Wednesday, June 30, 2010

At home

We were released from the hospital on Monday, June 28th at around noon. Before we left I had a 2-hour session with the lactation consultant. She was able to watch me feed and gave me tons of tips and tricks that have really helped now that we are at home. We saw her again on Tuesday to see how everything was going. Clara's bili-rubin test looked great and she had gained weight since we left on Monday. It was such a relief to know that we were doing it right!

So far she has been a great sleeper and eater. Sometimes we have to wake her up to feed her because she sleeps so well. She does let us know though when she's hungry too. She lost her umbilical cord last night, so I am going to try one of the cloth diapers on her later today. A friend of mine from high school makes them and gave me 3 of her new newborn diapers to test. I plan to take pics and will post those when I get a chance.

We head back to Red Wing tomorrow for discharge class. They will weigh Clara, check her skin, and answer any questions I might have.

We have been relatively good at taking pictures, but getting them on the computer has been the challenge - hopefully more soon!

Birth Story

It was a dark and stormy night... literally!
June 25, 2010
My water broke at 2:30am on Friday morning. It wasn't a big gush, but I definitely knew what was happening. I went back into bed and laid down, but Paul could tell something wasn't right. I told him I was pretty sure we were going to meet Baby L today! So we got up, and he started cleaning up around the house and finished packing our bags. I was trying to time contractions, but I wasn't feeling much and they weren't even or really even painful. So I called the hospital and they said to come in. So we packed up the car and headed out!
We arrived in Red Wing at about 5:30am. They put us in a room and got me hooked up to the monitors. I was 1cm dialated, my water had ruptured, but I wasn't feeling the contractions that were showing up on the monitor. After seeing Dr DeLuca, they decided to put my on pitocin to get things going at a little more. So they started the IV at 9am. I was still able to get up and move around, but within reach of the IV and monitors. By 10am I was feeling the contractions full on! They were pretty intense, lasting almost a minute with about 2 minutes in between. I was only dialated to 2cm, so they upped the pitocin again. By 2:30pm, I was on the birthing ball, but having a hard time breathing through the contractions. After talking about my options with Dr DeLuca and our nurse Megan, I decided it was time for the epidural. I was so exhausted, I had no idea how much longer I could keep doing what I was doing and have so little progress. So at 4:30pm I got my epidural. It took 2 tries, but once it was in - it was heaven! I could just feel my body relaxing. After the epidural, they were able to significantly up the pitocin, and I could rest.

At 7:30pm we learned that Red Wing was under a tornado watch, so all the patients were moved into the hallway. There were 2 other woman there laboring that night as well. They then decided to move us all down to the surgery suite since that is underground. So one by one, they wheeled all of us down in our beds, with our monitors, IV's, and epi pumps to the surgery floor. We hung out down there for about 2 hours. Since I had an epidural, I was in no pain, and really just hung out in the bed! I was told the other 2 were closer to delivery, so there was more action on their side of the room.

At 9:30pm, they took us back upstairs. Dr DeLuca came in to check me, looked at the nurse, and told her to get the delivery cart ready! I was fully dialated, effaced, and the baby's head was ready to crown. Everyone was a bit surprised - including us! They let me labor down a little bit longer, as they needed to finish setting up the room. At 11:05pm, I started pushing. It really is mostly a blur, but Paul was right there with me, and even though I had my eyes closed through most of it, I could hear him cheering me on. After about 3 rounds of pushing, at 11:18pm - Baby Clara was born! We had a bit of a scare when her head was delivered and her cord was tightly wrapped about her neck. They were able to clamp it off and cut it before I delivered the rest of her. They put her on my chest, but she wasn't really moving or crying, so they took her to the warmer where they got her going. She had quite a bit of fluid in her lungs that needed to be suctioned. After all that, one of the nurses finally thought to ask, "what do we have?" That is when we heard the news, "It's a girl!" :)
Since Clara came down so fast, she had a lot of facial brusing, and I had little time to stretch, which means I have quite a few stitches! I tore in what they call a "star tear" which means I had lots of little tears all the way around. Once we were all cleaned up, they put her skin to skin with me to help her regulate. I was definitely in heaven! I couldn't believe that I had just done something that had scared me for so long - and it wasn't even that bad! :)
I was finally able to get up out of bed at about 2:30am (Saturday). They cleaned me up, got me in a new gown, and settled back into bed. I was ready to just curl up on my side and get some sleep! Thankfully, I was able to do that.

Our stay in the hospital went by so fast, even though we were there a day longer than anticipated. We really wanted to get the feedings down, her color was a little off, and they wanted to make sure her lungs were nice and clear. We had lots of visitors, but were still able to rest. All in all, it was a great experience. I LOVE FAIRVIEW RED WING! I can't imagine delivering our future children anywhere else. The doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, even the nutrition staff were AMAZING!!

Kind of a goofy picture, but here is Clara Ann!

Our first family pic, taken Saturday, June 26th

Monday, June 28, 2010

SHE is here!

We welcomed Clara Ann on Friday, June 25th at 11:18pm! She weighed 7lbs 6oz, and was 20.5" long. She has dark hair and the sweetest face - we are completely in love! We have quite the labor and delivery story to share - watch for an upcoming post!

We are now home and getting adjusted. So far she has been a great sleeper, but we know this may be short lived. Feeding is going OK - the lactation consultant gave me a great arsenal of tips and tricks, so we should be able to get it down.

All for now - I'll be back soon with more!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Recap

It's a blogging kind of day...
Busy weekend once again! We got a lot accomplished and it shows - the house looks great. Paul spent Father's Day moving his office upstairs. The upstairs of our home is interesting... hot in the summer, cold in the winter, crappy windows, floors that creak, and steps that are narrow, steep, saggy, and have no railing... Needless to say, we don't use that space for much more than storage. But with Baby L taking up another room on the main floor, we have had to make it work. I have my sewing maching set up in one area up there, and now Paul has his fairboard office up there too. It was kind of fun sitting up there together on Sunday afternoon - I was working on a sewing project while he worked on fairboard stuff. It was REALLY hot though...

We purged a bunch of crap that we were storing upstairs for no reason - BIG fire! I deep cleaned the bathroom and the living room; Paul carried more crap upstairs. By the end of the day, most of what we had set out to do was accomplished - and a few things more!

Saturday night we headed to my hometown of Zumbrota for the Covered Bridge Festival Parade. I love this parade because there are a lot of bands! I was in marching band in high school, so I love to watch and critique... I'm sure those sitting around me are annoyed as I convey that their "diagonals are totally off," "what is with the white dinkels (marching shoes)," and "those flag costumes look like strippers!" But it is entertaining to me! I do have to give it up to those kids though - marching is TOUGH and I don't miss those early morning practices!

Overall - it was a GREAT weekend! We also got our daycare figured out... but I'll leave that for another post :)

Below are a few of my sewing projects from the weekend.
Wetbag for a friend that is expecting in August.

Baby blanket for friend that is expecting a little girl!

Week 40

Week 40 - I really hope I don't have to write one for Week 41...

Total weight gain/loss: -26
Next appointment: Friday – June 25th
Maternity Clothes: I am actually wearing all pre-preg clothes today... funny, since today is my due date. Pants are these AWESOME lane bryant stretchy ones... top is stretchy too... I actually look dressed up, but I am SOOO comfortable!
Stretch Marks: Ones on the top of my belly are a little darker.
Sleep: Woke up this morning at 5am with contractions... didn't turn into anything, but I missed out on 2 hours of sleep!
Belly button in/out: In
Movement: lots of squirming.
Food cravings: Not much, although I am hungry which is a sensation I had kind of forgotten about...
Contractions: yes - Braxton-Hicks contractions are a cruel joke when they show up on your due date...
Best moment of the week: celebrating Father's Day with Paul. We got a ton more "nesting" accomplished... I can't wait to see him with our son or daughter!
What I miss: not sure this week, but one thing I will NOT miss about being pregnant is people constantly asking, "you're still here?"
What I am looking forward to: Real Labor
Milestones: Hello Due Date!

Hello Due Date

Why hello June 21st! We have foolishly been awaiting your arrival thinking that it meant something... which we have now learned it doesn't. Of course, the day isn't over yet, but I'm at work, and Paul's at work... so it's not like we are really planning on going anywhere. On my drive in this morning I thought back to how far away you seemed... summer would NEVER get here, let alone a day in late June, yet we excitedly told people, "June 21st!"

June 21st... let's see what you have in store...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Ready

After weeks of being OK with going to our due date or past, I am finally ready to say that I am ready to get this baby OUT! The aches and pains are hitting me hard, walking any real distance is impossible, my ankles and feet are balloons, and the hip/back pain is debilitating. I think I'm whining... but I'm ready to have my body back.

I am also growing more and more anxious everyday to meet the little person that I feel like I know so well already. Will we be welcoming a new son or a daughter? What will they look like? All questions I am ready to have answered!

As much as all the unknowns of delivery freak me out - I am ready to be freaked out. I am OK with not being in control, because I know God IS in control. It will all be according to His Will.

Are you listening Baby L? We are ready to meet you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Week 39!

Total weight gain/loss: -28
Next appointment: Friday – June 18th.
Maternity Clothes: I am going to take this opportunity to gripe about maternity pants… They are comfy until you get huge. Then they just ride up and give you a wedgie and make you look like you are waiting for a flood. …rant over…
Stretch Marks: I actually found a few that I don’t think were there before! Oh well, I’m not really much of a bikini wearer… so it doesn’t bother me!
Sleep: The last 2 nights have been AMAZING!! I didn’t even get up to pee!
Belly button in/out: In
Movement: lots of squirming.
Food cravings: This morning I totally wanted a doughnut with chocolate frosting…
Contractions: yep – but nothing to write home to mom about…
Best moment of the week: having my parents help us get everything organized this past weekend. I feel so much more prepared!
What I miss: being able to roll over without making a huge production out of it.
What I am looking forward to: Meeting this little person!
Milestones: 6 days until due date…!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Busy Weekend

This weekend was crazy busy, but in a good way. We got a ton accomplished, and I feel like Baby L could come tomorrow and we are relatively ready.

Friday I went to see the Doctor once again – still no progress. My parents came over in the afternoon and we got a TON accomplished! So many little odd jobs that we had been putting off were finished. We arranged and cleaned the living room/nursery, organized clothes/blankets/etc, took everything we won’t need for a while upstairs for storage, got the bassinet, put the feet on our couch and chair, and hung up a shelf in the kitchen! For supper we headed to the Zumbro Falls Golf Course for some very yummy food – it tasted great after all the hard work we put in!

On Saturday Paul and I headed to a graduation for some 4-Hers and then went to Rochester to pick up a few things. We were able to return a few baby items and picked up a diaper pail and shower caddy as well as some stuff we needed for the chickens. It was super relaxing and we realized it would probably be our last big shopping trip without a baby, carseat, diaper bag, etc…

Saturday night was NOT relaxing, it was awful... couldn't get comfortable in bed, so moved to the couch at about 11:30, then woke up at midnight with painful contractions, moved back to the bed, more contractions, starting timing at about 1am, threw up at 2am, moved back to the couch, contractions got to about 8-9 minutes apart, moved back to bed, debated waking up Paul, fell asleep around 3:30am, woke up at 5:30, hips hurt, tried to roll over, fell back asleep until about 9:30am… It was a LONG night!

On Sunday, Paul had to water at work, so we drove to Rochester and dropped him off, then I headed to Old Navy to try and find another shirt to wear in the hospital since the one I ordered didn’t work. I found some pretty good deals on clearance and got a BIG bag of stuff for about $40. I even found a few things for Paul! Then I went to JoAnn Fabrics to get some material to make a few wetbags. I found what I was looking for, but had to wait FOREVER in line… they never have enough staff there! Paul spent the afternoon working outside and I spent it sewing. I headed to bed early after my sleepless night on Saturday.

When Paul came to bed he put his hand on my tummy and was able to feel Baby L moving around - he couldn’t get enough and kept smiling and giggling every time baby would roll or give him a shove. It really was too cute.
The "nursery" is actually part of our living room.

The crib (full of stuff) and bookshelf.

The shelf were clothes will go,

Paul's "office" corner of the room,

Changing table. That door goes into our bedroom.
...and that's it! I told you we don't have any room...

A crazy-busy weekend – but got so much done! Yeah!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You're still at work?

I have gotten this question a few times, and frankly the answer is, "yes - why wouldn't I be?" When I started setting up my maternity leave with the U, I saw no reason for me to take off earlier and use precious paid vacation time with no baby. Now, as the time is drawing closer, I am satisfied with that decision, as I still feel great and there is no reason for me to just be sitting at home twiddling my thumbs. I think the wait would be even worse doing that... keeping busy makes the time go faster!

The U has hired an interim coordinator to do my job until I return after Labor Day. She will sit at my desk, so I cleaned out all my "crap" and "de-mamiefied" the space a little. Everyday I leave with things in order, just in case I don't come back!

The waiting game continues! I have another appointment tomorrow, so we'll see if any progress has been made!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Week 38!

Total weight gain/loss: -30
Next appointment: Friday – June 11th.
Maternity Clothes: I’m getting sick of what I have, but so far they are still comfy.
Stretch Marks: Doesn’t really matter anymore…
Sleep: Sleep is hit or miss, some nights GREAT… other nights, not so much.
Belly button in/out: In
Movement: mostly just squirming now.
Food cravings: not much, but I have been more hungry lately.
Contractions: a few…
Best moment of the week: Realizing I am only 2 weeks from my due date. In no more than 3 weeks we will have a baby.
What I miss: sleeping on my belly.
What I am looking forward to: Meeting Baby L.
Milestones: Baby is full-term!

Baby's now the size of a watermelon! The last bits of vernix caseosa (the white goo keeping baby's skin moist) and lanugo (downy hair) are slowly shedding into your amniotic fluid. Baby's head is about the same circumference as her abdomen, and her head could be covered in an inch or so of hair.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Waiting Game

So you would think with only a few weeks to go that I would have lots of news to report about all the things we are doing to prepare... well, I don't. It seems that everything is either done, or I am putting it off until after Baby L arrives. So at this point, it has just become a waiting game. The truth is, sometime in the next 3 weeks we will have a baby, and that is exciting and scary all at the same time.

My hospital bag is pretty much packed except for a few tops that I am waiting to arrive from Old Navy. Paul has nothing packed, but I think I might throw in a few pairs of underwear for him and his toothbrush just in case. I also have a list of all the last minute things on the fridge. The diaper bag is packed and the carseat is in the car. We should be good to go, right?

The house is still unorganized, but I have quit fighting the battle with Paul about it. He will get it done in his own time, and until then, I will continue to walk around the boxes. He reorganized the changing table, so I need to put it back to the way I wanted it.

I am definitely getting ready for the sleep deprivation - last night I slept about 4 hours. I woke up at 1:30am and basically went back and forth between the couch and the bed before finally falling back asleep at aroun 5:30am, only to be woken by my alarm at 6:30am. It was a long night.

So the waiting will continue... we'll keep you posted!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Week 37

Total Weight Gain/Loss: -4 lbs! So now we are back to -30.
Next Appointment: next Friday
Maternity Clothes: same as before
Stretch marks: nothing new
Sleep: Can't sleep on my right side anymore - too painful. Naps after work are great, but make it hard to sleep at night.
Movement: Lots - and hiccups almost daily. Always makes me giggle.
Food Cravings: milk
Contractions: nope
Best moment of the week: seeing Baby L on the ultrasound last week
What I am looking forward to: even though I really feel great, I am looking forward to seeing my feet again!
Milestones: carseat is installed!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A June Baby

So I think it is safe to say that Baby L will be born this month. That is a crazy thought! It caught me off guard today as I turned the page in my desk planner to see the giant "Oh BABY" sticker that I have had plastered on June 21st since October. June 21st seemed so far away, and now it is only weeks away... but the reality is, Baby L could come any day... ready or not!

It was a busy weekend. I was a personal attendant in a wedding on Saturday, which meant a long day on my feet that I definitely felt the next day. I had found a super comfy cotton-knit maxi dress to wear and I was just that - super comfy. The wedding was beautiful and it was fun to be a part of it.

Paul had to work on Monday so I spent the day with my mom and dad, doing odd jobs around the house and going to Rochester to pick up a few things. We also loaded up the stroller/carseat to bring home so Paul can assemble it on Wednesday or Thursday when he has off.

Week 37 is here!