Thursday, April 28, 2011

Abby's Birthday week (Part 1)

We had an early cousin birthday celebration with Carrie and Chloe and Colton a few weeks ago. Chloe turned 3 on April 9th, and Colton will turn 1 on May 8th. The kids played together and had some cupcakes, but while Chloe was napping the babies played with her sushi set from Aunt Keena. Those were the only pictures I took that day.

Colton was climbing everywhere and Abby liked the big knife that came with the sushi set.

Abby really had fun with her cousins. And the knife.

Abby had her 1st birthday on Wednesday the 20th. She started the day out in a good mood:

And she wore the "1" onesie I made her.

She made some funny faces while I tried to take her picture...

...she opened presents...

...and played with them.
To be continued! (I'm super busy this week, I haven't been able to get it down in a single post... sorry.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Before and After

All three of us are getting over colds, so I have Abby's birthday post still coming. But look what else I did:



I don't know if you can tell, but I got some highlights. Do you like it? It was really starting to bother me with how long it was. I almost wish I went shorter with summer coming. Yay for shorter hair!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Time to Swing

The other day we went out to play on the swings. It was the first time we'd done so this year- Abs has only been on the swing once before, and it was last August when she was so very little.

It was windy. This is the first push. She was making happy noises, which hopefully you can hear over the wind.

We had fun.
The End.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Birthstory

Happy Birthday Miss Abigail! She is a one year old!
Of course I can't help but think about the day Abby was born, one year ago today. My birth story goes a little past her actual birth, because she had several procedures done on her, and ended up staying in the Newborn (Neonatal) Intensive Care Unit- I consider this all a part of her birth so in it goes.
Warning: Long post ahead.
Double Warning: If you don't care about birth stories, then go ahead and skip this whole thing, because you won't care at all about it. I also wrote it while I was in the hospital, so it will be a little hurried (and yet lengthy at the same time) and possibly scattered with grammatical errors.

I went to my appointment that we rescheduled to 4/20 at 8:30 am and was told I was dilated to about a 4, and Julia (the doctor) just said, okay see you in a week and try to work on having that baby. I was feeling fine, no contractions or pains or anything. As we were walking down the stairs to the cars (we were both going straight to work) my water broke. I felt it a little at first but was unsure if I was experiencing the normal leaking near the end of pregnancy, but it really kept coming so I stopped Spencer on his way to his car (we had already kissed and said goodbye) and told him I was leaking. We went back upstairs to the lobby and I went to the bathroom and Spencer went to tell the doctor. I noticed right away the water was brown/green, and I figured that was meconium- baby stool inside the womb, and I had heard that is not necessarily a good thing. The doctor told Spencer she thought it was too early for meconium to be present, it was probably blood, but go to the hospital. We both called work to say the baby was coming and went home to finish packing for the hospital. I had most of the stuff already packed and/or laid out.

We arrived to the hospital and got in our room about 9:50 or 10, and still no contractions, and they confirmed the discoloration was meconium. I lay in bed for about an hour and a half watching 30 Rock with Spencer, trying to figure out if I was going to start contracting, or what I should do. I didn’t want to be given Pitocin, but we all figured that would have to happen because I felt no different than I had all week, and once the water breaks there begins a countdown to get the baby out due to infection. We figured we should walk around a little, so at 12 we started doing laps around labor and delivery; at around 12:40 I felt some sensations that I didn’t recognize as contractions.  They were pain free, but it was pressure, so I said maybe we should start counting them as contractions and timing. They came pretty regular after a little while, and were still pain free, but slightly increasing in intensity… they started getting painful around 1:00, and we went back to the room and put on the TV again. I was checked and I was around a 5. I had contractions that were pretty painful and I decided I would most likely want an epidural, and we told someone and had the word put out to the anesthesiologist. I decided I couldn't watch anymore 30 Rock, either, that it was distracting in a bad way. I was given a birth ball to use and I took turns standing against the bed, the couch, and sitting on the ball. About 30 minutes later, I was having the urge to push. I did push a few times, because I couldn’t help it. I was checked and told I was dilated to a 7.

Picture taken in the middle of contractions- I am crazy because I'm actually smiling for this picture, but yet I wasn't doing too bad. On the screen in the background you can see the contractions- they weren't too bad at this point.

The contractions got bad enough that I decided that I wanted some pain medication before the epidural (because the epidural was taking a while to come) and just as we told them so, a minute later the anesthesiologist came in with a new nurse. (Our nurse, it turns out, was next door with another woman who was delivering at the same time.) I was dilated to a 10, and already at a plus 3 (at the station where the head has passed the pelvis in the birth canal). They still gave me the option of getting the epidural, but told me that if I couldn’t hold still, I wasn’t getting it. I held still and they put in the epidural. That slowed my blood pressure down, and in so doing, the baby’s heart rate, so I was put on oxygen, and they gave me something in the IV to increase my BP as we waited for the doctor to come. Once the doctor came, (only about 20 minutes after receiving the epidural), the delivery was very quick. She came in the door, and got her gear on, and got in my business. I pushed through 3 contractions, or 3 pushes, and baby girl was out. (Time after contractions started: about 2 hours, 50 minutes. Time after water broke: 6 hours, 30 minutes. Would that mean that my total labor took only 3 hours?)

She cried, and swallowed meconium, so she was taken to get suctioned (they explained to me earlier that with meconium babies you probably can’t do first contact after birth, so I knew not to be disappointed.) Spencer watched them clean her off while I was stitched up; I had a 2 degree tear (BTW I opted for no episiotomy). I know that I would have given birth absolutely med-free because the birth was so quick had the anesthesiologist not come in when he did. I feel like I am glad I got the epidural, although I am certain she would have been born earlier if I had not, because I would have pushed when I was already at 10 and not had my blood pressure slowed down. The doctor would have not made it either, I think they were waiting as long as they could for her to come deliver. So luckily I couldn’t feel the tear or the stitches.
Immediately after the birth, Julia placed Abby on my lap for a second, handed Spencer the scissors and said “Cut the cord. Quick!” Spencer cut the cord, and they immediately passed Abby (who was nameless at the time) to a nearby table where they cleaned her off and placed a small tube down her throat to her lungs to suck the meconium out. Spencer watched as the tube was placed in and taken out repeatedly for several minutes. The nurses were concerned that her breathing was too shallow, and decided to take her to another room to perform some kind of treatment on her. Spencer went with them, and when she got to the other room, she started breathing normally. The nurse watched her for a few minutes, and then decided she didn’t need the treatment after all, and sent her back to the room, where she was finally able to be with me about a half hour after she was born.

The next day, our nurse was concerned that Abby would have trouble with her digestive tract after she spit up a few times (apparently it was a lot of spit up and it came out of her nose too). They were concerned enough to order her stomach pumped and an X-ray for her. They pumped her stomach using a tube similar to the one they used for her lungs, and got some fluid out and a whole bunch of air. After that, she had to ‘fast’ for a while –they wouldn’t let her eat anything because the X-ray would be better if her belly was not full. Unfortunately, it took a really long time to get an X-ray technician to come help us, which was very frustrating to us, and she ended up not being able to eat for hours! There were multiple instances of shuttling her to the nursery for procedures, or to wait for procedures, and Spencer would go with her to make sure she was ok.

It was around this time that we settled on a name for her. We were pretty worried about her not being allowed to eat, and just as we had come to the end of our rope and were going to feed her no matter what (I think that had been about 6 hours since her last feeding) they came to our room to say the X-ray techs were ready for us. How frustrating. After all of that, and due to a test they performed, they decided it would be best for Abby to stay in the NICU for the night. (The test was her IT ratio, which was 0.29. Apparently, over 0.30 is troublesome and suspicious of an infection. They were concerned because even though her level was “normal,” it was right on the border of abnormal.) Abby went to the NICU around 5:00 or so, and Spencer and I walked with her. This was the first time that I had been up that much, and by the time we walked to the NICU, I was exhausted and feeling really weird. I started getting very dizzy and mentally checked out about halfway through the NICU doctor's explanations. I had to go back to my room in a wheelchair. We kept the wheelchair in our room, and it came in handy for all the times we had to go to the NICU to feed Abby (every 3 hours).

Picture taken by my mom. She thought it was funny you had to do the washing hands thing every time you go into the NICU. I didn't want her to take this picture, but she told me that I'd be glad I had it later. She was right.

The nurses in the NICU were great (save for one fill-in nurse who didn’t seem very nice), especially our very first nurse, who put a bow on Abby’s head and gave us more bows to take home with us. Spencer went to the NICU sometimes in between feedings to watch her and make sure she was ok. It was hard having her not be with us. She looked so sad with her little IVs… we learned that after 30 hours of being in there we were scared to have her home with us where she wasn’t being monitored every minute! It also turned out that the other babies in the NICU were much worse off than Abby was, and we later came to believe that she never really needed to be in there - it was more of a precaution than anything.
After about 30 hours in the NICU, we were able to take her home! Again, it was scary being told that she needed to be in the NICU, and even scarier when we checked her out and took her home without a medical professional to watch her all the time, but we soon learned that she was healthy and overall the birth was a positive experience. I've heard some scary birth stories recently, and I am so thankful that nothing went seriously wrong for myself or for Abby.


I literally cannot believe that it has been a whole year since this little girl joined our family. We love her beyond measure. Happy birthday, little bug!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Flashback: Almost here!

My little bug is almost 1! It's on Wednesday, people. And then I'll have a 1 year old. How did you moms deal with this?

Last year, I was working full time, at or sometimes even over 40 hours a week, and I was feeling pretty good. I work on my feet all day long, too, and I was pretty proud of myself for being able to keep it up without slowing down at all.
I had a due date of April 28th, and at that point I'd had my doctor's appointments every Wednesday. At my appointment on Wednesday the 14th, my doctor was a little concerned about my dilation. I had been dilated to a 3 and was 90% effaced ever since April 8th, and at that appointment on the 14th I was dilated to "a good 3 plus" (95% effaced). My doctor was worried about me going past a 4 over the course of the week. She asked me to switch my appointment from the 21st to the 20th. We were concerned for a few days that she might even try to break my water for me on the next appointment, because she wanted to see me one day sooner.
Anyway, I worked a full 10.5 hour shift on Saturday, and I was scheduled for Monday the 19th too. I had a friend offer to take my shift for me, so I let him work for me and I took the day off. I just felt like I had a few things to take care of, not to mention I thought it would be nice take a day off to relax before the baby got here. I go some things done and added some things to my hospital bag. By the end of the day on Monday the 19th, Ab's room looked like this:

(Oh yes. Complete with sports posters on the wall.)

 No crib. It was late. Grrrr.

Notice the old stuffed animals on the floor of the closet- they used to be Spencer's.

Holla if you want me to keep going... the rest of the birth story is forthcoming! So let this be a warning to those of you who don't want to read about it or who could care less!