really did, and I seriously, truly thought I was going to lose consciousness at any minute. I have never ever experienced anything so powerful in my life.

I had about an hour of complete and utter, IthinkIamgoingtodie pain. My sister, Katherine, saved my life by coaching me through it and Debbie, Kelly and Mike were taking turns fanning me, wiping me down with washcloths, and holding or supporting various body parts.

Then around 2:15 I said, “I think I can push,” which prompted Alison to check me again. I was fully dilated, so she broke my water and I remember Kat looking at me and saying, “you can push now if you want.” Hallelujah! A little control. I held on to the top of the bed with my left hand and to a sheet for pulling with my right hand and I bared down with everything I had. I was ready for it to be over and I knew that getting her out was the only way to stop the pain. Thankfully she wanted to come quickly and we were a good team. She was born after 20 minutes of pushing at 2:43 p.m. and I have never felt joy and relief like I did in the moment that I grabbed her and pulled her up to my chest.

She weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. She came out and had a few soft cries and was a beautiful pink color right from the start.

The next hour or so is a blur that involved delivering the placenta, getting one stitch put in, snuggling the baby and eating a cheeseburger.

Since that moment, things have been crazy wonderful. We are so in love with Lydia and incredibly thankful that she arrived safely.